Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

1

DUKE.

No more evasion: We have with a leaven'd and prepared choice Proceeded to you; therefore take your honours. Our haste from hence is of so quick condition, That it prefers itself, and leaves unquestion'd Matters of needful value. We shall write to you, As time and our concernings shall importune, How it goes with us; and do look to know What doth befall you here. So, fare you well : To the hopeful execution do I leave you Of your commissions. Ang.

Yet, give leave, my lord, That we may bring you something on the way?.

Duke. My haste may not admit it; Nor need you, on mine honour, have to do With any scruple: your scope is as mine own°; So to enforce, or qualify the laws, As to your soul seems good. Give me your hand; I'll privily away: I love the people, But do not like to stage me to their eyes * :

We have with a leaven's and prepared choice -] Leaven'd choice is one of Shakspeare's harsh metaphors. His train of ideas seems to be this : I have proceeded to you with choice mature, concocted, fermented, leavened. When bread is leavened it is left to ferment: a leavened choice is, therefore, a choice not hasty, but considerate ; not declared as soon as it fell into the imagination, but suffered to work long in the mind. Thus explained, it suits better with prepared than levelled [Pope's reading].

Johnson. 2 - bring you something on the way.) i. e. accompany you. So, in A Woman Kill'd with Kindness, by Heywood, 1617: “'She went very lovingly to bring him on his way to horse.” And the same mode of expression is to be found in almost every writer of the times. Reed.

- your scope is as mine own ;] That is, your amplitude of power.

JOHNSON – to stage me to their eyes :] So, in one of Queen Elizabeth's speeches to parliament, 1586 : “We princes, I tel you, are set on stages, in the sight and viewe of all the world,” &c. See The Copy of a Letter to the Right Honourable the Earle of Leycester, &c. 4to. 1586. STEEVENS.

3

Though it do well, I do not relish well
Their loud applause, and aves vehement;
Nor do I think the man of safe discretion,
That does affect it. Once more, fare you well. .

Ang. The heavens give safety to your purposes !
Escal. Lead forth, and bring you back in hap-

piness. DUKE. I thank you : Fare you well.

[Exit. Escal. I shall desire you, sir, to give me leave To have free speech with you; and it concerns me To look into the bottom of my place : A power I have; but of what strength and nature I am not yet instructed. ANG. 'Tis so with me :-Let us withdraw to

gether, And we may soon our satisfaction have Touching that point. ESCAL. I'll wait upon your honour.

. [Exeunt.

SCENE II.

A Street.

Enter Lucio 5 and two Gentlemen. Lucio. If the duke, with the other dukes, come not to composition with the king of Hungary, why, then all the dukes fall upon the king.

1 Gent. Heaven grant us its peace, but not the king of Hungary's!

2 GENT. Amen. Lucio. Thou concludest like the sanctimonious

5 Lucio.] This name may have been suggested by Turberville's Tragical Tales, p. 103, where we find :

“ One Luzio a roysting roague." MALONE.

pirate, that went to sea with the ten commandments, but scraped one out of the table.

2 GENT. Thou shalt not steal ? Lucio. Ay, that he razed.

1 Gent. Why? 'Twas a commandment to command the captain and all the rest from their functions; they put forth to steal : There's not a soldier of us all, that, in the thanksgiving before meat, doth * relish the petition well that prays for peace.

2 Gent. I never heard any soldier dislike it.

Lucio. I believe thee; for, I think, thou never wast where grace was said.

2 GENT. No ? a dozen times at least. 1 Gent. What ? in metre? Lucro. In any proportion', or in any language. 1 Gent. I think, or in any religion.

Lucio. Ay! why not? Grace is grace, despite of all controversy ' : As for example ; Thou thyself art a wicked villain, despite of all grace.

* First folio, do. 6 - in metre ?] In the primers there are metrical graces, such as, I suppose, were used in Shakspeare's time. Johnson.

7 In any proportion, &c.] Proportion signifies measure; and refers to the question, What? in metre?

WARBURTON. This speech is improperly given to Lucio. It clearly belongs to the second Gentleman, who had heard grace a dozen times at least.” Ritson.

8 Grace is grace, despite of all controversy :) Satirically insinuating, that the controversies about grace were so intricate and endless, that the disputants unsettled every thing but this, that grace was grace; which, however, in spite of controversy, still remained certain. WARBURTON.

I am in doubt whether Shakspeare's thoughts reached so far into ecclesiastical disputes. Every commentator is warped a little by the tract of his own profession. The question is, whether the second gentleman has ever heard grace. The first gentleman limits the question to grace in metre. Lucio enlarges it to grace in any form or language. The first gentleman, to go beyond him, says, or in any religion, which Lucio allows, because the nature of things is unalterable; grace is as immutably grace, as his merry antagonist is a wicked villain. Difference in religion cannot

66

1 Gent. Well, there went but a pair of sheers between us.

Lucro. I grant; as there may between the lists and the velvet: Thou art the list.

1 Gent. And thou the velvet : thou art good velvet: thou art a three-pisd piece, I warrant thee: I had as lief be a list of an English kersey, as be pild, as thou art pil'd, for a French velveti. Do I speak feelingly now ?

Lucio. I think thou dost; and, indeed, with most painful feeling of thy speech: I will, out of thine own confession, learn to begin thy health ; but, whilst I live, forget to drink after thee.

i Gent. I think, I have done myself wrong: have I not?

2 GENT. Yes, that thou hast; whether thou art tainted, or free.

9

make a grace not to be grace, a prayer not to be holy; as nothing can make a villain not to be a villain. This seems to be the meaning, such as it is. Johnson.

there went but a pair of sheers between us.] We are both of the same piece. Johnson. So, in The Maid of the Mill, by Beaumont and Fletcher : There went but a pair of sheers and a bodkin between

them." STEEVENS. The same expression is likewise found in Marston's Malcontent, 1604: “ There

goes

but a pair of sheers betwixt an emperor and the son of a bagpiper ; only the dying, dressing, pressing, and glossing, makes the difference." MALONE.

- pild, as thou art pil'd, for a French velvet.] The jest about the pile of a French velvet, alludes to the loss of hair in the French disease, a very frequent topick of our author's jocularity.' Lucio finding that the gentleman understands the distemper so well, and mentions it so feelingly, promises to remember to drink his health, but to forget to drink after him. It was the opinion of Shakspeare's time, that the cup of an infected person was contagious. *Johnson.

The jest lies between the similar sound of the words pillid and pild. This I have elsewhere explained, under a passage in Henry VI. Part I. Act I. Sc. IV.:

Pill'd priest thou liest.” STEEVENS.

1 Gent. Behold, behold, where madam Mitigation comeso! I have purchased as many diseases under her roof, as come to

2 Gent. To what, I pray ?
1 Gent. Judge.
2 Gent. To three thousand dollars a-year'.
1 Gent. Ay, and more.
Lucio. A French crown more?.

1 Gent. Thou art always figuring diseases in me: but thou art full of error; I am sound.

Lucio. Nay, not as one would say, healthy; but so sound, as things that are hollow : thy bones are hollow'; impiety has made a feast of thee,

9 Behold, behold, where madam Mitigation comes !] In the old copy, this speech, and the next but one, are attributed to Lucio. The present regulation was suggested by Mr. Pope. What Lucio says afterwards, 'A French crown more," proves that it is right. He would not utter a sarcasm against himself.

Malone. To three thousand dollars a-year.] A quibble intended between dollars and dolours. HanMER.

The same jest occurs in The Tempest. Johnson.

2 A French crown more.] Lucio means here not the piece of money so called, but that venereal scab, which among the surgeons is styled corona Veneris. To this, I think, our author likewise makes Quince allude in A Midsummer-Night's Dream : “ Some of your French crowns have no hair at all, and then you will play bare-faced.” For where these eruptions are, the skull is carious, and the party becomes bald. THEOBALD. So, in The Return from Parnassus, 1606 : I may

chance indeed to give the world a bloody nose ; but it shall hardly give me a crack'd crown, though it gives other poets French crowns."

Again, in the Dedication to Gabriel Harvey's Hunt Is Up, 1598:

never metst with any requital, except it were some few French crownes, pild friers crownes,” &c. Steevens.

thy bones are hollow;] So Timon, addressing himself to Phrynia and Timandra :

“ Consumptions sow

" In hollow bones of man.” STEEVENS. VOL. IX.

66

66

3

« AnteriorContinuar »