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spicuously the matchless genius of the author.The story of the Moor, being a domestic one, more readily engages our sympathy in the progress of his fortunes, than the ambitious and sanguinary projects of the Scottish usurper. Pity, in this tragedy, no less than terror, is powerfully excited; while the subject and conduct of the rival play precludes the indulgence of tender sentiment, and will not allow us a moment's relaxation from that “ gelid horror" in which we are enchained, 'from the beginning to the end of that wonderful performance. Othello lays siege to the bosom; Macbeth to the head : one agitates, softens, and subdues the heart; the other elevates and astonishes the imagination. , It is something like the difference between the acting of the late Mrs. Crawford, and that of Mrs. Siddons, If this be a more faithful, varied, and vivid portraiture of men, their actions, and their motives, the other is, confessedly, a more sublime display of bold poetic fancy; one has more truth, the other more invention : Othello is rather what the poet found; Macbeth, what he created ; and, taking every circumstance into account on both sides, I scruple not to give the palm of preference to Macbeth.
ROMEO AND JULIET.
... ACT I. SCENE I.
14. “ Profaners of this neighbour-stained
steel.”; - This is 'quaintly expressed; the profanation is, the staining with neighbours' blood those swords which should be devoted to a different purpose: but this line, with the four that follow it, additions after the first copy, would perhaps be better omitted: they are of themselves worthless, and would not be heard during the conflict of the factions.
His sword;“Which, as he breath'd defiance to my ears, “ He swung, about his head, and cut the
It is as the air invulnerable ; " And our vain blows, malicious mockery.” '
Hamlet. And in Macbeth : " As easy may'st thou the entrenchant air " With thy keen sword impress, as make me
“ The worshipp'd sun “ Peer'd forth the golden window of the east.”
Alluding, I suppose, to the oriental adoration paid to the sun.
" Worshipp'd," I believe, is here a term used to express the general thankfulness and joy of nature, at the rising of that glorious luminary.
B. STRUTTI “ Peer'd forth."
The first quarto reads “peept through,” which seems to be right, and has support from various passages in other authors; as, “ The sun out of the east doth peepe.”
Drayton. Mus. Elys. " And now the day out of the ocean mayne “ Began to peepe above the earthly masse."
. Spencer. F. R. And Milton, in Comus :
“ Ere the blabbing eastern scout,
“From her cabin'd loop-hole peep.”. 16. “A troubled mind drave me to walk
abroad.” This obsolete, though correct, form of the preterimperfect tense of “ to drive,” occurs elsewhere; as in As You Like It
“I drave my suitor from his mad humour." 66 “ Pursu'd my humour, not pursuing his, “ And gladly shunn'd who gladly fled from me."
This cannot, by any warrantable ellipsis, be reduced to grammar, or accord with the English idiom--the accusative pronoun“ him,” before the new nominative, is indispensable. We should, perhaps, read"And gladly shunn'd what (i. e. his humour)
: gladly fled from me;" which agrees exactly with the context.
“ Pursu'd my humour, not pursuing his, “ And gladly shunn'd who gladly fled from me." This idiom is perfectly French.
CAPEL LOFFT. “With tears augmenting the fresh morning's
dew.” . A similar hyperbole we find in As You Like It; where Jaques, reflecting on the stag's weeping into the stream, says, . "... Poor deer! " Thou mak'st a testament as worldlings do; “Giving thy sum of more to that which had “ Too much.”
Soon as the all-cheering sun “ Should in the furthest east begin to draw “ The shady curtains from Aurora's bed.”
This is an inversion of poetic imagery; it is Aurora that should perform the office for the sun;-the passage is not in the first quarto. “ But all so soon as the all-cheering sun “ Should in lhe furthest east begin to draw . “ The shady curtains from Aurora's bed, “ Away from light steals home my heavy son.”
Instead of “ should,” here, in the second line, it ought to be does. The conceit of light, in a double sense, as referring at once to lustre and levity, is not singular: “Women are light at midnight.”
Measure for Measure. “ Let me give light, but let me not be light; “ For a light wife doth make a heavy husband.”
Merchant of Venice. 17. "
So secret and so close, “ As is the bud bit with an envious worm, “ Ere he can spread his sweet leaves to the
air." This use of the preposition “ with," instead of “ by," occurs in other places ; as in Much Ado About Nothing, Act 5.
“ We had like to have had our two poses snapt off with two old men without teeth.”
Shakspeare seems fond of the allusion contained in these lines. Thus in The Twelfth Night: " She never told her love, “ But let concealment, like a worm i' the bud, “ Feed on her damask cheek.”
And again, in Much Ado About Nothing, As chaste as is the bud ere it be blown.” 9. “ Not having that, which, having, makes
them short.”. This cannot be reduced to grammar without a iolent and unwarrantable ellipsis; " which,” hough it seems to stand nominatively, must be responsible both for the accusative sense, and a new noun, or words equivalent to a noun,