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human life passed ill, and that was between the calling for the reckoning and paying it. WARBURTON.
Line 485. —and what they swear in poetry, &c.] This sentence seems perplexed and inconsequent; perhaps it were better read thus, What they swear as lovers they may be said to feign as poets. JOHNSON. Line 496. A material fool!] A fool with matter in him; a fool stocked with notions. JOHNSON.
-I am foul.] By foul is meant coy or frowning.
what though?] What then.` -defence-] Defence here, is in allusion to
Line 528. -Sir Oliver:] He that has taken his first degree at the university is in the academical style called Dominus, and in common language was heretofore termed Sir. This was not always a word of contempt; the graduates assumed it in their own writings; so Trevisa the historian writes himself Syr John de Trevisa. JOHNSON. -God'ild you-] Ild for yield, or reward. -his bow,] i. e. His yoke.. STEEVENS. 564. Not-0 sweet Oliver, O brave, &c.] The Clown dismisses Sir Oliver only because Jaques had put him out of conceit with him, by alarming his pride and raising doubts, touching the validity of a marriage solemnized by one who appears only in the character of an itinerant preacher; though he intends to have recourse to some other of more dignity in the same profession. STEEVENS.
ACT III. SCENE IV.
Line 581. I'faith, his hair is of a good colour.] There is much of nature in this petty perverseness of Rosalind; she finds faults in her lover, in hope to be contradicted, and when Celia in sportive malice too readily seconds her accusations, she contradicts herself rather than suffer her favourite to want a vindication. JOHNSON.
Line 584. -as the touch of holy bread.] We should read beard, that is, as the kiss of an holy saint or hermit, called the
kiss of charity: This makes the comparison just and decent; the other is impious and absurd. WARBURTON. Line 587. -a nun of winter's sisterhood- -] Means, an unfruitful sisterhood, which had devoted itself to chastity.
Liné 613. quite traverse, athwart, &c.] An unexperienced lover is here compared to a puny tilter, to whom it was a disgrace to have his lance broken across, as it was a mark either of want of courage or address. WARBURTON.
ACT III. SCENE V.
-will you sterner be,
Than he that dies and lives by bloody drops?] To dye means as well to dip a thing in a colour foreign to its own, as to expire. In this sense, contemptible as the quibble is, the executioner may be said to die as well as live by bloody drops. STEEV.
Line 658. The cicatrice and capable impressure-] Cicatrice is here not very properly used; it is the scar of a wound. Capable impressure arrows mark. JOHNSON.
Line 665. power of fancy,] Fancy is here used for love, as before in Midsummer-Night's Dream. JOHNSON.
Line 672. -Who might be your mother,] It is common for the poets to express cruelty by saying, of those who commit it, that they were born of rocks, or suckled by tigresses. JOHNSON.
Line 674. That you insult, exult, and all at once,] The speaker may mean: Who might be your mother, that you insult, exult, and that too all in a breath. Such I take to be the meaning of all at STEEVENS.
Line 682. Of nature's sale-work :] i. e. Those works that nature makes up carelessly and without exactness. The allusion is to the practice of mechanicks, whose work bespoke is more elaborate, than that which is made up for chance-customers, or to sell in quantities to retailers, which is called sale-work. WARB.
Line 701. Foul is most foul, being foul to be a scoffer:] The sense is, The ugly seem most ugly, when, though ugly, they are scoffers. JOHNSON.
-Though all the world could see,
all mankind could look on you, none could be so deceived as to think you beautiful but he. JOHNSON.
Line 749.carlot] i. e. Churl.
ACT IV. SCENE I.
Line 27. -swam in a gondola.] That is, been at Venice, the seat at that time of all licentiousness, where the young English gentlemen wasted their fortunes, debased their morals, and sometimes lost their religion.
The fashion of travelling, which prevailed very much in our author's time, was considered by the wiser men as one of the principal causes of corrupt manners. It was therefore gravely censured by Ascham in his Schoolmaster, and by bishop Hall in his Quo Vadis; and is here, and in other passages, ridiculed by Shakspeare. JOHNSON.
Line 65. of a better leer than you.] Leer means, countenance or complexion.
Line 102. chroniclers of that age.-] Sir T. Hanmer reads coroners, by the advice, as Dr. Warburton hints, of some anonymous critick. JOHNSON.
Line 150. —I will weep for nothing, like Diana in the fountain,] This alludes to the image of Diana, at the cross in Cheapside. See Stowe.
Line 152. —I will laugh like a hyen,] The bark of the hyena very much resembles a loud laugh. STEEVENS.
Line 159. make the doors-] This is an expression used in several of the midland counties, instead of bar the doors. STEEV. Line 165. -Wit, whither wilt?] This was an exclamation much in use, when any one was either talking nonsense, or usurping a greater share in conversation than justly belonged to him. STEEVENS.
Line 174. make her fault her husband's occasion,] That is, represent her fault as occasioned by her husband. JOHNSON. Line 191. I will think you the most pathetical break-promise,] We have the same unmeaning word, in Love's Labour's Lost:
"-most pathetical nit."
ACT IV. SCENE III.
The foregoing noisy scene was introduced only to fill up an interval, which is to represent two hours. This contraction of the time we might impute to poor Rosalind's impatience, but that a few minutes after we find Orlando sending his excuse. I do not see that by any probable division of the acts this absurdity can be obviated. JOHNSON.
vengeance-] Is used for mischief. JOHNSON. ·297. -youth and kind-] Kind is the old word for na
JOHNSON. Line 308. I see, love hath made thee a tame snake,] A tame snake was, in Shakspeare's time, used as a term of derision.
Line 341. Within an hour;] We must read, within two hours. JOHNSON. And he did render him-] i. e. He represented him
Line 374. -in which hurtling-] To hurtle, is to skirmish, or bustle.
cousin-Ganymede!] Celia in her first fright forgets Rosalind's character and disguise, and calls out cousin, then recollects herself, and says Ganymede. JOHNSON.
ACT V. SCENE I.
Line 33. The heathen philosopher, when he had a desire to eat a grape, &c.] This was designed as a sneer on the several trifling and insignificant sayings and actions, recorded of the ancient philosophers, by the writers of their lives, such as Diogenes Laertius, Philostratus, Eunapius, &c. as appears from its being introduced by one of their wise sayings. WARBURTON.
ACT V. SCENE II.
Line 85. And you, fair sister.] I know not why Oliver should call Rosalind sister. He takes her yet to be a man. I suppose we should read, and you, and your fair sister. JOHNSON.
Oliver speaks to her in the character she had assumed, of a woman courted by Orlando his brother. CHAMIER. Line 107. -clubs cannot part them.] Thus in Titus Andronicus:
"Clubs, clubs; these lovers will not keep the peace." It was customary on the appearance of a fray, to call out "Clubs, "clubs."
Line 137. -human as she is,] That is, not a phantom, but the real Rosalind, without any of the danger generally conceived to attend the rites of incantation. JOHNSON.
Line 138. which I tender dearly, though I say I am a magician:] Hence it appears this was written in James's time, when there was a severe inquisition after witches and magicians. WARB.
ACT V. SCENE III.
The stanzas of the song are in all the editions evidently transposed as I have regulated them, that which in the former copies was the second stanza is now the last.
· The same transposition of these stanzas is made by Dr. Thirlby, in a copy containing some notes on the margin, which I have perused by the favour of Sir Edward Walpole.
ACT V. SCENE IV.
Line 276. Here comes a pair of very strange beasts, &c.] Strange beasts are only what we call odd animals. JOHNSON.
Line 298. according as marriage binds, and blood breaks:] To swear according as marriage binds, is to take the oath enjoined in the ceremonial of marriage. JOHNSON.
Line 308. -dulcet diseases.] This I do not understand. For diseases it is easy to read discourses: but perhaps the fault may lie deeper. JOHNSON.
Line 312. -as thus, Sir; I did dislike the cut of a certain courtier's beard;] This folly is touched upon with high humour by Fletcher in his Queen of Corinth:
-Has he familiarly
"Dislik'd your yellow starch, or said your doublet
-or drawn your sword,
"Cry'd 'twas ill mounted? Has he given the lye
"Or direct parallel; you must challenge him."