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who has read the Essay which I published some years ago upon his Genius and Writings."
Italian Ballad. Cf. Dennis's Essay on the Operas after the Italian Manner, 1706.
48. His Characters. The same idea had been expressed by Gildon in his Essay on the Stage, 1710, p. li. : “He has not only distinguish'd his principal persons, but there is scarce a messenger comes in but is visibly different from all the rest of the persons in the play. So that you need not to mention the name of the person that speaks, when you read the play, the manners of the persons will sufficiently inform you who it is speaks.” Cf. also Addison's criticism of Homer, Spectator,
“There is scarce a speech or action in the Iliad, which the reader may not ascribe to the person that speaks or acts, without seeing his name at the head of it.”
50. To judge of Shakespear by Aristotle's rules. This comparison had appeared in Farquhar's Discourse upon Comedy : “The rules of English Comedy don't lie in the compass of Aristotle, or his followers, but in the Pit, Box, and Galleries. And to examine into the humour of an English audience, let us see by what means our own English poets have succeeded in this point. To determine a suit at law we don't look into the archives of Greece or Rome, but inspect the reports of our own lawyers, and the acts and statutes of our Parliaments; and by the same rule we have nothing to do with the models of Menander or Plautus, but must consult Shakespear, Johnson, Fletcher, and others, who by methods much different from the Ancients have supported the English Stage, and made themselves famous to posterity." Cf. also Rowe, p. 15: “it would be hard to judge him by a law he knew nothing of.”
-Is it unnecessary to point out that there are no "rules" in Aristotle ? The term
“ Aristotle's rules” was commonly used to denote the “rules of the classical drama," which, though based on the Poetics, were formulated by Italian and French critics of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.
51. The Dates of his plays. Pope here controverts Rowe's statement, p. 4.
blotted a line. See note, p. 43. Though Pope here controverts the traditional opinion, he found it to his purpose to accept it in the Epistle to Augustus, 11. 279-281 :
And fluent Shakespear scarce effac'd a line.
52. Pope's references to the early editions of the Merry Wives and other plays do not prove his assertions. Though an imperfect edition of the Merry Wives appeared in 1602, it does not follow that this was ' entirely new writ’ and transformed into the play in the Folio of 162 3. The same criticism applies to what he says of Henry V., of which pirated copies appeared in 1600, 1602, and 1608. And he is apparently under the impression that the Contention of York and Lancaster and the early play of Hamlet were Shakespeare's own work.
53. Coriolanus and Julius Caesar. Pope replies tacitly to Dennis's criticism of these plays.
those Poems which pass for his. The seventh or supplementary volume of Rowe's and Pope's editions contained, in addition to some poems by Marlowe, translations of Ovid by Thomas Heywood. Like Rowe, Pope has some doubt as to the authorship of the poems, but on the score of the dedications he attributes to him Venus and Adonis and the Rape of Lucrece. Both editors ignored the Sonnets. It is doubtful how far Shakespeare was indebted to Ovid in his Venus and Adonis. He knew Golding's translation of the Metamorphoses (1565-67); but Venus and Adonis has many points in common with Lodge's Scillaes Metamorphosis which appeared in 1589. See, however, J. P. Reardon's paper in the “Shakespeare Society's Papers," 1847, iii. 143-6, where it is held that Lodge is indebted to Shakespeare.
Plautus. Cf. Rowe, p. 9. Gildon had claimed for Shakespeare greater acquaintance with he Ancients than we had admitted, and Pope had both opinions in view when he wrote the present passage. “I think there are many arguments to prove,” says Gildon, “that he knew at least some of the Latin poets, particularly Ovid ; two of his Epistles being translated by him : His motto to Venus and Adonis is another proof. But that he had read Plautus himself, is plain from his Comedy of Errors, which is taken visibly from the Menachmi of that poet.
The characters he has in his plays drawn of the Romans is a proof that he was acquainted with their historians. I contend not here to prove that he was a perfect master of either the Latin or Greek authors ; but all that I aim at, is to shew that as he was capable of reading some of the Romans, so he had actually read Ovid and Plautus, without spoiling or confining his fancy or genius” (1710, p. vi).
Dares Phrygius. The reference is to the prologue of Troilus and Cressida. See the note in Theobald's edition, and Farmer, p. 187.
Chaucer. See Gildon's remarks on Troilus and Cressida, 1710, p. 358.
54. Ben Johnson. Pope is here indebted to Betterton. Cf. his remark as recorded by Spence, Anecdotes, 1820, p. 5. “It was a general opinion that Ben Jonson and Shakespeare lived in enmity against one another. Betterton has assured me often that there was nothing in it ; and that such a supposition was founded only on the two parties, which in their lifetime listed under one, and endeavoured to lessen the character of the
other mutually. Dryden used to think that the verses Jonson made on Shakespeare's death had something of satire at the bottom ; for my part, I can't discover any thing like it in them.”
Pessimum genus, etc. Tacitus, Agricola, 41.
Si ultra placitum, etc. Virgil, Eclogues, vii. 27, 28. 55. Dryden. Discourse concerning Satire, ad init. (ed. W. P. Ker, ii., p. 18).
Enter three Witches solus. “This blunder appears to be of Mr. Pope's own invention. It is not to be found in any one of the four folio copies of Macbeth, and there is no quarto edition of it extant” (Steevens).
56. Hector's quoting Aristotle. Troilus and Cressida, ii, 2. 166.
57. those who play the Clowns. “ Act iii., Sc. 4” in Pope's edition, but Act iii., Sc. 2 in modern editions. 58. Procrustes. Cf. Spectator, No. 58.
In the edition of 1728, Pope added to this note “which last words are not in the first quarto edition.”
59. led into the Buttery of the Steward. “Mr. Pope probably recollected the following lines in The Taming of the Shrew, spoken by a Lord, who is giving directions to his servant concerning some players :
Go, Sirrah, take them to the buttery,
And give them friendly welcome every one. But he seems not to have observed that the players here introduced were strollers ; and there is no reason to suppose that our author, Heminge, Burbage, Lowin, etc., who were licensed by King James, were treated in this manner (Malone)
London Prodigal. After these seven plays Pope added in the edition of 1728 "and a thing call’d the Double Falshood” (see Introduction, p. xlv). It will be noted that he speaks incorrectly of “eight” plays. In the same edition he also inserted The Comedy of Errors between The Winter's Tale and Titus Andronicus (top of
60. tho' they were then printed in his name. His name was given on the title-page of Pericles, Sir John Oldcastle, the Yorkshire Tragedy, and the London Prodigal.
LEWIS THEOBALD 64. above the Direction of their Tailors. Cf. Pope, P: 51:
The succeeding remarks on the individuality of Shakespeare's characters also appear to have been suggested by Pope.
65. wanted a Comment. Contrast Rowe, p. 1.
66. Judith was Shakespeare's younger daughter (cf. Rowe, p. 21). It is now known that Shakespeare was married at the end of 1582. See Mr. Sidney Lee's Life of Shakespeare, pp. 18-24.
68. Spenser's Thalia. Cf. Rowe, pp. 6, 7. The original editions read • Tears of his Muses.'
69. Rymer's Fædera, vol. xvi., p. 505. Fletcher, i.e. Lawrence Fletcher.
the Bermuda Islands, Cf. Theobald's note on the still-vext Bermoothes,' vol. i., p. 13 (1733). Though Shakespeare is probably indebted to the account of Sir George Somers's shipwreck on the Bermudas, Theobald is wrong, as Farmer pointed out, in saying that the Bermudas were not discovered till 1609. A description of the islands by Henry May, who was shipwrecked on them in 1593, is given in Hakluyt, 1600, iii., pp. 573-4.
70. Mr. Pope, or his Graver. So the quotation appears in the full-page illustration facing p. xxxi of Rowe's Account in Pope's edition ; but the illustration was not included in all the copies, perhaps because of the error. The quotation appears correctly in the engraving in Rowe's edition.
72. New-place. Queen Henrietta Maria's visit was from with to 13th July, 1643. Theobald's “three weeks” should read “three days.” See Halliwell-Phillips, Outlines, 1886, ii., p. 108.
We have been told in print, in An Answer to Mr. Pope's Preface to Shakespear. ... By a Stroling Player (John Roberts), 1729, p. 45.
73. Complaisance to a bad Taste. Cf. Rowe, p. 6, Dennis p. 46, and Theobald's dedication to Shakespeare Restored; yet Theobald himself had complied to the bad taste in several pantomimes.
Nullum sine venia. Seneca, Epistles, 114. 12. 74. Speret idem. Horace, Ars Poetica, 241.
Indeed to point out, etc. In the first edition of the Preface, Theobald had given "explanations of those beauties that are less obvious to common readers." He has unadvisably retained the remark that such explanations should deservedly have a share in a general critic upon the author.' The "explanations” were omitted probably because they were inspired by Warburton.
75. And therefore the Passages . . . from the Classics. Cf. the following passage with Theobald's letter to Warburton of 17th March, 1729-30 (see Nichols, Illustrations, ii., pp. 564, etc.). The letter throws strong light on Theobald's indecision on the question of Shakespeare's learning.
“The very learned critic of our nation” is Warburton himself. See his letter to Concanen of 2nd January, 1726 (Malone's Shakespeare, 1821, xii.,. p. 158). Cf. Theobald's Preface to Richard II., 1720, and Whalley's Enquiry, 1748, p. 51.
76. Effusion of Latin Words. Theobald has omitted a striking passage in the original preface It was shown that Shakespeare's writings, in contrast with Milton's, contain few or no Latin phrases, though they have many Latin words made English ; and this fact was advanced as the truest criterion of his knowledge of Latin.
The passage is referred to by Hurd in his Letter to Mr. Mason on the Marks of Imitation (1757, p. 74). Hurd thinks that the observation is too good to have come from Theobald. His opinion is confirmed by the entire omission of the passage in the second edition. Warburton himself claimed it as his own. Though the passage was condensed by Theobald, Warburton's claim is still represented by the passage from For I shall find (p. 76, 1. 7) to Royal Taste (1. 36). 77. Shakespeare . astonishing force and splendor. Cf. Pope, p. 50.
Had Homer, etc. Cf. Pope, p. 56. 78. Indulging his private sense. See p. 61.
Lipsius,-Satyra Menippaa (Opera, 1611, p. 640). 79. Sive homo, etc. Quintus Serenus, De Medicina, xlvi., “Hominis ac simiae morsui.” 80. Nature of any Distemper
Cf. Shakespeare Restored, pp. iv, v. 81. Bentley's edition of Paradise Lost had appeared in 1732.
the true Duty of an Editor. A shy hit at Pope's “dull duty of an editor,” Preface, p. 61.
82. as I have formerly observ’d, in the Introduction to Shakespeare Restored,
ii and iv. The paragraph is quoted almost verbatim. 83. labour'd under flat Nonsense. Here again Theobald incorporates a passage from the Introduction to Shakespeare Restored, p. vi.
Corrections and conjectures. Yet another passage appropriated from his earlier work. The French quotation, however, is new.
Edition of our author's Poems. Theobald did not carry out his intention of editing the Poems. References to the proposed edition will be found in Warburton's letters to him of 17th May and 14th October, 1734 (see Nichols, Illustrations, ii., pp. 634, 654).
The only attempt as yet towards a Shakespearian Glossary is to be found in the supplementary volumes of Rowe's and Pope's editions. It is far from copious and complete.'
84. The English are obsero'd to produce more Humourists. See Congreve's letter to Dennis Concerning Humour in Comedy, 1695.
Wit lying mostly in the Assemblage of Ideas, etc. So Locke, Essay concerning the Human Understanding, Book II., Ch. xi., $2. The passage had been popularised by Addison, Spectator, No. 62.
85. Donne. Cf. Dryden's criticism of Donne.