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Or this, or perish—Pisanio, in giving Cloten a let.

ACT IV.-SCENE I. ter which is to mislead him, means to say—I must either adopt this stratagem or perish by his fury. Johnson

- this IMPERSEVERANT thing”—“Imperseverant" thinks that the words should be part of Cloten's speech,

must be taken in a more intense sense for persererant, and addressed as a threat.

like impassioned. Hanmer reads "ill-perseverant.” " To him that is most TRUE"--“Pisanio, notwithstand

- before the face”—Some would read, before her ing his master's letter, commanding the murder of Imo

face, Imogen's face; but Cloten, in his brutal way, gen, considers him as true, supposing, as he has already

thinks it a satisfaction that, after he has cut off his said to her, that Posthumus was abused by some villain,

rival's head, the face will still be present at the deequally an enemy to them both."--MALONE.

struction of the garments. SCENE VI.

SCENE II. “Take, or LEND"-I agree with Johnson and Malone,

But his neat cookery”—Mrs. Lennox, a lady edathat the sense is-If any one resides here that is accus

cated in New York, under the old colonial system, tomed to the modes of civil life, answer me; but if this with very extravagant notions of noble and princely be the habitation of wild and uncultivated man, or of

life, has the following very natural but very inaccurate one banished from society, that will enter into no con- comment upon these lines :verse, let him at least silently furnish me with enough “ This princess, forgetting that she had put on boy's to support me, accepting a price for it, or giving it to clothes to be a spy upon the actions of her husband, me without a price, in consideration of future recom- commences cook ic two young foresters and their pense. Dr. Johnson's interpretation of the'words take, father, who live in a cave; and we are told how or lend, is supported by what Imogen says afterwards :- nicely she sauced the broths. Certainly this princess Before I enter'd here, I call’d; and thought

had a most economical education." To have begg'd, or bought, what I have took.

Douce thus comments upon Mrs. Lennox's critiCiril is here used, not in its modern sense, but for

cism :civilized, and opposed to savage, or wild.

“Now what is this but to expose her own ignorance

of ancient manners ? If she had missed the advanGold strew'd i' the floor”--()' the floor, or on the tage of qualifying herself as a commentator on ShakeAoor, as we should now say. In the time of Shakespeare speare's plots by a perusal of our old romances, she in was frequently used as we now use on. Thus, in the ought at least to have remembered (what every wellLord's Prayer, in the English Liturgy, we have “Thy informed woman of the present age is acquainted with) will be done in earth,” altered in this country, and in the education of the princesses in Homer's • Odyssey.' modern use, to “ on earth." To alter it to “o the

It is idle to attempt to judge of ancient simplicity by a foor," with Hanmer, Malone, and others, is to sacrifice

mere knowledge of modern manners; and such fasthe characteristic language of the Poet and his contem

tidious critics had better close the book of SHAKESPEARE poraries.

for ever." That nothing gift of DIFFERING multitudes"--Some

" Mingle their spurs together"-"Spurs are the dispute has arisen respecting the word “differing,” but

longest and largest leading roots of trees. Our Poet bas no commentator has taken what appears to be the plain again used the same word in The Tempest:sense of the author : differing multitudes” does not

- the strong-bas'd promontory mean deferring multitudes," with Theobald, Hanmer,

Have I made shake, and by the spurs and Warburton; nor many-headed, with Johnson; nor

Pluck'd up the pine and cedar. unsteady, with Monck Mason and Stevens; but merely,

Hence, probably, the spur of a post; the short wooden as it seems to us, difiering in respect of rank from the

buttress atlixed to it, to keep it firm in the ground.”— persons upon whom the multitudes bestow the “ nothing

MALONE. gift” of reputation. The Poet is contrasting the givers with the persons to whom the gift is made.--COLLIER. It is GREAT morning"-An old English phrase, now

We submit Mr. Collier’s interpretation to the reader's obsolete, answering to the French one still in usejudgment. But our own opinion is decidedly with M. Il est grand matin—The morning is well advanced. Mason, Stevens, and others, who understand “differing multitude" here in the same sense as

“— for DEFECT of judgment

Is oft the cure of fear.
The still discordant, wavering multitude

The original edition hasin Henry IV.--the multitude differing from one another

- for defect of judgment and from themselves, neither unanimous nor constant.

Is oft the cause of fear;"Since Leonatus false"--i. e. Since Leonatus is which is evidently wrong, and the question is, whether false; an unusnal, but not an unprecedented form of ex

we shall read “th'effect," with Theobald, or, with Hanpression. M. Mason makes an ingenious conjecture, mer, cure for “ cause,” in the next line. Johnson prewhich deserves to be true. He would read, “Since ferred Theobald's slight change, giving “the play of Leonate is false." Leonate might be meant as a tender effect and cause, more resembling the manner of Shakeabbreviation of her husband's name, and such an error speare.” The other emendation gives an equally good of the press might have easily occurred. But as the sense, with greater probability as to the printer's error. sense is good as it is, the present text has not been Knight readschanged upon mere conjecture.

- for defect of judgment

As oft the cause of fear.

Though his HUMOUR”-In the folios, honour is " 'Gainst the Pannonians and Dalmatians”- The evidently misprinted for“humour," meaning disposition. revolt of the Pannonians and Dalmatians has been al- Honour and humour are several times misprinted for ready mentioned, in act iii. scene 1. Malone correctly

each other in the old folios and quartos. observes, that this occurred, not in the reign of Cymbe

"The bird is dead, line, but in that of his father, Tenantius, whose name

That we have made so much on." was introduced in the beginning of this play. Tenantins was nephew to Cassibelan. These were niceties The sweet pathos of this scene has been thus noted of history, to which Shakespeare did not think it neces- by Mrs. Radcliffe :—“No master ever knew how to sary to attend : he adapted history to his drama, not his touch the accordant springs of sympathy by small cirdrama to history.--('OLLIER.

cumstances, like our own Shakespeare. In CYMBE

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LINE, for instance, how finely such circumstances are

Oh, thou soft natural death! thou art joint-twin inade use of to awaken, at once, solemn expectation

To sweetest slumber! no rough-bearded comet

Stares on thy mild departure: the dull owl and tenderness, and, by recalling the softened remem

Beats not against thy casement: the hoarse wolf brance of a sorrow long past, to prepare the mind to

Scents not thy carrion :-pity winds thy corse, melt at one that was approaching; mingling at the

While horror waits on princes! same time, by means of a mysterious occurrence, a

Cornelia's distraction over her dead son, again, owes slight tremour of awe with our pity. Thus, when Bela- something to the last scene of LEAR; while the funeral rius and Arviragus return to the cave where they had dirge for young Marcello, sung by her, is still more dileft the unhappy and worn-out Imogen to repose, while recily borrowed from this scene :they are yet standing before it, and Arviragus-speak

Call for the robin-red-breast and the wren, ing of her with tenderest pity as poor sick Fidele'

Since o'er shady grove they hover,

And with leaves and flowers do cover goes out to inquire for her, solemn music is heard from

The friend.ess bodies of unburied men. the cave, sounded by that harp of which Guiderius says,

Call unto his funeral dole, * Since the death of my dearest mother, it did not speak

The ant, the field-mouse, and the mole,

To raise him hillocks that shall keep him warm, before. All solemn things should answer solemn acci

And (when gay tombs are robb’d) sustain no harm; dents. Immediately, Arviragus enters with Fidele

But keep the wolf far hence, that's foe to men, senseless in his arms :

For with his nails he'll dig them up again, etc. The bird is dead that we have made so much on. * * * *

The last generation of critics perceived the resemGu. Why, be but sleeps.

blance, but were perplexed by the fact that Webster's Arr. With tairest flowers, While summer lasts, AND I LIVE HERE, FIDELE,

play was printed in 1612, eleven years before the first I'll sweeten thy sad grave.

edition of CYMBELINE; so that it was not quite clear Tears alone can speak the touching simplicity of the to them whether Shakespeare had not himself borrowed whole scene."

from the two last-quoted passages. But since their day,

we have learned from Dr. Forman that CYMBELINE “ thy sluggish CRARE”—The original reads care ; was acted at least one year before Webster's “ White but the image is incomplete unless we adopt the cor- Devil," so that Webster, who was originally an actor, rection. Crare or craier is a small vessel; and the was doubtless familiar with its poetry as represented, word is often used by Hollingshed, and by Drayton, and had, perhaps, himself delivered the lament of Arvi. and other writers of that age; as, in Sir T. North's ragus. Indeed, his imitations are not direct copies, like “ Plutarch”- little fisher-boats and small crayers."

those of a plagiarist from the book, but are rather the

vivid results of the impression made upon the younger si Jore knows what man thou might'st have made ; but I, poet, by the other’s fancy and feeling thus reproducing Thou diedst a most rare boy, of melancholy."

themselves, mingled with the new conceptions of a We print the passage as in the original, as meaning- congenial mind. Jove knows what man thou might'st have made, but I

« the ruddock would—Percy asks, “Is this an alluknow thou diedst, etc. Malone thinks that the pronoun sion to the babes of the wood ? or was the notion of I was probably substituted by mistake for the inter

the red-breast covering dead bodies general before the jection Ah, which is commonly printed ay in the old

writing of that ballad ?” It has been shown that the copies; ay being also as commonly printed I.

notion has been found in an earlier book of natural My clouted brogues" — i. e. My nailed shoes. history; and there can be no doubt that it was an old “ Brogue" seems to be derived from the Irish brog, a popular belief. The red-breast has always been a fashoe; and perhaps because“ brogues” were chiefly worn vourite with the poets, andby the Irish, we have, in modern times, applied to their

Robin the mean, that best of all loves men, speech what properly belongs to their feet.—COLLIER. as Browne sings, was naturally employed in the last And anorms will not come to thee"-Douce says,

offices of love, Drayton says, directly imitating Shake“Stevens imputes great violence to this change of per- speare: son, and would read come to him ;' but there is no im

Covering with moss the dead's unclosed eye,

The red-breast teacheth charity, propriety in Guiderius's sudden address to the body itself. It might, indeed, he ascribed to our author's

In the beautiful stanza which Gray has omitted from careless manner, of which an instance like the present

his “ Elegy” the idea is put with his usual exquisite

refinement :occurs at the beginning of the next act, where Posthumus says

There scattered oft, the carliest of the year,

By hands unseen, are showers of violets found;
you married ones,
If each of you would take this course, how many

The red-breast loves to build and warble there,
Must murder wives much better than themselves!"

And little footsteps lightly print the ground.
" — With fairest flowers,

TO WINTER-GROUND thy corse”—"To winter-ground Whilst summer lasts," etc.

a plant is to protect it from the the winter's cold by straw

or other covering, as is done to tender plants." This is “ The White Devil, or Vittoria Corombona, a tragedy by John Webster," is one of the most remarkable pro

Stevens's explanation; and, if he is right as to such a ductions of Shakespeare's contemporaries. The prin

a word as winter-ground, there can be no doubt as to cipal character is a bold and beautiful conception of

the text or its meaning. Yet I have not been able to

find, either in English authority or in Scotch or Ameridaring female guilt, which may almost vie with Lady

can use (where old English, forgotten at home, is someMacbeth, and may have been suggested by her, though

times preserved) any such compound. I therefore susin no respect a copy. But the play contains several

pect an early error of the press. Warburton proposed passages in which the author is certainly indebted to

winter-gown, as suggested by the “furred moss. My his recollections of “Master Shakespeare," whose “right

own emendation would be happy and copieous industry” he commends in his

- furred moss, when flowers are scarce, preface. One passage is directly from Hamlet. A lady,

To winter-green thy corse. resembling Ophelia in her grief and distraction, thus addresses her friends

“Winter-green” is good colloquial English (just as we

say Christmas-greens) for all plants, shrubs, and vines, you're very welcome. Here's rosemary for you, and rue for you;

green in winter, as ever-greens, although it is now Heart's-ease for you: I pray you make much of it:

specially limited to a particular one. I have left more for myself.

The conversion of green into a verb has high poetical Imogen's apparent soft and smiling death, as de- authority, from Chaucer down to Thomson, whose scribed in the text, has been supposed to be the origin “ Spring, greens all the year.” of the following beautiful lines-

From the doubt whether winter-ground may not

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have been a familiar word, in the sense asserted by

ACT V.-SCENE I. Stevens, I have not ventured to insert my conjecture in the text; but if there be no authority for thus ex

For WRYING but a little—The use of ury as a plaining the folio reading, I have no doubt that my own verb is not uncommon in old English. Thus, in Sydconjecture is the true reading.

ney's " Arcadia"-" That from the right line of virtue - where shall's lay him"--The use of the accusa

are wryed to these crooked shifts.” tive instead of the nominative, as here, us for we, is a “ Had liv'd to put on this”—To “put on" is to infrequent usage of old English, to be found not only else- cite or instigate. So in HAMLETwhere in SHAKESPEARE, (as, in the WINTER'S TALE,

Of deaths put on by cunning. "Shall us attend you ?") but also in King James's

" — each elder worse; English Bible, and even in the writings of educated and

And make them DREAD IT, to the doer's THRIFT," etc. correct authors almost a century later. Instances of this nise have been collected by Lowth, in his “Grammar,"

Shakespeare, Johnson well explains, calls the deeds and by Pegge, in his amusing “ Anecdotes of the Eng. of an elder man an elder deed; as it might be paralish Language." The idiom, now obsolete among cor

phrased in modern language-Our corruptions grow with rect writers and speakers, is still retained, with much

our years. other idiomatic Saxon, among the vulgarisms of the Many commentators believe that there is a misprint cockney dialect.

somewhere near this “ dread.” Theobald would read

dreaded; Johnson deeded. Stevens interprets-To As once our mother-i. e. As once we sang our make them “ dread it” is to make them persevere in mother: the folio, 1623, reads, “ to our mother;" the

the commission of dreadful action. “ Dread it" being preposition having been accidentally introduced from

here used in the same manner as Pope has “to sinner the preceding line.

it" or "to saint it."
Fear no more the heat o' the sun,

Knight proposes-
Nor the furious winter's rages," etc.

And make them do each to the doer's thrift, “ This,” says Warburton, “is the topic of consolation referring each to the successive crimes or ** ills" of the that nature dictates to all men on these occasions. The preceding line. same farewell we have over the dead body in Lucian." Singer conjectures that it should beIn the same strain of regret and tender envy, it may be

And make them dread it to the doer's shrift. added, Macbeth speaks of the slaughtered Duncan: Shrift is the old word for confession and repentance. feeling, at the very instant when he should rejoice in Yet, the old reading may well be understood as ex. the consummation of his wishes, the utter nothingness pressing (harshly, it is true, from Shakespeare's usual of perturbed earthly pleasures, when compared with effort to compress his weighty moralities into the shortthe peaceful slumbers of the innocent dead.

est and most sententious form) the idea explained by Collins has given an imitation, rather than a version, M. Mason-Some, you snatch' hence for small faults ; of this beautiful dirge. It exhibits his usual exquisite

this is done in love, that they may sin no more.

Others taste and felicity of expression, although inferior to the

you suffer to follow up one sin with another, each inoriginal in condensation and characteristic simplicity :creasing in guilt with years, and then you make them

dread it, i. e. make them fear the consequences; and To fair Fidele's grassy tomb Soft maids and village hinds shall bring

this dread is for the sinners' welfare. Each opening sweet of earliest bloom,

“Thrift” is here used for future and eternal advanAnd rifle all the breathing spring.

tage, in the same scriptural figure by which " to die No wailing ghost shall dare appear

is called by the apostle his “gain." This understandTo vex with shrieks this quict grove ;

ing of the passage also applies equally well to the serBut shepherd lads assemble here,

eral emendations of Singer, and of Knight. And melting virgins own their lovo.

“It” in “ dread it” is used absolutely, according to a No withered witch shall here be seen ; No goblins lead their nightly crew :

common idiomatic use now employed only colloquially, The female fays shall haunt the green,

as we find in Lear, to “monster it," for being monAnd dress thy grave with pearly dew.

strous. So, “ to walk it,” “ to fight it out," “ to saint The red-breast oft, at evening hours,

it," “ to coy it," may all be found in old authors, though Shall kindly lend his little aid,

now rarely used except in the language of conversation.
With hoary moss and gathered flowers,
To deck the ground where thou art laid,

When howling winds and beating rain
In tempests shake the sylvan cell;

Throughout this act the stage-directions are extremely
Or, midst the chase, on every plain,

full, and the action of the drama at the close of the The tender thought on thee shall dwell :

third scene is entirely dumb-show. The drama, preEach Jonely scene shall thee restore;

ceding Shakespeare's time, was full of such examples. For thee the tear be truly shed; Beloved till life can charm no more,

But he rejected the practice, except in this instance. And mourned till pity's self be dead.

Knight expresses the opinion that this, combined with

other circumstances, presents some evidence that CymNo exorciser harm thee"-Monck Mason has shown

BELINE was a rifacciamento of an early play. Pope, that Shakespeare invariably uses“ exorciser” to express Malone, Ritson, and Stevens, however, all insist upon one who can raise spirits ; not in its later sense of one

this masque or vision being interpolated by the players. who can lay them, or cast out evil ones.

Coleridge and the later critics incline to the other "but his Jovial face"—His face like Jove : opinion, that this is a remnant of Shakespeare's ju« Jovial” was not unfrequently used in this manner. venile drama. We meet with it again in this play, act v. scene 4, where Jupiter says :

Our Jovial star reign'd at his birth.

- athwart the lane, “ Jovial hand” is an expression common in T. Heywood's He, with two striplings, (lads more like to run," etc. plays.-COLLIER.

Shakespeare, who, like Scott, knew the superior effect “ that IRREGULOUS devil—No other instance has of actual historical incident, interwoven in narrative, to been found of the use of the word “irregulous,” which give the character of truth and nature, has here adapted Johnson supposed to be a misprint for irreligious. But to his purpose a well-known incident of old Scotch hisin another writer of this age we find “irregulated lust,” tory, which he found in his favourite Hollingshed's and the meaning of “irregulous” in this place is obvious. · History of Scotland :"-

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“ There was, near to the place of the battle, a long than this. In the scene before us all the surviving charlane, fenced on the sides with ditches and walls made acters are assembled; and at the expense of whatever of turf, through the which the Scots which fled were incongruity the former events may have been produced, beaten down by the enemies on heaps. Here Hay, perhaps little can be discovered on this occasion to offend with his sons, supposing they might best stay the flight, the most scrupulous advocate for regularity: and, I think, placed theinselves overthwart the lane, beat them back as little is found wanting to satisfy the spectator by a whom they met fleeing, and spared neither friend nor catastrophe which is intricate without contusiou, and not foe, but down they went all such as came within their

more rich in ornament than in nature."-STEVENS. reach; wherewith divers hardy personages cried unto " — whom she BORE IN HAND to love”-i. e. Whom their fellows to return back unto the battle.”

she pretended to love, or led to believe that she loved. “ The country BASE”-i. e. The rustic game of prison

In MEASURE FOR MEASURE, we have the expressionbase, or prison-bars, mentioned by many old writers by

Bore many gentlemen, myself being one,

In hand, and hope of action. the name of base ; but by Drayton in his “ Polyolbion,"

Macbeth uses the same words in his scene with the song 30, called “prison-base.”

Murderers. The mortal buGS O the field-i. e. The mortal terrors of the field. In HAMLET,“ bugs” and “goblins"

“SO FEAT”—So neat, ready, clever, in this instance :

it also sometimes means fine or brave, according to are coupled.

Minshew. 1, in mine own woe CHARM’D”_Warburton remarks

" --straight-Pight Minerva”-“Pight” is pitched or that this alludes to the common superstition of charms

fixed. “ Straight-pight" therefore seems to mean, having power to keep men unhurt in battle. Macbeth

standing upright in a fixed posture, and with this sense says “I bear a charmed life;" Posthumus, “I, in mine

the compound epithet has great appropriateness.own woe charm’d," etc.

COLLIER. " — Well, I will find him;

Some upright JUSTICER”—Is a word found in anFor being now a farourer to the Briton," etc. cient law-books, which have “ justicers of the peace," We give the original reading, which, on the recom- “ justicers of the king's courts," etc. It had become mendation of Hanmer, has been changed in most edi. nearly obsolete in ordinary use in Shakespeare's time, tions to

who has preserved an excellent word for poetry and For being now a favourer to the Roman,

eloquence. No more a Briton. This alters the sense. In the original reading, I under.

Your pleasure was my MERE offence—The mean

ing of “ mere" in this place is, the mere offence I comstand Posthumus as continuing his figurative search of Death. As a Briton, he could not find Death where

mitted was what your pleasure considered a crime: the he did hear him groan,” etc. But, he will find him,"

first folio having misprinted it neere, it became near in for he (Death) is now a favourer of the Britons, and

the later folios, and Johnson proposed to substitute dear. therefore Posthumus, “no more a Briton," resumes

The reading of the text has the sanction of all the ediagain his Roman character, in order thus to reach his

tors since the time of Tyrwhit, who suggested the emenwished for death.


Bless'd pray you be”-i. e. I pray that you may be SCENE IV.

blessed. Rowe and most later editors needlessly change " -- to satisfy,

“ pray” of the old copies into may. If of my freedom 'tis the main part," etc.

This FIERCE abridg ment”-Shakespeare as well as Malone and others think there is some line or word Ben Jonson sometimes uses "fierce" for vehement, rapid, wanting. The meaning to me seems not to demand excessive in any way. In Love's LABOUR Lost we any change of the text. Posthumus sighs for freedom, have " fierce endeavour;” and in TIMON OF ATHENS, but it is freedom from his fettered conscience. He

fierce wretchedness :” and Jonson, in his “ Poetaster," pleads sorrow and repentance; and then adds—If satis

has fierce credulity.” faction to heaven for my crime is the main part or condition of my freedom, then, take in satisfaction my all,

Will serve our long INTER’GATORIES"--Apparently so pronounced in the time of Shakespeare, and some

times so printed; as in the MERCHANT OF VENICE, « And to become the Geck and scorn"--" Geck” is

where the word occurs in verse twice. fool ; and is used by Shakespeare in TWELFTH Night.

"— upon his eagle back’D”-So all the folios; but “ – as to Foot us”-i. e. To grasp us in his talons.

modern editors strangely prefer “upon his eagle back :" Herbert says

if they thought fit to make this change in the text, And till they foot and touch their prey.

they ought to have printed “upon his eagle's back.”“ – as is our FANGLED world_" Fangled” is now

COLLIER. invariably found with new before it, and only in this instance, as far as discoveries of the kind have gone, without it: the meaning seems to be the same as new- Schlegel pronounces CYMBELINE to be one of Shakefangled, and it has been derived from fengan, Saxon, speare's most wonderful compositions, in which the to undertake or attempt. The substantive fangle was Poet has contrived to blend together, into one harmoin use by Shakespeare's contemporaries, meaning trifles, nious whole, the social manners of the latest times with new toys, or follies; as, in Drayton

heroic deeds, and even with appearances of the gods. What fangle now thy thronged guests to win?

In the character of Imogen not a feature of female ex

cellence is forgotten :-her chaste tenderness, her son“ — Or JUMP the after-inq uiry on your own periľ

ness, and her virgin pride; her boundless resignation, i. e. risk the after-inquiry; like Macbeth's “We'd

and her magnanimity towards her mistaken husband, jump the life to come.”

by whom she is unjustly persecuted; her adventures in

disguise, her apparent death, and her recovery,--form SCENE V.

altogether a picture equally tender and affecting. “Let those who talk so confidently about the skill of “ The two princes, Guiderius and Arviragus, both Shakespeare's contemporary, Jonson, point out the con- educated in the wilds, form a noble contrast to Miranda clusion of any one of his plays which is wrought with and Perdita. In these two young men, to whom the more artifice and yet a less degree of dramatic violence chase has imparted vigour and hardihood, but who are

my life.

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unacquainted with their high destination, and have enjoyment. The outline of his piece, in such a poem always been kept far from human society, we are en- as CYMBELINE, will at once show that the scene is chanted by a naive heroism, which leads them to an- placed remotely as to time, in order to soften its imticipate and to dream of deeds of valour, till an occa- probabilities to the imagination by the effect of distance. sion is offered which they are irresistibly impelled to We all know that in landscapes and landscape-painting embrace. When Imogen comes in disguise to their the undefined appearance of objects resulting from discave; when Guiderius and Arviragus form an impas- tance has a charm different from that of their distinctsioned friendship, with all the innocence of childhood, ness in the foreground; and the same principle holds for the tender boy, (in whom they neither suspect a true in the romantic drama, when the poet avowedly female nor their own sister;) when, on returning from leaves the scenes open to the objection of improbability, the chase, they find her dead, sing her to the ground, | owing to the very nature of romantic fiction. and cover the grave with flowers ;-these scenes might “Of all plays in the world, I think these remarks give a new life for poetry to the most deadened imagi- are particularly applicable to Shakespeare's CYMBELINE. nation.

With my heart open to romantic belief, I conscientiously “The wise and virtuous Belarius, who, after living suppose all the boldly imagined events of the dramalong as a hermit, again becomes a hero, is a venerable || I am rewarded with the delightful conceptions of Imofigure;--the dexterous dissimulation and quick presence gen, of her arrival at the cave of her banished brothers, of mind of the Italian, Iachimo, is quite suitable to the with its innumerable beauties, and with its happy conbold treachery he plays;-Cymbeline, the father of clusion. Imogen, (and even her husband, Posthumus,) during “ This play is perhaps the fittest in Shakespeare's the first half of the piece, are somewhat sacrificed, but whole theatre to illustrate the principle, that great drathis could not be otherwise;—the false and wicked matic genius can occasionally venture on bold improbaQueen is merely an instrument of the plot; she and her bilities, and yet not only shrive the offence, but leave stupid son Cloten, whose rude arrogance is pourtrayed us enchanted with the offender. The wager of Posthuwith much humour, are got rid of, by merited punish- mus, in CYMBELINE, is a very unlikely one. But let ment, before the conclusion.”

us deal honestly with this objection, and admit the Dr. Johnson has dismissed this play with brief and wager to be improbable; still we have enough in the dogmatic censure on “the improbability of the plot, the play to make us forget it, and more than forgive it. folly of the fiction, the confusion of names and man- Shakespeare foresaw that from this license he could ners,” etc., such as shows that he had but little com- deduce delightful scenes and situations, and he scrupled prehension of its character, spirit, and peculiar beau- not to hazard it. The faulty incident may thus be ties. This great critic, (for with all his defects I can- compared to a little fountain, which, though impreg. not deny him that title,) was at once the ablest in some nated with some unpalatable mineral, gives birth to a respects, and in others among the most incompetent of large stream; and that stream, as it proceeds, soon Shakespeare's commentators. Admirable in vigorous loses its taint of taste in the sweet and many waters common-sense, in sagacity, in mastery of the language, that join its course. alive to his author's moral feeling, his pathos, his wit, “ Be the wager what it may, it gives birth to charmhis humour, his true painting of social life, he was by ing incidents. It introduces us to a feast of the chastest nature and habits incapacitated to judge of the more luxury, in the sleeping-scene, when we gaze on the delicate beauties of imaginative poetry—whether of shut eyelids of Imogen; and that scene (how ineffably description, of invention, or of wilder passion. His rich as well as modest !) is followed by others that own poetry, and that of others which he chiefly relished, || swell our interest to enchantment. Imogen hallows to is noble and animating versified declamation, but not the imagination every thing that loves her, and that poetry in the sense of CYMBELINE or the TEMPEST. she loves in return; and when she forgives Posthumus,

Johnson has found more than one congenial critic who may dare to refuse him pardon? Then, in her upon CYMBELINE. Thomas Campbell, after answering friendship with her unconscious brothers of the moun. all these objections, in two or three brief sentences, tain-cave, what delicious touches of romance! I think which contain a volume of philosophical criticism, pours I exaggerate not, in saying that Shakespeare has noout his own admiration in the true spirit of a poet :-- where breathed more pleasurable feelings over the mind,

“In order to enjoy the romantic drama, we must ac- as an antidote to tragic pain, than in CYMBELINE."cept of the terms on which the romantic poet offers us T. CAMPBELL,

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