Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

your fashion

KING. Comé, fir, [advancing. ] you blush; as his

your case is such; You chide at liim, offending twice as much: You do not love Maria; Longaville Did never fonnet for her fake compile; Nor never lav his wreathed arins athwart His loving bolom, to keep down his heart. I have been closely shrouded in this bush, And mark'd you both, and for you both, did blush. I heard your guilty rhymes, observ'd Saw fighs reek from you, noted well your passion: Ah me! says one; Jove! the other cries; One, her hairs & were gold, crystal the other's eyes : You would for paradile break faith and troth;

[ To LONG. And Jove, for your love, would infringe an oath,

[ To DUMAIN, What will Birón say, when that he shall hear A faith infring'd, which such a zeal did swear?" How will he scorn? how will he spend his wit? How will he triumph, lcap, and laugh at it?

8 One, her hairs -] The folio reads - On her bairs, &c. I fome years ago conje&ured that we should read – One, her hairs were gold, &c. i. e. the hairs of one of the ladies were of the colour of gold, and the eyes of the other as clear as crystal. The king is speaking of thç panegyricks pronounced by the two lovers on their mistresses. On examining the first quarto, 1598, I have found my conje&ure confirmed; for so it reads. One and on are frequently confounded in the old copies of our author's plays. See a note on King John, Ad Ill. sc. iii. MALONE.

9. A faith infring'd, which such a zeal did swear ?] The repeated article A ( which is wanting in the oldest copy) appears to have been judiciously restored by the editor of the folio 1632. At least, I Thall adopt his supplement, till fome hardy critick arises and declares himself satisfied with the following line

Faith infringed, which such zeal did swear in which " zę -al" must be employed as a disfyllable. Seç Mr. Malone's note 7, p. 279. STEEVENS,

For all the wealth that ever I did see,
I would not have him know so much by me.

Biron. Now step I forth to whip hypocrisy.-
Ah, good my liege, I pray thee, pardon me:

[Descends from the tree. Good heart, what grace haft thou, thus to reprove These worms for loving, that art most in love? Your eyes do make no coaches ; ' in your tears, There is no certain princess that appears: You'll not be 'perjur’d, 'cis a hateful thing: Tush, none but minarels like of sonneting. But are you not alham'a ? nay, are you not, All three of you, to be thus much o'er-shot? You found his mote ; the king your mote did see; But I a beani do find in each of three. O, what a scene of foolery I have seen, Of fighs, of groans, of sorrow, and of teen ! * O me, with what strict patience have I sat, To see a king transformed to a gnat!!

2

These worms for loving, ) So, in The Tempeft, Prospero address fing Miranda, says

6. Poor worm, thou art infeded." STEEVENS. 3 Your eyes do make no coaches;] Alluding to a passage in the king's Gonnet:

u No drop but as a coach doth carry thec." Steevens. The old copy has couches, Mr. Pope correded it. MALONE.

teen! ] i. e. grief. So, in The Tempest:
- To think o' the teen that I have turn'd you to.

STEVENS. 5. To see a king transformed to a gnat! ] Mr. Theobald and the fuc. ceeding editors read to a knoi.

MALONE. Knnt has no sense that can fuit this place. We may read -- fol. The rhymes in this play, are such as that sat and fot may be well enough admitted. JOHNSON.

A knot is, I believe, a true lover's knot, meaning that the king lay'd

his wreathed arms athwart His loving bofom so long; i. c. remained so long in the lover's posture, that he secm

To see great Hercules whipping a gigg,
And profound Solomon to tune a jigg,

[ocr errors]

ed a&ually transformed into a knot. The word fat is in some counties pronounced fot. This may account for the seeming want of exa& rhyme. In the old comedy of Albumazar, the same thought occurs :

Why should I twinc my arins to cables ? " So, in The Tempest:

fitting,
of His arms in this fad knot."
Again, in Titus Andronicus:

" Marcus, unknit that sorrow-wreathen knot:
" Thy nicce and I, poor creatures, want our hands,
" And cannot paffionate our.ten-told grief

5. With folded arms.
Again, in The Raging Turk, 1631:

as he walk'd, “ Folding his arms up in a pensive knot." The old copy, however, reads

- a gnat, and Mr. Tollet seems to think it contains an allufion to St. Matthew, xxiii. 24. where the metaphorical term of a gnat means a thing of least importance, or what is proverbially small. The smallness of a gnat is likewise mentioned in Cymbeline. STFEVENS.

A knott is likewise a Lincolnshire bird of the snipe kind. It is foolish even to a proverb, and it is said to be easily casuared. Ray, in his Ornithology, observes, that took its name from Canute, who was particularly fond of it. COLLINS. So, in The Alchemist :

" My foo.-boy shall eat pheasants, &c.

" Knolts, godwits," &c.
Again, in the 25th song of Drayton's Polyolbion;

" The hnot that called was Canutus' bird of old,
“ Of that great king of Danes his name that still doch hold,
“ His appetite to please that far and near were fought."

STEEVENS. To see a king transformed to a gnat!] Alluding to the singiag of that insea, suggested by the poetry the king had been deteded in.

HEATH. The original reading, and Mr. Heath's explanation of it, are confirmed by a passage in Spenser's Faery Queene, B. II. c. ix.

6. As when a swarme of gnats at even-tide
• Out of the fennes of Alban doc arise,
• Tbeir murmuring small trompettes founden wide," &c.

MALONI,

And Nestor play at push-pin with the boys,
And critick Timon * laugh at idle toys!
Where lies thy grief, O tell me, good Dumain ?
And gentle Longaville, where lies thy pain ?
And where my liege's? all about the breast:
A caudle, ho!
KING.

Too bitter is thy jest.
Are we betray'd thus to thy over-view ?

Biron. Not you by me, but I betray'd to you; I, that am honest; I, that hold it sin To break the vow I am engaged in; I am betray'd, by keeping company With moon-like men, of strange inconstancy."

4

Gnat is undoubtedly the true reading, and is that, it seems, of the old copy. Biron is abusing the King for his sonnetting like a minstrel, and compares him to a gnat, which always fings as it flies. Besides, the word gnat preserves the rhime, which is here to be attended to. M. MASON.

critic Timon — ) Critic and critical are used by our author in the fame sense as cynic and cynical. Iago, spea of the fair sex as harshly as is sometimes the pra&ice of Dr. Warburton, declares he is nothing if not critical. STEEVENS.

Mr. Steevens's observation is supported by our author's 112th Sonnet:

my adder's sense " To critick and to flatterer stopped are.” MALONE. s With inoon-like men, of strange inconftancy. ]

The old copy reads omen-like men.

STEEVENS.
This is a strange senseless line, and should be read thus:

With vane-like men, of strange inconfancy. WARBURTON. This is well imagined, but the poet perhaps may mean,

with men like common men. JOHNSON.

The following passage in K. Henry VI. P. III. adds some sup. port to Dr. Warburton's conje&ure :

• Look, as i blow this feather from my face,
6. And as the air blows it to me again,
us Obeying with my wind when I do blow,
" And yielding to another when it blows,
* Commanded always by the greater gust;
Such is the lightness of your common men.

When shall you see me write a thing in rhime?
Or groan for Joan? or spend a minute's time
In pruning me?' When shall you hear that I
Will praise a hand, a foot, a face, an eye,
A gait, a state, a brow, a brcast, a waist,
A leg, a limb ?---
KING.

Soft; Whither away so fasl?
A true man, or a thief, that gallops fo?

BIRON. I post from love ; good lover, let me go.

Strange, which is not in the quarta or first folio, was added by the editor of the second folio, and consequently any other word as well as that may have been the author's; for all the additions ia that copy were manifeilly arbitrary, and are generally injudicious.

MALONE. Slight at the authority of the second folio is here represented to be, who will venture to displace frange, and put any other word in its place? STEBVENS.

I agree with the editors in considering this passage as erroneous, but not in the amendment proposed. That which I would suggest is, to read moon-like, instead of men-like, which is a more poetical expression, and nearer to the old reading than vane-like.

M. MASON. I have not scrupled to place this happy emendation in the text; remarking at the same time that a vane is no where styled inconjt ant, although our author bestows that epithet on the moon in Romee and Juliet:

the inconftant moon " That monthly changes Again, in Antony and Cleopatra :

now from head to foot
" I am marble confiant, now the fleeting moor

• No planet is of mine. STEEVENS. Again, more appositely, in As you like it : being but a moonish youth, changeable,' - inconstant, &c... MALONE.

{ In pruning me?] A bird is said to prune himself when he picks and sleeks his feathers. So, in K. Henry IV. P. I:

" Which makes him prune himself, and bristle up
16 The crest of youth.

STEVENS. a gait, a state, ] State, I believe, in the present instance, is opposed to gait, (i. i. motion) and figuifies the ad of landing. So, in Antony ani Cleopatra :

" Her motion and her fation are as one." STELVENS.

6

« AnteriorContinuar »