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Like a phantasma, or a hideous dream :
I shall make two remarks on this fine imitation. The first is, that the subjects of the two conspiracies being so very different (the fortunes of Cæsar and the Roman empire being concerned in the one ; and that of a few auxiliary troops only in the other,) Mr. Addison could not, with propriety, bring in that magnificent circumstance, which gives one of the terrible graces of Shakspeare's description :
“ The genius and the mortal instruments
66 Are then in council ;For kingdoms, in the Pagan Theology, besides their good, had their evil genius's, likewise ; represented here, with the most daring stretch of fancy, as sitting in consultation with the conspirators, whom he calls their mortal instruments. But this, as we say, would have been too pompous an apparatus to the rape and desertion of Syphax and Sempronius. The other thing observable is, that Mr. Addison was so struck and affected with these terrible graces in his original, that instead of imitating his author's sentiments, he hath, before he was aware, given us only the copy of his own impressions made by them. For
“ Oh, 'tis a dreadful interval of time,
up with horror all, and big with death." are but the affections raised by such forcible images as these :
All the interim is
the state of man,
6. The nature of an insurrection.” Comparing the troubled mind of a conspirator to a state of anarchy, is just and beautiful; but the interim or interval, to an hideous vision, or a frightful dream, holds something so wonderfully of truth, and lays the soul so open, that one can hardly think it possible for any man, who had not some time or other been engaged in a conspiracy, to give such force of colouring te nature. WARBURTON.
The dɛīvoy of the Greek criticks does not, I think, mean sentiments which raise fear, more than wonder, or any other of the tumultuous passions ; TÒ dzīvoy is that which strikes, which asto-, nishes with the idea either of some great subject, or of the author's abilities.
Dr. Warburton's pompous criticism might well have been shortened. The genius is not the genius of a kingdom, nor are,
Are then in council; and the state of man,
the instruments, conspirators. Shakspeare is describing what passes in a single bosom, the insurrection which a conspirator feels agitating the little kingdom of his own mind; when the genius, or power that watches for his protection, and the mortal instruments, the passions, which excite him to a deed of honour and danger, are in council and debate; when the desire of action, and the care of safety, keep the mind in continual fluctuation and disturbance. Johnson.
The foregoing was perhaps among the earliest notes written by Dr. Warburton on Shakspeare. Though it was not inserted by him in Theobald's editions, 1732 and 1740, (but was reserved for his own in 1747,) yet he had previously communicated it, with little variation, in a letter to Matthew Concanen in the year 1726. See a note on Dr. Akenside's Ode to Mr. Edwards, at the end of this play. STEEVENS.
There is a passage in Troilus and Cressida, which bears some resemblance to this:
“ Imagin'd worth
Kingdom'd Achilles in commotion rages,
" And batters down himself.” Johnson is right in asserting that by the Genius is meant, not the Genius of a Kingdom, but the power that watches over an individual for his protection.—So, in the same play, Troilus says to Cressida:
“ Hark! you are call'd. Some say, the Genius
“ Cries, Come, to him that instantly must die." Johnson's explanation of the word instruments is also confirmed by the following passage in Macbeth, whose mind was, at the time, in the very state which Brutus is here describing :
I am settled, and bend
M. MASON. The word genius, in our author's time, meant either “ a good angel or a familiar evil spirit,” and is so defined by Bullokar in his English Expositor, 1616. So, in Macbeth:
and, under him,
“ Mark Antony's was by Cæsar's.” Again, in Antony and Cleopatra :
“ Thy dæmon, that thy spirit which keeps thee, is," &c.
Like to a little kingdom, suffers then
The more usual signification now affixed to this word was not known till several years afterwards. I have not found it in the common modern sense in any book earlier than the Dictionary published by Edward Phillips, in 1657.
Mortal is certainly used here, as in many other places, for deadly. So, in Othello :
“ And you, ye mortal engines,” &c. The mortal instruments then are, the deadly passions, or as they are called in Macbeth, the “ mortal thoughts," which excite each “ corporal agent" to the performance of some arduous deed.
The little kingdom of man is a notion that Shakspeare seems to have been fond of. So, K. Richard II. speaking of himself:
" And these same thoughts people this little world." Again, in King Lear :
« Strives in his little world of man to outscorn
“ The to-and-fro conflicting wind and rain.” Again, in King John:
in the body of this fleshly land, “ This kingdom,-." I have adhered to the old copy, which reads the state of a man. Shakspeare is here speaking of the individual in whose mind the genius and the mortal instruments hold a council, not of man, or mankind, in general. The passage above, quoted from King Lear, does not militate against the old copy here, There the individual is marked out by the word his, and “ the little world of man" is thus circumscribed, and appropriated to Lear. The editor of the second folio omitted the article, probably from a mistaken notion concerning the metre; and all the subsequent editors have adopted his alteration. Many words of two syllables are used by Shakspeare as taking up the time of only one; as whether, either, brother, lover, gentle, spirit, &c. and I suppose council is so used here.
The reading of the old authentick copy, to which I have adhered, is supported by a passage in Hamlet : “ – What a piece of work is a man.”
As council is here used as a monosyllable, so is noble in Titus Andronicus : • Lose not so noble a friend on vain suppose.".
MALONE. Influenced by the conduct of our great predecessors, Rowe, Pope, Warburton, and Johnson; and for reasons similar to those Re-enter Lucius.
Luc. Sir, 'tis your brother Cassius' at the door, Who doth desire to see you. BRU.
Is he alone? Luc. No, sir, there are more with him. BRU.
Do you know them? Luc. No, sir ; their hats are pluck'd about their
ears, And half their faces buried in their cloaks, That by no means I may discover them
advanced in the next note, I persist in following the second folio, as our author, on this occasion, meant to write verse instead of prose.— The instance from Hamlet can have little weight; the article, which is injurious to the metre in question, being quite innocent in a speech decidedly prosaick: and as for the line adduced from Titus Andronicus, the second syllable of the word --noble, may be melted down into the succeeding vowel, an advantage which cannot be obtained in favour of the present restoration offered from the first folio. STEEVENS.
Neither our author, nor any other author in the world, ever used such words as either, brother, lover, gentle, &c. as monosyllables; and though whether is sometimes so contracted, the old copies on that occasion usually print—where. It is, in short, morally impossible that two syllables should be no more than one.
Ritson. * Like a phantasma,] “ Suidas maketh a difference between phantasma and phantasia, saying that phantasma is an imagination, or appearance, or sight of a thing which is not, as are those sightes whiche men in their sleepe do thinke they see: but that phantasia is the seeing of that only which is in very deeds." Lavaterus, 1572. HENDERSON.
“ A phantasme,” says Bullokar, in his English Expositor, 1616, “ is a vision, or imagined appearance." MALONE.
9- your brother Cassius.--) Cassius married Junia, Brutus's sister. STEEVENS.
By any mark of favour.1
Let them enter.
Enter CASSIUS, CASCA, DECIUS, CINNA, ME
TELLUS CIMBER, and TREBONIUS.
CAS. I think we are too bold upon your rest : Good morrow, Brutus; Do we trouble you?
BRU. I have been up this hour; awake, all night. Know I these men, that come along with you? CAs. Yes, every man of them; and no man
here, But honours you : and every one doth wish,
any mark of favour.] Any distinction of countenance.
JOHNSON. See Vol. VI. p. 346, n. 6. STEEVENS.
* For if thou path, thy native semblance on,] If thou walk in thy true form. Johnson. The same verb is used by Drayton in his Polyolbion, Song II: " Where, from the neighbouring hills, her passage Wey
doth path.” Again, in his Epistle from Duke Humphrey to Elinor Cobham. “ Pathing young Henry's unadvised ways."