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circumstances which constitute the fable of this play, are, probably, of the poet's own invention. Capell.
Mrs. Lenox thinks, that the story of Protheus and Julia might have been taken from a similar one in the Diana of George of Montemayor. “ By the internal marks of a composition, says . we may discover the author with probability, though seldom with certainty. When I read this play, I cannot but think that I find, both in the serious and ludicrous scenes, the language and sentiments of S. It is not indeed one of his most powerful effufions; it has neither many diversities of character, nor striking delineations of life, but it abounds in guwar beyond most of his plays, and few have more lines or passages, which, singly considered, are eminently beautiful. I'am yet inclined to believe that it was not very successful, and suspect that it has escaped corruption, only because being seldom played, it was less exposed to the hazards of transcription.” He observes further, “ In this play there is a strange mixture of knowledge and ignorance, of care and negligence. The versification is often excellent, the allusions are learned and just.”.
“ That it is rightly attributed to S. I have little doubt. If it be taken from him, to whom Mall it be given ? This question may be asked of all the disputed plays, except Ti., tus Andronicus ; and it will be found more credible, that S. might sometimes sink below his highest fights, than that any other should rise up to his lowest."
The Winter's Tale.
Friendship between Kings. Cam. Sicilia cannot shew himself over-kind to Bobemia. They were trained together in their childhood, and there rooted betwixt them such an affection, which cannot choose but branch now. Since their more mature dignities and royal neceffities 'made feparation of their society, their encounters, though not perfonal, have been royally attornied, with interchange of gifts, letters, loving embassies; that they have seem'd to be together, though abfent'; thook hands, as over a vast; and embrac'd, as it were, from the ends of opposed winds. The heavens continue their loves!
Arch. I think, there is not in the world either malice, or matter, to alter it.
Delay of Death always wished. Cam. I very well agree with you in the hopes of him. It is a gallant child; one that, indeed, phyficks the subject, (1) makes old hearts fresh: they that went on crutches, ere he was born, defire yet their life, to see him a man.
(1) Phyficks the subject.] Affords a cordial to the state; has the power of assuaging the sense of misery. 7.
Arch. Would they else be content to die?
Cam. Yes; if there were no other excuse why they fhould defire to live.
Arch. If the king had no fon, they would defire to live on crutches till hé had one.
Scene II. Youthful Friendship and Innocence.
We were, (2) fair queen, Two lads, that thought there was no more behind, But such a day to-morrow as to-day, And to be boy-eternal. We were as twinn'd lambs, that did frisk i'th'sun, And bleat the one at th' other: what we chang’d, Was innocence for innocence; we knew not The doctrine of ill-doing: no, nor dream'd, That any did: had we pursu'd that life, And our weak spirits ne'er had been higher rear'd With stronger blood, we should have answer'd heav'n Boldly, "not guilty;" the imposition (3) clear'd, Hereditary ours.
Praise, its' Influence on Women.
Cram us with praise, and make's
(2): We were, &c.] See Midsummer Night's Dream,
i (3) The impofition, &c.] By the imposition bereditary ours, the author means original sin, derived to us from our first parents, and by their offence entailed on us : which cleared' or set aside, they had no other crime (fo innocent were their lives) to answer for ; but would have appeared perfectly guiltless in the eve of heaven.
How fometimes nature will betray its folly!
A Father's Fondness for his Child.
Pol. If at home, Sir,
Jealoufy (4) Whereof, &c:] i. e. " where the execution, the doing the thing, stood in balance against the not doing it. Where, considering its performance, I hesitated whether it would not be better omitted."
Jealousy. Is whispering (5) nothing? Is leaning cheek to cheek is meeting noses? Kifling with inside lip ? stopping the career Of laughter with a figh? (a note infallible Of breaking honesty ;) hoifing foot on foot ? Skulking in corners ? wishing (6) clocks more swift? Hours, minutes ? the noon, midnight? and all eyes Blind with the pin and web, but theirs; theirs only, That would, unseen, be wicked? Is this nothing? Why, then the world, and all that's in't, is nothing ; The covering sky is nothing ; Bohemia nothing; My wife is nothing; nor nothing have these nothings, If this be nothing.
-To (7) do this deed Promotion follows. If I could find example Of thousands that had struck anointed kings,
(5) Is whispering, &c.] The reader is desired to compare the other passages in this scene on the fame topic. Meeting, in the next line, Thirlby would read meting, i. e. measuring:
(6) Wishing, &c.] Theobald and Warburton both print this passage,
Wishing clocks more swift,
Blind, &c. I think there need nothing be said of the propriety of that in the text, which is from the folio. S. excels prodigiously on the subject of jealousy, whenever he touches upon it ; it may be an agreeable amusement to the reader to compare him on this topic, and to find, how every where different, yet excellent he is.
(7) To, &c.] We find this sentiment in several other parts of our author's writings, as well as in those of his cotemporaries. See Hamlet, Act 4, Sc. 6.