« AnteriorContinuar »
might sometimes sink below his highest flights, than that any other should rise up to his lowest. Johnson.
Johnson's general remarks on this play are just, except that part in which he arraigns the conduct of the poet, for making Proteus say, that he had only seen the picture of Silvia, when it appears that he had had a personal interview with her. This, however, is not a blunder of Shakspeare's, but a mistake of Johnson's, who considers the passage alluded to in a more literal sense than the author intended it. Sir Proteus, it is true, had seen Silvia for a few moments; but though he could form from thence some idea of her person, he was still unacquainted with her temper, manners, and the qualities of her mind. He therefore considers himself as having seen her picture only. The thought is just, and elegantly expressed. M. Mason.
Enter Justice SHALLOW, SLENDER, and Sir Hugh
Shal. Sir Hugh,' persuade me not; I will make a Star-chamber matter of it: if he were twenty sir John Falstaff's, he shall not abuse Robert Shallow, esquire.
Slen. In the county of Gloster, justice of peace, and coram.
Shal. Ay, cousin Slender, and Cust-alorum.
Sir Hugh,] This is the first, of sundry instances in our poet, where a parson is called Sir. Upon which it may be observed, that anciently it was the common designation both of one in holy orders and a knight. Sir is the designation of a Bachelor of Arts in the Universities of Cambridge and Dublin; but is there always annexed to the surname;—Sir Evans, &c. In consequence, however, of this, all the inferior Clergy in England were distinguished by this title affixed to their christian names for many
centuries, Hence our author's Sir Hugh in the present play, -Sir Topas in Twelfth Night, Sir Oliver in As you like it, &c. Maloge. VOL. I.
born, master parson; who writes himself armigero;' in any bill, warrant, quittance, or obligation, armigero.
Shal. Ay, that we do; and have done any time these three hundred years.
Slen. All his successors, gone before him, have done't; and all his ancestors that come after him, may: they may give the dozen white luces in their coat.
Shal. It is an old coat.
Eva. The dozen white louses do become an old coat well; it agrees well, passant : it is a familiar beast to man, and signifies-love.
Shal. The luce is the fresh fish; the salt fish is an old coat.
Slen. I may quarter, coz?
Eva. Yes, py'r-lady ; if he has a quarter of your coat, there is but three skirts for yourself, in my simple conjectures : but this is all one: If sir John Falstaff have committed disparagements unto you, I am of the church, and will be glad to do my benevolence, to make atonements and compromises
Shal. The Council shall hear it; it is a riot."
-- who writes himself armigero ;] Slender had seen the Justice's attestations, signed -jurat coram me, Roberto Shallow, Armigero."
s The luce is the fresh fish ; the salt fish is an old coat.] Our author here alludes to the arms of Sir Thomas Lucy, who is said • to have prosecuted him in the younger part of his life for a mis
demeanor, and who is supposed to be pointed at under the cha- racter of Justice Shallow. The text, however, by some careless
ness of the printer or transcriber, has been so corrupted, that the passage, as it stands at present, seems inexplicable.
• The Council shall hear it ; it is a riot. By the Council is
Eva. It is not meet the Council hear a riot; there is no fear of Got in a riot: the Council, look you, shall desire to hear the fear of Got, and not to hear a riot; take your vizaments in that."
Shal. Ha! o' my life, if I were young again, the sword should end it.
Eva. It is petter that friends is the sword, and end it: and there is also another device in my prain, which, peradventure, prings goot discretions with it: There is Anne Page, which is daughter to master George Page, which is pretty virginity.
Slen. Mistress Anne Page? She has brown hair, and speaks small like a woman.
Eva. It is that fery verson for all the ’orld, as just as you will desire; and seven hundred pounds of monies, and gold, and silver, is her grandsire, upon his death's-bed, (Got deliver to a joyful resurrections !) give, when she is able to overtake seventeen years old : it were a goot motion, if we leave our pribbles and prabbles, and desire a marriage between master Abraham, and mistress Anne Page.
Shal. Did her grandsire leave her seven hundred pound?
Eva. Ay, and her father is make her a petter penny.
Shal. I know the young gentlewoman; she has good gifts.
Eva. Seven hundred pounds, and possibilities, is good gifts.
Shal. Well, let us see honest master Page: Is Falstaff there?
Eva. Shall I tell you a lie? I do despise a liar, as I do despise one that is false; or, as I despise one only meant the court of Star-chamber, composed chiefly of the king's council sitting in Camera stellata, which took cognizance of atrocious riots. 9 your vizaments in that.) Advisement, an obsolete word.