« AnteriorContinuar »
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 heart,
Ibid. And use thou all th' endeavour of a man,
Thus all the old copies, and thus all the modern Editors implicitly after them; though it is evident to any diligent reader, that we must restore,
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,
Came you from PADUA, from BELLARIO?
It comes from PADUA, from Bellario.
P. 197. Cannot contain their urine for affection.
Both the old quartos and the old folio have it:
which seems to countenance another reading, if you
their urine. For affection,
MISTRESS of passion, sways it 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
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 friend,
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.
Id est, do you but only be sorry that you shall lose a friend by my death, and that is all the recompence 1 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 or one half of his goods;
In use, to render it upon his death Unto the gentleman that stole his daughter. P. 208. There's more than THIS depends upon the
More than the ring depends
More than what? on the value of it? passage so clearly as 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,
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, exedendum esse; as Dr. Bentley says of Johannes Antiochensis*. When this part of 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,
This is very strange stuff to me, however the wise Editors have solved it to themselves. That little characters, or particles, sum up the grossness of any
* See Bentley's Epistola ad Joannem Millium, subjoined to his Historia Chronica Joannis Malalæ. Oxford, 1691, 8vo.
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,
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, dull 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
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, And was there any other Neoptolemus ?
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.
Wyan'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,