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And what obscur'd in this fair volume lies,
feature depends upon another, or accords with another, in order to produce that harmony of the whole face which seems to be implied in the word-content. In Troilus and Cressida, he speaks of “the married calm of states;" and in his 8th Sonnet has the same allusion :
.“ If the true concord of well-tuned sounds,
“ By unions married, do offend thine ear." So also, in Ronsard : .
« Phebus du milieu de la table,
" A son archet melodieux.” Again:
« Le mariant aux haleines
“ De trompettes qui sont pleines ; .“ D’un son furieux et grave." STEEVENS.
This speech, as has been observed, is not in the quarto, 1597. The reading of the text is that of the quarto, 1599. The folio, after a later quarto, that of 1609, reads several lineament. I have no doubt that married was the poet's word, and that it was altered only because the printer of the quarto of 1609 did not understand it. MALONE.
s the margin of his eyes.] The comments on ancient books were always printed in the margin. So, Horatio in Hamlet says : “ — I knew you must be edified by the margent,” &c. ?
STEEVENS. So, in our author's Rape of Lucrece:
“ But she, that never cop'd with stranger eyes,
MALONE. 6 This precious book of love, this unbound lover,
To beautify him, only lacks a cover:] This ridiculous speech is full of abstruse quibbles. The unbound lover, is a quibble on the binding of a book, and the binding in marriage; and the word cover is a quibble on the law phrase for a married woman, who is styled a femme couverte in law French. M. Mason. )
The fish lives in the sea ;7 and 'tis much pride,
men. "LA.CAP. Speak briefly, can you like of Paris’love? · Jul. I'll look to like, if looking liking move! But no more deep will I endart mine eye, Than your consent gives strength to make it fly.
. The fish lives in the sea; &c.] i.e. is not yet caught. Fish-skin covers to books anciently were not uncommon. Such is Dr. Farmer's explanation of this passage; and it may receive some support from what Ænobarbus says in Antony and Cleopatra: “ The tears live in an onion, that should water this sorrow.” STEEVENS.
The purport of the remainder of this speech, is to show the advantage of having a handsome person to cover a virtuous mind. It is evident therefore, that instead of “ the fish lives in the sea,” we should read, “ the fish lives in the shell.” For the sea cannot be said to be a beautiful cover to a fish, though a shell may. -I believe, that by the golden story, is meant no particular legend, but any valuable writing. M. MASON.. ... That in gold clasps locks in the golden story;] The golden story is perhaps the golden legend, a book in the dark ages of popery much read, and doubtless often exquisitely embellished, but of which Canus, one of the popish doctors, proclaims the author to have been homo ferrei oris, plumbei cordis. JOHNSON. : The poet may mean nothing more than to say, that those books are most esteemed by the world, where valuable contents are embellished by as valuable binding. STEEVENS.
9 I'll look to like, if looking liking move:] Such another jingle of words occurs in the second Book of Sidney's Arcadia: s and seeing to like, and liking to love, and loving straight” &c. STEEVENS. .
1- endart mine eye,] "The quarto, 1597, reads.is engage mine eye." - STEEVENS. va.
Enter a Servant.
SERV. Madam, the guests are come, supper served up, you called, my young lady asked for, the nurse cursed in the pantry, and every thing in extremity. I must hence to wait; I beseech you, follow straight. LA. CAP. We follow thee. Juliet, the county
stays. NURSE. Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy days.
Enter Romeo, MERCUTIO,3 BENVOLIO, with five or*
six Maskers, Torch-Bearers, and Others.
ROM. What, shall this speech be spoke for our
excuse? Or shall we on without apology?
2 Madam, &c.] To this speech there have been likewise additions since the elder quarto, but they are not of sufficient consequence to be quoted. STEEVENS. 3 M ercutio,] Shakspeare appears to have formed this character on the following slight hint in the original story: “ another gentleman called Mercutio, which was a courtlike gentleman, very wel beloved of all men, and by reason of his pleasant and curteous behavior was in al companies wel intertained.” Painter's Palace of Pleasure, Tom. II. p. 221.
STEEVENS. Mercutio is thus described in the poem which Shakspeare followed :
« At thone side of her chair her lover Romeo
BEN. The date is out of such prolixity : 4 We'll have no Cupid hood-wink'd with a scarf,
“ A courtier that each where was highly had in price,
band .“ That frozen mountain ice was never half so cold, " As were his hands, though ne'er so near the fire he did
them hold."' Perhaps it was this last circumstance which induced our poet to represent Mercutio, as little sensible to the passion of love, and “ a jester at wounds which he never felt." See Othello, Act III. sc. iv:
" This hand is moist, my lady ;
“ Hot, hot, and moist.”
* The date is out of such prolixity:] i. e. Masks are now out of fashion. That Shakspeare was an enemy to these fooleries, appears from his writing none; and that his plays discredited such entertainments, is more than probable. WARBURTON.
The diversion going forward at present is not a masque, but a masquerade. In Henry VIII. where the king introduces himself to the entertainment given by Wolsey, he appears, like Romeo and his companions, in a mask, and sends a messenger before, to make an apology for his intrusion. This was a custom observed by those who came uninvited, with a desire to conceal themselves for the sake of intrigue, or to enjoy the greater freedom of conversation. Their entry on these occasions was always prefaced by some speech in praise of the beauty of the ladies, or the generosity of the entertainer; and to the prolixity of such introductions, I believe Romeo is made to allude.. · So, in Histriomastix, 1610, a man expresses his wonder that the maskers enter without any compliment:
“What come they in so blunt; without device ?" In the accounts of many entertainments given in reigns antecedent to that of Elizabeth, I find this custom preserved. Of the same kind of masquerading, see a specimen in Timon, where Cupid precedes a troopl of ladies with a speech. SȚEEVENS.
Bearing a Tartar's painted bow of lath,5
Shakspeare has written a masque which the reader will find introduced in the 4th Act of The Tempest. It would have been difficult for the reverend annotator to have proved they were dis
continued during any period of Shakspeare's life. Percy. Is Bearing a Tartar's painted bow of lath,] The Tartarian bows, as well as most of those used by the Asiatick nations, resemble in their form the old Roman or Cupid's bow, such as we see on medals and bas reliefs. Shakspeare used the epithet to distinguish it from the English bow, whose shape is the segment of a circle. Douce.
O like a crow-keeper;] The word crow-keeper is explained in King Lear, Act IV. sc. vi. JOHNSON.
See Vol. XVII. p. 541, n. 4. STEEVENS.
? Nor no without-book prologue, &c.] The two following lines are inserted from the first edition. POPE.
8 — for our entrance:] Entrance is here used as trisyllable; enterance. MALONE. · 9 We'll measure them a measure,] i. e. a dance. See Vol. VII, p. 154, n. 9. MALONE.
? Give me a torch,] The character which Romeo declares his resolution to assume, will be best explained by a passage in Westward Hoe, by Decker and Webster, 1607: “ He is just like a torch-bearer to maskers; he wears good cloaths, and is ranked in good company, but he doth nothing.". A torch-bearer seems to have been a constant appendage on every troop of masks. So, in the second part of Robert Earl of Huntingdon, 1601 :
“ As on a masque; but for our torch-bearers,
66 Hell cannot rake so mad a crew as I.”
" a gallant crew,