Imatges de pàgina

Hie therefore, Robin, overcast the night,
The starry welkin cover thou anon
With drooping fog, as black as Acheron.

Midsummer Night's Dream, A. 3, S. 2.
Dark night, that from the eye his function takes,
The ear more quick of apprehension makes;
Wherein it doth impair the feeing sense,
It pays the hearing double recompense.

Midsummer Night's Dream, A. 3, S. 2.

I have intreated him along
With us to watch the minutes of this night :
That, if again this apparition come,
He may approve our eyes, and speak to it.

Hamlet, A. 1, S. 1.

--- Are you not he, That fright the maidens of the villag'ry; And sometimes make the drink to bear no barm; Mislead night-wanderers, laughing at their harm?

Midsummer Night's Dream, A. 2, S. 1. I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows, Where ox-lips and the nodding violet grows ; Quite over-canopy'd with luscious woodbine, With sweet musk-rofes, and with eglantine ; There fleeps Titania, some time of the night, Lulld in thefe flowers with dances and delight.

Midsummer Night's Dream, A. 2, S. 2, True; When the day serves, before black-corner'd night”, Find what thou want'st by free and offer'd light. Timon of Athens, A. 5, S. 1.


X 3

approve our eyes.] Add a new testimony to that of our eyes.

JOHNSON. Approve our eyes.” Have proof that we were no way mistaken, that we have not been fanciful. He had said in the first line of the speech, -Horatio says, 'tis but our phantasy. A. B.

? When the day serves, before black-corner'd night.] We should şead,


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The moon shines bright :-In such a night as this,
When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees,
And they did make no noise; in such a night,
Troilus, methinks, mounted the Trojan wall,
And figh'd his soul toward the Grecian tents,
Where Cressid lay that night.

Merchant of Venice, A. 5, S. 1.

Shall, ? for that vast of night that they may work,
All exercise on thee.

Tempest, A. 1, S. 2.

This fearful night,
There is no stir or walking in the streets ;
And the complexion of the element,
It favours like the work we have in hand,
Most bloody, fiery, and most terrible.

Julius Cæfar, A. 1, S. 3.

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black cornette night.” A cornette is a woman's head-dress for the night.

So in another place he calls her-black brow'd night.

WARBURTON. Black-corner'd night is probably corrupt, but black-cornette can hardly be right, for it sould be black-cornetted night. I canhot propose any thing, but must leave the place in its present state.

Johnson. I believe that Shakespeare, by this expreffion, meant only night, which is as obscure as a dark corner.

STEEVENS. « Black-corner'd night” is a very unmeaning expression. I would read,

black, coaled night.” I know not if the reading may be admitted, but I think it has much of Shakespeare's manner. Or he may have written collied.

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A. B.


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for that vast of night that they may work.] The vast of night means the night which is naturally empty and deserted, without action; or when all things lying in sleep and filence, makes the world appear one great uninhabited waste.

STEEVENS. I understand vast, in this place, to mean length of time--for

, is during. Fairies (says he) jhall, during the whole extent, or space of night, and in which they are allowed to work, all exercise on thee

. Our author, it may be remembered, uses vafty for extent of place.

A. B.

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From camp to camp, through the foul womb of night,
The hum of either army stilly sounds,
That the fix'd centinels almost receive
The secret whispers of each other's watch:
Fire answers fire; and through their paly flames
Each battle fees the other's umber'd face.

Henry V. A. 4, Chorus.

The confident, and over-lufty French
Do the low-rated English play at dice;
Ánd chide the cripple tardy-gaited night,
Who like a foul and ugly witch, doth limp
So tediously away.

Henry V. A. 4, Chorus.
Steed threatens steed, in high and boastful neighs,
Piercing the night's dull ear; and from the tents,
The armourers, accomplishing the knights,
With busy hammers closing rivets up,
Give dreadful note of preparation.

Henry V. A. 4, Chorus.

Here nothing breeds,
Unless the nightly owl, or fatal raven,
They told me, here, at dead time of the night,
A thousand fiends, a thousand hissing snakes,
Ten thousand swelling toads, as inany urchins,
Would make such fearful and confused cries,
As any mortal body, hearing it,
Should straight fall mad, or else die suddenly.

Titus Andronicus, A. 2, S. 3.
Gallop apace you fiery-footed steeds,
Towards Phoebus' mansion ; such a waggoner
As Phaeton would whip you to the west,
And bring in cloudy night immediately.

Romeo and Juliet, A. 3, S. 2.

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- If the midnight bell Did, with his iron tongue and brazen mouth, Sound on unto the drowsy race of night!.

King John, A. 3, S. 3. The time of night when Troy was set on fire; The time when scritch-owls cry, and ban-dogs howl.

Henry VI. P. 2, A. 1, S. 4. Brief as the lightning in the colly'd night, That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth,


as found one,

* Sound on unto the drowsy race of night.] Some of the commentators have taken infinite pains to prove that the present reading, found on, is faulty, and that we ought to read,

* &c. while the others have, aš stoutly maintained that the text should undoubtedly remain unchanged. I am of opinion, however, that both these readings are wrong, and have therefore ventured to alter the passage thus :

If the midnight bell
“ Had, with his iron tongue and brazen mouth,

“'Sounden unto the drowsy race of night." To suppose that the king was unable to communicate his thoughts to Hubert, at any other time than when the bell was founding on, is truly ridiculous and absurd.. But that he should consider midnight 'as the proper season for converfing with him on the dreadful businefs in hand, is highly beautiful and just. He therefore says, if the betl had founded, or founden, then, &c.

In old language, the participle is frequently formed by the terinination én, as it is now by ed.

A. B. ban-dogs howl.] The etymology of the word bandog's is unsettled. They feem, however, to have been designed bý poets to signify some terrific beings, whose office it was to make night hideous, like those mentioned in the first book of Horace :

Serpentes, atque videres 66 Infernos errare canes."

STEEVENS. Ban-dog," or band-dog, is a dog kept in bands, or tied up. A mastiff,

A. B.
Brief as the lightning in the collied night,
That, in a spleen, unfolds both heaven and earth,
And ere a man hath power to say, --behold!

The jaws of darknefs do devour it up.] Though the word spleen be here employed oddly enough, yet I believe it



And ere a man hath power to fay,-behold!
The jaws of darkness do devour it up.

Midsummer Night's Dream, A. I,

S. 1,



When did he regard
The stamp of nobleness in any person,
Out of himself?

Henry VIII. A. 3, S. 2. I am join'd with no foot but with nobility, and tranquillity; burgomasters and great moneyers ; such as can hold in; ? such as will strike sooner than speak,


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right. Shakespeare, hurried on by the grandeur and multitude of his idcas, assumes every now and then an uncommon licence in the use of his words. Here he uses the word Spleen for a sudden, hafty fit.

WARBURTON. Ít is scarcely possible that spleen should be right. I read thene, i. e. thining, Chaur. Spenf. Shakespeare uses it as a substantive, fiafh, ludden blaze.

A. B.
When did he regard
The flamp of nobleness in any person,

Out of himself?] The expression is bad, and the thought false. It supposes Woļsey to be noble, which was not so. We Ahould read,

When did he regard
“ The stamp of nobleness in any person;

"Out of’t himself ?”
i. e. When did he regard nobleness of blood in another ; having
pone of his own to value himself upon ?

WARBURTON. I do not think this correction proper. The meaning of the present reading is easy. When did be, however careful to carry his own dignity to the utmost beight, regard any dignity of another ?

JOHNSON. Į conceive the meaning to be-that from his pride he never paid a proper respect to nobleness, but when he was absolutely obliged to it. "Out of himself” is, of himself, of his own accord. That this is the sense is evident. It is impossible, as Warburton rightly observes (though he has printed and pointed the paffage wrong), that the Chamberlain should be talking of Wolfey's being noble.

A. B. Such as will Arike fooner than speak; and speak fooner than

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