網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

And him by oath they truly honoured .
These worlds in Tarquin new ambition bred ;
Who, like a foul usurper, went about
From this fair throne to heave the owner out“.

What could he see, but mightily he noted ?
What did he note, but strongly he desir'd ?
What he beheld, on that he firmly doted,
And in his will his wilful eye he tir'd 5.
With more than admiration he admir'd

Her azure veins, her alabaster skin,
Her coral lips, her snow-white dimpled chin.

As the grim lion fawneth o'er his prey,
Sharp hunger by the conquest satisfied,
So o’er this sleeping soul doth Tarquin stay
His rage of lust, by gazing qualified R;
Slack'd, not suppress'd; for standing by her side,

" A pair of MAIDEN WORLDS unconquered,] Maiden worlds ! How happeneth this, friend Collatine, when Lucretia hath so long lain by thy side ? Verily, it insinuateth thee of coldness. AMNER.

2 Save of their lord, no bearing yoke they knew,] So, Ovid,. describing Lucretia in the same situation :

Effugiet? positis urgetur pectora palmis,

Nunc primum externá pectora tacta manu. Malone. 3 And him by oath they truly honoured.] Alluding to the ancient practice of swearing domesticks into service. So, in Cymbeline :

“ Her servants are all sworn and honourable.” Steevens. The matrimonial oath was, I believe, alone in our author's thoughts. MALONE. 4 — to HEAVE the owner out.] So, in a subsequent stanza :

“ My sighs, like whirlwinds, labour hence to heave thee." The octavo 1616, and the modern editions, read :

“ to have the owner out.” MALONE. 5 And in his will his wilful eye he tir'd.] This may mean• He glutted his lustful eye in the imagination of what he had resolved to do. To tire is a term in falconry. So, in Heywood's Rape of Lucrece: “ Must with keen fang tire upon thy flesh.” Perhaps we should read" And on his will,” &c. Steevens.

6 by gazing QUALIFIED ;] i. e. softened, abated, diminished. So, in The Merchant of Venice:

His eye, which late this mutiny restrains,
Unto a greater uproar tempts his veins :

And they, like straggling slaves for pillage fighting,
Obdurate vassals, fell exploits effecting?,
In bloody death and ravishment delighting,
Nor children's tears, nor mothers' groans respecting,
Swell in their pride, the onset still expecting :

Anon his beating heart, alarum striking,
Gives the hot charges, and bids them do their

liking.

His drumming heart chears up his burning eye,
His eye commends the leading to his hand ;
His hand, as proud of such a dignity,

“ I have heard
“ Your grace hath ta'en great pains to qualify,

“ His rigorous courses." STEEVENS. Again, in Othello : “ I have drunk but one cup to-night, and that was craftily qualified too.” MALONE.

7 — fell exploits Effecting,] Perhaps we should readaffecting. Steevens.

The preceding line, and the two that follow, support, I think, the old reading. Tarquin only expects the onset; but the slaves here mentioned do not affect or meditate fell exploits, they are supposed to be actually employed in carnage :

" for pillage fighting,

“ Nor children's tears, nor mothers' groans respecting." The subsequent line,

“ Swell in their pride, the onset still expecting :". refers, not to the slaves, but to Tarquin's veins. Malone. 8 GIVES the hot CHARGE,–] So, in Hamlet:

6 proclaim no shame,
“ When the compulsive ardour gives the charge."

STEEVENS. 9 His eye.commends the leading to his hand ;] To commend in our author's time sometimes signified to commit, and has that sense here. So, in The Winter's Tale:

" commend it strangely to some place,

“ Where chance may nurse, or end it.” Again, in King Richard II. :

" His glittering arms he will commend to rust.” Malcne. VOL. XX.

Smoking with pride, march'd on to make his stand On her bare breast, the heart of all her land”;

Whose ranks of blue veins, as his hand did scale, Left their round turrets destitute and pale.

They mustering to the quiet cabinet
Where their dear governess and lady lies,
Do tell her she is dreadfully beset,
And fright her with confusion of their cries :
She, much amaz’d, breaks ope her lock’d-up eyes,

Who, peeping forth this tumult to behold,
Are by his flaming torch dimm’d and controlld.

Imagine her as one in dead of night
From forth dull sleep by dreadful fancy waking,
That thinks she hath beheld some gastly sprite,
Whose grim aspéct sets every joint a shaking;
What terrour 'tis ! but she, in worser taking,

From sleep disturbed, heedfully doth view
The sight which makes supposed terror true .

Wrapp'd and confounded in a thousand fears,
Like to a new-kill'd bird she trembling lies;
She dares not look ; yet, winking, there appears

i On her bare breast, the HEART of all her land :] So, in Antony and Cleopatra :

" the very heart of loss." Again, in Hamlet :

" I will wear him

“In my heart's core; ay, in my heart of heart.” Malone. 2 The sight which makes supposed terror TRUE.] The octavo 1616, and the modern editions, read :

“ which makes supposed terror rue." Malone. 3 Wrapp'd and confounded in a thousand fears,

Like to a new-kill'd bird she TREMBLING lies;] So Ovid, describing Lucretia in the same situation :

Illa nihil ; neque enim vocem viresque loquendi

Aut aliquid toto pectore mentis habet.
Sed tremit-. MALONE.

Quick-shifting anticks, ugly in her eyes; i . Such shadows are the weak brain's forgeries ;

Who, angry that the eyes fly from their lights 5, In darkness daunts them with more dreadful , sights.

His hand, that yet remains upon her breast,
(Rude ram, to batter such an ivory wall !)
May feel her heart (poor citizen !) distress'd,
Wounding itself to death, rise up and fall,
Beating her bulk, that his hand shakes withal 6.

This moves in him more rage, and lesser pity,
To make the breach, and enter this sweet city,

First, like a trumpet, doth his tongue begin
To sound a parley to his heartless foe;
Who, o'er the white sheet peers her whiter chin,

4 Such shadows are the weak brain's FORGERIES;] So, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream :

“ These are the forgeries of jealousy." STEEVENS. Again, in Hamlet :

“ This is the very coinage of your brain :
“ This bodiless creation ecstacy

« Is very cunning in." MALONE. s — the eyes fly from their lights.] We meet with this conceit again in Julius Cæsar :

“ His coward lips did from their colour fly.Steevens. 6 Beating her bulk, that his hand shakes withal.] Bulk is frequently used by our author, and other ancient writers, for body. So, in Hamlet :

As it did seem to shatter all his bulk,

“ And end his being.” See vii. p. 261, n. 1. MALONE.

7 To make the breach, and enter this sweet city.] So, in our author's Lover's Complaint:

“And long upon these terms I held my city,

“ Till thus he'gan besiege me.” Again, in All's Well that Ends Well: “ — marry, in blowing him down again, with the breach yourselves made, you lose your city.

MALONE. 8 - o'er the white sheet peers her whiter chin,] So, in Cymbeline :

The reason of this rash alarm to know,
Which he by dumb demeanour seeks to show;

But she with vehement prayers urgeth still,
Under what colour he commits this ill.

Thus he replies: The colour in thy face 9
(That even for anger makes the lily pale,
And the red rose blush at her own disgrace,)
Shall plead for me, and tell my loving tale :
Under that colour am I come to scale

Thy never-conquer'd fort”; the fault is thine,
For those thine eyes betray thee unto mine.

Thus I forestall thee, if thou mean to chide:
Thy beauty hath ensnar'd thee to this night,
Where thou with patience must my will abide;

- fresh lily,
“ And whiter than the sheets.MALONE.
So Otway, in Venice Preserved :

“ in virgin sheets,

" White as her bosom." Steevens. 9 Under what COLOUR he commits this ill.

Thus he replies : The Colour in thy face-] The same play on the same words occurs in King Henry IV. Part II. :

«- this that you heard, was but a colour.
Shal. A colour, I fear, that you will die in, sir John."

STEEVENS. 1 And the red rose BLUSH AT HER OWN DISGRACE,] A thought somewhat similar occurs in May's Supplement to Lucan:

- labra rubenus
Non rosea æquaret, nisi primo victa fuisset,

Et pudor augeret quem dat natura ruborem. Steevens. 2 Under that colour am I come to scale .' Thy never-conquer'd fort :] So, in Marlowe's Hero and Leander :

6 every limb did, as a souldier stout,
“ Defend the fort, and keep the foe-man out :
“ For though the rising ivory mount he scald,
" Which is with azure circling lines empal'd,

“ Much like a globe,&c. We have had in a former stanza

“ Her breasts, like ivory globes circled with blue." Malone.

« 上一頁繼續 »