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EPILOGU E. Ros. It is not the fashion to see the lady the epilogue: but it is no more unhandsome, than to see the lord the prologue. If it be true, that good wine needs no buh, 'tis true, that a good play needs no epilogue: Yet to good wine they do use good bushes; and good plays prove the better by the help of good epilogues. What a case am I in then, that am neither a good epilogue, nor cannot insinuate with you in the behalf of a good play? I am not furnish'd like a beggar, therefore to beg will not become me: my way is, to conjure you; and I'll be

_ no bush,] It appears formerly to have been the custom to hang a tuft of ivy at the door of a vintner. I suppose ivy was rather chosen than any other plant, as it has relation to Bacchus. So, in Gascoigne's Glass of Government, 1575:

“ Now a days the good wyne needeth none Ivye Garland." Again, in The Rival Friends, 1632 :

'l'is like the ivy-bush unto a tavern." Again, in Summer's last Will and Teftament, 1600 :

“ Green iriy-bushes at the vintners' doors.” STEEVENS. The practice is still observed in Warwickshire and the adjoining counties, at statute-hirings, wakes, &c. by people who sell ale at no other time. And hence, I suppose, the Busis tavern at Bristol, and other places. Ritson.

8 What a case am I in then, &c.] Here seems to be a chasm, or some other depravation, which destroys the sentiment here intended. The reasoning probably stood thus : Good wine needs no bush, good plays need no epilogue ; but bad wine requires a good bush, and a bad play a good epilogue. What case am I in then? To restore the words is impossible; all that can be done without copies is, to note the fault. JOHNSON.

Johnson mistakes the meaning of this passage, Rosalind says, that good plays need no epilogue; yet even good plays do prove the better for a good one. What a case then was she in, who had neither presented them with a good play, nor had a good epilogue to prejudice them in favour of a bad one ? M. Mason.

9 - furnish'd like a beggar,] That is, dressed: fo before, he was furnished like a huntsman, JOHNSON,

gin with the women. I charge you, O women, for the love you bear to men, to like as much of this play as please them: and so I charge you, O men, for the love you bear to women, (as I perceive by your simpering, none of you hate them,) that between you and the women, the play may please.?

? — I charge you, O women, for the love you bear to men, to like as much of this play as please them: and so I charge you, &c.] The old copy reads--I charge you, I women, for the love you bear to men, to like as much of this play as please you : and I charge you, O men, for the love you bear to women,-- that between you and the women, &c. STEEVENS.

This passage should be read thus : I charge you, O women, for the love you bear to men, to like as much of this play as pleases them; and I charge you, O men, for the love you bear to women,

- to like as much as pleases them, that betweeen you and the women, &c. Without the alteration of You into Them, the invocation is nonsense ; and without the addition of the words, to like as much as pleases them, the inference of, that between you and the women the play may pass, would be unsupported by any precedent premises, The words seem to have been struck out by some senseless player, as a vicious redundancy. WARBURTON.

The words you and ym written as was the custom in that time, were in manuscript scarcely diftinguishable. The emendation is very judicious and probable. Johnson.

Mr. Heath observes, that if Dr. Warburton's interpolation be admitted [" to like as much, &c.”] “ the men are to like only just as much as pleased the women, and the women only just as much as pleased the men; neither are to like any thing from their own taste : and if both of them disliked the whole, they would each of them equally fulfil what the poet desires of them.-But Shakspeare did not write so nonsensically; he desires the women to like as much as pleased the men, and the men to set the ladies a good example; which exhortation to the men is evidently enough implied in these words, that between you and the women the play may please.”

Mr. Heath, though he objects (I think very properly) to the interpolated sentence, admits by his interpretation the change of * - pleases youto “ — pleases them;" which has been adopted by the late editors. I by no means think it necessary; nor is Mr. Heath's exposition in my opinion correct. The text is sufficiently clear, without any alteration. Rosalind's address appears to me simply this: “ I charge you, O women, for the love you

If I were a woman, I would kiss as many of you as had beards that pleas'd me, complexions that lik'd me, and breaths that I defy'd not:s and, I am sure, as many as have good beards, or good faces, or sweet

bear to men, to approve of as much of this play as affords you entertainment; and I charge you, O men, for the love you bear 10 women, (not to let an example to, but] to follow or agree in opinion with the ladies; that between you both the play may be successful.” The words “ to follow, or agree in opinion with, the ladies” are not indeed expresled, but plainly implied in those subsequent ; “ that, between you and the women, the play may please.” In the epilogue to King Henry IV. P. II. the address to the audience proceeds in the same order : “ All the gentlewomen here have forgiven [i. e. are favourable to] nie; if the gentlemen will not, then the gentlemen do not agree with the gentlewomen, which was never seen before in such an assembly.”

The old copy reads-mas pleaje you. The correction was made by Mr. Rowe.

Like all my predecessors, I had here adopted an alteration made by Mr. Rowe, of which the reader was apprized in the note ; but the old copy is certainly right, and such was the phraseology of Shakspeare's age. So, in K. Richard III:

" Where every horse bears his commanding rein,

“ And may direct his course, as please himself." Again, in Hamlet:

“ — a pipe for fortune's finger,

“ To found what stop she please.Again, in K. Henry VIII:

“ All men's honours
“ Lie like one lump before him, to be fashion'd

“ Into what pitch he please." MALONE. I read_" and so I charge you, O men,” &c. This trivial addition, (as Dr. Farmer joins with me in thinking,) clears the whole passage. STEEVENS.

3 If I were a woman,] Note, that in this author's time, the parts of women were always performed by men or boys.

HANMER. 4 complexions that liked me, 1 i. e. that I liked. So again in Hamlet : “ This likes me well.” Steevens.

s breaths that I defy'd not :) This passage serves to manifest the indelicacy of the time in which the plays of Shakspeare

breaths, will, for my kind offer, when I make curt'sy, bid me farewell.


were written. Such an idea, started by a modern dramatist, and put into the mouth of a female character, would be hooted with indignation from the stage. Steevens. .

6 Of this play the fable is wild and pleasing. I know not how the ladies will approve the facility with which both Rosalind and Celia give away their hearts, To Celia much may be forgiven for the heroism of her friendship. The character of Jaques is natural and well preserved. The comick dialogue is very sprightly. with less mixture of low buffoonery than in some other plays; and the graver part is elegant and harmonious. By hastening to the end of his work, Shakspeare suppressed the dialogue between the usurper and the hermit, and loft an opportunity of exhibiting a moral lesson in which he might have found matter worthy of his highest powers. Johnson.

See p. 28. Is but a quintaine, &c.] Dr. Warburton's explana. tion would, I think, have been less exceptionable, had it been more fimple : yet he is here charged with a fault of which he is feldom guilty, want of refinement. This (says Mr. Guthrie) is but an imperfect (to call it no worse) explanation of a beautiful passage. The quintaine was not the object of the darts and arms; it was a stake, driven into a field, upon which were hung a shield and trophies of war, at which they shot, darted, or rode with a lance. When the shield and trophies were all thrown down, the quintaine remained. Without this information, how could the reader understand the allusion of

a my better parts Are all thrown down. In the present edition I have avoided as much as possible all kind of controversy ; but in those cases where errors by having been long adopted are become in veterate, it becomes in some measure necessary to the enforcement of truth.

It is a common but a very dangerous mistake, to suppose, that the interpretation which gives mott fpirit to a passage is the true one. In consequence of this notion two passages of our author, one in Macbeth, and another in Oibello, have been refined, as I conceive, into a meaning that I believe was not in his thoughts. If the moft fpirited interpretation that can be imagined, happens to be inconsistent with his general manner, and the phraseology both of him and his contemporaries, or to be founded on a custom

which did not exist in his age, most assuredly it is a false interpretation. Of the latter kind is Mr. Guthrie's explanation of the passage before us.

The military exercise of the quintaine is as ancient as the time of the Romans; and we find from Matthew Paris, that it subsifted in England in the thirteenth century. Tentoria variis ornamentorum generibus venuftantur ; terræ infixis sudibus fcuta apponuntur, quibus in craftinum quintanæ ludus, scilicet equeftris, exerceretur. M. Paris, ad ann. 1253. These probably were the very words that Mr. Guthrie had in contemplation. But Matthew Paris made no part of Shakspeare's library ; nor is it at all material to our present point what were the customs of any century preceding that in which he lived. In his time, without any doubt, the quintaine was not a military exercise of tilting, but a mere rustic sport. So Minsheu, in his Dict, 1617: “ A quintaine or quintelle, a game in request at marriages, when Jac and Tom, Dic, Hob and Will, strive for the gay garland.” So also, Randolph at somewhat a later period [Poems, 1642] : “ Foot-ball with us may be with them (the Spaniards] bal.

“ As they at tilts, so we at quintaine runne;
And those old pastimes relish best with me,

“ That have least art, and most simplicitie.” But old Stowe has put this matter beyond a doubt ; for in his SURVEY OF LONDON, printed only two years before this play appeared, he has given us the figure of a quintaine, as represented in the margin.

“ I have seen (says he) a quinten set up on Cornehill, by the Leaden Hall, where the attendants on the lords of merry disports have runne, and made greate pastime; for hee that hit not the broad end of the quinten was of all men laughed to scorne ; and hee that hit it full, if he rid not the faster, had a sound blow in his necke with a bagge full of sand hanged on the other end." Here we see were no fhields hung, no trophies of war to be thrown down. “ The great design of the sport, (says Dr. Plott in his History of Oxfordshire) is to try both man and horse, and to break the board; which whoever does, is for the time Princeps juventutis.

-Shakspeare's fimiles seldom correspond on both sides. “ My better parts being all thrown down, my youthful spirit being subdued by the power of beauty, I am now (says Orlando) as inanimate as a wooden quintaine is (not when its better parts are thrown down, but as that lifeless block is at all times).” Such, perhaps, is the meaning. If however the words “ better parts,” are to be applied

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