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that he recommended some trivial alterations in them while they were yet in rehearsal ;---or that their real owners being carefully concealed, these productions were imputed to him as to one whose reputation was best able to promote their sale, or support their credit with an audience. The necessity of sheltering the plays of unpopular poets under borrowed names, was, I believe, at that period unknown, as well as the more malicious practice of fathering unsuccessful scenes on persons by whom they were never written. Neither was it then customary (as since) for distinguished authors to lend or sell their names, or to permit (like some Italian artists) the scholar to vend his paintings for those of the master. It seems, however, that it was not unusual for booksellers to issue out the works of one man under the nominal sanction of another. Hleywood, in his preface to the Brazen Age, complains, that a noted pedagogue had impudently stolen from him certain rersions of Ovid, and published them as his own. Shirley likewise claims a play which was sent into the world as Fletcher's.32 I know in deed that our ancient stationers were not very scrupulous in this particular.33 Anticipated by their rivals in procuring copies of some of Shakespeare's genuine labours, by way of retaliation they might have placed his name before the next tragedies or comedies that fell into their hands. Part of this indeed is but conjecture. I have merely started the subject, and leave it to be pursued by literary antiquarians, whose sagacity and experience are greater than mine; repeating only, that Locrine and the Puritan were possibly the works of two different academics; that Oldcastle and Cromwell (aş Dr Farmer observes) might be ranked among the almost innumerable dramas of Heywood; and that the Prodigul, having nothing characteristic in its composition, may, with equal likelihood, be ascribed to a pen distinct from all the rest. Here, however, I should observe, that Locrine, Cromwell, and the Puritan, were not publicly ascribed to our author till the appearance of the folio in 1664. What has been previously urged with relation to the Two Noble Kinsmen, Pericles, and the Yorkshire Tragedy, is submitted to every reader with that total diffidence which should always accompany imperfect knowledge, and would by no means disgrace even opinions built on more solid grounds than those of bare probability.
I cannot conclude this note without observing, how fortunate a circumstance it is for any society, and especially for one immediately subservient to learning, when an intelligent man is placed by the chance of rotation at its head. To the careful researches and liberal curiosity of Mr Lockyer Davis, the present Master of the Stationers' Company, we owe a recent discovery of the greater part of the first volume of their records, which was long supposed to have been lost through negligence, or to have been destroyed in the fire of London. The numberless dates of our earliest interludes, plays, ballads, &c. which will hereafter be ascertained by the aid of these annals, cannot fail to rank the name of the gentleman already mentioned among those of the best benefactors to the history of ancient English literature. Many of our critical or biographical performances may also in time to come be indebted to the warmth of his zeal, and the success of his investigations." At least I am sure, that the labour of turning over the memoirs which he has rescued from oblivion, will be considerably alleviated, should his successors entrust them to future authors, with a readiness and politeness like his own.--STEEVENS.
32 These particulars escaped me till after the last edition of Shakespeare was printed off. See note on Pericles. p. 176.
33 I affirm this on repeated inspection of their books, in which both their frequent frauds and invasions of each other's property, and their respective fines on discovery, are minutely recorded. The names of cight of the printers of the quarto editions of our author's plays, appear on the list of these delinquents.
GEORGE A GREENE,
PINNER OF WAKEFIELD.
The author of this Play is unknown. Philips and Winstanley ascribe it to John Heywood, author of the Four P's, and other pieces which bear not the least resemblance to the present performance. The story on which it is grounded seems to have its foundation in the particular traditions of the town of Wakefield: that part which relates to Robin Hood is contained in one of the popular Bek lads concerning that celebrated outlaw, printed in the first volume of Evun's Collection of Old Bat lads, p. 99. This Ballad is mentioned by Drayton, in his Poly-olbion, Song the Twentieth-eighth :
“ It chanced she in her course on Kirkbey cast her eye,
And Richard Braithwaite, in the Strappado for the Devil, 1615, 8vo. p. 205, says :
“ At least such places labour to make known,
Good God! how glad hath been this hart of mine,
EDWARD, King of England.
Bettris, his Daughter,
PINNER1 OF WAKEFIELD.
Enter the Earl of Kendall, with him the Lord | And all my troops, even to my basest groom,
Bonfield, Sir Gilbert ARMSTRONG, and Courage and welcome; for the day is ours. Joun,
Our cause is good, it is for the land's avail :
Then let us fight and die for England's good. Ken. Welcome to Bradford, martial gentlemen, Omnes. We will, my lord. Lord Bonfield, and sir Gilbert Armstrong both, Ken. As I am. llenry Momford, Kendall's earl,
* Pinner, or Pindar ;-The keeper of the Pinfolds belonging to the common fields about Wakefield. Junius, in bis Etymologicon, voce Pende, says: “ Pende Includere ch. ab A. S. pendan pyodan idem sig. dificante. “ Hinc pinder pinner. Qui pecora ultra fines vagantia septo includit.” Mr Steevens observes, that the figure of this rustic hero is still preserved on a sign at the bottom of Gray's-Inn-Lane. VOL. I.
You honour me with this assent of yours;
Enter the Justice, a Townsman, GEORGE A 2 And here upon my sword I make protest, For to relieve the poor, or die myself.
GREENE, and Sir NICHOLAS MANNERING,
with his commission. And know, my lords, that James, the king of Scots, Wars hard upon the borders of this land:
Just. M. Mannering, stand aside, whilst we Here is his post; say, John Taylor,
confer What news with king James ?
What is best to do, townsmen of Wakefield: John. War, my lord, I tell; and good news I | The earl of Kendall here hath sent for victuals; trow;
And in aiding him, we shew ourselves
Therefore let me hear, townsmen,
Just. Then M. Mannering we are resolved I will meet him the twenty-sixth of this month, Man. As how ? And all the rest; and so farewell. [Erit Joun. Just. Marry, sir, thus. Bonfield, why stand'st thou as a man in dumps ? We will send the earl of Kendall no victuals, Courage; for if I win, I'll make thee duke. Because he is a traitor to the king, I Heory Momford will be king myself,
And in aiding him we shew ourselves no less. And I will make thee duke of Lancaster,
Man. Why, men of Wakefield, are you waren And Gilbert Armstrong lord of Doncaster.
mad, Bon. Nothing, my lord, makes me amazed at all, That present danger cannot whet your wits, But that our soldiers find our victuals scant. Wisely to make provision of yourselves ? We must make bavock of those country swains ; The earl is thirty thousand men strong in power, For so will the rest tremble and be afraid, And what town soever bim resist, And humbly send provision to your camp.
He lays it fat and level with the ground : Gil. My lord Bonfield gives good advice; Ye silly men, you seek your own decay: They make a scorn and stand upon the king : Therefore send my lord such provision as he So what is brought is sent from them perforce;
wants, Ask Mannering else.
So he will spare your town, and come no nearer Ken. What sayest thou, Mannering?
Wakefield than he is. Man. Wheu as I shewed your high commission,
Just. Master Mannering, you have your answer; They made this answer,
gone. Only to send provision for your horses.
Man. Well, Woodroffe, for so I guess is tby Ken. Well, hie thee to Wakefield, bid the town
name, To send me all provision that I want;
I'll make thee curse thy 3 overthwart denial; Lest I, like martial Tamberlaine, lay waste And all that sit upon the bench this day Their bordering countries, leaving none
Shall rue the hour they have withstood my lord's Alive that contradicts my commission.
Man. See you these seals ? before you pass tho The proudest knight, or justice, or other, that
I will have all things my lord doth want, Your word, I clap him fast, to make the rest to
lu spite of you. fear.
Geo. Proud dapper Jack, vail bonnet to the Ken. Do so, Nick ! hie thee thither presently,
bench And let us hear of thee to-morrow.
of the king; Man. Will you not remove, my lord ? Or, sirrah, I'll lay thy head before thy feet.
Ken. No, I will lie at Bradford all this night, Mar. Why, who art thou?
True liegeman to my king,
And here upon my sword I make protest :- It was formerly common to swear upon the sword; that is, upon the cross which the old swords always had upon the hilt. Of this custom many instances are quoted by Dr Farmer and Mr Steevens, in their Notes on Hamlet, A.I. S. 5.
Again, in Your five Gallants, by Middleton, A. 4:4" Sweare on this sword then to set spurs to your horse, not to looke back, to give no markes to any passenger.'
3 Overth wart denial :-So in Erasmus's Praise of Folie, 15,49, Sign, C 2:“ hat when the Gods are sette at bankette, he plaieth the jester, now wyth hys lymphaultynge, now with his skuflinge, and now kvith his overthwarte woords to provoke them all to laughter." Laphues und his Englund, p. 57:" As one to young to understande, or obstinate to overthwart,"
Should brook the braves of any traitorous squire. Although I have rent his large commission,
Geo. Now let hiin tell his lord, that bre hath
fool, Be all king Edward's. Then, sirrah, we have Pills for a traitor that doth wrong his sovereign. Nothing left for traitors, but our swords,
Are you content with this that I have done? Whetied to bathe them in your bloods,
Just. Ay, content, George; And die against you, before we send you any
For highly bast thou honour'd Wakefield town, victuals.
In cutting of proud Manuering so short. Just. Well spoken, George a Greene!
Come, thou shalt be my welcome quest to-day; Towns. Pray let George a Greene speak for us. For well thou hast deserved reward and favour. Geo. Sirrah, you get no victuals bere,
[Ereunt. Not if a hoof of beef would save your lives. Man. Fellow, I stand amazed at thy presump
Enter old Musgrove, and young Cuddle, tion.
his Son. Why, what art thou that darest gainsay my lord, Cuddie. Now, gentle father, list unto thy son, Knowing his mighty puissance and his stroke? And for my mother's love, that erst was blythe Why, my friend, I come not barely of myself; And bonny in thine eye, grant one petition For see, I have a large commission.
That I shall demand. Geo. Let me see it, sirrah. Whose seals be Old Mus. What is that, my Cuddic? these?
Cuddie. Father, you know Man. This is the earl of Kendall's seal at arins; The ancient enmity of late between the Musgroves This lord Charnel Bonfield's;
And the wily Scots, whereof they have oath, And this sir Gilbert Armstrong's.
Not to leave one alive that s strides a launce. Geo. I tell thee, sirrah, did good king Edward's father, you are old, and waining age unto the
grave : Seal a commission against the king his father, Old William Musgrove, which whilom was thought Thus would I tear it in despite of bim,
The bravest horseman in all Westnyorland, [He tears the commission. Is weak, and forced to stay his arm upon a staff, Being traitor to my sovereign.
That erst could wield alaunce. Man. What! bast thou torn my lord's com- Then, gentle father, resign the hold to me; mission?
Give arins to youth, and honour unto age. Thou shalt rue it, and so shall all Wakefield. Mus. Avaunt, false-hearted boy! my joints do Geo. What, are you in choler? I will give you
Eren with anguish of thy very words. To cool your stomach. Seest thou these seals ? Hath William Musgrove seen an hundred Now, by my father's soul, which was a yeoman, Have I been feared and dreaded of the Scois, When he was alive, * eat them, or eat
That, when they heard my name in any road, My dagger's point, proud squire.
They fled away, and posted thence amain? Mun. But thou doest but jest, I hope?
No, Cuddie, no: thus resolve I, Geo. Sare that shall you see, before we two Here have I lived, and here will Musgrove die. part.
[Erennt. Man. Well, and there be no remedy, so
Enter Lord BoNFIELD, Sir GILBERT ApmGeorge, One is gone; I pray thee, no more now.
STRONG, M. Grime, and Bettris his Daugh
ter. Geo. O sir, it one be good, the others cannot hurt.
Bon. Now, gentle Griine, god a mercy for our So, sir, now you may go tell the earl of Kendall,
4 Eat them, &c.--.This incident bears so near a resemblance to a story related of Robert Greene, that it probably was taken from it. “ Had he lived, Gabriel, and thou shouldst so unartificially and odiously libelled against hiin as thou hast done, he would have thee an example of ignominy to all ages that are to come, and driven thee lo eate thy owne booke butterid, as I sawe him make an appariter once in a tavern eate his citation, ware and all, very handsomely serv'd twixt two dishes."
Nash's Apologie of Pierce Pennelesse, Ato. 1593. In the Play of Sir John Oldcastle, the Sumner is compelled to eat his citation in like manner.
Strides a launce :-i, e. not to leave even a cbild of them alive, one who equilat in grundine longa. • Erst :-i, e, once, in former times. S.