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That we ?ll forsake ourselves. Give me that ring.
The emendation was introduced by Mr. Rowe. I find the word scarre in The Tragedy of Hoffman, 1631; but do not readily per. ceive how it can suit the purpose of the present speaker:
“ I know a cave, wherein the bright day's eye,
“ There have I sometimes liv’d,” &c. Again :
“ Where is the villain's body?-
ming,” &c. Again:
“Run up to the top of the dreadful scarre." Again:
“ I stood upon the top of the high scarre.” Ray says, that a scarre is a cliff of a rock, or a naked rock on the dry land, from the Saxon carre, cautes. He adds, that this word gave denomination to the town of Scarborough.
But as some Latin commentator, (whose name I have forgot) observes on a similar occasion, veritate desperatâ, nihil amplius curæ de hac re suscipere volui." Steevens.
I see, that men make hopes, in such a scene,
That we'll forsake ourselves.] i. e. I perceive that while our lovers are making professions of love, and acting their assumed parts in this kind of amorous interlude, they entertain hopes that we shall be betrayed by our passions to yield to their desires. So, in Much Ado about Nothing : “ The sport will be, when they hold an opinion of one another's dotage, and no such matter,that 's the scene that I would see,” &c. Again, in The Winter's Tale:
It shall be so my care
“ The scene you play, were mine." The old copy reads :
I see, that men make ropes in such a scarre, &c. which Mr. Rowe altered to-make hopes in such affairs; and all the subsequent editors adopted his correction. It being entirely arbitrary, any emendation that is nearer to the traces of the unintelligible word in the old copy, and affords at the same time an easy sense, is better entitled to a place in the test.
A corrupted passage in the first sketch of The Merry Wives of Windsor, suggested to me [scene] the emendation now introduced. In the fifth Act, Fenton describes to the Host his scheme for marrying Anne Page:
« And in a robe of white this night disguised
“ Must Slender take her," &c. It is manifest, from the corresponding lines in the folio, that
Ber. I'll lend it thee, my dear, but have no power
Will you not, my lord?
Mine honour's such a ring:
Here, take my ring:
scare was printed by mistake for scene; for in the folio the passage runs
fat Falstaff “ Hath a great scene." Malone. Mr. Rowe's emendation is not only liable to objection from its dissimilarity to the reading of the four folios, but also from the aukwardness of his language, where the literal resemblance is inost, like the words, rejected. In such affairs, is a phrase too vague for Shakspeare, when a determined point, to which the preceding conversation had been gradually narrowing, was in question; and to make hopes, is as uncouth an expression as can well be imagined.
Nor is Mr. Malone's supposition, of scene for scarre, a whit more in point: for, first, scarre, in every part of England where rocks abound, is well known to signify the detached protrusion of a large rock; whereas scare is terror or affright. Nor was scare, in the first sketch of The Merry Wives of Windsor, a mistake for scene, but an intentional change of ideas; scare implying only Falstuff's terror, but scene including the spectator's entertainment. On the supposal that make hopes is the true reading, in such a scarre, may be taken figuratively for in such an extremity, i.e. in so desperate a situation. Henley.
My reasons are most strong; and you shall know them,
The Florentine Camp. Enter the two French Lords, and two or three Soldiers.
1 Lord. You have not given him his mother's letter? 2 Lord. I have delivered it an hour since: there is
Since Frenchmen are so braid, Marry that will, I'll live and die a maid:] Braid signifies crafty or deceitful. So, in Greene's Never too Late, 1616:
“ Dian rose with all her maids,
Blushing thus at love his braids." Chaucer uses the word in the same sense; but as the passage where it occurs in his Troilus and Cressida is contested, it may be necessary to observe, that Bred is an Anglo-Saxon word, signifying fraus, astus. Again, in Thomas Drant's Translation of Horace's Epistles, where its import is not very clear:
Professing thee' a friend, to plaie the ribbalde at a brade.” In The Romaunt of the Rose, v, 1336, braid seems to mean forthwith, or, at a jerk. There is nothing to answer it in the French, except tantost.
In the ancient song of Lytyl Thanke, (MS. Cotton, Titus A. xxvi,) " at a brayd" undoubtedly signifies--at once, on a sudden, in the instant :
" But in come ffrankelyn at a brayd.” Steevens.
my here be none" ms.com. fol. 1632
something in 't that stings his nature; for, on the reading it, he changed almost into another man.
i Lord.5 He has much worthy blame laid upon him, for shaking off so good a wife, and so sweet a lady.
2 Lord. Especially he hath incurred the everlasting displeasure of the king, who had even tuned his bounty to sing happiness to him. I will tell you a thing, but you shall let it dwell darkly with you.
i Lord. When you have spoken it, 'tis dead, and I am the grave of it.
2 Lord. He hath perverted a young gentlewoman here in Florence, of a most chaste renown; and this night he fleshes his will in the spoil of her honour: he hath given her his monumental ring, and thinks himself made in the unchaste composition.
1 Lord. Now, God delay our rebellion; as we are ourselves, what things are we!
2 Lord. Merely our own traitors. And as in the common course of all treasons, we still see them reveal themselves, till they attain to their abhorred ends;6 so
5 1 Lord.] The latter editors have with great liberality be. stowed lordship upon these interlocutors, who, in the original edition, are called, with more propriety, capt. E. and capt. G. It is true that captain E. in a former scene is called lord E. but the subordination in which they seem to act, and the timorous manner in which they converse, determines them to be only captains. Yet as the latter readers of Shakspeare have been used to find them lords, I have not thought it worth while to degrade them in the margin. Johnson.
These two personages may be supposed to be two young French Lords serving in the Florentine camp, where they now appear in their military capacity. In the first scene, where the two French lords are introduced, taking leave of the king, they are called in the original edition, Lord E. and Lord G.
G. and E. were, I believe, only put to denote the players who performed these characters. In the list of actors prefixed to the first folio, I find the names of Gilburne and Ecclestone, to whom these insignificant parts probably fell. Perhaps, however, these performers first represented the French Lords, and afterwards two captains in the Florentine army; and hence the confusion of the old copy. In the first scene of this Act, one of these captains is called throughout, 1. Lord E. The matter is of no great importance. Malone.
till they attain to their abhorred ends ;] This may meanthey are perpetually talking about the mischief they intend to do, till they have obtained an opportunity of doing it. Steevens.
he, that in this action contrives against his own nobility, in his proper stream o'erflows himself.7
i Lord. Is it not meant'damnable in us, to be trum- must peters of our unlawful intents? We shall not then have his company to-night?
2 Lord. Not till after midnight; for he is dieted to his hour.
I Lord. That approaches apace: I would gladly have him see his company' anatomized; that he might take a measure of his own judgments," wherein so curiously he had set this counterfeit.2
2 Lord. We will not meddle with him till he come; for his presence must be the whip of the other.
1 Lord. In the mean time, what hear you of these wars?
2 Lord. I hear, there is an overture of peace.
in his proper stream o'erflows himself.] That is, betrays his own secrets in his own talk. The reply shows that this is the meaning. Johnson.
8 Is it not meant damnable in us,] I once thought that we ought to read-Is it not most damnable, but no change is necessary.Adjectives are often used as adverbs by our author and his contemporaries. So, in The Winter's Tale:
“ That did but show thee, of a fool, inconstant,
“ And damnable ungrateful.” Again, in Twelfth Night:
and as thou drawest, swear horrible -." Again, in The Merry Wives of Windsor :
“Let the supposed fairies pinch him sound.” Again, in Massinger's Very Woman:
“I'll beat thee damnable." Malone. Mr. M. Mason wishes to read mean and damnable. Steevens.
his company - ] i. e. his companion. It is so used in King Henry V. Malone.
he might take a measure of his own judgments,] This is a very just and moral reason. Bertram, by finding how erroneously he has judged, will be less confident, and more easily moved by admonition. Johnson.
- wherein so curiously he had set this counterfeit.] Parolles is the person whom they are going to anatomize. Counterfeit, besides its ordinary signification,-[a person pretending to be what he is not] signified also in our author's time a false coin, and a picture. The word set shows that it is here used in the first and the last of these senses. Malone.