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TOUCH. I'll rhime you fo, eight years together; dinners, and fuppers, and fleeping hours excepted: it is the right butter-woman's rate to market.

Ros. Out, fool!

TOUCH. For a tafte:

If a bart do lack a bind,
Let him feek out Rofalind.
If the cat will after kind,
So, be fure, will Rofalind.

modern editors read-the face of Rofalind. Lodge's Novel will likewife fupport the ancient reading:

"Then mufe not, nymphes, though I bemone

"The absence of fair Rofalynde,

"Since for her faire there is fairer none," &c.


"And hers the faire which all men do refpect." STEEVENS. Face was introduced by Mr. Pope. MALONE.

rate to market.] So, Sir T. Hanmer. In the former editions-rank to market. JOHNSON.

Dr. Grey, as plaufibly, propofes to read-rant. Gyll brawled like a butter-whore, is a line in an ancient medley. The fenfe defigned, however, might have been-" it is fuch wretched rhime as the butter-woman fings as fhe is riding to market." So, in Churchyard's Charge, 1580, p. 7:

"And use a kinde of ridynge rime”

Ratt-ryme, however, in Scotch, fignifies fome verfe repeated by rote. See Ruddiman's Gloffary to G. Douglas's Virgil. STEEVENS.

The Clown is here fpeaking in reference to the ambling pace of the metre, which, after giving a fpecimen of, to prove his affertion, he affirms to be " the very falfe gallop of verfes."


I am now perfuaded that Sir T. Hanmer's emendation is right. The bobbling metre of thefe verfes, (fays Touchftone,) is like the ambling, fhuffling pace of a butter-woman's horfe, going to market. The fame kind of imagery is found in K. Henry IV. P. I:

"And that would fet my teeth nothing on edge,


Nothing fo much, as mincing poetry;

" 'Tis like the forc'd gait of a shuffling nag." MALONE, VOL. VI.


Winter-garments must be lin'd,
So muft flender Rofalind.

They that reap, must sheaf and bind;
Then to cart with Rofalind.
Sweetest nut bath fowreft rind,
Such a nut is Rofalind.

He that fweetest rose will find,

Muft find love's prick, and Rofalind.

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This is the very falfe gallop of verses; Why do you infect yourself with them?

Ros. Peace, you dull fool; I found them on a tree. TOUCH. Truly, the tree yields bad fruit.

Ros. I'll graff it with you, and then I fhall graff it with a medlar: then it will be the earliest fruit" in the country; for you'll be rotten ere you be half ripe, and that's the right virtue of the medlar.

TOUCH. You have faid; but whether wifely or no, let the foreft judge.

Enter CELIA, reading a paper.

Ros. Peace!

Here comes my fifter, reading; ftand aside.

CEL. Why should this defert filent be?"
For it is unpeopled? No;

5 This is the very falfe gallop of verses;] So, in Nafhe's Apologie of Pierce Pennileffe, 4to. 1593: "I would trot a false gallop through the reft of his ragged verfes, but that if I fhould retort the rime doggrell aright, I muft make my verfes (as he doth his) run bobbling, like a brewer's cart upon the ftones, and observe no measure in their feet." MALONE.

6 the earlieft fruit-] Shakspeare feems to have had little knowledge in gardening. The medlar is one of the latest fruits, being uneatable till the end of November. STEEVENS.

7 Why Should this defert filent be?] This is commonly printed: Why should this a defert be?


Tongues I'll hang on every tree,
That shall civil fayings show.
Some, bow brief the life of man
Runs his erring pilgrimage ;
That the stretching of a Span
Buckles in his fum of age.
Some, of violated vows

'Twixt the fouls of friend and friend:
But upon the fairest boughs,

Or at every fentence' end,

Will I Rofalinda write;

Teaching all that read, to know
The quinte fence of every Sprite

Heaven would in little show.

but although the metre may be affifted by this correction, the sense ftill is defective; for how will the hanging of tongues on every tree, make it lefs a defert? I am perfuaded we ought to read:

Why Should this defert filent be? TYRWHITT.

The notice which this emendation deferves, I have paid to it, by inferting it in the text. STEEVENS.

8 That shall civil fayings fhow.] Civil is here ufed in the fame fense as when we fay civil wisdom or civil life, in oppofition to a folitary state, or to the ftate of nature. This defert fhall not appear unpeopled, for every tree fhall teach the maxims or incidents of focial life. JOHNSON.

Civil, I believe, is not defignedly opposed to folitary. It means only grave, or folemn. So, in Twelfth Night, Act III. fc. iv: "Where is Malvolio? he is fad and civil.” i. e. grave and demure.

Again, in A Woman's Prize, by Beaumont and Fletcher:
That fourteen yards of fatin give my woman;
"I do not like the colour; 'tis too civil.”


-in little bow.] The allufion is to a miniature-portrait. The current phrafe in our author's time was-" painted in little."


So, in Hamlet: " — a hundred ducats a-piece, for his picture in

little." STEEVENS,

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2 Therefore heaven nature charg'd] From the picture of Apelles, or the accomplishments of Pandora.

Πανδώρην, ότι πανίες Ὀλύμπια δώματ' ἔχοντες
Δῶρον ἐδώρησαν.

So, before:

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"So perfect, and fo peerlefs, art created
"Of every creature's beft." Tempeft.

Perhaps from this paffage Swift had his hint of Biddy Floyd.


3 Atalanta's better part;] I know not well what could be the better part of Atalanta here afcribed to Rofalind. Of the Atalanta most celebrated, and who therefore must be intended here where the has no epithet of discrimination, the better part seems to have been her heels, and the worse part was so bad that Rosalind would not thank her lover for the comparifon. There is a more obfcure Atalanta, a huntrefs and a heroine, but of her nothing bad is recorded, and therefore I know not which was her better part. Shakspeare was no defpicable mythologift, yet he feems here to have mistaken fome other character for that of Atalanta.


Perhaps the poet means her beauty and graceful elegance of fhape, which he would prefer to her fwiftnefs. Thus Ovid:

nec dicere poffes,

Laude pedum, formæne bono præftantior effet.
Ut faciem, et pofito corpus velamine vidit,

But cannot Atalanta's better part mean her virtue or virgin chastity, with which nature had graced Rofalind, together with Helen's beauty without her heart or lewdnefs, with Cleopatra's dignity of behaviour, and with Lucretia's modefty, that fcorned to furvive the lofs of honour? Pliny's Natural Hiftory, B. XXXV. c. iii. mentions the portraits of Atalanta and Helen, utraque excellentif fima forma, fed altera ut virgo; that is, " both of them for beauty, incomparable, and yet a man may difcerne the one [Atalanta] of

Thus Rofalind of many parts

By heavenly fynod was devis'd;
Of many faces, eyes, and hearts,
To have the touches dearest priz'd.

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them to be a maiden, for her modeft and chafte countenance,' Dr. P. Holland tranflated the paffage; of which probably our poet had taken notice, for furely he had judgement in painting. TOLLET. I fuppofe Atalanta's better part is her wit, i. e. the fwiftness of ber mind. FARMER.

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Shakspeare might have taken part of this enumeration of diftinguifhed females from John Grange's Golden Aphroditis, 1577: who feemeft in my fight faire Helen of Troy, Polixene, Calliope, yea Atalanta hir felfe in beauty to furpaffe, Pandora in qualities, Penelope and Lucretia in chafteneffe to deface." Again, ibid:

"Polixene fayre, Caliop, and
"Penelop may give place;
"Atlanta and dame Lucres fayre

"She doth them both deface."

Again, ibid: "Atalanta who fometyme bore the bell of beauties price in that hyr native foyle."

It may be obferved, that Statius alfo in his fixth Thebaid, has confounded Atalanta the wife of Hippomenes, and daughter of Siconeus, with Atalanta the daughter of Enomaus, and wife of Pelops. See v. 564. STEEVENS.

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Dr. Farmer's explanation may derive fome fupport from a subfequent paffage: as fwift a wit as Atalanta's heels.'

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I think this ftanza was formed on an old tetraftick epitaph, which, as I have done, Mr. Steevens may poffibly have read in a country church-yard:

"She who is dead and fleepeth in this tomb,

"Had Rachel's comely face, and Leah's fruitful womb: "Sarah's obedience, Lydia's open heart,

"And Martha's care, and Mary's better part." WHALLEY. The following paffage in Marfton's Infatiate Countesse, 1613, might lead one to fuppofe that Atalanta's better part was her lips: That eye was Juno's;

"Thofe lips were her's that won the golden ball;
"That virgin blush Diana's."

Be this as it may, thefe lines fhow that Atalanta was confidered as uncommonly beautiful, and therefore may ferve to fupport Mr. Tollet's first interpretation.

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