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And, when love speaks, the voice of all the gods Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.
in Lyly's Mydas, a play which most probably preceded Shakspeare's. Ad IV. sc. i. Pan tells Apollo : " Had'thy lute been of lawrell, and the ftrings of Daphne's haire, thy tunes might have been compared to my notes," &c. T. WARTON.
Lyly's Vidas, quoted by Mr. Wárton, was published in 1592, The same thought occurs in How to chufe a Good Wife from a Bad, 1602 :
" Hath he not torn those gold wires from thy head,
" And kept them to play musick to the gods ! Again, in Storer's Life and Death of Cardinal Wolfes, a poem, 1599:
" With whose hart-strings Amphion's lute is ftrung,
STEEVENS. s And, when love speaks, the voice of all the gods
Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony. ] This nonsense we should read and point thus :
" And when love speaks the voice of all the gods,
66 Mark, keaven drowsy with the harmony. i. e. in the voice of love alone is included the voice of all the gods. Alluding to that ancient theogony, that Love was the parent and support of all the gods. Hence, as Suidas tells us, Palæphalus wrote a poem called, "Açpočitnis "E?@?@povi nj abyc. The voice and speech of Venus and Love, which appears to have been a kind of cosmogony, the harmony of which is so great, that it calms and allays all kinds of disorders : alluding again to the ancient use of music, which was to compose monarchs, when, by reason of the cares of cmpire, they used to pass whole nights in restless inquietude.
WARBURTON The ancient reading is, 66 Make heaven",
JOHNSON. I cannot find auy reason for Dr. Warburton's emendation, nor do I believe the poet to have been at all acquainted with that ancient theogony mentioned by his critick. The former reading, with the flight additiou of a single letter, was, perhaps, the true one. When love speaks, (says Biron,) the assembled goils reduce the element of the sky to a calm, by their harmonious applauses of this favoured orator.
Mr. Collins observes, that the meaning of the paslage may be this, - That the voice of all the gods united, could inspire only drowsiness, when compared with the cheerful effects of the voice of Love, That sense is sufficiently congruous to the ret of the speech; and
Never durft poet touch a pen to write,
much the same thought occurs in The Shepherd Arfileus' reply to Syrenus' Song, by Bar. Youg; published in England's Helicon, 1600 :
" Unlesse mild Love pofsefse your amorous breasts,
“ If you fing not to him, your songs do wearie. Dr. Warburton has raised the idea of his author, by imputing to him a knowledge, of which, I believe, he was not posseffed : but should either of these explanations prove the true one, I shall ofser no apology for having made him stoop from the critick's elevation. I would, however, read,
" Makes heaven drowsy with its harmony." Though the words mark! and behold! are alike used to bespeak or fummon alienion, yet the former of them appears so harsh in Dr. Warburton's emendation, that I read the line several times over before I perceived its meaning. To speak the voice of the gods, appears to me as defe&ive in the same way, Dr. Warburton, in a noie on All's Well that ends Well, observes, that to speak a found is a barbarism. To speak a voice is, I think, no less reprehensible.
STEEVENS. The meaning is, whenever love speaks, all the gods join their voices with his in harmonious concert. HEATH.
Makes heaven' drowsy, with the harmony. ] The old copies read make. The emendation was made by Sir T. Hanmer. More corre& writers than Shakspeare often fall into this inaccuracy when a noun of multitude has preceded the verb. In a former part of this speech the same error occurs: cach of you have forsworn
For makes, r. make. So, in Twelfth Night; “- - for every one of these letters are in my name. Again, in K. Henry V.
" The venom of such looks, we fairly hope,
" Have lost their quality." Again, in Julius Cafar:
• The poslure of your blows are yet unknown." Again, more appofitely, in K. John:
" How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds
" Make ill deeds done. So Marlowe, in his Hero and Leander :
• The outfiile of her garments were of lawn." See also the facred writings : « The number of the names together were about an hundred and twenty." Ads i. 15. MALONE.
Few passages have been more canvassed than this. I believe, it wants no alteration of the words, but only of the pointing:
O, then his lines would ravish favage ears,
And when love speaks (the voice of all) the gods
Make heaven drowsy with the harmony. Love, I apprehend, is called the voice of all, as gold, in Timon, is said to speak with every iongile; and the gods (being drowsy them. selves with the harmony) are supposed to make heaven drowsy. If one could poflibly susped Shakspeare of having read Pindar, oue should say, that the idea of music making the hearers drowsy, was borrowed from the first Pythian. TYRWHITT.
Perhaps here is an accidental transposition. We may read, as I think, some one has proposed before:
¢ The voice makes all the gods
" Of heaven drowsy with the harmony." FARMER. That harmony had the power to make the hearers drowsy, the present commentator might infer from the effe& it usually produces on himself. In Cinthia's Revenge, 1613, however, is an instance which should weigh more with the reader :
" Howl forth some ditty, that vaft hell may ring
• With charms all potent, earth aftep to, bring. Again, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream:
music call, and strike more dead
STLIVENS. So also, in King Henry IV. P. II,
softly pray ;
" Will whisper mufick to my wearied spirit." Again, in Pericles, thog:
Most heavenly musick!
“ Hangs on mine eyes. — Let me rest.' MALONE. 6 From women's eyes this do&rine I derive:] In this speech I sufpe&t a more than common instance of the inaccuracy of the fire publishers :
From women's eyes this do&trine I derive, and several other lines, are as unnecessarily repeated. Dr. Warburton was aware of this, and omitted two verses, which Dr. Johnson has fince inserted. Perhaps the players printed from piece-meal parts, or retained what the author had rejeded, as well as what
They sparkle still the right Promethean fire;
had undergone his revisal. It is here given according to the regu. lation of the old copies. STEEVENS,
This and the two following lines, are omitted by Warburton, not from inadvertency, but because they are repeated in a fubsequent part of the speech. There are also some other lines repeated in the like manner. But we are not to conclude from thence, that any of these lines ought to be struck out. Biron repeats the principal topicks of his argument, as preachers do their text, iu order to recall the attention of the auditors to the subjeđ of their discourse. M. MASON. 7
a word that loves all men :) We should read:
---*a word all women love." The following line :
" Or for men's fake (the authors of these women ;)" which refers to this reading, puts it out of all question.
WARBURTON. Perhaps we might read thus, transposing the lines :
Or for love's sake, a word that loves all men;
Of for men's sake, the authors of these women., The antithesis of a word that all men love, and a word which loves all men, though in itself worth little, has much of the fpirit of this play. Johnson.
There will be no difficulty, if we corred it to " men's fakes, the authors of tbese words. FARMER.
I think no alteration should be admitted in these four lines, that destroys the artificial ftru&ure of them, in which, as has been observed by the author of the Revisal, the word which terminates every line, is prefixed to the word fake in that immediately following. TOLLET.
a word that loves all men;] i, e. that is pleasing to all men. So, in the language of our author's time, -- it likes me well, for it Pleases mo. Shakspeare uses the word thus licentiousy, nerely for
Or for men's fake, the authoiss of these women;
lords; Pell-mell, down with them ! but be first advis'd, In conflict that you get the fun of them. Long. Now to plain-dealing; lay these glozes
by: Shall we resolve to woo these girls of France ? KING. And win them too; therefore let us de
vise Some entertainment for them in their tents. Biron. First, from the park let us conduct them
thither; the fake of the antithesis. Men in the following line are with sufficient propriety said to be authors of women, and these again of men, the aid of both being necessary to the continuance of human kind. There is surely, therefore, no need of any of the alterations that have been proposed to be made in these lines. MALONE.
the authors -] Old copies — author. The emendation was suggested by Dr. Johnson. MALONE.
9 Advance your standards, and upon them, lords ;] So, in King Richard 111: " Advance our standards, set upon our foes;" –
STELVENS. but be first advis'd, In confli&t that you get the sun of them. ] In the days of archery, it was of consequence to have the fun at the back of the bowmen, and in the face of the enemy. This circumstance was of great advantage to our Henry the Fifth at the battle of Agincourt. - Our poet, however, I believe, had also an equivoque in his thoughts.