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Enter Costard. Prin. Here comes a member of the commonwealth (77.

Coff. Good 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.
Coft. The thickest and the tallest ? it is so, truth is

An' your waste, mistress, were as slender as my wit (8),
One o'these maids girdles for your waste should be fit.
Are not you the chief woman? you are the thickeft

here. Prin. What's your will, Sir, what's your will ? Cost. I have a letter from Monsieur Biron, to one lady

Roluline. 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 (9).

Bayet. (7) A member of the common-wealth,] Here, I believe, is a kind of jest intended ; a member of the common-wealth is put for one of the comm' n people, one of the meaneft.

(8) An' your waste, mistress, were as pender as my wil,

One o' these maids girdles for your waste poould be fir.] And was not one of her maid's girdles fit for her? It is plain that

your have all the way changed places, by some accident or other ; and that the lines should be read thus,

An' my waste, mifiress, was as slender as your wit,

One of these maids girdles for my waste soould be fit. The lives are humorous enough, both as reflecting on his own gross shape, and her slender wit.

WARBURTON. This conjecture is ingenious enough, but not well considered. It is plain that the Ladies girdles would not fit the priocess. For when The has referred the clown to the thickest and the tallest, he turns itmedia ely to her with the blunt apology, truth is truth; and again tells her, you are the thickeft here. If any alteration is to be made, I should propose,

An' your waist, mifress, were as Nender as your wit. This would point the reply.; but perhaps he mentions the leadernels of his own wit to excuse his blusiness.

(9) Boyet, you can carve : Brank up this Capon.] i. .. open this lec:er

my and



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 (1), and every one give ear.

Boyet reads.
r 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 vafal. The magnanimous and most illufrale King Cophetua (2) fet eye upon the pernicious and indubitate beggar Zenelophon; and be it was that might rightly say, veni, vidi, vici ; which to anatomize in the vulgar (O buse and obscure vulgar!) videlicet, came, faw, and


came, one ; saw, two; overcame, three. Wbo came ? the King. Why did he come ? to see. Why did he fee? 10 overcome. To whom came he ? 10 the beggar. What saw he ? the beggar. Whom overcame be the beggar. The conclusion is victory ; on whose fide ? the King's ; the captive is enrich'd : or wbose fide the beggar's. The catastrophe is a nuprial : on whose fide ? the King's ? no, on both in one, or one in both. I am the King (for so stands the comparison) thou the beggar for fo witnessetb thy lowliness. Shall I command thy love? 1 may. Shall I enforce thy love ? I could. Shall I entreat i hy love? I will. What shalt thou exchange

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Our poet uses this metaphor, as the French do their Poulet ; which fignifies both a young Fowl, and a Love-letter, Poulet, amatoriæ Lin teræ, says Richelet: and quotes from Voiture, Repondre au plus cbligeant Poulet du Monde ; To reply to the most obliging Letter in the World. The Italians use the same manner of Expression, when they call a Love-Epistle, una Pollicetta amorosa. I owe the Hint of this equivocal use of the Word to my ingenious friend Mr. Bishop.

THEOBALD. (1) Break the neck of the wax,] Still alluding to the capon. (2) King Cophetua-] This story is again alluded to in Henry IV.

Let King Cophetua know the truth thereof. But of this King and Beggar the story then, doubtless, well known, is, I am afraid, loft. Zenelopbon has not the appearance of a female name, but since I kaow pot the true name, it is idle to guess.

For the King and Beggar see Mr. Percy's collection of ballads. R 2

for for rags ? robes ; for tittles ? titles : for thyself? me. Thus expecting thy reply, I propbane my lips on thy foor, my eyes on tby picture, and my heart on thy every part, Thine in the dearest design of industry,


(3) Thus dost thou hear the Nemean lion roar

'Gainst thee, chou 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 weathercock ? did you ever hear

better? Boyet. I am much deceived, but I remember the stile. Prin. Else your memory is bad, going o'er it ere

while (4) Boyet. This Armado is a Spaniard that keeps here in

Court, A phantasme, a monarcho (5), and one that makes sport To the prince, and his book-mates.

Prin. Thou, fellow, a word 1;
Who gave thee this letter ?

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

Coft. From my lord Biron, a good master of mine,
To a lady of France, that he callid Rosaline.

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

away (6).

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

[Exit Princess attended.


(3) Tbus dest thou hear, &c.] These fix lines appear to be a quotation from some ridiculous poem of that time.

(4) cre while.] Just now ; a little while ago. So Raleigh,
Here lies Hobbinol our shepherd, while e'er.
(5) a monarcho,] Sir T. Honner reads, a mammuccio.

(6) Come, lords, away.) Perhaps the Princess said rather Come, ladies, away. The rest of the scene deserves ao care.


Boyet. Who is the shooter ? who is the shooter ?
Rof. Shall I teach you to know?
Boyet. Ay, my continent of beauty.
Rof. Why, she that bears the bow. Finely put off.
Boyet. My lady goes to kill horns : but if thou

Hang me by the neck, if horns that year miscarry,
Finely put on.

Ros. Well then, I am the shooter.
Boy. And who is your Deer ?

Rof. If we chuse by horns, yourself; come not near.
Finely put on indeed!
Mar. You will wrangle with her, Bayet, and the

strikes at the brow.
Boyet. But the herself is hit lower. Have I hit her

now ?

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Ras. Shall I come upon thee with an old saying, that was a man when King Pippin 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 Quinover of Britain was a little wench, as touching the hit it.

Rof. Thou can'A not bit it, hit it, bit it. [Singing.
Tbou canf not hit it, my good man.

Boyet. An' I cannot, cannol, cannot ;
An' I cannot, another can.

[Exit Ros. Cost. By my troth, most pleafant; how both did fit it. Mar. A mark marvellous well shot ; for they both

did hit it. Boyet. A mark? O, mark but that mark! a mark,

says my lady ;
Let the mark have a prick in't ; to meet at if it may be.

Mar. Wide o'th'bow-hand; i'faith your hand is out.
Cost. Indeed, a'must shoot nearer, or he'll ne'er hit

the clout.
Boyet. An' if my hand be out, then, belike, your

hand is in. Coft. Then will she get the upshot by cleaving the

pin. Mar. Come, come, you talk greasily ; your lips


grow foul.


were, so fit.

Coft. She's too hard for you at pricks, Sir, challenge

her to bowl. Boyet. I fear too much rubbing ; good night my good owl.

[Exeuni all but Coffard. Coft. By my soul, a swain ; a most simple clown! Lord, Lord! how the ladies and I have put him down! O’my troth, moft sweet jefts, most incony vulgar wit, When it comes so smoothly off, so obfcenely; as it Armado o' th' one side - O, a most dainty man; To see him walk before a lady, and to bear her fan. ? To see him kiss his hand, and how moft sweetly he

will swear : And his Page o’t’other side, that handful of Wit ; Ah, heaven's ! it is a moft pathetical Nit.

[Exit Coftard.

[Shouting wirbin. S. CE NE II. (7) Enter Dull, Holofernes, and Sir Nathanael. Nath. Very reverend sport, truly ; and done in the testimony of a good Conscience.


(7) Enter Holofernes,] There is very little personal reflexion in Sbakeffeare. Either the virtue of those times, or the candour of our author, has so effected, that his satire is, for the most part, ge. geral, and as himself says.

his taxing like a wild gonje fries, Unclaim'd of any man. The place before us seems to be an exceptior. For by Holofernes is designed a particular character, a pedani and schoolmaster of our author's time, one John Florio, a teacher of the Italian tongue in London, who has given us a small dictionary of that language, under the title of A world of words, which in his Epistle Dedicatory he tells us, is of little less value than Stephens's treafure of the Greek tong ue, the most compleat work that was ever yet compiled of its kind. In his preface, he calls thole who had criticized his works Sea-dogs or Land-critics ; Monsters of men, if net beasts rather than men ; whose teeth are canibals

, their toongs ad. dars.firks, their lips afpes poijon, their eyes bafiliskes, ibeir breath the breath of a grave, iheir words like fwordes of Turks that strive wbicb pall dive deeper into a Christian lying bound before them. Well therefore might the mild Nathanael desire Holofernes to ab. rogate fcurrility. His profession too is the reason that Holofernes



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