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Biron. A dangerous law against gentility a.
Item, If any man be seen to talk with a woman within the term of three years, he shall endure such public shame as the rest of the court shall possibly devise.This article, my liege, yourself must break;
For, well you know, here comes in embassy
A maid of grace, and complete majesty,
To her decrepit, sick, and bed-rid father :
Or vainly comes th' admired princess hither.
While it doth study to have what it would,
'Tis won, as towns with fire; so won, so lost. King. We must, of force, dispense with this decree ;
She must lieb here on mere necessity. Biron. Necessity will make us all forsworn
Three thousand times within this three years' space :
Not by might master'd, but by special grace.
[Subscribes. And he that breaks them in the least degree Stands in attainder of eternal shame :
Suggestions d are to others, as to me;
But is there no quick recreation granted ?
With a refined traveller of Spain ;
That hath a mint of phrases in his brain :
• In the early editions this line is given to Longaville. It seems more properly to belong to Biron, and we therefore receive Theobald's correction, especially as Biron is reading the paper, and the early copies do not mark this when they give the line of comment upon the previous item to Longaville.
To lie-to reside. We have the sense in Wotton's punning definition of an ambassador—"an honest man sent to lie abroad for the good of his country.”
* The folio reads break. * Suggestions—temptations.
One who a the music of his own vain tongue
Doth ravish, like enchanting harmony;
Have chose as umpire of their mutiny :
For interim to our studies, shall relate,
From tawny Spain, lost in the world's debate '.
And I will use him for my minstrelsy.
A man of fire-new words, fashion's own knight. Long. Costard the swain, and he, shall be our sport ;
And, so 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 wouldst? Dull. I myself reprehend his own person, for I am his grace's tharborough a:
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 me. King. A letter from the magnificent Armado. Birox. How low soever the matter, I hope in God for high words. Long. A high hope for a low heavene : God grant us patience ! Biron. To hear? or forbear hearing? Long. To hear meekly, sir, and to laugh moderately; or to forbear both. Biron. Well, sir, be it as the style shall give us cause to climb in the merri
• Who. So the old copies. The more correct whom of the modern editions is a deviation from the idiom of Shakspere's time.
Complements—a man versed in ceremonial distinctions-in punctilios—a man who brings forms to decide the mutiny between right and wrong. Compliment and complement were originally written without distinction; and though the first may be taken to mean ceremonies, and the second accomplishments, both the one and the other have the same origin-they each make that perfect which was wanting. In this passage we have the meaning of ceremonies; but in Act III., where Moth says, " these are complements," we have the meaning of accomplishments.
* Fire-new and bran-new,--that is, brand new,-new off the irons,—have each the same origin. * Tharborough-thirdborough-a peace-officer.
• Heaven. This is the reading of the early copies; but it was changed by Theobald to having. Biron has somewhat profanely said, " I hope in God for high words;" and Longaville reproves him by saying, your hope is expressed in strong terms for a very paltry gratification—"A high hope for a low heaven."
Climb in the merriness. It has been proposed to read chime. The meaning is surely clear Cost. The matter is to me, sir, as concerniug Jaquenetta. The manner of it is,
I was taken with the manner a. Biron. In what manner? Cost. In manner and form following, sir; all those three: I was seen with her
in the manor house, sitting with her upon the form, and taken following her into the park ; which, put together, is in manner and form following. Now, sir, for the manner,—it is the manner of a man to speak to a woman: for
the form,-in some form.
“Great deputy, the welkin's vicegerent, and sole 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,-
"So it is, besieged with sable-coloured melancholy, I did commend the blackoppressing humour to the most wholesome physic of thy health-giving air ; and, as I am a gentleman, betook myself to walk. The time when ? About the sixth hour; when beasts most graze, birds best peck, and men sit down to that nourishment which is called supper. So much for the time when : Now for the ground which ; which, I mean, I walked upon : it is yclept 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-coloured ink, which here thou viewest, beholdest, surveyest, or seest : But to the place where, It standeth north-north-east and by east from the west corner of thy curious-knotted garden?. There did I see that lowspirited swain, that base minnow of thy mirth, Cost. Me? KING.
_“ that unletter'd small-knowing soul,
enough, without seeking for a change. If the style of the letter is sufficiently absurd, we shall laugh immoderately—our merriment will ascend. The style will make us climba poetical fancy, or a pun, as the reader accepts it.
• Manner. Costard here talks law-French. A thief was taken with the mainour when he was taken with the thing stolen-hond-habend, having in the hand.
_" that shallow vassal,
_" which, as I remember, hight Costard, Cost. O me! KING.
-“sorted, and consorted, contrary to thy established proclaimed edict 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, (so is the weaker vessel called, which I apprehended with the aforesaid swain,) I keep her as a vessel of thy law's fury; and shall, at the least of thy sweet notice, bring her to trial. Thine in all compliments of devoted and heartburning heat of duty,
Don ADRIANO DE ARMADO."
• The early copies read " which with.”
And go we, lords, to put in practice that
[Exeunt KING, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAIN. BIRON. I 'll lay my head to any good man's hat,
These oaths and laws will prove an idle scorn.Sirrah, come on. Cost. I suffer for the truth, sir: for true it is, I was taken with Jaquenetta, and
Jaquenetta is a true girl; and therefore, Welcome the sour cup of prosperity! Affliction may one day smile again, and until then, Sit thee down, sorrow a!
SCENE II.-Another part of the same.--Armado's House.
Enter ARMADO and MOTH.
ARM. Boy, what sign is it, when a man of great spirit grows melancholy?
young days, which we may nominate tender. Moth. And I, tough senior, as an appertinent title to your old time, which we
may name tough. ARM. Pretty, and apt. Moth. How mean you, sir; I pretty, and my saying apt? or I apt, and my say
• Sit thee down, sorrow. A proverbial expression, which Biron repeats in the fourth Act, with the addition, “ for so, they say, the fool said."
5 In the folio of 1623, Armado is called Braggart through the scene, after his first words.