« PreviousContinue »
P. 3. Weber." Ford's play is founded upon the chronicles of the reign of Henry VII. and particularly upon the history of that monarch by the celebrated Lord Bacon, as appears from the beginning of the Dedication."
And this is all Mr. Weber says on the subject. It seems extraordinary that he should not once turn to the History from which this drama is confessedly taken; but such evidently is the case: he never opened the volume, and all he knows of the fact is contained in the short passage just quoted from the author.
Weber, 4.—“ The excellence of this piece must have insured it good reception, and the praises of such a man as Dr. Donne were certainly not misapplied."
This is the fourth repetition of the ridiculous blunder noticed in the former volume. As Mr. Weber gets older he gets never the wiser. Dr. Donne died in the spring of 1631, and the editor has just informed us that this drama did not appear till the year 1634, so that the praises of the good Doctor, like Bottom's dream, must have been sung three years" after death." after death." The verses prefixed to this. play were written by George Donne, (a person of no note whatever,) who leaves Mr. Weber no pretext for his gross ignorance, as he signs his name at full length. The celebrated Dean of St. Paul's, as every schoolboy knows, was John Donne.
G. 3. W.6.-The monuments of times.
Read: The monuments of Time.
Mr. Weber does not appear to know what the author
G. 10. W.11.—At once both th'roughly cur'd and set in safety.
The king could not say this, for the operation, as he had just observed, had been laborious, and the effect gradual. Read: At last, both thoroughly cured, &c.
G. 10. W. 12.—In sending to this blood-shrunk commonwealth. Read: In lending to this blood-shrunk, &c.
G. 11. W. 13.-Of troubles and seditions.
Read: Of troubles and sedition.
G. 11. W. 13.-Nor are her birth as other mothers' are.
G. 13. W.14.—Will you all confess ?
Here is no thought of putting a question; the king takes the fact for granted.
Read: You will all confess, &c.
G. 18. W. 18.
and in the highest line Derive my pedigree, &c.
This is wrong; the speaker means in the most direct line. and in the rightest line, Derive, &c.
G. 21. W. 20.-My faultering tongue. Read: My faulting tongue. ploy." which is hardly sense here,
And for--" am I to emread-I am to employ.
G.21. W.21.-To side thy equals.]
"This is a singular use of
the verb, to side, which was originally a technical term at card-playing."
Side, in Ford, is used in
Nothing can be more absurd. the familiar and proper sense, to keep pace with, to be equally forward; whereas the word in Massinger, from the
index of which Mr. Weber has innocently taken it, signifies set, or party; and the expression there used-" to pull down a side," means-to occasion the loss of the game. G. 23. W.22.-Proclaims it, in the best, a president. Read: Proclaims it, in the best, a precedent.
G. 24. W.23.—A secretary from the duke of York.
This destroys all the contempt meant to be conveyed by the speaker.
Read: A secretary from a duke of York.
G.26. W.25.-Let my weak knees rot to the earth.
G. 28. W.26.-List.
"An old word for choose"!
G. 32. W.29.-When counsels fail, and there's no man to trust.
Read When counsels fail, and there's in man no trust,
G. 33. W.30.-Careful, "i. e. full of cares."
of your own princely ear.
G. 42. W. 37.
G.40. W.36.-Exeunt king Henry.
Mr. Weber seems to have an odd taste in these matters. The ex. of the old copy is alternately converted by him into exeunt and exit; by way, apparently, of keeping as even a hand as possible between them. He seems not to have the slightest suspicion of any difference in the meaning of the two words; so that it is all pure conscience with him
You so desir'd to speak with.
G.42. W.37.-What? I am abused?
G. 44. W.39.-Your army, sir, being muster'd.
G. 44. W. 40.-Such arguments.
G. 46. W.41.-For service of—
G. 46. W. 40.-What surety both of unity and honour.
Have my services drawn on me
i. e. when I am on the verge of the grave, and should spend the short remainder of my life in tranquillity. But Mr. Weber has blundered through the whole of this fine speech, of which he comprehends nothing.
G. 51. W.44.
may all the happiness
My prayers ever sued to, fall upon you-
My prayers ever sued to fall upon you,
G. 51. W.44.-Here's entrance
Into a certainty of hope.
Read: Here's entrance
Into a certainty above a hope.
G.51. W.44.-When I traded in remnants.
The point and pleasantry of the speech are lost.
The speaker is a botcher.
G. 52. W. 45.-In good time. Read, shall in time.
G. 52. W.45.-No indenture but has its counterpawn. There is, I believe, no such word: read, its counterpane.
G. 53. W.46.-Let my skin be pinch'd full of oylet-holes by the bodkin, &c. Oylet-holes are the eyes of needles."
Pinching a skin full of the eyes of needles is every way worthy of the critic.
Read: Let my skin be punch'd full of oylet-holes, &c. Oylet-holes, as every child knows, are little holes, or " perforations," as Johnson proudly calls them, punched in cloth or linen, for tapes or laces to pass through.
G. 53. W.46.-Let me live a bankrupt. r. Let me first live. Mr. Weber did not notice the sarcasm here meant by the poet; Sketon was at this time a bankrupt.
G.54. W.47.-" Carriage, behaviour" !
This is about the tenth time Mr. Weber has given us this important information; there is therefore good hope that before we get through these plays, we shall be somewhat familiar with its meaning.
G. 57. W.50.-Resolv'd to try your mercy.
Nonsense. The prisoners were not resolved to try Henry's mercy; but, as the text has it, Reserv'd, &c. Two thousand rebels had been slain in the field; as many more were preserved by the royal forces for the trial of, or rather in the hope of, the king's clemency. They were, of course, dismissed, with the exception of the leaders.
I will not vouchsafe
An eye to pity.
G. 61. W.53.
and healths in bonny clabber.
"I have not been able to discover what particular kind of liquor was thus denominated, never having met with the phrase before."
an eye of pity.