« السابقةمتابعة »
up from notes taken at the theatre during the per- time of our great dramatist, for one poet to take up formance, subsequently patched together, and print the production of another, and, by making additions ed in haste for the satisfaction of public curiosity. to and improvements in it, to appropriate it to his Now and then we meet with a few consecutive lines, own use, or to the use of the theatre to which he similar to the authentie copy, but in general the text belonged. This practice applied to the works of is miserably mangled and disfigured.
living as well as of dead poets, and it has been conThe quartos contain no hint of the Chorusses, but jectured that when Robert Greene spoke of Shakea passage in that which precedes Act v. certainly speare, as “the only Shake-scene in a country," relates to the expedition of the Earl of Essex to Ire- and as "an upstart crow beautified with our feathland, between the 15th April and the 28th Septem-ers," he alluded chiefly to the manner in which ber, 1599, and must have been written during his Shakespeare had employed certain dramas, by absence:
Greene and others, as the foundation of his three A s. by a lower but loving likelihood,
parts of " Henry VI.” These certain dramas were Were now the general of our gracious empress
some undiscovered original of the first part of (As in good time he may) from Ireland coming, "Henry VI. ;" the first part of “The Contention Bringing rebellion broached on his sword,
betwixt the Two Famous Houses of York and LanHow many would the penceful city quit To welcome him."
caster," 1600 ; and "The True Tragedy of Richard
Duke of York," 1595. It was by making additions, The above lines were, therefore, composed be- alterations, and improvements in these three pieces, tween the 15th April and the 28th September, that Shakespeare's name became associated with 1599, and most likely the Chorusses formed part of them as their author, and hence the player-editors the piece as originally acted. Upon this supposi- felt themselves justified in inserting them among tion, the question when Shakespeare wrote his bis other works in the folio of 1623. There are “ Henry V." is brought to a narrow point; and several other theories respecting the elder plays we confirmed as it is by the omission of all mention of have mentioned, but neither of them, as it seems to the play by Meres, in his Palladis Tamia, 1598, us, is supported by sufficient testimony. we need feel little doubt that his first sketch came Although no such drama has come down to us, from the pen of Shakespeare, for performance at
we know, on the authority of Henslowe's Diary, the Globe theatre, early in the summer of 1599. that there was a play called “ Harey the VI," acted The enlarged drama, as it stands in the folio of on 3d March, 1591-2, and so popular as to have 1623, we are disposed to believe was not put into been repeated twelve times. This was, perhaps, the complete shape in which it has there come the piece which Shakespeare subsequently altered down to us, until shortly before the date when it was and improved, and to which Nash alludes in his played at Court.
" Pierce Penniless," 1592, where he speaks of “brave Talbot" having been made “to triumph again on the stage," after having been two hundred
years in his tomb. FIRST PART OF KING HENRY VI. “Henry VI.” upon the play produced by Hens
If our great dramatist founded his first part of (“The first Part of Henry the Sixt" was printed originally lowe's company, of course, it could not have been
in the folio of 1623, where it occupies twenty-four pages written until after March, 1592; but with regard to viz., from p. 96 to p. 119, inclusive, in the division of the precise date of its composition we must remain "Histories. It was reprinted in the folios 1632, 1664, in uncertainty. Malone's later notion was, as we and 1685.)
have already observed, that Shakespeare's hand This historical drama is first found in the folio of was not to be traced in any part of it; but Steevens 1623: no earlier edition of it in any shape, or in any called attention to several remarkable coincidences degree of imperfectness, has been discovered. This of expression ; and though there is the strongest single fact is sufficient, in our mind, to establish presumptive evidence that more than one author Shakespeare's claim to the authorship of it, even was engaged on the work, passages might be pointwere we to take Malone's assertion for granted ed out so much in the spirit and character of Shake(which we are by no means inclined to do) that the speare, that we cannot conceive them to have come internal evidence is all opposed to that claim. When from any other pen. Heminge and Condell published the folio of 1623, many of Shakespeare's contemporaries, authors, actors, and auditors, were alive; and the playereditors, if they would have been guilty of the dis: SECOND PART OF KING HENRY VI. honesty, would hardly have committed the folly of inserting a play in their volume which was not his (“The second part of Henry the Sixt, with the death of the production, and perhaps well known to have been
Good Duke Hvmfrey," was first printed in the folio of the work of some rival dramatist.
1623, where it occupies twenty-seven pages; viz., from p. Our opinion is therefore directly adverse to that
120 to p. 146, inclusive, in the division of "Histories." It
fills the same place in the subsequent folio impressions.) of Malone, who, having been "long struck with the many evident Shakespeareanisms in these plays," The "history” is an alteration of a play printed afterwards came to the conclusion that he had been in 1594, under the following title: "The First part entirely mistaken, and that none of these peculiari- of the Contention betwixt the two famous houses lies were to be traced in the first part of “ Henry of Yorke and Lancaster, with the death of the good VI. :" "I am, therefore (he added), decisively of Duke Humphrey: And the banishment and death opinion, that this play was not written by Shake of the Duke of Suffolke, and the Tragicall end of speare."
the proud Cardinall of Winchester, with the notable With reference to the question, how far and at Rebellion of lacke Cade: And the Duke of Yorkes what time Shakespeare became connected with the first claime unto the Crowne. London Printed by plays, known as the three parts of “ Henry VI.,” it Thomas Creed, for Thomas Millington, and are to is necessary to observe, that it was very usual in the be sold at his shop under Saint Peter's Church in
Cornwall. 1594.” By whom it was written we erable omissions, as well as large additions, and in have no information; but it was entered on the the last two Acts he sometimes varied materially Stationers' Registers on the 12th March, 1593. Mil- from the conduct of the story as he found it in the lington published a second edition of it in 1600 : on older play. the 19th April, 1602, it was assigned by Millington to Tho. Pavier, and we hear of it again, in the Stationers' Register, merely as “ Yorke and Lancaster," on the 8th November, 1630. The name of Shakespeare was not connected
KING RICHARD III. with "the first part of the Contention," until about the year 1619, when T. P. (Thomas Pávier) printed ("The Tragedy of King Richard the third. Containing,
His treacherous Plots against his brother Clarence: the a new edition of the first, and what he called “the
pittiefull murther of his innocent nephewes : his tyrannisecond, part” of the same play, with the name of
call vsurpation: with the whole course of his detested " William Shakspeare, Gent." upon the general life, and most deserued death. As it hath beene lately title-page. The object of Pavier was no doubt Acted by the Right honourable the Lord Chamberlaine
his seruants. At London, Printed by Valentine Sims, for fraudulent: he wished to have it believed, that the
Andrew Wise, dwelling in Paules Churchyard, at the old play was the production of our great dramatist. eigne of the Angell, 1597. 410. 47 leaves.
Shakespeare's property, according to our present "The Tragedie of King Richard the third. Conteining his notions, was only in the additions and improvements
treacherous Plots against his brother Clarence : the piti.
ful murther of his innocent Nephewes : his tyrannicall he introduced, which are included in the folio of
vsurpation: with the whole course of his detested life, 1623. But the old play has many passages which and most deserued death. As it hath beene lately Acted Shakespeare rejected, and the murder of Duke by the Right honourable the Lord Chamberlaine his serHumphrey is somewhat differently managed. In
unnts. By William Shake-speare. London Printed by
Thomns Creede, for Andrew Wise, dwelling in Paules general, however, Shakespeare adopted the whole
Church-yard, at the signe of the Angell. 1598." 4to. 47 conduct of the story, and did not think it necessary leaves. to correct the obvious historical errors of the origi
" The Tragedie of King Richard the third. Conteining his
treacherous Plots against his brother Clarence : the pittinal.
full murther of his innocent Nephewes : bis tyrannicall It is impossible to assign a date to this play ex vsurpation: with the whole course of his detested life, cepting by conjecture.
and most deserued death. As it hath bene lately Actcá by the Right Honourable the Lord Chamberlaine his seruants. Newly augmented, by William Shakespeare, London Printed by Thomas Creede, for Andrew Wise, dwelling in Paules Church-yard, at the signe of the An.
gell._1602." 4to. 46 leaves. THIRD PART OF KING HENRY VI.
" The Tragedie of King Richard the third. Conteining his
treacherous Plots against his brother Clarence : the pitti. [" The third Part of Henry the Sixt, with the death of the full murther of his innocent Nephewes : his tyrannicall
Duke of Yorke," was first printed in the folio of 16:23, vsurpation : with the whole course of his detested life, where it occupies twenty-six pages, in the division of and most deserued death. As it hath bin lately Acted by * Histories," viz., from p. 147 to p. 172, inclusive, pnges 165 the Right Honourable the Lord Chamberlaine his serand 166 being misprinted 167 and 168, so that these num
uants. Newly augmented, by William Shake-speare. bers are twice inserted. The error is corrected in the
London, Printed by Thomas Creede, and are to be sold folio, 1632. The play is also contained in the folios of by Matthew Lawe, dwelling in Paules Church-yard, at 1664 and 1685.)
the signe of the Foxe, near S. Austins gate, 1605." 4to.
46 leaves. None of the commentators ever saw the first edi- In the folio of 1623, “ The Tragedy of Richard the Third : tion of the drama upon which, we may presume, with the Landing of the Earle of Richmond, and the BatShakespeare founded his third part of " Henry
tell at Bosworth Field," occupies thirty-two pages, viz., VI.:" it bears the following title: "The true Tra
from p. 173 to p. 204, inclusive. There is no material
variation in the later folios.] gedie of Richard Duke of Yorke, and the death of the good King Henrie the Sixt, with the whole The popularity of Shakespeare's “ Richard the contention betweene the two houses Lancaster and Third" must have been great, judging only from the Yorke, as it was sundrie times acted by the Right various quarto editions which preceded the publicaHonourable the Earle of Pembrooke his seruants. tion of it in the folio of 1623. It originally came Printed at London by P. S. for Thomas Millington, out in 1597, without the name of the author: it was and are to be sold at his shoppe under Saint Peters reprinted in 1598, with " by William Shake-speare" Church in Cornwal. 1595."* 8vo. This play, like on the title-page, and again in 1602, all three im"the First Part of the Contention," was reprinted pressions having been made for the same bookseller, for the same bookseller in 1600, 4to. About the Andrew Wise, who professed, in his last edition, that year 1619 a re-impression of both plays was pub- the play had been " newly augmented," although it lished by T. P.; and the name of Shakespeare, as was in fact only a reprint of the previous impressions has been already observed in our Introduction to of 1597 and 1598. On the 27th June, 1603, it was “ Henry VI.," part ii., first appears in connection assigned to Matthew Lawe, as appears by an entry with these “histories" in that edition. The object in the Stationers' Registers ; accordingly, he pubof Pavier, as before remarked, was no doubt fraudu- lished the fourth edition of it with the date of 1605: lent.
the fifth edition was printed for the same bookseller Chalmers, who possessed the only known copy in 1613. This seems to have been the last time it of “The True Tragedy," 1595, without scruple as came out in quarto, anterior to its appearance in the signed that piece to Christopher Marlowe. Al first folio; but after that date, three other quarto though there is no ground whatever for giving it to impressions are known, viz., in 1624, 1629, and Marlowe, there is some reason for supposing that 1634, and it is remarkable that these were all mere it came from the pen of Robert Greene.
reprints of the earlier quartos, not one of them inAs in “ Henry VI.," part ii., Shakespeare availed cluding any of the passages which the player-editors kimself of “The First Part of the Contention," 1594, of the folio first inserted in their volume. This fact so in “ Henry VI.,” part iii., he applied to his own might show that the publishers of the later quartos purposes much of “The True Tragedy of Richard lid not know that there were any material variations Duke of York,” 1595. He made, however, consid- I between the earlier quartos and the folio, that they
did not think them of importance, or that the pro- | been popular even before prose was employed upon jectors of the folio were considered to have some our stage. In every point of view it may be assertspecies of copyright in the additions. These addi-ed, that few more curious dramatic relics exist in tions extend in one instance to more than fifty lines. our language. It is perhaps the most ancient printIt has also been found that more than one speech in ed specimen of composition for a public theatre, of the folio is unintelligible without aid from the quar- which the subject was derived from English history. tos; and for some other characteristic omissions it Boswell asserts that "The True Tragedy of Richis not possible to account.
ard the Third" had "evidently been used and read With respect to the additions in the folio of 1623, by Shakespeare," but we cannot trace any resemwe have no means of ascertaining whether they blances, but such as were probably purely accidental, formed part of the original play. Steevens was of and are merely trivial. Two persons could hardly opinion that the quarto, 1597, contained a better take up the same period of our annals, as the text than the folio: such is not our opinion ; for ground-work of a drama, without some coincidenthough the quarto sets right several doubtful mat- ces; but there is no point, either in the conduct of ters, it is not well printed, even for a production of the plot or in the language in which it is clothed, that day, and bears marks of having been brought where our great dramatist does not show his measout in haste, and from an imperfect manuscript. ureless superiority. The portion of the story in The copy of the "history" in the folio of 1623 was which the cwo plays make the nearest approach to in some places a reprint of the quarto, 1602, as sev- each other, is just before the murder of the princes, eral obvious errors of the press are repeated. For where Richard strangely takes a page into his conthe additions, a manuscript was no doubt employed; fidence respecting the fittest agent for the purpose. and the variations in some scenes, particularly near Malone was of opinion that Shakespeare wrote the middle of the play, are so numerous, and the “ Richard the Third" in 1593, but did not adduce corrections so frequent, that it is probable a tran- a particle of evidence, and none in fact exists. We script belonging to the theatre was there consulted. should be disposed to place it somewhat nearer the Our text is that of the folio.
time of publication.
KING HENRY VIII.
Third, with the death of the Duke of Clarence." ("The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the It is certain that there was an historical drama
Eight," was first printed in the folio of 1623, where it
occupies twenty-eight pages; viz. from p. 205 to p. 234 upon some of the events of the reign of Richard III. inclusive. It is the last play in the division of Histories." anterior to that of Shakespeare. Sir John Haring It fills the same place in the later impressions in the same ton in his “Apologie for Poetry," 1591, speaks of
form.) a tragedy of * Richard the Third,” acted at St. The principal question, in relation to Shakespeare's John's, Cambridge, which would “have moved "Henry the Eighth," is, when it was written. We Phalaris, the tyrant, and terrified all tyrannous- are satisfied, both by the internal and external eviminded men :" "and Steevens adduced Heywood's dence, that it came from the poet's pen after James "Apology for Actors," 1612, to the same effect. I. had ascended the throne, in 1603. Both those authors, however, referred to a Latin Independently of the whole character of the drama on the story of Richard III., written by Dr. drama, which was little calculated to please ElizaLegge, and acted at Cambridge before 1583. beth, it seems to us that Cranmer's prophecy, in Act Steevens followed up his quotation from Heywood v. sc. 4, is quite decisive. There the poet first by the copy of an entry in the Stationers' Registers, speaks of Elizabeth, and of the advantages derived dated June 19, 1594, relating to an English play on from her rule, and then proceeds in the clearest the same subject. A perfect copy of this very rare manner to notice her successor :play is in the collection of the Duke of Devonshire, and from it we transcribe the following title-page :
"Nor shall this pence sleep with her : but as when
Her ashes new create another heir, “The true Tragedie of Richard the third : Wherein is
As great in admiration as herself; showne the death of Edward the fourth, with the smother. So shall she leave her blessedness to one ing of the two yoong Princes in the Tower: With a lamentable ende of Shore's wife, an example for all wicked
(When heaven shall call her from this cloud of darkness)
Who, from the sacred ashes of her honor, And lastly, the coniunction and ioyning of the Shall star-like rise, as great in fame as she was, two noble Houses, Lancaster and Yorke. As it was playd by the Queenes Maiesties Players. London Printed by
And so stand fix'd." Thomas Creede, and are to be sold by William Barley, at his shop in Newgate Market, neare Christ Church doore meaning; but it has been said that they, and some
Ingenuity cannot pervert these lines to any other 1594."
others which follow them, were a subsequent introThe piece itself, as a literary composition, de-duction; and, moreover, that they were the work of serves little remark, but as a drama it possesses Ben Jonson, on some revival of the play in the several peculiar features. It is in some respects reign of James I. There does not exist the slightunlike any relic of the kind, and was evidently est evidence to establish either proposition. Any written several years before it came from Creede's person, reading the whole of Cranmer's speech at press, probably as early as 1588.
the christening, can hardly fail to perceive such an The style in which it is composed merits obser- entireness and sequence of thoughts and words in vation: it is partly in prose, partly in heavy blank- it, as to make it very unlikely that it was not dicverse, (such as was penned before Marlowe had tated by the same intellect, and written by the same introduced his improvements, and Shakespeare had pen. The words “ aged princess," in a succeeding adopted and advanced them,) partly in ten-syllable line (no part of the imputed addition by Jonson) rhyming couplets, and stanzas, and partly in the would never have been used by Shakespeare during long fourteen-syllable metre, which seems to have the life of Elizabeth.
As to external evidence, there is one fact which
in the later folios; but in that of 1685 the Prologue is has never had sufficient importance given to it. We
placed at the head of the page on which the play com
mences.) allude to the following memorandum in the Registers of the Stationers' Company:
This play was originally printed in 1609. It was
formerly supposed that there were two editions in “12 Feb. 1604 “ Nath. Butter) Yf he get good allowance for the En. that year, but they were merely different issues of
terlude of k. Henry 8th before he begyn to print it: the same impression: the body of the work (with and then procure ihe wardens hands to y for the two verbal exceptions) is alike in each; they were
entrance of yt: he is to have the same for his copy." from the types of the same printer, and were pubChalmers asserted that this entry referred to a lished by the same booksellers. The title-pages, as contemporaneous play by Samuel Rowley, under the may be seen, vary materially: but there is another title of " When you see me you know me;" 1605; the copies first circulated, it is not stated that the
more remarkable alteration. On the title-page of but the enterlude” is expressly called in the
entry drama had been represented by any company; and “ K. Henry 8th,” and we feel no hesitation in con- in a sort of preface headed, "A never Writer to an cluding that it referred to Shakespeare's drama, which had probably been brought out at the Globe ever Reader. News," it is asserted that it had Theatre in the summer of 1604. No edition of it never been “staled with the stage, never clapperis known before it appeared in the folio of 1623, words, that the play had not been acted. This was
clawed with the palms of the vulgar;" in other and we may infer that Butter failed in getting probably then true; but as "Troilus and Cressida" “good allowance" with “the wardens' hands to it. In the instance of “Henry the Eighth," as of many it became necessary for the publishers to substitute
was very soon afterwards brought upon the stage, other works by our great dramatist, there is ground for believing that there existed a preceding play on
a new title-page, and to suppress their preface: the same story. Henslowe's Diary affords us some accordingly a re-issue of the same edition took important evidence on this point. According to this place, by the title-page of which it appeared, that authority two plays were written in the year 1601 the play was printed as it was acted by the King's of the life of Cardinal Wolsey, including necessarily distinct dates, relating to a play, or plays, called, for the Earl of Nottingham's players, on the events Majesty's servants at the Globe."
In the Stationers' Register are two entries, of some of the chief incidents of the reign of Henry VIII. These plays consisted of a first and second
“Troilus and Cressida :" they are in the following
terms: part, the one called “The Rising of Cardinal Wolsey," and the other, “ Cardinal Wolsey." We col
"7 Feb. 1602-3 lect that the last was produced first, and the success
"Mr. Roberts) The booke of Troilus and Cresseda, as
yt is acted by my Lo. Chamberlens men." it met with on the stage was perhaps the occasion " 28 Jan. 1608-9 of the second drama, containing, in fact, the com "Rich. Bonion and Hen. Whalleys] Entered for their mencement of the story of this course of pro
copie under thanda of Mr. Segar Deputy to
Sir Geo. Bucke, and Mr. Warden Lownes : A ceeding Henslowe's Diary furnishes several other
booke called the History of Troylus and Cressula" examples. We may conclude with tolerable certainty that
The edition of 1609 was, doubtless, published in Shakespeare wrote " Henry the Eighth” in the win- consequence of the entry of “28 Jan. 1608-9;" ter of 1603–4, and that it was first acted at the but if Roberts printed a'" Troilus and Cressida," Globe soon after the commencement of the season whether by Shakespeare or by any other dramatist, there, which seems to have begun towards the close in consequence of the earlier entry of “7 Feb. of April
, as soon as a theatre open to the weather 1602–3," none such has come down to our time. could be conveniently employed. The coronation Shakespeare's tragedy was not again printed, as far procession of Anne Bullen forms a prominent feature as can now be ascertained, until it appeared, under in the drama; and as the coronation of James I rather peculiar circumstances, in the folio of 1623. and Anne of Denmark took place on the 24th July,
In that volume the dramatic works of Shake1603, we may not unreasonably suppose that the speare, as is well known, are printed in three divisaudiences at the Globe were intended to be re- ions—"Comedies," "Histories," and "Tragedies;" minded of that event, and that the show, detailed and a list of them, under those heads, is inserted at with such unusual minuteness in the folio of 1623, the commencement. In that list" Troilus and Creswas meant as a remote imitation of its splendor.
sida" is not found; and it is farther remarkable, that it is inserted near the middle of the folio of 1623, without any paging, excepting that the second leaf is numbered 79 and 80: the signatures also do not correspond with any others in the series. Hence
it was inferred by Farmer, that the insertion of TROILUS AND CRESSIDA. “ Troilus and Cressida" was an afterthought by the
player-editors, and that when the rest of the folio (“The Famous Historie of Troylus and Cresseid. Excellently was printed, they had not intended to include it
. expressing the beginning of their loues, with the concrited The peculiar circumstances to which we have alwoving of Pandarus Prince of Licia. Written by William luded may, however, be sufficiently accounted for by and H. Walley, and are to be sold at the spred Eagle in the supposition that“ Troilus and Cressida" was given Paules Church-yeard, ouer against the great North doore. to, and executed by, a different printer. The list of
"Comedies," “ Histories," and "Tragedies," at the "The Historie of Troylus and Crosseida. As it was acted by beginning of the volume was most likely printed William Shakespeare. London Imprinted by G. Eld for last, and the person who formed it accidentally R. Bunian and H. Walley, and are to be sold at the spred omitted “ Troilus and Cressida,” because it had Eagle in Paules Church-yeard, ouer against the great North been as aocidentally omitted in the pagination. doore, 1609." 4to. 45 lerves. In the folio of 162), "The Tragedie of Troylus and Cres
The second issue of Bonian and Walley's edition sida" occupies twenty-nine payes, the Prologue filling the of 1609 was not mnde until after the tragedy had first page and the last being left blank. It retains its place been acted at the Globe, as is stated on the title
page. This is an easy and intelligible mode of
ADDRESS accounting for the main differences in the quarto copies; and it enables us with some plausibility to
PREFIXED TO SOME COPIES OF TROILUS AND conjecture, that the date when Shakespeare wrote CRESSIDA, OF THE EDITION OF 1609. “ Troilus and Cressida" was not long before it was
A never Writer to an ever Reader. News. first represented, and a still shorter time before it was first printed.
ETERNAL reader, you have here a new play, never Some difficulty has arisen out of the entry, already staled with the stage, never clapper-clawed with the quoted, of a “Troilus and Cressida” in the Sta- palms of the vulgar, and yet passing full of the palm tioners' books, with the date of 7th February 1602-3, comical; for it is a birth of your brain, that never in which entry it is stated that the play was “acted undertook any thing comical vainly: and were but by the Lord Chamberlain's servants ;" the company the vain names of comedies changed for the titles to which Shakespeare belonged having been so of commodities, or of plays for pleas, you should denominated anterior to the license of James I. in see all those grand censors, that now style them May, 1603. It may, however, be reasonably inferred such vanities, flock to them for the main grace of that this was a different play on the same subject. their gravities; especially this author's comedies, Every body must be struck with the remarkable that are so framed to the life, that they serve for the inequality of some parts of Shakespeare's "Troilus most common commentaries of all the actions of our and Cressida," especially towards the conclusion: lives, showing such a dexterity and power of wit, they could hardly have been written by the pen that the most displeased with plays are pleased which produced the magnificent speeches of Ulysses with his comedies. And all such dull and heavyand other earlier portions, and were probably relics witted worldlings, as were never capable of the of a drama acted by the Lord Chamberlain's servants wit of a comedy, coming by report of them to his about 1602, and in the spring of 1603 intended to representations, have found that wit there that they be printed by Roberts. Of this piece it is not im- never found in themselves, and have parted better. possible that Shakespeare in some degree availed | witted than they came; feeling an edge of wit set himself; and he might be too much in haste to have upon them, more than ever they dreamed they had time to alter and improve all that his own taste and brain to grind it on. So much and such savored genius would otherwise have rejected.
salt of wit is in his comedies, that they seem (for This brings us to the question of the source from their height of pleasure) to be born in that sea that which Shakespeare derived his plot: how far he brought forth Venus. Amongst all there is none more did, or did not, follow the older play we suppose witry than this; and had I time I would comment him to have employed, it is not possible to deter- upon it, though I know it needs not, (for so much mine. Shakespeare seems to have been so attentive as will make you think your testern well bestowed) a reader of Chaucer's five books of " Troylus and but for so much worth, as even poor I know to be Creseyda" (of which the last edition, anterior to the stuffed in it. It deserves such a labor, as well as production of Shakespeare's play, appeared in 1602) the best comedy in Terence or Plautus: and believe as to have been considerably indebted to them. It this, that when he is gone, and his comedies out of is not easy to trace any direct or indirect obligations sale, you will scramble for them, and set up a new on the part of Shakespeare to Chapman's translation English inquisition. Take this for a warning, and of Homer, of which the earliest portion came out at the peril of your pleasure's loss, and judgment's, in 1598.
refuse not, nor like this the less for not being sullied After adverting to the real or supposed origin of with the smoky breath of the multitude; but thank the story of " Troilus and Cressida," Coleridge re- fortune for the scape it bath made amongst you, marks, in his Literary Remains, that it " can scarcely since by the grand possessors' wills, I believe, you be classed with his dramas of Greek and Roman should have prayed for them, rather than been History; but it forms an intermediate link between prayed. And so I leave all such to be prayed for the fictitious Greek and Roman Histories, which we (for the states of their wits' healths) that will not may call legendary dramas, and the proper ancient praise it.-- Vale. histories; that is, between the Pericles or Titus Andronicus, and the Coriolanus or Julius Cæsar." He then adverts to the characters of the hero and the heroine, and the purpose Shakespeare had in view
CORIOLANUS. of portraying them, and goes on to observe: "I am half inclined to believe that Shakespeare's main ob- (" The Tragedy of Coriolanus” was first printed in the folio ject, or shall I rather say, his ruling impulse, was to of 1623, where it occupies thirty pages, viz., from p. 1 to translate the poetic heroes of paganism into the not p. 30, inclusive, a new pagination commencing with that less rude, but more intellectually vigorous, and
drama. In the folio of 1632 the new pagination begins more featurely, warriors of Christian chivalry, -and to substantiate the distinct and graceful a " And set up a new English inquisition." This prophecy profiles or outlines of the Homeric epic into the has been well verified of late years, when (to say nothing flesh and blood of the romantic drama,-in short, to of the prices of first editions of Shakespeare's undoubted give a grand history-piece in the robust style of Alworks) £100 have been given for a copy of the old "Ta. bert Durer." Schlegel remarks, that "the whole of Richard Duke of York," 1595, merely because they were
ming of a Shrew," 1594, and £130 for "The True Tragedy play is one continued irony of the crown of all heroic plays which Shakespeare made use of in his compositions. tales--the tale of Troy," and after dwelling briefly b" Rather than been prayed." This passage refers, probupon this point, he adds: “ In all this let no man ably, to the unwillingness of the company to which shnke. conceive that an indignity was intended to Homer: allow any of their plays to be printed. Such seems to Shakespeare had not the Iliad before him, but the have been the case with all the associations of actors, and chivalrous romances of the Trojan war derived from hence the imperfoet manner in which most of the dramas Dares Phrygius.". Shakespeare, in fact, found the of the time have come down to us, and the few that issued story popular, and he applied it to a popular purpose ten. The word "them," in " prayed for them," refers to in a popular manner.
"his comedies," mentioned above.