Imagens das páginas

p. 239. "Song." — It has been reasonably conjectured by previous editors that this whimsical Song was not written by Shakespeare, and was probably added to the play by the actor who played the Clown, or to please him. He was evidently a singing man. The same doubt has been cast upon other Songs in this play. In the fourth stanza Mr. Collier's folio of 1632 reads, "With toss-pots /had drunken head."



The Winter's Tale occupies twenty-seven pages in the folio of 1623; viz., from p. 277 to p. 303, inclusive, in the division of Comedies; p. 276 being left blank. It is there divided into Acts and Scenes; and at the end a somewhat imperfect list of the Dramatis Personse is given, headed "The Names of all the Actors."




ROBERT GREENE, a man of much learning and little worth, who had some skill in pen-craft, which he exercised as playwright, verse-maker, satirist, and novelist, furnished Shakespeare with the story of The Winter's Tale. This story was published in 1588, and perhaps before, under the title, Pandosto: The Triumph of Time.* It was very popular for a century; there having been at least fourteen editions of it published before 1695, in some of the later of which it is entitled, from the names of the characters corresponding to Florizel and Perdita, The History of Dorastus and Fawnia. Shakespeare changed the names not only of the lovers, but, with one exception, of all the characters in the tale. In Greene's work, the King of Sicilia is called Egistus; the King of Bohemia, Pandosto; Hermione, Bellaria; Mamillus, Garinter; Camillo, Franion; and the Old Shepherd, Porrus: Mopsa appears in both play and tale.

As to incident and the order of events, the great dramatist followed the obscure novelist so closely, that The Winter's Tale, as far as the last Scene of the third Act, is, in structure, only a dramatized version of Pandosto. Down to that point, then, comparison of the course of the novel and the play would be superfluous; but thenceforward it is interesting to mark their divergence. It should first be noticed, however, that Shakespeare, for some undiscoverable reason, transposed the scenes of action and the functions of the principal characters. The tale opens in Bohemia, and Pandosto, the jealous monarch, is King of that country, of which, of course, Bellaria {Hermione) is Queen, and Garinter (Mamillus), Prince: Fawnia {Perdita) is found by the shepherd in Sicilia, of which island Egistus (Polixenes), the innocent cause of the jealousy which is the mainspring of the action, is King: all which, it will be seen, is reversed in the play. To the important characters in the tale, Shakespeare added Antigonus, Paulina, Autolycus, and the Old Shepherd's lout of a son.

* "Pandosto, the Triumph of Time, wherein is discovered by a pleasant Historie, that, although by the meanes of sinister fortune, Truth may be concealed, yet by Time, in spight of fortune, it is most manifestly revealed: Pleasant for age to avoyde drowsie thoughtes, profitable for youth to eschue other wanton Pastimes, and bringing to both a desired content. Temporis filia Veritas. By Robert Greene, Maister of Artes in Cambridge. Omne tulit punctum qui miscuit utile dulci. Imprinted at London by Thomas Orwin, for Thomas Cadman, &c, 1588." Reprinted in Collier's Shakespeare's Library.

When in the tale the newly born Fawnia is brought to Pandosto by one of the prison guards, (there being no counterpart to Paulina,) the infuriated King (there being again no counterpart to Antigonus) orders that without delay she shall "bee put in the boat having neither saile nor [rudder] to guide it, and so be carried into the midst of the sea, and there left to the wind and wave as the destinies please to appoint." For this Shakespeare substitutes an exposure of Perdita on the desert sea shore; which change Mr. Collier, with, perhaps, some reason, attributes to a desire on the author's part to avoid a resemblance to the shipwreck of Miranda, and which he therefore reckons among the proofs that The Winter's Tale was written after The Tempest. There seems, however, to be this good reason for the substitution. Shakespeare knew — none better— that the dramatic value of an impression produced upon the eye is much greater than that of one produced upon the ear; and on his stage Greene's disposition of the royal babe could not be represented, while that adopted by him could. The latter, too, was more in accordance with the course of classic story, which Shakespeare well knew, and did not always disregard. After the exposure of the Princess, we have in the novel, as in the play, the trial of the Queen, the response of the Oracle, the death of the Prince, followed immediately by that of his mother, and the fruitless remorse and repentance of the King. But in the tale the Queen does not revive.

The babe, according to the tale, "beeing tossed with winde and wave, floated two whole daies without succour, readie at every pufFe to be drowned in the sea, till at last the tempest ceased, and the little boate was driven with the tyde into the coast of Sicilia, where sticking upon the sandes it rested." There it is found by the old shepherd, who takes the Princess home and

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