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King. My honour's at the stake; which to defeat,
My love, and her desert; that canst not dream,
Shall weigh thee to the beam; that wilt not know,
We please to have it grow: Check thy contempt:
Of youth and ignorance; both my revenge and hate
Ber. Pardon, my gracious lord; for I submit
Take her by the hand, And tell her, she is thine; to whom I promise
that canst not dream,
We, poizing us in her defective scale,
Shall weigh thee to the beam;] That canst not understand, that if you and this maiden should be weighed together, and our royal favour should be thrown into her scale, (which you esteem so light,) we should make that in which you should be placed, to strike the beam. MALONE.
4 Into the staggers,] One species of the staggers, or the horse's apoplexy, is a raging impatience, which makes the animal dash himself with a destructive violence against posts or walls. To this the allusion, I suppose, is made. JOHNSON.
A counterpoize; if not to thy estate,
A balance more replete.
I take her hand.
King. Good fortune, and the favour of the king,
[Exeunt King, BERTRAM, HELENA, Lords, and Attendants.
Laf. Do you hear, monsieur? a word with you.
Laf. Your lord and master did well to make his
Par. Recantation ?-My lord ?—my master?
Laf. Ay; Is it not a language, I speak?
Par. A most harsh one; and not to be understood without bloody succeeding. My master?
Laf. Are you companion to the count Rousillon?
Par. To any count; to all counts; to what is man. Laf. To what is count's man; count's master is of another style.
Par. You are too old, sir; let it satisfy you, you are too old.
Shall seem expedient on the now-born brief,
And be perform'd to-night;] A brief, in ancient language, means any short and summary writing or proceeding. The nowborn brief is another phrase for the contract recently and suddenly made. The ceremony of it (says the king) shall seem to hasten after its short preliminary, and be performed to-night, &c. STEEVENS.
The meaning of the present passage, I believe, is Good-fortune, and the king's favour, smile on this short contract; the ceremonial part of which shall immediately pass-shall follow close on the troth now plighted between the parties, and be performed this night; the solemn feast shall be delayed to a future time. MALone.
Laf. I must tell thee, sirrah, I write man; to which title age cannot bring thee.
Par. What I dare too well do, I dare not do.
Laf. I did think thee, for two ordinaries, to be pretty wise fellow; thou didst make tolerable vent of thy travel; it might pass: yet the scarfs, and the bannerets, about thee, did manifoldly dissuade me from believing thee a vessel of too great a burden. I have now found thee; when I lose thee again, I care not: yet art thou good for nothing but taking up'; and that thou art scarce worth.
Par. Hadst thou not the privilege of antiquity upon thee,――
Laf. Do not plunge thyself too far in anger, lest thou hasten thy trial;-which if-Lord have mercy on thee for a hen! So, my good window of lattice, fare thee well; thy casement I need not open, for I look through thee. Give me thy hand.
Par. My lord, you give me most egregious indignity.
Laf. Ay, with all my heart; and thou art worthy of it.
Par. I have not, my lord, deserved it.
Laf. Yes, good faith, every dram of it: and I will not bate thee a scruple.
Par. Well, I shall be wiser.
Laf. E'en as soon as thou canst, for thou hast to pull at a smack o'the contrary. If ever thou be'st bound in thy scarf, and beaten, thou shalt find what it is to be proud of thy bondage. I have a desire to hold my acquaintance with thee, or rather my knowledge; that I may say, in the default, he is a man I
for two ordinaries,] Whilst I sat twice with thee at table.
taking up ;] To take up is to contradict, to call to account; as well as to pick off the ground. JOHNSON.
in the default,] That is, at a need.
Par. My lord, you do me most insupportable vexation.
Laf. I would it were hell-pains for thy sake, and my poor doing eternal: for doing I am past; as I will by thee, in what motion age will give me leave'.
[Exit Par. Well, thou hast a son shall take this disgrace off me; scurvy, old, filthy, scurvy lord! Well, I must be patient; there is no fettering of authority. I'll beat him, by my life, if I can meet him with any convenience, an he were double and double a lord. I'll have no more pity of his age, than I would have of— I'll beat him, an if I could but meet him again.
Laf. Sirrah, your lord and master's married, there's news for you; you have a new mistress.
Par. I most unfeignedly beseech your lordship to make some reservation of your wrongs: He is my good
lord whom I serve above, is my master.
Laf. Who? God?
Par. Ay, sir.
Laf. The devil it is, that's thy master Why dost thou garter up thy arms o'this fashion? dost make hose
of thy sleeves? do other servants so? Thou wert best set thy lower part where thy nose stands. By mine honour if I were but two hours younger, I'd beat thee: methinks, thou art a general offence, and every man should beat thee. I think, thou wast created for men to breathe themselves upon thee.
Par. This is hard and undeserved measure, my lord. Laf. Go to, sir; you were beaten in Italy for picking
- for doing I am past; as I will by thee, in what motion age will give me leave.] Mr. Edwards has, I think, given the true meaning of Lafeu's words. "I cannot do much, says Lafeu; doing I am past, as I will by thee in what motion age will give me leave; i. e. as I will pass by thee as fast as I am able :-and he immediately goes out. It is a play on the word past: the conceit indeed is poor, but Shakspeare plainly meant it." MALONE.
a kernel out of a pomegranate; you are a vagabond, and no true traveller: you are more saucy with lords, and honourable personages, than the heraldry of your birth and virtue gives you commission. You are not worth another word, else I'd call you knave. I leave [Exit.
Par. Good, very good; it is so then.-Good, very good; let it be concealed a while.
Ber. Undone, and forfeited to cares for ever!
Par. What is the matter, sweet heart?
Ber. Although before the solemn priest I have sworn, I will not bed her.
Par. What? what, sweet heart?
Ber. O my Parolles, they have married me :
I'll to the Tuscan wars, and never bed her.
Par. France is a dog-hole, and it no more merits
The tread of a man's foot: to the wars!
Ber. There's letters from my mother; what the import is,
I know not yet.
Par. Ay, that would be known: To the wars, my boy, to the wars!
He wears his honour in a box unseen,
That hugs his kicksy-wicksy' here at home;
Which should sustain the bound and high curvet
Ber. It shall be so; I'll send her to my house,
1 That hugs his kicksy-wicksy, &c.] Sir T. Hanmer, in his Glossary, observes, that kicksy-wicksy is a made word in ridicule and disdain of a wife.