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Prin. But what was sent to you from fair Du
main ? 2 KATH. Madam, this glove. PRIN.
Did he not send 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; Doft 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
That same Birón I'll torture ere I
go. O, that I knew he were but in by the week !! How I would make him fawn, and beg, and seek;
2 But what was sent to you from fair Dumain ? ] The old copies, after But insert Katharine. We should therefore read: " But, Katharine, what was sent you from Dumain ?"
Ritson. - in by the week ! ] This I suppose to be an exprellion taken from hiring servants or artificers ; meaning, I wish I was as sure of his service for any time limited, as if I had hired him.
The expresion 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 Women, 1604: " Since I am in by the week, let me look to the year.
And wait the season, and observe the times,
-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.
4 And make him proud to make me proud that jess! ] 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 state,
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 stratagemis to avoid Death or Fate; which very stratagems, as they are ordered, bring the Fool, at every turn, into the very jaws of Fæte. To this Shakfpeare' alludes again in Moafure for Measure:
merely thou art Death's Fool;
rc 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 his fortunes. For portents were not only thought to forebode, but to influence. So the Latins called a person destined to bring mischief, fatale portentum.
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 assertion of Dr, Warburton is not to be relied on, ) this passage must be literally understood, independently of any particular allufion. The old reading might probably mean " so scoffingly would [ o'ersway, " &c. The initial letter in Stowe, mentioned by Mr. Recd ia Measure for Measure, here cited, has been altogether misunderstood. It is only
Prin. Nouc are fo 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.
Prin. Here comes Boyet, and mirth is in his j
Prepare, madam, prepare !
à copy from an older letter which formed part of a Death's Dance, in which Death and the Fool were always represented. I have seen veral of these alphabets. DOUCE.
6 None are so, &c.] These are observations worthy of a man who has surveyed human nature with the closest attention.
JOHNSON, to wantonness.) The quarto, 1598, and the first folio have to wantons be. For this emendation we are likewise indebted to the second folio. MĄLONE,
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,
8 Saint Dennis, to faint 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 so 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 field.'
Another, with his finger and his thumb,
Prin. But what, but what, come they to visit us?
thus, Like Muscovites, or Russians : as I guess,'
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 jocur. STEEVENS. – passion's folemn tears.] So, in A Midsummer Night's Dream:
" 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 ingroffed the concern and conversation of the publick. There had been several em. basiies employed thither ou that occafion; and several tra&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 fince. 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 Eighih, 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.