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Directions to the Binder for pla cing the Cuts.
Frontifpiece, Mr. Pope.
Frontifpiece, Mr. Pope..
Age 25. 1. 35. for Reiterations, read Alterations
worse, r. worth; p. 66. 1. 29. r. in one's Power; p. 114. 1. 18. r. fupercilious; p. 152. 1. 28. for are, r. of ; P. 175. 1. 21. for extricate, r. intricate.
Alexander Pope, Esq;
HEN we concluded the Firft Volume, we left speaking of the Third Book of the Dunciad, and gave Intimation of a Fourth, which came out afterwards; before we take further Notice of that, we think it proper to introduce feveral Perfons and Things, that may fill up the Interval.
Our great Dramatick Poet, Shakespear, had in Whole, or in Part, paffed through feveral Hands; fome, who might be very reasonably thought not to VOL. II. Bb have
have understood well any Part of him, much less be fit to correct or revife him.
The Friends of Mr. Pope folicited him ftrongly to undertake the Whole of Shakespear's Plays, and, if poffible, by comparing all the different Copies now to be procured, bring him back to his own antient Purity. To which Mr. Pope made this modeft Reply, That not having attempted any Thing in the Drama (for he had not appear'd to do it) it might in him be deem'd too much Prefumption. To which he received Answer from a certain Earl, that this did not require great Knowledge of the Foundation and Difpofition of the Drama, feeing that muft ftand as it was, and that Shakespear himself, had not always paid ftrict Regard to the Rules of it; but this was to clear the Scenes from the Rubbish which Actors, and those into whofe Care they had fell, had filled them: For the Players after Shakespear's Time, curtailed, blotted, tranfpos'd, added whole Scenes, nay, did any Thing, which they thought would please the lower Set of the Audience, to which Part, to this Day, that Sort of People ftill make their Court. He added, that his chief Bufinefs would be, to render the Text fo that it might read, and be free from those Obfcurities, and fometimes grofs Abfurdities, that now feem to appear in it, and to explain doubtful and difficult Paflages, of which there are great Numbers: This, and marking Scene Lines, or Words only, imagined to be fpurious, was all that noble Gentleman, of a noble Taste and Difpofition, told Mr. Pope he had to do: This was no fmall Task; how he has acquitted himself, for he complied with this Request, has been differently judged; the Truth we are inclined to think is, in fome Places he has fet to rights and explained him, and in fome Places again, made him more unintelli
gible, and done him Wrong, and thus thought Mr' Theobald, who publishes after Mr. Pope's Edition, another Book called, Shakespear Reftor'd, and there he not only endeavours to reftore the original Text to Shakespear, but calls upon Mr. Pope to anfwer for many Mistakes, he ftrives to prove upon him, making at the fame Time his own Amendments: This was the true Caufe of their continual being at Variance, and Mr. Theobald bringing forward upon the Stage a Tragedy, called The Double Falfhood, which he would have to be believ'd was Shakespear's, Mr. Pope infinuated to the Town, that it was all, or certainly the greatest Part, not written by Shakespear, he picks out a Line:
None but thyself can be thy Parallel.
Which he calls a marvellous Line of Theobald, “un"lefs, fays he, the Play called The Double Falfhood
be (as he would have thought) Shakespear's; but "whether this Line be his or not, he proves Shake"Spear to have writ as bad."
And introducing the above Quotation, as if written by fome Author, he goes on in Mr. Theobald's reftoring Way to amend fome few Words, all the While imitating and fneering at the Stile of Mr. Theobald.
The former Annotator feeming to be of Opinion that the Double Falfhood is not Shakespear's; it is but Juftice to give Mr. Theobald's Arguments to the contrary: First, that the MS was above fixty Years old; fecondly, that once Mr. Betterton had it, or he hath heard fo; thirdly, that fome-body told him the Author gave it to a Baftard-Daughter of his: But fourthly and above all," that he has a great Mind "every Thing that is good in our Tongue fhould be "Shakespear's."
I allow these Reafous to be truly critical; but what I am infinitely concerned at is, that fo many Errors have escaped the learned Editor: A few whereof we fhall here amend, out of a much greater Number, as an Instance of our Regard to this dear Relick. ACT I. SCENE I.
I have his Letters of a modern Date,
This Place is corrupted: The Epithet good is a meer infignificant Expletive, but the Alteration of that fingle Word reftores a clear Light to the Context, thus,
I have his Letters of a modern Date,
Here you have not only the Perfon specified, by whofe Hands the Return was to be made, but the most neceffary Part, the Time, by which it was required.. Camillo's Son was to follow hard uponWhat? Why upon July-Horfe that like him well, is very abfurd: Read it, without Contradiction,
-Horfe that he likes well.
ACT 1. at the End.
-I muft ftoop to gain her,