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“ Come, gentlemen, who's for punch ?' said D'Urfey, as the landlord placed a noble bowl on the table ; " what say you, Mister President, shall I do the honours ? for you gentlemen there seem to be in the wine way. Come, Sir William, we are waiting for your toast ; are you all filled,
their devotion to the cause of his royal father, almost all of them, who were not past the vigour of life, having served in the royal army. Indeed it is recorded to the honour of the stage, that only one actor was known not to have interested himself in the cause of the king. His name was Swanston, and he seceded from religious motives.
The first formidable attack against stage-players, was made by Prynne, in 1633, from which period the interests of the drama began to decline, and continued from bad to worse, until a short time previous to the Restoration.
Rhodes, who had been wardrobe keeper to the company at Black-friars, and by trade a bookseller, as soon as the city of London and Monk's army were friends, ventured to fit up the Cock-pit, the old theatre in Drury Lane, for the exhibition of plays; Betterton and Kynaston had been his apprentices.
Many actors had been killed, or disabled, in the recent civil wars. Some had died, and others were grown old: hence it was difficult to muster a new
gentlemen." “ All, all." “Then," said the president, rising from his seat, and all following, “ here is his Majesty King Charles the Second, and may his reign be more prosperous than that of his royal father's, of blessed memory.”
company. It was Rhodes's performers which recruited the corps, mustered under the banner of Sir William Davenant. Killegrew's company was established afterwards.
In 1648, a short time after the beheading of the king, ordinances were issued from the parliament, prohibiting all future dramatic exhibitions. Stages, benches, seats, and galleries were then ordered to be pulled down and demolished; and all players, though calling themselves (as heretofore licenced) the king's or queen's servants, were to be punished as rogues and vagabonds; and the money received from the audience at the doors, was to be given to the poor of the parish, and every spectator was to pay a fine of five shillings, also, for the use of the poor.
Shortly after this proclamation, a company exhibiting The Bloody Brothers-Lowin, Tayler, Pollard, Burt, and Hart, the best performers of the time, and others, were surprised by a party of soldiers, in the midst of the piece, and, habited in the stage costume, were taken before the magistrates at Hatton-house,
" Amen,” said Ingoldsby, Hip, hip, hipHuzza, huzza, huzza-a-a." At this instant, there was heard a magnificent flourish of trum
where they were stripped of their finery, and let loose half-naked.
The distress which ensued among the followers of this profession must necessarily have put them to their wits end to procure a living.
The war ended, many betook themselves to other occupations. Pollard had saved money, and died just before the Restoration at a great age. Lowin kept an Inn, the Three Pigeons, at Brentford. Taylor opened a little shop at Richmond. Perkins and Sumner, two other stage worthies, were partners in some concern at Clerkenwell ; all of whom died shortly after each other, and at a very advanced age.
In 1684, the two companies, Davenant's and Killegrew's, became united, from whence “the patent for Davenant's theatre descended as regularly," says Dibdin, “as a personal estate ; having been bequeathed to Dr. Charles Davenant, by him assigned to his brother Alexander, who sold his interest to Christopher Rich, a lawyer; from him it came to his son, who left it to his four daughters, of whom it was purchased by Colman and his friends, and with this patent and this interest it seems descended also the dormant patent of Killegrew.”
pets, which startled the party, but much more the guests in the other apartments of the tavern. This was schemed by old Caleb, who had prepared the trumpeters to blow a blast, when they heard the party huzza, and which they attended to under the word of command from their new serjeant trumpeter, Mister Mordecai. No sooner was this explained to the various guests, than every party were heard in succession huzzaing to the health of the sovereign: the house was one entire scene of feasting, hilarity, and loyalty.
“ I long to have a peep at our sovereign," said Sandford,
66 what an immense concourse will be out to-morrow: the sight will be seen through rivers of tears," wiping one from his own eye, under cover of using his handkerchief for his nose.
“ Yes, Sir,” said Ingoldsby, “ it will be an affecting spectacle.”
“ Particularly,” said D'Urfey, who could not endure a grave thought, and perceiving the subject taking a serious complexion ; when turning to Sandford, who broached it, “ particularly my old Saracen, if you should thrust your stage phiz in front of the balcony."
There would be a cry of treason and murder," added Nokes, “ and mine host would be presented again.” This was uttered so gravely, that Sandford laughed, and so did all the jovial party, and mirth was suddenly restored again.
“ That was well-timed, Tom," said Mohun, “6. Put on your boldest suit of mirth, for we have friends that purpose merriment.'
“ Come, Tom, cannot you muster a song on the occasion, or are you too far gone?” said Leigh.
66 What shall it be, of love or murder ?” enquired D'Urfey.
" Come try your ready money muse, Tom,” replied Sedley,
< let us have an impromptu." “ Here goes then, but first let us try the punch," said Tom, “ I never can taste the first glass. Come, gentlemen, fall in, fall in," collecting their glasses, and filling them bumpers. “ Here's, Forget and forgive, and better times to us.
“ Come old Captain Scaramouche,
the fire amain,
Refusing to club for his grog.