« 上一页继续 »
'I-Iowel takes this from Heywood; in his Old Sawes band Adages: and Philpot introduces it into the Proverbs collefted by Camden. ' 'We have but few observations concerning Shakspeare's knowledge of the Spanish tongue. Dr. Grey indeed is willing to suppose, that the plot of Romco andjuliet may be borrowed from a COMEDY of Lopes de Vega. But the Spaniard, who was certainly acquainted with Bandello , hath not only changed the catafirophe, but the names ofthe charaacrs. Neither Romeo norjuliet; neither Montzigue nor Capulet, appears in this performance: and show came they to the knowledge of Shakspeare? - Nothing is more certain, than that he chiefly followed the tranllation by-Paintler, from the French of Boisleau, -and hence arise the deviations from Band:-:llo's originallltalianf It seems ,
5 Itis remarked, that 5' Paris, though in one place called earl, is moil commonly lliled the countie in this play. Shakspeare seems to have preferred, for some reason or other, the
. Italian conte to our count : - perhaps he took it from the old
English novcl, from which he is said to have takenhis plot."He certainly did so : Paris is there firll sliled ayoung carle, and afterward, ucozmte, countee, and county ; according to the unsettled orthography of the time. - - '
The word however is frequently met with in other writers ; particularly in Fairfax :
' Mr. Whallcy tells us, the author of this picce hath the happiness to be at this time unknown , the remembrance of him having perished with himself;" Philips and others ascribe it to one VVilliam. Smith: but I take this opportunity of informing him, that it was written by Thomas Kyd; if he
will accept the authority of his contemporary, Heywood.
acquaintance with the French language. In the play of Henry V. we have a whole scene in it, and in other places it occurs familiarly in the dialogue-.
VVe may obferve in general, that the early editiohs have not half the quantity; and every fentence, or rather every word molt ridiculoufly blundered. These , for several reasons, could not posiibly be published by the author; 7 and it is
7 Every writer on Shakspeare hath expreffed his aflonishment, that his author was not folicitous to fecure his fame by a correct edition of his performances. This matter is not undcrfiood. When a poet was connecled with a particular playhoufe, he constantly fold his works to the Cbmpany, and ,it was their interefi to keep them from a number of rivals. A favourite piece, as Heywood informs us, only gotinco print, when it was copied by the ear', Wforadouble fale would bring' on a suspicion of honesiie." Shakspeare therefore himself published nothing-in the drama: when he, left the Rage, his copies remained with his fellow-managers', Heminge and Condell; who at their own retirement, about feven years after the death of their author, gave the world the edition now known by the name of the firsl folio; and call the previous publications "ufiolne and furreptitious, maitned and deformed by thefrauds and stealths ofinjurious imposlors." But this was printed from the playhoufe copies ; which in a feries of years had been frequently altered, through convenience, caprice, or ignorance. We have a sufficient iniiance of the liberties taken by the afiors, in an old pamphlet' by Nalh, called Lenten Stufife, with the Pralsc qf the red Herring, 4to. 1599. where he assures us, that in a play of his, called TheJsleqsD0gs, "fbure affs, without his confent, or the leali: guesfe -of his drift or fcope, were fupplied by the players."
This however was not his first quarrel with them. In the Epifile -prefixed to Greene'5 Arcadia, which I have quoted before, Tom. hath a lash at fome " vaine glorious tragedians," and very plainly at Shakspeare in particular; which will serve for an anfwer to an obfervation of Mr. Pope, that had aimofl been forgotten : " it was thought a praife to Shak7 fpeare, that he scarce ever blotted a ljne:-- I believe the
LEARNING OF SHAKSPEARE. 333
extremely probable, that the French ribaldry was at first inserted by a different hand, as the many additions most certainly were after he had left the ftage;-- Indeed, every friend to his memory will not easily believe , that he was acquainted with the scene between Catharine and the old gentlewoman; or surely he would not have admitted such obfcenity and nonsense. ,
Mr. Hawkins , in the Appendix to Mr.]ohnson's