Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

knee'd breeches, the garb in fashion in our author's days, as we may observe from old family pictures ; but they are now wurn only by boors and Sea-faring men : and we have dealers whose fole business it is to furnish the sailors with shirts, Jackets, &c. who are called, pop-men; and their shop, Nop-foops.

THEOBALD. L. 21. The liver vejn.] "The liver was anciently supposed to be the seat of love.

Johnson. P. 49. L. 5. Old edition : By earth foe is not corporal, there you lye,] Dumain, one of the lovers in spite of his vow to the contrary, thinking himself alone here, breaks out into sort soliloquies of admiration on his mistress; and Biron, who stands behind as an eves dropper, takes pleasure in contradicting bis amorous raptures. But Dumain was a a young lord; he had no sort of post in the army : what wit, or allusion, then, can there be in Biron's calling him Corporal? I dare warrant, but corporal, reitores the poets true meaning, which is this. Dumain calls his mistress divine, and the wonder of a. mortal eye; and Biron in flat terms denies these hyperbolical praises. I searce need hint, that our poet commonly uses corporal as corporeal.

THEOB. Ibid.] not corporal.

CAPELL. L. 6. For coted read quoted, i. e, esteemed, reckoned.

REVISAL. Ibid] bath amber quoted.

CAPELL*. P. 50. L. 6. Air, would I might triumph fo.] Perhaps we may better read, Ah! would I might triumph jo. John.

L. 18. -my true love's fasting pain;] I fou'd rather chufe to read feftring, rankling.

WARB. Ibid.] There is no need of any alteration ; fasting is longing, hungry, wanting.

Јону. Ibid.] lasting pain, against old copies.

CAPELL*. P. si. L. 13. How will be triumph, LEAP, and laugh at it ?] We should certainly read GEAP, i.e. jeer, ridicule.

WARBURTON. Ibid.] To leap is to exult, to skip for joy. It must stand.

Johnson. P. 52. L. 1. To see a king transformed to a knot ! ] Read gnat,

Por E and CAPELL*.

CYNIC.

WAR.

Ibid.] Knot may fignify fitting iñ a folded contemplative posture.

REVISAL*. Ibid.] Knot has no sense that can suit this place. We may read fot. The rhymes in this play are such as that fat and fot may be well enough admitted.

Johns. L. 5. CRITIC Timor-] ought evidently to be L., 12. betray'd to you.

CAPELL.* L. 16. Witb MEN like men, --] This is a strange senseless line, and should be read thus, Witb vane lke men, of strange inconftaney. War. and Cap.

Ibid.] This is well imagined, but perhaps the poet may mean wib min like common men. Johns. and REVISAL.

P. 54. L. 18. She an attending far.) Something like this is stanza of Sir Henry Wotton, of which the poetical reader will forgive the infertion.

-réftars, the train of night,
That poorly satisfy our eyes
Moré by your number than your light :
re common people of the skies,
What are ye when the sun Joall rise !

Jorn. P. 55. L. 3. Is ebony like her? 0 Word divine ! ) This is the reading of all the editions that I have seen : but both Dr. Thirlby and Mr. Warburton cuncurred in reading, (as I had likewise conjectured) O Wood divine !

TAL. L, 10. In former editions ;

The School of night.] Black; being the School of night, is a piece of mystery above my comprehension. I had guessed, it should be, the Stole of Wight: but I have preferred the conje&ture of my friend Mr. W arbàrton, who reads the foowl of night, as it comes nearer , in pronunciation to the corrupted reading, as well as agrees better with the other images.

THEOB. and CAP. Ibid.] I am inclined to think our poet wrote fole the robe or dress of night, a word frequently used by Chaucer. Nor doth this reading differ fo greatly from the common one, jcbool as it may appear to do at first light. For we find this latter word constantly written sebole in Chaucer, and from the resemblance of the two words it hath actually happened, that file, by the mistake of the transcriber, is fubnicured

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

in the place of fabule, in the merchant's second tale, V. 1669.

REVISAL. L. 11. And beauty's CREST becomes ibe beavens well.] This is a contention between two lovers about the preference of a black or white beauty. But, in this reading, he who is contending for the wbite, takes for granted the thing in dispute; by saying, that wbite is the creß of beauty. His adversary had just as much reason to call black so. The question debated between them, being which was the crest of beauty, black or white. Sbakespeare could never write to absurdly: nor has the Oxfo.d Editor at all mended the matter by subftituting dress for creft. We should read,

Ånd beauty's CRETE becomes tbe beavens well, i. e. beauty's white from creta, In this reading, the third line is a proper antithesis to the first. I suppose the blunder of the transcriber arose from hence, the french word crefte in that pronunciation and orthography is créte, which he understanding, and koowing nothing of the other signification of crete from creia, critically altered it to the English way of spelling, creste.

WARB. and Cap.* Íbid.] This emendation cannot be received till its author can prove that crete is an English word. Besides, cref is here properly opposed to badge. Black, fays the king, is the hadge of bell, but that which graces the heaven, is tbe crest of beauty. Black darkens hell, and is therefore hateful : wbite adorns heaven, and is therefore lovely. Johns.

Ibid.] Dr. W. I think has rightly rejected creft, because it presents no idea to the imagination. Crete, however is a word our language disavows, and were it even admitted, where is the fenie of beauty's chalk ? Shakespeare wrote English, and for my part, I approve of Sir T. Hanmer's correction, beauty's dress, but in order to preserve a consistent sense, we must take this line from the king, and give it to Biron,

REVISA L.* P. 56. L. 13. Sime tricks, some quillets, bow to cbear ibe devil.) Quillet is the peculiar word applied to law-chicane. I imagine the original to be this: in the Freneb płeadings, every several allegation in the plaintiff's charge, and every distinct plea in the defendants answer, begae with the words

WARB.

WARB.

Qu'il eft ; -- from whence was formed the word quillet, to fignify a false charge or an evasive aniwer.

WAR L. 16. Affection's men at arms.] A man at arms, is a soldier armed at all points, both offentively and defensively. It is no more than, Ye soldiers of affection. JOHNSON.

L. 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, discarded by CAPELL.*

L. 28. This and the two following lines are omitted, I suppose, by meie over light, in Dr. Warburton's edition.

Johns. P. 57. L. 1. The nimble spirits in the arteries;] In the old fystem of physic, they gave the same office to the arteries as is now given to the nerves; as appears from the name which is derived from άερα τηρείν. .

L. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, discarded by CAP.*

L. 8. Teaches such BEAUTY as a woman's eye ] This line is absolute nonsense. We should read, DUTY, i.e. ethics, or the offices and devoirs that belong to a man. А woman's

's eye, says he, teaches observance above all other things.

Ibid.] The sense is plain without correction. A lady's eye gives a fuller notion of beauty than any author.

Johns, and REVÍ. L. 16. - In leaden contemplation have found out

Such fiery numbers, --] Alluding to the discoveries in modern aliron my; at that time greatly improving, ia which the ladies eyes are compared, as usual, to stars. He calls them numbers, alluding to the Pythagorean principles of altronomy, which were founded on the laws of harmony. The Oxford Editor, who was at a loss for the conceit, changes numbers to notions, aud so lofes both the sense and the gallantry of the allusion. He has better luck in the following line, and has rightly changed beauty's to beauteous. WARE.

lbid.) Numbers are in this passage nothing more than poetical mcosures. Could you, fays Biron, by folitary coplens. plation bave attained fucb poetical fire, sucb spritely numbers, as bave been prompted by ike eyes of beauty. The astronomer, by looking too much aloft, falls into a ditch. Johxs.

P. 57. L. 30. A lover's ear will bear the lowest found,

When the suspicious head of theft is stop'd.] I have verre tured to subititute a word here, againit the authorlty of all

[ocr errors]

L. 31.

the printed copies. There is no contrast of terms, betwixt a lover and a ibief: but betwixt a lover and a man of tbrifi, there is a remarkable antebesis. Nor is it true in fact, i believe, that a tbief, hardened to the profession, is always suspicious of being apprehended; but he may sleep as found as an honefter man. But, according to the ideas we have of a miser, a man who makes lucre and pelf his sole object and pursuit, his sleeps are broken and disturbed with perpetual apprehensions of being robbed of his darling treasure: consequently his ear is upon the attentive bent, even when he sleeps bent.

THEOB. * ibe suspicious bead of theft

' is stops.] i, e. a lover in pursuit of his mistress, has his sense of hearing quicker than a thief (who suspects every sound he hears) in pursuit of his prey. But Mr. Theobald says, there is no contrast between a lover and a thief: and therefore alters it to tbrifi, between which and love, he says, there is a remarkable antitbesis. What he means by contrast and antitbesis, I confess I don't understand. But 'tis no matter : the common reading is sense, and that is better than either one or the other,

WARB. P. 58. L. 3. For valour is not love a Hercules,

Still climbing trees in tbe Hesperides ? ] The . poet is here observing how all the senses are refined by love. But what has the poor sense of smelling done, not to keep its place among its brethren? Then Hercules's valour was not in climbing the trees, but in attacking the dragon gardant. I rather think that for va'our we should read fuvour, and the poet meant that Hercules was allured by the odour and fragrancy of the golden apples. Theob. and Revi.

L.6. As bright Apollo's lule, strung with bis bair:) This expression, like that other in the two gentlemen of Verona, of - Orpheus' harp was ftrung with poets linews," is extremely beautiful, and highly figurative. Apollo, as 'the suo, is represented with golden hair ; so that a lute (trung with his hair, means no more than strung with gilded wire.

WARB. Ibid.) How must the reader be disappointed when he finds this “ extremely beautiful and highly figurative expreffion,” amounts to no more according to Dr. Warburton, Vol. II.

с

« ZurückWeiter »