Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

18 Drive some of them to a non com. To a non compos mentis, or perhaps to a non-plus.

ACT IV. * Some be of laughing. This is a quotation from the Accidence. JOHNSON.

2 My inwardness—my confidence and intimacy. 3

County was the ancient general term for a nobleman. 4 A goodly count-confect ; a specious nobleman made out of sugar, or a sweet gallant.

Eftest, or deftest, the readiest. 6 Dogb. And a rich fellow enough, go to; and a fellow that hath had losses ; and one that hath two gowns, and everything handsome about him. Mr Collier's Old Corrector would read leases for losses-a useless, tasteless alteration, which merits the castigation thus bestowed upon it by Singer: 'If anything were wanted to shew how utterly incapable the corrector, whoever he may have been, was to enter into the spirit of Shakespeare, this might suffice. To make poor Dogberry speak consistently, would be to destroy the very spirit of this humorous scene. But still to have had losses, he must have had property to lose ; and to bear those losses, he might consider, in his simplicity, sufficient evidence that he was a rich fellow. Leases certainly never entered into the mind of the sagacious constable. How they came into the mind of the sagacious corrector I know not.'

ACT v. 1 Candle-wasters, a term for bacchanals and late revellers.

* And made a push. Push was the old form of the interjection pish or pshaw.

3 Daff me-doff me, or put me off.

4 I shall meet your wit in the career, &c. The allusions here, as meeting wit in the career, the charge, and the staff broke cross (across the person), are all drawn from the tilt-yard.

5 He knows how to turn his girdle. Large belts were worn with the buckle before, but for wrestling the buckle was turned behind, to give the adversary a fairer grasp at the girdle. To turn the buckle behind, therefore, was a challenge.-HOLT WHITE.

6 Shall I not find a woodcock too? The woodcock was popularly supposed to have no brains—an opinion arising from the compressed form of its head, and the position of its eyes far back in its head, as well as from the fact of its being easily caught.

7 Be sad-be serious.

8 Hang her an epitaph upon her tomb. Votive tablets and inscriptions were often placed on monuments and walls in churches. When Spenser died, as Camden relates,'his hearse was attended by poets, and mournful elegies and poems, with the pens that wrote them, thrown into his tomb.' It adds greatly to the interest of this scene to conceive, as Campbell suggested, that Shakespeare may have been one of the poetical mourners.

9 Lewd here means wicked. 10 I give thee the bucklers. A proverbial expression. Thus Ben JonsonPlay an honest part, and bear away the bucklers.' --The Case is Altered. AS YOU LIKE IT.

INTRODUCTION TO AS YOU LIKE IT.

THOM

THOMAS LODGE, one of the most elegant and musical of

the minor Elizabethan poets, though like most of them full of quaint conceits and pedantry, in 1590 published a novel, entitled Rosalynde: Euphues Golden Legacie. In the Dedication of his work to Lord Hunsdon, Lodge says :. Having with Captain Clark made a voyage to the islands of Terceras and the Canaries, to beguile the time with labour, I writ this book, rough as hatched in the storms of the ocean, and feathered in the surges of many perilous seas. This is an affectedly humble and very inaccurate description of his story, which is polished to feebleness and prolixity, and is highly ornate in diction. It is a romantic and pastoral love-story, partly taken from The Coke's Tale of Gamelyn, attributed (but, as Tyrrwhit says, erroneously) to Chaucer, and it contains several pieces of sweet lyrical poetry. Lodge's volume became popular. It was reprinted in 1592, and again in 1598, and we have seen an edition of it dated 1616, long after Shakespeare had rendered the incidents familiar on the stage., Mr Collier thinks that the republication in 1598 of so popular a work, directed Shakespeare's attention to it. It is certain that As You Like It was entered in the Stationers' Registers, August 4, 1600, along with Henry the Fifth and Much Ado about Nothing, and Ben Jonson's Every Man in his Humour. Some obstacle to the publication of the plays had arisen, for opposite to the entry in the register is written: 'To be stayed.' The stay' was soon removed from all but As You Like It, which continued unprinted until the publication of the folio in 1623. Perhaps Lodge had protested against the appropriation of his

« PředchozíPokračovat »