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Enter JAQUENETTA and CCSTARD.
JAQ. God bless the king!
What present hast thou there?
What makes treason here? Cost. Nay, it makes nothing, fir. KING.
If it mar nothing neither, The treason, and
peace away together. Jag. I beseech your grace, let this letter be
read; Our parfon" misdoubts it; 'twas treason, he said. King. Biron, read it over.
[ Giving him the letter. Where hadît thou it? JAQ. Of Costard. KING. Where hadīt thou it? Cost. Of Dun Adramadio, Dun Adramadio. King. How now! what is in you? why dost thou
Biron. A toy, my liege, a toy; your grace needs
not fear it. Long. It did move him to passion, and therefore
let's hear it. Dum. It is Biron's writing, and here is his name.
[ Picks up the pieces. Biron. Ah, you whoreson loggerhead, (To Cos. :
TARD.) you were born to do me shame. Guilty, my lord, guilty; 1 confess, I confess.
KING. Whiat ?
9 Our parson ---] Here, as in a former instance, in the authentick copies of this play, this word is spelt person; but there being no reason for adhering here to the old spelling, the modern is proferred. MALONE
BIRON. That you three fools lack'd me fool to
make up the mess : He, he, and you, and you, my liege, and I, Are pick-purses in love, and we deserve to die. 0, dismiss this audience, and I shall tell you more.
DUM. Now the number is even.
True true; we are four :
Hence, firs; away. Cost. Walk aside the true folk, and let the traitors
stay. [ Exeunt Costard and JAQUENETTA. BIKON. Sweet lords, sweet lovers, let us em
brace! As true we are, as flesh and blood can be: The sea will ebband flow, heaven show his face ;
Young blood will not obey an old decree: We cannot cross the cause why we were born ; Therefore, of all hands must we be forsworn. KING. What did these rent lines show some love
of thine ? Firon. Did they, quoth you? Who sees the
heavenly Rosaline, That, like a rude and savage man of Inde,
At the first opening of the gorgeous east, Bows not his vassal head; and strucken blind,
Kisses the base ground with obedient breast ? What peremptory eagle-fighted eye
Dares look upon the heaven of her brow, That is not blinded by her majesty ? King. What zeal, what fury hath inspir'd the
the gorgeous East, ] Milton has transplanted this into the third line of the second book of Paradise Lost : .
66 Or where the gorgeous East - STEEVENS.
My love, her mistress, is a gracious moon;
She, an aitending star, & scarce seen a light. BIRON. My eyes are then no eyes, nor I Birón :'
O, but for iny love, day would turn to night! Of all complexions the cull'd fovereignty
Do meet, as at fair, in her fair cheek; Where several worthies make one dignity; Where nothing wants, that want itself doth
seek. Lend me the flourish of all gentle tongues,
Fie, painted rhetorick! 0, she needs it not: To things of fale a seller's praise belongs ; She passes praise; then praise too short doth
blot. A wither'd hermit, five-score winters worn,
Might shake off fifty, looking in her eye: Beauty doth varnish age, as if new-born,
And gives the crutch the cradle's infancy.
8 She, an attending flar,] Something like this is a stanza of Sir Henry Wotion, of which the poetical reader will forgive the insertion :
“ You meaner beauties of the night,
" That poorly satisfy our eyes
os You common people of the skies,
Micat inter omnes
MALONE. 9 My eyes are then no eyes, nor I Birón:] Here, and indeed throughout this play, the name of Birón is accented on the second fyllable. In the first quarto, 1598, and the folio, 1623, he is always called Berowne. From the line before us it appears, that in our author's time the name was pronounced Biroon. MALONE.
3 To things of fale a seller's praise belongs ;] So, in our author's Qift Sonnet :
“ I will not praises that purpose not to sell. '' MALONE.
O, 'tis the sun, that maketh all things sliine!
King. By heaven, thy love is black as ebony.
A wife of such wood were felicity.
That I may swear, beauty doth beauty lack,
No face is fair, that is not full so black.* King. O paradox! Black is the badge of hell,
The hue of dungeons, and the scowl of night;' And beauty's creít becomes the heavens well. 6 Biron. Devils founest tempi, resembling spirits
, fore !
3 Is ebony like her? O wood divine! ] Word is the reading of all the editions that I have seen: but both Dr. Thirlby and Mr. Warburton concurrid in scading, ( as I had likewise conjeđured, )
O wood divine! THEOBALD.
No face is fair, that is not full so black. ] So, in our poet's 1326
those two mourning eyes become thy face :
". And all they foul, that thy complexion lack.' See also his 127th Sonnet. MALONE.
Black is the badge of hell,
the school of night.”
the stole of night : but I have preferred the conje&ure of my friend Mr. Warburton, who reads :
the scowl of night," as it comes nearer in pronunciation to the corrupted reading, well as agrees better with the other images. THEOBALD. In our author's 148th Sonnet we have
" Who art as black as hell, as dark as night." MALONE. ,
O, if in black my lady's brows be deckt,
It mourns, that painting, and usurping hair, Should ravith doters with a false afpe&t;
And therefore is she born to make black fair, Her favour turns the fashion of the days;
For native blood is counted painting now; And therefore red, that would avoid dispraise,
Paints itself black, to imitate her brow.
6 And beauty's creft becomes the heavens well.] Crest is here pro'. perly opposed to badge. Black, says the king, is the badge of hell, but that which graces the heaven is the creft of beauty. Black darkens hell, and is therefore hateful: white adorns heaven, and is there. fore lovely. JOHNSON.
And beauty's creft becomes the heavens well, i. c. the very top, the height of beauty, or the utmost degree of fairness, becomes the heavens. So the word creft is explained by the poet himself in King John :
this is the very top
1. Of murder's arms. In heraldry, a crest is a device placed above à coat of arms. Shakspeare therefore assumes the liberty to use it in a sense equivalent to top or uimos height, as he has used Spire in Coriolanus:
us to the spire and top of praises vouch'd, ' So, in Timon of Athens : " - the cap of all the fools alive" is the top of them all, because cap was the uppermost part of a man's dress. Toller. Ben Jonson, in Love's Triumph through Calipolis, a Mafque, says:
" To you that are by excellence a queen,
"The top of beauty,” &c. Again, in The Mirror of Knighthood, P. I. ch. xiv :
in the top and pitch of all beauty, so that theyr matches are not to bee had. STEEVENS.
and usurping hair, ] And, which is wanting in the old copies, was supplied by the editor of the second folio. U surping hair alludes to the fashion, which prevailed among ladies in our author's time, of wearing false hair, or periwigs, as they were then called, before that kind of covering for the head was worn by men. The sentiments here uttered by Biron may be found, in nearly the same words, in our author's 127th Sonnet. MALONE. Vol. VII.