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as we learn from these words of Saint Auftin: Ne faciamus ut mimi folent, & optemus à libero aquam, à lymphis vinum.*

Thefe mysteries, we fee, were given in France at first, as well as in England fub dio, and only in the provinces. Afterwards we find them got into Paris, and a company established in the Hotel de Bourgogne to reprefent them. But good letters and religion beginning to make their way in the latter end of the reign of Francis the firft, the ftupidity and prophanenefs of the mysteries made the courtiers and clergy join their intereft for their fuppreffion. Accordingly, in the year 1541, the procureur-general, in the name of the king, prefented a request against the company to the parliament. The three principal branches of his charge against them were, that the reprefentation of the Old Testament ftories inclined the people to Judaism; that the New Teftament ftories encouraged libertinifm and infidelity; and that both of them leffened the charities to the poor. It seems that this profecution fucceeded; for, in 1548, the parliament of Paris confirmed the company in the poffeffion of the Hôtel de Bourgogne, but interdicted the reprefentation of the mysteries. But in Spain, we find by Cervantes, that they continued much longer; and held their own, even after good comedy came in amongst them : as appears from the excellent critique of the canon, in the fourth book, where he thows how the old extravagant romances might be made the foundation of a regular epic (which, he says, tambien puede efcriverfe en profa como en verfo ;) as the mystery-plays might be improved into artful comedy. His words are, Pues que fi venimos à las comedias divinas, que de milagros falfos fingen en ellas, que de cofas apocrifas, y mal entendidas, attribueyendo a un fanto los milagros de otro ; which made them fo fond of miracles that they introduced them into las comedias humanas, as he calls them. To return:

Upon this prohibition, the French poets turned themselves from religious to moral farces. And in this we foon followed them: the publick tafte not suffering any great alteration at first, though the Italians at this time afforded many juft compofitions for better models. Thefe farces they called moralities. Pierre Gringore, one of their old poets, printed one of these moralities, intitled La Moralité de l'Homme Obftine. The perfons of the drama are l'Homme Obfiiné-Pugnition Divine Simonie-Hypocrifie and Demerites-Communes. The Homme Obftine is the atheist, and comes in blafpheming, and determined to perfist in his impieties. Then Pugnition Divine appears, fitting on a throne in the air, and menacing the atheift with punishment. After this fcene, Simonie, Hypocrifie, and Demerites-Communes appear

Civ. D. L. IV.

+B. IV. c. 20.

Ibid. 21.

and play their parts. In conclufion, Pugnition Divine returns, preaches to them, upbraids them with their crimes, and, in fhort, draws them all to repentance, all but the Homme Olfiné, who perfifts in his impiety, and is deftroyed for an example. To this fad ferious fubject they added, though in a feparate representation, a merry kind of farce called Sottie, in which there was un Payfan [the Clown] under the name of Sot-Commun [or Fool]. But we, who borrowed all these delicacies from the French, blended the Moralité and Sottié together: So that the Paufan or SotCommun, the Clown or Fool, got a place in our ferious moralities: Whofe bufinefs we may understand in the frequent allufions our Shakspeare makes to them as in that fine speech in the beginning of the third Act of Meafure for Meafure, where we have this obfcure paffage :


merely thou art Death's Fool,

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"For him thou labour'ft by thy flight to fhun,
"And yet runn'ft tow'rd him ftill."

For, in thefe moralities, the Fool of the piece, in order to show the inevitable approaches of Death, (another of the Dramatis Perfonæ,) is made to employ all his ftratagems to avoid him; which, as the matter is ordered, bring the Fool, at every turn, into the very jaws of his enemy: So that a reprefentation of these scenes would afford a great deal of good mirth and morals mixed together. The very fame thing is again alluded to in thefe lines of Love's Labour's Loft:

"So Portent-like I would o'er-rule his ftate,
"That he should be my Fool, and I his Fate."

A&t IV. fc. ii.

But the French, as we fay, keeping these two forts of farces diftinct, they became, in time, the parents of tragedy and comedy; while we, by jumbling them together, begot in an evil hour, that mongrel fpecies, unknown to nature and antiquity, called tragi-comedy. WARBURTON.

TO this, when Mr. Upton's Differtation is fubjoined, there will, perhaps, be no need of any other account of the Vice.'

Like the old Vice.] The allufion here* is to the Vice, a droll character in our old plays, accoutred with a long coat, a cap with a pair of afs's ears, and a dagger of lath. Shakspeare alludes to his buffoon appearance in Twelfth-Night, A&t IV : "In a trice, like to the old Vice ;

"Who with dagger of lath, in his rage and his wrath, "Cries, ah, ha! to the Devil.”

In The Second Part of King Henry IV. A& III. Falstaff com

i. e. p. 3, of Mr. Upton's book, where the words---like the old ViceMALONE.


pares Shallow to a Vice's dagger of lath. In Hamlet, A& III. Hamlet calls his uncle :

"A vice of kings."

i. e. a ridiculous reprefentation of majefty. Thefe paffages the editors have very rightly expounded. I will now mention fome others, which feem to have escaped their notice, the allufions being not quite fo obvious.

The iniquity was often the Vice in our moralities; and is introduced in Ben Jonfon's play called The Devil's an Afs: and likewife mentioned in his Epigr. cxv:

Being no vitious perfon, but the Vice "About the town,

"Acts old Iniquity, and in the fit

"Of miming, gets th' opinion of a wit."

But a paffage cited from his play will make the following obfervations more plain. A&t I. Pug atks the Devil" to lend him a Vice:"

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"Satan. What Vice?

"What kind would thou have it of?
"Pug. Why, any Fraud,

"Or Covetousness, or lady Vanity,


Or old Iniquity: I'll call him hither."


Thus the paffage fhould be ordered:
Pug. Why any: Fraud,
"Or Covetousness, or lady Vanity,
"Or old Iniquity.


Pug. I'll call him hither."

"Enter Iniquity the Vice.

"Ini. What is he calls upon me, and would seem to lack a Vice?

"Ere his words be half spoken, I am with him in a trice." And in his Staple of News, A& II:

"Mirth. How like you the Vice i' th' play?
"Expectation. Which is he?

"Mirth. Three or four; old Covetousness, the fordid PennyBoy, the Money-Bawd, who is a flesh-bawd too, they say.

"Tattle. But here is never a Fiend to carry him away. Befides, he has never a wooden dagger! I'd not give a rush for a Vice, that has not a wooden dagger to snap atevery body he meets.

"Mirth. That was the old way, goflip, when Iniquity came in, like hokos pokos, in a jugler's jerkin," &c.

He alludes to the Vice in The Alchymift, A& I. fc. iii :

"Sub. And, on your stall, a puppet, with a Vice.*"

-a puppet, with a Vice.] Mr. Upton has mifinterpreted this passage. A vice in the prefent inftance means a device, clock-work. Coryat, p. 254, fpeaks of a picture whofe eyes were moved by a vice. FARMER.

Some places of Shakspeare will from hence appear more eafy, as in The Firft Part of King Henry IV. A& II. where Hal humorously characterizing Falstaff, calls him, That reverend Vice, that grey Iniquity, that father Ruffian, that Vanity in years, in allufion to this buffoon character. In King Richard III. A& III : "Thus like the formal Vice, Iniquity,

"I moralize two meanings in one word."

Iniquity is the formal Vice. Some correct the paffage :
Thus like formal-wife antiquity,

"I moralize: Two meanings in one word."

Which correction is out of all rule of criticism. In Hamlet, Act I. there is an allufion, ftill more distant, to the Vice; which will not be obvious at first, and therefore is to be introduced with a fhort explanation. This buffoon character was used to make fun with the Devil; and he had several trite expreffions, as, I'll be with you in a trice: Ah, ha, boy, are you there? &c. And this was great entertainment to the audience, to fee their old enemy fo belaboured in effigy. In King Henry V. A&t IV. a boy characterizing Piftol, fays, Bardolph and Nym had ten times more valour, than this roaring Devil i the old play: every one may pare his nails with a wooden dagger. Now Hamlet, having been inftructed by his father's ghoft, is refolved to break the fubject of the discourse to none but Horatio; and to all others his intention is to appear as a fort of madman; when therefore the oath of fecrecy is given to the centinels, and the Ghost unseen calls out, fwear; Hamlet fpeaks to it as the Vice does to the Devil. Ah, ha, boy, fay'st thou fo? Art thou there, Truepenny? Hamlet had a mind that the Centinels fhould imagine this was a fhape that the devil had put on; and in Act III. he is fomewhat of this opinion himself:

"The spirit that I have seen


May be the devil.”

The manner of fpeech therefore to the Devil was what all the audience were well acquainted with: and it takes off, in fome measure, from the horror of the fcene. Perhaps too the poet was willing to inculcate, that good humour is the best weapon to deal with the Devil. Truepenny, either by way of irony, or literally from the Greek, rpúnavov, veterator. Which word the



Scholiaft on Ariftophanes' Clouds, ver. 447, explains, rún. ο περιτετριμμένος ἐν τοῖς πράγμασιν ον ἡμεῖς ΤΡΎΠΑΝΟΝ και A. Several have tried to find a derivation of the Vice: if I thould not hit on the right, I fhould only err with others. The Vice is either a quality perfonalized, as BIH and KAPTOΣ in Hefiod and Æfchylus; Sin and Death in Milton; and indeed Vice itself is a perfon, B. XI. 517:

"And took his image whom they ferv'd, a brutish Vice."

his image, i. e. a brutish Vice's image: the Vice, Gluttony; not without fome allufion to the Vice of the plays: but rather, I think, 'tis an abbreviation of vice-devil, as vice-roy, vice-doges, &c. and therefore properly called the Vice. He makes very free with his master, like most other vice-roys, or prime ministers. So that he is the Devil's Vice, and prime minister; and 'tis this that makes him fo faucy. UPTON.

Mr. Upton's learning only fapplies him with abfurdities. His derivation of vice is too ridiculous to be answered.

I have nothing to add to the observations of these learned criticks, but that fome traces of this antiquated exhibition are still retained in the ruftick puppet-plays, in which I have feen the Devil very luftily belaboured by Punch, whom I hold to be the legitimate fucceffor of the old Vice. JOHNSON.


Printed by J. PLYMSELL, Leather Lane, Holborn, London.

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