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‘Much ADO ABOUT NOTHING' was first printed blance ceases. Ariosto found the incident in 1600. There was no other separate edition. of a lady betrayed to suspicion and danger, The variations between the text of the by the personation of her own waiting-woquarto and that of the folio are very few. man, amongst the popular traditions of the The chronology of this comedy is sufficiently south of Europe—this story has been traced fixed by the circumstance of its publication to Spain—and he interwove it with the in 1600, coupled with the fact that it is not adventures of his Rinaldo as an integral mentioned by Meres in 1598.
part of his chivalrous romance. Spenser “The story is taken from Ariosto,” says has told a similar story in 'The Faery Queen' Pope. To Ariosto then we turn; and we (Book II., Canto IV.). The European story, are repaid for our labour by the pleasure of which Ariosto and Spenser have thus adopted, reading that long but by no means tedious has formed also the groundwork of one of story of Genevra, which occupies the whole : Bandello's Italian novels. It was for Shakof the fifth book, and part of the sixth, of spere to surround the main incident with the 'Orlando Furioso. “ The tale is a pretty those accessories which he could nowhere comical matter," as Harrington quaintly borrow, and to make of it such a comedy as pronounces it. The famous town of St. no other man has made—a comedy not of Andrew's forms its scene : and here was manners or of sentiment, but of life viewed enacted something like that piece of villainy under its profoundest aspects, whether of the by which the Claudio of Shakspere was grave or the ludicrous. The title of this deceived, and his Hero“ done to death by comedy, rightly considered, is the best exslanderous tongues.” But here the resem- positor of the idea of this comedy. It is “a