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I rather would entreat thy company,
To this obfervation of Mr. Pope, which is very juft, Mr. Theobald has added, that this is one of Shakespeare's wordt plays, and is less corrupted than any other., Mr. Upton peremptorily determines, that if any proof can be drawn from manner and ftile, this play must be sent packing, and seek for its parent elsewhere. How otherwise, says he, do painters distinguish copies from originals, and have not authors their peculiar file and manner from which a true critic can form as unerring judgment as a painter ? I am afraid this illuftration of a critic's science will
what is desired. A painter knows a copy from an original by rules fomewhat resembling these by which critics know a translation, which if it be literal, and literal it must be to resemble the copy of a picture, will be easily distinguished. Copies are known from originals, even when the painter copies his own picture ; so if an author should literally tranilate his work, he would lose the manner of an original.
Mr. Upton confounds the copy of a picture with the imitation of a painter's manner. Copies are easily known, but good imitations are not detected with equal certainty, and are, by the best judges, often mistaken. Nor is it true that the writer has always peculiarities equally diftinguishable with those the painter. The peculiar manner of each arises from the desire, natural to every performer, of facilitating his subsequent works by recurrence to his former ideas; this recur. rence produces that repetition which is called habit. The painter, whose work is partly intellectual and partly manual, has habits of the mind, the eye and the hand, the writer has only habits of the mind. Yet, some painters have differed as much from themselves as from any other; and I have been told, that there is little resemblance between the first works of Raphael and the last. The fame variation may be expected in writers ; and if it be true, as it seems, that they are less subjed to habit, the difference between their works may be yet greater.
But by the internal marks of a composition we may discover the author with probability, though feldom with certainty. When I read this play, I cannot but think that I find, both in the serious and ludicrous scenes, the language and sentiments of Shakespeare. It is not indeed one of his moft powerful effufions, it has neither many diverfties of character, nor Atriking delineations of life, but it abounds in yollar beyond most of his plays, and few have more lines or passages, which, fingly confidered, are eminently beautiful. I am yet inclined to believe that it was not very successful, and suspect that it
pray for thee
Than (living dully sluggardiz’d at home)
Pro. Wilt thou be gone ? Sweet Valentine, adieu !
my success. Pro. Upon some book I love, I'll
. Val. That's on some shallow story of deep love, How young Leander cross’d the Hellespont.
Pro. That's a deep story of a deeper love ; For he was more than over shoes in love.
Val. 'Tis true ; for you are over boots in love, And yet you never swom the Hellespont. Pro. Over the boots ? 5 nay, give me not the boots,
Val, has escaped corruption, only because being seldom played, it was less expofed to the hazards of transcription. JOHNSON.
3 Home-keeping youth have ever bomely wits:] Mílton has the same play on words:
“ It is for homely features to keep home,
“ They had their name thence." Steevens. * papeless idleness.] The expression is fine, as implying that idleness prevents the giving any form or character to the
-nay, give me not the boots.) A proverbial expression, though now disused, fignifying, don't make a laughing Itock of me ; don't play upon me. The French have a phrase, Bailler foin en corne ; which Cotgrave thus interprets, To give one the boots; to sell him a bargain. THEOBALD.
Do you knor this? why boots at barveft ?] Perhaps this expression took its origin from a fport the country people in Warwickshire use at their harvest home, where one fits as judge to try misdemeanors committed in harvest, and the punishment for the men is to be laid on a bench, and Napped on the breech with a pair of boots, This they call giving them the boots. I
Val. No, I will not; for it boots thee not.
groans; Coy looks, with heart-fore sighs; one fading mo
ment's mirth, With twenty watchful, weary, tedious nights. If haply won, perhaps, a hapless gain : If lost, why then a grievous labour won; 6 However, but a folly bought with wit; Or else a wit by folly vanquished.
Pro. So, by your circumstance, you call me fool.
Val. Love is your master; for he masters you:
Pro. Yet writers say, as in the sweetest bud
Val. And writers say, as the most forward bud
Pro. And thither will I bring thee, Valentine.
Val. Sweet Protheus, no: now let us take our leave. meet with the same expression in the old comedy called Mot ber Bombie :
What do you give me the boots ?” STEEVENS. • However, but a folly~~] This love will end in a foolis action, to produce which you are long to spend your wit, or it will end in the loss of your wit, which will be overpowered by the folly of love. Johnson,
At Milan, let me hear from thee by letters
Pro. All happiness bechance to thee in Milan !
[Exit. Pro. He after honour hunts, I after love: He leaves his friends to dignify them more ; I leave myself, my friends, and all for love. Thou, Julia, thou hast metamorphos'd me; Made me neglect my studies, lose my time, War with good counsel, set the world at nought; 7 Made wit with musing weak, heart sick with thought.
8 Enter Speed. Speed. Sir Protheus, save you: saw you my master ? Pro. But now he parted hence to imbark for Milan,
Speed. Twenty to one then he is shipp'd already, And I have play'd the sheep in losing him.
Pro. Indeed, a sheep doth very often stray, An if the shepherd be awhile away.
Speed. You conclude that my master is a shepherd then, and I a sheep?
Pro. I do.
7 Made wit with mufing weak,-) For made read make. Thou, Julia, haft made me war with good counsel, and make wit weak with musing: Johnson.
& This whole scene, like many others in these plays (some of which I believe were written by Shakespeare, and others interpolated by the players) is composed of the lowest and most trifling conceits, to be accounted for only from the gross taste of the age he lived in; Populo ut placerent. I wish I had authority to leave them out; but I have done all I could, fet a mark of reprobation upon them throughout this edition.
Pope. That this, like many other scenes, is mean and vulgar, will be universally allowed; but that it was interpolated by the players seems advanced without any proof, only to give a greater licence to criticism. JOHNSON.
Speed. Speed. Why then my horns are his horns, whether I wake or seep.
Pro. A filly answer, and fitting well a sheep,
Speed. The shepherd seeks the sheep, and not the sheep the shepherd; but I seek my master, and my master seeks not me: therefore I am no sheep.
Pro. The sheep for fodder follows the shepherd, the shepherd for the food follows not the sheep; thou for wages followest thy master, thy master for wages follows not thee: therefore thou art a sheep.
Speed. Such another proof will make me cry Baâ. Pro. But dost thou hear ? gav'st thou my letter to
Julia Speed. Ay, Sir :'), a lost mutton, gave your letter to her, a lac'd mutton; and she, a lac'd mutton, gave me, a loft mutton, nothing for my labour.
1, a loft mutton, gave your letter to her, a lac'd mutton ;-) Speed calls himself a lot mutton, because he had lost his master, and becausc Protheus had been proving him a sheep. But why does he call the lady a lac'd mution ? Wenchers are to this day called mutton-mongers; and consequently the obje&t of their paffion must, by the metaphor, be the mutton. And Cotgrave, in his English-French Dictionary, explains lac'd mutton, Une garse, putain, fille de jore. And Mr. Motteux has rendered this passage of Rabelais, in the prologue of his fourth book, Cailles coiphees mignonnement chantans, in this manner ; Coated quails and lac'd mutton waggishly singing. So that lac'd mutton has been a sort of standard phrase for girls of pleasure. THEOBALD.
Nah, in his Have with you to Safron Walden, 1595, (peaking of Gabriel Harvey's incontinence, fays, he would noi fick to extoll rotten lac'd mutton. So in the comedy of The Sbermaker's Holiday, or the Gentle Craft, 1610.
“ Why here's good lac'd muiton, as I promis'd you." Again, in Blurt Mafier Constable, 1602.
* Cupid hath got me a ftomach, and I long for lai'd mutton." So in Whetstone's Promos and Calandra, 1578. " And I smelt he lov'd lac'd mutton well."