Imatges de pàgina

redeemed your wife, at the cost of your we may date the origin of our present draten thousand florins, and some perils matic exhibitions. These spectacles served besides ; for which, if you owe me any as the amusement and instruction of the thing, I leave her my executor, for I people. So attractive were these gross have nothing left me now but to die.” exhibitions, in the darker ages, that they

The inerchant, looking somewhat ama. formed one of the principal ornaments of zed at his discourse, then answered him the reception which was given to princes thus :

when they entered towns. “ If the lady you speak of is the wife When these mysteries were performed, of my brother Gio Mercanti, he has been at a more improved period, the actors dead these three months; but I shall re were distinguished characters, and very joice to see her, and, likewise to make frequently were composed of the ecclesiover the properties that belong to her by astics of the neighbouring villages. Their his bequest. And for the eminent service productions were not divided into acts, you have rendered to her, for my late but into different days of performance, brother's sake, I will gratefully repay you, and they were acted in the open plain. his last words having been full of con- In these pieces the actors represented the cern for his dear lady, and of confidence person of the Almighty, after their fashiun, in the integrity of the Signor Tebaldo without being sensible of the gross imZanche; which name I doubt not you propriety. Sa unskilful were they in this have made honourable in your own per: infancy of the theatrical art, that very son. I beseech of you, therefore, to lead serious consequences were often produced me instantly to my kinswoman, that I by their ridiculous blunders and illmay entertain her as she deserves." managed machinery. In the history of

The overjoyed Tebaldo, without wait- the French theatre the following anecing to make any answer to these courte- dotes are preserved, which throw consies, ran instantly on board ship to Bianca, siderable light upon these singular reprewho now, without any reserve, cast her. sentations and their performers. self into his loving arms. She did not In the year 1437, when Conrad, Bishop forget, however, the tears that were due of Metz, caused the Mystery of the to the generosity of her dead husband, but Passion to be represented on the plain of mourned for him a decent season ; after Veximel, near that city, the Almighty which, with the very good-will of her was represented by an old gentleman, by parents and all parties, she gave her name Nicholas Neufchatel, curate of st. hand to the faithful Tebaldo. Thus, after Victory, of Metz, and who was very many trials, which they endured nobly, near expiring on the cross, had he not they were finally made happy, as their been timely assisted; he was so enfeebled long inisfortunes and virtue well deserve that it was agreed another priest should ed: and their names are preserved until be placed on the cross the next day, to this day, as the Two Faithful Lovers of finish the representation of the person Sicily.--Hood's National Tales. crucified, and which was done ; at the

same time the said Mr. Nicholas undertook to perform the resurrection, which

being a less difficult task, he did it adMYSTERIES; OR, RELIGIOUS mirably well. Another priest, whose DRAMAS.

name was John de Dicey, curate of

Metrange, personated Judas, who was These devout spectacles have been almost stifled while he hung on the generally believed to have originated with tree, by his neck being nearly dislocated; the pilgrims who returned from the Holy this was fortunately perceived time enough Land, or other consecrated places; they to allow him to be taken down and rebegan by composing canticles of their covered. travels, and amused their religious fancies Another instance is recorded by John by interweaviny scenes, of which Christ, Bouchet, in his Annals of Aquitaine, a the Apostles, and other objects of devotion, French author who lived in the fifteenth served as themes. These pilgrims travelled and sixteenth centuries, which informs us in troops, and stood in the public streets, that in the year 1486, he saw played and where they recited their poems, staff exhibited in mysteries, by persons of in hand ; while their chaplets and Poictiers, the Nativity, Passion, and Recloaks, covered with shells and images surrection of Christ, in great triumph and of various colours, formed a picturesque splendour, before an immense assemblage exhibition, which at length excited the of the ladies and gentlemen from the piety of the citizens to erect ocasionally surrounding provinces. a stage on an extensive spot of ground. The first of these incongruous exhibiFrom such circumstances, most probably, tions in Italy is said to have taken place


as early as 1243, and the earliest account how to use it as a sure engine of destruc-
of thein in England is recorded by Matthew tion.
Paris, the English historian, who wrote Though the invention has been set
in the thirteenth century, detailing in his down in the pages of history as the result
writings the performance of a religious of German ingenuity, yet it ought to be
play by the scholars of the Abbey school ranked among the discoveries of this
of Dunstable ; these representations were country. For that the ingredients of gun-
given in most of the counties of England, powder, and the art of making it, was
especially Chester and Warwickshire, and known to the celebrated Roger Bacon,
furnished amusement for all classes, from an English monk, who was born near
the king and the nobles down to the Ilchester, in the year 1214, is very certain.
meanest peasant. The performers who But that humane philosopher, aware of
assumed the characters in the drama were the danger of communicating such a bane-
the religious of monasteries, the pupils of ful discovery to the world, so transposed
learned men, the trading companies of the letters of the Latin word which sig-
cities, and the society of Parish Clerks, in nify charcoal, as to render the whole ob-
London, who were greatly famed for their scure and unintelligible. By this means
performances at the Skinners' Well, he rendered it difficult for any one to dis-
Clerkenwell. The period of the year cover the fatal secret by the perusal of his
when these amusements were resorted to works, and secured to himself the honour
was the festival of Corpus Christi day. of the invention, if it should be discovered

by any other person.

Enabled as we are to state correctly the

date when the art of making gunpowder

was first found out, yet we are at fauit
when we attempt to attach a date as to
its first being employed to discharge fire-

arms; however, but a short period inEnchain'd by frost, all desolate and drear,

tervened from its being first made, to its Still nature shines in dazzling robe array'd ; use in the field, for we find that it traThe moon's bright beams this dismal prospecí velled from Germany into France, as may

cheer, Gleam o'er the heath, and glitter in the glade.

be seen by the following item from the Long lines of silver radiance mark the vale,

accounts of the treasurer of war, in the Mantling yon cot, whose roofs low rafted year 1335:-“ To Henry de Faumichan, Beneath their fleecy

for gunpowder and other things necessary ; or o'er the dale, Lends a new glory to the spangled brake.

for the cannon at the siege of Puy GuilNot so with me, chill'd by the piercing blast,

laume.” In 1340 the English were comof keen misfortune bitter, fierce, and cold; pelled to raise the siege of En, at which O'er life's expanse my eager eyes I cast, artillery was employed by the garrison : No dawn of hope these cheerless realms unfold,

this artillery consisted of two large " iron A trackless wild arrests my shudd'ring sight, boxes,” which they loaded with round Without a star to gild the horrors of the night. pebbles. It was considered as a remark

able instance of good fortune that these
pieces had received no damage ; proving,

that the art of managing them with effect ILLUSTRATIONS OF HISTORY. was unknown.

Froissard tells us, that when the English laid siege to St. Malo, in 1373, they had four hundred cannon

with them, which account is somewhat We owe the discovery of this destruc at variance with Hume's detail in his tive agent to a circumstance that happened History of England, where he seems to in 1292, to Barthold Schwartz, otherwise say that at the besieging of Orleans, in called the Black Monk, or Constan!ine the reign of Henry the Sixth, in the Aucklitzen, a native of Fribourg, in year 1428, “ that it might be reckoned Germany, which was occasioned by his among the first sieges where cannon was having put some saltpetre, sulphur, and employed in Europe to advantage.” The charcoal in a mortar, for some chemical cannon spoken of by Froissart were preparation ; a spark of fire accidentally hand cannon, which was carried by two flew into it, when the mortar was rent men, and fired from a rest fixed in the asunder by the sudden explosion. ground. These portable fire-arms were

The monk, who, unfortunately for man not used in France till the reign of Charles kind, escaped with his life, had no sooner the Sixth. In Italy gunpowder was first recovered his fright than he began to used against the Genoese by the Venemake experiments, which, by moderating tians, in 1380. Some authorities state it of this dreadful composition, taught him to have been first employed in Europe, at



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tary force.

Chrogia, against Laurence de Medicis, mas holidays were wholly devoted to paswhen all Italy made a complaint against time, the gentry and farmers feasting their it, as a manifest contravention of the law servants and taskmen, on which occasion of arms.

but little was done in the field until Plough The introduction of gunpowder and fire Monday, and on the morning of that arms may be looked upon as giving a day, both man and maid shewed their fatal blow to chivalry, and the cause of readiness to obey the call, by seeing effecting a total alteration in the art of which would be the earliest riser, when if war. The bravest warrior could no longer the ploughman collected his implements of rely on his personal prowess, or the ex- labour before the maid placed the kettle cellence of his arms, as means of defence on the fire, he was the gainer of the against an adversary, who, though des- Shrove-tide cock instead of the maid. For titute of courage, might with success a more extended account of ceremonies attack him at a distance. A tranquil in- observed on this day, see Mr. Hone's trepidity, accustomed to give and to E. D. B. vol. 1, to which we are indebted receive death without design as without materially for this account. fear, was now substituted in the room of that active valour which had hitherto been deemed the chief support of hostile armies. Battles became more bloody in proportion as the means of mutual de Science and Art. struction were multiplied. By this new mode of fighting every man was rendered fit for the purposes of war.

Armies were

It has been supposed by many authors more numerous, and nations exhausted their resources in augmenting their mili- that England must have been known to the

primitive inhabitants of the world, from the circumstance that they used the oxide of tin in making their 7yrian dye, as the

use of cochineal without it would not have Customs of Jarious

produced the brilliancy of colour which it

was so famed for possessing. In making Countries.

this dye, it is only necessary to infuse a little nitro-muriate of tin in some cochineal

extract, and it will be at once exhibited. The first Monday after Twelfth day, is called Plough Monday, and appears to have received that name from the circum

BERTHOLLET, in his “ Elements of the stance of its being the first day after Arts of Dyeing,” makes the following obChristmas on which husbandmen resume

servations on this very useful liquid, their labours with the plough, in some

turns blacker by exposure to the air, beparts of England, and more especially in

cause the oxigen that the gall-nut attracts the north. The farming men have a pro- is the requisite degree of combustion which cession, in which the plough is drawn by is effected by additional oxygen from the a number of men, stripped to their clean atmosphere. ' Ink made with a large prowhite shirts, having waistcoats beneath, as portion turns yellow, because the iron not a protection against cold; their arms are being saturated with the astringent matter, gaily decorated with ribbons of various absorbs oxygen, Hence infusion of galls colours, their hats being ornamented in will restore the legibility of old writings, the same way. On this occasion, it is

as well as Prussian alkali." usual to have the ceremony attended by a female, sprucely bedizened, termed the Bessy, the sport being heightened by a humorous countryman representing a fool, who generally performs a

Anecdotiana. variety of curious feats to the admiration of all the beholders: the procession is

J. P. KEMBLE AND DELPINI. sometimes attended by morris dancers, when they can be procured, but there is Many anecdotes are told of this celealways a sportive dance by a few village brated master of posture and grimace, but lads and lasses in their holiday finery, with none exhibit his eccentricity and selfishan abundance of ribands. Money is col. ness, (a combination, by the by, generally lected from the farmers and inhabitants of found in the characters of too many fothe town or village, which is spent at night reign artistes of the Theatre and Opera,) in conviviality. In times past the Christ- in a more ludicrous point of view than



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the following, which was one evening proprement;, and vith de propere ein-
related at Brookes's by Mr. Sheridan, phasis on de last voard.”
when the Prince and Duke of York, who “Well, well !” replied Kemble, pet-
knew Delpini well, were present.

tishly; begin, begin :-I must go on
It should be premised, that several the stage directly."
members of the Royal Family, and par “I sal not detain you, Sare," returned
ticularly the Prince of Wales, had pressed Delpini, as he leaned on his right leg,
Sheridan to procure the insertion of and threw out his arm at an angle of
Delpini's name in the books of the forty-five degrees. Then, infusing into
Theatrical Fund, in order to secure a his countenance all the imitative rage
provision for his old age. Mr. Sheridan which it was capable of expressing, he
did all in his power to promote the object bellowed out, “ Plock dem assondere !"
in question ; but one grand difficulty was Poor Kemble, the muscles of whose
started in the course of the negociation, face had been screwed up to the most
which even his influence could not well heroic pitch, felt his risible chord so
remove :—this was, that as Mr. Delpini tickled by Delpini's ludicrous pronunci-
was merely a clown, he could not be ation and manner, that, at that instant
admitted ; for the laws of the society receiving his cue of entrance, he was
forbade relief to any but such as were forced to turn his head aside from the
accustomed to speak on the stage. A audience, for nearly a minute, before he
remedy, however, was at length sug- could address his troops without laughing:
gested, viz. : that a few words should be At length, the awful, important, and
written in the forthcoming pantomine, for ominous night arrived when Mr. Delpini
Delpini to repeat; and thus he was to was to make his debut as a speaking
rank among the Garricks and the Kembles actor. To those who are acquainted with
of the day.

the nature of what is, among theatrical The words in question were only three people, termed stage fright, the writer in number; and they were to be uttered need not state, that, however perfectly by Delpini in the character of a Magician, a young actor may be able to repeat his at the instant that Harlequin and Colum- part by rote, in his own apartment, or at bine were in the act of embracing: they rehearsal, there is a something, when were-Pluck them asunder!

he comes before the audience, in all the Big with the expectation of his pension, blaze of dazzling light reflected upon his but more so with the importance of his person, that strikes him with terror, binds

character, Delpini repeated the up his tongue, deprives him of memory, above short sentence on every occasion, scatters his senses, and roots him to the for several weeks, and with every possi- spot, as if he were in a state of fascinable variety of accent and intonation. tion: or, to speak in theatrical terms, There was not a performer in the theatre “he is stuck fast.” whom he did not apply to, to hear him Such was the case with poor Delpini : rehearse his part ; so that, at length, he had repeated his little part until he had every one voted him a complete bore. alınost forgotten it, for it had left no im

The gentleman whose applause he was pression upon his mind; and his extreme most anxious of obtaining was Mr. Kem- anxiety destroyed even the little chance ble; and whenever he met him behind there was of his recollecting it in the time the scenes, in the passages, or in the of need. He had spoken the words at green-room, he caught hold of him by least ten thousand times: he had repeatthe arm or by a button, and held himn ed them sitting, standing, walking lying ; fast, until he had repeated the important he had rehearsed them to all sorts of perwords with suitable gesture and action. sons, and on all occasions, both at home One night, as Kemble was standing be- and abroad; he had given them every side the wing, helmeted and buskined as variety of form, accent, and emphasis, of Coriolanus, and with truncheon in hand, which they were capable—but, when the preparing to lead the Volsci forth to hour of trial came, he was found wanting battle, Delpini made his appearance, and The performers had crowded arouna, thus addressed the Roman hero.

all anxious for his success, and all ready “ Mistare Kembel, I am ver glad I av to prompt him; but, as Solomon says, found you, Sare, you sal see me rehearsal “in the multitude of advisers the counsel my part.”

faileth,” so it turned out on the present answered Kemble, “it is occasion. Columbine had flown to her impossible, Mr. Delpini ; do you not see faithful lover, and locked him in her fast that I am just going on the stage ?". embrace: the magician's wand was raised

But,” persisted the grimacier, “I sal aloft to command their separation ; but not detain you, Sare, un moment; you no words accompanied the action. Decsall see dat I pronounce mon charactere, pini was stuck fast. Voices from every


* Not now,


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side cried out, Now, Delpini, now's store us our money which we have given your time ! - fire away, my hearty!- thee for indulgencies: and lead us not into speak, man !-why don't you speak? But heresy, but deliver us from misery: for the magician was, himself, in a state of thine is hell, pitch, and sulphur, for ever enchantment ;-he was immoveable ;

and ever. until the prompter's voice was heard above the rest, saying, “ Pluck thera asunder !” These words shot across his

EPIGRAM, brain like a flash of lightning : he recovered from his trance, and repeating his Poet, one of the translators of Arios

Written by Sir John Harrington, the action with the wand, he roared out— to's Orlando Furioso, and familiarly Masson dere plock et!!!

addressed to his contemporary, a Mr. This ludicrous termination of his arduous labours made the theatre echo with being accused of having borrowed from

John Davys, of Hereford, upon their laughter, both behind and before the cur

the works of Martial, the Latin epigra. tain ; and poor Delpini retired behind the matist :scenes, in a state of the most complete discomfiture. Being a little recovered, My dear friend Davys, some against us partial, however, he said to several of the perfor- Have found we steal some good conceits from mers who came up to condole with him,

Martial, their sides shaking with laughter, “ Nes Sn, though they grant our verse hath some vere mind, ladies and gentlemens: dose Yet make they fools 'suspect, we scant true may laugh dat lose; I av win, and sal laugh to myself.-I av gain de pension, But Surrey did the same, and worthy Wyatt, by Gar! and I care noting at all for no

And they had praise and reputation by it,,

And Heywood, whom yonr putting down hath body."-Clubs of London.

raised, Did use the same, and with the same is praised.

Wherefore if they had wit, that so did trace'us, The Athenians upon gaining a victory or else, to our more honour and their griefs,

They must again for their own credits grace us; over the Persians, made a law, that on a

Match us at least with honourable thieves. certain day in every year there should be

Gents. Mag. an exhibition of a cock-fight, which custom arose from the following circumstance:

EFFECTUAL MODE OF CURING A QUINSEY. -When Themistocles, the Athenian general, led an army of his countrymen The following anecdote is told of the against the barbarians, he saw two cocks celebrated physician, Dr. Radcliffe, who fighting. The spectacle was no: Jost upon by his great skill, gained the top of his him; he made his army halt, and thus ad- profession in the reign of William and dressed them." These cocks,” said he, Mary. He was chosen a member of par

are not fighting for their country, for their liament for Buckingham a year before his paternal gods, nor do they endure this for death, which took place in 1714. The ibe monuments of their ancestors, for the doctor being once sent for into the country sake of glory in the cause of liberty, or to attend a gentleman ill of an inveterate for their offspring; the only motive is, that quinsey, and finding that no external or one is determined not to yield to the other.” internal application would be of service,

he desired the lady of the house to order a CURIOUS PARODY OF A DEAN OF CAN- hasty pudding to be made. When it was

done, his own servants were to bring it Dr. Boys, a learned divine, and a dean up, and while the pudding was preparing of Canterbury, in the reign of James I., he gave them his private instructions. In was a very warm adversary against the a short time it was set on the table in full Pope: he would often attack him, both view of the patient. “ Come, Jack and with unsparing ridicule and elaborate ar- Dick,” said Radcliffe, “ eat as quickly gument. Strange as it may sound, he as possible, you have had no breakfast turned the Lord's prayer into an execra this morning.” Both began with their tion upon his holiness, which he intro- spoons, but on Jack's dipping once to duced with great applause, in a sermon Dick's twice, a quarrel arose. Spoonfuls preached on the anniversary of the gun- of hot pudding were discharged on both powder plot at St. Paul's Cross. The sides, and at last handfuls were pelted at execration consisted of the following very each other. The patient, on beholding singular parody :-“ Our Pope, which the ludicrous spectacle, was seized with art at Rome, accursed be thy name; thy an immoderate fit of laughter, the quinsey kingdom perish ; thy will bě hindered as burst and discharged its contents, and the in heaven, so also on earth. Give us this doctor soon completed the cure, to the day our cup in the Lord's supper, and re- great satisfaction of his patient.


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