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Cat solo. This had the desired effect; for the other looked out of the window in a twinkling, and answered him with a cantata of the same sort. “Come along, my lad," (holla'd Shuter ;) “I want no better inforination than that thou art the man:-Mr. Foote stays for us; we cannot begin the Cat-Opera without you."
THE GERMAN BOURGOMASTER.
FORMERLY, in many of the Theatres of Paris, were to be seen workmen in the pit, with their aprons on, and women with their hair in curl papers, children at the breast, and poodle dogs.
A similar abuse existed at the Theatre in one of the towns of Germany. The better bred inhabitants complained to the Bourgomaster, who listened to their grievance, and issued the following order :-“ Desirous that this town should be distinguished from others by the delicacy and purity of its manners, my paternal solicitude is first directed to this Theatre, which is the source of a thousand disorders. For example, there are mothers, who seek amusement with so much avidity, that they take their children to the Theatre, rather than be deprived of that spectacle.
The same with dogs, whose affection for their masters makes them annoy the neighbours by their continual barking, on account of the absence of the owners, who, in order to obviate this inconvenience, take their quadrupeds to the play with them. What is the consequence? The insects which are hid in the coats of these animals, get to attack the legs of many of the community. Each person, feeling himself nipped by these subtle enemies of the human race, swears, and thereby incommodes his neighbour; who, receiving the point of the elbow of the malevolent, considers himself insulted ;. words arise, the actors are interrupted, and the audience become angry; who, in their ill-humour, often hiss a good piece and good actors, through the intruders who have crept into the house. The appearance of children at the breast is also a grave inconvenience; besides, that, in that age of innocence, they cannot be restrained from crying, and, perhaps, something worse, it is scandalous that they should be present at lessons of making love, and that they should hear, Chloe, I adore you :'
Daphne, I shall die if I am not yours :'--'Your mother is cruel because she would separate
us :' and other expressions of a like nature. Is it proper that a child, still at the breast, should suck in the poison distilled from these phrases, and learn already that its mother may be a cruel parent?-We order as follows :
“ It is hereby positively forbidden, in future, to carry, or lead, any children, or dogs, into the Theatre. And we do further politely beg, that the inhabitants of this town will, henceforth, leave their infants in their cradles, and their dogs in their kennels.”
CRIES OF LONDON.
In the comedy of “ The Three Ladies of London," 4to. London, 1584, there is the following poetical description of London Cries.
Enter Conscience, with broomes on her back, singing as
followeth :New broomes, green broomes, will you buy any?
Come, maydens, come quickly, let me take a peny.
But very well bound:
But smooth cut, and round.
To buy of my broomes :
Have you any old bootes, Or any old shoone :
Pouch ringes, or buskins, To cope for new brooms ?
If so you bave, maydens, Pray you, bring hither,
That you and I, friendly, May bargain together.
New broomes, green broomes, will you buy any? Come, maydens, come quickly, let me take a peny."
BEN JONSON, AND LORD CRAVEN.
Lord Craven admiring the plays of Jonson, and expressing a wish to be introduced to him, Ben, on hearing it, waited on his Lordship; but the porter, from the condition of his dress, refused him admittance, and some altercation ensued; which, upon his Lordship hearing, he looked out of the window, and asked who he was, and what he wanted. “ I am, (said he,) Ben Jonson, come to wait on your Lordship.” The peer, judging like his porter, exclaimed,“ What! you the author of “ The Silent woman ! you look as if you could not say bo ! to a goose.” My lord declared himself to be fully convinced, on the poet emphatically repeating the monosyllable bo!
In Beaumont and Fletcher's “ Humorous Lieutenant,” a play in which Antigonus and Demetrius are the heroes, and where, necessarily, the scene is laid many years before the Christian era, Demetrius is introduced discharging a pistol ; an anachronism so very ridiculous and inconsistent with the genius and learning of the two dramatic bards, that one commentator, fired with the true spirit of attachment to his authors, has ventured to assert, “ that the blunder was introduced on purpose to render the comedy still more burlesque !"
When the Theatres were silenced during the civil wars, Robert Cox, whose name does not appear in any of the lists of actors prefixed to the early editions of Shakspeare, Ben Jonson, and Beaumont and Fletcher, employed himself in composing drolls, or light pieces, in a great measure, similar to those which, in the early part of the last century, were acted at Bartholomew and Southwark Fairs, by regular companies of comedians. The most serious of these productions, which were afterwards collected in a volume, now