Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 11.djvu/323

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11 S. XL APBIL 24, 1915.] NOTES AND QUERIES.


313


LONDON, SATURDAY, APRIL SA, 1915.


CONTENTS.-No. 278.

NOTES: Was Webster a Contributor to 'Overbury's Characters'? 313 Bibliography of Irish Counties and Towns 315 'The Gloucester Journal': Numbering of Volumes The Banner of Sir Philip Francis, 317 "Twin " Hangleton " The New Shool," Stamford Hill, 318.

-QUERIES : Burke's Wife Charles Dickson, Translator of Bion and Moschus, 319 Easter Hare Easter Egps Good Saturday Old Plays Martin Ware of Greenwich Wallop or Walhope Family Necessary Nicknames, 320 John Williamson, Mayor of Coventry Author Wanted Raeburn's Portrait of the Fourth Duke of Gordon" Wick "Ambrose Philips Chapters of Denain and Maubeuge Sir Samuel Gower Film - Producing Companies Ludgate or Grafton Picture of Shakespeare Lead Cistern, 321 David Lloyd, Welsh Bard M. de Braval " Stockeagles " Chantries Heraldic Query Armour of William the Coi queror, 322.

REPLIES : General Bibliography relating to Gretna Green, 322 Col. the Hon. Cosmo Gordon Queues in the Army Abolished, 324 Daniel Eccleston Mary bone Lane and Swallow Street Klizabeth Cobbold " Statesman " Sir Charles Ashburnham, 325 Dreams and Literature The Military Medal and Sir John French John Trusler Beards Biographical Information Wanted, 326 Professors at Debit zen " An inchalffe>hesper "Pictures -and Puritans-English Cousuls in Aleppo, 327 D'Oylej's Warehouse Reversed Engravings Black Wool as a Cure for De^f ness Joshua Webster, M.D., 328 Alfonso de Baena Portraits of Thoreau Pack-horses, 329 Tpla itd-mra K&KUTTQ. -Retrospective Heraldry Courtesy Titles Prayers for Animals" Wangle," 330.

INOTES ON BOOKS : 'The History of Melanesian Society' 'The Making of the Roman People' 'Pi oceedings of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society The Antiquary.'

Booksellers' Catalogues. Notices to Correspondents.


WAS WEBSTER A CONTRIBUTOR TO ' OVERBURY'S CHARACTERS ' ?

THE appearance of BARON BOURGEOIS'S article dealing with the connexion between Webster's plays and the essays included in the 1615 edition of 'Overbury's Cha- racters' (11 S. x. 3, 23), so soon after, and entirely independent of, my own contribution on the same subject (11 S. viii. 221, 244, 263,282, 304), was naturally of great interest to me. It may be remembered that my examination of the parallels between these ' New and Choise Characters of severall Authors ' and ' The Duchess of Malfy ' led me to the conclusion that in writing his play, or revising it for the press, Webster borrowed from the ' Characters,' and further, that he must have borrowed from the printed text of the sixth impression of 1615. In this latter conclusion I was almost certainly


wrong. Scarcely had my assertion that Webster's ' A Monumental Column ' of 1613 " owed riot a single line" to the 16] 5 ' Characters ' appeared in print, when I dis- covered the two passages common to these works to which BARON BOURGEOIS has drawn attention. I then realized that the occur- rence of these passages, coupled with the parallel between ' The White Devil ' and the Character of ' A Sexton ' already noted, must be accounted for in one or other of the following ways: (1) that Webster had seen the ' New Characters ' before they found their way into print ; (2) that the author of the ' New Characters,' and the author of ' The White Devil,' ' The Duchess of Malfy,' and ' A Monumental Column,' were one and the same person ; or (3) that the passages in question were borrowed independently by Webster and the Character-writer from the same source. The third of these hypotheses I dismiss, because the independent borrowing by two writers of so many identical passages is in the highest degree improbable. Which of the two others is correct ? BARON BOURGEOIS unhesitatingly adopts the second as a complete solution of the problem ; he would attribute to Webster the whole of the additional Characters of 1615. This con- clusion cannot, I think, be supported. It seems to me that the only suppositions that will square with the facts are these : either that the parallels in question are due entirely to borrowing on Webster's part from the ' Overbury ' material in a manuscript form, or that some of them are due to borrowing and others to identity of authorship.

The difficulty with regard to these 1615 Characters is that, with the exception of three of them, there is no external evidence of their authorship. These three (' A Tinker,' * An Apparatour,' and * An Almanac-Maker ') were, as BARON BOUR- GEOIS states, claimed, arid no doubt written, by J. Cocke. Of what else of the material contained in * New and Choise Characters of severall Authors,' &c., can it be positively affirmed that Webster was not the author ? First, Sir Thomas Overbury's poem ' The Wife,' and, secondly, nine of the essays entitled ' Newes from any Whence,' to which the names or initials of the writers are appended. Both these had previously ap- peared in 1614. The first edition of 'The Wife ' contains Overbury's poem alone ; to the second edition, published almost imme- diately afterwards (the Preface is dated May, 1614), were added twenty-one Characters, and the ' Newes,' " written by himself e, and other learned gentlemen his friends."