Excerpt from Gesta Grayorum, 1688The account of the Christmas revels at Grays Inn in 1594-5 did not find its way into print till nearly a century later. At least no edition earlier than that of 1688 is now known, and the stationers epistle toMoreExcerpt from Gesta Grayorum, 1688The account of the Christmas revels at Grays Inn in 1594-5 did not find its way into print till nearly a century later.
At least no edition earlier than that of 1688 is now known, and the stationers epistle to Matthew Smyth then prefixed seems to claim it as a new publication: It was Fortune, undoubtedly, that reserved it for this happy Opportunity of coming forth under your Protection. Moreover, we find it entered in the London Term Catalogues, Trinity Term, July, 1688, under History, 5 (Arbers Reprint, II. 230). What occasioned its publication at that time is not known. John Nichols, who reprinted the tract in his Progresses of Elizabeth (ed.
1788, ii- ed. 1823, iii. 262), ascribes the publication to Henry Keepe, but the ground of this statement is doubtful. Keepe was a well-known antiquary, a member of the Inner Temple and author of the Monuments of Westminster, who died about the end of May 1688.
The original is a rather large quarto printed in type approximating in size to modern English (20 11. = 93 mm.). The type-page, including running-title and catchwords, measures 190 x 122 mm., without these, 177 X 122 mm. The extreme measurement of the rules which surround the title-page is 195 x 115 mm.
This is a size inconveniently large for the present series, and consequently Pica has been substituted for English type in the reprint.There are three main points of literary interest in the Gesta Grayorum, namely, a supposed allusion to Shakespeares Comedy of Errors, the speeches of the six Councillors, and the Masque of Proteus.The first of these will be found on page 22, where we read that a Comedy of Errors (like to Plautus his Menechmus) was played by the Players(1. 27).For the discussion of this passage reference may be made to the usual Shakespearian commentaries.
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