« AnteriorContinuar »
In like manner in the third Act of Coriolanus, sc. ii. the ancient verb to owe, i. e. to possess, is discarded by this editor, and own substituted in its place.
In Antony and Cleopatra, we find in the original copy these lines:
I say again, thy spirit
"Is all afraid to govern thee near him,
Instead of restoring the true word away, which was thus corruptly exhibited, the editor of the second folio, without any regard to the context, altered another part of the line, and absurdly printed— "But he alway is noble."
In the same play, Act I. sc. iii. Cleopatra says to Charmian-"Quick and return;" for which the editor of the second folio, not knowing that quick was either used adverbially, or elliptically for Be quick, substitutes-" Quickly, and return."
In Timon of Athens, are these lines:
"And that unaptness made your minister
i. e. and made that unaptness your minister to excuse yourself; or, in other words, availed yourself of that unaptness as an excuse for your own conduct. The words being inverted and put out of 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,
"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." Take wealth and lives together," we find in the second 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 second copy were here, as in other places, all arbitrary and capricious.
Again, in the same 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 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,
"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 second folio being unapprised of this, reads in Antony and Cleopatra, Act III. sc. v: "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: " Despatch.-Enobarbus!" Antony, who is the speaker, desires his attendant Eros to despatch, 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:
In Troilus and Cressida, Cressida says,
Things won are done; joy's soul lies in the doing." i. e. the soul of joy lies, &c. So, "love's visible soul," and "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
"Things won are done; the soul's joy lies in doing."
In King Richard III. Ratcliff, addressing the lords at Pomfret, says,
"Make haste, 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,
"Make haste, the hour of death is now expir'd."
So, in Romeo and Juliet:
"The earth 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 swallow'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 spoken, I have but four" not understanding the word teen, he substituted teeth instead of it.
"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, whọ never examined a single quarto copy,' corrected the error at random, by reading
• That this editor never examined any of the quarto copies, is proved by the following instances:
In Troilus and Cressida, we find in the first folio:
Finding this nonsense, he printed "in unrespective place.” In the quarto he would have found the true word-sieve,
Again, in the same play, the following lines are thus corruptly exhibited:
"That all the Greeks begin to worship Ajax;
"Since things in motion begin to catch the eye,
"Than what not stirs."
the words" begin to," being inadvertently repeated in the second line, by the compositor's eye glancing on the line above. The editor of the second folio, instead of examining the quarto, where he would have found the true reading:
"Since things in motion sooner catch the eye." thought only of amending the metre, and printed the line thus: "Since things in motion 'gin to catch the eye-"
leaving the passage nonsense, as he found it.
So, in Titus Andronicus:
"And let no comfort delight mine ear-"
"Prick'd from the lazy finger of a woman."
"Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt say, ay:"
The word me being omitted in the first folio, the editor of the second capriciously supplied the metre thus:
being erroneously printed in the first folio, instead of " And let no comforter," &c. the editor of the second folio corrected the error according to his fancy, by reading
"And let no comfort else delight mine ear."
So, in Love's Labour's Lost, Vol. VII. p. 96: "Old Mantuan, who understands thee not, loves thee not." 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 error of the first folio, which has been already mentioned,
"O, that your 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 instead 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.
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"The ewe bleat for the lamb when you behold," instead of
Why he hath made the ewe bleat for the lamb." See p. 454. Innumerable other instances of the same kind might be produced.