Imágenes de páginas

I ran it through, e'en from my boyish days,
To th' very moment that he bade me tell it :
Wherein l'spoke of moft disastrous chances,
Of moving accidents by flood and field ;
Of hair-breadth 'scapes in th' imminent deadly breach ;
Of being taken by the insolent foe,
And sold to slavery ; of my redemption thence,
And portance in my travel's history :
Wherein of antres vast, and desarts idle, (14)
Rough quarriers, rocks, and hills, whose heads touch

It was my hint to speak; such was the process ; (15)


from wilde.

!14) Wberein of antres riaft and des orts idle, &c.] Thus it is in all the old editions : but Mr. Pope has thought fit to change the epithet, Dejarts idle; in the former editions ; (rays he) doubtless, a corruption

-But he must pardon me, if I do not concur in think ing this fo doubtless. I don't know whether Mr. Pope has observ'd it, but I know that Shakespeare, especially in his descriptions, is fond of using the more uncommon word, in a poetick latitude, And idl, in several other passages, he employs in these acceptations, wild, ujea less, uncultivated, &c.

Crown'd with rank fumitar, and furrow weeds,
With hardocks, hemlock, nettles, cuckow-flowors,
Darnel, and all the idle weeds that grow
In our sustaining corn,

King Lear. i.e, wild and useless.

-The murm’ring surge,
That on th' unnumber'd idle pebbles chafes,
Cannot be heard so high.

Ibid. i.e. useless, worthless, nullius pretii: for pebbles, constantly wash'd and chafid by the surge, can't be call'd idle, i.e. to lie still, in a ftate of rest,

The even mead, that erst brought sweetly forth
The freckled cowslip, burnet, and green clover,
Wanting the fcythe, all uncorrected, rank,
Conceives by idleness.

Henry V. i.e. by wildness, occafion'd from its lying uncultivated. And exactly with the same liberty, if I am not mistaken, has VIRGIL twice used the word ignavus : -Hyems ignava colono.

Georg. I. v. 299. Et'nemora evertit multos ignava per annos.

Georg. II. v. 208. (15)

-Sucb was the process :-
And of the canibals that each other eat,
The anthropophagi ; and men whose beads
grow beneath tbeir shoulders.] This paffage Mr. Pope has

M 3


And of the Caniba's that each other eat,
The Anthropophagi; and men whose heads

beneath their shoulders. All these to hear
Would Difiemona seriously incline;
Put still the house-affairs would draw her thence,
Which ever as the could with halte dispatch,
She'd come again, and with a greedy ear
Devour up my Discourse : which I observing,
Took once a pliant hour, and found good means
To draw froin her a pray’r of earnelt heart,
That I would all my pilgrimage dilate ;
Whereof by parcels she had something heard,
Dut not distinctively: I did consent,


thought fit to throw out of the text, as containing incredible matter, I presume : but why, if he had any equality in his critical judgment, aid he not as well castrate the Tempest of these lines ?

Who would believe, that there were mountaineers
Dewlapt like bulls, whose throats had hanging at 'em
Wallets of flesh? Or that there were such men,

Whose beads stood in their breafts? I have olferv'd several times, in the course of these notes, our Au. Thor's particular defence of Sir Walter Raleigh; and both these paso sages seem to me intended complimentally to him. Sir Walter, in liis Travels, has given the following account, which I shall subjoin as briefly as I may. " Next unlo Arvi, there are two rivers, Atoica " and Caora ; and on that branch which is callid Caora, are a nation “ of a people whose beads appear not above their shoulders: which, " tho' it may be thought a meer fable, yet, for mine own part, I am resolv'd it is true; because every child in the provinces of Arromaia " and Canuri affirm the same. They are callid Ewaipanomaws; " they are reported to have their eyes in their foulders, and their mouths in the middle of their breasts. It was not my chance to “ hear of them, till I was come away, and if I had but spoken one word of it while I was there, I might have brought one of them “ with me, to put the matter out of doubt. Such a nation was written “ of by Mandeville, whose reports were holden for fables for many

years: and yet since the East-Indies were discover'd, we find his “ relations true of such things as heretofore were held incredible. " Whether it be true, or no, the matter is not great; for mine own

part, I saw them not; but I am resolv'd, that so many people did not all combine, or foretbink. to make the report. To the west of Caroli

are diverse nations of canibals, and of those Ewaipanomaws with. " out heads."

And often did beguile her of her tears,
When I did speak of some distressful stroke
That my youth fuffer'd. My story being done,
She gave me for my pains a world of fighs:
She swore, "In faith, 'twas ftrange,'twas pafting strange,
“ 'Twas pitiful, 'twas wondrous pitiful”
She wish'd she had not heard it ; --yet she wilh’d,
That heav'n had made her such a man: -the thank'd me,
And bade me, if I had a friend that lov'd her,
I should but teach him how to tell

my story,
And that would woo her. On this hint I spake,
She lov'd me for the dangers I had past,
And I lov'd her, that she did pity them :

[ocr errors]

Sir Walter Raleigh made this voyage to Guiana in 1595. Mr. Lawrence Keymis, (sometime his lieutenant) who went thither the next year, and who dedicates his relation to Sir Walter, mentions the same people; and, speaking of a person who gave him considerable informations, he adds, He certified me of the headless men, and ibat ibeir “ mouths in their breasts are exceeding wide.” Sir Walter, at the time that his travels were publiki'd, is filed Captain of her Majesty's guard, Lord Warden of the Stannaries, and Lieutenant general of the county of Cornwal. If we consider the reputation, as the ingenious Martin Folkes, Esq; observ'd to me, any thing from such a person, and at that time in such posts, must come into the world with, we thall be of opinion that a passage in Shakespeare need not be degraded for the mention of a story, which, however strange, was countenane'd with such an authority. Shakespeare, on the other hand, has shewn a find address to Sir Walter, in sacrificing so much credulity to fuch a relation. Besides, both the passages in our Author have this further use; that they dis in some measure fix the chronology of his writing Othello, as well as the Tempeft : for as neither of them could be wrote before the year 1597; so the mention of these circumstances should persuade us, they appear'd before these Travels became ftale to the publick, and their authority was too narrowly scrutiniz'd.

We may be able to account, perhaps, in a few lines, for the mystery of these suppos'd beadless people; and with that I will close this long note, OLEARIUS, speaking of the manner of cloathing of the Samojeds, a people of northern Muscovy, says; “ Their garments are « made like those that are call's cosaques, open only at the necks. - When the cold is extraordinary, they put their cosaques over their « heads, and let the neeves hang down; their faces being not to be “ seen, but at the cleft which is at the neck. Whence some bave taken occasion to write, that in these northern countries there are people “ without heads, having their faces in their breasts,"






This only is the witchcraft I have us’d.
Here comes the lady, let her witness it.

Enter Desdemona, lago, and Attendants,
Duke, I think, this tale would win my daughter too
Good Brabantio,
Take up this mangled matter at the best.
Men do their broken weapons rather use,
Than their bare hands.

Bra. I pray you, hear her speak;
If he confess that she was half the wooer,
Destruction on my head, if my bad blame
Light on the man! Come hither, gentle mistrefs,
Do you perceive in all this noble company,


most owe obedience ? Cef. My noble father, I do perceive here a divided duty ; you

I'm bound for life and education : My life and education both do learn ine How to respect you.

You're the Lord of duty ;
I'm hitherto your daughter. But here's my husband;
And so much duty as my mother shew'd
To you, preferring you before her father;
So much I challenge, that I may profess
Due to the Moor, my Lord.

Bra. God be with you: I have done.
Please it your Grace, on to the State-affairs ;
I had rather to adopt a child, than get it.
Come hither, Moor:
I here do give thee that with all my heart,
Which, but thou hast already, with all my

I would keep from thee. For your sake, jewel,
I'm glad at soul I have no other child ;
For thy escape would teach me tyranny,
To hang clogs on them. I have done, my Lord.

Duke. Let me fpeak like yourself; and lay a sentence,
Which, as a grice, or step, may help these lovers
Into your favour
When remedies are past, the griefs are ended
By seeing the worst, which late on hopes depended.


To mourn à mischief that is past and gone,
Is the next way to draw new mischief on.
What cannot be preserv'd when fortune takes,
Patience her injury a mockery makes.
The robb’d, that smiles, steals something from the thief;
He robs himself, that spends a bootless grief.

Bra. So, let the Turk of Cyprus us beguile,
We lose it not, so long as we can smile;
He bears the sentence well, that nothing bears
But the free comfort which from thence he hears;
But he bears both the sentence, and the sorrow,
That, to pay grief, muft of poor patience borrow.
These fentences to sugar, or to gall,
Being strong on both sides, are equivocal.
But words are words; I never yet did hear, (16)
That the bruis'd heart was pieced through the ear.-
Beseech you, now to the affairs o'th' state.

Duke.' The Turk with a most mighty preparation makes for Cyprus : Othello, the fortitude of the place is best known to you. And though we have there a substitute of most allowed fufficiency; yet opinion, a sovereign mistress of effects, throws a more safe voice

(16) But words are words ; I never yet did bear,

That tbe bruis'd beart was pierced tbro' the ear.] One superfluous letter has for these hundred years quite subverted the sense of this passage ; and none of the editors have ever attended to the rea. soning of the context, by which they might have discover'd the error. The Duke has by sage sentences been exhorting Brabantio to patience, and to forget the grief of his daughter's stolen marriage; to which Brabantio is made very pertinently to reply, to this effect :.“ My “ Lord, I apprehend very well the wisdom of your advice; but tho'

you would comfort me, words are but words; and the heart, already " bruis’d, was never pierc'd, or wounded, thro' the ear. -Well! if we want arguments for a senator, let him be educated at the feet of our sagacious edi'ors, It is obvious, I believe, to my better readers, that the text must be restor’d, as Mr. Warburton acutely ob. sery'd to me.

That the bruis'd beart was pieced tbo' the ear. 1.e. That the wounds of sorrow were ever cur’d, or a man made beart-wbole meerly by words of consolation. I ought to take notice, this very emendation was likewise communicated to me by an ingenious, unknown, correspondent, who subscribes himfelf only L. H.

« AnteriorContinuar »