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THOMAS SHADWELL (c. 1642-1692)

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Originally appearing in Volume V24, Page 760 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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THOMAS SHADWELL (c. 1642-1692), English playwright and miscellaneous writer, was born about 1642, at Santon Hall, Norfolk, according to his son's account. He was educated at Bury St Edmund's School, and at Caius College, Cambridge, where he was entered in 1656. He left the university without a degree, and joined the Middle Temple. In 1668 he produced a prose comedy, The Sullen Lovers, or the Impertinents, based on Les FtIckeux of Moliere, and written in avowed 'imitation of Ben Jonson. His best plays are Epsom Wells (1672), for which Sir Charles Sedley wrote a prologue, and the Squire of Alsatia (1688). Alsatia was the cant name for Whitefriars, then a kind of sanctuary for persons liable to arrest, and the play represents, in dialogue full of the argot of the place, the adventures of a youngheir who falls into the hand of the sharpers there. For fourteen years from the production of his first comedy to his memorable encounter with Dryden, Shadwell produced a play nearly every year. These productions display a genuine hatred of shams, and a rough but honest moral purpose. They are disfigured by indecencies, but present a vivid picture of contemporary manners. Shadwell is chiefly remembered as the unfortunate Mac Flecknoe of Dryden's satire, the " last great prophet of tautology," and the literary son and heir of Richard Flecknoe: " The rest to some faint meaning make pretence, But Shadwell never deviates into sense." Dryden had furnished Shadwell with a prologue to his True Widow (1679), and in spite of momentary differences, the two had been apparently on friendly terms. But when Dryden joined the court party, and produced Absalom and Achitophel and The Medal, Shadwell became the champion of the true-blue Protestants, and made a scurrilous attack on the poet in The Medal of John Bayes: a Satire against Folly and Knavery (1682). Dryden immediately retorted in Mac Flecknoe, or a Satire on the True Blue Protestant Poet, T.S. (1682), in which Shadwell's personalities were returned with interest. A month later he contributed to Nahum Tate's continuation of Absalom and Achitophel satirical portraits of Elkanah Settle as Doeg and of Shadwell as 0g. In 1687 Shadwell attempted to answer these attacks in a version of the tenth satire of Juvenal. At the Whig triumph in 1688 he superseded his enemy as poet laureate and historiographer royal. He died at Chelsea on the 19th of November 1692. His son, CHARLES SHADWELL, was the author of The Fair Quaker of Deal and other plays, collected and published in 1720. A complete edition of Shadwell's works was published by his son Sir John Shadwell in 1720. His other dramatic works are—The Royal Shepherdess (1669), an adaptation of John Fountain's Rewards of Virtue; The Humorist (1671); The Miser (1672), adapted from Moliere; Psyche (1695); The Libertine (1676); The Virtuoso (1676),; The history of Timon of Athens the Man-hater (1678),—on this Sakespearian adaptation see O. Beber, Shadwell's Bearbeitung des. .. Timon of Athens (Rostock, 1897) ; A True Widow (1679) ; The Woman Captain (168o), revived in 1744 as The Prodigal; The Lancashire Witches and Teague O'Divelly, the Irish Priest (1682) ; Bury Fair (1689) ; The Amorous Bigot, with the second part of Teague O'Divelly (169o) ; The Scowerers (1691) ; and The Volunteers, or Stockjobbers, published posthumously (1693). SHAFI`Y [Mahommed ibn Idris ash-Shafi'il (767-820), the founder of the Shafi'ite school of canon law, was born in A.H. 150 (A.D. 767) of a Koreishite (Quraishite) family at Gaza or Ascalon, and was brought up by his mother in poor circumstances at Mecca. There, and especially in intercourse with the desert tribe of Hudhail, he gained a knowledge of classical Arabic and old Arabian poetry for which he was afterwards famous. About 170 he went to Medina and studied canon law (figh) under Malik ibn Anas. After the death of Malik in 179 legend takes him to Yemen, where he is involved in an 'Alid conspiracy, carried prisoner to Bagdad, but pardoned by Harun al-Rashid. He was certainly pursuing his studies, and he seems to have come to Bagdad in some such way as this and then to have studied under IIanifite teachers. He had not yet formulated his own system. After a journey to Egypt, however, we find him in Bagdad again, as a teacher, between 195 and 198. There he had great success and turned the tide against the I.Ianifite school. His method was to restore the sources of canon law which Abu IIanifa, had destroyed by inclining too much to speculative deduction. Instead, he laid equal emphasis upon the four—Koran_, tradition, analogy, and agreement. See further, under MAHOMMEDAN LAW. In 198 he went to Egypt in the train of a new governor, and this time was received as the leading orthodox authority in law of his time. There he developed and somewhat changed the details of his system, and died in 204 A.D. 820). He was buried to the south-east of what is now Cairo, and a great dome (erected c. A.D. 1240) is conspicuous over his tomb. See F. Wiistenfeld, Schdfa'iten, 31 ff.; M. J. de Goeje in ZDMG. xlvii. 1o6 ff.; C. Brockelmann, Geschichte, i. 178 ff.; M'G. de Slane's transl. of Ibn Khallikan, ii. 569 if., Fihrist, 209, Nawawi's Biogr. Dict. 56 if. (D. B. MA.)
End of Article: THOMAS SHADWELL (c. 1642-1692)
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