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And, I think, what I hold a mere vexation
Cannot be safe from him.” where the later old eds. give, as the sense demands, “ for."
SCENE 1.-C. p. 246.
A pair of tribunes, that have wreck'd for Rome,
To make coals cheap, a noble memory!" “ The meaning of this passage seems to have been hitherto mistaken, and therefore always printed,
A pair of tribunes that have rack'd for Rome,
To make coals cheap : A noble memory!' Menenius intends to say that the tribunes have wrecked a noble memory for Rome by occasioning its destruction. Mr. Amyot concurs in this new interpretation. In the old copies it is printed wrack'd, the ordinary orthography of the time for wreck'd,' and not for rack'd.” COLLIER.
In spite of Mr. Amyot's approbation, I cannot but think that Mr. Collier has pointed and interpreted this passage most erroneously. The first folio gives it literatim thus ;
' A paire of 'Tribunes, that have wrack'd for Rome,
To make Coales cheape : A Noble memory.” where (as the other modern editors rightly understand the word) “wrack’d" is merely the old (and not very unusual) spelling of “rack'd :” so in King Lear, act v. sc. 3, according to the three earliest folios;
· he hates him,
Stretch him out longer." in Beaumont and Fletcher's Faithful Friends, act i. scene 1, according to the ms. (now before me) from which Weber published that play; “ My Soules wrackt, till
dissolue i. e.
“ My soul is rack'd, till you dissolve my fears."
and in the 4to, 1640, of Fletcher's Bloody Brother, or Rollo Duke of Normandy, act i. sc. 1;
Why is this warre then ?
Not set upon the wracks ?”
(Several other words, which, according to our present orthography, commence with the letter r, were formerly sometimes written with wr: for instance, in Shakespeare's Henry VIII. act i. sc. 1, all the folios have
“ and like a glasse Did breake ith' wrenching.” i. e. as all the modern editors print, rinsing ;" in Lyly's Maides Metamorphosis, 1600, sig. F 3, we find,
“ I wreake not of such loue.” i. e. “reck;" in the ms. of The Faithful Friends above mentioned, act iii. sc. 3,
“ And am transported into paradice,
Wrapt aboue apprehension, to behold,” &c. i. e. " Rapt;" in Cartwright's verses To the Memory of Ben Johnson Laureat,-Works, 1651, p. 311,
“ Father of Poets, though thine own great Day
Struck from thyself, scorns that a weaker wray
Kindled from thine, flies upward towards thy name.” i. e. “ray;" and in two Addresses To the Readers prefixed to the Duchess of Newcastle's Playes, 1662, “a good memory to learn, and get the Parts by heart or wrote” (Sec. Ad.).... “ so as they only Act as Parrots speak, by wrote” (Fourth Ad.), i. e. "rote").
“A noble memory!" is spoken ironically, -"memory" meaning here 'memorial,' as in act iv. sc. 5 of the present play, and in innumerable passages of early writers, besides the following one;
· Turn all the stories over in the world yet,
Fletcher's Mad Lover, act v. sc. 4.
Besides, is not Mr. Collier's “ new interpretation” inconsistent with the feelings of an ancient Roman, who would have scorned the very idea of Rome's “memory” being “ wreck’d,” even if the Volscians had burned the city to the ground?
[Vol. vi. COLLIER; Sup. vol., Doubtful Plays, &c., Pict. ed. Knight.*]
SCENE 2.-C. p. 286 ; K. p. 13.
“In readiness for Hymeneus stand."
SCENE 2.-C. p. 288. “ My lord, -to step out of these dreary dumps," &c. “ The folio 'sudden dumps,' which is evidently wrong.” COLLIER.
The reading of the folio, " sudden," is a misprint for "sullen.”
SCENE 1.-C. p. 320.
“ Lavinia, thou shalt be employed in these things." “The two quartos have arms for 'things :' 'things' is certainly a poor word; but it is not perhaps possible to ascertain for what arms was misprinted in the earlier copies.” Collier.
The reading of the quartos, "arms,” is undoubtedly a misprint for “aims :" see p. 130 of the present work.
SCENE 2.-C. p. 353.
Tit. I know thou dost; and, sweet Revenge, farewell.”.
* See note, p. 158.
ROMEO AND JULIET.
[Vol. vi. COLLIER ; vol. vii. Knight.]
Scene 1.-C. p. 375 ; K. p. 286. “ Sam. 'Tis all one, I will show myself a tyrant: when I have fought with the men, I will be civil with the maids ; I will cut off their heads.
Gre. The heads of the maids ?
“ The quarto, 1597, has not the word; but the quartos, 1599 and 1609, together with the folio, 1623, have' civil.' It was perhaps a misprint for cruel, as the undated edition gives it; but Sampson may mean to speak ironically.” Collier.
Mr. Knight also retains “civil"!!—That Beaumont and Fletcher saw no civility in such a proceeding, is evident from the following parallel passages; “ A cannibal, that feeds on the heads of maids, Then flings their bones and bodies to the devil.”
this common hangman, That hath whipt off the heads of a thousand maids already,” &c.
The Custom of the Country, act i. sc. 1.
SCENE 1.-C. p. 380; K. p. 290.
Ere he can spread his sweet leaves to the air,
Or dedicate his beauty to the same.” Mr. Collier, who has taken the trouble to chronicle a great many wretched conjectures, does not even mention Theobald's emendation of the present passage—"sun, or, according to the more obsolete spelling, sunne," -- an emendation which has been adopted by Steevens and by Mr. Knight, and which I have not the slightest doubt is the genuine reading. Both sun and son were very frequently written sunne and sonne, and hence