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For thou doft fear the soft and tender fork
For destroys that splendorr which dazzles the imagination. Whatever gran deur can display, or luxury enjoy, is procured by baseness, by offices of wh'ch the mind shrinks from the contemplation. All the delicacies of the table may be traced back to the thambles and the dunghill, all magni. ficence of building was hewn from the quarry, and all the po np of ornament dug from among the damps and darkness of the mine. JOHNSON.
8 Worm is put for any creeping thing or serpent. Shakspeare suppofes falsely, but according to the vulgar notion, that a ferpent wounds with his tongue, and that his tongue is forked. He confounds reality and fiction ; a lerpent's tongue is soft, but not forked ror hurtful. If it could hurt, it could not be foft. In a Mdfummer Night's Dream he has the faine notion :
16 With doubler tongue
" Than thine, o ferpent, never adder ftung." JOHNSON. Shakspeare mentions the " adder's fork" in Macbeth; and might have caught chis idea from old: tapestries cr paintings, in which the tongues of serpents and dragons always appear barbed like the point of an arrow.
STEEVENS. 9 Evidently from the following passage of Cicero: “ Habes fomnum ima. ginem mortis, eamque quotidie induis, & dubitas quin sensus in morte nullus fit, cum in ejus fimulacro videas ele nullum sensum." But the Epicurean infinu. ation is, with great judgement, omitted in the imitation. WARBURTON.
Here Dr. Warburton might have found a sentiment worthy of his animadversion. I cannot without indignation find Shakspeare saying, that death is only seep, lengthening out his exhortation by a sentence which in the friar is impious, in the reasoner is foolith, and in the poet crite and vulgar. JOHNSON.
This was an oversight in Shakspeare ; for in the fecond scene of the fourth act, the Provost speaks of the desperate Barnardine, as one who regards death only as a drunken Nerp. STEEVENS.
I apprehend Shakspeare means to fay no more, than that the passage from this life to another is as easy as sleep; a position in which there is surely neither folly nor impiety. MALONE..
2 Thou art perpetually repaired and renovated by external affistance, thou fubfiftest upon foreign matter, and halt no power of producing or conta tinuing thy own being. JOHNSON.
For thy complexion shifts to strange effects,
To 3 For effets read affects; that is, affections, palions of mind, or disorders of budy variously affecied. JOHNSON.
4 The-ferrigo is a kind of retter. STEEVENS.
5 This is exquisitely imagined. When we are young, we busy ourfelves in forming schemes for succeeding time, and miss the gratifications that are before us; when we are old, we amuse the languor of age with the recollection of youthful pleasures or performances ; so that our life, of which no part is filled with the business of the present time, resembles our dreams after dinner, when the events of the morning are mingled with the designs of the evening, JOHNSON.
• Eld is generaliy used for old age, decrepitude. It is here put for old people, persons worn with years. STEEVENS.
The drift of this period is to prove, that neither youth nor age can be said to be really enjoyed, which, in poetical language, is,“We bave neither youlb nor age. But how is this made out? That age is not enjoyed, be proves by recapitulating the infirmities of it, which deprive that period of life of all sense of pleasure. To prove that youth is not enjoyed, he uses these words ;
- for all thy blefid youth
Of falsied eld; Out of which, he that can deduce the conclusion, has a better knack at logic than I have. I suppose the poet wrote,
For pallid, tby blazed youth
of palfied eld; i. e. when thy youthful appetite becomes palled, as it will be in the very enjoyment, the blaze of youth is at once assuaged, and thou immediately contractest the infirmities of old age ; as particularly the palfy and other nervous disorders, consequent on the inordinate use of sensual pleasures.
To make thy riches pleasant. What's yet in this,
death we fear, That makes these odds all even. Claud.
I humbly thank you.
This is to the purpose; and proves youth is not enjoyed, by thewing the fhort duration of it. WARBURTON.
Here again I think Dr. Warburton totally mistaken. Shakspeare declares that man has neither youth ror oge; for in youth, which is the bappiejt time, or which might be the happief he commonly wants means to obtain what he could enjoy; he is dependent on palsied eld: must beg alms from the coffers of hoary avarice; and being very niggardly supplied, becomes as aged, looks, like an old man, on happiness which is beyond his reach. And, when be is old and rich, when he has wealth enough for the purchase of all that formerly excited his desires, he has no longer the powers of ene joyment;
bas neither beat, affection glin), nor beauty,
To make bis riches pleasant.I have explained this passage according to the present reading, which may stand without much inconvenience; yet I am willing to persuade my reader, because I have almost perfuaded myself, that our author wrote,
for all thy blasted yaith Becomes as aged- JOHNSON. The sentiment contained in these lines, which Dr. Johnson has explained with his usual precision, occurs again in the forged letter that Eds. mund delivers to his father, as written by Edgar; K. Lear, Act I, sc. ii.
MALONE. 8 But how does beauty make riches pleasant ? We should read bounty, which completes the sense, and is this, thou hast neither the pleasure of enjoying riches thyself, for thou wanteft vigour ; nor of seeing it enjoyed by others, for thou wanteft bounty. Where the making the want of bounty as inseparable from old age as the want of bealth,. is extremely satirical, though not altogether just. WARBURTON.
I am inclined to believe, that neither man nor woman will have much difficulty to tell how beauty makes riches pleasant. Surely this emendation, though it is elegant and ingenious, is not such as that an opportunity of inserting it should be purchased by declaring ignorance of what every one: knows, by confessing insensibility of what every one feels. JOHNSON.
By “ heat” and catfection” the poet meant to express appetite, and by climb” and “ beauty" strength. EDWARDS. 9 For this Sir T. Hanmer reads:
a thousand dearbs: The meaning is, not only a thousand deaths, but a thousand deaths befides what have been mentioned. JOHNSON.)
To fue to live, I find, I seek to die;
Ijab. What, ho! Peace here; grace and good company! Prov. Who's there? come in : the wish deserves a wel
Duke. Dear fit, ere long I'll visit you again.
many as you please. Duke. Bring them to speak, where I may be conceal'd, Yet hear them.
[Exeunt Duke and Provost. Claud. Now, fifter, what's the comfort?
Isab. Why, as all comforts are ; most good in deed : :3 Lord Angelo, having affairs to heaven,
2 Had the Friar, in reconciling Claudio to death, urged to him the certainty of happiness hereafter, this speech would have been introduced with more propriety; but the Friar says nothing of that subject, and argues, more like a philofopher, than a Christian divine. M. Mason.
Mr. M. Mason seems to forget that no actual friar was the speaker, but the Duke, who might reasonably be suppoted to have more of the Phi. losopher than the divine in his composition. STEEVENS.
3. If this reading be right, Isabella must mean that the brings something - better than words of comfort, ihe brings an assurance of deeds. This is . harsh and constrained, but I know not what better to offer. Sir Thomas Hanmer reads:
in speed. JOHNSON. The old copy reads :
« We're yet but young in deed." STEEVENS.
“ Ijab. Why, as all comforts are, matt good. Indeed Lord Ange210,” &c.
Indeed is the same as in truth, or truly, the common beginning of (peeches in Shakspeare's age. See Charles the First's Trial. The King and Bradshaw seldom say any thing without this preface: “ Truly, Sir
Intends you for his swift embafador,
Is there no remedy ? .
But is there any ?
Perpetual durance ?
But in what nature ?
Let me know the point.
The 4 Leiger is the famae with resident. Appointment; preparation; act of fitting, or state of being fitted for any thing. So in old books, we have a knight well appointed; that is, well armed and mounted, or fitted at all points. JOHNSON.
The word appointment, on this occasion, should seem to comprehend confession, communion, and absolution. « Let him (lays Escalus) be furnished with divines, and have all charitable preparation.” The King in Hamlet, who was cut off prematurely, and without such preparation, is faid to be dis-appointed. Appointment, however, may be more fimply explained by the following passage in Tbe Antipodes, 1638 :
STEEVENS. 3 A confinement of your mind to one painful idea ; to ignominy, of which the remembrance can neither be suppressed nor escaped.
JCHNSON, 6 A metaphor from stripping trees of their bark. Douce.