Imatges de pàgina
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Phedo, 'Εκεί οικεσί τε και ΚΑΘΑΙΡΟΜΕΝΟΙ, των τε αδικημάτων διδόνlες δίκας απολύονlαι, εί τις τί ήδί

The same kind of abstinence and discipline
Virgil mentions,

Ergo exercentur poenis,veterumque malorum
Supplicia expendunt, aliae panduntur inanis
Suspenfae ad ventos: aliis sub gurgite vasto
Infectum eluitur fcelus, aut EXURITUR IGNI.
Quisque suos patimur Manis : exinde per

amplum
Mittimur Elysium, et pauci laeta arva te-

nemus :
Donec longa dies perfecto temporis orbe

Concretam exemit labem, &c.
Now, reader, I will transcribe two very different
kind of notes : but all refletions I omit.
Confin'd to fast in fires :) we fhould read,

« Too fast in fires.
i. e. very closely confin'd. the particle too is used

frequently for the superlative moft, or very." Mr. W.

The following is in Mr. Theobald's edition, [P. 251. vol. 7.]

I once suspected this expresion6 to fast in fires : because thofasting is often a part of penance injoin'd us by the church-disci

pline here on earth, yet, I conceived, it could be no great punishment for a spirit, a being whicb

requires

" requires no sustenance, to fast. But Mr. Warburton bas fince perfectly convinced me that the o text is not to be disturb'd, but that the expreffon " is purely metaphorical. For it is the opinion of the Religion bere represented, (i. e. the Roman Catholic) that fasting purifies the foul here, as the fire does in the purgatory here alluded to: « and that the foul must be purged either by fafting « here, or by burning bereafter. This opinion " Shakespeare again bints at, where he makes Hamlet say,

He took my Father grofly, full of bread. « And we are to observe, that it is a common say« ing of the Romish priests to their people. If

you won't fast here, you must fast in fire.” Mr. T.

Let us now see the ignorance, with which the poet is charged.

And duller Mouldst thou be, than the fat weed
" That roots itself in eafe on Lethe's wharf,
" Wouldst thou not stir in this.

Shakespeare, APPARENTLY THROUGH IGNO

Rance, makes Roman Catholics of these pagan Danes ; and bere gives a description of purga" tory : But yet mixes it with the pagan fable of Lethe's wharf: 'Whether be did it to infinuare,

66 to the zealous Protestants of his time, that the pagan and popish purgatory stood both upon the

Same footing of credibility ; or whether it was

by the same kind of licentious inadvertence that Michael Angelo brought Charon's bark into the picture of the last judgment, is not easy to decide." Mr. W.

Shakespeare apparently thro'ignorance makes Roman Catholics of these pagan Danes ! Wby the plan of his play required it. But bis ignorance perhaps was the mixing the pagan fable of Letbe! 'Twas APPARENTLY THRO? the selfsame IGNORANCE, that Milton, following Plato and Virgil, places this river in Hell:

Far off from these, a flow and filent stream,
“ Lethe, the river of oblivion, rolls
Her watry labyrintb; whereof who drinks,
- Forthwith his former state and being forgets,

Forgets both joy and grief, pleasure and pain." Such poetical embellishments, I think, were never, 'till now, called ignorance.

XI.

But Mr. W. has fairly told us in the title page of his edition, that be, in conjun&tion with Mr. Pope, bas corrected and emended the GENUINE TEXT of Shakespeare. I freely own that I bave been all

along

along inquiring what the genuine text was, what 'twas probable the poet did write, &c. Seldom bave I ventured to say what he should write ; nor ever did it come into my bead to think of correcting and emending bis GENUINE TEXT. But the whole mystery of this new edition is now discovered; Shakespeare's GENUINE TEXT is collated with all former editions, and then correcTED and EMENDED. As for instance,

Shakespeare's genuine text. “My dukedome to a beggarly denier."

Ricb. III. AE. I.
Mr. W.
“ My dukedom to a beggarly Taniere.”

Shakespeare's genuine text.
Lamenting's beard i'ib' air, strange screams of

« death, :i«. And prophefying with accents terrible Of dire combustion, &C." Macbeth, AET II.

Mr:W. “ Aunts prophesying, &c."

Shakespeare's genuine text.

Look how the floor of Heav'n Is thick inlay'd with patterns of bright gold."

Merch. of Ven. A&t V.

Mr.W. " Is thick inlay'd with patens of bright gold."

Shakespeare's

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Shakespeare's genuine text. “ Farewel the neighing steed, and the prill

trump, The spirit-stirring drum, the ear-piercing

fife.Othello.

Mr.W. The Spirit-ftirring drum, th' FEAR-'sper

SING fife.'

Shakespeare's genuine text.
Tbou thing of no bowels.

Mr.W.
Thou thing of no vowels."

Shakespeare's genuine text. “ The fixure of ber eye bas motion in't, " As we were mock'd with art,

The Winter's tale, AE V. This is sad nonsense ; we should read,

The FISSURE of ber eye." Mr.W. Among the various species of nonsense mentioned by Mr.W. such as fad nonsense, stubborn nonsense, &c. I wonder "be never heard of AcuTE NONSENSE, [igúsiwpor] a figure often used by Sbakespeare, as well as by other poets. But in the midst of such a stable of filth I am now immerged, thet Hercules bimfelf would despair of cleansing. I

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