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into comparison with itself. Each through jealousy had destroyed an innocent wife, circumstances so parallel, as hardly to admit of that variety which we generally find in one allu. sion, which is meant to illustrate another, and at the same time to appear as more than a superfluous ornament. I have read in some book, as ancient as the time of Shakspeare, the following tale ; though at present I am unable either to recollect the title of the piece, or the author's name :
“ A Jew, who had been prisoner for many years in distant parts, brought with him at his return to Venice a great number of pearls, which he offered on the 'change among the merchants, and, one alone excepted, disposed of them to his satisfaction. On this pearl, which was the largest ever shown at market, he had fixed an immoderate price, nor could be persuaded to make the least abatement. Many of the magnificoes, as well as traders, offered him considerable sums for it, but he was resolute in his first demand. At last, after repeated and unsuccessful applications to individuals, be assembled the merchants of the city, by proclamation, to meet him on the Rialto, where he once more exposed it to sale on the former terms, but to no purpose. After having expatiated, for the last time, on the singular beauty and value of it, he threw it suddenly into the sea before them all.”
Though this anecdote may appear inconsistent with the avarice of a Jew, yet it sufficiently agrees with the spirit so remarkable at all times in the scattered remains of that vindic. tive nation.
STE. Shakspeare seems to allude to Herod in the play of Mari
“ I had but one inestimable jewel
“ IN regard to errata, it has been customary with not a few authors to acknowledge small mistakes, that they might escape the suspicion of greater, or perhaps to intimate that no greater could be detected. Both little and great (and doubtless there may be the usual proportion of both) are here exposed (with very few exceptions) to the candour and perspicacity of the reader, who needs not to be told that in fifteen volumes octavo, of intricate and variegated printing, gone through in the space of about twenty months, the most vigilant eyes must occasionally have been overwatched, and the readiest knowledge intercepted. The sight of the editors, indeed, was too much fatigued to encourage their engagement in so laborious a revision ; and they are likewise convinced that substitutes are
not always qualified for their task ; but instead of pointing out real mistakes, would have supposed the existence of such as were merely founded on their own want of acquaintance with the peculiarities of ancient spelling and language ; for even modern poetry has sometimes been in danger from the chances of their superintendance. He whose business it is to offer this unusual apology, very well remembers to have been sitting with Dr. Johnson, when an agent from a neighbouring press brought in the proof sheet of a republication, requesting to know whether a particular word in it was not corrupted.
So far from it, Sir, (replied the Doctor, with some harshness,) that the word you suspect, and would displace, is conspicuously beautiful where it stands, and is the only one that could have done the duty expected from it by Mr. Pope.'
“ These circumstances might be exemplified; but the subject is scarcely of consequence enough to be more than gene. rally stated to the reader, whose indulgence is again solicited on account of blemishes which in the course of an undertaking like this are unavoidable, and could not, at its conclusion, have been remedied but hy the hazard of more extensive mischief ;
;-an indulgence, indeed, that will more readily be granted, and especially for the sake of the compositors, when it is understood, that, on an average, every page of the present work, including spaces, quadrats, points, and letters, is (to speak technically) composed of 2680 distinct pieces of metal, the misplacing of any one of which would inevitably cause a blunder.”
The above is extracted from the Advertisement prefixed to the London edition of 1793, the first by Dr. Reed. While it shows that errors will escape in a work reputed the most correct, and which had careful compositors, proof-readers, and cdi. tors, with revision upon revision, it may be some apology for the printers of the present edition, if theirs is not altogether perfect. Though many errors doubtless have passed, we believe they are confined to literals, and venture to say that few, if any, whole words vary from the text we followed, which is Dr. Reed's third and last edition, in 21 vols. 8vo.
We cannot refrain acknowledging the obligation we are under to WILLIAM S. Shaw, esq of this town, who loaned us the copy, when none was to be purchased, and whose zeal in forwarding all literary pursuits is equalled by few in this country.
A buse, unkind