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concludes with these words: " Despatch.-Enobarbus!" Antony, who is the speaker, desires his attendant Eros to despatch, and then pronounces the name Enobarbus, who had recently deserted him, and whose loss he here laments. But there being no person on the scene but Eros, and the point being inadvertently omitted after the word dispatch, the editor of the second folio supposed that Enobarbus must have been an error of the press, and therefore reads:
In Troilus and Cressida, Cressida says,
Things won are done; joy's soul lies in the doing." i. e. the soul of joy lies, &c. So, "love's visible soul," and "my soul of counsel;" expressions likewise used by Shakspeare. Here also the editor of the second folio exhibits equal ignorance of his author; for instead of this eminently beautiful expression, he has given us
Things won are done; the soul's joy lies in doing.”
In King Richard III. Ratcliff, addressing the lords at Pomfret, says,
"Make haste, the hour of death is expiate."
for which the editor of the second folio, alike ignorant of the poet's language and metre, has substituted,
"Make haste, the hour of death is now expir'd."
So, in Romeo and Juliet:
"The earth hath swallow'd all my hopes but she."
The word The being accidentally omitted in the first folio, the editor of the second supplied the defect by reading—
"Earth hath up swallow'd all my hopes but she."
Again, in the same play; "I'll lay fourteen of my teeth, and yet, to my teen be it spoken, I have but four:" not understanding the word teen, he substituted teeth instead of it.
Man being corruptly printed instead of maid in the first folio, 1623, the editor of the second, who never examined a single quarto copy,2 corrected the error at random, by reading
*That this editor never examined any of the quarto copies, is proved by the following instances:
In Troilus and Cressida, we find in the first folio:
Finding this nonsense, he printed "in unrespective place." In the quarto he would have found the true word-sieve.
Again, in the same play, the following lines are thus corruptly exhibited:
"That all the Greeks begin to worship Ajax;
"Since things in motion begin to catch the eye,
"Than what not stirs."
the words" begin to," being inadvertently repeated in the second line, by the compositor's eye glancing on the line above. The editor of the second folio, instead of examining the quarto, where he would have found the true reading:
"Since things in motion sooner catch the eye." thought only of amending the metre, and printed the line thus: "Since things in motion 'gin to catch the eye-” leaving the passage nonsense, as he found it.
So, in Titus Andronicus:
"And let no comfort delight mine ear
"Prick'd from the lazy finger of a woman.”
"Dost thou love me? I know thou wilt say, ay:"
The word me being omitted in the first folio, the editor of the second capriciously supplied the metre
being erroneously printed in the first folio, instead of " And let no comforter," &c. the editor of the second folio corrected the error according to his fancy, by reading
"And let no comfort else delight mine ear."
So, in Love's Labour's Lost, Vol. VII. p. 96: "Old Mantuan, who understands thee not, loves thee not." The words in the Italick character being inadvertently omitted in the first folio, the editor of the second folio, instead of applying to the quarto to cure the defect, printed the passage just as he found it: and in like manner in the same play implicitly followed the error of the first folio, which has been already mentioned,—
"O, that your
face were so full of O's-"
though the omission of the word not, which is found in the quarto, made the passage nonsense.
So, in Much Ado about Nothing:
"And I will break with her. Was't not to this end," &c.
being printed instead of—
"And I will break with her and with her father,
"And thou shalt have her. Was't not to this end," &c. the error, which arose from the compositor's eye glancing from one line to the other, was implicitly adopted in the second folio. Again, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream:
"Ah me, for aught that I could ever read,
"Could ever hear," &c.
the words Ah me being accidentally omitted in the first folio, instead of applying to the quarto for the true reading, he supplied the defect, according to his own fancy, thus:
"Hermia, for aught that I could ever read," &c. Again, in The Merchant of Venice, he arbitrarily gives us― "The ewe bleat for the lamb when you behold,"
Why he hath made the ewe bleat for the lamb." See p. 454. Innumerable other instances of the same kind might be produced.
"Dost thou love? O, I know thou wilt say, ay."
This expletive, we shall presently find, when I come to speak of the poet's metre, was his constant expedient in all difficulties.
In Measure for Measure he printed ignominy instead of ignomy, the reading of the first folio, and the common language of the time. In the same play, from his ignorance of the constable's humour, he corrected his phraseology, and substituted instant for distant; ("—at that very distant time:") and in like manner he makes Dogberry, in Much Ado about Nothing, exhort the watch not to be vigitant, but vigilant.
Among the marks of love, Rosalind, in As you like it, mentions "a beard neglected, which you have not; but I pardon you for that; for, simply, your having in beard is a younger brother's revenue." Not understanding the meaning of the word having, this editor reads-" your having no beard," &c.
In A Midsummer-Night's Dream, Pyramus says,
"I see a voice; now will I to the chink,
Of the humour of this passage he had not the least notion, for he printed, instead of it,
"I hear a voice; now will I to the chink,
In The Merchant of Venice, Act I. sc. i. we find in the first folio,
"And out of doubt you do more wrong
which the editor of the second perceiving to be imperfect, he corrected at random thus:
"And out of doubt you do to me more wrong."
Had he consulted the original quarto, he would have found that the poet wrote—
"And out of doubt you do me now more wrong."
So, in the same play," But of mine, then yours," being corruptly printed instead of" But if mine, then yours," this editor arbitrarily reads"But first mine, then yours.'
"Or even as well use question with the wolf,
the words "Why he hath made" being omitted in the first folio at the beginning of the second line, the second folio editor supplied the defect thus absurdly :
"Or even as well use question with the wolf,
In Othello the word snipe being misprinted in the first folio,
"If I should time expend with such a snpe.”
the editor not knowing what to make of it, substituted swain instead of the corrupted word. Again, in the same play,
"For of my heart those charms, thine
eyes, are blotted."
being printed in the first folio instead of" Forth of my heart," &c. which was the common language of the time, the editor of the second folio amended the error according to his fancy, by reading