Not a member?     Existing members login below:
$$$ Get Money for Sharing FREE eBooks! Click here for details $$$

The Purgatory of St. Patrick

closeness of the translation may be inferred from the fact, that not
only the whole play but every speech and fragment of a speech are
represented in English in the exact number of lines of the original,
without the sacrifice, it is to be hoped, of one important idea.
A note by Hartzenbusch in the last edition of the drama published at
Madrid (1872), tells that "La Vida es Sueno", is founded on a story
which turns out to be substantially the same as that with which
English students are familiar as the foundation of the famous
Induction to the "Taming of the Shrew". Calderon found it however in
a different work from that in which Shakespeare met with it, or
rather his predecessor, the anonymous author of "The Taming of a
Shrew", whose work supplied to Shakespeare the materials of his own
On this subject Malone thus writes. "The circumstance on which the
Induction to the anonymous play, as well as to the present Comedy
[Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew"], is founded, is related (as
Langbaine has observed) by Heuterus, "Rerum Burgund." lib. iv. The
earliest English original of this story in prose that I have met with
is the following, which is found in Goulart's "Admirable and
Memorable Histories", translated by E. Grimstone, quarto, 1607; but
this tale (which Goulart translated from Heuterus) had undoubtedly
appeared in English, in some other shape, before 1594:
"Philip called the good Duke of Burgundy, in the memory of our
ancestors, being at Bruxelles with his Court, and walking one night
after supper through the streets, accompanied by some of his
favourites, he found lying upon the stones a certaine artisan that
was very dronke, and that slept soundly. It pleased the prince in
this artisan to make trial of the vanity of our life, whereof he had
before discoursed with his familiar friends. He therefore caused
this sleeper to be taken up, and carried into his palace; he commands
him to be layed in one of the richest beds; a riche night cap to be
given him; his foule shirt to be taken off, and to have another put
on him of fine holland. When as this dronkard had digested his wine,
and began to awake, behold there comes about his bed Pages and
Groomes of the Duke's Chamber, who drawe the curteines, make many
courtesies, and being bare-headed, aske him if it please him to rise,
and what apparell it would please him to put on that day. They bring
him rich apparell. This new Monsieur amazed at such courtesie, and
doubting whether he dreamt or waked, suffered himselfe to be drest,
and led out of the chamber. There came noblemen which saluted him
with all honour, and conduct him to the Masse, where with great
ceremonie they give him the booke of the Gospell, and the Pixe to
kisse, as they did usually to the Duke. From the Masse they bring
him back unto the pallace; he washes his hands, and sittes down at
the table well furnished. After dinner, the Great Chamberlain
commands cards to be brought with a great summe of money. This Duke
in imagination playes with the chief of the Court. Then they carry