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at the close of this scene. It is where, according to the invariable misrepresentation of Shakespeare's text, the Pedlar wishes that his name may be unrolled,' and put in the book of virtue’; the word should be enrolled, and placed in the book of virtue.”
In the name of common sense, Why ? Must not Autolicus be first unrolled from the gang or company of strolling vagabonds, before he can be put into the book of virtue? As Warburton well remarks, “ Begging gipsies were in gangs or companies, having something of the show of incorporated bodies.”
SCENE III. Pp. 191, 192. “ Perdita contrasts her own gay apparel with the 'swain's wearing' in which the Prince was clad: she remarks:
But that our feasts
To show myself a glass. “In what way was Florizel' sworn' to show Perdita a glass ? Besides, the line wants a syllable, which is supplied by the correction in the margin of the folio, 1632, while the sense is also improved :
I should blush
To show myself a glass. “The meaning, therefore, is that Florizel's plain attire was so worn' to show Perdita, as in a glass, how simply she ought to have been dressed.”
A very clumsy attempt to amend a passage which requires but the omission of a letter to make it quite clear and consistent. Hanmer long since made the only alteration requisite, by reading :
I should blush
To show myself a glass. This reading, but for the opposition of Steevens and the pertinacity of Malone, should long since have been that of the
text. Perdita, in her charming modest way, tells Florizel that, but it was a rural custom to put on these disguises, she should blush to see him so meanly attired, and swoon, she thinks, to see herself in a glass so finely dressed. All is consistent and clear with this slight omission of a letter; and Malone's objection that swoon is spelt swound in the old copies is quite unreasonable ; for if so written, it might easily be mistaken in manuscript for sworne.
Ib. To change Florizel's address to Perdita, “ Be merry, gentle ;' to the familiar“ Be merry, girl”; would be to deprive it of its characteristic delicacy. All that he utters to her is fraught with affectionate and passionate consideration.
He tells her something
“ This is the old text of the folios, but Theobald, for' on’t,' in spite of the apostrophe, printed out, and missed the correction of the true error, viz. 'makes' instead of wakes :
He tells her something
“Such is precisely the mode in which the passage stands corrected in the folio, 1632 ; ' look on't' being addressed emphatically to Polixenes, to direct his attention to the blush of Perdita, thus poetically described as' waking her blood.'”
Theobald's reading is far preferable to that of the corrector, which requires quite as much variation from the old copy; the one changes n to u, and omits the apostrophe; the other changes m to w, and inserts a stop or break to mark a pause before the words “ look on't.” Thus:-
He tells her something
The Queen of curds and cream. Surely the new pointing is a more violent alteration than the omission of the apostrophe.
But the reading of the corrector has a surprising coincidence with Mr. Collier's note on the passage in his edition of Shakespeare.
Ib. The correction of the word gap, in the Clown's speech, to jape, is very plausible, and probably right.
Ib. “ Some controversy has arisen respecting the words, unbraided wares.' Johnson, Steevens, Tollet, Malone, Monk Mason, and Boswell, have each endeavoured to explain what turns out to be a mere misprint for embroided wares,' as embroidered commodities were then frequently spelt. This point has, therefore, been set at rest by the corrected folio."
So far is it from being set at rest by this conjecture of the corrector, that I venture to assert his reading is not to be entertained for a moment. “ Unbraided wares' damaged wares,” true and good. Thus, in “Any Thing for a Quiet Life”—“She says that you sent ware which is not warrantable, braided ware, and that you give not London measure.” See also“ Marston's Scourge of Villainie,” Sat. v. and a passage I have quoted from “ An Iliade of Metamorphosis,” probably also Marston's, the MS. of which was in the Heber collection:
Bookes of this nature, being once perused,
Are then cast by, and as brayed ware refused. An apt description of this as well as Mr. Collier's book, I fear!
P. 193. “ For 'whistle off those secrets,'the folio, 1632, as corrected, has, perhaps needlessly,' whisper off those secrets.' In the same speech and on the same authority, 'Clamour your tongues' ought indisputably to be' Charm your tongues,' as Grey originally suggested, and as Gifford maintained. In fact, the expression, · Charm your tongue,' occurs in “The London Prodigal.' See Malone's Supplement, ii. 466, though he never thought of illustrating by it'clamour your tongues' in · The Winter's Tale.' The editors of Shakespeare have not hitherto felt themselves warranted in altering his text on the mere suspicion of a misprint, or charm your tongues' would long ago have been adopted; and note 2 on this page ” (Collier's Shakespeare, Vol. iii. p. 501) “affords evidence that the error has been stated, though not always acknowledged, ever since the time of Grey."
Mr. Collier's note, above referred to, concludes thus : “ Nevertheless, it may be urged that the Clown means that the Shepherdesses should ring off their peal at once, and then be silent" !
Mr. Hunter says, “ Clamour your tongues.' This expression is not well explained; but as in words like this there is always a temptation to disturb the text, and in this particular instance it has been proposed to substitute charm; I add, that the same phrase is found in John Taylor (Works, 1630).
He thus began; Cease friendly cutting throats,
your moods.' For my own part I am disposed to think that clamour is a vulgar depravation of an older word used in the same sense, and derived from the French chommer, which became chammer and chaumbre. It is used in this sense by Udall, in his Apophthegmes, p. 76, 1st Ed.' From no sort of men whatever did he refreine or chaumbre the taunting of his tongue.''
This is quite enough to show that it would be mischievous to interfere with the old reading, and clamour must remain.
Were I the fairest youth
The corrector would substitute sense for “force," but it would be difficult to find a good reason for the change. Force and knowledge are terms that together express the accomplishments of youth :—All grace of person and all gifts of mind. The alteration would cut off half the definition. Are we to alter every word in the poet that does not suit our capricious fancies?
Can he speak? hear?
Lies he not bed-rid? “Dispute his own estate," says Mr. Collier, “ may be reconciled to sense, but' dispose his own estate' seems a much more likely expression, and the manuscript-corrector informs us that it was employed in this place.”
If the corrector does so inform us, he must have better reasons than Mr. Collier advances for the change. The phrase is undoubtedly that of the poet, who has it again in Romeo and Juliet, Act iii. Sc. 3.
"Let me dispute with thee of thy est ute."
P. 195. There are three minor alterations of the text here, none of which are necessary although specious.
ACT V. SCENE I.
You have a holy father,
A graceful gentleman. “For "holy,' which seems quite out of place,” says Mr. Collier, " the corrector of the folio, 1632, writes noble in the margin, the right word having been misheard by the scribe. Precisely the same mistake was made in ‘The Tempest,' and from the same cause"!
The scribe then was most probably deaf, for holy and noble do not sound much alike! But as it happens the epithet is in both instances peculiarly appropriate and emphatic, as applied to Gonzalo in the Tempest, and to Polixenes here, and simply means reverend.
SCENE III. P. 197. “One of those highly-important completions of the old, and imperfect, text of Shakespeare, consisting of a whole line, where the sense is left unfinished without it, here occurs. Warburton saw that something was wanting ; but in note 3” (Collier's Shakespeare, vol. 3, p. 539) “ it is suggested that Leontes in his ecstasy might have left his sentence unfinished: such does not appear to have been the case. The passage has hitherto been printed as follows:
Let be, let be!
o Let be, let be!' is addressed to Paulina, who offers to draw the curtain before the statue of Hermione, as we find from a manuscript stage-direction, and the writer of it, in a vacant