« PreviousContinue »
WILLIAM SHAKE SPEARE.
A LIFE OF THE POET, EXPLANATORY FOOT-NOTES, CRITICAL
NOTES, AND A GLOSSARIAL INDEX.
REV. HENRY N. HUDSON, LL.D.
IN TWENTY VOLUMES,
PUBLISHED BY GINN, HEATH, & CO.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1881, by
HENRY N. HUDSON, in the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
GINN & HEATH:
TENTIONED as one of Shakespeare's plays, by Francis
Meres in his Palladis Tamia, 1598, and printed in 1600, but without the author's name; while the title-page asserts it to have been played sundry times by the Servants of the Earl of Pembroke, of the Earl of Derby, of the Earl of Sussex, and of the Lord Chamberlain. The same text was issued again in 1611, also without the author's name, but “as it hath sundry times been played by the King's Majesty's Servants." What had previously been known as “the Lord Chamberlain's Servants" received the title of “ His Majesty's Servants" soon after the accession of King James to the English throne, in 1603. This was the company to which Shakespeare belonged, and for which most, if not all, of his plays were written. The play was also included in the folio collection set forth by Heminge and Condell in 1623; but with one entire scene, the second in Act iii., not given in the quarto editions.
Though no earlier edition than that of 1600 is now known to exist, it is altogether probable that the play was printed in 1594; as the Stationers' Register has the following entry, dated February 6th of that year :
A book entitled a noble Roman History of Titus Andronicus.” The entry was made by John Danter, and undoubtedly refers to the play which has come down to us as Shakespeare's. And Langbaine, in his Account of English Dramatic Poets, published in 1691, speaks of an edition of that date. That there were copies of such an edition know to Langbaine, only ninety-seven years after the alleged date, and now lost, might well be, as it is said that only two copies of the quarto of 1600 are now known to be extant.
As regards the date of the composition, we have still further notice in the Induction to Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair, which