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dramatists were imitated by the Romans, who first happens that the shepherd who especially plays the came into free contact with Greek literature after clown's part, is represented as a noted sheepstealer, the taking of Tarentum in the year 272 B.C. The who steals a sheep. This act has consequences; first Latin play was produced by Livius Andronicus there is a rustic problem of life to be solved, and in the year before Christ 240. Plays were written a sequence of incidents that, however ridiculous, also by his contemporary, Cneius Nævius, the first contain the elements of a dramatic plot. We have Roman poet of mark, a poet from whom Virgil did only to break off before the angels' song falls on the not disdain to borrow. A year after the production shepherds' ears, and we may say that we have here of the first Roman play, Ennius was born, who wrote the first English play. A few words will suffice to at least twenty-five tragedies—based upon Greek recall the times of the early Miracle Plays with which example—of which only fragments remain. He died it was connected. The first record of an acted in the year 169 B.C., outliving the great comic poet Miracle Play in this country is by Matthew Paris, Plautus, who died in the year before Christ 184, and who accidentally speaks of a play of St. Catherine of whom twenty comedies are extant. The comedies that was to be acted at Dunstable in 1119, that is to of Plautus, with those of Terence, who was about say, in the reign of Henry I. The plays of Abelard's nine years old when Plautus died, and the tragedies pupil, the Englishman Hilarius, of which an example of the Roman philosopher Seneca, who died by com- was given among illustrations of English Religion in mand of Nero A.D. 65, represented the old Latin this Library, were produced in France at the end of dramatic literature to mediæval scholars who knew the reign of Stephen, or the beginning of the reign little of Greek; and thus Plautus and Terence for of Henry II. In the reign of Henry III., and in comedy, Seneca for tragedy, represented to most the year 1233, the parish clerks were formed into a scholars the old classical drama down even to Shake- harmonic guild, which afterwards took much part in speare's time. Out of the study and imitation of

the acting of Miracle Plays; and near the close of these plays in schools and universities the modern the same reign (A.D. 1264) Pope Urban IV. founded drama most distinctly rose. It would so have arisen the festival of Corpus Christi, which festival is if there had never been any Miracle Plays. It did not supposed afterwards to have given occasion for the in any way arise out of the Miracle Plays. Miracle development of Scripture story by trade guilds, Plays did not pass into Morality Plays, nor did Morality Plays afterwards pass into true dramas. Miracle Plays are one thing; Moralities are another thing : each form of writing has its own distinct beginning, aim, and end. They are two different forms of literature, one arising out of the church services, the other an offshoot from the allegorical didactic poem. When the two forms of literature were both used, they were occasionally mixed, but there never was a time at which one changed into the other. Like the drama proper, they turn to account the instinct for imitation that has, in a sense, made actors of all children born into the world, and thus they may claim cousinship with our drama that had its beginning in the sixteenth century; they are its cousins, not its parents. Miracle Plays have been described, and examples of them have been given, in the volume of this Library which illustrates English Religion. In the account there given of the Shepherd's Play, which forined an interlude between the Old Testament and New Testament section of each series, it was said that the series acted at Wakefield --known as the Towneley Mysteries, becanse they were first printed from a MS. in Towneley Hallincluded two such interludes, either of which might be taken ; and that as one of them happens to develop a short farcical story, which accidentally fulfils the requisite conditions, it so becomes our earliest known piece of acted drama. The other pieces of this kind represent only jest and sport of the shepherds, until they hear the song of the angels, “Glory

THE NAVE, CHESTER CATHEDRAL. (From Ormerod's "History of to God in the Highest, and on earth peace, goodwill

Chester,'') towarıls men," when they first mock, then are subdued, follow the angels to kneel before the infant Christ in among the laity, through long sequences of dramatic

action. the manger, present their simple offerings, and rise

In 1311, in the reign of Edward II., the into a higher life. But in this North-Country jest, it festival of Corpus Christi was firmly established by

Pope Clement V. i nilastrit. 1 English Religion. p. 65.

It was probably in 1397 or 1328, at the beginning

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of the reign of Edward III., that the first sequence of North-Country dialect, which external tradition and Miracle Plays acted not as aforetime in Latin, but in internal evidence show to have been acted in or near English, was produced at Chester. Ralph Higden, a the town of Wakefield. The plays or pageants monk of the great Abbey of St. Werburgh, to which were shown upon stages mounted upon wheels, so the city of Chester then seemed in the eyes of its that when acted in one part of the town they could inmates but a suburb, obtained leave from the Pope be rolled off to another. Thus a spectator seated in to tell to the English people in this manner, through one place on three successive days, would see pageant their mother tongue, the chief events upon which after pageant, showing to him in chronological order Christian faith is founded. The great abbey is gone, scenes from Scripture that involved the vital facts except its church, which is now the cathedral church

of his religion. Minute details of expenditure in of Chester. But within the abbey the twenty-five old books of the guilds of Coventry enabled a local

. pieces were written, to be acted by the trade guilds antiquary, Mr. Thomas Sharp, to explain very fully of the town, beginning with the Fall of Lucifer, the method of their representation, in a Dissertation presented by the tanners, and ending with the on the Coventry Mysteries published by private websters' play of Doomsday. The acting began subscription in 1825, and the frontispiece to his work always with the first play, before the Abbey gate was an attempt to realise the form of one of these that still remains in Northgate Street.

old street pageants. Each stage was fitted carefully Two other long sequences of Mysteries remain to for the scene to be acted upon it. For the second us: one of forty-two pieces, beginning with the Shepherd's Play in the Wakefield series, there would Creation and ending with Doomsday, said to have be a part of the scaffolding divided from the rest been written for the guilds of Coventry, which cer- by a partition with a door in it to represent Mak’s tainly did—as their old account-books show-pay house; the rest being regarded as the country in much attention to the telling of the Bible-story in which there were "shepherds abiding in the field, The other is a set of thirty-two plays in keeping watch over their flock by night.

this way

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SHEPHERD'S PLAY.

From the Wakefield Mysteries.
Primus Pastor.' Lord, what these weathers are cold

and I am ill happid ;3
I am near hand dold," so long have I nappid :
"Primus Pastor, Secundus Pastor, First Shepherd, Second Shepherd.

• Weathers (weders), stormy winds. “Wedyr, idem quod storm." ("Promptorium Parvulorum.")

• Happid, clothed, wrapped up. Icelandic “hjúpr,” a doublet, allied, says Cleashy, to German "joppe” and French "jupe.” Icelandic “hypja," to huddle the clothes on. In the Paston Letters, John Paston writes to his wife, in September, 1465, for "ij clue of Worsted for dobletts, to happe me thys colde wynter.” (“Paston Letters." edited by James Gairdner, vol. ii., p. 235.)

• Dold, stupefied. Of the same origin as dolt and as dull, in which,

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dramatists were imitated by the Romans, who first happens that the shepherd who especially plays the came into free contact with Greek literature after clown's part, is represented as a noted sheepstealer, the taking of Tarentum in the year 272 B.C. The who steals a sheep. This act has consequences ; first Latin play was produced by Livius Andronicus there is a rustic problem of life to be solved, and in the year before Christ 240. Plays were written a sequence of incidents that, however ridiculous, also by his contemporary, Cneius Nævius, the first contain the elements of a dramatic plot. We have Roman poet of mark, a poet from whom Virgil did only to break off before the angels' song falls on the not disdain to borrow. A year after the production shepherds' ears, and we may say that we have here of the first Roman play, Ennius was born, who wrote the first English play. A few words will suffice to at least twenty-five tragedies—based upon Greek recall the times of the early Miracle Plays with which example-of which only fragments remain. He died it was connected. The first record of an acted in the year 169 B.C., outliving the great comic poet Miracle Play in this country is by Matthew Paris, Plautus, who died in the year before Christ 184, and who accidentally speaks of a play of St. Catherine of whom twenty comedies are extant. The comedies that was to be acted at Dunstable in 1119, that is to of Plautus, with those of Terence, who was about say, in the reign of Henry I. The plays of Abelard's nine years old when Plautus died, and the tragedies pupil, the Englishman Hilarius, of which an example of the Roman philosopher Seneca, who died by com- was given among illustrations of English Religion in mand of Nero A.D. 65, represented the old Latin this Library, were produced in France at the end of dramatic literature to mediæval scholars who knew the reign of Stephen, or the beginning of the reign little of Greek; and thus Plautus and Terence for of Henry II. In the reign of Henry III., and in comedy, Seneca for tragedy, represented to most the year 1233, the parish clerks were formed into a scholars the old classical drama down even to Shake- harmonic guild, which afterwards took much part in speare's time. Out of the study and imitation of the acting of Miracle Plays; and near the close of these plays in schools and universities the modern the same reign (A.D. 1264) Pope Urban IV. founded drama most distinctly rose. It would so have arisen the festival of Corpus Christi, which festival is if there had never been any Miracle Plays. It did not supposed afterwards to have given occasion for the in any way arise out of the Miracle Plays. Miracle development of Scripture story by trade guilds, Plays did not pass into Morality Plays, nor did Morality Plays afterwards pass into true dramas. Miracle Plays are one thing ; Moralities are another thing : each form of writing has its own distinct beginning, aim, and end. They are two different forms of literature, one arising out of the church services, the other an offshoot from the allegorical didactic poem. When the two forms of literature were both used, they were occasionally mixed, but there never was a time at which one changed into the other. Like the drama proper, they turn to account the instinct for imitation that has, in a sense, made actors of all children born into the world, and thus they may claim cousinship with our drama that had its beginning in the sixteenth century; they are its cousins, not its parents. Miracle Plays have been described, and examples of them have been given, in the volume of this Library which illustrates English Religion. In the account there given' of the Shepherd's Play, which formed an interlude between the Old Testament and New Testament section of each series, it was said that the series acted at Wakefield --known as the Towneley Mysteries, because they were first printed from a MS. in Towneley Hallincluded two such interludes, either of which might be taken; and that as one of them happens to develop a short farcical story, which accidentally fulfils the requisite conditions, it so becomes our earliest known piece of acted drama. The other pieces of this kind represent only jest and sport of the shepherds, until they hear the song of the angels, "Glory

THE NAVE, CHESTER CATHEDRAL. (From Ormerod's "History of to God in the Highest, and on earth peace, goodwill

Chester.") towards men,” when they first mock, then are subdued, follow the angels to kneel before the infant Christ in among the laity, through long sequences of dramatic the manger, present their simple offerings, and rise

action. In 1311, in the reign of Edward II., the into a higher life. But in this North-Country jest, it festival of Corpus Christi was firmly established by

Pope Clement V. | Hlustrations of English Religion, p. 65.

İt was probably in 1327 or 1328, at the beginning

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of the reign of Edward III., that the first sequence of North-Country dialect, which external tradition and Miracle Plays acted not as aforetime in Latin, but in internal evidence show to have been acted in or near English, was produced at Chester. Ralph Higden, a the town of Wakefield. The plays or pageants monk of the great Abbey of St. Werburgh, to which were shown upon stages mounted upon wheels, so the city of Chester then seemed in the eyes of its that when acted in one part of the town they could inmates but a suburb, obtained leave from the Pope be rolled off to another. Thus a spectator seated in to tell to the English people in this manner, through one place on three successive days, would see pageant their mother tongue, the chief events upon which after pageant, showing to him in chronological order Christian faith is founded. The great abbey is gone, scenes from Scripture that involved the vital facts except its church, which is now the cathedral church of his religion. Minute details of expenditure in of Chester. But within the abbey the twenty-five old books of the guilds of Coventry enabled a local pieces were written, to be acted by the trade guilds antiquary, Mr. Thomas Sharp, to explain very fully of the town, beginning with the Fall of Lucifer, the method of their representation, in a Dissertation presented by the tanners, and ending with the on the Coventry Mysteries published by private websters' play of Doomsday. The acting began subscription in 1825, and the frontispiece to his work always with the first play, before the Abbey gate was an attempt to realise the form of one of these that still remains in Northgate Street.

old street pageants. Each stage was fitted carefully Two other long sequences of Mysteries remain to for the scene to be acted upon it. For the second us: one of forty-two pieces, beginning with the Shepherd's Play in the Wakefield series, there would Creation and ending with Doomsday, said to have be a part of the scaffolding divided from the rest been written for the guilds of Coventry, which cer- by a partition with a door in it to represent Mak’s tainly did—as their old account-books show-pay house; the rest being regarded as the country in much attention to the telling of the Bible-story in which there were “shepherds abiding in the field, this way The other is a set of thirty-two plays in keeping watch over their flock by night.”

[graphic][subsumed][merged small]

SHEPHERD'S PLAY.

From the Wakefield Mysteries.
Primus Pastor.' Lord, what these weathers? are cold

and I am ill happid ;3
I am near hand dold,4 so long have I nappid :
Pran Pastor, Secundus Pastor, First Shepherd, Second Shepherd.
Feathers (Weders), stormy winds. “Wedyr, idem quod storm.”
po Promptoritm Parvulorum.")

• Happis, clothed, wrapped up. Icelandic "hjúpr,” a doublet, slied, wys Cleasby, to German "joppe" and French "jupe." Lelante “hypja,” to huddle the clothes on. In the Paston Letters, doen Pastor writes to his wife, in September, 1465, for “ij clue of bosted for dobletts, to happe me thys colde wynter.” (“Paston Letters." edited by James Gairdner, vol. ii., p. 235.)

• Dull, stupefied. Of the same origin as dolt and as dull, in which,

My legs they fold, my fingers are chappid,
It is not as I would, for I am all lappid

In sorrow.
In storms and tempést,
Now in the east, now in the west,
Woe is him has ne'er rest

Mid day nor morrow.5
But we silly 6 shepherds, that walksi on the moor,

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as Mr. Hensleigh Wedgwood says, "the radical idea is a stoppage of
the faculties or powers proper to the subject."
5 Morrow, morning.

6 Silly (sely), simple, innocent.
7 Walks. The piece, being in Northern English, contains many
examples of the Northern plural in 8. In the old English dialects.
a plural in s was characteristic of the Northern, a plural in en of
the Midland, a plural in eth of the Southern.

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