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Scarce is dividant,-touch them with feveral for
The greater fcorns the leffer: Not nature,
To whom all fores lay fiege, can bear great fortune, But by contempt of nature."
Raife me this beggar, and denude that lord;
7 ———— Not nature,
To whom all fores lay fiege, can bear great fortune,
But by contempt of nature. ] The meaning I take to be this: Brother, when his fortune is enlarged, will corn brother: for this is the general depravity of human nature, which, befieged as it is by mifery, admonished as it is of want and imperfe&ion, when elevated by fortune, will defpife beings of nature like its own.
Mr. M. Mafon obferves, that this paffage but by the addition of a fingle letter may be rendered clearly intelligible; by merely reading natures inftead of nature." The meaning will then be "Not even being reduced to the utmoft extremity of wretchednefs, can bear good fortune, without contemning their fellowcreatures." The word natures is afterwards ufed in a fimilar fenfe by Apemantus:
Whofe naked natures live in all the fpite "Of wreakful heaven," &c.
Perhaps, in the prefent infance, we ought to complete the measure by reading:
not thofe natures,
But by is here used for without.
Raife me this beggar, and denude that lord; ] [Old copydeny't that lord. ] Where is the fenfe and English of deny that lord? Deny him what? What preceding noun is there to which the pronoun it is to be referr'd? And it would be abfurd to think the poet meant, deny to raife that lord. The antithefis muft be, let fortune raife this beggar, and let her frip and defpoil that lord of all his pomp and ornaments, &c. which fenfe is completed by this flight alteration :
and denude that lord ;
So, lord Rea, in his relation of M. Hamilton's plot, written in 1650: All thefe Hamilton's had denuded themfelves of their fortunes and eftates." And Charles the Firft, in his meffage Denude ourselves of all.". WARBURTON.
p. 15, odavo edit.
to the Clar. Vol. III.
The fenator fhall bear contempt hereditary,
It is the pafture lards the brother's fides,"
So, as Theobald has obferved, in our author's Venus and Adonis: "Pluck down the rich, enrich the poor with treasures."
Perhaps the former reading, however irregular, is the true one. Raise me that beggar, and deny a proportionable degree of elevation to that lord. A lord is not fo high a title in the state, but that a man originally poor might be raised to one above it. might read deveft that lord. Devet is an English law phrafe, which Shakspeare uses in King Lear:
"Since now we will deveft us both of rule," &c. The word which Dr. Warburton would introduce, is not, however, uncommon. I find it in The Tragedie of Crafus, 1604:
"As one of all happiness denuded." STEEVENS.
9 It is the pasture lards the brother's fides, ] This, as the editors have ordered it, is an idle repetition at the beft; fuppofing it did, indeed, contain the fame fentiment as the foregoing lines. But Shakspeare meant quite a different thing: and having, like a fenfible writer, made a smart obfervation, he illuftrates it by a fimili. tude thus:
It is the pafture lards the wether's fides,
The want that makes him lean.
Aud the fimilitude is extremely beautiful, as conveying this fatirical reflection; there is no more difference between man and man in the esteem of fuperficial and corrupt judgments, than between a fat fheep, and a lean one. WARBURTON.
This paffage is very obfcure, nor do I discover any clear sense, even though we fhould admit the emendation. Let us infpe& the
text as it ftands in the original edition:
It is the paftour lards the brother's fides,
The want that makes him leave.
Dr. Warburton found the paffage already changed thus:
It is the pafture lards the beggar's fides,
The want that makes him lean.
And upon this reading of no authority, railed another equally uncertain.
Alterations are never to be made without neceffity. Let us fee what fenfe the genuine reading will afford. Poverty, fays the poet, bears contempt hereditary, and wealth native honour. To illnftrate this pofition, having already mentioned the cafe of a poor and rich
The want that makes him lean. Who dares, who dares,
brother, he remarks, that this preference is given to wealth by thofe whom it leaft becomes: it is the paftour that greafes, or flatters the rich brother, and will greafe him on till want make him leave. The poet then goes on to afk, Who dares to fay this man, this paftour is a flatterer; the crime is univerfal; through all the word the learned pate, with allufion to the paftour, ducks to the golden fool. If it be objeded, as it may juftly be, that the mention of a paftour is unfuitable, we must remember the mention of grace and cherubims in this play, and many fuch anachronisms in many others. I would therefore read thus:
It is the paftour lards the brother's fides,
'Tis want that makes him leave.
The obfcurity is ftill great. Perhaps a line is loft. I have at leaft given the original reading. Johnson.
Perhaps Shakspeare wrote pafterer, for I meet with fuch a word in Greene's Farewell to Follie, 1617: "Alexander, before he fell into the Perfian delicacies, refused those cooks and pasterers that Ada queen of Caria fent to him." There is likewife a proverb among Ray's collection, which feems to afford much the fame meaning as this paffage in Shakspeare: -" Every one bateth the fat hog, while the lean one burneth." Again, in Troilus and Creffida, A& II:
That were to enlard his fat already pride."
In this very difficult paffage, which ftill remains obfcure, fome liberty may be indulged. Dr. Farmer proposes to read it thus: It is the pafterer lards the broader fides, The gaunt that makes him leave.
And in fupport of this conjecture, he observes, that the Saxon dis frequently converted into th, as in murther, murder, burthen, burden, &c. REED..
That the paffage is corrupt as it ftands in the old copy, no one, I fuppofe, can doubt; emendation therefore in this and a few other places, is not a matter of choice but neceffity. I have already more than once obferved, that many corruptions have crept into the old copy, by the tranfcriber's ear deceiving him. In Coriolanus we have higher for hire, and hope for holp; in the prefent play reverends for reverends't; and in almoft every play fimilar corruptions. In King Richard II. quarto, 1598, we find the very error that happened here:
"Her paftors' grafs with faithful English blood."
Again, in As you like it, folio, 1623, we find, I have heard him read many lectors againft it;" inftead of lectures.
Pafture, when the is founded thin, and paftor, are fcarcely diftinguishable.
Thus, as I conceive, the true reading of the firft disputed word of this contefted paffage is afcertained. In As you like it we have"good pafture makes fat fheep." Again, in the fame play:
"Anon, a careless herd,
"Full of the pasture, jumps along by him," &c.
The meaning then of the paffage is,—It is the land alone which each man poffeffes that makes him rich, and proud, and flattered: and the want of it, that makes hiin poor, and an object of contempt. I fuppofe, with Dr. Johnson, that Shakspeare was ftill thinking of the rich and poor brother already defcribed.
I doubt much whether Dr. Johnson himself was fatisfied with his far fetched explication of pastour, as applied to brother; [See his note.] and I think no one elfe can be fatisfied with it. In order to give it fome little fupport, he fuppofes "This man's a flatterer," in the following paffage, to relate to the imaginary paftor in this; whereas those words indubitably relate to any one individual fele&ed out of the aggregate mafs of mankind.
Dr. Warburton reads wether's fides; which affords a commodious fenfe, but is fo far removed from the original reading as to be inadmiffible. Shakspeare, I have no doubt, thought at firft of thofe animals that are fatted by pafture, and paffed from thence to the proprietor of the foil.
I have fometimes thought that he might have written the breather's fides. He has thrice ufed the word elsewhere. "I will chide no breather in the world, but myfelf," fays Orlando in As you like it. Again, in one of his Sonnets:
"When all the breathers of this world are dead.
Again, in Antony and Cleopatra:
She shows a body, rather than a life;
A ftatue than a breather."
If this was the author's word in the paffage before us, it muft But I have little faith in fuch conmean every living animal.
Concerning the third word there can be no difficulty. Leane was the old fpelling of lean, and the u in the MSS. of our author's time is not to be diftinguished from an ". Add to this, that in the
And fay, This man's a flatlerer?* If one be,
firft folio u is conftantly employed where we now ufe a v; and hence, by inverfion, the two letters were often confounded (as they are at this day in almoft every proof-fheet of every book that paffes through the prefs). Of this I have given various inflances in a note in Vol. V. p. 178, n. 3. See allo Vol. X. p. 197, n. 6.
But it is not neceffary to have recourfe to thefe inftances. This very word leave is again printed instead of leane, in King Henry IV. Part II. quarto, 1600:
"The lives of all your loving complices
"Leave on your health."
On the other hand, in King Henry VIII. 1623, we have leane inftead of leave: "You'll leane your noife anon, you rascals," But any argument on this point is fuperfluous, fince the context clearly fhews that lean muft have been 'the word intended by Shakspeare.
Such emendations as thofe now adopted, thus founded and supported, are not capricious conje&ures, against which no one has fet his face more than myself, but almoft certainties.
This note has run out into an inordinate length, for which I shall make no other apology than that finding it necessary to depart from the reading of the old copy, to obtain any fenfe, I thought it incumbent on me to fupport the readings I have chofen, in the best manner in my power. MALONE.
As a brother (meaning, I suppose, a churchman) does not, literally fpeaking, fatten himself by feeding on land, it is probable that pasture fignifies eating in general, without reference to terra firma, So, in Love's Labour's Loft:
"Food for his rage, repafture for his den."
Paflure, in the fenfe of nourishment collected from fields, will undoubtedly fatten the fides of a fheep or an ox, but who ever defcribes the owner of the fields as having derived from them his embonpoint?
The emendation-lean is found in the second folio, which should not have been denied the praife to which it is entitled.
Breather's fides can never be right, for who is likely to grow fat through the mere privilege of breathing? or who indeed can receive fuftenance without it?
The reading in the text may be the true one; but the condition in which this play was tranfmitted to us, is fuch as will warrant repeated doubts in almost every scene of it. STEEVENS.
And fay, This man's a flatteres ? This man does not refer to any particular perfon before mentioned, as Dr. Johnson thought,