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“ As whence the Sun gives his reflexion, Shipwrecking storms and direful thunders
o break, “ So from that spring, wbence comfort seem'd
co to come,
Discomfort swelled." i. e. As the sky, or the heavens, from which we receive one of the greatest benefits of nature, the light of the Sun, produces likewise in its turn storms and thunder, oftentimes to the destruction of many ; fo from that spring, &c.
But let our refining Critic and Philosopher take this in band, and you have what, for my part, I really know not, let the reader try,
" As whence the sun 'gins his reflexion.] “ Here are two readings in the copies, gives and
'gins, i. e. begins. But the latter I think is " the right, as founded on observation, that storms
generally come from the eaft. As from the
place ( says he) whence the sun begins his “ course, (viz. the east) shripwrecking storms
proceed fo, &c. For the natural and constant “ motion of the ocean is from east to weft ; and “ the wind has the same general direction. Præ
cipua & generalis (ventorum] causa est ipse " Sol qui aërem rarefacit & attenuat. Aër “ enim rarefactus multo majorem locum poftu
“ lat. Inde fit ut Aër à fole impulfus alium 16 vicinum aërem magno impetu protrudat ;
cumque Sol ab Oriente in occidentem circum“ rotetur, præcipuus ab eo aëris impulfus fiet
versus occidentem. Varenii Geogr. 1. 1. C. 14. “ prop. 10.
See also Doétor Halley's Account 1 of the Trade-Winds of the Monsoons. This “ being so, it is no wonder that storms should come
most frequently from that quarter ; or that they should be most violent, because there is a concur
rence of the natural motions of wind and wave. “ This proves the true reading is 'gins ; the other " reading not fixing it to that quarter. For the “ Sun may give its reflexion in any part of its “ course above the borizon ; but it can begin it " only in one.
The Oxford Editor, however, “ sticks to the other reading, gives : and says, " that, by the Sun's giving his reflexion, is " meant the rainbow, the strongest and most “ remarkable reflexion of any the Sun gives. “ He appears by this to have as good a hand at re
forming our physics as our poetry. This is a
discovery ; that shipwrecking storms proceed from " the rainbow. But be was misled by his want of
skill in Shakespeare's phraseology, who, by the « sun's reflexion, means only the Sun's light. “ But while be is intent on making bis author
speak corre&tly, be slips bimself. The rainbow
“ is no more a reflexion of the Sun than a tune is a fiddle. And, though it be the most remarkable
effeet of reflected light, yet it is not the strong“ eft.” Mr. W.
“ DISCOMFORT well’d.] Shakespeare without “ question wrote Discomfit, i. e. rout, over“ throw, from the Latin, DISCONFICTUS. i. e. " disruptus, diffolutus. And that was the case, « at the first onset, 'till Macbeth turned the for“ tune of the day,” Mr.W.
Can the reader find out this learned system of physics ? and, when he has found it out, apply it to the present purpose ?--Can be tell what is meant by DISCONFICTUS ?-or will be not rather think, after all, that our Editor has “cashiered com« mon sense, to make room for a jargon of 66 his own ?"
Mr. W. often puts us in mind of bis great knowledge in Shakespeare. Thus, for instance, in a note on a pasage in Macbeth, AEt II. “ Thou feeft, the heav'ns as troubled with man's
i Wr. W.'s preface, p. xvi.
" Threaten this bloody stage :-] One might be s tempted to think the poet wrote STRAGE, Naugh« ter. But I, WHO KNOW HIM BETTER, am
persuaded be used stage for act. And because "" stage may be figurately used for act, a dramatic « représentation ;, therefore be uses it for act, a - deed done. Threatens a tragedy,” Mr. W.
One might be tempted to think the poet wrote strage! I know no one, that might be tempted to think so, but bis late editor, who has ro often removed Shakespeare's sense to the bottom of the page, to make room for his own barbarism.
-But I, who know him better, am persuaded he used stage for act! But Shakespeare's reader, I dare say, is persuaded, this stage means, metaphorically, this stage of the world : Threaten this bloody stage, threaten this world, where these bloody scenes are tranfa&ting.
Was it from this better knowledge of our poet, that Mr. W. has laid forgetfulness and ignorance to his charge ? But whether the commentator, or the poet nods I will submit to the reader.-Hamlet, seeing his uncle, is in some doubt with himself whether or no he then Mall kill him ; and adds,
“ He took my father grofly, full of bread,
" And bow bis audit ftands, who knows, save
c beaven? " But in aur circumstance and course of thought, " 'Tis heavy with him. Hamlet, A& III. “ From these lines, and some others, it appears that Shakespeare had drawn the first
sketch of this play without his Ghost; and 66 when be bad added that machinery, be forgot 66 to strike out these lines: For the Ghost bad “ told him, very circumstantially, how bis audit " stood : and he was now satisfied with the reality
of the vision.” Mr. W.
But the critic knows not what the poet meant by this expression, How his audit stands. For this the Ghost could not know, fully, 'till the time for auditing his accounts, THE DAY OF JUDGMENT. All that the Ghost told Hamlet we have above in AEL I.
“ I am thy father's spirit is. Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night, " And for the day confin’d to fast in firės ; “ 'Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature, • Are burnt and purgʻd away.
Confin'd to fast in fires—metaphorically ; i, e. to be cleansed and purged by abstinence and discipline. So Plato Speaking of the purgatorial state in his