HotFreeBooks.com
A Life of William Shakespeare - with portraits and facsimiles
by Sidney Lee
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

{12b} Ib. ii. 238.

{12c} Efforts recently made to assign the embarrassments of Shakespeare's father to another John Shakespeare of Stratford deserve little attention. The second John Shakespeare or Shakspere (as his name is usually spelt) came to Stratford as a young man in 1584, and was for ten years a well-to-do shoemaker in Bridge Street, filling the office of Master of the Shoemakers' Company in 1592—a certain sign of pecuniary stability. He left Stratford in 1594 (cf. Halliwell-Phillipps, 137-40).

{13} James Russell Lowell, who noticed some close parallels between expressions of Shakespeare and those of the Greek tragedians, hazarded the suggestion that Shakespeare may have studied the ancient drama in a Grace et Latine edition. I believe Lowell's parallelisms to be no more than curious accidents—proofs of consanguinity of spirit, not of any indebtedness on Shakespeare's part. In the Electra of Sophocles, which is akin in its leading motive to Hamlet, the Chorus consoles Electra for the supposed death of Orestes with the same commonplace argument as that with which Hamlet's mother and uncle seek to console him. In Electra, are the lines 1171-3:

[Greek text]

(i.e. 'Remember, Electra, your father whence you sprang is mortal. Mortal, too, is Orestes. Wherefore grieve not overmuch, for by all of us has this debt of suffering to be paid'). In Hamlet (I. ii. 72 sq.) are the familiar sentences:

Thou know'st 'tis common; all that live must die. But you must know, your father lost a father; That father lost, lost his . . . But to persever In obstinate condolement is a course Of impious stubbornness.

Cf. Sophocles's OEdipus Coloneus, 880: [Greek text] ('In a just cause the weak vanquishes the strong,' Jebb), and 2 Henry VI, iii. 233, 'Thrice is he armed that hath his quarrel just.' Shakespeare's 'prophetic soul' in Hamlet (I. v. 40) and the Sonnets (cvii. I) may be matched by the [Greek text] of Euripides's Andromache, 1075; and Hamlet's 'sea of troubles' (III. i. 59) by the [Greek text] of AEschylus's Persae, 443. Among all the creations of Shakespearean and Greek drama, Lady Macbeth and AEschylus's Clytemnestra, who 'in man's counsels bore no woman's heart' ([Greek text], Agamemnon, II), most closely resemble each other. But a study of the points of resemblance attests no knowledge of AEschylus on Shakespeare's part, but merely the close community of tragic genius that subsisted between the two poets.

{15} Macray, Annals of the Bodleian Library, 1890, pp. 379 seq.

{16} Cf. Spencer Baynes, 'What Shakespeare learnt at School,' in Shakespeare Studies, 1894, pp. 147 seq.

{17a} Bishop Charles Wordsworth, in his Shakespeare's Knowledge and Use of the Bible (4th edit. 1892), gives a long list of passages for which Shakespeare may have been indebted to the Bible. But the Bishop's deductions as to the strength of Shakespeare's piety are strained.

{17b} See p. 161 infra.

{18} Notes of John Dowdall, a tourist in Warwickshire in 1693 (published in 1838).

{21} These conclusions are drawn from an examination of like documents in the Worcester diocesan registry. Many formal declarations of consent on the part of parents to their children's marriages are also extant there among the sixteenth-century archives.

{23} Twelfth Night, act v. sc. i. ll. 160-4:

A contract of eternal bond of love, Confirm'd by mutual joinder of your hands, Attested by the holy close of lips, Strengthen'd by interchangement of your rings; And all the ceremony of this compact Seal'd in my [i.e. the priest's] function by my testimony.

In Measure for Measure Claudio's offence is intimacy with the Lady Julia after the contract of betrothal and before the formality of marriage (cf. act i. sc. ii. l. 155, act iv. sc. i. l. 73).

{24} No marriage registers of the period are extant at Temple Grafton to inform us whether Anne Whately actually married her William Shakespeare or who precisely the parties were. A Whateley family resided in Stratford, but there is nothing to show that Anne of Temple Grafton was connected with it. The chief argument against the conclusion that the marriage license and the marriage bond concerned different couples lies in the apparent improbability that two persons, both named William Shakespeare, should on two successive days not only be arranging with the Bishop of Worcester's official to marry, but should be involving themselves, whether on their own initiative or on that of their friends, in more elaborate and expensive forms of procedure than were habitual to the humbler ranks of contemporary society. But the Worcester diocese covered a very wide area, and was honeycombed with Shakespeare families of all degrees of gentility. The William Shakespeare whom Anne Whately was licensed to marry may have been of a superior station, to which marriage by license was deemed appropriate. On the unwarranted assumption of the identity of the William Shakespeare of the marriage bond with the William Shakespeare of the marriage license, a romantic theory has been based to the effect that 'Anne Whateley of Temple Grafton,' believing herself to have a just claim to the poet's hand, secured the license on hearing of the proposed action of Anne Hathaway's friends, and hoped, by moving in the matter a day before the Shottery husbandmen, to insure Shakespeare's fidelity to his alleged pledges.

{25a} Twelfth Night, act ii. sc. iv. l. 29:

Let still the woman take An elder than herself; so wears she to him, So sways she level in her husband's heart.

{25b} Tempest, act iv. sc. i. ll. 15-22:

If thou dost break her virgin knot before All sanctimonious ceremonies may With full and holy rite be minister'd, No sweet aspersion shall the heavens let fall To make this contract grow; but barren hate, Sour-ey'd disdain, and discord, shall bestrew The union of your bed with weeds so loathly That you shall hate it both.

{26} Halliwell-Phillipps, ii. 11-13.

{27} Cf. Ellacombe, Shakespeare as an Angler, 1883; J. E. Harting, Ornithology of Shakespeare, 1872. The best account of Shakespeare's knowledge of sport is given by the Right Hon. D. H. Madden in his entertaining and at the same time scholarly Diary of Master William Silence: a Study of Shakespeare and Elizabethan Sport, 1897.

{28} Cf. C. Holte Bracebridge, Shakespeare no Deerstealer, 1862; Lockhart, Life of Scott, vii. 123.

{30} Cf. W. J. Thoms, Three Notelets on Shakespeare, 1865, pp. 16 seq.

{31a} Cf. Hales, Notes on Shakespeare, 1884, pp. 1-24.

{31b} The common assumption that Richard Burbage, the chief actor with whom Shakespeare was associated, was a native of Stratford is wholly erroneous. Richard was born in Shoreditch, and his father came from Hertfordshire. John Heming, another of Shakespeare's actor-friends who has also been claimed as a native of Stratford, was beyond reasonable doubt born at Droitwich in Worcestershire. Thomas Greene, a popular comic actor at the Red Bull Theatre early in the seventeenth century, is conjectured to have belonged to Stratford on no grounds that deserve attention; Shakespeare was in no way associated with him.

{32a} Blades, Shakspere and Typography, 1872.

{32b} Cf. Lord Campbell, Shakespeare's Legal Acquirements, 1859. Legal terminology abounded in all plays and poems of the period, e.g. Barnabe Barnes's Sonnets, 1593, and Zepheria, 1594 (see Appendix IX.)

{32c} Commonly assigned to Theophilus Cibber, but written by Robert Shiels and other hack-writers under Cibber's editorship.

{38a} The site of the Blackfriars Theatre is now occupied by the offices of the 'Times' newspaper in Queen Victoria Street, E.C.

{38b} Cf. Exchequer Lay Subsidies City of London, 146/369, Public Record Office; Notes and Queries, 8th ser. viii. 418.

{38c} Shakespeare alludes to the appearance of men or boys in women's parts when he makes Rosalind say laughingly to the men of the audience in the epilogue to As you like it, 'If I were a woman, I would kiss as many,' etc. Similarly, Cleopatra on her downfall in Antony and Cleopatra, V. ii. 220 seq., laments:

the quick comedians Extemporally will stage us . . . and I shall see Some squeaking Cleopatra boy my greatness.

Men taking women's parts seem to have worn masks. Flute is bidden by Quince play Thisbe 'in a mask' in Midsummer Night's Dream (I. ii. 53). In French and Italian theatres of the time women seem to have acted publicly, but until the Restoration public opinion in England deemed the appearance of a woman on a public stage to be an act of shamelessness on which the most disreputable of her sex would hardly venture. With a curious inconsistency ladies of rank were encouraged at Queen Elizabeth's Court, and still more frequently at the Courts of James I and Charles I, to take part in private and amateur representations of masques and short dramatic pageants. During the reign of James I scenic decoration, usually designed by Inigo Jones, accompanied the production of masques in the royal palaces, but until the Restoration the public stages were bare of any scenic contrivance except a front curtain opening in the middle and a balcony or upper platform resting on pillars at the back of the stage, from which portions of the dialogue were sometimes spoken, although occasionally the balcony seems to have been occupied by spectators (cf. a sketch made by a Dutch visitor to London in 1596 of the stage of the Swan Theatre in Zur Kenntniss der altenglischen Buhne von Karl Theodor Gaedertz. Mit der ersten authentischen innern Ansicht der Schwans Theater in London, Bremen, 1888). Sir Philip Sidney humorously described the spectator's difficulties in an Elizabethan playhouse, where, owing to the absence of stage scenery, he had to imagine the bare boards to present in rapid succession a garden, a rocky coast, a cave, and a battlefield (Apologie for Poetrie, p. 52). Three flourishes on a trumpet announced the beginning of the performance, but a band of fiddlers played music between the acts. The scenes of each act were played without interruption.

{40a} Cf. Halliwell-Phillipps's Visits of Shakespeare's Company of Actors to the Provincial Cities and Towns of England (privately printed, 1887). From the information there given, occasionally supplemented from other sources, the following imperfect itinerary is deduced:

1593. Bristol and Shrewsbury.

1594. Marlborough.

1597. Faversham, Bath, Rye, Bristol, Dover and Marlborough.

1603. Richmond (Surrey), Bath, Coventry, Shrewsbury, Mortlake, Wilton House.

1604. Oxford.

1605. Barnstaple and Oxford.

1606. Leicester, Saffron Walden, Marlborough, Oxford, Dover and Maidstone.

1607. Oxford.

1608. Coventry and Marlborough.

1609. Hythe, New Romney and Shrewsbury.

1610. Dover, Oxford and Shrewsbury.

1612. New Romney.

1613. Folkestone, Oxford and Shrewsbury.

1614. Coventry.

{40b} Cf. Knight's Life of Shakespeare (1843), p. 41; Fleay, Stage, pp. 135-6.

{41a} The favour bestowed by James VI on these English actors was so marked as to excite the resentment of the leaders of the Kirk. The English agent, George Nicolson, in a (hitherto unpublished) despatch dated from Edinburgh on November 12, 1599, wrote: 'The four Sessions of this Town (without touch by name of our English players, Fletcher and Mertyn [i.e. Martyn], with their company), and not knowing the King's ordinances for them to play and be heard, enacted [that] their flocks [were] to forbear and not to come to or haunt profane games, sports, or plays.' Thereupon the King summoned the Sessions before him in Council and threatened them with the full rigour of the law. Obdurate at first, the ministers subsequently agreed to moderate their hostile references to the actors. Finally, Nicolson adds, 'the King this day by proclamation with sound of trumpet hath commanded the players liberty to play, and forbidden their hinder or impeachment therein.' MS. State Papers, Dom. Scotland, P. R. O. vol. lxv. No. 64.

{41b} Fleay, Stage, pp. 126-44.

{41c} Cf. Duncan's speech (on arriving at Macbeth's castle of Inverness):

This castle hath a pleasant seat; the air Nimbly and sweetly recommends itself Unto our gentle senses. Banquo. This guest of summer, The temple-haunting martlet, does approve, By his lov'd mansionry, that the heaven's breath Smells wooingly here. (Macbeth, 1. vi. 1-6).

{42a} Cf. Cohn, Shakespeare in Germany, 1865; Meissner, Die englischen Comodianten zur Zeit Shakespeare's in Oesterreich, Vienna, 1884; Jon Stefansson on 'Shakespeare at Elsinore' in Contemporary Review, January 1896; Notes and Queries, 5th ser. ix. 43, and xi. 520; and M. Jusserand's article in the Nineteenth Century, April 1898, on English actors in France.

{42b} Cf. As you like it, IV. i. 22-40.

{43a} Cf. Elze, Essays, 1874, pp. 254 seq.

{43b} 'Quality' in Elizabethan English was the technical term for the 'actor's profession.'

{43c} Aubrey's Lives, ed. Andrew Clark, ii. 226.

{44a} Halliwell-Phillipps, i. 121; Mrs. Stopes in Jahrbuck der deutschen Shakespeare-Gesellschaft, 1896, xxxii. 182 seq.

{44b} Scourge of Folly, 1610, epigr. 159.

{47} One of the many crimes laid to the charge of the dramatist Robert Greene was that of fraudulently disposing of the same play to two companies. 'Ask the Queen's players,' his accuser bade him in Cuthbert Cony-Catcher's Defence of Cony-Catching, 1592, 'if you sold them not Orlando Furioso for twenty nobles [i.e. about 7 pounds], and when they were in the country sold the same play to the Lord Admiral's men for as many more.'

{48} The playhouse authorities deprecated the publishing of plays in the belief that their dissemination in print was injurious to the receipts of the theatre. A very small proportion of plays acted in Elizabeth's and James I's reign consequently reached the printing press, and most of them are now lost. But in the absence of any law of copyright publishers often defied the wishes of the owner of manuscripts. Many copies of a popular play were made for the actors, and if one of these copies chanced to fall into a publisher's hands, it was habitually issued without any endeavour to obtain either author's or manager's sanction. In March 1599 the theatrical manager Philip Henslowe endeavoured to induce a publisher who had secured a playhouse copy of the comedy of Patient Grissell by Dekker, Chettle, and Haughton to abandon the publication of it by offering him a bribe of 2 pounds. The publication was suspended till 1603 (cf. Henslowe's Diary, p. 167). As late as 1633 Thomas Heywood wrote of 'some actors who think it against their peculiar profit to have them [i.e. plays] come into print.' (English Traveller, pref.)

{49} W. S. Walker in his Shakespeare's Versification, 1854, and Charles Bathurst in his Difference in Shakespeare's Versification at different Periods of his Life, 1857, were the first to point out the general facts. Dr. Ingram's paper on 'The Weak Endings' in New Shakspere Society's Transactions (1874), vol. i., is of great value. Mr. Fleay's metrical tables, which first appeared in the same society's Transactions (1874), and have been reissued by Dr. Furnivall in a somewhat revised form in his introduction to Gervinus's Commentaries and in his Leopold Shakspere, give all the information possible.

{51} The hero is the King of Navarre, in whose dominions the scene is laid. The two chief lords in attendance on him in the play, Biron and Longaville, bear the actual names of the two most strenuous supporters of the real King of Navarre (Biron's later career subsequently formed the subject of two plays by Chapman, The Conspiracie of Duke Biron and The Tragedy of Biron, which were both produced in 1605). The name of the Lord Dumain in Love's Labour's Lost is a common anglicised version of that Duc de Maine or Mayenne whose name was so frequently mentioned in popular accounts of French affairs in connection with Navarre's movements that Shakespeare was led to number him also among his supporters. Mothe or La Mothe, the name of the pretty, ingenious page, was that of a French ambassador who was long popular in London; and, though he left England in 1583, he lived in the memory of playgoers and playwrights long after Love's Labour's Lost was written. In Chapman's An Humourous Day's Mirth, 1599, M. Le Mot, a sprightly courtier in attendance on the King of France, is drawn from the same original, and his name, as in Shakespeare's play, suggests much punning on the word 'mote.' As late as 1602 Middleton, in his Blurt, Master Constable, act ii. scene ii. line 215, wrote:

Ho God! Ho God! thus did I revel it When Monsieur Motte lay here ambassador.

Armado, 'the fantastical Spaniard' who haunts Navarre's Court, and is dubbed by another courtier 'a phantasm, a Monarcho,' is a caricature of a half-crazed Spaniard known as 'fantastical Monarcho' who for many years hung about Elizabeth's Court, and was under the delusion that he owned the ships arriving in the port of London. On his death Thomas Churchyard wrote a poem called Fantasticall Monarcho's Epitaph, and mention is made of him in Reginald Scott's Discoverie of Witchcraft, 1584, p. 54. The name Armado was doubtless suggested by the expedition of 1588. Braggardino in Chapman's Blind Beggar of Alexandria, 1598, is drawn on the same lines. The scene (Love's Labour's Lost, V. ii. 158 sqq.) in which the princess's lovers press their suit in the disguise of Russians follows a description of the reception by ladies of Elizabeth's Court in 1584 of Russian ambassadors who came to London to seek a wife among the ladies of the English nobility for the Tsar (cf. Horsey's Travels, ed. E. A. Bond, Hakluyt Soc.) For further indications of topics of the day treated in the play, see A New Study of "Love's Labour's Lost,"' by the present writer, in Gent. Mag, Oct. 1880; and Transactions of the New Shakspere Society, pt. iii. p. 80*. The attempt to detect in the schoolmaster Holofernes a caricature of the Italian teacher and lexicographer, John Florio, seems unjustified (see p. 85 n).

{53} Cf. Fleay, Life, pp. 188 seq.

{55a} The story, which has been traced back to the Greek romance Anthia and Abrocomas by Xenophon Ephesius, a writer of the second century, seems to have been first told in modern Europe about 1470 by Masuccio in his Novellino (No. xxxiii.: cf. Mr. Waters's translation, ii. 155-65). It was adapted from Masuccio by Luigi da Porto in his novel, La Giulietta, 1535, and by Bandello in his Novelle, 1554, pt. ii., No. ix. Bandello's version became classical; it was translated in the Histoires Tragiques of Francoisde Belleforest (Paris, 1559) by Pierre Boaistuau de Launay, an occasional collaborator with Belleforest. At the same time as Shakespeare was writing Romeo and Juliet, Lope de Vega was dramatising the tale in his Spanish play called Castelvines y Monteses (i.e. Capulets and Montagus). For an analysis of Lope's play, which ends happily, see Variorum Shakespeare, 1821, xxi. 451-60.

{55b} Cf. Originals and Analogues, pt. i. ed. P. A. Daniel, New Shakspere Society.

{56} Cf. Parallel Texts, ed. P. A. Daniel, New Shakspere Society; Fleay, Life, pp. 191 seq.

{60} Cf. Fleay, Life, pp. 235 seq.; Trans. New Shakspere Soc., 1876, pt. ii. by Miss Jane Lee; Swinburne, Study, pp. 51 seq.

{62} In later life Shakespeare, in Hamlet, borrows from Lyly's Euphues Polonius's advice to Laertes; but, however he may have regarded the moral sentiment of that didactic romance, he had no respect for the affectations of its prose style, which he ridiculed in a familiar passage in I Henry IV, II. iv. 445: 'For though the camomile, the more it is trodden on, the faster it grows, yet youth the more it is wasted, the sooner it wears.'

{65} Henslowe, p. 24.

{66a} Cf. Cohn, Shakespeare in Germany, pp. 155 et seq.

{66b} Arber, ii. 644.

{66c} Cf. W. G. Waters's translation of Il Pecorone, pp. 44-60 (fourth day, novel 1). The collection was not published till 1558, and the story followed by Shakespeare was not accessible in his day in any language but the original Italian.

{68} Lopez was the Earl of Leicester's physician before 1586, and the Queen's chief physician from that date. An accomplished linguist, with friends in all parts of Europe, he acted in 1590, at the request of the Earl of Essex, as interpreter to Antonio Perez, a victim of Philip II's persecution, whom Essex and his associates brought to England in order to stimulate the hostility of the English public to Spain. Don Antonio (as the refugee was popularly called) proved querulous and exacting. A quarrel between Lopez and Essex followed. Spanish agents in London offered Lopez a bribe to poison Antonio and the Queen. The evidence that he assented to the murderous proposal is incomplete, but he was convicted of treason, and, although the Queen long delayed signing his death-warrant, he was hanged at Tyburn on June 7, 1594. His trial and execution evoked a marked display of anti-Semitism on the part of the London populace. Very few Jews were domiciled in England at the time. That a Christian named Antonio should be the cause of the ruin alike of the greatest Jew in Elizabethan England and of the greatest Jew of the Elizabethan drama is a curious confirmation of the theory that Lopez was the begetter of Shylock. Cf. the article on Roderigo Lopez in the Dictionary of National Biography; 'The Original of Shylock,' by the present writer, in Gent. Mag. February 1880; Dr. H. Graetz, Shylock in den Sagen, in den Dramen and in der Geschichte, Krotoschin, 1880; New Shakspere Soc. Trans. 1887-92, pt. ii. pp. 158-92; 'The Conspiracy of Dr. Lopez,' by the Rev. Arthur Dimock, in English Historical Review (1894), ix. 440 seq.

{70} Gesta Grayorum, printed in 1688 from a contemporary manuscript. A second performance of the Comedy of Errors was given at Gray's Inn Hall by the Elizabethan Stage Society on Dec. 6, 1895.

{72a} Cf. Swinburne, Study of Shakspere, pp. 231-74.

{72b} See p. 89.

{73} Cf. Dodsley's Old Plays, ed. W. C. Hazlitt, 1874, vii. 236-8.

{74} See Appendix, sections iii. and iv.

{75a} See Ovid's Amores, liber i. elegy xv. ll. 35-6. Ovid's Amores, or Elegies of Love, were translated by Marlowe about 1589, and were first printed without a date on the title-page, probably about 1597. Marlowe's version had probably been accessible in manuscript in the eight years' interval. Marlowe rendered the lines quoted by Shakespeare thus:

Let base conceited wits admire vile things, Fair Phoebus lead me to the Muses' springs!

{75b} Shakespeare's Venus and Adonis and Lodge's Scillaes Metamorphosis, by James P. Reardon, in 'Shakespeare Society's Papers,' iii. 143-6. Cf. Lodge's description of Venus's discovery of the wounded Adonis:

Her daintie hand addrest to dawe her deere, Her roseall lip alied to his pale cheeke, Her sighs and then her lookes and heavie cheere, Her bitter threates, and then her passions meeke; How on his senseles corpse she lay a-crying, As if the boy were then but new a-dying.

In the minute description in Shakespeare's poem of the chase of the hare (ll. 673-708) there are curious resemblances to the Ode de la Chasse (on a stag hunt) by the French dramatist, Estienne Jodelle, in his OEuvres et Meslanges Poetiques, 1574.

{77a} Rosamond, in Daniel's poem, muses thus when King Henry challenges her honour:

But what? he is my King and may constraine me; Whether I yeeld or not, I live defamed. The World will thinke Authoritie did gaine me, I shall be judg'd his Love and so be shamed; We see the faire condemn'd that never gamed, And if I yeeld, 'tis honourable shame. If not, I live disgrac'd, yet thought the same.

{77b} Watson makes this comment on his poem or passion on Time, (No. lxxvii.): 'The chiefe contentes of this Passion are taken out of Seraphine [i.e. Serafino], Sonnet 132:

Col tempo passa[n] gli anni, i mesi, e l'hore, Col tempo le richeze, imperio, e regno, Col tempo fama, honor, fortezza, e ingegno, Col tempo giouentu, con belta more, &c.'

Watson adds that he has inverted Serafino's order for 'rimes sake,' or 'upon some other more allowable consideration.' Shakespeare was also doubtless acquainted with Giles Fletcher's similar handling of the theme in Sonnet xxviii. of his collection of sonnets called Licia (1593).

{79} 'Excellencie of the English Tongue' in Camden's Remaines, p. 43.

{80} All these and all that els the Comick Stage With seasoned wit and goodly pleasance graced, By which mans life in his likest image Was limned forth, are wholly now defaced . . . And he, the man whom Nature selfe had made To mock her selfe and Truth to imitate, With kindly counter under mimick shade, Our pleasant Willy, ah! is dead of late; With whom all joy and jolly meriment Is also deaded and in dolour drent.—(ll. 199-210).

{81a} A note to this effect, in a genuine early seventeenth-century hand, was discovered by Halliwell-Phillipps in a copy of the 1611 edition of Spenser's Works (cf. Outlines, ii. 394-5).

{81b}

But that same gentle spirit, from whose pen Large streames of bonnie and sweete nectar flowe, Scorning the boldnes of such base-borne men Which dare their follies forth so rashlie throwe, Doth rather choose to sit in idle cell Than so himselfe to mockerie to sell (ll. 217-22).

{83} Section IX. of the Appendix to this volume gives a sketch of each of the numerous collections of sonnets which bore witness to the unexampled vogue of the Elizabethan sonnet between 1591 and 1597.

{84} Minto, Characteristics of English Poetry, 1885, pp. 371, 382. The sonnet, headed 'Phaeton to his friend Florio,' runs:

Sweet friend whose name agrees with thy increase How fit arrival art thou of the Spring! For when each branch hath left his flourishing, And green-locked Summer's shady pleasures cease: She makes the Winter's storms repose in peace, And spends her franchise on each living thing: The daisies sprout, the little birds do sing, Herbs, gums, and plants do vaunt of their release. So when that all our English Wits lay dead, (Except the laurel that is ever green) Thou with thy Fruit our barrenness o'erspread, And set thy flowery pleasance to be seen. Such fruits, such flow'rets of morality, Were ne'er before brought out of Italy.

Cf. Shakespeare's Sonnet xcviii. beginning:

When proud-pied April, dress'd in all his trim, Hath put a spirit of youth in everything.

But like descriptions of Spring and Summer formed a topic that was common to all the sonnets of the period. Much has been written of Shakespeare's alleged acquaintance with Florio. Farmer and Warburton argue that Shakespeare ridiculed Florio in Holofernes in Love's Labour's Lost. They chiefly rely on Florio's bombastic prefaces to his Worlde of Wordes and his translation of Montaigne's Essays (1603). There is nothing there to justify the suggestion. Florio writes more in the vein of Armado than of Holofernes, and, beyond the fact that he was a teacher of languages to noblemen, he bears no resemblance to Holofernes, a village schoolmaster. Shakespeare doubtless knew Florio as Southampton's protege, and read his fine translation of Montaigne's Essays with delight. He quotes from it in The Tempest: see p. 253.

{86} Shakespeare writes in his Sonnets:

My glass shall not persuade me I am old (xxii. 1.). But when my glass shows me myself indeed, Beated and chopp'd with tann'd antiquity (lxii. 9-10). That time of year thou mayst in me behold When yellow leaves, or none, or few do hang (lxxiii. 1-2). My days are past the best (cxxxviii. 6).

Daniel in Delia (xxiii.) in 1591, when twenty-nine years old, exclaimed:

My years draw on my everlasting night, . . . My days are done.

Richard Barnfield, at the age of twenty, bade the boy Ganymede, to whom he addressed his Affectionate Shepherd and a sequence of sonnets in 1594 (ed. Arber, p. 23):

Behold my gray head, full of silver hairs, My wrinkled skin, deep furrows in my face.

Similarly Drayton in a sonnet (Idea, xiv.) published in 1594, when he was barely thirty-one, wrote:

Looking into the glass of my youth's miseries, I see the ugly face of my deformed cares With withered brows all wrinkled with despairs;

and a little later (No. xliii. of the 1599 edition) he repeated how

Age rules my lines with wrinkles in my face.

All these lines are echoes of Petrarch, and Shakespeare and Drayton followed the Italian master's words more closely than their contemporaries. Cf. Petrarch's Sonnet cxliii. (to Laura alive), or Sonnet lxxxi. (to Laura after death); the latter begins:

Dicemi spesso il mio fidato speglio, L'animo stanco e la cangiata scorza E la scemata mia destrezza e forza: Non ti nasconder piu: tu se' pur veglio.

(i.e. 'My faithful glass, my weary spirit and my wrinkled skin, and my decaying wit and strength repeatedly tell me: "It cannot longer be hidden from you, you are old."')

{88} The Sonnets of Sidney, Watson, Daniel, and Constable long circulated in manuscript, and suffered much the same fate as Shakespeare's at the hands of piratical publishers. After circulating many years in manuscript, Sidney's Sonnets were published in 1591 by an irresponsible trader, Thomas Newman, who in his self-advertising dedication wrote of the collection that it had been widely 'spread abroad in written copies,' and had 'gathered much corruption by ill writers' [i.e. copyists]. Constable produced in 1592 a collection of twenty sonnets in a volume which he entitled 'Diana.' This was an authorised publication. But in 1594 a printer and a publisher, without Constable's knowledge or sanction, reprinted these sonnets and scattered them through a volume of nearly eighty miscellaneous sonnets by Sidney and many other hands; the adventurous publishers bestowed on their medley the title of 'Diana,' which Constable had distinctively attached to his own collection. Daniel suffered in much the same way. See Appendix IX. for further notes on the subject. Proofs of the commonness of the habit of circulating literature in manuscript abound. Fulke Greville, writing to Sidney's father-in-law, Sir Francis Walsingham, in 1587, expressed regret that uncorrected manuscript copies of the then unprinted Arcadia were 'so common.' In 1591 Gabriel Cawood, the publisher of Robert Southwell's Mary Magdalen's Funeral Tears, wrote that manuscript copies of the work had long flown about 'fast and false.' Nash, in the preface to his Terrors of the Night, 1594, described how a copy of that essay, which a friend had 'wrested' from him, had 'progressed [without his authority] from one scrivener's shop to another, and at length grew so common that it was ready to be hung out for one of their figures [i.e. shop-signs], like a pair of indentures.'

{89a} Cf. Sonnet lxix. 12:

To thy fair flower add the rank smell of weeds.

{89b} For other instances of the application of this epithet to Shakespeare's work, see p. 179, note 1.

{90} The actor Alleyn paid fivepence for a copy in that month (cf. Warner's Dulwich MSS. p. 92).

{91} The chief editions of the sonnets that have appeared, with critical apparatus, of late years are those of Professor Dowden (1875, reissued 1896), Mr. Thomas Tyler (1890), and Mr. George Wyndham, M.P. (1898). Mr. Gerald Massey's Secret Drama of Shakespeare's Sonnets—the text of the poems with a full discussion—appeared in a second revised edition in 1888. I regret to find myself in more or less complete disagreement with all these writers, although I am at one with Mr. Massey in identifying the young man to whom many of the sonnets were addressed with the Earl of Southampton. A short bibliography of the works advocating the theory that the sonnets were addressed to William, third Earl of Pembroke, is given in Appendix VI., 'Mr. William Herbert,' note 1.

{93} It has been wrongly inferred that Shakespeare asserts in Sonnets cxxxv-vi. and cxliii. that the young friend to whom he addressed some of the sonnets bore his own christian name of Will (see for a full examination of these sonnets Appendix VIII.) Further, it has been fantastically suggested that the line (xx. 7) describing the youth as 'A man in hue, all hues in his controlling' (i.e. a man in colour or complexion whose charms are so varied as to appear to give his countenance control of, or enable it to assume, all manner of fascinating hues or complexions), and other applications to the youth of the ordinary word 'hue,' imply that his surname was Hughes. There is no other pretence of argument for the conclusion, which a few critics have hazarded in all seriousness, that the friend's name was William Hughes. There was a contemporary musician called William Hughes, but no known contemporary of the name, either in age or position in life, bears any resemblance to the young man who is addressed by Shakespeare in his sonnets.

{94} See Appendix VI., 'Mr. William Herbert;' and VII., 'Shakespeare and the Earl of Pembroke.'

{95a} The full results of my researches into Thorpe's history, his methods of business, and the significance of his dedicatory addresses, of which four are extant besides that prefixed to the volume of Shakespeare's Sonnets in 1609, are given in Appendix V., 'The True History of Thomas Thorpe and "Mr. W. H."'

{95b} The form of fourteen-line stanza adopted by Shakespeare is in no way peculiar to himself. It is the type recognised by Elizabethan writers on metre as correct and customary in England long before he wrote. George Gascoigne, in his Certayne Notes of Instruction concerning the making of Verse or Ryme in English (published in Gascoigne's Posies, 1575), defined sonnets thus: 'Fouretene lynes, every lyne conteyning tenne syllables. The first twelve to ryme in staves of foure lynes by cross metre and the last two ryming togither, do conclude the whole.' In twenty-one of the 108 sonnets of which Sidney's collection entitled Astrophel and Stella consists, the rhymes are on the foreign model and the final couplet is avoided. But these are exceptional. As is not uncommon in Elizabethan sonnet-collections, one of Shakespeare's sonnets (xcix.) has fifteen lines; another (cxxvi.) has only twelve lines, and those in rhymed couplets (cf. Lodge's Phillis, Nos. viii. and xxvi.) and a third (cxlv.) is in octosyllabics. But it is very doubtful whether the second and third of these sonnets rightly belong to Shakespeare's collection. They were probably written as independent lyrics: see p. 97, note 1.

{96} If the critical ingenuity which has detected a continuous thread of narrative in the order that Thorpe printed Shakespeare's sonnets were applied to the booksellers' miscellany of sonnets called Diana (1594), that volume, which rakes together sonnets on all kinds of amorous subjects from all quarters and numbers them consecutively, could be made to reveal the sequence of an individual lover's moods quite as readily, and, if no external evidence were admitted, quite as convincingly, as Thorpe's collection of Shakespeare's sonnets. Almost all Elizabethan sonnets are not merely in the like metre, but are pitched in what sounds superficially to be the same key of pleading or yearning. Thus almost every collection gives at a first perusal a specious and delusive impression of homogeneity.

{97} Shakespeare merely warns his 'lovely boy' that, though he be now the 'minion' of Nature's 'pleasure,' he will not succeed in defying Time's inexorable law. Sidney addresses in a lighter vein Cupid—'blind hitting boy,' he calls him—in his Astrophel (No. xlvi.) Cupid is similarly invoked in three of Drayton's sonnets (No. xxvi. in the edition of 1594, and Nos. xxxiii. and xxxiv. in that of 1605), and in six in Fulke Greville's collection entitled Coelica (cf. lxxxiv., beginning 'Farewell, sweet boy, complain not of my truth'). Lyly, in his Sapho and Phao, 1584, and in his Mother Bombie, 1598, has songs of like temper addressed in the one case to 'O Cruel love!' and in the other to 'O Cupid! monarch over kings.' A similar theme to that of Shakespeare's Sonnet cxxvi. is treated by John Ford in the song, 'Love is ever dying,' in his tragedy of the Broken Heart, 1633.

{98} See p. 113, note 2.

{101a} 1547-1604. Cf. De Brach, OEuvres Poetiques, edited by Reinhold Dezeimeris, 1861, i. pp. 59-60.

{101b} See Appendix IX.

{101c} Section X. of the Appendix to this volume supplies a bibliographical note on the sonnet in France between 1550 and 1600, with a list of the sixteenth-century sonnetteers of Italy.

{101d} Gabriel Harvey, in his Pierces Supererogation (1593, p. 61), after enthusiastic commendation of Petrarch's sonnets ('Petrarch's invention is pure love itself; Petrarch's elocution pure beauty itself'), justifies the common English practice of imitating them on the ground that 'all the noblest Italian, French, and Spanish poets have in their several veins Petrarchized; and it is no dishonour for the daintiest or divinest Muse to be his scholar, whom the amiablest invention and beautifullest elocution acknowledge their master.' Both French and English sonnetteers habitually admit that they are open to the charge of plagiarising Petrarch's sonnets to Laura (cf. Du Bellay's Les Amours, ed. Becq de Fouquieres, 1876, p. 186, and Daniel's Delia, Sonnet xxxviii.) The dependent relations in which both English and French sonnetteers stood to Petrarch may be best realised by comparing such a popular sonnet of the Italian master as No. ciii. (or in some editions lxxxviii.) in Sonetti in Vita di M. Laura, beginning 'S' amor non e, che dunque e quel ch' i' sento?' with a rendering of it into French like that of De Baif in his Amours de Francine (ed. Becq de Fouquieres, p. 121), beginning, 'Si ce n'est pas Amour, que sent donques mon coeur?' or with a rendering of the same sonnet into English like that by Watson in his Passionate Century, No. v., beginning, 'If 't bee not love I feele, what is it then?' Imitation of Petrarch is a constant characteristic of the English sonnet throughout the sixteenth century from the date of the earliest efforts of Surrey and Wyatt. It is interesting to compare the skill of the early and late sonnetteers in rendering the Italian master. Petrarch's sonnet In vita di M. Laura (No. lxxx. or lxxxi., beginning 'Cesare, poi che 'l traditor d' Egitto') was independently translated both by Sir Thomas Wyatt, about 1530 (ed. Bell, p. 60), and by Francis Davison in his Poetical Rhapsody (1602, ed. Bullen, i. 90). Petrarch's sonnet (No. xcv. or cxiii.) was also rendered independently both by Wyatt (cf. Puttenham's Arte of English Poesie, ed. Arber, p. 23) and by Drummond of Hawthornden (ed. Ward, i. 100, 221).

{103a} Eight of Watson's sonnets are, according to his own account, renderings from Petrarch; twelve are from Serafino dell' Aquila (1466-1500); four each come from Strozza, an Italian poet, and from Ronsard; three from the Italian poet Agnolo Firenzuola (1493-1548); two each from the French poet, Etienne Forcadel, known as Forcatulus (1514?-1573), the Italian Girolamo Parabosco (fl. 1548), and AEneas Sylvius; while many are based on passages from such authors as (among the Greeks) Sophocles, Theocritus, Apollonius of Rhodes (author of the epic 'Argonautica'); or (among the Latins) Virgil, Tibullus, Ovid, Horace, Propertius, Seneca, Pliny, Lucan, Martial, and Valerius Flaccus; or (among other modern Italians) Angelo Poliziano (1454-1494) and Baptista Mantuanus (1448-1516); or (among other modern Frenchmen) Gervasius Sepinus of Saumur, writer of eclogues after the manner of Virgil and Mantuanus.

{103b} No importance can be attached to Drayton's pretensions to greater originality than his neighbours. The very line in which he makes the claim ('I am no pick-purse of another's wit') is a verbatim theft from a sonnet of Sir Philip Sidney.

{103c} Lodge's Margarite, p. 79. See Appendix IX. for the text of Desportes's sonnet (Diane, livre ii. No. iii.) and Lodge's translation in Phillis. Lodge gave two other translations of the same sonnet of Desportes—in his romance of Rosalind (Hunterian Society's reprint, p. 74), and in his volume of poems called Scillaes Metamorphosis (p. 44). Sonnet xxxiii. of Lodge's Phillis is rendered with equal literalness from Ronsard. But Desportes was Lodge's special master,

{104a} See Drummond's Poems, ed. W. C. Ward, in Muses' Library, 1894, i. 207 seq.

{104b} Seve's Delie was first published at Lyons in 1544.

{104c} 1530-1579.

{105} In two of his century of sonnets (Nos. xiii. and xxiv. in 1594 edition, renumbered xxxii. and liii. in 1619 edition) Drayton hints that his 'fair Idea' embodied traits of an identifiable lady of his acquaintance, and he repeats the hint in two other short poems; but the fundamental principles of his sonnetteering exploits are defined explicitly in Sonnet xviii. in 1594 edition.

Some, when in rhyme, they of their loves do tell, . . . Only I call [i.e. I call only] on my divine Idea.

Joachim du Bellay, one of the French poets who anticipated Drayton in addressing sonnets to 'L'Idee,' left the reader in no doubt of his intent by concluding one poem thus:

La, o mon ame, au plus hault ciel guidee, Tu y pourras recognoistre l'Idee De la beaute qu'en ce monde j'adore.

(Du Bellay's Olive, No. cxiii., published in 1568.)

{106a} Ben Jonson pointedly noticed the artifice inherent in the metrical principles of the sonnet when he told Drummond of Hawthornden that 'he cursed Petrarch for redacting verses to sonnets which he said were like that tyrant's bed, where some who were too short were racked, others too long cut short.' (Jonson's Conversation, p. 4).

{106b} See p. 121 infra.

{107a} They were first printed by Dr. Grosart for the Chetham Society in 1873 in his edition of 'the Dr. Farmer MS.,' a sixteenth and seventeenth century commonplace book preserved in the Chetham Library at Manchester, pt. i. pp. 76-81. Dr. Grosart also included the poems in his edition of Sir John Davies's Works, 1876, ii. 53-62.

{107b} Davies's Sonnet viii. is printed in Appendix IX.

{107c} See p. 127 infra.

{108} Romeo and Juliet, II. iv. 41-4.

{110} Mr. Fleay in his Biographical Chronicle of the English Stage, ii. 226 seq., gives a striking list of parallels between Shakespeare's and Drayton's sonnets which any reader of the two collections in conjunction could easily increase. Mr. Wyndham in his valuable edition of Shakespeare's Sonnets, p. 255, argues that Drayton was the plagiarist of Shakespeare, chiefly on bibliographical grounds, which he does not state quite accurately. One hundred sonnets belonging to Drayton's Idea series are extant, but they were not all published by him at one time. Fifty-three were alone included in his first and only separate edition of 1594; six more appeared in a reprint of Idea appended to the Heroical Epistles in 1599; twenty-four of these were gradually dropped and thirty-four new ones substituted in reissues appended to volumes of his writings issued respectively in 1600, 1602, 1603, and 1605. To the collection thus re-formed a further addition of twelve sonnets and a withdrawal of some twelve old sonnets were made in the final edition of Drayton's works in 1619. There the sonnets number sixty-three. Mr. Wyndham insists that Drayton's latest published sonnets have alone an obvious resemblance to Shakespeare's sonnets, and that they all more or less reflect Shakespeare's sonnets as printed by Thorpe in 1609. But the whole of Drayton's century of sonnets except twelve were in print long before 1609, and it could easily be shown that the earliest fifty-three published in 1594 supply as close parallels with Shakespeare's sonnets as any of the forty-seven published subsequently. Internal evidence suggests that all but one or two of Drayton's sonnets were written by him in 1594, in the full tide of the sonnetteering craze. Almost all were doubtless in circulation in manuscript then, although only fifty-three were published in 1594. Shakespeare would have had ready means of access to Drayton's manuscript collection. Mr. Collier reprinted all the sonnets that Drayton published between 1594 and 1619 in his edition of Drayton's poems for the Roxburghe Club, 1856. Other editions of Drayton's sonnets of this and the last century reprint exclusively the collection of sixty-three appended to the edition of his works in 1619.

{111} Almost all sixteenth-century sonnets on spring in the absence of the poet's love (cf. Shakespeare's Sonnets xcviii., xcix.) are variations on the sentiment and phraseology of Petrarch's well-known sonnet xlii., 'In morte di M. Laura,' beginning:

Zefiro torna e 'l bel tempo rimena, E i fiori e l'erbe, sua dolce famiglia, E garrir Progne e pianger Filomena, E primavera candida e vermiglia. Ridono i prati, e 'l ciel si rasserena; Giove s'allegra di mirar sua figlia; L'aria e l'acqua e la terra e d'amor piena; Ogni animal d'amar si riconsiglia, Ma per me, lasso, tornano i piu gravi Sospiri, che del cor profondo tragge, &c.

See a translation by William Drummond of Hawthornden in Sonnets, pt. ii. No. ix. Similar sonnets and odes on April, spring, and summer abound in French and English (cf. Becq de Fouquiere's OEuvres choisies de J.-A. de Baif, passim, and OEuvres choisies des Contemporains de Ronsard, p. 108 (by Remy Belleau), p. 129 (by Amadis Jamyn) et passim). For descriptions of night and sleep see especially Ronsard's Amours (livre i. clxxxvi., livre ii. xxii.; Odes, livre iv. No. iv., and his Odes Retranchees in OEuvres, edited by Blanchemain, ii. 392-4.) Cf. Barnes's Parthenophe and Parthenophil, lxxxiii. cv.

{112a} Cf. Ronsard's Amours, livre iv. clxxviii.; Amours pour Astree, vi. The latter opens:

Il ne falloit, maistresse, autres tablettes Pour vous graver que celles de mon coeur Ou de sa main Amour, nostre vainqueur, Vous a gravee et vos graces parfaites.

{112b} Cf. Spenser, lv.; Barnes's Parthenophe and Parthenophil, No. lxxvii.; Fulke Greville's Coelica, No. vii.

{113a} A similar conceit is the topic of Shakespeare's Sonnet xxiv. Ronsard's Ode (livre iv. No. xx.) consists of a like dialogue between the heart and the eye. The conceit is traceable to Petrarch, whose Sonnet lv. or lxiii. ('Occhi, piangete, accompagnate il core') is a dialogue between the poet and his eyes, while his Sonnet xcix. or cxvii. is a companion dialogue between the poet and his heart. Cf. Watson's Tears of Fancie, xix. xx. (a pair of sonnets on the theme which closely resemble Shakespeare's pair); Drayton's Idea, xxxiii.; Barnes's Parthenophe and Parthenophil, xx., and Constable's Diana, vi. 7.

{113b} The Greek epigram is in Palatine Anthology, ix. 627, and is translated into Latin in Selecta Epigrammata, Basel, 1529. The Greek lines relate, as in Shakespeare's sonnets, how a nymph who sought to quench love's torch in a fountain only succeeded in heating the water. An added detail Shakespeare borrowed from a very recent adaptation of the epigram in Giles Fletcher's Licia, 1593 (Sonnet xxvii.), where the poet's Love bathes in the fountain, with the result not only that 'she touched the water and it burnt with Love,' but also

Now by her means it purchased hath that bliss Which all diseases quickly can remove.

Similarly Shakespeare in Sonnet cliv. not merely states that the 'cool well' into which Cupid's torch had fallen 'from Love's fire took heat perpetual,' but also that it grew 'a bath and healthful remedy for men diseased.'

{114a} In Greek poetry the topic is treated in Pindar's Olympic Odes, xi., and in a fragment by Sappho, No. 16 in Bergk's Poetae Lyrici Graeci. In Latin poetry the topic is treated in Ennius as quoted in Cicero, De Senectute, c. 207; in Horace's Odes, iii. 30; in Virgil's Georgics, iii. 9; in Propertius, iii. 1; in Ovid's Metamorphoses, xv. 871 seq.; and in Martial, x. 27 seq. Among French sonnetteers Ronsard attacked the theme most boldly. His odes and sonnets promise immortality to the persons to whom they are addressed with an extravagant and a monotonous liberality. The following lines from Ronsard's Ode (livre i. No. vii.) 'Au Seigneur Carnavalet,' illustrate his habitual treatment of the theme:—

C'est un travail de bon-heur Chanter les hommes louables, Et leur bastir un honneur Seul vainqueur des ans muables. Le marbre ou l'airain vestu D'un labeur vif par l'enclume N'animent tant la vertu Que les Muses par la plume. . .

Les neuf divines pucelles Gardent ta gloire chez elles; Et mon luth, qu'ell'ont fait estre De leurs secrets le grand prestre, Par cest hymne solennel Respandra dessus ta race Je ne scay quoy de sa grace Qui te doit faire eternel.

(OEuvres de Ronsard, ed. Blanchemain, ii. 58, 62.)

I quote two other instances from Ronsard on p. 116, note 1. Desportes was also prone to indulge in the same conceit; cf. his Cleonice, sonnet 62, which Daniel appropriated bodily in his Delia Sonnet xxvi.) Desportes warns his mistress that she will live in his verse like the phoenix in fire.

{114b} Ed. Shuckburgh, p. 62.

{114c} Shakespeare Soc. p. 93

{115} Other references to the topic appear in Sonnets xix., liv., lxiii., lxv., lxxxi. and cvii.

{116} See the quotation from Ronsard on p. 114, note 1. This sonnet is also very like Ronsard's Ode (livre v. No. xxxii.) 'A sa Muse,' which opens:

Plus dur que fer j'ay fini mon ouvrage, Que 'an, dispos a demener les pas, Que l'eau, le vent ou le brulant orage, L'injuriant, ne ru'ront point a bas. Quand ce viendra que le dernier trespas M'assoupira d'un somme dur, a l'heure, Sous le tombeau tout Ronsard n'ira pas, Restant de luy la part meilleure. . . Sus donque, Muse, emporte au ciel la gloire Que j'ay gaignee, annoncant la victoire Dont a bon droit je me voy jouissant. . .

Cf. also Ronsard's Sonnet lxxii. in Amours (livre i.), where he declares that his mistress's name

Victorieux des peuples et des rois S'en voleroit sus l'aile de ma ryme.

But Shakespeare, like Ronsard, knew Horace's far-famed Ode (bk. iii. 30)

Exegi monumentum aere perennius Regalique situ pyramidum altius, Quod non imber edax, non Aquilo impotens Possit diruere, aut innumerabilis Annorum series, et fuga temporum.

Nor can there be any doubt that Shakespeare wrote with a direct reference to the concluding nine lines of Ovid's Metamorphoses (xv. 871-9):

Jamque opus exegi, quod nec Jovis ira nec ignes, Nec poterit ferrum, nec edax abolere vetustas. Cum volet illa dies, quae nil nisi corporis hujus Jus habet, incerti spatium mihi finiat aevi; Parte tamen meliore mei super alta perennis Astra ferar nomenque erit indelebile nostrum.

This passage was familiar to Shakespeare in one of his favourite books—Golding's translation of the Metamorphoses. Golding's rendering opens:

Now have I brought a worke to end which neither Jove's fierce wrath Nor sword nor fire nor fretting age, with all the force it hath Are able to abolish quite, &c.

Meres, after his mention of Shakespeare's sonnets in his Palladis Tamia (1598), quotes parts of both passages from Horace and Ovid, and gives a Latin paraphrase of his own, which, he says, would fit the lips of our contemporary poets besides Shakespeare. The introduction of the name Mars into Meres's paraphrase as well as into line 7 of Shakespeare's Sonnet lv. led Mr. Tyler (on what are in any case very trivial grounds) to the assumption that Shakespeare was borrowing from his admiring critic, and was therefore writing after 1598, when Meres's book was published. In Golding's translation reference is made to Mars by name (the Latin here calls the god Gradivus) a few lines above the passage already quoted, and the word caught Shakespeare's eye there. Shakespeare owed nothing to Meres's paraphrase, but Meres probably owed much to passages in Shakespeare's sonnets.

{118a} See Appendix VIII., 'The Will Sonnets,' for the interpretation of Shakespeare's conceit and like efforts of Barnes.

{118b} Wires in the sense of hair was peculiarly distinctive of the sonnetteers' affected vocabulary. Cf. Daniel's Delia, 1591, No. xxvi., 'And golden hair may change to silver wire;' Lodge's Phillis, 1595, 'Made blush the beauties of her curled wire;' Barnes's Parthenophil, sonnet xlviii., 'Her hairs no grace of golden wires want.' The comparison of lips with coral is not uncommon outside the Elizabethan sonnet, but it was universal there. Cf. 'Coral-coloured lips' (Zepheria, 1594, No. xxiii.); 'No coral is her lip' (Lodge's Phillis, 1595, No. viii.) 'Ce beau coral' are the opening words of Ronsard's Amours, livre i. No. xxiii., where a list is given of stones and metals comparable with women's features.

{119a} Shakespeare adopted this phraseology of Sidney literally in both the play and the sonnet; while Sidney's further conceit that the lady's eyes are in 'this mourning weed' in order 'to honour all their deaths who for her bleed' is reproduced in Shakespeare's Sonnet cxxxii.—one of the two under consideration—where he tells his mistress that her eyes 'have put on black' to become 'loving mourners' of him who is denied her love.

{119b}

O paradox! Black is the badge of hell, The hue of dungeons and the scowl of night. (Love's Labour's Lost, IV. iii. 254-5). To look like her are chimney-sweepers black, And since her time are colliers counted bright, And Ethiops of their sweet complexion crack. Dark needs no candle now, for dark is light (ib. 266-9).

{121} The parody, which is not in sonnet form, is printed in Harvey's Letter-book (Camden Soc. pp. 101-43).

{122} No. vii. of Jodelle's Contr' Amours runs thus:

Combien de fois mes vers ont-ils dore Ces cheueux noirs dignes d'vne Meduse? Combien de fois ce teint noir qui m'amuse, Ay-ie de lis et roses colore? Combien ce front de rides laboure Ay-ie applani? et quel a fait ma Muse Le gros sourcil, ou folle elle s'abuse, Ayant sur luy l'arc d'Amour figure? Quel ay-ie fait son oeil se renfoncant? Quel ay-ie fait son grand nez rougissant? Quelle sa bouche et ses noires dents quelles Quel ay-ie fait le reste de ce corps? Qui, me sentant endurer mille morts, Viuoit heureux de mes peines mortelles.

(Jodelle's OEuvres, 1597, pp. 91-94.)

With this should be compared Shakespeare's sonnets cxxxvii., cxlviii., and cl. Jodelle's feigned remorse for having lauded the black hair and complexion of his mistress is one of the most singular of several strange coincidences. In No. vi. of his Contr' Amours Jodelle, after reproaching his 'traitres vers' with having untruthfully described his siren as a beauty, concludes:

'Ja si long temps faisant d'un Diable vn Ange Vous m'ouurez l'oeil en l'iniuste louange, Et m'aueuglez en l'iniuste tourment.

With this should be compared Shakespeare's Sonnet cxliv., lines 9-10.

And whether that my angel be turn'd fiend Suspect I may, yet not directly tell.

A conventional sonnet or extravagant vituperation, which Drummond of Hawthornden translated from Marino (Rime, 1602, pt. i. p. 76), is introduced with grotesque inappropriateness into Drummond's collection of 'sugared' sonnets (see pt. i. No. xxxv: Drummond's Poems, ed. W. C. Ward, i. 69, 217).

{123} The theories that all the sonnets addressed to a woman were addressed to the 'dark lady,' and that the 'dark lady' is identifiable with Mary Fitton, a mistress of the Earl of Pembroke, are baseless conjectures. The extant portraits of Mary Fitton prove her to be fair. The introduction of her name into the discussion is solely due to the mistaken notion that Shakespeare was the protege of Pembroke, that most of the sonnets were addressed to him, and that the poet was probably acquainted with his patron's mistress. See Appendix VII. The expressions in two of the vituperative sonnets to the effect that the disdainful mistress had 'robb'd others' beds' revenues of their rents' (cxlii. 8) and 'in act her bed-vow broke' (clii. 37) have been held to imply that the woman denounced by Shakespeare was married. The first quotation can only mean that she was unfaithful with married men, but both quotations seem to be general phrases of abuse, the meaning of which should not be pressed closely.

{127} 'Lover' and 'love' in Elizabethan English were ordinary synonyms for 'friend' and 'friendship.' Brutus opens his address to the citizens of Rome with the words, 'Romans, countrymen, and lovers,' and subsequently describes Julius Caesar as 'my best lover' (Julius Caesar, III. ii. 13-49). Portia, when referring to Antonio, the bosom friend of her husband Bassanio, calls him 'the bosom lover of my lord' (Merchant of Venice, III. iv. 17). Ben Jonson in his letters to Donne commonly described himself as his correspondent's 'ever true lover;' and Drayton, writing to William Drummond of Hawthornden, informed him that an admirer of his literary work was in love with him. The word 'love' was habitually applied to the sentiment subsisting between an author and his patron. Nash, when dedicating Jack Wilton in 1594 to Southampton, calls him 'a dear lover . . . of the lovers of poets as of the poets themselves.'

{128} There is little doubt that this sonnet was parodied by Sir John Davies in the ninth and last of his 'gulling' sonnets, in which he ridicules the notion that a man of wit should put his wit in vassalage to any one.

To love my lord I do knight's service owe, And therefore now he hath my wit in ward; But while it [i.e. the poet's wit] is in his tuition so Methinks he doth intreat [i.e. treat] it passing hard . . . But why should love after minority (When I have passed the one and twentieth year) Preclude my wit of his sweet liberty, And make it still the yoke of wardship bear? I fear he [i.e. my lord] hath another title [i.e. right to my wit] got And holds my wit now for an idiot.

{129} Mr. Tyler assigns this sonnet to the year 1598 or later, on the fallacious ground that this line was probably imitated from an expression in Marston's Pigmalion's Image, published in 1598, where 'stanzas' are said to 'march rich bedight in warlike equipage.' The suggestion of plagiarism is quite gratuitous. The phrase was common in Elizabethan literature long before Marston employed it. Nash, in his preface to Green's Menaphon, which was published in 1589, wrote that the works of the poet Watson 'march in equipage of honour with any of your ancient poets.'

{131a} See Appendix IV. for a full account of Southampton's relations with Nash and other men of letters.

{131b} See p. 85, note.

{134a} Cf. Parthenophil, Madrigal i. line 12; Sonnet xvii. line 9.

{134b} Parthenophil, Sonnet xci.

{135} Much irrelevance has been introduced into the discussion of Chapman's claim to be the rival poet. Prof. Minto in his Characteristics of English Poets, p. 291, argued that Chapman was the man mainly because Shakespeare declared his competitor to be taught to write by 'spirits'—'his compeers by night'—as well as by 'an affable familiar ghost' which gulled him with intelligence at night (lxxxvi. 5 seq.) Professor Minto saw in these phrases allusions to some remarks by Chapman in his Shadows of Night (1594), a poem on Night. There Chapman warned authors in one passage that the spirit of literature will often withhold itself from them unless it have 'drops of their blood like a heavenly familiar,' and in another place sportively invited 'nimble and aspiring wits' to join him in consecrating their endeavours to 'sacred night.' There is really no connection between Shakespeare's theory of the supernatural and nocturnal sources of his rival's influence and Chapman's trite allusion to the current faith in the power of 'nightly familiars' over men's minds and lives, or Chapman's invitation to his literary comrades to honour Night with him. It is supererogatory to assume that Shakespeare had Chapman's phrases in his mind when alluding to superstitions which were universally acknowledged. It could be as easily argued on like grounds that Shakespeare was drawing on other authors. Nash in his prose tract called independently The Terrors of the Night, which was also printed in 1594, described the nocturnal habits of 'familiars' more explicitly than Chapman. The publisher Thomas Thorpe, in dedicating in 1600 Marlowe's translation of Lucan (bk. i.) to his friend Edward Blount, humorously referred to the same topic when he reminded Blount that 'this spirit [i.e. Marlowe], whose ghost or genius is to be seen walk the Churchyard [of St. Paul's] in at the least three or four sheets . . . was sometime a familiar of your own.' On the strength of these quotations, and accepting Professor Minto's line of argument, Nash, Thorpe, or Blount, whose 'familiar' is declared to have been no less a personage than Marlowe, has as good a claim as Chapman to be the rival poet of Shakespeare's sonnets. A second and equally impotent argument in Chapman's favour has been suggested. Chapman in the preface to his translation of the Iliads (1611 ) denounces without mentioning any name 'a certain envious windsucker that hovers up and down, laboriously engrossing all the air with his luxurious ambition, and buzzing into every ear my detraction.' It is suggested that Chapman here retaliated on Shakespeare for his references to him as his rival in the sonnets; but it is out of the question that Chapman, were he the rival, should have termed those high compliments 'detraction.' There is no ground for identifying Chapman's 'windsucker' with Shakespeare (cf. Wyndham, p. 255). The strongest point in favour of the theory of Chapman's identity with the rival poet lies in the fact that each of the two sections of his poem The Shadow of the Night (1594) is styled a 'hymn,' and Shakespeare in Sonnet lxxxv. 6-7 credits his rival with writing 'hymns.' But Drayton, in his Harmonie of the Church, 1591, and Barnes, as we have just seen, both wrote 'hymns.' The word was not loosely used in Elizabethan English, as in sixteenth-century French, in the general sense of 'poem.'

{136} See p. 127, note I.

{137} Sir Walter Ralegh was wont to apostrophise his aged sovereign thus:

Oh, hopeful love, my object and invention, Oh, true desire, the spur of my conceit, Oh, worthiest spirit, my mind's impulsion, Oh, eyes transparent, my affection's bait; Oh, princely form, my fancy's adamant, Divine conceit, my pain's acceptance, Oh, all in one! Oh, heaven on earth transparent! The seat of joy and love's abundance!

(Cf. Cynthia, a fragment in Poems of Raleigh, ed. Hannah, p. 33.) When Ralegh leaves Elizabeth's presence he tell us his 'forsaken heart' and his 'withered mind' were 'widowed of all the joys' they 'once possessed.' Only some 500 lines (the twenty-first book and a fragment of another book) survive of Ralegh's poem Cynthia, the whole of which was designed to prove his loyalty to the Queen, and all the extant lines are in the same vein as those I quote. The complete poem extended to twenty-two books, and the lines exceeded 10,000, or five times as many as in Shakespeare's sonnets. Richard Barnfield in his like-named poem of Cynthia, 1595, and Fulke Greville in sonnets addressed to Cynthia, also extravagantly described the Queen's beauty and graces. In 1599 Sir John Davies, poet and lawyer, apostrophised Elizabeth, who was then sixty-six years old, thus:

Fair soul, since to the fairest body knit You give such lively life, such quickening power, Such sweet celestial influences to it As keeps it still in youth's immortal flower . . . O many, many years may you remain A happy angel to this happy land (Nosce Teipsum, dedication).

Davies published in the same year twenty-six 'Hymnes of Astrea' on Elizabeth's beauty and graces; each poem forms an acrostic on the words 'Elizabetha Regina,' and the language of love is simulated on almost every page.

{138a} Apologie for Poetrie (1595), ed. Shuckburgh, p. 62.

{138b} Adulatory sonnets to patrons are met with in the preliminary or concluding pages of numerous sixteenth and seventeenth century books (e.g. the collection of sonnets addressed to James VI of Scotland in his Essayes of a Prentise, 1591, and the sonnets to noblemen before Spenser's Faerie Queene, at the end of Chapman's Iliad, and at the end of John Davies's Microcosmos, 1603). Other sonnets to patrons are scattered through collections of occasional poems, such as Ben Jonson's Forest and Underwoods and Donne's Poems. Sonnets addressed to men are not only found in the preliminary pages, but are occasionally interpolated in sonnet-sequences of fictitious love. Sonnet xi. in Drayton's sonnet-fiction called 'Idea' (in 1599 edition) seems addressed to a man, in much the same manner as Shakespeare often addressed his hero; and a few others of Drayton's sonnets are ambiguous as to the sex of their subject. John Soothern's eccentric collection of love-sonnets, Pandora (1584), has sonnets dedicatory to the Earl of Oxford; and William Smith in his Chloris (1596) (a sonnet-fiction of the conventional kind) in two prefatory sonnets and in No. xlix. of the substantive collection invokes the affectionate notice of Edmund Spenser. Throughout Europe 'dedicatory' sonnets or poems to women betray identical characteristics to those that were addressed to men. The poetic addresses to the Countess of Bedford and other noble patronesses of Donne, Ben Jonson, and their colleagues are always affectionate, often amorous, in their phraseology, and akin in temper to Shakespeare's sonnets of friendship. Nicholas Breton, in his poem The Pilgrimage to Paradise coyned with the Countess of Pembroke's Love, 1592, and another work of his, The Countess of Pembroke's Passion (first printed from manuscript in 1867), pays the Countess, who was merely his literary patroness, a homage which is indistinguishable from the ecstatic utterances of a genuine and overmastering passion. The difference in the sex of the persons addressed by Breton and by Shakespeare seems to place their poems in different categories, but they both really belonged to the same class. They both merely display a protege's loyalty to his patron, couched, according to current convention, in the strongest possible terms of personal affection. In Italy and France exactly the same vocabulary of adoration was applied by authors indifferently to patrons and patronesses. It is known that one series of Michael Angelo's impassioned sonnets was addressed to a young nobleman Tommaso dei Cavalieri, and another series to a noble patroness Vittoria Colonna, but the tone is the same in both, and internal evidence fails to enable the critic to distinguish between the two series. Only one English contemporary of Shakespeare published a long series of sonnets addressed to a man who does not prove on investigation to have been a professional patron. In 1595 Richard Barnfield appended to his poem Cynthia a set of twenty sonnets, in which he feignedly avowed affection for a youth called Ganymede. These poems do not belong to the same category as Shakespeare's, but to the category of sonnet-sequences of love in which it was customary to invoke a fictitious mistress. Barnfield explained that in his sonnets he attempted a variation on the conventional practice by fancifully adapting to the sonnet-form the second of Virgil's Eclogues, in which the shepherd Corydon apostrophises the shepherd-boy Alexis.

{140a} Cf. Sonnet lix.

Show me your image in some antique book . . . Oh sure I am the wits of former days To subjects worse have given admiring praise.

{140b} Campion's Poems, ed. Bullen, pp. 148 seq. Cf. Shakespeare's sonnets:

O how I faint when I of you do write.—(lxxx. 1.) Finding thy worth a limit past my praise.—(lxxxii. 6.)

{141} Donne's Poems (in Muses' Library), ii. 34. See also Donne's sonnets and verse-letters to Mr. Rowland Woodward and Mr. I. W.

{142} See p. 386 note 1.

{143a} Three years was the conventional period which sonnetteers allotted to the development of their passion. Cf. Ronsard, Sonnets pour Helene (No. xiv.), beginning: 'Trois ans sont ja passez que ton oeil me tient pris.'

{143b} Octavius Caesar at thirty-two is described by Mark Antony after the battle of Actium as the 'boy Caesar' who 'wears the rose of youth' (Antony and Cleopatra, III. ii. 17 seq.) Spenser in his Astrophel apostrophises Sir Philip Sidney on his death near the close of his thirty-second year as 'oh wretched boy' (l. 133) and 'luckless boy' (l. 142). Conversely it was a recognised convention among sonnetteers to exaggerate their own age. See p. 86, note.

{144} Two portraits, representing the Earl in early manhood, are at Welbeck Abbey, and are described above. Of the remaining seven paintings, two are assigned to Van Somer, and represent the Earl in early middle age; one, a half-length, a very charming picture, now belongs to James Knowles, Esq., of Queen Anne's Lodge; the other, a full-length in drab doublet and hose, is in the Shakespeare Memorial Gallery at Stratford-on-Avon. Mireveldt twice painted the Earl at a later period of his career; one of the pictures is now at Woburn Abbey, the property of the Duke of Bedford, the other is at the National Portrait Gallery. A fifth picture, assigned to Mytens, belongs to Viscount Powerscourt; a sixth, by an unknown artist, belongs to Mr. Wingfield Digby, and the seventh (in armour) is in the Master's Lodge at St. John's College, Cambridge, where Southampton was educated. The miniature by Isaac Oliver, which also represents Southampton in late life, was formerly in Dr. Lumsden Propert's collection. It now belongs to a collector at Hamburg. The two miniatures assigned to Peter Oliver belong respectively to Mr. Jeffery Whitehead and Sir Francis Cook, Bart. (Cf. Catalogue of Exhibition of Portrait Miniatures at the Burlington Fine Arts Club, London, 1889, pp. 32, 71, 100.) In all the best preserved of these portraits the eyes are blue and the hair a dark shade of auburn. Among the middle-life portraits Southampton appears to best advantage in the one by Van Somer belonging to Mr. James Knowles.

{145} I describe these pictures from a personal inspection of them which the Duke kindly permitted me to make.

{146a} Cf. Shakespeare's Sonnet iii.:

Thou art thy mother's glass, and she in thee Calls back the lovely April of her prime.

{146b} Southampton's singularly long hair procured him at times unwelcome attentions. When, in January 1598, he struck Ambrose Willoughby, an esquire of the body, for asking him to break off owing to the lateness of the hour, a game of primero that he was playing in the royal chamber at Whitehall, the esquire Willoughby is stated to have retaliated by 'pulling off some of the Earl's locks.' On the incident being reported to the Queen, she 'gave Willoughby, in the presence, thanks for what he did' (Sydney Papers, ii. 83).

{148a} These quotations are from Sorrowes Joy, a collection of elegies on Queen Elizabeth by Cambridge writers (Cambridge, 1603), and from Chettle's England's Mourning Garment, London, 1603).

{148b} Gervase Markham's Honour in her Perfection, 1624.

{149a} Manningham's Diary, Camden Soc., p. 148.

{149b} Court and Times of James I, I. i. 7.

{149c} See Appendix IV.

{152} The fine exordium of Sonnet cxix.:

What potions have I drunk of Siren tears, Distill'd from limbecks foul as hell within,

adopts expressions in Barnes's vituperative sonnet (No xlix.), where, after denouncing his mistress as a 'siren,' the poet incoherently ejaculates:

From my love's limbeck [sc. have I] still [di]stilled tears!

Almost every note in the scale of sadness or self-reproach is sounded from time to time in Petrarch's sonnets. Tasso in Scelta delle Rime, 1582, p. ii. p. 26, has a sonnet (beginning 'Vinca fortuna homai, se sotto il peso') which adumbrates Shakespeare's Sonnets xxix. ('When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes') and lxvi. ('Tired with all these, for restful death I cry'). Drummond of Hawthornden translated Tasso's sonnet in his sonnet (part i. No. xxxiii.); while Drummond's Sonnets xxv. ('What cruel star into this world was brought') and xxxii. ('If crost with all mishaps be my poor life') are pitched in the identical key.

{153a} Sidney's Certain Sonnets (No. xiii.) appended to Astrophel and Stella in the edition of 1598. In Emaricdulfe: Sonnets written by E. C., 1595, Sonnet xxxvii. beginning 'O lust, of sacred love the foul corrupter,' even more closely resembles Shakespeare's sonnet in both phraseology and sentiment. E. C.'s rare volume is reprinted in the Lamport Garland (Roxburghe Club), 1881.

{153b} Even this sonnet is adapted from Drayton. See Sonnet xxii. in 1599 edition:

An evil spirit your beauty haunts me still . . . Thus am I still provoked to every evil By this good-wicked spirit, sweet Angel-Devil.

But Shakespeare entirely alters the point of the lines by contrasting the influence exerted on him by the woman with that exerted on him by a man.

{155} The work was reprinted by Dr. Grosart in his Occasional Issues, 1880, and extracts from it appear in the New Shakspere Society's 'Allusion Books,' i. 169 seq.

{157} W. S. are common initials, and at least two authors bearing them made some reputation in Shakespeare's day. There was a dramatist named Wentworth Smith (see p. 180 infra), and there was a William Smith who published a volume of lovelorn sonnets called Chloris in 1595. A specious argument might possibly be devised in favour of the latter's identity with Willobie's counsellor. But Shakespeare, of the two, has the better claim.

{161} No edition appeared before 1600, and then two were published.

{162} Oberon's Vision, by the Rev. W. J. Halpin (Shakespeare Society), 1843. Two accounts of the Kenilworth fetes, by George Gascoigne and Robert Laneham respectively, were published in 1576.

{163} Reprinted by the Shakespeare Society in 1844.

{164} All these details are of Shakespeare's invention, and do not figure in the old play. But in the crude induction in the old play the nondescript drunkard is named without prefix 'Slie.' That surname, although it was very common at Stratford and in the neighbourhood, was borne by residents in many other parts of the country, and its appearance in the old play is not in itself, as has been suggested, sufficient to prove that the old play was written by a Warwickshire man. There are no other names or references in the old play that can be associated with Warwickshire.

{165} Mr. Richard Savage, the secretary and librarian of the Birthplace Trustees at Stratford, has generously placed at my disposal this interesting fact, which he lately discovered.

{167} It was licensed for publication in 1594, and published in 1598.

{168a} The quarto of 1600 reads Woncote: all the folios read Woncot. Yet Malone in the Variorum of 1803 introduced the new and unwarranted reading of Wincot, which has been unwisely adopted by succeeding editors.

{168b} These references are convincingly explained by Mr. Justice Madden in his Diary of Master Silence, pp. 87 seq., 372-4. Cf. Blunt's Dursley and its Neighbourhood, Huntley's Glossary of the Cotswold Dialect, and Marshall's Rural Economy of Cotswold (1796).

{170} First adopted by Theobald in 1733; cf. Halliwell-Phillipps, ii. 257.

{172a} Remarks, p. 295.

{172b} Cf. Shakespeare Society's reprint, 1842, ed. Halliwell.

{172c} This collection of stories is said by both Malone and Steevens to have been published in 1603, although no edition earlier than 1620 is now known. The 1620 edition of Westward for Smelts, written by Kinde Kit of Kingston, was reprinted by the Percy Society in 1848. Cf. Shakespeare's Library, ed. Hazlitt, I. ii. 1-80.

{174} Diary, p. 61; see p. 167.

{175} Nichols, Progresses of Elizabeth, iii. 552.

{176a} Cf. Domestic MSS. (Elizabeth) in Public Record Office, vol. cclxxviii. Nos. 78 and 85; and Calendar of Domestic State Papers, 1598-1601, pp. 575-8.

{176b} Cf. Gilchrist, Examination of the charges . . . of Jonson's Enmity towards Shakspeare, 1808.

{177} Latten is a mixed metal resembling brass. Pistol in Merry Wives of Windsor (I. i. 165) likens Slender to a 'latten bilbo,' that is, a sword made of the mixed metal. Cf. Anecdotes and Traditions, edited from L'Estrange's MSS. by W. J. Thoms for the Camden Society, p. 2.

{179} This, or some synonym, is the conventional epithet applied at the date to Shakespeare and his work. Weever credited such characters of Shakespeare as Tarquin, Romeo, and Richard III with 'sugred tongues' in his Epigrams of 1595. In the Return from Parnassus (1601?) Shakespeare is apostrophised as 'sweet Master Shakespeare.' Milton did homage to the tradition by writing of 'sweetest Shakespeare' in L'Allegro.

{180} A hack-writer, Wentworth Smith, took a hand in producing thirteen plays, none of which are extant, for the theatrical manager, Philip Henslowe, between 1601 and 1603. The Hector of Germanie, an extant play 'made by W. Smith' and published 'with new additions' in 1615, was doubtless by Wentworth Smith, and is the only dramatic work by him that has survived. Neither internal nor external evidence confirms the theory that the above-mentioned six plays, which have been wrongly claimed for Shakespeare, were really by Wentworth Smith. The use of the initials 'W.S.' was not due to the publishers' belief that Wentworth Smith was the author, but to their endeavour to delude their customers into a belief that the plays were by Shakespeare.

{181} Cf. p. 258 infra.

{182} There were twenty pieces in all. The five by Shakespeare are placed in the order i. ii. iii. v. xvi. Of the remainder, two—'If music and sweet poetry agree' (No. viii.) and 'As it fell upon a day' (No. xx.)—were borrowed from Barnfield's Poems in divers Humours (1598). 'Venus with Adonis sitting by her' (No. xi.) is from Bartholomew Griffin's Fidessa (1596); 'My flocks feed not' (No. xvii.) is adapted from Thomas Weelkes's Madrigals (1597); 'Live with me and be my love' is by Marlowe; and the appended stanza, entitled 'Love's Answer,' by Sir Walter Ralegh (No. xix.); 'Crabbed age and youth cannot live together' (No. xii.) is a popular song often quoted by the Elizabethan dramatists. Nothing has been ascertained of the origin and history of the remaining nine poems (iv. vi. vii. ix. x. xiii. xiv. xviii.)

{184} A unique copy of Chester's Love's Martyr is in Mr. Christie-Miller's library at Britwell. Of a reissue of the original edition in 1611 with a new title, The Annals of Great Brittaine, a copy (also unique) is in the British Museum. A reprint of the original edition was prepared for private circulation by Dr. Grosart in 1878, in his series of 'Occasional Issues.' It was also printed in the same year as one of the publications of the New Shakspere Society. Matthew Roydon in his elegy on Sir Philip Sidney, appended to Spenser's Colin Clouts Come Home Againe, 1595, describes the part figuratively played in Sidney's obsequies by the turtle-dove, swan, phoenix, and eagle, in verses that very closely resemble Shakespeare's account of the funereal functions fulfilled by the same four birds in his contribution to Chester's volume. This resemblance suggests that Shakespeare's poem may be a fanciful adaptation of Roydon's elegiac conceits without ulterior significance. Shakespeare's concluding 'Threnos' is imitated in metre and phraseology by Fletcher in his Mad Lover in the song 'The Lover's Legacy to his Cruel Mistress.'

{187} Halliwell-Phillipps, ii. 186.

{188a} There is an admirable discussion of the question involved in the poet's heraldry in Herald and Genealogist, i. 510. Facsimiles of all the documents preserved in the College of Arms are given in Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica, 2nd ser. 1886, i. 109. Halliwell-Phillipps prints imperfectly one of the 1596 draft-grants, and that of 1599 (Outlines, ii. 56, 60), but does not distinguish the character of the negotiation of the earlier year from that of the negotiation of the later year.

{188b} It is still customary at the College of Arms to inform an applicant for a coat-of-arms who has a father alive that the application should be made in the father's name, and the transaction conducted as if the father were the principal. It was doubtless on advice of this kind that Shakespeare was acting in the negotiations that are described below.

{189} In a manuscript in the British Museum (Harl. MS. 6140, f. 45) is a copy of the tricking of the arms of William 'Shakspere,' which is described 'as a pattent per Will'm Dethike Garter, principale King of Armes;' this is figured in French's Shakespeareana Genealogica, p. 524.

{190} These memoranda, which were as follows, were first written without the words here enclosed in brackets; those words were afterwards interlineated in the manuscript in a hand similar to that of the original sentences:

'[This John shoeth] A patierne therof under Clarent Cookes hand in paper. xx. years past. [The Q. officer and cheffe of the towne]

[A Justice of peace] And was a Baylife of Stratford uppo Avon xv. or xvj. years past.

That he hathe lands and tenements of good wealth and substance [500 li.]

That he mar[ried a daughter and heyre of Arden, a gent. of worship.]'

{191} 'An exemplification' was invariably secured more easily than a new grant of arms. The heralds might, if they chose, tacitly accept, without examination, the applicant's statement that his family had borne arms long ago, and they thereby regarded themselves as relieved of the obligation of close inquiry into his present status.

{192a} On the gravestone of John Hall, Shakespeare's elder son-in-law, the Shakespeare arms are similarly impaled with those of Hall.

{192b} French, Genealogica Shakespeareana, p. 413.

{193} The details of Brooke's accusation are not extant, and are only to be deduced from the answer of Garter and Clarenceux to Brooke's complaint, two copies of which are accessible: one is in the vol. W-Z at the Heralds' College, f. 276; and the other, slightly differing, is in Ashmole MS. 846, ix. f. 50. Both are printed in the Herald and Genealogist, i. 514.

{194a} Notes and Queries, 8th ser. v. 478.

{194b} The tradition that Shakespeare planted the mulberry tree was not put on record till it was cut down in 1758. In 1760 mention is made of it in a letter of thanks in the corporation's archives from the Steward of the Court of Record to the corporation of Stratford for presenting him with a standish made from the wood. But, according to the testimony of old inhabitants confided to Malone (cf. his Life of Shakespeare, 1790, p. 118), the legend had been orally current in Stratford since Shakespeare's lifetime. The tree was perhaps planted in 1609, when a Frenchman named Veron distributed a number of young mulberry trees through the midland counties by order of James I, who desired to encourage the culture of silkworms (cf. Halliwell-Phillipps, i. 134, 411-16).

{197a} I do not think we shall over-estimate the present value of Shakespeare's income if we multiply each of its items by eight, but it is difficult to state authoritatively the ratio between the value of money in Shakespeare's time and in our own. The money value of corn then and now is nearly identical; but other necessaries of life—meat, milk, eggs, wool, building materials, and the like—were by comparison ludicrously cheap in Shakespeare's day. If we strike the average between the low price of these commodities and the comparatively high price of corn, the average price of necessaries will be found to be in Shakespeare's day about an eighth of what it is now. The cost of luxuries is also now about eight times the price that it was in the sixteenth or seventeenth century. Sixpence was the usual price of a new quarto or octavo book such as would now be sold at prices ranging between three shillings and sixpence and six shillings. Half a crown was charged for the best-placed seats in the best theatres. The purchasing power of one Elizabethan pound might be generally defined in regard to both necessaries and luxuries as equivalent to that of eight pounds of the present currency.

{197b} Cf. Henslowe's Diary, ed. Collier, pp. xxviii seq. After the Restoration the receipts at the third performance were given for the author's 'benefit.'

{199a} Return from Parnassus, V. i. 10-16.

{199b} Cf. H[enry] P[arrot]'s Laquei Ridiculosi or Springes for Woodcocks, 1613, Epigram No. 131, headed 'Theatrum Licencia:'

Cotta's become a player most men know, And will no longer take such toyling paines; For here's the spring (saith he) whence pleasures flow And brings them damnable excessive gaines: That now are cedars growne from shrubs and sprigs, Since Greene's Tu Quoque and those Garlicke Jigs.

Greens Tu Quoque was a popular comedy that had once been performed at Court by the Queen's players, and 'Garlicke Jigs' alluded derisively to drolling entertainments, interspersed with dances, which won much esteem from patrons of the smaller playhouses.

{200} The documents which are now in the Public Record Office among the papers relating to the Lord Chamberlain's Office, were printed in full by Halliwell-Phillipps, i. 312-19.

{202} In 1613 Robert Daborne, a playwright of insignificant reputation, charged for a drama as much as 25 pounds. Alleyn Papers, ed. Collier, p. 65.

{203} Ten pounds was the ordinary fee paid to actors for a performance at the Court of James I. Shakespeare's company appeared annually twenty times and more at Whitehall during the early years of James I's reign, and Shakespeare, as being both author and actor, doubtless received a larger share of the receipts than his colleagues.

{204a} Cf. Halliwell-Phillipps, i. 312-19; Fleay, Stage, pp. 324-8

{204b} Halliwell-Phillipps, ii. 17-19.

{206a} See p. 195.

{206b} Halliwell-Phillipps, ii. 77-80.

{208} Accounts of the Revels, ed. Peter Cunningham (Shakespeare Society), p. 177; Variorum Shakespeare, 1821, iii. 406.

{210a} It was reproduced by the Hakluyt Society to accompany The Voyages and Workes of John Davis the Navigator, ed. Captain A. H. Markham, 1880. Cf. Mr. Coote's note on the New Map, lxxxv-xcv. A paper on the subject by Mr. Coote also appears in New Shakspere Society's Transactions, 1877-9, pt. i. 88-100.

{210b} Diary, Camden Soc. p. 18; the Elizabethan Stage Society repeated the play on the same stage on February 10, 11 and 12, 1897.

{210c} Bandello's Novelle, ii. 36.

{211a} First published in 1579; 2nd edit. 1595.

{211b} Hamlet, III. ii. 109-10.

{213a} On December 31, 1601, the Lords of the Council sent letters to the Lord Mayor of London and to the magistrates of Surrey and Middlesex expressing their surprise that no steps had yet been taken to limit the number of playhouses in accordance with 'our order set down and prescribed about a year and a half since.' But nothing followed, and no more was heard officially of the Council's order until 1619, when the Corporation of London remarked on its practical abrogation at the same time as they directed the suppression (which was not carried out) of the Blackfriars Theatre. All the documents on this subject are printed from the Privy Council Register by Halliwell-Phillipps, 307-9.

{213b} The passage, act ii. sc. ii. 348-394, which deals in ample detail with the subject, only appears in the folio version of 1623. In the First Quarto a very curt reference is made to the misfortunes of the 'tragedians of the city:'

'Y' faith, my lord, noveltie carries it away, For the principal publike audience that Came to them are turned to private playes And to the humours of children.'

'Private playes' were plays acted by amateurs, with whom the 'Children' might well be classed.

{214a} All recent commentators follow Steevens in interpreting the 'late innovation' as the Order of the Privy Council of June 1600, restricting the number of the London playhouses to two; but that order, which was never put in force, in no way affected the actors' fortunes. The First Quarto's reference to the perils attaching to the 'noveltie' of the boys' performances indicates the true meaning.

{214b} Hamlet, II. ii. 349-64.

{215} At the moment offensive personalities seemed to have infected all the London theatres. On May 10, 1601, the Privy Council called the attention of the Middlesex magistrates to the abuse covertly levelled by the actors of the 'Curtain' at gentlemen 'of good desert and quality,' and directed the magistrates to examine all plays before they were produced (Privy Council Register). Jonson subsequently issued an 'apologetical dialogue' (appended to printed copies of the Poetaster), in which he somewhat truculently qualified his hostility to the players:

'Now for the players 'tis true I tax'd them And yet but some, and those so sparingly As all the rest might have sat still unquestioned, Had they but had the wit or conscience To think well of themselves. But impotent they Thought each man's vice belonged to their whole tribe; And much good do it them. What they have done against me I am not moved with, if it gave them meat Or got them clothes, 'tis well; that was their end, Only amongst them I am sorry for Some better natures by the rest so drawn To run in that vile line.'

{217} See p. 229, note I, ad fin.

{218} The proposed identification of Virgil in the 'Poetaster' with Chapman has little to recommend it. Chapman's literary work did not justify the commendations which were bestowed on Virgil in the play.

{220} The most scornful criticism that Jonson is known to have passed on any composition by Shakespeare was aimed at a passage in Julius Caesar, and as Jonson's attack is barely justifiable on literary grounds, it is fair to assume that the play was distasteful to him from other considerations. 'Many times,' Jonson wrote of Shakespeare in his Timber, 'hee fell into those things [which] could not escape laughter: As when hee said in the person of Caesar, one speaking to him [i.e. Caesar]; Caesar, thou dost me wrong. Hee [i.e. Caesar] replyed: Caesar did never wrong, butt with just cause: and such like, which were ridiculous.' Jonson derisively quoted the same passage in the induction to The Staple of News (1625): 'Cry you mercy, you did not wrong but with just cause.' Possibly the words that were ascribed by Jonson to Shakespeare's character of Caesar appeared in the original version of the play, but owing perhaps to Jonson's captious criticism they do not figure in the Folio version, the sole version that has reached us. The only words there that correspond with Jonson's quotation are Caesar's remark:

Know, Caesar doth not wrong, nor without cause Will he be satisfied

(III. i. 47-8). The rhythm and sense seem to require the reinsertion after the word 'wrong' of the phrase 'but with just cause,' which Jonson needlessly reprobated. Leonard Digges (1588-1635), one of Shakespeare's admiring critics, emphasises the superior popularity of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar in the theatre to Ben Jonson's Roman play of Catiline, in his eulogistic lines on Shakespeare (published after Digges's death in the 1640 edition of Shakespeare's Poems):

So have I seen when Caesar would appear, And on the stage at half-sword parley were Brutus and Cassius—oh, how the audience Were ravish'd, with what wonder they went thence When some new day they would not brook a line Of tedious, though well laboured, Catiline.

{221} I wrote on this point in the article on Thomas Kyd in the Dictionary of National Biography (vol. xxxi.): 'The argument in favour of Kyd's authorship of a pre-Shakespearean play (now lost) on the subject of Hamlet deserves attention. Nash in 1589, when describing [in his preface to Menaphon] the typical literary hack, who at almost every point suggests Kyd, notices that in addition to his other accomplishments "he will afford you whole Hamlets, I should say handfuls of tragical speeches." Other references in popular tracts and plays of like date prove that in an early tragedy concerning Hamlet there was a ghost who cried repeatedly, "Hamlet, revenge!" and that this expression took rank in Elizabethan slang beside the vernacular quotations from [Kyd's sanguinary tragedy of] Jeronimo, such as "What outcry calls me from my naked bed," and "Beware, Hieronimo, go by, go by." The resemblance between the stories of Hamlet and Jeronimo suggests that the former would have supplied Kyd with a congenial plot. In Jeronimo a father seeks to avenge his son's murder; in Hamlet the theme is the same with the position of father and son reversed. In Jeronimo the avenging father resolves to reach his end by arranging for the performance of a play in the presence of those whom he suspects of the murder of his son, and there is good ground for crediting the lost tragedy of Hamlet with a similar play-scene. Shakespeare's debt to the lost tragedy is a matter of conjecture, but the stilted speeches of the play-scene in his Hamlet read like intentional parodies of Kyd's bombastic efforts in The Spanish Tragedy, and it is quite possible that they were directly suggested by an almost identical episode in a lost Hamlet by the same author.' Shakespeare elsewhere shows acquaintance with Kyd's work. He places in the mouth of Kit Sly in the Taming of the Shrew the current phrase 'Go by, Jeronimy,' from The Spanish Tragedy. Shakespeare quotes verbatim a line from the same piece in Much Ado about Nothing (I. i. 271): 'In time the savage bull doth bear the yoke;' but Kyd practically borrowed that line from Watson's Passionate Centurie (No. xlvii.), where Shakespeare may have met it.

{222} Cf. Gericke and Max Moltke, Hamlet-Quellen, Leipzig, 1881. The story was absorbed into Scandinavian mythology: cf. Ambales-Saga, edited by Mr. Israel Gollancz, 1898.

{224} Cf. Hamlet—parallel texts of the first and second quarto, and first folio—ed. Wilhelm Vietor, Marburg, 1891; The Devonshire Hamlets, 1860, parallel texts of the two quartos edited by Mr. Sam Timmins; Hamlet, ed. George Macdonald, 1885, a study with the text of the folio.

{226a} Arber's Transcript of the Stationers' Registers, iii. 226.

{226b} Ib. iii. 400.

{228} Less satisfactory is the endeavour that has been made by Mr. F. G. Fleay and Mr. George Wyndham to treat Troilus and Cressida as Shakespeare's contribution to the embittered controversy of 1601-2, between Jonson on the one hand and Marston and Dekker and their actor friends on the other hand, and to represent the play as a pronouncement against Jonson. According to this fanciful view, Shakespeare held up Jonson to savage ridicule in Ajax, while in Thersites he denounced Marston, despite Marston's intermittent antagonism to Jonson, which entitled him to freedom from attack by Jonson's foes. The appearance of the word 'mastic' in the line (1. iii. 73) 'When rank Thersites opes his mastic jaws' is treated as proof of Shakespeare's identification of Thersites with Marston, who used the pseudonym 'Therio-mastix' in his Scourge of Villainy. It would be as reasonable to identify him with Dekker, who wrote the greater part of Satiro-mastix. 'Mastic' is doubtless an adjective formed without recondite significance from the substantive 'mastic,' i.e. the gum commonly used at the time for stopping decayed teeth. No hypothesis of a polemical intention is needed to account for Shakespeare's conception of Ajax or Thersites. There is no trait in either character as depicted by Shakespeare which a reading of Chapman's Homer would fail to suggest. The controversial interpretation of the play is in conflict with chronology (for Troilus cannot, on any showing, be assigned to the period of the war between Jonson and Dekker, in 1601-2), and it seems confuted by the facts and arguments already adduced in the discussion of the theatrical conflict (see pp. 213-219). If more direct disproof be needed, it may be found in Shakespeare's prologue to Troilus, where there is a good-humoured and expressly pacific allusion to the polemical aims of Jonson's Poetaster. Jonson had introduced into his play 'an armed prologue' on account, he asserted, of his enemies' menaces. Shakespeare, after describing in his prologue to Troilus the progress of the Trojan war before his story opened, added that his 'prologue' presented itself 'arm'd,' not to champion 'author's pen or actor's voice,' but simply to announce in a guise befitting the warlike subject-matter that the play began in the middle of the conflict between Greek and Trojan, and not at the beginning. These words of Shakespeare put out of court any interpretation of Shakespeare's play that would represent it as a contribution to the theatrical controversy.

Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10     Next Part
Home - Random Browse