Imágenes de páginas

i. e. thou dost make those things to be esteemed impossible, which are possible: the very reverse of what the poet meant. In the same play is this line :

“ I am appointed him to murder you." Here the editor of the second folio, not being conversant with Shakspeare's irregular language, reads

I appointed him to murder you."

Again, în Macbeth :

“ This diamond he greets your wife withal,
By the name of most kind hostess; and shut up
« In measureless content."

Not knowing that shut up meant concluded, the editor of the second folio reads

and shut it up [i. e. the diamond] « In measureless content.”

In the same play the word lated, “ Now spurs the 'lated traveller-") not being understood, is changed to latest, and Colmes-Inch to Colmeshill.

Again, ibidem : when Macbeth says, “ Hang those that talk of fear," it is evident that these words are not a wish or imprecation, but an injunction to hang all the cowards in Scotland. The editor of the second folio, however, considering the passage in the former light, reads :

“ Hang them that stand in fear."

From the same ignorance,..,

" And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
“ The way to dusty death.”

is changed to

" And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
« The way to study death."

In King Richard II. Bolingbroke says,

“ And I must find that title in your tongue,&c.

i. e. you must address me by that title. But this not being understood, town is in the second folio fubstituted for tongue.

The double comparative is common in the plays of Shakspeare. Yet, instead of

I'll give my reasons
More worthier than their voices."

Coriolanus, AA III. sc. i. First Folio.

we have in the second copy,

“ More worthy than their voices."

So, in Othello, Act I. sc. V." opinion, a lovereign mistress of effects, throws a more safer voice on you,”-is changed in the second folio, tom “ opinion, &c. throws a more safe voice on you."

Again, in Hamlet, Act III. sc. ii. instead of 66 your wisdom should show itself more richer, to fignify this to the doctor;" we find in the copy of 1032, “ your wisdom should fhow itself more rich," &c.

In The Winter's Tale, the word vast not being understood,

they shook hands as over a vast."

First Folio.

we find in the second copy, “ -- as over a vast

In King John, Act V. fc. v. first folio, are these


lines :

The English lords By his persuasion are again fallen off." The editor of the second folio, thinking, I fuppose, that as these lords had not before deserted the French king, it was improper to say that they had again fallen off, fubftituted " - are at last fallen off;” not perceiving that the meaning is, that these lords had gone back again to their own countrymen, whom they had before deserted.

In King Henry VIII. Act II. sc. ii. Norfolk, speaking of Wolsey, says, “ I'll venture one have at him.” This being misunderstood, is changed in the second copy to “ I'll venture one heave at him.”

Julius Cæsar likewise furnishes various specimens of his ignorance of Shakspeare's language. The phrase, to bear hard, not being understood, instead of

« Caius Ligarius doth bear Cæfar hard." First Folio. we find in the second copy,

“ Caius Ligarius doth bear Cæfar hatred." and from the same cause the words dank, blest, and hurtled, are dismissed from the text, and more familiar words substituted in their room.'

[ocr errors]

“ To walk unbraced, and fuck up the humours
." Of the dank morning." First Folio.

Of the dark morning." Second Folio.
“ We are blest that Rome is rid of him.” First Folio.
We are glad that Rome is rid of him.” Second Folio.
• The noise of battle hurtled in the air.". First Folio.
" The noise of battle hurried in the air." Second Folio:

In like manner in the third Act of Coriolanus, sc. ii. the ancient verb to owe, i. e. to poffefs, is discarded by this editor, and own substituted in its place. * In Antony and Cleopatra, we find in the original copy these lines :


I say again, thy spirit
“ Is all afraid to govern thee near him,
“ But he alway, 'tis noble."

Instead of restoring the true word away, which was thus corruptly exhibited, the editor of the fecond folio, without any regard to the context, altered another part of the line, and absurdly printed “ But he alway is noble." . ..

In the same play, Act I. sc. iii. Cleopatra fays to Charmian-" Quick and return;" for which the editor of the second folio, not knowing that quick was either used adverbially, or elliptically for Be quick, substitutes—" Quickly, and return." In Timon of Athens, are these lines :

“ And that unaptness made your minifter

- “ Thus to excute yourself.” * i. e. and made that unaptness your minister to excufe yourself; or, in other words, availed yourself of that unaptness as an excuse for your own conduct. The words being inverted and put out of their natural order, the editor of the second folio supposed that unaptness, being placed first, must be the nominative case, and therefore reads

." And that unaptness made you .minister,

« Thus to excuse yourself."

In that play, from the fame ignorance, instead of Timon's exhortation to the thieves, to kill as

well! as rob.-" Take wealth and lives together," we find in the second copy, “ Take wealth, and live together.” And with equal ignorance and licentiousness this editor altered the epitaph on Timon, to render it what he thought metrical, by leaving out various words. In the original edition it appears as it does in Plutarch, and therefore we may be certain that the variations in the second copy were here, as in other places, all arbitrary and capricious. Again, in the same play, we have

- I defil'd land.” and

“ 0, my good lord, the world is but a word,&c. . The editor not understanding either of these palsages, and supposing that I in the first of them was used as a personal pronoun, (whereas it stands according to the usage of that time for the affirmative particle, ay,) reads in the first line,

I defy land;"

and exhibits the other line thus :

« O, my good lord, the world is but a world,&c.

Our author and the contemporary writers generally write wars, not war, &c. The editor of the second folio being unapprised of this, reads in Antony and Cleopatra, Act III. sc. V: “Cæfar having made use of him in the war against Pompey,”-instead of wars, the reading of the original copy.

The seventh scene of the fourth act of this play Vol. I.


« AnteriorContinuar »