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The want that makes him lean. Who dares, who
And the similitude is extremely beautiful, as conveying this satirical reflection ; there is no more difference between man and man in the esteem of superficial and corrupt judgments, than between a fat sheep and a lean one.
WARBURTON. This passage is very obscure, nor do I discover any clear sense, even though we should admit the emendation. Let us inspect the text as it stands in the original edition:
“ It is the pastour lards the brother's sides,
“ The want that makes him leave.”
“ It is the pasture lards the beggar's sides,
• The want that makes him lean." And upon this reading of no authority, raised another equally uncertain.
Alterations are never to be made without necessity. Let us see what sense the genuine reading will afford. Poverty, says the poet, bears contempt hereditary, and wealth native honour. To illustrate this position, having already mentioned the case of a poor and rich brother, he remarks, that this preference is given to wealth by those whom it least becomes; it is the pastour that greases or flatters the rich brother, and will grease him on till want make him leave. The poet then goes on to ask, Who dares to say this man, this pastour, is a flatterer; the crime is universal ; through all the world, the learned pate, with allusion to the pastour, ducks to the golden fool. If it be objected, as it may justly be, that the mention of a pastour is unsuitable, we must remember the mention of grace and cherubims in this play, and many such anachronisms in many others. I would therefore read thus :
“ It is the pastour lards the brother's sides,
« 'Tis want that makes him leave." The obscurity is still great. Perhaps a line is lost. I have at least given the original reading. Johnson.
Perhaps Shakspeare wrote pasterer, for I meet with such a word in Greene's Farewell to Follie, 1617 : Alexander, before he fell into the Persian delicacies, refused those cooks and pasterers that Ada queen of Caria sent to him.” There is likewise a proverb among Ray's Collection, which seems to afford much the some meaning as this passage in Shakspeare :-“Every one basteth the fat hog, while the lean one burneth.” Again, in Troilus and Cressida, Act II. :
That were to enlard his fat-already pride.” Steevens. In this very difficult passage, which still remains obscure, some liberty may be indulged. Dr. Farmer proposes to read it thus :
“ It is the pasterer lards the broader sides,
In purity of manhood stand upright,
And in support of this conjecture, he observes, that the Saxon d is frequently converted into th, as in murther, murder, burthen, burden, &c. Reed.
That the passage is corrupt as it stands in the old copy, no one, I suppose, can doubt; emendation therefore in this and a few other places, is not a matter of choice but necessity. I have already more than once observed, that many corruptions have crept into the old copy, by the transcriber's ear deceiving him. In Coriolanus we have higher for hire, and hope for holp; in the present play, reverends for reverend'st ; and in almost every play similar corruptions. In King Richard II. quarto, 1598, we find the very error that happened here:
and bedew “ Her pastor's grass with faithful English blood.” Again, in As You Like It, folio, 1623, we find, “I have heard him read many lectors against it;” intead of lectures.
Pasture when the u is sounded thin, and pastor, are scarcely distinguishable.
Thus, as I conceive, the true reading of the first disputed word of this contested passage is ascertained. In As You Like It, we have—" good pasture makes fat sheep." Again, in the same play:
“ Anon, a careless herd,
“ Full of the pasture, jumps along by him," &c. The meaning then of the passage is,—. It is the land alone which each man possesses that makes him rich, and proud, and flattered; and the want of it, that makes him poor, and an object of contempt. I suppose, with Dr. Johnson, that Shakspeare was still thinking of the rich and pour brother already described.
I doubt much whether Dr. Johnson himself was satisfied with his far-fetched explication of pastour, as applied to brother; [See his note] and I think no one else can be satisfied with it. In order to give it some little support, he supposes
". This man's a flatterer,” in the following passage, to relate to the imaginary pastor in this ; whereas those words indubitably relate to any individual selected out of the aggregate mass of mankind.
Dr. Warburton reads-wether's sides; which affords a commodious sense, but is so far removed from the original reading as to be inadmissible. Shakspeare, I have no doubt, thought at first of those animals that are fatted by pasture, and passed from thence to the proprietor of the soil.
Concerning the third word there can be no difficulty. Leane was the old spelling of lean, and the u in the MSS. of our author's time is not to be distinguished from an n. Add to this, that in
So are they all; for every grize of fortune
« Leave on your
the first folio u is constantly employed where we now use a v; and hence by inversion, the two letters were often confounded (as they are at this day in almost every proof-sheet of every book that passes through the press). Of this I have given various instances in a note in vol. viii. p. 176, n. 3.
But it is not necessary to have recourse to these instances. This very word leave is again printed instead of leane, in King Henry IV. Part II. quarto, 1600 : “ The lives of all your loving complices
health.” On the other hand in King Henry VIII. 1623, we have leane instead of leave : “ You'll leane your noise anon, you rascals.” But any argument on this point is superfluous, since the context clearly shows that lean must have been the word intended by Shakspeare.
Such emendations as those now adopted, thus founded and supported, are not capricious conjectures, against which no one has set his face more than myself, but almost certainties.
This note has run out into an inordinate length, for which I shall make no other apology than that finding it necessary to depart from the reading of the old copy, to obtain any sense, I thought it incumbent on me to support the readings I have chosen, in the best manner in my power. MALONE.
As a brother (meaning, I suppose, a churchman) does not, literally speaking, fatten himself by feeding on land, it is probable that pasture signifies eating in general, without reference to terra firma. So, in Love's Labour's Lost:
“ Food for his rage, repasture for his den.” Pasture in the sense of nourishment collected from fields, will undoubtedly fatten the sides of a sheep or an ox, but who ever describes the owner of the fields as having derived from them his embonpoint ?
The emendation-lean is found in the second folio, which should not have been denied the praise to which it is entitled.
The reading in the text may be the true one; but the condition in which this play was transmitted to us, is such as will warrant repeated doubts in almost every scene of it. Steevens.
8 And say, This man's a flatterer?] This man does not refer to any particular person before mentioned, as Dr. Johnson thought, but to some supposed individual. Who, says Timon, can with propriety lay his hand on this or that individual, and pronounce him a peculiar flatterer? All mankind are equally flatterers. So, in As You Like It :
Ducks to the golden fool: All is oblique ;
[Digging Who seeks for better of thee, sauce his palate With thy most operant poison! What is here? Gold ? yellow, glittering, precious gold ? No, gods, I am no idle votarist?. Roots, you clear heavens”! Thus much of this, will make black, white; foul,
fair '; Wrong, right; base, noble ; old, young ; coward,
valiant. Ha, you gods ! why this ? What this, you gods?
MALONE. - for every GRIZE of fortune - ] Grize for step, or degree.
Pope. See vol. xi. p. 438, n. 8. Malone.
Pang mankind !] i. e. seize, gripe. This verb is used by Decker in his Match Me at London, 1631 :
“—bite any catchpole that fangs for you." Steevens.
no idle votarist.] No insincere or inconstant supplicant. Gold will not serve me instead of roots. Johnson.
-you clear HEAVENS !) This may mean either ye cloudless skies, or ye deities exempt from guilt. Shakspeare mentions the clearest gods in King Lear; and in Acolastus, a comedy, 1540, a stranger is thus addressed : “Good stranger or alyen, clere gest," &c. Again, in The Rape of Lucrece :
“ Than Collatine again by Lucrece' side,
“ In his clear bed might have reposed still." i. e. his uncontaminated bed. STEEVENS. See p. 327, n. 2. MALONE.
Why this Will lug your priests and servants from your sides ;] Aristophanes, in his Plutus, Act V. Sc. II. makes the priest of Jupiter desert his service to live with Plutus. WARBURTON.
Pluck stout men’s pillows from below their heads":
5 Pluck stout men's pillows from below their heads ;] i. e. men who have strength yet remaining to struggle with their distemper. This alludes to an old custom of drawing away the pillow from under the heads of men in their last agonies, to make their departure the easier. But the Oxford editor, supposing stout to signify healthy, alters it to sick, and this he calls emending: WARBURTON.
- the hoar leprosy -] So, in P. Holland's translation of Pliny's Natural History, book xxviii. ch. xii. : “ — the
foul white leprie called elephantiasis.” Steevens.
- this is it,], Some word is here wanting to the metre. We might either repeat the pronoun-this; or avail ourselves of our author's common introductorý adverb, emphatically used- why, this it is."
STEEVENS. 8 That makes the wapper'n widow wed again ;] Waped or wappen'd signifies both sorrowful and terrified, either for the loss of a good husband, or by the treatment of a bad. But gold, he says, can overcome both her affection and her fears.
WARBURTON. Of wappened I have found no example, nor know any meaning. To awhape is used by Spenser in his Hubberd's Tale, but I think not in either of the senses mentioned. I would read wained, for decayed by time. So, our author, in King Richard III. :
“ A beauty-waining, and distressed widow.” Johnson. In the comedy of The Roaring Girl, by Middleton and Decker, 1611, I meet with a word very like this, which the reader will easily explain for himself, when he has seen the following passage:
“ Moll. And there you shall wap with me.
man can tell you." Again, in Ben Jonson's Masque of Gypsies Metamorphosed :
“ Boarded at Tappington,
“ Bedded at Wappington.” Again, in Martin Mark-all's Apologie to the Bel
man of London, 1610 : " Niggling is company-keeping with a woman : this