Imatges de pàgina

She's dead, belike 1.

PRO. Not so; I think, she lives.
JUL. Alas!

PRO. Why dost thou cry, alas?
JUL. I cannot choose but pity her?

The authentick copy reads:

"It seems you lov'd not her, not leave her token." The single errour appears to have been, that the compositor inadvertently repeated the word not, (a very common errour of the press,) instead of printing to, (to leave,) which word was substituted for not, in the second folio.

To leave, seems here to be used in the sense of to part with. So, in a former scene, we find the same words signifying to cease: "I leave to be," i. e. "I part with my being."

This explanation, which corresponds with that of Mr. M. Mason in the following note, was written and printed three years before his comments appeared; a circumstance which I mention, because he appears to have known so little of the progress of the press, as to have supposed that because my first edition was published in 1790, my commentaries were all subsequent to his, which appeared in 1785: whereas, in fact, several of the plays (of that edition) were printed before that year, the work having been begun in 1782.

I had also in my appendix, several years afterwards, supported this explanation by the very same instance from the Merchant of Venice, which he has quoted, without turning to his remarks. These coincidences must frequently happen where an author is elucidated by comparing him with himself. MALone.

Johnson, not recollecting the force of the word leave, proposes an amendment of this passage, but that is unnecessary; for, in the language of the time, to leave means to part with, or give away. Thus, in The Merchant of Venice, Portia, speaking of the ring she gave Bassanio, says:


and here he stands ;

"I dare be sworn for him, he would not leave it,
"Or pluck it from his finger, for the wealth
"That the world masters."

And Bassanio says, in a subsequent scene:


If you did know to whom I gave the ring, &c. "And how unwillingly I left the ring,


You would abate the strength of your displeasure."


4 She's dead, belike.] This is said in reference to what Proteus had asserted to Silvia in a former scene; viz. that both Julia and Valentine were dead. STEEVENS.

PRO. Wherefore should'st thou pity her?

JUL. Because, methinks, that she lov'd you as well
As you do love your lady Silvia :

She dreams on him, that has forgot her love;
You dote on her, that cares not for your love.
"Tis pity, love should be so contrary;
And thinking on it makes me cry, alas!

PRO. Well: give her that ring, and therewithal
This letter;-that's her chamber.-Tell my lady
I claim the promise for her heavenly picture.
Your message done, hie home unto my chamber,
Where thou shalt find me sad and solitary.

JUL. How many women would do such a message?
Alas, poor Proteus! thou hast entertain'd
A fox, to be the shepherd of thy lambs:
Alas, poor fool! why do I pity him
That with his very heart despiseth me?
Because he loves her, he despiseth me;
Because I love him, I must pity him.
This ring I gave him, when he parted from me,
To bind him to remember my good will:
And now am I (unhappy messenger)

To plead for that, which I would not obtain ;
To carry that, which I would have refus'd';
To praise his faith, which I would have disprais'd.
I am my master's true confirmed love;

But cannot be true servant to my master,
Unless I prove false traitor to myself.
Yet will I woo for him; but yet so coldly,
As, heaven it knows, I would not have him speed.

Enter SILVIA, attended.

Gentlewoman, good day! I pray you, be my mean
To bring me where to speak with Madam Silvia.

5 To carry that, which I would HAVE refus'd; &c.] The sense is, To go and present that which I wish to be not accepted, to praise him whom I wish to be dispraised. JOHNSON.



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SIL. What would you with her, if that I be she?

JUL. If you be she, I do entreat your patience To hear me speak the message I am sent on.

SIL. From whom?

JUL. From my master, sir Proteus, madam.
SIL. O, he sends you for a picture?
JUL. Ay, madam.

SIL. Ursula, bring my picture there.

[Picture brought. Go, give your master this: tell him from me, One Julia, that his changing thoughts forget, Would better fit his chamber, than this shadow.

JUL. Madam, please you peruse this letter.— Pardon me, madam; I have unadvis'd Deliver'd you a paper that I should not; This is the letter to your ladyship.

SIL. I pray thee, let me look on that again. JUL. It may not be; good madam, pardon me. SIL. There, hold.

I will not look upon your master's lines:

I know, they are stuff'd with protestations,

And full of new-found oaths; which he will break, As easily as I do tear his paper.

JUL. Madam, he sends your ladyship this ring.

SIL. The more shame for him that he sends it me;

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For, I have heard him say a thousand times,

His Julia gave it him at his departure:

Though his false finger have profan'd the ring,
Mine shall not do his Julia so much wrong.

JUL. She thanks you.

SIL. What say'st thou ?

JUL. I thank you, madam, that you tender her: Poor gentlewoman! my master wrongs her much.

SIL. Dost thou know her?

JUL. Almost as well as I do know myself:
To think upon her woes, I do protest,
That I have wept an hundred several times.

SIL. Belike, she thinks, that Proteus hath forsook her.

JUL. I think she doth; and that's her cause of


SIL. Is she not passing fair?

JUL. She hath been fairer, madam, than she is:
When she did think my master lov'd her well,
She, in my judgement, was as fair as you;
But since she did neglect her looking-glass,
And threw her sun-expelling mask away,
The air hath starv'd the roses in her cheeks,
And pinch'd the lily-tincture of her face,
That now she is become as black as Io.

SIL. How tall was she?

JUL. About my stature: for, at pentecost,
When all our pageants of delight were play'd,
Our youth got me to play the woman's part,
And I was trimm'd in madam Julia's gown;
Which served me as fit, by all men's judgement,
As if the garment had been made for me:
Therefore, I know she is about my height.
And, at that time I made her weep a-good",
For I did play a lamentable part:


6 And PINCH'D the lily-tincture of her face,

That now she is become as black as I.] The colour of a part pinched, is livid, as it is commonly termed, black and blue. The weather may therefore be justly said to pinch, when it produces the same visible effect. I believe this is the reason why the cold is said to pinch. JOHNSON.

"Think on me,

Cleopatra says of herself,


"That am with Phoebus' amorous pinches black." STEEVENS. weep A-GOOD,] i. e. in good earnest. Tout de bon, Fr. So, in Turberville's translation of Ovid's epistle from Ariadne to Theseus :

"beating of my breast a-good." STEEVENS. So, in Marlowe's Jew of Malta, 1633:

"And therewithall their knees have rankled so,
"That I have laugh'd a-good."

Again, in Turberville's Tragicall Tales, p. 98, 8vo. 1587:
"Whereat she waylde and wept a-good." MALONE.

Madam, 'twas Ariadne, passioning
For Theseus' perjury, and unjust flightR;


-'twas Ariadne, PASSIONING

For Theseus' perjury, and unjust flight;] The history of this twice-deserted lady is too well known to need an introduction here; nor is the reader interrupted on the business of Shakspeare; but I find it difficult to refrain from making a note the vehicle for a conjecture which I may have no better opportunity of communicating to the publick.-The subject of a picture of Guido (commonly supposed to be Ariadne deserted by Theseus and courted by Bacchus) may possibly have been hitherto mistaken. Whoever will examine the fabulous history critically, as well as the performance itself, will acquiesce in the truth of the remark. Ovid, in his Fasti, tells us, that Bacchus (who left Ariadne to go on his Indian expedition) found too many charms in the daughter of one of the kings of that country.

"Interea Liber depexos crinibus Indos

"Vincit, et Eoo dives ab orbe redit.
"Inter captivas facie præstante puellas
"Grata nimis Baccho filia regis erat.
"Flebat amans conjux, spatiataque littore curvo
"Edidit incultis talia verba sonis.

"Quid me desertis perituram, Liber, arenis

"Servabas? potui dedoluisse semel."Ausus es ante oculus, adducta pellice, nostros "Tam bene compositum sollicitare torum," &c. Ovid, Fast. 1. iii. v. 465. In this picture he appears as if just returned from India, bringing with him his new favourite, who hangs on his arm, and whose presence only causes those emotions so visible in the countenance of Ariadne, who had been hitherto represented on this occasion : as passioning


"For Theseus' perjury and unjust flight."

From this painting a plate was engraved by Giacomo Freij, which is generally a companion to the Aurora of the same master. The print is so common, that the curious may easily satisfy themselves concerning the propriety of a remark which has intruded itself among the notes on Shakspeare.

To passion is used as a verb, by writers contemporary with Shakspeare. In The Blind Beggar of Alexandria, printed 1598, we meet with the same expression : -what, art thou passioning over the picture of Cleanthes?"


Again, in Eliosto Libidinoso, a novel, by John Hinde, 1606: "if thou gaze on a picture, thou must, with Pigmalion, be passionate."

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