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My mate, that's never to be found again,
So I alone, now left difconfolate,
Mourn to myself the abfence of my love;
Seek, with my plaints, to match that mournful dove.
To the Story-book, or, " Pleasant Hiftory (as it is called) of Doraftus and Fawnea," written by Robert Greene, M. A. we are indebted for S's Winter's Tale. Greene
joined with Dr. Lodge in writing a play, called "A Looking Glafs for London and England," printed in 1598, in quarto, and black letter; and many of his other works, which are very numerous, were published about that time, and this amongst the reft. It went through many impreffions, all of the fame form and letter as the play; and that fo low down as the year 1664, of which year I have a copy, fays Capell.
This play, throughout, is written in the very spirit of its author. And in telling this homely and fimple, though agreeable country tale,
Our sweetest Shakespear, fancy's child,
This was neceffary to obferve in mere juftice to the play; as the meanness of the fable, and the extravagant conduct of it, had mifled fome of a great name into a wrong judg ment of its merit; which, as far as it regards fentiment and character, is fcarcely inferior to any in the whole collection. W. 7. allows this play to be very entertaining; and the character of Autolycus very naturally conceived, and ftrongly reprefented.
Antony and Cleopatra.
ACT I. SCENE I.
His captain's heart
Which in the fcuffles of great fights hath burft
Love, the Nobleness of Life.
Let (2) Rome in Tyber melt, and the wide arch Of the rang'd empire fall; here is my space,
(1) Reneges.] i. e. Renounces. Pope. 7. obferves, that in the two laft lines, fomething feems to be wanting. The bellows and fan being commonly used for contrary purposes, were probably oppofed by the author, who might perhaps have written bellows and the fan, to kindle and to cool a gipfy's luft. Gipfy is here ufed both in the original meaning of an Egyptian, and in its accidental fenfe, for a bad woman.
(2) Let, &c.] It is remarked by Plutarch, of Antony, that his language and manner of fpeaking were, like his temper, turgid and ambitious; and that he affected the Afiatic manner: S., we find, not only from the style of the prefent, but many other of Antony's fpeeches, was no franger to this particular, which is an additional proof of his learning as well as his inimitable excellence in keeping up the historical truth of his characters.
Kingdoms are clay; our dungy earth alike
Fie, (3) wrangling queen!
Whom every thing becomes, to chide, to laugh,
SCENE II. Great Minds refpect Truth.
Mef. The nature of bad news infects the teller. Ant. When it concerns the fool, or coward On : Things, that are paft, are done, with me: 'tis thus ; Who tells me true, though in his tale lye death, I hear him as he flatter'd.
Speak to me home; mince not the general tongue : Name Cleopatra as fhe's called in Rome:
Rail thou in Fulvia's phrafe; and taunt my faults With fuch full licence, as both truth and malice Have power to utter. O, then we bring forth weeds When our quick winds lie ftill; (4) and our ills told us, Is as our earing.
Things loft valued.
There's a great spirit gone! Thus did I defire it;
(3) Fie, &c.] See Winter's Tale, where Florizel fpeaks of Perdita nearly the fame thing, but with greater elegance.
(4) Quick winds lie ftill.] The fenfe is, that man, not agitated by cenfure, like fuil not ventilated by quick winds, produces more evil than good. J.