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Enter Rosalind, Celia, and Corin, at a distance.
PhE. I would not be thy executioner; I fly thee, for I would not injure thee.
In King John is a play on words not unlike this:
all with purple hands “ Dy'd in the dying Naughter of their foes.” Camden has preserved an epitaph on a dyer, which has the same turn:
• He that dyed so oft in sport,
“ Dyed at last, no colour for't.” So, Heywood, in his Epigrams, 1562 :
« Is thy husband a dyer, woman? alack,
6. Dyers be ever dying, but never dead." Again, Puttenham, in his Art of Poetry, 1589:
« We once sported upon a country fellow, who came to run for the best game, and was by his occupation a dyer, and had very big swelling legs.
* He is but coarse to run a course,
“ Whose shanks are bigger than his thigh; " Yet is his luck a little worse
" That often dyes before he die." « Where ye see the words course and die used in divers senses, one giving the rebound to the other.” Steevens.
J. Davies of Hereford, in his Scourge of Folly, printed about 1611, has the same conceit, and uses almost our authour's words:
OF A PROUD LYING DYBR.
“ Like Cæsar, that by dying oft did thrive;
“ Yet (like the mortifide) he dyes to live." Again, On the same :
" Who lives well, dies well:-not by and by ;
« For this man lives proudly, yet well doth die." MALONE. He that lives and dies, i, e. he who to the very end of his life continues a common executioner. So, in the second scene of the fifth Act of this play, “ live and die a shepherd.” Tollet.
To die and live by a thing is to be constant to it, to persevere in
Thou tell’st me, there is murder in mine eye:
O dear Phebe,
it to the end. Lives therefore does not fignify is maintained, but the two verbs taken together mean, who is all his life conversant with bloody drops, MUSGRAVE,
7 'Tis pretty, sure, and very probable,] Sure for surely. Douce,
8 - lean but upon a rush,] But, which is not in the old copy, was added for the sake of the metre, by the editor of the second folio. MALONE.
9 The cicatrice and capable impressure-] Cicatrice is here not very properly used ; it is the scar of a wound. Capable impressure, hollow mark. JOHNSON.
Capable, I believe, means here-perceptible. Our author often afes the word for intelligent ; (See a note on Hamlet,
“ His form and cause conjoin'd, preaching to stones,
“ Would make them capable."'). hence, with his usual licence, for intelligible, and then for percepe tible. MALONE,
You meet in some fresh cheek the power of fancy,
But, till that time,
might be your mother, That you insult, exult, and all at once, 4 Over the wretched? What though you have more
2 - power of fancy,] Fancy is here used for love, as before in The Midsummer Nighi's Dream. Johnson.
3 Who might be your mother, ] It is common for the poets to express cruelty by saying, of those who commit it, that they were born of rocks, or suckled by tigresses. Johnson.
4 That you insult, exult, and all at once,] If the speaker intended to accuse the person spoken to only for insulting and exulting; then, initead of-all at once, it ought to have been, both at once. But hy examining the crime of the perfon accused, we shall discover that the line is to be read thus :
That you insult, exult, and rail at once. For these three things Phebe was guilty of. But the Oxford editor improves it, and, for rail at once, reads domineer. WARBURTON.
I see no need of emendation. The speaker may mean thus : Who might be your mother, that you infult, exult, and that too all in a breath ? Such is perhaps the meaning of all at once. Steevens. s- What though you have more beauty,] The old copy reads:
What ihough you have no brautz: STEEVENS. Though all the printed copies agree in this reading, it is very accurately observed to me by an ingenious unknown correspondent, who signs himself L, H. (and to whom I can only here make my acknowledgement) that the negative ought to be left out. THEOBALD.
That no is a misprint, appears clearly from the passage in Lodge's Rosalynde, which Shakspeare has here imitated : « Sometimes have I seen high disdaine turned to hot desires.-Because thou art beautiful, be not to coy; as there is nothing more faire, so there is nothing more fading.”—Mr. Theobald corrected the error, by expunging the word no; in which he was copied by the subsequent editors ;
(As, by my faith, I see no more in you
but omifsion (as I have often observed) is of all the modes of emendation the most exceptionable. No was, I believe, a misprint for mo, a word often used by our author and his contemporaries for more. So, in a former scene in this play : “ I pray you, mar no mo of my verses with reading them ill-favour'dly:" Again, in Much ado about Nothing : “ Sing no more ditties, sing no mo." Again, in The Tempejt : “ Mo widows of this business making -" Many other instances might be added. The word is found in almost every book of that age. As no is here printed instead of mo, so in Romeo and Juliet, Act V. we find in the folio, 1623, Mo matter, for No matter. This correction being less violent than Mr. Theobald's, I have inserted it in the text. * What though I should allow you had more beauty than he, (say's Rosalind,) though by my faith," &c. (for such is the force of As in the next line) ri muft you therefore treat him with disdain ?" In Antony and Cleopatra we meet with a passage constructed nearly in the same manner:
- Say, this becomes him,
“ Whom these things cannot blemish,) yet,” &c. Again, in Love's Labour's Loft:
“ But say that he or we, (as neither have,)
" Receiv'd that sum,” &c. Again, more appositely, in Camden's Remaines, p. 190, edit. 1605: “ I force not of such fooleries; but if I have any skill in foothsaying (as in footh I have none) it doth prognosticate that I fall change copie from a duke to a king.” Malone.
As mo (unless rhyme demands it) is but an indolent abbreviation of more, I have adopted Mr. Malone's conjecture, without his manner of fpelling the word in question. If mo were right, how happens it that more should occur twice afterwards in the same speech? STEEVENS.
6 of nature's fale-work :) Those works that nature makes up carelessly and without exactness. The allusion is to the practice of mechanicks, whose work bespoke is more elaborate than that which is made up for chance-customers, or to sell in quantities to retailers, which is called fale-work. WARBURTON,
I think, she means to tangle my eyes too:
Phe. Sweet youth, I pray you chide a year together; I had rather hear you chide, than this man woo.
Ros. He's fallen in love with her foulness, and she'll fall in love with my anger: If it be so, as fast as the answers thee with frowning looks, I'll sauce her with bitter words.—Why look you so upon me?
Phe. For no ill will I bear you.
Ros. I pray you, do not fall in love with me, For I am falser than vows made in wine: Besides, I like you not: If you will know my house,
9 That can entame my Spirits to your worship.] So, in Much ado about Nothing:
“ Taming my wild heart to thy loving hand." STEVENS. 8 Foul is most foul, being foul to be a scoffer.] The sense is, The ugly frem most ugly, when, though ugly, they are scoffers. JOHNSON.
I with her foulness,] So, Sir Tho. Hanmer ; the other editions—your foulness. JOHNSON.