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We have convenient convoy. . You must know,
Let death and honesty
Yet, I pray you,
4 Nor you,] Old copy-Nor your. Corrected by Mr. Rowe.
Malone. my motive -] Motive for assistant. Warburton. Rather for mover. So, in the last Act of this play:
- all impediments in fancy's course “Are motives of more fancy." Malone. 6 When saucy trusting of the cozen'd thoughts
Defiles the pitchy night!] Saucy may very properly signify luxurious, and by consequence lascivious. Johnson. So, in Measure for Measure:
as to remit
death and honesty -] i. e. an honest death. So, in ano. ther of our author's plays, we have “ death and honour” for hon-, durable death. Steevens.
- your impositions,] i. e. your commands. Malone. An imposition is a task imposed. The term is still current in Universities. Steevens.
But with the word, the time will bring on summer,
9 But with the word, the time will bring on summer, &c.] With the word, i. e. in an instant of time. Warburton.
The meaning of this observation is, that as briars have sweet. ness with their prickles, so shall these troubles be recompensed with joy. Fohnson. I would read:
Yet I’fray you
But with the word: the time will bring, &c. And then the sense will be, " I only frighten you by mentioning the word suffer; for a short time will bring on the season of happiness and delight.” Blackstone.
As the beginning of Helen s reply is evidently a designed aposiopesis, a break ought to follow it, thus :
Hel. Yet, I pray you: The sense appears to be this:-Do not think that I would engage you in any service that should expose you to such an alternative, or, indeed, to any lasting inconvenience; But with the word, i. e. But on the contrary, you shall no sooner have delivered what you will have to testify on my account, than the irksomeness of the service will be over, and every pleasant circumstance to result from it will instantaneously appear. Henley.
1 Our waggon is prepard, and time revives us :) The word revides conveys so little sense, that it seems very liable to suspicion.
and time revyes us : i. e. looks us in the face, calls upon us to hasten. Warburton.
The present reading is corrupt, and I am afraid the emendation none of the soundest. I never remember to have seen the word revye. One may as well leave blunders as make them. Why may we not read for a shift, without much effort, the time invites us? Fohnson.
To vye and revye were terms at several ancient games at cards, but particularly at Gleek. So, in Greene's Art of Coney-catching, 1592: “I'll either win something or lose something, therefore I 'll vie and revie every card at my pleasure, till either yours or mine come out: therefore 12d. upon this card, my card comes first.” Again: “- so they vie and revie till some ten shillings be on the stake," &c. Again : “ This flesheth the Conie, and the sweetness of gain makes him frolick, and none more ready to vie and revie than he." Again: “So they vie and revie, and for once that the Barnacle wins, the Conie gets five.” Perhaps, however, revyes is not the true reading. Shakspeare might have written-time reviles us, i.e. reproaches us for wasting it. Yet, -time revives us may mean, it rouses us. So, in another play of our author:
All's well that ends well:2 still the fine 's3 the crown;
Enter Countess, LAFEU, and Clown. Laf. No, no, no, your son was misled with a snipttaffata fellow there; whose villainous saffron would have made all the unbaked and doughy youth of a nation in his colour : * your daughter-in-law had been alive at this
I would revive the soldiers' hearts, “ Because I found them ever as myself.” Steevens. Time revives us, seems to refer to the happy and speedy termination of their embarrassments. She had just before said: “ With the word, the time will bring on summer."
Henley. 2 All's well that ends well:] So, in The Spanish Tragedy:
« The end is crown of every work well done." All's well that ends well, is one of Camden's proverbial sentences.
Malone. the fine's -] i. e. the end. So, in The London Prodi. gal, 1605: “ Nature hath done the last for me, and there's the fine."
Malone. still the fine 's the crown;] So, in Chapman's version of the second Iliad:
“ We fly, not putting on the crown of our so long-held
war.” Again, ibid:
and all things have their crown, “ As he interpreted.” Steevens.
whose villainous saffron would have made all the unbaked and doughy youth of a nation in his colour:] Parolles is represented as an affected follower of the fashion, and an encourager of his master to run into all the follies of it; where he says: “Use a more spacious ceremony to the noble lords--they wear themselves in the cap of time and though the devil lead the measure, such are to be followed.” Here some particularities of fashionable dress are ridiculed. Snipt-taffata needs no explanation; but villainous saffron is more obscure. This alludes to a fantastic fashion, then
much followed, of using yellow starch for their bands and ruffs. So, Fletcher, in his Queen of Corinth:
Has he familiarly
hour; and your son here at home, more advanced by the king, than by that red-tailed humble-bee I speak of. And Jonson's Devil's an Ass:
“Carmen and chimney-sweepers are got into the yellow
Starch." This was invented by one Turner, a tire-woman, a court-bawd, and, in all respects, of so infamous a character, that her invention deserved the name of villainous saffron. This woman was, afterwards, amongst the miscreants concerned in the murder of Sir Thomas Overbury, for which she was hanged at Tyburn, and would die in a yellow ruff of her own invention : which made yel. low starch so odious, that it immediately went out of fashion, 'Tis this, then, to which Shakspeare alludes: but using the word saffron for yellow, a new idea presented itself, and he pursues his thought under a quite different allusion-Whose villainous saffron would have made all the unbaked and doughy youths of a nation in his colour; i. e. of his temper and disposition. Here the general custom of that time, of colouring paste with saffron, is alluded to. So, in The Winter's Tale:
" I must have saffron to colour the warden pyes." Warburton. This play was probably written several years before the death of Sir Thomas Overbury. The plain meaning of the passage seems to be: “Whose evil qualities are of so deep a dye, as to be sufficient to corrupt the most innocent, and to render them of the same disposition with himself.” Malone.
Stubbs, in his Anatomie of Abuses, published in 1595, speaks of starch of various colours :
- The one arch or piller wherewith the devil's kingdome of great ruffes is underpropped, is a certain kind of liquid matter which they call startch, wherein the devill bath learned them to wash and die their ruffes, which, being drie, will stand stiff and inflexible about their neckes. And this startch they make of divers substances, sometimes of wheate flower, of branne, and other graines: sometimes of rootes, and sometimes of other thinges : of all collours and hues, as white, redde, blewe, purple, and the like."
In The World toss'd at Tennis, a masque by Middleton, the five starches are personified, and introduced contesting for superiority. Again, in Albumazar, 1615: “What price bears wheat and saffron, that your band's
so stiff and yellow ?” Again, in Heywood's If you know not me, you know nobody, 1606: " — have taken an order to wear yellow garters, points, and shoetyings, and 'tis thought yellow will grow a custom."
“ It has been long used at London.”
It may be added, that in the year 1446, a parliament was held at Trim, in Ireland, by which the natives were directed, among other things, not to wear shirts stained with saffron. Steevens.
See a note on Albumazar, Dodsley's Collection of Old Plays, ol. VII, p. 156, edit. 1780. Reed.
Count. I would, I had not known him!5 it was the death of the most virtuous gentlewoman, that ever nature had praise for creating; if she had partaken of my flesh, and cost me the dearest groans of a mother, I could not have owed her a more rooted love.
Laf. 'Twas a good lady, 'twas a good lady: we may pick a thousand salads, ere we light on such another herb.
Clo. Indeed, sir, she was the sweet-marjoram of the salad, or, rather the herb of grace.6
Laf. They are not salad-herbs, you knave, they are nose-herbs.
Clo. I am no great Nebuchadnezzar, sir, I have not much skill in grass.7
Laf. Whether dost thou profess thyself; a knave or a fool?
Clo. A fool, sir, at a woman's service, and a knave at a man's.
Laf. Your distinction?
Clo. I would cozen the man of his wife, and do his service.
Laf. So you were a knave at his service, indeed.
Clo. And I would give his wife my bauble, sir, to do her service. 8
5 I would, I had not known him!] This dialogue serves to connect the incidents of Parolles with the main plan of the play.
Johnson I should wish to read-he had not known him, meaning that her son had not. Her knowing Parolles was of little consequence, but Bertram's knowing him caused the death of Helen, which she deplores. M. Mason.
herb of grace. ) i. e. rue. So, in Hamlet : “there's rue for you—we may call ít herb of grace o' Sundays.” Steevens.
in grass.] The old copy, by an evident error of the press, reads-grace. The correction was made by Mr. Rowe. The word salad, in the preceding speech, was also supplied by him. Malone.
I would give his wife my bauble, sir, to do her service.] Part of the furniture of a fool was a bauble, which, though it be generally taken to signify any thing of small value, has a precise and determinable meaning. It is, in short, a kind of truncheon with a head carved on it, which the fool anciently carried in his hand. There is a representation of it in a picture of Watteau,