« PreviousContinue »
My mate, that 's never to be found again,
So I alone, now left disconfolate,
Mourn to myself the absence of my love;
To the Story-book, or, Pleasant History (as it is called) of Dorastus and Fawnea,' written by Robert Greene, M. A. we are indebted for s's Winter's Tale. Greene joined with Dr. Lodge in writing a play, called “ A Looking Glass for London and England," printed in 1998, in quarto, and black letter ; and many of his other works, which are very numerous, were published about that time, and this amongst the rest. It went through many impressi. ons, all of the same form and letter as the play; and that so low down as the year 1664, of which year I have a copy, says Capell
This play, throughout, is written in the very fpirit of its author. And in telling this homely and simple, though agreeable country tale,
Our sweetest Shakespear, fancy's child,
Warbles his native wood-notes wild. This was necessary to observe in mere justice to the play: as the meanness of the fable, and the extravagant conduct of it, had misled some of a great name into a wrong judg, ment of its merit; which, as far as it regards sentiment and character, is scarcely inferior to any in the whole collection. W. J. allows this play to be very entertaining; and the character of Autolycus very naturally conceived, and strongly represented.
Antony and Cleopatra.
His captain's heart
Which in the scuffles of great fights hath burit
Love, the Nobleness of Life.
Kingdoms (1) Reneges.] i. e. Renounces. Pope. 7. observes, that in the two last lines, something seems to be wanting. The bellows and fan being commonly used for contrary purposes, were probably opposed by the author, who might perhaps have written bellows and the fan, to kindle and to cool a gipsy's luft. Giply is here used both in the original meaning of an Egyptian, and in its accidental sense, for a bad woman.
(2) Let, &c.] It is remarked by Plutarch, of Antony, that his language and manner of speaking were, like his temper, turgid and ambitious ; and that he affected the Afiatic manner : S., we find, not only from the style of the present, but many other of- Antony's speeches, was no Aranger to this particular, which is an additional proof of his learning : as well as his inimitable excellence in keeping up the historical truth of his characters.
Kingdoms are clay; our dungy earth alike
Scene II. Great Minds respect Truth. Mef. The nature of bad news infects the teller.
Ant. When it concerns the fool, or coward Things, that are past, are done, with me : 'tis thus ; Who tells me true, though in his tale lye death, I hear him as he flatter'd. Speak to me home; mince not the general tongue : Name Cleopatra as she's called in Rome : Rail thou in Fulvia's phrase; and taunt my faults With such full licence, as both truth and malice Have
power to utter. O, then we bring forth weeds When our quick winds lie still; (4) and our ills told us, Is as our earing.
Things loft valued.
(3) Fie, &c.) See Winter's Tale, where Florizel speaks of Perdita nearly, the same thing, but with greater elegance.
(4) Quick winds lie ftill.] The sense is, that man, not agitated by censure, like fuil not ventilated by quick winds, produces more evil than good. J.