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“ This man, with lime and rough-caft, doth present “ Wall, that vile wall which did these lovers sun
der: “ And through wall’s chink, poor souls, they are
content “ To whisper ; at the which let no man wonder. “ This man, with lantern, dog, and bush of thorn,
“ Presenteth moon-line: for, if you will know, “ By moon-fhine did these lovers think no scorn
“ To meet at Ninus' tomb, there, there to woo, “ This grisly beast, which by name lion hight, “ The trusty Thisby, coming first by night, “ Did scare away, or rather did affright:
intended on the frequent recurrence of “ certain" as a bungling shime in poetry more ancient than the age
of Shakspeare. Thus in a short poem entitled “ A lyteil ircatose called the disputaryon or the complaynte of the borte through perced with the lakynge of rbe eye. Imprunted at Lidon in Fleteirete at ye lygue of the jonne by Il yakyu de l'orde."
" And hourdes svxescore and mo certayne
They made there both two theyr promyile certajam
STEEVENS. : 7: meci c: Visas' tod, &c.] So, in Chaucer's Légend of Tki/be Bodrini
• Thei fettin markes ther metingis should be,
There king lines was graven undir a tre.” Again :
And as she ran her crimple she let fall,” &c. Again, Golding ia his version of Ovid's Veizmorphos, B. IV. has a similar line: " And as a daway for hate, she let her zaxi fall."
STEEVENS. il mowe Lick tich) As all the other parts of this fixoch are in sisäi mute rhyme', escepring that it clars witi a cise
“ And, as she Aed, her mantle she did fall; 4
" Which lion vile with bloody mouth did stain: “ Anon comes Pyramus, sweet youth, and tall,
“ And finds his trusty Thisby's mantle Nain : Whereat, with blade, with bloody blameful blade, “He bravely broach'd his boiling bloody breast; And, Thisby tarrying in mulberry shade, “His dagger drew, and died. For all the rest,
plet; and as no rhime is left to name, we must conclude, either a verse is flipt out, which cannot now be retriev'd; or, by a transposition of the words, as I have placed them, the poet intended a triplet. THEOBALD.
Hight, in old English signifies—is called.--I think it more probable that a line, following the words—by night, has been loft.
MALONE. 4 - her mantle she did fall;] Thus all the old copies. The modern editions read—“ she let fall,” unnecessarily. To fall in this instance is a verb active. So, in The Tempeft, Act II. sc. i:
“ And when I rear my hand, do you the like,
To fall it on Gonzalo.” Steevens. 5 Whereat, with blade, with bloody blameful blade,] Mr. Upton rightly observes, that Shakspeare in this line ridicules the affectation of beginning many words with the same letter. He might have remarked the fame of
“ The raging rocks
“ And shivering shocks.". Gascoigne, contemporary with our poet, remarks and blames the fame affectation. JOHNSON. It is also ridiculed by Sidney in his Astrophel and Stella. 15:
• You that do Dictionaries' method bring
“ Into your rimes, running in rattling rowes." But this alliteration seems to have reached the height of its fashion in the reign of Henry VIII. The following stanza is quoted from a poem On the Fall and evil Success of Rebellion, written in 1537, by Wilfride Holme.
“ Loe, leprous lurdeins, lubricke in loquacitie,
Vah, vaporous villeins, with veniin vulnerate,
Pyr. No, in truth, sir, he should not. Deceiving me, is Thisby's cue; she is to enter now, and I am to spy her through the wall. You shall see, it will fall pat as I told you :-Yonder she comes.
Tuis.“ O wall, full often haft thou heard my
moans, “ For parting my fair Pyramus and me: “ My cherry lips have often kiss'd thy stones;
Thy stones with lime and hair knit up in thec."" Prr.“ I see a voice: now will I to the chink, “ To spy an I can hear my Thilby's face. Thisby? This." My love! thou art my love, I think.” Prr.“ Think what thou wilt, I am thy lover's
This. “ And I like Helen, till the fates me kill.”
wall." This. " I kiss the wall's hole, not your lips at
knit up in ther.] Thus the folio. The quartos read-kuit now again. STEEVENS.
And like Limander, &c.] Limander and Helen, are spoken by the blundering player, for Leander and Hero. Shafalus and Procrus, for Cephalus and Procris. Johnson.
3 I kiss the wall's hole, not your lips at all.] So Golding's Ovid: “ When night drew nere, they bade adew, and eche gave kitles
sweete “ Unto the pargct on their side, the which did never meete."
Prr.“ Wilt thou at Ninny's tomb meet me
straightway?" Tuis.“ Tide life, tide death, I come without de
lay.” Wall.“ Thus have I, wall, my part discharged so; And, being done, thus wall away doth go."
[Exeunt Wall, PYRAMUS, and Thisbe. Tue. Now is the mural down between the two neighbours.
Dem. No remedy, my lord, when walls are so wilful to hear without warning.'
Hip. This is the filliest stuff that ever I heard.
The. The best in this kind are but shadows: and the worst are no worse, if imagination amend them.
Hip. It must be your imagination then, and not theirs.
The. If we imagine no worse of them, than they of themselves, they may pass for excellent men. Here come two noble beasts in, a moon and a lion.
4 Wilt thou at Ninny's tomb meet me straightway?] So Gold. ing's Ovid : They did agree at Ninus tomb to meete without the towne."
Ritson. sDem. No remedy, my lord, when walls are so wilful to hear without warning.] This alludes to the proverb, Walls have ears." A wall between almoft any two neighbours would soon be down, were it to exercise this faculty without previous warning:
FARMER. The old copies read-moral, instead of mural. Mr. Theobald made the correction. MALONE.
6 Here come two noble beasts in, a moon and a lion.] The old copies read-a man, &c. STEEVENS.
I don't think the jest here is either complete, or right. It is differently pointed in several of the old copies, which, I fufpect, may lead us to the true reading, viz.
“ Here come two noble beasts-in a man and a lion."
Enter Lion and Moonshine.
Lion." You, ladies, you, whose gentle hearts do
fear « The smallest monstrous mouse that creeps on
floor, " May now, perchance, both quake and tremble
here, “ When lion rough in wildest rage doth roar. “ Then know, that I, one Snug the joiner, am “ A lion fell, nor else no lion's dam:
immediately upon 'Theseus saying this, Enter Lion and Moonshine. It seems very probable therefore, that our author wrote,
- in a moon and a lion." the one having a crescent and a lanthorn before him, and representing the man in the moon ; the other in a lion's hide. Theobald.
Mr. Theobald reads-a moon and a lion, and the emendation was adopted by the subsequent editors; but, I think, without neceffity. The conceit is furnished by the person who reprefents the lion, and enters covered with the hide of that beaft; and Theseus only means to say, that the man who represented the moon, and came in at the fame time, with a lantern in his hand, and a buth of thorns at his back, was as much a beast as he who performed the part of the lion.
Here come true noble beasts in, a moon, and a lion. I cannot help fuppofing that we should have it, a moon-calf. The old copies read a man: poflibly man was the marginal interpretation of moon-calf; and being more intelligible, got into the text.
The man in the moon was no new character on the stage, and is here introduced in ridicule of such exhibitions. Ben Jonton in one of his masques, call'd News from the New World in the Moon, makes his Factor doubt of the person who brings the intelligence. “ I must see his dog at his girdle, and the buih of thorns at his back, ere I believe it."-" Those, replies one of the heralds, are fiale enhigns o the flage.” FARMER. 5 Then knofl', that I, one Snug the joiner, am
A lim fell, nor else ro lion's dam:] That is, that I am Snug the joiner; and neither a lion, nor a lion's dam. Dr. Jolinfon has justly observed in a note on All's well that ends well, at nor in ébe phraseology of our author's time often related to two meinbers