Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

Prin. But what was sent to you from fair Du

main ?? KATH. Madam, this glove. PRIN.

Did he not fend

you

twain ? KATH. Yes, madam; and moreover, Some thousand verses of a faithful lover: A huge translation of hypocrisy. Vilely compil'd, profound fimplicity. Mar. This, and these pearls, to me sent Longa

ville; The letter is too long by half a mile. Prin. I think no less ; Dost thou not wish in

heart, The chain were longer, and the letter short? Mar. Ay, or I would these hands might never

part. PRIN, We are wise girls, to mock our lovers so. Ros. They are worse fools, to purchase mock

ing so.

That fame Birón I'll torture ere I

go. 0, that I knew he were but in by the week! How I would make him fawn, and beg, and seek;

3

2 But what was sent to you from fair Dumain ? ] The old copies, after But insert Katharine, Wc should therefore read: " But, Katharine, what was sent you from Dumain ?"

Ritson. in by the week ! ] This I suppose to be an expresion taken from hiring servants or artificers; meaning, I wish I was as fure of his service for any time limited, as if I had hired him.

The expression was a common one, So, in Vittoria Corombona, 1612:

“ What, are you in by the week? So, I will try now whether thy wit be close prisoner. Again, in The Wit of a Woman, 1604: • Şince I am in by the week, let me look to the year.'

STEEVENS.

[ocr errors]

And wait the season, and observe the times,
And spend his prodigal wits in bootless rhymes ;
And shape his service wholly to my behefts;
And make him proud to make me proud that jelts!
So portent-like' would I o'ersway his slate,
That he should be my fool, and I his fate.

4

5

3 wholly to my behests ; ] The quarto, 1598, and the firft folio, read — to my device. The emendation, which the rhyme confirms, was made by the editor of the second folio, and is one of the very few corredions of any value to be found in that copy.

MALONE. Mr. Malone, however, admits three other corre&ions from the second folio, in this very sheet. STEEVENS.

* And make him proud to make me proud that jefts! ] The meaning of this obscure line seems to be, I would make him proud to flatter me who make a mock of his fiattery.

Edinburgh Magazine for Nov. 1786. STEEVENS. So portent-like, &c.] In former copies :

So pertaunt-like, would I o'er-sway his fatı,

That he should be my fool, and I his fate. In old farces, to show the inevitable approaches of death and deltiny, the Fool of the farce is made to employ all his stratagems to avoid Death or Fate; which very stratagems, as they are ordered, bring the Fool, at every turn, into the very jaws of Fate. TO this Shakfpeare alludes again in Meafure for Measure:

merely thou art Death's Fool;
6. For him thou labour'x by thy flight to skun,

" And yet run's towards him still. It is plain from all this, that the nonsense of pertaunt-like, should be read, portent-like, i. e. I would be his fate or destiny, and, like a portent, hang over, and influence liis fortunes. For portents were not only thought to forebode, but to influence. So the Latins called a person destined to bring mischief, fatale portentium.

WARBURTON. The emendation appeared first in the Oxford edition. MALONE.

Until some proof be brought of the existence of such chara&ers as Death and the Fool, in old farces, (for the mere affertion of Dr. Warburton is not to be relied on,) this passage must be literally un. derstood, independently of any particular allufion. The old reading might probably mean -" so gcoffingly would [ o'ersway," &c. The initial letter in Stowe, mentioned by Mr. Reed in Measure for Moafure, here cited, has been altogether misunderstood. It is only

Prin. None are so 6 surely caught, when they

are catch'd, As wit turn'd fool; folly, in wisdom hatch'd, Hath wisdom's warrant, and the help of school; And wit's own grace to grace a learned fool. Ros. The blood of youth burns not with such

excess, As gravity's revolt to wantonness."

Mar. Folly in fools bears not so strong a note, As foolery in the wise, when wit doth dote; Since all the power thereof it doth apply, To prove, by wit, worth in fimplicity.

Enter Boyet.

[ocr errors]

Prin. Here comes Boyet, and mirth is in his

face. BOYET. O, I am stabb'd with laughter! Where's

her grace? Prin. Thy news, Boyet? Boyet.

Prepare, madam, prepare! Arm, wenches, arm! encounters mounted are Against your peace: Love doth approach disguis'd Armed in arguments; you'll be surpris'd: Muster

your wits; stand in your own desence; Or hide your heads like cowards, and fly hence.

à copy from an older letter which formed part of a Death's Dance, in which Death and the Fool were always reprefented. I have sex veral of these alphabets. DOUÇe.

6 None are so, &c.] These are observations worthy of a man who has surveyed human nature with the closest attention.

JOHNSON, to wantonnefs.] The quarto, 1598, and the first folio have to wantons be. For this emendation we are likewise indebted to the second folio. MALONE,

7

Prin. Saint Dennis to faint Cupid ! What are

they, That charge their breath against us? fay, scout, say.

Boyet. Under the cool shade of a sycamore, I thought to close mine eyes fome half an hour: When, lo! to interrupt my purpos'd rest, Toward that shade I might behold addrest The king and his companions : warily I stole into a neighbour thicket by, And overheard what you shall overhear; That, by and by, disguis’d they will be here. Their herald is a pretty knavish page, That well by heart hath conn'd his embassage: Action, and accent, did they teach him there; Thus must thou speak, and thus thy body bear : And ever and anon they made a doubt, Presence majestical would put him out; For, quoth the king, an angel salt thou see; Yet fear not thou, but speak audaciously. The boy reply'd, An angel is not evil; I should have fear'd her, had fhe been a devil. With that all laugh'd, and clapp'd him on the

shoulder; Making the bold wag by their praises bolder. One rubb'd his elbow, thus; and fleer'd, and swore, A better speech was never spoke before: 8 Saint Dennis, to suint Cupid ! ]

The princess of France in. vokes, with too much levity, the patron of her country, to oppose his power to that of Cupid. JOHNSON.

Johnson censures the Princess for invoking with fo much levity the patron of her country, to oppose his power to that of Cupid; but that was not her intention. · Being determined to engage the King and his followers, the gives for the word of battle St. Dennis, as the King, when he was determined to attack her, had given for the word of batile St. Cupid :

" Saint Cupid then, and soldiers to the ficid."

M, MASON,

Another, with his finger and his thumb,
Cry’d, Via! we will do't, come what will come:
The third he caper'd, and cried, All goes well:
The fourth turn'd on the toe, and down he fell.
With that, they all did tumble on the ground,
With such a zealous laughter, so profound,
That in this spleen ridiculous appears,
To check their folly, paffion's folemn tears.

Prin. But what, but what, come they to visit us?
Boyet. They do, they do; and are appareld

thus, Like Muscovites, or Russians : as I guess,'

[ocr errors]

Spleen ridiculous —] Is, a ridiculous fit of laughter.

JOHNSON. The spleen was anciently supposed to be the cause of laughter. So, in some old Latin verses already quoted on another occafion:

" Splen ridere facit, cogit amare jecur.' STEEVENS.
- passion's folemn tears. ] So, in A Midsummer Night's Dream:
si Made mine eyes water, but more merry tears

" The passion of loud laughter never shed.” MALONE. 3 Like Muscovites, or Rusians: as I guess,] The settling commerce in Russia was, at that time, a matter that much ingrossed the con. cern and conversation of the publick. There had been several em. baffies employed thither on that occafion; and several trad's of the manners and state of that nation written: so that a mask of Musco. vites was as good an entertainment to the audience of that time, as a coronation has been since. WARBURTON.

A maík of Muscovites was no uncommon recreation at court long before our author's time. In the first year of King Henry the Eighth, at a banquet made for the foreign ambassadors in the parliament-chamber at Westminster " came the lorde Henry, Earle of Wiltshire, and the lorde Fitzwater, in twoo long gounes of yellowe satin travarsed with white satin, and in every ben of white was a bend of crimosen satin after the falhion of Russia or Rullande, with furred hattes of grey on their hedes, either of them havying an hatchet in their handes, and bootes with pykes turned up. Hall Henry VIII. p. 6. This extra& may serve to convey an idea of the dress used upon the present occasion by the king and his lords at the performance of the play. Ritson.

« AnteriorContinuar »