Page images
PDF
EPUB

COR. And they are often tarr'd over with the furgery of our sheep; And would you have us kifs tar? The courtier's hands are perfumed with civet.

TOUCH. Moft fhallow man! Thou worms-meat, in refpect of a good piece of flesh: Indeed!-Learn of the wife, and perpend: Civet is of a baser birth than tar; the very uncleanly flux of a cat. Mend the instance, shepherd.

COR. You have too courtly a wit for me; I'll reft.

TOUCH. Wilt thou reft damn'd? God help thee, fhallow man! God make incifion in thee! thou art raw."

8 make incifion in thee!] To make incifion was a proverbial expreffion then in vogue for, to make to understand. So, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Humorous Lieutenant:

[ocr errors]

66

O excellent king,

"Thus he begins, thou life and light of creatures,
Angel-ey'd king, vouchfafe at length thy favour;
"And fo proceeds to incifion"-

i. e. to make him understand what he would be at.

WARBURTON.

Till I read Dr. Warburton's note, I thought the allufion had been to that common expreffion, of cutting fuch a one for the fimples; and I must own, after confulting the paffage in the Humorous Lieutenant, I have no reason to alter my fuppofition. The editors of Beaumont and Fletcher declare the phrafe to be unintelligible in that as well as in another play where it is introduced. I find the fame expreffion in Monfieur Thomas:

"We'll bear the burthen: proceed to incifion, fidler."

STEEVENS.

I believe that Steevens has explained this paffage juftly, and am certain that Warburton has entirely miftaken the meaning of that which he has quoted from The Humourous Lieutenant, which plainly alludes to the practice of the young gallants of the time, who used to cut themselves in such a manner as to make their blood flow, in order to fhow their paffion for their miftreffes, by drinking their healths, or writing verfes to them in blood. For a more full explanation of this cuftom, fee a note on Love's Labour's Loft, Act IV. fc. iii: M. MASON.

9 -thou art raw.] i. e. thou art ignorant; unexperienced.

COR. Sir, I am a true labourer; I earn that I eat, get that I wear; owe no man hate, envy no man's happiness; glad of other men's good, content with my harm and the greatest of my pride is, to fee my ewes graze, and my lambs fuck.

TOUCH. That is another fimple fin in you; to bring the ewes and the rams together, and to offer to get your living by the copulation of cattle: to be bawd to a bell-wether; and to betray a fhe-lamb of a twelvemonth, to a crooked-pated, old, cuckoldly ram, out of all reasonable match. If thou be'ft not damn'd for this, the devil himself will have no fhepherds; I cannot fee elfe how thou fhouldft 'fcape.

COR. Here comes young mafter Ganymede, my new miftrefs's brother.

Enter ROSALIND, reading a paper.

Ros. From the east to western Ind,
No jewel is like Rofalind.

Her worth, being mounted on the wind,
Through all the world bears Rofalind.
All the pictures, fairest lin'd3
Are but black to Rofalind..
Let no face be kept in mind,
But the fair of Rofalind.*

So, in Hamlet: "

quick fail." MALONE.

2

-and yet but raw neither, in refpect of his

bawd to a bell-wether;] Wether and ram had anciently the fame meaning. JOHNSON.

3 -faireft lin'd,] i. e. moft fairly delineated. Modern editors read-limn'd, but without authority, from the ancient copies. STEEVENS.

4 But the fair of Rofalind.] Thus the old copy. Fair is beauty, complexion. See the notes on a paffage in The Midfummer Night's Dream, A&t I. fc. i. and The Comedy of Errors, Act II. fc. i. The

TOUCH. I'll rhime you fo, eight years together; dinners, and fuppers, and fleeping hours excepted: it is the right butter-woman's rate to market. Ros. Out, fool!

TOUCH. For a tafte:

If a bart do lack a bind,
Let him feek out Rofalind.
If the cat will after kind,
So, be fure, will Rofalind.

modern editors read-the face of Rofalind. Lodge's Novel will likewife fupport the ancient reading:

"Then mufe not, nymphes, though I bemone

"The absence of fair Rofalynde,

"Since for her faire there is fairer none," &c.

Again,

"And hers the faire which all men do refpect." STEEVENS. Face was introduced by Mr. Pope. MALONE.

rate to market.] So, Sir T. Hanmer. In the former editions-rank to market. JOHNSON.

Dr. Grey, as plaufibly, propofes to read-rant. Gyll brawled like a butter-whore, is a line in an ancient medley. The fenfe defigned, however, might have been-" it is fuch wretched rhime as the butter-woman fings as fhe is riding to market." So, in Churchyard's Charge, 1580, p. 7:

"And ufe a kinde of ridynge rime”

Ratt-ryme, however, in Scotch, fignifies fome verfe repeated by rote. See Ruddiman's Gloffary to G. Douglas's Virgil. STEEVENS.

The Clown is here fpeaking in reference to the ambling pace of the metre, which, after giving a fpecimen of, to prove his affertion, he affirms to be " the very falfe gallop of verses."

HENLEY.

I am now perfuaded that Sir T. Hanmer's emendation is right. The bobbling metre of these verses, (fays Touchstone,) is like the ambling, shuffling pace of a butter-woman's horse, going to market. The fame kind of imagery is found in K. Henry IV. P. I:

"And that would fet my teeth nothing on edge,

[ocr errors]

Nothing fo much, as mincing poetry;

"'Tis like the forc'd gait of a shuffling nag." MALONE. VOL. VI.

G

[ocr errors]

Winter-garments must be lin'd,
So muft flender Rofalind.

They that reap, must sheaf and bind;
Then to cart with Rofalind.
Sweetest nut bath fowreft rind,
Such a nut is Rofalind.

He that fweetest rose will find,

Muft find love's prick, and Rosalind.

This is the very falfe gallop of verfes; Why do
you infect yourself with them?

Ros. Peace, you dull fool; I found them on a tree.
TOUCH. Truly, the tree yields bad fruit.

Ros. I'll graff it with you, and then I fhall graff it with a medlar: then it will be the earlieft fruit" in the country; for you'll be rotten ere you be half ripe, and that's the right virtue of the medlar.

TOUCH. You have faid; but whether wifely or no, let the foreft judge.

Enter CELIA, reading a paper.

Ros. Peace!

Here comes my fifter, reading; ftand aside.

CEL. IVby fhould this defert filent be?
For it is unpeopled? No;

3 This is the very false gallop of verfes;] So, in Nafhe's Apologie of Pierce Pennileffe, 4to. 1593: "I would trot a false gallop through the rest of his ragged verfes, but that if I fhould retort the rime doggrell aright, I muft make my verfes (as he doth his) run bobbling, like a brewer's cart upon the ftones, and obferve no measure in their feet." MALONE.

6 the earlieft fruit-] Shakspeare feems to have had little knowledge in gardening. The medlar is one of the latest fruits, being uneatable till the end of November. STEEVENS.

Why Should this defert filent be?] This is commonly printed :
Why should this a defert be?

8

Tongues I'll hang on every tree,
That shall civil fayings fhow.
Some, bow brief the life of man
Runs his erring pilgrimage;
That the ftretching of a Span
Buckles in his fum of age.
Some, of violated vows

'Twixt the fouls of friend and friend:
But upon the fairest boughs,

Or at every fentence' end,
Will I Rofalinda write;

Teaching all that read, to know
The quinte fence of every Sprite

Heaven would in little show.9

but although the metre may be affifted by this correction, the sense ftill is defective; for how will the hanging of tongues on every tree, make it less a defert? I am perfuaded we ought to read:

Why Should this defert filent be? TYRWHITT.

The notice which this emendation deferves, I have paid to it, STEEVENS. by inferting it in the text.

8 That shall civil fayings fhow.] Civil is here ufed in the fame fense as when we fay civil wifdom or civil life, in oppofition to a folitary ftate, or to the ftate of nature. This defert fhall not appear unpeopled, for every tree fhall teach the maxims or incidents of focial life. JOHNSON.

Civil, I believe, is not defignedly oppofed to folitary. It means only grave, or folemn. So, in Twelfth Night, Act III. sc. iv : "Where is Malvolio? he is fad and civil.”

i. e. grave and demure.

Again, in A Woman's Prize, by Beaumont and Fletcher :
"That fourteen yards of fatin give my woman;
"I do not like the colour; 'tis too civil."

STEEVENS.

9-in little bow.] The allufion is to a miniature-portrait. The current phrafe in our author's time was-" painted in little." MALONE.

So, in Hamlet: " - a hundred ducats a-piece, for his picture in

little." STEEVENS.

« PreviousContinue »