Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub
[graphic]

M. William Shake-speare, His True Chronicle History of the Lear," and on the 26th November he procured the following

life and death of King Lear, and his three Daughters. unusually minute memorandum to be made in the Stationers With the vnfortunate life of Edgar, sonne and heire to the Registers :Earle of Glocester, and his sullen and assumed humour of

“26 Nov. 1607. Tom of Bedlam. As it was plaid before the Kings Maiesty Na. Butter and Jo. Busbył Entered for their Copie at White-Hall, vppon S. Stephens night, in Christmas Hol

under t’ hands of Sir Geo. Bucke, Kt. and the Warlidaies. By his Maiesties Seruants, playing vsually at the

dens, a booke called Mr. Willm Shakespeare, his Globe on the Banck-side. Printed' for Nathaniel Butter.

Historye of Kinge Lear, as yt was played before the 1608. 4to. 44 leaves.

King's Majestie at Whitehall, upon St. Stephen's The title-page of a third impression in 1608 corresponds with

night at Christmas last, by his Majesties Servants that last above given.

playing usually at the Globe on the Bank-side." In the folio of 1623, “ The Tragedie of King Lear" occupies This entry establishes that Shakespeare's “ King Lear" had

twenty. seven pages, in the division of "Tragedies ;" viz. been played at Court on the 26th December, 1606, and not from p. 283 to p. 309, inclusive. The last page but one, by on the 26th December, 1607, as we might infer from the titlean error, is numbered 38, instead of 308. In the first, as pages of the three editions of 1608. well as in the folios of 1632, 1664, and 1685, the Acts and The memorandum we have just inserted would lead us to Scenes are regularly marked.]

- believe that John Busby was the printer of “King Lear," The most remarkable circumstance connected with the early

rly although his name does not otherwise at all appear in connecpublication of “ King Lear" is, that the same stationer pub-|

tion with it. The differences between the quartos are seldoni lished three quarto impressions of it in 1608, that stationer

more than verbal, but they are sometimes important; after a being a person who had not put forth any of the authentic very patient comparison, we may state, that the quartos with(as far as they can deserve to be so considered) editions of

out the publisher's address are more accurate than that with Shakespeare's plays. After it had been thus thrice printed

his address, and we presume that the latter was first issued. (for they were not merely re-issues with fresh title-pages) in

It would seem that the folio of 1623 was composed from a the same year, the tragedy was not again printed until it |

manuscript, which had been much, and not very judiciously, appeared in the folio of 1623. Why it was never republished

abridged for the purposes of the theatre; and although it in quarto, in the interval, must be matter of speculation, but

contains some additions, not in any of the quartos, there are, such was not an unusual occurrence with the works of our perhaps,

perhaps, few quartos of any of Shakespeare's plays more great dramatist : his " Midsummer Night's Dream.49.66 Mer- valuable for the quantity of matter they contain, of which chant of Venice," and " Troilus and Cressida " were each th

on there is no trace in the folio. : twice printed, the two first in 1600, and the last in 1609, and

We have said that we agree with Malone in opinion, that they were not again seen in type until they were inserted in

“King Lear” was brought out at the Globe Theatre in the the folio of 1623 : there was also no second quarto edition of

of spring of 1605, according to our present mode of computing 6. Much ado about Nothing," nor of " Love's Labour's Lost."| the year.

; the year. We may decide with certainty that it was not The extreme popularity of " King Lear" seems proved by

written until after the appearance of Harsnet's " Discovery the mere fact that the public deniand for it, in the first year

Oy of Popish Impostors" in 1603, because from it, as Steevens of its publication, could not be satisfied without three distinct

established, are taken the names of various fiends mentioned

1 by Edgar in the course of his scenes of pretended madness. impressions. It will be seen by the exact copies of the title-pages which

As we find a "King Leir" entered on the Stationers' books we have inserted on the opposite leaf, that although Nathaniel.

1 in 1594, we can have no hesitation in arriving at the concluButter was the publisher of the three quarto editions, he only

sion that the old play, printed by Simon Stafford for John put his address on the title-page of one of them. It is per

Wright, in 1605, when Shakespeare's “King Lear" was (as haps impossible now to ascertain on what account the differ

we have supposed) experiencing a run of popularity at the ence was made ; but it is to be observed that “ Printed by J. 1

Globe, was considerably anterior in point of date. There is

• little doubt that Shakespeare was acquainted with it, and Roberts," without any address, is found at the bottom of the title-pages of some of the copies of "The Merchant of P!

probably adopted from it at least that part of the conduct of Venice" and "Midsummer Night's Dream" in 1600. A

his story which relates to the faithful Kent. There are other more remarkable circumstance, in relation to the title-pages

general, but few particular resemblances; for both the chief of “King Lear," is, that the name of William Shakespeare is

materials were evidently derived from Holinshed, but Shakemade so obvious at the top of them, the type being larger

speare varied from all authorities in his catastrophe: he than that used for any other part of the work : moreover, wel

seems to have thought, that to abandon the course of the have it again at the head of the leaf on which the tragedy

ordinary and popular narrative, would heighten and improve commences, “ M. William Shake-speare, his History of King

the effect of his drama, and give a novelty to its termination. Lear." This peculiarity has never attracted sufficient atten

The story of Lear and his daughters is briefly told by Spention, and it belongs not only to no other of Shakespeare's

ser in B. ii. c. 10, of his “Fairie Queene," and thence it has plays, but to no other production of any kind of that period

been thought that Shakespeare obtained the name of Corwhich we recollect. It was clearly intended to enable pur

100 | delia, till then usually called Cordella. That portion of the chasers to make sure that they were buying the drama which

plot which relates to the Earl of Gloster, he may have pro6.M. William Shakespeare " had written upon the story of

cured from Sir Philip Sidney's “ Arcadia," first printed in King Lear.

1590, 4to. B. ii. c. 10, of that romance is thus headed : The cause of it is, perhaps, to be found in the fact, that i

“The pitifull state and storie of the Paphalgonian unkinde there was another contemporary drama upon the same sub

King, and his kind son." An early ballad on King Lear was ject, and with very nearly the same names to the principal

also published (see Percy's Reliques, vol. ii. p. 249; edit. characters, which was not by Shakespeare, but which the

| 1812), but no copy with a date has come down to us : although publisher probably had endeavored to pass off as his work.

it employs the older names of some of the characters, it adopts An edition of this play was printed in 1605, under the follow

• that of Cordelia ; and there are several circumstances, besides ing title :-" The True Chronicle History of King Leir and his

a more modern style of coinposition, which lead us to the three Daughters, Gonorill, Ragan, and Cordella. As it hath

'l belief that it was written posterior to the production of Shakebene divers and sundry times lately acted.” It was printed, peale

rinted, speare's Tragedy. by Simon Stafford, for John Wright; and we agree with Malone in thinking that this impression was put forth in consequence of the popularity of Shakespeare's “King Lear,"

OTHELLO. which was then in a course of successful performance at the Globe theatre. That this edition of " The True Chronicle " The Tragedy of Othello, The Moore of Venice. As it hath History of King Leir" was a re-impression we have little beene diverse times acted at the Globe, and at the Blackdoubt, because it was entered at Stationers' Hall for publica-| Friers, by his Maiesties Seruants. Written by William tion as early as 14th May, 1594: it was entered again on 8th Shakespeare. London, Printed by N. 0. for Thomas May, 1605, anterior to the appearance of the impression with Walkley, and are to be sold at his shop, at the Eagle and that date, the title-page of which we have above quoted. Child, in Brittans Bursse. 1622.” 4to. 48 leaves, irregu

We may presume that in 1605 no bookseller was able to larly paged. obtain from the King's Players a copy of Shakespeare's “King “The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice," occupies Lear;" for there is perhaps no point in our early stage-history thirty pages in the folio of 1623 ; viz. from p. 310 to p. 339 more clear, than that the different companies took every pre- inclusive, in the division of " Tragedies :'' it is there, as in caution in order to prevent the publication of plays belonging the three later folios, divided into Acts and Scenes, and on to them. However, in the autumn of 1607, Nathaniel Butter the last page is a list of the characters, headed, " The Names had in some way possessed him of a manuscript of " King of the Actors."

798 Burhao'e was the lain's Servants. Kindral D

ige V UUSI

Ithat eclition on the Statione

EVIOUS to

By the subsequent extract from 6 The Egerton Papers," | must be wrong, the compositor of the folio having caught printed by the Camden Society, (p. 343) it appears that keeps " from the later portion of the same line. In Pope's 6 Othello ^ was acted for the entertainment of Queen Eliza-. edition, “ feels" was substituted for keeps, and the word has beth, at the residence of Lord Ellesmere (then Sir Thomas since usually continued in the text, with Malone's notė, 66 the Egerton, Lord Keeper of the Great Seal) at Harefield, in the correction was made by Mr. Pope.” The truth is, that Pope beginning of August, 1602:

was right in his conjecture as to the misprinted word, for in 666 August 1602. Rewards to the Vaulters, players, and the quarto of 1630, which Malone could not have consulted,

dancers. Of this xli to Burbidge's players for Othello, but which he nevertheless pronounced “of no authority,” the Ixiiii'i xviiiis xd."

passage stands thus:The part of the memorandum which relates to “Othello”

"Like to the Pontick sea, is interlined, as if added afterwards; but thus we find de

Whose icy current, and compulsive course cisively, that this tragedy was in being in the summer of

Ne'er feels retiring ebb," &c. 1602; and the probability is, that it was selected for perform- If Malone had looked at the quarto of 1630, he would have ance because it was a new play, having been brought out at seen that Pope had been anticipated in his proposed ementhe Globe theatre in the spring of that year.

dation about a hundred years, and that in the manuscript The incidents, with some variation, are to be found in from which the quarto of 1630 was printed, the true word Cinthio's Hecatommithi, where the novel is the seventh of the was " feels," and not keeps, as it was misprinted in the folio third Decad, and it bears the following explanatory title in the 1 of 1623. We will take an instance, only six lines earlier in Monte Regale edition of 1565 :-Un Capitano Moro piglia (the same scene, to show the value of the quarto of 1630, in per mogliera una cittadina Venetiana : un suo Alfieri l'accusa supporting the quarto of 1622, and in correcting the folio of di adulterio al marito; cerca che l'Alfieri uccida colui ch'egli 1623. Othello exclaims, as we find the words in the folio, credea l'adultero : il Capitano uccide la moglie, è accusato dallo Alfieri, non confessa il Moro, ma essendovi chiari inditii

“Arise, black vengeance, from the hollow hell,è bandito; et lo scelerato Alfieri, credendo nuocere ad altri, a line which has been generally thus printed, adopting the procaccia à se la morte miseramente." This novel was early text of the quarto of 1622: translated into French, and in all probability into English, but no such version has descended to us. Our great drama

“Arise, black vengeance, from thy hollow cell ;? tist may indeed have read the story in the original language; and these are exactly the words in the quarto of 1630, although and it is highly probable that he was sufficiently acquainted it can be established that it was printed, not from the quarto with Italian for the purpose. Hence he took only the name of 1622, nor froni the folio of 1623, but from a manuscript of Desdemona.

which in many places differed materially from both, and in We have seen, by the quotation from “The Egerton some few supplied a text inferior to both. It is not necessary Papers," that the company by which "Othello" was per- to pursue this point farther, especially as our brief notes formed at Harefield was called “Burbidge's players ;" and abundantly establish that the quarto of 1630, instead of being there can be no doubt that he was the leading actor of the " of no authority," is of great value, with reference to the company, and thereby in the account gave his name to the true reading of some important passages. association, though properly denominated the Lord Chamber- Walkley, the publisher of the quarto of 1622, thus entered

inal actor of the part of Othello, as we learn from an elegy upon his death, its appearance :among the late Mr. Heber's manuscripts. To the sanje fact 666 Oct. 1621. we may quote the concluding stanza of a ballad, on the inci

Tho. Walkley] Entered for his, to wit, under the dents of " Othello," written after the death of Burbage, which

handes of Sir George Buck and of the Wardens: has also come down to us in manuscript:

The Tragedie of Othello, the Moore of Venice.66 Dick Burbage, that most famous man,

It is perhaps not too much to presume, that this impression, That actor without peer,

though dated 1622, had come out at the close of 1621; and With this same part his course began,

that it preceded the folio of 1623 is very obvious, from the And kept it many a year.

fact, that “Othello" was not included in their list by Blunt Shakespeare was fortunate, I trow, That such an actor had :

and'Jaggard, the publishers of the folio of 1623, because they If we had but his equal now,

were aware that it had already been printed, and that it had For one I should be glad.""

been entered as the property of another bookseller. The The writer spoke at random, when he asserted that Burbagel quarto of 1622 was preceded by the followmg address.com began his career with Othello, for we have evidence to show

"The Stationer to the Reader. that he was an actor of high celebrity, many years before 66 To set forth a book without an epistle were like to the Shakespeare's “ Othello” was written, and we have no proof Cold English proverb, "A blue coat without a badge;' and that there was any older play upon the same subject.

thought good to take t There are two quarto editions of 66 Othello," one bearing

aring work upon me. To commend it I will not-for that which date in 1622, the year before the first folio of “Mr. William is good. I hope every man will commend without entreaty; Shakespeare's Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies" appeared, land I am the bolder, because the author's name is sufficient and the other printed in 1630. An exact copy of the title-page to vent his work. Thus leaving every one to the liberty of of the quarto of 1622, will be found in the usual place, and indoment. I have ventured to print this play, and leave it. that published in 1630 differs only in the imprint, which is in the 66 by A. M. for Richard Hawkins," &c. We have had fre

s to the general censure. Yours, THOMAS WALKLEY."

The publishers of the folio of 1623, perhaps purchased arient occasion in our notes to refer to this impression, which walkley's interest in 66 Othello.'? has, indeed, been mentioned by the commentators, but nothing | like sufficient attention has been paid to it. Malone summarily dismissed it as an edition of no authority," but it is ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA. very clear that he had never sufficiently examined it. It was unquestionably printed from a manuscript different from that " The Tragedie of Anthonie and Cleopatra” occipies twentytised for the quarto of 1622, or for the folio of 1623; and it nine pages in the folio of 1623 ; viz. from p. 340 to p. 368 presents a number of various readings, some of which singu inclusive, in the division of "Tragedies." Although at larly illustrate the original text of " Othello." Of this fact it the beginning it has Actus Primus. Scæna Prima, it is may be fit here to supply some proof.

not divided into acts and scenes, nor is the defect cured In Act iii. sc. 3, a passage occurs in the folio of 1623, which in any of the subsequent folio impressions of 1632, 1664, is not contained in the quarto of 1622, and which runs thus and 1685. They are all without any list of characters.] imperfectly in the folio:

We are without any record that “Antony and Cleopatra" c Like to the Pontick sea,

theo

iece of

was ever performed, ; and when in Act v. sc. 2, the heroine Whose icy current and compulsive course

anticipates that 66 some squeaking Cleopatra"will 66 boy her Ne'er keeps retiring ebb, but keeps due on

greatness" on the stage, Shakespeare seems to hint that no To the Propontick and the Hellespont,” &c.

young male performer would be able to sustain the part It will not be disputed that " Ne'er keeps retiring ebb" without exciting ridicule. However, the same remark will,

le :'

i It appears from Mr. P. Cunningham's 6 Extracts from the been always so popular as to remain what is temmed " a stock piec Accounts of the Revels at Court," (printed for the Shakespeare Society) and it was performed again before King Charles and his Queen at p. 203, that a play, called “ The Moor of Venis," no doubt,“ Othello," Hampton Court on Dec. 8, 1636. Ibid. Introd. p. XXV. . was acted at Whitehall on Nov. 1, 1604. The tragedy seems to have 1

t there are few i

[ocr errors]

more or less, apply to many of his other female characters; | The novel by Boccaccio has many corresponding features : and the wonder, of course, is, how so much delicacy, tender- it is the ninth of Giornata II., and bears the following title: ness, and beauty could be infused into parts which the poet “Bernabo da Genova, da Ambrogiuolo ingannato, perde il knew must be represented by beardless and crack-voiced suo, e comanda che la moglie innocente sia uccisa. Ella boys.

scampa, et in habito di huomo serve il Soldano; ritrova l'inThe period of the year at which “ Antony and Cleopatra" gannatore, e Bernabo conduce in Alessandria, dove l'inganwas entered on the Stationers Registers might lead to the natore punito, ripreso habito feminile col marito ricclii si inference, that, having been written late in 1607, it was tornano a Genova." This tale includes one circumstance brought out at the Globe in the spring of 1608, and that Ed-only found there and in Shakespeare's play: we allude to ward Blunt (one of the publishers of the folio of 1623) thus the mole which Iachimo saw on the breast of Imogen. The put in his claim to the publication of the tragedy, if he could parties are all merchants in Boccaccio, excepting towards the procure a manuscript of it. The memorandum bears date close of his novel, where the Soldan is introduced: the vilon the 20th May, 1608, and the piece is stated to be " a book” lain, instead of being forgiven, is punished by being anointed called " Anthony and Cleopatra.” Perhaps Blunt was un- with honey, and exposed in the sun to flies, wasps, and mosable to obtain a copy of it, and, as far as we now know, it quitoes, which eat the flesh from his bones. was printed for the first time in the folio of 1623.

* A modification of this production seems to have found its It does not appear that there was any preceding drama on way into our language at the commencement of the seventhe story, with the exception of the “Cleopatra”? of Samuel teenth century. Steevens states that it was printed in 1603, Daniel, originally published in 1594, to which Shakespeare and again in 1620, in a tract called “ Westward for Smelts." was clearly under no obligation. Any slight resemblance If there be no error as to the date, the edition of 1603 has between the two is to be accounted for by the fact, that both been lost, for no copy of that year now seems to exist in any poets resorted to the same authority for their materials-Plu-public or private collection. Mr. Halliwell, in his reprint of tarcb--whose "Lives" had been translated by Sir T. North The First Sketch of “ The Merry Wives of Windsor," (for in 1579. The minuteness with which Shakespeare adhered the Shakespeare Society) p. 135, has expressed his opinion to history is more remarkable in this drama than in any other; that Steevens must have been mistaken, and that “ Westand sometimes the most trifling circumstances are artfully, ward for Smelts" was not published until 1620: only one but still most naturally, interwoven. Shakespeare's use of copy even of this impression is knownı; and if, in fact, it. history in " Antony and Cleopatra" may be contrasted with were not, as Steevens Bupposes, a reprint, of course ShakeBen Jonson's subiection to it in “Seianus."

speare could not have resorted to it: however, he might, “Of all Shakespeare's historical plays (says Coleridge) without much difficulty, have gone to the original; or some Antony and Cleopatra' is by far the most wonderful. There version may then have been in existence, of which he availed is not one in which he has followed history so minutely, and himself, but which has not come down to our day. The inciyet there

esses the notion o angelic dents in "Westward for Smelts” are completely anglicised, strength so much-perhaps none in which he impresses it and the scene is laid in this country in the reigns of Henry VI. more strongly. This is greatly owing to the manner in which and Edward IV. In the French and Italian versions, Iachimno the fiery force is sustained throughout, and to the numerous (or the person answering to hiin) is conveyed to Innogen's momentary flashes of nature, counteracting the historic ab- chamber in a chest, but in “Westward for Smelts," where straction." (Lit. Rem. vol. ii. p. 143.)

the tale is in other respects vulgarised, he conceals himself under her bed.

Some German critics, whose opinions are often entitled to CYMBELINE.

the most respectful consideration, have supposed that “ Cym

beline” was written in 1614 or 1615, not adverting to the To The Tragedie of Cyınbeline" was first printed in the folio circumstance that Shakespeare had then relinquished all con

of 1623. Where it stands last in the division of " Trage-nection with the stage, and had retired from the metropolis. dies," and occupies thirty-one pages; viz. from p. 369 to Malone thought that 1609 was the year which could be most p. 399, misprinted p. 993.' There is another error in the probably fixed upon; and although we do not adopt his reapagination, as p. 379 is numbered p. 389. These errors soning upon the point, we are strongly inclined to believe are corrected in the three later folios.]

that this drama was not, at all events, written at an earlier

period. Forman, the astrologer, was present when “CymbeTHE materials in Holinshed for the historical portion of "Cym- line.' was acted most likely, in 1610 or 1611_but he does beline" are so imperfect and scanty, that a belief may be not in his Diary insert the date when, nor the theatre where. entertained that Shakespeare resorted to some other more he saw it. Hiš brief account of the plot, in his 66 Booke of fertile source, which the most diligent inquiries have yet Plaies and Notes thereof” (MS. Ashmol. No. 208), is in the failed to discover. The names of Cynıbeline and of his sons, I following terms Guiderius and Arviragus, occur in the old Chronicle, and there we hear of the tribute demanded by the Roman em

"Remember, also, the story of Cymbeline, king of England in

Lucius' time : how Lucius came from Octavius Cæsar for tribute, peror, but nothing is said of the stealing of the two young

8 and being denied, after sent Lucius with a great army of soldiers, princes, nor of their residence With Bellarius among the who landed at Milford Haven, and after were yanguished by Cymbe. mountains, and final restoration to their father..

line, and Lucius taken prisoner; and all by means of three outlaws, All that relates to Posthumus, Imogen, and Iachimo is of the which two of them were the sons of Cymbeline, stolen from merely fabulous, and some of the chief incidents of this part him when they were but two years old, by an old man whom Cymof the plot are to be found in French, Italian, and English. beline banished; and he kept them as his own sons twenty years

with him in a cave. And how one of them slew Cloten, that was We will speak of them separately.

the queen's son, going to Milford Haven to seek the love of Imogen, They had been employed for a dramatic purpose in France

the king's daughter, whom he had banished also for loving his at an early date, in a Miracle-play, printed in 1839 by Messrs. I daughter.. Monmerqué and Michel, in their Theutre Francois au Moyen- "And how the Italian that came from her love conveyed himself age, from a manuscript in the Bibliothèque du Roi. In that into a chest, and said it was a chest of plate, sent from her love and piece, mixed up with many romantic circumstances, we find others to be presented to the king. And in the deepest of the night,

ar fight in the she being asleep, he opened the chest and came forth of it, and viewThe wager on the chastity of the heroine, her flight in the

ed her in her bed, and the marks of her body, and took away her disguise of a page, the proof of her innocenco, and her final

bracelet, and after accused her of adultery to her love, &c. And in restoration to her husband. There also we ineet with two the end. how he came with the Romans into England, and was circumstances, introduced into Shakespeare's “Cymbeline,” taken prisoner, and after revealed to Imogen, who had turned herself but not contained in any other version of the story with into man's apparel, and fled to meet her love at Milford Haven; and which we are a ainted: we allude to the boast of Beren chanced to fall on the cave in the woods where her two brothers gier (the lachimo of the French Drama), that if he were allow. were ; and how by eating a sleeping dram they thought she had

been dead, and laid her in the woods, and the body of Cloten by her, ed the opportunity of speaking to the heroine but twice, he:

in her love's apparel that he left behind him, and how she was found should be able to accomplish his design: Jachimo (Act i. l by Lucius, 17 cm sc. 5) inakes the same declaration Again, in the French Miracle-play, Berengier takes exactly Shakespeare's model We have certainly no right to conclude that “ Cymbeline ? of assailing the virtue of Imogen, by exciting her anger and was a new piece when Forman witnessed the performance of jealousy by pretending that her husband, in Rome, had set it; but various critics have concurred in the opinion (which her the example of infidelity. Incidents' somewhat similar we ourselves entertain) that in style and versification it reare narrated in the French romances of La Violette, and Flore sembles “The Winter's Tale," and that the two dramas et Jehurine : in the latter, the villain, being secretly admitted belong to about the same period of the poet's life. Forman bv an old woman into the bed-room of the heroine, has the li Among Capellis books, which he gave to Trinity College. Cam. means of ascertaining a particillar mark upon her person bridge, and which are there preserved with care proportionate to their while she is bathing.

value.

UNA

[graphic]

saw "The Winter's Tale" on 17th May, 1611, and, perhaps, we feel persuaded that we could extract nearly every line that he saw " Cymbeline” at the Globe in the spring of the pre- was not dictated by his great intellect. We apprehend that ceding year. However, upon this point, we have no evidence Shakespeare found a drama on the story in the possession of to guide us, beyond the mere mention of the play and its one of the companies performing in London, and that, in incidents in Forman's Diary. That it was acted at court at accordance with the ordinary practice of the time, he made an early date is more than probable, but we are without any additions to and improvements in it, and procured it to be record of such an event until 1st January, 1633 (Vide Hist. represented at the Globe theatre'. Who might be the author of Engl. Dram. Poetry and the Stage, vol. ii. p. 57); under of the original piece, it would be in vain to conjecture, which date Sir Henry Herbert, the Master of the Revels, | Although we have no decisive proof that Shakespeare ever registers that it was performed by the King's Players, and worked in immediate concert with any of his contemporaries, that it was " well liked by the King." The particular allusion it was the custom with nearly all the dramatists of his day, in Actii, sc. 4, to " proud Cleopatraon the Cydnus, which and it is not impossible that such was the case with “ Pericles.'' bbswell'd above his banks," might lead us to think that The circumstance that it was a joint production, may partly 6 Antony and Cleopatra" had preceded “Cymbeline." account for the non-appearance of “ Pericles" in the folio of

It is the last of the " Tragedies" in the folio of 1623, and 1623. Ben Jonson, when printing the volume of his Works, we have reason to suppose that it had not been printed at any in 1616, excluded for this reason The Case is Altered," and earlier date. The divisions of acts and scenes are throughout “ Eastward Ho!" in the composition of which he had been regularly marked.

engaged with others; and when the player-editors of the folio of 1623 were collecting their materials, they perhaps omitted " Pericles?' because some living author might have an interest

in it. Of course we only advance this point as a mere specuPERICLES, PRINCE OF TYRE.

lation; and the fact that the publishers of the folio of 1623 p". The late, And much admired Play, called Pericles, Prince could not purchase the right of the bookseller, who had then

of Tyre. With the true Relation of the whole Historie, the property in “ Pericles,' may have been the real cause of aduentures, and fortunes of the said Prince: As also, Thé its non-insertion. no lesse strange, and worthy accidents, in the Birth and The Registers of the Stationers' Company show that on the Life, of his Daughter Mariana. As it hath been diuers and 20

and 20th May, 1608, Edward Blount (one of the proprietors of the sundry times acted by his Maiesties Seruants, at the Globe lolio,

folio of 1623) 'entered “ The booke of Pericles, Prynce of on the Banck-side. By William Shakespeare. Imprinted | Tyre," with one of the undoubted works of Shakespeare. at London for Henry Gosson, and are to be sold at the signe" Antony and Cleopatra." Nevertheless, “ Pericles? was not of the Sune in Pater-noster row. fo. 1609.99 4to. *35 | published by Blount, but by Gosson in the following year :

and we may infer, either that Blount sold his interest to leaves. " The late, And much admired Play, called Pericles, Prince

Gosson, or that Gosson anticipated Blount in procuring a of Tyre. With the true Relation of the whole History, | manuscript of the play. Gosson may have subsequently

parted with 6P and fortunes of the saide Prince. Written by pass

Thomas P aduentu

nd her Tre-impression by the latter in 1619.

" W. Shakespeare. Printed for T.P. 1619." 4to. 34 leaves. " The late. And much admired Play. called Pericles. Prince Having thus spoken of the internal evidence of authorshid.

of Tyre. With the true Relation of the whole History, and of the possible reason why“Pericles” was not included aduentures, and fortunes of the savd Prince: Written by in the folio of 1623, we will now advert briefly to the external Will Shakespeare. London Printed by IN for R.Bang evidence, that it was the work of our great dramatist. In are to be sould at his shop in Cheapside, at the signe of the

f the the first place it was printed in 1609, with his name at full Bible. 1630.” 4to. 34 leaves.

length, and rendered unusually obvious, on the title-page. In the folio of 1664, the following is the heading of the page

The answer, of course, may be that this was a fraud, and that on which the play begins: "The much admired Play,

it had been previously committed in the cases of the first part called, Pericles, Prince of Tyre. With the true Relations

of “Sir John Oldcastle," 1600, and of “The Yorkshire of the whole History, Adventures, and Fortunes of the said

608. It is undou

ue, that Shak Prince. Written by W. Shakespeare, and published in his

in his name is upon those title-pages; but we know, with regard to life time." It occupies twenty-pages; viz. from p. 1 to p.

"Sir John Oldcastle," that the original title-page, stating it 20, inclusive, a new pagination of the volume commencing

to have been “Written by William Shakespeare " was canwith Pericles." It is there divided into Acts, but irregu

celled, no doubt at the instance of the author to whom it was larly, and the Scenes are not marked.]

falsely imputed; and as to “ The Yorkshire Tragedy," many

persons have entertained the belief, in which we join, that THE first question to be settled in relation to " Pericles," is Shakespeare had a share in its composition. We are not to its title to a place among the collected works of Shakespeare. forget that, in the year preceding, Nathaniel Butter had made

There is so marked a character about every thing that pro- very prominent use of Shakespeare's name, for the sale of ceeded from the pen of our great dramatist,--his mode of three impressions of" King Lear; and that in the very year thought, and his style of expression, are so unlike those of when “ Pericles" came out, Thorpe had printed a collection any of his contemporaries, that they can never be mistaken. of scattered poems, recommending them to notice in very They are clearly visible in all the later portion of the play ; large capitals, by stating emphatically that they were " Shakeand so indisputable does this fact appear to us, that, we con- speare's Sonnets." fidently assert, however strong may be the external evidence Confirmatory of what precedes, it may be mentioned, that to the same point, the internal evidence is infinitely stronger: previously to the insertion of “ Pericles " in the folio of 1664, to those who have studied his works it will seem incontro-lit had been imputed to Shakespeare by S. Shepherd, in his vertible. As we do not rely merely upon particular expres- " Times displayed in Six Sestiads," 1646; and in lines by J. sions, nor upon separate passages, but upon the general Tatham, prefixed to R. Brome's "Jovial Crew," 1652. complexion of whole scenes and acts, it is obvious, that we Dryden gave it to Shakespeare in 1675, in the Prologue to C. cannot here enter into proofs, which would require the re- Davenant's Circe." Thus, as far as stage tradition is of impression of many of the succeeding pages.

value, it is uniformly in favour of our position, and it is An opinion has long prevailed, and we have no doubt it is moreover to be observed, that until comparatively modern well founded, that two hands are to be traced in the composi- times it has never been contradicted. tion of " Pericles." The larger part of the first three Acts The incidents of “Pericles " are found in Lawrence Twine's were in all probability the work of an inferior dramatist: to translation from the Gesta Romanorum, first published in these Shakespeare added comparatively little: but he found 1576, under the title of 66 The Patterne of Painfull Adyenit necessary, as the story advanced and as the interest in- tures," in which the three chief characters are pot named as creased, to insert more of his own composition. His hand in Shakespeare, but are called Apollonius, Lucina, and begins to be distinctly seen in the third Act, and afterwards Tharsia. This novel was several times reprinted, and an

[ocr errors]

1 By a list of theatrical apparel, formerly belonging to Alleyn, and 3 The novel is contained in a work called "Shakespeare's Library," preserved at Dulwich College, it appears that he had probably acted as well as Gower's poetical version of the same incidents, extracted in a play called “Pericles." See * Memoirs of Edward Alleyn," from his Confessio Amantis. Hence the propriety of making Gower printed for the Shakespeare Society, p. 21. This might be the play the speaker of the various interlocutions in “Pericles. The origin which Shakespeare altered and improved.

of the story, as we find it in the Gesta Romanorum, is a matter of 2 It seems that“ Pericles" was reprinted under the same circum- dispute : Belleforest asserts that the version in his Histoires Tra. stances in 1611. I have never been able to meet with a copy of this giques was from a manuscript tiré du Grec. Not long since, Mr. edition, and doubted its existence, until Mr. Halliwell pointed it out Thorpe printed an Anglo Saxon narrative of the same incidents; and to me, in a sale catalogue in 1804 : it purported to have been printed it is stated to exist in Latin manuscripts of as early a date as the tenth

for S. S.This fact would show, that Shakespeare did not then con- century. Shakespeare's Library," part v. p. ii. 1. tradict the reiterated assertion, that he was the author of the play.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

twntAr

uoti

ASSA u24

that

edition of it came out in 1607, which perhaps was the year it was so originally. Pericles tells Simonides, in the novel, in which “ Pericles " was first represented “at the Globe on that the Bank-side," as is stated on the title-page of the earliest « His blood was yet untainted, but with the heat got by the wrong edition in 1609. The drama seems to have been extremely the king had offered him, and that he boldly durst and did defy himpopular, but the usual difficulty being experienced by book- self, his subjects, and the proudest danger that either tyranny or sellers in obtaining a copy of it, Nathaniel Butter probably treason could inflict upon him." employed some person to attend the performance at the To leave out only two or three expletives renders the sentheatre, and with the aid of notes there taken, and of Twine's | +.

stence perfect dramatic blank-verse:-version of the story, (which, as we remarked, had just before been reprinted) to compose a novel out of the incidents of tho

6 His blood was yet untainted, but with heat play under the following title: "The Painfull Adventures of

Got by the wrong the king had offer'd him;

And that he boldly durst and did defy him, Pericles Prince of Tyre. Being the true History of the Play

His subjects, and the proudest danger of Pericles, as it was lately presented by the worthy and

Or tyranny or treason could inflict." ancient Poet Iohn Gower. At London. Printed by T. P. for Nat. Butter. 1608." It has also a wood-cut of Gower, no

Many other passages to the same end might be producer donbt, in the costumie he wore at the Globe.

" from the novel of which there is no trace in the play. We This publication is valuable, not merely because it is the

e shall not, however, dwell farther upon the point, than to menonly known specimen of the kind of that date in our language, i

tion a peculiarly Shakespearean expression, which occurs in but because though in prose, (with the exception of a song)

the novel, and is omitted in the drama. Lychorida brings it gives some of the speeches more at length, than in the play

ay the new-born infant to Pericles, who in the printed play as it has come down to us, and explains several obscure and (A

(Act iji. sc. 1) says to it, disputed passages. For this latter purpose it will be seen

- thou'rt the rudeliest welcome to this world that we have availed ourselves of it in our notes; but it will

That e'er was prince's child. Happy what follows ! not be out of place here to speak of the strong presumptive

Thou hast as chiding a nativity, evidence it affords, that the drama has not reached us by any

As fire, air, water, earth, and heaven can make." means in the shape in which it was originally represented. In the novel founded upon the play, the speech is thus The subsequent is given, in the novel of 1608, 'as the speech given, and we have printed the expression, which, we think, of Marina, when she is visited in the brothel by Lysimachus, must have come from the pen of Shakespeare, in italic type: the governor of Mitylene, whom, by her virtue, beauty, and "Poor inch of nature! (quoth he) thou art as rudely welcome to eloquence, she diverts from the purpose for which he came. the world, as ever princess' babe was, and hast as chiding a nativity

as fire, air, earth and water can afford thee." "If as you say, my lord, you are the governor, let not your authority, the existence of such a singular production was not known which should teach you to rule others, be the means to make you misgovern yourself. If the eminence of your place came unto you by

to any of the commentators; but several copies of it have descent, and the royalty of your blood, let not your life prove your been preserved, and one of them was sold in the library of birth bastard : if it were thrown upon you by opinion, make good

the late Mr. Heber. that opinion was the cause to make you great. What reason is there It will have been remarked, that the novel printed in 1608 in your justice, who hath power over all, to undo any? If you take states that “ Pericles" had been “lately presented," and on from me mine honour, you are like him that makes a gap into tor- the title-page of the edition of the play in 1609 it is termed hidden ground, after whom many enter, and you are guilty of all the late and much-admired Play called Pericles :it is. their evils. My life is yet unspotted, my chastity unstained in thought: then, if your violence deface this building, the workman- | besides, spoken of as "a new play," in a poetical tract called ship of heaven, made up for good, and not to be the exercise of sin's

d in 1609. Another intemperance, you do kill your own honour, abuse your own justice, called “Shore," is mentioned in “Pimlico," under exactly and impoverish me."

similar circunstances: there was an older drama upon the

y of Jane Shore, and this, like " Pericles," had, in all Of this speech in the printed play we only meet with the

probability, about the same date been revived at one of the following einphatic germ:-

theatres, with additions. "If you were born to honour, show it now:

66 Pericles " was five times printed before it was inserted If put upon you, make the judgment good,

in the folio of 1664, viz. in 1609, 1611, 1619, 1630, and 1635. That thought you worthy of it."-(A. iv. sc. 6.)

| The folio seems to have been copied from the last of th

with a multiplication of errors, but with some corrections. It will hardly be required of us to argue, that the powerful The first edition of 1609 was obviously brought out in haste, address, copied from the novel founded upon " Pericles," and there are many corruptions in it; but more pains were conld not be the mere enlargement of a short-hand writer, taken with it than Malone, Steevens, and others inagined : who had taken notes at the theatre, who from the very diffi- they never compared different copies of the same edition, or culty of the operation, and from the haste with which he they would have seen that the impressions vary importantly, must afterwards have compounded the history, would be and that several mistakes, discovered as the play went through much more likely to abridge than to expand. In some parts the press, were carefully set right: these will be found point

nt that the prose, there used, was made ea out in our potes. The commentators dwelt upon the up from the blank-verse composition of the drama, as acted blunders of the old copies, in order to warrant their own at the Globe. In the latter we meet with no passage similar extraordinary innovations ; but wherever we could do so, to what succeeds, but still the ease with which it may be with due regard to the sense of the author, we have l'estored re-converted into blank-verse renders it almost certain that the text to that of the earliest impression.

stom

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« AnteriorContinuar »