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Looke butt arighte and longe butt for y' owne
Art. X. - The Marriage of Wit and Science, an Interlude,
by John Redford.
I sent for the first volume of “the Shakespeare Society's Papers” a song, by old John Heywood, with the same burden · as that in “Othello,"
“Sing all the green willow must be my garland.” In giving this line the printer committed an error, by reading “ will” for willow, the two last letters having perhaps accidentally dropped out in the press. Heywood's song was copied by me, many years ago, from a manuscript belonging to Mr. Bright, and since sold by auction, which also contains a dramatic relic of some curiosity and interest. It is there entitled a play of “The Marriage of Wit and Science,” and is doubtless the same production as that called in the historical drama of “Sir Thomas More,” (edited by the Rev. A. Dyce, and printed by the Shakespeare Society) p. 56, “The Marriage of Wit and Wisdom.” Mr. Dyce correctly states that no such piece as “ The Marriage of Wit and Wisdom" is extant; but it does not appear to have occurred to him that it was only a misnomer for “ The Marriage of Wit and Science,” which was printed not very long after Queen Elizabeth came to the throne.' We find that Mr. Bright's manuscript was at one time in the hands of Mr. Collier, who, in his “History of English Dramatic Poetry and the Stage,” ii., 342, makes several quotations from it; but he omits the dramatic relic, I am about to introduce to the notice of the members of the Shakespeare
Under the title of “A newe and pleasaunt Enterlude, entitled The Marriage of Witte and Science. Imprinted at London in Fletestret, neare unto Sainct Dunstans churche, by Thomas Marshe.” N. d. (but about 1570), 4to.
Society: it is in a different part of the volume, and possibly escaped his observation. It is a song there headed
“ The fyrst song in the Play of Science," and it evidently formed part of the early Moral play,
- The Marriage of Wit and Science," and was doubtless by the same author, John Redford, although his name is not at the end of it, as it stands at full length at the close of the drama.
-“ Thus endyth the play of Wyt and Science, made by Master Jhon Redford.” It must have been sung by the character called Honest Recreation, assisted by Comfort and Quickness, on reviving Wit, after he has been defeated and thrown into a swoon by Tediousness, and it runs as follows: the first two lines seem to indicate the cue, or precise place in the rhyming dialogue, where the song was to be introduced.
Gyce place, gyre place to Honest Recreation :
Gyve eare to what we syng and say;
“ After eare gyvyn, now gyve an eye :
Gyve an eye to Honest Recreation :
“ After an eye gyvyn, an hand gyve ye:
Gyve an hand to Honest Recreation :
Upon his feete, would God he were !
O Wyt! gyve place to Honest Recreation :
I should like very much to be informed, into whose hands Mr. Bright's manuscript, containing this song and many others, devolved at his sale.
August 7th, 1844.
ART. XI. - Thé Tragedy of “ Page of Plymouth,” by Ben
Jonson and Thomas Dekker.
On p. 155 of the last publication by the Shakespeare Society, “ Henslowe's Diary,” occurs the following entry :
“Lent unto Wm Borne, alles birde, the 10 of aguste 1599, to lend unto Bengemyne Johnsone, and thomas Dekkers, in earneste of ther booke they are writtinge, called pagge of plimothe, the some xxxxs."
Malone misread this memorandum, and others relating to the same play, as appears on comparing the original with his extracts in Shakspeare by Boswell, iii., 323, &c., and assigns Page of Plymouth (called by him Peg of Plymouth,” and
Pagge of Plim”) to Bird, Downton, and Jubey, the actors, when in truth it was a tragedy, the composition of no less distinguished dramatists than Ben Jonson and Thomas Dekker. It was founded upon an event of comparatively recent occurrence, and, in this respect, it resembled “the Yorkshire Tragedy,” imputed, perhaps correctly, to Shakespeare. I am not aware that the incidents forming "the Yorkshire Tragedy” were ever separately printed : we have the play, but not the story, out of which it arose. In the case of “ Page of Plymouth,” the play has been lost, but the story has come down to us; and as it serves to show the sort of subjects taken up and employed by great stage poets in the time of Shakespeare, I have transcribed it from a copy preserved in an ancient library with which I am acquainted, in order that it may be printed among “the Shakespeare Society's Papers," as a curious illustration of the history of our early drama.
The event happened in February, 1591, and it appears that Ben Jonson and Dekker had finished their tragedy in Sept., 1599, when the last payment of £6 was made to them. This