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and various costumes for queens, cardinals, clowns, soldiers, shepherds, friars, heralds, &c. &c. In another list of clothes bought for his company is mentioned " a robe for to go invisible!" a curious item, which Malone has no doubt rightly conjectured meant a cloak, the wearer of which was supposed to be invisible to the rest of the performers. Several of the suits appear to have been of considerable value. "A doublet of white satin laid thick with gold-lace, and a pair of round-paned hose, of cloth of silver, the panes laid with gold-lace," costs 71., a tolerable proof of expense lavished on theatrical costumes even at this early period. But a still more interesting piece of evidence has been furnished us lately by Mr. Payne Collier,* who, amongst the MSS. of Lord Elsemere, keeper of the great seal to Queen Elizabeth, and lord chancellor of James the First, discovered Shakspeare's own valuation of the wardrobe of the Blackfriars Theatre; which part of the property he owned, as well as four shares of the profits of the establishment. The price demanded by him for the dresses alone is 500/., an enormous sum in those days; and Green in his " Groat's worth of Wit," A.d. 1592, makes a player boast that his share in the stage apparel should not be sold for two hundred pounds; a hit, perhaps, at Shakspeare himself, whom throughout he alludes to by the name of " ShaAescene." Mr. Collier has also discovered, in the Duke of Devonshire's collection of the designs of Inigo Jones, a description of the character of Good-Fellowship, which gives us some information as to the original dressing of the part of Falstaff. The actor is directed to be attired "like a Sr Jo° Falsstaff," in a robe of russet quite low, with a great belly like a swollen man, long mustacheos, the shoes shorte and out of their great toes like naked feet, buskins to show a great swollen leg, a cup coming forth like a beake, a great head and bald, and a little cap "alia Venetiane," grey, a rod, and a scroll of parchment. It may be a question how much of this costume belonged
* New facts regarding the Life of Shakspeare, 12uio. pp. 55. London 1835.
the whole story may have been a malicious invention of some of the many enemies of John Williams, bishop of Lincoln ; but he prints an order for the punishment of the offenders: which decrees, amongst other things, that a Mr. Wilson, (who evidently had supported the part of Bottom the weaver), "because he was a special plotter and contriver of this business, and did in such a brutish manner act the same with an asse's head ... shall, upon Tuesday next from six o'clock in the morning till six o'clock at night, sit in the porter's lodge of my lord bishop's house, with his feet in the stocks, and attired with his asse's head and a bottle of hay set before him, and this superscription on his breast:
"' Good people, I have played the beast,
Notwithstanding the increased severity of the morals of this reign, the masks at court were still of the most sumptuous description. Sir Henry Herbert records the acting of a mask in 1634, as the noblest of his time; "the best poetry, the best scenes, and the best habits."* And in Jan. 1635, a privy seal was issued to Edmund Taverner, Esq., to enable him to receive one thousand four hundred pounds, a larger sum than had hitherto been paid on account of any mask at court, towards the charge of one to be presented before his Majesty at Whitehall, on the following Shrovetide.f
The extinction of the monarchy was the signal for the suppression of dramatic entertainments of all sorts. On the return of Charles the Second, the players, most of whom had fought and bled in the royal cause, had a natural claim on the gratitude of the monarch; and they are almost the only portion of his Majesty's loyal subjects
* " The Queen," he says, " was pleased to tell me before the King,' Pour les habits, elle n'avoit rien vue de si brave !'— Collier's Annals, vol. ii. p. 62.
X MS. Chamberlain's Office. Collier's Annals, vol. ii. p. 65.
who were fortunate enough to experience it. "Old Rowley" liked the play and the players, and encouraged, by his royal countenance at any rate, both the one and the other. Evelyn and Pepys, in their diaries, make frequent allusions to the getting up of the new dramas of Dryden, Sir W. D'Avenant, and others. Betterton, the actor, was sent to Paris by the royal command, expressly to observe the French stage, and transplant from it such improvements in decoration, &c. as might embellish our own. The introduction of moving scenery is attributed at this period jointly to Betterton and Sir W. D'Avenant; and the magnificent but extravagant costume of Louis the Fourteenth's reign began to render more preposterous the tragic heroes and heroines of ancient Greece and Rome. A print, appended to Kirkman's Drolls, affords us an ocular demonstration of the mode in which many of the principal characters were dressed at this time in the drolls or farces founded on the plays of Shakspeare, Beaumont and Fletcher, &c. It represents the stage of the Red Bull Theatre, which was entirely abandoned about 1663; the figures upon it are supposed to be the most popular actors of that time dressed in character. We perceive Falstaff and the Hostess (Dame Quickly); Clause, in " Beggar's Bush ;" the French dancing-master, from the Duke of Newcastle's " Variety ;" the Changeling (from Middleton's tragedy?) the Clown, from Green's "Tu Quoque ;" the Simpleton, from Coxe's " Diana and Actaeon," &c.
This print is sufficient evidence that no attention was paid to chronological correctness of costume; as Sir John Falstaff is attired in the habit of the time of Charles the First, in lieu of that of Henry the Fourth. He has a cup in his hand, according to the direction for his personation in the time of James the First; but the little grey Venetian cap is here exchanged for a hat, the robe of russet for a soldier's buff-leather jacket. He wears a lace vandyke collar and pair of cuffs, breeches full, and boots, or boothose, with lace tops to them, and large spur leathers.
The next illustration of dramatic costume is the famous picture, painted by Wright, of the favourite come
dian Lacy in three of his principal characters; and here we flatter ourselves we shall be able to correct an error which has been reprinted very many times in various respectable works. Mr. Baker, in his " Companion to the Playhouse," 2 vols. 1764, says, in his memoir of Lacy, he was so high in the esteem of Charles the Second, that his Majesty had his picture painted in three several characters : viz. Teague, in " The Committee;" Scruple, in " The Cheats;" and Galliard, in " The Variety." Now, the picture which is at present at Hampton Court certainly presents us with the last two: but the figure which should answer to Teague, is fully attired in the trews and plaid of a Highlander !—a dress in which Teague could never have been acted at any time; as he first appears wrapped in a blanket, and afterwards as a running footman in the livery of Colonel Careless. Evelyn, in his Diary under the date of October 3rd, 1662, expressly says he has just come from seeing the portrait of " Lacy, the famous Roscius or comedian, whom he," (Wright) "had painted in three dresses, as a gallant, a presbyterian minister, and a Scotch Highlander in hisplaid." Notwithstanding which, the editor repeats in a note the mistake of Baker, Jones, and others, by calling the third character Teague "in the Commitee." Lacy, however, was author of a drama called "Sawney the Scot;" and there can be little doubt that it is in this character of Sawney, the hero of his own piece, that the artist represented him ;* the gallant being Galliard, and the presbyterian minister, Scruple.
During the first half of the following century, that is to say, from the first appearance of that regular suit of clothes worn by our great-grandfathers under the name of coat, waistcoat, and breeches, to the days of Garrick and Kemble, the custom continued of dressing even historical personages according to the fashion of the passing
* " Sawney the Scot" was not published till seventeen years after the Author's death. The date of its production is not mentioned by Baker or his continuators. "The Commit lye" was published in 1665, and Evelyn saw the picture in 1662, three years before that date.