Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

in sad cypress

P. 32, 1.-12.

i. e, in a shroud of cypress or cyprus. There was both black and white cyprus,

as there is still black and white crape; and ancient shrouds were always made of the latter. STEEVENS. ¡P.32, 1. 17. 28. My part of death no one so true

Did share it.] Though death is a part in which every one acts his share, yet of all these actors no one is so true as I. JOHNSON.

P. 33, 1. 2. ~ a very opal!] A precious stone of almost all colours. POPE.

The epal is a gem which varies its appearance as it is viewed in different lights. STEEVENS.

P. 33, l. 4. --- that their business might be every, thing, and their intent every where:] Both the preservation of the antithesis, and the recovery of the sense, require we should read, - and their intent 210' where. Because a man who suf. fers himself to run with every wind, and so makęsı his business every where, cannot be said to have any intent;. for that word signifies a determjuation of the mind to something. Besides, the conclusion of making a good voyage of nothing, directs to this emendation. WARBURTON.

An intent euery where, is much the same as an intent: no.where, as it hath no one particular. . place more in view ibai another. HEATX.

The present reading is preferable to Warburtou's amendment. We cannot accuse a man of iconstancy who has no imients at all, though we may the man whose, intents are every where ; that is, are continually varying. M. Mason.

P. 36». 1. 15. 16. What is that miracle; and Queen of gems? we are suot told in this read.

[ocr errors]

ing. Besides, what is meant by nature pranking her in a miracle? We should read :

But 'tis that miracle, and Queen of gems, That nature pranks, her mind, i. e. what attracts my soul, is not her fortune, but her mind, that miracle and. Queen of gems chat nature pranks, i. e. sets out, adorns.

WARBURTON, The miracle and Queen of gems is her beau. ty, which the commentator might have found without so emphatical an enquiry. As to her mind, he that should be captious would say, that though it may be formed by nature,, is must be pranked by education.

Shakspeare does not say that nature pranks her in a miracle, but in the miracle of gems; that is, in a gem miraculously beautiful.

JOHNSON, To prank is to deck out, to adorn.

See Lye's Etymologicon. HEATH.

P. 33, 1. 24. and fol. The Duke has changed his opinion of women very suddenly. It but a few minutes before, that he said they had more constancy in love than men. M. MASON

P, 34, 1. 9. Thought formerly signified melan. choly. MALONE.

Mr. Malone says, thought means melancholy. But why wrest from this word its plain and üsual acceptation, and 'make Shakspeare guilty of tautology? for in the very next line he Melancholy.“ Douce. P. 34, 1. 10. 11..12. And, with a

a green

and yellow melancholy, She sat like patience on a monninent,

Smiling at grief: -] Mr. Thcohaid suppo• ses this might possibly be borrowed from Chaucer :

månd

[ocr errors]

was

uses !

And her besidis wonder discreetlic
,,Dame pacience ysitting there I fonde

With face pale, upon a hill of sonde." And adds: If he was indebted, however, for : the first rude draught, how amply has he repaid that debt, in heightening the picture! How much does the green and yellow melancholy transcend the old bard's pale face; the monument his hill of sand." I liope this critic does not imagine Shakspeare meant to give us a picture of the face of parience, by his green and yellow melancholy; vecause, he says, it transcends the pale face of patience, giveu ils by Chancer.

To throw par cience into a fit of melancholy, would be indeed very extraordinary. The green and yellow then þelonged not to patience, but to her, who sat like patience. To give patience a pale face was proper: and had Shakspeare described her, he had done it as Chaucer did. But Shakspeare is spcak. ing of a marble statue of patience; Chaucer of patience herself. And the two representations of her, are iil quite different vievys. Our poet, speak. ing of a despairing lover, judiciously compares her to patience exercised on the death of friends and relations; which affords him the beautiful picture of patience or a monument. The old bard, speaking of patience herself, directly, and not by comparison, as juciiciously draws her inz that circumstance where she is most exercised, and has occasion for all her virtue; that is to say, under the losses of shipwreck. And now we sce yy hy she is represented as sitting on a hill of sand, i to design the scenc to be the sea-shore. It is fiuely imagined ; and one of the noble sim, plicities of that admirable poet. But the critic thought, in good earnest, that Chaucer's invcution is VOL. II.

15

mcant

was so barren,' and his imagination so beggarly, that he was not able to be at the charge of a monument for his goddess, but left her, like a stroller, sunning herself upon a heap of sand.

WARBURTON This celebrated image was not improbably first sketched out in the old play of Pericles. I think, Shakspeare's hand may be sometimes seen in the laiter part of it, and there only.

thou [Marinn] dost look „Liké Patience, gazing on Kings' graves, and

smiling „Extremity out of act.“ FARMER. So, in our anthor's Hape of Lucrece: „So mild, that Patience seem'd to scorn

his woes.“ In the passage in the text, our author perhaps

10 personify GRIEK as well as PATIENCE ; for we can scarcely understand wat griefs to mean „in grief,“ as no siatuary could, I imagine, form a countenance in which smiles and grief should be at once expressed. Shakspeare might have borrowed his imagery from some ancient monument on which these two figures were represented.

MALONE. I am unwilling to suppose a monumental image of Patience was ever confronted by an emblema. tical figure of Grief, on purpose that one might fit and smile at the other; because such, à, repre. sentation might be considered as a satire ou hu. man insensibility, When Patience smiles, it is to expressa christian triumph over the common

of sorrow, a cause, of which the sarcopha. gus, near her station,' ougit very sufficiently to Temiud her True Parience, when it is her cue to smile over calamity, knows her office without

cause of

a pronipler; knows that stubborn lameritation displays a will most incorrect to heaveir; "aud therefore appears content with one of its severest dispensatione, the loss of a relation or a friend. Ancient tombs, indeed (if we must construe grief into grievance, and Shakspeare has certainly used the former word for the latter,) frequently exhibit cumbent figures of the deceased, and over these an image of Patience, without impropriety, miglit express a smile of complacence:

„Her neek hauds folded on her modiest breast,
„With calm submission lift the adoring eye
„Even to the storm that wrecks her.“

STEEVENS. P. 34, 1. 16. 17. Duke. But dy'd thy sister 'of her

love, my boy? Viol. I am all the daughters of my father's

house, And all ihe brothers too; -} This was the most ariful answer that could be given. The question' was of such a nature, that to have declined i he appearance of a direct answer, must have raised suspicion. This has the appearance of i direct answer, thailhe sister died of her love; sho (who passed for a man) saying, she was all the danghters of her father's house. WARBURTON.

Such another equivoque occurs in Lylly's lathere, 2592 : »– my father had bit one daughter, and therefore I could have no sister."

STEEVENS. P. 34, 1. 22. Denay, is denial. To denay is an antiquated verb somerimes used by Holinshed: so, p. 620: , the state of a cardinal which was raied and denaied him.“ STEEVENS.

9. my nettle of Initia? — } The post must here mean a zoophire, called

P. 35,

« AnteriorContinuar »