Sidor som bilder

Only I carry? winged timel

Post on the lame feet of my rhyme;
Which never could I so convey,

Unless your thoughts went on my way.

Dionyza does appear,

With Leonine, a murderer.


Tharsus. An open Place near the Sea-shore.



Dion. Thy oath remember; thou hast sworn to do it :* 'Tis but a blow, which never shall be known. Thou canst not do a thing i' the world so soon, To yield thee so much profit. Let not conscience Which is but cold, inflame love in thy bosom,3

logy of our Pseudo-Gower, that perhaps he means-I wish you to find content in that portion of our play which has not yet been exhibited.

Our author might indeed have written consent, i. e. co-operation, your assistance in carrying on our present delusion.

9 Only I carry-] Old copy-carried. Steevens.



winged time-] So, in the Chorus to The Winter's Tale "I

"Now take upon me in the name of time,

"To use my wings."

Again, in King Henry V:


"Thus with imagin'd wing our swift scene flies,
"In motion of no less celerity

"Than that of thought." Malone.

Thy oath remember; thou hast sworn to do it :] Here, I think, may be traced the rudiments of the scene in which Lady Macbeth instigates her husband to murder Duncan:

"I have given suck, and know

"How tender 'tis to love the babe that milks me;

"I would, while it was smiling in my face,

"Have pluck'd my nipple from its boneless gums,
"And dash'd the brains out, had I but so sworn,

"As you have done to this." Malone.

3 inflame love in thy bosom,] The first quarto reads"Let not conscience which is but cold, in flaming thy love bosome, enflame too nicelie, nor let pitie," &c. The subsequent impressions afford no assistance. Some words seem to have been lost. The sentiment originally expressed, probably was this-Let not conscience, which is but a cold monitor, deter

Inflame too nicely; nor let pity, which

Even women have cast off, melt thee, but be

A soldier to thy purpose.

Leon. I'll do 't; but yet she is a goodly creature.4 Dion. The fitter then the gods should have her.5 Here Weeping she comes for her old nurse's death."

you from executing what you have promised; nor let the beauty of Marina enkindle the flame of love in your bosom; nor be softened by pity, which even I, a woman, have cast off-I am by no means satisfied with the regulation that I have made, but it affords a glimmering of sense. Nearly the same expression occurred before:


That have inflam'd desire in my breast —”

I suspect, the words enflame too nicely were written in the margin, the author not having determined which of the two expressions to adopt; and that by mistake they were transcribed as a part of the text. The metre, which might be more commodiously regulated, if these words were omitted, in some measure supports this conjecture:

"Nor let pity, which ev'n women have cast off,

"Melt thee, but be a soldier to thy purpose." Malone. We might read:

inflame thy loving bosom:

With Mr. Malone's alteration, however, the words will bear the following sense:-Let not conscience, which in itself is of a cold nature, have power to raise the flame of love in you, raise it even to folly.-Nicely, in ancient language, signifies foolishly. Niais, Fr.

Perhaps, indeed, the passage originally stood thus:

Let not conscience,

Which is but cold, inflame love in thy bosom ;

Nor let that pity women have cast off,

Melt thee, but be a soldier to thy purpose.

Enflame too nicely-and-which even, are the words I omit. I add only the pronoun-that. Steevens.




[ocr errors]

but yet she is a goodly creature.] So, in King Henry

and yet my conscience says

"She's a good creature."


but yet she is a goodly creature.

Dion. The fitter then the gods should have her.] So, in King Richard II:

"O, he was gentle, mild, and virtuous.

"The fitter for the King of Heaven.” Steevens.


Weeping she comes for her old nurse's death.] Old copy:

Here she comes weeping for her onely mistresse death.

[blocks in formation]

Enter MARINA, with a Basket of Flowers. Mar. No, no, I will rob Tellus of her weed, To strew thy green with flowers: the yellows, blues,

As Marina had been trained in musick, letters, &c. and had gained all the graces of education, Lychorida could not have been her only mistress. I would therefore read:

Here comes she weeping for her old nurse's death. Percy. I have no doubt but we should adopt the ingenious amendment suggested by Percy, with this difference only, the leaving out the word for, which is unnecessary, and hurts the metre. I should therefore read:

Here she comes, weeping her old nurse's death. M. Mason. I have adopted Dr. Percy's amendment, but without Mr. M. Mason's attempt to improve it. The word for is necessary to the metre, as above in the preceding line was a modern interpolation. Steevens.

I think mistress right. Her nurse was in one sense her mistress; Marina, from her infancy to the age of fourteen, having been under the care of Lychorida.

Her only (or her old) mistress' death, (not “ mistresses death,") was the language of Shakspeare's time. So, in The Merchant of Venice:

"With sweetest touches pierce your mistress' ear," &c.

7 No, [no,] I will rob Tellus of her weed,



To strew thy green with flowers:] Thus the quartos. In the folio grave was substituted for green. By the green, as Lord Charlemont suggests to me, was meant green turf with which the grave of Lychorida was covered." So, in Tasso's Godfrey of Bulloigne, translated by Fairfax, 1600: My ashes cold shall, buried on this green, "Enjoy that good this body ne'er possest." Weed in old language meant garment. Malone.


Before we determine which is the proper reading, let us reflect a moment on the business in which Marina is employed. She is about to strew the grave of her nurse Lychorida with flowers, and therefore makes her entry with propriety, sayingNo, no, I will rob Tellus &c.

i. e. No, no, it shall never be said that I left the tomb of one to whom I owe so much, without some ornament. Rather than it shall remain undecorated, I will strip the earth of its robe, &c. The prose romance, already quoted, says "that always as she came homeward, she went and washed the tombe of her nouryce, and kept it contynually fayre and clene."

Though I do not recollect that the green hillock under which a person is buried, is any where called their green, my respect for Lord Charlemont's opinion has in this present instance with

The purple violets, and marigolds,

Shall, as a chaplet, hang upon thy grave,

While summer days do last. Ah me! poor maid,
Born in a tempest, when my mother died,

This world to me is like a lasting storm,

Whirring me from my friends."

held me from deserting the most ancient text, however dubious its authority. Steevens.


Shall, as a chaplet, [Old copy-carpet,] hang upon thy grave,
While summer days do last.] So, in Cymbeline:

[ocr errors]

- with fairest flowers,

"While summer lasts, and I live here, Fidele,

"I'll sweeten thy sad grave. Thou shalt not lack
"The flower that 's like thy face, pale primrose, nor
"The azur'd hare-bell, like thy veins, no nor

"The leaf of eglantine, whom not to slander
"Out-sweeten'd not thy breath."

Mr. Steevens would read-Shall as a chaplet, &c. The word hang, it must be owned, favours this correction, but the flowers strew'd on the green-sward, may with more propriety be compared to a carpet than a wreath. Malone.

Malone informs us that all the former copies read-as a carpet, which was probably the right reading: nor would Steevens have changed it for chaplet had he attended to the beginning of Marina's speech:

"I will rob Tellus of her weed,
"To strew thy grave with flowers:"

which corresponds with the old reading, not with his amendment. M. Mason.

Perhaps Mr. M. Mason's remark also might have been spared, had he considered that no one ever talked of hanging carpets out in honour of the dead. Steevens.

9 Whirring me from my friends.] Thus the earliest copy; I think rightly. The second quarto, and all the subsequent impressions, read

Hurrying me from my friends.

Whirring or whirrying, had formerly the same meaning. A bird that flies with a quick motion, accompanied with noise, is still said to whirr away. Thus, Pope:

"Now from the brake the whirring pheasant springs." The verb to whirry is used in the ancient ballad entitled Robin Goodfellow. Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, Vol. II, 203: "More swift than wind away I go,

"O'er hedge and lands,

"Thro' pools and ponds,

"I whirry, laughing ho ho ho." Malone.

The verb to whirr, is often used by Chapman in his version of the Iliad. So, Book XIV :

Dion. How now, Marina! why do you keep alone?
How chance my daughter is not with you? Do not
Consume your blood with sorrowing: you have
A nurse of me.4 Lord! how your favour 's chang'd'
With this unprofitable woe! Come, come;

Give me your wreath of flowers, ere the sea mar it.
Walk forth with Leonine; the air is quick there,


gathering dust with whirring fiercely round." Again, Book XVII :


through the Greeks and Ilians they rapt

"The whirring chariot."

1 How now, Marina! why do you keep alone?] Thus the earliest copy. So, in Macbeth:

"How now, my lord! why do you keep alone?” The second quarto reads-why do you weep alone? Malone. 2 How chance my daughter is not with you ?] So, in King Henry IV, Part II:

"How chance thou art not with the prince, thy brother?"


Milton, as Mr. Todd observes, employs a similar form of words in Comus, v. 508:

"How chance she is not in your company." Steevens. 3 Consume your blood with sorrowing :] So, in King Henry VI, P. II: 66 blood-consuming sighs." See also note on Hamlet, Act IV, sc. vii. Malone.


you have

A nurse of me.] Thus the quarto, 1619. The first copy reads: "Have you a nurse of me?" The poet probably wrote:


Have you not

A nurse of me? Malone.

your favour's chang'd-] i. e. countenance, look. So, in Macbeth:


"To alter favour ever is to fear."

ere the sea mar it.


Walk forth with Leonine, the air is quick there.] Some words must, I think, have been omitted. Probably the author wrote:

ere the sea mar it,

Walk on the shore with Leonine, the air
Is quick there. Malone.

ere the sea mar it, &c.] i. e. ere the sea mar your walk upon the shore by the coming in of the tide, walk there with Leonine. We see plainly by the circumstance of the pirates, that Marina, when seized upon, was walking on the sea-shore; and Shakspeare was not likely to reflect that there is little or no tide in the Mediterranean. Charlemont.

The words-wreuth of--were formerly inserted in the text by Mr. Malone. Though he has since discarded, I have ventured to retain them. Steevens:

« FöregåendeFortsätt »