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scattered in many books and papers, which were probably never read but once, or the particulars which they contain received only in the course of common conversation; nay, what is called plagiarism, is often no more than the result of having thought alike with others on the same subject.
The dispute about the learning of Shakespeare being now finally settled, a catalogue is added of those translated authors, whom Mr. Pope has thought proper to call
The classics of an age that heard of none.
The reader may not be displeased to have the Greek and Roman poets, orators, &c. who had been rendered accessible to our author, exposed at one view; especially as the list has received the advantage of being corrected and amplified by the Reverend Dr. Farmer, the substance of whose very decisive pamphlet is interspersed through the notes which are added in this revisal of Dr. Johnson's Shakespeare.
To those who have advanced the reputation of our Poet, it has been endeavoured, by Dr. Johnson, in the foregoing preface, in partially to allot their dividend of fame; and it is with great regret that we now add to the catalogue, another, the consequence of whose death will perhaps affect not only the works of Shake
fpeare, but of many other writers. Soon after the first į appearance of this edition, a disease, rapid in its progress, deprived the world of Mr. JACOB TONSON; a man, whose zeal for the improvement of English literature, and whofe liberality to men of learning, gave him a juft title to all the honours which men of learning can bestow. To suppose that a person employed in an extensive trade, lived in a state of indifference to loss and gain, would be to conceive a character incredible and romantic; but it may be justly said of Mr. Tonson, that he had enlarged his mind beyond solicitude about petty losses, and refined it from the defire of unreasonable profit. He was willing to admit those with whom he contracted, to the just advantage of their own labours; and had never learned to consider the author as an under-agent to the bookseller. The wealth which he inherited or acquired, he enjoyed like a man conscious of the dignity of a profeffion subservient to learning. His domestic life was elegant, and his charity was liberal. His manners were foft, and his conversation delicate : nor is, perhaps, any quality in him more to be censured, than that reserve which confined his acquaintance to a small number, and made his example less useful, as it was lefs extensive. He was the last commercial name of a family which will be long remembered; and if Horace thought it not improper to convey the Sosii to pofterity; if rhetoric suffered no dishonour from Quintilian's dedication to TRYPHO; let it not be thought that we disgrace Shakespeare, by appending to his works the name of Tonson.
To this prefatory advertisement I have now subjoined a chapter extracted from the Guls Hornbook, (a satirical pamphlet written by Decker in the year 1609) as it affords the reader a more complete idea of the customs peculiar to our ancient theatres, than any other publication which has hitherto fallen in my way. See this performance, page 27.
“CH A P. VI.
The theater is your poet's Royal Exchange, upon which, their muses (that are now turn’d to merchants) meeting, barter away that light commodity of words for a lighter ware than words, plaudities and the breath of the great beat, which (like the threatnings of two cowards) vanish all into aire. Plaiers and their fazlors, who put away the stuffe and make the best of it they possibly can (as indeed 'tis their parts so to doe) your gallant, your courtier, and your capten, had wont to be the soundest paymasters, and I thinke are still the surest chapmen: and these by meanes that their heades are well stockt, deale upon this comical freight by the grosse; when your groundling, and gallery commoner buyes his sport by the penny, and, like a hagler, is glad to utter · it againe by retailing.
Sithence then the place is so free in entertainment, allowing a stoole as well to the farmer's sonne as to your Templer: that your stinkard has the selfe same libertie to be there in his tobacco-fumes, which your sweet courtier hath: and that your carman and tinker claime as strong a voice in their fuffrage, and fit to give judgment on the plaies' life and death, as well as the proudest Momus among the tribe of critick; it is fit that hee, whom the most tailors' bils do make room for, when he comes, should not be basely (like a vyoll) cas'd up in a corner.
Whether therefore the gatherers of the publique or private play-house stand to receive the afternoone's rent, let our gallant (having paid it) presently advance himselfe up to the throne of the stage. I meane not into the lords' roome (which is now but the stage's suburbs). No, those boxes by the iniquity of custome, conspiracy of waiting-women and gentlemen-ushers, that there sweat together, and the covetous Marers, are contemptibly thrust into the reare, and
and Hiljantly (becauftridge, likethe state of ice the
much new fatten is there dambd by being smothered to death in darknesse. But on the very rushes where the commedy is to daunce, yea and under the state of Cambises himselfe muft our feather’d estridge, like a piece of ordnance be planted valiantly (because impudently) beating downe the mewes and hiffes of the opposed rascality.
For do but caft up a reckoning, what large cummings in are purs'd up by fitting on the stage. First a conspicuous eminence is gotten, by which meanes the best and most efsenciall parts of a gallant (good cloathes, a proportionable legge, white hand, the Persian locke, and a tollerable beard,) are perfectly revealed.
By fitting on the stage you have a sign'd pattent to engrosse the whole commodity of censure; may lawfully prefume to be a girder; and stand at the helme to steere the passage of fcænes, yet no man shall once offer to hinder you from obtaining the title of an insolent over-weening coxcombe.
By fitting on the stage, you may (without trauelling for it) at the very next doore, aske whose play it is: and by that quest of inquiry, the law warrants you to avoid much miltaking: if you know not the author, you may raile against him; and peradventure fo behave yourselfe, that you may enforce the author to know you.
By fitting on the stage, if you be a knight, you may happily get you a mistreffe: if a meere Fleet-street gentleman, a wife: but assure yourselfe by continuall residence, you are the first and principall man in election to begin the number of We three.
By spreading your body on the stage, and by being a juftice in examining of plaies, you shall put yourselfe into such a true fcænical authority, that some poet shall not dare to present his mufe rudely before your eyes, without having first unmalkt her, rifled her, and discovered all her bare and moft myftical parts before you at a taverne, when you most knightly, shal for his paines, pay for both their fuppers.
By fitting on the stage, you may (with small cost) purchase the deere acquaintance of the boyes: have a good stoole for sixpence: at any time know what particular part any of the infants present: get your match lighted, examine the play-suits' lace, and perhaps win wagers upon laying 'tis copper, &c. And to conclude, whether you be a foole or a justice of peace, a cuckold or a capten, a lord maior's sonne VOL. I.
or a dawcocke, a knave or an under shriefe, of what stamp soever you be, currant or counterfet, the stagelike time will bring you to most perfect light, and lay you open: neither are you to be hunted from thence though the scar-crowes in the yard hoot you, hisse at you, fpit at you, yea throw dirt even in your teeth: 'tis most gentleman-like patience to endure all this, and to laugh at the silly animals. But if the rabble, with a full throat, crie away with the foole, you were worse than a mad-man to tarry by it: for the gentleman and the foole should never sit on the stage together.
Mary, let this observation go hand in hand with the rest: or rather, like a country-serving man, some five yards before them. Present not your selfe on the stage (especially at a new play) untill the quaking prologue hath (by rubbing) got cullor into his cheekes, and is ready to give the trumpets their cue that hees upon point to enter: for then it is time, as though you were one of the properties, or that you dropt of the hangings to creep from behind the arras, with your tripes or three-legged stoole in one hand, and a teston mounted betweene a fore-finger and a thumbe, in the other: for if you should bestow your person upon the vulgar, when the belly of the house is but halfe full, your apparell is quite eaten up, the fashion loft, and the proportion of your body in more danger to be devoured, then if it were served up in the Counter amongst the l'oultry: avoid that as you would the baftome. It thall crowne you with rich commendation to laugh alowd in the middest of the most serious and faddeft scene of the terribleit tragedy: and to let that clapper (your tongue) be toli so high that all the house may ring of it: your lords use it; your knights are apes to the lords, and do to too: your inne-a-court-man is zany to the knights, and (many very scurvily) comes likewise limping after it: bee thou a beagle to them all, and never lin snuffing till you have sented them: for by talking and laughing (like a ploughman in a morris) you heape Pelion upon Olja, glory upon glory: as first all the eyes in the galleries will leave walking after the players, and onely follow you: the simplest dolt in .the house snatches up your name, and when he meetes you in the streetes, or that you fall into his hands in the middle of a watch, his word thall be taken for you: heele cry, Hees such a gallant, and you paffe. Secondly you publiih your teniperance to the world, in that you fceme not to refort thither to taste vaine pleasures with a hungrie appetite; but onely as a gentleman, to spend a foolish houre or two,