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diminutive of quod, one of those technical repetitions which have given rise to so many other ludicrous terms of kindred import; as quiddits, and quillits, and quodlibets, and I know not what. Mr. Nares is not to be told by me that Jonson was a scholar, affected-some may think, too strongly-to derivative orthography. Why, then, if he meant an apple, should he write it quodling, a word never used for it? The simple fact is, that Upton, who knew little of our old dramatists, first blundered on this explanation in his "Remarks," and was followed by the whole cry of Shakspeare commentators, brought up, much to their credit, by Mr. Weber. Quodling, Upton tells us, (who is quite possessed with his apple,) means, "a too soon ripe headed young boy;" and, by the same metaphor, he adds, this too soon ripe headed young boy is called below "a puffin, i. e. mulum pulmoneum !”meaning, I suppose, a rotten apple: but be the sense what it may, the words were assuredly never applied to a puffin before ; and,-what bears rather hard upon Upton's accuracythe term is expressly applied by Jonson to the bird of that name, which is described as "being already on the spit."
G. 411. W. 371.-All delicates which the wanton sense.] "Were the metre of sufficient consequence to license the introduction of a new word, we might read all 'delicate cates.'"
Delicate cate does not seem to be much in Ford's manner; what, then, if we read, without the introduction of any new words?
All delicacies, which the wanton sense.
G. 413. W. 373.-Costermonger.] "Mr. Steevens observes, in answer to a superficial remark of Dr. Johnson"-this from Mr. Weber! "that a costermonger is a costard monger, a dealer in the apples called by that name, because they are shaped like a costard."
Whenever poor Mr. Weber puts himself forward as a partizan, he fares somewhat like the dwarf in Goldsmith, and, whether the knight or the giant prove victorious, seldom
escapes without the loss of a leg or an arm. Steevens, whose "observation" is perfectly puerile, no more thought of answering Dr. Johnson, than of leaping over the moon; and Dr. Johnson's "remark," for the shallowness of which Mr. Weber so frankly vouches, is, in truth, an admirable illustration of a point in ethics. The two critics have not a thought in common; one endeavours to explain the word; the other dwells altogether on the sentiment. This will be deemed too serious, perhaps; but the Wise Man tells us, that a fool is not always to be answered according to his folly.
To return to Mr. Weber's explanation: had he read to the end of the line, he would have seen that his costards were pippins. A costermonger, in short, was a petty dealer in fruit of any kind; a basket or barrow-man, as we should call him. In Bartholomew Fair, we have, "Enter costermonger, with a basket of pears."
G. 414. W. 375.—Would have made.
Read: Would make; which is sense-the other not. G. 415. W. 375. Expressing their rich juice.] "Expressing for pressing out. The Masque throughout abounds with pedantry, a species of ornament, which, from the patronage of James for pedantry of every kind, was thought peculiarly necessary in masques played at his court."
I have already observed, that this drama was written for the theatre in Drury-lane, where it was played. To enter into a dispute with so arrant a driveller as Mr. Weber, would be an act of gratuitous folly; he, poor man, simply adopts the fashionable scurrility of the Shakspeare editors, and knows no more of king James, than of king Cunobeline; otherwise it might be answered, that of all the learned men of his day, this calumniated monarch was perhaps one of the least pedantic. If it be at all expedient to look for pedantry in "a Masque played at court," recourse must be had to Elizabeth, whose court was overrun with euphuism
of all kinds. At all events, Decker and his contemporaries were not trained under James;-but this is not the place for a discussion of this nature.
In the next speech, Mr. Weber has ingeniously interpolated of, and converted the whole into nonsense.
G. 420. W. 380.-Every doubt, that resolution kills,
Springs up a greater in the year's revolution.
Springs up a greater. In the year's revolution,
G. 421. W. 381.-" Snipe. For snipe, the old copy reads snite." The old copy is right; snite was the more common word, and should not have been displaced.
G. 435. W. 394.
G. 423. W. 383.-For by swords; read, with swords.
G. 429. W. 388.-To him, brave prince, to you.] "The old copy
reads tho' you."
Mr. Weber has still missed the right word.
Read: To him, brave prince, thro' you.
Read: bring me thither; and for your guide,
G. 436. W. 395.-Ray. Oh, gracious lord!] "This speech in the old copy is not appropriated, and appears thus: Oes, gracious lord.' "
This is an innocent mistake. The speech is appropriated, but Mr. Weber's scholarship did not enable him, perhaps, to discover that oes. was a common contraction of omnes, and meant ALL.
THE WITCH OF EDMONTON.
G. 449. W. 408.—" Carriage, i. e. conduct."
Right! 'twould be a thousand pities had this been forgotten, now we are so near the end of the work.
G. 449. IV. 409.--Tho' my poor fortune.
G. 452. W. 411.-Win. I have heard the news; all now is safe.
This is incorrect. Winnifrede is not the speaker here; nor is the language such as she would have used. She is addressed, on her entrance, by Sir Arthur, who evidently wishes to anticipate and silence her reproaches, and who then continues his speech. Read:
Win, I have heard the news, &c.
G. 453. W. 411.-For "The dower of virginity," which enfeebles the verse, read: "The dower of a virginity."
G. 456. W. 414.
G. 454. W. 412.-For former deeds of love. This is far from the poet's meaning. Read: For former deeds of lust.
G. 455. W. 413.-Then freeze in your old cloyster.
There freeze, &c. Old, I think, should be
need not as long.
G. 460. W. 417.-By Westham, in Essex.
Read: In Westham, by Essex; i. e. bordering on
G. 460. IV. 417.-Am I a property for you to use
As stale to your fond, wanton, loose discourse? "Stale seems to be used here in the same sense as in Shakspeare:
"I stand dishonoured to have gone about
To link my dear friend to a common stale."
Here, again, Mr. Weber has blundered upon the old string! In his author stale means a cover, a pretext for the use of loose language; in the quotation from Shakspeare, it means a common prostitute.
G. 461. W. 417.-For "I will use him kindly," which neither suits the time, nor the speaker, read: "I use him kindly." G. 466. W. 422.-The nurse shall not stand thee in a penny-worth of milk. Read: The nursing shall not stand thee, &c. And,
for spare her not, read, spare not.
G. 468. W. 424.-Gathering a few rotten sticks.
Read: Gather a few, &c.
Mr. Weber's emendation arises from his ignorance of the sense of make, in the preceding line.
G. 472. IV. 427.-He (the hobby-horse) shall not want a belly when I am on him.
This spoils both the sense and the humour, such as it is. Read:
when I am in him.
G. 475. W. 430.-I cancel then my gift.
It is optative.
G. 478. W. 433.-What would'st thou?
Read: What would'st have? And, for What, not a counter? read, What! nor a counter?
G. 482. W. 436.-Here Mr. Weber boasts of having "corrected the old copy," which, as he says, reads: "Love in this kind admits to reason no wear her."
The old copy reads :- -no reason to wear her! Where were the critic's eyes? Just below, for But the sheath, read, the sheath might, &c.
G. 485. W. 438.-Give me thee fully. "The old copy reads: Give me the fully. A slight variation was required here. The text, though somewhat stiff, is the language of the age."
Would any one believe, after this, that the old copy clearly, and distinctly, and simply, reads: "Give me the reason fully"? Yet such is the fact.