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of informing himself by an happy and extensive Conversation, we should have had our Author come out as perfect, as the want of Manuscripts and original Copies could give us a Possibility of hoping. I may dare to say, a great Number of Shakespeare's Admirers, and of Mr. Pope's too, (both which I sincerely declare myself,) concurred in this Expectation : For there is a certain curiosa felicitas, as was said of an eminent Roman Poet, in that Gentleman's Way of working, which, we presum'd, would have laid itself out largely in such a Province ; and that he would not have sate down contented with performing, as he calls it himself, the dull Duty of an Editor only.”

“I have so great an Esteem for Mr. Pope, and so high an Opinion of his Genius and Excellencies, that I beg to be excused from the least Intention of derogating from his Merits, in this Attempt to restore the true Reading of Shakespeare. Tho' I confess a Veneration, almost rising to Idolatry, for the writings of this inimitable Poet, I would be very loth even to do him Justice at the Expence of that other Gentleman's Character."

Whether or not these declarations were sincere, they would hardly have stayed the resentment of a less sensitive man than Pope when passage after passage was pointed out where errors were “as well committed asunamended.” Theobald even hazarded the roguish suggestion that the bookseller had played his editor false by not sending him all the sheets to revise ; and he certainly showed that the readings of Rowe's edition had occasionally been adopted without the professed collation of the older copies. The volume could raise no doubt of Theobald's own diligence. The chief part of it is devoted to an examination of the text of Hamlet, but there is a long appendix dealing with readings in other plays, and in it occurs the famous emendation of the line in Henry V. describing Falstaff's death,—“ for his nose was as sharp as a pen, and a' babled of green fields.It should be noted that the credit of this reading is not entirely Theobald's. He admits that in an edition “with some marginal conjectures of a Gentleman sometime deceased ” he found the emendation “and a' talked of green fields.” Theobald's share thus amounts to the doubtful improvement of substituting babbled for talked.

Though this volume has undoubted merits, it is not difficult to understand why the name of Theobald came to convey to the eighteenth century the idea of painful pedantry, and why one so eminently just as Johnson should have dubbed him “a man of heavy diligence, with very slender powers." While his knowledge is indisputable, he has little or no delicacy of taste; his . style is dull and lumbering ; and the mere fact that he dedicated his Shakespeare Restored to John Rich, the Covent Garden manager who specialised in pantomime and played the part of harlequin, may at least cast some doubt on his discretion. But he successfully attacked Pope where he was weakest and where as an editor he should have been strongest. “From this time,” in the words of Johnson, “Pope became an enemy to editors, collators, commentators, and verbal critics ; and hoped to persuade the world that he had miscarried in this undertaking only by having a mind too great for such minute employment.”

Not content with the errors pointed out in Shakespeare Restored--a quarto volume of two hundred pages— Theobald continued his criticisms of Pope's edition in Mist's yournal and the Daily Journal, until he was ripe for the Dunciad. Pope enthroned him as the hero of the poem, and so he remained till he was replaced by Colley Cibber in 1741, when the alteration necessitated several omissions. In the earlier editions Theobald soliloquised thus :

Here studious I unlucky Moderns save,
Nor sleeps one error in its father's grave,
Old puns restore, lost blunders nicely seek,
And crucify poor Shakespear once a week.
For thee I dim these eyes, and stuff this head,
With all such reading as was never read;
For the supplying, in the worst of days,
Notes to dull books, and prologues to dull plays ;
For thee explain a thing 'till all men doubt it,

And write about it, Goddess, and about it. Theobald is introduced also in the Art of Sinking in Poetry among the classes of authors described as .swallows and

eels : the former “are eternally skimming and fluttering up and down, but all their agility is employed to catch flies,” the latter “wrap themselves up in their own mud, but are mighty nimble and pert.” About the same time, however, Pope brought out the second edition (1728) of his Shakespeare, and in it he incorporated some of Theobald's conjectures, though his recognition of their merit was grudging and even dishonestly inadequate. (See the preface to the various readings at the end of the eighth volume, 1728.) Yet one's sympathies with Theobald are prejudiced by his ascription to Shakespeare of the Double Falshood, or the Distrest Lovers, a play which was acted in 1727 and printed in the following year. Theobald professed to have revised it and adapted it to the stage. The question of authorship has not been settled, but if Theobald is relieved from the imputation of forgery, he must at least stand convicted of ignorance of the Shakespearian manner. Pope at once recognised that the play was not Shakespeare's, and added a contemptuous reference to it in the second edition of his Preface. It was the opinion of Farmer that the groundwork of the play was by Shirley (see the Essay on the Learning of Shakespeare, p. 181).

Theobald now sought to revenge himself on Pope, and, in his own words, he “purposed to reply only in Shakespeare” (Nichols, id. ii., p. 248). His first plan was to publish a volume of Remarks on Shakespeare. On 15th April, 1729, he says the volume “will now shortly appear in the world ” (id., p. 222), but on 6th November he writes to Warburton, “ I know you will not be displeased, if I should tell you in your ear, perhaps I may venture to join the Text to my Remarks(id., p. 254). By the following March he had definitely determined upon giving an edition of Shakespeare, as appears from another letter to Warburton: “As it is necessary I should now inform the publick that I mean to attempt to give them an edition of that Poet's [i.e. Shakespeare's] text, together with my corrections, I have concluded to give this notice, difficult to understand why the name of Theobald came to convey to the eighteenth century the idea of painful pedantry, and why one so eminently just as Johnson should have dubbed him “a man of heavy diligence, with very slender powers." While his knowledge is indisputable, he has little or no delicacy of taste; his . style is dull and lumbering; and the mere fact that he dedicated his Shakespeare Restored to John Rich, the Covent Garden manager who specialised in pantomime and played the part of harlequin, may at least cast some doubt on his discretion. But he successfully attacked Pope where he was weakest and where as an editor he should have been strongest. “From this time,” in the words of Johnson, “Pope became an enemy to editors, collators, commentators, and verbal critics ; and hoped to persuade the world that he had miscarried in this undertaking only by having a mind too great for such minute employment.”

Not content with the errors pointed out in Shakespeare Restored--a quarto volume of two hundred pages— Theobald continued his criticisms of Pope's edition in Mist's Journal and the Daily Journal, until he was ripe for the Dunciad. Pope enthroned him as the hero of the

poem, and so he remained till he was replaced by Colley - Cibber in 1741, when the alteration necessitated several

omissions. In the earlier editions Theobald soliloquised thus:

Here studious I unlucky Moderns save,
Nor sleeps one error in its father's grave,
Old puns restore, lost blunders nicely seek,
And crucify poor Shakespear once a week.
For thee I dim these eyes, and stuff this head,
With all such reading as was never read;
For the supplying, in the worst of days,
Notes to dull books, and prologues to dull plays;
For thee explain a thing 'till all men doubt it,

And write about it, Goddess, and about it. Theobald is introduced also in the Art of Sinking in Poetry among the classes of authors described as swallows and

eels : the former “are eternally skimming and Auttering up and down, but all their agility is employed to catch flies,” the latter “wrap themselves up in their own mud, but are mighty nimble and pert.” About the same time, however, Pope brought out the second edition (1728) of his Shakespeare, and in it he incorporated some of Theobald's conjectures, though his recognition of their merit was grudging and even dishonestly inadequate. (See the preface to the various readings at the end of the eighth volume, 1728.) Yet one's sympathies with Theobald are prejudiced by his ascription to Shakespeare of the Double Falshood, or the Distrest Lovers, a play which was acted in 1727 and printed in the following year. Theobald professed to have revised it and adapted it to the stage. The question of authorship has not been settled, but if Theobald is relieved from the imputation of forgery, he must at least stand convicted of ignorance of the Shakespearian manner. Pope at once recognised that the play was not Shakespeare's, and added a contemptuous reference to it in the second edition of his Preface. It was the opinion of Farmer that the groundwork of the play was by Shirley (see the Essay on the Learning of Shakespeare, p. 181).

Theobald now sought to revenge himself on Pope, and, in his own words, he “purposed to reply only in Shakespeare ” (Nichols, id. ii., p. 248). His first plan was to publish a volume of Remarks on Shakespeare. On 15th April, 1729, he says the volume “will now shortly appear in the world” (id., p. 222), but on 6th November he writes to Warburton, “ I know you will not be displeased, if I should tell you in your ear, perhaps I may venture to join the Text to my Remarks (id., p. 254). By the following March he had definitely determined upon giving an edition of Shakespeare, as appears from another letter to Warburton: “ As it is necessary I should now inform the publick that I mean to attempt to give them an edition of that Poet's [i.e. Shakespeare's] text, together with my corrections, I have concluded to give this notice,

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