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Felismena, recounting her history, says, in Bartholomew Young's translation:

"When with a slower pace than I desired the wished day was come, the discreet and subtle Rosina came into my chamber to help make me ready, in doing whereof she let the letter closely fall, which when I perceived, What is that fell down? said I, let me see it. It is nothing, Mistress, said she. Come, come, let me see it, said I, what! move me not, or else tell me what it is. Good Lord, Mistress, said she, why would you see it? it is the letter I would have given you yesterday. Nay, that it is not, said I, wherefore show it me, that I may see whether you lie or no. I had no sooner said so than she put it into my hands, saying, God never give me good if it be any other thing; and although I knew it well indeed, yet I said, What! this is not the same, for I know that well enough, but it is one of thy lover's letters. I will read it to see in what need he standeth of thy favour."

The incident of the disguised Julia's host innocently inviting her to hear her false lover serenade her rival (Act IV, sc. 2) is also taken from the romance:

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"Midnight being a little past, mine host called at my chamber door, and told me that if I was desirous to hear some brave music, I should arise quickly and open a window towards the street: the which I did by and by, and, making no noise at all, I heard how Don Felix his page, called Fabius, whom I knew by his voice, said to others that came with him, Now it is time, my masters, because the lady is in her gallery over her garden taking the freshness of the cool night. He had no sooner said so, but they began to wind three cornets and a sackbut, with such skill and sweetness that it seemed celestial music."

Shakespeare's obligations to the "Diana Enamorada" may thus be regarded as established, but a question

remains as to the channel through which he became acquainted with the romance. If he knew it at first hand he must have understood Spanish, a knowledge which he could hardly have possessed without affording some unequivocal manifestation of it in his works. The English translation by Bartholomew Young was not published until 1598; two other translations by Edward Paston and Thomas Wilson, made between 1590 and 1600, were never published. Young, indeed, says that he had kept his translation by him for sixteen years, and it has been conjectured that Shakespeare may have had access to it, a possibility certainly, but no more. A more probable source would be the manuscript of a play entitled "Felix and Philomena," performed before Queen Elizabeth in 1584, the plot of which must, to all appearance, have been derived from Montemayor. If Shakespeare ever saw or read this piece, he can have borrowed nothing from it but the plot, for none of the plays attributed to him is more unequivocally from a single hand or bears more conclusive evidence of his authorship than this. There would be nothing extraordinary in Shakespeare's having seen this play, or in his not having seen it the supposition that he had, and the hypothesis of his access to Young's manuscript, are alike mere speculations, though not devoid of plausibility. It has, so far as we know, been reserved to us to indicate a more certain channel.

A translation of the first part of Montemayor's romance, the only part of which he was himself the author, and which contains the incident of the disguised Julia

(Montemayor's Felismena) officiating as her own lover's page, was printed at Tours in 1592, for Claude de Montr'oeil and Jean Richer. A copy is in the British Museum. The translator was Nicolas Colin, the namesake, if not a member, of an eminent literary family of the period, but of whom personally we have been able to ascertain no more than that he subsequently translated the "Christian's Memorial," by Luis de Granada. The title-page of the "Diana" declares that this was not the first edition, adding, “Revise et corrigée outre les précédentes impressions," and the publishers' preface further sets forth that they have added to Colin's work translations of the two continuations by Alonzo Perez and Gil Polo, translated by George Chappuys, "Vous donnant ainsi, outre ce qu'il y avoit aux premières impressions, cette belle adition." Shakespeare, then, had some time, perhaps some years, before the probable date of his play, the opportunity of access to Montemayor's romance in a language which he well understood. He would naturally wish to read so celebrated a work, and a trifling circumstance almost demonstrates that he did. The name of Julia's (Felismena's) maid, which both in the original Spanish and the English translation is Rosina, in "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" becomes Lucetta. Why? Because the French translator had made it Rosette.

The origin of that portion of the plot for which Shakespeare is not indebted to Montemayor presents an inquiry of more difficulty, if inquiry be really needed. There seems nothing in it which might not, without extraneous suggestion, have arisen naturally out of the necessity

under which Shakespeare lay of converting Montemayor's tragedy into a comedy. The relations towards Felismena of Celia, the Spanish counterpart of Silvia, are of another nature than Silvia's to Julia. Silvia, already bound to Valentine, cannot of course fall in love with the supposed youth; but the heart-free Celia, like the Countess in "Twelfth Night," conceives a passion for him; and having, unlike the Countess, no Sebastian to fill his place, carries her unhappy attachment to the length of self-destruction. Don Felix's passion for her being thus quenched in blood, Felismena regains him by delivering him with her bow and shafts from an attack of robbers. These romantic incidents suit the general complexion of Montemayor's fiction, but would be entirely out of place in a comedy, where the dénouement must give general content; where, consequently, even the faithless Proteus must be made happy, and much more the lady who has disdained his suit. Shakespeare was therefore compelled to provide Silvia with a successful lover, and the further contrivance of making this lover the friend of Proteus and a sufferer by his treachery-skilful and thoroughly adequate as it is-grew so naturally out of the situation that it may be doubted whether any external suggestion was required.

The alleged resemblances between "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" and other pieces are not, moreover, convincing. The falsehood of a friend, indeed, is the subject of "The Tragedy of Julius and Hyppolita," one of the plays acted in Germany towards the end of the sixteenth century by the English itinerant players who

at that time frequented that country, and printed in Mr. Albert Cohn's valuable work, "Shakespeare in Germany." Even if Shakespeare himself was not at one time a member of one of these companies, he may well have heard of this play from the actors on their return to England; but the rudeness of the piece is such as to preclude the idea of his having given any serious attention to it. The case is different with another conjectured source, Barnaby Rich's story of "Apollonius and Silla" (1581), of which, had he known it in time, Shakespeare might perhaps have made such use as to transform his drama entirely. The plot is nearly that of "Twelfth Night," and Shakespeare would have been likely to have preferred it to the comparatively artless story of "The Two Gentlemen of Verona." If, indeed, this latter drama immediately succeeded "The Comedy of Errors,” he may have thought it wise to refrain from so soon producing another play founded on a bewildering resemblance of personal appearance. In any case, he either did not know Rich's story or abstained from turning it to the account he might have done. Granting that he had read it, it is not any more than "Julius and Hyppolita" a perceptible factor in the dramatic economy of the play, which is conditioned solely by the necessity of giving the episode of the "Diana Enamorada" a happy turn, and complicating the plot sufficiently for theatrical purposes. The problem is most successfully solved; nevertheless in action as in diction, "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" is one of Shakespeare's simplest and least ambitious productions. It has the charm of the opening bud,

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