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poem, missed the opportunity of introducing a most affecting scene by the natural and obvious conclusion of the story. In Luigi's novel, Juliet awakes from her trance in the tomb before the death of Romeo. From Turberville's poems printed in 1567, we learn, that Arthur Brooke was drowned in his passage to New-haven, and that he was the author of this translation, which was the distinguished proof of his excellent poetical abilities.
Apollo lent him lute for folace sake,
In proofe that he for myter did excell,
may be iudge by Iulyet and her Mate ;
Aye mee, that time, thou crooked dolphin, where
The enthusiasts to Shakespeare must wish to see more of Arthur Brooke's poetry, and will be gratified with the dullest anecdotes of an author to whom perhaps we owe the existence of a tragedy at which we have all wept. I can discover nothing more of Arthur Brooke, than that he translated from French into English, The Agreement of sundrie places of Scripture seeming to iarre, which was printed at London in 1563. At the end is a copy of verses written by the editor Thomas Brooke the
younger, I suppose his brother ; by which it appears, that the author Arthur Brooke was shipwrecked before the year 1563. Juliet foon furnished a female name to a new novel. For in i
Fol. 143.b. 144. a. Epitaph on the Death of Maifter Arthur Breoke. edit. 2. 1 2mo, 1570.
i In octavo. PRINC. “ Some men here. " tofore haue attempted."
Hugh Jackson printed « The renowned Historie of Cleomenes “ and Juliet k.” Unless this be Brooke's story disguised and altered.
Bishop Tanner, I think, in his correspondence with the learned and accurate Thomas Baker of Cambridge, mentions a prose English version of the Novelle of Bandello, who endeavoured to avoid the obscenities of Boccace and the improbabilities of Cinthio, in 1580, by W. W. Had I seen this performance, for which I have searched Tanner's library in vain, I would have informed the inquisitive reader, how far it accommodated Shakespeare in the conduct of the Tragedy of ROMEO AND Juliet. As to the translator, I make no doubt that the initials W. W. imply William Warner the author of ALBION's ENGLAND', who was esteemed by his cotemporaries as one of the refiners of our language, and is said in Meres's Wit's TreaSURY, to be one of those by whom “ the English tongue is
mightily enriched, and gorgeously invested in rare ornaments “ and resplendent habiliments m.” Warner was also a translator of Plautus; and wrote a novel, or rather a suite of stories, much in the style of the adventures of Heliodorus's Ethiopic romance, dedicated to lord Hunsdon, entitled, “ SYRINX, or a
seauenfold Historie, handled with varietie of pleasant and pro
fitable, both commicall and tragicall, argument. Newly pe“ rused and amended by the first author W. WARNER. At “ London, printed by Thomas Purfoote, &c. 1597 ." Warner
But W.W. may mean William Webbe, author of the DisCOURSE OF ENGLISH Poetrie, 1586. I remember an old book with these initials; and which is entered to Richard Jones, in 1986, “A history “ entituled a strange and petifull nouell, “ dyscoursynge of a noble lorde and his
story, I think in Wood's collection of bal-
In quarto. Bl. Lett. This is the se. cond edition. The first being full of faults. TO THE READER, he says,
« One in peno ping pregnanter, and a fchollar better “than myselfe, on whose graue the grasse " now groweth, green, whom otherwise,
lady, with their tragicall ende of them " and thayre ij children executed by a " blacke morryon.” REGISTR. STATION. A. fol. 187. b. There is a fine old pathetic ballad, rather too bloody, on this
though otherwise to me guiltie, I name “ not, hath borrowed out of euerie CALA
MUS (of the Syrinx,] of the Storie herc. “ in handled, argument and inuention to "" feuerall bookcs by him published. An30
in his ALBION'S ENGLAND, commonly supposed to be first printed in 1592 °, says, • Written haue I already in Prose, “ allowed of fome, and now offer I Verse, attending indifferent « censvres."
In 1598 was published, as it seems, “ A fyne Tuscane hyf
torye called ARNALT AND LUCINDA.” It is annexed to « The ITALIAN SCHOOLEMAISTER, conteyninge rules for “ pronouncynge the Italyan tongue."
Among George Gascoigne's Weedes printed in 1576, is the Tale of Ferdinando Jeronimi, or “ The pleasant fable of Fer66 dinando leronimi and Leonora de Valasco, translated out of " the Italian riding tales of Bartello.” Much poetry is interwoven into the narrative. Nor, on the mention of Gascoigne, will it be foreign to the present purpose to add here, that in the year 1566, he translated one of Ariosto's comedies called SUPPOSIT1, which was acted the same year at Gray’s-inn. The title is, H SVPPOSES. A comedie written in the Italian tongue by
Ariosto, Englished by George Gascoigne of Graies inne esquire, " and there presented, 15669." This comedy was first written in prose by Ariosto, and afterwards reduced into rhyme. Gafcoigne's translation is in prose. The dialogue is fupported with much spirit and ease, and has often the air of a modern converfation. As Gascaigne was the first who exhibited on our stage a story from Euripides, fo in this play he is the first that produced an English comedy in prose. By the
By the way, the quaint name of Petruchio, and the incident of the master and servant changing habits and characters, and persuading the Scenese to personate the father, by frightening him with the hazard of his travelling from Sienna to Ferrara against the commands of government,
"other of late, hauing (fayning the same
a Translation) set foorth an historie of a · Duke of Lancaster neuer before author« ed, hath vouchsafed to incerte therein “ whole pages verbatim as they are herein l' extant, &c." The first edition is entered to Purfoot, Sept. 22, 1584. REGISTR. STATION. B. fol. 201, a.
° Lond. by T. Orwin. 4to. BI. Lett. But it is entered to Thomas Tadman, Nov. 7, 1586. REGISTR, B. fol. 212. b. As printed.
P Entered to the two Purfootes, Aug.19 REGISTR. STATION. C. fol. 40. b.
9 See Gascoigne's HEARBES, fol. 1.
was transferred into the TAMING Of The Shrew. I doubt not however, that there was an Italian novel on the subject. From this play also the ridiculous name and character of Doctor Dodipoll seems to have got into our old drama'. But to return.
In Shakespeare's Much ADO ABOUT NOTHING, Beatrice suspects she shall be told the had “ her good wit out of the " HUNDRED MERRY TALES! A translation of Les Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles, printed at Paris before the year 1500, and said to have been written by some of the royal family of France, but a compilation from the Italians, was licenced to be printed by John Waly, in 1557, under the title of “ A Hun“ dreth mery tayles," together with The freere and the boye, stans puer ad menfam, and youthe, charite, and bumylite'. It was frequently reprinted, is mentioned as popular in Fletcher's Nice VALOUR, and in the LONDON CHAUNTICLERES, so late as 1659, is cried for sale by a ballad-vender, with the Seven Wise Men of GOTHAM", and Scogan's Jests".
In 1587, George Turberville the poet, already mentioned as the translator of Ovid's Epistles, published a set of tragical tales in prose, selected from various Italian novelists. skilful master of the modern languages, and went into Russia in the quality of secretary to Thomas Randolph esquire, envoy to the emperor of Russia*. This collection, which is dedicated to his brother Nicholas, is entitled, “ TRAGICAL TALES, transla
He was a
* See fol. 4; &c. See also Nashe's Preface to G. Harvey's Hunt is up: printed in 1596. “ The wisdome of doctor Dodepole " plaied by the children of Paules," is en. tered to R. Olyffe, Oct. 7, 1600. REGISTR. Station. C. fol. 65.b.
. Act ii. Sc. i.
i RegistR. STATION, A. fol. 22. a. See also B. sub ann. 1581. fol. 186. a.
* Of these, see fupr. p. 72. There is an entry to R. Jones, Jan. 5, 1595, “ COMEDIE entitled A KNACK TO KNOWE
A KNAVE, newlye sete fourth, as it hath fundrye tymes ben plaid by Ned Allen
" and his companie, with Kemp's Mery
MENTES OF THE MEN OF GOTHEHAŤ." RegistR. STATION. B. fol.
w Under a licence to T. Colwell, in 1565, “ The geystes of Skoggon gather“ed together in this volume.” RegisTR. STATION.A. fol. 134. a.
* It may be doubted whether the treatife on Hunting reprinted with his Fal. conrie, in 1611, and called a translation, with verses by Gascoigne, is to be ascribed to him. One or both came out first in 1575. The Dedication and Epilogue to the Falconrie, are figned by Turberville.
“ ted by Turberville in time of his troubles, out of sundrie “ Italians, with the argument and lenvoy to each taley."
Among Mr. Oldys's books, was the “ Life of Sir Meliado a “ Brittish knight ?,” translated from the Italian, in 1572. By the
way, we are not here to suppose that Brittish means English. A BRITtish knight means a knight of Bretagne or Britanny, in France. This is a common mistake, arising from an equivocation which has converted many a French knight into an Englishman. The learned Nicholas Antonio, in his SPANISH LIBRARY, affords a remarkable example of this confufion, and a proof of its frequency, where he is speaking of the Spanish translation of the romance of TIRANTE THE WHITE, in 1480. “ Ad fabularum artificem ftylum convertimus, Joannem Mar“ torell Valentiæ regni civem, cujus est liber hujus commatis, “ TIRANT LE BLANCH infcriptus, atque anno 1480, ut aiunt, " Valentiæ in folio editus. More HIC ALIORUM TALIUM “ OTIOSORUM CONSUETO, fingit fe hunc librum ex ANGLICA “ in Lufitanam, deinde Lusitana in Valentinam linguam, anno,
1460, transtuliffe, &c 1." That is, “ I now turn to a writer “ of fabulous adventures, John Martorell of the kingdom of “ Valencia, who wrote a book of this cast, entitled TIRANTE “ The White, printed in folio at Valencia in 1480. This “ writer, according to a practice common to such idle histo" rians, pretends he translated this book from English into Portugueze,
and from thence into the Valencian language.” The hero is a gentleman of Bretagne, and the book was first written in the language of that country. I take this opportunity of observing, that these mistakes of England for Britanny, tend to confirm my hypothesis, that Bretagne, or Armorica, was antiently a copious source of romance : an hypothesis, which I have the happiness to find was the opinion of the most learned
y Lond. for Abel Jeffes, 1587. 12mo.
3 Meliadus del Espinoy, and Meliadus le noir Oeil, are the thirty-seventh and thirty-eighth knights of the Round TA. BLE, in R. Robinson's AÚNCIENT ORDER,
&c. Londi 1583. 4to. Bl. Lett. Chiefly a French translation.
a BIBL. Hispan. L. X. c. ix, P: 193. num. 490.