Imatges de pÓgina

others' health and lives have to undergo, girl's book, among many others. I give this is the most painful. It is all so plain them as characterizing the tone of her to the practised eye l--and there is the sadder moments. poor wife, the doting mother, who has never suspected anything, or at least has clung always to the hope which you are

just going to wrench away from her !-
I must tell Iris that I think her

friend Her hands are cold; her face is white;

No more her pulses come and go; is in a precarious state. She seems near

Her eyes are shut to life and light;er to him than anybody.

Fold the white vesture, snow on snow, I did tell her. Whatever emotion it

And lay her where the violets blow. produced, she kept a still face, except, perhaps, a little trembling of the lip.- But not beneath a graven stone, Could I be certain that there was any

To plead for tears with alien eyes: mortal complaint ? —Why, no, I could

A slender cross of wood alone

Shall not be certain ; but it looked alarming

say, that here a maiden lies

In peace beneath the peaceful skies. to me.- He shall have some of my life, - she said.

And gray old trees of hugest limb I suppose this to have been a fancy of

Shall wheel their circling shadows round hers, of a kind of magnetic power she To make the scorching sunlight dim could give out;- at any rate, I cannot That drinks the greenness from the ground, help thinking she wills her strength away

And drop their dead leaves on her mound. from herself, for she has lost vigor and

When o'er their boughs the squirrels run, color from that day. I have sometimes

And through their leaves the robins call, thought he gained the force she lost; but

And, ripening in the autumn sun, this may have been a whim, very prob- The acorns and the chestnuts fall, ably.

Doubt not that she will heed them all. One day she came suddenly to me, looking deadly pale. Her lips moved, as For her the morning choir shall sing if she were speaking; but I could not hear

Its matins from the branches high, a word. Her hair looked strangely, as

And every minstrel-voice of spring,

That trills beneath the April sky, if lifting itself, and her eyes were full of

Shall greet her with its earliest cry. wild light. She sunk upon a chair, and I thought was falling into one of her

When, turning round their dial-track, trances. Something had frozen her blood Eastward the lengthening shadows pass, with fear; I thought, from what she said,

Her little mourners, clad in black, half audibly, that she believed she had

The crickets, sliding through the grass,

Shall pipe for her an evening mass. seen a shrouded figure. That night, at about eleven o'clock, I

At last the rootlets of the trees was sent for to see the Little Gentleman,

Shall find the prison where she lies, who was taken suddenly ill. Bridget, And bear the buried dust they seize the servant, went before me with a light. In leaves and blossoms to the skies. The doors were both unfastened, and I So may the soul that warmed it rise! found myself ushered, without bindrance, into the dim light of the mysterious apart

If any, born of kindlier blood,

Should ask, What maiden lies below? ment I had so longed to enter.

Say only this: A tender bud,

That tried to blossom in the snow,
I found these stanzas in the young Lies withered where the violets blow.


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The Collier-folio Shakespeare. Is it an im- careful scrutiny,” and became convinced posture?

of the great value of its manuscript read

ings. He talked about it to his literary When the Lady Bab of " High Life friends, and took it to a meeting of the below Stairs," having laid the forgetful- Council of the Shakespeare Society, and ness which causes her tardy appearance to two or three meetings of the Society of at the elegant entertainment given in Mr. Antiquaries, as we know by the reports of Lovel's servant's hall to the fascination of those meetings in the London “ Times.” her favorite author, “ Shikspur," is asked, He wrote letters in the summer of 1852 to “ Who wrote Shikspur?” she replies, with the London “Athenæum," setting forth the that promptness which shows complete character of the volume, and giving some mastery of a subject, “Ben Jonson.” In of its most noteworthy changes of Shake later days, another lady has, with greater speare's text. He published, at last, in prolixity, it is true, but hardly less confi- 1853, his volume of “ Notes and Emendadence, and, it must be confessed, equal rea- tions to the Text of Shakespeare's Plays son, answered to the same query, “ Francis from Early Manuscript Corrections in a Copy Bacon." This question must, then, be of the Folio of 16:32,” etc.; and in 1854, he regarded as still open to discussion ; but, published an edition of Shakespeare, in assuming, for the nonce, that the Come- the text of which these manuscript readdies, Histories, and Tragedies in a certain ings were embodied. In 1856, he added folio volume published at London in 1623 to a Shakespearian volume a · List of all were written by William Shakespeare, the Emendations” in his folio, remarking gentleman, sometime actor at the Black in preface to the book, (p. Ixxix.,) that Friars Theatre and a principal proprietor

he had “

often gone over the thousands of therein, we apply ourselves to the brief ex- marks of all kinds in its [the folio's) maramination of another, somewhat related to gins," and that, for the purpose of makit, and at least as complicated :— the ques- ing the list in question, he had “recently tion as to the authorship of certain margi- reč ramined every line and letter of the folio." nal manuscript readings in a copy of a later He had previously printed for private cirfolio edition of the same works, – that pub- culation a few fac-simile copies of eighteen lished in 1632,- which readings Mr. Payne corrected passages in the folio; and with Collier discovered and brought before the the volume last mentioned, his publications, world with all the weight of his reputation and, we believe, all others, -- of which more and influence in favor of their authority anon, - upon the subject, ceased. Mr. Coland value. We write for those who are lier, it should be borne in mind, has been somewhat interested in this subject, and for forty years a professed student of Elizmust assume that our readers are not en- abethan literature, and is a man of hitherto tirely without information upon it; but it unquestioned honor. is desirable, if not necessary, that in the But he is now upon trial. Certain offibeginning we should call to mind the fol- cers of the British Museum, among them lowing dates and circumstances.

men of high professional reputation and According to Mr. Collier's account, this personal standing, men who occupy, and folio was bought by him " in the spring of who confess that they occupy, “a judicial 1819," of Mr. Thomas Rodd, an antiqua- position " on such questions, charge, after rian bookseller, well known in London. careful investigation, that a great fraud has For a year and more he hardly looked at been committed in this folio; that its marit; but his attention being directed partic- ginal readings, instead of being as old as ularly to it as he was packing it away they seem, and as Mr. Collier has asserted to be taken into the country, he found them to be, are modern fabrications, and that “there was hardly a page which did that, consequently, Mr. Collier is either an not represent, in a handwriting of the time, impostor or a dupe. The charge is not a some emendations in the pointing or in the new one. The weight that it carries, and text.” He then subjected it to "a most the impression that it has produced, are

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owing to the position of the men who make lish editors and commentators, including it, and the evidence which they have pub- even Mr. Collier himself. But this conlished in its support. It was made, how- clusion only brought down the date of ever, six years ago,— but vaguely. For, these marginal readings to a period somealthough there was on every side a dispo

what later than the Restoration of the sition to welcome with all heartiness the British Monarchy, and it did not put in manuscript readings, the antiquity and question the good faith either of their auvalue of which Mr. Collier had so posi- thor or their discoverer. tively announced, the poetic sense of the The attack now made upon them is diworld recoiled from the mass of them when: rected solely against their genuineness, they appeared ; and although a few, a very and is based altogether upon external, or, few, of the readings peculiar to this folio we may properly say, physical evidence. were accepted by Shakespearian editors The accusers are Mr. N. E. S. A. Hamiland commentators, they were opposed as ton, an assistant in the Manuscript Dea whole with determination, and in one or partment of the British Museum, (whose two instances with unbecoming heat, by chief, Sir Frederick Madden, the Keeper Mr. Collier's fellow-laborers. Prominent of that Department, is understood to supamong these was Mr. Singer, a man of port him,) and Mr. Nevil Story Maskemoderate capacity and undisciplined pow. lyne, Keeper of the Mineralogical Departers, but extensive reading in early English ment. Of the alphabetical Mr. Hamilton literature, — known, too, for the bitterness we know something. He is one of the with which he habitually wrote. In op- ablest palæographists of his years in Engposing Mr. Collier's folio, he did not hesi- land, and the possessor of a pair of eyes tate to insinuate broadly that he believed of such microscopic powers that he can it to be an imposition. But as he based decipher manuscript which to ordinary his suspicion solely upon the very numer- sight seems obliterated by time, or even ous coincidences between the marginal fire: a man of worth, too, as we hear, readings in that volume and the conjec- and one who has borne himself in this aftural readings of the editors and critics of fair with mingled confidence and modesty. the last century, - coincidences which, IIe says, that, of the corrections originally however, affect the character of a very made on the margins of this folio, the large proportion of the noticeable changes number which have been wholly or parin the folio,- he failed to accomplish his tially “obliterated ..... with a penknife conservative purpose at the expense of or the employment of chymical agency" Mr. Collier's reputation. But although are almost as numerous as those suffered this insinuation of the spurious character to remain"; that, of the corrections alof the writing in Mr. Collier's folio fell to lowed to stand, many have been “tamthe ground, such antiquity as would give pered with, touched up, or painted over, its readings the consequence due to their a modern character being dexterously alhaving been introduced by a contempo- tered, by touches of the pen, into a more rary of Shakespeare was shown not to antique form”; and that the margins are pertain to them, in the course of two arti- covered with an infinite number of faint cles which appeared in "Putnam's Maga- pencil-marks, in obedience to which the zine” for October and November, 1853, and supposed old corrector has made his emenwhich, it may be as well to say, were from dations"; and that these pencilled memothe same hand that writes this reference randums “have not even the pretence of to them. They effected this by exhibiting antiquity in character or spelling, but are the corrector's ignorance of the meaning written in a bold hand of the present cenof words in common use twenty years tury”; and with regard to the incongruiafter Shakespeare's death, and his intro- ties of spelling, he especially mentions duction of stage directions which could the instances, body,' 'offals,' in pencil, not have been complied with until half a 'bodie,'.offalls,' in ink.” century after that event, and which were Mr. Maskelyne, having examined many at variance with the very text itself to of the margins of the folio with the microwhich they were applied. That the argu- scope, confirms entirely the evidence of ment which they embodied was conclu- Mr. Hamilton's eyes. He found the pen. sive has been admitted by all the Eng- cilled memorandums “plentifully distrib

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uted down the margins," and "the parti- tions,"-- an octavo volume of five hundred cles of plumbago in the hollows of the pages, - which appeared in 1853, and that paper" in every instance that he has ex- after having for various purposes, “ often amined. He found, also, that what seems gone over the thousands of marks of all to be ink is not ink, but "a paint, remov. kinds on its margins, he could again, af'able, with the exception of a slight stain, ter the lapse of three years more, have by mere water,”— which "paint, formed “reëxamined every line and letter” on perhaps of sepia," would enable an impos- those margins for the purpose of making tor, it need hardly be observed, to simu- the list of the readings which he published late ink faded by time; and in several in 1856, without having discovered, in the cases in which “the ink word, in a quaint, course of all this close scrutiny, extending antique-looking writing, and the pencil through so many years, the pencil-marks word, in a modern-looking hand, occupy which at once became visible when the volthe same ground, and are one over the ume went to the British Museum ? And other,” the pencil-marks being obscured if these pencil-marks, that underlie the or obliterated, Mr. Maskelyne found, on simulated ink corrections, were made afwashing off the ink, that at first “the pen- ter the spring of 1819 -! Here is a cil-marks became much plainer than be- dilemma, either horn of which has a very fore, and even when as much of the ink- ugly look. stain as possible was removed, the pencil But out of this trial we hope, nay, we still runs through the ink line in unbrok- confidently believe, that Mr. Collier will en, even continuity.” These points estab- come unscathed. We hope it for the sake lished, Mr. Maskelyne's conclusion, that of the profession of literature, -- for the in the examples which he tested “the pen- sake of one who has been honorably cil underlies the ink, that is to say, was known among men of letters for almost antecedent to it in its date,” is unavoid- half a century, and who has borne into able. But does it follow upon this conclu- the vale of years a hitherto untarnished sion that the manuscript changes in the name. We believe it, because a contrary readings of this folio are of spurious and supposition would be entirely at variance modern date,-made, for instance, within with Mr. Collier's conduct about this folio the last fifty years, and with the intention ever since his first announcement of its of deceiving the world as to their age? discovery. It is true, that, in the course Perhaps ; but, for reasons which we are of the controversy which the publication about to give, we venture to think, not of his “Notes and Emendations " inev. certainly.

itably brought upon him, Mr. Collier has First, however, as to the very delicate not always shown that delicacy and conand unpleasant position in which Mr. Col- sideration for candid opponents which he lier is placed by these discoveries. For, could have afforded to show, and which although the age of the manuscript read- would have sat so gracefully upon him. ings of his folio must be fixed by that of It is true, that, in noticing, and, in his enthe pencilled memorandums over which thusiastic partiality, much exaggerating, they are written, the question as to wheth- the admissions of a volume in which, as er he has not been uncandid or unwise he must have seen, he was first defended enough to suppress an important part of against Mr. Singer's repeated insinuations the truth in describing that volume is of forgery,* and in availing himself again entirely independent of this problem in and again of those not always discreet adpalæography. For these numberless par- missions, he was uncourteous enough not tially erased pencilled memorandums, to to mention the name even of the work in which Mr. Collier has made no allusion question, not to say that of its author. It whatever, must have been written upon is true, that, on the appearance of an edithe margins of that folio either before Mr. tion of Shakespeare's Works edited by the Collier bought it, in the spring of 1849, or author of that volume, he hastened to acsince. If before, is it possible that he cuse him publicly of misrepresentation, could have subjected it to "a most careful unwarily admitting at the same time that scrutiny in 1850, that he could have he did so upon a mere glance at the book, studied it for three years for the purpose of preparing his “ Notes and Emenda- * See Shakespeare's Scholar, p. 71.

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and before he had even “cut it open,” self to open rebuke in his own country ;* and, in his haste, causing his accusation to and he found, we suppose, his justification recoil upon his own head.* It is true, for this course in his seniority and his opthat, when, in his recent edition of Shake- ponent's place of nativity. It is true, also, speare's Works, t he abandoned one of the that, in the recently published edition of readings of his folio, (“she discourses, Shakespeare's Works, just alluded to, he she craves,Merry Wives, I. 3,) which the has vengefully revived, in its worst form, same opponent had been the first to show the animosity which disgraced the pages not only untenable, but fatal to the author- of the editors and commentators of the last ity and antiquity of the readings of that century, and has attacked the most emivolume, he requited that opponent's de- nent of critical English scholars, the Rev. fence of him by attributing his defeat on Alexander Dyce, throughout that edition, this point to an English editor, who on- bitterly and incessantly, and also unfairly ly quoted the passage in question from and upon forced occasion, as Mr. Dyce has “Shakespeare's Scholar,” and with special conclusively shown, in a volume,f the apmention of its authorship and its impor- pearance of which from the pen of a man tance, f and that he thereby subjected him- of Mr. Dyce's character and position we

yet cannot but deplore, great as the provo* See the London Athenæum, of Nov. 20th,

cation was. Mr. Collier has done these 1858, and Jan. Sth, 1859.

things, which would not be tolerated among † London, 1858, Vol. II. p. 181.

such men of letters in America as are also | Rimbault's Edition of Overbury's Works, gentlemen; and he has also made stateLondon, 1856, p. 50.

ments about his folio which have been proyUnder the present circumstances, it may be

ed to be so inaccurate that it is clear that well to let the reader see for himself exactly

his memory is not to be trusted on that what Mr. Collier's course was in this little affair. Dr. Rimbault's note, published in 1856,

matter; but, in spite of all this, we neither is as follows:

will nor can believe, that, in his testimony "her wrie little finger beuraies carving,

as to the manner in which he became posetc.) The passage in the text sufficiently

sessed of this celebrated volume, or in his shows that carving was a sign of intelligence description of its peculiarities, he has, made with the little finger, as the glass was

with the intention to deceive, either supraised to the mouth. See the prefatory letter pressed the true or asserted the false. to Mr. R. G. White's Shakespeare's Scholar, Since his first announcement of the dis8vo., New York, 1854, p. xxxiii. Mr. Hunter

covery of the manuscript readings in that (New Illustrations of Shakespeare, i. 215), Mr.

volume, he has had no concealments Dyce (A Few Notes on Shakespeare, 1853, p. 18),

about it; he has shown it freely to the and Mr. Mitford (Cursory Notes on Beaumont and Fletcher, etc., 1856, p. 40), were unac

very persons who would be most likely quainted with this valuable illustration of a

to detect a literary imposition; he has Shakespearian word given by Overbury.”

told all, and more than all, that he could And yet Mr. Collier, with this note before

have been expected to tell about it; he him, as it will be seen, could write as follows:- has left no stone unturned in his endeavor * The Rev. Mr. Dyce ( Few Notes,' p. 18)

to trace its history; and, after finally putand the Rev. Mr. Hunter (* New Illustrations,' ting all of its manuscript readings upon i. p. 215) both adduce quotations (as to record, and confessing frankly that he had "carves '], but they have missed the most ap- been in error with regard to some of them, posite, pointed out by Dr. Rimbault in his edi

and that there are many of them which are tion of Sir Thomas Overbury's Works, 8vo.,

"innovations, - changes which had crept 1856, p. 50."

in from time to time, (upon the stage,] to The reader cannot estimate more lightly

make sense out of difficult passages, but than we do the credit which Mr. Collier thought of consequence enough for him to do

which do not represent the authentic text an unhandsome, not to say dishonorable, act

of Shakespeare," he gives the volume to deprive an opponent of it. By referring to

away to the Duke of Devonshire, the White's edition of Shakespeare, Vol. II. p. Ix.,

owner of one of the most celebrated draanother instance may be found of the same * See Dyce's Strictures, etc., 1859, p. 28. discourtesy on the part of Mr. Collier to † See the edition passim. Chalmers, with regard to a matter yet more | Strictures on Collier's Shakespeare, Lontritling.

don, 1859.


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