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Notes and Queries, Number 22, March 30, 1850   By:

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"When found, make a note of." CAPTAIN CUTTLE.

NO. 22., SATURDAY, MARCH 30. 1850. [Price Threepence. Stamped Edition, 4d.]


NOTES: Pages The Taming of the Shrew, by Samuel Hickson Proverbial Sayings and their Origins William Basse and his Poems Folk Lore: Something else about Salting. Norfolk Weather Proverb, Irish Medical Charms. Death bed Superstitions Note on Herodotus by Dean Swift Herrick's Hesperides, by J.M. Gutch

QUERIES: Rev. Dr. Thomlinson 350 Minor Queries: "A" or "An" The Lucky have whole Days Line quoted by De Quincey Bishop Jewel's Papers Allusion in Friar Brackley's Sermon Quem Deus Vult perdere Snow of Chicksand Priory The Bristol Riots A living Dog better than a dead Lion American Bittern Inquisition in Mexico Masters of St. Cross Etymology of "Dalston" "Brown Study" Coal Brandy Swot

REPLIES: The Dodo, by S.W. Singer Watching the Sepulchre, by Rev. Dr. Rock, and E.V. Poem by Sir E. Dyer Robert Crowley, by Rev. Dr. Maitland Replies to Minor Queries: John Ross Mackay Shipster Gourders Rococo God tempers the Wind Guildhalls Treatise of Equivocation Judas Bell Grummet

MISCELLANIES: Duke of Monmouth To Philautus Junius Arabic Numerals

MISCELLANEOUS: Books and Odd Volumes wanted Notices to Correspondents Advertisements


In two former communications on a subject incidental to that to which I now beg leave to call your attention, I hinted at a result far more important than the discovery of the author of the Taming of a Shrew . That result I lay before your readers, in stating that I think I can show grounds for the assertion that the Taming of the Shrew , by Shakspeare, is the original play; and that the Taming of a Shrew , by Marlowe or what other writer soever, is a later work, and an imitation . I must first, however, state, that having seen Mr. Dyce's edition of Marlowe, I find that this writer's claim to the latter work had already been advanced by an American gentleman, in a work so obvious for reference as Knight's Library Edition of Shakspeare . I was pretty well acquainted with the contents of Mr. Knight's first edition; and knowing that the subsequent work of Mr. Collier contained nothing bearing upon the point, I did not think of referring to an edition published, as I understood, rather for the variation of form than on account of the accumulation of new matter. Mr. Dyce appears to consider the passages cited as instances of imitation, and not proofs of the identity of the writer. His opinion is certainly entitled to great respect: yet it may, nevertheless, be remarked, first that the instance given, supposing Marlowe not to be the author, would be cases of theft rather than imitation, and which, done on so large a scale, would scarcely be confined to the works of one writer; and, secondly, that in original passages there are instances of an independence and vigour of thought equal to the best things that Marlowe ever wrote a circumstance not to be reconciled with the former supposition. The following passage exhibits a freedom of thought more characteristic of this writer's reputation than are most of his known works:

"And custom free, you marchants shall commerce And interchange the profits of your land, Sending you gold for brasse, silver for lead, Casses of silke for packes of wol and cloth, To bind this friendship and confirme this league."

Six Old Plays , p. 204.

A short account of the process by which I came to a conclusion which, if established, must overthrow so many ingenious theories, will not, I trust, be uninteresting to your readers. In the relationship between these two plays there always seemed to be something which needed explanation. It was the only instance among the works of Shakspeare in which a direct copy, even to matters of detail, appeared to have been made; and, in spite of all attempts to gloss over and palliate, it was impossible to deny that an unblushing act of mere piracy seemed to have been committed, of which I never could bring myself to believe that Shakspeare had been guilty... Continue reading book >>

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