« PreviousContinue »
Yea, such which breaks
The sides of loyalty, &c. “We are here instructed to read 'ties of loyalty.' The Cardinal answers (p.512) that he has done no more, and knows no more than others; to which the Queen replies :
You know no more than others; but you frame
Things, that are known alike, which are not wholesome, &c. “For alike,' the correction is belike:
Things that are known, belike, which are not wholesome. “Again, at the end of the Queen's next speech, the expression, * There is no primer baseness,' of all the folios, is altered (in accordance with Southern's suggestion mentioned in (Collier's Shakesp.]) to . There is no primer business ;' and such we may hereafter treat as the original word. Farther on (p. 514), the King, struck at the amount of the exactions under Wolsey's commissions, exclaims,
Sixth part of each ? A trembling contribution ! “ The old corrector here put his pen through the m in 'trembling,' making the word trebling, as if the King meant to say that the sum was treble what it ought to have been. When the Duke of Buckingham's Surveyor enters to give evidence against his lord, the Queen says to the King,–
I am sorry that the Duke of Buckingham
Is run in your displeasure ; “ which may be quite right, but it ought to be noticed that a marginal emendation makes the last line,
Is one in your displeasure. “This last change, like some of the others, may be deemed no necessary emendation.”
“ Ties of loyalty” for “ sides of loyalty” is not necessary. “ Breaks the sides of loyalty” is parallel expression to“ flaw'd the hearts of their royalties,” a few lines earlier. So in Antony and Cleopatra, Act iv. Scene 12:
Oh, cleave my sides ! heart, crack thy frail case !
belike for alike' I find also in my corrected second folio, where a is deleted and be written over it. But alike seems to me the unquestionable reading. Wolsey says he knows no more than others—the answer is, that he is the framer or originator of things which are “ known alike,” — i. e. known equally to all, but very unwelcome to some who would not know them. The Queen speaks with determination, and such an expression as belike would spoil the effect of her speech.
“ There is no primer business” for baseness was the correction of Warburton, and had long been the established reading, and undoubtedly the true one, until Mr. Collier, as well as Mr. Knight, restored the old corruption. This is another coincidence on the part of the corrector. Of the substitution of one for“ run," in the passage
I am sorry that the Duke of Buckingham
Is run in your displeasureMr. Collier himself says, “ This last change, like some of the others, may be deemed no necessary emendation.”
What then becomes of the “better authority,” which we are led to suppose that the corrector had access to ?
P. 319. We have here another coincidence in the adoption of Theobald's correction of “under the confession's seal” for under the commission's seal.
Ib. We must have better evidence than the mere fancy of the corrector before we admit the interpolation of the words a daring in the rhyming conclusion of the King's speech.
Let him not seek’t of us : By day and night
Ib. “ The manuscript-corrector leads us to believe that there are two errors of the press in the following, where Lord Sands is speaking of Wolsey :
Men of his way should be most liberal;
“ We can readily accord in the first, if not in the second emendation:
Men of his sway should be most liberal ;
They are sent here for examples.” Neither of these innovations on the old undoubted text are to be tolerated. Lovel has said of Wolsey,
That Churchman bears a bounteous mind indeed,
On which Lord Sands remarks:
He may, my lord, he has wherewithal : in him
They are set here for examples.-Can there be a doubt that his ecclesiastical function is meant, by his way? Churchmen, especially of high rank, are set here for examples. It is wearisome to have to point out such egregious misunderstanding of the poet's language, and yet necessary to defend him from his conceited improvers.
P. 320. The insertion of me at the end of the line
Because they speak no English, thus they pray'd me
To tell your graceis admissible. Valeat quantum !
ACT II. SCENE I.
Ib. The addition of thus, to the imperfect line as it stands in the folio, 1632, may have been derived from that of 1623, or some other edition, but it has long been in the text, and therefore required no notice. Of the substitution of when for “ where,” by which nothing is gained, Mr. Collier very prudently says,—“ The change is not material.” Then why interfere ? for to throw doubt on any old perfectly intelligible reading is "miching malhecho, and means mischief.”
P. 321. “ Anne Bullen, reflecting on the fall of Queen Katharine, observes of power,
Though it be temporal,
As soul and body's severing.
Yet, if that cruel fortune do divorce, &c.
“ which certainly removes the difficulty, and applies to 'fortune' an epithet, to which its commonness seems the main objection. When cruel was spelt crewell, as was sometimes the case, the mistake was not difficult.”
I cannot think it probable that “quarrel” could be misprinted for cruel ; and as the passage can be explained, as it stands in the old copy, the substitution would be rash. Quarrel must be taken as used for quarreller. We have Fortune personified so frequently by Shakespeare, and the epithets applied to her so varied; as that false huswife, that strumpet, that giglot, giddy, fickle, &c. &c. that we cannot be surprised at quarrel or quareller for contentious. I am confirmed in this opinion by a beautiful passage in Beaumont and Fletcher's Philaster, Act v. Sc. 3.
never-pleased fortune shot up shrubs Base underbrambles, to divorce these branches.
Ib. The substitution of improve for " approve,” in the Lord Chamberlain's speech to Anne Bullen,
I shall not fail to approve the fair conceit
The king hath of you, is quite unnecessary, although Mr. Knight had silently an
ticipated the corrector by substituting it. Shakespeare frequently uses approve in the sense of confirm, which is, in fact, its old legitimate meaning. Thus Baret :-" To approve or confirm. Ratum habere aliquid.” This, therefore, is another piece of superfluous meddling, from ignorance of the poet's language.
P. 322. The substitution of elate for “salute," in the
passage where Anne Bullen declares that her advancement gives her no satisfaction,
Would I had no being
is specious; but it should be remarked that we have no other instance of Shakespeare's use of the word, either as a verb or an adjective.
Ib. “ The trial scene of the Queen'seems to have been taken more than usual pains with, both by copyist and compositor; but two exceptions to its general accuracy are pointed out in the margin of the corrected folio, 1632: both are misprints; the first less obvious, though more important than the last. Katharine desires that if any charge of infidelity can be made out against her,
In God's name
To the sharp'st kind of justice. “ We can have no hesitation here in substituting another in the place of the very tame word 'kind,' in the last hemistich, when the substitution adds much to the force of the passage, and impresses us at once as the language of the poet :
And let the foul'st contempt
“We can hardly suppose this striking improvement merely speculative and conjectural.”