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“I confess, your coming before me is nearer to his reverence.”
“Ros. Why, whither shall we go 8 Act I., Scene 1.
CEL. To seek my uncle in the forest of Arden." That is, the reverence due to my father is, in some degree, inherited
Act I., Scene 3. by you as the first-born.
This passage furnished Mr. Steerons, in his later editions, with an
amusing opportunity of showing his superabundant zeal in the cause " I am no villain." - Act I, Scene 1.
of what he deemed correct meter. "Here (says he) the old copy adds, The word villain is used by the elder brother in its present mean- in the forest of Arden.' But these words are an evident interpolaing: by Orlando, in its original sense, for a fellow of base extraction. tion without sense, and injurious to the measure:
“Why, whither shall we go “ He is already in the forest of Arden.” — Act I., Scene 1.
To seek my uncle,' Shakspeare was furnished with the principal scene in this play by being a complete verse. Besides, we have been already informed by Lodge's novel. Arden (or Ardenne) is a forest of considerable extent, Charles the Wrestler that the banished Duke's residence was in the Dear the Meuse, and between Charlemont and Rocroy. It is mention- forest of Arlen." - This is trying a play by the rigid rules that might ed by Spepser, in his “ COLIN CLOUT," as famous “ Ardeyn;" and in be applicable to a mathematical essay. recent times is thus characterized by Lady Morgan in connection with the play: -“The forest of Ardennes smells of early English poetry. It has all the greenwood freshness of Shakspeare's scenes; and it is scarcely possible to feel the truth and beauty of his exquisite . As
“ Sweet are the uses of adversity, YOU LIKE IT, without having loitered as I have done, amid its tan
Which, like the load, ugly and venomous, gled glens and magnificent depths."
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head."
Act II., Scene 1. “ Since the little wit that fools hare was silenced." — Act I., Scene 2.
It was the current opinion in Shakspeare's time that in the head of The allusion bere is to the professional fools or jesters who for ages
an old toad was to be found a stone or pearl, to which great virtues had been allowed an unbridled liberty of censure and mockery, and
trere ascribed. Science has shown the belief to be erroneous, but the about Shakspeare's time began to be less tolerated.
poet has turned it to excellent account.
“ With bills on their necks." — Act I., Scene 2.
"Ros. O Jupiter / howo weary are my spirits ! There is probably an equivoque intended here between a legal in Touch. I care not for my spirits, if my legs were not weary. strument and the weapon called a bill. To carry the bill on the neck Ros. I could find in my heart to disgrace my man's apparel, and (not on the shoulder) was the phraseology of Shakspeare's time. The to cry like a woman." — Act II., Scene 4. expression is used in “ ROSALYNDE:”-“Ganimede on a day sitting The old copy here reads "how merry are my spirits." The emnendwith Aliena, cast up her eye, and saw where Rosader (Orlando) came
ation, which the context and the Clown's reply render certain, was pacing toward them with his forest-bill on his neck.”
made by Mr. Theobald. In the original copy of“ OTHELLO” (4to. 1622),
nearly the same mistake has happened; for there we find, “Let us be “ Is there any else longs to see this broken music in his sides ?”
merry, let us hide our joys," instead of “Let us be wary.” — MALONE.
Act I., Scene 2. Rosalind hints at a whimsical similitude between the series of ribs
“ Ducdame, ducdame, ducdame." — Act II., Scene 5. gradually shortening, and some musical instruments; and therefore calls broken ribs, broken music. - Jonngon.
For ducdame, Sir T. Hanmer very acutely and judiciously reeds, This probably alludes to the pipe of Pan, which, consisting of reeds
“Duc ad me;" that is “Bring him to me." — Johnson. of unequal length, and gradually lessening, bore some resemblance to the ribs of a man.– MALONE.
“ A molley fool; - a miserable world ! ” — Act II., Scene 7.
“A miserable world” is a parenthetical exclamation, frequent “That which here stands up
among melancholy men, and natural to Jaques at the sight of a fool, Is but a quintain, a mere lifeless block." — Act 1. Scene 2. or at the hearing reflections on the fragility of life. -JOHNSON. There were various kinds of quintains : the one here alluded to appears to have been a stake driven into a field, upon which were hung
« « Good-morrow, fool,' quoth 1: 'No sir,' quoth he, a shield and trophies of war, at which they shot, darted, or rode with
Cull me not fool till heaven hath sent me forlune.'” a lance. When the shield and trophies were all thrown down, the
Touchstone's answer alludes to the common saying that fools aro quintain remained.
“ One man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages.” - Act II., Scene 7. Celia answers Rosalind as if the latter had said, “Love him for my Dr. Warburton boldly asserts that this was "no unusual” division sake."
Tof a play before our author's time. One of Chapman's plays (“Two
WISE MEN, AND ALL THE REST FOOLS") is indeed in seven acts: this,
“ Tongues I'll hang on every tree, however, is the only dramatic piece that I have found so divided.
That shall civil sayings shew." - Act III., Scene 2. But surely it is not necessary to suppose that our author alluded here
The term civil is here used as when we say civil wisdom, or civil to any such precise division of the drama. His comparisons seldom
life, in opposition to a solitary state, or to the state of pature. “This run on four feet. It was sufficient for him that a play was distrib
desert (says Orlando) shall not appear unpeopled, for every tree shall uted into several acts, and that human life, long before his time, had teach the maxims or incidents of social life." been divided into seven periods.
In the “ TREATISE OF ANCIENT AND MODERN TIMES" (1613), Proclus, a Greek author, is said to have divided the life of man into seven
“ Helen's cheek but not her heart;
Cleopatra's majesty; periods, over which one of the seven planets was supposed to rule.
Atalanta's better part; Hippocrates also divided the life of man into seven ages, but differs from Proclus in the number of years allotted to each period. - See
Sad Lucretia's modesty." - Act III., Scene 2. Brown's “VULGAR ERRORS," folio, p. 173. - MALONE.
It is plausibly suggested by Mr. Tollet, that “Atalanta's better
part" may mean ber virgin chastity, with which Nature had graced “ Full of wise saws and modern instances." - Act II., Scene 7.
Rosalind, together with Helen's beauty, without her heart, or lewd
ness; with Cleopatra's dignity or behavior; and with Lucretia's mod. The meaning seems to be, that justice is full of old sayings and late esty, that scorned to survive the loss of honor. The term “better examples.
part" appears, however, to have been a colloquial one, signifying
worth or virtue in general.
"I was never so be-rhymed since Pythagoras' time, that I was an “Thou winter wind (says Amiens), thy rudeness gives the less pain,
Irish rat." - Act III., Scene 2. as thou art not seen: as thou art an enemy that dost not brave us This passage probably refers to some metrical charm or incantation with thy presence, and whose unkindness is therefore not aggravated used in Ireland for ridding houses of rats. Similar allusions are by insult."
found in various writers of the age. In Ben Jonson's “ POETASTED,"
we find, “ Though thou the waters warp.” — Act II., Scene 7.
“Rhyme them to death, as they do Irish rats, The surface of waters, so long as they remain unfrozen, is apparent.
In drumming tunes.” ly a perfect plane; whereas, when they are frozen, this surface devi. ates from its exact flatness, or warps. This is remarkable in small
" Good my complexion ! dost thou think, Drough I am caparisoned like ponds, the surface of which, when frozen, forms a regular concave;
ve; a man, I have a doublet and hose in my disposition !" -- Act III., Scene 2. the ice on the sides rising higher than that in the middle. -- KENRICK. To warp was probably in Shakspeare's time a colloquial word,
The meaning of the exclamation "Good my complexion!” probawhich conveyed no distinct allusion to anything else, physical or me bly is, as suggested by Malone, “ My native character, my feinale indicinal. To warp is to turn, and to turn is to change: when milk is quisitive disposition, canst thou endure this?” Complexion is used changed by curdling, we now say it is turned ; when water is changed in the sense of disposition in the "MERCHANT OP VENICE:-“It is or turned by frost, Shakspeare says it is curdled. To be warped is the complexion of them all to leave their dam.” only to be changed from its natural state. - Jouxson.
“ Ros. Answer me in one woord.
Act III., Scene 2.
Rosalind requires nine questions to be answered in one word. Celia " And thou, thrice crowned queen of night.” -- Act III., Scene 2
tells her that a word of such magnitude is too big for any mouth bat
that of Garagantua, the giant of Rabelais, who swallowed five pilThis alludes to the triple character of Proserpine, Cynthia, and Di- grims, their staves and all, in a salad. ana, given by some mythologists to the same goddess.
“N is as easy to count atomies as to resolve the propositions of a lover."" “ The fair, the chaste, and unexpressive she.” — Act III., Scene 2.
Act III., Scene 2. The word unexpressive is here used in the sense of inexpressible.
Bullokar, in his “ ENGLISH EXPOSITOR” (1616), says, " An atomie is Milton, in his “Hymn ON THE NATIVITY," employs it in a similar
a mote flying in the sunne. Anything so small that it cannot be
made less." manner:
“ Harping with loud and solemn quire,
“ Ory, holla / to thy longue I pry thee; it curvels unseasonably." With unexpressive notes to Heaven's new-born heir."
Act III., Scene 2
“Holla!” was a term by which the rider restrained and stopped “ He that hath learned no wit by nature nor art may complain of good his horse. It is so used by Shakspeare in his “ VENUS AND ADONIS:" breeding." — Act III., Scene 2.
“ What recketh be his rider's angry stir, A doubt is expressed by Dr. Johnson whether custom did not for
His flattering 'bolla,' or his stand,' I say." merly authorize this mode of speech, and make a complain of good breeding " the same with complain of the want of good breeding." | " I answer you right painted cloth, from whence you have stredied In the last line of the “MERCHANT OF VENICE,” we find that to "fear your questions." — Act III., Scene 2. the keeping" is to “ fear the not keeping.”
This passage alludes to the placing moral maxims or sentences in
the mouths of the figures represented on the painted cloth hangings “Why should this a desert be?” — Act III., Scene 2. of the period. The custom is frequently mentioned by contemporary
writers. Shakspeare also adverts to it in his “ TARQUIN AND LUThe old copy reads "Why should this desert be?” The judicious
CRECE:" insertion of the "a" was made by Pope. The omission was probably a typographical error. Tyrwhitt's interpolation of the word "silent”
“ Who fears a sentence, or an old man's saw, is unnecessary.
Shall by a painted cloth be kept in awe."
“ An unquestionable spirit; which you have not."
Act III., Scene 2. An unquestionable spirit is a spirit not inquisitive; a mind indif. ferent to common objects, and negligent of commun occurrences; Shakspeare has used a passive for an active mode of speech. So in a former scene, "The duke is too disputable for me;" that is, too disputatious.
considered one of the principal causes of corrupt manners. It is gravely censured by Ascham, in his “ SCHOOLMASTER," and by Bishop Hall, in his “ Quo Vadis;" and is here, and in other passages, ridiculed by Shakspeare.
“ A material fool!” – Act III., Scene 3. That is, a fool with matter in him; a fool stocked with notions.
“ He hath a Rosalind of a better ler than you." — Act IV., Scene 1.
Act IV., Scene 1. Statues, and particularly that of Dixna, with the water conveyed through them to give them the appearance of weeping figures, were anciently a frequent ornament of fountains. So in Rosamond's “ EPISTLE," by Drayton:"
“Here in the garden, wrought by curious hands,
Naked Diana in the fountain stands."
" I' faith, his hair is of a good color." — Act III., Scene 4. There is much 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 favorite to want & vindication. Johxsox.
“ Make her fault her husband's occasion." - Act IV., Scene 1. That is, represent her fault as occasioned by her husband.
“A nun of winter's sisterhood kisses not more religiously."
Act III., Scene 4. That is, of an unfruitfal sisterhood, that had devoted itself to chastity. A similar expression is found in the “MIDSUMMER Night's DREAM:”
“ To be a barren sister all your life,
Chanting faint hymns to the cold fruitless moon."
Act IV., Scene 2.
“ The rank of osiers by the murmuring stream,
Act IV., Scene 3. That is, passing by the rank of osiers, and leaving them on your right hand, you will reach the place.
" What though you have more beauty." — Act III., Scene 5. The old copy reads, “What though you have no beauty.” That no is a misprint appears clearly from the passage in Lodge's “RosaLYXDE” which Shakspeare bas here imitated: “Sometimes I have seen high disdaine turne 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 wbich 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, & misprint for “mo," & 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, by singing them ill-favoredly. Again, in “Mucu ADO ABOUT NOTHING :
“Sing no more ditties, sing no mo.” Again, in the “ TEMPEST :"
“Mo widows of this business' making." Many other instances may be added. The word is found in almost every book of that age. -- MALONE.
“ Chewing the food of sweet and bitler fancy.” - Act IV., Scone 3.
Fancy here signifies love, which is always described as composed of contraries. As in Lodge's “ROSALYNDE:
“ I have noted the variable disposition of fancy; a bitter pleasure wrapped in sweet prejudice."
" In which hurtling, From miserable slumber I awaked.” — Act IV., Scene 3. To hurtle is to move with impetuosity and tumult. The term is used in “ JULIUS CÆSAR:"
A voise of battle hurtled in the air."
“ Foul is most foul, being foul to be a scoffer." - Act III., Scene 5.
That is, the ugly seem most ugly, when though agly they are scoffers. - JOHNSON
“ Dead shepherd I now I find thy saw of might,
Act III., Scene 5. The line quoted by Phebe is from Marlowe's “ HERO AND LEANDER," in which the passage stands thus:-
“Where both deliberate, the love is slight!
Who ever loved, that loved not at first sight?” The poem, it appears, was very popular; one edition of it was entered in the Stationers' books in 1593, and another in 1597.
« The heathen philosopher when he had a desire to eat a grape."
Act V., Scene 1. Warburton reasonably supposes that this passage implies a speer on the trifling sayings and actions recorded of the ancient philosophers by the writers of their lives.
“It was a lover and his lass." — Act V., Scene 3. The stanzas of this song were in all the editions transposed; the present arrangement was made by Dr. Johnson; and there can scarcely be a doubt of its correctness. The last stanza was previously printed as the second.
“In spring time, the only pretty ring time." - Act V., Scene 3.
For “ring time,” the original reads “rang time.” The usual read“ Or I will scarce think you have swam in a gondola.
ing is "rank time.” Steevens suggested “ring time," i. e., the aptest Act IV., Scene 1.
season for marriage, and this is found to be the word used in an old That is, “I will scarce think you have been at Venice." The fash- / MS. copy of the music to this song and many others, now in the Sigion of traveling, which prevailed very much in Shakspeare's time, was net-office Library at Edinburgh.
“ As those that fear - they hope, and know they fear."
Dr. Grey and Mr. Upton asserted that this play was certainly bor. Act V., Scene 4. rowed from the “Coke's TALE OF GAMELYN,” printed in Urry's Chau
cer; but it is hardly likely that Shakspeare saw that in manuscript, Malone suggests that the meaning of this passage is, ' As those who
and there is a more obvious source from whence he derived his plot, fear,--they, even those very persons, entertain hopes that their fears
viz., the pastoral romance of ROSALINDE, OR EUPITES' GOLDEN LEGA. will not be realized; and yet at the same time they well know that
CY." by Thomas Lodge, first printed in 1590. From this he sketched there is reason for their fears."
his principal characters, and constructed his plot; but those admirar
ble beings, the melancholy Jaques, the witty Touchstone, and his “ I have trod a measure." — Act V., Scene 4.
Audrey, are of the poet's own creation. Touchstone, to prove that he has been a courtier, particularly men
Lodge's novel is one of those tiresome (I had almost said unnatutions a measure, because it was a stately solemn dance.
ral) pastoral romances, of which the " EUPHUES" of Lyly, and the
" ARCADIA” of Siduey, were also popular examples:- it has, however, "JAQ. But, for the seventh cause, how did you find the quarrel on the
the redeeming merit of some very beautiful verses interspersed; and seventh cause?
the circumstance of its having led to the formation of this exquisite Touca.- Upon a lie seven times removed.” - Act V., Scene 4.
pastoral drama is enough to make us withhold our assent to SteeTouchstone here enumerates seven kinds of lies, from the retort vens's splenetic censure of it as " worthless." courteous, to the seventh and most aggravated species of lie, which he calls the lie direct. The courtier's answer to his intended affront, he expressly tells us, was the retort courteous. When, therefore, he says that they found the quarrel was on the lie seven times removed, we must understand by the latter word, the lie removed seven times, Everything about Rosalind breathes of youth's sweet prime. She counting backwards (as the word removed seems to intimate), from is fresh as the morning, sweet as the dew-awakened blossom, and the last and most aggravated species of lie - the lie direct.
light as the breeze that plays amongst them. She is as witty, as Fol
uble, as sprightly as Beatrice, but in a style altogether distinct. In « 0, sir, we quarrel in print, by the book." — Act V., Scene 4.
both, the wit is equally unconscious; but in Beatrice it plays about The particular book here alluded to is a very ridiculous treatise of us like the lightning, dazzling, but also alarming; while the wit of one Vihcentio Saviola, entitled “Op HONOR AND HONORABLE QUARRELS” | Rosalind bubbles up and sparkles like the living fountains, refresb(1594). The first part of this tract is “A discourse most necessary | ing all around. Her volubility is like the bird's song; it is the outfur all gentlemen that have in regard their honors, touching the giv- pouring of a heart filled to overflowing with life, love and joy, and all ing and receiving the lie, whereupon the duello and the combat in sweet and affectionate impulses. She has as much tenderness as divers forms doth engue, and many other inconveniences, for lack mirth, and in her most petulant raillery there is a touch of softness only of true knowledge of honor, and the right understanding of “ By this hand, it will not hurt a fly." words, wbich is here set down.”
As her vivacity never lessens our impression of her sensibility, so Touchstone's satirical allusion to the virtue of "if" is founded on a she wears her masculine attire without the slightest impugnment of passage in the fourth chapter, in which the writer says, “ Conditional her delicacy. Shakspeare did not make the modesty of his women lies be such as are given conditionally; as if a man should say or depend on their dress. Rosalind bas in truth po “ doublet and hose write these words - If thou hast said that I have offered my lord in her disposition." How her heart seems to throb and flutter under abuse, thou liest; or, if thou sayest so hereafter, thou shalt lie."" her page's vest! What depth of love in her passion for Orlando;
whether disguised beneath a saucy playfulness, or breaking forth « That thou mightst join her hand with his
with a fond impatience, or half betrayed in that beautiful scene Whose heart within her bosom is.” — Act V., Scene 4. where she faints at the sight of the kerchief stained with bis blood!
Here the recovery of her self-possession-her fears lest she should The old copy for “her," in this passage, reads "his," in both in
have revealed her sex-her presence of mind and quick-witted excuse, stances. The errors were corrected by Rowe and Malone. The mean
“I pray you tell your brother how well I counterfeited," and the ing is," that thou mightst join her hand with the hand of him whose
characteristic playfulness which seems to return so naturally with her heart is lodged within her bosom;" that is, whose affection she
recovered senses, are all as amusing as consistent. already possesses. In "Love's LABOR'S Lost” the King says to the
Then how beautiful is the dialogue managed between herself and Princess :
Orlando; how well she assumes the airs of a saucy page, without “ Hence ever, then, my heart is in thy breast.”
throwing off her feminine sweetness! How her wit flutters free as In the same play, with the same error that has happened in the pas air over every subject! with what a careless grace, yet with what es. sage quoted at the head of this note, the Princess says to her ladies: quisite propriety :“ But while 't is spoke, each turn away his face."
“For innocence hath a privilege in her
To dignify arch jests and laughing eyes."
And if the freedom of some of the expressions used by Rosalind or
Beatrice be objected to, let it be remembered that this was not the Act V., Scene 4.
fault of Shakspeare or the women, but generally of the age Portia,
Beatrice, Rosalind, and the rest, lived in times when more importIn Lodge's novel, the ugurping Duke is not diverted from his pur
apce was attached to things than to words; now we think more of pose by the pious counsels of a hermit, but is subdued and killed by
words than of things, -and happy are we in these days of superrethe twelve peers of France.
finement, if we are to be saved by our verbal morality.- MRS. JAMESOX “CHARACTERISTICS OF WOMEN.”