Imágenes de páginas

ther (cries the chief of the etymological department, seated on our left), 'take care; you'll certainly be down in the dirt. Have you forgotten what woful figures I have been obliged to hold up to public laughter *?'No, Mr. Philologos; but, as we do not mean to truft ourselves so far, we are under no apprehension of being so fadly bedaubed : beside, when the Public see that we have not the confidence of your etymologist, we are perfuaded that we shall only excite a good-humoured smile, at the most, if we Mould get a fall.' We believe then, or, to speak more properly, we conjecture, that these terms are all derived from the Italian. Tucket-una toccata; á general name for a Aourish. Levet- una levata; the morning call, perhaps, in a camp or garrison. Sennet - una serenata; the signal for retiring to reft. Serenata might easily be corrupted into sennet, by a rapid pronunciation of the middle syllable, rë, and a faint sound of the final a : fer’nat, sennat, jennet

. And these different words levet, fennet, &c. though originally used to designate particular tunes, appropriated to particular purposes, might, perhaps, in process of time, be indiscriminately employed to denote any martial music.

The appellation Sir formerly prefixed to the names of fome of the clergy, ' was anciently' (says Dr. Johnson)' a title assumed by graduates,' This affertion (as we find in a note upon Richard Isl. A&t 4.) the late Mr. Guthrie disputes; and says it was a title sold by the Pope's Legates, &c. Dr. Farmer controverts Mr. Guthrie's opinion; and Mr. Steevens supposes that the title might be originally derived from Sire, father. In confirmation, however, of Dr. Johnson's notion, it may be observed that a Bachelor of Arts, (as is well known) in academical language, is Atiled Dominus. And we are informed that it is no uncommon thing, even at this day, in one of our Universities at least, for servants of a college in which there may chance to be two gentlemen of the Tame name, one of whom has taken his first degree, and the other not, to translate the term dominus, and prefix it to the name of the former, in order to diftinguish bim from the latter. Thus, if a Mr. Jones, for instance, be inquired for, in a college where there are two of the name, circumstanced as above, they will ask you if you want Sir Jones.

In Antony and Cleopatra, Act I. Sc. 5. Cleopatra being irri. tated beyond measure at the news of Antony's marriage with O&avia, and having struck the messenger who brought the intelligence, for persisting in his account, says to him:

O that his fault should make a knave of chee,
Thou t art not what thou'rt sure of!-Get thee hence."

Consult our General Index for the names, Jones (Rowland), El. phinstone, &c. &c. and Rev. Vol. LXXI. for the name of Lemon.

+ In former editions, as well as in some of the notes to the present, it is printed, That art, &c. No reason is given for the variation.


M 2

This laft line, which (says Dr. Johnson) is not easily understood, Sir T. Hanmer thus corrects : ' That says but what thou're sure of. Warburton receives the emendation. But Johnson, difsatisfied with what, though it affords sense, exhibits (as he truly says) little spirit, supposes the line to confift of abrupt ftacts :

• O that his * fault should make a knare of thee;

Thou art-not what ?-Thou’rt sure on't. Get thee hence.' That is, 'That his fault should make a knave of thee that art-butwhat fball I say thou art not? Thou art then sure of this marriage. Get thee hence. Mr. Steevens quotes what he thinks a fimilar passage, from Measure for Measure, though he says he knows not how to apply it with success to the very difficult line before us :'

• Dreft in a little brief authority,
Most ignorant of what he's most affur'd

His glasly effence.'Mr. Tollet interprets the line, Thou art not an honest man, of which thou art thyself assur’d, but thou art in my opinion a knave by thy mafter's fault alone.' Mr. Malone would read,

i o that his fault should make a knave of thee,

That art not what thou’rt fore of!' which he explains, "Alas! is it not ftrange, that the fault of Antony should make thee appear to me a knave, thee that art innocent, and art not the cause of the ill news, in confequence of which thou art yet fore with my blows ! It Arikes us in a different light. Cleopatra, with a weakness natural to those who cannot bear to hear what gives them pain, is enraged because the messenger did not deceive her, but persevered in his declaration of Antony's marriage: “The gods confound thee !' (says the) • doft thou hold there still?' Messeng. Should I lye, Madam? Cleop. O, I would thou didft.' She then, with much heat and vehemence, twice more repeats, He is married ?' And finding that he still honestly adhered to the truth, exclaims : 'O that his fault, &c. We think the word that is here the demonftrative pronoun; and not, as the commentators seem all to have imagined, the conjunction. The sense of the whole we conceive to be: O, that fault of his ought to make a knave, a liar, of thee, that art not that knave, which, by thy repeated affertions of his marriage, thou Thew'st thyself sure of his being.' Cleopatra means to infinuate that the messenger's positive assurance of Antony's marriage, was, in her mind, equivalent to a pofitive assurance of his being a villain.

Commentators may sometimes miss the sense of their author by searching too deeply for it to Learning and penetration, which


Misprinted, this, in the original. + This remark may be applied to Dr. Johnson's explanation of • understood relations' in Macbeth, Act III. Sc. 4. In our Review,



will always have advantage of common understanding, in ex. ploring what lies at the bottom, will sometimes be surpassed by the superficial observer, in investigating that which swims upon the surface. He who is accustomed to see more than is generally perceived, will sometimes see more than is intended ; ant the criticism which weighs every word of a loose and popular writer, will often seek, in vain, for a meaning in the parts, that is only to be found in the whole. Hence arises, we think, the embarrassment which our critics meet with from a passage of Antony and Cleopatra, Act III. Sc. 2. What shall we do, Enobarbus ?' says Cleopatra. To which that plain and blunt soldier replies, Think and die.' Here Sir T. Hanmer would read, Drink and die,' which is approved by Warburton and Upton. Johnson explains think and die' to mean, Refleet on your own folly, and leave the world. But Mr. Tyrwbiet, though he allows that this would be a proper answer from a moralift or divine, thinks it not adapted to the character of Enobarbus. He therefore proposes to read, wink and die.' Mr. Steevens and Mr. Tollet would adhere to the old reading; and produce some quotations, 10 shew that taking thought is equivalent to being anxious or solicitous, or laying a thing much to heart. And in a second note, Mr. Tyrwhitt tells us, that he believes the old seading right, but then we must understand think and die' to mean, 'die of thought or melancholy; and he refers to some places where thought is so used. We believe that by the expresfion think and die' Shakspeare intended nothing more than is con

Vol. LXII. p. 268, we supposed relations to mean accounts, narra. tions. The following passage confirms our opinion :

There is a mystery (with whom relation
Durft never meddle) in the soul of itate.'

Troilus and Cressida, A& III. Sc. 3. In the same volume, p. 260, after giving the substance of the notes, with some additional conjectures, upon the words delighted spirit' in Measure for Meaficre, A& III. Sc. 1, we declared our persuasion that delighted was the original reading. We will take this opportunity to observe that we think delighted' is used for delighted in:' the preposition in being omitted euphoniæ gratia. So in Cymbeline, Ad V. Sc. 4.

Whom I beft love, I cross; to make my gift

The more delay'd, delighted;' that is delighted in.' So also in Othello, A& I. Sc. 3. • If virtue no delighted beauty lack.' Many similar instances of the omision of the preposition might, we think, be produced from our bard. Thus, in Julius Cæsar, A& I. Sc. 2. • Buc ere we could arrive the point proposed ;' i. e. arrive at. See also vol. vi. P: 564, and vol. vii. p. 412, of the present edition. - Delighted spirit,' therefore, may mean, the spirit in which we delight-in which we so much pride ourselves as our noblest part.


M 3

veyed by the fingle word, die. In the colloquial and familiar language of the present time, we use the word think in the same redundant manner. It is not uncommon to hear a person, after spending the morning in an undrels, say, 'Well, 'ris almost dinner time, I must think and dress myself:' or, “I must ste and dress myself.' Prior has the same expression in some elegant verses written at Paris in 1700, in the beginning of Robe's Geo. graphy:

“ And as health fails, and years increase,

Sit down and ibink and die in peace.” In the last scene of Cymbeline, Belarius says to the King, * Your pleasure was my 'near offence.' Dr. Johnson would here read, dear offence.' And Mr. Tyrwhiet, because in the old folio the word is printed neore, thinks the true reading to be,

meere offence.' But we see no necessity for alteration. The present text is confirmed by an expression of Leontes in the second Act of the Winter's Tale; He who shall speak for her, is afar off guilty, but that he speaks.

In King Lear, A& II. Sc. 2, Kent says to the Duke of Cornwall, He that beguild you, in a plain accent, was a plain knave; which for my part, I will not be, though I should win. your displeasure to intreat me to it:' i e. says Dr. Johnson,

though I should win you, displeas'd as you now are, to like me so well as to intreat me to be a knave.'- Your displeasure' is, we apprehend, a title given to the angry Cornwall, in the same man. ner as we now say, your highness; your excellence; your grace, &c. These titles were much more frequent formerly, than they are at present. Thus in our author, vol. vi. page 169, we find your wisdoms.' In vol. x. p. 501, their amities.' So also, in Beaumont and Fletcher, vol. iii. p. 219, edit. 1778,' his valour.' Again, in the same volume, p. 377, your beauties i' and in p. 469,

your modefly.' Vol. v. p. 128, bis rbetoric.' Vol. vii. p. 19, bis learning ;' and many others. An attention to this will often serve to explain many difficulties in our old writers. May not this give the true interpretation of a passage in Hamlet, Ac I. Sc. 4.1 Horatia, advising Hamlet not to follow the Ghoft, says, • It inay affume some other horrible form, which might deprive your sovereignty of reason.'

In the closet scene in the third Act, as the Ghost is retiring, Hamlet having asked his mother if the faw or heard nothing, points to the phantom, and exclaims :

Why, look you there! look, how it seals away!.

My father, in his habit as he liv'd!' Mr. Steevens here obseryes, that if the poet meant that Hamlet's father appeared in his own familiar babit, he must have forgotten that he originally introduced him in armour ; or else he must have intended to vary his dress in this his last appearance. The

difficulty' difficulty' (he adds) might be a little obviated by pointing the line thus: “My father-in his habit-as he liv'd." We approve of this change of the punctuation, but think the ingenious commentator has not sufficiently explained the sense. The words, as he liv'd,' do not mean, in the manner in which he liv’d: but, as though he were alive. See,' says Hamler, it is my father himself-it is his very dress-the representation is as vivid as if he were actually alive and present. A fimilar mode of expression occurs in The Taming of the Shrew: Induction, Sc. 2d. :

• We'll shew thee lo, as she was a maid ; . And how she was beguiled and surpris’d,

As lively painted as the deed were done.' that is, as if the deed were now actually performing.

In the last Act of this cragedy, Scene 2d, Hamlet having informed Horatio of the commiflion which he was to have carried to the King of England, requiring that monarch to put the bearer to death, proceeds to mention some of the earneft conjurations' by which his English majesty was exhorted to comply with the Dane's request; viz.

• As love between them like a palm might flourish,
As peace should still her wheaten garland wear,
And fand a comma 'tween their amities;

And many such like as's of great charge.' This, Warburton, as usual, alters to and a commere; ' i. e. a goflip. Hanmer reads, • ftand a cement.' Dr. Johnson says, The comma is the note of connection, and continuity of sentences; the period is the note of abruption and disjun&tion. Shakspeare had it in his mind to write, that unleis England complied with the mandate, war should put a period to their amity; he altered his mode of diction, and thought that, in an oppofite fense, he might put, that Peace mould fand a comma between their amities. This is not an easy style; but is it 'not the style of Shakspeare ?'-We think the Doctor's explication too far-ferched. The meaning of the passage we take to be this : Comma, which is the shortest pause, and which, according to the grammarians, only directs us to rest while we can count one, is, we conceive, here used to denore the smallest portion or duration of time. The Dane therefore conjures England to put Hamlet to immé. diate death, otherwise peace should not stand an infant between them. A little after, in the fame scene, Hamlet says, 'A man's life's no more than to say, one.'--" Their amities' is (as we observed above) a vitle fimilar to, bis highness, &c.

The account given by Mr. Malone, Mr. Steevens, and the author of the Remarks, of the ancient pageants, in their notes upon the Tempest, and Love's Labour loft : Mr. Reed's descrip- . tion of the ancient dances called measures, rounds or roundels, galliards and lavoltas: his note upon the word cursfies in Twelfth Night: his observations upon Falftaff's favourite liquor, fack; M 4


« AnteriorContinuar »