Onderstaande tekst is niet 100% betrouwbaar

304

racial hatred as a motive, shortly after the Black Death, outweighed with Ser Giovanni the increased improbabilities which his innovations implied. Thus a comparatively modern Jew was compelled to assume a crude and antiquated part (slave or devil) for which he was peculiarly unfitted by political status, tradition and race. We cannot be expected to study bis character from the psychological, racial or social points of view; there are no data for such a scrutiny. The criminal or devil was an indispensable spring in the mechanism of the tale, but important only dynamically. Thus burdened with a still more demoralized chief lady, a lowered Bassanio and an impossible Jew, but with a deceptive air of having been modernized, the story travelled to England, and gravitated towards the stage, which is apt to bring out flaws more acutely than the novella form. Accordingly it underwent some alterations and improvements before it became "The Jew, showne at the Bidl" in 1579.

The Bond-Story in England

The Pecorone written before 1400 and extant in but a few MSS., was yet sufficiently well-known to be deemed worthy the honour of print in 1558. The editio princeps, Milano, Gio. Antonio degli Antonij,was followed by a second edition, Venice 1560 (or 1565). A copy of one of these early printed Pecorones must have fallen into the hands of William Painter, who translated three tales from it, though not the novella we have just been studying. Yet there is a probability that no later than 1579 a dramatist, working upon

Sluiten