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would move, I think, Phalaris the tyrant, and terrifie all tyrannous minded men," &c. He most probably means Shakspeare's; and if so, we may argue, that there is some more ancient edition of this play than what I have mentioned; at least this shows how early Shakspeare's play appeared; or if some other Richard the Third is here alluded to by Harrington, that a play on this subject preceded our author's. T. WARTON.
It appears from the following passage in the preface to Nashe's Have with you to Saffron Walden, or Gabriel Harvey's Hunt is up, 1596, that a Latin tragedy of King Richard III. had been acted at Trinity College, Cambridge: 66 or his fellow codshead, that in the Latine tragedie of King Richard, cried-Ad urbs, ad urbs, ad urbs, when his whole part was no more than Urbs, urbs, ad arma, ad arma.' STEEVENS.
The play on this subject mentioned by Sir John Harrington in his Apologie for Poetrie, 1591, and sometimes mistaken for Shakspeare's, was a Latin one, written by Dr. Legge; and acted at St. John's in our university, some years before 1588, the date of the copy in the Museum. This appears from a better MS. in our library at Emmanuel, with the names of the original performers.
A childish imitation of Dr. Legge's play was written by one Lacy, 1583; which had not been worth mentioning, were they not confounded by Mr. Capell. FARMER.
The Latin play of King Richard III. (MSS. Harl. n. 6926,) has the author's name,-Henry Lacey, and is dated-1586. TYRWHITT.
Heywood, in his Actor's Vindication, mentions the play of King Richard III." acted in St. John's Cambridge, so essentially, that had the tyrant Phalaris beheld his bloody proceedings, it had mollified his heart, and made him relent at sight of his inhuman massacres." And in the books of the Stationers' Company June 19, 1594, Thomas Creede made the following entry : "An enterlude, intitled the tragedie of Richard the Third, wherein is shown the deathe of Edward the Fourthe, with the smotheringe of the two princes in the Tower, with the lamentable ende of Shore's wife, and the contention of the two houses of Lancaster and Yorke." This could not have been the work of Shakspeare, unless he afterwards dismissed the death of Jane Shore, as an unnecessary incident, when he revised the play. Perhaps, however, it might be some translation of Lacey's play, at the end of the first Act of which is, "The showe of the procession. 1. Tipstaffe. 2. Shore's wife in her petticote, having a taper burning in her hande. 3. The Verger. 4. Queristers. 5. Singing-men. 6. Prebendary. 7. Bishoppe of London. 8. Citi
There is likewise a Latin song sung on this occasion, in MS. Harl. 2412. STEEvens.
The English King Richard III. which was entered on the Stationers' books in 1594, and which, it may be presumed, had been exhibited some years before, was probably written by the author of The Contention of the Two Houses of Yorke and Lancaster. MAlone.
I shall here subjoin two Dissertations, one by Dr. Warburton, and one by Mr. Upton, upon the Vice.
ACT III. SCENE I.
Thus like the formal vice, Iniquity, &c.] As this corrupt reading in the common books hath occasioned our saying something of the barbarities of theatrical representations amongst us before the time of Shakspeare, it may not be improper, for a better apprehension of this whole, to give the reader some general account of the rise and progress of the modern stage.
The first form in which the drama appeared in the west of Europe, after the destruction of learned Greece and Rome, and that a calm of dulness had finished upon letters what the rage of barbarism had begun, was that of the Mysteries. These were the fashionable and favourite diversions of all ranks of people both in France, Spain, and England. In which last place, as we learn by Stow, they were in use about the time of Richard the second and Henry the fourth. As to Italy, by what I can find, the first rudiments of their stage, with regard to the matter, were prophane subjects, and, with regard to the form, a corruption of the ancient mimes and attellanes: by which means they got sooner into the right road than their neighbours; having had regular plays amongst them wrote as early as the fifteenth century.
As to these mysteries, they were, as their name speaks them, a representation of some scripture-story, to the life: as may be seen from the following passage in an old French history, intitled, La Chronique de Metz composée par le curé de St. Euchaire ; which will give the reader no bad idea of the surprising absurdity of these strange representations: "L'an 1437 le 3 Juillet (says the honest Chronicler,) fut fait le Jeu de la Passion de N. S. en la plaine de Veximiel. Et fut Dieu un sire appellé Seigneur Nicolle Dom Neufchastel, lequel etoit Curé de St. Victour de Metz, lequel fut presque mort en la Croix, s'il ne fût eté secourus; & convient qu'un autre Prêtre fut mis en la Croix pour parfaire le Personnage du Crucifiment pour ce jour ; & le lendemain le dit Curé de St. Victour parfit la Resurrection, et fit trés hautement
son personage; & dura le dit Jeu- -Et autre Prêtre qui s' appelloit Mre. Jean de Nicey, qui estoit Chapelain de Metrange, fut Judas: lequel fut presque mort en pendent, car le cuer li faillit, et fut bien hâtivement dependu & porté en Voye. Et etoit la bouche d'Enfer tresbien faite; car elle ouvroit & clooit, quand les Diables y vouloient entrer & isser; & avoit deux gross Ĉuls d'Acier," &c. Alluding to this kind of representations Archbishop Harsnet, in his Declaration of Popish Impostures, p. 71, says: "The little children were never so afraid of Hellmouth in the old plays, painted with great gang teeth, staring eyes, and foul bottle nose." Carew, in his Survey of Cornwall, gives a fuller description of them in these words, "The Guary Miracle, in English a Miracle Play, is a kind of interlude compiled in Cornish out of some scripture history. For representing it, they raise an earthen amphitheatre in some open field, having the diameter of an inclosed playne, some 40 or 50 foot. The country people flock from all sides many miles off, to hear and see it. For they have therein devils and devices, to delight as well the eye as the ear. The players conne not their parts without book, but are prompted by one called the ordinary, who followeth at their back with the book in his hand," &c. &c. There was always a droll or buffoon in these mysteries, to make the people mirth with his sufferings or absurdities: and they could think of no better a personage to sustain this part than the devil himself. Even in the mystery of the Passion mentioned above, it was contrived to make him ridiculous. Which circumstance is hinted at by Shakspeare (who had frequent allusions to these things) in The Taming of the Shrew, where one of the players asks for a little vinegar, (as a property) to make the devil roar.* *For after the sponge with the gall and vinegar had been employed in the representation, they used to clap it to the nose of the devil; which making him roar, as if it had been holywater, afforded infinite diversion to the people. So that vinegar in the old farces, was always afterwards in use to torment their devil. We have divers old English proverbs, in which the devil is represented as acting or suffering ridiculously and absurdly, which all arose from the part he bore in these mysteries, as in that, for instance, of Great Cry and little Wool, as the Devil said when he sheered his Hogs. For the sheep-shearing of Nabal being represented in the mystery of David and Abigail, and the devil always attending Nabal, was made to imitate it by shearing a hog. This kind of absurdity, as it is the properest to create laughter, was the subject of the ridiculous in the ancient mimes,
*This is not in Shakspeare's play, but in the old play entitled The Taming of a Shrew. MALONE.
as we learn from these words of Saint Austin: Ne faciamus ut mimi solent, & optemus à libero aquam, à lymphis vinum.*
These mysteries, we ree, were given in France at first, as well as in England, sub dio, and only in the provinces. Afterwards we find them got into Paris, and a company established in the Hôtel de Bourgogne to represent them. But good letters and religion beginning to make their way in the latter end of the reign of Francis the first, the stupidity and prophaneness of the mysteries made the courtiers and clergy join their interest for their suppression. Accordingly, in the year 1541, the procureur-general, in the name of the king, presented a request against the company to the parliament. The three principal branches of his charge against them were, that the representation of the Old Testament stories inclined the people to Judaism; that the New Testament stories encouraged libertinism and infidelity; and that both of them lessened the charities to the poor. It seems that this prosecution succeeded; for, in 1548, the parliament of Paris confirmed the company in the possession of the Hôtel de Bourgogne, but interdicted the representation of the mysteries. But in Spain, we find by Cervantes, that they continued much longer; and held their own, even after good comedy came in amongst them: as appears from the excellent critique of the canon, in the fourth book, where he shows how the old extravagant romances might be made the foundation of a regular epic (which, he says, tambien puede escriverse en prosa como en verso; +) as the mystery-plays might be improved into artful comedy. His words are, Pues que si venimos à las comedias divinas, que de milagros falsos fingen en ellas, que de cosas apocrifas, y mal entendidas, attribueyendo a un santo los milagros de otro; which made them so fond of miracles that they introduced them into las comedias humanas, as he calls them. To return :
Upon this prohibition, the French poets turned themselves from religious to moral farces. And in this we soon followed them: the publick taste not suffering any great alteration at first, though the Italians at this time afforded many just compositions for better models. These farces they called moralities. Pierre Gringore, one of their old poets, printed one of these moralities, intitled La Moralité de l'Homme Obstiné. The persons of the drama are l'Homme Obstiné-Pugnition Divine-Simonie-Hypocrisie -and Demerites-Communes. The Homme Obstiné is the atheist, and comes in blaspheming, and determined to persist in his impieties. Then Pugnition Divine appears, sitting on a throne in the air, and menacing the atheist with punishment. After this scene, Simonie, Hypocrisie, and Demerites-Communes appear
Civ. D. L. IV.
+ B. IV. c. 20.
and play their parts. In conclusion, Pugnition Divine returns, preaches to them, upbraids them with their crimes, and, in short, draws them all to repentance, all but the Homme Obstiné, who persists in his impiety, and is destroyed for an example. To this sad serious subject they added, though in a separate representation, a merry kind of farce called Sottié, in which there was un Paysan [the Clown] under the name of Sot-Commun [or Fool]. But we, who borrowed all these delicacies from the French, blended the Moralité and Sottié together: So that the Paysan or Sot-Commun, the Clown or Fool, got a place in our serious moralities: Whose business we may understand in the frequent allusions our Shakspeare makes to them: as in that fine speech in the beginning of the third Act of Measure for Measure, where we have this obscure passage:
66 merely thou art Death's Fool,
"For him thou labour'st by thy flight to shun,
"And yet runn'st tow'rd him still.'
For, in these moralities, the Fool of the piece, in order to show the inevitable approaches of Death, (another of the Dramatis Persona,) is made to employ all his stratagems to avoid him; which, as the matter is ordered, bring the Fool, at every turn, into the very jaws of his enemy: So that a representation of these scenes would afford a great deal of good mirth and morals mixed together. The very same thing is again alluded to in these lines of Love's Labour's Lost:
"So Portent-like I would o'er-rule his state,
Act IV. sc. ii.
But the French, as we say, keeping these two sorts of farces distinct, they became, in time, the parents of tragedy and comedy; while we, by jumbling them together, begot in an evil hour, that mongrel species, unknown to nature and antiquity, called tragi-comedy. WARBURTON.
TO this, when Mr. Upton's Dissertation is subjoined, there will, perhaps, be no need of any other account of the Vice.
Like the old Vice.] The allusion here* is to the Vice, a droll character in our old plays, accoutred with a long coat, a cap with a pair of ass's ears, and a dagger of lath. Shakspeare alludes to his buffoon appearance in Twelfth-Night, Act IV: "In a trice, like to the old Vice;
"Who with dagger of lath, in his rage and his wrath, "Cries, ah, ha! to the Devil.”
In The Second Part of King Henry IV. Act III. Falstaff com
* i. e. p. 3, of Mr. Upton's book, where the words-like the old ViceOccur. MALONE.