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Jag. Of Coftard,
tear it ?
not fear it. Long. It did move him to passion, and therefore
let's hear it. Dum. It is Biron's writing, and here is his name. Biron. Ah, you whoreson loggerhead, you were born to do me shame.
(To Costard. Guilty, my lord, guilty : I confess, I confefs.
up the mess.
you more. Dum. Now the number is even.
Biron. True, true ; we are four :
King. Hence, Sirs, away.
[Exeunt Costard and Jaquenetta. Biron. Sweet lords, sweet lovers, O, let us embrace:
As true we are, as flesh and blood can be. The sea will ebb and Aow, heaven will thew his face :
Young blood doth not obey an old decree. We cannot cross the cause why we were born Therefore of all hands must be for worn. King. What, did these rent lines Thew some love of
thine? Biron. Did they, quoth you ? Who sees the heavenly
At the first opening of the gorgeous east)
Kisses the base ground with obedient breast? What peremptory eagle-lighted eye
Dares look upon the heaven of her brow, That is not blinded by her Majesty ?
King. What zeal, what fury, hath inspir'd thee
O, but for my love, day would turn to night,
Do meet, as at a Fair, in her fair cheek,
Where nothing wants, that want itself doth seek.
Fy, painted rhetorick ! O, she needs it not : “To things of sale a seller's praise belongs :
She passes praise, the praise too Thort, doth blot.
Might shake off fifty, looking in her eye:
And gives the crutch the cradle's infancy;
King. By heay'n, thy love is black as ebony.
A wife of such wood were felicity.
That I may swear, Beauty doth beauty lack,
No face is fair, that is not full so black?
(I! Sbe (an atlending star) ] Something like this is a stanza of Sir Henry Wotton, of which the poetical reader will forgive the insertion
re pars, the train of night,
That poorly satisfy our eyes
re common people of the skies,
(2) Is Ebony like ber? 0 Wo:d divine ?] This is the Reading of all the Editions that I have seen : but both Dr. Thirlby and Mr. Warburton concurrid in reading (as I had likewise conjectur’d) O Wood divine !
THEOBALD. (;) la former Editions ;
ibe School of Night] Black, being the School of Night is a Piece of Mystery above my Comprehension. I had guess’d, it Moold be, obe Siole of Night: but I have preferr'd the Conjecture
And beauty's creft becomes the heavens well (4).
It mourns, that Painting and ufurping Hair Should ravish doters with a false aspect :
And therefore is the horn to make black fair. Her Favour turns the fashion of the days,
For native blood is counted painting now ;
Paints itself black to imitate her brow.
bright. King. And Æthiops of their sweet complexion crack. Dum. Dark needs no candles now, for dark is light. Biron. Your miftreffes dare never come in rain,
For fear their colours should be wash'd away. King. 'Twere good, yours did : for, Sir, to tell you
of my Priend Mr. Warburton, who reads tbe fcatul of night, as it comes nearer in Pronunciation to the corrupted Reading, as well as agrees better with the other Images.
TH FOB ALD. (4) And beauty's crest becomes the beavens well.] This is a contention between two lovers about the preference of a black or white beauty. But, in this readiçg, he who is contending for the wbite, takes for granted the thing in dispute ; by saying, that wbite is the cres of beauty. His adversary had just as much reason to call black so. The question debated between them being which was the cres of beauty, black or white. Shakespeare could never write so absurdly : Nor has the Oxford Editor at all mended the matter by subftituting dress for creft. We should read,
And beauty's CRETE becomes the heavens well. i.e. beauty's white, from creta. In this reading the third line is a proper antithesis to the first. I suppose the blunder of the trapfcriber arose from hence, the French word creste in that pronunciation and orthography is crete, which he voderstanding, and knowing nothing of the other signification of crete from creta, critically altered it to the English way of spelling, crefie.
WARBURTON. This emendation cannot be received till its author can prove that crete is an English word. Besides, crest is here properly opposed to Badge. Black, says the King, is the badge of bell, but that which graces heaven is ibe crest of beauty. Black darkens bell, and is therefore hateful : wbite adoras heaven, and is therefore lovely.
I'll find a fairer face not wash'd to-day : Biron. I'll prove her fair, or talk till dooms-day here. King. No devil will fright thee then so much as the. Dum. I never knew man hold vile stuff so dear. Long. Look, here's thy love ; my foot and her face see.
[Showing his fooe. Biron. O, if the streets were paved with thine eyes,
Her feet were much too dainty for such tread. Dum. O vile ! then as the goes, what upward lies
The street should see as the walkt over head. King. But what of this, are we not all in love ? Biron. Nothing so sure, and thereby all forsworn. King. Then leave this chat ; and, good Biron, now
prove Our loving lawful, and our faith not torn. Dum. Ay, marry, there ;-some flattery for this evil.
Long. O fome Authority how to proceed; Some tricks, some quillets, how to cheat the devil (5).
Dum. Some falve for perjury.
Biron. O, 'tis more than need.
first did swear unto :
and thereon look ?
(5) Some tricks, fome quillets, bow to cheat the devil.] Quillet is the peculiar word applied to law-chicane. I imagine the original to be this ; in the French pleadings, every several allegation in the plaintiff's charge, and every distinct plea in the defendant's answer, began with the words Qu'il est ; from whence was formed the word quillet, to Gigoify a false charge or an evasive answer.
WARBURTON. (6) Affe&tion's men at arms ;] A man at arms, is a soldier armed at all points both offensively and defenlively. It is no more than, re soldiers of affection. VOL. II.
* From women's eyes this doctrine I derive ;
of the traveller.
* This and the two following lines are omitted, I suppose, by mere over-sight, in Dr. Warburton's edition.
(7) Tbe nimble spirits in the arteries ;] In the old system of phy. fic they gave the same office to the arteries as is now given to the nerves ; as appears from the name which is derived from äega toisi,
WARBURTON. (8) Teaches fucb BEAUTY as a woman's eye ?] This line' is abfolute nonsense. We should read, buty, i. e. ethics, or the offices and devoirs that belong to man. A woman's eye, says he, teaches observance abore all other things.
WARBURTON. This emendation is not so ill conceived as explained, but perhaps we might read, Reaches such beauty.
The sense is plain without correction. A lady's eye gives a fuller notion of beauty than any authour.
(9) In leaden contemplarion bave found out
Such fiery numbers,] Alluding to the discoveries in modern astronomy ; at that time greatly improving, in which the ladies eyes are compared, as usual, to fars. He calls them numbers, alluding to the Pyrbagorean principles astronomy; which were founded on the laws of harmony. The Oxford Editor, who was at a loss for the conceit, changes numbers to notions, and so loses both the lense and the gallantry of the allusion. He has better luck in the following Jine, and has rightly changed beauty's to beauteous. WARBURT. Numbers are in this pallage nothing more shan poetical measu:es.