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heart of his lover7; as a puny tilter, that spurs his horse but on one side, breaks his staff like a noble goose: but all's brave, that youth mounts, and folly guides :-Who comes here?
COR. Mistress, and master, you have oft enquired After the shepherd that complain'd of love; Who you saw sitting by me on the turf, Praising the proud disdainful shepherdess That was his mistress.
Well, and what of him?
Another Part of the Forest.
Enter SILVIUS and PHEbe.
SIL. Sweet Phebe, do not scorn me; do not, Phebe :
Say, that you love me not; but say not so
7 of his LOVER;] i. e. of his mistress. Lover, in our author's
time, being applied to the female as well as the male sex. one of his poems containing the lamentation of a despairing maiden is entitled A Lover's Complaint. So, in Measure for Measure, Act I. Sc. V.:
"Your brother and his lover have embraced." MALONE.
In bitterness: The common executioner,
Whose heart the accustom'd sight of death makes hard,
Falls not the axe upon the humbled neck,
Will you sterner be
Than he that DIES and LIVES by bloody drops ?] This is spoken of the executioner. He lives, indeed, by bloody drops, if you will: but how does he die by bloody drops? The poet must certainly have wrote:
that deals and lives, &c.
i. e. that gets his bread by, and makes a trade of cutting off heads; but the Oxford editor makes it plainer. He reads
"Than he that lives and thrives by bloody drops." WARBURTON.
Either Dr. Warburton's emendation, except that the word deals, wants its proper construction, or that of Sir Tho. Hanmer, may serve the purpose; but I believe they have fixed corruption upon the wrong word, and should rather read: Than he that dies his lips by bloody drops?
Will you speak with more sternness than the executioner, whose lips are used to be sprinkled with blood? The mention of drops implies some part that must be sprinkled rather than dipped.
I am afraid our bard is at his quibbles again. To die, means as well to dip a thing in a colour foreign to its own, as to expire. In this sense, contemptible as it is, the executioner may be said to die as well as live by bloody drops. Shakspeare is fond of opposing these terms to each other.
In King John is a play on words, not unlike this:
all with purple hands
Dy'd in the dying slaughter of their foes."
Camden has preserved an epitaph on a dyer, which has the same
"He that dyed so oft in sport,
So, Heywood, in his Epigrams, 1562 :
"Is thy husband a dyer, woman? alack,
"Had he no colour to die thee on but black?
Enter ROSALIND, CELIA, and CORIN, at a distance.
PHE. I would not be thy executioner;
That eyes, that are the frail'st and softest things,
Now counterfeit to swoon; why now fall down;
Now show the wound mine eye hath made in thee:
The cicatrice and capable impressure
Again, Puttenham, in his Art of Poetry, 1589:
"We once sported upon a country fellow, who came to run for the best game, and was by his occupation a dyer, and had very big swelling legs.
He is but coarse to run a course,
"Whose shanks are bigger than his thigh:
"Yet is his luck a little worse
That often dyes before he die."
"Where ye see the words course and die used in divers senses, one giving the rebound to the other." STEEVens.
He that lives and dies, i. e. he who, to the very end of his life, continues a common executioner. So, in the second scene of the fifth Act of this play: "live and die a shepherd." Tollet.
To die and live by a thing is to be constant to it, to persevere in it to the end. Lives, therefore, does not signify is maintained, but the two verbs taken together mean-who is all his life conversant with bloody drops. MUSGRAVE.
9 "Tis pretty, SURE, and very probable,] Sure for surely. Douce. lean BUT upon a rush,] But, which is not in the old copy, was added, for the sake of the metre, by the editor of
2 The cicatrice and capable impressure-] Cicatrice is here
Thy palm some moment keeps: but now mine eyes,
O dear Phebe,
If ever, (as that ever may be near,)
You meet in some fresh cheek the power of fancy,
But, till that time, Come not thou near me: and, when that time comes, Afflict me with thy mocks, pity me not;
As, till that time, I shall not pity thee.
Ros. And why, I pray you? [Advancing.] Who might be your mother,
That you insult, exult, and all at once 5,
not very properly used; it is the scar of a wound. Capable impressure, hollow mark. JOHNSON.
Capable, I believe, means here-perceptible. Our author often uses the word for intelligent; (see a note on Hamlet,—
"His form and cause conjoin'd, preaching to stones,
Hence, with his usual licence, for intelligible, and then for perceptible. MALone.
power of FANCY,] Fancy is here used for love, as before, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream. JOHNSON.
Who might be your mother,] It is common for the poets to express cruelty by saying, of those who commit it, that they were born of rocks, or suckled by tigresses. JOHNSON.
5 That you insult, exult, and ALL at once,] If the speaker intended to accuse the person spoken to only for insulting and exulting; then, instead of—all at once, it ought to have been, both at once. But, by examining the crime of the person accused, we shall discover that the line is to be read thus:
That you insult, exult, and rail at once.
For these three things Phebe was guilty of. But the Oxford editor improves it, and, for rail at once, reads domineer.
I see no need of emendation. The speaker may mean thus: Who might be your mother, that you insult, exult, and that too all in a breath? Such is, perhaps, the meaning of all at once.
Over the wretched? What though you have mo
What though you have MORE beauty,] The old copy reads: What though you have no beauty." STEEVENS. Though all the printed copies agree in this reading, it is very accurately observed to me, by an ingenious unknown correspondent, who signs himself L. H. (and to whom I can only here make my acknowledgement) that the negative ought to be left out. THEOBALD.
That no is a misprint, appears clearly from the passage in Lodge's Rosalynde, which Shakspeare has here imitated: "Sometimes have I seen high disdaine turned to hot desires.—Because thou art beautiful, be not so coy; as there is nothing more faire, so there is nothing more fading."-Mr. Theobald corrected the error, by expunging the word no; in which he was copied by the subsequent editors; but omission, (as I have often observed,) is, of all the modes of emendation, the most exceptionable. No was, I believe, a misprint for mo, a word often used by our author and his contemporaries for more. So, in a former scene of this play: "I pray you, mar no mo of my verses with reading them ill-favour'dly." Again, in Much Ado About Nothing: "Sing no more ditties, sing no mo." Again, in The Tempest: "Mo widows of this business making." Many other instances might be added. The word is found in almost every book of that age. As no is here printed instead of mo, so in Romeo and Juliet, Act V. we find in the folio, 1623, Mo matter for No matter. This correction being less violent than Mr. Theobald's, I have inserted it in the text. "What though I should allow you had more beauty than he, (says Rosalind,) though by my faith," &c. (for such is the force of As in the next line) must you therefore treat him with disdain?" In Antony and Cleopatra we meet with a passage constructed nearly in the same manner:
Say, this becomes him,
(As his composure must be rare indeed
"Whom these things cannot blemish,) yet," &c. Again, in Love's Labour's Lost:
"But say that he or we, (as neither have,)
Again, more appositely, in Camden's Remaines, p. 190, edit. 1605 "I force not of such fooleries; but if I have any skill in sooth-saying, (as in sooth I have none,) it doth prognosticate that I shall change copie from a duke to a king," MALONE.
As mo, (unless rhyme demands it,) is but an indolent abbreviation of more, I have adopted Mr. Malone's conjecture, without his manner of spelling the word in question. If mo were right,