Page images

The time is fair again

: Ber. My high repented blames, Dear Sovereign, pardon to me.

King. All is whole.
Not one word more of the consumed time,
Let's take the instant by the forward top;
For we are old, and on our quick’lt decrees
Th'inaudible and noiseless foot of time
Steals, ere we can effect them. You rememter
The daughter of this Lord?

Ber. Admiringly, my Liege. At first
I stuck my choice upon her, ere my heart
Durft make too bold a herald of my tongue :
Where the impression of mine eye entixing,
Contempt his fcornful perfpective did lend me,
Which warp'd the line of every other favour ;
Scorn’d a fair colour, or express'd it stoll'n ;s
Extended or contrasted all proportions

Το 5 Scorn's a fair co'our, or To a molt hideous obje 7 : exprefs'd it ftoll'n ;] First, it is Secondly, It is to be observed, to be observed, that this young that he describes bis indifference man's case was not indifference for others in highly figurative to the fex in general, but a very expressions. Cont.mpt is brought itrong attachment to one; there- in lending him her perspective. fore he could not scorn a fair co- glass, which does its office prolour, for it was that which had perly by warping the lines of all captivated him. But he might other faces; by extending or convery naturally be said to do what tracting into a hideous obje£t; or men, strongly attach'd to one, by expressing or Mewing native commonly do, not allow beauty red and white as paint. But with in any face but his mistress's. what propriety of speech can this And that this was the thought glass be said to fiorn, which is here, is evident,

an affection of the mind? Here 1. From the latter part of the then the metaphor becomes miverse,

serably mangled; but the foreor express'd it Pollon; going observation will lead us to 2 From the preceding verse, the genuine reading, which is, Which warp'd the line of every

Scorch'd a fair colour, or ex• other faucur;

press'd it ftoll'n; 3. From the following verses, i. c. this glass represented the Extended or contracted all pro owner as brown or tanned; or, porrions

if not fo, caused the native coVon 11.


Сс 2

To a most hideous object : thence it came,
That she, whom all men prais'd, and whom myself,
Since I have loft, have lov’d, was in mine eye
The dust that did offend it.

King. Well excus'd :
That thou do'st love her, strikes some scores away
From the great 'compt; but love, that comes too late,
Like a remorseful pardon Nowly carried,
To the great sender turns a four offence,

that's good that is gone : our rash faults Make trivial price of serious things we have, Not knowing them, until we know their grave. Oft our displeasures, to ourselves unjust, Destroy our friends, and, after, weep their duft: • Our own love, waking, cries to see what's done, While shameful hate sleeps out the afternoon. Be this sweet Helen's knell ; and now, forget her. Send forth your amorous token for fair Maudlin, The main consents are had, and here we'll stay To see our widower's second marriage-day. Count. ? Which better than the first, О dear heav'n bless.

Or, tour to appear artificial. Thus the authour made two couplets ta he speaks in character, and con. the same purpose, wrote them fiftently with the rest of his both down that he might take speech. The emendation re his choice, and so they happened ftores integrity to the figure, and, to be both preserved. by a beautifal thought, makes For fleep I think we should the fiornful perspective of con

read slept.

Love tries to see tempo do the office of a burning- what was done while hatred glafi.

WARBURTON. fiept, and suffered mischief to be It was but just to insert this done. Or the meaning may be, note, long as it is, because the that barred ftill continues to fiero commentator seems to think it at ease, while love is weeping; of importance. Let the reader and so the present reading may judge.

stand, o Our own lovi, waking, &c.] -7 Which better than the fort, These two lines I should be glad O dear Heav'n, bicki, to call an interpolation of a player. Or, c'er 1 b. y meet, in me, O NaThey are ill connected with the iuri, ceaje!] I have verformer, and not very clear or tured, againit the Authority of proper in themselves. I believe the printed copies, to prefix the


Or, ere they meet, in me, O nature, cease!

Laf. Come on, my son, in whom my house's name Must be digested: give a favour from you To sparkle in the spirits of my daughter, That she may quickly come. By my old beard, And ev'ry hair that's on't, Helen, that's dead, Was a sweet creature :- such a ring as this, The last that e'er she took her leave at court, I saw upon her finger.

Ber. Her's it was not.

King. Now, pray you, let me see it : For mine eye, While I was speaking, oft was fasten'd to't. This ring was mine ; and, when I gave it Helen, I bade her, if her fortunes ever stood Necessitied to help, that by this token I would relieve her. Had you that craft to reave her Of what should stead her most ?

Ber. My gracious Sovereign,
Howe'er it pleases you to take it so,
The ring was never her’s.

Count. Son, on my life,
I've seen her wear it, and she reckonid it
At her life's rate.

Laf. I'm sure, I saw her wear it.

Ber. You are deceivid, my Lord, she never saw it; In Florence was it from a casement thrown me, Wrap'd in a paper, which contain’d the name


Countess's Name to these two the Wish of dying, rather than Lines. The King appears, in to behold it, comes with Prodeed, to be a Favourer of Ber priety:

THEO BALD. tram : but if Bertram fhould 8 In Florence was it from a make a bad Husband the second camint -] bertram I ime, why hould it give the still continues to have too little King such mortal Pangs?' A fond virtue

virtue to deterve He'en. He did and disappointed Mother might not know indeed that it was Hereasonably not desire to live to len's ring, but he knewthat he fee such a Day: and from her had it not from a window.

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Of her that threw it: 'Noble she was, and thought
I stood engag'd; but when I had subscrib'd
To mine own fortune, and inform'd her fully,
I could not answer in that course of honour
As she had made the overture, she ceaft
In heavy satisfaction, and would never
Receive the ring again.

King. Plutus himself,
That knows the tinct and multiplying medicine,
Hath not in nature's mystery more science,
Than I have in this ring. 'Twas mine, 'twas Helen's,
Whoever gave it you: then if you know, ?
That you are well acquainted with yourself,
Confess 'twas hers, and by what rough enforcement
You got it from her. She call’d the Saints to surety,
That she would never put it from her finger,
Unless she gave it to yourself in bed,
(Where you have never come) or sent it us

Noble she was, and metals, and the matter by which thought

gold is multiplied, by which a I food engag'd ;-) I don't small quantity of gold is made understand this Reading ; if we to communicate its qualities to are to understand, that the thought a large mass of metal. Bertram engaged to her in Af In the reign of Henry the fourth fection, in nared by her Charms, a law was made to forbid all mes this Meaning is too obscurely ex- thencej orth to multiply geld, e press’d. The Context rather use any craft of multiplication. makes me believe, that the Poet of which law Mr. Beyiz, when wrote,

he was warm with the hope of noble foe was, and thouzht tranfmutation, procured a repeal. I food ungag'd ;

then if you knew, 1. e. unengag’d: neither my

That you are well acquainted Heart, nor Person, dispos'd of. with yourself,] i. e. then if

THEOBALD. you be wise. A strange way of The plain meaning is, when expressing fo trivial a thought! She saw me receive the ring,

ARBURTON. the thought me engaged to her. The true meaning of this

King. Plutus bimself, ftrange expression is, if you ka w That kn zus the line and mul- that your faculties are so sound,

tiplyin medicine, ] Plutus as that ;ou have the proper core the grand alchimist

, who knows sciousness of your own aciions, and the tincture which confers the are able to recollect and relate properties of gold upon base what you have done, tell me, &c.






[ocr errors]



Ber. She never saw it.

King. Thou speak’ft it falsely, as I love mine honour ;
And mak't conject'ral fears to come into me,
Which I would fain shut out; if it should prove
That thou art so inhuman—'twill not prove som
And yet I know not—thou didft hate her deadly,
And she is dead ; which nothing, but to close
Her eyes myself, could win me to believe,
More than to see this ring. Take him away.

(Guards seize Bertram.
My fore-past proofs, howe'er the matter fall, 3
Shall tax my fears of little vanity,
Having vainly fear'd too little. "Away with him,
We'll lift this matter further.
Ber. If


This ring was ever Hers, you shall as easy
Prove that I husbanded her bed in Florence,
Where yet she never was. [Exit Bertram guarded.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

King. I'm wrap'd in dismal thinkings.

Gent. Gracious Sovereign,
Whether l've been to blame or no, I know not :
Here's a petition from a Florentine,
Who hath some four or five removes come short +


[ocr errors]

3 My fore-past proofs, howe'er therto more easy than I ought,
the matter fall,

and have unreasonably had too
Shall tax my fears of little va- little fear.

4 Who hath for four or five
Having vainly feared 100 little.] removes come short ) We
The proofs which I bave already should read, Who bath some four
lad, are sufficient to show that er five removes come fhortSo in
my fears were not vain and ir- King lear,
rational I have rather been hi For obat I am SOME twelve or



Сс 4

« PreviousContinue »