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What could induce Mr. Weber to give the line in this manner?
no pretended clause
G. 250. W.232.-After so many quarrels as dissention Had broach'd in blood.] "Broach'd is spitted, transfixed. The metaphor is rather forced, if we accept this explication, but there is no other meaning of the word, which could at all apply here."
Mr. Weber is a very chivalrous sort of a challenger:there are many other meanings;-one he might have found in this very drama, had he ever been able to carry his recollection from one page to another. When Bassanes sees the blood spring from the punctured arm of Orgilus, he exclaims
"It sparkles like a lusty wine new broach'd;
The vessel must be sound from which it issues."
Is this at all applicable? But what folly can equal Mr. Weber's! The first Dyche or Dilworth at hand would have informed him that to broach is to open, to give vent, to pierce a vessel, to draw off liquor, &c. Fie on't!
G. 252. W.233.
no time can eat into the pledge. "Our author was thinking of the very common metaphor of the worm of time, and this makes him forget the impropriety of the present allusion."
How fortunate that Mr. Weber remembered it! But" our author" was thinking of tempus edax rerum, a metaphor, as Mr. Weber is pleased to call it, quite out of his way.
G. 254. W.235.-As far from any will of mine.
G.254. W.235.-On fitting fortune.
G. 257. W.238.-Your humble subject.
G. 257. W. 238.-I have wrought,
To crown thy temples, this provincial garland. "I am not certain (what a pity!) whether the garland was composed of provincial or provencial roses, which are mentioned in Hamlet: 'provencial roses on my razed shoes'!!! It is certainly a violent anachronism to introduce Provençal roses in a tale of Sparta, which, however, the common usage of the appellation for the rosa centifolia would excuse, &c." And this unutterable stupidity, of which I can copy no more, has been graciously accepted by the public! They merit it all. The garland, however, was of bay. It was the reward of the heroic times for conquering a province; and was now appropriately bestowed on Ithocles for adding the province of Messene to Laconia.
G. 258. W.239.-She is in all our own daughter. How musical! Read: She is in all our daughter.
G. 259. W.239.-I use not these fit slights. i. e. "arts, subtle practices."
Here, as every where else, Mr. Weber runs to his index; and here, as every where else, he blunders on the wrong example. By slights, Ithocles means undervaluings; and by fit, adapted to (what he modestly terms) his own want of merit.
G. 260. W.241.-You wish'd your country peace.
Read: You wish'd your country's peace.
She sneeringly repeats the general's commendation.
G. 260. W.241.
and altogether. This does not give the poet's meaning. Read as he wrote-and all together.
This foolish insertion spoils the metre.
for to speak the truth.
G.268. W.247.-These apish boys, when they but task the gram
The principles of theory.
Read: These apish boys, when they but taste the gram
And principles of theory.
G. 271. W.250.-Suddenly, "i.e. immediately." Ringrazio!
G. 272. W.250.-Cull, passim. Read: coll.
G. 272. W. 251. Struck on their foreheads.
Read: Stuck on the foreheads.
G. 272. W.251.-No woman but can fall, and doth, or would. "i. e. No woman, if she but can fall, doth fall, or if she cannot, fain would fall."
And this I take to be a clear account of the matter! Bassanes says, Every woman is liable to fall; and either actually does fall, or would, if an opportunity offered. It is against the last chance that he purposes to guard, by closing his doors and windows.
G.273. W. 251.
they say the king has mow'd All his gray beard. "Old copy, mew'd."
This is almost too absurd for Mr. Weber. Is there a child in the kingdom who does not know that to mew, is to moult, to shed the feathers? &c. And this precious correction (mowed) is, with the most undoubting simplicity, advanced into the text!
G. 276. W.254.-I must attend
Whether you please.
How they flatter
Could nothing excite Mr. Weber's suspicion?
Wagtails and jays together!
G.277. W.255.-Pleasant! how?
The speaker is in no mood for pleasantry: he speaks in the impatience of anger to Phulas.
Read: Peasant, how?
G. 283. W.259.—Demur, “ i. e. delay." No doubt!
G.283. W.260.-Marriage joys are-the sinews of concord. "A metaphor taken from the sinews of a musical instrument.” Excellent.
G. 285. W 262.-Asleep, sleep, sir.
Read Asleep! asleep, sir!
The matter is not much; and yet it should be noticed, for it spoils the verse.
such alacrity as nature
And custom did delight in.
And custom took delight in.
Why was this silly change?
G. 286. W.263.-Exit Orgilus.
Orgilus is the chief speaker in the scene!
G. 287. W.264.
As sweetly scented as the incense smoking
"Those," Mr. Weber says, "is necessary to sense and metre, and is therefore introduced without apology."
Had the assertion been true, Mr. Weber would have stumbled on a very good apology without knowing it. What sense the insertion of those found or left in the verse, is known only to himself:-but this is all he says on this exquisite passage-broken and confused indeed, far beyond his power of restitution; but which (as appears from his next note) he neither comprehended, nor felt in the slightest degree.
G. 291. W.267.-I tear my veil.
Read: I will tear my veil.
G. 293. W.268.—Pro. In vain we labour, &c.
Here Mr. Weber has absurdly taken a speech from Penthea, to whom it characteristically belongs, and given it to Prophilus.
G. 294. W.269.-Hath shock'd that shadow off.
Read: Hath shook that shadow off.
G. 295. W.270.—For basis, r. bases; and, for treasons or adulteries, r. treasons and adulteries.
G. 295. W.270.-Intrenching on just laws.
"This is a singular use of this verb, and it is put here for trenching upon just laws."
G. 296. W.271.—But let the gods be moderators still!
'Moderators, a metaphor, taken from the office of moderators in public corporations."
G. 296. W.271.-The prince of Argos
"i.e. expected. This use of the verb is not very common, but the deduction of the meaning from the more common sense of it is sufficiently plain."
Best of all! Mr. Weber had but to read the very next line, to see that the prince (so far from being expected) was al