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SHAKSPEARE AND MOLIERE. (8*S. ii. 42, 190, 294,332, 389, 469.)
Parallelism has been, since the days of Plutarch, a favourite device of biographers. Fascinating as the practice is, both to the writer and his readers, a captious critic will have little difficulty in find. ing occasion to challenge the relevancy or truth of lines or points of resemblance. More especially is this the case with Shakespeare, where solittle is definitely known, where so much is purely conjectural. PROF. ToMLINson has detected fifteen “points of resemblance.” Many of these, so far as Shakespeare is concerned, are founded on tra3itions and assumptions which recent investigation has wholly rejected or dubiously questions. Prof. ToMlisson's statements are a little too positive; they give the impression that they are founded on irrefragable biographic data, whereas such does not exist in a life of the Bard of Avon. I have long waited for some of the eminent Shakespearian contributors of ‘N. & Q.” to touch on these resemblances. Molière has, up to this, monopolized attention. It is time to attract interrogatory notice to the English poet.
2. “The early education of both was neglected.” PROF. ToMLINson has here the support of Rowe's biography and Ben Jonson's “small Latin and less Greek”; but against them is the preponderating evidence of Shakespeare's own work. Take “Venus and Adonis,” “the first heire of my invention”; “Lucrecre,” the Sonnets, and his earlier dramatic works—are they the work of bizarre genius, of some clever sciolist? Surely not He must have accumulated wisely in his adolescent days, or he could never have scattered so exuberantly in his years of labour. His early works are packed with evidences of refined education, of studied restraint, of correct classical information. In his early manhood he evidently moved among men of learning, for Meres, M.A., tells how sonnets of baffling subtlety and exquisite beauty were dispersed by him among his private friends; while the purpose of ‘Love's Labour's Lost'—to ridicule the pedantic methods of the existing schools of learning and the coteries of culture—satisfy that his education was fully “up to date.” For want of space I would refer the unconvinced to J. Russell Lowell's brilliant essay, ‘Shakespeare Once More.’ 3. “Neither of them was happily married.” Molière was married at forty to a girl of eighteen; Shakespeare was wedded at eighteen to a lady nine years his senior. Molière was manifestly unhappy. But was Shakespeare? There is not a tittle of satisfactory evidence to prove that Shakespeare's marriage was a failure. The disparity of ages, the marriage licence, and the “second best bed,” prove nothing; while his love of home, his amazingly beautiful characterization of female character, his attitude towards marital alliance, as displayed in his works, rather favour a life of connubial satisfaction. J. O. Halliwell-Phillipps remarks on this subject:- “Whether the early alliance was a prudent one in a wordly point of view may admit of doubt, but that the married pair continued on affectionate terms, until they were separated by the poet's death, may be gathered from the early local tradition “that his wife did earnestly desire to be laid in the same grave with him.' The legacy to her of the second best bed is an evidence which does not negative the later testimony.”- Outlines,’ fifth edition, p. 56. 6. “Each was careless about publishing his works; or rather, objected to do so, lest they should be acted by rival dramatic companies.” In the first version of the 1609 edition of ‘Troylus and Cresseid' there is this advertisement: “Eternall reader, you have heere a new play, never stal’d with the stage, never clapper-claw’d with the palmes of the vulger.” This is an instance of a play published before it was produced on the stage. It has been estimated that there were sixty-five editions of Shakespeare's works published before his death. The dedication to “Venus and Adonis’ and the typographical excellence of the work have led commentators almost unanimously to believe
that Shakespeare himself saw this work through, genius are enshrined in these works. I do not the press. In the 1598 edition of 'Love's Labour's know whether students have ever remarked the Lost' we find the words, “Newly corrected and innate modesty of the man as displayed in his augmented,” in the 1604 quarto of 'Hamlet,' epilogues. He over and over again expresses his “Newly imprinted and enlarged to almost as much desire to please, and his bope that the work may again as it was, according to the true and perfect give satisfaction; he pleads for forbearance and coppie.” The almost inevitable conclusion is that promises improvement. None but a writer deeply this studied revision, this laboured overhauling, was concerned could have written such epilogues. In done solely with a view to publication. So thought 1597 Shakespeare purchased New Place, and in Mr. Swinburne, in his fine 'Study of Shake- | 1598 he is written down “ William Shakespeare speare':
of Stratford-on-Avon, in the county of Warwick, “Scene by scene, line for line, stroke upon stroke, and gentleman," and is returned as the holder of ten touch after touch, he went over all the old laboured quarters of corn. Necessity has ever been the ground again, and not to ensure success in his own day, hard law that binds men to obnoxious pursuits, and fill his pockets with contemporary pence, but merely
he was now sufficiently independent to have reand wholly with a purpose to make it worthy of himself and his future students...... Not one single alteration in
nounced bis profession if it was distasteful. Yet the whole play (“Hamlet') can possibly have been it was in these years of comparative affluence that made with a view to stage effect, or to present popularity | be produced his noblest works. and profit...... Every cbange in the text of Hamlet'has 13. “Each preferred the idea or matter, to the impaired its fitness for the stage, and increased its value
comparative disregard of the manner.” Ben Jonfor the closet in exact and perfect proportion." Pp. 163, 164.
son did not think 80 :Mr Theodore Watts also refers to this in his
“ Yet must I not give Nature all, thy art my gentle
Shakespeare must enjoy a part. For though the poet's obituary notice of 'Lord Tennyson ':
matter, nature be. His art doth give the fashion." " That he was not an improvisatore, however, any And he goes on to point out that Shakespeare's one can see who will take the trouble to compare the first edition of 'Romeo and Juliet' with the received
“mind and manners brightly shine in his welltext, the first sketch of The Merry Wives of Windsor turned and true-filed lines." When we examine with the play as we now have it, and the 'Hamlet' of the matchless beadroll of proverb and idiom, those 1603 with the Hamlet' of 1604, and with the still exquisite snatches of song, those "sug'red sonnets," further varied version of the play given by Heminge and Condell in the Folio of 1623. If we take into account,
those glorious specimens of dramatic art, we moreover, that it is only by the lucky chapter of accidents
find it difficult to decide whether he was more that we now possess the earlier foring of the three plays concerned for the idea or for the form in which mentioned above, and that most likely the other plays be should present it. Shakespeare's art has been were once in a like condition, we shall come to the con- so long the wonder, the admiration of the worldclusion that there was no more vigilant worker with so often praised in volumes of ealogy_that I wag Dante's sieve than Shakspeare.” – Athenceum, 3389,
simply amazed when I learned Shakespeare was 10. “Each disliked his profession.” In sup
classed with those who disregarded manner. port of this PROF. TOMLINSON proffers three oft
There are one or two points to which I might quoted lines of Sonnet cxi. This is not sufficient.
refer, but space com pels me to refrain. PROF. Admitting that Shakespeare referred to himself, it
TOMLINSON does not carry his survey to the end. could only be true of the mood, or time, or con
Will he allow me to do so? Here at least a striking dition under which it was written. Again and
contrast presents itself. Poor Molière ! how pitifal again in the sonnets we stumble across passages
is the last page of his “ strange eventful history." which triumphantly prove that Shakespeare knew
“ His means of death, bis obscure burial-no noble his work to be immortal and took honest pride in
rite, nor formal ostentation," huddled when the it, “ desiring this man's art, and that man's scope"
night was darkest into a begrudged grave, with that he might excel :
maimed rites and a small funeral cortège. We Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
turn to Shakespeare's demise. Buried honourably Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme.
in the chancel of his own country church, attended
Sonnet lv. | by friends and mourned for by his family, his Your monument shall be my gentle verse,
affairs in order, with faith expressed in his Pilot,' Which eyes not yet created shall o'erread;
“when he had crossed the Bar," while those who And tongues to be, your being shall rehearse, When all the breathers of this world are dead;
knew felt that a prince and a great man had fallen You still shall live (such virtue hath my pen),
in Britain. This is gratifying, and redounds to the Where breath most breathes, even in the mouths of men. | credit of our own beloved country. Sonnet lxxxi.
W. A. HENDERSON. Shakespeare's profession was dramatist. Now I! Du hold he could not have produced the works he did In regard to the earliest collected editions of bad be disliked his calling. He who reads may note Molière's works, I have a volume of the 1682 that the whole soul and head and energy of a edition which contains the “ Privilege du Roy,”
granted by Louis XIV. to Denis Thierry, “Mar. chand Libraire Imprimeur,” for an extension of the nine years granted to Molière, on March 18, 1671, in which he was to have the sole right of printing, “toutes les Pièces de Théâtre, composées pour nostre divertissement” by him. Denis Thierry humbly represents that by the terms of the original “permission,” as only one edition of the works had been published, finished in 1675, the “Privilege” did not expire until 1684. This, however, seems to have been disputed by other “Libraires et Imprimeurs,” and in consequence, on Feb. 15, 1680,– “En consideration des grandes sommes qu'il a payées, pour achepter la Cession dudit Privilege, et des frais et dépences qu'il luy a convenu faire pour ladite impresston, Denis Thierry was permitted,— “d'imprimer, vendre et debiter les Pièces de Théâtre et autres (Euvres dudit de Molière, durant le temps et espace de six années; a compter du jour que ledit Privilege par nous accordé audit de Molière, en datte du 18 Mars 1671, sera expiré.” I suppose that the extended “Privilege” would end in 1690. J. F. MANSERGH. Liverpool.
When, as DR. BREWER reminds us, François de Harlay de Chanvallon, that gay archbishop, refused Molière the rites of sepulture, Chapelle, an Abbé as gay but not as bigoted, put about the followIng:— Puisqu'à Paris en dénie La terre après le trépas A ceux qui, pendant la vie, Ont joué de la comédie, Pourquoi me jette-t-on pas Les bigots dans la voirie 7 Ils sont dans le même cas |
W. F. WALLER.
BURNs IN ART (8th S. ii. 428,451, 472).-Your correspondent's surprise at the few exhibited pictures during recent years deriving inspiration from the verse of Scotia's bard applies equally, I think, to other poets. Apparently very material subjects at the present time attract the bawbees in preference to the super-mundane breathings of a poet's soul. Still, from the time of David Allan down to Charles Martin Hardie a large number of eminentartists have devoted their pencils to depicting both people and places immortalized by the verse of Burns. My Burnsiana notes yield the following list, which may be of some assistance to MR. SHELLEY ; but it is far from being complete. As many of the paintings and drawings have been engraved as illustrations to the poems, I shall be pleased to supply the references should your correspondent require them: David Allan, Sir William Allan, P.R.S.A., T. Allom, W. H. Bartlett, J. Burnet. A. Carse, Sam Bough, Abraham Cooper, B.A., F. A. Chapman (New York), John Faed,
George Cruikshank, G. M. Greig, Andrew Geddes, R.A., Sir John Gilbert, R. Herdman, D. O. Hill, R.S.A., Sir George Harvey, P.R.S.A., William Kidd, R.S.A., Sir Edwin Landseer, R.A., Thomas Landseer, W. H. Lizars, E. H. Miller (New York), R. C. Lucas, W. H. Paton, David Scott, R.S.A., John Moyr Smith, J. S. Storer, Thomas Stothard, R.A., Rev. M. W. Peters, R.A., John Thurston, J. McWhirter, J. M. Wright. This last artist must not be confounded with another Wright (“Scotus”) of the same initials. The illustrator of Cunningham's quarto, born in London, was a pupil of Stothard, and these very beautiful transcripts have, I think, never been excelled as subject illustrations to Burns's poems, and I am glad to find, from MR. VIRTUE's reply, that they are still intact and in safe custody. The picture of ‘Tam O'Shanter,’ by Abraham Cooper, R.A., engraved in the same edition, was originally exhibited at the British Institution in 1814. Burns was himself a landscape painter—in words. His poems, when describing the scenery of his much-loved country, are pictures; and to the late David Octavius Hill must be awarded the laurels for perpetuating with his pencil these word pictures on canvas. Sixty beautiful landscapes, each and all painted on the spots suggested by the references in the poems, worthily illustrate the “land of Burns,” under which title they were collectively engraved. The original paintings were publicly exhibited at Edinburgh in 1841, and an octavo catalogue of the collection was printed. I have lately seen a series of oil pictures by Thomas Stothard, R.A., illustrative of Burns s poems; but as my reply is already too long and discursive, I will defer further reference to them until a future occasion. Edward BARRINGTON NASH. Chelsea, S.W. Permit me to refer your correspondent to some excellent engravings from paintings by well-known Scotch artists, published for the members of the Royal Association for the Promotion of Fine Arts in Scotland, illustrative of Burns's poems. Three of them are in my possession (1) “The Soldier's Return,’ 1857; (2) “Auld Lang Syne,’ 1859; (3) “Illustrated Songs of Robert Burns,’ 1861, each of them containing half a dozen well-executed engravings, and procurable, no doubt, for a small sum. The original pictures from which they were taken are probably in private collections in Scot
I can remember to have seen many years ago one of them from No. 3, “Last May a braw wooer,” painted by Erskine Nicol, R.S.A., in which the figures were remarkably well executed, at “the tryst o' Dalgarnock.” The “braw wooer” was looking at Jean, who is also casting a sly glance at him over her left shoulder. She was dressed in the homely attire of bed-gown, short fustian
ST. CITHA (8* S. ii. 309, 412).-I have a coloured engraving of an ancient piece of stained glass which is said to be in existence in a window in the north aisle of the choir of Winchester Cathedral. It represents St. Sitha standing in a sort of canopied niche. Her robe is white, with a narrow yellow border, and with wide sleeves. The under garment appears to be red. She has long golden hair, and round the head is a halo. In the right hand she holds a book closed and clasped, and in the left hand a bunch of keys. On a scroll beneath are the words, “Sca. Sitha.”
CARUs WALE Collier. Davington Priory, Faversham.
To “smell at ” is quite common in Ireland, and is hardly provincial. A good instance of the use occurs in Hall Caine's “Deemster,”“Smelling to the peonies, and never a whiff of a smell at the breed of them " (p. 44, ed. 1883). It is a common form in the Isle of Man. Ben Jonson has “smell to" twice in his works. “Smelling to the oats” occurs in ‘New Inn, III. i. The other instance is in “The Case is Altered ' (circa 1598), but in a stage direction, “Takes up some of the gold and smells to it” (IV. iv.). H. C. HART.
SMollett's ‘Roderick RANDoM’ (8th S. ii. 463).-The quotation given under the above heading irresistibly reminds me of the ways of a hen—a vigorous peck when she discovers anything that does not please her, and much cackling over any, small grain which meets with her approval whilst she is engaged in her scratching. The faults in Cleland's book may be “thick as autumnal leaves that strow the brooks in Wallombrosa,” but I doubt whether it was worth the
labour, of raking them together and trying to annihilate the doctor at the expense of so much |
heat. Any scribbler can be caustic. It seems a pity that when the writer of the “rare pamphlet” took the trouble to print it she did not at the same time supply her readers with something original about Strap. Mistress Agnes Baird thought “that Strap was no less a person than Mr. Duncan Niven.” Why? Because her father told her so, and “it was well known” that the Glasgow barber “was reputed to be Strap.” This is mere hearsay. The lady repeats her father's statement without citing his authority for it, and she treats the local gossip in a similar fashion. By repeating what was told to her she no more proves her case in favour of her friend Niven than have the advocates who advance the claims of Hewson, the hairdresser at St. Martin's ; Hutchinson, a barber of Dunbar ; or Lewis, the bookbinder of Chelsea, to be considered the original of Strap. The absence of any notice of the rival claimants for the honour raises a suspicion that Mistress Baird never had heard of them, for it is hardly conceivable that, had she known of their existence, she would not have used every effort to demolish their pretensions and have brought forward some better proof than “a twice-told tale.” Mr. David Herbert, in his short ‘Life of Smollett,” says that:— “Strap has been the pride and the boast of four claimants. It is not in this case greatness thrust on unwilling victims; it is greatness urged in claim, and utilized to a bargain in business.” I think this is not correct respecting Lewis. In Nichol's ‘Literary Anecdotes” (vol. iii. p. 465), which is quoted by Roscoe in his ‘Life of Smollett' (1848, p. xl—the edition of the “Works’ illustrated by George Cruikshank), occurs:— “Mrs. Lewis often assured the writer of this article that her husband denied the assertions of many people, as often as it was mentioned to him; but there is every reason to suppose,” &c. Mr. Herbert adds that Dr. Chambers gives the details (of the claims) “in a note” and to it refers the curious. Dr. Chambers's work, as is the case with many another, is not among my books, otherwise the exact reference should be furnished, and I could judge better about Lewis. But a shallow purse, like a shallow wit, has to answer for much at times. Both are detestable always.
H. G. GRIFFINHoOFE. 34, St. Petersburg Place, W.
and it was cut out : But at last my neighhours set a day have been the habit of glancing at modern times apart to fast and pray for me, and I was freed from my I and modern combinations. When we are reading danger, in the beginning of that day.”-- Reliquiæ of the old days we do not want our thoughts to be Baxterianæ,' part i. p. 81.
EDWARD PEACOCK. “DUTCH NIGHTINGALES” (8th S. ü. 208, 316, 352).-At the last reference C. O. B. remarks
MR. BOUCHIER will probably find something to that the “Lincolnshire bagpipes," mentioned in interest him in D 1 Henry IV.,'I. ii., have reference “ to the pre
History,' the first chapter of which deals with the valence of frogs in this fenny country." I cannot
English historians of Greece in the present century. help thinking that he has hit upon a wrong inter
The Atheneum of Oct. 1 (p. 446) says: “ The pretation of the words. Surely the allusion is to
comparison between Tbirlwall and Grote will strike veritable bagpipes. This view of the case seems every one who is familiar with their famous histo be proved by the following passage from Robert tories of Greece as subming up their respective Armin's Nest of Ninnies,' 1608, p. 9, reprint of merits in most excellent style." the Shakespeare Society, 1842:
JOHN RANDALL. " Amongst all the pleasures prouided, a noyse of min City COMPANIES (8th S. ii. 427).-All City strells and a Lincolnshire bagpipe was prepared-the companies now surviving have records which are minstrels for the great chamber, the bagpipe for the hall-the minstrells to serve vp the knight's meate, and
kept in custody of their clerks, who are authorized the bagpipe for the common dauncing.”
to demand a fee for every search. Such records In a note on this passage the editor remarks :
contain entries of apprenticeship and admission to “Shakespeare does not speak very favourably of
the freedom, the former giving each youth's “the drone of a Lincolnshire bagpipe'; but, from
parentage and place of birth. They are seldom various authorities, it appears that it was an
indexed, so any applicant should be provided instrument then in much request."
with a proximate date. Some companies lost their F. C. BIRKBECK Terry.
books at the Great Fire of 1666, as the Vintners
and, I am informed, tbe Glovers. A counterpart TOPEHALL (8th S. ii. 407).-Macaulay, whose of each entry should be found in the Chambermemory was as tenacious as it was reproductive, lain's Office at Guildhall, but imperfectly indexed. no doubt took this name from Roderick Random'
A. Hall. -in which story Orson Topehall, the brother of 13, Paternoster Row, E.C. Narcissa, is represented as a hard-drinking squire --and then gave it to the class of convivial squire
Your correspondent cannot do better than con
sult the . History of the Twelve Livery Companies archy of the days of Sir Robert Walpole. Joan PICKFORD, M.A.
of London,' by William Herbert, late Librarian to Newbourne Rectory, Woodbridge.
the Corporation of London, published in 1836, in
which he will find the names of the members ; but WESLEY AND THE Microscope (gth S. ii. 448), neither in this nor in any other publication with - From his sermon on the Imperfection of which I am acquainted is the lineage or origin Human Knowledge,' Works,' ix. 314 (edition in given.
EVERARD HỌME COLEMAN. sixteen volumes, 1811) :
71, Brecknock Road. “With regard to Animals. Are Microscopic Animals, MARKS AND LETTERS ON SHIPS (8th S. ii. 449). 80 called, real Animals, or not? If they are, are they not essentially different from all other Animals in the
1-To explain the use of the supplementary lines
1 universe, as not requiring any food, not generating or which are to be found on many vessels alongside being generated ? Are they no Animals at all, but of the Plimsoll mark, it may be as well to state merely inanimate particles of matter, in a state of fer. the meapiog of those which may probably be mentation? How totally ignorant are the most sagacious
painted on a steamer trading, say, to the East, of men, touching the whole affair of generation ! Even the generation of Men."
and sometimes across the Atlantic. The highest GEO. West.
supplementary line, higher than Plimsoll's, is The Field, Swinfleet, Goole.
marked with the letters F.W. = Fresh Water.
The boat can be put down to this line when GROTE's 'HISTORY OF GREECE' (8th S. ii. 448). loading in a fresb-water dock or river, because -MR. BOUCHIER's questions, to be answered when she gets into salt water she will "lift," as fully and as they deserve, would occupy far more it is called, on account of the greater density of space than ‘N. & Q.' can afford to give, and it the salt water. Alongside of tbis, and very may well be that on such a matter the opinions of slightly lower, there may be a line with the initials those capable of judging would be found divided. I.S.= India Summer, which marks the point to I think Grote superior to Thirlwall, but that bis which she may be loaded in the Indian seas. in is by no means all that a history of Greece should summer. Below the latter appears a line S., be. One great defect of Grote seems to me to which is the steamer's summer draught in the