[ocr errors]

Long. I'll ftay with patience ; but the time is long.
Mar. The liker you ; few taller are so young.

Biron. Studies my lady? mistress look on me,
Behold the window of my heart, mine eye,
What humble Suit attends thy answer there ;
Impose some service on me for thy love.

Ros. Oft have I heard of you, my lord Biror,
Before I saw you ; and the world's large tongue

you for a man replete with mocks ;
Full of comparisons and wounding flouts ;
Which you on all estates will execute,
That lie within the mercy of


wit :
To weed this wormwood from your fruitful brain,
And therewithal to win me, if you please;
Without the which I am not to be won;
You shall this twelve-month term from day to day
Visit the fpeechless Sick, and fill converse
With groaning wretches ; and your task fall be,
With all the herce endeavour of your

T'enforce the pained Impotent to smile.
Biron. To move wild laughter in the throat of

It cannot be, it is impoflible :
Mirth cannot muve a foul in agony.

ROS: Why, that's the way to choak a gibing spirit,
Whose influence is begot of that loose grace,
Which shallow-laughing hearers give to fools :
A jest's prosperity lies in the ear
of him that hears it, never in the tongue
Of him that makes it : then, if fickly ears
Deaft with the clamours of their own * dear groans,
Will hear


idle scorns ; continue then,
And I will have you, and that fault withal :
But if they will not, throw away that fpirit ;
And I shall find you empty of that fault,
Right joyful of your Reformation.
Biron. A twelve-month? well ; befal, what will

I'll jest a twelve-month in an Hospital.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

dear should here, as in many other places, be dere, fad, Prin. Ay, sweet my lord, and so I take my leave.


[To tbe King King. No, Madam ; we will bring you on your way.

Biron. Our wooing doth not end like an old Play ;
Jack hath not Jill; these ladies' courtesy
Might well have made our sport a Comedy.

King. Come, Sir, it wants a twelve-month and a And then 'twill end.

[day, Biron. That's too long for a Play:

Enter Armado.
Arm. Sweet Majesty, vouchsafe me
Pria. Was not that Hector ?
Dum. That worthy Knight of Troy.

drm. I will kiss thy royal finger, and take leave. I am a Votary; I have vow'd to Jaquenetta to hold the plough for her sweet love three years. But, molt esteemed Greatness, will you hear the dialogue that the two learned men have compiled, in praise of the owl and the cuckow it should have follow'd in the end of our Show.

King. Call them forth quickly, we will do so.
Arm. Holla! approach

Enter all, for the Song. This fide is Hiems, winter. This Ver, the fpring; the one maintained by the owl,, The other by the cuckow. Ver, begin.

The SON G.

Wben daizies pied, and violets blue (8),

And lady-smocks all filver-white,
And cuckow-buds of yellow hue,

Do paint the meadows with delight (9);


(8) The first lines of this song that were tranfposed, have been replaced by Mr. Theobald. (9) Do paint the meadirus with delight ;] This is a pretty rur 1


The cuckow then on every Tree
Mocks married men ; for thus fings be
Cuckow !

Cuckow ! cuckow ! O word of fear,

Unpleaning to a married ear!
When shepherds pipe on oaten firaws,

And merry larks are ploughmens' clocks :
When turtles tread; and rooks and daws;

And maidens bleach their summer smocks
The cuckow then on every tree
Mocks married men ; for thus fings he,
Cuckow !

Cuckow ! cuckow !.0 word of fear,
Unpleaping to a married ear!

W I N T E R.
When isicles hang by the wall,

And Dick the shepherd blows his nail ;
And Tom bears logs into the ball,

And milk comes frozen bome in pail ;
When blood is nipt, and ways be foul,
Then nightly fings the staring owl
Tu whit! 10-wboo !,

A merry note,
While greasy Jone doth keel the pot *.
When all aloud the wind doth blow,

And coughing drowns the Parson's faw ;
And birds fit brooding in the snow,

And Marian's nose looks red and raw ;
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,
Then nighıly fings the staring owl
Tu whit! 10-whoo!


merry note, While greasy Jone doth keel the pot.

frog, in which the images are drawn with great force from nature. But this senieless expetive of painting with delighi, I would read Thus,

Do point the head.ws MUCH BEDIGHT, i, e, much bed-cked or adorned, as they are in spring-time. The epithet is proper, and the compound not ioelegaot. WARBURTON,

Much less elegant than the present reading.

* Keel the po?) This word is yet la ulu ia Ireland, and signifies to fcum the pot.



Arm. The words of Mercury Are harsh after the songs of Apollo : You, that way; we, this way. [Excunt omnes*

In this play, which all the editors have concurred to censure, and some have rejected as unworthy of our Poet, it must be confessed that there are many passages mean, childish, and vulgar ; and fonte which ought not to have been exhibited, as we are told they were, to a maiden queen. But there are scattered, through the whole, many sparks of genius ; nor is there any play that has more evident marks of the hand of Shakespeare,

Act I. Scene I. Page 332. This child of fancy, that Armado hight, &c.] This, as I have shewn, in the note in its place, relates to the stories in the books of Chivalry. A few words therefore concerning their Origin and Nature may not be unacceptable to the reader. As I don't know of any writer who has given any tolerable account of this matter : and especially as Monsieur Huet, the Bishop of Avranches, who wrote a formal treatise of the Origin of Romances, has said little or nothing of these in that fuperficial work. For having brought down the account of romances to the later Greeks, and entered upon those composed by the barbarous western writers, which have now the name of Romances almost appropriated to them, he puts the change upon his reader, and, instead of giving us an account of these books of Chivalry, one of the most curious and interesting parts of the subject he promised to treat of, he contents himself with a long account of the Poems of the Provincial Writers, called likewise Romances : and so, under the equivoque of a common term, drops his proper subject, and entertains us with another that had no relation to it more than in the name.

The Spaniards were of all others the fondest of these fables, as fuiting beft their extravagant turn to gallantry and bravery ; which in time grew fo excessive, as to need all the efficacy of Cervantes's incomparable satire. to bring them back to their fenfes. The French suffer


ed an easier cure from their Doctor Rabelais, who enough discredited the books of Chivalry, by only using the extravagant stories of its Giants, &c. as a cover for another kind of satire against the refined Politicks of his countrymen ; of which they were as much possessed as the Spaniards of their Romantic Bravery. A bravery our Shakespeare makes their characteristic, in this description of a Spanish Gentleman :

A man of compliments, whom right and wrong
Have chofe as Umpire of their mutiny :
This Child of fancy, that Armado hight,
For interim to our ftudies, fall relate
In high-born words, the wortb of many a Knight,

From tawny Spain, loft in the world's debate. The sense of which is to this effect : This Gentleman, says the speaker, fall relate to us the celebrated Stories recorded in the old Romances, and in their very file. Why he says, from tawny Spain, is because, there Romances being of Spanish Original, the Heroes and the Scene were generally of that country. He says, loft in the world's debate, because the subject of those Romances were the Crusades of the European Christians against the Saracens of Asia and Africa,

Indeed, the wars of the Christians against the Pagans were the general subject of the Romances of Chivalry. They all seem to have had their ground-work in two fabulous Monkish historians : The one, who, under the name of Turpin Archbishop of Rheims, wrote the History and Atchievements of Charlemagne and his twelve Peers ; to whom, instead of his father, they alsigned the task of driving the Saracens out of France and the South parts of Spain : the other, our Geoffry of Monmouth.

Two of those Peers, whom the old Romances have rendered most famous, were Oliver and Rowland. Hence Sbakespeare makes Alanson, in the first part of Henry VI. say, Froylard, a country man

of ours, re“ cords, England all Olivers and Rowlands bred, during “ the time Edward the Third did reige.” In the Spanish Romance of Bernardo del Carpio, and in that of


« 上一页继续 »