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Enter a gentle Aftringer.
Gent. And you.
Hel: I do presume sir, that you are not fallen.
What's your will ?
9 Enter a gentle Astringer.] Perhaps a gentle stranger, i. e. a stranger of gentle condition, a gentleman. The error of this conjecture, (which I have learned, fince our first edition made its appearance, from an old book of Falconry, 1633,) should teach diffidence to those who conceive the words which they do not understand, to be corruptions. An ostringer or aftringer is a falconer, and such a character was probable to be met with about a court which was famous for the love of that diversion. So, in Hamlet :
We'll e’en to it like French Falconers." A gentle astringer is a gentleman falconer. The word is derived from oftercus or auftercus, a goshawk; and thus, says Cowell in his Law Dictionary: “ We usually call a falconer, who keeps that kind of hawk, an auftringer,” Again, in The Book of Hawking, &c. bl. I. no date: “ Now bicause I spoke of oftregiers, ye shall understand that they ben called oftregiers that keep gofshauks or tercels,” &c. I learn from Blount's Antient Tenures, that a “ gosshawk is in our records termed by the several names Oftercum, Hoftricum, Estricum, Asturcum, and Anfiurcum," and all from the French Auftour, STEVENS,
Gent. The king's not here. .
Not here, sir?
Not, indeed: He hence remov'd last night, and with more hafte Than is his use. Wid. Lord, how we lose our pains !
Hel. All's well that ends well, yet; Though time seem so advérse, and means unfit.I do beseech you, whither is he gone?
Gent. Marry, as I take it, to Rousillon;
I do beseech you, sir,
This I'll do for you. · Hel. And you shall find yourself to be well
thank’d, Whate'er falls more. We must to horse again ;Go, go, provide.
. Our means will make us means.] Shakspeare delights much in this kind of reduplication, sometimes so as to obscure his meaning. Helena says, they will follow with such Speed as the means which they have will give them ability to exert. Johnson.
Rousillon. The inner Court of the Countess’s Palace.
Enter Clown and PAROLLES.
Par. Good monsieur Lavatch,' give my lord Lafey this letter: I have ere now, sir, been better known to you, when I have held familiarity with fresher clothes; but I am now, fir, muddied in fortune's moat, and smell somewhat strong of her strong disa pleasure.
2- Lavatch,1 This is an undoubted and perhaps irremediable corruption of some French word. Steevens,
3 but I am now, fir, muddied in fortune's moat, &c.] In former editions :—but I am now, fir, muddied in fortune's mood, and smell fomewhat strong of her Arong displeasure. I believe the poet wrote ip fortune's moat; because the Clown in the very next speech re. plies " I will henceforth eat no fijo of fortune's buttering;' and again, when he comes to repeat Parolles's petition to Lafeu, “ That hath fallen into the unclean fishpond of her displeasure, and, as he says, is muddied withal.” And again—" Pray you, fir, use the carp as you may,” &c. In all which places, it is obvious a moat or a pond is the allusion. Besides, Parolles smelling strong, as he says, of fortune's strong displeasure, carries on the same image; for as the moats round old seats were always replenished with fish, so the Clown's joke of holding his nose, we may presume, proceeded from this, that the privy was always over the moat; and therefore the Clown humourously says, when Parolles is pressing him to deliver his letter to Lord Lafeu, “ Foh! pr’ythee Itand away; a paper from fortune's clofeftool, to give to a nobleman!" WARBURTON.
Dr. Warburton's correction may be supported by a passage in The Alchemist :
“ Subtle. - Come along fir,
Clo. Truly, fortune's displeasure is but sluttish, if it smell so strong as thou speak’st of: I will henceforth eat no fish of fortune's buttering. Prythee, allow the wind.*
Par. Nay, you need not to stop your nose, fir; I spake but by a metaphor.
Clo. Indeed, sir, if your metaphor stink, I will stop my nose; or against any man's metaphor.s Pr’ythee, get thee further.
By the whimsical caprice of Fortune, I am fallen into the mud, and smell somewhat strong of her displeasure. In Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 1609, we meet with the same phrase:
" _ but Fortune's mood
• Varies again.” Again, in Timon of Athens :
« When fortune, in her shift and change of mood,
“ Spurns down her late belov’d." Again, in Julius Cæfar:
« Fortune is merry, - “And in this mood will give us any thing."
Mood is again used for resentment or caprice, in Othello: “ You are but now cast in his mood, a punishment more in policy than in malice." Again, for anger, in the old Taming of a Shrew, 1607:
“ This brain-fick man,
" That in his mood cares not to murder me." Dr. Warburton in his edition changed mood into meat, and his emendation was adopted, I think, without necessity, by the subsequent editors. All the expressions enumerated by him,-" I will eat no fish,"_" he hath fallen into the unclean fishpond of her displeasure,” &c.--agree fufficiently well with the text, without any change. Parolles having talked metaphorically of being muddy'd by the displeasure of fortune, the clown to render him ridiculous, fupposes him to have actually fallen into a fishpond.
MALONE. Though Mr. Malone defends the old reading, I have retained Dr. Warburton's emendation, which, in my opinion, is one of the luckiest ever produced. STEEVENS. 4 allow the wind.] i. e. stand to the leeward of me.
STEEVENS. s Indeed, sir, if your metaphor flink, I will stop my nose; or against any man's metaphor.] Nothing could be conceived with greater
Par. Pray you, sir, deliver me this paper.
Clo. Foh, pr’ythee, stand away; A paper from fortune's close-stool to give to a nobleman! Look, here he comes himself.
Here is a pur of fortune's, sir, or of fortune's cat," (but not a musk-cat,) that has fallen into the unclean fishpond of her displeasure, and, as he says, is muddied withal: Pray you, fir, use the carp as you may; for he looks like a poor, decay’d, ingenious, foolish, rascally knave. I do pity his distress
humour or juftness of satire, than this speech. The use of the finking metaphor is an odious fault, which grave writers often commit. It is not uncommon to see moral declaimers against vice, describe her as Hefiod did the fury Tristitia:
Της έκ ρίχων μύξαι ρέον. Upon which Longinus justly observes, that, instead of giving a terrible image, he has given a very nafty one. Cicero cautions well against it, in his book de Orat. “ Quoniam hær, says he, vel fumma laus eft in verbis transferendis ut sensum feriat id, quod translatum fit, fugienda eft omnis turpitudo earum rerum, ad quas eorum animos qui audiunt trahet fimilitudo. Nolo morte dici Àfricani caftratam efTe rempublicam. Nolo fturcus curiæ dici Glauciam. Our poet himself is extremely delicate in this respect; who, throughout his large writings, if you except a passage in Hamlet, has scarce a metaphor that can offend the most squeamish reader.
WARBURTON. Dr. Warburton's recollection must have been weak, or his zeal for his author extravagant. Otherwise, he could not have ventured to countenance him on the score of delicacy; his offensive metaphors and allusions being undoubtedly more frequent than those of all his dramatick predecessors or contemporaries. Steevens.
6 Here is a pur of fortune's, fir, or of fortune's cat,] We should reador fortune's cat; and indeed I believe there is an error in the former part of the sentence, and that we ought to read Here is a puss of fortune's, instead of pur. M. Masox.