Page images
PDF
EPUB

47

The Famous Historie of Chinon of England. By CHRISTOPHER MIDDLETON. To which is added The Assertion of King Arthure, translated by RICHARD ROBINSON from Leland's 'Assertio Inclytissimi Arturii', together with the Latin original. Edited from copies in the British Museum, with Introduction, Notes, and Glossary, by W. E. MEAD, Milford, 1925. (Original Series, No. 165.) Svo (8/4X5'/.), pp. Ixviii+86+xiv+156, with 2 plates. 25. net. Early English Text Society.

This late Arthurian romance, now reprinted for the first time, has only been incidentally mentioned hitherto. It was Middleton's third publication, 1697. Leland's Assertio was first published in 1644 ;

Robinson's translation appeared in 1582. Sanditon: Fragment of a Novel written by JANE AUSTEN. January-March, 1817. Now first printed from the manuscript. 74/4 X 5, viii. + 170 pp. and notes. Oxford: Clarendon Press. London: Milford. 7s. 6d. n.

Tales of Hearsay. By JOSEPH CONRAD. With a Preface by R. B. CUNNINGHAME GRAHAM. 8 X 5'/,, 288 pp. Fisher Unwin. 7s. 6d. n.

Caravan. The Assembled Tales of John GALSWORTHY. Cr. 8vo, x+950 pp. Cloth 7/6; leather 10,6 net. Heinemann 1925.

The Painted Veil. By W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM, 7%.X5%, 289 pp. Heinemann. 1925. 7s. 6d. n.

The Rector of Wyck, By MAY SINCLAIR. 7°/X54/, 286 pp. Hutchinson. 1925. 7s. 6d. n.

The George and the Crown. By SHEILA KAYE-SMITH. 78% X 5/, 343 pp. Cassell. 1925. 78. 6d. n.

Coral : A Sequel to “Carnival.” By COMPTON MACKENZIE. 7°/X59/4, 312 pp. Cassell. 1925. 7s. 6d. n.

The Mother's Recompense. By EDITH WHARTON. 7°/X5/.. 342 pp. Appleton. 1925. 7s.6d, n.

The Best Short Stories of 1924: English. Edited by EDWARD J. O'BRIEN and JOHN COURNOS. 78/6X59/4, 381 pp. Jonathan Cape. 1925. 78. 6d. n.

Selected Modern English Essays. 6X4, x. +414 p. (World's Classics.) Oxford: University Press. London: Milford. 1925. 2s. n.

Shakespeare. Sämtliche Werke. In 10 Banden. Mit Anm. hrsg. v. L. L. SCHUCKING und E. von SCHAUBERT. Roy. 8vo. München, G. Müller, 1925.

The Sisters' Tragedy, and Three Other Plays. By RICHARD HUGHES. 7'/, X 54/4, ix. + 159 pp. Heinemann. 6s. n.

HISTORY OF LITERATURE, CRITICISM. The Finn Episode in Beowulf. An Essay in Interpretation. By R. A. WILLIAMS. 9X6. xii. +169 pp. Cambridge University Press. 1925. 10s. n.

William Caxton. 1424-1491. By HENRY R. PLOMER. 7%,X54/4, 195 pp. Leonard Parsons. 1925. 4s. 6d. n.

Antike, Renaissance und Puritanismus. Eine Studie zur Englischen Literaturgeschichte des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts. By WALTER F. SCHIRMER. Pp. IXX233. Max Hueber, Munchen, 1924. M. 7.50.

Edmund Spenser : An Essay on Renaissance Poetry. By W. L. RENWICK. 9X6, vii. +-198 pp. Arnold. 1925. 10s. 6d. n.

The Death of Christopher Marlowe. By J. LESLIE Hotson. 9%,X6, 76 pp. Nonesuch Press. 1925. 7s. 6d. n.

Giessener Beiträge zur Erforschung der Sprache und Kultur Englands und Nordamerikas. Herausg. von WILHELM HORN. Band II, Heft 2. Giessen, 1925. Verlag Engl. Seminar. Pp. 129–296.

Contents: G. Ploch, Ueber den Dialog in den Dramon Shakespeares und seiner Vorläufer.
W. Mertz, Die Shakespeare-Ausgabe von Theobald (1733). – L. Block, Dante Gabriel Rossetti,

der Malerdichter. Studies in The First Folio : Written for the Shakespeare Association in Celebration of the First Folio Tercentenary, and read at Meetings of the Association held at King's College, University of London, May-June, 1923, by M. H. SPIELMANN, J. Dover Wilson, SIR SIDNEY LEE, R. CROMPTON RHODES, W. W. GREG, and ALLARDYCE NICOLL. With an Introduction by Sir ISRAEL GOLLANCZ. 101/X64/9, xxxiv.+182 pp. Milford. 1924. 18s. n.

A_Topographical Dictionary to The Works of Shakespeare and His Fellow-Dramatists. By EDWARD H. SUGDEN, 10X78/4, xix. +580 pp. Manchester: University Press. London: Longmans. 1925. 63s. n.

A Guide to the Study of Shakespeare's Plays. By G. H. CRUMP. 16'/X11 cm. Pp. 195. Harrap, 1925, 2/— net. (See Review.]

41

Comedy and Conscience after the Restoration. By JOSEPH WOOD KRUTCH. 1924. (Columbia University Studies in English and Comparative Literature.) 8vo. (8°/X5'/.). pp. x.+270. 12s. 6d. net. Columbia University Press.

The Novels of Fielding. By AURÉLIEN DIGEON. Pp. xv.+255. London, Routledge, 1925. Price 10/6 net. (See Review.)

Chesterfield and His Critics. By ROGER Coxon. 9X6, xii.+328 pp. Routledge. 1925. 12s. 6d. 11.

Boswell's Note Book, 1776-1777. Now first published from the unique original. 7X41/, xxii.+24 pp. London: Milford. 1925. 3s. 6d. net.

Laurence Sterne and his Novels, studied in the light of modern psychology. By A. DE FROE. 24X16 cm. Pp. 234. Groningen, Noordhoff, 1925.

Diss. Amsterdam. The Dawn of Juvenile Literature in England. By G. ANDREAE. 24"/X16 cm. Pp. 122. Amsterdam, Paris, 1925. (A review will appea r.]

Diss. Amsterdam. Essays in The Romantic Poets. By SOLOMON FRANCIS GINGERICH. 9X6, 276 pp. Macmillan Company. 10s. n

Cambridge and Charles Lamb. Edited by GEORGE WHERRY. 7X43/4, 90 pp. Cambridge University Press. 1925. 58. n.

Charles Dickens and Other Victorians. By SIR ARTHUR QUILLER-Couch. 9/4X6. vii.+240 pp. Cambridge University Press. 1925. 10$. 6d. n.

Tennyson. Aspects of his Life, Character, and Poetry. By HAROLD NICOLSON. 9X6, xi. +308 pp. Constable. 1925. 7s. 6d. n.

First published in 1923. Samuel Butler : Critic and Philosopher. By P. J. DE LANGE. 22X15 cm. Pp. 170. Zutphen, Thieme, 1925.

Diss. Amsterdam. An Historical and Critical Review of Samuel Butler's Literary Works. By W. G. BEKKER. 24/2X16 cm. Pp. 258.

Diss. Amsterdam 1925. Arthur Symons. A Critical Study. By T. EARLE WELBY. 8°/.X6, 148 pp. A. M. Philpot. 1925. 10s. 6d.

The English Comic Characters. By J. B. PRIESTLEY. 7°/-X54/2,276 pp.John Lane. 1925. 7s.6d. n.

A Player under Three Reigns. By SiR JOHNSTON FORBES-ROBERTSON. 9X6, 292 pp. Fisher Unwin. 1925. 6d. n.

LANGUAGE. Old English Grammar. By JOSEPH WRIGHT and ELIZABETH MARY WRIGHT. (Third Edition.) 8X5%/, xvi.+372 pp. Milford. 1925. 9s. n.

Three Old English Prose Texts in MS. Cotton Vitellius A xv. Edited with an Introduction and Glossarial Index by STANLEY RYPINS 9X58/4, 1.+148 pp. For the Early English Text Society. Milford. 1925. 25s. n.

The three texts here edited are a "Letter of Alexander the Great to Aristotle," "Wonders of the
East,” and a "Life of St. Christopher.". They are the three prose texts immediately preceding the
Beowulf epic in Cotton MS. Vitellius A xv., and are written in the well-known first hand a Beowulf.

The importance of this discovery is pointed out by Mr. Rypins in his introduction. (T.)
The Heliand Manuscript Cotton Caligula A. VII in the British Museum. A Study by
R. PRIEBSCH. 1925. 8vo (10X6'/2), pp. 50, with 5 collotype plates. Paper cover, 5s. net.
Clarendon Press.

The Cotten MS. of Heliand (a religious poem written in the Continental Saxon language) raises the interesting question of English relations with the Low Countries in the tenth century, because its language and script bear the marks of English influences. Professor Priebsch has made of minute palaeographical study of the manuscript and has compared its script and ornaments with the Chief

English manuscripts of the tenth century. S. P. E. Tract no. XIX. Medium Aevum and the Middle Age. By GEORGE GORDON. Clarendon Press, 1925.

Euphon English in America. By M. E. De Witt. 7/3X5, xviii.+176 pp. Dent. 1925. 4s. n.

Illustrations of English Synonyms. A Book of Sentences exemplifying the use of selected words arranged in groups of synonyms. By M. ALDERTON Pink. 7°/X5, vii.+320 pp. Routledge. 1925. 3s. 6d. n. (A review will appear.]

A Handbook of Present-day English. By E. KRUISINGA. Part. I: English Sounds. Fourth edition. Pp. 312. Kemink, Utrecht, 1925. Cloth f. 6.50.

Textual Criticism of Shakespeare's Plays.

Instinct, sharpened and checked by knowledge, makes the textual critic. Instinct cannot be taught, knowledge is communicable and obtainable. However, nobody can know all things, and as Dr. Johnson said in his Preface, 1765, 'he that exercises conjectural criticism with most praise has very frequent need of indulgence.'

First of all, the textual critic must know the author's idiom and the possibilities of his style. Innumerable quasi-emendations have been made where not the text but the critic was at fault. From so near as the second page of the Folio we can give a remarkable instance, Temp. I, 2, 97-105:

He being thus Lorded
(Not onely with what my reuenew yeelded,
But what my power might els exact) like one
Who hauing into truth, by telling of it,
Made such a synner of his memorie
To credite his owne lie: he did beleeue
He was indeed the Duke out off) th[e] Substitution
And executing th' outward face of Roialtie

With all prerogatiue. The punctuation in the old texts, though not to be slighted, is never reliable; in the above quotation we have changed it; we have italicized one word because it is an interpolation — see further on - and we have expanded o'th because it is a wrong contraction which occurs now and then, especially where words are added to the original line. Mr. J. Dover Wilson, the latest editor of The Tempest, says: 'Who having into truth etc. Much annotated, and clearly corrupt. Read minted for "into”, etc'. No, we must not read minted, we must remember Shakespeare's use of into for to with verbs of rest, see 11. 277 and 361 of this scene, and we must remember that truth may have the meaning of trust, see N.E.D. Antonio had the dukedom in trust, but speaking of the high position he had attained, having become Lord of the dukedom, he believed this ‘his owne lie'.

In dealing with this old crux, we might just as well have cited wrong suggestions of other editors, but the purpose of this article is to set forth the guiding rules for textual criticism with special reference to the most recent views of, and the results obtained by, the latest editors of Shakespeare, Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch and Mr. J. Dover Wilson, in their editions of the first eight plays of the Folio of 1623. We often disagree with their textual conclusions and therefore, to prevent misunderstandings, we emphatically preface our comments by expressing our admiration for the many excellencies which abound in their volumes, but which must be silently passed by. Another remarkable instance is afforded by LLL IV, 3, 335 & 336:

A Louers eare will heare the lowest found.

When the suspitious head of theft is stopt. Says Mr. Wilson: "This has puzzled every one. Sir Edward Maunde Thompson suggests (privately) "theft” should be "th'eft". "Suspicious head” is very appropriate to the newt or eft, and the reading sorts well with "the tender horns of cockled snails”.' Though ingenious, this suggestion is E, S. VI, 1925.

7

quite unnecessary, and certainly for the worse. 'Head' is used for 'ear,' totum pro parte, see Troilus IV, 5, 5, and Pericles II, 3, 97. 'The head of theft is a case of prosopopoeia. We all may easily imagine that personified theft is ‘suspicious', but none of us can conceive the suspiciousness of a newt. When we are puzzled, it is not always safe to neglect Schmidt's Lexicon.

Next, the textual critic must know the laws of Shakespeare's versification. Unfortunately this knowledge is in a ridiculously chaotic state. Nowadays all kinds of irregularities in heroic and blank verse lines occur, and some of them are considered beautiful. This fact is accepted with regard to 17th century prosody, although all the prosodists of that period preach absolute regularity, and the practice of the poets coincides with the laws the prosodists teach. The erroneous view of to-day is based on the pronunciation of Early English as if it were modern English, and on the corrupt state in which 17th century dramatic poetry has come down_to us. The simple truth is, and we think we have proved it in our The Text of Shakespeare's Hamlet, that Shakespeare's blank verse line consists of ten syllables with or without an unstressed eleventh, that in some three fourths of the lines there is a regular succession of unstressed and stressed syllables, and that in the remaining 25 per cent. the position of the syllables varies in such a way that there may be inversion of stress at the beginning of the line and also whenever there is a verse pause after the second, third, or fourth stressed syllable. Even two stresses may be inverted, the first and the third, see Sonn. 95, 8; the first and the fourth, see Sonn. 92, 12; and, though very rarely, the second and the fourth, see Venus 962. The less common inversions, for instance the inversion of the second stress, sound unfamiliar to the uninitiated. Hence we see that most of the modern editors refuse to accept Capell's restoration of the first five lines of Hamlet, they shrink from the second line:

Your félue. Long live the King. Bernárdo. Hée. We can make room for only one instance of the editors' general ignorance of the old pronunciation. Strange is dissyllabic in Chaucer, and it could be pronounced as a dissyllable in Shakespeare's time and later:

Why, this is strange! Is't not, honest Nab?

Ben Jonson, The Alchemist, F 1616, p. 616.
I doe not like this strange marriage. (Read: mar-ri-age.)

Dickers & Webster, Sir Thom. Wyat, 1607, p. D. verso.
Have you been sent out into strange lands,

Foard & Decker, The Sun's-Darling, 1656, Pearson, Vol. IV, p. 297.
Ladie, your strange habit doth beget

J. Marston, Ant. & Mellida, Ed. Halliwell, Vol. I, p. 15.
Right rare and geason. Strang ? Mad for love!

J. Marston, What you will, Ed. Halliwell, Vol. I, p. 225.
Had seal'd in me more strange formes and faces

H. Vaughan, Ol. Isc. Upon a Cloke, &c., 1651, Grosart, Vol. II. p. 97. and in Mids. N. Dream there are two cases, one at I, 1, 219 where Mr. Wilson silently adopts Theobald's error who changed strange into stranger, and another at V. 1, 59 where Mr. Wilson favours Mr. Joicey's romantic substitution of flaming for strange. Strangely is a trisyllable in Temp. III, 3, 40.

Whoever has seen the microscopic chirography of the Brontë's will not wonder how it is that the printer misread some of their words. Any one who has seen the chaotic state of a MS. of Shelley will excuse the compositor for misreading, as we think, ‘Gasp' for Gossip in Charles the First 1. 120 where the clarions

Gasp to us on the wind's wave. It comes! or for missing out the bracketed word in A Lament 1. 8:

Fresh Spring, and Summer, (Fall,) and Winter hoar, The 'thrilling discovery' and the hope of seeing in a fragment of Sir Thomas Moore Shakespeare's autograph have proved to be a ‘momtanish' illusion. Of Shakespeare's MSS. nothing remains, and we know only one thing about them, viz. that Heminge and Condell 'scarce receiued from him a blot in his papers.' Little as this is, it is very important, it means that his MSS. contained very few miswritings, if any, and it means that the many emendations and the many textual explanations based on supposed deletion of words and phrases are illegitimate. A legitimate emendation must be founded on a known fact which clearly explains the origin of the error, cf. Fleay's Shakespeare Manual, 1876, p. 111. As yet, such facts are imperfectly known. The Cambridge Editors of 1863 speak of the causelessness of the blunders' which makes them reluctant to adopt emendations. Furness did not trouble himself with the causes of the errors, he was of opinion that the generations of editors and critics have done everything that could and can be done. All foreigners must observe that they lack “the nicety of ear' necessary for making an emendation; the requisite ‘mastery of Shakespeare's style and ways of thinking ... should bar all the rest of us' 'Not a single future emendation will be generally accepted' ..... If an incurable simpleton dares to publish one, all scholars ought to tell him: 'Nobody minds ye. (Preface p. xxi to Mids. N. Dream, 1895.) Mr. Wilson showed the courage of disagreeing with the highly interesting aphorisms of this peculiar kind of scholarship, he has striven to account for the irregularities of the text, and he has ventured many new emendations of his own. As a rule, however, he puts them away in the Notes 'where they can do no harm'. He knows - for he has shared the feeling – how jealous the ordinary lover of Shakespeare can be for the text which he has grown accustomed, how apt to resent even a doubt cast upon that which use and wont have consecrated for him. (Introduction p. XL to Measure f. M., 1922.) Indeed, as experience has taught us, so it is; the heretic who dares to urge his arguments against the sacred errors deserves to be burned. It would be a great misfortune if his innovations were accepted.' (Lit. Times, 1924, p. 592.)

The mistakes of the compositor are wrong collocation of letters, transposition of letters, words and lines, omission of letters, words and lines, wrong letters and wrong words, and, though more rarely, small additions. To-day misprints are pretty well limited to a few 'literals' which have escaped the author's and the press-reader's vigilance. Shakespeare's dramatic texts were sold to a printer, the author did not see them through the press, and it is likely that the printer of a Quarto was his own press-reader. The Folio must have had some incidental supervision by Heminge and Condell (see our Hamlet), but if they interfered for better, certainly they did so for worse. In these circumstances one must expect a luxuriance of errors, not thought of in our day, and indeed, Capell, for instance, branded the plays as 'issuing from presses most of them as corrupt and licentious as can anywhere be produced'. (Introduction, p. 10.)

[ocr errors]
« EelmineJätka »