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The cloud-capt towers, the gorgeous palaces,
however, published before 1623. In the year 1603, the Tragedy of Darias, by Lord Sterline, made its appearance, and there I find the following passage :
“ Let greatness of her glasfy scepters vaunt,
“ Not scepters, no, but reeds, foon bruis'd, soon broken; “ And let this worldly pomp our wits enchant,
“ All fades, and scarcely leaves behind a token.
“ With furniture fuperAuoully fair,
“ Evanish all like vapours in the air." Lord Sterline's play must have been written before the death of queen Elizabeth, (which happen'd on the 24th of March 1603) as it is dedicated to James VI. King of Scots.
Whoever should seek for this passage (as here quoted from the 40, 1603) in the folio edition, 1637, will be disappointed, as Lord Sterline made confiderable changes in all his plays, after their first publication. STEVENS.
6 – all which it inherit,] i. e. all who possess, who dwell upon it. So, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona :
“ This, or else nothing, will inherit her.” Malone. ? And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,] Faded means here. baving vanished; from the Latin, vadı. So, in Hamlet:
“ It faded on the crowing of the cock.” To feel the justice of this comparison, and the propriety of the epithet, the nature of these exhibitions thould be remembered. The ancient Englith pageants were shows exhibited on the reception of a prince, or any other folemnity of a similar kind. They were presented on occasional stages erected in the streets. Originally they appear to have been nothing more than dumb shows; but before the time of our author, they had been enlivened by the introduction of speaking personages, who were characteristically habited. The speeches were fometimes in verse; and as the proceffion moved forward, the speakers, who constantly bore some allufion to the ceremony, either conversed together in the form of a dialogue, or addreised the noble person whose presence occafioned the celebrity. On these allegorical spectacles very costly ornaments were bestowed, See Fabian, II. 382. Warton's Hift. of Poet. II, 199, 202.
Leave not a ráck behind : 8 We are such stuff
The well-known lines before us may receive some illustration from Stowe's account of the pageants exhibited in the year 1604, (not very long before this play was written,) on King James, his Queen, &c. pafling triumphantly from the Tower to Westminfter ; on which occasion seven Ġates or Arches were etected in different places through which the proceffion passed.-Over the first gate
was represented the true likenefs of all the notable houses, « Towers, and fteeples, within the citie of London."-" The “ fixt arche or gate of triumph was erected above the Conduit in “ Fleete-Streete, whereon the Globe of the world was seen to “ move, &c. At Temple-bar a seaventh arche or gate was erect“ ed, the forefront whereof was proportioned in every respect like
a Temple, being dedicated to Janus, &c.—The citie of West“ minster, and dutchy of Lancaster, at the Strand had erected " the invention of a Rainbow, the moone, sunne, and starres, « advanced between two Pyramides,” &c. ANNALS, p. 1429, edit. 1605. Malone.
8 Leave not a rack behind :) “ The winds (says lord Bacon) which move the clouds above, which we call the rack, and are not perceived below, pass without noise." I should explain the word rack somewhat differently, by calling it the last fleeting veftige of the highest clouds, scarce perceptible on account of their distance and tenuity. What was anciently called the rack, is now termed by failors--the fcud.
The word is common to many authors contemporary with Shakspeare. So, in the Faithful Shepherdess, by Fletcher :
shall I ftray
“ The failing rack.
Beating the clouds into their swifteft rack."
“ We lift not ride the rolling rack that dims the chryftal skies." Again, in Shakspeare's 33d Sonnet:
“ Anon permits the baseft clouds to ride
“ With ugly rack on his celestial face.” Mr. Pennant in his Tour in Scotland obferves, there is a fish called a rack-rider, because it appears in winter or bad weather ; Rack, in the English of our author's days, fignifying the driving of the clouds by tempefts.
Sir T. Hanmer instead of rack, reads track, which may be countenanced by the following passage in the firft scene of Timu of Athens :
As dreams are made of, and our little life
“ But Alies an eagle flight, bold, and forth on,
“ Leaving no tract behind.” Steevens. Rack is generally used for a body of clouds, or rather for the course of clouds in motion; fo, in Antony and Cleopatra :
" That which is now a horse, even with a thought,
“ The rack dinimns.” But no instance has yet been produced where it is used to signify a single small fleeting cloud, in which fenfe only it can be figuratively applied here. I incline, therefore, to Sir Thomas Hanmer's emendation,
I am now inclined to think that rack is a mis-spelling for wrack, i. e, wreck, which Fletcher likewise has used for a minute broken fragment. See his Wife for a Montb, where we find the word mis-spelt as it is in The Tempeft:
“ He will bulge so subtilly and suddenly,
“ You may snatch him up by parcels, like a sea-rack." It has been urged, that “ objects which have only a visionary and insubstantial existence, can, when the vision is faded, leave nothing real, and consequently no wreck behind them." But the objection is founded on misapprehension. The words-" Leave not a rack (or wreck) behind,” relate not to “ the baseless fabrick of this vision,” but to the final destruction of the world, of which the towers, temples, and palaces, shall (like a vision, or a pageant,) be dissolved, and leave no veftige behind.
MALONE. 9 As dreams are made of,] The old copy reads-mon. But this is a mere colloquial vitiation ; of, among the vulgar, being still pronounced-on. STEEVENS,
The ftanza which immediately precedes the lines quoted by Mr. Steevens from Lord Sterline’s Darius, may serve ftill further to confirm the conjecture that one of these poets imitated the acher. Our author was, I believe, the imitator.
“ And when the eclipse comes of our glory's light,
“ Then what avails the adoring of a name? “ A meer illufion made to mock the light,
“ Whofe best was but the shadow of a dream," Malong. Vol. III.
We wish your peace.
[Exeunt. Pro. Come with a thought:-I thank you :
Ari. Thy thoughts I cleave to:3 What's thy
Spirit, We must prepare to meet with Caliban. Ari. Ay, my commander: when I presented
Ceres, I thought to have told thee of it; but I fear’d, Left I might anger thee. Pro. Say again, where didst thou leave these
varlets ? Ari. I told you, sir, they were red-hot with
Fer. Mir. We wish your peace.
Ariel, come.] The old copy reads “ - I thank thee." But these thanks being in reply to the joint wish of Ferdinand and Miranda, I have substituted you for thee, by the advice of Mr. Ritson.
STEEVENS. 3 Thy thoughts I cleave to:] To cleave to, is to unite with clofely. So, in Macbeth:
“ Like our strange garments, cleave not to their mould." Again : “ If you shall cleave to
consent," STEEVENS. to meet with Caliban.] To meet with is to counteract; to play ftratagem against stratagem.-The parfon knows the temper of every one in his house, and accordingly either meets with their vices, er advances their virtues. HERBERT's Country Parson. JOHNSON, So, in Cynthia's Revenge, 1613:
You may meet " With her abusive malice, and exempt “ Yourself from the suspicion of revenge." STEEVENS.
So full of valour, that they smote the air
thorns, Which enter'd their frail shins : at last I left them
3 Advanc'd their eye-lids, &c.] Thus Drayton, in his Nymphidia, er Court of Fairie :
« But once the circle got within,
“ For as he thus was busy,
Against a stubbed tree he reels,
Alas, his brain was dizzy.
Hobgoblin fumes, Hobgoblin frets;
“ And through the bushes scrambles,
“ Among the briers and brambles.” Johnson. 6 - pricking gofs,] I know not how Shakspeare dittinguished 80/s from furze ; for what he calls furze is called gofs or gorje in the midland counties. This word is used in the first chorus to Kyd's Cornelia, 1594: “ With worthless gorse that, yearly, fruitless dies.
STEEVENS, By the latter, Shakspeare means the low fort of gorse that only grows upon wet ground, and which is well described by the name of whins in Markham's Farewell 10 Husbandry. It has prickles like those on a rose-tree or a gooseberry. Furze and wbins occur together in Dr. Farmer's quotation from Holinthed. TOLLIT.