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Hero. So says the prince, and my new-trothed lord.
Hero. They did intreat me to acquaint her of it,” &c. Here Mr. Collier's printer has followed the text of Malone's last edition, where the words "you" and "her" are by mistake transposed, to the destruction of the sense. Read, of course,
“ And did they bid you tell her of it, madam ?”
SCENE 2.-C. p. 253. Dogb. Write down—that they hope they serve God :—and write God first; for God defend but God should go before such villains !”
The part of Dogberry's speech which precedes these words ["before such villains'], and the answer of Conrade and Borachio, which produced Dogberry's speech, are omitted in the folio, 1623, in consequence, perhaps, as Blackstone suggests, of the stat. 3 Jac. I. c. 21, against the profane employment of the name of the Creator. The whole passage might be an interpolation by the actors, and it might therefore be excluded in the folio.” COLLIER.
An interpolation of the actors ! No, no. Such inimitable blundering could have been put into the mouth of Dogberry by Shakespeare alone.
SCENE 1.-C. p. 265.
“ This naughty man
Hir'd to it by your brother.” Pact' is properly bargain or contract, and Margaret, one party to the ‘ pact,’ is spoken of as the contract itself. The common, but erroneous, reading is the verb packed.” COLLIER.
The spelling in the old eds., " packt,” might alone have shewn Mr. Collier that the word was a participle, - pack'd
(which Malone rightly explains "combined, an accomplice"), even if we suppose that, when he made this rash alteration, he had entirely forgotten the following passages of Shakespeare ;
“ The goldsmith there, were he not pack'd with her,
Com. of Errors, act v. sc. 1, vol. ii. 172. “Here's packing, with a witness, to deceive us all.”
Tam. of the Shrew, act v. sc. 1, vol. iii. 192. “Go pack with him, and give the mother gold.”
Titus Andron. act iv. sc. 2, vol. vi. 334. Compare Massinger; “Our packing being laid open."
The Great Duke of Florence, act iii. sc. 1. “ i. e.,” says Gifford, “our insidious contrivance, our iniquitous collusion to deceive the duke: so the word is used by Shakespeare, and others.” Works, ii. 485, ed. 1813.
Many examples of the word might be adduced from earlier writers: Skelton has; “But ther was fals packing, or els I am begylde.” Upon the dethe of the Erle of Northumberlande,
Works, i. 9, ed. Dyce. See also Richardson's Dict. in v. Pack, where the present passage of Shakespeare is cited.
Scene 3.-C. p. 271 ; K. p. 453.
the tomb, Praising her when I am dumb." “This is the reading of the folio, which is, probably, right. The 4to has dead for dumb.”" COLLIER.
Probably right!" Why, even if all the old eds. had “dead,” the rhyme would be sufficient to prove that Shakespeare must have written“ dumb.”
Midnight, assist our moan ;
Graves, yawn, and yield your dead,
Heavily, heavily.” The folio gives the last line, “ Heavenly, heavenly;" which Mr. Collier thinks “may be right;” and which Mr. Knight adopts, telling us that the meaning is “Death is expelled heavenly—by the power of heaven.”
A speech of Hamlet, act ii. sc. 2, stands thus in the folio;
“I have of late, but wherefore I know not, lost all my mirth, forgone all custome of exercise; and indeed, it goes so heauenly with my disposition, that this goodly frame the Earth seemes to me a sterill Promontory," &c.
Now, in the former passage “ Heavenly” is as certainly a misprint for “ Heavily," as it is in the latter.
SCENE 4.-C. p. 276.
mouth.” “Modern editors assign this line to Benedick; but all the old copies give it to Leonato. It may be very well also, as a piece of stage effect, to make Benedick kiss Beatrice at this juncture, but there is no warrant for it in any old stage-direction.” COLLIER.
In the first place, the context shews that the speech belongs to Benedick: why should Leonato wish to put Beatrice suddenly to silence ? she has said nothing which concerns him. Secondly, it is as evident that the speaker of these words kisses Beatrice, as that Young Loveless kisses the Widow when his brother desires him to "stop her mouth ;"
“Widow. Sir, you speak like a worthy brother : And so much I do credit
Beaumont and Fletcher's Scornful Lady, act iii. sc. 2. Passages might be cited from various other old plays, in which “mouths are stopt” by the same process. But, after all, it is unnecessary to wander away from Shakespeare for an instance of it, since in Troilus and Cressida, when Cressida says, “Stop my mouth,” we learn distinctly from the lady's next speech how Troilus understood her injunction,
“My lord, I do beseech you, pardon me;
Act iii. sc. 2, vol. vi. 71. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST.
[Vol. ii. COLLIER; Vol. i. Knight.]
Scene 1.-C. p. 287.
Than for that angel knowledge you can say,
And bide the penance of each three years' day.” So the old 4to, 1598, and the folio, 1623. The folio, 1632, substitutes swore for the sake of the rhyme, which may have been intended.”
Scene 1.-C. p. 309; K. p. 245.
Prin. Come to our pavilion : Boyet is dispos'd-
clos’d.” Among Mr. Collier's Additional Notes and Corrections (vol. i. cclxxxv.) we find ;
• Boyet is dispos’d. Some persons would discover an indelicate meaning here, in the use of the verb 'dispos'd;' but, surely, prurient ingenuity was never more misplaced, as is shown by the context.”
Though Mr. Collier uses the term some persons,” he alludes to the following note of mine in Beaumont and Fletcher's Works, iv. 193, and to that only;
• dispos’d] Is explained by Weber 'merry;' but it means something more, viz. wantonly merry, inclined to wanton mirth. The word occurs, with the same meaning, in several of these plays : compare also Love's Labour's lost, act ii. sc. l;