« PreviousContinue »
Play, musick; and you brides and bridegrooms all, With measure heap'd in joy, toth' measures fall.
JAQ. Sir, by your patience; If I heard you rightly, The duke hath put on a religious life,
And thrown into neglect the pompous court?
JAQ. DE B. He hath.
JAQ. To him will I: out of these convertites There is much matter to be heard and learn'd.You to your former honour I bequeath; [To Duke S. Your patience, and your virtue, well deserves it : You [TO ORLANDO] to a love, that your true faith
You [TO OLIVER] to your land, and love, and great allies:You [TO SILVIUS] to a long and well deserved bed ;
And you [To TOUCHSTONE] to wrangling; for thy loving voyage
Is but for two months victual'd:-So to your plea
I am for other than for dancing measures.
DUKE S. Stay, Jaques, stay.
JAQ. To see no pastime, I:-what you would have I'll stay to know at your abandon'd cave 2.
2 To see no pastime, I:-what you would have
I'll stay to know at your abandon'd cave.] Amidst this general festivity, the reader may be sorry to take his leave of Jaques, who appears to have no share in it, and remains behind unreconciled to society. He has, however, filled with a gloomy sensibility the space allotted to him in the play, and to the last preserves that respect which is due to him as a consistent character, and an amiable, though solitary moralist.
It may be observed, with scarce less concern, that Shakspeare has, on this occasion, forgot old Adam, the servant of Orlando, whose fidelity should have entitled him to notice at the end of the piece, as well as to that happiness which he would naturally have found, in the return of fortune to his master. STEEVENS.
It is the more remarkable, that old Adam is forgotten; since, at
DUKE S. Proceed, proceed: we will begin these
And we do trust they'll end, in true delights.
Ros. It is not the fashion to see the lady the epilogue: but it is no more unhandsome, than to see the lord the prologue. If it be true, that good wine needs no bush, 'tis true that a good play needs no epilogue: Yet to good wine they do use good bushes; and good plays prove the better by the help of good epilogues. What a case am I in then, that am neither a good epilogue, nor cannot
the end of the novel, Lodge makes him captaine of the king's guard. FARMER.
3 -no bush,] It appears formerly to have been the custom to hang a tuft of ivy at the door of a vintner. I suppose ivy was rather chosen than any other plant, as it has relation to Bacchus. So, in Gascoigne's Glass of Government, 1575:
"Now a days the good wyne needeth none ivye garland.” Again, in The Rival Friends, 1632:
'Tis like the ivy-bush unto a tavern."
Again, in Summer's Last Will and Testament, 1600:
Green ivy-bushes at the vintners' doors." STEEVens.
The practice is still observed in Warwickshire and the adjoining counties, at statute-hirings, wakes, &c. by people who sell ale at no other time. And hence, I suppose, the Bush tavern at Bristol, and other places. RITSON.
4 What a case am I in then, &c.] Here seems to be a chasm, or some other depravation, which destroys the sentiment here intended. The reasoning probably stood thus: Good wine needs no bush, good plays need no epilogue;' but bad wine requires a good bush, and a bad play a good epilogue. What case am I in then? To restore the words is impossible; all that can be done, without copies, is to note the fault. JOHNSON.
Johnson mistakes the meaning of this passage. Rosalind says, that good plays need no epilogue; yet even good plays do prove
insinuate with you in the behalf of a good play? I am not furnished like a beggar', therefore to beg will not become me: my way is, to conjure you; and I'll begin with the women. I charge you, O women, for the love you bear to men, to like as much of this play as please you and I charge you, O men, for the love you bear to women, (as I perceive by your simpering, none of you hate them,) that between you and the women, the play may please. If I were a woman', I would kiss as many *First folio, hates.
the better for a good one. What a case then was she in, who had neither presented them with a good play, nor had a good epilogue to prejudice them in favour of a bad one? M. MASON.
5 FURNISHED like a beggar,] That is, dressed: so before he was furnished like a huntsman. JOHNSON.
-I charge you, O women, for the love you bear to men, to like as much of this play as please THEM: and so I charge you, &c.] The old copy reads- "I charge you, O women, for the love you bear to men, to like as much of this play as please you : and I charge you, O men, for the love you bear to women,that between you and the women," &c. STEEVENS.
This passage should be read thus: I charge you, O women, for the love you bear to men, to like as much of this play as pleases them and I charge you, O men, for the love you bear to women, -to like as much as pleases them, that between you and the women,' &c. Without the alteration of you into them, the invocation is nonsense; and without the addition of the words, to like as much as pleases them, the inference of, that between you and the women the play may pass, would be unsupported by any precedent premises. The words seem to have been struck out by some senseless player, as a vicious redundancy. WARBURTON.
The words you and y", written as was the custom in that time, were in manuscript scarcely distinguishable. The emendation is very judicious and probable. JOHNSON.
Mr. Heath observes, that if Dr. Warburton's interpolation be admitted, ["to like as much," &c.] "the men are to like only just as much as pleased the women, and the women only just as much as pleased the men; neither are to like any thing from their own taste and if both of them disliked the whole, they would each of them equally fulfil what the poet desires of them. But Shakspeare did not write so nonsensically; he desires the women to like as much as pleased the men, and the men to set the ladies a good example; which exhortation to the men is evidently im
of you as had beards that pleased me, complexions that liked me, and breaths that I defied not9: and,
plied in these words, "that between you and the women the play may please."
Mr. Heath, though he objects (I think very properly) to the interpolated sentence, admits by his interpretation the change of - pleases you" to " which has been pleases them; adopted by the late editors. I by no means think it necessary; nor is Mr. Heath's exposition, in my opinion, correct. The text is sufficiently clear, without any alteration. Rosalind's address appears to me simply this: I charge you, O women, for the love you bear to men, to approve of as much of this play as affords you entertainment; and I charge you, O men, for the love you bear to women, [not to set an example to, but] to follow or agree in opinion with the ladies; that between you both the play may be successful." The words " to follow, or agree in opinion with, the ladies" are not, indeed, expressed, but plainly implied in those subsequent; "that, between you and the women, the play may please." In the epilogue to King Henry IV. Part II. the address to the audience proceeds in the same order: "All the gentlewomen here have forgiven [i. e. are favourable to] me; if the gentlemen will not, then the gentlemen do not agree with the gentlewomen, which was never seen before in such an assembly."
Mr. Rowe and all the modern editors read- as pleases you," and so we should certainly now write, but the phraseology of the text was that of Shakspeare's time. So, in King Richard III. :
"Where every horse bears his commanding rein, "And may direct his course, as please himself." Again, in Hamlet:
"a pipe for fortune's finger,
Again, in King Henry VIII :
"All men's honours
"Lie like one lump before him, to be fashion'd
I read-" and so I charge you, O men," &c. This trivial addition (as Dr. Farmer joins with me in thinking) clears the whole passage. STEEVENS.
7 If I were a woman,] Note, that in this author's time, the parts of women were always performed by men or boys.
I am sure, as many as have good beards, or good faces, or sweet breaths, will, for my kind offer, when I make curt'sy, bid me farewell.
complexions that LIKED me,] i. e. that I liked. So again in Hamlet: "This likes me well." STEEVENS.
- breaths that I defied not:] This passage serves to manifest the indelicacy of the time in which the plays of Shakspeare were written. Such an idea, started by a modern dramatist, and put into the mouth of a female character, would be hooted with indignation from the stage. STEevens.
Of this play the fable is wild and pleasing. I know not how the ladies will approve the facility with which both Rosalind and Celia give away their hearts. To Celia much may be forgiven for the heroism of her friendship. The character of Jaques is natural and well preserved. The comick dialogue is very sprightly, with less mixture of low buffoonery than in some other plays; and the graver part is elegant and harmonious. By hastening to the end of this work, Shakspeare suppressed the dialogue between the usurper and the hermit, and lost an opportunity of exhibiting a moral lesson in which he might have found matter worthy of his highest powers. JOHNSON.
See p. 370.Is but a quintaine," &c. Dr. Warburton's explanation would, I think, have been less exceptionable, had it been more simple yet he is here charged with a fault of which he is seldom guilty-want of refinement. This (says Mr. Guthrie) is but an imperfect (to call it no worse) explanation of a beautiful passage. The quintaine was not the object of the darts and arms; it was a stake, driven into a field, upon which were hung a shield and trophies of war, at which they shot, darted, or rode with a lance. When the shield and trophies were all thrown down, the quintaine remained. Without this information, how could the reader understand the allusion of
my better parts "Are all thrown down.'
In the present edition I have avoided, as much as possible, all kind of controversy; but in those cases where errors, by having been long adopted, are become inveterate, it becomes in some measure necessary to the enforcement of truth.
It is a common, but a very dangerous mistake, to suppose that the interpretation which gives most spirit to a passage is the true In consequence of this notion, two passages of our author, one in Macbeth, and another in Othello, have been refined, as I