« PreviousContinue »
Indies.” In A. ii. sc. 2. Maria says of Malvolio: “ He does smile his face into more lines than are in the new map, with the augmentation of the Indies." When Malone prepared his “ Chronological Order" he had “not been able to learn the date of the map here alluded to,” but Linschoten’s “ Discours of Voyages” was published in folio in English in 1598, and in that volume is inserted "the new map with the augmentation of the Indies." Meres takes no notice of "Twelfth Night” in his list, published in the same year, and we may conclude that the Comedy was not then in existence. The words "new map," employed by Shakespeare, may be thought to show that Linschoten's “Discours” had not made its appearance long before " Twelfth Night” was produced; but on the whole, we are inclined to fix the period of its composition at the end of 1600, or in the beginning of 1601: it might be acted at the Globe in the summer of the same year, and from thence transferred to the Middle Temple about six months afterwards, on account of its continued popularity.
Several originals of "Twelfth Night," in English, French, and Italian, have been pointed out, nearly all of them discovered within the present century, and to these we shall now advert.
A voluminous and various author of the name of Barnabe Rich, who had been brought up a soldier, published a volume, which he called “Rich his Farewell to Military Profession,” without date, but between the years 1578 and 1581: a re-impression of it appeared in 1606, and it contains a novel entitled “ Apolonius and Silla,” which has many points of resemblance to Shakespeare's comedy. To this production more particular reference is not necessary, as it forms part of the publication called “Shakespeare's Library.” If our great dramatist at all availed himself of its incidents, he must of course have used an earlier edition than that of 1606. One minute circumstance in relation to it may deserve notice. Manningham in his Diary calls Olivia a “ widow," and in Rich's novel the lady Julina, who answers to Olivia, is a widow, but in Shakespeare she never had been married. It is possible that in the form in which the comedy was performed on Feb. 2, 1601-2, she was a widow, and that the author subsequently made the change ; but it is more likely, as Olivia must have been in mourning for the loss of her brother, that Manningham mistook her condition, and concluded hastily that she lamented the loss of her husband,
Rich furnishes us with the title of no work to which he was indebted; but we may conclude that, either immediately or intermediately, he derived his chief materials from the Italian of Bandello, or from the French of Belleforest. In Bandello it forms the thirtysixth novel of the Seconda Parte, in the Lucca edit. 1554. 4to, where it bears the subsequent title :—"Nicuola, innamorata di Lattantio, và à servirlo vestita da paggio ; e dopo molti casi seco si marita : e ciò che ad un suo fratello avvenne.” In the collection by Belleforest, printed at Paris in 1572, 12mo, it is headed as follows:-" Comme une fille Romaine, se vestant en page, servist long temps un sien amy sans estre cogneue, et depuis l'eust à mary, avec autres divers discours." Although Belleforest inserts no names in his title, he adopts those of Bandello, but abridges or omits many of the speeches and some portions of the narrative : what in Bandello occupies several pages is sometimes included by Belleforest in a single paragraph. We quote the subsequent passage, because it will more exactly show the degree of connexion between “TwelfthNight” and the old French version : it is where Nicuola, the Viola of Shakespeare, disguised as a page, and under the name of Romule, has an interview with Catelle, the Olivia of “Twelfth-Night,” on behalf of Lattance, who answers to the Duke.
“ Mais Catelle, qui avoit plus l'æil sur l'orateur et sur la naïve beauté, que l'oreille aux paroles venant d'ailleurs, estoit en une estrange peine, et volontiers se fut jettée à son col pour le baiser tout à son aise; mais la honte la retint pour un temps : à la fin n'en pouvant plus, et vaincue de ceste impatience d'amour, et se trouvant favorisée de la commodité, ne sceut de tant se commander, que l'embrassant fort estroitement elle ne le baisast d'une douzaine de fois, et ce avec telle lasciveté et gestes effrontez, que Romule s'apparceut bien que cette-cy avait plus chere son accointance que les ambassades de celuy qui la courtisoit. A ceste cause luy dit, Je vous prie, madame, me faire tant de bien que me donnant congé, j'aye de vous quelque gracieuse responce, avec laquelle je puisse faire content et joyeux mon seigneur, lequel est en soucy et tourment continuel pour ne sçavoir votre volonté vers luy, et s'il a rien acquis en vos bonnes graces. Catelle, humant de plus en plus le venin d'amour par les yeux, luy sembloit que Romule devint de fois à autre plus beau.”
Upon the novel by Bandello two Italian plays were composed, which were printed, and have come down to our time. The title of one of these is given by Manningham, where he says that Shakespeare's “ Twelfth-Night” was most like and neere to that in Italian called Inganni.” It was first acted in 1547, and the earliest edition of it, with which I am acquainted, did not appear until 1582, when it bore the title of Gl Inganni Comedia del Signor N. S. The other Italian drama, founded upon Bandello's novel, bears a somewhat similar title:-Gl’Ingannati Commedia degl'Accademici Intronati di Siena, which was several times printed ; last, perhaps, in the collection Delle Commedie degl' Accademici Intronati di Siena, 1611, 12mo. Whether our great dramatist saw either of these pieces before he wrote his “Twelfth-Night" may admit of doubt ; but looking at the terms Manningham employs, it might seem as if it were a matter understood, at the time “Twelfth-Night” was acted at the Temple on Feb. 2, 1602, that it was founded upon the Inganni. There is no indication in the MS. Diary that the writer of it was versed in Italian literature, and Gľ Inganni might at that day be a known comedy of which it was believed Shakespeare had availed himself. An analysis of it is given in a small tract, called “Farther Particulars of Shakespeare and his Works,” 8vo, 1839, but as only fifty copies of it were printed, it may be necessary here to enter into some few details of its plot, conduct, and characters. The “ Argument," or explanatory Prologue, which precedes the first scene, will show that the anthor of Gl’Inganni did not adhere to Bandello by any means closely, and that he adopted entirely different names for his personages.
Anselmo, a Genoese merchant who traded to the Levant, having left his wife in Genoa great with child, had two children by her, one a boy called Fortunato, and the other a girl named Gineura. After he had borne for four years the desire of seeing his wife and family, he returned home to them, and wishing to depart again, he took them with him; and when they were embarked on board the vessel, he dressed them both in short clothes for greater convenience, so that the girl looked like a boy. And on the voyage to Soria he was taken by Corsairs and carried into Natolia, where he remained in slavery for fourteen years. His children had a different fortune ; for the boy was several times sold, but finally here in this city, which, on this occasion, shall be Naples ; and he now serves Dorotea, a courtesan, who lives there at that little door. The mother and Gineura, after various accidents, were bought by M. Massimo Caraccioli, who lives where you see this door; but by the advice of the mother, who has been dead six years, Gineura has changed her name and caused herself to be called Ruberto; and, as her mother while living persuaded her, always gave herself out to be a boy, thinking in this way that she should be better able to preserve her chastity. Fortunato and Ruberto, by the information of their mother, know themselves to be brother and sister. M. Massimo has a son, whom they call Gostanzo, and a daughter named Portia. Gostanza is in love with Dorotea, the courtesan to whom Fortunato is servant. Portia, his sister, is in love with Ruberto, notwithstanding she is a girl, because she has always been thought a man. Ruberto, the girl, not knowing how to satisfy the desires of Portia, who constantly importunes her, has sometimes at night conveyed her brother into the house in her place : he has got Portia with child, and she is now every hour expecting to be brought to bed. On the other hand, Ruberto, as a girl and in love with her young master Gostanzo, has double suffering---one from the passion which torments her, and the other from the fear lest the pregnancy of Portia should be discovered. Massimo, the father of Portia and Gostanzo, is aware of the condition of his daughter, and has sent to Genoa to inquire into the parentage of Ruberto, in order that if he find him ignoble, and unworthy to be the husband of his daughter, whom he believes to be with child by him, he may have him killed. But, by what I have heard, the father of the twins, who has escaped from the hands of the Turks, ought this day to be returned with the messenger, and I think that every thing will be accommodated.”
In this play, therefore, Portia, who is the Olivia of Shakespeare, is not stated to be a widow, and our great dramatist avoided the needless indelicacy of representing her to be with child. In Gl Inganni, Gineura (i.e. Viola), as will have been seen from the “Argument,” is not page to the man with whom she is in love, but to Portia; while Gostanzo, whose affection Gineura is anxious to obtain, is brother to her mistress. This of course makes an important difference in the relative situations of the parties, because Gineura, disguised as Ruberto, is not employed to carry letters and messages between the characters who represent the Duke and Olivia. Gostanzo being in love with a courtesan, named Dorotea, in the first Act, Gineura endeavours to dissuade him from his lawless passion, in a manner that distantly, and only distantly, reminds us of Shakespeare. Ruberto (i. e. Gineura) tells Gostanzo to find some object worthy of his affection :
“Gostanzo. And where shall I find her ?
The resemblance between Gineura and her brother Fortunato is so great, that Portia has mistaken the one for the other, and in the VOL. III.
end, like Sebastian and Olivia, they are united ; while Gostanzo, being cured of his passion for Dorotea, and grateful for the persevering and disinterested affection of Gineura, is married to her. Our great dramatist has given an actual, as well as an intellectual elevation to the whole subject, by the manner in which he has treated it; and has converted what may, in most respects, be considered a low comedy into a fine romantic drama.
So much for GI' Inganni, and it now remains to speak of Gl Ingannati, a comedy to which, in relation to “Twelfth Night," attention was first directed by the Rev. Joseph Hunter in his “Disquisition on Shakespeare's Tempest,” p. 78. Gľ Ingannati follows Bandello's novel with more exactness than Gľ Inganni, though both change the names of the parties ; and here we have the important feature that the heroine, called Lelia, (disguised as Fabio) is page to Flamminio, with whom she is in love, but who is in love with a lady named Isabella. Lelia, as in Shakespeare, is employed by Flamminio to forward his suit with Isabella. What succeeds is part of the dialogue between Lelia, in her male attire, and Flamminio.
“ Lelia. Do as I advise. Abandon Isabella, and love one who loves you in return. You may not find her as beautiful ; but, tell me, is there nobody else whom you can love, and who loves you ?
Flamminio. There was a young lady named Lelia, whom, I was a thousand times about to tell you, you are much like. She was thought the fairest, the cleverest, and the most courteous damsel of this country. I will show you her one of these days, for I formerly looked upon her with some regard. She was then rich and about the court, and I continued in love with her for nearly a year, during which time she showed me much favour. Afterwards she went to Mirandola, and it was my fate to fall in love with Isabella, who has been as cruel to me as Lelia was kind.
Lelia. Then you deserve the treatment you have received. Since you slighted her who loved you, you ought to be slighted in return by others.
Flumminio. What do you say ?
Lelia. If this poor girl were your first love, and still loves you more than ever, why did you abandon her for Isabella ? I know not who could pardon that offence. Ah ! signor Flamminio, you did her grievous wrong.
Flamminio. You are only a boy, Fabio, and know not the power of love. I tell you that I cannot help loving Isabella : I adore her, nor do I wish to think of any other woman.”
Elsewhere the resemblance between “Twelfth-Night” and Gľ Ingannati, in point of situation is quite as strong, but there the likeness ends, for in the dialogue we can trace no connexion between the two. The author of the Italian comedy has obviously founded himself entirely upon Bandello's novel, of which there might be some translation in the time of Shakespeare more nearly approaching the original, than the version which Rich published before our great dramatist visited the metropolis. Whether any such literal translation had or had not been made, Shakespeare may have gone to the Italian story, and Le Novelle di Bandello were very well