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oncy, dignity and decorum: one part of his behaviour deferves to be particularly pointed out. During the exhibtion of a mask with which he had ordered Ariel to entertais Ferdinand and Miranda, he starts suddenly from the recoltation of the conspiracy of Caliban and his confederates against his life, and dismisses his attendant {pirits, who inftaytly vanish to a hollow and confused noise. He appeay to be greatly moved ; and suitably to this agitation of mird, which his danger has excited, he takes occasion, from the sudden disappearance of the visionary scene, to moralize in the disa folution of all things :

These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all fpirits; and
Are melted into air, into thin air :
And, like the baseless fabrick of this vifion,

The cloud capt towers, the gorgeous palace,
The folemn temples, the great globe itfelf,
Yea, all which it inherit, Ihall diffolve ;
And, like this unsubstantial pageant faded,

Leave not a rack behind-
To these noble images he adds a fhort but compehenhve ob,
Servation on human life, not excelled by any affage of the
moral and sententious Euripides :

-We are such Auff
As dreams are made on; and our little lift

Is rounded with a sleep Thus admirably is an uniformity of character, that Icad. ing beauty in dramatic poesy, preferved throughout the Tempeft. And it may be farther remarked, that the uni-, ties of action, of place, and of time, are in this play, though almost constantly violated by Shakespeare, ex fêtly observed. The action is one, great, and entire, the refteration of Prof. pero to his dukedom; this bufiness is transacted in the com. pass of a small iNand, and in, or near, the cave of Prospero ; though indeed, it had been more artful and regular to have confined it to this single spot; and the time which the acstion takes up, is only equal to that of the representation : an elegance which ought always to be aimed at in every wellsonducted fable, and for the w nt of which, a variety of the most entertaining incidents can scarcely alone.

Ο Ν Α MIDSUMMER-NIGHT'S DREAM. T

HE history of our old poets is fo little known, and

the firft editions of their works become so very scarce, that it is hard pronouncing any thing certain about them : But, if that pretty fantastical poem of Drayton's called " Nymphidia, or, The Court of Fairy;" be early enough in time, as, I believe, it is ; for I have seen an edition of that author's pastorals, printed in 1993, quarto) it is not improbable, that Shakespeare took from thence the hint of his fairies : a line of that poem, “ Thorough bush, thorough briar," occurs also in his play. The rest of the play is, doubtless, invention : the names only of Theieus, Hippolita, and Theseus' former loves, Antiopa and others, being historical; and taken from the translated Plutarch, in the article-Thefous.

P. 85. l. 6, Long withering out a young man's revenue. ] Long withering out is, certainly, not good Englith. I rather think Shakespeare wrote, Long wintering on a young man's

WARB,* Ibid.] That the common reading is not good English, I cannot perceive, and therefore find in myself no temptation to change it.

JOHNsun. P. 86. 1, 16, Roll'n th' impression of her fantasca] The expression is elegant and pretty, It alludes to the taking the impresion of a key in wax, in order to have another made to unlock a cabinet.

WARB. L. 28. Or to ber death, according to our law.] By a law of Solor's, Parents had the absolute power of life and death over their children. So it suited the poet's purpose well enough to suppose the Athenians had it before.- Or perhaps he peither thought nor knew any thing of the matter. WARB, P. 87. 1. 1. To you your father Jhould be as a godt,

One, wko compos'd your beauties; yea, and.une,
To whom you are but as a form in wax

revenue.

4

By bim imprinted; and within bis power
TOLE AVE the figure or disfigure it.] We should read,

To'LEVE the figure, &c. i. e. releve, to heighten or add to the beauty of the figure, which is said to be imprintd by him. 'Tis from the French, relever. Thus they say, Tapisseries relevées d'or. In the fame sense they use enlever, which Maundeviile makes English of in this manner :-"And alle the walles withinne ben covered with gold and fylver, in fyn plates: and in the plates ben stories and batayles of knyghtes enleved," p. 228. Rabalais, with a strain of buffoon humour, that equals the sober elegance of this passage in our poet, calls the imall gentry of France, Gentilhommes de bas relief.

WARB. Ibid.] I know not why so harsh a word should be admitted with so little need, a word that, spoken, could not be understood, and of which no example can be shewn. The sense is plain, “ you owe to your father a being which he may at pleasure continue or destroy." JOHNS. & CAN.

L. 14. I know 10t, by what fower I am made bold.] It was the opinion of the ancients, that when a person did or said any thing that exceeded his common faculties of performance, that he did it by the assistanie of some God. So here she insinuates, that it was love that enabled her to plead his cause.

WARB. L. 31. Thus all the copies, yet earthlier is so harsh a word, and eartbler happy for bappier eartbly a mode of speech fo unusual, that I wonder none of the editors have proposed earl.er larjy. JOHNSON. Earthly happy.

CAPELL. P. 89. I. 13. Come, my Hippolita; what cheer, niy love? ] Hippolita had not said one single word all this while. Had a modern poct had the teaching of her, we should have found her the busiest amongst them; and without doubt, the lovers might have expect a more equitable decision. But Shakefpeare knew better what he was about ; and observed deco

WARB. L. 22. Beteem them.] Or pour down upon them. Pope.

Ibid.] Give them, beitow upon them. The word is used by Spenser.

JOHNSON. L. 23. Eigb me, for Ah me. For aught. Hermia was

rum.

inserted in the folio 1632, but is now changed for the first reading.

JOHNson. L. 27.] Enthralled to low; vulg, to love.

THEOB. P. 90.1. 6. Momentany is the old and proper word. Johns. L. 8. Brief as the lightning in the collied night,

That, in a Spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth,
And ere a man bath

power 10 say, Behold! The jaws of darkness do devour it up.] Tho' the word Spleen be here employed odly enough, yet I believe it right. Shakespeare always hurried on by the grandeur and multitude of his ideas assumes, every now and then, an uncommon licence in the use of his words. Particularly in complex moral modes it is usual with him to employ one, only to express a very few ideas of that number of which it is composed. Thus wanting here to express the ideas--of a sudden, or in a trice, he uses the word Spleen; which partially considered, fignifying a hasty fudden fit, is enough for him, and he never troubles himself about the further or fuller signification of the word. Here, he uses the word Spleen for a sudden basty fit ; fo just the contrary, in the Tavo Gentlemen of Verona, he uses sudden for fpleenatic-----sudden quips. And it must be owned this sort of conversation adds a force to the diction.

WARB. L. 20. I have a widow aunt, &c.] These lines perhaps might more properly be regulated thus :

I have a widow aunt, a dowager
Of great revenue, and the hath no child,
And the respects me as her only son ;
Her house from Athens is removed fev'n leagues,
There, gentle Hermia, may I marry thee,
And to that place

JOHNSON.
-If thou looft me then
Steal forth thy father's bouleg. & c.
Her. My good Lysander,

I swear to thee by Cupid's strongest bow,
By, &c. &c.
In that same place thou hast appointed me

To-morrow truly will I meet with thee.] Lysander does but just propose her running away from her father at midnight, and straight she is at her oaths that she will meet bin

L. 27

.

at the place of rendezvous. Not one doubt or hesitation, not one condition of assurance for Lysander's constancy. Either she was ņaufęously coming; or else had before jilted him; and he could not believe her without a thousand oaths. But Shakespeare observed nature at another rate. The speeches are divided wrong, and must be thus rectified ; when Lylander had proposed her running away with him, the replies,

Her. My good Lyfander and is going on to sx security for his fidelity. This he perceives, and interrupts her with the grant of what the cemands. Lyf. I swear to thee by Cupid's strongest bow, &c.

By all the vows that ever men have broke,

In number more than ever woman spoke Here se interrupts him in her turn; declares herself fatis. fied, and consenis to meet him in the following words, Her. - In that same place thou haft appointed ine,

To-morrow truly will I meet with thee. This division of the lines, besides preserving the character, gives the dialogue infinitely more force and spirit. WARB.

Ibid.] This emendation is judicious, but not necessary. The censure of men, as oftener perjured than woman, seems to make that line more proper for the lady. JOHNSON.

P. 91, l. 15. Your eyes are lode-stars.] This was a compliment not unfrequent among the old poets. The lode-Star is the leading or guiding far, that is the pole ftar. The magnet is for the same reason called the lode. ftone, either because it leads iron, or because it guide the failor. Milton has the same thought in L'Allegro,

Towers and battlements it sees
Bosom'd high in tufted trees,
Where perhaps some beauty lies,

The Cynosure of neighb'ring eyes. JOHNspn. L. 19.) This emendation is taken from the Oxford edition. The common reading is, Your word's I'd çatcb.

Johnson. P. 92. 1. 10.) Perhaps the reader may not discover the propriety of these lines. Hermia is willing to comfort Helena, and to avoid all appearance of triomph over her. She there

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