« 上一頁繼續 »
had no doubt been destroyed when the Globe Theatre was consumed by fire on 29th June, 1613.
We have seen that “The Tempest” and “ The Winter's Tale” were both acted at Whitehall, and included in Sir George Buc's account of the expenses of the Revels from October, 1611, to October, 16123. How much older " The Tempest” might be than “ The Winter's Tale,” we have no means of determining; but there is a circumstance which shows that the composition of “ The Tempest " was anterior to that of" The Winter's Tale;'' and this brings us to speak of the novel upon which the latter is founded.
As early as the year 1588, Robert Greene printed a tract called “Pandosto: The Triumph of Time," better known as " The History of Dorastus and Fawnia,” 'the title it bore in some of the later copies. As far as we now know, it was not reprinted until 1607, and a third impression appeared in 1609: it afterwards went through many editions“; but it seems not unlikely that Shakespeare was directed to it, as a proper subject for dramatic representation, by the third impression which came out the year before we suppose him to have commenced writing his “ Winter's Tales.". In many respects our great dramatist follows Greene's story very closely, as may be seen by some of the notes in the course of the play, and by the recent republication of “ Papdosto" from the unique copy of 1588, in “Shakespeare's Library." There is, however, one remarkable variation, which it is necessary to point out. Greene says:
“ The guard 'left her” (the Queen) " in this perplexitie, and carried the child to the king, who, quite devoide of pity, commanded that without delay it should be put in the boat, having neither sail nor rudder to guide it, and so to be carried into the midst of the sea, and there left to the wind and wave, as the destinies please to appoint."
3 The circumstance that “The Tempest" and "The Winter's Tale” were both acted at court at this period, and that they might belong to nearly the same date of composition, seems to give great additional probability to the opinion, that Ben Jonson alluded to them in the following passage in the Induction to his “Bartholomew Fair,” which was acted in 1614, while Shakespeare's two plays were still high in popular favour :-“If there be never a Servant-monster i' the Fair, who can help it, he says ? nor a nest of Anticks ? He is loth to make nature afraid in his Pla yes, like those that beget Tales, Tempests, and such like Drolleries.” The Italic type and the capitals are as they stand in the original edition in folio, 1631. Gifford (Ben Jonson's Works, Vol. iv. p. 370) could not be brought to acknowledge that the words "Servant-monster," "Anticks,” « Tales," and "Tem
applied to Shakespeare, but with our present information the fact seems hardly disputable.
4 How long it continued popular, may be judged from the fact that it was printed as a chap-book as recently as the year 1735, when it was called “The Fortunate Lovers; or the History of Dorastus. Prince of Sicily, and of Fawnia, only daughter and heir to the King of Bohemia," 12mo.
5 In a note upon a passage in Act iii. sc. 2, a reason is assigned for th king that Shakespeare did not employ the first edition of Greene's novel, but in all probability that of 1609.
The child thus " left to the wind and wave" is the Perdita of Shakespeare, who describes the way in which the infant was exposed very differently, and probably for this reason:that in " The Tempest” he had previously (perhaps not long before) represented Prospero and Miranda turned adrift at sea in the same munner as Greene had stated his heroine to have been disposed of. When, therefore, Shakespeare came to write “ The Winter's Tale," instead of following Greene, as he had usually done in other minor circumstances, he varied from the original narrative, in order to avoid an objectionable similarity of incident in his two dramas. It is true, that in the conclusion Shakespeare has also made important and most judicious changes in the story; since nothing could well be more revolting than for Pandosto (who answers to Leontes) first to fall dotingly in love with his own daughter, and afterwards to commit suicide. The termination to which our great dramatist brings the incidents is at once striking, natural, and beautiful, and is an equal triumph of judgment and power.
It is, perhaps, singular that Malone, who observed upon the “involved parenthetical sentences '' prevailing in “The Winter's Tale," did not in that very peculiarity find a proof that it woust have been one of Shakespeare's later productions. In the Stationers' Registers there is no earlier entry of it than that of Nov. 8, 1623, when the publication of the first folio was contemplated by Blount and Jaggard : it originally appeared in that volume, where it is regularly divided into Acts and Scenes: the “ Wynter's Nighte's Pastime,” noticed in the registers under date of May 22, 1594, must have been & different work. If any proof of the kind were wanted, we learn from two lines in "Dido, Queen of Carthage," by Marlowe and Nash, 1594, 4to, that “ a winter's tale" was a then current phrase :
" Who would not undergoe all kinde of toyle
To be well storld with such a winter's tale?” Sign. D. 3 b. In representing Bohemia to be a maritime country, Shakespeare adopted the popular notion, as it had been encouraged since 1588 by Greene's “Pandosto." ith regard to the prevailing ignorance of geography, the subsequent passage from John Taylor's “ Travels to Prague in Bohemia,” a journey performed by him in 1620, shows that the satirical writer did not consider it strange that an alderman of London was not aware that a fleet of ships could not arrive at a port of Bohemia:“I am no sooner eased of him, but Gregory Gandergoose, an Alderman of Gotham, catches me by the goll, demanding if Bohemia be a great town, and whether there be any meat in it, and whether the last fleet of ships be arrived there." It is to be observed, that Shakespeare reverses the scene of “ Pandosto," and represents as passing in Sicily, what Greene had made to occur in Bohemia. In several places he more verbally followed Greene in this play than he did even Lodge in “As You Like it :" but the general variations are greater from “Pandosto " than from * Rosalynde." Shakespeare
does not adopt one of the appellations given by Greene; and it inay be noticed that, just anterior to the time of our poet, the name he assigns to the Queen of 'Leontes had been employed as that of a inale character: in “The rare Triumphs of Love and Fortune," acted at court in 1581-2, and printed in 1589, Hermione is the lover of the heroine.
“ The idea of this delightful drama" (says Coleridge in his Lit. Rem. vol. ii. p. 250) is a genuine jealonsy of disposition, and it should be immediately followed by the perusal of
Othello,' which is the direct contrast of it in every particular. For jealousy is a vice of the mind, a culpable tendency of temper, having certain well known and well detined effects and concomitants, all of which are visible in Leontes, and I boldly say, not one of which marks its presence in Othello :such as, first, an excitability by the most inadequate causes, and an eagerness to snatch at proofs; secondly, a grossness of conception, and a disposition to degrade the object of the passion by sensual fancies and images; thirdly, a sense of shame of his own feelings exhibited in a solitary moodiness of humour, and yet from the violence of the passion forced to utter itself, and therefore catching occasions to ease the inind by ambiguities, and equivoques, by talking to those who cannot, and who are known not to be able to understand what is said to them; in short, by soliloquy in the form of dialogue, and hence a confused, broken, and fragmentary manner; fourthly, a dread of vulgar ridicule, as distinct from a high sense of honour, or a niistaken sense of duty; and lastly, and immediately consequent on this, a spirit of selfish vindictive
In his lectures in 1815, Coleridge dwelt on the "not easily jealous" frame of Othello's mind, and on the art of the great poet in working upon his generous and unsuspecting nature: he contrasted the characters of Othello and Leontes in this respect, the latter from predisposition requiring no such malignant instigator as lago.
LEONTES, King of Sicilia.
Lords of Sicilia.
HERMIONE, Queen to Leontes.
Lords, Ladies, and Attendants; Satyrs, Shepherds,
Shepherdesses, Guards, &c.
THE WINTER'S TALE.
SCENE 1.-Sicilia, An Antechamber in LEONTES'
Palace. Enter CAMILLO and ARCHIDAMUS. Arch. If you should chance, Camillo, to visit Bohemia, on the like occasion whereon my services are now on foot, you shall see, as I have said, great difference betwixt our Bohemia and your Sicilia.
Cam. I think, this coming summer, the king of Sicilia means to pay Bohemia the visitation which he justly owes him.
Arch. Wherein our entertainment shall shame us, we will be justified in our loves; for, indeed,
Cam. Beseech you,
Arch. Verily, I speak it in the freedom of my knowledge: we cannot with such magnificence-in so rare -I know not what to say.-We will give you sleepy drinks, that your senses, unintelligent of our insufficience, may, though they cannot praise us, as little
Cam. You pay a great deal too dear for what's given freely.
Arch. Believe me, I speak as my understanding instructs me, and as mine honesty puts it to utterance.
Cam. Sicilia cannot show himself over-kind to Bohemia. They were trained together in their childhoods; and there rooted betwixt them then such an affection, which cannot choose but branch now. Since their more mature dignities, and royal necessities, made separation of their society, their encounters, though not personal, have been so royally attorney'd, with interchange of gifts, letters, loving embassies, that they have seemed to be together, though absent, shook
1 This word is not in f. e.