图书图片
PDF

OF SHAKSPEARES PLAYS. 175

Platonicus , who , if Macbeth had then appeared on the Rage, would probably have mentioned some-1 thing of it. It should be likewise remembered, that there subfisled at that time, aspirit of opposition and rivalship between the regular players and the academicks of the-two univerfi-ties; the latter of whom frequently acfted plays both in Latin and English , and seem to have piqued themselves on the superiority of their exhibitions to those of the eslablilhed theatresf VViihing probably to rnanifell; this superiority to the royal pedant , it is not likely that they would choose fora collegiate interlude, (if this little persormanceldeserves that name,) a subject whichlhadlalready appeared on the publick Rage; with all the embellishments that the magick hand of Shakspeare could bellow. X

In the following july (16o6) the king of Denmark came to England on a vifit to his fillet, Queen Anne, and on the third of Augufi: was infialled 8. knight of the garter. " There is nothing to be heard at court," (says Drummond of Hawthornden in a letter dated that day,) 'F but sounding of trumpets, hautboys, mufick, revellings; and cornedies." Perhaps during this visit Macbcth. was firll; cxhibited. ,

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

I

176 CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER

This tragedy contains an allusxon to the union of the threse kingdoms of England, Scotland, and lreland, under one sovereign, and also to the cure of the king's-evil by. the royal touch. 3 A ritual for the healing of that difiemper was esiablished early in this reign; but in what year -that pretended power was assumed by Kingjames I. is uncertain.

Matbeth was not entered in the Stationers' books, nor printed, till 1623. p V

In The Tragedy of Cxsar and Pompey, or Ca:sar's Rcvengc, are these lines: '

[ocr errors]

If the author of that play, which was published in 16o7, should be thought to have had Macbeth's soliloquy in view , (which is not unlikely,) this circumslance may add some degree of probability to the supposition that this tragedy had appeared before that year :

[ocr errors][graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

- OF SHAKSPEAREFS PLAYS.. 177

Ben jonson, a few years afterwards ,4paid'his court to his majesty by his Masquc of Queens , 4 pre-' sented at Whitehall , Feb. 12, 16og;. in which he has given a minute detail 'of all the magick rites that are recorded by King James in his book of Damonologie, or by any other author ancient or modern. T

Mr. Steevens has lately discovered a MS. play, entitled' THE WITCH, written by Thomas Middleton, ' which renders it questionable, whether Shak

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

1 7 s CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER

fpeare wztslnot indebted to that author for the first hint ofthe magick introduced in this tragedy. The reader will find 'an account of this singular Curiosity in the note. 6-To the observations of Mr. Stee

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

vens I have only to add, that the songs, beginning,

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

' " What newes, what newes I' -
All goes still to our delight; -
" Either come, or els above.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
« 上一页继续 »