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assigned, such as, that in gathering the plays together HEMINGE and CONDELL had overlooked The Winter's Tale, and added it at the last minute, after the series of Comedies was complete, which, it would seem, is indicated by a blank page, inasmuch as similar blank pages are found separating the Comedies from the Histories, and the Histories from the Tragedies. Indeed, a copy of the Folio actually exists wherein The Winter's Tale is missing, and King John immediately follows Twelfth Night. Again, it has been conjectured that it was not altogether overlooked, but originally classed with the Tragedies, and was hastily transferred to its proper place among the Comedies. Neither the pagination nor the signatures help us; a new numbering and a new series begin with King John. One of the very few facts of which we are assured in regard to the Folio is that it was printed at the charges of four Stationers; and throughout its pages proofs are abundant that the plays were set up by various groups of compositors, possibly by journeymen printers in their own homes. Consequently, this blank page may indicate nothing more than an instance of badly joined piece-work. Inasmuch as the sheets were printed off, as was the custom, at different presses, it was undoubtedly easier to leave a whole page blank at the end of a signature than to transfer a single page of The Winter's Tale to the press which was striking off Twelfth Night. Such is the best solution which occurs to me.
The texts of the Second, Third, and Fourth Folios are substantially the same as that of the First. Through what must have been a mere accident a whole line (II, iii, 26) was omitted in the Second Folio, and as the gap did not leave utter nonsense, or, at least, the sense was not thereby rendered more obscure than the compositors found it to be for them in many another passage, the omission was followed in the Third and Fourth, and, as RowE printed from the latter, it was repeated in his edition also. Other than in this omission the Second Folio differs materially from the First in only five or six places, which the Textual Notes will show. It is noteworthy that these differences, when they are additions to the text, are uniformly attempts toward improvement in the rhythm, and can have proceeded only from an authority higher, assuredly, than that of a compositor. For instance, where the First Folio reads : ‘(Which you knew great) and to “the hazard,' the Second Folio has '(Which you knew great) and to the certain hazard,' (III, ii, 181; the propriety of the phrase : certain hazard' is not here in question, I give the instance merely as an attempt to improve the rhythm). Again, three lines further down, where the First Folio has, “Through my rust,' the Second reads, “Through
'my darke rust,' an improvement in rhythm and force superior to MALONE'S emendation: Thorough my rust.' In line 191 of the same Scene the Second Folio adds burning to the 'flaying? boyling?' of the First, again an emendation better than any which, for mere rhythm's sake, has been since proposed. In III, iii, 65, the Second Folio adds the stage-direction Enter a Shepheard, where in the First Folio there is no stage-direction at all. In the twenty-fourth line of Time's soliloquy, the Second Folio improves the metre by adding here: 'I mention 'here a sonne o' th' King's.' Again, in the Song of Autolycus, 'with 'heigh' is repeated, to the great, nay, almost indispensable, amendment of the metre. In IV, iv, 7, the Second Folio reads, 'Is as a merry 'meeting of the petty gods' (zeal outdid performance here by two syllables, but, none the less, it was zeal in a good direction). In line 43 further on: 'Oh, but dear sir,' etc. etc. These changes betoken a more sensitive ear and a more authoritative hand than those of a mere mechanical compositor. Indeed, it was the rhythmical element in these changes and in others elsewhere, like them, which led TIECK to surmise that the Second Folio was edited by MILTON.
As You Like It has its 'lion' in the Forest of Arden, and The Winter's Tale has its 'sea-coast in Bohemia.' It is so pleasing to find ourselves superior to SHAKESPEARE in anything, no matter how trifling, that attention to these two violations of History, both Natural and Political, has been eagerly called by many a reader and editor. With the lion,' criticism assumed a singular and curiously interesting phase: all critics were aware that SHAKESPEARE had a right to introduce in an imaginary forest what imaginary tragic brutes he pleased, and yet each critic wished to show that he had noticed the incongruity of a tropical beast in a temperate zone; thereupon one and all fell to reviling and anathematizing certain critics' for jeering at SHAKESPEARE. Who these jeering scoffers were, try as I would, I could never find out,—no names were ever given. Nevertheless, editors and critics became for the nonce Don Quixotes and, in defence of SHAKESPEARE, belaboured malevolent giants. It was suggested that we should borrow a fiction of the Law and adopt a Shakespearian John Doe and Richard Roe, on whom all the indignation in the poet's behalf could be heaped; and thus while all zealous defenders would be exhilarated no one would be really one atom the worse. But in The Winter's Tale the case is different. No plea of imaginary localities avails the culprit here; Sicilia is Sicilia and Bohemia is Bohemia; and the one is no more on the mainland than the other is on the sea-coast. In the eyes of SIR THOMAS HANMER the disgrace of the blunder was so indefensible that
he removed it at once from SHAKESPEARE, and, placing it all upon the compositors, changed the locality throughout the play from 'Bohemia' to Bithynia. Some time after the baronet's edition appeared, attention was called to the fact that the 'sea-coast of Bohemia' was mentioned in GREENE'S novel of Dorastus and Fawnia, out of which SHAKESPEARE had moulded his Winter's Tale. Thereupon the geographical guilt was shifted from SHAKESPEARE to GREENE, who, as Utriusque Academiæ in Artibus Magister, should have known better; and SHAKESPEARE was converted from a culprit to a victim. Then, at the beginning of this century, the question assumed a new phase, and it turned out that there was no blunder at all. A time has been when Bohemia held more than enough sea-coast whereon to wreck Antigonus and his shipmates; and so GREENE in turn is exonerated.
It is noteworthy that the earliest critic of this 'sea-coast of Bohe'mia' is BEN JONSON, who, in 1619, said to DRUMMOND of Hawthornden that, 'Shakespear in a play, brought in a number of men saying 'they had suffered ship-wrack in Bohemia, wher yr is no sea neer by some 100 miles.' This is noteworthy indeed! Here was an intimate friend of SHAKESPEARE, JONSON, the breath of whose life was the drama, whose notice no incident or allusion in a play would be likely to escape, who had read everything, was endowed with a prodigious memory, and yet this man, probably the most intelligent and keenest-witted of all SHAKESPEARE'S auditors, did not recognize an allusion taken directly from a very popular novel reprinted but a year or two before! What credence thereafter, may I ask, is to be given to the numberless allusions wherewith the commentators and editors would fain have us believe that SHAKESPEARE's plays are crammed?-allusions, which, unless recognized and appreciated by the audience, lose all their point. In the ballad, hawked by Autolycus, of 'a fish that appeared ' upon the coast, on Wednesday, the fourscore of April,' did not MALONE find a direct allusion to a 'monstruous fish' that was exhibited in London? To be sure, the exhibition took place seven years before Autolycus sang his song, but the allusion was so clear and direct that it helped that exact but prosaic editor in assigning the date when this play was written. And did we not have in A Midsummer Night's Dream an allusion, down to the minutest detail, to a festivity which took place seventeen years before, which every auditor was expected instantly to recognize? With this signal example of BEN JONSON before us, let us hear no more about' allusions or references which are to settle by internal evidence the date of a play,-that most trivial question, except in SHAKESPEARE'S Biography, on which time can be wasted.
The Comments, in the Appendix, which I have been able to glean from German sources are rather less in number than in some of the other plays. This comedy appears to have attracted less attention in Germany than As You Like It, A Midsummer Night's Dream, or Cymbeline. The comments of GERVINUS, of ULRICI, and of KREYSSIG are, as usual, and as they should be, chiefly for the benefit of German readers. ELZE makes a stout defence of the allusion to Julio Romano, not, to be sure, as a contemporary of the Delphic Oracle, but as at once a painter and a sculptor. The most recent translations are by OTTO GILDEMEISTER and by DR ALEXANDER SCHMIDT; both were issued in the same year. The notes of DR SCHMIDT, to whom we owe the Lexicon, where they are not reproductions of English notes, will be found in due place in the Commentary. Against one of his notes, however, a respectful but firm protest should be made. Gratitude for the Lexicon ought perhaps to silence criticism,—it will certainly temper it, --but this especial note springs from the same pernicious source which banishes Dame Quickly, Dogberry, and Verges, and in their places gives us Frau Hurtig, Holzapfel, and Schleewein; a sense of personal bereavement must have voice. We all know the characteristic song with which the charming scoundrel, Autolycus, steps blithely before us :—
'When daffodils begin to peer,
With hey, the doxy o'er the dale,' etc.
Hereupon DR SCHMIDT observes :-'Shakespeare's "daffodil" is as'suredly not our Narcissus [as DOROTHEA TIECK had translated it], 'but the Snowdrop, Leucoium vernum, which belongs to the same 'family. Unquestionably "o'er the dale" is dependent on "peer," 'and the sense is "When the snowdrops and the doxies reappear in the ""dale." Only thus do the two lines following form a natural con'clusion.' Accordingly, DR SCHMIDT gives us the rollicking song in the following demure garb :
'Wenn Schneeglöckchen sich zeigt im Thal,
Without stopping to discuss DR SCHMIDT's doubtful assertion that the Leucoium vernum is the Snowdrop, or to refer to the unanimous opinion of Botanists that the 'daffodil' is the Narcissus, it is this freedom in dealing with the language of SHAKESPEARE and with the names of his characters against which I wish to protest. An errone
ous idea is abroad, even among English readers, that Germany was the earliest to appreciate SHAKESPEARE, and our German brothers appear to believe, to this hour, that he belongs to them by some fancied right of discovery. LESSING's voice was the first to sound in Germany the praises of SHAKESPEARE, -a grand and mighty voice, it must be gladly confessed, but when the masterly Hamburgische Dramaturgie appeared (and before that date SHAKESPEARE'S name may be said to have been unknown in Germany), SHAKESPEARE'S works had been edited by RowE, POPE, THEOBALD, HANMER, WARBURTON, JOHNSON, and CAPELL, in edition after edition, and, possibly, STEEVENS was at work on the First Variorum. We do not wish to blink one atom of indebtedness to our German fellowstudents for all the indefatigable zeal, and labour, and learning which they have brought, and helpfully brought, to the study of Shakespeare, the thirty-three noble Year-books would put us to the blush if we did,—but it is none the less befitting that, at least every now and then, we should set them up a glass wherein it may be seen how far afield the very best of them may grope, by no means owing to any lack of knowledge and great learning, but simply because they were not born to the inheritance of the tongue of the greatest name in English ' literature,—the greatest name in all literature,'-and of all which that inheritance implies. No one to whom the English language is native would for a moment think of exchanging the daffodils' in this song for any other flower on earth, least of all for the modest snowdrop, the emblem of purity. Lovely as is the daffodil, bewitching even the winds of March with its beauty, we are conscious by the very instinct of our English blood that in the eyes of Autolycus it is the only match and emblem of his flaunting sweetheart, and at the mention of it, in his mouth, its hue becomes brassy and it peers with effrontery. And as for the idea that, according to DR SCHMIDT, it together with the doxy peers over the dale,-I doubt that it ever entered an English mind. The 'with' betokens no accompaniment; it is the 'with' of innumerable refrains, such as: 'With hey, ho, the wind and the rain.' The words: With hey, the doxy o'er the dale' mean no more than 'With hey, my sweetheart over in yonder glen.'
The mention of Autolycus reminds me that I have found no word of gratitude, or even of praise, anywhere bestowed on CAPELL, that excellent but sadly neglected editor, for a stage-direction in the scene between Autolycus, thaf 'rog,' as Dr Simon Forman calls him, and the Clown, a stage-direction which has been adopted by every editor since CAPELL, and, except in the Cambridge Edition, I think, with