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Masters of passion, sway it to the nood Of what it likes, or loaths: Now, for your answer :
Masterless passion, Mr. Pope has since copied. Though I have not varied from their text, yet I know not what word there is to which this relative it is to be referred. The ingenious Dr. Thirlby would thus adjust the passage:
Cannot contain their urine; for affection “ Master for Mistress] of passion, sways it," &c. And then it relates to passion :
It may be objected, that affection and passion mean the same thing: But I observe, the writers of our author's age made a sort of a distinction, considering the one as the cause the other as the effect: as Jonson in his Sejanus:
-He hath studied “ Affection's passions, knows their springs and
ends." THEOBALD. That affections and passions anciently had different significations, may be known from the following instance in Greene's Never too late, 1616 : “ His heart was fuller of passions than his eyes
of affections." STEEVENS. With regard to the difficulty experienced by Mr. Theobald in finding a reference for the particle it in the reading of Mr. Rowe, which he has himself followed, Dr. Johnson in his Dictionary observes that “ It is sometimes used ludicrously after neutral “ verbs, to give an emphasis;" and, amongst other examples, some of which, however, have nothing in them ludicrous any more than the passage before us, cites the following from Dryden: “ The Lace" demonians at the straights of Thermopylæ, when " their arms failed them, fought it out with their • nails and teeth.”. And this from Pope,
As there is no firm reason to be render'd,
" Whether the charmer sinner it, or saint it,” &c. Now it is not very improbable that Mr. Rowe might conceive the particle in question to have this kind of force in the reading which he adopted, and which, upon that principle, would admit also of a change in the construction, conformably to the punctuation introduced by Dr. Thirlby; masterless passion being considered as in apposition with the preceding term affection, after a full stop, as thus,
For affection, “ Masterless passion, sways it,” &c. Sir T. Hanmer has obviated any difficulty on the score of the pronoun it, by altering it to us, and reading, after a period,
— “ Masterless passion sways us to the mood,” &c. In the emendation proposed by Dr. Thirlby, which has been received into the text of Dr. Johnson's edition in 1765, affection is made to rule over passion, but it is no inconsiderable objection to any reading, that it ascribes a distinct character, and, as it were, personification to two terms, that, in all times, must, as I suspect, have had so nearly, if not altogether, the same signification : To mark their precise boundary of separation, is to pursue a very nice line of discrimination indeed. The utmost, perhaps, that can be said, and that in a spirit of excessively refined abstraction, is that the one serves to denote the peculiar bias and propensity, whether founded in symphathy or antipathy; the other the actual suffering under the agency or influence of that bias and propensity
I have thought it expedient to submit the above emendations to the reader's consideration, but judged
Why he, a harmless necessary cat;
it safest to retain the old reading, and am pleased to find that three critics so judicious as Mr. Heath, Mr. Malone, and Mr. Colman the elder, concur with me in opinion. See Appendix. E.
of this much-controverted passage, my opinion was formerly very different from what it is at present. Sways, the reading of the old copies, I conceived; could not agree with masters as a substantive;
former note on these words was printed, I found that this was not only our author's usual phraseology, but the common language of the time. Innumerable instances of the same kind occur in these plays; in all of which I have followed the practice of my predecessors, and silently reduced the substantive and the verb to concord. This is the only change that is now made in the present passage'; for all the ancient copies read-affection, not affections, as the word has been printed in late editions, in order to connect it with the following line :
“ Cannot contain their urine for affection," I believe, means, only- Cannot, &c. on account of their being affected by the noise of the bag-pipe; or, in other words, on account of an involuntary antipathy to such a noise. In the next line, which is put in apposition with that preceding, the word it may refer either to passion, or affection.
It, (sway it) in my opinion, refers to affection, that is, to the sympathetic feeling. MALONE.
The sense, according to this method of pointing and regulating the passage, appears to be, -They rule and govern it in a manner conformable to the nature and character of what it likes or loaths. E. 9 Why he, a woollen bag-pipe;-] This incident
Must yield to such inevitable shame,
Shakspeare seems to have taken from J. C. Scaliger's Erot. Exercit. against Cardan. A book that our author was well read in, and much indebted to for a great deal of his physics, it being then much in vogue, and indeed excellent, though now long since forgot.
In his 344 Exercit. Sect. 6. he has these words : Narrabo nunc tibi jocosam Sympathiam Reguli Vasconis equitis. Is dum viveret, audito phormingis sono, urinam illico facere cogebatur.---And to make this jocular story still more ridiculous, Shakspeare, I suppose, translated phorminx by bug. pipes. But what I would chiefly observe from hence is this, that as Scaliger uses the word Sympathiam, which signifies, and so he interprets it, communem AFFECTIONEM duabus rebus, so Shakspeare translates it by AFFECTION:
“ Cannot contain their urine for affection." Which shews the truth of the preceding emendation of the text according to the old copies; which have a full stop at affection, and read Masters of passion.
WARBURTON. In an old translation from the French of Peter de Loier, intitled A Treatise of Spectres, or strange Sights, Visions, &c. we have this identical story from Scaliger ; and what is still more, a marginal note gives us in all probability the very fact alluded to, as well as the word of Shakspeare. “ Another
gentleman of this quality lived of late in Devon,
neere Excester, who could not endure the play“ ing on a bag-pipe.” We may justly add, as some observation has been made upon it, that affection in the sense of sympathy, was formerly technical; and so used by lord Bacon, sir K. Digby, and many other writers.
So can I give no reason, nor I will not, More than a lodg'd hate, and a certain loath
ing, I bear Anthonio, that I follow thus A losing suit against him. Are you answer'd ?
The last instance of humourous affection is supposed by Dr. Warburton, with great probability, to have been found by Shakspeare in a work of the famous Scaliger's: This story is said to have appeared in a book translated from the French, printed in 1605, and dedicated to King James : Of what date the French original might be, is not known; but from this translation of it a fact alluded to in the play of a former century could not have been gathered, nor is it likely there ever was any other.
CAPELL. Woollen bag-pipe ;] As all the editors agree with complete uniformity in this reading, I can hardly forbear to imagine that they understood it. But I never saw a woollen bag-pipe, nor can well conceive it. I suppose the author wrote wooden bag-pipe, meaning that the bag was of leather, and the pipe of wood. JOHNSON.
“ A woollen bag-pipe” is, I believe, an instrument that never existed. I suppose, therefore, we should read, a wooden bag-pipe. Heath.
Why in the rudeness of ancient poverty, the bag should not have been of wool (that is, cloth of extreme coarseness) in some places, I am unable to discover. If alteration must be, wawling is, in my opinion, a more probable conjecture for that purpose than wooden.
CAPELL. We meet with the verb wawl in K. Lear
Thou know'st the first time that we smell the air, “ We wawle, and cry,” &c. E. This passage is clear from all difficulty, if we read