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The bravest questant shrinks, find what you seek,
2 Lord. Health, at your bidding, serve your majesty!
King. Those girls of Italy, take heed of them;
Our hearts receive your warnings. King. Farewel.—Come hither to me.
[The King retires to a couch. 1 Lord. O my sweet lord, that you will stay behind us! Par. 'Tis not his fault; the spark 2 Lord,
O, 'tis brave wars!
nation. I am of opinion that the epithet higher is to be understood of situation rather than of dignity. The sense may then be this: Let upper Italy, where you are to exercise your valour, see that you come to gain honour, to the abatement, that is, to the disgrace and depression of those that have now lost their ancient mili. tary fame, and inherit but the fall of the last monarchy. To abate is used by Shakspeare in the original sense of abatre, to depress, to sink, to deject, to subdue. So, in Coriolanus :
till ignorance deliver you,
“ That won you without blows." And bated is used in a kindred sense in The Merchant of Venice:
in a bondman's key, “ With bated breath, and whisp'ring humbleness.” The word has still the same meaning in the language of the law. Johnson.
In confirmation of Johnson's opinion, that higher relates to situation, not to dignity, we find, in the third scene of the fourth Act, that one of the Lords says: “ What will Count Rousillon do then? will he travel higher, or return again to France ?"
M. Mason Those 'bated may here signify “those being taken away or ex. cepted.” Pate, thus contracted, is in colloquial language still used with this mcaning. This parenthetical sentence implies no more than they excepted who possess modern Italy, the remains of the Roman empire. H. White. 9 That fame may cry you loud:! Sn, in Troilus and Cressida:
- fame with her loud'st ( yes, “ Cries, This is he.” Steevens.
beware of being captives, Before you serve.] The word serve is equivocal; the sense is, Be not captives before you serve in the war. Be not captives before you are soldiers. Johnson.
Par. Most admirable: I have seen those wars.
Ber. I am commanded here, and kept a coil with; Too young, and the next year, and 'tis too early.
Par. An thy mind stand to it, boy, steal away bravely.
Ber. I shall stay here the forehorse to a smock,
1 Lord. There's honour in the theft.3
Commit it, count.
Par. Noble heroes, my sword and yours are kin. Good sparks and lustrous, a word, good metals:- You shall find in the regiment of the Spinii, one captain Spu
and no sword worn, But one to dance with!] It should be remembered that, in Shakspeare's time, it was usual for gentlemen to dance with swords on. Our author, who gave to all countries the manners of his own, has again alluded to this ancient custom in Antony and Cleopatra, Act III, sc. ix:
He, at Philippi kept
I'll steal away
“ There 's warrant in that theft,
Stcevens. 4 I grow to you, and our parting is a tortured body.] I read thus - Our parting is the parting of a tortured body. Our parting is as the disruption of limbs torn from each other. Repetition of a word is often the cause of mistakes: the eye glances on the wrong word, and the intermediate part of the sentence is omit. ted. Johnson, So, in K. Henry VIII, Act II, sc. iii:
it is a suffcrance, panging “ As soul and body's severing.” Steevens. As they grow together, the tearing them asunder was torturing a body. Johnson's amendment is unnecessary. M. Mason.
We two growing together, and having, as it were, but one body, (“like to a double cherry, seeming parted”) our parting is a tortured body; i. e. cannot be effected but by a disruption of limbs which are now common to both. Malone.
rio, with his cicatrice,5 an emblem of war, here on his sinister cheek; it was this very sword entrenched it: say to him, I live; and observe his reports of me.
2 Lord. We shall, noble captain.
Par. Mars dote on you for his novices! [Exeunt Lords.
[Seeing him rise. Par. Use a more spacious ceremony to the noble lords; you have restrained yourself within the list of too cold an adieu: be more expressive to them; for they wear themselves in the cap of the time,'here do muster true gait," eat, speak, and move under the influence of the most received star;6 and though the devil
with his cicatrice,] The old copy reads--his cicatrice with.
Steevens. It is surprizing, none of the editors could see that a slight transposition was absolutely necessary here, when there is not common sense in the passage, as it stands without such transposition. Parolles only means, “ You shall find one captain Spurio in the camp, with a scar on his left cheek, a mark of war that my sword gave him.” Theobald.
they wear themselves in the cap of the time, there do muster true gait, &c.] The main obscurity of this passage arises from the mistake of a single letter. We should read, instead of do muster, to muster. To wear themselves in the cap of the time, signifies to be the foremost in the fashion: the figurative allusion is to the gallantry then in vogue, of wearing jewels, flowers, and their mistress's favours in their caps. There to muster true gait, signifies to assemble together in the high road of the fashion. All the rest is intelligible and easy. Warburton. I think this emendation cannot be said
to give much light to the obscurity of the passage. Perhaps it might be read thus:They do muster with the true gait, that is, they have the true mili. tary step. Every man has observed something peculiar in the strut of a soldier. Johnson.
Perhaps we should read-master true gait. To master any thing, is to learn it perfectly. So, in King Henry IV, P. I:
“ As if he master'd there a double spirit
“Of teaching and of learning Again, in King Henry V:
“Between the promise of his greener days,
" And those he masters now." In this last instance, however, both the quartos, viz. 1600 and 1608, read musters Steevens.
The obscurity of the passage arises only from the fantastical language of a character like Parolles, whose affectation of wit urges his imagination from one allusion to another, without al.
lead the measure,? such are to be followed: after them, and take a more dilated farewel.
Ber. And I will do so.
Par. Worthy fellows; and like to prove most sinewy sword-men.
[Exeunt. BER. and PAR.
Enter LAFEU. Laf. Pardon, my lord, [kneeling] for me and for my
tidings. King. I'll fee thee to stand up. Laf.
Then here's a man
King. I would I had; so I had broke thy pate,
Goodfaith, across: 9
will No grapes, my royal fox? yes, but you will,
lowing time for his judgment to determine their congruity. The cap of time being the first image that occurs, true gait, manner of eating, speaking, &c. are the several ornaments which they muster, place, or arrange in time's cap: This is done under the influence of the most received star; that is, the person in the highest repute for setting fashions :--and though the devil were to lead the measure or dance of fashion, such is their implicit submission, that even he must be followed. Henley.
lead the measure,) i. e. the dance. So, in Much Ado about Nothing, Beatrice says: “Tell him there is measure in every thing, and so dance out the answer.” Steevens. brought — ] Some modern editions read—bought.
Malone. across :) This word, as has been already observed, is used when any pass of wit miscarries. Johnson.
While chivalry was in vogue, breaking spears against a quintain was a favourite exercise. He who shivered the greatest number was esteemed the most adroit; but then it was to be performed exactly with the point, for if achieved by a side-stroke, or across, it showed unskilfulness, and disgraced the practiser. Here, therefore, Lafeu reflects on the King's wit, as aukward and ineflectual, and, in the terms of play, good for nothing.
H. White. Sec As you Like it, Act III, sc. iv, p. 97. Steevens.
My noble grapes, an if my royal fox
What her is this?
you will see herg-Dow, by my faith and honour,
- yes, but you will, My noble grapes, &c.] The words - My noble grapes, seem to Dr. Warburton and Sir T. Hanmer to stand so much in the way, that they have silently omitted them. They may be, indeed, rejected without great loss, but I believe they are Shakspeare's words. You will eat, says Lafeu, no grapes. Yes, but you will eat such noble grapes, as I bring you, if you could reach them. Fohnson.
medicine,] is here put for a she-physician. Hanmer.
and make you dance canary,] Mr. Rich. Brome, in his comedy, entitled, The City Wit, or the Woman wears the Breeches, Act IV, sc. i, mentions this among other dances: “ As for corantoes, lavoltos, jigs, measures, pavins, brawls, galliards, or canaries; I speak it not swellingly, but I subscribe to no man."!
Dr. Grey. - whose simple touch &c.] Thus, Ovid, Amor. III, vii, 41: Illius ad tactum Pylius juvenescere possit,
Tithonosque annis fortior esse suis. Steevens. 5 And write -] I believe a line preceding this has been lost.
Malone. her years, profession,] By profession is meant her declaration of the end and purpose of her coming. Warburton.
7 Than I dare blame my weakness:) This is one of Shakspeare's perplexed expressions. “To acknowledge how much she has astonished me, would be to acknowledge a weakness; and this I am unwilling to do.” Steevens.
Lafeu's meaning appears to me to be this:-" That the amazement she excited in him was so great, that he could not impute it merely to his own weakness, but to the wonderful qualities of the object that occasioned it.” M. Mason.