Abbildungen der Seite
[ocr errors]

* Other conclusions? I will try the forces
Of these thy compounds on such creatures as
We count not worth the hanging (but none human)
To try the vigour of them, and apply
Allayments to their act; and by them gather
Their several virtues and effects.

Cor. - Your highness
Shall from this practice but make hard your heart:
Besides, the seeing these effects will be
Both noisome and infectious.

Queen. O, content thee.

Enter Pifanio.
Here comes a flattering rascal, upon him [Afide.
Will I first work: he's for his master,
And enemy to my son.—How now, Pifanio ?
Doctor, your service for this time is ended ;
Take your own way.

Cor. I do suspect you, madam;
But you shall do no harm.

[Aside. Queen. Hark thee, a word.

[To Pisanio. Cor. [Solus.] 3 I do not like her. She doth think,

she has Strange lingering poisons : I do know her spirit,


' Orber conclufions? - ] Other experiments. I commend, says WALTON, an angler that tries conclufions, and improves his art. JOHNSON 2 Your highness

Shall from this pra&ice but make bard your heart :) There is in this passage nothing that much requires a note, yet I cannos forbear to push it forward into obfervation. The thought would probably have been more amplified, had our author lived to be hocked with such experiments as have been published in later times, by a race of men that have practised tortures without pity, and related them without shame, and are yet suffered to erect their heads among human beings.

“ Cape faxa manu, cape robora, paftor.” JOHNSON. 3 I do not like her. -] This soliloquy is very inartificial. The speaker is under no itrong pressure of thought; he is


And will not trust one of her nalice with
A drug of such damn’d nature. Those she has
Will stupefy and dull the sense a while:
Which first, perchance, she'll prove on cats and dogs,
Then afterwards up higher : but there is
No danger in what shew of death it makes,
More than the locking up the spirits a time,
To be more fresh, reviving. She is foold
With a most false efiect; and I the truer,
So to be false with her.

Queen. No further service, doctor,
Until I send for thee.
Cor. I humbly take my leave.


[Exit. Queen. Weeps she still, fay'st thou? dost thou

think in time She will not quench, and let instructions enter Where folly now possesses ? Do thou work; When thou shalt bring me word she loves my son, I'll tell thee, on the instant, thou art then As great as is thy master : greater; for His fortunes all lie speechless, and his name Is at last galp. Return he cannot, nor Continue where he is : 4 to shift his being, Is to exchange one misery with another; And every day that comes, comes to decay A day's work in him. What shalt thou expect, To be depender on a thing 5 that leans ?

neither resolving, repenting, fufpecting, nor deliberating, and yet makes a long speech to tell himself what himself knows.

JOHNSON, I do not like her. -) This soliloquy, however inartificial in respect of the speaker, is yet necessary to prevent that uneasiness which would naturally arise in the mind of the audience on the recollection that the queen had mischievous ingredients in her poflellion, unless they had been undeceiv'd as to their quality, and is no less useful to prepare them for the return of Imogen to life. STEEVENS.

to shift bis being,] To change his abode. JOHNS. - that leans?] That inclines towards its fall. JOHNS,



Who cannot be new built, nor has no friends,
So much as but to prop him ?- Thou tak’lt up

[Pisanio takes up the phial.
Thou know'st not what; but take it for thy labour :
It is a thing I make, which hath the king
Five times redeem'd from death; I do not know
What is more cordial. Nay, I pr’ythee, take it ;
It is an earnest of a further good
That I mean to thee. Tell thy mistress how
The case stands with her; do't as from thyself:
6 Think what a chance thou changest on; but think
Thou hast thy mistress still; to boot, my son,
Who shall take notice of thee. I'll move the king
To any shape of thy preferment, such
As thoul't desire ; and then myself, I chiefly
That set thee on to this desert, am bound
To load thy merit richly. Call my women.

[Exit Pisanio. Think on my words.-A Ny, and constant knave, Not to be shak': the agent for his master; And the remembrancer of her, to hold The hand fast to her lord.— I have given him that, Which, if he take, shall quite unpeople her 7 Of leigers for her sweet ; and which she, after, Except she bend her humour, shall be affur'd To taste of too.

6 Think what a chance thou changest on ; --] Such is the reading of the old copy, which by succeeding editors has been altered into,

Think what a chance thou chancest on ;and Think what a change thou chancest

, on; but unneceffarily. The meaning is, “think with what a fair prospect of mending your fortunes you now change your

present service." STEEVENS.

? Of leigers for her sweet ;-] A leiger ambassador, is one that resides at a foreign court to promote his master's intereft.


Vol. IX.



Re-enter Pifanio, and Ladies.
So, fo; well done, well done.
The violets, cowslips, and the primroses,
Bear to my closet. Fare thee well, Pifanio ;
Think on my words.



and ladies.
Pif. And shall do:
But when to my good lord I prove untrue,
I'll choke myself: there's all I'll do for you, [Exit.


Imogen's apartment.

Enter Imogen.
Imo. A father cruel, and a step-dame false;
A foolish suitor to a wedded lady,
That hath her husband banish'd ;-O that husband!
My supreme crown of grief! and those repeated
Vexations of it !-Had I been thief-stolen,
As my two brothers, happy! 8 but most miserable
Is the desire that’s glorious. 9 Bless'd be those,
How mean foe’er, that have their honest wills,
Which seasons comfort. Who may this be? fie!




but most miserable
Is the desire that's glorious. 1 Her husband, he says,
proves her supreme grief. She had been happy had me been
stolen as her brothers were, but now she is miserable, as all
those are who have a sense of worth and honour superior to the
vulgar, which occasions them infinite vexations from the envious
and worthless part of mankind. Had the not so refined a talte
as to be content only with the superior-merit of Posthumus, but
could have taken up with Cloten, ihe might have escaped these
persecutions. This elegance of taste, which always discovers
an excellence and chufes it, she calls wici: great fublimity, of
expreflion, The desire that's glorious; which the Oxford Editor
not understanding, alters to, The degree that's glorious. WARB.

bleli'd be thoje,
Hor mcan Joe'er, that have their honest wills,
Which fecfins comfort.---] The lali wards are equivocal;



Enter Pifanio and lackimo. Pij

. Madam, a noble gentleman of Rome Comes from my lord with letters.

Iach. Change you, madam? The worthy Leonatus is in safety, And greets your highness dearly. [Gives a letter.

Imo. Thanks, good Sir; You are kindly welcome.

Iach. All of her, that is out of door, most rich! If she be furnish'd with a mind fo rare, [Afide. She is alone the Arabian bird ; and I Have lost the wager. Boldness be my friend! Arm me, audacity, from head to foot! Or, like the Parthian, I shall Aying fight; Rather directly fly.

but the meaning is this: Who are beholden only to the seasons for their support and nourishment; so that, if those be kindly, such have no more to care for or desire. WARBURTON.

I am willing to comply with any meaning that can be extorted from the present text, rather than change it, yet will propose, but with great diffidence, a slight alteration :

Bless'd be those,
How mean soe'er, that have their honest wills,

With reason's comfort.
Who gratify their innocent wishes with reasonable enjoyments.

JOHNSON. I shall venture at another explanation, which, as the last words are admitted to be equivocal, may be proposed. “To “ be able to refine on calamity (says she) is the miserable pri“ vilege of those who are educated with aspiring thoughts and “ elegant desires. Blesfed are they, however mean their con“ dition, who have the power of gratifying their honest in“ clinations, which circumstance bestows an additional relish “ on comfort itself.” “ You lack the season of all natures, sleep.” Macb.


[blocks in formation]
« ZurückWeiter »