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" One, whom the musick of his own vain tongue
" Doch ravish, like inchanting harmony: " ? A man of complements, whom right and wrong
“ Have chose as umpire of their mutiny. “ This child of fancy, that Armado hight,
“ For interim to our Studies, shall relate
" From tawny Spain, loft in the world's debate.
Biron. 2 X man of complements, whom right and wrong
Have chose as umpire of their mutiny.) As very bad a Play as this is, it was certainly Shakespear's, as appears by many fine master-strokes scattered up and down. An excessive complaifance is here admirably painted, in the person of one who was willing to make even right and wrong friends : and to perfuade the one to recede from the accustomed stubbornness of her nature, and wink at the liberties of her opposite, rather than he would incur the imputation of ill-breeding in keeping up the quarrel. And as our author, and Johnson his contemporary, are, confessedly, the two greatest writers in the Drama that our nation could ever boast of, this may be no improper occasion to take notice of one material difference between Shakespear's worst plays, and the other's. Our author owed all to his prodigious natural genius; and Johnson most to his acquired parts and learning. This, if attended to, will explain the difference we speak of. Which is this, that, in Johnson's bad pieces, we do not difcover the least traces of the author of the Fox and Alchemist; but, in the wildest and most extravagant notes of Shakespear, you every now and then encounter ftrains that recognize their divine composer. And the reason is this, that Johnson owing his chief excellence to art, by which he sometimes ftrain'd himself to an uncommon pitch, when he unbent himself, had nothing to support him; but fell below all likeness of himself: while Shakespear, indebted more largely to nature than the other to his acquired talents, could never, in his most negligent hours, fo totally divest himself of his Genius but that it would frequently break out with amazing force and Splendour. 3 In high-born words the worth of many a Knight
from tawny Spain, loff in the world's debate.) i.e. he shall relate to us the celebrated kories recorded in the old romances,
Biron. Armado is a moft illustrious wight, A man of fire-new words, fashion's own Knight.
Long. Coftard the fwain, and he, shall be our sport ; And, lo to study, three years are but short.
S CE NE II.
Enter Dull and Coftard with a letter.
Dull. Which is the King's own person?
Dull. I my self reprehend his own person, for I am his Grace's Tharborough: but I would see his own person in flesh and blood.
Biron. This is he.
Dull. Signior Arme, Arme-commends you. There's villany abroad ; this letter will tell you more.
Coft. Sir, the Contempts thereof are as touching me.
King. A letter from the magnificent Armado.
Biron. How low foever the matter, I hope in God for high words.
Long. A high hope for a low (a) having; God grant us patience!
Biron. To hear, or forbear hearing?
Long. To hear meekly, Sir, to laugh moderately, or to forbear both.
Biron. Well, Sir, be it as the Stile shall give us cause to climb in the merriness.
Coft. The matter is to me, Sir, as concerning Jaquenetta.
The and in their very ftile. Why he says from tawny Spain is, because these romances being of Spanish original, the Heroes and the Scene were generally of that country. Why he says, lof in the world's debate is, because the subject of those romances were the crusades of the European Christians against the Saracens of Asia and Africa. So that we see here is meaning in the words. (a) [ Mr. Theobald, having.–Vulg. heaven. ]
The manner of it is, I was 4 taken in the manner.
Biron. In what manner?
Coft. In manner and form, following, Şir; all those three. I was seen with her in the Manor-house, fitting with her upon the Form, and taken following her into the Park; which, put together, is, in manner and form following. Now, Sir, for the manner : it is the manner of a man to speak to a woman; for the form, in some form.
Biron. For the following, Sir?
Cost. As it shall follow in my correction; and God defend the right!
King. Will you hear the letter with attention?
Coft. Such is the fimplicity of man to hearken after
and sole dominator of Navarre, my soul's carth's God, and body's foftring patron.
Cost. Not a word of Costard yet.
may be so; but if he say it is so, he is, in telling true, (a) but so, so.
King. So it is, Besieged with sable-coloured melancholy, I did commend the black oppressing humour to the most wholesome physick of thy health.giving air; and as I am
4 taken with the manner.] The following question arising from these words shewys we should read-taken in the manner, And this was the phrase in use to fignify, taken in the fact. So Dr. Donne in his letters, But if I meli into melancholy while I write, I shall be taken in the manner; and I fit by one, too tender to these impreffions.
[(a) but fo, go.] A quibble restored by the Oxford Editor.--Vulg, but so ]
a gentleman, betook my self to walk : The time, when? about the sixth hour, when beasts molt graze, birds best peck, and men fit down to that nourishment which is call d supper: so much for the time, when. Now for the ground, which: wbicb, I mean, I walkt upon; it is ycleped, tby park. Then for the place, where; where, I mean, I did encounter that obscene and most preposterous event, that draweth from my snow-white pen the eboncolour'd ink, which bere thou viewest, beholdest, surveyest, or feest. But to the place, where ; It standeth northnorth-east and by east from the west corner of thy curiousknotted garden. There did I see that low-spirited fwain, that base minow of thy mirth, (Cost. Me?) that unletter'd small-knowing soul, (Cost. Me?) that shallow vaffal, Coft. Still me?) which, as I remember, bight Costard; (Cost. O me!) forted and conforted, contrary to thy established proclaimed edi£t and continent canon, with, with, O with, but with this I paffion to say wherewith:
Coft. With a wench.
King. With a child of our grandmother Eve, a female; or for thy more understanding, a woman; him, I (as my ever-esteem'd duty pricks me on) have fent to thee, to receive the need of punishment, by thy sweet Grace's officer, Anthony Dull, a man of good repute, carriage, bearing and estimation.
Dull. Me, an't shall please you: I am Anthony Dull.
King. For Jaquenetta, (so is the weaker vessel callod) which I apprehended with the aforesaid swain, I keep her as a vassal of thy law's fury, and shall at the least of thy sweet notice bring her to tryal
. Tbine in al complements of devoted and heart-burning beat of duty,
Don Adriano de Armado.
Biron. This is not so well as I look'd for, but the best that ever I heard.
King. Ay; the best for the worst. But, firrah, what say you to this?
Coft. Sir, I confess the wench.
Cost. I do confess much of the hearing it, but little of the marking of ic.
King. It was proclaim'd a year's imprisonment to be taken with a wench.
Coft. I was taken with none, Sir, I was taken with a damosel.
King. Well, it was proclaimed damosel.
Cost. This was no damosel neither, Sir, she was a virgin.
King. It is so varied too, for it was proclaim'd virgin.
Coft. If it were, I deny her virginity : I was taken with a maid.
King. This maid will not serve your turn, Sir.
King. Sir, I will pronounce sentence; you shall fast a week with bran and water.
Cost. I had rather pray a month with mutton and porridge.
King. And Don Armado shall be your keeper. My
[Exeunt. Biron. I'll lay my head to any good man's hat,
These oaths and laws will prove an idle scorn. Sirrah, come on.
Coft. I suffer for the truth, Sir: for true it is, I was taken with Jaquenetta, and Janxenetta is a true girl; and therefore welcome the sour cup of prosperity: affliction may one day smile again, and until then, sit thee down, sorrow,