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Jaq, Go thou with me, and let me counsel thee.
Touch. Come, sweet Audrey;
Not_0 sweet Oliver,
O brave Oliver, 8
Begone, I say,
[Exeunt Jaq. Touch. and Aud.
· Not- sweet Oliver,
O brave &c.] Some words of an old ballad. Warburton. Of this speech as it now appears, I can make nothing, and think nothing can be made. In the same breath he calls his mistress to be married, and sends away the man that should marry them. Dr. Warburton has very happily observed, that O sweet Oliver is a quotation from an old song; I believe there are two quotations put in opposition to each other. For wind I read wend, the old word for go. Perhaps the whole passage may be regulated thus:
Clo. I am not in the mind, but it were better for ine to be married of him than of another, for he is not like to marry me well, and not being well married, it will be a good excuse for me hereafter to leave my wife.-Come, sweet Audrey; we must be married, or we must live in bawdry.
Jaq. Go thou with me, and let me counsel thee. [They whisper.
Clo. Farewel, good sir Oliver, not O sweet Oliver, O brave Oli.ver, leave me not behind thee, -but
Begone, I say, I will not to wedding with thee to-day. Of this conjecture the reader may take as much as shall appear necessary to the sense, or conducive to the humour. I have received all but the additional words. The song seems to be com- plete without them. Johnson.
The Clown dismisses Sir Oliver only because Jáques had" alarmed his pride, and raised his doubts, concerning the validity of a marriage solemnized by one who appears only in the character of an itinerant preacher. He inte afterwards to have recourse to some other of more dignity in the same profession. Dr. Johnson's opinion, that the latter part of the Clown's speech is only a repetition from some other ballad, or perhaps a different part of the same, is, I believe, just.
O brave Oliver, leave me not behind you, is a quotation at the beginning of one of N. Breton's Letters, in his Packet, &c. 1600.
Sir Oli. 'Tis no matter; ne'er å fantastical knave of them all shall flout me out of my calling. [Exit.
That Touchstone influenced by the counsel of Jaques, may be inferred from the subsequent dialogue between the former and Audrey, Act V, sc. i:
Touch. We shall find a time, Audrey; patience, gentle Aud. rey.
Aud. 'Faith, the priest was good enough, for all the old gentleman's saying. Malone.
O sweet Oliver. The epithet of sweet seems to have been peculiarly appropriated to Oliver, for which, perhaps, he was originally obliged to the old song before us. No more of it, how. ever, than these two lines has as yet been produced. See Ben Jonson's Underwood:
“ All the mad Rolands and sweet Olivers." And, in Every Man in his Humour, p. 88, is the same allusion:
“ Do not stink, sweet Oliver.” Tyrwhitt. In the books of the Stationers' Company, Aug. 6, 1584, was entered, by Richard Jones, the ballad of
“O sweete Olyver
" Leave me not behinde thee." Again: “ The answere of O sweete Olyver." Again, in 1586: “O sweete Olyver altered to the Scriptures.”
Steevens. I often find a part of this song applied to Cromwell. In a paper called, A Man in the Moon, discovering a World of Kravery under the Sun, “the juncto will go near to give us the bagge, if o brave Oliver come not suddenly to relieve them.” The same al· lusion is met with in Cleveland. Wind away and wind off are still
used provincially: and, I believe, nothing but the provincial pronunciation is wanting to join the parts together. i read:
Not-- sweet Oliver !
O brave Oliver!
Begone, I say, I will not to wedding wi' thee. Farmer. To produce the necessary rhyme, and conform to the pronun. ciation of Shakspeare's native county, I have followed Dr. Farmer's direction. Wind is used for wend in Cæsar and Pompey, 1607:
“Winde we then, Antony, with this royal queen.” Again, in the MS. romance of the Sowdon of Babyloyne, p. 63:
" And we shalle to-morrowe as stil as stoon,
Enter ROSALIND and CELIA.
Cel. Do, I pr’ythee; but yet have the grace to consider, that tears do not become a man.
Ros. But have I not cause to weep?
Cel. As good cause as one would desire; therefore weep.
Ros. His very hair is of the dissembling colour.
marry, his kisses are Judas's own children.
Ros. I' faith, his hair is of a good colour.1
Cel. An excellent colour: your chesnut was ever the only colour.
Ro8. And his kissing is as full of sanctity as the touch of holy bread.2
Cel. He hath bought a pair of cast lips of Diana :3 nun of winter's sisterhood kisses not more religiously; the very ice of chastity is in them.
9 Something browner than Judas's :) See Mr. Tollet's note and mine, on a passage in the fourth scene of the first Act of The Merry Wives of Windsor, from both which it appears that Judas was constantly represented in ancient painting or tapestry, with red hair and beard.
So, in The Insatiate Countess, 1613: "I ever thought by his red beard he would prove a Judas.” Steevens.
1 l'faith, his hair is of a good colour. ] There is much of nature in this petty perverseness of Rosalind: she finds fault in her lover, in hope to be contradicted, and when Celia in sportive malice too readily seconds her accusations, she contradicts herself rather than suffer her favourite to want a vindication.
Fohnson. as the touch of holy bread.) We should read beard, that is, as the kiss of an holy saint or hermit, called the kiss of charity. This makes the comparison just and decent; the other impious and absurd. Warburton.
- a pair of cast lips of Diana:] i. e. a pair left off by DiTheobald.
a nun of winter's sisterhood - ] This is finely expressed. But Mr. Theobald says, the words give him no ideas. And it is certain, that words will never give men what nature has denied them. However, to mend the matter, he stibstitutes Winifred'
Ros. But why did he swear he would come this morning, and comes not?
Cel. Nay certainly, there is no truth in him.
Cel. Yes: I think he is not a pick-purse, nor a horsestealer; but for his verity in love, I do think him as concave as a cover'd goblet,s or a worm-eaten nut.
Ros. Not true in love?
Cel. Was is not is: besides, the oath of a lover is no stronger than the word of a tapster; they are both the confirmers of false reckonings: He attends here in the forest on the duke your
sisterhood. And after so happy a thought, it was to no purpose to tell him there was no religious order of that denomination. The plain truth is, Shakspeare meant an unfruitful sisterhood, which had devoted itself to chastity. For as those who were of the sisterhood of the spring, were the votaries of Venus; those of summer, the votaries of Ceres; those of autumn, of Pomona: sothese of the sisterhood of winter were the votaries of Diana; call. ed, of winter, because that quarter is not, like the other three, productive of fruit or increase. On this account it is, that when the poet speaks of what is most poor, he instances it in winter, in these fine lines of Othello:
“ But riches fineless is as poor as winter
“ To him that ever fears he shall be poor.” The other property of winter, that made him term them of its sisterhood, is its coldness. So, in A Midsummer Night's Dream:
“ To be a barren sister all your life,
Warburton. There is certainly no need of Theobald's conjecture, as Dr. Warburton has most effectually supported the old reading. In one circumstance, however, he is mistaken. The Golden Legend, p. ccci, &c. gives a full account of St. Winifred and her sisterhood. Edit. by Wynkyn de Worde, 1527. Steevens.
- as concave as a cover'd goblet,] Why a cover'd? Because a goblet is never kept cover'd but when empty. Shakspeare never throws out his expressions at random. Warburton.
Warburton asks, “Why a cover'd goblet?”—and answers, “ Because a goblet is never cover'd but when empty.” If that be the case, the cover is of little use; for when empty, it may as well be uncovered. But it is the idea of hollowness, not that of emptiness, that Shakspeare wishes to convey; and a goblet is more completely hollow when covered, than when it is not.
Ros. I met the duke yesterday, and had much questions with him: He asked me, of what parentage I was; I told him, of as good as he; so he laugh’d, and let me go. But what talk we of fathers, when there is such a man as Orlando?
Cel. O, that's a brave man! he writes brave verses, speaks brave words, swears brave oaths, and breaks them bravely, quite traverse, athwart? the heart of his lover;8
much question - ] i. e. conversation. So, in The Merchant of Venice:
" You may as well use question with the wolf.” Stecvens.
quite truverse, athwart &c.] An unexperienced lover is here compared to a puny tilter, to whom it was a disgrace to have his lance broken across, as it was a mark either of want of courage or address. This happened when the horse flew on one side, in the career: and hence, I suppose, arose the jocular proverbial phrase of spurring the horse only on one side. Now as breaking the lance against his adversary's breast, in a direct line, was honourable, so the breaking it across against his breast was, for the reason above, dishonourable; hence it is, that Sidney in his Arcadia, speaking of the mock-combat of Clinias and Dametas, says: “ The wind took such hold of his staff that it crost quite over his breast," &c.—And to break across was the usual phrase, as appears from some wretched verses of the same author, speaking of an unskilful tilter:
“Methought some staves he mist: if so, not much amiss : “ For when he most did hit, he ever yet did miss.
“One said he brake across, full well it so might be," &c. This is the allusion. So that Orlando, a young gallant, affecting the fashion, (for brave is here used, as in other places, for fashionable) is represented either unskilful in courtship, or timorous. The lover's meeting or appointment corresponds to the tilter's career: and as the one breaks staves, the other breaks oaths. The business is only meeting fairly, and doing both with address: and 'tis for the want of this, that Orlando is blamed.
Warburton, So, in Northward Hoe, 1607: “ – melancholick like a tilter, that had broke his staves foul before his mistress.” Steevens.
A puny tilter, that breaks his staff like a noble goose :] Sir Tho. mas Hanmer altered this to a nose-quill'd goose, but no one seems to have regarded the alteration. Certainly nose-quill’d is an epithet likely to be corrupted: it gives the image wanted, and may in a great measure be supported by a quotation from Turber. ville's Falconrie: " Take with you a ducke, and slip one of her wing feathers, and having thrust it through her nares, throw her out unto your hawke.” Farmer. Again, in Philaster, by Beaumont and Fletcher:
“ He shall for this time only be seel'd up