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Delight in them sets offs : some kinds of baseness
5 There be some sports are PAINFUL ; and their LABOUR
Hor, sat. 2. lib. ii. STEEVENS, We have again the same thought in Macbeth :
“ The labour we delight in physicks pain." After “ and," at the same time must be understood. Mr. Pope, unnecessarily reads~" But their labour," which has been followed by the subsequent editors. In like manner in Coriolanus, Act IV. the same change was made
“ I am a Roman, and (i. e. and yet) my services are, as you are, against them.” Mr. Pope reads—“ I am a Roman, but my services,” &c. MALONE.
'I prefer Mr. Pope's emendation, which is justified by the following passage in the same speech :
This my mean task would be “ As heavy to me as 'tis odious; but
$. The mistress that I serve,” &c. It is surely better to change a single word, than to countenance one corruption by another, or suppose that four words, necessary to produce sense, were left to be understood. Steevens.
Only one word, yet, is left to be understood. At the same time is explanatory of the sense in which that word is employed.
BoswELL. 6 This my mean task would be —] The metre of this line is defective in the old copy, by the words would be being transferred to the next line. Our author and his contemporaries generally use odious as a trisyllable. Malone. Mr. Malone prints the passage as follows:
This my mean task would be " As heavy to me, as odious: but The word odious, as he observes, is sometimes used as a trisyllable.-Granted; but then it is always with the penult. short. The metre, therefore, as regulated by him, would still be defective.
By the advice of Dr. Farmer, I have supplied the necessary monosyllable—'tis; which completes the measure, without the slightest change of sense. STEEVENS.
I have restored the reading of the old copy. The first line is indeed defective, but innumerable instances of the same license
The mistress, which I serve, quickens what's dead,
Enter MIRANDA; and PROSPERO at a distance.
Alas, now! pray you,
O most dear mistress,
occur in these plays. See the Essay on Shakspeare's Versification. Boswell.
- I forget :] Perhaps Ferdinand means to say, I forget my ask ; but that is not surprising, for I am thinking on Miranda, and these sweet thoughts, &c. He may, however mean, that he
forgets or thinks little of the baseness of his employment.” Whichsoever be the sense, And, or For, should seem more proper in the next line, than But. Malone. 8 Most BUSY-less, when I do it.] The two first folios read :
“ Most busy lest, when I do it.” 'Tis true this reading is corrupt; but the corruption is so very little removed from the truth of the text, that I cannot afford to think well of my own sagacity for having discovered it.
If you'll sit down,
No, precious creature:
It would become me
Poor worm ! thou art infected; This visitation shews it. MIRA.
You look wearily. FER. No, noble mistress; 'tis fresh morning with
Miranda :-O my father,
9 And yours against.] The old
reads " And yours it is against." By the advice of Dr. Farmer I have omitted the words in Italicks, as they are needless to the sense of the passage, and would have rendered the hemistich too long to join with its successor in making a regular verse. STEEVENS.
— 'tis fresh morning with me,
Tu mihi curarum requies, tu nocte vel atrâ
Tibul. lib. iv, el. xiii. MALONE. hest —] For behest ; i. e, command. So before, Act I. Sc. II. :
“Refusing her grand hests -." STEEVENS.
I have ey'd with best regard; and many a time
I do not know
3 Of every creature's best.] Alluding to the picture of Venus by Apelles. Johnson.
Had Shakspeare availed himself of this elegant circumstance, he would scarcely have said, “ of every creature's best,” because such a phrase includes the component parts of the brute creation. Had he been thinking on the judicious selection made by the Grecian Artist, he would rather have expressed his meaning by "every woman's," or "every beauty's best.” Perhaps he had only in his thoughts a fable related by Sir Phillip Sidney in the third book of his Arcadia. The beasts obtained permission from Jupiter to make themselves a King; and accordingly created one of every çreature's best :
“ Full glad they were, and tooke the naked sprite,
“ Which straight the earth yclothed in his clay : “ The lyon heart; the ounce gave active might;
“ The horse good shape; the sparrow lust to play ;
“ Nightingale voice, entising songs to say, &c. &c. “ Thus man was made; thus man their lord became." In the 1st book of the Arcadia, a similar praise is also bestowed by a lover on his mistress : “ She is her selfe of best things the collection.”
Besides yourself, to like of : But I prattle
I am, in my condition,
4 Therein forget.] The old copy, in contempt of metre, reads .“ I therein do forget.” STEEVENS.
than I would suffer, &c.] The old copy reads—Than to suffer. The emendation is Mr. Pope's Steevens.
The reading of the old copy is right, however ungrammatical. So, in All's Well that Ends Well: “No more of to, no more; lest it be rather thought you affect a sorrow, than to have.”
See vol. x. p. 311, n.8.
that there were
“ What would you do?” MALONE. The defective metre shows that some corruption had happened in the present instance. I receive no deviations from established grammar, on the single authority of the folio. STEEVENS.
6 The flesh-fly blow my mouth.] i. e. swell and inflame my mouth. So, in Antony and Cleopatra :
“ Here is a vent of blood and something blown." Again, ibid. :
and let the water-flies “ Blow me into abhorring:
MALONE. I believe Mr. Malone is mistaken. To blow, as it stands in the text, means 'the act of a fly by which she lodges eggs in flesh.' So, in Chapman's version of the Iliad :
- I much fear, lest with the blows of flies “ His brass-inflicted wounds are fill'd". STEEVENS.