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to bespeak or summon attention, yet the forner of them appears so harsh in Dr. Warburton's emenda. tion, that I read the line several times over, before I perceived its meaning. To speak the voice of the gods, appears to me as defective in the same way. Dr. Warburton, in a note on All's Well that Ends Well, observes, that to speak a sound is a barbarism. To speak a voice is, I think, no less reprehensible.
STEEVENS. Few passages have been more canvassed than this, I believe, it wants no alteration of the words, but only of the pointing :
And when love speaks (the voice of all), the gods
Make heaven drowsy with thy harmony. Love, I apprehend, is called the voice of all, as gold, in Timon, is said to speak with every tongue; and the gods (being drowsy themselves with the harmony) are supposed to make heaven drowsy, If one could possibly suspect Shakspere of having read Pindar, one should say, that the idea of musick making the hearers drowsy, was borrowed from the first Pythian.
TYRWHITT. Perhaps here is an accidental transposition. We may read, as I think some one has proposed before,
“ The voice makes all the gods
FARMBR. That harmony had the power to make the hearers drowsy, the present commentator might infer from the effect it usually produces on himself, In Cinthia's
Revenge, 1613, however, is an instance which should weigh more with the reader:
• Howl forth some ditty, that vast hell may ring
" With charms all potent, earth asleep to bring.” Again, in the Midsummer Night's Dream:
-musick call, and strike more dead “ Than common sleep, of all these five the sense."
STEEVENS. So, also, in King Henry IV. Part II.
-softly pray; “ Let there be no noise made, my gentle friends; “ Unless some dull and favourable hand
“ Will whisper musick to my wearied spirit.” Again, in Pericles, 1609 :
-Most heavenly musick !
MALONE. The voice may signify the assenting voice; as in Hamlet :
“ Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice.” By harmony I presume the poet means unison.
MUSGRAVE. One might almost persuade one's self that the poet, in this description, meant to allegorize the correspondence between the seven primary colours, and the chords that sound the seven notes in the diatonic scale, had this discovery been made in his own time.
Henley., 687. From women's eyes this doctrine I derive :] In Fiij
this speech I suspect a more than common instance of the inaccuracy of the first publishers:
From women's eyes this doctrine I derive, and several other lines, are as unnecessarily repeated. Dr. Warburton was aware of this, and omitted two verses, which Dr. Johnson has since inserted. Perhaps the players printed from piece-meal parts, or retained what the author had rejected, as well as what had undergone his revisal. It is here given according to the regulation of the old copies.
a word that loves all men ;] i.e. pleasing to all men. So, in the language of our au. thor's time, it likes me well, for it pleases me. Shakspere here uses the word thus licentiously, merely for the sake of the antithesis. Men, in the following line, are with sufficient propriety said to be the authors of women, and these again of men, the aid of both being necessary to the continuation of the human
There is surely, therefore, no need of any of the alterations that have been proposed to be made in these lines.
-sow'd cochle reap'd no corn;] This proverbial expression intimates, that beginning with perjury, they can expect to reap nothing but false: hood. The following lines lead us to this sense.
WARBURTON. 723. If so, our copper buys no better treasure.] Here Mr. Theobald ends the third act. Johnson,
Line 1. Satis, quod sufficit.] i.e. Enough's as good as a feast.
Steevens, -your reasons at dinner have been, &c.] I know not well what degree of respect Shakspere intends to obtain for this vicar, but he has here put into his mouth a finished representation of colloquial excellence. It is very difficult to add any thing to this character of the school-master's table-talk, and perhaps all the precepts of Castiglione will scarcely be found to comprehend a rule for conversation so justly delineated, so widely dilated, and so nicely limited.
It may be proper just to note, that reason here, and in many other places, signifies discourse; and that audacious is used in a good sense tor spirited, animated, confident. Opinion is the same with obstinacy or opinia atreté.
JOHNSON, So, again, in this play: " Yet fear not thou, but speak audaciously."
STEEVENS. 4. - without affection,] i.e. without affectation. 80, in Haml.t: " -No matter that might indite the author of affection.” So, in Twelfth-Night : Malvolio is' call'd “ an affeclion'd ass.”
STEEVENS. audacious without impudency,_~] Audacious
was not always used by our ancient writers in a bad
It means no more here, and in the following instance from Ben Jonson's Silent Woman, than liberal or commendable boldness:
"she that shall be my wife, must be accomplished with courtly and audacious ornaments."
STEEVENS. -his tongue filed, -] Chaucer, Skelton, and Spenser, are frequent in their use of this phrase. Ben Jonson has it likewise.
Steevens. 18. — point-devise--] A French expression for the utmost, or finical exactness. So, in TwelfthNight, Malvolio says : “ I will be point-device, the very man."
STEEVENS. 23. - This is abhominable,--] So the word is constantly spelt in the old moralities and other antiquated books:
" And then I will bryng in
STEEVENS. 25. it insinuateth me of insanie; --] In former editions, it insinuateth me of infamy: Ne intelligis, domine? to make frantick, lunatick?
Nath. Laus Deo, bene intelligo.
26. to make frantick, lunatick?] We should certainly read : to be frantick.”
STEEVENS. Hol. Bome, boon for boon Prescian; a little scratch, *twill serve. This play is certainly none of the best in itself, but