« PreviousContinue »
WEET Cytherea, fitting by a brook,
With young Adonis, lovely, fresh and green, Did court the lad with many a lovely look,
Such looks as none could look but beauty's queen.
The Paffionate Pilgrim was firft published by William Jaggard in fmall octavo in 1599, with our authour's name. Two of the Sonnets inferted in that collection are also found (as has been already observed) in the larger collection printed in quarto in 1609; which having been already laid before the reader, (fee before, Sonnet 138, and 144,) are here omitted. J. Jaggard in 1598 had printed a collection of Poems written by Richard Barnefield. Among there are found A Sonnet "addreffed to his friend Maifter R. L. in praife of mufique and poetrie," beginning with this line, "If mufique and freete poetrie agree," &c. and an Ode alfo written by Barnefielde, of which the first line is "As it fell upon a day- notwithstanding which, William Jaggard inferted these two pieces in the Paffionate Pilgrim as the productions of Shakspeare.
In the year 1612 he went ftill further, for he then added to the former mifcellany feveral pieces written by Thomas Heywood, and republished the collection under the following title. "THE PASSIONATE PILGRIME, or certaine Amorous Sonnets betweene Venus and Adonis, neruly corrected and augmented. By W. Shakespeare. The third edition. Whereunto is newly added two love-epiftles, the first from Paris to Hellen, and Hellens anfwere backe againe to Paris." Heywood, being much offended with this proceeding, appears to have infifted on the printer's cancelling the original title-page, and fubftituting another that should not afcribe the whole to Shakspeare. This I learn from my copy of thefe poems, in which the two titlepages by fome negligence of the binder have been preferved; one with, and the other without, the name of our authour. Heywood in his poftfcript to his Apology for Actors, printed in 1612, thus fpeaks of this tranfaction. "Here likewife I must neceffarily infert a manifeft injury done to me in that worke, [Britaynes Troy,] by taking the two epiftles of Paris to Helen, and Helen to Paris, and printing them in a lefs volume under the name of another; which may put the world in opinion I might fteale them from him, and hee, to do himfelfe right, hath fince published them in his own name: but as I must acknowVoie X. ledge
She told him ftories to delight his ear;
To win his heart, fhe touch'd him here and there:
But whether unripe years did want conceit,
The tender nibbler would not touch the bait,
But fmile and jeft at every gentle offer:
Then fell the on her back, fair queen, and toward; He rofe and ran away; ah, fool too froward!
ledge my lines not worthy his patronage under whom he hath published them, fo, the author, I know, much offended with Mr. Jaggard, that (altogether unknown to him,) prefumed to make fo bold with his name."
In confequence of Jaggard's conduct the two poems of Barnefield have till the prefent edition been printed as Shakspeare's; and Heywood's tranflations from Ovid, notwithstanding the authour's remonftrance, were again republished in 1640, under the name of our poet : nor was the fallacy detected till the year 1766, when it was pointed out by Dr. Farmer in his very ingenious Effay on the learning of SbakSpeare.
Befide the poems already enumerated, which the printer falfely afcribed to Shakspeare, he likewife inferted a celebrated Madrigal written by Marlowe, beginning with the words-" Come live with me, and be my love," which is now rejected.
The title page above given fully fupports an observation I made fome years ago, that feveral of the fonnets in this collection feem to have been efiays of the authour when he first conceived the notion of writing a poem on the fubject of Venus and Adonis, and before the fcheme of his work was completely adjusted.
Many of these little pieces bear the strongest mark of the hand of Shakspeare.1 have not adhered to the order in which they stand in the old copy, having claffed all those which relate to Adonis together. MALONE.
Why the prefent collection of Sonnets, &c. fhould be entitled The Paffionate Pilgrim, I cannot difcover, as it is made up out of the loofe fragments of Shakspeare, together with pieces of other writers. Perhaps it was fo called by its firft editor William Jaggard the bookseller. We may be almoft fure that our author never defigned the majority of there his unconnected fcraps for the publick.
On the Stationers' books the following entry occurs: "Jan. 3, 1599, Amours by J. D. with certen Sonets by W. S." This entry is made by Eleazar Edgar. STEEVENS.
2 Touches fo foft ftill conquer chaflity.] Thus, in Cymbeline:
"a touch more rare
"Subdues all pangs, all fears." STEEVENS.