cating my sense of the place to the Rev. Mr. Warburton, he informed me, that “ This was a fine piece of concealed satire on the Voyagers of that time, who had just discovered a new world; and, as was very natural, grew most extravagant in displaying the wonders of it. That, particularly, by

Each putter-out of five for one, is meant the Adventurers in the Discovery of the West Indies, who had for the money they advanced, and contributed, twenty per cent."

Dr. Thirlby does not a little assist this explanation by his concurrence, and a fine, though easy, alteration of the text:

Each putter-out of one for five. The Doctor is so modest as to determine nothing concerning this reading, though to me it appears as clear as the explication is certain ; that it was usual in those times for travellers to put out money to receive a greater sum if they lived to return; and, for proof, he refers to Morison's Itinerary, part I, p. 198, et seq. I cannot make better amends for my own former want of sagacity, or return my friends better thanks for the lighit they have given me upon this passage, than by subjoining a testimony from a poet contemporary with our Author, that will put their explanation past all dispute, as well as youch for that conjectural transposition of the text, in which Dr. Thirlby is pleased to be so diffident. See Ben Jonson's Every Man out of his Humour, Act. II. Scene 3, in this speech of his most singular and vain-glorious Knt. Puntarvolo.

“ I do intend, this year of jubilee coming on, to travel : and, because I will not altogether go upon expence, I am determined to put forth some five thousand pound, to be paid me, five for one, upon the return of myself, my wife, and my dog, from the Turk's Court in Constantinople. If all, or either of us miscarry in the journey, 'tis gone; if we be successful, why, there will be five and twenty thou. sand pound to entertain time withal.”


And quote from the same Play, p. 217; and vide pp. 214, 254.

If he was to be paid fwe for one, it is obvious, he was a putter-out of one for five, as I think we ought to read in our Shakespeare: unless, to save the transposition we should dispense with the change only of a single Letter, some Readers should prefer this conjecture :

Each patter-out on five for one, &c. I cannot help observing that Ben Jonson, to heighten the ridicule of these projecting voyagers, makes Puntarvolo's wife averse to accompanying him: and so he is inforced to put out bis venture on the return of himself, his dog, and his cat. It may not be amiss, perhaps, to add a short observation on the different conduct of both our Poets. Shakespeare, out of a particular deference to Sir Walter Raleigh, only sneers these adventurous voyagers obliquely, and, as it were, en passant : The surly Ben, who would be tied up by no such scrupulous regards, dresses up the fashion in the most glaring colours of comic humour, or rather brings down his satire to the level of farcical ridicule.]

Sed nunc redeo tandem in viam, unde discessi. P. 151. Attends the Emperor in his royal court.

Is not this a forgetfulness in our Poet? Valentine is with the Duke of Milan at his court. But then was not this Duke a substitute of the Emperor in the Milanese ? P. 159. For it is the unkindest tide that ever any man

tied. I do not understand this. Is tide any where the appellation of a dog? Tyke, I know, in Yorkshire, signifies a dog, or cur. And so in Lear, p. 414:

Or bob-tail tike, or trundle-tail.
P. 161. Thur. And how quote you my folly?
Val, I quote it in your jerkin.


Does Valentine simply mean here, in the ridicuJous fashion of your clothes, or is a conundrum lost here, and are we to read ?

I quote it in your jerking, i.e. in your pert and foolish vein of Airting at me, But the matter is very trivial. P. 163. Thur. Madlam, my Lord your Father would

speak with you. How does Thurio know this? I suspect rather a servant should come in and say it, and that it is not quoted in the old books.

P. 168. To leave my Julia, shall I be, &c.

This, in the first folio Edition, stands rightly pointed, thuş :

To leave my Julia, shall I be forsworn;
To love fair Silvia, shall I be forsworn;

To wrong my friend, &c.
P. 170. The more thou damm'st it


&c. You inform me, I remember, that we ought to read, damp'st it up. But may not the text stand as it does, upon the authority of this other line in this very play, p. 146:

The fire that 's closest kept, burns most of all. P. 176. What Letter is this same? &c.

What? Was Valentine to climb up to his mistress's tower, in order to carry her off, and does he carry a Letter to her from himself at the same time. P. 180. Speed. What news with your mastership?

Launce. With ny mastership? Why it is ať
Speed. Well, your old vice still, mistake

the word. Mr. Pope is a pleasant gentleman to let this pass him without any suspicion But how does Launce mistake the word ? Speeds asks him about his mastership, and he replies to it literatim. But then how was his mastership at sea and on shore too?

But the addition of a letter and an apostrophe will make him mistake the word, and set the jest right, thus : Launce. With my master's ship? why it is at sea.

P. 186.



P. 186. For practising to steal away a lady,

An heir, and niece allied unto the duke. What, was this lady niece to the duke, and allied to him too? I will never believe Shakespeare would have expressed himself thus. I am confident we ought to read,

An heir *, and near allied unto the duke.
As in Romeo, p. 126:

This gentleman, the Prince's neur allie;
and several other passages that I need not trouble

P. 190. He loved her out of all nick.

I am not acquainted with this expression ; but I suppose it means in other phrases familiar with our Author, out of all count, out of all cesse, i. e. infinitely, eternally.

P. 194. I was sent to deliver him as a present, &c.

Does not the Poet forget himself here! We find by the next page that he had lost the dog which was sent for a present, and meant in the lieu of it to give his own.

P. 199. Her eyes as grey as grass.
Annon potiùs, glass?
P. 206. Verona shall not hold thee.

This threat is to Sir Thurio, who is a Milanese, and the person threatening is now too in Milan. I am afraid Shakespeare here again a little forgets bimself.

You see, Sir, by the help of a digression from the Tempest, I have made shift to spend as much time in Verona as my paper will well give me leave. The Merry Wives will be more full of corruption and entertainment. By the way, I remember you hint in one of yours, that in that play a rank piece of indelicacy is done away into as rank nonsense, through the ignorance of the Editors. I suppose, for infor mation sake, without breach of modesty, both I may demand and you communicate this secret. I rest in hopes of being happy by the post to-morrow; and shall not fail on Saturday at farthest to renew my trouble to you, who am, dear Sir, Your most affectionate and obliged humble servant,

* An heiress.




To the Rev. Mr. WARBURTON.

Dear Sir,

Nov. 15, 1729. By my last, which I hope has reached you, and which contains my inquiries on The Two Gentlemen of Verona, you will find I am come into the order you desired: and will endeavour to pursue it, though I should make an excursion, now and then, by the bye. I beg you will spare encomiums on the care and correctness of my Epistles, and likewise excuses for the supposed carelessness of your own.


you are so complaisant to indulge me in this laborious correspondence, it will be for our mutual ease perituræ parcere chartæ. Yours on Cymbeline is come to hand ; and as Mr. Bishop (another kind labourer in the vineyard) was with me, you cannot imagine the pleasure we shared to find in how many places your emendations jump literally with ours. While our thoughts are warın upon this Play, I thought proper to let you know at once where I agree, and where for present reasons I dissent. And 50, to work : P. 5. You do not meet a man but frowns, &c.

The correction of brows we had made with you; in the subsequent lines I had gone still farther, whether with absolute necessity, I submit to you,

tbus :


« ElőzőTovább »