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No drop but as a coach doth carry thee,
And they thy glory through my grief will show :
Enter LONGAVILLE, with a paper.
What, Longaville! and reading! listen, ear. BIRON. Now, in thy likeness, one more fool, ap[Aside.
LONG. Ah me! I am forsworn.
BIRON. Why, he comes in like a perjure 2, wear
KING. In love, I hope; Sweet fellowship in
BIRON. C'ne drunkard loves another of the name.
LONG. Arn I the first that have been perjur'd so? BIRON. [Aside.] I could put thee in comfort; not by two, that I know:
"But hers, which through the crystal tears gave light,
'Shone, like the moon in water, seen by night." MALONE. - he comes in like a perjure,] The punishment of perjury is to wear on the breast a paper expressing the crime. JOHNSON. Thus, Holinshed, p. 838, speaking of Cardinal Wolsey: "he so punished a perjurie with open punishment, and open papers wearing, that in his time it was less used."
Again, in Leicester's Commonwealth :-" the gentlemen were all taken and cast into prison, and afterwards were set down to Ludlow, there to wear papers of perjury." STEEVENS.
3 In love, I hope; &c.] In the old copy this line is given to Longaville. The present regulation was made by Mr. Pope.
Thou mak'st the triumviry, the corner-cap of so
The shape of love's Tyburn that hangs up simpli
LONG. I fear, these stubborn lines lack power to
O sweet Maria, empress of my love!
These numbers will I tear, and write in prose. BIRON. [Aside.] O, rhymes are guards on wanton Cupid's hose:
Disfigure not his slop *.
This same shall go.
[He reads the sonnet.
Did not the heavenly rhetorick of thine eye (Gainst whom the world cannot hold argument,)
Persuade my heart to this false perjury?
Vows, for thee broke, deserve not punishment. A woman Iforswore; but, I will prove,
Thou being a goddess, I forswore not thee: My vow was earthly, thou a heavenly love;
4 O, rhymes are guards on wanton Cupid's hose: Disfigure not his SLOP.] The old copies read-shop. STEEVENS.
All the editions happen to concur in this error: but what agreement in sense is there between Cupid's hose and his shop? or what relation can those two terms have to one another? or, what, indeed, can be understood by Cupid's shop? It must undoubtedly be corrected, as I have reformed the text.
Slops are large and wide-knee'd breeches, the garb in fashion in our author's days, as we may observe from old family pictures; but they are now worn only by boors and sea-faring men and we have dealers, whose sole business it is to furnish the sailors with shirts, jackets, &c. who are called slop-men, and their shops, slop-shops. Theobald.
suppose this alludes to the usual tawdry dress of Cupid, when he appeared on the stage. In an old translation of Casa's Galateo is this precept: "Thou must wear no garments, that be over much daubed with garding: that men may not say, thou hast Ganimedes hosen, or Cupides doublet." FARMER.
Thy grace being gain'd, cures all disgrace in
Vows are but breath, and breath a vapour is:
Then thou, fair sun, which on my earth dost
Exhal'st this vapour vow; in thee it is:
BIRON. [Aside.] This is the liver vein, which makes flesh a deity;
A green goose, a goddess: pure, pure idolatry. God amend us, God amend! we are much out o' the way.
Enter DUMAIN, with a paper.
LONG. By whom shall I send this ?-Company!
stay. [Stepping aside. BIRON. [Aside.] All hid, all hid, an old infant
Like a demi-god here sit I in the sky,
And wretched fools' secrets heedfully o'er-eye.
BIRON. O most prophane coxcomb!
5 TO LOSE an oath to win a paradise?] The Passionate Pilgrim, 1599, in which this sonnet is also found, reads—To break an oath. But the opposition between lose and win is much in our author's
6 -the liver vein,] The liver was anciently supposed to be the seat of love. JOHNSON.
So, in Much Ado about Nothing:
"If ever love had interest in his liver." STEEVENS. All hid, all hid,] The children's cry at hide and seek. MUSGRAVE.
8 four WOODCOCKS in a dish!] See note on Much Ado about Nothing, Act V. Sc. I. DOUCE.
DUM. By heaven, the wonder of a mortal eye! BIRON. By earth, she is but corporal; there you
[Aside. DUM. Her amber hairs for foul have amber
BIRON. An amber-colour'd raven was well noted.
By earth, she is BUT corporal; there you lie.] Old edition: "By earth, she is not, corporal, there you lie."
Dumain, one of the lovers, in spite of his vow to the contrary, thinking himself alone here, breaks out into short soliloquies of admiration on his mistress; and Biron, who stands behind as an èves-dropper, takes pleasure in contradicting his amorous raptures. But Dumain was a young lord; he had no sort of post in the army: what wit, or allusion, then, can there be in Biron's calling him corporal? I dare warrant, I have restored the poet's true meaning, which is this. Dumain calls his mistress divine, and the wonder of a mortal eye; and Biron in flat terms denies these hyperbolical praises. I scarce need hint, that our poet commonly uses corporal, as corporeal. THEOBALD.
I have no doubt that Theobald's emendation is right.
The word corporal in Shakspeare's time, was used for corporeal. So, in Macbeth:-" each corporal agent."
and what seem'd corporal, melted
"As breath into the wind."
Again, in Julius Cæsar :
"His corporal motion govern'd by my spirit."
This adjective is found in Bullokar's Expositor, 8vo. 1616, but corporeal is not.
Not is again printed for but in the original copy of The Comedy of Errors, and in other places.
amber COTED.] To cote is to outstrip, to overpass. So, in Hamlet:
"We coted on the way."
Again, in Chapman's Homer:
Words her worth had prov'd with deeds,
"Had more ground been allow'd the race, and coted for his
The beauty of amber consists in its variegated cloudiness, which Dumain calls foulness. The hair of his mistress in varied shadows exceeded those of amber. Foul may be used (as fair often is) as a substantive. Pliny in his Nat. Hist. b. xxxvii. ch. xi. p. 609, informs us that " Nero Domitius made a sonnet in the praise of
And I had mine!
BIRON. Ay, as some days; but then no sun must
DOM. O that I had my wish!
KING. And I* mine too, good Lord!
BIRON. Amen, so I had mine: Is not that a good
DUM. I would forget her; but a fever she Reigns in my blood 2, and will remember'd be. BIRON. A fever in your blood, why, then incision Would let her out in saucers; Sweet misprision! [Aside.
* First folio and quarto omit I.
the haire of the Empresse Poppaa his wife, which he compared to amber; and from that time our daintie dames and fine ladies have begun to set their mind upon this colour," &c. STEEVENS. Quoted here, I think, signifies marked, written down. So, in All's Well that Ends well :
He's quoted for a most perfidious knave."
The word in the old copy is-coted; but that (as Dr. Johnson has observed in the last scene of this play) is only the old spelling of quoted, owing to the transcriber's trusting to his ear, and following the pronunciation. So, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, p. 45, n. 2:
Thu. How quote you my folly? "Val. I quote it in your jerkin."
To cote, is elsewhere used by our author, with the signification of over-take, but that will by no means suit here. MALONE.
The word here intended, though mispelled, is quoted, which signifies observed or regarded, both here and in every place where it occurs in these plays; and the meaning is, that-amber itself is regarded as foul when compared with her hair. M. MASON.
2 - but a fever she
Reigns IN MY BLOOD,] So, in Hamlet:
For, like the hectic, in my blood he rages." STEEVENS. why, then INCISION
Would let her out in saucers;] It was the fashion