Графични страници
PDF файл

2 GENT. No.


3 GENT. Then have you lost a sight, which was to be seen, cannot be spoken of. There might you have beheld one joy crown another; so, and in such manner, that, it seemed, sorrow wept to take leave of them; for their joy waded in tears. There was casting up of eyes, holding up of hands; with countenance of such distraction, that they were to be known by garment, not by favour. Our king, being ready to leap out of himself for joy of his found daughter; as if that joy were now become a loss, cries, O, thy mother, thy mother! then asks Bohemia forgiveness; then embraces his son-inlaw; then again worries he his daughter, with clipping her; now he thanks the old shepherd, which stands by, like a weather-bitten conduit of



so, and in such manner,] Our author seems to have picked up this little piece of tautology in his clerkship. It is the technical language of conveyancers. RITSON.

7-favour.] i. e. countenance, features. So, in Othello "Defeat thy favour with an usurped beard." STEEVENS. — with clipping her:] i. e. embracing her. So, Sidney: "He, who before shun'd her, to shun such harms, "Now runs and takes her in his clipping arms."



weather-bitten &c.] Thus the old copy. The modern editors-weather-beaten. Hamlet says: "The air bites shrewdly;" and the Duke, in As you like it :-" when it bites and blows." Weather-bitten, therefore, may mean, coroded by the weather. STEEVENS.

The reading of the old copies appears to be right. Antony Mundy, in the preface to Gerileon of England, the second part, &c. 1592, has "winter-bitten epitaph." RITSON.

Conduits, representing a human figure, were heretofore not. uncommon. One of this kind, a female form, and weatherbeaten, still exists at Hoddesdon in Herts. Shakspeare refers again to the same sort of imagery in Romeo and Juliet :

many kings' reigns. I never heard of such another encounter, which lames report to follow it, and undoes description to do it.'

2 GENT. What, pray you, became of Antigonus, that carried hence the child?

3 GENT. Like an old tale still; which will have matter to rehearse, though credit be asleep, and not an ear open: He was torn to pieces with a bear: this avouches the shepherd's son; who has not only his innocence (which seems much,) to justify him, but a handkerchief, and rings, of his, that Paulina knows.

1 GENT. What became of his bark, and his followers?

3 GENT. Wrecked, the same instant of their master's death; and in the view of the shepherd: so that all the instruments, which aided to expose the child, were even then lost, when it was found. But, O, the noble combat, that, 'twixt joy and sorrow, was fought in Paulina! She had one eye declined for the loss of her husband; another elevated

"How now? a conduit, girl? what still in tears?
"Evermore showering?" HENLey.

See Vol. VIII. p. 143, n. 3.

Weather-bitten was in the third folio changed to weatherbeaten; but there does not seem to be any necessity for the change. MALone.


I never heard of such another encounter, which lames report to follow it, and undoes description to do it.] We have the same sentiment in The Tempest:

"For thou wilt find, she will outstrip all praise,
"And make it halt behind her."

Again, in our author's 103d Sonnet:


a face


overgoes my

blunt invention quite,

"Dulling my lines, and doing me disgrace." MALONE.

that the oracle was fulfilled: She lifted the princess: from the earth; and so locks her in embracing, as if she would pin her to her heart, that she might no more be in danger of losing.

1 GENT. The dignity of this act was worth the audience of kings and princes; for by such was it acted.

3 GENT. One of the prettiest touches of all, and that which angled for mine eyes (caught the water, though not the fish,) was, when at the relation of the queen's death, with the manner how she came to it, (bravely confessed, and lamented by the king,) how attentiveness wounded his daughter: till, from one sign of dolour to another, she did, with an alas! I would fain say, bleed tears; for, I am sure, my heart wept blood. Who was most marble there,2 changed colour; some swooned, all sorrowed: if all the world could have seen it, the woe had been universal.

1 GENT. Are they returned to the court?


most marble there,] i. e. most petrified with wonder. So, in Milton's epitaph on our author:

"There thou our fancy of itself bereaving,
"Dost make us marble by too much conceiving.'

So, in King Henry VIII:


[ocr errors]


It means those who had the hardest hearts. It would not be extraordinary that those persons should change colour who were petrified with wonder, though it was, that hardened hearts should be moved by a scene of tenderness. M. MASON.

Hearts of most hard temper

"Melt, and lament for him." MALONE.

Mr. M. Mason's and Mr. Malone's explanation may be right. So, in Antony and Cleopatra:


now from head to foot


"I am marble constant.' STEEVENS.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

3 GENT. No: the princess hearing of her mother's statue, which is in the keeping of Paulina,— a piece many years in doing, and now newly performed by that rare Italian master, Julio Romano;3


that rare Italian master, Julio Romano; &c.] This excellent artist was born in the year 1192, and died in 1546.. Fine and generous, as this tribute of praise must be owned, yet it was a strange absurdity, sure, to thrust it into a tale, the action of which is supposed within the period of heathenism, and whilst the oracles of Apollo were consulted. This, however, was a known and wilful anachronism. THEOBALD.

By eternity Shakspeare means only immortality, or that part of eternity which is to come; so we talk of eternal renown and eternal infamy. Immortality may subsist without divinity, and therefore the meaning only is, that if Julio could always continue his labours, he would mimick nature. JOHNSON.

I wish we could understand this passage, as if Julio Romano had only painted the statue carved by another. Ben Jonson' makes Doctor Rut in The Magnetic Lady, Act V. sc. viii. say: all city statues must be painted,


"Else they be worth nought i'their subtil judgements." Sir Henry Wotton, in his Elements of Architecture, mentions the fashion of colouring even regal statues for the stronger expression of affection, which he takes leave to call an English barbarism. Such, however, was the practice of the time: and unless the supposed statue of Hermione were painted, there could be no ruddiness upon her lip, nor could the veins verily seem to bear blood, as the poet expresses it afterwards. TOLLET.

Our author expressly says, in a subsequent passage, that it was painted, and without doubt meant to attribute only the painting. to Julio Romano:

"The ruddiness upon her lip is wet;

"You'll mar it, if you kiss it; stain your own
"With oily painting." MALONE.

Sir H. Wotton could not possibly know what has been lately proved by Sir William Hamilton in the MS. accounts which accompany several valuable drawings of the discoveries made at Pompei, and presented by him to our Antiquary Society, viz. that it was usual to colour statues among the ancients. In the chapel of Isis in the place already mentioned, the image of that goddess had been painted over, as her robe is of a purple hue. Mr. Tollet has, since informed me, that Junius, on the painting of the

who, had he himself eternity, and could put breath. into his work, would beguile nature of her custom,* so perfectly he is her ape: he so near to Hermione hath done Hermione, that, they say, one would speak to her, and stand in hope of answer: thither with all greediness of affection, are they gone; and there they intend to sup.

2 GENT. I thought, she had some great matter there in hand; for she hath privately, twice or thrice a day, ever since the death of Hermione, visited that removed house. Shall we thither, and with our company piece the rejoicing?

1 GENT. Who would be thence, that has the benefit of access? every wink of an eye, some new grace will be born: our absence makes us unthrifty to our knowledge. Let's along.

[Exeunt Gentlemen.

AUT. Now, had I not the dash of my former life in me, would preferment drop on my head. I brought the old man and his son aboard the prince; told him, I heard him talk of a fardel, and I know not what but he at that time, over-fond of the shepherd's daughter, (so he then took her to be,)

ancients, observes from Pausanias and Herodotus, that sometimes the statues of the ancients were coloured after the manner of pictures. STEEVENS.


of her custom,] That is, of her trade,-would draw her customers from her. JOHNSON.

5 Who would be thence, that has the benefit of access?] It was, I suppose, only to spare his own labour that the poet put this whole scene into narrative, for though part of the transaction was already known to the audience, and therefore could not properly be shewn again, yet the two kings might have met upon the stage, and, after the examination of the old Shepherd, the young lady might have been recognised in sight of the spectators.


« ПредишнаНапред »