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prominence. It is a further question whether the more interesting side be not also the more stimulating, and therefore of the higher educational value. "Second-hand opinion," like second-hand information, is no doubt inferior to first-hand; but the knowledge that some opinion as to the bearing of parts on the whole is required, is likely to turn the reader's attention to forming a judgment as he reads. A second-hand opinion on one play may thus lead to a first-hand opinion on another. It is with this object that this edition has appeared; and if it fills a temporary gap, till one of our many competent Shakespeare critics deals with the play, the purpose of the editor will have been fully served.

Mr. C. E. Moberly has most kindly prepared the book for press, and has contributed several notes and many suggestive ideas, and especially an Appendix on the connection of Shakespeare and Montaigne. My thanks are also due to Mr. R. Hill for comparing the text minutely with that of the first folio, and particularly to Mr. Furnivall for kindly looking over the whole and adding several valuable references.


January, 1876.



DATE.-The evidence by which we may, within a few years, fix the date of the Tempest is of two kinds-(1) external, (2) internal. First as to external evidence. From GONZALO's speech (iv. 1, 150) being obviously borrowed from Montaigne, some have fixed the earlier limit of date as 1604, the year when Florio's translation of Montaigne was published. But GONZALO'S speech, however important as proving Shakespeare's study of Montaigne* at some period of his life, is of very little use in fixing the date. Indeed, as a matter of fact, it seems clear that the earlier limit of date must be 1610, in which year an account was published of the shipwreck, in 1609, of Sir George Somers on the coast of the Bermuda Islands, "which islands were of all nations said and supposed to be enchanted and inhabited with witches and devils, which grew by reason of accustomed thunderstorm and tempest near unto those islands." The fact that it was only the admiral's ship which was wrecked on this occasion, and that he had to make a stay on the island, supposed till then to be enchanted, when coupled with the express mention of the "still-vexed Bermoothes" in the Tempest, make it highly probable that at least the framework and name of the play were taken by Shakespeare from this source. No earlier edition of the Tempest is known than the folio collection of 1623, in which it

* See Appendix on Montaigne's influence on Shakespeare.

stands first.* The memorandum preserved in the Audit Office of its having been performed before King James at the Whitehall festivities on All Saints' Day (1st Nov.) in 1611, has now been proved to be a forgery. Though this or the previous year seems the most probable date, there is really no trustworthy evidence for fixing on any particular year between 1610 and 1616, when Shakespeare's death took place. But in any case the external evidence makes the Tempest one of Shakespeare's latest efforts, made not long ere his magic 'staff was broken and buried certain fathoms in the earth' (v. i. 53), and the internal evidence leads to the same conclusion. This internal evidence is of two kinds, touching (1) the matter, including the characters and plot of the play, and (2) the metrical form.

(1.) It is necessary in considering the internal evidence to review as far as we can the experiences gone through by Shakespeare himself, and also to compare our play with those which we believe to have preceded and followed it. The development of Shakespeare's genius cannot be more easily perceived than by reading such a play as the Two Gentlemen of Verona immediately after the Tempest. Every play presents a knot to be unravelled, and the main difference between them we shall find to be the way in which this knot is unravelled, whether by the accident of circumstances or by the characters developing themselves naturally in appropriate circumstances. Take the Two Gentlemen of Verona. Here the knot to be unravelled is the treacherous love of PROTEUS for SILVIA, which separates her from her true love VALENTINE, and PROTEUS himself from his true love JULIA. There is a great deal * Shakespeare, born at Stratford in Warwickshire, 23rd April, 1564.

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Elizabeth reigned 45 years--from 1558 to 1603. James I. 1603 to 1625. Shakespeare died on his 53rd birthday, 1616, of a fever contracted after a meeting with Drayton and Ben Jonson,"

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