Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Quick-shifting anticks, ugly in her eyes;

Such shadows are the weak brain's forgeries*; Who, angry that the eyes fly from their lights", In darkness daunts them with more dreadful

sights.

His hand, that yet remains upon her breast,
(Rude ram, to batter such an ivory wall!)
May feel her heart (poor citizen!) distress'd,
Wounding itself to death, rise up and fall,
Beating her bulk, that his hand shakes withal".
This moves in him more rage, and lesser pity,
To make the breach, and enter this sweet city".

First, like a trumpet, doth his tongue begin
To sound a parley to his heartless foe;

Who, o'er the white sheet peers her whiter chinR,

4 Such shadows are the weak brain's FORGERIES ;] So, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream:

"These are the forgeries of jealousy." STEEVENS.

Again, in Hamlet :

"This is the very coinage of your brain :

"This bodiless creation ecstacy

"Is very cunning in." MALONE.

the eyes fly from their lights.] We meet with this conceit again in Julius Cæsar :

"His coward lips did from their colour fly." STEevens. 6 Beating her BULK, that his hand shakes withal.] Bulk is frequently used by our author, and other ancient writers, for body. So, in Hamlet:

"As it did seem to shatter all his bulk,

"And end his being."

See vii. p. 261, n. 1. MALONE.

7 To make the breach, and enter this sweet city.] So, in our author's Lover's Complaint:

"And long upon these terms I held my city,

"Till thus he 'gan besiege me."

Again, in All's Well that Ends Well: "-marry, in blowing him down again, with the breach yourselves made, you lose your city."

[merged small][ocr errors]

- o'er the white sheet peers her whiter chin,]

beline:

MALONE.
So, in Cym-

The reason of this rash alarm to know,
Which he by dumb demeanour seeks to show;
But she with vehement prayers urgeth still,
Under what colour he commits this ill.

Thus he replies: The colour in thy face?
(That even for anger makes the lily pale,
And the red rose blush at her own disgrace',)
Shall plead for me, and tell my loving tale :
Under that colour am I come to scale

Thy never-conquer'd fort'; the fault is thine,
For those thine eyes betray thee unto mine.

Thus I forestall thee, if thou mean to chide:
Thy beauty hath ensnar'd thee to this night,
Where thou with patience must my will abide;

[ocr errors]

fresh lily,

"And whiter than the sheets." MALONE.

So Otway, in Venice Preserved:

66 in virgin sheets,

"White as her bosom." STEEVENS.

9 Under what COLOUR he commits this ill.

Thus he replies: The COLOUR in thy face-] The same play on the same words occurs in King Henry IV. Part II. : this that you heard, was but a colour.

66

"Shal. A colour, I fear, that you will die in, sir John." STEEVENS.

And the red rose BLUSH AT HER OWN DISGRACE,] A thought somewhat similar occurs in May's Supplement to Lucan :

labra rubenus

Non rosea æquaret, nisi primo victa fuisset,

Et pudor augeret quem dat natura ruborem. STEEVENS.

2 Under that colour am I come to scale

Thy never-conquer'd fort:] So, in Marlowe's Hero and Leander :

[ocr errors]

every limb did, as a souldier stout,

"Defend the fort, and keep the foe-man out:
"For though the rising ivory mount he scal'd,
"Which is with azure circling lines empal'd,
"Much like a globe," &c.

We have had in a former stanza

"Her breasts, like ivory globes circled with blue." MALone.

My will that marks thee for my earth's delight",
Which I to conquer sought with all my might;
But as reproof and reason beat it dead,
By thy bright beauty was it newly bred.

3

I see what crosses my attempt will bring;
I know what thorns the growing rose defends;
I think the honey guarded with a sting3;
All this, beforehand, counsel comprehends:
But will is deaf, and hears no heedful friends;
Only he hath an eye to gaze on beauty,

And dotes on what he looks', 'gainst law or duty.

I have debated", even in my soul,

What wrong, what shame, what sorrow I shall breed ;

But nothing can affection's course control,
Or stop the headlong fury of his speed.
I know repentant tears ensue the deed;
Reproach, disdain, and deadly enmity;
Yet strive I to embrace mine infamy.

2

—my earth's delight,] So, in The Comedy of Errors: My sole earth's heaven." STEEVENS.

66

3 I THINK the honey guarded with a sting;]

the honey is guarded with a sting. MALONE.

I am aware that

4- on what he looks,] i. e. on what he looks on.—Many instances of this inaccuracy are found in our author's plays. See the Essay on Shakspeare's Phraseology. MALONE.

5 I see what crosses

I have debated, &c.] On these stanzas Dr. Young might have founded the lines with which he dismisses the prince of Egypt, who is preparing to commit a similar act of violence, at the end of the third act of Busiris:

"Destruction full of transport! Lo I come

"Swift on the wing to meet my certain doom:

"I know the danger, and I know the shame;

66

But, like our phoenix, in so rich a flame

"I plunge triumphant my devoted head,

"And dote on death in that luxurious bed." STEEVENS.

This said, he shakes aloft his Roman blade,
Which, like a faulcon towering in the skies,

6

Coucheth the fowl below with his wings' shade, Whose crooked beak threats, if he mount he dies: So under his insulting falchion lies

Harmless Lucretia, marking what he tells,

With trembling fear, as fowl hear faulcon's bells".

Lucrece, quoth he, this night I must enjoy thee:
If thou deny, then force must work my way,
For in thy bed I purpose to destroy thee;
That done, some worthless slave of thine I'll slay,
To kill thine honour with thy life's decay;
And in thy dead arms do I mean to place him,
Swearing I slew him, seeing thee embrace him.

So thy surviving husband shall remain
The scornful mark of every open eye°;
Thy kinsmen hang their heads at this disdain,
Thy issue blurr'd with nameless bastardy":
And thou, the author of their obloquy,

sure:

like a FAULCON towering in the skies,

COUCHETH the FOWL below -] So, in Measure for Mea

66

Nips youth i' th' head, and follies doth enmew "As faulcon doth the fowl."

I am not certain but that we should read-Cov'reth. To couch the fowl may, however, mean, to make it couch; as to brave a man, in our author's language, signifies either to insult him, or to make him brave, i. e. fine. So, in The Taming of the Shrew : thou hast brav'd many men; brave not me." Petruchio is speaking to the taylor. STEEVENS.

So, more appositely, in Coriolanus:

"Flutter'd your Volces in Corioli."

BosWELL.

66

as FOWL hear FAULCON'S BELLS.] So, in King Henry VI.

Part III.:

[ocr errors]

not he that loves him best

"Dares stir a wing, if Warwick shake his bells.”

[ocr errors]

8 THE SCORNFUL MARK of every open eye ;]
"A fixed figure for the time of scorn.'
9 Thy issue blurr'd with NAMELESS bastardy:]

STEEVENS, So, in Othello: STEEVENS.

So, in the Two

Shalt have thy trespass cited up in rhymes',
And sung by children in succeeding times 2.

But if thou yield, I rest thy secret friend :
The fault unknown is as a thought unacted;
A little harm, done to a great good end,
For lawful policy remains enacted.

The poisonous simple sometimes is compacted
In a pure compound; being so applied,
His venom in effect is purified.

Gentlemen of Verona: "That's as much as to say bastard virtues, that indeed know not their father's names, and therefore have no names." The poet calls bastardy nameless, because an illegitimate child has no name by inheritance, being considered by the law as nullius filius. MALONE.

1 Shalt have thy TRESPASS CITED up in rhymes,] So, in King Henry IV. Part I.:

"He made a blushing cital of his faults." Again, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona : for we cite our faults." STEEVENS. 2 Shalt have thy trespass CITED UP in RHYMES,

66

AND SUNG by children in succeeding times.] So, in King Richard III.:

[ocr errors]

Thence we looked towards England, "And cited up a thousand heavy times."

Again, in Antony and Cleopatra :

[blocks in formation]

Saucy lictors

"Will catch at us like strumpets, and scald rhymers
"Ballad us out o' tune."

Qui me commôrit, (melius non tangere, clamo,)
Flebit, et insignis tota cantabitur urbe. Hor.

Thus elegantly imitated by Pope:

"Whoe'er offends, at some unlucky time
"Slides into verse, and hitches in a rhyme;
"Sacred to ridicule his whole life long,

"And the sad burthen of some merry song." MALOne.

3 In A PURE Compound -] Thus the quarto. The edition of 1616 reads:

"In purest compounds" MALONE.

A thought somewhat similar occurs in Romeo and Juliet:
"Within the infant rind of this small flower
"Poison hath residence, and medicine power."

STEEVENS.

« ZurückWeiter »