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? I cannot help taking notice with how much judgement Shakipeare has given turns to this ñory from what he found it in Cynthio Giraldi's novel. In the first place, the brother is there actually executed, and the governor sends his head in a bravado to the fifter, after he had debauched her on promise of marriage: a circumstance of coo much horror and vilo, Jainy for the Itage. And, in the next place, the fifter afterwards is, to solder up her disgrace, married to the governour, and begs his life of the emperour, though he had unjustly been the death of her brother. Both which absurdities the poet has avoided by the episode of Mariana, a creature purely of his own invention. The Duke's remaining incognito at home to supervise the conduct of his deputy, is also entirely our author's fiction.
This story was attempted for the scene before our author was fourteen years old, by one George Whetstone, in Two Comical Discourses, as they are called, containing the right excellent and famous history of Promos and Cassandra, printed with the black letter, 1578. The author going that year with Sir Humphrey Gilbert to Norimbega, left them with his friends to publish. THEOBALD.
The novel of Cynthio Giraldi, from which Shakspeare is supposed to have borrowed this fable, may be read in Shakspeare illustrated, elegantly translated, with remarks which will affist the enquirer to discover how much absurdity Shakspeare has admitted or avoided.
I cannot bút fufpect that some other had new-modelled the novel of Cynthio, or written a story which in some particulars resembled it, and that Cynthio was not the author whom Shakspeare immediately followed. The Emperor in Cynthio is named Maximine ; the Duke, in Shakspeare's enumeration of the persons of the drama, is called Vincentio. This appears a very night remark; but since the Duke has no name in the play, nor is ever mentioned but by his title, why should he be called Vincentia among the persons, but because the name was copied from the story, and placed superA uously at the head of the list by the mere habit of transcription. It is therefore likely that there was then a story of Vincentio Duke of Vienna, different from that of Maximine Emperor of the Romans.
Of this play the light or comic part is very natural and pleasing, but the grave scenes, if a few passages be excepted, have more labour than ele. gance. The plot is rather intricate than artful. The time of the action is indefinite; some time, we know not how much, must have elapsed be. tween the recess of the Duke and the imprisonment of Claudio ; for he must have learned the story of Mariana in his disguise, or he delegated his power to a man already known to be 'corrupted. The unities of action and place are sufficiently preserved. Johnson.
The duke probably had learnt the story of Mariana in some of his former retirements, “having ever loved the life removed." (Page 432)
And he had a fufpicion that Angelo was but a seemer, (page 434) and therefore he stays to watch him. BLACKSTONE.
Just as this play was completing at the press, some ingenious illuf. trations of several parts of it, from similar passages in the Bible, appeared in the Gentleman's Magazine for 1795, p644. NICHOLS.
Tempest, p. 64. c. 18.
Broom, in this place, fignifies the Spartium fcoparium, of which brooms are frequently made. Near Gamlingay in Cambridgeshire it grows high enough to conceal the tallest cattle as they pass through it; and in places where it is cultivated, ftill higher: a circumstance that had escaped my notice, till I was told of it by Professor Martin, whose name I am particu. Jarly happy to infert among those of other friends who have honoured and improved this work by their various communications. STEEVENS. Gent. of Verona, p. 99, 1. 19, for Look, read, And.
Ibid. p. 108, l. 16. for she made, read, fbe barb made.
Ibid. p. 134, l. 4, for i berefore, read, thereof. Merry Wives, &c. p. 216. n. 6.
up with your fights,] This passage may receive an additional and perhaps a fomewhat different illustration from John Smith's Sea-Grammar, 40. 1627. In page 58 he says, “ But if you see your chase Atrip himself into figbting failes, that is, to put out his colours in the poope, his flag in the maine top, his streamers or pendants at the end of his yards' arms, &c. provide yourself to fight.” Again, p. 60. « Thus they use to strip themselves into their short failes, or fighting - failes, which is only the fore fail, the maine and fore top failes, because the rest should not be fired or spoiled; besides they would be troublesome to handle, hinder our fights and the using our armes : he makes ready his close fights fore and aft.” In a former passage, p. 58, he has said that “ a ship's close fights are small ledges of wood laid crosse one another, like the grates of iron in a prison's window, betwixt the maine maft and the fore mast, and are called gratings or nettings," &c. STEEVENS. Twelfib Night, p. 387, n. 5.
Dr. Farmer would read fat instead of tall, the former of these epithets, in his opinion, being referable to the following words good bousekeeper.
END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.