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I've gone all night—'faith, I'll lie down and deep.
[Seeing the body.
ACT V, SCENE II.
Routed Army. , .
(i-y) Ncr blame be to you, Sir, for all was lost, But that the heavens fought: the king himself,
(ll) A drop of pity C] So Othello says,
1 stibu'd have found in some place of my soul
Mr. Theobald observes, 'tho' this expression is very pathetic in both places of our author, it brings to my mind a very humorous passage in the Arcamcnscs of A-istcphanes. An Athenian rustic, in time of war, is robbed of a yoke of oxen by theBœoimis: he has almost cry'd his eyes out for the loss of his cattle, and comes to beg for a drop of peace in a quill, to anoint his eyes with.'
One drop of peace at least, I pray you, pour
(13) Nol!amc.] This description is truly classical, and deserves to be placed in competition with the finest in Homer and Virgil%
Of his wings destitute, the army broken,
(24) I, in mine own woe charm'd, Could not sind death, where I did hear him groan;
both of whom abound with numberless passages of the like nature: the learned reader will want.no direction to find them out; however such as are not so well acquainted with the ancients, may be agreeably amused by turning to the 12th Iliads' and I22d line, and the latter end of the nth book of the Æncid. In Lucan too, he will meet with some fin* descriptions of routs and slaughters: in the 7th book of his Pharfaila, he has something very like Shafcjjbear's 4
More plentiful than tools to do't.
The poet fays;
The victors murder, and the vanquish'd bleed;
Their weary hands the tir'd destroyers ply,
Scarce can these kill, so fast as those can die. Roiae.
But perhaps, no poet, ancient or modern, can equal our bliud fcard on this subject ; his battle of the angels', their rout and headlong expulsion from heaven are too well known and admired, to need particular remarking here.
(24) /—charm'd, &C.J Alluding to the common superstition of charms being powerful enough to keep men unhurt in battle. It was derived from our Saxon ancestors, and so is common to us with the Germans, who are above all other people given to this superstition, which made Erasmus, where, in his Marks Encomium, he gives to each nation his proper characteristic, fay, * the German please themselves with the strength of their bodies, and their irwwltdgt of magic' And Prior, in his Alma;
K 5 North
Nor seel him where he struck. This ugly monster,
North-Britons htnce have second sight,
And Germans free from gun flxit fight. Warbv
Aubrey, in the ist Scene, and 5th Act of the Bloody Brotherspeaking of d«ath, fays;
Am I afraid of death, of dying nobly?
Of dying in mine innocence uprightly?
Have I met death in all his forms and sears,
Now on the points of swords, now pitch'd on lances.
In fires, in storms of arrows, battles, breaches,
And shall I now shrink from him, when he courts mo
Smiling and full of fanctity.
Mr. Tope (fays Sttcuens) supposed the story of this play to have been borrow'd from a novel ofBoccact; bathe was mistaken, as aa imitation of it is found in an old story-book entitled, Wefktiari for Smln. This imitation differs in as many particulars from the Italian novelist, as from Shakespca>;t\soxi$i they concur in the more considerable parts of the fable. It was published in a quarto pamphlet 1603. This is the only copy of it which I have hitherto seen.
There is a late entry of it in the books of the Stationers' Company, Jan. 1619, where it is faid to have been written by Kitttf
.j£ v iff Ttf v — JSP ^£ 3s IS. 3?
IN the most high and (1) palmy state of Rome,
(1) Painty] i t. Victorious to gibber, is to chatter or make
a gnashing with the teeth- Dijajkr, (fays Skinner, and as its derivation plainly speaks) signifies malignum fidu:, an evilftar; and by the astrologists it was used for an evil or unlucky conjunction of stars; the great repute of that art, and the influence the stars were supposed to have on man's lise, gave it the signification we now use it in. Sbaktjpear uses it in its primary fense. The learned reader will easily recollect the accounts given by the historians, of the prodigies preceding the death of Julius Cœfa ',: our author seems neither to have been unacquainted with that fine digression in Virgil's first George concerning them, nor the account of them in Ovid, which 'tis probable he might have imitated from Virgil; I shall beg leave to subjoin them both.
* He first the fate of Cæsar did foretel,
And pitied Rome, when Rome in Cccsar sell.
In Iron clouds conceal'd the public light,
And impious mortals fear'd eternal night.
Nor was the fact foretold by him alone;
Jiature herself stood forth, and seconded the sun:
* The Sun,
Stars shone with trains of sire, dews of blood sell,
Earth, air and seas with prodigies were sign'd,
And birds obscene and howling dogs divin'd.
What rocks did Ætna's bellowing mouth expire
From her torn entrails; and what floods of sire I
What clanks were heard in German Ikies afar,
Of ai ms and armies rustling to the war!
Dire earthquakes rent the solid Alps balow
And from their summits shook th'eternal snow t
Pale spectres in the close of night were seen,
And voices heard of more than mortal men,
In silent groves dumb sheep and oxen spoke,
And streams ran backward, and their beds forsook:
The yawning earth disclos'd rh' abyss of hell, -
The weeping statues did the war foretel, [
And holy sweat from brazen idols sell. J
Then rising in his might the king of floods,
Rush'd thro' the forests, tore the lofty woods,
And rolling onward, with a sweepy sway,
Bore houses, herds, and lab'ring hinds away:
Blood sprang from wells,wolves howl'd in towns by night#
And boding victims did the priests asfright;
Such peals of thunder never pour'd from high,
Nor forky lightnings flash'd from snch a sullen sky.
Red meteors ran across th' ethereal space,
Surs disappear'd, and comets took their place.
Garth's Ovid, B. 15. p. 354.
Among the clouds, were heard the dire alarms
Of echoing trumpets, and of clanging arms:
The fun's pale image gave so faint a light,
That the sad earth was almost veil'd in night;
The æther's face with siery meteors glow'd,
With storms of hail were mingled drops of blood:
A dusky hue the morning star o'erspread,
And the moon's orb was stain'd with spots of red:
In every place portentous shrieks were heard,
The fatal warnings of th' infernal bird:
In every place the marble melts to*tears,
.While in the groves, rever'd thro' length of years,
Boding and awful sounds the ear invade,
And solemn irtusic warbles thro' the shade: