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'tis somewhat like the smell
King may have known Dekker's play, but it seems more probable that both authors were employing a common expression at a period when the odor of the Bear Garden was a topic of much conversation."
3. The Blackfriars and the Globe
(a) Austin Saker in his Narbonnus (1580) remarks that “the Theatres could not stand except Narbonnus were there, nor the plaies goe forwarde unlesse he trimmed the stage,”—which may possibly be an early allusion to sitting on the stage at Farrant's playhouse (cf. Collier's Rarest Books in the English Language, IV, 9).
(b) The following words of the late F. G. Fleay, written in 1882, are interesting in view of the recent discovery of the existence of a Blackfriars Theater as early as 1577: “The Paul's boys, for instance, acted in a singing room of their own till they were inhibited in 1589, and again from 1599 to 1606; the children of the Chapel also, in my opinion, acted in the Blackfriars building many years before it was rebuilt as a private theatre in 1596" (Transactions Royal Historical Society, old Series, x, 114).
(c) The Run-awaies Answere to the Rod for Run-awaies (1625) has an interesting comment on the behavior of certain actors during the plague:
You yourselfe (could you haue gotte a Horse) would haue bin one of the Tribe of Gad, with one of your Comerades; for ther's no Dancing now to your Theatrian Poeticall Piping: Neither your Frierians, nor Cock pitterians, can for loue or money helpe you to a Plaudity, we wish for their owne sakes (and yours) they could; But many of them (that could get Winges) have kept company with vs in our flight.
* Allusions to the foul odor of the Bear-garden are legion. Cf., for example, Jonson's Bartholomew Fair, Induction; Beaumont and Fletcher's The Scornful Lady, IV, i; Florio’s Second Fruites (1592), p. 155; Stubbes' Anatomy of Abuses, Ed. Furnivall, p. 177; The Humourous Lieutenant, IV, 4; Cowley's Loves Riddle, I, i; Anglia, XXII, p. 461.
(d) S. Hall's complimentary verses prefixed to Samuel Harding's unacted tragedy Sicily and Naples, published at Oxford in 1640, contain the lines :
No claps, or loud applause, (like Swans which breed
Her scene shall never change, the world's her Globe.
ven crowne” possibly be a reference to the sign of the famous theater?
(e) Speaking of English dances, John Evelyn in his A Character of England (1659) says that they “appear more like the Farce of a Comedy at the Hotel de Bourgogne, than a Ball of the Noblesse”; and a marginal note explains Hotel de Bourgogne as “ The playhouse at Paris, as once ours at Blackfryers” (p. 51).
(f) In Henry Farley's The Complaint of Paules (1616) St. Paul's is made to say that within the past few years she has seen many new buildings, “some for pleasure, some for health and recreation, some for Royall entertainments and sports, and many for charitable vses :
And I have seene the Globe burnt, and quickly made a Phoenix.
(g) Two possible compliments to Shakspere's playhouse may underlie the reference to the “World” in the following passages, the first from Richard Woodfall's verses prefixed to Lewis Sharpe's The Noble Stranger (1640), the second from the anonymous The Incomparable Poem Gondibert Vindicated From the Wit-Combats of Four Esquires (1653): (i). Nor can she [Sharpe's Muse), had she rob'd the fluent store
Of Donns wise Genius, make thy merits more:
Thy Stranger to the Globe-like Theatre. (i). O hopefull Inigo, towardly old man,
That know'st so much, that Daphne [D'Avenant] nere knew letter,
4. The Fortune and the Red Bull
(a) In Pimlyco, or Runne Red-Cap (1609) the poet advises the host in words which perhaps throws some light on the quality of ale sold in the public theaters :
Build thy House round with Galleries,
(b) Crete Wonders foretold By Her crete Prophet of Wales, a tract printed in 1647, echoes a well-known passage in John Melton's Astrologaster (1620):
There shall also crete inflammations of Lightning tis happen year about the fortune in Colding-Lane, if the players can get leave to act the tragedies of Doctour Faustus in which Tempest shall be seen shag. haired Tivills, runne roaring with squibs in teir mouthes, while drummes make thunder in the tiring house, and the twelve pennie hireling make artificiall lights in her heavens.
(c) In Thomas Jordan's Walks of Islington and Hogsdon (1663) Pimpwell, on returning to Hogsdon from Redcross Street, remarks to Rivers (11, i): “Who should I meet withall coming from thence through the Fortune-Playhouse yard, but old Jones," —which should be compared with the “ Play-house yard” shown in Ogelby and Morgan's map of London (1677) printed by Adams to face page 270 of his Shakespearean Playhouses.
(d) R. Speed's The Counter Rat (1635)3 has an interesting explanation by a musician why he and his companions were arrested and placed in the Counter. A party of drunkards had insisted that they should go to
• An earlier edition appeared in 1628.
the Blue Bore, Kept by mad Ralph at Islington. After arriving at Mad Ralph's the musicians and their patrons became drunk, but the former managed to make their escape :
The company then being fast asleepe,
Three in one ditch being almost drown'd
From the Red Bull they pass the “Bars at Smith-field," the stews near “Cow-Crosse," and
through the Horse-faire Into the middle of Long-Lane.*
(e) No. 79 of the “hundred excellent conceits” added to the 1559-60 edition of Thomas Lupton's A Thousand Notable Things reads: “When Stage-plays were in use, there was in every place one that was called the Foole; as the Proverb saies, like a Fool in a Play; at the Red-Bull Play-house, it did chance that the Clown, or the Fool, being in the Attireing house, was suddenly called for upon the Stage, for it was empty, he suddenly going, forgot his Fooles-cap, one of the players bad his boy take it and put it on his head as he was speaking, no such matter (saies the Boy) there's no manners nor wit in that, nor wisdom neither, and my Master needs no Cap, for he is known to be a Fool without it, as well as with it” (pp. 357-58).
* With this interesting comment on the habits of the Red Bull players should be compared Prynne's statement in his Histriomastic that the players are panders, or at “ leastwise neighbours to them”: “ witness the Cockpit and Drury Lane; Blackfriars playhouse and Duke Humphries; the Red Bull and Turnball-street; the Globe and Bankside brothel-houses, with others of this nature,"
(f) No. 339 of A Choice Banquet of Witty Jests (1660) is titled “On the Fool in the Play”: “A Gentleman took his son along with him to the Red Bull Playhouse in St. John street to see a Comedy, which was very well acted by Pimponio in the Opportunity: upon their return his father askt him whom amongst all those brave Fellows he most affected ? Truly, replied the Boy, 1 liked the Fool best, and could have wisht them all Fools for his sake, because he made the most mirth.”
(g) Among the less familiar references to the rant at the Red Bull should be included Flecknoe's words in his Sixty-nine Enig. maticall Characters (Ed. 1658, p. 121):
She looks high, and speaks in a majestick tone,
like one playing the Queens part at the Bull. (h) In the address to the reader prefixed to A New Book of Mistakes (written ca. 1637) the author, after explaining the word bull in the sense of a blunder, remarks that the kinship of such “bulls” is not acknowledged by the Black Bull in Bishop-gate Street, the White Bull that tosses dogs at the Bear Garden, nor by “the Red Bull in Saint Johns Streete, who for the present (alack the while) is not suffred to carrie the Flagge in the maintop.” May this not after all be a reference to the frequency of “bulls" or verbal oddities in Red Bull plays, in view of John Cleveland's remark in his character of A Country Committeeman (ca. 1645): "He is persona in concreto (to borrow the solecism of a modern statesman). You may translate it by the Red Bull phrase, and speak as properly, Enter seven devils solus” (Morley's Seventeenth Century Characters, p. 299). And in view of Cleveland's “Red Bull phrase "one may ask whether the following poem, which occurs in Wit and Drollery (Ed. 1656, pp. 155-56) under the title "A Red Bull Prologue," and in the third edition (1686)
*Cf. the well-known references to crude performances at the Fortune and the Bull in the anonymous poem prefixed to Randolph's works (Ed. Hazlitt, II, 504), Thomas Carew's verses prefixed to Davenant's Just Italian (1630), Trincalo's words in Albumazar (1615), Wither's Abuses Stript and Whipt (1615), Cowley's The Guardian, si, vi and iv, 8 (cf. also his Cutter of Colman-Street, III, vii), Wit at Several Weapons, n, 2, Gayton's Notes on Don Quixote (Ed. 1654, p. 24), etc.
• Apparently an allusion to the plague of 1636-37. Cf. W. C. Hazlitt's Prefaces and Dedications, p. 359.