Page images
PDF
EPUB

WHERE? in the cowslip's bell, and where the bee sucks, he tells us : this must needs be in summer. When? when owls cry; and this is in winter:

" When blood is nipp'd, and ways be foul, “Then nightly sings the staring owl."

The Song of IVinter in Love's Labour's Lost. The consequence is, that Ariel flies after summer. Yet the Oxford editor has adopted this judicious emendation of Mr. Theobald.

WAR BURTON. 56 I am woe fort,] i. e. it pains me or makes me sorry.

57 As great to me, as late;] My loss is as great as yours, and has as lately happened to me.

JOHNSON. 58 My tricksy spirit !] Tricksy, clever, adroit: from trick, a prank.

59 Was ever conduct of:] i. e, conductor of.

60 with beating on-) A similar expression occurs in the second part of K. Henry IV.

“ Thine eyes and thoughts " Beat on a crown."

Coragio!] Coragio is Italian, signifying a good heart or courage.

- where should they Find this grand LIQUor that hath gilded them?] Shakspeare, to be sure, wrote-grand ʼLIXIR, alluding to the grand Elixir of the alchymists, which they pretend would restore youth, and confer immortality. This, as they said, being a preparation of gold, they called

STEEVENS.

61

69

Aurum potabile ; which Shakspeare alluded to in the word gilded; as he does again in Antony and Cleopatra:

“ How much art thou unlike Mark Antony? “ Yet coming from him, that great medicine hath

“ With his tinct gilded thee.” But the joke here is to insinuate that, notwithstanding all the boasts of the chemists, sack was the only restorer of youth and bestower of immortality. So Ben Jonson, in his Every Man out of his Humour;“ Canarie the very Elixir and spirit of wine.” This seems to have been the cant name for sack, of which the English were, at that time, immoderately fond. Randolph, in his Jealous Lovers, speaking of it, says, “ A pottle of Elixir at the Pegasus, bravely caroused.” So again in Fletcher's Monsieur Thomas, Act III.

“Old reverend sack, which, for aught that I can

read yet,

Was that philosopher's stone the wise king

Ptolemeus “ Did all his wonders by.". The phrase too of being gilded, was a trite one on this occasion. Fletcher, in his Chances :—Duke. Is she not drunk too? Whore. A little gilded o'er, sir; old sack, old sack, boys !"

WARBURTON. As the Elixir was a liquor, the old reading may stand, and the allusion holds good without alteration.

STEEVENS.

T. DAVISON, PRINTLR,

White-fvars.

TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA.

DY

WILLIAM SHAKSPEARE.

VOL. 1.

1

REMARKS

ON

THE PLOT, THE FABLE, AND CONSTRUCTION

OF THE

TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA.

In the Diana of Montemayor, a young nobleman of the name Don Felix, becomes enamoured of Felismena, and bribes her maid Rosina to give her a letter. The waiting-woman uses every artifice to get her lady to accept it, and is by her repulsed with a countenance of dissembled anger. After a successful stratagem of the maid, to drop the letter near her, Felismena feels a passion for Don Felix. A year rolls thus away, to the mutual satisfaction of the lovers, when their happiness is interrupted by the young gentleman's father, who, having received intimation of his son's attachment, sends him to the court of the princess Augusta Cæsarina. Felismena, unable to bear his absence, travels to the court in the disguise of a page, and there discovers his perfidy in a serenade which he gives, on the night of her arrival, to Celia, a new mistress. The unhappy fair one now courts the acquaintance of

« PreviousContinue »