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of Boccacio, has recently occurred. The title and colophon of this rare piece, are as follows :
“ This mater treateth of a merchaūtes wyfe that afterwarde went lyke a mā and becam a great lorde and was called Frederyke of Jennen afterwarde.”
“Thus endeth this lytell story of lorde Frederyke. Imprộted i Anwarpe by me John Dusborowhge, dwellynge besyde y, Camer porte in the yere of our lorde god a. M.CCCCC. and xviij."
This novel exhibits the material features of its original; though the names of the characters are changed, their sentiments debased, and their conduct rendered still more improbable than in the scenes before us. John of Florence is the Ambrogiulo, Ambrosius of Jennens the Bernabo of the story. Of the translator's elegance of imagination, and felicity of espression, the two following instances may be sufficient. He has converted the picturesque mole under the left breast of the lady, into a black wart on her left arm; and when at last, in a male habit, she discovers her sex, instead of displaying her bosom only, he obliges her to appear before the King and his whole court completely naked, save that she had a karcher of sylke before hyr members.”—The whole work is illustrated with wooden cuts representing every scene throughout the narrative.
I know not that any advantage is gained by the discovery of this antiquated piece, unless it serves to strengthen our belief that some more faithful translation had furnished Shakspeare with incidents which, in their original Italian, to him at least were inaccessible. STEEVENS.
CYMBELINE, King of Britain.
Name of Morgan.
Sons to Cymbeline, disguised under GUIDERIUS, ARVIRAGUS,
the Names of Polydore and Cad
wal, supposed Sons to Belarius. PHILARIO, Friend to Posthumus,
Queen, Wife to Cymbeline.
Lords, Ladies, Roman Senators, Tribunes, Appari
tions, a Soothsayer, a Dutch Gentleman, a Spanish Gentleman, Musicians, Officers, Captains, Soldiers, Messengers, and other Attendants.
SCENE, sometimes in Britain ; sometimes in Italy. CYMBELINE.
ACT I. SCENE I
Britain. The Garden behind CYMBELINE's Palace.
Enter Two Gentlemen. 1 Gent. You do not meet a man, but frowns :
our bloods No more obey the heavens, than our courtiers Still seem, as does the king's '.
1 You do not meet a man, but FROWNS : our BLOODS No more obey the heavens, than our courtiers ;
Still seem, as does the king's.] The thought is this; we are not now (as we were wont) influenced by the weather, but by the king's looks. •We no more obey the heavens (the sky) than our courtiers ” obey the heavens (God). By which it appears
that the reading-our bloods, is wrong. For though the blood may be affected with the weather, yet that affection is discovered not by change of colour, but by change of countenance. And it is the outward not the inward change that is here talked of, as appears from the word seem. We should read therefore :
our brows “ No more obey the heavens,” &c. which is evident from the precedent words :
“ You do not meet a man but frowns," And from the following:
But not a courtier,
“ Glad at the thing they scowl at.” The Oxford editor improves upon this emendation, and reads :
our looks “ No more obey the heart, e'en than our courtiers." But by venturing too far, at a second emendation, he has stript it of all thought and sentiment. WARBURTON. This
passage is so difficult, that commentators may differ concerning it without animosity or shame. Of the two emendations
But what's the matter? 1 Gent. His daughter, and the heir of his king
proposed, Sir Thomas Hanmer's is the more licentious; but he makes the sense clear, and leaves the reader an easy passage. Dr. Warburton has corrected with more caution, but less improvement : his reasoning upon his own reading is so obscure and perplexed, that I suspect some injury of the press.—I am now to tell
my opinion, which is, that the lines stand as they were originally written, and that a paraphrase, such as the licentious and abrupt expressions of our author too frequently require, will make emendation unnecessary. “We do not meet a man but frowns; our bloods--"our countenances, which, in popular speech, are said to be regulated. by the temper of the blood, -"no more obey the laws of heaven," -which direct us to appear what we really are,
" than our courtiers :"-that is, than the bloods of our courtiers ;' but our bloods, like theirs,— still seem, as doth the king's." Johnson.
In The Yorkshire Tragedy, 1608, which has been attributed to Shakspeare, blood appears to be used for inclination :
“ For 'tis our blood to love what we are forbidden." Again, in King Lear, Act IV. Sc. II. :
fitness “ To let these hands obey my blood.” In King Henry VIII. Act III. Sc. IV. is the same thought:
subject to your countenance, glad, or sorry, " As I saw it inclin'd." Again, in Greene's Never Too Late, 4to. 1590 : “ if the King smiled, every one in the court was in his jollitie ; if he frowned, their plumes fell like peacock's feathers, so that their outward presence depended on his inward passions." STEEVENS.
I would propose to make this passage clear by a very slight alteration, only leaving out the last letter:
6. You do not meet a man but frowns : our bloods
“ Still seem, as does the king." That is, “ Still look as the king does ;
it little differently afterwards :
wear their faces to the bent “ Of the king's look.” TYRWHITT. The only error that I can find in this passage is, the mark of the genitive case annexed to the word courtiers, which appears to be a modern innovation, and ought to be corrected. The meaning of it is this :-" Our dispositions no more obey the heavens than our courtiers do; they still seem as the king's does.” The obscarity arises from the
omission of the pronoun they, by a common poetical licence. M. Mason.
or, as he
He purpos'd to his wife's sole son, (a widow,
None but the king ? 1 Gent. He, that hath lost her, too: so is the
queen, That most desir'd the match : But not a courtier, Although they wear their faces to the bent Of the king's looks, hath a heart that is not Glad at the thing they scowl at. 2 GENT.
And why so ? 1 Gent. He that hath miss'd the princess, is a
thing Too bad for bad report: and he that hath her, (I mean, that married her,-alack, good man !And therefore banish’d) is a creature such As, to seek through the regions of the earth
Blood is so frequently used by Shakspeare for natural disposition, that there can be no doubt concerning the meaning here. So, in All's Well That Ends Well :
“Now his important blood will nought deny
“ That she'll demand." We have again, in Antony and Cleopatra, a sentiment similar to that before us :
for he would shine on those “ That made their looks by his.” MALONE. This passage means, I think, “Our bloods, or our constitutions, are not more regulated by the heavens, by every skyey influence, than our courtiers apparently are by the looks or disposition of the King : when he frowns, every man frowns.” Boswell.
She's weddED; Her husband banish'd; she imprison'd: all Is outward sorrow ; &c.] I would reform the metre as follows :
“She's wed; her husband banishd, she imprison'd:
“ All's outward sorrow;" &c. Wed is used for wedded, in The Comedy of Errors :
“ In Syracusa was I born, and wed." Steevens.