Obrázky na stránke
PDF
ePub

And well become the agent: it may, I grant:
But to be paddling palms, and pinching fingers,
As now they are; and making practis'd smiles,
As in a looking-glass ;--and then to sigh, as 'twere
The mort o'the deer;2 O, that is entertainment
My bosom likes not, nor my brows.—Mamillius,
Art thou my boy?
Mam.

Ay, my good lord.
Leon.

I'fecks?3
Why, that's my bawcock. What, hast smutch'd thy

nose?-
They say, it's a copy out of mine. Come, captain,
We must be neat ;5 not neat, but cleanly, captain:
And yet the steer, the heifer, and the calf,
Are all call'd, neat.--Still virginalling:

[Observing Pol. and Her.

6

earth, which yields a spontaneous produce. In the same strain is the address of Timon of Athens :

“ Thou common mother, thou,
“ Whose infinite breast

Teems and feeds all!Steevens. 2 The mort o'the deer;] A lesson upon the horn at the death of the deer. Theobald.

So, in Greene's Card of Fancy, 1608: “_ He that bloweth the mort before the death of the buck, may very well miss of his fees.” Again, in the oldest copy of Chevy Chace:

“The blewe a mort uppone the bent.” Steevens. 3 I’fecks?] A supposed corruption ofin faith. Our present vulgar pronounce it-fegs. Steevens.

4 Why, that's my bawcock.) Perhaps from beau and coq. It is still said in vulgar language that such a one is a jolly cock, a cock of the game. The word has already occurred in Twelfth Night, and is one of the titles by which Pistol speaks of King Henry the Fifth. Steevens.

5 We must be neat;] Leontes, seeing his son's nose smutched, cries, we must be neat; then recollecting that neat is the ancient term for horned cattle, he says, not neat, but cleanly. Fohnson. So, in Drayton's Polyolbion, Song 3: “ His large provision there of flesh, of fowl, of neat.Steevens.

Still virginalling -) Still playing with her fingers, as a girl playing on the virginals. Johnson.

A virginal, as I am informed, is a very small kind of spinnet. Queen Élizabeth's virginal-book is yet in being, and many of the lessons in it have proved so difficult, as to battle our most expert players on the harpsichord.

Upon his palm?-How now, you wanton calf?
Art thou

my

calf? Mam.

Yes, if you will, my lord.
Leon. Thou want'st a rough pash, and the shoots that

I have,

[ocr errors]

So, in Decker's Satiromastix, or the Untrussing of the Humorous Poet, 1602:

“When we have husbands, we play upon them virginal jacks, they must rise and fall to our humours, else they'll never get any good strains of musick out of one of us.' Again, in Ram-alley, or Merry Tricks, 1611:

“ Where be these rascals that skip up and down

“ Like virginal jacks?Steevens. A virginal was strung like a spinnet, and shaped like a piano forte. Malone.

7 Thou want'st a rough pash, and the shoots that I have,] Pash, (says Sir T. Hanmer) is kiss. Paz. Spanish, i. e. thou want'st a mouth made rough by a beard, to kiss with. Shoots are branches, i. e. horns. Leontes is alluding to the ensigns of cuckoldom. A mad. brained boy, is, however, called a mad pash in Cheshire. Steevens.

Thou want'st a rough pash, and the shoots that I have, in connexion with the context, signifies to make thee a calf thou must have the tuft on thy forehead and the young horns that shoot up in it, as I have. Leontes asks the Prince:

How now, you wanton calf?
Art thou

my

calf?
Mam. Yes, if you will, my lord.
Leon. Thou want'st a rough pash and the shoots that I have,

To be full like me.
To pash signifies to push or dash against, and frequently occurs
in old writers. Thus, Drayton:

“They either poles their heads together pasht.Again, in How to choose a good Wife from a bad, 1602, 4to:

learn pash and knock, and beat and mall,
“ Cleave pates and caputs.”
When in Cheshire a pash is used for a mad-brained boy, it is
designed to characterize him from the wantonness of a calf that
blunders on, and runs his head against any thing. Henley.
In Troilus and Cressida, the verb pash also occurs:

waving his beam
“Upon the pashed corses of the kings

“ Epistrophus and Cedius.”
And again, (as Mr. Henley on another occasion observes) in
The Virgin Martyr:

when the battering ram
“Were fetching his career backward, to pash

“ Me with his horns to pieces.” Steevens.
I have lately learned that pash in Scotland signifies a head.
The old reading therefore may stand. Many words, that are

[ocr errors][merged small]

PS

To be full like me:8-yet, they say, we are
Almost as like as eggs; women say so,
That will say any thing: But were they false
As o'er-died blacks,' as wind, as waters; false
As dice are to be wish’d, by one that fixes
No bourn! 'twixt his and mine; yet were it true
To say this boy were like me.-Come, sir page,
Look on me with your welkin eye:2 Sweet villain!
Most dear'st! my collop!3—Can thy dam?-may 't be?

now used only in that country, were perhaps once common to the whole island of Great Britain, or at least to the northern part of England. The meaning, therefore, of the present passage, I suppose, is this: You tell me, (says Leontes to his son) that

you are like me; that you are my calf. I am the horned bull: thou wantest the rough head and the horns of that animal, completely to resemble your father, Malone.

8 To be full like me:] Full is here, as in other places, used by our author, adverbially ;-to be entirely like me. Malone.

9 As o’er-died blacks,] Sir T. Hanmer understands blacks died too much, and therefore rotten. Fohnson.

It is common with tradesmen, to die their faded or damaged stuffs, black. O'er died blacks may mean those which have received a die over their former colour.

There is a passage in The old Law of Massinger, which might lead us to offer another interpretation:

Blacks are often such dissembling mourners,
“ There is no credit given to 't, it has lost
All reputation by false sons and widows:

“I would not hear of blacks." It seems that blacks was the common term for mourning. So, in A mad World my Masters, 1608:

- in so many blacks “ I'll have the church hung round" Black, however, will receive no other hue without discovering itself through it: “ Lanarum nigræ nullum colorem bibunt.

Plin. Nat. Hist. Lib. VIII. Steedens. The following passage in a book which our author had certainly read, inclines me to believe that the last is the true interpreta. tion. "

Truly (quoth Camillo) my wool was blacke, and therefore it could take no other colour.Lyly's Euphues and his England, 4to. 1580. Malone. 1 No bourn -] Bourn is boundary. So, in Hamlet:

from whose bourn
“ No traveller returns —.” Steevens.

welkin-eye:) Blue-eye; an eye of the same colour with the welkin, or sky. Fohnson.

my collop!] So, in The First Part of King Henry VI: “God knows, thou art a collop of my flesh.” Steevens.

2

3

5

Affection! thy intention stabs the centre:*
Thou dost make possible, things not so held,
Communicat'st with dreams;-(How can this be?)—
With what's unreal thou coactive art,
And fellow'st nothing: Then, 'tis very credent,
Thou may'st co-join with something; and thou dost;
(And that beyond commission; and I find it,)
And that to the infection of my brains,
And hardening of my brows.
Pol.

What means Sicilia?
Her. He something seems unsettled.
Pol.

How, my lord? What cheer? how is 't with you, best brother??

4 Affection! thy intention stabs the centre:] Instead of this line, which I find in the folio, the modern editors have introduced another of no authority:

Imagination! thou dost stab to the centre. Mr. Rowe first made the exchange. I am not sure that I understand the reading I have restored. Affection, however, I be. lieve, signifies imagination. Thus, in The Merchant of Venice:

affection, “ Mistress of passion, sways it," &c. i.e. imagination governs our passions. Intention is, as Mr. Locke expresses it, “when the mind with great earnestness, and of choice, fixes its view on any idea, considers it on every side, and will not be called off by the ordinary solicitations of other ideas.” This vehemence of the mind seems to be what affects Leontes so deeply, or, in Shakspeare's language,-stabs him to the centre.

Steevens. Intention, in this passage, means eagerness of attention, or of desire; and is used in the same sense in The Merry Wives of Windsor, where Falstaff says-“She did so course o'er my exteriors, with such a greedy intention,&c. M. Mason.

I think, with Mr. Steevens, that affection means here imagination, or perhaps more accurately: "the disposition of the mind when strongly affected or possessed by a particular idea.” And in a kindred sense at least to this, it is used in the passage quoted from The Merchant of Venice. Malone.

5 Thou dost make possible, things not so held,] i.e. thou dost make those things possible, which are conceived to be impossible.

Fohnson. To express the speaker's meaning, it is necessary to make a short pause after the word possible. I have therefore put a comma there, though perhaps in strictness it is improper. Malone.

credent,] i.e. credible. So, in Measure for Measure, Act V, sc. V:

“ For my authority bears a credent bulk.” Steevens.

6

Her.

You look,
As if you held a brow of much distraction:
Are you mov'd, my lord?8
Leon.

No, in good earnest.-
How sometimes nature will betray its folly,
Its tenderness, and make itself a pastime
To harder bosoms! Looking on the lines
Of my boy's face, methoughts, I did recoil
Twenty-three years; and saw myself unbreech’d,
In my green velvet coat; my dagger muzzled,
Lest it should bite' its master, and so prove,
As ornaments oft do, too dangerous. 1
How like, methought, I then was to this kernel,
This squash, this gentleman:-Mine honest friend,
Will you take eggs for money ?3

7 What cheer? how is 't with you, best brother?] This line, which in the old copy is given to Leontes, has been attributed to Polis. enes, on the suggestion of Mr. Steevens. Sir T. Hanmer had made the same emendation. Malone.

8 Are you mov'd, my lord?] We have again the same expression on the same occasion, in Othello:

Iago. I see my lord, you are moo'd.
Othel. No, not much mood, not much.” Malone.

- my dagger muzzled,
Lest it should bite – ] So, in King Henry VIII:

“ This butcher's cur is venom-mouth'd, and I

“ Have not the power to muzzle him.” Again, in Much Ado about Nothing: “I am trusted with a muzzle."

Steevens. 1 As ornaments oft do, too dangerous.] So, in The Merchant of Venice:

“ Thus ornament is but the guiled shore

“ To a most dangerous sea.” Steevens. 2 This squash,] A squash is a pea-pod, in that state when the young peas begin to swell in it. Henley. 3 Will you

take eggs for money ?] This seems to be a proverbial expression, used when a man sees himself wronged and makes no resistance. Its original, or precise meaning, I cannot find, but I believe it means, will you be a cuckold for hire. The cuckow is reported to lay her eggs in another bird's nest; he there. fore that has eggs laid in his nest is said to be cucullatus, cuckowed, or cuckolt. Fohnson.

The meaning of this is, will you put up affronts? The French have a proverbial saying, A qui vendez vous coquilles? i.e. whom do you design to affront? Mamillius's answer plainly proves it. Mam. No, my Lord, I'll fight. Smith.

9

« PredošláPokračovať »