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• ed Literatnrges cMclite 



Professor Dr. Oskar F. Walzel. 

5. Heft. 

Dr. August Steiger. 


A Complementary Study to the Don Juan-literature. 



Verlag von A.. Franoke 
(vonnals Sohmid & Franoke). 


Thomas Shadwell's 


A Complementary Study to the Don Juan -literature 
Dr. August Steiger. 


. FRANCKE, Fubllah* 
{formerly SCHHID & FRANCKE) 

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In the forging of that long chain of Don Juan- 
literature England has taken a very small share. The 
most important English link, Thomas Shadwell's «Li- 
bertine* 1 ), is so rarely to be found in continental libra- 
ries that the critics on the subject either confess not 
to know it, or prefer to repeat the usual tradition that 
Shadwell's a Libertines is a mere copy of Moliere's 
«Dom Juan*. 

The following pages attempt to mark out the 
position of England in the Don Juan-literature and to 
give an idea of Shadwell's work, the drama often 
quoted in questions on the subject, but never known; 
as for the source we shall find the usual Moliere- 
theory, if not entirely wrong, at any rate very in- 
exact, there being no direct connexion between Mo- 
liere's and Shadwell's works. 

I am deeply indebted to Professor Dr. Muller- 
Hess for the impulse to this treatise, for the rare and 
valuable copies of Shadwell's dramas placed at my 
disposal out of his private library, and for the kindness 
shown to me during my studies at the university of 

') As for Bjrron's ■Don Jua 

: pp. z and 8 



Bibliographical Index. 

JSahlsen. — Spanische Quellen iler dramalischen IJteraiur, bes. Englands. 

Zeitschrift fur vergleichende Literal urge schichte. Neue Folge VI. 

189J. pp. 151—160. 
Beljame. — Le public et les hommes tie lettres en Angleterre au 

18" 1 " siede. Paris 1897. 
LTE. — Der Ursprung der Don Juan-Sage. Zeitschrift fiir lergleichende 

Lileralurgeschichte. Neue Folge XIIL 1899. 
CaSTIl-Blaze. — Molifre musicien. Paris 1852. 
Cruix. — Fielding's uod Shadudl's Cunnrtilieri «The Miser*. Diss. 

Rostock 1899. 
Dragee. — - Moliere's «Dom Juan« historisth-genetiscli neu beleuchtet. 

Diss. Halle 1899. rec Mahrenhdtz ini Literaturblatt fQr ger. umJ 

rom. Philologie 1904 (No. 2a, pag, 72). 
,KL. — Die Don Juan-Sage auf der Bfihne. 1887. 
Farinelli. — Don Giovanni. Giomale storico della letteratura italiana. 

Vol. XXVII. 1896. p. 1, p. 254. 
Fastenrath. — Die Don Juan-Sage in Spanien und in der Weltliteratur. 

(Vorwort zvtr fJbersetzung von Zorrilla's Dou Juau Tenorio.) Dresden 

Miscellanea Caix-Canello. Fireoze 

GASPARY. — Moliere's Doo Jus 

1886. p. 57. 

Humbert. — Englands Urteil fiber Moliiie. Bielefeld 1878. 
Jahn, Otto, — W. A. Mozart. IV. Band. Leipzig 1859. 
KLEIN. — Geschicbte des Dramas. IX. 1. Abteilung. Leipzig 1874. 
MacaUlay. — Comic Dramatists of the Restoration. New York 1861. 


Maonin. — Le Dom Juan 1 ) de Moliere ao Theatre francais. Revue des 
deux mondes. 1847. Tome XVII, p. 557. 

MaHKENHOLTZ. — Zu Moliere's cDoo Juan>. Herrig's Archiv 63, p. 1. 

Mahkehholtz. — Eine franzdsische Bearbeitung der Don Juan-Sage vor 
Moliere. Herrig's Archiv 63, p. 177. 

Moliere. — Dom Juan. Edition des Grands Ecrivains. Tome V: 
Notice par Mesnard. Tome XI : Bibliographic. 

Moliere. — Don Juan, Edition Moland. Tome III. Notice. 

Moliebe. — Don Juan. Ausgabe Laun. Bd. VII. 

Da Ponte. — Libretto to Mozart's opera: Don Giovanni. Mode's 
Textbibliothek. Berlin. 

The Retrospective Review. 1823, p. 51. 

Rosimond. — Le nouveau festin de Pierre ou Pathee foudroye. (Fournel, 
les contemporains de Moliere. Tome III.) 

Schneegans. — Moliere's Leben und Werke. «Geisteshelden> 42. 

Shadwell. — Works. London 1720. 

Ticknor. — History of Spanish Literature. Vol. n. 

TiRSO DE Molina. — El Burlador de Sevilla (Lemcke, Handbuch der 
Spanischen Literaiur. HI. Band. Leipzig 1856.) 

Toldo. — Figaro et ses origines. Milan 1893. 

Ward. — History of English Dramatic Literature. London 1875. 

WOlker. — Geschichte der englischen Literatur. Leipzig 1896. 

l ) At Moliere's time the spelling was "Dom Juan", not "Don Juan". 


Don Juan in Universal and English 
Literature. '■..-'.- 

The hero of Thomas Shadweli's tragedy -The Li- \.\.' 
bertines is well known in literature under the name 
of Don Juan, that notorious seducer of girls who, having 
killed the father of one of his victim es and violated 
his tomb, received punishment for his crimes from the 
statue of the murdered man. In the original and uni- 
versal significance of this character we find that com- 
plement of human nature to the character of Faust 
which Gcethe calls the one of his souls: 

•Zwei Seelen wohnep, ach, in meiner Brusf, 

Die eine will sich von dei nndern trenoen ; 

Die eine halt in detber Liebeslust 

Sieh an die Well mil Jtlammcrnden Qrganen; 

Die andre hebt yewaltsam sick vom Dust 

Zu den Genlden holier Ahnen.- 

Don Juan is not only the most popular type of 
human profligacy, but represents the sensual, bodily 
side of human nature, in opposition to the more meta- 
physical turn of mind of Faust. The presumptive 
energy of both leads to ruin. Don Juan is a Southern 
(it has even been said the Catholic) brother to the 
Northern (or the Protestant) Faust. 1 ) 

') Farinelli 1. c. p. 2. 
UnterBnchnngen V, Aug. Stelger, Shadwell'i "Libertine". 1 



For the last three/ cjen tunes Don Juan has been a 
favourite character 'of universal literature, and for 
about these fifty years" his literary representatives have 
often formed a. swfcfject for criticism. There is scarcely 
any figure in- modern literature which has been treated 
in so many-. poetical and arttstical forms, by so great 
a number -.of "poets, of such eminent poets, of poets of 
so many different nations. Above three-score Don Juan- 
poems 'more or less original may be mentioned, be- 
sides. *a long series of precursors such as the Jesuit- 
pla-y of Ingolstadt (1615) or the old Greek legend 
"•'of Mitys's statue or a Breton ballad which pretends 
to describe a similar event that had happened at 
Rosperden in i486. There were moreover innumerable 
translations (f. i. about 30 of Da Ponte's libretto to 
Mozart's opera) ; and finally there is that vast number of 
cases where the original Don Juan, as conceived by the 
first writers who took possession of this highly poetical 
subject, found congenial portrayal in other works of 
fiction, such as in the character of Lovelace in Richard- 
son's * Clarissas, or where he only lent his name to 
similar types of human beings, such as Byron's 
«Don Juan*. 

Don Juan has made his way through the litera- 
tures of nearly all the European nations and is con- 
nected, though not atways by a master-piece, with 
some of the greatest artists: Tirso (?), Moliere, Gol- 
doni, Mozart, Byron. Whether the Don Juan-fable 
has any distinct historical foundation, such as a certain 
Don Juan Tenorio of Seville who in the XIV th cen- 
tury killed the commander Don Gonzalo d'Ulloa in 
an attempt to seduce his daughter, ') or whether the 
legend was brought into Spain from the North, the 

') So Eogel, Klein, Mesnatd a. o. 

— 3 — 

country of the faust-legend, *) is not our business to 
discuss. At any rate the first poet who entirely 
grasped the subject and put it into a really artistic 
form, was a Spaniard of the XVII th century. We 
have a drama «E1 Burlador de Sevilla y Comvidado 
de piedras, printed for the first time in 1630 and 
generally attributed to Fray Gabriel Tellez , a remarkable 
Spanish dramatist known by the name of Tirso de 
Molina, although his authorship, from marks of internal 
evidence, has been disputed (by Farinelli *). By Spanish 
actors the play was brought over to Italy, and Al- 
lacci's Drammaturgia of 1666 mentions two Italian 
comedies sll convitato di pietras, one by Onofrio 
Giliberti, the other by Andrea Cicognini. But Italian 
influence soon changed Tirso's drama into a harlequi- 
nade, chiefly by developing the comical element in 
the character of Don Juan's servant Catalinon. In this 
form Don Juan was introduced into France, and the 
outlines of such a «commedtct dell' arte*, played by 
a troop of a comediens italiens » at the Theatre du 
Petit-Bourbon, are still extant. It seems to have 
proved a great success, for already in 1658 a 1. Festin 
de Pierre*, written by Dorimond, was played at 
Lyons, in 1659 another by De Villiers in Paris, and 
in i66 j__ even Moliere, almost forced to it by Italian 
competition, wrote his « Pom Jjian. mi le Festin de 
Pierre*. Fournel finds it «remarquable que tous les 
auteurs qui ont traite ce sujet chez nous ont ete des 
comediens ». It is striking indeed, the. subject being 
so tragic. Moliere calls his play a comedy, Rosimond 

') So Farinelli who defies all supporters of no historical Don Juan, 
but does not mention the most important account of a chronicle of Sevil, 
quoted by Pehoa (v. Klein). 

■) I.e. p. 318 note. 

his a tragi-comedy, and Shadwell who wrote 14 co- 
medies confesses it to be a tragedy. 

Along- this distinct line of profane Don Juan- 
dramas, from Spain through Italy to France, there 
run some dim traces of a more spiritual conception 
of the subject. They are particularly interesting for us, 
as Shadwell in harmony with some mention made in 
Latour's « Etudes sur l'Espagne* of a Spanish auto 
sacramental: «E1 ateista fulminadoa, declares he has 
been told a by a worthy gentleman, that many years 
agone (when first a play was made upon this story 
in Italy) he has seen it acted there by the name of 
«Atheista fulminatos, in churches, on Sundays, as a 
part of devotion ».') 

None of the French dramatists claims any parti- 
cular ethical or religious value for his work (Moliere's 
«Dom Juan » certainly is of highly moral significance), 
although they accept « l'athee foudroye » as a subtitle, 
and it strikes us comically when Shadwell, the coarsest 
of all Don Juan -dramatists, leads from the above-men- 
tioned sacred drama to his own production with the 
words: &and some, not of the least judgment [very 
likely the 1. worthy gentleman » mentioned before] have 
thought it rather an useful moral than an encourage- 
ment to vices. 8 ) 

Through Moliere Don Juan became the popular 
name for a certain type of human character; Moliere's 
cFestin de Pierre * forms the centre of a vast field 
of poetical production. Most of the numerous DonJuans 

') Preface to Shadwell's -Libertine.. Although there is no other 
trace of an Italian «rar>|-jrc5-:ritaiii:mi: >aci;!» '>n thi-. subject, Mesn&rd is 
inclined to attribute it to Giliberti as a parallel to his comedy which 
itself seems to be irrecoverably lost. Fournel {p. 363 note) finds that 
Tine's Burl, itself <est prcsqne un auto sacramental*. 

') Preface to the <Libertine». 

list in European literatures go 
less directly, to Moliere, even those that at the same 
time draw from the more original Spanish source, f. i. 
Da Ponte in bis libretto already mentioned, to Mozart's 
opera, and later Spanish dramatists, as Zamora and 
Zorilla. 1 ) On Moliere rely (besides numerous trans- 
lations) Thomas Comeille's versification of 1677, 
Rosimond's -sNouveau Festin de Pierre of 1669,*) 
Goldoni's comedy, several German puppet-shows, 8 ) f. i. 
* Donschang der desparate Ritter * (played in Han- 
nover 1777/78) and harlequinades such as <Das stei- 
nerne Toten-Gastmahl oder Die im Grabe noch lebende 
Rache, oder Die aufs hochste gestiegene, endlich ubel 
angekommene Kiihri- und Frechheit *■ (played in 
Dresden 1752). It was especially Germany, the home 
of Dr. Faust, that delighted in various poetical forms 
of the Don Juan-legend*): we have a ballade *Don 
Juan » in « Des Knaben Wunderhorn * , and even 
Schiller left a fragment of one; we have a «Reut- 
linger Volksbuch : « Walirhaftige Geschichte vom arger- 
lichen Leben des spanischen Ritters Don Juan und 
wie ihn zuletzt der ff-j- Teufel geholt». Another one 
even gives sthe Songs Don Juan used to sing 0. More- 
over, Don Juan has been made the hero of novels 
(P. Merimee), and ballets have been arranged upon 
the subject {Bondet, Gluck). 

But at any time and place it was on the stage 
that Don Juan, by his highly dramatic character, cele- 

') Bui Magnin (Revue des deux mondes 1847] goes too far in 
saying: «Sauf la 5ta!ue inut dans le Don Juau francais appartient a Mo- 
liere*. Laun (Moliere, ed. Laun VII, Eiuleitung), on the other hand, 
is partial to tlie Germans, claiming originality for them exclusively. 

*) With loans raised in Dorimond and De Villiers. 

*) Engel 1. c, 

*) Most of Ihe examples given are taken from Engei. 

brated his greatest triumphs. And on the stage it 
was ;ibove all other forms the opera wherein Don Juan, 
by his highly -musical character, found his deepest inter- 
pretation and his highest artistic perfection. We have 
numerous Don Juan -dramas of the 19"' century, by 
P. Heyse, Lenau, Puschkio, Al. Tolstoy, Zorilla and 
others; it is true, some of them are rather extravagant 
and arbitrary extensions of the original subject, f. i. 
Trautmann's <* Don Juan in Wiesbaden 8 or Hahn's 
• Don Juan aus Familienrucksichten*. Nicolaus Vogt 
and Grabbe have welded together Don Juan and Faust 
in one drama; we know of about ten different Don- 
Juan-operas, but in the expression of this sensual side 
of human nature, human art reached its climax in 
Mozart's opera «I1 dissoluto punito ossia il Don Gio- 
vanni*, 1787, this «opera of operas* (Engel), composed 
on Da Ponte's libretto, 1 ') the only work worthy to 
stand side by side with Gcethe's « Faust », the work 
by which Mozart gained the name of the « musical 
Shakespeare ». *) 

In this great mass of Don Juan-poetry English 
literature takes a very poor place. Before and after 
ShadweU's * Libertine* there is scarcely anything to 
be mentioned, and even Shadwell is scarcely worth 
mentioning in comparison with Tirso, Moliere, and 
Mozart. The first performance of his tragedy took 
place in 1676 «by his Majesty's Servants*, it was 
printed separately in 1676, 1697, 1704, 1705, and in 
the complete edition of ShadweU's dramas 1720.') 
The second part of the Don Juan-legend (the ghostly 

1 Farinelli 1. c. p. 92) attributes the dr»- 
to Bertati (p. IV). 

*) Bolte 1. c. 

*) Beljame, Bibliographic. 


supper) is contained in Sir Aston Cokayne's « Tragedy 
of Ovid» of 1662, evidently based on a performance, 
seen once or twice at Venice, of the «Convitato».'} 
Shadwell's play seems to have met with a favourable 
reception, for the author confesses in his preface that 
he has sno reason to complain of the success », Wy- 
cherley in the « Plain Dealers alludes to it in Novel's 1 
words: «tis like eating with the ghost in the Liber- 
tines.*) Towards the end of the century Henry Pur- 
cell inserted several musical passages into Shadwell's 
drama, composing melodies f. i. for the dance of the 
shepherds and nymphs and for their chorus « In these 
delightful fragrant groves ». But it is remarkable 
that no trace whatever is to be found of a Don Juan 
played by those wandering- English comedians who 
for the rest knew so well how to profit by Spanish 
and Italian sources for their plays. — In 1787 and 
1790 a pantomime was played at the Royalty Theatre 
« Don Juan or the Libertine destroyed, a Tragic Pan- 
tomimical Entertainment in two acts», based upon 
Shadwell's tragedy. Ticknor ") considers the latter to 
be the foundation of «the short play which has often 
been acted on the American stages. In 1770 ap- 
peared Ozell's translation from Moliere, and about 
1820 Moncrieff ("William Thomas) published a most 
eccentric musical play « Don Juan in London, or the 
Libertine Reclamed ».*) Mozart's opera was performed 
for the first time in England 1817, at the Haymarket 
Theatre, with the Italian text, then at Covent Garden 
after an English libretto : « The Libertine » by a certain 

'} DrSget ]. e. p. 22. 
') Farinelli G. St. p. 60. 
') Span. lit. p. 310 note. 
*) Farinelli G. St. p. 28s. 


Pocock 1 } (the title may be an echo of Shad well's tragedy 
or a translation of Mozart's « Dissoluto »). As we have 
already mentioned, Byron's * Don Juan » has nothing I 
in common with our traditional hero but his name j 
and his character in general. I 

Of these comparatively few traces Don Juan has 
left in England, Shadwell's tragedy is certainly the 
most important, and even if the play has no literary 
merit at all (as Ticknor declares, 8 ) yet it is decidedly 
of a certain literary interest- 
There may be several reasons, why England did 
so little in the representation of a character so excee- 
dingly favourable to poetical, especially to dramatic 
expression. Shakespeare had died half a century too 
early, the sources had hardly been accessible to him, 
and when at last the story of the grand seducer reached 
England, her dramatic power was exhausted, and 
none of the numerous minor talents but Shadwell 
attempted to portray the hero who in other countries 
had fascinated so many and such great poets. — Fa- 
rinelli 3 ) finds another reason : « If Don Juan had been 
born in England, he would have had to leave his 
country at once to exact his features of seduction 
and frivolity. It is true, England had her libertines 
as well as any other country and at any time, and 
British egoism corresponds closely with Don Juan's 
egoism, but she never accepted immorality as a prin- 
ciple, she always was, and still is, to other nations a 
model of moral firmness and severity*. — Farinelli 
may partly be right, but there was a time (a short 
one, it is true) when even England, or at least her 

') Farinelli G. St. p. 286. 

') Tickuor Sp. Lit. p. Jio note. 

') G. St. p. 57. 

upper classes, with the court at the head of all, seemed 
to accept immorality as a principle, when indecency 
in art went so far *as to associate systematically vice 
with those things which men value most, and virtue 
with everything ridiculous and degrading*. 1 ) And it 
was during this time, under the later Stuarts, that 
the English Don Juan was written : Shadwell's « Li- 
bertine», very likely the grossest, the bloodiest of all 
Don Juan-dramas that ever existed, with a some thirty 
murders, rapes innumerable, frequent sacrilege and 
parricides 3 ) in the antecedents, and with half a dozen 
fights, and about ten homicides represented on the 
stage, besides having more than a dozen women se- 
duced or ravished in the course of the play. Baker's 
iBiographia dramatical of 1782 calls it so abominable 
*as to render it little less than impiety to represent 
it on the stages. 3 ) 

As we observed English literature shows compa- 
ratively few Don Juans on its pages, and England has 
ever distinguished herself, if not always by real mo- 
rality, yet by the outward show of it, by prudery. 
Now it is a strange coincidence that this same country 
contributed to the Don Juan-literature just the extreme 
expression of the idea in a certain direction, if we 
may speak of a poetical * ideas at all in this case. 
But within the limits of the poetry of its time, of the 
late Stuart drama, Shadwell's « Libertine » offers nothing 
particularly extravagant. On the contrary, it may be 
called one of the best specimens of its kind, being 
full of life ( — and deaths!) and action, with a rapid 
change of scenes of fights, murders, rapes, revels, 

') Macaulay, Comic Dromatisls. 
') The Libertine p. 97 (Jacomof. 
*> Jaho ]. c. IV. p. 343. 

songs, and dances, and with a brilliant display of 
thunderstorms, fires, and ghostly apparitions, all 
voured* by a lot of ought-to-be- witty indecencies or 
by numerous signs of brutal sensuality without any 
pretension to wit. It is one of those many pieces 
translated from the French, but translated not only 
into English words, but also — the boast of a good 
translation! — into the English spirit of that time, 
that is: put into the coarse language of the new 
* milieu » and in every way adapted to the taste of the 
English public, or at least of that part which used to 
go to the theatre, the upper classes. It is by this 
process of what we might call «grossification *, that 
chiefly Moliere, decent and moral as he is, was made 
suitable for the English stage by the t adaptations » 
of Dryden, Congreve, Wycherley, Shadwell and others. 
With what conceit these plagiarists used to consider 
their work we may conclude from Shad well's preface 
to his a Misers; si may say without vanity, that 
Moliere's part of it [viz. of the play] has not suffered 
in my hands; nor did I ever know a French comedy 
made use of by the worst of our poets, that was not 
bettered by 'em*. 1 ) 

It may be that the immorality of the court of 
Charles II. and of his theatre relied on the want of 
moral refinement which «le joyeux monarques had 
found in France, but Wiilker 1 ) decidedly and justly 
repels Thackeray's accusation that the indecency of 
the then English drama was caused by the indecency 
of its French models. In the Libertine we find an 

') To this Humbert makes the following remark (p. 1 14): .Shadwell 
isl eiii Dieb, der den Beraubten tot schlagt. Und weahalb beraubte er 
denn gerade den Franzosen Moliere ? Weil er ihn fur einen reichen 

•) L. e. p. 361. 


allusion, though very likely made unconsciously, to 

the cause of this extreme immorality: Don John and 

his friends Don Antonio and Don Lopez meet an old 

hermit (III, 2. p. 130): 

Don Antonio: What old fool is that? 

Don Lopez: It is a hermit, a fellow of mighty beard 

and sanctity. 
It is this « mighty sanctity », this overdone decency 
of the Puritan Commonwealth which caused that over- 
done indecency of the Restoration to counter- balance. 1 ) 
But our * Libertine 8 is also the example of an- 
other feature of Shadwell's which has often been over- 
looked or under-valued by literary historians, f. i. by 
Walker.*) In spite of all his gross indecencies, Shad- 
well claims, and I believe earnestly, to follow a 
moral purpose?) He does so not only in the preface 
to his Libertine, which piece he thinks "rather an 
useful moral than an encouragement to vice*, and 
not only in the last words of his tragedy, when the 
statue, after Don John's destruction, pronounces « the 
moral » 4 ) : 

Thus perish all 
Those men, who by their words and actions dare ' 
Against the will and pow'r -at heav'n declare. 

But also most of his plots show a moral tendency, 
and there is no better proof for it than the sense in 
which he represents marriage and adultery : Don John 
is destroyed for his outrages. His other heroes, after 
a youth spent in sensual extravagance, * drinking, 

') Macaulay, Beljame. 
") lit Gesch. p. 363. 
*) This would be the same method of moral influence as in Boo 


whoring, swearing, beating constables", generally 
find a girl, virtuous, if not out of genuine morality, 
yet out of disgust of the immorality of others, and for 
her sake they change their lives and become good 
husbands. And if Shadwell represents a cuckold, it 
generally is a man that deserves no better. He has 
no high idea of conjugal happiness, but connubial 
purity is the object he aims at when he has any oc- 
casion, which he certainly has not in the case of a 
character like Don Juan. And if in spite of his mo- 
rality he even excelled in indecency, it would be for 
two reasons: he represents life as it is, and — he 
writes for bread. He has not the courage of Jeremy 
Collier who braved the public opinion of the nobiiity 
and of literary circles in his * Short View of the Pro- 
faneness and Immorality of the English Stages (I698). 
If Shadwell had lived so long, he might have pro- 
duced some stronger evidence of his moral intentions 
than Congreve who had no better argument to prove 
his literary morality than his care «to inculcate a 
moral packed close into two or three lines, at the end 
of every play», a moral in most cases which Collier 
showed to be of very doubtful value. 1 ) In the preface 
to the « Sullen Lovers » Shadwell ridicules the stage 
of his times: eln the plays, which have been written 
of late, there is no such thing as perfect character, 
but the two chief persons are most commonly a 
swearing, drinking, whoring ruffian for a lover and an 
impudent ill-bred tomrig for a mistress*. Beljame*) 
is right in saying : « Shadwell et Otway ont fait de 
la comedie de leur temps une vive et juste critique 
quaucunes ne meritent plus que les leurs. Tous at- 

') Macaulay, Com. Dram. 
') Beljaine, I.e. p. 139. 


13 — 

taquerent le gout du jour et tous ecrivirent pour le 
flatters. Shadwell wrote to earn his living, he had 
to win and to keep the good-will of mighty patrons, 
he wanted to become Poet Laureate; so whilst pur- 
suing moral aims he pandered to English taste by 
gross indecencies of which the « Libertine* yields some 
remarkable, though by no means the strongest examples. 
If this moral side of Shadwell has not been considered 
more seriously by some literary historians, and if 
Shadwell is named along with Congreve, Wycherley, 
Otway, Lee, Settle, Mrs. Behn and others who may 
be partly better poets, but with whom morality is 
always represented as a ridiculous fancy, it is owing 
to the general neglect into which Shadwell has fallen 
after « his fame was for ever stifled by Dryden's satire. 
Shadwell enjoyed a fair reputation in his day, and 
deserved it*. 1 ) Also Ward gives him credit for mo- 
rality in purpose. 

') The Retrospective Review :8!J. So far as quoted the author 
of the article may be right, bjt he is unjust when beginning id this 
way: tit is so rare for |*ople to form their own opioions or to exa- 
mine into the validity of prevailing notions.". The works of Shadwell 
being so rue, this ;>eriod of Knglish literature so disgusting, and this 
particular point of such moderate importance, he is cenainly not entitled 
to pronounce so general a condemnation oo the ground of a single article 
od a (abject he has been fottucate enough to U\\ upon we know no! how. 

Subject and Sources of the Play. 

Before touching the question of Shadwell's sources 
we give a short account of his play. The author 
having, as usual, made no division into a number of 
scenes, we divide the acts according to their natural 

Act I. (Sc. i). The first scene introduces us into 
the « milieus and shows Don John at home, expounding 
his « philosophy of pleasures', seconded and admired 
by Don Antonio and Don Lopez, his friends and his 
pupils in the art of enjoyment. His servant facomo 
ventures to make reproaches, numbering up their crimes 
and outrages, two of which are of particular interest: 
Don John has caused his father to be killed for his 
money, and has himself, in an attempt on the sister 
of Don Pedro, Governor of Seville, killed the latter. 
Night coming on, the three friends go out in search 
of new adventures. (Sc. 2.) Leonora, one of Don John's 
victimes, fearing to be forsaken by him, comes to en- 
quire after the reason of his long absence. Jacomo 
reveals to her bis master's character, his passions and 
his favourite « stratagem » used to satisfy them : to 
»-omise marriage and to forsake his victims after 

enjoyment. Leonora sees the desperate condition i 
is in, but cannot believe her seducer to be untrue. 
Jacomo in order to convince the unfortunate girl and 
to win her for himself, offers to hide her in an ad- 
jacent room, where next morning - , she may overhear 
Don John. He (Sc. 3) and his friends meanwhile have 
followed their wicked inclinations. They meet before 
the house of a girl called Maria, beloved by Octavio, 
an acquaintance of Don John's. Our hero resolves to 
win her; deceived by his serenade she takes him for 
Octavio, opens her window and drops a fetter inviting 
him to enter upon a certain signal by the backdoor. 
Don John hides himself near by and overhears Octavio 
who comes to serenade under Maria's window and 
gives a signal with his whistle. Don John realizing 
the value of this little instrument, rushes upon him, 
they fight, Octavio is killed, Don John with his rival's 
whistle, hat and cloak is taken for Octavio, admitted 
by the backdoor, and led into Maria's bedroom, (Sc. 4) 
where after some time, by the light brought in, Maria 
discovers the serious mistake. She rouses the house 
by her cries; her brother hastens to the rescue, but 
Don John easily kills him, beats the servants off, and 

Act II. (Sc. 1.) Next morning Don John tells Ja- 
como of his latest adventures; Leonora listening in 
the other room is shocked by his account and (Sea) 
comes forth : a scene of selfish excuses and mutual 
reproaches follows. (Sc. 3.) At last she is convinced 
of his wickedness by the entrance of « six women, all 
wives to Don Johns (as they are somewhat summarily 
designated in the enumeration of the dramatis per- 
ie). Everyone of them claims Don John for her 
husband; he manages to keep them aloof for some 

time, but at last he confesses that he is married to 
them all. In his cynicism he even goes so far as to 
dispose of his wives most liberally to his gay friends 
who arrive just in time; for his own use he sends a 
servant into the street with the order: « Force in the 
next woman you meet*. (Sc. 4.) Meanwhile Maria, 
full of grief for her brother's and her lover's deaths 
with her faithful maid Flora has followed him. Both 
are disguised as men, and with a band of bravos they 
hope to avenge the double murder. But in the en- 
suing fight her bravos fly, Flora is killed, and Maria 
disarmed by Don John. Our gallants, feeling Seville 
is growing too hot a place for them, provide for flight, 
and it is quite in vain that the ghost of Don John's 
father appears to convert his vicious son. 

Act III. (Sc. I.) A terrible thunderstorm surprises, 
them at sea, a flash of lightning sets the ship on fire; 
they profit by the general confusion on board and 
escape in the life-boat. (Sc. 2.) On the coast they 
first meet with an old hermit whom they shock by 
their impious discourse; then they are kindly received 
by Don Francisco, a hospitable country- gentleman 
whose two daughters are to be married next morning, 
as he informs his guests. (Sc. 3.) But also Maria and 
Leonora who had both followed their seducer on an- 
other ship, the former for revenge, the latter for love 
(as we learn from the explanatory bill), have escaped 
the storm, and Jacomo also is rescued before our eyes. 
Leonora becoming aware of Maria's bloody intentions 
resolves to warn her faithless lover of his pursuer. 
But Don John is already on another scent; being par- 
ticularly hot upon maidenheads he makes up his mind 
to win the two brides (Sc. 4) Clara and Flavla, who 

- solitary walk bewail their sorry fate in being- 

compelled to marry each an unknown and unbeloved 
man. After an interesting discussion about the different 
social positions of women in Spain and England they 
part, (Sc. 5) Clara lights on Don John, listens to his 
flattering words and agrees to a nightly meeting. 
Flavia whom he meets soon after is not so easily 
won, but as we hear later on she yields too. (Sc. 6.) 
Maria and Leonora, in search of Don Francisco's 
house are accosted by Don Antonio and Don Lopez 
who soon agree to rob the « young mans Maria and 
to ravish Leonora. Being saved by the intervention 
of some country-people she hastens to find Don John 
in order to warn him of Maria's revenge. But he, 
wishing to get rid of her loving importunity, poisons 
her, but she dies only after having given him warning 
in her last words. Even Don John is touched by so 
much love. 

ACT IV. (Sc. 1.) On the wedding-morning Maria, 
still in her disguise, comes to caution Don Francisco 
against his dangerous guests. He, to avoid any 
quarrel in his house, wishes to send them all away, 
but Clara and Flavia intervene, each of them claiming 
Don John for her husband. Another fight ensues, 
Maria and Don Francisco are killed, Don John and 
his friends, though victorious, find it better to fly. 
(Sc. 2.) They reach a country-house and in a delight- 
ful grove near by they observe some shepherds and 
nymphs who join in song, and dance, and rural happi- 
ness. Our gallants, unable to look idly at these in- 
nocent sports interrupt the feast each catching a woman 
and running away with her. (Sc. 3.) On their way 
home they pass by a church, they enter and find the 
statue of Don Pedro with an inscription calling for 
revenge. Don John forces his servant to invite the 

nntersnchnngea V, Aug. Sleiger, Shodwell's "Libertine". 2 

statue to supper; to their utter astonishment the stone- 
monument accepts the invitation, which has been re- 
peated by Don John personally, by a consenting nod 
of the head, (Sc. 4.) While they are enjoying their 
supper, Don Pedro's ghost appears, as has been pro- 
mised and is kindly invited to take part, but declines. 
His warnings, though accompanied by a chorus of 
devils, are of no effect at all, Don John in his cy- 
nicism going so far 'as to propose a toast to the 
healths of Don Pedro's mistress and sister. He cour- 
teously accepts the statue's invitation to a midnight- 
repast at his tomb. 

Act. V. (Sc. 1.) Don Lopez, having found an old 
sweetheart of his in a nunnery of the neighbourhood, 
our heroes hold counsel how to win some of the pious 
maids, and they fall upon the following « stratagem* 
(as Don John calls it). (Sc. 2.) They go to set the 
nunnery on fire and pretend to rescue some of its in- 
mates (amongst whom they find Clara and Flavia as 
probationers) in order to ravish them. But they are 
prevented by the guards and shepherds in pursuit of 
the sinners. Another fight follows, the guards, as 
usual, are defeated, their officer and two shepherds 
killed. (Sc. 3.) At midnight Don John, his friends and 
servant enter the church to return the ghost's visit. 
They are welcomed in splendid state by the ghosts 
of all of Don John's victims; but they are disgusted 
with the bad treatment they receive and request wine, 
they are offered blood; they ask for music, and a 
chorus of devils gives a vivid picture of the pains of 
hell. A last chance for repentance is afforded, they 
refuse. Don Antonio and Don Lopez are swallowed 
up by the ground, but even the fate of his friends 
will not terrify Don John in the least. In grand defiance 

i powers of heaven and hell he ad< 
Don Pedro's statue: 

• Here stand I firm, and all thy threats contemn. 
Tby murderer stands here, no-w do thy worst.> 

*It thunders and lightens. Devils descend and 
sink with Don John, who is covered with a cloud of 
fire as he sinks*. 1 ) Jacomo had left the uncomfortable 
place shortly before to — speak the epilogue. 

The literary merit of Shadwell's « Libertine » dimi- 
nishes considerably, if we enter upon the question of 
its sources, and our esteem sinks lower still on reading 
in his presumptuous preface: eThe character of the 
libertine, and consequently those of his friends, are 
borrowed, but all the plot, till the latter end of the 
fourth act, is new, and all the rest is very much varied 
from anything which has been done upon the subjects. 
He probably would have done better simply to copy . 
one of the «four French plays made upon the story* 8 ); 
at any rate he is not entitled to claim so much ori- 
ginality for his play; this we are going to prove. 

The model we should think the nearest for Shad- 
well's Don John is, of course, Moliere's Dom Juan, j 
It would not have been for the first time, nor for the 
last, that he imitated the prince of French comedians 
and his own famous contemporary, at the same time 
assuming the pride and self-satisfaction of an original 
writer or at least of an author by far superior to his 
models. He had done so in his * Sullen Lovers » 
(1668) and in the « Misers (1671), he did so later on 
in *Bury fair* (1689). In fact his * Libertine* is 
generally numbered amongst the imitations of and 
plagiarisms from Moliere. Mesnard 3 ) confesses : < On 

') Lib. p. 178. 

*) Preface to Lib. p. 87. 
') Mol. V, p. 64. 

d'abord envie d'y supposer une des imitations 1 
plus i n con tes tables du Dom Juan de Moliere*. Castil- 
Blaze ') mentions «The Libertine destroyed, Comedie 
imitee de Don Juan par Shadwel ». Ward takes the 
acquaintance with Moliere's « Fes tin » for granted i 
admits that Shadwell's work « appears to contain some 
details not in Moliere ». Farinelli 2 ) regrets not to 
have been able to read it himself 3 ), he refers to Ward 
and Mesnard from whose opinions he comes to the 
conclusion that Shadwell t seems to have followed, 
besides Moliere, also Rosimond*. On this occasion 
he administers a hard blow to Mahrenholtz who passed 
a condemnatory sentence on Shadwell's * wertlose 
Compilation* without having read it himself. Engel 
more sincerely confesses not to have had access to 
Shadwell's work and refers firstly to Jahn who de- 
clines any positive statement as to the a Spanish or 
Italian or French source > and for its literary value 
refers to Baker 4 ), and secondly to Mahrenholtz who 
himself refers to Mesnard, holding Shadwell's < Liber- 
tine » not worthy of comparison with Moliere's « Dom 
Juans. Humbert quotes Shadwell's preface to the 
« Miser » from Voltaire's « Sommaire » to Moliere's 
« Avare ». Ticknor 5 ) mentions Shadwell in connection 
with Tirso and for intermediate links refers to Par- 
faict. Gaspary*) quotes Shadwell's preface from 
Mesnard ') who comes not very short of what we take 

') Mo], mus. p. 244. 

') G. Star. P . 59. 

*) The article of the Retrospective Review alluded to by Farinelli 
contains nothing about the « Libertine ». 
*) Biogr. dram. V, p. 9 of this paper. 
') I.e. II. p. 310. 
•1 1. c, l>. s>. 

') Grands Ecrivains, Moliere V, p. 64. 

to be the truth: « Qu'on Vise sa tragedie du Libertin, 
on ne 1'accusera pas d'avoir trop fidelement traduit 

Dom Juan II a pris aux Espagnols, aux Ita- 

liens, a Dorimond, a Villiers, a Rosimond, qu'il nomme 
tous (?), autant, si non plus, qu'a Moliere». Drager') 
says the same: « Er hat aus alien etwas entnommens. 
In this statement he seems to rely on Mesnard, cer- 
tainly not on Shadwell himself, for he cannot have 
read the preface to the « Libertine » although he speaks 
of it with an air of absolute authority : « Weniger be- 
deutend (als Cokayne) ist Shadwell's « Libertine », 
1676 aufgefuhrt. Wichtig ist fur uns nur die Vorrede, 
in der er alle Don Juan-Stucke aufzahlt, die vier fran- 
zosischen, ein spanisches und cin italicnisehes ». For 
Shadwell himself, at last, informs us about kindred 
dramas in a somewhat general way in the beginning 
of his preface: 

« The story, from which I took the hint of this 
play, is famous all over Spain, Italy and France: It 
was first put into a Spanish play (as I have been 
told) the Spaniards having a tradition (which they 
believe) of such a vicious Spaniard as is represented 
in this play. From them the Italian comedians took 
; and from them the French took it; and four se- 
veral French plays were made upon the subjects (viz. 
Dorimond's, DeVillier's, Motiere's and Rosimond's). 
The usual indistinct and second-hand way of 
making statements, in regard to this question, due in 
most cases to the rareness of Shadwell's works in 
continental libraries, justifies a close investigation into 
the subject.*) 

') 1. c, p. iit s 

») By some mis 

Libertine destroyed ■- 

r other the tragedy is often quoted a 

Is it Moliere alone or in corn- 
Is it Moliere at all ? We say : 

Is it Moliere? 
pany with others? 

Now for the proofs! — In the first place external 
evidence speaks strongly against Moliere. His «Festin 
de Pierre s appeared on the stage of the Palais Royal 
on the 15 th of February 1665. It was played 15 times 
only, and met with such lively opposition from the 
nobility and clergy, that after the performance of the 
20 th of March of the same year it was not again 
played in France till 1847; Th. Corneille's versification, 
being less offensive, had taken its place. The first 
print of Moliere's « Dom Juan a appeared in 1682 at 
Amsterdam, six years after the English tragedy; for 
in the collection of his works edited at Amsterdam 
in 1675 the publishers had inserted Dorimond's « Festin 
de Pierre*, Moliere's authentic play being suppressed 
and forgotten. The only way to explain a direct in- 
fluence of Moliere upon Shadwell would be to take 
for granted that Shadwell happened to be at Paris 
just within those five weeks when Moliere's piece was 
played. In fact there is no reason to declare this an 
impossibility ; of Shadwell 's biography we know that 
after some studies at the Inner Temple he travelled 
on the continent ; and we easily may suppose him to 
have been in Paris at the age of 25 years. So it is 
possible that he saw Dora Juan acted at the Palais 
Royal, but it is not very probable. And he is far 
less likely to have seen it performed upon that pira- 
tical text of which there are some faint traces in a 
play which seems to have been performed in some 
southern province about 1669. ') 

But Shadwell might have got his plot from Mo- 

') Molifire V, p. 47. 

here in a second-hand-way, perhaps by the same au- 
thority that informed him of the history of Don Juan 
in Spanish, Italian and French literatures. But then 
we wonder why he has not followed his model more 
closely, why he resembles more the predecessors and, 
above all, a certain successor of Moliere's than Po- 
quelin himself. — There are few or no plots and epi- 
sodes common to Shadwell and Moliere, which in- 
ternal evidence could not identify in some other Don 
Juan-dramas previous to Shadwell. On the other hand, 
there are certain remarkable and most impressive 
scenes in Moliere, but only in Moliere (f. i. M. Di- 
manche, Don Juan's hypocrisy). And then there are 
features occurring - in Shadwell' s which we find not in 
Moliere's but in other Don Juan dramas. So we come 
to the conclusion that Shadwell must have drawn from 
a source in which the springs of earlier French and 
perhaps even Italian plays, were united; and this 
source was afforded to him in Rosimond. 

Claude La Rose, sieur de Rosimond, was one of 
the best actors of the troupe of the « Theatre du 
Marais t and Moliere's successor in this capacity at 
the Palais-Royal, As a curious item of congeniality 
we note that De Tralage (quoted by the brothers 
Parfaict) says of him 1 ): * A force de boire il etait de- 
venu excessivement gros », and that he is reputed to 
have died (on the 1" of November 1686) in a « ca- 
baret » ; this reminds us of Shadwell's death which 
was said to have been caused by an over-dose of 
opium. In Rosimond the mentioned parallelism of 
sacred and profane Don Juan-poems is so far kept 
up as he wrote a religious work « Les vies des saints 
pour tous les jours de l'annee », under the nom de 

*) Fotiroel I. c. pp. 315, 316. 

2 4 — 

plume of Jean-Baptiste du Mesnil s, Of the seven pieces 
attributed to him (besides five dubious ones) the second 
is « Le nouveau festin de Pierre ou l'athee foudroye, 
Tragi-comedie en cinq actes*. It was performed in 
November 1669 on the Theatre du Marais and printed 
in 1670 in three 12 editions (by P. Bienfait, G. Guig-- 
nard and F. Clouzier in Paris). His * avis au lecteur » 
is remarkable for modesty and sincerity, and thereby it 
forms a strange contrast to Shadwell's preface although 
containing nearly the same piece of information about 
Don Juan : 

*Lecteur, ce n'est pas d'aujourd'hui qu'on t'a pre- 
sente ce sujet. Les comediens italiens l'ont apporte 
en France, et il a fait tant de bruit chez eux que 
toutes les troupes en ont voulu regaler le public. M. 
de Villiers l'a traite pour l'Hotel de Bourgogne, et 
M. de Moliere l'a fait voir depuis peu avec des beautes 
toutes parti cull e res. Apres une touche si considerable, 
tu t'etonneras que je me sois expose a. y mettre la 
main, mais apprends que je me connais trop pour 
m'etre flatte d'en faire quelque chose d'cxcellent, et 
que la troupe dont j'ai l'honneur d'etre, etant !a seule 
qui ne l'a point representee a Paris, j'ai cru qu'y joig- 
nant ces superbes ornements de theatre qu'on voit 
d'ordinaire chez nous, etle pourrait profiter du bonheur 

qu'un sujet si fameux a toujours eu Fais-moi la 

grace de ne pas confondre ce Festin de Pierre avec 
un que tu as pu voir sous le nom de M. Dorimond; 
nos deux noms ont assez de rapport pour t'empecher 
de lire celui-ci, croyant que c'est le meme; et quoique 
le sien soit infiniment meilleur, ne me refuse pas un 
quart d'heure de ton temps. Adieu. » 

Already this preface explains to us how Shadwell 
led his knowledge of some former plays made 




upon the story. And the Frenchman's excuse for the 
irregularities of his piece (« Tu tetonneras des fautes 
qui sont en cet ouvrage ; mais excuse une premiere 
piece et sache qu'il est impossible de mettre celle-ci 
dans les regies ») shows a most suspicious resemblance 
to Shadwell's words in the preface (like Rosimond's 
just after some remarks upon French Don Juan-dramas) : 
*I hope the readers will excuse the irregularities of 
the play when they consider that the extravagance 
of the subject forced me to its. 

In the play itself it was first of all the fact that 
our English Don John has two fellow-libertines (Don 
Antonio and Don Lopez) which struck critical minds. 
It is true, already five years before, in the « Miser * 
(certainly, and even avowedly copied from Moliere's 
* Avare ») Shadwell had furnished his young hero 
with two friends (Rant and Hazard, « bullies and 
sharpers of the towns), Moliere's piece « having too 
few persons and too little action for an English theatre* 
(preface to the « Miser »}. So we might explain (and 
excuse!) the existence of the two gentlemen in the 
"Libertine* by the author's need of more persons 
and action, he being unable to impersonate a character 
such as Don Juan in a single man, without giving a 
broad view of his milieu. But our suspicions arise 
on hearing that also Rostmond has the two friends, 
and they are confirmed by the fact that one of them 
bears the name of Don Lope. — Another piece of 
evidence already afforded by the ^dramatis personae* 
is the name of Leonora for one of Don Juan's victims, 
occurring both in Rosimond and in Shadwell, but 
only in these two authors. — Perhaps even the name 
of the murdered governor of Seville yields a reason 
in favour of our theory: In the course of literary tra- 

- ; 


dition its original type Gonzalo de Ulloa had lost his 
name. Speaking of the title * Festin de Pierre s Gas- 
pary ') says: « Es miisste ein neues Missverstandnis 
in den ersten franzosischen Stucken dem Comthur 
gerade diesen Namen (Pierre) verschafft haben ». But 
according to Fournel *) this name occurs only in Rosi- 
mond (Moliere simply calls him «le Commandeurt) 
who tried to correct the erroneous translation: con- 
vitato = festin, by taking the appellativum = pierre» for 
the noun proper * Pierre s, and from him Shadwell 
would have taken the name of Don Pedro. 

A short account of Rosimond's play will show the 
principal features it has in common with the bulk of 
Don Juan- dramas, and the special congruides with the 
« Libertine ». 

ACT I. (Sc. 1 .) Leonora comes to enquire after her 
lover Don Juan, but in his absence his servant Carrille 
reveals to her his master's character as that of a pro- 
fessional seducer and declared atheisT She will not 
believe it, (Sc. 2) but is soon convinced when, hiding- 
herself in an adjacent room, she overhears Don Juan 
talking to Carrille of his various crimes ^the murder 
of his own father, of Don Pierre, and, the latest, of 
Don Bernard who ran to the rescue of his beloved 
Oriane when Don Juan had ravished her). He justifies 
his course of life by his natural inclinations. (Sc. 3.) 
Leonora can hold no longer, she rushes forth, reminds 
him of his oaths of love and, being rebuked in a most 
cynical way, bids heaven to avenge her. (Sc. 4.) 
Carrille ventures to reproach his master and his (Don 
Juan's) friends Don Felix and Don Lope who have just 

'IU P- 57. 
') 1- e. p. 355- 

— 27 — 

come to keep him company. While Carrille is getting 
everything ready for his master's flight from Seville, 
the three worthies speak of their different methods in 
the pursuit of love; they force the servant to join 
them in their escape in spite of his various excuses. 

ACT II. (Sc. i.) On their flight our heroes have 
been surprised by a storm and shipwrecked. We see 
Carrille saved and informed by Paquette, an inn- 
keeper's daughter, that already three gentlemen who 
had escaped the sea-storm, are staying at her father's 
house. (Sc. 2.) Father Ormin warns his two daughters 
Paquette and Thomasse against his new guests and 
tells his guests that each of his daughters is to marry 
a young man that he has destined for her, in spite 
of the girls' remonstrances. (Sc. 3.) Don Juan who has 
already taken a fancy to Paquette, meets Thomasse, 
wins her by his flatteries, his promise of marriage, and 
oaths of love. 1 ) (Sc. 4.) Paquette joining the group the 
two girls turn jealous of each other, Don Juan keeps 
them aloof assuring each that she is his beloved one 
and cleverly evading any open declaration. (Sc. 5.) 
While he leaves them for a moment Carrille warns 
the girls against his master, but in vain. (Sc. 6.) 
Meanwhile Don Felix has found an old sweetheart of 
his captive in a temple and asks Don Juan for his 
counsel and assistance in winning her. (Sc. 7.) Ac- 
cording to his advice the temple is set on fire and 
(Sc. 8) Don Felix rescues his dear Dorinde. (Sc. 9.) 
Carrille who has tried to profit by the general con- 
fusion in order to fly, meets his master again and is 
forced to follow him. 

'} Fourael's note (p. 338): » dans Tirso de Molina Don Juan stduit 
,i la fille du pechear qui I'a arrache k la mort .... 

Act III. (Sc. i .) Don Juan and his man, the latter 
ridiculed for his pretended valour (Sc. 2) are interrupted 
by Paquette and Thomasse each claiming' Don Juan 
as her husband. He quiets them by promising* a sum 
of money which offer they accept in spite of Carrille's 
ironical remarks (Sc. 3) for which Don Juan offers to 
punish him. (Sc. 4.) Unfavourable news of the liber- 
tine going abroad, his friends find it advisable to shift 
again and to accept the proposal of Don Gaspard, a 
pious relation of Don Juan's, who offers them shelter 
and tries to convince our atheist of the existence of 
gods, (Sc. 5) but Don Juan declines every spiritual or 
practical assistance and (Sc. 6) repels « Prevost and 
Archers* who come in search of him. (Sc. 7.) While 
Don Juan reproaches his valet for his cowardice they 
pass a tomb from the inscription of which they gain 
the pleasant intelligence that on the same spot the 
murdered body of Don Pierre is waiting to be avenged. 
The statue is invited to supper, first on Don Juan's 
order by Carrille, then by the gentleman himself, and 
it nods acceptance. 

Act IV. (Sc. 1.) While Carrille is preparing 
supper, Don Juan tells his friends the strange tale of 
the statue's answer (Sc. 2) and talks with them again 
on love-pursuits in general. (Sc. 3.) During supper 
the servant amuses his superiors by his greediness. 
But to his utter amazement and fright Don Pierre's 
ghost appears and, (Sc. 4) though kindly invited to 
I take part in the repast, declines the offer and calls 
the three sinners to repentance. But their natural 
philosophy is proof against his warnings. Don Felix 
and Don Lope being threatened even draw their 
swords, but are suddenly swallowed up by the ground. 
Yet even the fate of his friends cannot shake the 

courage of Don Juan and he accepts the ghost's in- 
vitation to a supper at his tomb, in spite of Carrille 
who in his fear and with his many excuses from 
taking further part in the repast, forms a comical 
contrast to his master. 

Act V. (Sc. i.) Don Juan has interrupted a rural 
wedding-feast by running away with the bride Ama- 
rille. Her father Thomas and her cowardly bride- 
groom Rollin (Sc. 2) catch Carrille instead of his 
master, (Sc. 3) but he is freed by Don Juan's inter- 
vention. (Sc. 4.) Our hero meets Amarille who, finding 
herself seduced and forsaken, reproaches him, but is 
simply laughed at. (Sc. 5.) After a long discourse 
between master and servant on the former's way of 
living, on honour and reputation, and on the plan of 
stealing, the stout atheist go es fn the ghostly supper 
and, (Sc. 6) in spite of the voices of his friends and 
(Sc. 7) the ghost's long warnings and invitations to 
repent, he defies every moral insinuation and is de- 
stroyed amid thunder and lightning. Carrille is sorry \ 
for the loss of his wages and pronounces the moral. 

The account shows that Rosimond gives the plots 
and even certain episodical scenes common to nearly 
all Don Juan-dramas : 

Moliere (following Dorimond and de Villiers) re- 
presents only one lady forsaken by Don Juan: Elvire 
(Amarille); his earliest predecessors and his successors 
generally have two such unfortunate creatures: 
TlRSO: Isabella and Anna, 
sCONVITATO* 1 ): Isabella and Anna, 
ROSIMOND : Leonora and Oriane (only mentioned), 

') The play generally attributed la Cicogomi, by Driiger to Giliberti. 

Shadwell: Leonora and Maria, 

daPonte: Elvire and Anna. 
These adventures are followed by or intermixed 
with more or less successful attempts on one or two 
country-girls whose acquaintance he partly makes by 
an accident on sea and whose particular charm in 
most cases is their being about to be married, so in 

TiRSO: Tisbea and Aminta, 

« CONVITATO > : Rosalba and Brunetta, 

DORIMOND: Amaranthe and « la mariees, 

de Villiers: Belinde and Oriane, 

Molierel Mathurine and Charlotte, 

ROS1MOND: Thoma&se and Paquette, 

Shadwell: Clara and Flavia, 

da PONTE : Zerlina. 
As in literature nearly every hero has a servant, 
partly to contrast with, partly to reflect his master's 
character, so our Don Juan has a valet, a precursor 
of Figaro, typical not only for his superior, but also 
for the author of the particular Don Juan -pi ay, for his 
country and time: 

TiRSO: Catalinon, 

■ CONVITATO » : Passarino, 

COMMEDIA DELl'ARTE : Arlechino, 

DORIMOND: Briguelle, 

de Villiers : Philippin, 

Moliere: Sganarelle, 

RosiMOND: Carrilte, 

Shadwell: Jacomo, 

DAPONTE: Leporello. 
After all, Don Juan happens to pass the tomb of 
a high official whom he had killed in an attempt on 
his daughter, that is: in- 

— 31 — 

TlRSO: Don Gonzalo de Ulloa, comendador, de 

Se villa, 
« CONVITATOs : Comendatore d'Oliola de Seviglia, 
DORJMOND: Le commandeur, 
deVilliers: * » 

MOLIERE : ■ • 

RosIMOND : Don Pierre, commandeur de Seville, 
Shadwell: Don Pedro, governor of Seville, 
da PoNXE : Gouverneur (einer spanischen Stadt). 
Don Juan invites the statue of the murdered enemy 
to supper, the ghost accepts the invitation and invites 
Don Juan in return; he accepts and is destroyed on 
the occasion ; these three scenes naturally form the 
end of nearly all Don Juan-dramas (da Ponte has drawn 
together supper and destruction into one scene, and 
Goldoni has left away the miraculous part altogether). 
But the account given above contains features 
enough to show, besides the persons of the two friends 
and the names of some characters, the congruity of 
Rosimond's and Shad well's plays in points in which 
they differ from any other Don Juan-piece : Leonora 
is convinced of her lover's inconstancy by the cheap 
dramatic expedient of overhearing his conversation 
with the servant, herself hidden in an adjacent room. 
The valet is forced to fly with his master in spite of 
the same comical excuses. The sacrilegeous assault 
on the temple in favour of Don Felix' love to Dorinde 
corresponds exactly with Shad well's episode of the 
nunnery. And in the confusion arising out of this 
enterprise the valet unsuccessfully tries to escape from 
his patron. Once he is even caught and is about to 
suffer for his master's misdeeds, but is set free by 
him. In the meeting of Don Juan and Leonora the 
former advises his late sweetheart to use the same 


variety in love as he, with a cynicism with which \ 
should easily credit Shadwell, but which we find evi 
in Rosimond. Carrille-Jacomo escapes the rage 
the ocean on a piece of mast for which he feels hir 
self deeply indebted. He is in constant fear of being 
hanged; he amuses by his pretension to valour and 
the proofs he gives of cowardice. The poor sistei 
Thom ass e— Clara and Paquette — Flavia are forcei 
to marry unbeloved men. A negative proof is f. i 
the fact that in most former Don Juan plays, Moliere's 
included, the hero changes clothes with the valet, an 
clement entirely wanting in Rosimond and Shadwell. 
On going more deeply into the conception of the 
characters we find Shadwell's libertine a true brother 
to Rosimond's in his atheism, while the Don Juans 
before Moliere's in reality were no atheists, but only 
very thoughtless and superficial Christians. Tirso's 
Burlador, as the true Spaniard of his time, seeing 
matters going wrong, even calls for a confessor and 
dies a repenting sinner. Moliere was the first to make 
Don Juan a real atheist, and Rosimond copied him in 
this sense, but the difference between their plays is, 
that Rosimond's hero is much more of a philosopher 
than Moliere's, though we cannot see in the latter's 
only a « pauvre logicien » as Foumel ') calls him. 
Removing the whole play into heathen times La Rose 
profited by his master's disagreeable experience and 
so avoided the opposition which the author of eTar- 
tuffe » and « Dom Juan » had met with. Shadwell had 
no need of this anachronistic disguise, so he showed 
Don John a downright villainous unbeliever amongst 
godly Christians, but laid the same stress on philoso- 
phical foundation as Rosimond. It was not a very 

'j I, c p. 310. 




happy idea of the latter to make Don Juan a thief; 
Shadwell, of course, followed him also in this point 
of doubtful heroism. 

There is, at last, a resemblance in the technical 
side of the two plays in question, both excelling by 
the «superbes ornements de theatre" which were the 
boast of the Theatre du Marais and of the English 
stage and formed a remarkable contrast to Moliere's 
simplicity in scenery and other externals. 

These substantial congruities are seconded by a 
series of even textual ones. It is true, there are not 
only certain scenes, especially of the statue-part (where 
even Shadwell resigns his mask of originality), but 
also certain words running through the long file of 
Don Juan-dramas. F. i. the inscription on the statue 
runs thus 

in Tibso (III. 8): Aqui aguarda del Sefior 
El mas leal caballero 
La venganza. de un traidor; 

in the « Convitato » (III) : 

Di chi a tor to mi trasse a morte ria 
Dal ciel qui attendo la vendetta mia; 

in Rosimond (Moliere does not mention the epitaphe) 
(III. 7): Dam Pierre par la main d'un traitre 
Dans Seville a recu la mart .... 
.... Dora Juan a commis ce forfait odieux. . . . 
in Shadwell (IV. 3, p. 161): Here lies Don Pedro, 
Governor of Sevil, barbarously murdered by 
that impious villain Don John, 'gainst whom 
his innocent blood cries still for vengeance. 

in da Ponte (II. 3): Die Rache erwartet hier meinen 

OnterinthongBn V, Aug. Stetger, Sbadwell'ii "Libertine". 3 



Even in less important and less impressive scenes 
we may trace some words literally transmitted from 
play to play, from one language into the other, f. i. 
Don Juan after his shipwreck swears in a momentary 
flirtation : 
Tibso (I. 13): Juro, ojos bellos 

Que mirando me matais 
De ser vuestro esposo. 
Tisbea; Advierte, mi bien, que hay Dios, y que 
hay muerte. 
« Convitato » (1): Se io no gli do la mano di sposo, 
poss'io esser ammazzato da un uomo, ma che 
sia di pietra. 
RosmoNi* (II. 3): Ma belle, je jure .... 

Carrille: Mon maitre, ne jurez pas de peur 

d'etre parjure. 

Shadwell (III. 5, p. 142): If all the oaths under the 

sun can convince you, Madam, I swear .... 

Jacomo: O Sir, Sir, have a care of swearing; for 

fear you should, once in your life, be forsworn. 

Another specimen : the valet after the shipwreck : 
TlRSO (I. 9): jValgame la Cananea 

Y que salado esta. el marl . . . 
^Donde Dios junto tanta agua, 
No juntara tanta vino? 
Co MiiEDiA deli.' arte (II., in translation): 

Du vin, du vin, du vin, assez d'eau comme 
Rosimond (II. 1): 

Je suis resolu, pour me remettre enfin 
Ayant bu de l'eau, de boire bien du vin. 

— 35 — 

Shadwell (III, 4, p. 136): Where may a man light on 
a glass of wine? I would gladly have an 
antidote to my poison. 

But we find in Shadwell passages whose original 
source is in Moliere only, but as they all occur also 
in Rosimond, there is no need to assume any direct 
connection between Poquelin and the English writer. 
And in most cases the resemblance between Rosimond 
and Shadwell is stronger than that between Rosimond 
and Moliere or between Moliere and Shadwell. At 
last there are literal congruities which we find exclu- 
sively in Claude and Thomas. In the quotations given 
below the examples drawn from Moliere, if there are 
such at all, have been detached from their context, 
while those from Rosimond and Shadwell occur in 
the same order of thought 

The following is from the scene between Don Juan's 
valet and one of the forsaken ladies (or, at least with 
her servant, so in Moliere): 

(Molbshe (I. 1), Gusman: Les saints noeuds du mariage 
le tiennent engage.) 

Rosimond (I. 1), Leonora: L'ingrat me promettait qu'il 
serait mon epoux. 

Shadwell (I. 2, p. 99), Leonora: He promised he would 
marry me. 

(Molieeb, Sganarelle; . . . C'est un epouseur a toutes 

Rosmora, Carrillon: Mon maitre epouserait, je crois, 

toute la terxe. 
Shadwell, Jacomo: If we were to live here one 

month longer, he would 

marry half the town. 

— 36 - 

(Moliebe, Sganarelle: Suffit qu'il faut que le courroux 

du ciel 1'accable quelque jour.) 

Rosimond, Leonora: Mais quoi, ne craint-il pas les 

eclats du tonnerre? 

Shadwell, Leonora : Does he not fear a thunderbolt 

from heaven? 

Rosimond, Carrillon: Madame, il n'admet point de 

dieux que son caprice. 

Shadwell, Jacotno: He owns no deity but his 

voluptuous appetite. 

In the meeting between Don Juan and the lady 

instantly in question (Elvire — Leonora), a scene common 

to Moliere, Rosimond, and Shadwell, we may compare: 

(Moliere (I. 3), Elmre : Le meme ciel dont tu te joues 

me saura venger de ta per- 


Rosimond (I. 3), Leonora: Va, suis l'emportement de 

ton ame infidele. Les dieux 

embrasseront cette juste 


Shadwell (II. 2), Leonora: Heaven, sure, will punish 

this vile treachery. 

(Moliebe, Donjuan: Sganarelle! Le Ciel! — 

Sganarelle: Vraiment oui, nous nous 

moquons bien de eel a.) 

Rosimond, Donjuan: Ne les reglez point [les dieux] 

suivant votre interet. Laissez- 

les, s'il en est, agir comme il 

leur plait. 

Shadwell, Don John : Do you then leave it to heaven 

and trouble yourself no 

further about it. 

— 37 — 

The following 1 is a specimen of literal transmission 
of philosophical passages: 

Rosimojtd (HI. 4) : 

Songez que la nature est tout ce qui nous mene; 

Que malgre la raison son pouvoir nous entrame; 
...Que Ton ne doit souffrir rien que ses sens pour guides, 

Qu'il les faut assouvir jusqu' aux moindres desirs 

Et n'avoir point d'egards qu'a ses propres plaisirs. 
Shadwell (I. 1, p. 94): 

Nature gave us our senses which we please; 

Nor does our reason war against the sense. 

By nature's order sense should guide our reason. 

In spite of thee [conscience] we '11 surfeit in delights 

And never think ought can be ill that's pleasant. 

How closely Shadwell sometimes followed his 
model in a most insignificant allusion we see in the 
following comparison. Don Juan has revealed his 
stratagem against the temple or the nunnery: 
Rosmoiro (II. 6), Don Juan: 

Dans Ephese un grand cceur fit la meme action, 
Et j'avais de tout temps pareille ambition; 
II s'immortalisa par ce trait de courage .... 
Shadwell (V. 1, p. 168): 

Jacomo: What became of that brave fellow who 
fired the temple at Ephesus? .... 
Don Antonio; We are his rivals, fool; and who would 
not suffer for so brave an action? 

A comparison of the passages portraying the supper- 
scene shows the substantial congruity of all Don Juan- 
plays and, at the same time, the textual accordance 
of Rosimond and Shadwell. 

- 3 8 - 

Tibso (III- 11), Don Juan: Cena habra para los dos. ... 

Yapuestalamesaesta. Sientate. 
The statue takes practically part in the supper. 

* Convitato » (III), Statua : Non ha bisogno di cibi 
terreni chi e fuori di vita mortale. 

Mollkke (IV. 12), Don Juan: Une chaise etun couvert 
Vite done ! (Don Juan et la 
statue se mettent a table) , 
Statue: C'est assez. 
Rosimond (IV. 4), 

Don Juan: Tu viens a temps pour faire bonne chere, 
Et si tu veux manger tu peux te satisfaire. 
Goute de ce morceau. Quoi! tu ne 

manges pas? 
L' Ombre: Je viens point ici pour faire un repas. 

LesDienxJustescenseursdechaque creature 

M'ont permis d'animer cette roide figure, 
- Et je viens par leur ordre, apprendre 

ici de toi 
Si tu veux persister dans ton manque de foi. 

Shadwell (IV. 4, p. 164), 

Don John: Here's excellent meat; taste of this ragoust. 
[The ragoust is mentioned in Rosimond 
p. 361 when Carrille prepares supper.] If 
you had had a body of flesh, I would 
have given you « cher entire » — but 
women care not for marble. ...Come, eat. 
Ghost: I come not here to take repast with you; 
Heaven has permitted me to animate 
This marble body and I come to warn 
You of that vengeance is in store for you, 
If you amend not your pernicious lives. 

— 39 — 

DA PONTE (II. l), 

Don Juan: Leporello! Frisch, Gedecke ! Die Minute! 
Gouverneur: Bleib, ich befehl's. 

Wen erlabend die Himmlischen nahren, 
Kann der irdischen Nahrung entbehren. 

One example may be given where, against our 
stated rule, Rosimond and Moliere correspond exactly 
in the dramatic situation, but where Shadwell uses 
the same really comical « clou a, only under somewhat 
different circumstances. In his mass-meeting of victims 
our English libertine employs the same evasive answer 
to their claims as Moliere's Don Juan had used to 
Mathurine and Charlotte, and Rosimond's to Paquette 
and Thorn asse. 
Moliere (II. 5) : 

Vous soutenez egalement toutes deux que je vous 
ai promis de vous prendre pour femmes. Est-ce que 
chacune de vous ne sait pas ce qui en est, sans 
qu'il soit necessaire que je m'explique davantage? 
.... On verra, quand je me marierai, laquelle des 
deux a mon cceur [ — and he assures either that 
she is the happy one]. 
Rosimomd (II. 4): 

Pour mettre d'accord chacune a votre attente, 
Je veux epouser celle a qui je l'ai promis. 
Shadwell (II. 3, p. 116): 

Well, ladies, know then, I am married to one in 
this company, and to-morrow morning if you will 
repair to this place, I will declare my marriage 
which now, for some secret reasons, I am obliged 
to conceal. — (Aside:) Now will each strumpet think 
'tis her I mean. 

— 4° — 

So far it appears to be sure that Shad-well followed 
Rosimond and that he knew Moliere only as far as he 
is contained in Rosimond. But we go farther and 
say that he had no other literary source at alt than 
Rosimond. For the bulk of resemblances between 
| Shadwell's play and the Don Juan -tradition Rosimond 
suffices for explanation, and there are only a few 
minor episodes and dramatic expedients in Shadwell 
on one hand and in Spanish, Italian or French plays 
on the other, which are not in Rosimond. This fact, 
it is true, might make us believe that the English 
dramatist used other sources besides Rosimond. There 
is, first of all, the figure of the hermit corresponding 
in some measure with Moliere's famous a scene du 
pauvre » and with the pious pilgrim in former plays. 
There is, besides, the lady's letter which by mistake 
falls into Don Juan's hands and enables him to take 
her lover's place in Maria's (Anna's in Tirso) bedroom. 
Shadwell's Don John disarms the avenging angel 
Maria in her disguise, Dorimond's Don Juan, himself 
disguised, disarms Don Philippe who follows him to 
avenge Amarille. In the Spanish drama as well as 
in the English tragedy the hero returns the kind re- 
ception which he met with after his accident on sea 
by fleeing with his servant on his host's own horses, 
besides breaking the peace of his family by seductive 
attempts on the daughters of the house. Generally, 
as in Dorimond and Mozart, the servant is on the 
look-out while his master is engaged in a particular 
adventure; Shadwell employs him in this capacity in 
the attack on the nunnery leaving him behind as 
i Centinel » (the misprints or miswritings of foreign 
words are remarkably numerous). Jacomo frighter 
away the shepherds, as Briguelle had done with the 

t archers etprevost*. The Commedia dell'arte already I 
had suppressed the figure of Don Juan's father, but j 
He had appeared in Tirso warning his son of heaven's I 
punishment, and Moliere laid on Don Louis' lips the 
words which shocked the nobility of Versailles: a La 
naissance n'est rien ou'la vertu n'estpas». With 
Rosimond this character is partly retained in Don 
Gaspard. Shadwell's Don John has already killed his ,' 
father, who therefore has to appear as a ghost An- | 
other, very striking feature is, that in Rosimond, the ' 
fates of Leonora and Oriane being once settled, these 
girls appear no more, while in most other plays, f. i. 
in Tirso, Moliere, Shadwell, Mozart, one or both follow 
him either for revenge or from love, — Mesnard claims 
the famous * scene du pauvre * as Moliere's genuine 
invention. Certainly no poet either before or after 
Poquelin has made so much out of this incident, in- 
significant as it is by itself, as the great French 
comedian — and nobody knew it better than he him- 
self, the scene being the very point of attack for the 
clergy — but the meeting 1 with a pious pilgrim had 
become a traditional episode of the play ; Shadwell, 
as usual, made it a disgusting show of brutish sen- 
suality (scene with the hermit, p. 131). 

Now, is it probable that Shadwell struck on all 
these incidents which he couEd not find in Rosimond, 
quite independently of other Don Juan-dramas which 
contain them? In some cases this may be possible 
and Rosimond's words in L 2 (Don Juan tells Carrille 
how he managed to enjoy Oriane): «J'avais su m'in- 
troduire en son appartement » might without great 
difficulty suggest such means as a misplaced letter 
and the lover's disguise. But the whole scene re- 
sembles so strongly a corresponding one in Tirso that 


— 4 2 — 

chiefly this episode may have led to the belief that 
Shadwell copied from other sources besides Rosimond. 
Perhaps this and the rest of the noted problems may 
be solved, if we attribute Shadwell 's information of 
these incidents to the same « worthy gentleman » alluded 
to in the preface, who many years before, had seen 
the play acted in Italy and perhaps even in Paris 
where also a Spanish troupe (de Prado) used to play 
from 1659 — 1672. 1 ) 

In considering some arguments which speak strongly 
against a closer study by our English poet of the 
sources of his play, it is by means of that « worthy 
gentleman * from Italy that we are induced to explain 
Shadwell 's congruities with other sources than Rosi- 
mond. In the preface he boasts that this tragedy was 
written in 23 days (« the playhouse having great oc- 
casion for a play »). This certainly does not speak 
in favour of a sound study of the subject It is true, 
he might have studied it before, but we cannot expect 
him to have taken the trouble to read, besides Rosi- 
mond, also Tirso, Gilibsrti, Dorimond, de Villiers and 
Moliere. This would seem very strange indeed in a 
man who explains the numerous English imitations of 
French plays in the following way 2 ) : « 'Tis not barren- 
ness of wit or invention that makes us borrow from 
the French, but laziness ». 

Yet, after all, the * Libertine » is far from being 
a mere translation of the * Nouveau festin de Pierre », 
There are differences between the two works, differences 
in form and in substance; but most of them are typical 

') Cokayne's iOvid> is not within our reach, but the hero being an 
entirely different person and Shadwell referring to foreign plays exclusi- 
vely, we may leave it out of the question. 

*) Preface to the «Miser>. 

— 43 — 

i poets and of their countries. What English 
playwrights missed in their French models was taction* 
and we may sum up the differences to the following 
result: Shadwell has suppressed the reflective part and 
increased the action of Rosimond's play. The best 
example of the latter process is Don Juan's adventure 
with Oriane-Maria which in Rosimond's version the 
hero only relates to Carrille while in Shadwell it fills 
two very lively scenes and causes the removal of the 
interview of Don Juan and Leonora with its prelude 
into the second act. Even then the story is not yet 
finished, but, as in former plays, it is extended together 
with the Leonora-plot as far as the third and fourth 
act, where Maria exercises a decisive influence over 
Don Juan's proceedings by marring his plans against 
Clara and Flavia. The parallel course of these two 
actions, especially that interesting contrast of motives, 
must be of Shadwell's own invention ; it is rather 
cleverly drawn out and forms one of the few original 
elements of the tragedy. 

On this occassion we observe another difference : 
While in Rosimond's play the various plots form a 
loosely bound chain of events, the action in Shadwell's 
is more intricate and therefore more interesting. The 
officer and guards who pursue Don John in V. 2 cor- 
respond with the traditional * prevost and archers*, 
but we know that they come upon the call of the 
shepherds to avenge the seduced shepherdesses, while 
in Rosimond we do not see well what they come for. 
Paquette and Thomasse are for ever silenced by the 
promise of a sum of money, while Clara and Flavia 
turn up again in the last scene but one, a surprise 
for the spectator, and a pleasant one for Don John. 
And the imposing assembly of the ghosts of his victims 

at the end of the drama, where all the strings of the 
various actions run together, is from a merely dramatic 
standpoint, a very clever « coup de theatres, even if 
not quite original — may we think of Shakespeare's 
Richard III.? 

The number of horrors in the ante-cedents is con- 
siderably augmented. While in Moliere we hear of 
Don Juan's unfortunate adventure on sea and his es- 
cape from the lips of Pierrot, Rosimond represents 
at least the rescue of Carrille, but Shadwell goes 
farther still and shows us first the whole company on 
shipboard in a terrible storm (a scene whose merit 
of originality perhaps diminishes if we think of Shakes- 
peare's « Tempests I. i), then the recovery of Don Juan 
and his friends, later on of Jacomo, and in the mean- 
time we hear how the hermit helped to save Leonora 
and Maria. 

Rosimond's plot of Amarille, the seduced rural 
bride, was only modified or so-to-say generalized into 
the adventure with the shepherds and nymphs, with 
which it has many features in common. 

On the other hand Shadwell entirely dropped the 
figure of Don Gaspard who in fact has nothing to do 
with the action (Shadwell only took up his offer of 
shelter and incorporated it in the tenant's servant, 
p. 1 69) and serves merely as a contrast to Don Juan's 
atheism. Perhaps the English dramatist imitated him 
partly in his hermit, but if he left this altogether in- 
distinct person with his rather tiring moral sermons 
quite out of the way, he did well. At any rate the 
ghost of Don John's father served his purpose better. 
Perhaps it was for the same reason, i. e. to avoid long 
reflections and philosophical discources that Shadwell 
renounced Rosimond's idea of characterizing Don Juan's 

— 45 — 

friends separately. For the supper-party scene which 
fills Rosimond's fourth act, Shadwell left away that 
long introductory conversation about different courses 
and methods in love-pursuits. Rosimond wearies the 
spectator and reader by his philosophy, while Shad- 
well manages to mark out Don John as a philosophical 
hero more by occasional hints, at least he does so to- 
wards the end of his tragedy. 

So far we might compliment Shadwell for his 
variations from his model. In technique his work 
appears to be superior to Rosimond's. There are 
some other, more arbitrary or occasional differences 
in the construction of the two literary buildings: 

The opening-scene is Shad well's own (handy-) work, 
but we cannot admire him for it, a true poet would 
have developed his characters without such a formal 
introduction and such obtrusive characterisation. In 
the « Misers the first scene (one of those few which 
Crull may call a originals ones) has the same purpose, 
viz. to acquaint us with the hero Theodore and his 
couple of friends, a creation of Shadwell's own, while 
Moliere enters in medias res. — Don Juan's interview 
with Leonora is interrupted by the entrance of six 
women, but this is only an intermezzo and the action 
continues afterwards as in Rosimond by the entrance 
of the two worthy friends. — The inn-keeper Ormin 
has become a country-gentleman Don Francisco. Putting 
the enforced betrothal of his daughters into the past 
the author wins time for his — as he will think — 
interesting ethnological excursion to Spain. — The 
adventure with the nunnery is removed into the last 
act. — In the statue-part the greatest but unimportant 
difference is that in Rosimond's play Don Felix and Don 
Lope are not present when Don Juan invites the mo- 

46 - 

nument, so he must explain the matter to them and 
loses the time of nearly a whole scene over it. With 
Shadwell they survive the first supper and are destroyed 
a few moments before Don John himself; so they have 
no time to warn him by their mysterious voices. 
\ Shadwell's last scene surpasses all its rivals in the 
splendour of its supernatural apparitions and the 
grandeur of heaven's revenge. 

In the relation of the characters to each other the 
only difference of importance is that between Don 
Juan and his friends. Rosimond makes them his su- 
periors, his evil spirits who misled him to that wicked 
way of living. In this way Don Juan loses our interest 
not only by its being divided between three indivi- 
duals, but because the t tragical guilt » is taken off 
the shoulders of the hero who therefore is less inte- 
resting 1 ). Shadwell — whether consciously or not we 
do not venture to decide — amended the latter fault 
by inverting the mutual dependency of the three 
worthies, by making Don Antonio and Don Lopez 
pupils and admirers of Don John. — Carrille seems 
to occupy a higher place in his master's household 
than Jacomo and is treated more civilly by Don Juan, 
but in exactly the same ironical way by Don Felix 
and Don I.opcz. 

There is another set of dramatic expedients which 
we find nowhere but in Shadwell's drama % but for 
which we cannot credit Shadwell, as they are very 
common attractions 0/ the English stage of the time : 
those lyrical insertions (by the bye, of very little lyrical 
value) as the two serenades (pp.103, io 4)> Don Juan's 

') Foumel 1. c. p. 319. 

*) Beljame p. 3;, note 2. Also the following examples are taken 

47 — 

p. 117) and Clara's songs (p. 139), the chorus of shep- 
herds and nymphs (p. 156), are only specimens of the 
artistic taste of that literary period which could affix 
« a Grand Masque danced before Caesar and Cleopatra s 
to a translation of Corneille's * Pompee », the period 
which enjoyed Shakespeare's « Macbeth » arranged as 
an opera (by D'Avenant) and t Romeo and Juliet » as 
a comedy. The musical tragedy gave birth to the 
English dramatic opera. — Shadwell himself only two 
years before had written his « Psyche » which looks 
rather more like a libretto than an independent tragedy 
(the scenery alone cost J? 800). — Dryden and 
D'Avenant had arranged a ballet danced by a chorus 
of demons some years before Shadwell, in the 

* Tempest » . 

In no former Don Juan-play do we find a girl dis- 
guised a in man's habits* as Maria in the « Libertine ». 
But also for this stroke of genius we are not indebted 
to Shadwell exclusively. Charles II. had introduced 
the pleasant institution o? « women-actors t (the word 

* actress » not yet being formed) in his blessed island, 
and the latest « clou » in the seventies was not only 
to bring women on to the stage, but to put them into 
man's attire. In this disguise Maria nattered the most 
« refined » taste of the spectators, like * Little Miss 
Ariell » whom Mrs. Aphra Behn made pronounce an 
epilogue of very doubtful morality. 

At last there may be some features really svery 
much varied from anything which has been done upon 
the subject*. One of these «. original * traits may be, 
that in Shadwell Don Pedro was killed for the sake 
of his sisters, and that likewise Maria's brother is 
murdered in his attempt to save or avenge his sister's 
honour, while generally it is the father who falls on 

4 8 

(Maria denotes her enemy in a some- 
what roundabout way to Don Francisco [whom we sup- 
pose far away from Seville] as: «This is the villain who 
killed the lover of Antonio's sisters (p. 152). It is 
doubtful whether Don Francisco understood whom 

In Shadwell's really * original » parts we find some 
considerable mistakes and confusions, besides several 
incidents for which we see no reason, turns of the 
action which we cannot account for, improbabilities 
for which we can hardly afFord poetical licence. 
Maria's raging fury before Don Francisco does not 
look very convincing; we should rather think her mad 
as Don John insinuates. After the shipwreck we 
suppose our friends far away from Seville, at any rate 
they must be out of town. But then, how can Don 
Antonio say of Maria (p. 153) « A foolish impostor! 
We ne'er saw Seville till last night » to Don Fran- 
cisco? As to the question of dramatic localisation it 
is very strange, besides, that after their flight from 
Seville and from Don Francisco's they go back to the 
former place so near as to light on Don Pedro's tomb. 
When Don John wishes to get married to Clara he 
assures her that he has a priest in his company ready 
for the occasion. In any other place this would offer 
no difficulty at all, priests being to be had at any 
time, place, and cost for such purposes under the later 
Stuarts and in the drama of their time. But in this 
peculiar case we do not see how Don John managed 
to be married with a priest's sanction to Clara and 
Flavta the first night he spent in the solitary country- 
house. Suspicion might fall on one of his friends 
who would have counterfeited the reverend gentleman, 
but neither of them seems to know ought of it next 


Clara and Flavia are simply ridiculous in their 
plans of revenge: « Now well have your lives!* 
(p. 172) — Two probationers against three gallants! 
— The song of the shepherds suffers from the general 
unreality of pastoral poetry. How do those * innocent » 
shepherds know of < the filthy steams (!) from their 
[the townpeople's] excess of meat, and cloudy vapours 
raised from dangerous wine » (p. 157). And after 
hearing the song (p. 158): 

Nymphs and shepherds come away ; 
Id these groves let's sport and play, 
Where each day is a holiday. 
Sacred lo ease and happy love. 
To dancing, music, poetry .... 

those unlucky townpeople might have asked: «Have 
these shepherds nothing else to do?> 

On their way to supper, what have our friends 
to do in the church? The inscription on the statue 
i of unreasonable fierceness. The statne is too tal- 
kative, while in Moliere the stone-monument speaks 
with the solemn reserve becoming such a ghostly j 
apparition. But in the last scene we feel distinctly ' 
that the play — was written in 23 days: In IV. 1 
(p. 151) Don John had recognised Maria in spite of 
her disguise, and yet in V. 3 (p. 175) he calls her 
«the young hot-headed fool we killed at Francisco's.. 
She seems to haunt the place in the unwomanly attire 
she was killed in, but even if she could not afford a 
new dress for the solemn occasion we cannot con- 
ceive why he did not recognise her again. 

Though the material differences be small, the two 
slays in question make quite a different impression 
ra the reader, though perhaps less on the spectator. 
t is because of that process of gratification (if the 

UnterBBcaangen Y. Am%. SLa^er. SttMiwtWt "Libertine-. * 

— 5° — 

word be allowed) by which the French play was 
changed into a suitable English one and which se- 
cured its success. Some examples drawn from a s sta- 
tistical table of horrors » set up during the reading 
of the « Libertine > have already been given (p. g), 
some more may follow. Shadwell is not satisfied 
with the two ladies who appear in the first act, the one 
already seduced, the other ravished in its course, with 
the double Clara-Flavia plot and with the pastoral 
adventure, but he throws in that half dozen of «women, 
all wives to Don John » who happen to call on him 
all at once, while fifteen more are waiting without i 
Jacomo informs us. He has not even taken the trouble 
to name them, but calls them simply by their number, 
f. i. (p. 119) 

Don Lopez: Yes, 1 assure you, we must ravish. 
4 th woman: No, monster, I'll prevent you. 

(Stabs herself.) 
Carrille says of his master (I. 1): 

Tout pour son appetit est d'un egal usage, 
II met impunement belle ou laide an pillage. 
Of course, also Don John, is hot upon any female being 
«ugly or handsome, old or young* (p. 99), but to 
prove this want 01 refinement, he sends his servant 
into the street with the order : * Force in the next wo- 
man you meet » ; this being an ugly old woman he 
addresses her : * Come on, Beldam, thy face shall not 
protect thee » (p. izi). — Don Felix only wants to 
win his dear Dorinde out of the temple; Shadwell 
arrangesa wild orgy on the occasion with halfadozen 
nuns involved in the « stratagem », He indulges in 
occasional lights thrown on Don John's doings, f. i. 
* I committed a rape upon my father's monument last 

I night 

j (P-i6 

ht:) (p. 1 10). He becomes most disgusting in IV. 2 
(p. 161) where the shepherds are about "to castrate 
poor Jacomo. The * gentleman's » favourite adresses 
to his servant are « I'll cut your throat, your ears, 
your nose, I'll saw your wind-pipe, I'll rip you from 
the navel to the chin». — Tirso and Dorimond can 
do with one murder, that of the father of one of Don 
Juan's victims; de Villiers, less delicate, causes also 
her lover to be killed; Moliere only hints at the 
murder of the 1 commandeur » which is said to have 
been committed six months before the time when the 
play begins, so he has no blood flowing on the stage. 
Also Rosimond and Shadwell remove the death of 
Don Pedro backwards, then they add to it the murder 
of Don John's father. But in the attempt on Oriane 
l(who seems to be another commander's daughter) only 
her lover Bernard is said to have been killed, 
while our English Don John runs down, before our 
eyes, Maria's lover Octavio and her brother Antonio. 
So the plot of the avenger killed is repeated and 
Moliere's tasteful removal of the bloody scene com- 
pensated. Then Leonora, Maria, and Don Francisco, 
besides several servants, guards, and shepherds meet 
their deaths from his hand. 

This wholesale-murder and rape, together with the 
dreadful supper at church drawn out into any possible 
length, form a striking contrast to the elegant French 
play of the greatest of comedians 1 ) and excel by far 
anything done upon the subject before or after. 

r lor comparison io Moliere, it is, of co 
t for any direct literary connection, but only for esthctical valua 

Characters, Plots, and Episodes and 
their Valuation. 

Having marked this principal feature viz. the gross- 
ness, ofShadwell's work, the one feature that distin- 
guishes it from any other period of English or foreign 
literature, the one that makes the first reading of 
works of this epoch so repugnant, we go on to con- 
sider the several characters and plots and begin with 
Don John. 

Tirso's Burlador is the true Spaniard of his epoch, 
even if we cannot see in him the * splendid satire » 
on social life and manners of the poet's country and 
time which he has been considered to be. Molicre's 
Dom Juan is the elegant courtier of Versailles under 
Louis XIV. with his three talents : t perdre des femmes, 
tenir l'epee ferme, ne pas payer ses dettess. 1 ) And 
Shadw ell's « Libertine* is the common «scowrer» (as 
the technical term went) of London under Charles II., 
whose chief occupation is to drink, to whore, to beat 
constables etc., or as Don John expresses it in a more 
loetical and philosophical way (I, i, p. 93): 

') MoliSre. Ed. des Grands Ectivains V, p. 32. 


ITius far without a bound we have enjoyed 
Our prosperous pleasures, which dull fools call sios; 
Laughed at old feeble j udges and weak laws ; 
And at the fond lanlaslick think called conscience, 
■vCEIcE serves For nothing but lo make men coward- ; 
An idle tear of future misery ; 
And is yet worse than all that we can fear. 

Don Antonio and Don Lopez echo his philosophical 
opinions dwelling on the inconvenience of conscience 
in a way to let us know that they and their master 
have studied Shakespeare well enough: 

Hamlet: Thus conscience does make cowards 

of us alt. ') 
Shadwell, like Rosimond, endeavours to represent his 
hero as a philosophical libertine and makes him justify 
his wickedness by a lot of should-be scientific expla- 
nations, sputtering out psychological terms as esense, 
reason, mind, object, will, understanding » &c. in such 
a way as to raise our suspicions as to his own under- 
standing. At' any rate his philosophy culminates in 
the maxim : « Nought can be ill that's pleasant > 
(p. 94), and the thought « If we be bad, 'tis nature's 
fault that made us so » (p. 132) excuses every extra- 
vagance of the passions alluded to in his words (p. 195): 

Youth is a fruit that can but once be gathered 

And I'll enjoy it to the full. 
It is the fashionable moral of the day which Rochester 
expressed as follows: «Our sphere of action is life's 
happiness, and he who thinks beyond thinks like an 
asss, s ) But already Don John's continental brethren 
had excused their wickedness by natural inclinations 

') By the bye also the expression «most foul unnatural murder > 
reminds us literally of Shakespeare (Hamlet). 

*) Rochester, Satire against man (quoted by Beljame). 

— 54 — 

and the passions of youth. Even before his « salto 
mortale > *) he sticks to his sophistical justification : 
being called to repent he answers : « Couldst thou 
bestow another heart on me, I might, but with this 
heart I have, I cannot ». 

By his philosophy he is not only a stout atheist 
\ who braves heaven and hell in their most dreadful 
elements, but he expresses his deep contempt for 
religion and church by deeds that would shock the 
freest of freethinkers. A crime committed in church 
seems to have a charm of its own, and there appears 
to be a particular flavour in gallant enterprises upon 
nunneries, to say nothing of other kinds of sacrilege 
such as robbing the church of her plate. He has a 
particular grudge against priests and hypocrites with 
their « private delicous sins » (p. 94). Jacomo's warn- 
ings of hell's punishment he calls f Idle tales, found 
out by priests to keep the rabble in awe (p. no). 
When asking the hermit to provide for a strumpet 
he adds: «I know you Zealots have enough of'em». 
(P- >3'-) 

If Shadwell wanted to show whither natural phi- 
losophy and atheism practically lead, he has done 
more than enough, in fact by far too much, to con- 
vince us. He tried to represent Don John as an elegant 
cavalier, some sparks of Moliere's profligate but truly 
« chevaleresque » hero being blown across the « Swamp b 
(le theatre du Marais) and the Channel. But there 
are only faint traces of that knight who without a 
moment's hesitation ran to the rescue of an unknown 
gentleman (Don Carlos) against a majority of robbers. 
The Libertine certainly shows some marks of knightly 
breeding, f. i. in sparing Maria's life (p. 124). Our 

') Farinelli 1. ft 


— 55 — 

butcherly Don John is, at the same time, a brilliant 
poet; his serenade to Maria: 

* Thou joy of all hearts and delight of all eyes » 
(p. 103) is not only a pretty decent piece of poetry, 
but certainly more poetical than his rival's pastoral 
hymn to Chloris which, on the other hand, would suit 
better the taste of that time. His knightly boast 
consists chiefly in physical force and excellent fencing : 
« I ran him [Don Pedro] through the lungs as hand- 
somely, and killed him as decently, and as like a 
gentleman, as could be » (p. 96). We need not admire 
his courage against numerous enemies such as the 
guards, remembering what a ridiculous institution the 
police-force used to be in the 17 th century; but there 
is some noble blood in his veins which explains his 
love of danger often displayed f.i. in «The more danger, 
the more delight, I hate the common road of plea- 
sure » (p. ro4). He thinks nothing of the lives of his 
fellow-creatures f. i. his own father's or Don Pedro's, 
but he himself does not fear death either; with the 
words c 'Tis but drowning at last » (p. 1 28) he meets 
the thought of shipwreck. Another noble feature in 
him is his love of fame expressed as follows: «He's a 
scoundrel and a poultroon that would not have his 
death for his fame* (p. 168). An oath sworn to a 
woman « is nothing but a way of speaking, which young 
amorous fellows have gotten* (p. 111), but having 
accepted the ghost's invitation to supper he j would 
not break his word for a thousand doubloons * (p. 1 7 3). 
He can show the bearing of an accomplished gentle- 
man and ventures to stand upon ceremonies even in 
the presence of supernatural apparitions, f. i. of Don 
Pedro's ghost; * 'Tis something ill-bred to rail at your 
host that treats you civilly* (p. 165), or, speaking of 


the same: < He would not sure be so ill-bret 
us wait on him on foot> (p. 174); he regrets not to 
have had the opportunity to treat the chorus of devils 
with « burnt brandy* (p. 165). He laughs cynically 
at the fourth woman's suicide (p. 119), and yet Leo- 
nora's love and death touch even his cruel heart for 
a moment (p. 149). 

But the way he treats his own father before and 
after death, the cruel and vile tyranny exercised on 
poor Jack, his cowardly, more clever than noble 
« stratagems » in his attempts on Maria and the nunnery, 
his cold humour in laughing at the poor mariners 
apuzzled which death to choose, burning or drowning* 
(p. 130), all these features rob him of the sympathy 
which we in a certain measure feel for Moliere's and 
which we else, in a very small degree, should feel 
even for Shadwell's hero. In Don John's relations 
with the other sex, the author sinks into the deepest 
and dirtiest cynicism. Moliere's Dom Juan has many 
victims, but he has married them all in lawful wed- 
lock; with Shadwell marriage is the last expedient to 
win the game, used only when mere promise, seduction 
or rape will not do. Don John is supposed to be a 
fascinating young man and Leonora describes him as 
a fervent and languishing lover, trained in all die 
rules of courtship ( — which Shadwell could know 
from Moliere-Rosimond); but when we see him per- 
sonally making love to Clara and Flavia, we find his 
flatteries rather awkward and uncouth, considering 
that they are addressed not to simple fisher-girls, 
but to gentleman's daughters. In his « love of variety 
in love » we hear an echo of Moliere's clever psycho- 
logical observation, but degraded into the foulest 
sensuality and expressed by a decided predilection 

— 57 — 

for maidenheads which we find already in Fletcher's 
«Wild Goose Chases 1 ) and in Tirso's «Burlador», a. 
reason, further, for his particular fancy for nunneries. 
Moliere's Elvire also has been taken out of a convent, 
but by her own consent. — Don John's ideas about 
marriage lie in the words: « These are certain animals 
called wives» (p. 117) and «I hate unreasonable fellows 
who, when they are weary of their wives, will still 
keep 'em from other men. Gentlemen, ye shall command 
mines (p. 118). The author sacrifices all « poetical » 
probability to show the wickedness of his hero when 
Don John and his friends, having - hardly escaped ship- 
wreck, stand dripping wet on the coast, ask the hermit 
for — a whore, and enter into a long discourse about 
morality. He loses our last bit of interest when we 
see him hot upon any female being « ugly or hand- 
some, old or young: Nothing that's female comes 
amiss him » (p. 99). He confesses his principle in the 
attempt on the shepherdesses : * I am not in love, but 
in lust, and to such a one, a belly full's a belly fulls. 

Don John's character, as drawn out by Shadwell, 
is simply impossible. The writer did not see him 
before his mind's eye, but only on the paper. Such 
a man loses our interest, in spite of the grand moment 
of his death. In fact, he is no man, much less an 
* Tjbermenseh s ; he is — taking off the philosophical 
disguise losely put on him — a beast! 

While our author has shown himself unable to 
represent a hero, he succeeds better in minor characters 
such as Don Antonio and Don Lopez, as far as they 
are his own creation. They are of the same stamp 
as Don John, they disgust us by the same beastly 
lewdness and the same cynical frankness in the show 

') Farinelli, G. St., p. 58. 

of it; they are brutal ruffians and common Giscowrers>, 
the only interesting thing about them is their relation 
to their superior friend and teacher. The difference 
of the s sublime » frivolity of this patron-saint of 
all flirts and the imitated profligacy of his followers 
is marked distinctly and not without some clever 
strokes of psychological observation. They echo then- 
master's opinions and try to imitate his heroic exploits; 
their servile spirits content themselves with the maids 
of the ladies Clara and Flavia to whose enjoyment 
they have helped their model-libertine, and with any 
wretched creature that Don John will bestow on them; 
they are satisfied, so-to-say, with the crumbs that fall 
from their lord's table. His presence inspires in them 
a certain amount of courage against guards, shepherds, 
ghosts, and even death, though they are not so stout- 
hearted as he. They boast of the same love of fame, 
but they often fly when danger approaches, and they 
do not shrink from cowardly robbery. While Don 
John deals with Jacomo in cruel brutality, they treat 
the poor fellow with contemptuous interest certainly 
not devoid of wit; they mock him for his « valour* 
and make sport of his piety. The short dialogues 
between the two companions and the victim of their 
irony are perhaps the most relishable passages in the 
play. But the finest artistic touch about them is the 
mutual distrust of these two great friends and fellow- 
villains. In III. 6 (p. 146) they meet Maria (in her 
disguise) and Leonora: 

Don Lopez : Do you carry that young gentleman, bind 
him to a tree, and bring the money, 
while I wait upon the lady. 
Don Antonio: Will you play me no foul play in the 
mean time then? For we must cast lots 
about the business you wot of. 

> we have heard, the author confesses in 
preface: «The character of the 'Libertine', and con- 
sequently those of his friends, are borrowed ». How 
are we to understand that ■ consequently » ? Does he 
acknowledge the two minor characters to be the ccon- 
sequence» of Rosimond's model, or does he pretend 
to have formed them after the pattern of his own 
Don John ? At any rate, with a real poet such a loan 
would in no way involve so close an imitation; he 
might at least have laid some slight difference between 
the two types to render them more interesting; but 
so they are in fact one and the same person, and 
this person is a weak copy of Don John. The way 
of bringing them into the conversation is somewhat 
artificial or rather mechanical ; they are generally 
thrust in together, so when Don Antonio has spoken 
we are pretty sure that Don Lopez will follow in- 

Shadwell's most original characters in most cases 
are comical, and the best, the most interesting person 
of the play is Jacomo, Don John's man. He is perhaps 
the only one the author was up to, because he afforded 
plenty of opportunity for showing faculties as a wit 
for which Shadwell was renowned in London society. 

In the account of the play given above there was 
little opportunity to mention Jacomo, although we 
meet him nearly in every scene. This would not be 
the case with his Spanish brother Catalinon, but 
Italian comedians developed this character into the 
arle.chino, the clown who is everywhere without having 
any business to be there but to entertain the public 
by his slazzia and to reflect the character of his 
master. Moliere has formed the striking contrast 
between the atheistical gentleman and his honestly 


believing- valet, that harmless, faithful, but rather 
weak-headed Sganarelle. Shad well degraded him, 
but his Jacomo still amuses us by his continuous fear 
of being" hanged, his several unsuccessful attempts 
to fly, his moral principles, his greediness, hypocrisy, 
and pretension to valour. His conversation generally 
is witty, though often of a coarse kind of humour. 
F. i. he is afraid of being caught one day in Don 
John's company and punished with him: *.\ cannot 
tell what is the reason, but I have such an uncon- 
querable antipathy to hemp, I could never endure a 
bell-rope; hanging is a kind of death I cannot abide; 
I am not able to endure it » (p. no). — Yet he dares 
not leave his master for fear of revenge, because 
« though he is a rogue, he is a necessary rogue » 
(p. 141)- Sometimes he ventures to warn his master: 
«I cannot but admire, since you are to go to the 
devil, that you cannot be content with the common 
way of travelling, but must ride post to him» (p. 109). 
He is of comical cleverness in finding excuses for 
not going on the sea (he pretends to have ordered 
horses, to get seasick, not to be able to swim, to be 
anxious about posterity, p. 125) or for refusing to 
take part in the ghostly supper (p. 165). He is afraid 
of death, but hardly out of water he begins his puns 
again : 

■ Poor man, he is almost drowned. 

Jacomo : 

No, not yet, I have only drunk something 

too much of a scurvy unpleasant liquor. 

(P- 135-) 

In danger his tactics are « prudently to withdraw ; 

there is as much to be ascribed to conduct as 

to courage* (p. 107), but being forced to fight he 

does his best and afterwards assumes a ridiculous air 
of boldness and valour. He is rather clever in certain 
moments, f. i. he counterfeits death (already in the 
Commedia dell'arte) in order to get away from his 
master (p. 173) and frightens the shepherds away by 
his unlooked-for apparition in armour (p. 171). So 
Mesnard 1 ) certainly does Shadwell no justice in his 
statement: » Sa piece manque toujours le comiques. 

As to fame and reputation he has no pretensions 
at all : « A man had better be a living son of a whore 
than a dead hero» (p. 155). But he is not without 
conceit as to his valuable person and describes him- 
self when « popping the question » to Leonora (p. 100) 
as «a man of goodly presence, something inclining 
to be fat . . . ., with a mouth of cheerful overture, 
his nose which is the only fault is somewhat shorts. 
Very likely Shadwell would have some difficulty in 
accounting tor Jacomo's knowledge of ancient history 
(references to Tarquin and Alexander: pp. 160, 168); 
just as we cannot explain Catalinon's notions of Jason 
and Typhis, but it must be ascribed to his own merit 
that he painted Jack as a Puritan hypocrite who, while 
he cannot do enough in the way of preaching morality, 
still on the first occasion shows his own passions in 
such a cowardly manner: Leonora swoons at the 
sorry news of Don John's faithlessness, Jacomo at once 
resolves to « refresh her», because «I dare sin in 
private » (p, 99). This trait of character certainly has 
some truth in it, though the form in which it reveals 
itself must disgust us and leads us to the suspicion 
that the writer simply profited by the opportunity to 
throw in one of his gross « attractions'. 

As Shadwell did not find it in Rosimond we must 

') 1. c. p. 65. 


give him credit for the not imclever way in which he 
combines the plots of Leonora and Maria. The two 
unfortunate creatures correspond to a certain degree 
with Tirso's Isabella and Anna, but in the Spanish 
play and in most of its imitations their fates are not 
interwoven with each other, but rather form two distinct 
links of a loose chain of events. Nor do we find their 
interesting contrast before Shadwell who expressed it 
in the dramatis personae already : 

Leonora, abused by Don John, yet follows 

him for love. 

Maria, abused by Don John and follows 

him for revenge. 

It is not without interest that Mozart's opera has the 
same implication of plots. — Although each of the 
characters is somewhat exaggerated in the expression, 
the one of love, the other of hatred, they are cleverly 
drawn out. Leonora has something- in common with 
Moliere's Elvire; she really loves Don John, therefore 
she cannot believe him to be false, and even when 
convinced beyond all doubt, she will not give him up, 
but follows his vessel : t What chains are these that 
hold me ? Oh that I could break them ! And yet I 
would not if I could » (p. 135). And although she 
knows him to be unworthy of her love and ungrateful 
for her sacrifice, her last words to her murderer ■ are : 
«Heaven pardon youl Farewell! I can no more » 
(p. 148). But even after death she sticks to her former 
character, and while most of her fellow -ghosts, chiefly 
Maria's, call for revenge, hers and her father's call 
on him to repent. Maria's fierceness for revenge is 
not quite new either, Amarille in Dorimond and de 
Villiers being just as blood-thirsty. Moliere seems to 


have laid this unwomanly rage into the r 
of Don Alonse. 

The double plot of Clara and Flavia has already 
its counterpart in Dorimond, Moliere, and Rosimond, 
while Tirso had two distinct figures (Tisbea and 
Aminta). We certainly sympathize "with the two girls 
in their love of freedom and in their protest against 
their cruel fate of being married to unknown and un- 
loved men, but they go too far for our taste in Clara's 
song with the chorus (p. 139): 

Women should change 
And have freedom to range 
Like to every other wild creature. 

We cannot well imagine where they obtained their 
knowledge of social differences between Spain and 
England, but what they seem to appreciate most in 
English manners is the lenient consideration of adul- 
tery. Clara yields pretty soon to Don John's flatteries, 
Flavia first plays the naive. In their bloody thirst 
for revenge they show a considerable want of refine- 
ment. The best thing such silly girls could do was 
to go to a nunnery. 

Their intended bridegrooms are of no particular 
interest; they express the highest ideas which Shad- 
well is able to grasp of connubial happiness, so on 
the wedding-morning (p. 150): 

2 nd bridegroom : The expectation of so great a blessing" 

as we this day hope to enjoy, would 

let us have but little rest last night. 

i a bridegroom.- And the fruitions will afford us less 



pious monk, expresses the same idea 


— 6 4 

Anna's invitation to the nightly rendez-vous, where he 
should « enjoy the object of his hope and love » (II, 5). 

Some of these traits of character are of no great 
interest by themselves or in connection with the re- 
spective persons, but become very interesting because 
of the light they throw upon certain sides of public 
and social life in England under the later Stuarts. 
Several times we see the police-force beaten and laws 
laughed at by young scamps who cover their brutality 
by a show of superficial philosophy and fashionable 
atheism (f. i. Jacomo p. 94 : « Sir, I find your worship 
is no more afraid to be damned, than other fashionable 
gentlemen of the age *). The female sex does not 
show off in a particularly favourable light, to conclude 
from Clara's and Flavia's conversation. — If we do 
not see how these Spanish girls obtained that know- 
ledge of English manners, we know well enough how 
Shadwell got his notions of Spanish manners, Spanish 
literature being a favourite study in England in the 
17 th century, especially Cervantes' «NovelasejempIares». 
Beaumont liked to represent a Spanish milieu and 
described it well enough. 

Goldoni left away every miraculous element of 
the fable, as the stone-monument, and so deprived 
his play of the most interesting attraction, Shadwell 
represents the other extreme, abounding in super- 
natural apparitions. From a merely dramatic stand-point, 
that is, considering the building up of the action, 
Shad well's play is superior to Rosimond's. And while 
he disgusts us by the general tone or colour, we must 
acknowledge the wittiness of his dialogue, a merit 
obtainable, for him at least, in comic characters only. 
Mesnard ') closes his verdict on the « Libertine s as 

') p. 65. 


- 65 - 

follows: « Si Ton reconnait dans Sliadwell des couleurs 
fournies par Moliere, c'est qu'on y met de l'obligeance». 
Ward calls it « sensational enough to satisfy the robust 
appetite »; The mildness of these two statements is 
justified by historical circumstances which we must 
take into consideration before passing our sentence 
on the play. 

A few remarks about some external ingredients 
of the 'Libertine': 

The tragedy is dedicated *to the most illustrious 
Prince William, Duke, Marquess and Earl of New- 
castle », the arbiter elegantiarum of Charles II. 's court, 
himself a wit and poet a la mode, to whom Shadwell 
had already addressed the « Sullen Lovers » and to 
whose illustrious wife he had dedicated the * Hu- 
morists ». The dedicatory epistle is written in the style 
of servile flattery usual at the time on such occasions. 

The preface contains, after those presumptuous 
remarks as to the sources and a partly ridiculous boast 
of his moral tendencies, success and rapid production, 
also a sharp personal controversy against « a rough 
hobling rhymers, the author of the « Conquest of 
Chinas (1676!) and a shareholder in the production 
of « Love and Revenge » (1675). In the unfortunate 
victim of Shad well's rage we recognise Elkanah 
Settle, his enemy and rival, against whom he vindi- 
cates the honour of the « tribe of poets*, chiefly 
Dryden's, alluded to in Settle's dedicatory letter to 
the Duke of Newcastle. 

Pro- and epilogue are addressed to the «bloody 
criticks» to whose mercy he gives over his play with- 
out hope. If they really condemned it, we cannot 
condemn them, though their reasons and ours are 
very likely not the same. 

TJnterfnohnngen V, Aug. Stayer. Shadwell'i "Libertuie". b 



Perhaps another instance of the precipitate and 
negligent way in which the play was written — the 
manager waiting impatiently — are the mistake and 
the omission in the enumeration of the dramatis per- 
sonae, where Don Octavio appears as Maria's brother, 
while her brother AiTtwiy is not mentioned at 'all. 

Shadwell's 'Libertine', and with it this treatise 
upon the tragedy, is the picture of a period in English 
literature and civilization, disgusting, it is true, to 
our taste, but not devoid of interest for the historian. 
The chief result of our investigation is the proof that 
our English author did not rely on Moliere directly, 
but on Rosimond. The stage on which the French 
play appeared bore the ominous name of the « Theatre 
du Marais > ; the English tragedy was acted on a 
stage certainly more « marshy » than that, by — « his 
Majesty's servants » 1 



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