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THE

PL A YS

OF

WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE,

ACCURATELY PRINTED

FROM THE TEXT OF THE CORRECTED COPIES

LEFT BY THE LATE

GEORGE STEEVENS, Esq., AND EDMOND MALONE, Esq.

WITH

MR, MALONE'S VARIOUS READINGS;

A SELECTION OF

EXPLANATORY AND HISTORICAL NOTES,

FROM THE MOST EMINENT COMMENTATORS;

A History of the Stage, and a Life of Shakspeare ;

BY

ALEXANDER CHALMERS, F.S.A.

A NEW EDITION, IN EIGHT VOLUMES.

VOLUME II.

TWELFTH NIGHT.
MEASURE FOR MEASURE.
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.
MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM.

LOVE'S LABOUR's Lost.

LONDON:
Printed for F. C. and J. Rivington; T. Egerton; J. Cuthell; J. Scatcherd; Longman
and Co.; T. Cadell ; J. and W. T. Clarke ; 'J. Booker; J. Booth; J. Richardson ;
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taker; Kingsbury and Co.; Simpkin and Co; and R. Saunders : also for Deighton and
Sons, Cambridge;

Wilson and Sons, York; for Stirling and Slade, A. Black, P. Brown,
and J. Fairbairn, Edinburgh,

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There is great reason to believe, that the serious part of this Comedy is founded on some old translation of the seventh history in the fourth volume of Belleforest's Histoires Tragiques. Belleforest took the story, as usual, from Bandello. The comic scenes appear to have been entirely the production of Shakspeare. It is not impossible, however, that the circumstances of the Duke sending his Page to plead his cause with the Lady, and of the Lady's falling in love with the Page, &c. might be borrowed from the Fifth Eglog of Barnaby Googe, published with his other original poems, in 1563.

A worthy Knyght dyd love her longe,

“ And for her sake dyd feale
“ The panges of love, that happen styl

“ By frowning fortune's wheale.
“ He had a Page, Valerius named,

“ Whom so muche he dyd truste,
" That all the secrets of his hart

“ To hym declare he muste.
“ And made hym all the onely meanes

“ To sue for his redresse,
“ And to entreate for grace to her

“ That caused his distresse.
« She whan as first she saw his page

Was straight with hym in love,
That nothynge coulde Valerius' face

From Claudia's mynde remove.
By hym was Faustus often harde,
“ By hym his sutes toke place,
By hym he often dyd aspyre

“ To se bis Ladyes face.
“ This passed well, tyll at the length

“ Valerius sore did sewe,
“ With many teares besechynge her

“ His mayster's gryefe to rewe.
" And tolde her that she wolde not

“ Release his mayster's payne,
He never wolde attempte her more

Nor se her ones agayne,&c.

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Thus also concludes the first scene of the third act of the play before us:

“ And so adieu, good madam; never more

« Will I my master's tears to you deplore.” I offer no apology for the length of the foregoing extract, the book from which it is taken being so uncommon, that only one copy, except that in my own possession, has hitherto occurred.

Even Dr. Farmer, the late Rev. T. Warton, Mr. Reed, and Mr. Ma. lone, were unacquainted with this Collection of Googe's Poetry.

August 6, 1607, a Comedy called What you will, (which is the second title of this play,) was entered at Stationers' Hall by Tho. Thorpe. I believe, however, it was Marston's play with that name. Ben Jonson, who takes every opportunity to find fault with Shakspeare, seems to ridicule the conduct of Twelfth-Night in his Every Man out of his Humour, at the end of Act III. sc. vi. where he makes Mitis

say, " That the argument of his comedy might have been of some other nature, as of a duke to be in love with a countess, and that countess to be in love with the duke's son, and the son in love with the lady's waiting maid: some such cross wooing, with a clown to their serving man, better than be thus near and familiarly allied to the time.” STEEVENS. I

suppose this comedy to have been written in 1607. Ben Jonson unquestionably could not have ridiculed this play in Every Man out of his Humour, which was written many years before it.

Malone.

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