Imatges de pÓgina


all this in two houres space which how absurd it is in sence, even sence 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 loth to make nature afraid in his plays, like those that beget TALES, Tempests, and such like drolleries." By the nest of antiques, the twelve satyrs who are introduced at the sheep-shearing festival, are alluded to. In his conversation with Mr. Drummond of Hawthornden, in 1619, he has another stroke at his beloved friend: "He [Jonson] said, that Shakespeare 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 Shakespeare's Plays, Vol. 11. MALONE.

Sir Thomas Hanmer gave himself much needless concern that Shakespeare should consider Bohemia as a maritime country. He would have us read Bythinia : but our author implicitly copied the novel before him. Dr. Grey, indeed, was apt to believe that Dorastus and Faunia might rather be borrowed from the play; but I have met with a copy of it, which was printed in 1588.-Cervantes ridicules these geographical mistakes, when he makes the princess Micomicona land at Ossuna.-Corporal 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 France, when he was embassador there, demanded, whether Bohemia was an 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 Shakespeare, though not one of his numerous

critics and commentators have discovered the drift of it. It was certainly intended (in compliment to Queen Elizabeth,) as an indirect apology for her mother, Anne Boleyn. The address of the poet appears 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 touched the Queen too nearly, for the bard to have ventured so home an allusion on any other ground than compliment. The unreasonable jealousy of Leontes, 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:

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This seems to be taken from the very letter of Anne Boleyn to the King before her execution, where she pleads for the infant Princess his daughter. Mamillius, the young Prince, an unnecessary character, dies in his infancy; but it confirms the allusion, as Queen Anne, before Elizabeth, bore a still-born son. But the most striking passage, and which had nothing to do in the tragedy, but as it pictured Elizabeth, 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.


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Another Sicilian lord.

ROGERO, a Sicilian gentleman.

An Attendant on the young prince Mamillius.“
Officers of a Court of Judicature.

POLIXENES, king of Bohemia.

FLORIZEL, his son.

ARCHIDAMUS, a Bohemian lord.
A Mariner.


An old Shepherd, reputed father of Perdita.
Clown, his son.

Servant to the old shepherd.

AUTOLYCUS, a rogue.

TIME, as chorus.

HERMIONE, queen to Leontes.

PERDITA, daughter to Leontes and Hermione.
PAULINA, wife to Antigonus.

EMILIA, a lady attending the queen.
Two other ladies,



} shepherdesses.

Lords, Ladies, and Attendants; Satyrs for a dance; Shepherds, Shepherdesses, Guards, &c.

SCENE-Sometimes in Sicilia; sometimes in Bohemia.



SCENE I.-Sicilia. An Antechamber in LEONTES' Palace.


you shall chance, Camillo, to visit Bohemia, on the
like occasion where on my services are now on foot, you
shall see, as I have said, great difference betwixt our
Bohemia, and your Sicilia.

Cam. I think, this coming summer, the king of Sicilia means to pay Bohemia the visitation which he justly owes him.

Arch. Wherein our entertainment shall shame us, we will be justified in our loves' for, indeed,

Cam. 'Beseech you,

Arch. Verily, I speak it in the freedom of my knowledge we cannot with such magnificence-in so rareI know not what to say.- -We will give you sleepy drinks; that your senses, unintelligent of our insufficience, may, though they cannot praise us, as little ac

cuse us.

Cam. You pay a great deal too dear, for what's given freely.

Arch. Believe me, I speak as my understanding instructs me, and as mine honesty puts it to utterance.

Cam. Sicilia cannot show himself over-kind to Bobemia. They were trained together in their childhoods ; and there rooted betwixt them then such an affection, which cannot choose but branch now. Since their more mature dignities, and royal necessities, made separation of their society, their encounters, though not personal,

[1] Though we cannot give you equal entertainment, yet the consciousness of our good will shall justify us. JOHNSON.

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