Imagens das páginas

King. Why take we hands then?

Only to part friends :Court'ly, sweet hearts ;' and so the measure ends.

KING. More measure of this measure; be not nice. Ros. We can afford no more at such a price. : King. Prize you yourselves; What buys your

company? Ros. Your absence only. KING.

That can never be.
Ros Then cannot we be bought: and so adieu;
Twice to your visor, and half once to you!

KING. If you deny to dance, let's hold more chat,
Ros. In private then.

I am best pleas'd with that.

[ They converse apart. BIRON. White-handed mistress, one sweet word

with thee. Prin. Honey, and milk, and sugar; there is

three. Biron. Nay then, two treys, (an if you grow

so nice,) Metheglin, wort, and malmsey ;-Well run, dice! There's half a dozen sweets. PRIN.

Seventh sweet, adieu! Since you can cog, I'll play no more with you.

BIRON. One word in secret.

Let it not be sweet.
Bikon. Thou griev'st my gall.

2 Court'fy, sweet hearts; ] See Tempefl: Vol. IV. p. 40.

66 Court'fied when you have and kiss d-," MALONE. 3 Since you can cog, ) To cog, fignifies to falfify the dice, and to fallify a narrative, or to lye. JOHNSON,

[ocr errors]


Gall ? bitter, BIRON.

Therefore meet.

[They converse apart. Dum. Will you vouchsafe with me to change a

Mar. Name it.
Dum. Fair lady,-

Say you so ? Fair lord, Take that for your fair lady.

As much in private, and I'll bid adieu.

[ They converse apart. KATH. What, was your visor made without a

tongue ? Long. I know the reason, lady, why you ask. KATH. O, for your reason! quickly, fir; I long.

Long. You havea double tongue within your mask, And would afford my speechless visor half.

KATH. Veal, quoth the Dutchman;* -Is notveal

Please it you,

a calf?

[ocr errors]

LONG. A calf, fair lady?

No, a fair lord calf.
LONG. Let's part the word.

No, I'll not be your half: Take all, and wean it; it may prove an ox. LoNo. Look, how you butt yourself in these

sharp mocks ! Will you give horns, chaste lady? do not fo. KATH. Then die a calf, before your horns do


4. Veal, quoth ihe Dutchman;] I suppose by veal, the means well, sounded as foreigners usually pronounce that word; and introduced merely for the sake of the subsequent queftion. MALONE.


LONG. One word in private with you, ere I die. KATH. Bleat softly then, the butcher hears you cry.

[ They converse apart. Boyet. The tongues of mocking wenches are as

keen As is the razor's edge invisible, Cutting a smaller hair than may be seen;

Above the sense of sense: fo fenfible Seemeth their conference; their conceits have

wings, Fleeter than arrows, bullets, wind, thought, swifter

[ocr errors]


Ros. Not one word more, my maids ; break off,

break off. Biron. By heaven, all dry-beaten with pure scoff! KING. Farewel, mad wenches; you have simple

wits. [ Exeunt King, Lords, Moth. Mufick, and at

tendants. Prin. Twenty adieus, my frozen Muscovites.Are there the breed of wits fo wonder'd at? Boyet. Tapers they are, with your sweet breaths

puff'd out. Ros. Well-liking wits they have; gross, gross;

fat, fat. Prin. O poverty in wit, kingly-poor flout!

Fleeter than arrows, bullets, wind, thought, swifter things.] Mre Ritson observes, that, for the sake of measure, the word bullets should be omitted. STEEVENS.

6 Well-liking wits -] Well-liking is the same as embonpoint. So, in Job, xxxix. 4. Their young ones are in good liking.


[ocr errors]

Will they not, think you, hang themselves to night?

Or ever, but in visors, show their faces? This pert Biron was out of countenance quite.

Ros. O! they were all in lamentable cases! The king was weeping-ripe for a good word.

PRIN. Birón did swear himself out of all fuit.

MAR. Dumain was at my service, and his sword: No point, quoch I;' my fervant straight was mute. KATH, Lord Longaville faid, I came o'er his

heart; And trów you, what he call’d me ? Prin.

Qualm, perhaps. KATH. Yes, in good faith. PRIN.

Go, sickness as thou art! Ros. Well, better wits have worn plain statute


6 0! they were all, &c.] 0, which is not found in the first quarto or folio, was added by the editor of the second folio.

MALONE. 7 No point, quoth 1 ;] Point in French is an adverb of negation; bụt, if properly spoken, is not founded like the point of a sword. A quibble, however, is intended. From this and the other passages it appears, that either our author was not well acquainted with the pronunciation of the French language, or it was different formerly from what it is at present.

The former supposition appears to me much the more probable of the two.

In The Return from Parnassus, 1606, Philomusus says Tit, tit, tit, non poynte; non debet fieri, &c. Sce also Florio's Italian Did. 1598, in v. - Punto. never a whit; — 110 point, as the Frenchmen say." MALONE.

better wits have worn plain statute-caps. ] This line is not universally understood, because every reader does not know that a statute


is part of the academical habit. Lady Rosalinc declares that her expectation was disappointed by these courtly students, and that better wits might be found in the common places of education.


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

But will


hear? the king is my love sworn.
Prin. And quick Birón hath plighted faith to me.
Kath. And Longaville was for my service born, .
Mar. Dumain is mine, as sure' as bark on tree.

Woollen caps were enjoined by aở of parliament, in the year 1571, the 13th of queen Elizabeth. " Besides the bills passed into a&s this parliament, there was one which I judge not amiss to be taken notice of — it concerned the queen's care for employment for her poor sort of subje&s. It was for continuance of making and wearing woollen caps, in behalf of the trade of cappers: providing, that all above the age of six years, (except the nobility and some others) should on sabbath days and holy days, wear caps of wool, knit, thicked, and drest in England, upon penalty of ten groats. Strype's Annals of Queen Elizabeth, Vol. II. p. 74. GREY.

This ađ may account for the distinguishing mark of Mother Red-cap. I have observed that mention is made of this sign by some of our ancient pamphleteers and playwriters, as far back as the date of the a& referred to by Dr. Grey. If that your cap be wool became a proverbial saying. So, in Hans Beerpot, a comedy, 1618:

" You Mall not flinch; if that your cap be wool,

“ You fall along." STEEVENS. I think my own interpretation of this passage is right. Johnson.

Probably the meaning is better wits may be found among the citizens, who are not in general remarkable for sallies of imagination, In Marston's Dutch Couriczan, 1605, Mrs. Mulligrub says,

though my husband be a citizen, and his cap's made of wool, yet I have wit." Again, in the Family of Love, 1608 :

"' 'Tis a law evaded by tbe common-council of statute-caps." Again, in Newes from Hell, brought by the Devil's' Carrier, 1606 :

in a bowling alley in a flat cap like a Mop-keeper. That these sumptuary laws, which di&tated the form and materials of caps, the dimensions of ruffs, and the length of swords, were executed with great exa&ness but little discretion, by a set of people placed at the principal avenues of the city, may be known from the following curious passage in a letter from Lord Talbot to the Earl of Shrewsbury, June 1580. • The French Imbasıdore, Mounswer Mouiser, ridinge to take the ayer, in his returne cam thowrowe Smithfield ; and ther, at the bars, was fteayed by thos officers that fitteth to cut sourdo, by reason his raper was longer than the statute : He was in a great feaurie, and dreawe his raper. In the meane season my Lord Henry Seamorc cam, and so steayed the matt. Hir

« AnteriorContinuar »