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open room, and good for windows"! I do not marvel at the corrector's want of perception of the ludicrous; but that Mr. Collier should think this is to set Shakespeare right does create some surprise.
SCENE II. P. 45. The substitution of God of judgment for top of judgment is quite unwarranted and uncalled for. And to change sickles, the old form of shekels, to circles is to mar a fine and expressive passage. Such interference is nothing less than absurd. But it is nothing new, for Mr. Collier has elsewhere said, “ Shakspeare's word may have been cycles”!
SCENE IV. P. 46. Tyrwhitt's reading of in-shelld for enshield is a very doubtful alteration, and how it can be authorized any more than it was, by the concurrence of Mr. Collier’s folio I am at a loss to imagine. But this is one of the coincidences. Ib. As I subscribe not that, nor any other,
But in the loss of question. “ The corrector,” says Mr. Collier," writes in the margin,' but in the force of question '—that is to say, in the compulsion of question, or for the sake of question, a sense the word will very well bear, the copyist having misheard force' loss.'”
Is it possible that Mr. Collier can be serious? There is no such idea as compulsion in the case. A very ingenious attempt was made by a correspondent of Notes and Queries (Vol. vi. p. 271) to show that by “ loss of question ” the casus quæstionis of the Logicians was meant; it is infinitely preferable, as a solution of the difficulty in the passage, to the force of Mr. Collier's corrector: but in my
of the second folio I find losse altered to loose, and the meaning would then be “in the looseness of conversation.” Question is most frequently used by Shakspeare for conversation.
ACT III. SCENE I. P.47. The“ prenzie Angelo” and “prenzie guards.” Priestly has been over and over again proposed and rejected; for Angelo could not have affected the priestly garb. Mr. Hickson's suggestion of saintlie guards, i. e. saintly facings, or disguise, is by far the best that has been offered.
What say'st thou, Trot? The corrector would substitute troth, but the true reading is
What say'st thou to't? The printer mistook to't for trot. In Coriolanus, Sc. 1, Menenius says to the Citizens, “What say you to't?” where it is also misprinted toat.
P. 49. The change of “ Making practice on the times” to Masking practice is a very unhappy one. The old reading is correct, but in the previous line we should read “ wade in crimes" instead of made in crimes, as Mr. Halliwell has sug
ACT IV. SCENE II.
Wounds th' unwisting [i. e. unconscious] postern with his strokes.
P. 51. What do we gain by deviating from the unquestioned old reading “ Injurious world !” and substituting Perjurious? It is hardly possible that the one word could be mistaken for the other. In the Duke's speech
I am combined by a sacred vow. There was no necessity for changing combined to confined. Johnson tells us, Shakspeare used combine for to bind by a pact or agreement. The Duke calls Angelo the combinate husband of Mariana. He himself is bound by his vow,
his sacred pact with heaven. Confined would be a poor inexpressive word here.
But that her tender shame
Mr. Collier says, “ The folios have of a credent bulk,' and Steevens suspected of' to be a blunder, as it appears in fact to have been. Malone reads off a credent bulk,' which hardly affords sense, whereas' bears such a credent bulk’ is, at least, intelligible. Still, though the poet's meaning may be collected from his language, it is obscure.”
Now it is very improbable that the words “of a” could have been mistaken by the printer for such! The mistake evidently lies in another word: “here's " would be easily mistaken for beares," and this was doubtless the poet's word.
For my authority here's of a credent bulk,
That no particular scandal once can touch. We thus get a lucid and unquestionable sense, and avoid the violent substitution and omission of the corrector, who certainly could not have had recourse to better authority than we possess for such an improbable reading.
ACT V. SCENE I.
O, gracious duke!
To make the truth appear. Inequality,” says Mr. C. “ could not be right: and what does the manuscript-corrector of the folio tell us is the real word that ought to be put in its place ?
O, gracious duke!
For incredulity; i. e. do not refuse to give your reason fair play, on account of the incredulity with which you listen to my complaint.”
I boldly pronounce that the old text is right; and that incredulity could not be Isabella's word. It will be necessary to revert to what precedes; Isabella, in her preceding speech, had said,
O prince, I conjure thee, as thou believ'st
That which but seems unlike.
means to say, “ Do not harp on my seeming insanity, do not banish reason for seeming inconsistency.” The corrector has neglected the most difficult part of this speech, in which a slight typographical error, having been hitherto unperceived, has made it a crux to the commentators
but let your reason serve
And hide the false seems true.
And hide the false seems-true. That is, Use your reason to make the truth appear, and hide the true-seeming false. The hyphen is all that is wanting.
P. 54. And, on my trust, which the corrector would change to truth, should be troth.
The Duke's unjust,
Which here you come to accuse. “ The manuscript-corrector informs us that "retort, in the second line, is a misprint for reject,” says Mr. Collier.
There is no necessity for change. Johnson informs us that to retort is to refer back, the Duke had not rejected the appeal, but referred it to Angelo.
COMEDY OF ERRORS.
ACT I. SCENE I. T the outset of this play the corrector commences his unnecessary
text Ægeon. Yet that the world may witness, that
end Was wrought by nature, not by vile offence,
I'll utter what my sorrow gives me leave. He substitutes fortune for nature. Mr. Collier might well say
Possibly by nature we might understand the natural course of events.' Yes, to be sure !
P. 57. Mr. Collier tells us that “ the line, near the end of the Duke's last speech, as it appears in the folios,
To seek thy help by beneficial help, has produced several conjectures for its emendation, and among them one by [himself] who suggested that the true reading might be,
To seek thy hope by beneficial help ; and that such is precisely the change proposed by the corrector of the folio, 1632."
Although a remarkable instance of coincidence, a more improbable and unhappy conjecture could hardly have been made, for Ægeon had no hope; he immediately afterwards says
Hopeless and helpless does Ægeon wend. So that the corrector and Mr. Collier have both conjectured ill. It is most probable that the word help was accidentally repeated by the printer for fine ; which the context shows must have been in the Duke's mind, when he immediately adds
Beg thou or borrow to make up the sum. We may therefore, I think, safely read,
To seek thy fine by beneficial help.
ACT III. SCENE I. P. 60. There are some unwarrantable interpolations made in two of Dromio's speeches at the commencement of the third act, by which neither the sense, humour, nor metre are improved. The conceit of this corrector who thought he could improve upon Shakespeare is intolerable !
Ib. At the commencement of Scene 2 of Act in the corrector has again used the unwarrantable liberty of changing the words of the poet to suit his own fancy, and substitutes “ Shall unkind debate” for “shall, Antipholus,” because, forsooth, in the next line ruinate has been misprinted for ruinous. He seems to have adopted the principle that we are at liberty to substitute any one word for another” at our own discretion; a license that Malone attributes to Steevens. Some of his