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EMENDATION CI. Ibid. Page: 162.
THIS IS HER HONOUR;
Fachimo, a LiberTo be as brief as poffible in my Reasons for fufpecting this Paffage. tine in his Thoughts of Women, wagers with Pofthumus that he will debauch his Wife, so that he can once get Accefs to her. Pofthumus takes the Bett, and makes Way by Letters to his Wife for Jachimo's Introduction. Jachimo impudently pretends to have carried his Point; and, in Confirmation, is very minute in defcribing to the Husband all the Furniture and Adornments of his Wife's Bedchamber. But how is fine Furniture any ways a Princess's Honour? It is an Apparatus fuitable to her Dignity, but certainly makes no Part of her Character. I am perfuaded the Poet intended his Pofthumus fhould fay, "This particular De"fcription, that you make, can't convince me that I've loft my Wager; your Memory is good; "and Some of thefe Things you may have learn'd from a third Hand; I therefore expect "Proofs more direct and authentick." If I do not deceive myfelf therefore, there is little Question but we ought to reftore the Place thus:
I should have look'd upon This in the Rank of a mere literal Error, but that I find it is fo faithfully Copied from the old Editions; which makes me believe the Editor did not attend to the Poet's Senfe in it. Correct, with the greatest Certainty;
Our Britain's HARTS die flying, not our Men; &c.
i. e. our Harts, or Stags, receive their Death as they fly; our Men ftand boldly to it, and die fighting.
CIII. ROMEO and JULIET, Page 250.
As is the Bud bit with an envious Worm,
Sure all the Lovers of Shakespeare and Poetry will agree with me that to the fame -- is here a very idle,, dragging Parapleromatick, as the Grammarians ftyle it. I do not think the Author was any ways.neceffitated to it, fince he might by an additional Epithet in the foregoing Verfe have avoided the Fault objected, and exprefs'd his Thought with more Elegance : As thus,
E're he can spread his fweet and infant Leaves,
This would have been the Natural Way of conveying his Idea, without thofe unpleafing Expletives But SHAKESPEARE generally in his Similies is accurate in the Cloathing of them; and therefore, I believe, would not have over-charg'd This fo infipidly. When we come to confider that there is fome Power elfe befides balmy Air, that brings forth, and makes the tender Buds spread Themselves, I do not think it improbable that the Poet wrote thus ;
E're He can spread his sweet Leaves to the Air,
Or dedicate his Beauty to the SUN. *
*Or Sunne, according to the old Spelling, which brings it nearer to the Traces of the corrupted Text:
CIV. Ibid. Page 259.
We'll have no Cupid hoodwink'd with a Scarf,
If there ever was fuch a Thing as a Crowkeeper, in Nature, I must own it is an Employment quite out of my Acquaintance. And furely, the Poet cannot be fuppofed to intend by it, a Man arm'd to keep off the Crows? I would read it, cashiering only a fingle Letter;
Scaring the Ladies like a COW-KEEPER.
The Herdsmen of Old were used to watch in the Field, with Bows and Arrows, to defend their Cattle either from Dogs, or any other Injuries: Objects very likely to fcare the Ladies, both from the Size of their Bows, and their auk ward Method of managing them. What gives me the Foundation for this Sufpicion and Emendation is the following Paffage in K. LEAR, Page 86.
Lear. There's your Press-mony. That Fellow handles his Bow like a COW-KEEPER. For fo Mr. POPE has very rightly reftor'd it ; tho' the fecond Folio Edition, (as does also my Quarto, publish'd in 1655.) reads it here too abfurdly --- Crowkeeper.
CV. HAMLET, Page 382.
Mean time, we thank you for your Well-TOOK Labour.
I have Nothing to object to the Senfe of this Paffage, which I forgot to take Notice of inmy Examination of this Play. The fecond Folio Edition however has a various Reading, which. gives fome Room for fufpecting the Text as it now ftands. It is there,
Mean time, We thank You for your Well-LOOK'D Labour,
It is probable the Poet might, therefore, have wrote,
Mean time, We thank you for your Well-LUCK'D Labour.
To fay, that their Labour had been well-took, is faying, methinks, only that they had not labour'd in vain: But to fay it was well-luck'd, is paffing a Sort of Complement on the Addrefs, Skill, and Good Fortune, of the Perfons employ'd in it.
This Conjecture is of no great Moment, but I embrac'd the Mention of it the more readily, because it lends me an Opportunity of correcting Myself upon Another Paffage of the fame Play. I fhould reckon it very difingenuous, as well as ridiculous, in a Work which I have profefs'd to have undertaken for the Reftoration of SHAKESPEARE, if I fhould be atham'd to own myself mistaken, and retract the Error. In my Eighty Ninth Remark upon *HAMLET, ⋆ Pag. 119. & I have call'd in Queftion the Text upon two Paffages, where the Poet has made Ufe of the feq.
Word UNBATED. To avoid Repitition and Prolixity, I fhall beg Leave to refer the Readers back to that Note. Since my Beginning this Appendix, I have chang'd my Opinion, and begin to think the Text may rather be explain'd, than disturb'd or alter'd. The Poet is fpeaking of Swords and Foils, and by a Sword UNBATED, perhaps, he may mean a Sword unabated, or not robb'd of its Point, to diftinguish it from a Foyl, which is blunted and charg'd at the End with a Button. If we are to fuppofe the Poet wrote Imbaited, or daub'd over with an Ointment, (as I there conjectured,) it is abfurd for Laertes to reply to the King, who tells him he might eafily chufe a Sword ready baited, that he would anoint his Sword for the Purpofe: Nor can there be any Occafion in the Second Paffage for the Epithet ENVENOM'D, as imbaited fignifies the fame Thing. But I fubmit Both Opinions to Judgment.
CVI. OTHELLO, Page 484.
Judge Me the World, if 'tis not grofs in Senfe,
Desdemona having fall'n in Love and married with Othello, Brabantio, her Father, accuses Othello of having used fome foul Play, and intoxicated her by Drugs and Potions to win her over to the Match. But why, Drugs to weaken Motion? How then could She have run away with him voluntarily from her Father's own Houfe? Had he been averfe to chufing Othello, tho' he had given her Med cines that took away the Ufe of her Limbs, might She not still have retained her Senfes, and opposed the Marriage? Her Father, 'tis evident from feveral of his Speeches, is pofitive that She must have been abused in her rational Faculties, or She could not have made fo prepofterous a Choice as to wed with a Moor, a Black, and refufe the finest Young Gentlemen in Venice. What then have We to do with her Motion being weaken'd? If I understand any Thing of the Poet's Meaning here, I cannot but think he must have wrote,
Abus'd ber delicate Youth with Drugs, or Minerals,
i. e. her Apprehenfion, right Conception, and Idea of Things, Understanding, Judgment, &c. 'Tis frequent with us to fay, We have no Notion of fuch a Thing, when we would mean, We do not very clearly understand it. The Claffics, I think, have employ'd the Word in the fame Senfe And CICERO, I remember, to quote no worfe an Author, has defin'd it thus for Us. NOTIONEM appello, quod Græci tùm evvolav, tùm æpóan↓iv.
I could not have wifh'd to conclude with a more remarkable Inftance of Corruption, or One that fell more clofely within the Method which I propos'd to my felf of amending. All the Editions concur in the Reading, and yet I'll be bold to fay, 'tis neither Senfe, nor intelligible, nor conveys our Author's Sentiment as it ftands: So that it may fairly be look'd upon to have been one of his Loci defperati. His Meaning is undoubtedly This; That there are fome fuch long-tongued Knaves in the World, who, if they thro' the Force of Importunity obtain a Favour from their Miftrefs, or if thro' her own Fondnefs they make her pliant to their Delires, cannot help boasting of their Succefs. Reftore it, without the leaft Scruple, thus;
Who having by their own importunate Suit,
Or voluntary Dotage of fome Mistress,
Convinc'd, or SUPPLED them, they cannot chuse
I have already obferv'd, in the Course of these Sheets, that it is ufual with SHAKESPEARE, thro' Negligence or Licentioufnefs, to change his Numbers, as he does here: So no more need be faid on that Head. To fupple, 'tis well known, is to make pliant and flexible; and is particularly a Term in Surgery, when any Part, fwoln and stiff, is by Fomentations, &c. reduced, and made foft and pliable. To convince, here, is peculiar in its Senfe; it is not, as in the common Acceptation, to make fenfible of the Truth of any Thing by Reasons and Arguments; but to overcome, get the better of, &c. As the Ufage of the Term in this Sort is one of the Author's Singularities, I'll produce two or three Paffages, in Support of This before us, where it bears the fame Senfe.
And fo in* CYMBELINE, more aptly to the Place for which I bring these Authorities;
Your Italy containes None fo accomplish'd a Courtier to convince the Honour of
* Page 136.
At tandèm Manum de Tabula. ---. I have endeavour'd to acquit my felf of the Promifes CONCLUSION, made in my Introduction, and produc'd, and corrected, Errors throughout the Poet, numerous, when we confider This as a SPECIMEN only; of no Number, when compar'd with that unequal Quantity, which remain behind in Store to make our Author perfect. I may, indeed, fay with Mr. POPE, that I have gone thro' this Work with more Labour than I can expect Thanks: I have run a Rifque, and muft wait the Sentence of the Publick, whether I have gone upon a mistaken View of Reputation, or whether I have done any Thing to fet SHAKESPEARE in a clearer Light than his Editors have hitherto done. It is upon this Iffue I fhall be determin'd, whether I have already written too much on the Subject; or, whether I may promise my self Encouragement in profecuting a Design, that favours more of publick Spirit than private Intereft.
I ought to be in fome Pain for the Figure that these Sheets may make, this being the first Efay of literal Criticifm upon any Author in the ENGLISH Tongue. The Alteration of a Letter, when it reftores Senfe to a corrupted Paffage, in a learned Language, is an Atchievement that brings Honour to the Critick who advances it: And Dr. BENTLEY will be remember'd to Pofterity for his Performances of this Sort, as long as the World fhall have any Efteem for the Remains of Menander and Philemon. But I no more pretend to do Justice to that Great Man's Character, than I would be thought to fet my own poor Merit, or the Nature of this Work, in Competition with his.
I must expect fome Attacks of Wit, upon being engag'd in an Undertaking of fo much Novelty: The Affaults that are meerly idle, or meerly fplenatick, I fhall have the Refolution to defpife: And, I hope, I need be under no great Concern for Thofe, which can proceed from a generous Antagonist. Wherever I am mistaken, it will be a Pleafure to me to be corrected, fince the Publick will at the fame Time be undeceiv'd: And wherever I have the Luck to be right in any Obfervation, I flatter my felf, Mr. POPE himself will be pleas'd, that SHAKESPEARE receives fome Benefit.
But to pass from Apologies on Account of thefe Sheets, however they may be received, I have a Number of Pardons to beg of my SUBSCRIBERS, who have done me the Honour to wait fo long for my Translation of SCHYLUS. My best Plea will be, that I have, in this Interval, been at the Expence of Copper Plates to be prefix'd to each Play. that I may by Ornament, at least, make up in Part for the Defects of my own Power, And as the DISSERTATION, to be prefix'd to that Work, is defign'd a compleat Hiftory of the Ancient STAGE in all its Branches, I hope it will be agreed in my Favour, that the Materials for fuch a Collection must be inrich'd by the Delay..
Next Week will be Publish'd,
HE Lives and most remarkable Maxims of the Ancient Philofophers. Tranflated from the
French of the famous Monfieur Tenelon, Archbishop of Cambray.