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Flying between the cold moon and the earth,
“ A star dif-orb’d,” however, (See Troilus and Crellida,) is one of our author's favourite images; and he has no where so happily expressed it as in Antony and Cleopatra:
" — the good stars, that were my former guides,
• Into th' abysm of hell." To these remarks may be added others of a like tendency, which I met with in the Edinburgh Magazine, Nov. 1786. “ That a compliment to Queen Elizabeth was intended in the expression of the fair Vefal throned in the West, seems to be generally allowed ; but how far Shakspeare designed, under the image of the Mermaid, to figure Mary Queen of Scots, is more doubtful. If by the rude sea grew civil at her song, is meant, as Dr. Warburton supposes, that the tumults of Scotland were appeased by her address, the observation is not true; for that fea was in a storm during the whole of Mary's reign. Neither is the figure just, if by the fars shooting madly from their spheres to hear the sea-maid's musick, the poet alluded to the fate of the Earls of Northumberland and Westmoreland, and particularly of the Duke of Norfolk, whose projected marriage with Mary, was the occasion of his ruin. It would have been absurd and irreconcileable to the good sense of the poet, to have represented a nobleman aspiring to marry a Queen, by the image of a star booting or defcending from its sphere.”
See also Mr. Ritson's observations on the same subject. On account of their length, they are given at the end of the play.
STEEVENS. 3 Cupid all arm’d :] All arm’d, does not signify dressed in panoply, but only enforces the word armed, as we might say, all booted.
Johnson, So, in Greene's Never too Late, 1616:
“ Or where proud Cupid fat all arm’d with fire.” Again, in Lord Surrey's translation of the 4th book of the Æneid:
“ All utterly I could not seem forsaken." Again, in K. Richard III:
" His horse is sain, and all on foot he fights.” Shakspeare's compliment to queen Elizabeth has no small degree of propriety and elegance to boast of. The same can hardly be said of the following, with which the tragedy of Soliman and Perseda, 1599, concludes. Death is the speaker, and vows he will spare
- none but facred Cynthia's friend,