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there were twin Demetrius's like the two Sofia's in the farce.
- From Gemellus comes the French, Gemeau or Jumeau, and in the feminine, Gemelle or Jumelle : So in Macon's translation of the Decameron of Bocace" Il avoit trois filles plus agees que les malles, des quelles les deux qui estoient jumelles avoient quinze ans. Quatrieme Jour. Nov. 3.
WAR B. TREOB. & CAP. Ibid.] This emendation is ingenious enough to deserve to be true.
Johnson. P. 142. 1. 28. Patch'd fool.] That is, a fool in a particoloured coat.
Johnson. P. 143. 1. 7. In the former editions : Peradverture, to make it the more gracious, I shall fing at her death.] At whose death? In Bottom's speech there is no mention of any
shecreature, to whom this relation can be coupled. I make not the least scruple, but Bottom, for the sake of jest, and to render his Voluntary, as we may call it, the more gracious and extraordinary, said ;-I shall sing it after death He, as Pyramus, is killed upon the scene; and so might promise to rise again at the conclusion of the interlude, and give the duke his dream by way of song. The source of the corruption of the text is very obvious. The fin after being funk by the vulgar pronunciation, the copyist might write it from the sound, -a'ter: which the wise editors not understanding, concluded, two words were erroneously got together; so, splitting them, and clapping in an b, produced the present reading
THEOB. & CAP. L. 21.) A thing of nought, which Mr. Theobald changes with great pomp to a tbing of naught, is a good for norbing ibing.
Johnson. L. 24. Made Men.] In the same fense as in the Tempeft, any monster in England makes a man.
Johnson. P. 144. 1. 24. &c.] These beautiful lines are in all the old -editions thrown out of metre. They are very well restored by the later editors.
Johnson. P. 145. 1. 16. Tbat if he would but apprebend— ] The quarto of 1600 reads, Tbat if it - i. e, the imagination; and this is right.
WARB. L. 23. Conftancy. ] Confiftency; ftability; certainty.
JOHNSON. P. 146. 1. 6. Call Philoftrate] Call Egæus, edit. 1632,
and Egæus answers to his name there, and every where else in that old edition.
Gray, L. 13.] This is printed as Mr. Theobald gave it from both the old quartos. In the first folio, and ali the following editions, Lysander reads the catalogue, and Theseus makes the remarks.
JOHNSON. P. 146. 1. 21. The tbrice three Mufes, &c.] This seems to be intended as a compliment te Spencer, who wrote a poem called the “ The tears of the Muses." He seems to have paid his friend another, in the second Act, where he makes the queen of fairies say to the king,
But I know
To am'rous Phillida, intimating that the pastorals of that poet were so sweet, that it was a superior being under the disguise of a mortal who composed them. WAR.
L. 22. Beggary.] I do not know whether it has been before observed that Shakespeare here, perhaps, alluded to Spenser's poem, entitled, “ The Tears of the Muses," on the neglect and contempt of learning. This pieee first appeared in quarto, with others, 1591. The oldest edition of this play, now known, is dated 1600. If Spenser's poem be here intended, may we not presume that there is some earlier edition of this play? But, however, if the allusion be allowed, at least it serves to bring the play below 1591.
WARTON. L. 28. Merry and tragical? tedious and brief?
That is bot Ice, and wondrous Arange Snow.] The nonsense of the last line should be corrected thus,
That is, hot Ice, a wondrous Atrange Thew! WAR. Ibid..] Read, not improbably,
And wondrous strange black snow. Upton and CAP. P. 147. 1. 20. Unless you can find sport in their intents.] Thus all the copies. But as I know not what it is to Stretch and con an intent, I suspect a line to be löst. John.
P. 148. 1. 1. And what poor duty cannot do, noble respect
Takes it in might, not merit.] What ears have these poetical editors, to palm this line upon us as a verse of Shakespeare ? 'Tis certain, an epithet had nipt out, and I have ventured
to restore such a one, (poor willing duty,) as the sense may difpense with; and which makes the two verses flowing and perfect.
THEOB. and CAPELL. Ibid.) And what poor duty cannot,
Noble respect takes it in might, not merit. The sense of this passage, as it now stands, if it has any sense, in this. What the inability of duty cannot perform, regardful generosity receives as an act of ability though not of merit. The contrary is rather true: What dutifulness tries to perform without ability, regardful generosity receives as tiaving the merit, though not the power, of complete performance.
We should therefore read,
Noble respect takes not in might, but merit. John, L. 23.] We do not come as minding to content you,
Our true intent is all for your delight,
The Actors are at han'; &c.) Thus Mr. Pope, deviating from all the old copies, has, unfortunately pointed this paffage ; for the whole glee and humour of the prologue is in the actor's making false rests, and so turning every member of the sentences into Aagrant nonsense.
THEOBALD. P. 149. 1. 22. Wkich Lion hight by name.) As all the other Parts of this Speech are in alternate Rhyme, excepting that it closes with a Couplet; and as no Rhyme is left to, name; we must conclude, either that a Verse is nipt out, which cannot now be retriev'd : or, by a Transposition of the Words, as I have placed them, the Poet intended a Triplet. Theo. L. 29.
bloody blameful blade.) Mr. Upton rightly observes that Shakespeare in this line ridicules the affectation of beginning many words with the same letter. He might have remarked the fame of
The raging Rocks
And thivering Shocks. Gascoigne, contemporary with our poet, remarks and blames the same affectation.
JOHNSON P. 150. I. 10.) Snout by name. VULG. Flute by name.
P. 151. I. 19.) Limander and Helen, are spoken by the blundering player, for Leander and Hero. Shafalus and Procrus, for Cephalus and Procris.
JOHNSON. L. 29.). Thes. Now is the Mural down between the two
Neighbours. Dem. No remedy, my lord, when walls are so wilful to hear
without warning.) Shakespear could never write this nonsense : we should read “ to rear without warning.”. i. e. It is no wonder that walls should be suddenly down, when they were as suddenly up ;
“ rear'd without warning.
WARBURTON and CAPELL. P. 152. 1. 7. Here come two noble beasts in a Man and a Lion.) I don't think the Jeft here is either compleat, or right. It is differentiy pointed in several of the old Copies, which, I suspect, may lead us to the true Reading, viz.
Here come two noble Beafts
in à Man and a Lion. immediately upon Theseus saying this, enter Lion and Moonshine. It seems vary probable therefore, that our Author wrote,
in a Moon and a Lion. the one having a Crescent and a Lanthorn before him, and representing the Man in the Moon; the other in a Lion's hide.
THEOBALD. P. 153. 1. 5.) An Equivocation. Snuff signifies both the cinder of a candle, and hasty anger.
Johnson. P. 155. 1. 13. And thus fhe means -) Thus all the Editions have it. It should be, thus the moans ; i. e. laments over her dead Pyramus.
THEOBALD. L. 20.) These lilly Lips, this cherry Nose.) All Thisby's Lamentation, till now, runs in regular Rhyme and Metre. Put both, by some Accident, are in this single Instance interrupted. I suspect the Poet wrote;
These lilly Brows,
This cherry Nose, Now black Brows beirig a Beauty, lilly Brows are as ridiculous as a cherry Nose, green Eyes, or Cowlip Cheeks. THE.
P. 156. 1. 28. In the old copies : Ard the Wolf beholds the Moon.) As 'tis the Design of these Lines to characterize the Animals, as they present themselves at the Hour of Midnight; and as the Wolf is not juftly characteriz'd by saying he beholds the Moon ; which all other Beasts of Prey, then
awake, do: and as the Sounds these Animals make at that Season, seem also intended to be represented ; I make no Question but the Poet wrote;
And the Wolf behowls the Moon. For so the Wolf is characteriz'd, it being his peculiar Property to howl at the Moon. (Behowl, as bemoan, befeem, and an hundred others.)
WARBURTON. P. 157. 1. 15. I am sent with broom before,
To sweep the dust bebind i be door. Cleanliness was always necessary to invite the residence and favour of Fairies.
Thefe make our Girls their sutt’ry rue
DRAYTON. L. 18. Through this bouse give glimmering ligbt.) Milton perhaps had this picture in his thought.
Glowing embers through the room
Teach light to counterfeit a gloom. Il Penseroso. So Drayton.
Hence shadows seeming idle shapes
As hope of pasti.re haftes them.
Through this House in glimmering Light. JOHNSON. L. 28.] This speech, which both the old quartos give to Oberon, is in the Edition of 1623, and in all the following, printed as the song. I have restored it to Oberon, as it apparently contains not the blessing which he intends to bestow on the bed, but his declaration that he will bless it, and his orders to the Fairies how to perform the necessary rites. But where then is the song ?-İ am afraid it is gone after many other things of greater value. The truth is that two songs are loft. The series of the Scene is this; after the speech of Puck, Oberon enters, and calls his Fairies to a song, which song is apparently wanting in all the copies. Next Titania leads another song which is indeed lost like the former, though the Editors have endeavoured to find it. Then Oberon dismisses his Fairies to the dispatch of the ceremonies.