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Take, or lend.--Ho!--No answer? then I 'll enter.
Enter BELARIUS, GUIDERIUS, and ARVIRAGUS.
8 If any thing that's civil, spenk; if savage,
Take, or lend.]l question whether, after the words, if savage, a line be not lost. I can offer nothing better than to read:
Ho! who's here?
if savage, speak. If you are civilised and peaceable, take a price for what I want, or lend it for a future recompense; if you are rough inhospitable in. habitants of the mountain, speak, that I may know my state.
Fohnson It is by no means necessary to suppose that savage hold signifies the habitation of a beast. It may as well be used for the cave of a savage, or wild man, who, in the romances of the time, were represented as residing in the woods, like the famous Orson, Bre. mno in the play of Mucedorus, or the savage in the seventh canto of the fourth Book of Spenser's Fairy Queen, and the sixth B. c. 4.
Steevens. Steevens is right in supposing that the word savage does not mean, in this place, a wild beast, but a brutish man, and in that sense it is opposed to civil: in the former sense, the word human would have been opposed to it, not civil. So, in the next Act, Imogen says:
“ Our courtiers say, all 's savage but at court.” And in As you Like it, Orlando says: “I thought that all things had been savage here."
M. Mason. The meaning, I think, is, If any one resides here that is ac. customed to the modes of civil life, answer me; but if this be the habitation of a wild and uncultivated man, or of one banished from society, that will enter into no converse, let him at least si. lently furnish me with enough to support me, accepting a price for it, or giving it to me without a price, in consideration of future recompense. Dr. Johnson's interpretation of the words take, or lend, is supported by what Imogen says afterwards:
« Before I enter'd here, I call'd; and thought
“ To have begg’d, or bought, what I have took." but such licentious alterations as transferring words from one line to another, and transposing the words thus transferred, ought, in my apprehension, never to be admitted. Malone.
9 Best draw, my sword;] As elliptically, Milton, where the 2nd brother in Comus says:
“ Best draw, and stand upon our guard.” Steevens.
Are master of the feast: Cadwal, and I,
I am throughly weary.
that, Whilst what we have kill'd be cook'd. Bel.
Stay; come not in: [Looking in.
What's the matter, sir?
troth, I have stolen nought; nor would not, though I had found
- woodman,] A woodman, in its common acceptation (as in the present instance) signifies a hunter. For the particular and original meaning of the word, see Mr. Reed's note in Measure for Measure, Vol. III, p. 452, n. 3. Steevens. So, in The Rape of Lucrece:
“ He is no woodman that doth bend his bow
Steevens. · when restive sloth - ] Resty signified, mouldy, rank. See Minsheu, in v. The word is yet used in the North. Perhaps, however, it is here used in the same sense in which it is applied to a horse. Malone.
Restive, in the present instance, I believe, means unquiet, shifting its posture, like a restive horse. Steevens.
4 An earthly paragon!] The same phrase has already occurred in The Two Gentlemen of Verona: “ No; but she is an earthly paragon.” Steevens.
Gold strew'd o' the floor.5 Here's money for my meat :
I see, you are angry:
What is your name?
Pr’ythee, fair youth,
Were you a woman, youth,
o' the floor.] Old copy-i' the floor. Corrected by Sir T. Hanmer. Malone.
6 and parted -] A syllable being here wanting to the measure, we might read, with Sir Thomas Hanmer-and parted thence. Steevens.
- sir.] This word, which is deficient in the old copies, has been supplied by some modern editor, for the sake of metre.
Steevens. 8 I am fallen in this offence.] In, according to the ancient mode of writing, is here used instead of_into. Thus, in Othello:
“ Fallen in the practice of a cursed slave.” Again, in King Richard III:
“But first, I 'll turn yon fellow in his grave.” Steevens. I should woo hard, but be your groom.- In honesty,
I bid for you, as I'd buy.) The old copy reads — -as I do buy. The correction was made by Sir T. Hanmer. He rends unneces. sarily, I'd bid for you, &c. In the folio the line is thus pointed :
I'll make 't my comfort, He is a man: I 'll love him as my brother:And such a welcome as I'd give to him, After long absence, such is yours:-Most welcome! Be sprightly, for you fall ’mongst friends. Imo.
’Mongst friends! If brothers ?-'Would it had been so, that they Had been my father's sons! then had my prize
He wrings at some distress.2
Or I; whate'er it be,
Hark, boys. [Whispering. Imo. Great men, That had a court no bigger than this cave, That did attend themselves, and had the virtue Which their own conscience seal’d them, (laying by
“ I should woo hard, but be your groom in honesty:
“I bid for you,” &c. Malone. I think this passage might be better read thus:
I should woo hard, but be your groom.- In honesty,
I bid for you, as I'd buy. That is, I should woo hard, but I would be your bridegroom. [And when I say, that I would woo hard, be assured that in honesty I bid for you, only at the rate at which I would purchase you.
Tyrwhitt. - then had my prize Been less; and so more equal ballasting - ] Sir Thos. Hanmer reads plausibly, but without necessity, price for prize, and balancing for ballasting. He is followed by Dr. Warburton. The mean. ing is,-Had I been a less prize, I should not have been too heavy for Posthumus. Johnson.
The old reading is undoubtedly the true one. So, in King Henry VI, P. III:
“ It is war's prize to take all vantages.” Again, ibidem:
“Methinks, 'tis prize enough to be his son.” The same word occurs again in this play of Cymbeline, as well as in Hamlet. Steevens.
% He wrings at some distress.] i. e. writhes with anguish. So, in our author's Much Ado about Nothing:
" To those that wring under a load of sorrow.” Again, in Tom Tyler and his Wife, bl. I.
“I think I have made the cullion to wring.” Steevens.
That nothing gift of differing multitudes,)
3 That nothing gift of differing multitudes,] The poet must mean, that court, that obsequious adoration, which the shifting vulgar pay to the great, is a tribute of no price or value. I am persuaded therefore our poet coined this participle from the French verb, and wrote:
That nothing gift of defering multitudes : i. e. obsequious, paying deference.
-Deferer, Ceder par respect a quelqu'un, obeir, condescendre, &c.—Deferent, civil, respectueux, &c. Richelet. Theobald.
He is followed by Sir Thomas Hanmer and Dr. Warburton; but I do not see why differing may not be a general epithet, and the expression equivalent to the many-headed rabble. Fohnson.
It certainly may; but then nothing is predicated of the many. headed multitude, unless we supply words that the text does not exhibit, “That worthless boon of the differing of many-headed multitude, [attending upon them, and paying their court to them;]" or suppose the whole line to be a periphrasis for adulation or obei.
There was no such word as defering or deferring in Shakspeare's time. Deferer a une compaigne," Cotgrave, in his Dictionary, 1611, explains thus: “To yeeld, referre, or attribute much, unto a companie.” Malone.
That nothing gift which the multitude are supposed to bestow, is glory, reputation, which is a present of little value from their hands; as they are neither unanimous in giving it, nor constant in continuing it. Heath.
I believe the old to be the right reading Differing multitudes means unsteady multitudes, who are continually changing their opinions, and condemn to-day what they yesterday applauded.
M. Mason. Mr. M. Mason's explanation is just. So, in the Induction to The Second Part of King Henry IV:
“ The still discordant, wav'ring multitude.” Steevens. 4 Since Leonatus false.) Mr. M. Mason would read:
Since Leonatus is false.but this conjecture is injurious to the metre. If we are to connect the words in question with the preceding line, and suppose that Imogen has completed all she meant to say, we might read:
Since Leonate is false. Thus, for the convenience of versification, Shakspeare sometimes calls Prospero, Prosper, and Enobarbus, Enobarbe. Steevens.
As Shakspeare has used “thy mistress' ear,” and “ Menelaus tent," for thy mistresses ear, and Menelauses tent, so, with still greater licence, he uses-Since Leonatus false, for--Since Leo. natus is false. Malone.