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sages which there can hardly be a doubt are corrupt are passed over by him without correction. All this becomes intelligible upon our hypothesis. Working possibly upon the same manuscripts (whether those of the author or no) from which the printed text had been set up, he would with more deliberation, or by greater attention and skill, succeed in deciphering correctly much of the difficult or faded writing which had baffled or been misread by the printer. In other places, again, he was able to make nothing of it, or it deceived him. In some cases he may have ventured upon a conjecture, and when he does that he may be as often wrong as right. The manuscripts of which he had the use-whether the author's original papers or only transcripts from them-probably belonged to the theatre; and they might now be in a much worse condition in some parts than when they were in the hands of Heminge and Condell in 1623. The annotator would seem to have been connected with the stage. The numerous and minute stage directions which he has inserted look as if it might have been for the use of some theatrical Company, and mainly with a view to the proper representation of the Plays, that his laborious task was undertaken.*
*I do not remember having seen it noticed that the theatres claimed a property in the Plays of Shakespeare, and affected to be in possession of the authentic copies, down to a comparatively recent date. The following Advertisement stands prefixed to an edition of Pericles, in 12mo, published in 1734, and professing to be "printed for J. Tonson, and the rest of the Proprietors: "-"Whereas R. Walker, and his accomplices, have printed and published several of Shakespeare's Plays, and, to screen their innumerable errors, advertise that they are printed as they are acted; and industriously report that the said Plays are printed from copies made use of at the Theatres; I therefore declare, in justice to the Proprietors, whose right is basely invaded, as well as in defence of myself, that no person ever had, directly or indirectly, from me any such copy or copies; neither would I be accessary, on any account, to the imposing on the public such useless, pirated, and maimed editions, as are published by the said R. Walker. W. CHET
Mr Collier has given an account of his annotated Folio in a volume which he published in 1852, entitled "Notes and Emendations to the text of Shakespeare's Plays, from Early Manuscript Corrections in a Copy of the Folio, 1632." A second edition of this volume appeared in 1853; and meanwhile he had also given to the world the same year an edition, in one volume, of “The Plays of Shakespeare: The Text regulated by the Old Copies, and by the recently discovered Folio of 1632, containing early Manuscript Emendations.' But the most distinct statement that he has made upon the subject is that contained in a subsequent volume entitled "Seven Lectures on Shakespeare and Milton, by the late S. T. Coleridge; A List of all the MS. Emendations in Mr Collier's Folio, 1632; and an Introductory Preface;" 8vo, Lon. 1856. Of this volume the account of the annotations, headed "A List of Every Manuscript Note and Emendation in Mr Collier's Copy of Shakespeare's Works, Folio, 1632," is spread over about 120 pages. Instead of 20,000, how
WOOD, Prompter to His Majesty's Company of Comedians at the Theatre Royal in Drury-Lane." On the subject of this Chetwood see Malone's Inquiry into the Shakespeare Papers, pp. 350–352. In Tonson's similar editions of The History of Sir John Oldcastle and The Tragedy of Locrine (both declared on the title-page to be “By Mr William Shakespear"), he speaks in like manner of himself "and the other Proprietors of the Copies of Shakespear's Plays," and complains that "one Walker has proposed to pirate all Shakespear's Plays, but, through ignorance of what Plays were Shakespear's, did in several Advertisements propose to print Edipus King of Thebes as one of Shakespear's Plays, and has since printed Tate's King Lear instead of Shakespear's, and in that and Hamlet has omitted almost one half of the genuine editions printed by J. Tonson and the Proprietors." It would appear from Nichols's Illustrations, II. 199, that Theobald in the Preface to the Second Edition of his Play of The Double Falsehood, which he pretended was written by Shakespeare, spoke of private property perhaps standing so far in his way as to prevent him from putting out a complete edition of Shakespeare's Works. The passage, which does not occur in the first edition (1728), is retained in the third (1767).
ever, as originally stated (see Notes and Emendations, Introduction, p. iv.), the alterations here enumerated cannot much exceed 3000. Those omitted are probably (though nothing to that effect is said) only corrections of what are called literal errors, or such misprints as rather disfigure than injure the sense. Among them, however, are such as the alteration of dambe into daub in the passage quoted above from the beginning of the First Part of Henry the Fourth, which is mentioned in the Notes and Emendations, though passed over in the List. It would be more satisfactory if everything were given.*
IV. THE SHAKESPEARIAN EDITORS AND
The four Folios were the only editions of the Plays of Shakespeare brought out in the seventeenth century; and, except that the First, as we have seen, has a Dedication and Preface signed by Heminge and Condell, two actors belonging to the Blackfriars Theatre, nothing is known, and scarcely anything has been conjectured, as to what superintendence any of them may have had in passing through the press. The eighteenth century produced a long succession of editors :-Rowe, 1709 and 1714; Pope, 1725 and 1728; Theobald, 1733 and 1740; Hanmer, 1744; Warburton, 1747; Johnson, 1765; Steevens, 1766; Capell, 1768; Reed, 1785; Malone, 1790; Rann, 1786-1794. The editions of Hanmer, Johnson, Steevens, Malone, and Reed were also all reprinted once or oftener, for the most
* Nearly the same views in most respects which I had announced in the North British Review in 1854, both on the Shakespearian text and on the new readings supplied by Mr Collier's MS. annotator, are ably advocated in an article in the Edinburgh Review, No. 210, for April 1856. The writer refers to a paper, which I have not seen, in a number of the North American Review for the preceding year, as containing "by far the best and most thoroughly reasoned discussion" of the subject with which he had met.
part with enlargements; and all the notes of the preceding editions were at last incorporated in what is called Reed's Second Edition of Johnson and Steevens, which appeared, in 21 volumes 8vo, in 1803. This was followed in 1821 by what is now the standard Variorum edition, also in 21 volumes, which had been mostly prepared by Malone, and was completed and carried through the press by his friend Mr James Boswell. We have since had the various editions of Mr Knight and Mr Collier, from both of whom, in addition to other original research and speculation, both bibliographical and critical, we have received the results of an examination of the old texts more careful and extended than they had previously been subjected to. New critical editions by the late Mr Singer and by Mr Staunton have also appeared within the last few years; and there are in course of publication the Cambridge edition by Mr Clark and Mr Wright, and another since commenced by Mr Dyce, besides the magnificent edition by Mr Halliwell, which is to extend to 20 volumes folio.
The list of commentators, however, includes several other names besides those of the editors of the entire collection of Plays; in particular, Upton, in "Critical Observations," 1746; Dr Zachary Grey, in "Critical, Historical, and Explanatory Notes," 1755; Heath, in “A Revisal of Shakespeare's Text," 1765; Kenrick, in a "Review of Johnson's Edition," 1765, and "Defence of Review," 1766; Tyrwhitt, in "Observations and Conjectures," 1766; Dr Richard Farmer, in "Essay on the Learning of Shakespeare," 1767; Charles Jennens, in annotated editions of" King Lear," 1770,-“Othello," 1773, -"Hamlet,” 1773,- Macbeth," 1773,—and "Julius Cæsar," 1774; John Monck Mason, in " Comments on the Last Edition of Shakespeare's Plays," 1785, and "Further Observations," 1798; A. Beckett, in "A Concordance to Shakespeare, to which are added three hundred Notes and Illustrations," 1787; Ritson, in "The Quip
Modest," 1781, and "Cursory Criticisms," 1792; Whiter, in "A Specimen of a Commentary," 1794; George Chalmers, in "Apology for the Believers in the Shakespearian Papers," 1797, and "Supplemental Apology," 1799; Douce, in "Illustrations of Shakespeare and of Ancient Manners," 1807; Reverend Joseph Hunter, in "Illustrations of the Life, Studies, and Writings of Shakespeare," 1844; and Reverend Alexander Dyce, in "Remarks on Mr Collier's and Mr Knight's Editions," 1844, and "A Few Notes on Shakespeare," 1853. To these names and titles may be added the Reverend Samuel Ayscough's "Index to the Remarkable Passages and Words made use of by Shakespeare," 1790; "A Complete Verbal Index to the Plays of Shakespeare," in 2 vols., by Francis Twiss, Esq., 1805; and Mrs Cowden Clarke's "Complete Concordance to Shakspere," 1847. Finally, there may be mentioned Archdeacon Nares's "Glossary of Words, etc., thought to require Illustration in Shakespeare and his Contemporaries," 1822.*
V. THE MODERN SHAKESPEARIAN TEXTS.
No modern editor has reprinted the Plays of Shakespeare exactly as they stand in any of the old Folios or Quartos. Neither the spelling, nor the punctuation, nor the words of any ancient copy have been retained unaltered, even with the correction of obvious errors of the Press. It has been universally admitted by the course that has been followed that a genuine text is not to be obtained without more or less of conjectural emendation : the only difference has been as to the extent to which it should be carried. The most recent texts, however, beginning with that of Malone, and more especially those of Mr Knight and of Mr Collier (in his eight volume edition), have been formed upon the principle of adhering
Of this important work a new edition, with large additions, has lately been announced as in preparation.