« PreviousContinue »
Which I so lively acted with my tears,
authors draw the very picture, and give us all the circumstances of it, which S. never once ains at; wherefore the passages can never with any propriety be compared with one another, so as to fix the fuperiority of either: they are no more than different allusions to the same story; whose merits
may both be great, but diffimilar ; as Guido's would have been had he painted the distrelled king Lear; and Garrick's, when he represents to us those distrelles. Seward reads the 7th line, And you
fhall find all true-put 'm on th' wild ifand. " Because,” she says,“ she tells her maid, You'll find all true except the wild island, and instantly the is upon the island.” The wild illand, therefore, in our imagination, is as true as the rest. But it is plain by the text, Aspatia wanted no part to be done over again, except that of the lady: the tells her maid, “Me has failed in working Ariadne ; that her colours were not dull and pale enough to express that fad lady's misery ; which she bids ber do by her mistress, who was the life of that poor picture, and in whom she would find all the distresses of Ariadne exactly true, and most really figured, except that part of it which concerns the wild inand, where she was left by Theseus.” Aspatia indeed, was not.on such an island, but all her other distresses were like those of Ariadne. “Suppose that then,” says she,“ imagine me standing on the sea-beach, mine arms extended thus, and my hair blown with the wind, wild as that defart, and all let [loose ] about me, tell [fufficiently and in reality declare] I am forsaken," @ri Theabald alters, Tell I am forsaken, to Be teachers of my story: let all about me be teachers of my story. The reader need not, I suppose, be told, how frequently, let all about fignifies, let loose, diseveled, in S. and many other dramatic writers,-Seward proposes to read the last line in the text,
¢ If I in thought feel not her very sorrow; which, though an ingenious criticism, I cannot think quite agreeable to the text. Julia observes,--he acted the part so lively with her tears, that her mistress wept bitterly;
Wept bitterly; and, would I might be dead,
A CT V.. SCENE III.
Women sacred even to Banditti. Fear not, he bears an honourable mind, And will not use a woman (24) lawlessly.
nay, she adds, I would I might be dead, If I did not really and truly (and not in diflimulation only) feel all her forrow, and actually then suffer all her miseries. I cannot think the author would have written-wou'd I might be dead -had he written, If I feel not. I hope that gentleman, who fhows so great candor and good-nature through all his criticisms, will excuse my differing from him, and expressing my sentiments so freely; a duty, which I think, his authors demand, truth will justify, and good sense approve. Let me conclude this long note with Ariadne's own description of herself, in her epistle to Theseus;
You cannot see, yet think you saw me now,
Ovid's Epistles. (24) Will not use a woman, &c.] Valentine makes it one of his terms, on becoming their captain,--that they do no outrages on filly women or poor passengers. Act 4. Sc. In See the last passage in this play,They say of them. felves,
Some of us are gentlemen,
A Lover in Solitude.
How use doth (25) breed a habit in a man!
Tune my distresses, and record my woes.
What (27) dang'rous action, stood it next to death, Wou'd I not undergo for one calm look?
Oh, (25) How use dath, &c.] See As you like it, Act 2. Sc. i.
Now my co-mates, &c. (26) Othou, &c.] St. obferves very truly, that it is fcarce possible to point out four lines in any of our author's plays, more remarkable for ease and elegance than this and the three following.
(27) What, &c.] Ovid tells us, love is ever daring, and bold to undertake any thing.
Et nibil est quod non effræno captus amore
Whom love's wild passion rules ?
Amor timere neminem verus poteft,
True love can never fear.
Oh, 'tis the curse in love, and still approv'd,
Pro. My shame, and guilt, confounds me :
Val. Then I am paid :
Inconstancy in Man.
Oh heav'n! were mai
. Gentleman. Now by the honour (29) of my ancestry,
(28) See Measure for Measure, Act 2. Sc. 7.
I do applaud thy fpirit, Valentine,
Reformed Exiles. These banished men, Are men endu'd with worthy qualities They are reformed, civil, full of good, And fit for great employment, worthy lord. 'cularly, says Mrs. G., in this speech, is the gallant duke's asseveration, in that truly noble expression,
Now, by the bonour of my ancestry. It was this generous, fpirited idea that continued down the race of heroes among us, while they did exist, and were the profession of heraldry never to be considered in any other light, than as a record of mens' worth, not titles, it would then both become a political and liberal science. Honours, as Selden fays, should be native only, and not dative: derived from merits, not from gifts. Our author, in the Winter's Tale, has a passage to this purpose :
As you are certain gentlemen; thereto
General Observation. Julia's love-adventures being in some respects the same with those of Viola in Twelfth Night, the same novel might give rise to them both; and Valentine's falling amongst out-laws, and becoming their captain, is an incident that has some resemblance to one in the Arcadia (book 1, chap. 6.) where Pyracles heads the Helots: all the other