Page images
PDF
EPUB

ready arrived; had been entertained, in the usual sense of the word, and made his demand of the princess's hand. It should be observed, that the last three “ illustrative notes" closely follow one another on the same page. Surely no blind mole ever blundered into day so unluckily.

99

G.299. W.274.—The handmaid to the wages,

The untroubled [but] of country toil, drinks

streams. “ The handmaid to the wages, is a singular expression,-but the author is in many instances not less quaint in similar phrases. The old copy reads "the uptroubled of country toil,” which is in direct opposition to the “handmaid to the wages,” who is certainly not untroubled of country toil.— The least violent alteration which suggested itself was the introduction of but, and this not only affords sense, but greatly assists the

metre." After all this storm in a puddle, (and I have given but a part of it) nothing is needed but a simple transposition. Read: The handmaid to the

wages Of country toil, drinks the untroubled streams

With leaping kids, &c.
Here is no want of either sense or metre; and Mr.
Weber's but may be sent about its business.
G.301. W.276.

if thy pity
Unto a yielding brother's passion, tend

One finger, but to ease it.
Read :

lend

One finger, but to ease it. G.301. W.276.-Calantha 'tis: the princess, the king's daughter,

Sole heir of Sparta. I have ventured,” Mr. Weber says, “to make an alteration here. The old copy reads, Calantha is the princess, &c.

which is neither unknown to Pentbea, nor to the reader.” Pity that such sagacity should be thrown away! Penthea had pressed her brother for the name of his mistress, which,

after repeated attempts, he declares he dares not utter : on which she taxes him with want of affection to herself, and he then, with all the delicacy of respectful feeling, after an injunction of silence, replies, as in the text

Peace!
Calantha-is the princess—the king's daughter-

Sole heir of Sparta :(her claims progressively rising in dignity)—to shew the bopeless nature of his love. What now becomes of Mr. Weber's poor vulgarism-Calantha 'tis?

G.303. W.278.–Or progress in the chariot of thy sun.
Read :

in the chariot of the sun. This passage is not without curiosity, as tending to prove that some of the words now supposed to be Americanisms, were in use among our ancestors, and crossed the Atlantic with them. It is not generally known that Ford's county (Devonshire) supplied a very considerable number of the earlier settlers in the Colonies.

G. 303. W.278.-Grausis r. Groneas.

G.305. W.279.-0 that I could preserve thee in fruition

As in devotion! For preserce, I suspect we should read but serve." A more extraordinary suspicion never entered mortal head: the only apology for it is, that Mr. Weber did not know what he was saying. G.307. W.281.-Some way I must try,

To outdo art, and try a jealousy. “ The old copy reads, quite absurdly, cry a jealousy." I omit the rest, in pity to the reader: but Mr. Weber makes sense of the passage, he says, by reading try,* which, as occurring immediately above, is the last word that would

• i. e. I must try to try.

have occurred to any reasonable man! I believe that here is again a dislocation, and would read, without much effort

Some

way
To outdo art, and jealousy decry.

I must try

G.310. W.284.

if out of those inventions Which flow in Athens, thou hast there engross'd

Some rarity of wit, &c. Engrossed, i. e. taken a sketch, or a general idea of.” What is Mr. Weber thinking of? Engrossed is simply “ made thyself master of.” It occurs in the very same sense in Love's Sacrifice, Act iv. s. i.

G.312. W.285.-Wish him thrift in all his best desires.

Thrift is not used in its usual sense, but in that of thriving." To copy such hopeless imbecillity is almost too much for any patience; to observe upon it, is impossible. G.315. W.288.-But] ‘i, e. only!

G. 315. W.288.-To wait on thy direction. read directions.

G.317. W.290.-When any troubled passion makes us halt

On the unguarded castle of the mind, No absurdity, however gross, could raise any suspicion of inaccuracy in Mr. Weber's mind, and tempt him to recur to the original. This blundering passage is one of many, equally incorrect, quoted by the Edinburgh Reviewers, without the smallest apparent doubt of its fidelity. In Massinger they could find errors in every page; but in the publication before us, their lynx-eyes wearied themselves in vain to detect a mistake. Read: When any troubled passion makes assault

On the unguarded castle, &c. G. 317. W.290.

corner of the earth. Read:

corner in the earth : which better expresses the poet's meaning.

[ocr errors]

G.317. W.290.-Speak; and enjoy it.

The old copy reads, Speak, I enjoy it ;" — which Mr. Weber, with vast parade, and the assistance of a grammatical friend, corrects as above; "the old compositor having mistakingly substituted” (as he learnedly phrases it) " the pronoun for the common sign of abbreviation, used for the conjunctive particle."

The two Priscians have carefully attended to honest Dogberry's advice, and let “ their reading and writing appear when there was no need of such vanities.”

Calantha means as she says, “ Proceed, I take pleasure in it.” Three times in the course of this very scene, she repeats the same sentiment. Were any alteration necessary (which there is not) we might read, at once,

Speak, aye enjoy it.

G.318. W. 290.-Beshrew thy sadness,

Thou turn'st me to much woman.
Read: Beshrew thy sadness !

Thou turn'st me too much woman.
The speaker is Calantha.

G.318. W.291.-Rather than raging of the blood.

Read: Rather than ranging of the blood. How Mr. Weber could read the sweetly chaste speech of Penthea, and wilfully corrupt“ ranging” to “raging,” surpasses all conception.

G.319. W.292.- What say'st thou?

Read: What saidst thou ? A far better reading.

G. 323. W.295.-My lord, ye were too froward.

Read: My lord, you were too forward. G.328. W.298.—The balsam of a supple patience.

Read: The balsam of a suppling patience.

G.328. W.299.-“ List, i.e. hearken”!

Mille graces! G.331. W.301.-I who was made a monarch

Of what a heart could wish, of a chaste wife. The old copy reads, for a chaste wife.” Here again Mr. Weber's meddling folly is inexcusable. Read, with the original

I who was made a monarch

Of what a heart could wish for, a chaste wife. G.331. W.302.—To redeem a sacrilege so impious

Humility shall pour before the deities.
I have incensed a largess of more patience

Than their displeased altars can require.
For this nonsense, read,

To redeem a sacrilege so impious,
Humility shall pour, before the deities
I have incensed, a largesse of more patience

Than their displeased altars can require.
G.332. W.302.-Practise no farther.
Directly the reverse of the speaker's meaning. Read,

Practise yet farther.-i.e. try all your vexations upon me. G 332. W.302.—May the death of love to her. Here again the sense is destroyed. Read,

May thy death of love to her, &c. G.334. W.304.-Every antick rapture.

A metaphor, taken from the caricature of dramatic enter

tainments, puppet-shows.” This is in Mr. Weber's best style.

G.338. W.308.

to chide your late disorders. The prince alludes to a particular circumstance. Read:

your late disorder.

G. 339. W.308.—Soldiers of your fortune.
Read:

of your fortunes.
G. 339. W.308.-But. But has here the force of only"'!

« PreviousContinue »