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"For off my heart those charms, thine eyes, are blotted."
Again, in the fame play, Act V. fc. i. not understanding the phrafeology of our author's time,
"Who's there? Whofe noise is this, that cries on murder?"
"Whose noise is this, that cries out murder?"
and in the first Act of the fame play, not perceiving the force of an eminently beautiful epithet, for "defarts idle," he has given us "defarts wild."
Again, in that tragedy we find
"What conjuration, and what mighty magick,
that is, I won his daughter with; and fo the editor of the fecond folio reads, not knowing that this kind of elliptical expreffion frequently occurs in this author's works, as I have fhown in a note on the laft fcene of Cymbeline, and in other places.3 In like manner he has corrupted the following paffage in A Midfummer-Night's Dream :
"So will I grow, fo live, fo die, my lord,
i. e. to give fovereignty to. Here too this editor has unneceffarily tampered with the text, and
3 See Vol. XVIII. p. 647, n. 2; Vol. XV. p. 196, n. 4; and Vol. XIX. p. 266, n. 7.
having contracted the word unwifhed, he exhibited the line thus:
"Unto his lordship, to whose unwish'd yoke
an interpolation which was adopted in the fubfequent copies, and which, with all the modern editors, I incautioufly fuffered to remain in the prefent edition.+
The grave-digger in Hamlet observes" that your tanner will last you nine year," and fuch is the phrafeology which Shakspeare always attributes to his lower characters; but instead of this, in the fecond folio, we find-" nine years.'
"Your skill shall, like a star i'the darkest night,
fays Hamlet to Laertes. But the editor of the fecond folio, conceiving, I fuppofe, that if a star appeared with extraordinary scintillation, the night muft neceffarily be luminous, reads" i'the brightest night" and, with equal fagacity, not acquiefcing in Edgar's notion of "four-inch'd bridges," this editor has furnished him with a much fafer pafs, for he reads" four-arch'd bridges."
In King Henry VIII. are thefe lines:
If we did think
"His contemplation were above the earth—”
Not understanding this phrafeology, and fuppofing that were muft require a noun in the plural number, he reads:
See Vol. IV. p. 322, n. 7.
If we did think
"His contemplations were above the earth," &c.
Again, in Troilus and Crefsida, Act IV. fc. ii:
"With wings more momentary-fwift than thought." This compound epithet not being understood, he reads:
"With wings more momentary, Jwifter than thought."
In The Taming of the Shrew, Act I. fc. ii. Hortenfio, defcribing Catharine, fays,
"Her only fault (and that is-faults enough)
meaning, that this one was a host of faults. But this not being comprehended by the editor of the fecond folio, with a view, doubtless, of rendering the paffage more grammatical, he fubftituted"and that is fault enough."
So, in King Lear, we find-" Do you know this noble gentleman ?" But this editor fuppofing, it fhould feem, that a gentleman could not be noble, or that a noble could not be a gentleman, instead of the original text, reads " Do you know this nobleman ?"
In Measure for Meafure, Act II. fc. i. Efcalus, addreffing the Juftice, fays, "I pray you home to dinner with me:" this familiar diction not being understood, we find in the fecond folio, "I pray you go home to dinner with me." And in Othello, not having fagacity enough to fee that apines was printed by a mere tranfpofition of the letters, for paines,
"Though I do hate him, as I do hell apines,"
inftead of correcting the word, he evaded the difficulty by omitting it, and exhibited the line in an imperfect state.
The Duke of York, in the third part of King Henry VI. exclaims,
"That face of his the hungry cannibals
"Would not have touch'd, would not have stain’d with blood."
Thefe lines being thus carefully arranged in the first folio:
"That face of his
"The hungry cannibals would not have touch'd,
the editor of the fecond folio, leaving the first line imperfect as he found it, completed the laft line by this abfurd interpolation:
"Would not have stain'd the roses just with blood."
These are but a few of the numerous corruptions and interpolations found in that copy, from the editor's ignorance of Shakspeare's phrafeology.
II. Let us now examine how far he was acquainted with the metre of these plays.
In The Winter's Tale, Act III. fc. ii. we find—
"What wheels? racks? fires? what flaying? boiling? "In leads, or oils ?".
Not knowing that fires was used as a diffyllable, he added the word burning at the end of the line:
"What wheels? racks? fires? what flaying? boiling? burning?"
So again, in Julius Cæfar, Act III. fc. ii. from the fame ignorance, the word all has been interpolated by this editor:
"And with the brands fire all the traitors' houses."
inftead of the reading of the original and authentick copy,
"And with the brands fire the traitors' houses."
Again, in Macbeth:
"I would, while it was fmiling in my face,
Not perceiving that fworn was used as a diffyllable, he reads" had I but fo fworn."
Charms our poet fometimes uses as a word of two fyllables. Thus, in The Tempeft, Act I, fc. ii:
"Curs'd be I, that did fo! All the charms," &c. instead of which this editor gives us,
"Curs'd be I, that I did fo! All the charms," &c.
Hour is almost always ufed by Shakspeare as a diffyllable, but of this the editor of the fecond folio was ignorant; for inftead of thefe lines in King Richard II:
So fighs, and tears, and groans,
he gives us