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1876, Jan. 8. "Tucker Fund. (F-IV.)




The story on which this play is founded, was well known to the English poets before the time of Shakspeare. The original relater of it was Luigi da Porto, a gentleman of Vicenza, who died in 1529. His novel did not appear till some years after his death; being first printed at Venice, in 1535, under the title of La Giulietta. In 1554 Bandello published, at Lucca, a novel on the same subject; and shortly afterwards Boisteau brought out one in French, founded on the Italian narratives, but varying from them in many particulars. From Boisteau's novel the same story was, 1562, formed into an English poem, with considerable alterations and large additions, by Mr. Arthur Brooke, having the following title: The Tragicall Hystory of Romeus and Juliet, containing a rare example of true constancie; with the subtill counsels, and practices of an old Fryar, and their ill event. Painter in the second volume of his Palace of Pleasure, 1567, published a prose translation from the French of Boisteau, which he entitled Rhomeo and Julietta. Shakspeare had probably read Painter's novel, having taken some circumstances from it or some other prose translation of Boisteau; but his play was undoubtedly formed on the poem of Arthur Brooke,

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