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Act iv. sc. 2.
“ The word 'angel' has produced various conjectural emendations, the one usually adopted being that of Theobald, who proposed to read 'ancient engle;' but we are to recollect that the person spoken of was on foot, and we have no doubt that the word wanting [wanted ?] is ambler, which we meet with in the margin of the corrected folio, 1632. As to engle or ingle, which means a person of weak understanding, how was Biondello to know that “the Pedant was so, by merely seeing him walk down the hill ? he could see at once that he was an ambler. How ambler came to be misprinted angel' is a difficulty of perpetual recurrence.” Collier's Notes and Emendations, &c. p. 151.
I never felt quite satisfied with the emendation “enghle” (ingeniously as it is supported by Gifford, note on B. Jonson's Works, ii. 430); nor does that of the Manuscript-corrector appear to me so certain as it does to Mr. Collier.
After all, is “ angel” the right reading (though not in the sense of messenger, which is quite unsuited to the passage),— an ancient angel” being equivalent to an ancient worthy, or simply to an old fellow ? I must not be understood as answering this query in the affirmative when I cite from Cotgrave's Dict. “ Angelot à la grosse escaille. An old Angell; and by metaphor, a fellow of th' old, sound, honest, and worthie stamp.”
ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL.
Act i. sc. 3. “ Diana, no queen of virgins, that would suffer her poor knight to be surprised, without rescue, in the first assault, or ransom afterward.”
The words “ Diana, no" and “to be” were supplied by Theobald, and have been adopted by all succeeding editors.
In my Remarks on Collier's and Knight's editions of Shakespeare, p. 69, I cited a passage from Drayton, in support of my assertion that Theobald had unnecessarily introduced the words “ to be." That quotation, I understand, has been considered as insufficient to settle the point; and I now subjoin three other passages, which will leave no doubt in the mind of any reader that, according to the phraseology of our early authors, “to be” is a superfluous addition.
“If I in this his regall royall raigne
Without repulse should suffer him remaine."
“ By which her fruitful vine and wholesome fare She suffer'd spoild, to make a childish snare."
Marlowe's Hero and Leander,– Works, iii. 61, ed. Dyce.
“ Least we should be spotted with the staine of ingratitude, in suffering the princesse iniury vnreuenged." Greene's Penelope's Web, sig. D 3, ed. 1601.
“ Hel. What I can do, can do no hurt to try,
In the last line the misprint of the old copies, “ shifts," was altered by Pope to “ sits.” Mr. Collier in his edition of Shakespeare gave “fits," from a manuscript correction in a copy of the first folio belonging to Lord Ellesmere : “fits” is also the reading of the Manuscript-corrector of the folio, 1632; and doubtless the true one.
Mr. Knight puts back into the text the long-discarded “shifts ;” and, after telling us that it means "resorts to expedients, depends upon chances, catches at straws,”— he proceeds thus; “ Why, then, should not the word stand ? A rhyme, it is said, is required to hits. Is it so ? Have we a rhyme to this line ?
Oft expectation fails, and most oft there.'
The couplets are dropped; and we have three lines of blank verse. As well that as one line without a corresponding line.” Now, if Mr. Knight had been more familiar with our early dramatists, he would have known that, in such speeches, “ one line without a corresponding line" is not unusual, just before the closing couplet. So in The Travailes of the Three Shirleys, 1607, by Day, W. Rowley, and Wilkins;
“Good mindes know this, imprisonment's no shame,
Vnlesse the cause be foule which blots the name.
Sig. G 4.
Act v. sc. 3. “ Count. Which better than the first, О dear Heaven, bless!
Or, ere they meet, in me, O nature, cesse !"
So the folio. Malone and Mr. Collier print " cease;" and we may well wonder that they should have rejected the older form of the word for one which destroys the rhyme. Mr. Knight rightly retains “ cesse," and quotes an instance of it from Chaucer's Troilus and Cressida, – which is going rather too far back: the fact is, Shakespeare found it in various works that were to him of recent date. E. g. in Phaer and Twyne's Æneidos ;
“ This spoken, with a thought he makes the swelling seas to cesse,
And sunne to shine, and clouds to flee, that did the skies op
Act i. sc. 3. “Sir And. Ay, 'tis strong, and it does indifferent well in a flame-coloured stock."
“Pope was wrong in his change respecting 'flamecolour'd stock :' the old editions have it 'dam'd colour'd stock,' which the manuscript-corrector informs us ought to be 'dun-colour'd stock.'" Collier's Notes and Emendations, &c. p. 172.
But it does not follow that “Pope was wrong," because the Manuscript-corrector hit on an alteration different from his. (When, in a passage of this very play, act ii. sc. 5, “ And with what wing the stallion checks at it,” the Manuscript-corrector substitutes "falcon" for "stallion," Mr. Collier, I presume, will allow that there at least he is quite "wrong," and that Hanmer, who conjectures “stannyel," is perfectly right.) That Sir Andrew, a gallant of the first water, should ever dream of casing his leg in a “dun-coloured stock,” is not to be supposed for a moment.
The epithet “flame-coloured” was frequently applied to dress. In our author's Henry IV. Part First, act i. sc. 2, mention is made of a “wench in flame-coloured taffeta ;" in The Enventorey of all the aparell of the Lord Admeralles men, taken the 13th of Marche, 1598, we find, “j flame collerde dublet pynked.” Malone's Shakespeare (by Boswell), iii. 315; and in Nabbes's Microcosmus (see the Dram. Pers.) both Fire and Love wear "flame-coloured" habits.