Johnson's unacknowledged debt to Thomas Edwards in the 1765 edition of Shakespeare.
His [Warburton's] chief assailants are the authours of The Canons of Criticism and of the Revisal of Shakespeare's Text; of whom one ridicules his errours with airy petulance, suitable enough to the levity of the controversy; the other attacks them with gloomy malignity, as if he were dragging to justice an assassin or incendiary. The one stings like a fly, sucks a little blood, takes a gay flutter, and returns for more; the other bites like a viper, and would be glad to leave inflammations and gangrene behind him. (1)
Although Heath is apparently a bold but ignoble adversary in this cartoon, Edwards is somehow dangerous but unmanly (in the company of "girls with spits, and boys with stones"). (2) Exuding an aura of fairness, Johnson himself allows them "acuteness" and "some probable interpretations," but rebukes their audacity in attacking Warburton because of "the little which they have been able to perform." (3) The question remains here whether Edwards and Heath are unworthy of comparison to Warburton as alleged. (4)
A more general question concerns the extent to which Johnson used Edwards and Heath as well as other predecessors in his own annotations. Since Edwards is cited six times in the notes, mostly with approval, we have to ask why elsewhere this critic was ignored on numerous other occasions when he deserved credit. In the Preface Johnson humbly acknowledges his debt to all previous Shakespeare commentators but also the difficulty in practice of always remembering the individual contributors requiring mention:
I can say with great sincerity of all my predecessors, what I hope will hereafter be said of me, that not one has left Shakespeare without improvement, nor is there one to whom I have not been indebted for assistance and information. Whatever I have taken from them it was my intention to refer to its original authour, and it is certain, that what I have not given to another, I believed when I wrote it to be my own. In some perhaps I have been anticipated; but if I am ever found to encroach upon the remarks of any other commentator, I am willing that the honour, be it more or less, should be transferred to the first claimant, for his right, and his alone, stands above dispute; the second can prove his pretensions only to himself, nor can himself always distinguish invention, with sufficient certainty, from recollection. (5)
Johnson himself thus enunciates the principal basis of intellectual property; that priority gives the first commentator certain unquestionable rights of ownership. He also agrees to have any unintentional encroachment rectified by transferring credit to the proper owner. This recognition of a writer's legal claim of authorship appears to be part of the developing commercial book market in this period. Among his prominent roles as lawyer, churchman, and literary executor, Warburton was a stalwart defender of copyright regulations:
Yet so great is the vulgar Prejudice, against an Author's Property, that when, at any time, Attempts have been made to support it, against the most flagrant Acts of Robbery and Injustice, it was never thought prudent to demand the public Protection as a Right, but to supplicate it as a Grace. (6)
Similarly, Samuel Richardsons manifesto, "Address to the Public," angrily upheld his right of ownership over his text against the robbery committed by the Irish bookseller George Faulkner and other cohorts. (7)
On Johnsons explicit authority the reader is invited to examine his notes judiciously and flag those instances when the 1765 edition appears to be lax in its obligation toward the "first claimant" of a given interpretation. We are to understand that it is a common human fallibility of scholars who cannot "always distinguish invention, with sufficient certainty, from recollection." On this premise, then, Johnson is asking his readers to forgive any unintentional appropriation of intellectual property, and the very fact that he calls our attention to this hazard of editing prompts an impartial inquiry into his sparse reference to Edwards's Canons in the 1765 edition.
Johnson's cognizance of trespassing on other commentators' property doubtless reflects the virulent disputes already on record beginning with such early eighteenth-century Shakespeare editors as Alexander Pope, Lewis Theobald, Sir Thomas Hanmer, and Warburton, all of whom fought over the issue of priority in owning the emendations and glosses of text. (8) Probably in anticipation of similar quarrels arising from the 1765 edition, Johnson assumes an Olympian irony toward all the petty bickering:
Perhaps the lightness of the matter may conduce to the vehemence of the agency; when the truth to be investigated is so near to inexistence, as to escape attention, its bulk is to be enlarged by rage and exclamation: That to which all would be indifferent in its original state, may attract notice when the fate of a name is appended to it. A commentator has indeed great temptations to supply by turbulence what he wants of dignity, to beat his little gold to a spacious surface, to work that to foam which no art or diligence can exalt to spirit. (9)
While looking down upon such manic behavior regarding ownership of ideas, Johnson seems to be admonishing readers against taking too seriously the whole matter of priority in the long run. Although not ever mentioned in the Preface, which upholds a lofty standard of the unconditional search for truth, a lot of money was at stake in all of these rival Grub Street editions; and the various claimants understandably wanted to protect their imagined patents as much as possible. (10) As Robert Griffin points out:
By mid-century, writers such as Johnson and Goldsmith were acutely aware that they depended not on patronage but on booksellers and the book-buying public. As authorship became differentiated as a separate profession, Goldsmith observed in 1759 that the link between patronage and learning "now seems entirely broken," and Johnson could famously remark, "No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money." (11)
But if earlier we were led to believe that Johnson sincerely endorsed the principle of meum and tuum in this book market, his aloof tone here towards his predecessors' turf fights diminishes the significance of appending an authors name to any given interpretation. Perhaps Johnson was conflicted about competing with other writers in the marketplace. Whatever the reasons for his shift in emphasis here, as this essay will argue, while producing the notes to the 1765 Shakespeare edition, even if he had wanted to, Johnson simply did not have the time and patience to sift through all previous commentary to identify the various claimants most worthy of remembering. When help did arrive already during the first revisions, with the collaboration of George Steevens, in most cases Johnson was more than willing to defer to this gifted scholar's judgment in shaping more adequately a variorum edition.
Immediately after the publication of the 1765 Shakespeare edition, Johnson was attacked for his failure to acknowledge his sources. William Kenrick pounced rapaciously on Johnson's edition first in the October and November issues of the Monthly Review (1765) and then in the same year at much greater length in his Review of Doctor Johnsons New Edition of Shakespeare (133 pages), charging him with plagiarism as well as deliberate neglect of Edwards's Canons in the notes. (12) Perhaps for polemical reasons, Kenrick ignores the fact that the 1765 Shakespeare does have six references to Edwards (see Table 1). Rather than helping his argument by overlooking these credits, however, Kenrick missed the opportunity of using them as proof that Johnson was perfectly aware of Edwards elsewhere in his commentary but for various reasons ignored him. We need to ask why Johnson bothered to refer to him on six occasions but not on the many others where it would also have been appropriate.
Unlike Heath, who published his Shakespeare commentary only months before Johnson's edition appeared, Edwards was well-known for his Canons, which went through six editions between 1748 and 1758. Even if they never met, they were both socially close to Richardson and his circle during the years when the Dictionary was in preparation. (13) There may have been personal motives in targeting Edwards and his follower Heath in the Preface. Johnson seems to have regarded Edwards as a financially independent dabbler, whose little allegory on orthography, The Trial of the Letter Y, alias Y, showed insight that might have been useful when compiling his Dictionary. In 1753, while printing the fifth edition of the Canons, without identifying the author, Richardson sent a copy of Edwards's Trial to Johnson for his perusal and received in turn a rather testy response:
As You were the first that gave me any notice of this pamphlet I send it you with a few little notes, which I wish you can read. It is well when Men of Learning and penetration busy themselves in these enquiries at hours of leisure. But what is their Idleness, is my Business. Help indeed now comes too late for me when a large part of my Book has passed the press. (14)
Even if Richardson withheld the identity of the author of this pamphlet, Johnson could easily have guessed its provenance. His reference to learned men of leisure hints darkly. It seems likely that he recognized Edwards's close friendship with Richardson and resented what looked like their presumption of offering assistance with lexicography. Nevertheless, despite his personal animus towards this writer, in his Shakespeare Johnson, according to Arthur Sherbo, saw fit to use Edwards's Glossary in the Canons for some fourteen definitions not found in the Dictionary, (15)
As an indication of its continuing popularity, a seventh edition of Edwards's Canons was published in 1765 by the bookseller Charles Bathurst to coincide with Johnson's long-awaited Shakespeare edition. Not surprisingly, Kenrick chose this well-known satire on Warburton as the basis of his attack on Johnson as plagiarist. But the malice of an unscrupulous journalist and libeler was self-defeating. James Boswell's view of Kenrick was the conventional one held at the time: "Though he certainly was not without considerable merit, he wrote with so little regard to decency and principles, and decorum, and in so hasty a manner, that his reputation was neither extensive nor lasting." (16) For his part, Johnson maintained a dignified silence and refused to take the bait to answer an accuser seeking notoriety. While attempting to defend Johnson's religious character and condemn Kenrick's supposedly deistic tendencies, the anonymous An Examination of Mr. Kenrick's review of Mr. Johnsons edition of Shakespeare (1766) (17) mainly succeeded in bringing on yet another pamphlet from this muckraker. Despite the moral condemnation of his character, however, Kenrick's work on Shakespeare is cited by Steevens in the 1773 and 1778 revisions among the more reputable critics. Furthermore, Kenrick is invoked four times in the notes of the 1778 edition. In a note on Macbeth, Steevens even adds a long comment by Kenrick after quoting Johnson's undecided opinion. (18) Charles Burney, a friend and admirer of Johnson as well as subscriber to the 1765 edition, evidently shared Steevens's respect for this controversial writer's "penetration & Reasoning Powers." (19)
Although usually shunned as a pariah by modern literary historians, this "Black Sheep of Grub Street" has merited at least an unpublished biography by George E. Brewer and solid praise by Paul Fussell: "If the sarcasm and ill manners can be disregarded, Kenrick's corrections of Johnson are, in the main, sound and justified; Kenrick's attacks on Johnson's hyper-literal approach may have contributed not a little to Shakespeare's appearance to the eighteenth century as 'fancy's child.'" (20) Furthermore, in his analysis of Johnson's principles of drama given in the Preface, Brian Vickers concludes: "Kenrick's argument is superior to Johnson's not only in its logic but in its grasp of the fundamentals of theatrical experience." (21) (See Table 2.) When such astute modern scholars as Fussell and Vickers make room for serious consideration of Kenrick's worthwhile contributions to the evaluation of Johnson's 1765 Shakespeare edition, the reluctance of more recent critics even to mention this nemesis at all seems almost conspiratorial.
After Kenrick's Review further detailed scrutiny of Johnson's notes to his 1765 Shakespeare had to wait until the early twentieth century with the pioneering work of Karl Young, which later scholars have tended to ignore. (22) Young shows in great detail Johnson's failure to investigate the sources of Shakespeare's plots and illustrates how the 1765 edition used without acknowledgement his own protegee Charlotte Lennox's groundbreaking work, Shakespeare Illustrated (1753). While discussing Johnson's notes on Troilus and Cressida, for example, Young deplores the weak commentary and lack of reference to published work on the question:
[I]t is hard to forgive him [Johnson] for ignoring the fact that she [Lennox] had laid at his door very considerable amounts of fact,--however wrongly applied,--concerning Shakespeare's appropriations and divergences from Chaucer and from "The three Destructions of Troy." Even though Johnson chose not to compare Shakespeare and Chaucer, for example, for himself, he might well have pointed to the existence of such a comparison, however defective, in the book of another. (23)
Although Young impugns Johnson's moral character for failing to acknowledge Lennox's property, he offers no evidence of a deliberate intention to steal. At least a manuscript draft, say, of actually copying Lennox's writing into Johnson's own prose would suffice to launch a prosecution. But lacking such evidence, the jury is out on the charge of plagiarism. Johnson's notes, as Vickers observes, are the result of lengthy tinkering, mainly between 1756 and 1764, and differ a great deal in tone and substance, "produced in a variety of moods, discursive, expansive, laconic, indifferent, bored, disapproving." (24) Whatever their haphazard state, they do not reveal any conscious design in "borrowing" other people's work.
Even though he was apparently unaware of Young's attack, it was not until 1956 that Arthur Sherbo renewed charges of plagiarism against Johnson in the 1765 Shakespeare edition--Heath's Revisal being the main focus of his scrupulous search:
The number of original emendations in which Johnson and Heath will be seen to agree added to the many similar notes to be found in their work makes a total that cannot be dismissed as coincidence. (25)
Besides finding as many as eighty-one instances from Heath, Sherbo also identified thirty-six unacknowledged borrowings from Edwards as well as a few more from other commentators. (26) Perhaps for the sake of avoiding further controversy about Johnson's candor, Sherbo's two volumes for the Yale Johnson edition (1968) failed even to mention his earlier revelations about the erratic documentation; and Bertrand Bronson's hortatory introduction brushes aside the whole matter:
The natural consequence was that Heath, who was stalking the same game, would often be found at Johnsons side--or Johnson at Heaths--in countering Warburton's crazy dodges. Frequent coincidences would hardly be surprising, since often enough the passages in question admit of a common-sense interpretation, which both critics were alert to discover. We need not infer a borrowing in either direction. (27)
Yet Sherbo had adduced evidence to argue for exactly the opposite view-that there were far too many instances of logical and verbal similarities to regard them as wholly a matter of chance.
Rather predictably, claims of Johnson's alleged plagiarism aroused dismay among some scholars who resemble the caricature from Samuel Garth's Dispensary:
I read Thee over with a Lovers Eye, Thou hast no Faults, or I no Faults can spy; Thou art all Beauty, or all Blindness I. (28)
While discreetly hiding his "blindness," the distinguished Yale scholar W. K. Wimsatt Jr. exhibited admirable restraint while defending Johnson by faulting Sherbo's lack of generosity toward his subject:
Questions in the reader's mind about the originality and importance of showing that Johnson "borrowed" something may tie in here with another general question: about the modern scholar's expository skill, about his tact and imagination in appreciating the work of his forerunners and in understanding his own contribution in the perspective of theirs. One may think too about generosity--the kind of generosity which Johnson himself showed in his general acknowledgements--despite the fact that he sometimes, or even often, lost interest in the responsibility of proclaiming minor resemblances to the contemporary commentators. (29)
Quietly lamenting Sherbo's dearth of "tact and imagination" toward Johnson, Wimsatt ends with a dependent clause that essentially admits at least the occasional failure to acknowledge the work of other Shakespeare critics. Again the virtue of generosity is called for by a "lovers eye."
By contrast, another Johnson scholar, Arthur M. Eastman, was clearly outraged and almost beside himself:
If we accept Professor Sherbo's argument, we see in Johnson an eighteenth-century Iago, an impudent scoundrel who robs his victim, then blackens his reputation, all the while wearing a mask of judicious innocence contemptuous of human meanness. This is not an image the best minds of Johnson's century would have recognized nor is it the image history has come to know, but it is the image to which Professor Sherbo's charge leads us. (30)
As Vickers observes: Sherbo's "account of Johnson's borrowings from Heath is open to some of the objections made by Arthur Eastman, in an all too melodramatic style ... yet Mr Eastman refuses to acknowledge any debt, which seems too absolute." (31) This blanket refusal to entertain even the hypothesis that Johnson may have been dishonest with his sources probably says more about the emotional state of admirers so deeply attracted to this iconic historical bully than about the actual paucity of evidence to charge him with plagiarism.
To judge by Johnson's later collaboration with Steevens while at work on the Lives of the Poets, transparency about help received was hardly a concern. In his comprehensive account of this massive edition, yet another Grub Street scheme promoted by the London booksellers, Roger Lonsdale stresses the contributions of Steevens, along with John Nichols and Isaac Reed, but observes: "Although these three appear to have been his most important 'assistants' with the Lives, there seems to have been a discreet agreement that the exact nature and extent of their contributions should never be specified." (32) Like Wimsatt in his review above, Lonsdale appears to be exerting "generosity" toward this eighteenth-century iconic scholars dubious methods of doing business when he fails to comment on the significance of Johnson's editorial arrangement. Perhaps it was merely a convenience to avoid the headache of proportioning monetary rewards for the relative labor involved in the project--a bit like dividing up the check evenly at a restaurant party. But again, the priority of the individual's claim to intellectual property does not appear to be an overriding principle here with Johnson as a professional writer and editor.
Given this cloudy picture of acknowledging debt to others in general, Johnsons apparent reluctance towards Edwards as Shakespeare commentator may be also a function of his overall tendency to protect Warburton from public ridicule. If Johnson had been wholeheartedly supporting the proud bishop against such pests as Edwards and Eleath, it would be a simple matter to explain underestimating these critics in his edition. As Boswell noted, it was Warburton's encouraging notice of Johnson's early pamphlet Miscellaneous Observations on the Tragedy of Macbeth (1745) that aroused Johnsons lifelong loyalty: "He [Warburton] praised me at a time when praise was of value to me." (33) The fact that Warburton was a learned theologian as well as bishop was probably reason enough for Johnsons determined endorsement of this editor in spite of his ludicrous annotations. (34) As editor, however, Johnson not only disagreed many times with Warburton's notes but also attacked him as severely as any other commentator, including Edwards and Heath.
According to Kenrick, Johnson had second thoughts at the last minute "to shelter himself, as it were, under the wing of the bishop of Gloucester" and was persuaded "by his printer prudentially to cancel several annotations, in which he had strongly expressed his dissent from that learned scholiast." (35) But the cancels were hardly sufficient since Warburton himself complained bitterly about his treatment by Johnson:
The remarks he makes on every page on my commentaries are full of insolence and malignant reflections, which, had they not in them as much folly as malignity, I should have had reason to be offended with. (36)
After examining Bishop Percy's copy of Johnson's edition, Allen Hazen concluded that publication was delayed a few months while Johnson tried to soften any harsh commentary on Warburton's notes. Hazen found sixteen cancels altogether but surmised that at least some stinging remarks left intact may have been overlooked. One revision concerns the unusually long note (346 words) on Warburton's inept modification of "canoniz'd bones, hearsed in death" to "hearsed in earth" (Hamlet, I.iv.47). (37) What particularly annoyed Johnson here was Warburton's savage attack on Sir Thomas Hanmer's emendation and the dogmatic insistence on his own. After deleting the most acerbic sentence, Johnson added a self-deprecating apology: "If there be any asperity in this controversial note, it must be imputed to the contagion of peevishness, or some resentment of the incivility shown to the Oxford Editor [Hanrner]." (38) Although most of Johnson's notes maintain a decorous restraint, some scarcely avoid the "contagion of peevishness" that he himself had warned against.
In conversation, Johnson freely admitted the basic flaw in Warburton that Edwards had underscored in his satire: "The worst of Warburton is, that he has a rage for saying something, when there's nothing to be said." (39) Thus the repeated complaint in the notes: "The meaning is plain enough, he was not their slave by right or compact, but by necessity and compulsion. Why should a passage be darkened for the sake of changing It?" (40) "Here is a pompous note to support a conjecture apparently erroneous, and confuted by the next scene...." (41) When confronting the bishop's verbiage on Julius Caesar, Johnson cannot hide his impatience: "Dr. Warburton has been much inclined to find lacunae, or passages broken by omission, throughout this play. I think he has been always mistaken." (42)
If not really disagreeing with Edwards about the many flaws in Warburton's notes, Johnson nevertheless resented his witty attacks: perhaps the issue was rather who had the authority to pronounce judgments on the learned churchman, and the mocking author of the Canons was deemed unworthy of that honor. This hierarchical attitude resembles his possessiveness toward his old Lichfield friend David Garrick:
Sir Joshua Reynolds observed, with great truth, that Johnson considered Garrick to be as it were his property. He would allow no man either to blame or to praise Garrick in his presence, without contradicting him. (43)
Near the end of his life, in 1784, live years after the bishops death, Johnson finally implied that his defense of Warburton was policy. Boswell reports:
[Johnson] pointed out a passage in Savage's "Wanderer," saying, "These are fine verses."--"If (said he) I had written with hostility of Warburton in my Shakespeare, I should have quoted this couplet:
'Here Learning, blinded first and then beguil'd, Looks dark as Ignorance, as Fancy wild.'
You see they'd have fitted him [Warburton] to a T," (smiling). (44)
Perhaps Johnson at this moment had forgotten the hostility that he could not completely repress in his Shakespeare commentary, but his smile here betrays a sly knowingness long held regarding Warburton's failings, even while slighting superior critics like Edwards and Heath. Boswell does not comment here, but his frequent references to Johnsons views of Warburton suggest a lingering bemusement about his stubborn deference toward the controversial bishop.
Despite the immediate sale of two editions in 1765, Johnson's long awaited work did not meet expectations. As Vickers observes: "Johnson's editing was spasmodic, erratic, inconsistent. The fact that the work had been carried out over some time, as evidenced by the Appendix containing a number of corrections and second thoughts, was not lost on the contemporary reviewers." (45) As Bronson points out, "The arrival of George Steevens on the scene was unhappily mistimed: five years earlier would have made all the difference.... Even as a latecomer, Steevens proved invaluable, mercurial though he was." (46) Unfortunately there is little information to shed light on their partnership in the 1773 and 1778 editions, and it is especially regrettable that the additions by Steevens were never published in a separate volume as once planned. (47) In a letter to Richard Farmer (18 February 1771), Johnson mentioned candidly that Steevens was taking charge of the new edition of Shakespeare and that he himself had "done very little." (48) Already before the revision in 1773 of the 1765 Shakespeare, Steevens had stepped in to add Edwards to an important gloss on the term "engine" to correct Warburtons misreading (see Table 1, no. 4). It appears, however, that Steevens did not tamper with Johnsons 1765 notes and that any additions or revisions were carefully signed by the contributors to the 1773 and 1778 editions. (49) In these editions Steevens seems to be at pains to emphasize the importance of Edwards's commentary and in the 1773 edition introduced notes from Edwards's unpublished manuscripts that he obtained from Benjamin Way (1740-1808), whose father, Lewis (1698-1771), probably had gained possession of them from either of Edwards's nephews and sole heirs, Joseph Paice and Nathaniel Mason. (50) Although the seed of the variorum concept was already in Johnson's 1765 updating of Warburtons 1747 edition, it was Steevens who finally laid out the format for a more inclusive and impartial reporting of multiple readings and acknowledgements.
Before turning to Steevens's revisions it would help sharpen our focus on the weaknesses of Johnson's 1765 notes to consider some of Sherbo's most severe charges of plagiarism. While admitting some instances that might be dismissed as pure coincidence, Sherbo offers "two emendations that unquestionably come directly out of Edwards's book." Both derive from Richard Roderick's "Remarks on Shakespear," which were first appended to the 1758 edition of Edwards's Canons. (51) (See Table 3.) Although Theobald and Warburton, among other early editors, had understood the messenger's sentence in King John to mean traversing the distance from France to England and tied the phrase together with the next clause, Roderick was the first to introduce the idea that all the preparations were taking place in France for the invasion and added the period after "England." Johnson's emendation and note appear to have been taken directly from Roderick without mentioning the source. Similarly, "timely-parted ghost" was the traditional reading (and still is!) until Roderick first raised the possibility of emending it to "timely-parted coarse [corpse]." But Sherbo ignores the fact here that Johnson still retains "ghost" in the text while announcing his preference for "coarse" in the note. Whatever his preferences, in other words, Johnson decided that "ghost" was somehow more acceptable. Granted that these two emendations are exactly the same as Roderick's, it is still not proven that they "unquestionably come directly out of Edwards's book." What is beyond doubt: Johnson should have recognized that his emendations were not entirely his own and given proper credit to the "first claimant."
Sherbo goes on to demonstrate three other instances of alleged stealing from Edwards's book in the 1765 Shakespeare. Johnson's gloss on "More than my all is nothing" (Henry VIII, II.ii.67) is similar to Edwards's, but it is also very concise without any reference to the elaborately illustrated explanation in the Canons. Whether it derives directly from Edwards is uncertain. In the fourth case, Johnson shares Edwards's resistance to Warburton's attempt to substitute "disseat" for "defeat" on the grounds that the latter word can be understood to mean simply "undo" or "change." But as Sherbo argues, Johnson did not mention this definition in his Dictionary (1755) and so must have taken it from the Canons. Yet it is not unlikely that during the more than ten years since that monumental word book originally appeared Johnson greatly enlarged his understanding of English usage while working on Shakespeare, a possibility that Sherbo never takes into account.
Sherbo's fifth illustration (1 Henry IV, I.iii.49-52), however, may offer the most persuasive argument for deliberate plagiarism. Even if defense lawyers like Bronson try to exculpate Johnson and argue that this transposition was just a coincidence of literary insight, Steevens himself felt compelled to mention the fact that Edwards had been the first to give this same emendation (see Table 4, no. 8). His role in bringing Edwards's scholarship into the mainstream variorum format will be discussed in the concluding section below.
Among the rest of the examples in Table 3, Sherbo's evidence for Johnson's direct borrowing is similarly uneven. In No. 6 Edwards's note is more informative than Johnson's by giving other literary contexts for the explanation, a practice that Steevens generally followed in the revisions. Edwards's definition of "comparative" (No. 11) is at least anticipated in Johnson's Dictionary and not necessarily a source of the note in 1 Henry IV. But the verbal similarities in Nos. 7-10 between Edwards's and Johnson's paraphrases do seem suspicious. Perhaps the most remarkable conjunction of idea and phrase, however, occurs in No. 12, where Johnson even mimics the irony of Canon II. To regard this instance as a mere coincidence is hardly convincing. It is more likely that Johnson took for granted that his readers would recall Edwards while echoing his very words. In sum, Johnsons appropriation of Edwards's commentary on Shakespeare remains suspicious, but willful stealing of intellectual property is very difficult to prove in court.
Whatever the explanation for Johnson's lackadaisical use of his predecessors' contributions, however, Steevens's significant additions in the 1773 and 1778 editions reveal a conscious effort to give Edwards his place cum notis variorum. (52) A comparison of the notes by Warburton, Edwards, and Johnson in the 1765 edition (see Table 4) indicates that in most cases the inadequate reference appears to have stemmed mainly from lack of time or motivation while hurrying the eight volumes into print. For this reason Johnson's repeated failure to correct a number of Warburton's foolish comments seems just as culpable as his neglecting to cite Edwards. Johnson appears to be nodding on at least ten occasions: see Nos. 2, 3, 7, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, and 21. (53)
Another cluster of notes, however, are more problematic: see Nos. 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, and 15. (54) Two instances, numbers 6 and 8, are especially revealing about Johnson's state of mind while meditating these moments in Shakespeare. In the first item on the passage in King John, rather than avoiding Edwards here, Johnson may actually be taking for granted that his readers would recall the Canons' citation of Warburton's absurd note from navigation to explain the reference to "untrimmed bride." Edwards himself attacked Warburton for his "gravity" in proposing such a ridiculous interpretation. While valuing the principle of gravitas in scholarly commentary Johnson ironically admits that Warburton's note defied the power of nature to resist reading such nonsense without a change of face! As we saw in Table 3, No. 12, Johnson not only agrees with Edwards's objection to Warburton's reading, but despite his fundamental opposition to turning scholarly foibles into journalistic media triumphs, confesses to sharing Edwards's laughter on this occasion. It is interesting to see that Steevens did not comment on this crux and in general avoided the ad hominem mockery of earlier Shakespeare critics.
As if to allay any doubts that Edwards was more than an insect stinging a mule, besides rectifying Johnson's derelict notes in the 1765 edition Steevens introduced in his revisions fourteen Edwards MS notes, not included in the printed Canons (see Table 5). Except for the first item, the rest of the notes providing important historical information were accepted and continued in Malone and Boswell's 1821 variorum edition. After Steevens's tribute in No. 1 to "that sprightly critick and most amiable man" despite Edwards's unlucky emendation in this instance, Johnson delivers a little homily on "how willingly every man would be changing the text, if his imagination would furnish alterations," clearly another riposte to that "wit" who had ridiculed Warburton for similar gaffes in emendations. Perhaps this implicit contretemps between Johnson and Steevens regarding Edwards's merits as critic is enough to explain the many silences in the 1765 edition when the commentary neglected to bring in the Canons adequately. In his 1773 revision Steevens added twelve notes from the Canons and eleven from the newly acquired Edwards MS and in the 1778 revision six more notes from the Canons and another three from Edwards's MS notes. By introducing a total of thirty-two citations to Edwards by 1778, Steevens seems unequivocal about compensating an important critic's arbitrary exclusion from the 1765 edition.
Finally, it is unclear why Steevens went to such length on Edwards's behalf. Perhaps their paths crossed while he was at Cambridge. He may also have met Roderick while there. (55) Despite his conscientious support of "that sprightly critick," however, it would be misleading to infer that he was otherwise more careful than Johnson about intellectual property. On the contrary, contemporary witnesses and modern scholars alike have accused Steevens of plagiarism, especially regarding Edward Capell's edition of Shakespeare. In his dedication to Lord Dacre for the posthumous edition of Capell's Notes and Various Readings to Shakespeare, John Collins testifies to the regular system of plagiarism, upon a settl'd plan, pervading those later editions [Johnson-Steevens 1773 and 1778] throughout, and that,--not the Doctor's former publication , as one would naturally suppose, but--Mr. Capell's, in ten volumes, 1768, is made the ground-work of what is to pass for the genuine production of these combin'd editors [Johnson and Steevens], and is usher'd to the world upon the credit of their names. (56)
That neither Johnson nor Steevens replied to such charges does not assure us of their innocence. Curiously for a scholar who devoted so much attention to Johnson's lapses, Sherbo sidestepped this matter in his biographies of Steevens. (57) Perhaps it is simply too much to ask for consistency among any of the early Shakespeare commentators (or even their modern biographers!) in their use of each other's work.
University of Illinois
(1) Johnson on Shakespeare, ed. Arthur Sherbo, The Yale Edition of the Works of Samuel Johnson (Yale U. Press, 1968), 7:100. Hereafter referred to as Yale (1968). Pope's satiric insect imagery had already been invoked on a social occasion more than ten years before Johnson wrote the Preface: "Soon after Edwards's 'Canons of Criticism' <1748> came out, Johnson was dining at Tonson the Bookseller's, with Hayman the Painter and some more company. Hayman related to Sir Joshua Reynolds, that the conversation having turned upon Edwards's book, the gentleman praised it much, and Johnson allowed its merit. But when they went farther, and appeared to put that authour upon a level with Warburton, 'Nay, (said Johnson,) he has given him some smart hits to be sure; but there is no proportion between the two men; they must not be named together. A fly, Sir, may sting a stately horse and make him wince; but one is but an insect, and the other is a horse still.'" Boswell's Life of Johnson, ed. G. B. Hill, rev. L. F. Powell, 6 vols. (Oxford U. Press, 1934-1964), l:263n3.
(2) "When I think on one, with his confederates, I remember the danger of Coriolanus, who was afraid that 'girls with spits, and boys with stones, should slay him in puny battle,' when the other crosses my imagination, I remember the prodigy in Macbeth,
A falcon tow'ring in his pride of place, Was by a mousing owl hawk'd at and kill'd."
Slightly misquoted from Coriolanus, IV.iv.5-6, Yale (1968), 7:100.
(3) "Let me however do them justice. One is a wit, and one a scholar. They have both shewn acuteness sufficient in the discovery of faults, and have both advanced some probable interpretations of obscure passages; but when they aspire to conjecture and emendation, it appears how falsely we all estimate our own abilities, and the little which they have been able to perform might have taught them more candour to the endeavours of others," Yale (1968), 7:100.
(4) While greatly admiring Johnson's achievement as editor, Marcus Walsh has ventured to support the value of a wit's elucidation of Shakespeare: "Edwards's Canons would be dismissed by Samuel Johnson, in his Preface, as a mere squib ... but this judgment may again be coloured by Johnson's prejudice in favour of the great Churchman. To this writer Edwards's Canons seem a telling and exemplary summary statement of Warburton's methods, and their failures" Shakespeare, Milton, and Eighteenth-Century Literary Editing: The Beginnings of Interpretative Scholarship (Cambridge U. Press, 1997), 165. Brian Vickers is much more straightforward: "Warburton is treated far too kindly, Edwards and Heath far too harshly, while Johnson's treatment of Theobald is a deplorable instance of the workings of his prejudices ..." Shakespeare: The Critical Heritage (Boston: Routledge 8; Kegan Paul, 1979), 5:23.
(5) Yale (1968), 7:101-2.
(6) William Warburton, A Letterfrom an Author to a Member of Parliament concerning Literary Property (London, 1747), 3. For a comprehensive interpretation of literary property see Mark Rose, Authors and Owners: The Invention of Copyright (Harvard U. Press, 1995). See also Paul K. Saint-Amour, The Copywrights: Intellectual Property and the Literary Imagination (Cornell U. Press, 2003).
(7) "It has been more than once said, that this Cause is the Cause of Literature, in general; and it may be added, it is even that of the honest Booksellers and Printers of both Nations: We therefore hope that our prolixity will be forgiven." Samuel Richardson, The History of Sir Charles Grandison, 7, [London, 1754], 442.
(8) See ODNB, s.v. "William Warburton" by B. W. Young, and s.v. "Lewis Theobald" by Peter Seary. Warburton's vehement quarrel with both Theobald and Hanmer for supposedly neglecting to acknowledge his original contribution to their Shakespeare editions is just one example of the proprietary battles among the early commentators. In view of the loose practices of appropriating sources at the time, Johnson's careless documentation is hardly unprecedented. But it is his singular attack on the two critics whose commentary he exploited the most--Edwards and Heath--that is worth contemplating.
(9) Yale (1968), 7:102; my emphasis.
(10) The eighteenth-century Shakespeare industry sponsored by booksellers witnessed a power struggle that motivated the various rival editors to indulge in callous theft of sources. Pope's income of 217 [pounds sterling] seems minuscule compared to Theobald's whopping 652 [pounds sterling]. Warburton's edition brought a respectable 560 [pounds sterling]. For a list of the incomes awarded the various early Shakespeare editors, see Johnson and Steevens (1778), 1:238. Johnson received 475 [pounds sterling] for the two editions of 1765 (ODNB, s.v. "Samuel Johnson" by Pat Rogers).
(11) "Anonymity and Authorship," New Literary History 30 (Autumn 1999): 878.
(12) William Kenrick, A Review of Doctor Johnsons New Edition ofShakespear (London, 1765), 12, 31-32, 35, 36, 39, 45, 57-67, 67-68, 77-78, 84-85, 97, 99, 107, & 130.
(13) See Vedder M. Gilbert, "The Altercations of Thomas Edwards with Samuel Johnson," JEGP 51 (1952): 326-35.
(14) Letters of Samuel Johnson, ed. Bruce Redford, 5 vols. (Princeton U. Press, 1992), 1:70. Johnson's curt dismissal here remarkably anticipates his famous letter on patronage to Lord Chesterfield after the publication of the Dictionary:
"The notice which you have been pleased to take of my labours, had it been early, had been kind: but it has been delayed till I am indifferent and cannot enjoy it; till I am solitary and cannot impart it; till I am known and do not want it." Letters of Johnson, 7 February 1755, 1:96.
(15) Arthur Sherbo, Samuel Johnson, Editor of Shakespear (U. of Illinois Press, 1956), 40-41.
(16) Boswells Life of Johnson, 1:498. For a Victorian's assessment of this "superlative scoundrel," see ODNB, s.v. "William Kenrick" by Gordon Goodwin (1892).
(17) The author was James Barclay, age 19, son of an Anglican minister and lexicographer and earnest defender of the Church, who died at age of 24 in 1771. See ODNB, s.v. "James Barclay" by M. K. C. MacMahon.
(18) Johnson and Steevens (1778): Macbeth, I.iv 4:471-72. See also 1:250-51; 2:150; and 3:40.
(19) Burney recognizes Kenrick's critical prowess but goes on to defend Johnson: "indeed it [Review] is done by an able hand. I dipped last Night into the Critique, & saw plainly penetration & Reasoning Powers. But the thing which I love most in all discussions of matters not essential to human happiness, & the prosperity of the state,--I mean Candour, is wanting.--At least there seems to me a manifest determination to lower Johnson,--he can do nothing right in the Eyes of his Critic." The Letters of Dr Charles Burney, Vol. 1:1751-1784, ed. Alvaro Ribeiro, SJ (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1991), 50-51. My thanks to Peter Sabor for this reference to Burney given in his paper, '"Armed with the tomahawk and scalping-knife': William Kenrick versus Samuel Johnson," delivered at Pembroke College, Oxford, on 7 August 2015.
(20) George E. Brewer Jr., "The Black Sheep of Grub Street: William Kenrick, LL.D." (1938), rare book collection of the Boston Public Library. The fact that this manuscript never found a publisher may reflect long-lasting academic prejudices against the subject. Paul Fussell Jr., "William Kenrick, Eighteenth Century Scourge and Critic," Journal of Rutgers University Library 20 (1957): 42-59.
(21) Vickers, Shakespeare: The Critical Heritage, 5:26-27.
(22) Karl Young, "Samuel Johnson on Shakespeare: One Aspect," University of Wisconsin Studies in Language and Literature, 14 (U. of Wisconsin Press, 1923): 147-227. Walsh, for instance, fails to mention either Kenrick or Young in his well-received monograph Shakespeare, Milton, and Eighteenth-Century Literary Editing.
(23) Young, "One Aspect," 216-17.
(24) Vickers, Shakespeare: The Critical Heritage, 5:22.
(25) Sherbo, Samuel Johnson, Editor of Shakespeare, 32-33. As Sherbo observes, Heaths analysis of Johnson was not to be ignored: "For sheer length it is one of the most ambitious examples of Shakespeare criticism in the century, and it was certainly not a book that an editor of Shakespeare could afford to disregard" (31).
(26) For instance, Zachary Grey, Critical, Historical and Explanatory Notes on Shakespeare (1754); John Upton, Critical Observations on Shakespeare (1746 and 1748); [John Holt], Remarks on the Tempest (1750); and William Dodd, Beauties of Shakespeare (1752).
(27) Yale (1968), 7:xxxvii-xxxviii.
(28) Anonymous, "To My Friend the Author, Desiring My Opinion of His Poem," appended to Samuel Garth, The Dispensary, 6th edition (London, 1706), sig. a4. These three lines appear on the title page of the Dublin 1769 edition of The Works of Dr. Samuel Garth, Knt. and are attributed to "C. Codrington."
(29) Modern Language Notes 73 (March 1958): 216. My emphasis.
(30) Arthur M. Eastman, "In Defense of Dr. Johnson," Shakespeare Quarterly 8.4 (1957): 493.
(31) Vickers, Shakespeare: The Critical Heritage, 5:50n56. In his reply to Eastman, Sherbo defended his search for the truth, no matter how unwelcome: "I still admire Johnson greatly even if I'm right and he did plagiarize from Heath. I don't think he's an Iago, and I'm truly surprised that Professor Eastman should feel that my examination of the evidence makes him one. What is more, I'm further surprised that Johnsonians and Shakespearians should feel it necessary to rally to Johnson's defense ... " Shakespeare Quarterly 9.3 (1958): 433. Frankly, Sherbo's last surprise here seems a bit disingenuous.
(32) Samuel Johnson, The Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets, ed. Roger Lonsdale, 4 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon, 2006), 1:53.
(33) Boswells Life of Johnson, 1:176.
(34) "Dr. Warburton had a name sufficient to confer celebrity on those who could exalt themselves into antagonists ..." Preface, Yale (1968), 7:99-100.
(35) Kenrick, Review (1765), vii.
(36) William Warburton, Letters from a Late Eminent Prelate to One of his Friends, 2nd ed. (London, 1809), 367-68.
(37) Johnson (1765), 8:161n9.
(38) Ibid., 8:160-62n9. A. T. Hazen, "Johnson's Shakespeare: A Study in Cancellation," Times Literary Supplement, issue 1925 (December 24, 1938), 820.
(39) Boswell's Life of Johnson, 1:329. My emphasis. Compare TE s Canon XXIII: "The Profess'd Critic, in order to furnish his Quota to the Bookseller, may write Notes of Nothing; that is to say, Notes, which either explane things which do not want explanation; or such as do not explane matters at all, but merely fill-up so much paper." Sig. B3v.
(40) Johnson (1765), 6:8n8. My emphasis. Compare TE's Canon VI: "As every Author is to be corrected into all possible perfection, and of that perfection the Professed Critic is the sole judge; He may alter any word or phrase, which does not want amendment, or which will do; provided He can think of any thing which he imagines will do better."
(41) Ibid., 6:114n7.
(42) Ibid., 7:98n7.
(43) Boswell's Life of Johnson, 3:312.
(44) Ibid., 4:288.
(45) Vickers, Shakespeare: The Critical Heritage, 5:20.
(46) Yale (1968), 7:xxv.
(47) Sherbo, Samuel Johnson, Editor of Shakespeare, 105.
(48) Letters of Johnson, ed. Redford, 1: 355. Sherbo, Samuel Johnson, Editor of Shakespeare, found that these brief remarks were the only ones available regarding the collaboration with Steevens on the 1773 edition and its 1778 revision, 105-6.
(49) Sherbo, Samuel Johnson, Editor of Shakespeare, 103-4.
(50) John A. Dussinger, Introduction, "Correspondence with Thomas Edwards," Correspondence with George Cheyne and Thomas Edwards, ed. David E. Shuttleton and John A. Dussinger, The Cambridge Edition of the Correspondence of Samuel Richardson, vol. 2 (Cambridge U. Press, 2013), lxxx.
(51) Sherbo, Samuel Johnson, Editor of Shakespeare, 39. Edwards, Canons (1758), 212-38.
(52) Despite all the nastiness among the early Shakespeare editors in their struggle for power, something much more positive was coming into being: "In the work of some at least of the eighteenth-century editors of Shakespeare we see the development and use of rational procedures of interpretation, adapting and applying to a new field of writing techniques and approaches which had already been familiar in classical scholarship, and in biblical exegesis." Walsh, Shakespeare, Milton, and Eighteenth-Century Literary Editing, 198.
(53) No. 2: If he had been at all attentive to the notes here, SJ would surely have commented on the crux that was raised by TE and finally acknowledged by Steevens in the 1778 revision. Yet, the fact that Steevens did not add his note in the 1773 revision may imply that he himself overlooked this item in time to make the change.
(54) No. 4: SJ ignores W's emendation but agrees that the original means simply what TE took it to mean by quoting Massinger. Benjamin Heath, A Revisal of Shakespear's Text (London 1765), rejects W's emendation but does not entirely agree with TE:
"Notwithstanding Mr. Warburton's authority, I cannot easily persuade myself that, to compt off, is used to signify, 'to clear the reckoning;' and if it were so used here, it would be quite beside the purpose. For, if I mistake not, the poet is in this passage satirizing the imposing disposition of hosts or inn-keepers; but sure nothing can be more reasonable than that every guest should pay his reckoning. The old reading, come off, means, I suppose, in our host's phrase, come off handsomely, that is, pay exorbitantly for their entertainment. Mr. Warburton had but three pages before acquainted us, that 'Englishmen hate long speeches, which hath made our tongue abound with half sentences, and, what is more, with half words.' This observation will, I flatter myself, sufficiently justify the interpretation I have given of the text. See however the Canons of Criticism." (72)
SJ's remark about "accidental and colloquial senses" as "the disgrace of language" may silently incorporate Heath's point about the tendency of English to "abound with half sentences." In the 1778 revision Steevens concludes with Tyrwhitt's note for the variorum format.
(55) See ODNB, s.v., "George Steevens" by Arthur Sherbo and s.v. "Richard Roderick" by John A. Dussinger.
(56) Edward Capell, Notes and Various Readings to Shakespeare (London, [1779-80]), 1: sig. a 2 v. In A Letter to George Hardinge, Esq. on the subject of a passage in Mr. Stevens's [sic] preface to his impression of Shakespeare. London , Collins avoided maligning outright the editor's character: "Plagiarism, in truth, like accommodate, to which it seems to be somewhat of kin, 'is a word of exceeding good command;' but it is withal so subtile, so abstruse, and so equivocal in its modes, that I dare not attempt to define it. How far lawful borrowing extends, and where unlawful plagiarism begins, I know not. The line that separates them may be too fine for my visual nerve; and I will not run a risque of straining it, in such a search," 22. As G. Blakemore Evans observes: "None of his important contemporaries had a kind word to say about Capell's edition, and his two principal successors, George Steevens and Edmond Malone, denigrated it at every opportunity--and stole from it unblushingly," The Riverside Shakespeare (1997), 61.
(57) Arthur Sherbo, The Achievement of George Steevens (Paris: Peter Lang, 1990), esp. 31, 62, 139-40, 144n., and 205. ODNB, s.v. "George Steevens" by Arthur Sherbo. See also ODNB, s.v. "Edward Capell" by Paul Baines.
TABLE 1 Johnson's Acknowledgement of Thomas Edwards Play (Riverside Edwards (1758) Johnson (1765) Shakespeare 1997) 1. Love's Labor's TE, 155-56. SJ, 2:157n8. Lost, IV.ii.28-29. "And such barren plants "The words have "And Mr. Edwards in are set before us, been, as Mr. his animadversion on that we thankful Warburton says, Dr. Warburton's should be--/ transposed and notes, applauds the Which we [of] taste corrupted; and he emendation and feeling are--for 'hopes, he has [Hanmer's]. I those parts that do restored the author,' think both editors fructify in us more by reading thus; mistaken, except than he." that Sir T. Hanmer --"and such barren found the metre plants are set before though he missed the us, that we thankful sense. I read, with should be for those a slight change, parts (which we And such barren taste and feel plants are set ingradare) that do before us that we fructify in thankful should be; us more than he." When we taste and WARD.' Our Critic's feeling are for desire to shew his those parts that skill in the do fructify Italian, would not in us more than he." let him see; that Sir Thomas Hanmer restored this passage to sense, without the help of his ingradare...." 2. The Winter's TE, 9-10. SJ, 2:346nl. Tale, V.iii.67. "The meaning of the "Fixure is right. "The fixure of line in the original The meaning is, that her eye has is, I hough the eye her eye, though motion in't." be fixed (as the fixed, as in an eye of a statue earnest gaze, has always is) yet it motion in it. seems to have motion EDWARDS." in it, that tremulous motion which is perceptible in the eye of a living person, how much soever one endeavours to fix it. ... Fissure, Mr. Warburton's word, never signifies a socket, but a slit." 3. 1 Henry VI, TE, 27-28. SJ, 4:550n5. III.iv.39. "He assures us that "This reading cannot "That whoso draws a Shakespear wrote be right, because, sword, 'tis present --I'th' presence as Mr. Edwards death." 't's death. observed, it cannot be pronounced." a line which seems penned for Cadmus when in the state of a serpent." 4. King Lear, TE, 164. SJ, 8: App. to I.iv.268. Vol. 6, Notes to "'Alluding to the the Sixth Volume. "Which, like an famous boast of engine, wrench'd Archimedes.'WARB. "P. 41. Like an my frame of nature." Perhaps rather engine wrench'd my alluding to frame of nature.] the rack." Mr. Edwards conjectures that an engine is the rack. He is right. To engine is, in Chaucer, to strain upon the rack. STEEVENS." 5. Cymbeline, TE, 154-55. SJ, 7:270n7. I.iii.33-35. "Mr. Warburton ... "Edwards has justly "or ere I could/Give has had the felicity remarked, that the him that parting to discover; what word of religion here kiss which I had were the two mentioned is seldom set/Between two charming words, used with any charming words." between which Imogen religion, and often would have set her where no religious parting kiss: which idea can be Shakespear probably admitted." never thought-of. He says, 'without question, by these two charming words she would be understood to mean, ADIEV, POSTHVMVS. The one religion made so; and the other love.' Imogen must have understood the etymology of our language very exactly, to find out so much religion in the word adieu, which we use commonly, without fixing any such idea to it; as when we say, that such a man has bid adieu to all religion." 6. Cymbeline, TE, 62-63. SJ, 7:299-300n4. II.iii.97-98. "one of your great "That is, I suppose, "It is no mark of a knowing / Should 'one of so much knowing forbearance learn, being taught, knowledge, as you simply. For forbearance." pretend to, should forbearance becomes learn to leave off a virtue. or point an unsuccessful of civil prudence, suit, when you are only as it respects so often desired a forbidden to do so."' object. ... Edwards has sufficiently sported with the emendation. The plain sense is, That a man who is taught forbearance should learn it." TABLE 2 Kenrick on Johnson's Inadequate Reference to Thomas Edwards Play (Riverside Warburton Edwards Shakespeare 1997) (1747) (1758) 1. The Tempest, W, 1:43: TE, 115-17. II.ii.31. "I cannot but think "there would this "any strange beast this satire very monster MAKE a man: there makes a just upon our (i. e. make his man." countrymen; who fortune). ..." have been always very ready to make Denisons of the whole tribe of the Pitheci, [primates] and complement them with the Donum Civitatis... 2. Measure for W, 1:402. TE, 82-83. Measure, III.i.94-96. "The stupid Editors "Now if this latter mistaking guards for part be true, "O, tis the satellites, (whereas I should be glad to cunning livery it here signifies know, how priestly of hell, / The lace) altered guards should come invest and cover / PRIESTLY, in both to signify any thing In prenzie guards!" places, to princely. more than black Whereas Shakespear lace. wrote it PRIESTLY. ... Now priestly guards means sanctity, which is the sense required. But princely guards means nothing but rich lace, which is a sense the passage will not bear." 3. Measure for W, 1:411. TE, 25. Measure. III.ii.49. "This strange "Is IT [his reply or nonsense should be answer) not drown'd thus corrected, It's in the last rain? A not DOWN i'th last proverbial phrase to "Is't not drown'd i' REIGN, i. e. these express a thing the last rain?" are severities which is lost." unknown to the old Duke's time. And this is to the purpose." 4. Measure for W, 1:41 ln8. TE, 25-26. Measure, III.ii.63- 64 "It should be "Where now is there pointed thus. the least foundation Go say I sent thee Go, say, I sent thee for this conceit of thither. For debt, thither for debt. hiding the ignominy Pompey? Or how?" Pompey; or how--i.e. of his punishment? to hide the ignominy Or the humor of of thy case, say that reply, for I sent thee to being a bawd, i.e. prison for debt, or the true cause whatever other is the most pretence thou honourable." fanciest better. The other humourously replies, For being a bawd, for being a bawd. i.e. the true cause is the most honourable. This is in character." 5. Measure for W, 1:412-13. TE, 26-27. Measure, III.ii.99. "The occasion of the "It is too general observation was, As much as to say, a vice. Lucio's saying. Yes truly, it is That it ought to general, for the be treated with a greatest men have it little more lenity; as well as we little and his answer to folks. And a little it is--The vice is lower he taxes the of great kindred. Duke personally with Nothing can be more it. Nothing can be absurd than all this. more natural than From the occasion and all this." the answer therefore it appears, that Shakespear wrote, It is too GENTLE a vice." 6. Measure for W, 1:443. TE, 144. Measure, V.i.104. "Like is not used "She was conscious, "O that it were as here for probable, that her accusation like as it is true!" but for seemly. was true; and very She catches at naturally replies the Duke's word, and to the Duke's turns it to another ironical words, sense; of which there that she wishes it are a great many were equally examples in probable, or Shakespear, and the credible, as it writers of that was true. time." 7. Measure for W, 1:447. TE, 3. Measure, V.i.236-38. "i.e. women who have "Whatever Shakespear ill concerted their wrote, he certainly "These poor story. Formal meant (with the informal women signifies frequently, Oxford Editor) are no more / But in our Author, a informing. He could some more thing put into form not mean, that the mightier member / or method: so story was ill on." informal, out of concerted, because Method, ill in the very next concerted. line Angelo How easy is it to supposes, that it say, that Shakespear was concerted by might better have some mighty person wrote informing; concealed; to whom i.e. accusing. these women were only But he, who (as the instruments...." Oxford Editor) thinks he did write so, knows nothing of the character of his stile." 8. Measure for W, 1:452. TE, 135-36. Measure, V.i.396. "It was the swift "We should read "Examp. 6. Bain'd, celerity of his BAIN'D, i.e., Vol. I. p. 452. death / Which, I destroyed." for baned." did think, with slower foot came on, / That brain'd my purpose." 9. As You Like It, W, 2:330. TE, 67-68. II.vii.177-78. "Without doubt. "though this matter "Thy tooth is not Shakespear wrote is so clear with Mr. so keen, / Because the line thus, Warburton, every thou art not seen." body who understands Because thou art English will doubt not SHEEN, of it, because SHEEN signifies bright, i.e. smiling, which makes no shining, like an better sense than ungrateful court- SEEN, nor does he servant, who produce any flatters while he authority for its wounds, which was a signifying SMILING, very good reason for which is the sense giving the winter he here puts wind the preference." upon it...." 10. As You Like It, W, 2:337. TE, 20. III.ii.155. "We should read "Not to take notice O most gentle JUNIPER, as the of this gentle, Jupiter.' following words rough, prickly shew, alluding to plant, which the proverbial term Mr. Warburton has of a Juniper lecture: found-out; I believe A sharp or unpleasing no body but he would one; Juniper being have dreamed of a a rough prickly Juniper lecture here, plant. any more than above; where the same Rosalind says, 'O Jupiter', how weary are my spirits!'" 11. Love's Labor's W, 2:197. TE, 149. Lost, I.i.203. "The following "And he quotes Dr. "taken with the question arising Donne's authority manner." from these words for it. shew we should read, taken in the manner; But in Vol. IV. P. and this was the 142. I Henry IV. phrase used to he says, signify, taken in the fact." '-taken in the manner. The Quarto and Folio read, with the manner; which is right. Taken with the manner is a law phrase, and then in common use; to signify taken in the fact.' Great wits have short memories. But such things will happen, when a critic must furnish such a quota of Notes; whether he have any thing worth publishing or no." 12. Love's Labor's W, 2:286. TE, 19-20. Lost, V.ii.896-97. "I would read thus, "But if they are "And cuckoo-buds much bedight already, ot yellow hue / Do Do paint the they little need paint the meadows meadows MUCH- painting." with delight." BEDIGHT, i. e. much bedecked or adorned,as they are in spring-time. The epithet is proper, and the compound not inelegant." 13. Twelfth Night, W, 3:132. TE, 198. I.v. 120-21. "He had before said "This is a phrase "Tis a gentleman it was a gentleman. fresh from the mint. here--a plague o He was asked what But Mr. Warburton these pickle- gentleman? and he may take it back and herring!" makes this reply: lay it by for his which, it is plain, own use: Shakespear is corrupt, and has no need of it, should be read thus, as any body will own, who considers Tis a Genf/e-HElR, that Sir Toby was drunk, and i.e. some lady's interrupted in his eldest son just speech by his come out of the pickled herrings." nursery; for this was the appearance Viola made in mens clothes." 14. Merry Wives W, l:276n5. TE, 115. of Windsor, II.i.131. "This absurd passage Nym,--I have a may be pointed into sword, and it shall "I have a sword, sense. I have a bite upon my and it shall bite and it shall NECESSITY, i.e. when upon my bite--upon my I find it necessary, necessity." necessity, he loves or, when 1 am your wife, &c,-- reduced to necessity. Having said his sword should bite, But Mr. Warburton he stops short, as calls this, 'an was fitting: For he absurd passage,' meant that it should and without any bite upon the necessity at all, high-way. makes an absurd And then turns to oath of it." the subject of his conference, and swears, by his necessity, that Falstaff loved his wife." 15. Taming of the W, 2:410. TE, 22. Shrew, I.ii.52. "This Nonsense "Mr. Theobald "Where small should be read thus, explanes it, except experience grows. in a few. ... i.e. But in a few...." Where small instances are experience grows uncommon: which is but in a MEW. not nonsense... i.e. in short, in a few i.e. a confinement words." at home. And the meaning is, that no improvement is to be expected of those who never look out of doors." 16. King John, W, 3:426. TE, 112-13. III.i.209. "Mr. Theobald says; "I am afraid Mr. "In likeness of that, as untrimmed Warburton with all a new untrimmed cannot bear any his gravity here, bride." signification to will be found to square with the have made more haste sense required, it than good speed. must be corrupt; Unsteady, which therefore he will is no great cashier it, and read recommendation of a and trimmed; in bride, cannot which he is followed square well with the by the Oxford sense, where the editor; but they are speaker designs to both too hasty. express a strong It squares very well and irresistible with the sense; and temptation." signifies unsteady. The term is from navigation. We say, in a similar way of speaking, not well manned." Play (Riverside Johnson (1765) Kenrick (1765) Shakespeare 1997) 1. The Tempest, SJ, *l:43n4. K, 12. II.ii.31. "That is, Make a "I have no fault to "any strange beast Man's Fortune." find with this note, there makes a except that I think man." Make does not have Dr. Johnson might this meaning in have confessed his Johnson's obligation to the Dictionary." author of the Canons of Criticism; who gave this meaning, after having exposed the absurdity of Dr. Warburton's very learned and ridiculous note on this passage." 2. Measure for SJ, l:318-19nl. K,31-32. Measure, III.i.94-96. "The first Folio "It is really very has, in both places, kind of Dr. Johnson "O, tis the prenzie, from which to give cunning livery the other folios SOMETHING of what he of hell, / The made princely, and can make NOTHING invest and cover / every editor may himself.--Let us In prenzie guards!" make what he can." see, therefore, what others have made of 93, 96. prenzie. A it.--The author of word found nowhere the Canons of else, and not Criticism objects to satisfactorily Dr. Warburton's explained. emendation. ... The Among the many author of the Revisal emendations, the two of Shakespeare's most favored by Text, goes still editors have been farther, and says, princely (F2) and 'We should precise (Tieck undoubtedly restore conjecture in the ancient reading Cambridge). Some both places, the proposed readings, princely Angelo, and e.g. proxy (Bulloch in princely guards. conjecture in Nothing [says he] Cambridge, fit one can be weaker and line but not the more destitute of other, and some all foundation, than editors adopt Mr. Warburton's different readings criticism.'" in the two lines." Riverside 1997. 3. Measure for SJ, l:328n7. K, 35. Measure. III.ii.49. "It is a common "Dr. Johnson's "Is't not drown'd i' phrase used in low explanation of this the last rain?" raillery of a man passage is, in my crest-fallen and opinion, less clear dejected, that he and much less looks like a drown'd consistent with his puppy. own pointing than Lucio, therefore, that given by Mr. asks him whether he Edwards. Indeed the was drowned in the latter supposes last rain, and Pompey's answer only therefore cannot to be drowned in the speak." last rain [a proverbial phrase, he says, to express a thing which is lost, or rather not to be found]; whereas Dr. Johnson supposes that Pompey himself is drowned in the last rain. Taking their own authority, however, for the use of their proverbs, Mr. Edwards's explanation is not half so far-fetched as Dr. Johnson's." 4. Measure for SJ, l:329n9. K, 36. Measure, III.ii.63- 64 Quotes W's note "Vol. 1. pages 329 without comment. and 330. are Go say I sent thee inserted two thither. For debt, notes from Dr. Pompey? Or how?" Warburton, without any remark of the editor's; are both sufficiently the Canons of 26.1 must beg leave. however, for that reason to pass them over here." 5. Measure for SJ, l:330nl. K, 36. Measure, III.ii.99. Quotes W's note "Vol. 1. pages 329 "It is too general without comment. and 330. are a vice. inserted two notes from Dr. Warburton, without any remark of the editor's; notwithstanding they are both sufficiently refuted and exploded in the Canons of Criticism, pages 25 and 26.1 must beg leave, however, for that reason to pass them over here. 6. Measure for SJ, *l:364n2. K, 39. Measure, V.i.104. "I do not see why "Dr. Johnson hath, "O that it were as like may not stand on this passage, like as it is true!" here for probable, silently adopted or why the Lady the explanation should not wish of Mr. Edwards, in that since her tale opposition to that is true it may of does the same obtain belief." thing again in page 369. -See Canons of Criticism, page 144." 7. Measure for SJ, l:369nl. K, 39. Measure, V.i.236-38. After Warburton "Dr. Johnson hath, quotation: on this passage, "These poor silently adopted the informal women "I believe informal explanation of are no more / But has no other or Mr. Edwards, in some more deeper signification opposition to that mightier member / than informing, of Dr. Warburton. on." accusing. He does the same The scope of thing again in justice, is the page 369.--See full extent." Canons of Criticism, page 144. ' 8. Measure for SJ, l:375-76n2. K, 45. Measure, V.i.396. "We now use in "Dr. Warburton would "It was the swift conversation a like alter the text to celerity of his phrase. This it was BANED my purpose; death / Which, I that knocked my the futility of this did think, with design on the head. emendation, however, slower foot came Dr. Warburton reads, is, if I mistake on, / That brain'd ---- not, sufficiently my purpose." exposed by the baned my purpose. author of the Canons Johnson silently of Criticism; whose corrects W's opinion Dr. Johnson misspelling. adopts, without making any mention of him, asusual." 9. As You Like It, SJ, 2:45-46n2. K, 57-67. II.vii.177-78. "I am afraid that no "To come now to Dr. "Thy tooth is not reader is satisfied Johnson; who, after so keen, / Because with Dr. Warburton's quoting Dr. thou art not seen." emendation, however Warburton's note, vigorously enforced; without mentioning a and it is indeed syllable of Mr. enforced with more Edwards's remarks on art than truth. it, proceeds thus: Sheen, i.e. smiling, 'I am afraid that no shining is easily reader...'" (p.62). proved, but when or where did it "When Dr. Johnson, signify smiling?" therefore, adopting Dr. Warburton's reasoning, tells us that smiling gives the sense necessary in this place, he is misled by the plausibility of that gentleman's argument; there being no manner of occasion, as Mr. Edwards observes, for the introduction of his flattering courtiers." (p. 64). 10. As You Like It, SJ *2:54nl. K,67-68. III.ii.155. Quotes W's note "In answer to this, O most gentle and adds: Dr. Johnson says, in Jupiter.' his usual indolent "Surely Jupiter and laconic manner, may stand." 'Surely Jupiter may stand.' Ay, surely; why not? as well as Jupiter in the beginning of the 6th scene of the preceding act, where the same Rosalind says, 0 Jupiter! how weary are my spirits! Yet neither he, nor Dr. Warburton, boggle in the least at Jupiter there. But who told you, Dr. Johnson, that Jupiter might stand here, and gave you the same reason for it? Did not the author of the Canons of Criticism do this? Why should you be so sparing of confessing your obligations to that gentleman?" 11. Love's Labor's SJ, 2:121n8. K, 77-78. Lost, I.i.203. "I was taken in the "The author of the "taken with the manner." Canons of Criticism, manner." however, hath Quotes W's note invalidated what Dr. without comment. Warburton advances in this place, by another of his own notes on a passage in the first part of Henry the Fourth, where the same expression occurs. ... Mr. Edwards observed, on remarking this inconsistency, that 'Great wits have short memories.' But I am at some loss to know to what I should impute Dr. Johnson's giving the highest approbation to this blunder of Dr. Warburton's----Shall we set it down among Dr. Johnson's other concessions to the respect due to high place, and his veneration for genius and learning? Or shall we rather impute it to his indolence in not consulting the Canons of Criticism?" Johnson-Steevens (1773), 2:352n9. "With the manner, and in the manner, are expressions, used indifferently by our old writers. STEVEEVENS." Johnson-Steevens (1778), 2:387-88n4. Even though the expressions are supposed to be equally acceptable, the text was emended thus: "I was taken with the manner." W's note repeated without modification despite change of text. Steevens added example of Heywood's Rape of Lucrece (1730). 12. Love's Labor's SJ, 2:222-23n9. K,84-85. Lost, V.ii.896-97. Quotes W's note "The ingenious author "And cuckoo-buds and adds: of the Canons of ot yellow hue / Do Criticism objected paint the meadows long ago, to this with delight." "Much less elegant proposed emendation than the present of Dr. reading." Warburton's. ... But Dr. (ohnson seems to be so much influenced by the respect due to high place, that he seems determined to avoid the name of Edwards, as much as possible, for fear of offending the bishop." 13. Twelfth Night, SJ, *2:368, last K, 97. I.v. 120-21. two lines. "Is it possible, "Tis a gentleman Quotes W's note after all this, to here--a plague o without comment. guess what induced these pickle- our editor to trouble herring!" his readers with Dr. Warburton's frivolous note, and to adopt Mr. Edwards's pointing, against that of Theobald, without mentioning a word of either of the two latter?" 14. Merry Wives SJ, *2:478nl. K, 99. of Windsor, II.i.131. "I do not see the "Dr. Warburton hath difficulty of this a mighty whimsical "I have a sword, passage: no phrase note on this passage, and it shall bite is more common than- which our editor upon my you may, upon a need, hath printed, though necessity." thus. Nym, to gain he condemns it, and credit, says, that hath silently he is above the mean adopted the reading office of carrying of Mr. Edwards, who love-letters; he has had sufficiently nobler means of exposed the living; he has a absurdity of the sword, and upon his Warburtonian necessity, that is, emendation. See when his need drives Canons of Criticism, him to unlawful page 115." expedients, his [6th edn., 1758] sword shall bite." 15. Taming of the SJ, *3:25n5. K, 107. Shrew, I.ii.52. After quoting W's "This piece of "Where small note: information, experience grows. however, and the But in a few...." "Why this should method of pointing seem nonsense, adopted by I cannot perceive. Dr. Johnson, might In a few means the have been had long same as in short, ago from in few words." Mr. Edwards's Canons of Criticism; who, in exposing the absurdity of Dr. Warburton's emendation, quotes other passages from Shakespeare, where the same expression is made use of." 16. King John, SJ, *3:447n6. K, 130. III.i.209. "A commentator "In this passage "In likeness of should be grave, our editor hath two a new untrimmed and therefore I can notes from Theobald bride." read these notes and Warburton; after with the proper which he adopts the severity of opinion of attention; but the Mr. Edwards, who idea of trimming a had exposed the lady to keep her absurdity of the steady, would be too latter, but without risible for any mentioning him, common power as usual. of face."
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|Title Annotation:||p. 45-71|
|Author:||Dussinger, John A.|
|Article Type:||Book review|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2016|
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