Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

Was parmecety, for an inward bruise ;
And that it was great pity, so it was,
This villainous falt-petre should be digg’d
Out of the bowels of the harmless earth,
Which many a good tall fellow had destroy'd
So cowardly: and but for these vile guns,
He would himself have been a soldier.

Danger.
I'll read you matter, deep and dangerous :
As full of peril and advent'rous fpirit,
As to o’erwalk a current, roaring loud,
On the unitedfift footing of a spear.

Honour.
(4) By heav'ns! methinks, it were an easy leap,
To.pluck bright honour from the pale-fac'd inoon!
Or dive into the bottom of the deep,
Where fathom-line could never touch the ground,
And pluck up drowned honour by the locks !
So he, that doth redeem her thence, might wear
Without corrival all her dignities.
But out upon this half-fac'd fellowship!

ACT

(4) By heav'ns! &c.] I will not take upon me to defend this passage from the charge laid against it of bombast and fuftian, but will only observe, if we read it in that light, it is, perhaps, one of the finest rants to be found in any author. Mr. W'a tur 10:2 attempts to clear it from the charge, and observes, “tho' the expression be sublime and daring, yet the thought is the natural movement of an heroic mind. Euripides, at least, (as he adds) thought so, when he put the very same sentiment, in the same words, into the mouth of Etcocles.

Εγω γαρ, &c. -
I will not cloak my foul ; methinks, with ease
I cou'd scale heaven, and reach the farthest star;
Or to the deepest intrails of the earth
Descending, pierce, so be I cou'd obtain
A kingdom at the price, and god-like rule.

ACT II.

SCENE VI.

Lady Percy's, pathetic Speech to her Husband.

(5) O, my good lord, why are you thus alone ?
For what offence have I this fortnight been
A banish'd woman from my Harry's bed?
Tell me, sweet lord, what is't that takes from thee
Thy stomach, pleasure, and thy golden sleep?
Why doft thou bend thy eyes upon the earth,
And start fo often, when thou fit'st alone?
Why haft thou lost the fresh blood in thy cheeks,
And giv'n my treasures, and my rights of thee,
To thick ey'd musing and curs'd melancholy?
In thy faint slumbers I by thee have watcht,
And heard thee murinur tales of iron wars :
Speak terins of manage to thy bounding steed:
Cry, courage! to the field ! 'and thou haft talk'd
Of fallies, and retires ; of trenches, tents,
Of palisadoes, fortins, parapets;
Of bafiliks, of cannon, culverin,
Of prisoner's ransom, and of foldiers flain,
And all the current of a heady fight.
Thy spirit within thee hath been so at war,
And thus hath fo beftirr'd thee in thy sleep,
That beads of sweat have stood upon thy brow,
Like bubbles in a late disturbed stream:
And in thy face strange motions have appear'd,
Such as we fee, when men restrain their breath
On some

great fudden haste. O, what portents are thesc! Some heavy business hath my lord in hand, And I must know it, else he loves ine not.

ACT

(5) See Portia's speech to Brutus in Julius Cæfar, Act II. Scene III.

ACT III. SCENE I.

*

*

*

*

*

Prodigies ridiculd.
(6) I blame him not: at my nativity,
The front of heav'n was full of fiery shapes,
Of burning cressets ; know, that, at my birth,
The frame and the foundation of the earth
Shook like a coward.

Hot. So it would have done
At the fame season, if your inother's cat
Had kitten'd, though yourfelf had ne'er been born.

Difeafed nature oftentimes breaks forth
In strange eruptions; and the teeming earth
Is with a kind of cholic pinch'd and vext,
By the imprisoning of unruly wind
Within her woinb; which for enlargement striving,
Shakes the old beldame earth, and topples down
High tow'rs and moss-grown steeples.

On miferahle Rhymers.
(7) I had rather be a kitten, and cry, mew!
Than one of these fame meter-ballad-mongers :
I'd rather hear a brazen candlestick turn’d,

Or

(6) I blanı, &c.] Glendower was mightily superstitious, he adds afterwards,

-Give me leave
To tell you once again, that at my birth
The front of heav'n was full of fiery shapes,
The goats ran from the mountains, and the herds
Were strangely clam'rous in the frighted fields:
These figns have mark'd me extraordinary,
And all the courses of my life do Thew,

I am not in the roll of common men. (7) I had, &c.] Horace, in his art of poetry, speaking of poetasters, says,

Ut mala, &c.
A mad dog's foam, th’infection of the plague,

Or a dry-wheel grate on the axle-tree,
And that would nothing set my teeth on edge,
Nothing fo much as mincing-poetry ;
'Tis like the forc'd gait of a shuffling nag.

Punctuality in Bargain.

I'll give thrice so much land,
To any well-deserving friend;
But in the way of bargain, mark ye me,
I'll cavil on the ninth part of a hair.
A Husband sung to Sleep by a fair Wife.

(8) She bids you
All on the wanton rushes lay you down,
And rest your gentle head upon her lap,
And the will fing the song that pleaseth you,

And

And all the judgments of the angry gods
Are not avoided more by men of sense,

Than poetaster's in their raging fits.
And again;

'Tis hard to say, whether for sacrilege,
Or incest, or some more unheard of crime,
The rhyming fiend is sent into thefe men :
But they are almost visibly pollest,
And like a bated bear, when he breaks loose,
Without distinction, seize on all they meet :
Learn’d or unlearn’d, none 'scape within their reach ;
(Sticking like leeches, till they burst with blood,)
Without remorfe insatiably they read,
And never leave 'till they have read men dead.

ROSCOMMON.

(3) She bids, &c.] There is something extremely tender and pleasing in these lines, as well as in the following, from Philaster; which juftly deserve to be compared with them :

Who shall now tell you
How much I lov'd you? who shall swear it to you,
And weep the tears I send ? who shall now bring you
Letters, rings, bracelets, lose his health in service ?

Wake

And on your eye-lids crown the god of fleep,
Charming your blood with pleasing heavinels;
Making fuch diffrence betwixt wake and ficep,
(9) As is the diff'rence betwixt day and night,
The hour before the heavenly-harness'd team
Begins his golden progress in the east.

SCENE IV. King Henry the 4th to his Son..

Had I fo lavish of my presence been,
So common hackney'd in the eyes of men,
So itale and cheap to vulgar company;
Opinion, that did help me to the crown,
Had itill kept loyal to potression;

And

Wake tedious nights in stories of your praise ?
Who now shall ling you crying elegies,
And strike a sad soul into senseless pictures,
And make them mourn? who shall take up

his lute
And touch it, till he crown a silent sleep
Upon my eye-lid, making me dream and cry,
Oh my dear, dear Philafter.-

AEZ

3.

latter end. () As is, &c.] It is remarkable of Milton, that whenever he can have an opportunity, he takes particular notice of the evening twilight, but I don't at present recollect any passage where he describes this morning-twilight, which Shakespear so beau-tifully hints at : nothing can exceed this lovely description in the 4h book of his Paradise Loft.

Now came still evening on, and twilight gray
Had in her sober livery all things clad :
Silence accompanied : for beast and bird,
They to their grassy couch, these to their neft
Were fiunk: all but the wakeful nightingale ;
She all night long her amorous defcant sung :
Silence was pleas'd; now glow'd the firmament
With living sapphires : Hesperies, that led.
The starry hoft, - rode brightest, till the moon,
Rising in clouded majesty, at length
Apparent queen unveil'd her peerless light,

And o'er the dark her silver mantle threw. The reader will be agreeably entertained, by consulting the pallage in Dr. Newtor's edition of Aliltor.

V. 598.

« AnteriorContinua »