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TRUBNER & CO., 57 & 59, LUDGATE HILL, E.G., 



OWING to Mr F. D. Matthew's work for the Wyclif Society, 
he has been unable to make the usual Abstract of the German 
Shakspere Society's Year-Books for the present volume. The 
Committee hope that some less engaged Member of the Society 
will volunteer to take up the task which Mr Matthew has been 
compeld to abandon. 


. i 
nc. ? 

I. |tos. 8 ; 9, 10. 










NICHOLSON, M.D. . ... ' ... 53 
















J. G. A. Dow, M.A. ... 227 









A. HARRISON, M.A. _ 295 

















BOYLE, ESQ. 579 


SCRAPS: pp. 56, 76, 201, 202, 226, 240, 294, 322, 369, 370, 
399, 400, 441, 442, 488, 508, 560. 578, 646, 12* 19* 24*, 
36* 44* 52* 67* 68* 74* 76* 82*, 85* 86* 105* 
117*, 126*, 146* 149* 159*. 






BERNARD ......... ............ 13f 


JOHN BERNARD'S GOODS. 1G74 ......... 15f 


HER HUSBAND'S CHILDREN ............ ifif 

RELIGION OR POLITICS ............... 17f 


TAINMENT, MAY 11, 1883 ............ 19f 


TERTAINMENT, MAY 9, 1884 ............ 35f 


TERTAINMENT, MAY 8, 1885 ... ......... 39f 


TERTAINMENT, MAY 14, 1886 ............ 43f 

SUNG ON MAY 14, 1886: 

WHO IS SYLVIA? .................. 47f 

PEG O' EAMSAY ..................... 


THREE MERRY MEN BE WE ............... 50f 

THE SICKE TUNE .................. 52f 

HEART'S EASE (SING CARE AWAY) ............ 56f 

GREEN SLEEVES .................. 57f 

O DEATH, ROCKE ME ON SLEPE ............ 59f 

HOLD THY PEACE, THOU KNAVE ............ 61f 

FLOUT EM AND SCOUT EM ... ... ... ... ... 

ORPHEUS WITH HIS LUTE ............... 

YOU SPOTTED SNAKES .................. 62f 

COME AWAY, DEATH .................. 

SIGH NO MORE. LADIES ............... 




OVER HILL, OVER DALE ............... 

TO SEE HIS FACE .................... 

CRABBED AGE AND YOUTH ............... 65f 

O MISTRESS MINE .................. 



TELL ME, WHERE IS FANCY BRED ? ... ... ... ... GGf 





TREASURER'S CASH ACCOUNTS, 1883, 1884, 1885 34f, GSf, G9f 











TRUBNER & CO., 57 & 59, LUDGATE HILL, E.G., 


hs I. 
















SCRAPS : pp. 294, 322, 369, 370, 399, 400, 441, 442, 12*, 19* 
24*, 36* 44* 52*, 07* 68* 74* 76*, 82* 85*, 86*. 










TAINMENT, MAY 11, 1883 ... ... 19f 


FIFTH MEETING. FEBRUARY 29, 1884 ... 1* 86* 








TRUBNER & CO., 57 & 59, LUDGATE HILL, E.G., 


Smes I. go, 8. 


























J. G. A. Dow, M.A. 227 

SCEAPS: p. 56, 76, 201, 202, 226, 240. 


Yet, to make clear wnat I mean, I should like to mention one or 
two characters in real life which impress every one, I believe, as almost 
pure types of the two classes I have named. In the class of simple, 
direct minds, acting from obvious motives and with a minimum of 
self-consciousness, must surely come those of John Bright, of Darwin, 
of the late Duke of Wellington, and of a vast mass of undistinguished 
people, some dull, some hard, some exquisitely innocent, some mar- 
vellously selfish. These people vary as much as angel from devil, yet 
there is about them all a certain childlikeness, good or bad, a certain 
self-confidence, useful or dangerous. Even Darwin, while he admits 
most freely that he may be mistaken, has the self-confidence of utter 
purity ; he knows that he is merely telling you what he has seen, 
honestly, fully, and without arriere-pensee or reserve. So the Duke 
of Wellington did simply what seemed to him his duty, never 
thinking what it might seem to other men : and so many a man quite 
unconsciously obeys his own pleasure, his own ambition, or the will 
of some superior nature who without an effort masters him. 

Of the opposite kind are many modern poets Tennyson, 
Browning, very noticeably the late Arthur Clough : men who con- 
stantly look into their own minds, examine their own motives, deliber- 
ate, doubt, and change. A student of human nature, in the literary 
sense a subjective poet is, in the nature of things, bound to be of 
this class. Goethe and Byron, though both men of much practical 
sense, belonged essentially to it they made it the business of their 
lives to think, and to express their thoughts : they were not among 
the great doers of this world. Their fine general powers might have 
obtained for them a good place among practical men, but nothing like 
the rank to which some parts of their faculties would seem to have 
entitled them. That there have also been men of infinite littleness in 
this class hardly needs to be said : a tiny intellect eagerly scrutinising 
itself cannot well be of any calculable value. 

Shakspere, as a purely dramatic poet, had of necessity a nature 
prone to self-analysis, though his genius was large enough to analyse 
also nearly every other mind, while it yet noted all natural objects, 
and constantly kept all things in due proportion. But he made his 
one great representative character,, Hamlet, perpetually self-conscious, 


hardly doing a single thing mechanically : and I think that the 
valuable criticism that "Hamlet was the only one of Shakspere's 
characters who could have written all Shakspere's plays " points to 
a true fact that Hamlet was intended by Shakspere as a portrayal 
of himself, though of himself under strange and unfavourable 

With this prelude, let me state my theory as to the effect of sudden 
emotion I mean sudden emotion of the most intense kind upon 
characters of these two opposing types, as shown by Shakspere. A 
man of simple nature sees a fact and realises it : a man in whom the 
reflective intellect predominates thinks about it. Therefore, a great 
sudden emotion stuns the one, makes him helpless for the time : the 
other does not realise it so intensely it is more, as I have said, a 
great deal of new matter to think about, and his intellect is thus 
stimulated to think twice as fast as usual. Or I might put it thus : 
our moral nature takes a thing as a whole, our intellect examines, 
dissects it; therefore a great event awes our moral nature, but sets our 
intellect hard at work, and therefore men in whom the moral nature 
predominates are stunned, while men chiefly intellectual are stimulated, 
by a sudden occurrence of the highest joy or sorrow. 

That Shakspere held this theory was suggested to me by two 
parallel passages : those in which are shown the effects of the Ghost's 
revelation upon Hamlet, and of the murder of Duncan upon Macbeth. 
I will explain my views by the citation of these, and of other scenes 
in which different, sometimes entirely opposite, characters are sub- 
jected to similar tests ; only premising that those personages alone 
can be made useful to our inquiry who are drawn with sufficient 
fulness to make it perfectly clear to which category, and in what 
degree, their natures belong. 

To take Hamlet first. He may be said to feel sudden and intense 
emotion of some kind or other four times, at least, during the play : 
when Horatio tells him of the apparition of his father, when the 
Ghost comes to him and reveals the guilt of Claudius, after the play 
scene, and at the news of Ophelia's death. The first of these cases, 
however, we may dismiss. The emotion is sheer surprise, which 
cannot have the intensity of great joy or sorrow. He does not see 


the Ghost ; perhaps he is hardly sure whether he can fully believe 
these men ; he is puzzled rather than awed. 

The next instance is wholly different, though even here his feeling 
is by no means one of mere horror at the terrible news. It must be 
remembered that it is not absolute news. He had long dimly sus- 
pected some " foul deed," which, in fact, could only have been this. 
His intense emotion at the Ghost's story is really a relief after the 
torturing uncertainty of the last two months : he is in truth happier 
than he has been since his father's death. His brain, thus excited, 
works so fast that his leading thought is almost hidden by the rush 
of ideas, the crowded illustrations in which it is conveyed. Here is 
the scene : 

Ghost. Adieu, adieu, adieu ! Remember me ! [Disappears. 

Ham. O all you host of heaven ! earth ! What else 1 
And shall I couple hell 1 fy ! Hold, hold, my heart ; 
And you, my sinews, grow not instant old, 
But bear me stiffly up ! Remember thee ? 
Ay, thou poor ghost, while memory holds a seat 
In this distracted globe. Remember thee 1 
Yea, from the table of my memory 
I'll wipe away all trivial fond records, 
All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past, 
That youth and observation copied there ; 
And thy commandment all alone shall live 
Within the book and volume of my brain, 
Unmix'd with baser matter : yes, by Heaven. 
O most pernicious woman ! 

villain, villain, smiling, damned villain ! 
My tables, meet it is, I set it down, 

That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain ! 

At least, I am sure, it may be so in Denmark : ( Writing.) 

So, uncle, there you are. Now, to my word ; 

It is, Adieu, adieu ! remember me. 

1 have sworn't. 

* * * * * 

Mar. (Within.) Illo, ho, ho, my lord ! 
Ham. Hillo, ho, ho, boy ! come, bird, come. 


Mar. How is't, my noble lord ? 
Hor. What news, my lord 1 
Ham. 0, Wonderful ! 
Hor. Good my lord, tell it. 


Ham. No : 
You will reveal it. 

Hor. Not I, my lord, by Heaven. 

Mar. NOT I, my lord. 

Ham. How say you then ; would heart of man once think it 1 
But you'll be secret, 

Hor. fy Mar. Ay, by Heaven, my lord. 

Ham. There's ne'er a villain, dwelling in all Denmark, 
But he's an arrant knave. 


Ham. Nay, but swear't. 

Ghost. (Beneath.} Swear. 

Ham. Ha, ha, boy ! say'st thou so ? art thou there, true-penny ? 
Come on, you hear this fellow in the cellarage, 
Consent to swear. 

Hor. day and night, but this is wondrous strange ! 

Ham. And therefore as a stranger give it welcome. 
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, 
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. 
But come : 

Here, as before, never, so help you mercy ! 
How strange or odd soe'er I brar myself, 
As I, perchance, hereafter shall think meet 
To put an antic disposition on 
That you, at such times seeing me, never shall, 
With arms encumber'd thus, or this head-shake, 
Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase, 
As, Well, well, we know : or, We could, an if we would or, If we 

list to speak; or, There be, an if they might ; 
Or such ambiguous giving out, to note 
That you know aught of me : this do you swear, 
So grace and mercy at your most need help you ! 

Every line in this scene exemplifies the state of mind I have 
described ; one curious illustration of it is the fact that Hamlet's very 
first words after the disappearance of the Ghost are almost a conceit. 
His objection to the form of his own exclamation (" And shall I 
couple hell 1 fy ! ") is nearly a quibble, and shows an intensely 
self-conscious nature stimulated to its highest degree. The well-known 
lines about the tablets are ridiculous unless delivered with this rush 
of hysterical excitement : nor can we otherwise explain his strange 
practical joke for I can call it nothing else of revealing, with much 
pretence of secresy, the fact that "there's ne'er a villain, dwelling in 
all Denmark, but he's an arrant knave." His mind is so overflowing 


that it seeks relief in apparently most unseasonable jests as, above 
all, his mocking addresses to the " fellow in the cellarage." 

After the play-scene we have precisely the same effect, accentuated 
by the fact that he bursts into little snatches of extempore rhyme. 
His play upon words in the following dialogue with Guildenstern 
bears this out remarkably. 

Lastly, when he hears of Ophelia's death he is silent, after the 
brief " What ! the fair Ophelia ! " but this silence is enjoined upon 
him, almost inevitably, by the surrounding scene ; and, whatever his 
first instinctive emotion may be, in a very few seconds he is collected 
enough to listen to Laertes and be annoyed with the bombastic 
expression of his grief. The intellect is instantly at work, criti- 
cising the words of others and keenly analysing his own feelings. 
No doubt angry with himself for being so little moved, he advances 
theatrically and tries to lash himself into an agony of passion ; and, 
consciously failing, he gives a clever parody of Laertes' rant. His 
self-analysis is so searching and so unpleasant that it makes him lose 
his temper, and his very excess of intellect thus blinds him to 
obvious facts. " Dost thou come here," he asks, " to outface me 
with leaping in her grave 1 " as if anybody but himself was thinking, 
at such a moment, of him, of the shallowness of his love ! His brain 
is for the time so stimulated that his moral nature his heart, as we 
say is eclipsed : it seems, to others and himself, as if he had none. 

Very like and very unlike to Hamlet is Macbeth a man of a 
compound, one might say of a double nature. There is much of the 
same intellect, though it is less varied and more direct, far more 
influenced by keen ambition and far less appreciative of the beauty 
and power of virtue ; while on the other hand the fact that Macbeth 
is a brilliant general shows that he must have very strong practical 
sense. Moreover, unlike Hamlet, he is really not morally scrupulous 
to any notable extent ; he is only cautious. He appears to us as a 
hesitating man, but this is merely because we see him in a very 
difficult position, when any sensible man should hesitate. The 
reward of the deed he contemplates is a magnificent one, and he is 
forcibly urged to that deed by the one person in the whole world 
whom he loves and trusts, who happens to be a person of enormous 


strength of will : were it not for this, he sees the dangers of the 
enterprise so clearly that he would almost certainly abandon it. 
But for Lady Macbeth, Macbeth would have been sensible enough 
not to have murdered Duncan at all. 

Let me note in passing that we ought not to make too much of 
Macbeth's tendency to see ghosts and witches : it proves very little 
with regard to his character. Shakspere's ghosts and witches were 
real objective beings, who were- actually seen and heard by many 
people of widely different characters Hamlet, Horatio, Marcellus, 
Macbeth, Banquo, Richard the Third, Brutus, and others. 

But to Macbeth himself. In the first Act he is surprised by the 
supernatural intelligence that he is to be thane of Cawdor and king, 
and the surprise is soon after repeated when he learns that half the 
news is true. His breath is taken away for a moment he starts 
and " seems rapt " but shortly afterwards he criticises, with intense 
thought, the position arid his own mind. There is not, it is true, the 
rush of ideas which with Hamlet follows the ghostly revelation : but 
then the cause for emotion is not nearly so strong, he is not alone, 
and his intellectual nature, though like Hamlet's, is more practical 
and more concentrated. 

But in the second Act he has a cause for emotion far stronger 
than any of Hamlet's, and the result is most remarkable. He, a 
brave and famous soldier, has just foully murdered a man an old 
man, his guest, his trusting and generous master. His is not the 
unmixed intellectual character he does feel his position, and not 
merely see it : and his moral nature is so deeply moved that he loses 
all self-control and nearly ruins all. The moment he has killed 
Duncan he shouts, "Who's there? What ho!" the very worst 
thing he could possibly do. But then we have immediately a 
marvellous psychological study : Macbeth's moral nature stunned 
and helpless, while his intellect after, as usual, a momentary shock 
and pause is working at a tremendous pace. Here is the scene. 

He comes in. Lady Macbeth greets him 

My husband ! 

Macb. I have done the deed : Didst thou not hear a noise 1 
Lady M. I heard the owl scream, and the crickets cry. 


Did not you speak ? 

Macb. When 1 ? 

Lady M. Now. 

Macb. As I descended 1 

Lady M. Ay. 

Macb. Hark ! Who lies i' the second chamber? 

Lady M. Donalbain. 

Macb. This is a sorry sight. . (Looking on his hands.) 

Lady M. A foolish thought, to say a sorry sight. 

Macb. There's one did laugh in his sleep, and one cried, Murder I 
That they did wake each other ; I stood and heard them : 
But they did say their prayers, and address'd them 
Again to sleep. 

Lady M. There are two lodged together. 

Macb. One cried, God bless us ! and Amen, the other ; 
As they had seen me with these hangman's hands, 
Listening their fear. I could not say, Amen, 
When they did say, God bless us. 

Lady M. Consider it not so deeply. 

Macb. But wherefore could not I pronounce, Amen ? 
I had most need of blessing, and Amen 
Stuck in my throat. 

Lady M. These deeds must not be thought 
After these ways ; so, it will make us mad. 

Macb. Methought, I heard a voice cry, Sleep no more ! 
Macbeth does murder sleep, the innocent sleep ! 
Sleep, that knits up the ravell'd sleave of care, 
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath, 
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course, 
Chief nourisher in life's feast, 

Lady M. What do you mean ? 

Macb. Still it cried, Sleep no more, to all the house : 
Glamis hath murder'd sleep ; and therefore Cawdor 
Shall sleep no more, Macbeth shall sleep no more / 

And so forth. 

To make a man who has just committed a terrible murder talk in 
this strained way, playing with words, quibbling on the fact that he 
has three names, which represent but one person, and giving seven 
distinct and elaborate metaphors for sleep, seems at first as if it must 
be the work of a very bad poet, trying to be conventionally poetical 
in the wrong place. But I think that all critics will acknowledge 
that it is a most wonderful example of the excited intellect 'running 
away, the will being powerless to stop it and a most exact proof of 


Macbeth's double character, half way between the mere man of 
thought, like Hamlet, and the ideal man of action, like Othello. But, 
like Hamlet, and not like Othello, Macbeth quickly masters his 
emotion, though at first (in the scene with Macduff and Lennox) 
only just sufficiently not to betray himself : he can only force out a 
few brief sentences "Good morrow, both" " Not yet" and so 
on, though even among these one is a striking reflection : " The 
labour we delight in physics pain." 

But, as soon as the opportunity for violent action, and the clear 
perception of one needful thing to be done, awake him, his intellect 
rises to the fullest height of the trial : the thoughts flow as fast as 
ever, but now he can control and brilliantly utilise them. Eeturning 
from the slaughter of the grooms, he at once begins to declaim 

Had I but died an hour before this chance 

I had lived a blessed time ; for, from this instant, 

There's nothing serious in mortality ; 

All is but toys ; renown and grace is dead ; 

The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees 

Is left this vault to brag of. 

He is asked why he killed the grooms : his excuse is admirable and 
perfect : 

Who can be wise, amazed, temperate and furious, 
Loyal and neutral, in a moment 1 No man. 
The expedition of my violent love 
Outran the pauser, reason. Here lay Duncan, 
His silver skin laced with his golden blood ; 
And his gash'd stabs looked like a breach in nature 
For ruin's wasteful entrance ; there, the murderers, 
Steep'd in the colours of their trade, their daggers 
Unmannerly breach'd with gore : who could refrain 
That had a heart to love, and in that heart 
Courage to make's love known ? 

In the third Act, Macbeth's scene with the Ghost of Banquo does 
not prove very much the most noticeable point in it is perhaps the 
rapidity with which he recovers from his intense emotion, the almost 
purely intellectual character of his remarks when the Ghost vanishes. 
Only Shakspere would have given to a man in such a position such 
lines as 


I' the olden time 
Ere humane statute purged the gentle weal : 

though Macbeth, unlike Hamlet, is too much moved to watch his 
speech, and lets slip the allusion to his crime : 

This is more strange than such a murder is. 

When, in the last Act, he hears of his wife's death, the news is 
apparently no great surprise to him : its only evident effect is to 
stimulate his intellect to reflections even for him unusually fine 
" Life's a poor player," and so forth. Finally, Macduif s declaration 
that he " is not of woman born " only interrupts for a moment the 
rushing excitement of the battle : this is only the last of a series of 
terrible surprises, and he is past feeling even it very deeply. His 
keen mind tells him that to die bravely, fighting against all hope, is 
the wisest course, and this he does. 

I will now take some extreme instances of the opposite type of 
character Othello, Desdemona, Macduff that no intermediate 
gradations may make the contrast less striking. But first I must 
point out that the most intense emotion of these simpler characters 
is not so easily put into words by the dramatist, for the reason that 
its typical expression is silence, or inarticulate sounds of grief or joy. 
The poet must either leave these to the actor, or give a verbal 
picture, not strictly dramatic, of a mind which in reality would be 
stunned and speechless. The former alternative is a dangerous one, 
which Shakspere has rarely adopted perhaps the example most 
nearly perfect is that of Helena, in the second Act of All's Well that 
Ends Well, who makes only one speech of a dozen words after Bertram 
has refused to marry her. In the alternative which he generally 
chose, of giving to intense emotion words more coherent than those 
of nature would be, there is. I think a rule by which we can dis- 
tinguish these utterances from such perfectly dramatic speeches as 
those of Hamlet and Macbeth : the latter are rich in intellect, filled 
with varied thoughts variously expressed ; the former are little more 
than repetitions of the one crushing conception, in words often 
curiously monotonous. Thus MacdufFs 


All my pretty ones 1 
Did you say all ? O hell-kite ! All ? 
What, all my pretty chickens and their dam 
At one fell swoop 1 

We see so little of Macduff that it is scarcely possible to fully 
sum up his character ; but all his one chief scene with Malcolm 
first, and then with Eoss indicates a man of strong and simple feel- 
ings. The words he forces out are only spoken at the urging of his 
companion, who, indeed, expresses in one phrase Shakspere's theory 
as to the crushing effect of emotion on those characters who allow 
themselves to realise it completely and immediately : 

The grief that does not speak 
Whispers the o'erfraught heart and bids it break. 

Desdernona, the most lovable, I think, of Shakspere's women, is 
perhaps the strongest example of the rule I have proposed. Othello's 
attack at once stuns her ; she is brave, and denies his accusation as 
soon as he speaks it clearly, but the effort is almost too much for her. 
When, a moment later, Emilia asks her how she does, she can answer 

Faith, half asleep. 
(Then Emilia) 

Good madam, what's the matter with my lord ? 

Des. With who 1 

Emil. Why, with my lord, madam. 

Des. Who is thy lord 1 

Emil. He that is yours, sweet lady. 

Des. I have none : Do not talk to me, Emilia ; 
I cannot weep \ nor answer I have none, 
But what should go by water. Pr'ythee to-night, 
Lay on my bed my wedding sheets, remember ; 
And call thy husband hither. 

Emil. Here is a change, indeed ! [Exit. 

Des. 'Tis meet I should be used so, very meet. 
How have I been behaved, that he might stick 
The small'st opinion on my great'st abuse 1 

Re-enter EMILIA, with IAGO. 

lago. What is your pleasure, madam 1 How is it with' you ? 
Des. I cannot tell. Those, that do teach young babes, 
Do it with gentle means, and easy tasks : 


He might have chid me so ; for, in good faith, 
I am a child to chiding. 

And, after she has roused herself to one great protest against her 
lord's suspicion, her mind relapses into bewildered helplessness for 
the short remainder of her life. She goes over again and again the 
one thought that she can take in the enormous, utterly impossible 
crime of which she is accused. She realises only the accusation ; she 
cannot even think the existence of the sin. An exquisitely subtle 
touch shows how she tries, with her perfect innocence, to imagine 
what guilt is. She sees Lodovico, a young and handsome manj and 
wonders if it could be possible for her, another's wife, to love him. 
She resolves that she " could not do such a deed for the whole world." 
In the last scene of all there is no spring, no elasticity about her 
mind ; no reflection, one might say no thought. In almost all other 
cases Shakspere shows how strangely the brain does its work in 
moments of great emotion. Here, by exception, he shows a perfectly 
simple nature beaten down by terrible reality. At the end her words 
have the directness and the oneness of a child's begging helplessly for 
delay of punishment : 

banish me, my lord, but kill me not ! 
Kill me to-morrow : let me live to-night ! 
But half an hour ! 
But while I say one prayer ! 

Hero, by the way, in Much Ado About Nothing, is but an early 
sketch of Desdemona : when she is similarly accused, after a few 
sentences of simple answers and ejaculations, she falls in a swoon. 

The great character of Othello undoubtedly belongs to this class. 
He has a strong and healthy mind, and a vivid imagination, but they 
deal entirely with first impressions, with obvious facts. If he trusts a 
man he trusts him without the faintest shadow of reserve. lago's sug- 
gestion that Desdemona is false comes upon him like a thunderbolt. 
He 'knows this man to be honest, his every word the absolute truth. 
He is stunned, and his mind accepts specious reasonings passively and 
without examination. Yet his love is so intense that he struggles 
against his own nature, and for a time compels himself to think, though 
not upon the great question whether she is false. He cannot bring 


his intellect to attack lago's conclusions, and only argues the minor 
point : Why is she false 1 But even this effort is too much for him. 
It is, I have said, against nature ; and nature, after the struggle has 
been carried on unceasingly for hours, revenges herself he falls into 
a fit. That this is the legitimate climax of overpowering emotion on 
an intensely real and single character is plain. This obstruction and 
chaos of the faculties is the absolute opposite of the brilliant life into 
which Hamlet's intellect leaps on its contact with tremendous realities. 
The soliloquy at the end of Othello's first scene with lago may 
appear to make rather against my theory; it does not merely repeat one 
thought, it goes from point to point : " If I do prove her haggard 
I'll whistle her off. Haply that I am black or, for I am declined 
into the vale of years yet that's not much. My relief must be to 
loathe her. 'Tis the plague of great ones." But this contradiction, 
I fancy, is only apparent. He is trying to force his mind to work, 
as I have said, and it nutters helplessly from one minor point to 
another; moreover, jealousy is a mean and worrying passion, attaching 
itself to details, not grand and broad like the greatest love, hate, or 
ambition. My theory, by the way, may help to account for what has 
always troubled critics the extraordinary quickness with which 
Othello's faith in Desdemona yields to lago's insinuations. Sudden 
and intense emotion stuns his nature, and makes it incapable of 

A strangely unlike character to Othello's confirms this, when put 
to a test equally sharp, though entirely different in form. Shylock, 
with his immense power and fierce passions, was of a strength far too 
single and direct to waste itself in self-analysis. After his first great 
shock we do not see him, but we are told that he yields wholly to his 
passion, he rushes about shouting incoherently, " My daughter ! 
my ducats ! my daughter ! " his great intellect quite helpless. 
And this confirms the great scene in which we do see him, so stunned 
by the unjust decision of the judge that he does not attempt the 
arguments that must occur to every onlooker. His keen Jewish 
intellect does not set itself to destroy the contemptible quibble of 
Portia indeed, the play would come to an end if it did he yields, 
wholly and unreservedly, with barely an attempt to make terms. 


This is one of the few instances in which Shakspere has chosen the 
alternative I have before mentioned, of entire realism. Shylock says 
only just what in real life he would say, and we therefore cannot be 
certain what he thought. He is crushed, and he goes ; and there an 

This is my main case ; but before concluding with a few examples, 
typical and exceptional, I must pay some attention to a question sure 
to be asked nowadays. This is, Did Shakspere's treatment of the 
effects of sudden emotion vary as his mind developed ; and, if so, 
how in what direction, and to what extent 1 

With regard to his very early plays up to Romeo and Juliet, at 
all events this question is easily answered. In the strongest situa- 
tions of these Shakspere has expressed himself almost entirely in 
conventional forms, thus, in reality, shirking the psychological ques- 
tions they raised. To begin with, of course, he has generally dealt 
with the lighter class of subjects at all events, with subjects less 
tremendous than those of his greatest period ; but, when strong 
emotion is requisite, the purely rhetorical form of its expression is 
often very striking. As an example of his simply declining the 
strongest situation of a play, take Valentine's reception of the news 
that his trusted friend Proteus has been false to him ( Two Gentlemen 
of Verona, Act V. sc. iv.). 

Vol. Thou common friend, that's without faith or love, 
(For such is a friend now,) treacherous man ! 
Thou hast beguiled my hopes ; nought but mine eye 
Could have persuaded me : Now I dare not say, 
I have one friend alive ; thou would'st disprove me. 
Who should be trusted now, when one's right hand 
Is perjured to the bosom ? Proteus. 
I am sorry I must never trust thee more, 
But count the world a stranger for thy sake. 
The private wound is deep'st : time most curst ! 
'Mongst all foes, that a friend should be the worst ! 

Pro. My shame and guilt confound me. 
Forgive me, Valentine ; if hearty sorrow 
Be a sufficient ransom for offence, 
I tender it here ; I do as truly suffer, 
As e'er I did commit. 

Vol. Then I am paid ; 


And once again I do receive thee honest : 
Who by repentance is not satisfied, 
Is nor of heaven, nor earth ; for these are pleas'd ; 
By penitence the Eternal's wrath's appeas'd : 
And, that my love may appear plain and free, 
All that was mine in Silvia I give thee. 

This is the whole scene ! 

A very characteristic example of the rhetorical treatment of 
emotion is Juliet's speech on the sudden news of Tybalt's death and 
Borneo's banishment : 

serpent heart, hid with a flowering face ! 
Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave ] 
Beautiful tyrant ! fiend angelical ! 
Dove-feather'd raven ! wolvish-ravening lamb ! 

and so forth ; while the very difficult scene in which four different 
commonplace characters the Nurse, Capulet, Lady Capulet, and 
Paris learn the death of a girl they love, is turned into such a mere 
exaggeration of rhetoric that many have thought it intentional comic 

The ordinary conventionality of the stage is that people describe 
their own feelings in poetical language, very much as an eloquent 
bystander might naturally do in relating the matter. To make great 
grief or joy almost silent is a rather early advance in realism, and I 
fancy that this will most usually be found in plays somewhere about 
the middle of Shakspere's career, as in the scenes here quoted of 
Helena, Hero, Shylock. But this is nothing more than a suggestion. 

It would, however, be evidently a much more subtle analysis 
which should take note of the fact that the strongest emotion finds in 
some natures an intellectual vent, may be said to overflow in thought ; 
but in working out this principle there is one great difficulty. We 
may, I think, assume that Shakspere's was a mind of the introspective 
order, and it is unquestionably an early tendency of the dramatic 
genius to draw its characters from what it knows best itself. It 
would not, then, be safe to assume that Troilus and Cressida is a 
late play because its hero's intellect, after a sudden shock, works 
wildly thus, pulls to pieces the straightforward evidence of the senses ; 
because he says he will stay 


To make a recordation to my soul 
Of every syllable that here was spoke. 
But, if I tell how these two did co-act, 
Shall I not lie in publishing a truth 1 
Sith yet there is a credence in my heart, 
An esperance so obstinately strong, 
That doth invert the attest of eyes and ears ; 
As if those organs had deceptions functions, 
Created only to calumniate. 
Was Cressid here 1 

Ulyss. I cannot conjure, Trojan. 

Tro. She was not, sure. 

Ulyss. Most sure she was. 

Tro. Why, my negation hath no taste of madness. 

Ulyss. Nor mine, my lord : Cressid was here but now. 

Tro. Let it not be believed for womanhood ! 
Think, we had mothers ; do not give advantage 
To stubborn critics, apt, without a theme, 
For depravation, to square the general sex 
By Cressid's rule : rather think this not Cressid. 

It is, indeed, evident from many examples that Shakspere, though 
he naturally analysed at great length the more complex nature, never 
came to devote himself exclusively to the study of either one of 
these two types. In his very latest plays, the Winter's Tale and 
Cymbeline, he has companion studies of two contrasting characters, 
under circumstances to a considerable extent the same. Both 
Hermione and Imogen are accused by their husbands of infidelity, 
though it is true that the former is impeached in the presence of 
many people, while the latter is quite alone, except for the faithful 
servant who bears the news. But Hermione's is evidently a simple 
and grand nature of unusual strength, which, though fully realising 
its position, has force enough to bear. with the amplest dignity a 
terrible trial. For this great soul no personal attack is too heavy to 
be endured ; it is only at the death of her son following upon a joy 
so great that she could utter but one word that, like Hero, and not 
unlike Othello, she falls into a deadly swoon. 

It is not thus that Imogen's curious, imaginative character is 
affected by such an accusation. She thinks ; thinks fast and hard, 
and talks as fast she makes what is an almost continuous speech of 
sixty lines. She does not even casuilly mention Cloten without an 


elaborate definition of his- character " that harsh, noble, simple 
nothing." These are her first words, after that silence so often to be 
noticed in parallel cases in Shakspere : 

False to his bed ! What is it, to be false ] 

To lie in watch there, and to think on him 1 

To weep 'twixt clock and clock 1 if sleep charge nature, 

To break it with a fearful dream of him, 

And cry myself awake 1 that's false to his bed, 

Is it? 

Pis. Alas, good lady ! 

Imo. I false 1 Thy conscience witness. lachimo, 
Thou didst accuse him of incontinency ; 
Thou then look'dst like a villain ; now, methiriks, 
Thy favour's good enough. Some jay of Italy, 
Whose mother was her painting, hath betrayed him : 
Poor I am stale, a garment out of fashion ; 
And, for I am richer than to hang by the walls, 
I must be ripp'd : to pieces with me ! 0, 
Men's vows are women's traitors ! All good seeming, 
By thy revolt, husband, shall be thought 
Put on for villainy; not born where't grows, 
But worn, a bait for ladies. 

Pis. Good madam, hear me. 

Imo. True honest men being heard, like false ^Eneas 
Were, in his time, thought false ; and Simon's weeping 
Did scandal many a holy tear, took pity 
From most true wretchedness : So thou, Posthumus, 
Wilt lay the leaven on all proper men \ 
Goodly and gallant shall be false and perjured, 
From thy great fail. Come, fellow, be thou honest ; 
Do thou thy master's bidding. When thou see'st him, 
A little witness my obedience : Look ! 
I draw the sword myself : take it, and hit 
The innocent mansion of my love, my heart : 
Fear not ; 'tis empty of all things, but grief : 
Thy master is not there ; who was, indeed, 
The richest of it : Do his bidding ; strike. 
Thou may'st be valiant in a better cause ; 
But now thou seem'st a coward. 
* * # # 

Pis. gracious lady, 

Since I received command to do this business, 
I have not slept one wink. 

Imo. Do't, and to bed then. 

Pis. I'll wake mine eye-balls blind first. 

N. S. SOC. TRANS.. 1880. O 


Imn. Wherefore then 

Didst undertake it 1 Why hast thou abused 
So many miles with a pretence 1 this place 1 
Mine action, and thine own 1 our horses' labour 7 
The time inviting thee 1 the pertnrb'd court, 
For my being absent ; whereunto I never 
Purpose return 1 Why hast thou gone so far, 
To be unbent, when thou hast ta'en thy stand, 
The elected deer before thee 1 

Two facts I have not yet noticed which are of considerable 
importance. The immediate necessity for obvious action even the 
opportunity of action often greatly modifies the result of sudden 
emotion, acts as a vent for it ; and the sharing of emotion with others 
has also a great effect, not quite easy to define. A good example of 
both these facts is the behaviour, so strangely alike, of Brutus and 
Cassius (two most unlike men) immediately after the murder of Csesar. 

An early play and a late one King John and King Lear give 
curious studies of the effect of sudden emotion on exceptional 
characters. One is apt to take Constance as a passionate, single- 
minded woman ; and much of the expression of her grief might be 
held to be merely conventional such lines as 

amiable lovely death ! 
Thou odoriferous stench ! sound rottennesst ! 

of course remind one at once of Juliet's rhetoric. But if we continue 
the scene, and examine particularly the famous lines 

Grief fills the room up of my absent child, 
Lies in his bed, walks up and down with me, 

we shall find that Constance's intellect is keenly analysing her 
self : that, intense as her sorrow is, she thinks about it quite as much 
as she feels it : and that there is little danger of its breaking the o'er- 
fraught heart, as does the speechless grief of more massive characters. 
Lear would need an essay to himself, so I will leave him alone, 
with this criticism only that the mad old king, with his intellect, 
his will, and his animal nature, all strong and all violently wayward, 
are curiously paralleled in a famous modern man of letters ; and that 
those who would understand the deeds and the emotions of King 


Lear cannot find a better clue to them than the Life of Walter 
Savage Landor. 

One must not quit any examination of Shakspere without some 
notice of the humorous side of his genius, and it is easy to find 
among his comic personages many who confirm my theory as to the 
stimulating effect upon certain natures of even the greatest shocks. 
Take Falstaif : that immense intellect of a lazy, self-indulgent man, 
in the very first moment of disaster when the King suddenly turns 
upon him does the very best thing. "Who but Shakspere would 
have made Falstaff's first words " Master Shallow, I owe you a 
thousand pounds " would have made his intellect, at such a hopeless 
time, so swiftly think out the only possible way of turning off so 
public a disgrace 1 

Love's Labour Lost is an extremely early play, but its example is 
so borne out by a later and more famous one that it is worth quoting. 
Biron's position, when, after taunting and reproaching his companions, 
he is himself found out, merely excites his generally mocking and 
prosaic wit to utterances of high-pitched poetry impossible to its 
ordinary moods. He out-talks Hamlet himself, and in such a style as 

Who sees the heavenly Rosaline, 
That, like a rude and savage man of Inde, 

At the first opening of the gorgeous East 
Bows not his vassal head, and strucken blind 

Kisses the base ground with obedient breast 1 
What peremptory eagle-sighted eye 

Dares look upon the heaven of her brow, 
That is not blinded by her majesty ] 

In Much Ado About Nothing Benedick and Beatrice, the later 
Biron and Eosaline, are moved similarly by the supposed discovery 
of each other's love : Benedick not in so poetical a form, but Beatrice 
in exactly the same way she too, in this much later play, quits her 
customary prose for ringing poetry expressed in alternate rhyme. 

What fire is in mine ears ? Can this be true ? 

Stand T condemned for pride and scorn so much < \ 
Contempt, farewell ! and maiden pride, adieu ! 

No glory lives behind the back of such. 



And, Benedick, love on : I will requite thee, 
Taming my wild heart to thy loving hand : 

If thou dost love, my kindness shall incite thee 
To bind our loves up in a holy band. 

For others say thou dost deserve, and I 

Believe it better than reportingly ! 

Last of all let me give an example of those whom I have men- 
tioned as tiny intellects eagerly scrutinising themselves. These are 
the very subjects of comedy : and among them surely stands Dogberry, 
one utterly and ceaselessly absorbed in the admiring contemplation of 
his own mind. The greatest shock such a nature could possibly feel 
would be that of a rude attempt to dethrone its idol, to prove its 
wonderful Self a poor and common thing, unworthy of this devoted 
and lifelong study. Such an attempt is Conrade's irreverent " Off, 
coxcomb ! " with its astounding sequel, " You are an ass ! " After, we 
may imagine, one gasp of utter wonder which has been safely left to 
the actor Dogberry bursts into a flood of words, of accumulated, 
consecutive, and appropriate thoughts of which we should have judged 
his intellect, as we had seen it in calmer moments, utterly incapable : 

" Dost thou not suspect my place 1 Dost thou not suspect my 
years 1 that he were here to write me down an ass ! But, 
masters, remember, that I am an ass ; though it be not written down, 
yet forget not that I am an ass. No, thou villain, thou art full of 
piety, as shall be proved upon thee by good witness. I am a wise 
fellow ; and, which is more, an officer ; and, which is more, a house- 
holder ; and, which is more, as pretty a piece of flesh as any is in 
Messina ; and one that knows the law, go to ; and a rich fellow 
enough, go to ; and a fellow that hath had losses ; and one that hath 
two gowns, and every thing handseme about him. Bring him away 
0, that I had been writ down an ass ! " 




(Read at the 55th Meeting of the Society, Nov. 14, 1879.) 

ITo attempt to explain Hebenon has, I believe, as yet been made, 
except by Dr Gry. And it was only when it was endeavoured at 
the close of last session to revive his theory, that I awoke to the 
knowledge that I had read and re-read the passage, and had never 
asked myself the question, What poison is this 1 

Omitting further notice of his other idea, that it may have been a 
transcriber's error, for all the quartos and folios agree in reading 
either Hebona or Hebenon, I pass on to his theory that He-be-non is 
a transliteration or anagram of Hen- or He-ne-bane. This is a mere 
conjecture devoid of any proof, rather contrary to all known facts. 
1. No one has met with another instance of this so-called translitera- 
tion. 2. It is not a transliteration, for o is not a, and in the case of 
Hebona, the first form, neither is a, e, and there is the loss of the 
second n. It is well known that the anagrammatisers of that time were 
tied to strict rules, even if we admit that some in desperate circum- 
stances found it necessary to transgress them. 3. Again, when such 
desperate circumstances happened to people of inferior ingenuity it 
was because they aimed at transposing a word or words into another 
word or other words that gave a known sense, generally an appropriate 
or flattering sense. But what could Shakspere have proposed to 
himself by changing Henbane, the name of a known poison, into an 
unmeaning jumble of syllables ? And why should he have thought it 
necessary in such a case to change a into o, &c. 1 In fact, I might 
with equal or better proof say that the transliteration of the old 


spelling "balme" shows that it is etymologically connected with 
" blame." 

But it is urged that Shakspere made similar transliterations 
for, as I have said, this cannot be called a true anagram in other 
instances. First, I reply that in these supposed instances the result- 
ing words are proper names which do not require to have a meaning. 
No one supposes that " William " forms " Will I am," except by an 
accidental coincidence. Secondly, I deny the fact that Shakspere 
can be shown in any one of his writings to have used, not anagrams, 
but any such anagrammatic changes. Take Caliban, said by some to 
be an anagram of Canibal. Sycorax was the only human being with 
him from his infancy for an unknown number of years. He never 
seems to have attempted to gratify what must have been an innate 
propensity, and kill, and cook I beg Shakspere's pardon and eat 
her. Nor is a hint given us that he made his belly her tomb, when 
she died a natural death. Neither, though he thought Miranda a 
dainty bit after a different fashion, did he, so far either as we learn 
or can by probability judge, attempt to kill and devour her or 
Prospero. Neither, when he incites Stephano to his murder, have we 
any gloatings of his own as to the savouriness of the pie he'll make, 
nor of the toothsomeness of his bones. Caliban is gluttonous 
enough, but his ideas of tit-bits are very different. 

" I'll show thee the best springs ; I'll pluck thee berries ; 
I'll fish for thee, 

I pr'ythee, let me bring thee where crabs grow ; 
And I with my long nails will dig thee pig-nuts ; 
Show thee a jay's-nest, and instruct thee how 
To snare the nimble marmoset ; I'll bring thee 
To clust'ring filberts, and sometimes I'll get thee 
Young scamels from the rock." 1 

In fine, Caliban is supposed by these ingenious theorists to have 

1 Mr Dyce indeed asks, " Did Caliban mean that his new friend should eat 
1 the nimble marmoset ' ? " To this I first ask, what other item of this catalogue 
was not meant to be eaten ? Secondly, I affirm that had Mr Dyce been a 
sensual brutish animal, only partiall}*- human in birth and shape, and were he 
debarred from all other wingless flesh, he would, like Caliban, have answered 
Prospero with, " I must eat my dinner," even had dinner only consisted of 
roast marmoset. 


derived his name from a practice of which he neither could have had 
the slightest experience, nor towards which he by his words and 
actions evinces the faintest tendency. It only remains for them to 
assert, that Shakspere, by transliterating Canibal into Caliban, meant 
to show us that he differed from a Canibal ! 

A second Shaksperian transliteration has lately been discovered. 
Sycorax, it has been found, was formed from " Sorcerer." But as this 
gives Sy , or rather Secorer, the masculine ending " er " was changed 
into the feminine "ax." Passing by these little discrepancies, and 
the fact that the most acute hearer of riddles could not have dis- 
covered this unless it were first explained by its author, I will accept 
it when it is agreed that this nineteenth century after Christ has 
discovered, what was undiscovered by the subtle Ulysses, that Ajax 
was, as shown by his name, a bouncing Amazon ; also, when it is 
allowed that Hector in Astyanax deceived the Greeks and all 
ancients, medisevals and moderns, and that he was in reality a girl, a 
discovery made through the fact that the father, when he changed 
her clothes, omitted, like the dull-pated Ajax, to change her name ; 
also that Astyanissa is but a variant form. Lastly, when it is 
established that all crows (as evidenced by the name corax) were 
supposed in Rome, before Pliny's ' Natural History,' to be females, 
and bred in a manner peculiar to themselves. 

But enough of these things. It only remains to add, 4, that the 
effects of Henbane, either as ascertained now or as believed in in Shak- 
spere's days, are as perfectly distinct from those assigned to Hebenon 
as the effects of one poison can be from those of another. I would 
add, that the effects of Henbane, the Insana radix, were so well known 
that had Shakspere attempted to describe them as those of his 
Hebenon he would have been mercilessly laughed at by any audi- 
ences who had the slightest pretensions to learning, and by the 
critical Jonson, who about that time was sneering at and ridiculing 
Ophelia for having, even at her maddest, so much as thought of a 

Before concluding our criticisms on this theory it may be as well 
to say a few words on a point on which much unnecessary stress has 
been laid; not, however, that it was unnecessary to those in dire 


want of a plausible argument to support their imaginings. It has 
been said that Shakspere here copied Pliny's statement as to Henbane 
dropped into the ear. Now, first, it being a mediaeval notion, as 
evidenced by Shakspere himself, that the ear-opening led directly to 
the brain, what necessity is there that only Henbane, and no other 
poison juice, should be so used 1 Secondly, Pliny speaks not of the 
juice, but of an oil from the seeds, and it is not Shakspere's usage to 
alter thus unnecessarily the words he borrows. Thirdly, Pliny does 
not say that it kills much less that it kills after the fashion of 
Hebenon but merely that it "is enough to trouble the brain," a 
phrase readily understood by those who from Latin times to Shak- 
spere's called it "the insane root." Fourthly, whatever Pliny may 
have thought, it was well-known in Elizabethan days that Henbane 
juice dropped into the ear was useful against ear-ache. 

The supposition, therefore, perforce, reduces itself to this that 
Hebenon is (almost) formed of the same, but the anagrammatised 
letters of Henbane, while at the same time the known properties of 
Henbane were in accordance therewith, anagrammatised or changed 
into the new and unknown properties of Hebenon. I therefore con- 
clude by saying, and it is saying a good deal, that a more baseless 
conjecture, and one more contrary to known facts, has never been 
propounded on a Shakspere passage. 

It then became necessary to seek some other Hebenon or Hebona. 
The words at once suggested the Latin Hebenum, they being, at first 
sight, like our English "Hebene," merely its Anglicised forms. 
Secondly, both suggest a connection with the German Eiben, the 
Dutch Ipen, Iben, or Hennen, the Swedish Eben, the Norwegian and 
the Danish Heben the Yew. The facts, that the Ebony is an innocu- 
ous nutriment-giving tree, and that, despite its blackness, no trace can 
be found in either ancient or modern times of its being in any way 
noxious to health, or other than useful medicinally, at once cast aside 
the supposition that Ebony was meant. But the Yew was accounted, 
from ancient times, the most deadly of poisons. With the omission 
of a phrase, afterwards to be more particularly referred to, I quote 
from Holland's Pliny, 1. 16, c. x. p. 463 "The Yugh ... it is to 
see to like the rest, but that it is not so green [of course lie means 


that it is of a sadder or less bright green], more slender also and 
smaller, unpleasant and fearefull to looke upon * * * without any 
liquid substance at all : ... the fruit of the male is hurtful : for the 
borries, in Spain especially, have in them a deadly, poison. And 
found it hath been by experience, that in France, the wine bottles 
made thereof for wayfaring men and travellers, have poisoned and 
killed those that drunke out of them. Sestius saith .... that 
in Arcadia it is so venomous that whosoever take either repose or 
repast under it, are sure to die presently \i. e. immediately]. And 
hereupon it cometh that those poisons wherewith arrow heads be 
invenomed, after some were called in times past Taxica which we 
now name Toxica." Caesar tells us that a Gaulish king in his time 
poisoned himself with yew juice ; and Virgil recommends that it be 
not planted near bees. Bartholome and Batman report similar things 
to Pliny, and in the "addition" Batman says, "Yew is altogether 
veiiemous and against man's nature." Bauhin (died 1624), giving a 
contemporary practice, says of impostors, " Qui morbos simulant pul- 
vere Taxi adeo cutim ulcerant, ut miserabiles ac fere deplorati homines 
appareant." And Dioscorides de lethalibus, quoted by Bauhin, says, 
" [Taxus] frigiditatem totius corporis inducit suffocationeinque ac 
celerem mortem." Others of those times follow them, merely occa- 
sionally admixing a little more to the same effect, and occasionally a 
suggestion of the innocency of the berries, either always or at certain 
times. Other herb-eating animals were also supposed to escape the 
deadly effects produced on the Euminants by the leaves and juice. 

Thus the Yew was universally considered a most deadly poison. 
It remains to show that the Yew was considered an Hebenus or 
Hebenon. And first, it may be as well to show that Hebenum or 
Ebenus was applied in mediaeval times to various trees. In the 
Prompt. Parv. the Awbell or ebelle tre [generally supposed to be the 
aspen] is Ebonus, or, according to another reading, Ebenus. The 
myrtillus of Crete was also called an Ebenus, and so was the West 
Indian Guiacum. Littre also gives the Bignonia Leucoxylon as one, 
and under the designation Fausse Ebene, the Cytise Laburnum, and 
the Cytise des Alpes. If now we look to the forms Eiben, Heben, 
&c., in the German, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish, these 


names for the Yew seem also to have been derived from Ebenus. 
But whether this be the case or not, the rnedisevals confounded the 
two, partly, it may be, from this similarity of name, partly from the 
statement of Theophrastus : " Taxum . . . earn quidem quern in 
Arcadia nasci nigro et puniceo, quae in Monte Ida flavo atque cedro 
siraili." Thus Val. Cordus, in his annotations on Dioscorides, 1551, 
says under Taxus, . . . . " venenum est . . . . Est autem Taxus arbor 
sine dubio ea quam nos ein Eiben vocamus, e cnjus ligno adhuc arcus 
et scorpiones fiunt, quos optimos ex Taxo fieri autores tradunt. Hi 
autem maxime errant qui Eiben Ebenum esse credunt, sola nominis 
similitudine decepti." And again under Ebenus, ** Porro illi maxime 
errant qui Ebenum putant earn esse arborem, quae a Germanis ein 
Eibe vocatur." So also Bauhin, referring to these passages, " Merit<5 
eos notat Cordus, qui Ebenum putant earn esse arborern, quae Ger- 
manis Ein Eyben (Taxus) vocatur." And in the margin he, speak- 
ing of the Taxus, has, " Ebenus non est." 

From these passages it is clear that the two trees had been, and 
apparently had been not uncommonly, confounded. Let us now 
inquire whether this confusion extended to England. In Marlowe's 
; Jew of Malta ' we have, in Act III., Hebon named with the direst 
poisons. Barabas, venting imprecations on his daughter whom he is 
about to poison, cries .... 

" In few, the blood of Hydra, Lerna's bane, 
The juice of liebon, and Cocytus breath, 
And all the poisons of the Stygian pool, 
Break from the fiery kingdom, and in this 

[the poisoned broth] 
"V omit your venom and envenom her." 

Here hemlock, a much more potent poison than henbane, and opium 
are apparently omitted as too weak. 

Spenser again has "heben" three times. The Introduction to 
the ' Eaerie Queen ' has 

" Faire Venus sonne .... 
Lay now thy deadly Heben bow apart 
And with thy mother niylde come to mine ayde ; " 

and here I would remark that deadly must be an epithet of " Heben " 


and not of the " bow," for neither was Cupid's bow " deadly," nor is 
there any thing in this Introduction to show that Spenser either 
thought or feigned to think it " deadly." Again, in B. IV. c. vii. 
st. 52, describing Mammon's garden as 

" Of direfull deadly black, both leaf and bloom 
Eitt to adorne the dead, and deck the drery toombe," 

he continues, 

" There mournf ull Cypresse grew in greatest store, 
And trees of bitter gall, and Heben sad," 

where the epithet sad again almost identifies it with the Yew, this 
having been so-called since Pliny's time, both from its dismal hue, 
and from its appropriation (perhaps from its hue and appearance) 
to churchyards. Thirdly, in B. II. c. viii. st. 17, Arthur is thus 
described : 

" Till that they spyde where towards them did pace 
An armed knight, of bold and beauteous grace, 
Whose squire bore after him an heben launce 
And coverd shield." 

Not to speak of the absurdity of supposing that an English poet of 
classical education armed a Greek god and a British Prince with a 
bow and spear of Indian or Ethiopian wood, I would note that none 
could have been chosen by a soldier poet more unfit for a bow than 
Ebony from its brittleness and want of pliability, and none, from 
these qualities and its weight, more unfit for a lance. And, by the 
way, as to Heben being Henbane, think of Spenser making Cupid's 
bow and Arthur's spear of Henbane stalks. But what wood have 
we just heard is, and have always known to be, most fit for bows and 
other weapons, and what wood would necessarily at once recur to an 
Elizabethan Englishman, himself a man of war, but the yew 1 Each 
passage contains its own distinct proofs, and it is right to add that 
Aldis Wright had long ago, and I believe quite irrespective of this 
Hamlet argument, placed " yew " opposite " heben " in his copy of 

I now quote from a third Englishman who appears to give the 
same form to the yew, though perhaps a little corrupted by the 


printer. In Dolarny's [J. Raynold's] ' Primerose,' 1606, p. 118 (Dr 
Grosart's reprint), he, speaking of the ancient Britons, says, 

''Their weapons were of Ibeame, witch, and thorne, 
Some had a skeane," &c. 

"Will the supporter of Hebenon as the equivalent of Ebony suppose 
that this author was so devoid of sense as to introduce an Indian 
wood, in his own time but little known in England, and depict the 
savages of these isles as making their rude weapons of witch and 
thorn, but firstly and mainly of Ebony ? Do we not arrive almost 
by a train of exclusion or of exclusive reasoning that this can only 
be the yew, bearing in mind that for this yew neighbouring people 
used the same and similar words, and that the yew had been from 
that time to then the English weapon-making tree 1 

I now pass on to two rather curious coincidences. The 1603 
quarto of Hamlet, that which, as I believe, Shakspere wrote in 1600, 
has " Ebona " simply. Holland's ' Pliny ' was not published till that 
year, being entered in the Stat. Regs, on the 20th May, 1600. 
Shakspere, then a stroller in the country on account both of the 
inhibition and the success of the young eyasses, could hardly have 
seen so high-priced and bulky a volume. But by 1602, the date I 
take it of the version published in 1604, Shakspere was back in 
London, and had enlarged the play " to almost as much againe as it 
was." Now Holland had translated Pliny's Taxus, . . . tristis et 
dira, by " unpleasant and fearefull to looke upon, a cursed tree," he 
evidently remembering that it was not only sad in hue and deadly 
venomous, but, as it were, dedicated to death, and a tree of which, 
according to Statius, the torches of the Furies were made. Shakspere, 
then, in his 1602 version, used the phrase "cursed Hebenon." A 
second coincidence lies, I think, in the phrase, " it is against man's 
nature " a sort of stock phrase found in Batman, and attributed by 
the dictionary writers, though, so far as I know, wrongly, to Pliny ; so 
stock a phrase that we find in TEcluse " venemeux et contraire a la 
nature humaine." But we find in Shakspere this cursed Hebenon as 

ne ' whose effect 

Holds such an enmity with blood of man 
That," &c. 


Let us now consider the effects of the two poisons, though on this, 
knowing so little of the reputed effects of the yew, one can speak less 
definitely than could be wished. The effect of the juice chosen by 
Shakspere was intended to be such as should be speedy and quiet, 
and such as should simulate those supposed to be produced by a 
serpent's bite. Death from this latter cause was held to be often 
preceded by patches on the skin. Hence Shakspere had to choose 
and describe a poison which should, in its reputed effects, produce 
some show of resemblance to this, or at least choose one whose effects 
were so unknown that he could ascribe such effects to it. Now 
of yew very little was reported except that it was most deadly. 
But the following may have given him the thought. Suetonius on 
Claudius, c. 16, says, that he set forth 20 edicts in one day, one being 
" nihil seque facere, ad viperse morsum quam Taxi arboris succum ; " l 
and he would have this further reason that it is a tree which affects 
cold and northern climates, and one therefore suitable to the scene, 
besides being more readily obtainable than a poison obtained from an 
apothecary or mountebank, and without danger of betrayal. There 
was some difference of opinion as to the action of yew. Besides 
producing fever, some said it produced also diarrhoaa, and in Bauhin 
we find, " Nos vero nullum fide dignum autorem legimus, qui 
scripserit Taxum vim adstrictoriam vehementer habere." Here we 
not improbably have the curdling, &c., spoken of by Shakspere, a 
corrupting of the blood which, according to the science of that day, 
produced leprous diseases. Also in J. Sylvester ('The Furies/ 1. 180) 
we have " blood-boiling Yew," a phrase which may refer to its fever- 
producing effects, but may also refer to its blood-curdling properties, 
since the effect of boiling is to solidify or, as we might say, to curdle 
the blood. More particularly as to the skin disease Barth. and 
Batman say, "The substance thereof [of the Yew] keepeth [Barth. 
servat] the evill that is called Ignis Gh-cecus that it shall not quench 
as Dioscorides afiirmeth and sayth." I have not yet found the passage 
in Dioscorides, nor am I able to say what the Greek fire specifically 

1 I am aware that the "Farmers" will laugh at Shakspere consulting 
Suetonius, but if I have any knowledge of his character, he was not above 
asking questions of those better informed. 


was ; but it was a skin disease, and that was sufficient for Shakspere's 

It remains to answer a question which must occur to every one 
in this nineteenth century: Why did Shakspere use " Hebenon " 
instead of the more common "yew" 1 ? First, Hebon and Heben 
were used by Marlowe and Spenser, his predecessors, while its use by 
Raynolds after 1602 shows that it was a not uncommon name, at 
least in poetry. Secondly, he not improbably used it because some 
doubts had been expressed as to the poisonous quality of the yew 
berry, which made it less expedient to use that word. Thirdly, I 
think that Shakspere was well acquainted with that old proverb and 
its advantages, " Onme ignotum pro miraculo all that is unknown 
is wonderful." 

In conclusion, I admit that I have not been able to give any one 
single and direct proof of the assertion that Hebenon is yew ; but I 
would say that it has been shown that the only other hypotheses 
that have yet been advanced, 1. that it is henbane; 2. that it is 
Ebony, have neither of them a leg, not even a wooden one, to 
stand upon. And secondly, that my proposition is so far proved by 
the concurrence of probabilities, amounting at times to almost perfect 
proofs, that it can stand till more decisive proofs of some other 
Hebenon be found; and I would thus summarize my lines of 
argument : 

(a) That, anciently and medisevally, the yew was considered the 
most deadly poison known. 

(b) That the term Ebenus was mediaevally applied to different 
trees, including the yew. 

(c) That the names of the yew in five languages still bear witness 
to the fact, that if it was not derived from Ebenus it led to its 
confusion with it. 

(d) That in English, Marlowe, Spenser, and Eaynolds, used 
Heben in senses which can only be predicated of yew. 

(e) That in the epithets " cursed " and " at enmity with blood of 
man," Shakspere has but copied phrases contemporaneously applied 
to the Yew, and, so far as can be found, to no other tree. 

(/) That the effects of Hebenon do not at all tally with the 


effects known or supposed of any other poison. But that to the 
Yew some similar effects were attributed, notably that of causing a 
skin disease, and that the real effects of yew were so little known 
that Shakspere could with impunity indulge in such latitude of 
description as suited his purpose. 1 

1 I would add, that Shakspere's noting of the curdling of the blood may 
have been due, not to the "vis adstrictoria " attributed by some to the yew, 
but to some of the medical theories then prevalent as to the mode of produc- 
tion of skin diseases generally, or of some in particular. 

It might also be worth observing, that the effects of yew are as little 
known now as then. It is generally believed that yew berries are innocuous, 
yet persons who come from yew-growing districts maintain the reverse, and 
cases are still reported, one in 1379, and I think in a ' Medical Journal,' where 
a child is reported to have died, after having eaten yew berries the day before. 
The question of their poisonous quality, as well as that of yew leaves, &c., &c., 
deserves investigation. [I have eaten the viscous flesh of some hundreds of 
ripe yew-berries in different autumns, and so have my wife and boy. We 
always have a feed on em when we see em. F. J. F.] 

avoid, vb. get rid of. Troilus fy Cress., II. ii. 65, " viii. sad and 
discreet persons . . . shall haue power and authority by vertue of this 
act, to appoint and assigne by their discretions the owners of the said 
fishgarths, stakes, piles, and other engins, to auoid and pull vp, or cause 
to be auoided, and pulled vp . . . such and as much of the said fish- 
garthes, piles, stakes, heckes, and other engines, which then by their 
discretions shall be thought expedient, meet, and conuenient to be 
auoyded and pulled vp." 1532. (Stat. 23 Hen. VIII., cap. 18, ed. 
Pulton, 1636, p. 526.) 

habiliments of ivar, Eichard II., I. iii. 28. Pioner, Hamlet, I. v. 
163. " Be it enacted by the authority of this present Parliament, That 
if any person or persons, hauing at any time hereafter the charge or 
custody of any Armour, Ordnance, Munition, Shot, Powder, or habil- 
lements of wane, of the Queens Maiesties, her heires or successors, 
or of any victuals prouided for the victualling of any Souldiers, Gun- 
ners, Mariners, or Pioners, shall, for any lucre or gaine, or wittingly, 
aduisedly, and of purpose, to hinder or impeach her Maiesties seruice, 
imbesill, piuioyne, or conuey away any the same Armour, Ordnance, 
Munition, Shot, or Powder, habiilements of warre or victualls, to 
the value of twenty shillings at one or seuerall times : that then 
euery such offence shall be iudged felony, and the offender and 
offenders therein to be tryed, proceeded on, and suffer as in case of 
felony." 1589. A 31 Eiiz. cap. iv. Pulton's Statutes, 1636, p. 1173. 

"Myfoote my Tutor ?" (The Tempest, I. iv. 469). In Notes 
and Queries (5 Ser. xi. 363) was -given an example of this expres- 
sion from Homily 33, whence Shakspere may not improbablv have 
drawn Prospero's phrase. I now give a second example from J. Day's 
Tie of GuUj 1606. Demetas says to his attendant 

32 SCRAPS. Purchase; Putter out of 5 for 1. 

" But gods me, Manasses, goe tell the Duke I must speake 
with him. 

Manas. Presently Sir, [ Aside] He go fetch the head to 
giue the foote a posset : " Sig. B 2. 

From these two examples, we may, I think, infer that this 
attacked phraseology was both understood and known. B. N. 

Purchase, v.t. obtain, get. L. L. Lost, III. 27. "That an oyle may 
be drawne or gotten out of any woodde : take the small chyppes of 
eyther the Guiacum, the Pyne tree, the Ashe, or lumper tree, which 
ordered by two pottes, distyll after by discention [descent] (as afore 
was taught) or happily l as you know, and you shall purchase with- 
out doubte oyle abundantly " The newe Jewell of Health ... by that 
excellent Doctor Gesnerus . . . Faithfully corrected, and published 
in Englishe, by George Baker, Chirurgian . . 1576. f. 167 vers. 

Here it equals ' obtain.' It seems to me also the best example I 
know that the thieves' cant ' purchase ' is not a jocular modification 
of meaning, but a known usage applied to a particular use. A 
transitional use of the noun ' purchase ' is to be found in Rich. 
III., III. vii. 187, for both the speaker and subject forbid the sup- 
position that it is there through thieves' slang. B. N. 

Purchase, sb. getting, pursuit and acquisition. 0^7?., II. iii. 9. 
The king's daughters go in charge of Dametas to the king's stag- 
hunt : 

" Dame. Sweet, Ladies, to sane you the expence of much breath 
which must be laid out in the purchase of the game, I haue pro- 
uided you this stand, from whence your eyes may be commaunders 
of the sporte." J. Day. The He of Guls, 1606. Sig. C 2, v. B. N. 

Putter out of 5 for 1. The Tempest, III. iii. 48. (See Schmidt, 
Shaksp, Lexicon.} 

" Gon[zalo]. Each putter out of five for one, will bring us good 
warrant of.-" Temp., III. iii. 48. Since Malone, most editors have 
adopted " one for five." Doubtless this latter is the correct and pre- 
sent mode of expressing Gonzalo's meaning. But that the Folio form 
was the phraseology of Elizabethan times, seems shown by the follow- 
ing. Dametas, a king's favourite, and covetous upstart in J. Day's He 
of Guls (1606), counting his unhatched chickens, says "He put 
out one million to use after the rate of seuen score to the hundreth 2 : " 
Sig. G 3. That is, he, the " putter out," would in reality put out one 
hundred to be repaid at the rate of one hundred and forty. B. N. 

1 This shows that the ' happily ' of the Ff noted and changed by some 
editors to 'haply,' when disyllabic (see Schmidt, i. oil, col. 2), is but a 
variant spelling, not an error. 

2 Just our 'at the rate of HO per cent.' The only difficulty is in the old 
use of of (five for one) for l for, at the rate of:' Each putter out [of money] 
for, at the rate of, 5 returnd for 1 lent. See Abbott's instances of of = for, 
Sh. Gram. p. 115. F. 




(Read at the VJth Meeting of the Society, Friday, Jan. 23, 1880.) 

THIRTY years ago, Professor Wilson announced in l Blackwood's 
Magazine ' 1 an " astounding discovery " which he had made with 
regard to Shakspere's treatment of the element of time in Macbeth, 
and, more particularly, in Othello. A Mr Halpin, about the same 
time, made the same discovery as to the Merchant of Venice, and 
published an essay on the subject which, though whimsical and 
inaccurate to a degree, yet pointed out important facts which before 
its publication had been overlooked. 

Strangely enough, these contributions to Shakspere-criticism seem 
to have attracted but little attention, and until last year had borne, I 
believe, no fruit. At length, however, the method of examination 
applied by Wilson and Halpin to these three plays has been extended 
to all their fellows, both by Mr P. A. Daniel, in the Transactions of 
the New Shakspere Society, and by the Cowden Clarkes in their 
' Shakspere Key.' Mr Daniel's Work is one of the highest value, as 
it gives accurately, and in a most clear and compact way, the time 
supposed to elapse from beginning to end, and from scene to scene, 
of every one of Shakspere's plays; while the Cowden Clarkes 
though less complete, and far less ingenious in their arrangement 
have the advantage given by their scientific boldness in at once 
accepting a theory which converts a mass of disconnected and 
puzzling details into so many corroborative proofs of one brilliant 
and comprehensive scheme. 

What this scheme was, and what proof we have that Shakspere 
followed it, I will presently show ; but first a word or two upon the 

1 Dies Boreales, V, VI, VII (184950). N. Sh.'s Trans. 1875-6-7-9, A 
N. S. SOC. TEANS., 1880-2. D 


importance of this element of time in plays generally much under- 
rated by literary critics, who have little knowledge of the actual stage. 

Johnson says that he cannot tell whether Shakspere had ever 
heard of the famous " unities " of the theatre, so rigorously observed 
by the classical French dramatists ; but adds, with his usual sturdy 
sense, that at all events our poet, did very well without them. He 
easily shows the absurdity of confining the action of every play to 
four-and-twenty hours, its scene to one place ; but I think he over- 
looks the genuine foundation in nature of the rules which had been 
narrowed into a conventional formality. If you can so carry on your 
action that, after the first demand upon the imagination of an audi- 
ence after they have agreed to suppose themselves, say, in Athens, 
two thousand years ago they shall be no further reminded that 
what they are seeing is an artificial thing, this is well : every such 
interruption as a request to imagine that since the last scene a year 
has passed is sure to break for a while their flow of feeling. Take 
an extreme example : for the first three acts of the Winter's Tale, 
the whole play centres in Leontes after the sixteen years' interval, 
who cares two pins about him 1 

Yet a story which should develope many incidents, and show the 
whole range of many characters, in one brief day, must almost 
always seem unlifelike and wanting in dignity. Years are needed 
to show the full nature of a Macbeth; months, at the least, the 
strength and weakness of a Lear. Nature will not be hurried to 
suit Corneille and Racine, will hardly dance in fetters even at the 
bidding of Moliere. Both the classical and realistic systems, if rigor- 
ously interpreted, are defective : art is necessary, but its concealment 
is necessary also. Some middle course, if such could be found, would 
be a blessing to dramatists. 

Shakspere found such a course, says Wilson: by accident, or 
otherwise. Impossible as it may seem, he used both systems at 
once, in the same play though his unity of time had the sensible 
limit of a few days, not of the formal twenty-four hours. In Othello, 
Mr Daniel clearly shows us, the whole action is begun and ended in 
three days, with a brief interval for the voyage between Venice and 
Cyprus; and yet, Professor Wilson as clearly proves, there are a 


hundred touches, allusions, and direct statements quite at variance 
with this, which show that the married life of Othello and Desdemona 
lasted for weeks, if not for months. And in Macbeth the case is 
almost stronger ; the scenes are so connected that they can fill only 
nine days, with perhaps a brief day or so of marching between and 
yet the whole of Macbeth's dreary reign of bloodshed is passed in 
review. Above all in the plays founded on English history is this 
noticeable : but of these hereafter. 

This, then, was the discovery which Professor Wilson, not without 
reason, pronounced astounding : that in two of Shakspere's plays 
and, we may now add, in practically all the rest the notes of pass- 
ing time are so conflicting, so absolutely irreconcilable, that it is easy 
to prove that a given tragedy covers only two or three days, while 
at the same time it contains passages which indicate unmistakably 
the lapse of months or years between its first scene and its last. 
This double-time system, as Wilson calls it, is so bold a cutting of 
the Gordian knot, a solution of the opposing difficulties of the 
classical and realistic rules, that one cannot wonder at his hesitation 
in accepting it as intentional on Shakspere's part when there were 
but two plays for him to argue from. When, however, one finds the 
same plan carried out, more or less fully as there was more or less 
need for it, in every tragedy, comedy, and history written by Shak- 
spere with the natural and logical exception of the five hours' farce, 
the Comedy of Errors the case is altered. 

And thus carried out it is, as the details collected by Mr Daniel 
have proved to us. In the comedies, almost every scene is connected 
with that which follows, either by immediate consecution of time, or 
by some such statement in the former scene as " To-morrow we will 
meet," or, in the latter, as " The business we talked on yesterday "- 
such indications of time forming what Halpin calls the " accelerating 
series," Wilson the "short time" notes. Yet there are also always 
some signs of a " protractive series," some notes of " long time ; " 
though these as is natural in the slight framework of comedy are 
only sufficient to give some lifelikeness, some reality, to the story. 
Still, in the Merchant of Venice, we are carried on as if by magic 
from end to end, with no conscious pause or lapse of time, and never- 

D 2 


theless in our day or two at Belmont three months have glided by. 
It is like the old fairy legend of the man who spent a day in an 
enchanted island, and came back to find his children grandfathers. 

And this illustration, as I implied, is fulfilled even better by the 
tragedies. There the hurry of passion is needed to sweep us along 
one must not have days and weeks for purposes to cool in and yet 
one needs the historic breadth of time, and months and years for the 
growth and change of character. Murder must eat into the nature of 
the murderer, ingratitude break down a powerful mind : and this is 
true above all in Shakspere, who seems to set before us a whole man, 
and his whole life, rather than the few " sensational " scenes of his 
career pulled together by main force. We are conscious of no gaps, 
we do not seem to have missed anything : yet the scenes have rushed 
by on the swift wings of hours, not with the tardy pace of years. 

But for the histories how is it with them ? When I took up 
this subject, as undecided about it as Wilson left his hearers, I must 
confess that I looked for proofs almost entirely to the tragedies. 
Comedy-plots, as I have said, seldom need any breadth of time ; and 
in histories it would seem that all one could ask of the dramatist 
must be a series of striking scenes, connected chiefly by the presence 
of some principal character in most of them, and by our knowledge 
of the events narrated or implied. 

To my astonishment, it was in Shakspere's histories that I found 
the proof, which appears to me irrefutable, of his consistent employ- 
ment of a system of double time. The one element which gives 
coherency to the unparalleled series of plays in which he has drama- 
tised his country's history is a rough unity of time a connection 
which carries us on, with hardly a break, from scene to scene, and 
act to act, not merely through entire plays, but through a body of 
consecutive and united histories, which in effect form but one vast 
drama in forty acts. 

"From Richard II. to the end of Richard III. eighty-seven years 
pass away nearly a century of our country's life is set bodily before 
us, with a completeness approaching that of Holinshed or Hall : a 
feat absolutely without precedent upon the stage never before or 
since attempted almost, one would have thought, an impossibility. 


The eight plays Richard II., Parts 1 and 2 of Henry IV., Henry 
V., Parts 1,2, and 3 of Henry F/.,and Richard III. form a series, 
too uninterrupted to be an accidental one. I do not mean that when 
the first of them, whichever it was, was written, all the others were 
foreseen ; but that the later ones were fitted on to the earlier, so that 
they carried on the story without intermission in each play it is 
either taken up exactly where it left off, or the brief intervening 
period is accounted for in the first lines of the first scene. Richard II. 
ends with Henry's announcement of his intention to go to the Holy 
Land; as the curtain rises on Henry IV. he repeats it, with the 
acknowledgment that he has been delayed a twelvemonth in carrying 
it out. This play ends with Henry V.'s coronation and first gracious 
deeds : the next begins with a recapitulation of them, and then shows 
the young king promptly acting on his father's dying advice, to dis- 
tract the nation from home troubles by wars abroad. The chorus 
which concludes Henry V. announces that at his death he left his 
son imperial lord of France ; the first scene of Henry VI. shows us 
his funeral. The three parts of this play over, we proceed without 
the briefest intermission to Richard III. : and the connection be- 
tween the two pieces is so curious, and the whole of the last-named 
play so striking an example of the double-time system, that I cannot 
better illustrate my theory than by citing them, and giving all the 
notes of long and short time throughout Richard III. very often in 
Mr Daniel's words. 

" The connection of this with the preceding play," he says, " in 
point of time is singularly elastic : not a single day intervenes, yet 
years must be supposed to have elapsed. The murder of Henry YI. 
is but two days old his unburied corse bleeds afresh in the presence 
of the murderer; yet the battle of Tewkesbury took place three 
months ago " (let me point out that Shakspere made Henry's 
murder take place on the night after this battle) " and, stranger 
still, King Edward's eldest son and only child, an infant in the 
nurse's arms in the last scene of the former play, is now a promising 
youth, with a forward younger brother, and a marriageable sister 
older than them both. Time, however, has stood still with the chief 
dramatis personce, and they now step forward on the new scene in 


much the same relative positions to each other as when in the last 
play the curtain fell between them and their audience." 

This sounds exceedingly absurd, thus stated in a dozen lines : as 
Shakspere has presented it, the inconsistencies artfully creeping in, 
separated by many scenes and much action, the effect is very different. 
Inconsistency No I. does not make its appearance till the play is two 
long scenes old : when Eichard, after winning the Lady Anne beside 
Henry's coffin, says that he stabbed her husband three months ago at 
Tewkesbury. Supposing even that the audience had seen Henry VI. 
played only the day before : who among them could so turn back 
his memory as to recollect that, three scenes before the end of that 
play, Richard had left the field of Tewkesbury, his brother had 
guessed that he would reach London in time "to make a bloody 
supper in the Tower," that he had actually done so, and this same 
night (it would seem) had killed King Henry, that Edward's corona- 
tion and disposal of his enemies and friends at the end of the war 
had followed at once upon this all being shown bodily to the audi- 
ence that Richard's plots and Clarence's arrest apparently had place 
the next day, and were followed without more than a few hours' 
pause by Henry's burial and Richard's long and successful pleading 
with Lady Anne ? It is true that we readers, examining the play 
line by line, find how event has followed event with the intermission 
only of a day or two : but what spectator would not feel that all 
these incidents must needs have taken time would not instinctively 
allot them, at the least, the interval mentioned by Richard : though 
the brilliant scene just ended would doubtless have so carried him 
away as to prevent his giving the slightest scrutiny to a passing chron- 
ological statement 1 

The rapid growth in years and number of King Edward's family 
" stranger still " though it seem to the analyst of dramatic time is 
still less noticeable to the ordinary theatre-goer. It is not till the 
very end of two exceedingly long acts, crammed with such incidents 
as the murder of Clarence and the death of the king himself, that 
the youngest of the children, the little Duke of York, is introduced : 
and even his coming is preluded, some scenes before, by the intro 
duction of two children of Clarence, so that the audience is used to 


seeing this generation of the house of York upon the stage. At the 
beginning of the next Act appears the young Prince of Wales, who 
has not been seen at all during this play, and is only recollected by 
spectators of the former play as a child in arms at the beginning of 
the reign of Edward IV., which reign is now ended. As for the 
marriageable daughter, she does not appear at all, and her hand is 
only asked of her mother by Eichard in the fourth scene of the fourth 
Act when so many of her family have died that she really might 
be any age. 

Thus these facts, whose occurrence yet makes the audience feel 
that some long time is elapsing, produce their effect imperceptibly : 
nothing is lost, while so much is gained by the unceasing rapidity of 
the action. How great this is I have partly shown. Henry, mur- 
dered before the end of the play which bears his name, is not buried 
till scene ii. of Richard III. finishes. In the first scene, Gloucester 
says that " Clarence has not another day to live," and his murder 
ends the Act, whose five scenes are thus inferentially compressed 
into four-and-twenty hours; while scene iii. is still more directly 
connected with its predecessors by the entrance of the queen lament- 
ing her husband's illness, already dwelt upon. This scene iii. is 
ended by the queen and her friends going to the king, while Richard 
despatches the murderers to dispose of Clarence : as, in scene iv., 
they do, and end the Act. There is no break, however, for Act II. 
begins with the interview between the king, the queen, and her 
partisans, already spoken of : as the curtain rises Edward has just 
effected a reconciliation between Rivers and Hastings and this by 
no means easy task (he calls it " a good day's work ") has just given 
reasonable time for the murder we have witnessed, the news of which 
is brought during the scene by Gloucester. The king goes, very ill ; 
and in the next scene the second of Act II. we are informed of 
his death ; and it is decided that the young Prince of Wales shall be 
immediately fetched from Ludlow to be crowned king. " It would 
be possible," says Mr Daniel, " to assign a separate day to this scene, 
and suppose it the morrow of the three preceding scenes : later than 
the morrow it can hardly be " but it seems more likely that it was 
the same day ; and scene iii. is evidently the next morning it shows 


us some citizens discussing the news of the king's death, which is so 
recent that it is not even known to be certain. 

And then Mr Daniel allows an interval for the journey to Ludlow, 
as in the next scene (which is laid in Westminster) we are told that 
the Prince of Wales has been fetched and is coming to London ; but 
here let me point out that, though of course a journey always implies 
an interval and often, in these pre-railway days, a pretty long one 
Shakspere, so careful to connect his scenes, never holds a journey 
to be an interval in the sense of a break or interruption to the story. 
More, instead of dividing scenes by a journey, he may be said iojoin 
them by it ; and this quite logically. If in scene i. we are in London, 
and a merchant says he must go to York on business, and in scene ii. 
we are at a hostelry in York, and, after a little talk between grooms 
and tapsters, our merchant comes in and asks for a room, we say, 
" Ah ! he said he was coming " and a feeling of continuity is estab- 
lished, not severed. The rapid progression of Shakspere's plays is thus 
aided by the movements of his people, although in exactly analysing 
their time we are obliged apparently to lengthen it by allowing every 
now and then an " interval for journey." 

To resume : the Prince of Wales is coming to London, and pro- 
bably next day, possibly the day after, he arrives : and this begins 
Act III. During scene i it is announced that Rivers, Grey, and 
Vaughan are to be executed at Pomfret Castle to-morrow thus giv- 
ing us the date of scene iii, wherein the execution takes place. 
Shakspere is always talking about to-morrow, or in three days, or 
on Thursday, or the next Sabbath : thus connecting his scenes, and 
giving them a great air of reality and definiteness. I think it might 
be proved that he mentions the days of the week more than all 
other dramatists together, who let time slip by in some vague stagey 
manner, and always make events happen on no particular day of the 
week, and arrange future meetings 'between their characters at such 
shadowy dates as " anon" or " another time." It is thus that Shak- 
spere's times are often impossible, but improbable, scarcely ever; 
and audiences which might be annoyed by improbabilities do not 
suspect impossibilities. 

To-morrow, then, is the date of scene iii., and a fortiori of scene 


ii., in which we are shown Buckingham and Hastings on their way 
to a council at the Tower; which council occupies scene iv., and 
results in the condemnation of Hastings to instant death death 
before the Duke of Gloucester's dinner ! Skipping to scene vi., we 
find that in it Hastings has been dead not five hours : which of 
course establishes the time of the intervening scene v., and this is in 
its turn connected with scene vii. by an appointment for a meeting 
at Baynard's Castle (where the latter scene passes) to take place on 
the current day. And " to-morrow," as usual, is here appointed for 
the next important event, the coronation of Eichard. 

The next Act begins, then, on what we find to be the seventh day 
which we have accounted for since the beginning of the play : 
Eichard is crowned, not a week could but the audience keep count 
of it after Henry's burial ! Yet history says that Edward had 
reigned twelve years ; and I dare say most spectators would readily 
believe that these had elapsed in the troublous time since the end of 
the last play. With regard to the actual scene now before us the 
first of Act IY. a difficulty has been raised which was perhaps hardly 
worth raising. Anne of Gloucester leads in Margaret Plantagenet, 
her niece and Clarence's young daughter : whom in the next scene 
Eichard proposes to get rid of by marrying her to some mean-born 
gentleman, a match which he makes up by scene iii. Considering 
that the " young daughter " might have been twelve or thirteen, and 
that for state reasons marriages were often made at such an age, I 
think that this is scarcely a point worth dwelling upon. 

In this first scene of Act IV. Dorset flees to join the Earl of Eich- 
mond in Brittany, and in the second the news of this flight is brought 
to Eichard ; they are thus immediately connected. In the former is 
the earliest intimation we have of the marriage of Anne with Eichard, 
though she speaks of it with the weariness and horror of a some time 
wedded wife ; in the latter he spreads a rumour of her illness, and in the 
very next scene announces that " Anne, my wife, hath bid the world 
good-night." This is short time with a vengeance ! In scenes ii. and 
iii. also is plotted and carried out without a day's delay the murder of 
the princes in the Tower ; though a touch of longer time is given by 
the pretty incident of Dighton and Eorrest finding the children in bed. 


And long time with a vengeance we have also in these same scenes : ' 
for at the end of scene ii. Buckingham determines to flee from 
London, and by the end of the consecutive scene iii. we find that he 
has got to Wales, has raised an army, "is in the field, and still his 
power increaseth ! " With " fiery expedition " Richard rushes out to 
get his men together, and in the next scene appears before the Tower 
with them 

And here in Act IV., scene iv. is repeated an indication of 
long time which I might have noticed on its first appearance, were it 
not difficult to say when that is. Queen Margaret, widow of Henry 
VI., appears : a " foul, wrinkled witch," we are told, a " withered hag," 
even in the early part of the play (Act I., scene iii.). Yet, as I have 
said, the Second and Third Parts of Henry VI. and Richard III. are 
all immediately consecutive ; and the very longest time which Mr. 
Daniel can make out for the Second Part of Henry VI. is, " at the 
outside, a couple of years " for the Third Part, " say a twelve- 
month" and for Act I. of Richard a day, or three months, which- 
ever you prefer : in all, but little over three years. Yet at the be- 
ginning of that Second Part she was Henry's young and lovely 
bride; and the audience, looking upon her now, quite feels that 
thirty years have passed since then, and is blissfully ignorant of their 

The important events of this fourth scene of Act IV. are Eichard's 
cajoling the queen into the promise of her daughter's hand, and the 
rapid arrival of a succession of messengers with the news that Rich- 
mond's fleet is on the western coast, that the Courtneys are in arms, 
that Buckingham's army is dispersed by sudden floods, that there is 
a rising in Yorkshire, that Richmond's fleet is dispersed by tempest, 
and himself en route for Brittany, that Buckingham is taken, and, 
lastly, that Richmond has landed at Milford. Richard starts with- 
out a moment's delay for Salisbury. Then comes a brief scene of 
twenty lines,, which appears to be on the same day ; and the next, 
and last, Act opens at Salisbury, whither Richard has gone, as he 
said. These scenes are therefore connected by the journey ; and the 
next scene is joined to them, though more loosely, by the statement 
that Richard has now reached Leicester. Thither Richmond starts 


with his army, announcing that it is but one day's march ; and as 
the next scene is laid about half-way that is to say, at Bosworth 
Field we may presume that it takes place on the same day. Thence- 
forward we are carried almost hour by hour through the night, to 
that morrow on which the Battle of Bosworth Field ends Eichard's 
reign and life. 

We have thus seen how the whole play is linked together, generally 
by definite statements of time, and brought into the compass of a 
few days : a small number of the scenes contain no precise note of 
time, but it is made quite clear that the intervals between them are 
extremely short, or they are, as I have pointed out, connected by 
journeys. This is the " short-time " of the play ; the " long-time " is 
indicated in every scene. We pass through two reigns, those of 
Edward and Richard, and each lasts sufficiently long for the mon- 
arch's character to become familiar to his subjects. Buckingham 
speaks to the citizens of their late king as one who had become 
notorious for his idle and luxurious habits ; Gloucester, he says 

" Is not an Edward. 
He is not lolling on a lewd day-bed, 
But on his knees at meditation ; 
Not dallying with a brace of courtesans," &c. 

And while Gloucester points out Edward's continual vices yet more 
clearly in the last Act Richmond speaks of Richard as notoriously a 
hated tyrant, as indeed is proved by the facility with which risings 
against him are got up all over the country. Indeed, as in Macbeth, 
history is given, if not ample, yet reasonable time to pass along with 
dignity, despite the way in which dinners and suppers, rising and 
going to bed, the ordinary landmarks of common life, link together 
the days and nights of the workers of history. 

Having analysed the time of this one play in great detail, I will 
pass at once to that of the series which it concludes : the eight 
histories covering the period from 1398 to 1485. Of these eighty- 
seven years, the intervals between the plays, as accounted for in the 
opening lines of Henry IV., Part 1, of Henry V., and of Henry VI. , 
Part 1, amount to about four. Thus eighty-three years are actually 
dramatised ; and, taking into account all the indications of long-time 


of the passing of reigns, the rise and fall of rival parties the 
spectator is made to feel that this great period does pass before 
him : that he does not see a few bits of it, but the whole. Yet so 
continuously are the scenes throughout interwoven that, taking all 
the indications of short time, every connecting link of day and hour, 
the most careful reader will find these half-a-dozen reigns compressed 
in some marvellous way into some four years and two months : l 
while if an intelligent spectator were asked, as the series of plays 
went along, his estimate of the length of each inter-scene (to coin a 
term), and these estimates were added together, they could not allow 
that the eighty-three years of History had occupied more than seven- 
teen stage-months ! 

Surely we may quote Wilson again, and call this an astounding 
discovery ; and surely we may look upon one doubt of his as solved. 
This double treatment of time is so constant, it is a means to so 
evident an end, that, be it true art or illegitimate trickery, it is at all 
events not accident. Had we, like Wilson, but a couple of plays to 
argue from, we could pronounce no opinion ; but when an audience 
at the Globe playhouse is carried with an admirable lightness and 
dexterity from end to end of all but a century, and only twice or 
thrice, between plays, is allowed to see a year pass by ; when like a 
series of dissolving views days melt into days, and a magician makes 
us unconsciously believe them to be years, or groups of years, we may 

1 Vide Mr Daniel. He gives as the " outside dramatic time " of 

Part 1 Henry IV. t 3 months. 

Part 2 Henry IV., 2 months. 

Part 2 Henry VI., 2 years (quite a year too much, I 

Part 3 Henry VI., 1 year. 

RicJiard III., 1 month. 

(Of RicJiard II., Henry V., and Part 1 Henry VI., he says that he cannot 
attempt to determine the length of some of the intervals ; but this is because 
he cannot reconcile himself to the fact that inconsistencies will be inconsistent. 
When as in the brief Welsh campaign in Richard II. scenes obviously 
follow each other closely, one may safely set down a rough estimate of the 
" short time " of the few indeterminate intervals. Working thus, we get ) 

Richard II., 40 days. 

Henry V., 5 months (4| between Acts IV. and V.). 
Part 1 Henry VI., 6 weeks. 
Total in eight plays, about 4 years and 2 months. 


safely swear that the trick implies a trickster that accident could 
never account for such extraordinary, and, dramatically speaking, 
such admirable results. And, for carelessness what man was ever, 
throughout a long series of works of art, a gainer by his own want of 
care 9 l 

And it is very noticeable to descend again from the whole to its 
p ar t s how if we take any single play it carries out our view. If it 
has a close and simple story, readily lending itself to stage purposes, 
there is little call for the employment of double-time ; and accord- 
ingly we find little of it. But when a scarcely dramatic plot has 
been used, we find the playwright's resources strained to the utmost 
to fit it for the stage. Take the most difficult problem ever set to 
Shakspere : it is solved by the most extraordinary employment of 
double-time. He had to dramatise Henry IV. : a reign containing 
nothing but a series of unsuccessful and unremarkable rebellions. 
True, the real object of the play is to show the youth of Prince Hal ; 
but as it is named Henry IV., and is fitted in exactly to its place in 
the series, Shakspere had to treat it as a history of the reign. To 
bind together its straggling scenes of risings and of battles, of Hot- 
spur and Glendower, he has set them in a comedy : but this comedy 
has no elaborate (and necessarily fictitious) plot, is itself merely a 
succession of scenes illustrating the youth of Henry V., bound 
together almost solely by the closest continuity of time we follow 
Falstaff and Hal from morning till night, almost from hour to hour. 

Here is contradiction indeed. These connected scenes are altern- 
ated with or say rather they frame, or brace together historical 
scenes parted by weeks at the least. Thus, in the First Part of Henry 
IV., between scene iii. of the first Act and scene iii. of the third, the 
affairs of Hotspur, Worcester, and the rest demand at least three or 
four weeks of interval ; but the two scenes are in a Falstaffian frame- 
work, and from his Act I. scene ii., which precedes, to his Act II. 
scene iv., which follows them, the details of the Gadshill robbery prove 

1 It may be as well to mention that it has been suggested that the inconsist- 
encies of Othello and, I suppose, of some thirty other plays are not due to 
the author, but are owing to their " corruption and mutilation for stage-pur- 
poses." (New Shakspere Society's Transactions, 1877-9, p. 231.) I think 
this theory may quite safely be left unrefuted. 


beyond question that not more than a day and a half elapsed. Thus 
three or four weeks are surrounded, are embraced, by thirty-six hours; 
and if Shakspere did not see the impossibility of this his powers of 
accurate observation must have been much over-rated especially as 
the system is carried through the whole play (except where now and 
then Falstaff merges into the main action), and its result is the 
dramatisation of an utterly undramatic reign. 

But, if an expert dramatist can thus overcome difficulties, he also 
sees them where to the uninstructed none appear. Shakspere 
dreaded a gap of time : he had not a printed playbill and elaborate 
scenery to help him to tell his story, and he strongly objected to 
making his characters enter and say to each other, " What, friend ! 
It is just two years since last we met. As you are well aware, King 
Edward has died in that period, and, as you also know, Richard has 
come to the throne " and so forth. Thus it is not merely in the 
Winter's Tale, with a gap of sixteen years, that he feels obliged to 
drop the dramatic form and come forward to apologise personally for 
the break in his story : even in such a case as Henry V. he saw the 
constant breaks between the really dramatic parts, and brought in a 
chorus to account for the pauses. Professor Delius has pointed out 
the art with which Shakspere uses the narrative method when it is 
preferable to the dramatic ; and from this employment of its extreme 
form we may deduce his exceeding dislike to obvious intervals. 

Before leaving the Histories, let me point out how curiously a 
double-time test would confirm the others which have been applied to 
Henry VIII. This play is cut up not to say ruined by three 
indeterminate intervals in its action : after Act III. scenes i. and ii., 
and Act IV. scene ii. ; and all these are due to Fletcher, taking the 
customary division of work between him and Shakspere ; the moment 
we get the latter back in the first scene of Act V. he is at his usual 
links of time : " to-morrow morning," he tells us, the next scene 
Cranmer's appearance before the Council is to be. 

Through the Tragedies I will not go ; each shows the system, as a 
reference to Mr Daniel's facts or, still better, to their grouping by 
the Cowden Clarkes will prove ; but no examples could be stronger 
than those chosen by Wilson (Othello and Macbeth), and these it 


would be presumption to touch after him. Especially fine is the 
way in which he proves, in his last paper on the subject, the impos- 
sibility of making Othello consistent in point of time, without 
entirely reconstructing, rewriting, and may we not say 1 ruining it. 
In the Comedies, as brevity is the soul of wit, long-time is far less 
necessary than short ; accordingly we find that in nearly all of them 
I do not count romantic dramas, comedies only in name, such as 
the Winter's Tale the action hardly pauses from end to end. Yet 
it is by double-time that elaborate stories like the Two Gentlemen of 
Verona are made to conform to this rapid flow : that, as has been 
said, Shylock's bond does not keep Portia's love a-waiting : that a 
touch of dignity is given, a feeling of hurry removed, in the wooing 
of Ferdinand and Miranda (Tempest, Act III. sc. i. 1. 33) : and 
that, while we are made to feel that all the story of the Midsummer 
Night's Dream is indeed but a vision of a single night for Act Y. 
is mere epilogue and not story yet a sort of restfulness, a dreamy 
stateliness, is in those lines of Hippolyta 

" Four days will quickly steep themselves in night ; 
Four nights will quickly dream away the time ; 
And then the moon, like to a silver bow 
New-bent in heaven, shall behold the night 
Of our solemnities." ' 

The Amazon maiden could not have spoken thus of one day. 1 

In the Comedy of Errors, and, naturally enough, in a few other 
plays, there are real undeniable mistakes, which serve no possible 
purpose, and can be nothing in the world but slips of memory. The 
Abbess, in the play just named, says that her twin-sons are thirty- 
two years old : they are demonstrably only twenty-five. But these 
things, I think, prove little or nothing. Like all other writers, Shak- 
spere made mistakes sometimes but probably not oftener than most 
others, if we disallow as mistakes those inconsistencies which cannot 
be remedied without loss. 

Indeed, I may go further than this. I will venture to say that 

1 In As You Like It, as once or twice elsewhere, Shakspere has availed him- 
self Mr Daniel points out of the novelist's privilege of actually going back 
in time, to knit up some thread left loose by the progress of the main story. 
The expedient seems allowable enough, once in a way, if delicately done. 


Shakspere was remarkably and exceptionally careful in the construc- 
tion of his plays more careful even than the great " stage poet," 
Massinger although he doubtless acted on Shenstone's golden rule 
of " Deliberate conception : rapid execution." How the opposite 
opinion ever got about it is difficult to say : the foolish statement 
that he " never blotted a line " is flatly contradicted by, for example, 
the two versions we possess of the Player King's speech in Hamlet 
the second deliberately made stilted and turgid to give a stagey effect 
to the play within a play. 

For the thing is evident. Shakspere was no prodigy, no lusus 
naturae, no commonplace man with an abnormal gift of writing plays. 
Leaving out their stage-qualities, his works prove him to have been 
a man of immense intellectual power, an unrivalled observer who 
remembered everything except, according to some critics, the scenes 
he was for the moment writing and who had a considerable know- 
ledge of almost every trade and profession. His position was soon a 
free one : for, whether or no the story be true that Southampton gave 
him once a thousand pounds equal to ten thousand of our money 
he plainly had a patron who could have procured him, while yet a 
young man, a fair start in any line of life. Yet this great man 
thought it worth his while to give his very best work to the drama : 
and are we to assume that this very best work consisted in every 
now and then sitting down for a few hours and dashing off a play, 
without preliminary thought or after-revision ? It is not thus King 
Lears are written. 

For the drama is absolutely the most difficult form of art though 
most people think it the easiest. A great poet and a great stage- 
mechanician combined are of all things the rarest : so there are fewer 
good plays than good pictures, good pieces of music, or even good 
cathedrals. Yet how the masters of other arts have worked feeling 
that though hard work is not genius, it is a necessary part of it : 
look at Beethoven's enormous knowledge of counterpoint, Eaffaelle's 
ceaseless study of anatomy. Those men only achieve great results 
who accept the primitive curse, who labour with the sweat of their 
brow; and I protest against thrusting Shakspere from the noble 
army of workers. 


His very imagination made careful prevision all the more necessary 
to him : for he saw his characters so vividly, they were such real 
men and women, that had he not planned out their course most 
strictly beforehand he would have shown too much of their lives 
not merely those incidents necessary to his play. Yet nothing is 
more remarkable in Shakspere than this conciseness and complete- 
ness of construction : every succeeding scene is a distinct step 
onwards in the plot. 

And, if we want to be sure of Shakspere's method of work, we 
cannot do better than look at him actually in the workshop : not 
creating beings of his own, but improving, dovetailing together, 
planing down, or filling out other men's faulty work : adapting old 
plays, that is, and putting any amount of honest toil into the busi- 
ness. Take King Jolm or the Taming of the Shrew : it is a constant 
delight to compare them, scene by scene, with their originals to 
note the unceasing thoughtfulness, ingenuity, and technical skill of 
the alterations. Shakspere was not above his business, and he felt 
if I may parody George Herbert that God might be served in 
arranging the exit of a super. Take a very small example. In read- 
ing the old Troublesome Raigne of King John it struck me that after 
the first scene, when all the English characters had gone off and the 
French came on, the audience must be puzzled, for the first dozen 
lines or so, to know where they were and whom they had before 
them. It was a small enough matter, and the uncertainty would not 
last very long ; yet I thought I would see whether Shakspere was 
more or less careful in such things. I found that in his King John 
the very first line spoken on the entry of the French was this : 

" Before Angiers well met, brave Austria ! " 
In six words the place and person were set before the audience ! 

Again, look at not only Shakspere's merits, but his faults and 
they are plenty. Produce me one unquestionable blemish that is the 
result of carelessness, and I will bring you a hundred that come from 
over-care. The painful piling-up of rhetorical effects in his earlier 
tragedy (as the cursing scenes in Richard ///.), the laboured and 
ponderous lines of his last period (as Leontes' manifestly slowly- 
written speeches) these are not the flow of a natural and unforced 

N. S. SOC. TRANS., 1880-2. E 


genius, the rush of inspiration : we could heartily wish that they 
were, but that their very badness proves Shakspere's humanity, 
shows us the man at work behind the fictitious creatures of his 

And Shakspere was like other men very like them only better. 
Others had to some extent used this double-time system, 1 but not so 
systematically : not so constantly, that is, and above all not so 
boldly. In the old play of King John just spoken of the scenes 
follow pretty closely, and months slip away behind days in defiance 
of logic and the calendar ; but it is much more difficult to bring the 
author to book he shirks Shakspere's bold " to-morrows " and " next 
Thursdays," and prefers little slippery intervals of time. For example, 
at the end of the scenes in France John hints to Hubert in a couple 
of lines that he would like Arthur got rid of : and this hint carries 
on the story to the subsequent scenes of Hubert and Arthur in Eng- 
land. But Shakspere is not satisfied with this ; he expands the hint 
into a long scene, so explicit that we feel that its connection with 
the attempted murder must be one of day and day. And between 
Marlowe's Edward II. and Shakspere's Histories a like difference is 
to be found. 

Now, in the abstract, does not the non-Shaksperean plan sound 
the better 1 It combines the classical and realistic systems ; it gives 
us long-time and short ; and it hardly shocks even the most careful 
reader. If we are to cheat, why not cheat in this delicate and gen- 
tlemanly manner 1 

For this reason. If inconsistency be not art, this is not art. It is 
cheating, like the other ; and the gain is incomparably less. Shak- 
spere's bold and familiar use of time is wonderfully strong, life-like, 
and unstagey : more easily detected by readers it is, but then he 
wrote for hearers. 2 

1 For example, it is now generally held that Part 1 Henry VI., in which it 
is freely used, is not Shakspere's. 

2 How unsatisfactory in practice is the system of leaving the intervals 
between scenes or acts quite indeterminate, is well shown in Mr Wills's 
tragedy of Charles I. The characters are firmly drawn, the dialogue is excel- 
lent, each Act is interesting in itself : but there are no links of time between 
the scenes, and the result is that you feel you have had four detached scenes 
of considerable merit, but not a play, nor anything like a play. 


Yet in one other dramatist I have found an example of double- 
time as strong as any quoted here : Lope de Vega uses it so glaringly 
that the audience must, I think, have detected it and this of course 
is bad art. In El Anzudo de Fenisa the second Act ends with a 
Spaniard leaving Palermo for his home at Valencia ; the first scene 
of Act III. carries on, still at Palermo, the underplot of the play, 
with no break of time ; yet as it ends the arrival of foreigners in th< 
port is announced, and the next scene shows us among them our 
Spaniard returned after what he describes as a long voyage back 
from Valencia which of course implies an equally long one there 
and a stay at home of some duration : in all some two or three 
months of interval, compressed by the underplot into a day. 

Thus, as Emerson pointed out, Shakspere originated little ; but he 
collected and improved the ideas of others he had the selective 
faculty (an eminently conscious one) in a very high degree. This is, 
above all, a characteristic of the artist-nature ; and the artist has a 
right to claim as the man of science may not that he be judged 
from his own point of view, under his own conditions. Examine an 
immense altarpiece microscopically, as you would a Meissonier, and 
it is a chaos of daubs and splashes ; put your ear to the big drum, 
and the Pastoral Symphony will appear considerably out of propor- 
tion. Even Beethoven only saw that there was something in the 
Hunter's Chorus of Der Freiscliutz not hearing it, he could not say 
what : an ordinary deaf reader of music would probably have denied 
the something. So Shakspere chose to be heard and not read, wrote 
his works to that end solely, and, as I have said, never published a 
play possibly not wishing his devices to be found out. In what he 
did publish, his Poems, we find the reader fully consulted \ and, had 
he condescended to those hybrid monstrosities, plays for the study, 
he would doubtless have made them as perfect as such things can of 
their nature be. Do let us, then, I repeat, treat him neither as a 
demigod nor an inspired idiot, but as an intelligent artist who claims 
to be judged from a given point of view, and whose claim we have 
no right to disallow. 

And of this point of view one final word. Inconsistency, per- 
haps not without a place in other arts, is the very life and soul of 

E 2 


the drama. Take the beginning : take the end. In the nursery, as 
Professor Wilson says, papa pretends to be a lion : growls horribly : 
goes on four paws. The child is frightened so genuinely, that pro- 
long the deception but a few minutes, and he howls and will not be 
appeased and yet this fright is an intense enjoyment to him. He 
knows that papa at once is and is not a terrible beast. And in the 
noblest tragedy we are moved to real sorrow, we weep real tears : yet 
our feeling is of the keenest pleasure, and we go again with delight 
to see this actor who has made us so unhappy. 

Thus with the art of stage-construction : it suggests reality, but 
above all things avoids it. Events, conversation, must appear pro- 
bable and life-like : but the prolixity, the repetitions, of real life, 
would make them unendurable. All stage-management depends on this 
principle : an eminent comic actor said to me the other day, " In a dark 
scene I always have the lights nearly up : the author says, ' Oh, but 
it's supposed to be dark ' I say, ' If it is dark they can't see my face.' " 

He was perfectly right. Lower your lights for a moment, then 
gradually raise them. The audience have imagination : they will see 
that, as the author said, it is supposed to be dark and they will 
suppose it : and meanwhile what is important is that the actor has 
not lost the use of his chief means of expression. Just the same 
with a stage "aside;" it is so spoken that the other personages on 
the stage must hear it, or the audience could not yet the audience 
perfectly accept it as heard only by themselves. 

And, last of all, to put aside the stage, is not this disregard of 
logical correctness in favour of strong working qualities another 
instance of Shakspere's eminently English nature 1 How it horrified 
Voltaire : how impossible it was to Corneille : yet how inartistic and 
improbable are the plays of both beside Shakspere's. His drama is 
like our English laws contradictory, if closely examined chaotic, 
full of faults yet resulting in the fairest administration of justice 
yet known : like our revolutions, illogical, not formulated demands 
for equality and fraternity, yet achieving an ever-increasing liberty : 
like the vast body of our poetry, heterogeneous, unbound by academic 
laws, ranging from sturdy common sense to a noble wildness, but as 
a whole unparalleled and unequalled in the world's literature. 


(Read at the 59th Meeting of the Society, Friday, March 12, 1880.) 

AT a meeting last session I ventured to dissent from the view 
that the seaman's glass in the Tempest was of an hour's duration. 
This dissent was founded on three considerations : that the customs 
of the sea are unalterable as the laws of the Modes and Persians ; 
that the seaman's glasses of the present day, like the bells that betoken 
them, mark half-hours ; and that Shakspere, as shown especially by 
the first scene of the Tempest, seems to have been unusually conversant 
with nautical matters. After referring, however, to the well-known 
passage in All's Well, Act II. sc. i. 11. 159164, the latter part of 
which runs 

Or four and twenty times the pilot's glass 
Hath told the thievish minutes how they pass, 

I retracted my opinion, saying that either the sea custom had altered, 
or Shakspere was wrong in a technology, in which one is, according 
to my experience, more apt to make a mistake than in any other. 

As it seemed worth while to pursue the subject, I consulted ' The 
Seaman's Grammar/ by Capt. John Smith, Governor of Virginia, 
which he published in 1627, within about three years of his death. 
In ch. ix. p. 38 are these words " or each squadron p. e. party or 
half the crew] for eight Glasses or foure houres which is a watch." 
I quote from the first edition, and also from the second and third. 
These latter were published in 1653 and 1692, and though the last 
is stated to be " Now much Amplified and Enlarged . . by . . several 
experienced Navigators and Gunners," the three are identical and 
run page for page up to the end of ch. xiii. p. 63. It is, of course, 


true that 1627 is after Shakspere's date; but Smith went to sea in 
1603 or earlier, and, not to speak of the improbability and almost 
impossibility of such a change in those non-changing times in a pro- 
fession least of all given to it, it is a certainty that if so important 
an alteration had occurred during Smith's sea-life he could not but 
have explicitly noticed it. 

It follows, therefore, that Shakspere was wrong in All's Well. 
Whether he were wrong also in the Tempest is not so immediately 
evident, and there is, of course, an a priori possibility that he might 
by that time have learnt his error. Without, however, entering into 
the question in detail, I would say that, having carefully considered 
both sides of the question, I have been compelled, though once of the 
contrary opinion, to come to the conclusion that here also he was 
wrong, and took the seaman's glass to be a full hour glass instead of 
one of half an hour. 1 

This conclusion is of interest in two points of view. 1. It is the 
first instance in which Shakspere, in his use of technicals, has been 
found wrong. 2. I hold it a sure proof that Shakspere never was 
at sea. I fully admit that wherever else he has used a sea technical he 
used it rightly, and that he has made an allusion in Sonnet cxvi. 
which, being misunderstood, or rather not understood, by landsmen* 
has been pronounced a crux, though it requires no emendation at all. 
I admit also that the handling of his ship in the Tempest is intelli- 
gent and seamanlike, and has gained the approbation of naval officers. 
Admitting, I say, these things, as appearing t-> be contrary to my sup- 
position, and, on that supposition, only to be explained with difficulty, 
I cannot lose sight of the fact that, he being wrong in this point, the 
conclusion that he never could have been at sea inevitably follows. 

If he had been, we must suppose that, quick, inquiring, and 
sagacious as he was, ever ready to pick up even crumbs of informa- 
tion, he failed to pick up what every boy picks up at once, and what 
every one, sailor or passenger, must have picked up. Shakspere could 

1 As noticed by Mr P. A. Daniel in his ' Time- Analysis of the Comedies,' 
p. ]19 : Alonzo's 'three hours' followed shortly by the Boatswain's 'three 
glasses ' must decide this measure of time for the Tempest to be a one hour 
glass." As he also notes, the pilot's glass in All's Well is a two-hour glass. 


not have been " in the cabin," unless in a mere coasting craft, and 
the steerage passenger is even more bound than he "in the cabin " to 
learn ships' hours if he would live. A cabin passenger of that day 
was also more bound to attend to them than he is at present, when 
passenger ships have become floating hotels. Take, first, the more 
novelty and consequent curiosity. At 8 A.M. he hears eight 
bells ; at half -past eight, one bell ; at nine, two bells, and so on. 
Then at noon, when lunch is laid, and every one sharp set, some 
curious doings evidently cause delay. At last, the chief officer, 
touching his cap, says, " Eight bells, sir.' " Make it so," replies the 
captain. Eight bells are sounded, the watch below " tumbles up " 
and relieves the other, and lunch is begun in the cabin. But half- 
past twelve is again one bell, and one o'clock is sounded as two, &c. 
Then, again, there is ore cause of curiosity. At every eight bells or 
four hours, and during the dog-watches every two hours, the watches 
change, a noticeable time now ; the boatswain whistles and calls 
loudly, and there is unusual bustle. But at that date it was the 
more noticeable, for every watch was commenced with prayer and the 
singing of a psalm. Besides, the curious landsman, transported to a 
wholly new world, and with, therefore, his curiosity and intelligence 
both awakened, if abaft the binnacle, or, in other words, a cabin 
passenger, could see and see handled the running or out-run glass, 
and hear the consequent cry of two (or so many) bells. 

But there was more than mere curiosity. Those essential times 
of life, and especially of life at sea, the meal-times, and the time of 
" lights out," are all regulated by the glasses and their bells. If 
one would live, he must learn and obey them. Are we to suppose 
that Shakspere never asked for and never received the simple explan- 
ation We reckon by periods of four hours, a watch, and every half- 
hour is noted 1 

Hence my conviction that Shakspere, having on two occasions, 
and on the second persistently, and late in his life, made the mistake 
that the seaman's hour-glass, like the landsman's hour-glass, marked 
an hour's length, never could have been at sea. 


Union, sb. pearl. Hamlet, V. ii. 283. Though Ba tholome, who 
wrote in 1360, calls all pearls Margarites (The orient perle), he else- 
where speaks of " Unions and Margarites." N. Sh. Soc. Trans. 
1877-9, p. 106. The word originated with the Romans, apparently 
after the Empire. Pliny says of or pearls : " Their chief 
reputation consisteth in these fiue properties, namely, if they "be 
orient white, great, round, smooth, and weigh tie. Qualities I may 
tell you, not easily to be found all in one ; . . . And hereupon it is 
that our dainties and delicates here at Rome, haue deuised this name 
for them, and call them Vnions ; as a man would say, Singular, and 
by themselues alone (Nat. Hist. 1. 9, c. 35. Holland, transl. 
1600). B. N. 

Tare, a. The Tempest. This word is used 4 times by Shakspere 
as a nautical term, and four times as a land one. " Another rule 
you must learne in a comedie well acted, and convaied for the devil : 
that the demoniacks be so neerely placed (yet in general roomes) each 
to other, that one may heare without benefit of Midas long eares, 
what is said vnto, or by the other ; and so the second may be yare 
and ready to take his cue." S. Harsnet's Popish Impostures, 1603, p. 
143. Neither here nor elsewhere does Harsnet use any nautical 
expression or phrase. B. N. 

The devil's dam. T. of Shreiv, I. i, 106; C. of Errors, IV. iii. 
51 ; Othello, IV. i. 153, &c., &c. Dam is doubtless frequently used 
by Shakspere for mother, and possibly he and others may, without 
thought, have used this familiar phrase in the same sense. But in 
no theology, popular or otherwise, is it to be found that the devil 
came into existence through a female devil. ' Dam ' here means 
simply his dame or wife (Proserpina), or if this be too respectable, 
his leman. Harsnet's Pop. Impostures, 1603, p. 151, illustrates this. 
The passage also gives the cant term, case, for a Fidler's wife or 
strumpet. " It is the fashion of vagabond players, that coast from 
Towne to Towne with a trnsse and a cast of fiddles, to carry in theyr 
consort, broken queanes, and Ganimedes as well for their night 
pleasaunce, as their days pastime : our deuil-holy consort at their 
breaking vp house at Denham, departed euery priest suted with his 
wench after the same good custome. Edmunds the Jesuit (saith one 
of their covey) had for his darling Mistris Cressy, Anne Smith was 
at the disposition of Ma : Dryland * * * * And was not this 
a very seemely Catholicke complement trow you, to see a Fidler, 
and his case, 1 a Tinker and his bitch, a Priest and his Leman, a 
devil and his damme." B. N. 

mankind, adj. : Winter's Tale, II. iii. 67. " Brifalda a bould, 
shamelesse, mankinde, virago woman." 1598. J. Florio, A Worlde 
of Wordes. 

1 A somewhat like sense is seen in 27ie Merry Wives, IV. i. 64 as Dame 
Quickly's comment shows: ''Vengeance of Jenny's case 1 fie on her! never 
name her, child, if she be a whore." F. 





(Read at the 55th Meeting of the Society, Friday, March 12, 1880.) 

LONG ago the question forced itself upon me, Why is there no 
Fool or Court-jester in Hamlet ? One seemed to be asked for by 
the habits and taste of Shakspere's audiences accustomed to and 
relishing the jestings and vagaries of Tarlton and his successor Kemp, 
by the time and personages represented, and thirdly, by the tone 
and character of the play. That is, the tone and temper of Shak- 
spere's mind when composing it seems to have required such an 
outlet. Under the assumed folly of a jester he could, more suo, 
have emphasised and clinched the moralities and immoralities set 
forth. Who forgets the biting sarcasms of poor Lear's fool, and 
their aptness ? 

The Gravedigger scene relieves the gloom of the plot, and by 
contrast heightens it. Our pity for the dead Ophelia is at her burial 
renewed and increased, and Hamlet's love, now frenzied and de- 
spairing, is brought out to himself, and brought out in greater relief 
before us. So again, Osric's folly and affectations, by releasing our 
pity for a time, render Shakspere able to intensify it anew in the 
tragedies that follow. But these contrasts are confined to two 
scenes. Had there been a jester this might have been done more 
frequently and before the close, and the jester have had play for his 
satire besides. Both the Gravedigger and Osric seem to me like 
devices to make up for this want. 


Polonius, I am aware, lias on the stage been made a third fool, but 
omitting much that might be urged against this view, it will be 
sufficient to say that the experienced but latterly somewhat senile 
old man, is not to be judged according to Hamlet's prejudiced judg- 
ment. The ambitious Prince had felt from the first that Polonius 
and Gertrude had been gained over, and were main agents in the 
plotting which dispossessed him, and his glimpse of the over-hearers 
of his interview with Ophelia had told him that she was acting and 
had acted under the influence of his enemies and of her father. 

If, however, the reader be unable to agree with me in these 
views, he cannot but allow, that had Kemp been of the company, 
Shakspere, a practical playwright one who knew, so to speak, the 
points of the actors he wrote for, their capabilities and their excel- 
lencies could not have failed to frame a part for so popular and 
influential a comedian. The question therefore resolved itself into 
this Was Kemp a member of the company when Hamlet was pro- 
duced 1 I say this, because we may hold it certain that there would 
be no one to replace him. No names have come down to us but 
those of Tarlton and Kemp. Each in his day was facile princeps in 
his line, and their very excellencies prevented attempts and intru- 
sions. Burbadge or Garrick might have had walking substitutes, but 
no replacers for some time. What, then, is the answer? Not only 
was Kemp absent, but Shakspere and he were at daggers drawn. First, 
as to Kemp's absence. What has been said gives it an a priori proba- 
bility. A second probability lies in the fact, first noticed by Mr Collier, 
that Kemp played in Every Man in his Humour in 1598, but not 
in Every Man out of his Humour in 1599. A third is that Kemp 
performed his morris to Norwich (taking nine days to go thither) in 
1599. And this not merely because of the time he was absent, but 
because when he published the narrative, entered in the Stationers' 
Kegisters, 22nd April, 1600, he speaks of reports of his going abroad. 
It is improbable that these would have arisen had he been still play- 
ing and likely to play with his company. Fourthly, as has just been 
said, under guise of warning the public not to believe reports of his 
going to Venice, Kome, and Jerusalem, he announces his intention of 
going as he did to both Venice and Rome. 


" Kemp's humble request to the . . . generation of Ballad-makers [end 
of Nine days' Wonder], 

" These are by these presentes to certifie vnto your block-head- 
ships, that I, William Kemp, whom you had neer rent in sunder 
with your vnreasonable rimes, am shortly, God willing, to set 
forward as merrily as I may ; whether I myselfe know not. Where- 
fore, by the way, I would wish ye, imploy not your little wits in 
certifying the world that I am gone to Rome, Jerusalem, Venice, or 
any other place at your idle appoint." [Speaking afterwards of his 
supposed discovery of the ballad-monger, he says] " Let any man 
looke on his face ; if there be not so redde a colour that all the sope 
in the towne will not washe white, let me be turned to a whiting as I 
passe betweene Douer and Callis." 

But I have only noted these probabilities to show how they con- 
firm the facts stated in the MS. memorandum quoted by Halliwell- 
Phillipps. In this, under date 2nd Sept. 1601, we have "Kemp, 
mimus quidam, qui peregrinationem quandam in Germaniam et 
Italiam, instituerat * * * multe refert de Anthonio Shirley * * * 
quern Roma? pVenetiae] (legatum Persicum agentem) convenerat." 
So also in * The Travels of the Three English Brothers,' first pub- 
lished in 1607, there is a scene between Shirley and Kemp at 
Venice. A medley ballad also, quoted by Mr. Collier though it 
might be unsafe to lay great stress on this is said to contain the 


" When Kemp returnes from Rome." 

Lastly, in The Return from Parnassus, played in 1602, and the time 
of action of which was in that year, as shown by the Dominical 
letter C (Act III. scene i.) he is addressed What M[aster] Kemp, 
how doth the Emperour of Germany 1 ? and again Welcome, M. 
Kempe from dancing the morrice over the Alpes (IV. v.). Not that 
he did so dance in days when there were neither diligences nor roads 
for them, but he is so addressed in jocular remembrance of his 
Norwich feat, and because he doubtless did perform occasionally, 
during his continental tour, to amuse himself and gratify his vanity 
by being the most nimble and graceful at the village sports, to please 
those whom he met and lodged with, and to in part defray his expenses. 
Secondly, as to Kemp's quarrel with Shakspere and his fellow- 
comedians. These reasons go, I think, to prove that his travel was 


not a mere freak : (a) The success of his Norwich trip, during which 
he was feted and made much of by all, including the Mayor and 
Corporation of Norwich. (6) The then low estate and fortunes of 
the company. Under the successful rivalship of the young eyases, and 
probably also through the "inhibition," Shakespeare and his com- 
pany were reduced to stroll in the provinces. It is true that the 
"inhibition" is not mentioned in the 1603 Hamlet, but we know 
from the after editions that this was set forth as one cause of their 
strolling, and its omission in the 1603 play may be explained by two 
politic reasons. One that they might not mis-succeed in the pro- 
vinces, through the stigma of having been silenced at her Majesty's 
command ; the other that it was held safer under the circumstances 
not to re-arouse the sleeping lion by any allusion to so personal and 
recent a state matter. To return, Kemp was just such an influ- 
ential and well-to-do rat as would not care to remain in a tumble-to- 
pieces bark, especially when he saw prospective advantage and 
pleasure in quitting it for pastures new. (c) A third reason would 
be a quarrel not merely with his fellow-comedians on these 
accounts but a bitter quarrel with Shakspere, due to his extem- 
porising and non-attention to and interference with the proper 
business of the scene. We find evidence of this in Hamlet's advice 
to the players, namely, in the personal and caustic remarks on the 
Clown, singled out as he is from the other players remarks uncalled 
for by the play of Hamlet, or by its sub-play, ' The Mousetrap,' 
where no fool appears and those on his extemporising, a noted cha- 
racteristic of Kemp. These two facts have led others before me to the 
belief that Kemp was here hit at, and like the rest of the advice, the 
words were evidently introduced by Shakspere with an intention 
and with intent. But in the 1603 quarto there is much stronger 
proof of personality, and of his bitterness against the Clown, though 
curiously enough, it has been omitted from the text of Hamlet in 
all the editions, and in most from the notes ; even the Cambridge 
editors have not given it. Hamlet's speech continues thus 

"And then you have some agen, that keepes one sute of 
Apparel, and u r ''iiil.-m'ii quotes his ieasts downe 
In their Uil.lcs, !>.- fore they come to the play, as thus : 
not you st.iy till I eat my porrige? and, you owe me 


A quarter's wages : and, my coate wants a cullison : 
And, your beere is sowre : and, blabbering with his lips, 1 
And thus keeping in his cinkapase of ieasts, 
When, God knows, the warme Clowne cannot make a iest, 
Vnlesse by chance, as the blinde man catcheth a hare : 
Maisters tell him of it." 

Staunton remarks that these lines have been supposed to allude to 
Kemp. I had been convinced independently that they did. It is 
clear by the particular jests quoted that some particular clown was 
aimed at, one well-known by these sayings. Who could this have 
been but the notorious jester Kemp, one who, as has just been 
shown, had left them, and thus still further reduced their efforts to 
please either town or country audiences. 

It has indeed been said that these lines were taken by Shak- 
spere from the older Hamlet. This is merely an unsupported and 
as I think a worse than unsupported, a ludicrous attempt at explain- 
ing their after absence. There is not the slightest authority, proof, 
or probability for this view. We know of but two or three phrases 
of the old Hamlet. If we exclude these lines as not Shakspere's, 
we ought to exclude the whole scene, and suppose that such a scene, 
universally and without contest given to him, was pirated by him 
from a rival play. Further, we must suppose that two dramatists 
led by the same warm thoughts and motives, chose similar plays in 
which to expound in identical and identifying words their opinions 
on a matter or rather matters wholly foreign to the plot and person- 
ages of these plays. And lastly, we have to believe that the latter 
of these dramatists was William Shakspere ! It is true that the 
passage is not in his best manner, but so far as my poor knowledge 
of style goes they are Shakspere's. And it is good enough, con- 
sidering whose the sayings were which form a great portion of it, and 
considering what our author was aiming at, and that he was angry, 
and more than angry. Their absence from the later versions, which 

1 That this " blabbering " was another and the fifth quoted jest I think is 
shown by the after phrase, u cinque-a-pace of jests," though this of course was 
otherwise applicable. 

Shakspere's anger appears in the last three lines to have led him into 
injustice, for it is well known that Kemp had a ready and jocular vein. Wit- 
ness his remark after Prince Hal's buffet, as also his extempore replies to his 


has led to the conjectural explanation that they were not Shak- 
spere's, will presently he satisfactorily explained. 

Having lately re-looked into these conclusions that I might state 
them to a friend, it occurred to me that Kemp having been thus 
quarrelled with and hit at, the praise of the dead jester Yorick 
might be praise of the dead Tarlton, Kemp's predecessor. There 
was no necessity for Shakspere's choice of a jester as the owner of 
the skull, an old nurse or attached attendant might have served his 
turn, and would certainly have been as natural, and have given rise 
to equally affectionate remembrances. But had Shakspere known 
Tarlton, and had his remembrance of him been vivified by a quarrel 
with Kemp, he would naturally have increased the virulence of his 
attack on the one, by the implied contrast with the other. It was, 
however, necessary to put this supposition to the test. Now the 
dates in the 1603 quarto differ from those of after editions. In it 
the Gravedigger says 

" Here's a skull hath been here this dozen yeare. 
* * * * * 

This wus one Yorickes skull." 
The opinions as to the production of Hamlet vary between 1599 and 

1601. On grounds other than the present, I had previously 
adopted 1600. Take a dozen years from 1600, and we get 1588. 
Tarlton was buried 3rd Sept., 1588. 

A casual coincidence of dates an objector may say. Eather, I 
would reply, an agreement to which I was led, and one which is 
supported by the various probabilities before noticed, and which 
requires for its confutation proof that Hamlet was not composed in 
1600. But there is yet another proof. Kemp returned, according 
to the MS. quoted by H. Phillipps " post multos errores et infor- 
tunia sua" about the 2nd Sept., 1601. From the 10th March, 

1602, to the 4th Sept., 1602, we find him, by the entries in Hens- 
lowe's diary of those dates, and by that of 22nd August, in the 
employ of this manager. No mention of him occurring before or 
after, we are almost justified in concluding from this alone, that these 
dates give us nearly the period of this engagement. We are unable 
to say where he was between 2nd Sept., 1601, and 10th March, 


1602, though it is hardly probable that having so quarrelled with 
Shakspere and his company, he would have rejoined them im- 
mediately on his return to England, only to leave them within six 
months for their rivals, and then, as we shall presently see, return to 
them again in about another seven months. But the question does 
not much matter. What is wanted to be known is What became 
of him after Henslowe's last entry of Sept., 1602. Now in The 
Return from Parnassus, played at Cambridge at Christmastide, 
1602, Kemp and Burbadge are represented as business touring thither 
in conjunction for recruits (Act IV. scene iii.), a thing almost im- 
possible if they belonged to rival companies, and wholly impossible 
if we read the scene. It also appears by this same scene that it was 
intended to represent Kemp's first visit to Cambridge after his con- 
tinental trip, otherwise the salutations already quoted would have 
been ridiculously out of date and place. 

But to use the mildest term, it would have been unpleasant both 
to Kemp and Shakspere, that the direct Shakspere -Hamletian 
jibes should be still spoken against the former on his own boards. 
So also considering that these jibings had induced the publicly- 
expressed regrets for and admiration of Tarlton, would be the reten- 
tion of these latter. What, then, do we find in the 1604 and subse- 
quent versions'? First, that while this 1604 version was " enlarged 
to almost as much again as it was," and while the more general 
remarks on the Clown are retained, the individualising lines before 
quoted are excised. Secondly, that the identification of Yorick with 
Tarlton is destroyed by placing Yorick in his grave not twelve but 
twenty-three years before. And it may be remarked by the way that 
this improves the play, for it makes Hamlet at the very least close 
upon thirty, if not beyond it, an age which leaves no possible excuse 
in the minds of the spectators for the resolutions of his uncle, his 
mother, and Polonius to exclude him from the throne shows his 
love for Ophelia to be no boyish fancy and, above all, brings out 
more strongly his tendency to meditate instead of acting, as well as 
his innate irresolution of mind. At thirty he is still one who broods 
over his wrongs till he thinks the world out of joint. He forms 
elaborate mental schemes, wherein he provides against all accidents, 


and is for the time satisfied, and there end*, only to brood anew over 
his troubles, and again go over his old schemes or begin a new one. 

In conclusion I would make these six remarks. First, that I 
have been informed by the Eev. Mr Fleay that he had already, at 
some antecedent time, come to the conclusion that Yorick was 
Tarlton, though I know not his arguments. Secondly, that this 
identification, without reasoning in a circle, lends another probability 
to those who think that Hamlet was produced in 1600. Thirdly, 
that the 1604 version can hardly be earlier than 10th Sept. or 
1st October, 1602. Fourthly, that this allusion to Kemp adds a 
second instance to the Lucy episode where Shakspere has chosen the 
stage for the expression of his anger, if not of his malice. Fifthly, 
that it adds to the personal allusions in a play seemingly unusually 
full of them. We have 1. The inhibition. 2. The success and 
conduct of the little eyases. 3. The consequent reduction of Shak- 
spere and his fellows to strolling vagabonds. 4. His particular 
desire to hit at and note his opinion of the acting of certain actors 
(probably among the rival company or companies), a desire not un- 
natural in one of his then frame of mind, and reduced position. 5. 
His quarrel with Kemp. 6. His remembrance of Tarlton. Sixthly, 
I would remark that this last gives greater probability to the belief 
that he had personally known Tarlton, and had probably joined the 
players on or just after one of their visits to Stratford, say in 1585. 

NOTE. Chalmers thought that Kemp died during the pestilence 
of 1603, because among the deaths in the register of St Saviour's. 
South wark, he found, " 1603 November 2. William Kempe, a man," 
and this has been supposed to be confirmed by the omission of 
Kemp's name in the license granted by K. James to his players 
17 May, 1603. But as Mr Collier well remarks, "a William Kemp, 
a common name, is noted by Chalmers as married at St Bartholomew 
the Less, not far from the Black friar's Theatre in 1606." Then 
again, a William Kemp, noted in various token-books, is noted in 
that of 1605 as living "near the playhouse." The reader may take 
these three Kemps as one, or two, or more as he pleases, but they do 
not prove that Kemp the Comedian died in 1 603, nor that he was 
married in 1606. Mr Collier also gives from the "civic archives 
1605, Whereas Kempe, Armyn, and others, plaiers at" .... 

The difficulty, that he is not mentioned in the Eoyal License of 
May 1603, is not got over by supposing that he died in November 


1603. The true explanation I conceive is this Kemp having sold 
or lost his shares when he left the Lord Chamberlain's Company, circa 
1600, he could not regain them when their holders were in good 
view of prosperity in 1603, and he was therefore in the position of 
"a hired man." 

Nor does either supposition affect my argument. 1. The Ret. 
from Parnassus proves that about Christmas, 1602, Burbage and 
Kemp were co-mates. 2. If Kemp had died, Shakspere if we 
understand his character rightly would have expunged his personal- 
ities, just as though he had joined the Company. 



MR FURNIVALL : While I think it most probable that the Clown- 
sneers of Q i were aimd at some special clown, who would naturally 
be Kemp, and while I agree with Dr Nicholson that the ' cinkapase ' 
and ' warme clowne ' passage in Qi represents lines of Shakspere's 
own, and not the old-Hamlet writer's, 1 I have no sympathy with his 
view that a Fool or Court-Jester is wanted in Hamlet. Hamlet him- 
self does the main work of Lear's fool. To adopt Dr N.'s words : 
"Who forgets the biting sarcasms of [Hamlet], and their aptness 3" 
If there had been a fool in Hamlet, his chief occupation would have 
been to jeer at Hamlet's way of " sweeping to his revenge " through 
the long four last acts of the play. One can fancy what short work 
" the bitter fool " who showd Lear what he was, would have made of 
Hamlet's excuses and delays, flesh-melting, play-teaching, and ' may 
be a devil,' &c. 2 If Shakspere had had 18 Kemps at hand, he'd not 
have put one into Hamlet, or Othello or Macbeth; he knew his 
business too well for that. 

Why not be content with Kemp's habit of gagging and grimacing, 
and his absence from the company in 1601 and the early part of 
1 602 1 3 That is all that is wanted. The ' bitter quarrel ' and Yorick- 
Tarlton are surely but ingenious may-bes. 

1 The Doctor's strong words on p. 61 about this old- Hamlet borrowing 
are not one whit too strong. See my Forewords to Hamlet Q2. 

2 Hamlet is admirably characterized by Dr N. on p. 64. 

3 Mr Collier, wrongly quoting Mr Halliwell (Coventry Myst. p. 410), has 
in his Memoirs of Actors, p. 115, printed per for post, in his extract from the 
SloaneMS. 414, leaf 56, mistakingly called by Mr H. 'MS. Sloan. 392, fol. 401,' 
because MS. 392 happens to be the first of several MSS. bound together. The 
true reading of the MS. The Diary of William Smith of Abingdon, Aug. 4, 
1598, to Apr. 25, 1604 is as follows : 

1601. " Sep. 2. Kemp, mimus quidaw, qui peregrinationew quandam in 
Germaniaw et Italia/;*, instituerat, post multos errores, et infortunia sua, re- 
versus : multa refert de Anthonio Sherly, equite aurato, quern Romse (legatuw 
Persicuw agentem) conuenerat." This passage is (like a few others) in a cor- 
rector's or adder's hand, aud different ink from that of the main text of the 
N. S. SOC. TRANS., 1880-2. p 


I agree with Dr Mcholson that the ' blabbering with his lips ' 
was the 5th jest. And that it specially suited Kemp may be judged 
by Chalmers' words about him (Variorum, 1821, iii. 489). 

" He usually represented the clowns, who are always very rogues ; 
and, like Tarleton, 1 gained celebrity by his extemporal wit ; whilst, 
like other clowns, Kempe raised many a roar by malting faces, and 
mouths, of all sorts." 2 

DR NICHOLSON : As Hamlet, Othello, and Macbeth are placed 
in one category, and Lear in another, are we to suppose that the 
Gravedigger and Osric were interpolations by the players ? They are 
two fools already in Hamlet, 3 nor am I so confident that I can pro- 
nounce on Shakspeare's rules of art. 

Mr Furnivall I believe admits, as I think all must admit, that the 
retained passage on the clown, and especially the excised bit, only 
found in Qi, were levelled at Kemp; but he drops all remembrance 
of these when he thinks the evidence of a bitter quarrel an ingenious 
may-be. Surely they are as certain proofs of a quarrel as the jokes 
on the Lucys are proof that Shakspeare ventured to vent his bitter- 
ness against them publicly on the stage. The secession of Kemp, 
and his departure for the continent, is another concurrent argument. 
A third and very strong one is the excision of the markedly personal 
portion of these allusions when Kemp made his peace and rejoined 
the company. 

I cannot now enter into my reasons for assigning the first version 
of Hamlet to 1600. But with our present knowledge we can neither 
positively assign six other plays to 1599 1601, and cannot because 
of those six exclude Hamlet from those dates. And I would again 
remark that the extraordinary coincidence of dates which occurs in 
Qi when Kemp was violently hit at, and which was destroyed when 
the hit at Kemp was removed, affords a strong argument in favour of 
my view. 

diary. But this corrector is not the Victorian Mr Perkins , his additions are 
not forgeries, so far as I can judge. F. J. F. 

1 So a sneer at Kempe for gag would hit Tarleton 's memory too. 

2 " In the Cambridge comedy, called The Keturn from Parnassus, Kempe is 
introduced personally, and made to say : 'I was once at a Comedy in Cam- 
bridge, and there I saw a parasite make faces and mouths of all sorts, ON 
THIS FASHION.' When Burbadge has instructed a student how to act pro- 
perly, and tells him : ' You will do well after a while ; ' Kempe takes up the 
student thus : ' Now for you ; methinks you should belong to my tuition ; 
and your face, methinks, would be good for a foolish mayor, or a foolish, 

justice of peace : mark me. } And then Kempe goes on to represent & foolish 
mayor making faces, for the instruction of the student." 

I don't believe in Hamlet being written in 1600. For 1599-1601 we have 
Henry V, Much Ado, As you like it, Twelfth Mght, All's Well, Julius 
Ccesar : surely enough for even Shakspere, without adding, in 1600, Hamlet, 
which I am persuaded followd Julius Ccesar. 

3 Dr N.'s own answer to the question with which he started his Paper, p. 
57. F. 




(Read at the 62nd Meeting of the Society, Friday, June 11, 1880.) 

IN this paper I do not propose to make any exhaustive inquiry 
into the seasons of Shakspere's Plays, but (at Mr Furnivairs sugges- 
tion) I have tried to find out whether in any case the season that was 
in the poet's mind can be discovered by the flowers or fruits, or 
whether, where the season is otherwise indicated, the flowers and 
fruits are in accordance. In other words, my inquiry is simply con- 
fined to the argument, if any, that may be derived from the flowers 
and fruits, leaving out of the question all other indications of the 

The first part of the inquiry is, what plants or flowers are mentioned 
in each play. They are as follows : 


Tempest. Apple, crab, wheat, rye, barley, vetches, oats, peas, 
briar, furze, gorse, thorns, broom, cedar, corn, cowslip, nettle, docks, 
mallow, filbert, heath, ling, grass, nut, ivy, lily 1 , poeony 1 , lime, mush- 
rooms, oak, acorn, pignuts, pine, reed, saffron, sedges, stover, vine. 

Two Gentlemen of Verona. Lily, roses, sedges. 

Merry Wives. Pippins, buttons (?), balm, bilbery, cabbage, carrot, 
elder, eryngoes, figs, flax, hawthorn, oak, pear, plums, prunes, potatoes, 
pumpion, roses, turnips, walnut. 

Twelfth Night. Apple, box, ebony, flax, nettle 1 , olive, squash, 
peascod, codling, roses, violet, willow, yew. 

Measure for Measure. Birch, burs, corn, garlick, medlar, oak, 
myrtle, peach, prunes, grapes, vine, violet. 

1 This is a modern conjecture or emendation. F 

F 2 


Much Ado. Carduus benedictus, honeysuckle, woodbine, oak, 
orange, rose, sedges, willow. 

Midsummer Night's Dream. Crab, apricots, beans, briar, red 
rose, broom, bur, cherry, corn, cowslip, dewberries, oxlip, violet, 
woodbine, eglantine, figs, mulberries, garlick, onions, grass, hawthorn, 
nuts, hemp, honeysuckle, knotgrass, leek, lily, peas-blossom, oak, 
acorn, oats, orange, love-in-idleness, primrose, musk-rosebuds, musk 
roses, thistle, thorns, thyme, grapes, violet, wheat. 

Love's Labour Lost. Apple, pome water, crab, cedar, lemon, 
cockle, mint, columbine, corn, daisies, ladysmocks, cuckoobuds, 
ebony, elder, grass, lily, nutmeg, oak, osier, oats, peas, plantain, rose, 
sycamore, thorns, wormwood. 

Merchant of Venice. Apple, grass, pines, reed, wheat, willow. 

As You Like It. Acorns, hawthorn, brambles, briar, bur, chestnut, 
cork, nuts, holly, medlar, moss, oak, olive, palm, peascod, rose, rush, 
rye, sugar, grape, osier. 

All's Well. Briar, date, grass, nut, marjoram, herb of grace, 
onions, pear, pomegranate, roses, rush, saffron, grapes. 

Taming of Shrew. Apple, crab, chestnut, cypress, hazel, oats, 
onion, love-in-idleness, parsley, roses, rush, sedges, walnut. 

Winter's Tale. Briars, carnations, gilly-flower, cork, oxlips, 
Crown Imperial, currants, daffodils, saffron, flax, lilies, flower-de- 
luce, garlick, ivy, lavender, mints, savory, marjoram, marigold, nettle, 
oak, warden, squash, pines, prunes, primrose, damask roses, rosemary, 
rue, thorns, violets. 

Comedy of Errors. Balsam, ivy, briar, moss, rush, nut, cherry- 
stone, elm, vine, grass, saffron. 


King John. Plum, cherry, fig, lily, rose, violet, rush, thorns. 

Richard II. Apricots, balm, bay, corn, grass, nettles, pines, rose, 
rue, thorns, violets, yew. 

Henry IV., pt. I. Apple John, pease, beans, blackberries, 
camomile, fernseed, garlick, ginger, moss, nettle, oats, prunes, pome- 
granate, radish, reeds, rose, rush, sedges, speargrass. 

Henry IV., pt. II. Aconite, apple John, leathercoats, aspen, 


balm, carraways, corn, ebony, elm, fennel, fig, gooseberries, hemp, 
honeysuckle, mandrake, olive, peach, peascod, prunes, radish, rose, 

Henry V. Apple, balm,, docks, elder, fig, flower-de-luce, grass, 
hemp, leek, nettle, fumitory, kecksies, burs, cowslips, burnet, clover, 
darnel, strawberry, thistles, vine, violet, hemlock. 

Henry VI., pt. I. Briar, white and red rose, corn, flower-de- 
luce, vine. 

Henry VI. , pt. II. Crab, cedar, corn, cypress, fig, flax, flower- 
de-luce, grass, hemp, laurel, mandrake, pine, plums, damsons, primrose, 

Henry VI.. part 3. Balm, cedar, corn, hawthorn, oaks, olive, 
laurel, thorns. 

Richard III. Balm, cedar, roses, strawberry, vines. 

Henry VIII. Apple, crab, bays, palms, broom, cherry, cedar, 
corn, lily. 


Troilus and Gressida. Almond, balm, blackberry, date, nut, 
laurels, lily, toadstool, nettle, pine, plantain, potato, wheat. 

Timon of Athens. Balm, balsam, oaks, briars, grass, medlar, 
moss, olive, palm, rose, grape. 

Coriolanus. Crab, ash, briars, cedar, cockle, corn, cypress, garlick, 
mulberry, nettle, oak, orange, palm, rush, grape. 

Macbeth. Balm, chestnut, corn, hemlock, insane root, lily, 
primrose, rhubarb, senna (cyme), yew. 

Julius Ccesar. Oak, palm. 

Anthony and Cleopatra. Balm, figs, flag, laurel, mandragora, 
myrtle, olive, onions, pine, reeds, rose, rue, rush, grapes, wheat, vine. 

Cymbeline. Cedar, violet, cowslip, primrose, daisies, harebell, 
eglantine, elder, lily, marybuds, moss, oak, acorn, pine, reed, rushes, 

Titus Andronicus. Aspen, briars, cedar, honeystalks, corn, elder, 
grass, laurel, lily, moss, mistletoe, nettles, yew. 

Pericles. Rosemary, bay, roses, cherry, corn, violets, marigolds, 
rose, thorns. 


Romeo and Juliet. Bitter -sweeting, dates, hazel, mandrake, 
medlar, popering pear, pink, plantain, pomegranate, quince, roses, 
rosemary, rush, sycamore, thorn, willow, wormwood, yew. 

King Lear. Apple, balm, cork, corn, crab, fumiter, hemlock, 
nettles, cuckoo-flowers, darnel, flax, hawthorn, lily, marjoram, oats, 
peascod, rosemary, vines, wheat, samphire. 

Hamlet. Fennel, columbine, crow-flower, nettles, daisies, long 
purples or dead-men's-fingers, flax, grass, hebenon, palm, pansies, 
plum tree, primrose, rose, rosemary, rue, herb of grace, thorns, violets, 
wheat, willow, wormwood. 

Othello. Locusts, coloquintida, figs, nettles, lettuce, hyssop, 
thyme, poppy, .mandragora, oak, rue, rush, strawberries, sycamore, 
grapes, willow. 

Two Noble Kinsmen. Apricot, bulrush, cedar, plane, cherry, 
corn, currant, daffodils, daisies, flax, lark's heels, marigolds, narcissus, 
nettles, oak, oxlips, plantain, reed, primrose, rose, thyme, rush. 

This I believe to be a complete list of the flowers of Shakspere 
arranged according to the plays, and they are mentioned in one of 
three ways first, adjectively, as ' flaxen was his pole,' 'hawthorn- 
brake,' ' barley-broth/ ' thou honeysuckle villain,' ' onion-eyed,' 
1 cowslip-cheeks,' but the instances of this use by Shakspere are not 
many ; second, proverbially or comparatively, as ' tremble like aspen,' 
' we grew together like to a double cherry seemly parted,' ' the stink- 
ing elder-grief,' * thou art an elm, my husband, I a vine,' ' not worth a 
gooseberry.' There are numberless instances of this use of the names 
of flowers, fruits, and trees, but neither of these uses give any indi- 
cation of the seasons ; and in one or other of these ways they are 
used (and only in these ways) in the following plays : Tempest, 
Two Gentlemen of Verona, Measure for Measure, Merchant of 
Venice, As You Like It, Taming of Shrew, Comedy of Errors, 
Macbeth, King John, Henry IV., pi. 1, Henry VI., pt. 2, Henry VI., 
pt. 3, Henry VIII., Troilus and Cressida, Coriolanus, Julius Ccesar, 
Pericles, Othello. These therefore may be dismissed at once. There 
remain the following plays in which indications of the seasons in- 
tended either in the whole play or in the particular act may be 
traced. In some cases the traces are exceedingly slight (almost none 


at all); in others they are so strongly marked that there is little 
doubt that Shakspere used them of set purpose and carefully : 
Merry Wives, Tivelfth Night, Much Ado, Midsummer Night's 
Dream, Love's Labour Lost, As You Like It, All's Well, Winter's 
Tale, Richard IL, Henri/ IV., pf. 2, Henry V., Henry VI., pt. 1, 
Richard TIL, Timon of Athens, Anthony and Cleopatra, Cymbeline, 
Titus Andronicus, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, Hamlet, and Two 
Noble Kinsmen. 

Merry Wives. Herne's oak gives the season intended 

" Herne the hunter, 

Sometime a keeper here in Windsor forest, 
Doth all the winter time at still midnight 
Walk round about an oak with ragged horns." 

If Shakspere really meant to place the scene in mid-winter, there 
may be a fitness in Mrs Quickly's looking forward to "a posset at 
night, at the latter end of a sea-coal fire," 1 to Pistol's 

" Take heed, ere summer comes, or cuckoo birds do sing," 2 

and to Ford's ' birding' and 'hawking '; but it is not in accordance 
with the literature of the day to have fairies dancing at midnight in 
the depth of winter. 

Twelfth Night. We know that the whole of this play occupies 
but a few days, and is chiefly "matter for a May morning." This gives 
emphasis to Olivia's oath, " By the roses of the Spring ... I love 
thee so" (Act II. sc. iv.). 

Much Ado. The season must be summer. There is the sitting 
out-of-doors in the " still evening, hushed on purpose to grace har- 
mony " ; and it is the time of year for the full leafage when Beatrice 

" Steal into the pleached bower, 
Where honeysuckles, ripen'd by the sun, 
Forbid the sun to enter" (Act III. sc. i.^. 

Midsummer Night's Dream. The name marks the season, and 
there is a profusion of flowers to mark it too. It may seem strange 
to us to have ' Apricocks ' at the end of June, but in speaking of the 

1 For it was a "raw rheumatick day" (Act III. sc. i.). 8 See page 108. 


seasons of Shakspere and others, it should be remembered that their 
days were twelve days later than ours of the same names ; and if to 
this is added the variation of a fortnight or three weeks, which may 
occur in any season in the ripening of a fruit, ' apricocks ' might well 
be sometimes gathered on their Midsummer day. But I do not 
think even this elasticity will allow for the ripening of mulberries 
and purple grapes at that time, and scarcely of figs. The scene, 
however, being laid in Athens and in fairyland, must not be 
too minutely criticised in this respect. But with the English 
plants the time is more accurately observed. There is the ' green 
corn ' ; ' the dewberries,' which in a forward season may be gathered 
early in July ; the l lush woodbine ' in the fulness of its lushness at 
that time; the pansies, or 'love in idleness/ which (says Gerard) 
' flower not onely in the spring, but for the most part all sommer 
thorowe, even untill autumne ' ; the ' sweet musk roses and the eglan- 
tine,' also in flower then, though the musk roses, being rather late 
bloomers, would show more of the ' musk rosebuds ' in which Titania 
bid the elves * Kill cankers ' than of the full-blown flower ; while the 
thistle would be exactly in the state for ' Monsieur Cobweb ' to ' kill 
a good red-hipped humble bee on the top of it' to 'bring the honey- 
bag ' to Bottom. Besides these there are the flowers on the ' bank 
whereon the wild thyme blows ; where oxlips and the nodding violet 
grows,' and I think the distinction worth noting between the ' blowing ' 
of the wild thyme, which would then be at its fullest, and the ' grow- 
ing* of the oxlips and the violet, which had passed their time of 
blowing, but the living plants continued ' growing.' ! 

Love's Labour Lost. The general tone of the play points to the 
full summer, the very time when we should expect to find Boyet 
thinking ' to close his eyes some half an hour under the cool shade of 
a sycamore ' (Act V. sc. ii.). 

All's Well that Ends Well. There is a pleasant note of the 
season in 

1 If < the rite of May' (Act IV. sc. i.) is to be strictly limited to May-Day, 
the title of a ' Midsummer Night's Dream ' does not apply. The difficulty can 
only be met by supposing the scene to be laid at any night in May, even in 
the last night, which would coincide with our 12th of June. 


" The time will bring on summer, 
When briars will have leaves as well as thorns, 
And be as sweet as sharp " (Act IV. sc. iv.) j 

but probably that is only a proverbial expression of hopefulness, and 
cannot be pushed further. 

Winter's Tale. There seems some little confusion in the season 
of the fourth Act the feast for the sheep-shearing, which is in the 
very beginning of summer yet Perdita dates the season as ' the year 
growing ancient' 

" Nor yet on summer's death, nor on the birth 
Of trembling winter" 

and gives Caniillo the ' flowers of middle summer.' The flowers 
named are all summer flowers ; carnations or gilliflowers, lavender, 
mints, savory, marjoram, and marigold. 

Richard II. There are several marked and well-known dates in 
this play, but they are not much marked by the flowers. The 
intended combat was on St. Lambert's day (17th Sept.), but there is 
no allusion to autumn flowers. In Act III. sc. iii., which we know 
must be placed in August, there is, besides the mention of the 
summer dust, King Richard's sad strain : 

"Our sighs, and they (tears), shall lodge the summer corn," 

and in the same Act we have the gardener's orders to trim the rank 
summer growth of the ' dangling apricocks,' while in the last Act, 
which must be some months later, we have the Duke of York speak- 
ing of ' this new spring of time ' and the Duchess asking 

" Who are the violets now 
That strew the green lap of the new-come spring 1 " 

and though in both cases the words may be used proverbially, yet it 
seems also probable that they may have been suggested by the time 
of year. 

Henry IV., pt. 2. There is one flower-note in Act II. sc. iv., 
where the Hostess says to FalstafF, " Fare thee well ! I have known 
thee these twenty-five years come peascod time," of which it can only be 
said that it must have been spoken at some other time than the summer. 


Henry V. The exact season of Act V. sc. i. is fixed by St. 
David's Day (March 1) and the leek. 

Henry VL, pt. 1. The scene in the Temple gardens (Acb II. sc. 
iv.), where all turned on the colour of the roses, must have been at 
the season when the roses were in full bloom, say June. 

Richard III. Here too the season of Act II. sc. iv. is fixed by 
the ripe strawberries brought by the Bp. of Ely to Richard. The 
exact date is known to be June 13, 1483. 

Timon of Athens. An approximate season for Act IV. sc. iii. 
might be guessed from the medlar offered by Apemantus to Timon. 
Our medlars are ripe in November. 

Anthony and Cleopatra. The figs and fig-leaves brought to 
Cleopatra give a slight indication of the season of Act V. 1 

Cynibeline. Here there is a more distinct plant-note of the 
season of Act I. sc. iii. The queen and her ladies, ' while yet the 
dew's on ground, gather flowers,' which at the end of the scene we are 
told are violets, cowslips, and primroses, the flowers of the spring. 
In the fourth Act Lucius gives orders to ' find out the prettiest daisied 
plot we can,' to make a grave for Cloten ; but daisies are too long in 
flower to let us attempt to fix a date by them. 

Hamlet. In this play the season intended is very distinctly 
marked by the flowers. The first Act must certainly be some time in 
the winter, though it may be the end of winter or early spring The 
air bites shrewdly, it is very cold.' Then comes an interval of two 
months or more, and Ophelia's madness must be placed in the early 
summer, i. e. in the end of May or the beginning of June ; no other 
time will all the flowers mentioned fit, but for that time they are 
exact. The violets were ' all withered ; ' but she could pick fennel 
and columbines, daisies and pansies in abundance, while the ever- 
green rosemary and rue (' which we may call Herb of Grace on 
Sundays ') would be always ready. It was the time of year when 

1 "The Alexandrine figs are of the black kind having a white rift or 
Chamfre, and are surnamed Delicate. . . . Certain figs there be, which are 
both early and also lateward .... they are ripe first in harvest, and after- 
wards in time of vintage .... also some there be which beare thrice a 
yeare " (Pliny, Nat. Hist., b. xv., c. 18, P. Holland's translation, 1601). 


trees were in their full leafage, and so the ' willow growing ascaunt 
the brook would show its hoar leaves in the glassy stream/ while its 
'slivers,' would help her in making 'fantastic garlands' 'of crow- 
flowers, nettles, daisies, and long purples,' or ' dead men's fingers," 
all of which she would then be able to pick in abundance in the 
meadows, but which in a few weeks would be all gone. Perhaps 
the time of year may have suggested to Laertes that pretty but sad 

address to his sister, 

" Rose of May ! 
Dear maid, kind sister, sweet Ophelia ! " 

Titus Andronicus. There is a plant-note in Act II. sc. ii : 

" The trees, though summer, yet forlorn and lean, 
O'ercome with moss and baleful mistletoe." 

Romeo and Juliet. A slight plant-note of the season may be 
detected in the nightly singing of the nightingale in the pomegranate 
tree in the third Act. 

King Lear. The plants named point to one season only, the spring. 
At no other time could the poor mad king have gone singing aloud, 

" Crowned with rank fumiter and furrow weeds, 
With harlock, hemlocks, nettles, cuckoo flowers, 
And darnel." 

I think this would also be the time for gathering the fresh shoots of 
the samphire ; but I do not know this for certain. 1 

Two Noble Kinsmen. Here the season is distinctly stated for us 
by the poet. The scene is laid in May, and the flowers named are 
all in accordance daffodils, daisies, marigolds, oxlips, primrose, 
roses, and thyme. 

I cannot claim any great literary results from this inquiry into 
the seasons of Shakspere as indicated by the flowers named ; on the 
contrary, I must confess that the results are exceeding small I might 
almost say, none at all still I do not regret the time and trouble 
that the inquiry has demanded of me. In every literary inquiry the 

1 The objection to fixing the date of the play in spring is that Cordelia bids 
search to be made for Lear ' in every acre of the high-grown field.' If this can 
only refer to a field of corn at its full growth, there is a confusion of seasons. 
But if the larger meaning is given to ' field,' which it bears in ' flowers of the 
field,' ' beasts of the field,' the confusion is avoided. The words would then 
refer to the wild overgrowth of an open country. 


value of the research is not to be measured by the visible results. It 
is something even to find out that there are no results, and so save 
trouble to future inquirers. But in this case the research has not 
been altogether in vain. Every addition, however small, to the 
critical study of our great Poet has its value ; and to myself, as a 
student of the Natural History of Shakspere, the inquiry has been 
a very pleasant one, because it has confirmed my previous opinion, 
that even in such common matters as the names of the most familiar 
every-day plants he does not write in a careless hap-hazard way, 
naming just the plant that comes uppermost in his thoughts, but that 
they are all named in the most careful and correct manner, exactly 
fitting into the scenes in which they are placed, and so giving to 
each passage a brightness and a reality which would be entirely 
wanting if the plants were set down in the ignorance of guess-work. 
Shakspere knew the plants well ; and though his knowledge is never 
paraded, by its very thoroughness it cannot be hid. 

bench holes. Ant. and Cl., IV. vii. 9. The context favours the 
gloss * holes of privies,' 1 they beraying themselves through fear ; 
whence diarrhoea was in old English parlance ' having the Danes.' 
Harsnet, Pop. Impostures, 1603, p. 18, says, that some, to avoid 
detection " did put their heads in a bench, hole for twelve months" 
[in jocular reference to the belief that the ostrich with the same view 
hid her head in the sand]. 

She never could away with me. 2 Henry IV, III. ii. 213. Abide, 
endure or like. The supposed devil in Sara was made to say " She 
[the Virgin Mary] cannot away with a principall person [Q. Eliza- 
beth] in this Realme." Harsnet, Pop. Impost., 1603, p. 152. * Away ' 
comes from A. S. on, and iveg, way, road, so that the phrase " She 
cannot away with," means literally " She cannot go on the road, 
or in company with." 

lag and baggage. As Y. Like It, III. ii. 170 " for they remoued 
bagge and baggage as your wandring Players vse to doe " Harsnet, 
Pop. Impostures, 1603, p. 11. The author is fond of likening his 
adversaries to actors, and shows a certain familiarity with their ways 
and doings, besides drawing illustrations from the old Moralities in 
this book, though he does not in that of 1599 against the sectarian 
devil-hunter Darrel. Hence it is allowable to conjecture that the 
phrase above was a known one among strollers. 

1 Maloue gave the gloss long before Schmidt or Schmidt's father was 
born. B.N. 



Head at the mh Meeting of the Society, Friday, Feb. 14, 1879. 

MY friend Mr P. A. Daniel, in his Introduction to the parallel 
texts has shown beyond a doubt that the Quarto was printed from a 
copy most ignorantly curtailed for stage representation. I give his 
examples in my own words. In Q. and F. I. ii. 71 we find, " Hugh 
Capet also." Why also 1 Because though omitted in Q. King Pepin 
had been spoken of as a first example. Pepin's title also, as having 
been derived from the female, is spoken of again at 1. 89 in F. and in 
the corresponding line of the Q. Again, in F. the third example is 
" King Lewes," but as he had not been mentioned in the Q. contrac- 
tion, the adapter substituted " Charles," evidently in the belief that 
Charles, Duke of Loraine, having been mentioned for another pur- 
pose, the clod-pole audience would take " King Charles " to be a 
reference to this " Duke." Thirdly, though in the Q. this " Charles 
of Loraine " is not mentioned before F. 1. 85, yet while several lines 
before and after this line are omitted, this is retained, and runs 

"Daughter to Charles fheforesaid Duke of Loraine." 

Fourthly, by the excisions just mentioned, the Lady Lingare is 
made the daughter of Charles of Loraine instead of the daughter of 
Charlemagne, as she is rightly called in the complete text. Fifthly 
Hugh Capet, who murdered this Charles, is made to derive his title 
through his descent from Lady Lingare, the alleged daughter of this 


very Charles. Further on, in III. vii., a night scene in the French 
camp, this altering genius, in want of a ryining tag, takes that of 
IY. ii., a morning scene that he omits, and ends his night scene 

" Come, come away ; 
The sun is hie, and we weare out the day." 

I could add as another argument that in the Q., besides the 
shortening of the time of representation, the number of actors is 
lessened. Ten characters are either non-speakers or wanting, includ- 
ing that of the French Queen. The Duke of Britaine is another, 
and as in II. iv. he is addressed, the words in the Q. are altered 
and his name omitted. Again, besides these ten, the English Am- 
bassadors, and the Messenger who announces them, resolve themselves 
in the Q. II. iv. into Exeter, with the change in the text of " them" 
to " him." The same appears to have been at first intended when 
the French Ambassadors were introduced, for in Q. I. ii. the King 
asks only for " the Messenger from the Dolphin," but the idea was 
either abandoned, or by a slip " Ambassadors " was afterwards 
retained, as also the plurals " us, we, and them." 

Now, can we account for these things 1 I think so, whether we 
look on the fewer characters as in part Shakspere's first conception, or 
whether it were in part, as seems likely, a reduction by some other 
to meet reduced circumstances. We know that in 1600 the company 
were travelling in the provinces, because, as the 1603 Hamlet says, 
t'.ie children were so popular, and as he afterwards ventured to add, 
by reason of the inhibition. Agreeing with this is the defection of 
Kemp. Now just as he left a tottering house, so would others even 
before the company actually left London, and the shareholders would 
of course be glad to get rid as much as possible of the " hired men." 
Hence the Quarto is so curtailed, and so minished in its performers 
as to suit a poorer and a clod-pole audience, whether in London or in 
t!ie country. 

I. But another point of difference is noticed by Mr Daniel, and 
I quote his own words : " In the F. version are certain historical 
errors not found in the Q. edition. We must, therefore, either 
believe that these errors were the result of the elaboration of the first 


sketch (the Q.), or we must conclude that they were corrected in the 
shortened play (the Q. ) ; the latter hypothesis seems to me the only 
tenable one." 

Now, first, none of the historical errors here spoken of are im- 
portant, either as bearing on the general accuracy of the account 
given, or as altering the plot intended to be represented. Then why 
is Mr. Daniel's second hypothesis the only tenable one ? As he has 
given no reasons, I must adduce the considerations that have occurred 
to myself. Why should the first sketch, when the author had his 
Holinshed either before him, or freshly in his memory, why should 
it be less correct than the later version, not of a primer, but of a 
work of imagination founded on the broad lines of history, but filled 
in according to the author's fancy and intents] Who were the 
objectors 1 Were they those historical purists, the players 1 Had they 
expressed a puritanical dislike to acting anything not strictly founded 
on facts ] Or had his audiences thought that their little go in history 
or their chances at a competitive examination would be endangered ? 
Or, lastly, was Shakspere's conscience tardily awakened to the 
enormity of his twistings of history in this his Pinnock's catechism 
of the sayings and doing of the English under Henry Y. If so 
omitting any notice of more important matters why did he retain 
Pistol and his associates, including the buxom Quickly 1 Why, too, 
did he retain ' pax/ when Holinshed distinctly says it was a ' pix ' ; 
and neither Holinshed nor any other chronicler give the theft to 
Bardolph 1 Mr Daniel himself says in reference to 1 Henry VI., 
N. Sh. S. Tr. 1877-9, P. II., p. 298 note" If we are to correct the 
dramatist at the bidding of history, very little of his work would 
remain intact." 

The other hypothesis seems to me from an a priori point of view 
as easy and likely. Shakspere, looking later at his drama, looked 
at it, not as at a compendious primer, but as an acting Drama, and 
considered how its dramatic power might be improved, and the points 
and morals that he would enforce brought out more clearly without 
interfering with the main facts of history. This second hypothesis 
is supported by various previous authorities Knight, for instance, 
giving examples in its favour, though, as has been noticed, Mr. 


Daniel neither confutes him nor adduces reasons for his new view. 
Clearly, which of the two hypotheses is the more tenable can only 
be decided by a somewhat detailed comparison of the Q. and F. 
But first I will consider three of the more important of the Folio 
deviations from history. 

1. The Dauphin is made present at Agincourt. The answer to 
the question why Shakspere thus deviated from history is simple. 
Henry was evidently a favourite hero, as king, as warrior, and as a 
religiously-disposed prince, far-seeing, sagacious, merciful, yet uncom- 
promising when compromise was only weakness. The counsel of his 
astute father approves itself to him engage in foreign war that the 
minds of your people may be occupied, and their interests consoli- 
dated. Yet he will not undertake a war with France, on which he 
thinks he has a claim, unless his title be proved. It is proved in a 
way that would satisfy any warlike spirit, and by his highest Church 
authority. Then his words are " God before I'll bring it to my 
awe " and he makes his appeal to God in whose name he puts forth 
his " rightful hand in a well-hallowed cause." In like manner, after 
Agincourt, we have the following thought expressed no less than 
four times 

" God, thy Arm was here ; 
Not unto us, but to thy Arm alone, 
Ascribe we all." 

Without insisting further on the heroic and favourable aspect in 
which Henry is so constantly set forth, it is sufficient to add that 
his weighty words occupy, as Mr Daniel has noticed, one-third of the 
number of lines in the play. Not content with this, Shakspere 
enhances his character, and brings it more prominently forth by 
contrast. Before the present play, Henry in his wild days and his 
worldly-sagacious father are contrasted. In this play two others are 
contrasted with him, the weak king of France and his arrogant, 
weak, and boastful, but do-nothing son. These throw out Henry the 
more, and also suggest the thought that France would be the better 
as well as England for a union of rulers. At the very outset the 
Dauphin's arrogance is shown by his insulting present, as is his 
father's weakness in allowing his ambassadors to convey such a 


present and message. Whether we consider the present, or the 
message, or the rank of the sender not a king but merely an heir- 
apparent each incident is equally at variance with the customs and 
courtesies of nations. Passing over two other instances where the 
Dauphin is shown as self-opinionated and negligent, he on the eve of 
Agincourt is brought in, vain, boastful, and impatient, arming him- 
self at midnight, and the first at morning- tide to cry, "a cheval." 
What is the result 1 He is sneered at by the Constable, and we hear 
nothing more of him till the scene of defeat. Then the other princes 
despairingly rush to make a hopeless rally, and are either taken or 
slain. He talks, but is neither taken prisoner nor found among 
the killed like Nym he had found the humour of it too hot, and 
skedaddled. On those who cannot see how as an acting play this 
drama is improved, I need not waste more words. And as to verbal 
or numerical accuracy there were not 60,000 (IV. iii., 3) but 60,001 
men and semi-men. 

But stay, say some critics so-called, you forget that Shakspere 
here nodded violently, and roused himself in the Quarto, for he had 
told us by the French king's own mouth that the son was not to go 
to Agincourt, and that peremptorily. Did such amiable gentlemen 
never hear of a weak, doting old father Avho denied his son's request, 
and denied it all the more peremptorily because of his weakness, and 
then gives way? Sir Anthony Absolute and hundreds of others may 
be recommended to such as studies. Had not the play been already 
long enough, the discussion might have formed a scene in it. As it 
is, it is left to the intelligence of the auditors' eyes, who having heard 
the denial, saw the son there, and saw in this another instance of the 
father's weakness. So in Macbeth. A bleeding soldier attired as a 
Captain enters, and Malcolm says, "This is the Serjeant." The 
audience at once understand though some editors do not that one, 
a serjeant when he rescued Malcolm, had since been promoted for 
this very rescue, and understood it as readily as though they had 
seen him invested. 

The view has, I know, been advanced that the Dauphin of these 
scenes (III. vii., IV. ii.) is the Sir Guichard Dauphin numbered 
among the slain, but this is so plainly contrary to the words he uses, 

N. S. SOC. TRANS., 1880-2. G 


and those used to and of him, that in presence of such an audience I 
do no more than notice its absurdity. 

2. Again, why do we have this deviation from history 1 ' The 
Constable stays but for his guard, and then determines to go on 
without them, and take his banner from a trumpet.' Holinshed says 
that some went without their servants, and that the Duke of Brabant 
took a banner from a trumpet. Simply that Shakspere went upon 
the proverb, " Like master, like man." He gave a more vivid picture 
of the haste and over-confidence of the French by representing the 
Constable of France, the commander-in-chief of the army, as doing 
both ; and both could readily occur to one man, since if the guard 
were wanting, the ensign or banner would be wanting also. 

3. A third error is, that whereas Westmoreland was, according 
to history, the guardian of the marches during Henry's absence, 
Shakspere in the F. brings him to France. What has this incorrect- 
ness to do with the history narrated in the play, or with its plot ? 
Had Shakspere said that he was to be guardian of the marches, 
and then brought him to France, there would have been an incon- 
sistency. But as it stands, the Earls of Denbigh or Salisbury, or any 
other Earl or Marquis, might have been the keeper of the marches. 
It is only another instance of the misconception that Shakspere 
wrote his Henry V. simply as an educational primer. As I have 
said, in 1599 Shakspere's company was probably small : without 
any doubling of parts the Q. contains less characters than the F. by 
ten or thirteen. When therefore Shakspere was revising his play in 
more prosperous times say, for instance, when they were the King's 
players he added amongst others the name of Westmoreland, just 
as he brought in good old Sir Thomas Erpingham. In confirmation, 
I would call attention to the fact that all Westmoreland's speeches 
are short, and but one a little out of the ordinary, and that only 
intended as a prelude to Henry's magnificent speech 

" Who wishes for more men from England 1 " 

Still further confirmation is to be found in this and in another 
passage. Harry, further on in this speech, which in the Q. is caused 
by Warwick's remark, and is at first addressed to him, says in the F. :. 


" Then shall our names, 
Harry the King, Bedford and Exeter, 
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester, 
Be in their flowing cups freshly remembered." 

Could Henry have so markedly omitted his cousin Westmoreland 
whose hasty words he has taken up? Similarly, in V. ii., on the 
inquiry of the King as to the results of the conference between his 
Lords and the French King, Westmoreland is the first to reply 

" The King hath granted every article." (1. 333, &c.) 
But earlier, when (1. 84, &c.) Henry appoints his Commissioners, he, 
omitting Westmoreland, says 

" Goe Uncle Exeter, 

And brother Clarence, and you brother Gloucester, 
Warwick and Huntingdon go with the king." 

Do not both these omissions go strongly to show that Shakspere 
had changed and increased his characters, but had forgotten to alter 
these texts ; and that the Folio is the later version ? 

I turn now to the more important of the parallel passages of Q. 
and F. which exhibit a difference, avoiding all evidence from the 
silence of the Q. except where it is clear from the structure of the 
phrases that this silence is not due to an omission on the part of the 
Q., but to an augmentation in the Folio. In all I think it will at 
once appear that the latter shows signs of improvement and not un- 
frequently of augmentation, both of the thought and of its expres- 
sion. The line references are always Lo the Folio, and when parallel 
passages are quoted without other reference the first is the Q., the 
second the F. reading. 

I. ii. 11. 11, 15. The King would appeal to his Archbishop as to 
a learned man whose piety and truthfulness to both his God and 
king will guide him to " unfold why," &c. Q. has 

" good, my Lord, 

And God forbid, my wise and learned Lord." 

The Folio 

" My learned Lord, 

And God forbid, iny deare and faith full Lord." 

G 2 


Nor need I do more than call attention to the great verbal im- 
provement of " unfold," F., over " proceed," Q., as the latter might 
merely imply that he is to rehearse before the assembly arguments 
and conclusions as to which he and Henry were already in accord. 
So in 1. 14 no legal impediment need " stop " a wilful man, but it 
could legally "bar" him. L. 16, "wrest the same" "bar your 
reading." The latter gets rid of the tautological " fashion, frame," 
and of the unintentional rhyme with " clayme " (1. 14) ; gets rid of 
the impression given by Q., that the claim was already a foregone 
conclusion ; follows more naturally the words " learned lord " and 
11. 11, 12; improves the phrasing, for it is better to speak of wresting 
your reading than of wresting a claim ; and leads the way more 
naturally to 11. 17 19. Hence the change was an after-change, and 
-probably 11. 17 19 an after-addition. Passing by slight but material 
verbal changes in 11. 24, 31, 32, and merely saying that the change 
of " in " to " with " in 1. 34 is a great improvement, for sin washed 
in water is still sin, while its being washed with water denotes more 
actively a cleansing power, and at the same time makes the washing 
or baptism a mere instrument passing by these and others, including 
the change of " causes " to " Titles," 1. 96 I would call especial 
attention to 1. 101, where we find "son" altered to "man." The 
latter is the word in the text referred to, Numb, xxvii. 8, and is more 
general, for the Q. seems merely to speak of the inheritance descpnd- 
ing to the daughter when there has been a son who has died. 
Again, in 1. 138, "arme us against" is less expressive of Henry's 
attitude with regard to France than " arme to invade ; " and so, in 
1. 139, is "for" instead of "against," in reference to Scotland; so 
li The Marches will guard your England," is better replaced by " They 
of those Marches " shall be " a wall to defend our in-land," for, to 
enlarge only upon one point, it is the people, and not the nature of 
the Marches, that are to defend them. 

While, also, I do not say that " unmaskt his power for France " 
was very happily altered into "went with his forces," 1. 149, yet the 
latter avoids the imputation that his great ancestor took the pre- 
caution and had the cunningness to go suddenly and secretly into 
France as fearing either it or Scotland, or both. So far it is an 


improvement, though perhaps hurriedly carried out, as I shall en- 
deavour to show by and by was probably the case. Then in 1. 
156, "trembled at the brute hereof," as reflecting too mucli on the 
" hardy English," is altered into " trembling at th'ill neighbour- 
hood." In 1. 167 can the least poetical not see which word is the 
better, " shiplesse " or " sum-Jesse," especially when the former is but 
the repetition of "sunken wrack'"? In 1. 171 " unfurnisht " is a 
wrong epithet and " unguarded " a right one, for the very reason that 
draws the weasel is that the nest is furnislit with eggs. In 1. 174 
" spoyle and havocke " is liable to be taken if spoyle be adopted in 
one sense in which it can be used as a mere reiteration, hence Shak- 
spere changed it to " t (I believe ' take ') and havocke." Nor 
looking to the aim of his simile do I envy the man who cannot see 
the improvement from " Congrueth with a mutuall consent " to " con- 
greeing in a full and natural close," like musicke. Also " live " 
changed to " work," 1.189 (noting the previous "obedience"), and 
1. 199, " maiestie behold" to " muiesties surveyes/' and 1. 201, 
"lading" to "kneading," a change which also shows that 11. 202-3 
were then added. 

I now come to 11. 206-15, on which I dwell a little, partly because 
Dyce has, I think, mangled his text. Observe the differences : In 
the Q. the " 20 actions " afterwards become " a thousand," and these 
actions " end in one moment." In the Folio " many " and " a 
thousand " ave not contradictory numbers, while " end in one pur- 
pose" is a phrase much more germane to his argument and intent. 
But there is more : the Folio says that things that seem to work 
" contrariously " really tend to one purpose, an addition that greatly 
increases the appositeness of his similes. Dyce saw these things, 
and so far retained the readings of F. But in 11. 209-11 he followed 
the Q., introducing in 1. 210 Lettsom's conjecture of "streets" for 
" wayes." Probably he was influenced by the more poetically sound- 
ing "flye to one marke" instead of " come to one marke." But as 
to the repetition of " wayes," he takes no notice of the fact that 
Shakspere has used other repetitions in this passage, apparently to 
mark the better the oneness of his similes. We have " several, 
several " in the Q., " meet, meet " in the Folio. Next, as la 


" flye " and " come." One necessity of poetic phraseology, and one 
that over-bears mere sound, is, that it should express its meaning 
fully and explicitly. Now " come " does this. It does not fol- 
low that because arrows are loosed in several directions that they 
should all arrive at one mark, but the " come " shows this predeter. 
mined purpose, and also tells the audience distinctly that he is 
speaking of " roving " where marksmen let loose from different parts 
of the field, or " contrariously " and suddenly, upon one then fixed- 
upon mark. 1 " Therefore, my Liege, to France " is tamer and much 
less suited to the more vehement peroration of the speaker than 
" Therefore to France, my Liege," 1. 215. " Beaten," 1. 221, is poorer 
and less suited to his simile than " worried " ; so, considering the 
words that follow " or make it," "bring" 1. 224 is well supplanted 
by "bend." In 11. 236-7, in which are Henry's qualities of quick 
resolve, openness, and courtesy best shown 

" Now are we well prepared to know the Dolphin's pleasure," 

or in 

" Now are we well prepared to know the pleasure 
Of our faire Cosin Dolphin." ] 

Besides, the latter shows -more distinctly that neither Henry nor his 
council had an idea of the insulting nature of the message and gift. 
So in 1. 244 can there be a comparison between 

" To whom our spirit is as subject," 
or between any possible emendation of this, and 

" Unto whose grace our passion is as subject " ? 

Nor, if we compare 11. 249-51, can it, I think, be doubted but that 
the Folio shows additions, not that the Q. lines are a curtailment. 
" This the Dolphin saith " is less apologetic, and therefore less in 
character with those who at first hesitated, than " This the Dolphin 
speakes." Is not also 

" Your message and his present we accept " 

1 I would add, that while I formerly accepted the general consensus that 
Dyce was a most judicious editor, several circumstances have made me loose 
that opinion. Correct he may have been, but he was not unfrequently 
injudicious, and was ever over-ready to vary. 


a much less felicitous phrase, and one more open to misconstruction, 
than the slightly hidden irony of 1. 264 

" His present and your paines we thanke you for " 1 

In 1. 284 the change of "I" [Aye] to "Yea" seems trifling; but 
it shows that the Q. " we " was changed into the F. " I," not the 
" I " into " we." What may have been the cause of this change may 
be doubtful, but it is clear that the occurrence of I will rise I will 
dazzle in 11. 282 and 3 made the " Aye " of 284 uneuphonious, hence 
Shakspere changed it to " Yea." In 1. 287 " sit sore charged " is less 
appropriate, less legal, and less scriptural than u stand sore charged." 
So, 1. 288, " from " is less emphatic and menacing than " with," and 
" many a wife " less emphatic than " many a thousand widows." I 
do not quote 1. 298 because the words " in peace " may perhaps have 
been omitted in the Q. copy. But as the change of " See them 
hence" to "Fare you well" certainly is, it may have been an im- 
provement meant to set Henry's character, as always, in a favourable 
light. Then in 1. 308 ambiguity is avoided and the phraseology 
improved by the change of 

" * let our collection for the wars be soon provided " 

" * let our proportion for these warres 
Be soone collected. 1 ' 

II. Chorus. Here I agree with Knight's view, adopted by Dyce 
and Lettsom, that 11. 31-2, belonging to the Chorus as originally 
written, were afterwards replaced by the eight following lines, but 
that both were inadvertently retained. II. i. The " Godmorrows " of 
11. 1, 2 do not express so well the relative ranks of Bardolph and 
Njm as " Well met " and " Good morrow." Nym's speech, 11. 4 9, 
shows, I think, not omissions in Q., but additions in F. Compare 
1. 42 with 1. 19 F., and this also shows there are alterations in the 
sequences of the dialogue, where, as in 11. 19 24, Nym's murderously- 
expressed intentions come as a climax, or rather as an anti-climax, and 
prepare us for the ensuing ludicrous scene when Pistol and his spouse 
appear. In 11. 31-2 "bed and board" are changed to "lodge and 


board/' because the too virtuous Quickly would not in " such a con- 
catination " think of using the prurient word " bed." Her " Good 
Corporal Nym " is very properly made a separate speech in 1. 41. 
The "wilful murder and adultery" stands out better by itself at 1. 
36, and the appeal is also better by itself, and comes better after 
Pistol's braggadocio. So, by the way, "by gads lugges " is not so 
ludicrous in the mouth of a braggart as "by this hand I swear," 
11. 28-9 ; while the latter affords an example of what cun be traced 
throughout the play, the not uncommon omission in the Folio of 
mere expletive oaths, an omission more called for and carried out a 
little after James's accession than in 1599. Pistol's " solus" speech, 
11. 44-9, has been clearly added to and revised in the F. so as to 
make it more absurd and laughable. There is a mixture of metaphors : 
" nastie " is a better, because a lower, epithet for mouth than " mess- 
ful," and there is a use of maw and mouth, unconscious that they are 
synonymes. L. 42 Q. is improved in 1. 49 F. Again, in 1. 57, 
" groaning " is replaced by " doting," which is better, inasmuch as it 
better keeps up the alliteration which Pistol affects, and is more 
exceeding good senseless. In 1. 52 " fall foul " is well changed to 
"grow foul," for the former denotes action, whereas Pistol, here as 
elsewhere, talks but never acts. Can anyone hesitate in 1. 60, in 
such a colloquy as this, between " I'le kill him" and " lie run him 
up to the hilts " 1 The acute boy was aware of the late change when 
he altered " Hostes," &c., to " Mine Hoast Pistoll," and placing him 
first, calls his former hostess "your Hostesse." LI. 83-4 F. " Why 
the devil," &c., come in much better here than at 1. 16 Q., and the 
phrase " Be enemies with me too " is better placed in F. at 1. 96. In 
11. 107-10 " soul" is changed to "heart" in the mouth of the mun- 
dane Quickly; "troubled" is far better expressed by "shake," 
considering that she is speaking of a fever, and though " tashan 
contigian " is an absurd accumulation of blunders such as she con- 
stantly makes, these absurdities would not gain so ready an appreci- 
ation with a then audience as " quotidian tertian." 

II. ii. The analogue in Q. of 1. 16 seems like the natural close 
of the speech. But 1. 16 itself seems to be changed so as to require 
or allow of 11. 17-18. These, therefore, should be counted as additions ; 


but even supposing they are not, yet the change in 1. 16 must be 
counted an improvement. " Shine," in 1. 36, was at first naturally 
suggested by " steeled," and by the thought of the limbs shining 
with the perspiration of toil ; but the simile is somewhat discordant, 
and " toyle " is to my ear far more emphatic and deceitful. In 1. 
42 we have " heate of wine," and in F. " excess of wine." Why 
is there a change ? Because heat of wine makes one blab out 
incautiously what he thinks, excess of wine makes a man say that 
which he does not think. The change of " state " to " person," 1. 58, 
unquestionably shows a more matured thought. It is impossible 
also to read 11. 71-5 and not see that in the F. they have been 
augmented, and as I think improved. Nei'her can there be many, if 
any, who will not pronounce 1. 80 F, to be a great improvement of 
1. 60 Q., both lines showing without a doubt that they are printed as 
written. LL 86-8 are clearly also a later enlargement " Yilde " also 
of Q. is too much opposed to " Belonging to his Honour," while 
" and this man," with action suited to the word, is more expressive 
than any adjective, and accords better with Henry's dignity than, 
calling names like a boon companion of Pistol. In 11. 100-1, 

" Can it be possible that out of thee 
Should proceed one sparke that might," &c. (Q.) 


" May it be possible that forraigne, liyer 
Could out of thee extract one sparke of evill 
That might annoy my finger ?" (F.) 

observe the various beauties introduced, especially in forraigne hire 
and spark of evil which necessitate the change of " proceed " to the 
more forcible and telling " extract." 

Passing over various other things, and merely noting the far 
greater accuracy of thought involved in the change of " redress" to 
"revenge," 1. 174, and to the improvement of 1. 185 over "since 
God cut off," of Q., I pass on to 

II. iii. Here there is evidently an augmentative change in F. of 
Bardolph's speech, 11. 7-8, as shown by the change of Dame Quickly's 
answer from "Aye" to " Nay," &c. This speech of Bardolph's thus 
altered also proves that a change has in the Folio been made in 


Pistol's previous speech. How much more natural also is the F. in 
11. 31-2, and in Bardolph's, 41-2. 

II. iv. In 1. 29 Q. we have " a sceptre guided," hut a sceptre, 
though " borne," is not guided ; besides, his argument is, that Harry 
did not and could not guide his course, so the word in the Folio was 
omitted. The Constable in 1. 32 F. uses a phrase of the same import 
as in Q., but more courtly and respective. Nobility of character, 
1. 35, is a quality of more importance in a Councillor than mere age, 
and 1. 37 is an immense improvement in sense and in every other 
way over 1. 19 Q. L. 20 'Q. is a proof that 11. 3248 F. are an after 
expansion. In 1. 136 it is evident that the line was altered to admit 
of the addition " and Yanitie " for the corresponding line of the 
Q., and the next one scan rightly. 

III. ii. 11. 1 9. In Q., from Nym and Pistol's speeches, " hot," 
"hot," there is an evident change in F., nor can any one doubt but 
that the latter is the revised form as shown by simple inspection. 
What makes this more plain is that the Q. " 'Tis honor," &c., is in 
F. also improved and removed to 1. 23. The change of " honor " 
to "fame" in 1. 11 shows that the previous speech is correctly given 
in both versions, besides that " the humor of it " is Nyrn's special 
phrase. But I think none can help preferring the enlarged folio 
speech of Pistol or the dialogue before it. So if any one will consult 
the Q. attentively, he will see that 11. 25 38 F. are new additions, 
while the corresponding phrases elsewhere have their ludicrousness or 
wit increased. The change in III. ii. 1. 50 of " defensive " into 
"defensible" is an intentional change, for Shakspere makes the 
governor refer to a well known rule of war that a city that resists 
when no longer defensible, ipso facto, gives itself over to spoil. 

III. iv. Here, though the French of both is corrupted, we have in 

the Q. 

" Alice venez ici, vous avez ete en Angleterre, vous parlez 
fort bien 1'Anglais." 

In the Folio 

" Alice tu as ete en Angleterre, et tu parlais bien le lan- 

Here she " tutoies " Alice because she is her nurse, and because she 


would put her in good humour. Secondly, she uses " parlais " and 
not " parle," a cunningness of Shakspere as to the present enmity. 
Thirdly, as not yet Queen of England, but a foreign enemy, she 
avoids the double use of Angleterre and Anglais. There is a second 
change which leads to the same conclusion that the Folio was a 
revised version. Alice says that the Princess will learn " en petit 
temps," but the Folio has the more correct and idiomatic " en peu 
de temps." Thirdly, it is unlike an abbreviated copy to displace, 
as is done in the Q., the elbow from its natural sequence as it 
occurs in the Folio. 

III. v. In 1. 2, 5, Q., we have " Mort de ma vie " and " Mort 
Dieu," but Shakspere, thinking these too much alike in English 
mouths and ears to be used by different persons, substituted in 11. 5, 
11, F., "0 Dieu vivant" and "Mort de ma vie." As in 1. 9 the 
Constable would hardly admit that the English could "outgrow" 
their grafters, he alters it to " overlook." Can any one compare 11. 
18 20 F. with 11. 12-13 Q., and not see that the former is the more 
matured form 1 ? Or in 11. 22-3, are not "Honour of our names" and 
" frozen Icesickles " comparatively poor to " honor of our Land " 
and "roping Icycles" (upon our Thatch) 1 

III. vi. If there be any that will maintain that the Q. is the 
improved version of Fluellen's speech, 11. 6 15, I can only say, that 
such an ancient is of " no estimation in the 'orld." One instance, 
Shakspere had had " Ensigne," but remembering that Falstaff was 
dead he made Fluellen describe him by his insignia as an " Ancient 
Lieutenant." I note also as before the excision of the expletive 
oath "by Ghesu." ISTor can there, I think, be much doubt as to the 
priority in point of time of " furious fate " and " Fortunes fickle 
wheel " over " cruel fate " and " Fortunes furious fickle wheel " ; 
or of "let not death his windpipe stop" over "let not Hempe 
his Windpipe suffocate." Can one doubt which are better Pistolese? 
LI. 57-8 Q. are omitted in the Folio. Why 1 ? The simple answers 
seem to be 1. That there was too much repetition of the " fico." 
2. That Shakspere saw that he could not consistently allow the 
choleric Fluellen to keep his temper under such continued insolence. 
The phrase, the fig of Spain, in itself a most opprobrious and 


contumelious allusion, was repeated three times, and each time with 
aggravations ; he therefore contented himself in his revised copy with 
the curtailed second one, " The figge of Spaine." Is it not too more 
consistent for the braggart coward to utter his contumelious words 
but once and as he goes off] This exit follows the fashion of his 
stage heroes, and avoids, as far as possible, his being called to 
account. Again, 1. 79, " I do perceive he is not the man hee would 
gladly make shew to the world hee is"(F.) is, I take it, an improve- 
ment of the Q. reading. Certainly no one, I think, would maintain 
that the Q. version is here an improvement of the Folio. Neither 
is there, I think, any comparison between " his army is too weak " and 
the proud brag of the French king by Mount] oy, " the Muster of .his 
Kingdom too faint a number," 1. 126. Lastly, the change in 1. 167 of 
" beyond the bridge " to " beyond the river " shows that 1. 166 is not 
an omission in the Q., but an addition in the F. version. 

III. 7. Here let any one compare 11. 11 18 and 11. 20-5 with the 
Q., and if he cannot see most evident marks of elaboration I need 
try no more to convince him. He cannot be persuaded 'gainst his 

IV. i. In 11. 131-6 are alterations, augmentations, and, I hold, 
improvements, as in the transpositions of the Q. phrases " wives 
rawly left " and " children poore behind them." So in the king's^ 
speech, 1. 144, &c. ; and it must be remembered, here as always, that if 
my possible opponent cannot see any improvement in the Folio to 
justify the view I uphold, he is bound by his argument to find an 
improvement in Q. over Folio, or allow that Shakspere's revisals 
were not as a rule improvements. In 11. 163-5, if one examines the 
lines carefully, he will find evidence of after increase, and of elabora- 
tion of expression. 

" Now if these outstrip the law, 
Yet they cannot escape Gods punishment." 

" Now, if these men have defeated the Law, and out-runne 
Native punishment ; though they can out-strip men, 
They have no wings to Jlye from God " [Ps. cxxxix. 9]. 

In 11. 308-10 we have in Q. four " stays." The absence of three 
of these in F. renders the double meaning of the fourth more con- 


spi nous, and the " I know thy errand " brings out the king's 
rapidity of thought, and close scanning of his actions. 

IV. ii. If the alterer were ignorant, he must at least have known 
one thing, what parts were likely to take with the multitude. Could 
he then have excised the whole of this scene, including the Constable's 
speech, 11. 15, &c., and Graundpree's ^ And here I would take occasion 
to make the same general remark as to the comic portions. Nym 
Pistol, Jamy, and MacmoiTH were the very ones to take the com- 
monalty and make them tickle o' the sear, yet, on the theory of mere 
excision, these parts have been wofully shortened and cut into inoro 
ordinary talk. 

IV. iii. 11. 3, 4. There is improvement in the change of " yet " 
into " besides," and in the transposition of the actual numbers and 
the proportion. In 1. 5 Salisbury's "The odds is all too great" is 
rightly altered to " 'Tis a fearefull odds," for despondency is neither 
consistent with his character as immediately portrayed, nor was it 
our author's wish to exemplify the English by Salisbury and War- 
wick (Westmorland, F.), as despondent. In 11. 43-6 the transposition 
of "sees old age" and "comes safe home" greatly improves the 
speech, because it then follows the natural sequence of thoughts and 
events, and leads more naturally to the next thought, " Will yeerely," 
&c. So from 1. 49 the sequence is more natural. Harry first speaks 
of the good man as feasting his neighbours; then he talks over the 
occasion of it, shows his scar.?, tells of his own doings, remembers 
with affection his leaders, lastly, drinks to the health of all who 
fought. But, not content with these yearly festivals, he at odd times 
teaches his son, as his son will teach his grandson. Compare this 
sequence with that in the Q. Again, in the line (1. 59) 

" And from this day unto the general doome," 

Shakspere, seeing that the concurrent mention of the day of doome 
fell rather discordantly on the ear and imagination, altered it at the 
same time making the rhythm better suited to the rest of the speech 

" From this day to the ending of the world." 

Salisbury's speech, 11. 69 71, cannot have been the original form 


of the corresponding Q. speech by Gloucester. Observe the improve- 
ment from " might " to " could," 1. 76. Omitting another passage, 
Mountjoy's speech cannot but be an augmentation of Q. Still more 
clearly, 11. 98 100 must be an augmentation, for there is a distinct 
increase of a second thought, that " many will yet die at home." The 
change of " bones" to "joynts," 1. 126, allows of a more appropriate 
and effective action. In 1. 132 the introduction of "humbly" 
emphasizes the then obedience of a York to a Lancaster who showed 
himself to all men a king. 

IV. iv. Can any one imagine that the speech, 11. 20-3 Q., with 
its " cinquante ocios," or that its being addressed to the boy in the 
abjectness of the Frenchman's fear, is an improvement upon 11. 
37-9 F. ? 

IV. vi. Is there any difficulty in deciding between York's body 
all (hasted for) " basted ore," and all " hagled over," 1. 11, or between 
"blood" and "gore," 1. 12] The correct scansion of Q. shows that 
11. 21-3 are an augmentation, and a greatly improved picture which 
carries out the obedience just spoken of under IV. iii. 132. Omit- 
ting the " kist his lippes," as it may have been an omission in the 
Q. copy, I draw especial attention to the change of " argument " 
to "Testament," 1. 27, as I would be almost content to rest the 
argument for the Folio being the later version on this change alone. 
Certainly on this taken with those in 11. 21-3. It necessitates also 
the noble change in 1. 27 of "never ending" to "Noble-ending," an 
alteration equal to that in 1. 9 of " honour dying " to " honour-owing." 
Shall I add, equal to the alteration in 11. 31-5 ] 

IV. vii. It is mere waste of labour to point out to an attentive 
reader and none other do I address the improvements in the Folio 
version of Fluellen's speeches, especially in that ending 1. 39. But I 
would notice, en passant, the slight but effective change in 1. 55 of 
" And ride " to " Eide thou," the phraseology of an angry man in its 
emphasis, and in the disconnection of its clauses. From 11. 65-6 Q., 
as compared with F., 11. 73 80 have been at least transposed and 
altered, and in all probability increased and improved. For one 
cannot make 1. 65 Q. agree with the last-named lines, or compare it 
with them. In 11. 134-5, 138-43, we have not only increase but 


improvement, for they show more clearly the gradual rise of the 
choleric Welshman's indignation, until he somewhat forgets whom he 
is addressing. The Q. 1. 134, 

" It may be there will be harme between them," 
cannot be compared with 1. 172 F., 

" May haply purchase him a box a' th' eare," 
especially as in both Q. and F. there follows 1. 181 

" Follow and see there be no harme betweene them." 

In IV. viii. 1. 21 compare "notablest peece of Treason" with "a 
most contagious Treason," and ask one's self which is the more mirth- 
provoking, or which action the single one of addressing the king, or 
where he first explodes freely before Warwick, and as a consequence 
allows himself to explode freely before the king ? So in 1. 55 Shakspere 
changed " impute " to " take," as more fitting the speech of a common 
peasant or soldier. 

Y. i. One needs not point out the evident alterations and im- 
provements in Fluellen's speeches throughout. I would merely draw 
attention to the change of " the other day " to " yesterday," 1. 9, one 
of those apparently slight changes which marks Shakspere's improved 
attention to Fluellen's character. Also to his omission, after his first 
salutation, of Pistol's name and rank, and the substitution at first of 
such epithets as " Scurvie lowsie knave," and the like. The phrase 
"Antient Pistoll" is five times omitted in F., and when his anger is 
satisfied at his piquant revenge, he no longer uses the other oppro- 
brious terms. He is satisfied with himself, and has ocularly proved 
his adversary to be a scurvy knave beneath contempt. 

V. ii. 1. 1 8. The scansion of the corresponding four lines of the 
Q. seem to me to show that these eight lines are an augmentation in 
F., not omissions in Q. Cf. 1. 22 with 11. 2, 3 F. as a first example, 
and then take the rest one by one. In like manner it is impossible 
not to see, by a close comparison of Burgundy's speech, even by what 
is given us in the Quarto, that some of it as it appears in the Folio is 
not a mere retention, but an alteration for the better. He does not 
ask what has kept them from the gentle speech of peace, but why the 


" mangled Peace should not recover her native loveliness." In 1. 79 
we have the improved change from " Oreviewd" to " O're-glanct," and 
"let" to the better " appoint." Are not 11. 204-9 far better so far 
on in their interview than just at the commencement of it 1 are not 
11. 3640 of Q., and 11. 160-9, better placed than at 11. 8392 Q. ] 
Referring back to my remarks on III. iv. I would note the F. correc- 
tion of "Heritier" for the Q. " Heare," 1. 341. No one will deny 
that 11. 343-7 are much better in the Folio, especially 11. 344 and 345. 

Having thus examined the two versions in most of their chief 
points of difference, leaving many minor ones, and not improbably 
some as grea 1 ", unnoticed, and having omitted all portions where the 
counter-argument of curtailment might be opposed to me, I would 
conclude with the following observations. Having gone through 
both very carefully, I believe that what has been said is a fair speci- 
men of all that might have been said. If very occasionally it be 
thought that there may have been a change in favour of the opposite 
view, I would say (a) That the majority, and here there is an 
immense majority, carries the day ; (b) That the reader may be of 
one opinion, while Shakspere may have been of another ; (c) That 
as it is humanum errare, so even Shakspere's second thoughts may 
not always have been his best. 

II. It now remains to inquire, When was the Quarto version re- 
vised ? This seems at once answered by the fact that it is the Chorus 
before Act V. in the Folio that gives us the 1599 date. But after 
strenuous endeavours to make the other facts agree with this I have 
been compelled to a different conclusion, and now hold that it is the 
Q. that represents the 1599 version, and that the Folio is a revise of 
later and Jacobean date. I cannot pretend to fix the exact time, 
but my impression has, from the facts that have come before me, 
gradually deepened almost into a conviction that the Folio version 
was originally played before Prince Henry and, it may be, the rest of 
the Royal Family. Not improbably, though this is a mere guess 
after Shakspere had gained greater favour by his Macbeth in my 
belief his one strictly political play and the second he wrote at. at 
least an implied, royal command. Nor do I think it unlikely that it 
may have been in 1610, when Henry, in his sixteenth year, was with 


great pomp and solemnity knighted, made Prince of Wales, and 
given a household at St. James's, then made the Prince's Court. 
Henry was noted for his addiction to martial exercises, and we can- 
not therefore think of a play more appropriate to be acted before him 
than one which set forth the most illustrious of English kings, his 
namesakes, in the most favourable light, as indeed the model of a 
hero-king. This would be, I hold, the greatest flattery that Shakspere 
could offer him, as well as a most patriotic act. I say most patriotic 
act, first as setting forth such an example to be followed ; secondly, 
because the very reason that urged Harry to war was one specially 
applicable to the then times. Henry of Bolingbroke had suggested 
to his son that the rivalries and contentions of the Lancastrians and 
Yorkists could be best extinguished by a foreign war. James was in 
a somewhat similar position to Henry IV. Prince Henry gave pro- 
mise of being a Henry V, and this latter's example was set forth as 
the most ready and effectual means of welding the so-called United 
Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland into one real and compact 
whole. These considerations form an a priori argument for my view. 
But there are other arguments and probabilities drawn from facts. 

1. Besides one or two probabilities already noticed in the preced- 
ing pages, my first reason for thus advancing the date of the second 
version lies in Nym's speeches. All know that the word " humour" 
was fashionable cant in 1598, and before and after that year, and 
that Jonson adopted it and ridiculed it in 'Every Man in His Humour' 
in 1598, and in 'Every Man Out of His Humour' in 1599. So here 
Shakspere makes it the favourite phrase of the low pilferer Nym. It 
is true that it occurs about as frequently in F. as in Q. But there is 
this difference : on the first two occasions on which it occurs in the 
Qo it is struck out in F., though the rest of the wording is the 
same, without the slightest necessity or improvement. Afterwards it 
is not so. My explanation is that Shakspere began to strike out a 
phrase, the " humour " of which had been lost, but after two such 
changes resolved on retaining it as a favourite saying which would 
individualize Nym, just as Fluellen was latterly individualized by 
" Look you now," and by " o' my conscience now." 

2. A second is, that while oaths such as Harry's "God before" are 

K. ?. SOC. TRANS. 1880-2. R 


retained, various of the mere expletive oaths are expunged, more 
particularly the " by Geshu " of Eluellen. This looks as though it 
were re-written at a time when that feeling prevailed which gave itself 
vent in the Act of 1606 "Against those who jestingly and pro- 
fanely take the name of God or of Christ Jesus in any stage play, 
interlude," &c., &c. Both these arguments in themselves, perhaps 
slight, yet agree with one another, and also with those more import- 
ant ones that follow. 

3. The introduction of English, "Welsh, Scotch, and, before the 
return of Essex, Irish captains in Harry's army would in 1599 have 
been worse than out of place. History indeed tells us that Henry 
had Scotch mercenaries at Agincourt, but Scotland in Elizabeth's 
reign was a hostilely inclined neighbour. Elizabeth would hear 
nothing of a Scotch successor, and on her deathbed, knowing that 
James was and would be her successor, made no reply, save that " no 
rascal " should succeed her. Her people, too, were antagonistic to the 
Scotch. Shakspere himself expressed but the general feeling when he 


" We must not only arme t' invade the French, 
But lay down our proportions to defend 
Against the Scot * * * 

Who hath been still a giddy neighbour to us." 

And other phrases will recur to the reader. The introduction, there- 
fore, of Jamy as a peculiar, but thoughtful, learned captain, who 
would " ligge i' th' grund " rather than not do good service before 
Harfleur, would have been in her time an unpleasant anachronism. 
Nor, so far as we know, was he introduced. 

In like manner it was a marked anachronism in 1599, when 
Ireland was unconquered, and when Essex had been sent to subdue 
it, and had not yet succeeded, to introduce Macmorris. Neither on 
the 1599 view do we get an explanation of a point which had for 
years puzzled me his explosion at the apparently inoffensive words, 
"your nation." But after Mountjoy's victories, 1600-3, it was no 
longer an independent nation, though a part, and a subdued part, of 
Great Britain. His rage was natural in a subdued Home-Euler, and 
was understood and appreciated by an English audience, to whom its 
cause was a pleasant and satisfactory reminiscence. Under an English- 


Scotch King of Great Britain and Ireland, Shakspere, whether as a 
patriot or an accepter of what had happened though I prefer, in the 
case of one of so much intelligence, to adopt the patriot view would 
naturally bring in the representatives of each kingdom. Were he 
exhibiting a model king before the darling and hope of the nation 
for his instruction, whether in peace or war, he would naturally desire 
especially when James was considered too intent on preserving a 
coward peace to hint at what the new kingdom could do. Instead 
of being anachronisms, Jamy and Macmorris would point to an 
acceptable moral as well as adorn a tale. 

4. A fourth argument can be drawn not from an addition, but 
from a very significant omission. In the Q. I. ii. 11. 99-100 we 


" [England] Impounded as a stray, the king of Scots, 
Whom like a caytiffe she did leade to France." 

But in the Folio the offensive words in italics were omitted. A clear 
proof, I take it, that this version was made after Elizabeth's death. 
With this may be coupled the last caution addressed in the Q. by 
Pistol to his Nell or Doll. This Shakspere in his more matured 
judgment, or out of regard for his audience, excised from the Folio 

5. It might be urged also, in addition to the foregone arguments, 
that the execution of Cambridge and the rest was a justifying prece- 
dent for the execution of the Gunpowder Plot traitors, and thus gain 
a reason for the elaboration of the Folio from 1. 104. Some, if not 
all, were accounted by many Eoman Catholics, martyrs, and saints, 
and hence the greater necessity for an example of how " we our 
kingdom's safety must so tender." As some slight proof, besides 
remarking that the Folio after the lines at 103, which conclude the 
Quarto version, are wholly occupied with " Treason, and murther," I 
would ask whether these lines addressed to Scroope, 114-17, do not 
seem to glance at the Gunpowder Plot. I say glance, because other- 
wise I see no appropriateness in the last two lines. 

" And other divels that suggest by treasons, 
Do botch and bungle up damnation, 
With patches, colours, and with formes being fetcht 
From glist'ring semblances of piety." 

u 2 


6. Once more, though I have not sufficiently examined the ques- 
tion, nor have I data for comparison, I am yet inclined to believe that 
the extra syllable test, and that of the extra syllable at the end 
of the third foot, would bring out the same conclusion, namely, that 
the date of the Folio version is beyond 1599. Compare, for instance, 
V. ii. 5 

" And as a branch and member of this stock " (Q.) 

"And as a branch and member of this Roy]alty" (F.). 
Here the diction is better and more courteous, and we have an 
example to which at least one other can be added of the double 
extra syllable or 'Ity, which is, I take it, a mark of late date. 

7. Lastly, though also I have not sufficiently examined this 
change in the play, with reference to Henry's substitution very 
frequently of I " and " my " in the Folio for the " we " and " our " of 
the Quarto, I would notice, that while James used the plural in his 
official documents, he adopted the singular form in his addresses or 
speeches to his Parliaments. The probable conclusion need hardly 
be pointed out that Shakspere either followed in the Folio an im- 
proved acquaintance with regal custom, or one more in accord with 
that of the reigning monarch. 

One possible objection I would answer. Why should the allusion 
to Essex be retained] First, its presence is no proof that it was 
recited. As I believe that 11. 31-2 of Chorus II. were intended to 
be erased from the author's copy when 11. 33 42 were added, so I 
think it not impossible that these may in like manner have been 
inadvertently kept. Secondly, Shakspere as an Essexite as I 
strongly believe he was would naturally remember him with affec- 
tion, and place his fate indirectly before Prince Henry, as in contrast 
with the execution of Cambridge, Scroop, and Masham, and of the 
Gunpowder Plot traitors. He would also be the more inclined to 
have him avoid in such matters the example of a queen, whom for 
some now unknown reason he, Shakspere, latterly cared little for, ?o 
little, that though he had praised her more than once before, and 
though he had been publicly incited by Chettle to write her elegy, he 
would write none. 


Til. I would conclude with a few words in favour of the belief 
that the Folio was not printed from Shakspere's MS., but from a 
playhouse copy. The words indeed will be few, but full of meaning. 
Heming and Condell's too general assertion was founded only on a 
few particulars. We know beyond a doubt that some of these plays 
were not printed from his MSS., and Henry V. can be added to the 

We have at the outset " Actus Primus. Scsena Prima." But 
there is no Scena Secuuda throughout the play, and this though in 
other of his plays they are given continuously and often correctly. 
But the confusion is worse when we come to the Acts. Every one 
knows and sees that a Chorus preceded each Act ; but in the Folio 
the Chorus before Act II., and Act II. itself, are made part of Act I. 
Its Act II. commences with what really was, and in our editions 
now is, Act III. Its Act III. is our Act IV. But as the copier or 
other would thus have only had four Acts, and knew that the proper 
number was five, he overcame the difficulty by making IV. vii. the 
commencement of an Act IY. This he did because he found there 
an entrance of Gower the Chorus-Prologue speaker only unfortunately 
he does not this time come in as such, but as an English Captain 
speaking to Fluellen. Act Y. is of course by this means correctly 

A third matter is the ridiculous corruption of the French words 
and phrases. It is impossible that these could have been due to 
Shakspere himself, who, we know, was at least able to read the 
French Testament so as on opportunity to quote from it. Neither, 
if the passages be examined, can it be that the printer could have so 
ingeniously and continuously muddled the letters of the handwriting 
before him. There must have been more than one muddler. Here 
I would have concluded, but that it may be as well to add a few 
remarks on the position of III. iv. with reference to Mr P. A. 
Daniel's criticism at p. 294 of his Time- Analysis of Henry V. (N. 
Sh. S. Trans. '77-9, Part II). 

IY. He says " [this Scene (III. iv.) . . . seems out of place ; its 
time must be supposed within a day or two of Day 4, Act II. sc. iv. ; 
for since that time, as we learn in Chorus 3, the negociations for this 


marriage have been broken off. I accordingly inclose this scene in 
brackets, and refer it to the interval which follows Day 4]." I am 
not clear whether he means out of its proper place in the drama as 
originally penned by Shakspere, or merely out of place historically. 
If the former, I deem it a sufficient answer that it is in the same 
place in both Quarto and Folio, which, whatever view we take of 
their priority, must at least be taken as two distinct versions. As 
to the supposition that it is historically out of place, Mr Daniel 
himself, in his note at p. 298-9, has rightly said, "If we correct 
the dramatist at the bidding of history very little of his work would 
remain intact." Besides, I would ask, Is it likely that any one 
would at once announce to a daughter a bran new project, of the 
acceptance of which he is as yet ignorant ? If I understand Shak- 
spere's delineation of the French king aright, he was one of those 
weak men who (in theory) accounted his children chattels to be 
moved or removed at his pleasure ; neither was he one likely to an- 
nounce a project unless there were a likelihood of its acceptance. Is 
it also consonant with Shakspere's delineation of Katharine, or to 
his delineation of any high-born lady, to make her unmodestly, at the 
first glimpse of a marriage, run off to learn English before she knew 
that the English king, her father's enemy, would even entertain the 
project 1 Besides, Mr Daniel forgets that, according to the text, Harry 
had already taken Harfleur ; the situation with the remembrances of 
the Black Prince and his father to back it was becoming serious; 
the tennis balls had turned to gun-stones of power ; Burgundy, for 
aught we are told, was already labouring with " all his wits, his pains, 
and strong endeavours " to bring about a reconciliation. Hence a 
sacrifice to patriotism, if nothing more, was required. By this, even 
alone, she was led to entertain the subject seriously. If, therefore, 
Shakspere thought a comic scene required between III. iii. and v., 
and thought that the Pistolian scenes might well be varied, I do not 
see that we are called to quarrel with his decision. With these 
remarks I conclude, merely adding that I have made them on the 
supposition that others, like myself, take Mr Daniel's proposed 
change as meant to be made in the sequence of the drama, and not 
merely as a supposedly necessary time adjustment. B. JST. 




(Read at the Qlst Meeting of the Society, May 14, 1880.) 

[Thunder. Enter the Three Witches.] (before 1.1.) 

[Enter Hecat, and the other Three Witches.] (before 1. 39.) 

THESE are the first two stage directions in this scene in the Folio 
of 1623. Although the three subsequent folios make corrections, 
and many attempts at correction, all print these words verbatim. 
Secondly, in the quarto of 1654 " As it is now acted at the Duke's 
Theatre " usually called Davenant's version, though, except that it 
introduces new songs, it is a reprint of the first folio, errors included, 
these same directions are retained. Thirdly, in the quartos of 1686 
and 1695 "As now acted at the Royal Theatre " the Duke having 
become king editions which may be called Davenant's, if any may be 
so called, and which form a greatly altered and interpolated version 
of Shakspere's Macbeth, have the same. Thus the actors, including 
the supposed Davenant, and Betterton, found no difficulty in, but 
rather approved of, these stage arrangements. I hold, therefore, 
that those editors who having formed the prejudgment that there 
could only have been three witches, found here merely an erroneous 
repetition, have themselves made an error in supposing that Shak- 
spere's imagination or resources were unequal to the introduction of 

Quotations from other plays have indeed been given where, on 
the entry of a second person, the first already on the stage is 
erroneously given as entering also. But, because we know that 
such directions must be wrong, there is here no visible or necessary 


inconsistency or contradiction which pronounces this to be an error. 
Surely there may in this great display of magical power and pomp, 
where Hecate herself condescends to appear that she may dazzle, 
subdue, and delude an earthly potentate and valiant warrior, surely 
there may have been a second set of three witches. I therefore pro- 
ceed to show to the Shakspere student sincerely desirous of trying 
to comprehend his author why, irrespective of the arguments just 
stated, there is a probability, and in some degree a necessity, for 
there being this second set. 

Who was Hecate, and how did Davenant and Betterton conceive 
the scenes in which she appears ] Hecate is the only one who has a 
name, and this alone shows that she was different in nature from the 
witches. So the first words on her first appearance in III. v. are 

First W. Why, how now Hecat, you looke angerly 1 
Hec. Have I not reason (Beldams) as you are 1 
Sawcy, and over-bold, &c. 

Whence it is clear that she herself is not a Beldam. It is also clear 
that as she immediately proceeds to order preparations for continuing 
that which she calls them saucy and over-bold for commencing, that 
she is a ruler over them, merely jealous of her prerogatives. Her 
next words prove both these things 

" And I the Mistris of your Charmes, 
The close contriver of all harmes, 
Was never call'd." 

The ruler-ship is again shown in 

" Your Vessels and your Spels provide." 
Note the " your " 

" Your Charmes and everything beside." 
Again we hear 

" And you all know, Security 
Is Mortals' chiefest Enemie ; " 

a phrase tending to show that she is something other than mortal. 
Lastly, in II. i., it is said 

" Now witchcraft celebrates 
Pale Hecate's offerings ; " 


thus showing that all witchdom offer to Hecate as to their deity. 
My reason for thus dwelling on Hecate's rank as a ruler over the 
witch world is partly because many readers of Shakspere necessarily 
ignorant of mythology might be led away by the odd reasonings of 
those who would interpret this scene. All classical readers know 
that Hecate was a name applied to three heathen goddesses, and all 
such false deities were in mediaeval belief infernal spirits. Hence 
and because Hecate was more generally an epithet of Proserpine, she 
became Queen of Witchdom. Middleton takes the same view of her, 
and Davenant further distinguishes her, for while Macbeth is still 
made to address the witches as " black and midnight hags," he after- 
wards replies to Hecate's first speech by 

" What e're thou art, for thy kind caution, thanks ; " 

and thus shows that besides her being " pale " and not " black," she 
who stands apart, and in the back and not improbably higher 
ground, is so different from the rest, that he doubts as Ferdinand 
did of Miranda whether she were a mortal being or supernatural. 
If then Hecate be not a witch, but an infernal and ruling spirit, 
what meaning can " other " in " the other three witches " naturally 
have unless it mean three different from the first three ? 

Again, neither queens nor even noble personages ever appeared in 
Elizabethan days without attendants. When Olivia would receive 
the pseudo-Sebastian, Maria attends her. Shakspere would have 
committed a glaring breach of the most ordinary etiquette had Hecate 
the queen given her solemn reception to the King of Scotland with- 
out being attended by her bevy of attendants. Davenant brings out 
the difference of rank more distinctly before the spectator in III. v., 
for when, after her charge to the witches her little spirit calls for her, 
his stage direction is Machine descends, showing that she was in a 
chair, throne, chariot, or cloud. 

Now to two other probable reasons. 1. The three witches with 
Hecate give the unmagical and even number four ; six and Hecate 
make up the mystic seven. If the play of Macbeth be looked into, 
it will be found that Hecate and the witches constantly employ un- 
even and mystical numbers. We have the three times three that 


make up nine, the sow's blood that hath eaten her nine farrow, &c. ; 
whence, by the way, I hold with those who have it that the second 
witch's thrice in IV. i. 2 is the repetition of the first one's 

" Thrice the brinded cat hath mewed," 

and should therefore be pointed with a comma or semicolon after it, 
the once being the number of times that the hedge-pig has whined. 

2. The increased numbers add not only to the pomp, but also to 
the variety and grotesqueness, of the scene. There is indeed neither 
evidence nor probability that they joined in the incantations round 
the caldron. They were young witches at nurse, unable as yet to go 
highlone, and being so, they were mute attendants on Hecate their 
queen during the magic rites and shows. But when Hecate or, as 
in Davenant, the first witch would delight Macbeth and " char in 
the air," 

" While you perform your antic round," 

they left their mistress, and joined the dance. How bare and un- 
picturesque would be a round performed by three, or as in Davenant 
by two ; how heightened if six or five joined in, all either in one 
circle or in two, the outer stepping or rather contorting themselves 
now the same, now the reverse way, from the inner. 

The only word that can be found fault with is the, because it may 
be said that these other three witches have not yet been seen. But, 
first, they may have been attendants on Hecate when she first appears 
in what Davenant calls the machine. Secondly, even if this were 
not the case, a writer conversant with the stage management wo.uld 
know that six witches had been prepared, and would naturally make 
the slip, if slip it can be called, and use the for the three still in 

I repeat, therefore, that the only difficulty has arisen from the 
prejudgment of those reading critics who fancied that they could 
only have three witches to deal with, and that Shakspere had no 
more right to introduce three others than he had a right to fight out 
York and Lancaster's long jars with more than three or four ragged 
foils right ill disposed. 

NOTE ON KING JOHN, II. i. 466-7. 107 

NOTE ON K. JOHN, II. i. 455-7. 

"Bast. Heere's a stay 

That shakes the rotten carkasse of old death 
Out of his ragges." 

VARIOUS of the conjecturers and even some critics have expended 
a surplus portion of their ingenuity on the first line. Johnson 
suggested flaws in the sense of "gust or blast ; " that is some of the 
storm of war being overpast, this peaceful proposal which comes like 
a great calm is likened by him not by Shakspere to such a sudden 
gust or flaw as, for instance, sunk the Eurydice. Spedding's storm 
may be classed with this. His story is no better, for I know not how 
a calm, peaceful story can as a story shake Death out of his rags. 
Becket's say adopted by Singer only requires mention to cause the 
usual result of his conjectures. Professor Karl Elze would support 
bray, thinking that it refers to the trumpet-note of defiance sounded 
by the citizens of Angiers. But he forgets two circumstances : 1. 
That the citizens answered neither of the summonses to a parley by 
a trumpet ; 2. That no trumpet, if used, could then be called a note 
of defiance, and especially on this third occasion, when the sole 
intent is to propose a peaceful solution. It is to this occasion alone 
that the fiery but practical Eichard, son of Coeur de Lion, can refer. 

Let us now turn to the original. "VV. N". Lettsom will have it 
that " stay is perhaps the last word that could have come from Shak- 
spere." But he, though very ingenious and acute, is too fond of 
seeking that which will suit his own supposition of what Shakspere 
must have meant, instead of seeking for his author's intent and 
meaning. Preferring this latter plan, I would say that stay is one of 
the best words that could have been chosen. The opposing armies 
have hurried up to engage one another, and the Bastard, taking part 
of his metaphor from this hurrying up, and continuing the line of 
thought expressed in his previous speech, "0 now doth Death/' &c., 
speaks of Death as impetuously hurrying up in anticipation of great 
gala days. But now comes this sudden compromise, instead of 
" soldiers' swords being Death's fangs," he, in his hot haste, has run 

108 NOTE ON KING JOHN, II. I. 455-7. 

against an unexpected stay, an unseen impediment, as an impetuous 
boy runs against a man, post, or wall. If readers in this nineteenth 
century cannot remember their boyish days, they can at least re- 
member the effects of a railway collision, which is enough in sober 
prose to shake one's rags off one's body, and, in the case of Death, 
would probably injure his scythe-handle. 

An eminent Shaksperian though it should be added a German 
one has since written to me that " stay " in the senses of stop or 
hindrance is not given in our Dictionaries. I reply, that all I know 
of, from Cotgrave downwards, give these senses. Richardson, besides 
the meanings "to stop ... to obstruct or hinder," and besides giving 
quotations both of the verb and substantive in these senses from 
other authors, has this from Holland's 'Pliny', b. ix, c. 27, where there 
are also two other examples of the verb 

"Our Stay- Ship Echeneis, Trebius Niger saith, 
is a foot long .... and that oftentimes it stayeth 
[hindreth] a ship." 

Shakspere uses it too in J. Ccesar, IV. iii. 

Lucil. You shall not come to them. 
Poet. Nothing but death shall stay me. 

" A stay " in nautical or mechanical idiom is used in the secondary 
sense of "support," because it stays or hinders the mast, &c., from 
falling. " This is a stay (hindrance) " is, too, a recognized phrase, like 
" It stays me." Indeed, even if the substantive did not as it does 
follow the senses of the verb, as stop, the act of stopping, does the 
intransitive, and stop, the cause of stopping, or hindrance, the tran- 
sitive form, every Englishman, besides Shakspere, would be entitled 
so to use them. 

P.S. In accordance with the spelling adopted in these Trans- 
actions, the name wherever it occurs is spelled SHAKSPERE. It is due, 
however, to my own strong convictions to state, that I invariably 
wrote and write it SHAKESPEARE. 

Correction: page 71, After hue 17 add 
to Mrs Page's invitation 

" let us every one go home 
And laugh this sport o'er by a country fire " ; 






(Eead at the 63rd Meeting of the Society, Friday, October 15, 1880.) 

WHEN in 1854 Delius put forth his first edition of Hamlet, which 
he had based on the First Folio in preference to the Second Quarto, 
Tycho Mommsen (in Jahn's Neue Jahrbucher fur Pliilologie fy 
Padagogik, vol. 72, 1855, pp. 57, 107, 159) showed very forcibly 
how little Fi deserves that honour, and how little Delius was aware 
of the true value and importance to be attached to either of those 
old editions In criticizing Delius's Hamlet, Mommsen alleged most 
weighty reasons why we should think Q2 a far better authority than 
Fi : however badly Q2 is printed, it is disfigured only by the hun- 
dreds of compositor's blunders (including some accidental omissions), 
whereas Fi exhibits, quite apart from very numerous misprints, a 
large number of other corruptions of a more serious and deplorable 
kind, viz. errors of copyists, interpolations of actors, accidental as 
well as intentional omissions, and, last not least, the traces of Heminge 
and Condell's (H. C.) arbitrary criticism. Mommsen, in the articles 
just mentioned, has pointed out the true way of treating similar 
Shakspere-questions, and has besides set a splendid example to all 
Shakspere-critics by his excellent edition of Romeo and Juliet (Olden- 
burg, 1859), the Prolegomena of which I must gratefully acknow- 
ledge have exercised a great influence over my own inquiries into 


the Hamlet-question. Mommsen there establishes the high proba- 
bility, if not certainty, of Q2 of Romeo and Juliet being printed from 
the poet's own MS. ; and the tests afforded by his Prolegomena have 
been applied by the writer of the following pages to Q2 of Hamlet* 
I have arrived at the conclusion (see Anglia, vol. iv. pt. 2) that we may 
consider Hamlet, 0,2, to have been printed from the poet's own MS. 
with as much right as Mommsen makes out with regard to Romeo 
and Juliet, 0,2. This appears from orthographical as well as gram- 
matical peculiarities of Q2, especially from the orthographical treat- 
ment of the syncope, and from characteristic mistakes and incon- 
sistencies in Q2, 1 features which we find more or less effaced in the 
subsequent editions, and which can be easily and sufficiently ex- 
plained only by the supposition that Q2 was printed from the Poet's 
own MS. 

I then proceeded to a close examination and collation of Qi, Q2, 
and Fi (of Qi and Q2 I used Collier's facsimiles ; 2 of Fi the original 
copy belonging to the Royal Library in Berlin) for the purpose of 
once more checking Mommsen's above-mentioned inquiries into the 
relative value of Q2 and Fi, and of forming an opinion of my own 
concerning the much-discussed question, whether in Qi we possess a 
"first Shaksperean sketch" of our tragedy (though in a decidedly 
bad condition, perhaps from being a surreptitious edition), or whe- 
ther Q i be nothing but a pirated and garbled version of the authentic 
text as we possess it (however badly printed) in Q2. 

Knight, Delius, Elze, Staunton, Dyce, and other renowned 
English Shakspere-scholars, each with smaller or greater modifica- 
tions of his own, hold the former view ; Collier, Lloyd, Grant White, 
and Tycho Mommsen are foremost among the advocates of the latter 
theory (see, apart from the above-mentioned publications, Mommsen's 
remarks in the Athenceum, 7 Feb. 1857, reprinted in Furness's New 
Var. Hamlet, vol. ii. pp. 25, 26). 

1 These enquiries formed Part I of Dr Tanger's Paper originally, but as 
the Committee were not willing to print them, they will appear in Germany. 
F. J. Furnivall. 

2 Mr Furnivall has prefixed to my references, the scene and line-numbera 
of Qi, and line-numbers of the Globe edition for Q2, as marked in his editions 
of Griggs's ' Facsimiles ' and of Qi, and Q2 1879, 1880. 


My own investigations have led me to join the latter side, and an 
opportunity being afforded me (by the Committee of the New Shak. 
Soc.) of submitting them to the judgment also of English critics, I 
shall try in Part I to show that Mommsen was right in believing 
Q2 a better authority than Fi, and in Part II that there is no need 
of believing in a l first sketch? 

For this purpose I shall first give a list of almost all the differences 
between the texts of Q2 and Fi, excluding only those which pertain 
to mere orthography and punctuation, and variations which would 
unnecessarily swell the list without being of any value for the settle- 
ment of our question. Eut before doing so, I cannot help observing 
that the Stage-Directions, which have not as yet been paid due atten- 
tion to, seem to me to afford a remarkable point of evidence. I 
therefore subjoin a list of them. 


Q 2 . Fi. 

Act I. sc. i. 

1. 1. 125] Enter Ghost. 1. 107] Enter Ghost againe 

2. 127] It spreads his armes. 1 wanting-. 

3. 138] The cocke crowes. * 

I. ii. 

4. Florish. Enter Claudius, King Enter Claudius King of Denmarke, 

of Denmarke, Gertradt he (sic) Gertrude the Queene, Hamlet, 

Queen e, Counsaile : as Polonius, Polonius, Laertes, and his Sister, 

and his Sonne Laertes, Hamlet, Ophelia, Lords Attendant. 
cum Alijs. 

5. wanting. 25. Enter Yoltemand and Cornelius. 

6. Florish. Exeunt all but Hamlet. Exeunt. Manet Hamlet. 

7. Enter Horatio, Marcellus, and Enter Horatio, Barnard, and Marcel- 

Bernardo, lus. 

I. iii. 

8. Enter Laertes, and Ophelia his Enter L. and Ophelia. 


I. iv. 

9. A florish of trumpets and two wanting 1 

peeces goes off. 1 

10. 57] Beckins. Ghost beckens Hamlet. 

1 Why are these managerial stage-business directions from Shakspere's MS. 
(see too 11, 49, 50, 51, 53, 55, 60, 74, 75), while 77 is not? F. J. F. 





11. Enter old 

man or two. 

12. Exit Rey. 

II. i. 

Polonius, with his Enter Polonius and Reynaldo. 


II. ii. 

13. Florish. Enter King and Queene, 

Rosencraus and Guyldensterne. 

14. 39] Exeunt Ros. and Guyld. 

15. Enter Embassadors. 

16. Exeunt Embassadors. 

17. 115] Letter. 

18. Enter Hamlet. 

19. 214] Enter Guildensterne and 


20. 350] A Florish. 

21. Enter the Players. 

23. 520] Exeunt Pol. and Players. 

Enter K., Q., Rosincrane and Guilden- 
sterne cum alijs. 

Exit (one line too early). 

Enter Pol., Voltumand, and Cornelius. 

Exit Ambass. 

108] The Letter. 

Enter Hamlet reading on a Booke. 

217] Enter Rosincran and Guilden- 

Florish for the Players. 

Enter foure or flue Players. 

509] ExitPolon. 

(The Players have no Exeunt.) 

III. i. 

24. 28] Exeunt Ros. and Guyl. 

25. 54] Enter Hamlet (too early). 

26. 56] 

27. Exit. 

28. Exit (Ophelia). 


after 1. 55] Enter Hamlet. 


Exit Hamlet. 

III. ii. 

29. Enter Hamlet, and three of the 


31. after 1. 42] Enter Pol., Ros., 

and Guyld. 

32. 44] 

33. 46] Ros. I my Lord. [Exeunt 

they two. 

34. Enter Trumpets and Kettle Drum- 

mes, King, Queene, Polonius, 

35. 132] Enter Prologue. 

36. Enter King and Queene 

37. 233] Enter Lucianus. 

39. Exeunt all but Hamlet and 


40. Enter the Players with Record ?r.s 

42. 382] Exit. 

Enter H., and two or three of the 


41] Exit Players, 
before 1. 42] id. 

Exit Polonius. 

Both. We will my Lord. [Exeunt. 

Enter K., Q.. Pol., Oph.. Rosencrance, 
Guildensterne, and other Lords at- 
tendant, with his Guard, carrying 
torches. Danish March. Sound a 

138] Enter Prologue. 

Enter King and his Queene. 

217] brain. [Sleeps. 

232] Enter Lucianus. 

Powres the poyson in hi-; eares. 

Exeunt. Manet Hamlet and Horatio. 
(See No. 6.) 

Enter one with a Recorder. 

369] Polon. I will say so. [Exit. 


Q.2. Fi. 

III. iii. 

43. 20] Exeunt Gent. Exeunt Gent. 

44. 35] Exit. 

III. iv. 

45. Enter Gertrard and Polonius. Enter Queen e and Polonius. 

46. Exit Ghost. Exit. 

47. Exit. Exit Hamlet tugging in Polonius. 

IV. i. 

48. Enter King and Queene, with Enter King. 

Rosencraus and Guyldensterne. 

IV. ii. 

49. Enter Hamlet, Rosencraus, and Oh, heere they come. [Enter Ros. and 

others. Guildensterne. 

Enter Hamlet (is printed separately at 
the head of the scene). 

IV. iii. 

50. Enter King and two or three. Enter King. 

61. Enter Rosencraus and all the Enter Kosincrane. 

52. They enter. Enter Hamlet and Guildensterne. 

IV. iv. 

53. Enter Fortinbrasse with his Army Enter Fortinbras with an Annie. 

ouer the stage. 

54. Exit (Fort). 

IV. V. 

65. Enter Horatio, Gertrard, and a Enter Queene and Horatio. 

Gentleman. (For Queene instead of Q2 Gertrard, 

see also No. 45.) 

66. before 1. 17] Enter Ophelia (too after 1. 20] Enter Ophelia distracted. 


67. (Over the first line of the old (Here the songs are outwardly marked 

snatches sung by Ophelia we as such by being printed in italics.) 
read sliee sings, and also after- 
wards we find Song printed be- 
side the verses, even in Act V. i.) 

58. 1. 34] Enter King. 1. 32] Enter King (it seems too early). 

69. Exit (Oph.). 

60. A noise within. Enter Laertes Noise within. Enter Laertes, 
with others. 

61. A noyse within. Enter Ophelia. A noise within. Let her come in. 

Enter Ophelia. 

62. Exeunt Ophelia. 

M. S. SOC. TRANS., 1880-2. 1 



63. Enter Horatio and others. 

64. Enter Saylers. 

65. 31] Exeunt. 

IV. vi. 


Enter Horatio, with an Attendant. 

Enter Saylor. 


IV. vii. 

66 Enter a Messenger with Letters. 

Enter a Messenger (also with textual 

Y. i. 

67. 62] Enter Hamlet and Horatio. 

68. Enter K., Q., Laertes, and the 

70. Exit Hamlet and Horatio. 

53] Enter Hamlet and Horatio a farre 

Enter K., Queene, Laertes, and a 

coffin, with Lords attendant. 
Leaps in the graue. 


71. Enter a Courtier. 

72. A table prepard, Trumpets, 

Drums, and officers with Cush- 
ions. King, Queene, and all the 
state Foiles, daggers, and Laertes. 

74. 265] Trumpets the while. 

75. 268] Drum, trumpets, shot. 

Florish, a peece goes off. 


77. (Q2 omits the remaining stage- 
directions except 78, 79, and 80.) 

78. 336] A march a farre off. Enter 


79. Enter Fortenbrasse, with the 


80. Exeunt. 

Enter young Osricke. 

Enter K., Qu., Laertes, and Lords, 
with other Attendants, with Foyles 
and Gauntlets a Table and Flagons 
of wine on it. 

253] Prepare to play. 

270] Trumpets sound and shot goes 

267 and 287] They play. Play. 

(Fi gives some more) : 

289] In scuffling they change Rapiers. 

309] Hurts the King. 

314] King Dyes. 

318] (Laertes) Dyes. 

345] (Hamlet) Dyes. 

March afarre off, and shout within. 

337] Enter Osricke. 

Enter Fortinbras and English Am- 
bassador, with Drumme, Colours, 
and Attendants. (For the singular 
Ambassador, see No. 64.) 

Exeunt marching : after the which a 
Peale of Ordenance are shot off. 

There are a few stage-directions that do not differ at all in the 
two editions, e. g. 

V. i., at the end, Exeunt. Or, 

Y. ii., 'Enter Hamlet and Horatio.' These have of course been 
left out in the above list. 


Some instances (see Nos. 25, 31, 32, 56, 61, 68(!), 73, 76, 77), 
and some of the omissions, clearly show the inattention and careless- 
ness of the Q,2 compositor; but upon the whole, the stage-directions 
go to show that they are from Shakspere's MS. Some of them are 
suggestive rather than exact ; and that is just what we might expect 
of Shakspere, who, having his head full of the plot and dialogue, 
naturally dashed oiF most stage-directions in a somewhat hasty man- 
ner. Fi, in such cases, generally takes greater care (see 34, 79), and 
pays particular attention to formalities, yet sometimes entirely neg- 
lects important features which are traceable in Q2. In No. 4 it was, 
no doubt, the poet's intention to represent Hamlet as entering de- 
jectedly among the last persons appearing. Fi effaces this trait, as 
it does a similar feature in 72. In No. 4 too we notice that Fi makes 
Ophelia enter for the sake of stage-effect, for she has not to speak a 
single syllable, and seems altogether strangely out of place in this 
scene. It may have been the common practice then ; and Shakspere 
may be supposed to have not seriously objected to such trifling 
departures from his original intention. 

The words Counsaile : as Polonius are perhaps also worthy of 
remark, being probably so put by Shakspere to intimate the position 
Polonius occupies at the Danish Court. Fi omits this characteristic. 
A similar thing we find in No. 11, where Q2 calls Polonius old, 
whereas Fi again puts the name without such an epithet. No. 13 
makes it probable that Shakspere did not think it necessary to write 
in his stage-directions what was understood. Fi is right in adding 
Cum alijs, for the King says : " goe, some of you, and bring," &c. ; but 
Shakspere seems to have taken it for granted that kings are generally 
followed by a train of courtiers. A similar deficiency in details may 
be observed in Nos. 18, 20, 21, 22, 23, 67. For 23, see below. 

No. 33 also seems to point back to the poet. 

No. 49 in Q2 answers to the text, IY. i. 33 : " Goe, joyne you 
with some further ayde." In 51, 'all the rest' probably means the 
'others' of 49. 52 looks as if it had been written thus by Shak- 
spere, supposing that Q2 has dropped ' Guyldensterne ' in the line : 
" How, ( ) bring in the Lord," where the instead of my must be 

another blunder of the compositor. 

i 2 


No. 55. Shakspere originally wrote " Enter Gertrard and a Gen- 
tleman ; " but to save an actor he afterwards altered hastily it seems 
so as to put Horatio instead of the Gentleman. His negligent altera- 
tion caused some confusion in the rubrics of the beginning of IV. v., 
and a strange inconsistency in the latter part of the piece, for a full 
account of which see Anglia, iv. 2. 

It will be hard to account for what we read under 57, unless 
we suppose Q2 to be printed from the poet's MS. It must be 
remembered that Qi does not in any way distinguish the songs 
from the common text. The words ' and others,' or ' with others,' 
occurring in 49, 60, 63 (compare also 50, 51), are replaced by more 
precise or formal terms in Fi, and are in all probability owing to 
Shakspere himself. 

We see that the Q2 stage-directions possess a certain intrinsic 
value of their own, and deserve, as far as they are sufficiently com- 
plete, to be preferred to those of Fi, which, as we shall see, may be 
important for stage-managers, and useful for the completion of de- 
ficient stage-directions in Q2, but can hardly be of any authority, 
being for the most part not ShaJcspere's, but Heminge and Condell's, 
who abstracted them from, and adapted them to, the text as well as 
they could. 

The truth of the latter assertion will readily appear. 

For No. 1, compare in the text : " Loe, where it comes againe." 

Nos. 2 and 3 omitted, because the text leaves their places 

No. 4 has been spoken of above. 

No. 6. Text : ' Come away.' Observe ' Manet Hamlet,' and com- 
pare 39. 

No. 10. Text : "It beckons you." 

No. 1 1 may be concluded from the rubrics. 

No. 13. Spoken of above. 

No. 15. Text : " Welcome good Frends : 
Say, Voltumand," &c. 

No. 17. The actor who had to play the part of Polonius may 
have written ' Letter' in his part, where we find it printed in Q2. 
The real letter begins there. But H. C. evidently thought the 


address also belonged to the letter, and thus put ' The Letter ' before 
line 109. 

~No. 18. Text : " But looke where sadly the poore wretch comes 

No. 19. Text : " Pol. You goe to seeke my Lord Hamlet;" and 
the following rubric Eosin. explain the difference. 

No. 20. Text : There are the Players. 

~No. 21. Stage-practice. 

No. 22, 23. Pol. ' Come, sirs.' These words caused H. C. to 
think that an Exit Polonius was to be put here, and indeed, if this 
had not been a somewhat extraordinary case, their usual mechanical 
trick to supply the wanting stage-directions might have done them 
as good service as in other places, but unfortunately this passage 
requires some more attention. After Polonius's words : ' Come, sirs/ 
Hamlet dismisses the players : "Follow him, friends, weele heare a 
play to-morrow." The players turn to go, and approach the door, 
while Hamlet takes one of them aside (" Dost thou heare me, old 
friend'?"). The others, and Polonius among them (for lie is not 
likely to stand without), linger about the door for a few seconds, till 
Hamlet has hastily whispered his few words to the player. He then 
dismisses him too : " Very well, follow that Lord," and they all go 
off almost simultaneously, so that the Q2 stage-direction is certainly 
preferable to that of Fi. The compositor having no space left for 
it, put it after Elsonoure, instead of after modi Trim not. 

No. 34. Stage-practice. 

No. 35. H. C. looked but superficially at the text, and put Enter 
Prologue just above the three prologue-lines, thus showing that they 
did not alwa} r s rightly understand their text. Having thus put 
Enter Prologue in a wrong place, and thinking of the Dumb Show, 
they naturally believed they'd discovered a mistake in the text : 
" We shall know by this fellow" the more so, as they read imme- 
diately below : " The Players cannot keepe counsell, they'l tell all." 
In Q2 the text goes on : "Will a tell vs what this show meant? " 
i. e. Will the Prologue tell 1 And Hamlet answers : " I, or any show 
that you will show him." H. C.. continuing in their error, altered 
accordingly : " Will THEY tell vs what," &c., but did not extend 


their attention to the following line, so that the answer in Fi reads : 
"I, or any shew that you shew HIM "(!) 

No. 36. Instead of (^2 Queene, Fi puts Sap., as rubric for the 
P. Queene. Compare Hamlet's words : " his wife Baptista," and see 
No. 45, above. 

No. 37. Strictly following the text: "This is one Lucianus;" 
hence the Enter of this character was put before Hamlet's last words, 
and not after, as might have been expected, considering H.C.'s usual 

No. 38. Text : " He poisons him." 

No. 40. Stage-practice. Hence in the text : ' the Recorder. 
Let me see.' Q2 '6 the Recorders, let me see one. 1 (See 64.) The 
coincidence appearing from 43 is of too trifling a nature to be of 
any weight here. 

No. 45. The rubrics in Q2 answer to the stage-direction: .Ger. 
except 1. 51, Queene : "Ay me, what art?" The blunder of wrongly 
attributing the following line to Hamlet makes it probable that this 
inconsistency is the compositor's fault. 

In Fi : Qu. throughout the scene. 

No. 48. Shows that Shakspere intended a new scene to begin 
here, whereas the common stage-practice seems to have been that the 
scene simply continues in the same room. 

No. 49. See above. It is less troublesome for representation as 
Fi has it. 

No. 50. The text did not afford any hint as to the ' two or three * 
of Q2 ; so they are not mentioned in it. 

No. 51. The same may be said of 'all the rest.' Eos. is the only 
speaker besides the king, until Hamlet appears, so H. C. could not 
well put a different stage-direction. 

No. 52. Text : " Hoa (Guildensterne ?), Bring in my Lord." 

No. 55. See above, p. 115. Stage-practice. 

No. 56. Text : " She is importunate, indeed distract." 

No. 60. The 'others' of Q2 are indispensable, since the Danes 

have actually to exchange a few words with Laertes. H. C. were 

again superficial here. 


No. 64. See 40. 

No. 66. Arbitrary alteration in the Fi text. The King interrupts 
himself by asking: " How now? What news?" The messenger 
answers : " Letters, my Lord, from Hamlet. This to your Maiesty," 
&c. Is a messenger at all likely to speak to the King of Hamlet 
without giving him his title of Prince or Lord ? H. C. probably 
took the King's exclamation for a partial repetition of the startling 
news, and interpolated accordingly, if the actor had not altered his 
part on his own account. 

No. 71. Text: V. ii. 246: " Giue them the Foyles, young 

No. 75. In the text, so much stress is laid on the sound of trum- 
pets and drums, &c., that H. C. could not help having their attention 
called to the necessity of a stage-direction. 

Whether, in No. 74, Fi be wrong or right in omitting a similar 
stage-direction, remains doubtful, as the text (" If Hamlet giue the 
first or second hit," &c.) seems to be in favour of Fi. 

No. 77, to 1. 289. Eeminiscence of the stage-practice. 

To 1. 309. Text : "Oh, yet defend me, friends, I am but hurt." 

No. 78. Text : " What warlike noise is this?" 

No. 79. Stage-practice. 

No. 80. Text : .... for his passage : 

" The Souldiours Musicke & the rites of Warre 
Speake lowdly for him. . . . 

Go bid the Souldiers shoote." 

The above list shows that the knowledge of stage-practice, and 
more especially the text itself, were sufficient sources for H. C. to 
supply the Fi stage-directions from, at least most of them. (See 

This fact, together with some other considerations, makes it pro- 
bable that Fi was printed from a MS. woven together from the dif- 
ferent parts of the actors. Actors, when copying their parts, do not, 
as a rule, write out stage-directions which do not concern them par- 
ticularly. This explains the circumstance that H. C. had to supply 


most of the stage-directions. Further, we observe interpolations in 
Fi (see the list below) which must be put down to the actors. 
Supposing now Fi to have been printed from some complete copy 
of the piece belonging to the theatre, who would have entered such 
interpolations in that copy ? Is it not much more probable that the 
actors, in writing out their own parts or in studying them, should 
have altered the words or phrases they objected to, according to their 
taste ? Certainly H. C. cannot be expected to have remembered all 
those trifling variations, and to have inserted them when they 
prepared their Folio. Besides, the very circumstance that H. C. 
themselves indulged in alterations, or rather adulterations, of the text 
(see list below) seems to imply, that they had no very high opinion 
of the authenticity and pureness of their source. Thus it is all but 
certain that the above supposition as to the origin of the Fi stage- 
directions and of Fi in general is correct. I said that at least 
' most ' of the stage-directions are likely to have been got up in that 
way. There must have been a book containing the stage-directions 
without the full text in the possession of the theatre, and it is not 
impossible that H. C. should have found it" useful here and there 
(the description of the Dumb Show was probably taken from it) ; 
but, upon the whole, its notes cannot be supposed to have been 
such as could be inserted in an edition of Hamlet. Thus H. C. 
naturally examined the text for hints which might aid them in their 
task. Hence we meet with numerous instances, showing in an 
unmistakable manner how H. C. proceeded, and how anxiously and 
often short-sightedly they followed the text. . It might be objected, 
in spite of all the above arguments, that perhaps H. C. were in 
possession of the genuine stage-directions, but replaced them by 
their own, thinking that they needed correction as well as the text. 

But whatever may be our opinion of II. C., nobody will think 
them capable of fancying that stage-directions, such as Nos. 6, 24, 
29, 35, 36, 39, 45, 50, 53, 60, &c., in Fi, were any improvements 
on those in Q2. 

In the subjoined list of textual variations in Q2 and Fi 1 have 
marked by 

, what seems to be a simple accidental omission ; 

ix. HAMLET: Q 2 , F! : DIFFERENCES IN ACT i. so. i., ii. 121 

=, what is probably an intentional omission, for the sake of 
shortening the representation of the piece; 

|j, what is probably owing to the negligence, inattention, or 
criticism of the compositor ; 

, what is probably a foul case ; 

f, what seems to be owing to an interpolation of some Actor ; 

i, what is probably due to the critical revision which the text 
received at the hands of H. C., when it was being woven together 
from the parts of the actors. 

Of course, there will be some doubt left in several cases as to 
whether a variation ought to be marked || or t or J. Even in other 
cases it will be seen that it is difficult to arrive at a decision, if the 
variations are examined, not by themselves, but in the context. The 
marks, therefore, affixed to the different variations, can be only tenta- 
tive in many cases, especially where I do not quite agree with Mommsen 
(Jahrb. Articles II and III.). It ought to be borne in mifid that 
orthography and punctuation were paid more attention to by H. C. 
than anything else. The innumerable variations of this kind would 
have unnecessarily swelled the following list. 

f Qi,' added to certain readings, means that the First Quarto 
confirms, or at least countenances, those readings. 

Q2. Fi. 

Act I. sc. i. 

14. Stand ho, who is there ? 

33. || What we haue two nights 


43. Lookes a not like the King. 
46. Speahe to it (Qi). 
61. When he th'ambitious Norway 


65. lump at this dead hour. 
73. || with such dayly cost 

88. || all these his lands. 

89. stood seiz'd of. 

98. lawlesse resolutes (Qi). 
101. As it doth well appear. 
103. compulsatory. 

11. 108126. 
138. || your spirits. 
1 40. shall I strike it. 
1-">0 trumpet to the morn. 

Qi : morning. 

Stand : who's there : 
What we two nights h. s. 

$ it 

Question it, Horatio. 

he wanting. 

J just at. . . 

why such (Qi.) 


1 on. 

|| Landlesse. 

|| and it. 

J compulsative. 

= wanting- (also in Qi). 

y<m spirits. 

'at it. 




158. Some say, that euer. 
160. || This bird of dawning dare 
sturre abraode. 

163. No fairy takes, Qi. 

164. [| so gratious is that time. 
167. Eastward hill. 

174. Lets doo't (Qi : Lets). 

175. || conuenient. 

8. sometime Sister. 

9. ioyntresse tc 

11. an auspicious and a dropping 


24. bands of lawe. 
35. For bearers of this greeting 
(Qi : For bearers of these greet- 
57. Hath my Lord, wroung from 

me my slow leaue. 
By laboursome petition and at 

Vpon his will I seald my hard 


(Qi : Cor. He hath, my Lord, 
wrung from me a forced graunt. 
And I beseech you, grant your 
Highnesse leaue.) 

67. || Not so much, my Lord, I am 

too much in the sonne. (The 
second much rang beforehand 
in the compositor's ear.) 

68. nighted colour. 
77. || coold mother. 

82. ? chapes of griefe. 

83. || demote me truly. 

129. || sallied flesh (Qi : sallied). 
132. 6 God, God. 

134. Seeme to me. 

135. Fie on't, ah fie, tis. . 

137. || That it should come thus. 

149. _ Why she. . . . 

150. O God. 

155. in her gauled eyes (Qi). 

175. teach you for to drinko. 

178. it was to my mother's wed- 

183. Or euer I had scene. Compare: 
' or ere those shooes were old,' 
1. 147. 


|| sayes. 

The Bird. 

t can walke. Qi : dare walke. 

|| talkes. 

the time. 

t Easterne. 

|| Let. 

conveniently (-ly Qi). 

I. ii. 

|| sometimes. 

t of. 

J one . . and one. 


|| For bearing of ... 

HE hath, my Lord : 

Not so, my Lord. . . . 

t nightly. 

good mother. 

shewes of Griefe. 



t God, O God I 

|| Seemes to me. 

f Fie on't? Oh fie, fie, 'tis . . . (metre 

come to this. 
Why she, euen she. 
J O Heauen. 
IJ of. (The compositor's eye caught 

the of in the line above. ) 
+ t. y. to drinke deepe (Qi). 
to see my m. w. 

J. Ere I haa euer scene. 

IX. HAMLET: Q 2 , F x : DIFFERENCES IN ACT I. SO. 11., 111. 123 


(Qi : Ere euer I had seene that 

day Horatio.) 
204. distil'd. 
209. Whereas. (It ought to be 

'Where as,' as in Qi. 1 ) 
213. || Yppon the platforme where we 



| Indeede Sirs but this troubles 
me. See the following : 
| Very like, stayd it long. 

239. Both : Longer, longer. 

240. grissl'd, no. (See above, ii. 68 : 

Q2 : nighted, Fi : nightly.) Qi : 


243. I warn't it will. Qi: I warrant. 
248. tenable. Qi : tenible. 
251. so farre yon well. 
257. || fond deedes. 

3. || And conuay in assistant. 
5. favour. 

9. The perfume and suppliance of 
a minute. 

12. ? bulkes (pi. s caught - from 

' thewes '). 

16. his will, but you must feare. 
18. wanting-. 
21. || This 3 safty and health of this 

whole state. 

26. particular act and place. 
34. keepe you in the reare. 
40. their buttons. 
46. as watchman 
67. blessing with thee (Qi). 


|| bestil'd. 


Indeed, indeed Sirs ; (perhaps f 

Qi (do.) 

perhaps f ? Very like, very like. Qi 

J All. L. I. 2 
grisly? no. 

|| I warrant you it will. 

|| treble. 

j so fare ye well. 


I. Hi. 

And Conuoy is assistant. 

f favours. 

- The suppliance of a m. ? no more. 
(Perhaps due to H. C.'s inatten- 


his feare . . . feare (cf. I. ii. 97). 

For he himselfe is subject to his Birth. 

% The sanctity and health of the 

weole State. 

|| ? peculiar sect and force. 

f Keepe within the . . . 

|| tlie buttons. 

II watchmen. 


1 Probably both the compositor and the copyist found Whereas in Sh.'s 
MS. This trifle had escaped the eye of H. C. In two other like cases, they 
(or the copyist ?) made the proper correction. In both cases it is the words 
frith all which are wrongly printed together in Q2. 

I. v. 79 : Withall my imperfections on my head. 
F i : With all my .... 

Q2, III. iii. 81 : Withall his rimes braod blown .... 
Fi : With all his crimes broad b. 

2 Q2 is more accurate here : Horatio cannot be supposed, from the text, to 
join his two companions in exclaiming: ' Longer, longer! 1 Before this, Q,2 
has All in three cases, whereas Fi reads Both, because H. C. thought that 
Hamlet asked only the two sentinels proper. 

3 This, perhaps because his stood right above in the MS., or on account 
of the following S. (See New Var. Haml. vol. I. p. 62, note 21.) 

124 ix. HAMLET: Q 2 , FJ : DIFFERENCES IN ACT i, so. iii., iv. 


59. Looke thou character. 

62. Those friends thou hast. 

65. each new hatcht vnfledgd 


Qi : of every new vnfleg'd 


74. || Or of a most select and gener- 

ous, chiefe ' in that. 

Qi : Are of a most select and 

generall chiefe in that. 

75. || nor a tender boy. 

76. I] loue. 

77. dulleth. 2 

83. || inuests you. 
106. these tenders for true pay. 
109. || wrong it thus. 
114. My Lord, with almost all the 

holy nows of heauen. 
117. Lends the tongue. 

1 20. From this time. 4 

121. Something. 
125. tider. 

1 28. not of that die. 

130. pious bonds (for bauds). 

131. || beguide. 


$ See thou. 

I) befriends. 

J earth vnhatcht vnfledgd comrade. 

(See what Ingleby says : Furness, 
Var Hand., I. p. 69, note.) 
|| Are of a most select and generous 
cheff in that that 


lone (= loan). 

duls the. 


|! his tenders (of. 1. 103). 

Roaming it thus. 

My Lord, with all the vowes of 

heauen. 3 
|| Giues the t. (The next line begins 

with Giuing.} 

|| J For this time, Daughter. 
I) that eye. 
pious bonds. 5 

1 If we take ' chief ' (as Knight does) to stand for ' eminence, superiority,' 
the Qz reading, apart from the comma after generous, is quite satisfactory. 
The verse remains too long, it is true ; but if we pronounce the three mono- 
syllables, ' Or of #,' in the duration of one unaccented syllable, which is by no 
means difficult before the strongly accented most, we practically remove that 
obstacle too. Perhaps Sh. wrote OK, and not Are (as Qi and Fi read), to 
denote the somewhat indistinct and gliding manner of pronunciation necessary 
in this place. 

2 Some differences, which I had not originally received into this list, were 
afterwards put in by Mr. Furnivall. Hence they are left without a mark. 

3 The line commences in Q2 as well as in Fi with the words : My Lord, 
which ought to close the preceding line. This coincidence can only be 
explained, by supposing that address to have stood in the same place in the 
poet's MS. So H. C. probably found in their source what we read in Q2. 
Judging the line too long, they struck out almost. The omission of holy 
seems to be the compositor's fault. (Qi : ' And with all, such earnest vowes.") 

4 If in this line. "You must not take for fire, from this time," we take 
fire to be dissyllabic, we need not adopt the Fi word 'Daughter,' which looks 
as if H. C. had made it close the line, as it does three lines above (' these 
blazes, Daughter '), probably thinking the line too short. 

5 Here again both the Q2 compositor and the copyist seem to have been 
led astray by some indistinctness in Sh.'s handwriting, although, on the other 
hand, it is so easy to read bonds for bands that the concurrence of Q2 and Fi 
in this mistake cannot be of much weight in our matter. 



1. It is very colde. 

2. || nipping. 
9. wassel. 

14. But to my mind. 


42. Be thy intents. 

45. 6 answers mee (Ql). 

49. interr'd (Qi). 

54. hideous, and we fooles (Qi). 

61. It waues you (Qi). 

69. || somnet (summit). 

72. assume (conjunctive mood after 


74. thinke of it, 


77. It waues me still. 
80. Hold off your hands. 
87. || imagion. 

18. Knotted . . . locks. 

20. || fearefull Porpentine. 
22. list, list, 6 list : 
24. God. 

29. hast me so know't 
that /with wings. 

33. rootes it selfe (Qi). 

35. Tls giuen out (Qi). 
my orchard. 

43. with trayterous gifts. 

47. what falling off. 

55. || so but though .... 

56. || will sort it selfe. 
58. morning ayre. 

60. of the afternoone. 

62. Hebona (Qi). 

68. || possesse 

71. barck't about (Qi). 

75. of Queene (Qi). 

77. || vnanueld. 

91. adiew, adiew, adiew. 

95. || swiftly vp. 
104. Yes by heauen. 
107. My tables, meet it is, &c, 



|| is it very corde ? 
a nipping. 
|| wassels. 
II And to my mind. (The next line 

begins with And.) 
= wanting (also w. in Qi). 
|| euents. 
J Oh, oh, a. m. 
J enurn'd. 

hidious? And we ... 
I It wafts. 
|| sonnet. 
|| assumes. (The next word begins 

with an S.) 
thinke of it ? 

= wanting (w. in Qi too). 
It wafts. 
|| off your hand, 

I. V. 

$ knotty (see above, I. ii. 68, 'nightly ; ' 

and 'grisly,' I. ii. 240). 
fretful (Qi). 
f list, Hamlet, oh list : 
Oh Heauen (the same variation, see 
I. ii.). 

f Hast, hast, me 

(/ omitted.) 
|| rots. 

? it's g. out. 
mine O. 1 

j hath Traitorous guifts. 
what a falling off. 
so Lust, though (Qi). 
will sate itselfe(Qi : would fate it selfe). 
J Mornings Ayre. 
f in the afternoone (Qi). 

|| bak'd. 

and Queene. 

|| vnnaneld. 

adue, adue Hamlet, Kemember me. 

(See above, list, Hamlet, Qi.) 
stiffly vp. 
f Yes, yes, by h. 
f My Tables, my Tables, meet . . . 

(rerse too long}. 

1 In general Q2 prefers my before vowels, whereas Fi often reads mine. 

126 ix. HAMLET: Q 2 AND F! : DIFFERENCES IN i. v, n. i. 


112. Enter Horatio and Marcellns. 
Hora. My Lord, my Lord. 

113. || Heauens secure him. 
|| boy come, and come. 

129. desire shall. 

132. I will goe pray. 

133. whurling words (probably Sh.'s 

orthography ; compare I. i., 

136. There is Horatio (Q i ). 

156. Shift our ground (Qi). 

161. Ghost. Sweare by his sword. 

162. worke i j th earth (Qi work in 

the earth). 

167. your Philosophic (Qi). 
174. or this head shake (Qi). 

176. As mell well (Qi). 

177. if they might. 

179. || This doe stveare (compositor's 
criticism ?). 

181. || (' Sweare ' is omitted in conse- 
quence of the alteration in 
1. 179.) 

1. this money. 

4. ? meruiles (= marvellous), to 
make inquire. (See New Var. 
Haml, i. 118, note 4.) 
16. As thus. 

28. Fayth as you. 

38. fetch of wit. 

40. || with working. 

52-3. wanting-. 

63. carpe of truth. 

69. God buy ye, far ye well. 

75. O my Lord, my Lord. 

76. i' th' name of God. 

77. closset. 

95. As it did seeme. 

97. shoulder. 

99. helps. 

101. Come goe. 

105. || passions. 

111. heede. 

112. coted . . fear'd. 

114. By heauen it is as proper. 


Hor. 4- Mar. within. My Lord, 
my Lord. 

Enter Horatio and Marcellus. 

Heauen s. h. 

boy ; come bird, come. 

|| desires shall. 

f Looke you, He g. p. 

J hurling. 

(The copyist seems to have faithiully 
copied whurling, which H. C. 
changed into hurling.) 

|| There is, my Lord. (The composi- 
tor's eye caught the preceding line, 
which ends with my Lord.) 

|| shift for ground. 

f Sweare (Qi). 

i' th' ground. 

|| our Ph. 

j or thus, head shake. 

j as mell. 

j if there might. 

This not to doe . . . . 


II. i. 

|| his money. 


J you make inquiry. 

|| And thus. 

Line 15 begins with And. 

Faith no as you . . . 

J fetch of warrant. 

i' th' working. 

At friend or so, and gentleman. 

|| cape of truth. 

I God . . . you . . . you well. 

f Alas, my Lord, my Lord. 

J in the name of Heauen. 

f chamber, 

I That it did seeme. 

|| shoulders. 

|| helpe. 




quoted . . feare. 

It seems it is as p 




120. Come (the last word of the 


wanting (perhaps left out on pur- 
pose to finish with the rhyme). 

II. ii. 

5. so call it. 

6. Sith. 

12. sith . . hauior. 

17. Whether ought . . thus. 

36. goe some of you. 

39. Quee. I Amen. 

43. || I assure, my good Liege. 

45. And to my gracious king. 

48. As it hath vsd to doe. 

50. That doe I long to heare. 

52. fruite to that great feaste. 

54. my deere Gertrard. 

57. || and our hastie marriage 

(our facilitated the omission of 

58. Welcome my good friends. 

73. || threescore thousand (see Anglia, 

vol. iv. part 2. 

78. For this enterprise (Qi : that). 
85. busines is well ended. 

90. Therefore breuitie. 

98. And pittie tis tis true. 
105. while she is mine (Qi). 
112. || thus in her excellent. 

125. hath shown me. 

126. || And more dl)out . . . 

137. || a working mute and dumb. 

142. prescripts. 

143. || from her resort. 
146. repelVd. 

148. || Wath. 

149. lightnes. 

150. wherein. 

151. mourne for. 

152. thinke this. 

very like. (See Hamlet's words, 

I. iii., 'very like.') 
161. dooes indeed. 
1 74. excellent well. 
187. but as your daughter may con- 

. ceaue. 

190. a is farre gone. 
197. the matter you reade. 

so /call it. 

t Since. 

j since humour. 


t of ye. 


Assure you, my good Liege. 

|| one to my . . . 

as I haue. 

that I doe 1 ... (perhaps ||). 
| Newes to that . . . 

my sweete Queene. 1 

and our o're-hastie m. 

welcome good friends (the metre 
is defective). 

three thousand (Qi). 

|| for his enterprise. 

f is very well e. (Spoils the metre ; 

Qi has very well dispatched.) 
Therefore since breuitie. 
J And pittie it is true. 

t whilst 

j these in .... 
|| shew'd me. 
. . . alone. 
|| soliciting. 
Qi : winking. 
| precepts. 
his resort. 
J repulsed. 
a Lightnesse. 
f waile for. 
think 'tis this ? 
J very likely. 

|| ha's indeed. 

f excellent, excellent well. 

but not as ... 

t far gone, far gone. 
|| the matter vou m-eane. 

1 See above, stage directions, Nos. 45, 55, pp. 113, 115. 



1 98. satiricall rogue. 

201. lacke of wit. 

202. with most weake hams. 
205. for your selfe. 

|| grow old. 

216. || sanctity. 

217. I willleaue him and my daughter. 

(The compositor's eye strayed 
into the following line.) 


f s. slave. 

locke of wit. 

with weake Hammes. 

for you your selfe. 



leaue him and sodainely contriue the 

meanes of meeting 
Betweene him and my daughter. 

The whole speech is divided into a kind of verses in Fi ; 
hence : 

218. My Lord I will take my leaue of 


219. j] You cannot take, 
except my life (3 times). 

224. the Lord Hamlet. 

227. || My extent good friends. 

232. euer happy. 

|| Fortunes lap. 
237. fauors. 
240. What newes ? ' 
243. || but your newes is not true. 

277. But in the beaten way of friend- 

(Between true and But, 31 lines 
(244276) are left out.) 

The two Buts following so awkwardly upon each other show that 
this passage cannot have run in the poet's MS. as it does in Q2. 
The omission may have been brought about by the compositor's 
skipping over a page, and was probably facilitated by the first But 
still ringing in his ear, when his eye caught the second But. (See 
below, p. 129.) 

J my honourable Lord I will most 

humbly take . . . 
You cannot, Sir, t . . . 
Except my life, my life. 
vi y Lord Hamlet, 
my excellent g. fr. 
Fortunes Cap. 
|| fauour? 

f What's the newes ? 
But your newes is not true. Let me 

(244 '276) .... attended. 
But in the beaten way .... 

280. || euer poore. 

285. ? come, come, deale. 

287. Anything. 

305. discouery, and your secrecie to 

the King and Queene moult 

no feather. 
308. exercises. 

euen poore. 
come, deal, 
f why, anything. 

j discouery of your secrecy to the 
King and Queen moult no feather. 

II exercise. 

1 Let me question more in particular : what haue you, my good friends, 
deserued at the hands of Fortune, that she sends you to Prison hither ? 
Guil. Prison, my Lord ? 
Ham. Denmark's a Prison. 
Rosin. Then is the World one, &c., &c. 

ix. HAMLET: Q 3 AND F X : DIFFERENCES IN ACT n. sc. ii. 129 

Q 2 . Fi. 

312. firmament. wanting. 

313. nothing to me but J no other thing to me then. 

315. What peece of work is man. What a p. 

316. || faculties. faculty. 
333. || tribute on me. ^/mee (Qi). 

337. peace, and the Lady. peace : the Clowne shall make those 
(Qi : the clowne shall make them laugh whose lungs are tickled a' th' 

laugh that are tickled in the sere : and the Lady l . . . . 

341. take such delight. take delight. 

331. No indeede are they not. J they are not. 

11. 352 379 wanting. (Fi gives them, and Q2 also alludes to 

them. 2 ) 

380. It is not very strange. not strange. 

381. make mouths. J make mowes. 

382. fortie, fiftifi, a hundred. forty, an hundred. 
388. your hands come then. your hands, come : 
390. in this garb. || in the Garbe. 

|| let me extent. lest my extent. 

401. swadling clouts (Qi). $ swathing clouts. 

1 See the parallel passage in my 'Forewords' to Facsimile Hamlet, Q2, 
p. xvi. F. J. F. 

2 This passage has often been considered as a later addition for stage 
purposes, chiefly because the transition to Hamlet's bitter words seems to be 
as satisfactory in Q2 as in Fi. But if we look a little more closely into it, we 
find it an impossibility that Shakspere should have written the passage as it 
is printed in Q2. Hamlet asks : " Doe they hold the same estimation they did 
when I was in the Citty, are they so followed ? " Ros. simply answers : "No 
indeede are they not." It is impossible to imagine that Hamlet, who takes 
such a lively interest in the players, and who has just asked several questions 
about them, should be satisfied with this answer, which simply states the fact 
that the popularity of the players has decreased, but not the reason of it. 
Hamlet must be expected to inquire further, and so be does indeed, according 
to the Fi reading : "How comes itl Doe they grow rusty ?" 

Let us now look at Q2. 

" Ilos. No indeede are they not. 

Ham. It is not very strange, for my Vncle is King of Denmarke. and 
those that would make mouths at him while my father liued, giue twenty, 
fortie, fiftie. a hundred duckets a peece for his picture in little," &c. 

There is at best a very awkward gap here, though Hamlet's word might be 
strained into some connection with Rosencrans's answer. In Fi the transition 
is clear enough : " Ham. Do the boys carry it away ? Ht>s. I that they do, 
my Lord, Hercules and his load too." In like manner Hamlet's uncle had 
' carried it away.' In the lacuna spoken of above (11. 244 276) the case was 
worse and better : worse, because no internal proofs could be derived from 
the text showing the wanting speeches to be left out accidentally ; better, 
because the two Ituts following so hard and awkwardly upon each other must 
be suffered to give in their evidence, however trifling it may be. Here we 
have no such external evidence, but the text, when examined attentively, 
shows clearly enough that we had to do with an accidental omission. (See 

N. S. SOC. TRANS., 1880-2. K 



409. Sir, a Monday morning, 'twas 
then indeede. 

409. When Kossius mas an actor. 

414. then came each Actor. 

415. (Pol. enumerates only six 

species of dramatic poetry, 
finishing with : Historic-all 

438. pious chanson. 

439. abridgment comes (Qi). 

441. oh old friend. 

442. || face is vallanct 1 (Qi : val- 


450. || friendly Faukners. 

402. were no sallets. 

464. || affection. 

as wholesome as sweete, & 
by very much more handsome 
then fine (Qi : as wholesome as 

466. one speech in't I chief ely loued. 

467. || Aeneas talke to Dido. 

468. || when he speaks. 

478. and a damned. 

479. Now is he tatall Gvlex. 
483. To their Lords mvrther. 

486. so proceede you (Qi : so goe on). 

493. vnequall matcht. 

496. fals : (half a line wanting). 

497. Seeming to feel this blow. 

503. Like a newtrall (metre defec- 

512. Marses Armor. 
517. follies (= fellies). 

524. But who, o woe. 

525. mobled(Qi). 
527. That's good. 

544. ? prethee no more. 

545. the rest of this soone. 
551. while you liue. 

565. for . . . neede. 

5fcC. || dosen lines or sixteene lines. 

568. could you not. 

579. to his owne conceit. 

580. || all the visage wand. 


f Sir, for a Monday morning 'twas so 

Qi : You say true a Monday last, 'twas 

so indeede. 

When Eossius an Actor. 
|! then can each A. 

(Here eight species are named, of 
which the last is Tragicall-Comic- 

|| Pons Chanson. 
|| abridgements come, 
oh my olde F. (Qi). 
|| is valiant. 

French Faulconers CQi). 
|| was no Sallets. 


|| One cheefe speech in it I cheefely 


A . . Tale to Dido (Qi). 
where he speakes (Qi : where he 


|| and damned. 
|| to take Geulles. 
|| rilfle mnrtliers. 

|| match. 

fals. Then senseless Illium. 

|| his blow. 

And like an.... 

i| Mars his Armour. 

IJ fallies of her wheele. 

|j But who, o who. 

|| inobled (three times). 

That's good : InoUed Queene is good. 

(Qi : mobled Queene is good.) 
pray you no more. 

rest soone. 
|| liued. 

for a neede (Qi). 
dosen or sixteene lines (Qi). 
J could ye not. 
|| whole conceit, 
all his visage warmed. 

Sh. probably wrote vallanc'd. 




585. or he to her. 

587. |f and that for passion (that 
anticipated from ' That I haue,' 
which follows ' p'assion.') 

593. faculties. 

604. Hah, s'wounds I should take it : 
for it cannot he. 


( With this slaues offall. 

( bloody, haudy villaine. 
610. wanting. 

( Why what an Asse am. 


( I, this is most braue. 

612. of a deere murthered. 

615. || a stallyon. 

617. j| my braines. 

626. If a doe blench. 


or he to Hecuba (Qi). 
and the cue for p. 


Hah, Why I should &c. (See 

above, several times ' Heauen' for 

Q2 God.) 

With this slaues offall. 

J bloudy ; a Bawdie villaine. 

Oh Vengeance, 

f Who ? What an Asse am I ? 

f I sure, this is most brave (all in 

one line). 

|| of t he Deere murthered. 
A Scullion ? 
Braine (Qi). 
J if he but blench. 

Act III. i. 

1. ? conference. 
19. || are heerc about . . . (the verse 

is too long). 

26. || into these delights. 
30-1. may heere affront Ophelia. 
31. || my selfe. 
43. please you. 
46. || lowlines. 
48. sugar ore. 
55. with-draw my Lord. 

71. the proude mans. 

72. ? despiz'd loue. 

75. || quietas. 

76. would fardels beare. 
86. || pitch & moment. 
92. thanke you well. 

96. || No not I, I neuer . . . 

97. you know right well (Qi). 
99. || their perfume lost. 

107. you should admit no. 

110. then with honestie (Qi). 

120. || enoculat. 

122. Get thee aNunry. 

136. no where but (Qi). 

142. Nunry, farewell. 

148. paintings, well enough (Qi). 

150. |] your selfes another (Q i : seines). 

151. || list. 

153. wan tonnes ignorance. 

154. || marriage. 

are about. 

on to these d. 

|| may there affront. 

my selfe (lawful espials). 

J ye. 


|| surge o're. 

let's withdraw my L. (necessary for 

the metre). 
|| the poore man's, 
dispriz'd loue. 
Quietus (Qi). 
|| would these fardels, 
pith & moment. 
t well, well, well. 
Ho no, I neuer .... 
|| I know right well. 
II then perfume left, 
your honesty should a. 
|| then your Honestie. 
thee to a Nunry. 
|| no way, but. 
go, Farewell. 

(I pratl'mgs too, well enough. 
|| selfe. 

w. your ignorance, 

K 2 

132 ix. HAMLET: Q 2 AND F! : DIFFERENCES IN ACT m. so. ii, 

160. || expectation. 

163. And I of Ladies. 

165. || what noble. 

167. stature. 

175. which for to prevent. 

185. his greefe. 

196. || vnmatcht go. 

4. towne cryer spoke. 



|| Have I ____ 

that noble. 


which to prevent (or 

is defective). 
this greefe. 

5. with your hand thus. 

10. to heare a robustious (Qi). 

11. totters. 

14. I would haue such a fellow (Qi). 

21. ore-steppe. 

28. || though it makes. 

30. || of which one. 

32. praysd. 

35. Pagan nor man. 

56. Ros. I my Lord. 

65. licke absurd pompe. 

67. ? fanning. (See Stratmann's 

note. New Var. Haml.vo}. I, p. 

68. of her choice. 

69. || distinguish her election. 

|| S'hath. (Compositor's criti- 
cism ?) 

74. co-medled. 
84. of thy soule. 
92. In censure of. 
94. || And scape detected. 
106. That did I. 
108. ? What did you enact (Qi). 

? The metre 

III. ii. 

|| had spoke. (' I had as lief ' (just 

before) gave rise to this mistake.) 
your hands thus. 
|| to see a . . . 
|| I could . . . 
|| orestoppe. 

make (conjunctive mood), 
of the which one. 

|| P. or Norman. 
i Both. We will my Lord. 
|| like a. p 

|| of my choise. (due to : my deare 

Soul ?) 

distinguish her e. 


|| my soule. (' my ' follows close after.) 

|| To censure of. (or $ ?.) 


I That I did. 

And what .... (Perhaps the pre- 
ceding ' and was accounted* gave 
rise to this And.) 

my good Hamlet. 

I meane, my Head vpon your Lap. 
I my Lord (Qi). 

115. ? my deere Hamlet. 

121-2. wanting (All Ophelia's 
short replies or questions here 
end with my Lord, which facili- 
tated the omission.) 

In the description of the Duwb show I observe the following 15 
variations : 

1. Enter a King & a Qu. 

2. wanting. 

3. and he her. 

4. wanting. 

a K. and Qu. 

very louingly. 


She kneeles . . unto him. 

ix. HAMLET: Q 2 AND r t : DIFFERENCES IN ACT in. sc. ii. 133 

Q2. Pi. 

5. he lyes him downe. (he left out) Layes . . . 

6. come in an other man. comes in a Fellow. 

7. kisses it. pours. k. it and powres. 

8. sleepers eares. King's eares. 

9. and leaues him. and Exits. 

10. dead, makes. dead, and makes. 

11. three or foure come. two or three Mutes cOmes. 

12. seeme to condole. seeming to lament. 

13. harsh awhile. loath and vnwilling awhile. 

14. accepts loue. accepts his loue. 

15. wanting. Exeunt. 

Although it is easy to see that some of the differences are due to 
the carelessness of the compositor (especially in Q2), the more con- 
siderable variations must probably be ascribed to Heminge and 
Condell, who (it seems) found a somewhat corrupted description in 
the book of stage-directions only. 


1| Marry this munching this is Miching Malicho, that meanes 
Mallico ; it means ... . . . Qi myching MalHco. 

151. by this fellow (Qi). (See stage these Fellowes. 


152. Keepe, they'le tell all. k. counsell. 

153. Will a tell (Qi). will they. 
166. orh'd the ground. orbed ground. 
174. || from our former state. your f. st. 

|| For women feare too much, || For women's Feare and Loue holds 

euen as they loue, quantitie. 

And womens feare and loue hold (cf. Anglia, iv. 2.) 


178. || Eyther none, in neither. In neither. 

179. || what my Lord is. w. my loue is. 

181. Where loue is great, the litlest wanting. 

doubts are feare, 

182. Where little feares grow great, 

great loue growes there. 

These two curious lines in Qz are perhaps also due to the com- 
positor's not having heeded the poet's mark of omission ; they 
certainly do Sh. more honour when left out. 

184. their functions. || my functions (due to the preceding 


190. TJiaV s wormwood. 1" Wormwood, wormwood (Qi: Ow. w.) 

206. of eyther, grief e. of other Greefe. 

207. ennactures. || ennactors. 
209. || Greefe ioy. Griefe ioyes. 
214. || fauourite flyes. (See New fauorites flies. 

Var. Hamlet, vol. I, p. 253.) 


228. To desperation turne my trus 

and hope. 

229. And Anchors cheere in prison be 
my scope. 

233. If once I be a ... euer I be a 


240. doth protest. 
255. are as good as a Chorus (Qi). 
260. 1 mine edge. (Q2 elsewhere 

prefers my, and Fi mine.) 
263. Leaue thy faces. 
267. || Considerat season. 
277. wanting. 

285. Thus runnes. 

287. with provincial roses. 

315. ... with choler. 

318. || the Doctor. 

319. into more choller. 
321. || And stare not. 
330. of busines. 

334. answere as I can. 

335. rather as you say. 
341. admiration, impart. 
349. And doe still. 

351. Surely barre. 

358. I sir, but while the grass. . . . 

359. 6 the Recorders. 

360. let me see one. 

374. || & the vmber. 

375. eloquent. 
377. harmony. 

to my compasse. 

384. make it speake. 

385. s 'blond (Qi Zownds). 
388. || though you fret me not. 
402. Leaue me friends. 

AM I will say so. By and by is easily 

TtVO. i 



V wanting. 

If once a . . euer . be Wife. 

J protests. 

|| are a good Chorus. 

my edge. 

Pox leaue thy . . . 

confederates . . . 

Ham. What, frighted with false fire 


So runnes. 
with two p. R. 
rather with choller. 
his Doctor, 
into farre more ch. 
start not. 
of my B. 

|| answers as I can. 
|| rather you say. 

1 So /do still. 
|| freely barre. 

I, but while . . 

O the Recorder. (See stage direc- 

J let me see. 
& thumbe. 
|| hermony. 
to the top of my c. 

make it ... 
t Why. 

though you can fret me (Qi). 

Pol. I will say so. 
Ham. By & by is easily said. 
Leaue me friends. 

Was there an indistinct correction in the poet's MS., which was 
paid due attention to by the copyist, but overlooked by the compositor 

breaths out. 

|| such bitter businesse as the day. 

speake Daggers. 

407. || breakcs out. 

409. such busines as the bitter day. 

413. speake dagger. 

ix. HAMLET: Q 2 AND FI : DIFFERENCES IN ACT in. sc. iii, iv. 135 


III. iii. 

6. Hazard so neere's as. 

7. out of his browes. 

Hazard so dangerous. || (or f ?.) 
lunacies f ?. 

(I prefer browes to the reading of the Folio. It stands meta- 
phorically for ' frowns/ and I do not see any reason why it should 
be altered.) 

14. whose weale. || whose spirit. (Owing to the pre- 

ceding ' spirit '. ) 

17, || or it is a massie (or disturbs the It is a massie. 


23. but a generall grone. but with a g. g. 

25. || about this feare. <opon this feare. 

50. || or pardon. or pardon'd. 

73. but now a is a praying. J he is . . praying. 

A similar instance of H. C.'s modernizing criticism may be 
observed a little farther on, 1. 91, in this same soliloquy of Hamlet. 

77. sole sonne. j| soule Sonne. 

79. || Why this is base and silly. Oh this is hyre and Sallery. 

(Compositor's criticism ?) 
91. At game a swearing (Qi : At game, J At gaming, swearing. 

s waring). 

III. iv. 

5. round. 

wanting 1 . 

6. || He wait you. 
12. wicked tongue. 

16. And would it were not so, you 


20. || ni ost part of you. 
22. Helpe how. 

What how helpe. 
32. thy better (Qi) 

49. || Ore this solidity. (Compositor's 

criticism ?) 

50. [I heated visage. (Connected with 

the preceding variation.) 
52. (Qu.s' line given to Ham.) 
55. On this brow. 
59. || on a heaue, a kissing hill. 
65. brother. 

round with him. 

} Ham. within. Mother, mother, 


He warrant you. 
|| idle tongue. (Idle stands just 

J But would you ... so. You are. 

inmost. . , . 

f helpe, helpe, hoa. 

f What hoa ! help, help, help ! 

|| thy Betters. 

yea this s. 

tristful visage. 

|| his brow. 

on a heauen-kissing h. 

II breath. 



71 7R ) SeilRe SUre< ' ' ' 

' \ difference. 

78 81. Eyes without . . . mope. 
87. || And reason pardons will. 

89. || my very eyes into my soule. 

90. greeued. 

91. || As will leaue there their tinct. 
97. || the kyth. 

104. your gracious figure. 

117. that you doe bend. 

118. And with th'incorporall. 
139. wanting. 

143. And the matter. 
145. that flattering unction. 
152. To make them ranker 
158. || And leaue the purer. 

ici -i a A That monster custome . . 
161 Io4. 

put on. 

|| to refraine night. 

tcv i 
Io7 170. 



The next more easie . . . 

. . . potency. 
|| This bad beginnes. 
blowt king. 
210 There's letters sealed . . . 

"... directly meete. 
|| a most foolish prating . . . 
(owing to the 'most' in 1. 214.) 


wanting. 1 


= wanting (Q i ). 
|| As reason panders Will, 
mine eyes into my very s. 

As will not 1. their Tinct. 
the tythe. 

|| you. (The line begins with another 

that you bend (metre defective). 
|| with their corporall. 

Extasie ? 

And / the m. 

|| a fl. unction. 

Jl To ... ranke. 

And Hue the p. 

wanting (Qi). 

(Fi reads : ' Assume a virtue if you 

haue it not Refrain to night,' all in 

one line.) 
= wanting (Qi). 

Thus bad b. 

|| blunt K. 

= wanting (Qi). 

a foolish p. 

IV. i. 

For the beginning of the Act, see Stage directions. 

1. There's matter. 

4. Bestowe this place onvs a little 

5. || Ah mine own lord. 
7. the sea. 

10. Whyps out his Rapier, cryes a 

Rat, a Rat. 
22. let it feede. 

39. And let them know. 
41 44. Whose whisper 
less ayre. 3 


|| T. matters. 
J wanting. 

Ah my good Lord. 

the Seas. 

J He whips his Rapier out, and cries 

a Rat, a Rat. 2 
let's it feede (wrongly referred to 

' owner, ,' 1. 21 ; instead of ' we would 

not understand, 1. 20). 
|| To let them . . . 
= wanting (Qi). 

1 See also omissions, in Qi, of lines 161-4 ; 167-70 ; 202-10, below. 

2 The words are much less lively than in Q2 ; besides, the metre is destroj^ed. 

3 The gap in 1. 40 is generally filled up by the words : ' So haply slander,' 
which suit admirably both metre and sense. (See New Var. Haml. vol. I, 
p. 314.) 

ix. HAMLET: Q 2 AND F I 


DIFFERENCES IN iv. ii, iii, iv, v. 137 


IV. ii. 

|| Ham. Safely stowd, but soft, 
what noyse, who calls on Hamlet ? 
O heere they come. 

Ham. Safely stowed . . . Gentle- 
men within. Hamlet. Lord H. 
Ham. What noise, etc. 

Here again some indistinct correction in the MS. seems to have 
misled the compositor of Qa. 

6. || compound it. compounded it. 

18. like an apple. II like an Ape. 

(Qi : As an Ape doth nuttes.) 

32. to him. Exeunt. bring me to him, hide Fox and all 


IV. iii. 
(See Stage directions.) 

21. of politiqne wormes (Qi). 
25. seruice, two dishes (Qi). 

97_qn Kin 9' Alas ' alas - 

' Ham. A man . . . worme. 

37. |1 but if indeede. 

45. wanting. 

47. euery thing is bent (Qi). 

|| of wormes. 

J seruice to dishes. 


but indeede, if. 

with fierie Quicknesse. 

|| euery thing at bent. (The com- 
positor's eye caught the ' at lielpe ' 
standing right above.) 

and so ... 


were ne're begun. 

54. so my mother. 
66. congruing to that effect. 
70. will nere begin. (Compositor's 
criticism ?) 

IV. iv. 

8. Goe softly on. || Go safely on. 

9 66. (All the rest of the scene, 57 = wanting (Qi). 

IV. v. 

(See Stage directions.) 

9. they yawne at it. 
33. Oho. 

37. ? Larded all with. 

38. 1 ground did not go. 

(Qi : not.) 

they ay me at it. 
i. wanting. 
Larded with. 
graue did not go. 

1 ' Ground ' seems to be due to the compositor's inattention ; but I entertain 
serious doubts as to whether Furness be right (New Var. Hamlet, vol. I. p. 
331) in suppressing all (with Fi) and not (in opposition to Qi, Q2 and Fi). 
May it not have been the intention of the poet to make Ophelia spoil the 
metre as well as the sense of what she sings ? Is it not very probable and 
natural that her mind should 'gambol ' from the matter she means to ' reword?' 
This certainly was Shakspere's idea of insanity, or he would not have made 
Hamlet allege " rewording the matter " as a test of perfect sanity. In fact, 



40. How doe you. 
67. Indeed without. 
69. || they would lay. 
77. || death, and now beholde 6 
Gertrard, Gertrard. (Verse too 

82. in thoughts. 
89. || Feeds on this wonder, keepes 

93. our person. 
106. || The cry choose we. 
141. is't writ. 
146. Pelican. 
150. || peare. (For 'Let her come 

in,' see stage-directions.) 
156. || with weight. 

161-2. wanting. 

165. wanting-. 

166. ? rain'd many a tear. 

176. pray you loue. 

177. Fancies. 

182. you may weare. 

195. || beard was as white. 

(mas anticipated from the next line 

196. Flaxen was. 

199. God a mercy on his soule (Qi). 
|| Christians soules. 

201. Doe you this 6 God. 

214.|| funerall. 

217. call't in question. 


$ How do ye. 
Indeed la ? without, 
they sJwuld lay. 
death. Oh, G. G. 

in their thoughts. 

j| Seeps on his wonder, keepes him- 


|| our persons. 
TJiey cry . . . 
|| </ writ. 
(I Politician. 1 

by waight. 

f Nature is fine in Loue and where 

'tis fine. 

-j It sends some precious instance of 
it selfe 

t After the thing it loues. 
Hey non nony, nony, hey nony. 
raines. . . . 
pray love. 

|| Paconcies. (Seel. 146, 'Politician.') 
f oh, you must weare. 
beard as white. 

but see New Var. Hamlet, I. p. 350.) 
All Flaxen was (Qi). 
|| Gramercy. . . . 
Christian s. 
I pray God. 
. . you see this . . . 
% call in question. 

the more we think of it, the more we must find it improbable that Ophelia, 
with her disturbed mind, should not put some confusion or other into what she 
sings. Her old snatches of ballads were no doubt generally known and popular 
among Sh.'s public, so the slightest deviation from their common text was sure 
to impress the spectators the more strongly with the disturbance of Ophelia's 
mind. Such alterations are as important means of characterizing Ophelia in 
her insanity, as the various ' Ah, OhV unconsciously inserted by the Clown in 
his churchyard verses must be owned to be characteristic there. 

The Folio has a few traces left of this unconscious distortion of the metre 
by the Clown. Some, however, are effaced, because, to Heminge and Condell, 
outward correctness was a weightier matter than such 'finesses.' They there- 
fore left out all in Ophelia's verses, but could not help seeing that the nonsense 
arising from did NOT go was intended by the poet ; so they kept it. 

1 We cannot on any account accuse H. C. or one of the actors of having 
supplied this nonsense. It must be due to the compositor whether to his 
carelessness or to his criticism. 

ix. HAMLET: Q 2 AND F X : DIFFERENCES IN ACT iv. so. vi, vn. 



2. Sea-faring men. 

9. Embassador. 

18. and in the grapple. 

22. doe a turne. 

25. thine ear. 

26. bord of the matter. 

31. || So that thou knowest thine. 

32. will you. 


IV. vi. 

| Saylors. 
j Ambassadours. 
J In the g. 
doe a good turne. 
|| your eare. 
bore of. ... 
He that t . . . . 
will giue you way. 

IV. vii. 

6. || proceede. 

7. So criminall and so capitall. 

(' criminal!,' owing to the end- 
ing of 'capitall.') 

8. || safetie, greatnes, wisdome. 
14. She is so concliue to my life. 
20. || Worke like the spring. 

22. || for so loued Arm'd. 
24. where I haue aym j d them. 
27. Whose worth. 

36. wanting. (For the Messenger, 
see stage-directions.) 

37. These to your Maiestie. 

41. Of him that brought them. 

48. of my suddaine returne. 

51. and no such thing. 


So cvimefull and so Capitall. 

Safety Wisdome. 

J She's so eoniunctwe. 

Would like the Spring. 

for so loud a Winde. 

where I had arm'd them. 

|| who's worth. 

How now ; What newes ? 

Mes. Letters my Lord from Hamlet. 

This to your Maiesty. 

wanting (because another them, 

1. 40, precedes). 
of my suddaine, and more strange 


Hamlet (signature to letter). 
|| Or no such thing. (Another or 

begins the line.) 
J If so you'l not . . . 
= wanting (Qi). 

60. I my Lord, so you will not. 
69-80. My Lord I will be rul'd 


82. two months since. 
85. they can well. 
87. grew vnto. 
90. || he topt me thought. 
92. || Lamord. 
95. all the nation. 
101-103. the Scrimures . . . opposed = wanting (Qi). 

107. Wliat out of this. 

There Hues .... 
. . vlcer. 


Some two months hence. 1 

|| they ran well. 

grew into. 

J he past my thought. 


|| our nation. 

|| Why out of this. 
= wanting (Q i ). 


1 This addition is closely connected with the omission just mentioned, 
serves to complete the metre in the line 

' And call it accident : some two monthes hence ' 
where hence is a blunder of the compositor's, owing to the preceding s of 



135. || ore your heads. 

141. for purpose. 

143. that but dippe. 

155. || did blast. 

157. ? cunnings. 

160. prefar'd. 

163. but stay what noyse. 


165. they follow. 

167. || ascaunt the Brooke. 

168. his horry leaues. 

169. || Therewith ... did she make. 
172. || cull-cold. 

175. her weedy trophies. 

178. oldlaudes. 

182. with theyr drinke. 

183. melodious lay. 

184. Alas, then she is drownd. 
192. || drownes it. 


on your heads. 

for that purpose. 

J I but dipt. 

should blast. 




how sweet Queene. 

I they'l f. 

aslant a Brooke. 

his hore leaves. 

There with ... did she come. 


|| the w. t. 

f old tunes (Qi). 

ij with her dr. 

|| m. buy. 

J Alas then, is she drown'd ? 

doubts it (for ' douts it '). 

Y. i. 

1- I 

9. I 

when she wilfully 
so offended. 

12. it is to act, to doe. 

13. || or all. 

37-42. wanting. 

(The compositor's eye strayed 
from ' bare Armes ' to ' with- 
out Annes '.) 

50. for that out-liues. 

68. get thee in 

|| scope of liquor. 
72. there a was nothing a meet. 
74. a sings in graue-making, 

(Qi : that is thus merry in making 
of a graue.) 

80. clawed me. 

81. | into the Land. 

86. | this might be. 

87. ? asse now ore-reaches. 

88. that would circumuent, 

91. || how doost thou sweet Lord. 

(sweet L. precedes.) 
94. || when a went to beg it. 

that wilfully. 
Se offendendo. 
$ it is an Act to doe. 
( Why he had none .... 

.... without Armes ? 

that Frame o. 

f get thee to Taughan. 

(Supposing Yaughan to have been the 
name of some well-known inn- 
keeper near the theatre. See New 
Var. Hamlet, I. p. 379.) 

stoope . . . (Qi). 

there was nothing meete. 

that he sings at gr. . . . 

|| caught me. 
intill the L. 
it m. be. 
Asse o're Offices. 
|| could c. 
good L. 

meant to beg. 

1 Compositor's criticism ? Perhaps owing to There with being written 
rather close together in the poet's MS. See above, withall for with all. 



98. || massene. 

107. quiddities. 

109. mad knaue. 

114. his recoueries to haue. 2 

116. will vouchers. 

117. of his purchases and doubles. 
119. will scarcely. 

125. which seeke out. 

(Hamlet speaks to the Clown) : 
127. Sirra. 

129. || or a pit of clay. 

130. wanting. 
135. ? yet it is mine. 
151. I haue tooke. 

153. of the Courtier (Qi). 

154. been Graue-maker. 

155. Of the dayes. 

161. || that very day that, 
(owing to the second that). 

162. that is mad. 

176. I haue been Sexton. 

182. corses that will. 

190. beer's a scull now hath lyen. 

203. Ham. Alas. 

211. not one. 

212. grinning. 

213. || Ladies table. 

(table occurring two lines above 
'set the table,' may have been 
caught by the compositor's 

239. || the waters flaw. 

240. but soft awhile. 

241. || Who is this they follow? 
244. 'twas of some estate. 

252. || been lodged. 
254. Flints. 

(metre destroyed. 3 ) 



Quiddits. 1 

|| rude k. 

his Recoueries ; Is this the fine of his 

Fines, and the recouery of his 

Recoueries to haue. 
will his v. 

purchases and double ones too. 
|| hardly. 
j that seeke out. 


O a pit of clay. 

for such a Guest is meete. 

and vet .... 

$ I haue taken. 

|| of our C. 

been a G. 

Of all the dayes. 

the very day that, 

was mad. 


Drses now-a-days, that . . . 
Here's a Scul ! now : this Scul has 


Let me see. Alas (Qi). 
|| no one. 
j jeering. 
Ladies chamber (Qi). 

the winters flaw. 

|| but soft aside. 

is that they . . . 

'twas some Estate. 

(metre destroyed). 

haue 1. 

Shardes Flints . . . 

1 Must we not suppose Shakspere to have written quiddities to match 
qnillities (Q2 quilletes) ? How should the compositor of Q2 have come to 
put the equally correct form quiddities ? 

2 Compositor went from first Recoueries to second. See my Forewords 
to Q2, p. xviii. F. J. F. 

3 The heavy ' Flint ' may stand for a measure : 

" for charitable prayeers, 
Flint / and peeb/les should / be throwne / on her." F. J. F. 



255. virgin Grants. 
258. Doct. This rubrum occurs twice 

269. O treble woe. 

270. || tenne times double. 
279. Coniures. 

284. For though I am not. 

285. || in me something dangerous. 

286. wisedome feare (Qi). 
hold off thy hand (Qi). 

287. All. Gentlemen. 

288. Hora. Good my Lord. 

297. S? wounds th'owt doe. 

298. woo't fast. 

299. Esill. 

308. || this a while. 

316. I pray tliee. 

317. Strengthen your. 
321. || thirtie shall we see. 


J virgin Rites. 

1. now shall you see. 

9. should learn us. 

17. || to vnfold. 4 

27. But wilt thou heare now. 

40. might flourish. 

43. || such like, as sir. 

44. and knowing of 
46. || those bearers. 

57. wanting. 

58. their defeat. 
63. || thinke thee. 

68- -80. wanting. 6 

J Priest. 

1 O terrible woer. 


| Coniure. 

j Sir, though I ... 

something in me d. (Qi). 


Away thy hand. 


Gen. Good my Lord. 
Come . . . thou'lt doe. 

wanting. (Verse too short.) 
Esile. 1 

thus a while. 
I pray you. 
Strengthen you. 
shortly shall we see. 

V. ii. 

|| now let me see 2 the other. 
J should teach us. 3 

But wilt thou heare me. 

should flourish. 5 
such like Assis. 
|| know of. 
the bearers. 
Why man, they did make loue to this 

|| debate. 

think'st thee (for thinks't). 
To quit him . . . who comes here. 

1 Qi reads : ' Wilt drinke vp vessels,' which proves, at least, that a simple e 
must have been the vowel of the first syllable of the doubtful word ; so that 
cisel (see New Var. Haml. I. p. 405) seems to be an unjustifiable departure 
from what has come down to us. 

' 2 The compositor repeating to himself the words he was going to put in 
type, involuntarily changed ' shall you see ' into the commonplace ' let me see.' 

3 See Schmidt, Sh. Lex. I*. 3, v. learn, where instances are adduced from 
Sh. showing that he sometimes used learn for teach, a confusion still known 
in popular English. 

4 White (New Var. Haml. I. p. 415) : " The terminal syllables of the line 
above probably misled the compositors of the Qq. Here Sh. would have 
avoided a rhyme ; and from 1. 52 it is plain that he broke a ' seal.' " 

5 This mistake was probably caused by the following should. 

6 Observe the sign of interrogation after conscience, 1. 67, Q2, which 
makes it probable that the inattentive compositor's eye strayed from con- 
science ? to comes hecre ?, which latter words, apart from the sign of interro- 



89. but as I say. 

91. if your Lordshippe. 

spirit, your bonnet. 
101.|| But yet me thinkes it is very 
sully and hot, or my complection. 
104. my Lord. 
109. Nay good my Lord for my ease 

in good faith, sir. 

here is newly come . . . 
hee's vnfellowed. . . . 

156. impaund. 1 

157. hanger and so. 

162-3. Hora. I knew you must be 
edified by the margent ere you 
had done. 

171. || why is this all you call it. 
hath layed on twelue for nine. 
Shall I deliuer you so ? 

190. || Yours doo's well. 
|| no tongues els. 

191. for's turne. 

195. || A did sir with. 

196. has he. 
many more. 

197. |breede. 

198. | and out of an habit. 

199. || histy collection. 

200. ? prophane and trennowed. 
202. triall. 


Enter a Lord .... 

instructs me. 
219. you will loose . . . 


|| ... saw. 
|| friendshippe. 
spirit : put your b. 

Mee thinkes it is very soultry and 
hot/<??' my Complexion. 

but my Lord. 

|| Nay, in good faith, for mine ease in 
good faith : Sir. 

= wanting- (Qi). 

= wanting 1 , except 1. 143-4 : You 
are not ignorant of what excellence 
Laertes is at his weapon (' as his 
weapon' not in Q2), which proves 
the omission to be an intentional 
one, made with a good deal of cir- 
cumspection and cleverness. 


|| Hangers or so. 


this impon'd as you call it. 

|| hath one twelue f. n. 

Shall I redeliuer you e'en so 

yours, yours, hee does well. 

no tongues else. 

|| tongue (the preceding ' tongues. ' 

caused this error). 
He did compile with. 
| had he. 
| mine more, 

and outward habit. 
yesty collection, 
food and winnowed. 
|| tryalls. 

= wanting (Qi). 
you will lose this wager. 

gation, offer more than sufficient external resemblance to conscience, to explain 
such a mistake. Thus also the omission of the anxious question, who comes 
here ? in Qz is easily accounted for. 

1 See New Var. Haml. I. p. 431. If imponed was really meant "to 
ridicule the affectation of uttering English words with French pronunciation," 
we must either suppose H. C. to have preserved the poet's spelling better than 
Q2, or the Qz compositor to have rather cleverly replaced the extraordinary 
word imponed by one more intelligible to him. and to have thus unconsciously 
put the word intended, but disguised, by Shakspere. I think it is more 
plausible to believe that H. C. arbitrarily altered impaund into impon'd. 



223. thou would'st not 

thinke how ill all's heere. 

227. obay it. 

230. || there is speciall. 

232. if it he. 

235. since no man of ought he leaues, 
knowes what ist to leaue be- 
times, let be. (Here only a 
comma is wanting after 
knon-es. ) 

254. hurt my brother (Qi). 

261. To my name vngord. 

261. || But all that time. 

265. Give vs the foiles. 

(On account of the following 
' Come, one for me.') 

270. || Ostricke. 

274. he is better. 

283. || an Vnice. 

291. Come my Lord. 

296. Set it by a while. 

297. Laer. I do confest. 

299. Here Hamlet take my napkin 

rub thy browes. 
310. || I am sure you make. 
324. It is heere Hamlet, thou art 


(Verse too short.) 

326. an houres life. 

327. || in my hand. 

326. Heare thou incestious damned 


(Verse too short.) 
337. || is the Onixe heere. 
350. cause a right. 

355. || O god Horatio. 

356. ? shall I leave behind me ? 
(Qi. ' What a scandal 1 wouldst 

thou leaue behinde ? A gliding 
pronunciation removes the me- 
trical difficulty in Q2.) 
369. the rest is silence. 


but thou wouldest not thinke. 
how all heere. 

there's a speciall. 
if it be now. 

since no man ha's ought of what he 
leaues. What is't to leaue betimes ? 

|| .. MotJter. 

|| To Ueepe my name vngorg'd. 

But till that time. 

Give vs the foyles, Come on. 


|| he is better'd. 

an Vnion. 

|| Come on sir. 

(Repetition of Hamlet's preceding 


set by a- while. 
A touch, a touch, I do confesse. 
|| Heere's a napkin, rub thy browes 

(metre destroyed). 
I am affear'd . . . 
It is heere Hamlet. 
Hamlet, thou art slaine. 

f an houre of life (Ql). 

in thy hand. 

incestuous, murdrous, Damned Dane. 

(The metre is correct, although the 

verse is printed in two lines.) 
Is thy Vnion f heere (Qi). 
|| causes right. 
O good Horatio, 
shall line behind me. 

* . . . silence 0, o, o, o. 


. ! The folio reading Vnion being corroborated by Qi, we must either sup- 
pose the actor who represented Hamlet to have substituted vnion for onyx, or 
the Q2 compositor not to have known vnion, and substituted the name of some 
well known precious stone for vnion. The latter supposition seems to be more 
plausible ; it is besides countenanced by what Q2 prints for vnion where it 
occurs for the first tune : Vnice, a conciliatory attempt of the compositor. 


Q 2 . Fi. 

(According to stage practice.) 

373. you would see ? J ye would see. 

390. to yet unknowing world. to tW yet vnkuowing w. 

394. || and for no cause. andforo'd cause. 

401. which now to clame (Ql). || which are to claime. 

402. shall haue also cause. jj . . . alwayes cause. 

403. || no more. on more. 

409. most royall (Qi). most royally. 

410. || right of warre. rites of Warre. 
412. || bodies. body(Qi). 

The following initial s of such probably gave rise to this mistake 
in Q2 : it cannot, of course, have been the intention of Shakspere to 
cause a general removal of the victims to take place as a finale to the 
" Tragedy of Hamlet." 

According to the list above, Q2 contains about 180 variations due 
some how or other to the compositor, besides about 70 accidental 
omissions, and 7 'foul cases.' In Fi we find : Nearly 160 variations 
which must be ascribed to the compositor; about 31 accidental omis- 
sions; 3 'foul cases ; ' 15 intentional omissions (to shorten the repre- 
sentation of the piece) ; about 38 variations owing to the Actors, who 
had altered words or phrases in their parts ; and about 100 traces of 
Heminge and Condell's editorial criticism. 

Thirty-two cases seem doubtful to me, because they admit of being 
explained in several ways. 

These numbers speak for themselves : Q2 affords us Shakspere's 
genuine text, disfigured, it is true, by an untrustworthy compositor, 
but still infinitely superior to the Fi text, which, in spite of its out- 
ward appearance of correctness, is all the more dangerously corrupt 
inwardly, having been modelled and remodelled by Copyists, 
Compositors, Actors, and, last not least, by the Editors them- 

If this list is compared with the disquisitions of Mommsen (Jahrb. 
vol. 72), it will appear that, in most cases, I perfectly agree with that 
critic with regard to the origin attributed to the various readings. 
One of the principal points, however, in which I cannot help differing 

N. S. SOC. TKANS., 1880-2. L 


from him, is my frequently marking as a blunder of the Fi com- 
positor, what he considers to be an interpolation of some actor. I 
think Mommsen has too good an opinion of the carefulness of the 
Fi compositor; his idea of misprints and compositor's blunders in 
general seems to be as narrow, as his opinion of the typographical 
correctness of Fi is exaggerated. MrWm. Blades, in the Athenceum, 
1872, I. p. 114, observes that every compositor at work reads a few 
words of his original and keeps them in mind, repeating them until 
he has put them in type. It is but natural that during such repe- 
titions some words should be supplanted by others having a similar 
sound, and that mental transpositions of syllables or words should 
happen as soon as his attention slacked. In Richard III, I. ii. 38, an 
actor is said to have said : ' the parson cough ' for the ' coffin pass.' 
Similarly, whole common-place expressions seem to have found their 
way into Q2 as well as Fi. Thus I do not doubt but Q2 is right in 
reading V. ii. 1 : " Now shall you see the other." The Fi com- 
positor unconsciously substituted the standard phrase of common 
life : " Let me see." This will help to explain several variations in a 
manner different from Mommsen's. In ' why she, euen she/ I do not 
see an actor's interpolation in Fi, but a simple omission in Qa. Also 
in II. ii. 527 : u That's good ; mobled queen is good," where the word 
good occurring twice gave rise to the omission of the last four words 
in. Q2. IV. v. 56 : ' Indeed, ?,' is a delicate touch of characteristic, 
and I cannot help thinking that it was simply left out in Q2. It 
cannot, of course, be my intention to point out all the instances in 
which my opinion differs from that of Mommsen, the less so, because 
the main result he arrives at, viz. that the Fi text of Hamlet con- 
tains numerous interpolations of the actors and editors, is confirmed 
by the above list, which has been independently obtained from a 
collation of the old editions. But some details, being of no little 
consequence for the settlement of another part of the Hamlet ques- 
tion, must not be passed over in silence. 

The additions found in Fi, Mommsen groups in six classes : 
1st Such as refer to the stage-practice. (JaJirb. p. 112.) 
There are such; but I fail to recognize this relation, e. g. in the 
line : 


"What? frighted with false fire? " 
(Qi.) "What, frighted with false fires?" 

I think this line was simply left out by the Q2 compositor. 1 

2nd. Idle additions belonging, perhaps, to the recital on the 
stage. Here I cannot join Mommsen in considering, e. g., the line : 

" Hey non, nony, nony, hey nony," 

as such an idle addition. See New Var. Hamlet, I. p. 344. 

3rd. Some words and half verses which seem to have been left 
out through negligence in Q,2. 

4th. Whole lines, simply left out in the quartos. 

5th. Two longer prose passages, Act II. ii. I do not share 
Mommsen's opinion that they were subsequently added for stage- 
purposes, but have tried above to show that they are simple omis- 
sions in Q2. 

6th. Two metrical passages, IV. v. 161-3 : 

" Nature is fine in loue," &c., 
and " To quit him . . . comes here 1 " 

These Mommsen also believes to have been left out by the Q2 com- 
positor, especially the latter passage, which is absolutely necessary to 
explain Hamlet's more amiable disposition towards Laertes. 

Mommsen asserts that none of the Fi additions were made by 
Shakspere. As far as this means that Fi cannot boast of any special 
additions from the poet's hand, I accede to this assertion. But I 
think that, setting aside the trifling addition of exclamatory or de- 
clamatory words by the actors or by Heminge and Condell, we have 
no right to speak of additions proper at all, since there is nothing to 
confute my supposition that all the seeming additions in Fi are mere 
accidental omissions in 0,2. 

Omissions in Fi. Several of the most beautiful passages, mostly 

_ A O 7 J 

of a reflective nature, are wanting in Fi, and it is plain that they were 
omitted to shorten the representation of the piece. Mommsen him- 
self (Jahrb. p. 114) confesses that these omissions were made cleverly 

1 See the parallel passages in iny Forewords to Q2 (Griggs's Facsimile), 
p. xiv. F. J. F. 


and with ' knowledge of the stage,' but he shrinks from allowing 
them to have been made by Shakspere himself. He tries to support 
his opinion by observing that Burbage, Heminge, and Condell were 
also clever men and knew the stage. But we must ask whether 
Shakspere, who at all events was at least a spectator, if not an active 
player in his Hamlet, is at all likely to have suffered others to abridge 
his tragedy 1 Q i shows that the abbreviations in question were made 
before 1603. Who could be better qualified for this task than the 
author himself] And is the poet at all likely not to have been asked 
by his fellow-actors to do it, since he surely knew best what might 
be left out without too seriously injuring the piece? There is 110 
kind of disparagement to Shakspere's character in supposing that 
he did not refuse to do what most dramatists have to do : adapting 
their pieces to the stage. 

Other characteristic features of Hamlet, Fi. 

Many of the Fi readings offer negligent, shallow, and common- 
place expressions, for good ones in Q2, and may have arisen from the 
different parts being repeatedly copied, or from the carelessness of the 
compositor, but could not possibly have been introduced by the poet 
in making a recension of his piece for the stage. Mommsen (Jahrb. 
p. 116), it seems, again underrates the carelessness of the Fi com- 
positor, and relies too confidently on the outward correctness of the 
folio. Nobody can deny that it is more carefully printed than Q2, 
but its credit of being so very much superior to Q2 in this respect, 
seems to be due chiefly to the curious anxiety exhibited in its punc- 
tuation. If we consider the numerous accidental omissions, however, 
the still more numerous misprints and blunders of the compositor, 
and even the different instances of nonsensical punctuation (see Jahrb. 
p. 164), it will be granted that, after all, the excellence of Fi may 
be reasonably doubted in this respect. 

Many of the variations marked || in the above list are attributed 
by Mommsen to the actor's interpolations ; but it will be seen that, 
making a little more allowance for the negligence of the compositor, 
they cannot be marked otherwise than as due to him. 


Especial importance must be attached to another remark of Momm- 
sen. He observes (Jahrb. p. 122, seq.) that several of the Fi read- 
ings betray a kind of grammatical and metrical neologism, and groups 
his instances under the following heads : 

1st. Twice the old ' for to ' before the infinitive has been removed. 
Seel. ii. 175, and III. i. 175. 

2nd. Fi substitutes three times forms in -y (-ly) for the more 
poetical participial forms in -ed. See I. ii. 68 ; I. ii. 240, and I. v. 18. 

3rd. The old sith has been twice replaced by since. See II. ii. 6, 12. 

4th. The expletive do, so frequently met with in Spenser, has 
been removed in four places. See II. ii. 626; III. ii. 240 ; III. iv. 
117; V. ii. 284. 

5th. Words which, according to the old usage, occasionally drop 
their prefix (e. g. stonish) show their full forms in several places. 

6th. Some old verbal forms are replaced by their more modern 
equivalents (taken for tooke, V. i. 151, &c.). In one point, however, 
I cannot agree -with Mommsen, who in Q2 (IV. vii. 89) takes me 
thought to be the past tense of the impersonal verb methinks. I 
rather incline to suppose that me was erroneously put for my, as Fi 
has it. The verb top (which would strangely stand as a neuter verb 
if we adopt Mommsen's interpretation) has thus its proper object : 
'he topt my thought.' See New Var. Hamlet, vol. I. p. 362, where 
this reading has been received into the text. 

7th. Some archaic and rare words have been removed. 1 Also the 
conjunctive mood has been effaced in Fi in several places. 2 But on 
examining such instances in our list, we find that in many of them, 
it is but the simple addition or omission of an s that produces this 
confusion in mood and number of verbs, so that many of these cases 
may be safely considered as mistakes of the compositors. 

8th. Also with regard to the number of spoken syllables, and the 
accent of several words, Fi is more modern than Q2. 

I subjoin the upshot of Mommsen's remarks on the subject. 

It is certain, that measurings like faenj, safety, convenient, 

1 See Rites for Grants, V. i. 255 ; coniuring for congruing, IV. iii. 06, &c , 
and cf. I. ii. 183. 

8 See I. iv. 72 ; III. ii. 28 ; and cf. pi II. ii. 439. 


especiall, transformation, nation, armed, loued ... are the rule in 
Spenser, especially in ryme, whereas, in the interior of the verse, 
syncopized forms are frequent. It is certain, further, that liquid 
consonants often lengthen a word by one syllable (Zerdehnung, as 
Mommsen calls it) : fie'r, houres, juggelar, &c. ; certain besides, that 
some of these archaic measurings are still traceable in Shakspere 
in spite of all the modernizing efforts of later editions ; only they 
must not be considered as the rule, but as exceptions. They are 
most frequently met with in the earlier pieces of Shakspere, and the 
unsyncopized forms in -ed generally occur at the end of a verse and 
before vowels. (See Perkin's ' Shakspere ' by Mommsen, pp. 379, s. 
and p. 365.) Words which must be accented in the French way also 
occur in Shakspere, although not often. On the other hand, differ- 
ences between paroxytone nouns and oxytone verbs are observed, 
which were soon after disregarded. (See Perkin's ' Shakspere/ pp. 
24, 360 SB., 406.) 

The metre in Fi is often spoilt, not only by accidental omissions, 
but also by different readings. This, as Mommsen rightly observes, 
is one of the most important arguments in proving that Fi was not 
revised by Shakspere, but interpolated by strange hands. Mommsen 
(Jahrb. p. 159) gives a list of such corruptelce. They are on the 
whole too obvious to be disputed. In some of these cases, however, 
I think the Fi compositor has simply left out some words, whereas 
Mommsen supposes the omission to be due to the actors. Thus, e. g., 
Q2 reads (II. i. 1 s.), " Come goe with me, I will goe seeke the King." 
Fi spoils the metre by leaving out ' Come.' Actors, in altering any- 
thing in their parts, have some reason for doing so, and we are 
generally able to guess their motives without difficulty ; but in the 
case referred to, I utterly fail to see what could have induced an 
actor, or Heminge and Condell, to drop this word, which, no doubt, 
was often superfluously added on the stage. 

As regards the punctuation of FT, it is on the whole scrupulously 
careful, and owing to this very scrupulousness we come across some 
strange distortions of sense. Mommsen rightly calls attention to the 
fact, that the punctuation of Q2 is scanty, even incomplete, but 
seldom positively wrong. For instances, see Jahrb. p. 164 ff. They 


amply illustrate and prove the truth of Mommsen's assertion, that we 
do not only not obtain from the orthography and punctuation of Fi 
any new evidence of a direct connexion of the Fi text of Hamlet 
with Shakspere's MS., but a clear proof that the text received certain 
changes at the hands of Heminge and Con dell, or of the compositor, 
probably of both, we ought to add. 

We have thus found the Fi text of Hamlet disfigured by numer- 
ous blunders of the compositor, by interpolations due to the actors, 
and by many traces of Heminge and Condell's criticism. We have 
further seen that we have no occasion to believe in a direct con- 
nexion between Fi and the poet's MS., or even with Q2, and that 
the intentional omissions (abbreviations) are due to Shakspere 

Taking all this into account, there are only two possibilities left 
which are worth consideration. 

Either Heminge and Condell's Fi was printed from a coherent 
stage-copy of the piece, or it was printed from a version obtained 
from the actor's parts together with a book containing the stage- 
directions only, which probably supplied the description of the Dumb 
Show, and perhaps a few other stage-directions. 

At first sight this alternative seems to be of a very trifling nature, 
especially as we must suppose the player's parts to have been copied 
from the stage-copy, and not directly from the poot's MS. Certainly 
Heminge and Condell would have been able to introduce their 
' critical corrections ' into such a stage-copy as well as into a text 
obtained from the player's parts ; the Fi compositor might have 
made as many blunders in printing the one as in printing the other ; 
and copyists might have contributed their share of mistakes in the 
one case as well as in the other ; but there are two things that turn 
the scale in favour of the second supposition, namely, the actor's 
interpolations, and the nature of the Fi stage- directions. The inter- 
polations in question cannot be supposed to have been entered in a 
stage-copy ; hence we cannot explain the existence of the Fi Hamlet 
without the actors' parts as its source ; and since there is no sensible 
reason why Heminge and Condell should have departed from the 
stage-directions of a stage-copy, which, being obtained directly from 


the poet's MS., would have been no contemptible authority, we 
must exclude such a coherent stage-version from the sources of the 
Fi Hamlet, without undertaking, however, to explain its absence. 
Thus we arrive at the following conclusion : 

" From Shakspere's MS. a stage-copy was made, which was lost 
after the players had written out their parts from it. These parts 
were, perhaps, repeatedly copied, certainly interpolated by the actors, 
and afterwards, together with a book containing the stage-directions 
only, served as the source of a new version. They exhibited the 
Shaksperean abbreviation of several speeches, which were probably 
never marked out in the lost stage-copy. Heminge and Condell 
having no high opinion of the pureness of their source, and think- 
ing to better it, made it worse by introducing corrections and new 
readings of their own. After having fitted it out with an over- 
scrupulous, sometimes ridiculous, punctuation, they committed their 
version of Shakspere's Hamlet to the compositor, who further dis- 
figured it by numerous blunders, and thus the play was printed as 
we now read it in the First Folio." 



IN Furness's New Variorum Hamlet, vol. ii. p. 14, we read : 

" The First Quarto numbers 2123 lines ; the Second Quarto about 
3719. This notable difference in quantity, coupled with a marked 
difference in words, phrases, and even in the order of the scenes, 
together with a change in the names of some of the characters, has 
given rise to an interesting discussion, which probably will never be 
decided: it is whether in the Quarto of 1603 we have the first 
draught of Shakspere's tragedy, which the author afterwards re- 
modeled and elaborated until it appears as we now have it substan- 
tially in the Quarto of 1604, or is the First Quarto merely a maimed 
and distorted version ' of the true and perfect coppie ? ' " 

I may fairly say, that there are very few critics at present who deny 
that the First Quarto is a surreptitious edition, and an involuntary 

ix. HAMLET: DIFFERENCES OF Q! AND Q 2 IN ACT i. sc. i. 153 

caricature of some better and more complete Hamlet, either First 
Sketch or complete Play. Several critics have verified this view of 
the matter (see New Var. Hamlet, ii. pp. 24 33) in different ways ; 
but the fact that, although agreeing in the main result, they differ 
more or less considerably with regard to several details of no small 
importance, together with the circumstance that this view still has 
adversaries, though few in number, will, I hope, account for a new 
attempt to settle this question. 

The point, therefore, which we shall have to direct our chief 
attention to in the following investigations, will be to show that Qi 
is a mangled and corrupted version, a caricature, not of a juvenile 
work of Shalcspere, but of the mature and perfect tragedy in the 
abridged form in which it was acted in 1603, little disfigured by 
certain interpolations of actors, but entirely free from the other 
corruptelcB which were to impair the value of Fi, twenty years after 
the publication of Qi. Without taking much notice of the observa- 
tions of other critics, which will be stated and analyzed, as far as 
necessary, in the Second Section of this Part, I shall first subjoin 
the result of my comparison of Qi and Q2, excluding those passages 
only that do not, on account of their little consequence, deserve a 
place among the more conclusive points of evidence. 

Act I. i. 

(1) The first Sentinel says in Qi : 

3. 1 " you come most carefully vpon your ivatch" Q2 : " vpon 
your houre" 

5. Instead of riualls of my watch, Qi reads partners. 

6-7. (2) Enter Horatio and Marcellus. They answer to the 
question of the first Sentinel : 

7. " Hor. Friends to this ground. 

8. Mat. And leegemen to the Dane. 

9. farewell honest souldier, who hath releeued you 1 " 

The last line appears to stand without connexion. ILL Qz the 
words : " farewell," &c., are the necessary reply to Francisco's : 

1 The outside Number gives the Hue in each scene of Q u 


10. " Giue you good night." 

2527. (3) " Sit down I pray, and let vs once againe 
Assaile your ears that are so fortified, 
What we haue two nights seene." 

Evidently something is wanting here. Q2 : "so fortified against 
our story, What we," &c. Thus a connexion, though somewhat 
loose, is effected. 

34. (4) "Breake off your talke, see where it comes againe." 

0,2 : " Peace breake thee off, looke where," &c. 
38. (5) "Most like, it horrors niee with feare and wonder." 
Q2 : "it harrows me." 

63. (6) " In what particular to worke, I know not, 

But in the thought and scope of my opinion "... 

Q2 : "particular thought" and " in the gross and scope "... 
Thought seems to haue got out of its proper place through the 
hurry of the purloiner and compiler of the material for Qi, whom we 
may call X. 

69. (7) " And why such daily cost of brazen cannon." 

Q2 : "ivith such," &c. The Folio proves that in Q2 the compositor 
made a mistake, whereas X heard the right word spoken on the 

7694. (8) " Mary that can I, at least the whisper goes so," &c. 
This long speech of Horatio affords some interesting variations. 

85. " His lands which he stoode seazed of by the conqueror." 
Q2 : " to the conqueror " alone affords sense. 

Perhaps X did not think the somewhat bold expression which he 
found in his notes correct, and so altered it into what he cannot 
have understood himself. 

89. " Of inapproued mettle hot and full." 
Q2 : " vnimproued." 

In Qi as in Q 2 we are told of some enterprise " that hath a 
stomach in't." Q2 states what this enterprise is, and afterwards 
continues: "and this is the main motiue " ... Qi equally says, 
1. 93 : " And this (I take it) is the Chiefe head and ground of this our 
watch," without saying anything about the nature of the enterprise. 
Here there is evidently an omission in Q i . 

ix. HAMLET: DIFFERENCES OF o^ AND Q 2 IN ACT i. sc. i, ii. 155 

Of the rest of this speech X saved only some poor fragments, 
probably only the most accented words, which he afterwards inserted 
in his Hamlet (Qi) as well as he could. We shall meet with 
numerous instances of a similar proceeding. 

(9) After 1. 94 the Ghost enters, so that we observe the same 
lacuna in Qi as in Fi (Q2 108126). 

104. (10) "they say you Spirites oft walke." 
Q2 erroneously : your, see No. 7. 

108. (11) "Tis gone, or we doe it wrong, being so maiesticall, 
to offer it the shew of violence." This is unintelligible without Q2 : 
" Mar. Shall I strike it with my partizan ? 

HOT. Doe if it will not stand." 
113. (12) "And then it faded like a guilty thing." 
Q 2 : "it started." 

Compare 1. 122 : " It faded on the crowing of the Cocke." 

(13) The last four speeches in this scene differ only in a few trifles 
from those in Q2. 

115: "trumpet to the morning" instead of the more poetical 
morne in Q2. 

116 : "Doth with his early and shrill crowing throat." 

Q2 : " with his lofty and shrill sounding" . . . 
117: " And at his sound " (sounding of the preceding line seems 
to have rung in X's ear). Q2 : " his warning" 

126 : " And then they say, no spirit dare walke abroade." 

Q2 : "dare sturre abroade." Fi : "can walke." 
131 : " But see the Sunne in russet mantle clad." 

Q2 much more appropriately : " But looke the morne "... 
Besides, the sun cannot yet be supposed to have risen when Hor 
speaks these words. 

We must immediately pass from the Ghost to broad daylight, as 
Qi has it. X, in making so easy an alteration when he patched up 
his notes, did not notice the internal contradiction arising from his 
putting Sunne for morne. 

I. ii. 

(14) Enter King, Qiieene, Hamlet, Leartes, Corambis and the two 
Ambassadors, with Attendant*. (For Q2 see above, stage directions.) 


Observe that the Queen and the King are not called by their 
names as in Q2 and Fi. X did not know them when the scene 
opened. The name of Claudius, which does not occur in the text, is 
wanting throughout Qi. The Queene's name occurs several times in 
Q2 ; hence X had sufficient opportunity to hear it. (See, e. g., viii. 
37, orl. 1174.) 

Leartes stands throughout for Laertes, and Corambis for 

1 viii. 30 : 1. 1167 : " What is't Corambis 1 " 

xi. 117 : I 1556 : "Corambis | Call'd." 

xiii. 6 : 1. 1625 : "olde Corambis death." 

The name of Polonius occurs only four times in the received text : 

I. ii. 57 : " What says Polonius 1 " 

Here Qi (ii. 21) has only what immediately precedes : 

" Haue you your fathers leaue, Leartes ? " 

The second question, X had not time enough to write down. 
Hence this passage could not furnish him with the name of the old 

IV. i. 34 : " Hamlet in madness hath Polonius slain." 

But this scene in Qi, apart from being an imitation of the 
abridged form as given in Fi, is so different from the authentic text 
that it is easy to see how X, aided by memory and a few disconnected 
notes, which only gave a rough idea of the contents, composed this 
scene rather independently. Observe : 

xi. 113123: 11. 15521562: 

" When as he came, I first bespake him faire, 
But then he throwes and tosses me about, 
As one forgetting that I was his mother : 
At last I call'd for help : and as I cried, Corambis 
Call'd, which Hamlet no sooner heard, but whips me 
Out his rapier, and cries a Eat. a Eat, and in his rage 
The good olde man he killes. 

1 The scene-and-line references (viii. 30, &c.) are to my numbers in Griggs's 
Facsimile : the higher line references (1. 1167, &c.) are to Furness's reprint in 
Vol. II. of his Variorum Hamlet. F. J. F. 


King. Why this his madnesse will vndoe our state. 
Lordes goe to him, inquire the body out. 

Gil. We will niy Lord. Exeunt Lordes" 

It is plain that X had not been able to secure the passage where 
the name of Polonius occurs in the authentic text, because of the 
hurry in which he jotted down his notes. He afterwards filled up 
the gaps as well as he could ; hence we read, that the Queen is 
" thrown and tossed about." We find the King in Qi, as in Fi and 
Q2, dispatching the Lords to look for the body of Polonius ; but in 
Qi the King has not asked before : " Where is he (Hamlet) gone 1 ? " 
Nor has he been told that Hamlet has drawn " apart the body he 
hath killed," yet only after this question and this answer could the 
King give the above commission to the Lords. 

X, therefore, did not learn the counsellor's name from these 
passages either. 

Polonius is again named in IV. iii. 17 and 32, both times in the 
King's question : " Where is Polonius 1 " 

But here again there is abundant evidence of the deficiency of 
X's notes. Qi, xi. 134 : 1. 1573 : "Now sonne Hamlet, where is 
this dead body 1 " The King asks the same question again : xi. 147 : 
1. 1586 : "But sonne Hamlet, where is this body 1 " (Compare also 
xi. 155 : 1. 1594 : "Well sonne Hamlet" and Mommsen's Proleg. p. 
168.) Hamlet in return for this parental address, dutifully styles 
the king 'Father,' xi. 138, 145, 149 : 11. 1577, 1584, 1588, in this 
scene, as he does in several other places, whereas in the authentic 
text there is not one instance of his calling the king ' Father.' 

These instances, and the tenour of the whole scene, clearly betray 
the comparative independence of X in writing this scene. 

The upshot of the above observations is, that X, in the hurry of 
taking down his notes, failed to hear the name of Polonius distinctly 
enough to note it down in its correct form. If we consider that to 
X, Polonius must have seemed a subordinate character as compared 
with Hamlet, Ophelia, the King, the Queen, and Horatio, and that 
we meet with partial distortions in the names of Gilderstone, 
Eossencraft, Voltemar, and Cornelia, and Leartes ; that the name of 
Ostrick, (which occurs twice in the text of Q2 (Y. ii. 11. 186 and 246) 


and once only in that of Fi, the former passage (the dialogue with 
the Lord) not being represented on the stage,) is entirely wanting 
in Qi (see xviii. 61 : 1. 2074 ! ); that in like manner the name of 
Francisco, which also occurs only once in the opening of the piece, 
has not been caught by X, we may safely infer that Corambis is 
nothing but a distortion of the true name of Polonius. And indeed 
at some distance from the stage, X could easily misunderstand 
Corambis for Polonius? especially as he was busy taking down his 

Observe that both words are trisyllabic, that both have an o in 
the first syllable, followed by a liquid consonant, that both accent 
the second syllable containing a nasal consonant, and that both names 
have an s for their final consonant. 

As to Montano, as Q i calls Reynaldo, there are not so many points 
of resemblance: both words are trisyllabic and shew an Italian 
ending. Yet I think that also here we have not to do with a 
remnant of some older Hamlet, but with an arbitrary substitute for 
the true name of Reynaldo which X had failed to hear properly. 
(See also p. 176, No. 52.) 

There are unmistakable proofs of the deficiency of the notes 
which X used to compose this scene (sc. v.). It numbers 31 lines 
in Qi, and about 74 in Q2. The very beginning shows how X 
patched up his fragments. 

" Cor. Montano, here, these letters to my sonne, 
And this same mony with my blessing to him, 
And bid him ply his learning, good Montano." 

The last line is evidently made after the model of the words in Q2, 

II. i. : 

"And let him ply his musique." 

The next speech (Qi, v. 5 11) almost ridiculously crude, and 
without connexion with what precedes it, is more instructive still : 

" You shall do very well, Montano, to say thus, 
I knew the gentleman, or know his father, 

' King. Giue them the foyles, 2074. 

2 To Mr. Daniel, Dr. Nicholson, Dr. Ingleby, and myself, these suppositions 
are impossible. F. J. F. 


To inquire the manner of his life, 

As thus ; being amongst his acquaintance, 

You may say, you saw him at such a time, marke you mee, 

At game, or drincking, swearing, or drabbing, 

You may go so farre." 

To this we may add, as a clear proof of the incompleteness of X's 
notes : 

" Mon. My lord, that will impeach his reputation. 

Gor. I faith not a whit, no not a whit, 
Now happely hee closeth with you in the consequence, 
As you may bridle it not disparage him a iote. 
What was I about to say." (v. 1316.) 

Who is this hee ? Doubtless this passage was as void of meaning 
to X himself, as to us. Yet it would be easy to trace back almost 
every phrase in this scene to some corresponding expression in Qa. 
In v. 22 : 1. 653, the words ' Or at Tennis/ remind us of Q2*s : 
" There falling out at Tennis," which alone convey the idea of some- 
thing blameable to our mind, whereas the words in Qi imply that 
the game of Tennis was something shameful in itself ; a case of 
nonsense brought about by incompleteness. The supposition, there- 
fore, that X did not catch the name of Eeynaldo, and replaced it by 
another name, appears to be founded on as good grounds as any 
other suggested as yet. (See below.) 

After this necessary digression I return to the comparison of Qi 
and Q2l 

(15) Of the beginning of this scene ii. (Q2, I. ii. 1 26) we find 
no trace here. The artificial and affected way in which the King 
speaks of his marriage, seems to have been too difficult for X, who at 
best may be supposed to have taken down a few disconnected notes, 
the meaning of which he could not make out afterwards. For this 
reason he probably dropped them altogether. The rest of the King's 
long speech is given thus (ii. 1 10) : 

" Lordes, we here haue writ to Fortenbrasse, 
Nephew to olde Norway, who impudent 
And bed-rid, scarcely heares of this his 
Nephews purpose : and Wee heere dispatch 
Yong good Cornelia, and you Voltemar 
For bearers of these greetings to olde 


Norway, gluing to you no further personall power 

To businesse with the King, 

Then those related articles do shew : 

Farewell, and let your haste commend your dutie." 

Even apart from impudent (misheard for impotent), from the con- 
tradiction in : " we have writ to Fortenbrasse, Nephew "... and : 
"greetings to old Norway," and from the unintelligibility of "this 
his Nephew's purpose," the nature of which was never stated by the 
King in Q i, as it is in Q 2 (II. ii. 17 27) ; it is plain that the original 
of Qi in this place cannot have been essentially different from Q2. 
X having heard about the Norwegian affair in the first scene already, 
was in a terra cognita as soon as he found the name of Fortenbrasse 
in his notes, and very naturally made the scene begin with this 
passage. The blunder of making the King say that he has written 
to young Fortenbrasse, is a natural consequence of the confusion in 
X's notes, and clearly shows that X's ambition did not go beyond 
producing what might be thought a sketch of the stage Hamlet, 
regardless of internal contradictions and nonsense. We shall see 
that we cannot even give him credit for having read over what he 
had botched up. We have an opportunity here of understanding 
the reason why the characters in Qi appear to be different from those 
in Q2. It is a well-established fact that the first speech of the King 
in Q2 affords us an excellent idea of his character. Several of the 
most characteristic passages being left out in Qi, we cannot, of course, 
expect to find the King's character alike in the two editions. The 
same thing may be observed as to the character of Hamlet and that 
of the Queen. Shaksperean skill was necessary to veil the latter's 
guilt so admirably as to make us still hesitate to pass sentence. Sup- 
pose now some of her words are left out or given in a less skilful 
way, will she not step forth at once from the dim light in which 
she moves in Q2 1 (See below, No. 27.) 

(16) ii. 1520: 11. 155160: 

"Lea. My grations Lord, your favourable licence, 
Now that the funerall rites are all performed, 
I may haue leaue to go againe to France, 
For though the favour of your grace might stay mee, 


Yet something is there "whispers in my hart, 

Which makes my minde and spirits bend all for France" 

We may here watch X making the best of his notes. lie does 
not hesitate to write new lines under the influence of his other 
notes. The second of the above lines seems to be quite different 
from Q2. Yet if we consider that in Q2, 1. 12, the King had already 
used the word funerall, and that soon after Hamlet's deep mourning 
is criticised, it seems not at all unlikely that X should have used 
here what he had not been able to use in the right place. I should, 
perhaps, hesitate to utter this opinion, if similar instances were not 
so numerous in Qi as they really are. This same speech affords 
another case of the kind : 

" For though the favour of your grace might stay me." . . . 
This line was written merely in order not to leave the words favour 
and gratious (see the authentic text, 51, 56 a ) unused, which X found 
in his notes. 

(17) The King at last addresses Hamlet. X unscrupulously took 
the concluding lines of the King's long speech from their right place 
and made the King begin (ii. 26 : 11. 166 172) : 

" And now princely Sonne Hamlet, 
What meanes these sad and melancholy moodes 1 
For your intent going to Wittenberg 
Wee hold it most vnmeet arid vnconuenient, 
Being the loy and halfe heart of your mother. 
Therefore let mee intreat you stay in Court, 
All Denmarkes hope, our coosin and deerest Sonne." 

The last five lines are evidently out of place here, nor does 
Hamlet take any notice of them, his speech answering to that in Q2. 
The Queen's preceding attempt at cheering up her son is wanting in 
Qi, and consequently Hamlet's pathetic answer : "My Lord, 'tis not 
the sable sute I weare," &c. (ii. 33 39), is addressed to the King, 
whereas, in Q2, Hamlet does not speak to the King at all in this 
scene. Probably X was puzzled by the King's answering to Hamlet's 
words as if they had been addressed to him, and made Hamlet speak 

1 Your leaue and fauour to returne to Fraunce . . . 
And bow them to your gracious leaue and pardon. 

X. ^. SOC. TRANS., 1880-2. M 


to the King, not seeing what a delicate feature of the dialogue he 
thus destroyed. 

(18) X paid particular attention to stage-effects, to which we cer- 
tainly must add rymes too. He was often in such a hurry that he 
did not secure botli rhyming lines ; and since only on hearing the 
second line he could be aware of there being rhyme, we sometimes find 
partially or wholly different rymes in Qi. Thus (ii. 38-9, 11. 178-9) : 

" Him haue I lost I must of force forgoe, 
These but the ornaments & sutes of woe." 

In this case X had only caught woe, and probably made a mark 
in his notes to remember that there was a rhyme. At home he sub- 
stituted a rhyming line of his own, which even an enemy of Shakspere 
would never attribute to the poet. 

(19) ii. 4047 : 11. 180187 : 

" This shewes a louing care in you, Sonne Hamlet, 
But you must thinke your father lost a father, 
That father dead, lost his, and so shall be vntil the 
Generall ending. Therefore cease laments, 
It is a fault gainst heauen, fault gainst the dead, 
A fault gainst nature, and in reasons 
Common course most certaine 
None Hues on earth, but hee is borne to die." 

If we compare the above lines with a passage from the correspond- 
ing speech in Qa, I. ii. 103-105, &c. : 

" To reason most absurd, whose common theame 
Is death of fathers, and who still hath cried 
From the first course, till he hath died to-day. 
This must be so : . . ." 

we observe not only how X, whose only source was what was spoken 
on the stage, was liable to misapprehensions (course for corse), and 
how, on the other hand, he noted down only the principal words, the 
true meaning and relation of which he did not always remember at 
home, so that we often meet words or phrases well known from Q2, 
in different, strange, and even ridiculous applications (see reason, 
common, course, in this speech). 

A careful examination of Qi convinces us that, scanty as X's 
notes must have been, he has succeeded in introducing a surprising 


number of Shaksperean words and phrases, and that he was able to 
do so only by acting on the principle of leaving, even of the most 
fragmentary notes, as few unused as possible. It is true, he was not 
over-scrupulous as to the propriety of the places he often assigned to 
them, nor can I tell whether it was idleness or respect for Shakspere's 
words that prompted him often to insert incoherent passages, rather 
than to make bolder attempts at restoring connexion ; but it is certain 
that by thus making the best of his spoils, he has succeeded in giving 
a certain Shaksperean air to many of his involuntary caricatures. 
Read, for instance, the first soliloquy of Hamlet (ii. 55 75 : 11^ 

(20) " that this too much grieu'd and sallied flesh 
Would melt to nothing, or that the vniuersall 
Globe of heauen would turne al to a Chaos ! 
God within two moneths, no not two : maried, 
Mine uncle : let me not thinke of it, 
My fathers brother : but no more like 
My father, then I to Hercules. 
Within two months, ere yet the salt of most 
Vnrighteous teares had left their flushing 
In her galled eyes : she married, God, a beast 
Deuoyd of reason would not have made 
Such speede : Frailtie, thy name is Woman. 
Why she would hang on him, as if increase 
Of appetite had growne by what it looked on. 
wicked wicked speede, to make such 
Dexteritie to incestuous sheetes, 
Ere yet the shooes were olde, 
The which she followed my dead fathers corse. 
Like Nyobe, all teares : married, well it is not 
Nor it cannot come to good : 
But breake my heart, for I must holde my tongue." 

Q2 and Qi agree in reading sallied; Fi has solid. This coinci- 
dence may very well be a mere accident : the Q2 compositor put 
sallied for solid (a blunder which belongs to the very simplest and 
commonest class of mistakes), and X misheard 'sallied' for 'solid.' 
The different parts of this speech betray a slight incompleteness 
which was probably the reason of their being transposed in Qi 
to afford at least a semblance of connexion. The words, " Or that 
the vniuersall Globe of heauen would turne al to a Chaos/' are the 

M 2 


only ones not found in Q2 ; and it needs no further proof that this 
line is the work of X. 

On the whole, this soliloquy, confused as it appears in Qi, shows 
again that the original of Qi must have been Q2, or a play almost 
identical with it (see No. 14). 

(21) ii. 76 : 1. 216 : "Health to your Lordship," misheard for 
" Hail to," &c., on account of the following dental consonant. 

(22) ii. 85: 1. 226: " But what is your affaire in Elsenoure ?" was 
completed after ii. 91 : 1. 231, where he asks the same question 

(23) ii. 128130: 1. 268: 

" Where as they deliuered forme of the King, 
Each part made true and good, 
The Apparition comes." 

After deliuered, the Q2 words, both in time, are wanting (see No. 

(24) ii. 134 : 1. 274 : " And wee did thinke it right done." Q,2 : 
writ down. 

(25) ii. 139145 : 11. 279285 : 

" My Lord we did, hut answere made it none, 
Yet once me thought it was about to speake, 
And lifted up his head to motion, 
Like as he would speake, but "even then 
The morning cocke crew lowd, and in all haste, 
It shrunke in haste away, and vanished 
Our sight." 

The third line shows that X did not supply the gaps in his notes, 
if the nonsense was not too evident and glaring. See the second 
line : " it was about to speake," and the fourth : "like as he would 
speake"; the fifth and sixth lines: "in all haste," and "in haste 

(26) ii. 187: 11. 327: "Eoule deeds will rise." Q 2 : " Eonde 
deedes," a misprint. X heard the right word on the stage. 

I. iii. 

(27) What we have observed above about the delineations of some 
characters in Q i (their comparative broadness and coarseness, see No. 


15) holds good also with regard to Laertes. In Q2 Laertes bears a 
certain family-likeness to his father, inasmuch as he has a rather 
voluble tongue, which he uses so well in his great admonitory address 
to his sister. In Qi Laertes blurts out what he has to say in an 
extremely awkward, even coarse manner. 

Observe especially, iii. 9, 10 : 11. 338, 339 : 

" Belieu't Ofelia, therefore keep a loofe 
Lest that he trip thy honor and thy fame ; " 

to which Ophelia answers even more. bluntly still, iii. 11, 12 : 

" Brother, to this I haue lent attentiue eare, 
And doubt not but to keepe my honour firme." 

(28) The carelessness and haste with which Qi was got up (I have 
already observed that X seems never to have read over his work after 
its completion), appears very plainly from the following words of 
Ophelia in Qi, iii. 1320 : 11. 342348 : 

" But my deere brother, do not you 
Like to a cunning Sophister 
Teach me the path and ready way to heauen, 
While you forgetting what is said to me 
Your selfe, like to a carelesse libertine 
Doth giue his heart, his appetite at fill, 
And little recks how that his honour dies." 

(29) In Polonius's paternal exhortations (Q2, I. iii. : 11. 55 
81; Qi, iii. 2741 : 11. 351 370) we meet with the usual omis- 
sions, with no independent addition of X's manufacture, but with 
a striking concurrence in a curious reading : 

Qz : " But doe not dulle thy palme with entertainment 
Of each new hatcht unfledg'd courage." 

Qi : " But do not dulle the palme with entertain, 
Of euery new vnfledg'd courage." 

Fi very plausibly reads Comrade for courage, which has been 
generally adopted. It has been suggested that X was aided in his 
dishonest work by some unscrupulous actor or lower official of 
the theatre, who furnished him with copies of parts of the stage- 
manuscript. If this could be proved to have been the case, espe- 


cially with regard to this speech of Polonius, nobody would hesitate 
to declare courage in Qi and Q2 to be owing to a mistake of the Q2 
compositor, as well as of the stealthy purloiner of the copies for X. 
This supposition, however, is strongly discountenanced by the circum- 
stance that even in the best passages in Qi there are variations which 
cannot be accounted for by the hurry of such an individual ; and be- 
sides we must ask, is it at all probable, and does the Q i text give us 
any right to suppose, that X would have taken so great pains and 
sacrificed a sum of money to bribe such a person] Is he at all 
likely to have let out his secret to anybody connected with the stage. 
It appears at once that any such supposition contrasts very strangely 
with what we actually find in Qi. 

It is true, there are certain longer speeches in Qi (for such alone 
are we concerned with here) bearing a close resemblance to those in 
Q2 (e.g. see iv. 1735: 11. 415433: "Angels and Ministers 
of grace," &c. ; and vi. 3151 ; 11. 729749 : " Most faire returnes," 
&c.), but they are never without some alteration, omission, or addi- 
tion, which clearly betray the hand of X. Perhaps X was assisted 
by one of his friends, who also wrote down as much as he could 
during the representation, and' afterwards X compiled his Hamlet, 
Qi, from the united notes. This supposition not only explains why 
we find some tolerably complete passages in Qi, but also accounts for 
diplomatic blunders in it. But we cannot shut our eyes to another 
circumstance, namely, that courage, at and before Shakspere's time, 
had a euphuistic meaning (see collation of Q2 and Fi, p. 123), which 
had probably grown too unknown by 1623, and was altered, there- 
fore, into Comrade by H. C. Their emendation was not a very happy 
one : the word " Comrade," is far too tame and weak after such 
extraordinary epithets. " Courage," in the meaning of " gallant " as 
proposed by Ingleby, is the right word in the right place : but " Com- 
rade " offers sufficient external similarity with " courage " to account 
for H. C.'s hitting just on this word. At all events we need not 
admit courage, as conclusive evidence of X's having had parts of the 
stage MS. at his command. We have seen that similar coincidences, 
which are laid so much stress on by the advocates of the First Sketch 
theory may be explained as well in several other ways. 


(30) The rest of the scene exhibits the usual features of X's more 
independent work. His notes must have been rather confused again. 
Mommsen (Proleg. p. 166) has already called attention to the fact 
that X is fond of using certain beautiful or striking expressions, even 
whole verses, more frequently than Q2. (See iii. 50, 62 : 11. 378 and 
389, and compare iv. 11. 493 and 508.) 

(31) How awkwardly X sometimes distorted the meaning of some 
passages may be seen from iii. 59 63 : 11. 386 390 : 

" Springes to catch woodcocks, 
What, do not I know when the blood doth burne, 
How prodigall the tongue lends the heart vowes, 
In briefe, be more scanter of your maiden presence, 
Or tendring thus you'l tender mee a foole." 

Besides, the last line of this speech shows again that X did not reject 
fragmentary and disconnected notes, but used them occasionally to 
fill up some gap or other, not caring whether they suited the context 
or not. 

(32) V. 58-9 : 11. 690-691. (Q 2 , II. i. 108110; see also II. 
ii., 143) : 

" I did repell his letters, deny his gifts, 
As you did charge me." 

These words, coupled with some poor reminiscences of Polonius's 
speech, seem to have prompted X to make Corambis speak the fol- 
lowing words, iii. 6570 : 11. 392397 : 

Ofelia, receiue none of his letters, 
" For louers lines are snares to intrap the heart : 
" Befuse his tokens, both of them are keyes 

To vnlocke Chastitie vnto Desire : 

Come in Ofelia; such men often proue, 

Great in their words, but little in their loue. 

According to Q2, Polonius may have continued his exhortations 
to his daughter after their exeunt. Anyhow, Ophelia must have been 
told by her father not to accept any more of Hamlet's letters and 
presents. X, not finding this piece of Polonius's warning in his 
notes, came across Ophelia's words (v. 58, 59 : 11. 690, 691), and 
knowing the incompleteness and imperfection of his notes, very 


naturally imagined that something was wanting, and added iii. 65 
70 : 11. 392395. 

The metre of Q i is remarkably regular here, and the meaning quite 
clear, whereas the passages which X found in his notes, show his 
endeavours to preserve the words and phrases of Shakspere as faith- 
fully as possible, even if sense and metre were injured by them (see 
Mommsen, Proley., p. 172). 

I. iv. 

(33) The hurry in which X's notes were jotted down, did not always 
leave him time enough to mark the rubrics, or even to notice that 
different characters had spoken. Hence we meet with cases where 
short speeches, even of different characters, are drawn together into 
one, and attributed to one character only. The beginning of this 
scene iv. shows this : 

" Ham. The ayre bites shrewd ; it is an eager and 
An nipping winde, what houre is't 1 " 

See also v. 56, 57 : 11. 688, 689, and Q2, I. iv. 84, 107. But 
sometimes X seems to have proceeded thus intentionally. See vi. 
5762 : 11. 755760. 

[34], After iv. 15 : 1. 413, 'in the obseruance,' we observe the same 
lacuna l as in Fi (I. iv. 1638). 

(34) iv. 8 : 1. 406 : 

Qi. " And as he dreames, his draughts of renish down." 
Q2. " And as he draines his drafts of Reimish down." 

(35) After iv. 42 : 1. 440, there is a transposition of several 
speeches (see No. 17) which, trifling as it may seem in itself, is worthy 
of remark, inasmuch as it shows how X, finding some incompleteness 
and obscurity in his notes, changed the order of the speeches rather 
than the words themselves. We shall meet with something similar 
below (No. 44), though it is not single speeches, but whole parts of 
scenes, that are transposed there. 

I. v. 

(36) Some of the short introductory speeches in the scene between 
the Ghost and Hamlet are wanting in Qi. Perhaps the excitement 

1 About drunkenness. ' This heauy headed reueale,' &c. 


and impression of the scene were too keen to let X and his assistant 
think of their business at once. In like manner we may trace the 
increasing interest of the plot in the increasing deficiency of Qi in the 
later acts. 

(37) Of the Ghost's long speech (iv. 102127: 11. 500525), 
which is kept in tolerable condition in Qi, I shall only give six lines, 
iv. 1227 : 

" Thus was I sleeping by a brothers hand 
Of Crowne, of Queene, of life, of dignitie 
At once depriued, no reckoning made of, 
But sent vnto my graue 

With all my accompts and sinnes vpon rny head. 
horrible, most horrible ! 

These lines, as well as the whole speech, exhibit the usual traces 
of X's hand, e. g. Q2, I. v. 79 : " sent to my account" 

(38) iv. 144: 1. 542 : 

" Yes, yes, by heauen,a damnd pernitious villaine." 

X had not caught the substantive belonging to pernitious, and 
so put this adjective to villaine : Q2. 

" most pernicious woman, 
villaine, villaine, smiling damned villaine." 

(39) iv. 196: 11. 593-5: 

" Ha, ha, come you here, this fellow in the sellerige, 
Here consent to sweare." 

We observe that this fellow in the sellerige stands utterly without 
connexion with what precedes or follows. Q2 shows very plainlv 
how this came to pass : 

" Ha, ha,, boy, say'^t thou so, art thou there trupenny ? 
Come on, you heare, this fellowe in the Sellerige, 
Consent to sweare." 

The whole variation rests upon omission, and a mistake of the 
e ar here for heare. 

Act II. i. 

The dialogue between Polonius and Reynaldo has already been 
spoken of above. (See No. 14 } 


(40) Referring the reader to the remark made under Xo. 32, I 
subjoin two speeches of Ofelia, in which she imparts to her father 
the news of Hamlet's madness, v. 33-6, 38-55 : 

t( my deare father, such a change in nature, 
So great an alteration in a Prince, 
So pitifull to him, fearefull to mee, 
A maidens eye ne're looked on." 

(Compare vi. 201 : 1. 898). After a short interruption she con- 
tinues : 

" yong Prince Hamlet, the only floure of Denmark, 
Hee is bereft of all the wealth he had, 
The lewell that adorn'd his feature most 
Is filcht and stolne away, his wit's bereft him, 
Hee found mee walking in the gallery all alone, 
There comes hee to mee with a distracted looke, 
His garters lagging downe, his shooes vntide, 
And fixt his eyes so steadfast on my face, 
As if they had vow'd, this is their latest obiect. 
Small while he stoode, but gripes me by the wrist, 
And there he holdes my pulse till with a sigh 
He doth vnclaspe his holde, and parts away 
Silent, as is the mid time of the night : 
And as he went, his eie was still on mee, 

For thus his head ouer his shoulder looked, 
He seemed to finde the way without his eies : 
For out of doores he went, without their helpe, 
And so did leaue me." 

It is hard to imagine how it could ever be believed that Qi was 
merely a bad print of a juvenile work of Shakspere. The above 
speech was certainly not paid attention to by those who held that 
opinion. Nobody can reasonably deny that these speeches cannot 
have come in this condition from Shakspere or any other poet's 
mind as original compositions. But, on the other hand, it is im- 
possible not to see how easily and satisfactorily all their trash and 
crudeness, as well as their evident connexion with the corresponding 
speeches in Q2, are accounted for if we suppose X to have jotted 
down some notes in the theatre, and afterwards used them for his 
imitation of this scene. His chief source in this case was his 


memory. Who could forget such a scene, and such a tale, especially 
when told by such a character 1 

(41) v. 606 : 11. 692698 : 

" Why that hath made him madde : 
Ey heau'ii 'tis as proper to our age to cast 
Beyond our seines, as 'tis for the yonger sort. 
To leaue their wantonnesse. Well, I am sory 
That I was so rash ; but what remedy 1 
Lets to the King, this madnesse may prooue, 
Though wilde a while, yet more true to thy loue." 

It is easy in these lines to distinguish what X found in his notes, 
and what he added to fill up the gaps. How shortsighted and care- 
less he was in doing so, may be seen from the words : to leaue their 
wantonnesse. The last two lines seem to be strangely different from 
those in Qz. But if we consider that X had probably made a mark 
in his notes to remember that loue rhymed with another word which 
he had lost, and that the rhyme is exactly the same here as in a former 
passage where X had been obliged to work rather independently (see 
No. 32), it is plain that X wrote these lines merely for the sake of the 
rhyme, regardless of the plot. By them, we are led to think thatPolonius 
entertained ambitious hopes to see Ophelia become some day the wife 
of the Prince. 

In vi. 82-4 : 11. 780783 : 

" Now when T saw this letter, thus I bespake my maiden : 
Lord Hamlet is a Prince out of your starre, 
And one that is vnequall for your loue," 

the same Corambis speaks as his original, Polonius, does in Q,2. 

Act II. ii. 

(42) vi. 18 : 

" King. Right noble friends, that our deere cosin Hamlet 
Hath lost the very heart of all his sence, 
It is most right, and we most sory for him : 
Therefore we doe desire, euen as you tender 
Our care to him, and our great loue to you, 
That you will labour but to wring from him 
The cause and ground of his distemperancie. 
Doe this, the King of Denmarke shal be thankefull." 


Apart from the leading idea that the King wishes Eosencrans 
and Guildenstern to act the part of spies near Hamlet, this speech is 
entirely the work of X 

The metre is remarkably smooth again, which reminds us of a 
similar case (see No. 32). 

(43) The amusing silliness of Polonius requires more skill and 
' finesse ' to be properly imitated than X can be allowed to have pos- 
sessed. Hence we find, the following poor ruins of Shaksperean 
splendour (vi. 5762 : 11. 755760) : 

" This busines is very well dispatched. 
Now my Lord touching the yong Prince Hamlet, 
Certaine it is that hee is madde : mad let vs grant him then : 
Now to know the cause of this effect, 
Or else to say the cause of this defect, 
For this effect defectiue comes by cause." 

It is hard to imagine that X had any other original for these lines 
than Q2, especially if we consider what has been observed under No. 
33. The whole scene in Qi is very free and independent as regards 
words and phrases, and would be equally so in its contents if it had 
not been so very easy to remember it with tolerable completeness, 
especially when aided by a few notes. 

(44) The remarkable fact that the famous soliloquy of Hamlet and 
the following dialogue with Of elia stands in Q i where in Q2 we have 
Hamlet's Fishmonger dialogue (sit venia verbo), with Polonius, has 
been explained in different ways (see New Var. Hamlet, II. pp. 20, 29). 
In the latter place we read the following remark of Grant White : 
"And yet according to the imperfect, as well as the perfect, text, 
Ophelia is not upon the stage." White, in making this objection, 
must have forgotten the stage-direction Enter Corainbis and Of elia, 
after vi. 18 : 1. 716. There is not only a transposition here, but also a 
difference concerning the characters that make their appearance in this 
scene. If we bear in mind what has been said (Nos. 35, 17), about 
the transposition of speeches, and (No, 32) about the mistake of X 
in adding (iii. 6570 : 11. 392395), " Ofelia receiue none of his 
letters," &c. ; if we further observe, how incomplete notes and in- 


exact reminiscences induced X to let Corambis speak the following 
words (vi. 104110: 11. 802806): 

" Mary my good lord thus, 
The Princes walke is here in the galery, 
There let Ofelia walke vntill hee comes : 
Your selfe and I will stand close in the study, 
There shall you heare the effect of all his hart, 
And if it proue any otherwise then loue, 
Then let my censure faile an other time, 

we need not look any further for the reason of this transposition. 

The above lines do not express, as they do in Q2, that the Prince 
walks only sometimes in the gallery, but, " The Princes walke is here 
in the gallery," i. e. he walks there regularly. They do not say that 
Polonius is going to " loose his daughter to him ' at suck a time] " 
but they show Corambis's intention of carrying out his design without 
delay : 

" There let Ofelia walke vntill hee comes." 

X was thus driven into a corner by his own improvidence, and had to 
transpose, or rather insert, the scene in question (together with a 
portion of the short dialogue between the King and Corambis conse- 
quent upon it), so as to make it follow immediately after Corambis's 

Apart from this insertion and from viii. 24 40 : 11. 1161 1177 
("Madame, I pray be ruled by me," &c.), which clearly consist partly 
of X's own interpolation (compare viii. 26-7 : 11. 1163 1 165 with viii. 
1-2 : 11. 1138, s.) and partly of the rest of the just-mentioned dialogue 
between the King and Polonius (the lines at the end of Qa, III. i.) 
which X simply left in its proper place, and which proves better than 
anything else that the original of Qi cannot have differed from Q2 
in the order of scenes : apart from these two exceptions, we find that 
the succession of the different scenes is the same in Qi as in Q2. 
For this reason we had better call the present case an insertion, and 
not a transposition, for the " Fishmonger dialogue " does not stand in 
the place of the transposed scene in the third Act. 

After X had once begun to depart from his original, he saw him- 
self obliged to make certain other alterations closely connected with 


this one. "When the dialogue between Hamlet and Ofelia had come 
to an end, X could not make Corambis " board " him immediately 
after. Therefore, he lumped together fragments of the dialogue 
between the King and Polonius, and some lines of his own manu- 
facture, to effect a kind of transition. 

vii. "l6 : 11. 902906 : 

" King. Loue ? No, no, that's not the cause, 
Some deeper thing it is that troubles him. 

Cor. Wei, something it is : my Lord, content you a while, 
I will my selfe goe feele him : let me worke, 
He try him euery way : see where he comes, 
Send you those Gentlemen, let me alone, 
To finde the depth of this, away, be gone." 

This is followed by the " Fishmonger dialogue." The words : 
" Send you those Gentlemen " 

may be a stray note of the first part of the scene (III. i.), where Eos. 
and G. are commissioned to sound Hamlet. 

(45) vii. 2631 : 11. 927932 : show again, how X melted 
together the ruins of separate speeches. (Compare No. 33) : 

" How pregnant his replies are, and full of wit : 
Yet at first he tooke me for a fishmonger : 
All this comes by loue, the vemencie of loue 
And when I was yong, I was very idle, 
And suffered much extasie in loue, very neere this : 
Will you walke out of the aire my Lord ? " 

With this compare Q2, III. i : 11. 206, ss. ; 187, ss. : and 1. 204. 
The same thing is to be said of vii. 36-8 : 11. 937 939 : 

" You can take nothing from me sir, 
I will more willingly part with all, 
Olde doating foole" (Qz, II. ii. 220-4). 

(46) There are few passages so illustrative of the deficiency of 
X's notes, and of the awkwardness and bluntness of his work conse- 
quent upon it, as vii. 4060 : 11. 944961 : 

" Gil. Health to your Lordship. 

Ham. What, Gilderstone, and Eossencraft, 
Welcome kinde Schoole-fellowes to Elsanoure. 

Gil. We thanke your Grace, and would be very glad 
You were as when we were at Wittenberg. 


Ham. I thanke yon, but is this visitation free of 
Yonr seines, or were you not sent for 1 
Tell me true, come, I know the good King and Queene 
Sent for you, there is a kind of confession in your eye : 
Come, I know you were sent for. 

Gil. What say you 1 

Ham. Nay then I see how the winde sits, 
Come, you were sent for. 

Boss. My Lord, we were, and willingly if we might, 
Know the cause and ground of your discontent. 

Ham. Why 'I want preferment. 

Ross. I thinke not so my lord. 

Ham. Yes faith, this great world you see contents me not, 
No nor the spangled heauens, nor earth nor sea, 
No nor Man that is so glorious a creature, 
Contents not me, no nor woman too, though you laugh." 

It is quite inconceivable that any poet should have written this 
dialogue in the above form, and it is equally hard to imagine that any 
other version than that of Q2 should have been its source, consider- 
ing how completely and satisfactorily the Q2 version accounts for all 
the points of resemblance, and the supposition of imperfect notes for 
the omissions and additions. 

Hamlet's words : " Why I want preferment," bear only in their 
fundamental idea of ambition some resemblance to the corresponding 
lines in the authentic text (Fi, II. ii. 246 259). The outward 
form of this answer is perhaps due to Q2, III. ii. 354 '''Sir, I 
lack advancement." In Qi this is wanting in the right place, i. e. 
after ix. 188 : 1. 1360. With quite a similar case we meet in vii. 
110: 1. 1070 "Stil harping a my daughter!" Q2, II. ii. 390 
" Still on my daughter ! " X had found the disconnected exclamation : 
" Still harping a my daughter," in his notes of the preceding part of 
this scene (Q2, II. ii. 188), but not being able to make any use 
of it there, and unwilling to reject it altogether, besides, thinking 
perhaps he had left out a word in " Stil on my daughter," he used it 
as a corrective, and wrote vii. 110 : 1. 1010. 

(47) vii. 7888 : 11. 978988 : 

" Ham. I doe not greatly wonder of it, 
For those that would make mops and moes 
At my uncle, when my father liued, 


Now giue a hundred, two hundred pounds 

For his picture : but they shall be welcome, 

He that playes the King shall haue tribute of me, 

The ventrous Knight shall vse his foyle and target, 

The louer shall sigh gratis, 

The clown shall make them laugh 

That are tickled in the lungs, or the blanke verse shall halt for't, 

And the lady shall haue leaue to speake her minde freely." 

Here again, two separate speeches have been lumped together, 
Q2, II. ii. 80 and 332 (see Nos. 45, 33). 

(48) As a specimen of the nonsense that X sometimes produced 
out of his poor notes, when they treated of things he did not quite 
understand, I subjoin the words of Corambis (vii. 100-5 : 11. 1000 

" The best Actors in Christendonie 
Either for Comedy, Tragedy, Historie, Pastorall, 
Pastorall, Historicall, Historical!, Comicall, 
Comicall historicall, Pastorall, Tragedy historicall : 
Seneca cannot be too heauy, nor Plato too light : 
For the law hath writ those are the onely men." 

For similar instances of X's indifference to- the sense or nonsense 
of his imitations see iv. 14, vii. 154, vii. 133-6, vii. 187, ix. 167 : 
11. 645, 1054, 10331036, 1087, and 1330. 

(49) vii. 125: 1. 1025: "French Falconers" (Folio i). Q2 : 
"friendly Faukners" (see No. 26). 

(50) vii. 144: 1. 1044: "th 1 arganian beast." Q2 : "Th' irca- 
nian beast." II. ii. 472. 

vii. 155 : 1. 1055 : "Kifled in earth and fire." Q2 : "rosted in 
wrath and fire." II. ii. 486. 

vii. 173 : 1. 1073 : "with tongue inuenom'd speech." And Q2 : 
" with tongue in venom steept." II. ii. 533. See New Var. Hamlet, 
ii., p. 61, footnote. 

(51) Of the Player's declamation (first part) X has only saved the 
first six lines, yet Corambis exclaims (as Polonius does in Q2) : 

"Enough, my friend, 'tis too long." vii. 164 : 1. 1064. 

Evidently a considerable number of lines must be wanting to explain 
and justify this objection of Corambis. Again, we must conclude 


that the original of Qi cannot have differed essentially from Q2, as 
regards the contents as well as the length of the speeches. 

(52) vii. 195, 196 : 11. 1095 and 1096 are particularly worthy 
of remark : 

" Ham. Come hither maisters, can you not play the murder of 
Gonsago ?" 

Now compare ix. 139141 : 11. 13111313 : 

" . . . . this play is 

The image of a murderd one in guy ana, Albertus 
Was the Dukes name, his wife Baptista" 

X had not understood that Gonsago was the Duke's name, nor does 
he seem to have been aware of the fact, that " the murder of Gonsago " 
(vii. 196 : 1. 1096) was the play acted before the Court, or, if he 
knew thus much, that he had already mentioned the Duke's name 
before ; and so he simply substituted the name of Albertus, as he 
had done before with that of Montana. 

If X had not been so thoughtless as he was, the name of Albertus 
might also be believed to be one of the supposed remnants of "tfie 
older play" Fortunately X himself has rendered such a view im- 
possible, and we may safely use this case as a support of what has 
been asserted in No. 14. 

(53) As a last specimen of X's style, I give Hamlet's soliloquy 
(2nd Act) in full (vii. 207237 : 11. 11071137) : 

" Why what a dunghill idiote slaue am 1 1 
Why these Players here draw water from eyes : 
For Hecuba, why what is Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba 1 
What would he do and if he had my losse 1 
His father murdred, and a Crowne bereft him, 
He would turne all his teares to droppes of blood. 
Amaze the standers by with his laments, 
Strike more then wonder in the iudiciall eares, 
Confound the ignorant, and make mute the wise, 
Indeede his passion would be generall. 
Yet I like to an asse and lohn a Dreames, 
Hauing my father murdred by a villaine, 
Stand still, and let it passe, why sure I am a coward : 
Who pluckes me by the beard, or twites my nose, 
Giue's me the lie i'th throate downe to the lungs, 
Sure I should take it, or else I haue no gall, 


Or by this I should a fatted all the region kites 

With this slaues offell, this damned villaine, 

Treacherous, bawdy, murderous villaine : 

Why this is braue, that I the sonne of iny deare father, 

Should like a scalion, like a very drabbe, 

Thus raile in wordes. About my braine, 

I haue heard that guilty creatures sitiing at a play, 

Hath, by the very cunning of the scene, confest a murder 

Committed long before. 

This spirit that I haue seene may be the Diuell ; 

And out of my weaknesse and my melancholy, 

As he is very potent with such men, 

Doth seeke to damne me, I will haue sounder proof es, 

The play's the thing, 

Wherein He catch the conscience of the King." 

There is nothing in these lines as little as in the whole of the 
first two acts that points to another original than Q2, and nothing 
that could not be easily and satisfactorily explained by means of our 
supposition, ttat X's notes, though better here than in many other 
places, were imperfect, and sometimes unintelligible, so that we find 
omissions, additions, and other alterations, owing to the evident care 
and attention with which X endeavoured to give a kind of connexion 
to the different parts of this soliloquy. 

We have thus arrived at the end of the second act. The general 
feature of the remaining acts is, that they are considerably more garbled, 
and much more unscrupulously botched up from scanty notes, than the 
first two acts ; so much so, in fact, that their wretched condition 
has given rise to the theory that Q i represents the tragedy of Hamlet, 
not after its complete revision and amplification by Shakspere, but in 
a transitory state, Shakspere not having gone "much beyond the 
second act " in his remodelling the piece ! I shall have occasion 
below to examine this theory. 1 I have compared the whole of Qi 
with Q2, and the impression I have received is, that the growing 
interest of the plot, coupled with the increasing tiredness which X 
and his companion very naturally were seized with, together, perhaps, 

1 See my refutation of it in my Forewords to Griggs's Facsimile of 
Hamlet, Qz. F. J. F. 


with some gene or other in the theatre, induced X and his friend to 
note down less than they had done during the first two acts. 

They were content to secure so much, at least, as would enable X 
to glean the general development of the action from their notes. 
Besides two acts of the piece, reproduced with tolerable faithfulness, 
were quite sufficient, according to X's policy, to take in the public. 
Whatever may have been the true cause of the bad condition of the 
latter and greater part of Qi, we shall see that we have no occasion 
to recur to so artificial and far-fetched a supposition as that of a par- 
tial remodelling of the piece by Shakspere. We have not yet come 
across any serious obstacle to our view of the matter, nor shall we 
meet with any such in the last three acts, but shall find numerous 
points supporting our opinion. 

That Qi is a garbled and mutilated edition of some more com- 
plete text, and that it is more imperfect towards the end than in the 
beginning, I take for granted. The question can only be this : 

Is it necessary to suppose that any other version than the stage- 
version of Q2 was the original 1 Or : 

Does our supposition concerning the nature and origin of Qi, and 
its relation to Q2 ; sufficiently explain all the differences between Qi 
and Q2 1 

In giving above copious specimens of the first two acts of Qi, and 
comparing them with the corresponding passages in Q2, I had two 
objects in view : first, to enable the reader to form an idea of X's 
style of writing, of his manner of proceeding in puzzling circum- 
stances, and of what might be expected of a man, who, even when 
taking no small pains as he did in the first two acts of Qr, did not 
reproduce anything better than those two acts ; secondly, to gain a 
firm stand-point for examining the last three acts. 

I need not dwell on the general likeness of the action in Q i and 
Q2. See Furness's Eeprint of Qi (Neiv Var. Hamlet, vol. II.), 
with marginal references to the corresponding passages in Q2. 1 I 
shall call the reader's attention to particularly striking passages, 
and to such details as may serve as a complement to Furness's 1 

1 Also Griggs's Facsimile of Qi, with my marginal references to the Globe 
edition of Hamlet. F. J. F. 


references. But my chief object will be to show that the differences 
between Q2 and Qi, in the last three acts, arose in the same way as 
those in the first two. For this purpose I shall have continually to 
refer the reader to the different observations made above, of which I 
subjoin a systematic summary to facilitate the necessary references. 

(a). X's ignorance (nonsense in Qi) : No. 48. His indiffer- 
ence, negligence, and want of circumspection : Nos. 13, 15, 28, 
41, 52. 

(&). X's principle, to use as many of his notes as possible (though 
often in the wrong place) and to avoid alteration, if it was not 
absolutely necessary. Hence the " Shaksperean air " of many 
passages otherwise quite miserable : Nos. 6, 16, 19, 20, 25, 31, 37. 

(c). X's work is characterized by 

I. Nonsense, absurdities, and many vulgarisms : Nos. 31, 32. 

II. Eepetition of the same phrases : No. 30. 

III. Expletives (words and phrases), too frequent to require any 

IY. Expressions formed after other models : Nos. 12, 22. 
Y. Comparatively smooth metre in independent passages : Nos. 
32, 42. 

VI. Shallow and unpoetical diction : Nos. 1, 4, 8, and very fre- 
quently throughout Qi. 

VII. Keeping or imitation of rhymes : Nos. 18, 32, 41. 

VIII. Alterations in the order of speeches and scenes, together 
with frequent attempts at adapting such displaced passages to their 
new context : Nos. 17, 35, 44. 

IX. Neglect and obliteration of characteristics : Nos. 15, 17, 
27, 43. 

(d). Consequences of the incompleteness of X's notes, and of 
their having been written during the representation of the piece. 

I. Simple omissions : Nos. 15, 36, 51. 

II. Omissions together with contractions, which are sometimes 
very awkward : Nos. 8, 33, 38, 45, 47. 

III. Omissions coupled with injurious effects upon sense and 
connexion (see a and c ix.) : Nos. 2, 3, 11, 23. 

IV. Mistakes of the ear : No. 15 (impudent). 


V. X lias heard aright where Q2 exhibits a typographical error : 
Tos. 7, 10, 26, 49. 

VI. Qi shows the same abbreviations as Fi : Nos. 9, [34]. 
Nos. 14, 29, 40, 46, and 53 must be considered separately. 

Act III. i. 

viii. 14 : 11. 1138-41 : b. See Q 2 , II. ii. 1012 ; III. i. 14. 

viii. 912 : 11. 1146-49 : III. i. 1820 and 22 ; d. IT. 

viii. 15-16: 1152-53; c. I. 

viii. 18: 1155. See viii. 6: 1153 and vi. 9: 1. 706; c. VI. 
and IV. 

viii. 22 : 1159. See viii. 9 : 1146, and viii. 14 : 115 1 Qa. III. 
i. 25, c. II. 

viii. 2429: 1161-66. Compare viii. 1, 2: 1138, 1139; c. 
I, II., IV. 

viii. 31-6 : 1168-73. See vi. 103 : 1. 802 : b. 

viii. 37 : 1174. See 1150 ; II. ii. 80 ; c. II. 

viii. 3840 : 1175-77 ; c. I. and VII. 

Here ought to follow the famous soliloquy, "To be," &c., which 
in Qi fills vi. 117139, 11. 815837. It affords instances of most 
of the peculiarities of Qi pointed out in the summary. Observe 
that 11. 832, vi. 134, 125, and 823, " But for a hope of something 
after death," and " But for this, the ioyfull hope of this," contradict a 
considerable portion of the Q i speech. Instead of hope and ioy full- 
hope above, fear is required to make sense. 

vi. 140 161 : 11. 838 858. On the whole, this dialogue 
between Hamlet and Ophelia is remarkably complete in Qi, but it 
shows unmistakable proofs of having passed through X's hands : 
c. VIII. and IX. ; d. III. 

vi. 160-1 : 857, 858 : c. VII. 

vi. 165200 : 862897; c. II. In Q2 Hamlet advises Ophelia 
five times to go to a nunnery ; in Q i eight times. 

vi. 201-4 : 898901. See 664, 1660 : c. II. ; d. I. 

vii. 1 7 : 902908. This part, properly belonging to the 
conclusion of III. i., has already been spoken of above, c. I. ; d. I. 


Act III. ii. 

ix. 113: 11781189. Compare 1180: ix. 4; ix. 12,13: 
1188-89 ; c. I. ; d. I., II. For bellowed, see ix. 20 : 1195. 

ix. 24-5 : 11991200; c. VIII. 

ix. 2632 : Though 11. 12011207 are tolerably well kept, they 
do not deny their origin. 

ix. 27: 1202 : "I can tell you," c. III. It must have been 
glaring abuses, generally known and blamed, that induced Shakspere 
to take the field against bad actors. If X only managed to note 
down that there was some expostulation against bad players, he 
cannot have been at a loss what to write, indeed, ix. 33 43 : 11. 
1208 1218, show that he surpassed even Shakspere himself in 
blaming and ridiculing bad actors : 

" And then you haue some agen, that keepes one sute 
Of ieasts, as a man is knowne by one sute of 
Apparell, and Gentlemen quotes his ieasts downe 
In their tables, before they come to the play, as thus : 
Cannot you stay till I eate my porrige ] and, you owe me 
A quarter's wages : and, my coate wants a cullison : 
And, your beere is sowre : and, blabbering with his lips, 
And thus keeping in his cinkapase of ieasts, 
When, God knows, the warme Clowne cannot make a iest, 
Vnlesse by chance, as the blinde man catcheth a hare : 
Maisters tell him of it." 

Hunter (New Var. Haml. I. p. 230, notes) finds that this addi- 
tion is " not without marks of the hand of Shakspere " ; but I must 
object first, that X, meddling so much with Shaksperean phrases, could 
not help acquiring as much of ' the tune ' and ' outward habit ' of Shak- 
spere as we find in every caricature ; and then, there are internal 
reasons which lead me to think that these lines are an independent 
addition of X's own manufacture. We must remember that Shak- 
spere, himself an actor, cannot be supposed to have contended against 
what he knew to be a necessary evil, an inevitable theatrical calamity, 
viz. repetition of jests. Are not our best modern comics " known by 
a sute of jests," which is but rarely varied or replaced by a new suit] 
As long as the jests were tolerably good, the actor Shakspere is not 
likely to have objected to so natural a drawback. But the public 1 


We all know with what uneasiness and even repugnancy we listen to 
the same pun a second or third time, and how impatient we are of 
persons who always tell the same stories over and over again. X, 
one of the public, shared the common feeling in this respect, and pro- 
bably considered the repetition of the same jests as a greater incon- 
venience than all the other abuses criticized by Shakspere. Besides, 
how should we account for the absence of the lines in question from 
Q2 as well as from Fi 1 But there is also external evidence support- 
ing our supposition In ix. 33 35 : 11. 1208 1210 : plural verbs 
end in s ; in ix. 41 : 1. 1216, the slang application of warm ; the 
feeble point in ix. 41-2 : 11. 1216, 1217. Compare, moreover, Maisters 
in ix. 43 : 1. 1218, to " Come hither, maisters," vii. 195 : 1095 (II. 
ii. 562). If any one should doubt X's ability to compose such an 
independent passage, let him examine the rhymed Play in the play, 
where we likewise observe great independence in the details, though 
the upshot of the dialogue is the same as in Qz. Most of the 
absurdities in Qi arise from X's leading principle stated under (5), and 
from the circumstances mentioned under d. I. IV., and we should 
indeed wrong X if we considered ix, 33 43, 11. 12081218, to be 
beyond his abilities. 

ix. 46: 1. 1221: " HOT. Here, my Lord." Hamlet does not 
call Horatio, as he does in Q2 (III. ii. 52 57), yet Horatio enters as 
if he had been called ; d. I. and III. 

ix. 5064: 1225-39; d. I, II. ; c. I., II., VI. 

ix. 6567 : 1240-42 ; c. VI. 

After ix. 68: 1. 1243 (d. I.), Q 2 adds: "I must be idle." 
Nevertheless X makes Hamlet talk sheer nonsense, showing thus that 
he took the feignedness of Hamlefs madness for granted. We also 
have a case of c. IX. here : in Hamlet's seeming nonsense there is 
usually a deep hidden meaning, which is entirely lost in Q i : see e. g. 
ix. 71 : 1. 1246 ; d. I. ; c. IX. ; III. ii. 101, 104 (?) ; d. I. 

ix. 82-3 : 125659 ; d. V. In Q2, accidental omission, but 
mark ix. 82 : 1. 1256 : < and so forth,' which looks as if X had 
thoughtlessly allowed an " &c," to pass from his notes into the Text. 

The description of the dumb-show after ix. 85 : 1. 1259, answers 
to what we are entitled to expect according to our supposition. 


For Lucianus, see ix. 145 : 1. 1317. 

ix. 86 : 1261 ; d. V. (myching Mallico) and d. IV. (my 

ix. 100131 : 12741304. The dialogue between the Player- 
king and Player-Queen numhers 32 lines in Qi, and 75 lines in Q2. 

ix. 103-5: 1277 79: ' straines Of musicke,' &c., is simply 
owing to X's wish to find a rhyme for veines. 

Furness's Reprint of Qi here points out the corresponding passages 
in Qi and Qa with sufficient completeness. The differences are 
accounted for by d. II. ; c. I. ; b. 

ix. 149: 1320-1331; c. VIII. 

ix. 176: 1346; d. II. 

ix. 177183: 13471354 (See Fi); d. V. and II, III. ii. 
298, 308, 314, 318 (1) ; d. I. 

ix. 183: 1355; b. 

ix. 188: 1360: III. 12. 323; b. 

ix. 212221 : 1383-1392 : Q 2 . IV. ii. 1220; c. VIII. 

ix. 136. (Compare Q2, 1368 and IV. ii, 27 and 29 ; b.) 

In both cases the displaced passages have left no trace in their 
proper places. 

ix. 238-9: 1409-10; c. VIII. 

III. iii. 1 45 : omitted in Qi, a case of d. III., because III. i. 
166175, 185187 (1170182, 198221), IILiv. 200-211, are 
also wanting in Qi ; yet the King speaks to the Queen (xi. 124 
131 : 11. 1563-70) as if she had known his intention long ago. 

xi. 129-130 : 11. 1568-69 point to III. i. 171173 (1) ; c. 

x. 113; 14111423; b. d.I. X's notes must have been 
very poor here, as this speech exhibits a little more independence 
than usual. Yet it is not hard to point out some of the expressions 
which he surely gleaned from his scanty notes : ' When I looke vp/ 
(III. iii. 150), 'murder of a brother' 'white as snow* (this very 
naturally suggested to X what we read inx. 8: 1. 1418). 

x. 6. 1416; c. IX. 

x. 10 : 1420 reminds of Q2, III. 353. 

x. 12 : 1421 (c. I.) is X's own addition. 

x . 1429 : 11. 1424-39 are kept in a tolerable condition. 


x. 21-2 : 1431-32 : Qi and Ei afford the same sense and prove 
Qa to be wrong ; d. V. 

x. 30, 31 : 1440-41 ; c. VII. 

xi. 1618 : 1457-59; d. III. In Q2 Hamlet asks . 'Is it the 
King 1 ' and his disappointment is expressed by the words : ' Eash 
intruding foole, I took thee for thy better.' 

xi. 23-6 : 1464-67 : III. iv. 8891 ; and 19, 20 ; c. VIII. 
and b. 

xi. 27 : 1468 : III. iv. 39, 40 ; III. iv. 4052 ; d. I. 

xi. 28 46: 1469-87. X's notes were again very scanty; to 
make up for their deficiency, he inserted fragments of other passages. 

xi. 30, 32 : 1472 and 1474 ; vulgarisms; c. I. 

xi. 34-5 : 1475-76 ; see I. v. 49, 50; c. 

xi. 38: 1479; see III. ii. 79; b. 

xi. 39 41 : 1480-82; absurdities; c. I. 

Before and after xi. 43 : 1. 1484, we have two cases of d. VI. 
(see Q 2 III. iv. 71-76, and 7881). 

xi. 46: 1487; III. iii. 90; b. 

xi. 47 : 1488 : For the rest of this broken-up speech see xi 25- 
6 : 1466, 1467 ; c. VIII. 

xi. 48-9 : 1489-90 : III. iv. 102; c. VIII. 

xi. 51-3 : 1492-94 : III. iv. 9194 ; c. I. 

xi. 55-8 : 1496-99 : III. iv. 68, 69 ; 8288 ; c. VIII. 

xi. 59, 60: 1500, 1501: III. i. 156; c. I ('thou cleaues/ 

Through the transposition the beautiful construction of the scene 
has been seriously injured. How cleverly Shakspere makes the 
Ghost enter when Hamlet is at the very height of his excitement, 
raging against the ' King of shreds and patches/ and how awkwardly 
the Ghost appears in Qi. 

xi. 62-4 : 1502-4; c. I ('powers with .... wings'); Q2 reads 
guards for powers. 

xi. 6770 : 15071510: III. 4, 125130; d. II. 

xi. 7177: 15111517 ; c. I. Compare Q 2 , III. iv. 112, 'looke, 
amazement/ and x. 74-5, 11. 1514-15. 

xi. 82 : 1522 : HI. iv. 133; c. VIII. 


After the Ghost's exit, the dialogue continues through 21 more 
lines in Qi ; in Q2 through 82. 

xi. 90-5 : 11. 1530-35 offer a fine specimen of X's work ; c. I. (See 
III. iv. 137.) 

In xi. 90-1 : lines 1530-31, the Queen tells Hamlet that he is mad, 
yet in xi. 92-3 : 11. 1532-33, she thinks it necessary to protest her 
innocence of 'this most horrid murder/ and in xi. 94-5 : 11. 1534-35, 
she returns to the subject of xi. 90-1 : 11. 1530-31. The lines xi. 91-5 : 
1531-35, are an addition of X's own making, for Hamlet, as in Q2, 
takes notice only of xi. 90 : 1. 1530. A similar instance we observed 
in ii. 28-32 : 11. 168-172, and in the speech of Hamlet following it. 

xi. 96103 : 1536-43; xi. 98 : 1538 : I. v. 23 ; c. IV. 

Before xi. 99 : 1. 1539 ; d. VI. (Q 2 III. iii. 161164). 

xi. 102-3 : 11. 1542-43 are meant to make up for the omission (d. 
I.) of III. iv. 181 196. X only found in his notes that the Queen 
promised secrecy, and he extended that promise in his usual broad 
and awkward manner ; c. IX. The last two lines of this speech are 
important because they certainly contributed to making X compose 
the independent scene, xiv. 1 36 : 11. 1747-82. 

xi. 109-110: 1549-50; c. VII.; Qi, graue (L. sepulcrum), 
mistaken for Q2, graue (L. gravis). 

For a similar blunder see iv. 196 : 1. 593 (No. 39). 

Act IV. i. 

Qi concurs with Fi in not making the Queen enter with the 
King. The scene goes on in the same room where Polonius was 
killed ; d. VI. 

xi. 121: 1560: Q 2 , IV. i. 14, 15. 

xi. 122 : 1561 ; d. III. : How does the King know that Polonius 
is no longer lying behind the arras ? In Q 2 he had been told that 
Hamlet had gone ' to draw apart the body.' 

After xi. 131 : 1. 1570; d. VI. ; Q2, IV. i. 4044. 

Act IV. ii. 

is entirely wanting in Qi, except what is preserved in ix. 211 221. 
11. 1382-92. 

ix. HAMLET: MISTAKES OF THE BOTCHER OF Q 15 IN iv. iii. v. 187 

Act IV. iii. 

11. 1 11 wanting in Qi. The scene, therefore continues in the 
same room, and X is obliged to insert xi. 165-6 : 1605, 1606. 
xi. 135143: 1574-82; d. II. 

xi. 148151 : 1587-90; d. III. ('within a month'), 
xi. 155165 : 15941604: IV. iii. 39. ss. ; d. II. 
xi. 171-4 : 1610-13; c. VII. 

Act IV. iv. 
xiii. 16: 1614-19; d. VI. 

Act IV. v. 

xiii. 114 : 16201633. These lines are due to notes of IV. 
v. 120, 8387, 94104. 

For 1. 1627 see 1. 672 ; c. II. ; d. I. ; c. VIIL, VI., (III.). 

xiii. 1525 : 16341644 ; c. VIIL ; d. II. 

xiii. 2740 : 1646-59 ; c. VIIL ; d. II. 

xiii. 41-5 : 1660-64; see 11. 664, 898 ; c. II. ; Q 2 , IV. v. 92 ; 6. 

xiii. 46 68: 1665-87. That these lines depend on a more 
complete version of the scene is too obvious to require further proofs. 
Observe how inappropriately and awkwardly xiii. 69-1 : 11. 1679-80 
are drawn to what precedes : c. VIIL, d. II. and I. 

xiii. 63-4: 1682-83; IV. v. 142, 143 (bloud), 

xiii. 68 : 1687; see vii. 3 : 11. 904; xiii. 117, 119 : 1736, 1738; 
c. IV. 

xiii. 73113: 16921732; a., &., c., VIIL ; d. II.; c. IX. 
(xiii. 89: 1708; a., d. III.). 

xiii. 114127 : 17331746 ; c. V. and IV. 

xiii. 117 : 1736 : see xiii. 68 : 1687. 

xiii. 119 : 1738 : see x. 16 : 1426. 

xiii. 127 : 1746 : IV. vii. 3335 ; c. VIIL 

Scene VI., wanting in Q2 and Fi. 

xiv. 1 36 : 174782 : Furness (Reprint of Qi) does not give 
any marginal references to Q2 for this scene. 1 It exhibits the usual 

1 See the parallel passage with references in my edition of Griggs's Fac- 
simile of Qi. F. J. F. 


marks of X's hand : vulgarisms (e. g. xiv. 3, 33 : 1749, 1779 ; see 
Mommsen, Rom. and Jul. Proleg. 163, s. ; for almost all of those 
vulgarisms and archaisms, instances might easily be adduced from Qi), 
contradictions (the Queen, who has made herself an accomplice in 
Hamlet's designs of revenge, and knows all about the " most horrid 
murder" of her first husband, xi. 93 : (1533), ought not to say what 
she says in xiv. 10 : 1. 1756) ;* weakness of diction, xiii. 18 21 : 
1764-67: xiii. 16: 1762: "the east side of the citie." 2 X evi- 
dently thought of London and its " Tower " when he wrote this ; xiii. 
22-6 : 11. 1770-72 are superfluous and absurd, for the Queen is repre- 
sented as fully aware of the King's treachery ; xiii. 27 36 : 11. 
1773-83 are due to Y. ii. 38 56 ; similarly, 11. 1747-53 to Hamlet's 
letter to Horatio and to V. ii. 12 25. 

xiv. 34 : 1. 1780 : contains nonsense. 

The sixth scene of the fourth act and parts of V. ii., therefore, 
furnished the materials for this scene in Qi, which was probably 
suggested to X by his finding the rubrics of the Queen and Horatio in 
his notes (see IV. v. 1 20 entirely wanting in Qi), which seem to 
have been too fragmentary to be worked out in their proper place. 
Thus we have here cases of d: II. ; c. VIII. ; c. IX. ; a. b. and 
indirectly also of d. VI. ; (inasmuch as the Queen and Horatio are 
brought together once, though in different scenes). It is moreover 
not unlikely that X should have been influenced by his having made 
the Queen an accessary in Hamlet's plans of revenge, as he had been 
influenced by the alterations in vi. 104110 : 11. 802808 (see 
No. 44). 

IV. vii. 

xv. i : 1183 : the first fifty lines of this scene are wanting in Qi ; 
d. I. ; d. II. 

xv. 8 : 1790 : IV. v. 133 ; b. c. VIII. 
xv. 11 : 1793; d. II.; compare Q2, IV. vii. 101103. 
xv. 15 : before 1797 ; d. VI. ; see Q 2 , IV. vii. 115124. 
xv. 1521 : 17971809; c. VIII. 

1 This refers to the fresh attempted murder of Hamlet the son, of which 
she knew nothing. F. J. F. 

2 See " the Tragedians of the Citty," vii. 69 : 969. F. J F 


xv. 30-6 : 18121818 : Q 2 , IY. vii. 103 and 132, 152162; 
d. II. 

xv . 3955 : 1821-37 : d. III. ; for the Queen, instead of telling 
the King and Laertes at once what has happened (IY. vii. 166), 
gives first the long description of the details, and only in the last line 
of her speech (xv. 50) do we learn that the clothes "Dragg'd the 
sweete wretch to death." 

xv. 55 : 1837 : IY. vii. 165, 166; c. YIIL 

Act Y. i. 

xvi. 131 : 11. 18381868 : d. I. II. ; c. IX. It would not be 
hard to recognize that X's original must have been more complete in 
this scene than Qi is, even if X had not betrayed it himself. 
Observe the absurdity and contradiction in xvi. 19 31 : 11. 1856 
1868. Instead of asking as the Clown does in Qa : "What is he 
that builds stronger than either the mason, the shipwright or the 
carpenter?" to which Y. 156 gives a logically right answer, he asks 
in Qi (1. 19, 20) : " who buildes strongest, Of a mason, a Shipwright 
or a Carpenter ? " Quite sensibly X makes the second Clown suggest 
first, a Mason, then a Carpenter, and he ought to have been right at 
last in guessing a ' Shipwright; ' but as in Q 2, the final answer is 'a 
Graue-maker,' clearly a case of a. b. 

xvi. 32-5 : 1869-72 : The nonsense contained in these verses 
arises from X's having misheard Jit for pit (of clay) ; d. IY. 

The same nonsense returns, even worse, in xvi. 40-3 : 11. 1877-80; 
c. II. 

xvi. 4455 : 1881-92 : Y. i. 93, ss. ; d. II. and I. 

xvi. 59 : 1896 : Y. i. 81 ; c. YIIL 

xvi. 62-66: 19091913: excellent and absolute (Y. i. 129), 
can easily be confounded at some distance : d. IY. 

xvi. 8588 : 1922-5; c. YIIL The same may be said of the 
whole scene. We easily see that xvi. 85 : 1. 1922 ought to effect 
the transition to the talk of Yorick's skull. Compare Q2, Y. i. 
162, ss. 

xvi. 89100 : 1926-37 ; c. YIIL 

xvi. 101124 : 193861 : not quite bad, but d. I., II. 


Observe xvi. 104 : 1941 : "This was one Yorickes scull." 

And yet he asks : "Why do you not know him ? " Shakspere's 
intention of representing Yorick as a generally known character was 
thus in part disregarded by X. 

xvi. 11124 : 1955-61 ; d. II. ; c. VII. (Q 2 , V. i. 203-4 ; d. L). 

xvi. 128165: 19652002: Only V. i. (?) 212, 223228, 231 
234 are omitted (d. I.) without leaving a trace behind. V. i. 235 
237 is traceable in xiii. 116 : 1. 1735 ; xvi. 144 : 1. 1981, ought to be 
given to Hamlet, and is worthy of remark, because it shows the verb 
conjures : V. i. 244. 

xvi. 147159 : 1984-96 ; d. II. ; c. VIII. 

xvi. 160 : 1997. Compare V. i. 260, 272-76, and Qi, xi. 113 : 
1. 1552. 

xvi. 162 : 1999 : " Therefore awhile," V. i. 273, completed by X. 

xvii. 1 : 2003, s. : Y. i. 272. 

xvii. 37 : 2005-9 : Y. i. 282-3 ; c. Y. 

xvii. 811: 2010-13: written under the influence of Y. ii. 
212, and Qi, xviii. 14: 11. 20142017. 

Y. ii. 

Parts of this scene had already been used in xiv. 1 36 : 11. 1747 

xviii. 5 43 : 2018 56. The mere words Bragart Gentleman 
prove that the source of Qi must have been more complete than Qi 
itself ; for what does the ' Bragart Gentleman ' say in Q i to deserve 
this epithet I 1 Does he not behave rather sensibly ] There is hardly 
any trace here (except in the term Bragart G. itself) of the provok- 
ing euphuism of Ostrick in Q2. 

Before xviii. 15 : 1. 2028 ; d. VI. (Q 2 , Y. ii. 106138). 

xviii. 32-4 : 11. 2043-45 seem at first sight to remind us of the 
second Lord (V. ii. 185 196); but ib. 11. 166170 not only mention 
the ' hall' (Qi : ' outward palace'), but imply also that the duel is 
going to be fought presently. The u best judgement " is to be traced 
to Y. ii. 266 (wanting in Qi, xviii. 61 : 1. 2074). Thus Qi shows 
the same abbreviation as Fi ; d. VI. 

1 Plenty. ' Bragart * was us'd of ' affected talk,' as in Armado's case in 
L. L. Lost. F. J. F. 


xviii. 29 : 2040 : see xvii. 6 ; 1. 2008; c. IV. 
xviii. 4447 : 20572060 : V. ii. 248 ; c. VIII. 
In xviii. 47 : 1. 2060, " We doubt [ = fear] it not," we should 
expect : " We fear it not " (Q2, V. ii. 270 : t( I do not feare it "). 
xviii 4882: 20612095; d. L, II., III. (xviii. 61-3: 2074- 


Henceforth Qi does not offer any more than slight excerpts from 
its source. Its occasional crudeness and obscurity are easily explained 
by means of Q2. 

The rapid course and bustle of the last scene sufficiently account 
for the deficiency of its reproduction in Qi. 

xviii. 80 : 1. 2093 contains nonsense, owing to c. VIII. and d. 
II. Compare xviii. 81 : 1. 2094, and Q 2> V. ii. 282287. 

xviii. 90 : 2103 ; d. V. (Q2 wrongly : in my hand). 

xviii. 96, 8 : 2109-2111 ; d. III. ; c. IX. Laertes talks as if he 
had only to forgive, and not to crave Hamlet's pardon as well. 

xviii. 129-30: 2142-43; c. VII. 

I now repeat the question put in p. 124 : 

Does our supposition concerning the nature and origin of Qi, 
and its relation to Q2, sufficiently explain all the differences between 
Qi and Q2 1") and I trust that those who have gone through the 
above list carefully and impartially will answer me : " Yes, it does." 


To the evidence of the first section of this Part we must add the 
arguments alleged by other critics, especially by Tycho Mommsen. 

His opinion of the general negligence of surreptitious editions (Rom. 
and Jul. Proleg., p. 157) is perfectly correct, as far at least as the Qi 
of Hamlet is concerned. Here the reader is referred to an article of 
his in the Athenceum, Feb. 7th, 1857, p. 182, 1 where he states in a 
very plausible manner the several reasons for which he considers Q i 
of Hamlet and Rom. and Jul. to have been obtained and published 
surreptitiously. It will be seen that M.'s conclusion differs from 
mine in some details, but chiefly in what he says under No. 5. I 

1 Reprinted in Furness's New Var. Hamlet, ii. 25-6. 


have not discovered anything in Qi requiring another explanation 
than that afforded by my supposition, viz., that X, an individual 
more speculative than clever, assisted by a friend, took down the 
notes in the theatre, and worked them out at home. He probably 
cheated " N. L[ing] and John Trundell," the publishers of Qi, as 
well as the public, by pretending that his was the true Hamlet, 
for the publishers are indeed not likely to have known what a 
wretched mutilation of the authentic text they possessed in X's 
Hamlet, and when, after Qi had been put forth, they became aware 
of their having been taken in, N. Ling (See Q2 J s title-page) may have 
applied to Shakspere himself for the genuine MS., to make amends 
for his former blunder. Thus the singular circumstance that Ling 
had a hand in the publication of both the surreptitious and the 
authentic copies would be easily explained, whereas it would other- 
wise remain an obstacle not easy to be removed. 

X himself, as well as his companion, was liable to mistakes of 
the ear, and to wrongly eking out the abbreviations which, no doubt, 
were found in abundance in their notes. 

I have mentioned above (Introduction) the names of the most 
eminent critics supporting either Collier's or Knight's theory. I 
need not enter upon a refutation of Knight's arguments (given almost 
in full by Furness, Var. Haml. ii. 14 18) : his theory and those of 
his followers, together with all the ingenious illustrations of Shak- 
spere's artistic development based upon them, fall to the ground of 
themselves, unless the arguments put forth in this Paper be disproved. 
I have only to add a few remarks on those details in which I cannot 
help differing from the opinions of some critics who, on the whole, 
advocate the same theory as I do. 

Grant "White's observations (see Furness, Haml. ii. 26 30) are 
excellent on the whole, and he is evidently right in saying (p. 27) : 

" To minds undisciplined in thought, abstract truth is difficult of 
apprehension and of recollection ; whereas, a mere child can remember 
a story. And in addition to this very important consideration, there 
is yet a more important fact, that some of the most profoundly 
thoughtful passages in the Play passages most indicative of maturity 
of intellect and wide observation of life are found essentially 
complete, although grossly and almost ludicrously corrupted in the 


first imperfect version of the tragedy." (See Mommsen, Rom. and 
Jul. Proi. p. 162.) 

As regards the fourth scene of the fourth Act, however, I must 
oppose Grant White's opinion. I utterly fail to see that the introduc- 
tion of Fortinbras and his army without the subsequent dialogue and 
soliloquy "is a moral impossibility, which overrides all other argu- 
ments." (See Furness, Hainl. ii. 28.) Grant White himself calls 
our attention to the fact, that Fi exhibits the same mutilation of this 
scene as Qi. The very circumstance that puzzles Grant White affords 
a noteworthy confirmation to my belief, that Shakspere himself had 
made the abbreviations in the stage Hamlet. Had another actor been 
commissioned to shorten the piece and adapt it to the requirements 
of the stage, he would have been sure to drop the whole of this scene. 
Shakspere knew better. He remembered that the Norwegian affair 
was, as it were, the background, or rather, the frame surrounding the 
whole action, and the link between the internal troubles of the Danish 
Court and the outer world. What would the critics have said if, 
after the "pass "through Denmark for the Polish enterprise had been 
so well introduced and explained in Acts I. and II., we did not hear 
anything about the future King of Denmark until, like a " deus ex 
machina," he appeared at the close of the piece? The beginning of 
IY. iv. is absolutely necessary for the artistic development of the 
action. Shakspere may have felt all the pangs of a disappointed 
author when he found himself obliged to suppress the grand soliloquy, 
but we must think him a sufficiently good critic to have recognized 
that, though the dialogue and the soliloquy were of the greatest 
consequence for the delineation of Hamlet's character, they were not 
nearly so closely connected with, and important for, the development 
of the general action as those " half dozen lines of commonplace " 
spoken by Fortinbras. The only argument that Grant White adduces 
in support of his view is founded on a superficial examination of the 
Qi text; xii. 3 : 1, 1616. 

" Tell him that Fortenlrasse, Nephew to old Norway" 

is said by White to be an unmistakable reminiscence of Q2, IV. iv. 14 : 

" The Nephew to old Norway, Fortenbrasse." 

X. S. SOC. TRANS. 1880-2. O 


Grant White seems to have overlooked that the Qi, II. i. 2 : 11. 
141, 142 are quite sufficient to account for xii. 3 : 1. 1616 : 

" Lordes, we here haue writ to Fortenbrasse, nephew to olde 

Another difference results from Grant White's opinion that the 
strange names of Corambis and Montano, and the scene between the 
Queen and Horatio (Qi, xiv. 1 36 : 11. 1747-82), are remnants of a 
previous piece on the same subject (Furness, Var. HamL ii. p. 30). 
I have sufficiently explained in the foregoing pages the view I take 
of this question, and only add here that xiv. 16, 17 : 11. 1762 63, 
" To meete him on the east side of the cittie to-morrow morning/' 
cannot be allowed to be so decisive evidence as Grant White seems 
to think them. I have already observed that X, living in London, 
is most likely to have thought of the London ' east side,' and I cannot 
discover anything in this interpolation necessitating the supposition 
of its being due to a previous piece. 

From my comparison of Qi and Q2, it appears that several lines in 
Qi were added by X quite independently (see, for instance, 1. 2021 : 
" foh, how the muskecod smells ! ") ; why not this * Cittie ' line too 1 
Besides, we must ask whether we are entitled to infer from the general 
condition of X's work that he took the trouble of seeking other 
sources than his notes and his memory ; and how should lines be 
accounted for that bear a striking resemblance to certain Q2 lines, 
although they stand in such supposed remnants of the old play? 
See, e. g., xiv. 10 : 1. 1757, and Q2, III. i. 4749 ; xiv. 19 : 11. 1765- 
66, and Q2, III. i. 121. 

Clark and Wright, in the Preface to the Clarendon Press Hamlet 
(Furness, Haml. II. p. 31 ss.), reject the theory of Knight, and may 
be said to be followers of Collier, although, in one respect, their 
conjecture is quite original. Furness introduces it as " a solution of 
the mystery which will .... commend itself the more thoroughly it 
is understood, and the more closely the play is studied. 1 " The whole 

1 I, on the other hand, have shown in 3 of my Forewords to Griggs's Fac- 
simile of Q2, that this Clark and Wright theory of Qi needs only the slightest 
study to ensure its scornful rejection. It leaves Shakspere the mere ' painter and 
glazier' of Hamlet and Hamlet, and not their creator, as all the main lines of 
Q2 and the character of Hamlet are in Qi. F. J. F. 


of my foregoing investigations may be considered as an attempt at 
disproving what is new in their theory, but I cannot conclude this 
treatise without mentioning at least some of their statements. 

Their theory is that "there was an old play on the story of 
Hamlet, some portions of which are still preserved in Qi ; that about 
the year 1602 Sh. took this and began to render it for the stage, as 
he had done with other plays ; that Qi represents the play after it had 
been retouched by him to a certain extent, but before his alterations 
were complete ; and that in Q2 we have for the first time the Hamlet 
of Sh." It is plain that the comparatively good condition of the first 
part of the Qi text has given rise to this theory, which, however, 
suffers from a serious defect ; it does not explain how the materials 
for Q i were obtained by X at least I cannot imagine that Clark and 
Wright seriously believed that Hamlet, in such a state of transition, 
a centaur-like monster, was ever acted on the stage ; and I find no 
other plausible explanation of the existence of Qi than X's having 
written down his notes during the representation, an explanation, 
moreover, which is approved of by Clark and Wright themselves 
(Furness, Var. Haml. ii. 31). Of course they call in the names of 
Corambis and Montano and the transposition of Hamlet's soliloquy 
and of his following dialogue with Ophelia to support their theory, 
but those considerations ought not to be used as arguments at all. 
Whoever sets on foot a new conjecture about oar Hamlet question 
must somehow or ether get clear of these difficulties before he can 
come to any opinion about the matter in dispute ; hence such argu- 
ments would serve anybody's turn, and consequently serve nobody's. 

Clark and Wright observe a little further on : " The madness of 
Hamlet is much more pronounced, and the Queen's innocence of her 
husband's murder much more explicitly stated, in the earlier than in 
the later Play." I have tried above to show that such differences in 
the delineation of characters are natural consequences of the mutilation 
which the authentic Hamlet had experienced in the notes of X. So 
coarse a treatment as Hamlet suffered when being handled by X 
could not but distort or efface those delicate features which distinguish 
several of the characters in the real Hamlet : and it seems quite 

astonishing that critics who, in general, acknowledge the fact of X's 

o 2 


having obtained his materials for Qi in haste and secrecy, his 
very poor poetical abilities, his carelessness and unscrupulousness, 
should shrink from owning the most natural and inevitable con-, 
sequence of all those circumstances, namely, that the well-known 
external mutilation and corruption in quantity and diction necessarily 
involved internal mutilation and corruption in the delineation of 
some, if not of all, characters in Qi. 

Such insufficiencies would render it rather hard to accede to 
Clark and "Wright's opinion, even if their theory were less strained 
and artificial than it is. If we consider the abundant evidence gained 
in the foregoing pages, that the text of Qz combined with our 
supposition concerning the origin of Qi, and the inevitable differences 
consequent upon it, are quite sufficient for a thorough understanding 
and explanation of Qi, and that this supposition is not disproved by 
any of the arguments of other critics ; it seems no longer doubtful 
that Q2, in its adaptation to the stage, was the only source of Qi. 

If I were to state the conclusion at which I have thus arrived, it 
would be as follows : 

The Second Quarto was badly printed from the poet's own MS. 
A copy of Shakspere's MS. was made for the stage, and from this 
copy the actors obtained their parts. It must remain doubtful 
whether the abbreviations of the piece which must be supposed to 
have been made by Shakspere himself before Hamlet was publicly 
acted were also marked in the stage-copy, or only in the single 
parts of the actors. 

The Hamlet of the First Folio was derived from the parts of the 
actors (only the description of Dumb-Show and a few stage -directions 
seem to have been furnished by a book containing the stage-direc- 
tions without the full text), and contains not only their arbitrary 
interpolations, but also the blunders of copyists and compositors, 
and the marks of Heminge and Condell's criticism. I cannot ac- 
knowledge any passage in Fi to be a later addition from the hand 
of Shakspere, as there are reasons to believe that such passages were 
simply left out by the Q2 compositor. 

The First Quarto is nothing but a mutilated, garbled, and inter- 



polated reproduction of the authentic Hamlet, such as a speculative 
individual had been able to elaborate from notes which had been 
taken down during the representation of the adapted Q2 version for 
the purpose of putting forth a surreptitious edition of the successful 


(Lost Stage Copy) 
(Players' Parts) 

written, and revised by 
Heminge and Condell 

DISCUSSION : MR FURNIVALL. We all join gladly in the formal 
vote of thanks to Dr Tanger for the great pains and care that he 
has taken in compiling and writing the able Paper that ne has laid 
before us to-night, and which our Committee has shown its opinion 
of by printing it before the Meeting, so that its full details might be 
in Members' hands. We all join with him in rejecting the theory 
that Qi is not merely a revis'd old-Hamlet, for we at least hold 
Shakspere to be the creator, and not the mere adapter, of his Hamlet. 
We all, I hope, agree with Dr Tanger, in thinking that Q2 is a truer 
Hamlet than Fi is, and that Fi dons not contain any later revision 
by Shakspere. All these conclusions we have some iime reachb; 
but we are most grateful for Dr Tanger's confirmation of them. 

Our differences begin on the theories of our German friend, that 
Q2 was printed from Shakspere's MS. ; that Fi was printed from the 
actors' parts ; and that Q i is not a garbled First Sketch, but a garbled 
Q2. On none of these points can T agree with Dr Tanger. As to Q2 : 
Setting aside the unlikeliness of Burbage's company parting with the 
original MS. of their best play to a printer as early as 1604, I think 
the omissions and mistakes in Q2 are more than printers' doings 1 ; 

Printers didn't, in and about 1604, so far as I know their work though 
copiers of at least earlier MS3. often did leave out long passages like II. ii. 
244276, 352379, V. ii. 6881, or criticise and alter to the extent that Dr 
T. makes them. And I say this, while recollecting the accidentally left-out 
scene, and the reset sheet E, in the Quarto of the Second Part of K'mg Henry IV. 


its ' copy ' must have been ' maimd and deformd ' by a transcriber 
at least, and not given by ' N. L.' to ' I. K.' * perfect of its limbes.' 
As to its Stage-directions being Shakspere's, see my note on p. 111. 
As to the possibility of Fi having been printed from the Players' 
parts, the following letter from Mr A. W. Pinero of the Lyceum 
Theatre, a well-known actor in several admirable plays of his own 
writing, &c. shows that Players Parts are returnd to the prompter, 
so that, if a prompt-copy were lost, and the Parts kept ? not a likely 
occurrence a text might be made up from the Parts : 

London, October 12th, 1880, 

Lyceum Theatre, W.G. 

" It is the custom now-a-days and it has been the custom 
as far back as the memory of any living actor extends to extract 
the parts from a play, and to deliver them to the actors for study. 
After the production, or at the end of the run, the parts are returned 
to the prompter, marked with such alterations, cuts, or interpol 
ations, as may have arisen during the rehearsals of the piece. 

" The prompter's and stage-manager's copy (generally the same 
thing) differs as a rule from the author's private MS., inasmuch as 
it is marked with the stage business and alterations which the 
exigences of stage production have rendered necessary. When a 
piece is published after performance, the publication is always pre- 
pared from the stage-manager's copy, never from the author's MS. 

" In cases of illicit publication procured, for instance, from 
shorthand notes taken by a member of the audience the result is 
often a publication differing both from the stage-manager's copy and 
the author's MS., since it frequently contains alterations, interpol- 
ations, or 'gags,' which have grown gradually, and have perhaps 
never found their way into the official prompt-book. 

" My dear Sir, 

"Very truly yours, 


But Dr Tanger's supposed ' Book of Stage-Directions without the full 
text ' is surely a monstrosity unheard of in theatres, and has been 
(as a friend suggests) projected from the writer's consciousness (like 
the camel of old) to fit his theory. 1 Why do we want this 
Book, and the loss of the Prompt-copy, except for Dr T.'s theory] 
What ground is there for the theory 1 ? If we look at the few 

1 Mr. Pinero says of it, under date October 15, 1880 : " I have certainly 
never met nor heard of a Book of Stage Directions prepared apart from the 
Prompt Book : nor do I believe in the theory of the existence of such a thing." 


daggers (t) in the list of different readings, we see that the changes 
attributed to the Actors are a few repetitions of phrases that spoil 
the metre, and a few changes of words that Dr Tanger does not 
choose to attribute to Heminge and Condell or the compositors. 
Now even if these changes were due to the Actors, why may not the 
changes have been enterd in the Prompt-copy, as being the words 
actually uz'd on the stage? Or if Actors A, B, D, made the 
changes, why may not actors H, C, (Heminge and Condell) have 
made them too, seeing that they may themselves have playd in two 
of the parts chang'd'? Wherein must H. & C. have differd from 
their fellows A, B, D, that they couldn't have made the changes'? 
Dr Tanger says that H. C. extended (and spoilt) the line " Which 
haue solicited, the rest is silence," by " 0, o, o, o " (p. 144, 1. 369) ; 
but when the line " Fie on 't, ah fie, tis an vnweeded garden " is 
extended (and spoilt) by putting " Oh fie, fie " for " ah fie," he says 
the Actors did it, or rather the actor who playd Hamlet p R. Bur- 
bage]. Again, when the Q2 "6 God, God" of I. ii. 132 is chang'd 
into "0 God, God" in Fi, Dr Tanger says this is the Hamlet- 
Actor's change 1 Surely this repetition of the may just as well 
have been H. C.'s. Once more as to changes of words : that of 
" cornpulsator?/," I. i. 103, to " compulsatM/e," is declard to be H. C/s, 
while that of " EasttmreZ " I. i. 167, to " Eastmze " is set down to the 
actor who playd Horatio. According to Dr T. the Actor who playd 
Hamlet p R. Burbage] made 19 changes of text; the Actors of the 
Ghost, Laertes and Ophelia, 3 each ; of Horatio, the Queen and 
Polonius, 2 each ; of Marcellus, Claudius and the 1st Gravedigger, 1 
each. Osric and the Players, the parts we should have expected to 
be most gagd (except the Gravediggers) have no changes assignd to 
them. On the whole I would rather suppose Fi printed from the 
Prompt-book alterd by H. C. or an imperfect copy of it than from 
the Actors' parts supplemented by Dr Tanger's invention, the ' Book 
of Stage-Directions without the full text.' As to Qi : the way in 
which Dr Tanger jumps the fences in the way of his theory excites 
my wonder. But it's steeple-chasing, rather than steady going in the 
path of criticism. If Corambis and Montana are but mishearings 
of Polonius and Reynaldo, if the Shaksperean ' cinkapase of ieasts,' 
' warme Clowne,' ' foh, how the muske cod smels,' &c., are due 
only to the X who has given us the inanities of Qi, then anything 
may be anything else, at the critic's will. The scrappy and mistake- 
ful state of the text of Q i shows that it cannot have had an editor 
in the proper sense of the term ; and yet we are askt not for the 
1st or the 50th time, I admit to put down to X all those changes 
of character, name, scene, &c., that some of us believe to have been 
due to Shakspere's First Sketch. Still, this question is one of 
probability. That theory will be finally adopted which in the 
common sense of most real workers reconciles most difficulties. I 
have in my Forewords to the Qi and Q2 Facsimiles given the reasons 


that induced me, from such study as I had been able to give them, 
to believe in a First Sketch ; and after going carefully through 
Dr Tanger's quotations, references, and arguments, I believe in a First 
Sketch still, as does Doctor Nicholson. But no authority should 
be accepted on the point : every man must work at the two Quartos 
and Folio for himself, and get an opinion of his own on the point. 
In his work, he will find Dr Tanger's array of the evidence of great 
use to him. I again thank Dr Tanger for the very valuable Paper 
he has given us. 1 

DR B. NICHOLSON was also grateful to Dr Tanger for his collec- 
tion of differences between the Hamlet Quartos and Fi ; they would 
be of the greatest use in confuting some of Dr T/s theories. Dr 
T. seemed to have almost at the first made up his mind, and 
thenceforward fitted his facts to his theory. His Corambis-Polonius, 
Montano-Reynaldo transformations are like pieces out of Punch, and 
worse than Fluellen's likeness of Monmoutli to Macedon, for there 
each name did begin with an M. X was endowed with imagination 
at one time, and made a goose at another, as the theory required. 
On the Qi speech "let not your Clown" his opinion had already 
been expressed in the reprint of that Quarto. Also, if Q2 was 
printed from Shakspere's MS., why was Ostricke, who was named 
four times in it, only called a " Courtier " at first ? Could it be 
supposed that Shakspere didn't give him a name when he introduced 
him, but, after making him speak nineteen times under that appella- 
tion in V. ii, suddenly bethought him of fitting him with a name 
after his departure ! The change of union, pearl, to vnice and 
onyxe was much more probably an actor's or copier's change than 
a compositor's. As to the Stage-Directions : was it likely that 
Shakspere, who was said to have put in an unimportant 'flourish 
of trumpets,' &c., which Fi left out, would have left out a vital 
' In scuffling they change Eapiers ' which Fi put in 1 He could 
not accept Dr Tanger's theories as to Qi, nor as to Q2 being direct 
from Shakspere's MS. 

MR C. H. HERFORD thought that Qi clearly contained lines that 
were beyond X, and that necessitated another original than Q2. 

1 To make the references more uzable by English folk, I have set before Dr 
T.'s references to Furness's print of Qi, (which is line-numbered throughout,) 
other references to my Nos. in Griggs's Facsimile of Qi. And before Dr T.'s 
quotations from Q2, I have put their line-Nos. from the Facsimile of it. Dr 
T. had finisht his paper (he says) in the spring of 1879, before seeing my 
Forewords to Qi (out on 14 March, 1879) or Q2 (out, July 1880). 

SCRAPS. 201 

painted doth: I Hen. IV. IV. ii. 28. "Tapis: m. Tapistrie, 
hangings, &c., of Arras. Sourd comme vn tapis. As deafe as an 
Image in a painted cloth." 1611. Cotgrave. 

dammer, v. t. silence : Winter's Tale, IV. iv. 250. Compare 
Harsnet's Popish Impostures, 1603, p. 34 "All must be mum; 
Glum quoth the Carpenter, Glum quoth the Carpenters wife, and 
Glum quoth the Friar." These words are [Chaucer's, clttm meaning 
' silence, hush ! ' ' Now, Pater noster, clum/ quod Mcholay, and 
* clum ' quod Jon, and ' clum ' quod Alisoun. Jon being the Car- 
penter, Alisoun the Carpenter's wife, and Nicholay, the gay and gentle 
Oxford clerk, degraded by Harsnet into a friar. The form dom 
occurs in the Ayenbite of Imvi/t, 1340 A.D. ; and must have passt into 
a later dam. F.] B. K 

to mom- and mow. Tempest, " to mote, mow.' ; Harsnet, Pop. 
Impost. 1603, p. 38. B. K 

M ops and Mows. " Bicause wee doe not tumble, wallow, foame, 
howle, scrieke, and make mouthes, and mops as the popish possessed 
vse to do." p. 30. "Loe here the Captaine of this holy schoole of 
Legerdemaine tells you * * * what was the perfection of a 
scholler of the highest form, to wit, to frame themselues iumpe and 
fit vnto the Priests humors, to mop, mow, iest, raile, raue, roar, com- 
mend and discommend, and as the priests would haue them." 
Harsnet's Popish Impostures, p. 38, 1603. B. K 

Limb, sb. " Antony a limb of Cresar/' /. Ccesar, &c. &c. "West on 
as a limb of the same body." Harsnet, Pop. Impost. 1603, Preface. 

Pluck, v. t. pull by force. " What, pluck a dainty doe to ground." 
T. Andron. This and the frequent use of " pluck " are illustrated 
by this phrase in Harsnet, Pop. Impost. 1603, p. 65, [the devil] 
"purposing to try a pluck 1 with the priest." It also suggests that 
in the phrase " pluck a crow with " there is no allusion to plucking 
its (limbs or) feathers. B. JS". 

Bucklers, sb. pi. "I give the bucklers." Much Ado, V. ii. 17. 
Harsnet, Pop. Impost. 1603, p. 146, speaking of the supposed effects of 
the exorcisms, says " Here Church Anthemes, as you see, carried 
away the bucklers " [won the victory]. The origin of the phrase still 
requires explanation. 2 (See JSTares, and the Variorum, vii. 159.) B. N. 

" myself and skirted page." Merry Wives, I. iii. 93 " he was 
else of the new Court cut, affecting no other traine the?^ two crasie 
fellowes, and an urchin butter-nie boy." Harsnet, Pop. Impost. 
1603, p. 48. B. N. 

1 ' Pluk or plukkynge. Tractus? Promptorium Parvulorum, ab. 1440. 
' I'll try a pull with you ' is still used in Wrestling. F. 

2 The cognate phrase ' to carry away, lurch, &c., the garland ' is of course 
derived from the Olympian games. 

202 SCRAPS. 

quiddity, sb. : Hamlet, V. i. 107. " Quolibet : m. A quirke or 
quidditie ; also, a least or by-word." 1611. Cotgrave. 

" Whose mother was her painting : " Cymb. III. iv. 52. " If 
Madame Newport should not be link't with, these Ladyes, the chain 
wold never hold ; for shee is sister to the famous Mistres Porter .... 
and to the more famous Lady Marlbo rough (whose Paint is her 
Pander "). Neives from the New-Exchange, or the Common-wealth of 
Ladies. Printed in the yeere of Women without Grace, 1650, p. 9. 

Compare : " "Finally, hee would thou his equalls, and those which 
knew him very well, with marvellous arrogancie ; and said that his 
Arme was his Father, his works his Linage." Shelton's Transl. of 
Don Quixote, 1652, f. 133. R. Roberts. 

Caviare, sb. "'Twas caviare to the general." Hamlet, II. ii. 457. 
" This [a Porpose Pye] was one of your fine dishes. Another a great 
Lady sent him, which was a little Barrell of Cauiary, which was no 
sooner opened and tasted, but quickly made vp againe, [and] was 
sent backe with this message, Commend me to my good Lady, and 
thanke her honour, and tell her we haue black sope enough already ; 
but if it be any better thing, I beseech her Ladyship to bestow it 
vpon a better friend, that can better tell how to vse it." The Court 
and Coimtry .... Written by N. B[reton], gent. 1618. Chertxey 
Worthies, Libr. reprint, p. 14. B. N. 

Roarer, sb. noisy scoundrel : Tempest, I. i. 18. "Bowling-allies, 
D icing-houses, and Tobacco-shopes, be the Temples, which Hee, and 
his Fraternity of Rorers, haue erected to Mercury and Fortune : In 
the two first he doth acknowledge their Deity ; in the last hee offers 
smoking incense to them both ; in recompense of booty, gotten by 
Chance and cheating." 1615. John Stephens. Satyrical Essays : 
Character xxi. A Pander, p. 320. 

bite my thumb. Romeo and Juliet, I. i. 49, &c. [In Paul's 
Walks] " What swearing is there : yea, what swaggering, what facing 
and out-facing? What shuffling, what shouldering, what lustling, 
what leering, what byting of thumbs to beget quarels, what holding 
vppe of fingers to remember drunken meetings, what brauing with 
Feathers, what bearding with Mustachoes 1 " 1608. T. Dekker. The 
Dead Terme. sign. D 4. 

A month's mind, sb. longing: Two Gentlemen, I. ii. 137. "One, 
Seignior Lodovico, that has a moneth's mind to your pretty Daughter." 
1670. Eic. Rhodes. Floras Vagaries, p. 61. 

birding, sb. : My. Wives, III. iii. 247. " Aucupium, Cicer. 
Birdyng or fowlyng. Aucupor, to goe a birdyng, fowling, or 
hawkyng." 1584. Cooper. Latin Diet. 

foining: 2 Henry IV. II. iv. 252. " Punctio, Plin. A foyninge, 
prickyng, or stingiiige." 1584. Cooper. 



(Head at the 6Wi Meeting of the Society, Nov. 12, 1880.) 

1. GUARD: ON (IV. ii. 60). 

THE Constable, himself impatient, and urged by those around 
him, cries, according to the folio text 

" I stay but for my Guard : on to the field, 1 
I will the Banner from a Trumpet take, 
And use it for my haste." 

But Dr Thackeray and an anonymous critic have both changed 
"guard: on" to "guidon," thus 

" I stay but for my Guidon : to the field," 

and this change has been received with as much applause as, and more 
lasting favour than, Collier's celebrated " Who smothers her with 
painting." There are, however, three objections to this change, each 
more decisive than the one preceding. 

1. First, it is unnecessary. It seems to have been thought that 
because the Constable in his third clause speaks of the want of his 
banner, therefore he must of necessity speak of it in his first. There 
can be no such necessity. If Scott made a knight speak of his want 
of a sword, and afterwards of the want of his shield, we should be 
bound to accept this portraiture, unless it were inconsistent with 
what had gone before or follows. But our correctors, without show- 
ing such an inconsistency, would have us delete the first word 

1 In the Polio the lines are wrongly divided, " on " ending the first line, 
while " To the field " begins the next one. 


"sword," or the second one, "shield," it matters not which, and sub- 
stitute the other. Or, to take another instance, one must not mention 
the sun and moon, according to their canons of criticism, in the same 
sentence ! Such instances show the ridiculousness of the change, 
even by their mere statement. But in Shakspere everything ridiculous 
is to be allowed, provided it give some one the opportunity of dragging 
out, or rather in, a new reading. 

Here the want of his guard, and his hurrying without them to 
the battle, is a proof of his over-haste and confidence. The want of 
his banner is another proof of the same. Besides, the two wants 
are not only not inconsistent, but the second is so dependent on the 
first, as almost to require the mention of both. The Constable's 
banner was borne before him by his guard ; their absence, therefore, 
involved the want of his banner. 

2. Secondly, the text simply repeats in substance the words of 
Shakspere's authority Holinshed. He says, " They thought them- 
selves so sure of victorie, that diverse of the noblemen made such 
hast towards the battell, that they left rnanie of their servants and 
men of warre behind them, and some of them would not once staie 
for their standards ; as amongst other the duke of Brabant, when his 
standard was not come, caused a baner [being square like his own] to 
be taken from a trumpet, and fastened to a speare, the which he 
commanded to be borne before him." Shakspere preserved both 
incidents, but attributed them to the commander-in-chief, on the 
principle of Like Master, like man. The Constable thus hasty, 
rash, and over-confident, we at once conceive how his subordinates 
behaved, and in what disorder they rushed pell-mell on the embattled 
English few. 

3. The use of " Guidon " and " Banner " as synonyms is an 
impossibility in Elizabethan, or indeed in any English. Such a use 
would in any Englishman be at the very least a gross blunder, and one 
at variance also with the most ordinary and known rules of heraldry. 
Thirdly, the giving of a Guidon to a Montrnorency, Lord High Con- 
stable of France, the Deputy of the king, and therefore in the king's 
absence the Commander-in-Chief of the armies of France, under whom 
the Dauphin served, as well as the Feudal Sovereigns, the dukes of 


Burgundy and Brabant, is an equal violation of heraldic rules. A 
Guidon, in shape long, narrow, pointed, and double-peaked, was the 
lowest of all armorial ensigns ; the banner is square, and, except the 
standard, the highest in rank. See Grose, Mil. Ant, vol. ii. p. 52, 
et seqq. 

In Elizabethan days heraldic distinctions were the study of every 
man and woman of gentle blood, and known to all who had the 
slightest pretensions to culture, or who had but a smattering of 
warlike exercises, or had even seen a tilting match. Such a blunder- 
ing lapse therefore would, in any dramatist, have been most improb- 
able. In Shakspere, who, besides a cultivated intelligence and a 
minute knowledge of the meanings of words, had special personal 
reasons for being cognizant of heraldic distinctions, it was impossible. 
Or had he made such a blunder, or called Mars, the god of heaven 
and earth, or the Triune Jehovah, the one phrase like the other 
would have been the signal for loud and derisive laughter, if not for 
cat-calls and hisses. It may be remembered that he was tried to be 
ridiculed at another theatre by Ben Jonson, Marston, and Chapman, 
for allowing Ophelia, even at her maddest, to call for " her coach." 

Aware of the absurdities of the emendation, I waited for a 
passage that would illustrate and prove this particular absurdity, and 
my friend, Mr W. G. Stone, crying peccavi, has given me one from 
Grose's Mil. Ant., vol. i. p. 268. Aided by his note I found Grose's 
authority almost verbatim in G. M.'s (not, I believe, Gervase Mark- 
ham's, as sometimes stated) Soldier's Accidence, 1623, pp. 46-7 : 

" And here it is to be noted that the difference betwixt the Cornet 
and Guydon is much ; for the Guydon is the first Colour that 
any Commander of horse can let file in the field ; This Guydon 
is of damaske frindged, and may be charged either with the 
crest of him that is the owner therof, or with other devise at his 
pleasure ; It is in proportion three foote at the least deepe in 
the toppe next the staffe, and so extendeth down narrower and 
narrower to the bottome where the ende is sharpe, but with a 
slitt divided into two peaks a foote deepe, the whole Guydon is 
sixe foote long, and should be carried upon a Launce staffe. If 
the Captaine (owner of the Guydon) shall do a good dayes service, 
or produce from his vertue somthing worthy advancement, so 
that he is called to a better command, as to lead Hargobussiers 
or Cuirassiers, then the Generall or officer in chiefe, shall with a 


knife cut away the two peaks, and then it is made a Cornet 
which is longer one way than another ; If (after that) he do 
anything worthyly, whereby he is made by the king or Supreame, 
either Banneret or Baron, then shall his Cornet be made lust 
square in forme of a Banner, which none may carrie in the field 
on horsbacke under those degrees ; " 

Merely calling attention en passant to the difference of rank 
required in the bestowal of the Cornet and Banner respectively, I 
need say no more than sum up by returning to my first statement, 
thus : The change is wholly unnecessary ; it does not agree with the 
historical authority followed by Shakspere ; and thirdly, the use of 
Guidon and Banner as synonyms is in defiance of English and 
Heraldry, and the bearing of a Guidon by the Lord High Constable 
of France, commanding in the field, an impossibility. 


These words in the Folio, Malone and Boswell altered into 
" callino custure me," they having found that an Elizabethan tune was 
so called, its refrain consisting of these words. All editors since 
Staunton and the Cambridge editors, (the latter both in their Cam_ 
bridge and Globe editions) excluded have, I believe, followed their 
lead. I now recur to the subject partly because these two sets of 
editors editors whose opinions are of weight have rejected the 
emendation, but chiefly because the reasons why Pistol at this 
juncture contemptuously recurs to the song have not, I think, 
been sufficiently understood. 

The at present given explanation is this : Though Pistol had 
picked up "coup le gorge " even in England, and while in France had 
learned the meaning of " oui," and probably also of " non," yet the 
Frenchman's words were to him an unintelligible jargon of sounds, 
their tone alone conveying a plaintive meaning. The sound, there- 
fore, that he had last heard " Qualite " was one that suggested to 
him the refrain commencing, " Callino," for both commence with the 
same sounding syllable, " Cal," and both are words of three syllables. 
So far the ordinary argument. Admitting, however, that, had 
Shakspere trusted to this association of sounds merely, Pistol's words 
would have been brought in too unnaturally, and by a tour deforce 


quite unworthy of him, I would adduce other reasons, that is, other 
associations. Thus a second one was, that in Pistol's true time, i. e. 
in 1599, the date of the production of the play, this tune " Callino" 
was a new, and in all probability I think, indeed, I may say 
certainly a popular, air. It was new, because it was entered in the 
Stationer's Registers on the 10th March, 15812. " J. Aldee. Tol- 
lerated to him twoe ballades whereof thone intituled Callin o custure 
me and thother," &c. That it was popular is shown, First, by its 
having been used as a dance tune in the so-called Queen Elizabeth's 
Virginal book ; Secondly, by the adaptation of fresh words to it, as 
in A Handfull of Plesant Delites, 1584 ; Thirdly, by its use in a 
similar manner to Shakspere's by Dekker in his Satiromastix, where 
Horace- Johnson, stung by a nettle wreath clapped on him, cries, " 0, 
oh," and Tucca, a relative, if not a lineal descendant of Pistol, answers, 
".Nay, your 0, ohs, nor your Callinoes cannot serve your turn"; 
Fourthly, by its preservation by Playford in his Musical Companion, 
1673, showing that the tune was sufficiently popular up to that year; 
Fifthly, by the illustration derived from it by Davies of Hereford, 
circa 1610, to be presently more particularly mentioned. Hence both 
words "Qualite " and " Callino" were new to Pistol, and Callino was 
ready to both his and Tucca's memories by being, it may be said, 
in everybody's mouth. 

A third probable cause for this association of Qualit6 and Callino 
was, that the Frenchman's love of plaintiveness was very likely 
under the above circumstances to have suggested this plaintive air. 
The burden given in Q. Elizabeth's Virginal Book is not indeed 
plaintive, and is in Mr W. Chappell's opinion English. And here, 
without binding Mr Chappell's opinion to mine, I would acknow- 
ledge his great kindness and readiness of information on this and 
other matters. But a burden is not a tune, and the tune in Playford 
is most certainly plaintive^ The same suggestive plaintiveness is seen 
in the quotation from the Satiromastix, one not improbably suggested 
to Dekker by Shakspere's allusion to it, for the Satiromastix was 
written in 1601, or possibly in 1600. 

A fourth cause of suggestion was the unintelligibility to Pistol of 
the French words, an unintelligibility suggestive the other associa- 


tions assisting of the unintelligible refrain, "Callino custure me." 
Davies of Hereford, in his Scourge of Folly, 1610-11, epigram 73, 

" But it was like the burden of the song 
Call'd Callino, come from a forraigne Land, 
Which English people do not understand." 

Proof, I take it, that the non-understandableness was a subject of 
question and comment. 

Thus we have not one but three, and in all probability four, 
reasons why Pistol and his audiences would at once associate " Cal- 
lino " with " Qualit6 " the sameness of the first sound " Cal " the 
novelty and popularity of the song, the plaintiveness given to both 
sets of words, and their unintelligibility. Another striking instance 
of Shakspere's attention to both art and nature. 

Hence I am led to notice the preceding word used by Pistol. Its 
form in the first folio, " Qualtitie," and its repetition without change 
in the second and third folios, rather suggest that this stood for, and 
was taken to stand for, some uncommon or unknown word rather 
than for the well-known Quality, though all editors, from the fourth 
folio onwards, have so written it. Besides, as Pistol knew no French, 
and as the Frenchman's " QualiteY' coming at the close of two lines 
of unintelligibility, only suggested to him the equally unintelligible 
" Callino," there was no possible reason for his using the word 
" Quality." Had he so shown that he understood the Frenchman's 
" Qualite," the chief reasons for his contemptuously repeating or 
humming " Callino custure me " are destroyed. Pistol, who can only 
understand " moi " as the measure " moy," and " bras " as " brass " 
can merely have repeated the last syllables of the to him jumble of 
sounds, not according to their spelling, but according to their sounds. 
He must therefore have repeated some such representative word as 
Caletay or Kaletey, and Mr W. G. Stone now agrees with me that 
the word should be so represented. 

No musician, and not an Erse scholar, I must, except to say that 
" Callin " seems to be our " Colleen," leave the still vexed question 
of what Irish words " Callino custure me" represent, sub judice. 

X. ON " DOLL" IN HENRY V, ACT V. SO. 1. 1. 74, BY DR NICHOLSON. 209 
3. DOLL OR NELL (Y. 1. 74). 

According to the old texts (Qq and Ff ) Pistol says of Nell Quickly, 
" Newes have I that my Doll is dead i' the Spittle." 

I had read the Cambridge edition note, yet so carelessly that long after- 
wards I had lazily believed with the general run of editors, either that 
Shakspere had here made a slip of memory in calling Nell, Doll, or 
that the copyist had accidentally written one for the other. But on 
reading the play with a would-be editorial care, I, without entering into 
the question of the priority of either the Q. or F. versions, saw, as had 
the Cambridge editors, that we had the same apparent mistake in two 
distinct versions of the play. Moreover, each succeeding Q. or F. had 
printed Doll without alteration or amendment. Thus, on the suppo- 
sition that Shakspere made the slip, we have to admit that he did this 
in one particular passage on two different occasions, though on the 
same occasions, in two other passages, he had called her Nell (II. i. 
11. 17, 19), and also named Doll Tearsheet in 1. 73. We have also to 
admit that he had invented, written, and also repeatedly heard the 
names Nell and Doll both in one version of this play, and in the other 
previous plays in which they appear. Take a similar case : can any- 
one-suppose him on two different occasions in one and the same pas- 
sage, and in no other, calling Doll Tearsheet "Nell '"? Nor is this all : 
we have also to suppose that neither the players nor any of his 
audiences, nor his readers, were acute enough to discover and tell him 
of his blunder. Take a second example : suppose Scott, having had to 
re-write his MS. of Rob Roy, and first, having written in one par- 
ticular passage in both copies Johnnie Campbell instead of Rob Roy 
Me Grigor ; and secondly, neither he nor his printers nor his readers 
discovering his error through the various editions through which the 
book ran, and we then have an idea of the probability of this Shak- 
sperian supposition. I need say nothing of two different copyists 
making the same blunder at the same spot, and nowhere else. 

Hence I am obliged to conclude that Shakspere purposely made 
Pistol call Nell Quickly his Doll in this place ; nor can any counter- 
arguments convince me against the facts, not even were a spiritualist 
to raise Shakspere from the spirit world. But, accepting the fact, 

N. S. SOC. TRANS.. 1880-2. P 

210 x. ON "DOLL" IN HENRY v ACT v. so. i. 1. 74, BY DR NICHOLSON. 

can we explain the apparent difficulty raised by this apparent mis- 
naming ] I think we can, though here I am ready to throw up my 
own views if sufficiently cogent reasons can be found against them, 
or better and more probable ones suggested. There were then, I 
think, one of two, if not two, reasons, the one obvious and Pistolian, 
the other a Shaksperian and more subtle reason for giving Nell this 

First, as to the Pistolian reason. Every one, I suppose, must 
have heard or known that Doll or Dolly is even now a nick-name of 
endearment given to one (especially to a young child), whether her 
baptismal name be Mary, or Ann, or Mary Ann, or Mary Jane, &c. If 
Pistol had adopted this habit, it can easily be conceived that he, who 
had parted with his hostess before the honeymoon was out, would, 
through force of habit, have unconsciously used it when speaking of 
her. Not that I seriously suggest that it was with him a term of 
true love endearment. The fellow had no love except for himself : 
he married not for love, but for lucre and self -profit, for, as he himself 
says, a rendezvous for himself, now cut off. But this self-interest 
made his use of this endearing term of affection the more constant 
during his courtship and honeymoon, when bent on obtaining from 
her all the material good that he now a - waif and stray since 
Falstaffs death could obtain. The buxom old fool, as she with all 
wickedness is depicted by Shakspere, was just the one to be com- 
placently tickled by the frequent use of " dear Doll," " my darling 
Dolly," or, if occasion required, " my darling, ducksy Doll," and the 
like. I say, of course, nothing of hei? material view of the marriage 
transaction, for though she probably thought she wanted a bully and 
his companions for her dozen or fourteen gentlewomen, such consider- 
ations are at present out of our subject. 

The above explanation, however, leaves unexplained why Shak- 
spere should have decided on making Pistol use this particular nick- 
name in this particular place. I therefore pass on to my second, or 
Shaksperian cause. All are aware of his love for puns and double 
entendres. But another of his peculiarities, allied to his love for 
these, and one, I think, of his excellencies, is not so often alluded to, 
though patent to all careful readers. This is his frequent choice of 

x. ON "DOLL " IN HENRY v, ACT v. so. i. 1. 74, BY DR NICHOLSON. 21 1 

a word which, while exactly expressing his primary meaning, suggests 
to the hearer, by its sound or by a secondary meaning, a second 
phrase opening out another vista of thought. Now Dolly is still 
used in Northumberland, and Doll, as I am obligingly informed by 
Mr Hetherington, in Liverpool, and both probably in the neighbour- 
ing counties, for their Doll Tearsheets, and that Shakspere was aware 
of this use of the word is shown, I think, by his choice of it for 
Tearsheet's Christian name. But not only was Dame Quickly, as 
appears by the cause and place of her death, for " the Spittle " was 
not a hospital like St. Thomas' or Guy's, but the ordinary name for 
Bridewell hospital, the house of detention, and corporal and other 
corrections for the Doll Tearsheets of the day ; not only was she a 
Doll, but, as Shakspere would here show us, Pistol had married her 
perfectly aware of her character, or rather no character, just as he 
was aware of her lodging and boarding some dozen or fourteen gentle- 
women, who lived as honestly as herself. He speaks of the news of 
her death, its mode and place, in the most matter-of-fact way, without 
a word of regret or surprise. Now, as Shakspere gradually develops 
Pistol before us, so he increases his opportunities of exposing and 
making him unblushingly expose his utter baseness, notably here, 
when, like Fluellen, he finally kicks him off the stage. By this one 
word, and the general tone of the passage, he would reveal to us that 
Pistol has been of like baseness throughout, and that he married his 
dame open-eyed, knowing thoroughly what she was, and what he 
would tamely be the receiver of her gains. If the student reader 
will turn to the parallel editions, he will find in the Quarto (II. iii. 
46) a sentence in the farewell scene between Pistol and Quickly 
which no editor has introduced into his revised edition, and whose 
omission by Shakspere in his Folio version confirms this view, for 
such a wish was inconsistent with the utter vileness of the creature. 

I come, therefore, to the conclusion that Doll should be retained 
in the text, first, because of the fact that its continued recurrence in 
the Quarto and Folio versions is proof that the author wittingly 
placed it there ; secondly, because, as I think, I have shown that we 
can give one if not two, to say the least, very probable reasons which 
induced him to place the word in Pistol's mouth. 

r 2 


THE TURNING O' TH TYDE (II. ill. 12, 13). 

Staunton's Explanation Examined. 

The previous explanation of this passage was founded on the popular 
belief that death, other than a violent one, occurs much more commonly 
during the ebbing than during the flowing tide. I have, I believe, 
heard this myself during my boyhood, and it is to be remarked at the 
very outset that Staunton, in offering his new view in the Athenaeum 
of the 9th Nov., 1873, does not attempt to disprove the fact that this 
was a popular belief, known to the Dame Quickly class, but, on the 
contrary, admits it unreservedly. It is, therefore, plain to anyone of 
ordinary reasoning powers that, even if he proves the possibility of 
another explanation, he- does not necessarily prove that Shakspere 
made use of it, and not of his tidal one ; and that if he does not 
prove his a more likely cause for her form of speech, the old one is 
not moved from its rock foundation. But, so far from his offering a 
more likely explanation, it may be said that, while he confidently 
asserts his theory, there is not one word that can be called proof, 
while there are several that render it unlikely. That I may not 
overlook any of his so-called arguments I take his statements seriatim 
in his own order. 

He commences by an objection to Dame Quickly making use of 
the tidal theory, saying, " No one has pointed out the extreme 
improbability of the hostess knowing that the death of poor Sir John 
and the turn of the river tide were exactly coincident." Staunton 
shows his animus by substituting for " even at " the word " exactly," 
for " even at " is here equal to "just about." Secondly, I answer that 
though Staunton would not be likely, especially in our day, to know 
the times of tide, yet that, of all the land-living characters in Shak- 
spere, none was more likely even at ordinary times to have known 
these tidal turns than Dame Quickly, the vintner at Eastcheap. She 
lived before omnibuses, cabs, hackney coaches, trams, and rails, and 
the almost universal fashionable or business way of getting from one 
part of London to another, or to any place in its neighbourhood, was 
by horse or wherry. Hence there was nothing she would be more 


likely to have at her fingers' ends than whether the tide served for a 
trip up or down. Besides, even if this were not so, she was just the 
character of woman, a fussy, talkative busy-body, who, believing in 
this superstition, and hourly expecting Falstaff's death, would have 
enquired as to the time of ebb, even if she did not happen to 
know it. 1 

Secondly, Staunton continues, " ISTo one, too, has asked . . . why 
the coincidence should be a source of consolation 1 " The reply to 
this is No one has asked, because no one, Mr Staunton excepted, 
has ever suspected that she was then seeking a source of consolation. 
Let any one read the passage, and say whether she had not plainly 
left the " Arthur's bosom " question, and gone on to a wholly differ- 
ent subject. Staunton has blundered, apparently quite unaware of 
the habits and manners of the Dame Quicklies, and indeed of those 
of the majority of the lower classes at a certain age. They narrate 
a tale with all its accessory circumstances, as though they were essen- 
tials. Had she given Sir John a posset or caudle, she would have 
added, " and by the same token, it was in my best chany bowl, the 
red one with white stars, that he always loved ; but, poor soul, it was 
no use." I stared, re-read it, and then laughed outright when I 
came upon this astounding objection. 

He then proceeds "the tide she meant was the tide of time. 
From a fanciful analogy between the alternations of light and dark- 
ness, and the tidal ebb and flow, it was customary in Shakspere's age 
to speak of the day (t. e. the twenty-four hours) as divided into two 
tides of twelve hours each, one beginning at midday, the other at 
midnight." Now, first, I would observe that I think it would have 
been a very " fanciful " and unlikely analogy on the part of our 
practical and nature-viewing ancestors to compute the double change 
between the twelve hours of darkness and the twelve hours of light, 
by taking as the type and basis of that computation the ebb and flow 
of the sea, which occurs four times in the twenty-four hours, or just 
twice as often. Secondly, though the solar and mariner's day com- 
mences at noon, and our civil day at midnight, it is surely more than 

1 I would here call special attention to the illustrative anecdote given by 
Mr Hetherington (p. 218) as affording strong corroboration of my argument. 


extraordinary that persons taking the alternations of light and dark- 
ness as the intent and basis of their reckoning should fix upon the 
first second past noon as the beginning of their night-tide, and the 
first second past midnight as the commencement of their day-tide. 
They must have had more than cat's eyes. Thirdly, that this com- 
puting of the commencement of the day from immediately after the 
stroke of midnight, &c., must have been completely contrary to their 
previous conceptions of the subject, as evidenced by the very terms 
midnight and midday, then common in their mouths terms curiously 
enough employed by Mr Staunton himself when engaged in setting 
forth this new theory. 

But, setting these three objections aside if numbers two and 
three can be set aside there remains this fourth, and, as I believe, 
decidedly fatal one. Mr Staunton confidently asserts his proposition, 
but does not give one single proof. Nor do I believe that it was 
evolved elsewhere than from his inner consciousness. At least I 
have never met in the course of my reading with a single passage in 
proof, nor, so far as I can learn among literary friends, have they. 
Hence I can but apply the old monkish rule, " De non apparentibus, 
et de non existentibus, eadem est ratio." To things which do not 
appear, may be applied the same rule as to those that do not exist. 

He then goes on to say, that he is at a loss to determine whether 
noon-tide derives its origin from this [his] peculiar mode of comput- 
ation ; and having answered his doubt in the negative by quoting 
Christmas-tide, Shrove-tide, &c., and not noting that noon was no 
tide in his sense, but the lull between two tides, he, notwithstanding, 
continues, " To me it seems highly probable that by noon-tide was 
understood the time of tide from noon to midnight, and by night-tide 
the flow of time from midnight to midday." I need not return to the 
argument against the supposition, that night-tide commenced, in the 
opinion of our ancestors, immediately after twelve, noon ; but I chal- 
lenge anyone to prove, or produce an example showing that noon-tide 
ever meant the time from noon to midnight, or was, as Staunton would 
insinuate, the opposite of night-tide, or ever meant anything else than, 
in a slightly vague way, the time .about midday. Similarly I affirm 
that night-tide was never used to express the twelve hours between 


midnight and noon. Staunton seems entirely to have lost sight of the 
cognate terms, morrow-tide, even- tide, morning-tide, &c., and also the 
Saxon sense of the original Saxon word " tid." Never indeed have 
I seen a case of moie surprising ignorance and impudence caused 
by an over-zeal for a novel theory. 

Mr Staunton then goes on to say that, " what more particularly 
bears upon the subject of Mrs Pistol's speech is the fact of a belief 
once prevalent, that of all hours in the two tides the most propitious 
time was the period of lull between the ebb of night and the flow of 
day. To this I merely reply, first, as before, where is the proof that 
our ancestors, who used even-tide and night-tide, ever called the time 
between 1 2 P. M. and 1 P. M. the flow of day 1 Secondly, where is the 
proof that such time was considered most propitious for death 1 The 
rule " de non apparentibus " applies again. 

While, however, as I said, Staunton has not attempted to give, 
nor have I been able to find, any proof or example of his first state- 
ment that it was " customary among the people " to speak of the 
twenty-four hours as divided into two tides, the night-tide commenc- 
ing immediately after midday, and the day-tide commencing imme- 
diately after midnight ; and though, as I have endeavoured to show, 
all argument from custom and analogy is against such a theory, he 
at the close attempts to give three examples from the poets of the 
time. His first example is from Donne, who, addressing the dead 
Lord Harrington, says 

" Thou seest me here at midnight : now all rest 
Time's dead low water ; when all minds divest 
To-morrow's busyness." 

Grosart, Fuller Worthies, Lib. Donne, vol. ii. p. 115. 

A pretty and poetic thought, but not one that in itself proves any 
popular custom or mode of computation, any more than the words 
"Thou seest me" prove that Donne was a modern spiritualist, and 
had only to call on Lord Harrington to be heard and seen. It 
would have been as germane to the purpose to have quoted from 
Shakspere " the tide of business," or " a tide in the affairs of men. " 
I need hardly add that there can be no intent of alluding to Mr 
Staunton's second belief, that the lull between the two tides was 


the most propitious time of death, for Donre is not speaking of the 
time of Lord Harrington's death, but of himself sitting and meditating 
at midnight in his study 

2. He next gives a quotation from John Norris of Bemerton : 

" 'Twas when the tide of the returning day 
Began to chase ill forms away, 
When pious dreams the sense employ, 
And all within is innocence and joy." 

Grosart, Fuller Worthies Misc., vol. ii. p. 171. 

Here Staunton imagines or assumes that the tide of the returning 
day is coincident, according to his theory, with midnight. Let us 
not assume, but enquire. Norris gives us no other hint of the 
time. But Shakspere, an authority who never goes contrary to 
received beliefs, what does he say 1 In Hamlet the ill form, the 
ghost, does not disappear, but appears, the clock then beating one, and 

" It was about to speak when the cock crew ; 
And then it started like a guilty thing 
Upon a fearefull summons." 

He goes on 

" The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn, 
Awakes the god of day; and at his warning, 
Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air, 
Th' extravagant and erring spirit hies 
To his confine." 

So Puck, Midsummer NigMs Dream (III. ii.), tells Oberon 

" My fairy Lord, this must be done with haste ; 
For night's swift dragons cut the clouds full fast, 
And yonder shines Aurora's harbinger ; 
At whose approach, ghosts, wandering here and there, 
Troop home to church- jards : damned spirits all, 
That in cross-ways and floods have burial, 
Already to their wormy beds are gone ; 
For fear lest day should look their shames upon, 
They wilfully themselves exile from light, 
And must for aye consort with black-brow'd night." 

And this notoriously is a popular belief to this day. Hence there can 
be no doubt 

" That when the tide of the returning day 


is merely a poetic phrase for the approach of morn, for the time of 
which another well-known character speaks, when she says 

"And morning dreams, they say, come true." 

With the comment, that no such thing is said of waking dreams, I 
leave it. 

3. Staunton's third example is from Webster's Duchess of Malfi, 
iv. 2, where Bossola, compassing and preparing the duchess's death, 
recites or sings, 

" Hark, now every thing is still 
* * * * 

Tis now full tide 'tween night and day, 
End your groan, and come away." 

Here I would simply ask, First, how the fall tide 'twixt night and 
day corroborates Staunton's assertion, that midnight was reckoned 
the time when the ebbed tide of night began to turn, or, as Donne, 
whom he quotes, expresses it, " Time's dead low water " 1 Secondly, 
how the strangling of the Duchess, which then takes place, shows 
that it was the most propitious time of death 1 

I conclude, therefore, as I began. First, that the superstition 
that death, other than violent, was coincident with the ebbing tide 
was, as allowed by Staunton himself, prevalent among the vulgar. 
Secondly, that this counter-theory, so far from over-riding the other 
in probability, is not proved, nor attempted to be proved, except by 
assertion. Neither that part of it which says, that they popularly 
spoke of the twenty-four hours as divided into two tides, the night- 
tide commencing immediately after twelve noon, and the day-tide 
immediately after midnight ; nor the second part, that the most 
propitious time of death was the period of lull between the ebb of 
night and the flow of day, that is, about midnight In a word, his 
theory is not, I believe, less absurd than the change in the text oi 
Henri/ V., with which he concludes his letter. In the easily under- 
stood and poetic line (I. i. 49), 

" And the mute wonder lurketh in men's ears," 
he would make the villainous change, 

" And the mute wand'rer lurketh in men's ears." 


I call it villainous, because it is not nearly so poetical, and because 
it is not sense. Fancy Shakspere, who had heard the rustle of the 
leaves in Warwickshire, calling the air that " wanders " " mute " ! l 


On the coast of Cumberland the belief that people die only during 
ebb-tide is very common, and extends for some distance inland. A 
relative of mine was once in a cottage, about six miles from the sea, 
where an old woman lay a-dying; several people who were there 
declared that the old woman would linger on till the " turn of the 
tide," and one man asked for an almanack to determine the exact hour 
of high-water. It is well to note that these were not sea-faring people. 
This superstition is not confined to any particular districts, but may 
be found all over England. Most readers of David Copperfield will 
remember that Mr Barkis " went out with the tide." 



From W. Topsell's Historie of Serpents, 1608, p. 176. There be 
also Serpents called Elephants, because whomsoeuer they bite, they 
infect with a kind of a leprosie, &c. 

Daily Telegraph, 18 November, 1880. From a leading Article. 
[According to Mde La Barca]. "The person to be inoculated [in 
Mexico] is pricked with the tooth of the rattlesnake on the tongue, 
in both arms, and in various parts of the body, and the venom is 
injected into the wounds. An eruption ensues, and when this has 
passed off, the inoculated person is believed to be snake-proof. . . . The 
moment the tiny teeth [of the snake when biting] have scratched the 
skin, the message of death has been conveyed, . . . and the curdling 
or decomposing blood has already confessed the power of the reptile's 

It is needless to point out how these extracts apply. But I 
would remark that both Shakspere and the writer in the Daily 
Telegraph appear to use curdling as equivalent to decomposing, be- 
cause the former is known to be the first change from the fluid and 
normal state of the blood the first step towards decomposition, 
though in reality it precedes decomposition, properly so called. 

"The child 3J years old two hours after eating the [yew] berries, 
was observed to look ill, . . . and became affected with lividity and 
heaviness of the eyes, as if he was about to fall asleep. Vomiting 
followed without any pain ; and he died before a medical man, who 
was sent for, could arrive. . . . The dead body presented many livid 
spots . . ." Christison on Poisons, 1845, p. 915. -Lancet, 1836-7, i. 
394. (The italics, as in the previous quotation, are mine.) B. N. 

1 See note on Doll, page 226. 




(Mead at the 65th Meeting of the Society, Friday, Jan. 21, 1881.) 

IT may seem unnecessary on my part to controvert Mr Spedding's 
proposed modification of the construction of Lear, if he adopts, as I 
understand him now to do, substantially the same view as mine 
touching Shakspere's main purpose and supreme achievement in the 
play. But his proposal cannot be separated from the reasons by 
which he commends it ; and those reasons, as quoted by Dr Furness 
in his Variorum edition of Lear, from the Transactions of this So- 
ciety, appear to me to be founded on a misconception of the highest 
excellence of the drama, the serenest perfection of its ideal beauty, 
the soul's soul of its transcendent pathos and immortal pain. 

As I read Lear, the interest culminates in the fourth and fifth 
acts, specifically in the fifth. In the three earlier acts, the supreme 
interest is in the king ; in the two later acts, the supreme interest is 
in the relation between Lear and Cordelia : and I hold that, magni- 
ficent as is the climax reached in the three earlier acts, it becomes 
but a minor climax when the final issue of the tragedy, not in the 
madness of Lear, not in the defeat of the invading army, but in the 
death both of Lear and Cordelia, is made apparent. 

My task divides itself into two parts : first, to show that there 
is a real and important difference between my position and Mr 
Spedding's ; and, second, to prove, or at least to touch on the proof, 
that, on the merits, my position is tenable and his untenable, 
i See above, p. 1619. J% <&^* 


I. Before proceeding a step I must request the Society to consider 
with careful attention Mr Spedding's statement of his case. It is 
known to me only as quoted by Dr Furness, vol. v. of his Var. ed. 
of Shakspere: from New Sh. Soc. Trans., Part I. p. 15, 1877-79. 
[Mr Spedding's statement is here supposed to be read.] 

Let me place my finger on a few of those expressions which, if 
I have been misled as to Mr Spedding's meaning, were the means 
of misleading me, and ask whether they are not fitted to convey to 
others the impression they conveyed to me. 

He thinks that, under the accepted arrangement, " in the last two 
acts the interest is not well sustained." I think that the interest is 
perfectly sustained in both, and that, in the second, it reaches a loftier 
height of sustainment than that of any other drama in the world. 

He holds, and I deny, that, as things stand, " Lear's passion rises 
to its full height too early, and his decay is too long drawn out." 
Lear's passion, to my mind, does not reach its full ecstasy of pathos 
until he has the dead Cordelia in his arms, and, after that, it certainly 
is not long drawn out. 

Mr Spedding " saw that in Shakespeare's other tragedies we are 
never called on to sympathize long with fortunes which are desperate. 
. . . The interest rises through the first four acts towards some great 
crisis ; in the fifth it pauses for a moment, crests, and breaks ; then 
falls away in a few short, sad scenes, like the sigh of a spent wave. 
But it was not so in Lear. The passion seemed to be at its height, 
and hope to be over, in the third act." I maintain, on the contrary, 
that, as the play now stands, we have in all essentials the same dis- 
tribution of interest which we have in Macbeth, Hamlet, and Othello. 
The death of Macbeth, the death of Hamlet, the death of Desdemona, 
occur in the fifth act of the respective dramas j the deaths of Lear 
and Cordelia occur, in like manner, in the fifth act ; and there is not 
much more said after the death of Hamlet than there is after the 
death of Cordelia and of Lear. 

Mr Spedding, after the close of the first three acts, "felt the 
want of some coming event, some crisis of expectation." Yes ; and 
is it possible not to feel that the gist of his theory is to supply this 
want, to answer this expectation, with the battle? I acknowledge 


that, after the insanity scenes, some coming event, some crisis of ex- 
pectation, is required ; but I urge that, throughout the fourth act, 
and even from the moment when Cordelia first appears on the stage, 
Shakspere has been preparing us for a crisis that will thrill us with 
infinitely finer and keener anguish than could arise from the mere 
feeling that the battle was over, and that Cordelia and Lear were 

" I cared," says Mr Spedding, " only about Lear." The words 
form a whole sentence. The preceding sentence is, " The fate of 
Edgar was not interesting enough ; it seemed a separate thing, almost 
an intrusion upon the proper business of the play." If we understand 
Mr Spedding to say, as he now suggests, " I cared only about the 
fate of Lear," the addition makes no difference that I can perceive in 
his meaning. The climax and crisis which he wanted were supplied 
for him by the battle, if only the battle could be so placed that the 
audience might appreciate its momentous character, and could feel 
that what followed was but the "sigh of a spent wave." I confess 
that his reference to Edgar and Edmund, and the immediately fol- 
lowing words, " I cared only about Lear," couvey to my mind quite 
irresistibly the conviction that he did not, at the time of writing 
them, realize that the climax and transcendency of the fifth act, and of 
the play as a whole, depend upon the death of Cordelia. If Cordelia 
was in his mind, why did he not speak of her 1 Why did he speak 
of Edgar and Edmund instead 1 His references to Cordelia, which 
are meagre in the extreme, give no hint of any transcendency of im- 
portance attaching to what occurred to her after the battle. " The 
business of the last act," says Mr Spedding, " is only to gather up 
the issues of these unnatural divisions, and to close the eyes of the 
victims." I can devise 110 words more expressly fitted to say that, 
when the battle has been fought, the main work of the drama is over. 
My explicit contention is, that the catastrophe in the last act does not 
depend in this direct way upon the battle. The death of Cordelia 
arises from a cause independent of the battle, to wit, Edmund's wish 
to advance his own schemes, and actually occurs through the forget- 
fulness of Albany and the chance that Edmund's messenger executes 
his commission promptly. 


In one last word, and that word Mr Spedding's, his alteration 
is proposed as a means of assisting the audience to realize that the 
battle is a " final crisis " in the fortunes of Lear. This I deny. Lear 
could have been perfectly happy with Cordelia, and the " final crisis " 
in his fortunes occurred, not when the battle was lost, but when she 
was dead. 

To put it, then, as modestly as can be required, I have, I think, 
made it plain that I had reasonable grounds for concluding, from 
Mr Spedding's statement of his proposal, that he regarded the battle 
as the incident of supreme interest in the second half of the play, and 
that he intended to concentrate upon it the attention of the audience. 
For this purpose, having placed the battle in the interval between 
the fourth and fifth acts, he suggests that the pause might be " filled 
with some great battle-piece of Handel." I maintain that, if Shak- 
spere had thus fixed the attention of the audience on the battle, he 
would have done something he would have done much to impair 
the effect on their minds of what he really intended to be the " final 
crisis " in the fortunes of Lear. 

II. It is indisputable that Shakspere, in placing a battle in a 
mere pause in a scene, as we now have the battle in Lear, departs 
from his usual way of dealing with battles. We have, indeed, the 
announcement that the event takes place, and this announcement 
suffices for all purposes of information. Edgar leaves the stage; 
alarum and retreat are heard behind the scenes ; Gloucester remains 
listening in silence to the tumult ; then Edgar returns, and says that 
King Lear hath lost. The fact is thus distinctly embraced in the 
evolution of the play, but, as Mr Spedding says, no impression is 
made on the imagination of the audienca Just so. And if the 
" final crisis " in the fortunes of Lear is something quite different 
from the battle, there was the best reason why Shakspere should not 
permit it to impress the imagination of the audience. 

The interest of the drama, apart from the personal re ations of 
Lear and Cordelia, reaches its climax at the end of the third act. It 
might well appear that no language could be more moving or terrible 
than that in which Lear curses his daughters and raves amid the 
lightnings, no pathos more heart-rending than that of the mad and 


houseless king. I suppose that, in virtue of those earlier acts alone, 
Shakspere might challenge comparison with, if not claim superiority 
to, ^Eschylus, Sophocles, Dante, or any other master of terror, pity, and 
sublimity that ever lived. But those scenes form after all but a pre- 
lude to the pathos that follows, the pathos arising out of the meeting 
and the parting of father and daughter. When at last Shakspere 
has shown us his whole power, we feel that the loss of Lear's kingdom, 
and even of his reason, was a small matter compared with the agony 
of his final separation from Cordelia. We then know that the drama 
of Lear, whatever else it may be, is first and supremely a domestic 
and personal tragedy. And if this is so, Shakspere will interest his 
audience in the battle as little as he reasonably can. 

Observe, Shakspere cannot ignore the battle. In the first place, 
it is one of his characteristics to display a reverent respect even for 
the shadow of history passing across his page. The historical legend 
of Lear and his daughters included a French invasion and a defeat of 
the French army. With these Shakspere could not and would not 
dispense. In the second place, the battle is one of several incidents 
that contribute, when duly subordinated, to heighten the general 
effect. But he meddles as little with the battle as possible, skim- 
ming lightly over it like a deft skater over a quaking spot in the ice. 
Apart from the risk of concentrating the attention of the audience 
upon the conflict, and exhausting it before the "final crisis" in the 
personal relations of Lear and Cordelia has arrived, there was, I be- 
lieve, another motive to induce Shakspere to hurry over the battle. 
The English of Elizabeth's time were eminently patriotic, sensitively 
alive to the warlike fame of England, keenly jealous of the French. 
The mere fact that the historical plays were popular is sufficient to 
prove this. Shakspere, therefore, in placing his battle, had a ticklish 
problem to solve. A French army was to be defeated by an English 
army, and yet all the emotions which Shakspere was bent upon ex- 
citing in his audience would have been thrown into confusion if any 
enthusiasm had been felt by them for English victors in a battle fought 
between French invaders and English defenders of the soil. He 
meant to bespeak, in the immediate sequel, their measureless pity for 
Lear and Cordelia. Had there been even a wavering in the appor- 


tionment of their sympathies by the audience, the simplicity of the 
effect would have been destroyed, the unity of the passion would 
have been broken. To all this Shakspere was vividly alive; he 
could not dare to let his audience dwell on the battle ; and accord- 
ingly he does little more than curtly announce that a battle has 
been fought. 

It is doubtless true that, in the fourth act, there are a good many 
references to the French army and camp. It is true also that we are 
told that "the arbitrement is like to be bloody." But what impresses 
an audience is not what they hear, but what they see ; and though a 
considerable number of places may be enumerated in which Shakspere 
makes us aware that the French army has landed and is advancing, 
little, nevertheless, of the pomp and circumstance of war is set before 
the eye. The fourth act, apart from the anticipated battle, terminates 
in intense and sacred joy. Every resource at the command of Shak- 
spere, whether in the way of living picture presented on the stage or 
in that of most moving words, is put into requisition with a view 
to deepen the impression of serene bliss attained to by Lear and Cor- 
delia when their misunderstandings are removed, and there is nothing 
between them but perfect reconcilement and perfect peace. The 
death-weary old king had sunk into a stupor-like sleep. He had 
been carried into a tent and laid on a bed. Cordelia had ordained 
that soft music should play. The doctor signifies that it is time for 
him to awake, expressing a wish that, when he opens his eyes, the 
first object on which they will rest may be Cordelia. Then follow 
upwards of fifty lines, spoken while the dumb show of the musical 
awakening has been going on, in which all the power of Shakspere's 
genius is brought to the task of concentrating our attention upon 
Lear and Cordelia, isolating them from all the world, making us feel 
that they are all the world to each other. The impression of this 
unspeakable scene is still fresh upon us when the act closes. 

Had the battle, which necessarily ensued about this point, directly 
caused the death of Lear and Cordelia, it would without question 
have been the "final crisis" of the drama, and Shakspere would have 
found means to impress it upon our imagination even more effective 
than those which Mr Spedding suggests. But the battle, as Shak- 


spere knows well, has only an indirect and indecisive effect upon the 
"final crisis." Huddling his battle over, he pointedly informs us, 
by the mouth of Lear, that, since it has not parted between Lear and 
Cordelia, it has not brought the catastrophe of the drama. 

" Come, let's away to prison ; 
We two alone will sing like birds i' th' cage." 

They are taken to prison. Edmund sends after them an order 
for their execution. Then, when Edmund has got his death-wound, 
and Albany bethinks himself of Lear and Cordelia, Edmund makes 
an effort to save them, and Edgar hurries off to stay their death. He 
is too late. Now, and not till now, do we reach the climax, the 
"final crisis" of the tragedy. Lear enters with Cordelia hanging 
senseless in his arms. Albany's momentary lapse of memory, Ed- 
gar's slowness of foot, whatever might be tne accident, the chance, 
that occasioned the death of Cordelia, represents, to my mind, an 
infinitely greater and more mysterious terror and horror than the 
blackness of night, or the fury of storm, or even the ingratitude of 
daughters. And in the words spoken by Lear when he has the dead 
Cordelia in his arms, or when he hangs over her with looking-glass 
or feather, Shakspere attains a grander though simpler pathos, a 
higher display of dramatic and poetical genius, than he reaches in 
those scenes in which Lear declaims against the thunder. 

" Lear : Howl, howl, howl ! Oh, you are men of stones ! 
Had I your tongues and eyes, I'd use them so 
That heaven's vault should crack ! She's gone for ever ! 
I know when one is dead and when one lives. 
She's dead as earth ! Lend me a looking-glass ; 
If that her breath will mist or stain the stone, 
Why, then she lives ! 

Kent : Is this the promised end ? 

Lear : The feather stirs ! she lives ! If it be so, 
It is a chance which does redeem all sorrows 
That ever I have felt. 

Kent : my good master ! 

Lear: Prithee, away 

Edgar : 'Tis noble Kent, your friend. 

Lear : A plague upon you, murderers, traitors ; all ! 
I might have saved her ! now she's gone for ever ! 
Cordelia, Cordelia ! stay a little. Ha ! 

N. S. SOC. TRANS., 1880-2. Q 


What is't thou say'st 1 Her voice was ever soft, 
Gentle and low, an excellent thing in woman. 
I killed the slave that was a-hanging thee. 

And my poor fool is hang'd. No, no, no life ! 
Why should a dog, a horse, a rat, have life, 
And thou no breath at all 1 Thou'lt come no more, 
Never, never, never, never, never ! 
Pray you, undo this button. Thank you, sir. 
Do you see this ? Look on her, look, her lips, 
Look there ! look there ! [Dies." 

If these lines represent the "sigh of a spent wave," or the "closing 
of the eyes of the victims " after the main business of the tragedy 
is over, if this anguish is a mere corollary or addendum to the 
battle, then Mr Spedding's alteration of the received division of 
acts in Lear is to be commended ; if the crisis depicted in these lines 
corresponds to the death of Desdemona, the death of Hamlet, the 
death of Macbeth, in the respective dramas, and is in fact the climax 
of the whole, then it seems to me that it were better to leave the 
received text alone. 

p. 203-218.] 

Mr W. G. Stone has kindly reminded me of Doll Common in the 
Alchemist, which I had stupidly forgotten. The importance of the 
instance lies in this. Shakspere evidently intended to give Tearsheet 
as a significant name. Jonson was the writer of that day who 
habitually and on principle gave significant names to his characters 
Brainworm, Downright, Well bred, Macilente, Fastidious, Erisk, 
Volpone, Mosce, Sir Politick Would-be, &c. &c. Hence the fixing 
by both upon the one prsenomen * Doll ' in both instances, or I may 
say in the three instances, is proof that it also was considered 
significant. B. N. 

Taste your legs, sir. Tw. N. III. 1. 75. This phrase, used by 
Sir Toby, and as I take it a cut by Shakspere at one of the fashion- 
able cant or affected phrases of the day, I found used by a Devonshire 
carrier to his horse in R D. Blackm ore's tale of Christowell in Good 
Words, 1881. On enquiry, that gentleman informs me that he has 
not borrowed it from Shakspere, but that 'taste' which he is in- 
clined to think is, in its provincial use, a variant of * test 'is in 
common use in Devonshire both in this phrase and in others. B.N. 



(Read at the 73rd Meeting of the Society, Friday, November 11, 1881.) 

ALL'S WELL is a drama of the temperate zone. There is neither 
meridian sunshine nor northern storm. We do not feel the warm 
breath of the south wind : we do not listen to the moan of the north 
sea. But we stand looking on what some might call a tame land- 
scape, rather deficient in colouring, with a gray English sky over it 
all. There is an afternoon air about the piece. The sun has gone 
westward, and the very title of the drama suggests a quiet English 
sunset in September. The midday blaze of Romeo's passion is over, 
and we have yet to hear the howl of the winds that burst at midnight 
on Lear's head. But the afternoon is passing : we are in a transition 
stage. We have left the luxuriant efflorescence of Titania's bower 
and the * golden world ' of the Forest of Arden. We have lost for 
ever the burning cheeks of Juliet and the roguish amorous eyes of 
Rosalind. Youth is gone with its affectuous capriccios. And we are 
yet to witness the Soul's Tragedy of the Poet, the gloom of night 
descending on him as it must descend on each who endeavours to 
rede the riddle. By the anguish of fierce lightning we shall see him 
sitting in the Valley of the Shadow. We are here between the 
burning sunshine and the tragic gloom. It is as if we were just 
come into the more serious affairs of life. Shakspere has begun to 
be earnest, to realize that " the web of our life is of a mingled yarn," 
to speculate upon the human soul as a compound " of good and ill 
together," to beat out of his heart a key to the mystery. He sits 
down by the Gateway of the Valley, and reflects. He is so full of 
thought that he can call up little more of his late exuberance of joy 
than a sober smile. He is begun to be " wrapt in dismal thinkings." 
Nay he even inclines to be caustic. " Sharp stings are in his mildest 

So much is this the case that it is hardly correct to call the play 
a comedy. Both the comic characters and the comic scenes are 
suffused with such a light from the dramatist's grave eyes, as renders 
them almost serious. Perhaps the most humorous touch in the 
play is observed in the merry twinkle of Diana Capulet's eye when 
she is bewildering both king and lords with her evidence. She 
knows she is in no danger, that the end will show that all is well. 
She has a taste for humour that makes her enjoy the spectacle of 
Bertram wishing to hide. She speaks with a ' malicious mockery ' 
that reminds us of the naughty wench whose trickery carried the 
heart of Sir Toby Belch. We enjoy her suppressed laugh when she 
sees the king and old Lafeu staring at one another helpless with 
astonishment, and Bertram divided between distraction at his own 
shame and confoundment at the holy-cruel virgin's hardihood. But 
the scene is not comic. The humiliation of Bertram is not laughable 
because it is not single-sided. There is the injured wife waiting at 
the door to be admitted, and we look forward to the closing impres- 
sion of the piece. We are to have the satisfaction, if we can, that 
Bertram's vagaries are over ; we are to leave him in the arms of 
brave little Helena who has watched and guarded him, has won him, 
and is pleased with him, who is confident, let us hope, of his 
development into genuine manliness. We are to believe that the 
bitter is past and ' all is well ended.' 

The only characters in the drama that can lay claim to a comic 
role are Parolles and the clown both of them original introductions 
of Shakspere into Boccaccio's story. But Lavache has an instinct 
towards domesticity and seriousness that remove him from the 
companionship of Touchstone. " He is a shrewd knave and an 
unhappy." He is a genuine growth of Shakspere's mind at this 
stage of his life, for Shakspere had begun to see the world " wanton 
sicke as one surfetting on sinne." The fool is at all times an element 
in Shakspere's reflex of life. Perhaps this is because folly is a 
principal element in life itself, and so much of the world's wisdom is 
only a wise folly. Perhaps it is because we relish folly even when 
we are most inclined to seriousness, for even the staid countess can 
" play the noble housewife with the time and entertain it merrily 


with a fool," and even Olivia with the ache in her breast can pass a 
while bandying light chatter with her clown " for want of other 
idleness." Perhaps it is because Shakspere must have outlet for that 
fountain of humour that was bubbling up within him, because the 
grotesqueness of life's relations bore in upon him so irresistibly, that 
while he was writing he must either have a fool or a separate note- 
book. Perhaps he had a suspicion that the vote between the world 
and the fool is in many cases like that between the world and the 
madman, merely the vote of the majority. Perhaps he saw the sick 
world, " leaning on her elbowe, devising what doctour may deliver 
her, what phisicke may free her," and this is the anodyne, the 
sugared pill, the feather in the ear that makes each ass forget his 
load a little. What are we to make of this ? " I am a woodland 
fellow, sir," says the clown to Lafeu, after declaring that he serves 
the Black Prince, the Prince of Darkness, "that always loved a 
great fire ; and the master I speak of ever keeps a good fire. But 
sure he is the prince of the world : let his nobility remain in's court. 
I am for the house with the narrow gate, which I take to be too 
little for pomp to enter : some that humble themselves may ; but the 
many will be too chill and tender, and they'll be for the flowery way 
that leads to the broad gate and the great fire." Whatever Shakspere 
felt when he wrote that speech, we should hardly call it comic, 
however comical we might consider the subject. 

Parolles is the other. He is provided by the dramatist as a means 
to the development of Bertram and to the more natural consummation 
of the plot. He is so life-like that we cannot endure him. The 
only thing comic about him is the shadow he casts. It is not 
himself we laugh at : it is the mirth he affords to the merry soldiers. 
It is not the target : it is the marksmen that supply us the fun. 
He is a mere butt, this Parolles, the parlant, who knows German, 
French, Italian, Dan'sh, Low Dutch, who " loves not many words 
more than a fish loves water," who is " ready to speak that which 
you will wonder at," an if he do not, damn him. He is utterly 
different from genial Jack Falstaff. He has no cleverness, no 
humour, no metal in him. He is not only "a notorious liar," but he 
is " a great way fool, solely a coward," one that " lies three-thirds 


and uses a known truth to pass a thousand nothings with" a 
jackanapes, "flaunting in scarfs and bannerets, with his arms 
gartered up, his sleeves like hose" whom to look at is to ask 
" who's his tailor ? " and if, according to the authorized diagnosis of 
dandies, that look satisfies him, it also is enough to satisfy us that 
" the soul of this man is his clothes." We look at this " window of 
lattice " and we look through it. Even his outward manners are 
"scurvy courtesies." He disgusts everybody but Bertram. We, 
too, with the clown, hold our noses, and say to him " Prithee get 
thee further." He is more like the creation of a satirist than that of 
a comic dramatist. I have no doubt Shakspere meant him to be a 
comic character, but there are features of this creation which prevent 
us from regarding him merely as such. He is not created merely to 
be comic. The very position which he is introduced to occupy, the 
part which he is made to take in the development, has a meaning 
other than ludicrous. Even John Drum's entertainment is depicted 
not for our amusement so much as for the edification of Bertram. 
This ' very tainted fellow ' is created in order to be utterly and 
unsparingly humiliated. Such a picture of innate worthlessness, for 
a time successful, finally covered with mud, once having " held 
familiarity with fresher clothes," at last flung into " an unclean fish- 
pond," might have been sketched by Thackeray. But towards the 
close the heart of the poet relents. He has laid him stript in the 
kennel, what says he there 1 

" If my heart were great, 

'Twould burst at this. Captain I'll be no more ; 
But I will eat and drink, and sleep as soft 
As captain shall. Simply the thing I am 

Shall make me live 

Bust, sword ! cool, blushes ! and, Parolles, live 
Safest in shame ! being fooled, by foolery thrive ! 
There's place and means for every man alive. 
I'll after them." 

This " snipt-taffeta fellow " is not worth being angry with. It was 
Lafeu first found him: and though the old lord, endeavouring to 
unmask him, does him the " most insupportable vexation," and finds 
him " scarce worth taking up," yet in the end, when he sees him 


" cruelly scratched of fortune," he says to the ragged, dirty dandy, 
"Though you are a knave and a fool, you shall eat : go to, follow." 

There are the comic characters. This ' Comedy ' has almost the 
tone of a man who is beginning to discover that his honeymoon is 
spent. More seriously, it is the work of one who has turned away 
from watching the last gleam of youth vanishing, and whose 
experience makes him sad : it is a comedy written by Jaques. 
There is no resemblance between it and the Taming of the Shrew 
or Love's Labour's Lost, except in some mechanical details of play- 
wright work. I can understand Shakspere selecting this subject 
when he was younger to make a comedy out of it. It is also easy to 
understand that he should resume it with a riper experience, and 
recast it into what the subject will alone bear to become within the 
limits of delicacy a serious drama. A comedy out of this plot was 
more befitting Wycherley than Shakspere. He seems to have taken 
up sorrowfully the work of his youth, and felt while remoulding it 
that "we would be young again if we could." 

It does not appear to me that there is any central idea in this 
play such as generates volumes of German criticism. It appears 
idle to attempt with Gervinus et hoc genus omne to reduce any one 
of Shakspere's plays to a single element, to babble about the idea 
of the play, the moral centre of the play, the spiritual centre of the 
play, from which all the rest is to radiate off. Such an attempt 
reminds us of the essayist in Natural History who retired into his 
study to evolve, from the depths of his own consciousness, the idea 
of a camel. It looks much like the workings of that children's toy 
known as the Wheel of Life. Take anywhere in life a combination 
of individuals such as you see in one of Shakspere's plays : is there 
any moral or spiritual centre to which all may be said to converge, 
any philosophastrian ' idea ' by which all may be explained 1 There 
is no single character in life that can be explained in this way 
except perhaps a fanatic or a philosopher; much less can any 
combination of characters. Granted that Shakspere selects, and that 
he has a plot : that is far from saying that he selects and plots from 
a spiritual centre, and still further from saying that his men and 
women are to be explained with his plots and his selection from some 


pre-conceived central idea. Walter Scott selects and has plots, and 
the full moon exhibits not a greater perfection of roundness and 
unity than his work : but to explain the characters and action of any 
of his novels by dyspeptic jargon about spiritual centres and the 
idea of the piece, would hardly occur to any one short of a German 

For as dull as a first cursory reading might lead one to consider 
this play, there burns through it a glow of life which we miss in the 
vivacity of Shakspere's earlier performances. There is an under- 
breathing intensity, a strength of passion not unlike that which 
carries us through the seemingly dull pages of Wuthering Heights. 
At the very beginning our interest is centred in the sensitive girl 
who but for a few words stands silent while the adieus are being 
spoken, the fervour of whose feeling prevents her even from saying a 
word when, with tears in her eyes, she shakes hands, we may say, 
with him of whom her heart is too sorrowfully filled. Then when 
all are gone she waits beside us and thinks aloud, drawing us toward 
her with sympathy for that grief which she not merely affects, 
revealing a heart that has experienced the passion of love, not the 
amusement, not as a sweet slight pleasure, but as a terrible reality 
which has become for her the whole meaning of life. Like Giglietta 
of the tale, she has fallen fervently in love with Bertram, more than 
is meet for a maiden of her age. Even the image of her dead father 
is driven out by Bertram's. Her imagination carries in it no favour 
but Bertram's. There is no living, none, if Bertram be away. 


" 'Twere all one 

That I should love a bright particular star 
And think to wed it, he is so above me. 

The hind that would be mated with the lion 
Must die for love." 

The love of this woman's heart bears us through the play. 

When Bertram goes, Helena has at first no thought of seeing 
him again. Her only thought is in her idolatrous fancy to sanctify 
his relics ; the only compensation she has for the plaguing prettiness 
of seeing him every hour and drawing " his arched brows, his hawking 


eye, his curls" in the too capable tablet of her heart. In the 
infatuation of her passion she loves even Parolles for Bertram's sake, 
and all but unbosoms the fulness of her feeling in his ears. It is 
perhaps because she knows he is too dull a fool to comprehend, that 
she eases the throbbing of her heart in a whirl of passionate utterance, 
speaking of " a thousand loves." But the inspiration of her love is 
embodied in such wisdom and clear insight as reveal that it is no 
"blinking Cupid gossips" in "that world of pretty fond adoptions 
Christendoms," but a strong divinity that looks into Bertram's need 
of " a guide, a counsellor, a friend." Her passion is not blind like 
Juliet's or Olivia's, demanding only possession. She sees what 
Bertram requires, and she is conscious of her own strength to prove 
herself his goddess and his sovereign. " I'll never do you wrong for 
your own sake/' she says afterwards to one of the French lords, but 
some of her Christendoms here show that she was prepared to do 
Bertram an outward wrong for his own sake. She even says that he 
will find in her 'an enemy.' But she knows that if he will take 
her, by making his ambition humble, she will convert his humility 
into something proud. She has a rare confidence that she will be 

" His jarring concord and his discord dulcet, 
His faith, his sweet disaster." 

When Shakspere's characters feel poetry, they utter it. They are 
given to expression. They are passionate, and they speak their 
passion. What we mortals in life feel, they express. Their tumult 
of the heart is given utterance in multitudinous metaphors. So 
Helena speaks here. This is one of the necessities of dramatic 
representation. Miss Evans 1 could maintain a running commentary 
of analysis : Shakspere has no parallel column. His characters have 
to do all for themselves. We do not consider them unreal in this. 
Perhaps we should not express ourselves in such terms, but it is only 
through outward expression that their emotion can be revealed to 
us, and having felt this we at once grant its truth and genuineness. 
We know that the language in their mouth is a reflex of their state 
of mind, and the confusion or exaggeration of figures is but the 

1 George Eliot, Mrs Cross. 


intermixture or intensity of their feelings made outward. A similar 
dramatic necessity produces the soliloquies. That we may follow 
their thoughts, it is necessary that they should think aloud. Over- 
looking this mechanical necessity, all the rest is truth. Their 
soliloquies are always their natural thoughts : sometimes they are 
ours, if the circumstances are parallel. Not a few have lived through 
Hamlet's " To be, or not to be." 

It is from one of these soliloquies, the one spoken when Parolles 
leaves her, we gather that Helena's decisive strength has beaten 
her passion into a resolve : she has made up her mind to go after 
Bertram. It is interesting to notice how Shakspere has here varied 
the course laid down for him in the original story. The project 
itself is taken from Giglietta, who "being verie pensife " for 
Beltramo's departure, longs "only to see the young counte," but 
cannot find " a lawfull occasion to goe to Paris." But Helena is 
swifter in resolve; and circumstance is altered to suit her speed. 
Giglietta has to wait until she " refuses many husbandes." She can 
find no convenient way to accomplish her journey, " being diligently 
looked to by her kinsfolke." It is only after she has heard that 
Beltramo is " grown to the estate of a goodly young gentleman," that 
the desired occasion is furnished by report of the king's disease. In 
the play the fistula is spoken of in the opening scene, and the scene 
closes with Helena's resolution to provide her own remedy. For the 
improbability of the story Shakspere is not accountable : his supreme 
own merit is that by force of heart-love he has rendered improbability 
probable. Here, as in every spot where his creative touch has 
rested, we have living human beings, with their passion s, their incon- 
sistencies, their mystery. He has taken up a mechanised lascivious 
story and transformed it into a creation of the most genuine artistic 
delicacy, and shown us how it might have been realized in actual 
life. He has breathed the breath of his own life into the personages. 
We see that they have hearts and minds, and we are interested in 
them for their own sakes, just as we are interested in one another. 
Giglietta in the tale is " wonderfull glad " when she hears of the 
king's disease : she sees in it " an occasion, if the disease were suche, 
easily to bryng to passe that she might have the counte Beltramo to 


her husbaiide." Helena is preserved to womanhood by not seeing 
so far : she merely tells us that " her intents are fixed, and will not 
leave her." She has in view the winning of Bertram, indeed ; but 
she does not "follow him by any token of presumptuous suit." She 
will not have him " until she does deserve him." She is not a black- 
and white husband-seeker like Giglietta. She is so human that she 
cannot be put down in a single sentence. All we can read of her at 
this stage is that she cannot be away from Bertram, and she is 
determined to risk the journey to Paris, "striving against hope," 
" knowing she loves in vain," yet vaguely endeavouring to know 
"how her desert should be." She "loves dearly" and "wishes 
chastely," but her utterance is " in the most bitter touch of sorrow." 
It is only when she is strengthened by the benign Countess's " leave 
and love," a touch of Shakspere and of nature added to Boccaccio's 
picture that she is fortified to the "strange attempt" which she 
accomplishes in presence of the king. 

She is a lovely woman, this Countess, saddened and made sweet 
by sorrow. Her stateliness and calm are derived, not from nobility 
of birth and rank, but from " many quirks of joy and grief." Her 
experience has filled her heart with sympathy. She too has bled 
from the thorn that belongs to our rose of youth. Her own 
" remembrances of days foregone " are awakened at sight of " the 
distempered messenger of wet " in Helena's eye. Sweetly human, 
she recognizes " the show and seal of nature's truth " in the love's 
strong passion of Helena for her son : and she favours this, because 
she disbelieves in titles that are not of nature's creation. She 
believes with the king that "good alone is good without a name." 
And she sees that Helena with her fair gifts " without other 
advantage may lawfully make title to as much love as she finds." 
When she learns of her rash and unbridled boy's repudiation of 
Helena's " dear perfection," having the image of her dead lord in 
her memory, she is ready to wash Bertram's name out of her blood, 
and say to Helena, " Thou art all my child." For 

" that is honour's scorn 
Which challenges itself as honour's born 
And is not like the sire." 


But withal she has a great love for her boy. She believes there is 
nothing in France too good for him, save only Helena. Her heart is 
divided in the endeavour to keep them both. Which of them is 
dearest to her, she has " no skill in sense to make distinction." 
She " loves her gentlewoman entirely " : though Helena had par- 
taken of her own flesh, she says she could not have owed her a 
more rooted love. Afterward though she thinks Bertram had been 
the death of the " most virtuous gentlewoman that ever nature had 
praise for creating," she pleads his excuse with the king, beseech- 
ing his majesty to " make it natural rebellion, done i* the blaze of 

Very likely the fond mother spoilt this son of hers. When 
we know him first, he singularly resembles a spoilt child. He 
has all the unthinking selfishness of one accustomed to gratify 
every whim, all the froward pride and moral helplessness of one 
unaccustomed to look beyond himself. He imagines himself a 
superior being to Helena because his father was called a count. 
With boyish disdain he exclaims to the king : " A poor physician's 
daughter my wife ! I know her well : she had her breeding 
at my father's charge." Then with the weakness of a spoilt 
child he recants, and when he considers what " dole of honour " 
flies where the king bids it, finds "the praised of the king so 
ennobled as she were born so." He takes her hand. He has not 
courage to persist in his refusal. But he shelters himself behind 
deceit. The two-faced imbecile does what the king tells him, in 
order that he may get outside and run away. Nor does he stop 
here. He sends a lying message to Helena to excuse himself with 
her, and turning to characteristic account her faith and ingenuous 
nature, he commands her to go and tell a lie to the king that he 
may excuse himself with him. He is desperate to get away, and he 
will stick at no deceit until he does get away. Then when he is out 
of reach he can afford to send his pusillanimous impudence in 
letters. Parolles is the fit companion of such a creature. 

It is Helena upon whom Shakspere has lavished his idolatrous 
care : she is the Drama. Coleridge has called her " the loveliest of 
Shakspere's characters." All, except Bertram, she captivates. 


Her " wisdom and constancy " carry old Lafeu's head, and he can 
scarcely contain himself when he thinks that the lords are refusing 
her hand. The king declares, with some warmth, " all that life can 
rank worth name of life have estimate in her " 

" Youth, beauty, wisdom, courage, all 
That happiness and prime can happy call." 

All the lords are willing to marry her. Her praise is everywhere. 

" Her beauty did astonish the survey 
Of richest eyes, her words all ears took captive, 
Her dear perfection hearts that scorned to serve 
Humbly called mistress." 

Diana and the widow conspire for her, follow her to France, and 


" Let death and honesty 
Go with her impositions, and they are hers 
Upon her will to suffer." 

But we are impatient of others' praises of this maiden with her love- 
liness of form and soul, her sweetness and delicacy, her wise words 
falling from lips so young and fair, her fervour and her sadness, her 
soft invincibility, her strong submissiveness. The single flaw in her 
"dear perfection" is her love for Bertram. Yet it is to this that 
all her action and her feeling have reference. It is this infatuation 
that " goads her by most sharp occasions," and carries her through 
circumstances where her tenderness without her strength would 
shrink so summarily to " lay nice manners by." She will risk any- 
thing for the creature of her adoration ; but her tender womanhood , 
notwithstanding her courage, feels the blushes on her cheek when 
she is to choose from the assembled lords. But she is staking her 
whole existence on this hazard : if she is refused " let the white 
death sit on her cheek for ever." Unlike Giglietta, she has not a 
thought of turning to mercenary matrimonial account the king's 
obligation to his preserver by securing his kingly command that 
Bertram shall marry her. When Bertram says that he cannot love 
her, and will not strive to do it, she turns with a pang of resigna- 
tion to the king, as though all were endtd, and her existence had 
lost its meaning : 


"That you are well restored, my lord, I'm glad : 
Let the rest go." 

She is not, indeed, a woman like Viola, who will let concealment 
feed on her damask cheek. But she is from pole to pole removed 
from that growth of modern ' civilization ' a strong-minded female. 
That willingness of hers to retire wounded, with only blackness and 
blank before her, is the very flower and coronation of her womanly 
nature. In this single touch of the master's hand all the difference 
between her and Giglietta, all the difference between Shakspere 
and Boccaccio is consummated. 

The perfection of that love which casts out fear is revealed in 
her satisfaction when Bertram at last agrees to take her we might 
almost say, it is that folly of passion which brings blindness. She 
never suspects that he is deceiving her : she is willing in everything 
to wait upon his will. She has given herself and service, ever 
whilst she lives, into his guiding power. Her penetration, so acute 
in all else, finds no employment when she is speaking with Bertram. 
When he makes explanation about his departure she is not doubtful 
of his intention : she is trustfully resigned. With her heart in a 
flutter, she timorously ventures a hint that he might kiss her before, 
he goes : let us hope that he had not the courage to perpetrate a 
refusal which would have crushed her opening bud of joy. She 
retires, and the pair, Bertram and Parolles, are left to mutual praise- 
worthiness the Parolles, the Bertram a pair that might properly 
have been hooted and pelted off the stage. 

At last Helena learns the truth, terrible to her. In broken 
utterances she can only say, " My lord is gone, for ever gone," "This 
is a dreadful sentence," " 'Tis bitter." The stinging pathos of her 
brief words pierces the more acutely, coming from one whose pleni- 
tude of thought and feeling has grown with no habit of full expres- 
sion. She is at all times a woman of few words, and she seems to 
be one who has found life too serious for indulgence in trivial things. 
That we encounter her in the complete ardour of that passion, 
which has entered into the very core of her being, and transfuses 
every part of her existence with its intense earnestness, favours, by 
its revelation of that to which her passion develops her, instead of 


precluding, our generalization that she is a woman the look of whose 
eyes forbids us to expect from her the charm of a sportive wit and 
fancy. Granting to the full her continuous tension of soul as we 
observe her, we can imagine none of the frolic merriment of girlhood 
in Helena, even at her natural ease as she may have been before she 
merged her personality in Bertram. Adorned in her ingenuous 
nature with all the graciousness and grace of womanhood, she has 
none of the brilliance of Beatrice or the beautiful sweep of Cleopatra's 
glory. Her present resemblance to her foster-mother indicates that 
one day, when the play is closed and perhaps Bertram dead, she will 
be another Countess of Rousillon, only wiser, stronger, shrewder, 
than the previous one. 

Though Bertram were to slay her, yet would she trust him. 
Even in her desertion when she has been cheated, insulted, and cast 
off by him, with an exquisite unselfishness beside which her 
husband is irredeemably black, she only upbraids herself for, the 
injury she has done him in " chasing him from his country, and 
exposing those tender limbs of his to the event of the none-sparing 
war." The thought is too cruel to endure : she will steal away, like 
a poor thief, and let rumour be carried to him of her flight " to 
consolate his ear," and let him return to the possession of his own. 
She does not quit her home with a scheme for the accomplishment 
of his conditions : she goes, a despairing wanderer, and it is only 
after she has gone, giving up all, that matters become clearer to her, 
and she is enabled to resolve and act once more. She never flinches 
in her faithfulness to him. Even when she finds him revelling with 
all a soldier's license in Florence, she appears as one whose vision of 
eventual felicity has drawn her eyes beyond present unseemliness 
and the misery of mistrust. Even in the final scene when he has 
been utterly exposed and overwhelmed with shame, she has no word 
of reproach for him : her perfect truth can imagine nothing more 
grievous than " deadly divorce " from her beloved. 

This is the one flaw in Helena her love of Bertram. We find no 
tault in her, except that she can be fond of such a creature. He is 
no doubt a handsome youth : he has inherited a goodly face and 
shape from his father. But he gives no evidence of having a mind, 


unless what is revealed in the beastly appetite for fighting. It is 
inexplicable that Helena should so entirely lose herself in contempla- 
tion of such a cruel, cunning, deceitful, selfish animal, however 
perfect the lines and curves of his figure. The case is infinitely 
worse than that of Maggie Tulliver and Stephen Guest, 1 or of 
Dorothea and Will Ladislaw. 2 Towards the Stephens of actual life 
we are usually indifferent : things like them have not the force to 
move our feelings. They are worthless, but they are commonly 
harmless. It is only against Stephen as the accepted of Maggie, 
that our indignation rises. And for Will Ladislaw, we almost like 
him, if Dorothea would not. But Bertram is more than completely 
worthless ; he is corrupt. Apart from Helena's love for him and his 
rejection of her, we cannot suppress into indifference our angry 
disgust that such a being should live and prosper. It is said that he 
is brave : his bravery is merely that of a lower animal, a bulldog, a 
fighting cock. Where is his courage when he is brought face to 
face with Diana Capulet whom he meant tc seduce and to abandon 1 
That is the same bravery as he showed towards Helena and the 
king, when he made himself a jest for the Clown by telling lies and 
running away. We wonder what Helena sees in him to love, just 
as we look at Dorothea, and wonder, and at Maggie Tulliver, and 
wonder. But Shakspere understood the mystery of love as inti- 
mately as did Miss Evans, and we evidently speak his mind as well 
as hers when we repeat the commonplace of Adam Bede's Diana, 
that " it is mysterious how one draws to another." Helena is 
successful. Her Love's Labour has won. But what, after all, has 
it won 1 Bertram ! 

1 ' Mill on the Floss.' 2 ' Middlernarch ' : George Eliot. 

Buttery-bar, sb. Twelfth Night, I. iii. 74. "Come to the 
Buttery bar, stitty stitty stammerer, come honest constable, hey 
the watch of our towne, we'll drinke trylill I faith." 1600. Looke 
about you, sig. C 2, back 

fico, sb. a fig : My. Wives, I. iii. 33. " Pica, a figge . . Also a 
flurt with ones fingers giuen in disgrace ; fare le fica, to bid a figge 
for one." 1598. Florio. A Worlde of Wordes. 



(Read at the 76tk Meeting of the Society, Friday, Feb. 10, 1882.) 

1 . Influence of Lyly on Shakspere, 

and of the Renascence on European 

2. The 4 Styles parodied in Love's 

Labour's Lost, p. 244. 
3. Characteristics #/" Euphuism, and 

Shakspere's parody of it, p. 250. 

4. Euphues and Euphuism adapted 
from the Spaniard GUEVAEA, 
p. 252. 

5. The successors of Euphuism : 

1. Sidney's Arcadianism, p. 260 ; 

2. Gongorism, p. 262 ; 3. Du.bart- 
asism, p. 264. 

1. JOHN LYLY'S influence as a dramatic writer upon Shakspere 
is now universally acknowledged. There is none of all the prede- 
cessors of our great poet that was in comedy the master of our great 
Master in such a degree as the author of Euphues. Lyly's nine 
plays, all written before 1589, were very popular when Shakspere 
began to write, and it is to them that he owes so much in the 
liveliness of his dialogues, in smartness of expression, and especially 
in that predilection for witticisms, quibbles, and playing upon 
words which he shows in his comedies as well as in his tragedies 
and historical plays. (1) Seven of Lyly's comedies were written in 
prose, and exhibit mostly the same style as his Euphues, or the 
Anatomy of Wit, 1578. That Shakspere was quite familiar with 
this curious book has been proved by Rushton, and is a matter of 
course, considering the popularity which it gained, so that it was 
printed eight times during Shakspere's life. This was principally 
due to the fact that Lyly did not merely introduce by his novel the 
style which we call 'Euphuism,' but that he adopted one of the 
fashionable extravagances already existing, and caused this particular 
affectation to become the universal manner of courtly conversation, 
so that " all our Ladies were then his Schollers ; and that Beautie in 
Court which could not parley Euphueisme was as little regarded as 

N. 8. SOC. TRANS., 1880-2. R 


she which now there speaks not French," as Ed. Blount remarks in 
1632. I say that it was one of those fashionable extravagances ; and 
I wish at once to make a distinction between Euphuism and some 
other analogous affectations, all of which were the offspring of a too 
servile imitation of foreign contemporary or ancient literature, but 
differed altogether from each other in their characteristic elements. 
Indirectly we must of course trace all these affectations of exuberant 
fancy and imagination to the revival of classical literature in Europe. 
In every country in Italy as well as in Spain, France, Germany, and 
England we find, after the beginning of the sixteenth century, the 
same contempt of the "base vulgar," the same servile imitation and 
translation of the masters of antiquity, as the first sign of a new 
literary era ; and, as the second> the desire to hear finer speech than 
the native language will allow. We very soon find in every country 
the high priests of refined speech trying to correct the vulgar tongue 
after the Latin and Greek or foreign contemporary languages. In 
every foreign literature of that time we find a representative of an 
exaggerated hyperbolical style or quaint metaphorical diction, who 
has stamped this extravagant taste with his name, although he 
only followed the tendency common to the whole civilized world up 
to the middle of the seventeenth century. In Spain we have 
Guevara's alto estilo, and later on, the estilo culto of Gongora ; in 
Italy the conceits of the Petrarchists, and Marini and the Marinists ; 
in France we meet Ronsard and his school, Dubartas and the 


" Marot et de Mornay pour le langage Frai^ois : 
Pour 1'Espaignol Guevare, Boccace pour le Toscan : 
Et le gentil Sleidan refait 1'Alleraand : 
Greene et Lylli tous deux raffiueurs de 1'Anglais." JOHN ELIOT, 1588. 

In England John Lyly is decidedly the most gifted author that 
followed this tendency of his age, and the hero of his novel has 
given the name to that style which Lyly adopted ; but, using this 
term, we must bear in mind that ' Euphuism ' is only one of many 
eccentricities, all of them due indirectly to the same tendency, tho' 
individually different, and showing different elements altogether. 

Euphues is a book written for ladies and for the court of Queen 
Elizabeth. It is a most important coincidence of circumstances that, 


just when the literary life in England began to be stirred for the 
first time, not only in an exclusive set of people, but in the wider 
circle of educated men and women, a Woman stood in the centre of 
that society, which always sets the fashion, not only for the court, 
but also for the most eminent representatives of the nation. This 
involved a great influence on taste in general ; and the peculiarities 
of this taste we are able to study now-a-days only in the literature 
belonging to that period. The politesse of gentlemen towards ladies 
was certainly not always artificial and affected ; there is much nature 
and delicate feeling in many of those Elizabethan sonnets, and much 
wit in the conversational intercourse of this period, but it was 
overdrawn, and became affected from different causes. The influence 
of the antique was yet fresh ; it was only an outward acquisition : and 
the adoption of this new world of ideas was at first only a very 
mechanical imitation, and must have been a very superficial one, 
because a critical study of the classical world was then impossible. 
When we see how classical mythology was abused to furnish 
flattering comparisons to the queen's loveliness, in what an absurd 
manner the gods and goddesses of Greece and Eome had to kneel 
before the all- surpassing beauty of Queen Bess, how porters and pies 
had to appear in an antique shape, we can understand it all by the 
tendency of the Renascence. That the sovereign of England, just 
about this time, was a woman, appears to me a very important fact, 
not only for the formation of the taste governing society, but for the 
whole development of literature and language. I don't only mean 
the gross adulation of poets and writers, but an element which we 
find at its height in the society connected with the Elizabethan 
court the cultivation of a finer language in the presence of ladies. 
If we look for the greatest extravagances and the greatest mischief 
done in these times in taste, diction, and style, we always find it in 
connection with the works written for ladies, written on the beauty 
of the fair sex, written with intent to show a dainty wit to the 
delicate mind. The cause of this was certainly not a want of 
genuine imagination, but an exuberance of fancy and a tendency 
misled for a time, until a stronger mind arose to smile at the 
surrounding eccentricities. Besides, we must bear in mind that 

R 2 


Elizabeth's was a time of revolution for the poetical world, and that 
those unaffected by it directly, decidedly owe much to the stirring 
influence of it. There sprang up a rage to create a startling diction, 
and a new style surpassing everything in existence.; and the influence 
of this tendency on the development of the English language was 
certainly very great. It was a leap leading first into mistakes and 
errors, but not without its happy result when cool reason and common 
sense gained the upper hand again. Another very important influence 
on this taste was exerted by the much greater facility with which new 
things, new ideas, new works, were made known to the reading and 
writing public. The intellectual intercourse of the different European 
nations was suddenly augmented by the invention of printing. We 
note its influence at once in the fact that the sixteenth century was the 
first century in which the art of translation flourished excessively. 
Thus foreign literatures, which showed similar eccentricities at this 
time, helped very much to strengthen the English deviation in taste 
and style. "We find the complaints of this outlandish fashion in 
manners, dress, and diction, as well in Wilson, Ascham, and Puttenham 
as in Lyly and Shakspere. But besides this, the discovery of new 
worlds, with all their treasures and new things, gave a new impulse 
and stir to fiction. Thus we can explain the favour with which 
Lyly's fabulous natural philosophy was met, only by the circumstance 
that these things were then commonly believed, since his wonders did 
not exceed those which were related by adventurous navigators. 


Shakspere's Love's Labour's Lost we may call the English 
Precieuses ridicules, because Shakspere in this play evidently breaks 
with the fashionable extravagances of taste flourishing about that 
time at the Elizabethan court and in good society. If we suppose 
this play written about 1589, we have just the time when that 
sickness as noble Sidney called it, of which he himself, as well as 
his fellows, felt sick was at its height, but when Euphuism was 
already declining. But in Love's Labour's Lost not only one particular 
affectation is ridiculed, but four different extravagances of speech, of 
the first of which, Don Adriano de Armado, of the second, the king 


ami his courtiers, and of the third and fourth, the pedantic school- 
master Holof ernes, are the representatives. 

I. That in Armado Shakspere ridicules shortly after the defeat 
of the Spanish Armada a Spaniard, is not to be attributed to his 
intention to ridicule Euphues, although, as I shall soon show, 
Euphuism took its origin in Spain, and was the style of a very 
popular Spanish author. Those elements which Armado exhibits in 
his speech are essentially different from Lyly's peculiar style. 

The king says of Armado (I. i. 163-179) 

" our court, you know, is haunted 

With a refined traveller of Spain ; 

A man in all the world's new fashion planted, 

That hath a mint of phrases in his brain : 

One who the music of his own vain tongue 

Doth ravish, like enchanting harmony ; 

A man of complements, whom right and wrong 

Have chose as umpire of their mutiny : 

This child of fancy, that Armado hight, 

For interim to our studies, shall relate, 

In high-born words, the worth of many a knight 

From tawny Spain, lost in the world's debate. 

How you delight, my lords, I know not, I ; 

But, I protest, I love to hear him lie, 

And I will use him for my minstrelsy. 

Biron. Armado is a most illustrious wight, 
A man of fire-new words, fashion's own knight." 

Armado' s bombastic style is best seen in the letter which he 
wrote to the king in I. i. 221-280 

"Great deputy, the welkin's vicegerent, and sole dominator of Navarre, 
my soul's earth's God, and body's fostering patron, So it is, besieged with 
sable-coloured melancholy, I did commend the black-oppressing humour to 
the most wholesome physic of thy health-giving air; and, as I am a gentle- 
man, betook myself to walk. The time when ? About the sixth hour ; when 
beasts most graze, birds best peck, and men sit down to that nourishment 
which is called supper. So much for the time when : Now for the ground 
which ; which, I mean. I walked upon : it is yclept thy park. Then for the 
place where ; where, I mean, I did encounter that obscene and most pre- 
posterous event, that draweth from my snow-white pen the ebon-coloured ink, 
which here thou viewest, beholdest, surveyest, or seest : But to the place 
where, It standeth north-north-east and by east from the west corner of thy 
curious-knotted garden. There did I see that low-spirited swain, that base 
minnow of thy mirth, that unletter'd small-knowing soul, that shallow vassal, 
which as I remember hight Costard sorted, and consorted, contrary to thy 
established proclaimed edict and continent canon, with with, O with but 
with this I passion to say wherewith with a child of our grandmother Eve, a 
female ; or, for thy more sweet understanding, a woman. Him I (as my ever- 
esteemed duty pricks me on) have sent to thee, to receive the meed of punish- 
ment, by thy sweet grace's officer, Antony Dull ; a man of good repute, carriage, 


bearing, and estimation. For Jaquenetta, (so is the weaker vessel called, 
which I apprehended with the aforesaid swain), I keep her as a vessel of thy 
law's fury ; and shall, at the least of thy sweet notice, bring her to trial. Thine, 
in all compliments of devoted and heart-burning heat of duty, DON ADBIANO 

High-flown words, bombastic quaintness, hyperbolical diction, 
far-fetched expressions for simple plain words, form the main in- 
gredients of the inflated style of this boasting Spanish knight. He 
does not ' laugh,' but ' the heaving of his lungs provokes him to 
ridiculous smiling ' ; he speaks of " the posteriors of the day, which 
the rude multitude call the afternoon." These are no elements of 
Euphuism ; besides, we know that such a Monarcho, a mad Italian, 
was quite a popular person, whom Barnaby Eich, in his Adventures of 
Brusanus, published in 1592, but written eight or nine years before 
this date, had ridiculed in Gloriosus, where we find in chapter xii. 
the following passage : 

" Gloriosus accuseth Castus. 

" ' I shall not neede (gratious Prince) to traveil much by circumstances, or 
use many wordes, to make my proofe the better against this wretched worme 
of the worlde, my credite beeing such here in the court, the testimony might 
seem sufficient, that Gloriosus having spoken the word, it should not bee 
gainesayde : to come to the purpose, as mine eare then glowed to heare, so my 
hart now panteth to thinke, what hatefull speeches were pronounced by this 
unhappy man Castus, so exclaiming of the lawyers, so cryinge out against the 
maiestrate, so slaunderinge of them both, as though there were neither law 
nor iustice to be hadd within the whole dominions of Kpirus.' " 

That this boasting bombast has nothing to do with Euphuism, we 
shall see soon. 

II. The king himself and the courtiers, as well as the ladies, 
exhibit a style and taste entirely different from that of Armado. 
They pour their love into dainty sonnets; and sharp repartees, 
witticisms, and word combats show their conceit. Biron says of 
Boyet(V. ii. 315-16) 

" This fellow pecks up wit, as pigeons peas, 
And utters it again when Jove doth please." 

And he confesses openly of himself (Y. ii. 394-413) 
" Thus pour the stars down plagues for perjury. 
Can any face of brass hold longer out ? 
Here stand I, lady ; dart thy skill at me ; 
Bruise me with scorn, confound me with a flout ; 
Thrust thy sharp wit quite through my ignorance ; 
Cut me to pieces with thy keen conceit ; 
And I will wish thee never more to dance, 


Nor never more in Russian habit wait. 

1 never will I trust to speeches penn'd, 
Nor to the motion of a schoolboy's tongue ; 
Nor never come in visor to my friend ; 

Nor woo in rhyme, like a blind harper's song: 
Taffata phrases, silken terms precise, 
Three-pil'd hyperboles, spruce affectation, 
Figures pedantical : these summer-flies 
Have blown me full of maggot ostentation : 

1 do forswear them : and I here protest, 

By this white glove, (how white the hand, God knows 1) 
Henceforth my wooing mind shall be exprest 
In russet yeas, and honest kersey noes." 

Shakspere ridicules here the spruce affectation of the English 
courtier, and the love-sick sonneteers of his age. Although all these 
passages do not exhibit that peculiar element which Lyly's Euphuism 
shows, we find here a much greater resemblance to the Euphuistic 
tendency to play with words and witty conceits which Lyly had 
adopted in his court plays. This predilection for conceited and 
metaphorical diction is principally due to the influence of Italian 
literature, and was, after Surrey's time, a common fault in the 
diction of poetry. Puttenham and Sidney censured it, but could not 
help following it themselves. The latter very justly remarks 

<c You that do search for every perling spring 
Which from the ribs of old Parnassus flows, 
And evry flower, not sweet perhaps, which grows 
Near there abouts, into our Poesie ring, 
You that do Dictionary's method bring 
Into our rhymes, running in rattling rows : 
You that poor Petrarch's long deceased woes 
With new born sighs and denizen'd wit do sing, 
You take wrong wayes, those far-fetched helps be such 
As do bewray a want of inward touch, 
And sure at length stoll'n goods do come to light." 

The direct influence of Petrarca and his followers on the diction 
of English poetry can be best seen in Tottel's Miscellany, in the 
Paradise of dainty Devices, and in Watson's Hekatompathia. Surrey 
was the first to introduce Petrarca's metaphorical diction, and we 
note its influence distinctly in two formal points, i. e. in trivial meta- 
phors, personifications, and hyperboles, and a predilection for epithets 
generally alliterating with their noun, which occur alike in almost 
every writer's devices. Expressions like " cloud of dark disdaine " 
were not familiar to the English poets before Surrey, but after 


him we find these trivial expressions repeated everywhere and 
abused. So we find always, " Cloud of envie, stormes of teares, 
a sea of wofull sorrowes, blast of black defame, chaynes of care, 
deadly droppes of dark disdaine, restless rage of deep devouryng 
hell, ground of great griefe, ragyng stormes of care, showers of 
tears." These were in Surrey's case simple translations from 
Petrarca's " pioggia di lagrimar, nebbia di sdegni" Apt epithets 
with every noun were then indispensable, as " sobbing sighs, scald- 
ing sighs, smokie sighes, stormy sighes, cloudy thoughts, hollow 
hart, harmfull helish hart, silly soul, suttle soul, silly simple soul, 
worldly wight, worthy wight, wanton wight, wretched wight, wofull 
wight, glaunzing gloze, doleful day, doutfull dying dolefull Dame, 
filthy froward fate, willfull will, grievous griefe, happie hap, highest 
happie hap, precious praise, lovelie love, lothsome life, wretched 
woe, wofull ease." 

That the whole manner and style of Petrarca's school, the display 
and detailed description of a very often merely fictitious love sick- 
ness was closely copied, up to the end of this century, is too well 
known. It reigned at the Elizabethan court, and it is this exagger- 
ated diction of the fictitiously love-sick poets which Shakspere 
ridicules in these courtiers, besides their witticisms and spruce 
affectation in conversation. 

III. The third representative of another literary eccentricity of 
Shakspere' s times, which we find in Love's Labour's Lost, is the 
pedantic schoolmaster Holof ernes. When Dull maintains that the 
killed deer was " not a haud credo, but a pricket," he exclaims 
(IY. ii. 13-20), 

Most barbarous intimation ! yet a kind of insinuation, as it were, 
in via, in way, of explication ; facere, as it were, replication, or, rather, 
ostentare, to show, as it were, his inclination, after his undressed, unpolished, 
uneducated, unpruned, untrained, or rather, unlettered, or, ratherest, uncon- 
firmed fashion, to insert again my Juiud credo for a deer.'' 

Shakspere ridicules here very humorously the pedantic scholar 
of his day, the Latin-English which was quite a fashion in court, 
just like French- and Italian-English were. Puttenham in 1589 
calls this mingle mangle Soraismus, and complains very much that 
they ' are daily spoke in court ' ; and "Wilson had already censured 


this affectation as early as 1553, when he gave in his Art of 
Mhetorique, " such a letter as William Sommer himself could not 
make a better for that purpose," beginning, 

" Ponderyng expendyng and revolutyng with myself your ingent affabilitee 
and ingenious capacitee, for mundane affaires : I cannot but celebrate and 
extolle your magnificall dexterite, above all other." 

Sidney's Rombus shows the same style, but he, as well as 
Shakspere, ridicules in the same person not only this dog Latin, but 
also the mania for alliteration. 

Rombus, in the Lady of the Mat/, addresses the Queen in the 
following terms : 

" Now the thunder-thumping Jove transfund his dotes into your excellent 
formosity, which have, with your resplendent beams, thus segregated the 
enmity of these rural animals : I am, potentissima domina, a Schoolmaster ; 
that is to say, a Pedagogue, one not a little versed in the disciplinating of the 
juvenile fry, wherein (to my laud I say it) I use such geometrical proportion 
as neither wanted mansuetude nor correction : for so it is described, Par care 
subiectos et debellire superbos. Yet has not the pulchritude of my virtues 
protected me from the contaminating hands of these Plebeians ; for coming 
solum modft, to have parted their sanguinolent fray, they yielded me no more 
reverence than if I had been some pecoriiis asinus. I, even I, that am, who 
am I ? Dixi verbus sapiento : satutn est. But what said that Trojan -ZEneas, 
when he soiourn'd in the surging sulks of the sandiferous seas 1 Htec olun 
memonasse juvebit. Well, well, ad propositos revertebo. The purity of the 
verity is, that certain pulcra puclla profecto, elected and constituted by the 
integrated determination of all this topographical region, as the Sovereign 
Lady of this dame May's month, hath been qiiodammodo, hunted, as you would 
say ; pursued by two, a brace, a couple, a cast of young men, to whom the 
crafty coward Cupid had, inguam, delivered his dire dolorous dart." 

This too is no element of Euphuism. Lyly's style is free from 
Latin and foreign-English, nor does he indulge in Latin quotations. 

IV. Besides this affectation, Shakspere ridicules in Holof ernes 
the abuse of alliteration, when he says (IV. ii. 56-8), 

" I will something affect the letter, for it argues facility. 
The praiseful princess pierc'd and prick' d a pretty pleasing pricket." 

In Henry IV. and V. Pistol affects this " fault of our common 
rhymers " in the same manner, speaking of " grievous ghastly gaping 
wounds," and " giddy fortune's furious fickle wheel." It is the com- 
plaint of almost every sound writer of the sixteenth century, "this 
hunting the letter of the rake-helly rout of our ragged Rhymers," 
even Puttenham not allowing more than three alliterating words in 
the same line. 

But is not alliteration one of the main elements of Euphuism ? 


It is, indeed. Lyly at least indulges in this kind of alliteration, like- 
wise in conceits and trivial metaphors, very frequently, just as much 
as Shakspere does, and as all his contemporaries do : he follows the 
common fault ; but this is the difference of Euphuism from every 
other affected style he applies it in a very peculiar artificial way. 



There is a passage in Henry IV. where Shakspere ridicules a 
fashionable literary affectation, different from all and each of the four 
that we have spoken of hitherto. I must quote the whole passage, 
because this is the only one where Shakspere purposely ridicules 
Euphuism. Falstaff, as king, says to the prince in 1 Henry IV. 
II. iv. 438-461 

"Peace, good pint-pot! peace, good tickl e -brain ! Harry, I do not only 
marvel where thou spendest thy time, but also how thou art accompanied : for 
though the camomile, the more it is trodden, the faster it grows, yet youth, the 
more it is wasted the sooner it wears. That thou art my son, I have partly 
thy mother's word, partly my own opinion ; but chiefly, a villainous trick of 
thine eye, and a foolish hanging of thy nether lip, that doth warrant me. If, 
then, thou be son to me, here lieth the point ; Why, being son to me, art thou 
so pointed at? Shall the blessed sun of heaven prove a micher, and eat black- 
berries ? a question not to be asked. Shall the son of England prove a thief, 
and take purses ? a question to be asked. There is a thing, Harry, which 
thou hast often heard of, and it is known to many in our land by the name of 
pitch : this pitch, as ancient writers do report, doth defile ; so doth the company 
thou keepest : for, Harry, now I do not speak to thee in drink, but in tears ; 
not in pleasure, but in passion ; not in words only, but in ?yoes also : And yet 
there is a virtuous man, whom I have often noted in thy company, but I know 
not his name." 

"We have here that peculiar parisonic antithesis, with transverse 
alliteration, which forms the main ingredient of Euphuism. There 
is no page in Euphues where we do not find that predilection for an 
equal number of words in collateral or antithetical sentences, well 
balanced often to the number of syllables, the corresponding words 
being pointed out by alliteration, consonance, or ryme. 

Some examples from Euphues will show this clearly. 

Euphues says to Eubulus, p. 40, 

" Father and friend (your age sheweth the one, your honestie the other), I 
am neither so suspitious to mistrust your good wil, nor so sottish to wmlike 
your good counsayle, as I am therfore to tAanke you for the first, so it standes 
me upon to thinke better on the latter : I meane not to cavil with you, as one 


loving sophistrie : neither to controwle you, as one having superioritie ; the 
one woulde bring my talke into the suspition of /raude, the other convince me 
of /oily. We werry, you melancholy : we zealous in affection, you iealous in 
all your doings : you testie without cause, we hastie for no ^uarrell : you 
caref ull, we carelesse : we bolde, you fearef ull : we in all poynts contrary unto 
you, and yee in all poynts unlyke unto us." 

Or Philautus to Euphues : 

" Although hitherto, Euphues, I have sArined thee in my /ieart for a #?'ustie 
/riende, I will s/mnne thee hereafter as a frothlesse /oe," or, " he wooeth 
women, provoked by youth, but weddeth not himselfe to wantonnesse as 
pricked by pleasure." 

The same we find in the above cited passage " For, Harry, now I 
do not speak to thee in drink, but in tears ; not in pleasure, but in 
passion, not in words only, but in woes also " ; and before, " Harry, I 
do not only marvel where thou spendest thy time, but also how thou 
art accompanied : for though the camomile, the more it is trodden, the 
faster it grows, yet youth, the more it is wasted the sooner it wears." 

In the latter sentence we find the second characteristic of 
Euphuism ridiculed directly, i. e. Lyly's predilection for comparisons 
taken from nature. 

Lyly says, p. 46, 

" Too much studie doth intoxicate their braines. for (say they) although 
yron, the more it is used, the brighter it is, yet silver with much wearing doth 
wast to nothing : though the Cammocke, the more it is bowed, the better it 
serveth, yet the bow, the more it is bent and occupied, the weaker it waxeth : 
though the Camomill, the more it is troden and pressed dotvne, the more it 
spreadeth, yet the Violet, the oftner it is handeled and touched, the sooner it 
withereth and decayeth." 

The author of Euphues frequently uses that " unnatural Natural 
Philosophy," indulging in the fabulous qualities of stones, herbs, and 
beasts. He took it from Pliny, his passages being often verbal 

Lyly's book labours, from beginning to end, under an oppressing 
load of examples and allusions to ancient history and mythology, as 
well as apophthegms from ancient writers. Shakspere very humor- 
ously ridicules this third principal element of Euphuism by saying, 

" There is a thing, Harry, which thou hast often heard of, and it is known 
to many in our land by the name of pitch : this pitch, as ancient writers do 
report, doth defile ; so doth the company thou keepest." 

I will not analyse here in detail Euphuism and its elements ; this 
has been done admirably by Dr. Weymouth in the Transactions of 
the Philological Society, 1870-72, and I could only repeat what I 


wrote a year ago in my Euplmismus (Giessen). The three features just 
pointed out are the main ingredients of the style : where we find this 
parisonic antithesis with transverse alliteration and consonance, these 
endless comparisons from nature, and that predilection for allusions 
and examples from ancient mythology, history and literature, we 
may say we have Euphuism. 


This curious style, which we find in prose only, was in vogue in 
England from about 1560 to 1590. It was not, as is usually stated, 
introduced or invented by John Lyly in his Euphues. Euphues had 
its predecessors, and Euphuism is not of original English growth, nor 
introduced from Italy, as is now the common opinion. Sir Thomas 
North published in 1557 his first work, a translation of a Spanish 
fictitious biography of Marcus Aurelius, written by Don Antonio de 
Guevara, who in 1529 published the original, Libra aureo de Marco 
Aurelio emperador : y eloguentissimo orator, just fifty years before the 
publication of the Euphues. North was not the first to english this 
book, famous throughout the world during the beginning of the 
sixteenth century on account of its morals, and more especially on 
account of its style. It had been first translated into English by 
Lord Berners in 1532, and had seen a long series of reprints. Nor 
were Berners and North the only admirers of the Spanish Arch- 
bishop's alto estilo in England. Hello wes, Eenton, Bryant, and 
Thimme had been busy in introducing this high sweet style, 
by translating the entire series of Guevara's other works into 
English. Of Berners's translation alone there are more than a 
dozen different editions known. Thus we have six different trans- 
lators, during forty years : a circumstance that involves a serious 
influence on the prose of any nation, if the translated style be 
notorious for its highness and sweetness. Guevara continually 
boasts of his alto estilo, saying that he was the first Castilian 
writer who wrote such a style, and that it was his own invention. 
This we have no reason to doubt. He was not only famous for 
it in Spain, but most of his works saw many translations into 
Italian, French, and German. 


Berners says of this book, 

" A ryght precious meate is the sentences of this booke. But finally the 
sauce of the sayd sweete style moveth the appetite. Many bookes there be of 
substantiall meates, but they be so rude and so unsavory, and the style of so 
smalle grace, that the first morcell is lothsome and noyfull." 

And Thimme, in the preface to A looking Glasse for the Court, 
first translated by Bryant, says of Guevara, 

" Whose pithie reasons, fyled speache 
And sugred wordes dyd move 
A worthie knight of English Court, 
Whom Henry kyng did love, 
Fyrst to translate from Forraine phraise 
Into our moderne tongue." 

And in the same way Sir Thomas North praises this high style 
in the preface to his translation, 

" The which is so full of high doctrine, so adourned with auncient histories, 
BO authorised with grave sentences, and so beautified with apte similitudes, that 
I knowe not whose eies in reading it can be weried, nor whose eares in hearing 
it not satisfied." 

The most prominent characteristic of Guevara's style is the 
parallelism of sentences, parisonic antithesis, well-balanced juxta- or 
contra-position of words and clauses ; and he has a predilection for 
pointing oat the corresponding words by consonance or rhyme. 
There is no chapter in Guevara's books where these twin phrases do 
not at once strike the eye ; they form the most prominent feature in 
Guevara's and Lyly's style. We do not, of course, find alliteration 
here, nor in any other Spanish writer, as we find it in English, 
because the Romance languages do not know it as English and 
German do, where it stood for ryme in early poetry. In North's 
translation of the enlarged Marco Aurelio con reloj, which bears 
the title The Dial of Princes, the Prologue begins, 

" The greatest vanitye that I fynde in the world is, that vayne men are not 
only content to be vaine in their life : but also procure to leve a memory of their 
vanity after their death. Many of the world are so fleshed in the world, that 
although it forsaketh them in deedes: yet they wyl not forsake it in theyr 
desires. For the remembrance of the pleasure past greatly augmenteth the 
paines present." 

But I will quote an example in Spanish and English, 

' ' No hay oy generoso senor ni delicada senora que antes no suffriesse una 
pedr/ida en la cabeca que no una cuchillada en la fama, porque la herida de 
la cabesa en un mes se la daran sana : mas la manzilla de la fama no saldra 
en toda su vida." 


" There is not at this daye so greate or noble a Lorde, nor Lady so delicate, 
but had rather suffer a blowe on the head with a stone, than a blot in their 
good name with an evil tongue. For the wounde of the heade in a moneth or 
two maye well be healed ; but the blemishe of their good name during life 
will never be removed." 

Often we find examples of elaborate antithesis like the fol- 
lowing : 

" El dia que una es publicada por hermosa, desde aquel dia la tienen 
todos en requesta. Ellos traibajando de la servir y ellas no rehus<z^0 de 
ser vistas." 


" Aunque quieras no puedes escapar de mi senorio. Porque si tu te quexas 
de ser desdichado en dichas : yo me precio de ser dichoso en desdichas. Pre- 
guuta te una cosa. Quando me viste harto estando tu hambriento? Quando 
yo dormia estando tu velando ? Quando tu trabajavas estando yo holgando ? 
Por cierto aun que las personas y haziendas eran proprias, los trabajos y 
desdichas siempre fueron comunes. Una cosa has de hazer si en mi amistad 
has de perseverar : que mis bienes sean tuyos, y tus males sean mios : pues tu 
naciste para regalo, y yo bivo para trabajo, y esto no lo digo fingido pues tu lo 
has en mi experimentado " (cap. Ixv.). 

Or (cap. xlii.) 

" Por cierto el hombre moco no es mas que un cuchillo nuevo, el qual por 
discurso de tiempo un dia se mella en los sentidos : otro dia se despunta en el 
juyzio, oy pierde el azero de las fuercas, manana le toma el orin de las enfer- 
medades, agora se tuerce con adversidades, agora seembota con prosperidades: 
quando de muy agudo salta por rico quando de muy gastado no corta por 
pobre : finalmente muchas vezes acontesce, que quanto mas con regalos el filo 
se haze delgado tanto mas le pone la vida en peligro." 

The second main element of Euphuism, the long rows of com- 
parisons taken from nature, we find in Guevara's book exactly as in 
Lyly's, the former, however, not using Pliny's fabulous natural 
philosophy, but introducing his plants and beasts with their real 

Thus Marcus Aurelius says (cap. x., appendix), 

" Of trouth, ye amorous dames, ye have tongues of the nature of fire, and 
your condicions like the pouder of a rotten tree. Accordyng to the dyversity 
of beasts, so nature hath in divers parts of the body placed their strength : as 
the Eagle in her byl, y* Unicorne in the home, the serpent in the taile, the 
bul in the head, the beare in his pawes, the horse in the breast, the dogge in 
the teath, the bore in the tuske, the doves in the winges, and the women in 
their tongues. For of trouth the flight of the dove is not so hyghe as the 
fantasy of your foolyshness is vaine ; the cat scratcheth not so sore with her 
nayles, as ye scratch the folish men with your importunities. The dogge 
hurteth not hym so much that he runneth after, as ye do y e sorowful lover 
that serveth you ; the life of him is not in so much daunger that catcheth the 
bul by the homes, as the fame of him that falleth in your hands. To conclude, 
the serpent hath not so much poyson in his taile as ye have in your tongues." 


The third principal feature of Euphuism, the predilection for 
ancient mythology and history, we may more readily excuse in 
Guevara's book, because his hero is a Eoman emperor, and his principal 
source Plutarch. This style soon crept, through the different transla- 
tions, into English prose. It was modified, however, in its English 
dress by alliteration, and its elements were gradually so abused that 
it was, when it fell into Lyly's hands, no more imitation, but the 
grossest possible exaggeration. We find its influence even in Koger 
Ascham's style. In his Schoolmaster, 1571, he defines Euphues in 
the following terms : 

" Euphues is he, that is apt by goodness of nit and /?pliable by the 
readmm of mill to learning, having all other qualities of the mind and parts 
of the body, that must another day serve learning ; and even as a fair stone 
requires to be set in the finest gold, with the best workmanship, or else it 
loseth much of the grace arid price, even so excellency in learning, and namely 
[ = especially] divinity joined with a comely personage, is a marvellous jewel 
in the world." 

Ascham's style is, however, pure and unaffected, and such passages 
are quite the exception. 

Three years before the publication of Euphues appeared A petite 
Pallace of Pettie his pleasure, by George Pettie, exhibiting already, 
to the minutest detail, all the specific elements of Euphuism. The 
novel of ' Sinorix and Gamma,' the first of the tales contained in 
this little volume, we find in Guevara's book, who took it from 
Plutarch. (2) 

But this is not all; Euphuism is not only adapted from 
Guevara's alto estilo, but Euphues itself, as to its contents, is a mere 
imitation of Guevara's enlarged biography of Marcus Aurelius englisht 
by Thomas North. The Dial of Princes and Lyly's Eupliues 
exhibit the same style. They coincide in their contents in many 
points, and both show the same dissertations on the same subjects. 
In both works are letters affixed at the end, and these letters treat of 
the same matter. In both occur the same persons, and some of these 
persons bear the same name. 

There is not much of a plot in either work ; the principal con- 
tents of each are long dialogues, soliloquies, and moral dissertations 
on love and ladies, God, friendship, courtship, youth and education, 
court and country. 


The heroine of Lyly's Euphues, Lucilla, daughter of Ferardo, is a 
very fickle, light-minded lady ; so is Lucilla, the daughter of Marcus 
Aurelius, whose light behaviour induces Guevara to bring in a long 
chapter " Of the sharpe wordes which Marcus Aurelius spoke 
to his wyfe and to his daughter ; " the same does Ferardo, the father 
of Lucilla, " who, with watrye eyes, and a woeful heart, began on 
this manner to reason with his daughter" (pp. 101-4). Guevara 
has in the first book of the Dial of Princes some five chapters 
on God : 

Chap. 4 : "Of the excellencye of the Christian religion (whereby 
the true God is known), and of the vanities of the auncientes in 
tymes past." Chap. 9 : "Of the true and living God, and of the mar- 
vailes he wroughte in the olde la we to manifest his divine power, and 
of the superstition of the false gods." Chap. 10: "That there is 
but one true God, and howe that realme is happie whyche hathe a 
kyng that is a good Christian." Chap. 11: "Of sundrie gods." 
Chap. 12: "Of other more naturall and peculiar goddes." Lyly 
therefore suddenly introduces Atheos, and tries to prove the existence 
of God in some twenty pages (p. 160. ss.). 

Marcus Aurelius writes a letter to his nephew Epesipo, who leads 
a bad life in the University of Athens. Euphues therefore writes a 
letter " to a young gentleman in Naples named Alcius, who, leaving 
his study, followeth all lightuesse, and lived both shamefully and 
sinfully, to the grief e of his friends and discredite of the universitie " 
(p. 190), and a very sharp letter (p. 157) "to the Gentlemen 
Schollers in Athens." 

The second book of the Dial is an imitation of Plutarch's book 
de educatione puerorum, " wherein the Authoure treateth, howe 
Princes and greate Lordes shoulde behave themselves towardes theyr 
wyves. And howe they ought to noryshe and bringe up their 
children." Lyly therefore brings in " Euphues and Ephoebus," with 
chapters, " That the child should be true born, no bastard. How 
the life of a young man should be led ; of the education of youth," 
following Plutarch verbally (pp. 123-159). 

Marcus Aurelius writes a letter to a gentleman, Domicio, and 
another one to Torquado, to comfort them in their banishment, this 


being another adaptation from Plutarch's book De exilio. Lyly 
therefore brings in a letter " Euphues to Botonio, to take his exile 
patiently," being almost verbally translated from Plutarch. Marcus 
Aurelius writes a very sharp letter " To the enamoured Ladies of 
Rome," inveighing against the fair sex. Euphues therefore has " A 
cooling Garde for Philautus and all fond lovers," being a very sharp 
invective against the frailties of women. Marcus Aurelius apologises 
for his invective, stating that he did not mean all, but only the 
frivolous ladies. Lyly therefore brings in a letter " To the grave 
Matrones and honest Maidens of Italy," apologising in the same 
manner. Guevara has letters of the emperor Marcus Aurelius to the 
ladies Macrina, Boemia, and Livia, with the answers of these ladies. 
Lyly therefore has " Euphues to his friend Livia," and " Livia from 
the Emperour's court to Euphues at Athens," up to which chapter 
we have heard nothing of an Emperor, whom Lyly, quite uncon- 
sciously it seems, here mentions, thinking evidently of the hero of 
Guevara's book. 

The fourth book of the Dial of Princes was translated by North 
from another of Guevara's works Aviso de privados y doctrina de 
cortesanos, " A looking Glasse for Courtiers." Lyly therefore 
suddenly abandons, in the second part, his tale of Euphues and his 
England, and introduces a courtier Fidus, living as a bee-keeper in 
the country, who tells the tale of his love, and how it came that he 
preferred life in the country to life at court ; following also the ideas 
which Guevara had put down in his Monosprecio de corte y 
Alabanga de aldea, translated by Bryant and Thimme under the 
title, " A looking glass for the court, or a Dispraise of the life of 
the Courtier, and a commendacion of the life of the husbandman." 
The second part of Euphues is a book on court life and courtiership 
in general, and is brought to an end with a eulogy on the Elizabethan 
court. When Euphues at the end withdraws from the world, he 
writes his letter from the Mount Silexedra, because Marcus Aurelius 
wrote from the Mount Celio, one of the hills of Kome. 

Often we cannot see in Lyly's book at all whether he writes for 
the time of Marcus Aurelius or that of Queen Elizabeth. In his 
first part he speaks of the Emperor, the Empresse, and their court ; 

N. S. SOC. TilANS., 1880-2. y 


in the second he openly brings in Elizabeth and the Elizabethan 
court, dropping the Emperor altogether. Likewise he brings in 
Roman and Italian ladies, Lucilla, Livia, Camilla, bearing the same 
names in Guevara's book Lucilla daughter of the Emperor, Livia 
the love of Marcus Aurelius, and Camilla a Roman lady. 

The University of Athens and scholars of Athens in Guevara's 
book suit very well the whole period of Marcus Aurelius' s reign. 
Lyly speaks of them in his first part, but has to confess in a later 
edition that he meant Oxford and Cambridge. 

In short, Lyly does not introduce in his book, as many of his 
contemporaries did, the Italy of his time, but contrasts the antique 
Italy of Marcus Aurelius with his modern country. Euphues him- 
self is a queer mixture of the ancient philosopher of Guevara's 
book, the courtier and lover of Lyly's time, and the scholar of an 
English University. 

That Lyly's two volumes are compiled from different sources, 
ancient and modern, is evident. He brings in abruptly persons 
never before mentioned, he inserts in his second part tales which 
have nothing to do with the plot as that of Cassander, the episode 
with the Italian Pfellus, Fidus and Iffida, and in the first part 
Euphues and his Ephoebus, Euphues and Atheos. I have pointed 
out two instances where he follows word for word Plutarch, whose 
Morals had already been Guevara's principal source. His unnatural 
philosophy he took verbally from Pliny. (3) In his allusions to ancient 
mythology he followed, as Hense has shown, Ovid and Vergil. The 
idea of compiling his Euphues was given to him by Guevara's book, 
whose style he adopted, and whose sententious morals he imitated 
closely. (4) Although there are passages where Lyly took his sentences 
verbally from the Dial of Prmces, his work is far from being a 
translation. This could not be, because Guevara's books had been 
already too often translated into English. It seems to me that he 
took the Dial of Princes and compiled from it, adding compilations 
from many other sources. The Dial of Princes is about five times 
as large as both parts of Euphues. It is not only difficult, but not 
worth while, to trace in detail what is Lyly's own, what Guevara's, 
what Plutarch's, and other ancient writers' share of the contents. 


The importance of this book does not rest with the contents, but 
with the style in which it is written. 

Whereas Guevara's style is very often dignified and elevated, we 
can call it, in the English dress, only an undexterous imitation and a 
gross exaggeration, because the rhetorical figures which are used by 
Guevara, very often with good taste, are brought-in in Lyly's book 
with such overwhelming abundance, that they overload every page. 

North's, Pettie's, and Lyly's example was soon followed by other 
writers, for we find this glittering antithetical style not only in 
Greene's novels, but also in the works of Gosson, Lodge, Nash, and 
Rich, (5) up to the year 1590. Greene, the most prominent follower of 
Lyly in this respect, abandoned Euphuism about the year 1590, and 
shows an unaffected style in his latest works. We may therefore fix 
this year, 1590, as the end of the reign of Euphuism in English prose, 
although we find traces of it here and there after this date. Nash 
and Lodge abandoned it earlier. Nash ridiculed Greene's Euphuism 
in his Anatomie of Abuses, 1589, where he says, 

"Might Ovid's exile admonish such idlebies to betake them to a newe 
trade, the presse should be farre better employed, histories of antiquitie not 
half so much belyed, minerals, stones, and herbes should not have such cogged 
natures and names ascribed to them without cause. Englishmen should not 
be half so much Italianated as they are ; finallie love would obtaine the name 
of lust, and vice no longer maske under the vizard of vertue." 

And in Strange Neives, 1592, Nash even maintains 

" Euplmes I read, when I was a little ape iu Cambridge, and I then 
thought it was ipse ille : it may be excellent good still, for ought I know, 
but I lookt not on it this ten yeare : but to imitate it I abhorre, otherwise 
than it imitates Plutarch, Ovid, and the choicest Latin authors." 

The year of the publication of Euplmes is not the beginning of 
Euphuism in England, but only the climax. Sir Philip Sidney, 
although he may have spoken Euphuism in court, avoided it entirely 
in his Arcadia, written between 1580-86. The publication of the 
Arcadia in 1588, detracted much from the reputation of Euplmes by 
the popularity which it found in circles where Euphues had reigned, 
so far, as the fashionable book. It is not a mere phrase of Drayton 
when he says, in 1627, in his poem to Henry Reynold, of Poets and 


" The noble Sidney, with this last arose, 
That heroe for numbers and for Prose, 

8 2 


That throughly pac'd our language as to show 
The plenteous English hand in hand might goe 
With Greeke and Latine, and did first reduce 
Our tongue from Lillie's writing then in use ; 
Talking of Stones, Stars, Plants, of fishes, Flyes, 
Playing with words, and idle Similies, 
As th' English Apes and very Zanies be 
Of everything that they doe heare and see, 
So imitating his ridiculous tricks, 
They spake and writ, all like meere lunatiques." 

For Sidney himself said 

" Let dainty wits cry on the sisters nine, 
That, bravely masked, their fancie may behold, 
Or Pindar's apes, flaunt they in phrases fine, 
Enamling with py'd flowers their thoughts of gold ; 
Or else let them in statelier glory shine, 
Ennobling new found tropes with problems old ; 
Or with strange similes enrich each line 
Of hearbs, or beasts, which Ind' or Africk hold." 

And certainly Sidney did not appreciate this, or any other 
characteristic element of Lyly's style. But Sidney was not the only 
writer who despised these "similes" of Euphues. Gabriel Harvey, 
Spencer's friend, answering Lyly's Pap with a Hatchet in An adver- 
tisement for Pap Hatchet and Martin Marprelate, 1589, confessed, 

" I cannot stand nosing of candlesticks or euphuing of similes, alia 
Savoica : it might happily be done with a trice ; but every man hath not the 
gift of Albertus Magnus : rare birds are dainty ; and they are quaint creatures, 
that are priviledged to create new creatures. When I have a mint of precious 
stones and straunge foules, beastes and fishes of mine owne coyning, (I could 
name the party, that in comparison of his owne Inventions termed Pliny a 
barraine woombe.)" 

Harvey certainly bore Lyly personal malice, but could not have 
made Lyly's style the principal point of his attack, if there had not 
been many others agreeing upon its ridiculousness just about 1589. 
In the same year (1589) W. Warner complains in his still euphuistic 
preface to Albion's England, 

" Onely this error may be thought hatching in our English, that to runne 
on the letter we often runne from the matter: and being over j^rodigall in 
similes, we become lesse profitable in sentences and more ^rolixious intense." 


When Shakspere began to write, Euphuism was censured by 
many as a ridiculous affectation, but there were other eccentricities in 
diction succeeding it. 


I. Sidney certainly avoided Euphuism, but he brought in 
another taste and style that led to the same exaggeration as North's 
translation had led-to in Euplmes. Sidney was the first to introduce 
into English the shepherd romance, with its flowery language and 
endless clauses, its tediousness and sentimentality, which characterise 
the shepherds of Sannazaro's Arcadia, from Monte Mayor's Diana 
up to the Astree. The Italian as well as the Spanish work, which 
Sidney must have known, shows an affected style in speech. Sidney 
was probably influenced by the diction of both ; and besides, that 
taste existed already in England. He translated some of the songs 
from Monte Mayor's Diana, as is well known, and must have been 
intimately acquainted with it, though it was not translated before 
1598.(6) Sidney's style and diction are full of conceits and affectation, 
but this affectation is altogether different from Euphuism. The 
exaggeration of the Arcadian's taste can be best seen in a now very 
rare book, which bears the title "Arisbas Eupltues, by John Dickenson, 
1594," and is an imitation, not of Euphues, but of Sidney's Arcadia, 
as we see by the preface of the author. It runs thus on Sidney : 

"Although the whitest swanne and sweetest of Apolloes musicall birdes, 
hath put an endlesse periode to his ever living lines, being prevented by his 
untimely death, the Herauld of over-hastie destiny, though he the honour of 
Art and hope of Armes, Minervaes nurce childe, and beloved Secretary to the 
sacred Muses, was in the spring time of his glorie raised from below to reigne 
above : yet as his heroique spirit, disrobed of the perishing habit of mortalitie, 
swiftly passing through the inferior orbes, hath ascended to the empyre 
heaven, participating eternall joyes in the habitation of the blessed, and doth 
with happier eyes view the glorious light of Deitie, and resting in that blisful 
seate of his repose, wonders at heaven's huge frame whereto his high thoughts 
did alwaies honourably aspire : so his fame winged with desert, suted in robes 
of immortalitie, vanquishing death, tryumphing over time, and nothing staied 
by trivial stoppes, towres to the cloudes, and not comprehended in smal limits, 
fils the eares of al men with oft rebounded echoes of his praise, and over 
spreading Europe, nay the worldes wide continent, as did the flourishing vine 
which seemed to dismayed Astyages, in his ill presaging dreame, to cover Asia 
with a spatious shade. If you demande whom I meane, even he it is to whom 
I wil ascribe no other titles then the world has allotted, though I cannot duly 
affoord them as he deserves them, yet take them as I have placed them in this 
English distich, a testimonie of the reverent affection, which I beare to the 
memorie of such a famous worthie 

' Sweet Astrophil, the Solace of my pen, 
Wonders of worth, and Peere of peeiiesse men.' " 

He begins : 

"The sunne soiourning in his winter mansion had disrobed Arcadia of all 
her Treasures, and disgarnished Vestaes mantle of delightes variable choice 


wherewith Flora had in plentie poudred the freshnesse of her earst-green hue. 
Night suted in a duskie robe of pitchie darknesse, besieged the globe with long 
shadowes, while Phoebus wanting wonted vigor did by darting his scarce 
reflected beamis afford small comfort to the earth encrease : So that Arcadia, 
earst the sovereigne seate of all conteint, and sole place of world's perfections, 
seemed now a patterne of the ancient chaos, wherein all things (if things) were 

II. Gongorism. Whether Shakspere's time owes this quaint 
language not only to Sidney's influence, but to another direct 
importation from Spain, I am not able to say. In Spain this estilo 
culto was adopted about the year 1600 by Don Luis de Gongora y 
Argote; (7) but all Spanish critics agree that it was in vogue long before 
he adopted it in his poetical works. Lodge translated from a Spanish 
source, in 1596, a novel which was given to him in the Jesuit 
college at Santos in South America, A Marguerite of America, that 
exhibits the same style, beginning, 

" The blushing morning gan no sooner appeare from the desired bed of her 
old paramour, and remembring hir of hir Cephalus, watered the bosome of 
swete floures with the Christal of hir teares." 

In the Register of the Stationers' Company we find, in one year, 
1590, alone, four Spanish grammars registered a fact which shows 
that Spanish was not so unknown then as it is now-a-days ; and I 
think it is not without reason that Shakspere chose a Spaniard in 
Lovers Labour's Lost as the representative of this style. Marston, if 
I mistake not, even went so far as to introduce a Spaniard in one of 
his plays, who speaks, wherever he appears, not English, but Spanish. 
I have, however, not yet traced this Gongoristic style in English, but 
hope to do so, as I have traced Euphuism. That novels in this style 
existed in English in the beginning of the seventeenth century, is 
evident from a very curious and amusing book, which Hazlitt sup- 
poses to have been written before 1637. In 1656 it bears the title 
Don Zara del Fogo the Spaniarde, by B. Musophilus, in 1657 Wit 
and Fancy in a Mace, and in 1660 " Romancio-Mastrix, or a Romance 
on Romances: in which the prodigious vanities of a great part of 
them are (as in a Mirrour) most lively represented and so naturally 
personated, that the ingenious reader, observing their deformities, 
may delightfully be instructed and invited to the pursuing of more 
honourable and profitable studies, by Sam. Holland." This very 


interesting and amusing satire on the eccentricities of the preceding 
age begins 

" It was about that mungrell hour when the black-browd night and grey- 
eyed morning strove for superiority, when the mirror of Martiall spirits, Don 
Zara del Fogo, sweeping the somniferous God from his ample front with that 
broom of heaven, his face-pounding fist, entered into serious contemplation of 
the renowned acts of his most noble ancestors." 

We have here not only the Spanish Romance a la Don Quijote, 
the mania for quotations, Gongoristic darkness and hyperbolical 
metaphors ridiculed, but the great English poets come-in at the 
following passage (Book II. ch. iv.) * : 

" the British Bards (forsooth) were also ingaged in quarrel for 
superiority ; and who, think you, threw the Apple of Discord amongst them 
but Ben Johnson, who had openly vaunted himself the first and best of English 
Poets ; this Brave was resented by all with the highest Indignation, for 
Chaucer (by most there) was esteemed the Father of English Poesie, whose 
only unhappiness it was that he was made for the time he lived in, but the 
time not for him : Chapman was wondrously exasperated at Ben's Boldness, 
and scarce refrained to tell (his own ' Tale of a Tub ') that his Isabel and 
Mortimer was now completed by a knighted poet whose soul remained in 
Flesh ; hereupon Spencer (who was very busie in finishing his ' Faery Queen ') 
thrust himself amidst the throng and was received with a shout by Chapman, 
Harrington, Owen, Constable, Daniel, and Drayton, so that some thought the 
matter already decided ; but behold Shakespear and Fletcher (bringing with 
them a strong party) appeared, as if they meant to water their Bays with 
blood, rather than part with their proper Right, which indeed Apollo and the 
Muses (had with much justice) conferr'd upon them, so that now there is like 
to be a trouble in Triplex ; Skelton, Gower, and the Monk of Bury were at 
Dagger-drawing for Chaucer ; Spencer waited upon by a numerous Troop of 
the best Bookmen in the World ; Shakespear and Fletcher surrounded with 
their lifeguard, viz. Goffe, Massinger, Decker, Webster, Sucklin, Cartwright, 
Carew, etc. ye Parnassides." 

We see that the taste which followed Euphuism was not at an 
end when Shakspere died. That the conversational language, at the 
court and in good society, must have been very affected up to the 
middle of the seventeenth century, is most clearly shown by the 
publication of those catechisms of the English Precieuses like the 
Academy of Compliments, Marrow of Compliments, etc., in which 
euphuistic similes and comparisons, the flowery conceits of the 
Arcadians, as well as lists of fabulous stones, beasts, and plants, 
famous men and women, are collected systematically under distinct 
heads. (8) 

* It is quoted in the Society's Centurie of Pmyse, p. 302, from the 8vo. 
edition of 1656. 


III. Dubartasism. Hand in hand with the Arcadian taste came in 
another eccentricity during the last ten years of the sixteenth century, 
through the translation of Homer's poems, whose diction and metre, 
as well as other ancient metres, were not only directly introduced 
into the too patient English language, but whose absurd imitators in 
France found such a popularity in England, that Sidney, as well as 
James L, translated part of this imitation before Joshua Sylvester 
published his Divine Week and the rest of Dubartas's poetry. In 
Dickenson's imitation of the Arcadia we meet already with sapphics 
and hexameters ; but all these attempts were surpassed by that of 
Abraham Fraunce,(9) who forced not merely the English language, 
but the conceited diction of the Arcadian shepherds, powdered with 
would-be Homeric epithets, into Homer's metre. 

These extravagances, however, have nothing to do with Euphuism. 
They succeed Lyly's quaint antithetical style in England ; and the.y, 
but no longer Euphuism, were nourishing when Shakspere created 
his masterpieces. We should not deign to look at these ridiculous 
deviations now-a-days, if we had not to take a view of them too, for 
his sake, in order to get a just and right idea of the taste that reigned 
around him in society and literature. 

To sum up : In Love's Labour's Lost Shakspere was not ridiculing 
Euphuism proper, but four other forms of affectation current in his 

1. Spanish high-flown diction, bombast and hyperbole. 

2. Italian or Petrarchan love-sonnetting, word-play, and repartee. 

3. Latinist pedantry or Soraismtts. 

4. Excessive Alliteration. 

* Euphuism' proper, he parodied only in 1 Henry IV., Act II. 
sc. iv. 

Lyly's Euphues and Euphuism were but adaptations from the 
Spanish writer GUEVARA. 

Euphuism was overthrown in Shakspere's time by the othor 
affectation of Arcadianism, taken by Sidney from the Spaniard 
Montemayor ; and this was followed by Gongorism also borrowed 
from Spain, and the extravagances copied from the French Dubartas. 



(1) Cfr. C. C. Hense, in JahrfaicJi d. Sh. 6fes., Weimar, 1872-73, vols. vii., 

(2) Reg. Stat. Comp., repr. Arber, vol. ii. p. 342. 

VI to Die August! 1576 Master Watkins Eeceyved of him for his lycence 
to ymprinte a booke entituled A petit palace of Pettie his pleasure xd and a 

(3) Guevara has, Dial., book ii. chapt. 5 

" Of the revenge of a woman of Greece toke of him that had killed her 
husband, in hope to have her in mariage. 

" Plutarche in the booke that he made of the noble and worthie women, 
declareth a thing worthy of rehearsall, and to be had . in memory. In the 
citie of Galacia were two renowned citizens, whose names were Sinatus & 
Sinoris, whiche were by bloud cosins and in familiaritie frendes : and for the 
love of a Grekes doughter, being very noble, beautifull, and exceading 
gratious, they both strived to have her in mariage, and for to attain to their 
desires, they both served her, they both folowed her, they both loved her. and 
for her both of them desired to die. For the dart of love is as a stroke with 
a clod of earth : the which being throwen amongest a company dothe hurte 
the one, and blinde the others. And as the fatal destinees had ordeined it, 
Sinatus served this lady called Gamma in suche sorte that in the ende he 
obteined her in mariage for his lawfull wife : which thing when Sinoris per- 
ceived, he was ashamed of his doings, and was also wounded in his harte. 
For he lost not only that, which of so long time he had sought, loved, and 
served : but also the hope to attaine to that which chiefly in his life he 

In Pettie's collection the first tale is Sinorix and Gamma. 

" Sinorix chiefe governour of Scienna in Italic, glauncing his eyes upon 
the glittering beautie of Gamma, wyfe of Sinnatus, a Gentleman of the same 
citie, falleth into extreame love with her, and assayeth sundry wayes to winne 
her good wyll. But perceiving his practices to take no wyshed effect, and 
supposing the husbandes lyfe to hinder his love, caused him to be murdered 
by a ruffian. Gamma to the intent she might be revenged upon the chiefe 
conspiratour, in graunting him mariage, dispatched herselfe in drinking to 
him, and him in pledging her in a draught of poyson, which she had prepared 
for that purpose." 

That Pettie's style is nothing else but Euphuism, a few lines may 

Sinorix receives his guests in the following terms : 
" Fayre Ladies, as I am right ioyfull of your presence, so am I no lesse 
sorowfull for the paynes, which you have taken in undertakyng so great a 
journey this darke and mistie evening for the which I must account myselfe 
so much the more beholdyng to you, by how much greater your labour was in 
comming, and by how much lesse your cheere shal be able to countervaile it 
now yow are come." 



And Gamma answers to the letter of Sinorix : 

"Your couragioua persisting in your purpose, proveth you rather a 
^esperat sot, then a discreet souldier : for to hop against the hill, and strive 
against the streame, hath ever been counted extreame folly. Your valiant 
venturing for a pray of value, proceeds rather of covetousnesse then of courage, 
for the valiant souldier seeketh glory, not gaine : but therein you may be more 
fitly resembled to the Caterpiller, which cleaveth only to good fruite, or the 
Moath, which most of all eateth the best cloth : or to the canker, which com- 
monly breedeth in the fayrest Eose, or to the Wolfe, which by his will will kill 
the fattest sheepe." 

Pliny, tr. by Bostock & Riley. 

xxx. 44. 

The stone Aetites that is found in 
the eagles nest. 

x. 86. 

The attagen, also of Ionia, is a 
famous bird ; but although it has a 
voice it is mute in captivity. 

xxv. 52. 

It is the hind too, that as already 
stated first made us acquainted with 
dictannum or dittany, for when wound- 
ed, it eats some of this plant, and the 
weapon immediately falls from the 

xxii. 23. 

The root of Anchusa is insoluble in 
water but dissolves in oil. 

xxvii. 32. 

Topazon. It so happened that some 
troglodytae pirates when digging for 
rootes and grass discovered this pre- 
cious stone. 


p. 484. 

Or the precious stone Aetites, which 
is founde in the filthy neastes of the 

p. 462. 

As the bird Attagen, who never 
singe th any time after she is taken. 

p. 61. 

The hart being perced with the 
dart, runneth out of hand to the 
hearb Dictannum and is healed. 

p. 121. 

Anchusa, though it be hardened 
with water, yet it is againe made soft 
with oyle. 

p. 282. 

And this dare I avouch that as the 
Trogloditae which digged in the filthy 
ground for rootes and found the in- 
estimable stone Topazon. 

(4) I think it will be desirable to see in a few parallels I could 
give very many more how far Lyly imitates Guevara, not only in the 
principal features of his style, the well-balanced antithesis and mania 
for comparisons and similes, but also in the contents, the ideas adapted. 

I quote Guevara after North's translation, Dial, of Princes, 2nd 
ed. 1568. Euphues after Arber's reprint, 1868. 


Marcus Aurelius writeth to the 
amorous ladyes of Rome. 

Chap. x. 

Truly he taketh upon him a great 
thing, and hath many cares in his 
mynde, much to muse upon, needeth 


p. 97, *.*. 

Nay Lucilla (sayd he) my Harvest 
shall cease, seeing others have reaped 
my come, for anglyng for the fish that 




much councel, needeth long experi- 
ence, and ought to chose amongst 
many women that thinketh to rule 
one only wife by reason. Be the 
beastes never so wild, at length the 
Lyon is ruled by his Reaper, the bul 
is enclosed in his parke, the horse 
ruled by the brydel, the lytle hoke 
catcheth the fysh, the Oxe contended 
to yealde to the yoke : only a woman 
is a beast whych will never be tamed, 
she never loseth her boldness of com- 
maundement. The gods have made 
men as men, and beasts as beasts, 
and mens understanding very high 
and his strength of great force : yet 
ther is nothing be it of never so great 
power, that can escape a woman, 
either with sleight or myght. But I 
say to you amorous ladyes, ther is 
neither spurre can make you go, raine 
that can hold you backe, bridel that 
can ref raine you, neither fish hoke, ne 
net that can take you : to conclude 
there is no law can subdue you nor 
shame restraine you, nor feare abashe 
you, nor chastisement amend you. 
to what great peril putteth he him- 
selfe unto, that thinketh to rule and 
correct you. For if you take an 
opinyon, y 8 whole world cannot re- 
move you : who warneth you of 
anything, ye never beleve him. If 
they geve you good councel, you take 
it not : if one threaten you, straite 
you complaine. If one pray you, then 
are ye proude : if they reioyce not 
in you, then are you spiteful. If one 
forbeare you, then are ye bold : if 
one chastice you straite you become 
serpents. Finally a woman will never 
forget an iniurie, nor be thankef ul for 
a benefit received. Now a days the 
most symplyst of all women wil swere 
that they know lesse then they do : 
but I swere, whych of them that 
knoweth least, knoweth more evil 
then all men, and of trouth the wisest 
man shal faile in their wisedom. Wil 
ye know my ladyes howe lytle you 
understand, and how much you be 
ignoraunt ? that is in matters of im- 
portaunce ye determine rashly, as if 

LYLY'S Euphues. 

is already caught, that were but meere 
folly. But in my minde if you be a 
fish you are either an Eele which as 
soone as one hath hold on hir tayle, 
wil slip out of his hande, or els a 
Minnow which will be nibling at every 
baite, but never biting. And in that 
you bring in the example of a Beast 
to confirme your follye you shew therin 
your beastly disposition, which is 
readye to follow such beastlynesse. 
And certes in my minde no angle 
will hold thee, it must be a net. I 
had thought that woemen had bene as 
we men, that is true, faithful], zeal- 
ous, constant, but I perceive they be 
rather woe unto men, by their false- 
hoode gelousie inconstancye. I was 
halfe perswaded that they were made 
of the perfection of men, and would 
be comforters, but nowe I see they 
have tasted of the infection of the 
Serpent, and will be corasives. 

p. 106, s.s. 

Dost thou not know that woemen 
deeme none valyaunt unlesse he bo 
too venterous ? That they acoompt 
one a dastart if he be not desperate, 
a pynch penny if he be not prodygall. 
if silent a sotte, if full of wordes 
a foole ? Perversly doe they alwayes 
thinke of their lovers and talke of 
them scornefully, iudging all to 
be clownes which be no courtiers, 
and all to be pinglers, that be no 
coursers. But alas it is no lesse com- 
mon then lamentable to behold the 
tottering estate of lovers, who thinke 
by delayes to prevent dangers, with 
Oyle to quench fire, with smoake to 
clear the eye sight. They flatter them- 
selves with a fainting farewell, defer- 
ring ever until to morrow, when as 
their morrow doth always increase 
their sorrow. Let neither their amiable 
countenances, neither their painted 
protestacions, neither their deceitfull 
promises allure thee to delayes. What 
greater infamy, then to conferre the 
sharpe witte to the making of lewde 
Sonettes, to the idolatrous worshypping 
of their Ladyes, to the vaine delyghtes 




ye had studyed on it a thousand 
yeres : if any you councel, ye hold 
him for a mortal enemy, hardy is 
that woman that dare give councel to 
a man, and he more bolde that taketh 
it of a woman : but I returne and 
saye, that he is a foole whych taketh 
it, and he more foole that asketh it, 
but he most foole that fulfille it. My 
opin}ron is that he which wil not 
stomble amongest so hard stones, not 
pricke himselfe amongest such thornes, 
nor styng him with so many nettels, 
let him harke what I wil say and do, 
as he shal se, speake wel, and worke 

In promysing avow much : but 
in perfourmyng, accomplishe litle. 
Finally allow your words, and con- 
demne your counsels. If we could 
demaund of famous men which are 
dead, how they liked in their life the 
councel of women, I am sure they 
would not now rise again to beleve 
them, nor be revived to here them. 
How was king Philippe with Olimpia, 
Paris with Hellen : Alexander with 
Rosana, Aeneas with Dido, Hercules 
with Deyanyrya, Anibal with Tamira, 
Antony with Cleopatra, lulius with 
Domitian, Nero with Agrippina ? and 
if you wil not beleve what they 
suffered with them aske of me un- 
happye man what I suffer amongst 
you. ye women, when I remember 
that I was borne of you, I loth my 
lyfe : and thinking how I live with 
you, I wishe and desire my death. 
For ther is no such death to tormente, 
as to have to do with you : and 
contrary no such lyfe as to fly from 
you. It is a common saiing among 
women that men be very unthankful, 
because we were bred in your entrailes, 
we order you as servauntes. Ye say 
for that ye brought us forth with 
peril, and norished us with travaile, 
it is reason that we shold alwayes 
employ us to serve you. I have 
thought divers tymes with myselfe, 
from whence the desire that man hath 
to women cometh. Ther are no eyes 
but ought to wepe, nor heart but 

LYLY'S Euplmes. 

of fancye, to all kinde of vice as it 
were against kinde and course of 
Nature? Is it not folly to shewe 
witte to woemen which are neither 
able nor willing to receive fruite there- 
off. And certes easier will the remedy 
be, when the reason is espyed : doe 
you not knowe the nature of women 
which is grounded onely upon extrem- 
ities ? Doe they thinke any man to 
delight in them, unlesse he doate on 
them ? Any to be zealous except they 
bee jealous ? Any to be fervent in case 
he be not furious ? If he be cleanelye, 
then terrae they him proude, if meane 
in apparell a sloven, if talle a lungis, 
if short a dwarfe, if bolde, blunt : if 
shamefast a cowarde : Insomuch as 
they have neither meane in their 
frumps nor measure in their folly. 
But at the first the Oxe weyldeth not 
the yoke, nor the Colt the snaffle, nor 
the lover good counsel, yet time causeth 
the one to bend his neck, the other to 
open his mouth, and shoulde enforce 
the thirde to yeelde his right to reason. 
Laye before thine eyes the slightes 
and deceits of thy Lady, hir snatching 
in iest and keeping iu earnest, hir per- 
iury, hir impietie, the countenance 
shee shewe th to thee of course, the 
love she beareth to others of zeale, 
hir open malice, hir dissembled mis- 
chiefe. Iwoulde in repeating their 
vices thou couldst be as eloquent as in 
remembring them thou oughtest to be 
penitent : be she never so comely call 
her counterfaite, bee she never so 
straight thinke hir croked. Moreover 
to make thee the more stronger to 
strive against these Syrenes and more 
subtil to deceive these tame Serpents, 
my consayle is that thou have more 
strings to thy bow then one, it is a 
safe riding at two ankers. Yet if 
thou be so weake being bewitched 
with their wiles that thou hast neither 
will to eschue, nor wit to avoyd their 
company, if thou be either so wicked 
that thou wilt not, or so wedded that 
thou canst not abstein from their 
glaunces, yet at the leaste dissemble 
thy grief e. 




should breake, nor spirite but ought 
to wayle, to se a wyse man lost by a 
foolish woman. The foolyshe lover 
passeth the day to content hys eyes, 
and the darke night in tormenting 
himselfe, wyth fond thoughtes, one 
day in hearing tydings, another day 
in doyng servyces, somtime lothing 
lyght, being in company, and solitary 
lyveth : and finally the poore lover 
may that he wil not, and would that 
he may not. More over the counsel 
of his frends awayleth hym nothing, 
nor the infamy of his enemyes, not 
the losse of goodes, the adventure of 

I meane, that in your lyves ye be 
filthy, your personnes without shame, 
in adversitye weake and feble, in 
prosperitye ful of deceite and guyle, 
false in your woordes, and doubtful 
in your doyngs, in hatynge without 
measure, in love extreame, in gifts 
covetous, in takyng unshamfast : and 
finally I saye ye are the ground of 
feare in whom the wise men find 
peril, and the simple men suffer iniury. 
In you the wise men hold their renoune 
slaundered and the simple men theyr 
lyfe in penury. Of trouth ye amorous 
dames ye have tongues of the nature 
of fire, and your condicions like the 
pouder of a rotten tree. (See before.) 

I accept the Romaine ladies apart, 
for ther are many very noble, whose 
lyves are not touched with com- 
plaint, nor good fames had in suspect. 
Of such neither my letter speaketh 
ought, nor my penne writeth : but of 
those women I speake that be such 
as al the venomous beastes in ye 
world have not so much poyson in 
their bodyes, as one of those hath in 
their tongues. And thus I conclude 
/iataman maye scape from al daungers 
in shonning them : but from women 
ther is no way but to fly from them. 
Thus I end. 

Book III. 8. 

For this intent the virgins vestallea 
are closed up betweene the walles to 
eschew the occasions of open places, 

LYLY'S Euphues. 

Beleve not their othes and solempne 
protestations, their exorcisms and con- 
iurations, their teares which they have 
at commaun dement, their alluring 
lookes, their treading on the toe, their 
unsavery toyes. Let every one loath 
his Ladye and be ashamed to be her 

And yet Philautus, I would not that 
al women should take pepper in the 
nose, in that I have disclosed the 
legerdemains of a fewe, for well I 
know none will winch except she bee 
gawlded, neither any be offended un- 
lesse she be guiltie. Therefore I 
earnestly desire thee, that thou shew 
this cooling carde to none, except thou 
shew also thiu my defence to them 
all. For although I way nothing the 
ill will of light huswives, yet would I 
be loath to lose the good wil of honest 
matrons. Thus being ready to goe to 
Athens, and ready there to entertain 
thee whensoever thou shalt repaire 
thether. I bidde thee farewell, and 
fly women. 

p. 38, s.s. 

The Parthians to cause their youth 
to loathe the alluring traines of 
womens wiles and deceitful entice- 




not to be more lyght and folyshe but 
to be more sad and vertuous filing 
occasions. The yong shal not say I 
am yong and vertuous : nor the old 
shal not say I am olde and broken. 
For of necessity the dry flaxe wil bren 
in the fier and the grene flagge smoke 
in the flame. I say though a man be 
a dyamond set among men, yet of 
necessitie he ought to be quicke, and 
to melt as waxe in the heate among 
women, we cannot deny that thoughe 
the wood be taken from the fyer and 
the imbers quenched yet nevertheles 
the stones oftentime reraaine hotte. 
In like wise the flesh, though it be 
chastised with hotte and dry disseases 
consumed by many yeares with travaile, 
yet concupiscence abydeth stil in the 
bones. What nede is it to blase the 
vertues, and denye our naturalities ? 
certeinly ther is not so old a horse 
but if he se a mare wil ney once or 
twice : ther is no man so yong nor 
old but let him se faire yong damosels, 
either he wil give a sigh or a wishe. 
In al voluntarie things I deny not, 
but that one may be vertuous ; but in 
natural things I confesse every man 
to be weake. When to take the wood 
from the fier, it leaveth burning : 
when sommer cometh the cold winter 
ceaseth : when the sea is calm the 
waves leave their vehement mocions ; 
when the sonne is set it lightneth not 
the world. 

LYLY'S Euphues. 

ments, hadde most curiously carved 
in their houses a young man blynde. 
Thou art here in Naples a young 
soiourner, I an olde senior. 

The fine Christal is sooner erased 
than the hard Marble : the greenest 
beech burneth faster then the dryest 
Oke: the fairest silke is soonest 
soyled : and the sweetest Wine tourn- 
eth to the sharpest Vinegar. The 
Pestilence doth most rifest infect the 
clearest complection, and the cater- 
pillar cleaveth unto the ripest fruite. 
If therfore thou doe but hearken 
to the Syrens, thou wilt be enam- 
oured. Though all men be made of 
one mettal, yet they be not cast all in 
one moulde. ther is framed of the selfe 
same clay as wel the tile to keepe 
water out, as the potte to conteine 
licour, the Sunne doth harden the 
durte, and melte the waxe, fire maketh 
the golde to shine and the strawe to 
smother, Perfumes doth refresh the 
Dove, and kill the Betill, and the 
nature of the man disposeth that 
consent of the manners. Doe you 
not knowe that which all men do 
affirme and know, that blacke will 
take no other colour? That the 
stone Abeston being once made hot 
will never be made colde ? That fyre 
cannot be forced downewarde ? That 
nature wil have course after kinde ? 
That everything will dispose itselfe 
according Nature? Can the Aethi- 
ope chaunge or alter his skinne? or 
the Leopard his hiew ? Is it pos- 
sible to gather grapes of thornes, or 
figges from thistles, or to cause any- 
thing to strive against nature ? 
Put you no difference betweene the 
young flourishing Bay tree, and the 
old withered Beach? No kinde of 
distinction betweene the waxinge and 
the waninge of the Moone ? And 
betweene the risinge and the settinge 
of the Sunne ? Do you measure the 
hot assaults of youth, by the colde 
skirmishes of age ? whose years are 
subject to more infirmities then our 
youth ? 




Appendix 4. 

When the tryumphes before named 
were finyshed this good Emperour 
being willyng to unbourden his hart 
and to advise Faustine and to teache 
the young damosel his doughter, and 
to the end that no man shold heare 
it, he called them apart, and sayd 
unto them these words. I am not 
contente Faustine with that thy 
doughter did nor yet with that which 
thou hast done being her mother. 
The doughters if they wilbe counted 
good children, must learne to obeye 
their fathers : And now Lucilla re- 
member not how you are a doughter : 
for you showe to have more liberty 
then requireth for a young may den. 
The greatest gift that the gods have 
geven to the Matrons of Rome is : 
because that they are women, they 
kepe themselves close and secret, and 
because they are Romanes they are 
shamefast, and shame of men openly, 
beleve me they shal eyther faile the 
world, or the world theym. 

Appendix 5. 

Mark the very desirous to the Lady 
greatly desired. I know not wether 
by my evil adventure, or by happe of 
my good adventure : not long agoe I 
saw thee at a windowe I did not 
salute thee althoughe thou desiredst 
to be scene. Sith thou were set up 
as a white, it is no merveile though I 
shotte with the arrowes of my eyes, 
at the but of thy beautie with rolling 
eyes, with browes bent, well coloured 
face, incarnate teeth, ruddy lipps, curled 
heere, hands set with ringes, clothed 
with a thousand maner of colours, the 
bracelettes and earinges ful of pearles 
and stones. 

What wilt thou I saye more to thee, 
they wepte for that they died and I 
weepe teares of bloude from my hart 
for that I live. 

I would thou knewe lady Macrine 
the clere intention of my hart, rather 
then this letter written with my 
hande. If my hap were so good as 
thy love would permit me to speak e 

LYLY'S Euplmes. 

p. 101, s.s. 

But it happened immediately Fe- 
rardo to returne home, who heering 
this strange event, was not a little 
amazed, and was now more readye 
to exhorte Lucilla. Therefore in all 
haste with watrye eyes, and a woe- 
ful heart, began on this manner to 
reason with his daughter. Lucilla 
(daughter I am ashamed to call thee) 
seeing thou hast neither care of thy 
fathers tender affection nor of thine 
one credite. But alas I see in thee 
neither wit to order thy doings, neither 
wil to frame thyselfe to discretion, 
neither the nature of a childe, neither 
the nurture of a maiden, neither (I 
cannot without teares speake it) any 
regard of thine honour, neither any 
care of thine honestie. As thy beautie 
has made thee the blaze of Italy, so 
will thy lightnesse make thee the bye- 
worde of the worlde. 

365. Philautus to the faire Camilla. 

I cannot tell wether thy ingratitude 
be greater or my misfortune. 

404. The eye of the man is the 
arrow, the beautie of the woman the 
white, which shooteth not but re- 

116. I loath almost to thinkeon their 
oyntments and appoticary drugges, the 
sleeking of their faces, and all their 
slipper sauces. Take from them their 
perywigges, their paintings, their 
lewells, their rowles, their boulstrings 
and thou shalt soon perceive a woman 
is the least part of herselfe. 

If thou nothing esteeme the brynish 
water that falleth from mine eyes, 
I would thou couldst see the warme 
bloud that droppeth from my hart. 

355. If thou wouldst but permit me 
to talke with thee, or by writing suffer 
me at large to discourse with thee, I 
doubt not but that both the cause of 
my love wold be beleeved, and the 




with the, I wold hope by sight & 
speche to win that, which I am in sus- 
pect by my letter to lose. The reason 
wherof is, because thou shalt rede my 
rude reasons in this leter, and if ye 
sawest me, then thou shouldst se ye 
bitter teares which I would offer to 
thee in this my unhappy life. 
Book II. 6. 

The emperour folowing his matter 
admonisheth men of the great daunger 
which ensue unto them by excessive 
hunting the company of women. 

Then since the man knoweth that 
he must passe all those daungers, I 
cannot tel what foole he is, that wyll 
either love or serve you. For the 
brute beaste that once hath felte the 
sharpe teethe of the dogge, will un- 
willingly ever after come nere unto 
the stake. O unto what perils doth 
he offer himselfe, which continually 
doth haunte the company of women. 
For as much as if he love them not, 
they despise him, and take him for a 
foole. If he doth love them, they 
accompt him foftight. If he forsake 
them they esteme him for no body. 
If he foil owe them, he is accompted 
loste. If he serve them, they do not 
regarde him. If he doe not serve 
them they despyse hym. If he will 
have them, they wyll not. If he will 
not they persecute hym. If he doe 
advance himselfe forth, they call hym 
importunate. If he flie, they say he 
is a cowarde. If he speake they saye 
he is a bragger. If he holde his 
peace, they saye he is a dissarde. If 
he laughe they saye he is a foole. If 
he laughe not, thei say he is solenipne. 
If he geveth them anything they saye 
it is litle worth : and he that geveth 
them nothing, he is a pinch-purse. 
Finally he that haunteth them, is by 
them sclaundered : and he that doth 
not frequent them, is esteamed lesse 
then a man. 

LYLY'S Euphues. 

extremitie rewarded, both proceeding 
of thy beautie and vertue, the one able 
to allure, the other readie to pitie. 

p. 106, *.*. 

A cooling carde for Philautus and 
all fond lovers. 

Doest thou not knowe that woemen 
deeme non valyaunt unlesse he be too 
venterous ? That they accompt one a 
dastart if he be not desperate, a pynch 
penny if he be not prodigall, if silent 
a sotte, if full of wordes a foole? Doe 
they thinke any man to delyght in 
them, unlesse he doate on them ? 
Any to be zealous except they bee 
jealous ? Any to be fervent in case 
he be not furious ? If he be cleanelye, 
then terme they him proude, if meaue 
in apparell a sloven, if talle a lungis, 
if short, a dwarfe, if bolde, blunt, if 
shamefast a coward. 

(5) In the second Tome of The Travailes and Adventures of Don 
Simonides, by Barnabye Rich, 1584, I find Euphues introduced as 
a person into the tale, and the following yet unknown eulogy on 
John Lyly :- 



"And amongst the whole catalogue of comely schollers, there shalt thou 
meete with a Gentleman of such experience, as may confirme thee in thy 
travaile, counsaile thee into straunge Countreis, comfort thee in all thy Sorrowes, 
teache thee how thou oughtest to walke, yea, with so sweet a tongued orator 
shalt thou meete, as Aeschines should be shoft at if he discommended hym, 
and Anthony the Orator derided at if he did imitate hym. All these per- 
fections shalt thou finde in one man, who as the Bee sucketh Honey findeth 
vertue, as the Camelion feedeth on the Ayre followeth contemplation, who can 
Court it with the best, and Scholler it with the most, in whom I know not 
whither I should more commende his maners or his learnyng, the one is so 
exquisite the other so generall. Happy shalt thou be in thy travaile to meete 
with this Euphues, who is curious in describing the Anatomie of wit, and 
coustaunt reprehendyng vanities in Love." 

(6) I think it will not be out of place to give a few lines of Sidney's 
work and that of Montemayor, tr. by B. Yong, 1598. I choose the 
beginning of the Arcadia and the Diana, which seems in conception 
and phrases very like in both. There exist still many vague notions 
on the style of Sidney and the Arcadians, just as on Euphuism; but 
I think a few lines will be sufficient to show that we have here al- 
together a different taste and elements exaggerated from those which 
give Euphues its peculiarity. 

MONTEMAYOK, Diana, 1542. 
Downe from the hils of Leon came 
forgotten Syrenus whom love, fortune, 
and time did so entreate, that by the 
least greefe that he suffered in his 
sorrowfull life, he looked for no lesse 
then to loose the same. The unfor- 
tunate Sheperd did not now bewaile 
the harme, which her absence did 
threaten him, and the feare of her 
forgetfulnes did not greatly trouble 
his minde, because he sawe all the 
prophecies of his suspicion so greatly 
to his prejudice accomplished, that 

now he thought he had no more mis- 
fortunes to menace him. But the 
sheperd coming to those greene and 
pleasant meades, which the great river 
Ezla watreth with his cristalline 
streames, the great felicitie and con- 
tent came to his wandring thoughtes, 
which sometimes he had enjoyed there, 
being then so absolute a Lord of his 
owne liberty, as now subiect to one, 
who had wrongfully enterred him in 
darke oblivion. He went musing of 
that happie time, when in those 
medowes, and on those faire banks he 
fed his flocks. applying then his 
minde in the onely care and interest 
he had to feede them well: and 
N. S. SOC. TRANS., 1880-2. 

SIDNEY, Arcadia, 1588. 
It was in the time that the earth 
begins to put on her new apparel 
against the approach of her lover, 
and that the sun running a most even 
course, becomes an indifferent arbiter 
between the night and the day, when 
the hopeless sheperd Strephon was 
come to the sands which lie against 
the island of Cithera ; where viewing 
the place with a heavy kind of 
delight, and sometimes casting his 
eyes to the isleward, he called his 
friendly rival, the pastor Claius unto 
him ; and setting first down in his 
darkened countenance a doleful copy 
of what he would speak, my Claius, 
said he, hither we are now come to 
pay the rent, for which we are so 
called unto by over-busy remem- 
brance, restless remembrance, which 
claims not only this duty of us, but 
for it will have us to forget our 
selves. I pray you, when we were 
amid our flock, and that of other 
sheperds some were running after 
their sheep, strayed beyond their 
bounds ; some delighting their eyes 
with seeing them nibble upon the 
short and sweet grass ; some medi- 
cining their sick ewes ; some setting a 



MONTEMAYOK, Diana, 1542. 
spending the rest of his howres in the 
onely delight, that he tooke in the 
swete smell of those golden flowres, at 
that time especially, when cheereful 
springtyde (the merry messenger of 
sommer) is spread over the face of 
the whole earth : sometimes taking 
his rebecke, which he evercaried very 
neate in a scrip, and sometimes his 
bagpipe, to the tune of which he 
made most sweete ditties, which of 
all the sheperdesses of those hamlets 
there abouts made him most highly 
commended. The sheperd busied 
not his thoughts in the consideration 
of the prosperous and preposterous 
successe of fortune, nor in the muta- 
bilitie and course of times, neither did 
the painfull diligence and aspiring 
minde of the ambitious Courtier 
trouble his quiet rest : nor the pre- 
sumption and coye disdaine of the 
proude and nice Ladie (celebrated 
onely by the appassionato vowes and 
opinions of her amorous sutours) once 
occurre to his imaginations ; And as 
little did the swelling pride and small 
cure of the private man offend his 
quiet minde. In the field was he 
borne, bred and brought up : in the 
field he fed his flockes, and so out of 
the limits of the field his thoughts did 
never range, uutill cruell love tooke 
possession of his libertie, which to 
those he is commonly woont to doe, 
who thinke themselves freest from his 
tyrannic. The sad sheperd therefore 
came softly on his pace, his eyes 
turned into fountaines, the fresh hew 
of his face chaunged, and his hart so 
tempered to suffer Fortunes unworthie 
disgraces, that if she would have given 
him any content, she must have sought 
him a new hart to receive it. The 
weedes that he did weare, was a long 
gray coate, as rugged as his haps, 
carrying a sheepe hooke in his right 
hand, and a scrip hanging on his left 
arme. He laide himselfe downe at the 
foote of a thicke hedge, and began to 
cast foorth his eyes along those faire 
river banks, until their beames came 
to that place, where first they beheld 

SIDNEY, Arcadia, 1588. 
bell for an ensign of a sheepish 
squadron ; some with more leisure 
inventing new games of exercising 
their bodies and sporting their wits ; 
did remembrance grant us any holy- 
day, either for pastime or devotion ? 
nay, either for necessary food, or 
natural rest? but that still it forced 
our thoughts to work upon this place, 
where we last (alas that the word last 
should so long last) did graze our 
eyes upon her ever flourishing beauty, 
did it not still cry within us ? A you 
base minded wretches ! are your 
thoughts so deeply bemired in the 
trade of ordinary worldlings, as for 
respect of gain some paltry wool may 
yield you, to let so much time pass 
without knowing perfectly her estate 
especially in so troublesome a season 1 
to leave that shore unsaluted from 
whence you may see to the island 
where she dwelleth ? to leave those 
steps unkissed wherein Urania printed 
the farewel of all beauty. Well then, 
remembrance commanded, we obeyed, 
and here we find, that as our remem- 
brance came ever clothed unto us in 
the form of this place, so this place 
gives new heat to the fever of our 
languishing remembrance. Yonder, 
my Claius, Urania lighted, the very 
horse methought, bewailed to be so 
disburdened : and as for thee, poor 
Claius, when thou wentest to help her 
down, I saw reverence and desire so 
devide thee, that thou didst at one 
instant both blush and quake, and 
instead of bearing her, wert ready to 
fall down thyself. 



MONTEMAYOR. Diana, 1542. 
the beautie, grace, and rare vertues of 
the Sheperdesse Diana, she, in whom 
skilfull nature had consummated all 
perfections, which in every part of her 
dainty body she had equally bestowed. 
Then did his hart imagine that, which 
before it divined of, that sometimes 
he should finde himselfe put amongst 
sorrowfull memories. And then could 
not the wofull Sheperd stop his teares 
from gushing out, nor smother his 
sighes which came smoking out of his 
breast, but lifting up his eyes to 
heaven began thus to lament. A 
memorie (cruell enemie to my quiet 
rest) were not thou better occupied to 
make me forget present corsies, then 
to put before mine eyes passed con- 
tents ? What saiest thou memorie ? 
That in this inedow I beheld my Lady 
Diana, that in the same I began to 
feele that, which I shal never leave of 
to lament, that neere to that cleere 
fountaine, (set about with high and 
greene Sicamours) with many teares 
she solemnly sware to me, that there 
was not the deerest thing in the world, 
no, not the will of her parents, the 
perswasion of her brethren, nor the 
importunities of her allies, that were 
able to remove her from her setled 
thoughts ? And when she spake these 
words, there fell out of those faire 
eyes teares like oriental pearles, which 

MONTEMAYOR, Diana, 1542. 
in her secret hart, commanding me, 
upon paine to be accounted of her a 
man but of base and abject minde, if 
I did not beleeve that, which so often 
times she had told me. But stay yet 
a little Memorie, since now thou hast 
put before me the foundations of my 
mishap (and such they were, that the 
ioy, which I then passed, was but the 
beginning of the greefe which now I 
suffer) forget not to tune me this 
iarring string, to put before mine eyes 
by one and one, the troubles, the 
turmoiles, the feares, the suspects, the 
iealousies, the mistrusts, and cares, 
which leave not him, that most truly 
loves. A memorie, memorie, how sure 
am I of this aunswere at thy hands, 
that the greatest paine, that I passed 
in these considerations, was but little 
in respect of that content which in 
lieu of them I received. Thou hast 
greate reason memorie, and the worse 
for me that it is so great : and lying 
and lamenting in this sort, he tooke 
a paper out of his bosome, wherein 
he had a few greene silken strings 
and haire tyed up together, and lay- 
ing them open before him upon the 
greene grasse, with abundance of 
teares he tooke out his Rebecke, not 
halfe so iocund as it was woont to be, 
at what time he was in Dianas favour, 
and began to sing that which fol- 

seemed to testifie that, which remained 

(7) Ticknor gives the following example of Gongora's style, that 
shows best the darkness of his allusions and his quaint metaphorical 

"Thus when his friend Luis de Bavia in 1613 published a Volume contain- 
ing the history of three Popes, Gongora sent him the following words, thrown 
into the shape of a commendatory sonnet, to be prefixed to the book. This 
poem, which Bavia has now offered to the world, if not tied up in numbers, 
yet is filed down into a good arrangement, and licked into shape by learning, 
is a cultivated history, whose gray-headed style, though not metrical, is combed 
out, and robs three pilots of the sacred bark from time and rescues them from 
oblivion. But the Pen that thus immortalizes the heavenly turnkeys on the 
bronzes of its history is not a pen, but the key of ages. It opens to their 
names, not the gates of failing memory, which stamps shadows on masses of 
foam, but those of immortality." 

(8) In Bodenhani's Polyteupliyia Wits Comonwealth, and in its 
continuation, Palladia Tamia, by Fr. Meres 1598, we seem to have 

T 2 


the first of these collections. In the latter every single sentence 
throughout the whole book is a euphuistic simile, with 'as so.' In 
the Academy of Complements, by Philomusus, 1650, we find first 
phrases like the following : 

" How long shall my languishing sicknesse wait upon the triumphs of my 
passions ? At last, o fair one, cast the eyes of thy resplendent presence on thy 
abject creature, that, by the brightnesse of those raies, his basenesse may be 
turned into a most high, and through thy perfections a most happy preferment ; 
for being thus disconsolate, by the frowns of thy rigour, how soon maist thou 
raze down that temple, which at first was built by the refulgent smiles of thy 
beauty ? " 

Then come in Arcadian and euphuistic similes and comparisons : 

" Like to Diana in her summer weed, girt with a Crimson robe of brightest 

The rivulets of tears hang on her cheekes like rops of pearled dew upon the 
rides of Flora. 

Her tresses are like the coloured Hyacinth of Arcadia. 

Her brows are like the mountain snows, that lye on the hills. 

Her eyes are like glistrings of Titans gorgeous mantle. 

Her Alabaster neck like the purer whitenesse of the flocks, and her face a 
border of Lillies, interwoven with Roses. 

Her blushing cheeks loke like the ruddy gates of the morning. 

Her breath is like the steam of Apple-pyes, her teeth like the tusks of 
fattest swine, her speech is like the thunder of the Aire." 


" As the finest gold hath its drosse ; purest wine its lees ; the finest Rose its 
Prickels ; each sweete its soure. 

He that will hear such Syrens sing, must with Ulysses tie himself to the 
mast of the ship. 

Who means to be a suitor to Circes, must take a preservative, unlesse he 
mean to be enchanted. 

Like the moistned Torpedoes, that doe not only charm the hand, but the 

As the finest flower seldome hath the lest smell, as the glittering stone hath 
oftentimes the least vertues. 

As the Cockatrice dieth with beholding the Chrysolyte." 

Now these phrases are not merely the invention of the author, but 
quotations from the mcst popular writer of the preceding period. 

(9) The Countesse of Pembroke's Yvychurche, Conteyning the 
affectionate life and unfortunate death of Phillis and Amyntas, that 
in Pastorall : this in a Funerall : both in English Hexameters. 1591. 
It saw three editions, and begins : 

" Who would think e, that a God lay lurking under a gray cloak, 
Silly shepherd's gray cloake, and arm'd with paltery sheep hooke 1 
And yet no pety God, no God that gods by the mountaines, 
But the triumphant'st God that beares any sway in Olympus, 
Which many times hath made man-murdering Mars to be cursing 
His blood-sucking blade, and prince of watery empire 
Earth-shaking Neptune, his three-fork't mace to be leaving 
And Jove omnipotent, as a poore and humble obeissant, 
His three-flak't lightnings and thunderbolts to abandon, 
Unto the wanton wagges that waite on Lordly Cupido." 



(Read at the 77th Meeting of the Society, Friday, March 10, 1882.) 

I PROPOSE in the following paper to examine Shakspere's treat- 
ment of Lodge's Rosalynde, the source of As You Like It, from a 
negative point of view ; and, instead of showing his agreement there- 
with, to dwell upon his divergence therefrom, (I) in varying the plot, 
(II) in modifying the characters. 

Before considering Shakspere's use of his acknowledged original 
Lodge's Rosdlynde it may be well to enquire whether he had any 
other before him. Farmer, who opposed the assertion of Grey and 
Upton that Shakspere borrowed As You Like It from the pseudo- 
Chaucerian Tale of Gamelyn, to which Lodge was partially indebted, 
went so far as to say : ". . . the old bard, who was no hunter of 
MSS., contented himself solely with Lodge's Rosalynd" 1 Knight 2 
produced three passages from Gamelyn, for which he found parallel- 
isms in As You Like It. Orlando was dependent upon his brother's 
generosity. So should Gamelyn have been if Sire Johan of Boundys 
had followed the advice of some " wise knightes " whom he had 
requested to divide his lands between his three sons, having special 
regard to his youngest son's, Gamelyn's, interest. 

" Eor to delen hem alle to oon, that was her thought, 
And for Gamelyn was yongest, he schuld have nought " 

(11. 43, 44). 3 

Sire Johan, however, made Gamelyn his residuary legatee. In the 
next instance there is certainly an analogous treatment of subject. 

1 "On the Learning of Shakspeare," in the Var. Sh.. 1821, i. 314. 

2 Pictorial Shakspere, ed. 1, Comedies, vol. ii. pp. 199-201. 

3 The references are to the Aldine edition of Cliaucer (ed. 2), vol. ii. 
pp. 139 et sqg. The Eev. W. A. Harrison drew my attention to the parallelisms 
in Gamelyn at 11. 71-73 ; 193, 194 ; and 233, 234. 


The old man, whose sons had been well nigh slain by Charles, was 
" making such pittif ill dole oner them, that all the beholders take his 
part with weeping," 1 said Le Beau (I. ii. 139, 140). When Gamelyn 
reached the wrestling-place : 

" . . . he herd a frankeleyn way lo way synge, 
And bigan bitterly his hondes for to wrynge" (11. 197, 198), 

bemoaning the death of his two sons. Contrast the stoicism of 
Lodge's franklin who " never chaunged his countenance, but as a 
man of a couragious resolution, tooke up the bodies of his sonnes 
without she we of outward discontent." The people, we are told, 
" murmured, and were all in a deepe passion of pittie" 2 (p. 27). 
The " shake by the shoulder," wherewith Lodge's wrestler disturbs 
Rosader's contemplation of Rosalynd's charms (p. 28), bears, I think, 
a closer resemblance to Charles's rude interruption of Orlando's talk 
with Rosalind and Celia, " Come, where is this yong gallant that is 
so desirous to lie with his mother earth" (I. ii. 212, 213), than can 
be found in the taunt addressed by the champion to Gamelyn : 

"... Who is thy fader and who is thy sire ? 
For-sothe thou art a gret fool, that thou come hire " 

(11. 221, 222). 

Five other parallelisms, more or less clear, may be added. After his 
father's death, Johau, Gamelyn's eldest brother, 

"... took into his hond his lond and his leede, 
And Gamelyn himselfe to clothen and to feede. 
He clothed him and fed him yvel and eek wrothe" (11. 71-73). 

Orlando complains to Adam that Oliver's " horses are bred better, 
for besides that they are faire with their feeding, they are taught 
their mannage, . . . hee lets mee feede with his Hindes, barres mee 
the place of a brother," &c. (I. i. 11-13, 19-21). Lodge only says, 
generally, that Saladyne made " Rosader his foote boy for the space 
of two or three yeares, keeping him in such servile subjection, as if 
he had been the sonne of any country vassal " (p. 21). When Oliver 

1 Line-numbers from the Globe SJi. The spelling of Fi has been retained ; 
the punctuation has been sometimes altered. 

2 The references are to Hazlitt's Sh. Lib., Ft I. vol. ii. pp. 14 et sgq. The 
punctuation has been sometimes altered. 


called Orlando a " villaine," the latter replied : " I am no villaine : I 
am the yongest sonne of Sir Rowland de Boys ; he was my father ; 
and he is thrice a villaine that saies such a father begot villaines " 
(I. i. 59-62). Gamelyn answered the epithet "gadelyng," given 
him by his eldest brother, Johan, thus : 

" I am no worse gadelyng, ne no worse wight, 
But born of a lady, and geten of a knight" (11. 107, 108). 

As Gamelyn rode away to the wrestling-match, Johan 

"... bysoughte Jhesu Crist, that is heven kyng, 
He mighte breJce his nelcke in that wrastlyng" (11. 193, 194). 

In commending Orlando to Charles's " discretion," Oliver said : " I 
had as liefe thou didst breaJce his necke as his finger" (I. i. 152, 153). 
The wrestler thus taunted Gamelyn (11. 233, 234) : 

" ' By God ! ' sayde the champioun, ' welcome mote thou be ! 
Come thou ones in myn hond, schalt thou never the [thrive].' " 

Duke Frederick said : " You shall trie but one fall." Charles an- 
swered : " ISTo, I warrant your Grace, you shall not entreat him to a 
second," 1 &c. (I. ii. 216-218). Lastly, the forest of Arden and that 

1 While on this subject of the wrestling as treated by Chaucer and by 
Shakspere, I would point to a coincidence which seems to me to throw some 
light on a disputed reading of a passage in As You Like It (II. iii. 7, 8). 
" Why would you be so fond to ouercome 

The bonnie [? ~bonie\ priser of the humorous Duke ? " 

says Adam to Orlando. The modern texts read " Bonny prizer" ; "bonny" 
being taken in the sense of the Scotch "bonnie," as in the expression "a 
bonnie lass." The epithet is suitable enough when applied to a fair damsel, 
but is it applicable to a man ? I do not believe that Shakspere would be likely 
to use it of Charles in any case ; and certainly he would not put it into the 
mouth of Adam under the circumstances in which he is speaking. The word 
occurs in Henry VI., part 2 (V. ii. 12), where it is applied to a fine horse, 
"the bonnie beast he loved so well." In the Taming of the Shrew (II. i. 186), 
where " Bonny Kate " is given in the Folio as " BONY Kate." In the same 
play (III. ii. 226) , where it is "bonny Kate." In Richard III. (I. i. 94), 
where Shore's wife is said to have " a bonny eye." In the Song in Much 
Ado about Nothing (II. iii. 68), " blithe and bonnie." 

Prizer (it is spelled " priser " in the Folio) is explained to mean one who 
fights for prizes prize-fighter. I strongly suspect that both these derivations 
are wrong ; that (a) " Bonnie " should be " bony," as Dyce and others have 
printed the word in their editions, meaning one with large bones, and so with 
a strong powerful frame ; and (b) that " priser " means one who lays hold 
with a good firm grip. Cotgrave has the word in this sense, " estre en prises, 
to be closely locked or grappled together ; to tug one another ; to wrastle or 
strive with one another." 


to which Gamelyn and Adam the spencer the prototype of old 
Adam betook themselves are described by the same adjective. 
Adam remarked : 

" That lever me were keyes for to bere, 
Then walken in this wilde woode my clothes to tere " 

(11. 621, 622). 
Compare : 

" And to the skirts of this wilde Wood he [Duke Frederick] came " 

(V. iv. 165). 


1. "We meet with a slight variation of plot in the opening scene 
of As You Like It. Sir John of Bordeaux (Sir Rowland de Boys) 
bequeathed to his youngest son Rosader (Orlando) a larger portion 
than either Saladyne or Fernandyne (Oliver and Jaques de Boys) 
received. Rosader was thus no penniless younger brother like 
Orlando, but, being a minor at the time of Sir John's death, he was 
left to the guardianship of Saladyne, who wasted his estates and 
degraded him to the condition of a foot-boy (pp. 14-21). 

2. When the two brothers quarrelled, Saladyne bade his men 
bind Rosader, who thereupon caught up a rake and used it so 
vigorously as to put them all to flight, and compel Saladyne to take 
refuge in a loft (p. 23). This brawl is reduced by Shakspere to 
Orlando's momentary clutch of Oliver's throat (I. i. 62-64). 

3. After his victory in the wrestling-match, Rosader, attended by 
some "boon companions," returned triumphantly to Saladyne's house. 
Saladyne had bribed the wrestler to kill his brother, and, being wroth 
at the failure of his scheme, shut the gate against them. Rosader 

So that the expressions taken together would mean the Ug-f amed wrestler. 
Aldis Wright objects to " Bony," that it would describe a thin and skeleton- 
like man. But then he takes PKIZER = prize-fighter ; and the question is 
whether Bony taken with " PBISEE " would not convey the idea of a man 
whose big bones gave him the advantage in the grip. 

Bearing in mind that Shakspere has, in the preceding scene, described his 
wrestler as "the, sinewy Charles,' 1 ' now hear what Chaucer says of a wrestler : 
" The Mellere was a stout carle for the nones, 
Full big he was of braun, and eke of boones ; 
That prevede wel, for overal ther he cam, 
At wrastlynge he wolde bere awey the ram." 

(Prologue, 11. 545-548.) W. A. Harrison. 


broke open the gate and welcomed his comrades to five tuns of 
Saladyne's wine and whatever food could be found. When the 
guests had departed he was minded to avenge Saladyne's discourtesy, 
but, through Adam Spencer's mediation, the brothers were reconciled. 
A "long while," we learn, then elapsed till, "on a morning very 
early," Saladyne surprised Rosader asleep, and caused him to be 
bound to a post in the hall, forbidding any one to give him food or 
drink. He was released by Adam Spencer, with whose assistance he 
attacked Saladyne and the "kindred and allyes," who were being 
entertained at " a solempne breakefast," slew some of them and drove 
the rest out of the house. Saladyne returned, accompanied by the 
sheriff and twenty-five 'Hall men." Rosader and Adam Spencer 
sallied forth, repulsed the sheriff's forces, and escaped to the forest 
of Arden (pp. 30-32, 54-58). All this violence Shakspere omitted, 
and made Oliver's meditated attempt on Orlando's life a reason for 
the latter's flight (II. iii. 19-25). 

4. Shakspere invented the old enmity between Duke Frederick 
and Sir Rowland de Boys, which caused the duke's ungenerous 
behaviour to Orlando (I. ii. 237-239). 

I here note that the characters and incidents of Shakspere's 
original hitherto mentioned were borrowed by Lodge, with slight 
alteration, from the Tale of Gamelyn. The unnamed " woode," to 
which Gamelyn and Adam the spencer retreated (1. 617), was defined 
by Lodge as the forest of Arden (p. 58). The characters added by 
Lodge and utilized by Shakspere are : Rosalynd, Alinda (Celia), 
Phoebe, Montanus 1 (Silvius), Coridon (Corin), Gerismond, the ban- 
ished king (Duke Senior), and Torismond, King of France (Duke 

5. Torismord, enraged at Alinda's importunate pleading for 
Rosalynd, banished both daughter and niece (p. 38). There was, as 
we have seen, a long interval between Rosader' s triumph and his 

1 Shakspere, in changing the names of some of Lodge's characters, has 
done so with wonderful propriety, having regard to the scene of the story. 
Saladyne becomes Oliver, an appropriate name, from Olivier, an Olive-tree. 
Sir John of Bordeaux becomes Sir Rowland de JBols = Wood. Montanus is 
changed to Silvius, one born in the woods ; " in silvis natus " (Livy, I. 3). 
W. A. H. 


flight, during which time Rosalynd and Alinda, whose banishment 
took place on the day of the wrestling-match (cf. pp. 35 and 39), 
were living in Arden (p. 54). They were known as Aliena and 
Ganimede, and passed as mistress and page (p. 40). This variation 
in time leads to these results. 

a. When Rosalynd and Alinda had been travelling for two or 
three days through the "Forrest side," the former espied a posy 
addressed to an obdurate fair one, and carved on the bark of a pine. 
Some more verses, signed "Montanus," were discovered by Alinda 
on a beech (pp. 41-43). In Shakspere's version, Orlando, not an 
uninteresting shepherd, was the writer of the verses which cast 
Eosaliud into such a pretty flutter of hope and bashfulness. 

(3. At the banquet in the forest (II. vii.) Gerismond learnt 
from Rosader how his daughter and niece had been banished, and 
were gone none knew whither (p. 63). Orlando, whose flight was 
coeval with Rosalind's, had not this clue for detecting her disguise. 
Yet I agree with Mr Grant White 1 that we must allow much for the 
glamour of Arden forest. 

6. Saladyne was imprisoned by Torismond, ostensibly on account 
of Rosader's wrongs. Being released and exiled he resolved to 
seek Rosader. He did not recognize his brother in the forester who 
saved him from a lion, but made known to Rosader, as to a stranger, 
his previous history and contrition for his misdeeds. Rosader there- 
upon revealed himself (pp. 63-65, 89-93). Doubtless Oliver knew 
Orlando when, as he said : 

"From miserable slumber I awaked" (IV. iii. 133). 

7. Two or three 2 days were spent by Rosader in showing his 
forest haunts to Saladyne, during which time Rosalynd sorely missed 
her lover (pp. 94, 95), to whom, at their last meeting, she had been 
sportively married by Alinda (p. 84). Rosader then revisited Rosa- 
lynd and Alinda, and told them the cause of his absence (pp. 95, 96). 
Oliver informed Rosalind and Celia that Orlando was detained by 
the wound which he had received from the lioness (IV. iii. 151-157). 

8. In the course of this interview " certain Rascals," who were 
hiding from justice in the forest, endeavoured to carry off Alinda. 

1 Galaxy, April, 1875, No. iv, p. 556, col. 1. a P. 94. Three days, p. 95. 


They overpowered and severely wounded Eosader, and must have 
succeeded in their attempt had not Saladyne fortunately come to the 
rescue (pp. 96, 97). Shakspere made no use of this adventure. 

9. On the next day, when Eosalynd and Alinda had returned to 
their home, after witnessing Montanus's bootless courtship of Phoebe, 
came Saladyne, bringing news of Eosader's anticipated restoration 
to health (pp. Ill, 112). Eosalynd having discreetly withdrawn 
(p. 115), Saladyne wooed Alinda and prevailed on her to promise 
that she would either marry him or "still live a virgine" (p. 118). 
Shakspere, who omitted the rescue from the ruffians, caused Orlando 
to be slightly wounded in saving Oliver from the lioness (IV. iii. 
147, 148). 

10. At an indefinite later date Montanus brought Phoebe's letter 
to Eosalynd. Silvius delivered a similar missive just before Olivei 
entered with news of Orlando. 

11. A day being fixed for the marriage of Alinda and Saladyne, 
the feigned Ganimede promised Eosader that, by the aid of a friend 
" deeply experienst in Necromancy and Magicke," the presence of 
Eosalynd at the ceremony should be ensured. Hereupon " Eosader 
frownd, thinking that Ganimede had jested with him" (p. 130). 
Shakspere made Eosalind herself the conjurer, and inspired Orlando 
with a vague confidence in the art which she professed to have 
learnt from her uncle the magician (V. ii. 56-75 ; iv. 3, 4). 

12. Gerismond's investigation of the case of Montanus and 
Phoebe was the chief incident of the wedding festivities (pp. 134- 
139). Eosalynd and Eosader were left quite in the shade. Shakspere 
kept his under-plot within due proportions, and imparted breadth 
and diversity to the closing scene of As You Like It, by means of 
Touchstone's wit. 

13. The marriage banquet was interrupted by the arrival of 
Fernandyne, who announced that the twelve peers of France had 
taken up arms on their lawful sovereign's behalf, and were about to 
join battle with Torismond's forces, on the outskirts of the forest. 
Gerismond, accompanied by Eosader and Saladyne, armed and 
hastened to the fray, in which Torismond was slain and his followers 
were routed. Gerismond then returned to Paris in triumph, and the 


personages of the story received their several rewards, from Rosader 
downwards, created heir apparent, to Condon, who became master of 
Alinda's flocks (pp. 142-144). The repentance of Duke Frederick 
forestalled the pending hurly-burly (V. iv. 160-171). The "happie 
number" grouped round the Elder Duke, whose "returned fortune" 
they are soon to share, are visible to us only while we stand within 
the enchanted circle of Arden forest. 


I turn now to the like negative comparison of the characters 
presented by the novel and the play. 

1. In her meditations, after the wrestling-match, upon her sudden 
passion for Rosader, Rosalynd lamented falling in love with a poor 
man who could not maintain her state or revenge her father's 
wrongs, called to mind certain prudential maxims, as " that gold is 
sweeter than eloquence ; that love is a fire and wealth is the fewel," 
and exhorted herself to think Rosader "lesse beautiful, because hee 
is in want, and account his vertues but qualities of course, for that he 
is not indued with wealth." She ended her soliloquy, however, by 
abjuring " such servile conceites, as to prize gold more than honor, 
or to measure a Gentleman by his wealth, not by his vertues " (p. 34). 
I suspect that Lodge deemed it incumbent on him, as a man of the 
world, to correct the excessive saccharinity of his love-passages with 
some bitter infusions of worldly wisdom. In contrast to these musings 
whether natural or factitious -we have the momentary struggle 
with conventional reserve which made Shakspere's Rosalind murmur 
to herself, when she saw Orlando's wistful gaze fixed on her, 

" He cals vs back : my pride fell with my fortunes ; 
He aske him what he would" (I. ii. 264, 265). 

The Rosalind of the novel is a colourless being, incapable of 
entering into the spirit of her part, and availing herself of it to tease 
Rosader with the saucy bewildering banter which Orlando had to 
endure. The only gleam of merriment in their wooing came when, 
after they had sung a wooing eclogue together, Rosalynd said : 
" How now, Forrester, have I not fitted your turne ? have I not 
playde the woman handsomely, and shewed myselfe as coy in 

graunts, as courteous in desires, and beene as full of suspition, as 
men of flattery 1 and yet to salve all, jumpe I not all up with the 
sweet union of love? Did not Rosalinde content her Rosader ?" 
Kosader opined that " if my foode bee no better than such amorous 
dreames, Yenus at the yeares end shal find me but a leane lover " 
(pp. 83, 84). Of their usual dialogue the following is a fair 
specimen. "Thou speakest by experience (quoth Ganimede), and 
therfore we hold al thy words for Axiomes : but is Love such a 
lingring maladie] It is (quoth he) either extreame or meane, 
according to the minde of the partie that entertaines it ; for as the 
weedes grow longer untoucht then the prettie floures, and the flint 
lyes safe in the quarry, when the Emerauld is suffering the Lapidaries 
toole : so meane men are freed from Yenus injuries, when kings are 
environed with a laborinth of her cares" (p. 79). 

Whatever capacity for fun was possessed by Lodge's Rosalynd 
showed itself in her talks with Alinda. Of this I give an example. 
" You may see (quoth Ginimede) what mad cattel you women be, 
whose harts sometimes are made of Adamant that wil touch with no 
impression, and sometimes of wax that is fit for every forme : they 
delight to be courted, and then they glory to seeme coy, and when 
they are most desired then they freese with disdaine : and this fault 
is so common to the sex, that you see it painted out in the 
shepheardes [Montanus's] passions, who found his Mistres as froward 
as he was enamoured " (p. 42). 

Either in jest or for the sake of proving his constancy she 
advised Eosader to make his court to Alinda, who had uttered a 
hope of finding "as faithfull a Paris" as he was (pp. 75, 76). 
Neither motive could, I think, have induced Shakspere's Rosalind to 
give such counsel to her lover. 

When Rosader reappeared, after breaking his tryst, it was Alinda, 
not Rosalynd, who scolded him. Rosader had been absent for three 
days (p. 95). Sharp were the reproofs which fell on Orlando, who 
came " within an houre " of the time appointed (IY. i. 38-52). At 
first, his offended mistress ignored his presence, and continued as 
Grant White 1 has explained to us to banter the retreating Jaques. 
1 Galaxy, April, 1 875, No. iv, p. 556, col. 2. 


Moreover, Phoebe's cruelty did not move Lodge's Rosalynd to 
utter severer censures than were these. " And if, Damzell, you fled 
from mee," Phoebe had told Montanus (p. 109) that if he pursued 
her with Phoebus, she must flee with Daphne, " I would transforme 
you as Daphne to a bay, and then in contempt trample your branches 
under my feet. . . . Because thou art beautifull be not so coy : as 
there is nothing more fair, so there is nothing more fading ; as 
momentary as the shadowes which growes from a clowdy Sunne" 
(p. 110). Throughout the speech Phoebe's beauty is fully acknow- 
ledged. Contrast with this gentle language the bitter taunts of the 
Shaksperian Rosalind, and the disparaging epithets which she applied 
to the poor shepherdess's rustic comeliness : "inkie browes," " black 
silke haire," "bugle eye-balls," and "cheeke of creame" (III. v. 
46, 47). The climax of injury was reached when Silvius brought 
Phoebe's letter to Rosalind, who, indulging in malicious play upon 
the double sense of the word "hand," sneered at the "leatherne," 
"freestone-coloured," "huswiues," hand of the writer; adding with 
surpassing scorn, as though such a defect was, in Phoebe's case, part 
of the order of Nature, "but that's no matter" 1 (IV. iii. 24-27). 
Lodge's Rosalynd " fell into a great laughter " on reading the letter, 
but no gibes followed at the expense of writer or bearer ; she merely 
advised Montanus to transfer his affections to some less hard-hearted 
fair one (pp. 123-125). 

2. Concerning Alinda there is little to be said. Like Celia, she 
bravely asserted before her father the innocence of the friend whose 
exile she declared her resolve of sharing. Shakspere omitted this 
extravagant expression of trust in her friend's loyalty. "If then, 
Fortune, who tryumphs in varietie of miseries, hath presented some 
envious person (as minister of her intended stratageme) to tainte 
Rosalynde with any surmise of treason, let him be brought to her 
face, and confirme his accusation by witnesses ; which proved, let her 
die, and Alinda will execute the massacre " (p. 37). Through her 
position of mistress, and from the absence of any special force of 
character in Rosalynd, Alinda took the lead of her page. 

1 See what the author of Dorotlnj says concerning Rosalind's "no matter," 
p. xii. 


3. A comparison of Eosader and Orlando elicits several important 
differeDces of conception : the advantage decidedly remaining with 
Shakspere's hero. 

Orlando was unable to say even an " I thank you," in response to 
Rosalind's gracious gift and words (I. ii. 261). Eosader was self- 
possessed enough to step into a tent and there indite a laudatory 
sonnet, which he sent to the princess in return for a jewel which she 
had delivered to him by the hands of a page (p. 30). The interven- 
tion of the page in the matter may account for Eosader's business-like 
procedure. 1 

When wandering hunger-stricken in the forest, he wept and 
lamented that he could not die worthily, lance in hand. The self- 
sacrificing love of Adam Spencer, who would have opened his veins 
in order that his young master might be nourished by his blood, 
roused Eosader from despair, and sent him forth in quest of food 
(p. 60). No such faint-hearted upbraider of destiny was Orlando, 
cheering his drooping follower with words of confident hope and 
gentle reproof, till he saw a reflection of his own undaunted courage 
in the old man's looks (II. vi. 4 ad Jin.). 

In hesitating to save Saladyne from the lion, Eosader was biassed 
less by a desire for revenge than by a more far-seeing motive. He 
should add Saladyne's estates to his own, and his increased wealth 
might incline Eosalynd to regard him more favourably ; it being his 
opinion that " women's eyes are made of Chrisecoll, 2 that is ever 
imperfect unless tempred with gold " (p. 88). The cause of Orlando's 
wavering was a gust of vindictive anger (IV. iii. 128-131) ; a venial 
fault if we consider his provocation. Eosader's hesitation was chiefly 
due to calculating, not impulsive, culpability ; and he was unconscious 
of the wrong which he designed towards Eosalynd. His derogatory 
estimate of her accords with this lack of moral delicacy. 

1 See Transactions of the New Sh. Soe., 1880-2, pp. 30*, 31*. 

2 Chrisecoll, " Chrystall ? But perhaps the same as Chrysocolla, Harrison's 
'England,' p. 236." Halliwell, Diet, of Archaic Words. Cotgrave gives: 
"Chrysocolle (Chrysocolla), Gold-solder: Borax; green earth, whether artificial 
or mineral, as Borrais. Borrais = Borax, or green earth, a hard and shining 
mineral or humour congealed in mines. There is also an artificial one made 
of Rock alum, ammoniac, and other things ; both used by goldsmiths. Borras 
jaune = yellow-borax, found in gold mines, and fittest for goldsmiths." "W.A.H. 


Lastly, with Rosader's eloquent professions of love we have to 
reconcile the rather awkward fact that, though he knew of Rosalynd's 
exile, he did not attempt to follow her, but remained at home for, 
we are told, "a long while," until care for his safety obliged him to 
depart. I cannot suppose that Orlando could have been so sluggish 
and unfeeling. 

4. Saladyne and Oliver are more akin, and it were hard to strike 
the balance between them. 

Sir John of Bordeaux bequeathed the largest share of his property 
to Rosader. Hence Saladyne's hatred sprang chiefly from avarice, 
and fear of being called to account for his malversations. Oliver, 
whose estate was subject to a legacy of "but poore a thousand 
crownes" (I. i. 2, 3), had no ground save envy for detesting Orlando. 

Saladyne felt compunction for his brother's wrongs sooner than 
did Oliver, who was certainly impenitent when banished by Duke 
Frederick. The imprisonment which preceded Saladyne's exile 
awakened some sorrow, which was, however, not deep, for when 
questioned by Torismond as to his brother's whereabouts, Saladyne 
answered reservedly that " upon some ryot made against the Sheriff e 
of the shire, he was fled from Bordeaux, but hee knew not whither " 
(p. 65). In Saladyne's presence Rosader related to Gerismond all 
that had passed between them (p. 93). Celia and Rosalind were the 
recipients of Oliver's confession. Oliver would doubtless have soon 
revealed himself as the unnatural brother, but, in his emotion, the 
truth escaped him ere he had summoned resolution enough deliber- 
ately to avow it (IV. iii. 133). 

Saladyne's amorous speeches to Alinda, and her replies, are 
recorded for us. She expressed the conventional distrust of his 
good faith, and bade him reflect on their inequality of birth (pp. 115- 
117). How Oliver wooed Celia we are left to imagine: we only 
learn the issue from Rosalind, who treated the whole affair with 
much levity (Y. ii. 32-45). 

Alinda's warning was not unneeded. When, on the wedding- 
day, the pseudo-Ganymede, having withdrawn alone and re-entered 
as Gerismond's daughter, was given by the king in marriage to 
Rosader, Saladyne, comparing his brother's splendid alliance with 


his own, stood " in a dumpe " till Alinda declared herself to be the 
daughter of Torismond (p. 140). Celia's entrance simultaneously 
with Eosalind spared Oliver this test of his constancy. 

Most of us have, I suspect, wondered why Celia should have 
fallen in love with Oliver, and regretted that she did not choose a 
worthier mate. 1 Saladyne's display of prowess in the struggle with 
the forest-ruffians commended him to Alinda j and, in saving 
Eosader's life, he requited his brother's generosity, and made some 
atonement for past unkindness. Shakspere did not ennoble Oliver 
by any such device. 

The minor characters now remain to be considered. 

5. Adam Spencer exceeded the Shaksperian Adam in fidelity. 
The former, as we have seen, was willing to sacrifice his life in order 
to save his master from starvation. This especial proof of devotion 
forms a repulsive, and possibly an unnatural, incident. Moreover, 
as Lodge has used it, it degrades Eosader, whose bitter lamentations 
caused Adam Spencer to offer such a relief. 

6. Lodge's Phoebe rejected. Montanus's suit "not," as she told 
him, " that I scorne thee, but that I hate love : for I count it as 
great honor to triumph over fancie as over fortune " (p. 109). The 
Shaksperian Phoebe expressed no abstract preference for an unwedded 

The violence of her passion having endangered Phoebe's life, the 
disguised page, at Montanus's request, visited her as she lay sick in 
her father's house ; and, arguing the matter with courtesy and 
consideration, qualities, as I have already noticed, lacking in the 

1 Swinburne writes : " That one unlucky slip of the brush which has left 
so ugly a little smear in one corner of the canvas as the betrothal of Oliver to 

"The actual or hypothetical necessity of pairing off all the couples " (at the 
end of a comedy) " is the theatrical idol whose tyranny exacts this holocaust 
of higher and better feelings," &o. (Study of Shakspere, p. 152). [W. A. H.] 

We may derive some consolation from comparing the union of Celia and 
Oliver with another example, in George Eliot's MiddlemarcJi. If desert alone 
were regarded, Mary Garth should have married Mr Farebrother, but then 
Fred Vincy's ruin was inevitable. Farebrother could steer his own course 
aright ; poor Fred could not. We may hope that under Celia's beneficent 
influence the rooted evil of Oliver's nature was killed, the germ of worth in 
him shown by his genuine remorse quickened, and that he came at last to 
deserve his good fortune. 

N. 8. 80C. TRANS., 1880-2. U 


other Ganymede's method of dealing with an unwelcome attachment, 
drew forth this confession : ". . . so deeply I repent me of my 
frowardnesse towards the shepheard, that could I cease to love 
Ganimede, I would resolve to like Montanus" (p. 129). Shakspere 
did not endow his Phoebe with so much sensibility. We do not 
gather that unrequited love affected her health ; and her feigned 
pity preluded by the gracious avowal, " Why, I am sorry for thee, 
gentle Silvius " was merely the flattering transition from cruelty to 
treachery (III. v. 86). 

7. Montanus, despairing of Phoebe's life, magnanimously advised 
his rival to wed her. To Alinda, who said, " . . . if Ganimede marry 
Phoebe, thy market is cleane mard," he answered, "... so hath 
love taught me to honour Phoebe, that I would prejudice my life to 
pleasure her, and die in despaire rather than shee should perish for 
want" (p. 126). If rewarded sometimes by a smile, Silvius could 
endure the better fortune of another wooer, but his imaginative 
heroism carried him no further. He told his Phoebe that he 

". . . thinke it a most plenteous crop 
To gleane the broken eares after the man 
That the maine haruest reapes : loose now and then 
A scattred smile, and that He Hue vpon" (IIL v. 101-104). 

Further, when requested to convey the fatal letter, Montanus, we 
learn, " saw day at a little hole, and did perceive what passion 
pinched her [Phoebe] : yet (that he might seeme dutifull to his 
Mistresse in all service) he dissembled the matter, and became a 
willing Messenger of his own Martyrdom" (p. 123). The like merit 
cannot be attributed to Silvius, who was completely fooled. 

8. Of the two shepherds Montanus and Coridon, and the fair 
shepherdess Phoebe, it may be said that they are idealized after the 
Arcadian model. Coridon, the prototype of Corin, is, both in speech 
and ways, the most homely of the three. Concerning Phoebe he 
remarked, " if al maidens were of her mind, the world would grow 
to a mad passe ; for there would be great store of wooing and litle 
wedding, many words and little worship, much folly and no faith " 
(p. 102). Before the wedding party went to church he presented 
" a faire mazer full of Sidar " to Gerismond, with a " clownish 


salute " which made the king smile (p. 133). "About mid dinner, 
to make them mery, Coridon came in with an old crowd, 1 and plaid 
them a fit of mirth, to which he sung this pleasant song, 

A blyth and bonny country Lasse, 

heigh ho, the bonny Lasse ! 

Sate sighing on the tender grasse, 

and weeping said, ' will none come woo mee ? ' " &c. 

(p. 141). 
Yet in a wooing eclogue he could warble thus to Montanus : 

" This milk-white Poppy, and this climbing Pine, 
Both promise shade ; then sit thee downe and sing, 
And make these woods with pleasant notes to ring, 
Till Phoebus daine all Westward to decline " (p. 45). 

On Alinda's wedding day, Montanus " was apparelled all in 
tawny, to signifie that he was forsaken : on his head he wore a 
garland of willow, his bottle hanged by his side, whereon was painted 
dispaire, and on his sheephooke hung two Sonnets, 2 as lables of his 
loves and fortunes" (p. 133). Touching his love he discoursed in 
this fashion : " Mine eyes like bees delight in sweet flowers, but 
sucking their fill on the faire of beauty, they carry home to the Hive 
of my heart farre more gaul than hony, and for one drop of pure 
deaw, a tun full of deadly Aconiton" (p. 134). 

Phoebe, too, had the same command of tropical language ; and 
her two extant sonnets (pp. 107, 122) are as pithy and well-conceited 
as are the poetic fancies of the other personages of the novel, most of 
whom have left us specimens of their powers in this line. When 
Eosalind and Alinda first beheld her, she was attired "in a petticote 

1 A fiddle. Nares's Glossary, 18G7, s. v. See the minute description of 
Coridon's " holiday sute," pp. 131, 132. 

2 Five other sonnets are preserved for us, one of them being in French 
(p. 106). Mr Collier said : " Lodge appears to have been rather vain of his 
French compositions, and this is not the only instance in which he has intro- 
duced them, either in his own works or as laudatory of those of others. To 
put French verses into the mouth of Montanus is a gross piece of indecorum 
as respects the preservation of character." Ibid., note. If the forest of Arden 
were the forest of Ardennes, French was Montanus's native tongue ; but since 
we find Rosader and Adam journeying to the forest "through the province of 
Bourdeaux," and expecting by this route to reach "Lions" (p. 58), we are 
obliged to conclude that the site of Lodge's Arden is as indefinite as 

U 2 


of scarlet, covered with a green mantle, and to shrowd her from the 
Sunne, a chaplet of roses : from under which appeared a face full of 
Natures excellence, and two such eyes as might have amated a 
greater man than Montanus " (p. 105). Lodge may put in the touch, 
" a face full of Natures excellence," but we know assuredly that she 
had not the " leathern hand" which Shakspere has not shrunk from 
giving to his Phcebe. 

The dwellers in Shakspere's Arden are drawn from Nature, 
Phoebe and Silvius marking the credible limit of rustic refinement, 
while in Audrey and William the ordinary peasant type is depicted. 
Old Corin fills a place between these two grades. 

9. Of Gerismond and Torismond I have only to observe, that the 
former did not possess the cheerful fortitude in adversity which dis- 
tinguished the Elder Duke; and that the latter, in banishing his 
daughter as well as his niece, showed himself to be a more rigorous 
tyrant than was Duke Frederick. 

It now remains to summarize the results of this examination. 

Shakspere's Rosalind and Celia may be called creations : little 
more than the plot through which they moved being borrowed from 
Lodge. Shakspere gave to Eosalind the pre-eminence that the 
structure of the story demanded. Her abundant wit was also his gift. 
The chief negative change consisted in the behaviour of Eosalind to 
Orlando after the wrestling-match. 

The development of Orlando's character was due in a larger mea- 
sure to omission and substitution. By a variation in the plot, while 
economy of time, a dramatic gain, is effected, the hero's unloverlike 
sojourn at home during his lady's exile is avoided. Again, the 
breaking of his tryst in consequence of a prolonged ramble is rejected. 
Our suspicions, that, in spite of his protests, Rosader was but a cold 
lover, are rather increased when we consider his behaviour in 
marked contrast to Orlando after the wrestling-match. His 
despondency when menaced by hunger, and the sinister calculation 
which prompted him to abandon his brother and make his desertion 
a means of winning Rosalynd, show grave defects of character from 
which Shakspere's Orlando is quite free. 


Instead of Saladyne's avarice, Shakspere, by changing the 
circumstances, substituted Oliver's envy. Lodge granted Saladyne 
an opportunity for repairing past injuries. Shakspere denied this to 
his Oliver. Our attention is solely fixed on the rescue from the 
lioness. Oliver's repentance is, with much dramatic effect, deferred 
until that crowning moment, and he is not afterwards permitted in 
any wise to disturb Orlando's superiority. Yet, by another slight 
change of circumstance, Oliver was spared the risk of falling lower 
in our esteem, as Saladyne did when he repented his match with 

The episode of the hard-hearted shepherdess and her lover served 
as an under-plot ; in strict subordination to the main story. The 
artificial air which hangs about Lodge's swains, including old Coridon, 
was dispelled. The Shaksperian Phoebe was simply " fancy free " ; 
not a sworn vestal as was her sister of the novel. Neither did love 
afflict her with languishing sickness. Montanus's willingness to 
surrender his Phoebe to a rival was not emulated by Silvius. 

To this avoidance of what may at least be called highly coloured 
touches should be added : the toning down of the " tyrants vaine " 
in Torismond ; and the effacement of Alinda's offer to become the 
guilty Eosalynd's executioner, as well as Adam Spencer's proposed 
self-sacrifice, which was open to the further objection that it reflected 
discredit on Eosader. 

Lastly, the deeds of violence which embittered the brothers' 
strife, the battle that raged on the verge of the forest, and the law- 
lessness that found a shelter in its depths, have no parallels in As 
You Like It. We can forget the malice of Oliver and the tyranny of 
Duke Frederick amid the peace and innocence enfolding Shakspere's 
Arden ; cruelty and injustice range without, but may not break, its 
charmed circle : we can return to that primal age when the loves and 
caprices of simple rustic folk were the chief tokens of human passion, 
and dwell again where we " fleet the time carelesly as they did in 
the golden world." 



habit t sb. 'in his habit as he liued': Hamlet, III. iv. 135. 
"Enter Skogan and Skelton, in like habits, as they Uriel" 1626. 
BenJonson. The Fortunate Isles. Works, vol. ii. p. 136, ed. 1640. F. 

mad, a. all mad in England : Hamlet, Y. i. " We are all mad 
(especially here in England), mad as the Northern Wind, or Hares in 
March." 1653. S. S. Paradoxes, p. 28. E. 

madly used: Tivelfth Night, Y. i. 319. " 'I praye the why so/ 
quoth his mystres; 'I think thou art mad.' ' Nay, not yet,' quoth 
his hosteler, * but I liaue bene madly handlyd.' " 1567. Harman's 
Caueat, p. 64, New Sh. Soc. W. G. Stone. 

Prick him : 2 Henry IV., III. ii. 121. " To morrow your father 
[Sir Robert Harley], if pleas God, goos to Hariford about prikening 
the soulders that must be sent out of the trained bands, which makes 
many of theare wifes to cry." April 29, 1639. Letters of Lady 
Brilliana Harley, p. 48, Camd. Soc. W. G. Stone. 

Riggish. We still hear as a rather vulgar colloquialism, she goes 
(runs, or plays) the rig, in the same sense. B. N. 

Union, sb. pearl : Hamlet, Y. ii. 283. Their chief reputation con- 
sisteth in these flue properties, namely, if they be orient white, great, 
round, smooth, and weightie. Qualities, I may tell you, not easily to be 
found all in one ; insomuch as it is impossible to find out two perfitly 
sorted together in all these points. And hereupon it is, that our 
dainties and delicates here at Rome, have deuised this name for them, 
and call them Vnions ; as a man would say, singular, and by them- 
selues alone. For surely the Greeks haue no such tearmes, neither 
know they how to call them : nor yet the Barbarians, who found 
them first out, otherwise than Margaritas. Ph. Holland's Pliny's 
Nat. Hist. b. 9, c. 35, vol. I. p. 255. 1601. This may be taken as a 
translation of the source of all the notices of the " Union " or great 
pearl. B. N. 

Touchstone's dial : As You Like It, II. vii. 20. Daniel Gruber, 
in his Discursus de Peregrinatione Studiosorum, appended to Hentz- 
ner's Itinerarium, ed. 1629, advises the traveller to provide himself 
with a dial of this kind rather than a watch. " 33 [sign. xx]. Solar- 
ium vel Horologium sciotericum idque parvum, quo diei quantitatem 
xaminare possit, habeat. Sonans verb minus tutuni apparet, cum 
nummorum copiam nebulonibus promittat." 'W. G. Stone. 

Sans : L. L. L., Y. i. 73, &c. &c. As going to show that this, 
in Elizabethan days, had become an acclimatised English word, I 
quote from Florio's Ital.-Engl. Diet., 1598. " Senza, without, besides, 
sanse." B. N. 





the 797i Meeting of the Society, Friday, May 12, 1882.) 

Metuendaque succo 

"Taxus." (Statius, Thebaid, VI. 101.) 

As the subject on which I propose to treat this evening has so 
lately been brought before you in an excellent Paper by Dr Nicholson, 
I feel it incumbent upon me to state, at the outset, my reasons for 
returning to it again. That the question was one in which the mem- 
bers of this Society were much interested was manifest from the very 
full and lively discussion which followed the reading of that paper. 
At the same time it was felt that the matter was far from being ex- 
hausted. We were reminded by the reader of the paper that the 
real effects of yew as a poison were even yet but little known. 

Since that time I have been endeavouring to find out how far the 
symptoms, so fully described by Shakspere, correspond with those 
which have been observed and recorded by toxicologists in connection 
with deaths from poisoning by yew. I have met with very much 
that serves to confirm the conclusions at which Dr Nicholson had 
already arrived ; and after communication with him and at his sug- 
gestion I propose to lay before you the additional evidence which I 
have thus obtained. 

But though chiefly concerned now with the medical aspect of this 
question, there are other points of view from which I propose to re- 
gard it. In endeavouring to prove the identity between Shakspere's 
" Juice of cursed Hebona " and the " dreaded Juice of the yew " of 
the older poet, whose words I have placed at the head of my paper, 
I shall have to ask your attention, first of all, to one or two matters 
connected with the criticism of the passage in Hamlet which 
furnishes the subject of our present inquiry, and next to the 
etymology of the word Hebona. 


These points it is necessary to consider before I proceed to discuss 
the question of the effects of yew as a poison. 

And first, then, a word or two with regard to the proper reading 
of the passage. In the Quarto of 1603 (Qi) we find : 

" With iuyce of Hebona 
In a viall." 

In the Quarto of 1604 (Q2) : 

" With iuyce of cursed Hebona in a viall " ; 

and this say the Cambridge editors is the reading of all the sub- 
sequent quartos (Q3, Q4, Q5, Q6). On the other hand the Folio of 
1623 (Fi) reads: 

" With iuyce of cursed Hebenon in a Violl " ; 

and this reading is followed by the other three Folios (F2, F3, F4). 

Did Shakspere, then, write Hebona, or Hebenon, or neither 
word 1 This is a point which it is important to consider at the outset 
of the inquiry ; for if Hebenon be not the true reading, but Hebona, 
or some other word still more remote in its spelling from Hebenon, 
we get rid, I think, of Dr Grey's ingenious but very far-fetched 
interpretation of this passage by the adoption of what is known in 
parliamentary phraseology as the previous question. Though even 
with Hebenon to start from, the objections which lie against Dr 
Grey's theory are obvious and, to my mind, insuperable. Had 
Shakspere meant as Dr Grey maintains that Henbane was the 
poison employed by Claudius to destroy his brother,, he would surely 
have written it ; and had he written it, it would have been so printed. 
It is a word which was then in common use, and one which would 
not be likely to puzzle a compositor. 

Thus Drayton, a Warwickshire man and a friend of Shakspere's, 

writes : 

" The poisoning Henbane and the mandrake drad." 

(Barons' Wars, p. 51.) 
and again : 

" Here Henbane, Poppy, Hemloc here 
Procuring deadly Sleeping." 

(Mules' Elysium, Nymphid. VI.) 


Henbane, moreover, suits the rhythm and metre of the line so very 
much better, that had it ever been there no one would have thought 
of displacing it for such a word as Hebenon. Clearly, therefore, 
Hebenon is not a misprint for Henbane. 

Did Shakspere, then, purposely write Hebenon as " a metathesis 
for Henebon, that is, Henbane " 1 Dr Nicholson 1 has so thoroughly 
disposed of this metathesis or transliteration theory that I deem it a 
mere waste of time to add another word to what he has so aptly 
advanced. But if, as he has pointed out, HenbAne cannot by 
metathesis produce HebenOn, then a fortiori it cannot possibly give 
us Hebona ; since in this latter case we have only got six letters in 
the manufactured word to represent the seven letters in the word 
from which it is supposed to be manufactured per metathesim; and 
even of these six, one the letter ' ' does not occur at all in the 

original. Thus, 

H e n b a n E 

H e n b a - = Hebona. 

If then Hebona be as I contend the correct reading of the passage, 
Dr Grey's theory is evidently "in a par'lous state." 

Before quitting this subject of transliteration, may I be allowed 
to say a few words upon another supposed example of it in Shakspere. 
I allude to the name of Caliban's maternal parent, and the astounding 
process by which it has been derived (?) from " sorcerer." Have we 
any need to go so very far afield to find its true derivation ? Bearing 
in mind what Mr Ruskin has taught us, and following the analogy 
of Desdemona, Cordelia, Perdita, Miranda, &c., may we not see in 
the qualities of the Sow (Svc) and the Eaven (Kopa') a symbolization 
of the moral nature of 

" The fowle Witch Sycorax, who with Age and Enuy 
Was growne into a hoope " 1 

Her foulness symbolized by the sow ; her extreme age, her craft, and 
her malignity by the raven ? 2 I throw this out as a suggestion, which, 
if it be not accepted as final, may at least be allowed to stand till 
a better one is made. Anyhow I think that it will be considered 

N. S. S. Transactions, 1880-2, p. 21 ct seq. 2 Cf. Tempest, I. ii. 322. 


preferable to the needless obscurity which besets the proposal to get 
at the truo derivation by changing first of all Sycorax into Secorer in 
order to anagrammatize Secorer from Sorcerer. Nor, pace Mr W. W. 
Lloyd, 1 is it open to the objection in point of scholarship which 
besets the theory that the word Sycorax may mean " heart-breaker " 
(4/wXopp^). For this theory would require us to accept the English 
letters (s, y, c, o) as the proper equivalents for the Greek (^ux)> for 
which we have always hitherto required and have been wont to get 
(P, s, y, c, H, o); to say nothing of (farf) in the Greek being 
anglicized by (r, A, x). Whereas Sycorax is strictly the English 
equivalent, letter for letter, of the Greek 2v-Kopo. 

To return to the " Hebenon " of the folio. That this word is a 
corruption of something else which Shakspere really wrote, I feel 
perfectly convinced. And I believe that the corruption is due as 
so many other corrupt readings in Fi are due to the tampering by 
Heminge and Condell or their printer with the text of Q2 or the MS. 
from which that text was set up, and which bore a much closer 
approximation than does Fi to the true Hamlet of Shakspere. 

"Would Shakspere, I ask (but this is asking too much), would 
any one calling himself a poet the merest tyro in his craft willingly 
and of malice afore-thought be guilty of such a line as we find in the 
Folios, with the execrable cacophony of its three "n"s in the middle 
HebeNoNiNa ? If so, I would say with Browning, "the less 
Shakspere he ! " It is no answer to say that as a matter of fact we 
sometimes find harsh and rugged lines in Shakspere. I admit that 
this is so ; but it is when he himself is the victim of circumstances. 
When, for example, he is converting a page of Holinshed or of 
North's Plutarch into blank verse, and he has to deal with a string 
of intractable proper names, then we get such lines as these : 

" That Harry Duke of Herford, Rainald Lord Cobham 
His brother Archbifhop, late of Canterbury, 
Sir Thomas Erpingham, Sir John Rainfton, 
Sir lohn Norberie, Sir Robert Waterton, & Francis Quoint " 

(Richard II, II. i, p. 30, col. 2, Booth's reprint), 

though, as a rule, Shakspere gets over these obstacles with marvellous 


1 Critical Essay on the Tempest, p. 11, ed 1875. 


No such necessity, however, exists in the present instance. If 
he wrote " Hebenon in a " he must have written it deliberately and 
of set purpose. Again, then, I ask what evidence have we that he 
did write it? Hebona is the reading of Qi, which, as I believe, repre- 
sents, though in a corrupt form, Shakspere's first sketch of Hamlet. 
Hebona is also the reading of Q2, which represents his matured 
version of this play. The occurrence of the word, exactly in the 
same form, in both Quartos is presumptive evidence in favour of its 
being the word which Shakspere wrote. But what makes the case 
still stronger and raises this presumption to a certainty, is the fact 
that in the revision in Q 2 we find evidence that his attention must 
have been drawn to this particular passage. For whereas Qi reads 
simply "iuyce of Hebona," Q2 reads "iuyce of curfed Hebona ;" the 
epithet " cursed " being added to make the sentence correspond with 
one in Holland's Pliny, which had been published in the mean time, 
where the same word " cursed " is used, as I propose to show, in a 
precisely similar connection. 

Was there, then, a poison known to Shakspere by the name of 
Hebona, or by a name so like it, as not materially to vary from it 1 
Unquestionably there was. We find mention of this poison in a 
play written by Shakspere's great friend and fellow- dramatist, 
Marlowe. In the Jew of Malta (III. iv. p. 164a, Dyce's ed.) occur 
the following lines, quoted by Dr Nicholson (Transactions, N. S. S., 
1880-2, p. 26) : 

" In few, the blood of Hydra, Lerna's bane, 
The Juice of Hebon, and Cocytus breath, 
And all the poisons of the Stygian pool." 

From a passage in Henslowe's Diary, quoted by Dyce (Preface to 
Marlowe's Works, p. xxiii.), we learn that the Jew of Malta was 
acted in June, 1596, and again revived in May, 1601. Now this 
last date corresponds exactly with the date that has been assigned to 
the production of Shakspere's Hamlet, viz. 1601-2. It is exceedingly 
likely, therefore, that he may have heard the word " Hebon " at a 
representation of the Jew of Malta, at the very time when he was 
engaged in writing his Hamlet. Hence the conjecture of Elze is not 
altogether devoid of probability, that the line as it stood originally 


in Shakspere's MS., and from which the other variations have arisen, 
may have been 

" "With juice of cursed Hebon in a phial." 

Without going so far as to say that this was so, we are, I think, 
quite warranted in believing that such was the line as it may have 
stood originally in Shakspere's mind. But the fact that we find, 
not Hebon, but Hebona (with the final a) in both the Quartos, forces 
me to the conviction that Shakspere added the (a) himself ; it may 
have been to give a poetical form to the word, or perhaps because 
the interposition of the vowel between " on " and " in " (Hebon in) 
helps to smooth to the ear the rugged sound caused by the two 
contiguous "n's." If it still be objected that "Hebon in" or 
"Hebona in" is only a degree better than the cacophony I have 
already condemned in " Hebenonina ", I answer, that may be so ; 
but then the conditions under which the words respectively come 
into the text are altogether dissimilar. Hebon was, as we have seen, 
a word well known and in use in Shakspere's day and amongst 
Shakspere's associates ; whereas Hebenon, like " Paramour, is (God 
bleffe vs) a thing of nought." 

With the expression of the hope that in our Old-Spelling edition 
of the text of Hamlet ,we may find that Hebenon has been relegated 
to the limbo of Shakspere-murdering glosses, I pass on next to the 
consideration of the question, What is the poison which is here 
designated under the term " cursed Hebona " 1 Dr Nicholson has so 
convincingly proved that by " Hebon " or " Hebona " the juice of the 
yew is intended, that I need not go over the same ground by repeat- 
ing the arguments which he has advanced in support of his con- 
clusions. What I propose to say upon this point is merely by way 
of strengthening, so far as I am able, the position that he maintains, 
by bringing forward a few additional considerations that have oc- 
curred to me in the course of my own reading. 

Let me then remind you that two different trees have been men- 
tioned, to each of which the term Hebon properly belongs ; and that 
if the question, which is Shakspere's Hebona, had to be decided upon 
the ground of etymology alone, a very good case could be made out 
for either. 


The first is the Ebony-tree ; by which I mean the Diospyros 
Ebenus of India, the tree to which alone we are accustomed to give 
the name of Ebony, that which yields the black wood so much in 
request for cabinets and mosaic work. Bat it is to be borne in mind 
that " ebony " and " blackness " have no essential connection ; that 
when we speak of the raven's ebon wing, or of ebon tresses, or the 
like, our language and our notions on the subject are conventional 
merely. Yirgil tells us that India alone produces the BLACK ebony 
("sola India nigrum Fert ebenum," Georgics, ii. 116). But ebony 
is of other colours as well as black, and is yielded by other trees 
besides the Diospyros Ebenus. Dr Nicholson has rightly said that 
" Ebenus was applied in mediaeval times to various trees." The fact 
is that the words Ebenus, Eiben, Hebon, Ihpen, and the like, all 
have their origin in the Hebrew (Hobnirn, or Habenim), Ebony, 
which is derived from Eben, a stone, and simply means wood as hard 
as a stone. The Semitic word reappears in the modern Arabic and 
Persian abnus (ebony). Ebony is mentioned in the Prophecy of 
Ezekiel as one of the commodities imported from Dedan (Arabia) to 
Tyre. This would be the black ebony of commerce, which would 
thus find its way into the countries washed by the Mediterranean, 
with which the Tynan merchants traded. Hence we find the word 
ebony, under its various forms of "E/Sevoe (Greek), Ebenus (Latin), 
Ebano (Italian and Spanish), Ebene (French), in use in those coun- 
tries to signify the wood of the Diospyros Ebenus. But derivatives 
from the root-word Eben (a stone) would naturally also appear under 
various modifications, in the languages of other nations to which 
Eastern commerce did not at first extend, as the names of any hard 
dense wood. Hence we find these names applied to the yew-tree 
amongst the Indo-European group of languages, the Scandinavian, 
the High and Low German. And, whereas, amongst the Southern 
families it is known as 2J/xZ\a (Greek), Taxus (Latin), Tasso (Italian), 
Teijo (Spanish), Teixo (Portuguese) ; it is, in German (Eiben or 
Eben) ; in Dutch (Iben or lepen) ; in Swedish (Eben) ; in Danish, 
Norwegian, and Icelandic (Heben). That the yew-tree should soon 
have been known as a " Heben " is natural enough. " The wood," 
says Loudon (Encyclop. of Trees, p. 940), "is hard, compact, of a 


fine and close grain, and susceptible of a very high polish. It re- 
quires a longer time to become perfectly dry than any other wood 
whatever; and it shrinks so little in drying, as not to lose above 
^g. part of its bulk. It is universally allowed to be the finest 
European wood for cabinet-making purposes." This stone-like quality 
would, of course, account for its derivation, and its being confused 
with ebony. When it is further borne in mind, first, that the term 
by which workers in hard woods are called is, in French, Ebeniste ; 
and secondly, that the name by which the cut-up wood of the yew- 
tree is known in the various Teutonic languages, is German-ebony, 
the proofs of this connection between yew and ebony are clear enough. 
Thus yew-tree wood is in German, das Deutsche Eben-holz ; in 
Dutch, it is Taxus-hout or Duitsch Ebben-hout; in Flemish and 
modern French, Ebene d'Alleinagne. 

And, moreover, Theophrastus makes mention of a yew, the wood 
of which is black, a fact which would serve still further to establish 
an identity between the two trees. (To oc %v\ov' ?/' pev Q 'Ap^aS/ae 
fAaj> KCU tyoiriKovv. Quse in Arcadia nascitur lignum nigrum aut 
puniceum habet. Theophrastus, Hist. Plantarum, III. x. 2. 1 ) 

Etymologically then, as I have said, a strong case might be set up 
either for the ebony-tree or for the yew as being the representative 
of the Hebona of the text. Hence some Shaksperian critics, who 
saw the absurdity of the Henbane-Hebenon theory, too hastily 
assumed that the sap of the Diospyros Ebenus was the poison in- 
tended. Thus Dyce notes on the passage in Marlowe's Jew of Malta : 
" Hebon, i. e. Ebony, formerly supposed to be a deadly poison." 
And in this explanation he is followed by Grant White, by Schmidt 
(Lexicon, sub voce), and others. Whence Dyce obtained his informa- 
tion he does not inform us. On the other hand, Clarke and W. 
Aldis Wright (Cl. Pr. Hamlet, note) write : " This word is generally 
explained as meaning ebony, but we cannot find any evidence that 
the sap of this tree was considered poisonous." Dr Nicholson says, 
that in no work of Shakspere's time that he has consulted is Ebony- 
juice spoken of as a poison. After a very close search amongst 

1 Evelyn (Sylva) speaks of the black and red yew of Arcadia. Ed. Hunter. 
York, 1776. 


ancient and mediaeval authorities I can very decidedly confirm his 
statement. I find it asserted by Solinus (Polyhistor, cap. Iv. p. 353, 
ed. Paris, 1621), that "ebony, on account of its supposed antagonism 
to poisons, was employed by the kings of India for making drinking- 
cups." 1 The exact opposite, according to Pliny, was the case with 
the wood of the yew-tree : he says that " drinking-cups made from 
this tree" were found to impart "a deadly property to the wines 
drunk out of them." (Nat. Hist. xvi. 20.) In Lemaire's Pliny 
(Bibliotheca Classica, vol. Ixii. p. 109), there is an Excursus on the 
ebony-tree, by the editor, in which he gives a summary of what has 
been written by ancient authors about the nature and properties of 
this tree. The juice is described as having a pungent taste, and as 
being used medicinally as a laxative and sudorific. The writer of 
this Excursus also alludes incidentally to the fact of the word 
Ebenus being used as a common term for several different sorts of 
trees by ancient writers. (" Potuit apud veteres diversissimis arbori- 
bus idem ebeni nomen imponere." Bib. Class., vol. Ixii. p. 109.) 

Amongst modern authorities, the most complete account of the 
medicinal properties of the ebony-tree is to be found in Dr Whitelaw 
Ainslie's Materia Medica of Hindoostan (Madras, 1828). The writer 
states that the juice of the ebony is perfectly innocuous, and that it 
is used by the natives as a remedy for certain complaints of the liver, 
and in cases of dysentery. 

Ebony, then, is certainly not poisonous ; nor is there any proof 
whatever that it was so regarded in the sixteenth century. If I might 
now venture to alter Dr Nicholson's words 2 a little, I would say with 
respect to the hypotheses that have been advanced on this subject ; 
(1) that which tries to show that Hebona is Henbane " has not a leg, 
not even a wooden one, to stand upon ; " (2) that in favour of Ebony 
certainly has one leg, but one only, that of etymology ; (3) whereas 
the hypothesis in favour of the yew is sound "and perfect of (both 
its) limbs, even as he (Shakspere) conceived it." 

I come now to the consideration of another point, which has not 
yet been dwelt upon, namely, what Shakspere himself has said of the 

1 Quoted by Bauhin, Hist. Plant., I. Bk. iii. p. 397. 
2 N. S. S. Transactions, p. 30. 


yew. He mentions it four times in his plays. (I.) In its emblematic 
character as connected with death (Twelfth Night, II. iv. 55, p. 262, 
coL 2, Folio), in the Clown's Song : 

" My f hrowd of white, ftuck all with Ew, 
prepare it." 

(II.) In Titus Andronicus (II. iii. 107, Folio, p. 37, col. 2) : 

" But ftrait they told me they would binde me heere, 
Vnto the body of a difmall yew." 

Where again it is noticeable that we get the English equivalent of 
Pliny's " tristis " (" taxus tristis et dira ") in the epithet bestowed 
upon the yew ; and, moreover, it is mentioned as being situated in 

" A barren, detefted vale .... 
The Trees though Sommer, yet forlorne and leane, 
Ore-come with Moffe, and balefull Miffelto. 
Heere neuer fhines the Sunne, heere nothing breeds, 
Vnlefie the nightly Owle or fatall Rauen." 

(III.) It occurs in the well-known passage in Macbeth (IV. i. 27, 

Folio, p. 143, col. 2), where, 

" Slippes of Yew 
Sliuer'd in the Moones Ecclipfe," 

form along with " Roote of Hemlocke, digg'd i' th' darke," part of 
the poisonous mixture, that, "like a Hell-broth," boils and bubbles 
in the witches' cauldron. 

(IV.) We find, in a passage in Richard II. (III. ii. 113, Folio, 
p. 34, col. 2), an allusion to the yew, which proves most convincingly 
that Shakspere was conversant with the fact of its deadly qualities : 

" White Beares (Beards) haue arm'd their thin and haireleffe Scalps 
Againft thy Maieftie, and Boyes with Womens Voyces, 
Striue to fpeake bigge, and clap their female ioints 
In ftiffe vnwieldie Armes : againft thy Crowne 
Thy very Beadf-men learne to bend their Bowes 
Of double fatall Eugh ; againft thy State 
Yea Diftaffe- Women manage ruftie Bills : 
Againft thy Seat both young and old rebell." 

In this passage the epithet " double-fatal " is specially noticeable in 
the connection in which it stands. Why " double-fatal " ? Evidently 
not because the bows, under the circumstances alluded to, would do 
a " double " amount of "fatal" execution. The very reverse would 


be the case. They are not to be wielded by stalwart yeomen, strong 
of arm and steady and sure of eye ; but by the trembling hands of 
decrepit old beads-men. As regards the bows themselves, therefore, 
half-fatal would be a far more appropriate expression than double- 
fatal. But " double-fatal," as its position in the sentence shows, is 
predicated not of the bow but of the " yew " of which the bow was 
made; "double-fatal" because the juice of the leaves and of the 
bark is a deadly poison, while of the wood itself are fashioned 
weapons of death. This passage is strictly parallel with one in 
Spenser, which it illustrates and explains : 

" Lay now thy deadly Heben bowe apart." 

(F. Q., Bk. I., Introduction, iii.) 

where it is the "Heben" or yew which is spoken of as being 
" deadly." 

As the question of the identity of Hebon with the yew has been 
already exhaustively dealt with by Dr Nicholson, I do not now pro- 
pose to dwell any longer upon this branch of the subject. In what I 
have to say more I shall confine my attention exclusively to the other 
point on which he did not enlarge in his paper ; namely, the effects 
of yew upon the system in man and animals, and the symptoms 
attendant upon cases of yew-poisoning. 

It has been conclusively proved by a large array of indisputable 
evidence that, both by the ancients and by writers in the middle ages 
and contemporaries of Shakspere, the yew was universally known 
and spoken of as a rapid and fatal poison. I will quote only one 
more passage in addition to those cited by Dr Nicholson, a passage 
which has a decidedly Shaksperian ring about it. 

In Lyte's Herbal, a book which Shakspere almost certainly read, 
we find the following description (ed. 1595) ; 

"The yew, in High Dutch is Iben-baum, and in base Almaine 

Iben-boom. It is altogether venimous and against man's nature 

It grows in the forest of Arden. . . It is so hurtful and venimous 
that such as only sleep under the shadow thereof become sick and 
sometimes they die." 

This expression " contrary to man's nature," which Lyte here has 
in common with very many ether writers so many indeed as to 

N. S. SOC. TRANS., 1880-2. X 


make it what Dr Nicholson calls, " a sort of stock phrase " finds its 
echo, you will remember, in the passage in Hamlet, where the 
" cursed hebona " is said to " hold . . enmity with blood of man." 

But Hebona is further characterized as being a " leperous distil- 
ment," and also as being such as would produce upon the body of 
the victim of its deadly effects, appearances similar in character to 
those which follow upon the bite of a poisonous serpent. Now, 
bearing in mind some of the known characteristics of leprosy, let us 
hear what are the effects described by ancient and modern medical 
writers, as following the bites of poisonous snakes. -ZEtius x says : 
" The wounded part turns white; and not only so, but sometimes 
even the whole of the skin turns white and ulcerous, and the hair 
falls off." Of the viper-bite Dioseorides says similarly (vi. 47) : 
" An ulceration of the skin follows which not only affects the surface, 
but spreads beneath it. The persons bitten become comatose." 
Again, Dioscorides (vi. 52) writes: "The bite of the serpent Cen- 

chrus causes an ulcerous inflammation The flesh falls away in 

pieces." 2 

The following quotations are from the works of modern writers : 
" Swelling quickly succeeds (the bite), and a mottled livid redness 
indicating that the skin is involved . . . soon the pain abates, the 
limb is cold and benumbed ; while patches of gangrenous skin an- 
nounce that the work of destruction has commenced ; not, however, 
disclosing the ravages already wrought beneath the skin in the sub- 
cellular tissue ; still less the extent to which it may be eventually 
sacrificed." 3 

Another writer says : " In some cases there is a superficial 
erysipelatous condition, or an effusion of redness giving an appear- 
ance of ecchymosis. As a rule, the body is more or less swollen 
and abnormally coloured, at times presenting bullaB and unhealthy 
ulcers. . . . The lungs are dark and congested, and the heart either 
empty or filled with much dark blood." 4 

1 Quoted by Matthiolus ( Comment, on Dioscorides, p. 592&, ed. Lyons, 1554). 

2 And see also the passage from W. Topsell's Historie of Serpents, 1608, 
p. 176, cited by Dr Nicholson (N. S. S. Transactions, p. 218). 

3 Gant, Science and Practice of Surgery (vol. i. p. 
* Holmes, System of Surgery (vol. i. p. 678). 


Another writer describes " the most constant appearance " as 
being " ecchymosis externally on the chest and abdomen, and in- 
ternally in their viscera, most frequently affecting the intestinal 
canal, though they may and do occur in any cavity and on any 
organ ; " 1 and he adds that " the venom appears to have a specific 
influence, such as is observed in the better known poisons." 

These effects follow alike in cases of bites from the viper and 
puff-adder, and in those inflicted by the rattle-snake, cobra, &c., in 
Eastern countries. 

Next as to the effects produced upon the condition of the blood. 
Dr Douglas Cunningham writes thus : 2 " The red corpuscles were in 
irregular masses ; had lost all distinctness of outline, and become, as 
it were, semi-fused. The colouring matter had dissolved out ; the 
white corpuscles were in large masses, visible to the naked eye ; and 
the most remarkable thing about them was their extensive distension. 
It would appear, however, that the specific effects of the poison upon 
the blood differ according as it is derived from different families of 
snakes. In some cases the blood is found firmly coagulated after 
death ; in others it is so decomposed and thin as to leak through the 
various tissues." 3 

In the instance of death from the bite of a cobra : "The tissues 
were discoloured ; the surface ecchymosed ; the blood coagulated 
firmly in all the veins." After a viper bite : " The blood on ex- 
amination after death showed the corpuscles shrivelled and collapsed." 
In another case : " The blood appeared to be in a state of necraemia." 4 
And once more : " There is a rapid decomposition of the blood as 
well as of the tissues locally acted upon by the venom. The phy- 
sical character of the blood is that it is very dark in all parts of the 
body." 5 

A Paper written in 1843 by Prince Lucien Bonaparte, on the 
chemical composition of snake poisons, is also worth consulting as 
bearing on this subject. 

One more quotation only I must make, as it illustrates what I 

1 Mitchell, quoted in Holmes (p. 678). 

2 Aitken, Science and Practice of Medicine (vol. i. p. 415). 

3 Aitken, ut supra (p. 410). 4 Aitken (p. 414). 5 Holmes, ut supra. 

X 2 


shall have to say presently when I come to speak of the effects of 
yew-poison. " Soon after the poisonous bite has been inflicted symp- 
toms of muddling intoxication ensue. The victim mumbles inco- 
herently, and staggering as if dead drunk, is overcome with helpless 
prostration and oppressed breathing . . . the nervous system succumbs 
to the potent poison and the sufferer expires." 1 

I trust that I may be excused if I have wearied your patience by 
the length and minuteness with which I have given these medical 
details ; but they are all essential to my argument. For I now pro- 
pose to show you and this, as not being generally known, I regard 
as the chief matter of interest which these remarks possess that the 
various symptoms and appearances I have thus detailed have one and 
all been observed and recorded in connection with cases of poisoning 
by yew. I can show, by a citation of authorities, that the yew is a 
rapid poison ; that it produces the " leperous " effect upon the skin 
which, according to the medical evidence I have just given, is so 
marked a characteristic of snake-poisoning ; that the ecchymosed con- 
dition of the surface of the body ; the patchy erysipelatous appear- 
ance and colour ; the bullae ; the ulceration ; the effects specified as 
taking place in the condition of the blood ; the symptoms of intoxi- 
cation are, one and all, detailed by observers of the action of yew 
poison upon the human and animal economy. 

(I.) Shakspere says of " cursed Hebona " that : 

" Swift as Quick-Siluer, it courfes through 
The naturall Gates and Allies of the Body." 

(1) Dioscorides, speaking of the expressed juice of the green leaves 
of the yew, says that it speedily causes death. " Pota, frigus uni- 
verso corpori strangulatur et celerem interitum infert " (in Book VI. 
cap. 75). 

Wibord, Professor at the Veterinary College at Copenhagen, 1787, 
administered to a mare the juice of seven ounces of the leaves and 
peeled shoots of the yew ; the result was, death in one hour. 

Ray, the celebrated English botanist, relates the case of the death 
of a woman from drinking a decoction of yew-leaves. [Catalogue of 
Plants, &c., growing in the neighbourhood of Cambridge.] 
1 Gant (i. p. 321). 


Gmelin of Tubingen (Flora Siberica, p. 265) gives a similar case 
of a young girl, who had drunk a decoction of the leaves in order to 
remove spots ipon her face. 

In both thbse instances death followed immediately. 

Dr Hartman of Frankfort (in a paper in the Nouvelle bibliotheque 
medicals, vol. ii. p. 125, 1827) refers to a case in which death 
speedily supervened upon drinking a decoction of the leaves. 

The following, from Aubrey's Miscellanies, has been kindly 
brought to my notice by Mr W. G. Stone, to whom I am also 
indebted for the reference to Evelyn which follows : 

" Mrs Cl. of S , in the County of S , had a beloved 

daughter, who had been a long time ill, and had received no benefit 
from her physicians. She dreamed that a friend of hers, deceased, 
told her that if she gave her daughter a drench of yew pounded, she 
would recover ; she gave her the drench and it killed her. Where- 
upon she grew almost distracted : her chambermaid to complement 
her, and mitigate her grief, said surely that could not kill her ; she 
would adventure to take the same herself; she did so, and died also. 
This was about the year 1670 or 1671. I knew the family." 1 

In Woodman and Tidy's Medical Jurisprudence (p. 290) cases 
are cited in which death occurred after drinking a decoction of in 
one instance after chewing the leaves of the yew. Upon these they 
remark, respectively, "Death very sudden" "Death rapid" 
"Death in a few hours." "Death in seven hours." 

The same thing has been observed where experiments were made 
upon horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, &c. 

M. Dujardin, a veterinary surgeon at Bayeux, mixed some leaves 
of the yew with the food of a horse. An hour and a half after taking 
these the animal falls dead (" frappe comme de la foudre "). 

(2) Next, as regards the powdered leaves of the yew-tree. Dr 
Harmand of Montgarni successfully treated a child of two years old 
for eclampsia with two grains of the powder. A fresh attack of 
the convulsions supervening the next day, the persons in charge of 
the child, without waiting for the physician's arrival, gave it what 
remained of the powder, amounting to about six grains ; the dose 
proved immediately fatal. (Observations sur 1'if ; Anc. Journal de 
Med., t. 83, p. 210.) 

1 Ed. Lib. of old Authors, under " Dreams," p. 64. 


Rapid death was also observed to occur in cases where three 
horses and a cat had been experimented on with the dried leaves 

(3) The ancients supposed that a poisonous property resided in 
the flower of the yew. 

Thus Lucretius writes (De rerum naturd, vi. 787) : "Floris odore 
hominem tetro consueta necare." Plutarch (Symposium, iii. 647, F.) 
says, that the yew-tree slays those who sleep under it, and that it is 
specially dangerous when in flower. 

Glandorpius, a Commentator on Caesar, writes : " Si quis sub 
taxo, dum floret, domiat certum est mori." These opinions, how- 
ever, have not been confirmed ; no results having been found to 
follow in the case of experiments made with the pollen of the yew. 1 

(4) As regards the berries. Opinions are very much divided on 
the question whether they are or are not poisonous. 

Pliny maintained that they are : " Lethale quippe baccis, in 
Hispanitl precipue, venenum inest." 

Theophrastus, on the other hand, says that they are not : " Taxi 
baccas edules esse et innoxias homini." And a Scholiast on this 
passage adds : " Et sane sunt hujuscemodi in Anglia." 

There is a similar difference of opinion amongst modern authorities. 

A case is mentioned in the Revue Medicale (June, 1837, p. 394), 
in which a child, three years and a half old, who had eaten some 
yew-berries, was seized with vomiting and convulsions followed by 
death in two hours. Four cases are quoted in Woodman and Tidy's 
Medical Jurisprudence, p. 290, of deaths following upon the eating 
of the berries, at intervals of four, seven, and nineteen hours 

Matthiolus, the Commentator on Dioscorides, tells us that he 
treated several shepherds and wood-cutters, who had been attacked 
with an inflammatory fever after eating yew-berries. 

1 Evelyn (Sylva, p. 380) writes as follows : " Dr Belluccio, President of 
the Medical Garden at Pisa in Tuscany, affirms that when his gardeners clip it 
(the yew), as sometimes they do, they are not able to work above half an hour 
at a time, it makes their heads so ake." The writer, however, does not explain 
whether this effect is caused by the pollen, or by the fact that the air is 
impregnated with, the odour of the cut and bruised leaves. 


On the other side, M. le Baron Percy published a Paper in the 
Ancien Journal de Medecin (vol. Ixxxiii. p. 229), in which he main- 
tains the completely innocuous character of the berries. He says 
that he ate them himself, a dozen at a time, and that his young 
nephew did the same, with no injurious result. He also mentions 
many other similar instances that had come under his own observa- 
tion, where men, women, and children had eaten them in abundance 
without feeling the slightest ill effects. He confirms his own ex- 
perience by that of the eminent physicians, Lobel, Bulliard, and 
Girard de Villars. He tells us, too, he is assured by the head- 
gardener of Versailles, where there are very many yew-trees, that 
children eat them in great quantities ; as also do blackbirds, thrushes, 
and other birds. 

M. Percy also remarks that wasps prefer the yew-berries to 
grapes ; on which account, in vine-growing countries, yew-trees are 
frequently planted in close proximity to the vineyards, in order to 
attract the insects from the vines themselves. 

Looking at the diversity of opinion which exists with regard to 
the question, as to whether the yew-berry is or is not poisonous, in 
spite of the abundance of the facts that have been brought forward 
in evidence, it seems to me that the remark of Brotius sums up all 
that can be said with certainty upon the subject. After telling us 
that to his certain knowledge the yew-berries were perfectly harm- 
less ; and yet that it had been proved in many instances upon most 
unexceptionable testimony, "venena fuere proesentissima" he coa- 
cludes, " distinguendae ergo sunt taxi species" 

(5) Lastly, as to the bark of the yew. 

The bark of a yew-tree that had been cut down near Montgarni, 
the residence of the physician Harmand, was accidentally thrown 
into a small artificial canal there. The fish died in great quantities ; 
cats, after one or two trials, refused to eat these fish ; and some of 
the servants, who were bold enough to cook and eat a few of them, 
paid the penalty of their rashness in the shape of a severe choleraic 

I have thus shown that, with the doubtful exception of the berry, 
every part of the yew-tree is poisonous ; and that it is a rapidly fata] 


poison. Before leaving this part of the subject, let me add to what 
has been adduced the opinions of some eminent English toxicologists 
of our own day. 

Dr Pereira (Materia Medica, ii. 334) writes as follows : " The 
fruit of the common yew is poisonous. . . Its effects are giddiness, 
suddeti, prostration of strength, coldness of the surface, irregular 
action of the heart .... followed by coma and death." 

Dr A. Swayne Taylor (On Poisons, &c., p. 784) writes : "A very 
small quantity of yew-leaves taken fresh may prove a rapidly fatal 

(II.) Secondly, as to the effects produced upon the skin. 

The Ghost calls the " iuyce of curfed Hebona " a " leperous diftil- 
ment ; " and in describing the effect of the poison, says further : 

..." a moft inftant tetter barckt about 
Moft Lazar-like, with vile and loathfome cruft, 
All my finooth Body." 

Here it is that I find the strongest confirmation of the theory I 
am maintaining. No other known poison produces such an effect 
upon the body as Shakspere thus describes. From the fact that so 
little is known at all of this characteristic symptom, in cases of death 
from yew, it has always been assumed that the passage I have just 
quoted is simply a poetical exaggeration. But it is not so. Shak- 
spere's description, however he obtained his knowledge, is most 
strictly and literally accurate, as I now propose to show. 

Beyond the statement in Batman upon Bartholomceus : "the 
substance thereof keepeth the euill that is called Ignis Gracus that 
it shall not quench, as Dioscorides amrmeth and sayeth," I can find 
no allusion, in any writer of Shakspere's time, to the peculiar effect 
of the poison of the yew upon the human body, when taken inter- 
nally. 1 I have looked carefully through Dioscorides, and through the 
Commentary of his editor, Matthiolus, without finding any trace of 
the passage to which Batman alludes. Matthiolus, indeed, says that 

1 But it was known in Shakspere's day that such effects followed, when the 
juice of the yew was applied externally to the skin. See the remark of 
Bauhin, quoted by Dr Nicholson (Transactions N. S. S., 1880-2, p. 25), "pul- 
vere taxi adeo cntlm ulcerant, ut miserabiles ac fere deplorati homines 
appareant." Bk. ix. cap. 3. 


the juice of the yew-berry gives rise in men to inflammatory fevers, 
and " ardeur de sang " (with which expression I would compare 
that of Silvester, "blood-boiling yew"), but he does not specify 
the " lazar-like " condition of the skin as an effect of the poison. 
There is, however, other evidence in abundance of the fact that such 
effects do follow ; and that they constitute, indeed, one of the most 
marked and distinctive characteristic symptoms in cases of this 

About 40 years ago, the attention of the Hygienic Executive 
department of the French Government was called to the frequent 
occurrence of deaths from yew-poisoning, owing chiefly to its em- 
ployment as an abortive. An instruction judiciaire was accordingly 
issued, in which M. M. Chevallier, Duchesne, et Eeynal, eminent 
toxicologists and members of the Council of Public Hygiene, were 
desired to inquire into and report upon the nature and properties of 
the yew, with special reference to its effects as a poison. The result 
was a most interesting paper, extending to something like 75 pages 
octavo ; which was drawn up by these gentlemen, and presented to 
the Government, and which contains the most complete and ex. 
haustive account we possess of all that is known about the yew. Its 
title is, Memoire sur I'if et sur ses proprietes toxiques ; and it is to 
be found in the fourth volume of the Annales d' Hygiene puUique et 
de Medicine legate, 2 me Serie. 

It is from this paper that I have derived some of the facts which 
I have already quoted, in proof of the rapidly fatal character of the 
poison of the yew. The following remarks of the authors are most 
valuable for the light which they throw upon the question now 
before us : 

" There is another very singular phenomenon which no previous 
writer seems to have pointed out as being a characteristic symptom 
of yew poisoning. We allude to those remarkable eruptions on the 
skin which take place in the human subject ; and which, together 
with a falling off of the coat, we have observed to follow when a 
distilled preparation of yew leaves has been given to animals. 

" Several writers, indeed, have noted the fact of peculiar erup- 
tions having been seen upon the body after death in these cases ; 
but none have laid sufficient stress upon these as a distinctive charac- 
teristic symptom of the effects of the poison of the yew. 


"This pathological characteristic, however, is so extremely im- 
portant, that we feel bound to draw attention to it, for the guidance 
of those who may hereafter be engaged in observations upon similar 

This statement is supported by evidence in detail ; of which I 
will cite a few examples only. 

In one instance the condition of the body is thus described : 
"The back and sides of the trunk and the limbs were puffy and 
swollen, and of a uniform deep red, the colour of a raspberry. The 
anterior parts of the trunk were of the same colour, but in distinctly 
raised circular patches." 

In another instance where Dr Harmand of Montgarni exhibited 
the powdered bark of the yew in a severe case of febris quartana, he 
cured the fever in a month's time. But shortly after, he tells us, the 
patient's body became covered " de gales et de pustules." In two 
days he lost the whole of his hair. This cutaneous affection lasted 
for two months, " during the whole of which time, says Harmand, 
the man ' resta comme imbecile.' " His recovery was slow and diffi- 
cult. The yew-powder, which had been infused in white wine, 
certainly proved, in this instance, to be a " leperous distilment." 

The same physician (Harmand) reports that a young woman, 
aged 26 years, of good constitution and in perfect health, slept all 
night under a yew-tree. He was called in to see her the next morn- 
ing, and found her covered thickly over with a miliary eruption. 
For two days she was like a person in a state of intoxication. 1 
("Elle demeura dans une sorte d'ivresse.") The third day the rash 
suddenly disappeared, a swelling formed on the right knee, which 
gathered and broke. On the fourteenth day she died. 

In the case, before alluded to, of the infant who was poisoned by 
taking six grains of the powdered yew, it is stated that an hour after 
death the body was covered with very extensive ecchymosed patches 
(d'ecchymoses fort etendues). 2 

In the Revue Medicale for June, 1837, mention is made of a 

1 In connection with this symptom, compare what was quoted above, 
p. 308, in reference to the effects of the bites of poisonous snakes : " symptoms 
of muddling intoxication ensue." 

2 Dr Harmand, de Montgarni, Observations sur Pif (Ancien journal de 
medicine, vol. Ixxxiii. p. 210). 


death from the eating of yew-berries, which topk place in two hours 
after the poison had been received into the stomach. In this instance 
the body was found to be entirely covered with a purple or violet- 
coloured eruption (des taches violace"es). Several other similar cases 
are given in detail, which I will not weary you by citing. 

Let me, however, refer to one or two instances, in which similar 
effects are proved to have taken place in animals which had been 
poisoned by yew. 

Girard (Memoire sur les qualites de Vif, 1752) mentions that the 
bodies of two horses, which had been poisoned by eating the leaves, 
were much swollen after death ; and that the coat came away from 
the skin at the slightest touch of the hand. In eight other cases the 
internal organs are described as " ecchymosed," as "covered with red 
patches," &c. ; the whole condition and appearances, in short, bearing 
a very striking resemblance to those described as following in the 
corresponding instances of snake-poisoning. In the Gentleman's 
Magazine for 1790, Pt. II. p. 691, there is an account of the death 
of three calves immediately after eating fresh yew-leaves. Some 
dogs, which ate of the entrails of these calves, speedily died also. 
In all these cases the coats of the stomach were found to be highly 
inflamed, and the intestines perforated with small holes. 

A preparation of yew-leaves distilled with water was applied to 
the skin of a mare ; an eruption followed, very slight at first, the 
spots being elevated and isolated. This eruption gradually increased 
during the day. At evening the whole surface of the body was 
covered, and in many parts the pustules were united so as to form 
encrusted patches as large as the palm of the hand. 

Dr Hermann gave some of the powdered bark to a cat. In this 
instance death did not follow immediately ; but in eight days' time 
the animal's body was covered with " gales " a sort of incrustation ; 
it refused food, and died on the seventeenth day. 

(III.) As to the effects of yew poison upon the blood. Shak- 
spere's words are : 

. . . . " With a fodaine vigour it doth poffet 
And curde, like eager droppings into milke, 
The thin and wholibme blood." 


Taylor (On Poisons), describing the post-mortem appearances in a 
case of yew-poisoning, says : " the heart was found distended with 
blood of a dirty plum colour." 

M.M. Bredin and H4non, writing of the condition of the blood 
of a mare which had been poisoned by yew, remark as follows : 
"Le sang est noir, et ne pr^sente que quelques caillots blancs, peu 
consistent et d'un petit volume." The black and altered character 
of the blood is due to its decomposition by the action of the poison, 
just as in the similar instances mentioned in the case of snake- 

One very singular observation I find recorded, which I mention 
because it bears upon the interpretation of the phrase " blood-boiling 
yew." Girard de Yillars, in a paper, Sur les qualites d'if, read before 
the Academy of Belles Lettres at Rochelle, speaking of an autopsy 
that he made in the case of two horses that had been poisoned with 
yew, says: "Les matieres qui remplissaient la cavite" de I'estomac 
e"taient d'une si grande effervescence qu'ils me brulerent le bout des 

In the instance of the dogs alluded to above, it is said that those 
which drank water after eating of the calves that had died by yew 
poison, died immediately ; but that two others, which were tied up 
and kept without water for 14 hours, escaped. "This," says the 
writer, "seems to prove that yew is innocuous to the stomach unless 
put into fermentation by drinking after it." It certainly does not 
prove that yew is innocuous, for these two dogs may not have eaten 
a sufficient quantity of the poison to cause death. But it does seem 
to show that the poisonous action is increased in intensity by the 
"fermentation" or "boiling" property, which has been noticed as 
one of its characteristics. 

And once more as regards the stupefying property of this poison, 
and its analogy in this respect to the venom of the cobra and rattle- 
snake already referred to. Let me add two illustrations. 

Forty grains of the aqueous extract of yew were injected under 
the skin of a large dog. In two minutes' time the animal showed 
symptoms of vertigo ; it staggered about and could not hold up its 


M. Dujardin 1 writes thus : 

" Cette sorte d'ivresse qui a pre"ce"de et accompagne" 1'intoxication, 
ivresse qui se traduit par 1'acceptation des feuilles d'if (he is speaking 
of animals), je ne la constate que comme un symptbme analogue a 
ceux qni se manifestent dans d'autres cas d'empoissonnement tels 
quo ceux produits par les alcb'ols, le laudanum," &c., &c. 

Finally, I would remind you of the singularly interesting fact 
already mentioned by Dr Nicholson interesting as bearing upon the 
point under discussion, and as illustrating still further the analogy 
between the qualities real or supposed of the poison of the yew and 
the venom of poisonous snakes that Suetonius relates of the 
Emperor Claudius. The historian tells us (Vita Claud. XYI.) that 
the Emperor issued a public edict, in which he informed the citizens 
of Rome "niliil seque facere ad viperaB morsum quam taxi arboris 
succum." That the juice of the yew should be held to be an antidote 
for the bite of the viper, proceeds on the principle embodied in the 
saying, "similia similibus curantur." I have found a more recent 
application of the same principle ; also in connection with the yew. 

Kl linker 2 informs us that the country-folk of Silesia have for a 
long time successfully employed a decoction of yew-wood in milk, in 
cases where persons have been bitten by rabid dogs. 

To sum up what has been attempted in this Paper. Assuming 
that you bear in mind the lines of argument laid down by Dr 
Nicholson (Transactions, p. 30), I have tried to show, as comple- 
ruental to what he has stated : 

(a) That the "Hebenon" of Fi is not necessarily the true read- 
ing of the passage as Shakspere wrote it; neither Qi nor Q2 having 
this reading. 

(b) That in accordance with an admitted canon of criticism for 
determining the value of a reading, which declares, " Such a word is 
to* be preferred as will naturally account for the corrupt forms " 
Hebon, of which both Hebona and Hebenon MAY BE corruptions, as 
being itself a word recognized and in use in Shakspere's day, might 
fairly claim admission into the text. But 

1 Eevue Horticole, 4" S6rie, t. iii. No. 22, 1854. 
2 J. Loeselius, Flora prussica (Eegiomonti, 1703, p. 266). 


(c) That it is probable that Shakspere himself wrote the form 
Hebona as a poetical equivalent for Hebon, inasmuch as this form 
of the word is found in both the early Quartos; and that either 
Hebon or Hebona makes Dr Grey's " Henbane " theory an impos- 

(d) That Eben (a stone) being the root-word from which the 
term Ebenus and its variations, Eben, Eiben, Ihpen, Heben, &c., are 
derived, the yew and the ebony have an equal right, on etymological 
grounds, to the name Hebona. 

(e) That the effects here predicated by Shakspere of " cursed 
Hebona," which do not correspond with those of any other known 
poison, correspond in the minutest particulars with those which have 
been observed to follow in cases of poisoning by yew. And further, 

(/) That there is a very remarkable similarity in the symptoms 
attendant upon poisoning by the venom of serpents and those which 
toxicologists have noted as characteristic of yew-poisoning. 

(g) That the descriptions in the three separate instances viz. 
(i) that in Shakspere's Hamlet, (ii) those in medical writings on 
snake-poisoning, and (iii) those in cases of poisoning by yew when 
brought together are found to cohere so closely as to raise the pre- 
sumption into a moral certainty, that by Hebona, in this passage, we 
are to understand the yew. 

Let me anticipate an objection. " You have brought forward an 
array of authorities," it may be said, " first, in proof that the yew is 
one of the trees which belong to the class of Hebons ; and secondly, 
that the specific effects of yew-poison are just those described by the 
Ghost in the passage under discussion. But where is your proof that 
Shakspere knew all this?" I do not think that it is incumbent 
upon me to furnish such proof. I am contending that the " cursed 
Hebona " in Hamlet is the yew. And if it is said : " Well, but 
Shakspere did not know that all the effects you have described follow 
in cases of yew-poisoning ; for as a matter of fact many English 
physicians of the present day do not know it ; " I might retort that 
the burthen of proof rests with those who assume that Shakspere did 
not know it. Again, I may refer you to the remarkable words of 
Bauhin about the " impostors who produced ulcerations to such an 


extent on their skins, by the use of yew-powder, as to make them- 
selves pitiable objects." Bauhin, who died only eight years after 
Shakspere, gives in these words, as Dr Nicholson says, " evidence of 
a contemporary practice." Bear in mind, too, that Dioscorides' 
Treatise on Materia Medica was, in every sense of the word, a 
most popular book. At least twenty different editions of the text, 
probably more, were published in the 16th century. It was the 
subject of countless commentaries and criticisms. I have noted the 
titles of thirty different editions of various commentators, dating 
between 1554 and 1600. These were in the Italian, Spanish, Ger- 
man, and French languages. Matthiolus' translation, accompanied 
by its voluminous comment, went through several editions; and 
being in French was much read in this country, and formed the basis 
of such popular books as Lyte's Herbal, Bullein's Government of 
Health (1595), and other works of the same class to which Shakspere 
would have access. Besides which, we must bear in mind his inti- 
mate connection with one of the most distinguished physicians of the 
age, with whom his acquaintance may have begun some years before 
he became his son-in-law. 

But I contend, that as regards the fact of Shakspere's knowledge 
of all the effects, which I have quoted from modern authorities, as 
following in cases of yew-poisoning, it is no part of my business to 
PROVE that Shakspere knew them. Yet if he did not know them of 
yew, he certainly did not know them of any other poison ; for no 
poison except the yew does produce these specific effects. I would 
go further and say : " There is the passage in Hamlet detailing certain 
symptoms, here is the evidence of experts describing the symptoms 
which follow upon poisoning by yew. Compare the one with the 
other, and say if they do not tally in the minutest particulars." 

Such are the facts ; and I maintain that, until the contrary is 
proved, we are bound to believe that Shakspere knew what he was 
writing about. Of course, if any one cares to retort, " So much 
the worse for the facts, Shakspere could not possibly have known all 
this" I can go no further. I can but answer for myself that the 
older I grow and the more I study him the more disinclined I feel 
to say with respect to any subject of human knowledge, that this 


intellectual king of men was not conversant with it. I am mindful 
of a remark I think of Dr Bucknill's that Shakspere's knowledge 
in every department of science is "so extensive and so exact that it 
necessitates the skilled observation of a professional mind fully and 
fairly to appreciate and set it forth." Whether it was by intuition, 
or by study, or by what other means he was in advance of his age, 
who can say ? But this, I am sure, we can all say, that the longer 
and the closei 1 we look into his writings, we shall with so much the 
profounder conviction of their truth be ready to assent to those 
forcible words of Coleridge : " Merciful wonder-making Heaven ! 
what a man was this Shakspere ! myriad-minded, indeed, he was ! " 


Mr Eurnivall sends me the following note as a possible explanation 
of the spelling Hebenon : 

" Though I agree with you in rejecting the reading Hebenon, yet 
an entry in the Sinonima Bartholomei, 1387 A.D. (Anecd. Oxon. 1882, 
p. 26, col. 1), helps to explain its form. For Hyoscyamus, henbane, 
we find : 

'lusquiamus, an[glice] henebon,' cujus est triplex maneries alb. 
ruf. et nig. sed nigra est mortifera, alise duse competunt 

" Earle, English Plant Names, p. 47 : 

' Jusquiamus, chenille hennebone; i. e. Hyoscyamus, henbane 
(Ger. Bohme = /cv'a/^oe).' 

" On turning to the Gatholicon Anglicum, an English-Latin 
Word-Book, 1483 (ed. Heritage, Early Eng. Text Soc., p. 182, col. 2), 
we find : 

* Hen-bane ; lusquimanus ; ' on which Mr Herrtage notes : 
' lusquimanus should be lusquiamus, from the Greek vovKva- 
fjiog, lit. hog's bean, but gradually corrupted into henbane, 
which Cotgrave gives as "mort aux oisaus" ; Henbane, also 
Hemlock e.' 

" Even without this example of the transposition of the letters in 
the Latin words, the English henebon (or hennebone) easily accounts 
for 'hebenon.' But that Shakspere meant Hebona, hebon, yew, I 
have no doubt." F. J. F. 


That the word Henbane was, before Shakspere's time, and by his 
contemporaries, variously spelt is evident from the examples cited by 
Mr Furnivall. Gerarde, in his Herball, 1597, gives also " Hanne- 
bane " as the French spelling. It is quite possible, therefore, that 
the copyist or compositor of Fi may have substituted 'heneboii' for 
Shakspere's 'hebona' (under the idea that he was correcting a 
blunder of Shakspere's), and that his 'henebon' was misprinted 
'hebenon.' That he was trying to improve upon Q2 is manifest. 
For whereas Shakspere had written (11. 71, 72), 

" a moft inftant tetter barckt about 
Moft Lazerlike with vile and lothfome cruft 
All my fmooth body," 

a perfectly intelligible figure, the tetter on the body making the 
smooth skin become rough like the bark of a tree the transcriber of 
the copy for Fi alters * barckt ' into ' bak'd.' ' Crust,' to his mind, 
doubtless suggested baking ! In the same way, being ignorant most 
probably of the fact, which Shakspere knew well enough, that Henbane 
produces no such symptoms or effects as are described in this passage, 
but others as distinct as possible from them, he may have altered 
' hebona ' into ' henebon,' and so caused the corrupt gloss ' hebenon,' 
which has disfigured all the subsequent editions to our own time. 

Gerarde, writing four or five years before the date of Hamlet, says 
of Henbane (Herball, p. 288, ed. 1597), "The oile or iuyce dropped 
into the eares is good against deafness." He also tells us that Hen- 
bane is good for curing desperate ulcers. It is absurd to suppose 
that Shakspere whatever might be the case with the copyist of Fi 
would have attributed such totally opposite properties to his Hebona, 
had he intended it to be the same thing as Henbane. 

Respecting the berry of the yew-tree, Gerarde writes (Herball, 
ed. 1597) : "Moreouer, they say that the fruite thereof being eaten, 
is not onely daungerous vnto man and deadly, but if birds do eute 
thereof, it causeth them to cast their feathers, and many times to die. 
All which I dare boldly affirme is altogether vntrue. For when I 
was yoong and went to schoole, diuers of my schoole-fellowes and 
likewise myselfe did eate our fils of the berries of this tree, without 
any hurt at all, and that not one time but many times." W. A. .H. 

N. S. SOC. TRANS., 1880-2. Y 



two and thirty, a pip (peepe,T?i) out = drunk : The Shrew, I. ii. 
33. The French ambassador at Rome hinted to Guzman de Alfarache, 
who was then in his service, a wish to be rid of the company of a 
tiresome English visitor. " Whereupon," says Guzman, " I tooke my 
friend to taske, I followed him with salt-meats, that were smart and 
sharpe, and left behinde them a kinde of tartnesse or tang vpon the 
tongue ; wherewith being bitten, he call'd for his coolers, which he 
tooke almost faster then I could fill them. 

" The wine that he gulped downe, was the gulph that swallowed 
him vp. The glasse was great, his draughts answerable, and those 
often, and this powder tooke so well, that at last he was powdred 
with a vvitnesse, and quite blowne vp. 

" When I saw he had yeelded himselfe prisoner to his pots, and 
that hee was aboue one and thirty [quando lo vi rendido, y a treinta 
con Mey], being many peepes out, I tooke off one of my garters, and 
knit a sliding knot vpon the instep of one of his feete, and fastened 
it vnto the stoole whereon he sate." The severe fall that resulted 
made the bore cease his visits. Mabbe's trans, of Guzman de 
Alfarache, 1623, Pt. I. p. 253. In Capt. John Stevens's Spanish- 
English Dictionary, 1726, this game is called " Treynta y una." 
The ed. of Aleman's book from which the bracketed extract is taken 
was printed at Madrid, by Lorenzo Francisco Mojados, in 1750. 

aery of children : Hamlet, II. ii. 354-5. There seems little doubt 
that Shakspere refers here to the Children of the Queen's Revels at 
the Blackfriars, 1 whose license is dated, 30 Jan. 1603-4. That they 
were thought the best of their day, the following extract tends to 
show : " So at the last, after long studie, Lady Lasciuious, with her 
Beldame Opportunity, growing acquainted with their suite, gaue them 
this counsell : the yong man to transforme himselfe into an effeminate 
shape, & so vnsuspected, hee might safely trauell as a she Pilgrime 
in her company : but for the more safety it was agreed vpon betweene 
them, that hee should take the name of Dalinda, and present 
himselfe to the Gentlewoman, seeming by her ciuill shew to be more 
rich in vertue then in beauty : all which was acted in such quaint 
manner that they seemed to surpasse the boyes of Blacke-fryars" 
(?) 1611. Wm. Finner [Fennor]. Pluto his Trauailes, or, The 
Diuels Pilgrimage to the Colledge of lesuites. sign. B. 3. F. 

scare, vb. : Lear, IY. i. 59. The little children were neuer so 
afrayd of hell mouth in the old plaies painted with great gang teeth, 
staring eyes, and a foule bottle nose, as the poore deuils are skared 
with the hel mouth of a priest. 1603. S. Harsnet. A Declaration 
of g regions Popish Impostures, p. 71. B. ET. 

1 See my Forewords to Griggs's Facsimile of Hamlet, Quarto 2, p. iv. 



(Read at the 76th Meeting of the Society, Friday, February 10, 1882.) 

IT has long been granted by a vast majority of critics, that Pe- 
ricles, as it has come down to us, is not the production of Shakspere 
alone. In his articles on Timon and Pericles in the Shakespeare- 
Jahrbuch, 13 years ago, Delius first called attention to the author of 
the Miseries of Enforced Marriage l as probably also author of part 
of Pericles. To this conclusion he came as the result of a careful 
investigation of Wilkins's novel of Pericles, and a comparison with 
the play. His papers were followed by those of Fleay on the same 
subject in the Transactions of the New Shakspere Society for 1874. 
Fleay fixed on the first two Acts as the work of Wilkins, along with 
part of the Gower Chorus (to Acts L, II.), giving the rest of the 
chorus and the brothel-scenes in Act IV. to Rowley. Though agreeing 
with Eleay in this division, I condemn most strongly his language 
with respect to Delius, 2 which is only too much in harmony with 
the dictatorial tone that he, with so little reason, assumed as supreme 
authority in all Shakspere questions. 

Fleay brought forward little or nothing in support of his views, 
except an assertion that the metre of the Miseries of Enforced 
Marriage corresponded wonderfully with that of the first two acts of 
Pericles. What this assertion was worth will now be plain to those 
who see, day after day, one result or other of Fleay's investigations 
proved flagrantly wrong. From one observation he made in the 

1 In Oct. 1879, Mr P. A. Daniel pointed out in the Athenceum the fact 
that Wilkins's Miseries of Enforced Marriage, 1607, is founded on the narrative 
of the Calverly murder, which was also the source of the so-called " Shak- 
spere' s" Yorkshire Tragedy. 

8 JV. 8h. Soc.'s Trans., 1874, p. 200, 208-91 

y 2 


course of his paper, it appears that he had in his hands the means 
of settling the question on a far more trustworthy basis than that 
of metrical tests. He had at least looked into the title-page of 
The Travels of the Three English Brothers, in which Day, Wilkins, 
and W. Eowley wrote together. What I- now offer to the N. S. S. is 
the result of a comparison of Pericles with The Miseries of Enforced 
Marriage on the one hand, and with the six plays of John Day 
which have come down to us on the other. The plays I have care- 
fully examined are Pericles, The Miseries of Enforced Marriage, The 
Travels of the Three English Brothers, and Law Tricks. More cur- 
sorily, The Isle of Gulls and Humour out of Breath. Slightly, The 
Parliament of Bees and The Blind Beggar of Bednal Green. 

Last year G. A. Bullen * finished a reprint of Day's Plays in 7 
parts, the seventh containing Notes, &c. My attention was attracted 
by a note in this part, showing a most striking similarity between 
two passages in Law Tricks (No. IV of the Reprint) and Pericles, 
II. i. I immediately set to work to examine the play in question, 
and compare it with The Miseries. But before giving the dry results 
of my investigation, I shall give some slight sketch of John Day's 
work. I do so without thinking it necessary to apologize, as the 
scanty support Mr Bullen has met with, both in his reprint of Day 
and in the undertaking in which he is now engaged, fully bears me 
out in the supposition that the vast majority of the members of the 
N. S. S. know little of the courtly old dramatist. We have the 
names of a considerable number of plays in which Day was engaged 
with Chettle, Haughton, Dekker, Wentworth Smith, and Hathway. 
Of these we have still Tlie Blind Beggar of Bednal Green by Day 
and Chettle. But the Parliament of Bees, although going under the 
name of Day alone, has long passages corresponding with passages 
from Dekker's Wonder of a Kingdom. (See Bullen's remarks ; but 
the correspondance extends much further than those remarks would 
seem to indicate.) Characters 4 and 5 of the Parliament of Bees are 
to be found in Samuel Rowley's Spanish Soldier. These facts prove 
that, even when Day figures alone on the title-page, we need not 

1 G. A. Bullen, Clarence House, Godwin Road, New Town, Margate. He 
has still a few copies of Day's Plays undisposed of. 


necessarily assume him to have been sole author. With the authors 
mentioned above, Day seems to have worked together about the end 
of the 16th and the first few years of the 17th century. A second 
group of plays begins with 1606 1609, in which Day was helped by 
Wilkins and Eowley. The Isle of Gulls appeared in quarto in 1606. 
As far as I can see at present, it is of no importance to the question 
in hand to enter into a discussion whether this play was by Day 
alone. In 1607 appeared The Travels of the Three English Brothers, 
in which the three writers, Day, Wilkins, and "W. Eowley, subscribe 
as joint authors. In 1608 appeared Humour out of Breath and Law 
Tricks, both with the name of Day alone. Humour out of Breath 
was written in 1608, as it contains the following allusion : 

" Aspero. For my beard, indeed, that was bitten the last great 

Now, notwithstanding the assertion of Fleay with regard to 
Love's Cure (which the result of my metrical investigations, Englische 
Studien, Bd. V, Heft 1, ascribes to the year 1622 and to Massinger), 
I attach great importance to such an allusion. Metrical evidence, as 
used now, becomes of importance only with regard to later authors. 
However, there is not even metrical evidence to support the idea that 
the allusion is to a frost earlier than that of 1607-8. Let us assume 
then the play was written in the year in which it was published, 
1608. In the preface, or dedication to Signior No-body, Day says, 
" Being to turn a poor friendless child (the play) into the world, yet 
sufficiently featured too, had it been all of one man's getting" These 
words admit of only one construction, viz. an admission on the part 
of Day that he had been assisted in the play by at least one writer. 
This other author, from the allusions scattered through some prose 
scenes, connecting it with Pericles and The Miseries of Enforced 
Marriage, was Wilkins. I shall not cite those passages here, as they 
are not necessary for my purpose. Law Tricks, as I said before, was 
published in 1608. Considering that Day was assisted by Wilkins 
and W. Eowley in 1607 in The Travels, and that Day alludes to some 
h.'lp received in Humour out of Breath in 1608, there would be 
nothing surprising if it should turn out that Wilkins was also engaged 
in Law Triclcs. Now Pericles was entered on the Stationers' Eegister, 


1608, and published 1609. The Miseries of Enforced Marriage 
appeared in 1607. We have thus, in the compass of two years, 
1607-1609, ample materials to judge of the question before us. 
Putting Humour out of Breath out of the question, after it has shown 
us how easily Wilkins may have been engaged in Law Tricks, 
published in the same year, I proceed now to examine The Travels 
of the Three English Brothers, in order to ascertain the respective 
shares of the three authors. Mr Bullen has not divided the play 
into scenes ; but as such a division is necessary for consultation, I 
propose the following arrangement : 

Sc. i. to page 14. Enter Messenger. 

ii. 27. Enter the Sophy's Niece. 

iii. 34. Enter Chorus. 

iv. 36. Enter Chorus. 

v. 40. Enter Chorus. 

vi. ,, 46. Alarum. 

vii. 50. Enter Turk. 

viii. 53. Enter Sir A. Sherley. 

ix. 64. Enter Sophy. 

x. ,, 75. Enter Jailor. 

xi. 78. Enter the Great Turk. 

xii. 82. Enter Eobert Sherley. 

xiii. to end. 

Mr Bullen gives a scheme by Eleay for the authorship of the 
several scenes. I take it for granted that Eleay divides the play as 
I do, as where the page is mentioned his division agrees with mine. 
The following is Eleay's plan of the play side by side with my own. 

Fleay. Boyle. 

Sc. i. Rowley Rowley. 

,, ii. Wilkins ... ... Wilkins. 

iii. Day ... Day. 

iv. Day 1 Rowley ? or Day ? 

v. Day 1 ? ... ... Rowley 1 or Day ? 

vi. Wilkins ... ... Wilkins. 

vii. Rowley Rowley. 


Fleay. Boyle. 

Sc. viii. Wilkins Wilkins. 

ix. Day? Rowley (probably). 

x. Rowley Wilkins. 

xi. Day] Day (Jailor's speech perhaps 

by Wilkins). 

xii. Day] Wilkins. 

xiii. Wilkins, pp. 8288 Wilkins, pp. 8288. 
Rowley, p. 88 to end ... Rowley, p. 88 to end. 

From metrical evidence alone a separation of the work of Day 
and Wilkins would be difficult. But Rowley has an uneven metre 
which generally betrays him. Fortunately for our purpose, Wilkins 
has a peculiarity which is perhaps safer to build upon than metrical 
evidence he continually repeats himself. He and Massinger repeat 
themselves to a degree which renders the work of separation here 
comparatively easy. I may safely assume then, that when, in scenes 
which both Fleay and I have agreed to give to Wilkins, I can show 
Wilkinisms (to coin a word), the scene belongs to that author. For 
my present purpose it is enough that I show correctly the scenes in 
which Wilkins was engaged. Whether Day or Rowley wrote the 
4th, 5th, and 9th scenes does not affect the present question. 

Sc. i. we have both assigned to Rowley. I have only here to call 
attention to p. 12, "there lives a princess," which shows that Rowley 
lays the scene in the time of Queen Elizabeth ; whereas p. 81, " From 
my dread master, England's royal king," in a scene which I attribute 
to Wilkins, and Fleay to Day, shows that W. (as I contend) lays 
the scene in the time of James. 

In sc. ii. a messenger enters. Now, as we shall see later (table 
of parallel passages), it is a peculiarity of Wilkins's messengers to be 
in haste. This one is sweating 

" Well, sir, now, your sweating message." 

Three such messengers come in in this play, all three in Wilkins's 
scenes ; three in Miseries, and two in Pericles. On p. 15 occurs a line, 

" Rise till it dim the stars ; such your high mind," 
which occurs again p. 46, also a Wilkins scene 


" My mind is high, lie my head ne'er so low." 
On p. 16 occurs a passage (see Bullen's notes) 

" They shall have graces like thee dishonoured, 
Unfit for heaven or earth : this we prepare ; 
Betwixt them both we'll seat you in the air," 

which also occurs in almost the same form in Tlie Miseries of 
Enforced Marriage (see table of parallel passages). 
On p. 20 occurs 

" Thou art better go down quick into thy grave 
Than touch him," 

which corresponds with a passage in The Miseries (see table of 
parallel passages). In sc. iii. these allusions to The Miseries cease. 
Nor do I find any in sc. iv. and sc. v. The Chorus before sc. vi. 
makes such a chaos of geography as seldom occurs, even amongst 
our old dramatists. Sir Thomas Sherley comes from England to the 
court of the great Duke of Florence, thence to the Straits of Gibraltar, 
then to Leghorn, then to the Duke of Tuscan, then to Sicily, and 
then to Chios (Jeo). Query 1 Is not this Eowley's? Could Day 
or Wilkins have made so much confusion ? 
With sc. vi. we have Wilkins again 

" Think that the seas 

Played with us but as great men die a-land, 
Hurled us now up, now down ! " 

This reminds us of Pericles, II. i. 63, 64, and also II. i. 31. 

Sc. vii. we have both given to Rowley. Note the number of the 
prisoners, p. 47 

" Between 30 and 40 of their chief commanders," 

and p. 49 

" Thirty, my Lord. 
Those 30 lives shall buy my brother's life." 

But Wilkins in sc. viii. did not notice the number of the prisoners 
and makes it 20. On p. 51 he mentions that number twice. This 
has been left uncorrected ; but in the later scenes 30 are always 
spoken of by both authors. On p. 52 occurs 

" Thy torments shall be more, thy freedom less," 


which occurs again on p. 78 in exactly the same words. It reminds 
one of Pericles, II. ii. 9 

" My commendations great, whose merits less." 

Sc. ix. reads to Fleay like Kowley's, to me like Day's. 

Sc. x. is the first Willdns scene in which we differ. The con- 
struction in the fifth line, " Whom we command him kill," is con- 
tinually occurring in Wilkins, and p. 74 a messenger enters with a 
sweating news. 

Sc. xi we are both disposed to give to Day. The Jailor's speech 
may be Wilkins's. It is a repetition of Humour out of Breath, p. 58. 

In sc. xii. occurs the line, p. 78, 

" Thy tortures shall be more, thy freedom less." 

p. 80, a messenger with hasty news. 

p. 81, the allusion to the king. 

Sc. xiii. For Wilkins's participation up to p. 88 I have nothing to 
advance but the metrical structure and the Wilkinism " I not deny," 
p. 86. Seeing that Wilkins is acknowledged on the title-page as one 
of the authors, I think his share in The Three English Brothers may 
be regarded as ascertained. Let us now proceed to Law Tricks. 
Act I. sc. i., I regard as Day's. But with sc. ii. Wilkins comes in. 
It commences with the very small joke of feeling oneself with one's 
hands, a joke so small that it would hardly be worth another author's 
while to steal. This joke occurs in Tfie Miseries (see table of 
parallel passages). Then it goes on with an allusion to Pericles, 
II. i. (see table). If I. ii. be by Wilkins, II. i. is no less decidedly 
so. On p. 26 there is the continuation of the allusion to Pericles, 
II. i. On p. 27 occurs the allusion to my "she affinity," correspond- 
ing to a passage in The Miseries, p. 496. On p. 28, "security," 
there is an allusion to The Miseries, p. 515. On p. 30, "here's 
non ultra writ," a very common saying, it is true; but, considering 
Wilkins's habit of continually repeating himself, not without value ; 
compare Three Brothers, p. 50. The stock-fish allusion on p. 33 
corresponds with one in The Miseries, p. 534. The page's speech 
some lines further on reflects Miseries, p. 524. These allusions, 
together with the Wilkinism on p. 18, " I not love her sex," and 


the continual side-blows at law and lawyers, render it difficult to 
suppose that Wilkins was not the author of these scenes. As Mas- 
singer speaks continually of the miseries of soldiers in time of peace, 
and Day of scholars, Wilkins, in a far greater degree, abuses law and 
lawyers. Of the rest of the play I am disposed to regard IV. i. and 
V. at least from p. 86 on, as Wilkins's. The allusions are, p. 51 

" Then I shall sit upon your skirts." Also on p. 26. 

p. 53 " Two citizens' sons and a poet brought up all (the larks) 
in the town, flung away the bodies only to have a pie made of the 
brains." Also on p. 86. 

p. 54 " Have we not Hiren here 1 ?" Also p. 86. If this scene is 
by Wilkins, as seems probable, then the concluding pages from p. 86 
on are also his. 

For our purpose, however, it is only necessary to assume I. ii. and 
II. i. to be Wilkins's, as from the network of allusions connecting 
these two scenes with Pericles on the one hand, and with The 
Miseries and The Travels of the Three English Brothers on the 
other, can hardly be avoided, in order to establish our position, 
that the first two acts of Pericles are also his. A comparison of 
these two acts with Tlie Miseries shows an agreement in certain 
grammatical peculiarities. One of these, the position of the negative 
before the verb " I not love her sex," has been mentioned already as 
a Wilkinism. When I say a Wilkinism, I don't mean to say that he 
alone uses it, but that he is one of those authors who use it. 
Shakspere, Ben Jonson, Field, etc. also use it. This peculiarity is 
of great use in finding the author of a doubtful passage. If the 
question as to the authorship of the first two acts of Pericles lay 
between Shakspere and Wilkins, of course it would not be of much 
use. But, taking it for granted that Shakspere was not the author, 
it considerably strengthens the evidence in favour of Wilkins. It 
occurs in Pericles, V. iv. 47 

"If in which time expired he not return." 

Wilkins uses this construction in Miseries, p. 562 "What heart 
not pities this." 

p. 564 "My heart not suffers me to leave my honest mistress." 


In The Travels of the Three English Brothers, p. 86 " In Rome 
I not deny my brother struck him." 

And in Law Tricks, p. 18 "Though I not love her sex." 
The number of instances of this peculiar construction could, I 
believe, be largely increased, but these will be sufficient to show the 
hand of Wilkins in the places above-mentioned. A singular e fleet is 
produced by the omission of the relative in the nominative in the 
following passage : Pericles, I. i. 134 

" Antioch, farewell ! for wisdom sees, those men 
Blush not in actions blacker than the night, 
Will shun no course to keep them from the light." 

This omission is common in The Miseries : 

p. 428 "I must speak, 

That am his guardian ; would I had a son 
Might merit commendations equal with him." 

p. 483 " Divert the good is looked from them to ill." 

p. 519 " Nor that you keep 

The company of a most leprous rout 
Consumes your body's wealth, infects your name." 

This is a peculiarity of construction which is very frequent in The 
Miseries. The list of verbs which were followed by an infinitive 
without " to " was much larger in Elizabethan times than now, but 
few writers carried it so far as Wilkins. In Pericles, II. i. 65, we 

"Entreats you pity him." 

In The Travels of the Three English Brothers, in a scene which I 
give to Wilkins, p. 64, we have 

" And save a man whom we command him kill." 

Wilkins is fond of repeating the same words in the second line 
of the couplet. Pericles, I. ii. 14, 15 

" And what was first but fear it might be done, 
Grows elder now, and cares it be not done." 

Pericles, I. ii. 22, 23 

" And what may make him blush in being known, 
He'll stop the course by which it may be known." 


In The Travels of the Three English Brothers we have, p. 19 

" Hob. He was my prisoner ; I had charge of him. 
Hal. But now my prisoner, whoe'er conquered him." 

He repeats rhymes, as in the following instances, with slight 
variations, Pericles, I. ii. 99, 100 

" And finding little comfort to relieve them, 
I thought it princely charity to grieve them." 

Miseries, p. 524 

" Jest not at her whose burden is too grievous, 
But rather lend a means how to relieve us." 

He repeats such a rhyme in Pericles, II. i. 10, 11, and II. iii. 
46, 47- 

" And having thrown him from your watery grave, 
Here to have death in peace is all he'll crave." 

" Whereby I see that Time's the king of men ; 
He's both their parent, and he is their grave, 
And gives them what he will, not what they crave." 

The idea of the grave or death is one which he repeats unmerci- 
fully, as in Miseries, p. 560 

" I thank thee, butler ; heaven when he please, 
Send death unto the troubled a blest ease." 

His characters go off the stage with such a couplet in their 
mouths even when there seems no necessity for it. He is fond of 
using a bell in his rhymes, as in Miseries, pp. 492 and 540, and 
continually makes use of the expression "spare not." Taken 
together with the other evidence, these peculiarities of construction 
and repetition present such an overwhelming mass of evidence in 
favour of Wilkins as is not to be resisted. Those who still cling to 
the theory of the whole play being Shakspere's, have to explain away 
the difference in metrical structure. Acts I. and II. show the 
metrical characteristics of no one period, while Acts III., IV., Y. 
are written in close harmony with the date to which we assign it 
1608. They have to assume further that Shakspere borrowed to an 
unprecedented extent small jokes, etc. from a fourth-rate writer like 
Wilkins ; they have to assume that he who had such an eye for 
stage-effect borrowed the clumsy chorus arrangement which Wilkins 


had adopted the year before in his Travels of Three English 
Brothers ; they have to explain how Thaisa comes to make such a 
sensual allusion as that in Act II. sc. iii. 1. 32, which is only to 
be compared with Day's conversation between Dalibra and the 
Sophy's Niece in Travels, p. 27, and with Apemantus in Timon (non- 
Shaksperian), I. i. 210 ; they have to explain the want of connection 
between the parts which we regard as added by Wilkins and Rowley 
(by Rowley the bawdy-house scenes in Act IV.) and the rest of the 
play, and the looseness with which those parts hang together within 
themselves ; they have to explain the allusions to lawyers and the law 
(there is another which I have not mentioned in Pericles, II. i. 122). 
These form a mass of difficulties not to be got over except by those 
who have determined beforehand not to be persuaded. On the other 
hand, admit the claims of a second author, whom but Wilkins can 
we assume for the first two acts 1 As to Rowley's authorship of the 
bawdy scenes in Act IV., I have nothing to add to what Fleay has 
already brought forward on this subject. 1 The style is Rowley's, 
especially the somewhat hobbling yet vigorous movement of the 
small number of verse-lines which occur in these scenes. So far I 
agree with Fleay. But when, in his paper on Timon, he pooh-poohs 
the idea that Delius advanced with respect to that play, namely, that 
Wilkins may have also been the second author there, and asserts in 
his usual infallible manner that the metre of Timon corresponds more 
closely with that of Cyril Tourneur's Revenger's Tragedy than with 
any of the 200 plays he had analyzed, one is tempted to ask to what 
purpose he has analyzed 200 plays when he places together two 
so entirely different metrically and in general tone as Timon and the 
Revenger's Tragedy ? There is no trace of Cyril Tourneur in Timon ; 
nor is there any trace of Wilkins. If there had been, I believe the 
investigation which I set on foot with regard to Pericles, and which 
I extended to Timon, would have given some result. One negative 
result I may advance from my work at Timon, viz. that metrical 
evidence will be of little value in deciding the question, but that we 
must look out for links connecting it with other plays. One faint 

1 The occupation which Rowley assigns to Marina in Pericles, IV. and the 
situation generally, are those of Lurdo's discarded countess in Law Tricks. 


link I have alluded to connecting it with Day's part in the Three 
English Brothers, but this is unfortunately of no value, as it stands 
entirely alone. In short, the work with regard to Timon remains to 
be done. 

In the annexed table of passages, illustrating the connection 
between the various plays in which Wilkins had a hand, several of 
the examples may seem of little value. Granting that this would 
be the case with an author who did not repeat himself, I must 
dispute the validity of the objection with regard to Wilkins, who, 
as I have shown, kept an idea long in his mind, and repeated it, 
changed or unchanged, in more than one of his plays. 



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(Read at the 8Qth Meeting of tlie Society, Friday, June 9, 1882.) 

BEFORE entering on my prelude proper let me say how much I 
regret my not having had this paper ready on the date first fixed 
the 10th March and how much more I regret that it is now less 
finished than it ought to have been by that date. My only excuses 
are, that naturally procrastinating till I actually commence, I have 
had much to occupy me otherwise, and that since my last attack 
I find that I cannot work so continuously as once I did. 

Now to my preliminary remarks. The first is somewhat personal 
to myself. Long ago when the question came more prominently 
than usual before me, I determined that I would read nothing set 
forth on either side,, and that I myself would not entertain the 
question, until I had studied and re-studied the play, become better 
acquainted with its scope or scopes, and also acquainted myself more 
fully with our dramatist's modes of thought, and manner of carrying 
them into execution. These probably were flights too high for my 
wing, but I was content not to attempt the question till after such 
preparation. Then came my illness, and finding that my knowledge 
and remembrance of Shakspere had been lessened, and that I was not 
likely ever to be able thus to study him, I gave up 'the thought of 
attacking the question. One day, however, when reading Hamlet 
for another purpose, a passage suddenly started up before me, and of 
itself said I am the answer to that question, though plainly as I 
have declared myself, you have been too blind and too deaf to hear 
or see me. I cross-examined it. It still adhered to its tale, nor 
could I discover any, the slightest, reason for its telling a falsehood. 
Still undesirous of being led away, I said, if true, all other 
circumstances must agree therewith. Going over the play, bit by 


bit and as I believe without prejudice I not only found that they 
did, but that this new light explained parts which I had thought 
odd, nay, inconsistent with Hamlet's conduct and character as set 
forth generally in the play. Hence the following paper, in which I, 
in accordance with the passage that I have spoken of, answer that he 
was mad. 

Before, however, going through the incidents as I then did, 
I would, in the second place, say a word or two on madness. Those 
who have only heard incidentally of it, or have seen with un- 
professional glance but one or two instances of it, think that a 
madman is insane on all points and at all times, and that he cannot 
be in conversation with you for a quarter of an hour without betray- 
ing his state. A gentleman was examined on a writ De Lunatico 
Inquirendo. Each counsel examined and re-examined him until the 
day was well advanced. Their conclusions were that he was one 
whose intellect was above the average. A friend of the gentleman 
now entered, and as he was supposed to know his case the wearied 
lawyers gave over the examination to him. After a few preliminary 
questions, he asked in his ordinary tone : " You are God Almighty, are 
you not 1 " "I am," was the reply ! It may be said this was a case 
of monomania, while Hamlet shows no sign of being a monomaniac. 
True ; but the man was mad and seriously so, and I quote it as an 
extreme instance, showing the folly of the idea usually entertained. 
Passing on, however, from cases where one thinks oneself a tea- 
kettle, or a glass bottle very likely to be broken by a sudden 
collision, but where the person is otherwise sane, I know not whether 
what I am about to relate be as truthful in fact as it is in what it 
exemplifies, but such cases are not uncommon. A French banker 
said to a friend, a physician in charge of a large lunatic asylum : "One 
can at once detect an insane person." " Will you dine with me," 
replied the physician, "on such a day, and meet a party of six; 
afterwards you can tell me who among them was the madman 1 ?" 
" Well 1 " said he afterwards. " My friend," answered the banker, " I 
had not been any time in the room before I found out the man on 
your left ; his ridiculous views on accumulating a fortune in no time 
were too patent, as I said to the gentleman beside me, a singularly 


intelligent and well-informed man by the way who was lie ' mad, 
mad as a March hare.'" "The gentleman on my left," replied the 
medical man, "was the writer, Honore de Balzac, the gentleman 
next you one of my most hopeless cases." Not only is this con- 
cealment of their mad points or non-obtrusion of them characteristic 
at certain times of many madmen, but some will unfold their tales so 
plausibly that a casual listener may be led into taking them for gospel. 

As to the type of madness that Shakspere would represent, 
I would here say that one of its characteristics is its paroxysmal 
nature, and I would add, as I shall show further on, that it singularly 
agrees with the descriptions of " melancholic madness " to be found 
in contemporary writers. Whether Hamlet's madness were at times 
absent or merely latent need not be entered into ; it is sufficient to say 
that it was liable to show itself at times of excitement, chiefly those 
of emotional excitement. 

The first point I would take, is in a manner preliminary also. It 
is, how, so far as can be ascertained, did Shakspere's contemporaries 
conceive Hamlet 1 In two passages of Ant. Scoloker's Diaphantus, 
published in 1604, one in the Epistle to the Header, the other on 
Sig. E. 4, v., the mention of Hamlet immediately suggests or brings 
in the use of the term " mad " or " madman." In a third at the same 
signature we have 

" Puts off his cloathes ; his shirt he onely weares 
Much like m&d-Hamlet : " 

that is, having diseased himself of his doublet and vest, he appeared 
in his shirt-bosom and sleeves. Here we have both Scoloker's epithet, 
and a notice of how the players played the part. Again, in 1605, 
Jonson, Chapman, and Marston wrote Eastward Hoe. In it, one of 
them, I be'ieve Jonson, ridicules mainly the anachronism of making 
Ophelia, even at her maddest, call for her coach. Immediately after the 
entrance in haste of Hamlet a footman, crying "What Coachman? 
my Lady's Coach, for shame ! " Potkin, a Tankard-bearer is brought 
in exclaiming " 'Sfoote, Hamlet, are you madde ? " In the scene of 
two pages the word coach is brought in, and prominently so, no less 
than twelve times, and in addition to the different proofs of identifi- 
cation given in the Centurie of Prayse, 1879, I may add one 


accidentally omitted, viz. that the new-made Lady Gertrude sings or 
recites two snatches of a song which are slightly altered versions of 
parts of the two stanzas sung by the mad Ophelia at the close of iv. 5. 
I may add also that as the rest of Potkin's sentence "Whether run 
you no we, you should brush up my old Mistresse 1 " have no possible 
reference to the plot, that is, are as regards this plot or anything in it 
perfect nonsense, I can only suppose them to be a reference to the 
revision of Hamlet as shown in the 1604 version, or to a supposed 
necessity for another revision, the popular play, at that time, palling 
on its then limited audiences. 

To return. In the elegies on Burbage, circa 1618-1619, the 
shorter of the two copies in Mr Alfred Huth's library has [Hamlet] 
"A mad Lover"; in the longer it is "A sadd Lover." Now I 
believe this longer to be the later. For first it is longer. Secondly, 
it has these lines 

" no more young Hamlet, old Hieronymo, 
kind Lear, the Greued Moore, and more beside." 

Thirdly, some of the verbal alterations seem to point to this as the 
altered and emended copy. But even if we take this to be the first 
copy, the alteration of " sadd " to " mad " could only have occurred 
through the association of madness with Hamlet's name. 

We now come to the incidents of the play. How does Hamlet 
make his first appearance on the stage? In the Quarto of 1604, 
though it is wrongly left out in modern editions, Hamlet who, 
according to all precedent, ought to have immediately followed the 
King and Queen, enters after the state retinue and their following, 
and apparently separate from them. How is he clad 1 In inky 
black, unlike his uncle-father and aunt-mother, who appeared 

" as twere with a defeated joy 
With one auspicious, and one dropping eye." 

His demeanour and looks correspond. Claudius' first words to him 

" How is it that the clouds still hang on you?" 

And Gertrude's 

" Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted colour off." 


The position lie chooses to occupy in the ceremonial entrance, his 
dress, his appearance, the words of the King and Queen, his desire 
to return to Wittenburg, his ready giving up of this project, which, 
read by the light of his soliloquy, means " Very well, it matters not 
where I am," his soliloquy itself, all point to a profound melancholy. 
So does the description Hamlet gives of his state " I have of late 
lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises," &c. &c. And the 
only reason I touch on matters so well known is that they emphasize 
the care taken by Shakspere to bring this profound melancholy at 
once, and by every possible means, before the eyes and minds of his 

For a similar reason I dwell for a little on the causes of this 
melancholy. The sudden death of his father was one, but there 
were others more abiding and more secret. Hence he makes no 
reply to the long speech of Claudius, which dwells on the elder 
Hamlet's death as an incident in the course of nature. Hamlet has 
loved his mother as the model of a pure woman. Within a month 
after her husband's sudden death, a death so sudden that she had had 
no time before its occurrence to look forward to the future, she 
marries and marries her husband's brother. Either she had an 
excessive love of supreme power, or an incestuous love for this 
brother. If the latter there must have been a guilty connection, 
guilty at least in thought, before the death of a husband so 

" That he might not beteem the winds of heaven " 

to visit her too roughly. The worse construction seemed rather to be 
pointed to, and collateral facts to confirm it. Without doubt she, 
with the elder Hamlet, had looked forward to their son as his successor. 
Now, with indecent haste, she has remarried with that uncle who 
had dispossessed him of the throne. Polonius too, his father's 
trusted counsellor and friend, had gone over to the enemy, thrown 
over his master's son. There must have been some dark and devilish 
plotting in all this. Lastly, we must not forget the effect on himself 
of this exclusion. We learn from his own words to Ophelia that he 
was "ambitious." There is no reason for thinking this an "affected 
humour " ; on the contrary, he returns to it more than once. " How 


fares our cousin Hamlet?" "Excellent i'f aith ; I eat the air 
promise-crammed." On another occasion " Sir, I lack advance- 
ment." "How can that be 1 ?" . . "Ay, Sir, but while the grass 
grows." Again "Denmark's a prison, and one of the worst in 
the world," and a fifth time, he says that Claudius has 

" Popp'd in between th' election and my hopes." 

Indeed I do not think that we can thoroughly understand the play 
or Hamlet's melancholy unless we continually keep before us this 
personal factor, this disappointed ambition, as intensifying all his 
other griefs. For instance, we cannot otherwise understand his 
intense dislike of Polonius. The senility of the aged man, and 
that he was the father of his loved Ophelia, could never have roused 
such feelings in a generously-minded youth, 

" Th' expectancy and rose of the fair state." 

We find Hamlet then in a most profound and lasting state 
of melancholy, even to the desire for death or suicide, and sufficient 
causes for such a state. But such melancholy is not only one of the 
ordinary causes of madness, but was in Shakspere's day held to be 
one of its most common causes. And here I turn to the con- 
temporary descriptions of melancholia or melancholy madness, which, 
as I formerly said, singularly agree with the portraiture of Hamlet. 

Batman, translating Bartholome, 1582, after a chapter on that 
form which he calls phrensy, woodness or raving, generally from fever 
or other disease, thus continues in b. 7, c. 6, entitled Of Madnesse: 

" Amentia and madnesse is all one, as Plato saith, Madnesse is 
infection of the formost eel of the head, with privation of imagination, 
lyke as melancholy is the infection of the middle cell of the head, 
with privation of reason, as Constant[ine] saith in libra de Melancholia. 
Melancholia (saith he) is an infection that hath mastry of the soule, 
the which commeth of dreed and of sorrow. And these passions be 
divei'bo ... for by madnesse that is called Mania, principally the 
imagination is hurt. And in the other reson is hurted. [Opressed, 
in margin.] And these passions come somtime of melancholy meats, 
& somtime of drinke . . . sometime of passions of the soule, as 
of businesse & great thoughts, of sorrow, & of too great studie, & of 
dread : " 

Also in iv. 11, speaking of the supposed humour 'Melancholy,' 


lie divides it into the kindly or natural sort and the unkindly, and 
says of this latter 

" By the qualytie of the humor the patient is faint, and fearf nil 
in heart without cause : and so ah that have this passion are fearefull 
without cause, and oft sory . . . and so if we aske of such heavie 
folkes what they feare, or wherefore they be sorye, they have none 
aims were. Some suppose that they shoulde dye in some sodaine 
vyolence : Some dread enmitie of some man : Some love and desire 
death [here he quotes Galen]. . . . And therefore he dream eth 
dredfull darke dreames ... of which is bred Passio melancholia" 

Sir Th. Elyot in his Castle of HealtJi, 1534, says much the same 
of melancholy as being natural and unnatural, the latter making one 
mad, causing 

"oftentimes heavines of minde, or feare without cause, sleepines 
in the members, many cramps without repletion or emptines, sodaine 
fury, sodaine incontinency of the toong, much solicitude of light 
things . . . and fearefull dreames of terrible visions. . . . Moreover 
much drying of the body, either with long watch, or with much care 
and tossing of the mind, ... all these things doe annoy them that bee 
grieved with any melancholy." B. 3, c. 18, p. 110, 111, ed. 1610. 

And Boord again in his Breviarie of Health, 1547, ch. 213 : 

" Of Lunatike men ... In English it is named for a lunatike 
person the which wil be ravished of his wit ones in a moone, for as 
the moone doth change & is variable, so bee those persons mutable 
and not constant witted. [Batman also speaks similarly.] This 
impediment . . . may come by a great feare or study." 

Also in his ch. 228, on melancholy madness, he says 

"a sickness full of fantasies . . . that they will think them- 
selves God ... or to desperation to bee dampned, the one having 
this sicknesse doth not goe so far the one way, but the other doth 
dispayre as much the other way. The originall of this infirrnitie 
doth come of an evill melancholy humour, and of a stubberne hart, 
and running too far in fantasies, or musing or studying upon things 
that his reason cannot comprehend." 

Lastly, in his Extravagants, ch. 43, where he speaks of the four 
kinds of Madness, " Mania, Melancholia, Frenisis, and Demoniachus," 
he says 

"Melancholia is another kinde of madnesse, & they the which 
be infested with this madnesse, be cured in feare & drede, and doth, 
think they shall never doe well, but ever be in parel either of soule 
or of body, or both." 


In like manner Gabriel Humelburg in his Commentary, 1540, on 
the medical poet Quin. Serenus, says in his 7th chapter I translate 
his words 

" The third affection of the brain and kind of madness which 
comes from black and melancholic . bile, and is called melancholia, 
is thus defined by Paulus ^Eginata : Melancholia is a certain 
madness without fever, chiefly caused by a melancholic humor. 
And those so affected are called melancholies, who beyond nature do 
not continue in the same manner or kind, whose fancies are variable, 
while fear never deserts them, but they all fear, and grieve, and 
have men in hatred, of whom Galen says more in the sixth chapter 
of his third book." 

But Hamlet's melancholy had not as yet reached this mad stage. 
Shakspere has up to this given us only in this deep and lasting 
melancholy what physicians call the predisposing cause. The ex- 
citing causes, or those which drove his melancholy into an unnatural 
state, into a mad melancholia, have yet to come, and I confidently 
affirm that these were the shocks of seeing his father's ghost, and 
hearing his revelations. 

It is not my intention at present to enter into the morals which 
Shakspere would illustrate in this play. I do not mean by this that 
my view of Sliakspere's working is, that he fixed upon certain 
morals and then sought a story to illustrate these ; but that as any 
ordinary reader of a tale or novel can see the moral it would enforce, 
so I suppose that Shakspere, having chosen the story he would 
dramatize, was equally able to see these, and would keep them in 
view, altering, it may be his story, and so dramatizing it as to bring 
these out the more. But it is, I think, necessary to mention one, 
which in Bible language is " Vengeance is Mine, I will repay, saith 
the Lord." Not heeding this command, the elder Hamlet, still 
retaining his earthly passions and propensities, the foul crimes done 
in his days of nature not having yet been wholly burnt away by the 
penal and purging fires, would take this task into his own hand. 
He would revenge himself on his brother, and seat his own son on 
the throne that he had always accounted his. The former intent is 
of a piece with almost the only other glimpse that Shakspere gives us 
of his nature, when in an angry parle he smote the sledded Polack 


on the ice, an incident which, unless it were given for the purpose of 
showing that his nature was impetuous and hasty, we cannot 
understand why it was given us. It was not, so far as we know, in 
the original story, nor do we see what other purpose it serves. His 
unannealed and yet impure spirit carries out his intent determinedly, 
though without warrant. What are the results ? Gertrude is not 
" left to heaven," but is cut off in the midst of her sins. Hamlet 
becomes a lunatic by his father's very act, and instead of ascending 
the throne that may be said to have been his, he, the last of his race, 
dies, dies in the very act of vengeance, and the kingdom and people 
of Denmark pass under the sway of a foreigner. 

Let us now pass on to the proofs that he from a melancholy 
man became melancholicaly mad immediately on the shock of these 
revelations. The feelings with which Hamlet entered upon his 
expected interview with the Ghost, are revealed by his very first 
words "It is very cold." He felt not merely the chilliness of 
the night, but the chill arising from suspense, fear, and expectation. 
During the Ghost's words awe, and the filial reverence of that day, 
which made Laertes thus bend before a living father, would make 
Hamlet listen on bended knees. The revelations proved such a 
shock that, as I think, he then fell on the ground. I gather this 
from his first broken and disjointed words 

" all you host of heaven ! earth ! What else 
And shall I couple hell fie." 

And from his next words 

" Hold, my heart, 

And you, my sinews, grow not instant old ; 
But bear me stiffly up." 

For here the change from " heart " to " sinews " is suggested by, and 
denotes, the change of attention from his emotional feelings to his 
bodily state, and his attempts to change it and once again stand 
upright. His next natural effort would be to collect his thoughts, 
think over the new position in which his father's disclosures and 
commands had placed him. But what does he do 3 He attempts to 
do something and so get away from these overburdening thoughts 
an attempt so partially successful that we may call it unsuccessful 
he seeks for his tables, or memorandum book ; to put down 


" That one may smile and smile and be a villain." 
Still harassed by his thoughts even after setting down this note- 
worthy discovery, he adds the word that is to marshal him to 
revenge. It is 

"Adieu, adieu, remember me." 

It is surely strange that he should need a memorandum of his 
father's spirit's last words; stranger still that he should strive to 
remember the very words, as through these lost or altered, his 
revenge would be lost ; too strange to be the healthy workings of a 
mind like Hamlet's. 

But now to more certain and less disputable proofs. To the 
shoutings of his companions, and with an attempt at jocularity 
another attempt to get rid of this over-burdening weight, another 
attempt to escape from himself he answers : " Hillo, ho, ho, boy, 
come, bird, come," as though he were calling them as a hawk to his 
fist, though to do so he answers the shoutings of three men by the 
singular, " Hillo, ho, ho, boy," &c. Again, one would expect that a 
mind so solemnized by such news, and by the supernatural visitation, 
in answer to Horatio, who, as his dear friend, alone dared to ask 
him "What news," would reply in such short, slow and weighty 
words as 

" It fits me not to speak what he did utter ; 
And now, good friends, grant me this poor request, 
Never make known what you have seen to-night." 

But in continuation of the mood which prompted his " Come, bird, 
come," he dialogues thus 

" Ham. 0, wonderful ! 
Hor. Good my lord, tell it. 
Ham. No, you'll reveal it. 
Hor. Not I, my lord, by heaven. 
Ham. How say you then ; would heart of man once think it ? 

But you'll be secret 1 
Hor. Mar. Ay, by heaven, my lord. 
Ham. There's ne'er a villain dwelling in all Denmark 

But he's an arrant knave." 

The persons that can say that such unnatural attempts at jocularity 
are under the circumstances natural, or that such attempts are natural 


attempts to evade the subject on the part of a Prince whose mere 
" I wish it to be so " would be obeyed, such persons are not to be 
reasoned with. 

Afterwards in reply to Horatio's "There needs no ghost, my 
lord, ... to tell us this," he answers 

" Why, right : you're i' the right ; 
And so without more circumstance at all, 
I hold it fit that we shake hands and part : 

and for mine own poor part, 
Look you, I'll go pray." 

Is there a hint in the whole of this scene with his friends that he 
had any such tendency] Well might Horatio reply "These are 
but wild and whirling words, my lord." Nor would he have 
ventured to speak to his Prince so strongly had not the manner 
accentuated the words. 

Again, though one can gather the train of his thoughts, I am quite 
unable to see the coherence of his speech when he replies to Horatio's 
"There's no offence, my lord." " Yes, by St. Patrick; but there is, 
and much offence," and then goes on 

" It is an honest ghost, that let me tell you," 

except that his refusal to tell them more leads him to ask their 
secresy as to what they do know. This done, and all having become 
solemn, and engaged in a most solemn act, are Hamlet's words at each 
adjuration of the Ghost the words of a sane man ? He has heard of 
his mother's disloyalty to himself, of her incestuous adultery, of his 
father's murder by a brother's hand, of his unprepared death followed 
by punishments which if unfolded 

" Would harrow up thy soul : freeze thy young blood, 
Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres, 
And each particular hair to stand on end." 

Yet when this perturbed spirit repeats from below, " swear !" Hamlet's 
words are 

" Ah, ha, boy ! say'st thou so 1 art thou there, truepenny 1 
Come on you hear this fellow in the cellarage." 


On the second remove and second " swear ! " he utters a trite 
Latin phrase 

" Hie et ubique ? " Here and everywhere art thou, 

and with as little reason as before for the near presence of the 
Ghost could only have given more solemnity to the oath adds : 
"then we'll shift our ground." At the third repetition his remarks 

"Well said, old mole ! canst work i' th' earth so fast? 
A worthy pioner." 

And then, by way of carrying out his scheme of swearing without the 
Ghost, he for the third time removes, and that he may the better 
circumvent this "so fast worker," starts off into a long speech, 
one nothing to the purpose, and which could have been spoken 
as well after the oath had been taken. Shakspere does not indulge 
in such absurdities without a purpose. Nor, within a few actually 
four, lines does he introduce boy truepenny this fellow old 
mole worthy pioner, without intent. Long ago I had been obliged 
to see that Hamlet's mind was temporarily as I had then thought 
perturbed. J^ow the only difference is that on examination I find evi- 
dence of this overthrow of reason throughout the course of the play. 
Before leaving this scene, it may be as well to add a word 
on this "antic disposition" speech, as it may be thought by some to 
go against my views. Hamlet, it will be said, here specifically 
announces his intention of putting on a show of madness. Quite 
true; but this may just as well be the subtle endeavour of a madman 
to make his friends believe that he is only assuming madness, and so 
turn them off from the belief that he is mad. Madmen constantly 
fear lest they should be thought mad, and as subtly endeavour to 
provide against such a belief. I mention this that one may not be 
prejudiced by these words, but, should he so choose, hold these 
alternative views in balance to be decided by the weight of evidence. 
I hope, too, to show that the evidence is not really affected by this 

My first evidence is especially unaffected by it, and is most 
characteristic. It is Hamlet's want of perception of moral responsi- 


bility. ' We have" an example of this in the accidental murder of 
Polonius a premeditated and, we might say, a just murder which 
has accidentally found its victim in the wrong person. It is not, 
therefore, in the murder itself, but in Hamlet's after words that we 
find this want. He discovers his mistake, and thus mourns over it 

" Thou wretched, rash, intruding fool, farewell ! 
I took thee for thy better ; take thy fortune : 
Thou find'st, that to be too busy is some danger." 

Allow that Hamlet disliked him, because he had gone over to the 
enemy, still he was a man he had no intention to kill an old man, 
and Ophelia's father. Yet there is not a word of pity or remorse. 
Such a want under such circumstances is most unnatural in any one 
not of an iron heart and inured to slaughter, most of all is it 
unnatural in young Hamlet as he is depicted in the play. Afterwards, 
when more quieted in mind by the result of his appeal to his mother, 
he does let drop this short word 

" For this same lord, 
I do repent." 

But he neutralizes this at once by his after speech 

" But heaven hath pleased it so, 
To punish me with this, and this with me, 
That I must be their scourge and minister." 

Observe his " punish me," and his assertion in the same breath an 
assertion constantly made by madmen under such circumstances 
that he is the appointed Scourge of God and the fulfiller of his will, 
and therefore irresponsible. Afterwards, as showing that we are to 
take " repent " not in the sense of repentance, but of mere momentary 
sorrow or regret, he says 

" This man shall set me packing. 
I'll lug the guts into the neighbouring room." 

And again 

" Indeed, this counsellor 

Is now most still, most secret, and most grave, 
Who was in life a foolish prating knave. 
Come, sir, to draw toward an end with you. 

[Exit, dragging off the body." 

After Polonius' death we see the same ; and here I would also 

N. S. SOC. TRANS., 1880-2. A A 


notice, for brevity's sake, some other points besides this want 
of moral responsibility. His interviews with Rosencrantz and 
Guildenstein, and with the king, show his madness in this and other 
ways. He has dragged off the body and concealed it, clearly under 
the absurd belief, either that the murder would not be discovered, 
or that the body not being found, he could not be made responsible ; 
for though he feels and acknowledges no moral responsibility, he, 
like other madmen, has a secret feeling that others may not think as 
he does. His words in reference to his attempt are, on his re-entry 
"safely stowed." Afterwards he fences with those sent to him, and 
then with the king. The scenes are very clever, his remarks very 
acute so acute as to be eccentric ; but are th.ey to the purpose 1 Has 
his sudden attack on the messengers, and his likening them to 
sponges, anything to do with the matter in hand ? Is it not rather 
one of those starts of thought common in madmen when something 
is presented before them which rouses up some predominating 
thought ? Are his replies to the king of the kind we should expect 
either from our ideas of what is due to the kingly office, or from 
what Shakspere thought due to it, or from our knowledge of Hamlet's 
character] Where in Shakspere do we find a similar instance? 
Even the headstrong Dauphin does not speak to his weak old father 
thus. Yet what is the end of all this fencing and attempt at 
concealment? In both cases Hamlet, like madmen in mostly all 
instances, gives in to authority and resolution : he follows the two 
messengers, remains quietly in the custody of one of them, then 
breaks out, bravado-like, in words before the king ; but in reply to his 
stern demands, ends the indirect answer, " In heaven ; send thither 
to see " : with the reply commanded from him. 

But there is a still more striking instance of this want of 
perception of moral responsibility. Rosencrantz and Guildenstein are 
doubtless docile courtiers, eagerly willing to ingratiate themselves 
with the King and Queen and to fulfil their wishes. But all that 
they do is done in manifest good faith ; not a word hints even that 
they suspect anything but affection in the King and Queen towards 
Hamlet. He, it is true, has taken an unreasoning dislike to them, 
his unreasoning suspicions not only making them the instruments of 


the king, but instruments conscious of ill, in fact, co-conspirators 
against himself. But, with all this, he never believes, so far as 
even a single word leads us to judge, that they were anything but 
unconscious instruments of his death in taking him to England. 
Kot only so, but Shakspere especially mentions that the packet was 
sealed with the king's seal, and he had to invent a happy accident 
by which Hamlet could open it and reseal the false document 
unobserved. Yet he writes this false despatch, consigns them to 
death, and speaks of his having done so with as much indifference as 
though he had ordered a couple of ill-conditioned puppy-dogs to be 
drowned ; nay, he exults in it, as though he were in some way 
revenging himself on the king and them, for the deaths are not only 
to be on receipt of the despatch, but "no shriving time allowed." 
Surely if Shakspere had wished us to look on Hamlet as still 
" Th' expectancy and rose of Denmark," he could easily by a line or 
two have given Hamlet a reason, if only a fancied one, for so 
behaving ] Or he could have made him write a despatch of different 
purport. What need was there to replace his death by theirs? 
Even my unimaginative mind can suggest the unpaid tribute as a 
likely, and to a sane mind, a more likely subject. And I would 
say, that we have a right here to draw conclusions as much from 
Shakspere's silence as from what he says. He must have seen the 
more than oddness of a sane character showing no signs of a belief in 
his victims' complicity, and showing no remorse. Yet he pointedly 
restrains Hamlet from, putting forth the slightest sign of such a 
thought or feeling. I hold this defect of moral responsibility a point 
in itself sufficient to prove his madness, and this last example 
sufficient proof of the defect itself. Such non-perception of moral 
responsibility is one of the clearest proofs of madness ; especially is it 
so here where we know Hamlet's general character, whether as 
described by Ophelia or depicted unconsciously by himself in all his 
other thoughts and actions. Hence I have placed it in the fore- 
front. Let us now ask, how do his other characteristics agree with 
this ? As the next I take his irresolution. Let it be granted that 
this defect was natural to him, part of his natural constitution. But 
the excess of it is exactly what we see in many madmen, especially 

A A 2 


melancholic ones. Such may breathe out fire and slaughter, but 
as a rule it is all talk : place them in a position favourable to 
carrying out their threats, and in most cases, and unless they be 
under the influence of a more irritating paroxysm of madness or rage, 
they will do nothing, and probably find a plausible excuse or excuses 
for this do-nothingness. So it was with Hamlet on more than one 
occasion. I have already given instances of his want of resolution 
where Eosencrantz and Guildenstein go to arrest him, and when he is 
interviewed by the king. Again, we learn that from the date of the 
spirit interview to that of the sub-play, three, or at least two, months 
had elapsed. He who had taken out his table-book to assist his 
remembrance of the harrowing tale had thought over it ! To what 
did his thoughts lead him to screw his resolution to the sticking 
point? Xo, to this, that the ghost might not have been "an honest 
ghost," as he had told Horatio, but a damned devil luring him to 
destruction. And let it be noted that this new idea appears only 
to have suggested itself to Hamlet's quick mind after two months 
tli ink ing, after the players had appeared, and after he had evolved 
this new scheme, by which, as he says 

" I'll observe mine uncle's looks ; 
I'll tent him to the quick ; if he but blench, 
I know my course." 

Let any one quietly go through all the circumstances, and then, 
without being a deeply injured son, let him say whether any sane 
man could account this as but an at first sight plausible fallacy, or 
anything but a semi-conscious attempt to put aside the necessity for 
action. Nor let it be forgotten that in this very speech, up to the 
moment he is about to hit on this play-scheme, he has throughout 
spoken as though there were no doubt as to the truth of the ghost. 
I give but the last example of this, 

" This is most brave ; 
That I, the son of a dear father murdered, 
Prompted to my revenge by heaven and hell, 
Mfrst, like a drab, unpack my heart with words, 
And fall a-cursing." 

But, as a clearer example, take what follows, when, through the 


action of the players, lie lias " tented Claudius to the quick," does he 
''know his course" and take HI Let him answer for himself 
" Would not this, sir, and a forest of feathers . . . with two Provencal 
roses on my razed shoe, get me a fellowship in a cry of players 1 " 
The whole intent of his determinate plot is forgotten in the self- 
vanity of the thought, that his stratagem has "been so excellent as to 
be successful. All is swallowed up in this ; so elate is he that he 
sings or recites a verse where he calls this Claudius not by the 
contemptuous name of ass, the original word, but in the exuberance 
of his triumph alters "ass" to a "very very pajock," a painted 
mammet, whom he by his superior subtlety has overcome and made 
a mammet of to do his will. Even a second and incidental allusion 
to the truth of the ghost's word ends in a return to the same thought 
of triumph " Did'st perceive? Upon the talk of the poisoning, 
Ah, ha ! Come, some music ! come, the recorders." 

Yet this is not all. His last scruple has been cleared away, and, 
in this clearing away, the murder of his father has been brought not 
merely before his remembrance, but before his eyes. " He knows 
his course," and within a short space comes upon Claudius in his 
private closet. No time could be more favourable none near, the 
king's back turned, his knees bent, his head bowed, his thoughts else- 
where, Hamlet's sword drawn, every opportunity to escape, with time 
to make his case known. But no, because this villain happens to be 
praying, therefore he must go to heaven. Shakspere has himself 
given the answer to this absurd excuse in Claudius' after words 

" My words fly up, my thoughts remain below : 
"Words, without thoughts, never to heaven go." 

It was but an excuse that will not bear a moment's examination. 
And now mark Hamlet's inconsistency. Immediately after this 
decision not to kill the king, he, moved by the sight of his mother 
and his words to her, attacks without scruple Polonius, whom he 
takes to be the king, never waiting to inquire whether his prayer 
was truly repentant, nor waiting " till he be drunk, asleep, or in his' 

Thirdly, it is a common belief that melancholic madmen generally 
consider those their enemies whom during their sanity they had 


loved best. So it was with Hamlet and Ophelia. But unfortunately 
I must first combat the prejudice which says that he did not love 
Ophelia. Against this we have the evidence of Laertes, Ophelia, and 
of Hamlet himself. That of Laertes I pass over, but what says 
Ophelia to her father 

" He hath, my lord, of late, made many tenders 
Of his affection to me." 

And then to his prejudiced doubts, more strongly 

" He hath importuned me with love 
In honourable fashion." 

And later on, more strongly still 

" And hath given countenance to his speech, my lord, 
With almost all the holy vows of heaven." 

Nor have we these only : she, most sorrowful, yet still keeping her 
maidenly modesty, says to Hamlet 

" My lord, I have remembrances of yours, 
That I have longed long to re-deliver, 
I pray you, now receive them. 

Ham. No, not I ; 

I never gave you aught. 

Oph. My honour'd lord, you know right well you did ; 
And, with them, words of so sweet breath compos'd 
As made the things more rich : their perfume lost, 
Take them again ; for to the noble mind, 
Rich gifts wax poor, when givers prove unkind." 

Then as to Hamlet. First take his letter to her 

"'To the celestial, and my soul's idol, the most beautified 

In her excellent white bosom, these. 
Doubt thou, the stars are fire ; 

Doubt, that the sun doth move ; 
Doubt truth to be a liar ; 
But never doubt, I love. 

dear Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers ; I have not art to 
reckon my groans : but that I love thee best, most best, believe it. 

" Thine evermore, most dear lady, 

while this machine is to him, Hamlet.' " 


After the disclosures of the ghost, when he, wrestling with his 
affection, seeks Ophelia, and is not led on by her appearance before 
him, but seeks her in her chamber, partly from love, partly from, a 
desire to tell her that he can no longer love her, what a picture of 
contending love and resolution have we 

" My lord, as I was sewing in my chamber, 
Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbrac'd ; 
No hat upon his head ; his stockings foul'd, 
Ungarter'd, and down-gyved to his ancle ; 
Pale as his shirt ; his knees knocking each other ; 
And with a look so piteous in purport, 
As if he had been loosed out of hell, 
To speak of horrors. 

He took me by the wrist, and held me hard ; 
Then goes he to the length of all his arm ; 
And with his other hand thus, o'er his brow, 
He falls to such perusal of my face, 
As he would draw it. Long stay'd he so ; 
At last, a little shaking of mine arm, 
And thrice his head thus waving up and down. 
He raised a sigh so piteous and profound, 
That it did seem to shatter all his bulk, 
And end his being : That done, he lets me go : 
And, with his head over his shoulder turn'd, 
He seem'd to find his way without his eyes ; 
For out of doors he went without their help, 
And, to the last, bended their light on me." 

Next, in the conference scene 

" I did love you once. 

Oph. Indeed, my lord, you made me believe so. 

Ham. You should not have believed me : for virtue cannot so 
inoculate our old stock, but we shall relish of it : I loved you 

Can we hesitate which to believe, a word uncalled-for and that has 
slipped from him, and which to those who do not believe in his love 
is an uncalled-for and purposeless lie, or, that denial of his having 
truly loved, drawn forth by the thought that he, of the stock of his 
mother and uncle, cannot love truly 1 " 

But any hesitation is settled by his conduct at a moment when 
the truth manifests itself, as it generally does, when the object is 
beyond attainment. It is only the fox that says that grapes so 


placed are sour, and he only says so. Suddenly, news is not brought 
to him of her death, but she is buried, and with maimed rites, before 
him. Her brother, in an access of grief, leaps into her grave to take 
a last farewell. There was no need for Hamlet to come from his 
concealment, and sham a fit of phrenzy, his character as a madman 
had been too firmly established to require such an artifice. NOT 
does he refer to it as anything but a truthful outburst, " But sure," 
says he to Horatio 

" The bravery of his grief did put me 
Into a towering passion." 

Neither does a non-lover, or even an ordinary lover, become furious 
because a brother shows that he is distracted with grief. But what 
says Hamlet 

" I will fight with him upon this theme, 
Until my eyelids will no longer wag. 
I lov'd Ophelia ; forty thousand brothers 
Could not, with all their quantity of love, 
Make up my sum." 

And again 

" 'Swounds, show me what thou'lt do 1 

I'll do it. Dost thou come here to whine 1 
To outface me with leaping in her grave 1 " 

And here, by the way, ! would remark, that after this most passionate 
speech, in its phrenzy almost ranting, the Queen exclaims 
" This is mere madness : 

Anon, as patient as the female dove, 

His silence will sit drooping." 

And as though to confirm the truth of her words, he is not silent, but 
drops on the moment to 

4t Hear you, sir ; 

What is the reason that you use me thus ] 

I lov'd you ever." 

He says this, quite ignoring the fact that it was his sudden appearance, 
and his words ending, "This is I, Hamlet the Dane," his "orty 
thousand brothers," &c., and his instant leap into the grave, that had 
brought about the struggle. 


These tenders, these importunities, these vows to and "before 
heaven, as Ophelia with increasing earnestness assured her father, 
these gifts given with words of such sweet breath, notably the 
one letter that we have, his distracted behaviour when he determines 
to give her up, his direct words " I did love you once " ; his proofs 
at her burial that this love had continued, all these were marks of 
true love. Or, we must believe with Polonius and Laertes that they 
were elaborately set springes to catch one poor woodcock, mere 
implorators of unholy suits. Nor is this all, we must believe that 
Hamlet's distracted regrets in the chamber scene were put on 
without purpose, since from that moment he gave her up ; his 
"I did love thee once," and his evident regrets in the get tliee to 
a nunnery scene; most of all his outcry over her dead body "I 
lov'd Ophelia," for now that she was dead what effect could it have 
had on her, all these were useless lies. In fine, we must believe 
that Hamlet inwardly was the very image of his uncle, though a 
senseless one, and that he too " smiled and smiled and was a 

Leaving it to my hearers which view is the more borne out by 
the facts, and which the more consistent, I return to our primary 
subject, that he now considers his once loved Ophelia as one to be 
hated. Not, as I have,- 1 hope, shown, that his madness had all its 
own way ; it forced him as a rule to hate and despise her, but his old 
love would still at any opportunity raise its head. It was a madness 
of intellect, not of feeling, and feeling now and then all but got the 
upper hand. One can understand Hamlet's melancholy deepening 
into unnatural melancholy on the revelation, amidst a revelation of 
horrors, that his once loved mother whom he had thought the 
pattern of her sex, was guilty of treachery, deceit, and the foulest 
crimes; and one can thence understand how to him. this goodly 
frame, including himself and her he had loved, was but a foul and 
pestilent congregation of vapours. We can understand it the more 
if we add to this the altered behaviour of Ophelia to himself, due, 
though Hamlet knew nothing of this, to her father's express, 
commands. But here I would enter a necessary caveat. It is, 
I think, impossible, looking to her sorrowful and reproachful 


re-delivery of his gifts, to suppose that she had done more than 
avoid him. Looking also to her words 

" How does your honour for this many a day 1 " 

and to those where she describes his coming into her chamber, and 
remembering what we know of Hamlet's thoughts as expressed in 
" for virtue cannot so inoculate our old stock but we shall relish of 
it," we can see that his desertion and avoidance of her gave her no 
opportunity of showing that she wished to avoid him. In fact, each 
avoided the other, and we must ever remember that Hamlet's 
determination not to love Ophelia was founded not merely on her 
supposed unworthiness, but also on his own supposed un worthiness. 
We might also add her apparently possible participation in the 
stratagem arranged between Polonius and Claudius. Yet there is no 
evidence in the play that she was a conscious instrument. She is on 
the stage while it is discussed, but in those days daughters and 
inferiors kept at a discreet distance unless they were addressed. 
Besides, much talk goes on on the stage, and much more at that 
time went on, which was not supposed to be heard by the rest. 
Neither, it will be observed, is anything addressed to her which 
implies a knowledge that there were to be listeners. Indeed, in 
proof that she knew nothing of this are her father's words to her 
when evidently about to narrate what had passed. 

" How now, Ophelia, 

You need not tell us what lord Hamlet said ; 
We heard it all." 

Neither can I see how Hamlet's loving and acute mind when sane and 
unprejudiced, could help coining to the conclusion that she had been 
made to play an unconscious part. But allow all weight to these sus- 
picious circumstances, and casting aside all these remarks of mine, still 
I cannot understand any but a diseased mind being so imbued with 
dislike to Ophelia, that the mere sight of Polonius awakens them, and 
causes the senile old man to say " still harping on my daughter." Nor, 
except on this view, can I understand why the result of her pathetic 
re-delivery of his gifts, an appeal when she evidently could not resist 
making a last effort to recall his love, should end in the repetitions 


of " get thee to a nunnery," harsh and brutal words, where we, like 
Ophelia, lose all traces of 

" The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's eye, tongue, sword, 
The glass of fashion and the mould of form." 

She has heard him now, and seen him when in her chamber he 
took her by the wrist, can we be surprised at her conclusion 
" 0, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown." 

Will the upholders of the pretended madness theory aver that 
this "get thee to a nunnery" scene is but an instance where he 
carries out his project ] He had already established the belief he 
wished in the King and Queen, and in all around them, yet he is 
unnecessarily made to be so devoid of all honourable and gentleman- 
like feeling as to exhibit himself not only as a madman, but as 
adding words and insults befitting only a vulgar blackguard before 
the lady he loved, and whom he knew loved him. So can we say 
much the same of the preceding scene, when all disordered in dress 
he came before her. His reputation for madness was not then 
established, but his aim would have been gained by trying to impress 
Polonius with the belief that the cloud was like a camel, a weasel, or 
a whale. Even grant that he thought it necessary to prove it to her 
also, surely a true gentleman, a true Prince, most surely a Hamlet 
would have done his spriting gently. But he does not wait for an 
opportunity, but seeks her and thrusts it upon her. For my part I 
can but see in that dislike, which he thinks the result of his better 
reason, whether turned on her or on himself, the result of disordered 
reason intermixed with his old love, an intermixture which Shakspere 
has so wonderfully depicted as struggling the one with the other. 
The former bears rule until the time when his sorrow and love 
reassert themselves supremely, I mean when he finds that she is lost 
to him for ever. Then they will not allow a brother to express them 
in his presence, but cause him to cry aloud in tones of passionate 
regret, and in terms betokening his sole right to the possession of 
such feelings, exclaim 

" This is I, 

Hamlet the Dane. 

I lov'd Ophelia : forty thousand brothers 


Could not, with all their quantity of love, 
Make up my sum." 

I would also notice, but only notice, Hamlet's suspicions as a 
frequent characteristic of madness. I speak not of his suspicions as 
to the packet for England, these were natural; but of that 
suspicion which during his interview with Ophelia made him look 
out for listeners, and detect Pclonius and Claudius. And notably 
his suspicions of Eosencrantz and Guildenstein, for, as I have before 
said, Shakspere, contrary to his usual practice in such cases, has given 
Hamlet no ghost of a reason for such suspicions. Yet after the 
confession following a short and natural hesitancy " My lord, we 
were sent for," he still says 

"Whom I will trust as adders fang'd." 

I add this other point, that in Saxo Grammaticus and Belle- 
forest there is no story of the ghost and his revelations, only the 
recital of Hamlet's pretended madness taken up for policy's sake 
and for revenge, and the successful issue of his schemes in his ascent 
of the throne of Denmark. Now what reason can be assigned for 
Shakspere's variation in two points the appearance of the ghost and 
the hideous tale he unfolds, and Hamlet's death when on the point 
of ascending the throne 1 As we know nothing of the older Hamlet, 
except that the ghost appeared in it, I say nothing of it, except that 
Shakspere was not compelled to follow it any more than he was 
compelled to follow the history or the tale. He would be the less 
induced to do this because in 1594 as is pointed out by Mr. 
Collier it seems to have been a play that had lost its interest with 
the public, it was performed but once, and then only brought in 
eight shillings as Henslow's share, " though when new pieces were 
represented, his proportion at the same period was usually more than 
three pounds." Collier's Sh. Lib., Introd. to Hamlet. In our play 
the violent deaths and other horrors are sufficiently fearful without 
adding the death of Hamlet. I feel convinced, and so I think will 
be my readers on calm reflection, that to the ordinary spectators the 
payers and causes of success to a tragedy, and also to the thinking 
spectator Hamlet's success would have been more grateful, and 


made the story seem more complete. Vices repulsively shown, and 
their overthrow, were shown forth more than plentifully, and on the 
stage itself. The guilty Polonius dies, his guilty son dies, and so 
does the innocent Ophelia, the sins of the father being visited on the 
children ; Gertrude dies, lastly, as suddenly and unexpectedly as did 
his murdered brother, and as indeed do all ; the arch-contriver of the 
ills dies with but one unavailing cry. Virtue, with which in the 
form of Hamlet the spectator has been led to sympathize all along, is 
successful, but the results so slightly shown as not to dull the story 
of the vice or lessen one's detestation of it. Nor do I believe that 
any spectator or critic at the present day would carp at it and say 
it was not a tragedy, or not a thrilling play, but would have judged 
it as thrilling and admired it as a more complete story, though 
they learned nothing more of Hamlet's history beyond his final 
victory and the subtle craftiness, skill, and wisdom with which 
he had attained it. Such satisfaction would in no way have 
lessened the detestation of the crimes or the horror at the tragic 
results that followed them, rather, these only indicated results 
would have enhanced such feelings by the contrast of virtue 

Why then did Shakspere vary in these two points from Saxo and 
Belief orest ? He must surely have had some good reason or reasons. 
The ghost incidents of the older play were too thrilling and effective 
to be set aside, particularly as it was already familiar to play-goers, 
and would have been missed. But whether the death of Hamlet 
^yas or was not in the older play, why was the catastrophe of 
the history and tale thus varied 1 For, I think, this reason. The 
general story had, as I conceive, led Shakspere to see that it plainly 
exemplified two moral laws, the subjects of much teaching and of 
many sermons, and at that time fully and generally believed in. 
These are, " Vengeance is mine ; I will repay, saith the Lord," and 
"I will visit the sins of the parents" not merely the restricted 
Jewish phrase, " of the father's," for they thought them the sole, or 
at least chief, progenitors of families " the sins of the parents upon 
the children." At least I know that Shakspere's story had led me to 
the conclusion that he had these laws before him when constructing 


his plot, and had led me to this long before the question of Hamlet's 
madness had come prominently before me, and are not dependent on 
my present belief. But in Saxo and Belleforest the death of the 
prime personage did not occur till some time after the incidents 
narrated in the play. The introduction, however, of the ghost gave 
more cause for exemplifying the action of these laws in Hamlet's 
case, and for accelerating his death. As I have already attempted to 
explain, the unauthorized desire for and attempt at revenge of a 
ghost whose sins had not yet been purged away was in itself a sin 
to be punished. It was punished. The very shock of the appear- 
ance of the ghost and his revelations turned Hamlet from a melancholy 
man to a melancholic madman ; and when at last more through the 
exigency of events than through his own will he had carried out 
his father's commands, he in the instant of triumph falls, dies, and 
thus carries out the law, as it had been carried out in Laertes and 
Ophelia "I will visit the sins of the fathers upon the children." 
Such a plot also, I would point out, necessitates, even to the uncritical 
and merely listening and eye-agape spectator, the death of Hamlet, 
for a mad Hamlet could not ascend the throne. 

Leaving this, I now conclude by passing on to the passage 
I spoke of at the outset Hamlet's own declaration. I speak not of 
that in Rosencrantz's words "He does confess he feels himself 
distracted ; " nor those on which this seems to have been founded 
" I am but mad north north-west," and the speech beginning " I will 
tell you why ... I have of late," &c. (II. ii.) ; nor do I refer to his 
" Sir, I cannot make you an wholesome answer \ my wit's diseased." 
These, while on the theory of pretended madness they be falsehoods, 
yet may be considered as pardonable falsehoods, though as they are 
direct and profitable falsehoods, one judging from Hamlet's consci- 
entious and generally honourable character, would rather believe that 
he would avoid such direct untruths, and have trusted to the 
inferences people would draw from his conduct. But I refer to a 
more marked saying spoken on a solemn occasion, first, however, 
drawing your attention to a previous speech. Horatio has said 

" It must be shortly known to him from England, 
What is the issue of the business there." 


To this Hamlet replies 

" It will be short : the interim is mine ; 
And a man's life no more than to say, one." 

Here I interpolate that the life of Claudius since the ghost's 
revelations, or even since the play scene, has been a good deal longer 
than one. It is still the characteristic of madness to let I would 
wait upon I will not. Then he continues 

"But I am very sorry, good Horatio, 
That to Laertes I forgot myself ; 
For by the image of my cause, I see 
The portraiture of his : I'll court his favours : 
But, sure, the bravery of his grief did put me 
Into a towering passion." 

Why the sympathetic grief of a brother should put a sane lover 
into a towering passion I leave as a question for sane men. But I 
have quoted both speeches at length, to show that Shakspere expressly 
and of intent aforethought introduced these words about Laertes, 
where there was no other necessity for them, only that the audience 
might contrast his generous mind and its nobleness with the villanies 
that filled the hearts and minds of Claudius and Laertes ; secondly, 
that it might be shown that Hamlet's words that I am now to quote 
were the deliberate outcome of his preconceived thoughts. 

Before the trial of skill Claudius places the hand of Laertes 
in that of Hamlet. Such an act before a friendly combat, with tho 
accompanying declarations of the competitors, were accounted most 
solemn pledges of their honour and truth as gentlemen, spoken 
before witnesses and before God. Hamlet seizes the opportunity for 
expressing himself as he had expressed himself to Horatio, and thus 
craves forgiveness from Laertes 

" Give me your pardon, sir : I've done you wrong ; 
But pardon 't, as you are 1 a gentleman. 
This presence knows, 

1 "It as you're" would have been more rhythmical ; but Shakspere would 
mark Hamlet's seriousness, suavity, and courtesy by the emphasis of the 
unabridged phrase, and put ''you are." So note, en passant, how the third 
line is a broken one, that the break in the measure may more fully mark his 
true court-like reverence to his king, and denote the more the humility with 
which he would excuse himself to Laertes. 


And you must needs have heard, how I am punish VI 

With sore distraction. What I have done, 

That might your nature, honour, and exception, 

Koughly awake, I here proclaim was madness. 

Was 't Hamlet wronged Laertes 1 Never, Hamlet : 

If Hamlet from himself be ta'eii away, 

And, when he's not himself, does wrong Laertes, 

Then Hamlet does it not, Hamlet denies it. 

Who does it then 1 His madness : If 't be so, 

Hamlet is of the faction that is wrong'd ; 

His madness is poor Hamlet's enemy." 

The noble nature of the true Hamlet is here again brought out 
and contrasted with the villainous intents of his enemies. Think of 
the damnable schemes of Claudius and of his follower Laertes, and 
then hear and see Laertes say, and Claudius listen to 

"I do receive your offer'd love like love, 
And will not wrong it." 

taking with it Hamlet's answer and accompanying gesture 

" I embrace it freely ; 
And will this brother's wager frankly play." 

First, then, I would call attention to this, that Hamlet has not 
said once that he was mad, but reiterates it, repeats the word 
"madness*' three several times, and varies it at least thrice more 
in " sore distraction," and " Hamlet from himself," and Hamlet 
"not himself." The idea runs throughout this speech, and the 
sense of the whole fourteen lines may be compressed into " I was 
indeed most mad," spoken in all humility to his inferior, Laertes, 
Secondly, one of two things must follow. Either Hamlet spoke the 
truth, or he, the once praised rose and honour of the court, the 
bosom friend of Horatio, the adored of the pure Ophelia, in a matter 
where his honour as a man and gentleman was at stake, told a 
deliberate lie, and repeated it six times : not merely too were these 
deliberate lies, but cowardly and despicable ones. As he intended 
no treachery, his madness could only have been proclaimed by him, 
because it was true, or because he, an accomplished swordsman, 
would guard against the danger of having to meet Laertes with 
unbated rapier in, probably, a duel to the death. One of these 


alternatives must be adopted, no third is possible : though I have 
known some who strangely admit these to be lies, and more strangely, 
defend them on the ground that Hamlet thought nothing of a lie ! 
Should any one think that up to this moment, as well as after it, that 
Hamlet appears as 

" The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's, eye, tongue, sword : 
Th' expectancy and rose of the fair state, 
The glass of fashion, and the mould of form," 

but that at this particular moment he, contrary to every word and 
hint throughout the play, tears off this vizard and masquerading 
dress, and for no earthly purpose, displays himself in his true 
colours as the worthy nephew of his uncle, the inheritor of his 
mother's vices, but not of his father's virtues 1 I say for no earthly 
purpose, for his only purpose was to court Laertes' favour and play 
this brother's wager, then we part company. I decline to say 
more, except that while I cannot expect all my conclusions to be 
accepted, possibly even none by those who have made up their 
minds, and cannot, for consistency's sake, alter them, I would yet 
emphatically repeat these words of Hamlet 

" This presence knows, 

And you must needs have heard, how I am punish' d 
With a sore distraction. What I have done, 
That might your nature, honour, and exception, 
Roughly awake, I here proclaim was madness." 


In the merry month of May. Though this really belongs to 
Barnefield, yet as it stands as No. 21 of The Passionate Pilf/rim, 
I would notice that the words above are found in hash's Quaternio, 
1633, p. 31. "Sometimes againe, in the merrie month of May, I 
betake my felfe to our Common-greene, where I behold Tib and Tom, 
Tug and lohn, Dicke and Doll, Will and Moll, dauncing a meafure 
about the Pole." They are without signs of quotation, and though, 
it is possible that Nash made use of words that he had just met with 
in the Passionate Pilgrim or in Barnefield, it rather seems to me that 
they go to prove that the phrase was a well-known one, occurring 
perhaps in some popular song. I quote the Tib and Tom, &c., &c. 
bits as showing why it was " merrie." B. N. 

N. S. SOC. TRANS., 1880 -2. B B 

370 SCRAPS. 

rampire : v.t. rampart ; pile earth against. (This may be the sense 
in Timon, V. iv. 47. ' our rampired gates ' : the Senators are on the 
walls, which, with their gates, are ramparted. Alcibiades bids them 
open their " uncharged 1 Ports " (1. 55), those they are to clear, and 
bring him into their city (1. 81). Still, Schmidt shows that 'ram- 
pired ' may only have been ' barrd, fastend,' and he takes ' uncharged ' 
to be * unassaild '. That Shakspere didn't mean to have a rampart 
of Thames gravel or London clay behind the benches that probably 
servd for the Walls of Athens at the Globe or Blackfriars, is certain.) 
" For that the Townes enclosed with weake walles of stone, and 
defended with small, square, or round towres, are insufficient to abide 
the rnallice and offence that an enemy at this day may put in practise, 
the Cannon being an engine of much more force then any before it 
indented. To resist whose violence, other meane cannot be giuen, 
than to rampier those walles within, and make greater and royaller 
defences without." 1589. PAUL IVE. Treatise of Fortification, 
p. 35. ... 

ib. p. 37. " If the wall be so high, that to rampier it to the 
heigth it is at, it would aske too great a labour and charge, then 
rebate it or take it downe lower." F. 

palisado : sb. 1 Henry IV. II. iii. 55. "Where the water may 
be drawne away, then make a strong and sufficient damme of stone, 
placing a palizado before it, (prouiding alwayes to haue some royall 
defence neare vnto it, that an enemy may be impeached, by all 
nieanes possible to approch it :) which palizado must be of yong 
trees that will yeeld fiue or sixe inches of square timber, set fast in 
the ground, and bound togither, the one standing three inches dis- 
tant from the other, that nothing may be hid behind it from the 
harquebusserie of the Fort ; and also it were necessary that the outside 
of it should be flanked from the said Fort. Likewise, any courtine 
or bulwarke standing neere vnto anye damme, seabanke, or other such 
like, whereby it might be easily approched, aborded, and surprised, 
must haue a palizado (placed at the outer edge of the parapet raysed 
vppon the sayd courtine or bulwarke) of sparres or such like, which 
palizados may be 14. or 15. foote high, or more or lesse. 1589. 
PAUL IVE. The Practise of Fortification, pp. 37, 38. F. 

it, gen. sing., earlier form of 'it's.' Tempest, II. i. 163. 
" Marisque : f. A great vnsauorie fig, that ripening, opens on the 
sides, and discovers it seeds." 1611. Cotgrave. 

perspective, sb. Sonnet xxi. 4, &c. My Mistresse is my per- 
spectiue glasse, through which I view the worlds vanity. 1615. 
lohn Stephens. Satyrical Essayes. Character XVII. p. 301. F. 

1 Descharge : m. &e : f. Discharged, vnloaden, disburdened. Cotgrave. 




(Taken as read at the 83rd Meeting of the Society, Friday, Dec. 8, 1882.) 

AMONGST the candidates put up as Fletcher's literary partners in 
the Two Noble Kinsmen, it is singular that nobody has as yet hit 
upon Massinger. It would seem almost natural to think of him as 
soon as the traditional association of the names Beaumont and 
Fletcher was got rid of. He is known, on undoubted authority, to 
have been associated with Fletcher in the authorship of several plays. 
In these, as well as in his own productions, he has many classical 
allusions, and continual touches showing that some passage of 
Shakspere was running in his mind. To crown all, he has a 
metrical style which may be regarded as the continuation and 
legitimate development of Shakspere's. Under these circumstances 
how comes it that he has been silently passed over 1 ? The reason is 
partly to be found in the unfair judgment passed upon him by 
Charles Lamb. Our poet has been degraded from his high rank by 
the one-sided view which Lamb took of his works, and although the 
justice of the verdict has been called in question, it has not ceased to 
exercise an unfavourable influence on the general literary verdict 
with regard to Massinger. People are almost afraid to venture an 
opinion on the Elizabethan drama differing from Lamb's. And yet 
there is 1 hardly a less reliable guide to be found to our early dramatic 
literature. He never allows his reader to regard a drama as a whole, 
but extracts a small passage of exquisite beauty, or exceptional 
happiness of expression, and persists in making us judge of the piece 
by that. The hard fate that accompanied the Stage Poet through 
life, has clung to him up to the present time, and in spite of warm 
advocates like Gifford and Cunningham, prevented him from 



occupying his legitimate position as a dramatist immediately after 

The mental process of reasoning with regard to the Two Noble 
Kinsmen seems to have been this : The play has poetical beauties 
of a high order, but Lamb has denied Massinger's poetical powers, 
therefore the latter is not to be thought of as co-author in this play. 

With the exception, perhaps, of Henry VIII., no play attributed 
to Shakspere has ever been so variously judged as the Two Noble 
Kinsmen. As examples of the two opposite poles of opinion with 
respect to it, nothing can be imagined more striking than the pleas 
for the Shakspere authorship in Hickson's paper in the Transactions of 
the N. S. S. on the one hand, and the pleas against this authorship by 
Prof. Delius in the German Sh. Jalirbucli on the other. Hickson 
and his supporters see only the beauty of particular passages and the 
general metrical similarity of the play to Shakspere' s verse in his 
later works. Delius sees only the total want of dramatic power in 
the development of character, and will not even acknowledge any 
poetical beauty in it. The party pleading for the Shakspere author- 
ship, judges of the play as Lamb does, from particular passages of 
undoubted excellence, while Delius comes to the conclusion that it is 
not only too bad for Shakspere, but even for Fletcher, and attributes 
it to an unknown author, who imitated with considerable success as 
far as externals go, sometimes the style of Shakspere, sometimes that 
of Fletcher. 

It will be my aim in the following paper to show that, if we 
admit Massinger's authorship, all our difficulties will vanish at once. 
Delius' strong point a point which he has undoubtedly proved is 
the want of dramatic development of character in the drama. This 
cf itself should be fatal to the assumption of Shakspere's authorship. 
Let us see how the case stands with Massinger. In the plays 
in which he has no literary partner, his figures have no want of 
rounded distinctness, although, it must be granted, that they all run 
on distinct lines. He characterizes his own figures best by the word 
' impotent," in the sense of incapable of self-restraint. This expres- 
sion he uses pointedly in reference to many of his own characters. 
In the Two Noble Kinsmen, Palamon, except in I. ii., and Theseus 


are good examples of this kind of treatment. But in the plays in 
which he wrote with Fletcher, this distinctness and individuality are 
seldom present in anything like the degree in which we have them, 
in the plays of Massinger alone. The outlines are more or less 
blurred, and the individual traits which presented themselves to us 
in the opening scenes gradually hecome dim. Not only does Fletcher 
not carry on the conception of the character as laid down by 
Massinger (M., with a few exceptions, begins the dramas and lays 
down the lines), but the latter himself, on taking up his own 
conception later on, seems to abandon all hope of making anything 
of it against the dramatic incapacity of his associate. Is not this 
exactly what we have in the Two Nolle Kinsmen ? Are not the 
figures of Palamon and Arcite far more distinct and individual in the 
first act than they are later on ? They retain indeed some of their 
individuality in Massinger's hands all through the play, but they do 
not grow upon us as similar figures do in the DuJce of Milan, the 
Roman Actor, the Great Duke of Florence, &c. 

Another point made by Delius in his paper was his argument 
against the Shakspere authorship, from the number of allusions to 
Shakspere in the Two Noble Kinsmen. It cannot be disputed that 
these allusions are far more numerous in our play than in any 
undoubted play of Shakspere's. This is again characteristic of 
Massinger. There is hardly a page of his writings which does not 
contain more than one allusion to his master. 

The metrical evidence which decided Eurnivall and Fleay to 
adopt the Hickson theory is easily disposed of. As the question of 
the authorship of the Two Nolle Kinsmen is simply a branch of 
the more general question, Who were Fletcher's partners in the 
Beaumont and Fletcher plays ? a question to which I have devoted 
a good deal of attention, I may be allowed to advert to the results 
of my work published from time to time in the Englisclie Studien, 
edited by Prof. Kolbing of Breslau, and published by Henninger 
Brothers of Heilbronn. 1 In vol. iv. no. 1 of that periodical 

1 This periodical, which costs only fifteen shillings a year, has brought out 
many important papers on Shakspere questions, among the rest one by Prof. 
Caro, completely clearing up the difficult question whence Shakspere drew the 


I wrote a paper (in German ; all the rest of my work in Eng. Stud. 
is in English), in which, from metrical and other considerations, 
I pointed to Massinger as the probahle author of the Two Nolle 
Kinsmen. The metrical tables in that paper were computed by my 
colleague, Mr Harrison, of this town. On going over the counting 
later on, I found that I differed from Mr Harrison considerably in the 
run-on lines. What one of us regarded as a run-on line was 
regarded sometimes by the other as end-stopped. The difficulty being 
laid before the Petersburgh Shakspere Circle, a committee, consisting 
of Mr Goodlet, Mr Harrison, and myself, was appointed to find out a 
basis for counting run-on lines, and for making out a list of light and 
weak endings. A number of rules were laid down corresponding to 
the usage in French and German prosody for enjambements. Ac- 
cording to these rules all my counting later on was done. The 
definitions given, and the list of light and weak endings, were 
accompanied by numerous examples taken, not from Shakspere only, 
but from the whole body of dramatic literature. This Eeport appeared 
in Eng. Stud., III. iii. In vol. v, no. 1 of the same periodical 
I published about two years ago a number of tables to show the 
respective shares of Beaumont and Fletcher in one series of plays, and 
of Massinger and Fletcher in another. These tables were originally 
calculated to test the correctness of Fleay's tables, published in vol. 
i. of the Transactions of the N. S. S. They show the number of verse- 
lines in each scene, the number of run-on lines, of double endings, of 
light and weak endings. At the bottom of the table the number of 
lines attributed to each author is given, with the percentages of 
metrical peculiarities. These percentages show a marked regularity, 
and Massinger's agree with those given, in the same way, for six 
undoubted Massinger plays. To confirm this metrical evidence 
I have drawn up a list of Massinger's repetitions. " No author 
repeats himself oftener, or with less ceremony, than Massinger," says 
Gifford. As an illustration of the force of this remark, I have 
collected from all the plays in which Massinger was engaged (31 in 

materials of his stories in the Temjiest and Winter's Tale. The paper is 
entitled, " Ueber die historischen Elemente in Shakspere's Sturm und 


all, now extant) a mass of repetitions covering 90 quarto pages of 
manuscript. This collection I shall shortly publish in the Englische 
Studien. In every case in which, from metrical evidence, I had 
fixed on a play in which Massinger's hand seemed traceable, I have 
found this evidence corroborated by repetitions of expressions which 
he was fond of. 

The plays in which Massinger was engaged with Fletcher are, 
according to my results, the following : 

1. The Prophetess. 2. The Lovers' Progress. 3. TJie Little 
French Lawyer. 4. The False One. 5. The Elder Brother. 
6. Beggar's Bush. 7. The Spanish Curate. 8. A Very Woman. 
9. A New Way to Pay Old Debts. 10. Thierry and Theodoret. 
II. Two Nolle Kinsmen. 12. The Fair Maid of the Inn. 13. The 
Queen of Corinth. 14. The Blood// Brother. The counting for the 
last three is not yet quite finished. Besides these 14 plays, in which 
he was engaged with Fletcher, Massinger wrote the Virgin Martyr 
with Dekker, the Fatal Dowry with Field, and Love's Cure with 
another author, not Fletcher. In order to judge of the question 
properly then, it will be seen that all the evidence brought to bear to 
prove the other 16 plays works of Massinger and another author, 
ought to be gone through before pronouncing on the Two Nolle 
Kinsmen. As, however, the space available is not sufficient for this 
purpose, I shall only touch on the evidence that has a more 
immediate bearing on our play. My division of the play coincides 
with that of Fleay in the Transactions of the N". S. S., except that I 
give the first 18 lines of Act V. to Fletcher. 1 As to the metrical 
structure, it corresponds closely with Massinger's general style. The 
only point in which there is any difference is the double endings. 
These amount to only 30 per cent, in the part of the play which I 
give to Massinger (Furnivall and Fleay' s Sh. part). Massinger's 
percentage of double endings generally runs about 40; in Love's 

1 Fleay does so too perhaps. He makes a blunder of 118 in his addition 
of his figures for his Shakspere part. The 100 is accounted for by his having 
put 100 lines too little in one scene. Perhaps he meant to give the other 18 
lines to Fletcher, and forgot. We don't quite agree in the number of verse- 
lines for each scene, but as I found my counting confirmed by the Littledale 
Reprint, I suppose it will not be far wrong. 


Cure and the Fatal Dowry it is 35, in the Prophetess also 35, and in 
Thierry and Theodoret 34. Thus there is no great difficulty in 
supposing him to sink to 30 per cent, double endings for 1000 lines, 
especially as these form the most variable element of his metrical 
style. There is no other known author whose style so closely 
corresponds with the non-Fletcher part of the Two Noble Kinsmen 
42 per cent, run-on lines ; his percentage here is also his general 
percentage for run-on lines. The percentage for light and weak 
endings, together nearly eight per cent., is also his general average. 
In this respect his only rivals are Cyril Tourneur and Cartwright, 
who are both freer in their use of light and weak endings than 
Massinger ; but neither of them can be thought of for a moment as 
Fletcher's partner in Two Noble Kinsmen. 

Metrical evidence seems to be now as unduly neglected in 
England as it was formerly unduly cried up. Properly employed, 
however, as a guide and a help to the investigator, its importance is 
almost self-evident. That the dry figures of a metrical table represent 
a something very appreciable to the ear will be plain on comparing 
the following passages to try if the ring is the same. The passages 
have been chosen with an eye to similarity in situation or sentiment. 

1. Compare Unnatural Combat, I. i. from 1. 130 

" I understand you 
Without the aid of those interpreters, 
That fall from your fair eyes," &c., 

with Two Noble Kinsmen, I. i. 175200 

" The more proclaiming 
Our suit shall be neglected," &c. 

2. Compare the Bondman, I. iii., with Two Noble Kinsmen, I. ii, 

3. Compare the Picture, II. ii., Ferdinand's speech, 

" He, as I said, like dreadful lightning thrown," &c. 

(" Like young eaglets preying under 
The wings of their fierce dam,") 

with Two Noble Kinsmen, I. iv. 17 Theseus' speech 

" Like to a pair of lions smear'd with prey," &c. 

4. Compare the Picture, II. ii., Ebulus' speech 


" I have observed 
When horrid Mars, the touch of whose rude hand," &c. 

with Two Noble Kinsmen, V. i. from 1. 49 

" Thou mighty one that with thy power hast turned," &c. 
5. Compare the Lovers' Progress, I. ii. 42-63 

" Olinda. I thus look 

With equal eyes on both ; either deserves 
A fairer fortune than they can in reason 
Hope for from me : from Lidian I expect, 
When I have made him mine, all pleasures that 
The sweetness of his manners, youth, and virtues, 
Can give assurance of, But turning this way 
To brave Clarange, in his face appears 
A kind of majesty which should command, 
Not sue for favour. If the fairest lady 
Of France, set forth with nature's best endowments, 
Did now lay claim to either for a husband, 
So vehement my affection is to both, 
My envy at her happiness would kill me. 

Witness these tears, I love both, as I know 
You burn with equal flames, and so affect me ; 
Abundance makes me poor ; such is the hard 
Condition of my fortune. Be your own judges ; 
If I should favour both, 'twill taint my honour, 
And that before my life I must prefer : 
If one I lean to, the other is disvalued ; 

Would I could be so happy to content both ! " 
\vith Two Nolle Kinsmen, V. iii. 41-55 

" Emil. Arcite is gently visagd ; yet his eye 
Is like an engyn bent, or a sharpe weapon 
In a soft seath ; mercy and manly courage 
Are bedfellowes in his visage. Palamon 
Has a most menacing aspect ; his brow 
Is grav'd, and seemes to bury what it frownes on, 
Yet sometime 'tis not so, but alters to 
The quallity of his thoughts; long time his eye 
Will dwell upon his object ; mellencholly 
Becomes him nobly ; so do's Arcite's mirth ; 
But Palamon's sadness is a kinde of mirth, 
So mingled, as if mirth did make him sad, 
And sadnes, merry, those darker humours that 
Sticke misbecomingly on others, on [him] 
Live in faire dwelling," etc. 
Compare IV. ii. 1-54, etc. (Fletcher's part). 


Nobody who reads these sets of passages one after another in the 
order given will be inclined to deny the general metrical similarity 
of them all. This similarity equally extends to those more prominent 
peculiarities, which are summed up under the name of metrical tests, 
and to those subtle elements which defy tabulation, but which make 
up the music of a verse. In these indefinable touches, in the artistic 
distribution of pauses, and in the unerring choice and grouping 
of just those words which strike the ear as the perfection of harmony, 
there are, if we leave Cyril Tourneur's Atheist's Tragedy out of the 
question, only two masters in the drama Shakspere in his latest 
period, and Massinger. We may regard them as equals in this 
respect, only that Massinger's style is more uniform, he having 
commenced to write after blank verse had (from 1607) attained its 
full harmonious development. Milton recognized the great superiority 
of Massinger over all his contemporaries in this respect, and not only 
modelled his verse on Massinger's, but by the frequency with which 
he takes up a thought of our poet's, and repeats it in various forms, 
shows that he had studied him with loving care. As between 
Shakspere and Massinger, the balance of metrical evidence in the 
non-Fletcher part of the Two Nolle Kinsmen points to the latter 
from the high percentage of run-on lines and light and weak endings. 
The Two Noble Kinsmen has been shown to contain many allusions to 
Shakspere' s plays, and many classical allusions. In Eng. Stud., IV. i., 
I showed that Massinger was fond of classical allusions. Gifford's 
notes will convince any reader of Massinger that he is continually 
harping on some Shaksperean passage. As I said before, he always 
seems to have some turn of thought from some play of his great 
master ringing in his ear. His mind was steeped in Shakspere. 
There are innumerable instances of his repeating a Shakspere phrase, 
when led to it by similarity of situation, so literally that all idea of 
plagiarism is excluded. The same process went on in his mind 
which went on in Shelley's when, in the murder-scene in the Cenci, 
he imitated the corresponding scene in Macbeth so exactly that it is 
impossible to read it without forgetting the modern play altogether 
and thinking of Macbeth. When Massinger says in the Emp. of the 
East, V. ii. 


" Or restore 

My mind to that tranquillity and peace 
It then enjoyed," 

or in the same play, IV. v. 

" Methinks I find Paulinus on her lips," 
(see Othello, III. iii. 41, page 895, col. 2. Globe) 

or III. ii " They lose 

The name of virtue," 

we see him show the same tendency to quote Shakspere with which 
his share of the Two Noble Kinsmen is replete. But, as we should 
expect to find from Gifford's expression as to Massinger's repetitions, 
his share in the Two Noble Kinsmen has not only classical and 
Shakspere allusions, it has also very clear allusions to other Massinger 
plays. "When my list of Massinger's repetitions is published, it will 
show that Massinger, after Fletcher's death, repeated himself more fre- 
quently than before. Now the Two Noble Kinsmen was written before 
Fletcher's death. Not only is it a play in which the shares of the 
two authors are interlaced ; we have even evidence that Fletcher 
added to what Massinger wrote. The fifth Act seemed to Fletcher to 
begin too abruptly, and he wrote the first 18 lines as an introduction, 
on much the same principle as that which induced him to begin the 
conversation between the two cousins in prison with a " How doe 
you." The Two Noble Kinsmen was probably written before the Little 
French Lawyer and the Lovers' Progress, and other plays of the 
French period. In the Lovers' Progress the idea of a woman in love 
with two men at once is carried out a great deal more fully than in 
the Two Noble Kinsmen. The mention of Diana's " rare greene eye " 
(V. i. 144) would seem to show that our poet had already begun his 
Spanish studies. Later on a reason will be given for conjecturing its 
date to be about the same as that of the Custom of the Country. At 
any rate it is an early play in the Massinger and Fletcher series, 
although probably written after Beaumont's death. One peculiarity 
of Massinger and Fletcher is, that when there is any possibility of 
variance, they never agree in the pronunciation of a name. Thus the 
one pronounces Din'ant with the accent on the first syllable, the 


other Dinan't with the accent on the last. In the Spanish Curate 
Massinger pronounces Bar'tolus with the accent on the first syllable ; 
Fletcher, Barto'lus, with the accent on the middle syllable. In our 
play we find Fletcher pronounces Pir-ith-o-us, The-se-us, four and 
three syllables respectively. Massinger pronounces them Pir-ith-ous, 
The-seus three and two syllables. 

Let us now proceed to examine the Massinger part of the play, 
scene by scene, to find out allusions to his known plays. The first 
passage that strikes us is I. i. 64 " Juno's mantle." The only 
parallel passage which I find to this is in the Elder Brother, 
I. i. 108, 109 (a Massinger scene) 

" JS"or a rich gown 
From Juno's wardrobe " (From Chapman's Homer 1). 

The wheaten wreath, Two Noble Kinsmen, I. i. 65, has not received the 
attention it deserves at the hands of the commentators. It is twice 
mentioned in the present play, not counting the stage directions, 
1st as above, and 2nd, V. i. 160, as a "wheaten gerland." Con- 
sidering that both Chaucer and his Italian original mention an oak 
wreath, the divergence is noteworthy. The " wheaten wreath " is 
mentioned in Peele's Edward /., Act I., by Friar Hugh's man Jack. 
In Hamlet , Y. ii. 41, p. 845, we have another allusion peace wearing 
her wheaten garland. It seems to have been a pretty general custom 
for the bride to wear at the marriage ceremony a wheaten wreath, which 
was removed by the bridegroom. Massinger has an allusion to this 
custom in the Maid of Honour, I. ii., in the conversation between 
Bertoldo and Camiola "You alone should wear the garland." The 
conversation is of sceptred monarchs, imaginary rivals of Bertoldo for 
Camiola as a bride, and the passage does not refer to a mere victor's 
wreath. The same allusion occurs in the Bash/id Lover, I. i. 279 
" Howe'er he wear the garland." In Act IV. sc. iii. 164 of this 
play there is a passage which comes near Two Noble Kinsmen, V. 
i. 158 

"He of the two pretenders that best loves me, 

And has the truest title in 't, let him 

Take off my wheaten garland." 

The passage in Bashful Lover, IV. iii. 164, is 


"He that can 

"With love and service host deserve the garland, 
With your consent let him wear it." 

Said to and of Matilda. 

Coming on to I. i. 74, 75, we have 

" And press you forth 
Our undertaker." 

This expression is only once used in Shakspere in a similar sense in 
Twelfth Night, or What You Will, III. iv. 349. 1 Massinger uses it 
in the Renegado, III. iii. 

" No daring undertaker in our service." 
Also in A New Way to Pay Old Debts, V. i. 27 

" Were a work beyond the strongest undertakers/ 7 
and Lovers 1 Progress, I. i. 33 

" First for the undertaker, I am he." 
In I. i. 76 we have 

" Unto the helmeted Bellona use them." 

Bellona occurs in two other passages of Massinger's share in this 
play. He seems fond of the word, which often suits his sonorous 
verse better than Mars. See Roman Actor, I. iv. 2 Pict., II. ii. 
Bond., I. i., &c. 

Two Noble Kinsmen, I. i. 78 " Troubled I am." 
Massinger is very fond of showing us his heroes in the uncertainty 
of a resolution just beginning to take shape. This he does sometimes, 
as in the Picture, III. iv., end 

" I am much troubled, 
And do begin to stagger," 

in almost the very words of our play. Compare Bond., V. ii. 104 ; 
Renegado, III. iii., end 

" My rage shall then appear; for I will do 
Something ; but what, I am not yet determin'd. " 

1 " Sir To. Nay, if you be an undertaker, I am for you." " One who 
makes anything his own business, a meddler.'' Schmidt. 

2 ''And famine, blood, and death, Bellona's pages." (See Henry V. 


Great Duke of Florence, II. iii. 

" Phil. His words work strangely on me, 
And I would do but I know not what to think on't." 

Emp. of the East, Y. i. Guardian, II. iii. Bashful Lover, II. vi. 
and IV. i. Queen of Corinth, I. i. Thierry and Theodoret, II. i. 
Lovers' Progress, I. i, Spanish Curate, IY. i., and Bloody 
Brother, I. i. 

I. i. 103 " I had as leife trace this good action with you." 
Compare Virg. Martyr, IY. iii. 95 (M.'s scene) 

" Anton. 0, take me thither with you ! 

Dor. Trace my steps, 
And be assured you shall." 

I. i. 131 "Forward to the temple ! " 

Massinger uses the same, or nearly the same words in similar 
situations in Maid of Honour, Y. ii. ; Picture, I. ii. ; Fair Maid of 
the Inn, Y. iii (in two places). 

"Precipitance." I. i 143. 

Massinger uses "precipice" in the sense of a headlong fall (in this 
sense it does not occur in Shakspere) in Emp. of the East, III. ii. ; 
Maid of Honour, II. iv. and Y. i. ; Renegado, III. v., and Picture, 
II. i. and IY. ii. 

I. i. 153 "The heates are gone to-morrow." 

This passage, hardly intelligible as it stands, is explained by a 
parallel passage in the Emperor of the East, II. i. 

" That resolution which grows cold to-day 
Will freeze to-morrow." 

I. i. 164 " Whilst we dispatch 

This grand act of our life, this daring deed 
Of fate, in wedlock." 

Compare Maid of Honour -, Y. ii. 

' ' And rest assured that, this great work dispatched," 

The great work is the marriage of Aurelia and Bertoldo. Similar 
expressions (not alluding to marriage), Un. Com., III. ii. 155; 


D. of Mil, V. ii. 82; Bond., IV. ii. 80; City Madam, V. iii. ; 
Guard., I. i. ; Prophetess, II. iii. ; Q. of Corinth, V. iv. 

These last two are startling illustrations, but the next one is 
decisive of the question of the authorship of our play. We have 

I. i. 178 " Warranting moonlight." 

" 1st Queene. . . . when her armes, 
Able to locke Jove from a synod, shall 
By warranting moone-light corslet thee, 0, when 
Her twynning cherries shall their sweetnes fall 
Upon thy tastefull lips, what wilt thou thinke 
Of rotten kings or blubberd queenes 1 what care 
For what thou feelst not, what thou feelst being able 
To make Mars spurne his drom ? 0, if thou couch 
But one night with her, every howre in 't will 
Take hostage of thee for a hundred, and 
Thou shalt remember nothing more then what 
That banket bids thee to." 

Tin's one passage, I say, characteristic as it is of Massinger's way of 
treating his women (and there is nothing else anywhere in the play 
with regard to the female characters in contradiction with it), is 
enough to put an end at once to all idea of Shaksperean authorship, 
and to point irresistibly to Massinger as the only possible author. 
There are no fewer than 22 passages in plays, partly or wholly by 
Massinger, in which the same idea is expressed in almost the same 
words. It may be objected that it is the 1st Queen who expresses 
herself so, and the author may have meant to represent her as a 
sensual character. But there is no dramatic necessity to represent 
her as gloating over her unclean reminiscences. "Without a dramatic 
necessity Shakspere would never have introduced such a trait, but 
Massinger often does. Witness the latter's Love's Cure, in which 
Eugenia expresses her joy at her husband's return, and gives the 
reason of that joy, I. ii. 40, 41, in a manner too plain to be 

" Eugenia. Oh my joys 

So far transport me, that I must forget 
The ornaments of matrons, modesty, 
And grave behaviour ! But let all forgive me, 
If in th' expression of my soul's best comfort, 
Though old, I do awhile forget mine age, 


And play the wanton in the entertainment 

Of those delights I have so long despaired of." 

Love's Cure, I. ii. 

To make matters sure she repeats the allusion in I. iii. 67, 68 

" My lord, long wish'd for, welcome ! 
"Tis a sweet briefness ! Yet in that short word 
All pleasures which I may call mine begin. 
And may they long increase, before they find 
A second period ! Let mine eyes now surfeit 
On this so-wish'd-for object, and my lips 
Yet modestly pay back the parting kiss 
You trusted with them. 
Sit down, and let me feed upon the story 
Of your past dangers, now you are here in safety 1 
It will give relish, and fresh appetite 
To my delights, if such delights can cloy me." 

Love's Cure, I. iii. 

I must beg pardon for dwelling still longer on this unsavoury 
subject, but as it is the point on which the whole question turns, 
there is no avoiding it. I have conclusive reasons for ascribing 
Love's Cure to Massinger 1 quite apart from the allusion to the great 
frost, which proves it at least as late as 1622. Eugenia in Love's 
Cure is a perfect counterpart of the nauseous 1st Queen. But are 
the other female figures any better ? What does Hippoly ta say in 
lines 1901931 

" Hip. Did I not by th' abstayning of my joy, 
Which breeds a deeper longing, cure their surfeit 
That craues a present medicine, I should plucke 
All ladies' scandall on me." 

Does she not express her longing for the sensual side of marriage joys 
as unrestrainedly as Massinger's women 1 I say as Massinger' s women, 
because this is the mark of the cloven hoof that always betrays him. 
How subtle must have been the effluvia of social corruption in that 
age, when our poet's originally noble nature became incapable, not 
only of portraying, but even of conceiving ideal female purity such as 
we have in Shakspere's creations ! In Shakspere's age the vanishing 

1 Dr Nicholson, when Fleay first presented his tables in which he had put 
down the play as Beaumont and Fletcher's, pointed at once to Massinger as 
probably Fletcher's assistant. The play is by Massinger and an unknown 
author (perhaps two). There is no trace of Fletcher in it. 


spirit of chivalry breathed its last breath into literature, and created 
an ideal of woman as lofty as it is true. But the thick miasma 
arising from the great social swamp of corruption in which the later 
dramatists lived, clogged their wings and dragged them down to 
earth. We have a terrible example of this moral deterioration in the 
figures before ns. How is it possible, I ask, to place such figures as 
Hippolyta and Emilia in the purer atmosphere of the earlier drama, 
when they never by any chance rise above the level of Massinger's 
women 1 ? Emilia as well as Hippolyta, In I. iii 66 71 Emilia 
describes her personal charms 

" . . . my breasts, 0, then but beginning 
To swell about the blossome." 

in a way that lachimo does not equal when describing the mole on 
Imogen's breast. Fancy the same language, the same gloating over a 
sensual idea, being put into the mouths of the abandoned lecher and 
of an innocent young girl ! Fancy further that the latter goes 
beyond the professional voluptuary in his own line, and then ask us 
to receive this creature into the society of Miranda, Marina, Perdita, 
and Imogen ! 

To show that I have not overstated the case with regard to 
Massinger's women, I subjoin the following references to scenes 
containing language by women meant to be virtuous, which sometimes 
puts even the 1st Queen into the shade. Unnatural Combat, I. i. 
170. Bellisant in Parliament of Love, I. ii. and Y. i. Duke of 
Milan, III. iii. and V. i. Great Duke of Florence, I. i. and V. iii. 
Picture, I. i. and I. ii. Fatal Dowry, Y. ii. City Madam, Y. i. 
Guardian, II. iii. and III. ii. A Very Woman, I. i. 20. Loves 
Cure, I. iii. and Y. ii. Fair Maid of the Inn, I. i. (in two places) 
and Y. iii. Lovers 1 Progress, I. i. Elder Brother, I. i. Little 
French Lawyer, Y. ii. This list, which is by no means exhaustive, 
will convince any mind open to conviction that the women of the 
Two Noble Kinsmen, if not capable of being admitted into the society 
of Shakspere's women, are admirably adapted to take part in the 
conversation of Massinger's heroines. 

I. i. 216 " I stamp this kisse upon thy currant lippe; 
Sweete, keep it as my token." 

N. S. SOC. TRANS., 1880-2. C G 


I need hardly say that this is not Shakspere's style. We should 
hardly have been surprised to find Bassanio's parting kiss to Portia 
mentioned. What more natural than to mention Posthumus' parting 
kiss to Imogen 1 But Shakspere does not mention it in either case. 
Probably because deep feelings are not expressed in such pretty 
conceits as the one before us. But in Massinger's time the conven- 
tional kiss of society had almost deprived a lover's kiss of the right 
of existence. Consequently such lines as the above occur in many 
of his plays. 

" This kiss when you come back shall be a virgin." 

Bondman, I. i. 195. 

" Deliver this kiss primed on your lips 
Sealed on his hand.''' 

Maid of Honour, III. ii., about the end. 

" The parting kiss you took before your travel 
Is yet a virgin on my lips." Queen of Corinth, I. ii. 

" And my lips 

Yet modestly pay back the parting kiss 
You trusted with them, when you fled from Sevil." 

Love's Cure, I. iii. 

The idea of the stamp making the kiss current is alluded to in 
the Great Duke of Florence, I. i. 

" And any stamp 
Of grace to make him current to the world." 

The stamp of grace does not here refer to a kiss, but to the favour 
in which Sanazarro stands with the Great Duke. The coincidence 
in the manner of expression is very striking, and points to a common 
author of the two plays, especially when taken in connection with 
the other passages, which show Massinger's inveterate habit of 
continually bringing forward the same expression, slightly varied, in 
similar situations. In I. ii. 43, 44, we have 

" Tis in our power 

Unlesse we feare that apes can tutor 's to 
Be masters of our manners." 

Compare Emp. of. the East, I. ii. 

" You are master of the manner and the habit; 
Rather the scorn of such as would live men, 


And not, like apes, with servile imitation 
Study prodigious fashions." 

" Servile imitation " is just the key-note to the whole of Palamon's 
speech, and, as usual with Massinger, the old expression recurs. 
Further on there is an allusion to a change of fashion which may 
give us a clue to the date of the play. With the means at my 
command in this remote corner of the world, I have not been able to 
clear up the point, but hope somebody else will be more fortunate. 

Line 55 (I. ii.), Pal. says 

" What cannon's there 
That does command my rapier from my hip 
To dangle 't in my hand 1 " 

Now we know from two contemporary plays that sword or rapier 
wearing became unfashionable among the gallants during the reign 
of James. In the Custom of the Country. II. iii., p. 113 (Rout- 
ledge's edition), Duarte kicks Alonzo and taunts him with not daring 
to wear a sword to guard his honour, he is to out with his bodkin, 
his pocket dagger, his stiletto. Duarte will show him the difference 
between a Spanish rapier and his pure Pisa. Rutilio says that 
Duarte is bribed to repeal banished swords, and declares that, spite 
of the fashion, he shall never part with his, In the Elder Brother, 
V. i. 240, Miramont speaks of walking velvet cloaks that wear no 
sword to guard them (the scene is Massinger' s) ; and from the rest of 
the play it is plain that it was fashionable, or at least common, not 
to wear a sword. Considering the perpetual allusions of Massinger 
and Fletcher to contemporary fashions and events, is it unreasonable 
to suppose that these hits were meant to touch a fashion recently 
introduced say from 1617 to 1620] 

In I. ii. 60 we have 

" These poore sleight sores 
Neede not a plantin." 

The present play is full of medical and surgical similes, which is 
again a peculiarity of Massinger's. We have III. i. 114, 115 

" This question, sicke between's 
By bleeding must be cured." 

and Y. i. 64, 65 

c c 2 


" That healst with blood 

The earth when it is sicke, and cur'st the world 
0' the pluresie of people." 

Such similes we have in Bondman, I. iii. 220 ; Par of Love, I. 
iv. ; Emp. of the East, III. ii. ; Guardian, III. i. ; F. Maid of Inn, 
III. ii. ; Thierry $ Theod., I. ii. ; Elder Brother, Y. i. ; Believe as 
you List, V. i. ; Unnatural Combat, IV. i. ISO. 1 

I. ii. 180 "I thinke the ecchoes of his shames have deaft 
The eares of heav'nly justice : widdows' cryes 
Descend again into their throats, and have not 
Due audience of the gods." 

Compare Roman Actor, III. i. 

"The immortal Powers 

Protect a prince, though sold to impious acts, 
And seem to slumber till his roaring crimes 
Awake their justice." 

The two passages (complementary parts of one picture) have a 
common origin in Macbeth. 

I. iii. 51 " You were at wars when she the grave enrich'd." 
The same idea is repeated later on in the play, III. i. 10 

" Thou, Jewell, 

0' th' wood, o' th' world has likewise blest a [place] 
With thy sole presence." 

Massinger repeats this idea frequently : Elder Brother, I. ii. ; 
Spanish Curate, I. i. (in two places) ; Great Duke of Florence, I. i. 

" And what place 
Does he now bless with his presence 1 " 

Emp. of the East, II. i. ; Bashful Lover, I. i 

" The place which she makes happy with her presence." 

"To each place you made paradise with your presence." 

The Bashful Lover, III. iii. 

A still more striking resemblance occurs in Massinger's part of 
the Fair Maid of the Inn, V. iii. 

" But yet deny not 

To let me know what place she hath made h: 
By having there her sepulchre." 

1 (" Thy plurisy of goodness is thy ill.") 


in I. iii. 89, 90, we have 

" I must no more beleeve thee in this point 

Than I will trust a sickly appetite 
That loathes even as it longs." 

Compare A Very Woman, IV. ii. 50 

" No more of love, good father, 
It was my surfeit, and I loath it now 
As men in fevers meat they fell sick on." 

It was settled by Fleay, with his usual infallibility, that neither 
.Fletcher nor Massinger wrote prose. His reason was that there was 
no prose in the plays they wrote alone. Apart from the fact that 
this assertion is not correct, is it not possible to imagine reasons 
which would have induced both of them to write prose' in a play 
with another author, while they each wrote verse in the productions 
in which they were unassisted 1 That this was the case with 
Fletcher in the plays he wrote with Beaumont I shall take a future 
opportunity to show. As to Massinger, what could induce the author 
of such exquisite prose as he gives us in his dedications, to avoid it 
in his plays, where situation rendered it natural 1 I think the prose 
at the beginning of Act II. has the Massinger ring in it, and I find 
two allusions connecting it with his plays 

" They stand a greife above the reach of report." II. i. 27. 
Compare Emp. of the East, V. ii. 

" The majesty of your fortune 
Should fly above the reach of grief." 

The last sentence of this scene (II. i.), "Lord, the difference of 
men," reminds us of Lidia's " 0, the difference of natures," in the 
Great Dulce of Florence, II. iii. The prose at the end of the fourth 
Act also seems to me to have the true Massinger ring in it. The 
number of classical allusions to Dido, to Charon, to Proserpine is 
quite in his style. The punishments reserved for perjured lovers in 
hell here mentioned, are alluded to in the Bashful Lover, III. iii. 
IV. iii. 47 

" 0, that I ever did it behind the arras ! " 


Compare Renegado, III. iv. 

" 0, here has been old jumbling 
Behind this arras ! " 

and Duke of Milan, III. ii. 42 

"Was found at the exercise behind the arras." 

The allusion to the Garden-house is common to Massinger, and 
all the dramatists of the time. Even Shakspere, who, at least in his 
later plays, is sparing of such allusions, mentions it in Measure for 

11 Confine her to a place where the light may rather seeme to steale 
in than be permitted." IV. iii. 64, 65. 

Compare A New Way to Pay Old Debts, V. i. 377, on Sir Giles 
Overreach when distracted 

" Carry him to some dark room." 

The green songs of love mentioned IV. iii. 71, are repeated again 
in Palamon's invocation to Venus " Abuse young lays of love." The 
whole of this scene reminds us of similar scenes in A Very Woman. 
"We find another of Massinger's favourite turns of thought in 
Palamon's invocation to Venus, V. i. 100 

" I never practised 

Upon man's wife, nor would the libels read 
Of liberal wits ; I never at great feasts 
Sought to betray a beauty." 

Compare Leosthene's to Cleora in the Bondman, II. i. 130 

" Nor endeavoured 

To make your blood run high at solemn feasts 
With viands that provoke ; the speeding philtres ; 
I worked no bauds to tempt you ; never practised 
The cunning and corrupting arts they study 
That wander in the wild maze of desire." 

This last line occurs also in the Picture, II ii, and Virgin 
Martyr, III. i. 135. 

V. i. 150 (Emilia's invocation to Diana) 

te I'm bride habited, 
But maiden hearted." 


In the Maid of Honour, towards the end of V. i., Camiola says 
she will attire herself like a virgin bride, and appears later in this 
attire. If we had the stage directions, we should probably find her 
dressed in the way mentioned in the stage directions for Emilia. 

V. i. 53 " But I 

Am giiltlesse of election," 

is much the same as what Olinda says in the Lovers' Progress, I. ii. 
42, to her two lovers 

" I thus look 
With equal eyes on both." 

What Theseus says at the close of the play 

" A day or two 

Let us look sadly, and give grace unto 
The funerall of Arcite : in whose end 
The visages of bridegroomes weele put on 
And smile with Palamon ; for whom an houre, 
But one houre since, I was as dearely sorry, 
As glad of Arcite, and am now as glad 
As for him sorry," 

is simply a very diffuse version of what the king says at the end of 

Lovers' Progress 

" To the dead, we tender 
Our sorrow ; to the living, ample wishes 
Of future happiness." 

Let us review the results of the foregoing investigation. Fletcher's 
co-author was one whose verse closely resembled Shakspere's; he 
constantly had some Shaksperean turn of thought in his mind ; he 
had infinitely more dramatic power than Fletcher, but felt himself 
unable to make proper use of it from his associate's dramatic inca- 
pacity ; he had a very low ideal of female nature, if it can be called 
an ideal at all ; finally, besides his classical and Shakspere allusions, 
he has a large number of passages found in many of Massinger's 
plays, of whom it has been well said that no author repeats himself 
oftener or with less ceremony. Now we know that Massinger has 
all these characteristics. The last point, the passages in T. N. K. 
repeated in later Massinger plays, is not to be explained but on the 
supposition that Massinger is Fletcher's assistant in T. N. K. Even 
if we could imagine Shakspere to have borrowed to such an extent 


from another author, he had almost ceased writing for the stage ere 
Massinger commenced. Massinger's love to Shakspereand imitation, 
not only of his style, but even of his expressions and situations, 
explain completely and satisfactorily the Shakspere look of parts of 
our drama. But it is simply the look. The resemblance is only in 
the outer form. The power which gives the empty words form and 
being is utterly wanting, and we have a descriptive poem instead of a 
drama. I do not care to waste space on an examination of the 
assertions and arguments of Spalding, Hickson, Swinburne, &c., 
which are grounded mainly on single happy epithets and phrases, 
irrespective of the general character of the drama and its personages. 
I rest my case on the play itself, and now go on to consider the 
development of character as seen in the T. N. K. I have already 
said that Massinger's characters all run on certain lines. He has but 
few types, but in his own walk he is undoubtedly only inferior to 
Shakspere. Of his highest type of character we have a good 
example in Pisander, in the Bondman. With such figures he often 
rises to a beauty and serenity of thought that, aided by the exquisite 
music of his versification, produces an effect little short of solemnity. 
Pisander, speaking cf slavery, says 

" TJie noble horse, 

That, in his fiery youth, from his wide nostrils 
Neigtid courage to his rider, and brake through 
Groves of opposed pikes, bearing his lord 
Safe to triumphant victory ; old or wounded, 
Was set at liberty, and freed from service. 
The Athenian mules, that from the quarry drew 
Marble, hew'd for the temples of the gods, 
The great work ended, were dismissed and fed 
At the public cost ; nay, faithful dogs have found 
Their sepulchres ; but man, to man more cruel, 
Appoints no end to the sufferings of his slave." 

The perfection of art in these magnificent lines is what we are 
accustomed to regard and call Shaksperean. To the stormy im- 
petuosity of the opening movement, giving all the excitement and 
hurry of the onset, succeeds a hush which almost awes by the 
contrast. The pictures spring up before our eyes and carry us away 
.with them with irresistible power. If these lines had stood in the 


T. N. K. they would have been hailed as proof positive of the hand 
of Shakspere. To any ear at all conversant with Massinger's ring, 
they are characteristic of him, but hardly more so than Arcite's 
invocation to Mars in our play. 

But Massinger often breaks down, as he has done in the T. N. K., 
in his delineation of his highest types. One of his most remarkable 
failures, showing a strange mixture of power and short-coming, is his 
figure of Hortensio in the Bashful Lover. He is far more successful 
with his despots and his jealous characters. These abandon them- 
selves entirely to their feelings in a way which the poet designates 
as impotence. He shows us unsparingly the weaknesses which are 
inseparable from violence of character, and dwells especially on the 
uneasiness and trouble preceding the formation of a disagreeable 
resolution. These characters are being continually prayed to by 
their surroundings, till their violence changes to a yieldingness almost 
comic in its feebleness. Theseus is a type of the despotic class, and 
expresses himself exactly like one of Massinger's despots. Compare 
him with Lorenzo in the Bashful Lover, and Cosime in the Great 
Duke of Florence. The kneeling scene in the latter play closely 
resembles that in the T. N. K. 

If Massinger had written the whole play, Palamon would probably 
have belonged to his highest type. This height, however, he only 
reaches in the scene in Thebes, in his conversation with his cousin. 
Had Palamon been sustained at this height, our play might have 
taken rank with some of the best of those which had Massinger as 
sole author. But, from the above mentioned scene on, there is a 
positive falling off in Palamon, and, in his invocation to Yenus, he 
shows a mixture of beautiful, appropriate language, with passages in 
execrably bad taste. This mixture of beauty and bad taste is almost 
equally remarkable in A New Way to Pay Old Debts, III. i., where 
Allworth describes his mistress. 

Of Arcite in the present play, we can only say that he only once 
rises above the level of Palamon at his worst. All three figures are 
just of the kind we meet with in many Massinger plays. 

This is still plainer in the case of the female figures. All three (to 
leave the three Queens out of the auestion) have the special sensual 


type that characterizes Massinger's women. Hippolyta has a certain 
resemblance to Eudocia in the Emperor of the JEast, and Emilia 
belongs to the same class, with Theocrine in the Unnatural Combat, 
and Leonora in A Very Woman, and to those other young women 
who express their longing for marriage joys in so unreserved a 
manner. No attempt to rescue Emilia, by saying that she loved 
neither of the cousins, will succeed. Of course she did not. A 
woman who, in the moment of the combat, could only think of one 
of her lovers being wounded "to the spoiling of his figure," could 
have no idea what love was. But the poet meant to represent her as 
in love with both cousins. This is plain from the Lovers' Progress, 
the companion piece to our play. The parts of this play by Massinger 
are, I. i. and I. ii. (first 109 lines), II. ii., III. iv., III. vi. (last 28 
lines), IV. i., ii., iii., iv., V. i., ii., iii. The metrical investigation 
gave for this part 44 per cent, double endings, 40 run-on lines, and 
7J per cent, light and weak endings. The rest of the play exhibits 
60 per cent, double endings, 7J per cent, run-on lines, and not even 
1 per cent, light and weak endings. This result of the metrical tests 
is confirmed by the number of repetitions of Massinger expressions 
we find in the part attributed to him, and also by the characters of 
Calista and Olinda. The former, the wife of Oleander, regrets that 
she should be prevented by her unfortunate lot as a human being 
from enjoying the freedom of animal life. This unfortunate lot 
prevents her from treating her lover Lisander as freely as her husband, 
and forces her to repel him harshly. Olinda is in love with two at 

a time. 

" I thus look 

"With equal eyes on both ; either deserves 
A fairer fortune than they can in reason 
Hope for from me : From Lidian I expect, 
When I have made him mine, all pleasures that 
The sweetness of his manners, youth, and virtues 
Can give assurance of ; but turning this way 
To brave Clarange, in his face appears 
A kind of majesty which should command 
Not sue for favour. If the fairest lady 
Of France, set off' with Nature's best endowments, 
Nay, should I add, a princess of the blood, 
Did now lay claim to either for a husband, 


So vehement my affection is to bofh, 

My envy at her happiness icould kill me." 

"Well may Oleander say of this love, it is the strangest he ever 
heard of ! 

To my mind the Lovers' Progress treats more at large the theme 
touched on in the T. N. K. 

From the quotations it will be remarked, that our play and the 
Lovers' Progress end with, the same reflection, only more pithily 
expressed in the latter. In both plays the lovers were inseparable 
friends, in both they quarrel and fight for their mistress, and in both 
one of them gives up his claim in favour of the other Arcite on 
his death-bed, and Clarange on becoming a monk. Could more 
similarity in character, situation, and expression be found in any two 
dramas which yet retain their individuality 1 

If the love to two at a time reminds us of the Lovers' Progress, 
the treatment of madness, and especially the figure of the doctor, 
reminds us still more of A Very Woman. Massinger seems to have 
had a fondness for the medical profession. He uses medical and 
surgical similes freely. In the Emperor of the East a surgeon is 
introduced .so as to convey the idea that Massinger meant to go out 
of the way to pay a compliment to the profession. In A Very 
Woman this is carried out to an extent unprecedented in any drama 
of the time. In the T. N. K. also the doctor makes a very favourable 
impression. From the violent character of Massinger's favourite 
types, he often has to show a state of mind little removed from 
madness. Sir Giles Overreach, in A New Way to Pay Old Debts, 
actually becomes mad. But in A Very Woman Massinger has given 
a thorough description of his views on this subject. Almira and 
Cardenes love each other with a violence which promises a short 
duration. Cardenes, in the most brutal manner, insults his unsuc- 
cessful rival, and is left severely wounded after a short combat. 
Almira passes from a state of frantic rage to one of light-headedness, 
in which she pours forth scraps and shreds of classical mythology, in 
exactly the same way as the Jailor's daughter. Cardenes falls into 
a state of which Paulo says 



And at the height, too near akin to madness 
Possesses him ; his senses are distracted, 
!N"ot one, but all ; and, if I can collect them 
With all the various ways invention 
Or industry e'er practised, I shall write it 
My master-piece." 

Exactly what our Doctor says of the Jailor's daughter 

" Tis not an engraffed madnesse, but a most thicke and profound 

In A Very Woman, IV. ii., Paulo mentions the illusions to 
which Cardenes is subject, and his method of cure 

" His inhumanity to Don Antonio 
Hath rent his mind into so many pieces 
Of various imaginations, that, 
Like the celestial bow, this colour's now 
The object, then another, till all vanish. 
He says a man might watch to death, or fast, 
Or think his spirit out ; to all which humours 
I do apply myself, checking the bad, 
And cherishing the good." 

Paulo mentions his appliances, and shows us in the course of the 
scene how he works. Cardenes falls into a melancholy reflection and 
wishes for death. Paulo appears in the disguise of a friar, and relates 
how he has committed a worse crime than Cardenes, and yet by 
repentance been cleansed. The patient next, from thinking of the 
foul insult wantonly inflicted on the Prince of Tarent, resolves to kill 
himself as some satisfaction to his foe's wounded honour. Paulo, 
disguised as a soldiei, enters with an English slave in the figure of a 
courtier. The latter gives the rules for conventional courtship, so 
that Cardenes feels for the first time that it was no real love he felt 
for Almira. Paulo gives his definition of honour (" who fights with 
passions and o'ercomes them," &c.), and he begins to see that his idea 
of honour is as shadowy as his idea of love. 

This is what our Doctor in the play lays down for the cure of 
^the Jailor's daughter. " It is a falsehood she is in," says he, " which 
is with falsehoods to be combated." Paulo speaks of his possible 
success in the cure of Cardenes as a masterpiece. Our Doctor 


speaks much in the same way of his experiences in such cases, 
IV. iii. 84 to end. 

The three figures, Almira, Cardenes, and the Jailor's Daughter, 
represent stages in a mental disease which has not reached the 
height of madness. There is not the slightest idea of a rivalship 
with Shakspere in Ophelia or Lear. There is no imitation (I speak 
only of the Massinger part), but simply a consistent and uniform 
treatment of one and the same disease in the two plays. They agree 
so well, alike in what is common to both as in the little touches left 
out in the one and supplied in the other, that it is difficult not to 
regard them as complementary sketches by the same hand. 

To the defenders of the Shakspere authorship, I should recommend 
a comparison between the Theseus of our play and of Midsummer 
Night's Dream. It is true that Shakspere 's character of Julius Caesar 
in his play of that name is very different from the isolated hints of 
his character as "the mightiest Julius," &c., in the other plays ; it is 
also true that the picture of the Trojans and Greeks at the siege 
of Troy in Lucrece varies widely from that in Troilus and Gressida. 
But look at Theseus in M. N. D. He has nothing of the despot in 
him, but simply declares what the law is, and that he cannot alter it. 
"We should look in vain among Massinger's rules for such a simple, 
matter-of-fact declaration. Then, again, with what firm gentleness he 
checks Hippolyta's impatience of the rude Athenian mechanics. He 
is a pattern of a firm, constitutional ruler, such as Elizabeth with all 
her faults appeared to her people. The Theseus of our play is Chaucer's, 
quite the opposite of all this. He knows no law but his own will. 
He is the pattern of a despot such as the Stuarts wished to appear 
to their people. His Hippolyta commences by kneeling to him, but 
will end by storming at him. He is on the high way to become a 
hen-pecked husband, and richly he deserves it ! Look at these two 
so opposite conceptions of the same figure, and, remembering the 
unity running through all Shakspere' s characters, say, is it possible 
that Shakspere should have given two such totally contrary pictures 
of the same Theseus 1 

To conclude, Massinger was fond of political and other allusions 
to contemporary events. These allusions Shakspere seems to have 


left off entirely after tlie beginning of the century. Our play, Act I. 
sc. ii., has such a running commentary on contemporary circumstances 
and events as we find in many Massinger plays. It begins with a 
tirade against the corruptions of the city, and goes on to speak of the 
neglected soldier. This last allusion in Massinger's mouth has a 
particular meaning. There was probably some effort being made about 
the time when our play was written to induce James to embark in 
a war perhaps in favour of his son-in-law. Leaving this subject, 
Palamon approaches one scarcely less frequently treated by Massinger 
the extravagances of fashion. A mincing gait, affectation in speech, 
display in dress are ridiculed ; and finally comes what looks like a 
much more particular and personal allusion than any of the above 
the wearing of the beard in the same style as the favourite's. After 
all this, the change of fashion in sword-wearing is mentioned, and 
acquires in this connection increased importance. 

Professor Gardiner's paper, in the Transactions of the K S. S., 
shows to what an extent Massinger made political and other allusions in 
his plays. The neglect of the soldier and the corruptions of the city 
are themes he is never tired of glancing at. Prof. Gardiner's paper 
showed how far Massinger went in these allusions in three of his 
plays, and opened up a vista showing us the poet in a much clearer 
light. I have no doubt that if Prof. Gardiner had devoted some 
time to the investigation of I. ii. of our play, from this point of view, 
he would soon have been able to give some of these vague allusions a 
local habitation and a name. 

In recommending this solution of the T. N. K. question to the 
attention of Shakspere scholars in England, I beg to remark that the 
evidence in an investigation of this kind appears much stronger in 
its natural connection, as part of a whole. Those who wish to see 
all that can be said in favour of my views will have to consult the 
above-mentioned numbers of the Englische Studien. The space at 
my disposal, and the immense accumulation of materials, have pre- 
vented me from giving all the quotations at full in the text. I 
believe, however, that I have advanced enough to induce all who 
have any interest in the question to look up the parallel passages 
cited, and compare them with the language of the play. They will 


not regret the labour, if they come to the conclusion that the 
Massinger authorship would settle the question. It is painful to a 
sincere admirer of Shakspere to have to invent all sorts of apologies 
for what, if genuine, must be one of his latest works. But what 
ground have we for a view, lately advanced, in which we have a 
post-Tempest period with a marked falling off? The discovery of 
Fletcher's co-authorship, accounting for the weaknesses in Henry VIIL, 
Mr. Bullen's and my own work at Day and Wilkens, finally clearing 
up all remaining doubts as to the Wilkens' authorship of Pericles, 
L, II., and the adjudication of the co-authorship in T. N. K. to 
Massinger, would give us a full view of Shakspere, from the close of 
the great tragedies, on the pinnacle on which we see him in the 
Tempest, shining to the last in a steady, mild, unchanging glory. 
Surely it is better to accept this view, and to sweep away the mists 
which have prevented us from seeing him at his full evening 
splendour, than to ascribe the specks in our own dim eyes to the 
glorious sun on which we are gazing. 


A sea of troubles : Hamlet, III. i. 

" Wherein the Ocean seas of troubles flow." 

Th. Eogers, Celestiall Elegies. 1598. Quat. 12. 

This work is photographed in The Lamport Garland, Eoxburghe 
Club, 1881, and the passage is pointed out in Mr C. Edmond's 
editorial " Introduction." It fixes the folio reading as against 
conjectural change, and tends to show as does "This great sea of 
joys," Pericles, V. i. that this or similar phrases were then current. 
The historic story on which this Hamlet passage seems to have been 
founded that of the Kelts actually arming, and fighting the on- 
coming sea tends also to confirm the reading, if it does not of itself 
prove it. B. N. 

/ write man, claim a title to, call myself, man : All's Well, 
II. iii. 208; 2 Hen. IV. I. ii. 30. " My Mistresse [Guzman's 
mistress] was much ashamed of this foule accident, and I more : 
for albeit I did write man, yet I was but a young Lad to speake of 
[?/ yo mas, que aunque varon, era muchacho], and a meere child in 
the knowledge of these things," &c. Mabbe's trans, of Guzman de 
Alfaraclie, 1623, Pt. I. p. 146. W. G. STONE. 

400 SCRAPS. 

his tongue filed: L. L. L. V. 1, &c. Such phrasing was then not 

But they theyr tonges fyle 
And make a plesaunt style. 

Skelton. Colyn Clout e, Dyce's reprint, 
vol. i. p. 344. 

And well could file his tongue as smooth as glas 
Spenser's F. Queene, B. 1, c. 1, st. 35. 

His filed phrase diserns . . 

R. Portington, before Greene's Mamillia, 1583, 
as above, p. 12. 

Slie is a woman : therefore to be wonne : 1 Henry VI. V. iii. 
See New Sh. Soc. Trans., 1874, pp. 126, 127. Cp. with Tit. And., 
II. i. 83, 1 Hen. VI., V. iii. 79 (80 misplaced), and Rich. III., I. ii. 
229, this passage. "He [Cupid] therefore began to incourage his 
champion [Rodento] with thefe plaufible coniectures : that although 
there had beene a perpetual diffeiition betweene their two lioufes, 
yet there might grow as great friendfhip in their heartes, that the 
enmitie of the parentes could not hinder the amitie of the children, 
that Pafylla was a woman, and therefore to be wonne : " &c. Robert 
Greene's Planetomachia, 1585 (Huth Library, vol. v. p. 56). 

Court holy water, a. nattering : the sb. is in Lear, III. ii. 10, 
meaning 'flattery.' "But with vs, our Parasites, our Panders, our 
Fauourets, our Fidelers, our Fooles, our instruments of ambition, our 
ministers of our wanton pleasures, shall be rewarded, but wee neuer 
cherish wisedome, till wee haue cause to vse her counsel!, and then 
(perhaps) shee may bee rewarded with some Court holy water 
WOrdes, and which wee will bestowe, but for our owne aduantage, 
& when our turne is serued, our kindnes is estranged." 1614. 
Barnabee Rych. The Honestie of this Age, p. 37. F. Eau beniste 
de Cow Court holy-water; Complements, faire words, flattering 
speeches, glosing, soothing, palpable cogging. Cotgrave. B. 1ST. 

fig, v. t. poison : Hen. V. III. vi. 62. (See Steevens's note in 
the Variorum Sh., 1821, xvii. 364, 365.) "Let Master Blackwell 
answer for himself, cetatem habet, perhaps it is better for them to 
stay in prison, then to be dismissed, least they should be made away 
by Jesuites, as the Bishop of Cassano, Cardinal Allen, Toilet, yea, 
Pope Sixtus Quintus himself, all figged in a trice, for crossing, or at 
least for not serving, the Jesuites' humours." 1609. William 
Barlow. Answer to a Nameless Catholic's Censure, &c. W. G. S. 

wagging of a straw. Rich. III. III. v. Angry at the wagging of 
a straw. JS T e move festucam. A lasso rixu quaeritur. 1639. 
Jn. Clarke. Parcemiologia Anglo-latina, p. 34. F. 




(Read at the Htk Meeting of the Society, Friday, February 8, 1884.) 

IN studying our dramatic authors we at once see one capital 
difference between Shakspere's and their work. Most of them 
create either types of a class, or else shadows, born when the curtain 
rises, to die at its fall, while their lesser characters seem like puppets, 
put away in a box till they are again wanted, so strong a likeness do 
the valets and waiting-maids of a group of dramatic writers bear to 
each other. Only Shakspere so individualizes his characters that 
we feel assured that they once really existed, and lived the whole of 
those lives, part of which is shown to us on the stage. His people 
have so great an individuality that we can only compare them to 
those fine Dutch portraits, in which the artist has so fixed one 
passing moment of the life of a man, that we realize his character, 
temperament, nay, the very strength and weakness of his moral 
nature, as we, with our lesser perceptive faculties, might never have 
done had we known him in his lifetime. 

Now this it is which makes the representation of Shakspere's 
characters at once so easy and so difficult. It is comparatively easy, 
because, while in other plays the actor must himself add all those 
little touches which make the individual human being, in Shakspere 
all is done for him ; it is most difficult, because his indications of 
character are so many, that he must indeed be an earnest and 
thoughtful student of the human soul who can rightly comprehend 
and use them. 

N. S. 80C. TRANS., 1880-4. D D 


To form at all a fair conception of a Shaksperian character, we 
must first study it in connection with its fellow dramatis personce, 
and, making due allowance for the circumstances, prejudices, and 
temperaments of each of these, note the influence they have, and the 
impression they make on each other. Then, turning to the character 
itself, we must sink as far as possible our own individuality in it, 
make its joys and sorrows our own, see with its eyes, and (to use a 
French theatrical expression) so get into its skin, that we can see 
from within all the various impulses which govern it ; and then, by 
comparing our two studies, we shall have some idea of the creature 
with whom we have to deal. 

Ophelia, who is the subject of this paper, it is certainly necessary 
to study in this fashion, for she may be compared to a delicate pastel 
drawing in which much is indicated, though little is fully worked 
out. She is, perhaps, one of the least interesting of Shakspere's 
women, and is drawn, as are indeed most of his female characters, 
from his keen observation of the effect of certain events and sur- 
roundings on his subject, rather than from an absolute knowledge of 
it ; and she therefore lacks the wonderful dissection of the innermost 
workings of the soul, which we find in so many of his male 

Dramatically considered, her part is short and simple, and is one 
of those in which the sympathy of the audience is gained by means 
of the circumstances in which the poet has placed her, and by her 
pathetic fate, rather than by any interest that she herself excites in 
us through her actions or character. And it is the sad end to her 
affection for Hamlet, the death of her father, and her consequent 
madness, that will always make Ophelia one of the most interesting 
and touching of Shakspere's parts for women, notwithstanding the 
uninteresting nature of the girl herself. 

Her age is nowhere stated, but she has all the timidity and 
indecision of manner of a very young girl ; and Laertes, who would 
know how old she was, and certainly would not flatter her, says of 
and to her : 

" The canker galls the infants of the spring, 
Too oft before their buttons be disclosed ; 


And in the morn and liquid dew of youth 
Contagious blastments are most imminent." 

Act I. sc. iii. 

Her mother must have been a woman of infinite purity and 
goodness, for Laertes in his one reference to her speaks only of this ; 
but she was probably long dead, for nowhere else is she alluded to, 
unless indeed she were the person for whom Polonius suffered much 
extremity in his youth ; and Laertes, who was apparently the elder 
child, may have remembered her more clearly than did her daughter. 
The person, therefore, who did most to form Ophelia's character 
was her father, the crafty Polonius. Educated at the University, 
and now drawing to the close of a long life passed at Court, his mind 
is full of the subtleties peculiar to the politics and learning of 
Elizabeth's century. Though he lacks the wisdom and breadth of 
mind which make the society of some men an education in itself, he 
js full of the meaner kinds of worldly astuteness and experience, 
which pull a man pleasantly and successfully through life. He was 
probably of noble birth, for the Queen contemplates Hamlet's marriage 
to Ophelia with a satisfaction which she would hardly have felt had 
Polonius's immediate ancestors been either peasants or burghers. He 
had long been the favoured adviser of the Crown, for he speaks to 
King and Queen with the garrulous familiarity of an old and tried 
servant, and alluding to his long service, says : 

" And I do think, for else this brain of mine 
Hunts not the train of policy so sure 
As it hath used to do ! " 

" Hath there been such a time, (I'd fain know that,) 
That I have positively said, } T is so 
When it prov'd otherwise ? " Act II. sc. ii. 

Moreover, he has been instrumental in raising Claudius to the 
throne, or at least is sufficiently powerful to hurl him thence, and is 
on that account in high favour at Court ; for notice the tone of the 
usurper's speech to Laertes. It is fulsome in its graciousness : 

" And now, Laertes, what 's the news with you ] 
You told us of some suit 1 What is 't, Laertes ] 
You cannot speak of reason to the Dane, 
And lose your voice : What would'st thou beg, Laertes, 

D D 2 


That shall not be my offer, not thy asking] 

The head is not more native to the heart, 

The hand more instrumental to the mouth, 

Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father." Act I. sc. ii. 

This may possibly account for Hamlet's rooted dislike to the old 
man ; and to Polonius's worldly commonplace nature the intellectual, 
metaphysical Prince would be quite incomprehensible, while the 
unpractical, desultory side of his character the old statesman would 
at once see and condemn ; and may, with some reason, have thought 
that a firmer, steadier hand was needed to hold the reins of power in 

It has been suggested that Ophelia was put out to nurse, and 
passed her childhood in a farm-house ; but not only is there no line 
in Hamlet to warrant our adoption of such a theory, but the girl 
herself lacks the healthy practical tone of mind, the self-reliance in 
little things, which a rough open-air rearing would have given her. 
It is more probable that she grew up under Polonius's own eye, and 
that with the same want of perception of character which distinguishes 
him in his dealings with Hamlet, while he pushed forward his inde- 
pendent son, he kept his gentle, timid daughter under stern control 
at home. We must certainly remember that in Shakspere's day 
children were kept in far greater subjection to their parents than 
now ; Lady Jane Grey suffered " nips and bobs and pinches " at the 
hands of hers ; and we find Portia, a woman of very different mould 
to poor Ophelia, strictly carrying out her father's will in the matter 
of the caskets. Still in Ophelia's silence in her father's presence, in 
her short unwilling answers to his questions, we may learn that his 
rule was one of no ordinary repression or severity. When he speaks 
to her about the Prince, his tone is harsh, untender, and does not 
invite her confidence, and even in speaking of her to the King and 
Queen there is something hard and unloving in his words ; 

" I have a daughter ; have, while she is mine ; 
Who in her duty and obedience, mark, 
Hath given me this." Act II. sc. ii. 

As he set spies upon his son, he probably did so upon his daughter 
also, and he may have been alluding to them when he mentions 
those who "Put on him" the story of Hamlet's love in way of 


caution. Ophelia would thus grow up with the knowledge that she 
was not trusted, and the sense that she was being watched. The 
precepts and rules of conduct given to her would be of the same 
nature as those given to Laertes ; and, as if we were intended to infer 
this, both Polonius's parting advice to his son, and his interview 
with Beynaldo, are pointedly brought into connection with scenes of 
Ophelia's ; especially the former, where his chief theme is the urgent 
necessity of caution in going through life, in action, speech, expendi- 
ture, and intercourse with other men; and we may remark that 
such teaching was far more likely to be acted on by Ophelia, whose 
moral courage was not great, and whose bringing up had been 
repressive, than by the stronger, rougher nature of Laertes. For 
while such a rearing would have roused an energetic courageous girl 
to a more or less decided opposition, it would cause a nervous, timid 
one, like Ophelia, to become most reserved, to live as much as 
possible alone, and, while outwardly most obedient and submissive, 
carefully to conceal all the hopes and fears, thoughts and feelings 
that made up her girl's life. It is a significant fact that Hamlet does 
not find her with her father, as Othello did Desdemona, or with 
a dear friend, as Orlando did Eosalind, but solitary, sewing in her 
chamber, and Polonius does not seem in the least surprised that it 
should have been so. The society in which she moved was of a 
stamp which would increase her disposition to caution and reserve. 
"We are expressly given to understand that the times were evil, 
unscrupulous, dissolute, rotten. The Court itself, from which the 
friends of the powerful family of Polonius must have been drawn, 
was composed of unprincipled, artificial, licentious men and women ; 
during the whole course of the tragedy we do not meet with one 
Dane who has any nobility of character, excepting Horatio, who can 
hardly be called a courtier, and poor Hamlet himself. Such were 
the people whom Ophelia met at her father's house during her child- 
hood, and at the Court, whither she was taken as soon as she grew 
up ; we must infer that she held no place in it, though she belonged to 
it sufficiently for Hamlet to have become intimate with her, and to 
visit her at her father's house, as both Scene iii. Act I. and Scene i. 
Act II. take place there. 


Now, in young girls who have mixed all their lives in a society 
of mere acquaintances, we notice a remarkable difference from those 
whose lives have been passed in their families and among familiar 
friends. There is a reserve, a distrust in those they meet, a pleasant- 
ness without friendliness, which the others do not attain, if indeed 
they ever do so, until they are advanced in life. They have gained 
an experience, while too young to profit by it, which checks any 
spontaneity either in their conversation with others, or in their own 
feelings. "When to this is added the conventionalities and refine- 
ments of high breeding, the gracious courtesy, which, while making 
all things pleasant, is often a mask, concealing the real nature of the 
possessor, and so much a part of herself that she is rarely able to 
drop it, then we have the great lady. Love steals upon the young 
daughter of a quiet literary or country home, occupied with her 
girlish lessons, her work, and her play, and before she is aware her 
heart is gone ; and she will tell you, if you can make her speak to 
you on such a subject : "I could not help loving him." But a girl, 
who from her childhood has lived in the world, who has had scandals 
discussed in her presence while she still played with her doll, has 
seen all its petty artifices when too young to take part in them, will 
have nothing unconscious in her love ; and although her nature may 
be pure and beautiful, she will so dread deception and the pain of 
unrequited affection, which she knows from hearsay and observation, 
that she will not give way to the impulses of her heart. Such a girl 
is Ophelia, and to do her justice we must keep these facts constantly 
before our minds. 

Laertes is just what we should have expected the son and pupil 
of Polonius to be. Brave, ready in speech and action, practical in 
the ordinary affairs of life, full of showy accomplishments and vir- 
tues, early worldly-wise, and unscrupulous when it suits his purpose 
to be so, but with a tender, loyal affection of which there is no trace 
in the old courtier, and to which his fair sister alone has the key. 
We first see Ophelia and all Shaksperian students know well how 
important to the right understanding of a character the first allusions 
to it and its first appearance are taking leave of this dear brother 
on his goin ' to France. He begs her to write to him, and she replies 


as though such correspondence, a more weighty matter then than 
now, were a thing of course during his absences. Then their talk 
branches off to the Lord Hamlet, who is pursuing Ophelia with his 
affection, and has evidently found means to see her at home and 
alone. Laertes plunges at once into the subject without preamble 
" Of Hamlet and the trifling of his favour," This is not the first 
time brother and sister have discussed it, and it reads as though 
she had asked Laertes what he thought were the Lord Hamlet's 
intentions, and that this were the answer, for he goes on : 

" Hold it a fashion, and a toy in blood ; 
A. violet in the youth of primy nature, 
Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting, 
The perfume and suppliance of a minute ; 
No more." 

To which she replies, thoughtfully, as if weighing what he had 
said : " No more but so." 

It is observable that the Second Quarto and Folio do not give the 
sign of interrogation after this speech, which is in our acting editions, 
and Laertes answers her thoughts: " Think it no more ; " and con- 
tinues with some very sensible, but very tenderly-expressed counsel : 
" He is too far above you to become your husband, and must make a 
political marriage ; " and he begs her most earnestly to commit no 
imprudence, but carefully to guard her heart. Evidently he had no 
idea that it had already gone out of Ophelia's keeping ; and we see 
that, like many reserved natures, her confidence, if given, was not 
entire. But even he warns her most strongly to beware of the fatal 
consequences of listening to the Prince's songs " with a too credent 
ear," lest she should lose her honour. It is very lovingly and deli- 
cately put, but we see that, notwithstanding Ophelia's youth, Laertes 
did not consider her as an unknowing, innocent child, but as the 
Court lady, exposed to the dangers of calumny and seduction. 
Neither is her answer that of an unconscious girl; she is neither 
shocked nor angered, so that these ideas were no new ones to her, 
but she listens silently and attentively, and answers frankly and 
gratefully : " I shall the effect of this good lesson keep as watchman 
to my heart ; " and then goes on to appeal very affectionately to her 


beloved Mentor to keep straight himself. But taking advice is far 
less amusing than giving it. Laertes puts aside the half-hinted 
rebuke, and would escape, but Polonius traps him, and he must listen 
to the worldly advice to which we have already alluded ; his sister 
stands quietly by, hearing all and saying nothing, as is her habit ; 
and then after his farewell to their father, still dreading the outcome 
of Hamlet's courtship, he turns to her with a final warning, " Fare- 
well, Ophelia, and remember well what I have said to you ; " and 
she assures him earnestly, " 'T is in my memory locked, and you 
yourself shall keep the key of it." This is apparently meant to be 
spoken in an aside, but Polonius demands an explanation. She 
answers unwillingly, timidly, and as vaguely as possible : " So please 
you, something touching the Lord Hamlet. " Unlike his son, Polonius 
does not deal either delicately or gently with his daughter ; there is 
no wrapping up of unpleasant truths in pretty images ; he too sees 
clearly the impossibility of a marriage with the heir to the throne ; 
the warnings he has received have irritated him, and he goes straight 
to the point. 

" 'Tis told me, he hath very oft of late 
Given private time to you : and you yourself 
Have of your audience been most free and bounteous ; 
If it be so, (as so 't is put on me, 
And that in way of caution,) I must tell you, 
You do not understand yourself so clearly, 
As it behoves my daughter, and your honour : 
What is between you ? give me up the truth." 

Ophelia's answers are remarkable in their hesitation and uncertainty. 

" He hath, my lord, of late, made many tenders 
Of his affection towards me." 

Notice that there is a little pause made after "tenders" by the 
unstopt end of the line, a kind of dwelling on the word by the extra 
syllable " ers ", as though she did not quite know how to frame her 
sentence ; and in her answer to his question, 

"Do you believe his tenders, as you call them?" 
she is only speaking as she feels, in saying, 

"I do not know, my lord, what I should think." 


Let us also remark the effect of uncertainty and doubt given by tlio 
position of the words, " my lord," in the middle of the sentences, with 
their necessary commas. She is terribly afraid of old Polonius. She 
calls him " my lord " in every one of her speeches, except the first, 
and that she begins with "so please you;" but she is really puzzled, 
and doubtful what to believe. Unlike the passionate Juliet, who 
gives her heart at once without a thought, Ophelia would not lose 
hers until she knew she would receive Hamlet's in exchange ; and 
she is too uncertain of this to say more than that the Prince has 
made " tenders " of his affection towards her, and what these really 
mean she does not know. Juliet has only heard of lovers' perjuries ; 
Ophelia is of the world, and has seen enough of them to make her 
very cautious. She would gladly receive help and advice, but evi- 
dently does not expect it from old Polonius. He is too wrapt up in 
his own conceits to perceive anything, but that his daughter has 
nearly compromised herself, and the need of giving her such a rebuke 
as will prevent the recurrence of the danger. He heaps scoffs and 
insults on his child for having entertained the faintest idea that 
Hamlet may be in earnest. Then, in defence of her woman's honour, 
the timid girl fires up, and we learn that the Prince's courtship had 
indeed gone far : 

" My lord, he hath importun'd me with love, 
In honourable fashion." 

And heedless of her father's scornful interruption, she continues : 

"And hath given countenance to his speech, my lord, with 
almost all the holy vows of heaven." 

Notice how the " my lords " no longer break the sentences, but act 
like interjections, giving them weight. However, Polonius, in a 
graver, more earnest manner than before, firmly puts aside all idea 
of Hamlet's truth, forbidding her to see or speak to him ; and she 
replies sadly, " I shall obey, my lord." For though this decree 
crushes all her hopes, she has been broken into the habit of implicit 
obedience too long, and relies too entirely on her father's judgment, 
to dream of disobeying him. 

And the old courtier is in the right, and only acts with common 
sense. Neither he nor Laertes believed in Hamlet's stability of 


disposition ; it was not likely that they should have done so, for the 
active nature is always at war with the contemplative, though Laertes 
has evidently known of Hamlet's honourable importunities, for he 

says : 

" Perhaps, he loves you now ; 
And now no soil nor cautel, doth besmirch 
The virtue of his will." 

But he has no expectation that he will "give his saying deed," and 
Polonius, with his long experience in evil, thought, as he says in 
another scene, 

" I feared he did but trifle, and meant to wreck thee." 

Act II. sc. i. 

And in putting a stop to all communication between him and 
Ophelia, he acts very much as we ourselves should do in similar 
circumstances. Certainly Polonius's words are harsh and coarse in 
the extreme ; but while Laertes patronizes Ophelia, Polonius has a 
certain contempt for her very purity and innocence of soul, which 
to him only constitutes a danger the more. It will, perhaps, assist 
us to comprehend Ophelia's character, if we compare her with two 
other of Shakspere's women, who have been considered so like her, 
that Mrs Jameson, in her Characteristics of Women, has grouped 
them together ; we mean Perdita and Miranda. The first of these 
is indeed so like her, in what we may call the foundation of her char- 
acter, that under other circumstances she might have almost become 
another Ophelia ; but she differs from her just as a plant grown in 
the fresh, pure country air, under all the wholesome, beautiful 
influences of earth and sky, differs from another plant of the same 
species, struggling for a stunted, miserable existence in the poisonous 
atmosphere of a cellar in a great city. Though a king's daughter, 
she has been brought up from her earliest infancy by rich farmer 
folk, the kind old shepherd and his bustling wife. She has wanted 
for nothing, but she has taken part in the rough out-of-door life ; 
milked her ewes, and under the superintendence of the dame has 
helped to manage the house, whose head she was one day to be. 
Her full and busy life has brought her into Contact with rough 
spirits, as the shepherd himself, and her boorish brother, the clown ; 


and this, and the rule she has had to maintain over the men and 
maids of the place, has fostered in her an independent judgment, a 
spirit of self-sustaiimient in the execution of her daily duties, that 
would otherwise have been foreign to her nature. In mind, and, to 
judge from her frank and occasionally brusque manner, in body also, 
she is hardier and healthier than Ophelia. It is noteworthy that 
when we first hear of her, the clown, who is reading over her list of 
groceries, does not quite approve of her ordering rice ; but he never 
dreams of interfering in her special province the housekeeping. 

"Whatever she undertakes, she does with a capability, a grace, and 
a perfection all her own. "Florizel says of her : 

" What you do 

Still betters what is done. When you speak, sweet, 
I'd have you do it ever ; when you sing, 
I'd have you buy and sell so ; so give alms ; 
Pray so ; and, for the ordering your affairs, 
To sing them too. When you do dance, I wish you 
A wave o' the sea, that you might ever do 
Nothing but that ; move still, still so, 
And own no other function : each your doing, 
So singular in each particular, 
Crowns what you are doing in the present deeds, 
And all your acts are queens." W. T., Act IV. sc. iii. 

Nor does her lover only pass this judgment on her, the old shep- 
herd also gives her the same praise. In all her acts there is a 
spontaneity, a perfection, and a fearlessness, combined with rustic 
freedom, such as we only find in girls when there has been nothing 
in their lives to cow them, and when they have the perfect uncon- 
sciousness given by a retired, unworldly bringing-up. It is indeed 
to her bringing-up that she owes the chief difference between herself 
and Ophelia. Her rougher, freer life, the semi-responsible position 
she has held at the farm, has brought out her good qualities, and has 
nourished her small power of independent action, while in Ophelia 
everything has tended to repress it. In all the capital points in her 
character Perdita is identical with Ophelia; she is as refined, as 
gentle, and almost as silent, with a marked inability for taking 
the initiative in anything outside her own sphere. 

Like Ophelia she loves above her station; and, like her, of a 


timid nature, she is inclined to foresee troubles ; she needs no father 
to tell her how unequal the match between herself and Prince Florizel 
must be, and when we first meet them, she speaks of it with direct 
common sense, but how differently to the hard, worldly wisdom of 
poor Ophelia ; though she dreads separation from Florizel, she never 
doubts his love. 

" To me, the difference forges dread ; your greatness 
Hath not been used to fear. Even now I tremble 
To think, your father, by some accident, 
Should pass this way as you did : 0, the fates ! 
How would he look, to see his work, so noble, 
Vilely bound up ? What would he say 1 Or how 
Should I, in these my borrowed flaunts, behold 
The sternness of his presence ? " 

" Your resolution cannot hold, when 't is 
Oppos'd, as it must be by the power of the king ; 
One of these two must be necessities, 

Which then will speak ; that you must change this purpose, 
Or I my life." IF. T., Act IV. sc. iii. 

So fearful and depressed is she, that her lover is obliged to 
encourage and comfort her repeatedly, and her sad thoughts are only 
banished by the arrival of her guests. Full of a native timidity, 
which however has had only her modesty to encourage it, she shrinks 
into the background, and her father has to command, arid her lover 
to cheer her, before^she will come forward to receive her guests, as her 
little apology to Polixenes tells us, for the first time in her life. But 
how exquisite is her greeting to the two strangers, whom, in her 
youth, she looks on as old men. 

" Reverend Sirs, 

For you there's rosemary and rue : these keep 
Seeming and savour all the winter long ; 
Grace and remembrance be to you both, 
And welcome to our shearing." 

Not all Ophelia's Court training has taught her such simple 
dignity, but Perdita, though timid by nature, has never been cowed. 
She is full of poetic feeling, and, inspired by the presence of her 
lover, her flower speeches are among the most lovely and musical 
that Shakspere ever wrote. Then she suddenly remembers how 


much more than usual she has spoken, apologizes, covered with con- 
fusion, and says little else to the end of the scene. For when there 
is nothing to excite her, Perdita is, as we have said, as silent as 
Ophelia, though at the same time she has sweet and sensible words 
in which to clothe her thoughts, with nothing of that dodging and 
habit of hiding her mind and heart which we find in the Danish 
girl, produced by the severity and strong repressive tendency of her 
rearing. After Florizel's public profession of his love for her on their 
betrothal, the shepherd has to ask her : 

" Say you the like to him," 

before she will speak at all; but her answer, though of a rustic 
plainness, can vie with her lover's courtly periods. 

" I cannot speak 

So well, nothing so well ; no, nor mean better : 
By the pattern of my own thought, I cut out 
The purity of his." Act IV. sc. iii. 

Ophelia's first scene apparently took place on the same day as 
that on which Laertes received permission to return to France, and 
while Hamlet was waiting for the hour at which he was to meet his 
friends on the platform, and await the Ghost. About two months 
are supposed to elapse between the 1st and 2nd Acts, during which 
time Ophelia dutifully obeyed her father's command, shut her doors 
against the Prince, and refused his letters, while fce fell into a state 
that caused the conscious-stricken King and Queen much uneasiness. 
Polonius is sending a trusty servant with letters and money to his 
son, and has given him those elaborate instructions how to play the 
spy on him, which show with such distinctness the moral blindness 
of his respectable character, when Ophelia rushes into his presence in 
such evident terror, that dropping all his ordinary circumlocution he 
cries, "How now, Ophelia, what's the matter 1 ?" and when she gasps 
out in the extremity of fear, " Alas, my lord, I have been so affrighted," 
he, frightened too, replies, " With what, in the name of God 1 " 
"No common emotion on her part could so have shaken Polonius 
out of his long-winded, usual style of speech. Here we see Ophelia 
for the only time in her sane senses free from the constraint of her 


circumstances and upbringing. Speaking in little short sentences, as 
though still gasping for breath, she tells how, when sitting alone 
over her sewing, the Prince, whose madness was already the talk of 
the Court, comes before her ; pale, trembling, dirty, dishevelled, his 
dress in the utmost disorder. 

" And with a look so piteous in purport, 
As if he had been loosed out of hell, 
To speak of horrors, " 

and which went straight to the heart of her who told the tale. To 
Polonius's question, " Mad for thy love ? " she answers with a kind 
of appeal, and still with a curious implied doubt, 

" My lord, I do not know ; 
But, truly, I do fear it." 

Notice the accent falling on the know, and the significance of the 
pause after ' it, given by the semicolon at the end of the line. Her 
next speech is from a more collected mind, as the smoothness of the 
rhythm and the length of the lines show ; but as her terror passes 
off, she feels more, and describes what took place at greater length. 

" He took me by the wrist, and held me hard ; 
Then goes he to the length of all his arm ; 
And, with his other hand thus, o'er his brow, 
He falls to such perusal of my face, 
As he would draw it. Long stay'd he so : 
At last, a little shaking of mine arm, 
And thrice his head thus waving up and down, 
He raised a sigh so piteous and profound, 
That it did seem to shatter all his bulk, 
And end his being. That done, he lets me go : 
And with his head over his shoulder turn'd, 
He seemed to find his way without his eyes ; 
For out o' doors he went without their help, 
And, to the last, bended their light on me." 

Simple as her words are they move us profoundly, and the 
spectacle of his unhappiness seems to have touched her very soul ; 

even Polonius feels it. 

" I am sorry, 

What, have you given him any hard words of late ? " 

But the long speech with which he prefaces his question, in 
his ordinary commentatory style, brings her back to every-day 


life, and gives her time to cool down. Her terror over, and her 
heart relieved by the unusual outpouring, she drops at once into 
her accustomed state of reserve. She would like to say how impos- 
sible it is to her ever to be harsh or unkind to her hero, but the 
words will not come, and the feeling only finds expression in the 
exclamation, " No, my good lord ! " and she continues half as though 
she were confessing and excusing a fault for which she expected a 
scolding, and half as though she deplored the pain she had caused. 

" But, as you did command, 
I did repel his letters, and denied 
His access to me." 

Notice how the accent falls on the " did " in the second line of the 
speech, and the pause made by the end of the line on and after "denied." 
Then old Polonius, delighted to find, as he thinks, that the affection 
of the Prince is real, and that his madness may after all so work on 
the King and Queen as to give him a Eoyal son-in-law, prepares to go 
with his daughter to take the news to the King. For, as he says 
with characteristic caution : 

" This must be known ; which, being kept close, might move 
More grief to hide, than hate to utter love." 

Yarious commentators have found great fault with Ophelia for 
her conduct during the interview with Hamlet of which she tells her 
father, holding that as she certainly gives us the impression that 
there was something that he desired to say to her, she also must 
have known it, and should have encouraged and helped him to tell 
her his troubles. This does not follow, especially in so unperceptive 
a girl as Ophelia. But even if it were so, the sad thing is that she 
is not to blame, as Professor Dowden has said. It would have been 
most unnatural that a girl, whose bringing-up had repressed all spon- 
taneity of speech and action, whose moral courage, never very great, 
had been crushed out of her, should have done anything but fail at 
such a crisis, and it is probably to remind us of her upbringing that 
the scene opens with Polonius's interview with Reynaldo. 

Then, again, Ophelia lacks the passion which might have lifted 
her for the moment beyond her fears ; and we feel the want of it in 
all her scenes ; throughout the play she is pure, sweet, and highbred, 


but somewhat cold. This scene, for instance, leaves us with the 
impression that her feeling for Hamlet was tender and pitiful ; a very 
real affection, but not deep enough to give her the power of self- 
sacrifice, and without the strength and fire of passion. Thus, fully 
believing Hamlet to be out of his mind, she stands dumb with terror, 
and then runs away. The fault must be laid not on herself, but on 
her character and bringing-up. For in a weak woman who has been 
thoroughly cowed, a kind of paralysis of the will takes place, and her 
acts come not from her own volition, but from that of the stronger 
nature, under whose domination she lives ; should its influence be 
for a moment withdrawn, she knows not what to do, and stands 
without resource, the sport of circumstances. 

Off bustles Polonius to the King and Queen, but instead of taking 
his daughter with him, he appears to have thought it better first to 
sound their Majesties on the subject. First, he artfully mentions it 
before the introduction of the ambassadors ; then he recurs to it, and 
makes a long preamble, watching the effect of his announcements as 
they drop from him one by one. But the guilt of the Royal pair has 
led them too surely to the real cause of Hamlet's distemperature, for 
them to give any indication of their thoughts, and, except for an 
exclamation and an impatient question from the Queen, Polonius 
unfolds his tale unchecked. On altering his plan he got from his 
daughter one of Hamlet's letters, probably written before his inter- 
view with the Ghost, as she herself tells us that since that time he 
had had no communication with her. 

It was not given up willingly. Polonius says it was shown him 
"in obedience," and we can well imagine the cross-questioning to 
which he would subject her to obtain information as to the " time, 
means, and place " of her princely lover's " solicitings." The Queen 
only half-believes that Hamlet is mad for love ; " it may be," she says, 
" very likely " ; the King is only too glad to be able to watch Hamlet, 
when he may let fall some word which may be a clue to his real 
state of mind ; Polonius is confident in the truth of his suppositions, 
and thus it is arranged that Ophelia is to meet Hamlet, as it were by 
accident, the King and her father being concealed where they can 
overhear all that passes. Whether Hamlet had some guess of what 


was going on or not, as he has later about his being sent to England, 
is left doubtful, but he twice alludes to Ophelia, though not by name, 
in the scene which follows. One would almost suspect him of 
having overheard the whole plan at the lobby-door, whence he enters 
immediately after ; and what more likely, in his then state of mind, 
than that he should have haunted the steps of the King, trying to 
discover whether the Ghost spoke truth or falsehood, and that in the 
passages referred to he was in his turn sounding Polonius, to find out 
whether he had heard aright or no 1 

We may remark that in a later scene he is introduced watching 
Claudius, who is praying. 

And now we come to what we must feel is a blot on Ophelia's 
character : her conduct with regard to her interview with Hamlet in 
permitting spies to be placed on them, especially when she knew he 
wished to speak to her on some subject ; putting this together with 
the fact that she had allowed a letter intended for herself alone to be 
handed about between the King, Queen, and Polonius, we must 
come to the conclusion that her love for the Prince, if real, was not 
great. We can only excuse her by remembering she had no idea of 
the hatred the King bore to Hamlet, which made the interview a 
species of trap for the ill-fated Prince ; and also, the habit of unques- 
tioning obedience in which she had been trained , which had prevented 
her from ever realizing that, as we leave childhood behind us, the 
responsibility of our acts must be our own, not that of the person 
through whose influence we have done them. 

When Polixenes discovers himself, and forbids his son's marriage, 
Perdita is silent; reserved as Ophelia, her pain only breaks out in 
the petulant line, " I told you what would come of this," and in the 
pathetic one, " I'll Queen it no inch farther, but milk my ewes and 
weep." She has no counsels to offer in a matter so much outside her 
usual daily life, and would give up all as lost ; but and here we find 
a remarkable difference between her and Ophelia when Florizel pro- 
poses flight from Bohemia, she asks advice of no one. In fair weather 
she has received her father's approbation, now she stands bravely by 
her lover, and is ready, without doubt or fear, to follow him to the 
world's end. She has retained the power of independent judgment, 

N. S. SOC. TRANS., 1880-4. E E 


which has been frightened out of Ophelia, and chooses her course 
aright when it is presented to her ; but to strike out one for her- 
self in any matter outside her familiar experience seems as impossible 
to her as to Ophelia, so that we feel that she might under other 
circumstances have indeed become like her. As it is, full of trust- 
ing faith, and with no hard worldliness to warp it, Florizel leads, and 
she follows without a question. He arranges the elopement on board 
ship ; not quite so wild a plan in the days when men sailed to the 
other hemisphere in quest of the unknown as it would be now. It 
is Camillo, not she, who persuades him to adopt some definite plan, 
and go to Sicily instead ; Perdita agrees to everything, and obediently 
disguises herself, as she is directed, leaving all in the hands of those 
whom she feels know better than herself. She only interferes to 
rebuke an assertion, which, to her pure unworldly soul, seems a low 
and a false one. Camillo, the old courtier, says : 

" Besides, you know, 
Prosperity 's the very bond of love ; 
"Whose fresh complexion and whose heart together 
Affection alters. 

Perdita. One of these is true : 

I think affliction may subdue the cheek, 
But not take in the mind." W. T. } Act IY. sc. iii. 

it is very characteristic that Perdita never suspects that Camillo 
might have had plans of his own to forward in sending them to 
Sicily, but there is nothing suspicious in her nature, and, equally so, 
that she has no expedient ready when he proves false. "When she 
learns what is her real parentage, she has no words ready, she can 
only listen and weep ; neither has she any when Hermione descends 
from her pedestal to resume her place in her husband's heart and 
Court ; but we leave her certain of a happiness that poor Ophelia's 
doubting soul could never have compassed, and certain also that 
Florizel has a sweet, obedient wife, who will know well how to fill her 
place at his side, and we hope that fortune may never be so unkind 
as to require her to hold the reins of government. Both the King 
and Polonius are somewhat uneasy as to the part they are making 
Ophelia play; she has no such feelings, and gathers together her 
little remembrances, that the returning of them may provoke a lover's 


quarrel, and a reconciliation that she nopes will end in their 

She replies to the congratulations of the Queen with the smooth 
courtesy of a Court lady to her Sovereign, betraying nothing of her 
feelings, but perfectly self-possessed. She meets Hamlet joyfully ; 
she is really glad to see and speak to him once more ; the two months 
of their separation have seemed long to her. 

" Good, my lord, how does your honour for this many a day ? " 

Then she produces her little treasures. His " No, not I, I never 
gave you aught," she interprets as a refusal on his part to take them 
back, and seems to have expected, and perhaps desired, some such 
speech, hailing it as the beginning of their quarrel, for she continues 
with a fearless calm, shown in the length and evenness of the lines, 
which we never find when Ophelia is frightened. Hamlet's behaviour 
in this scene has always been a moot point with commentators and 
actors : why he treated Ophelia in so rude and violent a fashion ; 
whether he saw the King and Polonius in their hiding-place, and acted 
in this wild fashion in order to deceive them, and if so when he per- 
ceived them ; and actors have been, accustomed to force the sense, or 
add business nowhere indicated in the text to indicate at what point 
this took place. Indeed, so inexplicable is this scene, as far as it 
regards Hamlet, that our hypothesis above-stated may be the true 
one ; not that it is without difficulty, but it presents somewhat more 
foundation in the text itself than the others. Pausing at the lobby- 
door, he may have heard the whole or part of Polonius's audience ; 
the last speech of the old courtier just before his entrance would put 
him in possession of the whole plot, and of Ophelia's part in it. 

"At such a time I'll loose my daughter to him ; 
Be you and I behind an arras then : 
Mark the encounter ! if he love her not, 
And be not from his reason fallen thereon, 
Let me be no assistant for a state, 
But keep a farm, and carters." Act II. sc. ii. 

Then if he heard one of his letters read aloud to the King and 
Queen ; to find that Ophelia had told her father of all their interviews, 
of all his tender solicitings, not even in confidence, but that he 

E E 2 


might retail it to Claudius and Gertrude, would, as lie knew nothing 
of the circumstances, place her before him in the light of an unscru- 
pulous, designing woman ; her late withdrawal from him in that of an 
artifice to increase his passion. When he now found her alone with her 
Prayer Book, he would jump to the conclusion that the plot was being 
carried out; that the Koyal spy and his minister were somewhere 
within earshot ; and that she whom he had hitherto worshipped had, 
like the Queen, fallen from her high estate by consenting to act as a 
lure to betray him to his enemies for the furtherance of her own 
ends. Every word she uttered would confirm him in this belief; 
what wonder then that he should turn upon her with the fierce, 
" Ha, ha, are you honest 1 are you fair 1 If you be honest and fair, 
your honesty should admit no discourse to your beauty." Stunned, 
frightened, bewildered, she knows not what to say or do. At the 
one ray of hope, "I did love you once," she would still turn and 
nestle in his breast with the words, " Indeed, my lord, you made me 
believe so." His cruel, " I loved you not," dashes all her hopes to 
the ground ; and her answer, " I was the more deceived," is rather a 
cry of pain than a set speech. More and more terrified at what she 
believes his raving madness ; only realizing that the love she had 
come to think her own, and which she was now beginning freely to 
return, is hers no longer, her terror entirely gets the better of her 
presence of mind, and when Hamlet, to verify his suspicions, asks 
her, "Where is your father]" she can only stammer out the evident 
falsehood, " At home, my lord." Then with prayers to heaven for 
his restoration, she bears the insults that to her are quite incompre- 
hensible, though to us clear enough, till at his departure she cries 
out in pain, forgetful of the hidden listeners : 

" 0, what a noble mind is here o'erthrown ! 
The courtier's, soldier's, scholar's eye, tongue, sword : 
The expectancy and rose of the fair state, 
The glass of fashion, and the mould of form, 
The observ'd of all observers ! quite, quite down ! 
And I, of ladies most deject and wretched, 
That sucked the honey of his music vows, 
Now see that noble and most sovereign reason, 
Like sweet bells jangled, out of tune and harsh. 
That unmatch'd form and i'eature of blown youth, 


Blasted with ecstasy : 0, woe is me ! 

To have seen what I have seen, see what I see ! " 

This, the one expression of her love, is most touching and beautiful. 
She is fall of grief and pain, but more for him than for herself. She never 
speaks of disappointment at the downfall of her splendid prospects ; it 
is the great change in him that wrings her heart. But it is remark- 
able that nearly all her speech, unselfish as it is, refers to his outward 
qualities ; to his beauty and grace, to his high position and brilliant 
future, to his courage and accomplishments, his scholarly talk, and 
the brilliant impression he has made on others. Not to his lovely 
moral nature, not to his high intellect. Thus showing that her love 
was rather the romantic, fanciful affection of a very young girl, who 
makes a dream-lover for herself out of the outward gifts and graces 
of the real man. Possibly also, trained as she had been by Polonius, 
who could only recommend his son to ply his music, she had not yet 
learned to look for and value the nobler qualities of the people with 
whom she came in contact. Let us notice also, as a proof of her 
cold, habitually self-controlled nature, that though really deeply 
grieved, she can still put her sorrow into fitting words, can already 
measure it so as to be able to describe it. The passionate nature of 
Juliet, when she hears of Tybalt's death and Romeo's banishment, 
after searching heaven and earth for words and metaphors in which 
to vent her grief, finds them all too weak to express it. Ophelia 
remains sunk in sorrow, while Polonius and the King confer. The 
latter, keen-sighted through his fears, sees plainly that Hamlet has 
something on his mind ; Polonius clings obstinately to the idea that 
neglected love caused his aberration ; he cannot give up the hope of 
such an advancement for his family as Hamlet's marriage with 
Ophelia would cause. Then seeing her apparently wrapt in grief, 
and unconscious of what is passing around her, he rouses her with 
the words, " How now, Ophelia ? you need not tell us what Lord 
Hamlet said, we heard it all," and then goes on speaking to Claudius 
as though she were, to his mind, too young for it to be unwise to 
talk of private matters before her, or perhaps relying on her well- 
known habit of extreme reticence. Thus she hears the plan for 
sending Hamlet to England, and the ominous words with which his 


uncle-father concludes the scene, " Madness in great ones must not 
unwatched go." 

"With the boding words of the King still echoing in her ears, and 
before she has had time to recover from the shock which her stormy 
and terrible interview with Hamlet must have given her timorous 
nature, Ophelia is summoned to appear with the rest of the Court at 
the play he has commanded. Quiet and self-controlled as she seems, 
her very outward composure would make the agitation she had 
undergone -act with all the greater power on her nerves. She has 
received her first intimation of her beloved's danger, and remem- 
brances of Court gossip, of looks and words unnoticed at the time, 
but full of meaning now, come thronging to her mind. There is a 
complete change in her behaviour. Throughout this awful evening 
she tries feebly and awkwardly, as one unaccustomed to such an 
office, or indeed to act independently at any time, to screen and 
guard her poor mad lover, for such she believes he is. Hamlet has 
insisted on sitting by her, that he may the more easily observe 
the King and Queen. All the loose conversation he addresses to 
her she takes as part of his madness, quietly and patiently fencing it 
off, with the slight words with which a young lady puts aside a 
disagreeable remark. But when he speaks of his mother's hasty 
marriage, she at once tries to stop him, though with little tact and no 
success : " Nay, 'tis twice two months, my lord," for he continues to 
speak after a fashion most dangerous to himself, till the entrance of 
the Players, and she, having failed to stop him, will not attract 
attention to him by replying. Her question when the dumb show is 
over, " What means this, my lord ? " gives him the opportunity to 
answer, " Marry, this is miching Mallecho, it means mischief," and 
again she uneasily tries to turn the conversation with " Belike, this 
show imports the argument of the play." But he goes back to his 
former talk, girding at what he believes to be her unfaithfulness to 
him, till he is interrupted by the beginning of the play. Again he 
breaks out with a hit at Gertrude, saying of the vow of faithfulness 
of the player Queen, " If she should break it now," which Ophelia 
lets pass, hoping that it may be unnoticed; but he continues to 
attack first the King and Queen, then Ophelia herself; she, all 


innocent of his method in this madness, watching them all with 
unspeakable anxiety, powerless to restrain her unhappy lover, till 
when the player King is poisoned, Hamlet bursts out with the 
savage " He poisons him in the garden for his estate. His name's 
Gonzago ; the story is extant, and written in very choice Italian. 
You shall see anon how the murderer gets the love of Gonzago's 
wife;" and then from the watchful Ophelia's lips comes the cry, " The 
King rises." 

We are led to take this view from two lines, both omitted in our 
acting edition of Hamlet. One is that in which Polonius, after his 
daughter's interview with Hamlet, turns from the King to her, and 
rouses her from her depression. Why does he speak thus 1 Why 
should Ophelia not make her exit after her soliloquy, as she does now 
when we act the play 1 It is, theatrically speaking, a better exit for 
her than to go off later with her father and the King, doing and 
saying nothing. But the more we study Shakspere, the more we 
become convinced that he never gives or omits one touch to a scene 
or character without good and sufficient reason. It must, therefore, be 
that she is intended to hear the King's dark threat, and the plan for 
sending Hamlet to England, though with characteristic silence she 
says nothing. Then at the end of the play-scene comes the cry, 
likewise omitted in our acting edition, " The King rises," forming as 
it were its climax, and announcing to the audience that the Prince's 
purpose had been fulfilled,, and that by his sudden unguarded move- 
ment the usurper has betrayed his guilt. That it should come from 
the reserved and silent Ophelia means, she had not only seen and 
watched the discomfort of the Eoyal pair during the play, but that 
she had done so with an eagerness, an anxiety, and a tension of her 
nerves, which, at the spectacle of the sudden rage of her lover's 
deadly enemy, forced from her the cry we allude to. Ophelia in her 
usual state of mind, if she had seen all, would still have said nothing, 
and we account for it by her knowledge of Hamlet's danger, and the 
consequent change in her bearing throughout the foregoing scene. 

We now turn to consider for a few moments the character of 
Miranda : the surface qualities of her nature are indeed identical 
with many that Ophelia possesses ; she is modest, sweet, gentle in 


mind and manner, obedient, full of reverent love for her great father ; 
but there the resemblance ends, and the more deeply do we study 
the character of Miranda, the wider is the difference that we perceive 
between her and the hapless love of the Danish Prince. Partly from 
her retired life and extreme youth, which has prevented their 
development; partly from her utter lack of vanity and the self- 
assertiveness it engenders, her nobler and more active virtues are as 
yet in the bud ; but we see enough of them in the course of the play 
to feel sure that she will grow into "a perfect woman, nobly planned." 
The most remarkable of her characteristics is her power of vivid 
sympathy, which seeks at once to express itself in action. Ophelia 
grieves for Hamlet, not with him ; even though she loves him in her 
fashion, his danger has to be brought clearly home to her before she 
is aware of it, and then she shows neither energy nor invention 
to ward it off from him. Miranda's first words are an eager tearful 
intercession for the shipwrecked mariners, with whom she has no 
concern, and she will not be comforted till she receives the explicit 
assurance that no harm, not so much as to a hair, is betid to any 
creature in the vessel. Not till then can she listen to her own and 
her father's story. She has no small curiosity, for she seems to have 
long known that she had some strange history, and to have been 
content to wait till her father should tell it her at his own time, not 
even caring to speculate on it, so great a trust does she give to 
Prospero. How different to Ophelia, who dreads her father even 
while she loves him, and fears to ask his counsel ! She obeys 
Prospero implicitly, speaks to him with extreme respect, " Certainly, 
sir, I can." " Oh, good sir, I do." But her love never degenerates 
into fear, magician though she knows him to be, and it is affection 
as well as pity that makes her cry on hearing of the tendance he had 
given her during her babyhood : 

" 0, my heart bleeds 

To think o' the teen that I have turn'd you to, 
Which is from my remembrance." Act I. sc. ii. 

He has given her a thorough education, for we find her saying many 
things which the experience of her island home could never have 
taught her, and Prospero says : 


" And here 

Have I, thy schoolmaster, made the more profit 
Than other princes can, that have more time 
For vainer hours, and tutors not so careful." 

But when he asks her if she remembers anything of her life before 
coming to the island, her answer shows the naturally accurate, as well 
as the highly-trained mind, stating the exact fact, without in any way 

drawing on the imagination : 

" 'T is far off, 

And rather like a dream than an assurance 
That my remembrance warrants. Had I not 
Four or five women once, that tended on me 1 " 

Prospero's greatest troubles have been caused by his too great 
love of a life of contemplation and study. Throughout his long 
exile he has confidently waited for the moment when his star should 
again be in the ascendant ; thus ever looking forward to a Court life 
for his daughter, he has carefully trained her to avoid his mistakes, 
to stand alone, and judge for herself. Thus we find her at once 
endeavouring to shield Ferdinand from her father's injustice, though 
with a sweet loyalty she slips back to Ferdinand to say : 

" Be of comfort ; 

My father's of a better nature, sir, 
Than he appears by speech ; this is unwonted, 
Which now came from him," 

quite as much to defend her dear parent, as to encourage her lover. 
She has fallen in love with Ferdinand at first sight, and he with her 
spiritual beauty, just as Prospero hoped, thus avoiding any future 
political difficulty as to the destiny of Milan. With what steadfast- 
ness does she reply to him, and with what a soft humility when he 
says : 

" To the most of men this is a Caliban, 

And they to him are angels. 

Miranda. My affections 

Are then most humble : I have no ambition 

To see a goodlier man." Act II. sc. i. 

Instinct tells her that her fate has come to her, and she will brave 
the magician's anger, gently and dutifully, but firmly. Her fresh 
affection is freely and almost unconsciously expressed, as only the 


child of a desert island could speak it ; even Perdita has a shame- 
facedness in hers ; but for tenderness and purity her next scene with 
Ferdinand is perhaps the most exquisite of all Shakspere's love scenes. 
To make their affection for each other deeper and more real, Prospero 
has shown exaggerated harshness and unkindness to the young 
Prince, thus playing on his daughter's gift of sympathy. Puzzled 
and troubled by this injustice on her upright father's part, she steals 
out, believing him at his books, to carry comfort to the oppressed ; in 
this doing just as he meant she should ; and her part once chosen, she 
stands by it with womanly constancy. How different to Ophelia, 
who not only shuts herself from Hamlet when good reason is given 
her, but who will stand by, and even assist in playing the spy on 
him ! Here Miranda can do more than merely pity ; she is ready 
with active help, and would pile the heavy logs if Ferdinand would 
let her. Her declaration of love is much warmer and deeper than 
either Perdita or Ophelia's, and is most characteristic in its tender 
humility and helpfulness, and its sweet dignity. Ferdinand says to 
her, " Wherefore weep you ? " She replies : 

"At mine unworthiness, that dare not offer 
What I desire to give ; and much less take 
What I shall die to want. But this is trifling, 
And all the more it seeks to hide itself, 
The bigger bulk it shows. Hence, bashful cunning ! 
And prompt me plain and holy innocence ! 
I am your wife if you will marry me ; 
If not, I'll die your maid : to be your fellow 
You may deny me ; but I'll be your servant, 
Whether you will or no." Act III. sc. i. 

A child Portia might have spoken this lovely speech. But for all 
her gentleness she seems to look. forward to the day when she will 
sit on Ferdinand's right hand in thunderstorms, when she answers 
him, playing on his words : 

"Yes, for a score of kingdoms you should wrangle, 
And I would call it fair play." 

His wife will be his helpmeet, and a right royal one. 

Up to this point we have seen Ophelia as a timid girl, silent, 
loving solitude, and brooding much over the chief events in her life ; 


a habit never calculated to strengthen or balance a mind so self- 
controlled that, however strongly she may feel, she rarely gives it 
expression, the imprisoned feeling preying on her nerves and brain. 
Again, we notice in her an exaggerated timidity, a shrinking from 
any unpleasant words or scenes, that we often find in people in whom 
there is a tendency to mental derangement. She has just passed 
through three scenes, each one of which would have been enough to 
cause a serious shock to persons of greater strength of mind and 
character than she possesses : viz. Hamlet's visit to her at her father's 
house; her interview with him at the palace, and the scene that 
occurred during the play. Then must have followed a night of the 
most intense anxiety, while Polonius, whom she deeply loved, 
remained at the castle, that, as she very well knew, he might again 
play the spy on Hamlet, whose violence had terrified her, and for 
whose safety she feared. "What wonder then, that when she received 
the awful news of her father's murder, her senses left her, and refusing 
to believe that the white peaceful face belonged to a dead person, she 
occasioned a distressing scene at the hurried funeral, by trying to 
prevent his being laid in the cold ground. In, the next scene she 
alludes to it with horror " to think they would lay him in the cold 
ground ! " The poor child does not appear to have been in any way 
violent, and was allowed to wander freely about Elsinore and its 

We next meet her in the presence of the Queen, to whom she 
has succeeded in forcing her way. JSTow we learn how deep a love 
she had borne to her stern old father; the grief of his death is, 
perhaps, even more present with her than the loss of her lover ; for 
though she speaks constantly of both, the references to her father are 
infinitely more pathetic.^ It is only now, however, that we learn 
how strong a hold the words of Laertes and Polonius, with regard to 
Hamlet, have taken on her mind, strengthened as they must have 
been by his behaviour during their last two interviews ; they seem 
absolutely to haunt her, showing us how much she must have 
brooded over them. She says, " She hears there's tricks i' the world ; 
and hems, and beats her heart ;" and her very first song is about a 
disguised lover. This passes at once into a lament for her father, 


recalling all the little circumstances of his burial; but when the 
King speaks to her the sad fancies vanish, and she replies with 
gracious courtesy : " Well, God 'ield you," a lady even in her mad- 
ness ; then she whispers mysteriously, " They say, the owl was a 
baker's daughter. Lord, we know what we are, but know not what 
we may be." Just as if, when her eyes opened to the real facts of 
Hamlet's life, she recognized that had she been brave enough to stand 
by him, many of their troubles might have been avoided ; and that 
she felt herself, in her remorse, cursed, like the owl woman, who 
refused to succour our Lord. No idea, however, long remains in 
possession of her poor brain, and it floats away into a courteous wish, 
" Heaven be at your table ! " 

In studying these scenes we must constantly remember Horatio's 
description of the mad girl, speaking " things in doubt, that carry 
but half sense." And also that, as in the owl speech, her central 
idea, if we may so call it, is constantly changing ; some allied subject, 
or even one suggested to her by the sight of the person she is speak- 
ing to, or by some passing remembrance becoming the chief one, as 
she has lost the power of concentrating her thoughts. Now she 
would explain her meaning, which she sees the King has not caught ; 
but again she loses the thread of her discourse, and passes abruptly 
to the merry song, " To-morrow is St Valentine's day; " but through 
it runs the idea of the frailty of woman, and the falseness of man, 
which has been so forcibly impressed on her mind during the last 
months. Then comes a fall into pathos, "I hope all will be well," 
and the infinitely sad, " we must be patient," the language of a soul 
that can take no active steps for its own deliverance. Then with a 
threat that her brother shall know of their treatment of her father, 
she turns to go. Eut the calling of her coach suggests new ideas ; 
she imagines herself to be leaving some Court festival, as she has so 
often left those very rooms in all the pride of her beauty; and with a 
sense of something omitted, she turns to say, " Good night, " and 
passes out with graceful gestures and sweet smiles. She is a terrible 
wreck for her brother to see, when she returns laden with flowers, 
and meets but does not recognize him. Now the evil marriage of 
Claudius and Gertrude is uppermost in her inind, as we see by the 


flowers she gives them, and also her father's death, as we learn from 
the flowers she gives Laertes ; the withered violets, emblems of 
fidelity, she takes as belonging to her father, whom she doubtless 
regarded with a daughter's pride as a pattern of upright loyalty. 
Then her thoughts return to Hamlet, but Laertes' pained face, as she 
trills out her song of " Bonny sweet Robin," brings back her sad 
vein. The tender tones change to a heart-broken dirge, and then 
with a prayer for all Christian souls, perhaps in pitiful remembrance 
of one who needed help even more than her father, and a blessing on 
all present, she passes from our sight for ever. 

Much has been written about these closing scenes as to whether 
Ophelia were in truth pure or no. That she sang such a song as 
" To-morrow is St Valentine's day," is easily accounted for ; not only 
by the cautions of her family, of which, to her, poor soul, it is the 
echo, but also by the well-known sad fact that in madness, the very 
things are sung and said that would be farthest from the lips of the 
poor patients when in their sane senses. That she should ever have 
heard such a song, by the customs of Elizabeth's days, which per- 
mitted broad reference to subjects now studiously ignored among us. 
This and Hamlet's conversation in the play-scene is the only real 
evidence against her, and this is fully explained, if we remember, 
that he was then in the full belief that she was abetting his uncle in 
his schemes against him. The cautions of Laertes and Polonius are 
only such as, under the circumstances, would be given to any girl by 
rather coarse-minded men in a free-spoken age. All her own words 
and actions show us a pure, sweet woman, with modesty of heart and 
mind, as well as of manner. We must also consider that it would 
be very unlike Shakspere's method of working to draw such a crea- 
ture as Ophelia, fair, good, and gentle, and then at the last, just 
when she most needs the sympathy of the audience, to throw her 
from her high pedestal into the mud. True, he has depicted good 
and bad men and women, with a great and wonderful toleration ; 
but sin itself he hates with the hate of a thoroughly healthy mind ; 
and he does not lead us to love and sympathize with unhappy vice. 
Also, we must remember that in his time harmless lunatics were 
allowed to live with their friends, and wander freely through the 


towns and villages ; so that an English audience of that date would 
understand a representation of madness far better than a modern one, 
and would not need explanations of points now dark to us. 

After all, the poor child had a sufficiently large number of faults 
to link her with ordinary human beings. True, she possessed an 
unusually large number of those passive virtues, which are so noble, 
because for their full development they require perfect self-rule, and 
which form a necessary part of every beautiful female character. 
Thus she had obedience to lawful authority, as represented in her 
father; gentleness, patience, and purity; and if active courage is 
lacking in her, she has at least the essentially feminine virtue of 
quiet endurance. Still we cannot but feel in her a total lack of all 
those active virtues which are equally necessary to woman in the 
proper guidance of her life ; but which in a truly strong character are 
never perceived till the moment comes for their use. With great 
endurance, she has no courage ; with self-control, no presence of 
mind ; she can give a tender, clinging affection, but not a great trust- 
ing love ; and though she shows perfect filial obedience, she has no 
judgment to discern where her duty to her father ends, and that to 
her lover begins ; and we must feel that hers was a one-sided, un- 
balanced character. Committing no deliberate sin, the evil she does 
and is the cause of all comes from the same want of balance. 

But do not let us blame her, or if so, very gently; Perdita's 
rearing had taught her to stand alone, at least, to a certain extent ; 
Miranda had the power to do so by nature as well as by education ; 
Ophelia had it by neither ; her life has been that of a slave, and she 
has the virtues and the vices of one. To a certain extent she is worldly- 
minded, but perhaps there is an appropriateness in the fact, that 
while all Hamlet's associates but one are of the earth earthy, so even 
the woman he loved, should, though good in herself, have been 
infected by the breath of the world. If she erred, she also expiated 
her errors most grievously, and we only do her justice when we turn 
from the maimed rites of her funeral with a sigh of pity for "poor 

Ophelia ! " 


3, Tretower Road, West Kensington, 
London, W, 




(Read at the 92nd Meeting of the Society, Friday, December H, 1883.) 

HAVING examined a great number of Shakspere's commentators, 
and looked over all the editions of Shakspere extant and available 
in the British Museum, I have not come across a work which men- 
tioned those translations of Shakspere which have appeared in 
Poland, Russia, and other Slavonic countries. The study of Shak- 
spere in Poland and Russia cannot be compared with that of Ger- 
many, where Shakspere is read and admired as much as Goethe and 
Schiller themselves ; yet the Slavonic literature, as regards Shakspere, 
is of too great importance to be passed over in silence. There are but 
few Shakspere Societies or reading circles to promote the study of 
Shakspere ; l but the general interest the educated portion of the 
Slavonic people take in Shakspere's plays has produced a great many 
translations, which at least are worthy of mention. 

Shakspere became generally known in the East of Europe at the 
end of the last century, through French and German translations. 
Boguslawski mentions in his dramatic works (vol. i. p. 181) that the 
first representation of Shakspere, upon the Polish stage, was that of 
Hamlet, which took place in Lemberg in the year 1797. I could 
not ascertain whose translation was employed probably that of 
Kazincza, who is the first translator of Shakspere's Plays. Bogus- 
lawski, under whose direction Hamlet was represented, translated 
Hamlet into Polish in the year 1820. The Russian Theatre, a 
dramatic work of the year 1786, contains a play entitled Hamlet, by 

1 There is a special Shakspere Society in Moscow, the members of which 
give every year one or two plays of Shakspere. 


Alex. Sumarakow ; but it is rather an adaptation and imitation than 
a translation of Shakspere's Hamlet. 

But long before the first translation of Shakspere's Hamlet was 
printed, Shakspere was known through French or German trans- 

Coxe, in his Voyage through Poland, mentions that the last 
King of Poland, Stanislas Poniatowski, entered into a conversation 
with him on Shakspere, whom the King appreciated very much. 

The better translations, however, begin with the year 1842, when 
Kefalinski or pseudonymous Holowiuski made the first attempt to 
give a complete translation of Shakspere's works into Polish ; but his 
works contain only six plays Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, A Mid- 
summer Nights Dream, Macbeth, King Lear, and The Tempest ; 
to which Jankowski or pseudonymous John of Dycalb added a third 
volume. Bohn, in his Bibliographers Manual (vol. iv. p. 2365), 
enumerates all the translations to the year 1858. Of all these 
translations that of Shakspere's historical play, King John, by Joseph 
Korzeniowski, is unrivalled by any of its predecessors. 

The first complete translation of Shakspere's Plays was published 
in the year 1875 at Yarsow, edited by the celebrated Polish poet 
and novelist, Kraszewski. It contains 37 plays, with 545 illus- 
trations, by H. C. Selous ; and is the work of Stanislas Kozmian, 
Joseph Paszkowski, and L. Ulrich. Stanislas Kozmian, president of 
a Learned Society in Posen, edited, in the year 1866, a translation 
of seven of Shakspere's Plays : A Midsummer Night's Dream, King 
Lear, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, King John, King Richard II., 
and King Henry IV. Part I. and II. , of which the first, the third, 
fourth, and fifth are inserted in the complete collection. He has 
promised to give a complete translation of Shakspere's Plays, and it 
is to be regretted that he has not done so. Mr Kozmian is a man 
whose poetic gifts and perfect knowledge of the English language 
enable him to give a rendering of Shakspere in the most original 
form, without losing the beauties and peculiarities of his style. 
Joseph Paszkowski translated 13 Plays; viz. King Henry IV. 
Part I., King Richard III., Romeo and Juliet, Othello, Lear, Mac- 
beth, Hamlet, Coriolanus, Julius Cccsar, The Tempest, The Merry 


of Windsor, Merchant of Venice, <nnl 1h<> Taming of Hie 

It is to be noticed that this gentleman has devoted a large part 
of his life to the study and translation of Shakspere's Works, and 
intended also to give a complete translation, but death interrupted 
his work. All his translations are inserted in the edition of 1875. 
It was impossible for me to compare all the translations with the 
original, but those of the plays I read Macbeth and The Merchant 
of Venice must be considered as true and faithful ones. He suc- 
ceeded also in his attempt to preserve the character and peculiarities 
of Shakspere's Plays, avoiding that stiffness or formality which is 
connected with a servile translation. Prof. Ulrich contributed the 
largest part namely, 20 out of 37 Plays of those wanted for a 
complete collection, after Kozmian's and Paszkowski's translations 
had been purchased by the publishers, Gebethner and Wolff at 
Yarsow. On the completion of Shakspere's translations these pub- 
lishers applied to Mr Ulrich, and his 20 Plays were published with 
the 17 translated by Messrs Kozmian and Paszkowski. 1 Prof. 
Ulrich, a philologist, devoted to the study of modern languages, had 
already a complete translation of Shakspere's Plays long before the 
publishers had applied to him. The merits of his translations are : 
fidelity to the text, polish, and strength of style. It is to be 
regretted that Mr Ulrich did not find besides a publisher for all his 
translations, then we should have a complete translation of Shak- 
spere's Plays by the same author. In spite of the faults which no 
doubt the complete translation of 1875 has in common with all, it is 
nevertheless the best that any Slavonic people can boast of, and may 
be placed side by side with the best German and French translations. 
It may be remarked that the great difficulty in translating Shak- 
spere's Works into Polish lies in the wide difference which exists 
in the construction of the two languages, rendering it almost im- 
possible to give an exact equivalent of Shakspere's peculiarities of 
style, or faithfully delineate the humorous characters. But Poland, 

1 Mr Paszkowski translated also, Twdftlt -/V'V/7/f, The Comedy of Errors, 
rim! Much Ado about Nothing, which are included in a collection of his 
translations, published in 1857-8 at Varsow. 

N. S. SOC. TRANS., 183:)- 4. F F 


in spite of all the difficulties with which she has had to contend, has 
done more towards diffusing a knowledge of Shakspere than could be 
expected in her critical situation. Although the celebrated Polish 
modern poets, Mickiewicz, Malczewski, Krasinski, Odyniec, and 
Morawski, rather drew their inspirations from Byron, whose prin- 
cipal works they translated ; yet, after the first glow of enthusiasm 
for this poet had died away, Shakspere took his place, and from that 
moment his popularity among the educated people has never dimin- 
ished. In the same way as the gloomy misanthropy of Byron's 
poems finds favour with the sentimentally disposed Slavonic people, 
the tragedies of Shakspere exercise a magic influence over their 

The following particulars regarding the representation of Shak- 
spere's Plays in Poland, have been furnished by one connected with 
the stage of that country : Of all Polish stages, that of Yarsow, 
having the best artists, represented the largest number of Shakspere's 
Plays. The Polish actors who particularly excel in Shakspere's 
Plays at the present time are : John Krolikovski, Ladnovski, 
Boleslas Leszczynski (Othello), Rapacki (Hamlet), and Joseph Eychter 
(Merchant of Venice), now Director of the Polish theatre at Posen. 
Madam Modizejovska. 1 and Madam Deryng are the best in female 
characters. The Polish stages at Posen, Cracow., Lemberg, have no 
eminent Shaksperian performers, and being supported by private 
means, are unable to spend the great time, care, and training required 
for a brilliant performance of Shakspere's Plays. During the last 
twenty years sixteen of Shakspere's Plays have 'been represented on 
the Polish stage (in the Polish language). The Merchant of Venice, 
Hamlet, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, Macbeth, King 
Richard III., King John, Antony and Cleopatra, A Midsummer 
Night's Dream, T7ie Merry Wives of Windsor, T/ie Taming of the 
ftltrc.w, Much Ado about Nothing, The Winters Tale, As you Like it, 
and probably the Comedy of Errors. The Polish people take great 
interest and delight in the Tragedies, much more so than in the 
Comedies, of which The Merchant of Venice has become the most 

1 See "The Story of Helena Modjeska," by Mubel Collins. (London, 1883.) 


popular (perhaps for the typical character of a Jew so common in 

If Poland were in a different position, Shakspere's Plays would 
be more popular than they are at this moment. But in the present 
state of affairs the National Play is in the ascendant. Arguments 
taken from ancient or modern Polish history and adapted to the 
Polish stage, or representations of Polish family life (in the Comedies 
of Count Fredro), are of course more attractive than German, English, 
or French Plays, of which the last find most favour. Besides Shak- 
spere and Byron, a great many English novels are translated into 
Polish, and read with great interest ; but to promote the knowledge 
of Shakspere among the lower classes, I should propose to translate 
Lamb's Talcs from Shdkspere, and to print them in London in a 
cheap form, so that they might be put within the reach of the poorer 
classes as well as those who can afford to buy the very expensive 
Polish edition of Shaksperian translations. The Polish people are 
very quick to learn foreign languages, of which they like French the 
best ; but towards diffusing the knowledge of the English language 
in Poland more ought to be done. Of the three Polish Universities 
at Cracow, Lemberg, and Yarsow, the last has perhaps a Professor 
of the modern languages ; Cracow and Lemberg only lecturers ac- 
quainted with English. I hope the time will come when Shakspere 
will not only amuse on the stage, but become the subject of study 
in Poland for modern philologists. 

With regard to the other Slavonic countries, I am very sorry that 
I cannot acquit myself of this part of my task with as much fulness 
as in speaking of my own country. Bohemia, for as long a time as 
Poland, was desolate of a complete translation of Shakspere's Plays, 
of which she can now boast. Dramaticka Dila Williama SUalce- 
speara Naldadem Kralostvi CcsMio finished in the year 1874 is a 
complete collection of Shakspere's Plays in the Bohemian language. 
The translators are J. G. Kolar, Er. Doucha, L. Celakovsky, and 
J. B. Maly. The Jahrlilclier of the German Shakspere Society gives 
many particulars with regard to the representation of Shakspere's 
Plays in Prague (the capital of Bohemia), from the year 1878 to 

1882. According to that report 

F F 2 


A Midsummer Night's Dream was represented 3 times. 

The Taming of the Shrew 3 , , 

King Henry IV. Part I. and II 2 

Romeo and Juliet ... ... ... ... 2 

Tlie Merchant of Venice ... ... ... 2 

Hamlet ... ... ... ... ... 3 

Othello 2 

King Richard III. ... ... ... ... once 

Much Ado about Nothing ... ... ... 

In the years 1878 and 1879 the Meininger performed Shakspere's 
Plays in Prague, in German. I cannot state the particulars about 
Shakspere's Plays being represented or acted in the Bohemian lan- 
guage, as those furnished by the German Shakspere Society regard 
only the German theatres, and a few other foreign ones at Prague, 
Moscow, and St Petersburg, which have also German theatres. 

The general Catalogue of the German Shakspere Society mentions 
among the Slavonic translators a Serbian one of Julius Ccesar, by 
Milosch Zetschewitz ; and of Romeo and Juliet, by L. Kostitsch, 
both published in the year 18G6. The first of Shakspere's Plays 
translated into the Russian language was Romeo and Juliet ; it Avas 
printed in the year 1772 in a periodical called The Evenings. Then 
followed Richard III, translated in 1783 at the provincial toAvn 
Kishni-Xovgorod ; then came Julius Ccesar, translated by Karamzin 
in 1786. To the same year must be referred an adaptation to Russian 
manners of the Merry Wives, by the Empress Catherine, under the 
title "How good it is to have a basket of linen." She also wrote 
two historical plays, the arguments of which were taken from ancient 
Russian history, resembling very much Shakspere's King John. 
SumarakoAv's tragedy Hamlet (an adaptation from Ducis) \vas 
published in 1748, and soon afterAvards performed by amateurs, 

Of Shakspere's popularity in Russia one may judge from the 
circumstance that feAV of his plays have been exempt from repeated 
translations by different persons. Thus, for Hamlet and Romeo and 
Juliet there are seven translations ; Macbeth has been translated six 
times ; King Lear also six ; Richard III, Antony and Cleopatra, and 
Julius O>'"/' four times each, &c, 


In the year 1865 Nekrasow and Gerbel edited a complete collection 
of Shakspere's Plays in Russian, by eleven different authors, which is 
considered to be the best, as it io translated from the original. The 
rest are taken from Polish, German, French, and Italian prose and 
verse translations. There is a much greater difficulty in translating 
English into Russian than into Polish ; perhaps this will account for 
the number of translations which have found their way into Russian 
literature through other languages. These latter are, of course, of 
very little value as translations of Shakspere's works, as they are only 
stage adaptations. 

Besides the eleven authors mentioned, who have translated from 
the original, the following celebrated Russian poets have also taken 
parts, as I suppose, from the same source : Pushkin, over whom 
Byron's Poems exerted a very great influence, published in the year 
1834 a Poem entitled Angela, the argument of which is taken from 
Measure for Measure. 

Lermontov, who was also inspired by Byron's Poems, translated 
from Schiller's Macbeth, the 3rd scene of Act L, entitling his Poem, 
Three Witches. 

M. Katkov, the leader of the Russian reactionary party, published 
his part of a translation of Shakspere's Play, Romeo and Juliet, 
from the English original, in a Journal called The Moscow Observer 
(1838-9), and inserted afterwards the whole Play in the Panteon 
of 1841. It is to be regretted that these poets did not attempt 
something more than the short extracts for which the Russian 
literature is indebted to them. Before giving some particulars about 
the representation of Shakspere's Plays on the Russian stage, I am 
going to appraise, as far as it is in my power, the numerous Russian 
translations of Shakspere's Plays. The best complete translation of 
Shakspere's Plays is that mentioned above, edited by Nekrasow and 
Gerbel (St Petersburg, 1865), in four volumes. 

The first volume contains a Preface on " Literature and Theatre 
in England, till Shakspere," by W. P. Botkin, and every Play is 
preceded by an argument. It contains : 

1. Coriolanus, by A. W. Drujhinin ; 2. Othello, by P. Weinberg ; 
3. Midsummer Nifjhf,< Dreum, by N". M. Satin; 4. Julius Cwsar, 


by D. L. Michalovsky; 5. Much A<lo about Nothing, by A. J. 
Kronenberg; 6. King Lear, by A. W. Drujhinin ; 7. Macbeth, by 
A. J. Kronenberg; 8. Timon of Athens, by J. P. Weinberg; 9. 
Twelfth Nigltt, by A. J. Kronenberg. 

Volume II., Preface. 10. Hamlet, by A. J. Kronenberg; 11. 
The Tempest, by X. M. Satin; 12. Troilus and Cressida, by A. L. 
Sokolovsky; 13. Romeo and Juliet, by K P. Grekov; 14. The 
Taming of the Shrew, by A. N. Ostrovsky ; 15. King John, by A. W. 
Drujhinin; 16. King Richard II. , 17. King Henry IV. Part L, 
18. King Henry IV. Part II. by Sokolovsky. 

Volume III. 19. King Henry V., 20. King Henry VI. Part L, 
21. King Henry VI. Part II., 22. King Henry VI. Part III, by 
Sokolovsky ; 23. King Richard III., by A. W. Drujhinin ; 24. King 
Henry VIIL, 25. Merchant of Venice, 26. As you Like it, by J. P. 
Weinberg ; 27. Antony and Cleopatra, by L. Korzeniovsky. 

Volume IV. contains a Preface, a Biographical Sketch of "W. 
Shakspere, by P. Polevoi, and 28. The Winter's Tale, by Sokolovsky ; 
29. AWs Well that ends Well, by J. P. Weinberg ; 30. Cymbeline, 
by Th. B. Miller; 31. Titus Andronicus, by A. J. Eijhov; 32. The 
Two Gentlemen of Verona, by Th. B. Miller ; 33. The Merry Wives 
of Windsor, by P. J. Weinberg ; 34. Measure for Measure, by Th. B. 
Miller; 35. The Comedy of Errors, by P. J. Weinberg ; 36. Pericles, 
by A. Sokolovsky ; 37. Love's Labour's Lost, by P. J. Weinberg. 

Sokolovsky has translated 10 Plays, Weinberg 9, Kronen- 
berg 4, Drujhinin 4, Miller 3, Eijhov 2, Ostrovsky 1, Grekov 1, 
Korzenivosky 1, Satin 1, Michalovski 1, in all 37 Plays. Eussian 
literature has also another complete collection of translations of 
Shakspere, by K Ketzcher, edited by Soldatenkov, between 1862 
73, in seven vols., and completed by the appearance of two more 
volumes in 1878-9. It is of no great value, as most of them are 
prose translations, and although mentioned by !N"ekrasow and Gerbel, 
none are inserted in their collection. Shakspere's Sonnets were trans- 
lated in the year 1880, by Gerbel; and Tschernoff has translated 
Dowden's " Shakspere : His Mind and Art." 

There are three biographies in the language ; one (by an unknown 
author) was published in 1796 in the periodical entitled Pleasant and 


Useful Pastime ; the second was written by Slavin and published 
as a separate book in 1844 under the title The Life of ShaJwrc, 
and the Opinions of Russian and Forciyn- Writers about him; the 
third was written by Polevoi, who edited a Sliakspere for Schools 
(St Petersburg, 1876). 

It is not within my power to give the same details about the 
representation of Shakspere's Plays on the Russian stage (in Russian), 
as in the case of the Polish theatre. I can only repeat the notices 
till the year 1865, that I have found in ~N"ekrasow's collection of 
translations. Hamlet, by Sumarakov, was the first Play of Sliak- 
spere represented on the Russian stage, about the year 1787. Then 
the Empress Catherine II. adapted two Plays of Shakspere, King 
John and Tlie Merry Wives of Windsor, to the Russian stage. 
Nekrasow states that Ristori played Lady Macbeth, twice, at Moscow 
and Petersburg, after the year 1861, in an Italian translation, by 
Montanelli, while the other tragedians acted in Russian. In this 
Play, the negro, Ira Aldrige, played Macbeth in English (at Odessa 
and Kieff), and also the characters King Lear, Othello, and Shylock, 
at Odessa and Kieff, about the year 1861. Many other Plays of 
Shakspere have no doubt been represented till the year 1865 on the 
Russian stage (in Russian) ; and if we can trust Nekrasow, only 
three Plays, viz.- As you like it, Pericles, and, perhaps, Love's Labour's 
Lost, were excluded, and could not be represented till the year 1865 
(they are so distinctly specified), as they were not yet translated. 
Doubtless also many foreign actors and actresses of eminence have 
appeared upon the Russian stage as characters in Shakspere' 8 Plays. 
At the present day there are few Russian actors who have distin- 
guished themselves in an eminent degree in Shakspere's Plays. 1 The 
details I found in the Jahrbiicher of the German Shakspere Society, 
state that the German theatre at Moscow represented in the year 
1882 The Taming of the Shrew twice, and Romeo and Juliet once ; 
that German players in Petersburg performed on the llth of Feb., 
1881, The Merchant of Venice; on the 28th of Dec., 1881, The 

1 Among Russian Actors Sarnoilow and Lensky have distinguished them- 
selves, I am told, in an eminent degree in Shakspere's plays, th