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If the "commission from Rome" had been read in court, the Crier would have previously proclaimed “ Silence!”
Scene 3.-C. p. 495; K. p. 73.
“ streak'd gillyflowers." Pronounced of old gillyvors, and so spelt in the folios, both here, when the word is spoken by Perdita, and afterwards by Polixenes.” COLLIER.
“ Gillyvor" (written also gillofer, gillofre, gelofer) cannot properly be termed an old spelling : it is an old form of the word; for which Mr. Collier and other modern editors ought not to have substituted “gillyflower.” In Perdita's speech the folios have “ gilly-vors,” in that of Polixenes “gilly'vors' (which Mr. Knight gives in both speeches): but the word should be written neither with a hyphen nor as a contraction.
SCENE 3.-C. p. 498; K. p. 75.
“I think, you have As little skill to fear, I have
To put you to't.” Warburton was surely right in explaining “skill” “reason.' The word with that meaning is very common in our earliest writers, and is occasionally found in those of Shakespeare's time; “ Hence Englands Heires apparant haue of Wales bin Princes, till Our Queene deceast conceald her Heire, I wot not for what skill."
Warner's Continuance of Albions England, 1606, p. 415.
SCENE 3.-C. p. 500.
inkles, caddisses, cambrics, lawns.” “ Malone states that inkle is ' a kind of tape,' and caddis 'a narrow worsted galloon,' but without citing any authority. It may be suspected that 'caddis' was some ornament brought from Cadiz, with other fashions, by the Earl of Essex,” &c. COLLIER.
Why these random conjectures? Malone was quite right about the meaning of this not very uncommon word. “Cruel, caddas, or worsted ribbon.” The Rates of the Custome house &c. 1582, sig. Bv. “Caddas or Cruell riband." The Rates of Marchandizes, &c. n. d. sig. C 5.
SCENE 3.-C. p. 514; K. p. 89.
“ how shall we do? We are not furnish'd like Bohemia's son,
Nor shall appear in Sicilia Here all the modern editors (in opposition to the old copies) put a break at the end of the speech, as if it were unfinished. But the sense is complete;
“ Nor shall appear (like Bohemia's son) in Sicilia.”
SCENE 3.-C. p. 540; K. p. 119.
It is requir'd,
I am about; let them depart." “ The meaning is, 'Let those go on, and depart, who think it is unlawful business I am about.' Sir T. Hanmer, without necessity, altered ‘on,' the reading of the old copy, to or, and he has been usually followed. On could hardly have been misprinted for or, because in all the old copies it is followed by a colon.” COLLIER. Mr. Knight prints ;
« On : Those that think it is unlawful business
I am about, let them depart,” and explains “ On"-"let us go on.”
Which of these two interpretations is the most forced and ridiculous, it would be difficult to decide. Sir T. Hanmer's alteration of “On” to “ Or" is obviously necessary: in an earlier scene of the present play, where the right reading is undoubtedly "or," the first folio has "at;" see Mr. Collier's
note ad loc. p. 519; and in Shakespeare's LVIth Sonnet, where the old copy has “ As call it,” &c., Mr. Collier has rightly given “ Or call it,” &c. As to his remark that “«On' could hardly have been misprinted for Or, because in all the old copies it is followed by a colon,”—I have already cited from the first folio a line of this play, in the middle of which a colon occurs, while the sense positively requires that there should be no point at all; see p. 80: nor would it be difficult to bring forward from various old books a host of passages in which stops are introduced with the grossest impropriety: e. g.
“ And wish, she were so now, as when my lust
22,Beaumont and Fletcher's Workes, ed. 1647. “ Let's burn this Noble body: Sweetes as many
As sun-burnt : Neroe [Meroe] breeds, lle make a flame of
Valentinian, act iv. sc. 4, p. 22,-ibid.
Scene 3.-C. p. 541.
Nay, present your hand :
age, Is she become the suitor?'' The old copies, indeed, have an interrogation-point here; but assuredly no question is asked: Paulina means, 'you formerly wooed her, and now she wooes you.' The original compositor put an interrogation-point, because “Is she” sounded like a question.
A passage of Beaumont and Fletcher's Honest Man's Fortune, act i. sc. 1, stands as follows in the folio, 1647;
" and began to laugh
The proper punctuation is, of course,
Who, like a cunning footman, set me forth,” &c. but the words sounded to the compositor like a question.
Even Mr. Collier's Shakespeare furnishes an example of the same mistake: in King Richard III. act iv. sc. 4, vol. v. 461, we find,
Look, what is done cannot be now amended ?” the compositor having put an interrogation-point at the end of the line because “ what is done" sounded like a question.
(Vol. iv. Collier; vol. iv. KNIGHT.]
Scene 1.-C. p. 10; K. p. 251.
This is the reading of all the folios; and the meaning is, that because Robert had only a thin narrow face, like his father, yet with only half the face of his father, he would have all his father's land. Since the time of Theobald, all editors have printed the second line, • With that half-face,' &c., which does not express what the poet seems to have intended. Philip ridicules Robert for having, in fact, only half of the half-face of his father, yet claiming all the inheritance by reason of it.”
Collier. The “half that” of the old eds. is merely a transposition made by a mistake of the original compositor. Mr. Knight observes that Theobald's alteration " appears just:" he might have said, -that the context proves it to be absolutely indispensable. According to the old reading (in spite of Mr. Collier's strange explanation), the second line contradicts the first. It
may perhaps be worth remarking here that the following line of Romeo and Juliet (act ii. sc. 6, vol. vi. 430), “ I cannot sum up
my sum of wealth,” is given in the old eds. thus (the words “ half my" being shuffled out of their right place);
“ I cannot sum up sum of half my wealth,” and
I cannot sum up some of half my wealth.”