Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

XX s."

« Pd. unto Thomas Hewode, the 20 of september, [1602] for the new adycions of Cutting Dick, the some of

The following curious notices occur, relative to our poet's old antagonist, Ben Jonson; the last two of which furnish a proof of what I have just observed with respect to Titus Andronicus, and the First Part of King Henry VI.; and the last article ascertains that he had the audacity to write a play, after our author, on the subject of K. Richard III.

• Lent unto Bengamen Johnson, player, the 22 of July, 1597, in redy mony, the some of fower poundes, to be payd yt again whenfoever ether I or my sonne [Edw. Alleyn) thall demand yt. I saye liij lb.

" Witne s E. Alleyn, & John Synger." * Lent unto Bengemen Johnsone, the 3 of desember, 1597, upon a booke which he was to writte for us before crylmas next after the date hereof, which he showed the plotte unto the company: í faye, lent in redy mony unto hime the some of xx s.

'Lent Bengemyn Johnson, the 5 of Jenewary, 1597, [1597-8] in redy mony, the some of v š.

« Lent unto the company, the 18 of agust, 1598, to bye a boocke called Hoate anger fone could, of Mr. Porter, Mr. Cheattell, & Bengemen Johnson, in full payment, the some of vilb.

" Lent unto Robart Shawe, & Jewbey, the 23 of octob. 1598, to lend unto Mr. Chapman, one (on) his playe boocke, & ij actes of a tragedie of Bengemen's plott, the fome of iij lb.

" Lent unto Wm. Borne, alias Birde; the 10 of aguft, 1599, to lend unto Bengemyn Johnson and Thomas Dekker, in earnest of ther booke which they are a writing, called Pagge of Plim?, the fome of xxxx s.

" Lent

9 These three words are fo blotted, that they can only be guessed at. I find in the next page--" Lent unto Mr. Birde, Thomas Down. ton, and William Jube, the 2 of September 1599, to paye in full payment for a boocke called the lamentable tragedie of Degge of PlyVOL. I. Part II.

mously

• Lent unto Thomas Downton, the 3

of september, 1599, to lend unto Thomas Deckers, Bengemen Johnson, Harey Cheattell, and other jentellmen, in earnest of a playe called Robart the second kinge of Scottes tragedie, the soine of xxxx s.

" Lent unto Wm. Borne, the 23 of september, 1999, to lend unto Bengemen Johnsone, in earnest of a boocke called the fiottes tragedie, the some of xx s.

« Lent unto Mr. Alleyn, the 25 of september, 1601, to lend unto Bengemen Johnson, upon his writing of his adycians in Jeronymos, xxxx s.

« Lent unto Bengemy Johnsone, at the apoyntment of E. Alleyn, and Wm. Birde, the 22 of June, 1602, in earnest of a boocke called Richard Crook-back, and for new adycions for Jeronymo, the some of x lb.”

I insert the following letter, which has been lately found at Dulwich College, as a literary curiosity. It Thews how very highly Alleyn the player was estimated. What the wager alluded to was, it is now impossible to ascertain. It probably was, that Alleyn would equal his predecessors Knell and Bently, in some part which they had performed, and in which his contemporary, George Peel, had likewise been admired.

" Your answer the other night so well pleased the gentlemen, as I was satisfied therewith, though to the hazarde of the wager : and yet my meaning was not to

moutb, the fome of vilb."; which should seem to be the same play ; but lix pounds was the full price of a play, and the authors are different.-Bird, Downton, and Jubey, were all actors.

8 The Spanish Tragedy, written by Thomas Kyd, is meant, which was frequently called Jeronymo, though the former part of this play expressly bore that name. See the title-page to the edition of tbe Spanish Tragedy in 1610, where these new additions are particularly mentioned. Jonson himself alludes to them in his Cyntbia's Revels, 1602 : “ Another (wears down all that are about him, that the old Hieronymo, as it was at first acted, was the only best and judicioufly penned play in Europe."- Mr. Hawkins, when he republished this piece in 1773, printed most of Jonson's additions to it, at the bottom of the page, as “ toisted in by the players,"

prejudice

prejudice Peele's credit, neither wolde it, though it pleased you fo to excuse it. But beinge now growen farther in question, the partie affected to Bently scornynge to win the wager by your deniall, hath now given you libertie to make choyce of any one play that either Bently or Knell plaide ; and least this advantage agree not with your mind, he is contented both the plaie and the tyme ihalbe referred to the gentlemen here present. I see not how you canne any waie hurt your credit by this action : for if you excell them, you will then be famous ; if equall them, you win both the wager and credit ; if Ihort of them, wee must and will faie, Ned ALLEN STILL.

Your friend to his

power,

W. P. “ Deny mee not, sweet Ned; the wager's downe, Co. And twice as muche commaunde of me or myne ;

“ And if you wynne, I swear the half is thine, “* And for an overplus an English crowne: {«¢¢ Appoint the tyme, and stint it as you pleas,

er Your labor's gaine, and that will prove it ease.” The two following letters, which were found among Mr. Hensowe's papers, ascertain the low state of the dramatick poets in his time. From the former of them it should seem, that in a few years after the accession of James the First, the price of a play had confiderably rifen. Neither of them are dated, but I imagine they were written some time between the years 1612 and 1615. Mr. Henslowe died about the 8th of January, 1615-16.

" Mr. Hinchlow, * I have ever since I saw you kept my bed, being so lame that I cannot stand. I pray, Sir, goe forward with that reasonable bargayn for The Bellman. We will have bat twelve pounds, and the overplus of the second day; whereof I have had ten shillings, and desyre but twenty fhillings more, till you have three sheets

of my papers. Y 2

Good

[ocr errors]

Good Sir, confider how for your sake I have put myself out of the assured way to get money, and from twenty: pounds a play am come to twelve. Thearfor in my exa tremity fortake me not, as you shall ever comand me. My wife can aquaint you how infinit great my occasion is, and this ihall be sufficient for the receipt, till I come to set my hand to the booke.

Yours at comand,

ROBERT DABORNE." At the bottom of this letter Mr. Henslowe has written the following memorandum :

- Lent Mr. Daborne upon this note, the 23 of agust, in earnest of a play called The Bellman of London, xxs.

“ To our most loving friend,

Mr. Phillip Hinchlow,

Esquire, There. " Mr. Hinchlow, “ You understand our unfortunate extremitie, and I doe not thincke you so void of christianitie but that you would throw so much money into the Thames as wee request now of you, rather then endanger so many innocent lives. You know there is x', more at least to be receaved of you for the play. We desire

you

to vl. of that; which mall be allowed to you, without which wee cannot be bayled, nor I play any more till this be dispatch’d. It will lose you xx! ere the end of the next weeke, beside the hinderance of the next new play. Pray, Sir, consider our cases with humanity, and now give us cause to acknowledge you our true freind in time of neede. Wee have entreated Mr. Davison to deliver this note, as well to witnesle your love as our promiles, and alwayes acknowledgment to be ever Your most thanckfull and loving freinds,

NAT. FIELD. " The money fhall be abated out of the money remayns for the play of Mr, Fletcher and ours.

ROB, DABORNE."

"I have

lend us

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

<< I have ever found you a true loving freind to mee, and in foe small a suite, it beeinge honest, I hope you will not faile us.

PHILIP MASSINGER." Indorsed : 5 Received by mee Robert Davison of Mr. Hinch. low, for the use of Mr. Daboerne, Mr. Feeld, Mr. Messenger, the some of vl.

ROBERT DAVISON."

The dimenfions and plan of the Globe Playhouse, as well as the time when it was built, are ascertained by the following paper. I had conjectured that it was not built before 1596 ; and we have here a confirmation of that conjecture.

« This INDENTURE made the eighte day of Januarye, 1599, and in the two and fortyth yeare of the reigne of our sovereigne ladie Elizabeth, by the grace of God Queene of England, Fraunce and Ireland, defender of the fayth, &c. Between Phillipp Hensowe and Edward Allen of the parishe of St. Saviours in Southwark, in the countie of Surry, gentlemen, on thone parte, and Peter Streete, citizen and carpenter of London, on thother parte, Witnesseth; that whereas the said Phillipp Henflowe and Edward Allen the day of the date hereof have bargained, compounded, and agreed with the said Peter Streete for the erectinge, buildinge, and setting up of a new House and Stage for a playhowfe, in and uppon a certeine plott or peece of grounde appoynted oute for that purpose, scituate and beinge near Goldinge lane in the parish of Saint Giles without Cripplegate of London ; to be by him the said Peter Streete or some other sufficient workmen of his provid. ing and appoyntment, and att his propper costes and chardges, (for the confideration hereafter in these presents expressed) made, builded, and sett upp, in manner and form following: that is to saie, the frame of the faide howse to be sett square, and to conteine fowerscore fogte of lawful aslize everye waie square, without, and

Y 3

fiftie

« ZurückWeiter »