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Act v. sc. 1.
Here Mr. Knight, alone of the modern editors, follows the old copies in printing “fashion-monging,”—and rightly, for instances of that form are not wanting in our early authors: so in Wilson's Coblers Prophecie, 1594;
“ Then where will be the schollers allegories,
Where the Lawier with his dilatories,
Sig. B 3.
Act v. sc. 1.
“I will bid thee draw, as we do the minstrels."
“As we bid the minstrels” means, according to Malone, “ draw the bows of their fiddles;" according to Mr. Collier, “ draw their instruments out of their cases.” The latter seems the more probable explanation : compare Dekker's Satiromastix, 1602 ; “Haue the merry knaues pul'd their fiddle cases ouer their instruments eares ?” Sig. B 2.
Act v. sc. 1. “ Dog. "Come, you, sir; if justice cannot tame you, she shall ne'er weigh more reasons in her balance.”
This quibble between reasons and raisins is found again in Troilus and Cressida, act ii. sc. 2. Indeed, it is as old as the time of Skelton, who says in his Speke, Parrot;
“Grete reysons with resons be now reprobitante,
for the first time printed). See also Dekker's Owles Almanacke, 1618, sig. F 2.
· Act v. sc. 2.
“I give thee the bucklers,"
i. e. I ġield, lay aside all thoughts of defence. So Cotgrave, in his Dict. (sub Gaigné), has “ Je te le donne gaigné .... I giue thee the bucklers."
That, in such expressions, “ old” is equivalent to “great, abundant,” was never doubted, I suppose, by any one except the critic who reviewed my ed. of Beaumont and Fletcher in Churton's Literary Register.—Cotgrave, in his Dict., has ; " Faire le diable de vauuert. To play reaks, to keep an old coile, or horrible stirre." I know not if it has been observed that the Italians use (or at least formerly used) “ vecchio” in the same sense ;
“ Perchè Corante abbandonava il freno,
Pulci,- Morg. Mag. C. xv. st. 54. “E so ch'egli ebbe di vecchie paure.”
Id. c. xix. st. 30. (It is rather remarkable that Florio, in his Dict., has not given this meaning of “ vecchio.")
LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST.
Act i. sc. 1.
In his note on these words Mr. Collier says, “ The folio has “fit you out,' which may be right." Assuredly not: and, if the passage cited by Steevens from Bishop Sanderson be thought insufficient to shew that the quarto gives the true reading, here is another passage which puts the matter beyond all doubt;
" Lewis. . . . . .
. . King of Nauar, will onely you sit out ?
Nau. No, King of Fraunce, my bloud's as hot as thine, And this my weapon shall confirme my words.”
The Tryall of Cheualry, 1605, sig. G 3.
Act i. sc. 1. “ Biron. How low soever the matter, I hope in God for high words.
Long. A high hope for a low having: God grant us patience!
Long. To hear meekly, sir, and to laugh moderately; or to forbear both.”
In this passage the old eds. give “A high hope for a low heaven.” Theobald (whose alteration has generally been adopted) substituted “having” for “heaven.”
From Mr. Collier's Notes and Emendations, p. 82, we learn that “the corrector of the folio, 1632, says that we ought to erase "heaven' for hearing :
A high hope for a low hearing : God grant us patience !
What Biron adds seems consequent upon it, when he asks whether the patience prayed for is to be granted, to hear, or to forbear hearing.'"
I shall not discuss the question whether Theobald's “having" be right or wrong (Mr. Collier, in his edition of Shakespeare, says, Theobald “was probably right;" in the Notes and Emendations he says, Theobald "was most likely wrong"). As to the Manuscript-corrector's emendation, “hearing,”—I strongly suspect that it was made merely in consequence of his finding that word in the next speech. But is “hearing” the right reading in Biron's speech? No; it is manifestly wrong: what immediately follows proves that it is a mistake of the scribe or the printer for “ laughing,"—the excellent correction of Steevens, which Malone calls “ plausible,” and which the later editors do not even mention.
Act i. sc. 1. “ Biron. Well, sir, be it as the style shall give us cause to climb in the merriness."
The manuscript-corrector has altered clime in the merriness' of the old copies, to chime in in the merriness,' in allusion to the laughable contents expected in Armado's letter, in the merriness' of which the King and his companions hope to chime in' or participate." Collier's Notes and Emendations, &c. p. 82.
But we can hardly doubt that on the word “style" a quibble was intended, which is destroyed by the Manuscript-corrector's alteration. Compare, in act iv. sc. 1,
“ Boyet. I am much deceiv'd, but I remember the style.
Prin. Else your memory is bad, going o'er it erewhile.”
So also, in Dekker's Satiro-mastix, 1602, Asinius Bubo, who has been reading a book, says of its author, " The whoorson made me meete with a hard stile in two or three places as I went ouer him.” Sig. c 4. And in Day's Ile of Guls, 1606; “But and you vsde such a high and eleuate stile, your auditories low and humble vnderstandings should neuer crall ouer't." Sig. F.
Act ii. sc. 1.
“Now, madam, summon up your dearest spirits.”
“ To this line,” says Mr. Collier (Notes and Emendations, &c. p. 83), “ Steevens has appended a note in which he observes, that · Dear, in our author's language, has many shades of meaning: in the present instance and the next, it appears to signify, best, most powerful.' The fact is (if we may trust the corrector of the folio, 1632) that dearest was a misprint for clearest ; and it is easy to see how cl might be mistaken for d. He gives the line :
“Now, madam, summon up your clearest spirits ;
that is, her brightest and purest spirits, that the Princess might adequately discharge the important embassy entrusted to her by her father."
But we are not to “ trust the corrector of the folio,