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Or for men's sake, the authors of these women;
For charity itself fulfils the law;
And who can sever love from charity?
KING. Saint Cupid, then! and, soldiers, to the field!
BIRON. Advance your standards, and upon them,
Pell-mell, down with them! but be first advis'd,
"For women's sake, by whom we men are men;
"Or for men's sake, the authors of these women."
The antithesis of a word that all men love, and a word which loves all men, though in itself worth little, has much of the spirit of this play. JOHNSON.
There will be no difficulty, if we correct it to, "men's sakes, the authors of these words. FARMER.
I think no alteration should be admitted in these four lines, that destroys the artificial structure of them, in which, as has been observed by the author of The Revisal, the word which terminates every line is prefixed to the word sake in that immediately following. TOLLET.
- a word that loves all men ; i. e. that is pleasing to all men. So, in the language of our author's time:-it likes me well, for it pleases me. Shakspeare uses the word thus licentiously, merely for the sake of the antithesis. Men in the following line are with sufficient propriety said to be authors of women, and these again of men, the aid of both being necessary to the continuance of human kind. There is surely, therefore, no need of any of the alterations that have been proposed to be made in these lines. MALONE.
3 -the AUTHORS] Old copies-author. The emendation was suggested by Dr. Johnson. MALONE.
4 Advance your standards, and upon them, lords ;] So, in King Richard III. :
Advance our standards, set upon our foes
5 but be first advis'd,
In conflict that you get the sun of them.] In the days of archery, it was of consequence to have the sun at the back of the bowmen, and in the face of the enemy. This circumstance was
LONG. Now to plain-dealing; lay these glozes
Shall we resolve to woo these girls of France ?
KING. And win them too: therefore let us devise Some entertainment for them in their tents.
BIRON. First, from the park let us conduct them thither;
Then, homeward, every man attach the hand
We will with some strange pastime solace them,
And justice always whirls in equal measure: Light wenches may prove plagues to men forsworn ; If so, our copper buys no better treasure 8.
of great advantage to our Henry the Fifth at the battle of Agincourt. Our poet, however, I believe, had also an equivoque in his thoughts. MALONE.
6 Fore-run fair LovE,] i. e. Venus. So, in Antony and
Now for the love of Love, and her soft hours —.”
MALONE. "Sow'd cockle reap'd no corn ;] This proverbial expression intimates, that beginning with perjury, they can expect to reap nothing but falsehood. The following lines lead us to the sense. WARBURTON.
Dr. Warburton's first interpretation of this passage, which is preserved in Mr. Theobald's edition,-" if we don't take the proper measures for winning these ladies, we shall never achieve them," is undoubtedly the true one. HEATH.
Mr. Edwards, however, approves of Dr. Warburton's second thoughts. MALONE,
8 If so, our copper buys no better treasure.] Here Mr. Theobald ends the third Act. JOHNSON.
ACT V. SCENE I.
Another part of the Same.
Enter HOLOFERNES, Sir NATHANIEL, and DULL. HoL. Satis quod sufficit.
NATH. I praise God for you, sir: your reasons at dinner have been1 sharp and sententious; pleasant without scurrility, witty without affection 2, audacious without impudency, learned without opinion, and strange without heresy. I did converse this quondam day with a companion of the king's, who is intituled, nominated, or called, Don Adriano de Armado.
9 Satis quod sufficit.] i. e. Enough's as good as a feast.
your reasons at dinner have been, &c.] I know not well what degree of respect Shakspeare intends to obtain for his vicar, but he has here put into his mouth a finished representation of colloquial excellence. It is very difficult to add any thing to his character of the schoolmaster's table-talk, and perhaps all the precepts of Castiglione will scarcely be found to comprehend a rule for conversation so justly delineated, so widely dilated, and so nicely limited.
It may be proper just to note, that reason here, and in many other places, signifies discourse; and that audacious is used in a good sense for spirited, animated, confident. Opinion is the same with obstinacy or opiniatreté. JOHNSON.
So again, in this play:
"Yet fear not thou, but speak audaciously."
Audacious was not always used by our ancient writers in a bad sense. It means no more here, and in the following instance from Ben Jonson's Silent Woman, than liberal or commendable boldness:
"-she that shall be my wife,
must be accomplished with
courtly and audacious ornaments." STEEVENS.
- without AFFECTION,] i. e. without affectation. So, in Hamlet: "No matter that might indite the author of affection." Again, in Twelfth-Night, Malvolio is called "an affection'd ass.
HOL. Novi hominem tanquam te: His humour is lofty, his discourse peremptory, his tongue filed3, his eye ambitious, his gait majestical, and his general behaviour vain, ridiculous, and thrasonical 1. He is too picked, too spruce, too affected, too odd, as it were, too perigrinate, as I may call it.
3 his tongue FILED,] Chaucer, Skelton, and Spenser, are frequent in the use of this phrase. Ben Jonson has it likewise. STEEVENS. thrasonical.] The use of the word thrasonical is no argument that the author had read Terence. It was introduced to our language long before Shakspeare's time. FARMER.
It is found in Bullokar's Expositor, 8vo. 1616. MALONE.
5 He is too PICKED,] To have the beard piqued or shorn so as to end in a point, was, in our author's time, a mark of a traveller affecting foreign fashions: so says the Bastard in King John: I catechise
My piqued man of countries." See a note on King John, Act I. and another on King Lear, where the reader will find the epithet piqued differently spelt and interpreted.
Piqued may allude to the length of the shoes then worn. Bulwer, in his Artificial Changeling, says: "We weare our forked shoes almost as long again as our feete, not a little to the hindrance of the action of the foote; and not only so, but they prove an impediment to reverentiall devotion, for our bootes and shooes are so long snouted, that we can hardly kneele in God's house." STEEVENS.
I believe picked (for so it should be written) signifies nicely drest in general, without reference to any particular fashion of dress. It is a metaphor taken from birds, who dress themselves by picking out or pruning their broken or superfluous feathers. So Chaucer uses the word, in his description of Damian dressing himself, Canterbury Tales, v. 9885: "He kembeth him, he proineth him and piketh." And Shakspeare, in this very play, uses the corresponding word pruning for dressing, Act IV. Sc. III.: or spend a minute's time
"In pruning me—.”
The substantive pickedness is used by Ben Jonson for nicety in dress. Discoveries, vol. vii. Whalley's edit. p. 116:
much pickedness is not manly."
Again, in Nashe's Apologie of Pierce Penniless, 1593: “ he might have showed a picked effeminate carpet knight, under the fictionate person of Hermaphroditus." MALONE.
NATH. A most singular and choice epithet.
[Takes out his table-book.
HOL. He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument. I abhor such fanatical phantasms, such insociable and pointdevise companions; such rackers of orthography, as to speak, dout, fine, when he should say, doubt; det, when he should pronounce, debt; d, e, b, t; not, d, e, t: he clepeth a calf, cauf; half, hauf; neighbour, vocatur, nebour; neigh, abbreviated, ne: This is abhominable, (which he would call abominable,) it insinuateth me of insanie'; Ne intelligis domini? to make frantick, lunatick.
6-phantasms,] See Act IV. Sc. I.:
"A phantasm, a Monarcho —.” STEEVENS. 7-point-devise-] A French expression for the utmost, or finical exactness. So, in Twelfth Night, Malvolio says:
"I will be point-device, the very man.”
8 This is abhominable, &c.] He has here well imitated the language of the most redoubtable pedants of that time. sort of occasions, Joseph Scaliger used to break out :-" Abominor, execror. Asinitas mera est, impietas," &c. and calls his adversary: "Lutum stercore maceratum, dæmoniacum recrementum inscitiæ, sterquilinium, stercus diaboli, scarabæum, larvam, pecus postremum bestiarum, infame propudium, xalapa." WARBURTON. Shakspeare knew nothing of this language; and the resemblance which Dr. Warburton finds, if it deserves that title, is quite accidental. It is far more probable, that he means to ridicule the foppish manner of speaking, and affected pronunciation, introduced at court by Lyly and his imitators. STEEVENS.
abhominable," Thus the word is constantly spelt in the old moralities and other antiquated books. So, in Lusty Juventus, 1561:
"And then I will bryng in
9 it insinuateth me of INSANIE; &c.] In former editions,— "it insinuateth me of infamie: Ne intelligis, Domine? to make frantick, lunatick.
Nath. Laus Deo, bone intelligo.
"Hol. Bome, boon for boon Priscian; a little scratch, 'twill
Why should infamy be explained by making frantick, lunatick? It is plain and obvious that the poet intended the pedant