Imágenes de páginas

Out of the bowels of the harmless earth,
Which many a good tall fellow had destroy'd
So cowardly and but for thefe vile guns,
He would himself have been a foldier.



I'll read your matter, deep and dangerous

As full of peril and advent'rous fpirit,


As to o'er-walk a current, roaring loud,

On the unfteadfast footing of a spear.



(4) By heav'ns! methinks, it were an eafy leap, To pluck bright honour from the pale-fac'd moon : Or dive into the bottom of the deep,

Where fathom-line could never touch the ground,
And pluck up drowned honour by the locks :
So he, that doth redeem her thence, might wear
Without corrival all her dignities.
But out upon this half-fac'd fellowship!

(4) By heav'ns! &c.] I will not take upon me to defend this paffage from the charge laid against it of bombaft and fuftian, but will only obferve, if we read it in that light it is perhaps one of the finest rants to be found in any author, Mr. Warburton attempts to clear it from the charge, and obferves, "tho' the expreffion be fublime and daring, yet the thought is the natural movement of an heroic mind. Euripides, at least, (as he adds) thought fo, when he put the very fame fentiment, in the fame words, into the mouth of Eteocles."

Eya yap, &c..

I will not cloak my foul: methinks with ease
I cou'd fcale heaven, and reach the fartheft ftar;
Or to the deepest entrails of the earth
Defcending, pierce, fo be I cou'd obtain
A kingdom, at the price, and god-like rule.



Lady Piercy's pathetick Speech to her Husband.

(5) O my good lord, why are you thus alone? For what offence have I this fort-night been A banish'd woman from my Harry's bed?

Tell me, fweet lord, what is't that takes from thee
Thy stomach, pleasure, and thy golden fleep ?
Why doft thou bend thy eyes upon the earth,
And start so often, when thou fitt'ft alone?
Why haft thou loft the fresh blood in thy cheeks,
And given my treasures, and my rights of thee,
To thick-ey'd mufing, and curs'd melancholy?
In thy faint flumbers I by thee have watcht,
And heard thee murmur tales of iron wars :
Speak terms of manage to thy bounding steed;
Cry, courage! to the field! and thou haft talk'd
Of fallies, and retires; of trenches, tents,
Of palifadoes, fortins, parapets;
Of bafilifks, of cannon, culverin,
Of prisoner's ranfom, and of foldiers flain,
And all the current of a heady fight.
Thy fpirit within thee hath been so at war,
And thus hath fo beftirr'd thee in thy fleep,
That beads of sweat have stood upon thy brow,
Like bubbles in a late disturbed ftream:

And in thy face ftrange motions have appear'd,
Such as we fee, when men restrain their breath
On fome great fudden hafte. O, what portents are

thefe !

Some heavy business hath my lord in hand,
And I must know it, elfe he loves me not.

(s) See Portia's speech to Brutus in Julius Cæfar, A& II. Scene III. B 3



Prodigies ridicul'd.

(6) I blame him not at my nativity,
The front of heav'n was full of fiery shapes,
Of burning creffets; know, that, at my birth,
The frame and the foundation of the earth
Shook like a coward.

Hot. So it would have done

At the fame feason, if your mother's cat
Had kitten'd, though yourself had ne'er been born.

* * * * * * * *





Difeafed nature oftentimes breaks forth In ftrange eruptions; and the teeming earth Is with a kind of cholick pinch'd and vext, By the imprisoning of unruly wind Within her womb; which, for enlargement ftriving, Shakes the old beldame earth, and topples down. High tow'rs and mols-grown fteeples.

On miferable Rhymers.

(7) I had rather be a kitten, and cry, mew ! Than one of these fame meeter-ballad-mongers : ·


(6) I blame, &c,] Glendower was mightily fuperftitious, hẹ

adds afterwards

Give me leave

To tell you once again, that at my birth

The front of heav'n was full of fiery fhapes,

The goats ran from the mountains, and the herds

Were ftrangely clam'rous in the frighted fields :

Thefe figns have marked me extraordinary,

And all the courfes of my life do fhew,

I am not in the roll of common men.

(7) I had, &c,] Horace in his art of poetry, speaking of poctafters, fays;


I'd rather hear a brazen candleflick turn'd,
Or a dry wheel grate on the axle-tree,
And that would nothing fet my teeth on edge,
Nothing fo much as mincing poetry;
"Tis like the forc'd gait of a fhuffling nag.

Punctuality in Bargain.

I'll give thrice fo much land.

To any well-deferving friend;

But in the way of bargain, mark ye me,
I'll cavil on the ninth Part of a hair.

A Hufband fung to fleep by a fair Wife.

She bids you

(8) All on the wanton rushes lay you down, And reft your gentle head upon her lap,

Ut mala, &c.

A mad dog's foam, th' infection of the plague,
And all the judgments of the angry gods
Are not avoided more by men of fense,
Than poetafters in their raging fits.-
And again;

'Tis hard to fay, whether for facrilege,
Or inceft, or fome more unheard of crime,
The rhyming fiend is fent into these men:
But they are all moft vifibly poffeft,

And like a bated bear, when he breaks loofe,
Without diftinction feize on all they meet:
Learn'd, or unlearn'd, none scape within their reach;
(Sticking like leeches, till they burst with blood,)
Without remorfe infatiably they read,
And never leave 'till they have read men dead.




(8) She bids, &c.] There is fomething extremely tender and pleafing in these lines, as well as in the following, from Philafter, which justly deserve to be compared with them: - Who

B 4

And she will fing the fong that pleaseth you,
And on your eye-lids crown the God of sleep,
Charming your blood with pleafing heaviness;
Making fuch diff'rence betwixt wake and fleep,
(9) As is the diff'rence betwixt day and night,
The hour before the heavenly-harnefs'd team
Fegins his golden progrefs in the east.

Who shall now tell you
How much I lov'd you? who shall swear it to you,
And weep the tears I fend? who fhall now bring you
Letters, rings, bracelets, lofe his health in service?
Wake tedious nights in ftories of your praife?
Who now fhall fing your crying elegies,
And ftrike a fad foul into fenfelefs pictures,
And make them mourn? who shall take up his lute
And touch it, till he crown a filent Bleep
Upon my eye-lid, making me dream and cry,
Oh my dear, dear Philafter.-

A. 3. latter end.

[ocr errors]

(9) As is, &c.] It is remarkable of Milton, that whenever he can have an opportunity, he takes particular notice of the evening twilight, but I don't at prefent recollect any paffage where he defcribes this morning-twilight, which Shakespear fo beautifully hints at nothing can exceed this lovely description in the 4th book of his Paradife Loft.

Now came ftill evening on, and twilight gray
Had in her fober livery all things clad :
Silence accompanied for beast and bird,
They to their graffy couch, thefe to their nefts
Were flunk, all but the wakeful nightingale ;
She all night long her amorous defcant fung:
Silence was pleas'd; now glow'd the firmament
With living faphirs: Hesperus, that led
The ftarry hoft, rode brightest, till the moon,
Rifing in clouded majesty, at length
Apparent queen unveil'd her peerless light,
And o'er the dark her filver mantle threw.

V. 598.

The reader will be agreeably entertain'd, if he refers to the paffage in Dr. Newton's Edition of Milton.


« AnteriorContinuar »