Imatges de pÓgina

in such a matter. The Editor, indeed, is sensible that the order in which they are placed, is not always strictly proper. This, however, is not occasioned by negligence, but from an unwillingness to multiply the heads, or divisions, which are already sufficiently numerous. In fine, he has regulated them in the way which to him appeared the best. The Editor repeats---Țhe intention in the present selection is, to make the poet fometimes speak in maxims or sentences, according to the idea of Dr. Johnson; and at other times, to give his description of one and the same affection or passion, as it is seen in different persons and at different seasons : or, as it may

be called forth by accidental, by foreign and opposed circumstances *.

With respect to the notes, which are to be met with in the following pages, and which are distinguished by the initials A. B. they are the efforts of a young, but zealous critic; of one who is desirous of rendering Shake

* Such particular passages, however, as are intimately connected with the fable and characters, or which, from the train of the dialogue, would scarcely be understood when standing alone, are not to be expected liere.


speare as clear and perspicuous as possible *
The indulgence of the reader is requested for
them; and if the writer shall be found to
have thrown a light on some of the obscuri-
ties of a favourite author, the world will no
doubt readily acknowledge it, and amply re-
ward him for his labours.

October 31, 1787.

* He has likewise in his poffeffion a confiderable number of observations on such passages of the poet as come not within the plan of the present work, If duly encouraged, 'he. means to publish them without delay.

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A B S T I N E N C E.
E doth with holy abstinence subdue

That in himself, which he spurs on his power
To qualify in others. Meas. for Meas. A. 4, S. 2.

*Talk logick with acquaintance that you have,
And practise rhetorick in your common talk.

Taming of the Shrew, A. I, S. 1.

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1 Talk logick.] The old copies read Balcke logick, &c. MALONE.

“ Balke logick” is right*; Balke, with the writers of Shake. speare's time is omit.Never regard truth, says Tranio, in “your worldly transactions; but be flourishing and rhetorical

in your ordinary discourse.” This is the language of a man who knows the world.

A. B. B


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Each your doing,
So singular in each particular,
Crowns what you are doing in the present deeds,
That all your acts are queens. Wint. Tale, A. 4, S. 3.

If powers divine
Behold our human actions (as they do),
I doubt not then, but innocence shall make
False accusation blush, and tyranny
Tremble at patience. Winter's Tale, A. 3, S. 2,

Give thy thoughts no tongue,
Nor any unproportion'd thought his act.
Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.

Hamlet, A. !, S. 3,

Such an act,
That blurs the grace and blush of modesty;
Calls virtue, hypocrite; 'takes off the rose
From the fair forehead of an innocent love,
And sets a blister there; makes marriage vows
As false as dicers' oaths. Hamlet, A. 32

Her actions shall be holy, as,
You hear, my spell is lawful: do not shun her,
Until you see her die again: for then
You kill her double. Winter's Tale, A. 5,

The rarer action is
In virtue than in vengeance.

Tempest, A.


S. 1,



* Takes off the rose.] Alluding to the custom of wearing roses on the side of the face.

WARBURTON. I believe Dr. Warburton is mistaken; for it must be allowed that there is a material difference between an ornament worn on the forehead, and one exhibited on the side of the face. STEEVENS.

It is not a little extraordinary that the commentators should be for confidering literally, expressions that are purely metaphorical. Rose is beauty, and blister is deformity. The meaning plainly is, renders love, which is naturally beautiful, ugly and deformed.

A. B.




how pale he glares !
His form and cause conjoin’d, preaching to stones,
Would make them capable.—Do not look upon me,
Left with this piteous action, you convert
My stern effects.

Hamlet, A. 3, S. 4.
Either our history shall, with full mouth,
Speak freely of our acts; or else our grave,
Like Turkish mute, shall have a tongueless mouth,
Not worshipp'd with a waxen epitaph'.

Henry VI A. 1, S. 2.
several ways meet in one town;
As many fresh streams run in one self fea;
As many lines close in the dial's center;
So may a thousand actions, once a-foot,
End in one purpose, and be all well borne
Without defeat.

Henry V. A. 1, S. 2.
My lord of Hereford, whom you call king,
Is a foul traitor to proud Hereford's king :
And if you crown him, let me prophesy,
The blood of English shall manure the ground,

As many


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* With a waxen epitaph.] The quarto, 1608, reads with a paso per epitaph.

Either a waxen or paper epitaph, is an epitaph easily obliterated or destroyed; one which can confer no lasting honour on the dead.

STEEVENS. “Waxen” is hardly right; for to say that his tomb should not have a waxen epitaph, i. e. one that is easily obliterated, is entirely adverse to the meaning of Henry. We must, therefore, read,

“Not worshipp'd with a willen epitaph." To wise is to teach, to inftru&t.

The meaning is, without an epitaph, to set forth his virtues or his deeds in arms.

After all, however, “ a paper epitaph” may be right. But paper epitaph must not be interpreted literally: it means not an epitaph written on paper to be placed on a tomb-but an history, the memoirs of Henry's life. Unless we effect the business in hand (says the king), we wish not to be honoured, or to have our memory respected. Thus the reasoning is just and pertinent,

A. R.

B 2

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