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O, then his lines would ravish savage ears,
Few passages have been more canvassed than this. I believe, it wants no alteration of the words, but only of the pointing:
And when love speaks (the voice of all) the gods
Make heaven drowsy with thy harmony. Love, I apprehend, is called the voice of all, as gold, in Timon, is said to speak with every tongue; and the gods (being drowsy themselves with the harmony) are supposed to make heaven drow. sy: If one could possibly suspect Shakspeare of having read Pindar, one should say, that the idea of music making the hearers drowsy, was borrowed from the first Pythian. Tyrwhitt.
Perhaps here is an accidental transposition. We may read, as I think, some one has proposed before:
The voice makes all the gods
Of heaven drowsy with the harmony. Farmer. That harmony had the power to make the hearers drowsy, the present commentator might infer from the effect it usually produces on himself. In Cinthia's Revenge, 1613, however, is an instance which should weigh more with the reader:
“ Howl forth some ditty, that vast hell may ring
“ With charms all potent, earth asleep to bring. Again, in A Midsummer Night's Dream:
-music call, and strike more dead, “ Than common sleep, of all these five the sense.” Steedens. So, also, in King Henry IV, P. II:
“Will whisper musick to my wearied spirit.” Again, in Pericles, 1609:
Most heavenly musick!
“ Hangs on mine eyes.-Let me rest.” Malone. 6 From women's eyes this doctrine I derive:] In this speech I suspect a more than common instance of the inaccuracy of the first publishers:
From women's eyes this doctrine I derive, and several other lines, are as unnecessarily repeated. Dr. Warburton was aware of this, and omitted two verses, which Dr. Johnson has since inserted. Perhaps the players printed from piece-meal parts, or retained what the author had rejected, as well as what had undergone his revisal. It is here given according to the regulation of the old copies. Steevens.
This and the two following lines, are omitted by Warburton, not from inadvertency, but because they are repeated in a subsequent part of the speech. There are also some other lines repeated in the like manner. But we are not to conclude fror
They sparkle still the right Promethean fire;
thence, that any of these lines ought to be struck out. peats the principal topicks of his argument, as preachers do their text, in order to recall the attention of the auditors to the subject of their discourse. M. Mason.
a word that loves all men;] We should read:
- a word all women love. The following line:
Or for men's sake (the authors of these women;) which refers to this reading, puts it out of all question.
Warburton. Perhaps we might read thus, transposing the lines:
Or for love's sake, a word that loves all men;
Or for men's sake, the authors of these women. The antithesis of a word that all men love, and a word which loves all men, though in itself worth little, has much of the spirit of this play. Fohnson.
There will be no difficulty, if we correct it to, “men's sakes, the authors of these words." Farmer.
I think no alteration should be admitted in these four lines, that destroys the artificial structure of them, in which, as has been observed by the author of The Revisal, the word which terminates every line is prefixed to the word sake in that immedi. ately following. Tollet. a word that loves all men;
;] i. e. that is pleasing to all men. So, in the language of our author's time:-it likes me well, for it pleases me. Shakspeare uses the word thus licentiously, merely for the sake of the antithesis. Men in the following line are with sufficient propriety said to be authors of women, and these again of men, the aid of both being necessary to the continuance of human kind. There is surely, therefore, no need of any of the alterations that have been proposed to be made in these lines.
Malone. the authors —] Old copies—author. The emendation was suggested by Dr. Johnson. " Malone.
It is religion to be thus forsworn:
King. Saint Cupid, then! and, soldiers, to the field!
Biron. Advance your standards, and upon them, lords;' Pell-mell, down with them! but be first advis’d, In conflict that you get the sun of them..
Long. Now to plain-dealing; lay these glozes by: Shall we resolve to woo these girls of France?
King. And win them too: therefore let us devise Some entertainment for them in their tents,
Biron. First, from the park let us conduct them thither; Then, homeward, every man attach the hand Of his fair mistress: in the afternoon We will with some strange pastime solace them, Such as the shortness of the time can shape; For revels, dances, masks, and merry hours, Fore-run fair Love,strewing her way with flowers.
King. Away, away! no time shall be omitted, That will be time, and may by us be fitted. Biron. Allons! Allons !-Sow'd cockle reap'd no corn;8
And justice always whirls in equal measure: Light wenches may prove plagues to men forsworn;
If so, our copper buys no better treasure.* [Exeunt.
9 Advance your standards, and upon them, lords ;] So, in King Richard III:
“ Advance your standards, set upon our foes --;” Steevens.
-but be first advis'd, In conflict that you get the sun of them.] In the days of archery, it was of consequence to have the sun at the back of the bowmen, and in the face of the enemy. This circumstance was of great advantage to our Henry the Fifth at the battle of Agincourt.- Our poet, however, I believe, had also an equivoque in his thoughts.
Malone. 2 Fore-run, fair Love,] i.e. Venus. So, in Antony and Cleopatra: “ Now for the love of Love, and her soft hours.
-." Malone. sow'd cockle reap'd no corn;] This proverbial expression intimates, that beginning with perjury, they can expect to reap nothing but falshood. The following lines lead us to this sense.
Warburton. Dr. Warburton's first interpretation of this passage, which is preserved in Mr. Theobald's edition,-“
-“ if we don't take the proper measures for winning these ladies, we shall never achieve them,”—is undoubtedly the true one, Heath.
ACT V.... SCENE I.
Another part of the same.
Nath. I praise God for you, sir: your reasons at dinner have been6 sharp and sententious; pleasant without scurrility, witty without affection,? audacious without impudency, learned without opinion, and strange without heresy. I did converse this quondam day with a companion of the king's, who is intituled, nominated, or called, Don Adriano de Armado.
Hol. Novi hominem tanquam te: His humour is lofty, his discourse peremptory, his tongue filed, 8 his eye ambitious, his gait majestical, and his general behaviour vain, ridiculous, and thrasonical.' He is too picked, 1
Mr. Edwards, however, approves of Dr. Warburton's second thoughts. Malone.
4 If so, our copper buys no better treasure.] Here Mr. Theobald ends the third Act. Johnson. 5 Satis quod sufficit.] i.e. Enough's as good as a feast. Steevens.
- your reasons at dinner have been &c.] I know not well what degree of respect Shakspeare intends to obtain for this vicar, but he has here put into his mouth a finished representation of colloquial excellence. It is very difficult to add any thing to his character of the schoolmaster's table-talk, and perhaps all the precepts of Castiglione will scarcely be found to comprehend a rule for conversation so justly delineated, so widely dilated, and so nicely limited.
It may be proper just to note, that reason here, and in many other places, signifies discourse, and that audacious is used in a good sense for spirited, animated, confident. Opinion is the same with obstinacy or opiniatreté. Johnson.
-without affection,] i.e. without affectation. So, in Hamlet : "
-No matter that might indite the author of affection." Again, in Twelfth Night, Malvolio is called “an affection'd ass.
Steevens. his tongue filed,] Chaucer, Skelton, and Spenser, are frequent in their use of this phrase. Ben Jonson has it likewise.
Steevens. -thrasonical.] The use of the word thrasonical is no argu. ment that the author had read Terence. It was introduced to our language long before Shakspeare's time. Farmer.
It is found in Bullokar's Expositor, 8vo. 1616. Malone.
too spruce, too affected, too odd, as it were, too perigrinate, as I may call it. Nath. A most singular and choice epithet.
[Takes out his table-book. Hol. He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument. I abhor such fanatical phantasms, such insociable and point-devise3 companions; such rackers of orthography, as to speak, dout, fine, when he should say, doubt; det, when he should pronounce, debt; d, e, b, t; not, d, e, t, he clepeth a calf, cauf; half, hauf; neighbour, vocatur, nebour; neigh, abbreviated, ne: This is abhominable,* (which he would
1 He is too picked,] To have the beard piqued or shorn so as to end in a point, was, in our author's time, a mark of a travel. ler affecting foreign fashions: so says the Bastard in King John:
- I catechise “My piqued man of countries.” Johnson. See a note on King John, Act I, and another on King Lear, where the reader will find the epithet piqued differently spelt and interpreted.
Piqued may allude to the length of the shoes then worn. Bul. wer, in his Artificial Changeling, says: “We weare our forked shoes almost as long again as our feete, not a little to the hindrance of the action of the foote; and not only so, but they prove an impediment to reverentiall devotion, for our bootes and shoes are so long snouted, that we can hardly kneele in God's house."
Steevens. I believe picked (for so it should be written) signifies nicely drest in general, without reference to any particular fashion of dress. It is a metaphor taken from birds, who dress themselves by picking out or pruning their broken or superfluous feathers. So Chaucer uses the word, in his description of Damian dressing himself, Canterbury Tales, v. 9885: “He kembeth him, he proineth him and piketh.” And Shakspeare, in this very play, uses the corresponding word pruning for dressing, Act IV, sc. iii :
s or spend a minute's time
“ In pruning me-," The substantive pickedness is used by Ben Jonson for nicety in dress. Discoveries, Vol. VII, Whalley's edit. p. 116: “— too much pickedness is not manly.” Tyrwhitt.
phantasms,] See Act IV, sc. i;
-point-devise-) A French expression for the utmost or finical exactness. So, in Twelfth Night, Malvolio says:
“I will be point-device, the very man.” Steevens. 4 This is abhominable, &c.] He has here well imitated the lan.