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their natural order, the editor of the second folio supposed that unaptness, being placed first, must be the nominative case , and therefore reads
- And that unaptness made you minister, 6. Thus to excuse yourself. In that play, from the same ignorance ,
instead of Timon's exhortation to the thieves, to kill as well as rob. - 16 Take wealth and lives together, we find in the second copy, 66 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 second copy were here, as in other places, all arbitrary and capricious. Again, in the same play, we have
16 I defil'd land." and
"O, my good lord, the world is but a word," &c. The editor not understandiug either of these passages, and supposing that I in the first of them was used as a personal pronoun, (whereas it stands according to the usage of that time for the affirmative particle, ay,) reads in the first line,
66 I defy land; and exhibits the other line thus:
660, 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
second folio being unapprised of this, reads in Antony and Cleopatra , Ac III. sc. v. 66 Cæsar having made use of him in the war against Pompey,” instead of wars, the reading of the original copy.
The seventh scene of the fourth act of this play concludes with these words: 6. Dispatch.-Enobarbus !” Antony, who is the speaker, desires his attendant Eros to dispatch, and then pronounces the name Enobarbus, who had recently deserted him, and whose loss he here laments. But there being no person on the scene but Eros, and the point being inadvertently omitted after the word .dispatch, the editor of the second folio supposed that Enobarbus must have been an error of the press, and therefore reads :
Dispatch , Eros."
si Things won are done; joy's foul lies in the doing.” i. e. the soul of joy lies, &c. So, 6 love's visible soul," and 66 my soul of counsel ;” expressions likewise used by Shakspeare. Here also the editor of the second folio exhibits equal ignorance of his author; for instead of this eminently beautiful expression, he has given us
66 Things won are done; the foul's joy lies in doing." In King Richard III. Ratcliff, addressing the lords at Pomfret, says,
66 Make hafte, the hour of death is expiate." for which the editor of the second folio, alike ignorant of the poet's language and metre, has substituted,
66 Make haste, the hour of death is 120w expir’d." So, in Romeo and Juliet:
- The carth hath swallow'd all my hopes but she." The word The being accidentally omitted in the first folio, the editor of the second supplied the defect by reading
« Earth hath up fwallow'd all my hopes but she. Again, in the same play: - I'll lay fourteen of my teeth , and yet, to my teen be it fpoken, I have but four:” not understanding the word teen, he substituted teeth instead of it. Again, ibidem :
66 Prick'd from the lazy finger of a maid Man being corruptly printed instead of maid in the first folio, 1623, the editor of the second, who never examined a single quarto copy,
s corrected the error at random, by reading →
s That this editor never examined any of the quarto com
the remainder viands
66 Because we now are full."
Again, in the same play, the following lines are thus corruptly exhibited :
6. That all the Greeks begin to worship Ajax;
6. Than what not ftirs." the words--begin to," being inadvertently repeated in the fecond line, by the compositor's eye glancing on the line above.
66 Prick'd from the lazy finger of a woman." Again :
- Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt say, ay :”. The word me being omitted in the first folio, tha
The editor of the second folio, instead of examining the quarto, where he would have found the true reading,
66 Since things in motion sooner catch the eye, thought only of amending the metre, and printed the lino thus :
6. Since things in motion 'gin to catch the eyem" leaving the paffage nonsense, as he found it. So, in Titus Andronicus :
And let no comfort delight mine ear þeing erroneously printed in the first folio, instead of " And let no comforler," &c. the editor of the second folio corrected the error according to his fancy, by reading
" And let no comfort elfe delight mine ear. So, in Love's Labour's Lost, Vol. VII. p. 267 : “ Old Mantuan, who understands thee not, loves thee nut." The words in the Italick character being inadvertently omitted in the first folio, the editor of the second folio, instead of applying to the quarto to cure the defect, printed the passage just as he found it: and in like manner in the same play implicitly followed the crror of the first folio, which has been already mentioned,
face were so full of O's though the omission of the word not, which is found in the quarto, made the passage nonsense. So, in Much Ado about Nothing :
And I will break with her. Was't not to this end," &c. being printed initead of
" And I will break with her and with her father,
" And thou shalt have her. Was't not to this end,” &c. the error, which arose from the compositor's eye glancing from one line to the other, was implicitly adopted in the second folio. Again, in A Midsummer Night's Dream: ** Ah me, for aught that I could ever read, “ Could ever hear, &c.
editor of the second capriciously supplied the metre thus :
" Doft thou love? O, I know thou wilt say, ay."
This expletive, we shall presently find, when I come to speak of our poet's metre, was his constant expedient in all difficulties.
In Measure for Measure he printed ignominy instead of ignomy, the reading of the first folio, and the common language of the time. In the same play, from his ignorance of the conflable’s humour, he corrected his phraseology, and substituted instant for distant; (56-at that very distant time: ") and in like manner he makes Dogberry in Much Ado about Nothing, exhort the watch not to be vigilant, but vigilant. Among the marks of love, Rosalind, in As
you like it, mentions 66 a beard neglected, which you have not;—but I pardon you for that; fur, fimply, your having in beard is a younger brother's revenue. Not understanding the meaning of the word having, this editor reads — 66 your having no beard,” &c.
In A Midsummer Night's Dream, Pyramus says,
the words Ah me being accidentally omitted in the first folio, instead of applying to the quarto for the true reading, he supplied the defect, according to his own fancy, thus :
Hermia, for aught that I could ever read,” &c. Again, in The Merchant of Venice he arbitrarily gives us — 1o The ewe bleat for the lamb when
behold , instead of
“ Why he halh made the ewe bleat for the lamb." See p. 408. Innumerable other instances of the same kind might be produced,