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speare play, and without any resemblance to it "in any peculiarity of language, of names, or of any other matter, however slight.” -Verplanck.

"His frequent use of Latin derivatives in their radical sense shows a somewhat thoughtful and observant study of that language."-Richard Grant White.

GREEK.-Timon of Athens was drawn partly from Plutarch and partly from Lucian, the latter author not having been translated into English earlier than 1638 (White), fifteen years after the publication of the play.

Helena's pathetic lament over a lost friendship in MidsummerNight's Dream (III., 2) had its prototype in an untranslated Greek poem by St. Gregory of Nazianzus, published at Venice in 1504. -Gibbon's Decline and Fall, Chap. xxvii.

ITALIAN.-An Italian novel, written by Giraldi Cinthio and first printed in 1565, furnished the incidents for the story of Othello. The author of the play "read it probably in the original, for no English translation of his time is known."-Gervinus.

"He was, without doubt, quite able to read Italian."-Richard Grant White.

FRENCH.-One entire scene and parts of others in Henry V. are

in French.

Plowden's French Commentaries, containing the celebrated case of Hales vs. Petit, which was satirized by the grave-diggers, were translated into English for the first time more than half a century after Hamlet was written.

SPANISH.-The poet drew some of his materials for the Two Gentlemen of Verona from the Spanish romance of Montemayor, en

titled the Diana, which was translated into English in 1582, the translation, however, not being printed till 1598. "The resemblances are too minute to be accidental." (Halliwell-Phillipps.) As the play was produced previously to 1593, it follows that the author read either the translation in manuscript or the Spanish original. The latter supposition, particularly in view of his other linguistic acquirements, is more probable.

An unknown play, based on the same story and played before the Queen in 1585, was doubtless the Two Gentlemen of Verona in an earlier form.

The Merchant of Venice and Cymbeline were also indebted, not only for much of their respective plots, but, in some instances, for identical passages, to works not then in English dress.

Gervinus, one of the ablest of the Shakespearean critics, calls attention to two of the Comedies in which Latin, French, Spanish, and Italian words and sentences abound, and ventures to suggest a desire, on the part of the author, to exhibit in them his knowledge of foreign languages.

2. He had intimate acquaintance with ancient and modern literature, numerous authors, from the age of Plato down to his own, being drawn upon for illustration and imagery in the composition of these works.

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The writer was a classical scholar. Rowe found traces in him of the Electra of Sophocles; Colman, of Ovid; Pope, of Dares Phrygius and other Greek authors; Farmer, of Horace and Virgil; Malone, of Lucretius, Statius, Catullus, Seneca, Sophocles, and

Euripides; Steevens, of Plautus; Knight, of the Antigone of Sophocles; White, of the Alcestis of Euripides."-Nathaniel Holmes.


The early plays exhibit the poet not far removed from school and its pursuits; in none of his later dramas does he plunge so deeply into the remembrances of antiquity, his head overflowing with its images, legends, and characters. The Taming of the Shrew, especially, may be compared with the First Part of Henry VI. ' in the manifold ostentation of book-learning.'"-Gervinus.

Stapfer, a distinguished French critic, intimates that in his judgment, some of the plays are "over-cumbered with learning, not to say pedantic." *

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some of the most abstruse proceedings in English jurisprudence."—Lord Chief Justice Campbell.

His fondness for legal phrases is remarkable, but it is still more remarkable that,

"whenever he indulges this propensity, he uniformly lays down good law."-Idem.

* It may be well to remark that Stapfer and White are unfriendly witnesses, and that Gervinus and Verplanck wrote before this controversy began. Judge Holmes is our senior counsel, but we claim the right at this hearing to put him also on the witness stand. His work on the Authorship of Shakespeare is as temperate in its judgments as it is philosophical and profound in general treatment of the subject.

One of the sonnets (46) is so intensely technical in its phraseology that,

"without a considerable knowledge of English forensic procedure, it cannot be fully understood."-Idem.

"Among these [legal terms], there are some which few but a lawyer would, and some even which none but a lawyer could, have written."-Franklin Fiske Heard.

4. He was a philosopher.

"In the constructing of Shakespeare's Dramas, there is an understanding manifested equal to that in Bacon's Novum Organum." -Carlyle.

"He is inconceivably wise; the others conceivably."—Emerson.

"From his works may be collected a system of civil and economical prudence."-Dr. Johnson.

"He was not only a great poet, but a great philosopher."— Coleridge.

Thus was the author's mind not only a fountain of inspiration from its own illimitable depths, but enriched in large measure with the stores of knowledge which the world had then accumulated.

"An amazing genius which could pervade all nature at a glance, and to whom nothing within the limits of the universe appeared to be unknown."- Whalley.



1. The family of William Shakespeare was grossly illiterate. His father and mother made their signatures with a cross. His daughter Judith, also, at the age of twentyseven, could not write her name. The little we know of his own youth and early manhood affords presumptive proof of the strongest kind that he was uneducated.

"His learning was very little."- Thomas Fuller's Worthies, 1662. "In him we find all arts and sciences, all moral and natural philosophy, without knowing that he ever studied them."Dryden.

2. The Shakespeare family had no settled or uniform method of spelling their name. More than thirty different. forms have been found among their papers, on their tombstones, and in contemporaneous public records. William wrote it Shakspere; his brother Gilbert, Shakespeir. In a mortgage deed given by the corporation of London, it is Shaksper. The indorsement on an indenture between Shakespeare and two of his neighbors in Stratford spells it

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