Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

circle. I'll go sleep if I can; if I cannot, I'll rail against all the first-born of Egypt.?

AMI. And I'll go seek the duke; his banquet is prepar'd.

[Exeunt severally.

SCENE VI.

The same.

Enter ORLANDO and ADAM.

ADAM. Dear master, I can go no further : 0, I die for food! Here lie I down, and measure out my grave. Farewell, kind master.

ORL. Why, how now, Adam! no greater heart in thee? Live a little ; comfort a little; cheer thyself a little: If this uncouth forest yield any thing savage,

I will either be food for it, or bring it for food to thee. Thy conceit is nearer death than thy powers. For my sake, be comfortable ; hold death awhile at the arm's end: I will here be with thee presently; and if I bring thee not something to eat, I'll give thee leave to die: but if thou diest before

: - the first-born of Egypt.] A proverbial expression for high-born persons. Johnson.

The phrase is scriptural, as well as proverbial. So, in Exodus, xii. 29: “ And the Lord smote all the first-born in Egypt.

STEEVENS. 3 Here lie I down, and measure out my grave.] So, in Romeo and Juliet :

fall

upon the ground, as I do now, Taking the measure of an unmade grave.”

STEEVENS.

I come, thou art a mocker of my labour. Well said! thou look’st cheerily: and I'll be with thee quickly.—Yet thou liest in the bleak air: Come, I will bear thee to some shelter ; and thou shalt not die for lack of a dinner, if there live any thing in this desert. Cheerly, good Adam ! [Exeunt.

SCENE VII.

The same.

A table set out. Enter Duke senior, AMIENS,

Lords, and others.

DUKE S. I think he be transform'd into a beast For I can no where find him like a man.

1 LORD. My lord, he is but even now gone hence; Here was he merry, hearing of a song.

DUKE S. If he, compact of jars, grow musical, We shall have shortly discord in the spheres : Go, seek him ; tell him, I would speak with him.

Enter JAQUES.

1 Lord. He saves my labour by his own approach.

-compact of jars,] i. e, made up of discords. In The Comedy of Errors, we have a compact of credit," for made up of credulity. Again, in Woman is a Weathercock, 1612:

like gilded tombs Compacted of jet pillars." The same expression occurs also in Tamburlane, 1590:

Compact of rapine, piracy, and spoil.” Steevens.

DUKE S. Why, how now, monsieur! what a life

is this, That your poor friends must woo your company? What!

you

look merrily. JAQ. A fool, a fool! I met a fool i' the forest, A motley fool ;-a miserable world! 5. As I do live by food, I met a fool; Who laid him down and bask'd him in the sun, And rail'd on lady Fortune in good terms, In good set terms,--and yet a motley fool. Good-morrow, fool, quoth I: No, sir, quoth he, Call me not fool, till heaven hath sent me fortune : 6

A motley fool ; ;-a miserable world !] What! because he met a motley fool, was it therefore a miserable world? This is sadly blundered; we should read :

a miserable varlet. His head is altogether running on this fool, both before and after these words, and here he calls him a miserable varlet, notwithstanding he railed on lady Fortune in good terms, &c. Nor is the change we may make, so great as appears at first sight.

WARBURTON. I see no need of changing world to varlet, nor, if a change were necessary, can I guess how it should certainly be known that varlet is the true word. A miserable world is a parenthetical exclamation, frequent among melancholy men, and natural to Jaques at the sight of a fool, or at the hearing of reflections on the fragility of life. Johnson.

Call me not fool, till heaven hath sent me fortune:) Fortuna favet fatuis, is, as Mr. Upton observes, the saying here alluded to; or, as in Publius Syrus:

Fortuna, nimium quem foret, stultum facit.So, in the Prologue to The Alchemist :

“ Fortune, that favours fooles, these two short houres

66 We wish away.”
Again, in Every Man out of his Humour, Act I. sc. iii:

Sog. Why, who am I, sir?
« Mac. One of those that fortune favours.
Car, The periphrasis of a foole.” REED,

66

And then he drew a dial from his poke;
And looking on it with lack-lustre eye,
Says, very wisely, It is ten o'clock :
Thus may we see, quoth he, how the world wags :
'Tis but an hour ago, since it was nine ;
And after an hour more, 'twill be eleven ;
And so, from hour to hour, we ripe and ripe,
And then, from hour to hour, we rot, and rot,
And thereby hangs a tale. When I did hear
The motley fool thus moral on the time,
My lungs began to crow like chanticleer,
That fools should be so deep-contemplative;
And I did laugh, sans intermission,
An hour by his dial.- noble fool!
A worthy fool! Motley's the only wear.?

DUKE S. What fool is this?
JAQ. O worthy fool!-One that hath been a

courtier ;
And says, if ladies be but young, and fair,
They have the gift to know it: and in his brain,-
Which is as dry as the remainder bisket
After a voyage,ếhe hath strange places cramm’d

7

Motley's the only wear.] It would have been unnecessary to repeat that a motley, or party-coloured coat, was anciently the dress of a fool, had not the editor of Ben Jonson's works been mistaken in his comment on the 53d Epigram:

where, out of motly's, he “ Could save that line to dedicate to thee?Motly, says Mr. Whalley, is the man who out of any odd mixture, or old scraps, could save, &c. whereas it means only, Who, kt a fool, i. e. one in a suit of motley, &c.

See Fig. XII. in the plate at the end of T'he First Part of King Henry IV. with Mr. Tollet's explanation.

The observation-Motley's the only wear, might have been suggested to Shakspeare by the following line in the 4th Satire of Donne:

“ Your only wearing is your grogaram." STEEVENS. VOL. VIII.

F

With observation, the which he vents
In mangled forms :-0, that I were a fool!
I am ambitious for a motley coat.

DUKE S. Thou shalt have one.
JAQ.

It is my only suit;:
Provided, that you weed your better judginents
Of all opinion that grows rank in them,
That I am wise. I must have liberty
Withal, as large a charter as the wind,
To blow on whom I please; for so fools have:
And they that are most galled with my folly,
They most must laugh: And why,sir, must they so?
The why is plain as way to parish church:
He, that a fool doth very wisely hit,
Doth very foolishly, although he smart,
Not to seem senseless of the bob :' if not,
The wise man's folly is anatomiz'd
Even by the squandring glances of the fool.

2

9

-only suit;] Suit means petition, I believe, not dress.

Johnson, The poet meant a quibble. So, Act V: “ Not out of your apparel, but out of your suit.

suit." STEEVENS. --as large a charter as the wind,] So, in King Henry V:

“ The wind, that charter'd libertine, is still. MALONE. Not to seem senseless of the bob:] The old copies read only - Seem senseless, &c. Not to were supplied by Mr. Theobald. See the following note. STEEVENS.

Besides that the third verse is defective one whole foot in measure, the tenour of what Jaques continues to say, and the reasoning of the passage, show it no less defective in the sense. There is no doubt, but the two little monosyllables, which I have supplied, were either by accident wanting in the manuscript, or by inadvertence were left out. THEOBALD.

if not, &c.] Unless men have the prudence not to appear touched with the sarcasms of a jester, they subject themselves to his power; and the wise man will have his folly anatomised, that is, dissected and laid open, by the squandring glances or random shots of a fool. Johnson.

« AnteriorContinuar »