Page images
PDF
EPUB

Though to myself forsworn, to thee I'll faithful prove ;
Those thoughts to me were oaks, to thee like osiers

bowed.
Study his bias leaves, and makes his book thine eyes ;
Where all those pleasures live, that art would com-

prehend: If knowledge be the mark, to know thee shall suffice; Well learned is that tongue, that well can thee com

mend : All ignorant that soul, that sees thee without wonder;

(Which is to me some praise, that I thy parts admire ;) Thy eye Jove's lightning bears, thy voice his dreadful

thunder,
Which, not to anger bent, is music, and sweet fire.
Celestial as thou art, oh pardon, this wrong,
That sings heaven's praise with such an earthly tongue !

Hol. You find not the apostrophes, and so miss the accent: let me supervise the canzonet. Here are only numbers ratified; but, for the elegancy, facility, and golden cadence of poesy, caret. Ovidius Naso was the man : and why, indeed, Naso ; but for smelling out the odoriferous flowers of fancy, the jerks of invention ? Imitari, is nothing : so doth the hound his master, the ape his keeper, the tired horse his rider.--But damosella virgin, was this directed to you?

Jaq. Ay, sir, from one monsieur Biron, one of the strange queen's lords.

Hol. I will overglance the superscript. To the snowwhite hand of the most beauteous Lady Rosaline. I will look again on the intellect of the letter, for the nomination of the party writing to the person written unto :

Your ladyship's in all desired employment, Biroy. -Sir Nathaniel, this Biron is one of the votaries with the king ; and here he hath framed a letter to a sequent of the stranger queen's, which, accidentally, or by the way of progression, hath miscarried.--Trip and go, my sweet; deliver this paper into the royal hand of the king ; it may concern much : Stay not thy compliment ; I forgive thy duty; adieu.

Jaq. Good Costard, go with me.—Sir, God save your life! Cost. Have with thee, my girl. (Exe. Cost. and JAQ. [2] Shakespeare forgot himself in this passage. Jaquenetta knew nothing of Biron, and had said, just before, that the letter had been sent to her from Dor Srwatko, and given to her by Costaru.

[ocr errors]

M. MASON.

dertake your

Nath. Sir, you have done this in the fear of God, very religiously ; and, as a certain father saith

Hol. Sir, tell not me of the father, I do fear colourable colours. But, to return to the verses ; Did they please you, sir Nathaniel ?

Nath. Marvellous well for the pen.

Hol. I do dine to-day at the father's of a certain pupil of mine ; where if, before repast, it shall please you to gratify the table with a grace, I will, on my privilege 1 have with the parents of the foresaid child or pupil, un

ben venuto; where I will prove those verses to be very unlearned, neither savouring of poetry, wit, nor invention : I beseech your society.

Nath. And thank you too : for society, (saith the text,) is the happiness of life.

Hol. And, certes, the text most infallibly concludes it. ---Sir, [To Dull.] I do invite you too ; you shall not say me, nay, nay: pauca verba. Away; the gentles are at their game, and we will to our recreation. [Exeunt.

SCENE III. Another part of the same.

Enter Biron, with a paper. Biron. The king he is hunting the deer; I am coursing myself: they have pitch'd a toil; I am toiling in a pitch ;' pitch that defiles ; defile! a foul word. Well, Set thee down, sorrow! for so, they say, the fool said, and so say I, and I the fool. Well proved, wit! By the Lord, this love is as mad as Ajax : it kills sheep; it kills me, I a sheep: Well proved again on my side! I will not love : if I do, hang me; i'faith, I will not. O, but her eye,-by this light, but for her eye, I would not love her ; yes, for her two eyes. Well, I do nothing in the world but lie, and lie in my throat. By heaven, I do love : and it hath taught me to rhyme, and to be melancholy; and here is part of my rhyme, and here my melancholy. Well, she hath one o' my sonnets already ; the clown bore it, the fool sent it, and the lady hath it: sweet clown, sweeter fool, sweetest lady! By the world, I would not care a pin if the other three were in : Here comes one with a paper; God give him grace to groan!

[Gets up into a tree. [3] That is, specious, or fair seeming appearances. [4] Alluding to lady Rosaline's complexion, who is through the whole play represented as a black beauty.

JOHNSON.

JOHNSON

Enter the King, with a paper. King. Ah me!

Biron. (Aside.] Shot, by heaven !-Proceed, sweet
Cupid ; thou hast thump'd him with thy bird-bolt under
the left pap :-I'faith secrets.-
King. [Reads.] So sweet a kiss the golden sun gives not

To those fresh morning drops upon the rose,
As thy eye-beams, when their fresh rays have smote

The night of dew, that on my cheeks down flows :
Nor shines the silver moon one half so bright

Through the transparent bosom of the deep,
As doth thy face through tears of mine give light;

Thou shin'st in every tear that I do weep :
No drop, but as a coach, doth carry thee,

So ridest thou triúmphing in my woe;
Do but behold the tears that swell in me,

And they thy glory through my grief will show :
But do not love thyself ; then thou wilt keep
My tears for glasses, and still make me weep.
0

queen of queens, how far dost thou excel?
No thought can think, nor tongue of mortal tell.-
How shall she know my griefs ? I'll drop the paper,
Sweet leaves, shade folly. Who is he comes here?

[Steps aside.
Enter LONGAVILLE,
What, Longaville ! and reading ! listen, ear.
Biron. [Aside.] Now, in thy likeness, one more fool,

appear! Long. Ah me! I am forsworn. Biron. [Aside.] Why, he comes in a like perjure,

wearing papers. King. [.Aside.] In love, I hope ; Sweet fellowship in

shame! Biron. [ Aside.] One drunkard loves another of the name. Long. Am I the first that have been perjur'd so ? Biron. [.Aside.] I could put thee in comfort ; not by

two, that I know : Thou mak’st the triumviry, the corner-cap of society, The shape of love's Tyburn that hangs up simplicity.

Long. I fear, these stubborn lines lack power to move : O sweet Maria, empress of my love!

with a paper.

[5] The punishment of perjury is to wear on the breast a paper expressing the crime. JOHNSON,

These numbers will I tear, and write in prose.
Biron. [Aside.] 0, rhymes are guards on wanton Cu-

pid's hose :
Disfigure not his slop.
Long. This same shall go.-- [He reads the sonnet.
Did not the heavenly rhetoric of thine eye

('Gainst whom the world cannot hold argument)
Persuade my heart to this false perjury?

Vows, for thee broke, deserve not punishment.
A woman I forswore; but, I will prove,

Thou being a goddess, I forswore not thee :
My vow was earthly, thou a heavenly love ;

Thy grace being gain'd, cures all disgrace in me.
Vows are but breath, and breath a vapour is :

Then thou, fair sun, which on my earth dost shine,
Exhalst this vapour vow; in thee it is :

If broken then, it is no fault of mine ;
If by me broke, What fool is not so wise

To lose an oath to win a paradise ?
Biron. [Aside.] This is the liver vein, which makes

fesh a deity ; A green goose, a goddess : pure, pure idolatry. God amend us, God amend ! we are much out o'th' way.

Enter DUMAIN, with a paper. Long. By whom shall I send this ?-Company! stay.

[Stepping aside. Biron. (Aside.] All bid, all hid, an old infant play:8 Like a demi-god here sit I in the sky, And wretched fools' secrets heedfully o’er-eye. More sacks to th' mill! O heavens, I have my

wish

i Dumain transform’d: four woodcocks in a dish!

Dum. O most divine Kate !
Biron. O most profane coxcomb !

[Aside
Dum. By heaven, the wonder of a mortal eye!
Bir. By earth, she is but corporal;' there you lie. [Asi.
Dum. Her amber hairs for foul have amber coted.

[6] Slops are large and wide-knee'd breeches, the garb in fashion in our author's days, as we may observe from old family pictures. THEOBALD.

(7) The liver was anciently supposed to be the seat of love. JOHNSON [8] All hid, All hid,--The children's cry at hide and seek. MUSGRAVE. (9] The word corporal in Shakespeare's time, was used for corporeal. MAL.

(1) To cote is to outstrip, to overpass.---The beauty of amber consists io its va. rlegated cloudiness, which Dumain calls foulness. The hair of his mistress in va. ried shadows exceeded those of amber. STEEVENS.

[ocr errors]

Biron. An amber-colour'd raven was well noted. [Asi.
Dum. As upright as the cedar.

Biron. Stoop, I say ;,
Her shoulder is with child.

[Aside.
Dum. As fair as day.
Biron. Ay, as some days; but then no sun must shine.[Asi.
Dum. O that I had my wish!
Long. And I had mine!

Aside.
King. And I mine too, good Lord !

Aside. Biron. Amen, so I had mine : Is not that a good word ?

[.Aside, Dum. I would forget her; but a fever she Reigns in my blood, and will remember'd be.

Biron. A fever in your blood, why, then incision? Would let her out in saucers; Sweet misprision ! [.Aside.

Dum. Once more I'll read the ode that I have writ.
Biron. Once more I'll mark how love can vary wit.

Aside.
Dum. On a day, (alack the day!).

Love, whose month is ever May,
Spied a blossom, passing fair,
Playing in the wanton air :
Through the velvet leaves the wind,
All unseen, 'gan passage find;
That the lover, sick to death,
Wish'd himself the heaven's breath.
Air, quoth he, thy cheeks may
Air, would I might triumph so !3
But alack, my hand is sworn,
Ne’er to pluck thee from thy thorn :
Vow, alack, for youth unmeet;
Youth so apt to pluck a sweet.
Do not call it sin in me,
That I am forsworn for thee :
Thou for whom even Jove would swear,
Juno but an Ethiop were ;
And deny himself for Jove,

Turning mortal for thy love.---
This will I send ; and something else more plain,
That shall express my true love's fasting pain.

[2] It was the fashion among the young gallants of that age, to stab themselves in the arms, or elsewhere, in order to drink their mistress's health, or write her name in their blood, as a proof of their passion. [3] Perhaps se may better read--Ah! would I might, &c. JOHNSON.

blow;

M. MASON.

« PreviousContinue »