Графични страници
PDF файл
ePub

Sits here, like beauty's child, whom nature gat For men to see, and seeing wonder at.

[Exit a Lord. THAI. It pleaseth you, my father, to express1 My commendations great, whose merit's less.

SIM. 'Tis fit it should be so; for princes are A model, which heaven makes like to itself: As jewels lose their glory, if neglected, So princes their renown, if not respected. 'Tis now your honour, daughter, to explain The labour of each knight, in his device.2

THAI. Which, to preserve mine honour, I'll perform.3

Enter a Knight; he passes over the Stage, and his Squire presents his Shield to the Princess.

SIM. Who is the first that doth prefer himself? THAI. A knight of Sparta, my renowned father;

It pleaseth you, &c.] Old copy:

It pleaseth you, my royal father to express―. As this verse was too long by a foot, I have omitted the epithet royal. STEEVENS.

Tis now your honour, daughter, to explain

The labour of each knight, in his device.] The old copy reads-to entertain, which cannot be right. Mr. Steevens suggested the emendation. MALone.

The sense would be clearer were we to substitute, both in this and the following instance, office. Honour, however, may mean her situation as queen of the feast, as she is afterwards denominated.

The idea of this scene appears to have been caught from the Iliad, Book III. where Helen describes the Grecian leaders to her father-in-law Priam. STEEVENS.

Which, to preserve mine honour, I'll perform.] Perhaps we should read-to prefer, i. e. to advance. PERCY.

which I will perform so correctly that mine honor shall not suffer. HARRIS.

And the device he bears upon his shield
Is a black Æthiop, reaching at the sun;
The word, Lux tua vita mihi.

SIM. He loves you well, that holds his life of you. [The second Knight passes.

Who is the second, that presents himself?

THAI. A prince of Macedon, my royal father; And the device he bears upon his shield

Is an arm'd knight, that's conquer'd by a lady: The motto thus, in Spanish, Piu per dulçura que per fuerça.s

[The third Knight passes.

SIM. And what's the third?

THAI.

The third of Antioch;

And his device, a wreath of chivalry:
The word, Me pompa provexit apex.

• The word, Lux tua vita mihi.] What we now call the motto, was sometimes termed the word or mot by our old writers. Le mot, French. So, in Marston's Satires, 1599:

66

Fabius' perpetual golden coat,

"Which might have semper idem for a mot."

These Latin mottos may perhaps be urged as a proof of the learning of Shakspeare, or as an argument to show that he was not the author of this play; but tournaments were so fashionable and frequent an entertainment in the time of Queen Elizabeth, that he might easily have been furnished with these shreds of literature. Malone.

- Piu per dulçura que per fuerça.] That is, more by sweetness than by force. The author should have written Mas per dulçura, &c. Più in Italian signifies more; but, I believe, there is no such Spanish word. MALONE.

Me pompa provexit apex.] All the old copies have Me Pompey, &c. Whether we should amend these words as follows-me pompa provexit apex,-or correct them thus-me Pompei provexit apex, I confess my ignorance. A wreath of chivalry, in its common sense, might be the desert of many

[blocks in formation]

[The fourth Knight passes.

SIM. What is the fourth ?7

THAI. A burning torch, that's turned upside down;

The word, Quod me alit, me extinguit.

SIM. Which shows, that beauty hath his power and will,

Which can as well inflame, as it can kill.

[The fifth Knight passes.

THAI. The fifth, an hand environed with clouds ;; Holding out gold, that's by the touchstone tried: The motto thus, Sic spectanda fides.

[The sixth Knight passes. SIM. And what's the sixth and last, which the knight himself

With such a graceful courtesy deliver❜d?

knights on many various occasions; so that its particular claim to honour on the present one is not very clearly ascertained.— If the wreath declares of itself that it was once the ornament of Pompey's helm, perhaps here may be some allusion to those particular marks of distinction which he wore after his bloodless victory over the Cilician pirates:

"Et victis cedat piratica laurea Gallis." STEEVENs. Steevens is clearly right in reading pompa, instead of Pompey, and the meaning of the Knight in the choice of his device and motto seems to have been, to declare that he was not incited by love to enter the lists, but by the desire of glory, and the ambition of obtaining the wreath of victory which Thaisa was to bestow upon the conqueror. M. MASON.

7 What is the fourth?] i. e. What is the fourth device?

MALONE.

A burning torch, &c.] This device and motto may have been taken from Daniel's translation of Paulus Jovius, in 1585, in which they are found. Signat. H. 7. b. MALOne.

The same idea occurs again in King Henry VI. P. I:
"Here dies the dusky torch of Mortimer,
"Chok'd" &c. STEEVEns.

THAI. He seems a stranger; but his present is A wither'd branch,' that's only green at top; The motto, In hac spe vivo.

SIM. A pretty moral;

From the dejected state wherein he is,

He hopes by you his fortunes yet may flourish.

1 LORD. He had need mean better than his out-
ward show

Can any way speak in his just commend:
For, by his rusty outside, he appears

To have practis'd more the whipstock,' than the lance.

2 LORD. He well may be a stranger, for he

comes

To an honour'd triumph, strangely furnished.

3 LORD. And on set purpose let his armour rust Until this day, to scour it in the dust.2

SIM. Opinion's but a fool, that makes us scan The outward habit by the inward man.3

• He seems &c.] Old copy:

He seems to be a stranger; but his present

Is a wither'd branch,

For reasons frequently given, I have here deserted the ancient text. STEEVENS.

[ocr errors]

-the whipstock,] i. e. the carter's whip. See note on Twelfth Night, Vol. V. p. 288, n. 5. STEEVENS.

let his armour rust

Until this day, to scour it in the dust.] The idea of this illappointed knight appears to have been adopted from Sidney's Arcadia, Book I: "His armour of as old a fashion, besides the rustie poornesse &c.—so that all that looked on, measured his length on the earth already," &c. STEEVENS.

3

The outward habit by the inward man.] i. e. that makes us scan the inward man by the outward habit.

This kind of inversion was formerly very common. So, in The Merchant of Venice:

But stay, the knights are coming; we'll withdraw Into the gallery.

[Exeunt.

[Great Shouts, and all cry, The mean knight.

The same.

SCENE III.

A Hall of State.-A Banquet prepared.

Enter SIMONIDES, THAISA, Lords, Knights, and Attendants.

Το

SIM. Knights,

say you are welcome, were superfluous. To place upon the volume of your deeds,"

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

See the note on that passage in Vol. VII. p. 297, n. 7.

Why should we not read

The inward habit by the outward man.

MALONE.

The words were accidentally misplaced. In the prose romance already quoted, the king says: "the habyte maketh not the relygious man.' STEEVENS.

In my copy this line is quoted in an old hand as Mr. Steevens reads. FARMER.

I don't think any amendment necessary; but the passage should be pointed thus:

Opinion's but a fool, that makes us scan

The outward habit by, the inward man.

That is, that makes us scan the inward man, by the outward habit. M. MASON.

• Great shouts, and all cry, The mean knight.] Again, in the first Book of Sidney's Arcadia: "The victory being by the judges given, the trumpets witnessed to the ill-apparelled knight.”

STEEVENS.

To place &c.] The quarto, 1609, reads-I place, and this

« ПредишнаНапред »