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I see a voice; now will I to the chink, " To spy an' I can hear my Thisby's face.” Of the Humour of this passage he had not the ļeast notion, for he has printed, initead of it,
" I hear a voice ; now will I to the chink,
"To fpy an' I can see my Thisby's face." In The Merchant of Venice, Ac I. sc. i. we find in the first folio,
" And out of doubt you do more wrongwhich the editor of the second perceiving to be imperfect, he corrected at random thus:
on And out of doubt you do to me more wrong. Had he consulted the original quarto, he would have found that the poet wrote " And out of doubt
do me now more wrong.' So, in the same play, - 66 But of mine , then yours," being corruptly printed instead of. But if mine, then yours," this editor arbitrarily reads- But first mine, then yours. Again, ibidem; " Or even as well use question with the wolf,
“ The ewe bleat for the lamb. the words - Why he hath made” being omitted in the first folio at the beginning of the second line, the second folio editor supplied the defect thus absurdly:
" Or even as well use question with the wolf,
66 The ewe bleat for the lamb when you behold,” In Othello the word snipe being misprinted in the first folio,
" If I should time expend with such a fnpe." the editor not knowing what to make of it, subftituted swain instead of the corrupted word. Again, in the same play, " For of my heart those charms, thine eyes,
are blotted." being printed in the first folio instead of woo Forth of my heart,” &c, which was the common language of the time, the editor of the second folio amended the error according to his fancy, by reading
“ For off my heart those charms, thine eyes, are blotted.” Again, in the sanie play, Act V. sc. i. not understanding the phraseology of our author's time,
66 Who's there? Whose noise is this, that cries on murder?" he substituted
" Whose noise is this, that cries out murder ? ". and in the first act of the same play, not perceiving the force of an eminently beautiful epithet, for 66 desarts idle," he has given us or desarts wild.” Again, in that tragedy we find
" I won his daughter. that is, I won his daughter with ; and so the editor of the second folio reads, not knowing that this kind of elliptical expression frequently occurs in this author's works, as I have shewn in a note on the last scene of Cymbeline, and in other places.
6 See Vol. XIX. p. 235, n. 5; Vol. XVI. p. 185, n. 2; and Vol. XXIII. p. 47, n. 7.
In like manner he has corrupted the following passage in A Midsummer Night's Dream:
66 So will I grow, fo live , fo die, my lord,
" My soul confents not to give sovereignty." i. e. to give sovereignty to. Here too this editor has unnecessarily tampered with the text, and having contracted the word unwished, he exhibited the line thus:
- Unto his lordship, to whose unwish'd yoke
66 My soul confents not to give fovereignty." an interpolation which was adopted in the subsequent copies, and which, with all the modern edi. tors, I incautiously suffered to remain in the prefent edition. 7
The grave-digger in Hamlet' observes 66 that your tanner will last
you nine year," and fuch is the phraseology which Shakspeare always attributes to his lower characters; but instead of this, in the second folio, we find -66 nine years.'
66 Your skill shall, like a star i'the darkest night,
66 Stick fiery off indeed. says Hamlet to Laertes. But the editor of the fecond folio, conceiving, I suppose, that if a star appeared with extraordinary scintillation, the night must necessarily be luminous, reads--roi'the brightest night:" and, with equal fagacity, not acquiescing in Edgar's notion of so four-inch'd bridges,” this cditor has furnished him with a much safer pass, for he reads -60 four-arch'd bridges.”
See Vol. VII.
P. 10, D.
In King Henry VIII. are these lines:
If we did think 66 His contemplation were above the carthNot understanding this phraseology, and suppofing that were must require a noun in the plural number, he reads:
If we did think " His contemplations were above the carth,” &c. Again, in Troilus and Cressida, Ac IV. sc. ii.
“ With wings more momentary-swift than thought." This compound epithet not being understood, he reads :
66 With wings more momentary, swifter than thought.” In The Taming of the Shrew, Act I. sc. ii. Hora tensio, describing Catharine, says,
66 Her only fault (and that is-faults enough)
66 Is,-that she is intolerable curst; meaning, that this one was a host of faults. But this not being comprehended by the editor of the second folio, with a view, doubtless, of rendering the passage more gramınatical, he substituted -$6 and that is fault enough.
So, in King Lear, we find-- Do you know this noble gentleman ?” But this editor supposing, it should seem, that a gentleman could not be noble, or that a noble could not be a gentleman, instead of the original text, reads. Do you know this nobleman?”
In Measure for Measure, Act II. sc. i. Escalus, addressing the Justice, says, “ I pray you home to dinner with me: this familiar diction not being
understood, we find in the second folio, 6. I pray you go home to dinner with me.” And in Othello, not having sagacity enough to see that apines was printed by a mere transposition of the letters , for paines,
" Though I do hate him, as I do hell apines, " instead of correcting the word , he evaded the difficulty by omitting it, and exhibited the line in an imperfect state.
The Duke of York, in the third part of King Henry VI. exclaims,
66 That face of his the hungry cannibals
blood.” These lines being thus carelessly arranged in the first folio:
66 That face of his
the editor of the second folio, leaving the first line imperfect as he found it, completed the last line by this absurd interpolation:
6. Would not have stain’d the roses juft with blood.” These are but a few of the numerous corruptions and interpolations found in that copy , from the editor's ignorance of Shakspeare's phraseology.
II. Let us now examine how far he was acquainted with the metre of these plays. In The Winter's Tale, Act III. fc. ii, we find
66 What wheels? racks? fires ? what flaying? boiling ? 66 In leads, or oils ? "