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Whose golden touch could soften steel and stones,
Orpheus, which were nothing to the purpose. Warburton's observations frequently tend to prove Shakspeare more profound and learned than the occasion required, and to make the Poet of Nature the most unnatural that ever wrote. M. Mason.
5 — with some sweet concert:] The old copy has consort, which I once thought might have meant, in our author's time, a band or company of musicians. So, in Romeo and Juliet:
“ Tyb. Mercutio, thou consort' st with Romeo.
“ Mer. Consort! what, dost thou make us minstrels ?” The subsequent words, “ To their instruments —," seem to favour this interpretation; but other instances, that I have since met with, in books of our author's age, have convinced me, that consort was only the old spelling of concert, and I have accordingly printed the latter word in the text. The epithet sweet, annexed to it, seems better adapted to the musick itself than to the band. Consort, when accented on the first syllable (as here), had, I believe, the former meaning; when on the second, it signified a company. So, in the next scene:
“ What say'st thou? Wilt thou be of our consórt?” Malone. 6 Tune a deploring dump;] A dump was the ancient term for a mournful elegy.
Will well become such sweet complaining grievance.
For this curiosity the reader is indebted to STAFFORD Smith, Esq. of his Majesty's Chapel Royal. Steevens.
will inherit her.) To inherit, is, by our author, some. times used, as in this instance, for to obtain possession of, without any idea of acquiring by inheritance. So, in Titus Andronicus:
“ He that had wit, would think that I had none,
Duke. This discipline shews, thou hast been in love.
Thu. And thy advice this night I 'll put in practice: Therefore, sweet Proteus, my direction-giver, Let us into the city presently, To sort8 some gentlemen, well skill'd in musick: I have a sonnet, that will serve the turn, To give the onset to thy good advice.
Duke. About it, gentlemen.
Pro. We'll wait upon your grace till after supper: And afterward determine our proceedings. Duke. Even now about it; I will pardon you."
ACT IV..... SCENE I.
A Forest, near Mantua.
Enter certain Out-laws.
| Out. Fellows, stand fast ; I see a passenger, 2 Out. If there be ten, shrink not, but down with 'em.
Enter VALENTINE and SPEED. 3 Out. Stand, sir, and throw us that you have about
you; If not, we 'll make you sit, and rifle you."
Speed. Sir, we are undone! these are the villains,
Val. My friends,
This sense of the word was not wholly disused in the time of Milton, who in his Comus has—" disinherit Chaos,”-meaning only, dispossess it. Steevens. 8 To sort - ] i. e. to choose out. So, in K. Richard III.
“ Yet I will sort a pitchy hour for thee.” Steevens.
Fohnson. 1 If not, we'll make you sit, and rifle you.] The old copy reads as I have printed the passage. Paltry as the opposition between stand and sit may be thought, it is Shakspeare's own. My predecessors read_" we 'll make you, sir," &c. Steevens.
Sir, is the corrupt reading of the third folio. Malone.
2 Out. Peace; we 'll hear him.
3 Out. Ay, by my beard, will we; For he's a proper man.?
Val. Then know, that I have little wealth to lose;
2 Out. Whither travel you?
1 Out. What, were you banish'd thence?
Val. For that which now torments me to rehearse:
1 Out. Why ne'er repent it, if it were done so: But were you banish'd for so small a fault?
Val. I was; and held me glad of such a doom. 1 Out. Have you the tongues?
Val. My youthful travel therein made me happy; Or else, I often had been miserable.
3 Out. By the bare scalp of Robin Hood's fat friar, 3
a proper man.) i. e. a well-looking man; he has the appearance of a gentleman. So, afterwards:
“ And partly, seeing you are beautified
“ With goodly shape —.” Malone. Again, in Othello:
“ This Ludovico is a proper man." Steevens.
· Robin Hood's fat friar,] Robin Hood was captain of a band of robbers, and was much inclined to rob churchmen.
Fohnson. So, in A mery Geste of Robin Hoode, &c. bl. 1. no date:
“ These byshoppes and these archebyshoppes
“ Ye shall them beate and bynde,” &c. But by Robin Hood's fat friar, í believe, Shakspeare means
This fellow were a king for our wild faction.
1 Out. We 'll have him: sirs, a word. Speed.
Master, be one of them; It is an honourable kind of thievery.
Val. Peace, villain! 2 Out. Tell us this: Have you any thing to take to? Val. Nothing, but my fortune.
3 Out. Know then, that some of us are gentlemen, Such as the fury of ungovern'd youth Thrust from the company of awful men:*
'Friar Tuck, who was confessor and companion to this noted outlaw. So, in one of the old songs of Robin Hood:
“ And of brave little John,
“ Stokesly and Maid Marian.”
“Of Tuck the merry friar, which many a sermon made,
“ In praise of Robin Hoode, his out-lawes, and his trade.” Again, in Skelton's Play of Magnificence, f. 5, 6:
“ Another bade shave halfe my berde,
“ To preche oute of the pylery hole.” See figure III. in the plate at the end of the first part of King Henry IV. with Mr. Tollet's observations on it. Steevens.
Dr. Johnson seems to have misunderstood this passage. The speaker does not swear by the scalp of some churchman, who had been plundered, but by the shaven crown of Robin Hood's chap. lain. We will live and die together, (says a personage in Peele's Edward 1. 1593) like Robin Hood, little John, friär Tucke, and Maide Marian." Malone.
awful men:] Reverend, worshipful, such as magistrates, and other principal members of civil communities. Fohnson'.
Awful is used by Shakspeare, in another place, in the sense of lawful. Second part of K. Henry IV. Act IV. sc. ii:
“ We come within our awful banks again.” Tyrwhitt. So, in King Henry V. 1600:
creatures that by awe ordain “ An act of order to a peopled kingdom.” Malone. I believe we should read-lawful men i.e. legales homines. So, in The Newe Boke of Justices, 1560: “ -commandinge him to the same to make an inquest and pannel of lawful men of his countie.” For this remark I am indebted to Dr. Farmer.
Steevens. Awful men means men well governed, observant of law and authority; full of, or subject to, awe. In the same kind of sense: abwe use fearful. Ritson.