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VOL. VI.- No. 140.]
SATURDAY, JULY 3. 1852.
S Price Fourpence. Stamped Edition, 5d.
On the Editorship of Shakspeare, by Bolton Corney
speare, by S. W. Singer -
a Minor Notes :- Apuleius on Mesmerism - The Domi.
ciliary Clause-Transmission of Ancient Usages -
Remarkable Experiments -
“ Aghindle ” or “ Aghendole”- Pictures of Queen
Murray, titular Earl of Dunbar - -
Book censured in the Pulpit, in the Time of Queen
OUR SIXTH VOLUME.
“provident Of future ; in small room large heart inclos’d.” What authority there may be for the asserted physiological fact in reference to the emmet, is a Query we submit to our readers, merely reminding them that Virgil has said the same thing of bees : at present we quote the words of our great poet as descriptive of the function and purpose which we have carried on throughout Five Volumes, and which we shall keep steadily before us in that new Volume on which we are this day entering, and in the numberless remainder which we trust will follow. “Provident of future,” we shall lay up good store of valuable materials for all inquirers; and within the “small room” of our hebdomadal sheet shall strive to inclose a mass of matter more directly useful to literary men than has ever been crowded into such space before.
The continued kindness of our “increased and still increasing" band of contributors and correspondents enables us, volume by volume, to perform our office more perfectly. The number of important questions which we answer immediately, and the number cleared up by the friendly discussions in our pages, are both continually on the increase. Some day we shall (in Parliamentary phrase) present a Return upon this subject which will excite no little surprise : at present we will merely express our warmest thanks to all our contributing friends, and assure them of our constant endeavour to insert their papers in the way which will be most useful, and at the same time most agreeable to themselves. Slight curtailment, and some delay, are occasionally unavoidable; but we studiously endeavour to do the most entire justice to every paper that is sent to us, and that as quickly as possible, Such shall ever continue to be our aim; our only “strife” being how to please you all — readers, correspondents, note-makers, and querists -"day exceeding
12 13 14
The Trusty Servant at Winchester, by Sir F. Madden-
“ Monody on the Death of Sir John Moore," by J. R.
Britons - Burial in Unconsecrated Ground - Etymo-
Notes on Books, &c.
Vor. VI. — No. 140.
geries, and perversions of the text under fictitious
names ? Whatever admiration may be due to ON THE EDITORSHIP OF SHAKSPERE. many of the commentators, the expediency of re.
form is unquestionable. It is manifest that other “ The work that has been done, is to be done again,
in, plans must be devised. and no single edition will supply the reader with a text
As a step in the path of improvement, I would on which he can rely as the best copy of the works of
suggest a bold and searching re-examination of Shakspeare.” — Samuel Johnson, 1756.
the principles of editorship with reference to the The course of Shaksperean editorship, with plays of Shakspere, and the formation of such a regard to the dramatic portion of his works, ex- series of rules as may accord with facts and comhibits four distinct phases : I. The separate pub- mon sense, and satisfy the majority of the best lication of sixteen plays, in the quarto form, in the critics. Important hints on those points occur in years 1597-1622; II. The publication of thirty- | the prefaces to his dramatic works, but they are six plays in a folio volume, under the editorial sometimes much at variance with each other, and care of Heminge and Condell, in 1623; III. The they now here appear collectively. Now, it is underepublication of the folio volume with the addi- | niable that such a code of rules, even if not the tion of seven playes never before printed in best that could be framed, would tend to the prefolio," in 1664; and IV. The republication of the servation of consistency; and, if unobjectionable thirty-six plays by Nicholas Rowe, by Pope, by in its main features, it might be productive of Theobald, by Hanmer and others, with the addi- much of the benefit which new editions can be tion of memoirs, critical essays, emendations of the expected to derive from learned supervision. In text, annotations, glossaries, etc.
re-editing a monographic volume, which had been The early quarto plays have become of such committed to the press by its author, we encounter extreme rarity as to defy acquisition, and the no serious difficulties, and therefore need only a folio of 1623, which should be the cynosure of few plain rules. It is much otherwise in the future editors, is almost as rare in a PERFECT state. case of Shakspere. The folio volume of 1623 Recourse must be had, in both instances, to public contains thirty-six separate compositions, of very and private collections. The later folios carry no uncertain dates. It embraces a boundless variety authority, and the seven additional plays are held of theme; it displays almost every variety of to be spurious: As all the above volumes are style; and it was set forth by men of whose lie elsewhere described with more or less exactness, terary qualifications we have not an atom of eviit is on the annotated editions only, and on the dence! Thence arise NUMBERLESS QUERIES, the spirit of annotation which has prevailed for near a solution of which calls for much research and century-and-a-half, that I propose to comment. critical sagacity; so that without the establishment
Reflecting on the events of this latter period, of just principles, and the formation of corresponand assuming that new editions of the plays of dent rules, there can neither be justness nor uniShakspere must always be in request, I come to formity of editorial execution. the conclusion that those which are now most in An attempt to frame such a series of rules is repute on the score of documents and annotations now submitted to public criticism. A rash attempt would be too voluminous if reprinted on the it may seem, but it is the result of deliberation; former plan of successive accumulation. The called into visible existence by the signs of the editions to which I allude are those of Johnson times. If the proposed rules should be condemned, and Steevens, and Malone - with the corrections or in part contested, I shall hold myself in readiand illustrations of various commentators. Both ness to come forward in their defence. If improvethose celebrated publications were formerly in tenments should be suggested - for which, doubtless, octavo voluines; but in the last augmented im- there is scope-I shall receive the suggestions pressions, which were given to the public, by Reed thankfully, If the publication of the series should and Boswell respectively, they both form twentye be pronounced superfluous, I engage to prove that one volumes. This increase of bulk was the almost all the rules which it contains have been growth of only thirty years, and more than thirty violated, even in the course of one play, by the years have since elapsed. Is the accumulative best editors of our dramatist- and that some of system to be continued ? Are we always to ap- the most important of them have been violated proach Shakspere through a crowd of preface 1. within the space of twenty lines. writers? Are we to accept memoirs and collections which have been superseded by the works
CANONS OF CRITICISM; APPLICABLE TO A NEW EDITION of more fortunate inquirers? Are we to be sa
OF THE PLAYS OF WILLIAM SHAKSPERE. tiated with the notes, the confutations of notes, Canon I. The preliminary matter, the number and the replies, and the rejoinders of former times? order of the plays, and their respective titles, shall be with historical facts misapplied to fiction ? with the same as in the edition which was set forth by Heparallel passages devoid of parallelism ? with for- | minge and Condell in 1623.
bus. Canon II. The text of the plays, errors excepted, l ter was as extraordinary as his own, Dr. Barebone, to shall be that of 1623, collated with that of such of the the great builder and projector, of whom Roger reo plays as had been published in a finished state. The
North, in his yet unpublished Autobiography, has deficient lists of characters shall be supplied on the
given one of those speaking portraits which place same plan as that of The tempest, and the current divi.
divl | before us the living man beyond the possibility of sions into acts and scenes shall be adopted.
Ta mistake. Barebone was one of the sons of Canon III. No emendations shall be admitted into
Praise-God Barebone, and was christened at his the text but such as are requisite to give it the pro
baptism “ If-Jesus-Christ-had-not-died-for-theebable sense, or a more correct rhythm ; nor shall any
thou-had-been-damned" Barebone ; but Roger other circumstance than the defective state of the text itself be held to justify such emendations.
North informs us it was customary to omit all the : Canon IV. No additions shall be made to the plays,
syllables of the name except the last, “ Damned
Barebone” or “Damned Dr. Barebone" being his either in the shape of prefaces, or of lists of the charac
ordinary appellation; which, as his morals were ters, or of emendations of the text, or of divisions into acts and scenes or otherwise, without being indicated
being indicated none of the best, appeared to suit him better than
his entire baptismal prefix. Dr. Barebone—who as as such by brackets. Canon V. No omission, or transposition, or other
the author of two of the ablest of our early comaltération shall be made, either in the text or in its
mercial tracts, and as one of the most enterprising accompaniments, without a note describing it, and men this country ever produced, deserves a notice stating the evidence in favour of its adoption.
in an English biographical dictionary, when we shall Canon VI. The orthography shall be modern, when have one which is worthy of the name-died deeply not required to be otherwise for the sake of the mea
involved in debt; and in appointing Mr. Asgill as een sure, or the rhyme, or to preserve a play upon words; his executor, made it a request in his will that he ater but the preliminary matter of 1623 shall be printed should never pay his debts. What a scene it must yi literatim.
have been in Lincoln's Inn Hall, deserving all the the Çanon VII. In the use of capitals, and in other graphic powers of Hogarth or Cruikshank, when to 62 typographical particulars, there shall be a strict uni- 1.the.“monster" meeting of creditors whom he had Fery formity of plan, which plan shall be described and ex- summoned to hear the will read, the executor, met emplified. The punctuation shall be inserted as the after producing the will, and reading it through, - context requires, and without regard to the early or and giving due emphasis to the request it conlate editions.
tained, subjoined with the greatest gravity, “ You eri ; Canon VIII. The preface of each play shall record | have heard, gentlemen, the Doctor's testament, and I then the evidence of its authorship, the presumed date of its will religiously fulfil the will of the deud." As the
composition, the peculiarities of all the editions of it writer of the MS. memoir justly observes, “There and previousí to 1623, and the sources of its plot. The
was not perhaps such anoiher pair as the doctor notes shall be as concise as possible, and limited to the
and the counsellor in the three kingiloms.". establishment of the text, and the illustration of its
As some contribution to a future Life of Asgill, obscurities; rejecting all criticism on former commentators. '
no complete list having yet been given of his Canon IX. A glossacial index shall comprise the
writings, I inclose the following, which is as cortitles of the plays, the names of the characters, the obso
rect as I can at present make it. All the Tracts lete words and phrases, and the words used in an uncommon sense, or with a peculiar accent, or which
are in my own possession. If any of your correotherwise seemed to require notes.
spondents can add to it, I shall be glad to see it
rendered more complete :: BOLTON CORNEY
1. “ Several Assertions proved in order to create another Species of Money than Gold and Silver.” 1696,
8vo. p. 85. 2nd edit. 1720, 8vo. p. 46. JOHN ASGILL.
· 2." Essay on a Registry for Titles of Lands." It is much to be regretted that the materials for
Lond. 1698, 8vo. p. 43. 4th edit. 1758, Svo. p. 44. al a Life of this most original writer, whose wit is It is reprinted in State Tracts (Will. III.), vol. ii.
frequently as brilliant and effective as Swift's, are p. 693. . . . ne so scanty. Dr. Campbell, who wrote the account 3. “Reply to some Reflections on Nr. ' Asgill's -07 of Asgill in the first edition of the Biographia Bri Essay on a Registry." 1699, 8vo. p. 39. . ben tannica, makes several references to a MŚ. Memoir) This has never been reprinted. The Trạct pụb
by his intimate friend Mr. A. N. Can any of your lished in State Tracts (Will. III.), vol. ij. p. 701., correspondents inform me if this memoir is still in attributed to Asgill in the Biog. Brit. (title existence? Dr. Kippis, who seems to bave been “Asgill"), is evidently not written by him. . .
in a blissful state of ignorance as to Asgill's real | 4. “ An. Argument proving that 'Man may be and character, and the meaning of his writings, has / translated.” 1700, 8vo. p. 103, be added no fresh facts to the account of his prede 5. “De Jure Divino, or the Assertion is that the cessor.
Title of the House of Hanover is a Title Hereditary,” - Asgill was the executor of a man whose charac- | 1710, 8vo. P. 38.