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the play was the result of a partnership, and on this assumption an attempt was made to define the limits of each partner's share. To Shakespeare were given the first scene, part of the second, and the whole of the third of the first act; most of the second act; the whole of the third, and the last scene of the fifth. Since Beaumont had “copied" the Quarrel scene, I gave the act containing the quarrel to him, with part of the second scene of the first act; scene four of the second act, and what I conceived to be the work of the journeyman in the fifth act.

But with each repeated reading of the plays in the Mermaid volumes, the claims of Beaumont became more insistent, and those of Shakespeare correspondingly less so, until it appeared to me that a partnership was out of the question, since there was scarcely a scene that did not contain something strongly suggestive of Beaumont. A second theory then suggested itself: That Julius Caesar was an early work by Beaumont, brought to Shakespeare for him to touch up and to prune of its amateurishness. And, since Beaumont invariably began his plays, as in the second scene of Julius Caesar, with a large amount of preparatory relation, it appeared to me that Shakespeare had written the opening scene mainly to enliven a somewhat slow commencement. That was my judgment on the problem, pending the gain of more liberty and a larger array of books within consulting reach.

About a month later I obtained leave, and though, as a result, some farther evidence was obtained, expectations were scarcely realised until I came across an edition of the play by the Rev. J. C. Scrimgeour, printed in India and published by Macmillan. It contained the following illuminating note on the first scene:

“ This scene is very loosely connected with the rest of the play : the tribunes, though they are here such commanding figures, never again appear upon the stage ; and the procession that passes before our eyes at the beginning of Scene 2 is of quite a different character from what we have been led to expect from the second commoner's announcement in line 35—it is not in the least suggestive of a military triumph" (p. 102). This note furnished a distinct clue. Reading the opening scene in

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the light of it, it became clear that Shakespeare could not have been the author of both the beginning and the end of the scene. The Tribunes of the Triumph belong to Shakespeare—the Tribunes of the Lupercalian Feast to Beaumont. And, since Shakespeare's plan had seemingly gone adrift in the very first scene, it is plain that he could have had very little to do with the rest of the tragedy.

These considerations brought about the birth of the third theory: That Shakespeare had commenced the play but had been compelled, for some unknown reason, to abandon the work, which was afterwards completed by Beaumont. This seemed a good theory, as far as it went; but it left a few points unexplained. Unlike Coriolanus and Antony and Cleopatra, Julius Caesar is not entirely based upon Plutarch: therefore the last-named play must have had other sources. And, since much of its language, some

. of its characterisation, and a good deal of its thought, hark back to a time when Shakespeare was unknown as a dramatic author, it became easy to believe that the present version was based upon an earlier play, and who so likely as Marlowe to have written that play? Though unsupported, at the time, by any evidence, this proved to be a lucky conjecture; but I took no pains to verify it, being then more concerned with Beaumont's than with Marlowe's share in the tragedy. However, chance again intervened. I had been reading the Henry VI. trilogy, and, wishing to discover the identity of the poet who, in that series, habitually pronounced “ Henry" as a trisyllable, it was only natural that I should turn to the Massacre at Paris, containing as it does two important characters with the name of “Henry." I not only found that Marlowe pronounced the name as a trisyllable, but I was brought to sudden attention by reading the words:

• Yet Caesar shall go forth !" This is a literal quotation of a passage in Julius Caesar, ïi. 2. There is no possibility of this line having been inserted in the Massacre

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later than any likely date for a Shakespearean Julius Caesar. Unless Marlowe, in the French play, is quoting from his own earlier work (which I believe to be the case), then both Shakespeare and Marlowe must have drawn upon a source that must have been available before 1592.

Farther research brought to light the fact that there was very good reason to believe that Marlowe had written a play on Julius Caesar in 1589, some incidents in which were alluded to by Greene (in 1590), and by Peele in Alphonsus, Emperor of Germany, which play gives almost an exact rendering of another line from Julius Caesar. Moreover, the latter tragedy contains many instances of Marlowe's idioms, several of which were never repeated by Shakespeare, and its last line is taken from the Second Part of Tamburlaine. All these considerations lend support to the final theory—which seems to me to hold the truth and every part of the truth that Julius Caeser is an old play by Marlowe (with the possible assistance of Peele), the present revision of which was commenced by Shakespeare and finished by Beaumont.

December, 1921.

W. W.

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