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gentle boy Mamillius begins his pathetically unfinished tale with the words, “There was a man dwelt by a churchyard ”; by which simple phrase he transports himself from the time and country in which he is supposed to live to the time and country in which he was born in Shakespeare's mind. And The modernnow comes Autolycus, drawing himself to the life ity of Au

tolycus. as a clever rogue with “sixteenth century” stamped all over him. He "haunts wakes, fairs and bearbaitings,” and goes about with a puppet-show of the Prodigal Son. He has been an ape-bearer, a process-server, and a bailiff. The authenticity of his wondrous ballad of the great fish is warranted by its having “five justices' hands at it.” And the fashionable finery which he brings “for my lads to give their dears” is unblushingly Elizabethan. The scamp is as delightful as Falstaff, and the triumph of Shakespeare's genius is shown in making him so consummately attractive, without for a moment making his vices alluring. Falstaff is altogether too wonderful for this imperfect world, but one feels that Autolycus might turn up at any country fair. He is perhaps a shade too sophisticated, a thought too brilliant in his power of generalization and self-analysis; which is but saying that he takes too much after his creator. But all his desires and all his deeds are those of the gipsy stroller, who loves and appreciates the beauties of nature and has an unconquerable antipathy to honest work. Shakespeare not only renews his own youth, but gives voice to the unspoken spring fever of all the world, in the song of the jolly mountebank, ragged and hard-up but irrepressible:

When daffodils begin to peer,

With heigh! the doxy over the dale!

Further dis- The disappearance of Hermione after her trial is crepancies:

so discreetly veiled that its utter improbability is (1) Hermione after the apt to sink out of our memory. How was it posTrial.

sible for Paulina to make Leontes believe that his wife was dead when she was not? The most ordinary common sense would seem to demand a genuine corpse and a real funeral; and assuredly not less so in the case of a queen than in that of a private person. Yet Paulina manages to work the deception, apparently without taking anybody into her confidence.

There is a minor discrepancy, which the mere exigencies of stagecraft would have seemed to make

impossible. We are distinctly told (in sc. iv of Act (2) Flori- IV) that Florizel is disguised in shepherd's attire; zel's clothes.

yet in that very same scene, when he changes clothes (3) The with Autolycus, it is court apparel that Autolycus Shepherd and Antig

puts on. And who told the old Shepherd (Act III, sc. iii) that Antigonus, whom he had not seen, was an old man ?

Another of the delightful innovations of Shakespeare occurs in the passionate outburst with which Polixenes disclaims to Camillo the accusation of

Leontes. If he has done this thing, he says, then I ii 419. let his name be “yok'd with his that did betray the

Best."

This familiarity with the story of Judas Iscariot in the days of Apollo-worship would be startling, were it not so fully in accord with our

poet's invariable practice. Shake

The best scenes in The Winter's Tale place it in speare's na

the series of Shakespeare's nature-plays. They have ture-plays.

the out-of-door atmosphere of Love's Labour's Lost, A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It and The Tempest. They are set in an idyllic world,- one of

onus.

Milton's Comus, Epilogue.

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those happy climes that lie
Up in the broad fields of the sky.
All amidst the gardens fair
Of Hesperus and his daughters three
That sing about the golden tree:
Along the crisped shades and bowers
Revels the spruce and jocund Spring;
The Graces, and the rosy-bosom'd Hours,
Thither all their bounties bring;

There eternal Summer dwells.
The splendour of the world is but a bodying forth
of the creative power in the mind of man; and every
great poet has enriched the visible universe, by en-
abling us to see with his eyes things before invisible
to mortal sight. Shakespeare's Wood near Athens
and his Forest of Arden are a part of the adorable
Sylva Poetarum, which has added to the charm of
every forest glade in this lower world. Whenever
we see the summer sunshine glancing between hoary
trunks and dappling the soft grass with its fairy
gold, we think of King Oberon and his Titania, of
Bottom and the freakish Puck, or of Touchstone
and his bucolic companions. Never a harvest-home
again but shall be shot through with a richer happi-
ness for the memory of Perdita's sheep-shearing
and the droll rogueries of Autolycus. Each flower
in a Shakespeare garden becomes a talisman, calling
up magic vistas of the scenes in which his deathless
shadows dwell. All the mystery of our race-
memories, that reach back beyond our individual
lives, is stirred by the cadences of Perdita's flower-
offering speech. We are taken into the inmost sanc-
tuaries of feeling, where speech would be a pro-
fanation, by the sight of

daffodils That come before the swallow dares, and take The winds of March with beauty; violets dim,

IV iv 118 ff.

But sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes
Or Cytherea's breath; pale primroses,
That die unmarried, ere they can behold

Bright Phoebus in his strength..
There is perhaps more of the purely romantic
spirit in the woodland scenes of As You Like It
than in the pastoral ones of The Winter's Tale, and
in the former Jaques and Touchstone have the
fascinating uniqueness of Shakespeare's best-loved
figures. But the charm of these scenes in The Win-
ter's Tale is that here we feel the presence of the
author, more even than in the greatest comedies of
his second period. All that Shakespeare has learned
of the wisdom of time and eternity presses for utter-
ance through these conversations. Irony and satire
are all fordone; nothing is left even of the gentle
cynicism of Jaques. "The man who has lived through
the problems of Hamlet, the destroying ambition of
Macbeth, and the shattering terrors of Lear, has
emerged into a calm and bright land, where, under-
standing all, he can forgive all and find joy in all.
The story is rooted in folly which begets its own
fate; but the end is peace: not the quietness of
death, but the quietness of life.

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CHAPTER IX

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“THE TEMPEST”: SHAKESPEARE'S SWAN-SONG

TH
HERE is fairly clear testimony that The Date of
Tempest was the last completed play that composition

and produccame from Shakespeare's hand. Its scene, the tion. enchanted island, is suggested by some accounts of the Bermudas that were not issued till the end of the year 1610. The character of Caliban embodies many traits ascribed to the natives of various parts of America, in whom the British public was at that time strongly interested; and it is barely possible that Trinculo's satirical remarks about the gaping II ii 25 ff. curiosity of the English over monsters ” may have been prompted by the exhibition of a North American Indian called Epenew, who, as we learn from Captain John Smith's Historie of New England, was taken to the Old Country in 1611, and, “being a man of so great a stature,” was “showed up and down London for money as a monster.”

It is known from official records that The Tempest was produced at Court for the opening of the winter season of 1611-12, and that it achieved conspicuous success both there and at the public theatre. Ben Jonson's allusion to it (quoted above, p. 210) was written at some date between 1611 and 1614, in which latter year his Bartholomew Fair was produced.

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