Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

in fuch a matter. The Editor, indeed, is fenfible that the order in which they are placed, is not always ftrictly proper. This, however, is not occafioned by negligence, but from an unwillingness to multiply the heads, or divisions, which are already fufficiently numerous. In fine, he has regulated them in the way which to him appeared the best. The Editor repeats--The intention in the present selection is, to make the poet fometimes speak in maxims or fentences, according to the idea of Dr. Johnfon; and at other times to give his description of one and the fame affection or paffion, 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 defirous of rendering Shake

* Such particular paffages, 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 here.

fpeare

speare as clear and perfpicuous as poffible *. The indulgence of the reader is requested for them; and if the writer fhall be found to have thrown a light on fome of the obscurities of a favourite author, the world will no doubt readily acknowledge it, and amply reward him for his labours.

LONDON,
October 31, 1787.

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

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

ABSTINENCE.

HE

E doth with holy abstinence subdue
That in himself, which he fpurs on his
To qualify in others. Meaf. for Meaf. A. 4, S. 2.

power

ACQUAINTANCE.

* Talk logick with acquaintance that you have,
And practise rhetorick in your common talk.
Taming of the Shrew, A. 1, S. 1.

B

1

1 Talk logick.] The old copies read Balcke logick, &c. MALONE. "Balke logick" is right: Balke, with the writers of Shakefpeare's time is omit. Never regard truth, fays Tranio, in (6 your worldly tranfactions; but be flourishing and rhetorical 16 in your ordinary difcourfe." This is the language of a man who knows the world.

A. B.

ACT,

ACT, ACTION, ACTIONS,
Each your doing,

So fingular in each particular,
Crowns what you are doing in the prefent 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 fhall make
Falfe accufation blufh, 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. 1, S. 3,

Such an act,

I

That blurs the grace and blush of modefty;
Calls virtue, hypocrite; takes off the rofe
From the fair forehead of an innocent love,
And fets a blifter there; makes marriage vows
As falfe as dicers' oaths.
Hamlet, A. 3, S. 4,

Her actions shall be holy, as,

You hear, my fpell is lawful: do not fhun her,
Until you fee her die again: for then
You kill her double. Winter's Tale, A. 5, S. 3.

The rarer action is

In virtue than in vengeance.

Tempest, A. 5, S. I,

Takes off the rofe.] Alluding to the custom of wearing rofes on the fide 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 fide of the face. STEEVENS.

It is not a little extraordinary that the commentators fhould be for confidering literally, expreffions that are purely metaphorical. Rofe is beauty, and blifter is deformity. The meaning plainly is, renders love, which is naturally beautiful, ugly and deformed.

A. B.

-Look

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Look you, how pale he glares!

His form and caufe conjoin'd, preaching to stones,
Would make them capable.-Do not look upon me,
Left with this piteous action, you convert
My ftern effects.'

Hamlet, A. 3, S. 4.

Either our history fhall, with full mouth,
Speak freely of our acts; or elfe our grave,
Like Turkish mute, shall have a tongueless mouth,
Not worshipp'd with a waxen epitaph'.

Henry V. A. 1, S. 2.

As many feveral ways meet in one town;
As many fresh streams run in one self sea;
As many lines clofe 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 prophefy,-
The blood of English shall manure the ground,

-

1 With a waxen epitaph.] The quarto, 1608, reads with a pa per epitaph.

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

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

"Not worshipp'd with a wissen epitaph."

To wife is to teach, to inftru&t.

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

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

A. B.

nent.

B 2

And

« AnteriorContinua »