Heaven would that she thefe gifts should have,
And I to live and die her flave.

Ros. O moft gentle Jupiter!-what tedious homily of love have you wearied your parishioners withal, and never cry'd, Have patience, good people! CEL. How now! back friends?-Shepherd, go off a little-Go with him, firrah.

TOUCH. Come, fhepherd, let us make an honourable retreat; though not with bag and baggage, yet with fcrip and scrippage.


It is obfervable that the ftory of Atalanta in the Tenth Book of Ovid's Metamorphofes is interwoven with that of Venus and Adonis, which our author had undoubtedly read. The lines most material to the prefent point run thus in Golding's Tranflation, 1567:

"She overcame them out of doubt; and hard it is to tell "Thee, whether she did in footemanshippe or beautie more excell."

he did condemne the young men's love. But when "He faw her face and body bare, (for why, the lady then "Did ftrip her to her naked skin,) the which was like to mine, "Or rather, if that thou waft made a woman, like to thine, "He was amaz'd."


And though that she

"Did flie as fwift as arrow from a Turkie bow, yet hee
"More wondered at her beautie, then at fwiftneffe of her pace;
"Her running greatly did augment her beautie and her



The paffage quoted by Mr. Malone from Marfton's Infatiate Countefs, has no reference to the ball of Atalanta, but to the golden apple which was adjudged to Venus by Paris, on Mount Ida.

After all, I believe, that " Atalanta's better part" means onlythe best part about her, fuch as was most commended. STEEVENS. 4 Sad-] Is grave, fober, not light. JOHNSON.

So, in Much ado about Nothing:-" She is never fad but when fhe fleeps." STEEVENS.

[ocr errors]

the touches-] The features; les traits. JOHNSON. So, in King Richard III:

"Madam, I have a touch of your condition." STEEVENS.

[ocr errors]

CEL. Didft thou hear these verses?

Ros. O, yes, I heard them all, and more too; for fome of them had in them more feet than the verfes would bear.

CEL. That's no matter; the feet might bear the verses.

Ros. Ay, but the feet were lame, and could not bear themselves without the verfe, and therefore ftood lamely in the verse.

CEL. But didft thou hear, without wondering how thy name should be hang'd and carved upon these trees?

Ros. I was feven of the nine days out of the wonder, before you came; for look here what I found on a palm-tree: I was never fo be-rhimed fince Pythagoras' time, that I was an Irish rat,7 which I can hardly remember.


6a palm-tree:] A palm-tree, in the foreft of Arden is as much out of its place, as the lioness in a subsequent scene. STEEVENS, I was never fo be-rhimed fince Pythagoras' time, that I was an Irish rat,] Rofalind is a very learned lady. She alludes to the Pythagorean doctrine, which teaches that fouls tranfmigrate from one animal to another, and relates that in his time she was an Irish rat, and by fome metrical charm was rhymed to death. The power of killing rats with rhymes Donne mentions in his Satires, and Temple in his Treatifes. Dr. Grey has produced a fimilar paffage from Randolph:

[ocr errors]

My poets

"Shall with a fatire, steep'd in gall and vinegar,
"Rhyme them to death as they do rats in Ireland."

So, in an addrefs to the reader, at the conclufion of Ben
Jonfon's Poetafter:

"Rhime them to death, as they do Irish rats

"In drumming tunes," STEEVENS,

[ocr errors]

So, in The Defence of Poefie by our author's contemporary, Sir Philip Sidney: Though I will not with unto you to be driven by a poet's verfes, as Rubonax was, to hang yourself, nor to be rimed to death, as is faid to be done in Ireland". MALONE.

CEL. Trow you, who hath done this?) a

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

CEL. And a chain, that you once wore, about his neck: Change you colour?

Ros. I pr'ythee, who?

CEL. O lord, lord! it is a hard matter for friends to meet; but mountains may be removed with earthquakes, and fo encounter.

Ros. Nay, but who is it?

CEL. Is it poffible?

Ros. Nay, I pray thee now, with moft petitionary vehemence, tell me who it is.

CEL. O wonderful, wonderful, and moft wonderful wonderful, and yet again wonderful, and after that out of all whooping!"

7-friends to meet;] Alluding ironically to the proverb: Friends may meet, but mountains never greet."

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

See Ray's Collection. STEEVENS.

but mountains may be removed with earthquakes, and fo encounter.] "Montes duo inter fe concurrerunt," &c. fays Pliny, Hift. Nat. Lib. II. c. lxxxiii. or in Holland's tranflation: "Two bills (removed by an earthquake) encountered together, charging as it were, and with violence affaulting one another, and retyring again with a moft mighty noise." TOLLET.

9 out of all whooping!] i. e. out of all measure, or reckoning. So, in the Old Ballad of Yorke, Yorke for my money, &c. 1584:

"And then was shooting, out of cry,

"The fkantling at a handful nie.'

Again, in the old bl. I. comedy called Common Conditions:

"I have beraed myself out of cry." STEEVENS.


This appears to have been a phrafe of the fame import as another formerly in ufe, out of all cry." The latter feems to allude to the cuftom of giving notice by a crier of things to be fold. So, in A Chafte Maide of Cheapfide, a comedy by T. Middleton, 1630: "I'll fell all at an outcry." MALONE.

An oxtery is ftill a provincial term for an auction.


Ros. Good my complexion! doft thou think, though I am caparifon'd like a man, I have a doublet and hofe in my difpofition? One inch of delay more is a South-fea-off difcovery. I pr'ythee, tell

2 Good my complexion!] This is a mode of expreffion, Mr. Theobald fays, which he cannot reconcile to common fenfe. Like enough: and so too the Oxford editor. But the meaning is-Hold good my complexion, i, e. let me not blush. WARBURTON.

Good my complexion!] My native character, my female inquifitive difpofition, can't thou endure this!-For thus characterizing the most beautiful part of the creation, let our author answer. MALONE. Good my complexion! is a little unmeaning exclamatory address to her beauty; in the nature of a small oath. RITSON.

3 One inch of delay more is a South-fea-off difcovery.] The old copy reads is a South-fea of difcoverie, STEEVENS.

This is ftark nonfenfe; we muft read-off difcovery, i. e. from discovery. "If you delay me one inch of time longer, I fhall think this fecret as far from difcovery as the South-fea is." WARBURTON.

This fentence is rightly noted by the commentator as nonsense, but not fo happily reftored to sense. I read thus:

One inch of delay more is a South-fea. Difcover, I pr'ythee; tell me who is it quickly!-When the tranfcriber had once made difcovery from difcover I, he eafily put an article after South-fea. But it may be read with ftill lefs change, and with equal probability-Every inch of delay more is a South-fea difcovery: Every delay however fhort, is to me tedious and irksome as the longest voyage, as a voyage of difcovery on the South-fea. How much voyages to the South-fea on which the English had then first ventured, engaged the converfation of that time, may be easily imagined. JOHNSON.

Of for off, is frequent in the elder writers. A South-fea of difcovery is a difcovery a South-fea off-as far as the South-fea.


Warburton's fophiftication ought to have been reprobated, and the old, which is the only reading that can preferve the sense of Rofalind, restored. A South-fea of difcovery, is not a difcovery, as FAR OFF, but as COMPREHENSIVE as the South-fea; which, being the largest in the world, affords the widest scope for exercifing curiofity. HENLEY.

On a further confideration of this paffage I am ftrongly inclined to think, with Dr. Johnfon, that we should read-a South-fea difcovery, Delay, however fhort, is to me tedious and irkfome as

[ocr errors]

me, who is it? quickly, and speak apace: I would thou couldst stammer, that thou might'ft pour this concealed man out of thy mouth, as wine comes out of a narrow-mouth'd bottle; either too much at once, or none at all. I pry'thee take the cork out of thy mouth, that I may drink thy tidings. CEL. So you may put a man in your belly,

Ros. Is he of God's making? What manner of man? Is his head worth a hat, or his chin worth a beard? CEL. Nay, he hath but a little beard.

Ros. Why, God will fend more, if the man will be thankful: let me ftay the growth of his beard, if thou delay me not the knowledge of his chin.

CEL. It is young Orlando; that tripp'd up the wrestler's heels, and your heart, both in an inftant. Ros. Nay, but the devil take mocking; fpeak fad brow, and true maid."

CEL. I'faith, coz, 'tis he.
Ros. Orlando?

CEL. Orlando.

[ocr errors]

Ros. Alas the day! what fhall I do with my doublet and hofe?-What did he, when thou faw'ft him? What faid he? How look'd he? Wherein went he? What makes he here? Did he afk for me? Where remains he? How parted he with thee? and when fhalt thou fee him again? Answer me in one word.

the longest voyage, as a voyage of difcovery on the South-Sea." The word of, which had occurred juft before, might have been inadvertently repeated by the compofitor. MALONE.

→ Speak fad brow, and true maid.] i. e. fpeak with a grave countenance, and as truly as thou art a virgin; speak seriously and honeftly. RITSON.

5 Wherein went he?] In what manner was he clothed? How did he go dreffed? HEATH.

« ElőzőTovább »