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only in counterfeiting Religion, and conscience, but in falshood and crueltie. Insteede of Shakespeares scene of Rich. 3. the libeller may take the Parliaments declaration of the 29th May, where their words are. “ The providing for the publique peace and prosperitee of his Majest : and all his Realmes, we protest in the presence of the all-seeing Deitie to have been, and still to be, the only end of our Councells, & endeavours, wherein wee have resolved to continue freed, and enlarged from all private aimes, personall respects, or passions whatsoever," and againe in their petition of the second of June, they tell him, “ that they have nothing in their thoughts, and desires more pretious, and of higher esteeme next to the honour, and immediate service of God, then the just, and faithfull performance of their dutie to his Majest : " and the libeller will not finde in historie or poet, wordes of a deeper hipocrisie in the mouth of a villaine, nor more contradicted by their Actions. That which he adds from his Testimony out of Shakspeare of the imagined vehemence of Rich. the 3. in his dissembled professions, holds noe proportion with theis hipocrisies, really acted, not fancyed by a poet, and this libeller hath learnt to act a part out of Shakspeare, and with Rich. 3. accusing loyaltie, and innocency for high Crymes, and crying out against their wickednes, that sought to restore the dispossessed heires of the Crowne to their right, and amplifying their offence, as the highest against God, and man, and wherein comes the libeller short of his patterne in this scene?'
" EIKIN AKAASTOZ. 4to. 1651, page 81. “ This last quotation might perhaps have been spared, but that it was thought necessary to bring the whole into one point of view; so, as it is conceived, the entire exoneration of Milton, so far as relates to his supposed censure of Charles, for merely the reading of Shakspeare : should the argument be thought undeserving of so much notice, it may be said, with Mr. Richardson, These indeed are trifes ; but even such contract a sort of greatness, when related to what is great. W.” Boswell.
The copy of the second folio of Shakspeare, which formerly belonged to King Charles, and mentioned in the preceding notes, is now in the library of his present Majesty, (Geo. III.) who has corrected a mistake of Dr. Farmer's, relative to Sir Thomas Herbert, inadvertently admitted by Mr. Steevens, but here omitted. Reed.
This play is in the graver part elegant and easy, and in some of the lighter scenes exquisitely humorous. Ague-cheek is drawn with great propriety, but his character is, in a great measure, that of natural fatuity, and is therefore not the proper prey of a satirist. The soliloquy of Malvolio is truly comic; he is betrayed to ridicule merely by his pride. The marriage of Olivia, and the succeeding perplexity, though well enough contrived to divert on the stage, wants credibility, and fails to produce the proper instruction re quired in the drama, as it exhibits no just picture of life.
She sat like patience on a monument,
Smiling at grief.] Mr. Theobald supposes this might possibly be borrowed from Chaucer :
“ And her besidis wonder discreetlie
Dame pacience ysitting there I fonde
“With facé pale, upon a hill of sonde." And adds : “ If he was indebted, however, for the first rude draught, how amply has he repaid that debt, in heightening the picture! How much does the green and yellow melancholy transcend the old bard's pale face ; the monument his hill of sand.” I hope this critic does not imagine Shakspeare meant to give us a picture of the face of patience, by his green and yellow melancholy; because, he says, it transcends the pale face of patience given us by Chaucer. To throw patience into a fit of melancholy, would be indeed very extraordinary. The green and yellow then belonged not to patience, but to her who sat like patience. To give patience a pale face was proper : and had Shakspeare described her, he had done it as Chaucer did. But Shakspeare is speaking of a marble statue of patience; Chaucer of patience herself. And the two representations of her, are in quite different views. Our poet, speaking of a despairing lover, judiciously compares her to patience exercised on the death of friends and relations; which affords him the beautiful picture of “ patience on a monument." The old bard, speaking of patience herself directly, and not by comparison, as judiciously draws her in that circumstance where she is most exercised, and has occasion for all her virtue ; that is to say, under the losses of shipwreck. And now we see why she is represented as “sitting on a hill of sand,” to design the scene to be the sea-shore. It is finely imagined ; and one of the noble simplicities of that admirable poet. But the critic thought, in good earnest, that Chaucer's invention was so barren, and his imagination so beggarly, that he was not able to be at the charge of a monument for his goddess, but left her, like a stroller, sunning herself upon a heap of sand.
WARBURTON. This celebrated image was not improbably first sketched out in the old play of Pericles. I think, Shakspeare's hand may be sometimes seen in the latter part of it, and there only :
"thou (Marina) dost look
“ Extremity out of act.' FARMER. So, in our author's Rape of Lucrece:
“ So mild, that Patience seem'd to scorn his woes.” In the passage in the text, our author perhaps meant to personify grief as well as patience ; for we can scarcely understand “ at grief” to mean “ in grief,” as no statuary could, I imagine, form a countenance in which smiles and grief should be at once expressed. Shakspeare might have borrowed his imagery from
some ancient monument on which these two figures were represented.
The following lines in The Winter's Tale seem to countenance such an idea :
“ I doubt not then, but innocence shall make
“ Tremble at patience.” Again, in King Richard III. :
like dumb statues, or unbreathing stones, “ Star'd on each other, and look d deadly pale." In King Lear, we again meet with two personages introduced in the text :
“ Patience and sorrow strove,
“ Who should express her goodliest.” Again, in Cymbeline, the same kind of imagery may be traced :
nobly he yokes
I do note
“ Mingle their spurs together." I am aware that Homer's dax puóev yendo ara, and a passage in Macbeth
"My plenteous joys,
“ In drops of sorrow" may be urged against this interpretation ; but it should be remembered, that in these instances it is joy which bursts into tears. There is no instance, I believe, either in poetry or real life, of sorrow smiling in anguish. In pain indeed the case is different: the suffering Indian having been known to smile in the midst of torture.—But, however this may be, the sculptor and the painter are confined to one point of time, and cannot exhibit successive movements in the countenance.
Dr. Percy, however, thinks, that grief may here mean grievance, in which sense it is used in Dr. Powel's History of Wales, quarto, p. 356 :
Of the wrongs and griefs done to the noblemen at Stratolyn," &c. In the original, (printed at the end of Wynne's History of Wales, octavo,) it is a gravamina, i. e. grievances. The word is often used by our author in the same sense, (So, in King Henry IV. Part I. :
the king hath sent to know
“ The nature of your griefs ;) ” but never, I believe, in the singular number.
In support of what has been suggested, the authority of Mr. Rowe may be adduced, for in his life of Shakspeare he has thus exhibited this passage:
“ She sat like Patience 01 a monument,
In the observations now submitted to the reader, I had once some confidence, nor am I yet convinced that the objection founded on the particle at, and on the difficulty, if not impossibility of a sculptor forming such a figure as these words are commonly supposed to describe, is without foundation. I have therefore retained my note; yet I must acknowledge, that the following lines in King Richard II. which have lately occurred to me, render my theory somewhat doubtful, though they do not overturn it :
“ His face still combating with tears and smiles,
“ The badges of his grief and patience.” Here we have the same idea as that in the text; and perhaps Shakspeare never considered whether it could be exhibited in marble.
I have expressed a doubt whether the word grief was employed in the singular number, in the sense of grievance. I have lately observed that our author has himself used it in that sense in King Henry IV. Part II. :
an inch of any ground “ To build a grief on.” Dr. Percy's interpretation, therefore, may be the true one.
Malone. I am unwilling to suppose a monumental image of Patience was ever confronted by an emblematical figure of Grief, on purpose that one might sit and smile at the other; because such a representation might be considered as a satire on human insensibility. When Patience smiles, it is to express a Christian triumph over the common cause of sorrow, a cause, of which the sarcophagus, near her station, ought very sufficiently to remind her. True Patience, when it is her cue to smile over calamity, knows her office without a prompter ; knows that stubborn lamentation displays a will most incorrect to heaven ; and therefore appears content with one of its severest dispensations, the loss of a relation or a friend. Ancient tombs, indeed, (if we must construe grief into grievance, and Shakspeare has certainly used the former word for the latter,) frequently exhibit cumbent figures of the deceased, and over these an image of Patience, without impropriety, might express a smile of complacence:
“ Her meek hands folded on her modest breast,
“ Even to the storm that wrecks her.” After all, however, I believe the Homeric elucidation of the passage to be the true one. Tyrant poetry often imposes such complicated tasks as painting and sculpture must fail to execute. I cannot help adding, that to “smile at grief," is as justifiable an expression as to " rejoice at prosperity, or repine at ill fortune." It is not necessary we should suppose the good or bad event, in either instance, is an object visible, except to the eye of imagination. Steevens.
The commentators have, I think, created their own difficulty by mingling together two parts of the description which the poet intended to be distinct. The meaning appears to me to be this : • While she was smiling at grief, or in the midst of her grief, her placid resignation made her look like patience on a monument.' The monumental figure, I apprehend, is no more said to have smiled at grief than to have pined in thought, or to have been of a green and yellow hue.
A passage in the most pathetic poet of antiquity has been pointed out to me by my friend Mr. Combe of the Museum, which exhibits a similar description of a silent and hopeless passion :
' 'Ενταύθα δη στένουσα κακπεπληγμένη
Eurip. Hippol. v. 38. I have to apologize to Mr. Combe, for having neglected to mention in its proper place a suggestion of his, that some lines in the same drama bore a near resemblance to a part of Hamlet's celebrated soliloquy:
“ But that the dread of something after death, -
Shakspeare, Hamlet, Act III. Sc. I.
Eurip. Hippol. v. 193. Boswell.