Page images
PDF
EPUB

Till, soft and pure as infant goodness grown,

You feel a perfect change: then, who can say What grace may yet shine forth in Heaven's eternal day?" 72 This said, his powerful wand he waved anew :

Instant, a glorious angel-train descends,
The Charities, to wit, of rosy hue;
Sweet love their looks a gentle radiance lends,
And with seraphic flame compassion blends.
At once, delighted, to their charge they fily:
When, lo! a goodly hospital ascends;

In which they bade each lenient aid be nigh,
That could the sick-bed smooth of that sad. company.
73 It was a worthy edifying sight,

And gives to human kind peculiar grace,
To see kind hands attending day and night,
With tender ministry, from place to place.
Some prop the head; some, from the pallid face
Wipe off the faint cold dews weak nature sheds;
Some reach the healing draught; the whilst, to chase

The fear supreme, around their soften’d beds
Some holy man by prayer all opening Heaven dispreads.
74 Attended by a glad-acclaiming train

Of those he rescued had from gaping Hell,
Then turn'd the knight; and, to his hall again
Soft-pacing, sought of peace the mossy cell:
Yet down his cheeks the gems of pity fell,
To see the helpless wretches that remain'd,
There left through delves and deserts dire to yell;

Amazed, their looks with pale dismay were stain'd, And spreading wide their hands they meek repentance feign'd. 175 But, ah! their scornèd day of grace was past:

For, horrible to tell! a desert wild
Before them stretch'd, bare, comfortless, and vast;
With gibbets, bones, and carcasses defiled.
There nor trim field nor lively culture smiled;
Nor waving shade was seen, nor fountain fair;
But sands abrupt on sands lay loosely piled,

Through which they floundering toild with painful care, Whilst Phæbus smote them sore, and fired the cloudless air. 76 Then, varying to a joyless land of bogs,

The sadden'd country a gray waste appear'd;
Where nought but putrid streams and noisome fogs

For ever hung on drizzly Auster's beard;
Or else the ground, by piercing Caurus sered,
Was jagg’d with frost, or heap'd with glazed snow:
Through these extremes a ceaseless round they steer'd,

By cruel fiends still hurried to and fro, Gaunt beggary, and scorn, with many hell-hounds moe. 77 The first was with base dunghill rags yclad,

Tainting the gale, in which they flutter'd light;
Of morbid hue his features, sunk and sad;
His hollow eyne shook forth a sickly light;
And o’er his lank jawbone, in piteous plight,
His black rough beard was matted rank and vile;
Direful to see! a heart appalling sight!

Meantime foul scurf and blotches him defile; And dogs, where'er he went, still barked all the while. 78 The other was a fell despightful fiend;

Hell holds none worse in baleful bower below;
By pride and wit and rage and rancour keen'd;
Of man, alike if good or bad, the foe;
With nose upturn'd, he always made a show
As if he smelt some nauseous scent; his eye
Was cold and keen, like blast from boreal snow;

And taunts he casten forth most bitterly.
Such were the twain that off drove this ungodly fry.
79 E'en so through Brentford town, a town of mud,

A herd of bristly swine is prick'd along;
The filthy beasts, that never chew the cud,
Still grunt, and squeak, and sing their troublous song,
And oft they plunge themselves the mire among:
But aye the ruthless driver goads them on,
And aye of barking dogs the bitter throng

Makes them renew their unmelodious moan;
Ne ever find they rest from their unresting fone.

GLOSSARY

OF

ARCHAIC AND OBSOLETE WORDS USED IN THE PRECEDING POEM.

Abide, To wait for, to await. Moult,

To cast the feathers. Apaid, Paid.

Muchel, Much, great. ARCHIMAGE, The chief of magicians or Nathless, Nevertheless. enchanters.

Ne,

Nor. Very frequent. Atween, Between.

Needments, Necessaries. Bale,

Sorrow, trouble, afiliction. Nodden, Nodding. Benempt, Named.

Noyance, Harm, annoyance. Bicker, To hasten, to hurry. Palmers, Pilgrims; so called from Blazon, Painting, display.

their carrying branches Breme, Cold, raw.

of palm. Caurus, The north-east wind. Plain,

To complain.
Certes, Certainly.

Prankt, Highly adorned.
Coil,
A noise, a stir, a fuss.

Perdie, An oath; from the French
Dan,
A title prefixed to names.

Par Dieu. Deftly, Skilfully, adroitly.

Prick, To spur, to goad, to rido Depainted, Painted.

fast. Dole, Grief, dolour.

Sere,

Dry, withered, burnt. Drowsyhed, Drowsiness.

Sered, Dried, singed. Eath, Easy, easily.

Sicker, Sure, surely. Eftsoons Immediately, forthwith. Soot,

Sweet, or sweetly. Gear, Furniture, equipage, dress. Sooth, True, or truth. Glaive, A sword.

Stound, A pang, a sudden pain. Han, Have.

Strook, Struck. Hight, Named, called, or is called. Sweltry, Sultry, oppressively hot. Imp, Child, offspring.

Swink, To labour, to toil.
Incontinent, Immediately.

Transmew'd, Transformed.
Kest,
Cast, did cast.

Vild,

Vile.
Lad,
Led; old preterite of to Unkempt,

Unadorned.
lead.

Ween, To think, to opine. Libbard, The leopard.

Weet,

To know; to weet, to wit.
Lig,
To lie, to couch.

Whilom, Erewhile, formerly.
Likes,
Pleases; it likes me, I like it. Wis,

To think, to understand.
Lithe,
Limber, lax.

Wonne, A dwelling, a home.
Losel,
A loose, idle fellow.

Wroke, Wreaked.
Louting, Bowing, bending.

Yblent, Blended, mingled.
Lustyhed, Lustihood.

Ycleped, Called, named.
Mell,
To mix, to mingle.

Yfere, Together.
Moe,
More.

Ymolten, Melted.
Moil,

To struggle, to work hard, Yode, Went; preterite of yede, to to drudge.

go. Mote, Might.

694

lviii

RECENT PUBLICATIONS.

English Literature.

The Harvard Edition of Shakespeare's Complete

Works. By HENRY N. HUDSON, Author of the Life, Art, and Characters of Shakespeare, Editor of School Shakespeare, and Professor of Shakespeare in Boston University. In Twenty Volumes; duodecimo; two plays in each volume ; also in Ten Volumes of four plays each. With the Burbage portrait and a Life of the Poet in the first volume: and two sets of notes, namely, Explanatory Notes at the foot of the page, and Critical Notes at the end of each play. Arranged in three distinct series : Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies; and each series arranged, as nearly as may be, according to the chronological order of the writing. A history of each play is given in its appropriate volume. It is printed on fine tinted paper, with broad margins, and bound in half morocco and full calf; also in cloth, cut and uncut. Retail price for the Twenty-Volume Edition, $1.25 per vol., and of the Ten-Volume Edition, $ 2.00 per vol.

[ocr errors]

Within the last thirty years great advances and additions have been made in the way of preparation for such a work, and these volumes bring the whole matter of Shakespeare up abreast with the latest researches.

The most obvious peculiarity of this edition is, that it has two sets of notes; one mainly devoted to explaining the text, and printed at the foot of the page; the other mostly occupied with matters of textual comment and criticism, and printed at the end of each play.

The work is thus admirably suited to the uses both of the general reader and of the special student. Whatever of explanation general readers may need, they naturally prefer to have it directly before them; and in at least nine cases out of ten they will pass over an obscure word or phrase or allusion without understanding it, rather than stay to look up the explanation, either in another. volume or in another part of the same volume. Often, too, in case the explanation be not directly at hand, they will go elsewhere in quest of it, and then find, after all, that the editor has left the matter unexplained; so that the search will be to no purpose : whereas, with the plan of foot-notes they will see at once how the matter stands,

RECENT PUBLICATIONS.

lix

and what they have to expect, and so will be spared the labour and vexation of a fruitless quest.

The Harvard Edition has been undertaken and the plan of it shaped with a special view to making the Poet's pages pleasant and attractive to general readers.

The foot-notes supply such and so much of explanatory comment as may be required by people who read Shakespeare not to learn etymology, or grammar, or philology, or lingual antiquities, or criticism, or the technicalities of scholarism, but to learn Shakespeare himself; to understand the things he puts before them, to take-in his thought, to taste his wisdom, and to feel his beauty; in a word, to live, breathe, think, and feel with him.

The following notices, together with those found on pages 10-16 of this Catalogue, are good evidence that this is to be " THE STANDARD AMERICAN EDITION OF SHAKESPEARE."

The New York Tribune : This due reverence for the work of the few admirable work might with much fitness great Shakespearian scholars, and is be called the epicurean Shakespeare, over-modest in disparaging his own and if taken in the intended, best sense, right to be called a "Shakespearian"; no higher designation of praise could but he has no patience with the men be offered it. Mr. Hudson evidently who would use the great poet as raw believes that poetry, like other forms | material for scientific manufacture, and of beauty, is its own excuse for being; who seem to think that pure poetry is that its purpose is to be enjoyed, and no ways fit for the ordinary man, but that the enjoyment of it ennobles the must be analyzed, and systematized character and sweetens the spirit of the and passed through some “gerundpartaker. This attitude of the editor grinding laboratory," before it will be was perhaps less apparent heretofore, clear to his comprehension. Mr. Hudalthough the Hudson Shakespeare has son likens the scientific expounder to long been prized as one of the best him who would dissect a song-bird to editions for general readers. But the find out where and how the music was “Harvard Edition," which now enters made. The editor follows the rule that on what must prove a long lease of it is better to withhold a needed explanpublic favor, has but one object, and ation than to offer a needless one. He that is to popularize the writings of the is scholarly without appearing to enworld's first poet, by offering every force instruction. The aim has been possible aid, and removing, as far as to aid the average reader over difficulpossible, every obstacle to a healthy ties without making him feel that he is enjoyment of them. Mr. Hudson feels much indebted to anyone for the easy, the force of Bacon's saying, that “the pleasurable reading, except Shakefirst distemper of learning is when men speare and his own good understandstudy words and not matter." He has | ing. He wants the reader, as he says,

« PreviousContinue »