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And my true eyes have never practis'd how ,
They think not but that every eye can see
And grave, like water that doth eat in steel,
Here she exclaims against repose and rest,
“ The gaudy, blabbing, and remorseful day.” SteevenS. A passage in The Winter's Tale may serve to ascertain the meaning of night's scapes here; “Mercy on's, a barne! a very pretty barne !-Sure some scape : though I am not very bookish, I can read waiting-gentlewoman in the scape."
Escapium is a barbarous Latin word, signifying what comes by chance or accident. Malone.
0 in darkness Be,] The octavo 1616, and the modern editions, read, without authority :
“ they still in darkness lie." Malone. i Here she exclaims against REPOSE and Rest,
And bids her eyes hereafter still be blind.] This passage will serve to confirm the propriety of Dr. Johnson's emendation in Cymbeline, Act III. Sc. IV. vol, xiii. p. 121, n.3:
“ I'll wake mine eye-balls blind first.” Steevens. 8 She wakes her heart by beating on her BREAST, · And bids it leap from thence, where it may find
Some purer chest, to close so pure a mind.] So, in King Richard II.:
“ A jewel in a ten-times-barr'd-up chest
O, comfort-killing night, image of hello!
Grim cave of death, whispering conspirator
O, hateful, vaporous, and foggy night,
His wonted height, yet ere he go to bed,
With rotten damps ravish the morning air ;
9 O comfort-killing night! IMAGE OF HELL!] So, in King Henry V.:
“Never sees horrid night, the child of hell." Steevens. 1 Black stage for tragedies-] In our author's time, I believe, the stage was hung with black, when tragedies were performed. The hanging however was, I suppose, no more than one piece of black baize placed at the back of the stage, in the room of the tapestry which was the common decoration when comedies were acted. See the Account of the Ancient English Theatres, vol. iii.
Malone. 2 Let their EXHAL'D UNWHOLESOME BREATHs make sick The life of purity, the supreme pair,] So, in King Lear :
“ infect her beauty,
“ Ye fen-suck'd fogs " STEEvens. 3 — noon-tide prick ;] So, in King Henry VI. Part III. :
“ And made an evening at the noon-tide prick." i.e. the point of noon. Again, in Damon and Pythias, 1571 :
“ It pricketh fast upon noon.” STEEVENS. · Again, in Acolastus his After-witte, 1600 : “ Scarce had the sun attain'd his noon-tide prick."
That in their smoky ranks his smother'd light
Were Tarquin night, (as he is but night's child 5.)
The silver-shining queen he would distain ;
And fellowship in woe doth woe assuage,
4 And let thy Misty vapours march so thick,] The quarto, by an evident error of the press, reads-musty. The subsequent copies have—misty. So, before :
“Muster thy mists to meet the eastern light."
“ misty night
“ Covers the shame that follows such delight.” Malong. s — (as he is but night'S CHILD,)] The wicked, in scriptural language, are called the children of darkness. Steevens.
6 — he would DiSTAIN;] Thus all the copies before that of 1616, which reads :
“ The silver-shining queen he would disdain." Dr. Sewell, unwilling to print nonsense, altered this to
" him would disdain." MALONE. 7 Her twinkling HANDMAIDS-] That is, the stars. So, in Troilus and Cressida:
“ By all Diana's waiting-women yonder,
“ And by herself, I will not tell you whose.” MALONE. 8 Through night's BLACK BOSOM should not peep again :] So, in Macbeth:
“Nor heaven peep through the blanket of the dark,
“ To cry, hold, hold.” Malone. 9 And fellOWSHIP in woe doth woe assuage,] So, in King Lear:
“ But then the mind much sufferance doth o'er-skip,
“When grief hath mates, and bearing fellowship." Again, in Romeo and Juliet:
“ or if sour woe delight in fellowship .". So Chaucer, Troilus and Creseide, b.i. :
“ Men saie, to wretch is consolation,
Solamen miseris socios habuisse doloris. I believe this is a line of Cato's distichs. It is found in a common school book; Synopsis Coinmunium Locorum. Steevens.
As palmers' chat makes short their pilgrimage.] This is the
Where now? I have no one to blush with me,
O night, thou furnace of foul-reeking smoke,
That all the faults which in thy reign are made, May likewise be sepulcher'd in thy shade 5!
reading of the quarto 1594. The octavo 1616, and all the modern editions, read, unintelligibly: “ As palmers that make short their pilgrimage.”
MALONE. “ As palmers' chat makes short their pilgrimage.” So, in King Richard 11.:
" - rough uneven ways
And yet your fair discourse hath been as sugar,
“ Making the hard way sweet and delectable.” Again, ibid.:
“ — wanting your company,
“ The tediousness and process of my travel.” STEEVENS. 2 Where now-] Where, for whereas. Malone. 3 To cross their arnis, and haNG THEIR HEADS with mine, TO MASK THEIR BROWS, -] So, in Macbeth:
“What, man! ne'er pull your hat upon your brows;
“ Give sorrow words.” MALONE. 4 Seasoning the earth with showers of silver brine ;] So, in Shakspeare's Lover's Complaint:
“Laund'ring the silken figures in the brine,
“ Which season'd woe had pelleted in tears.” Again, in All's Well that Ends Well : “— tears, -the best brine a maiden can season her praise in.” Malone.
5 May likewise be SEPULCHER'd in thy shade!] The word
Make me not object to the tell-tale day!
To'cipher what is writ in learned books,
W not hed books or looks.
The nurse, to still her child, will tell my story,
The orator, to deck his oratory,
Will tie the hearers to attend each line,
sepulcher'd is thus accented by Milton, in his verses on our author :
“ And so sepulcher'd in such pomp does lie,
Malone. 5 - CHARACTER'd in my BROW,] So, in one of Daniel's Sonnets, 1592 :
“ And if a brow with care's characters painted—.” This word was, I suppose, thus accented when our author wrote, and is at this day pronounced in the same manner by the common people of Ireland, where, I believe, much of the pronunciation of Queen Elizabeth's age is yet retained. Malone. 6 Will Quote -] Will mark or observe. So, in Hamlet :
“I am sorry that with better heed and judgment
" I had not quoted him." MALONE. 7 And FRIGHT HER CRYING BABE with TARQUIN'S NAME;] The power with which the poet here invests the name of Tarquin, has been attributed to the famous John Talbot, earl of Shrewsbury, and to our King Richard I. MALONE. Thus, in Dryden's Don Sebastian :
« Nor shall Sebastian's formidable name
“ Be longer usd to still the crying babe.” Steevens. 8 Feast-finding minstrels -] Our ancient minstrels were the constant attendants on feasts. I question whether Homer's De modocus was a higher character. Steevens.