Page images
PDF
EPUB

EPILOGUE. Ros. It is not the fashion to see the lady the epilogue; but it is no more unhandsome, than to see the lord the prologue. If it be true, that good wine needs no bush, 'tis true that a good play needs no epilogue; yet to good wine they do use good bushes, and good plays prove the better by the help of good epilogues.

What a case am I in, then, that

am neither a good epilogue, nor can

not insinuate with you in the behalf

of a good play? I am not furnish

ed like a beggar, therefore to beg

will not become me: my way is,

to conjure you; and I'll begin with

the women. - I charge you, O

women! for the love you bear to

men, to like as much of this play

as please you: and I charge you,

O men! for the love you bear to

women, (as I perceive by your sim

pering none of you hates them,) that

between you and the women, the

play may please. If I were a wom

an, I would kiss
as many of you as had beards that pleased me, complexions
that liked me, and breaths that I defied not; and, I
am sure, as many as have good beards, or good
faces, or sweet breaths, will, for my

kind offer, when I make
curtsey, bid me

farewell.

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

(Ereunt.]

[graphic][merged small]

ACT 1.-SCENE I.

to feel the truth and beauty of his exquisite As You “As I remember, Adam" -This is printed as it stands its tangled glens and magnificent depths.”

LIKE IT, without having loitered, as I have done, amid in the old copies, and certainly gives the effect of colloquial ease and the careless phraseology of familiardialogue,

“ – of all sorts enchantingly beloved" _“It is too referring to something that had been said before. Sev. venturous to charge a passage in SHAKESPEARE with want eral later editors have thought proper to give it a more

of truth to nature; and yet at first sight this speech of formal and grammatical character, by correcting the

Oliver's expresses truths which it seems almost impos. reading in various ways. Thus, Johnson—" As I re- sible that any mind should so distinctly, so livelily, and member, Adam, it was upon this fashion bequeathed so voluntarily, have presented to itself in connection me. By will." etc. Blackstone suggests—"He be

with feelings and intentions so malignant and so conqueathed.” We agree, with Caldecott, that "the old trary to those which the qualities expressed would natutext is in the true spirit of all dialogue on such an occa

rally have called forth. But I dare not say that this sion."

seeming unnaturalness is not in the nature of an abused

wilfulness, when united with a strong intellect. In such his COUNTENANCE”-i. e. His behaviour, his characters there is sometimes a gloomy self-gratification bearing. A “countenance” (says Johnson) may be in making the absoluteness of the wili (sit pro ratione good or bad.

voluntas ) evident to themselves by setting the reason " be naught awhile"-In Ben Jonson's “Tale of and the conscience in full array against it."-COLERIDGE. a Tub" we have,

“ — KINDLE the boy'-i. e. Instigate. In Macbeth, Peace and be naught! I think the woman's phrensic. we have—“enkindle you unto the crown." In his “ Bartholomew Fair” we find—" Leave the bottle behind you, and be curst awhile.”. There are many

SCENE II. examples in the old dramatists which clearly show that be naught,” or be nought, was a petty malediction ;

"Cel.”—“Celia asks a question, to which the Clown and thus Oliver says no more than—Be better employed, replies. The usurping duke in the last scene, is called and be hanged to you. This is the substance of Gifford's

Duke Frederick. In the old folios this speech is given note upon the passage in “ Bartholomew Fair.”

to Rosalind ; but we have to choose between two mis

takes-either that Shakespeare in the last act forgot the “ – nearer to his reverence"-i. e. The reverence name of the Duke of the first act, or that the printer due to my father is, in some degree, inherited by you gave a speech of Celia to Rosalind."-Knight. as the first-born. Warburton, always ingenious, pro With the majority of the editors, from Theobald to poses to read “his revenue.”

Knight, we have preferred the latter supposition—such I am no villAIN”—The word "villain” is used by a misprint being among the most common. the elder brother in its present meaning: by Orlando,

“ — you'll be whipp'd for TAXATION"-It was the cusin its original sense, for a fellow of base extraction.

tom to whip fools when they allowed their tongues too the forest of Arden"-Shakespeare was furnished great license. “Taxation" is satire, censure, scandal. with the principal scene in this play by Lodge's novel.

"—the little wit that fools have"- The allusion is to Arden (or Ardenne) is forest of considerable extent, near the Meuse, and between Charlemont and Rocroy. allowed an unbridled liberty of censure and mockery;

the professional fools, or jesters, who for ages had been It is mentioned by Spenser, in his “ Colin Clout," as fa- and about Shakespeare's time began to be less tolerated. mous “Ardeyn;" and in recent times is thus characterized by Lady Morgan :-“ The forest of Ardennes smells of " — Bills on their necks”—There is reason to think early English poetry. It has all the green-wood fresh- that " with bills on their necks," as Farmer suggested, ness of Shakespeare's scenes ; and it is scarcely possible should be part of the description Le Beau is giving of

who says,

".

the old man and his two sons. Lodge, in his “Rosa The change of “not" to but was made by Theobald, lynde,” calls the father a “lustie franklin of the country,'

What was the penalty of Adam hinted at with two tall men that were his sonnes ;” and they by our Poet? The being sensible of the difference of would properly be furnished with “ bills on their necks," the seasons. The Duke says, the cold and effects of or halberds, commonly carried by foresters; and Rosa the winter feelingly persuade him what he is. How lind immediately misinterprets the word “bills," as if does he not then feel the penalty ?" Boswell and Calit meant public notices—“ Be it known to all men by decott reply, “Surely the old reading is right. Here we these presents.” However, the old copies give the feel not, do not suffer from, the penalty of Adam, the words to Rosalind, who may still very naturally play seasons' difference; for when the winter's wind blows upon the double sense of the word bills.

upon my body, I smile, and say,” etc. ;-which seems “ – broken MUSIC in his sides"_“Rosalind hints at a

very satisfactory. But Mr. Knight, following an ingewhimsical similitude between the series of ribs, gradu

nious suggestion of Whiter, retains the words of the ally shortening, and some musical instruments; and

folio, but changes the punctuation, thus:therefore calls broken ribs 'broken music.'"-Johnson.

Here feel we not the penalty of Adam. This probably alludes to the pipe of Pan, which,

The seasons' difference, as, the icy fang,

And churlish chiding of the winter's wind, consisting of reeds of unequal length, and gradually les Which when it bites and blows upon my body, sening, bore some resemblance to the ribs of a man.”

Even till I shrink with cold, I smile, and say MALONE.

This is no flattery,—these are counsellors, etc. “ if you saw yourself with your eyes"—Coleridge

Although this reading strikes my ear as harsh and dissays, “Surely we should read our eyes, and our judg cordant to the general melody of this speech, and is ment." But Dr. Johnson interprets the passage accord

broken into such pauses and interrupted sense as the ing to the original: “if you used your own eyes to see,

Poet is wont to use only when strong passion is meant or your own judgment to know yourself, the fear of to be expressed, yet the argument of Whiter and your own adventure would counsel you.'

Knight is so ingenious, and contains so much of beauti

ful illustration, that I cannot omit it:-“We ask, what "- a QUINTAINE"-A “quintaine” was originally a || is the penalty of Adam?' All the commentators say, wooden object, generally in the figure of a man, used in the seasons' difference.' On the contrary, it was; . In martial exercises, as a mark against which weapons were the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread.' Milton repdirected. It afterwards became a sport, and was such resents the repentant Adam as thus interpreting the in the time of Shakespeare. The origin and use of the

penalty :“quintaine" are thus described in the “Pictorial His

On me the curse aslope tory of England :"

Glanced on the ground; with labour I must earn " A pole or spear was set upright in the ground, with My bread; what harm? Idleness had been worse. a shield strongly bound to it; and against this the youth tilted with his lance in full career, endeavouring to burst

The beautiful passage in Cowper's “Task,' describing

the Thresher, will also occur to the reader :the ligatures of the shield, and bear it to the earth. A steady aim and a firm seat were acquired from this ex

See him sweating o'er his bread,

Before he eats it. 'Tis the primal curse, ercise; a severe fall being often the consequence of fail

But soften'd into mercy; made the pledge ure in the attempt to strike down the shield. This,

Of cheerful days, and nights without a groan. however, at the best, was but a monotonous exercise ;

"The seasons' difference,' it must be remembered, and therefore the pole, in process of time, was supplanted by the more stimulating figure of a misbelieving

was ordained before the fall, and was in no respect a Saracen, armed at all points, and brandishing a formi

penalty. We may therefore reject the received interdable wooden sabre. The puppet moved freely upon a

pretation. But how could the Duke say, receiving the pivot, or spindle, so that, unless it was struck with the

passage in the sense we have suggested lance adroitly in the centre of the face or breast, it

Here feel we not the penalty of Adam?

rapidly revolved ; and the sword, in consequence, smote

In the first act, Charles the Wrestler, describing the the back of the assailant in his career, amid the laugh

Duke and his co-mates, says, they "fleet the time careter of the spectators."

lessly as they did in the golden world. One of the The lifeless block is clearly an allusion to the wooden

characteristics of the golden world is thus described by man thus described. The “quintaine” was, however,

Daniel :often formed only of a broad plank on one side of the

Oh! happy golden age !

Not for that rivers ran pivot, with a sand-bag suspended on the other side.

With streams of milk and honey dropp'd from trees ;

Not that the earth did gage "- the smaller is his daughter”—The old copies have taller, which is certainly wrong, because Rosalind, Her voluntary fruits, free without fees. in the next scene, says that she is “more than common

The song of Amiens, in the fifth scene of this act, contall.” Pope altered it to shorter; but “smaller" comes veys, we think, the same allusionnearer to the old reading, and we may add that shorter

Who doth ambition shun, and daughter read dissonantly.

And loves to live i' the sun,

Seeking the food he eats,
SCENE III.

And pleas'd with what he gets.

The exil'd courtiers led a life without toil-a life in “ — my child's FATHER"-This is according to the which they were contented with a little—and they were old copies; “ for the father of my children, if I ever thus exempt from the penalty of Adam.' We close, have any"-an idea which has been thought indelicate. therefore, the sentence at Adam.' · The seasons' difColeridge maintains that we ought to read, my father's ference' is now the antecedent of these are counsel. child, which had, on Rowe's suggestion, been adopted lors ;' the freedom of construction common to Shake. in many editions.

speare and the poets of his time fully warranting this

acceptation of the reading. In this way, the Duke ACT II.-SCENE I.

says—The differences of the seasons are counsellors

that teach me what I am ;-as, for example, the winter's Here feel we not the penalty of Adam,

wind-which, when it blows upon my body, I smile, The seasons' difference," etc.

and say, this is no flattery. We may add that, immeI have here, with Caldecott and Collier, followed the diately following the lines we have quoted from the original reading in the folio. The ordinary text, in all * Paradise Lost,' Adam alludes to the seasons' differthe editions of the last century, and many of this, reads ence,' but in no respect as part of the cursethus:-

With labour I must earn
Here feel we but the penalty of Adam.

My bread; what harm? Idleness had been worse ;

Unto the husbandman

My labour will sustain me; and lest cold

cott and Knight adopted Whiter's criticism—"the singu. Or heat should injure us, his timely care Hath unbesought provided, and his hands

lar is often used for the plural with a sense more abCloth'd us unworthy, pitying while He judg'd.

stracted, and therefore, in many instances, more poetiHow much more, if we pray Him, will his ear

cal.”—“Specimen of a Commentary.Be open, and his heart to pity incline, And teach us further by what means to shun

“ — Kill them up"-In the same way Shakespeare Th' inclement seasons, rain, ice, hail, and spow."

has flatter up, stifle up, poisons up. the toad, ugly and venomous,

- cope him"-i. e. Encounter him. We yet a precious jewel in his head," etc. " It has been supposed that the precious jewel refers only to the brilliancy of the toad's eyes, as con

SCENE III. trasted with its ugly form. But there can be no doubt " - a DIVERTED blood"_" Affections alienated and it referred to a common superstition, with which Shake turned out of their natural course; as a stream of water speare's audience was familiar. This, like many other is said to be diverted.—CALDECOTT. vulgar errors, is ancient and universal. Pliny tells us of the wonderful qualities of a bone found in the right

"— too late a WEEK"—i. e. An indefinite period, but side of a toad. in India, it is a common notion that

still a short period—somewhat too late. some species of serpents have precious stones in their heads. Our old credulous writers upon natural history,

SCENE IV. who dwelt with delight upon 'notable things' and 'secret wonders,' are as precise about the toad's stone as a

Clown, alias Touchstone"-We follow Collier modern geologist is about quartz. Edward Fenton, in

in restoring the old stage-direction, as more characteris1569, tells us there is found in heads of old and great

tic than the modernized one—“ Rosalind in boy's clothes, toads a stone which they call borax, or stelon : it is most

Celia dressed like a shepherdess." commonly found in the head of a he-toad.' These toad. “ – how WEARY are my spirits"—In the old copies stones, it should seem, were not only specifics against it stands, “how merry are my spirits !"-an easy mispoison, when taken internally, but being used in rings print; and that it was so seems shown by the answer gave forewarning against venom.' There were, of of Touchstone, “I care not for my spirits, if my legs course, many counterfeit stones, procured by a much were not weary." • Weary" has been adopted by all easier process than that of toad-hunting; but the old except Caldecott and Knight, who retain merry, agreelapidaries had an infallible mode of discovering the true ing with Whiter, who suggests that Rosalind was asfrom the false. “You shall know whether the road-suming good spirits, as well as male attire ; and would stone be the right and perfect stone or not. Hold the therefore say, “how merry are my spirits !" But why stone before a toad, so that he may see it; and if it be should she assume good spirits here to Celia, when, in a right and true stone the toad will leap toward it, and the very next sentence she utters, she says that her make as though he would snatch it. He envieth so spirits are so bad that she could almost cry? much that man should have that stone.' Shakespeare,

- I should bear no cross"-Touchstone plays npin the passage before us, has taken the superstition out of the hands of the ignorant believers in its literality,

on the double meaning of “cross," for an evil, a misfor. and has transmuted it into a poetical truth."-STEVENS

tune, and also a piece of money stamped with a cross. and Knight.

- kissing of her bATLER”—The bat used in washi" this DESERT CITY"–Our Poet may have derived ing linen in a stream. this thought from two lines in “ Montanus's Sonnet," in

from whom I took two cops"-i. e. From his Lodge's “ Rosalynde:"

mistress. He took from her two peascods—i. e. two About her wond'sing stood

pods. We find the pod or cod of the pea used as an or. The citizens of the wood.

nament in the robe of Richard II., in his monument in " -- rith FORKED heads”-i, e. he "forked," or Westminster Abbey. barbed, “heads" of arrows.

"- little RECKS"-i. e. Little cares. It is spelled Under an oak, whose antique root peeps out'' -In

wreaks in Old-English.
his lectures, in 1818, Coleridge eloquently and justly
praised the pastoral beauty and simplicity of As You

SCENE V.
Like It; but he did not attempt to compare it with
Lodge's “Rosalynde," where the descriptions of per-

- Turn his merry note"-Pope and some other edi. sons and of scenery are comparatively forced and artifi

tors vary from the old copies, by reading tune instead cial:-“Shakespeare (said Coleridge) never gives a

of “ turn,” which was the language of the period. description of rustic scenery merely for its own sake, or to show how well he can paint natural objects: he is

· Ducdàme, ducdùme, duedàme"-Hanmer turned never tedious or elaborate ; but while he now and then this into Latin-Duc ad me, ("Bring him to me.") displays marvellous accuracy and minuteness of know- || Jaques was parodying the Come hither, come hither, ledge, he usually only touches upon the larger features come hither," of the previous song. The conjecture and broader characteristics, leaving the fillings up to the that he was using some country-call of a woman to her imagination. Thus, in As You Like It, he describes an ducks, appears more rational than his latinity. vak of many centuries' growth in a single line

" – the first-born of Egypt"- Johnson explains this Under an oak, whose antique root peeps out.

as a proverbial expression for high-born persons. Other and inferior writers would have dwelled on this description, and worked it out with all the pettiness and

SCENE VII. impertinence of detail. In SHAKESPEARE, the “antique root’ furnishes the whole picture.”

A motley fool; (a miserable world!)"-"A mise

rable world!' is a parenthetical exclamation frequent These expressions are from notes made at the time, hy Mr. Collier. They serve partially to supply an ob

among melancholy men, and natural to Jaques at the

sight of a fool, or at the hearing retlections on the fra. vions deficiency of general criticism on this play, in

gility of life."-Johnson. Coleridge's “ Literary Remains.”

• Motley” refers to the parti-coloured dress which was “ – needless stream"-i, e. That needed no such ac the costume of the professed fool, or clown. cession.

Call me not fool, till hearen hath sent me fortune"- his velvet FRIEND"-Thus the old editions, but Touchstone's answer alludes to the common saying that the common modern reading was friends, until Calde fools are fortune's favourites.

- Unhappy man-
Whose life a sad continuall tragedie,
Himself the actor, in the world, the stage,

While as the acts are measured by his age.
In the “Treasury of Ancient and Modern Times,"
(1613,) is a division of the life of man into seven ages,
said to be taken from Proclus ; and it appears, from
Brown's " Vulgar Errors," that Hippocrates also divided
man's life into seven egrees, or stages, though he dif-
fers from Proclus in the number of years allotted to
each stage. Dr. Henley mentions an old emblematical
print, entitled the “Stage of Man's Life divided into
Seven Ages," from which he thinks Shakespeare more
likely to have taken his hint than from Hippocrates, or
Proclus; but he does not tell us that this print was of
Shakespeare's age. Stevens refers to the Totus Mun-
dus Exerceat Histrionic" of Petronius, with whom
probably the sentiment originated. Shakespeare has
again referred to it in the MERCHANT OF Venice:

I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano,

A stage where every man must play his part.

MODERN instances"-i. e. Common, trivial, worth

less instances. The use of the word in this sense is Act II. SCENE 7.-A dial from his poke,

frequent in Shakespeare, as in other old writers. Yet Johnson explains it in our present sense—"the Justice

is full of old sayings and late examples." “— my only suit”-i. e. Request, as well as attire. Rosalind plays in the same way upon the word—"Not "Re-enter ORLANDO, with ADAM"_" Adam' is a out of your apparel, but out of your suit.

character in “The Coke's Tale of Gamelyn,' and in “ Not to”—These words are not in the original, but

Lodge's · Rosalynde;' and a great additional interest were added by Theobald. Both the metre and the

attaches to it, because it is supposed, with some appearsense seem to require them; though a fair meaning may

ance of truth, that the part was originally sustained by be extracted from the old reading, if aided by Whiter's

Shakespeare himself

. We have this statement on the ingenious, but somewhat forced punctuation

authority of Oldys's MSS.: he is said to have derived it, He that a fool doth very wisely hit

intermediately of course, from Gilbert Shakespeare, who Doth, very foolishly although he smart,

survived the Restoration, and who had a faint recollecSeem senseless of the bob.

tion of having seen his brother William in one of his “ the BOB”-i. e. Rap.

own comedies, wherein, being to personate a decrepit

old man, he wore a long beard, and appeared so weak “ – a COUNTER"-About the time when this play and drooping, and unable to walk, that he was forced was written, the French counters (i. e. pieces of false to be supported and carried by another person to a money used as a means of reckoning) were brought into table, at which he was seated among some company, use in England. They are again mentioned in TROILUS

who were eating, and one of them sung a song.' This AND CRESSIDA, and in the Winter's Tale.

description tallies with As You LIKE IT.”-COLLIER. - the weary very means”—The old copies give Because thou art not seen"-Johnson thus explains this line literatim as follows:

this line, which some editors have thought misprinted :Till that the weario verie meanes do ebbe?

“Thou winter wind, (says Amiens,) thy rudeness gives which Pope altered thus, all the editors but Caldecott the less pain, as thou art not seen, as thou art an enemy following him:

that dost not brave us with thy presence, and whose Till that the very very means do ebb?

unkindness is therefore not aggravated by insult." The The older meaning is clear, as Whiter interprets it, invisibility of the active agency of the wind is a frequent “ Till the very means, wearied out, do ebb." Collier idea in our poets. So, in the “Sonnet” in Love's LA-' strangely suggests Jaques to be railing against pride and BOUR's Lostexcess of apparel, and the words to be, that "the very

Through the velvet leaves the wind

All unseen 'gan passage find.
wearing means," or means of wearing fine clothes, "do
ebb.” To read “very, very," with Pope and others, is Again, in MEASURE FOR MEASURE-
not like Shakespeare's diction.

To be imprison'd in the viewless winds.
“ — MY TAXING"—i. e.
e. Censure, reproach.

Though thou the waters WARP”—This word "warp" “ — yet am I INLAND bred—The word occurs again

has called forth much philological and critical discussion. in act iii. scene 2—"who was in his youth an inland

Our American lexicographer, Noah Webster, boldly man.” “Inland" was generally used, in old writers, in

pronounces that to warp water in Shakespeare is

forced and unnatural—indeed it is not English." Yet it opposition to upland, which is explained in Minshew's Dictionary as " unbred, rude, rustical, clownish.”

certainly was good old Saxon, which ought to have com

mended it to Mr. Webster's favour; and it may, as fa' — some NURTURE"-i. e. Education.

miliar Saxon, have most probably been familiar Old“WHEREIN we play in"-Pleonasms of this kind were English in our Poet's time. Holt White quotes from by no means uncommon in the writers of Shakespeare's

Hickes's “Thesaurus" the same phrase, in an Angloage :-“I was afearde to what end his talke would come Saxon adage, “Winter sceal geweorpan weden"—Winto.'-( Baret.) In CORIOLANUS, (act ii. scene 1:)

ter shall warp water. To warp, in the Pool's day, still

had the sense which is now retained only in the substantive In what enormity is Marcius poor in. And in ROMEO AND JULIET, (act i. Chorus :)—

warp, in weaving. It is so explained by his contempo

rary, Florio, in his Dictionary, as answering to the Italian That fair for which love groan'd for.

ordire, (to weave;) and Cotgrave, in his French DictionHis acts being SEVEN AGES"-In the old play of ary of the same period, uses it to explain ourdir. Nares “Damon and Pythias,” we have— Pythagoras said, (Glossary) quotes from Sternhold's “Psalms," " while that this world was like a stage whereon many play he doth mischief warp;" and again, “such wicked their parts." And in the legend of “Orpbeus and wiles to warp"-when a modern poet would have used Euridice," (1597 :)

weave. The phrase then, without any forced metaphor,

[graphic]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »