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Prin. To whom shouldst thou give it?
From my lord to my lady. .
lords, away. Here, sweet, put up this ; 'twill be thine another
day. [Exit Princess and Train. Borer. Who is the suitor ? 6 who is the suitor?
tis even he indeede, I do knowe him by his plume and his scarffe ; he looks like a Monarcho of a very cholericke complexion, and as teasty as a goose that hath young gollings,” &c. B. Riche's Faults and Nothing but Faults, p. 12. Reed.
Come, lords, away.] Perhaps the Princess said rather :
Come, ladies, away.'
6 Who is the suitor ?] The old copies read—“ Who is the shooter?" but it should be who is the suitor and this occasions the quibble. “ Finely put on,” &c. feem only marginal observations. Farmer.
It appears that suitor was anciently pronounced thaoter. So, in The Puritan, 1605: the maid informs her miitress that some archers are come to wait on her. She supposes them to be fletchers, or arrow-smiths :
Enter the suters, &c.
Wherever Shakspeare uses words equivocally, as in the present instance, he lays his editor under fome embarrassment. When he told Ben Jonson he would stand Godfather to his child,“ and give him a dozen latten spoons,” if we write the word as we have now done, the conceit, such as it is, is loft, at least does not at once appear; if we write it Latin, it becomes absurd. So, in Much ado about nothing, Dogberry says, “ if justice cannot tame you, the Mall ne'er weigh more reasons in her balance.” If we write the word thus, the constable’s equivoque, poor as it is, is loft, at least to the eye. If we write raisins, (between which word and reafons,
Shall I teach you to know?
Why, she that bears the bow.
Ros. Well then, I am the shooter.
And who is your deer??
near. Finely put on, indeed! Mar. You still wrangle with her, Boyet, and she
strikes at the brow. Boret. But she herself is hit lower: Haye I hit
there was, I believe, no difference at that time of pronunciation,) we write nonsense. In the pa Tage before us an equivoque was certainly intended; the words jhooter and suitor being (as Mr. Steevens has observed) pronounced alike in Shakspeare's time. So, in Edays and Characters of a Prison and Prisoners, by G. M. 1618: “ The king's guard are counted the strongest archers, but here are better fuitors.' Again, in Antony and Cleopatra, edit. 1623, (owing probably to the transcriber's ear having deceived him,)
a grief that suits
My very heart at root-" instead of—a grief that shoots.
In Ireland, where, I believe, much of the pronunciation of Queen Elizabeth's age is yet retained, the word suitor is at this day pronounced by the vulgar as if it were written shooter. However, I have followed the spelling of the old copy, as it is sufficiently intelligible. MALONE.
? And who is your deer?] Our author has the same play on this word in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act V. Again, in his Venus and adonis : “ I'll be thy park, and thou shalt be my deer."
Ros. Shall I come upon thee with an old saying, that was a man when king Pepin of France was a little boy, as touching the hit it?
Borer. So I may answer thee with one as old, that was a woman when queen Guinever 8 of Britain was a little wench, as touching the hit it. Ros. Thou canst not bit it, bit it, bit it, [singing.
Thou canst not bit it, my good man.
[Exeunt Ros. and Kat. Cost. By my troth, most pleasant! how both did
fit it! Mar. A mark marvellous well shot; for they
both did hit it. Boret. A mark ! O, mark but that mark; A
mark, says my lady! Let the mark have a prick in't, to mete at, if it
Mar. Wide o' the bow hand!' l'faith, your
hand is out. Cost. Indeed, a' must shoot nearer, or he'll ne'er
hit the clout.*
queen Guinever -] This was king Arthur's queen, not over famous for fidelity to her husband. See the song of The Boy and the Mantle, in Dr. Percy's Collection.
In Beaumont and Fletcher's Scornful Lady, the elder Loveless addresses Abigail, the old incontinent waiting-woman, by this name.
STEEVENS. 9 Wide o' the bow hand!} i.e. a good deal to the left of the mark; a term ftill retained in modern archery. Douce.
the clout.] The clout was the white mark at which archers took their aim, The pin was the wooden nail that upheld it.
Boret. An if my hand be out, then, belike your
hand is in. Cost. Then will she get the upshot by cleaving
the pin. Mar. Come, come, you talk greasily, your lips
Cost. She's too hard for you at pricks, fir; chal
lenge her to bowl. Boret. I fear too much rubbing ; * Good night, my good owl.
[Exeunt Boyer and Maria. Cost. By my soul, a swain! a most simple clown! Lord, lord! how the ladies and I have put him
down! O’my troth, most sweet jests! most incony vulgar
were, so fit.
a' will swear ! 6_
3 - by cleaving the pin.] Honest Coftard would have befriended Dean Milles, whose note on a song in the Pseudo-Rowley's ELLA has exposed him to so much ridicule. See his book, p. 213. The prefent application of the word pin, might have led the Dean to suspect the qualities of the basket. But what has mirth to do with archæology? Steevens.
• I fear too much rubbing ;] To rub is one of the terms of the bowling green. Boyet's further meaning needs no comment.
MALONE. to bear her fan!] See a note on Romeo and Juliet, Act II, sc. iv. where Nurse asks Peter for her fan. Steevens.
a' will fwear!) A line following this seems to have been lott. MALONE,
And his page o't'other side, that handful of wit !
[Shouting within. [Exit CostARD, running.
Enter HolofernES", Sir NATHANIEL, and Dull.
Nath. Very reverent sport, truly; and done in the testimony of a good conscience.
7 Enter Holofernes,] There is very little personal reflexion in Shakspeare. Either the virtue of those times, or the candour of our author, has so effected, that his fatire is, for the moft part, general, and, as himself fays,
- his taxing like a wild-goose flies, • Unclaim'd of any man.”The place before us seems to be an exception. For by Holofernes is designed a particular character, a pedant and schoolmaster of our author's time, one John Florio, a teacher of the Italian tongue in London, who has given us a small dictionary of that language under the title of A World of Words, which in his epistle dedicatory he tells us, is of little less value than Stephens's Treasure of the Greek Tongne, the most complete work that was ever yet compiled of its kind. In his preface, he calls those who had criticised his works, fea-dogs or land-critics; monsters of men, if not beafts rather than men ; whose teeth are canibals, their toongs adders forks, their lips aspes poifon, their eyes basiliskes, their breath the broath of a grave, their words like fwordes of Turks, that strive which shall dive deepest into a Chrif. tian lying bound before them. Well therefore might the mild Nathaniel defire Holofernes to abrogate fcurrility. fefsion too is the reason that Holofernes deals so much in Italian fentences.
There is an edition of Love's Labour's Lift, printed in 1598, and faid to be presented before her highness this last Christmas, 1597. The next year 1598, comes out our John Florio, with his World of Words, recentibus odiis ; and in the preface, quoted above, falls upon the comic poet for bringing him on the stage. There is another