图书图片
PDF
ePub

Who art the table wherein all my thoughts
Are visibly character'd and engravid,
To lesson me; and tell me some good mean,
How, with my honour, I may undertake
A journey to my loving Proteus.

Luc. Alas! the way is wearisome and long.

Jul. A true-devoted pilgrim is not weary To measure kingdoms with his feeble steps; Much less shall she, that hath love's wings to fly; And when the flight is made to one so dear, Of such divine perfection, as sir Proteus.

Luc. Better forbear, till Proteus make return.
Jul. O, know'st thou not, his looks are my soul's

food ?
Pity the dearth that I have pined in,
By longing for that food so long a time.
Didst thou but know the inly touch of love,
Thou would'st as soon go kindle fire with snow,
As seek to quench the fire of love with words.

Luc. I do not seek to quench your love's hot fire;
But qualify the fire's extreme rage o,
Lest it should burn above the bounds of reason.
Jul. The more thou dam'st it up, the more it

burns : The current, that with gentle murmur glides, Thou know'st, being stopp'd, impatiently doth rage; But, when his fair course is not hindered, He makes sweet musick with the enameld stones, Giving a gentle kiss to every sedge He overtaketh in his pilgrimage; And so by many winding nooks he strays,

Again, in The Comedy of Errors :

I cònjure thee to leave me and begone." Again, in The Rape of Lucrece:

“She conjures him by high almighty love." Malone.

the fire's extreme rage,] Fire is here, as in many other places, used as a dissyllable. Malone.

[ocr errors]

With willing sport, to the wild ocean.
Then let me go, and hinder not my course:
I'll be as patient as a gentle stream,
And make a pastime of each weary step,
Till the last step have brought me to my love ;
And there I'll rest, as, after much turmoil,
A blessed soul doth in Elysium.

Luc. But in what habit will you go along ?

Jul. Not like a woman; for I would prevent
The loose encounters of lascivious men:
Gentle Lucetta, fit me with such weeds
As may beseem some well-reputed page.

Luc. Why then your ladyship must cut your hair.

Jul. No, girl; I'll knit it up in silken strings, With twenty odd-conceited true-love knots : To be fantastick, may become a youth Of greater time than I shall show to be. Luc. What fashion, madam, shall I make your

breeches ? Jul. That fits as well, as—“ tell me, good my

lord, “ What compass will you wear your farthingale ? ” Why, even what * fashion thou best lik’stt, Lucetta.

Luc. You must needs have them with a codpiece", madam.

6

* First folio, that.

† First folio, likes. with a coD-PIECE, &c.] Whoever wishes to be acquainted with this particular, relative to dress, may consult Buliver's Artificial Changeling, where such matters are amply discussed. It is mentioned, however, in Tyro's Roaring Megge, 1598 :

Tyro's round breeches have a cliffe behind; “ And that same perking longitude before,

“ Which for a pin-case antique plowmen wore.” Ocular instruction may be had from the armour shown as John of Gaunt's in the Tower of London. The same fashion appears to have been no less offensive in France. See Montaigne, chap. xxii. The custom of sticking pins in this ostentatious piece of indecency was continued by the illiberal warders of the Tower, till forbidden by authority. Steevens.

5

Jul. Out, out, Lucetta® ! that will be ill-favour'd. Luc. A round hose, madam, now's not worth a

pin, Unless you have a cod-piece to stick pins on.

JUL. Lucetta, as thou lov'st me, let me have What thou think'st meet, and is most mannerly: But tell me, wench, how will the world repute me, For undertaking so unstaid a journey? I fear me, it will make me scandaliz'd. Luc. If you think so, then stay at home, and go

not.
Jul. Nay, that I will not.

Luc. Then never dream on infamy, but go.
If Proteus like your journey, when you come,
No matter who's displeas'd, when you are gone:
I fear me, he will scarce be pleas'd withal.

Jul. That is the least, Lucetta, of my fear:
A thousand oaths, an ocean of his tears,

However offensive this language may appear to modern ears, it certainly gave none to any of the spectators in Shakspeare's days. He only used the ordinary language of his contemporaries. Thus in the middle of King James's reign, Lodowick Barry puts the same language into the mouth of a lady, who is disguised in the dress of a page :

methinks this cod-piece

“Should betray me.” RAM Alley, 1611. Again, ibid. :

Sure we never more shall see
A good leg worne in a long silk stocking,
“ With a long cod-piece, of all fashions

“ That carried it, father.”
Here also the speaker is a lady. MALONE.

8 Out, out, Lucetta ! &c.] Dr. Percy observes, that this interjection is still used in the North. It seems to have the same meaning as apage, Lat.

So, in Chapman's version of the thirteenth Iliad : Out, out, I hate ye from my heart, ye rotten-minded men !”

Steevens. So, in Every Man out of his Humour, Act. II. Sc. VI. : “ Out, out ! unworthy to speak where he breatheth.” Reed. VOL. IV.

F

And instances of the infinite of love,
Warrant me welcome to my Proteus.

Luc. All these are servants to deceitful men.
Jul. Base men, that use them to so base

effect!
But truer stars did govern Proteus' birth:
His words are bonds, his oaths are oracles;
His love sincere, his thoughts immaculate;
His tears, pure messengers sent from his heart;
His heart as far from fraud, as heaven from earth.
Luc. Pray heaven, he prove so, when you come

to him! Jul. Now, as thou lov'st me, do him not that

wrong,
To bear a hard opinion of his truth;
Only deserve my love, by loving him;
And presently go with me to my chamber,
To take a note of what I stand in need of,
To furnish me upon my longing journey'.

9 And instances of the infinite of love,] The old copy hasof infinite of love ; from which I have only deviated by the introduction of the before of. We have in other places the infinite used as a substantive. Thus, in Much Ado About Nothing :

“ It is past the infinite of thought.” Again, in Troïlus and Cressida:

“ The past proportion of his infinite." Infinites appears even in the latter end of the sixteenth century to have been used as a substantive in the sense of an infinity. Thus in the Memoirs of Lord Lonsdale, written in 1688, and printed in 1808, p. 49:

Infinites of men prest for the shippes and forces drawn out of Ireland.”

The person who revised the second folio gave the reading which has been adopted in all the modern editions. :

“ And instances as infinite of love." But of and as are by no means likely to have been confounded. Besides, as is not supported by the context ; for the oaths mentioned in the preceding line were not infinite, their number, though a large one, being specified. Malone.

- my LONGING journey.] Dr. Grey observes, that longing

66

All that is mine I leave at thy dispose,
My goods, my lands, my reputation;
Only, in lieu thereof, dispatch' me hence.
Come, answer not, but to it presently;
I am impatient of my tarriance. [Exeunt.

ACT III. SCENE I.

Milan. An Ante-room in the DUKE's Palace.

Enter DUKE, THURIo, and PROTEUS. DUKE. Sir Thurio, give us leave, I

pray, awhile; We have some secrets to confer about.

[Exit Thurio. Now, tell me, Proteus, what's your will with me? Pro. My gracious lord, that which I would dis

cover, The law of friendship bids me to conceal: But, when I call to mind your gracious favours Done to me, undeserving as I am, My duty pricks me on to utter that Which else no worldly good should draw from me. Know, worthy prince, sir Valentine, my friend, This night intends to steal away your daughter; Myself am one made privy to the plot. I know, you have determin'd to bestow her On Thurio, whom your gentle daughter hates; And should she thus be stolen away from you, It would be much vexation to your age. Thus, for my duty's sake, I rather chose

a participle active, with a passive signification ; for longed, wished or desired. STEEVENS.

I believe that by her longing journey, Julia means a journey which she shall pass in longing. M. Mason.

« 上一页继续 »