Excerpt from Twelfth Night, or What You Will I venture to believe that we are too much accustomed to regard Shakespeare as a writer of impulse rather than premeditation;1 the fact is that almost throughout the whole period of his authorship he combined a marvellous spontaneity with an equally marvellous discipline of thought and command of material. And this fact is t less true of the sources of his dramas; he spares pains in his research; he disdains authority, and hint in any authority. To these preliminary considerations two other facts may be added. Shakespeare usually avoided the trouble t, of course, of elaborating - but of inventing a story; he preferred to adapt the plot of some existing vel or drama; and rightly, as I think; for a glance at almost any one of the great literatures of the world will convince us that to originate in the matter of myth or episode or narrative has been more often the frolic of a nation in its youth, or the task of mere ingenuity, and that the higher creative genius has displayed itself by its power of trans muting the crude metal of popular fable or story into the fine gold of drama and epic. But the remaining fact has yet to be stated; for this power of transmuting was possessed by Shakespeare in a far greater degree than by any other literary alchemist. About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art techlogy to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.