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There is also a note by Steevens, with a quotation from Ben Jonson, confirming the reading! I will merely add, that in the edition I gave of Shakespeare, in 1826, I inserted this undoubted reading in the text, and mentioned Sir W. Blackstone's suggestion of it. In this and the next scene there are unnecessary
and unwarranted changes which, for brevity's sake, I pass over.
In one case Malone had done all that was necessary.
ACT II. SCENE I.
That I disdain; but for these other goods. Theobald reads gauds for goods, but the corrector tells us that gards or guards, in the sense of ornaments, was our great poet's true word. It may be so.”
Theobald's correction is quite satisfactory, and much more likely to have been “our great poet's true word " than gards.
Ib. The substitution of“ Her woman's qualities” for “Her wondrous qualities" is no improvement, and therefore mere wanton interference with the text.
Ib. " The point of Katherine's retort to Petruchio has been lost by an error either of the copyist or of the printer. Petruchio tells her,
Women are made to bear, and so are you;
to which she replies, as the line has been given since the publication of the second folio,
No such jade, sir, as you, if me you mean;
thus calling Petruchio a jade; but the point of her reply is, that although a woman and made to bear, she was not such a jade as to bear Petruchio:
No such jade to bear you, if me you mean.” I hope that Mr. Collier does not consider this “ emendation" as “ obtained from some better manuscript than that in the hands of the old printer," for it is quite wrong. The printer found in the MS. loade and misread it Iade. The passage undoubtedly should stand thus :
Pet. Women are made to bear, and so are you.
Kath. No such load as you, sir, if me you mean. The first folio has not the word sir, which was inserted in the second on account of the metre, but is wrongly placed there.
P. 147. There is a clumsy attempt at making the closing couplet of this scene rhyme. The old copy has :
A child shall get a sire, if I fail not of my cunning. “ The corrector,” according to Mr. Collier, “ makes it appear that, for the purpose of the rhyme, wooing ought to be winning.
but in this case of winning A child shall get a sire, if I fail not of my cunning.” A pretty rhyme truly! Steevens had access to better authority when he made the couplet run thus:
but in this case of wooing A child shall get a sire; if I fail not of my doing,
ACT III. SCENE I. Ib. “ Lucentio and Hortensio, disguised as a languagemaster and a musician, quarrel as to precedence in the instruction of Bianca. All editions represent Hortensio's speech as beginning thus defectively.
But, wrangling pedant, this is
The patroness of heavenly harmony, &c. The corrector gives 'But' as a misprint for the interjection Tut! and furnishes two missing words in the following
Tut! wrangling pedant, I avouch this is
The patroness of heavenly harmony, &c. which is somewhat better than the insignificant mode adopted by Ritson, who only wanted to fill up the line, · But, wrangling pedant, know this lady is,' &c. There must have existed some original for I avouch.”
We may rationally ask why? The correction of Sir T.
Hanmer (not Ritson) cited by Mr. Collier, may as well be said to have been derived from some original authority, for the corrector's addition is in no way preferable.
SCENE II. P. 148. “ Biondello's exclamation, as it is given with obvious defectiveness in the early impressions, ‘Master, master ! news, and such news as you never heard of,' has been amended in various ways; but the manuscript correction in the folio, 1632, differs from all others, and is doubtless what the poet intended, viz. 'Master, master! news, and such old news as you never heard of.' I must say that this is a very disingenuous note.
It will hardly be credited that the word old was supplied by Rowe, which the reply of Baptista shows to be necessary, and that the only difference between the corrector's reading and that universally adopted, is the place of it in the sentence, certainly not a more effective one. All recent editions read: Master, master! news,
and such news as you never heard of.” Why the corrector's collocation of the words should be “ doubtless what the poet wrote,” I am at a loss to imagine! This is only a specimen of partial coincidence.
· Ib. “Biondello, bringing an account of the arrival of Petruchio and his man Grumio, and of their strange caparisons and appearance, says of the latter, that he wore an old hat, and the humour of forty fancies, prick'd in't for a feather.' Warburton and Steevens speculated that 'the humour of forty fancies' was a collection of short popular poems, which Grunio had stuck in his hat by way of ornament. The notion that such was the case is strengthened by the corrector, but he gives us more than a hint what was the publication in question, by altering the text as follows:-“An old hat and the Amours, or Forty Fancies, prick'd in't for a feather.”
Now upon this, “ more than a hint,” Mr. Collier builds up a strange rhodomontade story that Drayton, who had published some poems under the title of “ Ideas Mirrour, Amours in Quatorzains, 1594,” was alluded to by Shakespeare, and that Drayton had been so annoyed by the reference, that he expunged from the later editions of his “ Matilda” the praise he had given to Shakespeare in the first impression in 1594 !! Credat Judæus Apella! Mr. Collier can hardly be serious in his supposition that Drayton alluded to the Lucrece of Shakespeare in these lines, for it will be quite apparent that it must have been a Drama to which the allusion is made :
Lucrece, of whom proud Rome hath boasted long,
There is as little ground for imagining that the “ Humour of forty fancies,” so wantonly changed by the corrector to
Amours, or Forty Fancies,” thus destroying the humour of the passage, could by any possibility allude to Drayton. There is something pleasant in the expression, " the Humour of forty fancies,” the spirit of which entirely evaporates in the substitution; and it would require much better authority to induce us to believe they were Shakespeare's words. But Mr. Collier is quite bent upon conjuring up a quarrel between these two illustrious men, and would now find an allusion to Drayton in Shakespeare's xxi Sonnet, an idea that he formerly repudiated!
It is grievous to think that, upon such assumptions, he, of all men, should originate an idle and entirely unfounded calumny upon two such beings as William Shakespeare and Michael Drayton.
Pp. 150, 151. There are here some minor changes as unimportant as unnecessary, upon which, for brevity's sake, I forbear to remark.
ACT IV. SCENE II.
An ancient Angel coming down a hill, has produced various conjectural emendations, the one usually adopted being that of Theobald, who proposed to read ancient engle;' but we are to recollect that the person spoken of was on foot, and we have no doubt that the word wanting is ambler, which we meet with in the margin of the corrected folio, 1632. As to engle or ingle, which means a person of weak understanding, how was Biondello to know that the Pedant' was so, by merely seeing him walk down the hill? he could see at once that he was an ambler. How ambler came to be misprinted ' angel is a difficulty of perpetual recurrence.”
How, indeed! these perpetually recurring innovations on the old authentic text could originate, except in the brain of the over busy “ corrector," it would be difficult to conceive. Here his substitution is ridiculous as well as mischievous. Gifford, in a note on Jonson's Poetaster, is decidedly in favour of enghle, and refers to Gascoigne’s “ Supposes,” from which Shakespeare took part of his plot. There Erostrato, the Biondello of Shakespeare, looks out for a person to gull by an idle story, judges from appearances that he has found him, and is not deceived :-“ At the foot of the hill I met a gentleman, and as methought by his habits and his looks he should be none of the wisest.” Again,—“ This gentleman being, as I guessed at the first, a man of small sapientia." Dulippo (the Lucentio of Shakespeare), as soon as he espies him coming, exclaims, “ Is this he? go meet him, by my troth, HE LOOKS LIKE A GOOD SOUL, he that fisheth for him might be sure to catch a codshead." These are the passages (says Gifford) which our great poet had in view; and these, I trust, are more than sufficient to explain why Biondello concludes at first sight, that this "ancient piece of formality” will serve his turn. All this is very true, and is a sufficient refutation of the corrector's stupid substitution. But I will add that it is not necessary to change the reading of the old copy, which is undoubtedly what 'the poet wrote. AN ANCIENT ANGEL, then, was neither more nor less than the good soul of Gascoigne; or, as Cotgrave (often the best commentator on Shakespeare) explains it: “ AN OLD ANGEL, by metaphor, a fellow of th' old sound, honest, and worthie stamp: un angelot a gros escaille.” One who being honest himself, suspects no guile in others, and is therefore an easy dupe. Thus I illustrated the passage nearly thirty years since, and now gladly avail myself of it to vindicate our illustrious bard from threatened mischievous per'version of his language by busy and blundering correctors;