Page images

JAQ. You have a nimble wit; I think 't was made of Atalanta's heels. Will


sit down with

The Two Angry Women of Abington, 1599: “Now will I see if my memory will serve for some proverbs. 0, a painted cloth were as well worth a shilling, as a thief is worth a halter.” Again, in A Match at Midnight, 1633 : “ There's a witty posy


No, no; I'll have one shall savour of a saw.

Why then 'twill smell of the painted cloth.
Again, in The Muses' Looking Glass, by Randolph, 1638:

I have seen in Mother Redcap's hall “ In painted cloth, the story of the prodigal.” From this last quotation we may suppose that the rooms in publick houses were usually hung with what Falstaff calls water-work. On these hangings, perhaps, moral sentences were depicted as issuing from the mouths of the different characters represented.

Again, in Sir Thomas More's English Works, printed by Rastell, 1557 : [as Mr. Capell has remarked]

Mayster Thomas More in hys youth devysed in hys father's house in London, a goodly hangyng of fyne paynted clothe, with nine pageauntes, and verses over every of those pageauntes; which verses expressed and declared what the ymages in those pageauntes represented : and also in those pageauntes were paynted the thynges that the verses over them dyd (in effecte) declare." Of the present phraseology there is an instance in King John: “ He speaks plain cannon-fire, and bounce, and smoke."

Steevens. I answer you right painted cloth, may mean, I give you a true painted cloth answer; as we say, she talks right Billingsgate: that is, exactly such language as is used at Billingsgate. Johnson.

This singular phrase may be justified by another of the same kind in King Henry V.:

I speak to thee plain soldier.Again, in Twelfth-Night:

“ He speaks nothing but madman." There is no need of Sir T. Hanmer's alteration : right in the style of painted cloth.” We had before in this play, “ It is the right butter-woman's rate to market.” So, in Golding's translation of Ovid, 1567:

the look of it was right a maiden's look.” I

suppose Orlando means to say, that Jaques's questions have no more of novelty or shrewdness in them than the trite maxims of the painted cloth. That moral sentences were wrought in these painted cloths, is ascertained by the following passage in A Diaiogue both pleasaunt and pitifull, &c. by Dr. Willyam Bulleyne, 1564, (sign. H 5.) which has been already quoted : “ This is a

[ocr errors]

6. I answer you

me ? and we two will rail against our mistress the world, and all our misery.

Orl. I will chide no breather in the world', but myself; against whom I know most faults.

JAQ. The worst fault you have, is to be in love.

Orl. 'Tis a fault I will not change for your best virtue. I am weary of you.

JAQ. By my troth, I was seeking for a fool, when

I found you.

Orl. He is drown'd in the brook; look but in, and you shall see him.

JAQ. There shall I see mine own figure.
ORL. Which I take to be either a fool, or a cypher.

JAQ. I'll tarry no longer with you: farewell, good signior love.

Orl. I am glad of your departure ; adieu, good monsieur melancholy.

[Exit JAQUES.-Celia and ROSALIND come

forward. Ros. I will speak to him like a saucy lackey, and under that habit play the knave with him.-Do you hear, forester ? comelie parlour,-and faire clothes, with pleasaunte borders aboute the same, with many wise sayings painted upon them.” The following lines, which are found in a book with this fantastick title, No Whipping nor Tripping, but a Kind of Friendly Snipping, octavo, 1601, may serve as a specimen of painted cloth language :

“ Read what is written on the painted cloth :
Do no man wrong; be good unto the poor;
“ Beware the mouse, the maggot and the moth,

And ever have an eye unto the door;
“ Trust not a fool, a villain, nor a whore;
“ Go neat, not gay, and spend but as you spare ;
" And turn the colt to pasture with the mare ;

MALONE. 9 — NO BREATHER IN THE WORLD,] So, in our author's 81st Sonnet:

“ When all the breathers of this world are dead. Again, in Antony and Cleopatra :

“ She shows a body, rather than a life;
A statue, than a breather.Malone.


Orl. Very well; What would you ?
Ros. I pray you, what is’t a clock ?

Orl. You should ask me, what time o'day; there's no clock in the forest.

Ros. Then there is no true lover in the forest; else sighing every minute, and groaning every hour, would detect the lazy foot of time, as well as a clock.

Orl. And why not the swift foot of time ? had not that been as proper ?

Ros. By no means, sir : Time travels in divers paces with divers persons : I'll tell you who Time ambles withal, who Time trots withal, who Time gallops withal, and who he stands still withal.

Orl. I pr’ythee, who doth he trot withal ?

Ros. Marry, he trots hard with a young maid, between the contract of her marriage', and the day it is solemnized: if the interim be but a se'nnight, Time's pace is so hard that it seems the length of seven years.

ORL. Who ambles Time withal ?

Ros. With a priest that lacks Latin, and a rich man that hath not the gout; for the one sleeps easily, because he cannot study; and the other lives merrily, because he feels no pain: the one lacking the burden of lean and wasteful learning; the other knowing no burden of heavy tedious penury: These Time ambles withal.

ORL. Who doth he gallop withal ?

Ros. With a thief to the gallows: for though he go as softly as foot can fall, he thinks himself too soon there.

Marry, he TROTS HARD with a young maid, between the contract, &c.] And yet, in Much Ado about Nothing, our author

Time goes on crutches, till love hath all his rites.” In both passages, however, the interim is equally represented as tedious, and unpleasant. MALONE.

tells us,

ORL. Who stays it still withal ?

Ros. With lawyers in the vacation: for they sleep between term and term, and then they perceive not how time moves.

Orł. Where dwell you, pretty youth?

Ros. With this shepherdess, my sister : here in the skirts of the forest, like fringe upon a petticoat.

Orl. Are you native of this place ?

Ros. As the coney, that you see dwell where she is kindled.

Orl. Your accent is something finer than you could purchase in so removed - a dwelling.

Ros. I have been told so of many: but, indeed, an olå religious uncle of mine taught me to speak, who was in his youth an in-land man"; one that knew courtship too well, for there he fell in love. I have heard him read many lectures against it; and I thank God, I am not a woman, to be touch'd with so many giddy offences as he hath generally tax'd their whole sex withal.

Orl. Can you remember any of the principal evils, that he laid to the charge of women?

Ros. There were none principal ; they were all



removed -] i. e. remote, sequestered. REED. So, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream, folio, 1623: “ From Athens is her house remov'd seven leagues."

STEEVENS. IN-LAND man ;] Is used in this play for one civilised, in opposition to the rustick of the priest. So, Orlando, before : " Yet am I inland bred, and know some nurture."

JOHNSON, See Marlowe's Hero and Leander, 1598 :

His presence made the rudest peasant melt,

That in the vast uplandish countrie dwelt.” Again, in Puttenham's Arte of Poesie, 4to. 1589, fol. 120 :

or finally in any uplandish village or corner of a realm, where is no resort but of poor rusticall or uncivill people.” MALONE. Again, in Chapman's version of the 24th Iliad: “but lion-like, uplandish, and meere wilde.”


like one another, as half-pence are: every one fault seeming monstrous, till his fellow fault came to match it.

Orl. I pr’ythee, recount some of them.

Ros. No; I will not cast away my physick, but on those that are sick. There is a man haunts the forest, that abuses our young plants with carving Rosalind on their barks; hangs odes upon hawthorns, and elegies on brambles; all, forsooth, deifying the name of Rosalind : if I could meet that fancy-monger, I would give him some good counsel, for he seems to have the quotidian of love

upon him.

Orl. I am he that is so love-shaked; I pray you, tell me your remedy.

Ros. There is none of my uncle's marks upon you: he taught me how to know a man in love ; in which cage of rushes, I am sure, you are not prisoner.

ORL. What were his marks?

Ros. A lean cheek; which you have not: a blue eye“, and sunken; which you have not: an unquestionable spirit *; which you have not: a beard


4 — a Blue eye,] i. e. a blueness about the eyes. STEEVENS.

an UNQUESTIONABLE spirit;] That is, a spirit not inquisitive, a mind indifferent to common objects, and negligent of common occurrences. Here Shakspeare has used a passive for an active mode of speech : só, in a former scene, “The Duke is too disputable for me,” that is, too disputatious. Johnson.

May it not mean, unwilling to be conversed with? CHAMIER.

Mr. Chamier is right in supposing that it means a spirit averse to conversation.

So, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream, Demetrius says to Helena

“ I will not stay your question.And, in The Merchant of Venice, Antonio says

“ I pray you, think you question with the Jew.” In the very next scene, Rosalind says—" I met the Duke yesterday, and had much question with him.”

And in the last scene, Jaques de Bois says—“ The Duke was converted after some queso

« PreviousContinue »