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This both the liuing and the dead offends,
Sig. D (D 2).
Sig. D 3 (v 4). Nor was this custom of marking maxims by inverted commas confined to dramatic pieces only: in Watson's EKATOMIIAOIA, or Passionate Centurie of Loue, n. d., we find;
And yet I coulde, if sorrowe woulde permit,
But such like deedes would breed a double soare,
Son, lix. and in Drayton's Barons Warres ;
And they which could the Complements of state,
" A Princes Wealth by spending still doth spred,
Canto vi. st. 14.
As Fortune meant, her Power on March to show,
Who at his beck was he that did not bow,
All things concurre with more then happy Chance,
St. 17. ed. folio. (Both stanzas are very different in the earlier eds.)
SCENE 3.-C. p. 217.
Have you so slander any moment leisure,
leisure moment. The old copies, quarto and folio, are uniform in this text, and the modern editors uniform in varying from it. At the same time it is to be admitted, that any moment's leisure' would not be objectionable, if change were required.” COLLIER.
It is absolutely necessary to print “moment's.” Would Shakespeare have employed such a ridiculous inversion, when “leisure moment” suited the metre as well ?
SCENE 4.--C. p. 218; K. p. 46.
cold." Mr. Knight chooses to adopt from the folio, “ Is it very cold ?"- a reading which would greatly favour the opinion of those critics who contend that the madness of Hamlet was real, not assumed; for no man in his sound senses, just after remarking that the air bites shrewdly, would inquire if it were Very cold.
“The king doth wake to-night, and takes his rouse,” &c. Caldecott is the only commentator who has a note on
“This term,” he says, “probably here imports more than simply vigiliæ, and must have reference to such festivities as were used on the opening, consecration, or wake-day of our churches ; ‘encænia templorum, in quibus noctem sæpe choreis perviligem ducunt bacchantes.' Skinn.,” &c.
In the present passage, “ wake" evidently means hold a late revel.' So, in poets of a much earlier date, we find the words watch and watching employed as equivalent to debauch at night;'
“ Hatefull of harte he was to sobernes,
Lydgate's Fall of Prynces, b. ii. fol. L. ed. Wayland.
Id. b. ix. fol. xxxi. " His hede was heuy for watchynge ouer nyghte."
Skelton's Bowge of Courte,-Works, i. 43, ed. Dyce. So also in a tract of later date than the present play;
“ Late watchings in Tauerns will wrinckle that face.” The Wandering Jew, 1640, sig. D.
“a custom More honour'd in the breach, than the observance.” I once heard an eminent poet maintain that this passage, though it has passed into a sort of proverbial expression, is essentially nonsense: “how,” said he, can a custom be honoured in the breach?"- Compare the following line of a play attributed to Jonson, Fletcher, and Middleton ; “He keeps his promise best that breaks with hell."
The Widow, act iii. sc. 2.
SCENE 5.-C. p. 225; K
And curd, like eager droppings into milk,
All my smooth body.”
“ The word is certainly used in a technical sense in the folio. It is spelt with a capital, Aygre; while eager in the common sense of sharp, in the passage,
• It is a nipping and an eager air,' has the familiar orthography.”
This distinction between aygre and eager (like that between boson and boatswain, and that between stayers and staires; see pp. 1, 56) exists only in Mr. Knight's imagination: in the then uncertain state of orthography there was no end to the variations in the spelling of words. On the authority of the folio too, Mr. Knight gives in the fourth line of this passage, “ bak’d,” — a glaring misprint.
SCENE 1.-C. p. 259.
“For we have closely sent for Hamlet hither,
We may of their encounter frankly judge,” &c.
That he, as 'twere by accident, may here
Will so,” &c.
· With all my heart; and it doth much content me
And drive his purpose on to these delights."
Good gentlemen," &c.?) In the following page Mr. Collier adopts a different system, chopping up a line (as Malone does) for the sake of making the metre run on regularly from the one speech to the next,though it is evident (not only from other places of the present scene, but from innumerable passages throughout his dramas) that Shakespeare was not at all solicitous about observing such a συνάφεια ;
“ that, with devotion's visage,
King. O! 'tis too true: [Aside.] how smart
A lash that speech doth give my conscience !" The old metrical regulation (as Mr. Knight saw) is the right one;
“ The devil himself.
King. O'tis too true!
SCENE 1.-C. p. 261; K. p. 88.
And lose the name of action.” Mr. Knight gives, with the folio, “away,”— which is nothing more than a typographical error for "awry.” In Antony and Cleopatra, act v. sc. 2, all the old copies have,
“ Your crown's
away ; I'll mend it, and then play.” where Pope corrected (and Mr. Knight prints) “awry.” In Beaumont and Fletcher's Knight of Malta, act iv. sc. 2, the second folio has,
“ Mir. Ha!-to your prayers !
Nor. 'Twas hereabouts ; 'thas put me clean away now.” where the first folio gives correctly “ awry:" and in their Captain, act iii. sc. 3, both the folios have,
“ Clora. Come, be friends ;
Subject to slide away.”
SCENE 1.-C. p. 263 ; K. p. 90. “ I have heard of your paintings tou, well enough : God hath given you one face, and you make yourselves another : you jig, you amble, and you lisp, and nickname God's creatures, and make your wantonness your ignorance.”