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“ them whom they sought, and than sayd they, as « Howleglas had shewed and lerned them afore, and " than answered they, Weseke the priests leman with o one iye. And than the prieste might heare that he " was mocked. And whan the priestes leman herdi « that, she arose out of the grave, and would have 16 smyten with her fist Howleglas upon the cheke, but « she missed him and smote one of the simple persons o that played one of the thre Maries; and he gave « her another; and than toke she him by the heare “ [hair]; and that seing his wyfe, came running “ hastely to smite the priestes leman; and than the " priest seing this, caste down hys baner and went to 6 helpe his woman, so that the one gave the other “ sore strokes, and made great noyse in the churche. " And than Howleglas seyng them lyinge together “ by the çares in the bodi of the churche, went « his way out of the village, and came no more « there *." · As the old Mysteries frequently required the representation of some allegorical personage, such as Death, Sin, Charity, Faith, and the like, by degrees the rude poets of those unlettered ages began to form complete dramatick pieces, consisting entirely of such personifications. These they entitled MORAL PLAYS, or MORALITIES. The Mysteries were very inartificial, representing the scripture stories simply according to

*C. Imprynted... by Wyllyam Copland: without dáte, in 4to. black letter, among Mr. Garrick', Old Piays, K. vol. x.






the letter. But the Moralities are not devoid of
invention; they exhibit outlines of the dramatick
art: they contain something of a fable or plot, and
even attempt to delineate characters and manners. I
have now before me two that were printed early in
the reign of Henry VIII; in which I think one may
plainly discover the seeds of Tragedy and Comedy;
for which reason I shall give a short analysis of them
. One of them is entitled Every-Man*. The subject
of this piece is the summoning of man out of the
world by death; and its moral, that nothing will then
avail him but a well-spent life and the comforts of
religion. This subject and moral are opened in a
monologue spoken by the MESSENGER (for that was
the name generally given by our ancestors to the pro-
logue on their rude stage): then God † is represented;
who, after some general complaints on the degeneracy
of mankind, calls for Deth, and orders him to bring
before his tribunal Every-Man, for so is called the
personage who represents the human race. EVERY-
Man appears, and receives the summons with all the
marks of confusion and terror. When Death is with-
drawn, Every-man applies for relief in this distress to


* This Play has been lately reprinted by Mr. HAWKINS in his 3 vols. of Old Plays, entitled, THE ORIGIN OF THE ENGLISH DRAMA, 12mo. Oxford, 1773, See vol. i, p. 27. · The second person of the Trinity seems to be meant, .



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FELLOWSHIP, KINDRED, Goods, or Riches, but they successively renounce and forsake him. In this disconsolate state he betakes himself to GOOD-Dedes, who, after upbraiding him with his long neglect of her *, introduces him to her sister KNOWLEDGE, and she leads him to the 's holy man CONFESSION," who appoints him penance: this he indiets upon himself on the stage, and then withdraws to receive the sacraments of the priest. On his return he begins to wax faint, and after STRENGTH, BEAUTY, DisCRETION, and FIVE WIT'S 't have all taken their final leave of him, gradually expires on the stage; Good-Dedes still accompanying him to the last. Then an AUNGEL descends to sing his requiem : and the epilogue is spoken by a person, called DocTOUR, who recapitulates the whole, and delivers the moral, : 66 This memoriall men may have in mynde, 6 Ye herers, take it of worth old and yonge, “ And forsake pryde, for he disceyveth you in thende 54 And remembre Beautè, Five Witts, Strength and

Discrecion, They all at last do Every-Man forsake; ** Save his Good Dedes there dothe he take:

* Those above-mentioned are male characters.

+ i. e. The Five Senses. These are frequently exhibited as five distinct personages upon the Spanish stage (see Riccoboni, p. 98.); but our moralist has represented them all by one character.

« But

" But beware, for and they be small,
“Before God he hath no helpe at all.” &c. ..

. From this short analysis it may be observed, that

Every-Man is a grave solemn piece, not without some rude attempts to excite terror and pity, and therefore may not improperly be referred to the class of tragedy. It is remarkable that in this old simple drama, the fable is conducted upon the strictest model of the Greek tra. gedy. The action is simply one, the time of action is that of the performance, the scene is never changed, nor the stage ever empty. Every-MAN, the hero of the piece, after his first appearance never withdraws, except when he goes out to receive the sacraments, which could not be well exhibited in publick; and during his absence KNOWLEDGE descants on the ex, cellence and power of the priesthood, somewhat after the manner of the Greek chorus. And indeed, except in the circumstance of Every-Man's expiring on the stage, the Sampson Agonistes of Milton is hardly formed on a severer plan *.

The other play is entitled Hick-Scorner t, and bears no distanț resemblance to comedy: its chief aim seems

. * See more of EVERY-MAN, in vol. ii. Pref, to B. II. Of the Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. Notes · + Emprynted by me Wynkyn de Worde, no date; in 4to. black letter, This Play has also been reprinted by Mr. Hawkins in his si Origin of the English Drama,'s Yol, i, p. 69,


to be to exhibit characters and manners, its plot being much less regular than the foregoing. The prologue is spoken by Pity represented under the character of an aged pilgrim, he is joined by Con. TEMPLACYON and PERSEVERANCE, two holy men, who after lamenting the degeneracy of the age, declare their resolution of stemming the torrent. Pity then is left upon the stage, and presently found by PREWYLL, representing a lewd debauchee, who, with his dissolutę companion IMAGINACION, relate their manner of life, and not without humour describe the stews and other places of base resort. They are presently joined by Hick-SCORNER, who is drawn as a libertine returned from travel, and agreeably to his name scoffs at reli. gion. These three are described as extremely vicious, who glory in every act of wickedness: at length two of them quarrel, and Pity endeavours to part the fray; on this they fall upon him, put him in the stocks, and there leave him. Pity then descants in a kind of lyric measure on the profligacy of the age, and in this situa. tion is found by Perseverance and Contemplacion, who set him at liberty, and advise him to go in search of the delinquents. As soon as he is gone, Frewill appears again ; and, after relating in a very comic manner some of his rogueries and escapes from justice, is rebuked by the two holy men, who, after a long altercation, at length convert him and his libertine companion Imaginacion from their vicious course of life: and then the play ends with a few verses from Perseverance by way of epilogue. This and every


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