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Arm. A most fine figure!
[ Aside. Arm. I will hereupon confess, I am in love: and, as it is base for a soldier to love, so am I in love with a base wench. If drawing my sword against the humour of affection would deliver me from the reprobate thought of it, I would take desire prisoner, and ransom him to any French courtier for a new-devised courtesy. I think scorn to sigh; methinks, I should out-swear Cupid.Comfort me, boy: What great men have been in love?
Moth. Hercules, master.
Arm. Most sweet Hercules ! -More authority, dear boy, name more; and, sweet my child, let them be men of good repute and carriage. · Moth. Sampson, master: he was a man of good carriage, great carriage; for he carried the town-gates on his back, like a porter: and he was in love.
Arm. O well-knit Sampson! strong-jointed Sampson! I do excel thee in my rapier, as much as thou didst me in carrying gates. I am in love too,—Who was Sampson's love, my dear Moth?
Moth. A woman, master.
Moth. Of all the four, or the three, or the two; or one of the four.
Arm. Tell me precisely of what complexion?
Arm. Green, indeed, is the colour of lovers:9 but to have a love of that colour, methinks, Sampson had small reason for it. He surely affected her for her wit.
Moth. It was so, sir; for she had a green wit.
9 Green, indeed, is the colour of lovers :) I do not know whe. ther our author alludes to “the rare green eye,” which in his time seems to have been thought a beauty, or to that frequent attendant on love, jealousy, to which in The Merchant of Venice, and in Othello, he has applied the epithet green-ey'd. Malone.
Perhaps Armado neither alludes to green eyes, nor to jealousy; but to the willow, the supposed ornament of unsuccessful lovers :
“Sing, all a green willow shall be my garland," is the burden of an ancient ditty preserved in The Gallery of gorgious Inventions, &c. 4to. 1578. Steevens.
Arm. My love is most immaculate white and red.
Moth. Most maculate thoughts,? master, are masked under such colours.
Arm. Define, define, well-educated infant.
Moth. My father's wit, and my mother's tongue, assist me!
Arm. Sweet invocation of a child; most pretty, and pathetical! Moth. If she be made of white and red,
Her faults will ne'er be known;
And fears by pale-white shown:
By this you shall not know;
Which native she doth owe.3 A dangerous rhyme, master, against the reason of white and red.
Arm. Is there not a ballad, boy, of the King and the Beggar?4
Moth. The world was very guilty of such a ballad some three ages since: but, I think, now 'tis not to be found; or, if it were, it would neither serve for the writing, nor the tune.
Arm. I will have the subject newly writ o'er, that I may example my digressions by some mighty precedent.
1 Most maculate thoughts,] So, the first quarto, 1598. The folio has immaculate. To avoid such notes for the future, it may be proper to apprize the reader, that where the reading of the text does not correspond with the folio, without any reason being assigned for the deviation, it is always warranted by the authority of the first quarto. Malone.
2 For blushing -] The original copy has-blush in. The emendation was made by the editor of the second folio. Malone.
3 Which native she doth owe.) i. e, of which she is naturally possessed.- To owe is to possess. So, in Macbeth:
“ the disposition that I owe.” Steevens. 4— the King and the Beggar?] See Dr. Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, 4th edit. Vol. I, p. 198. Steevens.
s my digression - Digression on this occasion signifies the act of going out of the right way, transgression. So, in Ro. meo and Juliet:
" Thy noble shape is but a form of wax,
Boy, I do love that country girl, that I took in the park with the rational hind Costard; 6 she deserves well.
Moth. To be whipped; and yet a better love than my master.
[Aside. Arm. Sing, boy; my spirit grows heavy in love. Moth. And that's great marvel, loving a light wench. Arm. I say, sing. Moth. Forbear till this company be past.
Enter Dull, Costard, and JAQUENETTA. Dull. Sir, the duke's pleasure is, that you keep Costard safe: and you must let him take no delight, nor no penance; but a' must fast three days a-week: For this damsel, I must keep her at the park: she is allowed for the day-woman.7 Fare you well.
Arm. I do betray myself with blushing.–Maid.
Again, in our author's Rape of Lucrece;
" my digression is so vile, so base,
« That it will live engraven on my face.” Malone. 0— the rational hind Costard:] Perhaps we should readthe irrational hind, &c. Tyrwhitt.
The rational hind, perhaps, means only 'the reasoning brute, the animal with some share of reason. Steevens.
I have always read irrational hind; if hind be taken in its bestial sense, Armado makes Costard a female. Farmer.
Shakspeare uses it in its bestial sense in Julius Cæsar, Act I, sc. iii, and as of the masculine gender:
“He were no lion, were not Romans hinds." Again, in King Henry IV, P. I, sc. iii: “— you are a shallow cowardly hind, and you lie.” Steevens.
7 for the day-woman.] “i. e. for the dairy-maid. Dairy, says Johnson in his Dictionary, is derived from day, an old word for milk. In the northern counties of Scotland, a dairy-maid is at present termed a day or dey.” Edinburgh Magazine, Nov. 1786.” Steevens.
8 That's hereby.] Jaquenetta and Armado are at cross pur. poses. Hereby, is used by her (as among the vulgar in some counties) to signify as it may happen. He takes it in the sense of just by. Steevens.
Jag. With that face?9
[Exeunt Dull and Jaq. Arm. Villain, thou shalt fast for thy offences, ere thou be pardoned.
Cost. Well, sir, I hope, when I do it, I shall do it on a full stomach.
Arm. Thou shalt be heavily punished.
Cost. I am more bound to you than your fellows, for they are but lightly rewarded.
Arm. Take away this villain; shut him up.
Cost. Let me not be pent up, sir; I will fast, being loose.
Moth. No, sir; that were fast and loose: thou shalt to prison.
Cost. Well, if ever I do see the merry days of desolation that I have seen, some shall seeMoth. What shall some see?
Cost. Nay nothing, master Moth, but what they look upon. It is not for prisoners to be too silent in their words ;? and, therefore, I will say nothing: I thank God, I have as little patience as another man; and, therefore I can be quiet,
[Exeunt Moth and Cost.
9 With that face?7 This cant phrase has oddly lasted till the present time; and is used by people who have no more meaning annexed to it, than Fielding had; who putting it into the mouth of Beau Didapper, thinks it necessary to apologize (in a note) for its want of sense, by adding_" that it was taken verbatim, from very polite conversation." Steevens.
1 It is not for prisoners to be too silent in their words ;] I suppose we should read, it is not for prisoners to be silent in their wards, that is, in custody, in the holds. Johnson.
The first quarto, 1598, (the most authentic copy of this play,) reads—“ It is not for prisoners to be too silent in their words;" and so without doubt the text should be printed. Malone.
I don't think it necessary to endeavour to find out any mean, ing in this passage, as it seems to have been intended that Cos. tard should speak nonsense. M. Mason.
Arm. I do affect? the very ground, which is base, where her shoe, which is baser, guided by her foot, which is basest, doth tread. I shall be forsworn, (which is a great argument of falshood, if I love: And how can that be true love, which is falsely attempted? Love is a familiar; love is a devil: there is no evil angel but love. Yet Sampson was so tempted: and he had an excellent strength: yet was Solomon so seduced; and he had a very good wit. Cupid's butt-shaft 3 is too hard for Hercules' club, and therefore too much odds for a Spaniard's rapier. The first and second cause will not serve my turn;4 the passado he respects not, the duello he regards not: his disgrace is to be called boy; but his glory is, to subdue men. Adieu, valour! rust, rapier !5 be still, drum! for your manager is in love; yea, he loveth. Assist me some extemporal god of rhyme, for, I am sure, I shall turn sonneteer. 6 Devise wit; write pen; for I am for whole volumes in folio.
2_ affect -] i. e. love. So, in Warner's Albion's England, 1602, B. XII, ch. lxxiv:
“But this I know, not Rome affords whom more you might
affect, “Than her," &c. Steevens. 3 butt-shaft ] i.e. an arrow to shoot at butts with. The butt was the place on which the mark to be shot at was placed. Thus, Othello says
" here is my butt, . “And very sea-mark of my utmost sail.” Steevens. 4 The first and second cause will not serve my turn;] See the last act of As you like it, with the notes. Fohnson. b r ust, rapier!) So, in All’s well that ends well:
“ Rust, sword! cool blushes, and Parolles, live!” Steevens. 6 sonneteer.] The old copies read only—sonnet. Steevens. The emendation is Sir T. Hanmer's. Malone.