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in the Quarto of 1609, in an order that is probably chronological; they were not intended at the time they were written to form a consecutive poem, though many were written at the same time, but were subsequently strung together in the order in which we now possess them.
They fall into three groups. 1st, From familiarity to friendship, Sonnets I.-xxv.; 2nd, Clouds, Sonnets XXVI.XCVI.; 3rd, Reconciliation, XCVII.-CXXVI.
The first group (1.-xxv.) consists of two sections: 1.Xiv., Will's beauty, and his duty to get married ; no deep feeling of affection yet; XV.-xxv., if Will won't marry, Shakspere will make him immortal by verse; evidence of deeper affection.
Second group. (XXVI.-XCVI.) consists of the following sections : (a) XXVI.-XXXII., Shakspere’s feelings in grief and absence (xXVI., Prologue; xxxII., Epilogue). (b) XXXIII.-XXXVIII., Will's first offence—he holds aloof from his social inferior, the player Shakspere. (C) xxxIx., an Absence-sonnet (second absence), between Will's first and second offence. (d) XL.-XLII., Will's second offence, robbing Shakspere of his mistress. (e) XLIII.-LV., third absence; Shakspere on a journey ; neglected by Will. (f) LVI.-LVIII., Will and Shakspere near one another, yet they do not meet. (g) LIX.-LXV., Shakspere finds relief in his art. (h) LXVI.-LXXIV., gloom; worldweariness. (C) LXXV.-Lxxxvi., Will favours a rival poet. (j) LXXXVII.-xcvi., Farewell to Will.
Third group (XCVII. CXXVI.), Reconciliation; confession of faults; love triumphant.
[Archiv für das Studium der Neueren Sprachen und Literaturen. 1878
79. Zu den Sonnetten Shakspere's (seven articles).] The first article gives a survey of the critical literature relating to the Sonnets of love and jealousy. Isaac believes that they are concerned with real persons and events. In subsequent articles a detailed criticism is given of the Sonnets in Part I. of Bodenstedt's arrangement, and in the order adopted by Bodenstedt. (See p. 74.)
[2nd Edition. 1879.] Chapter iv., Tennyson and Shakespeare's Sonnets (pp. 55–77), gives a number of parallel passages from the Sonnets, illustrating passages in In Memoriam.
ALGERNON C. SWINBURNE.
[Short Notes on English Poets, in The Fortnightly Review, December 1,
1880.] Mr. Swinburne accepts the story of Shakspere's friendship, his love for a mistress, and the wrong done to him by a friend, as true. He speaks of the Sonnets CXXVII.-CLIV. as “ incomparably the more important and altogether precious division of the Sonnets.” 1
* It is noteworthy that among the Sonnets chosen by Wordsworth as the most eminent for “merits of thought and language,” only one comes from the second division of the Sonnets.
DAVID M. MAIN.
[A Treasury of English Sonnets. 1880.]
Mr. Main inclines to Gerald Massey's view, and supposes that the Earl of Pembroke is Thorpe's Mr. W. H. The selected Sonnets in the Treasury are well and fully annotated.
[The Renascence Drama; or, History made Visible. Melbourne, 1880.
359 pp. The Sonnets, pp. 111-133.]
The Sonnets were written by Bacon, in 1600, to be read by William Herbert to the Queen, and thereby win back her regard for her offending truant Essex, when the “lord of my love” lay under his last eclipse. Elizabeth was a black beauty, not literally, but as hostile in mind and will to Essex.
G. TRAVERS SMITH.
The latest theory of 1880 regarding Shakspere's Sonnets was that of Mr. G. Travers Smith, of Tasmania, in the Victorian Review for last December, pp. 253–58.
“The secret of the Sonnets, of the one hundred and twenty-six, is simple. They were addressed to his [Shakspere's] son. Not a son by Anne Hathaway, but to an illegitimate one by some other woman-the evidence would go to show by some woman of high rank. . . . Sonnet xxxIII. is conclusive, even if we did not know Shakspere's love of the pun or play on a word :
Even so, my Sun one early morn did shine
[Bilden die Ersten 126 Sonette Shakespcre's einen Sonettcyclus, und
welche ist die ursprüngliche Reihenfolge derselben ? Englische
Studien. 34 pp. 1881.] They were modelled after Daniel's Sonnets; were written after Venus and Adonis and perhaps before Lucrece, for the Earl of Southampton, in the fashion of the time, to amuse him and his young friends. The true order of 1.CXXVI. is the following: XXVI. (dedication), I., IV., VIII., VII., XI., III., V., VI., II., IX., X., XII., XX., XIV., XIII., XV., XVI., XVII., LIX., CVI., LIII., CV., LIV., CIV., LXXXI., LV., LXIV., XIX., LXIII., LXV., LX., CVII., XVIII., CXXVI., CVIII., LXXVII., CXXII., C., CI., XXXVIII., XXIII., LXXIII., LXXIV., XXXII., XXXIX., LXXVIII., LXXIX., LXXXII., XXI., LXXVI., CIII., LXXXIII., LXXXV., LXXX., LXXXVI., LXXI., LXXII., CII., LXXXIV., LVIII., LVII., LXVII., LXVIII., CXXIII., LXVI., CXVI., CXV., CXXIV., XXV., XXIX., XXX., XXXI., XXXVII., CXXV., XCI., XCII., XCIII., XCIV., LXIX., LXX., XXXIII., XXXIV., XXXV., XCV., XCVI., XL., XLI., XLII., XXXVI., LXXXVII., L., LI., XXVII., XXVIII., XLIII., LXI., LXII., XXII., XXIV., XLVI., XLVII., XLIV., XLV., XCVII., XCVIII., XCIX., XLVIII. (perhaps XLIX., LXXXVIII.-XC. better before LXXXVII.), XLIX., LXXXVIII., LXXXIX., XC., CIX., CXVII., CXXI., CXI., CXII., LXXV., LII., CXIII., CXIV., CXVIII., CXIX., CXX., LVI.
'F. J. Furnivall, The Academy, Aug. 27, 1881.
An analysis of each Sonnet is given, and an appendix is added—I. Sonnets 34-40 of Daniel's Delia ; II. Cynthia, with certain Sonnets, etc. 1595. Sonnets 1–20.
[Die schwarze Schöne der Shakespeare-Sonette: Jahrbuch der Shake
speare Gesellschaft. Bd. xvi. pp. 144-212. 1881.]
Supports and developes Gerald Massey's theory as modified in his edition of 1872. What is of most value in Krauss's article is a striking series of parallel passages from Sidney and others illustrating the Sonnets.
RICHARD HENRY STODDARD.
[The Sonnet in English Poetry. Scribner's Monthly. October, 1881.] i
Agrees with Dyce that “the greater number of the Sonnets were composed in an assumed character, and at different times, for the amusement and probably at the suggestion of the author's intimate associates.” To the two Sonnets pointed out by Dyce as having an individual application to Shakspere (cx. and cxi.), Mr. Stoddard adds LXXI. and LXXIII. * The Sonnets of Shakspere extend over a considerable period, but most of them were
1 Herr Krauss refers to an article by him on the Sonnets which I have not seen. “Nord und Sud,” Feb. 1879.