Notes and Queries, Number 49, October 5, 1850 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 53 pages of information about Notes and Queries, Number 49, October 5, 1850.

The Encyclopedie Methodique, div.  “Econ. pol. et dipl.” (Paris, 1784), tom.  I. p. 89., mentions the following work:—­

“La Republique des Philosophes, ou l’Histoire des Ajaoiens, relation d’un voyage du Chevalier S. van Doelvett en Orient en l’an 1674, qui contient la description du Gouvernement, de la Religion, et des Moeurs des Ajaoiens.”

It is stated that this romance, though composed a century before, had only been lately published.  The editor attributed it to Fontenelle, but (as the writer in the Encycl.  Meth. thinks) probably without reason.  The title of Berkeley to the authorship of Gaudentio has doubtless no better foundation.


[Dunlop, Hist.  Fiction, iii. 491., speaks of this romance as “generally, and I believe on good grounds, supposed to be the work of the celebrated Berkeley;” adding, “we are told, in the life of this celebrated man, that Plato was his favourite author:  and, indeed, of all English writers Berkeley has most successfully imitated the style and manner of that philosopher.  It is not impossible, therefore, that the fanciful republic of the Grecian sage may have led Berkeley to write Gaudentio di Lucca, of which the principal object apparently is to describe a faultless and patriarchal form of governnent.”  The subject is a very curious one, and invites the further inquiry of our valued correspondent.—­ED.]

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I was indebted to MR. SINGER for one of the best emendations in the edition of Shakspeare I superintended (vol. vi. p. 559.), and I have too much respect for his sagacity and learning to pass, without observation, his remarks in “NOTES AND QUERIES” (Vol. ii., p. 259.), on the conclusion of the speech of Ferdinand, in “The Tempest,” Act iii., Sc. 1.:—­

  “But these sweet thoughts do even refresh my labours;
   Most busy, least when I do it.”

This is the way in which I ventured to print the passage, depending mainly upon the old copies.  In the folio, 1623, where the play for the first time appeared, the last line stands: 

  “Most busie lest, when I doe it;”

and in that of 1632,

  “Most busie least, when I doe it:”  {300}

so that the whole merit I claim that of altering the place of a comma, thereby, as I apprehend, rendering the meaning of the poet evident.  The principle upon which I proceeded throughout was that of making as little variation as possible from the ancient authorities:  upon that principle I acted in the instance in question, and I frequently found that this was the surest mode of removing difficulties.  I could not easily adduce a stronger proof of this position, than the six words on which the doubt at this time has been raised.

Theobald made an important change in the old text, and his reading has been that generally adopted:—­

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Notes and Queries, Number 49, October 5, 1850 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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