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except in the cafe of mere obvious errors of the
20. "Doft thou think, for that I infinuate or toze-"
21. You might have spoke a thousand things," P. 414,
23." Once more to look on.
like a weather-beaten conduit." P. 425.
"And fon unto the king, who, heavens directing,
"And fon unto the king, (whom heavens directing,)
1. "Which fault lies on the hazard of all husbands. P. 10,
"'Tis too refpective, and too fociable,
3." Thus leaning on my elbow," P. 16.
4. "With them a baftard of the king deceas'd."
5. "That thou haft under-wrought its lawful king." P. 26.
Say, Shall the current of our right run on ?"
prefs, the reader is apprized by a note; and every
7. "And now he feafts, mouthing the flesh of men,-." P. 38. "And now he feafts, moufing the flesh of men,—” P. 477.
8. "A greater power than ye-" P. 39.
"A greater power than we-" P. 478.
9 That I may be accurately underftood, I fubjoin a few of these unnoticed corrections:
In King Henry VI. P. I. A& I. fc. vi :
Thy promises are like Adonis' gardens,
"That one day bloom'd, and fruitful were the next." The old copy reads-garden.
In King John, A&t IV. fc. ii:
that close aspect of his
"Does fhew the mood of a much-troubled breast." The old copy reads-Do. Ibidem, A& I. fc. i:
"'Tis too refpective, and too fociable," &c. The old copy,-"Tis two refpective," &c.
Again, in the fame play, we find in the original copy :
In King Henry V. A& V. sc, ii :
"Corrupting in its own fertility."
The old copy reads-it.
In Timon of Athens, A& I. fc. i: "Come, fhall we in ?"
The old copy has-Comes.
Ibidem: "Even on their knees, and hands,—," The old copy has-hand.
In Cymbeline, A& III. fc. iv :
"The handmaids of all women, or, more truly,
The old copy has-it.
It cannot be expected that the page fhould be encumbered with the notice of fuch obvious mistakes of the prefs as are here enumerated. With the exception of errors fuch as thefe, whenever any emendation has been adopted, it is mentioned in a note, and afcribed to its author.
emendation that has been adopted, is afcribed to its proper author. When it is confidered that
9. "For grief is proud, and makes his owner ftoop." P. 52. "For grief is proud, and makes his owner ftout." P. 492. 10. "O, that a man would speak these words to me!” O, that a man should speak these words to me!"
11. "Is't not amifs, when it is truly done?" P. 64.
"Then, in defpight of brooded watchful day,-"
13. "A whole armado of collected fail." P. 74. "A whole armado of convicted fail." P. 514. 14. "And bitter Shame hath Spoil'd the Sweet world's taste." P. 79. "And bitter fhame hath spoil'd the fweet word's taste." P. 519.
15. Strong reafons make ftrong actions." P. 81. Strong reafons make strange actions." P. 522. 16. "Muft make a stand at what your highness will." "Doth make a stand at what your highness will."
P. 530. 17. "Had none, my lord! why, did not you provoke me?" P. 96. "Had none, my lord! why, did you not provoke me?" P. 536.
18. Mad'ft it no confcience to destroy a king." P. 97. "Made it no confcience to deftroy a king." P. 537. "Sir, fir, impatience has its privilege." P. 102. "Sir, fir, impatience has his privilege." P. 541. Or, when he doom'd this beauty to the grave;
Or, when he doom'd this beauty to a grave,”
there are one hundred thousand lines in these plays, and that it often was neceffary to confult
21. To the yet-un begotten fins of time." P. 102. "To the yet-unbegotten fin of times." P. 541. 22. "And breathing to this breathless excellence,” P. 102. "And breathing to his breathless excellence,—' P. 542. 23. "And your supplies, which you have wish'd so long,—" P. 121. "And your Supply, which you have wish'd fo long,—” P. 561.
24. "What's that to thee? Why may I not demand—” "What's that to thee? Why may not I demand-"
25. "O, my fweet fir,
new's fitted to the night." P. 123. "O, my sweet fir, news fitting to the night." P.563. 26. "Death, having prey'd upon the outward parts, "Leaves them; invifible his fiege is now
Against the mind," P. 124.
"Death, having prey'd upon the outward parts,
27. "The falt of them is hot."
P. 125. "The falt in them is hot." P. 568.
Two other restorations in this play I have not fet down: "Before we will lay down our juft-borne arms
A& II. fc. ii.
"Be these fad figns confirmers of thy word." because I pointed them out on a former occafion.
It may perhaps be urged that fome of the variations in thefe. lifts, are of no great confequence; but to preferve our poet's genuine text is certainly important; for otherwife, as Dr. Johnfon has justly obferved, "the hiftory of our language will be loft;" and as our poet's words are changed, we are conftantly in danger of lofing his meaning alío. Every reader must wish to perufe what Shakspeare wrote, fupported at once by the authority of the authentick copies, and the ufage of his contemporaries, rather than what the editor of the second folio, or Pope, or Hanmer, or Warburton, have arbitrarily substituted in its place.
A& III. fc. i.
fix or feven volumes, in order to afcertain by which of the preceding editors, from the time of the publication of the fecond folio, each emendation was made, it will easily be believed, that this was not effected without much trouble.
Whenever I mention the old copy in my notes, if the play be one originally printed in quarto, I, mean the first quarto copy; if the play appeared originally in folio, I mean the first folio; and when I mention the old copies, I mean the first quarto and first folio, which, when that expreffion is ufed, it may be concluded, concur in the fame reading. In like manner, the folio always means the firft folio, and the quarto, the earliest quarto, with the exceptions already mentioned. In general, however, the date of each quarto is given, when it is cited. Where there are two quarto copies printed in the fame year, they are particularly diftinguished, and the variations noticed.
The two great duties of an editor are, to exhibit the genuine text of his author, and to explain his obfcurities. Both of these objects have been fo conftantly before my eyes, that, I am confident, one of them will not be found to have been neglected for the other. I can with perfect truth fay, with Dr. Johnson, that "not a fingle paffage in the whole work has appeared to me obfcure, which I have not endeavoured to illuftrate." I have examined the notes of all the editors, and my own
Let me not, however, be misunderstood. All these variations have not been difcovered by the present collation, some of them having been pointed out by preceding editors; but fuch as had been already noticed were merely pointed out the original readings are now established and fupported by the usage of our poet himself and that of his contemporaries, and restored to the text, inftead of being degraded to the bottom of the page.