« PreviousContinue »
OF THE NINTH CONVERSATION
Tracts on the subject of theatrical performances previous to the restoration—Works where they are touched upon incidentally— "The Fardle of facions," 1555—Plays among the Chinese noticed in Parke's " Historie of China," 1588—Argument of a Chinese play—Plays of the Bramins or Abrahmanes—Attack on the Puritans by William Warner—" The Chirche of euyl men and women," printed by Pynson, 1509—Price of tracts on the stage in 1781—Gascoyne's " Wyll of theDeuyll"—Stephen Gosson, a play-poet, author of three pamphlets against the stage—His "Schoole of Abuse," 1579, dedicated to Sir P. Sidney, and its reception by him—Extract on the degeneracy of the age—Account of Gosson, and his own praise of his plays: also a pastoral poet—But two relics by Gosson existing—Stanza from his commendatory verses to Nicholas's "Historie of the Weast India," 1578—His poem called Speculum humanum at the end of Kirton's"Mirror of Mans life," 1580, extracted—Remarks—Gosson's "Ephemerides of Phialo," and " Short Apologie," &c 1579 and 1586—His reply to the Excusers of stage-plays quoted—His"Playes confuted in fiue actions," &c. 1581, and its application —Thomas Lodge's "Play of Playes"—His very scarce and curious tract called "An Alarum against Vsurers," &c 1584, containing a reply to Gosson's attack upon him in his "Playes confuted"—Dedication by Lodge to Sir P. Sidney, and his address to the " Gentlemen of the Innes of Court," comprising his reply to Gosson—Extracts—Lodge's " Play of Playes," never published —His good humour under Gosson's most gross attack—His birth and family, and T. Salter's "Mirror of Modesty," dedicated to Sir Thomas Lodge, referred to—Lodge's candour towards, and praise of Gosson—Complimentary stanzas on Lodge by Bamabe Rich, extracted—Gosson a writer of blank verse—Queen Elizabeth's chorus to one of Seneca's tragedies—John Northbrooke's "Treatise against Dicing, Daunting, Vaine playes," &c imprinted by H. Bynneman—Quotations on the manners of the time, on the plays then represented, and against theatres and actors —" The Anatomie of Abuses," 1585, by Philip Stubbes—Its popularity and number of editions—Thomas Nash's attack on Stubbes in his "Almond for a Parrat"—Extract from Stubbes's work, and his denunciation of plays, players, play-writers, and play-goers—G. Whetstone's "Addition or Touchstone for the Time," 1584, quoted on the abuse of theatrical performances— John Field's "Godly exhortation by occasion of the late iudgement of God shewed at Paris-garden," 1583—Bear-baiting and stage-plays coupled by the puritans—Quotation on the abolition of plays on Sunday—Uncertainty on this point in our histories of the stage—Arthur Golding's " Discourse vpon the Earthquake" of April 6, 1580, adduced to prove that plays were usually then represented on Sunday—W. Rankin's " Mirour of Monsters," 1587 —Its rarity—A mask described in it, and quotation against actors
Speech of Luxuria from the same—Dr. Rainoldes " Overthrow of Stage-Playes," 1599: its object—Epigram by Thomas Bastard on Dr. Rainoldes—Oaths on the stage—Dr. Gager's academic play called Ulyues redux—Dr. Rainoldes on the crimes of players, especially deer-stealing—Shakespeare and the charge against him by Sir T. Lucy—On men dressing themselves as women on the
THE NINTH CONVERSATION.
Bourne. The task you propose is not an easy one, whether we consider the number of books we shall have to examine, or the attention they will require. We must not lose time if we are to complete it today and to-morrow.
Elliot. We must avoid digressions then as much as possible, keeping as strictly as we can to the tracts that have been written for and against theatrical performances.
Bourne. And touching only upon those that are of the greatest rarity, and, of course, not bringing it down lower than the protectorate—the triumph of William Frynne, and the puritans. We must also limit ourselves in another respect; not to notice pieces that only introduce the subject of stage plays and actors incidentally, unless for some special purpose: our inquiry would otherwise be almost endless.
Morton. Explain what you mean a little more