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Lor. The reason is, your spirits are attentive: For do but note a wild and wanton herd, Or race of youthful and unhandled colts, Fetching mad bounds, bellowing, and neighing loud, Which is the hot condition of their blood; If they but hear perchance a trumpet sound, Or any air of musick touch their ears, You shall perceive them make a mutual stand, 6 Their savage eyes turn'd to a modest gaze, By the sweet power of musick: Therefore, the poet Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and floods; Since nought so stockish, hard, and full of rage, But musick for the time doth change his nature: The man that hath no musick in himself, Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds,?
undeterminable) was occasionally affixed to the words sweet and sweetness. Thus, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, we have “a sweet mouth;" and in Measure for Measure, we are told of
“ Their saucy sweetness that de coin heaven's image,
“ In stamps that are forbid.” If, in the speech under consideration, Jessica only employs the term sweet in one of its common senses, it seems inadequate to the effects assigned to it; and the following passage in Horace's Art of Poetry, is as liable to the same objection, unless dulcia be supposed to mean interesting, or having such command over our passions, as musick merely sweet can never obtain:
“ Non satis est pulchra esse poemata, dulcia sunto,
You shall perceive them make a mutual stand, &c.] We find the same thought in The Tempest:
“ Then I beat my tabor,
“ As they smelt musick.” Malone.
Nor is not mou'd with concord, of sweet sounds,] The thought here is extremely fine; as if the being affected with musick was only the harmony between the internal [musick in himself) and the external musick (concord of sweet sounds ;] which were mutually affected like unison strings. This whole speech could not
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils;
choose but please an English audience, whose great passion, as well then as now, was love of musick. “Jam verò video naturam (says Erasmus in praise of Folly) ut singulis nationibus, ac pene civitatibus, communem quandam insevisse Philautiam: atque hinc fieri, ut Britanni, præter alia, Formam, Musicam, & lautas Mensas propriè sibi vindicent.” Warburton.
This passage, which is neither pregnant with physical and moral truth, nor poetically beautiful in an eminent degree, has con. stantly enjoyed the good fortune to be repeated by those whose inhospitable memories would have refused to admit or retain any other sentiment or description of the same author, however ex. alted or just. The truth is, that it furnishes the vacant fiddler with something to say in defence of his profession, and supplies the coxcomb in musick with an invective against such as do not pretend to discover all the various powers of language in inarti. culate sounds.
Our ancient statutes have often received their best comment by means of reference to the particular occasion on which they were framed. Dr. Warburton has therefore properly accounted for Shakspeare's seeming partiality to this amusement. He might have added, that Peacham requires of his Gentleman only to be able “to sing his part sure, and at first sight, and withal to play the same on a viol or lute.”
Let not, however, this capricious sentiment of Shakspeare descend to posterity, unattended by the opinion of the late Lord Chesterfield on the same subject. In his 148th letter to his son, who was then at Venice, his lordship, after having enumerated musick among the illiberal pleasures, addsm" if you love musick, hear it; go to operas, concerts, and pay fiddlers to play to you; but I must insist upon your neither piping nor fiddling yourself. It puts a gentleman in a very frivolous and contemptible light; brings him into a great deal of bad company, and takes up a great deal of time, which might be much better employed. Few things would mortify me more, than to see you bearing a part in a concert, with a fiddle under your chin, or a pipe in your mouth.” Again, Letter 153: “A taste of sculpture and painting is, in my mind, as becoming as a taste of fiddling and piping is unbecom. ing a man of fashion. The former is connected with history and poetry, the latter with nothing but bad company.” Again :* Painting and sculpture are very justly called liberal arts; a lively and strong imagination, together with a just observation, being absolutely necessary to excel in either; which in my opinion, is by no means the case of musick, though called a liberal art, and now in Italy placed above the other two; a proof of the decline of that country.” Ibidem. Steevens.
Enter PORTIA and NERISSA, at a distance.
Ner. When the moon shone, we did not see the candle.
Por. So doth the greater glory dim the less:
Ner. It is your musick, madam, of the house. · Por. Nothing is good, I see, without respect;& Methinks, it sounds much sweeter than by day.
Ner. Silence bestows that virtue on it, madam.
Por. The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark,
8 without respect;] Not absolutely good, but relatively good as it is modified by circumstances. Fohnson. 9 The nightingale, &c. So, in our author's 102d Sonnet: “Our love was new, and then but in the spring,
“When I was wont to greet it with my lays; “ As Philomel in summer's front doth sing,
“ And stops his pipe in growth of riper days; “ Not that the summer is less pleasant now,
« Than when her mournful bymns did hush the night; “ But that wild musick burdens every bough,
“ And sweets grown common lose their dear delight." Malone. 1 Peace, hoa! the moon sleeps with Endymion,
And would not be awak'd! ] The old copies read-Peace! how, &c. For the emendation now made I am answerable. The odda ness of the phrase, “ How the moon would not be awak'd !" first made me suspect the passage to be corrupt; and the following lines in Romeo and Juliet suggested the emendation, and appear to me to put it beyond a doubt:
“ Peace, hoa, for shame! confusion's cure lives not
“ In these confusions.” Again, in As you Like it, Act I:
“ Peace, hoa! I bar confusion,”
That is the voice, Or I am much deceiv’d, of Portia.
Por. He knows me, as the blind man knows the cuckoo, By the bad voice. Lor.
Dear lady, welcome home.
Madam, they are not yet;
Go in, Nerissa,
Lor. Your husband is at hand, I hear his trumpet: We are no tell-tales, madam; fear you not.
Por. This night, methinks, is but the daylight sick,
Again, in Measure for Measure:
“ Hoa! peace be in this place!” Again, ibid:
“ Peace, hoa, be here !!! In Antony and Cleopatra the same mistake, I think, has happen. ed. In the passage before us, as exhibited in the old copies, there is not a note of admiration after the word awak’d. Portia first enjoins the musick to cease, “ Peace, hoa !” and then subjoins the reason for her injunction: “ The moon,” &c. 39
Mr. Tyrwhitt seems to be of opinion that the interjection Ho was formerly used to command a cessation of noise, as well as of fighting. See Cant. Tales of Chaucer, Vol. IV, p. 230. Malone.
2 A tucket-1 Toccata, Ital. a flourish on a trumpet. Steevens. 3- daylight sick,
It looks a little paler ;-] Hence, perhaps, the following verse in Dryden's Indian Emperor :
“The moon shines clear, and makes a paler day." "Steevens. 1 We should hold day &c.] If you would always walk in the night, it would be day with us, as it now is on the other side of the globe. Malone.
Por. Let me give light,6 but let me not be light; For a light wife doth make a heavy husband, And never be Bassanio so for me; But God sort all! You are welcome home, my lord. Bass. I thank you, madam: give welcome to my
friend. This is the man, this is Antonio, To whom I am so infinitely bound.
Por. You should in all sense be much bound to him, For, as I hear, he was much bound for you.
Ant. No more than I am well acquitted of.
Por. Sir, you are very welcome to our house: It must appear in other ways than words, Therefore, I scant this breathing courtesy.7
(Gra: and NER. seem to talk apart. Gra. By yonder moon, I swear, you do me wrong; In faith, I gave it to the judge's clerk: Would he were gelt that had it, for my part, Since you do take it, love, so much at heart.
5 We should hold day with the Antipodes,
If you would walk in absence of the sun.] Thus, Rowe, in his Ambitious Stepmother :
“ Your eyes, which, could the sun's fair beams decay, “ Might shine for him, and bless the world with day.”
Steevens. 6 Let me gide light, &c.] There is scarcely any word with which Shakspeare so much delights to trifle as with light, in its various significations. Fohnson.
Most of the old dramatic writers are guilty of the same quib. ble. So, Marston, in his Insatiate Countess, 1613:
“By this bright light, that is deriv'd from thee
“So, sir, you make me a very light creature.” Again, Middleton, in A mad World my Masters, 1608.
- more lights - I calld for light: here come in two are light enough for a whole house." Again, in Springes for Woodcocks, a collection of epigrams, 1606:
“ Lais of lighter metal is compos'd
“ Her fingers there prove lighter than her heels.” Steevens. 7_ this breathing courtesy.) This verbal complimentary form, made up only of breath, i. e. words. So, in Timon of Athens, a senator replies to Alcibiades, who had made a long speech :“ You breathe in vain.” Malone. So, in Macbeth:
“ mouth-honour, breath.” Steevens,