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THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR.
"To steal at a minim's rest." The old copies read, “ minute's rest." The change is approved by Singer, who says it had been suggested by Mr. Bennet Langton.
Page 294. "Master Slender is get the boys leave to play." The old reading has let instead of get. The latter comes aptly from the mouth of Sir Hugh; the former could hardly come from any one.
Page 305. “ You see, he has been thrown into the rivers." The old copies read, “You say;" which will hardly cohere either with the context or with the man.
Page 321. “To Windsor chimneys when thou'st leapt.” The original reads, “To Windsor chimneys shalt thou leap." Some change like the one here given is evidently required both by the sense and the verse, as leap does not rhyme with swept.
Of disobedience, and unduteous guile." The old copies have title instead of guile. Truth and poetry unite in approving the change.
TWELFTH NIGHT, OR WHAT YOU WILL.
“Vio. She took the ring of me." Mr. Collier's second folio reads, "She took no ring of me.” The change is plausible, but misses the right sense. Viola divines at once the meaning of the ring, and will not expose the sender Page 443. " Then he's a rogue, and a passy-measures paynim." This is commonly printed "a passy-measures pavin; and explained to mean a slow, heavy dance ; passy-measures being a corruption of passamezzo, an Italian name for a style of dancing not much unlike walking. The original has panyn, doubtless a misprint for paynim, an old word for pagan or heathen. So that passy-measures paynim is a Sir Tobyism for an unmitigated pagan, or a pagan passing measure; which just suits the context. Of course the foot-note on the passage is defeated by this reading and explanation, the credit of which belongs to Mr. R. G. White.
MEASURE FOR MEASURE.
Page 46. “I'll rent the fairest house in it for three pence a day." The original has bay instead of day. There can be little question that day is the right word. Bay has been very troublesome to explain.
"But, ere they live, to end." The original has “here they live,” which is clearly wrong, and is commonly changed to where. The present reading was suggested by Hanmer, and is adopted in Collier's folio. For a similar instance, see “ All's Well that Ends Well," Act ii., Scene V., note 2.
Page 57. “Showing, we would not serve Heaven as we love it." u Spare Heaven” is the old reading, which is commonly ex
plained, “spare to offend Heaven.” Possibly spare may be right; but there can be little scruple of accepting the change from Collier's folio.
Page 82. “ He's a motion ingenerative ; that's infallible." So the sense evidently requires the passage to read, instead of "motion generative," the reading of the old copies. The word motion here means a puppet; often so used.
Page 110. “For my authority here's of a credent bulk.” The original has bears, instead of here's. Collier's folio has "bears such a credent bulk.” The present reading, which is proposed by Singer, yields quite as good sense, and infers a much more probable misprint.
“He says, to 'vailful purpose." The old reading is, " to veil full purpose," which is sometimes explained, to conceal the full scope of his proceeding. Theobald would read "t'availful purpose." The change is made in Collier's folio.
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.
Page 161. " There is no measure in the occasion that breeds it, therefore the sadness is without limit.” All the old copies are without it, which is plainly required by the sense. It was left for Collier's folio to supply the word.
Page 167. “ Balth. Well, I would you did like me.” The old copies assign this and the next two speeches of Balthazar to Benedict. The change is proposed, with evident propriety, by Mr. Dyce. Prefixes beginning with the same letter, like “ Bene." and "Balth.," were often thus confounded.
Page 186. “ Beats her heart, tears her hair, prays, cres." Instead of cries, the old copies have curses. The change, sup. plied by Collier's folio, needs no voucher but itself.
A MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S DREAM.
Page 268. “But earthlzer happy is the rose distill'd.” This is the authentic reading, which some editors, following Capell, have changed to earthly happier. The old reading is certainly right, and means " happy in a more earthly kind," as antithetic to happy in a more heavenly kind. So that the new reading gives a wrong sense.
“O me! what means my love? ” The old copies have news, instead of means, which is found in Collier's folio.
Page 328. “Fairies, begone, and be a while away.” The old copies read, “be always away,” which is commonly changed to " be all ways away." Collier's folio suppics the present reading, which is unquestionably right.
Page 345. " No lion fell, nor else no lion's dam." The old reading is, “A lion fell," which is too bad a blunder for 80 sharp a critic as Bottom. Fell is skin, hair and all.
Ever shall in safety rest."
a standing puzzle to the critics. A good many changes have been proposed, none of which would go. The present reading meets every difficulty, and leaves no cause of doubt. It was proposed by a correspondent, "C. R. W.," of the London Ilustrated Neus, in 1856. We thank him, whoever he is.
LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST.
" That shallow vessel." The old copies read vassal, which Collier's folio changes to vessel ; rightly, no doubt.
“For your armiger is in love." The old copies have manager for armiger. Why the former word should be used here, has never been explained. Armiger, meaning, of course, knight, suits both the sense of the passage and the style of the speaker. It is from Collier's folio.
“A messager well sympathiz'd." The old copies have message, for which Collier's folio substitutes messenger. Messager, which is proposed by Singer, is an old word for messenger, and more likely to have been misprinted message.
Page 399. * And stay'd the odds by making four." The originals have adding instead of making, both here and in the sixth line below. The change, from Collier's folio, is necessary to the sense. .
Page 403. “A witły wanton with a velvet brow." Collier's folio corrects whitely, of the original, to witty, which is the right epithet for Rosaline. Whitely would hardly have been applied to her, as she, it appears, was a brunette.