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“I have many other ways to die" is a mistranslation; Plutarch says not “I have” but “he has,” that is, that Antony has many other ways to die. His sentence, translated word for word, runs thus: “After this, Antony sent to defy Caesar to single combat, and received for answer that he might find other means of ending his life.” Amyot cannot be said to be in fault here, he translates it: “And another time Antony sent to challenge Cæsar to single combat. Cæsar sent him word that he had many other ways of dying than that;” but Shakespeare was misled by the ambiguous use of the word he, which is also found in the English version by North, “Cæsar answered that he had


to die than so.' Shakespeare's Timon composes the following epitaph for his tomb: “Here lies a wretched corse, of wretched soul bereft: Seek not my name; a plague consume you wicked caitiffs left! Here lie I Tinion; who, alive, all living men did hate :

Pass by, and curse thy fill; but pass and stay not here thy gait.” This epitaph is taken word for word (one word only being changed) from Sir Thomas North, who here thinks it well to follow Amyot's example of turning the lines into verse. Shakespeare's version, or that which is attributed to him, for “Timon of Athens" is full of incoherencies and doubtful passages, — presents the strange anomaly of uniting in one, two perfectly distinct epitaphs, distinguished as such by North and by Amyot, as well as by Plutarch: one is by Timon himself, the other by the poet Callimachus. It is absurd to say,

Seek not my name,” and two lines further on, “Here lie I Timon.” In North the passage is, “On the tomb was written this epitaph :-“Here lies a wretched corse of wretched soul bereft,

Seek not my name; a plague consume you wicked wretches left.” It is reported that Timon himself when he lived made

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this epitaph; for that which is commonly rehearsed was not his, but made by the poet Callimachus :“Here lie I Timon, who alive all living men did hate:

Pass by and curse thy fill, but pass and stay not here thy gait.” Turning to “Julius Caesar,” we find Antony (Act III. Sc. 2) saying, when reading Cæsar's will to the people :

“Moreover, he hath left you all his walks,
His private arbours, and new-planted orchards,

On this side Tiber." “On this side Tiber," writes Shakespeare. Plutarch wrote Trepav toŨ totauoū, “ across the Tiber,” but Shakespeare was misled by North, who had been misled by Amyot.

“ He bequeathed,” says North, “unto every citizen of Rome twenty-five drachmas a man, and he left his gardens and arbours unto the people, which he had on this side of the river of Tyber.”

But the most striking instances of Shakespeare borrowing from North occur in "Coriolanus," where, in the hero's speech to Aufidius, demanding his hospitality and alliance, and in that of Volumnia to her son, in which she beseeches him not to war upon Rome,* Shakepeare has done little more, says Dr. Farmer, than throw the very words of North into blank verse.

The best and most conclusive part of Dr. Farmer's essay is his demonstration of the third-handedness of Shakespeare's knowledge of Plutarch, but it contains also several other curious little revelations; as, for example, that concerning the plagiarism from Anacreon that commentators have been pleased to detect in the following passage from “Timon of Athens” (Act IV., Sc. 3) =


“ The sun's a thief, and with his great attraction

Robs the vast sea. The moon's an arrant thief,
And her pale fire she snatches from the sun.

* “Should we be silent and not speak, etc”-Act V., Sc. 3.

The sea's a thief, whose liquid surge resolves
The moon into salt tears. The earth's a thief,
That feeds and breeds by a composture stol'n

From general excrement : each thing's a thief." Dr. Farmer shows that, even supposing it impossible for Shakespeare, “who was generally able to think for himself,” to have originated it, it cannot be quoted as a proof of his knowledge of Greek, seeing that Anacreon's ode had been translated several times into Latin, French, and English, before the end of the sixteenth century, notably by Ronsard in his drinking song :

“La terre les eaux va buvant;
L'arbre la boit par la racine;
La mer salie boit le vent,
Et le soleil boit la marine.
Le soliel est bu de la lune;
Tout boit, soit en haut ou en bas;
Suivant cette règle commune,

Pourquoi donc ne boirions nous pas ?” It was not only in the case of Greek authors that Shakespeare gladly availed himself of translations, for, as Farmer shows, in many instances where it would have been easy for him to consult the Latin originals he preferred having recourse to English translations, as is the case, for example, with Prospero's address to his attendant spirits in the “Tempest.”

“Ye elves of hills, of standing lakes, and groves,” which Warburton took to be copied from Ovid, but which a comparison of texts clearly proves to be borrowed not from the Latin poet but from the English translation by Arthur Golding in 1567.

Farmer makes some very sensible remarks on the subject of Shakespeare's frequent allusions to classical fables and memories. To infer from these allusions that Shakespeare had read Ovid, Virgil, and Homer, at any rate in English, and had himself drunk at the fountain


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head of Greek and Latin antiquity, is a quite uncalledfor conclusion. The literature of the Middle Ages and of the Renaissance had popularized all the legends of antiquity, and turned them into current coin long before translations of Greek authors were in people's hands. To quote an example, Shakespeare, in the “Midsummer Night's Dream,” happens to mention Dido, and thereupon commentators carefully point out that there was no translation of Virgil's “ Æneid ” in Shakespeare's time. But what does that matter? “ The fate of Dido had been sung very early by Gower, Chaucer, and Lydgate ; Marlowe had even already introduced her to the stage.

Another passage in the “Midsummer Night's Dream shows that Shakespeare knew of the distinction made by Ovid between Cupid's two sets of arrows, some of them being pointed with lead, and others with gold; and again the question arises whether he derived this directly from Ovid, in either Latin or English. He may possibly have done so, but still such a conclusion is perfectly unnecessary, as “Cupid's arrows appear with their characteristic differences in Surrey, in Sidney, in Spenser, and in every sonneteer of the Elizabethan period.” Later on, Voltaire, when he in his turn inherited the tradition, thus describes them in the first scene of “ Nanine":

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Je vous l'ai dit, l'amour a deux carquois :

L’un est rempli de ces traits tout de flamme
Dont la douceur porte la paix dans l'âme,
Qui rend plus purs nos goûts, nos sentiments,
Nos soins plus vifs, nos plaisirs plus touchants;
L'autre n'est plein que de flèches cruelles,
Qui, répandant les soupçons, les querelles,
Rebutent l'âme, etc.".

The conclusions that Dr. Farmer draws are, however, exaggerated, and overstep his premisses ; he is of opinion

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that he has proved that Shakespeare knew neither Greek nor Latin, but in reality he has only shown that the poet made use of translations from both languages as much as possible, and besides this, that independently of any translations, much of his classical knowledge may have been culled from the literature of the Middle Ages and of the Renaissance)

In criticising Shakespeare's attainments, Dr. Farmer fell into the egregious folly of speaking in a strain of impertinent conceit; it is as if the little man—for little he must assuredly have been-was eaten up with vanity, and was bursting to show that he knew more of Greek and Latin than Shakespeare did.

Of the same order of research and of the same spirit was another equally famous work that appeared in the eighteenth century—“ Illustrations of Shakespeare,” containing an essay “On the Anachronisms and some other Incongruities of Shakspere," by Francis Douce. In this big book, bristling with erudition but devoid of talent, and very foolish and irreverent towards Shakespeare, the poet's historical and geographical blunders are pointed out with pedantic and ponderous care, and without the least understanding of the subject; but an inquiry into Shakespeare's anachronisms, and the further criticism of Douce's book, must be reserved for another chapter.

When Shakespeare was looked upon as an “intoxicated savage,” his literary learning was, naturally enough, held in small esteem, and rated lower than it really deserved; but when a complete revolution in opinion was introduced by Schlegel and Coleridge, who proclaimed that he must no longer be regarded as a mere child of nature, but as a wise and enlightened artist knowing perfectly what he was about, people fell into the opposite extreme, and entertained the most extravagant notions as to the extent and depth of his acquirements. Our own century has discovered that Shakespeare

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