Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

"But murdred is my father, and of him remains but me."

lb. p. 377. And to this line of Titus Andronicus, Act Y. Sc. 2, in the folio of 1623: —

44 Good Murder stab him, he's a Murtherer"

Now, did Sir Thomas Smith and William "Warner pronounce hundred, and murther in one breath, and hundreth and murder in the next, and did William Shakespeare pronounce -murder and 7nurther in one? I cannot believe it; but I do believe (to reach in a few words the conclusion of this too long Note) that in the Elizabethan era, and, measurably, down to the middle of the seventeenth century, d, th, and t were indiscriminately used to express a hardened and perhaps not uniform modification of the Anglo-Saxon §; a sound like which we now hear in the French pronunciation of meurtre, and which has survived, with other pronunciations of the same period, in the Irish pronunciations of 'murder,' 'further,' 4 after,' 4 water,' &c, in all of which the sound is neither d, th, nor t. See the Note on the pronunciation of 4 murther/ (Vol. III. p. 227,) which subjected the writer to the imputation in the Atlantic Monthly of having inconsistently said that that word had this pronunciation, merely "in order to sustain his anti th theory." And see, finally, the following phonographic evidence upon this point in books of the Elizabethan period: —

44 And afther great extremity mishaps ay waxen less."

Romeus and Juliet; 1562, Ed. Collier, p. 44.

44 Alas soverayn kinge Jesus Cryst that . . . hath shede leather and bloud fro your precious side."

Hey las Knight of the Swan, (about 1550,) Ed. Thorns, p. 38.

My memory assures me that evidence as to this particular point would accumulate upon my hands, had I time to give special attention to this subject. As to the mere hard pronunciation of th, I have not cited a tithe of the examples at my hand. (See the Notes on 44 th' one with th' other," Vol. III. p. 325, "note, notes, forsooth, and nothing," lb. p. 327; 44 Enter Moth," lb. p. 449; "which to annotanize," lb. p. 459; "Peasblossom, Cobweb, Mote," &c, Vol. IV. p. 110; "Call'd Katharina," lb. p. 492; "th' one to th' other," Vol. V. p. 119; "his company anatomiz'd," lb. p. 137, and Vol. VI. p. 531; "Henry the Eift," Vol. VII. p. 119, and "that keep this dreadful pother," Vol. XL p. 341.) Looking at the next memorandum, the reader will discover, if he does not already know, that Bermoothes {The Tempest, Act I. Sc. 2) and Bermudas are merely two ways of writing the same word, expressing the same sound.

U

U, when not followed by e, had very commonly that sound (very unfitly indicated by oo) which it has in ' rude,' 'crude,' and the compounds of 'rude,' and of which the 'furnifoor,' 'literatoor,' 'matoor,' of old-fashioned, though not illiterate, New England folk is a remnant. Such phonographic spellings as the following, of which I have numerous memorandums, leave no doubt upon this point: 'ugly' ougly, 'gun' goon, 'run' roon, 'clung' cloong, 'spun' spoon, 'curl' coorte, and conversely, * poop' pup, 'gloom' glum, 'gloomy' glumy. In England's Parnassus, 'bud,' 'blood,' 'cud,' 'flood,'' good,' 'hood,' 'mud,' 'sud,' 'understood,' and * wood,' are given;as rhymes. Here, owing to the late date of the book in question, (1657,) the oo is of course no longer the prolonged o. See above under OO. (See the Notes on "Puck," Yol. IV. p. 101, and on "Fortune's mood," Vol. V. p. 143.)

UBE.

That ure final was generally, if not universally, pronounced er among even the most polite and literate of our Elizabethan ancestors, no observant reader of the books of their day, or even those of the latter part of the seventeenth century, need be told. Milton himself spelled 'venture' venter; e. g., Comus, 1. 228, 1673. In Hugh Jackson's Garden of Eloquence, Lond. 1577, a book on rhetoric, we have, "To care for nurter is love," Sig. q iii.; "a hope of fitter diligence," Sig. Tiii.; and we find 'jointure* as often spelled jo^er, as jointure. In Honour's Academy, 1610, Book II. p. 32, I notice 'torture' spelled tortor; in Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, Part I. Sec. 4, p. 274, Ed. 1621, "Prometheus . . . by a mdter devoured as poets fame " — a spelling as common as the orthographic one; and in Albion's England, Ed. 1602, p. 165, we have even the converse example of 'monster' spelled monsture. But the point is so indisputable, and the evidence upon it so obvious and' unmistakable, that even thus much of illustration is superfluous. (See the Notes on "jointure," Vol. IV. p. 494, "roundure," Vol. VI. p. 112, and "wafturc," Vol. X. p. 407.)

Some readers may shrink from the conclusions to which the foregoing memorandums lead, because of the strangeness, and, as they will think, the uncouthness, of the pronunciation which they involve. They will imagine Hamlet exclaiming, —

'< a baste that wants discoorse of ray son

Wou/d halve moorn'd longer "!

"O, me prophetic soiol! me ooncle" I

"A broken voice, and his whole foonction shooting
Wit forms to his consayt, and all for noting"!

and, overcome by the astonishing effect of the passages thus spoken, they will refuse to believe that they were ever thus pronounced out of Ireland. But let them suppose that such was the pronunciation of Shakespeare's day, and they must see that our orthoepy would have sounded as strange and laughable to our forefathers as theirs does to us. And as to the mutability of pronunciation, changes as great as those which are indicated in this monograph have taken place in many words within the memory of men yet living.* Pronunciation, in living languages, is ever shifting; and the usage of the most cultivated people is its only guide. And thus it is that though orthography may be simplified, phonography is an illogical, rude, and puerile device, which cannot be adopted in the advanced stages of any language.

* Apropos of recent changes, see the following passages in Boswell's Life of Johnson, which I had never read when the above memorandums were written. The Doctor speaks : — " When I published the Plan for my Dictionary, Lord Chesterfield told me that the word great should be pronounced so as to rhyme with state; and Sir William Yonge sent me word that it should be pronounced so as to rhyme to seat, and that none but an Irishman would pronounce it grait. Now, here were two men of the highest rank, the one the best speaker in the House of Lords, the other the best speaker in the House of Commons differing entirely." This passage furnishes us, with an instance in which the introduction of a new pronunciation of one word, greet for ' great,' was checked, while an analogous change in another, 'seat,' prevailed. See the memorandum upon EA. I notice also in the same work (year 1776) that "the great lexicographer" pronounced 'punch' poonch, and that Garrick himself said shupreme and shuperior. (See the memorandums on ,#and V.)

TABLE OF READINGS, &c,

FIRST GIVEN IN THIS AMONG EDITIONS OE THE PRESENT CENTURY, AND OE THE SOURCES WHENCE THEY ARE DERIVED.

The following table indicates the textual points, and those relating to the history of the several plays, in which this edition differs from those which have preceded it in the present century; and also the sources of these readings, and the originators of these critical views. In certain cases the initials of the editor's name precede the date of a folio or a 4to. text. This signifies the restoration, or the establishment, of that reading,with a new exegesis.

VENUS AND ADONIS.

Stan. 5. p. 34. "Passion on passion doubly is redoubled.35 R. G. w.

Stan. 2. p. 36. "Some twine about her thigh." R. G. w.

LUCRECE.

Stan. 1. p. 73. "Yet foul night walking cat." (Suggested.) R. G. w. Stan. 4." "Mend thy ill aim." R. G. w.

PASSIONATE PILGRIM.

XIV. p. 137. "And set her person forth to sell." (R. G. w.), 1599.

"p. 138. "Think women seek to strive with men
To sin and never for to saint;
Here is no heaven: be holy then
When time and age shall thee attaint." R. G. W.

SONNETS.

XXII. p. 164. "Then look I death my days should expirate." R. G. w.

XXV. p. 165. "The valiant warrior famoused for worth." 1609.

"""Is from the book of honour razed forth." Theobald.

(439)

LXII. p. 184. "Beaten and chapp'd with tann'd antiquity." E. G. w. LXVI. p. 186. "And strength by limping sway disableitd." R. G. w.

THE TEMPEST.

Act I. Sc. 1. "Bring her to °. try wi' th' maincourse." w. Story.

Act II. Sc. 1. "Seb. [Not Ant.] So you're paid." R. G. w.

"Sc. 2. "While Stephano breathes at's nostrils." R. G. \v.

"" The metrical form here and elsewhere of

all of Caliban's speeches. R. G. w.

Act III. Sc. 1. "Most busiest when I do it." Holt White.

"Sc. 3. "We will take throughly." R. G. w

""« Each putter out on five for one." Theobald.

Act IV. Sc 1. "Come with a thought: I thank thee, Ariel." 1623.

Act V. Sc. 1. "Of these our dear belov'd solemni-zed." 1623.

Epilogue. Not by Shakespeare. R. G. w.

THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA.

Act I. Sc. 1. "Nod-ay! why, that's noddy." (r. G. W.)> 1623.

"Sc. 2. "What 'fool is she." (R. G. w.), 1623.

Act II. Sc. 3. "0, that shoe could speak now like an

old woman." Pope, R. G. W.

"Sc. 4. "I need not 'cite him to it." (r. G. W.), 1623.

"a "-—makes other ivorth as nothing." R. G. W.

Act III. Sc. 1. "There is a lady of Verona here." R. G. W.

"""She is not to be fasting in respect of

her breath." (R. G. w.), 1623.

Act V. Sc. 4. "Verona shall not hold thee." (r. G. W.)» 1623.

THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR.

Introduction. The order and date of the production of the Falstaff plays, and the evidence of the hasty writing of the first sketch of this comedy. R. G. W.

Act I. Sc. 1. "The salt fish is an old coat." (R. G. w.), 1623.

"Sc. 2. "Upon familiarity will grow more content." (R. G. w.), 1623.

"Sc. 3. "-—■ my bully-rock." R. G. w.

« AnteriorContinuar »