« PredošláPokračovať »
3-But to give the finifing hand to Shakespeare, Mf, Warburton, a profefed critic, undertook him; and from the reputation he had acquired . from some other writings, and his known industry, many perfons expected, that the genuine text of our author would have been restored te a tittle i every, obfçure passage cleared up; every reals
, or seeming difficulty rendered easy, even to his readers of the lowest class; and (to use an expression of his own) cloatbed properly,
when such a critic had the dressing of him. K to the forlorn hope ; and this is call'd emending. Vol. * 6. p. 63. The Oxford editor alters charitable title, « into character, and title: he did not know that charita. « ble fignifies dear, endearing. p. 481.] The Oxford editor, * who does all he can to make the poet unpoetical, alters ** virtues, to advicesı 485. The Oxford editor alters •£*** ignorant, to impotent ; not knowing, that ignorant at
* that time fignified impotent. 523. The Oxford editor, * not knowing, that memory at that time was used for ob memorial, alters it to memarial. Vol. 7. p. 219. The “ Oxford editor is here again at his old work of altering
.. what he did not anderstand. 253. He's ftrange and La previjh.] The Oxford editor with great acumen, alters
« it to, he's Arange and foeepisk. ... Vol. 8. p, 191. The 2. Oxford editor despised an emendation so easy, and reads
So it thus, Nay let the devil wear black, Til have a suit of 16 ermin. And you could expect no less, when fach a
*critic had the dressing of him. 396. But the Oxford 2...16 editor, not understanding his author's phraseology any better
when he ended, than when he had begun with him,
altered : &c." With many more civil and palite remarks, much to the fame purpose.
How he has - fucceeded myft be left to the reader to judge, from the (a), Remarks of two learned, and very ingenious gentlemen Thomas Edwards Esq; Barrister of Lincoln's Inn ; and the reverend Mr. Upton, Prebendary of Rocbefter. And I shall despair of seeing the genuine text of Shakespeare restored, till the publication of shis works is undertaken by one, or both these, gentlemen, who, from what they have publith'd upon the subject, have. Thewn, that I they are duly qualified to perform the talk with great credit to themselves, and advantage, to their readers.
*). I have never heard any other objections made to the writings of this excellent poet, but that he has here and there an obscene expression ; or, for his unskilfulness in the dead languages, re markable anachronisms, or blunders in chronology, and the jingles, puns, and quibbles, which fres quently occur in his plays,
As to the first, he is certainly indefenfible, and and cannot by any means be justified ; though's Ovid, Horace, and others of the antient poets, and Ben Johnson, and other cotemporary writers, i? have taken as great (if not greater) liberties in ci shaf respect. As to his ignorance in the Greek and Latin tongues, though that point has been
(a) The first, intit led, Canons of Criticism, and a Glossary. Being a fupplement to Mr. Warburton's edition of Shakespeare. The fifth edition was publith din 1753:
The second, intit'led, Critical Observations ex Shakespeare, Seç Preface to the second edition.
more than onice difcuffed, and much faid on both sides of the question ; I cannot but think from his exa& imitation of many of the antient poets and biftorians, (of which there were no tolerable translations in his time,) that his knowledge in that tefpect cannor reasonably be calpa in question." Nay, from the single play of Hamlet, which seems in many places to be an exact translation of Saxo Grammaticus, (which I believe was never translated into any other language) it cannot be doubted, but that he had a competent fkill in the Latin tongue.
His mistakes in chronology are so notorious, and numerous, that I shall not pretend to vindicate them.
And as to the last particular, his jingles, puns, and quibbles, they were certainly owing to the falfe taste of the times in which he lived.
King James the First was: by some persons thought to be a Prince of great learning; but he affected to fhew it so much in his speeches, that by others, he has been charged with pedantry; which I fuppofe occasioned Gondomar's faucy freedom, in telling his Majesty, that he spoke Latin like a pedant, but be bimself like a gentleman.
Nay, this Prince discover'd in his writings so much of this low (but then fashionable) kind of wit, that it is not to be wondered at, if he was follow'd by the generality of writers of those times.
• Bishop Andrewse the most learned Prelate of that age, in all his fermons before the Kings abounds but too much in jingles, &c. I lhall exhibit to the reader a few pallages, out of many, in proof.
In his fermon before the King at White Hall, en Christmas Day, 1607. on 1 Timothy, yi. Ia He begins with the following words. DP 17. The mystery (here mentioned) is s! the mystery of this feaft, and this feaff the feafle " of this mystery : for, as at this feaft God was “ manifested in the flesh, in that it is a great “ mystery, it maketh the feaft great ; in that ", it is a mystery of godlinefs, it should likewise “ make it a feast of godlinefs ;-great we grant, « and godly too we trust; would God, as gadly
as great, and no more controversie of one, " than of the other."
In another sermon before the King, on Chriftmas Day 1623. on Ephesians, į. 10., 1. P. 148. “Seeing the text is of Seafons, ic " would not be out of season itself : and tho' “ it be never out of seafon to speak of Christ, yet
Christ bath his seafons. Your time is always (faith he, John vii.) so is not myne; I “ have my seafons, one of which seafons is this, the
season of his birth, by which all were recapi“tulate in heaven and earth; which is the sea,
fon of the text, and so this a text of the seafan.”. ... And in a sermon preach'd before the King,
the fifth of August 1615. (on the conspiracy of the Gowries) on Psalm xxi. 1, 2, 3, 4.
P: 830.5. Upon a day of joy, here is a text
of joy, upon a day of joy for the King, a text " of a King in joy. Før, fo we fee there is it " the text a King, and hee joyful and glado..X9
“ And upon these two, (namely, fas $tisfaction to the heart and lips) there is a fela.
For these two, one would think, were able to
content any. But this fela is no fela to God; at he hath a fela, or an ela above this selan--and * this is the prevenifti of his goodness.
“ Satisfie the lips ; petite, et dabitur, fpeak,
and speed. Satifie the heart, ave et babe, 946 with and have. Not only open thy moutb; but
enlarge thy heart never so wide, and I will * fill it, this is able to satisfie David, I think, 6 and make him fing sela, which is their Al• .
I come now to give an account of what I have done in the following notes. "... Gil have with tolerable care collated the two
first folio editions of 1623, and 1632. (especially the latter) with Mr. Theobald's, Sir Thomas Hanmer's, and Mr. Warburton's : (whose text I have generally made ufe of) by which I think it will appear, that there are many alterations for the worfe, in these modern editions. I have read over the works of Chaucer, Skelton, and Spenfer, and have endeavoured to point out those passages, whichShakespeare probably borrowed from thence, and to shew what things have been copied from him by the dramatic writers who lived in, or -near his own time.