Imagens das páginas
[ocr errors]

deliver I up my apes, and away to Saint Peter for the
heavens; he shows me where the bachelors fit, and
there live we as merry as the day is long.
ANT. Weli, niece, [To HERO] I trust, you

will be ruied by your father.

BEAT. Yes, faith; it is my cousin's duty to make, courtesy, and say, Father, as it piease you :—but yet 'for all that, cousin, let him be a handsome fellow, or elle make another courtesy, and say, Father, as it please me.

Leon. Well, niece, I hope to see you one day fitted with a husband.

BEAT. Not till God make men of some other metal than earth. Would it not grieve a woman : to be over-master'd with a piece of valiant dust?

to make an account of her life to a clod of wayward marl? No, uncle, I'll none : Adam's fons are my brethren; and truly, I hold it a sin to match in my kindred.

LEON. Daughter, remember, what I told you: if the prince do solicit you in that kind, you know

your answer.

Beat. The fault will be in the musick, cousin, if you be not woo'd in good tiine: if the prince be too important,"tell him, there is measure in every thing, S and fo dance out the answer. For hear me, Hero;

if the prince be too important, ] Important here, and in
many other places, is importunate. JOHNSON.
So, in King Lear, Ad Iv. sc. iv :

great France
" My mourning, and important tears hath pitied." STEEVENS.

there is measure in every thing,] A measure in old language, beside its ordinary meaning, signified also a dance. MALONE. So, in King Richard II :

" My legs can keep no measure in delight,
" When my poor hcart no measure keeps in grief." STEEVENS.

[ocr errors]

Wooing, wedding, and repenting, is as a Scotch jig, a meafure, and a cinque-pace: the first suit is hot and hasty, like a Scotch jig, and full as fantastical; the wedding, mannerly-modest, as a measure · full of state and ancientry; and then comes repentance, and, with his bad legs, falls into the cinquepace faster and faster, till he sink into his grave.

LEON., Cousin, you apprehend passing shrewdly.

BEAT. I have a good eye, uncle; I can see a church by day-light.

Leon. The revellers are entering; brother, make good room.


Enter Don Pedro, CLAUDIO, BENEDICK, Bala

URSULA, and others, mash'd.
D. PEDRO. Lady, will you

walk about with

your friend?7

Hero. So you walk softly, and look sweetly, and say nothing, I am yours for the walk; and, especially, when I walk away.

[ocr errors]

6 Balthazar; ] The quarto and folio add or dumb John.

STEEVENS. Here is another proof that when the first copies of our author's plays were prepared for the press, the transcript was made out by the ear. If the MS. had lain before the transcriber, it is very unlikely that he llould have mistaken Don for dumb : but, by an inarticulate speaker, or inattentive hearer, they might easily be confounded. MALONE.

Don John's taciturnity has been already noticed. It seems therefore not improbable that the author himself might have occasionally applied the epithet dumb to him. REED.

- your friend?] Friend, in our author's time , was the common term for a lover. So also in French and Italian. Malone.

Mr. Malone might have added, that this term was equally applicable to both sexes; for, in Measure, for Measure, Lucio tells Isabella that her brother had got his friend with child." STEEVINS.


D. Pedro. With me in your company?
Hero! I may say so, when I please.
D. Pedro. And when please you to say so?

Hero. When I like your favour; for God defend, the lute should be like the cafe! 8

D. PEDRO. My visor is Philemon's roof; within the house is Jove.'

Hero. Why, then your visor should be thatch’d: D. Pedro. Speak low, if you speak love.

[Takes her aside. Bene. Well, I would you did like me.

MARG. So would not I, for your own sake; for I have many ill qualities.


the lute should be like the case ! ] i. e. that your face should be as homely and coarse as your mask. THEOBALD.

• My visor is Philemon's roof, within the house is Jove. ] The first folio has - Love; the quarto, 1600 - love; so that here Mr. Theobald might have found the very reading which, in the following note, he represents as a conje&ure of his own. STEEVENS.

''Tis plain, the poet alludes to the story of Baucis and Philemon from Ovid: and this old couple, as the Roman poet describes it, lived in a thatch'd cottage :

stipulis & canna tecla paluftri." But why, within this house is love? Though this old pair lived in a cottage, this cottage received two ftraggling Gods, (Jupiter and Mercury) under its roof. So, Don Pedro is a prince; and thouglı his visor is but ordinary, he would insinuate to Hero, that he has something godlike within : alluding either to his dignity or the qualities of his mind and person. By these circumstances, I am sure, the, thought is mended; as, I think verily, the text is too, by the addition of a single letter — within the house is Jove. Nor is this emendation a little confirmed by another paslage in our author, in which he plainly alludes to the same story. As you like it:

“ Jaques. 0, knowledge ill inhabited, worse than jove in a thacked house?THF.OBALD.

The line of Ovid above quoted is thus translated by Golding, 1587 " The roofe thereof was thatched all with straw and fennish

reede.' MALONE.

[ocr errors]


BENE. Which is one?
MARG. I say my prayers aloud.

Bene. I love you the better; the hearers may cry amen.

Marg. God match me with a good dancer!
BALTH. Amen.

MARG. And God keep him out of my fight, when the dance is done! — Answer, cierk.

Balth. No more words; the clerk is answer'd.

Urs. I know you well enough; you are fignior Antonio. Ant. At a word, I am not. Urs. I know you by the waggling of your hcad. Ant. To tell you true, I counterfeit him.

URS. You could never do him foill-well, - unless you were the very man: Here's his dry hand : up and down; you are he, you are he.

Ant. At a word, I am not.

URs. Come, come; do you think I do not know you by your excellent wit? Can virtue hide itself? Go to, inum, you are he: graces will appear, and there's an end. Beat. Will you not tell me who told


fo? BENE. No, you shall pardon me. BEAT. Nor will you not tell me who you are? BENE. Not now. 2 You could never do him so ill-well, ] A similar phrase occurs in The Merchant of Venice :

" He hath a better bad habit of frowning, than the Count Palatine." STEEVENS.

his dry hand - ] A dry hand was anciently regarded as the sign of a cold constitution. To this, Maria, in Twelfth-Night, alludes, A& I. sc. iii. STEEVENS.

[ocr errors]


Beat. That I was disdainful, and that I had my good wit out of the Hundred merry Tales; -Well, this was signior Benedick that said so.

BENE. What's he?
BEAT. I am sure, you know him well enough.


4 Hundred merry Tales ; ] The book, to which Shakspeare allu. des, might be an old translation of Les Gent Nouvelles Nouvelles. The original was published at Paris, in the black letter, before the year 1500, and is said to have been written by some of the royal family of France. Ames mentions a translation of it prior to the time of Shakspeare,

In The London Chaunticleres, 1659, this work, among others, is cried for sale by a ballad-man. • The Seven Wise Men of Gotham ; a Hundred merry Tales ; Scoggin's Jefts," &c. Again, in The Nice Valour, &c. by Beaumont and Fletcher :

the Almanacs, " The Hundred Novels, and the Books of Cookery." of this colle&ion there are frequent entries in the register of the Stationers' Company. The first I met with was in Jan. 1581.

STELVENS. This book was certainly printed before the year 1575, and in much repute, as appears from the mention of it in Lancham's Letter concerning the entertainment at Kenelworth-Caftle. Again, in The English Courlier and the Cuntrey Gentleman, bl. l. 1586. fig.

wee want not also pleasant mad headed knaves that bee properly learned and well reade in diverse pleasant bookes and good authors. As Sir Guy of Warwicke, the Foure Sonnes of Aymon, the Ship of Fooles, the Budget of Demaundes, the Hun. dredth merry Tales, the Booke of Ryddles, and many other excellent writers both witty and pleasaunt.” It has been suggested to me that there is no other reason than the word hundred to fuppose this book a translation of the Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles. I have now but little doubt that Boccace's Decameron was the book here alluded to. It contains just one hundred Novels. So, in Guazzo's Civile Conversation, 1586, p.'158 : "we do but give them occasion to turne over the Hundred Novelles of Boccace, and to write amorous and lascivious, letters." REED.

The Hundred merry Tales can never have been a translation of Les Cent Nouvelles Nouvelles, many of which are very tragical relations, and none of them calculated to furnish a lady with good wit. lt should seem rather to bave been a sort of jeft-book. Ritson,

H. 4:

« AnteriorContinuar »