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losophical criticism. Whether any of the several results of this study exhaust the truth may be questionable; but that all are truthful, and well calculated to lead to a deeper and fuller appreciation of the whole, will be generally allowed. The present work seems, on this account, likely to be welcomed by the English student of Shakspeare, but especially because it attempts to discover the leading ideas which Shakspeare may have had before him in the composition of his plays. Many, perhaps, who will be most disposed to question the successfulness of the attempt, may be led by it to more felicitous essays of their own.
At any rate it will serve to familiarize the reader with higher principles of æsthetical criticism than are generally to be met with in our national estimates of Shakspeare.
Whether the valuable introductions of Collier to the several plays, in his edition of Shakspeare, might or not have modified any of Dr. Ulrici's historical opinions — as, for instance, the genuineness of the disputed parts of “Henry the Fourth," it is impossible to say. They were unpublished at the date of Dr. Ulrici's work. The Translator, however, would call the reader's attention to them, as well as to the “Shakspeare Library,” by Collier, which contains most of the original novels and tales on which Shakspeare is supposed to have founded his several dramas. Instead of the work of Echtermeyer and Simrock, the English reader will consult the “Shakspeare Library.”
As an interesting illustration of the Mysteries, or religious Plays, the Translator appends the following extract from the Journal of the Bishop of Madras, from which it would seem that they still exist. Though, in obedience to the Synod of Mexico, the clergy are no longer themselves impersonators of the religious story, the Jesuits, apparently, still avail themselves of its objective and sensuous teaching as a substitute for the more powerful
but slower training by the intellectual inculcation of religious truths.
Trichinopoly is the strong hold of popery in Southern India, and aspires to be what Madura was in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. As I entered the town I observed a gaudily decorated temporary theatre in the open air, exactly like the theatrical booths which I have often seen when a boy in a county fair in England, except that this was surmounted by the cross. And here the popish priests exhibit to their miserably deluded proselytes some so-called sacred drama; 'St. Michael and the Dragon,' or it may be his battle with the same arch-enemy over the body of Moses, or I know not what other parody of unspeakable things.”
The Translator must beg of the reader to correct before perusal, the errata given in a subsequent page, and kindly to excuse them and any bibliographical errors, on the ground of the Translator's distance from London during the printing of the chief portion of the work.
A. J. W. M.
London, 14th March, 1816.
MANY causes have contributed to render a book about Shakspeare a literary want. Since August. W. Schlegel delivered his celebrated Lectures on Dramatic Art and Literature, much has been done both for the history and for the just appreciation of the great poet, not only in Germany, where the distinguished labours of Tieck deserve especial mention, but also in England. In France, too, Shakspeare has been welcomed and his merits acknowledged. I allude merely to such works as-
W. Hazlitt's Characters of Shakspeare's Plays. 1817.
graphy of the Poet, Criticisms on his Genius and Writings,
&c. 2 vols. 4to. Lond. 1818. The same: Memorials of Shakspeare. Lond. 1828. Rob. Hares. A Glossary or Collection of Words, Phrases,
Names and Allusions to Customs, Proverbs, &c. which have been thought to require illustration in the works of English authors, particularly Shakspeare and his Contemporaries.
1823. Aug. Skottowe. The Life of Shakspeare, with Essays on his
Dramatic Plots, &c. 1824. Th. Warton. The Iristory of English Poetry. A new edition.
Lond. 1824. 4 vols. J. Payne Collier. The Iristory of English Dramatic Poetry to
the time of Shakspeare, and Annals of the Stage to the Restoration, 3 vols. Lond. 1831.
J. Payne Collier. New Facts regarding the Life of Shakspeare. In a Letter to Th. Amyot, Esq. Lond. 1835.
New Particulars regarding the Works of Shakspeare. In a Letter to the Rev. A Dyce. Lond. 1836. Mrs. Jameson. Characteristics of Women, 2 vols. Lond.
1832. Translated into German by Wagner. Leipz. 1834. James Boaden. On the Sonnets of Shakspeare, identifying the
person to whom they were addressed. Lond. 1837. Coleridge. Literary Reviews, &c. Charles Lamb. Essays on the Tragedies of Shakspeare in the
Essays of Elia. Thomas Price. The Wisdom and Genius of Shakspeare. Villemain. Cours de Litterature Française. Bruxelles, 1834. Chateaubriand. Essais sur la Litterature Anglaise. Appendix
to the Translation of Milton. Paris, 1836. Ch. Magnin. Les Origines du Théâtre Moderne, etc. tom. i.
What has appeared in Germany need not be here mentioned by
Of the olden Shakspeare-Literature, down to the year 1823, an accurate census will be found in the “ Erlauterungen” of Fr. Horn.
Most of the English works in the above list have been written under the conviction that a nice and accurate knowledge of contemporary art is requisite for a correct understanding of Shakspeare.
It had been seen that the grand tree of Shakspeare's poesy could never have flourished in any other than a good and rich soil — a soil so rich, indeed, that its luxuriant fertility must necessarily have produced many other like excellent fruits. Accordingly, the composition of these historical treatises has been accompanied with valuable editions of the dramas of the earlier and later contemporaries of Shakspeare. Thus, besides Gifford's Ben Jonson, Massinger, Ford and Shirley, and the collected works of Marlowe, Beaumont and Fletcher, and others, we must