« AnteriorContinuar »
I ran it through, e'en from my boyish days,
!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,
King Lear. i.e, wild and useless.
-The murm’ring surge,
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
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 Caniba's that each other eat,
beneath their shoulders. All these to hear
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
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,
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.
Enter Desdemona, lago, and Attendants,
Bra. I pray you, hear her speak;
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 ;
Bra. God be with you: I have done.
Duke. Let me fpeak like yourself; and lay a sentence,
To mourn à mischief that is past and gone,
Bra. So, let the Turk of Cyprus us beguile,
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.