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as a puny tilter, that spurs his horse but on one side, breaks his staff like a noble goose: but all 's brave, that youth mounts, and folly guides:—Who comes here?
Cor. Mistress, and master, you have oft enquired
'el. Well, and what of him?
Cor. If you will see a pageant truly play’d,
Ros. O, come, let us remove;
Enter SILVIUS and PHEBE.
Sil. Sweet Phebe, do not scorn me; do not, Phebe : Say, that you love me not; but say not so In bitterness: The common executioner, Whose heart the accustom’d sight of death makes hard, Falls not the axe upon the humbled neck, But first begs pardon; Will you sterner be Than he that dies and lives by bloody drops?”
“With a feather through his nose, that he may only
“See heaven,” &c. . Again, in the Booke of Hawkyng, Huntyng, and Fishing, &c. bl. 1. no date: “ — and with a pen put it in the haukes mares once or twice,” &c. Again, in Philemon Holland’s translation of the tenth Book of Pliny’s Natural History, 1601, p. 300: “It is good moreover to draw a little quill or feather through their nostrille acrosse,” &c. Steevens.
8 of his lover; ) i.e. of his mistress. Malone.
9 — Will you sterner be Than he that dies and lives by bloody drops?] This is spoken of the executioner. He lives, indeed, by bloody drops, if you will:
Enter Rosa LIND, CELIA, and CorIN, at a distance.
Phe. I would not be thy executioner; I fly thee, for I would not injure thee.
but how does he die by bloody drops? The poet must certainly have wrote:
that deals and lives, &c. i. e. that gets his bread by, and makes a trade of cutting off heads: but the Oxford editor makes it plainer. He reads: Than he that lives and thrives by bloody drops. Warburton. Either Dr. Warburton’s emendation, except that the word deals, wants its proper construction, or that of Sir Tho. Hanmer, may serve the purpose; but I believe they have fixed corruption upon the wrong word, and should rather read: Than he that dies his lips by bloody drops? Will you speak with more sternness than the executioner, whose lips are used to be sprinkled with blood? The mention of drops implies some part that must be sprinkled rather than dipped. johnson. I am afraid our bard is at his quibbles again. To die, means as well to dip a thing in a colour foreign to its own as to expire. In this sense, contemptible as it is, the executioner may be said to die as well as live by bloody drops. Shakspeare is fond of opposing these terms to each other. In King john is a play on words not unlike this: go all with purple hands “Dy’d in the dying slaughter of their foes.” * Camden has preserved an epitaph on a dyer, which has the same turn : “He that dyed so oft in sport, “Dyed at last, no colour for 't.” So, Heywood, in his Epigrams, 1562: “Is thy husband a dyer, woman alack, “Had he no colour to die thee on but black' “Dieth he oft? yea too oft when customers call; “But I would have him one day die once for all. “Were he gone, dyer never more would I wed, “ Dyers be ever dying, but never dead.” Again, Puttenham, in his Art of Poetry, 1589: “We once sported upon a country fellow, who came to run for the best game, and was by his occupation a dyer, and had very big swelling legs. “He is but coarse to run a course, “Whose shanks are bigger than his thigh; “Yet is his luck a little worse “That often dyes before he die.” “Where ye see the words course and die used in divers senses, one giving the rebound to the other.” Steevens. J. Davies, of Hereford, in his Scourge of Folly, printed about 1611, has the same conceit, and uses almost our author’s words:
Thou tell'st me, there is murder in mine eye:
“Turbine, the dyer, stalks before his dore, “Like Caesar, that by dying ost did thrive; “And though the beggar be as proud as poore, “Yet (like the mortifide) he dyes to live.” Again, on the same: “Who lives well, dies well:—not by and by: “For this man lives proudly, yet well doth die.” Malone. He that lives and dies, i.e. he who, to the very end of his life, continues a common executioner. So, in the second scene of the fifth Act of this play: “ live and die a shepherd.” Tollet. To die and live by a thing is to be constant to it, to persevere in it to the end. Lives, therefore, does not signify is maintained; but the two verbs taken together mean, who is all his life conversant with bloody drops. Musgrave.
1 'Tis pretty, sure, and very probable,) Sure for surely. Douce.
* — lean but upon a rush, But, which is not in the old copy, was added, for the sake of the metre, by the editor of the second folio. Malone.
3 The cicatrice and capable impressure o Cicatrice is here not very properly used; it is the scar of a wound. Capable impressure, hollow mark. johnson. Capable, I believe, means here—perceptible. Our author often
uses the word for intelligent; (See a note on Hamlet,
“His form and cause conjoin'd, preaching to stones,
“Would make them capable.”) Hence, with his usual license, for intelligible, and then for per. ceptible. Malone.
Nor, I am sure, there is no force in eye
Sil. O dear Phebe,
JPhe. But, till that time,
Ros. And why, I pray you? [advancing] Who might
be your mother,"
That you insult, exult, and all at once,"
4 — power of fancy, Fancy is here used for love, as before, in A Midsummer Night's Dream. johnson.
5 — 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.
6 That you insult, exult, and all at once, If the speaker intended to accuse the person spoken to only for insulting and exulting; then, instead of—all at once, it ought to have been, both at once. But, by examining the crime of the person accused, we shall discover that the line is to be read thus:
That you insult, exult, and rail at once.
For these three things Phebe was guilty of. But the Oxford editor improves it, and, for rail at once, reads domineer. Warburton.
I see no need of emendation. The speaker may mean thus: Who might be your mother, that you insult, exult, and that too all in a breath? Such is, perhaps, the meaning of all at once. Steevens.
7 — What though you have more beauty, The old copy reads: — What though you have no beauty. Steevens.
Though all the printed copies agree in this reading, it is very accurately observed to me, by an ingenious unknown correspondent, who signs himself. L. H. (and to whom I can only here make my acknowledgment) that the negative ought to be left out. Theobald.
That no is a misprint, appears clearly from the passage in Lodge's Rosalynde, which Shakspeare has here imitated: “Sometimes have I seen high disdaine turned to hot desires.— Because thou art beautiful, be not so coy; as there is nothin more faire, so there is nothing more fading.”—Mr. Theobald corrected the error, by expunging the word no; in which he was copied by the subsequent editors; but omission, (as I have often observed) is, of all the modes of emendation, the most excep
(As, by my faith, I see no more in you
tionable. No was, I believe, a misprint for mo, a word often used by our author and his contemporaries for more. So, in a former scene of this play: “I pray you, mar no mo of my verses with reading them ill-favour’dly.” Again, in Much Ado about Nothing: “Sing no more ditties, sing no mo.” . Again, in The Tempest: “Mo widows of this business making —.” Many other instances might be added. The word is found in almost every book of that age. As no is here printed instead of mo, so in Romeo and juliet, Act V, we find in the folio, 1623, Mo matter, for No matter. This correction being less violent than Mr. Theobald’s, I have inserted it in the text. “What though I should allow you had more beauty than he, (says Rosalind) though by my faith,” &c. (for such is the force of As in the next line) “must you therefore treat him with disdain?” In Antony and Cleopatra we meet with a passage constructed nearly in the same
Say, this becomes him, “(As his composure must be rare indeed “Whom these things cannot blemish) yet,” &c. Again, in Love's Labour’s Lost: “But say that he or we, (as neither have) “Receiv'd that sum,” &c. Again, more appositely, in Camden’s Remaines, p. 190, edit. 1605: “I force not of such fooleries; but if I have any skill in sooth-saying, (as in sooth I have none) it doth prognosticate that I shall change copie from a duke to a king.” Malone. As mo, (unless rhyme demands it) is but an indolent abbreviation of more, I have adopted Mr. Malone’s conjecture, without his manner of spelling the word in question. If mo were right, how happens it that more should occur twice afterwards in the same speech: Steevens.
* Qf nature's sale-work:) 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. Warburton.