« PreviousContinue »
The anointed sovereign of sighs and groans,
“ S. Dro. Not I, sir; you are my elder.
“ S. Dro. We 'll draw cuts for the signior.” Tollet. In the exaggeration of poetry we might call Cupid a giantdwarf; but how a giant-dwarf should be represented in painting, I cannot well conceive. M. Mason.
If the old copies had exhibited Junior, I should have had no doubt that the second word in the line was only the old spelling of senior, as in a former passage, (Act I, sc. ii,] and in one in The Comedy of Errors quoted by Mr. Tollet; but as the text appears both in the quarto, 1598, and the folio, Cupid is not himself called signior, or senior Junio, but a giant-dwarf to (that is, attending upon] signior Junio, and therefore we must endeavour to explain the words as they stand. In both these copies Junio's is printed in Italicks as a proper name.
For the reasons already mentioned, I suppose signior here to have been the Italian title of honour, and Cupid to be described as uniting in his person the characters of both a giant, and a dwarf; a giant on account of his power over mankind, and a dwarfon account of his size; [So, afterwards: “Of his (Cupid's) almighty, dreadful, little might.”] and as attending in this doublé capacity on youth, (personified under the name of Signior Junio) the age in which the passion of love has most dominion over the heart. In characterizing youth by the name of Junio, our author may be countenanced by Ovid, who ascribes to the month of June a similar etymology:
Funius a juvenum nomine dictus adest.” Malone. I have not the smallest doubt that senior-junior is the true read. ing. Love among our ancient English poets, (as Dr. Farmer has observed on such another occasion) is always characterized by contrarieties. Steevens.
7 Dread prince of plackets,] A placket is a petticoat. Douce.
8 Of trotting paritors,] An apparitor, or paritor, is an officer of the Bishop's court, who carries out citations; as citations are most frequently issued for fornication, the paritor is put under Cupid's government. Johnson.
9 And I to be a corporal of his field,] Corporals of the field are mentioned in Carew's Survey of Cornwall, and Raleigh speaks of them twice, Vol. I, p. 103, Vol. II, p. 367, edit. 1751. Tollet.
Giles Clayton, in his Martial Discipline, 1591, has a chapter on the office and duty of a corporal of the field. In one of Drake's Voyages, it appears that the captains Morgan and Sampson, by
And wear his colours like a tumbler's hoop!"
this name, “had commandement over the rest of the land-captaines,” Brookesby tells us, that “ Mr. Dodwell's father was in an office then known by the name of corporal of the field, which he said was equal to that of a captain of horse.” Farmer.
It appears from Lord Stafford's Letters, Vol. II, p. 199, that a corporal of the field was employed as an aid-de-camp is now, “in taking and carrying too and fro the directions of the gene. ral, or other the higher officers of the field.” Tyrwhitt.
1 And wear his colours like a tumbler's hoop!) The conceit seems to be very forced and remote, however it be understood. The notion is not that the hoop wears colours, but that the colours are worn as a tumbler carries his hoop, hanging on one shoulder and falling under the opposite arm. Johnson.
It was once a mark of gallantry to wear a lady's colours. So, in Cynthia's Revels, by Ben Jonson: “-dispatches his lacquey to her chamber early, to know what her colours are for the day, with purpose to apply his wear that day accordingly,” &c. Again, in Sir Philip Sidney's Astrophel and Stella:
“ Because I breathe not love to every one,
“ Nor doe not use set colours for to weare,” &c. I am informed by a lady who remembers morris-dancing, that the character who tumbled, always carried his hoop dressed out with ribbands, and in the position described by Dr. Johnson.
Steevens. Tumblers' hoops are to this day bound round with ribbands of various colours. Harris.
2 What? I! I love !] A second what had been supplied by the editors. I should like better to read-What? I! I love!
Tyrwhitt. Mr. Tyrwhitt's emendation is supported by the first line of the present speech:
“ And I, forsooth, in love! 1, that have been love's whip —." Sir T. Hanmer supplied the metre by repeating the word What.
· Malone. - like a German clock, Still a repairing:] The same allusion occurs in Westward-Hoe, by Decker and Webster, 1607 :-"no German clock, no mathematical engine whatsoever, requires so much reparation,” &c. Again, in A mad World my Masters, 1608:
she consists of a hundred pieces, “ Much like your German clock, and near allied: “ Both are so nice they cannot go for pride, “ Besides a greater fault, but too well known, “They'll strike to ten, when they should stop at one." VOL. IV.
And never going aright, being a watch,
pray for her! Go to; it is a plague
and Some men must love my lady, and some Joan.5 [Exit.
ACT IV.... SCENE I.
Another part of the same.
Enter the Princess, ROSALINE, MARIA, KATHARINE,
Boyet, Lords, Attendants, and a Forester. Prin. Was that the king, that spurr'd his horse so hard *Against the steep uprising of the hill?
Ben Jonson has the same thought in his Silent Woman, and Beaumont and Fletcher in Wit without Money.
To the inartificial construction of these first pieces of mechanism executed in Germany, we may suppose Shakspeare alludes. The clock at Hampton Court, which was set up in 1540, (as appears from the inscription affixed to it) is said to be the first ever fabricated in England. See, however, Letters of The Paston Family, Vol. II, 2d edit. p. 31. Steevens.
I have heard a French proverb that compares any thing that is intricate and out of order, to the coq de Strasburg that belongs to the machinery of the town-clock. S. W.
groan;] And, which is not in either of the au, thentic copies of this play, the quarto, 1598, and the folio, 1623, was added, to supply the metre, by the editor of the second fo lio. Malone.
5 Some men must love my lady, and some Foan.] To this line Mr. Theobald extends his second Act, not injudiciously, but without sufficient authority. Fohnson,
Boyet. I know not; but, I think, it was not he.
Prin. Whoe'er he was, he show'd a mounting mind. Well, lords, to-day we shall have our despatch; On Saturday we will return to France.Then, forester, my friend, where is the bush, That we must stand and play the murderer in ?6
For. Here by, upon the edge of yonder coppice; A stand, where you may make the fairest shoot.
Prin. I thank my beauty, I am fair that shoot, And thereupon thou speak’st, the fairest shoot.
For. Pardon me, madam, for I meant not so.
Prin. What, what? first praise me, and again say, no? O short-liv'd pride! Not fair? alack for woe!
For. Yes, madam, fair.
Nay, never paint me now;
[Giving him money. Fair payment for foul words is more than due.
where is the bush, That we must stand and play the murderer in?] How familiar this amusement once was to ladies of quality, may be known from a letter addressed by Lord Wharton to the Earl of Shrewsbury, dated from Alnewik, Aug. 14, 1555: “I besiche yo.' Lordeshipp to tayke some sporte of my litell grounde there, and to comaund the same even as yo.r Lordeshippes owne. My lady may shote with her crosbowe,” &c. Lodge's Illustrations of British History, &c. Vol. I, p. 203.
Again, in a letter from Sir Francis Leake to the Earl of Shrewsbury, Vol. III, p. 295:
“ Yo.I Lordeshype hath sente me a verie greatte and fatte stagge, the wellcomer beynge stryken by yo." ryght honourable Ladie's hande, &c.-My balde bucke lyves styll to wayte upon yo.r L. and my Ladie 's comyng hyther, w.ch I expect whensoever shall pleas yow to apointe; onele thys, thatt my Ladie doe nott hytt hym throgh the nose, for marryng hys whyte face; howbeitt I knoe her Ladishipp takes pitie of my buckes, sence the last tyme yt pleased her to take the travell to shote att them,” &c. Dated July, 1605. Steevens.
7 Here, good my glass,] To understand how the princess has her glass so ready at hand in a casual conversation, it must be remembered that in those days it was the fashion among the French ladies to wear a looking-glass, as Mr. Bayle coarsely represents it, on their bellies ; that is, to have a small mirrour set in gold hanging at their girdle, by which they occasionally viewed their faces or adjusted their hair. Johnson.
For. Nothing but fair is that which you inherit.
Prin. See, see, my beauty will be sav'd by merit. O heresy in fair, fit for these days! A giving hand, though foul, shall have fair praise. But come, the bow:--Now mercy goes to kill, And shooting well is then accounted ill. Thus will I save my credit in the shoot: Not wounding, pity would not let me do 't; If wounding, then it was to shew my skill, That more for praise, than purpose, meant to kill. And, out of question, so it is sometimes; Glory grows guilty of detested crimes; When, for fame's sake, for praise, an outward part, We bend to that the working of the heart: 8 As I, for praise alone, now seek to spill The poor deer's blood, that my heart means no ill.9
Boyet. Do not curst wives hold that self-sovereigntyi Only for praise' sake, when they strive to be Lords o'er their lords?
Prin. Only for praise: and praise we may afford To any lady that subdues a lord.
Dr. Johnson, perhaps, is mistaken. She had no occasion to have recourse to any other looking-glass than the Forester, whom she rewards for having shown her to herself as in a mirror.
Steevens. Whatever be the interpretation of this passage, Dr. Johnson is right in the historical fact. Stubbs, in his Anatomie of Abuses, is very indignant at the ladies for it: “ They must have their looking-glasses carried with them, where soever they go : and good reason, for how else could they see the devil in them?” And in Massinger's City Madam, several women are introduced with looking-glasses at their girdles. Farmer. & When, for fame's sake, for praise, an outward part,
We bend to that the working of the heart:] The harmony of the measure, the easiness of the expression, and the good sense in the thought, all concur to recommend these two lines to the read. er's notice. Warburton.
that my heart means no ill.] That my heart means no ill, is the same with to whom my heart means no ill. The common phrase suppresses the particle, as I mean him [not to him) no harm. Fohnson.
that self-sovereignty--] Not a sovereignty over, but in, themselves. So, self-sufficiency, self-consequence, &c.