« PreviousContinue »
graded from the university of Oxford, stand in the pillory at Westminster and Cheapside, and lose an ear at each place, be fined five thousand pounds, and imprisoned for life! And even this barbarous sentence was not sufficient to satiate the vengeance of some of the judges, who proposed to add to it new punishments still more revolting.
AND THE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM. In one of Dryden's plays, there was this line, which the actress endeavoured to speak in as moving and affecting tone as she could :
“ My wound is great, because it is so small.” then she paused, and looked very distressed. The Duke of Buckingham, who was in one of the boxes, rose immediately from his seat, and added, in a loud ridiculing voice,
“ Then 'twould be greater, were it none at all.” Which had such an effect on the audience, who before were not very well pleased with the play, that they hissed the poor woman off the stage, and would not endure her appearance in the rest of the play; and, as this was the second night
MEN AND WOMEN
only of the play, it made Dryden lose his benefit night. ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE, AND ALL THE
MERELY PLAYERS." On this acknowledged truism, the following lines were written in 1612, and possess that quaintness so characteristic of the age :
" What is our life ? a play of passion ;
Our mirth, the music of division ;
THE ORIGINAL BOBADIL.
It is not generally known that Ben Jonson drew his Bobadil, in “ Every Man in his Humour," from an officer of high rank in the army, whom haughty Philip sent to subdue the Netherlands. After the battle of Glesen, near Mons, in 1570, Strada informs us, in his Historia de Bello Belgico, that, to fill Spain with the
news, the Duke of Alva, as haughty in ostentation as in action, sent Captain Bobadilla to the king to congratulate his majesty upon the victory won by his arms and influence. The ostentation of the message, and still more so of the person who bore it, was the origin of the name being applied to any vain-glorious boaster.
HOLYDAY'S "TECHNOGAMIA." “ TECHNOGAMIA, or the Marriage of Arts," a comedy written by Barten Holyday, was acted publicly in Christ Church Hall, Oxford, with no great applause, 13th February, 1617. But the wits of those times being minded to show themselves before the King, were resolved, with leave, to act the said comedy at Woodstock ; whereupon the author making some foolish alterations in it, it was accordingly acted on a Sunday night, 26th August, 1621. But it being too grave for the King, and too scholastic for the auditory (or, as some said, that the actors had taken too much wine before they began), his Majesty, after two acts, offered several times to withdraw. At length, being persuaded by some of those that were near to him, to have patience till it was ended, lest the young men should be
discouraged, sat down, though much against his will. Whereupon these verses were made by a certain scholar.
At Christ Church Marriage done before the king,
Several witty copies of verses were made on the said comedy, among which was that of Peter Heylin, of Magdalen College, called “ Whoop Holyday,” which giving occasion for the making other copies pro and con, Corbet, dean of Christ Church, who had that day preached (as it seems) before the king, with his band starcht clean, did put in for one; for which he was reproved by the graver sort; but those that knew him well, took no notice of it, for they have several times said that he loved, to the last, boy's play very well.— Wood's Athen. Oxon.
THEATRE AT LIMA.
CAPTAIN Hall, in his “ Journal of a Residence in Chili," says, “The Theatre, which was opened during the festivities upon the accession of the new Viceroy, was of rather a singular form, being a long oval, the stage occupying the greatest
part of one side, by which means the front boxes were brought close to the actors. The audience in the pit was composed entirely of men, and that in the galleries of women (a fashion, borrowed, I believe, from Madrid); the intermediate space being divided into several rows of private boxes. Between the acts, the Viceroy retires to the back seat of his box, which being taken as a signal, that he is to be considered as absent, every man in the pit draws forth his steel and flint, lights his segar, and puffs away, furiously, in order to make the most of his time; for when the curtain rises, and the Viceroy again comes forward, there can be no longer any smoking, consistently with Spanish etiquette. The sparkling of so many flints at once, which makes the pit look as if a thousand fire-flies had been let loose, and the cloud of smoke rising afterwards and filling the house, are little circumstances, which strike the eye of a stranger as being more decidedly characteristic, than incidents really important. I may add, that the gentlemen in the boxes all smoke on these occasions, and I once fairly detected a lady taking a sly whiff, behind her fan. The viceroy's presence or absence produces no change in the gallery aloft, where