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Mamillius P. of Sicilia
Florizel P. of Bohemia
Old Shepherd

Garinter. Dorastus. Franion. Porrus.




Mopsa. The parts of Antigonus, Paulina, and Autolycus, are of the poets own invention; but many circumstances of the novel are omitted in the play.

STBEVENS. Dr. Warburton, by „some of great name," means Dryden and Pope. See the Essay at the end of the Second Part of The Conquest of Granada: „Wit. ness the lameness of their plots; (the plots of Shako speare and Fletcher;] many of which, especially those which they wrote first, (for even that age refined itsels in some measure,] were made up of some ridiculous incoherent story, which in one play many times took up the business of an age. I suppose I need not name Pericles, Prince of Tyre, (and here, by-the-by, Dryden expressly names Pericles as our author's production, ] nor the historical plays of Shakspeare; besides many of the rest, as The Jin. ter's Tale, Love's Labour's Lost, Measure for Measure, which were either grounded on impossibilities, or at least so meanly written, that the comedy neither caused your mirth, nor the serious part your concernment." Mr. Pope, in the Preface to his edition of our author's plays, pronounced the same ill-considered judgement on the play before

..I should conjecture (says he) of some of the others, particularly Love's Labour's Lost, Tag WINTER'S TALE, Comedy of Errors, and Titiis Andronicus , that only some characters, single

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scenes, or perhaps a few particular passages, were of his hand.”

None of our anthor's plays has been more cen: sured for the breach of dramatick rules than The Winter's Tale. In confirmation of what Mr. Stee. vens has remarked in another place ..that Shak speare was not ignorant of these rules, but disregarded them," it may be observed, that the laws of the drama are clearly laid down by a writer once uni. versally read and admired, Sir Philip Sidney, who in his Defence of Poesy, 1595, has pointed out the very improprieties into which our author has fallen in this play. After mentioning the defects of the tragedy of Gorboduc, he adds: „But if it be so in Gorboducke, how much more in all the rest, where you shall have, Asia of the one side, and Affricke of the other, and so manie other under kingdomes, that the player when he comes in, must ever begin with telling where he is, or else the tale will not be conceived. Now of time they are much more liberal. For ordinaric it is, that two young princes fall in love, after many traverses she is got with childe, delivered of a faire boy; he is lost, groweth a man, falleth in love, and is readie to get another childe, and all this in two houres space: which how absurd it is in sence, even senco may imagine.”

The Winter's Tale is sneered at by B. Jonson, in the induction to Bartholomew Fair, 1614: „If there be never a servant-monster in the fair, who can help it, nor a nest of antiques ? He is lock to make nature afraid in his play, like those that beget TALES, Tempests, and such like drolleries." By the nest of antiques, the twelve satyrs who are introduced at the sleepshearing festival, are alluded

In his conversation with Mr. Drummond of Hawthornden, in 1619, he has another stroke at his beloved friend: „He [jonson) said, that Shakspeare wanted art, and sometimes sense; for in one of his plays he brought in a number of men, saying they had suffered shipwreck in Bohemia, where is no sea near by 100 miles." Drummond's Works, fol. 225)


edit. 1711.

When this remark was made by Ben Jonson, The Winter's Tale was not printed. These words therefore are a sufficient answer to Sir T. Hanmer's idle supposition that Bohemia was an error of the press for Bythinia.

This play, I imagine, . was written in the year 1604. See An Attempt to ascertain the order of Shakspeare's plays. MALONE.

Sir Thomas Hanmer gave himself much needless concern that Shakspeare should consider Bohemia as a maritime country. He would have us read Bythi. nia: but our author implicitly copied the novel before him. Dr. Grey, indeed, was apt to believe that Dorastus and Faunia might rather be borrow. ed from the play; but I have met with a copy of it, which was printed in 1589. Cervantes ridi. cules these geographical mistakes when he makes the Princess Micomicona land at Ossuna, Cor. poral Trim's King of Bohemia delighted in navigation, and had never a sea-port in his dominions;" and my lord Herbert tells us, that De Luines the prime minister of Francè, when he was ambassa. dor there, demanded, whether Bohemia was inland country, or lay ,,upon the sea ?" - There is a similar mistake in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, relative to that city and Milan.

FARMER. The Winter's Tale may be ranked among the historic plays of Shakspeare, though not one of his


numerous criticks and commentators have discover. ed the drift of it. It was certainly intended (in compliment to Queen Elizabeth) as an indirect apo. logy for her mother Ann Boleyn. The address of the poet appeared no-where to more advantage.' The subject was too delicate to be exhibited on the stage without a veil; and it was too recent, and touch. ed the Queen to nearly, for the bard to have ventured so home an allusion on any other ground than compliment.

The imreasonable jealousy of Leones, and his violent conduct in consequence, form a true portrait of Henry the Eighth, who generally made the law the engine of his boisterous passions. Not only the general plan of the story is most applicable, but several passages are so marked, that they touch the real history nearer than the fable. Hermione on her trial says:

for honour,
'Tis a derivative from me to mine,

And only that I stand for." This seems to be taken from the verye letter of Anne Boleyn to the King before her execution, where she pleads for the infant Princess his daughter. Ma. millius, the young Prince, an unnecessary character, dies in his infancy; but it confirms the allusion, as Queen Anne, before Elizabeth, bore a siili-born son. But the most striking passage, and which had nothing to do in the tragedy, but as it pictured Eli. zabeth, is, where Paulina , describing the new-born Princess, and her likeness to her father, says: ..She has the very trick of his frown." There is one sentence indeed so applicable, both to Elizabeth and her father, that I should suspect the poet inserted it after her death. Paulina, speaking of the child tells the King:


'Tis yours; „And might we lay. the old proverb to your

charge, ..So like you, 'tis the worse." The Winter's Tale was therefore in reality a second part of Henry the Eighth Malone.

P. 93, line 14. 15. Wherein our entertainment shall shame us, we will be justified in our loves :) Though we cannot give you equal entertainment, get the consciousness of our good-will shall justify us. JOHNSON.

P.94, 1. 13. royally attorney'd,] Nobly supplied by substitution of embassies, etc. Johnson.

P. 94, l. 16. and embraced, as it were, from the ends of opposed winds. ] Shakspeare has, more than once , taken his imagery from the prints, with which the books of his time were ornamented. If my mcmory do not deceive me, he had his eye on a wood cut in Holinshed, while writing the incantation of the weird sisters in Macbcth. There is also an aliusion to a print of one of the Henries holding a sword adorned with crowns. In this passage he refers to a device common in the titlepage of old books, of two hauds extended from opposite clouds, and joined as in token of friend. ship over a wide waste of country. HENLEY.

P. 94, 1. 25. one that, indeed, physicks the subject , ] Affords a cordial to the state; has the power of assuaging the sense of misery.

JOHNSON P. 95, 1. 18. 19. that may blow

No sneaping winds --] Dr Warburton calls this nonsense: and Dr. Johnson tells us it is a Gal. licism. It happens however to be both sense and English. That, for Oh! that-is not incommon.

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