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I've gone all night faith, I'll lie down and fieep.
[Seeing the body.
ACT V. SCENE II.
Routed Army (23) No blame be to you, Sir, for all was lost, But that the heavens fought : the king himself,
(22) A drop of pity:] So Othello says,
I thou'd have found in some place of my soul
A drop of patience. Mr. Theobald observes, “tho' this expression is very pathetic in both places of our author, it brings to my mind a very humorous pafíage in the Arcarnenses of Ariftophanes. An Athenian rustic, in time of war, is robbed of a yoke of oxen by the Baotians: he has almost cry'd his eyes out for the loss of his cattle, and comes to beg for a drop of peace in a quill, to anoint his eyes withe
Into this quill, to bathe mine eyes. (23) No blan:e.] This description is truly claffical, and deserves to be placed in competition with the finest in Homer and Virgil,
Of his wings deftitute, the army broken,
(24) I, in mine own woe charm’d, Could not find death, where I did hear him groan ;
both of whom abound with numberless passages of the like nature : the learned reader will want no direction to find them out; however such as are not so well acquainted with the ancients, may be agreeably amused by turning to the 12th Iliad, and 1220 line, and the latter end of the IIth book of the Æneid. In Lucan too, he will meet with some fine descriptions of routs and Naughters: in the 7th book of his Pharsalia, he has something very like Shakespear's
The victors murder, and the vanquish'd bleed ;
Scarce can these kill, so fast as those can die. Rowe. But perhaps, no poet, ancient or modern, can equal our blind bard on this subject ; his battle of the angers, their rout and headlong expulsion from heaven are too well known and admired to need particular remarking here.
(24) charm’d, &c.] Alluding to the common superstition of charms being powerful enough to keep men unhurt in battle. It was derived from our Saxon ancestors, and so is common to us with the Germans, who are above all other people given to this fuperftition, which made Erasmus, where, in his Morice Encomium, he gives to each nation his proper characteristic, say, 'the Germais please themselves with the strength of their bodies, and their knowledge of magic.' And Prior, in his Alma;
Nor feel him where he struck. This ugly monster,
North-Britons hence have second fight,
Warb. Aubrey, in the ist Scene, and 5th Act of the Bloody Brother,speaks ing of death, says;
Am I afraid of death, of dying nobly?
Mr. Pope (says Steevens) supposed the story of this play to have been borrow'd from a novel of Boccace ; but he was mistaken, as an imitation of it is found in an old story-book entitled, Woftward for Smelts. This imitation differs in as many particulars from the Italian novelist, as from Shakespear, though they concur in the more considerable parts of the fable. It was published in a quarto pamphlet 1603. This is the only copy of it which I have hitherto seen.
There is a late entry of it in the books of the Stationers' Com. pany, Jan. 1619, where it is said to have been written by Kitt of Kingston .
A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,
Stars (1) Palmy] i e. Victorious to gibber, is to chatter or make a gnashing with the teeth Disaster, (says Skinner, and as its derivation plainly speaks) fignifies malignum fidus, an evil ftar; and by the astrologists it was used for an evil or unlucky conjunction of ftars; the great repute of that art, and the influence the stars were supposed to have on man's life, gave it the signification we now use it in. Shakespear uses it in its primary sense. The learned reader will easily recollect the accounts given by the hiftorians, of the prodigies preceding the death of Julius Cæfa!: our author seems neither to have been unacquainted with that fine digreflion in Virgil's first Georgic concerning them, nor the account of them in Ovid, which 'tis probable he might have imitated from Virgil; I shall beg leave to fubjoin them both.
: * He first the fate of Cæfar did foretel,
And pitied Rome, when Rome in Cæfar fell.
Stars shone with trains of firé, dews of blood fell,
Earth, air and seas with prodigies were fign'd,
Dryden. Garth's Ovid, B. 15. p. 354.
Among the clouds, were heard the dire alarms