Billeder på siden

Or monarchs' hands, that let not bounty fall
Where want cries fome3, but where excess begs all.

Of folded schedules had she many a one,

Which the perus'd, figh'd, tore, and gave the flood;
Crack'd many a ring of pofied gold and bone,
Bidding them find their fepulchers in mud*;
Found yet more letters fadly pen'd in blood,
With fleided filk feat and affectedly 5
Enfwath'd, and feal'd to curious fecrecy.


Pope fpeaks of the "weeping amber,” and Mortimer obferves that rye-grafs grows on we ping ground," i. e. lands abounding with wet, like the margin of the river on which this damfel is fitting. The rock from which water drops, is likewife poetically called a weeping rock: Κρή η τ' αέναον πέτρης απὸ ΔΑΚΡΥΟΕΣΣΗΣ, STEEVENS,

3 Where want cries fome,-] I once fufpected that our authour wrote: Where want craves fome-, MALONE.

I cry halves, is a common phrase among school-boys. STEEVENS. 4 Bidding them find their fepulchers in mud;] So, in The Tempeft: "My fon i' the ooze is bedded." MALONE.

Again, ibidem:


-I wish

Myself were mudded in that oozy bed

"Where my fon lies." STEEVENS.

5 With fleided filk feat and affectedly-] Sleided filk is, as Dr. Percy has elsewhere obferved, untwisted filk, prepared to be used in the weaver's fley or flay. So, in Pericles:

"Be't, when the weav'd the fleided filk."

A weaver's fley is formed with teeth like a comb. - Feat is, curioufly, nicely. See Vol. VIII. p. 312, n. 6.

• With flelded filk feat and affectedly


Enfwatb'd, and feal'd to curious fecrecy.] To be convinced of the propriety of this defcription, let the reader confult the Royal Letters, &c. in the British Museum, where he will find that anciently the ends of a piece of narrow ribbon were placed under the feals of letters, to connect them more clofely. STEEVENS.

Florio's Italian and English Dialogues, entitled his Second Frutes, 1591, confirm Mr. Steevens's obfervation. In p. 89, a perfon, who is fuppofed to have just written a letter, calls for fome wax, fome fealing thread, his dust-box, and his feal." MALONE.


A a


Thefe often bath'd fhe in her fluxive eyes,
And often kifs'd, and often 'gan to tear?;
Cry'd, O falfe blood! thou register of lies,
What unapproved witnefs doft thou bear!

Ink would have feem'd more black and damned here!
This faid, in top of rage the lines she rents,
Big difcontent fo breaking their contents.

A reverend man that graz'd his cattle nigh,
(Sometime a blußterer, that the ruffle knew
Of court, of city, and had let go by
The fwifteft hours 2,) obferved as they flew❜;
Towards this afflicted fancy faftly drew;
And, privileg'd by age, defires to know
In brief, the grounds and motives of her woe.

7 And often kiss'd, "and often 'gan to tear,] The old copy reads, I think, corruptedly:

and often gave to tear.

We might read:

and often gave a tear.

But the correfponding rhyme rather favours the conjectural reading which I have inferted in the text. Befides, her tears had been mentioned in the preceding line. MALONE.

8-that the ruffle knew-] Rufflers were a fpecies of bullies in the time of Shakspeare. "To ruffle in the common-wealth," is a phrafe in Titus Andronicus. STEVENS.

In Sherwood's French and English Dictionary at the end of Cot. grave's Dictionary, Ruffle and burliburly are fynonymous. See alfo Vol. III. p. 325, n. 7. MALONE.

9 and bad let go by

The fwifteft hours-] Had paffed the prime of life, when time appears to move with his quickest pace. MALONE.

1-obferved as they flew ;] i. e. as the fcattered fragments of paper few. Perhaps, however, the parenthefis that I have inferted, may not have been intended by the authour. If it be omitted, and the favifteft bours be connected with what follows, the meaning will be, that this reverend man, though engaged in the bustle of court and city, had not fuffered the bufy and gay period of youth to pafs by without gaining fome knowledge of the world. MALONE.

2 —this afflicted fancy-] This afflicted love fick lady. Fancy, it has been already obferved, was formerly fometimes ufed in the fenfe of love. So, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream:

"Sighs and tears, poor fancy's followers." MALONE.

[ocr errors]

So flides he down upon his grained bat3,
And comely-diftant fits he by her fide;
When he again defires her, being fat,
Her grievance with his hearing to divide :
If that from him there may be aught apply'd
Which may her fuffering ecftafy affuage,
'Tis promis'd in the charity of age.


Father, fhe fays, though in me you behold
The injury of many a blafting hours,
Let it not tell your judgment I am old;
Not age, but forrow, over me hath power":
I might as yet have been a spreading flower,
Fresh to myself, if I had felf-apply'd
Love to myself, and to no love befide.

But woe is me! too early I attended
A youthful fuit (it was to gain my grace)
Of one by nature's outwards fo commended",
That maidens' eyes ftuck over all his face :

3-bis grained bat,] So, in Coriolanus:

"My grained afh-."

His grained bat is his ftaff on which the grain of the wood was visible.


A bat is a club. The word is again ufed in King Lear: "Ife try whether your coftard or my bat be the harder." MALONE.

4-ber fuffering ecftafy-] Her painful perturbation of mind. See Vol. IV. p. 361, n. 9. MALONE.


5 The injury of many a blasting hour,] So in K. Henry IV. P. II. every part about you blafted with antiquity." MALONE.

6 Let it not tell your judgment I am old ;

Not age,


but forrow, over me bath power:] So, in Romeo and

"These griefs, these woes, these forrows, make me old."

Thus Lufignan, in Voltaire's Zayre:

"Mes maux m'ont affaibli plus encor que més ans.

[ocr errors]



7 Of one by nature's outwards so commended,] The quarto reads: O one by nature's outwards, &c.

Mr. Tyrwhitt propofed the emendation inferted in the text, which appears to me clearly right. MALONE.

A a 2


Love lack'd a dwelling, and made him her place;
And when in his fair parts fhe did abide,
She was new lodg'd, and newly deified.

His browny locks did hang in crooked curls;
And every light occafion of the wind
Upon his lips their filken parcels hurls.
What's fweet to do, to do will aptly find':
Each eye that faw him did enchant the mind;
For on his vifage was in little drawn,
What largenefs thinks in paradife was fawn".

Small show of man was yet upon his chin;
His phoenix down 3 began but to appear,
Like unfhorn velvet, on that termless skin,
Whofe bare out-brag'd the web it seem'd to wear ;
Yet fhow'd his vifage by that cost most dear;
And nice affections wavering ftood in doubt
If beft 'twere as it was, or beft without.

His qualities were beauteous as his form,
For maiden-tongu'd he was, and thereof free;

9-made bim her place;] i. e. her feat, her manfion. In the facred writings the word is often ufed with this fenfe. STEEVENS. So, in As you like it, Vol. III. p. 147, n. I.

"This is no place; this houfe is but a butchery."

Plas in the Welch language fignifies a manfion-house. MALONE. What's fweet to do, to do will aptly find:] I fuppofe he means, things pleafant to be done will eafily find people enough to do them. STEEVENS.

2-inparadife was fawn.] i. e. feen. This irregular participle, which was forced upon the authour by the rhyme, is, I believe, ufed by no other writer. MALONE.

The fame thought occurs in King Henry V:

"Leaving his body as a paradife.”

Again, in Romeo and Juliet:

"In mortal paradise of such sweet flesh." STEIVENS,

3 His phoenix down] I fuppofe the means matcblefs, rare, down. MALONE.

4 Yet fhow'd bis vifage] The words are placed out of their natural order for the fake of the metre:

Yet his wifage show'd, &c. MALONE.


Yet, if men mov'd him, was he fuch a ftorm 5
As oft 'twixt May and April is to fee,

When winds breathe fweet, unruly though they be❝.
His rudeness fo with his authoriz'd youth

Did livery falfeness in a pride of truth.

Well could he ride, and often men would say,
That horfe his mettle from his rider takes1:
Proud of fubjection, noble by the way,

What rounds, what bounds, what course, what top he makes!

And controversy hence a queftion takes,
Whether the horse by him became his deed,
Or he his manage by the well-doing steed.

5 Yet, if men mov'd bim, was be fuch a form, &c.] Thus alfo in Troilus and Creffida that prince is defcribed as one

"Not foon provok'd, nor being provok'd, foon calm'd."

So alfo, in Antony and Cleopatra:

66 -his voice was property'

"As all the tuned fpheres, and that to friends;

"But when he meant to quail, and shake the orb,

"He was as rattling thunder."

Again, in K, Henry IV. P. II:

"He hath a tear for pity, and a hand

"Open as day to melting charity;

"Yet notwithstanding, being incens'd he's flint;

"As humourous as winter, and as fudden

"As flarus congealed in the spring of day.”

Again, in K. Henry VIII:

The hearts of princes kifs obedience,

"So much they love it; but to ftubborn spirits
"They fwell and grow as terrible as forms." MALONE.

Again, in Cymbeline :

r and yet as rough,

"Their royal blood enchaf'd, as the rudeft wind,

"That by the top doth take the mountain pine,

"And make him ftoop to the vale." STEEVENS.

6 When winds breathe fweet, unruly though they be.] So, Amiens in As you like it, addreffing the wind:

"Thou art not so unkind,

"Although thy breath be rude." MALONE.

7 That borfe bis mettle from bis rider takes :] So, in King Henry II"

P. II:

"For from his metal was his party fteel'd." STEEVENS.

A a 3


« ForrigeFortsæt »