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Cervantes and Shakespeare
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Excerpt from Cervantes and Shakespeare Were this so - the theory is not received with universal favour we should have to assume either that Shakespeare knew enough Spanish to pick out the plot of a story from a Spanish work, or that there existed in Shakespeare's time some French or English version, no longer known, of Eslava's dreary book. Whatever may be the fact with respect to Eslava, there is no doubt that Cervantes was within Shakespeare's reach. Thomas Shelton's translation of the First Part of Don Quixote was published in 1612. Did Shakespeare read it? It seems rather more than likely that he did. The best authorities are of opinion that Shakespeare, though he wrote less copiously for the stage after 1611 than heretofore, kept up his connexion with the theatre by furnishing outlines of plays which were filled in by collaborators like Fletcher. As instances of such collaboration The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eighth and - less confidently - The Two Noble Kinsmen are cited. To these may be added a third play entitled The History of Cardenio, probably identical with Cardenno performed 'before the Princess Elizabeth and the Elector Palatine shortly before May 20, 1613, and Cardenna, presented before the Duke of Savoye's Embassadour on the viij daye of June, 1613'. In the official account of sums paid by Lord Stanhope of Harrington, the 'Treasurer of his Majesties Chamber, ' Cardenno (or Cardenna) is mentioned with other plays - among them Much Ado about Nothing, The Tempest, The Winters Tale, The First Part of King Henry the Fourth, Othello, and Julius Caesar, Then follows a silence of some forty years, and no more is heard of the mysterious Cardenno (or Cardenna) till September 9, 1653, under which date the books of the Stationers' Company record the payment of twenty shillings and sixpence by Mr. Moseley for entering his copies of forty-one plays: amongst these plays is mentioned 'The History of Cardenio, by Mr. Fletcher and Shakespeare'. It is strange, and not a little unfortunate, that the play was withheld so long: Cervantes, Shakespeare, and Mr. Fletcher were dead. It is no less unlucky, though perhaps it may be significant, that the publisher Humphrey Moseley, after paying his fee, did not issue The History of Cardenio, There is no ground for suspecting publishers of being more recklessly lavish with their money than other men. It is possible that Moseley, after printing The Merry Devill of Edmonton and attributing it to Shakespeare, grew more cautious in accepting loose current ascriptions. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.
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