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You are so tender now, think where you are sweet.”
Beam. and Fletch.-Hums. Lieut. “ As you love heavěn, love him; she's only yours, sir.” « My lord the king, he will undo himself, sir.”
Ibid. “ Time and the wars together, make me stoop, gentlemen.”
Ibid.—Loyal Subject. “ This is the noblest difference ; take your choice, sister.”
Ibid. “ I hope you travel, sir, with licence; how long, sir." « My lord, will you not take your dispatch hence, yet .2"
Ben Jons.-Volpone. “ We shou'd have a new amalgama made ; 0 this ferret !"
Ibid.- Alchemist. " For a cloake with thrice-died velvet, and a cast suite."
Massinger.-Maids of Honor. “ Yourselves both in and upright with a provant sword.”
Ibid. Ed. 1632.
(e) In the twilight obscurity of this vast region, where vagrant opinion will often be allured by vanity, that ignis fatuus, to tread the perilous wilds of conjecture, “ I pull in resolution,” it will, doubtless, be objected by some, that I am here transgressing the boundaries assigned to the critic ; who, though licensed, by prescription, to commend or cen. sure, can claim no privilege to alter. Unquestionably, where the text of an author has come attested to the world, as his own unadulterated performance, any attempts at emendation are unwarrantable ; and, I have always viewed with indignant astonishment, the desperate temerity of Bentley, as exercised on Milton ; but if we, for a moment, contemplate the different circumstances attending that great poet and our dramatist, we must perceive that no comparison, on this ground, can be made between them. During the lifetime of Milton, two genuine editions of the Paradise Lost were published ; and, besides the change in the number and disposition of the books, in the second copy we see, by a new title page, and a table of errata annexed, but two years afterwards, to the first, that the illustrious author had bestowed upon it the greatest attention, even to the most minute peculiarities of orthography. How foreign from this is the case of Shakspeare! Unmindful of every thing but his ease and profit, and wholly indifferent to the applause of posterity, he abandoned his works to the disposition of chance, and they came forth, accordingly, altered, augmented, and depraved ; as suited, alternately, the caprice, the avarice, and the ignorance of players, managers, and publishers : upon a revisal, therefore, of compositions so abused, correction cannot fairly be deemed arrogance, nor alteration sacrilege ; and if casual improvement be not imperiously dictated, but modestly suggested; not imposed as authentic, but submitted as convenient; not rashly usurping a station in the text, but humbly waiting, for judgment in the margin, and implicitly abiding the sentence of the reader, whether for acceptance or rejection, the attempt will, at least, be par. donable.
PLAYS OF SHAKSPEARE.
ACT I. SCENE I.
6. “ Blow, till thou burst thy wind.”
Till thy lungs be rent-till thou art brokenwinded.
11. “ If by your art, my dearest father, you
have “ Put the wild waters in this roar, allay
them.” I am inclined to think the poet would have arranged these words thus:" If, by your art, my dearest father, you “ Have put thể wild waters in this roar, allay
them.” Arithmetic, indeed, might pause, dubious which line to burthen with the redundant syllable, but a good ear, in harmony with the sense, would at once suggest this disposition,
12. “More better."
Mr. Stevens calls this mode of speech ungrammatical, but, I believe, he is mistaken. There appears to have been formerly five degrees of comparison-Good. Better, more better. Best, most best. B. STRUTT. 15. “ Thy mother was a piece of virtue.”
Piece is pattern, as in Anthony and Cleopatra, Act 3.
“ Let not the piece of virtue which is set
To imagine “ An Anthony were nature's piece, 'gainst fancy.”
- Like one “Who having, unto truth, by telling of it, “ Made such a sinner of his memory, “ To credit his own lie."
Lie is certainly the correlative to which it refers. The use of the pronoun before the noun to which it relates, though a sort of usepov a polepov, and improper, is not very uncommon in conversation: the following is an instance of it in Locke's Essay on the Human Understanding, B. 264. “The bodies which we daily handle make us perceive that whilst they remain between them, they do, by an insurmountable force, hinder the approach of the parts of our hands that press them." The thought is something like the fingebant simul credebantque of Tacitus. An. 5. 10.
20. “So dry he was for sway.”
Surely there was no need of a note to tell us that dry meant thirsty, in which sense it is very commonly used: so Gay, in his Shepherd's Week, “ Your herds for want of water stand a-dry.”
LORD CHEDWORT. 21. “ I, not rememb'ring how I cried out then,
“Will cry it o'er again.” How I cried out, i. e. how I expressed my trouble. "
It is a hint
To what ? exclaims Mr. Steevens; who then, with the authority of Dr. Farmer, expunges “ to 't;" but the answer to his question is obvious enough. The act of crying. Your tale, says Miranda, is a suggestion that forces me to weep. 23. “When I have deck'd the sea with drops full
To deck, I believe, is merely to cover or place uppermost: thus in Venice Preserved
“Downy pillows, deck'd on leaves of roses.”
24. “Some food we had, and some fresh water,
that “A noble Neapolitan, Gonzalo, “Out of his charity (who being then ap
pointed “ Máster of this design) did give us,” &c.