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SIME tranfire conantes, multitudine telorum repulerunt. Who can doubt then but some of the oldest books having IEXPS2E, a careless transcriber, trusting to his conjectures, wrote AIEXPNÉ, whereas he ought to have written ΙΣΧΥΡΩΣ, a letter only being negligently omitted : loxuçãs cywiospéves, audacissime, acriter praeliantes. By this, which searçe deserves the name of an alteration in words, but a very great one as to the sense, both " Plutarch and Caeser are reconciled.
12 In the same life, p.718. A. Plutarch attributes that to the twelfth legion, which Caesar gives to the tenth. Caefar says, L. II. c. xxvi. T. Labienus, caftris hoftium potitus et ex loco fuperiore, que res in noftris caftris gererentur, conSpicatus, DECIMAM LEGIONEM subsidio noftris mißt. But between δωδέκαιον and το δέκαιον, how light is the change ? Again to reconcile Plutarch to himself, in Julius Caefar, instead of Brutus Albinus we must read Trebonius, for it was he detained Antony without, whilft they assassinated Caesar in the Senate. So Plutarch relates the story in the life of Brutus, and Cicero in his second Philippic ; cum intorficeretur Caesar, tum te à TreBONIO vidimus fevocari. Shakespeare in Jul. Caes. A& III.
Caff. Trebonius knows his time ; for look
He draws Mark Antony out of the way.
N transcribing not only single letters are
omitted, but often parts of words, and fometimes whole words. A letter is omitted in the following passage of Spencer. In the Fairy Queen, B. 1. c. 1. ft. 43.
Hither (quoth be) me Archimago SENT
read, the sleepers' fent, i. e. ill treated, brought to shame. A word commonly used by Spencer; and by our poet, in Hamlet, Act III.
“ Ham. How in my words soever she beshent. And 'tis remarkable that this word was wrongly spelt in Troilus and Crellida. Act II. where Agamemnon fays of Achilles,
" He spent our Messengers.
1 Anglo-S. fcendan, confundere, dedecorare. Germ. Schandan. A schand probrum. Anglo-S. fcande. Perhaps originally from the Greek σκάνδαλο, σκανδαλίζω.
So Mr. Theobald very judiciously restored it ; the passage before being,
“ He sent our Messengers." A letter, where the word began the sentence, was formerly designedly omitted, that the transcriber might afterwards add it with some kind of ornament. My very learned and worthy friend Dr. Taylor has, in his Lectiones Lyfiaca, given many instances of these kind of omissions. To this cause 'twas owing that in many editions of Horace we read, “ Unxere matres Iljae addi&tum feris “ Alilibus atque canibus homicidam Heatorem."
Which reading Dr. Bentley has proved to be true, beyond all doubt; but the original blunder he has not accounted for : Unxere being a transcriber's conjecture, when his copy
had Uxere. There is still remaining the very same kind of blunder in Virgil ; viz. Ardentes for Candentes, who knows not how minutely the Roman follows the Grecian poet, who tells us that the horses of Rhesus were whiter than snow? Arvxótepoo zióvos. Il. x'. *. 437. And so they are
described by Euripides in his Rhesus. Thefe horses Diomed and Ulysses carried off, “ ARDENÍ E Sque avertit equos in caftra. Æn. I. 476. ARDENTES is a general epithet, a sort of botching in poetry ; Candentes is
peculiar, having its fanction from Homer. Should we change then the context without further authority? I think not, unless perhaps Servius will be answerable for the alteration ; for ARDENTES is explained Candidos et veloces : which seems as if in some copy he found it,
CANDENTESque avertit equos in caftra. i. e. Candidos. In other copies,
ARDENTEsque avertit equos in caftra. i. e. veloces, generofos. But let us now return to our author. A letter seems to have been omitted in K. Lear. A& III.
" From France there comes a power “ Into this scatter'd kingdom ; who already “ Wise in our negligence, have secret sea « In some of our best
ports.” It seems originally to have been seat : “ have “ secret seat," i.e. are secretly situated, lodged.
So in Macbeth. Act I. This castle hath &
pleasant feat.” i. 'e. is pleasantly situated. Or perhaps fea is only a wrong spelling for fee; from the Latin word jedes : which is used by Douglas in his version of Virgil
. p. 13. I. 32. In Cartage fet hit se. i. ė. hér seě, residence. The word is still retained in use, as, à Bishop's fee, &c. Chaucer too uses it in the Monkes tale. 263.
" At Babilon was his soveraine se."
In the Twelfth Night. Ac I. “ O Spirit of Love, how quick and fresh art
thou ! “ That, notwithstanding thy capacity “ Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there, “ Of what validity and pitch soe'er, “ But falls into abatement and low price, ci Even in a minute. So full of shapes is fancy “ That it alone is high fantástical." A letter only is omitted, and we should read Ir's fancy, viz. of Love. And in the same play, and Act.
« Sir Toby. Fie, that you'll say so! he plays * o'th' violdegambo, and speaks three or four