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THE VARIORUM ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA
BY WILLIAM ALLAN NEILSON
SHAKESPEAREAN scholars have once stinting admiration, and we would fain more cause for rejoicing. In this volume follow his example. Dr. Furness presents them with the The first question is of the text. Dr. fourteenth play in his admirable edition, Furness is now the leader of the wholeequipped as before with the essence of some reaction against reckless emendathe comment and criticism of two hun- tion, a reaction which itself tends todred years,
with all the results of schol- wards an opposite extreme, that of a arship on late and sources, and with superstitious veneration for the authority an arcount of the fortunes of the drama of the First Folio. It comes to be a foreon the stage. For purposes of compari- gone conclusion that, where any defense son Dryden's treatment of the same in any degree rational can be made for story in his Al for Love is printed in full, a Folio reading, Dr. Furness will be and a score of other dramatic versions found on the conservative side. Of the are summarized with varying degrees two extremes this is undoubtedly the of fullness. The quality of the compila- safer; yet surely there is a more excellent tion remains as noteworthy as its com- way. A few examples will show whither pendiousness. It is rare indeed to find the tendency leads. Few of the learned either in the printing of the Folio text and ingenious Theobald's emendations or in the abstracts of criticism
fall- have been more universally accepted ing away from that accuracy which has than that which reads in v, ii, 87, in from the first distinguished this great Cleopatra's eulogy of her dead lover, undertaking. The mere statement of
“For his bounty, these facts makes further praise un- There was no winter in 't; an autumn 't was necessary.
That grew the more by reaping." But Dr. Furness's eagerness to serve
The First Folio, sole source of the text Shakespeare does not stop here. He is for this play, reads for autumn no longer content merely to chronicle Anthony,” and to " Anthony ” Dr. the opinions and conclusions of others. Furness clings.
Theobald,” he says, Every note dealing with a disputed point “asks, 'how an Anthony could grow closes with the judgment
we had al- the more by reaping ?' Would it not be most said the decision of the editor, equally pertinent to ask how an autumn and in his preface he combats sturdily could grow the more by reaping? Reapwhat he conceives to be widely current ing in the autumn is done when the grain misinterpretations of some of the chief is ripe, and grain thus reaped never characters. The almost official standing grows again." True, in nature, one may which the weightiness of the edition reply, because winter follows. But there seems to confer upon these utterances no winter in Antony's bounty; warrants us in considering them with therefore“ an autumn 't was, That grew great care; for an effort is necessary not
the more by reaping." to be overawed by the ipse dirit of one Again, in II, v, 79, 80, Cleopatra says, whose labors, so amply vouched for, point according to the Folio, him out as umpire. He himself has often
“ Call the slave again, shown us how to be justly critical of the Though I am mad, I will not byte him : Call ?" great Shakespeareans of the past without On which the editor remarks: “Is this
interrogation mark absolutely wrong? It amples he quotes are these typical ones: has been discarded by every editor since For “ shall well gree together " the first the Third Folio. But may it not indicate Folio reads, “ shall well greet together; ” Charmian's besitation and Cleopatra's for “thou should'st tow me after," " thou imperious questioning of her delay ?” should'st stowe me after;” for “ no more To these queries one may safely answer but e'en a Wonian,' no more but in a that in modern typography the inter- Woman." Any compositor, and, I should rogation mark is absolutely wrong. It is have thought, any one with much experionly necessary to read the passage aloud ence of proof-reading, could assure him and remember that in the Folio the mark that precisely such mistakes still occur in question has to do double duty for without the aid of any such copy-reader interrogations and exclamations. as he assumes. Recently I have come
In a famous passage in 11, ii, 52, the across such clear instances of mistakes of Folio reads,
the ear, as the setting up of “sight" for “ If you 'll patch a quarrell,
“site ” and “ right” for “rite,” though As matter whole you have to make it with, the compositor was using printed copy. It must not be with this."
Such examples merely show that a comRowe, the first editor, corrected “you positor is often influenced by his mental have” to “ you've not,” and most, ear, so to speak. and is liable to confuse though not all, later editors have sub- words which sound alike as well as words stantially followed him. Ingleby held to
which look alike. Dr. Furness's case, the Folio, interpreting “you have (to)', then, cannot be proved from internal eviin the sense of obligation, you must."
dence. But what about the assertion that “ To me,” says Dr. Furness, the mean- we know that the practice of reading to ing seems to be, ' If you 'll patch a quar- the compositor existed ? No reference rell, inasmuch as you must make the is given in the present volume, but in patch out of good whole material, you the Variorum editions of A Midsummer must not take this. I think Ingleby is Night's Dream and Much Ado about entirely right in his interpretation.” But Nothing, where the same theory is upthis is to lose the force of the antithesis held, a reference is given to T. L. De between “patch ” and whole matter.” Vinne's Invention of Printing (New “ You have no solid ground for a quar- York, 1876, p. 524), where it is stated rell." says Anthony, “ and so must base that “ Conrad Zeltner, a learned printer it on fragments. This won't serve even of the 17th century, said . . . 'that as a fragment.”
it was customary to employ a reader to Opinions on these matters will always read aloud to the compositors, who set differ; but these instances, to which the types from dictation, not seeing the many could be added, will suffice to show copy.' But in Mr. De Vinne's second Dr. Furness's tendency as a critic of the edition (1878) he corrected this statetext.
ment, on the authority of the French Of more general interest are the con- bibliographer, J. P. A. Madden, to the troversies of the Preface. One of these effect that “ Zeltner was not a printer, is in a sense also textual, yet of some mo
but a Protestant minister ... the aument to all who care for our older litera- thor of a curious book entitled The Gal
a ture. In several previous volumes, and lery of Learned men who have excelled here once more, Dr. Furness states that in the honorable Art of Typography, many of the misprints in the early edi- printed at Nuremberg in 1716." This tions“ are due to the practice of reading weakens so seriously the authority of the copy aloud to the compositor,
Zeltner that it has been necessary to seek practice which we now know obtained in more solid evidence. The most elaborate early printing-offices.” Among the ex- argument on Dr. Furness's side is that
of Dr. Madden himself; but an examina- on the other aspect of the case. The tion of Dr. Madden's examples from the accuracy of our reading of the characters sixteenth and sevententh centuries has of Octavius Cæsar and Cleopatra has shown that the “anagnostes” or “ lec- suffered seriously, he maintains, from tor” whom he defines as a reader to the the preconceptions carried over from our compositors was really a reader to the knowledge of history; and therefore" we proof-corrector. An investigation of should accept these plays with our some twenty-nine sixteenth-century en- minds the proverbial tabula rasa," we gravings of printing-offices listed by Mr. should accept Cleopatra, at ShakeFalconer Madan of the Bodleian con- speare's hands, with minds unbiased by firms this conclusion, and makes it clear history. We should know no more of her that the compositor followed with his than what we hear on the stage.” own eyes the copy, which was fastened Several considerations make us hesitate to a “ visorium or lay on the type-case. before assenting to this somewhat violent
It has seemed worth while to go into backward swing of the pendulum. Supthis matter in some detail, since the repe- posing for the moment that the view of tition of Zeltner's mistake in volumes so Cæsar and of Cleopatra which Dr. justly regarded as authoritative as the Furness opposes to the current one is Variorum gives it a wide currency.
correct, it is doubtful whether the popuThe search for the sources whence lar misconception can be laid to excesShakespeare gathered the material for sive study of Plutarch. Surely very many his plots has engaged the industry of readers are familiar with Shakespeare's scholars these many years; and now, play who never turned the pages of Sir when these sources, in the case of all Thomas North, popular though he has but three plays, can be pointed to with been in a restricted sense. Again, if, as fair assurance,
not infrequently Dr. Furness implies, our minds have hears ungrateful epithets cast at the been already biased in our schooldays, painstaking “source-hunter.” One cause his counsel to wipe away every previous of this ingratitude seems to be that there record is impossible, and the cure lies has been a tendency on the part of the not in an attempt to forget, but in a more scholars to stop short of their goal. They careful study of what Shakespeare has have too often rested satisfied with the chosen to omit, to retain, and to add in discovery of the bare fact, have failed to his treatment of the material supplied by go on to its application. For few results the great biographer of antiquity. Most of research have placed so potent a doubtful of all, however, is his rereading weapon
in the hands of criticism as those of the two characters in question. He which enable us to observe, as Dr. Fur- objects to the view of Octavius as “cold, ness says in connection with · North's crafty, and self-seeking," and gathers in Plutarch," the magic whereby Shake- rebuttal the scenes and utterances which speare, gilding the pale stream with indicate his nobility, his warm-heartedheavenly alchemy, transfigures the quiet ness, and his sincere and fervid love and prose, at times almost word for word, admiration for Antony. Cleopatra has into exalted poetry.” And in matters of been unjustly regarded as fickle: “her plot and characterization the insight love for Anthony burned with the unand appreciation that may be gained are flickering flame of wifely devotion." no less notable than in the matter of Nor was Coleridge right in contrasting diction and poetry. In his Preface, how- the love of affection and instinct of ever, Dr. Furness has chosen to lay stress Romeo and Juliet with the love of pasSee Guy M. Carleton on The Elizabethan
sion and appetite of Antony and CleoCompositor” in The English Graduate Record, patra. Antony's love for Cleopatra, says January and February, 1906.
Dr. Furness, was not of the senses;
for, be it remembered, Cleopatra was depicting human nature. In this field not beautiful; she had no physical al- he is supreme largely because he gives lurements.”
to his creations a complexity that more Here, surely, is something to make us than anything else makes them real. rub our eyes. The love of Antony and Smaller men create characters of a single Cleopatra not of the senses! What, then, dominating trait, or of a combination of of the significance of the whole atmo- a few easily harmonized traits; or, risking sphere of the Alexandrian court, reeking a greater failure, aim at complexity and with sensual indulgence, the picturing of
achieve confusion and inconsistency. which is justly regarded as one of the Shakespeare above all made men and most superb achievements of the dra- women about whom we differ as we difmatist ? Cleopatra had no physical al- fer over the people we know; and our lurements! What, then, of Enobarbus's instinct is right in condemning the rival famous description of her when she interpretation rather than believing that pursed up Mark Antony's heart upon the artist has bungled. What Dr. Furthe river of Cydnus? There she is de- ness has done in this attempt to ennoble scribed as having o'er-pictured Venus, Octavius and whitewash Cleopatra is and elsewhere as a morsel for a mon- to select, under the obsession of an idea, arch,” in whose lips and eyes was eter- one set of passages, all of which have nity, whose “hand kings have lipp'd, their due significance, and from these and trembled kissing."
to derive portraits of a man and a woBut the answer to such extravagances man lacking precisely that subtlety and is not best given by quoting opposing that delicate balancing of opposing tenpassages. For one quality is this tragedy dencies which are essential elements of even more notable than for that famous some of the most superb characteriza“happy valiancy” of style, - for the tions in all literature. unparalleled success achieved in it by The critic's laurels are not always to Shakespeare's characteristic method of be awarded to the scholar.
THE CONTRIBUTORS' CLUB
THINKING BY TYPEWRITER
the way of deliberate composition until
I was farther advanced in years than I HAVE been attracted by that feature I now care to remember. After leaving of Walter H. Page's proposed univer- school without having particularly dissity course for writers, as outlined in the tinguished myself, I experimented for a November Atlantic, which requires daily number of years with a profession with writing, and I should like to give it what which the accident of birth had made emphasis I can by a short chapter from me more or less familiar from childhood. the biography of a "hack."
I did not become famous for practical Perhaps I had always a vague desire
success, but I acquired a considerable to “ touch the magic string,” but aside capital of technical jargon, and this, betfrom the usual brilliant and edifying tered by an ancestral example, enabled descriptions of country stores, railway me to work out a few generalizations for stations, vacation episodes, and the like, the good of the calling. More precisely, which are implied by two or three terms I wrote an article of the how-to-learnof preparatory school, I did nothing in how variety and submitted it to the editor
of a class journal. To my surprise it was tion that one learns to write by continued published, favorably received, and with daily practice. As usual I was receptive, out any previous experience I was called
and was at once eager for a test. I began upon to play the part of a teacher. For to write every day. In default of ready five years I have been producing a liter- phrases and clear plans I simply sat ature, if such it may be called, of a semi
a down at my typewriter and struck the technical character.
keys. The product at first was mere How to accomplish thinking has been drivel, but in two or three hours somemy problem from the first. After a few thing like sanity began to emerge, and I weeks the novelty of authorship wore off could then reduce the chaos to order.
. and a most obstinate paralysis seized my Details are unnecessary and might be faculties. With publication day ap- tedious, but I may say that the total reproaching at a gallop, twenty times have sults of this latest experiment have been Í sat at my desk in hopeless vacancy, to me almost incredible. In the last two waiting for the inspiration that never months alone I have accumulated a vast came. I talked with ministers, as bay. amount of raw material, and have writing at least an acquaintance with the ten more finished articles than I usually divine afflatus, but they were only write in six. I have put not less than one amused at my troubles. I searched the hundred thousand words upon paper, an libraries. A text-book on rhetoric as- accomplishment which in the old days sured me that I should have an elaborate would have required at least a year. plan before attempting to write, and that To crown all, I now enjoy often the novunder no consideration should I presume elty of writing an article at the first atto write a sentence until I had phrased tempt. at least a paragraph in my mind. “ If Whatever merits the plan may ultithe light that is in thee be darkness, mately be found to have, I am confident how great is that darkness!” Having de- that for such hacks as I, this method will sperately resolved to follow this method, most surely develop thinking. I must and having sat at my desk for days in think while I write, not in advance, and succession without the reward of a single if I set only rubbish to flowing, real ideas paragraph, I fell into a slough compared will be caught in the stream. The crudiwith which Christian's was a transparent ties and platitudes which at first appear pool.
need not discourage me. A psychologist Nevertheless, something in me would has said that whatever occurs in connot yield, and I resolved again and again sciousness must be introduced, and the that I would force thought. According- most aristocratic thoughts may be ushered ly I began a series of excitements. I in by ragged associates. By daily throwtried coffee, opium, physical exercise, dic- ing off a vast amount of trash, I seldom tating to a stenographer, and doubtless fail to release ideas that are suited to stopped short of a phonograph because my purpose. This very article, which is I could neither buy nor borrow one. I now a thing of beauty, I hope, would at should not have faltered even at alcohol, first have disgraced a patent medicine but that the reaction from coffee left me
almanac. in such a state of collapse that I was
THE JOG afraid a stronger stimulant might prove fatal.
As a girl I lived in New Hampshire, However, most problems seem to have and it took one hour and twenty minutes a solution, and one cannot struggle five to drive to the village for the mail. The years without making some headway. distance was eight miles, and as you may
a newspaper, not long ago, I stumbled suspect, our automobile was one horseupon a criticism of Mr. Page's sugges- power; type, Dobbin." This morn