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METEOROLOGICAL DIARY, by W. CARY, STRAND.
ARNULL and ALLENDER, Stock and Share Brokers,
J. B. NICHOL's AND son, PRINTERs, 25, PARLIAMENT-star:ET.
Minor Corresponpence.—F.S.A. and F.A.S.–Prince Charles Edward
Embellished with a Plate of IRish CoINs bearing Three CrowNs; and a Plate of FIGURED PAVEMENT TILES,
F.S.A. is anxious to point out the imPropriety of Fellows of the Society of Antiquaries using (as is sometimes done) the initials F.A.S. The Society is designated the “Society of Antiquaries” not “Antiquarian Society.” Herein then is sufficient reason for using the English initials F.S.A. This, moreover, is desirable, in order to distinguish us from the “Asiatic Society’’ and the “Astronomical Society.” MR. W. H. CLARKE, upon referring to the account of Prince Charles Edward Stuart's ring (p. 493,) finds he was wrong in supposing it to have all the initials. The following is the account of it given in Mr. H. Rodd's Catalogue, 1842:—“A gold ring, formerly belonging to Prince Charles Edward Stuart; on the top are the initials C. P. R. surmounted by a fine cairngorum ; on one side is enamelled the thistle, and on the other the rose; inside the ring is the harp of Erin, and an engraved motto—Nec Laboribus cedit Hercules. This ring was given to Edward Lechmere, esq. M.P. for Worcester, by a Colonel Hamilton, of Edinburgh, who had it from the Stuart family. Mr. Lechmere has been dead 35 years, and had it in his possession before his death; it has since been in possession of his widow, Catharine Lechmere, deceased.”—With regard to the Prayer Book of King Sigismond, mentioned in the same place, we have the pleasure to acknowledge an authentic account of it from another Correspondent, which will be inserted in our next Number.
Etymon thus confirms the etymology of LEATHER HEAD (p. 495) –Gael. teathad, a declivity, a slope:–Gael. leitir, the side of a hill:—Cambro-Brit. llethyr, clivus, locus acclivis, latus montis : — Island. leyti, colliculus : — Ang. Sax. hleoth, hlioth, jugum montis.
W. H. C. takes the earliest opportunity of correcting a mistake (p. 458) as to the name of Sir Thomas Livingstone's clan. It is not Mackinley, but “Macleay.” The following is an extract from a letter from Sir Thomas Livingstone:—“The Gaelic of the patronymic of the Livingstones is Mac Eoin Lea, in English ‘Sons of the Grey John,' commonly spelt and pronounced Macleay. There are many of that name about Fort William, who call me their chief.” With regard to their tartan, I am quite right in the description of it, being red with broad and narrow green stripes,
J. Y. A. observes that it is stated in the memoir of the late Earl of Mornington (p. 428), that the present Earl has one son living only. This is also stated in Lodge's Peerage, ed. 1845, where it is said that the eldest died Dec. 1836. I believe, however, this is incorrect, as from some law reports in the Times towards the end of the year 1843, his name, William Arthur, appeared, and he was said to be living either at Paris or Brussels. This is confirmed by an announcement in the Morning Herald a day or two since, where, amongst the list of departures, I read the Earl of Mornington and the Hon. James Wellesley from Brighton. Now if the eldest son was dead, James would be Viscount Wellesley. J. Y. A. would also correct an error in the memoir of Sir John Gurney (p. 435). He never was a member of an Independent church, but of a Baptist. The former statement was correctly denied in a letter to the Times a day or two after his death. A CoNstANT READER states that “ in the 27th Henry VIII. A.D. 1535, a money composition was agreed upon between the prior and convent of Lewes on the one hand, and the parishioners of Halifax on the other, confirmed by the ordinary, for the tithes following: “tritici, sell GN is, hordei, avenarum, fabarum, piscarum et foeni,” within the parish ; will some of your readers favour me with their opinion of the meaning of the word “selignis?” Is it an abbreviation of the word seliginis, the genitive case of siligo, which signifies fine wheat The objection to this interpretation is that the preceding word “tritici' already implies as much ;”—to which we may reply, that such enumeration of articles almost identical is the usual practice of legal phraseology. AN Old Subscribert inquires whether the family of Hanmer in France is of the same stock as that of the same name in Flintshire 2 Comte or Viscomte Hanmer appears, by the Court Calendar of France, to be an officier of the Legion of Honour, and a few years ago resided in the Fauxbourg St. Germain, at Paris. There is a tradition in Wales that the Hammers came from Brabant in the reign of Henry II. and perhaps the family in France can elucidate the matter from their ownhistory.
ERRATA.—P. 477, line 14, for Leamington read Kenilworth : col. b. the notes * and f are transposed. P. 480, col. b. line 26, for intermediate read immediate ; line 3 of note, for 1514 read 1524,
G ENT L E M A N'S MAGAZINE.
Conjectural Emendations on the Teart of Shakspere, with Observations on the Notes of the Commentators—(concluded J.
(Continued from p. 132.)
WE have now brought our observations on certain passages in the text of Shakspere to a conclusion, not displeased with the permission of hanging up our little lamp among many others, on the walls of that resplendent temple in which the genius of our immortal poet is enshrined. Notes we know are necessary, but are necessary evils, and we are not vain enough of our endeavours to amend or correct the text, to suppose that ours will be all approved or admitted by those who are engaged in the same pursuit, cultivating the same art of criticism, and applying it to the doubtful and difficult passages of the same author.” Great latitude must be aliowed in all matters of taste; few of the arrows that are shot exactly hit the mark; the best marksmen will often only come near it: there are propitious hours and “vernal equinoxes " for the critic as well as the poet ; very rare qualities and endowments, such as we do not pretend to possess, are requisite to form an accomplished and successf:l editor ; and no one ever possessed at once such variety of knowledge and such acuteness of conjecture, such subtlety in detecting the latent meaning of his author, and such happiness in restoring it to its former purity and brightness, as to render the labours of others unnecessary, or even to protect himself from the charge of alterations at once unnecessary and unfortunate. In fact, the great and extended province of criticism must be divided among various occupants, according to the bent of their genius, and the nature of their acquirements. He who possesses the poetical taste and sensibility which enable him to appreciate the beauties, and feel every delicate modification of thought and language, may be deficient in extent of knowledge, and may lament that he has not possessed a wider acquaintance with the literature contemporary with Shakspere, which could enable him to supply the defects that he observed;f while another, possessing a more copious storehouse and magazine of acquired erudition, may not have the sagacity to direct it aright, nor taste to select what is immediately applicable to his purpose. No one would accuse Pope of wanting the poetical faculty that
* “Conjectural criticism (says Johnson) demands more than humanity possesses; and he that exercises it with most praise has very frequent need of indulgence.” Again : “That a conjectural critic should often be mistaken cannot be wonderful if it be considered that in his art there is no system, no principal and axiomatical truth that regulates subordinate positions. His chance of error is renewed at every attempt; an oblique view of the passage, a slight misapprehension of a phrase, a casual inattention to the parts connected, is sufficient to make him not only fail, but fail ridiculously, and when he succeeds best he produces perhaps but one reading out of many probable, and he that suggests another will always be able to dispute his claims.”
f “I scarcely remember (says Malone) ever to have looked into a book of the age of Queen Elizabeth in which I did not find somewhat that tended to throw a light on these plays,” &c. W. Preface.
was required to feel the beauties of Shakspere's genius, or to illustrate the allusions : and few would think of asserting that he came to his task with a sufficient knowledge of the dramatic literature of the days of Elizabeth, or indeed with an industry prepared for the toilsome labours required of an editor;” while animadversions in no way unjust might be passed on many learned and laborious scholars, whose erudition has been compiled without selection, and whose extensive acquaintance with languages and authors, seems only to encumber their efforts, and cloud and oppress their understanding. Thus the ancient Greek dramatists have been immured,
In the mild limbo of our father Heath,
and thus the most preposterous alterations have been suggested in the text of Shakspere by critics both old and new, who came to the work with minds unprepared by previous discipline, by acquaintance with the authentic rules of the art they practised, and by congenial pursuits and capabilities. It will then be admitted that any edition of an author like Shakspere, which should command public confidence, and acquire a solid reputation, must be formed of a variety of united labours. One man will excel in vigilance of attention, one in sagacity of illustration ; the labours of one will supply what another has overlooked, and the conjecture in an auspicious moment of an inferior scholar, will sometimes prove right, when the critic of higher reputation has laboured in vain. Singly to do all that is required seems incompatible with the extent and nature of human powers. Successful labour is that which is accompanied with pleasure. We excel in the work that we love. One man is cheerfully employed in the cautious vigilance of collation ; another delights in the bright illuminations he brings from distant sources, and in exciting at once surprise and pleasure by emendations so appropriate and just as to be admitted as soon as known. To those who go along with us in our remarks, the feeling will appear uncalled for and unjust which has of late times arisen against that collected body of critics, whose united researches form what is called the Variorum edition of Shakspere, and which, commencing with Rowe and Pope, were closed as it were for a period by the labours of Malone and Reed. But we must pause before we join in a disparaging judgment of those whom in our youthful days we remember all delighted to honour; for in the first place we acknowledge that they have all, in a greater or less degree, done service to their author; some by conjecture, some by illustration, some by superior fidelity of collation, and some by a deeper knowledge of doubtful idioms and verbal constructions. A great mass of curious and remote learning has been brought to bear on the text, which seldom fails to instruct even when it does not convince, and delights us by the splendour of its collateral light, when its direct illumination has fallen wide of its object. But let us go
* Mr. Dyce has remarked in his Observations, &c. p. 143, “Here, as he sometimes did elsewhere, Steerens quoted what he did not understand;” and p. 206, “Malone's knowledge of our ancient language was very limited, even at the end of his career.” See Gifford's Note on Ford's Works, vol. i. p. 90. Several of the commentators show little acquaintance with dramatic literature or language.
+ Yet the editors and commentators would do well, we think, to keep Steevens's remark constantly in their minds, “That as judgment without the aid of collation might have insufficient materials to work upon, so collation divested of judgment will be often wore than thrown away, because it introduces obscurity instead of light." p. 36. Nor should Dr. Johnson's observations be lost sight of, “That the art of writing notes is not of difficult attainment," and “That as I practised conjecture more, I learned to trust it less, for every day increases my doubt of my emendations,” -