Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

;

thing, as boys and women are for the most part cattle of this colour : would now like him, now loath him: then entertain him, then forswear him; now weep for him, then spit at him ; that I drave my suitor from his mad humour of love, to a living humour of madnesss which was to forswear the full stream of the world, and to live in a nook merely monastick: and thus I cur'd him; and this way will I take upon me to wash your liver as clear as a sound sheep's heart, that there shall not be one spot of love in't.

Orla. I would not be cur’d, youth.

Rof. I would cure you if you would but call me Rosalind, and come every day to my cote, and woo me.

Orla. Now, by the faith of my love, I will. Tell me where it is.

Ros. Go with me to it, and I will shew it you: and, by the way, you shall tell me where in the foreit you live. Will you go?

Orla. With all my heart, good youth. Rof. Nay, nay, you must call me Rosalind:--Come, fifter, will you go?

[Exeunt. S CE N E III. Enter Clown and Audrey, Jaques watching them. Clo. Come apace, good Audrey; I will fetch up your goats, Audrey : And how, Audrey ? am I the man yet? doth my simple feature content you?

-to a living humour of madness ;] If this be the true read. ing we must by living understand lasting, or permanent, but I cannot forbear to think that some antithesis was intended which is now lost; perhaps the passage food thus, I drove my suitor from a dying humour of love to a living humour of modness. Or rather thos, from a mad humour of love to a loving humour of madnji, that is, from a madness that was love, to a love that was madnejs. This seems somewhat harth and trained, but such modes of speech are not unusual in our poet : and this hurihuess was probably the cause of the corruption. JOHNSON.

Aud

U 3

Aud. Your features! Lord warrant us! what fea. tures?

Clo. I am here with thee and thy goats, as the most capricious poet honest Ovid was among the Goths.

Jaq. [afide] O knowledge ill-inhabited! worse than Jove in a thatch'd house!

Clo. When a man's verfes cannot be understood, nor a man's good wit feconded with the forward child, understanding, it strikes a man more dead than a great reckoning in a little room o: Truly, I would the Gods had made thee poetical,

Aud. I do not know what poetical is : Is it honest in deed, and word ? Is it a true thing?

Clo. No, truly; for the truest poetry is the most feigning; and lovers are given to poetry; and what they swear in poetry, ? may be said, as lovers, they do feign.

6

-it firikes a man more dead than a great reckoning in a little room:] Nothing was ever wrote in higher humour than this fimile. A great reckoning, in a little room, implies that the entertainment was mean, and the bill extravagant. The poet here alluded to the French proverbial phrase of the quarter of bour of Rabelais : who said, there was only one quarter of an hour in hu. man life passed ill, and that was between the calling for the reckoning and paying it. Yet the delicacy of our Oxford editor would correct this into, It frikes a man more dead than a great reeking in a lit:le room. This is amending with a vengeance. When men are joking together in a merry humour, all are disposed to laugh. One of the company says a good ihing; the jeit is not taken; all are silent, and he who said it, quite confounded. This is compared to a tavern jollity interrupted by the coming in of a great reckoning. Had not Shakespeare reason now in this case to apply his simile to his own case, against his critical editor : Who, 'tis plain, taking the phrase to lirike dead in a literal fense, concluded, from his knowledge in philofophy, that it could not be so effectually done by a reckoning as by a reeking. WARBURTON.

1-and what they swear in po.try, &c.] This sentence seems perplexed and inconiequent, perhaps it were better read thus, What bey wear as lo vers thay may be aid to feign as poetso Johnson.

Aud,

8

Aud. Do you wish then, that the Gods had made me poetical?

Clo. I do, truly : for thou swear'it to me, thou art honeft : now if thou wert a poet, I might have some hope thou didit feign.

Aud. Would you not have me honest ?

Clo. No, truly, unless thou wert hard favour'd: for honesty coupled to beauty, is, to have honey a sauce to sugar.

Jaq. [ofide] A material fool!

Aud. Well, I am not fair; and therefore I pray the Gads make me honest !

Clo. Truly, and to cast away honesty upon a foul Nut, were to put good meat inio an unclean dith.

Aud. I am not a Nut, though I thank the Gods I am foul. 2

Clo. Well, praised be the Gods for thy foulness! Nuttishness may come hereafter. But be it as it way be, I will marry thee : and to that end, I have been with Sir Oliver Mar-text, the vicar of the next village ; who hath promis’d to meet me in this place of the foreit, and to couple us.

Jaq. [cfide] I would fain see this meeting.
Aud. Well, the Gods give us joy !

Cla. Amen. A man may, if he were of a fearful heart, stagger in this attempt; for here we have no temple but the wood, no assembly but horn-beasts. But what tho?' Courage! As horns are odious, they are necessary. It is said, Many a man knows no end of his goods : right: many a man has good horns, and knows no end of them. Well, that is the dowry of his wife; 'tis none of his own girting. Horns? Even so :-poor men alone ?-No, no; the noblest

8. A material fool!] A fool with matter in him; a fool socksed with notions. JOHNSON,

I am foul.] By foul is meant coy or frowning. HANMER. I-Wbat sb?] What then. JOHNSON,

deer

U 4

deer hath them as huge as the rascal. Is the single man therefore blessed? No. As a wall'd town is more worthier than a village, so is the forehead of a married man more honourable than the bare brow of a bachelor; and by how much defence is better than no skill, so much is a horn more precious than to want.

Enter Sir Oliver Mar-text.
Here comes fir Oliver-Sir Oliver Mar-text, :

you are well met. Will you dispatch us here under this tree, or shall we go with you to your chapel ?

Sir Oli. Is there none here to give the woman?
Clo. I will not take her on gift of any man.

Sir Oli. Truly, she must be given, or the marriage is not lawful.

Jaq. [discovering himself] Proceed, proceed ! l’ul give her.

C!o. Good even, good master what ye call: how do you, fir ? You are very well met: God'ild you for your last company! I am very glad to see you :even a toy in hand here, sir:--Nay; pray, be co; yered.

Jaq. Will you be married, Motley ?

Clo. As the ox hath his bow, 3 sir, the horse his curb, and the faulcon his bells, so man hath his defire ; and as pigeons bill, so wedlock would be nibĮing.

Faq. And will you, being a man of your breeding, be married under a bush, like a beggar? Get you to church, and have a good priest that can tell you whaç marriage is : this fellow will but join you together as

Sir Oliver.) He that has taken his first degree at the univer. fity, is in the academical style called Dominus, and in common lan. guage was heretofore termed Sir. This was not always a word of contempt; the graduates assumed it in their own writings ; fo Tre. yiia the historian writes himself Syr John de Trevisa. Johnson. - his bow,] i, e. his yoke. STEEVENS.

they

3

they join wainscot; then one of you will prove a shrunk pannel, and, like green timber, warp, warp,

Clo. I am not in the mind but I were better to be married of him than of another : for he is not like to marry me well; and not being well married, it will be a good excuse for me hereafter to leave my wife.

Jaq. Go thou with me, and let me counsel thee.

Clo. Come, sweet Audrey, we must be married, or we must live in bawdry. Farewel, good fir Oliver,

Not, 4 O sweet Oliver,

O brave Oliver,
Leave me not behind thee;

But wend away,

Begone, I say,
I will not to wedding with thee.

Sir 4 Not o sweet Oliver, O brave, &c.] Some words of an old ballad. WARBURTON.

Of this speech, as it now appears, I can make nothing, and think nothing can be made. In the same breath he calls his mistress to be married, and sends away the man that should marry them. Dr. Warburton has very happily observed, that O sweet Oliver is a quotation from an old song ; I believe there are two quotations put in opposition to each other. For wind I read wend, the old word for go. Perhaps the whole passage may be regulated thus,

Clo. I am not in the mind, but it were better for me to be married of him than of another, for be is not like to marry me well, and not being well married, it will be a good excuse for me hereafter to leave my wife-Come, sweet Audrey, we must be married, or we must lize in bawdry.

Jaq. Go tbou with me, and let me counsel thee. (they whisper. Clo. Fartwel, good fir Oliver, not o sweet Oliver, o brave Oliver, leave me not behind thee,

tut

Wend away,

Begone, I say,

I will not to wedding with thee 10-day. Of this conjeture the reader may take as much as Ihall appear necessary to the sense, or conducive to the humour. I have received all but the additional words. The song seems to be complete without them. JOHNSON.

The

« AnteriorContinuar »