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To plant and o’erwhelm custom: Let me pass
“Whom our fast-growing scene must find
“ At Tharsus.” Gap, the reading of the original copy, which Dr. Warburton changed to gulf, is likewise supported by the same play, in which old Gower, who appears as Chorus, says:
learn of me, who stand i' the gaps to teach you “ The stages of our story." Malone.
since it is in my power &c.] The reasoning of Time is not very clear; he seems to mean, that he who has broke so many laws may now break another; that he who introduced every thing, may introduce Perdita in her sixteenth year; and he intreats that he may pass as of old, before any order or succession of objects, ancient or modern, distinguished his periods.
Fohnson. imagine me, Gentle spectators, that I now may be
In fair Bohemia;] Time is every where alike. I know not whether both sense and grammar may not dictate:
Imagine me, means imagine with me, or imagine for me; and is a common mode of expression. Thus we say “do me such a thing," _"spell me such a word.” In King Henry IV, Falstaff says, speaking of sack:
“ It ascends me into the brain, dries me there,” &c. Again, in King Lear, Gloster says to Edmund, speaking of Edgar:
“ Wind me into him,” &c. M. Mason.
Be known, when 'tis brought forth:-a shepherd's
Enter POLIXENES and CAMILLO.
Cam. It is fifteen years,“ since I saw my country: though I have, for the most part, been aired abroad, I desire to lay my bones there. Besides, the penitent king, my master, hath sent for me: to whose feeling sorrows I might be some allay, or I o'erween to think so; which is another spur to my departure.
Pol. As thou lovest me, Camillo, wipe not out the rest of thy services, by leaving me now: the need I have of thee, thine own goodness hath made; better not to have had thee, than thus to want thee: thou, having made me businesses, which none, without thee can sufficiently manage, must either stay to execute them thyself, or take away with thee the very services thou hast done: which if I have not enough considered, (as too much I cannot) to be more thankful to thee, shall be my study; and my profit therein, the heaping friendships.5 Of
2 Is the argument of time:] Argument is the same with subject.
Fohnson Of this allow,] To allow in our author's time signified to approve. Malone.
4 It is fifteen years,] We should read sixteen. Time has just said:
that I slide
that fatal country Sicilia, pr’ythee speak no more: whose very naming punishes me with the remembrance of that penitent, as thou call'st him, and reconciled king, my brother; whose loss of his most precious queen, and children, are even now to be afresh lamented. Say to me, when saw'st thou the prince Florizel my son? Kings are no less unhappy, their issue not being gracious, than they are in losing them, when they have approved their virtues.
Cam. Sir, it is three days, since I saw the prince: What his happier affairs may be, are to me unknown: but I have, niissingly, noted,6 he is of late much retired from court; and is less frequent to his princely exers cices, than formerly he hath appeared.
Pol. I have considered so much, Camillo; and with some care; so far, that I have eyes under my service, which look upon his removedness: from whom I have this intelligence; That he is seldom from the house of most homely shepherd; a man, they say, that from very nothing, and beyond the imagination of his neighbours, is grown into an unspeakable estate.
Cam. I have heard, sir, of such a man, who hath a daughter of most rare note: the report of her is extended more, than can be thought to begin from such a cottage,
Pol. That's likewise part of my intelligence. But, I fear the angle? that plucks our son thither. Thou shalt accompany us to the place: where we will, not appear
of heaping friendships, though like many other of our author's, unusual, at least unusual to modern ears, is not very obscure. To be more thankful shall be my study; and my profit therein the heaping friendships. That is, I will for the future be more liberal of recompense, from which I shall receive this advantage, that as I heap benefits I shall heap friendships, as I confer favours on thee I shall increase the friendship between us. Johnson.
Friendships is, I believe, here used, with sufficient license, merely for friendly offices. Malone.
but I have, missingly, noted,] Missingly noted means, I have observed him at intervals, not constantly or regularly, but occasionally. Steevens.
But, I fear the angle -] Mr. Theobald reads, and I fear the engle. Johnson.
Angle in this place means a fishing-rod, which he represents as drawing his son, like a fish, away. So, in K. Henry IV, P.I:
ing what we are, have some question with the shepherd; from whose simplicity, I think it not uneasy to get the cause of my son's resort thither. Pr’ythee, be my present partner in this business, and lay aside the thoughts of Sicilia.
Cam. I willingly obey your command.
Enter AUTOLYCUS, singing.
With, heigh! the doxy over the dale,
For the red blood reigns in the winter's pale.?
he did win “ The hearts of all that he did ang!e for.” Again, in All's Well that Ends Well:
“She knew her distance, and did angle for me.” Steevens. So, in Lyly's Sapho and Phao, 1591:
“ Thine angle is ready, when thine oar is idle; and as sweet is the fish which thou gettest in the river, as the fowl which others buy in the market.” Malone. -some question —] i.e. some talk. Malone.
Autolycus,] Autolycus was the son of Mercury, and as famous for all the arts of fraud and thievery as his father:
“ Non fuit Autolyci tam piceata manus. Martial. See also, Homer's Odyssey, Book XIX. Steevens.
1 When daffodils begin to peer, And
Fog on, jog on, the foot-path way,] “Two nonsensical songs, by the rogue Autolycus," says Dr. Burney.—But could not the many compliments paid by Shakspeare to musical science, intercede for a better epithet than nonsensical?
The Dr. subsequently observes, that “This Autolycus is the true ancient Minstrel, as described in the old Fabliaux.”
I believe, that many of our readers will push the comparison a little further, and concur with me in thinking that our modern minstrels of the opera, like their predecessor Autolycus, are pick-pockets as well as singers of nonsensical ballads. Steevens.
2 For the red blood reigns in the winter's pale.] This line has suffered a great variety of alterations, but I am persuaded the old reading is the true one. The first folio has “the winter's pale:
The white sheet bleaching on the hedge, 3.
With, hey! the sweet birds, O, how they sing!
For a quart of ale is a dish for a king.
With, hey! with, hey! the thrush and the jay: -
While we lie tumbling in the hay.
and the meaning is, the red, the spring blood now reigns o'er the parts lately under the dominion of qvinter. The English pale, the Irish pale, were frequent expressions in Shakspeare's time; and the words red and pale were chosen for the sake of the antithesis.
Farmer. Dr. Farmer is certainly right. I had offered this explanation to Dr. Jolinson, who rejected it. In King Henry V, our author says:
the English beach “ Pales in the flood,” &c. Again, in Antony and Cleopatra:
“Whate'er the ocean pales, or sky inclips.” Holinshed, p. 528, calls Sir Richard Aston: Lieutenant of the English pale, for the earle of Summerset.” Again, in K. Henry VI, P. I:
“How are we park'd, and bounded in a pale.” Steevens. 3 The white sheet bleaching &c.] So, in the song at the end of Love's Labour's Lost, SPRING mentions as descriptive of that season, that then “ maidens bleach their summer smocks."
Malone. - pugging tooth -] Sir T. Hanmer, and after him Dr. Warburton, read-progging tooth. It is certain that pugging is not now understood. But Dr. Thirlby observes, that it is the cant of gypsies. Johnson.
The word pugging is used by Greene in one of his pieces; and a puggard was a cant name for some particular kind of thief. So, in The Roaring Girl, 1611:
“Of cheaters, lifters, nips, foists, puggards, curbers.” See to prigge in Minshieu. Steevens. 5 The lark, that tirra-lirra chants. ]
“La gentille allquette avec son tire-lire
Du Bartas, Liv. 5, de sa premiere semaine. “Ecce suum tirile tirile: suum tirile tractat.”
Linnæi Fauna Suecica. H. White.