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The following scheme shows where Prof. Spalding and Mr Hickson agree, and where they differ :

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Mr Swinburne, when duly clothed and in his right mind, and not exposing himself in his April-Fool's cap and bells, will have something to say on the subject; and it will no doubt be matter of controversy to the end of time. Let every one study, and be fully convinct in his own mind.

To Mrs Spalding and her family I am greatly obligd for their willing consent to the present reprint. To Dr John Hill Burton, the Historian of Scotland, we are all grateful for his interesting Life of his

1 I cannot get over Chaucer's daisies being calld "smelless but most quaint." The epithets seem to me not only poor, but pauper: implying entire absence of fancy and imagination.-F. Chough hoar" is as bad though.-H. L.

Here Prof. Spalding and Mr Hickson differ.

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old schoolfellow and friend, which comes before the author's Letter. Miss Spalding too I have to thank for help. And our Members, Mrs Bidder-the friend of our lost sweet-natured helper and friend, Richard Simpson-and Mr *****, for their gifts of £10 each, and the Rev. Stopford Brooke for his gift of four guineas, towards the cost of the present volume.

To my friend Miss Constance O'Brien I am indebted for the annext Scheme of Prof. Spalding's argument, and the Notes and Index. The side-notes, head-lines, and the additions to the original title-page' are mine. I only regret that the very large amount of his time—so much wanted for other pressing duties,-which Mr Harold Littledale has given to his extremely careful edition of The Two Noble Kinsmen for us, has thrown on me, who know the Play so much less intimately than he does, the duty of writing these Forewords. But we shall get his mature opinion in his Introduction to the Play in a year or two2.

3, St George's Square, Primrose Hill,


London, N.W., Sept. 27–Oct. 13, 1876.

This was "A Letter on Shakspeare's Authorship of The Two Noble Kinsmen; a Drama commonly ascribed / to John Fletcher. / Edinburgh :/ Adam and Charles Black; and Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green, and Longman. | London. / M.DCCC.XXXIII."


See the opinion of Mr J. Herbert Stack, an old Fortnightly-Reviewer, in the Notes at the end of this volume.



Introduction. Name of the play (p. 2). Historical evidence in favour of Shakspere's share in the play (6). Incorrectness of the first and second folios of his works (7). Internal evidence (10). Marked differences between Fletcher's and Shakspere's styles (11). Shakspere's versification (11); abruptness (11); mannerisms and repetitions (12); conciseness tending to obscurity (13); and rapid conception, opposed to Fletcher's deliberation and diffuseness (14); his distinct, if crowded, imagery, to Fletcher's vague indefiniteness (15). Shakspere's metaphors (16), classical allusions (18), reflective turn of mind (20), conceits (22), personification (25), all differ from Fletcher's manner (26).

Origin of the story of The Two Noble Kinsmen (26). Sketch of First Act, and reasons for assigning it to Shakspere (27). Outline of Second Act, assigned to Fletcher (35). First Scene of Third Act, Shakspere's (40); Plot of the rest (41). Fourth Act, Fletcher's (44). Description of Fifth Act, given to Shakspere, omitting one scene (45). Points of likeness between Shakspere and contemporary dramatists (56). Impossibility of imitating him (58). Inferiority of the underplot (60). Reasons for supposing Shakspere chose the subject (62). His studies (67). Resemblance between classical and romantic poetry (69). Shakspere's plots contrasted with those of his contemporaries (73); his treatment of passion (74); unity of conception (78).

Poetical art compared with plastic (83). Greek plastic art aimed at expressing Beauty and affecting the senses (84); poetry, at expressing and affecting the mind (86); therefore poetry appeals to wider sympathies (88). Dramatic poetry the highest form of poetry (92).

Why Shakspere excelled (93). His representations of human nature both true and impressive (94); he delineated both its intellect and passion (99). His morality (101); his representations of evil (104).

Conclusion. Summary of the argument as to plot, scenic arrangements, and execution (105).





WILLIAM SPALDING was born on the 22nd of May in the year 1809, at Aberdeen. His father was a practising lawyer as a member of the Society of Advocates in that town, and held office as Procurator Fiscal of the district, or local representative of the law officers of the crown, in the investigation of crimes and the prosecution of criminals. Spalding's mother, Frances Read, was well connected among the old and influential families of the city. When he went to school, Spalding was known to be the only son of a widow. He had one sister who died in early life. Whatever delicacy of constitution he inherited seems to have come from his father's side, for his mother lived to the year 1874, and died in the house of her son's widow among her grown-up grandchildren.

Spalding had the usual school and college education of the district. He attended the elementary burgh schools for English reading, writing, and arithmetic, and passed on to Latin in the grammar school. In his day the fees for attendance in that school, whence many pupils have passed into eminence, were raised from 7s. 6d. to 10s. for each quarter of the year. Those who knew Spalding in later life, would not readily understand that as a school-boy he was noticeable for his personal beauty. His features were small and symmetrical, and his cheeks had a brilliant colour. This faded as he approached middle age, and the features lost in some measure their proportions. He had ever a grave, thoughtful, and acute face, and one of his favourite pupils records the quick glance of his keen grey eye in the active duties of his class. He was noticed in his latter years to have a resemblance to Francis and Leonard Horner, and what Sydney Smith said of the older and more distinguished of these brethren might have been said of Spalding's earnest honest face, that "the commandments were written on his forehead." When he had exhausted his five years' curriculum at the grammar school, Spalding



stepped on a November morning, with some of his school-fellows, and a band of still more primitive youth, from the Aberdeenshire moorlands, and the distant highlands, to enter the open door of Marishal College, and compete for a bursary or endowment. This arena of mental gladiatorship was open to all comers, without question of age, country, or creed. The arrangement then followed—and no doubt still in use, for it has every quality of fairness and effectiveness to commend it, was this—An exercise was given out. It then consisted solely of a passage in English of considerable length, dictated to and written out by the competitors, who had to convert it into Latin. The name of each competitor was removed from his exercise, and kept by a municipal officer. A committee of sages, very unlikely to recognise any known handwriting among the multitude of papers subjected to their critical examination, sorted the exercises in the order of their merits, and then the names of the successful competitors were found. My present impression is that Spalding took the first bursary. It may have been the second or the third, for occasionally a careless inaccuracy might trip up the best scholar, but by acclamation the first place was assigned to Spalding. Indeed, in a general way, through the whole course of his education he swept the first prizes before him. When he finished the four years' curriculum of Marishal College, he attended a few classes in the college of Edinburgh, where the instruction was of another kind-less absolute teaching, but perhaps opportunities for ascending into higher spheres of knowledge. It was a little to the surprise of his companions that he was next found undergoing those "Divinity Hall" exercises, which predicate ambition to be ordained for the Church of Scotland, with the prospect, to begin with, of some moorland parish with a manse on a windy hill and a sterile but extensive glebe, a vista lying beyond of possible promotion to the ministry of some wealthy and hospitable civic community. Spalding said little about his views while he studied for the Church, and nothing about his reasons for changing his course, as he did, after a few months of study in his usual energetic fashion. He had apparently no quarrel either with institutions or persons, stimulating him to change his design, and he ever spoke respectfully of the established Church of Scotland.

From this episodical course of study he brought with him some valuable additions to the large stores of secular learning at his command. He had a powerful memory, and great facilities for mastering and simplifying sciences as well as languages. He seemed to say to himself, like Bacon, “I have taken all knowledge to be my province." With any of his friends who strayed into eccentric by-paths of inquiry he was sar

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