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" Ariel. Past the mid season.
" six and now
Who can imagine that Prospero would ask a question, and answer it himself ? But a trifling distinction will make all right.
- Prof. 'What is the time o'th' day?
" Ar. Past the mid season, " At least two glasses.
Prosp. The time twixt six and now “ Must by us both be spent most preciously.”.
In As you like it, Act II. The Duke is speaking of the happiness of his retirement. “ And this our life, exempt from publick haunt, " Finds tongues in trees, books in the running
i This corrrection has been tacitly adopted by the late Editor.-But I don't know whether the other reading might not be defended. Prospero has great concerns in agitation, and his mind cannot attend to minute things : wanting therefore to set Ariel to work, he asks him the time of the day : scarcely had he asked, but he recollects himself. Perhaps by this seeming inaccuracy Shakespeare had a mind to paint stronger Prospero's greater concern for the business in hand.
66 Sermons in stones, and good in every thing : 6. I would not change it.
" Am. Happy is your Grace, &c." How much more in character is it for the Duke to say, “ ;
" I would not change it;" than for Amiens ?
In the second part of K. Henry IV. Act IV. “ Weft. The Prince is here at hand : pleaseth
your Lordship 6. To meet his Grace, just distance 'tween our
« armies ? Mowb. Your Grace of York in God's name
iben fer forward. “ York: Before, and greet bis Grace; my
Lord, we come.'
I believe, at first sight, the reader must discover that it should be thus divided : « Mowb. Your Grace of York in God's
« name then set forward * Beförè, and greet his Grace. York. My * Lord we come. In K. Henry V. Ac IV. K. Henry. But, hark, what new alarum is
" this fame?
“ The French have reinforc'd their scatter'd
“ Then every soldier kill his prisoners. “ Give the word through."
Enter Fluellen and Gower.
“ Flu. Kill the poyes and the luggage ! 'tis « expressly against the law of arms, &c."
How should the King know the French had reinforc'd their men? It should thus be printed, “ K. Henry. But, hark, what new alarum is
" this fame ?"
Enter a Messenger. “ Mel. The French have reinforc'd their
« scatter'd men. “ K. Hen. Then every soldier kill his pri
u soners : « Give the word through." [Exeunt.
In Antony and Cleopatra, Act I.
“ Cleopatra. Excellent falfhood! " Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her? " I'll seem the fool, I am not. Antony 66 Will be himself.
“ Ant. But stirr'd by Cleopatra.
“ Now for the love of love, and his soft hours,
I make no question but the author thus gave it,
« Cleo. Excellent falfhood ! " Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her? " I'll seem the fool, I am not. Antony “ Will be himself, but stirr’d by Cleopatra.
[Afide. “ Ant. Now for the love of love, and his soft
“ hours, &c."
In the same play. Act III.
“ Ventid. Learn this, Silius, • Better to leave undone, than by our deed
Acquire too high a fame, when he, we serve,
• Cæsar and Antony have ever won “ More in their officer than person. Soffius, “ One of my place in Syria, &c." 'Tis highly out of character for Ventidius, Antony's Lieutenant, to say that Antony had ever won more in his officer than person : fo great an observer of Decorum as Shakespeare would, and undoubtedly did give this reflection 'to Silius. Hereafter then let us thus distinguish this place,
« Sil. “ Cæsar and Antony have ever won “ More in their officer than person. Ventid.
«Sossius, “ One of my place in Syria, &c."
In Macbeth, Act I.
King. But who comes here?
Len. What haste looks through his eyes? “ So should he look that seems to speak things
“ strange. This last line should be spoken by Malcolme.
« Len. What haste looks through his eyes?
“ speak things strange."
HERE are no ancient books now re
maining, but what, more or less, have suffered from the ignorance of transcribers foisting into the text some marginal note, or gloss. One would have imagined, that "printing should have put an end to these sort of blunders ; yet
1 You may see Glofles of this kind printed in Chaucer's translacion of Boethius. And in his Troilus and Creseide, (p. 330. edit. Urry) are printed the arguments of Statius' twelve books of the War of Thebes.