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WIT WITHOUT MONEY.
Act I. Valentine's speech :
One without substance, &c.
"HE present text, and that proposed by Seward,
are equally vile. I have endeavoured to make the lines sense, though the whole is, I suspect, incurable except by bold conjectural reformation. I would read thus:
One without substance of herself, that's woman;
* That's wanton,' or, that is to say, wantonness.' Act ii. Valentine's speech
Of half-a-crowu a week for pins and puppetsAs there is a syllable wanting in the measure here. Seward.
A syllable wanting! Had this Seward neither ears nor fingers ? The line is a more than usually regular iambic hendecasyllable.
With one man satisfied, with one rein guided;
BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER.
Is "apaid'-contented—too obsolete for B. and F.:
Content with one faith, with one bed apaid,
She makes the wife, preserves the fame and issue ;Or it may be
- with one breed apaid that is, satisfied with one set of children, in opposition to
A widow is a Christmas-hox, &c. Colman's note on Seward's attempt to put this play into netre.
The editors, and their contemporaries in general, were ignorant of any but the regular iambic verse. A study of the Aristophanic and Plautine metres would lave enabled them to reduce B. and F. throughout into metre, except where prose is really intended.
THE HUMOROUS LIEUTENANT.
Act I. sc. 1. Second Ambassador's speech :
When your angers,
an interpolation of some matter of fact criticall pus, prose atque venenum. The 'your' in the
next line, instead of 'their,' is likewise yours, Mr. Critic! Act ii. sc. 1. Timon's speech :
Another of a new way will be look'd at.We must suspect the poets wrote,' of a new duy.' So immediately after,
For all his wisdom, yet give us a day.
SEWARD's Note. For this very reason I more than suspect the contrary. Ib. sc. 3. Specch of Leucippe :
I'll put her into action for a wastcout.What we call a riding-habit,- some mannish dress.
THE MAD LOVER.
Act IV. Vasque of beasts :
-This goodly tree,
HERE must have been omitted a line rhyming
to the next line have been transposed :
-This goodly tree,
THE LOYAL SUBJECT.
T is well worthy of notice, and yet has not been,
ference there exists in the dramatic writers of the Elizabetho-Jacobæan age-(Vercy on me! what a phrase for the writers during the reigns of Elizabeth and James I.!')-in respect of their political opinions. Shakspeare, in this as in all other things, himself and alone, gives the perma. nent politics of human nature, and the only predilection, which appears, shews itself in his contempt of mobs and the populacy. Jassinger is a decided Whig ;-Beaumont and Fletcher high-flying, pas.
vc-obedience, Tories. The Spanish dramatists furnished them with this, as with many other ingredients. By the by, an accurate and familiar acquaintance with all the productions of the Spanish stage previously to 1620, is an indispensable qualification for an editor of B. and F.;-and with this qualification a most interesting and instructive edition might be given. This edition of Colman's (Stockdale 1811,) is below criticism.
In metre, B. and F. are inferior to Shakspeare, on the one hand, as expressing the poetic part of F the drama, and to Massinger, on the other, in the art of reconciling metre with the natural rhythm of conversation,-in which, indeed, Massinger is un
rivalled. Read him aright, and measure by time, not syllables, and no lines can be more legitimate, -none in which the substitution of equipollent feet, and the modifications by emphasis, are managed with such exquisite judgment. B. and F. are fond of the twelve syllable (not Alexandrine) line, as
Too many fears 'tis thought too: and to nourish those
This has, often, a good effect, and is one of the varieties most common in Shakspeare.
RULE A WIFE AND HAVE A WIFE.
Act III. Old Woman's speech :
- I fear he will knock my Brains out for lying.
R. Seward discards the words ‘for lying,' beV cause 'most of the things spoke of Estifania are true, with only a little exaggeration, and because they destroy all appearance of measure.' Colman's note.
Mr. Seward had his brains out. The humour lies in Estifania's having ordered the Old Woman to tell these tales of her; for though an intriguer, she is not represented as other than chaste; and as to the metre, it is perfectly correct.