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King. Come, sir, [advancing. ] you blush; as his
your case is such; You chide at him, offending twice as much: You do not love Maria; Longaville Did never fonnet for her fake compile; Nor never lay his wreathed arms athwart His loving bosom, to keep down his heart. I have been closely shrouded in this bush, And mark'd you both, and for you both, did blush. I heard your guilty rhymes, observ'd your fashion Saw fighs reek from you, noted well your pailion : Ah me! says one; (Jove! the other cries; One, her hairs & were goid, cryftal the other's eyes : You would for paradile break faith and troth;
[ To LONG. And Jove, for your love, would infringe an oath.
[ To DUMAIN. What will Birón say, when that hie shall bear A faith infring'd, which such a zeal did swear ? ! How will he icorn? how will he spend his wit? How will he triuinph, lcap, and laugh at it?
& One, her hairs- ] The folio reads On her bairs, &c. I some years ago conje&ured that we thould read - One, her hairs were gold, &c. i. e. the hairs of one of the ladies were of the colour of gold, and the eyes of the other as clear as crystal. The king is speaking of the panegyricks pronounced by the two lovers on their mistreiles. On examining the first quarto, 1598, I have found my conje&ure confirmed; for so it reads. One and on are frequently confounded in the old copies of our author's plays. See a note on King John, AQ Ill. fc. iii. MALONE.
9 A faith infring'd, which such a zeal did swear ?] The repeated article A ( which is wanting in the oldest copy) appears to have been judiciously restored by the editor of the folio 1632. At least, I Thall adopt his supplement, till some hardy critick arises and declares himself satisfied with the following line
Faith infringed, which such zeal did swear in which “6 ze -- -al" must be employed as a disfyllable. Seç Mr. Malone's note ?, p. 279. STEEVENS,
For all the wealth that ever I did see,
Biron. Now step I forth to whip hypocrisy.--
[ Defcends from the tree. Good heart, what grace hast thou, thus to reprove Thele worms for loving, that art molt in love? Your eyes do make no coaches ; ' in your tears, There is no certain princess that appears : You'll not be perjur'd, 'cis a hateful thing: Tush, none but minarels like of sonneting. But are you not alham'd ? nay, are you not, All three of you, to be thus much o'er-shot? You found his mote ; the king your mote did see; But I a beani do find in each of three. 0, what a scene of foolery I have seen, Of sighs, of groans, of sorrow, and of teen! O me, with what strict patience have I fat, To see a king transformed to a gnat!'
These worms for loving, ] So, in The Tempeft, Prospero address fing Miranda, says
" Poor worm, thou art infeded." STEEVENS. 3 Tour eyes do make no coaches;] Alluding to a passage in the king's Sonnet:
" No drop but as a coach doth carry thee." STEEVENS. The old copy has couches. Mr. Pope correded it. MALONE.
teen! ) i. e. grief. So, in The Tempest :
Sreevens. Sto see a king transformed to a gnat! ) Mr. Theobald and the suc. ceeding editors read to a knot.
MALONE. Knni has no sense that can fuit this place. We may read -- fol. The riymes in this play, are such as that fat and sot may be well enough admitted. JOHNSO
A knot is, I believe, a true lover's knot, meaning that the king lay'd
his wreathed arms athwart His loving bofom so long; i. c. remained so long in the lover's posture, that he secm
To see great Hercules whipping a gigg,
ed a&ually transformed into a knot. The word sat is in some counties pronounced fot. This may account for the seeming want of exa& rhyme. In the old comedy of Albumazar, the same thought occurs :
" Why should I twinc my arms to cables ? So, in The Tempeft:
" Marcus, unknit that corrow-wreathen knot:
:56 With folded arms.
as he walk'd, “ Folding his arms up in a pensive knot." The old copy, however, reads.
--- a guat, and Mr. Tollet seems to think it contains an allufion to St. Matthew, xxiii. 24. where the metaphorical term of a gnat means a thing of least importance, or what is proverbially small. The smallness of a gnat is likewise mentioned in Cymbeline. STFEVENS.
A knott is likewise a Lincolnshire bird of the snipe kind. It is foolish even to a proverb, and it is said to be calily calmared. Ray, in his Ornithology, observes, that it took its name from Canute, who was particularly fond of it. COLLINS. So, in The Alchemist :
My foo.-boy shall eat pheasants, &c.
" Knolis, godwits, &c.
" The hnot that called was Canutus' bird of old,
STEEVENS. To see a king transformed to a gnat!] Alluding to the singing of that insea, suggested by the poetry the king had been deteaed in.
HEATH. The original reading, and Mr. Heath's explanation of it, are confirmed by a passage in Spenter's Fæery Queene, B. II. c. ix.
" As when a fwarme of gnats at even-tide
And Nestor play at push-pin with the boys,
Too bitter is thy jest.
Biron. Not you by me, but I betray'd to you; I, that am honest; I, that hold it fin To break the vow lam engaged in; I am betray'd, by keeping company With moon-like men, of strange inconstancy.
the old copy.
Gnat is undoubtedly the true reading, and is that, it seems, of
Biron is abusing the King for his sonnetting like a minstrel, and compares him to a gnat, which always fings as it flies. Besides, the word gnat preserves the rhime, which is here to be attended to. M. MASON.
critic Timon - ] Critic and critical are used by our author in the fame sense as cynic and cynical. Iago, speaking of the fair sex as harshly as is sometimes the pra&ice of Dr. Warburton, declares he is nothing if not critical. STEEVENS.
Mr. Steevens's observation is supported by our author's 112th Sonnet:
my adder's sense " To critick and to flatterer stopped are." MALONE. s With moon-like men, of strange inconftancy. ]
The old copy reads -omen-like men. STEEVENS. This is a strange senselefs line, and should be read thus:
" With vane-like men, of strange inconfiancy. WARBURTON. This is well imagined, but the poet perhaps may mean, with men like common men. JOHNSON.
The following passage in K. Henry VI. P. III. adds some support to Dr. Warburton's conjecture:
" Look, as í blow this feather from my face,
Obeying with my wind when I do blow,
When shall you see me write a thing in rhime?
Soft; Whither away fo fast?
Biron. I post from love ; good lover, let me go.
Strange, which is not in the quarto or first folio, was added by the editor the second folio, aud consequently any other word as well as that may have been the author's; for all the additions in that copy were manifeilly arbitrary, and are generally injudicious.
MALONE. Slight at the authority of the second folio is here represented to be, who will venture to displace flrange, and put any other word in its place? STEBVENS. I
agree with the editors in considering this passage as erroneous, but not in the amendment proposed. That which I would suggest is, to read moon-like, instead of men-like, which is a more poetical expression, and nearer to the old reading than vane-like.
M. MASON, I have not scrupled to place this happy emendation in tie iext; remarking at the same time that a vane is no where styled inconji anta although our author beftows that epithet on the moon in Romee and fuliet:
the inconfiant moon " That monthly changes Again, in Antony and Cleopatra :
now from head to foot
" No planet is of inine.' STEEVENS. Again, more appositely, in As you like it : - being but a moonis youth, changeable, inconstant, &c... MALONE.
s In pruning me?] A bird is said to prune himself whev he picks and sleeks his feathers. So, in K. Henry 1V. P. I:
" Which makes him prune himself, and bristle up
STEEVENS. a gait, a state, ) State, I believe, in the present instance, is opposed to gait, (i. i. motion) and figuifies the ad of landing. So, in Antony and Cleopatra : • Her motion and her fiatian are as one.