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«'gallery thou mayst sit by a harlot." Yet small as these Prices may now be thought, the Profession ofan Actor appears to have been rather lucrative; this might be inferred from the passage quoted in page 140. (Not. d.) to which may be added the following extract from “Greene's Groatsworth of Wit, 1625." 4to. (See Roberto's Tale, Sign. D. 3. b.) “What is your “ profession?”—“Truly, Sir, .... I am a PLAYER.” " A player! .... I took you rather for a Gentleman of f great living; for if by outward Habit men should be « censured, I tell you, you would be taken for a sub“stantial man.” “So I am where I dwell. .... What “ though the world once went hard with me, when I " was fayne to carry my playing-fardle a foot backe: 66 Tempora mutantur .... for my very share in playing © apparell will not be sold for TWO HUNDRED pounds, ".... Nay more, I can serve to make a pretty speech, s for I was a country Author, passing at a MORAL, 66 &c." .
Lastly, with regard to the Decorations of the Stage, mean as they then were, Coryate thought them splendid compared to what he saw abroad; Speaking of the Theatre for Comedies at Venice, he says, “ The “ house is very beggarly and base in comparison of our “ stately PLAY-Houses in England : neyther can
l their actors compare with ours for apparell, shews, « and musicke, Here I observed certaine things that “I never saw before: For I saw WOMEN ACT, a « thing that I never saw before, though I have heard " that it hath been sometimes used in London; and U ij
“ they perfornied it with as good a grace, action, “ gesture, and whatsoever convenient for a Player, “ as ever I saw any masculine Actor.” Coryate's Crudities, 4to. 1611. p. 247.
It ought however to be observed, that amid such a multitude of PLAY-Houses as subsisted in the Metro. polis before the Civil Wars, there must have been a great difference between their several Accommodations, Ornaments, and Prices ; and that some would be much more shewy than others, though probably all were much inferior in splendour to the two great Theatres after the Restoration.
The GLOBE on the BANCKE Side, where
SHAKSPERE acted. From the long Antwerp View of London in the
i PEPYSIAN LIBRARY.
With the drawing from which this Cut was made, I was favoured by the Reverend Mr. Henley,
LICENCE for ACTING,
Granted by James the First to the Company at the Globes
Extracted from Rymer's Fædera,
PRO LAURENTIO FLETCHER & WILLIELMO SHAKSPERE & aliis.
A. D. 1603. Pat*.
1 Jac. P. 2. m. 4. JAMES by the grace of God &c. to all justices, maiors, sheriffs, constablss, head
* Among the unpublished collections of Rymer, which are now in the British Museum, is, the following patent granted in the 16th year of Q. Elizabeth, (viz. 1574). See MSS. Rymer, vol. i. The James Burbage mentioned therein was in all probability father to Richard Burbage the contemporary of Shakspere, and chief performer in his plays. I have printed it, because perhaps it is the first
regular licence ever granted to players. :: “ Pro Jacobo Burbage et aliis, de licentia speciali.
Elizabeth by the grace of God, quene of England, &c. To all justices, mayors, sheriffes, baylyffes,' head constables, under constables, and all other oure officers and mynisters, gretinge,
boroughs, and other our officers and loving subjects, greeting. Know you that wee, of our special grace, certaine knowledge and meer motion, have licensed and authorised, and by these presentes doe licence and authorize theise our servaunts Laurence Fletcher, William Shakspere, Richard Burbage, Augustine Phillipes, John Heminge, Henrie Condell, William
Know ye, that we of our especiall grace, certen knowjedge, and mere motion, have lycensed and auctorised, and by these presents do lycence and auctorise oure lovinge subjectes James Burbage, John Perkyn, John Lanham, William Johnson, and Robert Wilson, servaunts to our trustie and well beloved cosen and counseyllour the Earle of Leycestery to use, exercyse and occupie the arte and facultye of playenge commedies, tragedies, enterludes, stage playes, and suche other like as they have alredie used and studied, or hereafter shall use and studie, as well for the recreation of oure lovinge subjectes as for oure solace and pleasure when we shall thinke good to see them, as also to use and occupie all suche instruments as they have alredie practised or hereafter shall practise for and duringe our pleasure; and the said commedies, tragedies, enterludes, and stage-plaies, together with their musicke, to shew, publishe, exercise and occupie to their best come moditie, during all the terme aforesaid, as well within the liberties and freedomes of anye our cities, townes, boue roughs, &c. whatsoever, as without the same thoroughoute oure rcalme of England. Wyllinge and commaund. ings yowe and every of you as ye tender oure pleasure to permitt and suffer them herein withoute anye lettes,