Imatges de pÓgina

brother Saladyne, which drave Rosader into a deepe passion, as a man perplexed, &c. -But the present time craved no such doubting ambages; for he must eyther resolve to hazard his life for his reliefe, or else steale away and leave him to the crueltie of the lyon. In which doubt hee thus briefly debated," &c. STEEVENS.

(22) To prey on nothing that doth seem as dead] "There is a great clemencie in lions; they will not hurt them that lie groveling." Choise of Change, &c. 4to. 1585. "Their mercie is known by oft examples; for they spare them that lye on the ground." Bartholomæus.


"Brother, you

have a vice of mercy in you, "Which better fits a lion than a man.'

Tr. and Cress. V. 3. Douce's Illustr. 1. 307.

Cousin-Ganymede] Celia, in her first fright, for

gets Rosalind's character and disguise, and calls out cousin, then recollects herself, and says, Ganymede. JOHNSON,

[blocks in formation]

(1) meaning thereby, that grapes were made to eat, and lips to open. You do love this maid] Part of this dialogue seems to have grown out of the novel on which the play is formed: "Phebe is no latice for your lips, and her grapes hang so hie, that gaze at them you may, but touch them you cannot."


So much of nothing, set out in so much form, is, indeed, simply taken, enough in character; but was probably meant to ridicule something now out of reach.

(2) clubs cannot part them] i. e. " the interposition of the civic guard, armed with clubs, when that outcry is made for assistance, on the breaking out of an affray. Malone observes, that the preceding words " they are in the very wrath of love," give the introduction of this word a marked propriety here; and he cites Tit. Andron.

[ocr errors]

Clubs, clubs; these lovers will not keep the peace."
II. 1. Aaron.

See H. VIII. V. 3. Porter's Man.

(3) which I tender dearly, though I say I am a magician] And therefore might be supposed able to elude death. MALONE.

Certainly, as M. Mason observes at the end of Mids. N. Dr., the fairies of Shakespeare, and of common tradition, were endowed with immortality. Such too is his spirit Ariel, and Milton's Comus. But the witch Sycorax was no more than mortal; neither was Prospero, who had power to control her. The sanguinary laws enacted by James against those who exercised witchcraft could not, as supposed by Warburton and Steevens, affect this question, if, as Malone, Chalmers, and Douce concur, this play was not written later than 1600.

(4) 'tis like the howling of Irish wolves against the moon] i. e. "the same monotonous chime wearisomely and sickeningly repeated." Malone observes, that this expression is borrowed from Lodge's Rosalynde, 1592: "I tell thee, Montanus, in courting Phoebe, thou barkest with the wolves of Syria, against the moone." In that place, however, it imports an aim at impossibilities, a sense which, whatever may be Rosalind's meaning, cannot very well be attached to it here.

(5) desire to be a woman of the world] i. e. to be married. "If I may have your ladyship's good will to go to the world, Isbell the woman and I will do as we may." All's well &c. I. 3. Clown. See M. ado &c. II. 1. Beatr., and Ant. and Cl. I. 2. CL

(6) a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino] It is observable, that amongst other scraps and burdens of songs, Ophelia, under her visitation of madness, Haml. IV. 5. sings this, as well as others of a similar character: and see Lear III. 3. Edgar.

Douce quotes Melismata, musical phansies, &c. 4to. 1611, and Playford's musical Companion, p. 55.

"He that will an alehouse keepe
"Must have three things in store;
"A chamber and a feather bed,
"A chimney, and a hey no-ny no-ny,
Hey no-ny no-ny, hey no-ny no,

[ocr errors]

Hey no-ny no, hey no-ny no.”

Illustrat. II. 162.

See Florio's Ital. Dict. 1611, sub voce Fossa.

(7) The spring time, the only pretty rang time] Whatever the meaning of this word, the reading of Dr. Johnson, rank, though it offers a sense no way foreign to the ideas afloat in this ballad, wants the ease and flow that belongs to the playful character of such rhymes.

Rang and tang, and such chiming monosyllables, as rang a rang, tang a tang, are in frequent use by nurses with children, when any shrill or jocund sound is heard, or made by themselves.

Rang time
may then be the season of joyous sounds.
"When birds do sing, hey ding a ding."

The season of the

canere undique sylvas" of Lucretius,

1. 257, and Virgil's Georg. I. 422,

"avium concentus in agros,

"Et lætæ pecudes, & ovantes gutture corvi."

In addition we shall throw out for the reader's amusement an extract from R. Brathwayt's Wildman's Measures, 8vo. 1621. p. 211.

"Measures store, to please thy mind ;

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Roundelayes, Irish-hayes,

Cogs and rongs, and Peggie Ramsie."

That Peggy Ramsie did not class amongst songs of the most correct character may be collected from the note on Peg a Ramsey. Tw. N. II. 3. Sir Toby.

(8) make these doubts all even] i. e. remove doubts, which may be said to be in the nature of knobs or inequalities, obstructing our course. Steevens refers to

[ocr errors][merged small]

"That makes these odds all even." M. for M.

(9) I desire you of the like] i. e. the like of you. Steevens cites Greene's Groatsworth of Wit, 1621 :

"Craving you of more acquaintance."

And F. Q. IV. viii.

"She dear besought the prince of remedy."

And Heywood's Play of the Wether:

"Besechynge your grace of wynde continual."

See M. N. Dr. III. 1. Bottom.

(10) as marriage binds, and blood breaks] i. e. " as the marriage-rite imposes the obligation, and heat of blood prompts to its breach." So M. ado &c. II. 1. Claud.

"Beauty is a witch,

Against whose charms faith melteth into blood."

See "blood thy direction."

Tr. and Cr. II. 3. Friar.

(11) the fool's bolt, sir, and such dulcet diseases] i. e. such pleasant fooleries or sayings, as I have been scattering about; and which are epidemical among us as diseases.

Malone has produced a very apt instance of the same species of writing and humour in Launcelot Gobbo :-" the young gentleman (according to the fates and destinies, and such odd sayings, the sisters three, and such branches of learning,) is indeed deceased." M. of Ven. II. 2.


as thus, sir. I did dislike the cut of a certain courtier's beard] This folly is touched upon, with high humour, by Fletcher, in his Queen of Corinth :

[ocr errors]

Has he familiarly

"Dislik'd your yellow starch, or said your doublet
"Was not exactly frenchified?-

[ocr errors]


or drawn your sword,

Cry'd, 'twas ill mounted? Has he given the lie "In circle, or oblique, or semicircle,

"Or direct parallel? you must challenge him."


(13) I durst go no further than the lie circumstantial] This was certainly, as he sets them out, " finding the quarrel upon the sixth, and not, as he had just said, upon the seventh cause.'

But the correction or amendment of the humour, or blundering random shot of Shakespeare's clowns, is one of the most mischievous parts of the mischievous process of conjectural criticism. And the suggestion of Johnson, that the text should be altered, because Touchstone had not been uniform in his statement of the gradation of causes that prevented his fighting this duel, has been judiciously rejected by the modern editors. The course indeed which Malone takes, would remove all difficulties; and he repeatedly insists that the seventh cause, i. e. the lie seven times removed, properly understood (which, he says, is by counting backwards from the lie direct, the last and most aggravated species of lie) was the first, or the retort courteous. But this involves a much stranger contradiction: he could not then have gone further; and this he represents that he might have done, had he dared.

(14) O sir, we quarrel in print, by the book; you have books for good manners] The poet 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 knowing in the forms and preliminaries of it. The particular book here alluded to is a very ridiculous treatise of one Vincentio Saviolo, intitled, Of Honour 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:-I. What the Reason is that the Party unto whom the Lie is given ought to become Challenger, and of the nature of Lies. II. Of the Manner and Diversity of Lies. III. Of Lies certain, [or direct.] IV. Of conditional Lies, [or the Lie circumstantial.] V. Of the

[ocr errors]

Lie in general. VI. Of the Lie in particular. VII. Of foolish Lies. VIII. 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 conditionally, as if a man should say or write these wordes :-if thou hast said that I have offered my lord abuse, thou liest; or if thou sayest so hereafter, thou shalt lie. Of these kind of lies, given in this manner, often arise much contention in wordes,-whereof no sure conclusion can arise." By which he means, they cannot proceed to cut one another's throat, while there is an if between. Which is the reason of Shakespeare making the Clown say, “I knew when seven justices could not make up a quarrel: but when the parties were met themselves, one of them thought but of an if; as, if you said so, then I said so, and they shook hands, and swore brothers. Your if is the only peace-maker: much virtue in if." Caranza was another of these authentic authors upon the Duello. Fletcher, in his last Act of Love's Pilgrimage, ridicules him with much humour. WARBURton.

The words which I have included within crotchets are Dr. Warburton's. They have hitherto been printed in such a manner as might lead the reader to suppose that they made a part of Saviolo's work. The passage was very inaccurately printed by Dr. Warburton in other respects, but has here been corrected by the original. MALONE.

I have The Boke of Nurture, or Schole of good Manners, for Men, Servants, and Children, with stans puer ad mensam ; 12mo. black letter, without date. It was written by Hugh Rhodes, a gentleman, or musician, of the Chapel Royal; and was first published in 4to. in the reign of King Edward VI. STEEVENS.

The Boke &c. for Men-Servauntes, 4to. 1563 is Imprinted by Thomas East Breadstreet at the nether ende.

Another is, Galateo of Maister John Casa, Archbishop of Benevento; or rather, a Treatise of the Manners and Behaviours it behoveth a Man to use and eschewe in his familiar Conversation. A Work very necessary and profitable for all Gentlemen or other; translated from the Italian, by Robert Peterson, of Lincoln's Inn, 4to. 1576. REED.

We have the second cause, Ro. and Jul. II. 4. Merc.

(15) Enter Hymen, leading Rosalind] 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.

Steevens says, in all the allegorical shows exhibited at ancient weddings, Hymen was a constant personage. Ben Jonson in his Hymenai, or the Solemnities of Masque and Barriers, at a Marriage, has left 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,


« AnteriorContinua »