« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
Directions to the Binder for pla
cing the Cuts.
for worje, r. worth ; p. 66. 1. 29. r. in one's Power ; p. 114. 1. 18. r. fupercilious; p. 152. I. 28. for are, r. of; P. 175. 1:21. for extricate, r, intricase.
HEN we concluded the First Volume, we left speaking of the Third Book of the Dunciad, and gave Intimation of a Fourth, which came out afterwards; before we take further
Notice of that, we think it proper to introduce several Persons and Things, that may fill up the Interval.
Our great Dramatick Poet, Shakespear, had in Whole, or in Part, passed through several Hands; fome, who might be very reasonably thought not to VOL. II.
have to be
have understood well any Part of him, much less be fit to correct or revise him.
The Friends of Mr. Pope folicited him strongly to undertake the whole of Shakespear's Plays, and, if possible, by comparing all the different Copies now
procured, bring him back to his own antient Purity. To which Mr. Pope made this modeft Reply, That not having attempted any Thing in the Drama (for he had not appear’d to do it) it might in him be deem'd too much Presumption. To which he received Answer from a certain Earl, that this did not require great Knowledge of the Foundation and Disposition of the Drama, seeing that must stand as it was, and that Shakespear himself, had not always paid strict Regard to the Rules of it; but this was to clear the Scenes from the Rubbish which Actors, and those into whofe Care they had fell, had filled them : For the Players after Shakespear's Time, curtailed, blotted, transpos'd, added whole Scenes, nay, did any Thing, which they thought would please the lower Set of the Audience, to which Part, to this Day, that Sort of People still make their Court. He added, that his chief Business would be, to render the Text fo that it might read, and be free from those Obscurities, and sometimes gross Abfurdities, that now seem to appear in it, and to explain doubtful and difficult Patlages, of which there are great Numbers: This, and marking Scene Lines, or Words only, imagined to be spurious, was all that noble Gentleman, of a noble Taste and Disposition, told Mr. Pope he had to do : This was no small Task; how he has acquitted himself, for he complied with this Request, has been differently judged; the Truth we are inclined to think is, in fome Places he has fet to rights and explained him, and in some places again, made him more unintelli
gible, and done him Wrong, and thus thought Mr Theobald, who publishes after Mr. Pope's Edition, another Book called, Shakespear Restor’d, and there he not only endeavours to restore the original Text to Shakespear, but calls upon Mr. Pope to anfwer for many Mistakes, he strives to prove upon him, making at the same Time his own Amendments: This was the true Cause of their continual being at Variance, and Mr. Theobald bringing forward upon the Stage a Tragedy, called The Double Falshood, which he would have to be believ'd was Shakespear's, Mr. Pope infinuated to the Town, that it was all, or certainly the greatest Part, not written by Shakespear, he picksout a Line : None but thyself can be thy Parallel. Which he calls a marvellous Line of Theobald, « un« lefs, says he, the Play called The Double Falshood « be (as he would have thought) Shakespear's ; but 66 whether this Line be his or not, he proves Shake
Spear to have writ as bad.»;
And introducing the above Quotation, as if written by fome Author, he goes on in Mr. Theobald's restoring Way to amend some few Words, all the While imitating and sneering at the Stile of Mr. Theobald.
The former Annotator seeming to be of Opinion that the Double Falsnood is not Shakespear's; it is but Justice to give Mr. Theobald's Arguments to the contrary : First, that the MS was above fixty Years old; fecondly, that once Mr. Betterton had it, or he hath heard fo; thirdly, that some-body told him the Author gave it to a Baftard-Daughter of his: But fourthly and above all, “ that he has a great Mind
every Thing that is good in our Tongue should be « Shakespear's.'
I allow these Reafous to be truly critical'; but what I am infinitely concerned at is, that so many Errors have efeaped the learned Editor: A few whereof we shall here amend, out of a much greater Number, as an Instance of our Regard to this dear Relick.
This Place is corrupted: The Epithet good is a meer insignificant Expletive, but the Alteration of that fingle Word restores a clear Light to the Context, thus,
I have his Letters of a modern Date,
Here you have not only the Person specified, by whose Hands the Return was to be made, but the most necessary Part, the Time, by which it was required. Camillo's Son was to follow hard upon
What? Why upon July—Horse that like him well, is very absurd: Read it, without Contradiction,
-Horse that he likes well.
ACT 1. at the End.