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What air's from home. Haply, this life is best,
Arv. 3 What should we speak of,
Bel. * How you speak!
2 Toftride a limit.] To overpass his bound. Johnson. 3 What should we speak of ] This dread of an old age, unsupplied with matter for discourse and meditation, is a sentiment natural and noble. No state can be more deftitute than that of him, who, when the delights of sense forsake him, has no pleafures of the mind. JOHNSON.
- How you speak!] Otway seems to have taken many hints for the conversation that passes between Acasto and his lons, from the scene before us.
Must curt'sy at the censure :-0, boys, this story
Guid. Uncertain favour !
[Exeunt Guid. and Arv. How hard it is to hide the sparks of nature ! These boys know little, they are fons to the king; Nor Cymbeline dreams that they are alive. They think, they are mine : and, though train’d up
s And left me bare to weather.] So in Timon:
That numberless upon me stuck, as leaves
'I' the cave, wherein they bow, their thoughts do hit
• P' the cave, &c.] Mr. Pope reads:
Here in the cave, wherein their thoughts do hit
The roof of palaces ; but the sentence breaks off imperfectly. The old editions read :
I'the cave, wbereon the bow their thoughts do hit, &c. Mr. Rowe faw this likewise was faulty; and therefore amended it thus :
l' the cave, where, on the bow, their thoughts do hit, &c. I think it hould be only with the alteration of one letter, and the addition of another :
''the cave, there, on the brow,And so the grammar and syntax of the fentence is complete. We call the arching of a cavern, or overhanging of a bill, metaphorically, the brow; and in like manner the Greeks and Latins used dopus, and supercilium. THEOBALD.
-tho' train'd up thus meanly, l'the cave, there on the brow, -] The old editions read:
l' the cave whereon the bow;which, though very corrupt, will direct us to the true reading : which, when rightly pointed, is thus:
though train'd up thus meanly
l' the cave wherein they bow-
A goodly day! not to keep house, with such
l'the cave, here in this brow. I think the reading is this:
l' the cave, wherein the bow, &c. That is, they are trained up in the cave, where their thoughts ia hitting the bow, or arch of their habitation, hit the roofs of palaces. In other words, though their condition is low, their thoughts are high. The sentence is at laft, as Theobald remarks, abrupt, but perhaps no less suitable to Shakspeare. I know, not whether Ds. Warburton's conjecture be not better than mine.
Beyond the trick of others.
7 This Polydore, The heir of Cymbeline and Britain, whom The king his father call’d Guiderius,- Jove! When on my three-foot stool I fit, and tell The warlike feats I have done, his spirits fly out Into my story : say,—Thus mine enemy fell; And thus I set my foot on his neck; even then The princely blood flows in his cheek, he sweats, Strains his young nerves, and puts himself in posture That acts my words. The younger brother, Cadwal, (Once, Arviragus) in as like a figure, Strikes life into my speech, and Thews much more His own conceiving. Hark! the game is rouz'd !O Cymbeline ! heaven, and my conscience, knows, Thou didft unjustly banish me: whereon, At three, and two years old, 'I stole these babes;
7 This Polydore,-) The old copy of the play (except here, where it may be only a blunder of the printer) calls the eldest son of Cymbelinc Polidore, as often as the naine occurs ; and
yet there are some who may ask whether it is not more likely that the printer should have blundered in the other places, than that he should have hit upon such an uncommon name as Paladour in this first instance. Paladour was the ancient name for Shaftsbury. So, in A Meeting Dialogue-wise between Nature, the Phænix, and the Turtle-dove, by R. Chester, 1601 :
“ This noble king builded faire Caerguent,
STEEVENS. & The younger brother Cadwall,] This name is likewise found in an ancient poem, entitled King Arthur, which is printed in the same collection with the Meeting Dialogue-wife, &c. in which, as Mr. Steevens has observed, our author might have found the name of Paladour :
Augisell king of stout Albania, " And Caduall king of Vinedocia --" MALONE.
- Atole these babes ;) Shakspeare seems to intend Belapius for a good character, yet he makes him forget the injury which he has done to the young princes, whom he has robbed of a kingdom only to rob their father of heirs. -The latter part of
Thinking to bar chce of succession, as
Imo. Thou told'st me, when we came from horse,
Was near at hand :-Ne'er long'd my mother so
this soliloquy is very inartificial, there being no particular reason why Belarius should now tell to himself what he could not know better by telling it. JOHNSON
· Wbere is Pofthumus ?) Shakspeare's apparent ignorance of quantity is not the least among many proofs of his want of learning. Throughout this play he calls Pofthumus, Pofthumus, and Arvirăgus, Arvirāgus. It may be said that quantity in the age of our author did not appear to have been much regarded. In the tragedy of Darius, by William Alexander of Menstrie (lord Sterline) 1603, Darius is always called Darius, and Expbrates, Euphrates :
" The diadem that Darius erst had borne
" The famous Eupbrates to be your border" Again, in the 21st Song of Drayton's Polyolbion :
“ That gliding go in state like swelling Euphrates." Throughout fir Arthur Gorges' translation of Lucan, Euphrates is likewile given instead of Euphrātes. STEVENS.
In A Meeting Dialogue wise between Nature, The Phænix, and the Turile-dove, by R. Chester, 1601, where Shakspeare perhaps