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Line 574 - Commentary Note (CN) More Information

574 Or {(}not to crack the winde of the poore phrase<,>1.3.108
1726 Theobald
574-5 Or . . . thus] Theobald (1726, pp. 25-6): “The second folio edition and Mr. Hugh’s [wilks2] read, —Roaming it thus,—which word, indeed, as our Etymologists explain it, metaphorically takes in our Poet’s meaning: and in such sense is frequently used by him in several others of his plays. But as, Wronging it, has the authority of several old books, we may correct the passage with much less variation from the present text, thus: ‘ —TENDER YOUR SELF MORE DEARLY; Or, (not to crack the Wind of the poor phrase,) Ranging it thus, you’ll tender me a fool.’ i.e. You, behaving yourself with so much carelessness and liberty, will bring me into contempt for not taking stricter care of your conduct.”
1732 L.H.
574-5 Or . . . thus] L.H. (15 Dec. 1732, fol. 154): “Perhaps it should be ‘Or (not to crack the wind of the poor phrase (in) wringing it thus) you’l tender—”
1733 theo1
574-5 Or . . . thus] Warburton (apud Theobald, ed. 1733): “The Parenthesis is clos’d at the wrong place; and we must make likewise a slight Correction in the last Verse. Polonius is racking and playing on the word Tender, till he thinks proper to correct himself for the Licence; and then he would say—not farther to crack the Wind of the Phrase, by twisting and contorting it, as I have done; &c. Mr. Warburton.”
Ed. note: Though L.H. had communciated to Theobald this same change, Theobald perhaps preferred to credit Warburton, who was his friend (at that time).
1740 theo2
theo2 = theo1
574-5 Or . . . thus]
1747 warb
warb = warb in theo1 without attribution to theo
574-5 Or . . . thus] Warburton (ed. 1747): “The Parenthesis is clos’d at the wrong place; and we must make likewise a slight Correction in the last Verse. Polonius is racking and playing on the word tender, ’till he thinks proper to correct himself for the Licence; and then he would say—not farther to crack the Wind of the Phrase, by twisting and contorting it, [wringing] as I have done; &c.”
1757 theo4
theo4 = warb
574-5 Or . . . thus]
1765 Heath
Heath: contra warb
574-5 Or . . . thus] Heath (1765, p. 528): “When Mr. Warburton coined [his] emendation [wringing], his favourite topick, the uniformity of metaphor, had certainly slipt his memory. For who ever heard that wringing a thing was a way to crack its wind? I can see no objection to the common reading, ‘Wronging it thus.’ For whoever cracks the wind of any thing, may surely be said with propriety to wrong or abuse it. As on the other hand, to hackney out a word by perpetually playing upon it, may be humourously enough called, a cracking of the wind of it.”
Ed. note: He apparently doesn’t have theon.
1765 john1
john1 = warb; ≈ Theobald without attribution +
574-5 Or. . . thus] Johnson (ed. 1765): “I believe the word wronging has reference, not to the phrase, but to Ophelia; if you go on wronging it thus, that is, if you continue to go on thus wrong. This is a mode of speaking perhaps not very grammatical, but very common, nor have the best writers refused it. ‘To sinner or saint it,’ is in Pope. And Rowe, ‘—Thus to coy it, To one who knows you too”. The folio has it, ‘—roaming it thus—’ That is, letting yourself loose to such improper liberty. But wronging seems to be more proper.”
Johnson, in asserting the phrase applied to Ophelia, has the parentheses in the wrong place. I see that JEN notices this also in his note to this line. My how eager we all are to notice flaws in our betters.
1773 v1773
v1773 = john1
574-5 Or. . . thus]
1773 jen
jen: warb, john1, Heath +
574-5 Or. . . thus] Jennens (ed. 1773): “W[arburton] reads wringing, and gives the following reasons. [quotes warb, john] By Dr. Johnsons method of reasoning the parenthesis should end at phrase; but behold! In his edition it does not end ’till thus. But if (according to Heath, Revisal, p. 528) the word wronging be explained by abusing (as it certainly may) we have here a very common and intelligible phrase.”
Ed. note: That is, the phrase could have been explained without going through contortions, as Johnson had.
1774 capn
capcn: theo but not warb whom theo credits
574-5 Or. . . thus] Capell (1774, 1:1:125): “having weigh’d the objections made” to the emendations wringing and bawds, he accepts them both from [Theobald]. “In the first, there is as small change as possible from the old reading “Wrong,” (which perhaps too might be Wring in the copy) and the word it is chang’d for accords with the expression before it; for many a wrestler’s wind has been crack’d, that is—he has been put out of breath, by the contortions and wringings that he has undergone from his adversary.”
1778 v1778
v1778 = v1773 +
574-5 Or. . . thus] Steevens (ed. 1778): “ ‘See you do not coy it,’ is in Massinger’s New ways to pay old Debts. Mr. Rowe had read this author, and borrowed from him the plan of the Fair Penitent, though without the most trivial acknowledgement.”
[Oh, the incredible nerve of the man! He did the same and worse and Malone was even worse than he. ] The text has the ( ) after phrase.
1783 mals2
mals2: theo without attribution on parentheses, warb explan. + //
574-5 Or. . . thus] Malone (1783, p. 56): “I think, the parenthesis should be extended to the word thus, and that Polonius means to say—‘Or, (not to crack the wind of the poor phrase by thus playing upon and abusing it,) you’ll &c.’ So in our author’s [Luc. 943] ‘To wrong the wronger, till he render right.”
does not clarify how he differs from the others in n6, WARB and JOHN. He differs from the former only in keeping wronging (but v1778 does not mention wringing and has virtually the same paraphrase) and from the latter in applying the expression to the phrase, not to Ophelia. MALSII’s reading of the word wronging is the same as that in v1773, v1778, MAL and v1793.
1785 v1785
v1785 = v1778, mals2
574-5 Or. . . thus]
1785 Mason
Mason: warb; ≈ theo1 without attribution +
574-5 Or. . . thus]] Mason (1785, pp. 375-6): <p. 375> “I think Warburton is right in asserting that the three first words of [575], are applied to the phrase, not to Ophelia, and that of course, the parenthesis is closed at the wrong place: But I should also make a slight alteration in the text, and read the passage this: — ‘Or (not to crack the wind of the poor phrase, wringing it thus) you’ll tender me a fool.’
“The word wronging cannot express the sense which Warburton contends for, that of twisting and contracting, but the word wringing will. —
“So in Johnson’s Cynthia’s Revels, Cupid says of Maria, </p. 375> <p. 376> ‘This is like one of your ignorant poetasters of the times, who, when they have got acquainted with a strange word, never rest till they have wrung it in, though it loosen the whole fabrick of the sense.’
“This is a just description of the manner in which Polonius uses the word tender in this passage; wronging it thus, if applied to Ophelia, is an expression that can scarcely be reconciled either to sense or grammar; and what had poor Ophelia done, to deserve a rebuke in such harsh terms?” </p. 376>
1790 Gentleman’s Mag.
Anon. [M. H.]
574-5 crack . . . Wrong] Anon. [M. H.] (1790, p. 307): “Surely crack leads us to read wringing.”
1790 mal
mal = mals2 +
574-5 Or. . . thus] Malone (ed. 1790): “I have followed the punctuation of the first quarto, 1604, where the parenthesis is extend to the word thus, to which word the context in my apprehension clearly shews it should be carried.” [paraphrase and Luc. as in mals2.] “The quarto, by the mistake of the compositor, reads—Wrong it thus. The folio, Roaming it thus. The correction [to Wronging] was made by Mr. Pope.”
Ed. note: Malone does not explain the choice.
1790- Wesley
Wesley: warb, john +
574-5 Or. . . thus] Wesley (1790-, p. 44): “Warburton is certainly right in this place, and I am afraid that Johnson knew it. He needed not to dig out occasions for contradicting him. They offer at almost every other note.”
1791- rann
rann standard
574-5 Or. . . thus] Rann (ed. 1791-): “—abusing it—wringing straining it.”
Ed. note: Though Rann uses Wronging, he also supplies the variant—(italicized as is his wont) wringing and supplies a gloss for it also.
1793 v1793
v1793 = v1785, mal
574-5 Or . . . thus]
Ed. note: Steevens has R2 instead of R3 in Malone’s note.
1803 v1803
v1803 = v1793
574-5 Or. . . thus]
1805 Seymour
574 Seymour (1805, 2:155): “Not to run it [the phrase] too hard—he has echoed it twice already, in a breath.
1813 v1813
v1813 = v1803
574-5 Or. . . thus]
1819 cald1
cald1: Johnson; Tooke; Chaucer
574-5 Or. . . thus] Caldecott (ed. 1819): “Ranging so far, becoming so wildly excursive, and running into so many senses of the word, tender.
“Of roam our dictionary makers can give no account. Dr. Johnson pilgrimages to Rome for the etymology of it. It may however, be of the same root with room; which Mr. Tooke says, in his Divers. of Purl. [2: 260], is derived from, and is the past participle of a Saxon verb, signifying dilatare, amplificare, extendere: and imports space or extent, as dilatum, extended. To roam, then, may be to extend, spread about, expatiate. Puttenham, in his Arte of Eng. Poesie, 4to. 1589. p. 171, in the third person writes it ‘romes,’ and o, 229, romer. See Chaucer. The quartos read ‘wrong it thus.’
ECN 75, pp. 27-8
1819 mclr2
574-5 Or. . . thus] Coleridge (1819): “I suspect that ‘wronging’ is here used much in the same sense as ‘wringing’ or ‘wrenching’: and that the parenthesis should be extended to ‘thus’ ‘Or (not to crack the wind of the poor phrase, Wringing it thus) you’ll tender me a fool.’ ”
1821 v1821
v1821 = v1813 (i.e. warb, john, Steevens, mals2, mal)
574-5 Or. . . thus]
1832 cald2
cald2 = cald1 +
574-5 Or. . . thus] Caldecott (ed. 1832): “In the sense of room, i.e. to place, or extend and spread itself out, it is spelt, as in the text, in Randall’s Prefatory Verses to Dover’s Cotswold Games, where he reproaches the British swains with indolence: ‘Now gets a bush to roame himself and sleepe.’ See ‘roam to Rome. [1H6 3.1.51 (1257)]. Warw.”
“The above is fully confirmed by Ihre Gloss. Suio-Goth, who, sub voce Rum, foras, says, ‘Huc forte retuleris Alemannorum rumo, procul, rumor, longius, rumor faran, longius ire; necnon Saxonicum to ruume foras—et huc forte Angl. roam, vagari. Rum, spatiosus, amplus. ruma, spatium circa se. rowme, Angl. Ryma, dilatare. And in Benson’s Vocab. A.S. 8vo. 1701, we have rume, spatium, et rumian, locum dare. Each of these are amongst Skinner’s old words. See [1H6 3.1.51 (1257)]. Warw.”
1854 del2
574-5 Or. . . thus] Delius (ed. 1854): “to roam it = umherschweifen, sich gehen lassen. So die Fol. Nach der Lesart der Herausgeber wronging it thus, wofür die Qs. wrong haben, bezeiht sich it auf poor phrase d.h. das arme vieldeutige Wort tender, dass Polonius ausser Athem hetzt (crack the wind), indem er damit in dessen verschiedenen Bedeutungen spielt. Tender also Substantiv ist zuert ‘Huldigung,’ dann also Verbum = pflegen, worthhalten, endlich = darreichen.” [to roam it means ‘wandering, letting oneself go. So the folio. According to the reading of the editors, wronging it thus, because the 4tos have wrong and it refers to the poor phrase, that is, the poor, word tender with all its multiple meanings: Polonius pursues it until it out of breath by playing with all its various meanings. As a noun it first is ‘tribute.’ Then as verb it means nurture. promise. Finally it means to hand something over.]
1856 hud1
574 crack . . . phrase] Hudson (ed. 1856): “Of course he is comparing the phrase to a poor nag, which is put to too hard a strain, will be wind-broken. H.”
1867 Keightley
574-5 Keightley (1867, p. 287): “This—with the omission of To, which had probably been effaced in the MS.—is the reading of the 4tos, and is most probably correct. (Introd., p. 79.) The editors of the folio, not seeing any sense in ‘Wrong,’ read ‘Roaming,’ which makes no sense at all; neither indeed does ‘To wrong” make a very good one. We might read—supposing the allusion to be to a horse—To run, as in ‘You run this humour out of breath’ (Err. 1.1). In [Jn. 2.1] we have ‘roam’ for run.”
1872 hud2
hud2hud1; col1
574-5 crack . . . Wrong] Hudson (ed. 1872): “The quartos have wrong and the folio roaming, instead of running, which is Mr. Collier’s correction, and is generally received. Polonius is comparing the phrase to a poor nag which, if run too hard, will be wind-broken.
1881 hud3
hud3: Dyce; Collier
574-5 crack . . . Wrong] Hudson (ed. 1881): “Instead of Running, the quartos have Wring, and the folio Roaming. Running was conjectured by both Dyce and Collier independently, and is also the reading of Collier’s second folio.”
1929 trav
574 winde] Travers (ed. 1929): “breath.”
1939 kit2
kit2 ≈ Keightly without attribution
574 crack . . . phrase] Kittredge (ed. 1939): "make the poor word pant and wheeze like an over-ridden horse."
1947 cln2
cln2: standard
574 crack the winde of] Rylands (ed. 1947): "exhaust, overwork."
1957 pel1
pel1: standard
574 crack . . . of] Farnham (ed. 1957): “make wheeze like a horse driven too hard.”
1970 pel2
pel2 = pel1
574 crack the winde of] Farnham (ed. 1970): “make wheeze like a horse driven too hard”
1980 pen2
574 crack the winde] Spencer (ed. 1980): “The image is from the excessive galloping of a horse or over-exertion of a hound, which will get the stitch.”
1988 bev2
bev2: standard
574 crack the winde] Bevington (ed. 1988): “i.e., run it until it is broken-winded.”
1992 fol2
fol2kit2 without attribution
574-5 not to . . . thus] Mowat & Werstine (ed. 1992): “not to run the phrase, as if it were a horse, so hard that it becomes winded”
2006 ard3q2
ard3q2: standard
574 Thompson & Taylor (ed. 2006): “Polonius’ metaphor sees the phrase as a broken-winded horse.”
569 570 571 572 573 574 575