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CoR. Sir, I am a true labourer; I earn that I eat, get that I wear; owe no man hate, envy no man's happiness; glad of other men's good, content with my harm: and the greatest of my pride is, to see my ewes graze, and my lambs suck.
Touch. That is another simple sin in you; to bring the ewes and the rams together, and to offer to get your living by the copulation of cattle : to be bawd to a bell-wether; and to betray a shelamb of a twelvemonth, to a crooked-pated, old, cuckoldly ram, out of all reasonable match. If thou be'st not damn'd for this, the devil himself will have no shepherds; I cannot see else how thou shouldst 'scape.
Cor. Here comes young master Ganymede, my new mistress's brother.
“ Be stout my heart, my hand be firm and steady;
“ Whilst with my pen I doe incision make." STEEVENS. I believe that Steevens has explained this passage justly, and am certain that Warburton has entirely mistaken the meaning of that which he has quoted from The Humorous Lieutenant, which plainly alludes to the practice of the young gallants of the time, who used to cut themselves in such a manner as to make their blood flow, in order to show their passion for their mistresses, by drinking their healths, or writing verses to them in blood. For a more full explanation of this custom, see a note on Love's Labour's Lost, Act IV. sc. iii. M. Mason.
thou art raw.] i.e. thou art ignorant; unexperienced. So, in Hamlet : “_and yet but raw neither, in respect of his quick sail.” MALONE.
bawd to a bell-wether;] Wether and ram had anciently the same meaning. Johnson.
Enter Rosalind, reading a paper.
Ros. From the east to western Ind,
No jewel is like Rosalind.
Touch. I'll rhyme you so, eight years together; dinners, and suppers, and sleeping hours excepted: it is the right butter-woman's rank to market.'
&-fairest lin'd,] i. e. most fairly delineated. Modern editors read-limn'd, but without authority, from the ancient copies. STEEVENS.
• But the fair of Rosalind.] Thus the old copy. Fair is beauty, complexion. See the notes on a passage in The Midsummer Night's Dream, Act I. sc. i. and The Comedy of Errors, Act II. sc. i. The modern editors read the face of Rosalind. Lodge's Novel will likewise support the ancient reading:
“ Then muse not, nymphes, though I bemone
“ Since for her faire there is fairer none,” &c.
STEEVENS. Face was introduced by Mr. Pope. MALONE. rank to market,] Sir T. Hanmer reads-rate to market.
Johnson. Dr. Grey, as plausibly, proposes to read-rant.
« Gyll brawled like a butter-whore," is a line in an ancient medley. The sense designed, however, might have been—" it is such wretched rhyme as the butter-woman sings as she is riding to market.” So, in Churchyard's Charge, 1580, p. 7:
“ And use a kinde of ridynge rime"
Ros. Out, fool !
If a hart do lack a hind,
Again, in his Farewell from the Courte : -- A man maie,” says
use a kinde of ridyng rime “ To sutche as wooll not let me clime.” Ratt-ryme, however, in Scotch, signifies some verse repeated by rote. See Ruddiman's Glossary to G. Douglas's Virgil.
STEEVENS. The Clown is here speaking in reference to the ambling pace of the metre, which, after giving a specimen of, to prove his assertion, he affirms to be “ the very false gallop of verses.”
HENLEY. I am now persuaded that Sir T. Hanmer's emendation is right. The hobbling metre of these verses, (says Touchstone,) is like the ambling, shuffling pace of a butter-woman's horse, going to market. The same kind of imagery is found in K. Henry IV. P.I:
“ And that would set my teeth nothing on edge,
“ 'Tis like the forc'd gait of a shuffling nag.” Malone, “ The right butter-woman's rank to market” means the jogtrot rate (as it is vulgarly called) with which butter-women 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 same coarse cadence and vulgar uniformity of rythm.
This is the very false gallop of verses ;? Why do you infect yourself with them?
Ros. Peace, you dull fool; I found them on a tree.
Touch. Truly, the tree yields bad fruit.
Ros. I'll graff it with you, and then I shall graff it with a medlar : then it will be the earliest fruit 3 in the country: for you'll be rotten e'er you be half ripe, and that's the right virtue of the medlar.
Touch. You have said ; but whether wisely or no, let the forest judge.
Enter CELIA, reading a paper.
· 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.
-the earliest fruit—] Shakspeare seems to have had little knowledge in gardening. The medlar is one of the latest fruits, being uneatable till the end of November. STEEVENS.
CEL. Why should this desert silent be?'
For it is unpeopled? No;
That shall civil sayings show."
Runs his erring pilgrimage;
Buckles in his sum of age.
Twixt the souls of friend and friend:
Or at every sentence' end,
* Why should this desert silent be?] This is commonly printed
Why should this a desert be? But although the metre may be assisted by this correction, the sense still is defective ; for how will the hanging of tongues on every tree, make it less a desert? I am persuaded we ought to read:
Why should this desert silent be? TYRWHITT. The notice which this emendation deserves, I have paid to it, by inserting it in the text. STEEVENS.
* That shall civil sayings show.) Civil is here used in the same sense as when we say civil wisdom or civil life, in opposition to a solitary state, or to the state of nature. This desert shall not appear unpeopled, for every tree shall teach the maxims or incidents of social life. Johnson.
Civil, I believe, is not designedly opposed to solitary. It means only grave, or solemn. So, in Twelfth-Night, Act III.
“ Where is Malvolio? he is sad and civil.”
and demure. Again, in A Woman's Prize, by Beaumont and Fletcher :
“ That fourteen yards of satin give my woman ;