Puslapio vaizdai
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I've gone all night-'faith, I'll lie down and fleep.
But foft! no bedfellow!-Oh, gods and goddetles!
[Seeing the body.

These flow'rs are like the pleasures of the world;
This bloody man the care on't. I hope, I dream;
For, fure, I thought I was a cave-keeper:
And cook to honeft creatures. But 'tis not fo;
'Twas but a bolt of nothing, fhot at nothing,
Which the brain makes of fumes. Our very eyes,
Are fometimes like our judgments, blind. Good faith,
I tremble still with fear; but if there be
Yet left in heaven, as fmall (22) a drop of pity
As a wren's eye: oh, gods! a part of it!
The dream's here ftill; even when I wake, it is
Without me, as within me; not imagin'd, felt.

ACT V. SCENE II.

Routed Army.

(23) No blame be to you, Sir, for all was loft, But that the heavens fought: the king himself,

(22) A drop of pity:] So Othello fays,

I fhou'd have found in fome place of my foul
A drop of patience.

Of

Mr. Theobald obferves, tho' this expreffion is very pathetic in both places of our author, it brings to my mind a very humorous paffage in the Arcarnenfes of Ariftophanes. An Athenian ruftic, in time of war, is robbed of a yoke of oxen by the Baotians: he has almost cry'd his eyes out for the lofs of his cattle, and comes to beg for a drop of peace in a quill, to anoint his eyes with.'

-Συδ' αλλα μοι, &c.

One drop of peace at least, I pray you, pour
Into this quill, to bathe mine eyes.

(23) No blame.] This defcription is truly claffical, and deferves to be placed in competition with the finest in Homer and Virgil,

both

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Of his wings deftitute, the army broken,
And but the backs of Britons feen; all flying
Thro' a trait lane, the enemy full-hearted,
Lolling the tongue with flaught'ring, having work
More plentiful, than tools to do't, ftruck down
Some mortally, fome flightly touch'd, fome falling
Merely through fear, that the ftrait pafs was damm'd
With dead men, hurt behind, and cowards living
To die with lengthen'd shame.

Death.

(24) I, in mine own woe charm'd, Could not find death, where I did hear him groan;

Nor

both of whom abound with numberless paffages of the like nature the learned reader will want no direction to find them out; however fuch as are not fo well acquainted with the ancients, may be agreeably amufed by turning to the 12th Iliad, and 122d line, and the latter end of the 11th book of the Æneid. In Lucan too, he will meet with fome fine defcriptions of routs and flaughters: in the 7th book of his Pharfalla, he has something very like Shakespear's;

-Having work
More plentiful than tools to do't.-

The poet fays;

The victors murder, and the vanquifh'd bleed;
Their weary hands the tir'd deftroyers ply,
Scarce can thefe kill, fo faft as thofe can die.

Rowe

But perhaps, no poet, ancient or modern, can equal our blind bard on this fubject; his battle of the angels, their rout and headlong expulfion from heaven are too well known and admired to need particular remarking here.

(24) I-charm'd, &c.] Alluding to the common fuperftition of charms being powerful enough to keep men unhurt in battle. It was derived from our Saxon ancestors, and fo is common to us with the Germans, who are above all other people given to this fuperftition, which made Erafmus, where, in his Morice Encomium, he gives to each nation his proper characteristic, fay, the Germais pleafe themselves with the ftrength of their bodies, and their knowledge of magic.' And Prior, in his Alma;

North

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Nor feel him where he ftruck. This ugly monster,
'Tis ftrange he hides him in fresh cups, foft beds,
Sweet words; or hath more ministers then we,
That draw his knives i'th' war,

North-Britons hence have fecond fight,
And Germans free from gun fhot fight.

Warb.

Aubrey, in the ft Scene, and 5th Act of the Bloody Brother,fpeaking of death, fays;

Am I afraid of death, of dying nobly?

Of dying in mine innocence uprightly?

Have I met death in all his forms and fears,

Now on the points of fwords, now pitch'd on lances.

In fires, in ftorms of arrows, battles, breaches,
And fhall I now fhrink from him, when he courts me
Smiling and full of fanctity.

General Obfervation.

Mr. Pope (fays Steevens) fuppofed the ftory of this play to have been borrow'd from a novel of Boccace; but he was mistaken, as an imitation of it is found in an old story-book entitled, Weftward for Smelts. This imitation differs in as many particulars from the Italian novelift, as from Shakespear, though they concur in the more confiderable parts of the fable. It was published in a quarte pamphlet 1603. This is the only copy of it which I have hitherto feen.

There is a late entry of it in the books of the Stationers' Company, Jan. 1619, where it is faid to have been written by Kitt of Kingston

Hamlet,

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IV.

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Hamlet.

ACT I. SCENE I.

Prodigies.

N the most high and (1) palmy state of Rome,
A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,
The graves stood tenantlefs, and the sheeted dead
Did fqueek and gibber in the Roman Streets,

Stars

(1) Palmy] i e. Victorious- -to gibber, is to chatter or make a gnashing with the teeth Difafter, (fays Skinner, and as its derivation plainly speaks) fignifies malignum fidus, an evil far; and by the astrologifts it was used for an evil or unlucky conjunction of flars; the great repute of that art, and the influence the ftars were fuppofed to have on man's life, gave it the fignification we now use it in. Shakespear ufes it in its primary fenfe. The learned reader will eafily recollect the accounts given by the biflorians, of the prodigies preceding the death of Julius Cæfar: our author feems neither to have been unacquainted with that fine digreffion in Virgil's first Georgic concerning them, nor the account of them in Ovid, which 'tis probable he might have imitated from Virgil: I shall beg leave to fubjoin them both.

He firft the fate of Cæfar did foretel,
And pitied Rome, when Rome in Cæfar fell.
In Iron clouds conceal'd the public light,
And impious mortals fear'd eternal night.
Nor was the fact foretold by him alone;
Nature herself stood forth, and feconded the fun :

The Sun.

Earth,

Stars fhone with trains of fire, dews of blood fell,
Difafters veil'd the fun, and the moist star,

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Earth, air and feas with prodigies were fign'd,
And birds obfcene and howling dogs divin'd.
What rocks did Etna's bellowing mouth expire
From her torn entrails; and what floods of fire!
What clanks were heard in German skies afar,
Of arms and armies rushing to the war!
Dire earthquakes rent the folid Alps below
And from their fummits shook th'eternal snow:
Pale spectres in the close of night were seen,
And voices heard of more than mortal men,-
In filent groves dumb fheep and oxen spoke,
And ftreams ran backward, and their beds forfook:
The yawning earth disclos'd th' abyss of hell,
The weeping ftatues did the war foretel,

And holy fweat from brazen idols fell.
Then rifing in his might the king of floods,
Rufh'd thro' the forefts, tore the lofty woods,
And rolling onward, with a sweepy sway,
Bore houses, herds, and lab'ring hinds away:
Blood fprang from wells, wolves howl'd in towns by night,
And boding victims did the priests affright;

Such peals of thunder never pour'd from high,

Nor forky lightnings flash'd from fuch a fullen sky.
Red meteors ran across th' ethereal space,
Stars difappear'd, and comets took their place.

Dryden.

Garth's Ovid, B. 15. p. 354.

Among the clouds, were heard the dire alarms
Of echoing trumpets, and of clanging arms:
The fun's pale image gave so faint a light,
That the fad earth was almoft veil'd in night;
The æther's face with fiery meteors glow'd,
With ftorms of hail were mingled drops of blood:
A duíky hue the morning ftar o'erfpread,

And the moon's orb was ftain'd with fpots of red:
In every place portentous fhrieks were heard,
The fatal warnings of th' infernal bird:
In every place the marble melts to tears,
While in the groves, rever'd thro' length of years,
Boding and awful founds the ear invade,
And folemn mufic warbles thro' the fhade:

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