« AnteriorContinuar »
i. e. thou doft make those things to be esteemed impoffible, which are poffible: the very reverse of what the poet meant.
In the fame play is this line:
"I am appointed him to murder you."
Here the editor of the fecond folio, not being converfant with Shakspeare's irregular language,
“I appointed him to murder you."
Again, in 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 fecond folio reads
and fhut it up [i. e. the diamond] "In measureless content."
In the fame play the word lated, ("Now fpurs the 'lated traveller-") not being understood, is changed to lateft, and Colmes-Inch to Colmeshill.
Again, ibidem: when Macbeth fays, "Hang thofe that talk of fear," it is evident that these words are not a wifh or imprecation, but an injunction to hang all the cowards in Scotland. The editor of the fecond folio, however, confidering the paffage in the former light, reads:
Hang them that ftand in fear."
From the fame ignorance,
"And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
is changed to
"And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
In King Richard II. Bolingbroke fays,
“And I must find that title in your tongue," &c.
i. e. you must addrefs me by that title. But this not being understood, town is in the fecond folio fubftituted for tongue.
The double comparative is common in the plays of Shakspeare. Yet, instead of
So, in Othello, Act I. fc. v.-" opinion, a fovereign mistress of effects, throws a more fafer voice on you," is changed in the fecond folio, to"opinion, &c. throws a more fafe voice on you."
Again, in Hamlet, Act III. fc. ii. inftead of your wifdom fhould fhow itfelf more richer, to fignify this to the doctor;" we find in the copy of 1632, " your wisdom should fhow itself more
In The Winter's Tale, the word vast not being understood,
they shook hands as over a vast." First Folio.
we find in the fecond copy, "as over a vast fea."
In King John, Act V. sc. v. first folio, are these lines:
The editor of the fecond 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. A& II. fc. ii. Norfolk, fpeaking of Wolfey, fays, "I'll venture one have at him.' This being mifunderstood, is changed in the second copy to-" I'll venture one heave at him.” Julius Cæfar likewise furnishes various fpecimens of his ignorance of Shakspeare's language. The phrafe, to bear hard, not being understood, inftead of
"Caius Ligarius doth bear Cæfar hard." Firft Folio. we find in the second copy,
"Caius Ligarius doth bear Cæfar hatred.”
and from the fame cause the words dank, bleft, and hurtled, are difmiffed from the text, and more familiar words fubftituted in their room.1
"To walk unbraced, and fuck up the humours
In like manner in the third Act of Coriolanus, fc. ii. the ancient verb to owe, i. e. to poffefs, is difcarded by this editor, and own fubftituted in its place.
In Antony and Cleopatra, we find in the original copy thefe lines:
I say again, thy fpirit
Instead of reftoring 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 abfurdly printed"But he alway is noble."
In the fame play, Act I. fc. iii. Cleopatra fays to Charmian" Quick and return;" for which the editor of the fecond folio, not knowing that quick was either used adverbially, or elliptically for Be quick, fubftitutes-" Quickly, and return.'
In Timon of Athens, are thefe lines:
"And that unaptnefs made your minifter
i. e. and made that unaptnefs your minifter to excufe yourself; or, in other words, availed yourself of that unaptnefs as an excufe for your own conduct. The words being inverted and put out of their natural order, the editor of the fecond folio supposed that unaptness, being placed first, must be the nominative cafe, and therefore reads
"And that unaptnefs made you minifter,
In that play, from the fame ignorance, inftead of Timon's exhortation to the thieves, to kill as
well as rob.-"Take wealth and lives together,' we find in the fecond 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 fecond copy were here, as in other places, all arbitrary and capricious.
Again, in the fame play, we have
"I defil'd land."
"O, my good lord, the world is but a word," &c.
The editor not understanding either of these paffages, and fuppofing that I in the firft of them was used as a perfonal pronoun, (whereas it ftands 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 fecond folio being unapprifed of this, reads in Antony and Cleopatra, Act III. fc. v: "Cæfar having made ufe of him in the war against Pompey,"-instead of wars, the reading of the original
The feventh scene of the fourth act of this play