« 前へ次へ »
but in note 3 it is suggested that Leontes in his ecstasy might have left his sentence unfinished: such does not appear to have been the case. .... [The Manuscriptcorrector of the folio, 1632] thus supplies a missing line, which we have printed in Italic type:
· Let be, let be!
But for this piece of evidence, that so important an omission had been made by the old printer, or by the copyist of the manuscript for the printer's use, it might have been urged, &c. . . . However, we see above, that a line was wanting, and we may be thankful that it has been furnished, since it adds much to the force and clearness of the speech of Leontes.” Collier's Notes and Emendations, &c. p. 197.
Mr. Collier is mistaken in saying that Warburton considered the text as defective: Warburton's note runs thus; “ The sentence completed is;
"_but that, methinks, already I converse with the dead.'
But there his passion made him break off.” Still, there is room to suspect that something has dropt out: and, on first reading the new line,
“ I am but dead, stone looking upon stone," —
it appeared to me so exactly in the style of Shakespeare, that, like Mr. Collier, I felt “thankful that it had been furnished.” But presently I found that it was too Shakespearian.
Only a few speeches before, Leontes has exclaimed ;
“O, thus she stood,
Now, which is the greater probability ?—that Shakespeare (whose variety of expression was inexhaustible) repeated himself in the line,
“I am but dead, stone looking upon stone” ?
or that a reviser of the play (with an eye to the passage just cited) ingeniously constructed the said line, to fill up a supposed lacuna ? The answer is obvious.
Act i. sc. 1.
In my Remarks on Collier's and Knight's eds. of Shakepeare, p. 87, I endeavoured to shew that Mr. Collier had injudiciously retained the reading of the old copies,
“ With half that face would he have half my land,”—
and I urged that "half that face” was merely a transposition made by a mistake of the original compositor. To what I have there said, let me add, -that a question in Fletcher's Love's Pilgrimage, act ii. sc. 4, —
“Where's the falconer's half-dog he left ?"
stands thus nonsensically in the first folio, by an accidental transposition,
“ Where's the half Falconer's dog he left ?”
Act i. sc. 1.
So the passage used to be read from the time of Rowe (who, in the last line but one, altered “ That art” of the old copies to “ Thou art”), till Mr. Knight and Mr. Collier published their editions, where the close is exhibited thus;
“ Heaven! [the folios have no point here] lay not my transgression
to my charge, That art the issue of my dear offence,” &c.
“ Lady Faulconbridge,” observes Mr. Knight, " is not invoking Heaven to pardon her transgression ; but she says to her son,—for Heaven's sake, lay not (thou) my transgression to my charge that art the issue of it.”. Mr. Collier's explanation makes the old lady less of a hardened sinner: according to him, she means; “Let not heaven and you, that art the issue of my dear offence, lay the transgression to my charge.” Mr. Knight thinks that the reading of the old copy is “in Shakespeare's manner;" Mr. Collier that " no alteration is required.”
That these gentlemen should ever have been able to satisfy themselves with such interpretations,—that Mr. Knight should have brought himself to believe that
“ Heaven! lay not my transgression to my charge”
could signify, “ For heaven's sake, lay not thou my transgression to my charge," and Mr. Collier seriously to opine that it was equivalent to “ Let not heaven and you lay," &c.,—is to me a matter of downright astonishment.
No words were more frequently confounded by our early compositors than “thou” and “ that.” The reason is obvious :—" thou” was often written “ỹ,” and “ that" often written “y." (We frequently find those abbreviated forms preserved in print: so the first folio has, in the present tragedy,“ Eng. France, Ÿ shalt rue this houre within this houre. Bast. Old Time the clocke setter, ý bald sexton Time,” &c.
Act iii. sc. 1.)
Act ii. sc. 1.
Compare Greene's Spanish Masquerado, 1589; “Seeing how secure we [i. e. the English] slept ...... for that wee were hedged in with the sea,” &c. Sig. B 4.
Act ii. sc. 1.
“ All preparation for a bloody siege,
And merciless proceeding by these French,
So the old copies.—“It has been urged by those who wished to adhere to the text of the folios, as long as it was unimpugned by any old authority, that “comfort' was here used ironically: Rowe did not think so, when he printed confront; but the corrector of the folio, 1632, with less violence, has
Come 'fore your city's eyes,' &c.”
Collier's Notes and Emendations, &c. p. 202.
It is to be hoped that no future editor will reject the certain emendation of Rowe for one, which, if it had been