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This is sad confusion, which Mr. Steevens has not, I suspect, completely reconciled. "Gentle sleep rouzed up, (says he) becomes "discord," and, under that metamorphose, is qualified to fright fair peace." i. e. Peace changes, or is made to change, her character, for the sake of frighting herself. The passage seems to be a "ravelled sleeve" of ideas, which the poet did not take the trouble to " knit up." Both sense and concord require some arrangement like this:
"To wake our peace, which in our country's cradle
"Draws the sweet infant breath of gentle sleep; "But so rouz'd up with boisterous, untun'd arms, "With harsh resounding trumpets' dreadful bray, "Might from our quiet confines frighted fly."
29. " That sun, that warms y6u hfoe, shall shine on me."
A similar consolation did Richard find, in contemplating the gloominess of the sky, previous to the battle of Bosworth Field:
"What is that to me,"More than to Richmond ?—for the self-same heaven
"That frowns on me, looks sadly upon him."
"The fly-slow hours shall not determinate."
Why the arbitrary change, by Mr. Pope, of "fly-slow" from " slie slow," in the old copies, should have been adopted by the last editor, I am at a loss to guess. There is a violent incongruity in the compound " fly-slow," slowness and flight being directly opposite ideas; whereas " slie slow hours" is perfectly in our poet's manner :—" the hours which pass imperceptibly and deceitfully away ;" as in another place (As You Like It) we find the "stealing hours of time."
"Upon pain of life."
It should be " death," as, a little before,
"You, cousin Hereford, upon pain of death;"
yet in the quarto, 1615, it is in both places "life."
31. "I swear," &c.
A foot is wanting to the measure—
"I swear, my liege, Mowb." And I, to keep all this."
32. "Banish'd this frail sepulchre of our flesh.' '
We find "sepulchre" differently accentuated; the second Act, Scene 1, it is sepulchre:—
"As is the sepulchre in stubborn Jewry."
"And I from he&vhi banish'd asfrom hence! "But what thou art heav'n, thou, and I do know."
"Heaven,'' in the first of these lines, a dissyllable, and in the next a monosyllable.—The useless preposition before "hence" might be dismissed by extending banished to its full quantity.
"And I from heaven banished, as hence." Or,
"And I from heav'n be banished, as hence."
35," What presence must not know
"From where you do remain, let paper shew."
As we cannot enjoy one another's presence, let us converse by letters.
"What is six winters? they are quickly gone,
Bol. "To men in joy, but grief makes one hour ten."
A rhyme seems to have been designed here.
"What is six winters? they are quickly gone,
Bol. "In joy, but grief makes ten hours out of one."
Or, with less variation,
"To men in joy, but grief makes ten of one."
36. "Journey-man to grief."
The pitiful quibble which Dr. Johnson suspects to be designed here is too palpable.
"All places that the eye of heaven visits
Mr. Davies observes, that these lines are evidently borrowed from Ovid :—
"Omne solum forti patria est."
Which is likewise imitated by Ben Jonson, in the Fox—
"Sir, to a wise man, all the world's his soil." And Seneca—"Excelso vir animo contristari exilio non debet."
The magnanimous words of Sir Humphrey Gilbert, when his ship was sinking, are extremely remarkable; that gallant officer was seen sitting in the stern of the ship with a book in his hand, and was heard to say, with a loud voice, "Courage, my lads ! we are as near heaven at sea as on land." Lord Chedworth.
"There is no virtue like necessity."
There is no virtue so excellent as that which leads us to conform with cheerfulness to the mandates of necessity, to assimilate our inclinations to the decrees of fate, and to embrace that as a benefit which we should in vain resist as a misfortune: the same sentiment, dilated, is found in As You Like It, Act 2, Scene 1 :—
"Sweet are the uses of adversity." &c.
"Think not the king did banish thee."
There is something wanting here—perhaps the line ran thus:
"Thou must not think the king did banish thee."
I find that Mr. Ritson has proposed a word to fill up the measure; but, as no conclusion is implied in Gaunt's speech, "therefore" will not agree with the context.
37." Faintly borne."
Borne with feebleness or dejection of mind.
38." . 'Who can hold afire in his hand,
"By thinking on the frosty Caucasus?" Sec.
A sentiment resembling this occurs in Romeo and Juliet—
"He that is stricken blind cannot forget
"The precious treasures of his eye-sight lost."
The office, indeed, of the imagination in the distinct instances is reversed; in one it is active, in the other passive; here it is required to produce an effect, there to resist a consequence.
39. "We did observe.—Cousin Aumerle,"
Something has been lost—perhaps the line ran thus,
"We did observe it well, cousin Aumerle."
"And, for my heart disdained that my tongue."
We should read, without a fragment—
"Farewel, and, for my heart disdain'd, my tongue "Should," &c.
"The young affects, in me defunct."
"The revenue whereof shall furnish us."
And again, Act 2—
"The plate, coin, revenues, and moveables."
But not always thus—in King Lear we meet with
"The sway, revenue," &c.
42. "Bushy, what news?"
This fragment is not in the quarto, 1615, and ought not to be here.
"Where lies he?
We might read,
"Where does he lie?
"At Ely-house, my liege."