Page images

And consciences, that will not die in debt,
Pay him the due of honey-tongued Boyet.
King. A blister on his sweet tongue, with my

put Armado's

page out of his part !

Enter the Princess, user'd by Boyet; ROSALINE,

MARIA, KATHARINE, and attendants.

Biron. See where it comes !-Behaviour, what

wert thou, Till this man fhow'd thee? and what art thou now? King. All hail, sweet madam, and fair time of

day! PRIN. Fair, in all hail, is foul, as I conceive. King. Construe my speeches better, if you may. Prin. Then wish me better, I will give you leave.

tooth of the Horse-whale, Morse, or Walrus, as appears by King Alfred's preface to his Saxon transation of Orofius.

HOLT WHITE, Behaviour, what wert thou, Till this man Jhow'd thee? and what art thou now?) These are two wonderfully fine lines, intimating that what courts call manners, and value themselves so much upon teaching, as a thing no where else to be 'learnt, is a modeft filent accomplishment under the dire&ion of nature and common sense, which does its office in promoting social life without being taken notice of. But that when it degenerates into show and parade, it becomes an unmanly, con. temptible quality. WARBURTON.

What is told in this note is undoubtedly true, but is not comprized in the quotation. JOHNSON. Till this man sow'd thee? ] The old copies read — " Till this

&c. STEEVENS. An error of the press. The word mad must be ftruck out.


mad man,

King. We came to visit you; and purpose now To lead

you to our court: vouchsafe it then. PRIN. This field shall hold me ; and so hold

your vow: Nor God, nor I, delight in perjur'd men. King. Rebuke me not for that which you pro

voke; The virtue of your eye' must break my oath." Prin. You nick-name virtụe: vice you should

have spoke;
For virtue's office never breaks men's troth,
Now, by my maiden honour, yet as pure

As the unsullied lily, I protest,
A world of torments though I should endure,

I would not yield to be your house's guest:
So much I hate a breaking-cause to be
Of heavenly oaths, vow'd with integrity.
King. O, you have liv'd in desolation here,

Unseen, unvisited, much to our shame.
Prin. Not so, my lord; it is not so, I swear;

We have had pastimes here, and pleasantgame; A mess of Russians left us but of late.

KING. How, madam ? Russians ?

Ay, in truth, my lord; Trim gallants, full of courtship, and of state.

Ros. Madam, speak true :-It is not so my lord; My lady, (to the manner of the days,) In courtesy, gives undeserving praise.'

* The virtue of your eye must break my oath. ] I believe ourauthor means that the virtue, in which word goodness and power are both comprised, mult diffolve the obligation of the oath. The princess, in her answer, takes the most invidious part of the ambiguity.

My lady, (to the manner of the days,
In courtesy, gives undeserving praise,] To the manner of the



We four, indeed, confronted were with four
In Ruflian habit: here they stay'd an hour,
And talk'd apace; and in that hour, my lord,
They did not bless us with one happy word.
I dare not call them fools; but this I think,
When they are thirsty, fools would fain have drink.
Biron. This jeft is dry to me:-- Fair, gentle

Your wit makes wise things foolish: when we greet'
With eyes best seeing heaven's fiery eye,
By light we lose light: Your capacity
Is of that nature, that to your huge store
Wise things seem foolish, and rich things but poor.
Ros. This proves you wise and rich; for in my

eye, Biron. I am a fool, and full of poverty.

P. 349.

[ocr errors]

day, means according to the manner of the times. Gives under serving praise, means praise to what does not deserve it.

M. MASON, 4 Fair, gentle sweet, ] The word fair, which is wanting in the two elder copies, was restored by the second folio. Mr. Malone reads

My gentle sweet. "My fair, sweet honey monarch" occurs in this very scene,

STEEVENS. Sweet is generally used as a substantive by our author, in bis addresses to ladies. So, in The Winter's Tale:

When you speak, sweet, " I'd have you do it ever. Again, in The Merchant of Venice :

" And now, good sweet, fay thy opinion." Again, in Othello :

O, my sweet, " I prattle out of tune. The editor of the second folio, with less probability; (as it apa pears tó me,) reads -- fair, gentle, sweet.


when we greet; &c.] This is a very lofty and clegant compliment. JOHNSON.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]



Ros. But that you take what doth to you belong,
It were a fault to snatch words from my tongue.

Biron. O, I am yours, and all that I possess.
Ros. All the fool mine?

I cannot give you less.
Ros. Which of the visors was it, that you wore?
Biron. Where? when? what visor? why demand

you this?

[ocr errors]

Ros. There, then, that visor; that superfluous

case, That hid the worse, and show'd the better face. King. We are descried: they'll mock us now

downright. Dum. Let us confess, and turn it to a jest. Prin. Amaz’d, my lord? Why looks your high

nefs fad? Ros. Help, hold his brows! he'll swoon! Why

look you pale?—
Sea-sick, I think, coming from Muscovy.
Biron. Thus pour the stars down plagues for

Can any face of brass hold longer out?---
Here stand I, lady ; dart thy skill at me;

Bruise me with fcorn, confound me with a flout;
Thrust thy sharp wit quite through my ignorance;

Cut me to pieces with thy keen conceit;
And I will wish thee never more to dance,

Nor never more in Russian habit wait.
O! never will I trust to speeches penn’d,

Nor to the motion of a school-boy's tongue :
Nor never come in visor to my friend;

Nor woo in rhyme, like a blind harper's song: my friend ;) i. e. mistress. So, in Measure for Measure :

he hath got his friend with child. STEEVENS.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Taffata phrases, filken terms precise,

Three-pil'd hyperboles,“ spruce affeciation,' Figures pedantical; these summer-flies

Have blown me full of maggot ostentation:
I do forfwear them: and 1 here protest,
By this white glove, (how white the hand,

God knows!)
Henceforth my wooing mind shall be express’d

In russet yeas, and honest kersey noes:
And, to begin, wench, -so God help me, la !
My love to thee is found, sans crack or flaw.

Ros. Sans SANS, I pray you.

Yet I have a trick
Of the old rage:--bear with me, I am fick;
l'll leave it by degrees. Soft, let us see ;-
Write, Lord have mercy on us,' on those three;


6 Three-pil'd hyperboles, ] A metaphor from the pile of velvet. So, in The Winter's Tale, Autolycus says:

" I have worn three-pile." Sreevens.
· Spruce affe&ation, ] The old copies read affection.

STEEVENS. The inodern editors read affe&tation. There is no need of change. We already in this play have had affe&tion for affe&ation ;

" witty without affeclion. The word was used by our author and his contemporaries, as a quadrisyllable; and the rhyme such as they thought sufficient. MALONE. In The Merry Wives of Wind

for the word affe&tation occurs, and was most certainly designed to occur again in the present instance. No ear can be satisfied with such rhymes as affe&tion and oftentation.

STEEVENS. & Sans sans, I pray you. ] It is scarce worth remarking, that the conceit here is obscured by the punduation. It should be written Sans Sans, i. e, without SANS; without French words: an affe&ation of which Biron had been guilty in the last line of his speech, though just before he had forsworn all affectation in phrases, terms, &c. I'YRWHITT,

9 Write, Lord have mercy on us, ] This was the inscription put upon the door of the houses infeded with the plague, 10 which Biron compares the love of himself and his companions; and pursuing

« PreviousContinue »