Shakspeare's Sonnets Never Before Interpreted: His Private Friends Identified; Together with a Recorded Likeness of Himself (Classic Reprint)

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Excerpt from Shakspeare's Sonnets Never Before Interpreted: His Private Friends Identified; Together With a Recorded Likeness of Himself

We shall see and say more Of Thorpe and his In scription, by-and - by; for the time being I am only giving a brief account Of the sonnets, and the Opinions respecting them, up to the present day. After they were printed by Thorpe in 1609, we hear no more Of them for thirty-one years. In 1640 appeared a new edition, with an arrange ment totally different from the original one. This was published as 'poems written by vvil. Shakspeare, Gent. Printed at London by The. Cotes, and are to be sold by John Benson.' In this arrangement, we find many of the pieces printed in the 'passionate Pilgrim, ' mixed up with the sonnets, and the whole Of them have titles which are chiefly given to little groups. Sonnets 18, 19, 43, 56, 75, 76, 96, 126, are missing from the second edition. This publication of the sonnets as poems on distinct subjects shows, to some extent, how they were looked upon by the readers Of the time. The arranger, in sup plying his titles, would be following a feeling and answer ing a want. Any personal application of them was very far from his thoughts. Sonnets 88, 89, 90, and 91, are entitled 'a Request to his Scornful Love.' 109 and 110 are called 'a Lover's excuse for his long Absence. Sonnet 122, 'upon the Receipt of a Table Book from his Mistress;' and 125, 'an Entreaty for her Acceptance.' The greater part of the titles how ever are general, and only attempt to characterise the sentiment.

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