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adds unexpectedly, frailty, with an emphasis, as in Hamlet, Act I.
Frailty, thy name is woman. This well spoken gives surprize to the audience; and surprize is no small part
of wit. In Othello, Ad I.
66 Brab. Thou art a villain.
A fenator is added beyond expectation; any one would think Iago was going to call him as bad names, as he himself was called by the senator Brabantio.
First part of Henry IV. Act I.
Hotfp. Revolted Mortimer! “ He never did fall off, my sovereign liege. “ But by the chance of war-To prove that true; “ Needs no more but one tongue."
So this passage should be pointed ; but not a fyllable altered. Hotspur is going to speak only not treason ; but corrects himself by a beautiful apoliopefis. .
In Coriolanus, Act II. Menenius speaking of Coriolanus,
“ Where is he wounded ? Vol. I'th' fhoulder, “ and i'th' left arm: there will be large cicatrices “ to thew the people, when he shall stand for « his place. He received in the repulse of “ Tarquin seven hurts i'th' body. Men. One “ i'th' neck, and 3 two i'th' thigh- there's “ nine that I know."
The old man, agreeable to his character, is minutely particular : Seven wounds ? let me fee; one in the neck, two in the thigh- -Nay I am sure tbere are more ; there are nine ibat I know of.
In the Merchant of Venice. Act II.
“ Launcelot. I cannot get a service, No! I " have ne'er a tongue in my head! Well, If
any man in Italy have a fairer table, which “ doth offer to swear upon a book-I shall " have good fortune ; go to, here's a simple os line of life, &c. Launcelot speaks this, looking on his hand : [a fairer table which doth offer to swear upon a book,] for the hand must be uncovered when a person takes his oath on the Bi. ble. The break is easy to be supplied, and in· stances of the like nature frequently occur.
3 They have printed it, And one too i'th' thigh.
In Macbeth, Act II.
“ Macb. To know my deed 'twere best
“ not know myself.”
To know my deed! Ne, rather than so, 'twere best not know myself.
In Othello, Act V.
* Put out the light, and then-put out the light! “ If I quench thee, &c.”
Othello enters with a taper (not with a sword, for he intended all along to strangle his wife in her bed) and in the utmost agony of mind says, he has a cause for his cruelty, a cause not to be named to the chast stars : 'tis fit therefore Defdemona should die. I'll put out the light and thenstrangle her, he was going to fay: but this recalls a thousand tender ideas in his troubled soul : he stops Mort- If I quench the taper, how easy’tis to restore its former light; but, ô Desdemona, if once I put out thry light, &c.
HAVE often thought, in examining the va
rious corrections of critics, that if they had taken more care of commas and points, and had been less fond of their own whims and conceits, they might oftener have retrieved the author's words and sense. As trifling as this may appear, yet trifles should not be always overlook'd. Supposing some passages in Horace and Milton had been better pointed and less changed, would Dr. Bentley's editions have been less learned ? For instance, the lyric poet in ridicule of the vulgar opinion of the transmigration of fouls, as well as to Thew the inhumanity of sailors, feigns a dialogue between the ghost of Archytas and a mariner, who finds Archytas' body on the shore. The mariner tauntingly asks him what availed all his aftrology and geometry, since he was to die fo shortly ; [MORITURO : on this word depends most of what follows] The ghost replies, “Oc" cidit & Pelopis genitor, &c. What wonder, fince demigods and heroes have died? Ay, answers the mariner quickly, and your Pythagoras too, for all his ridiculous talk of the transmigration of souls,
“ Naut. Habentque
Archytas takes him up with great gravity,
Judice te, non sordidus auctor 56 Naturae verique.”
Then he goes on, letting him know how all mankind must come to their long home by various ways; and gives his trade a touch of saryre,
" Exitio eft avidis mare nautis.
Dr. Bentley here by reading avidum destroys the poinancy. However the inhuman failor leaves the body unburied on the shore, deaf to the intreaties of Archytas.
Of all the odes in Horace the thirteenth of the second book seems to be written in the truest spirit. It must be supposed to be uttered immediately, when he juft escaped the fall of a tree : he scarcely recovers himself, but pours out this imprecation, " ' Ille et nefasto te posuit die, " (Quicunque primùm) et facrilega manu « Produxit, Arbos, &c.
“ Ille venena colchica, « Et quicquid ufquam concipitur nefas 66 Tractavit.”
The sentence is designedly embarrassed, and the verses are broken, and run one into the other
i Illum, ô, nefajlo te pofuit dit
Ille venena Colcba,