Obrázky stránek

A huge transation of hypocrisy,
Vilely compild, profound simplicity.
Mar. This, and these pearls, to me sent Langa-

ville ;
The letter is too long by half a mile.

Prin. I think no less; dost thou not wish in heart, The chain were longer, and the letter short ?

Mar. Ay, or I would these hands might never part. Prin. We are wife girls to mock our lovers fo.

Ros. They are worse fools to purchase mocking so. That fame Biron I'll torture, ere I go. O, that I knew he were but in by the week! 7 How I would make him fawn, and beg, and seek ; And wait the season, and observe the times, And spend his prodigal wits in bootless rhimes ; And sape his service all to my behests, And make him proud to make me proud that jefts ! So portenc-like would I o’ersway his state, That he should be my fool, and I his fate.



?-in by the week!] This I suppose to be an expression taken from hiring servants or artificers; meaning, I wish I was as sure of his service for any time limited, as if I had hired him.

STEVENS. 8 So portent-like, &c.] In former copies,

So pertaunt-like, would I o'er-fway his faté;

That he should be my fool, and I his fate. In old farces, to thew the inevitable approaches of death and deftiny, the Fool of the farce is made to employ all his stratagems to avoid Death or Fate ; which very stratagems, as they are ordered, bring the Fool, at every turn, into the very jaws of Fate. To this Shakespeare alludes again in Meafure for Measure,

-merely tbou art Death's Fool; For him tbou labour'A by 1 by flight to foun,

And yet runs towards him fillIt is plain from all this, that the nonsense of perarunt-like, should be read, portent-like, i. e. I would be his fate or definy, and, like a portent, hang over, and influence his fortunes. For portinis were not only thought to forebode, but to influence. So the Latins called VOL. II. Ff

a per

Prin. ' None are so surely caught when they are

catch'd, As wit turn’d fool: folly, in wisdom hatch'd, Hath wisdom's warrant, and the help of school; And wit's own grace to grace a learned fool. Rof. The blood of youth burns not with such

As gravity’s revolt to wantonness.

Mar. Folly in fools bears not so strong a note,
As foolery in the wise, when wit doch dote :
Since all the power thereof it doth apply,
To prove, by wit, worth in fimplicity.

Enta Boyet.
Prin. Here comes Boyet, and mirth is in his face.
Boyet. 0, I am stabb’d with laughter! Where's her

Prin. Thy news, Boyet ?

Boyet. Prepare, madam, prepare.
Arm, wenches, arm ! Encounters mounted are
Against your peace: love doth approach disguis'd,
Armed in arguments ; you'll be surpris’d.
Muster your wits; stand in your own defence ;
Or hide your heads like cowards, and fly hence.

Prin. Saint Dennis to St. Cupid !? What are they That charge their breath against us? say, scout, say.

a person destined to bring mischief, fatale portentum.

WARBURTON. Mr. Theobald reads, So pedant-like

JOHNSON None are fo, &c.] These are observation worthy of a man who has surveyed human nature with the closest attention.

JOHNSON. · Saint Dennis, to faint Cupid !- -] The Princess of France invokes, with too much levity, the patron of her country, to oppose his power to that of Cupid. JOHNSON.


Boyet. Under the cool shade of a sycamore, I thought to close my eyes fome half an hour : When, lo! to interrupt my purpos'd rest, Toward that shade, I might behold, addrest The king and his companions : warily I stole into a neighbour thicket by, And overheard, what you shall overhear; That, by and by, disguis’d they will be here. Their hérald is a pretty knavish page, That well by heart hath conn'd his embassage. Action and accent did they teach him there; Thus must thout Speak, and thus thy body bear : And ever and anon they made a doubt, Presence majestical would put him out: For, quoth the king, an angel salt thou see; Yet fear not thou, but speak audaciously. The boy reply'd, An angel is not evil ; I jould have fear'd her, had she been a devil. With that all laugh’d, and clap'd him on the shoulder; Making the bold wag by their praises bolder. One rubb'd his elbow, thus ; and feer'd and swore, A better speech was never spoke before. Another with his finger and his thumb, Cry'd, Via! we will do't, come what will come. The third he caper'd and cry'd, All goes well : The fourth turn’d on the toe, and down he fell, With that they all did tumble on the ground, With such a zealous laughter, so profound, That in this spleen ridiculous appears, To check their folly, passion's solemn tears.

Prin. But what, but what, come they to visit us ? Boyet. They do, they do ; and are apparellid

thus, Like Muscovites, or Russians: as I guess 3 Their purpose is to parley, court, and dance:

And sp'een ridiculous) is, a ridiculous fit. Johnson. * Like Mufc-vites, or Ruffins, as I guefs.] The settling commerce


[ocr errors]

FI 2

And every one his love-feat will advance
Unto his several mistress ; which they'll know
By favours several, which they did bestow.
Prin. And will they so ? the gallants shall be

task'd :
For, ladies, we will every one be mask'd ;
And not a man of them shall have the grace,
Despight of fuit, to see a lady's face.
Hold, Rosaline, this favour thou shale wear;
And then the king will court thee for his dear :
Hold, take you this, my sweet, and give me thine ;
So shall Biron take me for Rosaline.-
And change your favours too; lo shall your loves
Woo contrary, deceiv'd by these removes.
Rof. Come on then, wear the favours most in

sight. Cath. But, in this changing, what is your intent?

Prin. The effect of my intent is to cross theirs ; They do it but in mocking merriment; And mock for mock is only my intent. Their several councils they'unbosom shall To loves mistook; and so be mock'd withal, Upon the next occasion that we meet, With visages display'd, to talk, and greet.

Rof. But shall we dance, if they desire us to't ?

Prin. No; to the death, we will not move a foot: Nor to their penn'd speech render we no grace : But, while 'tis spoke, each turn away her face. Boyet. Why, that contempt will kill the speaker's

heart, And quite divorce his memory from his part.

in Russia was, at that time, a matter that much ingrossed the concern and conversation of the publick. There had been several embassies employed thither on that occasion; and several tracts of the manners and state of that nation written : so that a mak of Muscovites was as good an entertainmenment to the audience of that time, as a coronation has been since. WARBURTON.

Prin. Therefore I do it ; and I make no doubt, The rest will ne'er come in, if he be out. There's no such sport, as sport by sport o'erthrown; To make theirs ours, and ours none but our own : So shall we stay, mocking intended game; And they, well mock’d, depart away with Thame.

[Sound. Boyet. The trumpet sounds; be mask'd, the maskers come.

[The ladies mask. Enter the King, Biron, Longaville, Dumain, and at

tendants, disguised like Muscovites; Moth with musick,
as for a masquerade.
Moth. All bail, the richest beauties on the earth!
Boyet. Beauties, no richer than rich taffata. +
Motb. A boly parcel of the fairejt dames.

[Tbe ladies turn their backs to him. That ever turn'd their backs-to mortal views.

Biron. Their eyes, villain, their eyes,

Moth. That ever turn'd their eyes to mortal views.

Biron. True ; out, indeed.
Motb. Out of your favours, beavenly Spirits, vouch-

Not to bebold.

Biron. Once to behold, rogue.

Moth. Once to behold with your sun-beamed eyes With your sun-beamed eyes

4 Beauties, no rícher than rich taffata.] i. e. the taffata maks they wore to conceal themselves. All the editors concur to give this line to Biron ; but, surely, very absurdly : for he's one of the zealous admirers, and hardly would make such an inference. Boyet is sneering at the parade of their address, is in the fecret of the ladies' tratagem, and makes himself sport at the absurdity of their proem, in complimenting their beauty, when they were malk’d. It therefore comes from him with the utmost propriety.




« PředchozíPokračovat »