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Kemps Nine Daies Wonder Performed in a Daunce from London to Norwich   By: (fl. 1600)

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{Transcriber's notes:

Footnotes are marked thus: [xiv:2] for footnote 2 on page xiv. All other square brackets are as in the original text. The notation {19:1} indicates that the line note for page 19, line 1, refers to the word or phrase so marked.

Spelling and punctuation are idiosyncratic in the original. They have not been changed. In the original some letter combinations such as 'em' or 'an' are occasionally represented by the vowel with a line over the top (macron). Such abbreviations have been expanded.}

KEMPS NINE DAIES WONDER: PERFORMED IN A DAUNCE FROM LONDON TO NORWICH.

WITH AN INTRODUCTION AND NOTES BY THE REV. ALEXANDER DYCE.

[Illustration]

LONDON: PRINTED FOR THE CAMDEN SOCIETY, BY JOHN BOWYER NICHOLS AND SON, PARLIAMENT STREET.

M.DCCC.XL.

COUNCIL OF THE CAMDEN SOCIETY, ELECTED MAY 2, 1839.

President , THE RIGHT HON. LORD FRANCIS EGERTON, M.P.

THOMAS AMYOT, ESQ. F.R.S. Treas. S.A. Director . THE REV. PHILIP BLISS, D.C.L., F.S.A., Registrar of the University of Oxford. JOHN BRUCE, ESQ. F.S.A. Treasurer . JOHN PAYNE COLLIER, ESQ. F.S.A. C. PURTON COOPER, ESQ. Q.C., D.C.L., F.R.S., F.S.A. RT. HON. THOMAS PEREGRINE COURTENAY. T. CROFTON CROKER, ESQ. F.S.A., M.R.I.A. THE REV. ALEXANDER DYCE. SIR HENRY ELLIS, K.H., F.R.S., Sec. S.A. THE REV. JOSEPH HUNTER, F.S.A. JOHN HERMAN MERIVALE, ESQ. F.S.A. JOHN GAGE ROKEWODE, ESQ. F.R.S., Director S.A. THOMAS STAPLETON, ESQ. F.S.A. WILLIAM J. THOMS, ESQ. F.S.A. Secretary . THOMAS WRIGHT, ESQ. M.A., F.S.A.

INTRODUCTION.

William Kemp was a comic actor of high reputation. Like Tarlton, whom he succeeded "as wel in the fauour of her Maiesty as in the opinion and good thoughts of the generall audience,"[v:1] he usually played the Clown, and was greatly applauded for his buffoonery, his extemporal wit,[v:2] and his performance of the Jig.[v:3]

That at one time, perhaps from about 1589 to 1593 or later he belonged to a Company under the management of the celebrated Edward Alleyn, is proved by the title page of a drama[vi:1] which will be afterwards cited. At a subsequent period he was a member of the Company called the Lord Chamberlain's Servants, who played during summer at the Globe, and during winter at the Blackfriars. In 1596, while the last mentioned house was undergoing considerable repair and enlargement, a petition was presented to the Privy Council by the principal inhabitants of the liberty, praying that the work might proceed no further, and that theatrical exhibitions might be abolished in that district. A counter petition, which appears to have been successful, was presented by the Lord Chamberlain's Servants; and, at its commencement, the names of the chief petitioners are thus arranged: Thomas Pope, Richard Burbadge, John Hemings, Augustine Phillips, William Shakespeare, William Kempe , William Slye, and Nicholas Tooley.[vi:2]

When Romeo and Juliet and Much ado about Nothing were originally brought upon the stage, Kemp acted Peter and Dogberry;[vi:3] and it has been supposed that in other plays of Shakespeare, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona , As you like it , Hamlet , The Second Part of Henry the Fourth , and The Merchant of Venice , he performed Launce, Touchstone, the Grave digger, Justice Shallow, and Launcelot. On the first production of Ben Jonson's Every Man in his Humour , a character[vii:1] was assigned to him; and there is good reason to believe that in Every Man out of his Humour , by the same dramatist, he represented Carlo Buffone.

In 1599 Kemp attracted much attention by dancing the morris from London to Norwich; and as well to refute the lying ballads put forth concerning this exploit, as to testify his gratitude for the favours he had received during his "gambols,"[vii:2] he published in the following year the curious pamphlet which is now reprinted. A Nine daies wonder was thus entered in the Stationers' Books:

"22 Aprilis [1600]

"Mr... Continue reading book >>




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