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as is supposed, by order of the Emperor Napoleon; in which are recounted the battles of Ulm and Austerlitz, and other memorable events; and in which the military language of France is very successfully translated into that of a remote oriental nation. Most students would be appalled at the sight of a quarto volume, of about 300 pages, in Arabic only, without translation, note, or explanation. But the book is less formidable than it appears to be. I ascertained the meaning of a great part of it by the assistance of Hopkins' Vocabulary; and some passages in it are more easily understood than any Arabian composition I have ever seen. It should however be used at first with the French original, as there are words to be found in it which are not explained in any Arabic lexicon.
To these I may add, a small work by Abu el Faraj, on the manners and customs of the Arabs, given as a specimen of Arabian history, with a Latin translation and notes by Pocock, It contains less than 50 small quarto pages of Arabic, and I gave it but a single perusal. It is proper to be studied by those who have made some proficiency in the Arabic language.
Of Lexicons I can say but little. The only one of which I have made constant use, is entitled, "A Vocabulary of the Arabic and Persian Languages." The definitions are in English, and the pronunciation is given, as far as practicable, in European characters. It is abridged from Richardson's Arabic and Persian Dictionary, which is a great work, and highly serviceable to persons residing where those languages are spoken; but far short of perfection-and the assiduous student will find, on experiment, that if he would translate Arabic correctly, or attain to a critical knowledge of that language, he must seek some better lexicographer than Richardson.--Golius' Arabic Lexicon, with Latin definitions, is the best I have ever seen.
I have thus given an account of most of the books, which have aided me in my attempt to acquire the Arabic language. If the preceding remarks should prove acceptable to the amateurs of oriental literature, I shall less regret my having failed in an undertaking, so arduous and yet so barren of reward. I have, for a time at least, abandoned my Arabian studies, and my resumption of them, is an event concealed by the curtain of fate. In the mean while, I commend to
others, the pursuit of an object which I have highly prized, and hope that their efforts in the attainment of it, may be more successful than my own. R. D.
ART. IV. The Two Noble Kinsmen.
Presented at the
Blackfriars, by the King's Majesty's Servants, with great Applause. Written by the memorable Worthies of their time, Mr. JOHN FLETCHER, Gent. and Mr. WILLIAM SHAKESPEAR, Gent. London, 1634.
Among other dramas attributed to Shakspeare, or to which he is supposed to have afforded assistance, is that of the Two Noble Kinsmen. The "Biographia Dramatica," in its catalogue of Plays, has the following observations : "The Two Noble Kinsmen. Tragi-Com. by J. Fletcher and William Shakspeare. Acted at the Black Friars4to. 1634. The story of this play is taken from Chaucer's Palamon and Arcite, or The Knight's Tale. The editor of Beaumont and Fletcher's works, in 1778, has taken some pains to prove that Shakspeare had no hand in this work. The scene near Athens." The date here alluded to, it will be remembered, is not that of its first publication, the play having been "written before 1616," as is acknowledged in the very correct copy now before us.
The title-pages of the earliest editions positively ascribe it to Fletcher and Shakspeare; and we confess that we are at a loss to discover any better reasons for denying the participation of the latter, than for admitting the claims of the former. The play-house tradition, too, always concurred in its being joint production of both. With what success the 'pains' taking editor has laboured to establish the contrary opinion, we are not curious to know; but, believing with Dr. Johnson, as a general maxim, that that may be considered right which requires much to prove it wrong, the editor's efforts have probably only tended to produce a conviction the reverse of the one he desired.
The play of Pericles, Prince of Tyre, although it bore the name of Shakspeare in the imprint of the earliest copies, was never admitted among his acknowledged works, until it was proved, (nearly two centuries after it was written,) that if he did not participate in its formation, he must have copied largely from it; as it contained sentiments and language of
the poet, not to be found, but in this very play, till some years after its appearance. That the drama before us is similarly situated, we shall show by various quotations, corresponding either in ideas, diction, or structure of sentences, with many passages in the works of Shakspeare. And when it is considered that all or most of the extracts are from plays (Macbeth and Othello) which never appeared until some years after the publication of the Two Noble Kinsmen,* the conclusion is irresistible, that the poet either assisted in the construction of the piece, as is asserted in its title, or that he has copied (which will be more reluctantly acknowledged) not only the thoughts, but very words of Fletcher.
The play opens with the intercession of three widowed queens, to Theseus, Duke of Athens, soliciting him to obtain the rights of sepulture for their husbands, who had fallen in a war against Creon, King of Thebes. They urge many inducements, and among others the following:Now you may take him, Drunk with his victory.' 3d Queen. And his army full
Of bread and sloth.'-Act i. scene 1.
In Hamlet, we have nearly the same words-" To take him **** when he is drunk, asleep, or in his rage." And in the same scene-" He took my father grossly, full of bread."
Palamon and Arcite, the nephews of Creon, are on a visit at his court, and determine to aid him. The former, moralizing on city manners, has a punning quibble, so much in the style of Shakspeare, that we shall transcribe it, though we are unable to accompany it with any particular reference. 'Why am I bound
By any generous bond to follow him,
The followed make pursuit ?'-Act i. scene 2.
The war is undertaken, and Palamon and Arcite are taken prisoners by Theseus, who declares,
'Rather than have 'em
Freed of this plight, and in their morning state,
* Sixteen (including Macbeth and Othello) of the thirty-six plays of Shakspeare, were not published till the year 1623.
From our kind air, (to them unkind,) and minister
Sickness in will, or wrestling strength in reason;
In Richard the Third, we have--"I wish the bastards dead." In Othello-“O that the slave had forty thousand lives." In Hamlet, a similar quibble--" A little more than kin, and less than kind." Several of the annotators concur in observing that the remainder of this quotation bears strong marks of Shakspeare.
Again, in the Two Noble Kinsmen:
Gaoler. Your friend and I
Have chanced to name you here, on the old business ;
In Othello, we have the same phrase:
"I have done the state some service, and they know it; No more of that."
The captive knights are thrown into prison, and the daughter of the gaoler says,
It seems to me,
They've no more sense of their captivity,
Than I of ruling Athens; they eat well,
In Othello, act iii. scene 3.--" I slept the next night well, was free and merry.
From the window of the prison they discover Emilia, (the sister of Theseus' wife,) who is the cause of the fatal quarrel which now commences between the two cousins. Palamon declares,
"If thou lovest her,
In Othello, we have the same impressive declarations :
For some cause which does not appear, Theseus directs Arcite to be released, and banished the country; the latter,
however, is not satisfied with leaving his companion behind, although in confinement; and says,
'He has a tongue will tame
The worst is death; I will not leave the kingdom:
I am resolved: Another shape shall make me,
In Macbeth, we have, act i. scene 3.-" Come what come may." And in Othello, act v. scene 1.-
66 Now, whether he kill Cassio, Or Cassio him, or each do kill the other, Every way makes my gain.'
Arcite soon falls in with a company of wrestlers, and comes off victor in a trial before the court. friend and adviser of Theseus, observes,
"Upon my soul, a proper man.'-Scene 5.
Which expression is also found in Richard the Third: "Upon my life, she finds, although I cannot, Myself to be a marvellous proper man."
Arcite, in describing the object of his adoration, says, 'Thou, O jewel
O' th' wood o' the world.'-Act iii. scene 1.
Which compliment, although far inferior, still bears a resemblance to the elegant address of Anthony to Cleopatra : "O thou day o' the world,
Chain mine arm'd neck; leap thou, attire and all,
In the mean time, the sympathy of the gaoler's daughter having been highly excited, she suffers Palamon to escape. While lurking in the woods, and not yet freed of his shackles, he meets Arcite, whom he upbraids in the most reproachful language as the rival of his love. Arcite with great mildness replies,
'Not finding, in
The circuit of my breast, any gross stuff