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In a fubfequent quarto, printed in 1608, inftead of life-harming we find HALF-harming; which being perceived by the editor of the folio to be nonfenfe, he fubftituted, inftead of it,-SELFharming heaviness.

In the original copy of King Henry IV. P. I. printed in 1598, Act IV. fc. iv. we find

"And what with Owen Glendower's abfence thence, (Who with them was a rated finew too,)" &c.

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In the fourth quarto printed in 1608, the article being omitted by the negligence of the compofitor, and the line printed thus,—

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the editor of the next quarto, (which was copied by the folio,) instead of examining the first edition, amended the error (leaving the metre ftill imperfect) by reading

"Who with them was rated firmly too."

So, in the fame play, Act I. fc. iii. inftead of the reading of the earliest copy

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caudy being printed in the first folio inftead of candy, by the accidental inverfion of the letter n, the editor of the fecond folio corrected the error by fubftituting gawdy.

So, in the fame play, Act III. fc. i. instead of the reading of the earlieft impreffion,

"The frame and huge foundation of the earth

in the fecond and the fubfequent quartos, the line by the negligence of the compofitor was exhibited without the word huge:

"The frame and foundation of the earth-"

and the editor of the folio, finding the metre imperfect, fupplied it by reading,

"The frame and the foundation of the earth."

Another line in Act V. fc. ult. is thus exhibited in the quarto, 1598:

"But that the earthy and cold hand of death-"

Earth being printed instead of earthy, in the next and the fubfequent quarto copies, the editor of the folio amended the line thus:

"But that the earth and the cold hand of death-."

Again, in the preceding fcene, we find in the first copy,

"I was not born a yielder, thou proud Scot-."

inftead of which, in the fifth quarto, 1613, we have

"I was not born to yield, thou proud Scot."

This being the copy that was used by the editor of the folio, inftead of examining the most ancient impreffion, he corrected the error according to his

own fancy, and probably while the work was paffing through the prefs, by reading

"I was not born to yield, thou haughty Scot."

In Romeo and Juliet, Juliet fays to her Nurse,

"In faith, I am forry that thou art not well."

and this line in the first folio being corruptly exhibited

"In faith, I am forry that thou art so well."

the editor of the fecond folio, to obtain fome sense, printed

"In faith, I am forry that thou art fo ill."

In the quarto copy of the fame play, published in 1599, we find—


O happy dagger,

"This is thy fheath; there ruft, and let me die."

In the next quarto, 1609, the laft line is thus represented:

"'Tis is thy fheath," &c.

The editor of the folio,

feeing that this was manifeftly wrong, abfurdly corrected the error thus:

""Tis in thy fheath; there ruft, and let me die."

Again, in the fame play, quarto, 1599, mishav'd being corruptly printed for misbehav'd,

But like a mishav'd and fullen wench-”

the editor of the firft-folio, to obtain fomething like fenfe, reads

"But like a mishap'd and fullen wench-."

and instead of this, the editor of the fecond folio, for the fake of metre, gives us

"But like a misfhap'd and a fullen wench-,"

Again, in the first scene of King Richard III. quarto, 1597, we find this line:

"That tempers him to this extremity."

In the next quarto, and all fubfequent, tempts is corruptly printed inftead of tempers.

The line then wanting a fyllable, the editor of the folio printed it thus:

"That tempts him to this harsh extremity."

Not to weary my reader, I fhall add but two more inftances, from Romeo and Juliet:

"Away to heaven, refpective lenity,

"And fire-ey'd fury be my conduct now }"

fays Romeo, when provoked by the appearance of his rival. Instead of this, which is the reading of the quarto 1597, the line, in the quarto, 1599, is thus corruptly exhibited :

"And fire end fury be my condu& now !"

In the fubfequent quarto copy and was fubftituted for end; and accordingly in the folio the poet's fine imagery is entirely loft, and Romeo exclaims,

"And fire and fury be my conduct now!"

The other inftance in the fame play is not lefs remarkable. In the quarto, 1599, the Friar, addreffing Romeo, is made to fay,

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Thou puts up thy fortune, and thy love."

The editor of the folio perceiving here a grofs corruption, fubftituted these words:

"Thou putteft up thy fortune, and thy love;"

not perceiving that up was a misprint for upon, and puts for pouts, (which according to the ancient mode was written instead of powt'ft,) as he would have found by looking into another copy without a date, and as he might have conjectured from the correfponding line in the original play printed in 1597, had he ever examined it:

"Thou frown'ft upon thy fate, that fmiles on thee."

So little known indeed was the value of the early impreffions of books, (not revifed or corrected by their authors,) that King Charles the Firft, though a great admirer of our poet, was contented with the fecond folio edition of his plays, unconfcious of the numerous mifreprefentations and interpolations by which every page of that copy is disfigured; and in a volume of the quarto plays of Beaumont and Fletcher, which formerly belonged to that king, and is now in my collection, I did not find a fingle first impreffion. In like manner, Sir William D'Avenant, when he made his alteration of the play of Macbeth, appears to have used the third folio printed in 1664.8

8 In that copy anoint being corruptly printed instead of aroint, "Anoint thee, witch, the rump-fed ronyon cries." the error was implicitly adopted by D'Avenant.

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