图书图片
PDF
ePub

1

1 WATCH. This man said, sir, that Don John, the prince's brother, was a villain.

Dogs. Write down prince John a villain :Why this is flat perjury, to call a prince's brother

villain.
BORA. Mafter conftable, -

Dogs. Pray thee, fellow, peace; I do not like thy look, I promise thee.

SEXTON. What heard you him fay else?

2 WATCH. Marry, that he had received a thoufand ducats of Don John, for accusing the lady Hero wrongfully.

Dogs. Flat burglary, as ever was committed.
VERG. Yea, by the mass, that it is.
SEXTON. What else, fellow?

1 WATCH. And that count Claudio did mean, upon his words, to disgrace Hero before the whole affembly, and not marry her.

DogB. O villain! thou wilt be condemned into everlasting redemption for this.

SEXTON. What else?
2 WATCH. This is all.

all concus in reading Yea, marry, that's the eftelt way, &c. A letter happened to flip out at press in the first edition ; and 'twas too hard a talk for the subsequent editors to put it in, or guess at the word under this aceidental depravation. There is no doubt but the author wrote, as I have restored the text Yea, marry, that's the defiest way, is e. the readiilt, moit commodious way. The word is

pure Saxon. DEAFLICE, debite, congrue, duely, fitly, GEDÆTHE, opportune, commodo, fitly, conveniently , seasonably, in good time, coinmodiously. Vide Spelman's Saxon Gloj. THEOBALD.

Mr. Theobald might have recollcded the word deftly in Macbeth :

" Thyself and office deftly show." Shakspeare, I suppose, designed Dogberry to corrupt this word 28 well as many others. STEEVENS,

Sexton, And this is more, masters, than you can deny. Prince John is this morning secretly stolen. away; Hero was in this manner accused, in this very manner refused, and upon the grief of this, suddenly died - Mafter constable, let these men be. bound, and brouglit to Leonato's; I will go before, and show him their examination.

[Exit. Dogb. Come, let them be opinion'd. VERG. Let them be in band. Con. Off, coxcomb!

But why

rance.

7 Verg. Let them be in band.
Con. Of, coxcomb!] The old copies read,

“ Let them be in the hands of coxcomb." STEEVENS. Mr. Theobald gives these words to Conrade, and savs the Sexton should be so pert upon his brother officers, there seems no reason from any superior qualification in him ; or any suspicion he show's of knowing their ignoran This is strange. The Sexton throughout Thows as good sense in their examination as any judge upon the bench could do. And as to his suspicion of their ignorance, he tells the Town-Clerk, That he goes not the way to examine. The meanness of his name hindefed our editor from seeing the goodness of his sense. But this Sexton was an ecclefiaftic of one of ine inferior orders called the facristan, and not a brother officer, as the editor calls him. I suppose the book from whence the poet took his subjeđ, was some old English novel translated from the lialian, where the word sagristano was rendered sexion. As in Fairfax's Godfrey of Boulogne:

" When Phoebus next unclos'd his wakeful eye,

is Up rose the Sexton of that place prophane." The passage then in queition is to be read thus : Sexton Let them be in hand.

[ Exit. Con. Off, coxtomb! Dogberry would have them pinion'd. The Sexton savs, it was sufñcient if they were kept in safe custody, and theu goes out. When one of the watchmen'comes up to bind them, Conrade says, Off, coscomb ! as he says afterwards to the conftable, Away! you are an ass. But the editor adds, The old quarto gave me the first umbrage for placing it to Conrade. What these words mean I don't know: but I suspect the old quarto divides the passage as I have done. WÅRBURTON.

Theobald has fairly given the reading of the quarto.

[ocr errors]

Dogb. God's my life!. where's the sexton ? let him write down--the prince's officer, coxcomb. Come, bind them: --- Thou naughty varlet!

Con. Away! you are an ass, you are an ass.

Dogb. Dost thou not suípect my place? Dost thou not suspect my years ? — that he were here to write

CG

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Dr. Warburton's assertion, as to the dignity of a sexton or facristan, may be supported by the following pallage in Stanyhuist's Version of the fourth Book of the Æneid, where he calls the Mallylian priestess :

in soil Mallyla begotten,
Sexton of Hesperides sinagog." STEEVENS.
Let them be in hand. ] I had conje&ured that these words should
be given to Verges, and read thus Let them bind their hands.
I am still of opinion that the passage belongs to Verges; but, for the
true reading of it, I should wish to adopi a much neater emenda-
tion, which has since been suggested to me in conversation by
Mr. Steevens Let them be in band. Shakspeare, as he observed to
me, commonly uses band for bord. TYRWHITT.

It is plain that they were bound from a subsequent speech of
Pedro : " Whom have you offended, masters, that you are thus
bound to your answer ?" STEEVENS.
Off, coxcomb ! ] The old

pies read

- of, and these words make a part of the last speech, Let them be in the hands of coxcomb." The present regulation was made by Dr. Warburton, and has been adopted by the subsequent editors. Off was formerly spelt of. In the early editions of ihese plays a broken sentence (like that before

Let them be in the hands - ) is almost alwavs corrupted by being tacked, through the ignorance of the transcriber or printer, to the subsequent'words. So, in Coriolanus, instead of

" You shames of Rome! you herd of - Boils and plagues

" Plaister you o'er!"
we have in thc folio, 1623, and the subsequent copies,

" You shames of Rome, you! Herd of boils and plagues,” &c. See also Measure for Measure.

Perhaps, however, we should read and regulate the passage thus :
Ver. Let them be in the hands of [the law, he might have intended

to say. ]
Con. Coxcomb! MALONE.

There is nothing in the old quarto different in this scene from the common copies, except that the names of two ađors, Kempe and Cowley, are placed at the beginning of the speeches, instead of the proper words. JOHNSON.

us,

me down--an ass!—but, masters, remember, that I am an ass; though it be not written down, yet forget not that I am an ass:—No, thou villain, thou art full of piety, as shall be proved upon thee by good witness. I am a wise fellow; and, which is more, an officer; and, which is more, a housholder; and, which is more, as pretty a piece of flesh as any is in Meilina; and one that knows the law, go to; and a rich fellow enough, go to; and a fellow that hath had loffes; and one that hath two gowns, and every thing handsome about him :-Bring him away. O, that I had been writ down — an ass !

[Exeunt.

[blocks in formation]

Ant. If you go on thus, you will kill yourself; And 'tis not wisdom, thus to second grief Against yourself. LEON.

I

pray thee, cease thy counsel, Which falls into mine ears as profitless As water in a sieve: give not me counsel; Nor let no comforter delight mine ear, But such a one whose wrongs do suit with mine. Bring me a father, that so lov'd his child, Whose joy of her is overwhelm'd like mine, And bid him speak of patience; '

And bid him speak of patience; ] Read –

". And bid him speak to me of patience." RITSON,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Measure his woe the length and breadth of mine,
And let it answer every strain for strain;
As thus for thus, and such a' grief for such,
In every lineament, branch, shape, and form:
If such a one will finile, and stroke his beard ;
Cry—forrow, wag! and hem, when he should groan;'

9 Cry -- forrow , wag! and hem, when he should groan; ] The quarto 1600 and folio 1623, read

" And sorrow, wagge, cry hem," &c. Mr. Rowe and Mr. Pope

". And hallow, wag," &c. Mr. Theobald

6. And sorrow wage," &c. Sir Tho Hanmer and Dr. Warburton

" And sorrow waive," &c. Mr. Tyrwhitt

" And sorrow gagge," &c. Mr. Heath and Mr. T. Warion

" And sorrowing cry hem,” &c. 1 I had inadvertently offered ". And, sorry wag !

&c. Mr. Ritson

- And sorrow waggery," &c. Mr. Malone

5. In sorrow wag,” &c. But I am persuaded that Dr. Johnson's explanation as well as arrangement of the original words, is appofile and just : not (says he) but think the true meaning nearer than it is imagined.

If such a one will smile, and stroke his beard,

And, sorrow, wag! cry; hem, when he should groan, &c. That is, • If he will smile, and cry Sorrow be gone! and hem instead of groaning.' The order in which and and cry are placed, is harsh, and this harshness made the sense mistaken.

Range the words in the common order, and my reading will be free from all difficulty.

If such a one will Smile, and froke his beard,

Cry, forrow, wag! and hem when he should groan Thus far Dr. Johnson ; and in my opinion he has left succeeding criticks nothing to do respecting the paslage before us. however, claim the honour of supporting his opinion.

Care away! was once an expression of triumph. So, in Acolastus, a comedy, 1540 : " I may now fay, Gare awaye!"

66 I can

Let me,

To cry

« 上一页继续 »