Cambridge University Library MS. Add. 34
(Narratives by Cambridge Men)
Under the heading---
- "The preparacion at Oxford in August 1605, against the comminge
- thither of king Iames with the quene and Younge Prince, together with
- the thinges then and there done, and the maner thereof./"
---is an account of the play by Philip Stringer, visiting from Cambridge:
f 35* (27 August)
The Comedie began between 9. and 10., and ended at one, the name of
yt was Alba, whereof I never saw reason, it was a passtorall much like one
which I have seene in Kinges Colledg in Cambridge, but acted farr worse,
in the actinge thereof they brought in 5. or 6. men almost naked which
were much disliked by the Queene and Ladyes, and alsoe manye rusticall
songes and daunces, which made it seeme verye tedious in soe much that
if the Chauncelors of both the Vniuersityes had not intreated his Maiestie
earnestlye, he would have bene gone before half the Comedie had bene
Quoted by Elliott and Nelson, REED Oxford 1.298
Staffordshire Record Office ms. D649/1/1
This manuscript is a letter of Burton to his brother, William Burton. The first part of Burton's letter has been known for some time through second-hand accounts. Nichols, for example, quoted it in his The Progresses, Processions, and Magnificent Festivities of King James the First (1828), iv.1067, and it is also cited recently by Elliot and Nelson REED Oxford 1.294. Nochimson (327) provided a fuller extract from the manuscript once its whereabouts at the Staffordshire Record Office had been discovered:
Heare is no newes but praeparation for
the Kinges cominge, who will be heare on Teusday come forthe
nighte. playes ^Verses etc, that parte of ye play which I made is very
well liked, especially those scenes of the Magus, and I haue
had greate thanckes for my paynes of .D. Kinge our newe Deane.
i wolde knowe nowe howe longe you meane to tarry in London.
after the kinge is gone from hence or a little after I wolde
not care to make an odde voyage to London if yourre
chamberfellowe be not their. etc lette me knowe your <minde>
I pray you that if you chance to walke vppe into London
amongest the brokers, you wolde see if you can meete with
Seneca the philosophers workes at seconde hande, and sende me
the loest price etc. or if you cannenot meete withe them so, tell me
howe they be solde newe theire in one volume .8uo./ And so
for this time fare you well. the xjth. of August./1605
Ille ego qui quandam.
Performed by Thomas Goodwin and other Christ Church men at Oxford on 27 August 1605 for a royal visitation (Chambers I.130). The plays performed were Alba, Ajax Flagellifer, Vertumnus (Matthew Gwinne), and The Queen's Arcadia (Samuel Daniel).
Latin Pastoral (Harbage)
Possible Narrative and Dramatic Sources or Analogues
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References to the Play
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R. L. Nochimson, “Robert Burton’s Authorship of Alba: A Lost Letter Recovered,” Review of English Studies XXI (1970) 325 - 31.
For What It's Worth
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Nochimson, R. L. “Robert Burton’s Authorship of Alba: A Lost Letter Recovered.” Review of English Studies 21 (1970): 325-31. Print. JSTOR