Page images

Biron. Armado is a most illustrious wight, A man of fire-new words, fashion's own knight. Long. Costard the swain, and he, shall be our

sport; And, fo to study, three years is but short.

Enter Dull, with a letter, and Costard. Dull. Which is the duke's own person? Biron. This, fellow; What would'st?

Dull. I myself reprehend his own person, for I am his grace's tharborough : ' but I would see his own person in flesh and blood.

Biron. This is he.

Dull. Signior Arme-Arme-commends you. There's villainy abroad; this letter will tell you more.

Cost. Sir, the contempts thereof are as touching


9 fire-new words,] “ i. e. (says an intelligent writer in tho Edinburgh Magazine, Nov. 1786) words newly coined, new from the forge. Fire-new, new off the irons, and the Scottish expression bren-new, have all the same origin.” The same compound epithet occurs in K. Richard III: “ Your fire-new stamp of honour is scarce current."

STEEVENS. Which is the duke's own person?] The king of Navarre in several passages, through all the copies, is called the duke: but as this must have sprung rather from the inadvertence of the editors than a forgetfulness in the poet, I have every where, to avoid confufion, reftored king to the text. THEOBALD.

The princess in the next act calls the king_" this virtuous duke;" a word which, in our author's time, seems to have been used with great laxity. And indeed, though this were not the case, fuch a fellow as Coftard may well be supposed ignorant of his true title. MALONE.

I have followed the old copies. Steevens.

3 tharborough :) i. e. Thirdborough, a peace officer, alike in authority with a headborough or a conitable. Sir J. HAWKINS.

King. A letter from the magnificent Armado.

Biron. How low foever the matter, I hope in God for high words.

Long. A high hope for a low having : 4 God grant us patience!

Biron. To hear? or forbear hearing?"

Long. To hear meekly, fir, and to laugh moderately; or to forbear both.

Biron. Well, sir, be it as the stile shall give us cause to climb 6 in the merriness.

Cost. The matter is to me, fir, as concerning Jaquenetta. The manner of it is, I was taken with the manner.?

4 A high hope for a low having :] In old editions :

« A high hope for a low heaven;" A low heaven, fure, is a very intricate matter to conceive. I dare warrant, I have retrieved the poet's true reading; and the meaning is this: “ Though you hope for high words, and should have them, it will be but a low acquisition at beft.” This our poet calls a low having: and it is a subitantive which he uses in several other passages. THEOBALD. It is so employed in Macbeth, Act I:

- great prediction “ Of noble having, and of royal hope.” Heaven, however, may be the true reading, in allusion to the gradations of happiness promised by Mohammed to his followers. So, in the comedy of Old Fortunatus, 1600 : " Oh, how my soul is rapt to a third heaven!

STEEVENS. 5 To hear? or forbear hearing?] One of the modern editors plausibly enough, reads.

“ To hear? or forbear laughing?Malone.

- as the stile shall give us cause to climb ] A quibble between the file that must be climbed to pass from one field to another, and style, the term expressive of manner of writing in regard to language. STEEVENS.

1 -- taken with the manner.] i. e. in the fact. So, in Heywood's Rape of Lucrece, 1630 : -and, being taken with the manner, had nothing to say for himself.” STEEVENS. A forenfick term. A thief is said to be taken with the manner,


BIRON. In what manner?

Cost. In manner and form following, sir; all those three: I was seen with her in the manor house, fitting with her upon the form, and taken following her into the park; which, put together, is, in manner and form following. Now, fir, for the manner,-it is the manner of a man to speak to a woman: for the form,-in fome form.

Biron. For the following, fir?

Cost. As it shall follow in my correction; And God defend the right!

King. Will you hear this letter with attention? BIRON. As we would hear an oracle. Cost. Such is the fimplicity of man to hearken after the flesh.

King. [reads.] Great deputy, the welkin's vicegerent, and fole dominator of Navarre, my soul's earth's God, and body's fostering patron,

Cost. Not a word of Costard yet.
King. So it is,

Cost. It may be fo: but if he say it is so, he is, in telling true, but so, so,?

King. Peace. to me, and every man that dares not fight!

King. No words.
Gost of other men's secrets, I beseech you.
King. So it is, besieged with sable-colour'd melan-

i. e. mainour or manour, (for so it is written in our old law-books,) when he is apprehended with the thing stolen in his possession. The thing that he has taken was called mainour, from the Fr, manier, manu tractare, Malone.

but fo, fo.] The second so was added by Sir T. Hanmer, and adopted by the subsequent editors. Malone.


choly, I did commend the black-oppressing humour to the
moj] wholesome physick of thy health-giving air; and,
as I am a gentleman, betook myself to walk. The time,
wben? About the sixth hour; when beasts most graze,
birds beft peck, and men sit down to that nourishment
which is called Jupper. So much for the time when :
Now for the ground which; which, I mean, I walk'd
upon: it is ycleped, thy park. Then for the place
where; where, I mean, I did encounter that obscene
and most preposterous event, that draweth from my
Snow-white pen the ebon-colour'd ink, which bere thou
viewest, beholdest, surveyest, or feeft: But to the place,
where,-It standeth north-north-east and by east from
the west corner of thy curious-knotted garden:1 There
did I see that low-spirited fwain, that base minnow of
iby mirth,

Cost. Me.
King.--that unletter'd small-knowing foul,
Cost. Me.
King.that shallow vafal,

-curious-knotted garden :) Ancient gardens abounded with figures of which the lines intersected each other in many directions. Thus in King Richard II :

“ Her fruit-trees all unprun'd, her hedges ruin'd,

“ Her knots disorder'd,” &c. In Thomas Hill's Profitable Art of Gardening, &c. 4to. bl. 1. 1579, is the delineation of “ a proper knot for a garden, whereas is spare roume enough, the which may be set with Time, or lfop, at the discretion of the Gardener." In Henry Dethicke's Gardener's Labyrinth, bl. 1. 4to. 1586, are other examples of “ proper knots deuised for gardens." STEEVENS.

8 — base minnow of thy mirth,] The base minnow of thy mirth, is the contemptible little object that contributes to thy entertainment. Shakspeare makes Coriolanus characterize the tribunitian infolence of Sicinius, under the fame figure :

hear you not “ This Triton of the minnows !Again, in Have with you to Saffron Walden, or Gabriel Harvey's Hunt is up, &c. 1596: “ Let him denie that there was another Thewe made of the little minnow his brother," &c. STEEVENS.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Cost. Still me.
King.which, as I remember, hight Costard,
Cost. O me!

King.-sorted and conforted, contrary to thy established proclaimed ediet and continent canon, with with=0 with but with this I passion to say wherewith.

Cost. With a wench.

King.with a child of our grandmother Eve, a female ; or, for thy more sweet understanding, a woman. Him I (as my ever-esteemed duty pricks me on) have sent to thee, to receive the meed of punishment, by thy Sweet Grace's officer, Antony Dull; a man of good repute, carriage, bearing, and estimation.

Dull. Me, an’t shall please you; I am Antony Dull.

King. For Jaquenetta, (fo is the weaker vessel called, which I apprehended with the aforesaid swain,) I keep her as a vessel of thy law's fury; ? and Mall, at ibe least of thy sweet notice, bring her to trial. Thine, in all compliments of devoted and beart-burning heat of duty,

Don Adriano de Armado. Biron. This is not so well as I look'd for, but the best that ever I heard.

King. Ay, the best for the worst. But, firrah, what say you to this?

Cost. Sir, I confess the wench.
King. Did


hear the proclamation?


9 with-with-] The old copy reads--which with. The correction is Mr. Theobald's. MALONE.

– vesel of thy law's fury;] This seems to be a phrase adopted from scripture. See Epift. to the Romans, ix. 22." — the vesel of wrath." Mr. M. Mason would read vafal instead of vefjel.


« PreviousContinue »