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Dr. Johnson interprets" creep" into keep oui of sight, a definition that Mr. Malone very properly, in my opinion, rejects; but I cannot admit that Mr. Malone's own explanation of “creep” (remain tamely inactive), is right :creeping, howsoever tardily, contradistinguished to running, cannot be called inaction, Neither am I satisfied with Dr. Johnson's exposition of “play the ideots in her eyes,” others, though they but play the ideot, are always in her eye, in the way of distinction. There is an expression belonging to the nursery, from which, I believe, this latter one has been derived, making babies in the eyes, from the mutual miniature reflections by looking into each other's eyes. And the sense of the whole I take to be, 'tis strange how some men creep or advance by sluggish paces, in the vestibule or hall of fortune, while others have access to her immediate presence; and familiarly converse with her, face to face. 368. “ As done : perseverance dear, my lord.”
This defective line stands in the text without any remark, except a note of accentuation in the word perseverance, which seems as if intended to repair or accommodate the metre: but, with the accent so placed, there will be the deficiency of a foot :--we might read,
“As done, 'tis perseverance dear, my lord.” 369. “ They- leave you hindmost, "Or, like a gallant horse, fall’n in first
rank, “ Lie there for pavement to the abject
rear.” The exhibition which frequently occurs of passages like this, without a note to qualify or censure their incongruity, is utterly unpardonable : as the construction stands, it is they, (i. e. the ignoble multitude) leave you, or lie there for pavement, whereas the sense is quite the contrary: it is necessary to read, instead of “ Lie there for pavement,”
“ You're left for pavement," &c. 370.“ And give to dust, that is a little gilt,
“ More laud than gilt o'er-dusted.” Theobald appears to me to have had the right conception of this passage: there is evidently intended an opposition between dust gilded, and gold itself, obscured by dust; and we should, doubtless, read, “ And give to dust, that is a little gilt, “ More laud than gold (i. e. than to gold) o'er
dusted.” 371. “ And drave great Mars to faction.”
This obsolete propriety of tense occurs again in As You Like It:
"I drave my suitor from a living humour.”
“ Of this my privacy.” There is no need of the word “this," and it spoils the metre. "
" Ha! known !" This is defective: perhaps,
“ Ha! known say you ?” But another hemistic immediately follows this VOL. I.
372. “Uncomprehensive deeps.”
“Uncomprehensive” for “uncomprehensible," the active for the passive form. We find the same license used by Milton:
“The unexpressive nuptial song.” "- Almost every grain of Plutus' gold.”
I am far from disapproving of the easy and proper correction of such a mistake as the insertion of Pluto for Plutus; but, when Mr. Malone calls it an obvious error of the press, I must take the liberty of utterly denying his assertion, and exonerating the printers, by laying the blame directly and solely on the poet; and the votaries of Shakspeare's muse need not blush at such a slip of his, while there is authority no less than that of the learned Bacon, to keep them in countenance : “ But in all those things (though wisely layed downe and considered) Ferdinando had failed, but that Pluto was better to him than Pallas.”
History of the Raigne of King Henry VII. 373. “There is a mystery (with whom relation
“Durst never meddle) in the soul of state." By “ relation,” I believe, is meant, not as Dr. Johnson supposes, history, but rational deduction, the relation or natural connection of things: in this sense the word is used by Macbeth :
“ Augurs, and understood relations have,
“By magpies,” &c. “Whom” for which (the proper neuter pronoun) is wrong. “ All the commérce that you have had with
We had this accentuation of commerce before, Act l, Scene 3, page 271.
“Unloose.” This word, perhaps, should be written, “enloose.” 371. “Omission to do what is necessary
“ Seals a commission to a blank of danger." By omitting to do what is fit and expedient to be done, we give a discretionary authority-a chart blanch for danger to annoy us. 375.“ A plague of opinion.”
“Opinion” seems, here, to mean, conceit, selfapprobation. 377. “ — His horse, the more capable crea
ture.” “ Capable,” says Mr. Malone, is intelligent, but I believe it is rather, sensible, susceptible, as in Hamlet:
His form and cause conjoin’d “Preaching to stones, would make them capa
ACT IV. SCENE I.
379.“ A thousand com'plete courses of the sun.”
The same accentuation we find in Hamlet : “ That thou, dead corse, again in com'plete
steel.” 380. “ Not palating the taste of her dishonour.” This is tautology, as palating, here, can only signify tasting, or perceiving by the palate. 382. “We'll not commend what we intend to
sell.” As Paris had no design to sell Helen, I do not understand this passage as it stands : perhaps a word has been changed, “ you,” says Paris, "
Do as chapmen do, “ Dispraise the thing that you desire to buy; “ But we, in silence, hold this virtue well.”
i. e. But we, tacitly approving of your policy, will conform to it, and only
“ Not commend till we intend to sell."
SCENE II. 384. “With wings more momentary-swift than
On wings as swift
“ As tediously as hell.” Sir T. Hanmer's restoration of the metre ought to be adopted :
“ Tedious as hell." 385. “You bring me to do, and then you flout
me too.” Cressida, it is true, is not distinguished for her delicacy, yet there is no need to suppose, with Mr. Collins, that “do," here, is used, as in some other places, in a wanton sense : Cressida only