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purposes gone back with me into the “ To marry Kitty Watridge,” said I. Middle Ages, in order to better portray “What do you mean?” exclaimed my perfected ideal. The baby sitting my sister. “ That match was broken off on my right knee, while a future stage last winter.” of her life was being personated by the lady at my side, might belong to any It may well be supposed that, rememage; there was nothing incongruous in bering what Bertha had seen, and doubther presence on the scene. It was the less imagined ; that remembering what entrance of my sister Bertha that broke Kitty had done and said ; and recalling, the spell, that shattered the whole fabric too, how I felt when she did it and said I had so elaborately built. She was of it, I resolved, instead of waiting eighthe present, of to-day, of the exact sec- teen long years for another, to accept ond, in which she helped anything to as the Francesca of my dreams, and as happen. An impersonation of the Now, the veritable wife of my actual existher coming banished every idea of the ence, this dear girl, who was able to Past or Future.
represent at this very present the every Like an actor in a play, on whom his attribute and quality of my ideal woman. every-day clothes and the broad light In the autumn we
were married. of day have suddenly fallen, I walked Thus my Fate, disclaiming my efforts to slowly to the house. Meeting my older assist it, no matter in what direction, sister, Grace Anda, near the door, I rose dominant, and, attending to my took her aside, and said to her, “When affairs in its own way, gave me Kitty is Mr. Glade expected here?”
at last. " What for ? ” she asked, with eyes But I shall always feel sorry for the dilated.
Frank R. Stockton.
TIME IN SHAKESPEARE'S PLAYS.
BEFORE beginning the examination of the dial hands. Many illustrations of the scheme of time in separate plays from many plays might be given on this of Shakespeare which were not consid- point, but two or three will suffice. In ered in a former article, I ask the atten- Scene 1, Act I., of Hamlet, Horatio and tion of Shakespeareans for a moment to the soldiers first see the Ghost at one the habit of the poet in dealing with the o'clock in the morning, — the hour bepassage of hours. Whenever hours or ing that of its appearance on the preminutes are indicated eis nominibus, vious night. After its departure they Shakespeare is almost always, as I be- sit and beguile the tedious watch with a lieve, quite scrupulous in regulating the long talk about recent Danish history length of the scene to fit the measure and politics, and when the Ghost reapwhich he himself prescribes. Of course pears it is near the dawn, and presently no playwright ever undertakes to give the cock crows. On the modern stage an exact hour of dialogue for an hour this is quite confused by reason of the of the clock, but Shakespeare is careful heroic cutting of the dialogue. The that there shall be some reasonable re- scene in which Hamlet has his first inlation between text and timepiece when- terview with the dread visitant is proporever he calls attention to the movement tioned in the same way, the protracted interview between the father and the are of course not so interesting as the son lasting from an hour not much later others, and they will be more briefly disthan midnight to the moment when cussed. In this class are the Two Gen. " The glow-worm shows the matin to be near, tlemen of Verona, Love's Labor's Lost, And 'gins to pale his uneffectual fire."
the Taming of the Shrew, All's Well The very long Scene 3, Act II., of Othel. That Ends Well, Pericles, Cymbeline, lo, which witnesses Cassio's drunkenness and Troilus and Cressida," all of which, and degradation and the clarification of with the exception of the last two of Iago's plot against his general's peace, the list, are to be noted as in the first lasts from a little before ten o'clock in instance of Shakespeare's early period the evening (vide Iago's first speech in of composition. the scene) almost to morning; “ pleasure In the Two Gentlemen of Verona, and action,” as Iago says, with the finest the scene of action is often changed; fiendishness of humor, making "the being first in Verona, then in Mantua, hours seem short.” The long interview again in Verona, and finally in Mantua in prison between the Duke and the pro- and on its frontier. Little pains are vost lasts, in Scene 2, Act IV., of Meas- taken to show the lapse of time, though ure for Measure, from between midnight the movement is evidently as swift as and one o'clock to “ clear dawn.” The may consort with the constant traveling only exception to the rule which I can of the chief characters. In the first now recall is apparent rather than real. scene, Valentine leaves his friend, ProIn Scene 2, Act II., of Cymbeline, Imo- teus, in Verona, and sets out for the gen closes her book at “almost mid- court of the prince, who is variously night," having weakened her eyes by called the Duke and Emperor of Milan. three hours of steady reading in bed, - Proteus has already begun to make love and presently is asleep. Iachimo emerges to Julia, and the interval between the from the trunk in which he has made delivery of his first love-letter, in the his infamous ambush, and after a rather second scene of the play, and his full long soliloquy retires to his hiding-place knowledge of his mistress's affection is just as the clock is striking three. This apparently a few days, or a very few seems a somewhat severe compression weeks, so long, at all events, as will of three hours, but Shakespeare's intent suffice for him to have received, or to is, I think, to indicate by the rapid con- make pretense of having received, an ventionalism of the stage the facts that epistle written by Valentine from the Iachimo allowed a long hour or more to near city of Mantua (Scene 3, Act I.). pass before he ventured to infer Imo. On the day following he is compelled to gen's sound sleep from the stillness of follow Valentine to Mantua ; and scarceher chamber, and that the process of ly have the friends met before Valenexamining the room and bed and the tine, like a very fresh young lover, tells person of the pure young wife, and of the whole story of his conquest of Silvia, taking notes of every detail, must have and of their near intended flight and consumed many minutes, retarded as it secret marriage. Julia's impatience to was by his sensuous delight in Imogen's behold her Proteus' face makes her tarunconsciously exposed beauty.
rying very short in Verona, after his deIII. Continuing the study of separate parture, and she becomes her false lovplays, I take up a third group of come- er's page just after he has betrayed bis dies, in which are included all those friend, and wrought the banishment of wherein the progress of time is indicated scantily or without precision. From put Troilus and Cressida among the comedies, be
1 In spite of the death of Hector, I venture to the present point of view, these dramas cause of its general quality and tone.
Valentine and the miscarriage of the Biron to his lady-love, learns through scheme of elopement. Silvia's flight, the former gentleman that “ remunerathe pursuit by Proteus, the happy end tion” means “three farthings,” and reached through the combination of Pro through the latter that a “guerdon” is teus' volatile wickedness and precipitate a shilling. The day ends with Scene repentance, Julia's meekness, Silvia's 1, Act IV., in which the Princess tries courage, and Valentine's fortunate cap- her hand at shooting, and catches a flyture of the Duke, his prospective father-ing glimpse of the love-lorn King. The in-law, — these all doubtless follow one second day begins with Scene 2, Act anɔther as fast as human legs can go. IV., in which the characters salute each Valentine's assertion to the outlaws other with "good-morrow," and discuss (Scene 1, Act IV.) that he has sojourned the Princess's exploits in killing a deer. in Milan “ some sixteen months" is evi. The other scenes of the piece all occupy dently intended, like the story of the portions of the same day. In the forehomicide he has committed, as a mere noon the King hunts and composes lovefabrication.
verses; his courtiers follow his example, The action in Love's Labor's Lost is and find him and each other out. In the of no consequence, and the whole inter- afternoon, which begins with Scene 1, est of the play consists in the wit of the Act V., soon " after dinner,” the gentleprincipals and the deliciously fantastic men meet the ladies, plead the various verbiage of the euphuist, Don Adriano suits, which are rewarded by a promde Armado. The time of the move- ise of “Yes” a year hence, and, with a ment is treated nonchalantly, perhaps, reckless indifference to decorum which rather than obscurely. The period which Shakespeare nowhere else parallels, the elapses between the first conference of Princess, just after receiving news of her the King of Navarre and his lords in father's death, is made to stay and listen Scene 1, Act I., and their interview to the recitation of verses in a rustic with the Princess of France and her mask. But if “ When daisies pied and ladies in Scene 1, Act II., is not stated. violets blue” and “When icicles hang It is evidently short, and seems to mark by the wall ” were not to be had on any only the separation between two succes
suppose the world would sive days; but there is no conclusive sacrifice the feelings of a hundred woreason to be found in the text why it meu to secure the songs. may not be a few hours or minutes, and The passage of the time in the Tamwhy the latter scene may not belong to ing of the Shrew is not always made the same twenty-four hours as the for- clear, but it is occasionally shown in an mer. At all events, the action from the interesting fashion. Scene 1, Act I., is opening of Act II. to the end of the introductory, and displays the state of comedy covers no more than two con- Baptista's household, furnished, as it is, secutive days. From the moment of with an elder daughter so curst and the encounter of the courts of Navarre shrewd ” that “till the father rids his and France, the gentlemen, whose signa- hands of her” the gentle junior sister tures to the pledge of a three years' has no chance of mating. There is then separation from womankind are scarcely an interval of undisclosed length, but dry, find themselves forsworn in heart, certainly very short, within which Luif not in deed. On the afternoon of the centio disguises himself as a music teachday of this encounter, Biron attempts er; and in Scene 1, Act II., the brisk and to communicate with Rosaline, and the brusque Petruchio enters, and, hearing clown Costard, chosen as letter-carrier of Katharine's dowry and other charms, by Don Armado to Jaquenetta, and by undertakes “not to sleep till ” he has VOL. LV. - NO. 330.
seen her. His interview with the shrew- seems to have been turned to cream by ish maiden takes place in Scene 1, Act the conjugal chemistry, who has not II., wherein their wedding is fixed for only no will of her own, but no sight, the following Sunday. The period be- no hearing, no thought, that does not tween this and the succeeding scenes is wait upon the slightest whimsey of her long enough to let Petruchio go to Ven- lord and master. The rest of the play ice to buy “ rings and things and fine occupies the remainder of the same day, array,” and Scene 1, Act III., is on the and the comedy concludes with a late day before the appointed Sunday. Scene supper, which involves all the characters 2, Act III., is on the wedding day, and and lasts till bedtime. deals with the hero's eccentric behavior All's Well That Ends Well covers at the ceremony, and his affectionate between the extreme points of its action haling away of the bride before she has a time which is not precisely indicated, tasted the “ bridal dinner.” Then suc- but which may be shrewdly surmised to ceeds the memorable wedding journey be about four months. The only interof the newly married pair to the groom's vals in its movement which exceed a few country-seat, where they arrive in Scene days in length are between the second 1, Act IV. It is by good rights only a and the third scenes of Act I., and befive hours' journey from Padua to Petru- tween the fourth and the fifth scenes of chio's house (vide the last ten lines of Act III. The former period is probably Scene 3, Act IV.); but Petruchio pur- a few weeks, its only measures being sues such a route as to spend in travel found in the facts that within it Helethe whole afternoon of his wedding na’s strong desire to visit Paris, in orday and nearly all the following day, der to see Bertram and attempt to cure as appears from the soliloquy (Scene 1, the sick King, has grown to such an Act IV., ad fin.) in which he says that extent as to overmaster her maiden tihe has not only kept his bride without midity, and that Bertram has had time food during the second day of her trip, to be irritated with the King's gentle but without sleep during the first night but repeated refusals to allow him to of her wedded life, and that he purposes
(See Scene 1, repeating her dose of insomnia on the Act II., ad init.) The latter period is second night. The movement of time two months long (vide speech of First in the scenes which immediately succeed Lord, Scene 3, Act IV.), and covers the is not generally plain, but it is interest- time consumed by the wretched, rejecting to know that the time consumed by ed Helena in making her slow progPetruchio in working the miracle of ress from her home with the Countess taming his fair shrew is just a week. at Rousillon to the city of Florence and Near the end of Act II. Baptista names the house of Diana Capulet, the latest “the Sunday following" the Sunday of object of Bertram's gallantry. The sucKatharine’s nuptials as the day on which' ceeding consecutive scenes are separated Bianca shall be married to the pseudo- from one another only by a few days, Lucentio, if the father of the latter shall or by so much time as is necessary for then warrant” the payment of the the various marchings and countermarchpromised dower. This date is reached ings of the characters. Diana's brief but in Scene 4, Act IV., when Baptista de graphic description in rhyme of Heleclares himself ready to keep his word; na’s bodily condition, in the last scene, and upon the same day Petruchio enters must be regarded as somewhat premaPadua by “a public road,” dragging in ture, though in a line of exaggeration triumph at his horse's heels, so to speak quite natural under the circumstances. the mild Katharine, whose hot blood The progress of time is treated in
follow the Italian wars.
Cymbeline with more indifference than sons; and the word of Belarius at the Shakespeare shows in any other of his close of the play, which was cited at the non-historical plays, the reasons therefor beginning of this paragraph, taken in being, as I think, not hard to find. Yet connection with the succession of scenes, | the poet has taken pains to indicate that makes it not unreasonable to conjecture the period covered by the entire drama that the entire time of the action is beis less than one year. In Scene 1, Act tween six and nine months. I., one of the gentlemen, who is discuss- The action of Pericles occupies someing the lives of Cymbeline and Posthu- thing more than fifteen years. Acts II. mus, says that the King's two boys were ere and III. together cover one year.
some twenty years ” ago ; and tween Acts III. and IV. there is an inin the last scene of the fifth act Bela- terval of fourteen years. rius, the instigator of the abduction, says, I have blundered in putting Troilus “ These gentle princes
and Cressida into the third class; its (For such and so they are) these twenty years place is in the second. The first and Have I trained up.”
second scenes of the drama introduce In the interval between these scenes the Trojan heroes, Pandarus, Helen, the action appears to move, as in the and Cressida, with the chief intent of Two Gentlemen of Verona, about as showing the relations between Troilus, fast as will suffice for the long and fre- his lady-love, and her go-between uncle. quent journeys of the characters. A There is then an undetermined interval, journey of Posthumus from Britain to which is occupied, in whole or in part, Rome, of Iachimo from Rome to Britain by a “dull and long-continued truce.” and back again, of Imogen from “ Lud's (Vide the long speech of Æneas, Scene town” to Milford Haven, are the chief 3, Act I.) After Scene 3, Act I., the of those movements which directly bear entire action of the play consumes parts on the question of time. The period of three consecutive days, the limits between the departure of Cloten, with of which are shown with much precilustful and bloody intents toward Imo- sion. In this scene Æneas bears to the gen and Posthumus, and his arrival at Greek generals the challenge of Ilecthe cave of Belarius (that is to say, be- tor, who summons any one of them to tween Scene 5, Act III., and Scene 1, meet him in single combat on the folAct IV.) seems to be some ten days or lowing day. The remainder of the day two weeks ; at all events, it is supposed is devoted at the Greek camp to the to coincide with the time taken to con- usual declamatory exercises, to the invey from Rome to Lucius in Britain the vention and execution of the scheme will of the Emperor touching the levy to pique Achilles by advancing the fatof troops against the rebellious Cymbe- witted Ajax, and at night (Scene 3, line. (Vide Scene 7, Act III., and Scene Act III.) to the discussion and adop2, Act IV.) Imogen spends this period tion of a plan to send Diomedes to Troy partly in wandering about, — for direct- on the following day, in order to exly after Pisanio leaves her she loses her change the Trojan prisoner Antenor for way, and "for two nights together” Cressida, and to bear the responsive makes the ground her bed (vide Scene challenge of Ajax to Hector. Mean6, Act III.), – and partly at the cave of while, in Troy, Hector tells the princes Belarius, with him and the two youths, of the defiance he has sent, and Pandafor whose benefit she practices her rus arranges for the night the love-meet“ neat cookery.” Afterward the move. ing of Troilus and Cressida. The second ment in time seems to be as rapid as day begins with Scene 1, Act IV., very may consist with the motion of the per- early in the morning, within the city,