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VOLUME THE TWENTIETH.
ROMEO AND JULIET.
COMEDY OF ERRORS.
Printed for J. Johnson, R. Baldwin, H. L. Gardner, W. J. and J. Richardson,
* ROMEO AND JULIET.] The story on which this play is founded, is related as a true one in Girolamo de la Corte's Hiftory of Verona. It was originally published by an anonymous Italian novelift in 1549 at Venice; and again in 1553, at the fame place. The first edition of Bandello's work appeared a year later than the laft of these already mentioned. Pierre Boifteau copied it with alterations and additions. Belleforeft adopted it in the first volume of his collection 1596: but very probably fome edition of it yet more ancient had found its way abroad; as, in this improved state, it was tranflated into English, by Arthur Brooke, and published in an octavo volume, 1562, but without a name. On this occafion it appears in the form of a poem entitled, The tragicall Hiftorie of Romeus and Juliet: It was republished in 1687, under the fame title: "Contayning in it a rare Example of true Conftancie: with the fubtill Counfels and Practifes of an old Fryer, and their Event. Imprinted by R. Robinfon." Among the entries on the Books of the Stationer's Company, I find Feb. 18, 1582: "M. Tottel] Romeo and Juletta." Again, Aug. 5. 1596: "Edward White] a new ballad of Romeo and Juliett." The fame ftory is found in The Palace of Pleafure: however, Shakspeare was not entirely indebted to Painter's epitome; but rather to the poem already mentioned. Stanyhurft, the translator of Virgil in 1582, enumerates Julietta among his heroines, in a piece which he calls an Epitaph, or Commune Defunctorum: and it appears (as Dr. Farmer has obferved,) from a paffage in Ames's Typographical Antiquities, that the ftory had likewife been tranflated by another hand. Captain Breval in his Travels tells us, that he saw at Verona the tomb of these unhappy lovers. STEEvens.
This ftory was well known to the English poets before the time of Shakspeare. In an old collection of poems, called A gorgeous Gallery of gallant Inventions, 1578, I find it mentioned:
"Sir Romeus' annoy but trifle seems to mine."
And again, Romeus and Juliet are celebrated in "A poor Knight his Palace of private Pleasure, 1579." FARMer.
The first of the foregoing notes was prefixed to two of our former editions; but as the following may be in fome respects more correct, it would be unjustly withheld from the publick.This is not the first time we have profited by the accuracy of Mr. Malone. STEEVENS.
The original relater of the ftory on which this play is formed, was Luigi da Porto, a gentleman of Vicenza, who died in 1529. His novel did not appear till fome years after his death; being firft printed at Venice in 1535, under the title of La Giulietta. A fecond edition was published in 1539; and it was again re