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[Vol. vi. Collier; vol. ii. Tragedies, Pict. ed. K.*]
SCENE 1.-C. p. 144; K. p. 152.
" I shall tell you A pretty tale : it
have heard it; But, since it serves my purpose, I will venture
To scale't a little more.” “ To ‘scale' is to disperse, as many instances might be brought to prove. The word is still used in our northern counties, with reference to the scattering of seed, or the spreading of manure. See Holloway's General Provincial Dictionary, 8vo. 1838.” COLLIER.
So too Malone (understanding "scale" in the sense of 'disperse”); and so Mr. Knight, whose explanation is as follows;
“ Menenius will venture to weigh, to try the value, of the ‘pretty tale' a little more ; though they may have heard it, he will again scale it”!!!
All this blundering is really piteous. The genuine reading was long ago restored by Theobald, though it is not even mentioned by Messrs. Collier and Knight.
On the passage of Massinger's Unnatural Combat, act iv. sc. 2,
“ I'll not stale the jest By my relation,” Gifford has the following note;
“i. e. render it flat, deprive it of zest by previous intimation. This is one of a thousand instances which might be brought to prove that the true reading in Coriolanus, act i. sc. 1, is,
• To stale 't a little more.' The old copies have scale, for which Theobald judiciously proposed stale. To this Warburton objects petulantly enough, it must be confessed, because to scale signifies to weigh ; so, indeed, it does, and many other things; none of which, however, bear any relation to the text. Steevens, too, prefers scale, which he proves, from a variety of authorities, to mean scatter, disperse, spread :' to make any of them, however, suit his purpose, he is obliged to give an unfaithful version of the text; • Though some of you have heard the story, I will spread it yet wider, and diffuse it among the rest.' There is nothing of this in Shakespeare; and indeed I cannot avoid looking upon the whole of his long note as a feeble attempt to justify a palpable error of the press at the cost of taste and sense.” Massinger's Works, i. 204, ed. 1813.
* The volume of Mr. Knight's Library edition which contains this play has not yet appeared.
There is indeed no end of passages in our early dramatists where stale occurs in the sense of 'make stale, familiar,' &c.: see Julius Cæsar, act i. sc. 3, and my remarks there ; compare too; • This is not to be staled by my report.”
Massinger's Bashful Lover, act iv. sc. 3.
“ I'll not stale them
Fletcher's Queen of Corinth, act i. sc. 3.
Fletcher and Rowley's Maid in the Mill, act iv. sc. 1. where both the old copies have the same misprint which the folios give in the present passage of Coriolanus, —"scale."
“it tauntingly replied
Unstate his happiness, and be stag'd † the show
Act iii. sc. 11, vol. viii. 81.
SCENE 3.-C. p. 154.
“ the breasts of Hecuba,
“The folio misprints contending' contenning, which the second folio alters to contending, and prints sword swords.' We feel bound to follow this authority, as next in authenticity; but contemning'Hector's forehead contemning at the Grecian sword—seems, possibly, the word which was written by Shakespeare, and misread by the old compositor." COLLIER.
Read “swords" (not “sword's" nor “swords'”).
Scene 6.–C. p. 161 ; K. p. 159.
“ the Roman gods
May give you thankful sacrifice !" The word “ you” in the last line shews that “the Roman gods" is wrong. Read “ye Roman gods:" the original compositor mistook " ye” for “ye” (the).
Scene 1.-C. p. 174. “ Good den to your worships : more of your conversation would infect my brain, being the herdsman of the beastly plebeians.”
Read, with all other eds., early and modern, and as the sense requires, "herdsmen.”
Scene 1.-C. p. 176 ; K. p. 170.
Which, being advanc'd, declines, and then men die.”
Scene 1.-C. p. 178.
“ the kitchen malkin pins Her richest lockram 'bout her reechy neck,” &c.
“Malkin,' observes Ritson, is properly the diminutive of Mal (Mary); as Wilkin, Tomkin, &c. In Scotland, pronounced Maukin, it signifies a hare. Grey malkin (corruptly grimalkin) is a cat. The kitchen malkin is the same as the scullion. In Holloway's ' Provincial Dictionary,' 8vo, 1838, we are informed that Malkin or Mawkin, in Norfolk and Suffolk, signifies “a scarecrow,' and that it is also applied to a dirty ragged blouzy wench.' Mr. Amyot confirms these explanations to me.” COLLIER.
Malkin, applied to a woman, is of very frequent occurrence in our early writers; and surely, on the present occasion, there was no necessity for any other explanation than that the word is supposed to be the diminutive of Mal (Mary), and that " the kitchen malkin” is equivalent to the kitchen wench' (as "the country malkin” means the country wench,' &c.).—What have we to do here with its signifying "a hare,” “a cat," and “a scarecrow," (or, as it also does, "a mop") ?
The above note bears a strong resemblance to one of the illustrative remarks in a book which Dr. Dibdin, with his usual discrimination, calls “a valuable production,"— the Variorum Statius ; " Fulmineosque sues, et sicubi maxima tigris.”
Achil. ii. 409. Tigris] Animal est truculentum et velocissimum, quo et India et Hyrcania abundat : ejusdem nominis est etiam fluvius Armenia.”
SCENE 2.-C. p. 213.
Because that now it lies you on to speak
heart prompts you,
Of no allowance to your bosom's truth.”
Scene 3.-C. p. 220.
Her enemies' marks upon me.” “ Another instance of the licentious use of prepositions in Shakespeare's time—from Rome,' instead of for Rome. Theobald needlessly substituted for.” COLLIER.
Malone, who retained the old reading, did not venture to assert, as Mr. Collier does, that "from" was used here instead of "for" (an example of which usage could not be shewn in any writer either of verse or prose); but his defence of “ from” is sufficiently ridiculous; he tells us, that Cominius “either means that his wounds were got out of Rome, in the cause of his country, or that they mediately were derived from Rome, by his acting in conformity to the orders of the state.”
(When Theobald made his certain emendation “ for," he adduced from the same play ; “To banish him that struck more blows for Rome,” &c.
Act iv. sc. 2. “ Good man, the wounds that he does bear for Rome !"
Ibid. to which may be added ;
But since he hath
Act iii. sc. 3. “Which were inshell’d when Marcius stood for Rome.”
Act iv. sc. 6.) In Julius Cæsar, act iii. sc. 1, vol. vii. 53, we find;
"for mine eyes, Seeing those beads of sorrow stand in thine,
Began to water.” where Mr. Collier remarks, “So the second folio, rightly: the first has from mine eyes.'”
In the latter passage, the editor of the second folio rectified the error of the first; in the former, which required the same correction, he happened to overlook it.
This is a very common misprint. The first quarto of Beaumont and Fletcher's Wit without Money has (act i. sc. 1),
My brother and myself will run one fortune,