Imatges de pàgina

After a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd
With observation, the which he vents
In mangled forms:-O, that I were a fool!
I am ambitious for a motley coat.


DUKE S. Thou shalt have one. JAQ. It is my only suit? Provided, that you weed your better judgments Of all opinion that grows rank in them, That I am wise. I must have liberty Withal, as large a charter as the wind', To blow on whom I please; for so fools have: And they that are most galled with my folly, They most must laugh: And why, sir, must they


The why is plain as way to parish church :
He, that a fool doth very wisely hit,
Doth very foolishly, although he smart,
Not to seem senseless of the bob 2: if not,

9 - only SUIT;] Suit means petition, I believe, not dress. JOHNSON. The poet means a quibble. So, Act V.: "Not out of your apparel, but out of your suit." STEEVENS.


as large a charter as the wind,] So, in King Henry V.: "The wind, that charter'd libertine, is still." MALONE. 2 NOT TO seem senseless of the bob :] The old copies read only-Seem senseless, &c. Not to were supplied by Mr. Theobald. See the following note. STEEVENS.

Besides that the third verse is defective one whole foot in measure, the tenour of what Jaques continues to say, and the reasoning of the passage, show it no less defective in the sense. There is no doubt but the two little monosyllables, which I have supplied, were either by accident wanting in the manuscript, or by inadvertence were left out. THEOBALD.

Mr. Whiter ingeniously defends the old reading: "I read and point the passage thus:

"He that a fool doth very wisely hit,

"Doth, very foolishly, although he smart,
"Seem senseless of the bob; if not, &c,"

"That is, a wise man whose feeling should chance to be well rallied by a simple unmeaning jester, even though he should be

The wise man's folly is anatomiz'd

Even by the squandring glances of the fool 2.
Invest me in my motley; give me leave

To speak my mind, and I will through and through
Cleanse the foul body of the infected world 3,
If they will patiently receive my medicine.

DUKE S. Fye on thee! I can tell what thou wouldst do.

JAQ. What, for a counter*, would I do, but good? DUKE S. Most mischievous foul sin, in chiding sin: For thou thyself hast been a libertine, As sensual as the brutish sting' itself;

weak enough really to be hurt by so foolish an attack, appears always insensible of the stroke." BOSWELL.

2 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.

3 Cleanse the foul body of the infected world,] So, in Macbeth:

"Cleanse the stuff'd bosom of that perilous stuff."


-for a COUNTER,] Dr. Farmer observes to me, that about the time when this play was written, the French counters (i. e. pieces of false money used as a means of reckoning) were brought into use in England. They are again mentioned in Troilus and Cressida :


will you with counters sum

"The past proportion of his infinite?" STEEVENS.

5 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.

I believe the old reading is the true one. So, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, b. i. c. viii.:

"A herd of bulls whom kindly rage doth sting." Again, b. ii. c. xii.:

"As if that hunger's point, or Venus' sting,
"Had them enrag'd."

Again, in Othello:


our carnal stings, our unbitted lusts." STEEVENS.

And all the embossed sores, and headed evils,
That thou with licence of free foot hast caught,
Wouldst thou disgorge into the general world.
JAQ. Why, who cries out on pride,
That can therein tax any private party?
Doth it not flow as hugely as the sea,
Till that the very very means do ebb° ?
What woman in the city do I name,
When that I say, The city-woman bears
The cost of princes on unworthy shoulders?
Who can come in, and say, that I mean her,
When such a one as she, such is her neighbour?
Or what is he of basest function,

That says, his bravery' is not on my cost,
(Thinking that I mean him,) but therein suits
His folly to the mettle of my speech?

There then; How then? what then? Let me see wherein

My tongue hath wrong'd him: if it do him right, Then he hath wrong'd himself; if he be free, Why then, my taxing like a wild goose flies, Unclaim'd of any man.-But who comes here?

Enter ORLANDO, with his sword drawn.

ORL. Forbear, and eat no more.


Why, I have eat none yet.

* First folio, come.

6 Till that the VERY very-] The old copy reads-weary very. Corrected by Mr. Pope. MALONE.

7 — his BRAVERY-] i. e. his fine clothes. So, in The Taming of a Shrew:

"With scarfs and fans, and double change of bravery."


& There then; How, what then? &c.] I believe we should read -Where then? So, in Othello:

What then? How then? Where's satisfaction?"


The old copy reads, very redundantly

"There then? How then? What then," &c. STEEVENS.

ORL. Nor shalt not, till necessity be serv'd.
JAQ. Of what kind should this cock come of?
DUKE S. Art thou thus bolden'd, man, by thy

Or else a rude despiser of good manners,
That in civility thou seem'st so empty?

ORL. You touch'd my vein at first; the thorny point

Of bare distress hath ta'en from me the show
Of smooth civility: yet am I inland bred',
And know some nurture 2: But forbear, I say;
He dies, that touches any of this fruit,
Till I and my affairs are answered.

JAQ. An you will not be answered with reason, I must die.

DUKE S. What would you have? Your gentleness shall force,

More than your force move us to gentleness.

ORL. I almost die for food, and let me have it. DUKE S. Sit down and feed, and welcome to our


ORL. Speak you so gently? Pardon me, I pray



the thorny point

Of bare distress hath TA'EN from me the show

Of smooth civility:] We might read torn with more elegance, but elegance alone will not justify alteration. JOHNSON.


INLAND bred,] Inland here, and elsewhere in this play, is the opposite to outland, or upland. Orlando means to say, that he had not been bred among clowns. HOLT WHITE.

2 And know some NURTURE:] Nurture is education, breeding, manners. So, in Greene's Never Too Late, 1616:

"He shew'd himself as full of nurture as of nature."

Again, as Mr. Holt White observes to me, Barret says in his Alvearie, 1580: "It is a point of nurture, or good manners, to salute them that you meete. Urbanitatis est salutare obvios." STEEVENS. St. Paul advises the Ephesians, in his Epistle, ch. vi. 4, to bring their children up "in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."


I thought, that all things had been savage here;
And therefore put I on the countenance
Of stern commandment: But whate'er you are,
That in this desert inaccessible 3,
Under the shade of melancholy boughs,


Lose and neglect the creeping hours of time;
If ever you have look'd on better days;

If ever been where bells have knoll'd to church;
If ever sat at any good man's feast;
If ever from your eye-lids wip'd a tear,
And know what 'tis to pity, and be pitied;
Let gentleness my strong enforcement be:
In the which hope, I blush, and hide my sword.

DUKE S. True is it that we have seen better days;
And have with holy bell been knoll'd to church;
And sat at good men's feasts; and wip'd our eyes
Of drops that sacred pity hath engender'd:
And therefore sit you down in gentleness,
And take upon command what help we have,
That to your wanting may be ministred.

ORL. Then, but forbear your food a little while, Whiles, like a doe, I go to find my fawn, And give it food 5. There is an old poor man, Who after me hath many a weary step Limp'd in pure love; till he be first suffic'd,Oppress'd with two weak evils, age and hunger,— I will not touch a bit.

Go find him out,
And we will nothing waste till you return.

3 - desert inaccessible,] This expression I find in The Adventures of Simonides, by Barn. Riche, 1580:"- and onely acquainted himselfe with the solitarinesse of this unaccessible desert." HENDERSON.

4 And take UPON COMMAND what help we have,] Upon command, is at your own command. STEEVENS.

s Whiles, like a DOE, I go to find my FAWN, And give it FOOD.] So, in Venus and Adonis :


Like a milch doe, whose swelling dugs do ake, "Hasting to feed her fawn." MALONE.

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