Imatges de pÓgina
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Have done, quoth he; my uncontrolled tide
Turns not, but swells the higher by this let.
Small lights are soon blown out, huge fires abide,
And with the wind in greater fury fret:
The petty streams that pay a daily debt

To their salt sovereign, with their fresh falls' haste,
Add to his flow, but alter not his taste".

Thou art, quoth she, a sea, a sovereign king!
And lo, there falls into thy boundless flood
Black lust, dishonour, shame, misgoverning,
Who seek to stain the ocean of thy blood.
If all these petty ills shall change thy good,

Thy sea within a puddle's womb is hers'd",
And not the puddle in thy sea dispers'd.

So shall these slaves be king, and thou their slave 2;
Thou nobly base, they basely dignified;
Thou their fair life, and they thy fouler

grave:

7 SMALL LIGHTS are SOON BLOWN OUT, huge fires abide,] So, in King Henry VI.:

"A little fire is quickly trodden out," &c. STEEVENS.

8 And with the WIND in greater fury FRET:] So, in The Merchant of Venice:

"When they are fretted with the gusts of heaven."

STEEVENS.

9 Add to His flow, but alter not His taste.] The octavo 1616 reads:

"Add to this flow, but alter not the taste." MALONE. These three lines seem to me to resemble both the phraseology and cadence of Denham, in his Cooper's Hill. BOSWELL.

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Thy sea within a puddle's womb is HERSED,] Thus the quarto. The octavo 1616 reads, unintelligibly:

"Thy sea within a puddle womb is hersed."

Dr. Sewel, not being able to extract any meaning from this, reads:

"Thy sea within a puddle womb is burst,
"And not the puddle in thy sea dispers'd."

Our author has again used the verb to herse in Hamlet:

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Why thy canoniz'd bones, hersed in death, "Have burst their cerements." MALONE.

2 So shall these SLAVES be KING, and thou their slave ;] In King Lear we meet with a similar allusion:

Thou loathed in their shame, they in thy pride:
The lesser thing should not the greater hide;

The cedar stoops not to the base shrub's foot,
But low shrubs wither at the cedar's root..

So let thy thoughts, low vassals to thy state-
No more, quoth he, by heaven, I will not hear thee;
Yield to my love; if not, enforced hate,
Instead of love's coy touch3, shall rudely tear thee;
That done, despitefully I mean to bear thee
Unto the base bed of some rascal groom,
To be thy partner in this shameful doom.

This said, he sets his foot upon the light,
For light and lust are deadly enemies:
Shame folded up in blind concealing night,
When most unseen, then most doth tyrannize.
The wolf hath seiz'd his prey, the poor lamb cries*;
Till with her own white fleece her voice controll'd
Entombs her outcry in her lips' sweet fold:

For with the nightly linen that she wears
He pens her piteous clamours in her head;
Cooling his hot face in the chastest tears

it seem'd she was a queen

"Over her passion, who, most rebel-like,
Sought to be king o'er her." MALONE.

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3-love's COY TOUCH,] i. e. the delicate, the respectful approach of love. STEEVENS.

4 The wolf hath seiz'd his prey, the poor lamb cries ;]

Illa nihil:

Sed tremit, ut quondam stabulis deprensa relictis,
Parva sub infesto cum jacet agna lupo. Ovid.

I have never seen any translation of the Fasti so old as the time of Shakspeare; but Mr. Coxeter in his manuscript notes (as Mr. Warton has observed,) mentions one printed about the year 1570. MALONE.

5 For with the NIGHTLY linen that she wears,] Thus the first quarto. The octavo 1616 reads, unintelligibly:

"For with the mighty linen," &c.

MALONE.

That ever modest eyes with sorrow shed.
O, that prone lust should stain so pure a bed 5!
The spots whereof could weeping purify,
Her tears should drop on them perpetually.

But she hath lost a dearer thing than life",
And he hath won what he would lose again;
This forced league doth force a further strife;
This momentary joy breeds months of pain;
This hot desire converts to cold disdain :

Pure chastity is rifled of her store,
And lust, the thief, far poorer than before.

Look, as the full-fed hound or gorged hawk,
Unapt for tender smell or speedy flight,
Make slow pursuit, or altogether balk
The prey wherein by nature they delight;
So surfeit-taking Tarquin fares this night :

His taste delicious, in digestion souring,
Devours his will, that liv'd by foul devouring.

O deeper sin than bottomless conceit
Can comprehend in still imagination!
Drunken Desire must vomit his receipt',

5 O, that PRONE lust should stain so pure a bed!] Thus the first quarto. The edition of 1600, instead of prone, has proud. That of 1616, and the modern copies, foul. Prone is headstrong, forward, prompt. In Measure for Measure it is used in somewhat a similar sense :

in her youth

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"There is a prone and speechless dialect." MALONE. Thus, more appositely, in Cymbeline : Unless a man would marry a gallows, and beget young gibbets, I never saw one so prone." STEEVENS.

But she hath lost, &c.] Shakspeare has in this instance practised the delicacy recommended by Vida:

Speluncam Dido dux et Trojanus eandem

Deveniunt, pudor ulterius nihil addere curet. STEEVENS. 7 Drunken DESIRE must VOMIT his receipt,] So, in Cymbeline : "To make desire vomit emptiness." STEEVENS. VOL. XX.

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Ere he can see his own abomination.
While lust is in his pride, no exclamation
Can curb his heat, or rein his rash desire,
Till, like a jade, self-will himself doth tire.

And then with lank and lean discolour'd cheek,
With heavy eye, knit brow, and strengthless pace,
Feeble Desire, all recreant, poor, and meek,
Like to a bankrupt beggar wails his case:
The flesh being proud, Desire doth fight with grace,
For there it revels; and when that decays,
The guilty rebel for remission prays.

So fares it with this faultful lord of Rome,
Who this accomplishment so hotly chas'd;
For now against himself he sounds this doom,-
That through the length of times he stands dis-

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grac'd:

Besides, his soul's fair temple is defac'd ;

To whose weak ruins muster troops of cares,
To ask the spotted princess how she fares.

She says, her subjects with foul insurrection
Have batter'd down her consecrated wall,
And by their mortal fault brought in subjection
Her immortality, and made her thrall

To living death, and pain perpetual :

Which in her prescience she controlled still, But her fore-sight could not fore-stall their will.

8 Till, like a jade, self-will himself doth tire.] So, in King Henry VIII.:

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Anger is like

"A full-hot horse, who being allow'd his way,
Self-mettle tires him." STEEVENS.

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his soul's fair TEMPLE is defac'd;] So, in Macbeth :
"Most sacrilegious murder hath broke ope

"The lord's anointed temple, and stole thence
"The life of the building." MALONE.

Even in this thought, through the dark night he stealeth,

A captive victor, that hath lost in gain1;
Bearing away the wound that nothing healeth,
The scar that will, despite of cure, remain;
Leaving his spoil 2 perplex'd in greater pain.

She bears the load of lust he left behind,
And he the burthen of a guilty mind.

He, like a thievish dog, creeps sadly thence,
She like a wearied lamb lies panting there;
He scouls, and hates himself for his offence,
She desperate, with her nails her flesh doth tear;
He faintly flies, sweating with guilty fear;

She stays, exclaiming on the direful night;
He runs, and chides his vanish'd, loath'd, delight.

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He thence departs a heavy convertite
She there remains a hopeless cast-away *:
He in his speed looks for the morning light,
She prays she never may behold the day:
For day, quoth she, night's scapes doth open lay3;

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that hath LOST IN GAIN;] So, in Romeo and Juliet:
teach me how to lose a winning match-."

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,

STEEVENS. Leaving his SPOIL-] That is, Lucretia. So, in Troilus and Cressida :

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Set them down

"For sluttish spoils of opportunity,

"And daughters of the game." MALONE.

3 He thence departs a heavy CONVERTITE,] A convertite is a convert. Our author has the same expression in King John:

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"But, since you are a gentle convertite,

My tongue shall hush again this storm of war."

MALONE.

4- a hopeless CAST-AWAY:] So, in Antony and Cleopatra: "That ever I should call thee cast-away!" STEEVENS. 5 For DAY, quoth she, NIGHT'S SCAPES doth open lay;] So, in King Henry VI. Part II. :

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