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[Vol. viii. COLLIER; Supp. vol., Doubtful Plays, &c. Pict. ed. KNIGHT.*]
SCENE 2.-C. p. 280; K. p. 68.
"Nor boots it me to say, I honour,
If he suspect I may dishonour him :
And what may make him blush in being known,
Amazement shall drive courage from the state."
"So amended by Tyrwhitt, from stint of the old copies, and not stent, as Steevens misprinted it: he quoted several instances of the use of the expression 'ostent of war' in writers of the time, and such were probably the author's words in this play." COLLIER.
Mr. Knight retains "stint," with the following note;
Stint, which is the reading of all the copies, has here no meaning,' according to Malone. Ostent is therefore adopted. Bute what has been said just before?
He'll stop the course by which it might be known?'
He will stop it, by the stint of war. Stint is synonymous with stop, in the old writers."
In the first place, "the ostent of war," besides that it is an expression frequently found in early authors, accords well with the rest of the line "will look so huge," — words which were most unlikely to have occurred to the poet if he had written "the stint of war." Secondly, "the stint of war' could not possibly mean 'the stop of anything by war:' the only meaning that can be wrung out of it is, 'the stop of the war itself.'
*See note, p. 158.
SCENE 4.-C. p. 286; K. p. 70.
“Our tongues and sorrows do sound deep
Our woes into the air; our eyes do weep,
Till tongues fetch breath that may proclaim them louder ;
They may awake their helps to comfort them.'
"We follow the old copies in this somewhat obscure passage, excepting that in the second line we read do' for to, and three lines lower helps' for helpers." COLLIER.
Both Mr. Collier and Mr. Knight give this corrupted passage with a gross error, from which in the immediately preceding editions it had been free; for in the third line they restore, according to the old copies, " tongues,”—an obvious misprint, which Steevens had corrected to "lungs."
I shall not object to Mr. Collier's metrical arrangement of these lines; for it really matters little how such a passage is regulated.
And spite of all the rapture of the sea,
In the old copies these lines run thus :
' And spite of all the rupture of the sea,
This jewel holds his building on my arm.'
The novel founded upon 'Pericles' shows that the two words, which in our text vary from the original copies, have been rightly changed by the commentators: Pericles, we are informed in the novel, got to land' with a jewel, whom all the raptures of the sea could not bereave from his arm.' Sewel recommended rapture' for rupture, and Malone substituted 'biding' for building." COLLIER.
How the passage cited from the novel proves that "building" should be changed to "biding," I am unable to discover. It is, in fact, a most wanton and unnecessary change: "his building on my arm" is his fixture on my arm.'
Mr. Knight, while he retains the misprint "rupture," adopts Malone's alteration "biding."
2 Fish. We'll sure provide: thou shalt have my best gown to
make thee a pair."
On "bases" Mr. Collier has no note. Mr. Knight explains it "armour for the legs,"-an interpretation which the next speech ought to have shewn him was false; for if "bases" meant armour for the legs," how was the fisherman's "best gown" to make a pair of bases for Pericles? The word is rightly explained by Nares, "a kind of embroidered mantle which hung down from about the middle to about the knees or lower, worn by knights on horseback:" see Gloss. in v.
SCENE 4.-C. p. 305; K. p. 81.
Hel. Try honour's cause; forbear your suffrages:
If that you love prince Pericles, forbear."
This nonsense is not questioned either by Mr. Collier or Mr. Knight. Steevens remarked, Perhaps we should read 'Try honour's course:' but the error does not lie in the word 66 cause." The right reading is evidently,
"For honour's cause, forbear your suffrages:"
the letter r was frequently written below the line, and hardly to be distinguished from y; hence the mistake here of the original compositor. In the next scene we find,
"I came unto your court for honour's cause."
SCENE 5.-C. p. 308; K. p. 82.
"Thai. Why, sir, if you had,
Who takes offence at that would make me glad?"
Mr. Knight prints;
"Thai. Why, sir, say if you had, who takes offence At that would make me glad ?”
to the destruction of the rhyme, which was manifestly intended here. Our early writers, when they introduced a couplet, did not think it necessary that the first line should be as long as the second.
SCENE 5.-C. p. 309; K. p. 83.
Yes, if you love me, sir.
Per. Even as my life, my blood that fosters it."
Read, by all means, with the quarto of 1619;
"Even as my life, or blood that fosters it,"
which Mr. Knight gives, and rightly explains, " Even as my life, or as my blood that fosters my life."
So also Mr. Knight. Malone gave Steevens' emendation, "As the blither," &c. Boswell defends the original reading, "Are the blither," &c. on the supposition that it is elliptical and equivalent to which are the blither.'
"E'er the blither for their drouth :"
The Ms. doubtless had "Ere," which the compositor of the first edition mistook for "Are."
SCENE 1.-C. p. 313; K. p. 87.
1 Sail. Sir, your queen must overboard: the sea works high, the wind is loud, and will not lie till the ship be cleared of the dead. Per. That's your superstition.
1 Sail. Pardon us, sir; with us at sea it hath been still observed, and we are strong in earnest. Therefore briefly yield her, for she must overboard straight."
The old copies read 'strong in eastern,' and Monck Mason very plausibly suggested that the letters in the word eastern had been transposed, and that we ought to read strong in earnest.' The chief objection to this is, that in the quarto impressions eastern has one letter too much, being spelt with a final e-easterne: the folio, 1664, first omitted it."
Mr. Knight prints "strong in, astern"!!-in his long note
on which egregious lection he forgets to mention that it is a jewel picked out of Jackson's Shakespeare's Genius Justified.
I have not the slightest doubt that Boswell proposed the true reading here: his note (to which Mr. Collier does not even allude) is as follows;
“I would read—strong in custom.' They say they have still observed it at sea, and are strong in their adherence to their usages. If the letters c and u were slurred, they might easily be mistaken for ea; the o not joined at the top might seem like er, and the last stroke of the m, if disjoined from the others, or carelessly formed, might pass for ne. The experience of my corrector of the press has sanctioned my conjecture."
SCENE 3.-C. p. 321; K. p. 89.
"Till she be married, madam,
By bright Diana, whom we honour all,
Unscissar'd shall this hair of mine remain,
"The words, Though I show will in't,' appear to mean 'Though I show myself wilful in doing so."" COLLIER.
Here all the modern editors either cite, or refer to, a passage in act v. sc. 3, which (corrupted doubtless) Mr. Collier gives verbatim from the old eds. thus;
This prince, the fair-betrothed of your daughter,
Shall marry her at Pentapolis. And now,
Makes me look dismal, will I clip to form;
And what this fourteen years no razor touch'd,
To grace thy marriage-day, I'll beautify."
Now, I am altogether at a loss to conceive how these editors should have failed to see that the words,
66 Makes me look dismal,"
determine the right reading in the former passage, viz.
(The misprint "show will" arose merely from the original compositor having repeated the w.)