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 you inherit.

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?:

[ocr errors]

Here, good my glass,] To understand how the princess has her glass so ready at hand in a casual conversation, it must be remembered that in those days it was the fashion among the French ladies to wear a looking-glass, as Mr. Bayle coarsely represents it, on their bellies ; that is, to have a small mirrour set in gold hanging at their girdle, by which they occasionally viewed their faces or adjusted their hair. Johnson.

Dr. Johnson, perhaps, is mistaken. She had no occasion to have recourse to any other looking-glass than the Forester, whom she rewards for having shown her to herself as in a mirror.

STEEVENS. Whatever be the interpretation of this passage, Dr. Johnson is right in the historical fact. Stubbs, in his Anatomie of Abuses, is very indignant at the ladies for it:

They must have their looking-glasses carried with them, wheresoever they go: and good reason, for how else could they see the devil 'in them? And in Massinger's City Madam, several women are introduced with looking glasses at their girdles. FARMER. 2 When, for fame's sake, for praise, an outward part,

We bend to that the working of the heart :] The harmony of the measure, the easiness of the expression, and the good sense in the thought, all concur to recommend these two lines to the reader's notice. WARBURTON.

[ocr errors]

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-sove-

reignty 4
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 common

wealth 5. Cost. God dig-you-den allo! 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.




[ocr errors]

THAT my heart means no ill.] That my heart means no ill, is the same with to whom my heart means no ill. The common phrases suppresses the particle, as I mean him [not to him] no harm.


that self-sovereignty-] Not a sovereignty over, but in, themselves. So, self-sufficiency, self-consequence, &c.

MALONE. a member of the COMMON-WEALT

ALTH.] Here, I believe, is a kind of jest intended : a member of the common-wealth, is put for one of the common people, one of the meanest.

Johnson. The Princess calls Costard a member of the commonwealth, because she considers him as one of the attendants on the King and his associates in their new-modelled society ; and it was part of their original plan that Costard and Armado should be members of it. M. Mason. 6 God DIG-YOU-Den--] A corruption of-God give you good

Malone. See my note on Romeo and Juliet, Act II. Sc. IV. STEEVENS.


An your waist, mistress, were as slender as my wit, One of these maids' girdles for your waist should be


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 monsieur Birón, to

one 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",
BoyЕТ. .

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

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,


Boyet, you can carve; BREAK UP THIS CAPON.] 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.

Poulet ; amatoriæ literæ, says Richelet; and quotes from Voiture, Repondre au plus obligeant 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 owed the hint of this equivocal use of the word, to my ingenious friend Mr. Bishop. TheoBALD.

Henry IV. consulting with Sully about his marriage, says:

my niece of Guise would please me best, notwithstanding the malicious reports, that she loves poulets in paper, better than in a fricasee.”- A message is called a cold pigeon, in the letter concerning the entertainments at Killingworth Castle. FARMER.

To break up was a peculiar phrase in carving. Percy.

So, in Westward-Hoe, by Decker and Webster, 1607: at “the skirt of that sheet, in black-work, is wrought his name: break not up the wild fowl till anon.Again, in Ben Jonson's Masque of Gipsies Metamorphosed : A London cuckold hot from the spit, en the carver up had broke him," &c.


“ And

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, hade commiseration on thy heroical vassal!

The magnanimous and most illustrate' king Cophetua 2 set eye upon the pernicious and indubitate beggar Zenelophon; and he it was that might rightly say, veni, vidi, vici; which to anatomize * in the vulgar, (o base and obscure vulgar!) videlicet, he came, saw, and overcame: he came, one ; saw, two; over came, three. Who came ? the king ; Why did he come? 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 enriched; On whose side ? the beggar's; The catastrophe is a nuptial; On whose side ? 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 so witnesseth thy lowliness.

* First folio and 4to. annothanize. 8 Break the neck of the wax,] Still alluding to the capon.

JOHNSON. So, in The true Tragedies of Marius and Sylla, 1594 :

“ Lectorius read, and break these letters up." STEVENS. One of Lord Chesterfield's Letters, 8vo. vol. iii. p. 114, gives us the reason why poulet meant amatoria litera. TOLLET.

9 More fairer than fair, beautiful than beauteous ; truer, &c.] I would read,-fairer than fair, more beautiful, &c. TYRWHITT.

illustrate —] for illustrious. It is often used by Chapman in his translation of Homer. Thus, in the eleventh Iliad:

Jove will not let me meet Illustrate Hector:-—"

STEEVENS. 2 - King Cophetua-] The ballad of King Cophetua and the Beggar-Maid, may be seen in The Reliques of Ancient Poetry, vol. i. The beggar's name was Penelophon, here corrupted.

PERCY. The poet alludes to this song in Romeo and Juliet, Henry IV. P. II. and Richard II. STEVENS.

- saw] The old copies here and in the preceding line have

Mr. Rowę made the correction. MALONE,


[ocr errors]



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, and my heart on thy every part. Thine, 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 better? Boyet. I am much deceived, but I remember

the style.

Prin. Else your memory is bad, going o'er it 5

erewhile 6. Boyet. This Armado is a Spaniard, that keeps

here in court; A phantasm, a Monarcho?, and one that makes


[ocr errors]


4 Thus dost thou hear, &c.] These six lines appear to be a quotation from some ridiculous poem of that time. WARBURTON.

going o'er it -] A pun upon the word stile. MUSGRAVE. - erewhile.] Just now; a little while ago. So, Raleigh : “ Here lies Hobbinol, our shepherd while e’er.

Johnson. - a Monarcho,] The allusion is to a fantastical character of the time :-“Popular applause (says Meres) doth nourish some, neither do they gape after any other thing, but vaine praise and Igorie, -as in our age Peter Shakerlye of Paules, and Monarcho that lived about the court,” p. 178. FARMER.


« 上一页继续 »