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In a letter to Nicholas Okes the printer, inserted at the end of Heywood's "Apology for Actors," a treatise published in 1612, speaking of William Jaggard the writer observes, "The infinite faults escaped in my booke of Britaines Troy by the negligence of the printer, as the misquotations, mistaking of syllables, misplacing half lines, coining of strange and never heard of words, these being without number, when I would have taken a particular account of the Errata, the printer answered me, hee would not publish his owne disworkmanship, but rather let his owne fault lye upon the necke of the author."
Now, whatever reason Heywood had to feel himself aggrieved, a comparison of his Troja Britannica,*
* Mr. Dyce appears not to be acquainted with this poem of Heywood's, or he would hardly have ventured the bold assertion:
"I have therefore not the slightest doubt that wherever " statue' occurs, while the metre requires three syllables, it is an error for 'statua.' Our old poets no more thought of using 'statue' as a trisyllable than 'stature,' a third form of the word which is not unfrequently found." Note 102. P. 217 of Vol. 5. Ed. 1864. For, notwithstanding Heywood's fretful outburst at his printer's carelessness and selfish perversity, "statue" never occurs in the Troja Britannica as a trisyllable, but it has the diæresis, e.g. :
printed by William, with the first Folio Shakspeare, printed by Isaac Jaggard, will show that the like complaint might far more truly have been preferred
Of marble statuës many thousand more. Cant. 5. St. 111.
Placing his statue that his prayse did sing, In Romes hye Capitoll. Cant. 8. St. 10. On which Apolloes statue dwels for aye. Cant. 10. St. 46. Besides, in Note (50) to Love's Labour's Lost. P. 243-4 of Vol. 2, after reporting that, "Whitely (in the old eds. 'whitly'*), has been considered by some critics as a questionable reading, Rosaline being, as we learn from several places of the play, darkcomplexioned,”—critics, by superlative euphemism thus named, so devoid of all judgment as to deem " whitely" akin to fair, although, if common observation may be our guide, whiteness, whether by contrast or not, is a peculiar attribute of dark features,—Mr. Dyce proceeds to remark that, "on the other hand Walker (Crit. Exam. &c. Vol. 2, p. 349), cites the line with the reading 'whitely:" and quotes from North's Plutarch, "lean and whitely-faced fellow:" whence two things may be concluded, one, that the epithet "whitely" is not rare, since it was picked up by Walker in a note of Malone's, on a passage in Act 2. Scene 9, of the Merchant of Venice, without any suspicion by that critic that it would ever be wanted to support the authentic reading in Love's Labour's Lost; another, and that which has provoked the present mooting of a point to be discussed hereafter, that Mr. Dyce is evidently not aware that this adjective "whitely" occurs in Cant. 5. St. 74, of the Troja Britannica :
"That hath a whitely face, and a long nose,
And for them both I wonderous well esteeme her." Which lines do not merely furnish an instance of the epithet "whitely," but, in such company as parallels Shakespeare's * Misprinted in the Camb. Ed. "whitley."
by Heminge and Condell against the latter, even after every allowance is made for the greater liability to mistake in the persons, their exits and entrances, the multifarious dialogue, the broken sentences, and varied phraseology of a play. It would therefore be manifest injustice to fasten upon the editors of the Folio 1623 blunders for which its printer Jaggard is clearly accountable, or in any measure to make those a ground for impugning the good faith of its somewhat partial representation, that "where (before) you were abused with diuerse stolne, and surreptitious copies, maimed, and deformed by the frauds and stealthes of iniurious impostors, that expos'd them: euen those, are now offer'd to your view cur'd and perfect of their limbes; and all the rest, absolute in their numbers, as he conceiued thē.
coupling of it with "a wanton." If the pertinency of this argument be lost upon "some critics," it only adds further proof, where none is needed, that they have no pretensions to that name, nor the faintest calling to interfere with Shakespeare's text: for their enlightenment, however, it may be stated that though "whitely" and "fair" be not near allied, "wantonness" and "a long nose" are, at least in our early dramatic writers, from whom principally old readings must be made good. That Mr. Collier should turn "whitely" into "witty" discloses more puerility of artifice than defect of knowledge; while its transformation into "wightly" by the Cambridge editors should be a warning to them and their compeers not to embark in novelties, nor quit their proper province, but stick to the drudgery of collating and compiling, for which they may not be meanly qualified, and forbear to intrude upon even the outskirts of the domains of philology, wherein they have neither part nor lot.