Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

Where noble fellows strike : War is no strife
To the dark house, and the detested wife 8.

Par. Will this capricio hold in thee, art sure ?

Ber. Go with me to my chamber, and advise me. I'll send her straight away : To-morrow' I'll to the wars, she to her single sorrow. Par. Why, these balls bound; there's noise in it.-'Tis hard

; A young man, married, is a man that's marr’d: Therefore away, and leave her bravely; go : The king has done you wrong; but, hush! 'tis so.

[Ereunt.

8 To the DARK HOUSE, &c.] The dark house is a house made gloomy by discontent. Milton says of death and the king of hell preparing to combat :

“ So frown'd the mighty combatants, that hell

" Grew darker at their frown.” Johnson. Perhaps this is the same thought we meet with in King Henry IV. only more solemnly expressed :

he's as tedious
“ As is a tired horse, a railing wife,

“ Worse than a smoaky-house." The proverb originated before chimneys were in general use, which was not till the middle of Elizabeth's reign. See Piers Plowman, passus 17 :

“ Thre thinges there be that doe a man by strength
“For to flye his owne house, as holy wryte sheweth:
“ That one is a wycked wife, that wyll not be chastysed;
“ Her fere flyeth from her, for feare of her tonge :-
“ And when smolke and smoulder smight in his syghte,
“ It doth him worse than his wyfe, or wete to slepe ;
For smolke or smoulder, smiteth in his

eyen « Til he be bleard or blind,&c. The old copy reads-detected wife. Mr. Rowe made the correction. STEEVENS. The emendation is fully supported by a subsequent passage:

“ 'Tis a hard bondage to become the wife

“Of a detesting lord.” Malone. 9 I'll send her straight away : To-morrow - ] As this line wants a foot, I suppose our author wrote-oBetimes to-morrow.” So, in Macbeth :

I will to-morrow,
Betimes I will,” &c. STEEVENS.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Enter HELENA and Clown.
Hel. My mother greets me kindly : Is she well?

Clo. She is not well; but yet she has her health: she's very merry; but yet she is not well : but thanks be given, she's very well, and wants nothing i' the world; but yet she is not well.

Hel. If she be very well, what does she ail, that she's not very well?

Clo. Truly, she's very well, indeed, but for two things.

Hel. What two things ?

Clo. One, that she's not in heaven, whither God send her quickly! the other, that she's in earth, from whence God send her quickly!

Enter PAROLLES.
Par. Bless you, my fortunate lady!

Hel. I hope, sir, I have your good will to have mine own good fortunes ?.

PAR. You had my prayers to lead them on; and to keep them on, have them still.—0, my knave! How does my old lady?

Clo. So that you had her wrinkles, and I her money, I would she did as you say.

PAR. Why, I say nothing.

Clo. Marry, you are the wiser man; for many a man's tongue shakes out his master's undoing : To say nothing, to do nothing, to know nothing, and to have nothing, is to be a great part of your title ; which is within a very little of nothing. 1 - fortunes.] Old copy--fortune. Corrected by Mr. Stee

MALONE.

vens,

PAR. Away, thou’rt a knave.

Clo. You should have said, sir, before a knave thou art a knave; that is, before me thou art a knave : this had been truth, sir.

Par. Go to, thou art a witty fool, I have found thee.

Czo. Did you find me in yourself, sir ? or were you taught to find me ? The search, sir, was profitable; and much fool may you find in you, even to the

world's pleasure, and the increase of laughter.

Par. A good knave, i' faith, and well fed”, Madam, my lord will go away to-night; A very serious business calls on him. The great prerogative and rite of love, Which, as your due, time claims, he does acknow

ledge; But puts :: off to a compelld restraint ® ; Whose want, and whose delay, is strewed with

sweets,
Which they distil now in the curbed time *,
To make the coming hour o’erflow with joy,
And pleasure drown the brim.

2

and well Fed.] An allusion, perhaps, to the old saying“ Better fed than taught;" to which the Clown has himself alluded in a preceding scene :-“I will show myself highly fed and lowly taught.” Ritson.

3 But' puts it off to a compelld restraint ;] Thus the original and only authentick ancient copy. The editor of the third folio reads—by a compellid restraint; and the alteration has been adopted by the modern editors; perhaps without necessity. Our poet might have meant, in his usual licentious manner, that Bertram puts off the completion of his wishes to a future day, till which he is compelled to restrain his desires. This, it must be confessed, is very harsh ; but our author is often so licentious in his phraseology, that change on that ground alone is very dangerous. In King Henry VIII. we have a phraseology not very different :

All-souls day “ Is the determin'd respite of my wrongs." i. e. the day to which my wrongs are respited. MALONE.

66

HEL.

What's his will else? Par. That you will take your instant leave o' the

king, And make this haste as your own good proceeding, Strengthen'd with what apology you think May make it probable need'. HEL.

What more commands he? Par. That, having this obtain'd, you presently Attend his further pleasure.

Hel. In every thing I wait upon his will.
Par. I shall report it so.
HEL.

I
pray you.-Come, sirrah.

[Exeunt.

4 Whose want, and whose delay, is strew'd with sweets,

Which they distil now in the curbed time,
To make the coming hour o'erflow with joy,

And pleasure drown the brim,] The sweets with which that want is strewed, I suppose, are compliments and professions of kindness. Johnson.

The sweets which are distilled, by the restraint said to be im. posed on Bertram, from “the want and delay of the great prerogative of love,” are the sweets of expectation. Parolles is here speaking of Bertram's feelings during this “curbed time,” not, as Dr. Johnson seems to have thought, of those of Helena. The following lines, in Troilus and Cressida, may prove the best comment on the present passage:

“I

am giddy; expectation whirls me round.
“ The imaginary relish is so sweet
“ That it enchants my sense.

What will it be,
“When that the watery palate tastes indeed
“Love's thrice-reputed nectar? Death, I fear me,

“Swooning destruction," &c. MALONE. Johnson seems not to have understood this

passage ;

the meaning of which is merely this : " That the delay of the joys, and the expectation of them, would make them more delightful when they come.” The curbed time, means the time of restraint. “Whose want,” means “the want of which.So, in The Two Noble Kinsmen, Theseus says:

A day or two
“Let us look sadly,—in whose end,

“ The visages of bridegrooms we'll put on.” M. Mason. 5 – probable need.] A specious appearance of necessity.

Johnson.

SCENE V.

Another Room in the same.

Enter LAFEU and BERTRAM.

LAF. But, I hope, your lordship thinks not him a soldier.

BER. Yes, my lord, and of very valiant approof. LAF. You have it from his own deliverance. BER. And by other warranted testimony.

LAF. Then my dial goes not true; I took this lark for a bunting.

BER. I do assure you, my lord, he is very great in knowledge, and accordingly valiant.

LAF. I have then sinned against his experience, and transgressed against his valour; and my state that way is dangerous, since I cannot yet find in my heart to repent. Here he comes; I pray you, make us friends. I will pursue the amity.

Enter PAROLLES.
Par. These things shall be done, sir.

[To BERTRAM.

6

- a BUNTING.] This word is mentioned in Lyly's Love's Metamorphosis, 1601 : “ - but foresters think all birds to be buntings." Barrett's Alvearie, or Quadruple Dictionary, 1580, gives this account of it: “ Terraneola et rubetra, avis alaudæ similis, &c. Dicta terraneola quod non in arboribus, sed in terra versetur et nidificet.” The following proverb is in Ray's Collection :

“ A gosshawk beats not a bunting.' STEEVENS. “ I took this LARK for a BUNTING.] This is a fine discrimination between the possessor of courage, and him that only has the appearance of it.

The bunting is, in feather, size, and form, so like the sky-lark, as to require nice attention to discover the one from the other; it also ascends and sinks in the air nearly in the same manner : but it has little or no song, which gives estimation to the sky-lark.

J. Johnson.

« PředchozíPokračovat »