Puslapio vaizdai

Piercing the night's dull ear; and from the tents,
The armourers accomplishing the knights,
With busy hammers clofing rivets up,
Give dreadful note of preparation.

The country cocks do crow, the clocks do toll:
And (the third hour of drowzie morning nam'd)
Proud of their numbers and fecure in foul,
The confident and over-lufty French
Do the low-rated English play at dice;
And chide the cripple tardy-gated night,
Who, like a foul and ugly witch, does limp
So tediously away. The poor condemned English,
Like facrifices, by their watchful fires

Sit patiently, and inly ruminate

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The morning's danger; (8) and their gefture fad, (Investing

(8) And their gefture, &c.] The prefent paffage has perplexed the commentators, and feems not to have been at all understood by them: Theobald has left it as it ftands, without troubling himfelf about it. Warburton and Sir Thomas Hanmer have both misunderstood, and both altered it, differently. Their mistakes have arifen from imagining the participle investing was to be connected with gefture fad in the foregoing line, whereas it is put abfolute, and to be conftrued lank-lean cheeks, and war-worn coats investing; there is no difficulty in the word applied to coats, as the immediate sense of the word is cloathing: Shakespear uses investments for cloaths in the foregoing play, A. 4 S. 2.

Whose white investments figure innocence.

The difficulty is in the word applied to lank-lean cheeks; it muft there be taken metaphorically: we know how vague our author is in his use of metaphors, and we know how often he ufes one verb or participle to two nouns of a different sense, as here. But indeed the metaphor is not unusual, we say often- the face is cloath'd with fmiles thus to me this difficult paffage appears in a very clear light, which I could have wifh'd Mr. Edwards, who fo well understands our author had explained to us: he seems to look upon it as defperate. See Can. of criticism, p. 72.

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A very ingenious gentleman obferved to me, upon my asking his opinion of the paffage, that investing, by the common acceptation, fignifies befieging, or rather taking poffeffion of all the avenues to a place and this arifes from the civil and feudal cuftoms of

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(Investing lank-lean cheeks, and war worn-coats,)
Prefenteth them unto the gazing moon
So many horrid ghofts. Who now beholds
The royal captain of this ruin'd band,

Walking from watch to watch, from tent to tent,
Let him cry, praise and glory on his head!
For forth he goes, and vifits all his hoft,
Bids them good-morrow with a modest smile,
And calls them brothers, friends, and countrymen.

Upon his royal face there is no note,

How dread an army hath enrounded him;
Nor doth he dedicate one jot of colour
Unto the weary and all-watched night;
But freshly looks, and over-bears attaint,
With chearful femblance, and fweet majefty;
That ev'ry wretch pining and pale before,
Beholding him, plucks comfort from his looks.
A largefs univerfal, like the fun,

giving poffeffion by a robe or vestment: He then obferved, that Shakespear ufes the word in a fimple sense: an investment with him being the matching of cloaths: and cloaths that are welk match'd or fuited, are called a fute or fuit of cloaths.

And their gefture fad

Investing (i. e. fuiting or matching with) lank-lean cheeks &c; He feems to have fallen into the same mistake with the other commentators in regard to the conftruction. All I would obferve from his judicious remark is, that inveling, in the metaphorical fenfe, if it fatisfies not the reader in the fimple one, will explain the paflage very well: lank-lean cheeks and war-worn coats taking poffeffion of them, &c. but I think the first fenfe the true one.

I cannot but approve Sir Thomas Hanmer's criticism of presented into prefenteth which I have admitted into the text, as the reader may plainly fee, the chorus fpeaks of the time prefent: they fit, they ruminate, and fo on. To make the line more clear, I have printed it in a parenthefis, and, I hope, fhall be excufed for my endeavour to explain fo difficult a paffage, as I would have every line, in our author, if poffible, fet right, and, by all means, prefer the old and general readings, to any wanton conjectures of mifapprehending criticism.

Prefenteth. Ox. edit. vulg. prefented.

His lib'ral eyes doth give to ev'ry one,

Thawing cold fear,

SCENE V. The Miferies of Royalty.

(9) O hard condition, and twin-born with greatness,
Subject to breath of ev'ry fool, whofe fenfe
No more can feel but his own wringing.
What infinite heart-cafe muft kings neglect,
That private men enjoy? And what have kings,
That private have not too, fave ceremony?
Save gen'ral ceremony?

And what art thou, thou idol ceremony?
What kind of god art thou, that suffer'st more
Of mortal griefs, than do thy worshippers ?,
What are thy rents? What are thy comings in t
O ceremony, fhew me but thy worth:

(10) What is the foul of adoration ?

Art thou aught elfe but place, degree, and form,

(9) 0, &c.] See A. 4. S. 10, of the foregoing play.

(10) What, &c.] What is thy foul of adoration--- is the common reading: there wants but the alteration of thy into the, as in the text, and all is well: the meaning is as well explained by Mr. Upton--what is the foul, i. e. the real worth, what substantial good is there in adoration or ceremony? What are the rents? What are the comings in, Oh ceremony! fhew me but thy worth, tell me what is the foul, the very utmost value, of adoration ?--- "ShakeSpear ufes the word foul in this fense very often;--in this play, he says, There is fome foul of goodness in things evil;

i. e. fome real or fubftantial good.

In his midfummer night's dream

But you must join in fouls to mock me too; e. unite together heartily, and in earnest.

And in Measure for measure;

We have with special foul

Elected him, &c.

i. e. particularly and specially speciamente. The alterations foifted into the texts in the feveral places, are too ridiculous to need mentioning: Upton's Obfervations, P.406.z



Creating awe and fear in other men?

Wherein thou art lefs happy, being fear'd,

Than they in fearing.

What drink'st thou of, instead of homage fweet,
But poifon'd flatt'ry? O be fick, great greatness,
And bid thy ceremony give the cure.
Think'ft thou, the fiery fever will go out
With titles blown from adulation?

Will it give place to flexure and low bending?
Can't thou, when thou command'it the beggar's knee, ↑
Command the health of it? No, thou proud dream,
That play't fo fubtly with a king's repofe;

I am a king, that find thee, and I know,
"Tis not the balm, the fceptre and the ball,
The fword, the mace, the crown imperial,
The enter-tiffued robe of gold and pearl,
The farfed title running 'fore the the king,
The throne he fits on, nor the tide of pomp
That beats upon the high fhoar of this world;
No, not all these thrice gorgeous ceremonies,
Not all thefe, laid in bed majeftical,

Can fleep fo foundly as the wretched flave;
Who, with a body fill'd, and vacant mind,
Gets him to reft, cramm'd with distressful bread;
Never fees horrid night, the child of hell:
* But, like a lacquey, from the rife to set,


But, like, &c.] The poet in this most beautiful paffage is compar ing the laborious have to the lacquey or footman of Phoebus: "He never beholds night, fays the poet, but like a lacquey obliged ever to attend and follow his mafter, fweats from rife to fet, in the eye of Phoebus, bis mafter, fleeps all night, where be (Phoebus) fleeps, in Elyfium, and the next day, after dawn, rifes to his bufinefs, and helps his mafter, Hyperion, to his horfe; in whofe fight he again fweats from rife to fet as before, and thus follows the ever-running year &c." Nothing can be more exquifite, and more nobly befpeak the hand of Shakespear. Mr. Seward's alteration is quite unneceffary; for this manner of expression is entirely


Sweats in the eye of Phoebus; and all night
Sleeps in elyfium: next day, after dawn,
Doth rife, and help Hyperion to his horse:
And follows fo the ever running year
With profitable labour to his grave:
And (but for ceremony) fuch a wretch,

Winding up day's with toil, and nights with fleep,
Hath the fore-hand and vantage of a king.

SCENE VII. A Defcription of the miferable
State of the English Amy.

Yon island carrions, defperate of their bones,
Ill favour'dly become the morning field:
Their ragged curtains poorly are let loose,
And our air fhakes them paffing fcornfully.
Big Mars feems bankrupt in their beggar'd hoft,
And faintly through a rufty beaver peeps.
The horsemen fit like fixed candlesticks,

With torch-ftaves in their hands: and their poor jades
Lob down their heads, dropping the hide and hips:

agreeable to our author. That gentleman, in his preface, brings the following paffage from Philafter, A. 4. as worthy to be placed in competition with that of Shakespear, and where the hands, he fays, are scarcely to be diftinguished, except from one fingle expreffion of Shakespear.. A prince depriv'd of his throne and betray'd as he, thought in love, thus mourns his melancholy state. See Beaumont and Fleteber's works, Vol. 1. preface, p. 24.

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Oh that 1 had been nourish'd in thefe woods,
With milk of goats and acorns, and not known
The right of crowns, or the diffembling train
Of woman's looks; but dig'd myself a cave,
Where I, my fire, my cattle, and my bed,
Might have been fhut together in one shed:
And then had taken me fome mountain girl,
Beaten with winds, chafte as the harden'd rocks
Whereon she dwells: that might have ftrew'd my
With leaves and reeds, and with the fkins of beafts,
Our neighbours, and have borne at her big breasts
My large coarfe iffue!
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