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France invokes, with too much levity, the patron of her
L. 32. With such a bealous laughter fo profound,
To check their folly, passions, folemn tears.]
the author's meaning, Though for the shime fake, we have a verb singular following a substantive plural, yet this is what Shakespeare would say: “They cry'd as heartily with laughing, as if the deepest grief had been the motive. *' So before in a Midsummer Night's dream.
Made mine eyes water, but more merry tears
5. Like Muscovites, or Ruflians, as I guess.] The settling commerce in Ruflia was, at that time a matter that much ingrossed the concern and conversation of the publick. There had been several embaffies employed thither on that occasion; and several tracts of the manners and state of that nation written : so that a mask of Muscovites was, as good an entertainment to the audience of that time, as a coronation has been fince.
P. 69, L. 11. Beauties, no richer than rich taffaca.] i. e. The raffata malks they wore to conceal themielves. All the editors concur to give this line to Biron; but, furely, very absurdly : for he's one of the zealous admirers, and hardly would make such an inference. Boyet iş sneering at the parade of their address, is in the secret of the ladies stratagem, and makes himself sport at the absurdity of their proem, in complimenting their beauty, when they were marked. It therefore comes from him with the utmost propriety:
THEO В. P.71,1. 2. When Queen Elizabeth asked an amballador how he liked her ladies, « It is hard, said be, to judge of Itars in the presence of the sun.”
Jouns. L, 12. King. Yet still she is the moon, and I the man.
Rofa. The musick plays, vouchsafe fome motion to it;
Our ears vouchsafe it.] This verse, about the man in the moon, I verily believe to be spurious, and an interpolation; because, in the first place, the conceit of it is not pursued; and then it entirely breaks in upon the chain of the couplets, and has no rhime to it, However, I have not ventured to cashier it. The second verse is given to Rosalind, but very absurdly. The King is intended to folicit the Princess to dance, but the Ladies had beforehand declared their resolutions of not complying. It is evident, therefore, that it is the King, who should importune Rosalind, whom he mistakes for the Princess, to dance with him.
THEOB Ibid.] This line discarded by
CAPELL.* P.72, 1.5. To cogg signifies to fulffy ibe dice, and to fel. Afy a narrative, or to lie,
Johns. P.73, l. 3. Read invisible.
CAPELL.* -1.7. Bullets.] discarded; against the old copies, by
CAPELL.* 9. Pure, pure, scoff. An insertion, by
CAPELLE L. 29.
Better wits bave worn plain fatute-caps.] This line is not universally understood, because every reader does not know that a statute-cap is part of the academical habit. Lady Rosaline declares that her expectation was disappointed by these courtly students, and that better wits may be found in the common places of education. Johns.
İb.] Woollen caps were enjoined by act of parliament, in the year 1571, 13th Queen Elizabeth. “ Besides the bills sala fed into acts this parliament, there was one which I judge not amiss to be taken notice of it concerned the Queen's care for employment for her poor fort of subjects. It was for continuance of making and wearing woollen caps, in be. half of the trade of cappers ; providing, that all above the age of six years (except the nobility and some others) Mould on Sabbath days, and boly days, wear caps of wool, knit, thicked, and dressed in England, upon penalty of ten groats."
P. 74.1. 15. Fair ladies maske are roles in tbe bud :
Dismaske, ibeir damok sweet commixture ferea,
Are angels vailing clouds, or roses blown } As these lines stand in all the editions, there is not only an Anticlimax with a vengeance; but such a jumble, that makes the whole, I think, stark nonsense. I have ventu ed at a transposition of the second and third lines, by the advice of my friend Mr. Warburton; and by a minute change, or two, cleared up the sense, I hope to the poet's intention.
THEOB. Vailing bere is to be distinguished from veiling, and carries the same sense as in the pbrafe vailing a bonnet, that is, parting off, lowering, finking down.
HANM.* P. 74, l. 15. Fair ladies, maske, are rifes in obe bud;
Dismaskı, tbeir damask sweet commixtur: serin,
Are ANGELS VEILIN G clouds, or rujos blown.] This (range nonsense, made worse hy the junbling together and transposing the lines, I directed Mr, Theobald to read thus ;
Fair ladies mased are roses in the bud;
Dilmast, their damak sweet commixture snewn. But he willing to thew how well he could improve a thought would print it,
Or Angel-veiling clouds, i. e, clouds which veil Angels: and by this means gave us, as the old proverb says, a cloud for a Juno. It was Shakespear's purpose to compare a fine lady to an angel ; it was Mr. Theobald's chance to compare her to a cloud: and pere haps the ill-bred reader will say a lucky one. However I Supposed the Poet could never be to nonsentical as to cornpare a masked lady to a cloud, though he might compare her mask to one. The Oxford Editor who had the advantagc. both of this emnendation and criticisin, is a great deal more subtile and refined, and says it should not be angels veil'd in clouds, but angels va:ling clouds ; i. e, capping the sun as they go by him, just as a man vails hie bonnet. WARB.
Ibid.) i know not why Sir T. Harmer's explanation should be treated with so much contempt, or why vailing clouds should be capping obe fun. Ladies unmasked, says Bayet, are like angels voiling clouds, or letting those clou's which obfcured their brightness, link from before them. What is
there in this absurd or contemptible ?
JOHNS. Ibid.] Angels 'vailing clouds, or roses blown. CAPELL.
L. 21. shapelers gear;] Shapeless, for unccath, or what Shakespeare elsewhere calls diffused.
WARB. L. 27. Mr. Theobald ends the fourth act here. JOHNS
P. 75, 1. 21. This is the flower but smiles on ev'ry wwe.] The broken disjointed metaphor is a fault in writing. But in order to pass a true judgment on this fault, it is ftill to be observed, that when a metaphor is growo so common as to desert, as it were, the figurative, and to be received into the common stile, then what may be affirmed of the thing represented, or the fubßance, may be affirmed of the thing representing, or the image. To illustrate this by the inAance before us, a very complaisant, finical, over-gracious person, was so commonly called the flower, or as he elsewhere expresses it, the pink of couriefie, that in common talk, or in the lowest file, this metaphor might be used without keeping up the image, but any thing attirnred of it as of an agnomen: hence it might be faid, without offence, to smile, to Aatter, &c. And the reason is this; in the more folemn, less-used metaphors, our mind is so turned upon the image which the metaphor conveys, that it expects, this image should be, for some little time, continued, by terms proper to keep it in view. And if, for want of these terms, the image be no sooner presented than dismissed, the mind suffers a kind of violence by being drawn off abruptly and unexpectedly from its contemplation. Hence it is that the broken, disjointed, and mixed metaphor so much shocks us But when it is once become worn and hacknied by common use, then even the very first mention of it is not apt to excite in us the representative image ; but brings immediately before us the idea of the thing represented. And then to endeavour to keep up and continue the borrowed ideas, by right adapted terms, would have as ill an effect on the other hand : because the mind is already gone off from the image to the substance. Grammarians would do well to consider what has been here said when they set upon amendo ing Greek and Roman writings. For the much-used hacknied metaphors being now very imperfectly known, great care is required not to act in this case temerariously, Wars
bebavioar, ubat were tbou, 'Till tbis man fhewed thee? and what art i bou now ?] These are two wonderfuliy fine lines, intimating that what courts call manners, and value themselves so much upon teaching, as a thing no where else to be learned, is a modeft, silent accomplishment under the direction of nature and common sense, which does its office in promoting social life without being taken notice of. But that when it degenerates into thew and parade, it becomes an unmanly contemptible quality.
Ibid.] What is told in this note is undoubtedly true, but is not comprised in the quotation.
JOHNS. 76, 1. 9. The virtue of your eye MUST break my oatb] Com. mon sense requires us to read,
MADE break my oath, i. e. made me. . And then the reply is pertinent the force of your beauty that made me break my oath, there
you ought not to upbraid me with a crime which you yourself was the cause of.
WARB, I believe the author means that the virtue, in which word goodness and power are both comprised, muft diffolve the obligation of the oath. The Princess, in her answer, takes the mostividious part of the ambiguity.
JOHNS, P.78, 1. 23. Write, &c.) This was the inscription put upon the door of the houses infected with the plague, lo which Biron compares the love of himlelf and his companions; and pursuing the metaphor finds the enkens likewise on the ladies. The tokens of the plague are the first spots or discolourations by which the infection is koown to be received.
JOHNS. -bow can this be trur, That you foould for feit, being rbose that sue.] That is, how can those be liable to forfeiture that begin the procefs. The jest lies in the ambiguity of fue which fignifies to profecute by law, or to offer a petition.
JOHNE. P:79, l. 17. You force not to forfwear.] You force nor is the same with you make no difficulty. This is a very juft obfervation. The crime which has been once coinmitted, is committed again with less reluctance.
Johns. P. 80, 1 8. - Same Zany-- Against the old cupies.