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2 LORD. If it be a sin to make a true election, she is damned.
1 LORD. Sir, as I told you always, her beauty and her brain go not together: She's a good sign, but I have seen small reflection of her wit1.
2 LORD. She shines not upon fools, lest the reflection should hurt her. [Aside.
CLO. Come, I'll to my chamber: 'Would there had been some hurt done!
2 LORD. I wish not so; unless it had been the fall of an ass, which is no great hurt.
CLO. You'll go with us?
1 LORD. I'll attend your lordship. CLO. Nay, come, let's go together. 2 LORD. Well, my lord.
9 - her beauty and her brain go not together:] I believe the lord means to speak a sentence, "Sir, as I told you always, beauty and brain go not together." JOHNSON.
That is, are not equal, ne vont pás de pair." A similar expression occurs in The Laws of Candy, where Gonzalo, speaking of Erota, says:
"Her tongue the same gait with her wit?" M. MASON. She's a good sign, but I have seen small reflection of her wit.] She has a fair outside, a specious appearance, but no wit. O quanta species, cerebrum non habet!" Phædrus.
I believe the poet meant nothing by sign, but fair outward show. JOHNSON.
The same allusion is common to other writers. So, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Fair Maid of the Inn :
a common trull,
"A tempting sign, and curiously set forth,
Again, in The Elder Brother, by the same authors: "Stand still, thou sign of man."
To understand the whole force of Shakspeare's idea, it should be remembered, that anciently almost every sign had a motto, or some attempt at a witticism, underneath it. STEEVENS.
In a subsequent scene, lachimo speaking of Imogen, says:
A Room in CYMBELINE'S Palace.
Enter IMOGEN and PISANIO.
IMO. I would thou grew'st unto the shores o' the haven,
And question'dst every sail: if he should write,
'Twas, His queen, IMO. Then wav'd his handkerchief?
PIS. And kiss'd it, madam. IMO. Senseless linen! happier therein than I !— And that was all?
No, madam; for so long As he could make me with this eye or ear
'twere a paper lost,
As offer'd mercy is.] I believe the poet's meaning is, that the loss of that paper would prove as fatal to her, as the loss of a pardon to a condemned criminal.
A thought resembling this, occurs in All's Well That Ends Well:
"Like a remorseful pardon slowly carried." STEEVENS. with THIS eye or ear-] [Old copy-his eye, &c.] But how could Posthumus make himself distinguished by his ear to Pisanio? By his tongue he might to the other's ear, and this was certainly Shakspeare's intention. We must therefore read : "As he could make me with this eye, or ear,
Distinguish him from others"
The expression is daxTixos, as the Greeks term it: the party
speaking points to the part spoken of. WARBURTON.
Sir T. Hanmer alters it thus :
for so long
"As he could mark me with his eye, or I
The reason of Sir T. Hanmer's reading was, that Pisanio describes no address made to the ear. JOHNSON.
This description, and what follows it, seems imitated from the
Distinguish him from others, he did keep
As little as a crow, or less 1, ere left
Thou should'st have made him
Madam, so I did.
Imo. I would have broke mine eye-strings; crack'd them, but
To look upon him; till the diminution
Of space had pointed him sharp as my needle":
eleventh book of Ovid's Metamorphosis. See Golding's translation, p. 146, b. &c. :
"She lifting up hir watrie eies beheld her husband stand Upon the hatches making signes by becking with his hand:
"And she made signes to him againe. And after that the land
"Was farre removed from the ship, and that the sight began "To be unable to discerne the face of any man,
"As long as ere she could she lookt upon the rowing keele. "And when she could no longer time for distance ken it weele, "She looked still upon the sailes that flasked with the wind Upon the mast. And when she could the sailes no longer
"She gate hir to hir emtie bed with sad and sorie hart," &c. STEEVENS. 4 As little as a crow, or less,] This comparison may be illustrated by the following in King Lear:
the crows that wing the midway air,
OF SPACE had pointed him sharp as my needle:] The diminution of space, is the diminution of which space is the cause. Trees are killed by a blast of lightning, that is, by blasting, not blasted lightning. JOHNSON.
Have turn'd mine eye, and wept.-But, good
When shall we hear from him?
Be assur'd, madam,
With his next vantage 6.
IMO. I did not take my leave of him, but had Most pretty things to say: ere I could tell him, How I would think on him, at certain hours, Such thoughts, and such; or I could make him
The shes of Italy should not betray
Mine interest, and his honour; or have charg'd
At the sixth hour of morn, at noon, at midnight,
I am in heaven for him; or ere I could
Give him that parting kiss, which I had set
6-next VANTAGE.] Next opportunity. JOHNSON. So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor:
"And when the doctor spies his vantage ripe," &c. STEEVENS.
encounter me with orisons,] i. e. meet me with reciprocal prayer. So, in Macbeth :
"See, they encounter thee with their hearts' thanks."
8 I am in heaven for him ;] My solicitations ascend to heaven on his behalf. STEEVENS.
or ere I could
Give him that parting kiss, which I had set
Betwixt two charming words,] Dr. Warburton pronounces as absolutely as if he had been present at their parting, that these two charming words were―adieu Posthumus; but as Mr. Edwards has observed, "she must have understood the language of love very little, if she could find no tenderer expression of it, than the name by which every one called her husband." STEEVENS.
T like the tyrannous breathing of the north,
SHAKES all our BUDS from growing.] i. e. our buds of love,
Enter a Lady.
LADY. Desires your highness' company. IMO. Those things I bid you do, get them despatch'd.
I will attend the queen.
Madam, I shall. [Exeunt.
as our author has elsewhere expressed it. Dr. Warburton, because the buds of flowers are here alluded to, very idly reads— "Shakes all our buds from blowing."
The buds of flowers undoubtedly are meant, and Shakspeare himself has told us in Romeo and Juliet that they grow:
The queen, madam,
"This bud of love, by summer's ripening breath
May prove a beauteous flower, when next we meet." MALONE. A bud without any distinct idea, whether of flower or fruit, is a natural representation of any thing incipient or immature; and the buds of flowers, if flowers are meant, grow to flowers, as the buds of fruits grow to fruits. JOHNSON.
Dr. Warburton's emendation may in some measure be confirmed by those beautiful lines in The Two Noble Kinsmen, which I have no doubt were written by Shakspeare. Emilia is speaking
of a rose :
"It is the very emblem of a maid.
"How modestly she blows and paints the sun
"With her chaste blushes ?-when the north comes near
"Rude and impatient, then like chastity,
"She locks her beauties in the bud again,
"And leaves him to base briars." FARMER.
I think the old reading may be sufficiently supported by the fol
lowing passage in the 18th Sonnet of our author:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May." Again, in The Taming of the Shrew :
"Confounds thy fame, as whirlwinds shake fair buds." Lyly, in his Euphues, 1581, as Mr. Holt White observes, has a similar expression: "The winde shaketh off the blossome, as well as the fruit." STEEVENS.