Imatges de pÓgina

by the following passage in the 18th Sonnet of our au. thor :

“ Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May." Again, in the Taming of a Shrew : “ Confounds thy fame, as whirlwinds shake fair buds.''

STÉEVENS. 306. -and a Frenchman.] The old copy readsma Frenchman, a Dutchman, and a Spaniard. Steevens.

314. -makes him] In the sense in which we say, This will make or mar you.

JOHNSON, 321. words him

a great deal from the matter. ] Makes the description of him very distant from the truth.


-under her colours, -] Under her banner; by her influence.

JOHNSON. 328. -without more quality.-] The folio reads less quality. Mr. Rowe first made the alteration.

STEEVENS. -I did atone, &c.] To atone fignifies in this place to reconcile. So Ben Jonson, in The Silent l'on


man :

“ There had been some hope to atone you." Again, in Heywood's English Traveller, 1633: “ The constable is call'd to atone the broil."

STEEV ENS. 351. rather shunn'd to go even with what I heard, &c.] This is expressed with a kind of fantas. tical perplexity. He means, I was then willing to take for my direction the experience of others, more


than such intelligence as I had gathered myself.

JOHNSON. 363. which may, without contradiction, -] Which, undoubtedly, may be publickly to!d.

JOHNSON 377. —though I profess, &c.] Though I have not the common obligations of a lover to his mistress, and regard her not with the fondness of a friend, but the reverence of an adorer.

JOHNSON. 381. -If she went before others I have seen, as that diamond of your's outlustres many I have bcheld, I could not believe she excelled many:-- -]“ If (says Iachimo) your mistress went before some others I have seen, only in the same degree your diamond outlustres many I have likewise seen, I should not admit on that account that she excelled many: but I ought not to make myself the judge of who is the fairest lady, or which is the brightest diamond, till I have beheld the finest of either kind which nature has hitherto produced.” The passage is not nonsense.

It was the business of lachimo to appear on this occasion as an infidel to beauty, in order to spirit Posthumus to lay the wager, and therefore will not admit of her excellence on any comparison.

STEEVENS, As the passage now stands, even with Mr. Steevens's explanation, the latter inember of the sentencebut I have not seen, &c. is not sufficiently opposed to the former.

MALONE. Ifa break of mark of suspension were inserted after "Lady-” Mr. Malone's difficulty would be re



moved. Posthumus must be considered as interrupte ing Iachimo, before he had completed his sentence. What was cut off may be easily supplied :--therefore we cannot precisely appretiate either. HENLEY.

405. --toconvince the honour of my mistress ;-—-) Convince for overcome.

WARBURTON. So, in Macbeth :

-their malady convinces “ The great essay of art.”

Johnson. 424. --abus'dm-] Deceiv'd. JOHNSON 434 ---approbation--] Proof. JOHNSON.

444 You are a friend, and therein the wiser.--] You are a friend to the lady, and therein the wiser, as 'you will not expose her to hazard ; and that you fear, is a proof of your religious fidelity. Johnson.

458. Iach. If I bring you no sufficient testimony that I have enjoy'd the dearest bodily part of your mistress, my ten thousand ducats are yours; so is y. ur diamond too : If I come off, and leave her in such honour as you have trust in, she your jewel, this your jewel, and my gold are

yours, &c.

Post. I embrace these conditions, &c.] To make Jachimo talk more in character, for we find him sharp enough in the prosecution of his bet, we should strike out the negative, and read the rest thus : If I bring you sufficient testimony that I have enjoy'd, &c. my ten thousand ducats are mine; so is your diamond too. If I come off, and leave her in such honour, &c. she your jewel, &c. and my gold are yours.


I once thought this emendation right; but am now of opinion, that Shakspere intended that Iachimo, having gained his purpose, should designedly drop the invidious and offensive part of the wager, and to flat. ter Posthumus, dwell long upon the more pleasing part of the representation. One condition of a wager implies the other, and there is no need to mention both.

JOHNSON. 502. Other conclusions ?--] Other experiments. I commend, says Walton, an angler that tries conclusions, and improves his art.

JOHNSON. 508. Your highness

Shall from this praćtice but make hard your heart:] There is in this passage nothing that much requires a note, yet I cannot forbear to push it forward into ob, servation. The thought would probably have been more amplified, had our author lived to be shocked with such experiments as have been published in later times, by a race of men who have practised tor. tures without pity, and related them without shame, and are yet suffered to erect their heads among human beings. Cape saxa manu, cape robora, pastor.

JOHNSON. 521. I do not like her.-

-] This soliloquy is very inartificial. The speaker is under no strong pressure of thought; he is neither resolving, repenting, suspecting, nor deliberating, and yet makes a long speech to tell himself what himself knows. JOHNSON I do not like ker. Biij




This soliloquy, however inartificial in respect of the speaker, is yet necessary to prevent that uneasiness which would naturally arise in the mind of an au. dience on recollection that the queen

had mischievous ingredients in her possession, unless they were undeceived as to the quality of them; and it is no less useful to prepare us for the return of Imogen to life.

Sreevens. Nor is it defective in contrivance upon another ac

The entrance of Pisanio; the change of the queen’s countenance on his unexpected appearance, arising from the consciousness of her design to destroy him, with the preparations she had just received; and the physician's knowledge of Pisanio's character; all conspired to prompt the soliloquy in question.

Henley. 544. to shift his being,] To change his abode.

JOHNSON. that leans ??] That inclines towards its fall,

JOHNSON, 558. Think what a chance thou changest on; Such is the reading of the old copy. The meaning is : " think with what a fair prospect of mending your fortunes you now change your present service."

STEEVENS, 570. Of leigers for her sweet ;-) A leiger ambassador, is one that resides at a foreign court to promote his master's interest.

JOHNSON. 587. -but. most miserable Is the desire that's glorious :

-] Her hus.



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