Page images
PDF
EPUB

his sockes yellow, a yellow veile of silke on his left arme, his head crowned with roses and marjoram, in his right hand a torch." STEEVENS.

It is necessary to observe, that the modern editors have here introduced, not only without any authority, but in contradiction to what follows, Hymen leading Rosalind in women's clothes; and in consequence have found it necessary to change the gender of two of the pronouns in the two last lines of the following hymn and instead of his, in the first and third instances, they read her.

Before our attention had been directed to this variance between the old copies and the modern editions, we had conceived that our author had repeatedly used the masculine pronoun in reference to the previously assumed character, and "doublet and hose" dress of Rosalind; but it seems now from this as well as other considerations, that her dress could not have been altered. The duke, her father, who did not now know or suspect who she was, (although he had just before said, "he remembered some lively touches of his daughter in this shepherd boy,") must, one would think, have at once recognized her in a female dress; and she must also have delivered the epilogue in a male habit, or she could hardly have used the expression," if I were a woman."

That the text is correct there may be much doubt. The introduction of the words " in women's clothes" in the modern editions, was probably in consequence of the stage practice, and the mode of representation there.

(16) Duke Frederick, &c.] In Lodge's novel the usurping Duke is not diverted from his purpose by the pious counsel of a hermit, but is subdued and killed by the twelve peers of France, who were brought by the third brother of Rosader (the Orlando of this play) to assist him in the recovery of his right. STEEVENS.

(17 ➖➖ no bush] It appears formerly to have been the custom to hang a tuft of ivy at the door of a vintner. I suppose ivy was rather chosen than any other plant, as it has relation to Bacchus. So, in Gascoigne's Glass of Government, 1575 :

"Now a days the good wyne needeth none ivye garland."

Again, in the Rival Friends, 1632 :

""Tis like the ivy-bush unto a tavern." Again, in Summer's Last Will and Testament, 1600 :

"Green ivy-bushes at the vintners' doors." STEEVENS. The practice is still observed in Warwickshire and the adjoining counties, at statute-hirings, wakes, &c. by people who sell ale at no other time. And hence, I suppose, the Bush tavern at Bristol, and other places. RITSON.

(18) What a case am I in then, that am neither a good epilogue, nor cannot insinuate with you, &c.] i. e. " Although to good wine and good plays, bushes and good epilogues are needless or superfluous, yet such accidents recommend the subject, such accompaniments heighten and improve. What a sorry plight then am I in, who am not a good epilogue, and have not so much of address or insinuation, as to interest you on behalf even of a good play." For the use of the word insinuate, see Wint. T. IV. 3. Autol., and R. III. I. 4. 2 Murd.

(19) and breaths that I defied not] i. e. abhorred, detested, or scorned: as M. for M. II. 1. Elbow. Defy is reject. John. III. 4. Const., and renounce, I. H. IV. I. 3. Hotsp.

K.

"I thy gifts defy." F. Q. II. VII. 52.

THE END.

LONDON:

PRINTED BY W. NICOL, CLEVELAND ROW, ST. JAMES's.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »