« AnkstesnisTęsti »
BOYET. An if my hand be out, then, belike your
hand is in.
COST. Then will fhe get the upfhot by cleaving
MAR. Come, come, you talk greafily, your lips grow foul.
COST. She's too hard for you at pricks, fir; challenge her to bowl.
BOYET. I fear too much rubbing; Good night, my good owl.
Exeunt BOYET and MARIA. COST. By my foul, a swain! a most simple clown! Lord, lord! how the ladies and I have put him .down!
O' my troth, most sweet jefts! moft incony vulgar wit!
When it comes so smoothly off, fo obfcenely, as it were, fo fit.
Armatho o'the one fide,-O, a moft dainty man! To fee him walk before a lady, and to bear her fan! To fee him kifs his hand! and how most sweetly a' will fwear! 6
3 by cleaving the pin. ] Honeft Coftard would have befriended Dean Milles, whofe note on a fong in the Pfeudo-Rowley's ELLA has expofed him to fo much ridicule. See his book, p. 213. The prefent application of the word pin, might have led the Dean to fufpe& the qualities of the basket. But what has mirth to do with archæology? STEEVENS.
4 I fear too much rubbing;] To rub is one of the terms of the bowling green. Boyet's further meaning needs no comment.
to bear her fan!] See a note on Romeo and Juliet, A& II. fc. iv. where Nurse asks Peter for her fan. STEEVENS.
·a' will swear!] A line following this seems to have been loft. MALONE.
And his page o't' other fide, that handful of wit! Ah heavens, it is a moft pathetical nit!
[Shouting within. [Exit COSTARD, running.
Enter HOLOFERNES, Sir NATHANIEL, and DULL.
NATH. Very reverent sport, truly; and done in the teftimony of a good confcience.
7 Enter Holofernes,] There is very little perfonal reflexion in Shakspeare. Either the virtue of those times, or the candour of our author, has fo effected, that his fatire is, for the most part, general, and, as himself says,
his taxing like a wild-goofe flies,
"Unclaim'd of any man.'
The place before us feems to be an exception. For by Holofer nes is defigned a particular character, a pedant and schoolmaster of our author's time, one John Florio, a teacher of the Italian tongue in London, who has given us a fmall dictionary of that language under the title of A World of Words, which in his epiftle dedicatory he tells us, is of little less value than Stephens's Treasure of the Greek Tongue, the most complete work that was ever yet compiled of its kind. In his preface, he calls those who had criticifed his works, fea-dogs or land-critics; monfiers of men, if noi beafs rather than men; whofe teeth are canibals, their toongs adders forks, their lips afpes poifon, their eyes bafilijkes, their breath the breath of a grave, their words like fwordes of Turks, that frive which shall dive deepest into a Chriftian lying bound before them. Well therefore might the mild Nathaniel defire Holofernes to abrogate fcurrility. His pro
feffion too is the reafon that Holoicines deals fo much in Italian fentences.
There is an edition of Love's Labour's Loft, printed in 1598, and faid to be prefented before her highneys this laft Christmas, 1597. The next year 1598, comes out our John Florio, with his World of Words, recentibus odiis; and in the preface, quoted above, falls upon the comic poet for bringing him on the stage. There is angther
HOL. The deer was, as you know, in fanguis,blood; ripe as a pomewater," who now hangeth
fort of leering curs, that rather fnarle than bite, whereof I could inftance
I am not of the learned commentator's opinion, that the fatire of Shakspeare is fo feldom perfonal. It is of the nature of perfonal invectives to be soon unintelligible; and the author that gratifies private malice, animam in vulnere ponit, destroys the future efficacy of his own writings, and facrifices the efteem of fucceeding times to the laughter of a day. It is no wonder, therefore, that the sarcasms, which, perhaps, in the author's time, fet the playhouse in a roar, are now loft among general reflexions. Yet whether the character of Holofernes was pointed at any particular man, I am, notwithstanding the plaufibility of Dr. Warburton's conjecture, inclined to doubt. Every man adheres as long as he can to his own pre-conceptions. Before I read this note I confidered the chara&er of Holofernes as borrowed from the Rhombus of Sir Philip Sidney, who, in a kind of paftoral entertainment, exhibited to Queen Elizabeth, has introduced a school-mafter fo 'called, speaking a leash of languages at once, and puzzling himself and his auditors with a jargon like that of Holofernes in the prefent play. Sidney himself might bring the character from Italy; for, as Peacham obferves, the fchoolmafter has long been one of the ridiculous perfonages in the farces of that country. JOHNSON.
like a jewel in the ear of calo,'-the fky, the welkin, the heaven; and anon falleth like a crab,
Dr. Warburton is certainly right in his fuppofition that Florio is meant by the chara&er of Holofernes. Florio had given the first alfront. The plaies, fays he, that they plaie in England, are neither right comedies, nor right tragedies; but representations of hiftories without any decorum.' The fcraps of Latin and Italian are tranfcribed from his works, particularly the proverb about Venice, which has been corrupted fo much. The affectation of the letter, which argues facilitie, is likewife a copy of his manner. We meet with much of it in the fonnets to his patrons.
"In Italie your lordship well hath feene
"Their manners, monuments, magnificence,
To adde to fore-learn'd facultie, facilitie.”
We fee then, the character of the schoolmafter might be written with lefs learning, than Mr. Colman conjedured: nor is the use of the word thrafonical, [See this play, Act V. fc. i.] any argument
that the author had read Terence. It was introduced to our lan
guage long before Shakspeare's time. Stanyhurft writes, in a tranflation of one of Sir Thomas More's epigrams:
"Lynckt was in wedlocke a loftye thrafonical hufsnuffe." It can fcarcely be neceffary to animadvert any further upon what Mr. Colman has advanced in the appendix to his Terence. If this gentleman, at his leifure from modern plays, will condefcend to open a few old ones, he will foon be fatisfied, that Shakspeare was obliged to learn and repeat in the courfe of his profeffion, such Latin fragments, as are met with in his works. The formidable one, ira furor brevis eft, which is quoted from Timon, may be found, not in plays only, but in every tritical effay from that of king James to that of dean Swift inclufive. I will only add, that
if Mr. Colman had previously looked at the panegyric on Cartwright, he could not fo ftrangely have mifreprefented my argument from it but thus it muft ever be with the most ingenious men, when they talk without-book. Let me however take this opportunity of acknowledging the very genteel language which he has been pleafed 16 ufe on this occafion.
Mr. Warton informs us in his life of Sir Thomas Pope, that there was an old play of Holophernes acted before the princess Elizabeth in the year 1556. FARMER.
The verses above cited, are prefixed to Florio's DICT. 1598.
on the face of terra, the foil, the land, the earth.
In support of Dr. Farmer's opinion, the following paffage from Orlando Furiofo, 1594, may be brought:
Knowing him to be a Thrafonical mad cap, they have fent me a Gnathonical companion," &c.
Greene, in the dedication to his Arcadia, has the fame word: as of fome thrafonical huffe-fnuffe,"
Florio's firft work is registered on the books of the Stationers' Company, under the following title. Aug. 1578. Florio his firf Frute, being Dialogues in Italian and English, with certen Inftructions, &c. to the learning the Italian Tonge." In 1595, he dedicated his Italian and English dictionary to the earl of Southamp ton. In the year 1600, he published his tranflation of Montaigne. Florio pointed his ridicule not only at dramatic performances, bus even at performers. Thus, in his preface to this work, " --as if an owle fhould reprefent an eagle, or fome tara-rag player should a& the princely Telephus with a voyce as rag'd as his clothes, a grace as bad as his voyce. STEEVENS.
8 ————————in fanguis, blood;] The old copies read — fanguis, in blood. The tranfpofition was propofed by Mr. Steevens, and is, I think, warranted by the following words, which are arranged in the fame manner: "6 in the ear of cælo, the fky, fame expreffion occurs in K. Henry VI. P. I:
"If we be English deer, be then in blood."
9 -ripe as a pomewater, ] A fpecies of apple formerly much efteemed. Malus Carbonaria. See Gerard's Herbal, edit. 1597. P. 1273.
Again, in the old ballad of Blew Cap for Me:
Whofe cheeks did refemble two rofting pomewaters."
In the first act of the Puritan, Pyeboard fays to Nicholas: "The captain loving you fo dearly, aye as the pome-water of his eye. Meaning the pupil, or apple of it, as it is vulgarly called.
in the ear of cœlo, &c.] In Florio's Italian Dictionary, Cielo is defined "heaven, the fkie, firmament, or welkin; and terra is explained thus: "The element called earth; anie ground, earth, countrie, - land, Joile," &c. If there was any edition of this Dictionary prior to the appearance of Love's Labour's Loft, this might add some little fireugth to Dr. Warburton's conje&ure, though it would by no means be decifive; but my edition is dated 1598, (pofterior to the exhibition of this play,) and it appears to be the firft. MALONE.