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La Réinvention de Shakespeare sur la scène littéraire américaine (1785-1857)

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Ronan Ludot-Vlasak

Annexes

Texte intégral

Page de titre de la première édition américaine de Shakespeare (1795)

THE
PLAYS AND POEMS
OF
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE
CORRECTED FROM THE LATEST AND BEST
LONDON EDITIONS, WITH NOTES, BY
SAMUEL JOHNSON, L. L. D.
TO WHICH ARE ADDED,
A GLOSSARY
AND THE
LIFE OF THE AUTHOR
EMBELLLISHED WITH A STRIKING LIKENESS FROM
THE COLLECTION OF HIS GRACE
THE DUKE OF CHANDOS.

FIRST AMERICAN EDITION.

Vol. I.

PHILADELPHIA :
PRINTED AND SOLD BY BIOREN & MADAN
MDCCXCV

The Port Folio

Annonce de l’édition de Shakespeare par Joseph Dennie (PF, 11/02/1804, p. 46)

SHAKSPEARE

Time, which is continually washing away the dissoluble fabrics of other poets, passes without injury by the adamant of SHAKSPEARE. Dr Johnson’s Preface

FIRST COMPLETE EDITION IN AMERICA,
FROM THE TEXT OF THE
BEST EDITORS OF SHAKSPEARE.
Hugh Maxwell and Thomas S. Manning,
Propose to publish, during the month of April ensuing,
VOLUMEI. OF THE
PLAYS OF WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE
WITH
THE CORRECTIONS AND ILLUSTRATIONS
OF
VARIOUS COMMENTATORS
TO WHICH ARE ADDED
NOTES,
BY SAMUEL JOHNSON AND GEORGES STEEVENS.
From the fifth and latest London edition, published
in 1803… revised and augmented
BY ISAAC REID.
WITH A GLOSSARIAL INDEX.

“To the genius of Shakespeare” (PF, 24/03/1804)

When first thine eyes beheld the light,
And nature, bursting on thy sight,
Pour’d on thy beating heart a kindred day;
Genius, the fire ey’d child of Fame,
Circled thy brows with mystic flame,
And, warn with hope, pronounc’d this prophet lay:

Thee, darling boy, I give to know
Each viewless source of joy and woe,
For thee my vivid visions shall unfold;
Each form that freezes sense to stone,
Each phantom of the world unknown,
Shall flit before thine eyes, and waken thoughts untold.

The bent of purpose unavow’d;
Of hopes and fears the wildering crowd,
The incongruous train of wishes undefin’d;
Shall all be subjected to thee,
The excess of bliss and agony
Shall oft alternate seize thy high attemper’d mind.

Oft o’er the woody summer vale,
When evening breathes her balmy gale,
Oft by the wild brook’s margin shalt thou rove,
When just above the western line
The clouds with richer radiance shine,
Yellowing the dark tops of the mountain grove.

“Shakespeare” (PF, 12/05/1804)

When first was rear’d the British stage,
Rude was the scene and weak the lay:
The bard explor’d the sacred page,
And holy mystery form’d his Play.

The affections of the mortal breast
In simple moral next he sung,
Each vice in human shape he drest,
And to each virtue gave a tongue.

Then ’gan the Comic Muse unfold
In coarser jests her homely art:
Of Gammar Gurton’s loss she told,
And laugh’d at Hodge’s awkward smart.

Come from thy wildly winding stream,
First born of Genius, SHAKESPEARE, come!
The listening world attends thy theme,
And bids each elder bard be dumb.

For thou within the human mind
Fix’d, as on thy peculiar throne
Sit’st as a Deity inshrin’d;
And either muse is all thy own.

«Virginia’s Patriotism» (PF, 30/07/1803)

1[Scene drawing, discovers Fraternal, a Virginia planter, carelessly lolling on a sofa, clad in a light and thin dress, and attended by slaves; who obsequiously cringe round him, and try to divine all his desires and wishes. After musing, and sipping his toddy a while, he breaks silence in the following words.]

2Fraternal: Well, this glorious election of our friend Jefferson, to the presidency, gives me the greatest pleasure, and absolutely makes me forget the low price of tobacco. A Virginian—he will promote the interests of Virginia; a republican—he will foster with a kind of care, every republican institution. The beef and the fish of New England, may browse in the pastures, or swim in the ocean, for us, so tobacco be but in demand. We may now take our naps in peace, and be confident that every thing goes right, instead of going wrong, as every thing did in Adams’ administration. Away, fellows! (to his attendants who immediately obey him). Let me see (yawning) what have I to do this week. A cock pit to attend on Sunday, a race on Monday, and a county meeting on the day following. So, so, pretty well i’faith for three days. Cuff, come hither, rascal! are my new steel gaffles cleaned?

3Cuff: Yessee, massa, dey be all crean and bright—de blood be all washee off.

4Fraternal: And the bay filly that won the last sweepstakes—is she in good case?

5Cuff: Yessee, massa.

6Fraternal: Leave me. Now I think on’t, I’ll read over the extempore speech which I am to make next week, that I may fix it strongly in my memory. One can’t be too careful in such matters. Now for’t —(taking up a paper, and placing himself in an oratorical situation, he reads): “It was, my fellow citizens, beyond the utmost stretch of my capacity, to let the convenient opportunity of this meeting, pass into oblivion, without giving vent to the fullness of my head and heart, in an address, congratulatory of Mr. Jefferson’s “resplendently glorious” election, and explanatory of the ineffably happy consequences that will result, or flow, or proceed from his said election. Yes! The Democratic Cock has cut the Federal Eagle through the eyes; John Adams is done up; and we have now no more to dread—but the insurrection of our own slaves, instigated by the machinations of a new Gabriel. The New Englanders, who drive the harpoon under both poles, coast along the north-western shore of America, and in short, do things that absolutely set me into as copious a wash, as ever wet our General’s shirt, or sent forth odours from the shining hide of a negro at work in a swamp—The New Englanders, I say, will now be made to know their place, and to follow the councils of their elder sister. Ships will be converted into farm houses, and sailors into husbandsmen. Oh, divine, solacing, beneficient, convenient spirit of freedom, it is thou that producest these desirable effects! We are all free, we are all equal. Thy great modern apostle, the illustrious, the wonderful, the never to be forgotten Jefferson has clearly proved that this is a self-evident truth—All men have an unalienable right to”—(here a black man enters, and accidentally stumbling, strikes the extended arm of the patriotical speaker and knocks the paper from his hand, which last kicks and beats him most unmercifully). Oh you idle, impertinent, blundering scoundrel—to break in upon me thus, when I had arrived at the most interesting, eloquent and pathetic part of my speech, at the very instant when I was going to demonstrate the equality of all men, of what rank, station, and talents soever! To be interrupted in this manner! ’Tis unsufferable; (kicks and beats him) villain, you shall be tied up and well whipped for this.

7Cuff: Oh, massa. I no do so purpose, massa.

8Fraternal: Hold your cursed bawling, slave. Here was I gradually brought up to the right pitch of feeling, my heart expanded with philanthropy, and my voice was modelled to the sweetest tone, when your—Oh rascal, I’ll thrash you, I’ll—(The negro runs out, and the master follows him, beating him continually)

Political synopsis (PF, 04/07/1801)

9The charming song of my Lord of Amiens, addressed to the melancholy Jaques, in the comedy of As You Like It:

“Under the green wood tree
Who loves to lie with me?”

has been beautifully and loyally parodied in a new miscellany:

“Under the great oak tree
Who loves to be full free,
And strain his merry throat
To liberty’s sweet note:
Come hither, come hither, come hither.
Here shall he see
No enemy
But Union and fair weather.

Who would from slavery run,
And live i’th’open sun,
And with a hearty cheer,
Serve king and country dear:
Come hither, come hither, come hither
Here shall he see
No enemy,
But friends - and friends together.

If it do come to pass
That any man turn ass,
Leaving, for better chance,
Old England for new France:
Go thither, go thither, go thither,
There shall he see,
Gross foob as he,
Gold barter’d for a feather!”

«Parody on Othello’s account of his courtship» (PF, 04/12/1802)

Her father lov’d me—oft got drunk with me;
Captain, he’d cry, come tell us your adventures
From year to year; the scrapes, intrigues, and frolics
That you’ve been vers’d in.
I ran them through, from the day I first wore scarlet,
To the very hour I tasted his first claret.
Wherein I spoke of most disastrous chances,
In my amours with widow, maid, and wife:
Of hair-breadth scrapes from drunken frays in bagnios,
Of being taken by the insolent foe, and log’d in the watch-house,
Of my redemption thence; with all my gallantry at country quarters
When of rope ladders, and of garret windows,
Of scaling garden walls, lying hid in closets
It was my bent to speak, for I love bragging,
And of the gamblers that each other cheat
The pawn brokers, that prey on needy soldiers
When sword or waistcoat’s dipt. All these to hear
His daughter Prue would from a corner lean
But still to strain the milk, or skim the cream
Was call’d to the dairy—
Which, when she’d done, and cleanly lick’d the spoon,
She’d come again, and sit, with gaping mouth,
And staring eyes, devouring my discourse;
Which I soon smoking,
Once kneel’d by her in church and entertain’d her
With a full history of my adventures;
Of fights in countries, where I ne’er had been,
And of amours with those I never saw,
And often made her stare with stupid wonder
When I did talk of leaping from a window
Or lying hid on tester of a bed.

Parodie d’Hamlet (PF, 08/05/1802)

10The latest Gentlemen’s Magazine, which my eager curiosity has obtained from London, contains the following admirable parody of the soliloquy in HAMLET. He, who remembers the lively ode of BURNS, or who adverts to the torment of a throbbing tooth, will smile at the poetical doubts suggested below:

To have it out or not? that is the question;
Whether’tis easier for a man to suffer
The throbs and shootings of a raging tooth,
Or take up courage to sit down at once,
And by extraction end them;… a touch, no more,
And with a single shock to feel we end
The tedious aches and head-distracting pangs
That we are subject to: ’tis a relief
Most wisely to be used; perchance wrench out
A sound deep-rooted fang; aye, there’s the risque
For, from a burglar’s hands what mischiefs follows,
When once the horrid instrument is fix’d,
Allows no pause; there’s the respect
That makes our patience of so long endurance:
For who would ever be applying tinctures,
Specific opiates, poppy mandragora,
Magnets, metallic tractors, anodynes,
The pois’nous drugs of mountebanks, or charms,
That fond credulity of old women takes;
When he himself might his quietus get
For a bare two-pence in a barber’s shop?
Who’d sweat and groan whole sleepless nights in pain,
But that the thought of torture worse than all,
A broken jaw! (which any mortal suffering
Would straight fall frantic) harrows up the soul,
And makes us rather bear our present torments,
Than fly to others, that we never felt:
Irresolution thus doth make men cowards:
And heroes, of great enterprize and valour,
Turn pale and sickly at bare sight of physic,
Whilst women, weak and delicate of frame,
Shrink not at operations slow and dreadful.
Nor fear the keenest knife.

«Parody of Shakspeare» (PF, 26/05/1804)

To read or not to read?… that is the question;
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to study
The taste and learning of the classic age,
Or take up vile and circulating trash
To pass a rainy day:… to study? To improve?
And by close application say we end
The difficulties and the thousand doubts
That Ignorance is heir to: ’tis an effort
Instantly to be made: to read? To construe
Greek? Perchance be set fast: aye, there’s the rub …
For in those dialects what toil may come
When we sit down in earnest to the task,
Must give us pause: there’s the defect
That oscitancy makes of so long yawn;
For who would nothing know, thro’ all his time,
Of true philosophy; mechanic powers;
Historic truth, laws of astronomy;
The lines of geography; or, the four rules
Of quick arithmetic, to spurn the frauds
That ready reckoners of the unwary take,
When he might master all that books can teach him,
With a bare resolve?… we would vacant stare,
And hem and haw ’mong literary men,
But that the fag of something worthy search,
Bright glorious Science! Of whose recompense
No hopeful youth e’er fails, puzzles the brains,
And makes us flee to cards and silly small talk,
Than handle subjects we were school’d to know:
Thus indolence makes dunces of us all;
And thus the genius, like a standing pond,
Is mantled over with still thoughtless dulness,
Which should discoveries of great pith and moment,
As a brisk fertile current, wide dispense
And turn to useful action.

© Presses universitaires de Lyon, 2013

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