« AnteriorContinuar »
And he but naked (though lock'd up in steel)
Scene VIII. Remorselefs Hatred. A plague upon 'em! wherefore should I curse them: Would curses kill, as doth the Mandrake's groan, I would invent as bitter searching terms, As curs'd, as harsh, as horrible to hear, Deliver'd strongly through iny fixed teeth, With full as many signs of deadly hate, (6) As lean-fac'd envy in her loathsome cave. My tongue should stumble in mine earnest words,
This sentiment is plainly shadow'd from two celebrated odes of Horace; the 22d of the first book, and the 3d of the 3d book. The first begins, Integer vitæ, &c.
From virtue's laws who never parts,
Secure thro' savage realms may go, &c.
That upright man, who's steady to his trust,
And dares the tyrant's threat'ning frowns despise, & I only just refer the reader to them, as they are so generally known : Horace too in his epistles has a fine sentiment to this purpose:
--Hic murus ahencis efto,
Nor to look pale for scarlet crimes within. Crecch. (6) As, &c.] This is as fine a picture of envy as could poffibly be given in so narrow a compass: Spencer hath described her twice in his Faerie Queene, and in both places given us a moft loathsome picture, which Longinus would surely have greatly
eyes should sparkle like the beaten flint, Mine hair be fix'd on end like one distract: Ay, ev'ry joint should seem to curse and ban, And ev'n now, my burden's heart would break, Should I not curse them. Poison be their drink! Gall, worse than gall, the daiņtiest meat they taste ! Their fweereit-fhade, a grove of cypress-trees! Their sweetest prospect, murd’ring basilisks ! Their softeit touch, as smart as lizard's stings ! Their music frightful as the serpent's hiss ! And boding screech-owls make the concert full! All the foui terrors of dark-feated hell
Now by the ground that I am banith'd from,
And banished I am, if but from thee:
Suff. Thus is poor Suffolk ten times banished, Once by the king, and three times thrice by thee. (7) 'Tis not the land I care for, wert thou hence';
discommended, when we find him fo fevere, on an author for one line representing a nauseous image. See lis Elay on the Sublime, fect. 9. See Spencer's Faerie Queenc, B. 15. 1. and B. 5. 1. 12. st. 29. It may be worth while to remark, how exactly Shakespear suits his language to his characters : how different are these curses from the mouth of Suffolk, to those, from the mouth of Caliban, in the Tempeft.
(7) 'Tis not, &c.] This passage, as Mr. Wally has observed in ms Inquiry into the Learning of Shakesp:ar, is the ancient
A wilderness is populous enough,
SCENE IX. Dying, with the Person belov'd, pre
ferable to parting.
Scene X. The Death-bed Horrors of a guilty
will. Dyd he not in his bed 'Where should he die? Can I make men live whether they will or no?
language of love, and employed by Tibullus to his own mif. tress,
Sic ego fecretis possum bene vivere fylvis,
Qua nulla humano fit via trita pede :
L. 4. e. 121
Desarts are worlds, and night outshines the day. I have often lamented we have not so good a translation of this delicate poet and polite lover, as his excellence deserves.
(8) Bring, &c.] Nothing can more admirably picture to us the horror of a guilty conscience, than this frantic raving of the cardinal :
Oh, torture me no more, I will confess.
ACT IV. SCENE I.
Night. (9) The gaudy, babling, and remorseful day Is crept into the bofom of the sea : (10) And now loud howling wolves arouse the jades, That dragic melancholy night;
When death's approach is seen fo terrible
Ah, what a sign it is of evil life! Thus hath guilt, even in this world, its due reward, and iniquity is not suffered to go unpunished : the well-weighing such frightful scenes might, perhaps, be of no small service to fuch. as despise lectures from the pulpit, and laugh at the interested representations of divines.
(9) The, &c,] See the last passage in the Midsummer Night's Dream. Spencer, speaking of night, says;
And all the while she stood upon the ground,
See Faerie Queene, B. 1. C. 5. I. 30. (10) No numbers can better express the thing than these, Shakespear shews us, that he can as well excel in that, as in every other branch of poetry. None of the so celebrated lines of Ho
Who with their drowsy, flow, and flagging wings,
SCENE VI. Kent.
Lord Say's Apology for himself.
hands? Kent, to maintain, the king, the realm and you.
mer and Virgil, of this fort, deserve more commendation : here
Τα χθονια Εκατα, &c.
In them I trust; for they are soldiers,
(12) When, &c.] The interrogation in all the editions is placed at the end of this line: the passage, in my opinion, hould be pointed chus: