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We four, indeed, confronted were with four
days, means according to the manner of the times. Gives undon ferving 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 fecond folio. Mr. Malone reads" My gentle sweet."
“ My fair, sweet honey monarch" occurs in this very scene, P. 349. STEEVENS.
Sweet is generally used as a substantive by our author, in his 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, say thy opinion." Again, in Othello :
-O, my sweet, “ I prattle out of tune." The editor of the second folio, with lefs probability, (as ir appears to me,) reads-fair, gentle, sweet. MALONE.
s when we greet, &c.] This is a very lofty and elegant compliment.. Johnson.
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.
I cannot give you less. Ros. Which of the visors was it, that you wore? Biron. Where? when? what visor? why demand
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
ness 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
perjury. Can any face of brass hold longer out?-Here stand 1, lady ; dart thy skill at me;
Bruise me with scorn, confound me with a flout; Thrust thy sharp wit quite through my ignorance;
Cut me to pieces with thy keen conceit; And I will with thee never more to dance,
Nor neyer 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.
Taffata phrases, filken terms precise,
Three-pil'd hyperboles, spruce affectation, Figures pedantical; these summer-fies
Have blown me full of maggot oftentation:
In russet yeas, and honest kersey noes :
Ros. Sans sans, I pray you.8
Yet I have a trick
6 Three-pild hyperboles,] A metaphor from the pile of velvet. So, in The Winter's Tale, Autolycus says: “ I have worn three-pile.
STEEVENS. The modern editors read - affe&tation. There is no need of change. We already in this play have had affection for affe&tation ;
_" witty without affe&tion.” The word was used by our author and his contemporaries, as a quadrifyllable; and the rhyme fuch as they thought sufficient. MALONE.
In The Merry Wives of Windsor the word affectation occurs, and was most certainly designed to occur again in the present instance. No ear can be satisfied with such rhymes as affection and oftentation,
STEEVENS. 8 Sans sans, I pray you.] It is scarce worth remarking, that the conceit here is obscured by the punctuation. It should be written Sans sans, i. e. without SANS; without French words : an affectation of which Biron had been guilty in the last line of his speech, though just before he had for
worn all affectation in phrases, terms, &c. TYRWHITT.
9 Write, Lord have mercy on us,] This was the inscription put upon the door of the houses infected with the plague, to which Biton compares the love of himself and his companions; and pursuing
They are infected, in their hearts it lies;
to us. Biron. Our states are forfeit, seek not to undo
you stand forfeit, being those that sue?'
the metaphor finds the tokens likewise on the ladies. The tokens of the plague are the first spots or discolorations, by which the infec. tion is known to be received. JOHNSON.
So, in Hiftriomaftix, 1610: “ It is as dangerous to read his name on a play-door, as a printed bill on a plague-door.” Again, in The Whore of Babylon, 1607:
“ Have tokens stamp'd on them to make them known,
“ More dreadful than the bills that preach the plague.” Again, in More Fools Yet, a collection of Epigrams by R. S. 1610 :
“ To declare the infection for his fin,
“ A crosje is set without, there's none within." Again, ibid :
“ But by the way he saw and much respected
“ The sot perus’d" STEVENS.
“ Lord have mercy on us may well stand over their doors, for debt is a most dangerous city pestilence." MALONE.
how That you stand forfeit, being those that fue?] That is, how can those be liable to forfeiture that begin the process. The jeft lies in the ambiguity of fue, which fignifies to profecute by law, or to fer a petition. JOHNSON,
this be true,
King. Teach us, sweet madam, for our rude
transgression Some fair excuse. PRIN.
The faireft is confeffion.
King. Madam, I was.
And were you well advis’d?
When you then were here, What did you whisper in your lady's ear? King. That more than all the world I did respect
her. Prin. When she shall challenge this, you will
reject her. King. Upon mine honour, no. PRIN.
Peace, peace, forbear; Your oath once broke, you force not to forswear.
King. Despise me, when I break this oath of mine.
Prin. I will; and therefore keep it:-Rosaline, What did the Russian whisper in your ear?
Ros. Madam, he swore, that he did hold me dear As precious eye-fight; and did value me Above this world: adding thereto, moreover, That he would wed me, or else die my lover.
Prin. God give thee joy of him! the noble lord Most honourably doth uphold his word.
- well advis'd ?] i. e. acting with sufficient deliberation.. So, in The Comedy of Errors :
My liege I am advis'd in what I say.” Steevens.
- yon force not to forswear.] You force nor is the same with you make no difficulty. This is a very juft observation. The crime which has been once committed, is committed again with less reluctance. JOHNSON. So, in Warner's Albion's England, B. X. ch. “ - he forced not to hide how he did err. STEEVENS.