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or indeed any novelty of expression, meant this in the body of the common-weale; and must be cured “Though the freezing sky weave the waters into a solid either by incysion and letting blood in the necke-raine. texture.” The same image had occurred to a later or by searing with a hot yron, or els with a caudle of classic: Propertius makes the southwest wind, one of hempseed chopt halter-wise," etc. His purpose is to the cold winds of Italy, weave the waters into ice : illustrate why a thief is called felon, which also signified Africus in glaciem frigore nectit acquam.
a bile. Shakespeare uses " incision" for opening a vein
in Love's LABOUR's Lost, (act iv. scene 2:)—"A fever ACT III.-SCENE I.
in your blood, why then incision will let her out in
saucers." " — ARGUMENT"-i. e. Subject-matter.
-fairest Lin'd"-i. e. Delineated; not limn'd, as "Seek him with CANDLE”—It is supposed that this is it has been sometimes printed. an allusion to the passage in “ Saint Luke,” (chap. xv.:) “- the fair of Rosalind"-"Fair" for fairness, “If she lose one piece, doth she not light a candle ?”
beauty-as in COMEDY OF Errors, (act ii. scene 1;) If so, it is, metaphorically, “Seek him in every corner, but it is common in the Elizabethan poets. with the greatest diligence."
“ – the right butter-women's RANK"-So the old “Do this EXPEDIENTLY"_i. e. Expeditiously. Ez
copies; and “rank" is certainly as good as rate, or rant, pedient, throughout our author's plays, signifies expe which some would substitute. “ Rank," as Whiter obditious; as in King JOHN—“His marches are expedient serves, means the order in which they go one after anto this town."
other; and therefore Shakespeare says, “butter-woScene II.
men's," and not butler-woman's, as it has been cor.
rupted. As applied to the verses, it is a sneer at their - THRICE-CROWNED queen of night" —"This pas uniformity of cadence. sage seems to evince a most intimate knowledge of an
“Why should this a desert be"-Tyrwhitt and other cient mythology, but Shakespeare was doubtless familiar | editors would read, “Why should this desert silent be ?" with that fine racy old poet, Chapman's “Hymns to No alteration of the old copies seems absolutely nec Night and to Cynthia," which, though over-informed
sary. with learning, have many highly poetical passages; among which the following may have been in our Poet's
“ – civil sayings"_" The terin civil is here used as mind :
when we say civil wisdom, or civil life, in opposition to Nature's bright eye-sight, and the night's fair soul,
a solitary state, or to the state of nature. This desert That with thy triple forehead dost control
(says Orlando) shall not appear unpeopled, for every Earth, seas, and hell. Hymnus in Cynthiam,' (1694.)
tree shall teach the maxims or incidents of social life.'".
Johnson. All the learning of all the mythologists was poured forth in the notes to these poems.”-SINGER.
“Helen's cheek, but not her heart,
Cleopatra's majesty, " — UNEXPRESSIVE she"-i. e. Inexpressible. Milton
Atalanta's better part, uses the word in the same sense, in his “Hymn on the
Sad Lucretia's modesty."
The commentators have filled many pages with the
discussion of the precise meaning of the "better part"
of Atalanta's excellence. And again, in “Lycidas”-“the unexpressive nuptial
“Better part" seems to have
been often used for any peculiar excellence, whaterer song.” Warton thinks the word was coined by Shake it was, in the individual; and Ovid, in the passage on speare.
which all the allusions to Atalanta are founded, makes “- he, that hath learned no wit by nature nor art, the spectator doubt whether she were “better" (more may complain of good breeding"-Dr. Johnson doubts admirable) for swiftness, or grace of form :whether custom did not formerly authorize this mode
Laude peduin formåede bono prestantior esset. of speech, and make "complain of good breeding" the same with “complain of the want of good breeding."
This may have been in the author's mind, whether he In the last line of the MERCHANT OF VENICE, we find
read it in Latin or in Golding's Old-English. Tollet that to “fear the keeping" is to “ fear the not keeping."
makes it refer to her virgin chastity. Whiter, whose Johnson might have asserted this with less hesitation,
commentary on this play is mainly an ingenious illustrafor such use is found colloquially even now, and is
tration of the doctrine of the association of ideas sug. common, as Whiter remarks, in all languages.
gesting images and language, thus applies his theory
to this passage:“ – good MANNERS"-—"Manners" is here used in the “The imagery selected to discriminate the perfections sense of morals, both senses being included in the Latin of Helen, Cleopatra, Atalanta, and Lucretia, was not
Morals is not found in any of the old diction derived from the abstract consideration of their general aries, or authors.
qualities ; but was caught from those peculiar traits of “ — God make incision in thee"-It has been inge. beauty and character which are impressed on the mind niously urged that insition, or graffing, is here meant,
of him who contemplates their portraits. It is well and that the phrase may be explained, “God put know
known that these celebrated heroines of romance were, ledge into thee;" but we want instances to confirm this.
in the days of our Poet, the favourite subjects of popular Stevens thought the allusion here was to the common
representation, and were alike visible in the coarse expression of cutting for the simples; and the subse.
hangings of the poor, and the magnificent arras of the quent speech of Touchstone, “That is another simple
rich. In the portraits of Helen, whether they were sin in you,” gives colour to this conjecture. Nares asks,
produced by the skilful artist or his ruder imitator, “ Can it have been a phrase borrowed from surgery ?”
though her face would certainly be delineated as emiA quotation from the “Time's Whistle, or a New Daunce
nently beautiful, yet she appears not to have been of Seven Satires,” (MS.,) made by Dr. Farmer, shows
adorned with any of those charms which are allied to that it was
modesty; and we accordingly find that she was gener. Be stout, my heart; my band, be firm and steady;
ally depicted with a loose and insidious countenance, Strike, and strike home-the vaine world's vaine is ready :
which but too manifestly betrayed the inward wantonLet ulcer'd limbes and goutye humors quake,
ness and perfidy of her heart. With respect to the Whilst with my pen I doe incision make.
majesty' of Cleopatra, it may be observed that this noAnd the following curious passage from Baret's “ Alvea tion is not derived from classical authority, but from the rie" proves it :-“Those hell houndes which lay violent more popular storehouse of legend and romance. I inhands upon other men's goods are like biles and blotches | fer, therefore, that the familiarity of the image was im
and as a
pressed, both on the Poet and his reader, from pictures "- a chain, that you once wore"-Alluding to the or representations in tapestry, which were the lively and chain which Rosalind had given to Orlando. faithful mirrors of popular romances. Atalanta, we know, was considered by our ancient poets as a cele
- out of all WHOOPING"—i. e. Out of all cry, or out brated beauty; and we may be assured, therefore, that
of all measure. It is an old phrase. her portraits were everywhere to be found. Since the - Good my complexion"-The meaning of the ex. story of Atalanta represents that heroine as possessed of clamation “Good my complexion !" probably is, as sug. singular beauty, zealous to preserve her virginity even gested by Malone—“My native character, my female with the death of her lovers, and accomplishing her pur- inquisitive disposition, canst thou endure this ?" Composes by extraordinary swiftness in running, we may be plexion is used in the same sense of disposition in the assured that the skill of the artist would be employed in Merchant of Venice—“ It is the complexion of them displaying the most perfect expressions of virgin purity, i all to leave their dam.” and in delineating the fine proportions and elegant sym.
" – a SOUTH-SEA OF DISCOVERY”-i. e. “My curiosity metry of her person. 'Lucretia (we know) was the grand example of conjugal fidelity throughout the Go
can endure no longer. If you perplex me any further, ihic ages,' and it is this spirit of unshaken chastity which of is the original reading; the modern change is, 'a
I have a space for conjecture as wide as the south-sea. is here celebrated under the title of modesty.'
“Such, then, are the wishes of the lover in the form. South-sea off discovery." "Ksight. ation of his mistress—that the ripe and brilliant beauties “— speak SAD BROW, and TRUE MAID"-i. e. Speak of Helen should be united to the elegant symmetry and
with a serious countenance,
true maid." So virgin graces of Atalanta; and that this union of charms
HENRY V. saysshould be still dignified and ennobled by the majestic
I speak to thee plain soldier. mein of Cleopatra, and the matron modesty of Lucretia." And in this scene we have—“I'll answer you right
painted cloth." " — on a PALM-TREE"—“A palm-tree, (as Stevens
- borror me GARAGANTUA'S MOUTH"-Rosalind re. remarks,) in the forest of Arden, is as much out of place quires nine questions to be answered in one word. as the lioness in a subsequent scene.' Shakespeare
Celia tells her that a word of such magnitude is too big cared little about such proprieties;' but possibly be for any mouth but that of Garagantua, the giant of wrote plane-tree, which may have been misread by the
Rabelais, who swallowed five pilgrims, their staves and transcriber, or compositor.”—COLLIER.
all, in a salad. Shakespeare's allusions to the French " — I was an IRISH RAT”—Johnson calls Rosalind a
wit, whose works had been some time translated into very learned lady for this allusion to the Pythagorean
English, show their great popularity. doctrine of the transmigration of souls. It was no less “ – as easy to count ATOMIES"—Bullokar, in his common than the other allusion of rhyming rats to “ English Expositor,” (1616,) say—“An atomie is a death in Ireland. This fanciful idea probably arose mote flying in the sunne. Any thing so small that it can. from some metrical charm, or incantation, used there not be made less.” for ridding houses of rats. We find it mentioned by Ben Jonson, Randolph, and Marmion. Thus, in the which the rider restrained and stopped his horse. It is
“– holla! to thy tongue"-" Holla!" was a term by “Poetaster:"
so used by Shakespeare, in his VENUS AND ADONIS :Rhime them to death as they do Irish rats,
What recketh he his rider's angry stir,
His fattering holla, or his stand, I say?
- the FALCON her BELLS"-Master Stephen, in 'Every Man in his Humour," says, “I have bought me a hawk and a hood, and bells and all.” Gervase Markham, in his edition of the “ Boke of St. Albans," says “ The bells which your hawk shall wear, look in any wise that they be not too heavy, whereby they over load her, neither that one be heavier than another, but both of like weight: look also that they be well-sound ing and shrill, yet not both of one sound, but one at least a note under the other."
kill my HEART”-A quibble between hart and “heart," then spelled the same.
“— I answer you right painted cloth”—This passage alludes to the placing moral maxims, or sentences, in the mouths of the figures represented on the paintedcloth hangings of the period. The custom is frequently mentioned by contemporary writers. Shakespeare also adverts to it in his TARQUIN AND LUCRECE :
Who fears a sentence, or an old man's saw,
Shall by a painted cloth be kept in awe. “ — the coney, that you see dwell where she is kinDLED"—“Kindled" is a phrase not yet antiquated in England, in this sense, though out of use on this side of the Atlantic, for being brought forth : and is applied only to certain animals, as rabbits.
“— an UNQUESTIONABLE spirit”—Johnson explains this—" An unquestionable spirit is a spirit not inquisi. tive; a mind indifferent to common objects, and negli. gent of common occurrences." This seems erroneous. “Unquestionable" is the reverse of questionable, as used in HAMLET, “such a questionable shape"-one that may be conversed with. To question is used in this play for converse.
“ – POINT-DEVICE"-A customary old phrase for exact, dressed with nicety.
“ – a loving humour of madness"-" The old copies have it, 'living humour of madness ;' which is not very intelligible, unless it mean (as Stevens supposed) a lasting humour of madness. The antithesis is however complete, if, with Johnson, we read loving, which is only the change of a letter; and this reading is supported by the MS. correction of the early possessor of the first fólio, in the library of Lord Francis Egerton. The meaning thus is, that Rosalind drove her suitor from his mad humour of love, into a humour in which he was in love with madness, and forswore the world."-COLLIER.
“— most CAPRICIOus poet”—“Shakespeare remembered that caper was Latin for a goat, and thence chose this epithet. There is also a quibble between goats and Goths.”—MALONE.
- Jove in a thatch'd house"-Alluding of course to the story of Baucis and Philemon, in Ovid, (Met. 8.) Also alluded to in Much ADO ABOUT NOTHING.
“A MATERIAL fool"—i. e. A fool with matter in him ; a fool stocked with notions.
- the RASCAL"-Lean, poor deer, were called rascals.
“ — God'ild you"-i. e. God yield you; God reward you.
- the ox hath his bow"--i. e. His yoke, as it in form resembled a “bow."
SCENE IV. “— browner than Judas's" —Judas, in paintings and poetry, of Shakespeare's age, and anterior to it, is represented with red hair.
" — his hair is of a good colour"-" There is much nature in this petty perverseness of Rosalind. She finds fault in her lover, in hope to be contradicted ; and when Celia, in sportive malice, too readily seconds her accusations, she contradicts herself rather than suffer her favourite to want a vindication.”—Johnson.
- the touch of holy BREAD"-Warburton would read, “holy beard." “Holy bread" is sacramental bread: pax-bread is rendered, by Coles, panis osculandus.
- a nun of wintER'S SISTERHOOD"-i. e. Of an unfruitful sisterhood, that had devoted itself to chastity. A similar expression is found in the MIDSUMMER Night's DREAM
To be a barren sister all your life,
Chanting faint hyinns to the cold fruitless moon. “ – breaks his staff like a noble goose" - The humont of this simile depends upon its allusion to uilting, in which it was a disgrace for any knight to break bis lance across, and not directly against the breast of his adversary.
“Quite traverse, athwart the heart of his lover,” means, unskilfully across the breast of the lady with whom he was in love; “lover” being applied to both sexes.
SCENE V. CAPABLE impressure"-Thus the old copies, and it is intelligible in the sense of the impression which is capable of being made,” that which may be taken from the “rush." But there is much likelihood of truth in the suggestion that “capable" is a misprint of palpable.
" — though you have no beauty”—This passage was very needlessly altered, by Malone and Stevens, by substituting mo, or more, for “no," because, in Lodge's “Rosalynde," in a similar speech, it is said, “Becanse thou art beautiful,” etc. Shakespeare's intent is differ ent, and very obvious. Rosalind intends, throughout her speech, to check the vanity of Phebe; and begins
by telling her that she has no beauty, and therefore no " — the foolish CHRONICLERS of that age FOUND"excuse for being “proud and pitiless."
Sir Thomas Hanmer reads coroners, which, from its re"Foul is most foul, being foul to be a scoffer"-i. e. lation to the word "found,” the technical word of the "The ugly seem most ugly, when, though ugly, they
verdict, may well have been the reading. Still, the are scoffers."-JOHNSON.
sense is good as it stands. The silly “chronicler" sat
on his body like a coroner's jury, and “ found” that he "— your foulness”—The modern reading is her. died for love. We suppose Rosalind here turns to the parties before her, and addresses each.
“—weep, for nothing, like Diana in the fountain"
Statues, and particularly that of Diana, with the water Dead shepherd! now I find thy saw of might;
conveyed through them, to give them the appearance •Who ever lov'd, that loo'd not at first sight?'”
of weeping figures, were anciently a frequent ornament “ The dead shepherd' was Christopher Marlowe, of fountains. So, in Rosamond's “ Epistle," by Dray. who was killed in 1593, and whose paraphrase of Hero ton : and Leander,' from Musæus, was not printed until 1598.
Here in the garden, wrought by curious hands, He did not finish the work, but it was completed by
Naked Diana in the fountain stands. Geo. Chapman, and published entire in 1600. The line above quoted concludes a passage in the first 'Sestiad,' “ — Make the doors"-Still the language of the midthe whole of which Shakespeare seems to have had in
land counties of England, for making fast the doors. his mind when he wrote this scene; and it runs thus:
"—Wit, whither wilt”-A proverbial exclamation, It lies not in our power to love or hate, For will in us is over-ruled by fate.
so common as to be found in the sermons of that age. When two are stripp'd, long ere the course begin,
In act i. scene 2, of this play, Rosalind asks Touchstone, We wish that one should lose, the other win :
“How now, wit! whither wander you ?" which seems And one especially we do affect
only a variation of the same expression.
" — make her fault her husband's occasion”-i. e.
Represent her fault as occasioned by her husband.
SCENE II. "- the old CARLOT"_" Carlot (Douce says) is a word of Shakespeare's coinage." It is derived from “ Then sing him home"-In the folios we have, as carl, and means a peasant.
the third line
Then sing him home, the rest shall bear this burthen. ACT IV.-SCENE I.
With most former editors, I have thought that the first “— DISABLE all the benefits of your own country" four words were part of the song, and the rest a stagei.e. Underrate them, speak slightingly of them. So, after. direction. But Knight and Collier omit all, and the latwards—“He disabled my judgment.”. Beaumont and ter insists that “The words, “Then sing him home: the Fletcher have the same use of the word.
rest shall bear this burden,' are clearly only stage-direc" — SWAM in a GONDOLA"-i. e. Been at Venice;
tions, although, by error, printed as part of the song in then the resort of all travellers, as Paris now is. Shake
the old copies. Then sing him home' has reference speare's contemporaries also point their shafts at the
to the carrying of the lord, who killed the deer, to the corruption of youth by travel. Bishop Hall wrote his
duke ; and we are to suppose that the foresters sang as little book “ Quo Vadis ?" to stem the fashion.
they quitted the stage for their home' in the wood.
• The rest shall bear this burden' alludes to the last six "- a better leer than you"-Tyrwhitt, in his glos lines, which are the burden of the song. Modern edi. sary to Chaucer, explains lere to mean the skin ; and tors have taken upon them to divide the song between he derives it from the Saxon. Here it is to be taken as
the first and second lord, by the figures ‘l' and '2;' but complexion, or feature. It occurs again in Titus An without any warrant. It is to be observed that it is DRONICUS, (act iv. scene 2,) in a similar sense. Sir F.
found in Playford's "Musical Companion,' without the Madden translates it countenance, in his excellent glos words, . Then sing him home.' It is also in “Catch that sary to “Syr Gawayne.”
Catch can,' (1652,) in the same form.”
SCENE III. “ — Much Orlando"-Ironically, no Orlando here; as we still say, “ I shall get much by that"-meaning, I shall get nothing.
“ To sleep. Look, who comes here”—The mockheroic tone assumed by Celia is well kept up by the measure, and her speech is thus printed in the original, which in later editions has been printed as prose.
" – sweet and bitter FANCY"-"Fancy" here signifies love, as composed of contraries ; probably suggested by Lodge's “Rosalynde"-"I have noted the variable disposition of fancy: a bitter pleasure wrapped in sweet prejudice."
" — HURTLING”—To hurtle is to move with impetuosity and tumult. It is used in Julius CÆSAR
A noise of battle hurtled in the air.
ACT V.-SCENE II. " — Is't possible”-“Shakespeare, by putting this question into the mouth of Orlando, seems to have been aware of the improbability in his plot, caused by deserting his original." In Lodge's novel, the elder brother is instrumental in saving Aliena from a band of ruffians ; without this circumstance, the passion of Aliena appears to be very hasty indeed."-Stevens.
- all OBEISANCE”—The original has observance, which, as it also ends the next line but one preceding, seems to be misprint; and I have adopted Ritson's conjecture. Malone proposed obedience.
“Why do you speak, too”—This is the old reading which is perfectly intelligible, when addressed to Orlando ; who replies, that he speaks“ too," notwithstanding the absence of his mistress. It was altered, by Rowe and other editors, to “Who do you speak to."
SCENE IV. “ As those that fear; they hope, and know they fear"In the folio the line is printed thus :
As those that fear they hope, and know they fear. This, Caldecott, Collier, and others, retain unaltered, explaining it that “Orlando is in the state of mind of those who fear what they hope, and know that they fear it.” Yet, with Johnson and other editors, I must confess that I cannot extract that or any other sense from the old reading. This edition, therefore, adopts the suggestion of Henley, which requires only a slight altera. tion of the pointing; and then Orlando may be under. stood as comparing himself to those who fear, but yet hope while they are still conscious of real fear.” Per. haps, however, the text requires a still bolder correction; and I have been much inclined to adopt Heath's reading, which is more Shakespearian in its antithesis, and its boldness of expression :
As those that fear their hope, and know their fear. “ – a lie seven times removed"-" Touchstone here enumerates seven kinds of lies, from the retort courteous to the seventh and most aggravated species of lie, which he calls the lie direct. The courtier's answer to his intended affront, he expressly tells us, was the retort courteous. When, therefore, he says that they found the quarrel was on the lie seven times removed,' we must understand, by the latter word, the lie removed seven times, counting backwards, (as the word 'removed' seems to intimate,) from the last and most ag. gravated species of lie—the lie direct."-Illust. Shak.
- we quarrel in print, by the book”-“The Poet (says Warburton) has, in this scene, rallied the mode of formal duelling, then so prevalent, with the highest humour and address : nor could he have treated it with a happier contempt, than by making his Clown so know. ing in the forms and preliminaries of it. The particular book here alluded to is a very ridiculous treatise of one Vincentio Saviolo, entitled, of Humours and Honourable Quarrels,' in quarto, printed by Wolf, (1594.) The first part of this tract he entitles, "A Discourse most necessary for all Gentlemen that have in regard their Honours, touching the giving and receiving the Lie, whereupon the Duello and the Combat in divers Forms doth ensue; and many other Inconveniences, for lack only of true Knowledge of Honour, and the right Understanding of Words, which here is set down.' The contents of the several chapters are as follow:-1. What the Reason is that the Party unto whom the Lie is given ought to become challenger, and of the Nature of Lies. 2. Of the Manner and Diversity of Lies. 3. Of Lies certain, [or direct.] 4. Of conditional Lies, (or the lie circumstantial.] 5. Of the Lie in general. 6. Of the Lie in particular. 7. Of foolish Lies. 8. A Conclusion touching the wresting or returning back of the Lie, (or the countercheck quarrelsome.] In the chapter of conditional Lies, speaking of the particle if, he says— Conditional lies be such as are given condi. tionally, as if a man should say or write these words:if thou hast said that I have offered my lord abuse, thou liest; or if thou sayest so hereafter, thou wilt lie. Of these kind of lies, given in this manner, often arise much contention in words—whereof no sure conclusion can arise.'
“Enter Hymen"-"Rosalind is imagined by the rest of the company to be brought by enchantment, and is therefore introduced by a supposed aerial being, in the character of Hymen.”—Johnson.
In all the allegorical shows exhibited at ancient wed. dings, Hymen was a constant personage. Ben Jonson, in his Hymenæi, or the solemnities of Masque and Barriers, at a Marriage,' has left us instructions how to dress this favourite character. "On the other hand entered Hymen, the god of marriage, in a saffron-coloured robe, his under vestures white, his sockes yellow, a yellow veile of silke on his left arme, his head crowned
SCENE III. “ – to be a woman of the world"-i. e. To be married.
“Song”—This song may be seen more at large in Chappell’s “Collection of National English Airs," from a MS. now in the Advocates' "Library,” Edinburgh, believed to have been written within sixteen years after this play. This confirmed the previous conjecture that a transposition of the first and second stanzas had taken place in the old editions. It also clears up another difficulty, the folios in the fourth line having rang time, which Johnson and others printed rank-i. e. luxuriant. The “ring-time" is the time for marriage.