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Re-enter Moth and CoSTARD. Moth. A wonder, master; here's a Costard 10
broken in a shin. Arm. Some enigma, some riddle;—come,—thy
l'envoy 11 ;-begin. Cost. No égma, no riddle, no l'envoy: no salve in the mail 12, sir: 0, sir, plantain, a plain plantain; no l'envoy, no l'envoy, no salve, sir, but a plantain !
Arm. By virtue, thou enforcest laughter; thy silly thought, my spleen; the heaving of my lungs provokes me to ridiculous smiling; 0, pardon me,
Doth the inconsiderate take salve for l'envoy, and the word, l'envoy, for a salve?
Moth. Do the wise think them other? is not l'envoy a salve? Arm. No, page; it is an epilogue or discourse,
to make plain Some obscure precedence that hath tofore been sain. I will example it:
The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee,
Were still at odds, being but three. There's the moral: Now the l'envoyj.
Moth. I will add the l'envoy: Say the moral again. Arm. The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee,
Were still at odds, being but three:
10 i.e. a head; a name adopted from an apple shaped like a man's head. It must have been a common sort of apple, as it gave a name to the dealers in apples, who were called costarmongers.
11 An old French term for concluding verses, which served either to convey the moral, or to address the poem to some person.
12 A mail or male was a budget, wallet, or portmanteau. Costard, mistaking enigma, riddle, and l’envoy for names of salves, objects to the application of any salve in the budget, and cries out for a plantain leaf. There is a quibble upon salve and salvé, a word with which it was not unusual to conclude epistles, &c. and which therefore was a kind of l'envoy. VOL. II.
Moth. Until the goose came out of door,
And stay'd the odds by adding four. Now will I begin your moral, and do you follow with my l'envoy.
The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee,
Were still at odds, being but three:
Staying the odds by adding four.
desire more? Cost. The boy hath sold him a bargain, a goose;
that's flat: Sir, your pennyworth is good, an your goose be
fat.To sell a bargain well, is as cunning as fast and loose: Let me see a fat l'envoy; ay, that's a fat goose. Arm. Come hither, come hither: How did this
argument begin? Moth. By saying that a Costard was broken in
Then call'd you for the l'envoy.
argument in; Then the boy's fat l'envoy, the goose that you bought; And he ended the market 13.
Arm. But tell me; how was there a Costard 14 broken in a shin?
Moth. I will tell you sensibly.
Cost. Thou hast no feeling of it, Moth; I will speak that l'envoy: I, Costard, running out, that was safely within, Fell over the threshold, and broke
shin. Arm. We will talk no more of this matter.
13 Alluding to the proverb, “Three women and a goose make a market.'
14 See p. 337, note 10.
Cost. Till there be more matter in the shin.
Cost. O, marry me to one Frances :- I smell some l'envoy, some goose, in this.
Arm. By my sweet soul, I mean, setting thee at liberty, enfreedoming thy person; thou wert immured, restrained, captivated, bound.
Cost. True, true; and now you will be my purgation, and let me loose.
Arm. I give thee thy liberty, set thee from durance; and, in lieu thereof, impose on thee nothing but this : Bear this significant 15 to the country maid Jaquenetta: there is remuneration; [Giving him money.] for the best ward of mine honour, is, rewarding my dependents. Moth, follow. [Erit.
Moth. Like the sequel, I. --Signior Costard, adieu. Cost. My sweet ounce of man's flesh! my incony 16 Jew!
[Exit Moth. Now will I look to his remuneration. Remuneration! O, that's the Latin word for three farthings : three farthings--remuneration.-- What's the price of this inkle? a penny :-No, I'll give you a remuneration: why, it carries it.-Remuneration !-why, it is a fairer name than French crown.
I will never buy and sell out of this word.
Enter BIRON. Biron. O, my good knave Costard ! exceedingly well met.
15 Armado sustains his character well; he will not give any thing its vulgar name, he calls the letter he would send to Jaquenetta a significant.
16 Incony. The meaning and etymology of this phrase is not clearly defined, though numerous instances of its use are adduced, Sweet, pretty, delicate seem to be some of its acceptations; and the best derivation seems to be from the northern word canny or conny, meaning pretty, the in will be intensive and equivalent to very.
Cost. Pray you, sir, how much carnation ribbon may a man buy for a remuneration ?
Biron. What is a remuneration ?
Biron. O, stay, slave; I must employ thee:
Cost. When would you have it done, sir?
Cost. I will come to your worship to-morrow morning
Biron. It must be done this afternoon. Hark, slave, it is but this ;The princess comes to hunt here in the park, And in her train there is a gentle lady; When tongues speak sweetly, then they name her
name, And Rosaline they call her: ask for her; And to her white hand see thou do commend This seal'd-up counsel. There's thy guerdon 17; go.
[Gives him money. Cost. Guerdon,-0 sweet guerdon! better than remuneration; eleven-pence farthing better: Most sweet guerdon !-I will do it, sir, in print 18.Guerdon-remuneration.
Exit. 17 Guerdon, Fr. is reward. Mr. Steevens prints a story of similar import from an old tract entitled “A Health to the gentlemanly Profession of Serving-man; or, The Serving-man's Comfort,' 1578; which, if the date be correct, furnished Shakspeare with Costard's pleasantry about Guerdon and Remuneration.
18 With the utmost nicety.
Biron. 01-And I, forsooth, in love! I, that have been love's whip; A very beadle to a humorous sigh; A critick; nay, a night-watch constable; A domineering pedant o'er the boy, Than whom no mortal so magnificent 19! This wimpled 20, whining, purblind, wayward boy; This senior-junior, giant-dwarf, Dan Cupid; Regent of love-rhymes, lord of folded arms, The anointed sovereign of sighs and groans, Liege of all loiterers and malcontents, Dread prince of plackets 1, king of codpieces, Sole imperator, and great general Of trotting paritors 22_0 my little heart!-And I to be a corporal of his field 23, And wear his colours 24 like a tumbler's hoop! What? I! I love! I sue! I seek a wife! A woman, that is like a German clock 25, Still a repairing; ever out of frame;
19 Magnificent here means glorying, boasting.
20 To wimple is to veil, from guimple, Fr. which Cotgrave explains · The crepine of a French hood,' i. e. the cloth going from the hood round the neck. Kersey explains it, “The mufler or plaited linen cloth which nuns wear about their neck. Shakspeare means no more than that Cupid was hood-winked.
21 Plackets were stomachers. See Note on Winter's Tale, Act iv. Sc. 3.
22 The officers of the spiritual courts who serve citations.
23 It appears from Lord Stafford's Letters, vol. ii. p. 199, that a corporal of the field was employed, as an aid-de-camp is now,‘in taking and carrying to and fro the directions of the general, or other higher officers of the field.'
24 It was once a mark of gallantry to wear a lady's colours. So in Cynthia's Revels by Jonson, 'dispatches his lacquey to her chamber early, to know what her colours are for the day? It appears that a tumbler's hoop was usually dressed out with coloured ribands.
25 Clocks, which were usually imported from Germany at this time, were intricate and clumsy pieces of mechanism, soon deranged, and frequently out of frame.'