Abbildungen der Seite

€. And hath bereft thee of thy life too late] i. e. “ he should have done it, by not bringing thee into

being; to make both father and son thus mi« ferable. This is the sense, such as it is." WARB.

L Such as it is, indeed! He should have taken away life, before he had given it!

The father, having killed his son, is lamenting those times of misery and confusion, occasioned by the civil war : the general purport of these lines, therefore, seems to be no more than this; That, in fuch disastrous times, a short life is the most desirable; and, the sooner one is out of them, the better. There is a passage much of the fame caft, in Tarquin and Lucrece. Stanz. 258.

O! quoth Lucretius, I did give that life; Which The too early and too late hath spilled.

[ocr errors]


EXAMP. XXV. Vol. 5. P. 165. 3 Henry VI. “O but impatience waiteth on true sorrow. “ And see, where comes the breeder of my forrow."

“ How does impatience more particularly wait on “ true forrow? On the contrary, fuch sorrows as “ the Queen's, which came gradually on through a long course of misfortunes, is generally less im< patient; than that of those, who have fallen into « sudden miseries. The true reading seems to be, “ O but impatience WAITING RUES TO-MORROW,' &c. “i. e. when impatience waits and follicits for re

dress, there is nothing she so much dreads, as be

ing put-off till to-morrow : (a proverbial expres“ fion for procrastination)" &c. WARB.


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

And so-Face about, and as you were before; for it appears at laft, that impatience did particularly wait on the Queen's forrow. And we learn also that putting-off till to-morrow, which is the Eng. lih of procrastination, is a proverbial Expression for it.

[ocr errors]

Examp. XXVI. Vol. 1. P. 119. MIDSUMMER

Night's DREAM. Then, for the third part of a minute, hence." “ We should read, the third part of the midnight. « The common reading is nonsense. Poffibly,

Shakespear might have used the French word « minuit." WARB.

The common reading, says Mr. Warburton, is nonsense. And so, because he does not think the third part of a minute long enough, he would read midnight ; i. e. for the third part of an instant, an inđivifible point of time. But his fatal French led him into this blunder. “ Posibly Shakespear "might have used the French word minuit." He feems to be very little acquainted with Shakespear; who could make such a nonfenfical conjecture.

Examp. XXVII. Vol. 6. P. 116. KING LEAR. " Whose face 'cween her forks presages snow,' &c.

--~ Whose face 'tween her forks] i. e. her hand “ held before her face, in sign of modefty, with " the fingers spread-out, forky." WARB.

The construction is not, whose face between her “ forks," &c. but, “ whose face presages snow,"&c. the following expression, I believe, every body but


Mr. Warburton understands; and He might, if he had read a little farther, which would have saved him this ingenious note... See in TIMON, Vol. 6.

1 46 Whofe blush doth thaw the confecrated snow, “ That lies on Dian's lap

[ocr errors]


Examp. XXVIII. Vol. 2. P. 417. TAMING OP

THE SHREW. « Please ye we may CONTRIVE this afternoon."

r “Mr.Theobald asks, wbat they were to contrive? " and then says, a foolish corruption poffefses the “ place ; and so alters it to convive. But the com, "mon reading is right; and the critic was only « ignorant of the meaning of it. "Contrive does not " signify here to project, but to spend and wear-out. “ As in this passage of Spenser, Three ages, such as mortal men coxTRIVE."WARB. · I should think ; there is no need either of Mr. Theobald's convive, or of Mr. Warburton's new explication of contrive ; if indeed it be not more properly a new word. If he had attended to the context, he might have answered his brother Critic's question ; what they were to contrive? They were to contrive means jointly to gratify Petruchio, for making room for their courtship, by taking off the elder sister Catherine.

“ But, says Mr. Warburton, contrive does not
signify here to proje£t ; but to spend, and wear

As in this paffage of Spenser,
Three ages, fuch as mortal men CONTRIVE.”


* out.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Contrive, Skinner says, comes from controuver and he renders it excogitare, fingere. ' In which sense, if I am not mistaken, Spenser uses it in the paffage quoted;

“ Three ages, such as men gene . « rally compute or reckon them.”

If it did lignify to spend or wear-out, which will require more proof than this passage ; it must be formed from the verb contero, and from the preterperfect tense of that verb, contrivi ; and I do not at present recollect any English verbs, formed from the preterperfect tense of the Latin ; except such as have come to us through French words so formed, as propose, impose, &c. But here is a discovery, which if Mr. Warburton will make good, I will even forgive him all the injuries he has done to Shakespear. This passage is quoted from the LLEVENTH book of Spenser; fo that he has recovered, I hope, the fix books, which have been fo long lamented as loft in the Irish fea : for thus he quotes it—" Fairy Queen, Book xi. Chap. g. Now, notwithstanding that unfortunate chapter, which shocks one a little; no body will imagine, that Mr. Warburton, who is fo accurate a collater, and makes use of no indexes, or fecond hand quota tions; though in an outlandish Italian book he might take Decade and Novel for December and November : yet in one of our own poets, whom he has so much studied, could mistake B. II. C. 9. for Book the ELEVENTH, CHAPTER the NINTH. Perhaps, the latter books may be written in Chapters, not Cantos, as those printed are ; but he thould have quoted VERSE 48 too,

* As Retrieve also, which he spells Retrive, does from Re


EXAMP. XXIX. Vol. 6. P. 62. K. LEAR.

. “ if your sweet sway Allow obedience]. Could it be a question, “ whether heaven allowed obedience? The poet

66 wrote,


[ocr errors]


Hallow obedience,”' &c. WARB.

But surely one may as well question, whether heaven allows obedience; as whether it ballows, i. e. fanctifies, it. It is strange, that a man of learning should imagine; that the word if here implies doubting or questioning. The form of the expression is elliptical; but, when the words left-out are supplied, it implies not doubting, but strong affirmation.

“ If you do love old men-(which you surely do)

“ If your sweet sway allow obedience (which it « undoubtedly does; nay more, it commands it)

If you yourselves are old-(which you certain“ ly are) Make it

your Does Mr. Warburton imagine ; that, when Nisus says, Si qua tuis

unquam pro me pater Hirtacus aris "Dona tulit, fique ipse meis venatibus auxi;" when Calchas makes the same sort of address to Apollo, in the first book of Homer's Iliad;

Or, when Anchises says, " Jupiter omnipotens, precibus fi flecteris ullis” That the one had the left doubt, whether Jupiter was ever moved by prayer; or that the others questioned, whether or no they themselves had ever facrificed to Diána or Apollo ?

« ZurückWeiter »