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Additional resources for Birth of Shakespeare Studies: Commentators from Rowe (1709 to Boswell-Malone)
Although this is an extreme Page xv example of neglect or ignorance of the work of these eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century contributors, other instances abound. One cannot and would not deny that the primary duty of any editor is the establishment of his text, but, this done, his other responsibility is to make that text understandable. Hence, the work of annotation. Often, considerations of space militate against fullness of annotation, and single editors and teams of editors of this century are obliged to scant this aspect of their task.
14 The fullest account of Thirlby is still in Nichols's Literary Anecdotes, IV. 264271. Page 8 also "prescrib'd the Pointing" of a passage in King Lear (V. 1) and "saw," in the same play, that what "Swithold footed thrice'' was not the "old'' but the "wold, which signifies a down, or champion Ground, hilly and void of Wood" (V. 3), not knowing, what Richard Farmer later pointed out, that one word was only a variant of the other. Since Bishop's emendation of the punctuation of the earlier passage in King Lear was, unbeknownst to him, the punctuation of the Folios, he can also be given high marks here, but only because he and Theobald were working with one of the quartos.
Chiselden, I shall be obliged to him if he will put upon a paper those conjectures of some passages of Shakespeare which he mentioned to Dr. Arbuthnot, or any others that may have occurred to him. " "Mr. Chiselden" was William Cheselden, a famous surgeon, who became Pope's very good friend and attended him in his last hours. Elijah Fenton, one of Pope's literary factotums, assisted in the edition, as did Pope's and everybody else's friend John Gay, both of them being paid for their efforts, although Pope 3 Harry M.