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and another in Macbeth, where Banquo addresses the Weïrd-Sisters,
My noble Partner
Gr. "Έχεια,-and προς τον "Έχοντα, to the Haver.” This was the common language of Shakespeare's time. “Lye in a water-bearer's house !” says Master Mathew of Bobadil, “a Gentleman of his Havings !”
Thus likewise John Davies in his Pleasant Descant upon English Proverbs, printed with his Scourge of Folly, about 1612 :
Do well and have well !--neyther so still :
For some are good Doers, whose Havings are ill; and Daniel the Historian uses it frequently. Having seems to be synonymous with Behaviour in Gawin Douglas and the elder Scotch writers.
Haver, in the sense of Possessor, is every where met with : tho’ unfortunately the προς τον "Έχοντα of Sophocles, produced as an authority for it, is suspected by Kuster, as good a critick in these matters, to have absolutely a different meaning.
But what shall we say to the learning of the Clown in Hamlet, “Ay, tell me that, and unyoke ” ? alluding to the Boudutos of the Greeks : and Homer and his Scholiast are quoted accordingly!
If it be not sufficient to say, with Dr. Warburton, that the phrase might be taken from Husbandry, without much depth of reading ; we may produce it from a Dittie of the workmen of Dover, preserved in the additions to Holingshed, p. 1546.
My bow is broke, I would unyoke,
My foot is sore, I can worke no more. An expression of my Dame Quickly is next fastened upon, which you may look for in vain in the modern text; she calls some of the pretended Fairies in the Merry Wives of Windsor,
Orphan Heirs of fixed Destiny;
“and how elegant is this !” quoth Mr. Upton, supposing the word to be used, as a Grecian would have used it,
ορφανός ab ορφνός - acting in darkness and obscurity.”
Mr. Heath assures us that the bare mention of such an interpretation is a sufficient refutation of it: and his critical word will be rather taken in Greek than in English: in the same hands therefore I will venture to leave all our author's knowledge of the Old Comedy, and his etymological learning in the word, Desdemona.
Surely poor Mr. Upton was very little acquainted with Fairies, notwithstanding his laborious study of Spenser. The last authentick account of them is from our countryman William Lilly; and it by no means agrees with the learned interpretation : for the angelical Creatures appeared in his Hurst wood in a most illustrious Glory,—"and indeed,” says the Sage, “it is not given to very many persons to endure their glorious aspects."
The only use of transcribing these things is to shew what absurdities men for ever run into, when they lay down an Hypothesis, and afterward seek for arguments in the support of it.
of it. What else could induce this man, by no means a bad scholar, to doubt whether Truepenny might not be derived from Tpútavov ; and quote upon us with much parade an old Scholiast on Aristophanes ?I will not stop to confute him: nor take any notice of two or three more Expressions, in which he was pleased to suppose some learned meaning or other ; all which he might have found in every Writer of the time, or still more easily in the vulgar Translation of the Bible, by consulting the Concordance of Alexander Cruden.
But whence have we the Plot of Timon, except from the Greek of Lucian?_The Editors and Criticks have been never at a greater loss than in their inquiries of this sort ; and the source of a Tale hath been often in vain sought abroad, which might easily have been found at home : My good friend, the very ingenious Editor of the Reliques of ancient English Poetry, hath shewn our Author
to have been sometimes contented with a legendary Ballad.
The Story of the Misanthrope is told in almost every Collection of the time ; and particularly in two books, with which Shakespeare was intimately acquainted; the Palace of Pleasure, and the English Plutarch. Indeed from a passage in an old Play, called Jack Drum's Entertainment, I conjecture that he had before made his appearance on the Stage.
Were this a proper place for such a disquisition, I could give you many cases of this kind. We are sent for instance to Cinthio for the Plot of Measure for Measure, and Shakespeare's judgement hath been attacked for some deviations from him in the conduct of it: when probably all he knew of the matter was from Madam Isabella in the Heptameron of Whetstone. Ariosto is continually quoted for the Fable of Much ado about Nothing ; but I suspect our Poet to have been satisfied with the Geneura of Turberville. As you like it was certainly borrowed, if we believe Dr. Grey, and Mr. Upton, from the Coke's Tale of Gamelyn; which by the way was not printed 'till a century afterward: when in truth the old Bard, who was no hunter of MSS., contented himself solely with Lodge's Rosalynd or Euphues' Golden Legacye. 4to. 1590. The Story of All's well that ends well, or, as I suppose it to have been sometimes called, Love's labour wonne, is originally indeed the property of Boccace, but it came immediately to Shakespeare from Painter's Giletta of Narbon. Mr. Langbaine could not conceive whence the Story of Pericles could be taken, “not meeting in History with any such Prince of Tyre”; yet his legend may be found at large in old Gower, under the name of Appolynus.
Pericles is one of the Plays omitted in the later Editions, as well as the early Folios, and not improperly; tho' it was published many years before the death of Shakespeare, with his name in the Title-page. Aulus Gellius informs us that some Plays are ascribed absolutely to Plautus, which he only re-touched and polished; and this is undoubtedly the case with our Author likewise. The revival of this performance, which Ben Jonson calls stale and mouldy, was probably his earliest attempt in the Drama. I know that another of these discarded pieces, the Yorkshire Tragedy, had been frequently called so; but most certainly it was not written by our Poet at all: nor indeed was it printed in his life-time. The Fact on which it is built was perpetrated no sooner than 1604 : much too late for so mean a performance from the hand of Shakespeare.
Sometimes a very little matter detects a forgery. You may remember a Play called the Double Falshood, which Mr. Theobald was desirous of palming upon the world for a posthumous one of Shakespeare: and I see it is classed as such in the last Edition of the Bodleian Catalogue. Mr. Pope himself, after all the strictures of Scriblerus, in a Letter to Aaron Hill, supposes it of that age ; but a mistaken accent determines it to have been written since the middle of the last century:
This late example
From each good Aspect takes away my trust.
You have an Aspect, Sir, of wondrous wisdom. The word Aspect, you perceive, is here accented on the first Syllable, which, I am confident, in any sense of it, was never the case in the time of Shakespeare; though it may sometimes appear to be so, when we do not observe a preceding Elision.
Some of the professed Imitators of our old Poets have not attended to this and many other Minutiæ : I could point out to you several performances in the respective Styles of Chaucer, Spenser, and Shakespeare, which the imitated Bard could not possibly have either read or construed.
This very accent hath troubled the Annotators on Milton. Dr. Bentley observes it to be “a tone different from the present use. Mr. Manwaring, in his Treatise of Harmony and Numbers, very solemnly informs us that “this Verse is defective both in Accent and Quantity, B. 3. V. 266.
His words here ended, but his meek A spéct
Silent yet spake. Here,” says he, "a syllable is acuted and long, whereas it should be short and graved”!
And a still more extraordinary Gentleman, one Green, who published a Specimen of a new Version of the Paradise Lost, into Blank verse, “by which that amazing Work is brought somewhat nearer the Summit of Perfection,” begins with correcting a blunder in the fourth book, V. 540 :
The setting Sun
Leveli'd his evening rays.-
Meanwhile the setting Sun descending slow
Leveld with aspect right his ev’ning rays. Enough of such Commentators.—The celebrated Dr. Dee had a Spirit, who would sometimes condescend to correct him, when peccant in Quantity: and it had been kind of him to have a little assisted the Wights abovementioned.—Milton affected the Antique ; but it may seem more extraordinary that the old Accent should be adopted in Hudibras.
After all, the Double Falshood is superior to Theobald. One passage, and one only in the whole Play, he pretended to have written :
Strike up, my Masters ;
And Carelessness grow Convert to Attention. These lines were particularly admired; and his vanity could not resist the opportunity of claiming them : but