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more religiously; the very ice of chastity is in them.
Ros. But why did he swear he would come this morning, and comes not ?
CEL. Nay, certainly, there is no truth in him.
Cel. Yes : I think he is not a pick-purse, nor a horse-stealer; but for his verity in love, I do think him as concave as a cover'd goblet", or a wormeaten nut.
Ros. Not true in love ?
Ros. You have heard him swear downright, he was.
Cel. Was is not is : besides, the oath of a lover is no stronger than the word of a tapster; they are both the confirmers of false reckonings : He attends here in the forest on the duke your father.
Ros. I met the duke yesterday, and had much questions with him: He ask'd me, of what parentage I was ; I told him, of as good as he; so he laugh’d, and let me go. But what talk we of fathers, when there is such a man as Orlando ?
Cel. O, that's a brave man ! he writes brave
gend, p. ccci, &c. gives a full account of St. Winifred and her sisterhood. Edit. by Wynkyn de Worde, 1527. Steevens.
4 — as concave as a cover'd goblet,] Why a cover'd? Because a goblet is never kept cover'd but when empty. Shakspeare never throws out his expressions at random. WARBURTON.
Warburton asks, “Why a covered goblet?”-and answers, “ Because a goblet is never covered but when empty." If that be the case, the cover is of little use; for when empty, it may as well be uncovered. But it is the idea of hollowness, not that of emptiness, that Shakspeare wishes to convey ; and a goblet is more completely hollow when covered, than when it is not.
5 — much QUESTION-] i. e. conversation. So, in The Merchant of Venice: “ You may as well use question with the wolf.”
verses, speaks brave words, swears brave oaths, and breaks them bravely, quite traverse, athwart 6 the
6 – quite traverse, athwart, &c.] An unexperienced lover is here compared to a puny tilter, to whom it was a disgrace to have his lance broken across, as it was a mark either of want of courage or address. This happened when the horse flew on one side, in the career: and hence, I suppose, arose the jocular proverbial phrase of spurring the horse only on one side. Now as breaking the lance against his adversary's breast, in a direct line, was honourable, so the breaking it across against his breast was, for the reason above, dishonourable: hence it is, that Sidney, in his Arcadia, speaking of the mock-combat of Clinias and Dametas, says : “ The wind took such hold of his staff that it crost quite over his breast,” &c.—And to break across was the usual phrase, as appears from some wretched verses of the same author, speaking of an unskilful tilter :
“ Methought some staves he mist : if so, not much amiss : “ For when he most did hit, he ever yet did miss.
“ One said he brake across, full well it so might be,” &c. This is the allusion. So that Orlando, a young gallant, affecting the fashion, (for brave is here used, as in other places, for fashionable,) is represented either unskilful in courtship, or timorous. The lover's meeting or appointment corresponds to the tilter's career; and as the one breaks staves, the other breaks oaths. The business is only meeting fairly, and doing both with address : and 'tis for the want of this, that Orlando is blamed.
WARBURTON. So, in Northward Hoe, 1607: “ — melancholick like a tilter, that had broke his staves foul before his mistress." STEEVENS.
“ A puny tilter, that-breaks his staff like a noble goose :” Sir Thomas Hanmer altered this to a nose-quill'd goose, but no one seems to have regarded the alteration. Certainly nose-quilld is an epithet likely to be corrupted: it gives the image wanted, and may in a great measure be supported by a quotation from Turberville's Falconrie: “ Take with you a ducke, and slip one of her wing feathers, and having thrust it through her nares, throw her out unto your hawke.” FARMER. Again, in Philaster, by Beaumont and Fletcher:
“ He shall for this time only be seel'd up
“ See heaven,” &c. Again, in the Booke of Hawkyng, Huntyng, and Fishing, &c. bl. 1. no date : “ — and with a pen put it in the haukes nares once or twice," &c. Again, in Philemon Holland's translation of the tenth Book of Pliny's Natural History, 1601, p. 300: “ It is good moreover to draw a little quill or feather through their nostrills acrosse," &c. Steevens.
heart of his lover?; as a puny tilter, that spurs his horse but on one side, breaks his staff like a noble goose : but all's brave, that youth mounts, and folly guides :- Who comes here?
Enter Corin. Cor. Mistress, and master, you have oft enquired After the shepherd that complain'd of love ; Who you saw sitting by me on the turf, Praising the proud disdainful shepherdess That was his mistress. Cel.
Well, and what of him? Cor. If you will see a pageant truly play'd, Between the pale complexion of true love And the red glow of scorn and proud disdain, Go hence a little, and I shall conduct you, If you will mark it. Ros.
O, come, let us remove; The sight of lovers feedeth those in love:Bring us unto this sight, and you shall say I'll prove a busy actor in their play. Exeunt.
Another Part of the Forest.
Enter Silvius and Phele.
7- of his lover;] i. e. of his mistress. Lover, in our author's time, being applied to the female as well as the male sex. Thus one of his poems containing the lamentation of a despairing maiden is entitled A Lover's Complaint. So, in Measure for Measure, Act I. Sc. V.:
“ Your brother and his lover have embraced.” Malone.
In bitterness : The common executioner,
- Will you sterner be Than he that dies and lives by bloody drops ?] This is spoken of the executioner. He lives, indeed, by bloody drops, if you will : but how does he die by bloody drops ? The poet must certainly have wrote:
that deals and lives, &c. i.e. that gets his bread by, and makes a trade of cutting off heads; but the Oxford editor makes it plainer. He reads : “ Than he that lives and thrives by bloody drops.”
WARBURTON. Either Dr. Warburton's emendation, except that the word deals, wants its proper construction, or that of Sir Tho. Hanmer, may serve the purpose; but I believe they have fixed corruption upon the wrong word, and should rather read :
Than he that dies his lips by bloody drops ? Will you speak with more sternness than the executioner, whose lips are used to be sprinkled with blood ? The mention of drops implies some part that must be sprinkled rather than dipped.
Johnson. I am afraid our bard is at his quibbles again. To die, means as well to dip a thing in a colour foreign to its own, as to expire. In this sense, contemptible as it is, the executioner may be said to die as well as live by bloody drops. Shakspeare is fond of opposing these terms to each other. In King John is a play on words, not unlike this:
all with purple hands “ Dy'd in the dying slaughter of their foes.” Camden has preserved an epitaph on a dyer, which has the same turn :
“ He that dyed so oft in sport,
“ Dyed at last, no colour for't.”! So, Heywood, in his Epigrams, 1562 :
“ Is thy husband a dyer, woman? alack,
retty, sure, t are the fries on atomiederers !
Enter Rosalind, Celia, and Corin, at a distance.
Phe. I would not be thy executioner; I fly thee, for I would not injure thee. Thou tellst me, there is murder in mine eye : 'Tis pretty, sure, and very probable', That eyes,-that are the frail'st and softest things, Who shut their coward gates on atomies,– Should be call’d tyrants, butchers, murderers ! Now I do frown on thee with all my heart; And, if mine eyes can wound, now let them kill
thee; Now counterfeit to swoon; why now fall down; Or, if thou canst not, O, for shame, for shame, Lie not, to say mine eyes are murderers. Now show the wound mine eye hath made in thee: Scratch thee but with a pin, and there remains Some scar of it; lean but upon a rush', The cicatrice and capable impressure ?
Again, Puttenham, in his Art of Poetry, 1589:
“We once sported upon a country fellow, who came to run for the best game, and was by his occupation a dyer, and had very big swelling legs.
• He is but coarse to run a course,
“ Whose shanks are bigger than his thigh : " Yet is his luck a little worse
“ That often dyes before he die." “Where ye see the words course and die used in divers senses, one giving the rebound to the other." Steevens.
He that lives and dies, i. e. he who, to the very end of his life, continues a common executioner. So, in the second scene of the fifth Act of this play: “ live and die a shepherd.” Tollet.
To die and live by a thing is to be constant to it, to persevere in it to the end. Lives, therefore, does not signify is maintained, but the two verbs taken together mean—who is all his life conversant with bloody drops. MusGRAVE.
9 "Tis pretty, sure, and very probable,] Sure for surely. Douce.
1- lean But upon a rush,] But, which is not in the old copy, was added, for the sake of the metre, by the editor of the second folio. - MALONE.
2 The cicatrice and capable impressure --) Cicatrice is here