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or indeed any novelty of expression, meant this"Though the freezing sky weave the waters into a solid texture." The same image had occurred to a later classic: Propertius makes the southwest wind, one of the cold winds of Italy, weave the waters into ice :Africus in glaciem frigore nectit acquam.
ACT III.-SCENE I.
44- ARGUMENT"-i. e. Subject-matter.
"Seek him with CANDLE"-It is supposed that this is an allusion to the passage in "Saint Luke," (chap. xv.:) "If she lose one piece, doth she not light a candle ?" If so, it is, metaphorically, "Seek him in every corner, with the greatest diligence."
"Do this EXPEDIENTLY"-i. e. Expeditiously. Expedient, throughout our author's plays, signifies expeditious; as in KING JOHN-"His marches are expedient to this town."
"THRICE-CROWNED queen of night”—“This passage seems to evince a most intimate knowledge of ancient mythology, but Shakespeare was doubtless familiar with that fine racy old poet, Chapman's "Hymns to Night and to Cynthia," which, though over-informed with learning, have many highly poetical passages; among which the following may have been in our Poet's mind :
Nature's bright eye-sight, and the night's fair soul,
Earth, seas, and hell.—' Hymnus in Cynthiam,' (1594.) All the learning of all the mythologists was poured forth in the notes to these poems."-SINGER.
“— UNEXPRESSIVE she”—i. e. Inexpressible. Milton uses the word in the same sense, in his "Hymn on the Nativity:"
Harping with loud and solemn quire,
And again, in "Lycidas"-"the unexpressive nuptial
"-he, that hath learned no wit by nature nor art, may complain of good breeding"-Dr. Johnson doubts whether custom did not formerly authorize this mode of speech, and make "complain of good breeding" the same with "complain of the want of good breeding." In the last line of the MERCHANT OF VENICE, we find that to "fear the keeping" is to "fear the not keeping." Johnson might have asserted this with less hesitation, for such use is found colloquially even now, and is common, as Whiter remarks, in all languages.
"good MANNERS"-" Manners" is here used in the sense of morals, both senses being included in the Latin mores. Morals is not found in any of the old dictionaries, or authors.
"God make INCISION in thee"-It has been ingeniously urged that insition, or graffing, is here meant, and that the phrase may be explained, "God put knowledge into thee;" but we want instances to confirm this. Stevens thought the allusion here was to the common expression of cutting for the simples; and the subsequent speech of Touchstone, "That is another simple sin in you," gives colour to this conjecture. Nares asks, "Can it have been a phrase borrowed from surgery?" A quotation from the "Time's Whistle, or a New Daunce of Seven Satires," (MS.,) made by Dr. Farmer, shows that it was
Be stout, my heart; my hand, be firm and steady;
And the following curious passage from Baret's " Alvearie" proves it:-"Those hell houndes which lay violent hands upon other men's goods are like biles and blotches
in the body of the common-weale; and must be cured either by incysion and letting blood in the necke-vaine, or by searing with a hot yron, or els with a caudle of hempseed chopt halter-wise," etc. His purpose is to illustrate why a thief is called felon, which also signified a bile. Shakespeare uses "incision" for opening a vein in LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST, (act iv. scene 2:)—" A fever in your blood, why then incision will let her out in
"-fairest LIN'D"-i. e. Delineated; not limn'd, as it has been sometimes printed.
"the FAIR of Rosalind"-"Fair" for fairness, beauty-as in COMEDY OF ERRORS, (act ii. scene 1;) but it is common in the Elizabethan poets.
"the right butter-women's RANK"-So the old copies; and "rank" is certainly as good as rate, or rant, which some would substitute. "Rank," as Whiter observes, means the order in which they go one after another; and therefore Shakespeare says, "butter-women's," and not butter-woman's, as it has been corrupted. As applied to the verses, it is a sneer at their uniformity of cadence.
"Why should this a desert be"-Tyrwhitt and other editors would read, "Why should this desert silent be?" No alteration of the old copies seems absolutely neces
"CIVIL sayings"-"The term civil is here used as when we say civil wisdom, or civil life, in opposition to a solitary state, or to the state of nature. This desert (says Orlando) shall not appear unpeopled, for every tree shall teach the maxims or incidents of social life.""JOHNSON.
"Helen's cheek, but not her heart,
Sad Lucretia's modesty."
The commentators have filled many pages with the discussion of the precise meaning of the "better part" of Atalanta's excellence. "Better part" seems to have been often used for any peculiar excellence, whatever it was, in the individual; and Ovid, in the passage on which all the allusions to Atalanta are founded, makes the spectator doubt whether she were "better" (more admirable) for swiftness, or grace of form:
Laude pedum formæne bono præstantior esset. This may have been in the author's mind, whether he read it in Latin or in Golding's Old-English. Tollet makes it refer to her virgin chastity. Whiter, whose commentary on this play is mainly an ingenious illustratration of the doctrine of the association of ideas sug gesting images and language, thus applies his theory to this passage:
"The imagery selected to discriminate the perfections of Helen, Cleopatra, Atalanta, and Lucretia, was not derived from the abstract consideration of their general qualities; but was caught from those peculiar traits of beauty and character which are impressed on the mind of him who contemplates their portraits. It is well known that these celebrated heroines of romance were, in the days of our Poet, the favourite subjects of popular representation, and were alike visible in the coarse hangings of the poor, and the magnificent arras of the rich. In the portraits of Helen, whether they were produced by the skilful artist or his ruder imitator, though her face would certainly be delineated as eminently beautiful, yet she appears not to have been adorned with any of those charms which are allied to modesty; and we accordingly find that she was generally depicted with a loose and insidious countenance, which but too manifestly betrayed the inward wantonness and perfidy of her heart. With respect to the 'majesty' of Cleopatra, it may be observed that this notion is not derived from classical authority, but from the more popular storehouse of legend and romance. I infer, therefore, that the familiarity of the image was im
pressed, both on the Poet and his reader, from pictures or representations in tapestry, which were the lively and faithful mirrors of popular romances. Atalanta, we know, was considered by our ancient poets as a celebrated beauty; and we may be assured, therefore, that her portraits were everywhere to be found. Since the story of Atalanta represents that heroine as possessed of singular beauty, zealous to preserve her virginity even with the death of her lovers, and accomplishing her purposes by extraordinary swiftness in running, we may be assured that the skill of the artist would be employed in displaying the most perfect expressions of virgin purity, and in delineating the fine proportions and elegant symmetry of her person. Lucretia (we know) was the grand example of conjugal fidelity throughout the Gothic ages; and it is this spirit of unshaken chastity which is here celebrated under the title of 'modesty.'
"Such, then, are the wishes of the lover in the formation of his mistress-that the ripe and brilliant beauties of Helen should be united to the elegant symmetry and virgin graces of Atalanta; and that this union of charms should be still dignified and ennobled by the majestic mein of Cleopatra, and the matron modesty of Lucretia."
"on a PALM-TREE"-"A palm-tree, (as Stevens remarks,) in the forest of Arden, is as much out of place as the lioness in a subsequent scene.' Shakespeare cared little about such proprieties;' but possibly he wrote plane-tree, which may have been misread by the transcriber, or compositor."-COLLIER.
"I was an IRISH RAT"-Johnson calls Rosalind a
very learned lady for this allusion to the Pythagorean doctrine of the transmigration of souls. It was no less common than the other allusion of rhyming rats to death in Ireland. This fanciful idea probably arose from some metrical charm, or incantation, used there for ridding houses of rats. We find it mentioned by Ben Jonson, Randolph, and Marmion. Thus, in the
Rhime them to death as they do Irish rats, In drumming tunes.
a chain, that you once wore"-Alluding to the chain which Rosalind had given to Orlando. "-out of all WHOOPING"-i. e. Out of all cry, or out of all measure. It is an old phrase.
Good my complexion"-The meaning of the exclamation "Good my complexion!" probably is, as suggested by Malone-"My native character, my female inquisitive disposition, canst thou endure this?" Complexion is used in the same sense of disposition in the MERCHANT OF VENICE-" It is the complexion of them all to leave their dam."
"-a SOUTH-SEA OF DISCOVERY"-i. e. "My curiosity can endure no longer. If you perplex me any further, I have a space for conjecture as wide as the South-sea. Of is the original reading; the modern change is, 'a South-sea off discovery.'"-KNIGHT.
"-speak SAD BROW, and TRUE MAID"-i. e. Speak with a serious countenance, and as a "true maid." So HENRY V. says
I speak to thee plain soldier.
And in this scene we have-"I'll answer you right painted cloth."
"borrow me GARAGANTUA'S MOUTH"-Rosalind re
quires nine questions to be answered in one word. Celia tells her that a word of such magnitude is too big for any mouth but that of Garagantua, the giant of Rabelais, who swallowed five pilgrims, their staves and all, in a salad. Shakespeare's allusions to the French wit, whose works had been some time translated into English, show their great popularity.
"-as easy to count ATOMIES"-Bullokar, in his "English Expositor," (1616,) says-"An atomie is a mote flying in the sunne. Any thing so small that it cannot be made less."
which the rider restrained and stopped his horse. It is "-holla! to thy tongue"-" Holla!" was a term by so used by Shakespeare, in his VENUS AND ADONIS :What recketh he his rider's angry stir,
His flattering holla, or his stand, I say?'
"-kill my HEART"-A quibble between hart and "heart," then spelled the same.
"I answer you right painted cloth"-This passage alludes to the placing moral maxims, or sentences, in the mouths of the figures represented on the paintedcloth hangings of the period. The custom is frequently mentioned by contemporary writers. Shakespeare also adverts to it in his TARQUIN AND LUCRECE:
Who fears a sentence, or an old man's saw,
"-the coney, that you see dwell where she is KINDLED"-" Kindled" is a phrase not yet antiquated in England, in this sense, though out of use on this side of the Atlantic, for being brought forth: and is applied only to certain animals, as rabbits.
"-an UNQUESTIONABLE spirit"-Johnson explains this-"An unquestionable spirit is a spirit not inquisi tive; a mind indifferent to common objects, and negligent of common occurrences." This seems erroneous. Unquestionable" is the reverse of questionable, as used in HAMLET, "such a questionable shape"-one that may be conversed with. To question is used in this play for converse.
"POINT-DEVICE"-A customary old phrase for exact, dressed with nicety.
"— a LOVING humour of madness"-"The old copies have it, living humour of madness;' which is not very intelligible, unless it mean (as Stevens supposed) a lasting humour of madness. The antithesis is however complete, if, with Johnson, we read loving, which is only the change of a letter; and this reading is supported by the MS. correction of the early possessor of the first folio, in the library of Lord Francis Egerton, The meaning thus is, that Rosalind drove her suitor from his mad humour of love, into a humour in which he was in love with madness, and forswore the world."-COLLIER.
"the FALCON her BELLS"-Master Stephen, in "Every Man in his Humour," says, "I have bought me a hawk and a hood, and bells and all." Gervase Markham, in his edition of the "Boke of St. Albans," says "The bells which your hawk shall wear, look in any wise that they be not too heavy, whereby they over load her, neither that one be heavier than another, but both of like weight: look also that they be well-sound ing and shrill, yet not both of one sound, but one at least a note under the other."
To be a barren sister all your life,
Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon.
"-breaks his staff like a noble goose"-The humour of this simile depends upon its allusion to tilting, in which it was a disgrace for any knight to break his lance across, and not directly against the breast of his adversary. "Quite traverse, athwart the heart of his lover," means, unskilfully across the breast of the lady with whom he was in love; "lover" being applied to both sexes.
-CAPABLE impressure"-Thus the old copies, and it is intelligible in the sense of "the impression which is capable of being made," that which may be taken from the "rush." But there is much likelihood of truth in the suggestion that "capable" is a misprint of palpable.
"-though you have no beauty"-This passage was very needlessly altered, by Malone and Stevens, by substituting mo, or more, for "no," because, in Lodge's "Rosalynde," in a similar speech, it is said, "Because thou art beautiful," etc. Shakespeare's intent is differ ent, and very obvious. Rosalind intends, throughout her speech, to check the vanity of Phebe; and begins
by telling her that she has no beauty, and therefore no excuse for being "proud and pitiless."
"Foul is most foul, being foul to be a scoffer"-i. e. "The ugly seem most ugly, when, though ugly, they are scoffers."-JOHNSON.
YOUR foulness"-The modern reading is her. We suppose Rosalind here turns to the parties before her, and addresses each.
"Dead shepherd! now I find thy saw of might; 'Who ever lov'd, that lov'd not at first sight?'" "The dead shepherd' was Christopher Marlowe, who was killed in 1593, and whose paraphrase of Hero and Leander,' from Musæus, was not printed until 1598. He did not finish the work, but it was completed by Geo. Chapman, and published entire in 1600. The line above quoted concludes a passage in the first 'Sestiad,' the whole of which Shakespeare seems to have had in his mind when he wrote this scene; and it runs thus:It lies not in our power to love or hate,
For will in us is over-ruled by fate.
When two are stripp'd, long ere the course begin,
And one especially we do affect
Of two gold ingots, like in each respect.
"the old CARLOT"-" Carlot (Douce says) is a word of Shakespeare's coinage." It is derived from carl, and means a peasant.
ACT IV.-SCENE I.
"DISABLE all the benefits of your own country"i.e. Underrate them, speak slightingly of them. So, afterwards-"He disabled my judgment." Beaumont and Fletcher have the same use of the word.
"-SWAM in a GONDOLA"-i. e. Been at Venice; then the resort of all travellers, as Paris now is. Shakespeare's contemporaries also point their shafts at the corruption of youth by travel. Bishop Hall wrote his little book "Quo Vadis?" to stem the fashion.
"-a better LEER than you"-Tyrwhitt, in his glossary to Chaucer, explains lere to mean the skin; and he derives it from the Saxon. Here it is to be taken as complexion, or feature. It occurs again in TITUS ANDRONICUS, (act iv. scene 2,) in a similar sense. Sir F. Madden translates it countenance, in his excellent glossary to "Syr Gawayne."
"the foolish CHRONICLERS of that age FOUND"Sir Thomas Hanmer reads coroners, which, from its relation to the word "found," the technical word of the verdict, may well have been the reading. Still, the sense is good as it stands. The silly "chronicler" sat on his body like a coroner's jury, and "found" that he died for love.
"-weep for nothing, like Diana in the fountain"Statues, and particularly that of Diana, with the water conveyed through them, to give them the appearance of weeping figures, were anciently a frequent ornament of fountains. So, in Rosamond's "Epistle," by Dray
Here in the garden. wrought by curious hands,
"MAKE the doors"-Still the language of the midland counties of England, for making fast the doors.
"-"Wit, whither wilt"-A proverbial exclamation, so common as to be found in the sermons of that age. In act i. scene 2, of this play, Rosalind asks Touchstone, "How now, wit! whither wander you?" which seems only a variation of the same expression.
"-make her fault her husband's OCCASION"-i. e. Represent her fault as occasioned by her husband.
"Then sing him home"-In the folios we have, as the third line
Then sing him home, the rest shall bear this burthen. With most former editors, I have thought that the first four words were part of the song, and the rest a stagedirection. But Knight and Collier omit all, and the latter insists that "The words, Then sing him home: the rest shall bear this burden,' are clearly only stage-directions, although, by error, printed as part of the song in the old copies. Then sing him home' has reference to the carrying of the lord, who killed the deer, to the duke; and we are to suppose that the foresters sang as they quitted the stage for their 'home' in the wood. 'The rest shall bear this burden' alludes to the last six lines, which are the burden of the song. Modern editors have taken upon them to divide the song between the first and second lord, by the figures '1' and '2;' but without any warrant. It is to be observed that it is found in Playford's Musical Companion,' without the words, Then sing him home.' It is also in 'Catch that Catch can,' (1652,) in the same form."
"As those that fear; they hope, and know they fear"In the folio the line is printed thus:
As those that fear they hope, and know they fear. This, Caldecott, Collier, and others, retain unaltered, explaining it that "Orlando is in the state of mind of those who fear what they hope, and know that they fear it." Yet, with Johnson and other editors, I must confess that I cannot extract that or any other sense from the old reading. This edition, therefore, adopts the suggestion of Henley, which requires only a slight alteration of the pointing; and then Orlando may be understood as comparing himself to "those who fear, but yet hope while they are still conscious of real fear." Pertion; and I have been much inclined to adopt Heath's reading, which is more Shakespearian in its antithesis, and its boldness of expression:
"HURTLING"-To hurtle is to move with impetu-haps, however, the text requires a still bolder correcosity and tumult. It is used in JULIUS CESAR
A noise of battle hurtled in the air.
ACT V.-SCENE II.
"Is't possible"-"Shakespeare, by putting this question into the mouth of Orlando, seems to have been aware of the improbability in his plot, caused by deserting his original. In Lodge's novel, the elder brother is instrumental in saving Aliena from a band of ruffians; without this circumstance, the passion of Aliena appears to be very hasty indeed."-STEVENS.
"all OBEISANCE"-The original has observance, which, as it also ends the next line but one preceding, seems to be a misprint; and I have adopted Ritson's conjecture. Malone proposed obedience.
"WHY do you speak, TOO"-This is the old reading which is perfectly intelligible, when addressed to Orlando; who replies, that he speaks "too," notwithstanding the absence of his mistress. It was altered, by Rowe and other editors, to "Who do you speak to."
ACT V. SCENE 2-1 know into what straits of fortune she is iriven.
"-to be a woman of the world"-i. e. To be married.
"SONG"-This song may be seen more at large in Chappell's "Collection of National English Airs," from MS. now in the Advocates' "Library," Edinburgh, believed to have been written within sixteen years after this play. This confirmed the previous conjecture that a transposition of the first and second stanzas had taken place in the old editions. It also clears up another difficulty, the folios in the fourth line having rang time, which Johnson and others printed rank-i. e. luxuriant. The "ring-time" is the time for marriage.
As those that fear their hope, and know their fear. "a lie seven times removed"-" Touchstone here enumerates seven kinds of lies, from the retort courteous to the seventh and most aggravated species of lie, which he calls the lie direct. The courtier's answer to his intended affront, he expressly tells us, was the retort courteous. When, therefore, he says that they found the quarrel was on the lie seven times removed,' we must understand, by the latter word, the lie removed seven times, counting backwards, (as the word 'removed' seems to intimate,) from the last and most aggravated species of lie-the lie direct."-Illust. Shak.
"we quarrel in print, by the book"-"The Poet (says Warburton) 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, entitled, 'Of Humours 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:-1. What the Reason is that the Party unto whom the Lie is given ought to become challenger, and of the Nature of Lies. 2. Of the Manner and Diversity of Lies. 3. Of Lies certain, [or direct.] 4. Of conditional Lies, [or the lie circumstantial.] 5. Of the Lie in general. 6. Of the Lie in particular. 7. Of foolish Lies. 8. 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 words:if thou hast said that I have offered my lord abuse, thou liest; or if thou sayest so hereafter, thou wilt lie. Of these kind of lies, given in this manner, often arise much contention in words-whereof no sure conclusion can arise.""
"Enter HYMEN"-" 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.
In all the allegorical shows exhibited at ancient weddings, Hymen was a constant personage. Ben Jonson, in his Hymenæi, or the solemnities of Masque and Barriers, at a Marriage,' has left us 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, his sockes yellow, a yellow veile of silke on his left arme, his head crowned