And all the embossed sores, and headed evils,
That thou with license of free foot hast caught,
Wouldst thou disgorge into the general world.

Jaq. Why, who cries out on pride,
That can therein tax any private party?
Doth it not flow as hugely as the sea,
Till that the very very means do ebb?
What woman in the city do I name,
When that I say, The city-woman bears
The cost of princes on unworthy shoulders?
Who can come in, and say, that I mean her,
When such a one as she, such is her neighbour?
Or what is he of basest function,
That says, his bravery? is not on my cost,
(Thinking that I mean him) but therein suits
His folly to the mettle of my speech?
There then; How, what then? 8 Let me see wherein
My tongue hath wrong'd him: if it do him right,
Then he hath wrong'd himself; if he be free,
Why then, my tạxing like a wild goose flies,
Unclaim'd of any man.—But who comes here?


capable of a sense not inconvenient in this passage, yet as it is a harsh and unusual mode of speech, I should read the brutish fly.

Fohnson. I believe the old reading is the true one. So, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. I, c. viji:

" A heard of bulls whom kindly rage doth sting.Again, B. II, c. xii:

“ As if that hunger's point, or Venus' sting,

“ Had them enrag'd.” Again, in Othello:

our carnal stings, our unbitted lusts.” Steevens. 6 Till that the very very —] The old copy reads--weary very. Corrected by Mr. Pope. Malone.

his bravery - ] i. e. his fine clothes. So, in The Taming of the Shrew : “ With scarfs and fans, and double change of bravery."

Steevens. 8 There then; How, what then? &c.] The old copy reads, very redundantly

There then; How then? What then ? &c.] Steevens. I believe we should read-Where then? So, in Othello:

“ What then? How then? Where's satisfaction?” Malone.


Enter ORLANDO, with his sword drawn.
Orl. Forbear, and eat no more.

Why, I have eat none yet.
Orl. Nor shalt not, till necessity be serv’d.
Jaq. Of what kind should this cock come of?

Duke S. Art thou thus bolden'd, man, by thy distress; Or else a rude despiser of good manners, That in civility thou seem'st so empty?

Orl. You touch'd my vein at first; the thorny point Of bare distress hath ta'en from me the show Of smooth civility:9 yet am I inland bred, 1 And know some nurture:2 But forbear, I say; He dies, that touches any of this fruit, Till I and my affairs are answered.

Jaq. An you will not be answered with reason, I must die. Duke S. What would you have? Your gentleness shall

More than your force move us to gentleness.

Orl. I almost die for food, and let me have it.
Duke S. Sit down and feed, and welcome to our table.

Orl. Speak you so gently? Pardon me, I pray you:
I thought, that all things had been savage here;
And therefore put I on the countenance
Ofstern commandment: But whate'er you are,
That in this desert inaccessible, 3



the thorn point
Of bare distress hath ta'en from me the show

of smooth civility:] We might read torn with more elegance, but elegance alone will not justify alteration. Fohnson.

inland bred,] Inland here, and elsewhere in this play, is the opposite to outland, or upland. Orlando means to say, that he had not been bred among clowns. H. White. 2 And know some nurture:] Nurture is education, breeding,

So, in Greene's Never too late, 1616:

“ He shew'd himself as full of nurture as of nature." Again, as Mr. Holt White observes to me, Barret says, in his Alvearie, 1580: It is a point of nurture, or good manners, to salute them that you meete. Urbanitatis est salutare obvios."

Steevens. St. Paul advises the Ephesians, in his Epistle, ch. vi, 4, to bring their children up “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Harris.



Under the shade of melancholy boughs,
Lose and neglect the creeping hours of time;
If ever you have look'd on better days;
If ever been where bells have knoll’d to church;
If ever sat at any good man's feast;
If ever from your eye-lids wip'd a tear,
And know what 'tis to pity, and be pitied;
Let gentleness my strong enforcement be:
In the which hope, I blush, and hide my sword.

Duke S. True is it that we have seen better days;
And have with holy bell been knollid to church;
And sat at good men's feasts; and wip'd our eyes
Of drops that sacred pity hath engender'd:
And therefore sit you down in gentleness,
And take upon command what help we have,
That to your wanting may be ministred.

Orl. Then, but forbear your food a little while,
Whiles, like a doe, I go to find my fawn,
And give it food.5 There is an old poor man,
Who after me hath many a weary step
Limp’d in pure love; till he be first suffic'd,
Oppress'd with two weak evils, age and hunger,
I will not touch a bit.
Duke S.

Go find him out,
And we will nothing waste till you return.
Orl. I thank ye; and be bless'd for your good comfort!

[Exit. Duke S. Thou seest, we are not all alone unhappy: This wide and universal theatre Presents more woeful pageants than the scene Wherein we play in..


desert inaccessible,] This espression I find in The Adventures of Simonides, by Barn. Riche, 1580: “ — and onely acquainted himselfe with the solitarinesse of this unaccessible desert.

Henderson. 4 And take upon command what help we have,] Upon command, is at your own command. Steevens. 5 Whiles, like a doc, I go to find my faun, And give it food.] So, in Venus and Adonis:

« Like a milch doe, whose swelling dugs do ake,

Hasting to feed her fawn.Malone. 6 Wherein we play in.] Thus the old copy. Mr. Pope more correctly reads:


All the world 's a stage,?
And all the men and women merely players:
They have their exits, and their entrances;
And one man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages. 8 At first, the infant,

Wherein we play.
I believe, with Mr. Pope, that we should only read-

Wherein we play. and add a word at the beginning of the next speech, to complete the measure; viz.

Why, all the world's a stage.” Thus, in Hamlet :

Hor. So Rosencrantz and Guildenstern go to 't.

Ham. Why, man, they did make love to their employment." Again, in Measure for Measure:

Why, all the souls that were, were forfeit once.” Again, ibid:

Why, every fault's condemn'd, ere it be done.” In twenty other instances we find the same adverb introductorily used. Steevens.

7 All the world's a staze, &c.] This observation occurs in one of the fragments of Petronius: « Non duco contentionis funem, dum constet inter nos, quod fere totus mundus exerceat histrioniam.

Steevens. This observation had been made in an English drama before the time of Shakspeare. See Damon and Pythias, 1582:

“ Pythagoras said, that this world was like a stage,

Whereon many play their parts.In The Legend of Orpheus and Eurydice, 1597, we find these lines :

“Unhappy man -
“ Whose life a sad continual tragedie,
“ Himself the actor, in the world, the stage,

While as the acts are measur'd by his age." Malone. 8 His acts being seven ages.] Dr. Warburton observes, that this

no unusual division of a play before our author's time;" but forbears to offer any one example in support of his assertion. I have carefully perused almost every dramatick piece antecedent to Shakspeare, or contemporàry with him; but so far from being divided into acts, they are almost all printed in an unbroken continuity of scenes. I should add, that there is one play of six acts to be met with, another of twenty-one; but the second of these is a translation from the Spanish, and never could have been designed for the stage. In God's Promises, 1577, “A Tragedie or Enterlude,” (or rather a Mystery) by John Bale, seven acts may indeed be found.

It should, however, be observed, that the intervals in the Greek Tragedy are known to have varied from three acts to seven.



Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms;
And then, the whining school-boy, with his satchel,
And shining morning face, creeping like snail

Dr. Warburton boldly asserts that this was “no unusual division of a play before our author's time.” One of Chapman's plays (Two Wise Men and all the rest Fools) is indeed in seven acts. This, however, is the only dramatick piece that I have found so divided. But surely it is not necessary to suppose that our author alluded here to any such precise division of the drama. His comparisons seldom run on four feet. It was sufficient for him that a play was distributed into several acts, and that human life, long before his time, had been divided into seven periods. In The Treasury of ancient and modern Times, 1613, Proclus, a Greek author, is said to have divided the life-time of man into SEVEN AGES; over each of which one of the seven planets was supposed to rule. - The FIRST AGE is called Infancy, containing the space of foure yeares.-The SECOND AGE continueth ten years, until he attaine to the yeares of fourteene: this age is called Childhood.The THIRD AGE consisteth of eight yeares, being named by our auncients Adolescencie or Youthhood; and it lasteth from fourteene, till two and twenty yeares be fully compleate.-The FOURTH AGE paceth on, till a man have accomplished two and fortie yeares, and is termed Young Manhood.-The FIFTH AGE, named Mature Manhood, hath (according to the said author) fifteene yeares of continuance, and therefore makes his progress so far as six and fifty yeares.-Afterwards, in adding twelve to fifty-sixe, you shall make up sixty-eight yeares, which reach to the end of the sixt Age, and is called Old Age.—The seaventh and last of these seven ages is limited from sixty-eight yeares, so far as four-score and eight, being called weak, declining, and Decrepite Age.--If any man chance to goe beyond this age, (which is more admired than noted in many) you shall evidently perceive that he will returne to his first condition of Infancy againe.”

Hippocrates likewise divided the life of man into seven ages, but differs from Proclus in the number of years allotted to each period. See Brown's Vulgar Errors, folio, 1686, p. 173. Malone.

I have seen, more than once, an old print, entitled, The Stage of Man's Life, divided into seven ages. As emblematical representations of this sort were formerly stuck up, both for ornament and instruction, in the generality of houses, it is more probable that Shakspeare took his hint from thence, than from Hippocrates or Proclus. Henley.

One of the representations to which Mr. Henley alludes, was formerly in my possession; and considering the use it is of in explaining the passage before us, “I could have better spared a better print.I well remember that it exhibited the school-boy with his satchel hanging over his shoulder. Steevens.

9 And then,] And, which is wanting in the old copy, was supplied, for the sake of metre, by Mr. Pope. Steevens.

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