“This English version is the same in substance with the Latin, though I confess, ’tis not so properly a translation, as a new composition upon the same ground, there being several additional chapters in it, and several new moulded.”
The following are examples of corrections being adopted: P. 6. Latin ed. “Quod abunde probabitur in principio libri secundi.” For the last word subsequentis is substituted, and the English has following. P. 35. “Hippolitus” is added to the authorities in the MS.; and in the English, p. 36., “Anastasius Sinaiti, S. Gaudentius, Q. Julius Hilarius, Isidorus Hispalensis, and Cassiodorus,” are inserted after Lactantius, in both. P. 37. “Johannes Damascenus” is added after St. Augustin in both. P. 180. a clause is added which seems to have suggested the sentence beginning, “Thus we have discharged our promise,” &c. But, on the other hand, in p. 8. the allusion to the “Orphics,” which is struck out in the Latin, is retained in the English; and in the latter there is no notice taken of “Empedocles,” which is inserted in the margin of the Latin. In p. 11. “Ratio naturalis” is personified, and governs the verb vidit, which is repeated several times. This is changed by the corrector into vidimus; but in the English passage, though varying much from the Latin, the personification is retained. In p. 58., “Dion Cassius” is corrected to “Xiphilinus;” but the mistake is preserved in the English version.
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I offer the following flim-flam to the examination of your readers, all of whom are, I presume, more or less, readers of Shakspeare, and far better qualified than I am to “anatomize” his writings, and “see what bred about his heart.”
I start with the proposition that the language of passion is almost invariably broken and abrupt, and the deduction that I wish to draw from this proposition, and the passages that I am about to quote is, that—Shakspeare on more than one occasion advisedly used monosyllables, and monosyllables only, when he wished to express violent and overwhelming mental emotion, ex. gratia:—
Lear. “Thou know’st
the first time that we smell the air,
We wawl, and cry:—I will preach to thee; mark me.
[Gloster. “Alack! alack the day!]
Lear. “When we
are born, we cry, that we are come
To this great stage of fools,—This a good block?”
—King Lear, Act IV. Sc. 6.
In this passage [I bracket Gloster] we find no fewer than forty-two monosyllables following each other consecutively. Again,