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AS YOU LIKE IT.
ACT I. SCENE 1.
Line 1. As I remember, Adam, it was upon this fashion be
me : By will, but, a poor thousand crowns, &c.] Dr. Warburton considers this passage as obscure, but Johnson, by the above reading, with the addition of the nominative my father, makes it perfectly intelligible.
Line 30. —what make you here?] i. e. What are you doing
Line 37. --be better employ'd, and be naught awhile.] In the same sense as we say—it is better to do mischief, than to do no
JOHNSON. Line 58. I am no villain :] The word villain is used by the elder brother, in its present meaning, for a worthless, wicked, or bloody man; by Orlando, in its original signification, for a fellow
JOHNSON. this gamester: ] Gamester means, one pot addicted to the vice of gambling, but to frolic.
of base extraction.
ACT I. SCENE II.
Line 208. -mock the good housewife, Fortune, from her wheel,] Shakspeare 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.
Line 250. --you'll be whipped for taxation,] Taration means, satire or accusation.
Line 254. --since the little wit, that fools have, was silenced,] Shakspeare probably alludes to the use of fools or jesters, who for some ages had been allowed in all courts an unbridled liberty of censure and mockery, and about this time began to be less tolerated.
JOHNSON. Line 271.
laid on with a trowel.] I suppose the meaning is, that there is too heavy a mass of big words laid upon a slight subject.
JOHNSON. Line 274. You amaze me, ladies:] To amaze, here, is not to astonish or strike with wonder, but to perplex; to confuse; as, to put out of the intended narrative.
JOHNSON. With bills on their necks, &c.] I cannot see why Rosalind should suppose, that the competitors in a wrestling match carried bills on their shoulders; I believe the whole conceit is in the poor resemblance of presence and presents.
JOHNSON. -is there any else longs to see this broken musick in his sides ?] We say every day, see if the water be hot; I will see which is the best time. In this sense see may be here used. 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. Line 342.
-if you saw yourself with your eyes, or knew yourself with your judgment,] If you were not blinded and intoricated, says the princess, with the spirit of enterprise, if you could use your own eyes to see, or your own judgment to know yourself, the fear of your adventure would counsel you.
JOHNSON. 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.
One out of suits with fortune, I believe means turned out of her service, and stripped of her livery.
Steevens. Line 427. Is but a quintain, a mere lifeless block.] The quinlaine 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.
GUTHRIE. Line 443. —the Duke's condition,] The word condition means character, temper, disposition. So Anthonio, the merchant of Venice, is called by his friend the best conditioned man. JOHNS.
ACT I. SCENE III.
Line 499. By this kind of chase,] That is, by this way of folo lowing the argument. Dear is used by Shakspeare in a double sense, for beloved, and for hurtful, hated, baleful. Both senses are authorised, and both drawn from etymology, but properly beloved is dear, and hateful is dere. Rosalind uses dearly in the good, and Celia in the bad sense.
JOHNSON. Line 555. And thou wilt show more bright, and seem more virtuous,] When she was seen alone, she would be more noted..
JOHNSON. Line 597. -curtle-ax-] Or cutlace, a broad sword.
JOHNSON. 600. We'll have a swashing, &c.] i. e. We'll make a good shew of valour. To swash, means to bully.
ACT II. SCENE I.
Line 14. Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
Wears yet a precious jewel in his head:] It was the current opinion in Shakspeare's time, that in the head of an old toad was to be found a stone, or pearl, to which great virtues were ascribed. This stone has been often sought, but nothing has been found more than accidental or perhaps morbid indurations of the skull.
JOHNSON. Line 25. - with forked heads
-] 1. e. With arrows, the points of which were barbed.
STEEVENS. Line 73.
-] To encounter him; to engage with him.
JOHNSON. VOL. X.
to cope him
ACT II. SCENE II. Line 84. -the roynish clown,) Roynish means, paltry, scurdy.
98. - quail-) To quail, is to languish, to sink into dejection.
ACT II. SCENE III. Line 103. -0 you memory -] Shakspeare often uses memory for memorial.
STEEVENS. Line 107.
-so fond-] i.e. So foolish. 108. The bony priser] In the former editions, The bonny priser-We should read, bony priser. For this wrestler is characterised for his strength and bulk, not for his gaiety or good humour.
WARBURTON. So Milton,-" Giants of mighty bone."
JOHNSON, Line 130. -diverted blood,] Blood turned out of the course of nature.
JOHNSON. Line 136. -and he that doth the ravens feed, &c.] See Luke xii. 6. 24.
Line 155. Even with the having :) Even with the promotion gained by service, is service extinguished.
ACT II. SCENE IV.
Line 181. —yet I should bear no cross,] A cross was a piece of money stamped with a cross. On this our author is perpetually quibbling.
STEEVENS. Line 217. -anight) Means same as o'nights.
218. -batlet,] The instrument with which washers beat their coarse clothes.
JOHNSON. Line 221. two cods,] For cods it would be more like sense to read peas, which having the shape of pearls, resembled the common presents of lovers.
Johnson. Peas-cods was the old term for peas, as they are brought to market, or, as Mr. Dance will have it, as the pea hangs upon the stalk.—The ornament which was anciently worn called a peas-cod, was the resemblance of a pea half open, and rows of pearls within.
Line 224. - so is all nature in love, mortal in folly.] This expression I do not well understand. In the middle counties, mortal, from mort, a great quantity, is used as a particle of amplification; as mortal tall, mortal little. Of this sense I believe Shakspeare takes advantage to produce one of his darling equivocations. Thus the meaning will be, so is all nature in love abounding in folly.
JOHNSON. Line 255. And little recks] id e. Cares for.
261. And in my voice most welcome shall you be,] In my doice, as far as I have a voice or rote, as far as I have power to bid you welcome.
ACT II. SCENE V. Line 332 ducdame;] For ducdame Sir T. Hanmer very acutely and judiciously reads, duc ad me, That is, bring him to me.
JOHNSON Line 339. the first-born of Egypt.) A proverbial expression for high-born persons.
ACT II. SCENE VII. Line 375. A motley fool; a miserable world!) A miserable world is a parenthetical exclamation, frequent among melancholy men, and natural to Jaques at the sight of a fool, or at the hearing of reflections on the fragility of life.
JOHNSON. Line 408. -only suit;] Suit means petition, I believe, not dress.
JOHNSON. The poet meant a quibble.
STEEVENS. Line 419. - If not, &c.] Unless men have the prudence not to appear touched with the sarcasms of a jester, they subject themselves to his power, and the wise man will have his folly anatomised, that is, dissected and laid open by the squandering glances or random shots of a fool.
JOHNSON. Line 431. As sensual as the brutish sting) Though the brutish sting is capable of a sense not inconvenient in this passage, yet as it is a harsh and unusual mode of speech, I should read the brutish sty.
JOHNSON. Line 445. his bravery-] Means, his gaudy apparel. 461.
-the thorny point
Of smooth civility;] We might read torn with more elegance, but elegance alone will not justify alteration. JOHNS.