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thy casement I need not open, for I look through thee. Give me thy hand.
Par. My lord, you give me most egregious indignity. Laf. Ay, with all my heart; and thou art worthy of it. Par. I have not, my lord, deserved it.
Laf. Yes, good faith, every dram of it; and I will not bate thee a scruple.
Par. Well, I shall be wiser.
Laf. E'en as soon as thou canst, for thou hast to pull at a smack o'the contrary. If ever thou be'st bound in thy scarf, and beaten, thou shalt find what it is to be proud of thy bondage. I have a desire to hold my acquaintance with thee, or rather my knowledge; that I may say, in the default, 3 he is a man I know.
Par. My lord, you do me most insupportable vexation.
Laf. I would it were hell-pains for thy sake, and my poor doing eternal; for doing I am past; as I will by thee, in what motion age will give me leave. 4 [Exit.
Par. Well, thou hast a son shall take this disgrace off me;5 scurvy, old, filthy, scurvy lord! --Well, I must
in the default,] That is, at a need. Fohnson.
- for doing I am past; as I will by thee, in what motion age will give me leave ] The conceit, which is so thin that it might well escape a hasty reader, is in the word past-I am past, as I will be past by thee. Fohnson.
Lafeu means to say, "for doing I am past, as I will pass by thee, in what motion age will permit.” Lafeu says, that he will pass by Parolles, not that he will be passed by him; and Lafeu is actually the person who goes out. "M. Mason.
Dr. Johnson is, I believe, mistaken. Mr. Edwards has, I think, given the true meaning of Lafeu's words. “I cannot do much, says Lafeu ; doing I am past, as I will by thee in what motion age will give me leave; i. e. as I will pass by thee as fast as I am able:--and he immediately goes out. It is a play on the word past: the conceit indeed is poor, but Shakspeare plainly meant it.” Malone.
Doing is here used obscenely. So, in Ben Jonson's translation of a passage in an Epigram of Petronius :
“ Brevis est, &c. et fada voluptas."
Doing a filthy pleasure is, and short.” Collins. 5 Well, thou hast a son shall take this disgrace off me;] This the poet makes Parolles speak alone; and this is nature. A coward should try to hide his poltroonery even from himself. An ordinary.writer would have been glad of such an opportunity to bring him to confession. Warburton.
be patient; there is no fettering of authority. I'll beat him, by my life, if I can meet him with any convenience, an he were double and double a lord. I'll have no more pity of his age, than I would have of I'll beat him, an if I could but meet him again.
Re-enter LAFEU. Laf. Sirrah, your lord and master's married, there's news for you; you have a new mistress.
Par I most unfeignedly beseech your lordship to make some reservation of your wrongs: He is my good lord: whom I serve above, is my master.
Laf. Who? God?
Laf. The devil it is, that's thy master. Why dost thou garter up thy arms o'this fashion? dost make hose of thy sleeves? do other servants so? Thou wert best set thy lower part where thy nose stands. By mine honour, if I were but two hours younger, I'd beat thee: methinks, thou art a general offence, and every man should beat thee. I think, thou wast created for men to breathe themselves upon thee.
Par. This is hard and undeserved measure, my lord.
Laf. Go to, sir; you were beaten in Italy for picking a kernel out of a pomegranate; you are a vagabond, and no true traveller: you are more saucy with lords, and honourable personages, than the heraldry of your birth and virtue gives you commission.6 You are not worth another word, else I'd call you knave. I leave you.
[Exit. Enter BERTRAM. Par. Good, very good; it is so then.-Good very good; let it be concealed a while.
Ber. Undone, and forfeited to cares for ever!
Ber. Although before the solemn priest I have sworn, I will not bed her.
Par. What? what, sweet heart?
6 than the heraldry of your birth &e.) In former copies:than the commission of your birth and virtue gives you heraldry. Siz Thomas Hanmer restored it. Fohnson.
Ber. O my Parolles, they have married me: I'll to the Tuscan wars, and never bed her.
Par. France is a dog-hole, and it no more merits The tread of a man's foot: to the wars! Ber. There 's letters from my mother; what the im
port is, I know not yet. Par. Ay, that would be known: To the wars, my boy,
to the wars!
Ber. It shall be so; I 'll send her to my house,
? That hugs his kicksy-wicksy &c.] Sir T. Hanmer, in his Glossary, observes, that kicksy-wicksy is a made word in ridicule and disdain of a wife. Taylor, the water-poet, has a poem in disdain of his debtors, entitled, A kicksy-winsy, or a Lerry come-twang.
Grey. 8 To the dark house, &c.] The dark house is a house made gloomy by discontent. Milton says of death and the king of hell preparing to combat:
“ So frown'd the mighty combatants, that hell
“Grew darker at their frown." Fohnson. Perhaps this is the same thought we meet with in King Henry IV, only more solemnly expressed:
- he's as tedious
“Worse than a smoaky house." The proverb originated before chimneys were in general use, which was not till the middle of Elizabeth's reign. See Piers Plowman, passus 17:
Thre thinges there be that doe a man by strength “ For to flye his owne house, as holy wryte sheweth: " That one is a wycked wife, that wyll not be chastysed; “Her fere flyeth from her, for feare of her tonge:
Par. Will this capricio hold in thee, art sure?
Ber. Go with me to my chamber, and advise me.
Enter HELENA and Clown.
Clo. She is not well; but yet she has her health: she's very merry; but yet she is not well: but thanks be given, she's very well, and wants nothing i’ the world; but yet she is not well.
Hel. If she be very well, what does she ail, that she's not very well.
Clo. Truly, she's very well indeed, but for two things. Hel. What two things?
Clo. One, that she's not in heaven, whither God send her quickly! the other, that she's in earth, from whence God send her quickly!
Enter PAROLLES. Par. Bless you, my fortunate lady!
" And when smolke and smoulder smight in his syghte,
“'Til he be bleard or blind,” &c. The old copy reads-detected wife. Mr. Rowe made the correction. Steevens. The emendation is fully supported by a subsequent passage:
“'Tis a hard bondage to become the wife
“Of a detesting lord.” Malone. 9 I'll send her straight away: To-morrow - ] As this line wants a foot, I suppose our author wrote" Betimes to-morrow.” So, in Macbeth:
I will to-morrow,
Hel. I hope, sir, I have your good will to have mine own good fortunes.
Par. You had my prayers to lead them on; and to keep them on, have them still.-0, my knave! How does my old lady?
Clo. So that you had her wrinkles, and I her money, I would she did as you say.
Par. Why, I say nothing.
Clo. Marry, you are the wiser man; for many a man's tongue shakes out his master's undoing: To say nothing, to do nothing, to know nothing, and to have nothing, is to be a great part of your title; which is within a very little of nothing.
Par, Away, thou 'rt a knave.
Clo. You should have said, sir, before a knave thou art a knave; that is, before me thou art a knave: this had been truth, sir.
Par. Go to, thou art a witty fool, I have found thee.
Clo. Did you find me in yourself, sir? or were you taught to find me? The search, sir, was profitable; and much fool may you find in you, even to the world's pleasure, and the increase of laughter.
Par. A good knave, i' faith, and well fed. Madam, my lord will go away to-night; A very serious business calls on him. The great prerogative and rite of love, Which, as your due, time claims, he does acknowledge; But puts it off by a compellid restraint;3
- fortunes.] Old copy-fortune. Corrected by Mr. Steevens. Malone.
2—and well fed.] An allusion, perhaps, to the old saying “ Better fed than taught;" to which the Clown has himself alluded in a preceding scene :-“I will show myself highly fed and lowly taught.” Ritson.
3 But puts it off by a compelld restraint ;] The old copy reads to a compelld restraint. Steevens.
The editor of the third folio reads-by a compell'd restraint; and the alteration has been adopted by the modern editors; perhaps without necessity. Our poet might have meant, in his usual licentious manner, that Bertram puts off the completion of his wishes to a future day, till which he is compelled to restrain his desires. This, it must be confessed, is very harsh; but our author is often so licentious in his phraseology, that change on that