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“1. Read willingly,
“ 2. Correct friendly,
3. Judge indifferently.

“ The triplicitie of Diuinitie, Philosophie, and Poetrie, consist each of two hundrettis, and each hundreth contains 100 instances.” A few extracts, the spelling of which we modernize, will explain the author's plan and execution.

“He that will live in quiet, must frame himself to three things,—to hear, see, and say nothing.

“ The philosopher, Aristotle, believed but three thingsthat which he touched with his hand; that which he saw with his eyes; that which he could comprehend in argument.

Three things which cause a man to keep his friends, if he give much; if he ask little; if he take nothing.

"Three things necessary in a flatterer-an impudent face; a steadfast colour; a changing voice.

“ Trust not three things-dogs' teeth; horses' feet; women's protestations.

“ Three things are uncertain and inconstant—the favour of princes; the love of women; the shining of the sun in April.

“ There are three very strong things-gold, for there is no place invincible, wherein an ass, laden with gold, may enter; love, because it provoketh us to adventure our goods, life and renown, and all; labour, because it overcometh all things."

MADRIGAL-BY LODGE. In the library of the British Museum, there is a tract of great rarity, from which Shakespeare is said to have borrowed the plot of As you like it. It is entitled “

It is entitled “Euphue's Golden Legacy,” by Thomas Lodge, a poet of the Elizabethan age, who was also the author of a great variety of valuable publications in prose, as well as verse. Ellis, in his “ Specimens of the Early English Poets,” has given three of Lodge's poems from the “ Pleasant Historie of Glaucus and Scilla,” but has omitted to mention the following madrigal, the most beautiful, perhaps, of all his compositions. The edition from which it is transcribed is believed to be unique.

“ Love in my bosom, like a bee,

Doth sucke his sweete;
Now with his wings he plays with me,

Now with his feete.

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MASSINGER. In the time of this excellent dramatic poet, it was not unusual for men of letters to club or to farm their talents. An established writer for the stage would frequently call in the help of authors little known to the world, to aid him in his productions, and sometimes, authors of celebrity conjointly came before the public. It is well known that Massinger wrote in conjunction with Beaumont and Fletcher; and that

a necessitous fellow-labourer with less celebrated authors, is placed beyond all doubt, by the following affecting documents, which it is impossible to read without a sigh of regret for the distresses of such men.

he was

“ To our most loving friend, Mr. Philip Hinchlow, these :

“ Mr. Hinchlow,

“ You understand our unfortunate extremitie, and I doe not thincke you so void of Christianitie, but that you would throw so much money into the Thames, as wee request now of you, rather than endanger so many innocent lives. You know there is xl. more at least to be receaved of you for the play: We desire you to lend us vl. of that, which shall be allowed to you; without which we cannot be bayled, nor I play any more, till this be dispatch'd. It will lose you xxl. ere the end of the next week, besides the hinderance of the next new play. Pray, sir, consider our cases with humanitie, and now give us cause to acknowledge you our true friend in time of neede. We have entreated Mr. Davison to deliver this note, as well to witness your love as our promises, and alwayes acknowledgment to be ever

Your most thanckfull
“ and loving freind,

“ NAT. FUELD."*

“ The money shall be abated out of the money remayns for the play of Mr. Fletcher and ours.”

“ Rob. DABORne.”+

“ I have ever found you a true loving friend to mee, and in so small a suite, it beinge honest, I hope you will not fail us.”

« Philip MassiNGER.”

(Indorsed) “ Received by mee, Robert Davison, of Mr. Hinchlow, for the use of Mr. Daborne, Mr. Feeld, Mr. Messenger, the sum of vl.

• Rob. Davison."

This authentic letter was discovered by the assiduity of Mr. Malone, among other relics, at Dulwich College. He conjectures that it was written between the years 1612 and 1613, that is, when Massinger was in his 29th or 30th year, and when his fortunes were far from prosperous.

ORIGINAL STORY OF KING LEAR.

The commentators on Shakespeare have generally agreed in ascribing the story of Lear to Geoffrey of Monmouth as its original author; from whom, or from some old legends borrowed from his book, they conclude that our great poet derived the story. In this latter point they are no doubt correct; but they have all erred in assigning the parentage of this history to Geoffrey of Monmouth. The work that goes

Nathaniel Field assisted Massinger in writing a tragedy, called “The Fatal Dowry," which formed the ground-work of Rowe's “Fair Penitent;" he was also the author of two comedies, “A Woman's a Weathercock," and “ Amends for Ladies."

+ Daborne was a clergyman, and the author of two plays, the “ Christian turned Turk," and “ Poor Man's Comfort.

under his name is merely a Latin translation, and an extremely corrupt one, of an ancient Welsh history, entitled Brut y Brenhinoedd,or Chronicle of the Kings, written by Tysilio, a Welsh bishop, at the close of the seventh century; and so called, because it gives a history of all the kings of Britain, from Brutus down to Cadwaladr, the last nominal sovereign, who abdicated the throne in the year 686. There are several MS. copies of this Chronicle, and some of them of great antiquity, from which it may be proved, that Geoffrey's version abounds in unwarrantable interpolations and other errors.

The following is a literal translation of that part of the Chronicle which contains the story of Lear; that genuine and original account, to which all others must be ultimately traced: and yet, strange to say, not one of the English commentators seems to have been aware even of the existence of such a document. The translation is made from a very old MS. (though the most ancient extract) preserved in the Cottonian collection in the British Museum. The names, as they occur in the original, are preserved in the translation; but such notes are added as are necessary for their explanation, or for elucidating other parts that require it. It will be seen, that Shakespeare's tragedy varies in several particulars from the Chronicle of Tysilio. Llyr, or Lear, was, according to Tysilio's account, the eleventh king of Britain.

After Bleiddud came Llyr,* his son, to be king, and he governed in peace and tranquillity for five and twenty years; and he built a city upon the river Soram, which he called Caer Llyr, and in another language, Leir Cestyr.t And he had no son, but three daughters, whose names were Goronilla, Regan, and Cordeilla ;£ and their father had excessive fondness for them, yet he loved the youngest daughter more than the other two. Thereupon, he considered how he might leave his dominions amongst his daughters after him. Wherefore, he designed to prove which of his daughters loved him the most in particular, so that he might bestow upon that one the best part of the island. And he called to him Goronilla, his eldest daughter, and asked her how much she loved her father? Whereupon, she swore to heaven, and to the earth, that she loved her father dearer than she loved her own soul; and he believed then that this was true, and bequeathed to her the

. Lear.

+ Most probably Leicester, which Nennius, in his “ Historia Brittonum," calls Caer Lleirou, a name not unlike the one here used.

Shakespeare has softened these names into Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia.

third part of the island, and the man she should most prefer in the isle of Britain to be her husband. After that, he called to him Regan, his second daughter, and asked her how much she loved her father? and she too swore by the powers of heaven and earth, that she could not, by her tongue, declare how much she loved her father. He then believed this to be the truth, and left to her the third part of the isle of Britain, together with the man she should choose in the island for her husband. And then he called to him Cordeilla, his youngest daughter, and whom he loved the most of all, and he asked her how much she loved her father? to which she answered: 'I do not think there is a daughter who loves a father more than she ought; and I have loved thee through life as a father, and will love thee still. And, sir, if thou must know how much thou art loved, it is according to the extent of thy power, and thy prosperity, and thy courage.' And thereat he was moved with anger, and said, “Since it is thus that thou hast despised my old age, so as not to love me equally with thy sisters, I will adjudge thee to have no share of the isle of Britain. Thereupon, without delay, he gave to his two eldest daughters the two princes; namely, the prince of Cornwall and that of Scotland,* and half the kingdom with them, whilst the king lived; and, after his death, the island in two parts between them. And, when the rumour of this was spread over the face of the countries, Aganippus, king of France, heard of the wisdom of Cordeilla, and of her form and beauty; he, therefore, sent ambassadors to the isle of Britain, to demand of the king, Cordeilla, his daughter, to be his wife. And he promised her, and declared to the ambassadors, that he should not have any territory or other wealth with her from the isle of Britain. And Aganippus said, that he was not in want of his territory or his riches, but of his noble and illustrious daughter, to beget of her honourable heirs; but there was no delay before Aganippus took the maid in marriage; and no one in that age beheld a maid so fair and so wise as she.

“ After a length of time had elapsed, and Llyr was beginning to be feeble from age, his sons-in-law came with his two daughters, and subdued the island from one sea to the other, and they divided the island and the government between them two. This was after the deluge, 1460 years. Thereupon, Maglon, prince of Scotland, took the king to him, with forty knights in his train, to be maintained at his own charge. But

* The Welsh name for Scotland, used in the original, is Alban, from whence came the Albany of Shakespeare. The name of the prince, however, as appears from the sequel, was Maglon, and the prince of Cornwall was named Henwyn.

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