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Make an extent upon his house and lands : 6
ORL. Hang there,my verse, in witness of my love:
And, thou, thrice-crowned queen of night, survey With thy chaste eye, from thỹ pale sphere above, Thy huntress' name, that my
full life doth sway."
6 And let
my officers of such a nature Make an extent upon his house and lands:] “ To make an extent of lands,” is a legal phrase, from the words of a writ, (extendi facias,) whereby the sheriff is directed to cause certain lands to be appraised to their full extended value, before he delivers them to the person entitled under a recognizance, &c. in order that it may be certainly known how soon the debt will be paid. MALONE.
expediently,] That is, expeditiously. JOHNSON. Expedient, throughout our author's plays, signifies--expeditious. So, in King John:
“ His marches are expedient to this town.” Again, in King Richard II: “ Are making hither with all due expedience."
STEEVENS. 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,
JOHNSON. that my full life doth sway.] So, in Twelfth Night: « M.O.A.1. doth sway my life.” STEEVENS.
O Rosalind! these trees shall be my books,
And in their barks my thoughts I'll character ; That every eye, which in this forest looks,
Shall see thy virtue witness'd every where. Run, run, Orlando; carve, on every tree, The fair, the chaste, and unexpressive' she. (Exit.
Enter Corin and TouchSTONE. Cor. And how, like you this shepherd's life, master Touchstone?
Touch. Truly, shepherd, in respect of itself, it is a good life; but in respect that it is a shepherd's life, it is naught. In respect that it is solitary, I like it very well; but in respect that it is private, it is a very vile life. Now, in respect it is in the fields, it pleaseth me well; but in respect it is not in the court, it is tedious. As it is a spare life, look
you, it fits my humour well; but as there is no more plenty in it, it goes much against my stomach. Hast any philosophy in thee, shepherd?
Cor. No more, but that I know, the more one sickens, the worse at ease he is; and that he that wants money, means, and content, is without three good friends:- That the property of rain is to wet, and fire to burn: That good pasture makes fat sheep; and that a great cause of the night, is lack of the sun: That he, that hath learned no wit by
unexpressive -] For inexpressible. JOHNSON. Milton also, in his Hymn on the Nativity, uses unexpressive for inexpressible :
“ Harping with loud and solemn quire,
nature nor art, may complain of good breeding, or comes of a very dull kindred.?
Touch. Such a one is a natural philosopher.” Wast ever in court, shepherd ?
Cor. No, truly.
Touch. Truly, thou art damn'd; like an illroasted egg,' all on one side.
he, that hath learned no wit by nature nor art, may complain of good breeding, or comes of a very dull kindred.] I am in doubt whether the custom of the language in Shakspeare's time did not authorise this mode of speech, and make complain of good breeding the same with complain of the want of good breeding. In the last line of The Merchant of Venice we find that to fear the keeping is to fear the not keeping.
JOHNSON I think he means rather--may complain of a good education, for being so inefficient, of so little use to him. MALONE.
3 Such a one is a natural philosopher.] The shepherd had said all the philosophy he knew was the property of things, that rain wetted, fire burnt, &c. And the Clown's" reply, in a satire on physicks or natural philosophy, though introduced with a quibble, is extremely just. For the natural philosopher is indeed as ignorant (notwithstanding all his parade of knowledge) of the efficient cause of things, as the rustic. It appears, from a thousand instances, that our poet was well acquainted with the physicks of his time; and his great penetration enabled him to see this remediless defect of it. WARBURTON.
Shakspeare is responsible for the quibble only, let the commentator answer for the refinement. STEEVENS.
The Clown calls Corin a natural philosopher, because he reasons from his observations on nature. M. Mason.
A natural being a common term for a fool, Touchstone, perhaps, means to quibble on the word. He may however only mean, that Corin is a self-taught philosopher; the disciple of nature. MALONE.
like an ill-roasted egg,] Of this jest I do not fully comprehend the meaning. Johnson.
Cor. For not being at court? Your reason.
Touch. Why, if thou never wast at court, thou never saw'st good manners; if thou never saw'st good manners, then thy manners must be wicked; and wickedness is sin, and sin is damnation : Thou art in a parlous state, shepherd.
Cor. Not a whit, Touchstone: those, that are good manners at the court, are as ridiculous in the country, as the behaviour of the country is most mockable at the court. You told me, you salute not at the court, but you kiss your hands; that courtesy would be uncleanly, 'if courtiers were shepherds.
Touch. Instance, briefly; come, instance.
COR. Why, we are still handling our ewes; and their fells, you know, are greasy.
Touch. Why, do not your courtier's hands sweat? and is not the grease of a mutton as wholesome as the sweat of a man? Shallow, shallow: A better instance, I say; come.
There is a proverb, that a fool is the best roaster of an egg, because he is always turning it. This will explain how an egg may be damn'd all on one side ; but will not sufficiently show how Touchstone applies his simile with propriety; unless he means that he who has not been at court is but half educated.
STEEVENS. I believe there was nothing intended in the corresponding part of the simile, to answer to the words, “ all on one side.” Shakspeare's similes (as has been already observed) hardly ever run on four feet. Touchstone, I apprehend, only means to say, that Corin is completely damned; as irretrievably destroyed as an egg that is utterly spoiled in the roasting, by being done all on one side only. So, in a subsequent scene, “ and both in a tune, like two gypsies on a horse." Here the poet certainly meant that the speaker and his companion should sing in unison, and. thus resemble each other as perfectly as two gypsies on a horse ; not that two gypsies on a horse sing both in a tune. MALONE.
COR. Besides, our hands are hard.
Touch. Your lips will feel them the sooner. Shallow, again: A more sounder instance, come.
CoR. And they are often tarr'd over with the surgery of our sheep; And would you have us kiss tar? The courtier's hands are perfumed with civet.
Touch. Most shallow man! Thou worms-meat, in respect of a good piece of flesh : Indeed!-Learn of the wise, and perpend: Civet is of a baser birth than tar; the very uncleanly flux of a cat. Mend the instance, shepherd.
Cor. You have too courtly a wit for me; I'll rest.
Touch. Wilt thou rest damn'd? God help thee, shallow man! God make incision in thee ! 5 thou art raw.6
make incision in thee!] To make incision was a proverbial expression then in vogue for, to make to understand. So, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Humorous Lieutenant :
() excellent king,
“ And so proceeds to incision”-
WARBURTON. Till I read Dr. Warburton's note, I thought the allusion had been to that common expression, of cutting such a one for the simples; and I must own, after consulting the passage in the Humorous Lieutenant, I have no reason to alter my supposition. The editors of Beaumont and Fletcher declare the phrase to be unintelligible in that, as well as in another play where it is introduced. I find the same expression in Monsieur Thomas :
“ We'll bear the burthen : proceed to incision, fidler." Again, (as I learn from a memorandum of my
late friend, . Dr. Farmer,) in The Times Whistle, or a new Daunce of Seven Satires : MS. about the end of Queen Eliz. by R.C. Gent. now at Canterbury: The Prologue ends