« ПредишнаНапред »
So by his father loft: And this, I take it,
[Ber. I think, it be no other, but even fo:
romage-] Tumultuous and ID NOON. Commonly written_rummi
3 [I think, &c.] These, crotchets throughout this play 1623: The omissions leave times worse, and seem made
4 Well may it fort,] The cause and effect are proportionate and suitable. Johnson.
5 the question of these wars.] The theme or subject. So, in Antony and Cleopatra :
You were the word of war.” Malone.
HOR. A mote it is, to trouble the mind's eye.
graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead
As, stars with trains of fire and dews of blood,
6 A mote it is,] The first quarto reads—a moth. Steevens.
A moth was only the old spelling of mote, as I suspected in revising a passage in King John, Vol. VIII. p. 122, n. 6, where we certainly should read mote. Malone.
palmy state of Rome,] Palmy, for vi&orious. Pope. & As, stars with trains of fire and dews of blood,
Disasters in the fun;] Mr. Rowe altered these lines, because they have insufficient connection with the preceding ones,
Disasters veil'd the sun,-
When Shakspeare had told us that the grave flood tenantless, &c.
Disasters in the fun ;-
I have be-dimm'd
“As doth the blushing difcontented sun,
- To bear the
inoustonui cont Hy vins ; 7.a, me for vuperfluidy, $e"
grin, in Kime Henru, vl. P. lll.
Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands, Was fick almost to doomsday with eclipse.
Again, in our author's 18th Sonnet :
“ Sometimes too hot the eye of heaven shines,
“ And often is his gold complexion dimm'd.” I suspect that the words As stars are a corruption, and have no doubt that either a line preceding or following the first of those quoted at the head of this note, has been loft; or that the beginning of one line has been joined to the end of another, the intervening words being omitted. That such conjectures are not merely chimerical, I have already proved. See Vol. VIII. p. 543, &c. n. 7; and Vol. X. p. 535, n. 7.
The following lines in Julius Cæfar, in which the prodigies that are said to have preceded his death, are recounted, may throw some light on the passage before us :
There is one within,
“ And ghosts did shriek and squeal about the streets." The loft words perhaps contained a description of fiery warriors fighting on the clouds, or of brands burning bright beneath ihe stars.
The 15th book of Ovid's Metamorphoses, transated by Golding, in which an account is given of the prodigies that preceded Cæsar's death, furnished Shakspeare with some of the images in both these passages :
-battels fighting in the clouds with crashing armour
flew, “ And dreadful trumpets founded in the ayre, and hornes
eke blew, “ As warning men beforehand of the mischiefe that did
brew ; “ And Phobus also looking dim did cast a drowsie light, Uppon the earth, which seemde likewise to be in sory
plighte: “ From underneath beneath the starres brandes of nde
burning bright, VOL. XV.
And even the like precurse of fierce events,'-
“ It cften rain'd drops of blood. The morning star look’d
blew, “ And was bespotted here and there with specks of ruftie hew.
. The moone had also spots of blood. “ Salt teares from ivorie-images in sundry places fell ;• The dogges did howle, and every where appeared ghastly
Sprights, “ And with an earthquake shaken was the towne.” Plutarch only says, that “ the sunne was darkened,” that“ diverse men were seen going up and down in fire;” there were “ fires in the element; sprites were seene running up and downe in the night, and solitarie birds sitting in the great market-place."
The disagreeable recurrence of the word stars in the second line induces me to believe that As fars in that which precedes, is a corruption. Perhaps Shakspeare wrote: Aftres with trains of fire,
and dews of blood Disastrous dimm’d the sun. The word astre is used in an old collection of poems entitled Diana, addressed to the Earl of Oxenforde, a book of which I know not the date, but believe it was printed about 1580. In Othello we have antres, a word exactly of a similar formation.
MALONE. The word-aftre (which is no where else to be found) was affectedly taken from the French by John Southern, author of the poems cited by Mr. Malone. This wretched plagiarist stands indebted both for his verbiage and his imagery to Ronsard. See the European Magazine, for June, 1788, p. 389. STEVENS.
-and the moist ftar, &c.] i. e. the moon. So, in Marlowe's Hero and Leander, 1598: “ Not that night-wand'ring, pale, and watry far," &c.
Malon. And even--] Not only such prodigies have been seen in Rome, but the elements have shown our countrymen like forerunners and foretokens of violent events. Johnson. 3 - precurse of fierce events,] Fierce, for terrible.
WARBURTON. I rather believe that fierce fignifies conspicuous, glaring. It is used in a somewhat similar sense in Timon of Athens :
“ O the fierce wretchedness that glory brings!". Again, in King Henry VIII. we have " fierce vanities.'
And prologue to the omen coming on,4-
But, soft; behold! lo, where it comes again!
4 And prologue to the omen coming on,] But prologue and omen are merely synonymous here. The poet means, that these strange phenomena are prologues and forerunners of the events prefag':: and such sense the flight alteration, which I have ventured to make, by changing omen to omen'd, very aptly gives. TAOBALD.
Omen, for fate. WARBURTON.
A diftich from the life of Merlin, by Heywood, however, wilt
“ Merlin well vers’d in many a hidden spell,
“ His countries omen did long since foretell.” FARMER. Again, in The Vowbreaker :
“ And much I fear the weakness of her braine
“ Should draw her to some ominous exigent."
And even the like precurse of fierce events,
And prologue to the omen coming on,] So, in one of our author's poems :
“ But thou shrieking harbinger
Augur of the fever's end,” &c.
Thy name is ominous to children.”
« O Pomfret, Pomfret, O, thou bloody prison,
« Fatal and ominous to noble peers.” MALONE. o If thou hast any found,] The speech of Horatio to the spectre is very elegant and noble, and congruous to the common traditions of the causes of apparitions. JOHNSON.