Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

'Dro. S. I found it by the barrenness; hard, in the palm of the hand.

Ant. S. Where France?

Dro. 8. In her forehead; arm’d and reverted, making war against her hair.}

3 In her forehead; arm'd and reverted, making war against ber hair.] All the other countries, mentioned in this description, are in Dromio's replies fatirically characterized : but here, as the editors have ordered it, no remark is made upon France ; nor any reason given, why it should be in her forehead: but only the kitchen wench's high forehead is rallied, as pushing back her hair.

Thus all the modern editions; but the first folio reads—making war againft ber heir. And I am very apt to think, this last is the true reading; and that an equivoque, as the French call it, a double . meaning, is designed in the poet's allusion: and therefore I have replaced it in the text. In 1589, Henry III. of France being ftabb’d, and dying of his wound, was succeeded by Henry IV. of Navarre, whom he appointed his successor : but whose claim the ftates of France refifted, on account of his being a protestant. This, I take it, is what he means, by France making war against her heir. Now, as, in 1591, queen Elizabeth fent over 4000 men, under the conduct of the Earl of Essex, 'to the assistance of this Henry of Navarre, it seems to me very probable, that during this expedition being on foot, this comedy made its appearance. And it was the finest addrefs imaginable in the poet to throw such an oblique fneer at France, for opposing the succession of that heir, whose claim his royal mistress, the queen, had sent over a force to establish, and oblige them to acknowledge. THEOBALD.

With this correction and cxplication Dr. Warburton concurs, and Sir Thomas Hanmer thinks an equivocation intended, though he retains hair in the text. Yet surely they have all lost the sense by looking beyond it. Our authour, in my opinion, only sports with an allusion, in which he takes too much delight, and means that his mistress had the French disease. The ideas are rather too offensive to be dilated. By a forehead armed, he means covered with incrusted eruptions: by reverted, he means having the hair turning backward. An equivocal word must have senses applicable to both the subjects to which it is applied. Both forehead and France might in some fort make war against their hair, but how did the forehead make war against its heir? The sense which I have given, immediately occurred to me, and will, I believe, arise to every reader who is contented with the meaning that lies before him, without fending out conjecture in search of refinements. JOHNSON.

Ant. S. Where England ?

Dro. S. I look'd for the chalky cliffs, but I could find no whiteness in them: but I guess, it stood in her chin, by the salt rheum that ran between France and it.

Ant. S. Where Spain ?

Dro. S. Faith, I saw it not; but I felt it, hot in her breath.

Ant. S. Where America, the Indies?

Dro. S. O, sir, upon her nose, all o'er embellish'd with rubies, carbuncles, sapphires, declining their rich aspect to the hot breath of Spain; who sent whole armada's of carracks to be ballast 4 at her nose.

ANT. S. Where stood Belgia, the Netherlands ?

The present reading was introduced by the editor of the second folio.

I think with Sir T. Hanmer, that an equivocation may have been intended. It is of little consequence which of the two words is preserved in the text, if the author meant that two senses should be couched under the same term.--Dr. Johnson's objection, that " an equivocal term must have senses applicable to both the subjects to which it is applied," appears to me not so well founded as his ob. servations in general are; for, though a correct writer would, observe that rule, our author is very seldom scrupulous in this para ticular, the terms which he uses in comparison scarcely ever an. fwering exactly on both sides. However, as hair affords the clearest and most obvious sense, I have placed it in the text. In K. Henry V. 4to. 1600, we have

“ This your heire of France hath blown this vice in me" instead of air. In Macbeth, folio 1623, heire is printed for hair:

" Whofe horrid image doth unfix my heire.' Again, in Cymbelina, folio, 1623.

" -- His meanest garment is dearer

“ In my respect, than all the heires above thee.” Malone, + to be ballast - The modern editors read—ballasted; the old copy ballast, which is right. Thus in Hamlet :

or to have the engineer
« Hoist with his own petar." i. e. boifted. Steevens.

Dro. S. O, sir, I did not look so low. To conclude, this drudge, or diviner, laid claim to me; call'd me Dromio; swore, I was assur'd to her ;s told me what privy marks I had about me, as the mark on my shoulder, the mole in my neck, the great wart on my left arm, that I, amazed, ran from her as a witch: and, I think, if my breast had not been made of faith, and my heart of steel, she had transform’d me to a curtail-dog, and made me turn i'the wheel.

Ant. S. Go, hie thee presently, post to the road And if the wind blow any way from shore, I will not harbour in this town to-night. . If any bark put forth, come to the mart, Where I will walk, till thou return to me. . . If every one know us, and we know none, "Tis time, I think, to trudge, pack, and be gone. Dro. S. As from a bear a man would run for

life, So fly I from her that would be my wife. [Exit. Ant. S. There's none but witches do inhabit

here;
And therefore 'tis high time that I were hence.
She, that doth call me husband, even my soul
Doth for a wife abhor: but her fair sister,
Possess’d with such a gentle sovereign grace,
Of such enchanting presence and discourse,

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

- allur'd to her;] i. e. affianced to her. Thus in King John:

“ For fo I did when I was first assurd.Steevens. . 6 And, I think, if my breast had not been made of faith, &c.] Alluding to the superstition of the common people, that nothing could resilt a witch's power of transforming men into animals, but a great share of faith : however, the Oxford editor thinks a breast made of flint betier security, and has therefore put it in.

WARBURTON.

Hath almost made me traitor to myself:
But, left myself be guilty to self-wrong,
I'll stop mine ears against the mermaid's song.

Enter ANGÉLO.

Ang. Master Antipholus ?
Ant. S. Ay, that's my name.

Ang. I know it well, sir: Lo, here is the chain;
I thought to have ta’en you at the Porcupine: 8
The chain unfinish'd made me stay thus long.
Ant. S. What is your will, that I shall do with

this? Ang. What please yourself, fir; I have made it

for you. AnI. S. Made it for me, sir! I bespoke it not." Ang. Not once, nor twice, but twenty times you

have:

1- to self-wrong,] I have met with other instances of this kind of phraseology. So, in The Winter's Tale :

« But as the unthought-on accident is guilty

“ To what we wildly do,"—, Mr. Pope and the subsequent editors read of self-wrong.

Malone. 8 at the Porcupine :) It is remarkable, that throughout the old editions of Shakspeare's plays, the word Porpentine is used instead of Porcupine. Perhaps it was so pronounced at that time.

I have since observed the same spelling in the plays of other ancient authors. Mr. Tollet finds it likewise in p. 66 of Afcham's Works by Bennet, and in Stowe's Chronicle in the years 1917, 1135. STEVENS.

The word, although written Porpentine in the old editions of Shakspeare, was scarcely so pronounced, as Mr. Steevens conjece tures, at least not generally; for in Eliot's Dictionary, 1545, and Cooper's Dictionary, 1584, it is" Porkepyne :" and in Hulet's Abecedarium, 1552.- Porpyn.” See a note on The Tempeft, Act l. fo. ij. Douci.

Go home with it, and please your wife withal;
And soon at supper-time I'll visit you,
And then receive my money for th-chain.

Ant. S. I pray you, sir, receit. the money now, For fear you ne'er see chain, nor money, more. Ang. You are a merry man, fis; fare you well.

[Exit. Ant. S. What I should think of this, I cannot

tell: But this I think, there's no man is so vain, That would refuse so fair an offer'd chain. I fee, a man here needs not live by shifts, When in the streets he meets such golden gifts. I'll to the mart, and there for Dromio stay; If any ship put out, then straight away. TExit.

A CT IV. SCENE I.

The fame.

Enter a Merchant, Angelo, and an Officer. MER. You know, fince pentecost the sum is due, And since I have not much importun'd you; Nor now I had not, but that I am bound To Persia, and want gilders' for my voyage: Therefore make present satisfaction, Or I'll attach you by this officer.

want gilders -] A gilder is a coin valued from one Mile ling and fix-pence, to two shillings. STEEVENS.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »