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All's well that ends well:2 still the fine 's3 the crown;
Rousillon. A Room in the Countess's Palace.
Enter Countess, LAFEU, and Clown. Laf. No, no, no, your son was misled with a snipttaffata fellow there; whose villainous saffron would have made all the unbaked and doughy youth of a nation in his colour :* your daughter-in-law had been alive at this
I would revive the soldiers' hearts, “Because I found them ever as myself.” Steevens. Time revives us, seems to refer to the happy and speedy termination of their embarrassments. She had just before said: “ With the word, the time will bring on summer.”
Henley. 2 All's well that ends well:] So, in The Spanish Tragedy:
“ The end is crown of every work well done." All’s well that ends well, is one of Camden's proverbial sentences.
Malone. the fine 's-) i. e. the end. So, in The London Prodizal, 1605: “ Nature hath done the last for me, and there's the fine.”
Malone. still the fine 's the crown;] So, in Chapman's version of the second Iliad:
We fly, not putting on the crown of our so long-held
war." Again, ibid:
and all things have their crown, “ As he interpreted.” Steevens.
whose villainous saffron would have made all the unbaked and doughy youth of a nation in his colour:] Parolles is represented as an affected follower of the fashion, and an encourager of his master to run into all the follies of it; where he says: “Use a more spacious ceremony to the noble lords—they wear them. selves in the cap of time--and though the devil lead the measure, such are to be followed.” Here some particularities of fashionable dress are ridiculed. Snipt-tafata needs no explanation ; but villainous saffron is more obscure. This alludes to a fantastic fashion, then much followed, of using yellow starch for their bands and ruffs. So, Fletcher, in his Queen of Corinth:
Has he familiarly
hour; and your son here at home, more advanced by the king, than by that red-tailed humble-bee I speak of.
And Jonson's Devil's an Ass:
“Carmen and chimney-sweepers are got into the yellow
starch." This was invented by one Turner, a tire-woman, a court-bawd, and, in all respects, of so infamous a character, that her invention deserved the name of villainous saffron. This woman was, afterwards, amongst the miscreants concerned in the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury, for which she was hanged at Tyburn, and would die in a yellow ruff of her own invention: which made yel. low starch so odious, that it immediately went out of fashion. "Tis this, then, to which Shakspeare alludes: but using the word saffron for yellow, a new idea presented itself, and he pursues his thought under a quite different allusion-Whose villainous saffron would have made all the unbaked and doughy youths of a nation in his colour; i. e. of his temper and disposition. Here the general custom of that time, of colouring paste with saffron, is alluded to. So, in The Winter's Tale:
“ I must have saffron to colour the warden pyes." Warburton. This play was probably written several years before the death of Sir Thomas Överbury. The plain meaning of the passage seems to be: “Whose evil qualities are of so deep a dye, as to be sufficient to corrupt the most innocent, and to render them of the same disposition with himself.” Malone.
Stubbs, in his Anatomie of Abuses, published in 1595, speaks of starch of various colours :
The one arch or piller wherewith the devil's kingdome of great ruffes is underpropped, is a certain kind of liquid matter which they call startch, wherein the devill hath learned them to wash and die their ruffes, which, being drie, will stand stiff and inflexible about their neckes. And this startch they make of divers substances, sometimes of wheate flower, of branne, and other graines: sometimes of rootes, and sometimes of other thinges: of all collours and hucs, as white, redde, blewe, purple, and the like.”
In The World toss'd at Tennis, a masque by Middleton, the five starches are personified, and introduced contesting for superiority. Again, in Album azar, 1615: “What price bears wheat and saffron, that your band's
so stiff and yellow ?” Again, in Heywood's If you know not me, you know nobody, 1606: “– have taken an order to wear yellow garters, points, and shoetyings, and 'tis thought yellow will grow a custom.”
“ It has been long used at London."
It may be added, that in the year 1446, a parliament was held at Trim, in Ireland, by which the natives were directed, among other things, not to wear shirts stained with saffron. Steevens.
See a note on Albumazar, Dodsley's Collection of Old Plays, Vol. VII, p. 156, edit. 1780. Reed.
Count. I would, I had not known him!5 it was the death of the most virtuous gentlewoman, that ever nature had praise for creating; if she had partaken of my flesh, and cost me the dearest groans of a mother, I could not have owed her a more rooted love.
Laf. 'Twas a good lady, 'twas a good lady: we may pick a thousand salads, ere we light on such another herb.
Clo. Indeed, sir, she was the sweet-marjoram of the salad, or, rather the herb of grace..
Laf. They are not salad-herbs, you knave, they are nose-herbs.
Clo. I am no great Nebuchadnezzar, sir, I have not much skill in grass.?
Laf. Whether dost thou profess thyself; a knave or a fool?
Clo. A fool, sir, at a woman's service, and a knave at a man's.
Laf. Your distinction?
Clo. I would cozen the man of his wife, and do his service.
Laf. So you were a knave at his service, indeed.
Clo. And I would give his wife my bauble, sir, to do her service. 8
5 I would, I had not known him!] This dialogue serves to connect the incidents of Parolles with the main plan of the play.
Fohnson. I should wish to read he had not known him, meaning that her son had not. Her knowing Parolles was of little consequence, but Bertram's knowing him caused the death of Helen, which she deplores. M. Mason.
herb of grace.] i. e. rue. So, in Hamlet: “there's rue for you-we may call it herb of grace o' Sundays.” Steevens.
7- in grass.] The old copy, by an evident error of the press, reads-grace. The correction was made by Mr. Rowe. The word salad, in the preceding speech, was also supplied by him. Malone.
I would give his wife iny bauble, sir, to do her service.] Part of the furniture of a fool was a bauble, which, though it be generally taken to signify any thing of small value, has a precise and determinable meaning. It is, in short, a kind of truncheon with a head carved on it, which the fool anciently carried in his hand. There is a representation of it in a picture of Watteau,
Laf. I will subscribe for thee; thou art both knave and fool.
Clo. At your service.
Clo. Why, sir, if I cannot serve you, I can serve as great a prince as you are.
Laf. Who's that? a Frenchman?
ame;' but his phisnomy is more hotter in France, than there.?
formerly in the collection of Dr. Mead, which is engraved by Baron, and called Comediens Italiens. A faint resemblance of it inay be found in the frontispiece of L. de Guernier to King Lear, in Mr. Pope's edition in duodecimo. Sir 7. Hawkins. So, in Marston's Dutch Courtesan, 1604:
if a fool, we must bear his bauble.” Again, in The Two angry Women of Abingdon, 1599: “ The fool will not leave his bauble for the Tower of London.” Again, in Jack Drum's Entertainment, 1601:
“ She is enamoured of the fool's bauble." In the StultiFERA NAVIS, 1497, are several representations of this instrument, as well as in Gocke's Lorels Bote, printed by Wynkyn de Worde. Again, in Lyte's Herbal: “In the hollowness of the said flower (the great blue wolfe's-bane) grow two small crooked hayres, somewhat great at the end, fashioned like a fools bable." An ancient proverb, in Ray's Collection, points out the materials of which these baubles were made: “If every fool should wear a bable, fewel would be dear.” Steevens.
The word bauble is here used in two senses. The Clown had another bauble besides that which the editor alludes to.
M. Mason. When Cromwell, 1653, forcibly turned out the rump-parliament, he bid the soldier's, “take away that fool's bauble," pointing to the speaker's mace. Blackstone.
an English name ; ] The old copy reads—maine. Steevens. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. Malone. Maine, or head of hair, agrees better with the context than
His hair was thick. Henley.
his phisnomy. is more hotter in France, than there.] This is intolerable nonsense. The stupid editors, because the devil was talked of, thought no quality would suit him but hotter. We I should read-more honour'd. A joke upon the French people, as if they held a dark complexion, which is natural to them, in more estimation than the English do, who are generally white and fair. Warburton. The allusion is, in all probability, to the Morbus Gallicus.
Laf. What prince is that?
Clo. The black prince, sir, alias, the prince of darkness; alias, the devil.
Laf. Hold thee, there's my purse: I give thee not this to suggest thee from thy master3 thou talkest of; serve him still.
Clo. I am a woodland fellow, sir, that always loved a great fire;* and the master I speak of, ever keeps a good fire. But, sure, he is the prince of the world,5 let his nobility remain in his court. I am for the house with the narrow gate, which I take to be too little for pomp to enter: some, that humble themselves, may; but the many will be too chill and tender; and they 'll be for the flowery way, that leads to the broad gate, and the great fire.6
Laf. Go thy ways; I begin to be a-weary of thee; and I tell thee so before, because I would not fall out with thee. Go thy ways; let my horses be well looked to, without any tricks.
Clo. If I put any tricks upon 'em, sir, they shall be jades' tricks; which are their own right by the law of nature.
[ Exit. Laf. A shrewd knave, and an unhappy.?
2 The black prince,] Bishop Hall, in his Satires, B. V, Sat. ii, has given the same name to Pluto: “So the black prince is broken loose again,” &c. H. White.
to suggest thee from thy master -] Thus the old copy. The modern editors read-seduce, but without authority. To suggest had anciently the same meaning. So, in the Two Gentleinen of Verona:
“ Knowing that tender youth is soon suggested,
“ I nightly lodge her in an upper tower.” Steevens. 4 1 am a woodland fellow, sir, &c.] Shakspeare is but rarely guilty of such impious trash. And it is observable, that then he always puts that into the mouth of his fools, which is now grown the characteristic of the fine gentleinan. Warburton.
5 But, sure, he is the prince of the world,] I think we should read-But since he is, &c. and thus Sir T. Hanmer. Steevens. the flowery way,
and the great fire.] The same impious stuff occurs again in Macbeth: “the primrose way to the everlasting bonfire." Steevens.