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that I could willingly part with, while the one I would avoid destroying and the other I would avoid encountering.'
You have beguil'd me with a counterfeit
Proves valueless.-Yohn, iii, 1. It is the impetuous-natured Constance who says this; using the word “ counterfeit" in both the senses which it formerly bore of a “portrait' and a ‘false coin, and thus flinging a double scoff at the king who has failed in his promise to her.
Oh, lawful let it be That I have room with Rome to curse awhile I-Ibid., iii. 1. Again, it is the vehement Constance who avails herself of the mode in which “ Rome” was sometimes pronounced, to give vent to a contemptuous utterance of her stung feeling.
My sovereign lord, bestow yourself with speed :
And will with all expedience charge on us.-H. V., iv. 3. Here it is Salisbury, one of the English warriors in the desperate condition of small numbers reduced by hard fighting and famine against a fresh and numerous force, who by using the word “ bravely” indulges in a fleer at the bravingly boastful and defiant' enemy as well as at their showily arranged, smartly set forth ' ranks.
For Suffolk's duke, may he be suffocate,
That dims the honour of this warlike isle !-2 H. VI., i. 1. Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, in his wrath at Suffolk's betrayal of England's glory, utters this taunting pun.
Foul wrinkled witch, what mak'st thou in my sight?
That will I make before I let thee go.-R. III., i. 3. Gloster uses the word “ mak'st” in the sense of dost'; but Margaret replies to it in its sense of achiev’st,' as used in juxtaposition with “marr'd": her keen sense of wrong goading her into this sharpness of expression.
My lord, my lord,
Yourself pronounce their office.-H. VIII., ii. 4. It is the high-spirited and noble-hearted Queen Katharine, who pours forth this outspoken denouncement of the all-powerful Wolsey; and she uses two words therein with a double meaning,“ powers” in the duplicate sense of powerful. persons' and powers of intellect '-and “words " in the duplicate sense of 'commands' and 'speech.' She tells him that by his own good fortune and the king's favours he has passed easily over the first steps from his original low position, and is now mounted to a height where potentates are at his disposal and
direction, and where the powers of his own intellect are employed to promote his influence; and his commands, as mere servitors, suffice to insure obedience to his will in whatever he desires to effect, while his speech serves his purpose by assuming whatever appearance of justice, truth, and candour he chooses to feign. We the rather repeat our interpretation of the double meaning here borne by these two words, because they have been challenged as incorrect by other commentators.
The more shame for ye! holy men I thought ye,
But cardinal sins and hollow hearts I fear ye.-H. VIII., iii. 1.
Oh, my lord,
Farewell, a long farewell, to all my greatness !-Ibid., iii. 2. Norfolk's parting sneer comprises the double meaning of 'my good lord cardinal possessed of so little goodness,' and 'my good lord cardinal looking so little in this hour of exposure.' It is used in reference to the Chamberlain's compassionate words,“ my heart weeps to see him so little of his great self”; and Wolsey uses the words “ little good " in rejoinder to signify . small amount of good-will.' The immediate sequence of the word “greatness in Wolsey's speech serves to show the link that is maintained between the Chamberlain's expression, Norfolk's sneer, and the Cardinal's reply. This kind of play upon words, marking Shakespeare's style even in some of his gravest scenes, is perfectly consistent with nature; especially in a case like the present, where men of intellect are dealing in sarcasm and sarcastic retort.
These times of woe afford no time to wo0.-R. & Ful., iii. 4. Paris, addressing Lord and Lady Capulet when mourning for their kinsman Tybalt, yet applying to them for the hand of their daughter, Juliet, permits himself thus much of sportiveness in phraseology.
Some say the lark makes sweet division ;
This doth not so, for she divideth us.-Ibid., iii. 5. Here the grief of Juliet, even in the hour of parting with her newmade husband, takes the wayward course of quibbling on the word "division" in its double sense of brilliant sequences of notes sung by a bird, and of separation.' Such are the tricks played by the imagination, even at moments when the heart is most sorely tried ; and being such, Shakespeare so denotes them.
Noting this penury, to myself I said,
Romeo's inner thought being absorbed by the one image of his Juliet's death, his surface thought of obtaining the poison which will enable him to rejoin her takes the most capricious form of expression ; not only playing on the words “need” and “ needy,” but dallying with verbal repetitions, in “ sell it him," “ sell it me," " this same thought," and “this same man.” Precisely the mode in which the process of surface-thought plays in fluctuating waves of vagary over the one deep unmoving torturing thought.
All our bills.
Knock me down with 'em ; cleave me to the girdle.--Timon, iii. 4. In the wrath of seeing the men all pressing upon him with their written demands, Timon grimly plays upon the word “ bills,” in its sense of weapons.
No place will please me so, no mean of death,
As here by Cæsar, and by you cut off.- 7 ul. C., iii. 1. Antony, in the mingled grief and indignation of seeing Cæsar lying there murdered, takes a kind of scornful pleasure in thus quibbling upon the word “ by"; first in its sense of by the side of' or 'beside'; and secondly in its sense of • by your means,' or 'through you.'
Pardon me, Julius! Here wast thou bay'd, brave hart;
Dost thou here lie !--Ibid., iii, 1. Here Antony, still in the mood for taking refuge in conceits and plays upon words from the sting of his suppressed indignation against Cæsar's assassins, lets his fancy run riot in a figurative image that shall aggrandise his dead friend to the utmost. And yet Coleridge has denounced the two lines in this passage commencing “ O world,” &c., affirming them to be an interpolation; while another critic has pronounced them to be a “ a foul blemish”!
in your head, nor no money in your purse? Your eyes are in a heavy case, your purse in a light : yet you see how this world goes.— I see it feelingly.-Lear, iv. 6.
Gloster's attempt to reply, in a mood of quibbling correspondent with Lear's, is intensely pathetic; and hardly a stronger instance than the present could be cited of the affecting power with which bitter puns and conceits may be introduced by a true poet into the most serious and even tragic scenes.
No, my heart is turned to stone ; I strike it, and it hurts my hand.-Oth., iv. I. This wilfulness of an imagination writhing in anguish, and twisting itself into contortions of figurative speech, seems to us deeply moving ; and yet it provokes Mr. Steevens to remark that by it Shakespeare " counteracts his pathos ” (!)
Do not talk to me, Emilia ;
But what should go by water.-Ibid., iv. 2. Desdemona stunned and bewildered, her eyes dry and tearless, from the effect of her husband's cruel usage and mysterious reproaches, can
only try, with quivering lips and an attempted smile, to rouse herself from her stupor of grief; and the exact effect of this is conveyed by the dramatist's introduction of this slight play on the word here.
Be witness to me, O thou blessed moon !
And finish all foul thoughts.-Ant. & C., iv. 9. Only on the principle that different natures are affected differently by the same causes, can be explained the reason why this passage-which occasions Dr. Johnson to resent what he calls “the intrusion of a conceit so far-fetched and unaflecting”-strikes us as being profoundly affecting and true to nature; the anguish of the speaker's remorse goading him into the very necessity for his imagination to take refuge in forms of fantastic figurativeness.
But, come, come, Antony,
Oh, quick, or I am gone. -
And set thee by Jove's side.--I bid., iv. 13. Though the whole passage bears token that Cleopatra is in that bitter mood of mind which prompts her to turn cruel earnest into mocking pastime, yet several emendators have proposed other words instead of * sport" here, which, we think, is manifestly correct.
And so, great powers,
And cancel these cold bonds.-Cym., V. 4. Dr. Johnson observes, that “this equivocal use of bonds' is another instance of our author's infelicity in pathetic speeches” (!); but, to our mind, it is in precise keeping with the whole tenor of Posthumus's passionately repentant speech-emotional, mournful, and highly imaginative in its lonely self-communing.
Into one of his most serious scenes our prince of dramatists has introduced a slight and very familiar touch, with extremely natural effect, turning it to excellent account as a means of stirring a father's heart, agitating it with wild thoughts, and prompting fierce plays on words and bitter puns. No one but a poet like Shakespeare would have ventured upon using such means as a passing black, a flying particle of smut resting upon a child's nose, for such a purpose, it would have been deemed beneath the dignity of tragedy by any but,
the fearless delineator of nature in all her varied phases of tragic event and feeling :
What, hast smutch'd thy nose?
Are all call'd neat.-W.T., i. 2. And into one of his most deeply tragic scenes he has introduced a homely touch, inexpressibly affecting and significant. It not only serves to show the swelling and heaving of the heart that gives the dying man a sense of intolerable oppression (See PHYSICAL INDICATIONS) ; but it also serves to indicate the native courtesy of the old king, and the gentleness of speech that has at length succeeded to his former vehemence and violence when insane. It aids in reconciling us to his death, as the peaceful end to so much unrest and distraction :
Thou 'It come no more,
CANT TERMS. In Shakespeare's works we find some of the cant terms and thieves' jargon that were in use at the time he wrote ; and it will be perceived that a few of them have still survived in modern slang :
At last I spied an ancient angel [' a good old soul,' .a worthy old chap'; a 'fellow easily to be cajoled '] coming down the hill, will serve the turn.—Tam. of S., iv. 2.
The wisest aunt !' good old dame,' 'worthy old woman'], telling the saddest tale, sometime for three-foot stool mistaketh me.- Mid. N. D., ii. 1.
Are summer songs for me and my aunts ['wanton women'].-W. T., iv. 2 (Song). We knew where the bona-robas ('good-looking bad women '] were, and had the best of them at commandment. ... She was then a bona-roba.—2 H. IV., iii. 2.
You filthy bung (a cant term for a 'purse' and for a pocket'; but, by using it as a nick.name for Pistol, Doll not only calls him a pickpocket, but insinuates that he is saturated with the fumes of the beer-barrel), away !-Ibid., ii. 4.
I knew by that piece of service, the men would carry coals (* put up with insults, 'endure indignities,' . submit tamely to affronts.').-H. V., iii. 2.
Gregory, o' my word, we'll not carry coals.—R. & Ful., i. 1.
Ye shall have a hempen caudle ( death by the rope,' or 'hanging ') then, and the help of hatchet (this is Shakespeare's variation of an old slang phrase, 'pap with a hatchet,' which signified the stroke of the headsman's axe'). (Sce PASSAGES WHERE AN ORIGINAL Word is INTRODUCED INTO A USUAL FORM OF PHRASE.]—2 H. VI., iv. 7.
Could I come near your beauty with my nails,
There is no remedy, I must coney-catch (' cheat,” practise sharping ']; I must shift. -Merry W., i. 3.
Take heed, Signior Baptista, lest you be coney-catched [ cheated '] in this business.Tam. of S., v. I.
And against your coney-catching [' cheating ') rascals.—Merry. W., i. 1.
Come, you are so full of coney-catching [* tricking waggery,'' jocular deception ').Tam. of S., iv. I.