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He hence remov'd last night, and with more haste
Lord, how we lose our pains!
Gen. Marry, as I take it, to Rousillon;
I do beseech you, sir,
This I 'll do for you.
[Exeunt. SCENE II. Rousillon. The inner Court of the Countess's Palace.
Enter Clown and PAROLLES. Par. Good monsieur Lavatch,s give my lord Lafeu this letter: I have ere now, sir, been better known to you, when I have held familiarity with fresher clothes; but I am now, sir, muddied in fortune's moat, and smell somewhat strong of her strong displeasure..
4 Our means will make us means.
.] Shakspeare delights much in this kind of reduplication, sometimes so as to obscure his meaning;. Helena says, they will follow with such speed as the means which they have will give them ability to exert. Fohnson.
Lavatch,] This is an undoubted, and perhaps irremediable corruption, of some French word. Steevens.
but I am now, sir, muddied in fortune's moat, &c.] In former editions—but I am now, sir, muddied in fortune's mood, and smell somewhat strong of her strong displeasure. I believe the poet wrote-in fortune's moat; because the Clown, in the very next speech, replies—" I will henceforth eat no fish of fortune's buttering;" and again, when he comes to repeat Parolles's petition to Lafeu, “ That hath fallen into the unclean fishpond of her displeasure, and, as he says, is muddied withal.” And again
Clo. Truly, fortune's displeasure is but sluttish, if it smell so strong as thou speakest of: I will henceforth
“Pray you, sir, use the carp as you may,” &c. In all which places, it is obvious a moat or a pond is the allusion. Besides, Parolles smelling strong, as he says, of fortune's strong displeasure, carries on the same image ; for as the moats round old seats were always replenished with fish, so the Clown's joke of holding his nose, we may presume, proceeded from this, that the privy was always over the moat; and therefore the Clown humorously says, when Parolles is pressing him to deliver his letter to Lord Lafeu, “ Foh! pr’ythee stand away; a paper from fortune's close-stool, to give to a nobleman!” Warburton.
Dr. Warburton's correction may be supported by a passage in The Alchemist :
“ Subtle. Come along sir,
“ Face. Are they perfum'd, and his bath ready?
“ Sub. All.
“Only the fumigation somewhat strong." Farmer. By the whimsical caprice of Fortune, I am fallen into the mud, and smell somewhat strong of her displeasure. In Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 1609, we meet with the same phrase :
but Fortune's mood “Varies again." Again, in Timon of Athens :
“ When fortune, in her shift and change of mood,
“Spurns down her late belov’d.” Again, in Julius Cæsar :
“ Fortune is merry,
“ And in this mood will give us any thing.". Mood is again used for resentment or caprice in Othello: “You are but now cast in his mood, a punishment more in policy than in malice." Again, for anger, in the old Taming of a Shrew, 1607:
This brain-sick man, “ That in his mood cares not to murder me." Dr. Warburton, in his edition, changed mood into moat, and his emendation was adopted, I think, without necessity, by the subsequent editors. All the expressions enumerated by him,“ I will eat no fish,"_"he hath fallen into the unclean fishpond of her displeasure,” &c.-agree sufficiently well with the text, without any change. Parolles having talked metaphorically of being muddy'd by the displeasure of fortune, the Clown, to render him ridiculous, supposes him to have actually fallen into a fishpond. Malone.
Though Mr. Malone defends the old reading, I have retained Dr. Warburton's emendation, which, in my opinion, is one of the luckiest ever produced. Steevens.
eat no fish of fortune's buttering. Prythee, allow the wind.?
Par. Nay, you need not stop your nose, sir; I spake but by a metaphor.
Clo. Indeed, sir, if your metaphor stink, I will stop my nose; or against any man's metaphor.8 Prythee, get thee further.
Par. Pray you, sir, deliver me this paper.
Clo. Foh, pr’ythee, stand away; A paper from fortune's close-stool to give to a nobleman! Look, here he comes himself.
Enter LAFEU. Here is a pur of fortune's, sir, or of fortune's cat, 9 (but not a musk-cat) that has fallen into the unclean fishpond of her displeasure, and, as he says, is muddied withal: Pray you, sir, use the carp as you may; for he
allow the wind.) i. e. stand to the leeward of me.
Steevens. 8 Inleed, sir, if your metaphor stink, I will stop my nose; against any man's metaphor ] Nothing could be conceived with greater humour or justness of satire, than this speech. The use of the stinking metaphor is an odious fault, which grave writers often commit. It is not uncommon to see moral declaimers against vice describe her as Hesiod did the fury Tristitia:
«Της έκ οίνων μύξαι ρέον.” Upon which Longinus justly observes, that, instead of giving a terrible image, he has given a very nasty one. Cicero cautions well against it in his book de Orat. Quoniam hæc, says he, vel summa laus est in verbis transferendis ut sensum feriat id, quod translatum sit, fugienda est omnis turpitudo earum rerum, ad quas eorum animos qui audiunt trahet similitudo. Nolo morte dici Africani castratam esse rempublicam. Nolo sturcus curiæ dici Glauciam.” Our poet himself is extremely delicate in this respect; who, throughout his large writings, if you except a passage in Hamlet, bas scarce a metaphor that can offend the most squeamish reader. Warburton.
Dr. Warburton's recollection must have been weak, or his zeal for his author extravagant, otherwise he could not have ven. tured to countenance him on the score of delicacy; his offensive metaphors and allusions being undoubtedly more frequent than those of all his dramatick predecessors or contemporaries.
Steevens. 9 Here is a pur of fortune's, sir, or of fortune's cat,] We should read-or fortune's cat; and, indeed, I believe there is an error in the former part of the sentence, and that we ought to read Here is a puss of fortune's, instead of pur. M. Mason.
looks like a poor, decayed, ingenious, foolish rascally knave. I do pity his distress in my smiles of comfort,1 and leave him to your lordship.
[Exit Clo. Par. My lord, I am a man whom fortune hath cruelly scratched.
Laf. And what would you have me to do? 'tis too late to pare her nails now. Wherein have you played the knave with fortune, that she should scratch you, who of herself is a good lady, and would not have knaves thrive long under her?? There's a quart d'ecu for you: Let the justices make you and fortune friends; I am for other business.
Par. I beseech your honour, to hear me one single word.
Laf. You beg a single penny more: come, you shall ha 't; save your word.3
Par. My name, my good lord, is Parolles.
Laf. You beg more than one word then.4-Cox' my passion! give me your hand: How does your drum?
Par. O my good lord, you were the first that found me. Laf. Was I, in sooth? and I was the first that lost thee.
Par. It lies in you, my lord, to bring me in some grace, for you did bring me out.
I do pity his distress in my smiles of comfort,] We should read-similes of comfort, such as the calling him fortune's cat,
Warburton. The meaning is, I testify my pity for his distress, by encouraging him with a gracious smile. The old reading may stand.
Heath. Dr. Warburton's proposed emendation may be countenanced by an entry on the books of the Stationers' Company, 1595.
A booke of verie pythie similies, comfortable and profitable for all men to reade."
The same mistake occurs in the old copies of King Henry IV, P. I, where, instead of “ unsavoury similes" we have “unsa. voury smiles.” Steevens.
under her?] Her, which is not in the first copy, was supplied by the editor of the second folio. Malone. save your word.] i.e. you need not ask;-here it is.
Malone. 4 You beg more than one word then.] A quibble is intended on the word Parolles, which, French, is plural, and signifies words. One, which is not found in the old copy, was added, perhaps unnecessarily, by the editor of the third folio. Malone.
Laf. Out upon thee, knave! dost thou put upon me at once both the office of God and the devil? one brings thee in grace, and the other brings thee out. [Trumpets sound.] The king's coming, I know by his trumpets.Sirrah, inquire further after me; I had talk of you last night: though you are a fool and a knave, you shall eat;5 go to, follow. Par. I praise God for you.
A Room in the Countess's Palace.
Flourish. Enter King, Countess, LAFEU, Lords, Gen
tlemen, Guards, &c.
'Tis past, my liege: And I beseech your majesty to make it Natural rebellion, done i'the blaze of youth;8
- you shall eat;] Parolles has many of the lineaments of Falstaff, and seems to be the character which Shakspeare delighted to draw, a fellow that had more wit than virtue. Though justice required that he should be detected and exposed, yet his vices sit. so fit in him that he is not at last suffered to starve.
Johnson. esteem --] Dr. Warburton, in Theobald's edition, al. tered this word to estate; in his own he lets it stand, and explains it by worth or estate. But esteem is here reckuning or estimate. Since the loss of Helen, with her virtues and qualifications, our account is sunk; what we have to reckon ourselves king of, is much poorer than before. Fohnson.
Meaning that his esteem was lessened in its value by Ber. tram's misconduct; since a person who was honoured with it could be so ill treated as Helena had been, and that with impunity. Johnson's explanation is very unnatural. M. Mason.
home.] That is, completely, in its full extent. Johnson. So, in Macbeth: “ That thrusted home," &c. Malone.
blaze of youth;] The old copy reads-blade. Steevens. “ Blade of youth” is the spring of early life, when the man is yet green. Oil and fire suit but ill with blade, and therefore Dr. Warburton reads, blaze of youth. Johnson.