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Creaking my shoes on the plain masonry,
Commit it, count. 2 LORD. I am your accessary; and so farewell.
BER. I grow to you, and our parting is a tortured body...
i LORD. Farewell, captain.
and no sword worn, But one to dance with !] It should be remembered that, in Shakspeare's time, it was usual for gentlemen to dance with swords on. Our author, who gave to all countries the manners of his own, has again alluded to this ancient custom in Antony and Cleopatra, Act III. sc. ix :
- He, at Philippi kept
“ His sword, even like a dancer.” See Mr. Steevens's note there. MALONE. 3- I'll steal away There's honour in the theft.] So, in Macbeth :
66 There's warrant in that theft,
“ Which steals itself - ” STEEVENS.
I grow to you, and our parting is a tortured body.) I read thus-Our parting is the parting of a tortured body. Our parting is as the disruption of limbs torn from each other. Repetition of a word is often the cause of mistakes: the eye glances on the wrong word, and the intermediate part of the sentence is omitted. Johnson. So, in K. Henry VIII. Act II. sc. iii:
“ it is a sufferance, panging . “ As soul and body's severing.” Steevens. . .
As they grow together, the tearing them asunder was torturing a body. Johnson's amendment is unnecessary. M. Mason.
We two growing together, and having, as it were, but one body, (“ like to a double cherry, seeming parted,”) our parting is a tortured body; i. e. cannot be effected but by a disruption of limbs which are now common to both. MALONE.
PAR. Noble heroes, my sword and yours are kin. Good sparks and lustrous, a word, good metals:-You shall find in the regiment of the Spinii, one captain Spurio, with his cicatrice; an emblem of war, here on his sinister cheek; it was this very sword entrenched it: say to him, I live; and observe his reports for me.
2 LORD. We shall, noble captain.
PAR. Mars dote on you for his novices! [Exeunt Lords.] What will you do?
BER. Stay; the king— [Seeing him rise.
PAR. Use a more spacious ceremony to the noble lords.; you have restrained yourself within the list of too cold an adieu : be more expressive to them; for they wear themselves in the cap of the time, there, do muster true gait, eat, speak, and move under the influence of the most received star;6
5 with his cicatrice,] The old copy reads-his cicatrice with. STEEVENS.
It is surprizing, none of the editors could see that a slight transposition was absolutely necessary here, when there is not common sense in the passage, as it stands without such transposition. Parolles only means, “ You shall find one captain Spurio in the camp, with a scar on his left cheek, a mark of war that my sword gave him.” THEOBALD.
6 — they wear themselves in the cap of the time, there, do muster true gait, &c.] The main obscurity of this passage arises from the mistake of a single letter. We should read, instead of do muster, to muster. To wear themselves in the cap of the time, signifies to be the foremost in the fashion: the figurative allusion is to the gallantry then in vogue, of wearing jewels, flowers, and their mistress's favours in their caps. There to muster true gait, signifies to assemble together in the high road of the fashion. All the rest is intelligible and easy.
WARBURTON, I think this emendation cannot be said to give much light to the obscurity of the passage. Perhaps it might be read thus:They do muster with the true gait, that is, they have the true
and though the devil lead the measure, such are to be followed : after them, and take a more di. lated farewell.
BER. And I will do so.
PAR. Worthy fellows; and like to prove most sinewy sword-men.
[Exeunt BERTRAM and PAROLLES.
LAF. Pardon, my lord, [Kneeling.] for me and
for my tidings.
military step. Every man has observed something peculiar in the strut of a soldier. JOHNSON.
Perhaps we should read-master true gait. To master any thing, is to learn it perfectly. So, in King Henry IV. P.1:
“ As if he master'd there a double spirit
“ Of teaching and of learning Again, in King Henry V:.
“ Between the promise of his greener days,
" And those he masters now." In this last instance, however, both the quartos, viz. 1600 and 1608, read musters. STEEVENS.
The obscurity of the passage arises only from the fantastical language of a character like Parolles, whose affectation of wit urges his imagination from one allusion to another, without allowing time for his judgment to determine their congruity. The cap of time being the first image that occurs, true gait, manner of eating, speaking, &c. are the several ornaments which they muster, place, or arrange in time’ś cap. This is done under the influence of the most received star ; that is, the person in the highest repute for setting the fashions :-and though the devil were to lead the measure or dance of fashion, such is their implicit submission, that even he must be followed.
, HENLEY. o lead the measure,] i. e. the dance. So, in Much Ado about Nothing, Beatrice says: “ Tell him there is measure in every thing, and so dance out the answer.". STEEVENS.
KING. I'll fee thee to stand up.
. Then here's a man Stands, that has brought his pardon. I would, you Had kneel’d, my lord, to ask me mercy; and That, at my bidding, you could so stand up.
King. I would I had; so I had broke thy pate, And ask'd thee mercy for't. LAF.
Goodfaith, across :9 But, my good lord, 'tis thus; Will you be cur’d Of your infirmity ?
King. . No.
O, will you eat
- brought – ] Some modern editions read—bought.
MALONE 9 across :) This word, as has been already observed, is used when any pass of wit miscarries. JOHNSON.
While chivalry was in vogue, breaking spears against a quintain was a favourite exercise. He who shivered the greatest number was esteemed the most adroit ; but then it was to be performed exactly with the point, for if achieved by a sidestroke, or across, it showed unskilfulness, and disgraced the practiser. Here, therefore, Lafeu reflects on the King's wit, as aukward and ineffectual, and, in the terms of play, good for nothing. Holt WHITE.
See As you like it, Act III. sc. iv. p. 124. STEEVENS. 1- yes, but you will,
My noble grapes, &c.] The words--My noble grapes, seem to Dr. Warburton and Sir T. Hanmer to stand so much in the way, that they have silently omitted them. They may be, indeed, rejected without great loss, but I believe they are Shakspeare's words. You will eat, says Lafeu, no grapes. Yes, but you will eat such noble grapes, as I bring you, if you could reach them. JOHNSON.
medicine,] is here put for a she-physician. HANMER.
That's able to breathe life into a stone;
What her is this?
arriv’d, If you will see her,-now, by my faith and honour, If seriously I may convey my thoughts In this my light deliverance, I have spoke With one, that, in her sex, her years, profession, Wisdom, and constancy, hath amaz’d me more Than I dare blame my weakness :: Will you see her
3 – and make you dance canary,] Mr. Rich. Brome, in his comedy, entitled, The City Wit, or the Woman wears the Breeches, Act IV. sc. i. mentions this among other dances : “ As for corantoes, lavoltos, jigs, measures, pavins, brawls, galliards, or canaries ; I speak it not swellingly, but I subscribe to no man.” DR. GREY.
4 whose simple touch &c.] Thus, Ovid, Amor. III. vii. 41:
Illius ad tactum Pylius juvenescere possit,
* Tithonosque annis fortior esse suis.“ STEEVENS. ' * And write --] I believe a line preceding this has been lost.
MALONE. O her years, profession,] By profession is meant her declaration of the end and purpose of her coming. WARBURTON.
7 Than I dare blame my weakness :) This is one of Shakspeare's perplexed expressions. “ To acknowledge how much she has astonished me, would be to acknowledge a weakness; and this I am unwilling to do." STEEVENS.
Lafeu's meaning appears to me to be this :-" That the amazement she excited in him was so great, that he could not impute it merely to his own weakness, but to the wonderful qualities of the object that occasioned it.” M. MASON.
lalitie it mere, excit appea