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will ; let might help right; and skill before will, then goeth our mill aright-and if might go before right, and will before skill, then is our mill misdight."
It will doubtless be admitted that there is ground for concluding, that there has been some misarrangement in this part of the play, from the fact that Cade is introduced first to the reader as a daring, hardy soldier-vide act iii., scene 2 ; next as a “clothier;" as “ valiant because beggary is valiant;" as having been “whipped three market days together ; “often burnt in the hand for stealing sheep ;" then as “a shearman;" and again, in the last scene with Iden, he reassumes the character of the fearless soldier. But it is easier to point out these discrepancies than to account for them ; nor do I attempt a solution : it is, however, somewhat remarkable that the pedigree given by York in this very play (act ii., scene 2) occurs in terms nearly similar, some lines being precisely so, in “Sir John Oldcastle,” i when the Earl of Cambridge asserts his right to the throne. Is it not therefore possible that the passages quoted above may also have served a twofold part, and have belonged to some play of Richard the Second which is now lost? Mr. Collier has brought to light the circumstance of a play of Richard the Second, in which the character of Jack Straw was introduced, having been performed at the Globe Theatre in the year 1611. Whether this may
have contained these passages can only be matter of conjecture; and perhaps the publication of the “ Contention of the two Houses,” &c., (in which the greater number of these lines occur) having taken place in 1593, may be regarded as evidence to the contrary; but should any one versed in Shakespearian lore be disposed to throw light on the subject, it would gratify the writer of this paper.
G. M. ZORNLIN.
Sir John Oldcastle was entered at Stationers' Hall in the year 1600.
Art. IX. - Shakespeare's “Venus and Adonis” illustrated by
his contemporary, Thomas Heywood.
The edition of Heywood's “Fair Maid of the Exchange, issued by the Shakespeare Society, proves how the work of an old fellow-dramatist sometimes illustrates the text of our greatest stage-poet, not merely generally but particularly. I refer to that part of the excellent comedy, where Bowdler contemplates the courtship of his mistress by quoting to her passages from “ Venus and Adonis ;” and as the portion of the scene which relates to " Venus and Adonis is short, it will be more intelligible if I extract it.
“ Crip. But hear you, sir ! reading so much as you have done, Do you
not remember one pretty phrase, To scale the walls of a fair wench's love? “ Bow. I never read anything but “ Venus and Adonis.”
Crip. Why, that's the very quintessence of love.
pawn my head, goods, lands, and all, 'twill do.
deer. Feed thou on me, and I will feed on thee; And love shall feed us both.'
“ Moll. Feed you on woodcocks; I can fast awhile. “Bow. “Vouchsafe, thou wonder, to alight thy steed.' “ Crip. Take heed; she's not on horseback. “ Bow. Why, then, she is alighted. Come, sit thee down, where never serpent hisses ; And, being set, I'll smother thee with kisses."
Mr. Collier, in his edition of Shakespeare, was the first to point out this early proof of the popularity of “ Venus and Adonis,” a circumstance which Mr. Field, the editor of the “ Fair Maid of the Exchange," does not advert to, although he adopts both the fact and the observation. Moreover, Mr. Field puts in quotation two lines, as from “ Venus and Adonis," which are not found in any copy of that poem, remarking that “ all these quotations are from Shakespeare's exquisite young man's
poem :" one of them certainly is not, viz.
“ Feed thou on me, and I will feed on thee;
I take it, that this was an addition by Bowdler, in his opinion in the spirit of the original he had just before quoted. The lines stand thus in “ Venus and Adonis”.
“ Fondling, she saith, since I have hemm’d thee here,
Bowdler substituted his “Feed thou on me," &c., for
“ Feed where thou wilt, on mountain or in dale,”
and he cannot be congratulated on the happiness of his invention: the notion of Venus and Adonis feeding on each other does not seem very Shakespearian, but it is a matter of little consequence; only Mr. Field, by his marks of quotation, ought not to have attributed the passage to our immortal poet: the rest, it is true, is from “ Venus and Adonis," although there is no indication to that effect in the old copies, beyond the fact that Bowdler says he had never read anything but “Venus and Adonis,” and subsequently breaks out with lines which must have been recognised by most of the audience as those of Shakespeare.
But I want to show how such a scene as that above extracted
particularly illustrates the text of our great dramatist ; and it may also lead to the conclusion that “The Fair Maid of the Exchange ” was written after the appearance of the impressions of " Venus and Adonis" in 1593 and 1594, and before that of 1596 came out. Mr. Field says nothing respecting the period when the comedy was composed; but we know from “ Henslowe's Diary,” p. 78, that Heywood was a writer for the stage in 1596, and perhaps earlier. “Heywood's book,” there mentioned, may have been the very play (“ book” and “play” were then often synonymous) under consideration ; and it contains various indications, besides that I am about to notice, showing that it was produced some years before the death of Elizabeth.
The impressions of “ Venus and Adonis,” printed by Richard Field, in 4to., in the years 1593 and 1594, have the line quoted by Heywood
“I'll be a park, and thou shalt be my deer;"
whereas, in the edition of 1596, published by John Harison, to whom Field had then disposed of his interest in the poem, it stands
“ I'll be the park, and thou shalt be my deer,”
a mistake that runs through all subsequent reprints, adopted by Malone in 1780, (though afterwards corrected by him) and transferred to many modern editions. Heywood, in “ The Fair Maid of the Exchange,” gives the correct text of the two earliest copies, confirming not only the opinion, which indeed can hardly be doubted, that Shakespeare wrote “ I'll be a park,” but showing that Heywood used one of the two oldest impressions. It seems not improbable that the edition of " Venus and Adonis," in 1596, had not made its appearance when he composed his play: if it had, it is still very clear that Heywood preferred the correct text, although it would have answered his purpose just as well to have put “I'll be the park,” &c., into the mouth of Bowdler.
Thus we see that apparent trifles, which might be passed over, (and indeed have been passed over by as acute and wellinformed an editor as Mr. Field) when examined, are found to illustrate the true text of Shakespeare, and this is the main object of my communication.
HUGH ANDERSON. Glasgow, February 10th, 1847.
PS. Mr. Field only mentions impressions of “ The Fair Maid of the Exchange ” in 1607 and 1637; but I have before me (a rarity, by the way, in Scotland, and perhaps in England) a copy of an intermediate edition in 1625, which establishes the popularity of the comedy: as the title-page differs somewhat from those copied by Mr. Field, I subjoin it, together with the imprint:
“ The Fayre Maide of the Exchange : together with the merry Humours, and pleasant passages of the Cripple of Fanchurch. Furnished with varietie of delectable Mirth. London Printed by I. L., and are to be solde at the signe of the Greyhound in Paules Church-yard. 1625.” 4to.