Page images
PDF
EPUB

ANNOTATIONS

U PON

AS YOU LIKE IT.

ACT 1.

Line 1.

As I remember, Adam, it was upon this fashion bequeathed me by will, but a poor thousand crowns, &c.], The grammar, as well as sense, suffers cruelly by: : this reading. I would read : As I remember, Adam, it was on this fashion. He bequeathed me by will, &c., Orlando and Adam enter abruptly in the midst of a conversation on this topick; and Orlando is correct. ing some misapprehension of the other. As I remember (says he) it was thus. He left me a thou., sand crowns; and, as thou sayest, charged my brother, &c.

BLACKSTONE. 8. Stays me here at home, unkept;] We should read stys, i. e. keeps me like a brute. The following

words

[ocr errors]

.

words—for call you that keeping- that differs not from the stalling of an ox, confirms this emendation. So Caliban says, “ And here you sty me in this hard rock."

WARBURTON. Sties is better than stays, and more likely to be Shakspere's.

JOHNSON So, in Noah's Flood, by Drayton: “ And sty themselves up in a little room."

STEEVENS. 36. Be better employed, and be nought a while.] Be content to be a cypher, till I shall think fit to elevate you into consequence.

This was certainly a proverbial saying. I find it in The Storie of King Darius, an interlude, 1565:

“ Come away, and be nought a whyle,

“ Or surely I will you both defyle." Again, in K. Henry IV. p. ii. Falstaff says to Pistol : “ Nay, if he do nothing but speak nothing, he shall be nothing here."

STEEVENS. Naught is the reading of the folio, but I believe nought was intended; for in the early part of the 17th century, nought was generally spelt naught.

MALONE. 51. Albeit, I confess your coming before me is nearer to his reverence.] This, I apprehend, refers to the courtesy of distinguishing the eldest son of a knight, by the title of esquire.

HENLEY. am no villain:] The word villain is used by the elder brother, in its present meaning, for a worth

less,

57. I am no

[merged small][ocr errors]

200.

less, wicked, or bloody man; by Orlando, in its original signification, for a fellow of base extraction. Johnson.

105. The old duke's daughter.] The words old and new, which seem necessary to the perspicuity of the dialogue, are inserted from Sir T. Hanmer's edition.

JOHNSON. The author of the Revisal is of opinion, that the words which follow her cousin, sufficiently distinguish the person intended.

STEEVENS. 164. -of all sorts] Sorts in this place means ranks and degrees of men.

REMARKS. -mock the good housewife Fortune from her wheel, ] The wheel of Fortune is not the wheel of a housewife. Shakspere has confounded Fortune, whose wheel only figures uncertainty and vicissitude, with the destiny that spins the thread of life, though not indeed with a wheel.

JOHNSON. Shakspere is very fond of this idea. He has the same in Antony and Cleopatra :

-and rail so high, That the false housewife Fortune break her wheel."*

Steevens. 248. Clo. One that old Frederick, your father, loves.

Ros. My father's love is enough to honour him:) This reply to the Clown is in all the books placed to Rosalind; but Frederick was not her father, but Celia's: I have therefore ventured to prefix the name of Celia,

THEOBALD. 2,54 -since the little wit that fools have, was silencid,] Shakspere probably alludes to the use of B

fools

[ocr errors]

fools or jesters, who for some ages had been allowed in all courts an unbridled liberty of censure and mockcry, and about this time began to be less tolerated.

JOHNSON. 271.

laid on with a trowel;] This is a proverbial expression, which is generally used to signify a glaring falschood. See Ray's Proverbs. STEVENS.

274. You amaze me, ladies :) To amaze, here, is not to astonish or strike with wonder, but to perplex; to confuse, so as to put out of the intended narrative.

JOHNSON 287.' With bills on their necksBe it known unto all men by these presents] With bills on their necks, should be the conclusion of Le Beau's speech. This expression is taken from Lodge, who furnished our author with his plot. « Ganimede on a day sitting with Aliena (the assumed names, as in the play) case up

and saw where Rosader came pacing towards them with his forest-bill on his necke.

FARMER 306. -is there any else longs to see this broken musick in his sides?] Rosalind hints at a whimsical similitude between the series of ribs gradually shortening, and some musical instruments, and therefore calls broken ribs, broken musick.

JOHNSON, 324.

-odds in the men :] Sir T. Hanmer. In the old editions, the man.

JOHNSON. 340. if you saw yourself with your eyes, or knew yourself with your judgment,] If you were not blinded and intoxicated, says the princess, with the spirit of enterprize, if you could use your own eyes to see, or your

her eye,

own

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

own judgment to know yourself, the fear of your adventure would counsel you.

JOHNSON. 348. I beseech you, punish me not, &c.] I should wish to read, I beseech you, punish me not with your

hard thoughts. Therein I confess myself much guilty to deny so fair and excellent ladies

any thing.

JOHNSON. 414. -one out of suits with fortune;] This seems an allusion to cards, where he that has no more cards to play of any particular sort is out of suit. JOHNSON.

420. Is but a quintaine, a mere lifeless block.] The quintaine was a stake driven into a field, upon which were hung a shield and other trophies of war, at which they shot, darted, or rode, with a lance. When the shield and the trophies were all thrown down, the quintaine remained. Without this information how could the reader understand the allusion of

-my better parts " Are all thrown down."

GUTHRIE. A humorous description of this amusement may be read in Laneham's Letter from “ Killingwoorth Castle,” with which, and other accounts of queen Elizabeth's Progresses, the publick will shortly be gratified by a gentleman, from whom it has already received a variety of favours.

HENLEY. 434

-the duke's condition,] The word condition means character, temper, disposition,

So Anthonic, the merchant of Venice, is called by his friend the best conditioned man.

JOHNSON. Віі

[ocr errors]

4

442.

« PreviousContinue »