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Heaven would that she these gifts should have,
Dr. Farmer's explanation may derive some support from a subsequent passage: “ - as swift a wit as Atalanta's heels.”
Malone. I think this stanza was formed on an old tetrastick epitaph, which, as I have done, Mr. Steevens may possibly have read in a country church-yard:
« She who is dead and sleepeth in this tomb,
“ And Martha's care, and Mary's better part.” Whalley. The following passage in Marston's Insatiate Countess, 1613, might lead one to suppose that Atalanta's better part was her lips :
That eye was Juno's;
“ That virgin blush Diana's." Be this as it may, these lines show that Atalanta was considered as uncommonly beautiful, and therefore may serve to support Mr. Tollet's first interpretation.
It is observable that the story of Atalanta in the tenth Book of Ovid's Metamorphoses is interwoven with that of Venus and Ado. nis, which our author had undoubtedly read. The lines most material to the present point run thus in Golding's translation, 1567 :
“She overcame them out of doubt; and hard it is to tell
- And though that she “ Did flie as swift as arrow from a Turkie bow, yet hee “More wondered at her beautie, then at swiftnesse of her
pace; “Her running greatly did augment her beautie and her
grace. Malone. The passage quoted by Mr. Malone from Marston's Insatiate Countess, has no reference to the ball of Atalanta, but to the golden apple which was adjudged to Venus by Paris, on Mount İda.
After all, I believe, that “ Atalanta's better part" means onlythe best part about her, such as was most commended. Steevens.
9 Sad --] Is grave, sober, not light. Johnson.
So, in Much Ado about Nothing: “She is never sad but when she sleeps.” Steevens.
the touches -] The features; les traits. Fohnson.
Ros. O most gentle Jupiter!-what tedious homily of love have you wearied your parishioners withal, and never cry'd, Have patience, good people!
Cel. How now! back friends ;-Shepherd, go off a little:-Go with him, sirrah.
Touch. Come, shepherd, let us make an honourable retreat; though not with bag and baggage, yet with scrip and scrippage.
[Exeunt Cor. and Touch. Cel. Didst thou hear these verses?
Ros. O, yes, I heard them all, and more too: for some of them had in them more feet than the verses would bear.
Cel. That 's no matter; the feet might bear the verses.
Ros. Ay, but the feet were lame, and could not bear themselves without the verse, and therefore stood lamely in the verse.
Cel. But didst thou hear, without wondering, how thy name should be hang'd and carved upon these trees?
Ros. I was seven of the nine days out of the wonder, before you came; for look here what I found on a palmtree:2 I was never so be-rhymed since Pythagoras' time, that I was an Irish rat, 3 which I can hardly remember.
So, in King Richard III:
“ Madam, I have a touch of your condition.” Steevens. - a palm tree:] A palm-tree, in the forest of Arden, is as much out of its place, as the lioness in a subsequent scene.
Steevens. I was never so be-rhymed since Pythagoras' time that I was an Irish rat,] Rosalind is a very learned lady. She alludes to the Pythagorean doctrine, which teaches that souls transmigrate from one animal to another, and relates that in his time she was an Irish rat, and by some metrical charm was rhymed to death. The power of killing rats with rhymes Donne mentions in his Satires, and Temple in his Treatises. Dr. Grey has produced a similar passage from Randolph:
Fohnson. So, in an address to the reader at the conclusion of Ben Jonson's Poetaster :
“ Rhime them to death, as they do Irish rats
“ In drumming tunes.” Steevens. So, in The Defence of Poesie, by our author's contemporary, Sir Philip Sidney: “Though I will not wish unto you—to be driven
Cel. Trow you, who hath done this?
Cel. And a chain, that you once wore, about his neck: Change you colour?
Ros. I pr’ythee, who?
Cel. O lord, lord! it is a hard matter for friends to meet;4 but mountains may be removed with earthquakes, and so encounter. 5
Ros. Nay, but who is it?
Ros. Nay, I pray thee now, with most petitionary vehemence, tell me who it is.
Cel. O wonderful, wonderful, and most wonderful wonderful, and yet again wonderful, and after that out of all whooping!
Ros. Good my complexion !7 dost thou think, though
by a poet's verses, as Rubonax was, to hang yourself, nor to be rimed to death, as is said to be done in Ireland —.” Malone.
---- friends to meet;] Alluding ironically to the proverb:
“ Friends may meet, but mountains never greet." See Ray's Collection. Steevens.
but mountains may be removed with earthquakes, and so encounter.] “Montes duo inter se concurrerunt,” &c. says Pliny, Hist. Nat. Lib. II, c. lxxxiii, or in Holland's translation: “ Two hills (removed by an earthquake) encountered together, charging as it were, and with violence assaulting one another, and retyring again with a most mighty noise.” Tollet.
--Out of all whooping !] i. e. out of all measure, or reckoning. So, in the old ballad of Yorke, Yorke for my Money, &c. 1584:
" And then was shooting, out of cry,
“ The skantling at a handful nie.” Again, in the old bl. I. comedy called Common Gonditions:
“ I have beraed myself out of cry.” Steevens. This appears to have been a phrase of the same import as another formerly in use, “out of all cry.” The latter seems to allude to the custom of giving notice by a crier of things to be sold. So, in A Chaste Maide of Cheapside, a comedy, by T. Middleton, 1630: “ I'll sell all at an outcry." Malone.
An outcry is still a provincial term for an auction. Steevens.
7 Good my complexion! ] This is a mode of expression, Mr. Theobald says, which he cannot reconcile to common sense. Like enough: and so too the Oxford editor. But the meaning is---Hold good my complexion, i.e. let me not blush. Warburton.
Good my complexion!) My native character, my female inqui. sitive disposition, canst thou endure this ! -For thus character
I am caparison'd like a man, I have a doublet and hose in my disposition? One inch of delay more is a South-seaoff discovery.8 I pr’ythee, tell me, who is it? quickly, and speak apace: I would thou couldst stammer, that thou might'st pour this concealed man out of thy mouth, as wine comes out of a narrow-mouth'd bottle; either too much at once, or none at all. I pr’ythee take the cork out of thy mouth, that I may drink thy tidings.
Cel. So you may put a man in your belly.
izing the most beautiful part of the creation, let our author answer. Malone.
Good my complexion! is a little unmeaning exclamatory address to her beauty; in the nature of a small oath. Ritson.
8 One inch of delay more is a South-sea-off discovery.] The old copy reads-is a South-sea of discoverie. Steevens.
This is stark nonsense; we must read-off discovery, i. e. from discovery. “ If you delay me one inch of time longer, I shall think this secret as far from discovery as the South-sea is.
Warburton. This sentence is rightly noted by the commentator as nonsense, but not so happily restored to sense. I read thus:
One inch of delay more is a South-sea. Discover, I pr’ythee; tell me who is it quickly!-- When the transcriber had once made discovery from discover I, he easily put an article after South-sea. But it may be read with still less change, and with equal probability-Every inch of delay more is a South-sea discovery: Every delay, however short, is to me tedious and irksome as the longest voyage, as a voyage of discovery on the South-sea. How much voyages to the South-sea on which the English had then first ventured, engaged the conversation of that ne, may be easily imagined. Johnson.
of for off is frequent in the elder writers. A South-sea of discovery is a discovery a South-sea off--as far as the South-sca.
Farmer. Warburton's sophistication ought to have been reprobated, and the old, which is the only reading that can preserve the sense of Rosalind, restored. A South-sea of discovery, is not a discovery, as FAR OFF, but as COMPREHENSIVE as the South-sea; wllich, being the largest in the world, aifords the widest scope for exercising curiosity. Henley.
On a further consideration of this passage I am strongly inclined to think, with Dr. Johnson, that we should read a Southsea discovery. “Delay, however short, is to me tedious and irk. some as the longest voyage, as a voyage of discovery on the South-sea.” The word of, which had occurred just before, might have been inadvertently repeated by the compositor.
Ros. Is he of God's making? What manner of man? Is his head worth a hat, or his chin worth a beard?
Cel. Nay, he hath but a little beard.
Ros. Why, God will send more, if the man will be thankful: let me stay the growth of his beard, if thou delay me not the knowledge of his chin.
Cel. It is young Orlando; that tripp'd up the wrestler's heels, and your heart, both in an instant.
Ros. Nay, but the devil take mocking; speak sad brow, and true maid.9
Cel. l' faith, coz, 'tis he.
Ros. Alas the day! what shall I do with my doublet and hose?-What did he, when thou saw'st bim? What said he? How look'd he? Wherein went he?1 What makes he here? Did he ask for me? Where remains he? How parted he with thee? and when shalt thou see him again? Answer me in one word.
Cel. You must borrow me Garagantua's mouth? first: 'tis a word too great for any mouth of this age's size: To say, ay, and no, to these particulars, is more than to answer in a catechism.
Kos. But doth he know that I am in this forest, and
- speak sad brow, and true maid.] i. e. speak with a grave countenance, and as truly as thou art a virgin; speak seriously and honestly. Ritson.
1 Wherein went he?] In what manner was he clothed? How did he go dressed? Heath.
Garagantua's mouth --] Rosalind requires nine questions to be answered in one word. Celia tells her that a word of such magnitude is too big for any mouth but that of Garagantua the giant of Rabelais. Fohnson.
Garagantua swallowed five pilgrims, their staves and all, in a sallad. It appears from the books of the Stationers' Company, that in 1592 was published, “Garagantua his Prophecie.” And in 1594, “A booke entitled, The History of Garagantua.” The book of Garagantua is likewise mentioned in Laneham's Narrative of Queen Elizabeth's Entertainment at Kenelworth Castle, in 1575. Some translator of one of these pieces is censured by Hall, in his second Book of Satires:
“But who conjur’d, &c.