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realme are a great many folkes, and several of the other old dramatists, amongest many, I know but one of which appeared to me to have some tender zeale, who at the motion of his value,—but whether any one did me poore tenauntes, hath let downe his the honour to read them, is more than landes to the olde rentes foe their re- I know. I cannot say that you yourliete. For Gods loue let not him be self have profited by that accuracy in a phenix, let him not be alone, let punctuation and expression which it him not be an hermit closed in a wall, was the drift of my remarks to inculsome good man folow him, and do as cate. To my great horror, I found, he geueth example.
on reading my last emendation on a Surueyers there be, that greedely passage in Shakespeare, that, at the gorge vp their couetous goodes, hand- same moment I was removing one ermakers I meane, honest men I touch ror, you or your printers were rearing not, but all such as suruey, they make another. The passage I allude to is up theyr mouthes, but the coinmons in a speech of Belarius in Cymbeline. * be ytterly vndone by them : whose bitter crye ascending vp to the eares
- O, this life of the God of Sabaoth, the greedy pitte
Is nobler than attending for a check, of hell burning fire (without great re- Prouder than rustling in unpaid-for silks,
Richer than doing nothing for a babe ; pentaunce) do tary and looke for
&c. them. A redresse God graunt. For surely, surely, but that two thinges Instead of for a babe, my reading was do comfort me, I woulde despayre of from a babe, which means from child. the redresse in these matters. One hood ; but what was my confusion to is that the kinges maiesty, when he find that you had substituted cheek for cometh to age, will see a redresse check, and so made the sentence much of these thinges so out of frame; more nonsensical than it was before? geuing example by letting down his I have at present one or two more eown landes first, and then enioyne mendations for you, of puzzling pashis subiectes to follow him. The se- sages in our great dramatist,--but it cond hope I haue is, I beleue that the will be doing an act of charity to you, generall accompting day is at hand, in the first place, to amend a few more the dreadfull day of iudgement l of your own blunders. I begin with meane, which shall make an end of your last Number. all these calamities and miseries. For The leading article in it is a very as the scriptures be, Cum dixerint, eloquent, ingenious, and, on the whole, pur, par, is When they shall saye, I think, convincing theory of the late peace, peace:" Omnia tuta, “ all things war, and of the true principles by are safe :” Then is ye day at hand, a which its events are to be explained. mery day I say, for all such as do in I was deeply interested in it when I this world study to serue and please came to the following sentence, in God, and continue in his fayth, feare, which my organ of verbal criticism (I and loue: and a dreadfull horible day suppose there is some such bump or for them that decline from God, wal- other in the brain) received as severe king in their owne wayes, to whom a shock as the organ of music does by as it is written in the 25. of Mathew the sudden snapping of a string in the is sayd: Ite maledicti in ignem æter- midst of a fine concerto. “ That minum: “ Goe ye cursed into euerlast- litary spirit which the imprudent aging punishment, where shall be way- gression of the European powers had ling and gnashing of teeth.” But vn- produced, and which had healed the to the other he shall say : Venite be- dissensions and called forth the enernedicti. « Come ye blessed children gies of Revolutionary France, became, of my Father, possesse ye the king- in the act of successful defence, itself dome prepared for you from the be the most formidable energy to the liginning of the world,” of the which berty which had given it birth.” How God make us all partakers. Amen.
could you be so careless, Mr Editor, as to let such a blunder pass in the
very heart and stream of that eloquent VERBAL CRITICISMS.
and flowing composition ? For my MR EDITOR,
part, I could get no rest, after lightI FORMEKLY gave you a few criti. cisms on the text of Shakespeare, and "See Vol. III. p. 524. December 1818, ing upon it, till I had found my way Highland piper, even for the amuseinto the printing-office, and, before ment of an Emperor. It would have the whole impression was thrown off, been like Sampson making manual I substituted, with my own hands, sport before the lords of the Philise enemy for energy, and so—though you tines. do not know it, you Palinurus that Your readers need not be afraid, you are, sleeping at the helm-five Mr Editor, that I mean to carry hundred copies, at least, of your Ma- them back again throughout all your gazine are without that hideous cor- bulky tomes. I shall go no farther ruption in the text. It will be a than your Number for last October ; very interesting matter some hun. and here I shall, in the first place, no dred years hence (for I suppose you tice a blunder which entirely blunts have no doubt of your lucubrations the point of a passage in that very surviving two or three centuries at lively and happy imitation-the Bosthe least) to compare these variæ lec- well Redivivus. (By the way, why tiones-(there are one or two more in do you not contrive to get more pathe same paper of slighter moment ;) pers of that light and fanciful kind?
but, alas ! I lost my Argus vision They are by far the most entertaining in one instance, and permitted a blun- and amusing which you can have exder to pass unremedied till it was too cept discussions on verbal criticism.) late. « The same power," says this Johnson says to his humble compaagreeable and acute writer, “ which nion,.“ I have signalized my mind; had twice yielded to the arms of you have immortalized my body. I France, when supported by the coali. have shown the vigours of the hution of Austria and Prussia, now singe man intellect, and have pointed out ly resisted an army ten times more the frailties of human passion. You formidable than that before which have told the world all about my love their united struggle had formerly of my tea and my cat." The author, bowed.” “ United struggle" may meo periculo, certainly wrote, “ I have pass, but a struggle bowing is some shown the vigours of the human inthing quite unique. Who does not tellect, and you have pointed out," &c. see, that for struggle we should read But the person you have used worst strength ?
is the gallant officer who had the hoI next come to Serjeant Campbell's nour of serving under Lord Nelson. narrative. When I made my visit to In the anecdote which he tells of his · the printing-office, I remarked, that, Lordship's coffin, you make him say,
from a false notion, I suppose, of de- “I immediately ran down, and orderlicacy, you had scored out some of the ed the coffin out of his own storeSerjeant's words, which specified the room, and had it placed on two short exact height to which the Imperial boxes abaft the mizzen-mast," &c. fingers had lifted his kilt. I will not Who cares whether the boxes were restore them, since you have thought short or long? Nil ad rem. I have fit to obliterate them, but I will no doubt he wrote shot-bores. But merely whisper in the ear of your gen- you, Mr Editor, know nothing at all of tle readers, that this refined article of naval matters, or you would not have dress was raised as high as it could let such an absurdity pass muster. In well be.- Pray what place is Bland- a few sentences arter, you again make fur, from which this narrative is dat- this gentleman say, “ His Lordship ed? Was the Serjeant in France or came out of his cabin, shook me by in England when he wrote it? You the hand, and, in a friendly manner, do not know! I beg you will write to told me what had passed, adding, that inquire. If he was in France, I sup- he thought it better I should remain pose he means Blanquefort, a small a full lieutenant with him than go on town near Bourdeaux ; if in England, board Lord Keith's ship as a junior." he must mean Blandford. The brave Who ever heard of a full lieutenant? Serjeant can fight better than spell. In the Scotch use of the word, to be Moreover, you make him call John sure, such a thing has been known Fraser, whom he put through the ma- as a fu' lieutenant; but I see nonual and platoon exercise, a piper. I thing in the context to make it be think the Serjeant must have written supposed that Lord Nelson had any private. Such a manouvre would such pleasant conceit in view. If you have been beneath the dignity of a will ask his Lordship's friend, whom
I would advise henceforth to take care And what was he ? into what hands he commits his pa- Forsooth a great arithmetician, pers, he will tell you that he wrote One Michael Cassio, a Florentine, first lieutenant ;-but you-a pretty A fellow almost damed, e'en a fair wife, "Editor indeed !
That never set a squadron in the field,
Nor the division of a battle knows However, all these ingenious and
More than a spinster. excellent personages have at least this comfort, that, much as their writings Upon this conjecture I am afraid, howhave suffered under your Editorial
ever, as I said, to express myself too mismanagement, they have yet not confidently. been so maltreated as the immortal
The passage as to which I can speak Shakespeare, who has long been a with much less hesitation is in the martyr in many ways, both in the first scene of All's Well that Ends corruptions which, from the first, dis- Well. Parolles, before he sets out figured his text, and in the attempts of with Bertram for the court, has a ricommentators to remove them, for the diculous dialogue with Helena, in most part, by still greater corruptions. which he is more witty than delicate I have shown, I think, satisfactorily, on the subject of virginity. “Your that a simple attention to such slight virginity," says he, “ your old virgimatters as punctuation, parenthesis, nity is like one of our French withers &c. would restore sense to many pas- ed pears; it looks ill, it eats dryly ; sages, which have been tortured into marry, 'tis a withered pear; it was a thousand shapes in order to elicit a formerly better; marry, yet, 'tis a wimeaning. There are some, however, in thered pear.” He then turns upon which emendation is absolutely ne- Helena," and says, " Will you any cessary. I shall at present instance thing with it ?" To which she replies two. With my emendation in the in the following incoherent manner: first I am not perfectly satisfied, although I think it the best which has
- Not my virginity yet. been yet given. With that which I There shall your master have a thousand
loves, have to suggest for the second, I have
A mother, and a mistress, and a friend, scarcely any doubt that I am in the
A phenix, captain, and an enemy, right, and that, by a very slight A guide, a goddess, and a sovereign, change, I can give sense and spirit to A counsellor, a traitress, and a dear; a passage which, as it stands, is utter. His humble ambition, proud humility, ly and hopelessly inexplicable.
His jarring concord, and his discord dul. The first passage to which I apply cet, a trembling hand is that long-sifted His faith, his sweet disaster ; with a world puzzle in the first speech in Othello, Of pretty fond adoptious christendoms which stands to this day as much of That blinking Cupid gossips. Now shall a puzzle as ever. I mean that ex- .. he pression of Iago in which he speaks of I know not what he shall :-God send him
well! Cassio being “ damned in a fair wife,”
The court's a learning-place ; and he is which is a sort of nonsense at the
one- &c. best, and has absolutely no meaning with respect to Cassio, who had no Change with it at the end of Parolles's wife. It will be observerl, that Iago question into without, and the whole is expressing himself with great con- chaos, I think, is at once illuminated. tempt of Cassio as an effeminate fel- Parolles quits the subject on which he low, and, if we will permit Shake- was raving, and says to Helena civilly, speare to coin a term here, as he has “Will you any thing without ?" or, not scrupled to do in many other Can I do any thing for you abroad, places, I think we may find his actual away from home, where we are now words. From the word dame we going? Helena, in her reply, takes might derive damed, meaning a per- him up in two senses. She first apson of a lady-like character, and, if it plies his question to what he had been was pronounced with the French ace talking of, and answers, “ Not my centuation, (the word being French,) virginity yet;" i. e. I do not wish yet it might easily, in the mouths of the to be without it. But she understands players, sound damned. My conjece, perfectly what his question means, ture, therefore, is, that the passage and immediately runs off, in her fanran as follows:
cy, to the court, whither the man she
loved was going, that scene of distance these venerable authors which he and distraction, where she predicts would ever voluntarily read. We that every home impression would so regret, extremely, this piece of nonsoon be erased from his mind. There sense about the Emperor of Russia, shall your master, &c. applies to with- a Prince for whom we, as well as out in the last sense. Your master all the world, entertain the most prowhen he is from home will have a thou- found respect. But we do not know sand loves, &c.; and, when her fancy now where the mischief will stop. once has caught fire, all that follows The absurd scene will get into the is quite natural, and in Shakespeare's print shops, and the greatest potentate inost glowing strain of thought and in Europe will be exhibited unveiling expression. I cannot at this inoment the derriere of Serjeant Campbell to give any authority for the word with- the gaze of his “ astonished nobility." out being used as synonymous with a- Were we not well aware of the magbroad or from home; yet within means nanimity of that illustrious prince, we at home, and there is no great strain- should be in despair : as it is, we hope ing in the opposite phrase. I have he will overlook" our involuntary of very little doubt, indeed, that there fence. are authorities for it. This slight Inscius Actaeon vidit sine veste Dianam change certainly makes a passage quite clear, which Dr Johnson says is " abWe trust the next line will not ap. rupt, unconnected, and obscure," and ply, which he does not know what to do Praeda fuit canibus non minus ille suis. with ;"-of which Steevens is obliged to suppose, “ that its obscurity may
i Through Mr Punctum's officious. be its merit," which other commen- ness, however, we have lost all hope tators have tried to amend in fifty dif- of any particular mark of the Emferent ways,--and the greater part of peror's favour. We had even reason which Warburton fairly gives up as to believe, that, in consequence of as the nonsense of some foolish con- the universal importance of our laceited player,” whom he calls a “ fel. bours, we should very soon have relow.” Though there can be no hesita- ceived from him a diamond ring, ut tion. I should suppose, about leaving suus est Mos. Dr Rennie's Moss' it all to a poet who had neither fellow was lately so rewarded ; and while nor rival.-I am, Sir, your's, &c.
we heartily approve of this mark of imOMNE TULIT PUNCTUM. perial encouragement to the highly
useful inquiries of our very ingenious
and meritorious countryman, and reOBSERVATIONS ON THINGS IN GENE- gard it asavirtual proof that this patrioRAL.
tic prince agrees in the opinion of the We are obliged to Mr Punctum King of Brobdignag, that “ whoever for taking the trouble to amend our can make two ears of corn, or two text as well as Shakespeare's; but we blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of must, at the same time, inform nim, ground where only one (Dr Rennie that he has been guilty of an intoler- might say where none) grew before, de able outrage in stealing into the print, serves better of mankind, and does more ing-office, and spying out the secrets of essential service to his country, than our prison-house. If this practice is the whole race of politicians put toto go on, we must go off, for if the gether:" we yet cannot suppose that passages which we erase in one Num- -ber are to be set full in array before · Essays on the Natural History and our readers in the next, our Maga Origin of Peat Moss, &c. By the Revezine will be as bad as those editions rend R. Rennie, D. D. Minister of the Gosof the classics intended for the Dau. pel, Kilsyth. The Emperor of Russia phin, in which all the improper pas
lately sent Dr Rennie a diamond ring, acsages were taken out of their places in
companied by a letter written at his comthe text, and clapped together at the
mand, expressive of his sense of the utility
of Dr Rennie's speculations, and of his end of the book, so that the Serenissie wish that the continuation of the work mus Princeps could never miss regaling should be transmitted to Russia, to give his eyes with them whenever he wish- hints for the improvement of its waste dised to be so employed. Indeed, we tricts. These are the cares worthy of a suspect they are the only parts of great sovereign.
so enlightened a monarch should be royal libraries. Indeed, we cannot blind to the exertions of those who but think that the general strain of are labouring not upon moss, but upon our speculations is admirably adapted mind." We suspect, however, that our to the usual calibre of crowned heads, diamond ring will never be seen any and must impart to them a very sawhere but in our mind's eye.
tisfactory sensation, not much unIn our last Number we talked of like smoking a pipe. There is noour own doings in a style of infinite thing rudical about us, for we seldom humility and self-abasement. We go to the root of any thing. Then now begin to think that was a fault. We are neither too grave nor too At least, since we meet with very little witty. A pleasing gentle smile is the praise elsewhere, we may be permitted, common expression of feature with we think, to praise ourselves. Some which our writings must be perused. of our contemporary journalists have We are certainly great favourites with acquired, perhaps, greater popularity Louis XVIII. There is as little than we, but we wish thein to know of ultra about us as of radical. We that popularity is not what we are have no doubt that the Most Christaiming at. It is enongh for us to ian King adopts us as his manual or find " fit audience though few.” breviary. In the strutting pompous Our lucubrations, indeed, are "caviare days of Louis XIV. the tragerlies of to the general." (By the way, Mr Corneille were called “ the breviary of Punctum may try his hand upon that kings." Weare a much fitter one for the passage.) We may not be thumbed slow snail pace of his good but gouty over by radical weavers, or dandy descendant. He generally composes clerks, but, we believe, we have himself, we are informed, with a page found our way into the palaces of or two of our sound lucubrations after kings, quite as much, to say the mass, or after dinner, and if they least, as any of our most celebrated happen to lull him into a sound sleep, contemporaries. We have heard, why that is a good deed too. They from good authority, that there was a are by no means the worst books copy of the Edinburgh Review in in the world which produce that the library of the Government House soothing effect. at Washington. We say was, for So much, indeed, are we possessed when that house was burnt, the with the idea, that we are in great said Review is composed of such in- favour in kings' houses, that we mean flammatory materials, that it must to dedicate our future labours chiefneeds have perished in the confla- ly to the improvement of that ex. gration. Indeed, it is reported that alted class of readers. We hope volume after volume bounced through much from them all-except Ferthe roof like so many sky-rockets, and dinaud of Spain, who, we verily beilluminated the country for many lieve, can neither read nor write. miles round! We never heard, how. But, putting him out of the ques. ever, that a single Number of that tion, the other European princes are celebrated work is to be found in the at this moment a very hopeful race. library of any European inonarch: We have no doubt, that our quotaWe believe the Emperor of Hayti tion from Latimer's sermon, for inhas got a copy, which circumstance, stance, will produce an instant and perhaps, will confirm the opinion of miraculous effect, and that all the suthose who think that none but black- perfluity of horses, mistresses, and nebs patronize so dangerous a publis expenditure throughout Europe, will cation. Is there a copy of it, pray, immediately be cut off. Its rulers in the Prince Regent's library in the and nobles cannot think how their library of the King of France in that popularity will rise in consequence, of the Catholic King-nay, even in and we suspect they have every that of the great Alexander himself? where some popularity to gain. The We trow not. Ask the same question world, unfortunately, is by no means with respect to the Scots Magazine, yet in so settled a state as we and we will not permit ourselves to could wish. The political game of doubt, that it is to be found in all these whist has not quite returned to its
- good old Hoyle rules. Even in its most • Grant but as many kinds of mind as regular and legitimate form, when moss.
Pope. kings and queens keep all the lower