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With many legions of strange fantasies;
Which, in their throng and press to that last hold,

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Invisible is here used adverbially, Deatlı, having glutted him. self with the ravage of the almost wafted body, and knowing that the disease with which he has assailed it is mortal, before its dis. solution, proceeds, from mere satiety, to attack the mind, leaving the body invisibly; that is, in such a secret manner that the eye. cannot precisely mark his progress, or see when his attack on the vital powers bas ended, and that on the mind begins; or iu otber words, at what particular moment reason ceases to perform its fun&ion, and the underftanding, in confequence of a corroding and mortal malady, begins to be difturbed. Our poet in his Venus and Adonis calls Death, “t invisible commander."

Henry is here only pursuing the same train of thought which we find in his firft speech in the present scene.

Qur author bas, iu many other passages in his plays used ad-, jeđives adverbially. So, in All's well that onds well : 16 Was it not meant damnable in us, &c. Again, in K. Henry.IV. part I:

ten times more dishonourable ragged than an old faced ana cient."* See Vol. IX. p. 138, 1. g. and K. Henry IV. Ad IV. sc. ii.

Mr. Rowe reads-her fiegem, an error derived from the core ruption of the second folio. I suspeå, that this strange miftake was Mr. Gray's authority for making Death a female ; in which, I bclicve, he has neither been preceded or followed by any poet:

" The painful family of Death,

66 More hideous than ibeir queen." The old copy, in the passage before us, reads Against the wind; an evideot error of the press, which was corre&ed by Mr. Pope, and which I should scarcely have mentioned, but that it juftifies an emendation made in Measure for Measure, ( Vol. VI. p.

73, 1. 9. ) where by a fimilar mistake the word flawes appears in the old copy inftead of flames. MALONE.

Mr. Malonc reads ;
Death having prey'd upon the outward parts,

Leaves them invisible; &C.
As often as I am induced to differ from the opinions of a gentle-
man whofe laborious diligence iu the cause of Shakspeare is with,
out example, I subjeđ myself to the most uuwelcome part of
editorial duty. Success, however, is not in every instance propor.
tionable to zeal and effort; and be who shrinks from co

controversy, should also have avoided the vestibulum ipsum, primafque fauces of the school of Shakspeare.

Sir Thomas Haamer gives us-insensible, which affords 'a mcan. ing fufficiently commodious. But as invisible and infenfible arc con

Confound themselves, 'Tis ftrange, that death

1hould sing.

words of exadelt consonance, the legitimacy of this emcndation has been disputed. It yet remains in the text, for the sake of those who discover no light through the ancient reading.

Perhaps (I speak without confidence) our author wrote-invinci. ble, which, in found, so nearly resembles invisible, that an inattentive compositor might bave substituted the one for the other. --All our modern editors (Mr. Malone excepted) agree that invincible in King Henry IV. P. II. Ad III. fc. ii. was a misprint for invisible; and so ( vice versa) invisible may here have usurped the place of invincible.

If my supposition be admitted, the Prince must design to say, that Death had battered the royal outworks, but, seeing they were invincible, quitted them, and dire&ed his force against the mind. In the present infance, the King of Terrors is described as a bee fieger, who, failing in his attempt to storm the bulwark, proceeded. to undermine the citadel. Why else did be change his mode and objc& of attack?-- The Spanish ordnance sufficiently preyed on the ramparts of Gibraltar, but still left them impregnable. --The fame metaphor, though not continued so far, occurs again in Timon of Athens :

" To whom all sorés lay siege.'
Again, in All's well tkat ends well:

and yet my heart
" Will not confess he owes the malady

6. That does my life besiege." Mr. Malone, however, gives a different turn to the passage before us; and leaving the word fege out of his account,' appears to represent Death as a gourmand, who had satiated himself with the kiug's body, and took his intelle&ual part by way of change of provilion.

Neither can a complete acquiescence in the same gentleman's examples of adjedives used adverbially, be well expe&ted; as they chiefly occur in light and familiar dialogue, or where the regular, full-grown adverb was unfavourable to rhyme or metre. Nor indeed are these docked adverbs (which perform their office, like the witch's rat; “ without a tail,'') discoverable in any solemn narralive like that before us. A portion of them allo might be no other than typographical imperfe&ions; for this part of speech, fhoin of its termination, will necesarily take the form of an ad. jeđive. --I may subjoin, that in the begioning of the present scene, the adjeđive corruptible is not offered as a locum tenens for

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I am the cygnet to this pale faint swán,
Who chants a doleful hymn to his own death;


the adverb corruplibly, though they were alike adapted to our author's measure.

It must, notwithstanding, bè allowed that adje&tives employed adverbially are sometimes met with in the language of Shakspeare. Yet, surely, we ought not (as Polonius says) io crack the wind of the poor phrase, " by supposing its existence where it must operate equivocally, and provoke a smile, as the present occafion.

That Deaths, therefore, " left the outward parts of the King invisible, could not, in my judgment, have been an expresion bazarded by our poet in his most careless momeot of composition. It conveys an idea too like the helmet of Orcus, in the fifth Iliad, Gadshill's

receipt of fern-seed, Colonel Feigowell's? moros musphonon, or the consequences of being bit by a Seps, as was a Roman soldier, of whom says our excellent translator of Lucan,

none was left, no ieaft remains were seen,

"No marks to show that once a' man had been.”' Besides, if the outward part (i, e. the body) of the expiring monarch was, in plain, familiar, and unqualified terms, pronounced to be invisible, how could those who pretended to bave just seen it, exped to be believed ? and would not an audience, uninitiated in the mystery of adverbial adje&ives, on hearing such an account of the royal carcase, have exclaimed, like the Governor of Tilbury Fort in the Critic:

thou cant pot see it, " Because' is not in fight.' But I ought not to dismiss the present subjeđ, without a few words in defence of Mr. Gray, wbo had authority somewhai more decisive than that of the persecuted second solio of Shakspeare, for representing Death as a Woman. The writer of the Ode on a distant P'rosport of Elon College, was sufficiently intimate with Lucretius, Horace, Ovid, Phædrus, Statius, Petronius, Seneca the dramatist, &c. to know that they all concurred in exhibiting Mors as a Gode defs. Mir. Spence in his Polymetis, p. 261, (I refer to a book of caly access,) has produced abundant examples in proof of my alsertion, and others may be readily supplied. One comprehensive infiance, indeed, will anfwer my present purpose. Statius, in his

* Δυν ''ΑΪδος κυνέτην, ΜΗ ΣΑΙΝ ΙΔΟι όριμος "Αρης. i Rowe; Book IX. 1. 1334.


And, from the organpipe of frailty, sings
His soul and body to their lasting rest.

eighth Thebaid, describing a troop of ghastly females who sur. rounded the throne of Pluto, has the following lines :

Stant Furiæ circum variæque ex ordine Mortes,

Sævaque multifonas exercet Pana catenas. From this group of personification, &c. it is evident, that not merely Death, as the source or principle of mortality, but each particular kind of Death was represented under a feminine shape. For wani, therefore, of a corresponding masculine term, Dobson, in his Larin verfion of the second Paradise Lost, was obliged to sedder the terrific offspring of Satan, by the name of Hades; a luckless neceffity, because Hudes, in the 964th line of the fame book, exhibits a charader completely discriminated from that of Death.

Were I inclined to be sportive, (a dispofition which commentators should Audiously repress,) might I not maintain on the Arength of the foregoing circumstances, that the editor of the folio, 1632 (far from being an ignorant blunderer,) was well inftruded in the niceties of Roman mythology and might not 'my ingenious fellow-labourer, on the score of his meditated triumph over Mr. Gray, be faluted with such

a remark as reached the car of Cadmus ?--

-Quid, Agenore nate, peremptum

Serpentem fpe&tas? do tu spe&tabere ferpens.
Fashionable as it is to cavil at the produđions of our Cambridge
Poet, it has not yet been discovered that throughout the fields of
classic literature, even in a single inftance, he bad miftook his
7 Withc, many legions of Arang fantasies;

Which, in their throng and profs to that laf hold,
Confound themselves. ) So, in our author's Rape of Lucrece:

" Much like a press of people at a door,

" Throng his inventions, which shall go before." Again, in King Henry VIII:

which forc'd such way,
" That many maz'd considerings did throng,

“ And prefs in, with this caution." MALONE.
- in their throng and press to that last hold, ]. Io their tumult
and hurry of resorting to the last tenable part. JOHNSON.

* I am the cygnet-} Old copy-Symet. Corre&ed by Mr. Pope. MALONE.

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Sal. Be of good comfort, prince; for you are

born To set a form upon that indigest Which he hath left so shapeless and so rude.

Re-enter Bigot and Attendants, who bring in King

John in a Chair,
K. John. Ay, marry, now my soul hath elbow-

It would not out at windows, nor at doors.
There is so hot a summer in my bosom,
That all my bowels crumble up to duft:
I am a scribbled form, drawn with a pen
Upon a parchment; and against this fire
Do I shrink up.

How fares your majesty;
K. John. Poison'd, ill-fare; ' _dead, forfo,ok,

cast off : 3 And none of you will bid the winter come,

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you are born
To set a form upon that indigeft

Which he hath left so Mapelefs and so rude.] A description of the Chaos almoft in the very words of Ovid: “Quem dixere Chaos, rudis indigestaque moles." MET. ļ.

WHALLEY, 4. Which Chaos bight, a huge rude heap,-: “ No sunne as yet with lightsome beames the shapılefs' world did view." Golding's Translation, 1587.

MALONE. ? Poison'd-ill-fare; ] Mr. Malone supposes fare to be here used as a disfyllable, like fire, hour, &c. But as this word has not concurring vowels in it, like hour, fair, nor was ever diffylla bically fpelt (like fier) faer ; I had rather suppose the present line impere feet, than complete it by such unprecedented means. STEEVENS.

This scene has been imitated by Beaumont and Fletcher in The Wife for a Month, Ad IV. STEEVENS.


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