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emendation that has been adopted, is afcribed to
When it is considered that
its proper author.
3. "Thus leaning on my elbow, —” P. 16.
“ Thus leaning on mine elbow, -" P. 457. 4. " '
With them a bastard of the king deceas’d." P. 25. " With them a bastard of the king's deceas’d.” P. 464. 5. “That thou hast under-wrought its lawful king." P. 26.
" That thou hast under-wrought his lawful king." P.405.
Thy promises are like Adonis' gardens,
" That one day bloom'd, and fruitful were the next." The old copy reads garden. In King John, Ac IV. fc. ii.
that close aspect of his " Does shew the mood of a much-troubled breaft. The old copy reads Do. Ibidem, AI. sc. i. *. 'Tis too respective, and ioo fociable,
&c. The old copy,
" Tis two respective,” &c. Again, in the fame play, we find in the original copy,
Against the inuoluerable clouds of heaven.' In King Henry V. Aü V. sc. ii.
" Corrupting in its own fertility.” The old
copy reads it. In Timon of Athens, Act I. fc. i.
Come, shall we in? The old
has - Comes.
Even on their knees, and hands,
on The handmaids of all women, or, more truly,
" Women iis pretty felf. The old copy has – it.
It cannot be expected that the page should be encumbered with the notice of such obvious mistakes of the press as arc here enumerated. With the exception of errors such as these, whenever any emendation has been adopted, it is anentioned in a note, and afcribed to its author.
one hundred thousand lines in these plays, and that it often was necessary to consult 6. Say, Shall the current of our right run on ? "
P. 37. Say, shall the current of our right roam on ? " P. 476. 7. " And now he feasts, mouthing the flesh of men,-” P. 38.
“ And now he feasts, mousing the tieth of nhiên, 8. " A greater power than ye
P. 39. “ A greater power than we- P. 478. 9. “ For grief is proud, and makes his owner stoop. P. 52.
For grief is proud, and makes his owner stout.” P.492. 0, that a man would speak these words to me! ” P. 52.
O, that a man should speak these words to me !" P. 497. " Is’t not amiss, when it is truly done?
" Then, in defpight of brooded watchful day, — " P.512. 13. " A whole armado of collected sail." P. 74.
" A whole armado of convicted fail." P. 514. 14. - And bitter Shame hath Spoil'd the sweet world's taste.” " And bitter shame hath spoil'd the sweet word's taste.
P. 519. 15. " Strong reasons make strong actions. P. 81.
" Strong reasons make strange adions." P. 522. 16. " Must make a stand at what your highness will. - Doth make a stand at what your highness will,
P. 530. 17. " Had none, my lord! why, did not you provoke me?”
P. 96. Had none, my lord! why, did you not provoke me?"
P. 536. 18. " Mad'ft it no conscience to destroy a king."
“ Made it no conscience to destroy a king.” P. 537. 19. "Sir, fir, impatience has its privilege.
102. 64 Or, when he doom'd this beauty to a grave,
P. 97 •
six or seven : volumes, in order to ascertain by
" To the yet-unbegotten sins of time.". P. 102.
" And breathing to his breathless excellence,_"P.542. 23. " And your supplies, which you have wish'd so long,—"
P. 121. “ And your supply, which you have wifh'd so long.-"
P. 561. 24. " What's that to thee? Why may I not demand
P. 122. " What's that to thee? Why may not I demand—"
P. 562. 25. " 0, my sweet fir, news fitted to the night." P. 123.
" O, my sweet fir, news filling to the night." P. 563. 26. “ Death, having prey'd upon the outward parts,
66 Leavje; them ; invisible his siege is now
Against the mind, -"
" Against the mind, - P. 565. 27 The salt of them is hot.” P. 125.
66 The falt in them is hot. ' P. 568. Two other restorations in this play I have not set down:
" Before we will lay down our just-borne arms and
Ad II. sc. ii. “ Be these sad signs confirmers of thy word.”
A & III. sc. i. because I pointed them out on a former occasion.
It may perhaps be urged that some of the variations in these lists, are of no great consequence; but to preserve our poe'ts genuine text is certainly important; for otherwise, as Dr. Johnson has justly observed , " the history of our language will be loft;" and as our poet's words are changed, we are constantly in danger of losing his meaning also. Every reader must wish to perufe what Shakspeare wrote, fupported at once by the authority of the authentick copies, and the usage of his contemporaries, rather than what the editor of the second folio, or Pope, or Hanmer, or Warburton, have arbitrarily substituted in its place.
which of the preceding editors, from the time of the publication of the second folio, cach emendation was made, it will easily be believed, that this was not effected without much trouble.
Whenever I mention the old copy in my notes, if the play be one originally printed in quarto, I mean the first quarto copy; if the play appeared originally in folio, I mcan the first folio; and when I mention the old copies, I mean the first quarto and first folio, which, when that expreffion is used, it may be concluded, concur in the fame reading. In like manner, the folio always means the first folio, and the quarto, the earliest quarto, with the exceptions already mentioned. In general , however, the date of cach quarto is given, when it is cited.
Where there are two quarto copies printed in the same year, they are particularly distinguished, and the variations noticed.
The two great duties of an editor are, to exhibit tlre genuine text of his author, and to explain his obscurities. Both of these objects have been so constantly before my eyes, that, I'am confident, one of them will not be found to have been neglected for the other. I can with perfect truth say, with Dr. Johnson, that "not a single passage in the whole work has appeared to me obfcure, which
Let me not, however, be mifunderstood. All these variations have not been discovered by the present collation, some of them having been pointed out by preceding editors ; but such as had been already noticed were merely pointed out: the original readings are now established and supported by the usage of our poet himself and that of his contemporaries, and restored to the text, instead of being degraded to the bottom of the page.
I have not endeavoured to illustrate." I have examined the notes of all the editors, and my own former remarks, with equal rigour; and have endeavoured as much as possible to avoid all controversy, having constantly had in view a philanthropick observation made by the editor above mentioned: “I know not (fays that excellent writer, ) why our editors should, with such implacable anger, per. fecute their predeceifors. Οι νεκροί μή δάκνεσιν, the
, dead, it is true, can make no resistance, they may be attacked with great security ; but since they can neither feel nor mend, the safety of mauling them seems greater than the pleasure: nor perhaps would it much misbefeem us to remember, amidst our triumphs over the nonsensical and the senseless, that we likewise are men ; that debemur morti, and, as Swift observed to Burnet , shall soon be among the dead ourselves."
I have in general given the true explication of a passage, by witomsoever made , without loading the
page with the preceding unsuccessful attempts at elucidation, and by this means have obtained room for much additional illustration : for, as on the one hand, I trust very few fuperfluous or unnecessary annotations have been admitted, so on the other, I believe, that not a singlc valuable explication of any obscure passage in these plays has ever appeared, which will not be found in the following volumes.
The admirers of this poet will, I trust, not merely pardon the great accession of new notes in the present edition, but examine them with some degree of pleasure. An idle notion has been propagated, that Shakspeare has been buried under his