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May 1606- June
1608

Inquisitori di Stato, b 155, folio 76 verso

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Inquisitori di Stato, b 155, folio 76 verso
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Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Archivio di Stato di Venezia, Inquisitori di Stato, b, 155, c. 76v. Reproduced by permission of the Italian Ministero dei Beni Culturali (immagine riprodotta nella Sezione di fotoriproduzione dell'Archivio di Stato in Venezia e pubblicata con atto n. 1/2016)

Terms of use
Archivio di Stato di Venezia (Venetian State Archives) has graciously contributed the above image from their collections to Shakespeare Documented, and retains sole ownership of said image. Visitors may link to and cite the image within Shakespeare Documented in personal research only. Any further use, including, but not limited to, unauthorized downloading or distribution of the image is strictly prohibited. Visitors must contact Archivio di Stato di Venezia (Venetian State Archives) to request additional use, by email at: as-ve@beniculturali.it, or by post at: Archivio di Stato di Venezia, Campo dei Frari, San Polo, 3002, 30125 Venezia, Italy

Document-specific information
Date: May 1606 - June 1608
Repository: Archivio di Stato di Venezia (Venetian State Archives), Venice, Italy
Call number and opening: Inquisitori di Stato, b 155, fol. 76v
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Item Date
May 1606 - June 1608
Repository
Archivio di Stato di Venezia (the State Archives of Venice), Venice, Italy
Call Number
Inquisitori di Stato, b 155, fol. 76v

Institution Rights and Document Citation

 

Archivio di Stato di Venezia, Inquisitori di Stato, b, 155, c. 76v. Reproduced by permission of the Italian Ministero dei Beni Culturali (immagine riprodotta nella Sezione di fotoriproduzione dell'Archivio di Stato in Venezia e pubblicata con atto n. 1/2016)

Terms of use
Archivio di Stato di Venezia (Venetian State Archives) has graciously contributed the above image from their collections to Shakespeare Documented, and retains sole ownership of said image. Visitors may link to and cite the image within Shakespeare Documented in personal research only. Any further use, including, but not limited to, unauthorized downloading or distribution of the image is strictly prohibited. Visitors must contact Archivio di Stato di Venezia (Venetian State Archives) to request additional use, by email at: as-ve@beniculturali.it, or by post at: Archivio di Stato di Venezia, Campo dei Frari, San Polo, 3002, 30125 Venezia, Italy

Document-specific information
Date: May 1606 - June 1608
Repository: Archivio di Stato di Venezia (Venetian State Archives), Venice, Italy
Call number and opening: Inquisitori di Stato, b 155, fol. 76v
View online bibliographic record

Sometime between May 1606 and July 1608, the Venetian ambassador to England saw a performance of Pericles, and invited the ambassador of France, the ambassador’s wife, and the Florentine resident in England, to join him. We know this because it is mentioned in a deposition made a decade later.

Archivio di Stato di Venezia, Inquisitori di Stato 155, fols. 72-79 contain a report of the interrogation of the interpreter Odoardo Guatz (Guazzo), which, as recorded on fol. 1, took place in London on April 18, 1617. The interrogation is included in a collection of reports mostly connected with the trial of former Ambassador Antonio Foscarini, who had been arrested on his return to Venice in March 1616. Among the many accusations brought against Foscarini by his former secretary Muscorno, and others, were those of having converted to Protestantism, of being a drunkard, a womanizer, and a theatergoer. 

The trial was concluded with Foscarini’s full acquittal on July 30, 1618 (cf. Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, Volume 49, 1997). Interestingly, Guazzo testified that Foscarini had only been “three or four times to see the plays.” Being asked, the interpreter confirmed that other ambassadors, including that of the Archduke of Austria, were occasional frequenters of the London theaters, and that they sometimes even took their wives to see the shows. He evidently believed that this was fairly common, and not considered worthy of censure by the local diplomatic community. Guazzo had “served all the ambassadors” as an interpreter. He was appreciated as a man who “knows his duties and is necessary not only for the language but to give much other information." (Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, 69-85)In fact, even the well-known and much appreciated former Venetian representative Zorzi (Giorgio) Giustinian, Guazzo stated, had been to a play in the company of the French ambassador-in-ordinary, Antoine LeFevre de la Boderie, and his wife, and Ottavian Lotti, the Florentine resident in England. The play in question was Shakespeare’s Pericles. Giustinian was the Venetian Ambassador to England from January 5, 1606 to November 23, 1608. Leeds Barroll convincinginly argues that the only time this group could have seen the play together, due to plague closings, was May/June 1606, April 1607, or April-July 1608. It is assumed that the venue was the Globe, based on the title page of the first edition (Barroll, p. 193), but it has also been argued that Giustinian paid for a private performance.

The image reproduced here is taken from folios 76v-77. Only the text on the former (of which only two sentences are relevant to Pericles) has been transcribed. The unbound documents now contained in box 155 were numbered sequentially, hence the numeration “72-79” (the final blank pages were not foliated) for this quire. As evidenced by the central hole visible throughout, these leaves were once bound together with other documents by means of a string or cord, a common procedure for legal manuscripts in seventeenth-century Italy as well as in Continental Europe.

Modernized/Translated transcriptions

[folo 76 verso]

If “Master Foscarini entreated Muscorno on other occasions, to come to write, and to get things ready for dispatch” -  asks Master Inquisitor.

Answer: “This he did. Muscorno, in fact, having been several [times] asked to come to write, would not get out of bed because he did not feel like doing it; and I know that he had to be called two or three times before he came.”

If “Muscorno had parcels amounting to the cost of 15 or 20 scudi delivered to him -  asks Master Inquisitor.

Answer: “I do not know how much these parcels cost in relation to their weight; I do know, though, that he would get some which weighed 12 – 18 up to 27 ounces.                                                               Inquisitor

Answer: “Master Ambassador on occasion bargained with him over the payment of those.”

If “Master Foscarini went to see the plays only three or four times” -  asks Master Inquisitor.

Answer: “I believe he went twice, or three times, but I never went with him, because he would go in private, thinking no one would recognize him.”
 

If “The Archduke’s ambassador sometimes went to see the plays with his wife” -  asks Master Inquisitor.

Answer: “I do not know, but I think he did, since the ambassadors who came to England have all - more or less – been to see the plays.”
 

If “Ambassador Giustinian together with the French ambassador and his wife went to see the plays -  asks Master Inquisitor.”

Answer: “It is true that Master Ambassador Giustinian, together with the French ambassador and his wife, went to a play called Pericles, which cost Master Giustinian more than 20 scudi. And true that it was him who took the French ambassador there, and Lotti, the Secretary of Florence.
 

If “Foscarini would go promptly when summoned to an audience” -  asks Master Inquisitor.

Answer: “Yes, Sir, he would go promptly. He may have shown up a little late on some occasions, but I am sure the King never had to wait for him, save once, and that was my fault.”

Semi-diplomatic transcription

[folio 76 verso: all headings including the questions appear in the manuscript's margin]

Se il Signor Foscarini
sollecitò altre uolte
il muscorno che uenisse
à  scriuer et finisse di
espedir

domanda il Signor inquisitore[.]  Risposta[:] questo si, che il muscorno essendo
chiamato molte uenir [sic] à uenir à scriuer
non si volle leuar di letto perche non li
piacque à lui, et sò che è stato chiamato due
ò tre uolte primia che uenisse.

Se il muscorno hà
fatto uenir pieghi di
15 et 20 scudi di costo

domanda il Signor inquisitore[.] Risposta[:] no sò quanto importauano di peso
i suo pieghi sò ben che gli ne ueniuano de quelli
che pesauano 12 – 18 et fino 27 oncie. inquisitore
Risposta[:] il Signor ambasciatore contrattò qualche uolta con lui
sopra i pagamenti del peso.

Se il Signor Foscarini sia
andato alla comedia
tre o quattro sole uolte[,]

domanda il Signor inquisitore[.] Risposta[:] Credo sia andato due ò tre
uolte; ma ion non sono mai andato con lui perche
andava priuatamente credendo di non esser
conosciuto[.]

Se l’ambasciatore dell’
arciduca sia andato
alle uolte con la moglie
alla comedia.

domanda il Signor inquisitore[.] Risposta[:] Non lo sò, credo de si perche tutti
li ambasciatori che sonno uenuti in Inghilterra sonno
andati alla comedia o’ più o’ manco.

Se l’ambasciatore Giustiniano
con  l’ambasciatore di franzia et
sua moglie sonno andati
ala comedia

domanda il Signor inquisitore[.] Risposta[:] E’ uero che il Signor ambasciatore Giustiniano
con l’ambasciatore di Franza et sua moglie andarno
ad una Comedia nominata Pericles, che li
costò più di 20 scudi al Signor Giustiniano: che lui
ui meno quel di francia et il Lotti Secretario di
Fiorenza.

Se il Signor Foscarini sollecitasse
di andar quando si
conferiva à audienza
del Re etc.

domanda il Signor inquisitore[.] Risposta[:] Signor Si era sollecito nell’andar
può esser che qualche uolta pareisse un poco
tardi, ma son sicuro che non fù aspettato dal
Re se non una uolta, che fu per colpa mia

Written by Carlo M. Bajetta

Sources

Nicolò Barozzi and Guglielmo Berchet, eds., Le Relazioni degli Stati Europei Lette al Senato dagli Ambasciatori Veneziani (Venice: P. Naratovich, 1863), 85.

James Leeds Barroll, Politics, Plague, and Shakespeare’s Theater: the Stuart Years (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991), 193.

Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, Volume 49, (1997)

T. S. Graves, "On the Date and Signifiance of 'Pericles'," in Modern Philology, vol. 13, no. 9 (January 1916), pp. 545-556.

Andrew Gurr, Playgoing in Shakespeare’s London, Third Edition (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 83.

Jackson, MacDonald P., Defining Shakespeare: Pericles as Test Case (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003).

"Venice: December 1619, 12-20,” in Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 16, 1619-1621, ed. Allen B Hinds (London: His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1910), 69-85, accessed May 16, 2015, via British History Online, http://www.british-history.ac.uk/cal-state-papers/venice/vol16/pp69-85).

 

 

 

 

 
Last updated March 19, 2018