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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,
And so I chide the means that keep me from it,
Third Part HenryVI. aElT,.sc. 3.
■ Out, out, brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player,
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
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,
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
Milton, b. I,
• Thus far these, beyond
Compare of mortal prowess, yet observ'd
Milton, 5, 1,
As when a vulture on Imaus bred,