The Shepherd’s Holiday: A Pastoral Tragi-Comedy
Sylvia came to live among the shepherds of Arcadia. She and the shepherd Thyrsis are in love. But then she is abducted. Why? What is her true identity? And what is the parentage of Thyrsis, who was found as a child by a shepherd? What will become of Sylvia and Thyrsis when the shepherds are called to entertain the royal court of Arcadia? And what will come of the romantic entanglements of some of the other shepherds and shepherdesses?
Joseph Rutter was a member of Ben Jonson's circle of poets, known for his translation of Corneille's The Cid. The Shepherd’s Holiday: A Pastoral Tragi-Comedy enjoyed some popularity in its day. The play was performed about 1634 at the Palace of Whitehall before King Charles I and Queen Henrietta Maria, and received public performances at the Cockpit Stage, Drury Lane, London. Professor Felix Emanuel Schelling considered the play “an estimable piece of work not wanting in dramatic power or poetic embellishment.”
Publication Date: April 26, 2016
ISBN/EAN13: 1532920911 / 9781532920912
Page Count: 152
Binding Type: US Trade Paper
Trim Size: 6″ x 9″
Color: Black and White
Related Category: Drama / English
In Act II, Scene II, Roderigo says:
Be not so hot, I know I’m young, but yet
In noble souls, valour prevents their years.
“Precede” is an archaic meaning of “prevent,” i.e. “comes before.”
In 1637, soon after the first performances in France of Pierre Corneille’s famous play Le Cid, English poet and playwright Joseph Rutter translated the play from the French rhyming alexandrine couplets into English iambic pentameter verse. Two pupils of Rutter, Richard and Edward Sackville, sons of Edward Sackville, fourth Earl of Dorset, may have contributed to Rutter’s translation.
Rutter’s translation was performed at the English royal court before King Charles I and his wife Queen Henrietta Maria, and subsequently at the Cockpit Stage, Drury Lane, London, by the king’s players.
The play, described as a tragicomedy, tells of the Spanish military hero who must avenge an insult to his father by killing in a duel the father of the woman that he loves.
I have edited the 1637 text and have updated the spelling for a new paperback edition of The Cid, and also for a Kindle ebook. I have also added my own translation of two soliloquies that Rutter’s translation had omitted.
It irritates me to hear TV newspeople say “passing” when they are speaking of a death.
In his 1983 (or 1984?) book Class: A Guide Through the American Status System, Paul Fussell wrote, “And of course the middle [class] is where you hear false teeth called dentures, the rich called the wealthy, and dying called passing away (or over). (Proles are likely to be taken to Jesus.)”
“The middles cleave to euphemisms not just because they’re an aid in avoiding facts. They like them also because they assist their social yearnings toward pomposity.”
And in the 1950’s, Nancy Mitford in her essay “The English Aristocracy” characterized “die” as U (Upper Class) speech, and “pass on” as non-U (not Upper Class) speech.
Happy 95th birthday, Carol Channing!