תמונות בעמוד

York. As in a theatre, the eyes of men, After a well-grac'd actor leaves the stage, Are idly bent on him that enters next, Thinking his prattle to be tedious: Even so, or with much more contempt, mens eyes Did scowl on Richard; no man cry'd, God save him! No joyful tongue gave him his welcome home; But dust was thrown upon his sacred head; Which with such gentle sorrow he shook off, His face still combating with tears and smiles, The badges of his grief and patience; That had not God, for some strong purpose, steel'd The hearts of men, they must perforce have melted; And barbarism itself have pitied him.

Richard II. atl $.sc. 3.

Northumberland. How doth my son and brother? Thou tremblest, and the whiteness in thy cheek Is apter than thy tongue to tell thy errand. Even such a man, so faint, so spiridess, So dull, so dead in look, so wo-be-gone, Drew Priam's curtain in the dead of night, And would have told him, half his Troy was burn'd; But Priam found the fire, ere he his tongue :. And I my Piercy's death, ere thou report'st it.

Second Part Henry IV. aft i.fc. 3.

Why, then I do but dream on sov'reignty,
Like one that stands upon a promontory,
And spies a far-off shore where he would tread,
Wishing his foot were equal with his eye,
And chides the sea that sunders him from thence,
Saying, he'll lave it dry to have his way:
So do I wish, the crown being so far off,


And so I chide the means that keep me from it,
And so (I fay) I'll cut the causes off,
Jlatt'ring my mind with things impossible.

Third Part HenryVI. aElT,.sc. 3.

■ Out, out, brief candle!

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,

And then is heard no more.

Macbeath, aft $.sc. 5.

O thou Goddess,

Thou divine Nature! how thyself thou blazon'st

In these two princely boys! they are as gentle

As zephyrs blowing below the violet,

Not wagging his sweet head; and yet as rough,

(Their royal blood inchaf'd) as the rud'st wind,

That by the top doth take the mountain-pine,

And make him stoop to th' vale.

Cymbeline, aSl 4.sc. 4,

Why did not I pass away in secret, like the flower of the rock that lifts its fair head unseen, and strows its withered leaves on the blast?


There is a joy in grief when peace dwells with the sorrowful. But they are wasted with mourning, O daughter of Toscar, and their days are few. They fall away like the flower on which the fun looks in his strength, after the mildew has passed over it, and its head is heavy with the drops of night.


Vol. II. N The The fight obtained of the city of Jerusalem by the Chrirtiati army, compared to that of land discovered after a long voyage, TafTo's Gierusalemy canto I'Jl. 4. The fury of Rinaldo subsiding when not opposed, to that of wind or water when it has a free passage, canto 20.ft. 58.

As words convey but a faint and obscure no-. tiqn of great numbers, a poet, to give a lively notion of the object he describes with regard to number, does well to compare it to what is familiar and commonly known. Thus Homer * compares the Grecian army in point of number to a swarm of bees: in another passage -j- he compares it to that profusion of leaves and flowers which appear in the spring, or of insects in a summer's evening: and Milton,

■ As when the potent rod

Of Amram's son in Egypt's evil day
Wav'd round the coast, up call'd a pitchy cloud
Of locusts, warping on the eastern wind,
That o'er the realm of impious Pharaoh hung
Like night, and darken'd all the land of Nile;
So numberless were those bad angels seen.
Hovering on wing under the cope of hell,
Twixt upper, nether, and surrounding fires.

Paradise Lost, book I.

Such comparisons have, by some writers £, been

* Book 2.1. in. f Eook 2.1. 551.

J Sec Vid<e Poetic, lib. 2. 1. 282.

condemned condemned for the lowness of the images introduced: but surely without reason; for, with regard to numbers, they put the principal subject in a strong light.

The foregoing comparisons operate by resemblance; others have the fame effect by contrast.

York. I am the last of Noble Edward's sons,
Of whom, thy father, Prince of Wales, was first;
In war, was never lion rag'd more fierce;
In peace, was never gentle lamb more mild;
Than was that young and princely gentleman.
His face thou hast, for even so look'd he,
AccompliflYd with the number of thy hours.
But when he frown'd, it was against the French,
And not against his friends. His noble hand
Did win what he did spend; and spent not that
Which his triumphant father's hand had won.
His hands were guilty of no kindred's blood,
But bloody with the enemies of his kin.
Oh, Richard! York is too far gone with grief,
Or else he never would compare between.

Richard II. ail t.fc. 3.

Milton has a peculiar talent in embellilhing the principal subject by associating it with others that are agreeable; which is the third end of a comparison. Similes of this kind have, beside, a separate effect: they diversify the narration by new images that are not strictly necessary to the comparison: they are short episodes, which, N 2 without without drawing us from the principal subject, afford great delight by their beauty and variety;

He scarce had ceas'd, when the superior fiend
Was moving toward the shore; his pond'rous shield,
Ethereal temper, massy, large, and round,
Behind him cast; the broad circumference
Hung on his shoulders like the moon, whose orb
Through optic glass the Tuscan artist views
■ At ev'ning from the top of Fesole,
Or in Valdarno, to descry new lands,
Rivers, or mountains, in her spotty globe.

Milton, b. I,

• Thus far these, beyond

Compare of mortal prowess, yet observ'd
Their dread commander. He, above the rest
In shape and gesture proudly eminent,
Stood like a tow'r; his form had yet not lost
All her original brightness, nor appear'd
Less than archangel ruin'd, and th' excess
Of glory obkur'd: as when the fun new-risen
Looks through the horizontal misty air
Shorn of his beams; or from behind the moon
In dim eclipse, disastrous twilight sheds
On half thcnations, and with fear of change
Perplexes monarchs.

Milton, 5, 1,

As when a vulture on Imaus bred,
Whose snowy ridge the roving Tartar bounds,
Dislodging from a region scarce of prey
To gorge the flesh of lambs, or yeanling kids,
Qn, hills where, flocks are fed, flies toward the springs


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