Imatges de pàgina
[ocr errors]

Now this glofs is not true, for Theognis was of Megara in Attica, not Sicily ; as is too well known to need any proof. And therefore without further ceremony, this gloss might be removed.

In Cicero, de nat. D. I, 34.

Zeno quidem non eos folùm, qui tum erant - sed Socratem ipfum, parentem philosophiae, (Latino verbo utens] SCURRAM Atticum fuise dicebat.

As the falsehood discover'd the gloss in Plato, so the ridiculousness shews it here.

There are other kind of glosses, being verbal interpretations of the more obsolete and difficult words, which have been taken into the text, to the utter extirpation of the old poffeffors. The Ionic dialect in Herodotus, the Attic in Plato, the Doric in Theocritus, are changed oftentimes into the more ordinary ways of writing and fpeaking. The true readings therefore of an cient books can never be retrieved without the assistance of manuscripts. If our modern Homers had 'Oggi adi @sa, instead of Mõvenäride 6.- And,

And, ψυχας άδη προέπεμψεν, inftead of fuga's didu zapobale. I don't fee without the citations of the ancients, or without the aid of



old copies, how we should ever be able to retrieve the original words ; but must have been contented with the interpretation of a scholiaft. Nay perhaps half the readers of Homer would have liked the one as well as the other.

But what shall we fay if Shakespeare's words have been thus altered ? If the original has been removed to make room for the gloss? How shall our author be restored to his pristine state, but by having recourse to the oldest books, and esteeming these alone of weight and authority ? A short specimen of these gloffes, which might be greatly enlarged, is as follows, Hamlet Act I. the swaggering upfpring reels : Gloss, upfart. Act II. The youth you breath of : 'Gloss, speak of. Othello, Act I. I take this, that you call love to be a fect or fyen : Glofs, a flip or scyon. A& III. A Sybill that had number'd in the world The fun to course two hundred compasses: Gloss, of the fun's course.. Macbeth, Act I. which fate and metaphysical aid : Glofs, Metaphyfic. 'Act II. For fear thy very stones prate of my where-about": Glofs, of that we're about. Julius Caesar, A& II. Caius Ligarius doth bear Caefar hard : Gloss, bear Caesar batred. Antony and Cleopatra, AQ IV. I be band of death has raught him : Gloss, caught him.

This may be sufficient to shew how, in a modern 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 neceffarily impofe on all, but the true critic, who will be at the trouble of going to the first exemplars.


[ocr errors]

UT there are greater alterations, than any

mention'd, still to be made. For the whole play intitled Titus Andronicus should be Aung 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

" Andronicus

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, A& I. sc. 5. 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 lost, 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, lifps 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.



[ocr errors]

able chronologer, would the work have been more genuine ? Hardly, I believe ; tho' the fcholar of taft had been equally satisfied. The best of critics might be imposed on as to half a dozen verses, or so, as 2 Scaliger himself was,

[ocr errors]

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 some old manuscript. The verses are ingenious and worth mentioning,

Here, fi querelis, ejulatu, fletibus,
Medicina fieret miferiis mortalium,
Auro parandae lacrymae contra forent
Nunc haec ad minuenda mala non magis valent,
Quàm nenia praeficae ad excitandos mortuos.
Res turbidae confilium, non fletum expetunt.

Philemon's verses want some little correction, and thus, as
I think, they should be red,

Εί τα δάκρυ' ημίν των κακών ήν φάρμακο»,
"Αεί 9' ο κλαύσας το σονεϊν επαύελο,
Ήλλατόμεσθ' αν δάκρυα, δόνες χρύσιον.
Νύν δ' και προσέχει τα πράμαι', εδ' αποβλέπει
Εις ταύτα, δέσποι', αλλά την αυτήν οδόν
Εάν τε κλαίης, άν τε μη, πορεύσθαι.
Το εν πλέον ποιμεν ; ή λύπη δ' έχει
Ωσπερ τα δένδρα ταυλα καρπόν, δάκρυα.


« AnteriorContinua »