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and fortie poundes: and all fuch fome and fomes of money as they or anie of them fhall as aforefaid lend or deliver betwene the razeing of the faid frame and finishing thereof, and of all the rest of the faid works, fhall be reputed, accepted, taken and accoumpted in parte of the lafte payment aforefaid of the fame fome of fower hundred and fortie poundes; anie thinge above faid to the contrary notwithstandinge. In witness whereof the parties abovefaid to theis prefent indentures interchangeably have fett their handes and feales. Yeoven the daie and yeare first above-written."

AS the following article in Mr. Malone's Supplement, &c. 1780, is omitted in his present Hiftorical Account of the English Stage, it is here reprinted. The defcription of a most fingular species of dramatick entertainment, cannot well be confidered as an unnatural adjunct to the preceding mafs of theatrical information. STEEVENS.

"A tranfcript of a very curious paper now in my poffeffion, entitled, The Platt of the Secound Parte of the Seven Deadlie Sinns, ferves in fome measure to mark the various degrees of confequence of feveral of thefe [our ancient] performers.

The piece entitled The Seven Deadly Sins, in two parts, (of one of which the annexed paper contains the outlines,) was written by Tarleton the comedian. From the manner in which it is mentioned

2 See Four Letters and certain Sonnets, [by Gabriel Harvey]

1592, p. 29.

doubtlefs it will prove fome dainty devife, queintly contrived by way of humble fupplication to the high and mightie Prince of darkneffe; not dunfically botched up, but right formally conveyed, according to the ftile and tenour of Tarleton's prefident, his famous play of the Seaven Deadly Sinnes; which most dealy [f. deadly] but lively playe I might have feen in London, and was verie gently invited thereunto at Oxford by Tarleton himfelfe; of whom I merrily demaunding, which of the seaven was his own deadlie finne, he bluntly anfwered, after this manner; By G— the finne of other gentlemen, lechery." Tarleton's Repentance and his Farewell to his Frendes in his Sickness, a little before his death," was entered on the Stationers' books in October, 1589; so that the play of The Seven Deadly Sins must have been produced in or before that year.

The Seven Deadly Sins had been very early perfonified, and introduced by Dunbar, a Scottish writer, (who flourished about 1470) in a poem entitled The Daunce. In this piece they are described VOL. II. *K k

by Gabriel Harvey, his contemporary, it appears to have been a new and unexampled fpecies of dramatick exhibition. He exprefsly calls it a play. I think it probable, that it was firft produced foon after a violent attack had been made against the stage. Several invectives against plays were publifhed in the latter part of the reign of Queen Elizabeth. It feems to have been the purpofe of the author of this exhibition, to concenter in one performance the principal fubjects of the ferious drama, and to exhibit at one view thofe ufes to which it might be applied with advantage. That thefe Seven Deadly Sins, as they are here called, were esteemed the principal fubjects of tragedy, may appear from the following verfes of Heywood, who, in his Apology for Actors, introduces Melpomene thus fpeaking:

"Have I not whipt Vice with a fcourge of fteele,
"Unmaskt fterne Murther, fham'd lafcivious Luft,
"Pluckt off the vifar from grimme treafon's face,
"And made the funne point at their ugly finnes ?
"Hath not this powerful hand tam'd fiery Rage,
"Kill'd poyfonous Envy with her own keene darts,
"Choak'd up the covetous mouth with moulten gold,
"Burft the vaft wombe of eating Gluttony,

"And drown'd the drunkard's gall in juice of grapes?
"I have fhewd Pride his picture on a ftage,
"Layde ope the ugly fhapes his fteel-glaffe hid,
"And made him paffe thence meekely."

As a very full and fatisfactory account of the exhibition defcribed in this ancient fragment, by

as prefenting a mafk or mummery, with the newest gambols juft imported from France. In an anonymous poem called The Kalender of Shepherds, printed by Wynkyn de Worde, 1497, are alfo defcribed the Seven Vifions, or the punishments in hell of The Seven Deadly Sins. See Warton's Hiftory of English Poetry, Vol. If. P. 197, 272. MALONE.

Mr. Steevens, will be found in the following pages, it is unneceffary to add any thing upon the fubject.

What dramas were reprefented in the first part of the Seven Deadly Sins, we can now only conjecture, as probably the Plot of that piece is long fince deftroyed. The ill confequences of Rage, Ĭ fuppofe, were inculcated by the exhibition of Alexander, and the death of Clitus, on which subject, it appears there was an ancient play. Some fcenes in the drama of Mydas were probably introduced to exhibit the odioufnefs and folly of Avarice. Leffons against Pride and ambition were perhaps furnished, either by the play of Ninus and Semiramis, or by a piece formed on the story of Phaeton: And Gluttony, we may suppose, was rendered odious in the perfon of Heliogabalus.


3" If we prefent a foreign hiftory, the fubject is fo intended, that in the lives of Romans, Grecians, or others, the vertues of our countrymen are extolled, or their vices reproved.-We prefent Alexander killing his friend in his rage, to reprove rafbnefs; "Mydas choked with gold, to tax covetousness; Nero against tyranny; Sardanapalus against luxury; Ninus against ambition."-Heywood's Apology for Actors, 1610. MALONE.

4 See the foregoing note. MALONE.

3 The Tragedy of Ninus and Semiramis, the firft Monarchs of the World, was entered on the Stationers' books, May 10, 1595.. See alfo note 3. MALONE.

6 There appears to have been an antient play on this subject. "Art thou proud? Our frene presents thee with the fall of Phaeton; Narciffus pining in the love of his fhadow; ambitious Haman now calling himself a god, and by and by thruft headlong among the devils.' Pride and ambition feem to have been used as fynonymous terms. Apology for Actors. MALONE.

I met with this fingular curiofity in the library of Dulwich College, where it had remained unnoticed from the time of Alleyn who founded that fociety, and was himfelf the chief or only proprietor of the Fortune playhouse.

The Platt (for fo it is called) is fairly written. out on pafteboard in a large hand, and undoubtedly contained directions appointed to be stuck up near the prompter's ftation. It has an oblong hole in its centre, fufficient to admit a wooden peg; and has been converted into a cover for an anonymous manufcript play entitled The Tell-tale. From this cover I made the preceding transcript; and the beft conjectures I am able to form about its fuppofed purpose and operation, are as follows.

It is certainly (according to its title) the groundwork of a motley exhibition, in which the heinoufnefs of the feven deadly fins was exemplified by aid of scenes and circumftances adapted from different dramas, and connected by chorufes or occafional fpeakers. As the first part of this extraordinary entertainment is wanting, I cannot promife myself the most complete fuccefs in my attempts to explain the nature of it.

The period is not exactly fixed at which moralities gave way to the introduction of regular tra

On the outfide of the cover is written, "The Book and Platt," &c. STEEVENS.

Our antient audiences were no ftrangers to the established catalogue of mortal offences. Claudio, in Measure for Measure, declares to Ifabella that of the deadly feven his fin was the leaf. Spenfer, in his Faery Queen, canto IV. has perfonified them all; and the Jefuits, in the time of Shak fpeare, pretended to caft them out in the shape of those animals that most resembled them. See King Lear, Vol. XIV. p. 162, n. 6. STEEVENS.

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