Page images


Admir'd Miranda!
Indeed, the top of admiration; worth
What's dearest to the world ! Full many a lady
I have ey'd with best regard : and many a time
The harmony of their tongues hath into bondage
Brought my too diligent ear: for several virtues
Have I lik'd several women; never any
With so full soul, but some defect in her
Did quarrel with the noblest grace she ow'd,
And put it to the foil: But



So perfect, and so peerless, are created
Of every creature's best. ?

I do not know
One of my sex ; no woman's face remember,
Save, from my glass, mine own; nor have I seen
More that I may call men, than you, good friend,
And my dear father : how features are abroad,

I am skill-less of; but, by my modesty,
(The jewel in my dower,) I would not wish
Any companion in the world but you;

7 Of every creature's beft.) Alluding to the pi&ure of Venus by Apelles. JOHNSON.

Had Shakspeare availed himself of this elegant circumstance, he would scarcely have said, “ of every creature's best, u becauso such a phrase includes the component parts of the brute creation. Had he been thinking on the judicious fele&ion made by the Grecian Artist, he would rather have expressed his meaning by “ every woman's," or every beauty's best. » Perhaps he had only in his thoughts a fable related by Sir Philip Sidney in the third book of his Arcadia. The beasts obtained permission from Jupiter to make themselves a King; and accordingly created one of every creature's beft:

- Full glad they were, and tooke the naked sprite,

“ Which straight the earth yclothed in his clay:
ç The Lyon heart; the Ounce gave a&ive might';
« The horse good shape ; the Sparrow luft to play ;

Nightingale voice, entising songs to say, &c. &c.
• Thus man was made; thus man their lord became. »



[ocr errors]

Nor can imagination form a shape,
Besides yourself, to like of: But I prattle
Something too wildly, and my father's precepts
Therein forget."

I am, in my condition,
A prince, Miranda ; I do think, a king ,
(I would, notfo!) and would no more endure
This wooden slavery, than I would suffers
The flesh-fly blow my mouth.' Hear my soul

fpeak; The very instant that I saw


My heart fly to your service; there resides,
To make me slave to it; and, for your sake,
Am I this patient log-man.


love me?
FER. O heaven, O earth, bear witness to this

And crown what I profess with kind event,
If I speak true; if hollowly, invert
What best is boded me, to mischief! I,

Therein forget.) The old copy, in contempt of metre, reads -
« I therein do forget. » STEEVENS.
- than I would suffer, &.) The old copy reads.

Than to suffer. The emendation is Mr. Pope's. STEEVENS.

The reading of the old copy is right, however ungrammatical. So, in All's well that ends well : « No more of this, Helena, go to, no more; left it be rather thought you affe& a sorrow, than to have., MALONE.

The defedive metre shows that some corruption had happened in the present instance. I receive no deviations from established grama mar, on the single authority of the folio. STEEVENS.

9 The flesh-fly blow my mouth, ) Mr. Malone observes, that to blow, in this inftance, signifies tó swell and inflame. » But I believe he is mistaken. To blow, as it stands in the text, means the act of a fly by which the lodges eggs in flesh. So, in Chapman's version of the Iliad :

I much fear, left with the blows of flies
6. His brass-inflided wounds are fill'd - STEEVENS.




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

Beyond all limit of what else i' the world,?
Do love, prize, honour you. .

I am a fool,
To weep at what I am glad of."

Fair encounter
Of two most rare affections! Heavens rain grace
On that which breeds between them!

Wherefore weep you?
MIRA. Atmine unworthiness, that dare not offer
What I desire to give; and much less take,
What I shall die to want : But this is trifling;
And all the more it seeks to hide itself,
The bigger bulk itshews. Hence, bashful cunning !
And prompt me, plain and holy innocence !
I am your wife.' if you will marry me;

2 – of what else i' the world,)i, e. of aught elle ; of whatsoever
else there is in the world. I once thought that we should read aught
else. But the old copy is right. So, in King Henry VI. P. III:

- With promise of his sister, and what else,
- To strengthen and support King Edward's place.»

MALONE, 3 I am a fool,

To weep at what I am glad of.) This is one of those touches
of nature that distinguish Shakspeare from all other writers. It
was necessary, in support of the chara&er of Miranda, to make
þer appear unconscious that excess of sorrow and excess of joy find
alike their relief from tears; and as this is the first time that cons
summate pleasure had made any near approaches to her heart, she
calls such a seeming contradi&ory expression of it, folly.
The same thoughit occurs in Romeo and Juliet:

« Back, foolish tears, back, to your native spring!
«. Your tributary drops belong to woe,
" Which you, mistaking, offer up to joy." STEEVENS.

it seeks — )i. e. my affe&ion seeks. MALONE { I am your wife, &.)

Si tibi non cordi fuerant connubia nostra,
Attamen in vestras potuifti ducere fedes,
Quæ tibi jucundo famularer serva labore,
Candida permulcens liquidis vestigia lymphis,
Purpurcave tuum confternens veste cubile.

Catul. 64. MALONE,


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

If not, I'll die your maid : to be your fellow 6
You may deny me; but I'll be

your servant, Whether


will or no. FER.

My mistress, dearest,
And I thus humble ever,

My husband then ?
Fer. Ay, with a heart as willing

a As bondage e'er of freedom: here's


hand. Mira. And mine, with my heart in't:? And

now farewell, Till half an hour hence. FER.

A thousand ! thousand!

(Excunt Fer. and MIR.
Pro. So glad of this as they, I cannot be,
Who are surpriz'd with all ;but my rejoicing
At nothing can be more. I'll to my book;
For yet, ere supper time, must I perform
Much business appertaining.

(Exit, 6 —your fellow - )i. e. companion. STEEVENS.

----here's my hand.
Miran. And mine, with my heart in't : ) It is still customary in
the west of England, when the conditions of a bargain are agreed
upon, for the parties to ratify it by joining their hands, and at
the same time for the purchaser to give an carneft.
tice the poet alludes. So, in The Winter's Tale:

«"Ere I could make thee open thy white hand,
. And clap thyself my love; then didst thou utter

« I am your's for ever."
And again, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona :

« Pro. Why then we'll make exchange ; here, take you this,

Jul. And seal the bargain with a holy kiss,
« Pro. Here is my hand for my true constancy.-» HENLEY,
8 So glad of this as they, I cannot be,
Who are surpriz'd with all; ) The sense might be clearer,

to make a slight transpofition :
o So glad of this as they, who are surpriz'd

6. With all, I cannot be ----
Perhaps, however, more confonantly with ancient language, we
Mould join two of the words together, and read

• Who are surpriz'd withal., ST.EVENS.


To this piace

were we

[ocr errors]


Another part of the island.

ing with a bottle.
STE. Tell not me;—when the butt is out, we
will drink water; not a drop before: therefore
bear up, and board'em : & Servant-monster, drink


to me.


Trin. Servant-monster? the folly of this island ! They say, there's but five upon this ille: we are three of them; if the other two be brain'd like us, the state totters. 9

STE. Drink, servant-monster, when I bid thee; thy eyes are almost set in thy head.

Trin. Where should they be set else? he were a brave monster indeed, if they were set in his tail.2

STE. My man-monster hath drown'd his tongue in fack: for my part, the sea cannot drown me : I swam,3 ere I could recover the shore, five-and

-hear up, and board'em : ) A metaphor alluding to a chače

Sir J. HAWKINS. 9 --if the other two be brain'd like us, the state totters. ) We meet with a similar idea in Antory and Cleopatra : " He bears the third part of the world. -—. The third part then is drunk,

SIEEVENS, 2 -- he were a brave monjler indeer, if they were set in his tail. ) I believe this to be an allusion to a flory that is nei with in Stowe, and other writers of the time. It seems in the year 1574, & whale was thrown ashore near Ramsgate : « A monstrous fish says the chronicler) but not so monfirous as tome reported -- for his eyes were in his head, and not in his back.

Summary, 1575, p. 562.

FARMER, I swam, &. ) This play was not published till 1623. Albumazar made its appearance in 1614, and has a passage relative io

[ocr errors]

at fea.

[ocr errors]


« PreviousContinue »