Imágenes de páginas

of stories, entitled A Petite Palace of Pettie his Pleasure, 1576, I find the following circumstances of ignorance and absurdity : In the story of the Horatii and the Curiatii, the roaring of cannons is mentioned. Cephalus and Procris are said to be of the court of Venice ; and “that her father wrought so with the duke, that this Cephalus was sent post in ambassage to the Turke. Eriphile, after the death of her husband Amphiaraus (the Theban prophet), calling to mind the affection wherein Don Infortunio was drowned towards her," &c. &c.

STEEVENS. 488. --these poor pick-axes--] Meaning her fingers.

JOHNSON • 500. -arm him.--) That is, Take him up in your arms.

HANMER. 504. Cymbeline's palace.] This scene is omitted against all authority by Sir T. Hanmer. It is indeed of no great use in the progress of the fable, yet it makes a regular preparation for the next act.

JOHNSON The fact is, that Sir Thomas Hanmer has inserted this supposed omission as the eighth scene of act iii. The scene which in Dr. Johnson's first edition is the eighth of act iii. is printed in a small letter under it in Hanmer's, on a supposition that it was spurious. In this impression it is the third scene of act iv. and that which in Johnson is the eighth scene of act iv. is in this the seventh scene.

STEEVENS. 526. And will, -] I think it should be read, And he'll.


-our jealousy

Does yet depend.] My suspicion is yet unde. termined ; if I do not condemn you, I likewise have not acquitted you. We now say, the cause is depending.

JOHNSON. 535. I am amaz’d with matter.] i. e. confounded by variety of business. So, in King John :

“ I am amaz’d, methinks, and lose my way,
6 Among the thorns and dangers of this world.”

STEEVENS. 537. Your preparation, &c.] Your forces are able to face such an army as we hear the enemy will bring against us.

JOHNSON 545. I heard no letter-] I

suppose we should read with Hanmer, I've had no letter..

Steevens Perhaps, “ I heard no later."

MUSGRAVE. Perhaps letter here means, not an epistle, but the elemental part of a syllable. This might have been a phrase in Shakspere's time. We yet say-I have not heard a syllable from him.

MALONE. 553 to the note o' the king,--] I will so distinguish myself, the king shall remark my valour.

JOHNSON. nor muster'd] Folio, -not muster'd.

MALONE. 569.

-a render Where we have liv'd;] An account of our place of abode. This dialogue is a just representation of the superfluous caution of an old man.




Render is used in a similar sense in Timon, act v. “ And sends us forth to make their sorrow'd render."

STEEVENS. 571. -whose answer

--] The retaliation of the death of Cloten would be death, &c. JOHNSON.

578. —their quarter'd feres,] Their fires regularly disposed.




Line 1.

-BLOOD Y handkerchief.] The bloody token of Imogen's death, which Pisanio, in the foregoing act, determined to send.

JOHNSON. rea, bloody cloth, &c.] This is a soliloquy of nature, uttered when the effervescence of a mind agi. tated and perturbed, spontaneously and inadvertently discharges itself in words. The speech, throughout all its tenor, if the last conceit be excepted, seems to issue warm from the heart. He first condemns his own violence; then tries to disburden himself, by imputing part of the crime to Pisanio ; he next sooths his mind ro an artificial and momentary tranquillity, by trying to think that he has been only an instrument of the gods for the happiness of Imogen.

He is now grown reasonable enough to determine, that having done so much evil, he will do no more ; that he will


[ocr errors]

not fight against the country which he has already injured; but as life is not longer supportable, he will die in a just cause, and die with the obscurity of a man who does not think himself worthy to be remem. bered.

I wish'd] The old copy reads,
I am wish'd.

STEEVENS. 5. For wrying but a little ?

-] This uncommon verb is likewise used by Stanyhurst, in the third book of his translation of Virgil, 1582 :

“the maysters wrye the vessels." Again, in Daniel's Cleopatra, 1599 :

-in her sinking down, she wryes “ The diadem."

STEEVENS. 9. . to put on -] Is to incite, to instigate.

JOHNSON. So, in Macbeth :

-the powers above,
Put on their instruments."

STEEVENS. 14. each elder worse ;] The last deed is certainly not the oldest, but Shakspere calls the deed of an elder man an elder deid.

JOHNSON. each elder worse;] i. e. where corruptions are, they grow with years, and the oldest sinner is the greatest. Yon, gods, permit some to proceed in iniquity, and the older such are, the more their crime.

TOLLET. 15 And make them dread it, to the doers' thrift.] The divinity-schools have not furnished juster observations on the conduct of Providence, than Poste


humus gives us here in his private reflections. You, gods, says he, act in a different manner with your different creatures; You snatch some hence for little faults; that's

love, To have them fall no more.. Others, says our poet, you permit to live on, to multiply and increase in crimes;

And make them dread it, to the doers' thrift. Here is a relative, without an antecedent substantive; which is a breach of grammar. We must certainly read :

And make them dreaded, to the doers' thrift. i.e. others you permit to aggravate one crime with more ; which enormities not only make them revered and dreaded, but turn in other kinds to their advantage. Dignity, respect, and profit, accrue to them from crimes committed with impunity. THEOBALD.

However ungrammatical, I believe the old reading is the true one. To make them dread it, is to make them persevere in the commission of dreaelful actions. Dr. Johnson has observed on a passage in Hamit, that · Pope and Rowe have not refused this mode of speaking :-" To sinner it or saint it"--and “ to coy it."


-Do your best wills,

And make me blest to obey ! -] So the copies. It was more in the manner of our author to have written,

-Do your blest wills,
And make me blest t’ obey.- JOHNSON.

« AnteriorContinuar »