« ZurückWeiter »
Touch. Then thou art damned.
Touch. Truly, thou art damned, like an ill-roasted egg,
all on one side. Cor. For not being at court? Your reason.
. Touch. Why, if thou never wast at court, thou never saw'st good manners; if thou never saw'st good manners, then thy manners must be wicked; and wickedness is sin, and sin is damnation. Thou art in a parlous state', shepherd.
Cor. Not a whit, Touchstone: those that are good manners at the court are as ridiculous in the country, as the behaviour of the country is most mockable at the court. You told me, you salute not at the court, but you kiss your hands: that courtesy would be uncleanly, if courtiers were shepherds.
Touch. Instance, briefly; come, instance.
Cor. Why, we are still handling our ewes, and their fells, you know, are greasy.
Touch. Why, do not your courtier's hands sweat ? and is not the grease of a mutton as wholesome as the sweat of a man? Shallow, shallow. A better instance, I say ; come.
Cor. Besides, our hands are hard.
Touch. Your lips will feel them the sooner: shallow again. A more sounder instance; come.
Cor. And they are often tarred over with the surgery of our sheep; and would you have us kiss tar? The courtier's hands are perfumed with civet.
Touch. Most shallow man! Thou worms-meat, in respect of a good piece of flesh, indeed !-Learn of the wise, and perpend: civet is of a baser birth than tar; the very uncleanly flux of a cat. Mend the instance, shepherd.
8 Thou art in a Parlous state,] Ritson tells us, correctly, that “parlous” is a corruption of perilous. It sometimes seems to mean talkative, as in the following line from Day's “ Law Tricks," 1608,
“ A parlous youth, sharp and satirical.” Perhaps, being “sharp and satirical,” the youth was on that account perilous, or “ parlous.” In the old MS. Interlude of “Misogonus," it is said of one of the characters, “0! its a parlous unthriftye ladde.”
Cor. You have too courtly a wit for me: I'll rest.
Touch. Wilt thou rest damned ? God help thee, shallow man! God make incision in thee?! thou art
Cor. Sir, I am a true labourer: I earn that I eat, get that I wear; owe no man hate, envy no man's happiness; glad of other men's good, content with my harm; and the greatest of my pride is, to see my ewes graze, and my lambs suck.
Touch. That is another simple sin in you ; to bring the ewes and the rams together, and to offer to get your living by the copulation of cattle; to be bawd to a bell-wether, and to betray a she-lamb of a twelvemonth, to a crooked-pated, old, cuckoldly ram, out of all reasonable match. If thou be'st not damned for this, the devil himself will have no shepherds: I cannot see else how thou shouldst ’scape.
Cor. Here comes young master Ganymede, my new mistress's brother.
Enter ROSALIND, reading a paper.
No jewel is like Rosalind.
But the fair of Rosalindo. ? God make incision in thee !] i. e. says Steevens,“ Cut thee for the simples.” If the shepherd were “raw," he might be the more fit for “ incision.” The explanation of Steevens seems supported by the next speech of Touchstone, “ That is another simple sin in you,” &c.
8 All the pictures, fairest Lin'd,] i. e. delineated, and not limn'd, as Steevens truly observes: it has been sometimes printed limn'd. . But the Fair of Rosalind.] “ Fair” for fairness. See vol. ii. p. 126. note 3. VOL. III.
Touch. I'll rhyme you so, eight years together, dinners, and suppers, and sleeping hours excepted : it is the right butter-women's rank to market'.
Ros. Out, fool!
“If a hart do lack a hind,
Let him seek out Rosalind.
Must find love's prick, and Rosalind.”
Ros. Peace! you dull fool: I found them on a tree. .
Ros. I'll graff it with you, and then I shall graff it with a medlar: then it will be the earliest fruit i' the country'; for you'll be rotten e'er you be half ripe, and that's the right virtue of the medlar.
the right butter-women's RANK to market.] So the old copies; and “ rank” is certainly as good as rate or rant, which some editors would substitute without authority. Rank," as Whiter observes, means the order in which they go one after another, and therefore Shakespeare says, “ butterwomen's,” and not butter-woman's, as it has been corrupted of late years.
then it will be the earliest fruit i' the country ;) Steevens observes upon this passage, “ Shakespeare seems to have had little knowledge of gardening : the medlar is one of the latest fruits.” It was not that Shakespeare did not understand gardening, but that Steevens did not here understand Shakespeare. Shakespeare was well aware that the medlar is “one of the latest fruits,” and this constitutes the point of what Rosalind says :-“ Then it will be the earliest fruit in the country,” although now it is one of the latest. To “ graff” the tree with the clown would be to “graff” it with a medlar; but the clown was so prematurely intrusive, that the nature of the fruit would be changed, and it would be ripe early instead of late “then it will be the earliest fruit in the country.” The substance of this note I owe to Mr. Amyot.
Touch. You have said ; but whether wisely or no, let the forest judge.
Enter CELIA, reading a paper.
For it is unpeopled ? No;
That shall civil sayings show :
Runs his erring pilgrimage,
Buckles in his sum of age.
'Twixt the souls of friend and friend :
Or at every sentence' end,
Teaching all that read to know
Heaven would in little show.
That one body should be fill'd
Nature presently distilld
Sad Lucretia's modesty.
By heavenly synod was devis’d,
? Why should this desert be?] Tyrwhitt would read, “Why should this desert silent be ?” and Pope, “ Why should this a desert be?" No alteration of the old copies seems absolutely necessary, but Pope was a good judge of metre, and a may easily have dropped out.
3 Helen's cheek, but not her heart,] Misprinted “his heart” in the old copies. See p. 96. of this vol., note 2.
Of many faces, eyes, and hearts,
To have the touches dearest priz'd.
Ros. O, most gentle Jupiter !—what tedious homily of love have you wearied your parishioners withal, and never cried, “ Have patience, good people!”
Cel. How now? back, friends.—Shepherd, go off a little :—go with him, sirrah.
Touch. Come, shepherd, let us make an honourable retreat; though not with bag and baggage, yet with scrip and scrippage. [Exeunt CORIN and TOUCHSTONE.
Cel. Didst thou hear these verses?
Ros. O! yes, I heard them all, and more too; for some of them had in them more feet than the verses would bear.
Cel. That's no matter: the feet might bear the verses.
Ros. Ay, but the feet were lame, and could not bear themselves without the verse, and therefore stood lamely in the verse.
Cel. But didst thou hear without wondering, how thy name should be hanged and carved upon these trees?
Ros. I was seven of the nine days out of the wonder, before you came; for look here what I found on a palm-treet: I was never so be-rhymed since Pythagoras' time, that I was an Irish rat", which I can hardly remember.
4 - for look here what I found on a PALM-tree :) “A palm-tree,” as Steevens remarks,“ in the forest of Arden, is as much out of its place as the lioness in a subsequent scene.” Shakespeare cared little about such "proprieties ;" but possibly he wrote plane-tree, which may have been misread by the transcriber or compositor.
- that I was an Irish rat,] Ben Jonson, and other poets of the time, have mentioned this mode of killing rats in Ireland ; but in a passage in his “ Bartholomew Fair,” A. iii. sc. 1, where Cokes begins singing a ballad, he seems to represent it as general : “ The rat-catcher's charms,” observes Cokes,
are all fools and asses to this."