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And sauc'd our broths, as Juno had been sick,
Nobly he yokes
I do note,
- He cut our roots in characters ;] So, in Fletcher's Elder Brother, Act IV:
“ And how to cut his meat in characters.” Steevens.
rooted in him both,] Old copy-in them. Corrected by Mr. Pope. Malone.
5 Mingle their spurs together.] Spurs, an old word for the fibres of a tree. Pope.
Spurs are the longest and largest leading roots of trees. Our poet has again used the same word in The Tempest:
the strong bas'd promontory
“ Pluck'd up the pine and cedar.” Hence probably the spur of a post; the short wooden buttress affixed to it, to keep it firm in the ground. Malone. 6 And let the stinking elder, grief, untwine
His perishing root, qvith the increasing vine!) Shakspeare had only seen English vines which grow against walls, and therefore may be sometimes entangled with the elder. Perhaps we should read-untwine-from the vine. Johnson.
Surely this is the meaning of the words without any change. May patience increase, and may the stinking elder, grief, no longer twine his decaying (or destructive, if perishing is used actively, ) root with the vine, patience, thus increasing !- As to untwine is here used for to cease to twine, so, in King Henry VIII, theword uncontemned having been used, the poet has constructed the remainder of the sentence as if he had written not contemned. See Vol. XI, p. 279, n. 4. Malone.
7 It is great morning ] A Gallicism. Grand jour. Steevens.
Gui. He is but one: You and my brother search
Soft! What are you That fly me thus? some villain mountaineers? I have heard of such.- What slave art thou? Gui.
A thing More slavish did I ne'er, than answering A slave without a knock. 8 Clo.
Thou art a robber, A law-breaker, a villain: Yield thee, thief.
Gui. To who? to thee? What art thou? Have not I
Thou villain base,
No, nor thy tailor, rascal,
than answering A slave without a knock ] Than answering that abusive word slave. Slave should be printed in Italicks. M Mason.
Mr. M Mason's interpretation is supported by a passage in Romeo and Juliet:
“Now, Tybalt, take the villain back again.” Malone.
- for I wear not My dagger in my mouth.] So, in Solyman and Perseda, 1599:
“I fight not with my tongue : this is my oratrix.” Malone. 1 No,] This negation is at once superfluous and injurious to the metre. Steevens. 2 No, nor thy tailor, rascal,
Who is thy grandfather; he made those clothes,
Which, as it seems, make thee. } See a note on a similar passage in a former scene, p. 92, n. 9. Steevens.
Thou precious varlet
Hence then, and thank
Thou injurious thief,
What's thy name?
Gui. Cloten, thou double villain, be thy name,
To thy further fear,
I'm sorry for 't; not seeming
Art not afeard?
Die the death:
3 Yield, rustick mountaineer.] I believe, upon examination, the character of Cloten will not prove a very consistent one. Act I, sc. iv, the Lords who are conversing with him on the subject of his rencontre with Posthumus, represent the latter as having nei. ther put forth his strength or courage, but still advancing forwards to the prince, who retired before him; yet at this his last appearance, we see him fighting gallantly, and falling by the hand of Guiderius. The same persons afterwards speak of him as of a mere ass or ideot; and yet, Act III, sc. i, he returns one of the noblest and most reasonable answers to the Roman envoy: and the rest of his conversation on the same cccasion, though it may lack form a little, by no means resembles the language of folly. He behaves with proper dignity and civility at parting with Lu. cius, and yet is ridiculous and brutal in his treatment of Imogen. Belarius describes him as not having sense enough to know what fear is (which he defines as being sometimes the effect of judgment); and yet he forms very artful schemes for gaining the af. fection of his mistress, by means of her attendants; to get her person into his power afterwards; and seems to be no less ac. quainted with the character of his father, and the ascendancy
Enter BELARIUS and ARVIRACUS.
Bel. I cannot tell: Long is it since I saw him,
In this place we left them:
he is so fell. Bel.
Being scarce made up,
the Queen maintained over his uxorious weakness. We find Cloten, in short, represented at once as brave and dastardly, civil and brutal, sagacious and foolish, without that subtilty of distinction, and those shades of gradation between sense and folly, virtue and vice, which consiitute the excellence of such mixed characters as Polonius in Hamlet, and the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet Steevens.
the snatches in his voice, And burst of speaking,] This is one of our author's strokes of observation. An abrupt and tumultuous utterance very frequently accompanies a confused and cloudy understanding. Johnson.
for the effect of judgment Is oft the cause of fear:) Old copy-defect of judgement-] If I understand this passage, it is mock reasoning as it stands, and the text must have been slightly corrupted. Belarius is giving a description of what Cloten formerly was; and in answer to what Arviragus says of his being so fell, “ Ay, (says Belarius) le was so fell; and being scarce then at man's estate, he had no ap. prehension of roaring terrors, i. e. of any thing that could check him with fears.” But then, how does the inference come in, built upon this ? For defect of judgment is oft the cause of fear. I think the poet meant to have said the mere contrary. Cloten was de.. fective in judgment, and therefore did not fear. Apprehensions of fear grow from a judgment in weighing dangers. And a very easy change, from the traces of the letters, gives us this sensen, and reconciles the reasoning of the whole passage:
for th’ effect of judgment Is of the cause of fear, Theobald. Şir T. Hanmer reads with equal justness of sentiment:
Re-enter GUIDERIUS, with Cloter's Head.
What hast thou done?
- for defect of judgment
Is oft the cure of fear, But, I think, the play of effect and cause more resembling the manner of our author Johnson.
If fear, as in other passages of Shakspeare, be understood in an active signification for what may cause fear, it means that Cloten’s defect of judgment caused him to commit actions to the terror of others, without due consideration of his own danger therein. Thus, in King Henry IV, Part II:
all these bold fears,
- if he knock out either of your brains, a' were as good crack a fusty nut with no kernel ” Steevens. ? I am perfect, quhat:) I am well informed, what. So, in this play:
“ I am perfect, the Pannonians are in arms." Fohnson.
take us in,] To take in, was the phrase in use for to apprehend an out-law, or to make him amenable to publick justice.
Fohnson. To take in means, simply, to conquer, to subdue. So, in Antony and Cleopatra:
cut the Ionian seas, “ And take in Toryne.” Steevens. That Mr. Steevens's explanation of this phrase is the true one, appears froni the present allusion to Cloten's speech, and also from the speech itself in the former part of this scene. He had not threatened to render these outlaws amenable to justice, but to kill them with his own hand:
“ Die the death:
“ When I have slain thee with my proper hand,” &c. “He'd fetch us in,” is used a little lower by Belafius, in the sease assigned by Dr. Johnson to the phrase before us. Malonę.