Imatges de pàgina
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O U nymphs, callid Naiads, of the wand'ring

brooks! With your sedg'd crowns, and ever harmless locks, Leave your crisp channels. Tempest, A. 4, S. 1.

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Ν Α Μ Ε.
With thy blessings steel my lance's point,
That it may enter Mowbray's waxen coat”,
And furbish new the name of John of Gaunt.

Richard II. A. 1, S. 3.

To abide a field,
Where nothing but the sound of Hotspur's name
Did seeni defenfible 3. Henry IV. P. 2, A. 2, S. 3.


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A 66

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wand'ring brooks.] The modern editors read winding brooks. The old copy windring. I suppose we should read wand'ring, as it is here printed.

Steevens: Perhaps we should read, windered brooks, i. e. brooks whose fides were decked, or ornamented, with flowers. Windered, in Chaucer, is gay, trim, ornamented..

A. B. - waxen coat.] Waxen may mean soft, and consequently penetrable.

STEEVENS. waxen coat” is not a coat made of wax, nor even a soft coat. The speech is figurative. Waxen is employed as a participle present, and means growing:--Coat is used for consequence, importance, in allufion to enfigns armorial. Bolingbroke's meaning is,—that he hopes to overturn, or put down, the growing greatness of Mowbray, and to raise up the name of Gaunt.

A. B. 3 Did feem defenfible.] Defenfible does not, in this place, mean capable of defence, but bearing Arength, furnishing the means of defence,



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Remember where we are;
In France, amongst a fickle wavering nation:
If they perceive diffenfion in our looks,
And that within ourselves we disagree,
How will their grudging stomachs be provok'd
To wilful disobedience, and rebel!

Henry VI. P. 1, A. 4, S. 1.
He hath disgraced me, and hindered me of half a
million ; laugh'd at my losses, mock'd at my gains,
fcorn'd my nation, thwarted my bargains, coold
my friends, heated mine enemies, and what's his
reason! I am a Jew. Merchant of Venice, A. 3, S. 1.
This heavy-headed revel, east and west,
Makes us traduc'd, and tax'd of other nations :
They clepe us drunkards, and with swinish phrase
Soil our addition; and, indeed, it takes
From our atchievements, though perform'd at height,
The pitch and marrow of our attribute.

Hamlet, A. 1, S. 4.

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N A T U R E.

Nature is made better by no mean,
But nature makes that mean ; so, o'er that art
Which, you say, adds to nature, is an art
That nature makes. Winter's Tale, A. 4, S. 3.

Once a day, I'll visit
The chapel where they lie ; and tears, shed there,
Shall be my recreation : so long as nature
Will bear up with this exercise, so long
I daily vow to use it. Winter's Tale, A. 3, S. 2,

The meaning is, that nothing but the name of Hotspur gave strength or support to the cause. Soin Richard III. “ Befide, the king's name is a tower of strength, &c.".

A. B.


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This is as strange a maze as e'er men trod :
And there is in this business more than nature
Was ever conduct of.

Tempeft, A.


S. 1,
How bless'd are we, that are not single men!
Yet nature might have made me as these are,
Therefore I will not disdain. Wint. Tale, A. 4, S.

Nature wants stuff
To vie strange forms with fancy; yet, to imagine
An Antony, were nature's piece ʼgainst fancy,
Condemning shadows quite.

Antony and Cleopatra, A. 5, S. 2.
How sometimes nature will betray its folly,
Its tenderness: and make itself a pastime
To harder bofoms! Winter's Tale, A. 1, S. 2.
O thou goddess,
Thou divine nature, thou thyself thou blazon'st
In these two princely boys! They are as gentle
As zephyrs, blowing below the violet,
Not wagging his sweet head, and yet as rough,
Their royal blood enchaf'd, as the rud'st wind,
That by the top doth take the mountain pine,
And make him stoop to the vale.

Cymbeline, A. 4, S. 2.
Though train'd up thus meanly
l' the cave, wherein they bow, their thoughts do hit
The roofs of palaces; and nature prompts them,
In simple and low things, to prince it, much
Beyond the trick of others. Cymbeline, A. 3, S. 3.
Too much of water hast thou, poor Ophelia,
And therefore I forbid my tears : but yet
It is our trick; nature her custom holds,
Let shame say what it will: when these are gone
The woman will be out. Hamlet, A. 4, S. 7.

Hath nature given them eyes
To see this vaulted arch, and the rich crop
Of sea and land, which can distinguish 'twixt.


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The fiery orbs above, and the twinn'd stones?
Upon the number'd beach ? and can we not
Partition make with spectacles so precious
"Twixt fair and foul?

Cymbeline, A. 1, S. 7.
Use can almost change the stamp of nature,
And either master the devil, or throw him out
With wondrous potency. Once more, good night!
And when you are desirous to be blest,
I'll blessing beg of you. Hamlet, A. 3, S. 40

Here lay Duncan, His silver skin lac'd with his golden blood; And his gash'd stabs look'd like a breach in nature, For ruin's wasteful entrance: there the murderers


and the twinn'd stones Upon the number'd beach?] I have no idea in what sense the beach, or fhore, should be called number'd. I have ventured, against all the copies, to substitute,

"Upon th' unnumber'd beach?" i, e. the infinite extensive beach.

THEOBALD. “Upon th' unnumber'd beach?" Scnse, and the antithesis, oblige us to read this nonsense thus :

“Upon the humbled beach ?” i. e. because daily insulted by the flow of the tide.

WARBURTON. I know not well how to regulate this passage. Number'd is, perhaps, numerous. Twinn'd stones I do not understand. Twinn'd Shells

, or pairs of shells, are very common. For twinn'd we might read twin'd, that is, twisted, convolved; but this sense is more applicable to shells than to stones.

JOHNSON. I would read thus:

“—which can distinguish 'twixt
" The fiery orbs above, and the twinn'd stones

" Unnumber'd on the beach?" Unnumber'd seems to include both stars and stones. Twinn'd ftones, may mean, ftones in shape and number like the stars.

The fenfe, I believe, is this; Man, says the poet, can distinguish between the fiery orbs above, and the stones upon the beach, which are spherical like those orbs, and which also resemble them in number; and cannot we, aflisted as we are by reason, by the faculties of the foul'; or as he expresses it, having spectacles fo precious," distinguish between virtue and vice,-betwixt fair and foul ?


A. B.

Steep'd in the colours of their trade, their daggers Unmannerly breech'd with gore !

Macbeth, A. 2, S. 3. Let your own discretion be your tutor: fuit the action to the word, the word to the action; with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature; for any thing so overdone is from the purpose of playing, whose end, both at the first, and now, was, and is, to hold the mirror as 'twere up to nature; to Mew virtue her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure. Hamlet, A. 3, S. 2. That nature, which contemns its origin, Cannot be border'd certain in itself; She that herself will fliver and disbranch

"Unmannerly breech'd with gore.] An unmannerly dagger, and a dagger breech'd, or, as in some editions, breach'd with gore, are expressions not easily to be understood. There are undoubtedly two faults in this passage, which I have endeavoured to take away by reading,

daggers « Unmannerly drench’d with gore.” I saw, drenched with the king's blood, the fatal daggers, not only inftruments of murder, but evidences of cowardice. JOHNSON.

“ Unmannerly breech'd with gore." This nonfenfical account of the state in which the daggers were found, must surely be read thus:

...?“Unmannerly reech'd with gore." Reech'd, foiled with a dark yellow, which is the colour of any reechy substance, and must be fo of steel stained with blood.

WARBURTON. “ This passage (says Mr. Heath) seems to have been the crux criticorum. Every one has tried his skill at it, and I may ture to say, no one has succeeded."

The whole matter is, I think, that some of the lines have been transposed at the press. I regulate the passage thus :

Here lay Duncan, 6. His filver sin lac'd with his golden blood; “ And his gash'd stabs look'd like a breach in nature, "(Unmannerly breach!) for ruin's wasteful entrance.« There the murderers, steep'd in the colours of their trade, ** Their daggers drenched with gore.”

A. B. From


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