The Play-Collector's Manual

William Carew Hazlitt, A Manual for the Collector and Amateur of Old English Plays. London: Pickering & Chatto. (1892)


Play References

Abdelazar
Behn
p. 1

Abdelazar; or, the Moor’s Revenge: Tragedy by Mrs. Aphra, or Afra, Behn. Acted at the Duke of York’s theatre, in 1671. 4to. 1677.

This play is an alteration of Lust’s Dominion, or the Lascivious Queen, or the Spanish Man’s Tragedy. From it Young took the hint of his tragedy of the Revenge; the death of a father, and loss of a crown, being the prime motives of resentment equally in Abdelazar and Zanga. A similar reluctance appears in both at the descending to acts of villainy for the gratification of it, and both alike declare the sum of their crimes at the completion of their revenge. Genest observes that “Mrs. Behn has made some considerable changes in the fifth act, and improved the whole play. Abdelazar is a striking character; the outlines of Zanga are evidently borrowed from it; but the two parts differ in this, Zanga has one object only in view, revenge; whereas Abdelazar is instigated not only by the desire of revenge, but also by jealousy, ambition, and love. The part of Zanga is admirably written, and uniformly supported throughout; but after all Abdelazar is the more spirited character of the two; we detest him, but cannot despise him; and must feel some sort of respect for his courage: he does not descend to the low arts that Zanga does. Abdelazar’s avowal of his guilt in the last scene is an addition by Mrs. Behn.”

Abraham
Anonymous
p. 1

Abraham: An early mystery, edited from the MS. in Trinity College, Dublin, by J.P. Collier, 1836.

Abraham and Lot
Anonymous
p. 1

Abraham and Lot: A Scriptural drama thus noticed in Henslowe’s Diary,: “received at Abrame and Lotte, the 9 of Jenewary, 1593, lij.s.”

Abraham's Sacrifice
Golding
p. 1

Abraham’s Sacrifice: A tragedy of Abraham’s Sacrifice, written in French by Theodore Beza, and translated into English by Arthur Golding; finished at Paul’s Beauchamp, in Essex, the 11th day of August, 1575. With woodcuts. 8vo, 1577.

It is a very faithful translation from Beza.

Absalom
Bale
p. 1

Absalon: A drama by John Bale. No longer known.

Absalom
Anonymous
p. 1

Absalon: A Scriptural drama alluded to in Henslowe’s Diary, ed. Collier, p. 241,—“paid for poleyes and workmanshipp for to hange Absolome, xiiij. d.”

Abuses
Anonymous
p. 2

Abuses. Containing both a Comedy and a Tragedy performed July 30th, 1606, before the Kings of Great Britain and Denmark by the Children of Paul’s, to their Majesties’ satisfaction.

This seems to have been under the management of J. Hemyngs, and to have been one of the three plays which he was employed to present at Greenwich and Hampton Court.

The Academie
Barnes
p. 2

The Academy: or, the Cambridge Dons: A comedy by Joshua Barnes. MS. in the library of Emmanuel College, Cambridge.

It appears to have been written about the year 1675; and from circumstances referred to, it may be conjectured to have been acted somewhere in the university.

Achademios
Skelton
p. 2

Achademios: A comedy by Skelton, no copy of which is now known to exist. It is mentioned in the Garland of Laurel,—“his commedy, Achademios callyd by name.”

Achilles
Boyer
p. 2

Achilles; or, Iphigenia in Aulis: Tragedy by Abel Boyer. Acted at Drury Lane. 4to., 1700.

This is a translation from the Iphigenia of Racine. It was acted in December, 1699, without auy success.

On the appearance of the Victim, by Charles Johnson, in 1714, Boyer republished this play, under the title of the Victim, or Achilles and Iphigenia in Aulis, 12mo.; and in the preface to it says that it passed the correction and approbation of Dryden.

Acolastus
Palsgrave
p. 2

Acolastus: A translation or ecphrasis by John Palsgrave, for the use of children, of a Latin play of the same name, written by Fullonius, on the story of the Prodigal Son, and originally performed at the Hague in 1529. 4to, 1540.

The dedication to Henry VIII. is reprinted entire in Hazlitt’s Book of Prefaces, 1874, pp. 1-12.

Actaeon and Diana
Cox
p. 2

Actæon and Diana: With a Pastoral Story of the nymph Œnone, followed by the several conceited humours of Bumpkin the huntsman, Hobbinal the shepherd, Singing Simkin, and John Swabber the seaman. 4to, no date, and 1656.

The story is taken from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. In the edition of 1656 it is said to have been acted with great applause at the Red Bull. In this edition is the addition of Simpleton the Smith, not before extant. The piece was afterwards published in the Wits, or Sport upon Sport, 1672, and in Chetwood's Collection, 1750.

Adrasta
Jones
p. 3

Adrasta: Or, The Woman’s Spleen And Love’s Conquest: A tragicomedy. Never acted. By John Jones. 4to, 1635.

The intrigue in the third act is taken from Boccaccio, Day 8, Novel 8. It has very little merit, and was refused by the actors. It is dedicated to Eugenius, by which name he desires to comprehend all his friends, subscribing himself Musophilus.

The Beauty and Good Properties of Women
Anonymous
p. 24

Beauty of Women: A new comedy in English in manner of an interlude right elegant and full of craft of rhetoric, wherein is showed and described as well the beauty and good properties of women, as their vices and evil conditions, with a moral conclusion and exhortation to virtue. Folio.

This interlude on the story of Calisto and Meliboea was printed about the year 1530; it was licensed to William Aspley, October 5, 1598. See Celestina. Reprinted from Rastell’s edition in Hazlitt’s Dodsley. The production is quoted in A Second and Third Blast of Retreat from Plaies and Theatres, 1580.

Hazlitt conflates these plays. Given the perennial popularity of the source material, and the large gaps in time, there seems to be little reason to do so.

Charles Duke of Byron Part 1
Chapman
pp. 29, 32, 48

Bourbonne [Bourbon]: A play under this title is mentioned by Henslowe as amongst the stock of the Rose Theatre in 1598. Henslowe also mentions it with the title of Burbon, as having been acted at the Rose, on November 2, 1597. It may have been some dramatization, no longer known, of the stirring struggle in France, in which Henry IV., of Bourbon, was the chief actor.

Byron: See Conspiracy.

The Conspiracy and Tragedy of Charles Duke of Byron, Marshal of France. Acted lately in two plays at the Black Friars. Written by George Chapman. 4to, 1608, 1625.

These pieces are both founded on history; and their plots may be seen in Mezeray, D’Avila, and other historians on the reign of Henry IV. of France. Dedicated “to my honorable and constant friend, Sir Thomas Walsingham, Knight, and to my much-loved from his birth, the right toward and worthy gentleman, his son, Thomas Walsingham esquire.” Entered on the Stationers’ Registers, June 5, 1608. These plays, as originally written, were objected to by the French Ambassador, and certain incidents were consequently omitted.

Henry Oxinden, of Barham, inserts, probably in error, in his MS. Commonplace Book, 1647, “Byron’s Conspiracy,” 1594. Under the name of Byron, Burone, etc., it occurs in Henslowe’s Diary under 1602, the probable date of its composition.

Pompey
Anonymous
p. 33

Caesar and Pompey: A play mentioned by Gosson in his School of Abuse, 1579. It is doubtless the “Story of Pompey” performed at Court by the Children of Paul’s, January 6, 1581.

Following Halliwell (1860), Hazlitt mistakenly identifies Gosson’s reference as coming from 1679’s School of Abuse rather than the correct pamphlet, 1682’s Playes Confuted.

Caesar and Pompey Part One
Anonymous
p. 33

Caesar and Pompey: A play, in two parts, acted at the Rose Theatre in 1594-5.

Caesar and Pompey Part Two
Anonymous
p. 33

Caesar and Pompey: A play, in two parts, acted at the Rose Theatre in 1594-5.

Caesar and Pompey
Anonymous
p. 33

Caesar and Pompey: The Tragedy of Caesar and Pompey, or Caesar's Revenge. Acted by the students of Trinity College, in Oxford. 4to, n.d., 1607.

In the edition without a date, there is no mention of it having been acted by the students of Trinity College.

The Wars of Pompey and Caesar
Chapman
pp. 33, 249

Caesar and Pompey: A Roman Tragedy, declaring their wars, out of whose events is evicted this proposition, only a just man is a free man. By Geo. Chapman. 4to, 1631, 1653.

The plot of this play is taken from the Roman history. Scene, Rome and Pharsalia. In some of the copies of 1631 the title-page runs thus: “The Wars of Pompey and Caesar. Out of whose events,” etc.

The Wars of Pompey and Caesar: See Caesar and Pompey.

Calistus
Anonymous
p. 34

Beauty of Women: A new comedy in English in manner of an interlude right elegant and full of craft of rhetoric, wherein is showed and described as well the beauty and good properties of women, as their vices and evil conditions, with a moral conclusion and exhortation to virtue. Folio.

This interlude on the story of Calisto and Meliboea was printed about the year 1530; it was licensed to William Aspley, October 5, 1598. See Celestina. Reprinted from Rastell’s edition in Hazlitt’s Dodsley. The production is quoted in A Second and Third Blast of Retreat from Plaies and Theatres, 1580.

Hazlitt considers the 1580 and 1598 sources to refer to the 1530 interlude, rather than to independent plays on the same popular subject.

Celestina
Anonymous
p. 37

Celestina: The Tragi-Comedy of Celestina, wherein are discoursed in most pleasant style many philosophical sentences and advertisements, very necessary for young gentlemen, and discovering the sleights of treacherous servants, and the subtle carriages of filthy bawdes. Entered at Stationers’ Hall, October 5, 1598, by William Aspley.

Compare Beauty of Women.

Claracilla
Killigrew
p. 43

Claracilla: A tragi-comedy by Thomas Killigrew, acted at the Phoenix in Drury Lane. 12mo, 1641; fol., 1664. It was performed at the King's House after the Restoration.

Pallantus and Eudora
Killigrew
pp. 47-48, 173

The Conspiracy: A tragedy by Henry Killigrew. 4to, 1638; fol., 1653. Scene, Crete.

This piece was intended for the entertainment of the King and Queen at York House, on occasion of the nuptials of Lord Charles Herbert with Lady Mary Villiers, and was afterwards acted on the Black Friars stage. It was written at seventeen years of age, and the commendation bestowed on it by Ben Jonson and Lord Falkland created the author some envy among his contemporaries.

The edition of 1638 was a surreptitious one, published while Killigrew was abroad, and without his consent or knowledge; and he was so much ashamed of it that, to prevent it being known as the same piece, he altered the name to Pallantus and Eudora, on republishing it in 1653.

Pallantus and Eudora: See Conspiracy.

Cornelia
Kyd
pp. 50, 182

Cornelia: A tragedy, by Thomas Kyd. 4to, 1594; reissued, 410, 1595, as Pompey the Great his Faire Cornelia's Tragedy, effected by her Father and Husband's Downcast, Death, and Fortune.

This is a translation from Robert Garnier, who distinguished himself as a poet during the reigns of Charles IX., Henry III., and Henry IV., and died at Mans in 1602, in the fifty-sixth year of his age. The translation is in blank verse, with only now and then a couplet, by the way of closing a paragraph or long sentence, and choruses which are written in various measures of verse, and are very long and sententious. In Hazlitt's Dodsley.

Pompey His Fair Cornelia’s Tragedy: See Cornelia.

Cornelia
Bartley
p. 50

Cornelia. A play by Sir W. Bartley, acted in Gibbon's Tennis Court, Vere Street, Clare Market, June 1st, 1662. Not printed.

Haliblude
Anonymous
p. 100

Haliblude: The mystery of the Haliblude, or Holy Blood, was performed at Aberdeen in 1445, as appears from an entry in the records of that city.

The Jew
Anonymous
p. 120

The Jew: A play, the subject of which was the “greediness of worldly chusers, and the bloody minds of usurers,” mentioned in Gosson's School of Abuse, 1579, as having been played at the Bull. Mr. Fleay thinks it was the same as the Three Ladies of London; but it was too early for Wilson.

John of Gaunt
Hathwaye, Rankins
pp. 47, 121

The Conquest of Spain: See John of Gaunt.

John of Gaunt: “The famous historye of John a Gaunte, sonne of Kinge Edwarde the third, with his conquest of Spayne, and marriage of his 2 daughters to the Kings of Castile and Portugale.” Licensed to Edward White in 1593.

See Herbert’s Ames, p. 1201. Not known in type. But in 1601 W. Rankins and R. Hathway received 43s. from Henslowe in part-payment of a play called The Conquest of Spain by John of Gaunt, which looks like a recension of the older piece, or, from the price paid, perhaps a new production on the subject.

The Love of King David and Fair Bethsabe
Peele
p. 140

Absalom: See David and Bathsheba.

The Love of King David and Fair Bethsabe: With the Tragedy of Absolon. As it hath been divers Times played on the Stage. Written by George Peele. 4to, 1599.

Hawkins observes that it abounds in luxuriant descriptions and fine imagery and that the author’s genius seems to have been kindled by reading the Prophets and the Song of Solomon. It is certainly a drama of considerable merit, and is of course included in Peele's Works.

There is no entry under the name David and Bathsheba; the second entry appearing under the letter “L.”

Mock Pompey
Anonymous
p. 159

Mock Pompey: This seems to have been a droll. It is mentioned as a rhyming farce, with Simpleton the Smith, in Notes and Observations on the Empress of Morocco, 1674, p. 23.

Pompey
Philips
p. 183

Pompey: A tragedy by Mrs. Catherine Philips. 4to, 1663.

This play, a translation from the Pompée of Corneille, was undertaken at the request of the Earl of Orrery, and published in obedience to the commands of the Countess of Cork, to whom, in consequence, it was dedicated by its fair author.

Pompey the Great
Godolphin, Sackville, Sedley, Waller
p. 183

Pompey the Great: A tragedy by Edmund Waller. 4to, 1664.

This is a translation of the same play as the foregoing [“the Pompée of Corneille”], and was acted by the Duke of York’s servants. Waller, who translated only one act, was assisted in it by the Earl of Dorset and Middlesex, Sir Charles Sedley, and Sydney Godolphin.

Ptolemy
Anonymous
p. 187

Ptolemy: A play mentioned by Gosson in the School of Abuse, 1579, and said to have been performed at the Bull. In the Revels’ Accounts, under 1583, there is the ensuing entry: “A Historie of Telomo, shewed before her Maiestie at Richmond on Shrovesundaie at night [Feb. 10, 1583], enacted by the Earl of Leicesters servauntes.”

Telomo
Anonymous
p. 187

Ptolemy: A play mentioned by Gosson in the School of Abuse, 1579, and said to have been performed at the Bull. In the Revels’ Accounts, under 1583, there is the ensuing entry: “A Historie of Telomo, shewed before her Maiestie at Richmond on Shrovesundaie at night [Feb. 10, 1583], enacted by the Earl of Leicesters servauntes.”

Telomo: See Ptolemy.

The Spanish Bawd
Mabbe
p. 215

The Spanish Bawd represented in Celestina: Or, the Tragi-Comedy of Calisto and Melibea: Wherein is contained, besides the Pleasantness and Sweetness of the Style, many philosophical Sentences and profitable Instructions necessary for the younger sort: Shewing the Deceits and Subtilties housed in teh Bosoms of false Servants and Coney-catching Bawds. Folio, 1631. Translated by Don Diego Psuedeser [James Mabbe]. The scene, Spain.

This play is the longest that was ever published, consisting of twenty-one acts. It was written originally in Spanish, by Fernanda de Roxas de la Puebla de Montalvan, whose name is discoverable by the beginning of every line in an acrostic or copy of verses prefixed to the work. Compare Beauty of Women.