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So Mr. Collier in his Shakespeare, adopting the reading of the second folio. That of the first folio, and of Heyes's quarto, is "pattens.” The other quarto has “pattents.” • Though Mr. Hunter (New Illustr. of Shakespeare, i. 318) says, that “ the constellations may not unsuitably be spoken of as patterns, just as we speak of the pattern of mosaic work, or the pattern of a flowered or spotted damask,” I still think (see my Remarks on Collier's and Knight's editions of Shakespeare, p. 59) that “patterns” is a gross misprint, and that we must undoubtedly read “patines,” or “pattens,” or “pattents” (it matters little which ; see Coles's English-Latin Dict. in “ Patine;"' Todd's Johnson's Dict. in “Paten;" and, for an example of “pattent,” Hunter's New Illust. of Shakespeare, ii. 349).
The poet means that the floor of heaven is thickly inlaid with plates, or circular ornaments, of bright gold. Compare Sylvester's Du Bartas ; “ Th’ Almighties finger fixed many a million Of golden scutchions (the original has “platines dorees”] in that
The Fourth Day of the First Week, p. 33, ed. 1641.
“That sumptuous canapy, The which th' un-niggard hand of Majesty Poudred so thick with shields (the original has «? escussons”] so shining cleer,” &c.
Id. p. 34.
Act v. sc. 1.
“the moon sleeps with Endymion."
The very same words occur in a writer with whose works Shakespeare, we know, was well acquainted;
“The moon sleeps with Endymion every day.”
AS YOU LIKE IT.
Act iii. sc. 5.
“ The common executioner,
“Perhaps “dies' is to be taken in the sense of causes to die; but the corrector of the folio, 1632, removes all doubt, if we may take his representation of the original text, by substituting kills. . . . Can dines have been the true word ?” Collier's Notes and Emendations, &c. p. 134.
The old text must be right, because “ dies” is evidently put in opposition to “ lives;" and the Manuscriptcorrector's alteration must be wrong, because it destroys the antithesis.
“I am afraid,” says Steevens, " our bard is at his quibbles again. To die means as well to dip a thing in a colour foreign to its own, as to expire. In this sense, contemptible as it is, the executioner may be said to die as well as live by bloody drops :" and he adduces from early writers several instances of quibbles on the word die.
I am strongly inclined to agree with Steevens. In the following passage (which escaped his notice) “dying" seems to be used just as Shakespeare, according to the above explanation, has used “ dies” (for we can hardly understand “dying” as equivalent either to the dying of others or to causing to die);
“ Turbine the Dyer stalkes before his dore,
Like Cæsar, that by Dying oft did thriue;
Davies's Scourge of Folly, 1611, Epig. 273.
Act v. sc. 4.
And all their lands restor'd to him again
So the old copies.
The Manuscript-corrector “ also introduces an emendation into the last line but two of the Second Brother's speech :
restor'd to them again That were with him exild.'
The old text is ‘him' for them, which may by ingenuity be reconciled to propriety; but them makes the passage more easily understood, which here, at least, in the winding up of the plot, must have been a main object with the poet.” Collier's Notes and Emendations, &c. p. 140.
Mr. Collier will excuse me when I say that this is not the only part of his book which is calculated to mislead the reader. Who would not suppose, from the language used above, that the lection "them” was now for the first time brought forward ? The fact is, that, Mr. Collier alone excepted, every recent editor has printed “them,” without even thinking it necessary to notice the obvious misprint of the old copies.
THE TAMING OF THE SHREW.
Induction, sc. 1.
“Go by, S. Jeronimy."
“ Sly's exclamation from 'The Spanish Tragedy,''Go by, S. Jeronimy,' has given commentators some trouble, in consequence of the capital S. before 'Jeronimy.' It seems to be merely a printer's blunder (who might fancy that St. Jerome was alluded to), and so the old corrector treated it, by unceremoniously putting his pen through it.” Collier's Notes and Emendations, &c. p. 141.
But is the Manuscript-corrector to be justified in treating the “S.” so unceremoniously? See my Remarks on Collier's and Knight's editions of Shakespeare, p. 65.
Act i. sc. 1.
“Or so devote to Aristotle's checks.”
“What are · Aristotle's checks ? Undoubtedly a misprint for Aristotle's Ethics, formerly spelt ethicks, and hence the absurd blunder" (which the Manuscript-corrector of the folio, 1632, sets right]. Collier's Notes and Emendations, &c. p. 144. See also “Introduction” to that volume, p. xi.
Blackstone conjectured “ethics” many years ago; since which time the whole reading world, with the exception of Shakespeare's editors,— has been convinced that it is the true lection.