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one, which is, where Hamlet kills Polonius behind the arras in doing which he is made to cry out as in the play, "a rat, a rat!"-So much for Saxo Grammaticus!

It is scarcely conceivable, how industriously the puritanical zeal of the last age exerted itself in destroying, amongst better things, the innocent amusements of the former. Numberless Tales and Poems are alluded to in old books, which are now perhaps no where to be found. Mr. Capell informs me, (and he is in these matters, the most able of all men to give information,) that our author appears to have been beholden to some novels, which he hath yet only seen in French or Italian: but he adds, "to say they are not in some English dress, prosaic or metrical, and perhaps with circumstances nearer to his stories, is what I will not take upon me to do: nor indeed is it what I believe; but rather the contrary, and that time and accident will bring some of them to light, if not all."

W. Painter, at the conclusion of the second Tome of his Palace of Pleasure, 1567, advertises the reader, "bicause sodaynly (contrary to expectation) this volume is risen to a greater heape of leaues, I doe omit for this present time sundry nouels of mery deuise, reseruing the same to be joyned with the rest of an other part, wherein shall succeede the remnant of Bandello, specially sutch (suffrable) as the learned French man François de Belleforest hath selected, and the choysest done in the Italian. Some also out of Erizzo, Sir Giouanni Florentino, Parabosco, Cynthio, Straparole, Sansouino, and the best liked out of the Queene of Nauarre, and other authors. Take these in good part, with those that haue and shall come forth."-But I am not able to find that a third Tome was ever published: and it is very


probable, that the interest of his booksellers, and more especially the prevailing mode of the time, might lead him afterward to print his sundry novels separately. If this were the case, it is no wonder, that such fugitive pieces are recovered with difficulty; when the two Tomes, which Tom. Rawlinson would have called justa volumina, are almost annihilated. Mr. Ames, who searched after books of this sort with the utmost avidity, most certainly had not seen them, when he published his Typographical Antiquities; as appears from his blunders about them and possibly I myself might have remained in the same predicament, had I not been favoured with a copy by my generous friend, Mr. Lort.

Mr. Colman, in the Preface to his elegant translation of Terence, hath offered some arguments for the learning of Shakspeare which have been retailed with much confidence, since the appearance of Mr. Johnson's edition.

"Besides the resemblance of particular passages scattered up and down in different plays, it is well known, that the Comedy of Errors is in great measure founded on the Menæchmi of Plautus; but I do not recollect ever to have seen it observed, that the disguise of the Pedant in The Taming of the Shrew, and his assuming the name and character of Vincentio, seem to be evidently taken from the disguise of the Sycophanta in the Trinummus of the said author; and there is a quotation from the

5 This observation of Mr. Colman is quoted by his very ingenious colleague, Mr. Thornton, in his translation of this play: who further remarks, in another part of it, that a passage in Romeo and Juliet, where Shakspeare speaks of the contradiction in the nature of love, is very much in the manner of his author: "Amor-mores hominum moros & morosos efficit. *Minus placet quod suadetur, quod disuadetur placet.

Eunuch of Terence also, so familiarly introduced

"Quom inopia'st, cupias, quando ejus copia'st, tum non velis," &c.

Which he translates with ease and elegance,


Love makes a man a fool,

"Hard to be pleas'd.-What you'd persuade him to,
"He likes not, and embraces that, from which
"You would dissuade him.-What there is a lack of,
"That will he covet; when 'tis in his power,

"He'll none on't

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Act III. sc. iii.

Let us now turn to the passage in Shakspeare:
O brawling love! O loving hate!—


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"O heavy lightness! serious vanity!

"Mis-shapen chaos of well-seeming forms!

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"Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health! Still-waking sleep! that is not what it is!" Shakspeare, I am sure, in the opinion of Mr. Thornton, did not want a Plautus to teach him the workings of nature; nor are his parallelisms produced with any such implication: but, I suppose, a peculiarity appears here in the manner of expression, which however was extremely the humour of the age. Every sonnetteer characterizes love by contrarieties. Watson begins one of his canzonets,

"Love is a sowre delight, a sugred griefe,
"A living death, an euer-dying life," &c.

Turberville makes Reason harangue against it in the same man


"A fierie frost, a flame that frozen is with ise!

"A heavie burden light to beare! a vertue fraught with vice!" &c.

Immediately from The Romaunt of the Rose;

"Loue it is an hatefull pees

"A free acquitaunce without reles—

"An heavie burthen light to beare

"A wicked wawe awaie to weare:

"And health full of maladie

"And charitie full of envie

"A laughter that is weping aie

"Rest that trauaileth night and daie," &c.

This kind of antithesis was very much the taste of the Provençal and Italian poets; perhaps it might be hinted by the Ode of Sappho, preserved by Longinus: Petrarch is full of it:

into the dialogue of The Taming of the Shrew, that I think it puts the question of Shakspeare's having read the Roman comick poets in the original language out of all doubt,

* Redime te captum, quam queas minimo.”


With respect to resemblances, I shall not trouble you any further.-That the Comedy of Errors is founded on the Menæchmi, it is notorious: nor is it less so, that a translation of it by W. W. perhaps William Warner, the author of Albion's England, was extant in the time of Shakspeare; though Mr. Upton, and some other advocates for his learning, have cautiously dropt the mention of it. Besides this, (if indeed it were different) in the Gesta Grayorum, the Christmas Revels of the GraysInn Gentlemen, 1594, " a Comedy of Errors, like to Plautus his Menechmus was played by the PlayAnd the same hath been suspected to be the subject of the goodlie Comedie of Plautus, acted at


"Pace non trovo, & non hó da far guerra,
"Et temo, et spero, & ardo, & son un ghiaccio.
"Et volo sopra'l cielo, & ghiaccio in terra,
"Et nulla stringo, & tutɩol mondo abbraccio,” &c.
Sonetto 105.

Sir Thomas Wyat gives a translation of this Sonnet, without any notice of the original, under the title of "Description of the contrarious passions in a Louer," amongst the Songes and Sonettes, by the Earle of Surrey and Others, 1574.

6 It was published in 4to. 1595. The printer of Langbaine, p. 524, hath accidentally given the date, 1515, which hath been copied implicitly by Gildon, Theobald, Cooke, and several others. Warner is now almost forgotten, yet the old criticks esteemed him one of" our chiefe heroical makers."-Meres informs us, that he had "heard him termed of the best wits of both our Universities, our English Homer."

Greenwich before the King and Queen in 1520; as we learn from Hall and Holinshed :-Riccoboni highly compliments the English on opening their stage so well; but unfortunately, Cavendish in his Life of Wolsey, calls it, an excellent Interlude in Latine. About the same time it was exhibited in German at Nurembugrh, by the celebrated Hanssach, the shoemaker.

"But a character in The Taming of the Shrew is borrowed from the Trinummus, and no translation of that was extant."


Mr. Colman indeed hath been better employed: but if he had met with an old comedy, called Supposes, translated from Ariosto by George Gascoigne; he certainly would not have appealed to Plautus. Thence Shakspeare borrowed this part of the plot, (as well as some of the phraseology,) though Theobald pronounces it his own invention: there likewise he found the quaint name of Petruchio. My young master and his man exchange habits and characters, and persuade a Scenæse, as he is called, to personate the father, exactly as in the Taming of the Shrew, by the pretended danger of his coming from Sienna to Ferrara, contrary to the order of the government.

Still, Shakspeare quotes a line from the Eunuch of Terence: by memory too, and what is more, •• purposely alters it, in order to bring the sense

7 His works were first collected under the singular title of "A hundredth sundrie Flowres bound up in one small Poesie. Gathered partly (by translation) in the fyne outlandish gardins of Euripides, Quid, Petrarke, Ariosto, and others: and partly by inuention, out of our own fruitefull orchardes in Englande: yelding sundrie sweet sauors of tragical, comical, and morall discourses, bothe pleasaunt and profitable to the well smellyng noses of learned readers." Black letter, 4to. no date.

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