Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

Hippocrates likewise divided the life of man into seven ages, but differs from Proclus in the number of years allotted to each period. See Brown's Vulgar Errors, folio, 1686, p. 173.

MALONE. I have seen, more than once, an old print, entitled, The Stage of Man's Life, divided into seven ages. As emblematical representations of this sort were formerly stuck up, both for ornament and instruction, in the generality of houses, it is more probable that Shakespeare took his hint from thence, than from Hippocrates or Proclus. HENLEY,

A scale of life, of five ascending and five descending steps, with “ the world's a stage,” &c., given as the motto, is prefixed to the world displayed, or Earle's Characters, 8vo. 1742. (33) Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad

Made to his mistress' eyebrow] Mr. Malone instances, " he furnaceth the thick sighs from him," Cymb. And in the F. Q. we have,

" And learned had to love with secret lookes ;
“ And well could daunce; and sing with ruefulnesse.

F. Q. I,IV. 25. i.e. to excite ruth or compassion. And in Much ado, &c, we have,

A halting sonnet
Fashion'd to Beatrice.V. 4. Claudio.

(34) a soldier ;

Full of strange oaths, and bearded like the pard] “ Your soldiers face the grace of this face consisteth much in a beard.Jonson's Cynthia's Revels. STEEVENS.

Beards of different cut were appropriated in our author's time to different characters and professions. The soldier had one fashion, the judge another, the bishop different from both, &c. “ And what a beard of the general's cut.” H. V. Gower, III. 6.

MALONE.

(35) lean and slipper'd pantaloon

With spectacles, &c.] The only account we have met with of this character, the buffoon in the pantomimes of modern comedy, is pointed out by Mr, Todd, from Addison's Remarks on Italy: “They are four standing characters, which enter into every piece that comes on the stage; the doctor, harlequin, pantalone, and coviells. Pantalone is generally an old cully, and coviells a sharper.”

Mr. Malone observes, that in The Travels of the Three English Brothers, a comedy, 1606, an Italian harlequin is introduced, who offers to perform a play, in which is the character of an old pantaloune: and Mr. Steevens notices in The Plotte of

the deade Man's Fortune, “ Enter the panteloun and pescode with spectakles."

(36) Thy tooth is not so keen,

Because thou art not seen] Thou winter wind, says Amiens, thy rudeness gives the less pain, as thou art not sceni, as thou art an enemy that dost not brave us with thy presence, and whose unkindness is therefore not aggravated by insult.

JOHNSON.

(37) Though thou the waters warp] Contract.

The surface of waters, so long as they remain unfrozen, is apparently a perfect plane; whereas, when they are, this surface deviates from its exact fatness, or warps.

This is remarkable in small ponds, the surface of which, when frozen, forms a regular concave; the ice on the sides rising higher than that in the middle. KENRICK.

Among a collection of Saxon adages in Hickes's Thesaurus, Vol. I. p. 221, the succeeding appears : pinter sceal gepeonpan peder, winter shall warp water. So that Shakespeare's expression was anciently proverbial. It should be remarked, that among the numerous examples in Manning's excellent edition of Lye's Dictionary, there is no instance of peonpan or gepeoņpan,

implying to freeze, bend, turn, or curdle, though it is a verb of very extensive signification.

Probably this word still retains a similar sense in the Northern part of the island, for in a Scottish parody on Dr. Percy's elegant ballad, beginning, “O Nancy, wilt thou go with me,” I find the verse“ Nor shrink before the wintry wind,” is altered to “ Nor shrink before the warping wind." Holt White.

In III. 3. Jaq. we have: “ then one of you will a shrunk pannel ; and, like green timber, warp, warp :" and, from the inequalities it makes in the surface of the earth, the moldwarp (or mole) is so denominated; as the commentators say in I. H. IV. Hotsp. III. 1.

And see Arth. Golding's Ov. Met. II. 4. 1565 :
“ Her hands gan warpe and into paires yllfavordly to grow."

Curvarique manus et aduncos crescere in ungues
“ Caperunt," v.479.

prove

ACT III.

(1) ar absent argument] Subject matter. In I. H. IV. P. Hen. II. 2. we have, " it would be argument for a week.”

Again, “ Heere any orátor's most excellent speciall vertues might be well imployed. A fit argument, sure, it were to shew wit and knowledge,” &c. Anth. Munday's Watchwoord to England, 4to. 1584, fo. 38.

(2) Seek him with candle] Alluding, probably, to St. Luke. “ If she lose one piece, doth she not light a candle,-and seek diligently till she find it?” xv. 8. STEEVENS.

(3) Make an extent upon his house and lands] So called from the words of a writ, (extendi facias,) whereby the sheriff is directed to cause lands to be appraised to their full extended! value. MALONE.

(4) expediently] Promptly, expeditiously.

“ His marches are expedient to this town.” K. John. " Are making hither with all due expedience." R. II.

STEEVENS.

(5) thrice-crowned queen of night] Alluding to the triple character of Proserpine, Cynthia, and Diana, given by some mythologists to the same goddess, and comprised in these memorial lines :

Terret, lustrat, agit, Proserpina, Luna, Diana,
Ima, superna, feras, sceptro,

fulgore, sagittis.

JOHNSON.

(6) and unexpressive she] By a licence, of which we have had already examples in this play, used for inexpressible. « And hears the unexpressive nuptial song."

Lycid. v. 176. Milton has again in his Hymn to the Nativity, v. 116," unexpressive notes ;” nor was it uncommon in that day.

“ Big with an extasie « Of wonder, had endeavour'd to set forth The unexpressive glorie of thy worth.” Glapthorne's Poems, 4to. 1039, p. 4.

с

(7) Complain of good breeding] i. e. for want of it, and as not having been dealt with by the same measure as his neighbours.

Dr. Jolinson says, the custom of our author's age might authorise this mode of speech; and adds, that in the last line of the Merch. of Ven., “ to fear the keeping" is “ to fear the not keeping." Mr. Whiter says, it is a mode of speech common to all languages, and cites

Είθ' αρ' όγ' ευχωλης επιμεμφεται ειθ' εκατομζης. ΙΙ. Ι. 65. “ Whether he complains of the want of prayers or of

sacrifice." Ib. 29.

(8) a natural philosopher] i. e. with his favourite play upon words, and here certainly characteristic wit, " so far as" reasoning from his observations on nature, in such sort a philosopher; and yet as having been schooled only by nature, so far no better than a fool, a motley fool.

'Tis in the spirit in which Armado calls Costard “the rational hind;" which is rightly interpreted by Mr. Steevens, « A brute animal with some share of reason."

L. L. L. I. 2

(9) Truly, thou art damn'd, like an ill-roasted egg, all on oneif thou never saw'st good manners] Good manners (and manners meant morals, no such term as morals being to be found in the dictionaries of those times) signified urbanity, or civility; i. e. cultivated, polished, manners, as opposed to rusticity, i.e. coarse, unformed, clownish, or ill manners. He, then, that has only good principles, and good conduct, without good breeding and civility, is short of perfection by the half; and for want of this other half of that good, which is necessary to salvation, or the perfect man, is, like a half-roasted egg, damn'd on one side.

I wyll somewhat speke of the scholer's maners or duty : for maners (as they say) maketh man. De discipulorum moribus pauca contexam. Nam mores (ut aiunt) hominem exornant.” Vulgaria Roberti Whittintoni Lichfieldens. 4to. 1521, fo. 38.

(10) shallow man! God make incision in thee! thou art raw] Enlarge, open thy mind. Mr. Steevens thinks it may have reference to the proverbial expression of “ cutting for the simples." Raw is inexperienced.

And yet but raw neither, in respect of his quick sail.” And why do we wrap this gentleman in our more rawer breath?” Haml. V. 2a., and see Pericl. IV. 3. Pandar.

(11) the fair of Rosalind] i. e. the fair face, or beauty, of Rosalind.

These damsels, circling with their brightsome fuires “ The love-sicke god."

Lodge's Scillues Metamorph. 4to. 1584, sign. A 2, b. “ Was any nimph, you nimphes, was ever any, “ That tangled not her fingers in my tresse ? " Some wel I wot; and of that some full many “ Wisht, or my faire, or their desire were lesse."

Ib. signat. B. See L. L. L. IV. 1. Princ., and V. 2. Rosal., and Com. of Err. 11. 1. Adria.

(12) the right butter-woman's rank to market] Rank means the jog-trot rate (as it is vulgarly called) with which butterwomen uniformly travel one after another in their road to market: in its application to Orlando's poetry, it means a set or string of verses in the sume coarse cadence and vulgar uniformity of rythm. WHITER. In the same sense we have, “ The rank of oziers by the murmuring stream."

IV. 3. Celia. i. e. the range, line or file of them. Mr. Steevens finds in Churchyard repeated mention of " a kind of ridynge rime :" and Puttenham, in his Arte of Engl. Poesie, says, that “ Chaucer's meetre heroical of Troilus and Creseid is very grave and stately, keeping the staffe of seven, and the verse of ten, his other verses of the Canterbury Tales be but riding rime; neverthe lesse, very well becoming the matter of that pleasaunt pilgrimage." 4to. 1589, p. 50.

(13) This is the very false gallop of verses] So, in Nashe's Apologie of Pierce Pennilesse, 4to. 1593 : “ I would trot a false gallop through the rest of his ragged verses, but that if I should retort the rime doggrell aright, I must make my verses (as he doth his) run hobbling, like a brewer's cart upon the stones, and observe no measure in their feet." Malone.

(14) the earliest fruit--for you'll be rutten ere you be half ripe] Quickest in coming to its perfection. The allusion, says Mr. Pye, is to early progress to decay, in which it is proverbially co much earlier than other fruits, that it even precedes its ripeness. Comm. on Comment. p. 84; and hence your best virtue, le would

say, will be no better than premature rottenness. (15) civil sayings) The language of civilization. “ That the rude sea grew civil at her song."

M. N. Dr. II. 2. Ober. “ If you were civil, and knew courtesy." Ib. III. 2. See Tw. N. III. 4. Oliv.

« AnteriorContinuar »