Imagens da página
PDF
ePub
[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Enter ANTIPHOLUS of Syracuse. Ant. S. There's not a man I meet, but doth

salute me As if I were their well-acquainted friend ; And every one doth call me by my name. Some tender money to me, some invite me; Some other give me thanks for kindnesses; Some offer me commodities to buy: Even now a tailor call’d me in his shop, And show'd me silks that he had bought for me, And, therewithal, took measure of my body. Sure, these are but imaginary wiles, And Lapland sorcerers inhabit here.

Enter Dromio of Syracuse. Dro. S. Master, here's the gold you sent me for: What, have you got the picture of old Adam new apparelled ? 1

- What, have you got the picture of old Adam new apparelled?] A short word or two must have slipped out here, by some accident in copying, or at the press; otherwise I have no conception of the meaning of the passage. The case is this: Dromio's master had been arrested, and sent his servant home for money to redeem him: he, running back with the money, meets the twin Antipholus, whom he mistakes for his master, and seeing him clear of the officer before the money was come, he cries, in a surprize

Ant. S. What gold is this? What Adam dost

thou mean? DRO. S. Not that Adam, that kept the paradise, but that Adam, that keeps the prison : he that goes in the calf's-skin that was killed for the prodigal; he that came behind you, sir, like an evil angel, and bid you forsake your liberty.

Ant. S. I understand thee not.

DRO. S. No? why, 'tis a plain case: he that went like a base-viol, in a case of leather; the man, sir, that, when gentlemen are tired, gives them a fob, and ’rests them; he, sir, that takes pity on decayed men, and gives them suits of durance; he that sets up his rest to do more exploits with his mace, than a morris-pike.?

What, have you got rid of the picture of old Adam

er have ventuppareilet sot ride

For so I have ventured to supply, by conjecture. But why is the officer called old Adam new apparelled? The allusion is to Adam, in his state of innocence, going naked; and immediately after the fall, being clothed in a frock of skins. Thus he was new apparelled: and, in like manner, the Sergeants of the - Counter were formerly clad in buff, or calf's-skin, as the author humorously a little lower calls it. THEOBALD.

The explanation is very good, but the text does not require to be amended. Johnson.

These jests on Adam's dress are common among our old writers. So, in King Edward III. 1599:

“ The register of all varieties

“ Since leathern Adam, to this younger hour.” Again, in Philip Stubbes's Anatomie of Abuses, 8vo. 1583: “ Did the Lorde clothe our first parents in leather, as not hauing any thyng more precious to attire them withall," &c.

STEEVENS. he that sets up his rest to do more exploits with his mace, than a morris-pike.] Sets up his rest, is a phrase taken from military exercise. When gunpowder was first invented, its force was very weak compared to that in present use. This necessarily required fire-arms to be of an extraordinary length,

ANT. S. What! thou mean’st an officer ?

As the artists improved the strength of their powder, the soidiers proportionably shortened their arms and artillery; so that the cannon, which Froissart tells us was once fifty feet long, was contracted to less than ten. This proportion likewise held in their muskets; so that, till the middle of the last century, the musketeers always supported their pieces, when they gave fire, with a rest stuck before them into the ground, which they called setting up their rest, and is here alluded to. There is another quibbling allusion too to the serjeant's office of arresting. But what most wants animadversion is the morris-pike, which is without meaning, impertinent to the sense, and false in the allusion: no pike being used amongst the dancers so called, or at least not famed for much execution. In a word, Shakspeare' wrote

- a Maurice-pike. i. e. a pikeman of Prince Maurice's army. He was the greatest general of that age, and the conductor of the Low-country wars against Spain, under whom all the English gentry and nobility were bred to the service. Hence the pikes of his army became famous for their military exploits. WARBURTON.

This conjecture is very ingenious, yet the commentator talks unnecessarily of the rest of a musket, by which he makes the hero of the speech set up the rest of a musket to do exploits with a pike. The rest of a pike was a common term, and signified, I believe, the manner in which it was fixed to receive the rush of the enemy. A morris-pike was a pike used in a morris or a military dance, and with which great exploits were done, that is, great feats of dexterity were shown. There is no need of change. Johnson.

A morris-pike is mentioned by the old writers as a formidable weapon; and therefore Dr. Warburton's notion is deficient in first principles. “ Morespikes (says Langley, in his translation of Polydore Virgil,) were used first in the siege of Capua.” And in Reynard's Deliverance of certain Christians from the Turks, “ the English mariners laid about them with brown bills, halberts, and morrice-pikes.FARMER.

Polydore Virgil does not mention morris-pikes at the siege of Capua, though Langley's translation of him advances their antiquity so high.

Morris pikes, or the pikes of the Moors, were excellent formerly; and since, the Spanish pikes have been equally famous. See Hartlib's Legacy, p. 48. TOLLET.

DRO. S. Ay, sir, the sergeant of the band; he, that brings any man to answer it, that breaks his band; one that thinks a man always going to bed, and says, God give you good rest!

ANT. S. Well, sir, there rest in your foolery, Is there any ship puts forth to-night? may we be

gone?

Dro. S. Why, sir, I brought you word an hour since, that the bark Expedition put forth to-night; and then were you hindered by the sergeant, to tarry for the hoy, Delay: Here are the angels that you sent for, to deliver you.

ANT. S. The fellow is distract, and so am I; And here we wander in illusions ; Some blessed power deliver us from hence!

The mention of morris-pikes is frequent among our old writers. So, in Heywood's King Edward IV. 1626: i “Of the French were beaten down

" Morris-pikes and bowmen,” &c. . Again, in Holinshed, p. 816: “ — they entered the gallies again with moris pikes and fought,” &c. STEEVENS.

There is, I believe, no authority for Dr. Johnson's assertion, that the Morris-Pike was used in the Morris-dance. Swords were sometimes used upon that occasion. It certainly means the Moorish-pike, which was very common in the 16th century. See Grose's History of the English Army, Vol. I. p. 135. .

DoucE. The phrase he that sets up his rest, in this instance, signifies only, I believe, “ he that trustsis confident in his expectation. Thus, Bacon: “ Sea-fights have been final to the war, but this is, when Princes set up their REST upon the battle.” Again, Clarendon : “ they therefore resolved to set up their Rest upon that stake, and to go through with it, or perish.” This figure of speech is certainly derived from the REST which Dr. Warburton has described, as that was the only kind of rest which was ever set up. HENLEY.

Enter a Courtezan.

COUR. Well met, well met, master Antipholus, I see, sir, you have found the goldsmith now: Is that the chain, you promis’d me to-day? Ant. S. Satan, avoid! I charge thee tempt me

not? Dro. S. Master, is this mistress Satan? ANT. S. It is the devil.

DRO, S. Nay, she is worse, she is the devil's dam; and here she comes in the habit of a light wench; and thereof comes, that the wenches say, God damn me, that's as much as to say, God make me a light wench. It is written, they appear to men like angels of light: light is an effect of fire, and fire will burn; ergo, light wenches will burn; Come not near her. Cour. Your man and you are marvellous, merry,

sir. Will you go with me? We'll mend our dinner

here.3 Dro. S. Master, if you do expect spoon-meat, or bespeak a long spoon.*

3 We'll mend our dinner here.] i. e. by purchasing something additional in the adjoining market. MALONE.

if you do expect spoon-meat, or bespeak a long spoon.] The passage is wrong pointed, and the or, a mistake for and:

Cour. We'll mend our dinner here.

Dro. S. Master, if you do, expect spoon meat, and bespeak a long spoon. Ritson.

In the old copy you is accidentally omitted. It was supplied by the editor of the second folio. I believe some other words were passed over by the compositor, perhaps of this import: “ If you do expect spoon-meat, either stay away, or bespeak a long spoon.”

« AnteriorContinuar »