« 上一頁繼續 »
with fun and queer similitudes. He makes | Again, what a prodigality of wit is displayed not the slightest attempt at arranging a in his description of the bailiff! His epijoke, but utters what comes uppermost with thets are inexhaustible. Each of the Dromios irrepressible volubility. He is an untutored is admirable in his way: but we think that wit, and, we have no doubt, gave his tongue he of Syracuse is as superior to the twinsuch active exe cise, by hurried pronuncia- slave of Ephesus as our old friend Launce is tion and variable emphasis, as could alone to Speed, in . The Two Gentlemen of Verona.' make his long descriptions endurable by his These distinctions between the Antipholuses sensitive master. Look at the dialogue in and Dromios have not, as far as we know, the second scene of Act II., where Antipholus, been before pointed out ;-but they certainly after having repressed his jests, is drawn do exist, and appear to us to be defined by into a tilting-match of words with him, in the great master of character with singular which the merry slave has clearly the victory. force as well as delicacy. Of course the Look, again, at his description of the “kitchen- characters of the twins could not be violently wench,”—coarse, indeed, in parts, but alto- contrasted, for that would have destroyed gether irresistibly droll. The twin-brother the illusion. They must still was quite incapable of such a flood of fun.
“Go hand in hand, not one before another.”
LOVE'S LABOUR 'S LOST*. This play was one of those published in one may some day be discovered), we have Shakspere's lifetime. The first edition ap- no proof that the few allusions to temporary peared in 1598, under the following title : circumstances, which are supposed in some “A pleasant conceited Comedie, called Loues degree to fix the date of the play, may not Labors Lost. As it was presented before apply to the augmented copy only. Thus, her Highnes this last Christmas. Newly when Moth refers to “the dancing horse" corrected and augmented by W. Shakespere.' | who was to teach Armado how to reckon
We have seen, from the title of the first what “deuce-ace amounts to," the fact that edition of 'Love's Labour's Lost,' that, when Banks's horse first appeared in London in it was presented before Queen Elizabeth, at 1589 does not prove that the original play the Christmas of 1597, it had been “newly might not have been written before 1589. corrected and augmented.” As no edition This date gives it an earlier appearance than of the comedy, before it was corrected and Malone would assign to it, who first settled augmented, is known to exist (though, as it as 1591, and afterwards as 1594. A supin the case of the unique 'Hamlet' of 1603, posed allusion to “The Metamorphosis of
Ajax,' by Sir John Harrington, printed in * Lore's Labour's Lost. The title of this play stands as
1596, is equally unimportant with reference follows in the folio of 1623: “Loues Labour's Lost.' The modes in which the genitive case and the contraction of to the original composition of the play. The is after a substantive are printed in the titles of other plays “finished representation of colloquial excelin this e lition, and in some of the earlier copies, lead us to believe that the author intended to call his play · Love's lence,”* in the beginning of the fifth act, Labour is Lost.' The apostrophe is not given as the mark is supposed to be an imitation of a passage of the genitive case in these instances- The Winters Tale,' - A Midsummer Nights Dream --(so printed). But, when
in Sidney's 'Arcadia,' first printed in 1590. the verb is forms a part of the title, the apostrophe is in
The passage might have been introduced in troduced, as in ' All's Well that Enus Well.' We do not think ourselves justified, therefore, in printing either
the augmented copy; to say nothing of the fact that the ‘Arcadia' was known in manu
Love's Labour Lost,' or Love's Labours Lost,'--as some have recommended.
script before it was printed. Lastly, the serio-comic interest, and may well be supmask in the fifth act, where the King and posed to have occupied more completely the his lords appear in Russian habits, and the smaller princes.”+ Our poet himself, in allusions to Muscovites, which this mask pro- this play, alludes to the Spanish romances of duces, are supposed by Warburton to have chivalry : been suggested by the public concern for the settlement of a treaty of commerce with
“This child of fancy, that Armado hight, Russia in 1591. But the learned commen
For interim to our studies, shall relate,
In high-born words, the worth of many a tator overlooks a passage in Hall's "Chro
knight nicle,' which shows that a mask of Muscovites
From tawny Spain, lost in the world's dewas a court recreation in the time of Henry
In the extrinsic evidence, therefore, which with these materials, and out of his own this comedy supplies, there is nothing what- "imaginative self-position," might Shakspere ever to disprove the belief which we enter- have readily produced the King and Princess, tain that, before it had been “corrected and the lords and ladies, of this comedy; and he augmented,” “Love's Labour 's Lost' was one might have caught the tone of the court of of the plays produced by Shakspere about Elizabeth,—the wit, the play upon words, 1589, when, being only twenty-five years of the forced attempts to say and do clever age, he was a joint-proprietor of the Black- things,—without any actual contact with friars theatre. The intrinsic evidence ap- the society which was accessible to him after pears to us entirely to support this opinion ; his fame conferred distinction even upon the and, as this evidence involves several curious highest and most accomplished patron. The particulars of literary history, we have to more ludicrous characters of the drama were request the reader's indulgence whilst we unquestionably within the range of “a schoolexamine it somewhat in detail.
boy's observation." Coleridge, who always speaks of this And first, of Don Armado, whom Scott calls comedy as a "juvenile drama”—“ a young “ the Euphuist.” I The historical events author's first work,”-says, “ The characters which are interwoven with the plot of Scott's in this play are either impersonated out of Monastery'must have happened about 1562 Shakspere's own multiformity by imaginative or 1563, before the authority of the unhappy self-position, or out of such as a country town Queen of Scots was openly trodden under and a schoolboy's observation might supply.' foot by Murray and her rebellious lords; and For this production, Shakspere, it is pre- she had at least the personal liberty, if not sumed, found neither characters nor plot in the free will, of a supreme ruler. Our great any previous romance or drama. “ I have novelist is, as is well known, not very exact not hitherto discovered," says Steevens, “any in the matter of dates; and in the present novel on which this comedy appears to have instance his licence is somewhat extravagant. been founded: and yet the story of it has Explaining the source of the affectations of most of the features of an ancient romance.” | his Euphuist, Sir Piercie Shafton, he says, Steevens might have more correctly said, “it was about this period that the only rare that the story has most of the features which poet of his time, the witty, comical, facewould be derived from an acquaintance tiously-quick, and quickly-facetious John with the ancient romances. The action of Lyly-he that sate at Apollo's table, and to the comedy, and the higher actors, are the whom Phæbus gave a wreath of his own creations of one who was imbued with the bays without snatching's—he, in short, who romantic spirit of the middle ages—who was wrote that singularly coxcombical work conversant "with their Courts of Love, and all that lighter drapery of chivalry, which Literary Remains,' vol. ii. p. 104. engaged even mighty kings with a sort of
$ Introduction to · The Monastery.'
$ Extract from Blount, the editor of six of Lyly's plays, * Literary Remains,' vol. ii. p. 102.
called 'Euphues and his England'—was in | 'Euphues and his England' began first that the
very zenith of his absurdity and reputa- language.” It is somewhat difficult pretion. The quaint, forced, and unnatural cisely to define what “that language" is ; style which he introduced by his ‘Anatomy but the language of Armado is not very difof Wit' had a fashion as rapid as it was ferent from that of Andrew Borde, the phymomentary ;-all the court ladies were his sician, who, according to Hearne, "gave rise scholars, and to parler Euphuisme was as to the name of Merry Andrew, the fool of necessary a qualification to a courtly gallant the mountebank stage." His 'Breviary of as those of understanding how to use his Health,' first printed in 1547, begins thus : rapier, or to dance a measure.'
.”* This state- “Egregious doctours and maysters of the ment is somewhat calculated to mislead the eximious and archane science of physicke, of student of our literary history as to the your urbanitie exasperate not your selve."' period of the commencement, and of the Nor is Armado's language far removed from duration, of Lyly's influence upon the struc- the example of “dark words and ink-horn ture of “polite conversation.” “Euphues,– terms” exhibited by Wilson, in his ‘Arte of the Anatomy of Wit,' was first published in Rhetorike,' first printed in 1553, where he 1580; and 'Euphues and his England' in gives a letter thus devised by a Lincolnshire 1581—some eighteen or twenty years after man for a void benefice :-“ Ponderyrg, exthe time when Sir Piercie Shafton (the Eng- pendyng, and revolutyng with myself, your glish Catholic who surrendered himself to ingent affabilitie, and ingenious capacitie for the champions of John Knox and the Re- mundane affaires, I cannot but celebrate and formation) explained to Mary of Avenel the extoll your magnificall dexteritie above all merits of "The Anatomy of Wit'-" that other. For how could you have adapted all-to-be-unparalleled volume—that quintes- suche illustrate prerogative, and dominicall sence of human wit—that treasury of quaint superioritie, if the fecunditie of your ingenie invention—that exquisitely-pleasant-to-read had not been so fertile and wonderfull pregand inevitably necessary-to-be-remembered naunt?"|| In truth, Armado, the braggart, manual of all that is worthy to be known.”+ and Holofernes the pedant, both talk in this Nor was the fashion of Euphuism as mo- vein; though the schoolmaster may lean mentary as Scott represents it to have been. more to the hard words of Lexiphanism, and The prevalence of this “spurious and un- the fantastic traveller to the quips and natural mode of conversation "I is alluded cranks of Euphuism. Our belief is, that, to in Jonson's 'Every man out of his Hu- although Shakspere might have been familiar mour,' first acted in 1599;—and it forms one with Lyly's 'Euphues’ when he wrote ‘Love's of the chief objects of the satire of rare Ben's Labour 's Lost,' he did not, in Armado, point Cynthia's Revels,' first acted in 1600. But at the fashion of the court “to parley Euthe most important question with reference phuism.”T The courtiers in this comedy, be to Shakspere's employment of the affected it observed, speak, when they are wearing an phraseology which he puts into the mouth of artificial character, something approaching Armado is, whether this “quaint, forced, and to this language, but not the identical lanunnatural style” was an imitation of that guage. They, indeed, “ trust to speeches said to be introduced by Lyıy; if, indeed, penn'd”—they “woo in rhyme "—they emLyly did more than reduce to a system those ploy innovations of language which had obtained “ Taffeta phrases, silken terms precise, a currency amongst us for some time pre- Three-pild hyperboles;"— vious to the appearance of his books. Blount, they exhibit a “constant striving after logical it is true, says
“Our nation are in his debt for a new English which he taught them. precision, and subtle opposition of thoughts,
§ Quoted in Warton's History of English Poetry,' * Monastery,' chap. xiv.
vol. iii. p. 355: 1824.
| Ibid., vol. iv. p. 160. * Gifford's' Works of Ben Jonson,' vol. ii. p. 250.
together with the making the most of every | lished in 1591. Now, if Shakspere felt himconception or image, by expressing it under self aggrieved at this statement, which was the least expected property belonging to it.”*
true enough of the English drama before his But of no one of them can it be said, “ He time, he was betrayed by his desire for respeal's not like a man of God's making.” venge into very unusual inconsistencies. For, Ben Jonson, on the contrary, when, in 'Cyn- in truth, the making of a teacher of Italian thia's Revels,' he satirized“ the special foun- the prototype of a country schoolmaster, who, tain of manners, the court,” expressly makes whilst he lards his phrases with words of the courtiers talk the very jargon of Euphu- Latin, as if he were construing with his class, ism; as for example: “You know I call holds to the good old English pronunciation, madam Philautia my Honour; and she calls and abhors “such rackers of orthography as to me her Ambition. Now, when I meet her in speak dout, fine, when he should say doubt,” the presence anon, I will come to her, and &c., is such an absurdity as Shakspere, who say, Sweet Honour, I have hitherto contented understood his art, would never have yielded my sense with the lilies of your hand, but to through any instigation of caprice or pasnow I will taste the roses of your lips ; and sion. The probability is, that, when Shakwithal kiss her: to which she cannot but
spere drew Holofernes, whose name he found blushing answer, Nay, now you are too am
in Rabelais*, he felt himself under considerbitious. And then do I reply, I cannot be able obligations to John Florio for having too ambitious of Honour, sweet lady.” But given the world “his First Fruites; which Armado,
yeelde familiar speech, merie proverbes, wittie " A refined traveller of Spain;
sentences, and golden sayings.” This book A man in all the world's new fashion planted, was printed in 1578. But, according to War
That hath a mint of phrases in his brain,” burton, Florio, in 1598, in the preface to a is the only man of "fire-new words.” The
new edition of his World of Words,' is fupedant even laughs at him as a “fanatical rious upon Shakspero in the following pasphantasm.” But such a man Shakspere sage : “ There is another sort of leering curs, might have seen in his own country-town: that rather snarl than bite, whereof I could where, unquestionably, the schoolmaster and instance in one, who, lighting on a good sonnet the curate might also have flourished. If he
of a gentleman's, a friend of mine, that loved had found them in books, Wilson's ‘Rhetorike better to be a poet than to be counted so, might as well have supplied the notion of called the author å rhymer. Let AristoArmado and Holofernes, as Lyly’s “ Euphues' phanes and his comedians make plays, and of the one, or Florio's First Fruits' of the
scour their mouths on Socrates, those very other.
mouths they make' to vilify shall be the Warburton, in his usual “discourse pe
means to amplify his virtue.” Warburton remptory," tells us, “ by Holofernes is de- maintains that the sonnet was Florio's own, signed a particular character, a pedant and and that it was parodied in the “extemporal schoolmaster of our author's time, one John epitaph on the death of the deer,” beginning Florio, a teacher of the Italian tongue in “The praiseful princess pierced and prick'd a London, who has given us a small Dictionary pretty pleasing pricket.” of that language under the title of ‘A World This is very ingenious argument, but someof Words.' What Warburton asserted what bold; and it appears to us that ThoFarmer upheld. Florio, says Farmer, had mas Wilson was just as likely to have suggiven the first affront, by saying, “ the plays gested the alliteration as John Florio. In that they play in England are neither right The Arte of Rhetorike,' which we ave alcomedies nor right tragedies, but representa- ready quoted, we find this sentence : “Some tions of histories without any decorum." use over-muche repetition of one letter, as Florio says this in his ‘Second Fruites,' pub- * "De faict, l'on luy ensegna ung grand docteur so
phiste, nommé maistre Thubal Holoferne." Gargantua, * Coleridge's Literary Remains,' vol. ii. p. 104. livre i. chap. xiv.
pitifull povertie prayeth for a penie, but of a student. For a young author's first puffed presumpcion passeth not a point.” work almost always bespeaks his recent purIndeed, there are many existing proofs of suits, and his first observations of life are the excessive prevalence of alliteration in either drawn from the immediate employthe end of the sixteenth century. Bishop ments of his youth, and from the characters Andrews is notorious for it. Florio seems and images most deeply impressed on his to have been somewhat of a braggart, for he mind in the situations in which those emalways signs his name “Resolute John ployments had placed him ;-or else they Florio.” But, according to the testimony of are fixed on such objects and occurrences in Sir William Cornwallis, he was far above the the world as are easily connected with, and character of a fantastical pedant. Speaking of seem to bear upon, his studies and the his translation of Montaigne (the book which hitherto exclusive subjects of his meditahas now acquired such interest by bearing tions.” The frequent rhymes,-the alterShakspere's undoubted autograph), Sir Wil- nate verses,—the familiar metre which has liam Cornwallis says, “ Divers of his (Mon- been called doggrel (but which Anstey and taigne's) pieces I have seen translated ; they Moore have made classical by wit, and by that understand both languages say very
fun even more agreeable than wit)-lines well done ; and, I am able to say (if you will such as take the word of ignorance), translated into “ His face's own margent did quote such amazes, a style admitting as few idle words as our That all eyes saw his eyes enchanted with language will endure.” Holofernes, the
gazes;"pedant, who had “lived long on the alms- the sonnets full of quaint conceits, or runbasket of words” — who had “been at a ning off into the most playful anacreontics, great feast of languages and stolen the —the skilful management of the pedantry, scraps,”—was not the man to deserve the with a knowledge far beyond the pedantry, praise of writing “ a style admitting as few —and the happy employment of the ancient idle words as our language will endure.” mythology, - all justify Coleridge's belief
As far then as we have been able to trace, that the materials of this comedy were the original comedy of 'Love's Labour 's drawn from the immediate employments of Lost' might have been produced by Shak- Shakspere's youth. Still the play, when spere without any personal knowledge of augmented and corrected, might have rethe court language of Euphuism,-without ceived many touches derived from the power any acquaintance with John Florio,—and which he had acquired by experience. If with a design only to ridicule those extra- it were not presumptuous to attempt to put vagances which were opposed to the maxim our finger upon such passages, we would say of Roger Ascham, the most unpedantic of that Biron's eloquent speech at the end of schoolmasters, “to speak as the common people the fourth act, beginning do, to think as wise men do.”+ The further
“Have at you then, affection's men at arms,”intrinsic evidence that this comedy was a very early production is most satisfactory. and Rosaline’s amended speech at the end Coleridge has a very acute remark (which in
of the play, our minds is worth all that has been written
“Oft have I heard of you, my lord Biron,”— about the learning of Shakspere) as to his must be amongst the more important of early literary habits :-“ It is not unimport- these augmentations. ant to notice how strong a presumption the diction and allusions of this play afford, that, CHARLES LAMB was wont to call 'Love's though Shakspere's acquirements in the Labour's Lost' the Comedy of Leisure. It dead languages might not be such as we is certain that, in the commonwealth of King suppose in a learned education, his habits Ferdinand of Navarre, we have had, nevertheless, been scholastic, and those
“ All men idle, all; * Essays. 1600. Toxophilus.
And women too."