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In like manner dazzled is used by Shakspeare as a trisyllable in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act II. sc. iv:
"And that hath dazzled my reason's light."
instead of which, we find in the second folio,
"And that hath dazzled so my reason's light."
The words neither, rather, &c. are frequently used by Shakspeare as words of one syllable. So, in King Henry VI. P. III:
"And neither by treason, nor hostility,
for which the editor of the second folio has given
"Neither by treason, nor hostility," &c.
In Timon of Athens, Act III. sc. v. Alcibiades asks,
"Is this the balsam, that the usuring senate
The editor of the second folio, not knowing that pours was used as a dissyllable, to complete the supposed defect in the metre, reads:
"Is this the balsam, that the usuring senate
Tickled is often used by Shakspeare and the contemporary poets, as a word of three syllables. So, in King Henry VI. P. II:
"She's tickled now; her fume needs no spurs."
instead of which, in the second folio we have,
"She's tickled now; her fume can need no spurs.”
So, in Titus Andronicus, Act II. sc. i:
"Better than he have worn Vulcan's badge."
This editor, not knowing that worn was used as a dissyllable, reads:
"Better than he have yet worn Vulcan's badge."
Again, in Cymbeline, Act II. sc. v:
"All faults that name, nay, that hell knows, why hers,
These lines being thus carelessly distributed in the original copy,―
the editor of the second folio, to supply the defect of the first line, arbitrarily reads, with equal ignorance of his author's metre and phraseology,
"All faults that name, nay, that hell knows,
In King Henry IV. P. II. Act I. sc. iii. is this line:
"All faults that may be named, nay, that hell knows,
"And being now trimm'd in thine own desires,-.”
instead of which the editor of the second folio, to remedy a supposed defect in the metre, has given
"And being now trimm'd up in thine own desires,-."
Again, in As you like it, Act II. sc. i:
he pierceth through
instead of which we find in the second folio, (the editor not knowing that country was used as a trisyllable,)
In like manner, in The Winter's Tale, Act I. sc. i. he has given us :
we knew not
"The doctrine of ill-doing, nor dream'd," &c.
doctrine being used as a word of three syllables. Pay him six thousand," &c. says Portia in The Merchant of Venice,
"Before a friend of this description
the word hair being used as a dissyllable, or Bassanio as a quadrisyllable. Of this the editor of the second folio was wholly ignorant, and therefore reads:
"Should lose a hair through my Bassanio's fault."
In The Winter's Tale, Act IV. sc. iii. Florizel, addressing Perdita, says,
"Run not before mine honour; nor my lusts
To complete the last hemistich, Perdita is made to reply,
"O but, sir,
"Your resolution cannot hold."
Here again this editor betrays his ignorance of Shakspeare's metre; for not knowing that burn was used as a dissyllable, he reads
"O but, dear sir," &c.
Again, in King Henry VIII. Act II. sc. iii. the Old Lady declares to Anne Boleyn,
""Tis strange; a three-pence bow'd would hire me,
But instead of this, hire not being perceived to be used as a word of two syllables, we find in the second folio,
"'Tis strange; a three-pence bow'd now would hire me," &c.
This editor, indeed, was even ignorant of the author's manner of accenting words, for in The Tempest, where we find,
Spirits, which by mine art
he exhibits the second line thus:
"I have from all their confines call'd to enact," &c. Again, in King Lear, Act II. sc. i. instead of"To have the expence and waste of his revénues,—” the latter word, being, I suppose, differently accented after our poet's death, the editor of the second folio has given us,
"To have the expence and waste of révenues."
Various other instances of the same kind might be produced; but that I may not weary my readers, I will only add, that no person who wishes to peruse the plays of Shakspeare should ever open the Second Folio, or either of the subsequent copies, in which all these capricious alterations were adopted, with many additional errors and inno
It may seem strange, that the person to whom the care of supervising the second folio was consigned, should have been thus ignorant of our poet's language: but it should be remembered, that in the beginning of the reign of Charles the First many words and modes of speech began to be disused, which had been common in the age of Queen Elizabeth. The editor of the second folio was probably a young man, perhaps born in the year 1600. That Sir William D'Avenant, who was born in 1605, did not always perfectly understand our author's language, is manifest from various alterations which he has made in some of his pieces. The successive Chronicles of English history, which were compiled between the years 1540 and 1630, afford indubitable proofs of the gradual change in our phraseology during that period. Thus a narrative which Hall exhibits in what now appears to us as very uncouth and ancient diction, is again exhibited by Holinshed, about forty years afterwards, in somewhat a less rude form; and in the chronicles of Speed and Baker in 1611 and 1630, assumes a somewhat more polished air. In the second edition of Gascoigne's Poems printed in 1587, the editor thought it necessary to explain many of the words by placing more familiar terms in the margin, though not much more than twenty years had