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SCENE IV. 214. “ Nor shall this peace sleep with her,” &c.
These lines, alluding to King James, were manifestly, as Dr. Johnson observed, inserted at a period subsequent to the time of the play's first representation, and for the purpose of complimenting the successor of Elizabeth. Mr. Malone thinks they are not of Shakspeare's writing, but that they were supplied after our poet had left the stage, by “that hand which tampered with the other parts of the play, so much as to have rendered the versification of it of a different colour from all the plays of Shakspeare.” And Mr. Steevens, though he will not recognise this “ tamperer," makes little scruple of ascribing to Ben Jonson the lines in question. I cannot bring myself to agree, on the present subject, with either of these critics. That many passages in the play are marked with adulteration is not disputed, and I have pointed out two whole scenes which I am completely satisfied are, as well as the Prologue and the Epilogue, the property of Jonson, whose pen occasionally, I think, may be traced in other places; as in the 1st Scene of the 1st Act, where Norfolk says, “As I belong to worship, and affect “In honour, honesty, the tract of every thing “Would, by a good discourser, lose some life, “ Which action's self was tongue to. All was
royal; “ To the disposing of it nought rebellid, “ Order gave each thing view: the office did “ Distinctly his full functions."
Buck. “ Who did guide, “ I mean, who set the body and the limbs
“ Of this great sport together, as you guess ?”
Norf. “ One, certes, that promises no element “ In such a business,” &c.
These lines partake much of his manner, and are utterly unlike the style of our poet. The other instances of corruption appear to me to be chiefly in the uncouth redundancy of particular lines, contrary to the practice of Shakspeare, (as I think I have shewn in the preface to these remarks); but they are not, in my opinion, by any means, so extended as to warrant Mr. Malone's assertion, that the general versification is “ of a different colour from all the plays of Shakspeare.” With respect to the interpolation in Cranmer's speech, I not only am unable to discover in it, with Mr. Steevens, any kind of resemblance to Ben Jonson, but I frankly, and without difficulty, declare, it appears to me nothing else but genuine Shakspeare. That it is not very skilfully combined with the context is no argument against its authenticity: it was superinduced merely to flatter James, and, having answered that purpose, the author was not very solicitous about accurate conformity: the compliment itself was not impaired by its abruptness.” 217. “ And ye shall find me thankful. Lead the
TROILUS AND CRESSIDA.
ACT I. SCENE I. 234. “ What goddess e'er she be.”
“Quisquis fuit ille deorum.” 237. “ Hard as the palm of ploughman.” We meet with this expression in Julius Cæsar:
“ The hard hands of peasants.” And again, in Cymbeline :
“ Hands made hard with hourly falsehood.” “ Thou lay'st in every gash that love hath given
me “ The knife that made it —
This is very quaintly expressed-love gives, and the knife makes the wound.
SCENE II. 241. “ Hector, whose patience,
“ Is, as a virtue, fix’d.” Dr. Warburton's objection to the expression, here, is well founded, though his emendation, I fear, is too far-fetched: Dryden, indeed, made sense and poetry in his alteration of this passage, which, as we have it, is only pompous diction, without meaning.
242.“ Before the sun rose, he was harness'd
light.” Surely there is no obscurity in this passage, upon which such extended comments are given : any plain reader would perceive, that, by being “harness'd light,” the warrior was represented as wearing armour which would not prevent his natural agility. 250. "
Her eyes ran o'er.” Cres.“ Vith mill-stones.”
It has been suggested, with some plausibility, in an ingenious “ specimen of a commentary upon Shakspeare,” that the phrase of “ weeping Inill-stones,” might have arisen from the awkward and clumsy imitation of “ tears in some of the old tapestry.” 257. “You are such another !" This colloquial vulgarism is still extant. “
Joy's soul lies in the doing.” Mr. M. Mason proposes dies in the doing; but there is no need of change : the sense is, the supreme enjoyment of lovers is during the time of courtship; but possession once obtained, puts an end to that enjoyment. If any change were to be made, it should, perhaps, be
" Joy's soul lives in the doing.” 258. “ Achievement is command; ungain’d, be
. seech." Mr. Steevens has rightly explained this passage, the sense of which is more fully expressed in Julius Cæsar :
“ For lowliness is young Ambition's ladder, “ Whereto the climber upward turns his face; " But when he once attains the utmost round, " He then unto the ladder turns his back, “ Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees “ By which he did ascend.”
259. “ That unbodied figure of the
· thought “ That gav't surmised shape.”That unsubstantial portraiture, formed by anticipation, in the mind. “ Figure” means configuration.
- Trials of great Jove, “ To find persistive constancy in men ? “ The fineness of which metal is not found “ In fortune's love : for then, the bold
and coward, “ The wise and fool, the artist and unread, “ The hard and soft, seem all affin'd and
- In the reproof of chance
being smooth, “ How many shallow bauble boats dare