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When she had prepared you ; made you ready for her purpose. 627. “ Though he have serv'd a Roman."
This is not the subjunctive sense; it should be, " Though he has serv'd a Roman-” the particles “ though," and "if,” denoting, sometimes as they both do, the subjunctive mood, are often carelessly mistaken as the absolute signs of it.
" Your life, good master,
“ Must shufle for itself.” This ingratitude of Imogen does not at all suit with her general character, and is, perhaps, an additional argument, to many which I think are obvious, that much of this play is spurious. 629. “ Thou'lt torture me to leave unspoken
that " Which, to be spoke, would torture thee.” Cymbeline had commanded Iachimo to speak, on pain of the torture, and Iachimo replies, that it would be torture to him not to speak; the sense, therefore, requires that the passage should proceed thus: “ Thou’dst torture me to leave unspoken that “ Which, to be spoke, will torture thee.” 631. “ For feature, laming
“ The shrine of Venus.”— But Posthumus, on the occasion referred to, gave no such extravagant description of his mistress; and, as Iachimo at this time has renounced imposture, there is an evident inconsistency in the passage.
633. “ It is I
“ That all the abhorred things o’the earth
amend, “ By being worse than they.”. This thought is introduced in King John, Act 4, Scene 3: “ All murders past do stand excus’d in this ; “ And this, so sole and so unmatchable, “ Shall give a holiness, a purity, “ To the yet unbegotten sin of time, “ And prove a deadly bloodshed but a jest, “ Exampled by this heinous spectacle.” 634. "Shall's have a play of this ?”
In the fourth act we found this barbarism before :
" Where shall's lay him ?” 637. “ I had a feigned letter of my master's."
Pisanio is unwilling to disclose to the king the savage jealousy of Posthumus : the letter was not feigned. 639. “ The whole world shall not save him.”
The king is in a very vindictive and ungrateful humour. 640. “ - Those arts they have, as I
"Could put into them.” The instances of harsh construction and false grammar that abound in an unusual measure in this play, are, I think, chiefly to be ascribed to sophistication. 641. “_ Beaten for loyalty
“ Excited me to treason."
This is a very vicious expression-the passive participle is made the nominative noun: it should be "the being beaten," &c. 643. “ O rare instinct !”
Here, contrary to general usage in these works, instinct has the accent on the first syllable. 645. “ Made you finish.” “ Finish,” for “ die,” occurred before. "
Take that " Which I so often owe.” i. e. Which I so often have forfeited : but it is strangely expressed.
It will be impossible for me to entertain a belief that the whole of this play, or even a very large portion of it, is of the hand of Shakspeare, or of any one author: it seems sometimes to be a little in the style of Beaumont and Fletcher, and sometimes, in places, perfectly in the style of the author of the obscure and unintelligible parts of the Tempest; which no attentive critic can possibly attribute to our poet, after a perusal of his earliest works, wherein no crudities are to be found.
TIMON OF ATHENS.
ACT I. SCENE I.
5. Timon's House -- Enter Poet, Painter,
Jeweller, Merchant, &c. It is clear the dialogue was intended to be metrical; but it has been miserably deranged : the commencement might be regulated in some such way as this: Poet. " Good day, good sir.” Paint. “ I'm glad to see you sir." 6. “A most incomparable man; breath'd as it
were.” There is no force or use in the word “ most,” before “incomparable ;” and, as it only loads the verse, it should be dismissed : the line would be complete, “ Incomparable man; breath'd as it were,” &c. 7. “ He passes,” &c. This is lame: I suppose it was written,
“ Indeed, he passes.”Jew. " - I hăve a jewel here.”
Again the metre wants regulation. Mer. “ 'Tis a good form.”
Jew. “And rich : here is a water ; look you.”. Paint. "
You " Are rapt, sir, in some work, some de
dication.” 8. “Our poesy is as a gum, which oozes.”
Which flows naturally forth-is not with violence extracted.
" Our gentle flame
The allusion seems to be to the retreat of the waters, after their assault upon the shores; but congruity, as Mr. Henley remarks, is not, perhaps, to be looked for in the language of this poetaster. 9. “ Lets see your piece.”
The metre is defective-we might read:
“ Speaks his own standing.” Perhaps the obscurity of this passage was des signed in the affected expression of the poetaster, and yet the remainder of the speech is of a very different character:
" What mental power
“ Moves in this lip."
To this hemistic might be added, with a sup