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To blow on whom I please; for so fools have:
Duke S. Fy on thee! I can tell what thou wouldst do.
Duke S. Most mischievous foul sin, in chiding sin: For thou thyself hast been a libertine, As sensual as the brutish sting5 itself;
as large a charter as the wind,] So, in King Henry V:
“ The wind, that charter'd libertine, is still. Malone. 2 Not to seem senseless of the bob:] The old copies read onlySeem senseless, &c. Not to were supplied by Mr. Theobald. See the following note. Steevens.
Besides that the third verse is defective one whole foot in measure, the tenour of what Jaques continues to say, and the reasoning of the passage, show it no less defective in the sense. There is no doubt, but the two little monosyllables, which I have supplied, were either by accident wanting in the manuscript, or by inadvertence were left out. Theobald.
? — if not, &c.] Unless men have the prudence not to appear touched with the sarcasms of a jester, they subject them. selves to his power; and the wise man will have his folly anatomized, that is, dissected and laid open, by the squandring glances or random shots of a fool. Johnson. 3 Cleanse the foul body of the infected world,] So, in Macbeth:
“ Cleanse the stuff'd bosom of the perilous stuff.” Douce.
for a counter,] Dr. Farmer observes to me, that about the time when this play was written, the French counters (i. e. pieces of false money used as a means of reckoning) were brought into use in England. They are again mentioned in Troilus and Cressida:
will you with counters sum “The past-proportion of his infinite?" Steevens. 5 As sensual as the brutish sting –] Though the brutish sting is
And all the embossed sores, and headed evils,
Jaq. Why, who cries out on pride,
capable of a sense not inconvenient in this passage, yet as it is a harsh and unusual mode of speech, I should read the brutish fly.
Fohnson. I believe the old reading is the true one. So, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. I, c. viii:
" A heard of bulls whom kindly rage doth sting.” Again, B. II, c. xii:
“ As if that hunger's point, or Venus' sting,
“ Had them enrag d.” Again, in Othello:
our carnal stings, our unbitted lusts.” Steevens. 6 Till that the very very – ] The old copy reads--weary very. Corrected by Mr. Pope. Malone.
his bravery -] i. e. his fine clothes. So, in The Taming of the Shrew: “ With scarfs and fans, and double change of bravery.".
Steevens. 8 There then; How, what then? &c.] The old copy reads, very redundantly
There then; How then? What then? &c.] Steevens. I believe we should read-Where then? So, in Othello:
" What then? How then? Where's satisfaction?" Malone.
Enter ORLANDO, with his sword drawn.
Why, I have eat none yet.
Duke S. Art thou thus bolden'd, man, by thy distress; Or else a rude despiser of good manners, That in civility thou seem'st so empty?
Orl. You touch'd my vein at first; the thorny point Of bare distress hath ta'en from me the show Of smooth civility:9 yet am I inland bred, 1 And know some nurture:2 But forbear, I say; He dies, that touches any of this fruit, Till I and my affairs are answered.
Jaq. An you will not be answered with reason, I must die. Duke S. What would you have? Your gentleness shall
Orl. I almost die for food, and let me have it.
Orl. Speak you so gently? Pardon me, I pray you:
the thorny point
Of smooth civility:] We might read torn with more elegance, but elegance alone will not justify alteration. Johnson.
inland bred,] Inland here, and elsewhere in this play, is the opposite to outland, or upland. Orlando means to say, that he had not been bred among clowns. H. White.
2 And know some nurture:] Nurture is education, breeding, manners. So, in Greene's Never too late, 1616:
“ He shew'd himself as full of nurture as of nature." Again, as Mr. Holt White observes to me, Barret says, in his Alvearie, 1580: “ It is a point of nurture, or good manners, to salute them that you meete. Urbanitatis est salutare obvios."
Steevens. St. Paul advises the Ephesians, in his Epistle, ch. vi, 4, to bring their children up “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” Harris.
Under the shade of melancholy boughs,
Orl. Then, but forbear your food a little while,
cronol, evils, age and hunger,
Go find him out, And we will nothing waste till you return. Orl. I thank ye; and be bless'd for your good comfort!
[Exit. Duke S. Thou seest, we are not all alone unhappy: This wide and universal theatre Presents more woeful pageants than the scene Wherein we play in.6
desert inaccessible,] This expression I find in The Ad. ventures of Simonides, by Barn. Riche, 1580: “
and onely acquainted himselfe with the solitarinesse of this unaccessible desert.”
Henderson. 4 And take upon command what help we have,] Upon command, is at your own command. Steevens. 5 Whiles, like a doe, I go to find my fawn, And give it food.] So, in Venus and Adonis : "Like a milch doe, whose swelling dugs do ake,
Hasting to feed her fawn.” Malone. 6 Wherein we play in.] Thus the old copy. Mr. Pope more cor. rectly reads:
All the world's a stage,
Wherein we play.
Wherein we play: and add a word at the beginning of the next speech, to complete the measure; viz.
“Why, all the world's a stage.” Thus, in Hamlet :
“ Hor. So Rosencrantz and Guildenstern go to 't.
“ Ham. Why, man, they did make love to their employment." Again, in Measure for Measure:
Why, all the souls that were, were forfeit once.” Again, ibid:
“Why, every fault's condemn'd, ere it be done.” In twenty other instances we find the same adverb introductorily. used. Steevens.
7 All the world's a stage, &c.] This observation occurs in one of the fragments of Petronius: “Non duco contentionis funem, dum constet inter nos, quod fere totus mundus exerceat histrioniam."
Steevens. This observation had been made in an English drama before the time of Shakspeare. See Damon and Pythias, 1582:
Pythagoras said, that this world was like a stage,
“Whereon many play their parts.". In The Legend of Orpheus and Eurydice, 1597, we find these lines:.
“Unhappy man -
.“ While as the acts are measur'd by his age. Malone. 8 His acts being seven ages.] Dr. Warburton observes, that this"
no unusual division of a play before our author's time;" but. forbears to offer any one example in support of his assertion. I have carefully perused almost every dramatick piece antecedent' to Shakspeare, or contemporary with him; but so far from being: divided into acts, they are almost all printed in an unbroken continuity of scenes. I should add, that there is one play of six acts to be met with, another of twenty-one; but the second of these is a translation from the Spanish, and never could have been designed for the stage. In God's Promises, 1577, “ A Tragedie or Enterlude,” (or rather a Mystery) by John Bale, seven acts may“ indeed be found.
It should, however, be observed, that the intervals in the Greek Tragedy are known to have varied from three acts to seven.