Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

2

[ocr errors]

Re-enter CURIO, and Clown.
Duke. () fellow, come, the song we had last night:-
Mark it, Cesario; it is old, and plain:
The spinsters and the knitters in the sun,
And the freel maids, that weave their thread with

bones,
Do use to chaunt it; it is silly sooth,
And dallies with the innocence of love, 3
Like the old age.“

Clo. Are you ready sir?
Duke. Ay; pr’ythee, sing.

[Music.
SONG,
Clo. Come away, come away, death,
And in sad cypress let me be laid;5

Fly away, fly away.6 breath: I am slain by a fair cruel maid.

1-free --) Is, perhaps, vacant, unengaged, easy in mind.

Fohnson. I rather think, that free means here--not having yet surrendered their liberty to man ;-unmarried. Malone.

Is not free, unreserved, uncontrolled by the restraints of female delicacy, forward, and such as sing plain songs? Henley.

The precise meaning of this epithet cannot very easily be pointed out. As Mr. Warton observes, on another occasion, ** fair and free” are words often paired together in metrical romances. Chaucer, Drayton, Ben Johnson, and many other poets, employ the epithet free, with little certainty of meaning. Free, in the instance before us, may commodiously signify, artless, free from art, uninfluenced by artificial manners, undirected by false refinement in their choice of ditties. Steevens.

silly sooth,] It is plain, simple truth. Fohnson. 3 And dallies with the innocence of love,] To dally is to play, to trifle. So, Act III: They that dally nicely with words." Again, in Swetnam Arraign’d, 1620:

he void of fear “ Dallied with danger ." Again, in Sir W. D'Avenant's Albovine, 1629 : Why dost thou dally thus with feeble motion ?" Steevens.

the old age.] The old age is the ages past, the times of simplicity. Fobuson.

5 And in sad cypress let me be laid;] i.e. in a shroud of cypress or cyprus. Thus Autolycus, in The Winter's Tale:

" Lawn as white as driven snow,
Cyprus black as e'er was crow.

2

[ocr errors]

66

My shroud of white, stuck all with yew,

0, prepare it;
My part of death no one so true

Did share it.?
Not a flower, not a flotver sweet,
Оп

ту black coffin let there be strown ;
Not a friend, not a friend greet
My poor corpse, where my bones shall be thrown ;
A thousand thousand sighs to save,

Lay me, 0, where
Sad true lover8 ne'er find my grave,

To weep there.
Duke. There 's for thy pains.
Clo. No pains, sir; I take pleasure in singing, sir.
Duke. I'll pay thy pleasure then.

Clo. Truly, sir, and pleasure will be paid, one time or another.

Duke. Give me now leave to leave thee.

Clo. Now the melancholy god protect thee; and the tailor make thy doublet of changeable taffata, for thy mind is a very opal!!--I would have men of such

There was both black and white cyprus, as there is still black and white erape; and ancient shrouds were always made of the latter. Steevens.

6 Fly away, fly away,] The old copy realls-Fie away. The emendation is Mr. Rowe's. Malone. ? My part of death no one so true

Did share it.] Though death is a part in which every one acts his share, yet of all these actors no one is so true as I.

Johnson. 8 Şad true lover -] Mr. Pope rejected the word sad, and other modern editors have unnecessarily changed true lover totrue love. By making never one syllable the metre is preserved. Since this note was written, I have observed that lover is else. where used by our poet as a word of one syllable. So, in A Mid summer Night's Dream:

“ Tie up my lover's tongue; bring him in silently.” Again, in King Henry VIII:

“Is held no great good lover of th' archbishop's.” There is perhaps, therefore, no need of abbreviating the word never in this line. Malone.

In the instance produced from A Midsummer Night's Dream, I suppose lover to be a misprint for love ; and in K. Henry VIII, I know not why it should be considered as a monosyllable.

Steevens.

constancy put to sea, that their business might be every thing, and their intent every where;' for that's it, that always makes a good voyage of nothing.– Farewel.

[Exit Clown. Duke. Let all the rest give place.

[Exeunt Curio and Attendants.

Once more, Cesario, Get thee to yon' same sovereign cruelty : Tell her, my love, more noble than the world, Prizes not quantity of dirty lands; The parts that fortune hath bestow'd upon her, Tell her I hoid as giddily as fortune; But 'tis that miracle, and queen of gems, That nature pranks her in, attracts my soul.

1

a very opal!] A precious stone of almost all colours.

Pope. So, Milton, describing the walls of heaven:

“With opal tow’rs, and battlements adorn'd." The opal is a gem which varies its appearance as it is viewed in different lights. So, in The Muses" Elizium, by Drayton:

“ With opals more than any one

“We 'll deck thine altar fuller, “ For that of every precious stone

“ It doth retain some colour.” “ In the opal, (says P. Holland's translation of Pliny's Natural History, B. XXXVII, c. 6,) you shall see the burning fire of the carbuncle or rubbie, the glorious purple of the amethyst, the green sea of the emeraud, and all glittering together mixed after an incredible manner.” Steevens.

that their business might be every thing, and their intent every where ;] Both the preservation of the antithesis, and the recovery of the sense, require we should read,-and their intent no where. Because a man who suffers himself to run with every wind, and so makes his business every where, cannot he said to have any intent; for that word signifies a determination of the mind to something. Besides, the conclusion of making a good voyage of nothing, directs to this emendation.

Warburton. An intent every where, is much the same as an intent no where, as it hath no one particular place more in view than another.

Heath, The present reading is preferable to Warburton's amendment. We cannot accuse a man of inconstancy who has no intents at all, though we may the man whose intents are every where; that is, are continually varying. M. Mason. 2 But 'tis that miracle, and queen of gems,

That nature pranks her in,] What is that miracle, and queen

Vio. But, if she cannot love you, sir?
Duke. I cannot be so answer'd. 3
Vio.

'Sooth, but you must.
Say that some lady, as, perhaps, there is,
Hath for your love as great a pang of heart
As you have for Olivia: you cannot love her;
You tell her so; Must she not then be answer’d?

Duke. There is no woman's sides,
Can bide the beating of so strong a passion
As love doth give my heart: no woman's heart
So big, to hold so much; they lack retention.
Alas, their love may be calld appetite,-
No motion of the liver, but the palate,-
That suffer surfeit, cloyment, and revolt; ,
But mine is all as hungry as the sea,

of gems? we are not told in this reading. Besides, what is meant by nature pranking her in a miracle?—We should read:

But 'tis that miracle, and queen of gems,

That nature pranks, her mind, i. e. what attracts my soul, is not her fortune, but ber mind, that miracle and queen of gems that nature pranks, i. e.sets out, adorns.

Warburton. The miracle and queen of gems is her beauty, which the coin. mentator might have found without so empbatical an inquiry. As to her mind, he that should be captions would say, that though it may be formed by nature, it must be pranked by education

Shakspeare does not say that nature pranks ber in a miracle, but in the iniracle of gems that is, in a gem, miraculously beautiful.

Fobnson. To prank is to deck out, to adorn. See Lye's Etymologicon.

Heath: So, in The Winter's Tale:

and me,

“ Most goddess-like, prank'd up ." Steevens. 3 I cannot be so answer'd.] The folio reads-It cannot be, &c. The correction by Sir Thomas Hanmer. Steevens. 4 Alas, their love may be calld appetite, &c.

That suffer surfeir, cloyment, and revolt;] The duke has changed his opinion of women very suddenly. It was but a few minutes before that he said they had more cunstancy in love than

M. Mason. Mr. Mason would read-suffers; but there is no need of change. Suffer is governed by women, implied under the words, “their love." The love of women, &c. who suffer. Malore. as hungry as the sea,] So, in Coriolanus :

men.

5

And can digest as much: make no compare
Between that love a woman can bear me,
And that I owe Olivia.
Vio.

Ay, but I know,
Duke. What dost thou know?

Vio. Too well what love women to men may owe:
In faith, they are as true of heart as we.
My father had a daughter lov'd a man,
As it might be, perhaps, were I a woman,
I should your lordship.
Duke.

And what's her history?
Vis. A blank, my lord: She never told her love,
But let concealment, like a worm i'the bud, 6
Feed on her damask cheek: she pin'd in thought;?
And, with a green and yellow melancholy,
She sat like patience on a monument,
Smiling at grief.8 Was not this love indeed?

7

“ Then let the pebbles on the bungry beach

“ Fillip the stars —.” Steevens. 6 like a worm i' the bud,] So, in the 5th Sonnet of Shakspeare :

“ Which, like a canker in the fragrant rose,

“ Doth spot the beauty of thy budding name.” Steevens. Again, in our author's Rape of Lucrece:

Why should the worm intrude the maiden bud?
Again, in King Richard II:

“But now will canker sorrow eat my bud,
“ And chase the native beauty from his cheek.Malone.

she pin’d in thought:) Tbought formerly signified melantboly. So, in Hamlet :

“ Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought.Again, in The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet, 1562: “ The cause of this her death was inward care and thought."

Malone. Mr. Malone says, thought means melancholy. But why wrest from this word its plain and usual acception, and make Shak. speare guilty of tautology? for in the very next line he uses melancholy.Douce. & She sat like patience on a monument,

Smiling at grief.] Mr. Theobald supposes this might possi. bly be borrowed from Chaucer:

“And her besidis wonder discreetlie
“Dame pacience ysitting there I fonde

“ With facé pale, upon a hill of sonde.” And adds: If he was indebted, however, for the first rude draught, bow amply bas be repaiil that debt, in heightening the picture!

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »