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As thus for thus, and such a grief for such,
2 Cry-sorrow, wag! and hem, when he should groan;] The quarto 1600 and folio 1623, read
"And sorrow, wagge, cry hem," &c.
Mr. Rowe and Mr. Pope
"And hallow, wag," &c.
"And sorrow wage," &c.
Sir Tho. Hanmer and Dr. Warburton"And sorrow waive," &c.
"And sorrow gagge," &c.
Mr. Heath and Mr. T. Warton--
I had inadvertently offered-
"And sorrow waggery," &c.
"In sorrow wag," &c.
But I am persuaded that Dr. Johnson's explanation as well as arrangement of the original words, is apposite and just: "I cannot (says he) but think the true meaning nearer than it is imagined.
If such a one will smile, and stroke his beard, And, sorrow, wag! cry; hem, when he should groan, &c. That is, 'If he will smile, and cry sorrow be gone! and hem instead of groaning.' The order in which and and cry are placed, is harsh, and this harshness made the sense mistaken. Range the words in the common order, and my reading will be free. from all difficulty.
If such a one will smile, and stroke his beard,
Cry, sorrow, wag! and hem when he should groan-" Thus far Dr. Johnson; and in my opinion he has left succeeding criticks nothing to do respecting the passage before us. me, however, claim the honour of supporting his opinion.
To cry-Care away! was once an expression of triumph.
"Som chestnuts have I there in store,
Again, as Dr. Farmer observes to me, in George Withers's Philarete, 1622:
Patch grief with proverbs; make misfortune drunk
But there is no such man: For, brother, men
'Why should we grieve or pine at that?
"Hang sorrow! care will kill a cat."
Sorrow go by! is also (as I am assured) a common exclamation of hilarity even at this time, in Scotland. Sorrow wag! might have been just such another. The verb, to wag, is several times used by our author in the sense of to go, or pack off.
The Prince, in the First Part of K. Henry IV, Act II, sc. iv, says "They cry hem! and bid you play it off. And Mr. M. Mason observes, that this expression also occurs in As you Like it, where Rosalind says-" These burs are in my heart;" and Celia replies "Hem them away." The foregoing examples sufficiently prove the exclamation hem, to have been of a comic turn. Steevens.
make misfortune drunk
With candle-wasters;] This may mean, either wash away his sorrow among those who sit up all night to drink, and in that sense may be styled wasters of candles; or overpower his misfortunes by swallowing flap-dragons in his glass, which are described by Falstaff as made of candles' ends. Steevens.
This is a very difficult passage, and hath not, I think, been satisfactorily cleared up. The explanation I shall offer, will give, . I believe, as little satisfaction; but I will, however, venture it. Candle-wasters is a term of contempt for scholars: thus Jonson, in Cynthia's Revels, Act III, sc. ii: “ spoiled by a whoreson book-v -worm, a candle-waster." In The Antiquary, Act III, is a like term of ridicule: "He should more catch your delicate court-ear, than all your head-scratchers, thumb-biters, lampwasters of them all." The sense then, which I would assign to Shakspeare, is this: "If such a one will patch grief with proverbs,-case or cover the wounds of his grief with proverbial sayings, make misfortune drunk with candle-wasters,-stupify misfortune, or render himself insensible to the strokes of it, by the conversation or lucubrations of scholars; the production of the lamp, but not fitted to human nature.” Patch in the sense of mending a defect or breach, occurs in Hamlet, Act V, sc. i:
"O, that that earth, which kept the world in awe,
“Should patch a wall, to expel the winter's flaw. Whalley.
To those that wring under the load of sorrow;
To be so moral, when he shall endure
The like himself: therefore give me no counsel:
Ant. Therein do men from children nothing differ. Leon. I pray thee, peace; I will be flesh and blood; For there was never yet philosopher,
That could endure the tooth-ach patiently;
Leon. There thou speak'st reason: nay, I will do so: My soul doth tell me, Hero is bely'd;
And that shall Claudio know, so shall the prince,
Enter Don PEDRO and CLAUDIO.
Ant. Here comes the prince, and Claudio, hastily. D. Pedro. Good den, good den.
Leon. Hear you, my lords,
Good day to both of you.
4 than advertisement.] That is, than admonition, than moral instruction. Johnson.
5 However they have writ the style of gods,] This alludes to the extravagant titles the Stoics gave their wise men. Sapiens ille cum Diis, ex pari vivit. Senec. Ep. 59. Jupiter quo antecedit virum bonum?` diutius bonus est. Sapiens nihilo se minoris æstimat.-Deus non vincit sapientem felicitate. Ep. 73. Warburton.
Shakspeare might have used this expression, without any acquaintance with the hyperboles of stoicism. By the style of gods, he meant an exalted language; such as we may suppose would be written by beings superior to human calamities, and therefore regarding them with neglect and coldness.
Beaumont and Fletcher have the same expression in the first of their Four Plays in One:
"Athens doth make women philosophers,
"And sure their children chat the talk of gods." Steevens. 6 And made a pish at chance and sufferance.] Alludes to their famous apathy. Warburton.
The old copies read-push. Corrected by Mr. Pope. Malone.
Are you so hasty now?-well, all is one.
D. Pedro. Nay, do not quarrel with us, good old man. Ant. If he could right himself with quarreling,
Some of us would lie low.
Who wrongs him?
Thou, thou dost wrong me; thou dissembler, thou:Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy sword,
I fear thee not.
Marry, beshrew my hand,
If it should give your age such cause of fear:
Leon. Tush, tush, man, never fleer and jest at me: I speak not like a dotard, nor a fool;
As, under privilege of age, to brag
What I have done being young, or what would do,
I say, thou hast bely'd mine innocent child;
Thy slander hath gone through and through her heart,
O! in a tomb where never scandal slept,
Thine, Claudio; thine, I say.
D. Pedro. You say not right, old man.
My lord, my lord,
I'll prove it on his body, if he dare;
Claud. Away, I will not have to do with you.
7 Thou, thou-] I have repeated the word-thou, for the sake of measure. Steevens.
8 Despite his nice fence,] i. e. defence, or skill in the science of fencing, or defence. Douce.
9 Can'st thou so daff me?] tells us, signifying, daunt.
This is a country word, Mr. Pope It may be so; but that is not the exposition here: To daff and doff are synonymous terms, that
If thou kill'st me, boy, thou shalt kill a man.
Ant. He shall kill two of us, and men indeed:1 But that's no matter; let him kill one first;— Win me and wear me,-let him answer me:— Come, follow me, boy; come, bọy, follow me:2 Sir boy, I'll whip you from your foining fence;3 Nay, as I am a gentleman, I will.
Ant. Content yourself: God knows, I lov'd my niece; And she is dead, slander'd to death by villains;
That dare as well answer a man, indeed,
As I dare take a serpent by the tongue:
mean to put off: which is the very sense required here, and what Leonato would reply, upon Claudio's saying, he would have nothing to do with him. Theobald.
Theobald has well interpreted the word. Shakspeare uses it more than once. Thus, in King Henry IV, P. I:
"The nimble-footed mad-cap Prince of Wales,
"And his comrades, that daff'd the world aside.”
Again, in the comedy before us:
"I would have daff'd all other respects," &c.
Again, in The Lover's Complaint:
"There my white stole of chastity I daff'd."
It is perhaps of Scottish origin, as I find it in Ane verie excellent and delectabill Treatise intitulit PHILOTUS, &c. Edinburgh, 1603: "Their daffing does us so undo." Steevens.
1 Ant. He shall kill two of us, &c.] This brother Antony is the truest picture imaginable of human nature. He had assumed the character of a sage to comfort his brother, overwhelmed with grief for his only daughter's affront and dishonour; and had severely reproved him for not commanding his passion better on so trying an occasion. Yet, immediately after this, no sooner does he begin to suspect that his age and valour are slighted, but he falls into the most intemperate fit of rage himself: and all he can do or say is not of power to pacify him. This is copying nature with a penetration and exactness of judgment peculiar to Shakspeare. As to the expression, too, of his passion, nothing can be more highly painted. Warburton.
2 come, boy, follow me:] Here the old copies destroy the measure by reading
66 come, sir boy, come, follow me:"
I have omitted the unnecessary words. Steevens.
3 -foining fence;] Foining is a term in fencing, and means thrusting. Douce.