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called plagiarifm, is often no more than the refult of having thought alike with others on the fame fubject.
The difpute about the learning of Shakspeare being now finally fettled, a catalogue is added of thofe tranflated authors, whom Mr. Pope has thought proper to call
"The clafficks of an age that heard of none."
The reader may not be displeased to have the Greek and Roman poets, orators, &c. who had been rendered acceffible to our author, expofed at one view;2 especially as the lift has received the advantage of being corrected and amplified by the Reverend Dr. Farmer, the fubftance of whose very decifive pamphlet is interfperfed through the notes which are added in this revifal of Dr. Johnson's Shakspeare.
To those who have advanced the reputation of our poet, it has been endeavoured, by Dr. Johnson, in a foregoing preface, impartially to allot their dividend of fame; and it is with great regret that we now add to the catalogue, another, the confequence of whofe death will perhaps affect not only the works of Shakspeare, but of many other writers. Soon after the first appearance of this edition, a disease, rapid in its progrefs, deprived the world of Mr. Jacob Tonfon; a man, whofe zeal for the improvement of English literature, and whofe liberality to men of learning, gave him a juft title to all the honours which men of learning can beftow. To fuppofe that a perfon employed in an extenfive trade, lived in a state of indifference to lofs and gain, would be to conceive
2 See Vol. II.
a character incredible and romantick; but it may be juftly faid of Mr. Tonfon, that he had enlarged his mind beyond folicitude about petty loffes, and refined it from the defire of unreasonable profit. He was willing to admit thofe with whom he contracted, to the juft advantage of their own labours; and had never learned to confider the author as an under-agent to the bookfeller. The wealth which he inherited or acquired, he enjoyed like a man confcious of the dignity of a profeffion fubfervient to learning. His domeftick life was elegant, and his charity was liberal. His manners were soft, and his conversation delicate: nor is, perhaps, any quality in him more to be cenfured, than that referve which confined his acquaintance to a fmall number, and made his example lefs ufeful, as it was lefs extenfive. He was the laft commercial name of a family which will be long remembered;. and if Horace thought it not improper to convey the Sosi to pofterity; if rhetorick fuffered no difhonour from Quintilian's dedication to TRYPHO; let it not be thought that we difgrace Shakspeare, by appending to his works the name of TONSON.
To this prefatory advertisement I have now fubjoined 3 a chapter extracted from the Guls Hornbook, (a fatirical pamphlet written by Decker in the year 1609) as it affords the reader a more complete idea of the cuftoms peculiar to our ancient theatres, than any other publication which has hitherto fallen in my way. See this performance, page 27.
This addition to Mr. Steevens's Advertisement was made in 1778. MALONE.
How a Gallant fhould behave himfelf in a Playhoufe.
"The theatre is your poet's Royal Exchange, upon which, their mufes (that are now turn'd to merchants) meeting, barter away that light commodity of words for a lighter ware than words, plaudities and the breath of the great beaft, which (like the threatnings of two cowards) vanish all into aire. Plaiers and their factors, who put away the stuffe and make the beft of it they poffibly can (as indeed 'tis their parts fo to doe) your gallant, your courtier, and your capten, had wont to be the foundest pay-masters, and I thinke are still the fureft chapmen: and thefe by meanes that their heades are well ftockt, deale upon this comical freight by the groffe; when your groundling, and gallery commoner buyes his fport by the penny, and, like a hagler, is glad to utter it againe by retailing.
"Sithence then the place is fo free in entertainment, allowing a ftoole as well to the farmer's fonne as to your Templer: that your flinkard has the self fame libertie to be there in his tobacco fumes, which your fweet courtier hath and that your carman and tinker claime as ftrong a voice in their fuffrage, and fit to give judgment on the plaies' life and death, as well as the proudeft Momus among the tribe of critick; it is fit that hee, whom the moft tailors' bils do make room for, when he comes, fhould not be bafely (like a vyoll) cas'd up in a corner.
"Whether therefore the gatherers of the pub
lique or private play-houfe ftand to receive the afternoone's rent, let our gallant (having paid it) presently advance himfelf up to the throne of the ftage. I meane not in the lords' roome (which is now but the stage's fuburbs). No, those boxes by the iniquity of cuftome, confpiracy of waitingwomen, and gentlemen-ufhers, that there fweat together, and the covetous fharers, are contemptibly thrust into the reare, and much new fatten is there dambd by being smothered to death in darkneffe. But on the very rufhes where the comedy is to daunce, yea and under the ftate of Cambifes himfelfe muft our feather'd eftridge, like a piece of ordnance be planted valiantly (becaufe impudently) beating downe the mewes and hiffes of the oppofed rafcality.
"For do but caft up a reckoning, what large cummings in are purs'd up by fitting on the stage. Firft a confpicuous eminence is gotten, by which meanes the best and most effential parts of a gallant (good cloathes, a proportionable legge, white hand, the Perfian locke, and a tollerable beard,) are perfectly revealed.
By fitting on the stage you have a fign'd pattent to engroffe the whole commodity of cenfure; may lawfully prefume to be a girder; and stand at the helme to steere the paffage of fcænes, yet no man fhall once offer to hinder you from obtaining the title of an infolent over-weening coxcombe.
"By fitting on the ftage, you may (without trauelling for it) at the very next doore, afke whofe play it is: and by that queft of inquiry, the law warrants you to avoid much mistaking: if you know not the author, you may raile against him; and peradventure fo behave yourfelfe, that you may enforce the author to know you.
"By fitting on the ftage, if you be a knight, you may happily get you a miftreffe: if a mere FleetStreet gentleman, a wife: but affure yourselfe by continuall refidence, you are the firft and principall man in election to begin the number of We three.
By fpreading your body on the ftage, and by being a juftice in examining of plaies, you fhall put yourselfe into fuch a true fcænical authority, that fome poet fhall not dare to present his mufe rudely before your eyes, without having firft unmaskt her, rifled her, and discovered all her bare and most mystical parts before you at a taverne, when you most knightly, fhal for his paines, pay for both their fuppers.
By fitting on the ftage, you may (with small coft) purchase the deere acquaintance of the boyes: have a good stoole for fixpence: at any time know what particular part any of the infants prefent: get your match lighted, examine the play-fuits' lace, perhaps win wagers upon laying 'tis copper, &c. And to conclude, whether you be a foole or a juftice of peace, a cuckold or a capten, a lord maior's fonne or a dawcocke, a knave or an under fhriefe, of what ftamp foever you be, currant or counterfet, the ftagelike time will bring you to moft perfect light, and lay you open: neither are you to be hunted from thence though the fcarcrowes in the yard hoot you, hiffe at you, fpit at you, yea throw dirt even in your teeth: 'tis moft gentleman-like patience to endure all this, and to laugh at the filly animals. But if the rabble, with a full throat, crie away with the foole, you were worfe than a mad-man to tarry by it: for the gentleman and the foole fhould never fit on the ftage together.