Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

press the number or sum total of his age, and refer to the youth of the prince," a sanctuary child," as it is afterwards expressed. There is no good reason for the corrector's innovation.

P. 305. “ Little York has been taunting his uncle Richard, upon which Buckingham remarks,

With what a sharp provided wit he reasons. “ The manuscript-corrector assures us that, although the intention of the dramatist is evident, a decided misprint has crept into the line: he reads,

With what a sharply pointed wit he reasons. Again : “ sharp provided” could never be a misprint for sharply pointed, nor do they resemble in sound.

But the old reading, according to Baret, may well be continued :-“ provided of those things which he should saie.”

With what a sharp provided wit he reasons,
To mitigate the scorn he gives his uncle
He prettily and aptly taunts himself:

So cunning and so young is wonderful. Interference, and especially such a violent change as the correctors propose, is entirely unnecessary.

But they must be meddling, and we have e'en for“ needs”. in the line,

My lord protector needs will have it so. Mr. Collier's observation is worthy of remark, “ The dif ference scarcely merits notice on any other account than because it shows a preference for a word not in any extant authorities.

A strange reason for preferring it!

P. 306. The adoption of the reading of the quartos in the line

Chop off his head, man, somewhat we will do, may have been made from some recent edition, as it has long been the established reading.

SCENE VII. P. 307.“ Buckingham, giving an account to Richard how he had proceeded and succeeded among the Citizens at Guildhall, tells him that he had thus adverted to the bastardy of Edward IV.

As being got, your father then in France;

And his resemblance, being not like the duke. “ This last line is only in the folios; but Buckingham was to enforce, not Edward's likeness, but his want of likeness to his father; not ' his resemblance, but dis-resemblance; and precisely in this form the corrector of the folio, 1632, has putit:

As being got, your father then in France;

And dis-resemblance, being not like the duke. “ However unusual the word, it exactly suits the poet's meaning, and dis may easily have been read “his.' At a later date, dissemblance' seems to have been employed to express want of similarity."

There is no authority for such a word as « disresemblance ;” and dissemblance is not, that I am aware of, ever used for “ want of similarity,” but for feigning.

Shakespeare uses resemblance here for semblance, i. e. appearance, which is his usual word. Thus in a former scene, the Duchess of York says :

I have bewept a worthy husband's death,
And liv'd by looking on his images :
But now two mirrors of his princely semblance

Are crack'd in pieces by malignant death.
And in the Rape of Lucrece :-

Poor broken glass, I often did behold

In thy sweet semblance my old age new born. We must therefore adhere to the old reading, and reject the new-coined word, dis-resemblance, of the pragmatic corrector.

Ib. The substitution of sore for sure, in the line,

[merged small][ocr errors]

has something plausible about it, although it is not necessary, but such a slight typographical error is very probable.

P.308. The adoption of the word zounds, from the quartos, instead of “ come,” of the folios, is another happy sympathy, with a suggestion by Mr. Collier, who says, “ There is little doubt this proceeded from Shakespeare's pen, on whatever account the text might afterwards be altered.”

“ Call him again,” for “ call them again,” may be right, but not necessarily so, for the citizens, according to the old exeunt,went out with Buckingham.

ACT IV. SCENE III. P. 309.“ Tyrrell, who had suborned the two ruffians, Dighton and Forrest, to murder the young princes, says of them, and of the part they had acted, according to all editions,

Albeit they were flesh'd villains, bloody dogs,
Melted with tenderness and mild compassion,

Wept like to children in their death's sad story. “ The passage is surely much improved by the trifling alterations in the folio, 1632 :

Albeit they were flesh'd villains, blooded dogs,
Melted with tenderness and mild compassion,
Wept like two children in their death's sad story.

The two villains had been fleshed, and were like dogs that had been allowed the taste of human blood; yet they wept, like two children, while narrating the particulars of the murder of the princes."

If Mr. Collier can adduce any example of the use of blooded in the sense here intended to be given to it, it will surprise me very much. All authorities I am acquainted with are against it; and I hold it to be an invention of the ingenious correctors, who do not hesitate at coining a word. It will be seen from the following examples, that it was not known to Shakespeare's cotemporaries at least :- Thus Drayton, in “ The Miseries of Queen Margaret :”.

When this stout Duke, who in his castle stood

With Sal’sbury, who beat them all at Blore,
Both which were flesht abundantly with blood,

In those three battles they had won before.
And in Holland's Ammianus, p. 346 :-

The Asturians growne insolent by reason of this twofold success, like unto ravening foules, made more cruel and eagre with the taste of blood that had so FLESHED them, flew upon the inhabitants. We must therefore hold to bloody dogs," notwithstanding Mr. Collier's opinion that the passage " is much improved by the introduction of this neologic word! But we have surely a surfeit of these improvements on Shakespeare !

P. 310. The adoption of the reading of the quarto, intestate, instead of intestine of the folios, may have been derived from any edition within the last century; it is therefore nothing new.

Ib. The alteration of hear to bear is evidently wrong, in the line of the Duchess of York's speech :

Then patiently hear my impatience, for Richard replies that he “cannot brook the accent of reproof.”

The substitution of once for “have” is not needed, and the words could not be mistaken for each other either by scribe or printer.

Ib. The change of “ leads” for treads, in the line where Richard tells Queen Elizabeth that Dorset

Leads discontented steps in foreign soil, is also an unnecessary innovation. Mr. Collier confesses that leads may be right. "

Ib. “ The following lines, in reference to the intercession of Queen Elizabeth with her daughter in favour of Richard's pretensions, conclude the King's speech in the folios :

Urge the necessity and state of times,
And be not peevish found in great designs.

“ The quartos have peevish fond; and the old corrector amends the couplet as follows:

Urge the necessity of state and times,

And be not peevish fond in great designs. “That is to say, she was to enforce the necessity of state and of the times for the marriage. It may still be a question whether peevish found,' of the folios, be not preferable, as avoiding all appearance of tautology; on which account it is advocated in note 10 on this page” (Collier's Shaks. vol. v. p. 466): “nevertheless, ' peevish fond’has, we see, two pieces of evidence in its favour."

The alteration in the first line is anything but probable, and certainly no improvement. To bring back the depraved reading of the quartos is a mark of bad taste, whoever may have done it. Mr. Collier himself observes that, be not peevish fond' is merely saying the same thing by two different words, fond being also silly or foolish. And · be not peevish found, the reading of the folio, seems on all accounts preferable."

The “two pieces of evidence in its favour," are therefore not the evidence of common-sense.

SCENE V.

P. 311. The insertion of the words and mark, in the line where Stanley inquires of Sir Christopher Urswick,

What men of name resort to him,

is an unwarrantable interpolation, for Mr. Collier himself has told us that the poet often varies his verse by lines of eight syllables. We must therefore reject it until we have better “ authority” than this barefaced interpolator.

ACT V. SCENE II.

Ib. “Richmond speaking of Richard, calls him, as the words have always stood in print,

The wretched, bloody, and usurping boar: « « Wretched' is an epithet that has little comparative appro

« ÎnapoiContinuați »