« PreviousContinue »
THE TEXT CAREFULLY RESTORED ACCORDING TO
THE FIRST EDITIONS; WITH INTRODUCTIONS,
NOTES ORIGINAL AND SELECTED, AND
A LIFE OF THE POET;
REV. H. N. HUDSON, A.M.
REVISED EDITION, WITH ADDITIONAL NOTES.
IN TWELVE VOLUMES.
301 WASHINGTON STREET.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by
NOYES, HOLMES, AND COMPANY,
UNIVERSITY PRESS :
JOHN WILSON AND Sox, CAMBRIDGE.
TRAGEDY OF ROMEO AND JULIET.
SAE story, which furnished the ground-work of THE TRAGEDI or ROMEO AND JULIET, was exceeding!y popular in Shake speare's time; it had been made so to his hand, and of course it became more so in his hand. Mr. Douce has shown, that in some of its main incidents it bears a strong resemblance to an old Greek romance by Xenophon of Ephesus, entitled “ The Love-adventures of Abrocomas and Anthia." The original author, however, of the story as received in the Poet's time was Luigi da Porto, of Vincenza, who died in 1529. His novel, called La Giulietta, was first published in 1535, six years after his death. In an epistle prefixed to the work, the author says that the story was told by « an archer of mine, whose name was Peregrino, a man about fifty years old, well-practised in the military art, a pleasant companion, and, like almost all his countrymen of Verona, a great talker.” Luigi's work was reprinted in 1539, and again in 1553. From him the matter was borrowed and improved by Bandello, who pub. lished it in 1554, making it the ninth novel in the second part of his collection. Bandello represents the incidents to bave occurred when Bartholomew Scaliger was lord of Verona. And it may be worth noting, that the Veronese, who believe the tale to be historically true, fix its date in 1303, at which time the family of Scala or Scaliger held the rule of the city.
The story is next met with in the Histoires Tragiques of Belleforest. It makes the third piece in that collection ; and, as the first six pieces were rendered into Freuch by Boisteau, it follows that this tale was translated by him, and not by Belleforest. The Histoires Tragiques were professedly taken from Bandello, bus some of them vary considerably from the Italian ; as in this very piece, according to Bandello, Juliet awakes from her trance in time to hear Romeo speak and see him die, and then, instead of stabbing herself with his dagger, dies apparently of a broken