Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Mr. Hatton said unto me, if it were not in the of the meat or substance within was taken out, queen's presence, he would put a dagger to the and filled up again with the part of a sponge, heart of that French knavc Bastian, who, he wherein was vinegar and other confections alleged, had done it out of despite that the against the pestilent airs; the which he most queen made more of them than of the French commonly smelt unto, passing among the press, men.”

or else when he was postered with many suitors."

This was a pomander. It appears from a pas17 Scene III.—" Pomander."

sage in Mr. Burgon's valuable ‘Life of Sir ThoWe have a passage in Cavendish s Life of mas Gresham that the supposed orange held in Wolsey' in which the great cardinal is described the hand in several ancient portraits, amongst coming after mass into his privy chamber, others in those of Lord Berners and Gresham, “holding in his hand a very fair orange, where I was in truth a pomander.

[graphic][merged small]

8 SCENE II.-—“Weather-villen concluit." men of Verona' that the words statue and picThe old stone conduits were in Shaksperc's ture were often used

ite worn in Shinkenorna | ture were often uscd without distinction. In time very numerous in London, and allusions

the passage before us we have the mention of to them are frequent in the dramatists. Wc "oily painting ;" and the clown talks of going give a representation of the « Little Conduit" to see the “queen's picture." But it is clear in Westcheap, built in 1442.

from other passages that a statue, in the modern

sense of the word, was intended. Lcontes says, 19 SCENE III.

"Does not the stone rebuke me, The ruddiness upon her lip is wet."

For being more stone than it?" We have shown in a note to the Two Gentle. It is clear, therefore, from all the context, that

COMEDIES. — VOL. II.

NN

the statue must have been painted. Sir Henry rally designated as "a strange absurdity." We Wotton calls this practice an English barbarism; have touched upon this in the Costume' but it is well known that the ancients had painted below. statues. The mention of Julio Romano is gene

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

This comedy is so thoroughly taken out of the where the "Emperor of Russia" represents region of the literal, that it would be worse than some dim conception of a mighty monarch of idle to talk of its costume. When the stage- far-off lands; and “that rare Italian master, manager shall be able to reconcile the contra- Julio Romano," stands as the abstract personifidictions, chronological and geographical, with cation of excellence in art. It is quite imwhich it abounds, he may decide whether the possible to imagine that he who, when it was characters should wear the dress of the ancient necessary to be precise, as in the Roman plays, or the modern world, and whether the archi- has painted manners with a truth and exactness tectural scenes should partake most of the Gre- which have left at an immeasurable distance cian style of the times of the Delphic oracle, or such imitations of ancient manners as the of the Italian in the more familiar days of Julio learned Ben Jonson has produced,—that he Romano. We cannot assist him in this diffi- should have perplexed this play with such anoculty. It may be sufficient for the reader of malies through ignorance or even carelessness. this delicious play to know that he is purposely There can be no doubt that the most accomtaken out of the empire of the real ;-to wander plished scholars amongst our early dramatists, in some poetical sphere where Bohemia is but a when dealing with the legendary and the roname for a wild country upon the sea, and the mantic, purposely committed these anachronoracular voices of the pagan world are lıcard isms. Greene, as we have shown, of whose amidst the merriment of “ Whitsun pastorals” scholarship his friends boasted, makes a ship and the solemnities of “Christian burial ;” sail from Bohemia in the way that Shakspere makes a ship wrecked upon a Bohemian coast. | talking of Shakspere wanting "sense,” as we When Jonson, therefore, in his celebrated con-object to Gifford speaking of the anachronism versation with Drummond of Hawthornden, as a “blunder.” It is aboard to imagine that said “Shakspere wanted art, and sometimes Shakspere did not know better. Mr. Collier sense, for in one of his plays he brought in a bas quoted a passage from Taylor, the waternumber of men saying they had suffered ship- poet, who published his journey to Prague, in wreck in Bohemia, where is no sea near by & which the honest waterman laughs at an alderhundred miles," he committed the unfairness of man who “catches me by the goll, demanding imputing to Shakspere the fault, if fault it be, if Bohemia be a great town, whether there be which he knew to be the common property of any meat in it, and whether the last fleet of the romantic drama. Gifford, in a note upon ships be arrived there." Mr. Collier infers that this passage in his 'Life of Jonson,' says, “No Taylor "ridicules & vulgar error of the kind” one ever read the play without noticing the committed by Shakspere. We rather think 'absurdity,' as Dr. Johnson calls it; yet for this that he meant to ridicule very gross ignorance simple truism, for this casual remark in the generally; and we leave our readers to take freedom of conversation, Jonson is held up to their choice of placing Greene and Shakspere the indignation of the world, as if the blunder in the same class with Taylor's “Gregory Ganwas invisible to all but himself." We take no dergoose, an Alderman of Gotham," or of be part in the stupid attempt of Shakspere's com- lieving that a confusion of time and place was mentators to show that Jonson treated his great considered (whether justly is not here the ques contemporary with a paltry jealousy ; but we tion) a proper characteristic of the legendary object to Jonson, in the instance before us, | drama such as 'A Winter's Tale'

[graphic][merged small]
[graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed][ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »