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Cor. Sir, I am a true labourer; I earn that I eat, get that I wear; owe no man hate, envy no man's happiness; glad of other men's good, content with my harm: and the greatest of my pride is, to see my ewes graze, and my lambs suck.
Touch. That is another simple sin in you; to bring the ewes and the rams together, and to offer to get your living by the copulation of cattle: to be bawd to a bellwether;? and to betray a she-lamb of a twelvemonth, to a crooked-pated, old, cuckoldly ram, out of all reasonable match. If thou be’st not damn'd for this, the devil himself will have no shepherds; I cannot see else how thou shouldst ’scape.
Cor. Here comes young master Ganymede, my new mistress's brother.
Enter ROSALIND, reading a paper.
No jewel is like Rosalind.
plainly alludes to the practice of the young gallants of the time, who used to cut themselves in such a manner as to make their blood flow, in order to show their passion for their mistresses, by drinking their healths, or writing verses to them in blood. For a more full explanation of this custom, see a note on Love's Labour's Lost, Act IV, sc. iii. M. Mason.
thou art raw.] i. e. thou art ignorant; unexperienced. So, in Hamlet : " - and yet but raw neither, in respect of his
- bawd to a bell-wether;] Wether and rain had anciently the same meaning. Johnson.
-fairest lin’d,] i. e. most fairly delineated. Modern editors read-limn'd, but without authority, from the ancient copies.
Steevens. 9 But the fair of Rosalind.] Thus the old copy. Fair is beauty, complexion. See the notes on a passage in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Act I, sc. i, and The Comedy of Errors, Act II, sc. i. The modern editors read the face of Rosalind. Lodge's Novel will likewise support the ancient reading :
Touch. I'll rhyme you so, eight years together; dinners, and suppers, and sleeping hours excepted: it is the right butter-woman's rank to market.1
Ros. Out, fool!
If a hart do lack a hind,
“ Then muse not, nymphes, though I bemone
“Since for her faire there is fairer none,” &c. Again:
“ And hers the faire which all men do respect.” Steevens. Face was introduced by Mr. Pope. Malone. rank to market.] Sir T. Hanmer reads--rate to market.
Fohnson. Dr. Grey, as plausibly, proposes to read_rant. “Gyll brawled like a butter-whore,” is a line in an ancient medley. The sense designed, however, might have been—" it is such wretched rhyme as the butter-woman sings as she is riding to market.” So, in Churchyard's Charge, 1580, p. 7:
“ And use a kinde of ridynge rime —.' Again, in his Farewell from the Courte:
“ A man maie,” says he
- use a kinde of ritlyng rime
“ To sutche as wooll not let me clime.” Ratt-ryme, however, in Scotch, signifies some verse repeated by rote. See Ruddiman’s Glossary to G. Douglas's Virgil. Steevens.
The Clown is here speaking in reference to the ambling pace of the metre, which, after giving a specimen of, to prove his assertion, he affirms to be “the very false gallop of verses.” Henley.
I am now persuaded that Sir T. Hanmer's emendation is right. The hobbling metre of these verses, (says Touchstone) is like the ambling, shuffling pace of a butter-woman's horse, going to market. The same kind of imagery is found in K. Henry IV, P.I:
“ And that would set my teeth hing on edge,
“'Tis like the forc'd gait of a shuffling nag.” Malone. " The right butter-woman's rank to market” means the jog-trot rate (as it is vulgarly called) with which butter-women uniformly travel one after another in their road to market: in its application to Orlando's poetry, it means a set or string of verses in the same coarse cadence and vulgar uniformity of rythin. Whiter.
Sweetest nut hath sowrest rind,
Must find love's prick, and Rosalind.
infect yourself with them?
Ros. Peace, you dull fool; I found them on a tree. Touch. Truly, the tree yields bad fruit. Ros. I'll graff it with you, and then I shall graff it with a medlar: then it will be the earliest fruit3 in the country: for you 'll be rotten e'er you be half ripe, and that 's the right virtue of the medlar.
Touch. You have said; but whether wisely or no, let the forest judge.
Enter CELIA, reading a paper.
For is it unpeopled? No;
That shall civil sayings show.5
2 This is the very false gallop of verses ;] So, in Nashe's Apologie of Pierce Pennilesse, 4to, 1593: "I would trot a false gallop through the rest of his ragged verses, but that if I should retort the rime doggrell aright, I must make my verses (as he doth his) run hobbling, like a brewer's cart upon the stones, and observe no measure in their feet.” Malone.
the earliest fruit -] Shakspeare seems to have had lit. tle knowledge in gardening. The medlar is one of the latest fruits, being uneatable till the end of November. Steevens. 4 Why should this desert silent be?] This is commonly printed:
Why should this a desert be? But although the metre may be assisted by this correction, the sense still is defective; for how will the hanging of tongues on every tree, make it less a desert? I am persuaded we ought to read:
Why should this desert silent be? Tyrwhitt. The notice which this emendation deserves, I have paid to it, by inserting it in the text. Steevens.
5 That shall civil sayings show.] Civil is here used in the same sense as when we say civil wisdom or civil life, in opposition to a solitary state, or to the state of nature. This desert shall not appear unpeopled, for every tree shall teach the maxims or incidents of social life. Johnson.
Some, how brief the life of man
Runs his erring pilgrimage ;
Buckles in his sum of age.
'Twixt the souls of friend and friend:
Or at every sentence' end,
Teaching all that read, to know
Heaven would in little show.6
That one vody should be fill'd
Nature presently distill’d
Sado Lucretia's modesty.
Civil, I believe, is not designedly opposed to solitary. It means only grave, or solemn. So, in Twelfth Night, Act III, sc. iv:
“ Where is Malvolio? he is sad and civil."
" That fourteen yards of satin give my woman ;
in little show.] The allusion is to a miniature-portrait. The current phrase in our author's time was “painted in little."
Malone. So, in Hainlet : " - a hundred ducats a-piece, for his picture in little." Steevens.
7 Therefore heaven nature charg'd-] From the picture of Apelles, or the accomplishments of Pandora.
Πανδωρην οτι σταλει 'Ολυμπια δωματ’ εχοντες
“ Of every creaturc's best.” Tempest. Perhaps from this passage Swift had his hint of Biddy Floyd.
Fohnson. 8 Atalanta's better part;] I know not well what could be the better part of Atalanta here ascribed to Rosalind. Of the AtaThus Rosalind of many parts
By heavenly synod was devis’d;
To have the touches? dearest priz'd.
lanta most celebrated, and who therefore must be intended here where she has no epithet of discrimination, the better part seems to have been her heels, and the worse part was so bad that Rosalind would not thank her lover for the comparison. There is a more obscure Atalanta, a huntress and a heroine, but of her nothing bad is recorded, and therefore I know not which was her better part. Shakspeare was no despicable mythologist, yet he seems here to have mistaken some other character for that of Atalanta. Johnson.
Perhaps the poet means her beauty and graceful elegance of shape, which he would prefer to her swiftness. Thus Ovid:
nec dicere posses,
Obstupuit But cannot Atalanta's better part mean her virtue or virgin chastity, with which nature had graced Rosalind, together with Helen's beauty without her heart or lewdness, with Cleopatra's dignity of behaviour, and with Lucretia's modesty, that scorned to survive the loss of honour? Pliny's Natural History, B. XXXV, c. iii, mentions the portraits of Atalanta and Helen, utraque excellentissima forma, sed altera ut virgo; that is, “both of them for beauty, incomparable, and yet a man may discern the one (Ata. lanta] of them to be a maiden, for her modest and chaste coun. tenance," as Dr. P. Holland translated the passage; of which probably our poet had taken notice, for surely he had judgment in painting. Tollet.
I suppose Atalanta's better part is her wit, i. e. the swiftness of her mind. Farmier.
Shakspeare might have taken part of this enumeration of distinguished females from John Grange's Golden Aphroditis, 1577: " — who seemest in my sight faire Helen of Troy, Polixene, Calliope, yea Atalanta hir selfe in beauty to surpasse, Pandora in qualities, Penelope and Lucretia in chastenesse to deface.” Again, ibid:
“ Polixene fayre, Calliop, and
“ Penelop may give place;
" She doth them both def.ice.” Again, ibid: “ Atalanta who sometyme bore the bell of beauties price in that hyr native soyle.”
It may be observed, that Statius also, in his sixth Thebaid, has confounded Atalanta the wife of Hippomenes, and daughter of Siconeus, with Atalanta the daughter of Enomaus, and wife of Pelops. See v. 564. Steevens.