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Table of the quantity of fine silver in a shilling, from the year 1300 to the year 1695, from a book lately published, intitled, An Historical and Chronological Deduction of the origin of Commerce, & c. Anno

Grains. 1300-XXVIII. Edward I. - 264

may be deemed 1345–XVIII. Edward III.

236 | 28 less than before near thrice the 1354–XXVII.

213 23–

weight of ours. 1421 - IX. Henry V. - 176 37 1422-1. Henry VI.

142 | 34

near about it 1426-IV.

· 176 | 34 more than before, about 25 1461-XXXIX.

142 34 less,

near about it 1509-1. Henry VIII. 1543-XXXIV.

18 1545-XXXVI. 1546-XXXVII,

40 1550-III. Edward VI.

40 1552-V.

20 1553-VI.

88 | 68 more than before, 1560-II. Elizabeth.

89 | i ditto

eval weight

with our mo. 1601-XLIII. to 1695 86 3 less, and nearly as

dern coin, at present


about it about its

. 100

60 | 40


base alloy.


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Literary and Miscellaneous Essays.


Some account of the forf: inftitution of of these performed any great exKnights and their Esquires in Eng- ploits, they made them presents. land.

From this custom the state reaped

many advantages. HE right reverend most Thus far this excellent writer;

learned Dr. Warburton, in his and, I think, we may add, that Divine Legation, book 2. fedt. 4. we had anciently an inftitution of has interwoven into the body of his much the same nature in England, work, an incomparable differta which fully answered all the above tion on the sixth book of Virgil's purposes. The origin of Knights Æneis. Had he never wrote any and their Esquires in this country thing else, this alone would have mast be accounted of this fort, been an undeniable proof of his They were united by the stricte profound knowledge of antiquity, rules of friend hip and affection, and that he was one of the greateft they served and fought together, critics of the age.

and presents were made from the In the beginning of this differ- Knight to the Esquires, upon pertation his lordship introduces the forming fome gallant action. Thus affecting episode of Nisus and Eu- for instance, out of many examryalus, Vir. En. b. 9. and, in ples that might be brought. At his masterly manner, proves their the famous battle of Poictiers, zoth mutual friendship and affection to Edward III. the Black Prince, his have been an ancient civil institu- fon, defcated the enemy, though tion, of great utility to the pub- much fuperior in number, and lic, derived at firft' from Crete, took the king, the dauphin of and afterwards adopted by all the France, and many of the nobles principal cities of Greece. It was prisoners. James, ford Audley. the custom for every man of distin- and his four esquires were very inguished valour or wisdom to adopt strumental in obtaining this victory. Tome favourite youth, whose man- My lord acquainted the prince with ners he took care to form. These the vow he had made to be the first were the great ornaments and sup- - in the battle, and desired he might port of their respective cities and have leave to accomplish it. The countries, by introducing such a prince consented, and begged, laudable spirit of emulation. These * That God would give him the Lovers, as they were called, and grace to be that day the best knight the young men, that were formed of all others." Upon this he deunder them, always served and parted with his four efquires, broke foaght together. And when any through the chickelt of the enemy,


and caused a prodigious slaughter. a single man could have done but The prince, charmed with his va- little. Euryalus chides his friend lour and conduct, settled upon and knight for offering to go with.

out him, 500 marks in England, which this lord immediately settled upon Mene igitur focium fummis adjungere his four esquires. The prince ex

rebus, poftulated with my lord upon his Nise, fugis? folum te'in tanta peria giving away the estate, and asked

cula mittam ? him, whether he liked not his bounty, or thought the reward not This, I think, undeniably proves fufficient. To which this ford re the institution to have been the plied, “ That they all deserved as same in England as it was in well as himself, without whose af- Greece; and I leave it to the offifistance, says he, I, a single man, cers of our regiments to confider, could have done but little.” The how far fuch a friendship and atprince was so pleased with this an- tachment, and such a strong defire swer, that he gave him 6co marks of mutual fupport and assistance, per annum more for himself. The would contribute to keep up our names of three of these efquires present national spirit of bravery. were Mackworth, Delves, and There is no occasion surely to reHawkefton.

mark how far our present' knights This proves, that this valiant and esquires are changed from knight, lord Audley, and his four their original institution, when esquires, were, like Nisus and every man that carries up an unEuryalus, united by the strongeft meaning address is dubbida Knight, ties of love and friendship, and and every man that happens to determined either to live or die by possess two or three hundred pounds each other. Juftly therefore may per annum, expects the misapplied Virgil's account of Nifus and Eu- title of Esquire.

W, W, ryalus be applied to them, and it ought to be looked upon as the same civil institution,

Rise and progress of the English page. His amor unus erat, pariterque in The true drama in England bella ruebant.

was revived by Shakespear,

Fletcher, and Johnson, and many Nifus promises the whole re of Shakespear's and Johnson's ward of the adventure to his friend pieces were first acted by these Euryalus; lord Audley gives the companies. Besides these, the whole to his four esquires, queen also, at the request of Sir

Francis Walsingham, eitablished Si tibi, quce porco, promittunt (nam twelve of the principal players of mibi faci

that time, with handsome salaries, Fama Jat eft) &c. &c.

under the name of her majesty's

company of comedians and ferLord Audley would take his four vants. There were the common elquires along with him, because players, who exhibited at the places


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&c. &c.

N 22

already mentioned, who were no James the First, the theatre was in otherwife formed into companies great prosperity and reputation, than our present strollers, no com dramatic authors abounded, and pany confifting long of the fame every year produced a number of persons; and there were also many new plays; it became a fafhion for companies of players, retained by the nobility to celebrate their wednoblemen, who acted not only dings, birth-days, and other ocprivately in their lords houses, but casions of rejoicing, with maks and publicly under licence and pro- interludes, which were exhibited tection. Shakespear himself be- with furprising expence; our great longed to the company that usually architect, Inigo Jones, being freperformed at the Globe on the quently employed" to furnith deBank Side, where his plays also corations, with all the luxuriance were represented ; and in the year of his invention, and magnificence 1603, the first year of the reign of of his art. The king and his king James I. a licence was grant. lords, and the queen and her ladies, ed, under the privy seal, to Shake- frequently performed in these masks spear, Fletcher, Burbage, Hem- at court, and the nobility in their mings, Condel, Kempe, and others private houses; nor was any pubhis fellow comedians, to act plays, lic entertainment thought complete not only at their usual house, the without them. This taite" for Globe, but in any other part of theatrical entertainments continued the kingdom, during his majesty's during great part of the reign of pleasure. Burbage was the Bet- king Charles the First ; but in the terton, and Kempe the Nokes of year 1633, it began to be opposed that age: Burbage was the original by the puritans from the press ; Richard the Third, in which he and the troubles that foon after folgreatly diftinguished himself; and lowed intirely fuspended them till Kempe was inimitable in the part the’restoration of king Charles the of the clown, the comic character Second, in 1660. The king, at of that time; with these there was his restoration, granted two patents, also Allen, the founder of Dulwich one to Henry Killigrew, Efq; and college: two such actors as Allen the other to Sir William Da. and Burbage, said the wits of that venant, and their heirs and assigns, age, no other age must hope to for forming two diftin&t companies fee. Hemmings and Condel were of comedians : Killigrew's were also eminent; Hemmings in tra- called the king's servants, and Dagedy, and Condel in comedy: and venant's the Duke's : company, these were the editors of the first About of the company, called edition of Shakespear's works in the king's fervants, were on the folio, printed in 1623, seven years royal houshold establishment, hayafter his death. There was also at ing each ten yards of scarlet cloth, this time one Lowin, who is said with a proper quantity of lace, al. to have been the original Hamlet, lowed them for liveries, and in and Henry. the Eighth; and from their warrants from the lord chamobserving whose manner, Sir Wil- berlain, they were stiled gentlemen liam Davenant instructed Better- of the great chamber. The king's ton. During the whole reign of company first acted at the Red



Bull, then removed to a new built against them, first added spectacle play-house in Vere-itreet by Clare- and music to action, and intro-, market; here they continued a duced a new species of plays, fince. year or two, and then removed to called dramatic operas'; among the Theatre Royal in Drury-lane, these were, the Tempeft, Psyche, which was probably erected about and Circe; which, with many this time, and here they embel- others, were set off with the most lihed their representations with expensive decorations of scenes and scenes and machinery. The duke's habits, and with the best voices company exhibited at a theatre and dancers. The most celebrated newly erected in Dorset Gardens. players of this time were Hart, The court supported both these Mohun, Burt, Lacy, Chin, and companies by being frequently Shutterel, who were honoured with present at their representations, the fame extravagant encomiums, and took cognizance even of their in the times of those who succeed private government, so that their ed them, as Betterton and Montparticular differences, pretensions, fort were in the time of Booth and or complaints, were generally end-, Wilks, and as Booth and Wilks ed by the king or the duke's per are in the times of their successors. fonal command or decision. Till These were, most of them, in the this time no woman had ever been king's company, and the public, upon.

the English Itage, the being at length fatiated with the characters of women having al. singing and dancing exhibited by ways been performed by boys, or the duke's, as they had been with young men of an effeminate aspect, the more rational entertainments which probably induced Shake- which they superseded, the

patenfpear to make fo few of his plays tees of both, in the year 1684, depend upon female characters, as by the king's advice, which perthey must have been performed to haps was considered as a command, great disadvantage. The principal united their interests and compacharacters of his women are inno- nies into one, exclusive of all cence and fimplicity, such are others; but this union was so much Desdemona and Ophelia ; and his in favour of the duke's company, {pecimen cf fondness and virtue in that Hart left the stage upon it, Portia, is very short. But the and Mohun survived not long after. power of real and beautiful women As only one theatre was now in was now added to the stage; and poffeffion of the town, the united all the capital plays of Shakespear, patentees imposed their own terms Fletcher, and Ben Johnson, were upon the actors; 'the profits of the divided between the two compa- house were divided into twenty nies, by their own alternate choice, shares, ten of which the proprieand the approbation of the court. "tors kept for their own use, and The king's servants seem to have the other ten they divided among been allowed to be the best com- the actors, in such proportions as pany; and when the variety of they thought equal to their merit. plays began to be exhausted, they This was the fate of thie theatre drew the greater audiences. Da- till the year 1690, the second of venant, therefore, to make head king William the Third, when the



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