Billeder på siden

That, with the hurly ’, death itself awakes ?
Can'st thou, O partial sleep! give thy repose

[ocr errors]

stances of this use of the word from Drayton. So, in his Miracles of Moses :

“ And the sterne thunder from the airy shrowds,

“ To the sad world, in fear and horror spake.” Again, in Ben Jonson's Poem on Inigo Jones :

And peering forth of Iris in the shrowds." Again, in Chapman's version of the twentieth Iliad :

casting all thicke mantles made of clouds,
“On their bright shoulders. Th’oppos'd gods sat hid in

other shrouds."
A moderate tempest would hang the waves in the shrowds of a
ship; a great one might poetically be said to suspend them on
the clouds, which were too slippery to retain them.
So, in Julius Cæsar:

I have seen
6. Th' ambitious ocean swell, and rage and foam

To be exalted with the threatening clouds."
Again, in Golding's translation of Ovid's Metamorphosis,
book xi. :

“ The surges mounting up aloft did seeme to mate the skie,
“And with their sprinkling for to wet the clouds that hang on

Again, in Ben Jonson's Masque of Queens, 1609:

when the boisterous sea, “ Without a breath of wind, hath knock'd the sky.Again, Virg. Æn. lib. iii. :

spumam elisam, et rorantia vidimus astra. Drayton's airy shrowds are the airy covertures of heaven ; which in plain language are the clouds.

A similar image to that before us, occurs in Churchyard's Praise of Poetrie, 1595 :

“ The poets that can clime the cloudes,

“Like ship-boy to the top,

“When sharpest stormes do shake the shrowdes,” &c. Lee, in his Mithradates, is the copier of Shakspeare:

“ So sleeps the sea-boy on the cloudy mast,
“ Safe as a drowsy Triton, rock'd by storms,
“ While tossing princes wake on beds of down.”

STEEVENS. The instances produced by Mr. Steevens prove that clouds were sometimes called poetically airy shrouds, or shrouds suspended in air; but they do not appear to me to prove that any writer, speaking of a ship, ever called the shrouds of the ship by the name of clouds. I entirely, however, agree with him in thinking that

To the wet sea-boy in an hour so rude ;
And, in the calmest and most stillest night,
With all appliances and means to boot,
Deny it to a king? Then, happy low, lie down * !
Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.


clouds here is the true reading ; and the passage produced from Julius Cæsar, while it fully supports it, shows that the word is to be understood in its ordinary sense. So again, in The Winter's Tale : now the ship boring the moon with her main-mast, and anon swallowed up with yest and froth.” Malone. My position appears to have been misunderstood.

I meant not to suggest that the shrowds of a ship were ever called clouds. What I designed to say was, that the clouds and the shrowds of heaven were anciently synonymous terms, so that by the exchange of the former word for the latter, no fresh idea would, in fact, bé ascertained; as the word shrowds might be received in the sense of clouds as well as that of ship-tackle. SteeVENS. The epithet slippery agrees better with shrowds than clouds.

Talbot. 2 That, with the huRLY,) Hurly is noise, derived from the French hurler to howl, as hurly-burly from Hurluberlu, Fr.

Steevens. Holinshed, speaking of the commotions in the time of King Richard II. says :

“ It was rightly called the hurling time, there were such hurly burlyes kept in every place.” Holinshed, vol. ii. p. 1030, edit. 1577. So also in The Paston Letters, vol. i. p. 62: “ And anone aftyr y* hurlyng the Bysshop Rosse apechyd me to the quene.” Boswell.

3 Deny it to a king ?] Surely, for the sake of metre, we should read

Deny't a king ?" Steevens. - Then, happy low, lie down !] Evidently corrupted from happy lowly clorun. These two lines making the just conclusion from what preceded. “ If sleep will fly a king and consort itself with beggars, then happy the lowly clown, and uneasy the crowned head." WARBURTON.

Dr. Warburton has not admitted this emendation into his text : I am glad to do it the justice which its author has neglected.

Johnson. The sense of the old reading seems to be this : “ You, who are happy in your humble situations, lay down your heads to rest! the head that wears a crown lies too uneasy to expect such a blessing." Had not Shakspeare thought it necessary to subject

Enter WARWICK and SURREY. WAR. Many good morrows to your majesty! K. Hen. Is it good morrow, lords ? WAR. 'Tis one o'clock, and past. K. Hen. Why then, good morrow to you all, my

Have you read o’er the letters that I sent you ?

WAR. We have, my liege.
K. Hen. Then you perceive, the body of our

How foul it is ; what rank diseases grow,

himself to the tyranny of rhyme, he would probably have said:
" then happy low, sleep on!
So, in The Misfortunes of Arthur, a tragedy, 1587 :

Behold the peasant poore with tattered coate,
“ Whose eyes a meaner fortune feeds with sleepe,

“ How safe and sound the carelesse snudge doth snore.” Sir W. D'Avenant has the same thought in his Law against Lovers : “How soundly they sleep, whose pillows lie low!

Steevens. 5 Why then, good morrow . to you all, my lords.] In my regulation of this passage I have followed the late editors; but I am now persuaded the first line should be pointed thus :

Why then good morrow to you all, my lords.” This mode of phraseology, where only two persons are addressed, is not very correct, but there is no ground for readingWhy, then, good morrow to you. Well

, my lords,” &c. as Theobald and all the subsequent editors do ; for Shakspeare, in King Henry VI. Part II. Act II. Sc. II. has put the same expression into the mouth of York, when he addresses only his two friends, Salisbury and Warwick ; though the author of the original play, printed in 1600, on which The Second Part of King Henry VI. was founded, had, in the corresponding place, employed the word both !

- Where as

all “ Harmless Richard was murderd traiterously.” This is one of the numerous circumstances that contribute to prove that Shakspeare's Henries were formed on the work of a preceding writer. See the Dissertation on that subject, in vol. xviii. MALONE.

you know,

And with what danger, near the heart of it.

WAR. It is but as a body, yet, distemper'do;
Which to his former strength may be restor'd,
With good advice, and little medicine :
My lord Northumberland will soon be cool'd'.
K. Hen. O heaven! that one might read the

book of fate;
And see the revolution of the times
Make mountains level, and the continent
(Weary of solid firmness,) melt itself
Into the sea ! and, other times, to see
The beachy girdle of the ocean
Too wide for Neptune's hips; how chances mock,
And changes fill the cup of alteration
With divers liquors ! O, if this were seen!,


[ocr errors]

6 It is but as a body, yet, DiSTEMPER'D;] Distemper, that is, according to the old physick, a disproportionate mixture of humours, or inequality of innate heat and radical humidity, is less than actual disease, being only the state which foreruns or produces diseases. The difference between distemper and disease seems to be much the same as between disposition and habit.

Johnson. 7 My lord Northumberland will soon be cool'd.] I believe Shakspeare wrote school'd ; tutor’d, and brought to submission.

WARBURTON. Cool'd is certainly right. Johnson.

So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor : my humour shall not cool.". STEEVENS. 8 O heaven! that one might read the book of fate; And see the revolution of the times Make mountains level, and the continent (Weary of solid firmness,) melt itself

Into the sea! and, other times, to see, &c.] So, in our author's 64th Sonnet:

“ When I have seen the hungry ocean gain

Advantage on the kingdom of the shore,
“ And the firm soil win of the watry main,

Increasing store with loss, and loss with store ;
“ When I have seen such interchange of state,” &c.

- O, if this were seen, &c.] These four lines are supplied
from the edition of 1600. WARBURTON.



The happiest youth,-viewing his progress through,
What perils past, what crosses to ensue, -
Would shut the book, and sit him down and die.
"Tis not ten years gone,
Since Richard, and Northumberland, great friends,
Did feast together, and in two years after
Were they at wars: It is but eight years, since

My copy wants the whole scene, and therefore these lines.
There is some difficulty in the line-

“What perils past, what crosses to ensue because it seems to make past perils equally terrible with ensuing

This happy youth, who is to foresee the future progress

of his life, cannot be supposed, at the time of his happiness, to have gone through many perils. Both the perils and the crosses that the King alludes to were yet to come; and what the youth is to foresee is, the many crosses he would have to contend with, even after he has passed through many perils. M. Mason.

In answer to Dr. Johnson's objection it may be observed, that past perils are not described as equally terrible with ensuing crosses, but are merely mentioned as an aggravation of the sum of human calamity. He who has already gone through some perils, might hope to have his quietus, and might naturally sink in despondency, on being informed that “ bad begins and worse remains behind.” Even past perils are painful in retrospect, as a man shrinks at the sight of a precipice from which he once fell.–To one part of Mr. M. Mason's observation it may be replied, that Shakspeare does not say the happy, but the happiest, youth ; that is, even the happiest of mortals, all of whom are destined to a certain portion of misery.

Though what I have now stated may, I think, fairly be urged in support of what seems to have been Dr. Johnson's sense of this passage, yet I own Mr. M. Mason's interpretation is extremely ingenious, and probably is right. The perils here spoken of may not have been actually passed by the peruser of the book of fate, though they have been passed by him in "viewing his progress through ; or, in other words, though the register of them has been perused by him. They may be said to be past in one sense only; naniely, with respect to those which are to ensue ; which are presented to his eye subsequently to those which precede. If the spirit and general tendency of the passage, rather than the grammatical expression, be attended to, this may be said to be the most obvious meaning. The construction is, What perils having been past, what crosses are to ensue." Malone,

« ForrigeFortsæt »