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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? Why
this Will lug your priests and servants from your sides;4 Pluck stout men’s pillows from below their heads : 5 This yellow slave Will knit and break religions; bless the accurs’d; Make the hoar leprosyo ador’d; place thieves, And give them title, knee, and approbation, With senators on the bench: this is it,? That makes the wappen'd widow wed again ;8
" Then Collatine again by Lucrece side,
“In his clear bed might have reposed still.” i. e. his uncontaminated bed. Steevens. See p. 373. Mulone.
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 bis service to live with Plutus. Warburton.
s Pluck stout men's pillows from below their heads:) i. e. men wbo 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 introductory adverb, emphatically used
why, this it is. Steevens. 8 That makes the wappen'd widow wed again;] Waped or wap. pen'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:
She, whom the spital-house, and ulcerous sores
“ Moll. And there you shall wap with me.
can tell you."
“ 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 word is Bot used now, but wapping, and thereof comes the name wappingmorts for whores." Again, in one of the Paston Letters, Vol. IV, p. 417: “Deal courteously with the Queen, &c. and with Mrs. Anne Hawte for wappys” &c.
It must not, however, be concealed, that Chaucer, in The Complaint of Annelida, line 217, uses the word with the sense in which Dr. Warburton explains it:
"My sewertye in waped countenance.” Wappeneil, according to the quotations I have already given, woull me:ni--The widow whose curiosity and passions had been already grarified. So, in Hamlet:
“ The instances that second marriage move,
“ Are base respects of thrift, but none of love." And if the word defunct, in Othello, be explained according to its primitive meaning, the same sentiment may be discovered there. There may, however, be some corruption in the text. After all, I had rather read.oqueeping widow. So, in the ancient bl. I. ballad entitled, The little Barley Corne:
“ 'T'will make a weeping widow laugh,
“ And soon incline to pleasure.” Steevens. The instances produced by Mr. Steevens fully support the text in my apprehension, nor do I suspect any corruption. Ui:wafper'd is used by Fletcher in The Two Noble Kinsmen, for fresh, the opposite of stale; and perhaps we should read there unwap. pen'd.
Mr. Steevens's interpretation however, is, I think, not quite ex. act, becalise it appears to me likely to mislead the reader with re. spect to the general import of the passage. Shakspeare means not to account for the wappen'd widow's seeking a husband (though "her curiosity has been gratified,”) but for her finding one. It is her gold, says be, that induced some one (more attentive to thrift than love) to accept in marriage the hand of the experienced and c'er-worn widow. Wed is here used for wedded. So, in The Comedy of Errors, Act I, sc. i:
“Ini Syracusa was I born, and wed
“Unto a woman, bappy but for me." If zved is used as a verb, the words mean, that effects or produces her second marriage Malone.
Mr. Tyrwbiti explains wap’d, in the line cited from Chaucer, by stupified; a sense which accords with the other instances adduced
Would cast the gorge at,' this embalms and spices
by Mr. Steevens, as well as with Shakspeare. The wappen'd wi. dow, is one who is no longer alive to those pleasures, the desire of which was her first inducement to marry. Henley.
I suspect that there is another error in this passage, which has escaped the notice of the editors, and that we should read“woo'd again," instead of “wed again.” That a woman should wed again, however wapper'd, (or wappen'd] is nothing extraordinary. The extraordinary circumstance is, that she should be woo'd again, and become an object of desire. M Mason. . She, whoin the spital-house, and ulcerous sores [Vould cast the gorge at,] Surely we ought to read:
She, whose ulcerous sores the spital house
Would cast the gorge at,
She, at whose ulcerous sores the spital-house
Would cast the gorge up, The old reading is nonsense.
I must add, that Dr. Farmer joins with me in suspecting this passage to be corrupt, and is satisfied with the emendation I have proposed. Steevens.
In Antony and Cleopatra, we have honour and death, for honourable death. The spital-house and ulcerous sores," therefore may be used for the contaminated spital-house ; the spital-house replete wiih ulcerous sores. If it be asked, bow can the spital-house, or how can ulcerous sores, cast the gorge at the female here described, let the following passages answer the question:
“Heaven stops the nose at it, and the moon winks.” Othello. Again, in Hamlet:
“ Whose spirit, with divine ambition puff'd,
" Makes mouths at the invisible event." Again, in The Merchant of Venice:
when the bag-pipe sings i' the Again, in the play before us:
when our vaults have wept “With drunken spilth of wine In the preceding page, all sores are said to lay siege to nature; which they can no more do, if the passage is to be understood literally, than they can cast the gorge at the sight of the person here described. In a word, the diction of the text is so very Shakspearian, that I cannot but wonder it should be suspected of corruption.
The meaning is,-Her whom the spital-house, however pol. luted, would not admit, but reject with abhorrence, this embalms, &c. or, (in looser paraphrase) Her, at the sight of whom all the patients in the spital-house, however contaminated, would sicken and turn away with loathing and abhorrence, disgusted by the view of still greater pollution, than any they had yet experience of, this embalnus and spices, &c.
TO"cast the gorge at,” was Shakspeare's phraseology. So, in
To the April day again. Come, damned earth,
-Thou 'rt quick,
manner; PHRYNIA, and TYMANDRA. Alcib.
What art thou there? Speuk.
Tim. A beast, as thou art. The canker gnaw thy heart, For showing me again the eyes of man!
Alcib. What is thy name? Is man so hateful to thee, Thut art thyself a man?
Tim. I am misanthropos, 5 and hate mankind.
I know thee well;
Hamlet, Act 1, sc. i: “ How abhorr'd in my imagination it is ! my gorge rises at it.” Malone.
1 To the April day again. ] That is, to the wedding day, called by the poet, satirically, April day, or fool's day. Fohnson.
The April day does not relate to the widow, but to the other diseased female, who is represented as the outcast of an hospital. She it is whom gold embalms and spices to the April day again: i.e. gold restores her to all the freshness and sweetness of youth. Such is the power of gold, that it will
make black, white; foul, fair; “ Wrong, right;" &c. Shakspeare's Sonnet entitled Love's Cruelty, has the same thought:
“ Thou art thy mother's glass, and she in thee
“ Calls back the lovely April of her prime.” Tollet. 2 Do thy right nature.] Lie in the earth where nature laid thee.
Johnson. Thou 'rt quick,] Thou hast life and motion in thee.
Johnson. - strong thief, ] Thus Chaucer, in the Pardoner's Tale:
“Men wodden say that we were theeves strong." Steedens. $ I ain misanthropos,] A marginal note in the old translation of Plutarch's Life of Antony, furnished our author with this epithet: “ Antonius followeth the life and example of Timon Misanthropus, the Athenian." Malone.
But in thy fortunes am unlearn's and strange.
Thy lips rot off!
Alcib. How came the noble Timon to this change?
Tim. As the moon does, by wanting light to give:
None, but to
What is it, Timon?
Alcib. I have heard in some sort of thy miseries.
gules, gules :) Might we not repair the defective metre of this line, by adopting a Shakspearian epithet, and reading
gules, total gules; as in the following passage in Hamlet :
“ Now is he total gules.” Steevens. 7 I will not kiss thee;] This alludes to an opinion in former times, generally prevalent, that the venereal infection transmitted to another, left the infecter free. I will not, says Timon, take the rot from thy lips, by kissing thee. Yohnson. Thus, The Humorous Lieutenant says:
“ He has some wench, or such a toy, to kiss over,
o draw this foolish pain down."
If Thou wilt not promise, &c.] That is, however thou may'st act, siñce thou art a man, hated man, I wish thee evil. Fohnson.