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Why he, a harmless necessary cat;
Admitting maistres to have been Shakspeare's word, we may, according to modern orthography, read the passage thus :
« Of what it likes or loaths.” In the Latin, it is to be observed, Affectio and Passio are feminine. Anonymous.
To the foregoing amendment, so well supported and so modestly offered, I cannot refuse a place in the text of our author.
This emendation may also receive countenance from the fol. lowing passage in the fourth Book of Sidney's Arcadia: “ - She saw in him how much fancy doth not only darken reason, but be. guile sense; she found opinion mistresse of the Lover's judgment."
So likewise, in the Prologue to a MS. intitled, The Boke of Huntyng that is cleped Mayster of Game:-"ymaginacion maistresse of alle workes," &c. Steevens.
8 Why he, a swollen bag-pipe ;] This incident Shakspeare seems to have taken from J. C. Scaliger's Exot. Exercit. against Cardan. A book that our author was well read in, and much indebted to for a great deal of his physics: it being then much in vogue, and indeed is excellent, though now long since forgot. In his 344 Exercit. Sect. vi, he has these words: “ Narrabo nunc tibi jocosam Sympathiam Reguli Vasconis equitis. Is dum viveret, audito phormingis sono, urinam illico facere cogebatur.”—And to make this jocular story still more ridiculous, Shakspeare, I suppose, translated phorminx by bag-pipes. But what I would chiedy observe from hence is this, that as Scaliger uses the word Sympathiam, which signifies, and so he interprets it, communem af. fectionem duabus rebus, so Shakspeare translates it by affection:
Cannot contain their urine for affection. Which shows the truth of the preceding 'emendation of the text according to the old copies; which have a full stop at affection, and read Masters of passion. Warburton.
In an old translation from the French of Peter de Loier, enti. tled A Treatise of Spectres, or strange Sights, Visions, &c. we have this identical story from Scaliger; and what is still more, a marginal note gives us in all probability the very fact alluded to, as well as the word of Shakspeare. - Another gentleman of this quality lived of late in Devon, neere Excester, who could not endure the playing on a bag-pipe." We may justly add, as some observation has been made upon it, that affection in the sense of sympathy, was formerly technical; and so used by Lord Bacon, Sir K. Digby, and many other writers. Farmer.
As all the editors agree with complete uniformity in reading woollen bag-pipe, I can hardly forbear to imagine that they understood it. But I never saw a woollen bag-pipe, nor can well conceive it. I suppose the author wrote wooden bag-pipe, meaning that the bag was of leather, and the pipe of wood. Fohnson.
Must yield to such inevitable shame,
Bass. This is no answer, thou unfeeling man,
Shy. I am not bound to please thee with my answer.
This passage is clear from all difficulty, if we read swelling or swollen bag-pipe, which that we should, I have not the least doubt.
Sir 7. Hawkins. A passage in Turbervile's Epitaphes, p. 13, supports the emendation proposed by Sir John Hawkins :
“ First came the rustick forth
“With pipe and puffed bag." This instance was pointed out to me by Dr. Farmer. Steevens.
Perhaps Shakspeare calls the bag-pipe woollen, from the bag being generally covered with woollen cloth. I have seen one at Alnwick, belonging to one of the pipers in the Percy family, covered with black velvet, and guarded with silver fringe.
R. G. Robinson. An anonymous writer, in support of the old reading, observes, that the skin or bladder of a bag-pipe is frequently covered with flannel. I am, however, of opinion that the old is the true read. ing. Malone.
As the aversion was not caused by the outward appearance of the bag-pipe, but merely by the sound arising from its inflation, I have placed the conjectural reading—swollen, in the text.
Steevens. - you question -] To question is to converse.
So, in Measure for Measure:
in the loss of question —" i. e. conversation that leads to nothing. To reason had anciently the same meaning. Steevens.
When they are fretted with the gusts of heaven;?
Bass. For thy three thousand ducats here is six.
Shy. If every ducat in six thousand ducats
bond. Duke. How shalt thou hope for mercy, rend'ring none?
Shy. What judgment shall I dread, doing no wrong? You have among you many a purchas'd slave, Which, like your asses, and your dogs, and mules, You use in abject and in slavish parts, Because you bought them :-Shall I say to you, Let them be free, marry them to your heirs? Why sweat they under burdens? let their beds Be made as soft as yours, and let their palates Be season'd with such viands? You will answer, The slaves are ours:So do I answer you: The pound of flesh, which I demand of him, Is dearly bought, is mine, s and I will have it: If you deny me, fy upon your law! There is no force in the decrees of Venice: I stand for judgment: answer; shall I have it?
Duke. Upon my power, I may dismiss this court,
the mountain pines
When they are fretted with the gusts of heaven;] This image seems to have been caught from Golding's version of Ovid, 1587, B. XV,
“Such noise as pine-trees make, what time the headdy
many a purchas'd slave,] This argument, considered as used to the particular persons, seems conclusive. I see not how Venetians or Englishmen, while they practise the purchase and sale of slaves, can much enforce or demand the law of doing to others as we would that they should do to us. Fohnson.
- is mine,] The first quarto reads-as mine, evidently a misprint for is. The other quarto and the folio-'tis mine.
Unless Bellario, a learned doctor,
My lord, here stays without
Duke. Bring us the letters; Call the messenger.
Bass. Good cheer, Antonio! What, man? courage yet! The Jew shall have my flesh, blood, bones, and all, Ere thou shalt lose for me one drop of blood.
Ant. I am a tainted wether of the flock, Meetest for death; the weakest kind of fruit Drops earliest to the ground, and so let me: You cannot better be employ’d, Bassanio, Than to live still, and write mine epitaph.
Enter NERISSA, dressed like a lawyer's clerk. Duke. Came you from Padua, from Bellario? Ner. From both my lord: Bellario greets your grace.
[Presents a letter. Bass. Why dost thou whet thy knife so earnestly? Shy. To cut the forfeitures from that bankrupt there. Gra. Not on thy sole, but on thy soul, harsh Jew,
Bellario, a learned doctor, Whom I have sent for -] The doctor and the court are here somewhat unskilfully brought together. That the duke would, on such an occasion, consult a doctor of great reputation, is not unlikely; but how should this be foreknown by Portia? Johnson.
I do not see any necessity for supposing that this was foreknown by Portia. She consults Bellario as an eminent lawyer, and her relation. If the Duke had not consulted him, the only difference would have been, that she would have come into court, as an ad. vocate perhaps, instead of a judge. Tyrwhitt.
the forfeiture -) Read-forfeit. It occurs repeatedly in the present scene for forfeiture. Ritson.
6 Not on thy sole, but on thy soul, harsh Few,] This lost jingle Mr. Theobald found again ; but knew not what to make of it when he had it, as appears by his paraphrase: Though thou thinkest that thou art whetting thy knife on the sole of thy shoe, yet it is upon thy soul, thy immortal part. Absurd! the conceit is, that his soul was so hard that it had given an edge to his knife.
Warburton. So, in King Henry IV, P. II:
“ Thou hid'st a thousand daggers in thy thoughts;
Thou mak'st thy knife keen: but no metal can,
Shy. No, none that thou hast wit enough to make.
Gra. O, be thou damn'd, inexorable dog!8
Shy. Till thou can'st rail the seal from off my bond,
Duke. This letter from Bellario doth commend
Ner. He attendeth here hard by,
Duke. With all my heart:—some three or four of you,
[Clerk reads] Your grace shall understand, that, at the receipt of your letter, I am very sick: but in the instant
7 of thy sharp envy.] Envy again, in this place, signifies hatred or malice. Steevens.
- inexorable dog!] All the old copies read-inexecrable.It was corrected in the third folio. Steevens.
Perhaps, however, unnecessarily. In was sometimes used in our author's time, in composition, as an augmentative or intensive particle. Malone.
thy currish spirit Govern'd a wolf, who, hang'd for human slaughter,] This allusion might have been caught from some old translation of Pliny, who mentions a Parrhasian turned into a wolf, because he had eaten part of a child that had been consecrated to Lycæan JupiSee Goulart's Admirable Histories, 4to. 1607, pp. 390, 391.
Steevens. VOL. IV.