Page images
PDF
EPUB

Curtain in 1596, and yet there is a is by the same hand as the bulk of strong presumption that it was written Henry VI. (parts 2 and 3), and that in 1593; for that the earthquake this hand was Peele's there can be spoken of by the Nurse happening little doubt. There are also numerous when Juliet was one year old and coincidences of language between all therefore thirteen years before the date these plays in their original shape; of her speech, would be referred by the I have only space here for one from audience to the earthquake of 1580, Romeo and Juliet which will indicate which was so violent in the locality of their nature; to give them in full is the Curtain Theatre, can hardly be impossible except in an annotated doubted. Drake has clearly shown edition. this. Malone saw the difficulty of recon- At the end of ii. 5, Juliet

saysciling it with the 1596 date of repre

“ How doth ler latter words revive my sentation. But if the play was ori

heart !" ginally written in 1593 by Peele, and

this and the succeeding lines are repassed at his death, in 1595 (1), into the hands of the Chamberlain's men,

placed, Q2, by it is quite intelligible that it should “Hie to high fortune; honest purse, farewell." have remained unrevised for a year or But in 3 Hen. VI., i., 1, the very so. It is not so easy to understand

words occur, that Shakespeare, if he wrote in 1593, should not have revised his own play

“How do thy words revive my heart." till after its being acted in 1596, and The phrase does not occur in any play after its being put upon the stage undoubtedly written by Shakespeare, should have been in such a hurry with but it is common in his predecessors. his alterations. This is unlike his way The numerous repetitions of lines of work. Perhaps his first production and phrases in different parts of Q, only in 1593 may have been hindered by tend to show the same result. These the closing of the theatres on account are pointed out by Mr. Daniel, and I of the plague ; and we know that need not dwell on them here. As far, Shakespeare (whether with L. Strange's then, as these narrow limits will allow, or the Chamberlain's company) was I have indicated proofs that exist that “ travelling " in 1594.

external and internal evidence alike Another evidence in my favour is lead us to conclude that the first draft only admissible if my theory of of this play, Qo, was made about 1593, Richard III, having been partly of probably by G. Peele ; that after his Peele's production is granted me. It is death it was partially revised by of course impossible to do more than Shakespeare, and produced at the allude to it here. It has been proved Curtain Theatre in 1596 in the shape by Spedding, and confirmed by inde- that we find it as printed in Qı; and pendent investigations by me that the that he subsequently revised it comfolio edition of that play is an altera- pletely as we read it in Q2. It has tion of the quarto. Now the alterations been shown that his name was not are exactly of the same character as attached to it in his lifetime; that those in Romeo and Juliet. The the external evidence for his authornumber of Alexandrines and four ship is less than that for other plays feet lines is enormously reduced, of which he is acknowledged to have and the lines with

extra strong been only in part originator ; that syllables are altered so as to replace the unrevised parts of Q, are unlike Peele's usual metre by Shakespeare's. his work in metre, style, and general It is also very likely that Richard III. form; that the unlikenesses are of

the same character as those in Henry i This confirms Mr. Hales in placing Romeo

VI. and Richard III., and that if Q, and Juliet between The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1595), and The Merchant of Venice

is a surreptitious copy some theory (1596) on esthetic grounds.

more satisfactory than any yet pro

pounded must be given to account for theatric representation-were extinits errors being errors of eye, not of guished by the ignoble brawl in which ear.

It is, I think, impossible to Marlow met his death. At that date resist these arguments, even in the he was certainly the equal, if not the extent here presented. How much superior, of Shakespeare. George Peele, more, then, in their totality, as for also, the author of the Old Wives' Tale instance in the notes of the edition of and David and Bathshebathe only Qı, which I prepared in 1874 for the fairy tale and the only scriptural theme New Shakspere Society, in which every that have been treated dramatically peculiarity was noted of spelling, with success by the Elizabethans-he metre, and language, and the inference whom Greene ranked even above Marfrom each pointed out; with illustra- low, whose delicate work, in the portions from Peele's acknowledged works. tions that have come down to us, is

Assuming, then, for an instant, that so exquisitely finished-he, too, if he this theory is correct, it may be said did no more than is commonly attrithat it is an ungrateful task to dimi- buted to him, was no mean compenish the laurels of our greatest poet titor with Shakespeare for supremacy. even by a leaf; that it an odious Shakespeare did not show his greatwork (however just) to try to bring ness till his second period; until he him nearer on a level with the lower produced his Merchant of Venice and his playwrights of his time; that if the Henry IV. he was not recognizable as

onliness” of Shakespeare is an illu- taller than his brethren by the head sion, we had rather keep the illusion in and shoulders. And who can say that, its beauty than give it up for the truth had Peele and Marlow lived, they would in its ugliness. The answer to which not have attained an equal height ? Of is, Do right, though the sky fall. But Marlow there can be little doubt that, it may yet be worth while to point out although he would probably not have that such investigations do not less- been so genial, so human, so com preen Shakespeare, though they advance hensive, he might yet have touched the other men who have hitherto been far springs of sorrow and fear as deeply as too much neglected. We do not mea- Lear or Macbeth. And Peele, if, as sure his greatness by the extent of his I believe, he wrote great part of work, but by the height he attained Henry VI., Richard II., and Romeo in his best productions. The great and Juliet, stood so nearly on an tragedies, Hamlet, Lear, Othello, are equality with Shakespeare, that their all his; the great histories, Henry IV., work has been confused and mistaken Henry V., are all his; the great come- for two centuries and more. dies, the Tempest, As you Like It, the tures of the young giant-race are hard Merchant of Venice, are all his; the to discriminate ; they are all of one great tragi-comedy, Winter's Tale, is all

family, and their birth-dates are not his. It is in the lesser plays that far asunder. The surviving brother is other men's work has been found ; and the greatest, in virtue of his survival, what men ! Had Marlow and Peele but had they all lived it would have lived, Shakespeare would probably not been hard indeed to prognosticate on have been the unique phenomenon which brow the highest crown should that he is to us. The hand that ultimately have rested.

Meanwhile painted the death-scene of Faust, at let us try to be just to all, and if an age when Shakespeare had, at most, any

fame is due to the earlier dead, let given us two or three of his earliest us not shrink to give it them: even if comedies; the ear that first formed in doing so we may seem for an instant for us a perfect medium for dramatic to be invidious to its former possessor, poetry by organising our blank verse let our admiration of Shakespeare bo in harmonious rhythm ; the genius that freed from silly idolatry and unfair first saw the capability of historic adulation. themes to excite pity and terror in June, 1875.

F. G. FLEAY.

The fea

THE ANCIENT ORGANISATION OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD.

It is only natural that Oxford, abound- title of Bachelor, which, after an ining as it does in traces of the past, terval and on payment of a fee, was should be a favourite field of archæo- transmuted into the title of Master, of logical investigation. The interest of Arts; but of what “arts” he was the subject, after centuries of labour made a bachelor, or in what sense he bestowed upon it, is indeed far from subsequently became a master of being exhausted. Not only has the them, he has no suspicion. mass of antiquarian material collected Nearly the same

assertions may by the diligence of such men as Wood indeed be made of the graduate who and Hearne and their worthy succes- stays at Oxford. Instead of a learner sors to be re-examined and treated he has become a teacher, and he takes critically, but much new material, only part in the well-intended legislation of recently made accessible, has to be the Convocation House, but the Unicollected and utilised.

versity continues to be in his eyes a One topic in particular-- some know- large, and no doubt very ancient, ledge of which one might suppose school, where very promiscuous subwould be especially desirable at a time jects are taught, and which conducts when the University is about once its business in accordance with a promore to be reformed- has by no means cedure which, knowing nothing of its received the attention which its intrin- significance, he regards with but scant sic interest demands. The constitu- respect. tion of the University as an organised The ordinary fellow and tutor may body of teachers and learners is far not be devoid of archæological tastes; from being generally understood. It but he finds their sufficient satisfaction is hardly too much to say that the in ascertaining how much bread and average undergraduate passes through cheese was allowed per diem to the Oxford without any reflection upon labourers who built the college hall, the historical significance of its or- in collecting materials for biographies ganisation. He looks upon it as a of the boys who have sung in the large school for adults, where all sorts college choir for 300 years past, and of subjects are taught by a rabble of pulling down, or as he calls it professors and tutors.

He perhaps

storing," his college chapel. I venknows that, now and then, while he is ture to think that, laudable as these on the river or in the cricket-field, recreations may be, it would be well these same professors and tutors trans- if some attention were now diverted act some unintelligible business in the from the Colleges, the interest of Convocation House, but he finds that which is after all chiefly local, to the none of these things produce much University itself, which besides being practical effect upon himself. His older than any of them, is one of a business is to pass the examinations, sisterhood of similar institutions which with honours if he can, and receive are to be found in every country of the title of B.A. If the new-made Europe, and in most others which have bachelor leaves the university, he looks a tincture of European civilisation. back upon it only as the large school A good book upon the subject of for adults, where he played cricket Universities generally has yet to be and made friends, and obtained the written, and could only be written

66

reown

after an examination of a very volu- finished in 1617, merely embody in a minous and scattered literature. The grander pile of buildings arrangements subject might, however, be dealt with which are older than the sixteenth piecemeal. An important work might century. be produced upon the Natural History The Statute Book, completed in of Universities, in which they would 1633 and published by authority in be grouped according to affinity of 1636, is an orderly digest, with very organisation, the affiliation of one to slight alteration, of the laws which another would be shown, and their had been made by the University for bodies of statutes would be traced to

its own government during the three a few types of which the rest are previous centuries. copies. Among the smaller questions Both the Schools Quadrangle and which would well deserve attention the Corpus Statutorum preserve for are the relation of Universities to the our instruction at the present day the Papal See, the migration of students University of the Middle Ages. As from one country to another, and the it was stereotyped in these two monuconsequent formation of foreign “na- ments, so has its legal organisation tions,” the origin of degrees and the remained substantially to our nature of the privileges which they day. It is archæologically fortunate conferred, the development of any that the University legislated very given department of study, the rela- little between the date of the Corpus tion of academical studies to the and that of the Commission of 1852. professions.

I. Now what is the picture of the Some, at least, of these topics one constitution of the University which may hope will eventually be treated of

is presented to us by the Schools by those who have leisure for such Quadrangle ? inquiries. We must confine ourselves To see that picture in its true peron the present occasion to the narrower spective, one must enter the building question of the organisation of the by its principal gateway--the gateway University of Oxford ; leaving out of by which processions are admitted on consideration how far that organisa- state occasions; that is to say, one tion is shared by similar bodies else

passes in under the tower which faces where. Is Oxford, as some persons towards Hertford College. One then who should know better really seem sees right opposite the School of to suppose, merely a great school, in Divinity, enthroned, as it were, as the which a number of isolated teachers ruter scientiarum. On the proper right are engaged, each upon his own sub- of the Divinity

School is the old ject, without reference to the rest ? School of Medicine; on the proper Or is there a plan, and that a grand left is the old School of Law. and historically instructive one, in These three occupy the west side of accordance with which the University the quadrangle. The south and north not only was, but still is, arranged ? sides, and the east side, where you

supposed to be stationed, are occupied The answer to that question is by the Schools of Metaphysic, Logic, written in two documents, composed Geometry, and other sciences. as we now see them at about the same

For many years the inscriptions date, but each preserving, with little over the doors' of several of the essential alteration, evidence of a state schools had became illegible. They of things far older than itself. The

have recently been restored by the date is the early part of the seven- pious care of a late senior proctor, and teenth century, and the two documents

once more enable us to see the are—the Quadrangle of the Schools, image of the University as it presented and the Corpus Statutorum.

As to which see Reg. N. fol. 94, in the The Schools, begun in 1613, and archives of the University.

are

now

itself to the minds of Oxford men of each school : over that of grammar, the early years of the seventeenth litteras disce; of dialectics, imposturas century.

fuge; of rhetoric, persuadent mores ; The schools were not merely places of arithmetic, numeris omnia constant ; for holding the disputations which of music, ne tibi dissideas ; of geometry, answered the purpose of our present cura quæ domi sunt; of astrology, examinations, but also lecture rooms; altiora ne quasieris.? and a special school was assigned to It is to be observed that though these each of the sciences then taught in the arts-schools were pulled down in order University.

to complete the quadrangle of which The place of honour was given to Bodley's library formed the western the school of divinity, next to that of side, their arrangements were submedicine, thirdly to that of law. stantially reproduced in the grander

Less honourably placed, but far edifice which rose in their place. more numerous, were the schools be- II. Much may be readily inferred longing to the great faculty of arts; as to the character of the University i.e. as we may see from the inscrip- from the arrangement of this venertions over their doorways, schools for able building; but for more articulate each of the seven liberal arts, viz., information we must turn from its grammar,

rhetoric and logic (the dumb walls to the pages of the Corpus trivium); arithmetic, music, geome

Statutorum. Many interesting mattry and astronomy (the quadrivium) ; ters are touched upon in that curifor the three sciences - metaphysics, ous volume ; 4 but our attention must moral philosophy and natural philo- be confined to what concerns the dissophy; also for the tongues, viz. tribution of studies, and the organGreek and Hebrew ; and lastly for isation of the teaching, which is history.

also the governing, body of the UniLectures and exercises in divinity, versity. before the erection of the present mag

The studies of the place, and the nificent building in the fifteenth cen- degrees which attest capacity to teach, tury, took place in St. Mary's Church, are distributed into the five faculties and in various religious houses. There of theology, medicine, law, arts, and were several schools of physic; and music. The precedence of those qualithere were numerous schools of law, fied to teach in each of those faculties most of them in the Jews' quarter, is minutely regulated in accordance near the modern post office. The with a scale which had not been schools of arts (to the number of acquiesced in without debates extendthirty-two in 1408) had been mainly ing over centuries, and sometimes dein Schools' Street (running between termined only by the interposition of St. Mary's and Brasenose College), the king. till in 1439, the Abbot of Osney, ad. The duties of the teachers of each captandum benevolentiam universitatis, subject, and the studies qualifying for built the block of arts schools which the position of teacher-in other words, gradually superseded the rest. It con- for the attainment of a degree, are tained ten rooms, one for each of the prescribed with great minuteness. seven arts, and the three sciences. These new schools," as they were

2 German Traveller in Gutch's Wood, iii. called, stood in front of, and trans

3 Let us hope that the old traditions may versely to, the divinity school. They not be entirely lost sight of in the structure were purchased in 1554 by the Uni- which is now rising from its foundations in versity, which in 1557 placed appro

the High Street. priate inscriptions over the door of

4 Which its compilers admit to be expressed

in a style horrida, impcxa et barbarismis 1 Schula Facultatis Artium. Stat. Tit. vi. et solæcismis scatens. For the history of its

compilation see its preface and A. Wood.

p. 764.

« EelmineJätka »