ePub 版




or indeed any novelty of expression, meant this- in the body of the common-weale; and must be cured “Though the freezing sky weave the waters into a solid either by incysion and letting blood in the necke-vaine, texture." The sanfte image had occurred to a later or by searing with a hot yron, or els with a caudle of classic : Propertius makes the southwest wind, one of hempseed chopt halter-wise," etc. His purpose is to the cold winds of Italy, weave the waters into ice : illustrate why a thief is called felon, which also signified Africus in glaciem frigore nectit ac quam.

a bile. Shakespeare uses " incision" for opening a seis

in Love's LABOUR's Lost, (act iv. scene 2:)—"A fever ACT III.-SCENE I.

in your blood, why then incision will let her out in

saucers." - ARGUMENT"-i. e. Subject-matter.

-fairest Lin'd"—i. e. Delineated; not limn'd, as “Seek him with CANDLE"—It is supposed that this is it has been sometimes printed. an allusion to the passage in “Saint Luke," (chap. xv.:)

"- the pair of Rosalind"-"Fair" for fairness, "If she lose one piece, doth she not light a candle ?"

beauty—as in Comedy or ERRORS, (act ii. scene 1;) If so, it is, metaphorically, “Seek him in every corner, but it is common in the Elizabethan poets. with the greatest diligence."

" — the right butter-women's RANK"-So the old Do this EXPEDIENTLY”-i. e. Expeditiously. Ez- copies; and “ rank” is certainly as good as rate, or rant, pedient, throughout our author's plays, signifies expe- which some would substitute. “Rank," as Whiter obditious; as in King John—"His marches are expedient

serves, means the order in which they go one after an. to this town.'

other; and therefore Shakespeare says, " butter-woSCENE II.

men's," and not butter-woman's, as it has been cor

rupted. As applied to the verses, it is a sneer at their - THRICE-CROWNED queen of night-“This pas uniformity of cadence. sage seems to evince a most intimate knowledge of an. “Why should this a desert be"-Tyrwhitt and other cient mythology, but Shakespeare was doubtless familiar

editors would read, “Why should this desert silent be ?" with that fine racy old poet, Chapman's "Hymns to No alteration of the old copies seems absolutely neces Night and to Cynthia,” which, though over-informed

sary. with learning, have many highly poetical passages; among which the following may have been in our Poet's

" – CIVIL sayings"_"The terin civil is here used as mind :

when we say civil wisdom, or civil life, in opposition to

a solitary state, or to the state of nature. This desert Nature's bright eye-sight, and the night's fair soul, That with thy triple forehead dost control

(says Orlando) shall not appear unpeopled, for every Earth, seas, and hell.-— Hymnus in Cynthiam,' (1994.)

tree shall teach the maxims or incidents of social life.'".

Johnson. All the learning of all the mythologists was poured forth in the notes to these poems."-SINGER.

Helen's cheek, but not her heart,

Cleopatra's majesty, UNEXPRESSIVE she"-i. e. Inexpressible. Milton

Atalanta's better part, uses the word in the same sense, in his “Hymn on the

Sad Lucretia's modesty."

The commentators have filled many pages with the
Harping with loud and solemn quire,
With unexpressive notes.

discussion of the precise meaning of the “better part"

of Atalanta's excellence. “Better part" seems to have And again, in “Lycidas”- -"the unexpressive nuptial

been often used for any peculiar excellence, whatever song.” Warton thinks the word was coined by Shake- it was, in the individual ; and Ovid, in the passage on speare.

which all the allusions to Atalanta are founded, makes " - he, that hath learned no vit by nature nor art, the spectator doubt whether she were “better" (more may complain of good breeding"-Dr. Johnson doubts admirable) for swiftness, or grace of form:whether custom did not formerly authorize this mode

Laude peduin formæde bono prestantior esset. of speech, and make “complain of good breeding" the same with “complain of the want of good breeding."

This may have been in the author's mind, whether he In the last line of the Merchant OF VENICE, we find

read it in Latin or in Golding's Old-English. Tollet that to “ fear the keeping" is to “ fear the not keeping."

makes it refer to her virgin chastity. Whiter, whose Johnson might have asserted this with less hesitation,

commentary on this play is mainly an ingenious illustra

tration of the doctrine of the association of ideas sug. for such use is found colloquially even now, and is common, as Whiter remarks, in all languages.

gesting images and language, thus applies his theory

to this passage: - good MANNERS"—“Manners" is here used in the

“ The imagery selected to discriminate the perfections sense of morals, both senses being included in the Latin of Helen, Cleopatra, Atalanta, and Lucretia, was not

Morals is not found in any of the old diction- derived from the abstract consideration of their general aries, or authors.

qualities ; but was caught from those peculiar traits of "— God make incision in thee”—It has been inge- beauty and character which are impressed on the mind niously urged that insition, or graffing, is here meant,

of him who contemplates their portraits. It is well and that the phrase may be explained, “ God put know

known that these celebrated heroines of romance were, ledge into thee;" but we want instances to confirm this.

in the days of our Poet, the favourite subjects of popular Stevens thought the allusion here was to the common

representation, and were alike visible in the coarse expression of cutting for the simples; and the subse. hangings of the poor, and the magnificent arras of the quent speech of Touchstone, " That is another simple

rich. In the portraits of Helen, whether they were sin in you,” gives colour to this conjecture. Nares asks,

produced by the skilful artist or his ruder imitator, “Can it have been a phrase borrowed from surgery?".

though her face would certainly be delineated as emni. A quotation from the “Time's Whistle, or a New Daunce

nently beautiful, yet she appears not to have been of Seven Satires,” (MS.,) made by Dr. Farmer, shows

adorned with any of those charms which are allied to that it was

modesty; and we accordingly find that she was gener.

ally depicted with a loose and insidious countenance, Be stout, my heart ; my hand, be firm and steady ; Strike, and strike home--the vaine world's vaine is ready :

which but too manifestly betrayed the inward wantonLet ulcer'd limbes and goutye humors quake,

ness and perfidy of her heart. With respect to the Whilst with my pen I doe incision make.

majesty' of Cleopatra, it may be observed that this noAnd the following curious passage from Baret's “ Alvea- tiou is not derived from classical authority, but from the rie" proves it:-" Those hell houndes which lay violent more popular storehouse of legend and romance. I inhands upon other men's goods are like biles and blotches | fer, therefore, that the familiarity of the image was im.


[ocr errors]


pressed, both on the Poet and his reader, from pictures "- a chain, that you once wore"-Alluding to the or representations in tapestry, which were the lively and chain which Rosalind had given to Orlando. faithful mirrors of popular romances. Atalanta, we know, was considered by our ancient poets as a cele.

"- out of all whooping”-i. e. Out of all cry, or out brated beauty; and we may be assured, therefore, that

of all measure. It is an old phrase. her portraits were everywhere to be found. Since the " — Good my complexion”—The meaning of the exstory of Atalanta represents that heroine as possessed of clamation “Good my complexion !" probably is, as sug. singular beauty, zealous to preserve her virginity even | gested by Malone—“My native character, my female with the death of her lovers, and accomplishing her pur inquisitive disposition, canst thou endure this ?" Composes by extraordinary swiftness in running, we may be plexion is used in the same sense of disposition in the assured that the skill of the artist would be employed in MERCHANT OF VENICE—“ It is the complexion of them displaying the most perfect expressions of virgin purity, all to leave their dam." and in delineating the fine proportions and elegant sym.

" – a SOUTH-SEA OF DISCOVERY”-i. e. “My curiosity metry of her person. Lucretia (we know) was the

can endure no longer. If you perplex me any further, grand example of conjugal fidelity throughout the Go

I have a space for conjecture as wide as the South-sea. thic ages ;' and it is this spirit of unshaken chastity which is here celebrated under the title of modesty.'

Of is the original reading; the modern change is, 'a “Such, then, are the wishes of the lover in the form.

South-sea off discovery.'"-KNIGHT. ation of his mistress—that the ripe and brilliant beauties “— speak sad BROW, and TRUE MAID"-i. e. Speak of Helen should be united to the elegant symmetry and with a serious countenance, and as a “true maid."' So virgin graces of Atalanta ; and that this union of charms

HENRY V. saysshould be still dignified and ennobled by the majestic

I speak to thee plain soldier. mein of Cleopatra, and the matron modesty of Lucretia." And in this scene we have—“I'll answer you right

painted cloth." “ – on a PALM-TREE”—“A palm-tree, (as Stevens

“ – borrow me GARAGANTUA'S MOUTH"-Rosalind reremarks,) in the forest of Arden, is as much out of place quires nine questions to be answered in one word. as the lioness in a subsequent scene.' Shakespeare

Celia tells her that a word of such magnitude is too big cared little about such proprieties;' but possibly he

for any mouth but that of Garagantua, the giant of wrote plane-tree, which may have been misread by the

Rabelais, who swallowed five pilgrims, their staves and transcriber, or compositor."--COLLIER.

all, in a salad. Shakespeare's allusions to the French "— I was an IRISH RAT" —Johnson calls Rosalind a

wit, whose works had been some time translated into very learned lady for this allusion to the Pythagorean English, show their great popularity. doctrine of the transmigration of souls. It was no less “ – as easy to count ATOMIES"—Bullokar, in his common than the other allusion of rhyming rats to “ English Expositor," (1616,) says—"An atomie is a death in Ireland. This fanciful idea probably arose mote flying in the sunne. Any thing so small that it can. from some metrical charm, or incantation, used there not be made less." for ridding houses of rats. We find it mentioned by Ben Jonson, Randolph, and Marmion. Thus, in the

"— holla! to thy tongue"_" Holla!" was a term by "Poetaster :"

which the rider restrained and stopped his horse. It is

so used by Shakespeare, in his VENUS AND ADONIS :Rhime them to death as they do Irish rats,

What recketh he his rider's angry stir,
In drumming tunes.

His fattering holla, or his stand, I say?"

[graphic][merged small]

- the FALCON her Bells"-Master Stephen, in “Every Man in his Humour," says, “I have bought me a hawk and a hood, and bells and all.” Gervase Markham, in his edition of the “Boke of St. Albans," says, “The bells which your hawk shall wear, look in any wise that they be not too heavy, whereby they over load her, neither that one be heavier than another, but both of like weight: look also that they be well-sound ing and shrill, yet not both of one sound, but one at least a note under the other."

- kill my HEART"-A quibble between hart and "heart," then spelled the same.

- I answer you right painted cloth”—- This passage alludes to the placing moral maxims, or sentences, in the mouths of the figures represented on the paintedcloth hangings of the period. The custom is frequently mentioned by contemporary writers. Shakespeare also adverts to it in his TARQUIN AND LUCRECE:

Who fears a sentence, or an old man's saw,

Shall by a painted cloth be kept in awe. the coney, that you see dwell where she is kinDLED"_"Kindled” is a phrase not yet antiquated in England, in this sense, though out of use on this side of the Atlantic, for being brought forth : and is applied only to certain animals, as rabbits.

"— an UNQUESTIONABLE spirit"-Johnson explains this—" An unquestionable spirit is a spirit not inquisi. tive; a mind indifferent to common objects, and negligent of common occurrences." This seems erroneous. “Unquestionable" is the reverse of questionable, as used in HAMLET, “such a questionable shape",

-one that may be conversed with. To question is used in this play for converse.

POINT-DEVICE"-A customary old phrase for exact, dressed with nicety.

- a loving humour of madness"- -" The old copies have it, 'living humour of madness ;' which is not very intelligible, unless it mean (as Stevens supposed) a lasting humour of madness. The antithesis is however complete, if, with Johnson, we read loving, which is only the change of a letter; and this reading is supported

а by the MS. correction of the early possessor of the first folio, in the library of Lord Francis Egerton. The meaning thus is, that Rosalind drove her suitor from his mad humour of love, into a humour in which he was in love with madness, and forswore the world."-COLLIER.

[graphic][merged small]

SCENE III. “ most CAPRICIOUS poet"“Shakespeare remembered that caper was Latin for a goat, and thence chose this epithet. There is also a quibble between goats and Goths.—MALONE.

“- Jove in a thatch'd house"-Alluding of course to the story of Baucis and Philemon, in Ovid, (Met. 8.) Also alluded to in Much ADO ABOUT NOTHING.

"A MATERIAL fool”-i. e. A fool with matter in him; a fool stocked with notions.

the RASCAL"-Lean, poor deer, were called rascals.

“ — God'ils you”-i. e. God yield you; God reward you.

the ox halh his bow"-i. e. His yoke, as it in form resembled a “bow."

SCENE IV. browner than Judas's"-Judas, in paintings and poetry, of Shakespeare's age, and anterior to it, is represented with red hair.

“— his hair is of a good colour"-" There is much nature in this petty perverseness of Rosalind. She finds fault in her lover, in hope to be contradicted ; and when Celia, in sportive malice, too readily seconds her accusations, she contradicts herself rather than suffer her favourite to want a vindication.”—Johnson.

“ – the touch of holy BREAD"-Warburton would read, “holy beard."Holy bread" is sacramental bread: pax-bread is rendered, by Coles, panis osculandus.

" – a nun of WINTER'S SISTERHOOD"-i. e. Of an usfruitful sisterhond, that had devoted itself to chastity. A similar expression is found in the MIDSUMMER Night's DREAM

To be a barren sister all your life,

Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon. " breaks his staff like a noble goose"-The humour of this simile depends upon its allusion to tilting, in which it was a disgrace for any knight to break his lance across, and not directly against the breast of his adversary. “Quite traverse, athwart the heart of his lover," means, unskilfully across the breast of the lady with whom he was in love; "lover" being applied to both sexes.

SCENE V. CAPABLE impressure"—Thus the old copies, and it is intelligible in the sense of the impression which is capable of being made," that which may be taken from the "rush." But there is much likelihood of truth in the suggestion that “capable" is a misprint of palpable.

" though you have no beauty"- This passage was very needlessly altered, by Malone and Stevens, by substituting mo, or more, for “no," because, in Lodge's “Rosalynde," in a similar speech, it is said, “ Because thou art beautiful," etc. Shakespeare's intent is differ ent, and very obvious. Rosalind intends, throughout her speech, to check the vanity of Phebe; and begins

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

by telling her that she has no beauty, and therefore no "- the foolish CHRONICLERS of that age FOUND"excuse for being “proud and pitiless."

Sir Thomas Hanmer reads coroners, which, from its re

lation to the word “found," the technical word of the Foul is most foul, being foul to be a scoffer"-i. e. “ The ugly seem most ugly, when, though ugly, they verdict, may well have been the reading. Still, the are scoffers."-JOHNSON.

sense is good as it stands. The silly “chronicler sat

on his body like a coroner's jury, and "found" that he " — YOUR foulness”—The modern reading is her. died for love. We suppose Rosalind here turns to the parties before her, and addresses each.

" — weep for nothing, like Diana in the fountain"

Statues, and particularly that of Diana, with the water Dead shepherd! now I find thy saw of might; conveyed through them, to give them the appearance • Who ever loo'd, that loo'd not at first sight ?'

of weeping figures, were anciently a frequent ornament “ The dead shepherd' was Christopher Marlowe, of fountains. So, in Rosamond's “Epistle," by Draywho was killed in 1593, and whose paraphrase of • Hero ton: and Leander,' from Musæus, was not printed until 1598.

Here in the garden, wrought by curious hands, He did not finish the work, but it was completed by

Naked Diana in the fountain stands. Geo. Chapman, and published entire in 1600. The line above quoted concludes a passage in the first · Sestiad,' "- Make the doors"-Still the language of the midthe whole of which Shakespeare seems to have had in land counties of England, for making fast the doors. his mind when he wrote this scene; and it runs thus:

“ — Wit, whither wilt'"-A proverbial exclamation, It lies not in our power to love or hate,

80 common as to be found in the sermons of that age. For will in us is over-ruled by fate. When two are stripp'd, long ere the course begin,

In act i. scene 2, of this play, Rosalind asks Touchstone, We wish that one should lose, the other win :

“How now, wit! whither wander you ?” which seems And one especially we do affect

only a variation of the same expression.
Of two gold ingots, like in each respect.
The reason no man knows : let it suffice,

" — make her fault her husband's OCCASION”-i. e.
What we bebold is censur'd by our eyes.
Where both deliberate, the love is slight:

Represent her fault as occasioned by her husband.
Who ever lov'd, that lov'd not at first sight?"

SCENE II. “ – the old CARLOT"_“ Carlot (Douce says) is a word of Shakespeare's coinage." It is derived from Then sing him home"-In the folios we have, as carl, and means a peasant.

the third line

Then sing him home, the rest shall bear this burthen. ACT IV.-SCENE I.

With most former editors, I have thought that the first " — DISABLE all the benefits of your own country"- four words were part of the song, and the rest a stagei.e. Underrate them, speak slightingly of them. So, after- direction. But Knight and Collier omit all, and the latwards—"He disabled my judgment.". Beaumont and ter insists that “The words, ' Then sing him home: the Fletcher have the same use of the word.

rest shall bear this burden,' are clearly only stage-direc" – swam in a GONDOLA”-i. e. Been at Venice;

tions, although, by error, printed as part of the song in then the resort of all travellers, as Paris now is. Shake

the old copies. Then sing him home' has reference speare's contemporaries also point their shafts at the

to the carrying of the lord, who killed the deer, to the corruption of youth by travel. Bishop Hall wrote his

duke ; and we are to suppose that the foresters sang as little book “Quo Vadis?" to stem the fashion.

they quitted the stage for their 'home' in the wood.

•The rest shall bear this burden' alludes to the last six " – a better LEER than you"-Tyrwhitt, in his glos- lines, which are the burden of the song. Modern edi. sary to Chaucer, explains lere to mean the skin ; and tors have taken upon them to divide the song between he derives it from the Saxon. Here it is to be taken as the first and second lord, by the figures 'l' and '2;' but complexion, or feature. It occurs again in Titus An

without any warrant. It is to be observed that it is DRONICUS, (act iv. scene 2,) in a similar sense.

Sir F. found in Playford's Musical Companion,' without the Madden translates it countenance, in his excellent glos- words, “Then sing him home.' It is also in ‘Catch that sary to “Syr Gawayne."

Catch can,' (1652,) in the same form."


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[graphic][merged small]
[ocr errors]


SCENE IV. " — MUCH Orlando—Ironically, no Orlando here ;

As those that sear; they hope, and know they fear"as we still say, “I shall get much by that”—meaning, I In the folio the line is printed thus :shall get nothing.

As those that fear they hope, and know they fear. To sleep. Look, who comes here”—The mock- This, Caldecott, Collier, and others, retain unaltered, heroic tone assumed by Celia is well kept up by the explaining it that “ Orlando is in the state of mind of measure, and her speech is thus printed in the original, those who fear what they hope, and know that they which in later editions has been printed as prose. fear it." Yet, with Johnson and other editors, I must

confess that I cannot extract that or any other sense from " — sweet and bitter FANCY"_"Fancy” here signifies the old reading. This edition, therefore, adopts the sug. love, as composed of contraries; probably suggested by gestion of Henley, which requires only a slight alteraLodge's “Rosalynde”—“I have noted the variable dis

tion of the pointing; and then Orlando may be under. position of fancy: a bitter pleasure wrapped in sweet

stood as comparing himself to “ those who fear, but yet prejudice."

hope while they are still conscious of real fear." Per. “ — HURTLING"—To hurtle is to move with impetu- haps, however, the text requires a still bolder correcosity and tumult. It is used in Julius CÆSAR

tion; and I have been much inclined to adopt Heath's A noise of battle hurtied in the air.

reading, which is more Shakespearian in its antithesis, and its boldness of expression :

As those that fear their hope, and know their fear. ACT V.-SCENE II. " Is't possible—“Shakespeare, by putting this

"- a lie seven times removed"_" Touchstone here question into the mouth of Orlando, seems to have been

enumerates seven kinds of lies, from the retort courteous aware of the improbability in his plot, caused by desert

to the seventh and most aggravated species of lie, which

he calls the lie direct. The courtier's answer to his ining his original." In Lodge's novel, the elder brother is instrumental in saving Aliena from a band of ruffians ;

tended affront, he expressly tells us, was the retort without this circumstance, the passion of Aliena appears

courteous. When, therefore, he says that they found to be very hasty indeed."-STEVENS.

the quarrel was on the lie seven times removed,' we

must understand, by the latter word, the lie removed - all OBEISANCE"— The original has observance, seven times, counting backwards, (as the word 'rewhich, as it also ends the next line but one preceding, moved' seems to intimate,) from the last and most ag. seems to be a misprint; and I have adopted Ritson's gravated species of lie—the lie direct."— Illust. Shak. conjecture. Malone proposed obedience.

“ — we quarrel in print, by the book"-"The Poet “Why do you speak, too”—This is the old reading (says Warburton) has, in this scene, rallied the mode which is perfectly intelligible, when addressed to Or- of formal duelling, then so prevalent, with the highest lando ; who replies, that he speaks “too," notwithstand- humour and address : nor could be have treated it with ing the absence of his mistress. It was altered, by a happier contempt, than by making his Clown so knowRowe and other editors, to “Who do you speak to." ing in the forms and preliminaries of it. The particular

book here alluded to is a very ridiculous treatise of one Vincentio Saviolo, entitled, "Of Humours and Honourable Quarrels,' in quarto, printed by Wolf, (1594.) The first part of this tract he entitles, "A Discourse most necessary for all Gentlemen that have in regard their Honours, touching the giving and receiving the Lie, whereupon the Duello and the Combat in divers Forms doth ensue; and many other Inconveniences, for lack only of true Knowledge of Honour, and the right Understanding of Words, which here is set down.' The contents of the several chapters are as follow:-1. What the Reason is that the Party unto whom the Lie is given ought to become challenger, and of the Nature of Lies. 2. Of the Manner and Diversity of Lies. 3. Of Lies certain, Cor direct.] 4. Of conditional Lies, [or the lie circumstantial.] 5. Of the Lie in general. 6. Of the Lie in particular. 7. Of foolish Lies. 8. A Conclusion touching the wresting or returning back of the Lie, [or the countercheck quarrelsome.] In the chapter of conditional Lies, speaking of the particle if. he says—Conditional lies be such as are given conditionally, as if a man should say or write these words:if thou hast said that I have offered my lord abuse, thou liest; or if thou sayest so hereafter, thou wilt lie. Of these

kind of lies, given in this manner, often arise much conSCENE III.

tention in words—whereof no sure conclusion can

arise.'” " to be a woman of the world"-i. e. To be mar

Enter Hymen"_“ Rosalind is imagined by the rest ried.

of the company to be brought by enchantment, and is “Song”—This song may be seen more at large in therefore introduced by a supposed aerial being, in the Chappell's “Collection of National English Airs," from character of Hymen.”—Johnson. : MS. now in the Advocates' "Library," Edinburgh, In all the allegorical shows exhibited at ancient wed. lielieved to have been written within sixteen years after dings, Hymen was a constant personage. Ben Jonson, ihis play. This confirmed the previous conjecture that in his Hymenæi, or the solemnities of Masque and it transposition of the first and second stanzas had taken Barriers, at a Marriage,' has left us instructions how to place in the old editions. It also clears up another dif- dress this favourite character. On the other hand enliculty, the folios in the fourth line having rang time, tered Hymen, the god of marriage, in a saffron-coloured which Johnson and others printed rank-i. e. luxuriant. robe, his under vestures white, his sockes yellow, a yel. The “ring-time" is the time for marriage.

low veile of silke on his left arme, his head crowned


ACT V. SCENE 2.-I know into what struts of fortune she is riven.

« 上一頁繼續 »