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ing-room door to be closed, in order that my attention might be constantly fixed on those distressing events which, by this means, I could plainly hear going on upon the stage, the terrible effects of which progress were to be represented by mc. Moreover, I never omitted to place myself, with Arthur in my hand, to hear the march, when, upon the reconciliation of England and France, they enter the gates of Angiers to ratify the contract of marriage between the Dauphin and the Lady Blanch; because the sickening sounds of that march would usually cause the bitter tears of rage, disappointment, betrayed confidence, baffled ambition, and, above all, the agonizing feelings of maternal affection to gush into my eyes. In short, the spi rit of the whole drama took possession of my mind and frame, by my attention being incessantly riveted to the passing scenes."
The twenty-fourth of October, 1842, this great historical drama was produced by Mr. Macready at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, in a style of unaccustomed magnificence. Before that period, the representation had lacked those accompaniments, which filled the poet's imagination as he wrote, and the absence of which detracts so materially from the delusion of the royal encounter. We were called upon to imagine the power of England concentrated in some six or eight shabbily-dressed supernumeraries; while that of France was obliged to be content with half that number. Mr. Macready made an innovation upon the proscriptive customs of the stage in this regard. He did what was still better: he restored much of the original text of Shakspeare, and improved and re-arranged the business. The present acting edition is the first ever published containing the new restorations and directions.
To the enterprise and good taste of Mr. Charles Kean, the American public is indebted for an opportunity of witnessing the presentation of this tragedy with a due regard to fidelity of costume, splendour of decorations, and liberality of supernumerary aid. In historical accuracy, the dresses and equipments he has supplied are even superior to those of Drury Lane; so that the following description of the production of the pageant at that establishment, from the London papers of the day, will be equally applicable to the style in which it is to be put upon the stage at the Park :—
"We have had nothing so great as the revival of this play. In the first scene, King John appears enthroned and surrounded by his barons, hurling defiance at the French King; the Gothic hall being hung with tapestry, but above showing the bare stone walls, adorned with only a square canopy over the chair of state, and the carved timbers of the roof, exhibiting the rude pomp of elder days. In the next scene, the chivalry of France and England, arrayed in the glittering panoply of war, meet before the gates of Angiers; the lofty ramparts and bastions of the town,
stretching out in dim perspective along the river's bank, frown defiance on the rival forces; and while the two monarchs hold parley with the citizens on the walls, we have full opportunity to note the details of this sumptuous and striking scene. The quaint heraldic devices on the shields and surcoats of the knights, enliven with their gaudy hues the glitter of their coats of mail; the regal habiliments of the kings, the flowing robes of the ladies, the parti-coloured habits of the heralds, and the flaunting banners, adding a brighter glow to this warlike pomp: the host of warriors are in frequent action, and the shifting of the throng as each party advance and retire, produces new combinations of colour that prevent the eye from being fatigued. In the succeeding scenes the Pope's Legate swells the pageant with the pomp of the Romish church, and brings new elements of discord into play: the grief of Constance now casts a shade of gloom over the dazzling scene; and the subsequent entrance of King Philip, defeated and cast down, attended by a few dejected followers, prepare the way for the catastrophe of Arthur's death. The contrast of this and the following scenes with those that have gone before, is striking to the most careless spectator: John is seen again enthroned, but shorn alike of pomp and power; his abasement before the Pope's Legate is followed by a second defeat in his own kingdom, his death by poison concluding the tragedy.
"In this revival, the accoutrements are complete, from the helmit to the spur of each mailed warrior. Not a distinction is missed in the appointments. From citizen to baron, gentleman to knight, herald to man-at-arms, soldier to servant, priest to king, gradations are marked with picturesque exactness. The scenery has had the same attention. The council room, the field before and after battle, the fortifications of Angiers, the moated and embattled fortress of Northampton, the glitter of the royal tent, the gloom of Swinstead abbey-they have all the character of truth, the character of simple and strong fidelity."
In 1744, Colley Cibber undertook, as he modestly expressed it, "to supply the deficiencies of Shakspeare," and to render the same service for King John that he had done for Richard III. ; but the success of his attempt was not equal to that in the instance of the latter play. His "Papal Tyranny," as he called his patch-work production, is now either forgotten or remembered only with a smile. In 1800, a stage edition of King John, as arranged by John Philip Kemble, was published, embracing, doubtless, the business of Garrick and other eminent actors. Of this, Mr. Macready has availed himself, in the preparation of the present judicious abridgement; but he has also introduced much that is novel in the externals of the scene, besides restoring many passages from the original text, which should never have been omitted. The number of contested readings in this play is often embarrassing to an editor. We have adopted those which seem to be most in accordance with the custom of the stage, and which are generally those that are most immediately intelligible to an audience.
KING JOHN.-First dress: Crimson damask gown, with rich jewelled belt; cloth of gold undergown; cloth of gold robe, with jewelled border, lined with green silk, scarlet stockings; black and gold shoes; white jewelled gloves; gold crown richly jewelled; beard and moustache. Second dress: Chain armour, arms, legs and hood; crimson velvet surcoat, showered with gold; gold waist-belt and sword; plain gold crown; gold spurs; crimson shield, with three gold lions. PRINCE HENRY.-Scarlet cloth gown; white undergown; blue robe; crimson cap; waist belt.
ARTHUR.-Light blue velvet gown, showered with gold; cap ditto. Second dress: Tight blue jacket, open in front, showing a white shirt; full breeches, tied below the knee; blue stockings and russet shoes; being the disguise of a sailor boy of the 13th century.
EARL OF SALISBURY.-Fawn colored gown, tight sleeves, rich waist belt hanging in front; blue cloth robe; red stockings; black pointed-toed shoes, embroidered with gold; white gloves with gold embroidery; red velvet cap with gold; sword.
OTHER ENGLISH NOBLES.-Same fashion as Salisbury's, varying the colours. All wear beards. Second dress: All in chain armour, with various surcoats and weapons, with their respective arms on their shields.
PHILIP FAULCONBRIDGE.-Buff gown, below the knee edged with blue; with blue hood thrown back; buff stockings, and black pointed shoes. Second dress :
Chain mail, with yellow surcoat.
RO ERT FAULCONBRIDGE.-Same as first dress of Philip Faulconbridge, bu of other colours.
JAMES GURNEY.-Dark coloured cloth shirt, with hood thrown back; dark stockings; and russet shoes.
PETER OF POMFRET.-Long drab shirt, with a dark cloak or scarf; flesh coloured legs and rude sandals; long white hair and beard.
ENGLISH HERALD.-Parti-coloured gown of red and blue, with a bag on the right hip, with the three lions of England emblazoned; one stocking red, and the other blue; red hood thrown back, and white wand. Two attendants dressed in a similar manner, without wand.
SHERIFF OF NORTHAMPTONSHIRE.-Dark gown and hood, with a gold collar and dagger.
PHILIP OF FRANCE.-Rich surcoat,
CHATILLON AND ATTENDANTS.-In 1st scene dressed in long gowns and cloaks, very richly embroidered, with Phygrian caps; change to armour at close of 3rd act.
FRENCH NOBLES.-In surcoats of various colours, each carrying his arms on shield.
AUSTRIA.-A suit of mail armour, with a lion's skin on his back.
FRENCH HERALD AND ATTENDANTS.--Same fashion as English, only blue and white.
CARDINAL PANDULPH.-Scarlet robe.
QUEEN ELINOR.-White long gown, figured with gold, richly jewelled belt, embroidered crimson robe, crown, and cowl.
CONSTANCE.-Black velvet dress, embroidered.
BLANCH.-Blue long gown flowered with gold, jewelled waist-belt, and white veil LADY FAULCONBRIDGE.-Grey cloth long gown, trimmed with black and gold, black velvet robe, and cowl.
SCENE.-Sometimes in England, and sometimes in France.
Fitzwalter, Robert de Rouse, Oxford, Hereford, De Clare, Percy, Arundel, De Warrene, two Knights, five Esquires, six Bishops, two mitred Abbots, one Archbishop, six Monks, Apostolicus Notarius, Grand Master of Knights Templars eight Knights Templars, two Knights Hospitallers, two Royal Pages, two Italian gentlemen attendants on Cardinal, St. Omer, Bretel, Roye, De Beaumont, Neuville, D'Arras, Blois, eight French Knights, first Citizen, six attendant Citizens, sir Citizen Soldiers, Standard-Bearers of England, France, Austria, &c.
AUMAORITIES FOR THE COSTUMES OF KING JOHN.
We are indebted for the following list of authorities for dresses and equipments to Mr. Charles Kean, who has exhibited no slight extent of antiquarian research in its preparation :
KING JOHN-FIRST DRESS: His effigy, in the choir of Worcester Cathedral. This statue is five feet, one inch, long; it is carved in Purbeck marble, and was probably made immediately after the monarch's decease.-Wild's Illustrations of the Architecture and Sculpture of the Cathedral Church of Worcester. The earliest monumental effigy of an English sovereign to be found in England, is that of King John, in Worcester Cathedral. The body was discovered in the year 1797; and a description of the dress, in full, will be found in W. Fairholt's "Costumes in England," page 101. Jewelled or embroidered gloves were worn by persons of exalted rank, and the principal clergy.-Vide Fairholt. (The effigies of King Richard I. and Henry II. of England, are in Normandy, France.)
SECOND DRESS-His great seal, and the impression of a seal used before he ascended the throne, and affixed to one grant in Sir John Cotton's library, and to two in the chamber of the Duchy of Lancaster,-in the latter of which the arms are two lions passant; bnt "when he came to be king," says Sandford, in his Genealogical History, "he did bear the arms of his brother, King Richard, namely, Gules, three lions passant gardant, or; for which vide his great seal." The mace is introduced from the 23rd plate in Meyrick's Armour. The seal of this monarch affords the first example of an English king wearing a surcoat over his suit of mail. Surcoats originated with the Crusaders. They were at first without armorial bearings, which were confined to the shield, and were simply of one colour, party coloured or variegated.-Meyrick's Ancient Armour, 1st vol., page 86. Surcoats were also flowered with gold or silver, as may be seen in Charles Hamilton Smith's work on the ancient costumes of Great Britain; vide that of Earl of Oxford, anno 1215, and Sir Hugh Bardolf, anno 1204.
PRINCE HENRY & PRINCE ARTHUR, DUKE OF BRETAGNE.-These dresses are designed from costumes of the period―(vide Montfaucon.) Arthur is dressed from a valuable work in my possession, now out of print, by J. R. Planche, Esq.
EARL OF SALISBURY.-FIRST DRESS-From MS. in Bodleian library. A similar figure is introduced by Strutt, in his 1st volume of "Dresses and Habits of the People of England," as a nobleman of the 13th century-plate 56. All the other barons are dressed in the like costume, the colours being varied.
SECOND DRESS-Effigy of the Earl, on the south side of the nave of Salisbury cathedral. He was called Longespee or Longsword, from a long sword which he usually carried. He was the base son of King Henry II. by Rosamond Clifford, commonly called Fair Rosamond. He bore the arms of his father-in-law, Earl of Salisbury, namely, Azure, six lions rampant, or.-Vide Sandford's General History.
EARL OF PEMBROKE.-SECOND DRESS-Effigy of the Earl, in the Temple church, London, with additions from the monument of the Earl of Oxford. The beard on the upper lip signifies his adherence to the king. He used for his arms, d'or, party de Vert, au lyon rampant de Guelles, sur le tout, arme et lampasse d'Azur.-Vincent's Discoverie of Brook's Errors.
NORFOLK.-SECOND DRESS-Heylin's "Help to English History."
ESSEX.-SECOND DRESS-Temple church, London.
ROBERT DE ROUSE.--21st plate of Meyrick's Ancient Armour.
OXFORD." Ancient Costume of Great Britain," by Charles Hamilton Smith, Esq., anno 1215. The spear added from a MS. in the Cotton library, B. M.
Thompson's Historical Essay on the Magna Charta.
TWO ENGLISH KNIGHTS.-Edmonson's "Knighthood."
TWO ROYAL PAGES,
SHERIFF OF NORTHAMPTONSHIRE,
PETER OF POMFRET,
Knighton's " Dress and Habits of the 13th Century."
TWO MURDERERS, (Attendants on Hubert in 4th act.)-Ditto.
PHILIP FAULCONBRIDGE.-FIRST DRESS-From the enamelled figures on King John's silver cup, in the possession of the Corporation of King's Lynn, Norfolk. Also introduced by Strutt in his "Dresses and Habits," 1st vol., 54 plate.
SECOND DRESS.-Effigy of a Knight of the 13th century in Malvern church, Worcestershire. The battle axe added from the one in the drawing of Richard I. Cœurde-Lion; anno 1194, plate 13, 1st vol. Meyrick's "Ancient Armour."
ROYAL STANDARD OF ENGLAND AND STANDARD BEARER.-From Herbe's "National Costumes."
STANDARD OF NORMANDY AND BEARER.-Ditto.
STANDARD OF ACQUITAINE.-Ditto.
THE KNIGHT in a long green surcoat is introduced from its peculiarity. The drawing will be found in the 1st vol. of Meyrick's "Ancient Armour," plate 15. It is taken from the monumental effigy of a knight in Malvern church, Worcestershire. He carries a buckler instead of a shield, and in his right hand a martel de fer. 1220.
KING PHILIP-(surnamed Augustus.)-Montfaucon's "Monarchie Francaise. There being no effigy of King Philip armed, Planchè has arranged this dress from various regal remains of the 12th and 13th centuries, which is to be found in the work from which Prince Arthur's costume is taken.
PRINCE LEWIS.-He is erroneously called the Dauphin, by Shakspeare, a title first borne by Charles V. of France, during the lifetime of his father, John.Vide Mezeray's Histoire de France, vol. 1st, page 825. The only effigies of Lewis in Montfaucon, are those which represent him as king. He is armed, therefore, with the exception of the helmet and shield, from an engraving of his half brother, Philippe, Comte de Boulogne, son of Philip Augustus and Agnes de Mezanie, his third wife, born in 1200, and who was killed at a tournament, 1233.
CHATILLON-FIRST DRESS-A painting by Stothard, from an enamelled tablet, formerly in the church of St. Julian, at Mans, and supposed to represent Geoffry Plantagenet, earl of Maine and Anjou, who died. anno 1149. Montfaucon informs us this style of dress was general towards the close of the 12th century. SECOND DRESS-Williment's "Regal Heraldry."
GILES, VICOMPT DE MELUN,)
THE CHATELAINE D'ARRAS.--Montfaucon.
THE CHATELAINE DE ST. OMER,
BALDWIN DE BRETEL,
EUSTACHE DE NEUVILLE,
Herbe's "National Costumes."
THE BANNER OF THE ORIFLAMME OF FRANCE.-Minestrier's "Art de Blazon," and also, Herbe's "Costumes."