Imagens da página
[ocr errors]



NOW my charms are all o'erthrown,

And what strength I have's mine own;
M'hich is most faint : now, 'tis true,
I must be here confin'd by you,
Or jènt to Naples : Let me not,
Since I have


And pardon’d the deceiver, dwell
In this bare island, by your spell;
But release me from my bands,
With the help of your good hands 8.
Gentle breath of yours my fails
Muft fill, or elle my project fails,
Which was to pleaje : Now I want
Spirits to enforce, art to enchant;
And my ending is despair,
Unless I be reliev'd by prayer" ;
Which pierces so, that it afaults
Mercy itself, and frees all faults.

As you from crimes would pardon'd be,
Let your indulgence set me free 8.

6 Witbebe belp &c.] By your applause, by clapping hands. Jonss. Noise was supposed to diffolve a spell. So twice before in this play:

No congue, all eyes; be filent." Again :

hush ! be mute; " Or else our spell is marr’d. STELVENS. 7 And my ending is despair,

Unless I be reliev'd by prayer ;] This alludes to the old stories told of the despair of necromancers in their last moments, and of the efficacy at the prayers of their friends for them. WARBURTON.

8 It is observed of The Tempest, that its plan is regular; this the au. thor of The Revisal thinks, what I think too, an accidental effect of the story, not intended or regarded by our author. But, whatever might be Shakipeare's intention in forming or adopting the plot, he has made it inítrumental to the production of many characters, divertified with boundless invention, and preserved with profound skill in nature, extentive knowledge of opinions, and accurate observation of life. In a lingle drama are here exhibited princes, courtiers, and sailors, all speaking in their real characters. There is the agency of airy spirits, and of an earthly goblin. The operations of magick, the tue mules of a storm, the adventures of a defert island, the native effution of untaught affection, the punishment of guilt, and the final harpinels of the pair for whom our passions and reason are equally intercited. JOHNSON.


Persons Represented.

Duke of Milan, father to Silvia.
Protheus, 3

} Gentlemen of Verona.
Anthonio, father to Protheus.
Thario, a foolish rival to Valentine.
Eglamour, agent for Silvia in her escape.
Speed, a clownis servant to Valentine.
Launce, servant to Protheus.
Panthino*, fervant to Anthonio.
Hoft, where Julia lodges in Milan.

Julia, a lady of Verona, beloved by Protheus.
Silvia, the duke's daughter, beloved by Valentine.
Lucetta, waiting-woman to Julia.

Servants, musicians.

SCENE, fometimes in Verona ; Sometimes in Milan; and

on the frontiers of Mantua.

Pantbino,] In the enumeration of characters in the old copy, this attendant on Anthonio is called Panobion, but in the play, always Pantbino. STEEVENS.



An open place in Verona.
Val. Cease to persuade, my loving Protheus;
Home-keeping youth have cver homely wits :


i Some of the incidents in this play may be supposed to have been taken from The Arcadia, book I. chap. 6. where Pyrocles consents to head the Helots. (The Arcadia was entered on the books of the Stationers' Company, Aug. 23d, 1588, and printed in 1590.) The love-adventure of Julia resembles that of Viola in Twelfıb Night, and is indeed common to many of the ancient novels. STEEVENS.

Mrs. Lenox observe3, and I think not improbably, that the story of Protbeus and Julia might be taken from a similar one in the Diana of George of Montemayor.". This pastoral romance,” says the, “ was translated from the Spanish in Sbakspeare's time.” I have seen no earlier translation than that of Bartbolomew Yong, who dates his dedication in November 1598; and Meres, in his Wit's Treasury, printed the same year, expressly mentions the Two Gentlemen of Verona. Indeed Montemayor was translated two or three years before by one Tbomas Wilson; but this work, I am persuaded, was never published entirely ; perhaps fome parts of it were, or the tale might have been translated by others. However, Mr. Steevens says, very truly, that this kind of love adventure is frequent in the old novelists. FARMER.

There is no earlier tranılacion of the Diana entered on the books of the Stationers' Company, than that of B. Younge, September 1598. Many translations, however, after they were licensed, were caprici. ously' luppreiled. Among others, “ The Decameron of Mr. John Boccace, Florentine,” was “recalled by my lord of Canterbury's commands." STEEVENS.

This comedy, I believe, was written in 1595. See An Attempt to afcertain the order of Sbakspeare's plays, ante. MALONE.

It is oblervable, (I know not for what cause,) that the style of this comedy is less figurative, and more natural and unaffected than the greater part of this author's, though supposed to be one of the first he



Wert not, affection chains thy tender days
To the sweet glances of thy honour'd love,

It may very well be doubted whether Shakípeare had any other hand in this play than the enlivening it with some speeches and lines throun in here and there, which are easily distinguished, as being of a difier. ent stamp from the rest. HANMER.

To this observation of Mr. Pope, which is very just, Mr. Theobald has added, that this is one of Shakspeare's worst plays, and is less cire supred shan any ober. Mr. Upton peremptorily determines, ibst if any proof can be drawn from manier and style, this play musi be jent packing, and seek for its parent elsewhere. How olberwise, says hé, do painters diftinguish copies from originals ? and kave not autbors ibeir peculiar ftyle and manner, from whicb a true critick can form as unerring judgmentes a painter ? I am afraid this illustration of a critick's science will not prove what is desired. A painter knows a copy from an original by rules fornewhat resembling those by which criticks know a translation, which if it be literal, and literal it must be to resemble the copy of a picture, will be easily distinguished. Copies are known from originals, even when the painter copies his own picture; fo, if an author ihould literally translate his work, he would lose the manner of an original.

Mr. Upton contounds the copy of a picture with the imitation of a painter's manner. Copies are easily known, but good imitations are not detected with equal certainty, and are, by the best judges, often mistaken. Nor is it true that the writer has always peculiarities equally distinguishable with those of the painter. The peculiar manner of each ariles from the desire, natural to every performer, of facilitating his fublcquent works by recurrence to his former ideas; this recurrence produces that repetition which is called habit. The painter, whole work is partly intellectual and partiy manual, has habits of the mind, the eye, and the hand; the writer has only habits of the mind. Yet, some painters have differed as much from themselves as from any other; and I have been told, that there is little resemblance between the first works of Raphael and the lait. The same variation may be expected in writers; and if it be truc, as it seems, that they are leis subject to habit, the difference between their works may be yet greater.

But by the internal marks of a composition we may discover the av. thor with probability, though seldorn with certainty. When I read this slay,

cannot but think that I find, both in the serious and lg. dicrous scenes, the language and sentiments of Shakipeare. It is not indeed one of his mott powerful effufions; it has neither many diverfie ties of character, nor itriking delineations of life, but it abounds in gua: beyond most of his plays, and few have more lines or pairages, which, fingly considered, are eminently beautiful. I am yet inclined to believe that it was not very successful, and futject that it has escaped corruption, only because, being seldom played, it was leis exposed to the hazards of tranicription. JOHNSON, 4

I rather

« AnteriorContinuar »