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Biron. O, if the streets were paved with thine eyes,
Her feet were much too dainty for such tread!
The street should see as she walk'd over head.
Our loving lawful, and our faith not torn.
Long. O, some authority how to proceed;
Dum. Some salve for perjury.
(), tis more than need!
some quillets,] Quillet is the peculiar word applied to lawchicane. I imagine the original to be this. In the French pleadings, every several allegation in the plaintiff's charge, and every distinct plea in the defendant's answer, began with the words qu'il est : - from whence was formed the word quillet, to signify a false charge or an evasive answer. Warburton.
- affection's men at arms :) A man at arms, is a soldier armed at all points, both" offensively and defensively. It is no more than, Ye soldiers of affection. Fohnson.
- hath forsworn -] Old copies—have. Corrected by Mr. Pope. Malone.
- prisons up-] The quarto, 1598, and the folio, 1623, read-poisons up:
The emendation was made by Mr. Theobald. A passage in King John may add some support to it:
The nimble spirits in the arteries ;*
“Or, if that surly spirit, melancholy,
Malone. 4 The nimble spirits the arteries;] In the old system of physic they gave the same office to the arteries as is now given to the nerves; as appears from the name, which is derived from å spoe tnpsñv. Warburton.
5 Teaches such beauty as a woman's eye?] i.e. a lady's eyes give a fuller notion of beauty than any author. Johnson.
our books;] i. e. our true books, from which we derive most information ;—the
of women. Malone. 7 In leaden contemplation, have found out
Such fiery numbers,] Numbers are, in this passage, nothing more than poetical measures. Could you, says Biron, by solitary contemplation, have attained such poetical fire, such spritely numbers, as have been prompted by the eyes of beauty?, Johnson. In leaden contemplation,] So, in Milton's Il Penseroso:
“ With a sad, leaden, downward cast.” Again, in Gray's Hymn to Adversity:
“ With leaden eye that loves the ground.” Steevens. - 8 Of beauteous tutors — ] Old copies—beauty's. Corrected by Sir T. Hanmer. Malone.
9 Other slow arts entirely keep the brain ;] As we say, keep the house, or keep their bed. M. Mason.
And therefore finding barren practisers,
the suspicious head of theft is stopp’d;] i. e. a lover in pursuit of his mistress has his sense of hearing quicker than a thief (who suspects every sound he ḥears) in pursuit of his prey.
Warburton. “ The suspicious head of theft (says a writer in the Edinburgh Magazine, Nov. 1786) is the suspicious head of the thief. There is no man who listens so eagerly as a thief, or whose ears are so acutely upon the stretch.” Steevens. cockled-] i. e. inshelled, like the fish called a cockle.
Steevens. 3 Still climbing trees in the Hesperides?] Our author had heard or read of “the gardens of the Hesperides," and seems to have thought that the latter word was the name of the garden in which the golden apples were kept; as we say, the gardens of the Tuilleries, &c. So, in Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay, by Robert Greene, 1598:
“ Shew thee the tree, leav'd with refined gold,
“ That watch'd the garden, call'd HESPERIDES." The word may have been used in the same sense in The Legend of Orpheus and Eurydice, a poem, 1597:
“ And, like the dragon of the Hesperides,
“Shutteth the garden's gate —.” Malone. 1 As bright Apollo's lute, strung with his hair ;] This expression, like that other in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, of
“Orpheus' harp was strung with poets' sinews," is extremely beautiful, and highly figurative. Apollo, as the
And, when love speaks, the voice of all the gods
sun, is represented with golden hair; so that a lute strung with his hair means no more than strung with gilded wire. Warlur.- 9.
- as sweet and musical
“ As bright_Apollo's lute strung with his hair.” The author of the Revisal supposes this expression to be allegorical, p. 138: “ Apollo's lute strung with sunbeams, which in poetry are called hair.” But what idea is conveyed by Apollo's lute strung with sunbeams? Undoubtedly the words are to be taken in their literal sense; and in the style of Italian imagery, the thought is highly elegant. The very same sort of conception occurs in Lyly's Mydas, a play which most probably preceded Shakspeare's. Act IV, sc. i, Pan tells Apollo: “ Had thy lute been of lawrell, and the strings of Daphne's haire, thy tunes might have been compared to my rotes,” &c. T. Warton.
Lyly's Mydas, quoted by Mr. Vi arton, was published in 1592.
“Hath he not torn those gold wires from thy head,
“ And kept them to play musick to the gods?” Again, in Storer's Life and Death of Cardinal Wolsey, a poem, 1599:
“With whose heart-strings Amphion's lute is strung,
Steevens. 5 And, when love speaks, the voice of all the gods
Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.) This nonsense we should read and point thus:
And when love speaks the voice of all the gods,
Mark, heaven drowsy with the harmony. i. e. in the voice of love alone is included the voice of all the gods. Alluding to that ancient theogony, that love was the parent and support of all the gods. Hence, as Suidas tells us, Palephatus wrote a poem called 'Αφροδιτης και "Ερωφ» φωνή και aby@. The Voice and Speech of Venus and Love, which appears to have been a kind of cosmogony, the harmony of which is so great, that it calms and allays all kinds of disorders: alluding again to the ancient use of music, which was to compose monarchs, when, by reason of the cares of empire, they used to pass whole nights in restless inquietude. Warburton. The ancient reading is“ Make heaven
Fohnson. I cannot find any reason for Dr. Warburton's emendation, nor do I believe the poet to have been at all acquainted with that ancient theogony mentioned by his critick. The former reading, with the slight addition of a single letter, was, perhaps, the true
When love speaks, (says Biron) the assembled gods reduce the
Never durst poet touch a pen to write,
con, 1600 :
eltent of the sky to a calm, by their harmonious applauses of this coured orator.
Mr. Collins observes, that the meaning of the passage may be this:-hi.at the voice of all the gods united, could inspire only drowsiness, when compared with the cheerful effects of the voice of Love. That sense is sufficiently congruous to the rest of the speech; and much the same thought occurs in The Shepherd Arsileus' Reply to Syrenus' Song, by Bar. Yong; published in England's Heli
“Unlesse mild Love possesse your amorous breasts,
“If you sing not to him, your songs do wearie.” Dr. Warburton has raised the idea of his author, by imputing to him a knowledge, of whichi, I believe, he was not possessed; but should either of these explanations prove the true one I shall offer no apology for having 1 iade him stoop from the critick's elevation. I would, however, read:
Makes heaven drou sy with its harmony. Though the words maré. and behold! are alike used to be. speak or summon attention, fit th: former of them appears so harsh in Dr. Warburton's emendation, that I read the line several times over before I perceivel its meaning. To speak the voice of the gods, appears to me as defective in the same way. Dr. Warburton, in a note on All's well that ends well, observes, that to speak a sound is a barbarism. To speak a voice is, I think, no less reprehensible. Steevens.
The meaning is, whenever love speaks, all the gods join their voices with his in harmonious concert. Heath.
Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.) The old copies read -make. The emendation was made by Sir T. Hanmer. More correct writers than Shakspeare often fall into this inaccuracy when a noun of multitude has preceded the verb. In a former part of this speech the same error occurs: “ -each of
For makes, read make. So, in Twelfth Night: “— for every one of these letters are in my name.” Again, in King Henry V :
“ The venom of such looks, we fairly hope,
“ Have lost their quality.” Again, in Julius Cæsar:
“ The posture of your blows are yet unknown.” Again, more appositely, in King John:
“ How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds
“ Make ill deeds done." So, Marlowe, in his Hero and Leander :
“The outside of her garments vere of lawn.". See also, the sacred writings: “The number of the names to gether were about an hundred and twenty.” Acts i, 15. Malone.