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are perhaps the most striking examples of undoubtedly right readings in the Quartos corrupted, through negligence, in the Folio.

Act I. sc. i. For equalities are so weighed —'qualities' in the Folio. I shall, my liege—'lord' in Folio. Which the most precious square of sense possesses— professes' in Folio. The observation we have made of it hath not been little-not' is omitted in the Folio.

Act I. sc. iv. You are much more attask'd-at task' in Folio.

Act II. sc. i. lanc'd mine arm—latch'd' in Folio. potential spurs-spirits' in Folio. I have heard strange news—strangenesse' in Folio.

Act II. sc. ii. Bring oil to fire— Being' in Folio. Dread exploit- Dead' in Folio.

Act II. sc. iv. Of her confine-his'in Folio.
Act III. sc. iv. through ford_sword' in Folio.

Act III. sc. vi. Or bobtail tike- tight' in Folio. Dogs leap' leapt' in Folio.

Act III. sc. vii. All cruels else subscrib'd_subscribe' in Folio..
Act IV. sc. ii. Who thereat enraged—'threat' in Folio.
Act IV. sc. iv. In the good man's distress—desires' in Folio.

Act IV. sc. vi. touch me for coining—'crying' in Folio. small vices do appear—'great' in folio.

Act V. sc. iii. Whose age has charms—'had ' in Folio. made them skip—him'in Folio.

We pass over the doubtful readings which may be decided according to individual preference, as just because of this doubtfulness, they have no weight in deciding the question before us; and we sum up our investigations in the following words :

Having traced the variations between the Quarto and the Folio texts to their true source, we are led to the conclusion—That there is no evidence for the supposition that Shakspere himself revised this drama.




Read at the 14th Meeting of the Society, Friday, March 12, 1875.

SHAKSPERE's accuracy in using terms of art is so great, that one apparent exception has been made a text for theory, but never hitherto explained. Juliet says to the friar

“Are you at leisure, holy father, now,

Or shall I come to you at evening mass ?” The phrase "evening mass' is held to show a thorough ignorance of the usages of the Catholic Church.

But we must first note that in this play evening' means afternoon, and no more. Rom. II. iv. 114: "Is it good den ?" asks the nurse ; “ Yes,” says Mercutio, “the hand of the dial is on the prick of noon.” Here, at least, evening begins at 12 o'clock. And next we must note with respect to the canonical times for mass, that the present rubric of the missal allows-1. Low mass at any time from dawn to noon. 2. Conventual and high-mass on Sundays and festivals after Tierce. On simple feasts and week-days, after Sext; in Advent, Lent, Ember days, and Vigils, after nones. 3. Requiem mass, on all souls' day, after nones, as also on the day of the funeral or the months' mind, or anniversary. 4. Votive masses after nones. The proper hour for the service called Tierce was originally 9 A. M.; for Sext, 12, noon; for nones, 3 P. M. Hence, so far as words go, the present rubric prescribes or allows evening masses.

And in ancient times the custom agreed with these words. Tempus missæ faciendæ, says Walafrid Strabo, de rebus ecclesiasticis, c. 23, secundum rationem solemnitatum diversum est. Interdum enim ante meridiem, interdum circa nonam, aliquando ad vesperam, interdum noctu celebrant. And Martene, de antiquis Ecclesiæ ritibus, 1. c. iii. Art. IV., gives notices of solemn masses said on fast-days at 3 o'clock, in Lent in the evening, and at night at Christmas, Easter Eve, St John Baptist, and days of Ordination. As for low masses "we think they were said at any hour which did not interfere with the high-mass.” Then he gives several examples, and then concludes. * This shows that low mass might be said at any hour, dawn, 8 A. M., noon, after nones (3 P. M.), evening, and after Compline (night). Even to this day (1699) in the Church of St Denis the Bishop says the solemn mass for the Kings of France in the evening, and in the Church of Rouen on Ascension day mass is often said in the evening.'

Pope Pius V. (1566-1572) forbad afternoon and evening masses under pain of suspension. But there is no reason why this new law should have influenced the isolated and fanatically conservative English priests, if there was a custom among them of saying afternoon masses. It was very slow in influencing the Spanish practice (Navarr. lib. de Orat. c. 21, n. 31, et Enchirid. Confess. c. 25, n. 85). It was so slow in penetrating Germany, that it had to be enforced by various councils, e. g. Prague in 1605, Constance in 1609, Salzburg in 1616. Cardinal Bona (1672) seems to say that in his time high mass was sung in Lent and on Vigils at 3 P. M., instead of sunset, the ancient time (Bona, Rer. Liturg. lib. 2, pp. 182—186 ; Paris, 1672). And the remarkable thing is this, that according to the testimony of the Liturgical writer Friedrich Brenner (Geschichtliche Darstellung der Verrichtung der Eucharistie. Bamberg, 1824, Vol. 3, p. 346), Verona was one of the places in which the forbidden custom lingered even to our own day. After quoting the precepts against it, he says, “Notwithstanding, evening masses are still said in several Italian Churches, as at Vercelli on Christmas Eve by the Lateran Canons, at Venice by the same, moreover in the Cathedral of Verona, and even in the Papal Chapel at Rome.” When in spite of the Papal prohibition the custom of having evening mass lingered in Verona for nearly three centuries after Shakspere's time, it is impossible to doubt that in his time it was a matter of usual occurrence there. It was a custom that could not have sprung up after 1572, and must always since that year have tended towards extinction. The mention of it therefore, so far from

being an error, is so curiously correct a local detail, as to suggest either that it was contained in the Italian source from which Shakspere drew his story, or else that he had travelled into Italy and had noted this custom at Verona.

Another very special technical use of a word occurs in the same play. Romeo, II. iii. 7, 8:

“I must up-fill this osier cage of ours

With baleful weeds, and precious-juiced flowers.” “Ours" is not for the rhyme. It is the rule of the Franciscans, who have all property in common, to call whatever article of this property they use “ours,” not “mine,” e. g. I must put on our shoes,” “I must go to our cell.”

Venus & Adonis. Dr Brinsley Nicholson points out two lines in this poem, 508, 510, which seem to show that it was written in the year of its registration and publication, 1593. Venus says of Adonis's lips,

Oh neuer let their crimson liueries weare !
And as they last, their verdour still endure
To driue infection from the dangerous yeare,

That the star-gazers, hauing writ on death,
May say, the plague is banisht by thy breath.

Quarto, 1593, sign. D iij, back. Stowe (Annales, p. 1274) tells us that in 1593 the pest or plague was “ very hot" in the “citie” of London, and that between Dec. 29, 1592, and Dec. 20, 1593, 10,675 persons died of the plague. The theatres in the City and within 5 miles of it were clos'd, in pursuance of a letter, dated 3 Feb., 1593, from the Lords of the Council to the Lord Mayor. Shakspere's Venus & Adonis was registerd in the Stationers' books on April 18. It is so full of country life and recollections that it may have been written at Stratford, whither Shakspere may have withdrawn on the closing of the theatres. If he so wrote the poem, his choice of such an amorous subject as the Venus during the plague-time reminds one of Boccaccio's seven ladies and three men telling the tales of his Decamerone in a country-house during the plague at Florence in 1348.

But Mr R. Simpson, after compiling a list of analogous allusions in the poem (too long to be printed here), from which he infers that the imagery is derived from the subject of the poem, and has little or nothing to do with the circumstances of the time and place of its composition, urges that a dangerous year is not necessarily an actual

plague year like 1593;1 and that a year from which the plague is banisht is certainly not a year in which the plague rages. The reference is to a year for which the star-gazers prophesied calamity, so making it dangerous, but in which no evil (to speak of) happened. And the poet tells the disappointed Zadkiels that they may excuse thier failure, by saying “ the plague" they foretold “is banisht by Adonis' breath” : cp. Twelfth Night, I. i. 20 : .

“O when mine eye did see Olivia first

Methought she purged the air of pestilence." Such a year of non-fulfilld prophecies was 1588-about which Dr John Harvey of King's Lynn, Norfolk, wrote his Discoursive Probleme concerning Prophesies 2 (1588), and about which, and

I Cp. Dr John Harvey's like use of dangerous in his Discoursire Probleme 1588, p. 68 : “ other whiles to fall a prophesying of the wofull dearths, famines, plagues, wars, and most wretched, lamentable and horrible Tragedies of the dangerous daies imminent ..."

3 “The Second Part, or Section : specially examining and discussing the speciall Prophesie of this famous yeere 1588"... "I am now, at the earnest and vrgent request of certaine worshipfull Gentlemen, and diuers other my familiar friends, more especially and seuerally to labour, and examine one more speciall notorious prophesie, touching this long expected voonderfull yeere 1588. ..I cannot denie but this whole Treatise was originally occa. sioned by that onely famous prophesie (p. 87) . . . p. 89,

“ The famous Prophesie of 88. vulgarly fathered vpon

Ioannes Regiomontanus; but woorthily suspected
by some learnedor men, neuer to have proceeded
from that excellent Mathematician, or

any like notable Scholler.
Post mille expletos à partu virginis annos,

Et post quingentos rursus ab orbe datos :
Octogesimus octauus mirabilis annus

Ingruet, is secum tristia fata feret.
Si non hoo Anno totus malus occidet orbis :

Sis non in nihilum terra, fretumque ruet : .
Cuncta tamen mundi sursum ibunt atque retrorsun
Imperia, & luctus vndique grandis erit ....

“My English Paraphrase.
After a thousand yeeres from Christ's natiuitie accounted ;
And fiue hundred more to the computation added,
The eight yeere, succeeding fowerscore, wil approch very strangely,
Afflicting mankind with wofull destinie afrighted :
If then wretched world be not vtterly wasted in horror ;
If heauens, lands, and seas consume pot finally to naught:
At least most kingdoms ouerhurlde with tragicall outrage,

Shall powre out dreadfull complaints, and pitifull outcries. ..." In his second Dedication (14 Jan, 1588) to Sir Christopher Hatton, Lord Chancellor, John Harvey says, “But of all the residue, what comparable to the terrible pretended prophesie, euen now notoriously in Esse, concerning the imagined mightie and woonderfull casualties and hurliburlies of the

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