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have been what I am, had the maidenliest star in the firmament twinkled on my bastardizing.
Scene XV. Ingratitude in a Child.
ACT II. SCENE VI.
Flattering Sycophants. That such a slave as this should wear a sword, Who wears no honesty: (7) such smiling rogues (as these]
(6) Ingratitude &c.] Ingratitude a marble hearted-fiend is more hideous and dreadful, when shewing itself in a child, than even that sea-monster, which is the emblem itself of impiety and ingratitude : by which monster he means the Hippopotamus, or river-horse, which, says Sardys, in his travels, p. 105. fignify'd, Murder, Impudence, Violence and Injustice : for they say, that he killeth his fire, and ravisheth his own dam.” . Mr. Uplon's alteration of, Than ith' fea-monster, seems unnecessary : for the poet makes ingratitude, a fiend, a monster itself, and one more odious than even this hieroglyphical symbol of impiety. See Observations on Shakespear, p. 203.
(7) Such, &c.] The words as these, may be safely omitted without injuring the sense; they are flat and spoil the metre. The next lines are read thus in the old editions ;
Like rats, oft bite the holy cords atwaine,
Which are t intrince t' unloose, Atwaing is doubtless the genuine word, which was commonly used, fignifying, in two, afunder, in twain. And Mr. Upton, observing, that Shakespear sometimes strikes off a Sylla ble or more from the latter part of a word, would preserve intrince in the text, which he explains by intrinsicate. 'Tis certain the author uses intrinsicate, but I don't rememember ever to have met with intrince: See vol. I. p. 169. “ This shortening of words is indeed too much the genius of our language;" and as the reader knows the sense of the word, and what the criticks would read, I have kept to the old editions, notwithstanding the quotation made by
Like rats, oft bite the holy cords atwain
Plain, blunt Men,
SCENE VII. Description of Bedlam Beggars,
While I may 'scape,
my loins ; elfe all my hair in kno!s ;
me from Mr. Edwards, in the place just referr d too. I forbear quoting any similar passages here : Horace and Juvenal abound with them, and Shakespear himself hath excellenily painted the character in Polonius." See particularly Hamlet, Ad 4. Sc 7.
(8) Sily] Some read filky : filly is not always taken in a bad fcnfe amongft the old writers.
The country gives me proof and president
Fiery? the fiery duke?, tell the hot duke, that
SCENE XI. UN KINDNESS. Thy sister's naught; oh Regan, she hath tied Sharp-tooth'd unkindness, like a vulture here.
[Points to his beart.
Scene XII. Offences mistaken.
G (9) Finds] Finds is an allufion to a jury's verdict : and the word so relates to that , as well as to terms.
We meet with the very fame expression in Hamlet, Act 5. Sc. I.
Why, 'tis found fo.
The coroner bath sat on her, and finds it christian burial. Ib.
The Neceffaries of Life, few.
As you like it. A. 4. S. 2. Leander was drown'd, and the foolishi chroniclers (perhaps coruners] of that age found it was----Hero of Seftos.” Edwards,
(10) O reason, &c. The poets abound with sentiments similar to this : take the two following paffages from Lucretius and Lucan.
O wretched man, in what a mift of life,
See LUCRET. B. 2.
Lear on the Ingratitude of his Daughters. You fee me here, you gods, a poor old man, As full of grief as age; wretched in both! If it be you, that stir these daughters hearts Against their father, fool me not so much To bear it tamely; (11) touch me with noble anger ; O let not womens weapons, water drops, Stain my man's cheeks. No, you unnat'ral hags, I will have such revenges on you both, (12) That all the world shall-. I will do such things;What they are, yet I know not; but they shall be The terrors of the earth : you think, I'll weep :
Behold, ye fons of luxury, behold,
See Lucan, B. 4. Rorve's trann. (11) Touch me, &c.] * If you, ye gods have stirred my daughters hearts against me : at left let me not bear it with any unworthy tameness; but touch me with noble anger ; let me refent it with such resolution as becomes a man. ---And “ let not woman's weapons, water-drops, stain my man's cheeks." See Canons of Crit. p. 78.
(12) Tbat, &c.] See vol. 1. p. 110. This feems to have been imitated from the one or the other of these pallages fol- . lowing :
Haud quid fit scio
Nefcio quid ferox
Ovid, Met. 6.