Gambar halaman
[ocr errors]

has been questioned and ridiculed only on conjecture.' Again, by Voltaire, but it has been sup- • The Winter's Tale' was not enported with ability and fuccefs by tered at Stationers' Hall, [neither Walpole. At any rate it appears does it appear that the other comedy to have been a popular Dory; of was) nor printed till 1623; but course sufficient for Shakspeare's probably is the play mentioned by purpose, and for mine.-This opi- Meres under the title of Love's · nion, I confefs, cannot be sup- • Labour won. These conjectures ported, if we allow those dates to carry no convi&tion with them; be accurate, which are prefixed to and the probability seems to reft Shakspeare's dramas by Mr. Ma- on the other lide of the question, lone in Johnson and Steevens's edi.' namely, that we ought to number tion. ile fuppofes that. All's well those plays among the latter pro

that ends well,' was represented ductions of Shakipeare; particuin 1598. As Eflex was not dead larly if the personal allusions are at that time; and as it cannot be admitted. imagined, even had ir been so, th " I mentioned that feveral real any thing allusive to such an in- characters and incidents are alludftance of the queen's partiality for ed to in our poet's comedies. Some him, would have been brought have been pointed out, but, doubtforward on the stage during her lefs, in respect to the greater part, no lifetime, we must either rank this clue remains to guide our steps and play among Shakspeare's latter pro- direct us to the original. I ain fully dućtions, or my conjecture must be convinced, that master Slender sat given up as destitute of any foun- for his picture to our unrivalled dation. Mr. Malone pposes portrait-painter, as well as his coulikewise, that “The Winter's Tale' lin Shallow. His little wee face.' came out in 1594 ; and if so, it “his little yellow cain-coloured could not have been intended, ac- "beard,' his having fought with a cording to Mr. Walpole's opinion, warrener, been intoxicated and as a sequel to Hel. 8, for that robbed by his knavith companidrama appears not to have been ons, and other exploits, equally written till 1601. I air, however, memorable, feem to mark a real unwilling to give up cither Nir. character, and to record real facts: Walpole's conjecure or my own; circumstances, probably, that exand it is observable that Mr. Ma- cited no little mirth at the time of lone, who has fati factorily afcer- representation. But we are not to tained the dates. of Siamspeare's wonder at those allusions being now other

exprefies fome diffi- totally lost and forgotten, if we redence in regard in The Winter's flect with what rapidity the per• Tale' and · All's well that ends sonal satire of Foote, which fo often swell.' Ile observes that, “ if they in our own days • sat the play-house « «id come out in 1594 and 1508, in a roar,' is posting on towards

they came out under different the-oblivious gulf. - The greater <titles from those they now bear. part of the first scene in • The Merry

-Though funposed in have been · Wives of Windsor,' may have * early productions, they were not been copied from the life, and have

published, it muít be acknow- passed in Sir Thomas Lucr's judi• lcdged, in Shakipcare's lite-time, cial hall. Even the breaking open o bue for the dates of them we rely the lodge and killing the keeper's


daughter, which Falstaff (a cha- yet at least to hold up thy hand in racter, it is said, partly drawn for token of thy hope, and affiance in an inhabitant of Stratford) humo- 'the mercies of Christ.' roudly disavows, may have been 6 The death of Gloster, in the charges there serioudy urged a- same drama, (A. 3. S. 3.) though, gainst Shakspeare and his riotous according to hiftory, its manner associates,

was uncertain, is marked with fo 5 As our bard is universally al- many minute and appropriate cirlowed to be a copyist of nature, it cumstances, that Shakfpeare most induces us to place an almost un- probably heard it thus particularly limited confidence in him. We described, or took his description cannot but fuppofe in his historic from actual observation, on a limi. dramas, even where we are unable lar event. to trace him, that he dwells on real, « The interview between Henry not imaginary transactions; and 5th and Williams the soldier (Hen. has preserved many genuine anec- 5th, A. 4. S. 4.) the night predotes, not of weight fufficient to ceding the battle of Agincourt, have gained admittance into the with their interchange of gloves, page of hiftory, or taken from au- and the trick in consequence playehors, whose writings fcarcely fur- ed on Fluellin, appears to have been vived their own existence.

founded on fome traditionary story. “ The following remarkable in- Our hearts, at least, will not allow cident, attending cardinal Beau- it to be a fi&tion, but feel delighted fort's death, is so forcibly charac- at such an unexpected, though by teriftic, that we cannot easily fuf- no means unnatural, recurrence of pect it to be invention, though no Hal's original humour. history mentions the circumstance. 66 There are many other little • Lord Cardinal, if thou think'it on heaven's incidents, like the foregoing, which

we ought not to consider as inven* Hold up shy hand, maka signal of thy hope.-- tion, because we cannot trace them • He dies, and makes no fun!

to their source. Had the story of Hen, vih, 2d part, A. 3. S. 3. Simpcox of St. Alban's, and the The description of his anguish and combat between the armourer and despair occurs in Hall's chronicle, his apprentice Peter (Hen. 6th, 2d but the additional circumstances part,) been no where recorded but thrown in by Shakspeare, wonder in Shakspeare, they would probably fully increase the horror of the have been considered merely as luscene. The address to the car'inal dicrous fiétions, introduced to put may be illustrated by a little devo- the upper gallery in good humour. tional book, intitled, The Key of Each of those incidents, however, is

Paradife opening the Gate to eter- noticed in different chronicles of 'nal Salvation,' republished at St. the times. The numerous circumOmer's in 1675, but when first stances relative to the death of lord printed I know not, in which is the Hastings, form a kind of episode in following MEDITATION. Iinagine the tragedy of Richard 3d, and they

thyself lying in thy death-bed, are adopted from history :-even • with a hallowed candle in thy the compliment which the fubtle * hand, a crucifix on thy breast, tyrant pays to the biflop of Ely's

and thy ghostly father calling on ftrawberries, and the uvimportant "thee, that if thou canst not speak, errand on which he sends the



[ocr errors]

courtly prelate. Catesby observes, of the following comparison, drawi

the king is angry, fee he gnaws by Vernon, a friend of Hotspur's. • his lip and Margaret, in her im

I saw young Harry with his beaver on, precations on him, exclaims, • His cuisics on his thighs, gallantly arined, • No neep close up that deadly eye of thine,

Rise from the ground like feathered Mercury;

• And vaulted with such cafe into his feat, •Unleis it be while fomnc torinenting dream

• As if an angel dropt down from the clouds "Alrights thee with a hell of ugly devils.'

• To turn and wind a pery Pegasus, Rich. 3d, A. 1. S. 3. "And witch the world with noble horseWe are not to consider either of manship.'

Hen. 4th, ift part. A. 4. S. 1. these expressions as casual, but ftri&tly appropriate and historically A variety of beautiful and happy altrue.' Different authors relate, that lusions occur likwise in the former • his sleep was (generally) filled with part of the same speech. An attenperturbations, and particularly tion to much minutia, though not that night previous to the engage- historically true, must Irave a won. ment in which he perished. derful effect in realizing the dra.

" When Falstaff ridicules thematis persona.-Even in respect to flender form of prince Henry, and animals, as well as men, Shakspeare says that he would give a thousand will not deal in generals. The trapounds if he was able to run as fast gedy hero of a modern dramatist as he could, &c. we must not sup- would call for his barbed steed,' pose that those words are thrown or · his fiery courser:' but a Richard out accidentally. Historians agree, orders his groom to in describing him as tall, thin, and

• Saddle white Surrey for the field to-moractive. Like Achilles he was no

row.' less conspicuous for swiftness than And historians say, that when he for personal courage. The former entered the town of Leicester," he is represented by Pindar as

was mounted on a great white Κτείνοντ' ελαφους ανευ κυ

courser.' May we not reasonably «νων δολιων δ' έρκεων»

suppose, that this was the identical Ποσσιγας κρατεσκεν. .

Surrey? The gallant earl, whose Nem. Od. 3.

name he bore, was warmly attachAnd we might be almost tempted ed to Richard, and had probably, to suppose that our old annalist co- as a proof of his regard, bestowed pied from the Grecian bard, but on him this acceptable prefent. for the words inclosed in a paren.

“ The impetuous Hotspur imthesis. "He was passing swift in patiently enquires after his crop

running, insomuch that he (with ear Roan,' and exclaims, in eques• two other of his lords) without trian transport, “ that roan thall be

hounds, bow, or other engine, my throne.' His fondness for his • would take a wild buck or doe, in horse (of which he appears to be no • a large park.' (Stowe.) • Omnes less proud than Diomede, a conge

Coætaneos,' says Thomas de Elm- nial character, was of the steeds of ham, saliendo præcellit, cursu ve. Tros), is one of his marking fealoci fimul currentes prævenit.' tures, and humourously ridiculed We see from these quotations, the by his rival in fame, prince Henry: propriety of Hotspur's styling him (Hen. 4th, ist part, A. 2. S. 8.)

the nimble mad cap prince of When Vernon, therefore, expatiates " Wales ;' and the peculiar justice with more candour than discretion,



in praise of his noble horseman. which one strives to conceal, by * thip,' it peculiarly irritates the treating his rival with ridicule, and mind of Hotspur. His reply, par- the other by holding him in affectticularly the conclusion, is truly ed contempt, familiarize them to characteristic.

We see, we know them, are

privy to the disipated relaxations of Come, let me take my horse, Who is to bear me, like a thunderboll,

the one, and the turbulent thoughts * Against the bosuin of the prince of Wales, that agitate the mind of the other. * Harry to Harry hall, and horse to horse, This observation may be extended Meet, and ne'er part till one drop dowa a to almost every leading character: corse!'

we contemplate men like ourselves, Hen. 4th, in part, A. 4. S. 2.

endued with the same propensities Hotspur feels himself touched in a as those that actuate them in real tender point. His rival is cele- life, and are confequently interefted brated for a qualification in which in their fortunes. But our feelings he thought himself pre-eminent; are not excited by the pompous chaand his mind reverts with vexation racters in declamatory tragedy: they to the unpleasing idea. The beauty are beings of another species, and of this natural sally of passion escap- we have no concern with them. ed the earlier editors of Shakspeare ; " If the wonder-working pen of and it has been printed not horse Shakípeare induces us to pay more to horse,' in every edition but the credit to his representation of our first, till fir Thomas Hanmer re- historic characters, than historical stored the original reading. Such severity may sometimes allow, it is a little trait distinguishes a master's a delusion too pleasing to be lightly hand more than pages of laboured resigned. We fee, or seem to fee, declamation.

realities; and the causes, which I “ The mutual antipathy between have just explained, operate also in Hotspur and the sword and buck- his fiétitious dramas. . Though he

ler prince of Wales,' is finely con- cannot there build on real facts, yet ceived and admirably executed. appropriate and strong-marked deThey are planets in fiery opposition, scriptions of persons and places, contending for superiority in the familiar conversation and characfirmament of glory. We cannot find teristic anecdotes, commonly give. a speech but what seems dictated by an appearance of truth and connature itself. Their little ebullitions liftency to the most wild and ex.' of passion, their mutual jealousy, travagant fi&tions."

[ocr errors]

PECULIAR EXCELLENCIES in HANDEL's Music, which, notwithstanding

its frequent Repetition, secure to it the Poffeffion of the public Fa

vour; by Mr. JACKSON, of EXETER. [From the Fourth Volume of ANECDOTES of some DISTINGUISHED

Persons chiefly of the present and two preceding CENTURIES.]
JANDEL's music, particu. it may not be incurious to enquire

larly his oratorios, being from what causes this conftant reItill annually and occasionally per. peticion arises, and why the works formed in London and elsewhere, of this master have had a fate so



very different from that of con- rit, as far as it reached, will be ever temporary composers, the greateft felt and acknowledged. part of which seems consigned to “ Initrumental mufic was peroblivion.

haps univerfally barbarous until “ This enquiry will naturally the time of Corelli, whose compolead to the speaking of general prin- sitions seemed to open a new world. ciples, so far as they are applicable Even in these our times, when into the present subject; to the state strumental music is so much imof instrumental and vocal music; proved, Corelli is still a favourite and to a comparison between Han- and not only with old-fashioned del and other composers of note people. The reason why he is so which flourished at this period. would carry me too far from my Nothing more being intended than fubject. What Corelli did for bow's a few miscellaneous observations fet instruments, Handel did for the down juit as they occur, method harpsichord. We acknowledge the will not be attempted, and of course improvements of the modern symmust be excused.

phonists, but we still relish a con" As the compositions which are certo of Corelli; and no great perthe subject of the following remarks former on the harpfichord but fits were produced in England, and let down with pleasure to the Suites to English words, the mention of des Pieces pour le Clavecin. foreign mulicians and their works " The music for the stage was is excludled, as not appertaining to thoroughly wretched, and contithe subject, unlessso couneeted with nued so until the little musical enit as to render the mention indir. tertainments of Carey and the Begpensable.

gar's Opera, which made their ap: “ Music, in its common applica- pearance long after the time of tion, is considered merely as an en- Handel's first refidence in England. tertainment: when bad, it disgusts; Such was the state of our mufic at when good, it creates sensations un- the beginning of this century, and known from other fources; and if long after. it reach the fublime, our feelings. « What are called Handel's Haut. are more powerfully excited than bois Concertos, have so much fubfrom the utmost perfection that ject, real air, and folid composition, poetry alone, or painting, has yet that they always are heard with the attained.

greatest pleasure, and are undoubt. « With the latter, music cannot edly the best things of their class. be connefted; but when joined, I believe they were the first attempt or, as Milton phrases it, wedded to unite wind-instruments with vio. with poetry, it reaches the highest lins, which union was long repropitch of excellence, and soars a bated in Italy. height which, disjoined from its " The operas of Handel are conpowerful ally, was imposible to be fessedly superior to all preceding obtained.

and contemporary ones.

His oras Before Handel, I cannot re- torios, though called by a wellcollect any instance of this perfec- known name, may be justly esteemtion. Our best vocal music was ed original, both in design and exein the church, and our best com. cution. These last being the pieces pofers were Purcel, Wise, Weldon, which are fo frequently performed, and a little later, Croft, whose me I will with the utmost impartiality


« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »