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this is not the only proof to be met with, that the poet in his alterations, fometimes forgot his original plan.
The metaphorical term of a pearl for a fine woman, may for ought I know be very common; but in the inftances Dr. Warburton has brought to prove it fo, there is a circumstance that immediately fhews a woman to have been
"There SHE lies a pearl:
In Othello's fpeech we find no fuch leading expreffion, and are therefore at liberty, I think, to take the paffage in its literal meaning.
To this note, fhould be fubjoined (as an apology for many
others which may not be thought to bring conviction with them) that the true fenfe of a paffage has frequently remained undetermined, till repeated experiments have been tried on it, when one commentator, making a proper ufe of the errors of another, has at laft explained it to univerfal fatisfaction. When mistakes have fuch effects, who would regret having been mistaken, or be forry to be the means of directing others, by that affinity which a wrong reading or interpretation fometimes has to the right, though he has not been fo lucky to produce at once autho rities which could not be queftioned, or decifions to which nothing could be added?
I have endeavoured to enumerate the Editions of Shakespeare's Plays, but finding that I have paid too much regard to inaccurate catalogues, I think it neceffary to fubjoin the following lift given me by Mr. Steevens.
The Editions marked with Afterisks are in no former Tables.
1 know no one who has feen thofe in the Italic Characters, but find them in Mr. Pope's and Mr. Theobald's Tables, and in Dr. Warburton's, which is compiled from them.
1. Midfummer Night's Dream, William Shakefpeare, 1600, for Thomas Fisher.
2. D. William Shakespeare, 1600, James Ro berts.
1. Merry Wives of Windfor, William Shake-
Much ado about Nothing, William Shake-
1. Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare,
2. D. W. Shakespeare, 1600, T. Roberts.
4. D°. William Shakespeare, 1652, for William
1. Love's Labour loft, William Shakespear, 1598, W. W. for Cuthbert Burley.
2. D°. William Shakespeare, 1631, W. S. for John Smethwicke,
1. Taming of the Shrew, 1607, V. S. for Nich. Ling.
2. D°. Will. Shakespeare, 1631, W. S. for John Smethwicke.
1. King Lear, William Shakespeare, 1608, for
2. D. William Shakespeare, 1608, for De.
1. King John, 2. p3. 1591, for Samffon Clarke.
3. D. W. Shakespeare, 1622, Aug. Mathewes,
1. Richard II. William Shakespeare, 1598, Valentine Simmes, for Andrew Wife.
2. Do. W. Shakespeare, 1608, W. W. for Mathew Law.
3. D. William Shakespeare, 1615, for Mathew
L 4. Do. William Shakespeare, 1634, John Norton.
1. Henry IV. 1st. pt. 1598, P. S. for Andrew
2. D°. W. Shakespeare, 1599, S. S. for Do.
4. Do. 1608. for Mathew Law.
5.D°. W. Shakespeare, 1613, W. W. for D°.
7. Do. William Shakespeare, 1632, John Norton.
8. D.-William Shakespeare, 1639, John Norton. Sold by Hugh Perry.
Henry IV. 2nd pt. William Shakespeare, 1600, V.'S, for Andrew Wife, and William Afpley. 1. Henry V. 1600, The Crede for Tho. Millington. 2. D. 1602, Thomas Creede, for Thomas Pavier.
3. D. 1608, for T. P.
1. Henry VI. William Shakespeare, 1600, W. W. for Tho. Millington.
2. D. William Shakespeare, no date, for T. P.
1. Richard III. 1597, Valentine Simmes, for Andrew Wife.
2. D. William Shakespeare, 1598, Thomas Creede, for Do.
3. D. William Shakespeare, 1602, Thomas, &c. for D°.
4. D". William Shakespeare, 1612, Thomas Creede, fold by Mathew Law.
5. Do. William Shakespeare, 1624, Thomas Purfoot, fold by Do.
6. D. William Shakespeare, 1629, John Norton,
7. D°. William Shakespeare, 1634, John Norton.
1. Romeo and Juliet, 1597, John Danter.
D°. William Shakespeare, no date, John Smethwicke.
5. D°. William Shakespeare, 1637, R. Young, for D'.
1. Hamlet, William Shakespeare, 1605, I. R. for N. L.
2. D. William Shakespeare, 1611, for John Smethwicke.
3. D. William Shakespeare, no date, W. S. for D°.
4. D°. William Shakespeare, 1637, R. Young, for Do.
1. Othello, William Shakespeare, no date, Thomas Walkely.
2. D. William Shakespeare, 1622, N. O. for Thomas Walkely.
3. D°. William Shakespeare, 1630, A. M. for Richard Hawkins.
4. D. William Shakespeare, 1655, for William Leake.
Of all the other plays, the only authentick edition is the folio of 1623, from which the fubfequent folios, never vary, but by accident and negligence.