Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/199

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151
CELEBRATION OF THE CALENDAR

and put him in mind of a Shrove-Tuesday, the fatal day for the doors to be broken open."[1]

The theatres were also subject to these apprentice attacks, a fact alluded to by Middleton in The Inner Temple Masque. (11. 170-175.)

"Stand forth, Shrove-Tuesday, one a' the silenc'st bricklayers:
'Tis in your charge to pull down bawdy-houses.
To set your tribe a-work, cause spoil in Shoreditch,
And make a dangerous leak there; deface Turnbull,
And tickle Cod-piece Row; ruin the Cockpit:
The poor players never thrived in't."

Shoreditch and Turnbull were noted haunts of courtesans in London; Cod-piece Row, a name probably manufactured for the occasion. The Cockpit theatre was burned by the apprentices on Shrove-Tuesday, 1616. Dyce, in a note to this passage, points out that in the word leak there is an allusion to a bawdy house by Madam Leak, and quotes the following from Dekker's Owl's Almanacs: "Shrove-Tuesday falls on that day on which the prentices plucked down the Cockpit and on which they did always use to rifle Madam Leak's house at the upper end of Shoreditch."

Easter-tide, or the week following Easter, was a period of such exuberant merry-making that the people popularly imagined that their own mood was shared by the heavenly bodies, and believed

  1. Dekker, Match me in London.