Page images
PDF
EPUB

Ber. I have writ my letters, casketed my treasure, Given order for our horses; and to-night, When I should take possession of the bride, o "And, ere I do begin, – End

Laf. A good traveller is something at the latter end of a dinner; but one that lies three-thirds,? and uses a known truth to pass a thousand nothings with, should be once heard, and thrice beaten. God save you captain.

Ber. Is there any unkindness between my lord and you, monsieur?

Par. I know not how I have deserved to run into my lord's displeasure.

Laf. You have made shift to run into 't, boots and spurs and all, like him that leap'd into the custard;8 and out of it you 'll run again, rather than suffer question for

your residence. Ber. It may be, you have mistaken him, my lord.

Laf. And shall do so ever, though I took him at his prayers. Fare you well, my lord; and believe this of me, There can be no kernel in this light nut; the soul of this man is his clothes: trust him not in matter of heavy consequence; I have kept of them tame, and know their natures.-Farewel, monsieur: I have spoken bet

? A good traveller is something at the latter end of a dinner ; but one that lies three-thirds, &c.] So, in Marlowe's King Edward II, 1598:

“ Gav. What art thou?
“2 Poor Man. A traveller.
Gav. Let me see; thou would'st well
To wait on my trencher, and tell me lies at dinner-time."

Malone. 8 You have made shift to run into't, boots and spurs and all, like him that leap'd into the custard ;] This odd allusion is not intro. duced without a view to satire. It was a foolery practised at city entertainments, whilst the jester or zany was in vogue, for him to jump into a large deep custard, set for the purpose, to set on a quantity of barren spectators to laugh, as our poet says in his Hamlet. I do not advance this without some authority; and a quotation from Ben Jonson will very well explain it:

“He may perchance, in tail of a sheriff's dinner,

Skip with a rhime o'th' table, from New-nothing,
And take his Almain-leap into a custard,
“ Shall make my lady mayoress, and her sisters,
“Laugh all their hoods over their shoulders."

Devil's an Ass, Act I, sc. i. Theobald.

ter of you, than you have or will deserve' at my hand; but we must do good against evil.

[Exit. Par. An idle lord, I swear. Ber. I think so. Pár. Why, do you not know him?

Ber. Yes, I do know him well; and common speech Gives him a worthy pass. Here comes my clog.

Enter HELENA.
Hel. I have, sir, as I was commanded from you,
Spoke with the king, and have procur’d his leave
For present parting; only, he desires
Some private speech with you.
Ber.

I shall obey his will.
You must not marvel, Helen, at my course,
Which holds not colour with the time, nor does
The ministration and required office
On my particular: Prepar'd I was not
For such a business; therefore am I found
So much unsettled: This drives me to entreat you,
That presently you take your way for home;
And rather muse, than ask, why I entreat you:1
For my respects are better than they seem;
And my appointments have in them a need,
Greater than shows itself, at the first view,
To you that know them not. This to my mother:

[Giving a letter. 'Twill be two days ere I shall see you; so I leave you to your wisdom. Hel.

Sir, I can nothing say, But that I am your most obedient servant.

Ber. Come, come, no more of that.
Hel.

And ever shall With true observance seek to eke out that,

than you have or will deserve -] The oldest copy erroneously reads-have or will to deserve. Steevens.

Something seems to have been omitted; but I know not how to rectify the passage. Perhaps we should read-than you have qualities or will to deserve. The editor of the second folio reads -than you have or will deserve -. Malone.

1 And rather muse, &c.] To muse is to wonder. So, in Macbeth:

“Do not muse at me, my most noble friends." Steevens.

Wherein toward me my homely stars have fail'd
To equal my great fortune.
Ber.

Let that go:
My haste is very great: Farewel; hie home.

Hel. Pray, sir, your pardon.
Ber.

Well, what would you say?
Hel. I am not worthy of the wealth I owe;?
Nor dare I say, 'tis mine; and yet it is;
But, like a timorous thief, most fain would steal
What law does vouch mine own.
Ber.

What would you have? Hel. Something; and scarce so much :-nothing, in

deed.I would not tell you what I would: my lord—'faith,

yes;
Strangers, and foes, do sunder, and not kiss.

Ber. I pray you, stay not, but in haste to horse.
Hel. I shall not break your bidding, good my lord.
Ber. Where are my other men, monsieur?--Farewel.S

[Exit HEL
Go thou toward home; where I will never come,
Whilst I can shake my sword, or hear the drum:-
Away, and for our flight.
Par.

Bravely, coragio! [Exeunt,

2

the wealth I owe;] i. e. I own, possess. Steevens. 3 Where are my other men, monsieur ?-Farewel.] In former copies:

Hel. Where are my other men? Monsieur, farewel. What other men is Helen here inquiring after? Or who is she supposed to ask for them? The old Countess, 'tis certain, did not send her to the court without some attendants; but neither the Clown, nor any of her retinue, are now upon the stage: Bertram, observing Helen to linger fondly, and wanting to shift her off, puts on a show of haste, asks Parolles for his servants, and then gives his wife an abrupt dismission. Theobald.

[blocks in formation]

ACT III.....SCENE I.

Florence.

A Room in the Duke's Palace.

Flourish. Enter the Duke of Florence, attended; two

French Lords, and Others.
Duke. So that, from point to point, now have you

heard The fundamental reasons of this war; Whose great decision hath much blood let forth, And more thirsts after. 1 Lord.

Holy seems the quarrel
Upon your grace's part; black and fearful
On the opposer.

Duke. Therefore we marvel much, our cousin France
Would, in so just a business, shut his bosom
Against our borrowing prayers.
2 Lord.

Good my lord,
The reasons of our state I cannot yield,
But like a common and an outward man,
That the great figure of a council frames
By self-unable motion : 6 therefore dare not
Say what I think of it; since I have found
Myself in my uncertain grounds to fail
As often as I guess’d.
Duke.

Be it his pleasure. 2 Lord. But I am sure, the younger of our nature, That surfeit on their ease, will, day by day,

6

7

4

5

- I cannot yield,] I cannot inform you of the reasons.

Fohnson. Thus, in Antony and Cleopatra :

“ If thou say so, villain, thou kill'st thy mistress :
“ But well and free,
“If thou so yield him, there is gold -.” Steevens.
an outward man,] i. e. one not in the secret of affairs.

Warburton. So, inward, is familiar, admitted to secrets. “I was an inward of his.” Measure for Measure. Johnson.

6 By self-unable motion :] We should read notion. Warburton. This emendation has also been recommended by Mr. Upton.

Steevens. the younger of our nature,] i. e. as we say at present, our young fellows. The modern editors read-nation. I have restored the old reading. Steevens.

7

Come here for physick.
Duke.

Welcome shall they be;
And all the honours, that can fly from us,
Shall on them settle. You know your places well;
When better fall, for your avails they fell:
To-morrow to the field.

[Flourish. Exeunt.

SCENE II.

Rousillon. A Room in the Countess's Palace.

Enter Countess and Clown. Count. It hath happened all as I would have had it, save, that he comes not along with her.

Clo. By my troth, I take my young lord to be a very melancholy man.

Count. By what observance, I pray you?

Clo. Why, he will look upon his boot, and sing; mend the ruff, and sing;& ask questions, and sing; pick his teeth, and sing: I know a man that had this trick of melancholy, sold a goodly manor for a song.9

Count. Let me see what he writes, and when he means to come.

[Opening a letter. Clo. I have no mind to Isbel, since I was at court: our old ling and our Isbels o'the country are nothing like your old ling and your Isbels o' the court: the brains of my Cupid 's knocked out; and I begin to love, as an old man loves money, with no stomach.

Count. What have we here?
Clo. E'en that? you have there.

[Exit.

8 Clo. Why, he will look upon his boot, and sing; mend the rulf, and sing ;] The tops of the boots, in our author's time, turned down, and hung loosely over the leg. The folding is what the Clown means by the ruff Ben Jonson calls it ruffle; and perhaps it should be so here. “ Not having leisure to put off my silver spurs, one of the rowels catch'd hold of the ruffle of my boot.” Every Man out of his Humour, Act IV, sc. vi. Whalley.

To this fashion Bishop Earle alludes in his Characters, 1638, sign. E 10: “He has learnt to ruffle his face from his boote; and takes great delight in his walk to heare his spurs gingle."

Malone. sold a goodly manor for a song.) Thus the modern edi. tors. The old copy reads-hold a goodly &c. The emendation, howeyer, which was made in the third folio, seems necessary.

Steevens.

« PreviousContinue »