Page images

&c.,- unnecessarily.“ Couching had the same meaning as crouching; thus Huloet: couche, like a dogge ; Procumbo, Prosterno.” Singer's Shakespeare Vindicated, &c. p. 246.

P. 326. (27)

Into the law of children.” So Johnson (and Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector).— The folio has “Into the lane of children."

[ocr errors]

P. 326. (28)

Low-crooked curt'sies,” &c. Here Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector alters “crookedto “crouched:” but “Lowcrooked is the same as low-crouched; for Huloet has crooke-backed or crowchebacked, and to crook was to bow.” Singer's Shakespeare Vindicated, &c.

p. 246.

P. 328. (9)

Cas." The folio has “ Cask.”

P. 328. (30)

In states," &c. So the second folio.-The first folio has “ In state," &c.

P. 328. (31)

lies along," &c. So the second folio.- The first folio has “lye along,&c.

P. 330. (32)

For your part,
To you our swords have leaden points, Mark Antony :

Our arms, in strength of malice, and our hearts,&c. In spite of Steevens's ingenious explanation of this passage, the old text is not a little doubtful. The same critic conjectured, and Capell printed,


your part,
To you our swords have leaden points, Mark Antony,

Our arms no strength of malice; and our hearts,&c.Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector, without altering the punctuation, changes lice” to a word which no way resembles it in the ductus literarum,—“welcome."

66 ma

P. 330, (33)

"crimson'd in thy lethe.Here Theobald and Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector alter lethe" to " death:" but see Steevens's note ad l. (Nares, Gloss. sub “Lethe," observes that the word when used, as it is here, in the sense of death, “must be formed from lethum, not lethe.")

P. 332. (34) “Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood !" Qy. “Woe to the hands that,&c.? Antony has previously (p. 329) said to the conspirators,—

“Now, whilst your purpled hands do reek,” &c.

P. 332. (35) A curse shall light upon the limbs of men;

Domestic fury and fierce civil strife

Shall cumber," &c. Here the expression, the limbs of men,” is questionable in the extreme (though defended by Capell, Steevens, and Malone,-Steevens citing from Phaer's Æneidlimmes of men,” as if the words were not easily to be found in a hundred other books!).-Hanmer reads“ the kind of men;" Warburton "the line of men;" and Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector, " the loins of men;" emendations which hardly deserve to be mentioned.—Johnson conjectures “the lives of men;" a highly probable reading,-Antony first declaring generally that a curse is to light upon the inhabitants of Italy, and then proceeding to specify particularly in what that curse is to consist.

P. 333. (30)

* for mine eyes,” &c. So the second folio.—The first folio has “from mine eyes,&c.

[blocks in formation]

P. 335. (38) “ Shall be crown'd in Brutus." Mr. Collier prints "Shall now be crown'd,&c., by an oversight doubtless, – the “now” being a modern interpolation. But the integrity of the old text here is far from certain.

P. 338. (39) Even at the base of Pompey's statua.” The folio has “ Statue.” See vol. iv. p. 196, note (**). — (Here Mr. Knight remarks : “In this passage, and in a previous instance, the word statua has been substituted for the English word. What we gain in the harmony of the verse we lose in the simplicity of the expression, by this alteration.” But he forgets that when Shakespeare wrote, statua was quite as common as statue, even in the most vulgar prose.)

P. 339. (40) neither wit, nor words," &c. The folio has “neyther writ nor words,&c. (which more than one editor has retained, -—"writ” meaning “penned or premeditated oration” !!).— The correction was made in the second folio.

P. 341. (") “ I dreamt to-night that I did feast with Casar,

And things unlucky charge my fantasy,&c. The folio has “unluckily ;" which Warburton rightly altered to unlucky.(Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector substitutes “unlikely;" of which Mr. Collier approves, because “Why should Cinna consider it unlucky to dream of feasting with Cæsar ?" Steevens has given the reason ad l.: “I learn,” he says, " from an old black-letter treatise on Fortune-telling, &c. that to dream of being at banquets, betokeneth misfortune, &c.'”

P. 343. (*)

one that feeds On abject orts and imitations,

Which,&c. The folio has “On Obiects, Arts, and Imitations,&c.—I adopt Theobald's correction, “ On abject orts," &c.,—"i.e. on the scraps and fragments of things rejected and despised by others,”—a correction which Capell (Notes, &c. vol. i. P. ii. p. 110) calls“ decisive" on account of the preceding “ feeds,” and which at least is strongly supported by that word. (Shakespeare elsewhere has, “The fractions of her faith, orts of her love,” &c.

Troilus and Cressida, act v. sc. 3. “It is some poor fragment, some slender ort of his remaiAder," &c. T'imon of Athens, act iv. sc. 3. “Let him have time a beggar's orts to crave,” &c.

Rape of Lucrece.) Steevens, who brought back the old reading, first asserts that " objects” means “speculative knowledge,and that “arts” means “mechanic operations ;” and then adds “ objects, however, may mean things objected or thrown out to him:” but of what follows,

and imitations, Which, out of use,&c.,he prudently takes no notice, for it is quite sufficient to prove that his explanations are nonsense.—Malone too adheres to the original text: "objects,” he says, “means, in Shakespeare's language, whatever is presented to the eye (which it generally means in every body's language). So, in Timon of Athens, ‘Swear against objects,"&c.— Mr. Collier and Mr. Knight also retain the lection of the folio; Mr. Collier, without any remark; and Mr. Knight, with a note, in which, after declaring that the whole difficulty of the passage has been created by the modern editors putting a semicolon, instead of a comma, after imitations,” he proceeds thus; “It is marvellous that the editors have not seen that Lepidus is called barren, because, a mere follower of others, he feeds

On objects, arts, and imitations,
Which, out of use, and stald by other men,

Begin his fashion.And can Mr. Knight seriously believe that the substitution of a comma for a semicolon materially affects the sense of the passage, or renders it a whit


more intelligible ? - Mr. Grant White (Shakespeare's Scholar, &c. p. 398) would read

one that feeds On abject arts and imitations," &c.: but “abject arts,” I apprehend, could only mean “abject artifices ;" and that meaning does not suit the context.

P. 343. (48) “Our best friends made, our means stretch'd,&c. From this line something has dropped out. — Mr. Collier prints, with the second folio, “ Our best friends made, and our best means stretch'd out,” &c.; and observes; “ This is one of the cases in which the second folio comes in aid of the defects of the first. Malone thus pieced out the line, 'Our best friends made, our means stretch'd to the utmost,' which is not only a bad verse, but is supported by no authority."—Whatever may be the comparative merits of these two refictions, it is quite clear to my mind that the editor of the second folio had no more "authority” for his dealings with the text than Malone had. In some of his slighter corrections he is obviously right, and, of course, to be followed ; but not when, as here, he makes three interpolations in a single verse. (On a line in the preceding scene, p. 340, “And with the brands fire the traitors' houses,” Mr. Collier has remarked, “The folio, 1632, reads, 'fire all the traitors' houses;' but needlessly, as ‘fire' was often used as a dissyllable.")

P. 345. (44) “Lucilius, do you the like; and let no man

Come to our tent till we have done our conference." Has been altered to “ Lucilius, do the like; and let no man,&c.; but see note (55): and one editor boldly printed,

Do you the like; and let no man, Lucilius,
Come to our tent,&c.

P. 345. (45)


SCENE III.,&c. The folio has

"Exeunt. Manet Brutus and Cassius :"on which Mr. Knight remarks, “In the Shakespearean theatre Brutus and Cassius evidently retired to the secondary stage.” But the “ Manetof the folio shows, I think, that Mr. Knight is mistaken, and that here the audience were to suppose (as they frequently had to suppose) a change of scene.

P. 345. (46) Let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself,&c. Has been amended to “ Yet let me tell you,&c.; and to “And let me tell you,"

&c.; and, no doubt, verses like this, where “the first syllable of the line appears to be omitted,” are very suspicious: see Sidney Walker's Shakespeare's Versification, &c. p. 135.

P. 346. (07) I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon,

Than such a Roman.

Brutus, bay not me,” &c. The folio bas “ Brutus, baite not me,” &c.; which is retained by Malone and his successors in direct opposition to common sense; for the veriest child might perceive that the author intended Cassius to echo the word used by Brutus. Here, with a view to such a repetition, the editor of the second folio printed and baite the Moone,&c.: but assuredly the error lies, not in the first speech, but in the second (where “baite" grew out of “baie").

P. 347. (48) I shall be glad to learn of noble men.” Here Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector, having an eye to what Cassius has said a little before,

“Older in practice, abler than yourself

To make conditions,”substitutes * - of abler men.” But the old reading is not to be displaced.

P. 348. (49)

Plutus' mine," &c. The folio has “Pluto's Mine,” &c. See vol. iv. p. 643, note (~7).


P. 351. (50) “ new-aided, and encourag'd,&c. The folio has “ new added, and encourag’d,&c.— The emendation, aided,occurred both to Mr. Singer (see Shakespeare Vindicated, &c. p. 247) and to myself (see A Few Notes, &c. p. 116); nor do I think it the less certain because a critic in Blackwood's Magazine for Oct. 1853, p. 459, is pleased to declare that “no change is necessary.”—Mr. Collier's Ms. Corrector substitutes strangely " new-hearted.”

P. 353. (5)

Claudius,&c. Here the folio has * Claudio,” &c., and, in the next speech, “ Varrus and Claudio.” See note (3).

P. 356. (62) “The posture of your blows are yet unknown,” &c. See vol. ii. p. 169, note (94).

P. 356. (53)

* Struck Cæsar on the neck. O you flatterers!
Cas. Flatterers !--Now, Brutus, thank yourself,&c.

« PreviousContinue »