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Noah's, we have no evidence before us. There is also an item, " Paid for mendyng of Adam's garments that was brokyn, Ad." If this Adam was not the player himself, we must suppose it was a miracle-play on " The Creation " that was performed; in which case we must hope it was after the expulsion from Paradise that Adam's garments were broken. An entry in the same account of " Sd. paid to a man at Wyndsore, for killing of a calfe before my lady's grace, behynde a clothe," Mr. Collier thinks inexplicable unless we knew the story of the play. It was most probably that of the " Prodigal Son," which has furnished the subject for a drama in our own days. If so, the killing of a real fatted calf was indeed a vigorous adherence to the sacred original.
Under the date 1527,* we find an entry for " divers necessaries bought for the trymyng of the Father of Heaven!" which establishes the curious fact that, even at that time, the Creator was introduced as a character in a pageant, in the same manner as he had been in the miracle-plays. St. George, likewise, figured in the spectacle; and 4s. were paid for the work of two tailors for two days upon his coat. Cavendish, in his " Life of Cardinal Wolsey," mentions an interlude played at Greenwich, in Latin and French, the apparel for which was "of such exceeding riches that it passeth his capacity to expound;" and the original account of it by Gibson t furnishes us with the following enumeration of the singular dresses and characters in it. We shall modernise the spelling for the accommodation of our readers. "First, an orator in apparel of gold; a poet in apparel of cloth of gold; Religion, Ecclesia, Veritas, like novices, in garments of silk, and veils of lawn and cypress silk ; Heresy, False-Interpretation, Corruptio scriptoria, like ladies of Bohemia, apparelled in garments of silk of divers colours; the heretic Luther, like a party friar, in russet damask and black taffeta; Luther's wife,
* Folio volume in Chapter-house, Westminster. Collier's Annals, vol. i. p. 99.
f Offic. Copy, Chapter-house. Collier, vol. i. p. 107-9.
like a 'frow' of Spires in Germany, in red silk; Peter, Paul, and James, in three habits of white sarcenet, with three red mantles, and hairs (wigs) of silver of Damaske,* and pelyuns (whatever they may be) of scarlet,—a most mysterious apostolic costume, of which the perukes are by no means the least extraordinary portion; a cardinal in his apparel; two sergeants in rich apparel; the Dauphin and his brother, in coats of velvet embroidered with gold, and caps of satin bound with velvet ; a messenger in tinsel satin; six men in gowns of green sarcenet; six woman in gowns of crimson sarcenet; War, in rich cloth of gold, and feathers, armed ; four Germans in apparel all cut and slit, of silk (that is, slashed in the full German fashion of that time); Lady Peace, in lady's apparel, all white and rich; and Lady Quietness, and Dame Tranquillity, richly beseen in lady's apparel." A part of this " apparel," it appears, had been used in the preceding month of May; but a vast deal of it was new and costly, including "8 beards of gold, and 6 of silver set on vizors," and the hire of hairs (wigs) for the ladies, besides " the hire of a circlet, and a rich paste with the attire thereto." We might fill volumes with similiar descriptions; but the above is quite sufficient to illustrate the state of dramatic costume at this period, and to show that little or no progress had been made from the time of Edward the Third towards propriety of habiliments, which, in the eyes of all sorts of artists of the middle ages, consisted in clothing real personages of all eras according to the fashion of the passing hour, and imaginary ones in meaningless splendour, or allcsrorical garments of so wild a fancy that, without their
* Wigs, called in those times "hairs," and "chevelers," (chevelures) are frequently described as made with silk, or gold and silver stuff. In a moral, called "Mind, Will, and Understanding," (Digby MSS. No. 133, in the Bodleian Library) Wisdom is represented with a beard of gold, (Esculapius was so described by the ancients), a cheveler or pe. riwig on his head. "Four heares of silk, and foure garlandes of flowres," are mentioned in the Lausdown MSS. No. 59. Temp. Kliz. A.d. 1589.
names were written upon them (by no means an uncommon practice), they must have been walking puzzles to all but the inventor.
With the reign of Elizaheth, the drama assumed a more regular shape ; and in the year 1571, we read of the representation of six plays before the Queen,* the expense of getting up which, together with six masques, amounted to 1558Z. 17s. 5$d. The plays were entitled, "Lady Barbara;" " Effiginia" (a tragedy); "Ajax and "Ulysses;" "Narcissus;" " Cloridon and Radiamanta;" and "Paris and Vienna ;" and, amongst the properties bought and made for them and the masques, are mentioned, horse-tails, hobby-horses, branches of silk, sceptres, wheat-staves, bodies of men in timber, dishes for devils' eyes, devices for hell and hell mouth, (the latter a favourite dramatic property in those days,) bows, bills, dags, swords, spears, fire-works, and twenty-one vizards with long beards, and six Turks' vizards. In the play of "Narcissus," a fox was let loose in the court, and pursued by dogs; the charge for which was 20s. and 8d. The cost for the counterfeit thunder and lightning was 22«. The vizards and beards we have mentioned were hired, it appears, from one Thomas Gylles, a person whose trade it was to let out apparel for public and private entertainments; for in this same year, 1571, he made a complaint in writing to Sir W. Cecil f that the yeoman of the Queen's revels injured his business, and the Queen's dresses, by improperly and for hire allowing them to be taken out of the office, in order to be worn at marriages, banquets, &c. in town and country. He prays, therefore, that they may be taken to pieces after they have been worn at court, and subjoins a list of twenty-one instances in which he can prove that the apparel of the revels had been thus let out to hire. Some of the entries are curious, as they prove the universality of pageants at marriage-festivals ; for instance, the fifteenth
* Malone's Shakspeare, by Boswell, vol. iii. p. 364. Collier's Annals, vol. i. p. 196.
t Lansdown MSS. No. 13. Collier, vol. i. p. 19S.
charge is, that the yeoman of the revels lent the red cloth of gold gowns to a tailor marrying in the Black Friars on the 15th of September; and the vpry next on the list, that he lent the copper cloth of gold gowns which were last made, and another mask, into the country for the marriage of the daughter of Lord Montague. Upon such occasions, therefore, Joan was dressed as fine as my lady. Strutt, in his " Horda Angel Cynan," vol. iii. has given a print representing one of these marriage-festival masques or pageants. Annexed is a specimen from it of a Mercury, and Diana, &c.
In the next year, 1572, an item occurs, " for the hire of armour for setting forth of divers playes ;"* and Discord, in a collar and shackles, appears to have been a prominent character in some entertainments produced out of compliment to the French ambassador, f
In 1573-4, the following plays were acted at Whitehall % by the servants of the Earl of Leicester, Lord
'Lansdown MSS. No. 9. t Collier, vol. i. p. 206.
J Malone's Shakspeare, by Boswell, vol. iii. p. 375.
Clinton, and the children of St. Paul's, Westminster, and Windsor: "Pedor and Lucia," "Alkeneon," "Mamillia," " Truth, Faithfulness, and Mercy," "Herpetulus the Blue Knight, and Periobia !" (a fine title for a Christmas or Easter spectacle,) and " Quintus Fabius," something more classical and legitimate ; " Timoclea at the siege of Thebes,"—In consequence of the tediousness of this play, we are told, " a mask of ladies representing the six Virtues could not be represented ;" we trust Patience was not forgotten amongst them ;—" Philimon and Philicia," "a pastoral-comical, or historical-pastoral," as Polonius would call it; and " Perseus and Anthomeris," most likely Andromeda. For these and five masks were made and purchased, monsters, great hollow trees, bays for the prologues, a gibbet to bang up Diligence ! counterfeit fishes for the play of Pedor, a dragon's head, a truncheon for the Dictator (Quintus Fabius of course, who, as he was surnamed Cunctator, or the Delayer, might with great propriety have ordered the suspension of Diligence), "deal-boards for the senate-house ! pins, stiff and great, for the paynted clothes, and feathers for the new maskers." To these are added—charges for the diet of children while learning their parts and gestures, and for an Italian woman and her daughter who lent and dressed the "hairs" (wigs) of the children. In 1577, Walter Fyshe, the yeoman keeper of the royal revel stuff, provided for certain masks and plays—woolverings for pedlars' caps, bottles for pilgrims, a mariner's whistle, a scythe for Saturn, three devils' coats and heads, dishes for devils' eyes; Heaven, Hell, and " the Devil and all," I should say; but "not all," adds the facetious yeoman : " long poles and brushes for chimney-sweepers, in my Lord of Leicester's men's play; a coat, a hat, ard buskins, all covered with feathers of colours for Vanity, in Sebastian's play ; and a periwig of hair for King Xerxes' sister. *
From the reign of Edward the Third up to this period, the costumes of the actors appear to have been furnished at the expense, either of the sovereign, or the
* Collier's Annals, vol. i. p. 13G.