OCRed data provided
for searching only. 524 SMALL LATINE AND LESSE GREEKE
The word tradit, which Shakspere renders as "interprets," has been the key, but in its literal grammatical pattern and on its proper sixteenth century background. When things are seen on the stage, the ear has the eye as interpreter, and we approach nearest to reality. It seems certain that Shakspere has used Horace directly here, and he would perhaps have been best aided by such notes as are found in Lambinus.
Horace presents illustrations of what not to produce on the stage, and some of these Shakspere certainly knew, as the stories of Medea, Procne, etc., but there is nothing to show that any part of that knowledge came from this passage in Horace. So also did Shakspere know the substance of the next precept in Horace,
Neve minor neu sit quinto productior actu fabula quae posci volt et spectata reponi.
But since it was the generally accepted rule of Shakspere's age that plays should be written in five acts, there is no indication that Shakspere had this particular precept directly from Horace. It would seem clear, then, that Shakspere knew these various precepts of Horace, several of which are consecutive, that he knew at least three of them directly from the original of Horace, and that he knew at least one and perhaps others as interpreted by Lambinus. Since most of these are precepts which apply directly to the dramatist, they had remained with Shakspere, and as a dramatist he had found use for them.
Our indications, then, seem quite conclusive that Shakspere had some knowledge of the Odes of Horace in the original, almost certainly as interpreted by the notes of Lambinus. The evidence appears only less conclusive for the firs Poetic-a, again with fairly good indication of Lambinus. For the Epistles in general, the evidence is much less strong; but gives fair probability, with some indication for the edition of Lambinus. The paucity and tenuousness of parallels with the Satires makes it reasonably clear that Shakspere had not been drilled upon these; else he found no use for his accumulated information. We have seen that this amount and kind of information is about what was thrust upon the ordinary grammarian, and the edition of Lambinus would have been a logical one for interpretation while Shakspere was in school, whether Shakspere owned a copy or had access in some other way. It is Lambinus whom Drant quotes so approvingly,