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story which the one or the other can wish to be suppressed.--. Leontes, on the contrary, seems content to welcome his return of happiness without expatiating on the means by which he had formerly lost it ; nor does Hermione recapitulate her sufferings, through fear to revive the memory of particulars which might be construed into a reflection on her husband's jealousy. The discovery of Marina would likewise admit of clamorous transport, for similar reafons; but whatever could be said on the restoration of Perdita to her mother, would only tend to prolong the remorse of her father. Throughout the notes which I have contributed to the play of Pericles, I have not been backward to point out many of the particulars on which the opinion of Mr Malone is built; for as truth, not victory, is the object of us both, I am sure we cannot with to keep any part of the evidence that may seem to affect our reciprocal opinions, out of fight.
Mr. Malone is likewise solicitous to prove, from the wildness and irregularity of the fab'e, &c. that this was either our author's first, or one of his earliest dramas. It might have been fo; and yet I am sorry to observe that the fame qualities predominate in his inore mature performances ; but there these defects are instrumental in producing beauties. If we travel in Antony and Cleopatra from Alexandria to Rome -to Medina-into Syria-to Athens -- to Actium, we are still relieved in the course of our peregrinations by variety of objects, and importance of events. But are we rewarded in the same manner for our journeys from Antioch to Tyre, from Tyre to Pentapolix, from Pentapolis to Tbarsus, from Tharsus to Tyre, from Tyre to Mitylene, and from Mitylene to Ephesus? In one light, indeed, I am ready to allow Pericles was our poet's firit attempt. Before he was fatisfied with his own strength, and trusted himself to the publick, he might have tried his hand with a partner, and entered the theatre in disguise. Before he ventured to face an audience on the itage, it was natural that he fhould peep at them through the curtain.
What Mr. Malone has called the inequalities of the poctry, I should rather term the patchwork of the Pyle, in which the general flow of Shakspeare is not often visible. An unwearied blaze of words, like that which burns throughout Phadra and Hippolitus, and Mariamne, is never attempted by our author ; for such uniformity could be maintained but by keeping nature at a distance. Inequality and wildness, therefore, cannot be received as criterions by which we are to diftinguish the early pieces of Shakspeare from those which were written at a later period.
But one peculiarity relative to the complete genuineness of this play, has hitherto been disregarded, though in my opinion it is absolutely decisive. I shall not hesitate to aflirm, that through different parts of Pericles, there are more frequent and more aukward ellipses than occur in all the other dramas attributed to the same author; and that these figures of speech appear only in such
worthless portions of the dialogue as cannot with justice be imputed to him. Were the play the work of any single hand, it is natural to suppose that this clipt jargon would have been scattered over it with equality. Had it been the composition of our great poet, he would be found to have availed himself of the same licence in his other tragedies ; nor perhaps, would an individual writer have called the fame characters and places alternately Perscles and Pericles, Thaisa and Thaifa, Pentapolis and Pentapolis. Shakspeare never varies the quantity of his proper names in the compass of one play. In Cymbeline we always meet with Posthú. mus, nor Posthumus, Arviragus, and not Arvirăgus.
It may appear singular that I have hitherto laid no stress on such parallels between the acknowledged plays of Shakspeare and Pericles, as are produced in the course of our preceding illustrations. But perhaps any argument that could be derived from so few of these, ought not to be decisive; for the fame reafoning might tend to prove that every little coincidence of thought and ex. prefsion, is in reality one of the petty larcenies of literature; and thus we might in the end impeach the original merit of those whom we ought not to suspect of having need to borrow from their predeceffors *. I can only add on this subject, (like Dr. Farmer) that the world is already possessed of the Marks of Imitation ; and that there is scarce one English tragedy but bears some flight internal resemblance to another. I therefore attempt no deduction from premises occasionally fallacious, nor pretend to discover in the piece before us the draughts of scenes which were afterwards more happily wrought, or the slender and crude principles of ideas which on other occasions were dilated into contequence, or polished into lustre †. Not that such a kind of evidence, how.
* Dr. Johnson once assured me, that when he wrote his Irene he had never read Othello ; but meeting with it soon afterwards, was furprized to find he had given one of his characters a speech very strongly resembling that in which Cafio describes the effects produced by Desdemona's beauty on such inanimate objects as the gulterd rocks and congregated sanits. The doctor added, that on making the discovery, for fear of imputed plagiarism, he truck out this accidental coincidence from his own tragedy.
+ Though I admit that a small portion of general and occasional relations may pass unsuspected from the works of one author into those of another, yet when multitudes of minute coincidences occur, they must have owed their introduction to contrivance and design. The surest and least equivocal marks of imitation (says Dr. Hurd) are to be found in peculiarities of phrase and diction; an identity in both, is the most certain noie of plagiarisın.
This observation inclines me to offer a few words in regard to Shakspeare's imputed Mare in the Tavo Noble Kinsmen.
On Mr. Pope's opinion relative to this subject, no great reliance can be placed; for he who reprobated the Wimier's Tale as a performance alien to Sbakspeare, could boalt of little acquaintance with the
erer strong, or however skilfully applied, would diveft my former arguments of their weight; for I admit without reservethat Shakspeare,
whose spirit or manner of the author whom he undertook to correct and explain.
Dr. Warburton (vol. i. after the table of editions) expresses his be. lief that our great poet wrote " the first act, but in his worst manner." The doctor indeed only seems to have been ambitious of adding somewhat (though at random) to the decision of his predeceffor.
Mr. Seward's enquiry into the authenticity of this piece, has been fully examined by Mr. Colman, who addoces several arguments to prove that our author had no concern in it. (See Beaumont and Fletcher, last edit. vol. i. p. 118.) Mr, Colman might have added more to the same purpose ; but, luckily for the publick, his pen is always better engaged than in critical and antiquarian disquifitions.
As Dr. Farmer has advanced but little on the present occafion, I confess my inability to determine the point on which his conclusion is founded,
This play, however, was not printed till eighteen years after the death of Shakspeare; and its title-page carries all the air of a canting bookseller's impofition. Would any one else have thought it necessary to tell the world, that Fletcher and his pretended coadjutor, were “ memorable worthies ?" The piece too was printed for one John Waterfon, a man who had no copy-right in any of our author's other dramas. It was equally unknown to the editors in 1623, and 1632 ; and was rejected by those in 1664, and 1685.-In 1661, Kirkman, another knight of the rubrick posi, issued out the Birth of Merlin, by Rowley ard Shakspeare. Are we to receive a part of this also as a genuine work of the latter ? for the authority of Kirkman is as respectable as that of Waterson.-I may add, as a limiJar initance of the craft or ignorance of these ancient Curls, that in 1640, the Coronation, claimed by Shirley, was printed in Fletcher's name, and (I know not why) is still permitted to hold a place among his other dramas.
That Shakspeare had the fighted connection with B. and Fletcher, has not been proved by evidence of any kind. There are no verses written by either in his commendation ; but they both stand convicted of having aimed their ridicule at passages in several of his plays. His imputed intimacy with one of them, is therefore unaccountable. Neither are the names of our great confederates enrolled with those of other wits who frequented the literary symposia held at the Devil Tavern in Fleet-itreet. As they were gentlemen of family and fortune, it is probable that they aspired to company of a higher rank than that of needy poets, or mercenary players. Their dialogue bears abundant teltimony to this suppofition; while Shakspeare's attempts to exhibit such sprightly conversations as pass between young men of elegance and fashion, are very rare, and almost confined (as Dr. Johnson remarks) to the characters of Mercutio and kis associates. Our author could not easily copy what he had few. opportunities of observing.–So much for the unlikeliness of FletchGr's having united with Shakspeare in the same composition.
whose hopeful colours
is But here it may be asked why was the name of our poet joined with that of Beaumont's coadjutor in the Two Noble Kinsmen, rather than in any other play of the same author that so long remained in manuscript! I answer,--that this event might have taken its rise from the play-house tradition mentioned by Pope, and founded, as I conceive, on a singular occurrence, which it is my present office to point out and illustrate to my readers.
The language and images of this piece coincide perpetually with those in the dramas of Shakspeare. The same frequency of coincidence occurs in no other individual of Fletcher's works; and how is so inaterial a distinction to be accounted for? Did Shakipeare affin the survivor of Beaumont in this tragedy ? Surely no; for if he had, he would not (to borrow a conceit from Moth in Love's Labour's Lost) have written as if he had been at a great feast of tragedies, and solen the scraps. It was natural that he should more ftudioully have abstained from the use of marked expressions in this than in any other of his pieces written without affittance. He can. not be suspected of so pitiful an ambition as that of setting his seal on the portions he wrote, to distinguish them from those of his colleague. It was bis business to coalesce with Fletcher, and not to withdraw from him. But, were our author convicted of this jealous artifice, let me ask where we are to look for any single diaJogue in which these lines of reparation are not drawn. If they are to be regarded as land-marks to ascertain our author's property, they stand so constantly in our way, that we mult, on their evidence, adjudge the whole literary eltate to him. I hope no one will be found who supposes our duumvirate sat down to correct what each other wrote. To such an indignity Fletcher could not well have submitted ; and such a drudgery Shakspeare would as hardly have endured. In Pericles it is no difficult talk to discriminate the scenes in which the hard of the latter is evident. I lay again, let the critick try if the same undertaking is as easy in the Two Noble Kinsmen. The style of Fletcher on other occasions is sufficiently distinct from Shakspeare's, though it may mix more intimately with that of Beaumont :
“ος τ' αποκιδάμενος σοταμέ κελαδοντος 'Αράξεω
But roll with Phafis in a blended tide. But, that my assertions relative to coincidence may not appear without some support, I proceed to insert a few of many infiances that might be brought in aid of an opinion which I am ready to subjoin. The first passage hereafter quoted is always from the Two Noble Kinsmen, edit. 1750; the second from the Plays of Shakspeari, edit. 1778.
Dear glass of ladies.
he was indeed the glass Wherein the noble youths did dress themselves. K. Her. IV. P. 11,
p. 9. Vol. X.
is vifible in many scenes throughout the play. But it follows not from thence that he is answerable for its worst parts, though the
best blood-fiz'd field o'er-sized with coagulate gore. Hamlet, Vol. X. p. 264.
as ospreys do the fish, Subdue before they touch.
p. 11. as is the opprey to the filh, who takes it By sovereignty of nature. Coriolanus, Vol. VII. p. 467. 1. His ocean needs not my poor drops.
as petty to his ends
Ant. and Cleop. Vol. VIII. p. 230, 1. Their intertangled roots of love.
p. 22. Grief and patience, rooled in him both, Mingle their spurs together. Cymbeline, Vol. IX. p. 278. 1. Lord, lord, the difference of men !
p. 30. 12. O, the difference of man and man! K. Lear, Vol. IX. p. 502. şi. Like lazy clouds
p. 30. 12. the lazy-pacing clouds
R. and Juliet, Vol. X. p. 55. the angry swine Flies like a Parthian.
p. 31. 2. Or, like the Parthian, I shall flying fight. Cymbeline, Vol. IX, p. 202
Mr. Seward observes that this coinparison occurs no where in Shakspeare. 1. Banish'd the kingdom, &c.--
P. 41. 2. See the speech of Romeo on the same occasion.-R. and Juliet,
Vol. X. p. 101, &c. he has a tongue will tame Tempests.
p. 42. 2. the would fing the savagenefs out of a bear.--Othello, Vol. x.
P: 574 11. Theseus.] Tomorrow, by the sun, to do observance Tó flowery May.
p. 47• 2. Theseus.] they rose up early to observe
The rite of May. Mid. Night's Dream. Vol. III. p. 97. 1. Let all the dukes and all the devils roar,
He is at liberty,-2. And if the devil come and roar for them, He shall not have them,
K. Hen. IV. Vol. V. p. 282. 1. Dear cousin Palamon Pal. Cozener Arcite.
p. 51. Gentle Harry Percy, and kind cousin, The devil take such cozeners. K. Hen. IV. P.I. Vol. V. p. 289.
this question, fick between us, By bleeding must be cur'd.
P. 54 2. Let's furge this choler without letting blood.-K. Rich. II. Vol. V.