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ON THE EDITORSHIP OF SHAKSPERE.
geries, and perversions of the text under fictitious names ?
Whatever admiration may be due to
many of the commentators, the expediency of re“ The work that has been done, is to be done again, plans must be devised.
form is unquestionable. It is manifest that other and no single edition will supply the reader with a text
As a step in the path of improvement, I would on which he can rely as the best copy of the works of Shakspeare." - Samuel Johnson, 1756.
suggest a bold and searchiny re-examination of
the principles of editorship with reference to the The course of Shaksperean editorship, with plays of Shakspere, and the formation of such a regard to the dramatic portion of his works, ex- series of rules as may accord with facts and comhibits four distinct phases: I. The separate pub- mon sense, and satisfy the majority of the best lication of sixteen plays, in the quarto form, in the critics. Important hints on those points occur in years 1597–1622 ; II. The publication of thirty, the prefaces to his dramatic works, but they are six plays in a folio volume, under the editorial sometimes much at variance with each other, and care of Heminge and Condell, in 1623 ; III. The they nowhere appear collectirely. Now, it is underepublication of the folio volume with the addi- niable that such a code of rules, even if not the tion of " seven playes never before printed in best that could be framed, would tend to the prefolio," in 1664; and IV. The republication of the servation of consistency; and, if unobjectionable thirty-six plays by Nicholas Rowe, by Pope, by in its main features, it might be productive of Theobald, by Hanmer and others, with the addi- much of the benefit which new editions can be tion of memoirs, critical essays, emendations of the expected to derive from learned supervision. In text, annotations, glossaries, etc.
re-editing a monographic volume, which had been The early quarto plays have become of such committed to the press by its author, we encounter extreme rarity as to defy acquisition, and the no serious difficulties, and therefore need only a folio of 1623, which should be the cynosure of few plain rules. It is much otherwise in the future editors, is almost as rare in a PERFECT state. case of Shakspere. The folio volume of 1623 Recourse must be had, in both instances, to public contains thirty-six separate compositions, of very and private collections.
The later folios carry no uncertain dates. It embraces a boundless variety authority, and the seven additional plays are held of theme; it displays almost every variety of to be spurious. As all the above volumes are style; and it was set forth by men of whose lielsewhere described with more or less exactness, terary qualifications we have not an atom of eviit is on the annotated editions only, and on the dence! Thence arise numBERLESS QUERIES, the spirit of annotation which has prevailed for near a solution of which calls for much research and century-and-a-half, that I propose to comment. critical sagacity; so that without the establishment
Reflecting on the events of this latter period, of just principles, and the formation of corresponand assuming that new editions of the plays of dent rules, there can neither be justness nor uniShakspere must always be in request, I come to formity of editorial execution. the conclusion that those which are now most in An attempt to frame such a series of rules is repute on the score of documents and annotations now submitted to public criticism. A rash attempt would be too voluminous if reprinted on the it may seem, but it is the result of deliberation; former plan of successive accumulation. The called into visible existence by the signs of the editions to which I allude are those of Johnson times. If the proposed rules should be condemned, and Steevens, and Malone – with the corrections or in part contested, I shall hold myself in readiand illustrations of various commentators. Both ness to come forward in their defence. If improvethose celebrated publicatiors were formerly in ten ments should be suggested — for which, doubtless, octavo volumes; but in the last angmented im- there is scope-I shall receive the suggestions pressions which were given to the public, by Reed thankfully. If the publication of the series should and Boswell respectively, they both form twenty- be pronounced superfluous, I engage to prove that one volumes. This increase of bulk was the almost all the rules which it contains have been growth of only thirty years, and more than thirty violateil, even in the course of one play, by the years have since elapsed. Is the accumulative best editors of our dramatist — and that some of system to be continued ? Are we always to ap- the most important of them have been violated proach Shakspere through a crowd of preface within the space of twenty lines. writers? Are we to accept memoirs and collections which have been superseded by the works
CANONS OF CRITICISM; APPLICABLE TO A NEW EDITION of more fortunate inquirers ? Are we to be satiated with the notes, the confutations of notes, Canon I. The preliminary matter, the number and the replies, and the rejoinders of former times? order of the plays, and their respective titles, shall be with historical facts nisapplied to fiction? with the same as in the edition which was set forth by Heparallel passages devoid of parallelism ? with for- minge and Condell in 1623.
OF THE PLAYS OF WILLIAM SHAKSPERE,
Canon II. The text of the plays, errors excepted, ter was as extraordinary as his own, Dr. Barebone, shall be that of 1623. collated with that of such of the the great builder and projector, of whom Roger plays as had been published in a finished state. deficient lists of characters shall be supplied on the North, in his yet unpublished Autobiography, has same plan as that of the tempest, and the current divi- given one of those speaking portraits which place
before us the living man beyond the possibility of sions into acts and scenes shall be adopted.
a mistake. Barebone was one of the sons of Cunon III. No emendations shall be admitted into the text but such as are requisite to give it the pro- baptism “ If-Jesus-Christ-had-not-died-for-thee
Praise-God Barebone, and was christened at his bable sense, or a more correct rhythm ; nor shall any other circumstance than the defective state of the text itself North informs us it was customary to omit all the
thou-had-been-damned” Barebone ; but Roger be held to justify such emendations. Canon IV. No additions shall be made to the plays, Barebone” or “ Damned Dr. Barebove.” being his
syllables the name except the last, “ Damned either in the shape of prefaces, or of lists of the characters, or of emendations of the text, or of divisions into ordinary appellation ; which, as his morals were acts and scenes or otherwise, without being indicated none of the best, appeared to suit him better than as such by brackets.
his entire baptismal prefix. Dr. Barebone-who as Canon V. No omission, or transposition, or other
the author of two of the ablest of our early comalteration shall be made, either in the text or in its mercial tracts, and as one of the most enterprising accompaniments, without a note describing it, and men this country ever produced, deserves a notice stating the evidence in favour of its adoption.
in an English biographical dictionary, when we shall Canon VI. The orthography shall be modern, when have one which is worthy of the name-died deeply not required to be otherwise for the sake of the mea- involved in debt, and in appointing Mr. Asgill as sure, or the rhyme, or to preserve a play upon words ; his executor, male it a request in his will that he but the preliminary matter of 1623 shall be printed should never pay his debts. What a scene it must literatim,
have been in Lincoln's Inn Hall, deserving all the Cunon VII. In the use of capitals, and in other graphic powers of Hogarth or Cruikshank, when to typographical particulars, there shall be a strict uni- the “monster” meeting of creditors whom he had formity of plan, which plan shall be described and ex- summoned to hear the will read, the executor, emplified. The punctuation shall be inserted as the after producing the will, and reading it through, context requires, and without regard to the early or and giving due emphasis to the request it conlate editions.
tained, subjoined with the greatest gravity, Canon VIII. The preface of each play shall record have heard, gentlemen, the Doctor's testument, and I the evidence of its authorship, the presumed date of its will religiously fulfil the will of the dead." As the composition, the peculiarities of all the editions of it writer of the MS. memoir justly observes, “ There previous to 1623, and the sources of its lot. The was not perhaps such another pair as the doctor notes shall be as concise as possible, and limited to the and the counsellor in the three kingdoms." establishment of the text, and the illustration of its
As some contribution to a future Life of Asgill, obscurities; rejecting all criticism on former commentators.
no complete list baving yet been given of his Canon IX. A glossarial index shall comprise the titles of the plays, the names of the characters, the obso
writings, I inclose the following, which is as corlete words and phrases, and the words used in an un
rect as I can at present make it. All the Tracts common sense, or with a peculiar accent, or which
are in my own possession. If any of your correotherwise seemed to require notes.
spondents can add to it, I shall be glad to see it
rendered more complete : Bolton CORNEY.
1. “ Several Assertions proved in order to create another Species of Money than Gold and Silver.” 1696, 8vo. p. 85. 2nd edit. 1720, 8vo. p. 46.
Essay on a Registry for Titles of Lands.” It is much to be regretted that the materials for
Lond. 1698, 8vo. p. 43. 4th edit. 1758, Svo. p. 44. a Life of this most original writer, whose wit is
It is reprinted in State Tracts (Will. III.), vol. ii. frequently as brilliant and effective as Swift's, are p. 693. so scanty. Dr. Campbell, who wrote the account Reply to some Reflections on Mr. Asgill's of Asgill in the first edition of the Biographia Brio Essay on a Registry.” 1699, 8vo. p. 39. tannicu, makes several references to a MŚ. Memoir This has never been reprinted. The Tract pube by his intimate friend Mr. A. N. Can any of your lished in State Tracts (Will
. III.); vol. ii. p. 704., correspondents inform me if this memoir is still in attributed to Asgill in the Bing: Brit. (title existence ? Dr. Kippis, who seems to bave been “ Asgill"), is evidently not written by him. in a blissful state of ignorance as to Asgill's real 4. “ An Argument proving that Man be
may character, and the meaning of his writings, has translated.”
1700, 8vo. p. 103. added no fresh facts to the account of his prede
5. “De Jure Divino, or the Assertion is that the
Title of the House of Hanover is a Title Hereditary." Asgill was the executor of a man whose charac- 1710, 8vo. p. 38.
LINES ON THE EARL OF CRAWFORD.
6. Essay for the Press.” 1712, Svo. p. 8. of Asgill's style, Dr. Davenant is severely ridi7. “ Mr. Asgill's Defence upon his Expulsion." culed.
JAMES CROSSLEY. 1712, 8vo. p. 87.
8. “ Mr. Asgill's Extract of the several Acts of Parliament for settling the Succession of the Crown." 1714, 8vo. p. 24. Published also with another title
These lines on the Earl of Crawford occur in a page :
“ Mr. Asgill's Apology.” 9. "The Pretender's Declaration abstracted.” 1714, volume of poems by W. Bewick, B.A., the second 8vo. p. 46. Published also with a new title-page edition of which was printed at Newcastle-on-Tyne “ History of Three Pretenders.” 1714, 8vo.
in 1752. I have copied them in case the editor 10. “Succession of the House of Hanover vindi- may think them worthy of insertion in “ N. & Q.” cated.” 1714, 8vo. p. 75.
They may perhaps be interesting to the noble “ Pretender's Declaration englished.” 1715, author of Lives of the Lindsays. 8vo. p. 24, Pretender's Declaration transposed." 1716,
“ ON THE RIGHT HONOURABLE JOHN EARL OF CRAWFORD,
AND HIS VALOUR AT THE BATTLE OF GROTZKA. 8vo. p. 19.
13. “ A Question upon Divorce.” 1717, 8vo. p. 20. « Descended from a family as good
You are the ornament of all your race,
What courage you have shown, illustrious Scot! 16. “ The complicated Question divided upon the In future ages will not be forgot : Bill relating to Peerage.” 1719, 8vo. p. 18.
When wicked infidels came crowding on 17. “ Brief Answer to a brief State of the Question With horsetails mov'd, and crescents of the moon; between the printed and painted Calicoes and the With frightful regiments of foot and horse, Woollen and Silk Manufactures.” 1719, 8vo. p. 22. In dreadful numbers, and with mighty force;
18. “ The British Merchant; or a Review of the With proud Bashaws, by Sultan's high command, Trade of Great Britain." Published in Numbers. With flaming scimiters in nervous hand, No. I., Nov. 10, 1719.
In Hungar plains against the Christian host, 19. “Computation of the Advantages saved to the At Grotzka, when the fatal day was lost, Public by the South Sea Scheme." 1721, 8vo. p. 24. You stood undaunted in the bloody field,
20. “ Extract of the Act passed 11 Geo. I., for the Withstood their fury, and disdain'd to yield, Relief of Insolvent Debtors; with Remarks, and a Amidst the clouds of smoke, when bullets shower'd, Postscript concerning Taxes.” 1729, 8vo. p. 32.
Amidst loud thunders, when dread cannons roar'd, 21. “ The Metamorphosis of Man. Part I.” 2nd You with a courage like a Lindsay fought, edit. 1729, Evo. p. 288.
Shunn'd not the enemy, but sought; 22. “ Asgill upon Woolston." 8vo. 1730, p. 36. Till crowding numbers overpowering you, 23. Essay upon Charity.” 8vo. 1731, p. 18. And fainting with your wounds, you weary grew; 24. “Mr. Asgill's Case.” Broadside, N. D. Folio. When wounded much, and ready to be killid,
25. “Mr. Holland's Answer to Mr. Asgill's Case Amidst your foes, they forced you off the field. replied to.” Broadside folio. N. D.
Who can the hero blame, when he has done
His best in battle, and is left alone : The last two were issued in 1707, and were re
Whose noble courage had sustain'd the test, plied to in two broadsides : Reasons humbly offered By crording numbers of the foe opprest, by Mr. Holland against Mr. Asgill; and Mr. Hol- Choked in his blood, wounds faming in his breast. land's Answer to Mr. Asgill's Case.
Thus when the news came spreading through the main, Of the Tracts enumerated only Nos. 5, 6, 7, The dismal news of noble Crawford slain 8, 9, 10, and 11. are included in the 8vo, with the When such unhappy tidings touch'd our ears title: A Collection of Tracts written by John As- How pallid were our looks, with sudden fears. gill, Esq. 1715, 8vo.
How much did we suspect the doubtful truth, Mr. Asgill's Congratulatory Letter to the Lord Believing we had lost the warlike youth ; Bishop of Sarum (Burnet), 1713, 8vo., is not
Whose peerless loss would Britons nearly touch, written by him.
The loss of one whom George aflects so much : The two best imitations of Asgill's style which
Which to his country had much dearer been, I have seen are, A Letter to the People, w be left
Than if a thousand others bad been slain.
But Providence the wounded much did save, for them at the Bookseller's ; with a Word or Two
And back again our noble Crawford gave; of the Bandbox Plot. 1712, 8vo. p. 15. Written
But not without returning deadly blows, by Tom. Burnet. And that in the Examiner,
And that with justice on his wicked foes. vol ii. No. 6., probably by Oldisworth.
Such was the courage of our British lord; To the list of Agvill's writings may, I think, also He pistold or he cut them down with sword, be adıled, though his name does not appear to it, And had but others equal courage shown, Dr. Darenant's Prophecies, 1713, 8vo.; in the in- The day which fatal was had been their own." troduction to which, which bears all the marks
E. II. A.
Christopher Hatton, and attached to one of the SIR HENRY WOTTON'S LETTER TO MILTOX,
pillars; and the inscription is given, but not very Most lovers of Comus bave often read with accurately, in Bridge's Northamptonshire (vol. ii. interest Sir H. Wotton's “Letter to Milton," which p. 280., Oxford, 1791, fol.). I transcribed for is in many editions prefixed. The initials M. B. myself as follows: refer to Michael Brainthwaite, who succeeded
“ Memoriæ Sacrum Wotton at Venice; and S. refers to the young Thome Randolphi (dum inter pauciores) Fælicissimi Lord Scudamore, whose father resided at Paris as et facillimi ingenii Juvenis necnon majora promitambassador for King Charles I. Todd rightly tentis si fata virum non invidissent sæculo. suggests, from an old MS. note, that H. must have
Here sleepe thirteenc been John Hales of Eton (the “memorable"), and
Together in one tombe, not Samuel Hartlib, as Thomas Warton bad sup- And all these greate, yet quarrell not for rome: posed.
The Muses and yo Graces teares did meete It is strange that I too possess a copy of the And gravid these letters on yo churlish sheete, third edition of Wotton's Reliquiæ (London,
Who having wept their fountaines drye
Through the conduit of the eye, 1672), with many MS. notes in an old and scholar
For their freind who here does lye,
Crept into his grave and dyed,
And soe the Riddle is untyed.
For web this Church, proud ye the Fates bequeath Bibliotheca Ambulans (Rel., p. 475.); that he re
Unto her ever honour'd trust joiced when Archbishop Laud preferred him to a Soe much and that soe precious dust, prebendaryship of Windsor (Ib. p. 369.); that Hath crown'd her Temples with an luye wreath, they lived together on most intimate terms; and Wch should have Laurelle beene that, finally, Hales attended Wotton in his dying But y' the grieved plant to see him dead moments (Walton's Life of Sir H. W. ad calcem).
Tooke pet and withered. Indeed (unless I mistake) Samuel Hartlib had not settled in England at this time, so that we may Cujus cineres brevi hac (qua potuit) imortalitate put him out of the question for ever.
donat Christopherus Hatton, Miles de Balneo et Mu. To me the mysterious part of Wotton's " Letter sarū amator, illius vero (quem deflemus) supplendâ to Milton," seems to lie in the initials “R" and carminibus quæ marmoris et æris scandalum mane“the late R' poems.” And I should be very glad bunt perpetuum." to know how far Thomas Warton's observations
Rr. upon them could stand the lynx-eyed scrutiny of Warmington. MR. CROSSLEY, or some of your other correspondents. Why the first R. must necessarily mean John Rouse of the Bodleian (though Milton did honour him at a later period with some Latin verses), Cure for the Ague. — About a mile from Berkor the second R. Thomas Randolph, the adopted bampstead, in Hertfordshire, on a spot where two son of Ben. Jonson, I am unable to perceive. roads cross each other, are a few oak trees called
Warton is wrong in saying that it appears from cross oaks. Here aguish patients used to resort, his monument, which he had seen in Blatherwycke and peg a lock of their hair into one of these oaks, Church, Northamptonshire, that Randolph had then, by a sudden wrench, transfer the lock from died on the 17th of March, 1634. His monument their heads to the tree, and return home with the contains no date whatsoever. I visited the above- full conviction that the ague had departed with mentioned church on the 17th of June ult., with the severed lock. Persons now living affirun they the express purpose of sceing the last resting. have often seen hair thus left pegged into the oak, place, or the last memorial, of one who, however for one of these trees only was endowed with the unfortunate himself, was, in Warton's note at all healing power. The frequency of failure, howevents, associated with Milton's Comus, and send ever, to cure the disease, and the unpleasantness the inscription verbatim.
of the operation, have entirely destroyed the poWood tells us that Randolph died in March pular faith in this remedy; but that expedients 1634, at the house of William Stafford of Blather- | quite as absurd and superstitious, and even more wycke, and that he was buried on the 17th day of disgusting, are still practised to recensere the same month“ in an ile joining to B. Church, fully proved by several instances recorded in among the Stafford family.” In this he is followed "N. & Q." by the Biographia Britannica, from whence, as And bere I must express, what will be mscription was Randolph's friend Peter Hanstead opinion, that education alone has not, and will not, well as from Wood, I learn that the author of the sidered by some of its readers an extraordinary of Cambridge. The tablet on which it is written expel superstition. It may change its character, is of white marble, erected at the expense of Sir but it will not rid the mind of its baneful in
IN THE INSEPARABLE PAR- TICLES IN SHAKSPEARE.
fluence. Superstition, I believe, may be proved The printer has, singularly enough, committed
son suggested : superstitious notions and practices among the
“ Yet better thus unknown," &c. higher classes, and they abound, be also included. I am prepared to contribute some instances, and I
Edgar could not mean to say that he was known shall do it the more readily when a definite and in his disguise! The plain meaning must be, “ It useful object is known to be in view. W. H. K.
is better to be contemned in this beggarly disguise
unknown, than in my true rank and character to
which, from its pseudo-Collins character, might
“ O Lewis, stand fast; the devil tempts thee here PRINTER'S ERRORS
In likeness of a new untrimmed bride."
bride." Among the most frequent causes of obscurity in
And Dr. Richardson, in his excellent the text of the old editions, this stands pre-eminent. Dictionary, suggests that untrimmed was a mere corThe instances are many and manifold. Two pasa reader of our early drama is so much indebted,
ruption of entrimmed. MR. DYCE, to whom every sages in the play of King Lear have occurred to me, which need, I think, only be pointed out to
informs me that he hastily fell into the views of carry conviction even to the most rigid stickler the commentators regarding the meaning of untrimfor the integrity of the old copies.
med, but that he is now convinced it is here simply In Act II. Sc. 1., where Edmund misrepresents
an error of the printer for uptrimmed ; a mistake to his father his encounter with his brother Edvar, easily made at press. Trimmed up, and decked up, he says: “Full suddenly he fled.” On which were the current phrases applied to a bride dressed Gloucester exclaims :
for her nuptials. We have both phrases in Romeo
and Juliet: Capulet says to the nurse, * Let him Ay far : Not in this land shall he remain uncaught,
“ Go waken Juliet, go and trim her up." And found; dispatch, the noble Duke my master He had previously said to his wife : comes to-night."
“Go thou to Juliet, help to deck her up." Thus the passage stands in the first folio. The It is satisfactory, by such a simple and unVariorum Edit., which is followed by Mr. COLLIER doubted correction, to get rid of heaps of idle and Mr. Knight, prints it as if the sense was
babble and verbiage about a word that the poet interrupted, and entirely departs from the punc- certainly never wrote, and certainly never contuation of the old copy, thus:
ceived, with the meaning that some of the com“ Let him fly far ;
mentators would give to it. This will be evident Not in this land shall be remain uncaught;
from a passage in his eighteenth sonnet : And found — Dispatch— The noble Duke my master
“ And every fair from fair sometimes declines, comes to-night."
By chance, on Nature's changing course, untrimmid." We have not a word to tell us of the innovation,
S. W. SINGER. which was certainly uncalled for. The context plainly shows that we should read, preserving the punctuation of the folio: Let him fly far ;
I cannot pretend to any acquaintance with Not in this land shall he remain uncaught, Dr. Cumming's works, which appear to be at preUnfound ;" &c.
sent very popular, and am therefore unable to say
DR. CUMMING ON ROMANS VIII.