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I cannot tremble at it; were it toad, adder, spider,'
Clot. To thy further fear,
Guid. I am sorry for’t; not seeming
Clot. Art not afraid?
Guid. Those that I reverence, those I fear; the wise:
Clot. Die the death :
8 Yield, rustic mountaineer.} I believe, upon examination, the character of Cloten will not prove a very consistent one. Acti. scene 4. the lords who are conversing with him on the subject of his rencontre with Pofthumus, represent the latter as having neither put forth bis strength or courage, but still advancing forwards to the prince, who retired before him; yet at this his last appearance, we see him fighting gallantly, and falling by the hand of Arviragus. The fame persons afterwards speak of him as of a mere ass or idiot; and yet, act iii. scene 1. he returns one of the noblest and most reasonable answers to the Roman cnvoy: and the rest of his conversation on the same subject, though it may iuck form a little, by no mcans resembles the language of folly. He behaves with proper dignity and civility at parting with Lucius, and yet is ridiculous and brutal in his treatment of Imogen. Belárius describes him as not having sense enough to know what fear is (which he defines as being sometimes the effect of judgment); and yet he forms very aniful schemes for gaining the affection of his mistress, by means of her attendants; to get her person into his power afterwards; and seems to be no less acquainted with the character of his father, and the ascendancy the queen maintained over his uxorious weakness. We find him, in thort, represented at once as brave and daftardly, civil and brutal, fagacious and foolish, without that subtilty of distinction which constitutes the excellezce of such mixed characters as the Nurse in Romeo and Julict, and Polonius in the tragedy of Hamlet. STEEVENS.
Enter Belarius and Arviragus. Bel. No company's abroad. Arv. None in the world: you did mistake hiin,
sure, Bel. I cannot tell: long is it since I saw him, But time hath nothing blurr'd those lines of favour Which then he wore; 9 the snatches in his voice, And burst of speaking, were as his: I am absolute 'Twas very Cloten.
Arv. In this place we left them;
Bel. '' Being fcarce made up,
the snatches in his voice, And burst of speaking, -] This is one of our author's strokes of obfervation. An abrupt and tumultuous utterance very frequently accompanies a confused and cloudy under. ftanding. Johnson. ' In the old editions,
Being scarce made up,
Is oft the cause of fear. -] If I understand this passage, it is mock reasoning as it ftands, and the text must have been lightly corrupted. Belarius is giving a description of what Cloten formerly was; and in answer to what Arviragus says of his being so fell. “ Ay, says Belarius, he was so fell; “' and being scarce then at man's estate, he had no apprehenfion “ of roaring terrors, i. e, of any thing that could check him “ with fears.” But then, how does the inference come in, built upon this ? For defect of judgment is oft the caujė of fear. I think, the poet meant to have said the mere contrary, Cloten was defective in judgment, and therefore did not fear. Apprehenfions of fear grow from a judgment in weighing dangers. And a very easy change, from the traces of the
Enter Guiderius, with Cloten's head.
Bel. What hast thou done?
Bel. We are all undone !
Guid. Why, worthy father, what have we to lose
Bel. No single soul
letters, gives us this sense, and reconciles the reasoning of the whole passage:
for th’effe Et of judgment Is oft the cause of fear.
THEOBALD. Hanmer reads, with equal juftness of sentiment,
--- for defect of judgment
Is oft the care of fear. But, I think, the play of effect and cause more resembling the manner of our author. JOHNSON,
l'in perfcer, what : - ] I am will informed, what. So in this play,
I'm perfect, the Pannonians are in arms. JOHNSON.
take us in ;] To take in, was the phrase in use for to apprehend an out-law, or to make him amenable to public justice. JOHNSON.
He must have some attendants. 4 Though his honour
Arv. Let ordinance
Bel. I had no mind
Guid. With his own sword, Which he did wave against my throat, I have ta’en
Though his honour Was nothing but mutation, &c.] What has his honour to do here, in his being changeable in this fort! in his acting as a madman, or not? I have ventured to substitute humour, against the authority of the printed copies; and the meaning seems plainly this : “ Though he was always fickle to the last degree, “ and governed by humour, not found sense; yet not madness “ itself could make him so hardy to attempt an enterprize of “ this nature alone, and unseconded.” THEOBALD.
Though his honour Was nothing but mutation ;-) Mr. THEOBALD, as usual, not understanding this, turns bonour to humour. But the text is right, and means, that the only notion he had of honour, was the fashion, which was perpetually changing. A fine stroke of satire, well expressed : yet the Oxford Editor follows Mr. Theobald. WARBURTON.
s Did make my way long forth.] Fidele's sickness made my walk forth from the cave tedious. JOHNSON.
His head from him ; I'll throw it into the creek
[Exit. Bel. I fear 'twill be reveng’d. 'Would, Polydore, thou hadît not done't! though
valour Becomes thee well enough.
Arv. Would I had done't, So the revenge alone pursu'd me! Polydore, I love thee brotherly, but envy much, Thou's robb'd me of this deed: I would, 6 revenges That possible strength might meet, would seek us thro,' And put us to our answer.
Bel. Well, 'tis done.-
Arv.' Poor fick Fidele!
revenges That pollible strength might meet, -] Such pursuit of vengeance as fell within any poffibility of opposition. "JOHNS.
? I'd let a PARI3 H of such Clotens blood,] This nonsense Tould be corrected thus;
I'd let a marijh of fuch Clotens blood, i. e. a marsh or lake. So SMITH, in his account of Virginia, “ Yea Venice, at this time the admiration of the earth, was
at first but a marish, inhabited by poor fishermen.” In the first book of Maccabees, chap. ix. ver. 24. the translators use the word in the same ferse. WARBURTON.
The learned commentator has dealt the reproach of nonsense very liberally through this play. Why this is nonsense, I cannot discover. I would, says the young prince, to recover Fidele, kill as many Clotens as would fill a pari. JOHNSON.