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To spred her fame with taunting trumpet shrill! Extoll our Queene of God be loued still;
Whose word and will, dispight of Chacus yre
Her countryes weale to worke her heart is bent;
Haut Hydrais head she hath cut off indeede: Each Minotaure by skill she doth preuent
That in her soyle of strife would sow the seede. The woolfe she quailes, the lambe she seekes to feede, t
With pleasant mylke and honey passing pure.
God graunt on earth her grace may long endure!"
Morton. The lines are not inharmonious, but the allusions are affected and pedantic.
Bourne. Of course—that was in the spirit of the age. Nash, in his most humorous and clever piece of exaggeration, called " Lenten Stuff," and printed in 1599, mentions three dramatic productions in terms of no great praise: one of them he calls "Phillips Venus;" and this may be the Phillips we are now speaking of, or it may be Phillips the actor.
Elliot. I have read some very amusing quotations from that pamphlet of Nash's.
Bourne. Very likely: you may see the whole of it reprinted in the "Harleian Miscellany," and it will well repay the time spent in going through it. Nash tells us in it of the troubles he had to pass through, in consequence of his unrecovered play of the " Isle of Dogs."
MoKton. I have never met with a tract that contained more curious matter, both relating to himself and his contemporaries. It is there that he bestows such applause on "Kit Marlow" for his " Hero and Leander," praised, as you noticed, in the poem dedicated to Walton. He likewise speaks of a play called "The Case is altered," which was probably not Ben Jonson's.
Bourne. Your patience in listening to the quotation from Phillips shall be well rewarded to-morrow, by the examination of a greater and more indisputably valuable curiosity than I have yet shown you; I mean the novel on which Shakespeare founded his "Twelfth Night."
OF THE EIGHTH CONVERSATION.
The promise performed—A novel hitherto undiscovered, from which Shakespeare took the plot of his "Twelfth Night," to be found in " Rich his Farewell to Militarie profession," by Barnabe Rich, 1606—The date when "Twelfth Night" was written— Rich's collection of novels originally printed between 1578, and 1581—Proofs of this fact—Doubt whether additions were made in the reprint of 1606—Sir Christopher Hatton, the patron of Rich —Tancred and Gismunda, 1592—Polimantcia, 1595, quoted regarding Sir C. Hatton and his poems—Rich's account of his "vpholder's" house and state at Holdenby, from the prefatory matter to his "Farewell"—His name and productions omitted by Ritson, &c . but the defect partially supplied—His numerous publications—Rich's concern intheNetherlandwars with Gascoyne, Churchyard, Whetstone, and other poets—Whetstone's account of the death of Sir P. Sidney, from Churchyard's "True Discourse Historicall," &c . 1602—Epitaph from the same—Sir W. Raleigh's epitaph on Sir P. Sidney—Milton's quotation from Sir John Harington's translation of Ariosto—" Rich his Farewell to Militarie profession" not known to any bibliographical antiquaries—Plan of the work—Anticipation of the Commentators on Shakespeare fulfilled—Argument to the second novel in Rich's work, called " Apolonius and Silla"—Its commencement and incidents previous to the opening to Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night," with their use—Dr. Johnson's censure of the sudden project of Viola—Resemblance between Rich and Shakespeare— Correspondence of the characters—Description of Julina, a widow, and the mode of conducting the Duke's amour, by the intervention of Silla in male attire, and under the name of her brother Silvio