Abbildungen der Seite


larly to have admired these two plays, and hath wrote two in imitation of them, the SEA-VOYAGE and the FAITHFUL SHEPHERDESS. But when he presumes to break a lance with. Shakespeare, and write in emulation of him, as he does in THE FALSE ONE, which is the rival of ANTHONY AND CLEOPATRA, he is not so fuccessful. After him, Sir John Suckling and Milton catched the brightest fire of their imagination from these two plays; which shines fan. tastically indeed in THE GOBLINS, but much more nobly and serenely in THE MASK AT LUDLOW-CASTLE.

WARBURTON. P. 3. L. 1.] In this naval dialogue, perhaps the first example of sailor's language exhibited on the stage, there are, as I have been told by a skilful navigator, some inaccuracies and contradictory orders.

JOHNSON P.4. L. I. Cheerly, cheerly,] from the old copies.

CAPELL. Ibid. Hand a rope.] Old copies.

CAPELL. blow till thou burst thy wind, if room enough.) Perhaps it might be read, “ Blow till thou burst, wind, if room enough.'

Johnson. L. 16. o'tbe present,] i. e. on the present, at this inftant.

THEOB. L. 21.] It may be observed of Gonzalo, that, being the only good man that appears with the king, he is the only man that preserves his cheerfulness in the wreck, and his hope on the island.

Johnson. P. 5. L. 2.] The courses are the main-fail and fore-fail. This term is used by Raleigh in his Discourse on Shipping.

JOHNSON. P. 6. L. 3. to glut kim.] Shakespeare probably wrote, t'englut him, to swallow him ; for which I know not that glut is ever used by him. In this signification englut, from engloutir, French, occurs frequently, as in Henry VI.

Tboy art fo near tbe Gulf

Ibou must needs be englutted. And again in Timon and OTHELLO. Yet Milton writes glutted offal for swallowed: and therefore perhaps the present text may hand.


L. 6. Brother, farezvel!] As Gonzalo had no brother in the ship, this line fhould, I think, be given to Alonso the king, taking leave of his brother Sebastian, to which the next lines make the natural answer. Gonzalo had indeed no wife and children there, but that exclamation is the general cry in wrecks. Brother is ufeless, unless some bro. ther had been afterwards mentioned.

Johnson. L. 10. - long beath.] This is the common name for the erica baccifera: which the Oxford editor not understanding, conjectured that Shakespeare wrote,ling, keath: but, unluckily, beath and ling are but two words for the same plant.

WARB. L. 12. If by your art, &c.] Nothing was ever better contrived to inform the audience of the story than this scene, It is a converfation that could not have happened before, and could not but happen now.

WAR B. * P.

9. 7. L. 5. Profp. No barm.] I know not whether Shakea speare did not make Miranda speak thus,

Owo the day! no harm ?
To which Prospero properly answers,

I have done nothing but in care of thee. Miranda when she speaks the words, 0 wo the day, supposes, not that the crew had escaped, but that her father thought differently from her, and counted their destruction no harm.


9. I am more better.] This is the genuine reading, which Mr. Pope has sophisticated; not observing, I suppose, how frequent it is with Shakespeare, and the other Writers of that age, to add the termination to adjectives of the comparative and superlative degrees, and at the same time prefix figns towing the degrees.

THEOB.* L. 19: The very virtue of compassion in thee.) We muft not think that the very virtue was intended to fhew the degree of her compaffion, but the kind. Compassion for other's misfortunes ofteneít arises from a sense or apprehension of the like. And then it is sympatby, not virtue. Though the want of it may be esteemed vicious, as arising from a degene. racy of nature, which cannot happen but by our own fault.

Now the compassion of Miranda, who never ventured to sea, not being of this kind, Shakespeare, with great propriety, calls it the very virtue, i. e, the real pure virtue of compasion.

WAR B.* Ibid.] The very virtue means no more than the virtue it. self. Mr. Warburton's refinement, in diftinguishing two kinds of compassion, one of which is a virtue, and the other merely sympathy, is utterly deftitute of all foundation, either in nature, or in the intention of the poet, into whose thoughts it certainly never entered.

REVISAL. Ibid.] Virtue : the most efficacious part, the energetick quality ; in a like sense we say, the virtue of a plant is in the extract.


is no foyle] i. c. no damage, loss, detriment. The two old Folio's read,is no foul: which will not agree in Grammar with the following part of the sentence. Mr. Rowe first substituted no foul log, which does not much mend the matter, taking the context together. Foyle is a word familiar with our Poet, and in some degree synonymous to perdition in the next line. So in the beginning of the third act

of this play,

but some defect in her Did quarrel with the noblest grace she ow'd,

And put it to the foil. i. e. abated, undid it.

THIOB. * Ibid.] I bave, with sucb provifion ir mine art,

So safely order'd, tbat there's no foul lof,
No, not fo mucb ferdition as an bair,

Beid to ang creature in the vessel. The second of these lines, in all the editions preceding that of Mr. Rowe, stood thus,

So fafely order'd, that ibere is no foula Mr. Rowe, offended at the irregularity of the conftruction, altered it to the present reading, in which he is followed by Mr. Pope and Mr. Warburton, but, in my opinion, without necessity. The confruction is of that kind which the grammarians call the dyaxóhydor, and instances of it occur not rarely in the works of the beft writers. In the present cale, the construction is broken off, and left imperfect at the end of the second line, and it takes a new form is what follows;

[ocr errors]

so that to compleat it, the participle loft must be supplied from the word perdition, in the third line. The import is exactly the same as if the poet had written, I have so safely ordered, that there is no soul. -Why do I say soul? No, there is not so much perdition as an hair betid to any creature in the vessel. The antient reading corresponds with the impetuosity of the poet's genius, the present with the timid regularity of the critical corrector.

REVISAL,* Ibid. that there is no soul.] Thus the old editions read but this is apparently defective. Mr. Rowe, and after him Dr. Warburton, read, that there is no foul loft, without any notice of the variation. Mr. Theobald substitutes no foil, and Mr. Pope follows him. To come fo near the right, and yet to miss it, is unlucky; the author probably wrote no foil, no stain, no spot : for í Ariel tells,

Not a hair perish'd ;
On their sustaining garments not a blemish,

But fresher than before. And Gonzalo; The rarity of it is, that our garments being drencb'd in the sea, keep notwithstandirg their freshness and glosjes.

JOHNSON. Ibid. --that there is no loss.] So, against the old, reads

Mr. CAPILL.* P. 8. L. 5. out three years old.). This is the old reading: 'tis true, the expression is obsolete, but it supply'd the sense of, full out, out-right, or right out, as in the fourth act: of this play;

Swears, he will shoot no more, but play with sparrows,
And be a boy right-out.

THEOB.* L. 27.) Perhaps and thou bis only heir. JOHNSON. L. 28. A princess.] Against the old copies. CAPELL.*

P. 9. L. 23. To traß) fignifies to cut away the trash or fuperfluities ; as, to top, signifies, to cut off the top. The Oxford Editor alters it to plush, not considering that to plosh fignifies to bind and complicate branches together, and so is only used to signify the dressing and pleating of an hedge.

L. 25.) Key in this place seems to fignify the key of a musical instrument, by which he set bearts to tune.




like one

Ibid.] This doubtless is meant of a key for tuning the harpsichord, spinette, or virginal :- we call it now a tuninghammer, as it is used as well to strike down the iron pins whereon the strings are wound, as to turn them.

As a key it acts like that of a watch.

HAWKINS. P. 10. L. 4.] Alluding to the observation, that a father above the common rate of men has commonly a son below it. Heroum filii noxæ.

Johnson L. II.

Wbo having Into truth by telling of it,
Made fuch a finner of his memory,

To credit bis own lie.] The corrupted reading of the second line has rendered this beautiful fimilitude quite unintelligible. For what is [baving into trutb]? or what doth [it] refer to ? not to [trutb], because if he told truth he could never credit a lie. And yet there is no other correlative to which [it] can belong.

I read and point it thus,

like one

Who having, unto truth, by telling OFT,
Made such a finner of bis memory,

To credit his own lie. i.e. by often repeating the same story, made his memory such a finner' unto truth as to give credit to his own lie, A miserable delusion to which story-tellers are frequently subject. The Oxford Editor having, by this Correction, been let into the sense of the passage, gives us this sense in his own words,

Who loving on untruth, and telling 't oft,

WARB.* Ibid.] As the construction in the old editions is very bad, Mr. Warburton's correction by no means unexceptionable, and Sir Thomas Hanmer's rather improbable, I should incline to believe not only that the passage is corrupted, but that a line hath been dropped.

REVISAL. Ibid.] Read unto truth-against the old copies.

CAPELL.* P.11. 1. 1.

I should fin, To think not nobly of my grandmother ;] This is Mr. Pope's

« ZurückWeiter »