Imatges de pÓgina




marks,” maintains that it should be “short-aimed igno- Mr. Gifford has adduced an instance from Dryden. He rance."

justly observes, it is to be regretted that the word is now

obsolete, as we have none that can adequately supply If I could have remembered a gilt COUNTERFEIT"To understand this joke it should be known that “coun

its place—to dash signifying to throw one thing with

violence against another; to “pash" is to strike a thing terfeit” and slip were synonymous :—“And, therefore,

with such force as to crush it to pieces. he went out and got him certain slips, which are counterfeit pieces of money, being brasse, and covered over " — FORCE him with praises"-"Force" is taken in with silver, which the common people call slips.”- its customary sense, for stuff him with praise." We GREENE's Thieves Falling out, true men come by their had, in fact, in old English, two words of distinct sense. Goods.

both spelled “ force"-one from the French force, and Lei thy Brood be thy direction"—i. e. Thy pas

the Latin fortis; the other from the French farcir. sions; natural propensities.

The last is now obsolete, except in the compound

forced-meat ; in which sense we have, in this play, Make that demand of the PROVER”-i. e Ask of * malice forced with wit," (act v. scene 1.) him who proves, or experiences, your folly. In the folio, this is strangely altered into “thy creator."

" — his addition yield-i. e. Yield his title, his ce

lebrity for strength. “Addition," in legal language, is “He shest our messengers”—The quarto reads sate ; the title given to each party, showing his degree, occuthe folio, sent. Theobald made the change to “shent;" pation, etc.; as, esquire, gentleman, yeoman, merchant, meaning to rebuke. Collier thinks that the misprint is in“he," for we—“We sent our messengers."

Shall I call you FATHER"-"Because Nestor was an The elephant hath joints, but none for courtesy,etc. old man, the modern editors make him reply to the

Up to the time when Sir Thomas Brown wrote his question of Ajax. In Shakespeare's time it was the “Vulgar Errors,”, (about 1670,) there was a prevailing highest compliment to call a man, whose wit or learning opinion that the elephant had no joints, and that it could

was reverenced, father.' Ben Jonson had thus his not lie down. Its joints, according to the passage be

The flattery of Ulysses has won the heart of Ajax; fore us, were not " for flexure.” Sir T. Brown refutes Nestor has said nothing."-Knight. the error by appealing to the experience of those who

The quartos have here given the reply to Nestor, had," not many years past," seen an elephant, in Eng

which, for the reason above assigned, seems erroneous. land, “kneeling, and lying down.”

The custom of thus adopting a father was a familiar one

of former days. Thus Cotton dedicated his treatise on the savage stRANGENESS' -i. e. Distance of be- fishing to his “father” Walton; and Ashmole, in his haviour, shyness ; a sense retained in New England.

Diary," observes :—“ Ap. 3. Mr. Wm. Backhouse, of UNDERWRITE in an observing kind"-To“under- Swallowfield, in com. Berks, caused me to call him write" is synonymous with to subscribe, which is used father henceforward." by Shakespeare, in several places, for to yield, to submit. His pettish LUNES”-i. e. Fitful lunacies. The

ACT III.-SCENE ). quarto reads:

I hope I shall know your honour better." His course and time, his ebbs and lunes, and if The passage and whole stream of his commencement

“The servant means to quibble: he hopes that PanKode on his tide.

darus will become a better man than at present. In This is evidently an alteration and an improvement of his next speech, he chooses to understand Pandarus as the author's own, in the copy from which the folio was

if he had said he wished to grow better; and hence printed. “ Lunes" is there misprinted lines; but the

affirms that he is in the state of grace." word is frequent in our Poet, as in the Winter's Tale.

"my, DISPOSER Cressida"-Stevens would give "-'twirt his mental and his active parts,

this speech to Helen, and read deposer, instead of “disKingdom'd Achilles in commotion rages," etc. poser.” Helen, he thinks, may address herself to PanThis passage will be best explained by a parallel one

darus; and, by her deposer, mean that Cressida had in JULIUS CÆSAR:

deposed her in the affections of Troilus.

Disposer" appears to have been an equivalent term,
The genius and the mortal instruments
Are then in council; and the state of man,

anciently, for steward, or manager. If the speech is to Like to a little kingdom, suffers then

be attributed to Helen, she may mean to call Cressida The nature of an insurrection.

her hand-maid. He is 80 PLAGUY proud”—This strikes the modern I would fain have armed to-day, but my Nell roould ear as a vulgarism, and Stevens denounces it as the not have it so"—This trait of Paris, painted as a man of “interpolation of some foolish player.” But originally spirit and ability, yet wasting important hours in subit was no more vulgar than pestilently, for which it is mission to the whims of his mistress, oddly resembles here used, and with direct allusion to that fearful visita

the anecdotes, of which the English memoirs are full, tion of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. “Pla- of the habits of Charles II.; and to this the coincidence guy” was so little appropriated to its modern colloquial of the name, Nell, adds effect. It affords a proof of the rise, that Lord Stirling uses it in his poem on the “Dooms- general truth of the portrait, that the grandson of the day," where he speaks of the “plaguy breath" of sin- monarch who reigned when this play was written, should

have thus, half a century afterwards, reënacted the sann- the death-tokens of it"—Alluding to the deci- tering indolence of Paris. sive spots appearing on those infected with the plague:** Spots of a dark complexion, usually called tokens, and

SCENE II. looked on as the pledges and forewarnings of death."- Love's thrice-REPURED nectar"-i. e. Thrice-refined. Hopges on the Plague.

Repured” was restored by Collier, from the quarto Now, like the fearful tokens of the plague,

of 1689, which gives a distinct and elegant sense, Are mere forerunners of their ende. BEAUMONT AND FLETCHER's Valentinian.

place of the “ thrice-reputed" of other old editions, fol

lowed in the common text, with his own SEAM"-i.e. Fat. The grease, fat, or lallow of any animal; but chiefly applied to that of a

- you must be watched ere you be made tame"hog.

Alluding to the manner of taming hawks. So, in the

TAMING OF THE SHREW :-" To watch her as we watch with my arm'd fist I'll pash him"- The word is these kites." Hawks were tamed by being kept from used twice by Massinger, in his Virgin Martyr;" and sleep.







[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

" — rub on, and kiss the mistress”—The allusion is to “That through the sight I bear in things to love," Stebowling. What is now termed the "jack," seems, in vens thinks, may be explained- No longer assisting Shakespeare's time, to have been called the“ mistress." Troy with my advice, I have left it to the dominion of A bowl that kisses the “ jack,” or “mistress," is in the love, to the conseqnences of the amour of Paris and most advantageous situation. “ Rub on" is a term used Helen." "To Jove" is supported by Johnson and Ma in the same game; as, in “No Wit like a Woman's," a lone; to which Mason makes this objection :—“That it comedy by Middleton, (1657:)

was Juno, and not Jove, that persecuted the Trojans. So, a fair riddance :

Jove wished them well; and, though we may abandon There's three rubs gone; I've a clear way to the mistress. a man to his enemies, we cannot, with propriety, say And in Decker's “Satiro-Mastix,” (1602:)—"Since he that we abandon him to his friends." hath hit the mistress so often in the fore-game, we'll even play out the rubbers."

“ — such a wrest in their affairs”—Douce seems to have pointed out the true sense.

A "wrest" was the - the fills"-i. e. Thills, shafts.

technical term for the instrument for tuning harps, etc. " — a kiss in FEE-FARM"_“A kiss in fee-farm’ is a “ He is the instrument to tune their affairs, which will kiss of duration, that has bounds, a “fee-farm' being a

be slack without him." grant of lands in fee; that is, for ever reserving a cer- " In most accepted Pain"—Hanmer and Warburton tain rent. The same idea is expressed more poetically read, “ In most accepted pay.But the construction in CORIOLANUS, when the jargon of law was absent from the Poet's thoughts :

of the passage, as it stands, appears to be—“Her pres.

ence shall strike off, or recompense the service I have O, a kiss Long as my exile, sweet as my revenge."

done, even in those labours which were most accepted." STEVENS.

“ – That man, how dearly ever PARTED"-i. e. HowThe Falcon as the terce.”—Pandarus probably ever excellently endowed; with however precious parts means that he will match his niece against her lover. enriched. Ben Jonson has used the word, in the same The “tercel” is the male hawk; by the “ falcon” is gen- manner, in “ Every man out of his Humour:"_" Macierally understood the female.

lente, a man well parled, a sufficient scholar," etc. In witness whereof the parties interchangea- The unknown Ajax”-i. e. Ajax, who has abilities bly' · Have set their hands and seals," would com- which were never brought into view, or use. plete the sentence. So, afterwards :-“Go to, a bargain made: seal it, seal it." Shakespeare appears to

“ – great Troy SHRIEKING"— This epithet, which is have had here an idea in his thoughts that he has seve

the quarto reading, strikes me as more probable and ral times expressed ; as, in MEASURE FOR MEASURE:

poetical than the folio's word, shrinking. In an after But my kisses bring again;

scene, we find, “ Hark, how Troy roars," etc. Seals of love, but seal'd in vain.

Made emulous missions 'mongst the gods themselves, And in his VENUS AND Adoxis :

And drave great Mars to faction.
Purc lips, sweet seals in my soft lips imprinted,

This alludes to the descent of deities to combat on
What bargains may I make, still to be sealing!

either side before Troy. In the fifth book of the “Iliad," “ let my lady apprehend no FEAR”—From this pas- Diomed wounds Mars, who, on his return to heaven, is sage a “ Fear” appears to have been a personage in rated by Jupiter for having interfered in the battle. pageants, or perhaps in ancient moralities. To this circumstance Aspatia alludes, in the “ Maid's Tragedy:"

“ — one of Priam's daughters"—i. e. Polyxena, in

the act of marrying whom Achilles was afterwards and then a Fear: Do that Fear bravely, wench.

killed by Paris. " That my integrity and truth to you

There is a mystery (nilh whom rclation Might be AFFRONTED with the match and weight," etc. Dursl never meddle) in the soul of state," etc.

The word “affronted” was used in the sense of con- Meaning, probably, there is a secret administration fronted. Dr. Johnson thus explains the passage :-" I

of affairs, which no history was ever able to discover. wish that my integrity might be met and matched with

The fool slides o'er the ice that you should break.such equality and force of pure unmingled love."

“Should " is used in the sense of rould. The fool “ As true as steel, as plantage to the moon,” etc. Ajax slides boldly and easily over difficulties that would “ As true as steel" is an ancient proverbial simile. impede your more cautious way. " As plantage to the moon" alludes to the old supersti

- shook to airy air”—This is the reading of the tious notion of the influence of the moon over whatever

folio ; the quarto has "air,” without the Shakespearian was planted, sown, or grafted. Farmer illustrates the

repetition, expressive of the perfect and complete vanphrase by an extract from Scott's “ Discoverie of Witch

ishing of the dew-drop. craft:"-" The poor husbandman perceiveth that the increase of the moon maketh plants fruitful; so as in " Omission to do what is necessary the full moon they are in the best strength; decaying Seals a commission to a blank of danger," etc. in the wane; and in the conjunction do utterly wither

By neglecting our duty, we commission” or enable and vade."

that danger of dishonour to lay hold upon us, which

could not reach us before. SCENE III. through the sight I bear in things to coME"

An appetite that I am sick withal, The old copies all agree in reading,

To see great Hector in his weeds of peace," etc.

In the “ Destruction of Troy,” we have the same That, through the sight I bear in things to love ;

thought, which is in the high spirit of chivalry, but has and it is doubtful whether the last word be meant for

received a richer colouring in the poetry of Shakelove, or Jove, (according to the old mode, love.) Nei

speare: ther of the words give any sense without a change of ** The truce during, Hector went on a day unto the punctuation, such as

tents of the Greeks, and Achilles beheld him gladly, - through the sight I bear in things, to Jove

forasmuch as he had never seen him unarmed. And at I have abandoned Troy.

the request of Achilles, Hector went into his tent; and The emendation of the text, adopted by some of the as they spake together of many things, Achilles said to early editors, seems to me far more probable and clear. Hector, I have great pleasure to see thee unarmed, for. But the ordinary readings are thus explained :

asmuch as I have never seen thee before.'

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]



The Poet strengthened the innage in his last copy; but

he did not anticipate that editors would arise, who, During all question of the gentle truce," etc.

having two readings, would make a hash, and give usÆneas wishes Diomedes health, while there is no

The Grecian youths are full of quality : question, or argument, between them, but what arises

They're loving, well compos'd, with gifts of nature flowing, out of the truce.

And swelling o'er with arts and exercise."

KNIGHT. “ the most desPITEFULL’st gentle greeting”—The quarto has despiteful; the folio, the double superlative,

" Full of quality” is highly accomplished. “Quality.** which we retain, as preserving a common construction

like condition, is applied to manners, as well as disposi

tions. of the age of Shakespeare. But he as he”-i. e. The merits of each, being

“ – Seal of my petition"-"Seal" is the reading of weighed, are exactly equal; in each of the scales a har.

all the old copies. Warburton changed this to rea'. lot must be placed, since each of them has been equally meaning attached to “seal” in Shakespeare's age. Did

which everybody follows,-in ignorance of the strona attached to one.

the commentators never hear of such a line as“We'll not commend what we intend to sell," etc.

Seals of love, but scald in vain ? KNIGHT. That is, (says Johnson,) “We will not practise the Yet the reading, “ zeal of my petition," preferred by seller's art; we will not praise what we mean to sell most editors, has a good and clear sense, as referring to dear." This is hardly the obvious sense, and there is pro- the warmth of the petition he has just made. Troilus bably a misprint. Perhaps it should be, “We'll not con- has before spoken of his love (his “ fancy") as “ more demn what we intend to sell.”. Jackson, often ingenious | bright in zeal than the devotion” he owes the gods. among many absurd emendations, proposes—“ We'll but commend what we intend to sell." Not meaning to sell

Helen, we do not praise her. Warburton would read-
We'll not commend what we intend not sell.

"- a language in her eye, her cheek, her lip"—Ste“ Not sell" sounds harsh ; but such elliptical expressions

vens has adduced, from that antique storehouse of all are not unfrequent in these plays.

curious matters, Burton's “ Anatomy of Melancholy," a

curiously resembling passage from the great pulpit oraSCENE II.

tor of the Greek church, which, as he says, might almost

make us think that Shakespeare had, on this occasion. - poor CAPOCCHIA"-Florio, in his Italian Dic

been reading St. Chrysostom, who says :-"Non loquuta tionary, explains “capocchia" as "a shallow skonce, a es lingua, sed loquuta es gressu; non loquuta es roce, loggerhead."

sed oculis loquuta es clarius quam voce :"-i. e. " Ther We must give up to Diomedes' hand

say nothing with their mouthes, they speake in their The lady Cressida."

gaite, they speake with their eyes, they speake in the

carriage of their bodies." This part of the story is thus told, in the “ Destruction

But Shakespeare did not go to books for his insight of Troy :"

into female character. “ Calcas, that by the commandment of Apollo had left the Troyans, had a passing fair daughter, and wise,

“- a Coasting welcome”-i. e. A conciliatory wel named Briseyda-Chaucer, in his book that he made come, that makes silent advances before the tongue has of Troylus, named her Cresida—for which daughter he

uttered a word. So in VENUS AND ADONIS :prayed to King Agamemnon, and to the other princes,

Anon she hears them chaunt it lustely.

And all in haste she coasteth to the cry. that they would require the King Priamus to send Briseyda unto him. They prayed enough to King Priamus

So Johnson and Malone; but, as Nares observes, to out the instance of Calcas, but the Troyans blamed sore

coast seems of old to have nearly the sense of to aceast. Calcas, and called him evil and false traitor, and worthy In this sense, the plain interpretation is—“Those that to die, that had left his own land and his natural lord, give an accosting or salutary welcome, before any such for to go into the company of his mortal enemies; yet,

overture is made on the other side." at the petition and earnest desire of the Greeks, the “ — SECURELY done"-In the sense of the Latin seetKing Priamus sent Briseyda to her father."

rus; a negligent security arising from a contempt of

the object opposed. So in the last act of the “ Spanish SCENE III.

Tragedy:"It is GREAT MORNING"-An idiom from the old

O damned devil, how secure he is. French, for broad day; which the French have retained Valour and pride excel themselves in Hector," etc. in their grand matin.

“Valour (says Æneas) is in Hector greater than valour SCENE IV.

in other men, and pride in Hector is less than pride in

other men. So that Hector is distinguished by the “ And VIOLENTETH in a sense as strong"-To violent excellence of having pride less than other's pride, and is an expressive old word, found in Fuller's “Worthies,” valour more than other's valorır."-Johnson. and other old authors, both in verse and prose. It is the quarto reading, and should be retained, though original word is printed, in the quarto, impare, and in

- dignifies an IMPURE thought with breatl"-The many modern editors prefer the folio reading, which

the folios impaire, which Johnson long ago thought was seems to me a mere error of the press :-“* And no less intended for “impure;" but later editors agree to rein a sense as strong."

tain it as impair, which they interpreted unequal, chiefly "-- I will throw my glove to Death himself-i. e. I on the alleged authority of Chapman's preface to his will challenge Death himself in defence of thy fidelity.

" Achilles' Shield," (1598.) But Dyce has shown (Re

marks) that impair, as used by Chapman, is merely the The Grecian youths are full of QUALITY ;

obsolete noun for an impairment, a loss, an injury; and Their loving well compos'd with gist of nature, could have no application here. “Impure" seems cer. Floring and swelling o'er with arts and exercise." tainly to have been intended by the Poet.

“ These are three fine lines, perfectly intelligible :this love is well composed with the gift of nature, which

Thou art, great lord, my father's sister's son," etc. gift (natural quality) is flowing, and swelling over, with

This incident, which is one of the occasions in which arts and exercise. The second line is not found in the Shakespeare, following the old romance-writers, desires quarto, wbich reads

to exhibit the magnanimity of Hector, is found in the The Grecian youths are full of quality,

“Destruction of Troy:"And swelling o'er with arts and exercise.

"As they were fighting, they spake and talked to


gether, and thereby Hector knew that he was his cousingerman, son of his aunt; and then Hector, for courtesy, embraced him in his arms, and made great cheer, and offered to him to do all his pleasure, if he desired anything of him, and prayed him that he would come to Troy with him for to see his lineage of his mother's side: but the said Thelamon, that intended to nothing but to his best advantage, said that he would not go at this time. But he prayed Hector, requesting that, if he loved him so much as he said, that he would for his sake, and at his instance, cease the battle for that day, and that the Troyans should leave the Greeks in peace. The unhappy Hector accorded unto him his request, and blew a horn, and made all his people to withdraw into the city."

Neoplolemus so mirable"-Johnson thinks that, by “ Neoptolemus," Shakespeare meant Achilles : finding that the son was Pyrrhus Neoptolemus, he considered Neoptolemus as the nomen gentilitium, and thought the father was likewise Achilles Neoptolemus. Or he was probably led into the error by some book of the time. By a passage in act ii. scene 3. it is evident that he knew Pyrrhus had not yet engaged in the siege of Troy :

But it must grieve young Pyrrhus, now at home, etc.

His bright and sparkling eyes Look'd through the body of his foe, and sought through all that

prize The next way to his thirsted life. Of all ways, only one Appeard to him; and this was, where th' unequal winding bone That joins the shoulders and the neck had place, and where there The speeding way to death ; and there his quick eye could display The place it sought-even through those arms his friend Patroc

lus wore When Hector slew him."—(Book xxii.) You may have every day enough of Hector,

If you have stomach; the general state I fear," etc.

Ajax treats Achilles with contempt, and means to insinuate that he was afraid of fighting with Hector.

You may every day (says he) have enough of Hector, if you have the inclination; but I believe the whole state of Greece will scarcely prevail on you to be at odds with him—to contend with him."

- Pelting wars"-i. e. Petty, insignificant. So in MIDSUMMER-Night's DREAM—"every pelting river.”

There in the full convive you"-A “convive" is a feast. The sitting of friends together at a table, our auncestors have well called convivium, (a banket,) because it is a living of men together."--Hutton.

The word is several times used in “Helyas the Knight of the Swanne."

[ocr errors]

ACT V.-SCENE I. Thou crusty batch”-A “batch” is all that is baked at one time, without heating the oven afresh. So Ben Jonson, in his “ Catiline:"

Except he were of the same meal and batch. Thersites has already been called a cob-loaf.

" the goodly transformation of Jupiter there, his brother, the bull"-Alluding to Jupiter's assuming the form of a bull, to carry off Europa, he sneers at the horns of Menelaus—a never worn-out joke of the old stage.

Sweet DRAUGHT"-"Draught" is the old word for forica. It is used in the translation of the Bible, in Hollingshed, and by all old writers.

“ – her loud'st ( yes”—This is the well-known cor ruption of the Norman-French Oyez, (Hear Ye !) still preserved in the English courts in this form, and in some parts of the United States, as a proclamation for opening and adjourning courts. The corruption is so well understood, and has become so much of an English word, that there is no reason for altering the original reading to Oyez, as has been done in very many editions...

"— and see your knights"— These “knights,” to the amount of about two hundred thousand, Shakespeare fonnd, with all the appendages of chivalry, in the old " Troy Book.” Malone remarks that knight and squire excite ideas of chivalry. Pope, in his « Homer," has been liberal in his use of the latter.

"- most imPERIOUS Agamemnon"_“Imperious,” in Shakespeare's day, seems used with much latitude, as nearly synonymous with imperial, though sometimes distinguished from it by its use in our modern sense. Bullokar, a lexicographer of that age, in his “ · English Expositor,” thus distinguishes the words :-“ Imperial; royal, chief-like, emperor-like: Imperious; that commandeth with authority, lord-like, stately.” Still, I think that, in poetic and rhetorical use, the line was not distinctly drawn between these approximating senses.

“- UNTRADED oath"-i.e. Unused, uncommon.

" Labouring for destiny"-i. e. As the minister or vicegerent of destiny.

- SCORNING forfeits and subduements"-So the folio; the quarto

Despising many forfeits and subduements.

lord Ulysses, THOU”—The repetition of “thou," in this manner, was an old mode of expressing contempt or anger, as in this play, (act v. scene 1:)—“Thou tassel of a prodigal's purse, thou." But as there seems no sufficient cause for contempt or anger in the speaker, and the context does not imply it, it is very probable that “thou” is a misprint for though, which affords a more natural sense. Tell me, you heavens, in which part of his body

Shall I destroy him ?etc. " It was a fine stroke of art in Shakespeare, (says the Pictorial' editor,) to borrow the Homeric incident of Achilles surveying Hector before he slew him,-not using it in the actual sense of the conflict, but more characteristically in the place which he has given it. The passage of Homer is thus rendered by Chapman:

Scene II. " if he can take her cliff"—i. e. Her key, (clef French:)—a mark in music, at the beginning of the lines of a song, etc., which indicates the pitch, and whether it is suited for a bass, treble, or tenor voice.

Here, Diomed, keep this sleeve." This sleeve, which had been previously given by Troilus to Cressida, appears (says Malone) to have been an ornamented cuff, such as was worn by some of our young nobility, at a tilt, in Shakespeare's age. (See Spenser's “ View of Ireland," p. 43, edit. 1633 :)—" Also the deep smock sleive, which the Irish women use, they say was old Spanish, and is used yet in Barbary: and yet that should seem to be rather an old English fashion ; for in armoury, the fashion of the manche which is given in arms by many, being indeed nothing else but a sleive, is fashioned much like to that sleive.'

“ The story of Cressida's falsehood is prettily told by Chaucer. Shakespeare has literally copied one of the incidents:

She made him wear a pencell of her sleeve. But we still trace the inconsistency of character in Chaucer's Cressida. Mr. Godwin laments that Shake. speare has not interested us in his principal female, as Chaucer has done. Such an interest would have beeu bought at the expense of truth."-Knight.

Troilus, farewell! one eye yet looks on thee;

But with my heart the other eye doth see." “One eye (says Cressida) looks on Troilus; but the other follows Diomed, where my heart is fixed.” Stevens observes that the characters of Cressida and Pandarus are more immediately formed from Chaucer than



[ocr errors]

17 man.

from Lydgate; for though the latter mentions them both

Do not count it holy characteristically, he does not sufficiently dwell on either

To hurt hy being just : it is as lawful: to have furnished Shakespeare with many circumstances

For we would count give much to as violent thefts,

And rob, etc. to be found in this tragedy. Lydgate, speaking of Cressida, says only:

Knight proposes to amend thus:

For we would give much, to use violent thefts.
She gave her heart and love to Diomed,
To show what trust there is in womankind;

“ To use thefts” is clearly not Shakespearian. Perhaps For she of her new love no sooner sped,

count, or give, might be omitted, supposing that one But Troilus was clean out of her mind

word had been substituted for another in the manuscript, As if she never had him known or seen;

without the erasure of that first written ; but this ornis. Wherein I cannot guess what she did mean.

sion will not give us a meaning. We have ventured tu I cannot conjure, Trojan”-i. e. She must have transpose count, and omit as :been here, for I have no power to raise a magic repre- For we would give much, to count violent thefts. sentation of her by conjuration.

We have now a clear meaning :-It is as lawful, because stubborn critics, apt, without a theme"-The

we desire to give much, to count violent thefts as holyannotators here say that “critic" is taken in the sense

And rob in the behalf of charity. of cynic. It is rather taken in the sense of censurer, as

Collier prints the line, “ For us to give much count to was, and is still, common. Thus Iago says, “I am

violent thefts," which affords no distinct sense. The nothing if not crilical.

reading now first proposed, in this edition, makes no

verbal change but of as into so, and transposes court, If there be rule in unity itself," etc.

which is evidently out of place in the original. The That is–If it be true that one individual cannot be whole then means—“Do not count it holy to inflict intwo distinct persons.

jury in the pursuit of right; we might as well so count

(i. e. count holy) violent thefts committed to enable us • Bi-Fold authority”—“ The folio reads, By foul to give liberally.” ** Violent" was probably meant to authority,' etc. There is a madness in that disquisition, be pronounced vi'lent, with no unusual poetical license. in which a man reasons at once for and against himself, npon . authority' which he knows not to be valid. The ' - keeps the weather of my fate"— To "keep the words loss and perdition, in the subsequent line, are weather" is to keep the wind, or advantage. · Estre used in their common sense; but they mean the loss or au dessus du vent" is the French proverbial phrase. perdition of reason."- Johnson.

- the DEAR man"-i. e. The man really of soorth. O madness of DisCOURSE"-"Discourse,” in older English, comprehends all reaso

whether expressed

"- better fits a lion than a man"-" The traditious in words, or only mental.

and stories of the darker ages (says Johnson) abounded

with examples of the lion's generosity. Upon the sup ARIACHNE's broken woof”—Many editors, anxious position that these acts of clemency were true, Troilus for the Poet's classical accuracy, have corrected this to reasons, that to spare against reason, by mere instinct Arachne, at the expense of the metre. It is evidently of pity, became rather a generous beast than a wise a mere slip of the Poet's memory, in a point of schoolboy learning, and cannot be corrected without making a very harsh line, which he did not intend. One quarto

Hence, broker lackey! ignomy and shame reads Ariachna's; the other Ariathna's; the folio“ Ari

Pursue thy life, and live aye wilh thy name.' achne's." It is evident Shakespeare intended to make “ This couplet, which we here find in the folio, is Ariachne a word of four syllables. Stevens thinks it again used by Troilus, towards the conclusion of the probable that the Poet may have written, “ Ariadne's play—the last words which Troilus speaks. In al: broken woof," confounding the two stories in his imagi- | modern editions the lines are omitted in the close of nation, or alluding to the clue of thread, by the assist

the third scene. Stevens says, 'the Poet would hardly ance of which Theseus escaped from the Cretan laby- have given us an unnecessary repetition of the same rinth.

words, nor have dismissed Pandarus twice in the same

manner.' "- () INSTANCE"—Here “instance" is used for

Why not? Is the repetition unnecessary! proof, as in HENRY IV., (Part II. :)—“I have received

Is not the loathing which Troilus feels towards Pandaa certain instance that Glendower is dead." In Richard

rus more strongly

marked by this repetition? We have

no doubt about the restoration of the lines."-KNIGHT. III. :—" His fears are shallow, wanting instance." May worthy Troilus be half attach'd," etc.

SCENE IV. That is—“ Can Troilus really feel, on this occasion,

What art thou, Greek, art thou for Heclor's match ? half of what he utters? A question suitable to the calm

Art thou of blood and honour ?" Ulysses."-Jonsson.

This idea is derived from the ancient books of chiv. Stand fast, and wear a CASTLE on thy head," etc. alry. A person of superior birth might not be chal

A particular kind of close helmet was called a lenged by an inferior; or, if challenged, might refuse " castle." In the “ History of Prince Arthur," (1634,

the combat. In this spirit, Cleopatra sayschap. 158,) we find, “Do thou thy best, (said Sir

These hands do lack nobility, that they strike Gawaine ;) therefore hie thee fast that thou wert gone,

A meaner than themselves, and wit thou well we shall suon come after, and break In Melvil's “ Memoirs," we find it stated :-" The land the strongest castle that thou hast, upon thy head." of Grainge offered to fight Bothwell, wbo answered, But it here seems to have a more general sense :- that he was neither earl nor lord, but a baron; and si “Wear a defence as strong as a castle on your head, if was not his equal. The like answer made he to Tulli. you want to be safe."

bardine. Then my lord Lindsay offered to fight him.

which he could not well refuse ; but his heart failed SCENE III.

him, and he grew cold in the business." “- Do not count it holy

SCENE V. To hurt by being just : il is as lawful, · For we would give much, to so count violent thefts, Go, go, my servant, take thou Troilus' horse," etc. And rob in the behalf of charity."

This circumstance is also minutely copied from the These lines were not in the first editions, but were • Destruction of Troy :"added in the folio, and unfortunately so inisprinted as " And of the party of the Troyans came the king Ade to give no sense, thus :

mon that jousted against Menelaus, and smote him, and

[ocr errors]


« AnteriorContinua »