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Of my poor babe, according to thine oath,-
Places remote enough are in Bohemia,
There"weep," and leave it crying; and, for the babe
Is counted lost for ever, Perdita,

I pr'ythee, call 't: for this ungentle business,
Put on thee by my lord, thou ne'er shalt see
Thy wife Paulina more:—and so, with shrieks,
She melted into air. Affrighted much,
I did in time collect myself; and thought
This was so, and no slumber. Dreams are toys:
Yet, for this once, yea, superstitiously,
I will be squar'd by this. I do believe,
Hermione hath suffer'd death; and that
Apollo would, this being indeed the issue
Of king Polixenes, it should here be laid,
Either for life, or death, upon the earth
Of its right father.-Blossom, speed thee well!

[Laying down the child.

There lie; and there thy character:1 there these;

[Laying down a bundle.

The storm begins:

Which may, if fortune please, both breed thee, pretty,
And still rest thine.


That, for thy mother's fault, art thus expos'd
To loss, and what may follow!-Weep I cannot,
But my heart bleeds: and most accurs'd am I,
To be by oath enjoin'd to this.-Farewel!


The day frowns more and more; thou art like to have
A lullaby too rough: I never saw

The heavens so dim by day.
Well may I get aboard!-

I am gone for ever.

A savage clamour? 3.

This is the chace;

[Exit, pursued by a bear.

1 thy character:] thy description; i. e. the writing afterwards discovered with Perdita. Steevens.

2 A lullaby too rough:] So, in Dorastus and Faunia: "Shall thy tender mouth, instead of sweet kisses, be nipped with bitter stormes? Shalt thou have the whistling winds for thy lullaby, and the salt sea-fome, instead of sweet milke?" Malone.


·A savage clamour?] This clamour was the cry of the dogs and hunters; then seeing the bear, he cries, this is the chace, or, the animal pursued. Johnson.

Enter an old Shepherd.

Shop. I would, there were no age between ten and three-and-twenty; or that youth would sleep out the rest: for there is nothing in the between but getting wenches with child, wronging the ancientry, stealing, fighting-Hark you now!- -Would any but these boiled brains of nineteen, and two-and-twenty, hunt this weather? They have scared away two of my best sheep; which, I fear, the wolf will sooner find, than the master: if any where I have them, 'tis by the sea-side, browzing on ivy. Good luck, an 't be thy will! what have we here? [taking up the child] Mercy on 's, a barne; a very pretty barne!5 A boy, or a child, I wonder? A pretty one; a very pretty one: Sure, some scape: though I am not bookish, yet I can read waiting-gentlewoman in the scape. This has been some stair-work, some trunkwork, some behind-door-work: they were warmer that got this, than the poor thing is here. I'll take it up for pity: yet I'll tarry till my son come: he hollaed but even now. Whoa, ho hoa!

Clo. Hilloa, loa!

Enter Clown.


Shep. What, art so near? if thou 'lt see a thing to talk on when thou art dead and rotten, come hither. What ailest thou, man?

Cio. I have seen two such sights, by sea, and by land;but I am not to say, it is a sea, for it is now the sky; betwixt the firmament and it, you cannot thrust a bodkin's point.

4 if any where I have them, 'tis by the sea-side, browzing on ivy.] This also is from the novel: "[The Shepherd] fearing either that the wolves or eagles had undone him, (for he was so poore as a sheepe was halfe his substance) wand'red downe towards the sea-cliffes, to see if perchance the sheepe was brouzing on the sea-ivy, whereon they doe greatly feed."


5 a barne; a very pretty barne!] i. e. child. So, in R. Broome's Northern Lass, 1633:

"Peace wayward barne! O cease thy moan,

"Thy far more wayward daddy's gone."

It is a North Country word. Barns for borns, things born; seeming to answer to the Latin nati. Steevens.


A boy, or a child,] I am told, that in some of our inland counties, a female infant, in contradistinction to a male one, is still termed, among the peasantry,-a child. Steevens.

Shep. Why, boy, how is it?

Clo. I would, you did but see how it chafes, how it rages, how it takes up the shore! but that's not to the point: O, the most piteous cry of the poor souls! sometimes to see 'em, and not to see 'em: now the ship boring the moon with her main-mast;7 and anon swallowed with yest and froth, as you'd thrust a cork into a hogshead. And then for the land service,-To see how the bear tore out his shoulder-bone; how he cried to me for help, and said, his name was Antigonus, a nobleman :—— But to make an end of the ship:-to see how the sea flap-dragoned it: 8-but, first, how the poor souls roared, and the sea mocked them;-and how the poor gentleman roared, and the bear mocked him, both roaring louder than the sea, or weather.

Shep. 'Name of mercy, when was this, boy?

Clo. Now, now; I have not winked since I saw these sights: the men are not yet cold under water, nor the bear half dined on the gentleman; he 's at it now.

Shep. Would I had beeu by, to have helped the old


7- now the ship boring the moon with her main-mast;] So, in Pericles: "But sea-room, and the brine and cloudy billow kiss the moon, I care not." Malone.


flap-dragoned it :] i. e. swallowed it, as our ancient topers swallowed flap-dragons. So, in Love's Labour's Lost: "Thou art easier swallowed than a flap-dragon." See note on King Henry IV, P. II, Act II, sc. iv. Steevens.

9 Shep. Would I had been by, to have helped the old man!] Though all the printed copies concur in this reading, I am persuaded, we ought to restore, nobleman. The Shepherd knew nothing of Antigonus's age; besides, the Clown hath just told his father, that he said his name was Antigonus, a nobleman; and no less than three times in this short scene, the Clown, speaking of him calls him the gentleman.


I suppose the Shepherd infers the age of Antigonus from his inability to defend himself; or perhaps Shakspeare, who was conscious that he himself designed Antigonus for an old man, has inadvertently given this knowledge to the Shepherd who had never seen him. Steevens.

Perhaps the word old was inadvertently omitted in the preceding speech: "nor the bear half dined on the old gentleman;" Mr. Steevens's second conjecture, however, is, I believe, the true one. Malone.

Clo. I would you had been by the ship side, to have helped her; there your charity would have lacked footing. [Aside.

Shep. Heavy matters! heavy matters! but look thee here, boy. Now bless thyself; thou met'st with things dying, I with things new born. Here's a sight for thee; look thee, a bearing-cloth1 for a squire's child! Look thee here; take up, take up, boy; open 't. So, let's see;-It, was told me, I should be rich by the fairies: this is some changeling-open 't: What's within, boy?

Clo. You 're a made old man;3 if the sins of your youth are forgiven you, you 're well to live. Gold! all gold!


Shep. This is fairy gold, boy, and 'twill prove so: up with it, keep it close; home, home, the next way. We are lucky, boy; and to be so still, requires nothing but secrecy. Let my sheep go:-Come, good boy, the next way home.


a bearing-cloth

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-] A bearing-cloth is the fine mantle or cloth with which a child is usually covered, when it is carried to the church to be baptized. Percy.


some changeling:] i. e. some child left behind by the fairies, in the room of one which they had stolen.

So, in A Midsummer Night's Dream:

"A lovely boy, stol'n from an Indian king;

"She never had so sweet a changeling." Steevens.

3 You're a made old man;] In former copies :-You're a mad old man; if the sins of your youth are forgiven you, you're well to live. Gold! all gold!-This the Clown says upon his opening his fardel, and discovering the wealth in it. But this is no reason why he should call his father a mad old man. I have ventured to correct in the text-You're a made old man; i. e. your fortune 's made by this adventitious treasure. So our poet, in a number of other passages. Theobald.

Dr. Warburton did not accept this emendation, but it is certainly right. The word is borrowed from the novel: "The good man desired his wife to be quiet: if she would hold peace, they were made for ever." Farmer.

So, in the ancient ballad of Robin Hood and the Tinker : "I have a warrand from the king,


"To take him where I can;

"If you can tell me where hee is,

"I will you make a man." Steevens.

the next way.] i. e. the nearest way. So, in King Henry IV, P. I: ""Tis the next way to turn tailor, or be redbreast teacher."


Clo. Go you the next way with your findings; I'll go see if the bear be gone from the gentleman, and how much he hath eaten: they are never curst, but when they are hungry: if there be any of him left, I'll bury it.

Shep. That's a good deed: If thou may'st discern by that which is left of him, what he is, fetch me to the sight of him.

Clo. Marry, will I; and you shall help to put him i' the ground.

Shep. 'Tis a lucky day, boy; and we 'll do good deeds [Exeunt.

on 't.


Enter Time, as Chorus.

Time. I, that please some, try all; both joy, and terror,

Of good and bad; that make, and unfold error,6-
Now take upon me, in the name of Time,

To use my wings.

To me, or my swift

O'er sixteen years,

Impute it not a crime,
passage, that I slide

and leave the growth untried

5 they are never curst, but when they are hungry:] Curst, signifies mischievous. Thus the adage: "Curst cows have short

horns." Henley.

6that make, and unfold error,] This does not, in my opinion, take in the poet's thought. Time does not make mistakes, and discover them, at different conjunctures; but the poet means, that Time often for a season covers errors, which he af terwards displays and brings to light. I chuse therefore to read: 66 that mask and unfold error, 99 Theobald.

Theobald's emendation is surely unnecessary. Departed time renders many facts obscure, and in that sense is the cause of erTime to come brings discoveries with it.


"These very comments on Shakspeare (says Mr. M. Mason) prove that time can both make and unfold error." Steevens.


that I slide

O'er sixteen years.] This trespass, in respect of dramatic unity, will appear venial to those who have read the once famous Lyly's Endymion, or (as he himself calls it in the prologue) his Man in the Moon. This author was applauded and very liberally paid by Queen Elizabeth. Two acts of his piece comprize the

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