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learning, whatever became of their author's. Plagiarisms have been discovered in every natural description and every moral sentiment. Indeed by the kind assistance of the various Excerpta, Sentèntiæ, and Flores, this business may be effected with very little expence of time or sagacity; as Addison hath demonstrated in his comment on Chevy-chase, and Wagstaff on Tom Thumb; and I myself will engage to give you quotations from the elder English writers (for to own the truth, I was once idle enough to collect such,) which shall carry with them at least an equal degree of similarity. But there can be no occasion of wasting any future time in this department: the world is now in possession of the Marks of Imitation.

Shakspeare, however, hath frequent allusions to the facts and fables of antiquity.” Granted: and as Mat. Prior says, to save the effusion of more Christian ink, I will endeavour to show, how they came to his acquaintance.

It is notorious, that much of his matter of fact knowledge is deduced from Plutarch: but in what language he read him, hath not yet been the question. Mr. Upton is pretty confident of his skill in the original, and corrects accordingly the errors of his copyists by the Greek standard. Take a few instances, which will elucidate this matter sufficiently.

In the third Act of Antony and Cleopatra, Octavius represents to his courtiers the imperial pomp of those illustrious lovers, and the arrangement of their dominion,

Unto her
" He gave the 'stablishment of Egypt, made her
« Of lower Syria, Cyprus, Lydia,

“ Absolute queen.”
Read Libya, says the critick authoritatively.

This is very true: Mr. Heath* accedes to the correction, and Mr. Johnson admits it into the text: but turn to the translation, from the French of Amyot, by Thomas North, in folio, 1579,6 and you will at once see the origin of the mistake.

• First of all he did establish Cleopatra queene of Ægypt, of Cyprus, of Lydia, and the lower Syria."

Again, in the fourth act:

* It is extraordinary, that this gentleman should attempt so voluminous a work, as the Revisal of Shakspeare': Text, when, he tells us in his Preface," he was not so fortunate as to be furnished with either of the folio editions, much less any of the ancient quartos :" and even Sir Thomas Hanmer's performance was known to him only by Mr. Warburton's representation. † I find the character of this work pretty early delineated:

“ 'Twas Greek at first, that Greek was Latin made,
“ That Latin, French; that French to English straid,
“ Thus 'twixt one Plutarch there 's more difference,
“ Than i' th’ some Englishman return'd from France."

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My messenger “ He hath whipt with rods, dares me to personal combat, Cæsar to Antony. Let th’ old ruffian know

I have many other ways to die; mean time

“Laugh at his challenge “What a reply is this?" cries Mr. Upton, “'tis acknowledge ing he should full under the unequal combat. But if we read,

Let the old ruffian know
* He hath many other ways to die; mean time

'I laugh at his challenge we have the poignancy and the very repartee of Cæsar in Plutarch."

This correction was first made by Sir Thomas Hanmer, and Mr. Johnson hath received it. Most indisputably it is the sense of Plutarch, and given so in the modern translation : but Shakspeare was misled by the ambiguity of the old one: Antonius sent again to challenge Cæsar to fight him: Cæsar answered, That he had many other ways to die, than so.

In the third act of Julius Cesar, Antony, in his well-known harangue to the people, repeats a part of the emperor's will:

To every Roman citizen he gives,
To every sev'ral man, seventy-five drachmas.-

Moreover he hath left you all his walks,
“ His private arbours, and new-planted orchards,

“ On this side Tiber “Our author certainly wrote,” says Mr. Theobald,“On that side Tiber

Trans Tiberim-prope Cæsaris hortos.' And Plutarch, whom Shakspeare very diligently studied, expressly declares, that he left the publick his gardens and walks, We'paev Tð llorquš, beyond the Tyber.

This emendation likewise hath been adopted by the subse. quent editors ; but hear again the old translation, where Shakspeare's study lay: “He bequeathed unto every citizen of Rome seventy-five drachmas a man, and he left his gardens and arbours unto the people, which he had on this side of the river of Ty. ber.” I could furnish you with many more instances, but these are as good as a thousand.

Hence had our author his characteristick knowledge of Brutus and Antony, upon which much argumentation for his learn. ing hath been founded : and hence literatim the epitaph on Ti. mon, which it was once presumed, he had corrected from the blunders of the Latin version, by his own superior knowledge of the original.*

I cannot, however, omit a passage from Mr. Pope: “The speeches copied from Plutarch in Coriolanus may, I think, be as

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* See Theobald's Preface to King Richard II, 8vo. 1720. VOL. I.


well made an instance of the learning of Shakspeare, as those copy'd from Cicero in Catiline, of Ben Jonson's.” Let us inquire into this matter, and transcribe a speech for a specimen. Take the famous one of Volumnia :

'Should we be silent and not speak, our raiment
“ And state of bodies would bewray what life
“We've led since thy exile. Think with thyself,
“How more unfortunate than all living women
“Are we come hither; since thy sight, which should
“ Make our eyes flow with joy, hearts dance with comforts,
“ Constrains them weep, and shake with fear and sorrow;
“Making the mother, wife, and child to see
“The son, the husband, and the father tearing
“ His country's bowels out: and to poor we
“Thy enmity's most capital; thou barr’st us
“Our prayers to the gods, which is a comfort
“That all but we enjoy. For how can we,
“Alas! how can we, for our country pray,
“Whereto we're bound, together with thy victory,
“ Whereto we're bound? Alack! or we must lose
“ The country, our dear nurse; or else thy person,
“Our comfort in the country. We must find
“An eminent calamity, though we had
Our wish, which side shou'd win. For either thou
"Must, as a foreign recreant, be led
“With manacles thorough our streets; or else
“Triumphantly tread on thy country's ruin,
“ And bear the palm, for having bravely shed
“ Thy wife and children's blood. For myself, son,
“ I purpose not to wait on fortune, till
“ These wars determine: if I can 't persuade thee
“Rather to show a noble grace to both parts,
“ Than seek the end of one; thou shalt no sooner
“March to assault thy country, than to tread
“(Trust to 't, thou shalt not,) on thy mother's womb,

“That brought thee to this world." I will now give you the old translation, which shall effectually confute Mr. Pope : for our author hath done little more, than thrown the very words of North into blank verse:

“ If we helde our peace (my sonne) and determined not to speake, the state of our poore bodies, and present sight of our rayment, would easely bewray to thee what life we haue led at home, since thy exile and abode abroad. But thinke now with thy selfe, howe much more unfortunately, then all the women liu. inge we are come hether, considering that the sight which should be most pleasaunt to all other to beholde, spitefull foi tune hath made most fearfull to us : making my selfe to see my sonne, snd my daughter here, her husband, besieging the walles of his natiue countrie. So as that which is the only comfort to all other in their adversitie and miserie, to pray unto the goddes, and to call to them for aide ; is the onely thinge which plongeth

us into most deepe perplexitie. For we cannot (alas) together pray, both for victorie, for our countrie, and for safety of thy life also : but a worlde of grievous curses, yea more than any mortall enemie can heappe uppon us, are forcibly wrapt up in our prayers. For the bitter soppe of most harde choyce is of. fered thy wife and children, to foregoe the one of the two: either to lose the persone of thy selfe, or the nurse of their natiue contrie. For my selfe (my sonne) I am determined not to tarrie, till fortune in my life time doe make an ende of this warre. For if I cannot persuade thee, rather to doe good unto both parties, then to ouerthrowe and destroye the one, preferring joue and nature before the malice and calamitie of warres : thou shalt see, my sonne, and trust unto it, thou shalt no soner marche forward to assault thy countrie, but thy foote shall tread upon thy mother's wombe, that brought thee first into this world.”

The length of this quotation will be excused for its curiosity; and it happily wants not the assistance of a comment. But matters may not always be so easily managed:-a plagiarism from Anacreon hath been detected:

“The sun 's a thief, and with his great attraction

Robs the vasť sea. The moon 's an arrant thief,
“And her pale fire she snaiches from the sun.
“ The sea 's a thief, whose liquid surge resolves
“The moon into salt tears. The earth 's a thief,
“ That feeds and breeds by a composture stol'n

“ From gen’ral excrement: each thing 's a thief.” “ This (says Dr. Dodd) is a good deal in the manner of the celebrated drinking Ode, too well known to be inserted." Yet it may be alleged by those, who imagine Shakspeare to have been generally able to think for himself, that the topicks are obvious, and their application is different.—But for argument's sake, let the parody be granted; and “our author (says some one) may be puzzled to prove, that there was a Latin translation of Ana. creon at the time Shakspeare wrote his Timon of Athens.” This challenge is peculiarly unhappy: for I do not at present recollect any other classick, (if indeed, with great deference to Mynheer De Pauw, Anacreon may be numbered amongst them,) that was originally published with two Latin* translations.

But this is not all. Puttenham in his Arte of English Poesie, 1589, quotes some one of a “reasonable good facilitie in translation, who finding certaine of Anacreon's Odes very well translated by Ronsard the French poet-comes our minion, and trans


By Henry Stephens and Elias Andreas, Par. 1554, 4to. ten years before the birth of Shakspeare. The former version hath been ascribed without reason to John Dorat. Many other translators appeared before the end of the century: and particularly the Ode in question was made popular by Buchanan, whose pieces were soon to be met with in almost every modern language.

lates the same out of French into English:" and his strictures upon him evince the publication. Now this identical ode is to be met with in Ronsard! and as his works are in few hands, I will take the liberty of transcribing it:

“La terre les eaux va boivant,
L'arbre la boit par sa racine,
“ La mer salee boit le vent,
“Et le soleil boit la marine.
“Le soleil est beu de la lune,
“ Tout boit soit en haut ou en bas :
“Suivant ceste reigle commune,

“ Pourquoy donc ne boirons-nous pas?" Edit. Fol. p. 507. I know not whether an observation or two relative to our author's acquaintance with Homer, be worth our investigation. The ingenious Mr. Lenox observes on a passage of Troilus and Cressida, where Achilles is roused to battle by the death of Patroclus, that Shakspeare must here have had the Iliad in view, as "the old story,* which in many places he hath faithfully copied, is absolutely silent with respect to this circumstance."

And Mr. Upton is positive that the sweet oblivious antidote, inquired after by Macbeth, could be nothing but the nepenthe de. scribed in the Odyssey,

« Νηπενθές τ' αχολόν τε, κακών επί ληθον απάντων.” I will not insist upon the translations by Chapman; as the first editions are without date, and it may be difficult to ascertain the exact time of their publication. But the former circumstance might have been learned from Alexander Barclay;t and the lat. ter more fully from Spenser,+ than from Homer himself.

“But Shakspeare” persists Mr. Upton, “ hath some Greek expressions.Indeed!—“We have one in Coriolanus :

It is held
"That valour is the chiefest virtue, and
Most dignifies the haver.'

* It was originally drawn into Englishe by Caxton under the name of The Recuyel of the Historyes of Troy, from the French of the ryght venerable Person and worshipfull man Raoul le Feure, and fynyshed in the holy citye of Colen, the 19 day of Septembre, the yere of our Lord God, a thousand foure hundred sixty and en. leuen. Wynkyn de Worde printed an edit. fol. 1503, and there have been several subsequent ones. t"Who list thistory of Patroclus to reade,” &c.

Ship of Fooles, 1570, p. 21. {"Nepenthe is a drinck of soueragne grace,

“ Deuized by the gods, for to asswage
“Harts grief, and bitter gall away to chace

“ Instead thereof sweet peace and quietage
“ It doth establish in the troubled mynd,” &c.

Faerie Queene, 1596, Book IV, c. iii, st. 43.

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