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Line 89. I would you were set,] i. e. I would you were seated. -98. 0, excellent motion, &c.] Motion, in Shakspeare's time, signified puppet. In Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair it is frequently used in that sense, or rather perhaps to signify a puppetshow; the master whereof may properly be said to be an interpreter, as being the explainer of the inarticulate language of the actors. The speech of the servant is an allusion to that practice, and he means to say, that Silvia is a puppet, and that Valentine is to interpret to, or rather for her. HAWKINS
Line 104. Sir Valentine and servant,- -] Here Silvia calls her lover servant, and again below her gentle servant. This was the language of ladies to their lovers at the time when Shakspeare HAWKINS.
So in Marston's What you will, 1607,
"Sweet sister, let's sit in judgment a little, faith upon
66 'my servant Monsieur Laverdure.
"Mel. Troth, well for a servant, but for a husband!"
Line 150. reasoning with yourself?] That is, discoursing, talking. An Italianism. JOHNSON. Line 169. and there an end.] i. e. There's an end of the business.
Line 179. All this I speak in print;-] In print, means formal, precise. See Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, where the expression is frequently used.
Line 231. —I am the dog,
&c.] A similar thought occurs in
a play of elder date than this. See A Christian turn'd Turk, 1612. -you shall stand for the lady, you for her dog, and I "the page; you and the dog looking one upon another: "the page presents himself." STEEVENS,
Line 232. -I am the dog, &c.] This passage is much confused, and of confusion the present reading makes no end. Sir Thomas Hanmer reads, I am the dog, no, the dog is himself and I am me, the dog is the dog, and I am myself. This certainly is more reasonable, but I know not how much reason the author intended to bestow on Launce's soliloquy. JOHNSON.
Line 238. like a wood woman!- -] The first folios. agree in would-woman; for which, because it was a mystery to Mr. Pope, he has unmeaningly substituted ould woman. But it must be writ, or at least understood, wood woman, i. e. Crazy, frantic with grief; or distracted, from any other cause. The word is very frequently used in Chaucer; and sometimes writ wood, sometimes wode. THEOBALD.
Line 260. Lose the tide,modern editors read-the flood.
Thus the old copy. The
ACT II. SCENE IV.
Line 287. And how quote you my folly ?] To quote is to take notice of.
Line 327. -not without desert,-] And not dignified with so much reputation without proportionate merit. JOHNSON.
Line 390. No, that you are worthless.] I have inserted the particle no to fill up the measure. JOHNSON.
Line 391. Madam, my lord your father] This speech in all the editions is assigned improperly to Thurio; but he has been all along upon the stage, and could not know that the duke wanted his daughter. Besides, the first line and half of Silvia's answer is evidently addressed to two persons. A servant, therefore, must come in and deliver the message; and then Silvia goes out with Thurio. THEOBALD.
Line 411. Whose high imperious] For whose I read those, I have contemned love and am punished. Those high thoughts by which I exalted myself above human passions or frailties have brought upon me fasts and groans. JOHNSON.
Line 419. -no woe to his correction,] No misery that can be compared to the punishment inflicted by love. Herbert called for the prayers of the liturgy a little before his death, saying, None to them, none to them. JOHNSON,
Line 434. -a principality,] The first or principal of women. So the old writers use state. She is a lady, a great state. Latymer. This look is called in states warlie, in others otherwise, Sir Thomas More. JOHNSON,
-summer-swelling flower;] I cannot help su
specting that the poet wrote summer-smelling. An m reversed might occasion the mistake. STEEVENS.
I am at a loss to conceive why Mr. Steevens should have since adopted a new and foreign idea, in preference to the above simple and more natural one.
Line 450. She is alone.] She stands by herself. There is none to be compared to her. JOHNSON.
Line 479. Or as one nail by strength drives out another;] Vide Coriolanus. "One fire drives out one fire; one nail one nail."
Line 482. Is it mine EYE, or Valentino's praise,] Here Protheus questions himself, whether it is his own praise, or Valentino's, that makes him fall in love with Valentino's mistress. In all the old editions we find the line printed thus:
Is it mine, or Valentino's praise?
A word is wanting. The line was originally thus:
Protheus had just seen Valentino's mistress, whom her lover had been lavishly praising. His encomiums therefore heightened Protheus's idea of her at the interview, it was the less wonder he should be uncertain which had made the strongest impression, Valentine's praises, or his own view of her. WARBURTON. with more advice,] Advice here means, due
Line 493. consideration.
Line 495. 'Tis but her picture] This is evidently a slip of attention, for he had seen her in the last scene, and in high terms offered her his service. JOHNSON.
I believe Protheus means, that, as yet, he had seen only her outward form, without having known her long enough to have any acquaintance with her mind. STEEVENS.
ACT II. SCENE V.
Line 502. -to Milan.] It is Padua in the former editions. See the note on Act iii.
POPE. Line 532. My staff understands me.] This equivocation, miserable as it is, has been admitted by Milton in his great poem. B. VI.
-The terms we sent were terms of weight, "Such as we may perceive, amaz'd them all,
"And stagger'd many; who receives them right, "Had need from head to foot well understand, "Not understood, this gift they have besides, "To shew us when our foes stand not upright." JOHNSON. Line 559. -the ale―] i. e. A fair, or country merry
Line 561. It is to be observed, that, in the first folio edition, the only edition of authority, there are no directions concerning the scenes; they have been added by the later editors, and may therefore be changed by any reader that can give more consistency or regularity to the drama by such alterations. I make this remark in this place, because I know not whether the following soliloquy of Protheus is so proper in the street. JOHNSON.
Line 568. O sweet-suggesting love,-] To suggest is to tenipt in our author's language. So again:
"Knowing that tender youth is soon suggested.” The sense is. O tempting love, if thou hast influenced me to sin, teach me to excuse it. JOHNSON.
Line 596. ——in counsel, his competitor.] Myself, who am his competitor or rival, being admitted to his counsel. JOHNSON. Line 598. -pretended flight;] Means intended flight. So also in Macbeth, "What good could they pretend."
Line 604. this drift!] I suspect that the author concluded the act with this couplet, and that the next scene should begin the third act; but the change, as it will add nothing to the proba bility of the action, is of no great importance. JOHNSON.
ACT II. SCENE VII.
Line 660. with a cod-piece, &c.] Whoever wishes to be acquainted with this particular, relative to dress, may consult Bulwer's Artificial Changeling, in which such matters are very amply discussed. STEEVENS.
Line 679. as infinite-] Old edition,-of infinite.
Line 29. 46.
-] To aim, is to guess.
of this pretence.] Of this claim made to your JOHNSON.
where] i, e. Whereas.
—Sir, in Milan, here,] It ought to be thus, instead of-in Verona, here-for the scene apparently is in Milan, as is clear from several passages in the first act, and in the beginning of the first scene of the fourth act. A like mistake has crept into the eighth scene of Act II. where Speed bids his fellow-servant Launce welcome to Padua. POPE.
Line 88. the fashion of the time- -] The modes of courtship, the acts by which men recommended themselves to ladies. JOHNSON.
Line 117. What lets,] To let, signifies to hinder thus in Hamlet, Act I. Sc. 4. "By heaven, I'll make a ghost of him that lets me."
for they are sent by me,] For is the same as for JOHNSON.
Line 154. that, since.
Line 159. -Merop's son)] Thou art Phaeton in thy rashness, but without his pretensions; thou art not the son of a divinity, but a terræ filius, a low-born wretch; Merops is thy true father, with whom Phaeton was falsely reproached. JOHNSON.
Line 192. I fly not death, to fly his deadly doom;] To fly his doom, used for by flying, or in flying, is a gallicism. The sense is, By avoiding the execution of his sentence I shall not escape death. If I stay here, I suffer myself to be destroyed; if I go away, I destroy myself. JOHNSON.
Line 262. Even in the milk-white bosom of thy love.] This is probably an allusion to a real custom, viz. that of ladies wearing their bosoms not only open, but so wide in front, as to admit all the paraphernalia of needle-work, their letters, their money, &c. in fact, A POCKET; where every thing was carelessly bestowed till a better opportunity presented of putting these articles by: the custom exists to this day, in a more or less degree.
Line 273. Laun. I am but a fool, look you; and yet I have the wit to think my master is a kind of knave: but that's all one, if he be but one KNAVE.] Where is the sense? or, if you won't allow the speaker that, where is the humour of this speech? Nothing had given the fool occasion to suspect that his master was become