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It would be difficult, even if it were wise, to isolate the music of the craft cycles from that which preceded it in liturgical drama. In some ways the sources and antecedents of craft cycle music are more important than the subject itself. Let us, then, begin with the place of music in liturgical drama. Every student of the liturgy is aware of its large musical content; in fact, almost all of the liturgy which is intended to be heard by the congregation is sung. This music is called plainchant or plainsong. One obvious reason why most of the liturgy has always been sung is to be found in the very ancient and genuine reliance upon a union of words and music to express in sound the highest and most profound emotions. To the Protestant and modern ear this union will often seem no more than an eccentric way of speaking the words. Yet even Protestants sing hymns and psalms; they do not say them. And it was not so very long ago that a great deal of English lyric poetry was regarded as inseparable from the melodies which accompanied it. One also recalls Greek drama and its superb unification of the three arts of poetry, music, and the dance. No one is surprised, therefore, to find that when drama came out of the liturgy the melodies came along with the words. Indeed, here was somewhat the same inter-dependence and union that had been in Greek drama. Liturgical drama was truly musical drama.
In PMLA for December, 1926, Professor Oscar Cargill advanced ingeniously the theory first, that one, Gilbert Pilkington, was the author of the Northern Passion, the Turnament of Totenham, and the Tale of a Basyn in Cambridge University MS. Ff. 5. 48, and second, that, as the author of the Turnament he must also have been the author of the Secunda Pastorum, being thus none other than the “Wakefield Master” as Professor Gayley has taught us all to speak of the great playwright of the Towneley Cycle of mystery plays.
The Satyre of the Thrie Estaitis has come down to us in complete form only in the quarto edition printed by Robert Charteris at Edinburgh in 1602. There is no manuscript of the complete play. Several of the “interludes” were copied by George Bannatyne and are to be found in the Bannatyne Manuscript (1568), preceded by a proclamation of the play which does not appear in the early printed edition.
Students of Elizabethan drama have practically agreed that James IV is one of Robert Greene's last undoubted plays, if not the very last in point of composition. They have, for the most part, assigned it to a date in or near 1590, and Professor C. M. Gayley has gone far enough to suggest that its composition belongs to the month of July, 1590. Arguments hitherto given for dating the play rest upon certain qualities of its style and structure that indicate the maturity of the dramatist's workmanship, similarities between lines of the play and Peele's The Hunting of Cupid (entered in the Stationers' Register, July 26, 1591), and possible allusions to events which transpired in Ireland and France in or near the year 1590.
The principal source of The Trial of Chivalry has been ably discussed by C. R. Baskervill, who shows how the main plot is chiefly a skilful interweaving of two narratives from the Arcadia; namely, the story of Argalus and Parthenia and Demagoras, which corresponds with the Philip-Bellamira-Burbon plot; and the story of Philoxenus, Helen of Corinth, and Amphialus, which corresponds, in part, with the Ferdinand-Katharine-Pembroke plot. Baskervill does not, however, point out that the dramatist (undoubtedly Chettle) uses part of yet another story from Book i of the Arcadia. Ferdinand and Pembroke swoon away after wounding each other in a duel, and are removed separately by. a forester and a fisherman, who restore them to health. Each thinks the other dead. When they meet again, it is to cross swords once more, but happily they “Discouer eche other in fighting” (the helmet of one of them had fallen off), and resume their old friendship. In the Arcadia, Pyrocles and Musidorus, two princes and affectionate friends, being parted by a storm at sea, regard each other as lost. After a series of adventures they, as members of opposing armies, meet in single combat. Pyrocles strikes Musidorus a blow on the head, “and withal the helmet fell off”; they recognize each other and are reunited.
Critics have generally considered the 1622 quarto of Othello as an acting version, and have classified it as one of the so-called “good” quartos of Shakespeare. Although it appeared in print much later than the others, it partakes of some of their general resemblances: the retention of oaths, reduction by cutting, the presence of more complete and less sophisticated stage directions, and also of numerous word variants. Many scholars have regarded the Q 1 with mild suspicion, partly because the Folio editors ignored it, and partly because it appears to differ in several particulars from the other good quartos. These peculiarities center about its stage directions, oaths, act and scene divisions, date of publication, its cuts—particularly those of the Willow Song and context—and the evidences of its use as a prompt copy. On these accounts, textual critics have regarded the Q, though admittedly “good,” as distinctly inferior to the folio; and the numerous hypotheses that have appeared show that scholars are far from agreement in explaining the facts. The authoritativeness of the text of any Shakespearean quarto depends largely upon the conditions of its publication. Possibly some of the peculiarities of Q 1 of Othello may be explained—and thus the authority of the text further vindicated—by associating it with a new group of quartos, published contemporaneously.
“Poets are always entitled to a royalty on whatever we find in their works.” James Russell Lowell, himself a poet of sorts, was perhaps not entirely disinterested in making this observation. But a host of critics and students have accepted it at face value and have busied themselves in a hunt for the treasures which Shakespeare buried in The Tempest. The tools with which they work are mysterious and inexact; so, often, are their findings. Nothing daunted, they have advanced beyond the field of mere facts and sources in a search for treasures of another class—those which can be dug out of The Tempest, and which are of a metal and minting that Shakespeare himself might scarcely recognize.
There is always a particular interest attaching to the last work of a great author; and in an especial degree this has been the case with Shakespeare. If The Tempest was not really his last play, it would seem that it ought to have been. The action now and then lags a bit, and gives the people on the stage or in the audience a chance to ponder; which the chief character once does to such effect that his speech, of purest and highest poetry, seems to be the “conclusion of the whole matter,” der Weisheit letzter Schluss. And there are meetings and leave-takings, and glances into the past and at what is to come.
While reading the plays of Massinger, I was struck by the frequency with which he terminates his lines with the insignificant words of and to. As I went from play to play I found these words bobbing up in the important end position with surprising regularity. Curiosity led me to measure this regularity by an actual count and classification in all his plays, and then to ascertain the practice of his predecessors and contemporaries. My idea was that in these two small words there might be found a distinguishing characteristic of Massinger's verse.
An anonymous MS. play, Anna Bullen, now at the Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery [HM973] and hitherto unnoticed, offers, upon examination, interesting similarities to the play upon the same subject by John Banks, Vertue Betray'd: Or, Anna Bullen. The MS. is written upon paper bearing an eighteenth-century watermark, and is written in an eighteenth-century hand. The MS. seems to be, not an original play, but either a copy or an adaptation of some other play, as is shown: (1) by the careful noting of an hiatus of one or two lines in the first speech by Northumberland in Act i, Scene 2 [verso leaf 5]; (2) by the scratching out of occasional words and the substitution of the proper synonym, as
Expos'd and naked to the probing light [verso leaf 25];
and (3) by the frequent complete or incomplete erasure of errors in wording, orthography, and chirography.
According to Grosart, in the D.N.B., Thomas Bancroft flourished from 1633 to 1658. A native of Swarston, Derbyshire, he attended St. Catherine's at Cambridge in 1613, and was there a friend and contemporary of James Shirley. When his oldest brother died in 1639 the family property was broken up. Grosart lists four works of the poet: The Glutton's Feaver (1633), Two Bookes of Epigrammes and Epitaphs (1639), a poem to the memory of Lord Hastings in Brome's Lachrymae Musarum (1649), and The Heroicall Lover, or Antheon and Fidelta (1658). In 1658 he was living at Bradley. He was known traditionally in Derbyshire as “the small poet.”
The recent inclusion of the triple-portrait of John Lacy in Shakespeare Improved prompts the question: How certain is it that the picture shows a character from a Restoration “improvement” of Shakespeare? The identification of one of the figures as Sauny the Scot in the Restoration adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew must rest upon more than The Catalogue of Engraved Portraits in the British Museum and Wheatley's annotation of Evelyn. It must, as will be shortly apparent, rest upon a complete study of the history of the portrait and of the actor's rôles.
As a result of recent investigations, states Professor Borgman, “the old explanation of this satire [MacFlecknoe] as Dryden's answer to Shadwell's The Medal of John Bayes is no longer sound.” In 1918, Mr. Thorn-Drury called attention to the following passage, which appeared in an attack on Shadwell in The Loyal Protestant and True Domestick Intelligence of Thursday, February 9, 1681/2:
… He would send him [Shadwell] his Recantation next morning, with a MacFlecknoe, and a brace of Lobsters for his Breakfast; All which he knew he had a singular aversion for. …
Among the P. A. Taylor papers in the British Museum, there is a small manuscript verse-book which contains poems written or collected by William Taylor “of South Weald.” In this book are a prologue and an epilogue for Tamerlane, ascribed to Sir Richard Steele. No comment is made in the manuscript as to the circumstances under which they were written; but it is clear that they were meant for a performance of Rowe's play by schoolboys. These poems are not to be found in the printed works of Steele. There is no allusion to them in his letters, and they are not mentioned in the Steele tradition as recorded by John Nichols, his eighteenth-century editor, or by G. A. Aitken, his biographer. But even in the absence of any direct evidence of their authenticity, we can be reasonably sure not only that they are from Steele's pen but that they were written, probably in the early 1720's, for use at Dr. Newcome's School in Clapton, Hackney. Circumstantial evidence leading to this conclusion is to be found in the contents of the verse-book and of other manuscripts among the Taylor papers; in the somewhat scanty information we have of William Taylor's interests and friends; and also, of course, in Steele's pursuits.
In an attempt to determine the place of issue of the first edition of the first two volumes of Tristram Shandy the biographer of Laurence Sterne, Governor Wilbur Cross, has denied the traditional belief that the book was printed at York and has written as follows:
All copies of the first edition in two volumes (so far as they have been inspected by the present writer or described by others at first hand) contain on the title-page the title: “The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman,” a Greek quotation from the Encheiridion of Epictetus, the number of the volume, and the date “1760.” There is nothing more; no place of issue, no name of publisher, no name of author. It is the same for all copies extant, so far as they are known. … The notion which still half obtains that there was an earlier private edition of Tristram Shandy, perhaps bearing on the title-page “York, 1759,” is erroneous. The paper and the typography of the first edition of the first two volumes are essentially the same as those of the third and fourth volumes, which were printed in London the next year for R. and J. Dodsley. It is of course possible, though not probable, that Dodsley, in bringing out the second instalment of the book, matched the paper and the type of a York printer; but the natural inference is that Dodsley, on terms not now known, likewise had the first edition of the first instalment printed in London for Hinxman; that he kept with reluctance a bundle for the London market, and sent the rest down to York, to his former apprentice, who may be regarded as the real publisher of Tristram Shandy, in so far as it had any outside of the author. … The book was quietly placed on sale at York, without any advertisement in the local newspaper until February 12, 1760.
Although some two hundred years separate the reigns of Catherine II (1762–1796) of Russia and Elizabeth (1558–1603) of England, both periods have much in common. Russia had so lagged behind the rest of Europe that in the eighteenth century her social life and intellectual radius were not much farther advanced than those of sixteenth century England. Her prolonged lethargy had been dissipated by Peter the Great (1672–1725) who, like Henry VIII, had succeeded in injecting new life into his kingdom at the expense of offending nearly the whole country; but it was Catherine who realized Peter's great vision of advancing Russia to a leading place among the nations, a service which Elizabeth had performed for England.
In the present article I hope to show that Lessing's Der Freigeist (1749) and Die Juden (1749) were influenced by early English sentimental comedy, and that about 1753 the German dramatist studied the work of Edward Moore, author of the chief English sentimental comedy of the second quarter of the eighteenth century—The Foundling (1748).
Charles Reade is not a great novelist, but he is a great storyteller, a master of “brute incident.” Critics recur in praise to this or that scene or group of scenes in his fiction. They prize highly the narratives relating the voyage home of the “Agra” in Hard Cash, and the boat race and bursting of the reservoir in Put Yourself in His Place; the prison scenes in It is Never too Late to Mend; and many of the episodes in The Cloister and the Hearth; the encounter with the mother bear robbed of her cubs, the fight with the “Abbot” and his mates. Yet, as with all the Victorian novelists, it is difficult to pick out from his novels any—except, perhaps, The Cloister and the Hearth—that satisfy through and through.
The vogue of “the Picturesque” in England during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries was considerable. The word “picturesque” came into use in the latter eighteenth century to designate “picturesque beauty.” Although very brief, a fairly good working definition for the purposes of this paper is the one first stated by the Rev. William Gilpin in 1768: “Picturesque: a term expressive of that peculiar kind of beauty, which is agreeable in a picture.” Gilpin before his death was called “the venerable founder and master of the Picturesque School,” and years afterward it was declared:
in the picturesque, Gilpin is unquestionably an Oracle; and his work is a Grammar of the Rules, by which alone the beauties of the Tour can be properly understood and appreciated.