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the whole world.
ments of a man in a paroxysm of rage against | Seneca his style, and as full of notable moraTowards the close of his litie, which it doth most delightfully teach, and days, he seems to have repented of his so obtain the very end of poesie: yet, in truth, excesses; for in a pamphlet called Christ's it is very defectious in the circumstances; Tears over Jerusalem, he writes thus: "A which grieves me, because it might not remain hundred unfortunate farewells to fantasticall an exact model of all tragedies. For it is faultie satirisme. In those vaines, heretofore I mispent both in place and time, the two necessary commy spirit, and prodigally conspired against panions of all compositions." good hours. Nothing is there now so much in my vowes as to be at peace with all men, and make submissive amends where I have most displeased. To a little more wit have my increasing yeeres reclaimed mee than I had before; those that have been perverted by any of my workes, let them reade this, and it shall thrice more benefit them. The autumne I imitate, in shedding my leaves with the trees, and so doth the peacocke shead his taile.” Nash was peculiarly successful in satire; in an old copy of verses he is thus spoken of;
"Sharply satiric was he, and that way
He went, that since his being, to this day
Nash composed three p.ays; among tnem was Dido, Queen of Carthage. Copies of this drama are uncommonly scarce. Malone gave 167. 16s. for one at Dr. Wright's sale.
THOMAS SACKVILLE, LORD
A Doctor of medicine in great practice towards the end of Elizabeth's reign. He acquired considerable extra-professional reputation, both as a poet and a wit. His dramatic works are, Wounds of Civil War, 1594, and A Looking Glass for London and England, 1594. Judging from these compositions, the writer seems to have been most happy in satire; there is a playful smartness about his jokes, which is highly agreeable and amusing.
This author, the most popular writer of his times, was born about 1553. He studied first at Oxford, but latterly at Cambridge; being of good family, he followed the court, expecting to be appointed master of the revels, but he reaped nothing from attendance on Elizabeth but disappointment, the usual wages of cour tiers. He died in the prime of life, 1597, universally regretted and respected. His dramas are nine in number: Alexander and Campaspe, 1584, and Mother Bombie, 1594, are the best; but his claims on the notice of posterity are referable to the two following works, of which we shall give the titles at length, as he therein made the praiseworthy attempt to reform and purify our language from the un
One of the most illustrious noblemen of an age when titular honours were bestowed, not merely as nominal distinctions, but as the best rewards for great and virtuous actions. He is mentioned here on account of his having been concerned in the composition of Ferrex and Porrex, the first regular tragedy ever performed on the English stage. Of this drama, surrep-couth, barbarous, and obsolete expressions by titiously printed under the title of Gorboduc, 1565, and with its present designation 1571, Norton wrote the first three acts, and Lord Buckhurst, then Mr. Sackville, the last two. It was acted by the gentlemen of the Inner Temple, at Whitehall, before queen Elizabeth, on the 18th of January, 1561, many years prior to the appearance of Shakspeare. Philip Sidney, in his Defence of Pocsie, says, 'Our tragedies and comedies, not without cause cried out against, observing rules neither of honest civilitie, nor skilful poetrie, excepting Gorboduc, which, notwithstanding as it is full of stately speeches, climbing to the height of
which it was then overrun :-The Anatomie of Wit, verie pleasant for all Gentlemen to read, and most necessary to remember: where in are contayned the Delyghts that Wit followeth in his Youth by the pleasantnesse of Love, and the Happiness he reapeth in Age by the Per fectnesse of Wisdome, quarto, bl. lett. 1581. Sir-Euphues and his England, containing bis Voyage and Adventures, mixt with sundrie prettie Discourses of honest Love, the Description of the Countrie, the Court, and the Manners of that Isle, delightful to be read, and nothing hurtfull to be regarded: wherein there is small Offence by Lightnesse given to the
Wise, and less Occasion of Loosenesse proffered to the Wanton, quarto, bl. lett. 1582.
Lyly has committed many extravagancies in these productions, and they were, no doubt, much overrated; but the excellencies which they unquestionably contained are now as unjustly overlooked; for if, on the whole, Lyly's attempt must be considered a failure, on such in occasion even failure was glorious, and entitles him to be remembered with respect.
Tho. Nash, or John Heywood." In 1608, this same Cager maintained at Oxford, a thesis, that it was lawful for husbands to beat their wives; so that his elaborate Latin dramas have small chance of finding favour with the blues of the nineteenth century.
This persc... wrote about 1561, A lamentable Tragedie, mixed full of pleasant Mirth; contayning the Life of Cambises, King of Persia, from the beginning of his Kingdome unto his Death; his one good Deede of Execution after the many wicked Deeds and tirranous Murders committed by and through him; and last of all, his odious Death by God's Justice appointed; doon on such Order as followeth. Which Shakspeare is supposed to ridicule, when he makes Falstaff talk of speaking in king Cambyses' vein.
This highly talented, but most immoral author, was celebrated, in his day, for a broad and coarse, but spirited and characteristic vein of humour, which runs through all his productions. His dramas are very numerous, and many plays are ascribed to him on mere supposition; but he undoubtedly wrote The Histary of Friar Bacon and Friar Bongay, 1594; The Comical History of Alphonsus, King of Arragon, 1594; and The Scottishe Story of James the Fourthe, slaine at Flodden, intermixed with a pleasant Comedie presented by Oberon, King of the Fairies, 1599. Of this last play, Shakspeare seems to have made some undoubtedly availed himself in his Measure for use in his Midsummer Night's Dream.
This writer is only known by his Promos and Cassandra, a play of which Shakspeare has
Measure. It appears that Whetstone first tried his fortune at court, and dissipated his patrimony in vain expectation of preferment. Destitute of subsistence, he became a soldier, and served with so much credit that he was rewarded with additional pay. Honour, however, is a bad pay-master, and he was compelled to con
This author translated The Supposes, from Ariosto, and Jocasta, from Euripides; besides which, be wrote the Glass of Government, 1566, and, The Princely Pleasures of Kenil-vert his sword into a ploughshare. His farming worth Castle, 1587. The Supposes is among the earliest regular dramas produced on our stage; and Gascoigne, both in this translation and his original compositions, has displayed very superior endowments.
A profoundly learned man. His compositions are in the Latin tongue, and we should at have noticed him but on account of Anth. a Wood's singular panegyric of his genius: He was an excellent poet, especially in the Latin language, and reported the best comedian of his time, whether it was Edward, ear! of Oxford, Will. Rowley, the once ornament for wil and ingenuity, of Pembroke Hall in Cambridge, Richard Edwards, John Lylie, Tho. Lodge, Geo. Gascoigne, Will. Shakspeare,
concerns proved unfortunate, and in his necessity he tried the generosity of his friends. This he found was a broken reed, and worse than common beggary of charity from strangers. Now Craft accosted him in his sleepe, and tempted him with the proposals of several proposals of several professions; but for the knavery or slavery of them, he rejected all; his munificence constrained him to love money, and his magnanimity to hate all the ways of getting it." He now sought fortune at sea; but sir Humphrey Gilbert's fleet, in which he had embarked, was ruined by an engagement with the Spaniards. Poor Whetstone was thus reduced to write for bread. Ascham tells us, that "wits live obscurely, men care not how, and die neglected,
men mark not where." And where or in what manner this amiable man breathed this last, we are totally ignorant.
A native of Warwickshire, much celebrated for a metrical chronicle of British history, called Albion's England, which is written throughout with great ability, and occasionally evinces a highly poetical spirit. Percy says of Warner: —“ To his merit nothing can be objected, unless, perhaps, an affected quaintness in some of his expressions, and an indelicacy in some of his pastoral images." The following account of his death is extracted from the parish register of Amwell :—“ 1668-9. Master William Warner, a man of good years, and of honest reputation; by his profession, atturney at common plese; author of Albion's England; dyinge suddenly in the nyght in his bedde, without any former complaynt or sicknesse, on Thursday nyght, being the 9th daye of March, and was buried the Saturday following, and lieth in the church at the upper end, under the stone of Gwalter Sludes." Warner also wrote Syrinx, or, a Seaven told Historie, handled with varietie of pleasant and profitable, both comicall and tragicall Argument, 1597.
The water poet, he having been a sculler on the Thames. He was once mad enough to venture himself, with a companion, in a paper boat to Rochester, when they were both nearly drowned. He seems to have been very illiterate; but in spite of the most disheartening obstacles, he applied himself to composition, and his productions are far from contemptible. Taylor was a violent royalist. At the commencement of the rebellion he retired to Oxford, but that city being surrendered to the parliament, he returned to London and kept a public-house in Long Acre. At the king's death, he set up the sign of the Mourning Crown, which, giving offence, he substituted his own effigy, inscribed with this distich :
"There's many a king's head hang'd up for a sign, And many a saint's head too. Then why not mine ?"
SIR WILLIAM DAVENANT.
Born at Oxford, 1605, and supposed by some, though on very slight grounds, to have been a natural son of Shakspeare's. At Ben Jonson's death he was chosen laureate; and in 1643, having distinguished himself on a variety of occasions, he received the honour of knighthood
from Charles I. After the judicial murder of that monarch, he retired to the Continent with queen Henrietta and the prince of Wales. Being employed in their service, he was taken prisoner, confined at Cowes castle, and his life threatened. Under these trying circumstances, Davenant's courage was singularly conspicuous; he was then writing his poem of Gondibert, and notwithstanding the almost certain prospect of immediate death, such was his fortitude and self possession, that he was able to proceed with the work. A fact like this, is more honourable to Davenant than volumes of panegyric. At the intercession of Milton he was spared, and received permission to open a theatre in Charterhouse Yard. When Charles II. ascended the throne, Sir William received a patent to act plays at the Duke's theatre, in Lincoln's Inn Fields; and here it was that he first introduced the present mode of illustrating the drama by means of appropriate scenery and decorations. Davenant died at an advanced age, admired and beloved by all parties. Dryden, and we cannot give nobler praise, estimated his talents very highly.
SIR PHILIP SYDNEY.
A hero, in whom the chivalrous virtues which we read of in romance, and which we are accustomed to treat as fabulous, were realized. His person was the perfection of the human form; he was brave to a fault; his munificence was princely; and his courteous manners won the hearts of all that approached him. In the presence of monarchs his humility was that of an equal; but when the poor and miserable surrounded him, his countenance beamed with welcome and kindliness. To all these amiable qualities, were united a depth of learning and a
felicity of genius, which entitled him to rank with the best writers of his age. He was the darling of England and the admiration of Europe. He was born at Penshurst in Kent, 1554; he remained at Oxford till his 17th year, and then set out on the grand tour. At his return, in the pride of his youth and the full vigour of his intellect, queen Elizabeth appointed him her ambassador to the friendly German powers; but when the fame of his valour and genius became so general, that he was put in nomination for the kingdom of Poland, she refused to sanction his advancement lest she should lose the brightest jewel in her crown. His life was one continued course of gloriows
actions, and he died the death of a hero, being | her pen being nothing short of his, as I am slain at the battle of Zutphen, in 1586, while ready to attest, so far as so inferior a reason be was mounting the third horse, having pre- may be taken, having seen incomparable letters viously had two killed under him. He wrote of hers. But, lest I should seem to trespass ene dramatic piece, The Lady of the May, a upon truth, which few do unsuborned (as I masque acted before Elizabeth, in the gardens protest I am, unless by her rhetoric), I shall of Wanstead, in Essex; but his noblest work is leave the world her epitaph, in which the authe Arcadia, which, with his poems, will live thor (B. Jonson), doth manifest himself a poet as long as the language in which they are in all things but untruth: written.
MARY HERBERT, COUNTESS
Underneath this sable hearse
Sydney's sister, Pembroke's mother;
Shall turn statue, and become
The favourite sister of Sydney, to whom he dedicated his Arcadia. This lady was a generous friend of learning and genius, and her own endowments were of the first order. Francis Osborne, in his Memoirs of King James, says of her, "She was that sister of sir Philip And these were Shakspeare's contemporaries; Sidney, to whom he addressed his Arcadia, and and a few brief pages is all we afford to the of whom he had no other advantage than what fame of those, who, while living, filled the be received from the partial benevolence of world with their genius. Melancholy reflection ! fortune in making him a man, which yet she-this, if anything can, must teach us the did, in some judgments, recompense in beauty, nothingness of earthly honours.
Original Actors in Shakspeare's Dramas.
The brother of the poet, was a performer at the Globe, lived in St. Saviour's, and was buried in the church of that parish. The entry in the register runs thus "1606, December 31, [was buried] Edmond Shakspeare, a player, in the
stimulated, most probably, by his brother's success, he came to the metropolis and attached himself to the theatre; but he died young, and seems to have made little progress in his prefession.
This personage, who appeared at the head of he King's Servants, in the royal license of 1603, has escaped the notice of the historian of ur stage; and, in truth, we know scarcely anything of him. Fletcher was, probably, of St. Saviour's, Southwark, where several fa-church." Nothing more is known of him; milies of that name resided, as may be learnt from the parish register. He was placed before Shakspeare and Richard Burbadge in king James's license, as much, perhaps, by accident as design. Augustine Phillips, when he made his will, in May, 1605, bequeathed to his fellow, Laurence Fletcher, twenty shillings. And this fellow of Philips and of Shakspeare was buried in St. Saviour's church, on the 12th of September, 1608. What plays of our author be performed in is uncertain, nor does it appear whether be excelled in tragedy or comedy.
The most celebrated tragedian of our author's time, was the son of James Burbage, who was also an actor, and, perhaps, a countryman of Shakspeare's. He lived in Holywell-street, in
“Epitaph on Mr. Richard Burbage, the Player.
the parish of St. Leonard, Shoreditch; from | Philpot's Additions to Camden's Remains we which it may be supposed that he originally find an epitaph on this tragedian more concise played at the Curtain Theatre, which was in than even that on Ben Jonson, being only that neighbourhood. It is singular that he "Exit Burbage." The following also appears should have resided, from the year 1600 to his in a manuscript in the British Museum : death, in a place so distant from the Blackfriars playhouse, and still further from the Globe, in which theatres he acted during the whole of that time. By his wife, Winifred, he bad four daughters, two of whom were baptized by the name of Juliet. His fondness for the name of Juliet, perhaps, arose from his having been the original Romeo in our author's play. Burbage died about the 13th of March, 1619, and was buried in the church of St. Leonard, Shoreditch. His will is still extant in the Prerogative Office, but it contains nothing remarkable. Richard Burbage is introduced in person in an old play called The Returne from Parnassus, and instructs a Cambridge scholar how to play the part of King Richard the Third, in which character Burbage was greatly admired. That he represented this part is proved by bishop Corbet, who, in his Iter Boreale, speaking of his host at Leicester, tells us,
When he would have said, king Richard died,
He, probably, also enacted the characters of King John, Richard II., Henry V., Timon, Brutus, Coriolanus, Macbeth, Lear, and Othello. He was one of the principal sharers or proprietors of the Globe and Blackfriars theatres; and was of such eminence, that in a letter, preserved in the British Museum, written in the year 1613, the actors at the Globe are called Burbage's Company. Flecknoe writes thus of him in his Short Discourse of the English Stage, 1664: He was a delightful Proteus, so wholly transforming himself into his parts, and putting off himself with his cloaths, as he never (not so much as in the tryinghouse) assumed himself again, until the play was done. He had all the parts of an excellent orator, animating his words with speaking, and speech with action; his auditors being never more delighted than when he spake, nor more sorry than when he held his peace; yet, even then, he was an excellent actor still; never failing in his part when he had done speaking, but with his looks and gesture maintaining it still to the height." The testimony of sir Richard Baker is to the same purpose; he pronounces him to have been "such an actor as no age must ever look to see the like." In
Is said by Roberts, the player, to have been a tragedian, and, in conjunction with Condell, to have followed the business of printing, but his authority is doubtful. As early as November, 1597, he appears to have been the manager of the Lord Chamberlain's Company. This station, for which his prudence qualified him, he held, probably, during forty years.
There is reason
to believe that he was originally a Warwickshire lad, a shire which has produced so many players and poets; the Burbages, the Shakspeares, the Greens, and the Harts. Of Heminges' cast of characters little is known: there is only a tradition that he was the first
representative of Falstaff. He was adopted by king James, on his accession, as one of his theatrical servants; and was ranked the fifth in the royal license of 1603. He had the honour to be remembered in Shakspeare's will, and was the first editor of Shakspeare's works. He died at the age of seventy-five, in the parish of St. Mary, Aldermanbury; and was buried,
according to the register, on the 12th of October, 1630. His will, still preserved, devises considerable property, and provides various kind tokens of remembrance for his relations and fellows.
Was placed next to Burbage in the royal license of 1603. He was an author as well as an actor, and left behind him some ludicrous rhymes, which were entered in the Stationers' book in 1593, and were entitled The Jigg of the Slippers. He is supposed to have performed characters in low life. Whatever he might have been in the theatre, he was certainly a He amassed respectable man in the world.