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The Speakers Names.] The Actors Names F Dramatis Personae 1711 f. Raph her man.
in. ) Ralph, his apprentice. 1778, f. the Knight of the Burning Pestle. 1778 Two Knights. ] Three supposed Knights. 1778 W Three men, supposed captives. Dy Souldiers ] Soldiers, and Attendants. Dy William Hammerton. W, f. George Greengoose. W, f. Woman captive. 1778 W Woman supposed a captive. Dy Pompiona, princess of Moldavia. W POMPIONA, daughter to the king of Moldavia. Dy
References to the text of The Knight of the Burning Pestle are by act and line of this edition. Other references to Beaumont and Fletcher are by act and scene in Dyce's edition. In citations from the plays of these dramatists the authors' names are omitted ; a like omission occurs in citations from Shakespeare. Acknowledgment is uniformly made for notes quoted or adapted from other editions of The Knight of the Burning Pestle. Wheatley-Cunningham's London Past and Present is indicated by the abbreviation Wh.-C. Explanation of other abbreviations is supplied by the Bibliography.
The Knight of the Burning Pestle. Attempts to find an origin for this title have resulted in mere conjecture. Weber, in speaking of the play's general resemblance to Don Quixote, says: 'Indeed the very name of the play seems to be taken from the Knight of the Burning Shield, though no doubt our poets may have derived the appellation from some ancient romance, as Shakespeare probably did the epithet of the Knight of the Burning Lamp, which Falstaff bestows on Bardolph. Cf. 1 Henry IV. 3. 3. Dyce (1. XXXIV) says the 'title was perhaps suggested by that of an earlier (and not extant) play, The history of the Knight in the Burning Rock.' This play was produced at Court at Whitehall in 1578-9. Cf. Cunningham, Extracts from the Accounts of the Revels at Court, 1842, p. 142.
Quod si, &c. In Elgood's translation of Horace, these lines are rendered thus : ‘Yet were you to criticize that same judgment, which he exercised with such keen discrimination as regards the arts, in connection with books and the Muses' gifts, you would swear that he had been born in the leaden air of the Boeotians.'—Ep. 2. 2. 241-4.
Walter Burre. Cf. Arber's Transcript of the Stationers' Registers, 1554-1640, 2. 148:
master Watkins Walter Burre sonne of [blank] BURRE of the parishes of SOUTHMYMMEs in the county of HertFORD y[e]oman hathe putt himself apprentice to Richard Watkins citizen and Staconer of London for the terme of nyne yeres from the feast of the nativitie of Sainct John babtiste Laste Paste [24 June 1587). Burre was admitted to the Stationers' Company June 25, 1596, and printed and published from 1597 to 1621.
at the signe of the Crane in Paules Church-yard. 'Before the Fire, which destroyed the old Cathedral, St. Paul's Churchyard was chiefly inhabited by stationers, whose shops were then, and until the year 1760, distinguished by signs.'
To his many waies endeered friend Maister Robert Keysar. This dedicatory epistle is found, among the early editions, only in the quarto of 1613. Weber was the first to reprint it. The succeeding editors have followed him. Nothing is ascertainable regarding Robert Keysar.
parents. Considerable controversy has arisen as to the respective shares of Beaumont and Fletcher in the authorship. Cf. Introd., pp. XXI-XXXI.
Vnlike his brethren. None of the other plays of Beaumont and Fletcher are to any marked extent similar to The Knight of the Burning Pestle in purpose or in manner of development. Cf. Introd., p. XXXI.
who for want of judgement .. ytterly rejected it. 'From the dedication to the first quarto, it appears that The Knight of the Burning Pestle was damned on its first appearance. It was probably the rage of the citizens, and particularly of the sturdy London apprentices, which condemned a production in which they were so severely satirized.' Weber.
father, foster-father, nurse and child. Here is an indication of single authorship, for foster father and nurse manifestly mean Robert Keysar and Walter Burre.
it hopes his father will beget him a younger brother. Another indication of single authorship.
Perhaps it will bee thought to bee of the race of Don Quixote. The similarity between our play and Don Quixote in the objects and method of their burlesque has produced a theory that Beaumont drew his inspiration from Cervantes. Cf. Introd., pp. XXXII-LVIII.
it is his elder aboue a yeare. On Jan. 19, 1611–12, there was entered on the Stationers' Registers 'A booke called, The delightfull history of the witty knighte Don Quishote. This was Shelton's translation of the first part of Cervantes' romance, which was first printed at Lisbon in 1605. The second part was not printed till 1615, when it appeared at Madrid.
may (by vertue of his birth-right) challenge the wall of him. That is, by reason of his seniority, it my claim the inner side of the path as a mark of acknowledgment. To take the wall of, to pass(one) on that part of the road nearest the wall (this, when there were no sidewalks, was to take the safest and best position, usually yielded to the superior in rank); hence, to get the better of in any way. Cent. Dict.
W. B. Walter Burre. The publisher.
Enter PROLOGVE. In the old-time theatre, the speaker of the prologue entered immediately after the third sounding of a trumpet, which was blown as an announcement that the play was about to begin, and that the audience, always noisy enough before the performance and during intermissions, should compose itself. The speaker was usually clothed in a black velvet gown, and crowned with a garland of bays.
Cf. Weber's stage-direction in the variants. This stage direction,' says Weber, 'as well as that respecting the citizen and his wife, has been added, being evidently indicated by the context.'
It was a custom for gallants and fine gentlemen to occupy seats on the stage during a theatrical performance. The insolence and haughty bearing of these spectators toward the 'groundlings' and toward the actors became an object of much ridicule in old plays and pamphlets. Dekker's satirical tract, The Gull's Hornbook, has a chapter on 'How a Gallant should behave himself in a Playhouse. The manner of entering the theatre is thus described: Whether therefore the gatherers of the publique or priuate Play-house stand to receive the afternoons rent, let your Gallant (hauing paid it) presently advance himself up to the Throne of the Stage. I meane not into the Lords roome (which is now but the Stages Suburbes). ... But on the very Rushes where the Comedy is to daunce, yea, and under the state of Cambises himselfe must our fethered Estridge, like a piece of Ordnance, be planted valiantly (because impudently) beating down the opposed rascality.' Dekker says to his imagined hero: ‘Present not yourselfe on the Stage (especially at a new play) until the quaking prologue hath (by rubbing) got culor into his cheekes, and is ready to giue the trumpets their cue, that hees upon point to enter : ... for if you
should bestow you person upon the vulgar, when the belly of the house is but half full, you apparell is quite eaten up, the fasion lost, and the proportion of your body in more danger to be devoured then if it were served up in the Counter amongst the Powltry : avoid that as you would the Bastome.'
The affectations of the dandies at the theatre are satirized in The Woman Hater 1. 3: Or, if I can find any company, I'll after dinner to the stage to see a play ; where, when I first enter, you shall have a murmur in the house ; every one that does not know, cries, “What nobleman is that," all the gallants on the stage rise, vail to me, kiss their hand, offer me their places; then I pick out some one whom I please to grace among the rest, take his seat, use it, throw my cloak over my face, and laugh at him; the poor gentleman imagines himselfe most highly graced, thinks all the auditors esteem him one of my bosom friends, and in right