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be sufficient to shew how, in a middern Book, the fcholiast has routed the author of his ancient poffeffion. These errors are of the worst kind ; they have a resemblance of truth without being the thing itself, and must neceffa'rily impose on all, but the true critic, who will be at the trouble of going to the first exemplars.
S E C T. XVI.
UT there are greater alterations, than any
yet mention'd, still to be made. For the whole play intitled Titus Andronicus should be fung out the list of Shakespeare's works. What tho' a purple patch might here and there appear, is that fufficient reason to make our poet's name father this, or other anonymous productions of the stage? But Mr. Theobald has put the -matter out of all question ; for he informs us, “ that Ben Johnson in the induction to his “ Bartlemew-Fair (which made its first appear“ ance in the year 1614) couples ' Ieronimo and
i Hieronymo, or the Spanish Tragedy. This play was the constant object of ridicule in Shakespeare's time. See Mr. Theobald's note, vol. 2. p. 271, 272. B. Jonf. Every Man in his Humour, Act I. sc.
What new book ba' you there ? What ! Go by Hieronymo! Cynthia's Revels,
“ Andronicus together in reputation, and speaks “' of them as plays then of 25 or 30 years stand
ing. Consequently Andronicus must have “ been on the stage, before Shakespeare left " Warwickshire to come and reside in London.” So that we have all the evidence, both internal and external, to vindicate our poet from this bastard issue; nor should his editors have printed it among his genuine works. There are not such strong external reasons for rejecting two other plays, called Love's Labour's loft, and the Two Gentlemen of Verona : but if any proof can be formed from manner and style, then should these be sent packing, and seek for their parent elsewhere. How otherwise does the painter distinguish copies from originals ? And have not authors their peculiar style and manner, from which a true critic can form as unerring a judgment as a painter ? External proofs leave no room for doubt.
I dare say there is not any one scholar, that now believes Phalaris' epistles to be genuine. But what if there had been no external proofs, if the sophist had been a more
in the induction. Another prunes his mustaccio, lisps and fwears-That the old Hieronimo (as it was first acted) was tbe only beft and judiciously pen'd play of Europe. Alchymist, A& V. Subt. Here's your Hieronymo's cloake and hat.
able chronologer, would the work have been more genuine ? Hardly, I believe ; tho the scholar of tast had been equally satisfied. The best of critics might be imposed on as to half a dozen verses, or so, as Scaliger himself was,
2 Scaliger's case was this ; Muretus, having translated some verses from Philemon, sent them in a jocular vein to Scaliger, telling him at the same time they were a choice fragment of Trabeas, an acient comic poet: and Scaliger in his commentary on Varro (p. 212.) cites them as Trabeas' own, and as found in fome old manuscript. The verses are ingenious and worth mentioning,
Here, fi querelis, ejulatu, fletibus,
Philemon's verses want some little correction, and thus, as I think, they should be red,
Εί τα δάκρυ' ημίν των κακών ην φαρμακον,
but never as to a whole piece : in this respect the critic and the connoisseur are upon a level.
That Anacreon was destroyed by the Greek priests we have the testimony of a learned Grecian, and this poet is mention'd as a loft author by · Petrus Alcyonius : so that we have nothing now remaining of Anacreon's, but some fragments, quite of a different çast and manner from those modern compositions, so much admired by minute scholars.
3 See what is cited from him above, p. 19, n. Several other proofs may be added ; aş Od. XXXI.
Έμαίνε7' Αλκμαίων το
X' • Asuxónes Ogésins. • Revxómus Ozésns, the white-footed Orestes : i.e. treading the stage in white buskins. The mentioning the name of Orestes puts the poets in mind of the stage; fo Virgil,
Scenis agitatus Orestes. If Virgil did not rather write furiis. But it happens very unluckily, that Sophocles had no play acted so early as Anacreon's writing his odes, and Sophocles was the invenfer of the white shoe ; as the compiler of his life informs us. So that here is an additional proof of this ode's not being genuine. I suppose Sophocles' white fhoe was what Shakespeare in Hamlet, Act III. calls rayed shoes : i. e. with rays of fylver, or tinsel. Homer's epithet of Thetis is áglugómica, which Milton hints at in his Mak, By Tbetis tinfel-fipperid
Θέλω λέγειν 'Αρείδας
κ. τ. λ.
“Έρως σολ' εν όδοισι
Imitated, much for the worfe, from the Kηριοκλέπτης Of Theocritus. .
“ A man may rime you so (as the clown says « in Shakefpeare) eight years together, dinners « and suppers and sleeping hours excepted : 'tis “ the right butterwomen's rank to market.”
Tho' a few lines may pass often unsuspected, as those of Muretus's did with Scaliger ; yet when they happen to be inserted into the body