Abbildungen der Seite

Was parmecety, for an inward bruise ;
And that it was great pity, fo it was,
This villainous falt-petre fhould be digg'd
Out of the bowels of the harmless earth,
Which many a good tall fellow had deftroy'd
So cowardly and but for thefe vile guns,
He would himself have been a foldier.


I'll read you matter, deep and dangerous:
As full of peril and advent'rous fpirit,
As to o'erwalk a current, roaring loud,
On the unitedf.ft footing of a fpear.


(4) By heav'ns! methinks, it were an eafy leap,
To pluck bright honour from the pale-fac'd moon!
Or dive into the bottom of the deep,
Where fathom-line could never touch the ground,
And pluck up drowned honour by the locks!
So he, that doth redeem her thence, might wear
Without corrival all her dignities.
But out upon this half-fac'd fellowship!


(4) By heav'ns! &c.] I will not take upon me to defend this paffage from the charge laid against it of bombaft and fuftian, but will only observe, we read it in that light, it is, perhaps, one of the finest rants to be found in any author. Mr. Waburto attempts to clear it from the charge, and obferves, "tho' the expreffion be fublime and daring, yet the thought the natural movement of an heroic mind. Euripides, at leaft, (as he adds) thought fo, when he put the very fame fentiment, in the fame words, into the mouth of Etcocles."

[ocr errors]

Eya yap, &c..

I will not cloak my foul; methinks, with ease
I cou'd fcale heaven, and reach the fartheft star;
Or to the deepest intrails of the earth
Defcending, pierce, fo be I cou'd obtain

A kingdom at the price, and god-like rule.


Lady Percy's, pathetic Speech to her Husband.

(5) O, my good lord, why are you thus alone?
For what offence have I this fortnight been
A banish'd woman from my Harry's bed?
Tell me, fweet lord, what is't that takes from thee
Thy ftomach, pleafure, and thy golden fleep?
Why doft thou bend thy eyes upon the earth,
And start so often, when thou fit'st alone?
Why haft thou loft the fresh blood in thy cheeks,
And giv'n my treafures, and my rights of thee,
To thick ey'd mufing and curs'd melancholy?
In thy faint flumbers I by thee have watcht,
And heard thee murmur tales of iron wars:
Speak terins of manage to thy bounding steed:
Cry, courage! to the field! and thou haft talk'd
Of fallies, and retires; of trenches, tents,
Of palifadoes, fortins, parapets;
Of bafilifks, of cannon, culverin,
Of prifoner's ranfom, and of foldiers flain,
And all the current of a heady fight.
Thy spirit within thee hath been so at war,
And thus hath so beftirr'd thee in thy fleep,
That beads of fweat have ftood upon thy brow,
Like bubbles in a late disturbed stream:

And in thy face strange motions have appear'd,
Such as we fee, when men restrain their breath

On fome great fudden hafte. O, what portents are these!
Some heavy bufinefs hath my lord in hand,
And I must know it, else he loves ine not.


(5) See Portia's fpeech to Brutus in Julius Cæfar, A&t II.

Scene III.

[ocr errors]


Prodigies ridicul'd.

(6) I blame him not: at my nativity,
The front of heav'n was full of fiery shapes,
Of burning creffets; know, that, at my birth,
The frame and the foundation of the earth
Shook like a coward.

Hot. So it would have done

At the fame feason, if your mother's cat

Had kitten'd, though yourfelf had ne'er been born.

* * * * *


* *





[ocr errors]


Difeafed nature oftentimes breaks forth

In strange eruptions; and the teeming earth
Is with a kind of cholic pinch'd and vext,
By the imprisoning of unruly wind
Within her womb; which for enlargement striving,
Shakes the old beldame earth, and topples down
High tow'rs and mofs-grown steeples.

On miferable Rhymers.

(7) I had rather be a kitten, and cry, mew! Than one of these fame meter-ballad-mongers: I'd rather hear a brazen candlestick turn'd,


(6) I blame, &c.] Glendower was mightily fuperftitious, he adds afterwards,

Give me leave

To tell you once again, that at my birth

The front of heav'n was full of fiery fhapes,

The goats ran from the mountains, and the herds
Were ftrangely clam'rous in the frighted fields:
These figns have mark'd me extraordinary,

And all the courses of my life do fhew,
I am not in the roll of common men.

(7) I had, &c.] Horace, in his art of poetry, speaking of poetafters, fays,

Ut mala, &c.

A mad dog's foam, th' infection of the plague,
B 4


Or a dry-wheel grate on the axle-tree,
And that would nothing fet my teeth on edge,
Nothing fo much as mincing-poetry;
"Tis like the forc'd gait of a fhuffling nag.

Punctuality in Bargain.

I'll give thrice fo much land,
To any well-deferving friend;
But in the way of bargain, mark ye me,
I'll cavil on the ninth part of a hair.

A Hufband fung to Sleep by a fair Wife.
(8) She bids you

All on the wanton rufhes lay you down,
And reft your gentle head upon her lap,
And the will fing the fong that pleaseth you,

And all the judgments of the angry gods
Are not avoided more by men of fense,
Than poetafter's in their raging fits.-

And again;


'Tis hard to fay, whether for facrilege,
Or inceft, or fome more unheard of crime,
The rhyming fiend is fent into thefe men:
But they are almost visibly poffeft,

And like a bated bear, when he breaks loose,
Without diftinction, feize on all they meet:
Learn'd or unlearn'd, none 'fcape within their reach;
(Sticking like leeches, till they burft with blood,)
Without remorfe infatiably they read,

And never leave 'till they have read men dead.


(8) She bids, &c.] There is fomething extremely tender and pleafing in thefe lines, as well as in the following, from Phiafter; which juftly deferve to be compared with them:

-Who fhall now tell you

How much I lov'd you? who shall fwear it to you,
And weep the tears I fend? who fhall now bring you
Letters, rings, bracelets, lofe his health in service?


And on your eye-lids crown the god of fleep,
Charming your blood with pleafing heaviness;
Making fuch diff'rence betwixt wake and fleep,
(9) As is the diff'rence betwixt day and night,
The hour before the heavenly-harness'd team
Begins his golden progress in the east.

SCENE IV. King Henry the 4th to his Son..

Had I fo lavish of my prefence been, So common hackney'd in the eyes of men, So ftale and cheap to vulgar company; Opinion, that did help me to the crown, Had still kept loyal to poffeffion;


Wake tedious nights in stories of your praife?
Who now fhall fing you crying elegies,
And ftrike a fad foul into fenfelefs pictures,
And make them mourn? who fhall take up his lute
And touch it, till he crown a a filent fleep
Upon my eye-lid, making me dream and cry,
Oh my dear, dear Philafter.-

Act 3. latter end.

(9) Asis, &c.] It is remarkable of Milton, that whenever he can have an opportunity, he takes particular notice of the evening twilight, but I don't at prefent recollect any paffage where he defcribes this morning-twilight, which Shakespear fo beau-tifully hints at nothing can exceed this lovely defcription in the 4th book of his Paradife Loft.

Now came ftill evening on, and twilight gray
Had in her fober livery all things clad :
Silence accompanied: for beast and bird,
They to their graffy couch, these to their neft
Were flunk: all but the wakeful nightingale ;
She all night long her amorous defcant fung:
Silence was pleas'd; now glow'd the firmament
With living fapphires: Helperus, that led
The ftarry hoft, rode brighteft, till the moon,
Rifing in clouded majesty, at length
Apparent queen unveil'd her peerless light,
And o'er the dark her filver mantle threw.

V. 598.

The reader will be agreeably entertained, by confulting the paffage in Dr. Newton's edition of Milton..

« ZurückWeiter »