Obrazy na stronie

Grief here is affliction, suffering. It is strange that Mr. Malone should so misapprehend (as I think he has done) the poet's meaning in this fine passage. Mr. Steevens has very clearly displayed the true image, on which Mr. Mason's lines, “ Patience “ Her meek hands folded on her modest breast “In mute submission lifts th' adoring eye “Even to the storm that wrecks her,” are a direct commentary. $18.“ My love can give no place.

i. e. Can yield to nothing else.


324.“ Court'sies to me.

Court'sie here is, surely, to be understood only as a general term for respectful salutation, whether by a man or a woman. 327. “You waste the treasure of your time.”

Massinger says this in the Roman actor: “Wasting the treasure of his time and fortune.”


337. The king lies by a beggar.

This lies should, I think, be lives, as it is printed in Johnson and Steevens's edition of 1773.

It is the counterpart of the preceding speech, in which the verbs employed are lives and stands,

LORD CHEDWORTH. 345. Hides my heart, so let me hear you


When Mr. Malone contends, as he frequently does, for the correctness of the metre, in lines like this, allotting two syllables to hear, he seems to pay no regard whatever to sound, or the established modes of pronunciation: it is impossible to endure a line like this,

Hides my heart, so let me he-ár you speak.

Again, this gentleman would have " turn" a dissyllable, and that, too, at the end of a line. “And thanks, and ever thanks; oft good

tur-úns, or éns." Neither Theobald's correction, “ And thanks, and ever thanks, and oft good

turns,” Nor Mr. Steevens's, “And thanks, and ever thanks; often good

túrns,” appears satisfactory.-May I venture a word, that, in my opinion, accords better with the harmony of the verse, as well as with the sense of the context: “I can no other answer make but thanks; “ And thanks, and ever thanks; too oft good

turns “ Are shuffled off with such uncurrent pay: “ But, were my worth,” &c.

With respect to the former line, “ Hides my heart,” &c. Mr. Steevens's expedient to supply the defect seems acceptable. “ Hides my poor heart, so let me hear you speak.”

Hides my heart,&c. The censure above passed on Mr. Malone is just. Mr. Malone has no title to say “ Digitis callemus & aure.”



356. “ If I be laps'd in this place.

If I be found nodding-off my guard, or vigilance. The word, in the same sense, occurs in Hamlet. “ Do you not come your tardy son to chide, “That, lap'st in time and passion, lets go by: * Th’important acting of your dread command?"


358. \Vhy dost thou smile so, and kiss thy

hand so oft g" This fantastical mode of courtesy, as Mr. Reed calls it, was, it seems, very current in our author's time. Iago, watching the looks and gestures of Cassio, addressed to Desdemona, says, “ Ay, smile upon her, do-if these tricks strip you out of your lieutenantry, you were better not have kiss'd your three fingers so oft ;-again, your fina gers to your lips !”

360. “ Fellow.

This term, as Dr. Johnson has remarked, sig. nified, formerly, without degradation, companion; and, by a remarkable revolution in the meaning of words, companion, which then signified fellow, in a contemptuous sense, has risen to its present dignity. 371. “ Such a Virago."

By Virago, I imagine the poet meant nothing else but what Dr. Johnson has explained ;-a delicate and feminine form, with boisterous and swaggering manners.


390. “ Are you not mad indeed ?" &c.

It is strange to see how the commentators have here mistaken the clown's character, who says to Malvolio, Are you not mad indeed, or do you but coụnterfeit? They would fain make him talk sense : Shakspeare made him talk nonsense in character. The question means--Are you really in your senses, or do you but act as though you were ? As though a mad man could counterfeit a wise man! Absurd ! but highly in character! Praises equally applicable to the annotators. This is from Heron's Letters of Literature.



393. I found this credit.

Perhaps credited, the simple verb for the passive participle, as it is sometimes used. Milton describes Satan“ with head uplift above the waves.” But it may signify, by a harsh ellipsis, a matter of credit or belief." 395. Whiles you are willing."

I have frequently heard while used corruptedly for till, particularly at Harrow, in Middlesex: I find it used in this sense in the trial of Spencer, Cowper, and others, at Hertford, 5 State Trials, 195. Mr. Jones: “ My Lord, then we should keep you here while to-morrow morning.” While is also used in this sense by Sir John Friend, at his trial. On his applying to the court, to have a witness sent for, who was a prisoner in the Gate-House, the Lord Chief Justice Holt asks,“ Sir John, why did you not send, and desire this before ? To which Friend answers, “ My Lord, I did not hear of him while last night.” So, too, Ben Jonson.

I am born a gentleman, “A younger brother ; but in some disgrace “ Now with my friends, and want some little

- means " To keep me upright while things be reconcil'd.” The Devil is an Ass, Act l, Scene 3.



« PoprzedniaDalej »