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dation is now only to be found among the rubbish of the Variorum Shakespeare, in a very foolish note by Malone, which concludes with, “ Mr. Theobald reads — ' Let's along'”!
“ The entrance of the Cell opens, and discovers FERDINAND and MIRANDA playing at chess.”
There may have been something like this in the novel or tale which furnished Shakespeare with the materials for The Tempest; but if that was not the case, and if The Tempest was first produced shortly before the year 1611, it is not improbable that the idea of“ discovering" Ferdinand and Miranda engaged at chess was suggested to Shakespeare by a similar" discovery” in Barnaby Barnes's Divils Charter, printed in 1607 (“ As it was plaide before the King's Maiestie, vpon Candlemasse night last, by his Maiesties Seruants. But more exactly reuewed, corrected, and augmented since by the Author for the more pleasure and profit of the Reader").
In that tragedy, Cæsar Borgia, after taking Katherine prisoner and making her believe that he had put to death her two sons, says,
“ Come hither, Katherine, wonder of thy sex,
The grace of all Italian womanhood.
Behold thy children liuing in my tent.
THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA.
Act i. sc. 1.
“ Speed. Twenty to one, then, he is shipp'd already, And I have play'd the sheep in losing him.”
To the examples given by the editors of ship used for sheep, add the following one; “ A hood shall flap up and downe heere, and this ship-skin cap shall be put off.” Dekker's Satiromastix, 1602, sig. F 3.
In this very common cant expression for a courtesan, the meaning of laced has (like many other things equally unimportant) been a good deal disputed. Perhaps the mutton was called laced with a quibble—courtesans being notoriously fond of finery, and also frequently subjected to the whip: Du Bartas tells us that St. Louis put down the stews,
“ Lacing with lashes their unpitied skin
Works, by Sylvester,--St. Louis the King,
p. 539, ed. 1641. But in the present passage is “ laced mutton” to be regarded as synonymous with courtesan? I doubt it. When Speed applies that term to Julia, he probably uses it in the much less offensive sense of-a richly-attired piece of woman's flesh.
THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR,
Act i. sc. 3.
''. "Let me see thee froth, and lime."
“ The first,” says Steevens, “ was done by putting soap into the bottom of the tankard when they drew the beer; the other, by mixing lime with the sack (i. e. sherry) to make it sparkle in the glass."
But I question if there be any allusion in this passage to frothing beer by means of soap. Compare Greene's Quip for an Vpstart Courtier ; “ You, Tom Tapster, that tap your small cans of beere to the poore, and yet fill them halfe full of froth,” &c. Sig. F 2, ed. 1620.
Act i. sc. 3. “she discourses, she carves, she gives the leer of invitation.”
Mr. Collier (Notes and Emendations, &c. p. 30) writes thus. “A misprint in the old editions of carves' for craves, has occasioned some difficulty in the passage where Falstaff, speaking of the expected result of his enterprise against Mrs. Ford, observes, as the words have been invariably given, “I spy entertainment in her; she discourses, she carves, she gives the leer of invitation.' A note in the margin of the corrected folio, 1632, shews that we ought to read “she craves, she gives the leer of invitation.' There seems no sufficient reason for supposing that
carves' ought to be taken in the figurative sense of wooes ; and although ladies might now and then 'carve' to guests,
in the literal meaning of the word (as in the passage quoted by Boswell from Webster's Vittoria Corombona,'Shakesp. by Malone, viii. 38), yet carving was undoubtedly an accomplishment peculiarly belonging to men. Falstaff evidently, from the context, intends to say that Mrs. Ford has a craving for him, and therefore gave the leer of invitation.' The 'misprint was a very easy one, occasioned merely by the transposition of a letter, and any forced construction is needless.” : I read with something more than surprise this elaborate defence of "craves," — an alteration which (whether made by the Manuscript-corrector suo periculo, or derived by him from the prompter's-book) originated in sheer ignorance of the word carve having been occasionally employed, at an earlier period, in a sense altogether different from that of cutting up meat. And surely, if Mr. Collier had been acquainted with Mr. Hunter's remarks on that peculiar use of the word, he would at once have acknowledged that here the Manuscript-corrector is egregiously mistaken.
Mr. Hunter (New Illustr. of Shakespeare, i. 215), comparing the present passage with that in Love's Labour's lost, act v, sc. 2,
“He can carve too and lisp : why, this is he
That kiss'd away his hand in courtesy," —
observes; “ The commentators have no other idea of the word carve, than that it denotes the particular action of carving at table. But it is a quite different word. It occurs in a very rare poetic tract, entitled A Prophecie of Cadwallader, last King of the Brittaines, by William Herbert, 4to. 1604, which opens with a description of Fortune, and of some who had sought to gain her favour :
* Then did this Queen her wandering coach ascend,
Whose wheels were more inconstant than the wind :
There might you Caius Marius carving find,
To the lines adduced by Mr. Hunter, I have to add the following passages.
“Her amorous glances are her accusers ; her very lookes write sonnets in thy commendations ; she carues thee at boord, and cannot sleepe for dreaming on thee in bedde.” Day's Ile of Gulls, 1606, sig. D.
“ And, if thy rival be in presence too,
Works, xi. 483, ed. Dyce.
“Desire to eat with her, carve her, drink to her, and still among intermingle your petition of grace and acceptance into her favour.” Fletcher and Shakespeare's Two Noble Kinsmen,-B. and Fletcher's Works, xi. 414, ed. Dyce (where Seward, thinking that the cutting up of meat was in question, silently printed " carve for her”).
* Beaumont's Remedy of Love is a very free imitation of Ovid's Remedia Amoris ; and (as far as I can discover) the only part of the original which answers to the present passage is—
“ Hunc quoque, quo quondam nimium rivale dolebas,
Vellem desineres hostis habere loco.