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spares my team, and gives me leave to inn the crop: if I be his cuckold, he's my drudge: He, that comforts my wife, is the cherisher of my flesh and blood; he, that cherishes my flesh and blood, loves my flesh and blood; he, that loves my flesh and blood, is my friend : ergo, he that kisses my wife, is my friend. If men could be contented to be what they are, there were no fear in marriage; for
young Charbon the puritan, and old Poysam the papist, howsoe'er their hearts are severed in religion, their heads are both one, they may joll horns together, like any deer i' the herd.
Soph. I have a wife, would she were so preferr'd !
“ I could but be her subject; so I am now.
STEEVENS. that ears my land,] To ear is to plough. So, in Antony and Cleopatra :
" Make the sea serve them, which they ear and wound
“ With keels of every kind.” STEEVENS. See 1 Sam. viii. 12. Isaiah, xxx. 24. Deut. xxi. 4. Gen. xlv. 6. Exod. xxxiv. 21, for the use of this verb. HENLEY.
COUNT. Wilt thou ever be a foul-mouthed and calumnious knave ?
Clo. A prophet I, madam ; and I speak the truth the next way:
For I the ballad will repeat,
Which men full true shall find;
Your cuckoo sings by kind.
Count. Get you gone, sir; I'll talk with you more anon.
A prophet 1, madam; and I speak the truth the next way:] It is a superstition, which has run through all ages and people, that natural fools have something in them of divinity. On which account they were esteemed sacred: Travellers tell us in what esteem the Turks now hold them; nor had they less honour paid them heretofore in France, as appears from the old word benet, for a natural fool. Hence it was that Pantagruel, in Rabelais, advised Panurge to go and consult the fool Triboulet as an oracle ; which gives occasion to a satirical stroke upon the privy council of Francis the First-Par l'avis, conseil, prediction des fols vos scavez quants princes, &c. ont esté conservez, &c. The phrase-speak the truth the next way, means directly; as they do who are only the instruments or canals of others; such as inspired persons were supposed to be.
WARBURTON. See the popular story of Nixon the Idiot's Cheshire Prophecy.
DOUCE. Next way, is nearest way. So, in K. Henry IV. Part I:
“ 'Í'is the next way to turn tailor,” &c. STEEVENS. Next way is a phrase still used in Warwickshire, and signifies without circumlocution, or going about. HENLEY.
sings by kind.] I find something like two of the lines of this ballad in John Grange's Garden, 1577: “ Content yourself as well as 1, let reason rule your
minde, • As cuckoldes come by destinie, so cuckowes sing by
Stew. May it please you, madam, that he bid Helen come to you; of her I am to speak.
Count. Sirrah, tell my gentlewoman, I would speak with her; Helen I mean.
Clo. Was this fair face the cause,' quoth she,
[Singing Why the Grecians sacked Troy? Fond done, * done fond,
Was this king Priam's joy.
3 Was this fair face the cause, &c.] The name of Helen, whom the Countess has just called for, brings an old ballad on the sacking of Troy to the Clown's mind. Malone.
This is a stanza of an old ballad, out of which a word or two are dropt, equally necessary to make the sense and alternate rhyme. For it was not Helen, who was King Priam's joy, but Paris. The third line, therefore, should be read thus :
Fond done, fond done, for Paris, hem. WARBURTON. If this be a stanza taken from any ancient ballad, it will probably in time be found entire, and then the restoration may be made with authority. STEEVENS.
In confirmation of Dr. Warburton's conjecture, Mr. Theobald has quoted, from Fletcher's Maid in the Mill, the following stanza of another old ballad:
« And here fair Paris comes,
“ The hopeful youth of Troy, 66 Queen Hecuba's darling son,
“ King Priam's only joy." This renders it extremely probable, that Paris was the person described as king Priam's joy" in the ballad quoted by our author; but Mr. Heath has justly observed, that Dr. Warburton, though he has supplied the words supposed to be lost, has not explained them ; nor, indeed, do they seem, as they are connected, to afford any meaning. In 1585 was entered on the Stationers' books, by Edward White, The Lamentation of Hecuba, and the Ladyes of Troye; which probably contained the stanza here quoted. MALONE.
I am told that this work is little more than a dull amplification of the latter part of the twenty-fourth Book of Homer's
With that she sighed as she stood,
And gave this sentence then;
There's yet one good in ten.
Count. What, one good in ten? you corrupt the song,
sirrah. Clo. One good woman in ten, madam ; which is a purifying o’the song: 'Would God would serve
Iliad. I also learn, from a memorandum by Dr. Farmer, that The Life and Death of St. George, a ballad, begins as follows:
** Of Hector's deeds did Homer sing,
“ And of the sack of stately Troy ;
“ Which was Sir Paris' only joy." STEEVENS. '? Fond done,] Is foolishly done. So, in King Richard III. Act III. sc. iii :
Sorrow and grief of heart, “ Makes him speak fondly.” STEEVENS. With that she sighed as she stood,] At the end of the line of which this is a repetition, we find added in Italick characters the word bis, denoting, I suppose, the necessity of its being repeated. The corresponding line was twice printed, as it is here inserted, from the oldest copy. STEEVENS.
Among nine bad if one be good,
There's yet one good in ten.] This second stanza of the ballad is turned to a joke upon the women: a confession, that there was one good in ten. Whereon the Countess observed, that he corrupted the song ; which shows the song said-nine good in ten.
If one be bad amongst nine good,
There's but one bad in ten. This relates to the ten sons of Priam, who all behaved themselves well but Paris. For, though he once had fifty, yet, at this unfortunate period of his reign, he had but ten ; Agathon, Antiphon, Deiphobus, Dius, Hector, Helenus, Hippothous, Pammon, Paris, and Polites. WARBURTON.
the world so all the year! we'd find no fault with the tythe-woman, if I were the parson: One in ten, quoth a’! an we might have a good woman born but every blazing star,' or at an earthquake, 'twould mend the lottery well; 8 a man may draw his heart out, ere he pluck one.
Count. You'll be gone, sir knave, and do as I command you?
Clo. That man should be at woman's command, and yet no hurt done!—Though honesty be no pu. ritan, yet it will do no hurt; it will wear the surplice of humility over the black gown of a big heart.' -I am going, forsooth: the
business is for Helen to come hither.
• but every blazing star,] The old copy reads--but ore every blazing star. STEEVENS. I
suppose o'er was a misprint for or, which was used by our old writers for before. MALONE.
: 'twould mend the lottery well ;] This surely is a strange kind of phraseology. I have never met with any example of it in
any of the contemporary writers; and if there were any proof that in the lotteries of Queen Elizabeth's time wheels were em. ployed, I should be inclined to read lottery wheel. MALONE,
9 Clo. That man &c.] The Clown's answer is obscure. His lady bids him do as he is commanded. He answers, with the licentious petulance of his character, that if a man does as a woman commands, it is likely he will do amiss ; that he does not amiss, being at the command of a woman, he makes the effect, not of his lady's goodness, but of his own honesty, which, though not very nice or puritanical, will do no hurt; and will not only do no hurt, but, unlike the puritans, will comply with the injunctions of superiors, and wear the surplice of humility over the black gown of a big heart; will obey commands, though not much pleased with a state of subjection.
Here is an allusion, violently enough forced in, to satirize the obstinacy with which the puritans refused the use of the ecclesiastical habits, which was, at that time, one principal cause of the breach of the union, and, perhaps, to insinuate, that the modest purity of the surplice was sometimes a cover for pride.
JOHNSON. VOL. VIII.