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the Sonnets on literature.
literature. The momentous advent of Surrey and Wyatt had revolutionised English poetry : the introduction of the Italian
sonnet-form had bent its course in a foreign direcInfluence of tion. Those two noble friends and fellow-courtiers
had naturalised Petrarch in England : Spenser,
similarly, had depended, to a very great extent, upon his acquaintance with Boiardo and Ariosto. The work of leading back poetry from this exotic quarter was especially the work of Shakespeare ; and it is in his Sonnets, the book of poems which in its entirety follows an utterly foreign and alien form of verse, that he wins back poetry to its really national character. Thus he makes the sonnet itself a vehicle for English thought and speech, and not for a style which is at its best but Anglicised Italian ; and, in so doing, he makes the form itself purely national, enfranchising and recreating it. He is the true inventor of the English lyric, of the English sonnet, of all that is most light and lovable, of all that is most profound and most emotional in English poetry : he teaches his successors how to grasp a fleeting thought, to arrest a passing emotion, and to preserve it in the imperishable amber of verse. All this is true of the author of the Sonnets. And, this being so, what shall we say of the dramatist, of the poet who controlled the whole gigantic scale of human emotion and passion, even to the most remote and faintly-heard fraction of a semitone ; who played upon human life as his perfectly-mastered instrument, improvising at will and transposing his keys as it pleased him; whose improvisations, noted down and varied by his hand, remain for ever our noblest music? If we are permitted to see for ourselves the smallest jot of that incomparable genius, to know but one small corner of that field from which exhaustless harvests are daily and yearly gleaned, we can hardly be thankful enough for the inestimable privilege.
NOTES AND ILLUSTRATIONS.
A.-CLASSIFIED LIST OF | and quoted in Charles Lamb's Selec.
SHAKESPEARE'S PLAYS, tions, deals with much the same
simon of Athens (Tragedy).
Painter's Palace of Pleasure. North's 1. HISTORY.
Plutarch-life of Antony. Possibly
which Boiardo had adopted his Legendary.
Timone. An older play, Timon of (1.) ANCIENT.-Titus Andronicus Athens (1600), may have suggested (Tragedy). Probably an older play the general subject. on the same subject-the Titus and (2.) MEDIEVAL.-Hamlet (TraVespasian (1592)—not extant in gedy). An older play, Hamlet. English. À play called Lust's probably by Thomas Kyd, author of Dominion, attributed to Marlowe, The Spanish Tragedy. The Histoire The Tragedy of the Two Roses.
de Hamlet in the Histoires Tragiques Rickard II. Mainly from of François de Belleforest; which, in Holinshed ; a few touches from its turn, was borrowed from Saxo Hall. The whole subject sug. Grammaticus Historia Danica, gested by Marlowe's Edward II. Belleforest's Hamlet was translated Henry IV, part i ; into English in 1608, after the play Henry IV, part ii ; had appeared.
Henry V: (3.) ANCIENT BRITISH. - King
Holinshed, and an earlier Lear (Tragedy). Most of the mate
play called The Famous rial is to be found in Holinshed. A
Victories of Henry V play called The True Chronicle His.
(published 1598). tory of King Leir and his Three Henry VI, part i. Shake. Daughters had appeared the year speare's part (probably very before the play itself (1605). The small) derived from Holinshed. episode of Gloucester and his sons Henry VI, part ii. An older is drawn from Sidney's Arcadia play called The first part of (Bk. ii. ch. 10). “Hints for the the Contention betwixt the two speeches of Edgar when feigning famous houses of York and Lanmadness were drawn from Harsnet's caster (published 1594). • Declaration of Popish Impostures,' Henry VI, part iii." A similar 1603" (Sidney Lee, Life of Shake. play called The True Tragedy speare, pp. 241-2). Samuel Harsnet of Richard Duke of York (pub. was master of Pembroke College,
lished 1595). Cambridge ; afterwards Bishop of Richard III. Holinshed and Chichester and Norwich; Arch- Hall. Possibly The True Tragedy bishop of York, 1628-31.
\of Richard II (published 1594). Macbeth (Tragedy). Holinshed's Henry VIII. Holinshed and Chronicle of Scottish History. Hall. Cavendish's Life of Wolsey,
Cymbeline (Tragi - comedy). and, possibly, the poem by Thomas Groundwork of story from Holinshed, Storer of Christ Church, Oxford, embroidered with an adaptation of on The Life and Death of Thomas Boccaccio's novel of the falsely Wolsey, Cardinal (1599). accused Ginevra (Decamerone, day 2, nov, 9). Perhaps Shakespeare used the version of the same story to be
II. FICTION. found in the collection by “ Kynde Kit of Kingston," called Westward Love's Labour's Lost (Comedy). jor Smelts, the first known edition No known source, although full of of which is, however, 1620.
Two Gentlemen of Verona
(Comedy). In all probability ii. Authentic.
adapted from an older play, The
History of Felix and Philomena (1.) ROMAN. - Julius Cesar | (1584). The plot is to be found in (Tragedy). North's Plutarch (1579): the Diana Enamorada of Montelives of Cæsar, Brutus, and Antony. mayor, under the sub-title of “The An earlier Julius Cæsar had been Shepherdess Filismena." Another acted in 1594 by Shakespeare's romance laid under contribution company.
was Barnabe Rich's Apollonius and Antony and Cleopatra (Tragedy). Silla, adapted from Cinthio (see North's Plutarch : life of Antony. also Twelfth-Night),
Coriolanus (Tragedy). North's Comedy of Errors (Comedy). PosPlutarch: life of Coriolanus. There sibly The History of Error, acted is a story on the same theme in in 1576. Main plot follows the Painter's Palace of Pleasure. Menæchmi of Plautus, with details
(2.) ENGLISH. -King John. An from the Amphitruo. adaptation of The Troublesome Romeo and Juliet (I'ragedy). The Reign of King John (1591 ; not Italian sources are numerous, Pale's Kynge Johan); partly from the story was frequently treated. Holinshed.
Shakespeare's plot is, most probably, ENG. LIT,
to be traced back to Bandello | dante and Ginevra (1583). A hint
As You Like It (Comedy). Lodge's
direct ancestor of Shakespeare's play. Alidsummer-Night's Dream (Com- Many of Bandello's novels_came edy). The plot is due to Shake- to England through the French
For its mechanism medium of Belleforest's Histoires he went to many sources, which, | Tragiques. The play contains a having little to do with the actual reference, in the words “the lady of plot, it is unnecessary to mention. the Strachy" (Act ii. sc. 5), to the Lord Berners' translation of Huon novel of Bandello which suggested of Bordeaux (1534) probably gave Webster's Duchess of Malf ; but the him Oberon and the Fairies.
garbled word “Strachy" for Strozzi, All's Well that Ends Well (Com- seems to indicate familiarity with a edy). The story of Giletta of Nar- translation rather than with the bonne, in Painter's Palace of Plea- original. sure (taken from Boccaccio, De- Troilus and Cressida (Tragicamerone, day 3, nov. 9).
comedy). A previous play by Dekker Taming of the Shrew (Comedy). and Chettle, Troilus and Cressida, A revision of an older play, The now lost, seems to be the origin. Taming of a Shrew (1594). The There was plenty of English material underplot is partly from Gascoigne's for the story-e.g. Chaucer's Troilus Supposes, an adaptation of Ariosto's and Criseyde, Lydgate's Troy Book, I Suppositi.
Caxton's Recuyles, or Destruction of Merry Wives of Windsor (Com- Troy. Chapman's Homer-that is, edy). Probably from Giov. Fran- as much of it as was published up cesco Straparola's Tredici piacevoli to this time--was probably of use. notti (iv. 4), or the adaptation, "The but the material was obviously mediTwo Lovers of Pisa," in Tarleton's eval rather than contemporary. News out of Purgatory. Hints Othello (Tragedy). Cinthio's may have been furnished by Il novel of Othello (in the Ecatom. Pecorone (day 1, nov. 2), and a story mithi, decad. iii. nov. 3). in Westward for Smelts (see ante, Measure for Measure (TragiCymbeline).
comedy). Cinthio's novel of Epitia Much Ado about Nothing (Com- (Ecatommithi, decad. viii. nov. 5). edy). Much is original. For the and also his drama on the same groundwork of the plot, the Hero theme ; with Whetstone's adaptaepisode, there
two Italian tion in his ten-act play of Promos sources : the 22nd novel of Bandello and Cassandra (1578). and the fifth canto of the Orlando Pericles (Comedy). Gower's story Furioso. Probability inclines to the of Apollonius of Tyre in the Con. second, which had already been fessio Amantis. Lawrence Twyne, dramatised as The History of Ario. 1 in his Pattern of Painful Adventures
(1576), translated it from the French. 1878 ; Richard Grant White, Boston, George Wilkins, later (1608) founded Mass., 12 vols. 1857-65. More recent a novel on the play.
than these are Mr. F. A. Marshall's Winter's Tale (Tragi-comedy). " Henry Irving Shakespeare," 8 vols. Greene's Pandosto, the Triumph of 1888-90, and the selected plays pubTime (1588), which, in later versions lished in separate volumes by the (after 1648), is called Dorastus and Clarendon Press (ed. W. G. Clark Fawnia.
and W. A. Wright). C. Prætorius' The Tempest (Comedy). 'Source reprints of the quartos (1885-6) are unknown. Idea derived from Sir most useful to students. George Somers' discovery of the GLOSSARIES, etc.—Mrs. CowdenBermudas in 1609, recorded in Clarke's Concordance to the Plays 1610 by Sylvester Jourdain. Jacob (1845); Mrs. H. H. Furness' ConAyrer (d. 1605) wrote a play called cordance the Poems (1875) : Die schöne Sidea, not unlike the Mr. John Bartlett's Concordance to Tempest in plot, of which it is just Plays and Pocms (1895); Alexander possible that Shakespeare may have Schmidt's Shakespeare Lexicon, heard.
2 vols. 1874. The Two Noble Kinsmen (Tragi- GRAMMAR, VERSIFICATION. comedy). Chaucer's Knight's Tale. Dr. E. A. Abbott's Shakespearian Two plays on the same subject have Grammar (1st ed. 1869, new ed. been lost-viz. Richard Edwardes 1893); W. Sidney Walker's ShakePalæmon and Arcyte (1566), and speare and Shakespeare's Versifianother called Palamon and Arsett cation (1854); Charles Bathurst's (1594).
Difference in Shakespeare's Versification (1857); Mr. F. G. Fleay's
Shakespeare Manual (1876). B.-BOOKS USEFUL IN THE SOURCES.-J. P. Collier and STUDY OF SHAKESPEARE. W. C. Hazlitt's Shakespeare's Lib.
rary (1875); F. Douce's Illustrations TEXT. — (1.) The Cambridge of Shakespeare (1807); Simrock On Shakespeare, ed. W. G. Clark and the Plots of Shakespeare's Plays W. A. Wright (9 vols. ist ed. 1863–6; (Shakcspeare Society, 1850). Some 2nd ed. 1887 : 3rd ed. 10 vols. 1893). of the old plays and novels on gives in footnotes all the readings which Shakespeare worked have of the early editions. (2.) Lionel been reprinted, chiefly by the Shake. Booth's reprint of the First Folio speare Society (1841-53) and the (3 parts, 1861, 1863, 1864).
New Shakspere Society (founded EDITIONS WITH NOTEs. -(1.) The 1874), whose Allusion Books are Variorum Shakespeare of 1821, most valuable. known as " Boswell's Malone COMMENTARIES, etc. (a) ENG(21 vols.), was founded on Edmund LISH.-S. T. Coleridge's Notes and Malone's (1741-1812) edition of the Lectures on Shakespeare and other plays (10 vols. 1790) and edited by Poets, collected and ed. T. Ashe, James Boswell the younger. (2.) The 1883; W. Hazlitt's Characters of Variorum Edition now in publica- Shakespeare's Plays (1817); Protion,ed. Dr. Harold Howard Furness fessor Dowden's Shakspere, his of Philadelphia (vols. i.-xii. 1871- Mind and Art (1874); A. C. Swin1900), will, when finished, super- burne, A Study of Shakespeare sede the 1821 edition; but at present (1880); Mrs. Jameson's Character. (1900) only twelve plays have been istics of (Shakespeare's) Women published..(3.) Other well-known (1833); Lady Martin's Shakespeare's English and American editions of Heroines (1885); Richard G. Moulthe present century are those of ton's Shakespeare as a Dramatic Alexander Dyce (1798-1869), 9 vols. Artist (1885); F. S. Boas' Shakspere 1857; Howard Staunton (1810- and his Predecessors (1895). 1874), 3 vols. 1868–70; Charles (6) FOREIGN. -- (1.) American : Knight (" Pictorial" edition), 8 vols. H. N. Hudson's Shakespeare, his 1838–43; John Payne Collier, 8 vols. Life, Art, and Character (1881). 1841-4, and, again, privately printed, (2.) German: A. W. Schlegel's
Slakespeare and the Drama (English | Shakespeare: a Literary Biography translation, 1815); Heine's Shake- (1876, translated 1888), were usespeare's Heroines (translation 1895): | ful contributions; but Neil's work Ulrici's Shakespeare's Dramatische suffers from the readiness with K’un st(1839; several edd. in English); which he accepted Payne Collier's Gervinus, Shakespeare Commentaries mischievous forgeries. Since Halli(1848-9 ; best English ed. 1875); well-Phillipps' book, Mr. F. G. Fleay F. A. T. Kreyssig. Vorlesungen has published, in addition to other iiber Shakespeare (1858) and Shake- works, à Life of Shakespeare (1886); speare-Fragen (1871). Kreyssig's and the topographical literature work is the best æsthetic commentary relating to Stratford-on-Avon and in German since Schlegel, although its neighbourhood has been much the tendency to overrate German augmented. The most scholarly criticism has attached an immense con:ribution to the subject of recent importance to Gervinus and Ulrici. years is Mr. Sidney Lee's Life of Hertzberg's prefaces to certain plays William Shakespeare (1899), which (in the Deutsche Shakespeare-Ge. not only shows great research and sellschaft's edition of Schlegel and knowledge of the whole period, but Tieck's translation) are very valu. is likely to remain for many years able with regard to the metrical the standard work on the subject, question. The D. S.-Gesellschaft since it condenses all the available has also published a volume yearly information on the sources and date since 1865. containing many articles of the plays. Mr. Lee's view on of the highest importance, including the question of the Sonnets is inKarl Elze's Essays (translated (1874). genious, but unorthodox, and has (3.) French: Guizot, Sur la Vie et les at present received very little support.
Euvres de Shakespeare and Shake. A series of articles. The True speare et son Temps (1852); Alfred Shakespeare, by Mr. Frank Harris Mézières' Shakespeare, ses Euvres (Saturday Review, 1898), attempts et ses Critiques (1860); Victor Hugo's to deduce the personal character Shakespeare (1864). (4.) The Wil- of Shakespeare from the internal liam Shakespeare of the Danish evidence of the plays; but, although scholar Georg Brandes (English brilliant, the general theory adopted translation, 2 vols. 1898) has pro- is unsound and open to contradicvoked considerable attention. It tion. Mr. W. I. Rolfe's Shakespeare, was first published at Copenhagen the Boy, and H. S. and C. W. Ward's (1895). Although most European Shakespeare's Town and Times are and some Asiatic countries have interesting for their description of produced some translations, and Elizabethan Stratford. some desultory criticisms have appeared in Russia, Spain, etc., no
C.-LIST OF PLAYS FALSELY other country has proclucer any elaborate critical work.
ATTRIBUTED TO SHAKE.
SPEARE. BIOGRAPHY.-The obscure life of Shakespeare has been treated by Arden of Feversham, a play of most of the editors and commen- the type known as bourgeois tratators; but their researches, as a gedy, from the story of a murder whole, are concerned with the stage at Faversham_(1551). Original in history of his time rather than with Holinshed. This is a very fine his biography. The most important specimen of its rather disagreeable stage in this difficult investigation order. Shakespeare's part in it, was the publication of the volumin- tentatively supported by Mr. Swinous Outlines of the Life of Shake- burne, is very doubtful.
It was speare, by J. O. Halliwell (better licensed and published in 1592. known to-day as Halliwell-Phillipps). Lamb, in his Specimens, quotes the 1881. The last (7th) edition of this, extraordinary scene (which has much increased, appeared in 1887. something of Marlowe's force) bePreviously, Samuel Neil's Shake- tween Alice Arden and her paraspeare : a Critical Biography (1861), mour. There are two modern reand Karl Elze's German William prints; one (now out of print),