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point. It is certainly founded upon, and refers only to general points of comparison, to the spirit and character, to the form and substance of the play. Bnt there are, in addition, a number of passages which verge so closely upon Shakspeare's mode of expression, that we feel that Shakspeare would have expressed the same thoughts in a similar manner; nay, there are several lines which give thoughts, similies and images which are mot with in Shakspeare's undoubtedly genuine works, and expressed almost in the same words. Again in act ii. 1, there occurs a line so precisely the same as one in Shakspeare's 94th Sonnet, that the question only is whether Shake speare borrowed it from · Edward III.,' or whether the author of this play took it from Shakspeare's Sonnet. Von Friesen has collected these single cases which favour the supposition of Shakspeare's being the author of the piece, and, like Delius, finds it natural that even Capell did not venture to deny the genuineness of the work, and that Tieck (whom in the second edition of my book I followed) unhesitatingly declares himself in favour of it.

Yet I have now come to the conviction that the play was not written by Shakspeare. In England there exist -as far as I know-but two old quartos (in single copies) and the print published by Capell in 1760; but even the latter has become so scarce that Ch. Knight, in his criticism of the play, introduces a series of characteristio passages as specimens for his readers. At the time when I was writing the second edition of this work, I was unable to procure the original text, and was therefore obliged to have recourse to Tieck's translation of the play. But now that I have become acquainted with the English text * I am induced-not so much on account of its several defects and un-Shakspearian passages which are adduced by both Knight and Von Friesen, as on account of its style and diction in general-to agree with

— them in regarding it as spurious.

The language, in spite of its affinity to Shakspeare's style of diction, in general, and in the individual passages

* Through Delius' Pseudo-Shakspeare’sche Dramen, English text, with German notes,

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adduced, betrays a poet of considerable talent, it is true, but without genius, without independent creative power, a poet who, although endowed with the appreciation of and the feeling for true poetry, and although he worked upon good models and in all cases endeavoured to find truly poetic expressions, was nevertheless unable freely to

' create them, and therefore often enough succeeds in hitting them, but as frequently misses the mark. Further, it betrays a poet, not like Shakspeare and every artistic genius, as growing with the greatness of the task he has to solve, with the higher development of his subject, but as one unequal to it; again, an experienced poet, not as one coming forward hesitatingly with his first production, but as one who has already made various attempts-it may be in different paths-and now decidedly follows in the footsteps of Shakspeare. For that · Edward III.' is written under Shakspeare's influence, that its author has taken Shakspeare's historical plays as his models—more especially his King John'* must, I think, be regarded as proved both by the conception and the creatment of the subject, as well as by the tone and colour of the language, and by the several obvious imitations of Shakspeare's mode of expression. If, accordingly, the drama cannot be a youthful work of Shakspeare's own, and if, as is more probable, it did not appear till about 1594, then the above-mentioned division of the play into two unconnected halves is of so much weight, that we must necessarily regard it as not a work of Shakspeare's. For towards the year 1594, Shakspeare, with his fine feeling for the necessity of giving harmonious roundness to the dramatic composition, could not possibly have committed such an offence against its laws ; the poet who had already presented the world with such plays as · Richard III.' and King John' cannot possibly have been the author of. Edward III.'

Yet this drama is so important a work, so distinguished among the productions presented to the theatre of the day, that it is only the peculiar position then occupied by a dramatic poet that can, in some measure, explain how

When discussing this play I endeavoured to prove that it probably appeared on the stage as early as 1593.

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its author could remain so wholly unknown. Every conjecture formed in regard to his person must, accordingly, be a critical venture in a double sense; I am, therefore, perfectly well aware that I am but making a conjecture, and that I cannot establish my hypothesis when pointing to the possibility of R. Lodge having been the author of

Edward III.' But, at all events, to him apply the features which, as regards the poetic individuality of its author, I think, can be inferred from the subject and form of the play. His only extant historical play, “The Wounds of Civil War,' which probably appeared soon after Marlowe's “Tamburlaine,' hence about 1587-8, we have already discussed.* Even this piece, which evidently took Marlowe's "Tamburlaine as its model, exhibits that dependence of the poetical conception, which gladly supports itself upon other writers; but on the other hand, it differs in spirit and character-particularly in its decidedly ethical tendency-as much from Marlowe's style as it approaches the genius of Shakspeare. Further, its composition also, betrays some affinity to Edward III., even ihough not externally, for it likewise falls into two halves which proceed alongside of one another, but internally unconnected. Lastly, I also think that the

. conception of the characters and their development in the course of the action (for instance in the similar case of the sudden moral change in Sulla's mind and character, as well as the endeavour to give the play an elevating termination) contain features of resemblance which point to Lodge.

The fact of Edward III.' being nevertheless considerably superior to The Wounds of Civil War,' is simply explained from the greater excellence of the model upon which Lodge formed his · Edward IIl.' Besides this, there is probably an intermediate period of from five to six years between the composition of the last-mentioned play and that of his other and first historical drama; and it was during this interval that great Shakspeare made his

appearance, which must assuredly have made a much deeper and more effectual impression upon the public, as well as upon actr.rs and dramatic poets, than is

* Vol. i. p. 124 f.

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generally assumed, or can be proved to have been the

A Yorkshire Tragedy : * this play, the last that bears the name of Shakspeare, will not require so long a discussion. It is entered in the Stationers' registers on May 2nd, 1608, with the express remark,

" written by William Shakspeare." It was printed in the same year with Shakspeare's full name on the title-page (and again in 1619). The same title-page also says, that it was performed, together with three other small pieces, by the King's players, that is, by Shakspeare's Company. The publisher's name certainly does not awaken any favourable prejudice; for it is the same who attributed the paternity of Sir John Oldcastle' to Shakspeare. However, this firejudice vanishes when we bear in mind that the same Th. Pavier also published some of Shakspeare's genuine plays, such as "Henry V.' (two editions, 1602 and 1608), and that the above remark in the Stationers' registers, if it were untrue, would be senseless and to no purpose, as the entries in the registers were not made public; a closer examination of the nature of the piece also, makes one more inclined to credit his statement.

The internal evidence of its genuineness is, in fact, 80 overwhelming that English critics are beginning to change their views. Collier, at least, unhesitatingly declares it to be a work of Shakspeare's, and even A. Dyce thinks that it has more claim to be classed among Shak. speare's plays than • Titus Andronicus.' † The play gives a brief, plain, and simple representation of a crime

* In Johnson and Steevens, l. c. p. 631 ff.

+ Collier, in an article contributed to the Athenæum of March, 1863, p. 3327 (in which he gives an account of the discovery of the pamphlet which reports the actual occurrence upon which the play is founded), has altered his opinion in so far as he now thinks that if the piece is not entirely Shakspeare's, he must, nevertheless, have had à main finger'in it, inasmuch as it is probable that several poets set to work upon the subject, so as to bring it upon the stage with the utnost possible despatch. Collier also thinks that the tragic parts were left to Shakspeare, whereas the comic scenes, and among these the intro luctory scene with the servants, was written by another poet, and probably abridged when the parts were put together. The same pamphlet shows that the occurrence to which the drama refers happened in 1605, not in 1604.

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that was perpetrated in Yorkshire in 1605, and had created great interest throughout the country. A father, utterly ruined in mind and fortune by his passion for gambling, in despair murders his two children, stabs his wife, throws down and tramples upon his servant who tries to interfere, but is finally overpowered, and brought to consciousness and repentance, simply by his wife's continued love towards himn in spice of his maltreatment of her; thus he again becomes a man, and, at least, dies as a man, even though his life has not been that of one-this is the substance of the tragedy. Of course if we apply the standard furnished by Shakspeare's great tragedies• Hamlet,’ ‘King Lear,' and 'Macbeth'-to this piece, it will be found so trivial' and insignificant that it seems presumption to call it a tragedy. For there is here no question of a conception of .ife from its inward depth, from a tragic point of view, no complicate action, no artistic skill in the composition exciting or engaging our imagination, no great, important or fully developed characters to rivet our interest. All is confined within the limits of ordinary.domestic life, and this limit is nowhere exceeded.

But apart from its title—which scarcely comes into consideration, as the term tragedy was at that time used in a very wide sense-the play makes no sort of pretension, much less a claim to being a great historico-tragic picture; it is, in fact, merely a dramatic portrait, the object of which is to exhibit with poetical truth a single incident taken from life. But a portrait is a work of art only; when, in addition to being a careful copy of nature, it, at the same time, gives something more than nature, i.e. when it exhibits both the outward form and the inner. man (which is in reality developed only by a succession of individual incidents) in his organic unity, fully and completely, and thus, as it were, presents a living picture of humanity. In the same way the · Yorkshire Tragedy' represents but a single actual incident, it is true, but shows it to us in its whole terrible significance, and with a truth and vividness that-although we know nothing of the previous life of the unhappy murderer-we can nevertheless clearly imagine his whole past life. It is

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