Page images

Regent of love-rhymes, lord of folded arms,
The anointed sovereign of sighs and groans,
Liege of all loiterers and malcontents,
Dread prince of plackets,' king of codpieces,
Sole imperator, and great general
Of trotting paritors,'-O my little heart !
And I to be a corporal of his field,'
And wear his colours like a tumbler's hoop!
What? I! I love ! I sue! I seek a wife!
A woman, that is like a German clock,
Still a repairing ; ever out of frame;
And never going aright, being a watch,
But being watch'd that it may still go right?
Nay, to be perjur'd, which is worst of all ;
And, among three, to love the worst of all;
A whitely wanton with a velvet brow,
With two pitch balls stuck in her face for eyes ;
Ay, and, by heaven, one that will do the deed,
Though Argus were her eunuch and her guard
And I to sigh for her! to watch for her!

for her! Go to; it is a plague
That Cupid will impose for my neglect
Of his almighty dreadful little might.
Well, I will love, write, sigh, pray, sue, and groan ;
Some men must love my lady, and some Joan.


1 (8] A placket is a petticoat. DOUCE.

191 Au apparitor, or paritor, is an officer of the Bishop's court, who carries ont ritations; as citations are most frequently issued for fornication, the parifor is put under Cupid's government. JOHNSON.

It appears from Lord Stafford's Letters, Vol. II. p. 199, that a corporal of the field was employed as an aid-de-camp is now,“ in taking and carrying to ana fro the directions of the general, or ot ber the higher officers of tbe field.”

TYRWHITT [2] The following extract is taken from a book, called The Artificial ClockMaker, 1714.--"* Clock-making was supposed to have had its beginning in Germany within less than these two hundred years. It is very probable that our balanceclocks or watches and some other automata, might have had their beginning there,” &C.---To the inartificial construction of these first pieces of mechanism, executed in Germany, we may suppose Shakespeare alludes. The clock at Hampton Court, which was set up in 1540, (as appears from the inscription affixed to it) is said to be the first ever fabricated in England. STEEVENS.

“ In some towns in Germany, (says Dr. Powel in his Human Industry, 8vo. 1661,) there are very rare and elaborate clocks to be seen in their town-halls, wherein a man may read astronomy, and never look up to the skies. In the towahall of Prague there is a clock that shows the annual motions of the sun and moon, the names and numbers of the months, days, and festivals of the whole year, the time of the sun rising and setting througbout the year, the equipoxes, the length of the days and nights, the rising and setting of the twelve signs of the Zodiac, &c. --But the

town of Strasburgh carries the bell of all other steeples of Germany in this point." These elaborate clocks were probably often "out of frame." DIALONE.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

ACT IV. SCENE I.-Another part of the same.

Enter the Princess, ROSALINE, MARIA, KATHARINE, BOYET, Lords, Attendants, and a Forester.

Was that the king, that spur'd his horse so hard
Against the steep uprising of the hill ?
Boyet. I know not; but, I think, it was not he.

Prin. Whoe'er he was, he show'd a mounting mind.
Well, lords, to-day we shall have our despatch ;
On Saturday we will return to France.
-Then, forester, my friend, where is the bush,
That we must stand and play the murderer in ?

For. Here by, upon the edge of yonder coppice ;
A stand, where you may make the fairest shoot.

Prin. I thank my beauty, I am fair that shoot, And thereupon thou speak’st the fairest shoot.

For. Pardon me, madam, for I meant not so.

Prin. What, what ? first praise me, and again say, no? O short-liv'd pride! Not fair ? alack for woe!

For. Yes, madam, fair.

Prin. Nay, never paint me now;
Where fair is not, praise cannot mend the brow.
Here, good my glass, take this for telling true ;

[Giving him money.
Fair payment for foul words is more than due.
For. Nothing but fair is that which


Prin. See, see, my beauty will be sav'd by merit.
O heresy in fair, fit for these days!
A giving hand, though foul, shall have fair praise.
But come,

the bow :-Now mercy goes to kill,
And shooting well is then accounted ill.
Thus will I save my credit in the shoot :
Not wounding, pity would not let me do't ;
If wounding, then it was to shew my skill,
That more for praise, than purpose, meant to kill.
And, out of question, so it is sometimes ;
Glory grows guilty of detested crimes;
When, for fame's sake, for praise, an outward part,
We bend to that the working of the heart:
Vol. III.


As I, for praise alone, now seek to spill
The poor deer's blood, that my heart means no ill.

Boyet. Do not curst wives hold that self-sovereignty
Only for praise-sake, when they strive to be
Lords o'er their lords ?

Prin. Only for praise : and praise we may afford
To any lady that subdues a lord.

Enter CoSTARD.
Prin. Here comes a member of the commonwealth.

Cost. God dig-you-den all! Pray you, which is the head lady?

Prin. Thou shalt know her, fellow, by the rest that have no heads.

Cost. Which is the greatest lady, the highest ?
Prin. The thickest, and the tallest.

Cost. The thickest, and the tallest ! it is so ; truth is truth.
An your waist, mistress, were as slender as my wit,
One of these maid's girdles for your waist should be fit.
Are not you the chief woman? you are the thickest here.
Prin. What's your will, sir ? what's your

will ? Cost. I have a letter from monsienr Biron, to ong lady.

Rosaline. Prin. O, thy letter, thy letter; he's a good friend of

mine :
Stand aside, good bearer.-Boyet, you can carve ;
Break up this capon.

Boyet. I am bound to serve.--
This letter is mistook, it importeth none here ;
It is writ to Jaquenetta.

Prin. We will read it, I swear:
Break the neck of the wax, and every one give ear.

Boyet. [Reads.). By heaven, that thou art fair, is most infallible ; true,

that thou art beauteous; truth itself, that thou art lovely: More fairer than fair, beautiful than beauteous ; truer than truth itself, have commiseration on thy heroical vassal! The magnanimous and most illustrious king Cophetua' set eye upon the pers nicious and indubitate beggar Zenelophon; and he it was

[3] i. e. Open this letter. Our poet uses this metaphor, as the French do their poulet; which signifies both a young fowl and a love letter. The Italians uso the same manner of expression, when they call a love-epistle una pollicetta amorosa. THEOBALD (4) Still alluding to the capon.

JOHNSON 3) The ballad of King Cophetua and the Beggar-Maid, may be seen in the Re liques of Ancient Poetry. The beggar's name was Penelophon.' PERCY.


and my

that might rightly say, veni, vidi, vici ; which to anatomise in the vulgar, (O base and obscure vulgar!) videlicet, he came, saw, and overcame : he came, one ; saw, two; overcame, three.

Who came ? the king ; Why did he to see; Why did he see to overcome : TO whom came he ? to the beggar ; What saw he ? the beggar; Who overcame he? the beggar: The conclusion is victory; On whose side? the king's: The captive is

enrich'd ; On whose side ? the beggar's; The catasi trophe is a nuptial; On whose side? the king's ? no,

on both in one, or one in both. I am the king; for so Estands the comparison : thou the beggar ; for so witness, eth thy lowliness. Shall I command thy love? I

may : Shall I enforce thy love? I could : Shall I entreat thy love ? I will. What shalt thou exchange for rags ? robes ; For tittles, titles; For thyself, me. Thus, expecting thy reply, I profane my lips on thy foot, my eyes on thy picture,

heart on thy every part. Thines in the dearest design of industry,

Don ADRIANO DE ARMADO. Thus dost thou hear the Nemean lion roar

'Gainst thee, thou lamb, that standest as his prey; Submissive fall his princely feet before,

And he from forage will incline to play: But if thou strive, poor soul, what art thou then ? Food for his rage, repasture for his den... Prin. What plume of feathers is he, that indited this

letter? What vane ? what weather-cock? did you, ever hear

Boyet. I am much deceived, but I remember the style.
Prin. Else your memory is bad, going o’er it erewhile.
Boyet. This Armado is a Spaniard, that keeps here

in court;
* A phantasm, a Monarcho, and one that makes sport
To the prince and his book-mates.

Prin. Thou, fellow, a word : Who gave thee this letter ?

(6] These six lines appear to be a quotation from some ridiculous poem of that time. WARBURTON.

[7] A pun upon the word stile. MUSGRAVE.
18] The allusion is to a fantastical character of that time. FARMER.

A local allusion employed by a poet like Shakespeare, resembles the mortal steed that drew in the chariot of' Achilles. But short services could be expected from either. STEEVENS.

[ocr errors]

Cost. I told you ; my lord.
Prin. To whom shouldst thou give it?
Cost. From my lord to my lady.
Prin. From which lord, to which lady?

Cost. From my lord Biron, a good master of mine,
To a lady of France, that he call's Rosaline.

Prin. Thou hast mistaken his letter. Come, lords.


Here, sweet, put up this ; 'twill be thine another day.

[Exeunt Boyet. Who is the suitor ? who is the suitor ? Ros. Shall I teach you to know? Boyet. Ay, my continent of beauty. Ros. Why, she that bears the bow. Finely put off!

Boyet. My lady goes to kill horns ; but, if thou marry,
Hang me by the neck, if horns that year miscarry.
Finely put on!

Ros. Well then, I am the shooter.
Boyet. And who is


deer? Ros. If we choose by the horns, yourself: come near. Finely put on indeed ! Mar. You still wrangle with her, Boyet, and she strikes

at the brow. Boyet. But she herself is hit lower: Have I hit her now?

Ros. Shall I come upon thee with an old saying, that was a man when king Pepin of France was a little boy, as touching the hit it?

Boyet. So I may answer thee with one as old, that was a woman when queen Guinever of Britain was a little wench, as touching the hit it. Ros. Thou canst not hit it, hit it, hit it, [Singing.

Thou canst not hit it, my good man.
Boyet. An I cannot, cannot, cannot,
An I cannot, another can.

[Exe. Ros. and Kath Cost. By my troth, most pleasant ? how both did fit it! Mar. A mark marvellous well shot; for they both did

hit it.

[9] Perhaps the Princess said rather,--Come, ladies, away. The rest of the acene deserves no care. JOHNSON

[1] It appears that suitor was apciently pronounced shooter. STEEVENS.

in Ireland, where, I believe, much of the pronunciation of Queen Elizabeth's age is yet retained, the word suitor is at this day pronounced by the vulgar as if it were written shooter. MALONE.

(?)This was King Arthur's queen, not over famous for fidelity to her hushan? Mordred the Pict is supposed to have been her paramour. STEEVENT

« PreviousContinue »