Imágenes de páginas

1. Cit. Well, I'll hear it, fir: yet you must not think to fob off our disgrace with a tale : ' but, an't please you, deliver. Men. There was a time, when all the body's

members Rebell’d against the belly; thus accus'd it: That only like a gulf it did remain I'the midst'o' the body, idle and unactive, Still cupboarding the viand, never bearing Like labour with the reft; where the other instru.


lished in 1599;

[ocr errors]

fage find.”

Historie of Clyomon, Knight of the Golden Shield, &c. a play pub

“ The hugie heapes of cares that lodged in my minde,

· Are skaled from their nestling-place, and pleasures parAgain, in Decker's Honeft Whore, already quoted :

Cut off his beard.“ Fye, fye; idle, idle; he's no Frenchman, to fret at the loss of a little scal'd hair.” In the North they say scale the corn, i. e. scatter it: scale the muck well, i. e. spread the dung well. The two foregoing instances are taken from Mr. Lambe's notes on the old metrical history of Floddon Field.

Again, Holinfid, Vol. II. p. 499, speaking of the retreat of the Welchmen during the absence of Richard II. says: “ - they would no longer abide, but scaled and departed away.” So again, P: 530 : “ - whereupon their troops scaled, and fled their waies." In the learned Ruddiman's Glossary to Gawin Douglas's Translation of Virgil, the following account of the word is given. Skail, skal, to fcatier, to spread, perhaps from the Fr. escheveler, Ital. scapigliare, crines paffos, feu fparfos habere. All from the Latin capillus. Thus echeveler, schevel, skail; but of a more general signification. See Vol. IV. p. 292, n. 2. STEEVENS. Theobald reads-sale it. MALONE. disgrace with a tale :] Disgraces are hardships, injuries.

JOHNSON where the other instruments --] Where for whereas.

JOHNSON. We meet with the same expression in The Winter's Tale, Vol. VII. p. 59, n. 6:

“ As you feel, doing thus, and see withal
“ The inftruments that feel.MALONE.



Did see, and hear, devise, instruct, walk, feel,
And, mutually participate,+ did minister
Unto the appetite and affection common
Of the whole body. The belly answered,

1. Cır. Well, sir, what answer made the belly?

Men. Sir, I shall tell you.-With a kind of smile, Which ne'er came from the lungs, but even thus, (For, look you, I may make the belly smile,

I As well as speak,) it tauntingly reply'd To the discontented members, the mutinous parts That envy'd his receipt; even so most fitly? As you malign our senators, for that They are not such as you.8 1. Cit.

Your belly's answer: What! The kingly-crowned head, the vigilant eye, The counsellor heart, the arm our soldier, Our steed the leg, the tongue our trumpeter, With other muniments and petty helps In this our fabrick, if that theyMen.

What then?


+ participate,] Here means participant, or participating.

MALONE, s Which ne'er came from the lungs,] With a smile not indicating pleasure, but contempt. JOHNSON.


may make the belly smile,] “ And so the belly, all this notwithstanding, laughed at their folly, and fayed," &c. North's Translation of Plutarch, p. 240, edit. 1579. MALONE.

even so most fitly —] i. e. exactly. WARBURTON. They are not such as you.] I suppose we should read-They are

I not as you. So, in St. Luke, xviii. 11. “ God, I thank thee, I am not as this publican.” The pronoun--fuch, only disorders the meafure. STEEVENS.

9 The counsellor heart,] The heart was anciently esteemed the seat of prudence. Homo cordatus is a prudent man. JOHNSON.

The heart was considered by Shakspeare as the seat of the underfanding. See the next note. MALONE.


'Fore me, this fellow speaks !-what then? what

then ? 1. Cit. Should by the cormorant belly be re

strain'd, Who is the sink o' the body, Men.

Well, what then? 1. Cır. The former agents, if they did com

plain, What could the belly answer? Men.

I will tell you; If you'll bestow a small (of what you have little,) ) Patience, a while, you'll hear the belly's answer.

1. Cit. You are long about it. Men.

Note me this, good friend; Your most grave belly was deliberate, Not rash like his accusers, and thus answer'd. True is it, my incorporate friends, quoth he, That I receive the general food at first, Which you do live upon: and fit it is; Because I am the flore-house, and the shop Of the whole body : But if you do remember, I send it through the rivers of your blood, Even to the court, the heart,—to the seat o' the brain;'


to the seat of the brain;] seems to me a very languid expression. I believe we should read, with the omission of a particle:

Even to the court, the heart, to the seat, the brain. He uses seat for throne, the royal seat, which the first editors probably not apprehending, corrupted the paffage. It is thus used in Richard II, Act III. sc. iv :

“ Yea, distaff-women manage rusty bills

Against thy feat." It should be observed too, that one of the Citizens had just before characterised these principal parts of the human fabrick by similar metaphors:

“ The kingly-crowned head, the vigilant eye,
“ The counsellor heart," TYRWHITT.

And, through the cranks and offices of man,"
The strongest nerves, and small inferior veins,
From me receive that natural competency
Whereby they live : And though that all at once,
You, my good friends, (this says the belly,) mark


I have too great respect for even the conjectures of my respectable and very judicious friend, to suppress his note, though it appears to me erroneous. In the present instance I have not the smallest doubt, being clearly of opinion that the text is right. Brain is here used for reason or understanding. Shakspeare seems to have had Camden as well as Plutarch before him; the former of whom has told a similar story in his Remains, 1605, and has likewise made the heart the seat of the brain, or understanding : “ Hereupon they all agreed to pine away their lafie and publike enemy. One day passed over, the second followed very tedious, but the third day was so grievous to them, that they called a common counsel. The eyes waxed dimme, the feete could not support the body, the armes waxed lazie, the tongue faltered, and could not lay open the matter. Therefore they all with one accord desired the advice of the heart. There Reason laid open before them,” &c. Remains, p. 109. See An Attempt to ascertain the order of Shakspeare's plays, VÁ. I. in which a circumstance is noticed, that shews our author had read Camden as well as Plutarch.

I agree, however, entirely with Mr. Tyrwhitt, in thinking that seat means here the royal seat, the throne. The seat of the brain, is put in opposition with the heart, and is descriptive of it. " I send it, (says the belly,) through the blood, even to the royal residence, the heart, in which the kingly-crowned understanding fits enthroned. So, in King Henry VI. P. II:

" The rightful heir to England's royal feat." In like manner in Twelfth Night, our author has crected the throne of love in the heart :

“ It gives a very echo to the seat

• Where love is throned." Again, in Othello:

Yield up, O love, thy crown and hearted throne." See also a passage in King Henry V. where seat is used in the faine sense as here; Vol. IX. p. 299, n. 9. Malone.

the cranks and offices of man,] Cranks are the meandrous ducts of the human body. STEEVENS,

[ocr errors]

1. Cir. Ay, fir; well, well. Men.

Though all at once cannot See what I do deliver out to each; Yet I can make my audit up, that all

, From me do back receive the flower of all, And leave me but the bran. What say you to't?

1. Cit. It was an answer: How apply you this?

Men. The senators of Rome are this good belly, And you the mutinous members : For examine Their counsels, and their cares; digest things

rightly, Touching the weal o' the common; you shall find, No publick benefit, which you receive, But it proceeds, or comes, from them to you, And no way from yourselves.-What do you think? You, the great toe of this assembly?

1. Cit. I the great toe? Why the great toe? Men. For that being one o' the lowest, baseft,

poorest, Of this most wise rebellion, thou go'st foremost : Thou rascal, that art worst in blood, to run Lead'st first, to win some vantage,

[ocr errors]


Cranks are avindings. So, in Venus and Adonis :
“ He cranks and crosses, with a thousand doubles."

MALONE. 3 Thou rascal, that art worst in blood, to run

Lead's firft, to win fome vantage.] I think, we may better read, by an easy change,

Thou rascal that art worst in blood, to ruin

Lead's first, to win &c. Thou that art the meanest by birth, art the foremost to lead thy fellows to ruin, in hope of forne advantage. The meaning, however, is perhaps only this, Thou that art a hound, or running dog of the lowest breed, lead 'st the pack, when any thing is to be gotten. JOHNSON. Worft in blood may be the true reading. In King Henry VI. P. I:

“ If we be English deer, be then in blood," i. e. high spirits, in vigour.

« AnteriorContinuar »