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Timon of Athens. THE FOOL.-The fool in this play is a very obscure and insignificant character. Dr. Johnson's conjecture, that he belongs to one of Alcibiades's mistresses, is very probable. Many ancient prints conduce to show that women of this description were attended by buffoons: and there is good reason for supposing, probably from the same kind of evidence, that in most brothels such characters were maintained to amuse the guests by their broad jokes and seasonable anticks. In Measure for Measure we have such a person, who is also a tapster; and in Antony and Cleopatra, Act I. Sc. I. we hear of a strumpet's fool.
The dress, in the present instance, should be a parti-coloured garment, with a hood and asses' ears, and a cock's-comb. He might also carry a bauble.
Tempest. THE FOOL.-The character of Trinculo, who in the dramatis persone is called a jester, is not very well discriminated in the course of the play itself. As he is only associated with Caliban and the drunken butler, there was no opportunity of exhi. biting him in the legitimate character of a professed fool; but at the conclusion of the play it appears that he was in the service of the king of Naples as well as Stephano. On this
On this account therefore, and for the reasons already offered in vol. xv. p. 116, he must be regarded as an allowed domestic buffoon, and should be habited on the stage in the usual manner,
Pericles. THE CLOWN.-Although Boult, the servant to the pandar and his wife, is not termed a clown in the dramatis personæ, it should seem that he has an equal claim to the appellation with several other low characters that have been introduced into plays for the purpose of amusing the audience. He bears some affinity to the tapster in Measure for Measure; but there is nothing that immediately constitutes him the jester to a brothel. See what has been said on such a character in the article relating to the clown in Measure for Measure.
Titus Andronicus. THE Clown.-He is nothing more than a shrewd rustic, performing the office of a messenger.
ANCIENT EDITIONS OF SHAKSPEARE.
[It is not easy to ascertain whether seemingly different copies printed in the same year, are any thing more than one edition corrected in its passage through the press. I have been favoured by Mr. Amyot with the following collation of several first folios. BOSWELL.
List of Variations in two Copies of Shakspeare, folio 1623,
belonging to T. Amyot.
COPY NO, II.
COPY NO. I.
233 Hamlet, p. 278, col. 1, line 17.... sirh, is
166 237 sir, his years onething: Coffin.
COPY NO. I. COPY NO. II. Col. 2, line 3
wisenesse 4 from bottom forebeare forbeare In a copy belonging to Mr. Litchfield, in As You Like It, p. 204, col. 1, the Clown's speech, “a
a ripe age,” &c. is given to Orlando, and William's speech, immediately following it, is assigned to the Clown.
In a copy now or very lately in the hands of Messrs Longman and Co, in Othello, p. 333, col. 1, top line, the words “ and Hell gnaw his bones," are substituted for the first line of Roderigo's speech, “I have heard thus much,” &c.
And in a copy lately at Messrs Arch's, the title, page (evidently genuine) is dated 1622, but the last page has the usual date 1623.
James Street, 7th March, 1821. .
ADDITIONAL NOTES TO THE PLAYS. Comedy of Errors, vol. iv. p. 184:
“ Be it my wrong, you are from me exempt." Exempt, is taken away. So, in the old play of King John, Hubert, when he spares Arthur, exclaims
“ Go, cursed tooles, your office is exempt."
Merchant of Venice, vol. v. p. 45:
"Well, if any man in Italy have a fairer table." “ Table,” says Dr. Johnson, " is the palm of the hand extended;" but he has given no instance of this
usage of the word. The reader may accept of the following from Middleton's Any Thing for a Quiet Life, where the Lord Beauford is courting the citizen's wife. “ Beau. Fairest one, I have skill in palmestry. Wife. Good my Lord, what do you find there? Beau. In good earnest I do find written here, all my good fortune lies in your hand. Wife. You keep a very bad house then, you may see by the smallness of the table.”
Romeo and Juliet, vol. vi. p. 265:
I have mentioned that a play on this subject was written by Lopes de Vega. As the following synopsis of the plot of the Spanish play is of no great length, I have inserted it from Dr. Grey's notes on Shakspeare:
“ Extract from the Castelvins and Monteses, a
Play of Lopes de Vega.
Though the whole first act passes in the city of Verona, yet there are several changes of decoration. The stage, during the first scene, represents a street, with the front of a beautiful palace, the residence of Antonio, chief of the Castelvins.
“ Anselm and Roselo, two young Gentlemen of the party of the Monteses, are discoursing of an entertainment given in the palace; a concert, and a masquerade; the violins are heard. Roselo shews a strong inclination to go in, and his friend dissuades him from it, by remonstrating the danger that such a rashness might bring him into, and theinexcusable crime it would appear to father, from the hereditary hatred of their houses.
“ Roselo argues, That the union of a moment : may perhaps happily cement the animosity of ages, which has been often near the ruin of the city: That the Monteses have been always famous for men of unconquerable valour; the Castelvins, for women of as uncommon beauty.
“Lopes de Vega's expression in Spanish is, Mugeres de tal belleza, que hurto la Naturaleza
la estampa a los Serafines.' "• Women of such beauty, that Nature stole their
model from the Seraphims.' That he has an impulse not to be overcome, that urges him to believe 'tis his fate to put an end to these unhappy dissensions.
“ Anselm expostulates for some time, and at last: yields with great difficulty to the caprice of Roselo. They determine to mask themselves, in order to go with more safety into the house of their enemy; and Marin, Roselo's valet, the buffoon of the play, trembles for his master's danger and his own, and concludes the scene with his burlesque terrors.
“ The scene changes to a fine garden. Some Gentlemen and Ladies seated, others walking, &c.; a band of music at the end of the stage,
“ Whilst the masks are dancing, Octavio (the son of Theobald) is making love to Julia (daughter to Antonio). The old men advance to the front of the stage, and testify the pleasure it would give them to unite their children. Things don't succeed just as they wish. Octavio loves Julia, but she dislikes him.
“Roselo, Anselm, and Marin, join the company in disguise. The extreme beauty of Julia strikes Roselo immediately. He is lost in transport, and, in his disorder, he drops his mask. Antonio knows him that instant, and, with great indignation, whispers it to Theobald, who with difficulty per