Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

C Y M B E L I N E.*

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]

* CYMBELINE.] Mr. Pope supposed the story of this play to have been borrowed from a novel of Boccace; but he was mistaken, as an imitation of it is found in an old story-book entitled Westward

for Smelts. This imitation differs in as many particulars from the Italian novelit, as from Shakspeare, though they concur in some material parts of the fable. It was published in a quarto pamphlet . 1603. This is the only copy of it which I have hitherto seen,

There is a late entry of it in the books of the Stationers' Company, Jan. 1619, where it is said to have been written by Kitt of King ftor. STERVENS.

The tale in Weftward for Smelts, which I published fome years ago, I shall subjoin to this play. The only part of the fable, however, which can be pronounced with certainty to be drawn from thence, is, Imogen's wandering about after Pisanio has left her in the foreft; her being almoft familhed; and being taken, 'at a subfequent period, into the service of the Roman General as a page. The general scheme of Cymbeline is, in my opinion, formed on Boccace's novel (Day 2, Nov. 9.) and Shakspeare has taken a circumstance from it, that is not mentioned in the other tale.. See p. -, n. --* It appears from the preface to the old translation of the Decamerone, printed in 1620, that many of the novels had be. fore received an English dress, and had been printed separately: “ I know, most worthy lord, (says the printer in his Epistle Dedicatory,) that many of them (the novels of Boccace] have long fince been published before, as stolen from the original author, and yet not beautified with his sweet style and elocution of phrase, neither favouring of his fingular morall applications."

Cymbeline, I imagine, was written in the year 1605. See Ar Attempt to ascertain the Order of Shakspeare's Plays, Vol. I. The king from whom the play takes its title began his reign, according to Holinshed, in the 19th year of the reign of Auguftus Cæsar; and the play commences in or about the twenty-fourth year of Cymbeline's reign, which was the forty-second year of the reign of Augustus, and the 16th of the Christian æra: notwithstanding which, Shakspeare has peopled Rome with modern Italians; Philario, lachimo, &c. Cymbeline is said to have reigned thirty-five years, leaving at his death two sons, Guiderius and Arviragus.

MALONE

+ I am unable to ascertain this reference, no circumstance attached to the novel of Boccace being discoverable in p: 364, n. 6, the place to which we are directed by Mrr Malone, in his edition of our author's works, Vol. VIIT. p. 309. STIEVENS.

PERSONS repre Yented.
Cloten, son to the Queen by a former busband.
Leonatus Posthumus, a gentleman, busband to Imogen.
Belarius, a banished lord, disguised under tbe name of
Guiderius, į disguised under the names of Polydore

and Cadwal, supposed Sons to Belarius.
Caius Lucius, General of the Roman forces.
A French Gentleman, friend to Philario.
Imogen, daughter to Cymbeline by a former queen.

tions, a Soothsayer, a Dutch Gentleman, a Spanish
Gentleman, Musicians, Officers, Captains, Soldiers,
SCENE, sometimes in Britain; Sometimes in Italy.

Messengers, and other Attendants.
Cymbeline, King of Britain.

Morgan.
Arviragus, )
Philario, friend to Posthumus,
Iachimo, friend to Philario,
A Roman Captain. Two
Pisanio, servant to Posthumus.
Cornelius, a Physician,
Two Gentlemen.
Two Gaolers.
Queen, wife to Cymbeline,

}

Italians,

British .

woman

ACT I.

SCENE I.

Britain. The Garden behind Cymbeline's Palace.

Enter two Gentlemen.

1. Gent. You do not meet a man, but frowns :

our bloods No more obey the heavens, than our courtiers; Still seem, as does the king's."

: You do not meet a man, but frowns: our bloods No more obey the heavens, than our

courtiers ; Still seem, as does she king's.] The thought is this: we are not now (as we were wont) influenced by the weather, but by the king's looks. We no more obey the heavens (the sky) than our courtiers obey the heavens (God]. By which it appears that the read. ing—our bloods, is wrong. For though the blood may be affected with the weather, yet that affection is discovered not by change of colour, but by change of countenance. And it is the outward not the inward change that is here talked of, as appears from the word feem. We should read therefore :

our brows No more obey the heavens, &c. which is evident from the precedent words :

You do not meet a man but frowns.
And from the following:

But not a courtier,
“ Altho' they wear their faces to the bent
Of the king's look, but hath a heart that is

“ Glad at the thing they scowl at.”
The Oxford editor improves upon this emendation, and reads :

our looks Ne more obey the heart, ev'n rhan our courtiers. But by venturing too far, at a second emendation, he has ftript it of all thought and sentiment. WARBURTON,

« AnteriorContinuar »