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Ros. I'faith, his hair is of a good colour.?
Cel. An excellent colour: your chesnut was ever the only colour.
Ros. And his kissing is as full of sanctity as the touch of holy bread.
Cel. He hath bought a pair of cast lips of Diana:' a nun of winter's sisterhood kisses not more religiously; the very ice of chastity is in them.
ftantly represented in ancient painting or tapestry, with red hair and beard.
80, in The Insatiate Countess, 1613: “ I ever thought by his red beard he would prove a Judas.” Steevens.
7 l'faith, his hair is of a good colour.] There is much of nature in this petty perverseness of Rosalind; she finds faults in her lover, in hope to be contradicted, and when Celia in sportive malice too readily seconds her accusations, the contradicts herself rather than suffer her favourite to want a vindication. Johnson.
8- as the touch of holy bread.) We should read beard, that is, as the kiss of an holy faint or hermit, called the kiss of charity. This makes the comparison just and decent; the other impious and absurd. WARBURTON. 9- a pair of cast lips of Diana:] i. e. a pair left off by Diana.
THEOBALD. s a nun of winter's sisterhood-] This is finely expressed. But Mr. Theobald says, the words give him no ideas. And it is certain, that words will never give men what nature has denied them. However, to mend the matter, he substitutes Winifred's fifterhood. And after so happy a thought, it was to no purpose to tell him there was no religious order of that denomination. The plain truth is, Shakspeare meant an unfruitful fisterhood, which had devoted itself to chastity. For as those who were of the fifterhood of the spring, were the votaries of Venus; those of summer, the votaries of Ceres; those of autumn of Pomona : so these of the fisterhood of winter were the votaries of Diana; called, of winter, because that quarter is not, like the other three, productive of fruit or increase. On this account it is, that when the poet speaks of what is most poor, he instances it in winter, in these fine lines of Othello:
“ But riches fineless is as poor as winter
Ros. But why did he swear he would come this morning, and comes not?
Cel. Nay certainly, there is no truth in him.
Cel. Yes: I think he is not a pick-purse, nor a horse-stealer ; but for his verity in love, I do think him as concave as a cover'd goblet,' or a wormeaten nut.
Ros. Not true in love?
Ros. You have heard him swear downright, he was.
Cel. Was is not is: besides, the oath of a lover is no stronger than the word of a tapfter; they are both the confirmers of false reckonings : He attends here in the forest on the duke your father.
The other property of winter that made him term them of its sisterhood, is its coldness. So, in The Midsummer Night's Dream:
“ To be a barren lifter all your life,
WARBURTON. There is certainly no need of Theobald's conjecture, as Dr. Warburton has most effectually supported the old reading. In one circumstance, however, he is mistaken. The Golden Legend, p. ccci, &c. gives a full account of St. Winifred and her sisterhood. Edit. by Wyrkyn de Worde, 1527. Steevens.
3 as concave as a cover'd goblet,] Why a cover'd? Because a goblet is never kept cover'd but when empty. Shakspeare never throws out his expressions at random. WARBURTON.
Warburton alks, “ Why a cover'd goblet?”—and answers, “ Be. cause a goblet is never covered but when empty.” If that be the case, the cover is of little use; for when empty, it may as well be uncovered. But it is the idea of hollowness, not that of empriness, that Shakspeare wishes to convey; and a goblet is more completely hollow when covered, than when it is not. M. MASON.
Ros. I met the duke yesterday, and had much question 4 with him: He asked me, of what parentage I was; I told him, of as good as he; so he laugh’d, and let me go. But what talk we of fathers, when there is such a man as Orlando?
Cel. O, that's a brave man! he writes brave verses, speaks brave words, swears brave oaths, and breaks them bravely, quite traverse, athwarts the
4 - much question-] i. e, conversation. So, in The Mer. shant of Venice :
“ You may as well use question with the wolf.” STEEVENS. se quite traverse, athwart, &c.] An unexperienced lover is here compared to a puny tilter, to whom it was a disgrace to have his lance broken across, as it was a mark either of want of courage or address. This happened when the horse flew on one side, in the career: and hence, I suppose, arcfe the jocular proverbial phrase of spurring the horse only on one side. Now as breaking the lance against his adversary's breast, in a direct line, was honourable, so the breaking it across against his breast was, for the reason above, dishonourable: hence it is, that Sidney, in his Arcadia, speaking of the mock-combat of Clinias and Dametas says, “ The wind took such hold of his staff that it croft quite over his breaft,” &c.And to break across was the usual phrase, as appears from some wretched verses of the same author, speaking of an unskilful tilter:
“ Methought some staves he mist: if so, not much amiss : “ For when he most did hit, he ever yet did miss.
“ One said he brake across, full well it so might be,” &c. This is the allusion. So that Orlando, a young gallant, affecting the fashion, (for brave is here used, as in other places, for fashion able,) is represented either unskilful in courtship, or timorous. The lover's meeting or appointment corresponds to the tilter's career; and as the one breaks staves, the other breaks oaths. The business is only meeting fairly, and doing both with address: and 'tis for the want of this, that Orlando is blamed. WARBURTON.
So, in Northward Hoe, 1607: “ -- melancholick like a tilter, that had broke his staves foul before his mistress.”
STEEVENS. A puny tilter, that breaks his staff like a noble goose :] Sir Thomas Hanmer altered this to a noje-quill'd goose, but no one seems to have regarded the alteration. Certainly nose-quill'd is an epithet likely to be corrupted : it gives the image wanted, and may in a
heart of his lover ;s as a puny tilter, that spurs his horse but on one side, breaks his staff like a noble goose: but all's brave, that youth mounts, and folly guides :-Who comes here?
Well, and what of him?
O, come, let us remove;
great measure be supported by a quotation from Torberville's
“ He thall for this time only be seeld up
" See heaven,” &c. Again, in the Booke of Hawkyng, Huntyng, and Fishing, &c. bl. 1. no date : “ — and with a pen put it in the haukes nares once or cwice," &c. Steevens. s o f his lover ;] i. e. of his mifress. See Vol. IV. p. 211, note 3. MALONE.
Enter Silvius and Phebe.
Will you ferner be Than he that dies and and lives by bloody drops ?] This is fpoken of the executioner. He lives indeed by bloody drops, if you will: but how does he die by bloody drops ? The poet must certainly have wrote:
that deals and lives, &c. i. e. that gets his bread by, and makes a trade of cutting off heads: but the Oxford editor makes it plainer. He reads: Than he that lives and thrives by bloody drops.
WARBURTON. Either Dr. Warburton's emendation, except that the word deals, wants its proper construction, or that of Sir Tho. Hanmer, may serve the purpose; but I believe they have fixed.corruption upon the wrong word, and should rather read :
Than he that dies his lips by bloody drops ? Will you speak with more sternness than the executioner, whose lips are used to be Sprinkled with blood? The mention of drops implies some part that must be sprinkled rather than dipped.
JOHNSON. I am afraid our bard is at his quibbles again. To die, means as well 10 dip a thing in a colour foreign to its own, as to expire. In chis sense, contemptible as it is, the executioner may be said to die as well as live by bloody drops. Shakspeare is fond of opposing these terms to each other.