If he would spend his power.-God save you, sir.

GENT. And you.
HEL. Sir, I have seen you in the court of France.
Gent. I have been sometimes there.

Hel. I do presume sir, that you are not fallen
From the report that goes upon your goodness;
And therefore, goaded with most sharp occasions,
Which lay nice manners by, I put you to
The use of your own virtues, for the which
I shall continue thankful.

What's your will ?
Hel. That it will please you
To give this poor petition to the king ;
And aid me with that store of power you have,
To come into his presence.
GENT. The king's not here.

Not here, sir ?

Not, indeed: He hence remov'd last night, and with more haste Than is his use.

a stranger of gentle condition, a gentleman. The error of this conjecture, (which I have learned, since our first edition made its appearance, from an old book of Falconry, 1633,) should teach diffidence to those who conceive the words which they do not understand to be corruptions. An ostringer or astringer is a falconer, and such a character was probably to be met with about a court which was famous for the love of that diversion. So, in Hamlet :

“We'll e'en to it like French Falconers." A “ gentle astringer" is a “gentleman falconer.” The word is derived from ostercus or austercus, a goshawk ; and thus, says Cowell, in his Law Dictionary : “ We usually call a falconer, who keeps that kind of hawk, an austringer.Again, in The Book of Hawking, &c. bl. 1. no date : “ Now bicause I spoke of ostregiers, ye shall understand that they ben called ostregiers that keep gosshauks or tercels,” &c. I learn from Blount's Antient Tenures, that a “ gosshawk is in our records termed by the several names Ostercum, Hostricum, Estricum, Asturcum, and Austurcum,” and all from the French Austour. STEEVENS. VOL, X.

2 H


Lord, how we lose our pains !
Hel. All's well that ends well ; yet ;
Though time seem so advérse, and means unfit.-
I do beseech you, whither is he gone ?

Gent. Marry, as I take it, to Rousillon;
Whither I am going.

I do beseech you, sir,
Since you are like to see the king before me,
Commend the paper to his gracious hand;
Which, I presume, shall render you no blame,
But rather make you thank your pains for it:
I will come after you, with what good speed
Our means will make us means'.

This I'll do for you.
HEL. And you shall find yourself to be well

thank’d, . ! Whate'er falls more.-We must to horse again ;Go, go, provide.



Rousillon. The inner Court of the Countess's


Enter Clown and PAROLLES. PAR. Good monsieur Lavatch 4, give my lord Lafeu this letter: I have ere now, sir, been better known to you, when I have held familiarity with fresher clothes; but I am now, sir, muddied in for

3 Our means will make us means.] Shakspeare delights much in this kind of reduplication, sometimes so as to obscure his meaning. Helena says, “ they will follow with such speed as the means which they have will give them ability to exert,"

Johnson. 4 — Lavatch,] This is an undoubted, and perhaps irremediable corruption of some French word. Steevens.

Evidently la vache. Talbot.

tune's mood, and smell somewhat stiong of her strong displeasure 5.

5- but I am now, sir, muddied in fortune's mood, &c.] By the whimsical caprice of Fortune, I am fallen into the mud, and smell somewhat strong of her displeasure. In Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 1609, we meet with the same phrase :

“ but Fortune's mood

“ Varies again.” Again, in Timon of Athens :

“When fortune, in her shift and change of mood,

“ Spurns down her late belovod.” Again, in Julius Cæsar :

Fortune is merry,

“And in this mood will give us any thing." Mood is again used for resentment or caprice in Othello : “ You are but now cast in his mood, a puuishment more in policy than in malice.” Again, for anger, in the old Taming of a Shrew, 1607 :

“ This brain-sick man,

“ That in his mood cares not to murder me." Dr. Warburton, in his edition, changed mood into moat, and his emendation was adopted, I think, without necessity, by the subsequent editors. All the expressions enumerated by him,-“ I will eat no fish,“he hath fallen into the unclean fish-pond of her displeasure,” &c.-agree sufficiently well with the text, without any change. Parolles having talked metaphorically of being muddy'd by the displeasure of fortune, the Clown, to render him ridiculous, supposes him to have actually fallen into a fish-pond.

MALONE. In former editions-“ but I am now, sir, muddied in fortune's mood, and smell somewhat strong of her strong displeasure." I believe the poet wrote “in fortune's moat ; ” because the Clown, in the very next speech, replies-" I will henceforth eat no fish of fortune's buttering;” and again, when he comes to repeat Parolles's petition to Lafeu, “That hath fallen into the unclean fishpond of her displeasure, and, as he says, is muddied withal.” And again—“ Pray you, sir, use the carp as you may,” &c. In all which places, it is obvious a moat or a pond is the allusion. Besides, Parolles smelling strong, as he says, of fortune's strong displeasure, carries on the same image ; for as the moats round old seats were always replenished with fish, so the Clown's joke of holding his nose, we may presume, proceeded from this, that the privy was always over the moat; and therefore the Clown humorously says, when Parolles is pressing him to de

Clo. Truly, fortune's displeasure is but sluttish, if it smell so strong as thou speakest of: I will henceforth eat no fish of fortune's buttering. Pr’ythee, allow the wind .

Par. Nay, you need not stop your nose, sir; I spake but by a metaphor.

Clo. Indeed, sir, if your metaphor stink, I will stop my nose; or against any man's metaphor. Pr’ythee, get thee further.

liver his letter to Lord Lafeu, “ Foh! pr’ythee stand away; a paper from fortune's close-stool, to give to a nobleman!”

WARBURTON. Dr. Warburton's correction may be supported by a passage in The Alchemist :

Subtle. - Come along, sir,
“ I must shew you Fortune's privy lodgings.

Fuce. Are they perfum'd, and his bath ready?

Sub. All.

“ Only the fumigation somewhat strong." FARMER. Though Mr. Malone defends the old reading, I have retained Dr. Warburton's emendation, which, in my opinion, is one of the luckiest ever produced. STEEVENS.

Yet Mr. Steevens in a note on the passage which I have quoted from Pericles, Act III. Chorus ;

Fortune's mood “ Varies again ." Produces the reading of the original text which I have here presented as an illustration. MALONE. 6 -- allow the wind.] i. e. stand to the leeward of me.

STEEVENS. 9 Indeed, sir, if your metaphor stink, I will stop my nose; or against any man's metaphor.] Nothing could be conceived with greater humour or justness of satire, than this speech. The use of the stinking metaphor is an odious fault, which grave writers often commit. It is not uncommon to see moral declaimers against vice describe her as Hesiod did the fury Tristitia :

Της έκ ρίνων μύξαι ρέον. Upon which Longinus justly observes, that, instead of giving a terrible image, he has given a very nasty one. Cicero cautions well against it, in his book de Orat. “ Quoniam hæc, (says her) vel summa laus est in verbis transferendis ut sensum feriat id, quod translatum sit, fugienda est omnis turpitudo earum rerum, ad

PAR. Pray you, sir, deliver me this paper.

Clo. Foh, pr’ythee, stand away ; A paper from fortune's close-stool to give to a nobleman ! Look, here he comes himself.

Enter Lafeu. Here is a pur of fortune's, sir, or of fortune's cats, (but not a musk-cat,) that has fallen into the

quas eorum animos qui audiunt trahet similitudo. Nolo morte dici Africani castratam esse rempublicam. Nolo sturcus curiæ dici Glauciam.” Our poet himself is extremely delicate in this respect; who, throughout his large writings, if you except a passage in Hamlet, has scarce a metaphor that can offend the most squeamish reader. WARBURTON.

Dr. Warburton's recollection must have been weak, or his zeal for his author extravagant, otherwise he could not have ventured to countenance him on the score of delicacy; his offensive metaphors and allusions being undoubtedly more frequent than those of all his dramatick predecessors or contemporaries. Steevens.

In the earlier editions of Shakspeare by Mr. Steevens, he was content to pass over Warburton's remark in silent acquiescence. But his propensity to satire so far increased in later years, that even the great poet, whose works he had been so long employed in illustrating, could not escape his lash. Of this the reader may have observed abundant proofs in his bitter comments upon the character of Hamlet, and his contemptuous depreciation of Shakspeare's poems. The charge which he has brought forward in the present instance, is unfortunately of such a nature, that it will scarcely admit of more than a general contradiction, without incurring the very censure which is applied to the poet; but, as to our author's 6 dramatick predecessors,” some judgment may be formed of their superior delicacy, by Mr. Steevens's own note on The Taming of A Shrew, vol. v. p. 370. Without referring to dramas that are not accessible to every reader, the plays of Beaumont and Fletcher throughout will serve to show with what justice his contemporaries are placed above him, either for purity of thought or language. The first scene of Jonson's Alchemist, and his masque of The Metamorphosed Gipsies, performed at Court, will also be more than sufficient to show how little foundation there is for Mr. Steevens's assertion. BosweLL.

8 Here is a PuR of fortune's, sir, or of fortune's cat,] We should read~" or fortune's cat ;” and, indeed, I believe there is an error in the former part of the sentence, and that we ought to read~" Here is a puss of fortune's," instead of pur. M. Mason.

« ForrigeFortsett »