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O, how this spring of love resembleth 3
The uncertain glory of an April day; Which now shews all the beauty of the sun,
And, by and by, a cloud takes all away!
30, how this spring of love resembleth - ] At the end of this verse there is wanting a syllable, for the speech apparently ends in a quatrain. . I find nothing that will rhyme to sun, and, there. fore, shall leave it to some happier critic. But I suspect that the author might write thus:
O how this spring of love resembleth right,
The uncertain glory of an April day;
And, by and by, a cloud takes all away!
It was not always the custom, among our early writers, make the first and third lines rhyme to each other; and when a word was not long enough to complete the measure, they occasionally extended it. Thus Spenser, in his Fairy Queen, B. III. ch. 12:
“Formerly grounded and fast setteled.” Again, in B. II. ch. 12:
“ The while sweet Zephirus loud whisteled
“ Which Guyon's senses softly tickeled,” &c.
Resembleth is here used as a quadrisyllable, as if it was written resembeleth. See Comedy of Errors, Act V. sc. the last :
“ And these two Dromios, one in semblance.” As you like it, Act II. sc. ii :
“ The parts and graces of the wrestler.” And it should be observed, that Shakspeare takes the same li. berty with many other words, in which i, or r, is subjoined to another consonant. See Comedy of Errors, next verse but one to that cited above:
“ These are the parents to these children." where some editors, being unnecessarily alarmed for the metre, have endeavoured to help it by a word of their own:
“ These plainly are the parents to these children." Tyrwhitt Thus much I had thought sufficient to say upon this point, in the edition of these plays, published by Mr. Steevens in 1778. Since which the author of Remarks, &c. on that edition, has been pleased to assert, p. 7: “ that Shakspeare does not appear, from the above instances at least, to have taken the smallest liberty in extending his words : neither has the incident of l, or r, being
subjoined to another consonant, any thing to do in the matter.”“ The truth is,” he goes on to say, “ that every verb, in the English language, gains an additional syllable, by its termination in est, eth, et, ing, or (when formed into a substantive) in er; and the above words, when rightly printed, are not only unexceptionable, but most just. Thus, resemble makes resemble-eth; wrestle, wrestie-er; and settle, whistle, tickle, make settle-ed, whistle-ed, tickle-ed.”
As to this supposed Canon of the English language, it would be easy to shew, that it is quite fanciful and unfounded; and what he calls the right method of printing the above words, is such as, I believe, was never adopted before by any mortal, in writing them, nor can be followed in the pronunciation of them, without the help of an entirely new system of spelling. But any further discussion of this matter is unnecessary; because the hypothesis, though allowed in its utmost extent, will not prove either of the points to which it is applied. It will neither prove that Shakspeare has not taken a liberty, in extending certain words, nor that he has not taken that liberty chiefly with words, in which l, or r, is subjoined to another consonant. The following are all instances of nouns, substantive or adjective, which can receive no support from the supposed Canon. That Shakspeare has taken a liberty, in extending these words, is evident, from the consideration, that the same words are more frequently used, by his contemporaries and by himself, without the additional syllable. Why he has taken this liberty, chiefly with words in which ), or r, is subjoined to another consonant, must be obvious to any one who can pro. nounce the language.
Country, trisyllable. T. N. Act I. sc. ji. The like of him. Know'st thou this country? Coriol. Act I. sc. iii. Die nobly for their country, than one.
Monstrous, trisyllable. Macb. Act IV. sc. vi. Who cannot want the thought how mon-. strous. Othello, Act II. sc. iii. 'Tis monstrous. Iago, who began it?
Assembly, quadrisyllable. M. A. A. N. Act V. sc. last. Good morrow to this fair assembly.
Douglas, trisyllable. 1 H. IV. Act V. sc. ii. Lord Douglas go you and tell him so.
Pro. Why, this it is! my heart accords thereto; And yet a thousand times it answers, no.
ACT II.....SCENE I.
Milan. An Apartment in the Duke's Palace.
Enter VALENTINE and SPEED,
Val. Ha! let me see: ay, give it me, it's mine:-
Speed. Madam Silvia! madam Silvia!
Speed. Marry, by these special marks: First, you have learned, like sir Proteus, to wreathe your arms like a male-content; to relish a love-song, like a robin-redbreast; to walk alone, like one, that had the pestilence; to sigh, like a school-boy, that had lost his A. B. C; to
Tyrwhitt. 4 Val. Not mine; my gloves are on.
Speed. Why then this may be yours, for this is but one.] It should seem,
from this passage, that the word one was anciently pronounced as if it were written, on. The quibble here is lost, by the change of pronunciation; a loss, however, which may be very patiently endured. Malone,
Weep, like a young wench, that had buried her grandam;
Val. Are all these things perceived in me?
Speed. Without you? nay, that 's certain, for, without you were so simple, none else would:8 but you are so without these follies, that these follies are within you, and shine through you like the water, in an urinal; that not an eye, that sees you, but is a physician to comment on your malady.
Val. But, tell me, dost thou know my lady Silvia?
Val. Dost thou know her by my gazing on her, and yet knowest her not?
takes diet;] To take diet was the phrase for being under regimen for a disease, mentioned in T'imon of Athens :
- bring down the rose-cheek'd youth “ To the tub-fast and the diet.” Steevens.
· Hallowmas.] This is about the feast of All Saints, when winter begins, and the life of a vagrant becomes less comfortable. Fohnson.
It is worth remarking, that on All-Saints-Day, the poor people in Staffordshire, and, perhaps, in other country places, go from parish to parish, a souling, as they call it ; i. e. begging and puling (or singing small, as Bailey's Dict. explains Puling,) for soulcakes, or any good thing to make them merry. This custom is mentioned by Peck, and seems a remnant of Popish superstition, to pray for departed souls, particularly those of friends. The souler's song, in Staffordshire, is different from that, which Mr. Peck mentions, and is by no means worthy publication. Tollet.
to walk like one of the lions ;] If our author has not been thinking of the lions in the Tower, he would have written—" to walk like a lion.” Ritson.
none else would:] None else would be so simple. Fohnson.
Speed. Is she not hard favoured, sir?
Val. I mean, that her beauty is exquisite, but her favour infinite.
Speed. That's because the one is painted, and the other out of all count.
Val. How painted? and how out of count?
Speed. Marry, sir, so painted, to make her fair, that no man counts of her beauty.
Val. How esteemest thou me? I account of her beauty.
Val. I have loved her ever since I saw her; and still I see her beautiful.
Speed. If you love her, you cannot see her.
Speed. Because love is blind. O, that you had mine eyes; or your own had the lights they were wont to have, when you chid at sir Proteus for going ungartered!9
Val. What should I see then?
Speed. Your own present folly, and her passing deformity: for he, being in love, could not see to garter his hose; and you, being in love, cannot see to put on your hose.
Val. Belike, boy, then you are in love; for last morning you could not see to wipe my shoes.
Speed. True, sir; I was in love with my bed: I thank you, you swinged me for my love, which makes me the bolder to chide you
Val. In conclusion, I stand affected to her.
- for going ungartered!] This is enumerated by Rosalind, in As you like it, Act III. sc. ii. as one of the undoubted marks of love: “ Then your hose should be ungartered, your bonnet unbanded,” &c. Malone.
1 I would you were set;] Set for seated, in opposition to stand in the foregoing line. M. Mason.