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Full of unpleafing blots, and fightless stains,
I will inftruct my forrows to be proud;
For grief is proud, and makes the owner ftout.
If thou had'ft been born
Deform'd and crooked in the features of
I had been bleft.
Rather than as now,
(Tho' I had drown'd thee for it in the fea) Appearing as thou doft a new Pandora, With Juno's fair cow-eyes, Minerva's brow, Aurora's blushing cheeks, Hebe's fresh youth, Venus foft paps, and Thetis filver feet. A& 4. S. 1. The laft lines of Malfinger, are an immediate translation from a pretty Greek epigram, the author of which compares his miftreffes eyes to Juno's, her paps to Venus", &c.
Ομματ' έχεις Ηρης, Μελίτη, τας χείρας Αθήνης,
(5) Nature, &c.] In the Philoctetes of Sophocles, it is faid, Αλλ' ευγενης γαρ ηφυσις, καξ ευγενών
Ω τέκνον, η ση
Noble thy nature, as thy birth. my fon.
SCENE V. The Horrors of unclofing a Confpiracy.
(6) I had a thing to fay-but, let it go :
(6) I bad, &c.] The reader cannot but be struck with the peculiar excellencies of this fpeech: we fee into the very workings of king John's troubled foul, while he is wishing yet afraid to difclofe his bloody purpofe to Hubert; and how finely does the author defcribe the fituation the mind fhou'd be in to hear and embrace fuch a propofal, the place fittest to disclose it in, the time most suitable to pour it into the bofom of the hearer. See Julius Cæfar, p. 97. Shakespear, when he would exprefs the most dreadful time of night, always fpeaks of the hours of twelve or ne; for that, in the vulgar opinion, was the peculiar time of ghosts and fpirits. In Midsummer Night's Dream, he fays,
The iron tongue of midnight hath told twelve.
And the ghost in Hamblet just then stalks forth, when Bernards. giving an account of it comes to
The bell then beating one.
A most beautiful break, and finely imagin'd.
The king, in Beaumont and Fletcher's King and no King, is alike troubled and fearful to disclose his intentions.
fays of him,
He has followed me
Thro' twenty rooms, and ever when 1 ftay
Kept in his bufinefs: fo turns away from me:
And the king fays of himself,
I cannot utter it; why fhou'd I keep
A breaft to harbour thoughts I dare not speak?
A thoufand thoughts that cannot brook the light;
Confcience that art afraid to let me name it? A 3.
If this fame were a churchyard, where we ftand,
Had bak'd thy blood, and made it heavy-thick,
Or if that thou couldst fee me without eyes,
SCENE VI. A Mother's Ravings.
I am not mad; this hair I tear is mine;
A Mother's Grief.
Father Cardinal, I have heard you say,
That we fhall fee and know our friends in heav'n;
For fince the birth of Cain, the first male-child,
There was not fuch a gracious creature born.
And chafe the native beauty from his cheek;
When I fhall meet him in the court of heav'n,
SCENE VII. Defpondency.
There's nothing in this world can make me joy ; (7) Life is as tedious as a twice told tale,
Vexing the dull ear of a drowsy man.
(7) Life, &c.] So in another part of the play he says, This act is as an ancient tale new told,
And in the last repeating troublesome.
I bring this paffage chiefly that the reader may more carefully dwell on the inimitable beauties of that in the text.
Before the curing of a ftrong disease, Ev'n in the inftant of repair and health, The fit is strongest: evils that take leave, On their departure, moft of all fhew evil.
Danger lays hold of any Support. He that ftands upon a flipp'ry place, Makes nice of no vile hold to stay him up.
Arthur's pathetick Speeches to Hubert.
Have you the heart? when your head did but ake,
(The best I had, a princefs wrought it me) And I did never ask it you again;
And with my hand at midnight held your head;