I do desire you,

Until her husband and my lord's return:
There is a monastery two miles off,
And there we will abide.
Not to deny this imposition;
The which my love, and some necessity,
Now lays upon you.


Madam, with all my heart; I shall obey you in all fair commands.

POR. My people do already know my mind, And will acknowledge you and Jessica In place of lord Bassanio and myself. So fare you well, till we shall meet again. LOR. Fair thoughts, and happy hours, attend on you!

JES. I wish your ladyship all heart's content. POR. I thank you for your wish, and am well pleas'd

To wish it back on you: fare you well, Jessica.— [Exeunt JESSICA and LORENZO.

Now, Balthazar,

As I have ever found thee honest, true,

So let me find thee still: Take this same letter,
And use thou all the endeavour of a man,
In speed to Padua; see thou render this
Into my cousin's hand, doctor Bellario;
And, look, what notes and garments he doth give

thee, Bring them, I pray thee, with imagin'd speed

In speed to PADUA ;] The old copies read-Mantua; and thus all the modern editors implicitly after them. But 'tis evident to any diligent reader, that we must restore, as I have done,— In speed to Padua: for it was there, and not at Mantua, Bellario liv'd. So, afterwards :-"A messenger, with letters from the Doctor, now come from Padua.”—And again: "Came you from Padua, from Bellario?"-And again, "It comes from Padua, from Bellario."-Besides, Padua, not Mantua, is the place of education for the civil law in Italy.

THEOBALD. celerity like that of


with IMAGIN'D speed-] i. e. with

[ocr errors]

Unto the tranect, to the common ferry Which trades to Venice :-waste no time in words, But get thee gone; I shall be there before thee. BALTH. Madam, I go with all convenient speed. [Exit. I have work in hand, we'll see our husbands,

POR. Come on, Nerissa; That you yet know not of: Before they think of us.

NER. Shall they see us? POR. They shall, Nerissa; but in such a habit, That they shall think we are accomplished With what we lack. I'll hold thee any wager, When we are both accouter'd like young men, I'll prove the prettier fellow of the two, And wear my dagger with the braver grace; And speak between the change of man and boy, With a reed voice; and turn two mincing steps Into a manly stride; and speak of frays, Like a fine bragging youth: and tell quaint lies, How honourable ladies sought my love, Which I denying, they fell sick and died;

imagination. So, in the Chorus preceding the third Act of King Henry V.:

"Thus with imagin'd wing our swift scene flies." Again, in Hamlet: -swift as meditation-." STEEVENS. 8 Unto the TRANECT,] Mr. Rowe reads-traject, which was adopted by all the subsequent editors.-Twenty miles from Padua, on the river Brenta there is a dam or sluice, to prevent the water of that river from mixing with that of the marshes of Venice. Here the passage-boat is drawn out of the river, and lifted over the dam by a crane. From hence to Venice the distance is five miles. Perhaps some novel-writer of Shakspeare's time might have called this dam by the name of the tranect. See Du Cange in v. Trana. MALONE.

The old copies concur in this reading, which appears to be derived from tranare, and was probably a word current in the time of our author, though I can produce no example of it.



accouter'd-] So, the earliest quarto, [quarto H.] and the folio. The other quarto [quarto R.]-apparel'd. MALONE.

I could not do withal';-then I'll repent,
And wish, for all that, that I had not kill'd them:
And twenty of these puny lies I'll tell;
That men shall swear, I have discontinued school
Above a twelvemonth :-I have within my mind
A thousand raw tricks of these bragging Jacks 2,
Which I will practise.

[ocr errors]


POR. Fye! what a question's that,
If thou wert near a lewd interpreter ?
But come, I'll tell thee all my whole device
When I am in my coach, which stays for us
At the park gate; and therefore haste away,
For we must measure twenty miles to-day.

Why, shall we turn to men?



The Same. A Garden.


LAUN. Yes, truly:-for, look you, the sins of the father are to be laid upon the children; therefore, I promise you, I fear you. I was always plain with you, and so now I speak my agitation of the matter: Therefore, be of good cheer; for, truly, I

I could not do withal ;] I could not help it. See the meaning of this phrase clearly ascertained and fully illustrated by Mr. Gifford, in a note on Jonson's Silent Woman, p. 470. BOSWELL. - bragging Jacks,] Jack, in our author's time, seems to have been a term of contempt. See Much Ado About Nothing, Act I. Sc. I. MALONE.



therefore, I promise you, I FEAR YOU.] I suspect for has been inadvertently omitted; and we should read-I fear for you. MALONE.

There is not the slightest need of emendation. The disputed phrase is authorized by a passage in King Richard III. :

"The king is sickly, weak, and melancholy,

"And his physicians fear him mightily." STEEVENS.

think, you are damn'd. There is but one hope in it that can do you any good; and that is but a kind of bastard hope neither.

JES. And what hope is that, I pray thee?

LAUN. Marry, you may partly hope that your father got you not, that you are not the Jew's daughter.

JES. That were a kind of bastard hope, indeed; so the sins of my mother should be visited upon me.

LAUN. Truly then I fear you are damn'd both by father and mother: thus when I shun Scylla, your father, I fall into Charybdis, your mother: well, you are gone both ways.

thus when I shun Scylla, your father, I fall into Charybdis, your mother:] Alluding to the well-known line of a modern Latin poet, Philippe Gualtier, in his poem entitled Alexandreis : "Incidis in Scyllam, cupiens vitare Charybdim." MALONE. Originally from the Alexandreis of Philippe Gualtier; but several translations of this adage were obvious to Shakspeare. Among other places, it is found in an ancient poem entitled A Dialogue between Custom and Veritie, concerning the use and abuse of Dauncing and Minstrelsie, bl. 1. no date :

"While Silla they do seem to shun,
"In Charibd they do fall," &c.

Philip Gualtier de Chatillon (afterwards bishop of Megala,) was born towards the latter end of the 12th century. In the fifth book of his heroic Poem, Darius (who escaping from Alexander, fell into the hands of Bessus,) is thus apostrophized:

"Nactus equum Darius, rorantia cæde suorum
"Retrogrado fugit arva gradu. Quo tendis inertem
"Rex periture fugam? nescis, heu! perdite, nescis
"Quem fugias, hostes incurris dum fugis hostem :
"Incidis in Scyllam, cupiens vitare Charibdim.
"Bessus, Narzabanes, rerum pars magna tuarum,
'Quos inter proceres humili de plebe locasti,
"Non veriti temerare fidem, capitisq verendi
"Perdere caniciem, spreto moderamine juris,
"Proh dolor! in domini conjurant fata clientes."

The author of the line in question (who was unknown to Erasmus) was first ascertained by Galeottus Martius, who died in 1476; (See Menagiana, vol. i. p. 173, edit. 1729,) and we learn from Henricus Gandavensis de Scriptoribus Ecclesiasticis, [i. e. Henry of Gaunt,] that the Alexandreis had been a common

[ocr errors]

JES. I shall be saved by my husband'; he hath made me a Christian.

LAUN. Truly, the more to blame he: we were

school-book. "In scholis Grammaticorum tantæ fuisse dignitatis, ut præ ipso veterum Poetarum lectio negligeretur." Barthius also, in his notes on Claudian, has words to the same effect. "Et media barbarie non plane ineptus versificator Galterus ab Insula (qui tempore Joannis Saresberiensis, ut ex hujus ad eum epistolis discimus, vixit)-Tam autem postea clarus fuit, ut expulsis quibusvis bonis auctoribus, scholas tenuerit." Freinsheim, however, in his comment on Quintus Curtius, confesses that he had never seen the work of Gualtier.

The corrupt state in which this poem (of which I have not met with the earliest edition,) still appears, is perhaps imputable to frequent transcription, and injudicious attempts at emendation. Every pedagogue through whose hands the MS. passed, seems to have made some ignorant and capricious changes in its text; so that in many places it is as apparently interpolated and corrupted as the ancient copies of Shakspeare. Galterus (says Hermann in his Conspectus Reipublicæ Literariæ, p. 102,) secutus est Curtium, & sæpe ad verbum expressit, unde ejus cum Curtio collatione, nonnulla ex hoc menda tolli possunt ; id quod experiendo didici." See also, I. G. Vossius de Poet. Lat. p. 74, and Journal des Sçavans pour Avril, 1760.

[ocr errors]

Though Nicholas Grimoald (without mention of his original) had translated a long passage of The Alexandreis into blank verse before the year 1557, (See Surrey's Poems, and Warton's History of English Poetry, vol. iii. p. 63,) it could have been little known in England, as it is not enumerated in Philips's Theatrum, &c. a work understood to be enriched by his uncle Milton's extensive knowledge of modern as well as ancient poetry.


Nothing is more frequent than this Proverb in our old writers. Thus Ascham, in his Scole-master: " If Scylla drowne him not, Charybdis may fortune to swallowe him." Again, Niccols in his England's Eliza:

"To shun Charybdis jaws, they helpless fell
"In Scylla's gulf," &c.

I remember it is likewise met with in Lyly's Euphues, Harrington's Ariosto, &c. and Surrey's contemporary in one of his Poems: "From Scylla to Charybdis clives,-from danger unto death." FARMER. ! I shall be saved by my husband,] From St. Paul : "The unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband.” HENLEY,

« VorigeDoorgaan »