Page images
PDF
EPUB

" To give thee being I lent
" Out of my side to thee nearest my heart
Substantial life, to bave thee BY MY SIDE
Henceforth an individual solace dear."

Again, B. X, 85.

Thus saying from his radiant seat be rose

Of bis Collateral glory." i. e. placed side by side, on the right hand of glory : [not reflected as our Critic thinks ; for it might just as well fignify any thing else, that be is pleased to make it.] And the meaning of this place is exaetly the same as in B. VI, 679.

r. Whence to his son, “ Th’ affeffor of his throne, He thus began..

This expreffion, “ th' assessor of his throne,is literally from Irenæus. L. I. c. 14. I wagedee Sex, ô dei assessor. So Nonnus in bis paraphrafe of St. John's Gospel,

- ατέρμονι σύνθρονος έδρη, Aeternâ una sedens in sede.

I omit other pasages where légedeos Jedi, occur, Let us now read the words of our poet :

[ocr errors]

66. It were all one,
" That I should love a bright partic'lar

star,
66 And think to wed it : he is so above me.
" In his bright radiance and collateral light

Must I be comforted not in his sphere.i. e. I, not in his Sphere, one of a lower degree, must be comforted, in his bright radiance and collateral light : Shakespeare does not say collateral love, as Milton, but collateral light, persuing his idea of the bright particular ftar : and not without fome allusion, perhaps, to that saying, Uxor fulget radiis Mariti : which for the sake of the female reader I translate in Shakespeare's words, The wife only shines in her husband's bright radiance and collateral light.

VII.

The above mentioned learned glossaries overcome, for deceive ; collateral, for reflected, &c. put me in mind of the generality of Mr. W's compendious comments : which whether intended, “ 'To “ give the unlearned reader a just idea, and con

sequently a better opinion of the art of criti“ cism, now sunk very low in popular esteem, “ by the attempts of some who would needs o exercise it without either natural or acquired 1 Mr. W.'s preface. p. xiv.

16 talents :"

“ talents :" or whether, To deter the unlearned « writer from wantonly triling with an art he " is a stranger to, at the expence of his own “ reputation, and the integrity of the text of c established authors.” -Whatever bis intentions may be, or whatever ideas be may give the unlearned reader, or writer ; yet there is not one learned reader or writer, I dare say, in the whole republic of letters, but looks on our editor as wantonly trifling with an art he is a stranger to.Some few, among the many, of these ridiculous glosses or compendious comments I shall here transcribe : such are, [vol. 8. P. 303.] where Iago calls Roderigo “a

snipe,” i. e. a diminutive woodcock.which is, as if I should define a duck to be a diminutive goose. (vol. 7. P. 84.] “ A raven and a crow is the same bird of prey." and this is reason sufficient for changing Shakespeare's

" — Ravens, crows, and kites," Into ravenous crows and kites.[vol. 4. p. 303.) “ Carraways, i. e. a confit, or confection, so " called in our author's deys.” As if children in our commentator's days did not know what carraway comfits are. (vol. 6. P. 36.]

" O most small fcult !
How ugly didst thout in Cordelia hew?

I

" Which,

Which, like an engine, wrencht my frame of

66 nature 6 From the fixt place." " Which like, &c.] alluding to the famous boast of

« Archimedes. Mr.W. Nothing, reader, but an ordinary allusion to a Lever; an engine to move any fixed or weighty thing.

Vol. 6. p. 180. These bard Fractions.] an equivocal allufion to fraétions in decimal arithmetick.Mr. W. See the passage, and you'll plainly perceive, without a commentator, that Fractions mean broken speeches : - Flav. They answer in a joint and corporate voice, " That now they are at fall, want treasure, cannot 6. Do what they would ; are sorryyou are bo

66 nourable" But yet they could bave wilt--they knownotSomething bath been amissa noble nature « May catch a wrench-would all were well'tis

pity" And so intending other serious malters, After diftateful looks, and these hard FRACTIONS, With certain balf-caps, and cold-moving nods,

They froze me into filence.Timon, A& II.

[ocr errors]

IN the Merry Wives of Windsor, AET III. Mrs. Ford calls Falstaff's boy, “ Eyas-musket.

Eyas

I

66

« Eyas (says Mr. W.) is a young unfledged Hawk.If so, then the learned Spencer is guilty of a blunder. [B. I. C. 11. jt. 34.]

Like Eyas Hawk up mounts into the skies.Wbicb an unfledged hawk, by our commentator's leave, could not do. For my own part, I thought an Eyas hawk, was a full fledged bawk just taken from the nejt or eyry. The etymology is plain, nidus, in the barbarqus Latinity, nidalius. Ital. Nidiace. Gall. Niais. an eyas, or, & niaise. Concerning the meaning of musket, the reader may consult Junius, lately printed by a real Scholar. These few instances bere offered to the rccder, among numberless that may be easily added, will I believe satisfy him, that our editor is scarce to be numbered among

' the great men, who never thought themselves better employed than in cultivating their own country idiom.

VIII.

Never were printed, I believe, in any one book emendations, (as they are called) and remarks so worthy each of the other the weight of an bair (as Falstaff says) will turn the scales between their Averdupois.-In the Merry Wives of Windsor, AE II. Mrs. Page, in the height of her

[ocr errors]

1 Mr. W.'s preface, p. xxiv,

с

refentment

« PreviousContinue »