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P. 192. This comes too near the praising of myself;
Therefore no more of it: HERE other things,
Lorenzo, &c. Here again is a small depravation; thus, I think, to be rectified:
HEAR other things. And then it runs exactly like this passage in Hamlet, p. 262:
Ay, in my heart of beart,
There is a Play, &c.
In speed to MANTUA.
In speed to PADUA: For it was there, and not at Mantua, that Bellario lived. So, p. 199 :
A messenger, with Letters from the DOCTOR,
New come from PADUA. And again,
Came you from Padua, from BellARIO? And
218: It comes from PADUA, from Bellario. P. 197. Cannot contain their urine for affection.
Masterless passion sways it to the mood
Of what it likes or loaths.
Masters of passion. which seems to countenance another reading, if you think any change is necessary. Besides, doth affection sway our passions ; or passion our affections If the former, I presume we should read :
their urine. For affection, MISTRESS of passion, sways ii to the mood, &c. i. e. as I conceive it, sympathy, or antipathy, sways our passion to like, or dislike. P. 200. Repair thy wit, good youth, or it will fall TO CARELESS ruin.
Here Mr. Pope's eyes were deficient, for the old books read much more pertinently:
TO CURELESS ruin. P. 202. A Daniel, come to judgment ! yea, a Daniel.
There is no fault in sense here; I think the pointing is not exactly as the Poet designed it. I like it better,
A Daniel! Come to judgment :-yea, a Daniel! For this reading not only extols the advocate, but expresses the Jew's impatience for a sentence. And when Gratiano comes to retort the Jew's words with him, he cries,
A second Daniel ! a Daniel, Jew! - A Daniel, still say I, a second Daniel! I thank thee, Jew, for
teaching me that word. P. 204. Repent not you that you shall lose your
And he repents not that he pays your debt. Sure this generosity of Antonio is of a very extravagant cast.
Do not be sorry for the loss of me, and I shall not be sorry to die for you. I think the old quarto exhibits the much better reading :
Repent BUT you, &c.
shall lose a friend by my death, and that is all the recompence I desire for dying for you. P. 206. So please my lord the duke, and all the
To quit the fine for, &c. Dr. Thirlby, by a change of the subsequent lines, gives Antonio a much more generous way of thinking. I will submit his reading to you:
To quit their fine of one half of his goods;
Unto the gentleman that stole his daughter.
More than what? More than the ring depends on the value of it? Either I do not conceive the passage so clearly as I ought, or, methinks, we should read :
There's more depends on this than is the value. P. 217. I once did lend my body for his WEALTH, &c. I think it should be,
for his WEAL. As in King John, p. 57:
Than whereupon our weal, on you depending,
Counts it your WEAL, &c. P. 219. Or go to bed, now being two hours to-day.
The old quarto, though the difference is minute, seems to give us the truer pointing :
Or go to bed now, being, &c. And here, dear Sir, conclude my inquiries upon this fine Play. The next in order, I do not know whether we may not pronounce the very worst in the whole set. And it is no less corrupt throughout in the text, than it is vicious in the composition. But the badness of the coin shall not affright me from bringing it to the touchstone. Video, quod mihi egomet contrivi, eredendum esse; as Dr. Bentley says of Johannes Antiochensis *. When this part of my labour is over, the rest will be diversion : and I pride myself much in the crop that you tell me you have in reserve.
The small remainder of this sheet shall not enter upon Love's Labour Lost, but with leave I will trouble you with two or three eccentric inquiries on Troilus. P. 290. The purpose is perspicuous ev'n as substance,
Whose grossness little characters sum up,
But that Achilles, &c.
any * See Bentley's Epistola ad Joannem Millium, subjoined to his Historia Chronica Joannis Malalæ. Oxford, 1691, 8vo.
substance, substance, I conceive; but how they make no strain in the publication, is a little harder than algebra to me. Yet, by the transposition of two stops, I think, we may come at clear sense.
The purpose is perspicuous ev'n as substance,
But that Achilles, &c. i. e. the aim and purpose of this duel is as visible as gross substance can be ; and make no doubt, when it comes to be proclaimed, but that Achilles, dụll as he is, will discover the drift of it.
P. 335. The secrets of neighbour Pandar, &c.
I do not know what authority Mr. Pope has for this reading. The first folio reads,
The secrets of Nature. What, if we should read,
The secret'st things of Nature : i. e, the occult parts of Nature, or the mysteries of Nature, as the Poet elsewhere expresses it: All 's Well that ends Well, p. 168.
Hath not in Nature's mystery more science
Than I have in this ring. So there is some allusion to this, I think, in this speech of Hamlet, p. 232:
There are more things in heav'n and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy. But I am very much of opinion, I shall obtain a very satisfactory exposition from your sagacity.
P. 345. Not Neoptolemus so mirable.
Does not our good Poet forget himself here in the truth of story? He cannot by this Neoptolemus mean Pyrrhus the son of Achilles ; for he, from our own Poet's words, was not yet come to the Trojan wars ; consequently had no eclat in arms to make him so mirable. P. 326 :
But it must grieve young Pyrrhus now at home,
When Fame shall in his island sound her trump, &c. And was there any other Neoptolemus?
P. 343. P. 343.
So glib of tongue They give a COASTING welcome ere it comes. What is intended here by coasting? I know this is spoken of a vessel either saluting a coast, or being saluted from a shore; but this allusion seems too remote, and the metaphor too obscure, as there is no single syllable of a ship in the context.
I have substituted, if you like it,
They give ACCOSTING welcome ere it comes. i. e. they are ready to caress every man, even before he makes the address.
I am, dearest Sir, your affectionate and eternally obliged humble servant, Lew. THEOBALD.
To the Rev. Mr. WARBURTON.
Dear Sir, Wyun's Court, Dec. 11, 1729. I have received the pleasure of yours of the 8th instant; and rejoice much in the breach of your promise, or resolution, with regard to your fine explanation upon Othello; as I do likewise in your rescuing me from the doubts I had of that fine passage in the Merchant of Venice about ornament and external beauty. I shall now, without farther preface, proceed to trouble you with my inquiries and attempts upon Love's Labour Lost.---- By the bye, I am a little staggered even about the title not answering, as I conceive, the catastrophe. The four gallants set out with protestations against giving way to Love; they all happen to be caught in the snare; and their respective mistresses, upon preliminaries settled, agree to make them happy in their suits at a year's end : so that to me, as yet, Love's Labour seems to be Not Lost. P. 225. - to study where I well may dine, When I to Fast expressly am forbid.