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versal execration the infamous Court of the StarChamber, and every individual of which it was composed, was cited before it, in the year 1633, for the publication of a libellous book, called “ Histriomastix ; or, a Scourge for Stage Players."
In this severe attack on the stage, he had collected a variety of quotations from authors of all ages, sacred and profane ; with the assistance of which he proposed to write down plays, masques, dancing, hunting, public festivals, especially the keeping of Christmas, bonfires, maypoles, dressing up houses with ivy, the use of music in general, and especially of church music, new year's gifts, church ceremonies, &c., besides occasional attacks on altars, images, the hair of men and women, bishops, bonfires, and all other games, and even the wearing of perukes. One of the passages which peculiarly excited the court against him, inasmuch as it was alleged to contain a manifest comparison between Nero and his most gracious Majesty, greatly to the disadvantage of the latter, was the following. “ The multitudes of our London play hunters,” says he, “ are so augmented, that all the ancient devil's chapels, though five in number, are
not sufficient to contain their troops, when we see a sixth now added to them; whereas, even in vicious Nero's reign, there were but three standing theatres in Pagan Rome, though far more spacious than Christian London.” He adds, “ that our English ladies, shorn and frizzled madams, have lost their modesty;"_" that plays are the chief delight of the devil, and they that frequent them are damned ;” and “ that princes dancing in their own persons, was the cause of their untimely ends." Among the heads in the index of the work
women actors notorious whores ;” and on this theme the commissioners were inexhaustibly eloquent, applying it to the Queen, who had, a short time before, acted in a pastoral, at Somerset House, although they well knew that Prynne could have had no such object in view, inasmuch as his book was published some time previous to this exhibition, and the passage in the body of the work to which it referred, was quite incapable of any such application.
The seritence passed upon Prynne for the publication of this work was, that his book should be burnt by the common hangman; that he should be excluded from the bar of Lincoln's Inn, de
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
only of the play, it made Dryden lose his benefit night.
ALL THE WORLD'S A STAGE, AND ALL THE
MEN AND WOMEN 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