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Bel. We're all undone!
Guid. Why, worthy father, what have we to lose, But what he swore to take, our lives? the law Protects not us ; then why should we be tender, To let an arrogant piece of flesh threat us? Play judge, and executioner, all himself? For we do fear the law. Discover you abroad?
Bel. No fingle foul Can we set eye on; but, in all safe reason, He must have some attendants. 3 Though his honour Was nothing but mutation, ay, and that From one bad thing to worse; yet not his frenzy, Not absolute madness, could so far have rav'd, To bring him here alone; although, perhaps, It may be heard at court, that such as
Arv. Let ordinance
Bel. I had no mind
Guid. With his own sword,
Though his honour Was nothing but mutation, -] Mr. Theobald, as usual, not understanding this, turns honour 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.
Which he did waye against my throat, I've ta’en
Arv. 'Would I had done't,
Bel. Well, 'tis done:
Aru. Poor fick Fidele!
Mr. Pope. 5
I'd let A PARISH of such Clotens blood,] This nonsense thould be corrected thus,
I'd let a MARISH of such Clotens blood. i. e, a marh or lake. So Smith, in his account of Virginia, Yea Venice, at this time the admiration of the eartb, was at firs but a marish, inhabited by poor fishermen. In the first book of Maccabees, chap. ix. ver. 42. the Translators use the word in the fame fenfe,
Not wagging his sweet head; and yet as rough,
(Their royal blood enchaf?d,) as the rud'ft wind, « That by the top doth take the mountain pine, • And make him stoop to th' vale— 'Tis wonderful, ( 6 That an invisible instinct should frame them « To royalty unlearn'd, honour untaught,
Civility not seen from other ; valour,
Guid. Is he at home?
6 That an invisible inflinet] But where is the wonder that an invisible inftinet should do this, any more than an invisible reason? It appears then that the poet uses invisible for blind. And by blind instinct he means a kind of plastic nature, acting as an instrument under the Creator, without intention, and then there is cause of wonder, that blind infinĉt should do as much as foarpfighted reason. One not well acquainted with Shakespear's manner, in the licentiousness of his language and the profoundness of his sense, would be apt to think he wrote invincible, i. e. that bore down all before it. But the poet here transfers the term belonging to the object upon the subje£t : unless we will rather suppose it was his intention to give invisible (which has a passive) an active fignification ; and then it will mean the same as not seeing.
Triumphs for nothing, and lamenting toys,
Enter Arviragus, with Imogen dead, bearing ber in
Bel. Look, here he comes !
Aro. “The bird is dead,
Guid. Oh sweetest, fairest lilly! • My brother wears thee not one half so well, • As when thou grew'st thyself.
Bel. «70 melancholy ! • Who ever yet could found thy bottom? find • The ooze, to shew what coast thy Nuggish carrack • Might eas'liest harbour in-thou blessed thing! Jove knows, what man thou might'st have made;
oh, melancholy !
Might eas' lief barbour in--] But as plausible as this at first fight may seem, all those, who know any thing of good writing, will agree, that our author must have wrote,
to few what coal thy sluggish carrack Might eas'lief harbour in? Carrack is a flow, heavy built vessel of burden. This restores the uniformity of the metaphor, compleats the sense, and is a word of great propriety and beauty to design a melancholic person.
Arv. Stark, as you see : · Thus smiling, as some fly had tickled slumber! • Not as Death's dart being laugh'd at: his right cheek • Reposing on a cushion.
Arv. "O'th' floor: • His arms thus leagu'd; I thought, he slept; and put • My clouted brogues from off my feet, whose rudeness • Answer'd my steps too loud.
Guid. “ Why, he but neeps ; “ If he be gone, he'll make his grave a bed ; « With female Fairies will his tomb be haunted, 66 And worms will not come near thee.
Arv. “ With faireft flow'rs, "'Whilft summer lafts, and I live here, Fidele, • I'll sweeten thy fad grave. Thou shalt not lack " The flow'r that's like thy face, pale Primrose; nor 66 The azur'd Hare-bell, like thy veins, no, nor " The leaf of Eglantine ; which not to flander, “ Out-sweeten'd not thy breath. : The Raddock
would, "With charitable bill, (oh bill, fore-Thaming " Those rich-left heirs, that let their fathers lye " Without a Monument !) bring thee all this; " Yea, and furr'd moss besides, when flow'rs are none, “ To winter-gown thy coarse. -
Guid. Pr’ythee, have done ;
The Raddock would,
To winter-ground thy course ---s Here again, the metaphor is firangely mangled. What Sense is there in winter-grounding a coarse with moss? A coarse might indeed be said to be wintergrounded in good thick clay. But the epithet furr'd to moss directs us plainly to another reading,
To winter-gown thy coarse. i. e, the summer habit fhall be a light gown of flowers, thy winter habit a good warm furr'd gown of moss.