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years.* As you like it was announced for re-producing All's well that ends rell, which, presentalion at Drury Lane, December 20, they asserted, “had not been acled since Shak1740, as not having been acted for forly years, speare's time.” But the great theatrical event and represented twenty-six times in that season, of this year was the appearance of Mr. Garrick At Goodman's Fields, Jan. 15, 1741, The at the theatre in Goodman's Fields, Oct. 9, Winter's Tale was announced, as not having 1741; whose good taste led him to study the been acted for one hundred years; but was not plays of Shakspeare wilh more assiduity than equally successful, being only performed nine any of bis predecessors. Since that time, in times. At Drury Lane, Feb. 14, 1741, The consequence of Mr. Garrick's admirable perMerchant of Venice, which, I believe, had formance of many of his principal characters, not been acted for one hundred years, was the frequent representation of his plays in once more restored to the scene by Mr. Mack- nearly their original state, and above all, the lin, who on that night first represented Shylock, various researches which have been made for a part which for near fifty years he performed the purpose of explaining and illustrating bis with unrivalled success. In the following works, our Poel's reputation has been yearly month the company at Goodman's fields en- increasing, and is now fixed upon a basis, deavoured to make a stand against him by which neither the lapse of time nor the fluctua

tion of opinion will ever be able to shake. * King Henry VI. altered from Shakspeare by Here therefore I conclude this imperfect account Theophilus Cibber, was performed by a summer company at Drury Lane, July 5, 1723; but it met

of the origin and progress of the English with no success being represented only once


Chronological Order of Shakspeare's Dramas,


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Tue ensuing enumeration of Shakspeare's dramas,


Chalmers. Drake with the dates assigned by the most generally re- Love's Labour's Lost . 1594 . 1592 . 1591 ceived authorities, is given merely as a matter of Two Gentlemen of Verona 1595 . 1595. 1595 curiosity; for the learned commentators are so much Romeo and Juliet

1595 . 1592 . 1593 at variance in their chronology, that it deserves Hamlet

1596. 1597 . 1597 little or no attention. Indeed, when we reflect that King John.

1596 . 1593 . 1593 the first edition of our author did not appear till King Richard IL

1597 . 1595. 1596 several years after his death, and was then pub- King Richard III.

1597. 1595. 1595 lished by the players, who, it can scarcely be sup

First Part of King Henry IV. 1597 . 1596. 1596 posed, would pay any regard to the order of time Second . . ditto

1598 . 1597. 1596 in their arrangement of the dramas, it must be ob

Merchant of Venice

1598 . 1597. 1597 vious, that with a very few exceptions, the dates

All's well that Ends well 1598 . 1599. 1598 given to those compositions are purely conjectural. King Henry V.

1599. 1597 . 1598 A cloud rests over Shakspeare's career as an author, Much Ado about Nothing 1600, 1599. 1599 which is not now likely to be dispersed; those who As You Like It .

1600. 1599. 1600 were most familiar with the operations of his ex- Merry Wives of Windsor . 1601 . 1596. 1601 traordinary genius, seem to have been hardly aware King Henry VIII.

1601 . 1613 . 1602 " that he was not for a day, but for all time;" they Troilus and Cressida 1602 . 1600. 1601 paid their shillings and applauded his productions Measure for Measure 1603, 1604 , 1663 on the stage, perhaps, but they had little taste or The Winter's Tale

1604 , 1601 . 1610 inclination to do them justice in the closet. Shak- King Lear.

1605. 1605 . 1604 speare himself appears to have been remarkably Cymbeline.

1605 , 1606. 1606 careless of his own fame: he produced his great Macbeth

1606 . 1606. 1906 works without effort, and bequeathed them to his Julius Cæsar

1607 . 1607. 1607 country, unconscious of their merit, and reckless of Antony and Cleopatra 1608 . 1608. 1608 their fate

Timon of Athens

1609. 1601 , 1612 Coriolanus

1610 , 1609. 1609 Pericles.

nol acknowiedged . 1590 Othello First Part of King Henry VI. 1589 . 1589 . 1592 The Tempest

1611 . 1614. 1612

1612 , 1613. 1611 Second ditto

1590 1590 . 1592
Twelfth Night

1614 , 1608. 1613 Third ditto

1591 . 1595. 1592 A Midsummer Night's Dream. 1592 . 1598 . 1593

Titus Andronicus, not acknowledged by these criComedy of Errors

1593 . 1591 , 1591

tics, nor indeed by any author of credit, but Taming of the Shrew 1594 , 1598 . 1594

originally published about 1589.




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Shakxpeert'# Clowns a fools.


It is quite obvious, that the terms clown and speare, wrote a most bitter atlack on plays and fool were used, though improperly perhaps, players, whom he calls monsters ; " and whie as synonymous by our old dramatists. Their monsters ?” say he : “because under colour confused introduction might render this doublful of humanitie they present nothing but prodigious to one who bad not well considered the matter. vanitie: these are wels without water, dead The fool of our early plays denoled a mere branches fit for fuell, cockle amongst corne, idiot or natural, or else a willy bireling retained unwholesome weedes amongst sweete hearbes, lo make sport for his masters. The clown was and, finallie, feends that are crept into the a character of more variety; sometimes he was wordle by stealth, and hold possession by subtill à mere rustic, and, often, no more than a invasion." In another place, he says, shrewd domestic. There are instances in wbich transformed themselves to rogues, olher to rufany low character in a play served to amuse lians, some other to clownes, a fourth to fooles; with his coarse sallies, and thus became the the rogues were ready, the ruffians were rude, duen of the piece. In fact, the fool of the their clownes cladde as well with country condrama was a kind of heterogeneous being, dition, as in rufle russet; theyr fooles as fond copied in part from real life, but highly coloured as might be.in order to produce effect. This opinion de- To give a clear view of our subject, somerives force from what is put into the mouth of thing of the different sorts of fools may be lhus Hamlet, when he admonishes those who per- classed : form the clowns, to speak no more than is set 1. The general domestic fool, termed often, down for them. Indeed, Shakspeare himself but improperly, a clown ; described by Puttencannot be absolved from the imputation of ham as “ a buffoune, or counterset foole." making mere caricatures of his merry Andrews, JI. The clown, who was a mere country unless we suppose, what is very probable, that booby, or a witty rustic. bis compositions have been much interpolated IV. The female fool, who was generally with the erlemporaneous jokes of the players. an idiot. To this folly, allusions are made in a clever IV. The city or corporation fool, an assislsalire entitled Pasquil's Mad-cappe, throwne ant in public entertainments. at the Corruptions of these Times, 1626, V. The tavern fool, retained to amuse the quarto.

customers. "Tell country players, that old paltry jests

VI. The fool of the ancient mysteries and Pronounced in a painted motley coate,

moralities, otherwise the vice. Filles all the world so full of cuckoes nests, That nightingales can scarcely sing a note.

VII. The fool in the old dumb shews, often Oh! bid them turn their minds to better meanings; alluded to by Shakspeare. Fickets are ill sowne that give no belter gleanings."

VIII. The fool in the Whilsun ales and Sir Philip Sidney reprobates the custom of morris dance. introducing fools on the stage; and declares that IX. The mountebank's fool, or merry Anthe plays of his time were neither right tragedies drew. There may be others in our ancient por right comedies, for the authors mingled dramas, of an irregular kind, not reducible to kings and clowns,“ not,” says he, “because the any of these classes; but to exemplify them is maller so carrieth it, but thrust in the clowne not within the scope of this essay: what has by bead and shoulders to play a part in majes- been stated may assist the readers of old plays tical matters, with neither decencie nor discre- 10 judge for themselves when they meet with tion : so as neither the admiration and com- such characters. misseration, nor the right sportfulnesse, is by The practice of retaining fools can be distheir mongrell tragedie-comedie oblained.” tinctly traced from the remotest times. They Rankin, a puritan, contemporary with Shak- / were to be found alike in the palace and the

brothel; the pope bad bis fool, and the bawd speare; bul, perhaps, a good idea may be ner's; they excited the mirth of kings and beg- formed of their general conduct from a passage gars ; the hovel of the villain and the castle in a curious tract by Lodge, entitled, Wit's of the baron were alike exhilarated by their Miserie, 1599, quarto: “Imoderate and disjokes. With respect to the antiquity of this ordinate joy became incorporate in the bodie custom in England, it appears to have existed of a jeaster; this fellow in person is comely, even during the period of our Saxon history, in apparell courtly, but in behaviour a very but we are certain of the fact in the reign of ape, and no map; his studie is to coin bitter William the Conqueror. Maitre Wace, an jeasts, or to shew antique motions, or lo sing historian of that lime, has an account of the baudie sonnels and ballads ; give him a lille preservation of William's life, when duke of wine in his head, he is continually flearing and Normandy, by his fool, Goles; and, in Domes- making of mouthes : he laughs intemperately day-book, mention is made of Berdia joculator at every little occasion, and dances about the regis; and though this term sometimes denoted house, leaps over tables, out-skips men's heads, a minstrel, evidence might be adduced to trips up his companions' heeles, burns sack prove, that in this instance it signified a with a candle, and hath all the feats of a lord bulloon.

of misrule in the countrie : feed him in his The accounts of the household expenses of humour, you shall have his heart; in mere our kings contain many payments and rewards kindness he will hug you in his armes, kisse you to fools, both foreign and domestic. Dr. on the cheeke, and rapping out an horrible Fuller, speaking of the court jester, remarks, oath, crie ‘God's soule, Tum, I love you, you in his usual quaint way; that it is an office which knowe my poore heart, come to my chamber none but he that bath wit can perform, and for a pipe of tobacco, there lives not a man in none but he that wants it will perform. The this world that I more honour.' In these names of many of these buffoons are preserved; ceremonies you shall know his courting, and it they continued an appurtenance to the English is a speciall mark of him at table, he sits and court to a late period. Muckle John, the fool makes faces : keep not this fellow company, for of Charles I., the successor of Archee Arm- in jingling with him, your wardrobes shall be strong, was, perhaps, the last regular personage wasted, your credits crackt, your crownes conof that kind. The downfall of royalty, and the sumed, and time (the most precious riches of puritanical manners that came into vogue, the world), utterly lost.” banished this privileged satirist; and, at the As these hirelings required considerable skill Restoration, it was deemed of no moment 10 and dexterity to please their employers, they restore the office, for the stories told of Killi- sometimes failed of success, and their paucity grew, as jester to Charles II., are without aulho- of talents excited disgust. Cardinal Perron, rity. The discontinuance of the court fool being in company with the duke of Mantua, influenced the manners of private life, and from the latter observed of his fool that he was "a one of Shadwell's plays we find, that it was meagre, poor spirited buffoon." The cardinal then unfashionable for the great to retain do- replied that nevertheless he had wit. “Why mestic fools. Yet the practice was not abolish- so ?” demanded the duke : “Because,” replied ed; it kept its ground so late as the comence- Perron, “be lives by a trade which he does ment of the last century. Dean Swift wrote not understand.” The license allowed them an epitaph on Dicky Pearce, the earl of Suffolk's was very great, but did not always afford them rool buried in Berkeley churchyard, June 18, protection. Archbishop Laud's disgraceful 1728. Lord Chancellor Talbot kept a Welsh severity to poor Archee is well known. The jester, named Rees Pengelding; he was a duke d'Epernon, though a high-spirited man, shrewd fellow, and rented a farm of his master. conducted himself with much more discretion. The steward, who had been a tailor, and bore Maret, the fool of Louis XIII., whose chief bim a grudge, put in execution for his rent, talent was mimicry, frequently mocked the saying surlily, “ I'll fit you, sirrab.” “ Then,” duke's Gascon accent; and Richelieu, who was replied Rees," it will be the first time in your fond of admonishing him, desired him, among life that you ever filted any one."

other things, to get rid of his provincial tones, The entertainment fools were expected to at the same time counterfeiting his speech, and afford, may be collected in great variety from sarcastically begging he would not take the our old plays, especially from those of Shak-advice in ill part. “Why should I?" replied


the duke; "when I bear as much from the breeches close, and frequently each leg of a king's fool, who mocks ine in your presence.” different colour. A hood, like a monk's cowl, Fools, however, did not always escape with covered the head entirely, falling down over imponity. Whipping was the punishment part of the breast and shoulders. It was somecommonly inflicted. Hence, in Twelfth Night, times adorned with asses's ears, or terminated Olivia, addressing her jester, says, “Sirrah, in the neck and head of a cock, a fashion as you shall be whipped.” However, they were old as the fourteenth century. It often had often treated with great tenderness, as is feel the comb or crest only of the animal, whence ingly exemplified in the conduct of Lear. the lerm cockscomb was afterwards applied to

With regard to the fool's business on the any silly upstart. This fool carried in bis hand stage, it was nearly the same as in reality, with a sceptre or bauble, ornamented with a fool's this difference, that the wit was more highly head, a doll, or a puppet. The bauble origiseasoned. In Middlelon's Mayor of Quin- nally used in King Lear, was extant so lale as borough, a company of actors, with a clown, Garrick's time, and the figure of it would have make their appearance, and the following been worth preserving. To this instrument dialogue ensues:

was annexed an inflated bladder, wild which

the fool belaboured those who offended him, or let Cheater. This is our clown, sir. MOR, ....Fye, fye, your company

[i'faith, with whom he was disposed to make sport. Must fall upon him and beat him; he's too fair, The form of it varied, and was often obscene in

To make the people laugh. Cheater. Not as he may be dressid, sir.

the highest degree. In some old prints, the bemos.........Faith, dress him how you will. I'll give him

That gift, he will never look hall scurvily fool appears, with a sort of flapper or rattle,

surrounded with bells. This implement was
Oh! the clowns that I have seen in my time,
The very peeping out of one of them would have used for the same purpose as the bladder. The
Made a young heir laugh though his father lay fool's dagger, occasionally mentioned, was pro-

A man undone in law the day before,

bably the wooden sword of the Vice in the
(The saddest case that can be) might for bis Moralities, a thin piece of lath, with which he
Have burst himself with laughing, and ended all used to belabour the devil.
His miseries. Here was a merry world, my In Elizabeth's time, the archbishop of Can-

Srme talk of things of state, of paling stuff; terbury's fool wore a coxcomb and a wooden
There's nothing in a play like to a clown,
If he have the grace to hit on it, that's the dagger. In Chapman's Widow's Tears, an

thing indeed. bizon......Away then, shift; clown,to thy motley crupper. gilded o’er; and in the Noble Gentleman, a

upstart governor is called "a wooden dagger Those who desire accurate information con- person likened to a fool is desired to wear a cerning the dresses that belonged to the cha- great wooden dagger. racters in question at various periods, should The other dress, which seems to have been cunsalt apcient prints and paintings, parti- most worn in Shakspeare's time, was the long cularly the miniatures that embellish manu- petticoat, which originally belonged to the idiot scripts. But the difficulty of learoing how the or natural fool, and was adopted for the purpose theatrical fools and clowns of Shakspeare's of cleanliness. How it came into use for the age were always habited, is insuperable. In allowed fool, is not so obvious. It was, like some cases the dramas themselves assist, by the former, of various colours, the materials relerences which leave little doubt; but this is often rich, as of velvet, and guarded or fringed Doi common. Artists formerly did not devote with yellow. In one instance we have a yellow much of their time to theatrical subjects; the leather doublet. In Bancroft's Epigrams, 1639, discovery of a single painting of this kind would quarto, there is one addressed “to a giglot be more valuable than a folio of conjectural with her greene sicknesse,” in which are these dissertation. As, however, the costume of the lines: time would in some degree be preserved on the « Thy sicknesse mocks thy pride, that's seldom scene Klage, the malerials which remain to illustrate

But in foole's yellow, and the lover's greene." the dress of the real fools may supply the defect. And from a manuscript note we learn, that

The garb of domestic fools in Shakspeare's yellow was the foole's colour in the lime of the lay, was of two sorts. In the first, the coat Commonwealth. *25 molley or parly-coloured, and allached to Yet the foregoing were not the only modes de body by a girdle, with bells at the skirls and in which domestic fools were habited. The ebons, though not invariably. The hose and hood was occasionally without a coxcomb, in

stead of which a bell or bells appeared. A garb for occasions of ceremony. Want of matefeather was frequently added to the comb; and rials to illustrate our subject, renders this part in an old Morality, the fool says,

of it very imperfect; but the plays of Shak“By my trouth the thing that I desire most

speare furnish more information than those of Is in my cappe to have a goodly feather." any other writer. It is strange that the domestic In mimicry of a monk's crown, the head was fool should so seldom appear in the old dramas, sometimes shaved, and in one instance the hair because it not merely excited mirth among a is made to represent a triple or papal tiara. rude audience, but gave the author an opporThe garment was often decorated with fox or tunily of shewing his ingenuity in extemporary squirrel lails. In The Pope's Funeral, 1605, wit. It is undeniable, that Shakspeare's fools quarto, we find this passage :-“I shall prove were pre-eminent above all others. Shadwell him such a noddy before I leave him, that all declares they had more humour than any of the the world will deeme him worthy to wear in wits and critics of his age. Beaumont and bis forehead a coscombe for his foolishness, and Fletcher seldom introduce them; Ben Jonson on his back a fox tayle for his badge.” This and Massinger never. custom was perhaps designed to ridicule a The practice of putting the fools and clowns fashion common among the ladies in the reign in requisilion belween the acts and scenes, and of Edward III. which is thus alluded to in the after the play was finished, to amuse the specold Chronicle of England :—"And the women lators with their tricks, may be traced to the more nysely yet passed the men in aray and Greek and Roman theatres; and their usages coriouslaker, for they were so streyt clothed being preserved in the middle ages, wherever that they let hange fox tailles sowed bineth the Roman influence had spread, it would not, within bir clothes for to bale and bide their a—; of course, be peculiar to England. The records the which disguysinges and pride, paradventure, of the French theatre demonstrate this fact; afterward brouzt forth and encaused many mya in the Mystery of Saint Barbara, we find this sbappes and meschief in the reame of Englond.” stage direction :—“Pausa. Vadunt, et stultus

Idiots or naturals wore call or sheep's skin ; loquitur ;” (A pause. They quit the stage, for in the Gesta Grayorum, 1660, quarto, we and the fool speaks.) and in this way he is read, “The scribe claims the manor of No- frequently brought on between the scenes. verinte, by providing sheep skins and calve The decline of domestic fools, and its causes, skins to wrappe his highness rards and idiots have been already touched on ; the same reason in.” A purse or wallet at the waist, was part may, in part, be assigned for their dramatic of the fool's dress. Tarllon, who personaled exile. In the præludium to Goffe's Careless the clowns in Shakspeare's day, appears to have Shepherdess, 1656, quarto, there is a panegyrie worn it ; Triboulet, in Rabelais, is described on them, and some concern is shewn for the as having a budget of lortoise-shell.

fool's absence in the play itself, while it is The fools, however, did not invariably wear stated that “the motley coat was banished a distinguishing habit; this appears from some with trunk-hose.” Yet in Charles II.'s reign, of their portraits still remaining. A painting some efforts were made to restore the character. at Kensington-palace, by Holbein, represents In the tragedy of Thorney Abbey, or the London Will Somers, the fool of Henry VII., in a com- Maid, 1662, 12mo, the prologue is delivered mon dress. In an account of that sovereign's by a fool, who uses these words :-“ The poet's wardrobe, are these particulars ;—"For mak- a fool who made the tragedy, lo tell a story of ing a doubblelle lyned with canvas and collon a king and a court, and leave a fool out on't, for William Som’ar, oure foole. llem, for when in Pacey's, and Sommer's, and Patches making of a coole and a cappe of grene clothe, and Archer’s limes, my venerable predecessours, fringed with red crule, and a lyned with fryse, a fool was alwaies the principal verb.” Shadfor oure said foole.” But the account goes on well's play of The Woman Caplain, 1680, is thus:-“ltem, for making of a coote of greene perbaps the last in which a regular fool is clothe, with a hoode to the same, fringed with introduced; and even there, his master is made while crule lyned with fryse and bokerham, for to say that the character was exploded on the our foole aforesaid.” From these, we infer stage. In real life, as was formerly stated, the that he also wore the distinctive babit of the professed fool was to be met with at a much fool. In families where the fool acted as a laler period, but the custom has long been mnenial servant, he might have kept his oflicial obsolete.

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