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Patch grief with proverbs; make misfortune drunk
Again, ibidem :'"
Now grievous forrowe and care away !""
6 Som chestnuts have I there in store,
" With cheese aud pleasaunt whaye ; sd God sends me vittayles for my nede,
6. And I synge Care awaye !" Again, as Dr. Farmer observes to in George Withers's Philarete, 1622 :
Why should we grieve or pine at that?
• Hang sorrow! care will kill a cat. Sorrow go by ! is also ( as I am assured) a common exclamation of hilarity even at this time, in Scotland. Sorrow wag! might have been just such another. The verb, to wag, is several times used by our author in the sense of to go, or pack off.
The Prince, in the First Part of King Henry IV. A& Il. sc. iv. says • They cry hem! and bid you play it off.” And Mr. M. Mason observes that this exprellion allo occurs in As you like it, where Rosalind says - " These burs are in my heart ;" and Celia replies " Hem them away." The foregoing examples sufficiently prove the exclamation hem, to have been of a comic turn.
STEEVENS. make misfortune drunk With candle-wafters ; ] This may mean, either wash away his forrow among those who sit up all night to drink, and in that sense may be styled wafters of candles; or overpower his misforunes by swallowing flap-dragons in his glass, which are defcribed by Falstaff as inade of candles' ends. STEEVENS.
This is a very difficult passage, and hath not, I think, been satisfađorily cleared up. The explanation I shall offer, will give, I believe, as litule satisfa&ion ; but I will, however, venture it. Candle-wafters is a term of contempt for scholars: thus Jonson, in Cynthia's Revels, A& III. sc. ii : spoiled by a whoreson book-worm, a candle-wafter. In The Antiquary, A& III. is a like term, of ridicule: " He should more catch your delicate courta ear, than all your head-scratchers, thumb-biters, lamp-wasters of them all.” The sense then, which I would aflign to Shakspeare, is this : « If such a one will patch grief with proverbs, case or cover the wounds of his grief with proverbial Sayings; make misfortune drunk with candle-wasters, stupify misfortune, or render himself insenhble to the strokes of it, by the conversation or lucubratious of Scholars ; the produçlion of the lamp, but not fitted to
But there is no such man: For, brother, men
Ant. Therein domen from children nothing differ,
Leon. I pray thee, peace; I will be flesh and blood; For there was never yet philosopher, That could endure the tooth-ach patiently; However they have writ the style of gods,
human nature." Patch, in the sense of mending a defe& or breach, occurs in Hamlet, A& V. sc. i:
" O, that that earth, which kept the world in awe,
than advertisement. ] That is, than admonition, than moral instru&tion. JOHNSON.
* However they have writ the style of gods, ] This alludes to the extravagant titles the Stoics gave their wise men. Sapiens ille cum Diis, ex pari, vivit. Senec. Ep. 59. Jupiter quo antecedit virum bonum ?
diutius bonus eft. Sapiens nihilo fe minoris æftimat. Deus non vincit fapientem felicitate. Ep. 73. WARBURTON.
Shakspeare might have used this expression, without any acquaintance with the hyperboles of stoicism. By the style of gods, he meant an exalted language ; such as we may suppose would be written by beings superior to human calamities, and therefore regarding them with neglect and coldness.
Beaumont and Fletcher have the same expression in the first of thçir Four Plays in One :
" Athens doth make women philosophers,
And made a pish at chance and sufferance."
Ant. Yet bend not all the harm upon yourself; Make those, that do offend you, suffer too. Leon. There thou speak'st reason: nay, I will
do so: My soul doth tell me, Hero is bely'd ; And that shall Claudio know, so fhall the prince, And all of them, that thus dishonour her.
Enter Don PEDRO and CLAUDIO.
Art. Here comes the prince, and Claudio, hastily,
Good day to both of you.'
my lord :
you so hasty now? — well, all is one. D. Pedro. Nay, do not quarrel with us, good
old man. Ant. If he could right himself with quarreling, Some of us would lie low. CLAUD.
Who wrongs him ? LEON.
Marry, Thou, thou 6 doft wrong me; thou dissembler,
thou: Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy sword, I fear thee not.
s And made a pish at chance and fufferance.] Allude's to their famous apathy. WARBURTON.
The old copies read – push. Corre&ed by Mr. Pope. MALONE.
6 Thou, thou – ] I have repeated the word thou, for the sake of measure. STEEVENS,
CLAUD. Marry, beshrew my hand,
Leon. Tush, tuin, man, never fleer and jest at
I speak not like a dotard, nor a fool;
Claud. My villainy!
Thine, Claudio; thine I say.
My lord, my lord, I'll prove it on his body, if he dare; Despite his nice fence,' and his active practice, His May of youth, and bloom of luilyhood.
Claud. Away, I will not have to do with you. LEON. Canst thou lo daff nie? 6 Thou hast kill'd
If thou kill'st me, boy, thou shalt kill a man.
s Despite his nice fence, ) i. c. defence, or skill in the science of fencing, or desence. DOUCE.
1. Can'st thou fo daff me ?] This is a country word, Nr. Pope tells us, fignifying, daunt. It may be so ; but that is not the cxposition here: To daff and doff are synonymous terms , that
Ant. He shall kill two of us, and men indeed: 7 But that's no matter; let him kill one first; Win me and wear me,
let him answer me: Come, follow me, boy; come, boy, follow me: Sir boy, I'll whip you from your foining fence;' ' Nay, as I am a gentleman, I will. • LION. Brother, Ant. Content yourself: God knows, I lov'd my
mean to put off : which is the very sense required here, and what Leonato would reply, upon Claudio's saying, he would have nothing to do with him. THEOBALD.
Theobald has well inberpreted the word. Shakspeare uses it more than once. Thus, in K. Henry IV. P. I:
" The nimble-footed mad-cap Prince of Wales,
" And his comrades, that dafj'd the world aside.” Again, in the comedy betore us:
" I would have daff*d all other respe&s," &c. Again, in The Lover's Complaint :
" There my white itole of chastity I daff*d." It is, perhaps, of Scottish origin, as I find it in Ane verie excellent and delectabill Treatise intitulit PHILOTUS, &c. Edinburgh, 1603 :
" Their dafing does us so undo." STEEVENS. 7 Ant. He shall kill two of us, &c.] This brother Antony is the truest picture imaginable of human nature. He had assumed the character of a fage to comfort his brother, overwhelmed with grief for his only daughter's affront and dishonour; and had severely reproved him for not commanding his passion better on so trying an occasion. Yet, immediately after this, no sooner does he begin to suspect that his age and valour are flighted, but he falls into the most intemperate fit of rage himself : and all he can do or say is not of power to pacify him. This is copying nature with a penetration and exa&ness of judgement peculiar to Shakspeare. As to the expression, too, of his pallion, nothing can be more highly painted. WARBURTON.
come boy, follow me :] Here the old copies destroy the measure by reading
come, fir boy, come, follow me : I lave omitted the unnecessary words.
STEEVENS. foining fence; ) Foining is a term in fencing, and mcars thrufling. Douce.