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Wish me partaker in thy happinefs,
fuccefs. Pro. Upon some book I love, I'll pray for thee.
Val. That's on some shallow story of deep love, How young
Leander crofs'd the Hellefpont.* Pro. That's a deep story of a deeper love; For he was more than over shoes in love.
VAL. 'Tis true; for you are over boots in love, And yet you never swam the Hellespont.
Pro. Over the boots ? nay, give me not the boots.'
- Some Mallow story of deep love, How young Leander cross it the Hellefpont.] The poem of Musæus, entitled HERO AND LEANDER, is meant. Marlowe's translation of this piece was entered on the Stationers' books, Sept. 18, 1793, and the first two Sestiads of it, with a small part of the third, (which was all that he had finished,) were printed, I imagine, in that, or the following year. Sce Blount's dedication to the edition of 1637, by which it appears that it was originally published in an imperfe& ftate. It was extremely popular, and deservedly so, many of Marlowe's lines being as smooth as those of Dryden. Our author has quoted one of them in As you like it. He had probably read this poem recently before he wrote the present play; for he again alludes to it in the third adı:
" Why then a ladder, quaintly made of cords,
!! So bold Leander would adventure it." Since this note was written, I have seen the edition of Marlowe's Hero and Leander, printed in 1598.
It contains the first two Sestiads only. The remainder was added by Chapman. MALONE.
s -- nay, give me not the boots. ] A proverbial expression though now disused, figuifying don't make a laughing stock of me; don't play with me. The French have a phrase, Bailler foin.
corne; which Cotgrave thus interprets, to give one the boots; 10, sell him a bargain. THEOBALD.
VAL. No, I'll not, for it boots thee not.
To be In love, where scorn is bought with groans: coy
looks, With lícart-fore sighs; one fading moment's mirth, With twenty watchful, weary, tedious nights: If haply won, perhaps, a hapless gain; If lost, why then a grievous labour won; However, but a foliy bought with 'wit, Or elfe a wit by folly vanquished.
Perhaps this expression took its origin from a sport the countrypeople in Warwick/hire use at their harvest-home, where one fits as judge to try misdemeanors committed in harveit, and the punishment for the men is to be laid on a bench, and flapped on the breech with a pair of boots. This they call giving them the boots. I meet with the same exprefíion in the old comedy called Mother Bombic, by Lylly :
" What do you give me the boots ? " Again, in The Weakest goes to the Wall, a comedy, 1618 :
Nor your fat bacon can carry it away, if you offer
us the boots. The boots, however, were an ancient engine of torture. In MS. Harl. 6999 -48, Mr. T. Randolph writes to lord Hunsdon, &c. and mentions, in the P. S. to his letter, that Geo. Flecke hade yesterday uiglit the boots, and is said to have confessed that the E. of Morion was privy to the poisoning the E. of Athol. 16 March, 1580 : and in another letter, March 18, 1580,66 -that the laird of Whittingham had the books, but without torment confess'd, " &c.
STEEVENS, The boot was an inítrument of torture used ouly in Scotland. Bishop Burnet in The hiflory of his own. Times, Vol. I. p. 332, edit. 1754, mentions one Maccael, a preacher, who, being suspected of treasonable pradices, underwent the punishment so late as 1666 :
He was put to the torture, which, in Scotland, they call the boots ; for they put a pair of irou boots close on the log, and drive wedges between these and the leg. The common torture was only to drive these in the calf of the leg: but I have been told they were sometimes driven upon the shin bone.” REFD.
6 However, but a folly, &. ) This love will end in a foolish alion, to produce which you are long to spend your wit, or it will end
Pro. So, by your circumstance, you call me fool.
VAL. Love is your master, for he masters you ;
Pro. Yet writers say, As in the sweetest bud
VAL. And writers say, As the most forward bud
Pro. And thither will I bring thee, Valentine.
in the loss of your wit, which will be overpowered by the folly of
MALONE, 8 At Milan, ) The old copy has
To Milan. The emendation was made by the editor of the second folio. The first copy how. ever may be right. " To Milan, may here be intended as an imperfect sentence. I am now bound for Milan,
Or the conftru&ion intended may have been -- Let me hear from theç by letters to Milan, i. e. addressed to me there.
Of thy success in love, and what news else
Pro. All happiness bechance to thee in Milan !
Enter SPEED. ?
9 Made wit with musing weak, ) For made read make. Thou Julia, hast made me with good counsel, and make wit weak with mufing. JOHNSON.
Surely there is no need of emendation. It is Julia, who " has already made wit weak with musing," &c. STEEVENS.
2 This whole scene, like many others in these plays (some of which I believe written by Shakspeare, and others interpolated by the players ) is composed of the lowest and most trifling conceits, to be accounted for only from the gross taste of the age he lived in ; Populo ut placerent. I wish I had authority to leave them out ; but I have done all I could, set a mark of reprobation upon them throughout this edition. Pope.
That this, like many other scenes, is mean and vulgar, will be universally allowed ; but that it was interpolated by the players seems advanced without any proof, only to give a greater licence to criticism. JOHNSON.
SPEED. Twenty to one then, he is shipp'd al
Pro. Indeed a sheep doth very often stray,
fheps herd then, and I a sheep ?? PRO. I do. Speed. Why then my horns are his horns, whe
ther I wake or fleep. Pro. A filly answer, and fitting well a sheep. SPEED. This proves me slill a sheep. Pro. True ; and thy master a shepherd. SPEED. Nay, that I can deny by a circumstance. Pro. It shall go hard, but I'll proveit by another.
Speed. The shepherd seeks the sheep, and not the fhcep the shepherd; but I seek my master, and my master seeks not me: therefore, I am no sheep.
Pro. The sheep for forider follow the shepherd, the shepherd for food follows not the sheep ; thou for wages followest thy master, thy maker for wages follows not thee: therefore, thou art a sheep. SPEED. Such another proof will make me cry
baa. Pro. But dost thou hear ? gav'st thou my letter
to Julia ? Spern. Av, fir: I, a loft mutton, gave your letter to her, a laced mutton ; 4 and she, a laced mut
- a sheep ? ) The article, which is wanting in the original copy, was fupplied by the editor of the second folio. Malone.
4 1, a lost mutton, gave your leiter toler, a laced mutton ; ) Speed calls himself a lojt muiton, because he had lost his master, and