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been his liar, as you say you have.”—Leasing occurs in our Translation of the Bible. See Psalm iv. 2. v. 6. HENLEY.
134. the virginal palms of your daughters,] By virginal palms may be indeed understood the holding up the hands in supplication. Therefore I have altered nothing. But as this sense is cold, and gives us even a ridiculous idea; and as the passions of the several intercessors seem intended to be here represented, I suspect Shakspere might write pasmes or pames, i. e. swooning fits, from the French pasmer or påmer. I have frequently used the liberty to give sense to an unmeaning passage, by the introduction of a French word of the same sound, which I suppose to be of Shakspere's own coining. And I am certainly to be justified in so doing, by the great number of such sort of words to be found in the common text. But for a further justification of this liberty, take the following instance; where all must agree, that the common reading is corrupt by the editors inserting an English word they understood, instead of one coined by Shakspere out of the French, which they understood not. It is in his Tarquin and Lucrece, where he is speaking of the office and empire of Time, and the effects it produces in the world:
Time's glory is
To fill with worm-holes stately monuments,
To pluck the quills from ancient ravens wings; To dry the old oak's sap, and cherish springs; The two last words, if they make any sense, it is such as is directly contrary to the sentiments here advanced; which is concerning the decays, not the repairs of Time. The poet wrote:
To dry the old oak's sap, and tarish springs.
i. e. to dry up springs, from the French tarir or taris. sement, exarefacere, exsiccatio: these words being peculiarly applied to springs or rivers. WARBURTON.
After all, I believe the former reading of the pas sage in Tarquin and Lucrece to be the true one. Shakspere's meaning is, that Time was variously employed, both in destroying old things, and in raising up young ones. The next stanza sufficiently proves it:
"To shew the beldame daughters of her daughter,
"To dry the old oak's sap, and cherish springs.” i. e. to dry up old oak's sap, and consequently to destroy it; and likewise to cherish springs, i. e. to raise up or nourish the shoots of coppice-wood, or of young trees, groves, and plantations. The word springs is used in this sense by Chaucer, Spenser, Fairfax, Drayton, Donne, and Milton, as well as by the old writers on husbandry, Fitzherbert, Tusser, Markham, and by Shakspere himself in the Comedy of Errors:
"Even in the spring of love, thy love-springs rot?"
A& V. Again, in Holinshed's Description of England, both the contested words in the latter part of the verse, occur. "We have manie woods, forrests, and parks which cherish trees abundantlie, beside infinit numbers of hedge-rowes, groves, and springs, that are maintained," &c. Thus far Mr. Tollet.
Dr. Warburton is surely unfortunate in the assortment of French words exhibited on the present occaasion, since the first never was admitted as a noun into the French language, nor can the latter possibly be claimed by any language at all. The attempt to introduce pasmes instead of palms, ridicules itself.
The adjective virginal, is used in Woman is a Wea-thercock, 1612:
"Lav'd in a bath of contrite virginal tears.” Again, in Spenser's Faerie Queen, B. II. c. x. "She to them made mildness virginal.”
135. —a decay'd dotant
Modern editorss read- -dotard.
-Though I owe
-] Thus the old copy.
My revenge properly,] Though I have
a peculiar right in revenge, in the power of forgiveness the Volcians are conjoined.
-how we are shent- -] Shent means but shamed, disgraced, made ashamed of himself. So, the old ballad of the Heir of Linne, in the second volume of Reliques of English Poetry :
"Sorely shent with this rebuke,
"Sorely shent was the heir of Linne;
"His heart, I wis, was near-to brast
I have borne this business.] î. e. how openly, how remotely from artifice or concealment. JOHNSON. 243. The sorrow, that delivers us thus chang'd,
Makes you think so.] Virgilia makes a voluntary misinterpretation of her husband's words. He says, These eyes are not the same, meaning, that he saw things with other eyes, or other dispositions. She lays hold on the word eyes, to turn his attention on their present appearance. JOHNSON. 251. Now by the jealous queen of heaven,] i. e. by Juno, the guardian of marriage, and consequently the avenger of connubial perfidy.
prate,] The old copy-I pray. The merit of the alteration is Theobald's. STEEVENS.
265. Then let the pebbles on the hungry beach Fillop the stars- -] The sea may
try be called hungry, or eager to swallow in its gulph the vessels that pass over it: So, in the Twelfth Night.
-mine is all as hungry as the sea;"
but this epithet appears to me less applicable to the shore. I suspect that our author wrote-" the angry beach," which might have been easily confounded by the ear with what has been substituted in its room. "The angry beach" is, the "wave-worn "shore” fretted with the gusts of heaven. "So, in the Tempest:
-the still-vex'd Bermoothes."
Again, in Othello, 4to. 1622:
"For do but stand upon the banning shore.'
In K. Henry VIII. we have,
-the chiding flood.”
And, in K. Lear:
"As mad as the vex'd sea."
The noble sister of Publicola,] Valeria, methinks, should not have been brought only to fill up the procession without speaking. JOHNSON.
It is not improbable, but that the poet designed the following words of Volumnia for Valeria. Names are not unfrequently confounded by the player editors; and the lines that compose this speech might be given to the sister of Publicola without impropriety. It may be added, that though the scheme to solicit Coriolanus was originally proposed by Valeria, yet Plutarch has allotted her no address when she appears with his wife and mother on this occasion. STEEVENS.
273. chaste as the icicle, &c.] I cannot forbear to quote the following beautiful passage from Shirley's Gentleman of Venice, in which the praise of a lady's chastity is likewise attempted:
"As the white down of heaven, whose feathers play "Upon the wings of a cold winter's gale,
66 Trembling with fear to touch th' impurer earth.”
-epitome of your's,] I read: