« PreviousContinue »
Had the critic, instead of turning to his index, opened so common a book as Johnson's Dictionary, he would have seen that it meant in Ford's time precisely what it means now. As applied to the arts, and particularly music, practical skill; as applied to the senses, subtilty, craft, deceit.
G. 154. W.34.-His pleasure is life. This is very poor.
G. 163. W.42.-When he and she doth meet.
Read: Do meet.
G. 163. W.43.
In several places our sagacious editor makes himself merry with the oscitancy of his predecessors, Reed and Dodsley, in the due arrangement of the scenery; with the importance of which he is so deeply impressed, that he places it first in merit," the writing of notes" (it seems)
not being to be compared with it ;" and he plumes himself accordingly on his success in this respect Yet the blundering absurdity of his own disposition of the scene, whenever he attempts a reform, is beyond all credibility. "Donado's House" is prefixed to this short dialogue, which evidently passes in the street, and in the course of which Donado twice orders his nephew to repair home, and keep within doors! Not to add, that the speakers in the preceding scene are still retained on the stage.
G. 166. W.46.-To taste of mischief.
G. 168. W.47.-For coral, lips.
Read: For colour, lips-and for form, r. throne.
G. 172. W.50.-I told I had more wit.
G. 173. W.51.-This house.
This subverts the sense.
Read: His house, i. e. Richardetto's.
G. 174. W.52.-Well, sir, now you are free, you need not care for sending letters: now you are dismiss'd you mistress here will none of you. Read: Well, sir, now you are free! you need not care for sending letters now; you are dismiss'd, your mistress here will none of you.
G. 175. W.53.-" The Street."
Read: A room in Donado's house.
G. 180. W.58.-'Tis but the maid's sickness, and over-flux of youth.
Read: 'Tis but the maids-sickness, an over-flux of youth.
G. 184. W.61.-" Richardetto's apartment in Florio's house."
This is a well-meant attempt to save Richardetto the charge of house-rent; but unluckily to no end :—seriously, there is not a line in the whole scene that does not prove it to have taken place at his own house. This repeated blundering is pitiable.
G. 185. W.61.—If you miss now! To-morrow I'll know all.
Read: If you miss now, to-morrow I shall know all. i. e. It is but a night lost; for if you miss now, I shall have the whole to-morrow, and shall then be enabled to give you fresh instructions.
G. 187. W.63.-Scene VI. The Friar's cell.
"The old ridiculous stage direction was neither altered by Mr. Dodsley nor by Mr. Reed in their republications."
Will it be credited, that the scene, after all Mr. Weber's self-congratulation, does not lie in the "Friar's Cell," but
in "Annabella's Chamber," and that it is expressly said so just before:
Come, father, I'll conduct you to her chamber"! The important corrections of this new Aristarchus consist merely in omitting the word enter, and exchanging study for cell. With respect to enter, which is a perpetual source of merriment to our critic, it is more fitted to call up wonder and regret at the forlorn state of the stage on which these marvels of dramatic power were displayed. There were no scenes to shift; and what was an instant before a street, was converted into a bed-chamber by simply moving forward a couch or a chair, with the person in or upon it. The Friar, therefore, (however" ridiculous" it may seem,) literally made his entrance in a chair. Mr. Weber was probably thinking of his being wheeled over an acre of ground, on the boundless areas of the present day, instead of being gently shoved forward a foot or two on the contracted stage of Ford's time.
G. 189. W.65.-My sister weeping?
I fear this friar's falsehood; I will call him. i. e. "I will upbraid him. The same expression is still used at schools for scolding or swearing."
This is the intrepidity of ignorance, and no less false than foolish.
My sister weeping!
I fear this friar's falsehood. [Aside. I will call him.
[Exit. The Friar had just asked if Soranzo were come? and, on being told that he was "waiting below," says, "Bid him come near;" to which Giovanni, the person addressed, replies, as in the text, "I will call him." He accordingly goes out for that purpose, and re-enters with him, in the course of a single line.
G. 192. W. 68.
Even to my bosom, Vasques: let my youth
Gallant, but wrong.
Read: Even to my bosom, Vasques.-Let my youth
Hippolita speaks not of herself but of Soranzo, whom she contemptuously stiles "my youth."
G. 201. W.75.-" Scene, the Street."
G. 204. W.77.
G. 214. W.87.
but that I thought
Your over-loving lordship would have run
Your over-loving lordship would have run
G. 209. W. 81.-Be witness to my words, my soul, and thoughts. This quite overthrows the speaker's meaning.
Read: Be witness to my words thy soul and thoughts. It is Annabella's soul that Soranzo calls to witness the sincerity of his words.
and shall ever.
and ever shall, ever.
G.215. W.89.-"Enter Annabella on a Balcony-which looks," we are carefully informed, "into the street."
It is repeatedly mentioned that Annabella is closely confined: not to waste words on so trivial a matter, she appears at the window of her bed-room. If we take upon ourselves to describe the place of action, we are bound in justice to the writer not to make him inconsistent with himself.
G. 221. W.93.-Yet more: I'll come.-Sir, are you answered? Read: Yet more? I'll come, sir: are you answered? i, e. Are you not yet satisfied, that you repeat your question? This is said by Giovanni, in his impatience at the persevering importunity of Vasques.
G. 223. W.95.
G. 228. W.99.
for your reward.
how do you
what d'ye mean?
G. 228. W.99.-Gio. What see you in my face?
Ann. Distraction, and a troubled countenance. "The modern editors, very improperly, read-conscience." To see a "troubled countenance" in "troubled face," with the critic's leave, is not quite so proper as he seems to think it. The reading of Dodsley is highly judicious.
G.229. W.100. the jealous destinies require again. This is not grammar in its place; and if it were ten times grammar, it is not Ford:
the jealous destinies required again. G.230. W.101.-With thee, most lovely beauty. Read: With thy most lovely beauty.
THE BROKEN HEART.
G. 222. W.223.-" Fide Honor, as has been already observed, is a perfect anagram of John Ford."
Mr. Weber is not lucky in his choice of words. If it be a perfect anagram of the author's name, he must be called John Forde.
G. 247. W.229.
no pretended clause