Зображення сторінки

But she, found sleeping, fearing no such thing,

Lies at the mercy of his mortal sting. Into the chamber wickedly he stalks', And gazeth on her yet unstained bed. The curtains being close, about he walks, Rolling his greedy eye-balls in his head: By their high treafon is his heart milled;

Which gives the watch-word to his hand full


To draw the cloud that hides the filver moon.

Look as the fair and firy-pointed sun',
Rushing from forth a cloud, bereaves our fight;
Even so, the curtain drawn, his eyes begun
To wink, being blinded with a greater light:
Whether it is, that the reflects so bright,

3 Into the cbamber wickedly be stalks,] This line strongly confirms the correction that has been made in a passage in Macbeth:

“ With Tarquin's ravishing Arides, towards his design

« Moves like a ghost.” where the old copy reads-fides. So, in a subsequent pasfage, when Lucretia is describing Tarquin's entrance into her chamber, the says:

- For in the dreadful dark of deep midnight,
“ With shining falchion in my chamber came
" A creeping creature, with a flaming light,

• And foftly cry'd
Thus also, in a preceding stanza :
" Which drives the creeping thief to some regard."

MALONE. Which gives the watch-word to his hand full foon, ] The duodecimo, 1616, reads---too foon. MALONE.

-firy-pointed fun,] I would read :-fire-gpointed. So, Milton :

“ Under a fiar-ypointing pyramid.” STEEVENS. I have not observed that our author has any where, escept is the antiquated choruses of Pericles, (if they were his compofition) imitated the elder poets in prefixing y to any word, and there fore suppose the old reading to be right. In Shakspeare's edi. tion the word is fpeis fierie-pointed. MALONE.

[ocr errors]


That dazzleth them, or else some shame sup

But blind they are, and keep themselves enclosed.
O, had they in that darksome prison died,
Then had they seen the period of their ill!
Then Collatine again by Lucrece' side,
In his clear bed might have reposed still :
But they must ope, this blessed league to kill ;

And holy-thoughted Lucrece to their fight
Must sell her joy, her life, her world's delight.

Her lily hand her rosy cheek lies under",
Cozening the pillow of a lawful kiss 8;
Who therefore angry, seems to part in sunder,

Swelling In bis clear bed ) Clear is pure, spotless. So, in Macbeth:

This Duncan
“ Hath been so clear in his great office" MALONE.
1.- her rosy cheek lies under, ] Thus the first copy. The
edition of 1600, and the subsequent impreffions have cheeks.

Her lily hand her rosy cheek lies under,

Cozening the pillore of a lawful kifo ;] Among the poems
of Sir John Suckling, (who is said to have been a great admirer
of our author) is one entitled A Supplement of an imperfedt Copy of
Verses of Mr. William Shakspeare's; which begins with thefe lines,
somewhat varied. We can hardly suppose that Suckling would
have called a passage extracted from a regular poem an imperfect
copy of verfes. Perhaps Shakspeare had written the lines quoted
below (of which Sir John might have had a manuscript copy)
on some occasion previous to the publication of his Lucrece, and
afterwards used them in this poem, with some variation. In a
subsequent page the reader will find fome verses that appear to
have been written before Venus and Adonis was composed, of
which, in like manner, the leading thoughts were afterwards em..
ployed in that poem. This supposed fragment is thus fupplied by
Suckling. The variations are distinguished by Italick characters,

" One of ber hands one of her cheeks lay under,
“ Cozening the pillow of a lawful kils;
so Which therefore fwelld and seem'd to part afunder,

angry to be robb’d of such a bliss :

[ocr errors]

5 As

" The

Swelling on either side to want his bliss ;
Between whose hills her head intombed is :

Where, like a virtuous monument, she lies',
To be admir'd of lewd unhallow'd eyes.

Without the bed her other fair hand was,
On the green coverlet; whose perfect white
Show'd like an April daisy on the grass,

" The one look'd pale, and for revenge did long,
While t'other blusb’d'cause it had done the wrong.

Out of the bed the other fair hand was,
“ On a green fattin quilt; whose perfect white
Look'd like a daily in a field of grass *,
* And shew'd like unmelt snow unto the fight:

“ There lay this pretty perdue, safe to keep
*** The rest'o' the body that lay fast alleep.

• Her eyes (and therefore it was night) close laid,
« Strove to imprison beauty till the morn;
" But yet the doors were of such fine stuff made,
“ That it broke through and thew'd itself in scorn ;

“ Throwing a kind of light about the place,
66 Which turn'd to smiles, still as't came near her face.

6. Her beams, which fome dull men callid hair, divided
" Part with her cheeks, part with her lips did sport;
“ But these, as rude, her breath put by still: fome +
6 Wiselier downward fought; but falling short,

• Curl'd back in rings, and seem'd to turn again
To bite the part so unkindly held them in."

MALONE. 9 Where, like a virtuous monument, Ne lies,] On our ancient monuments the heads of the persons represented are commonly re. posed on pillows. Our author has nearly the same image in Cym. beline :

56 And be her sense but as a monument,
66 Thus in a chapel lying." STEEVENS,

Thus far (Gays Suckling) Shakpeare. + From the want of rhime here, I suspect this line to be corrupt.

With pearly sweat, resembling dew of night':
Her eyes, like marigolds, had sheath'd their light,

And, canopied in darkness, sweetly lay,

Till they might open to adorn the day. Her hair, like golden threads, play'd with her breaths O modelt wantons ! wanton modesty ! Showing life's triumph ? in the map of death, And death's dim look in life's mortality. Each in her sleep themselves so beautify,

As if between them twain there were no ftrifes, But that life liv'd in death, and death in life.

Her breasts, like ivory globes circled with blue,
A pair of maiden worlds unconqueredo,
Save of their lord no bearing yoke they knew ',

* With pearly sweat, resembling dew of night.] So, Dryden : « And sleeping flow'rs beneath the night-dew sweat.

STEVENS. Her eyes, like marigolds, had sheath'd their light,

And canopied in darkness, sweetly lay, &c.] So, in Cyma beline :

The flame o' the taper
u Bends towards her, and would underpeep her lids,
To see the enclosed lights, now canopicd

4 Under these windows. MALONE. 3 Showing life's triumph] The duodecimo, 1616, reads Showring. MALONE.

in the map of death,] So, in King Richard II :
" Thou map of honour." STEEVENS.
As if between them twain there was no ftrife,

But that life liv'd in death, and death in life.) So, in Macbeth:

" That death and nature do contend about them,

" Whether they live or die." STEEVENS. A pair of maiden worlds unconquered,] Maiden worlds! How happeneth this, friend Collatine, when Lucretia hath so long lain by thy fide ? Verily, it infinuateth thee of coldness. AMNER.

? Save of their lord no bearing yoke they knew,] So, Ovid, de. fcribing Lucretia in the fame situation:

• Effugiet? pofitis urgetur pectora palmis,
Nunc primum externa pectora tatta manu.

Vol. I.



And him by oath they truly honoured'.
These worlds in Tarquin new ambition bred;

Who, like a foul usurper, went about
From this fair throne to heave the owner out'.

What could he see, but mightily he noted ?
What did he note, but strongly he desired ?
What he beheld, on that he firmly doted,
And in his will his wilful eye he tired *.
With more than admiration he admired

Her azure veins, her alabaster skin,
Her coral lips, her snow-white dimpled chin.

As the grim lion fawneth o'er his prey,
Sharp hunger by the conquest satisfied,
So o'er this sleeping soul doth Tarquin stay,
His rage of luft by gazing qualified';
Slack'd, not suppress’d; for standing by her fide,

. And him by oath they truly honoured.] Alluding to the ancient practice of swearing domesticks into service. So, in Cymbeline :

“ Her fervants are all fworn and honourable." STEEVENS. The matrimonial oath was, I believe, alone in our author's thoughts. MALONE.

to heave the owner out.) So, in a subsequent sanza:

“ My fighs like whirlwinds labour hence to beave thee." The duodecimo, 1616, and the modern editions, read:

- to have the owner out. Malone. * And in his will his wilful eye he tired.] This may mean-He glutted his lustful eye in the imagination of what he had refolved to do. To tire is a term in falconry. So, in Heywood's Rape of Lucrece : “ Mult with keen fang tire upon thy flesh.” Perhaps we should read – And on his will &c. STEEVENS.

- by gazing qualified,] i. e. softened, abated, diminished. So, in The Mercbant of Venice:

- I have heard
“ Your grace hath ta'en great pains to qualify

" His rigorous courses.” STREVENS. Again, in Othello : “ I have drank but one cup to-night, and that was craftily qualified too." MALONE.

[ocr errors]
« НазадПродовжити »