Sidor som bilder

Of thy fuccefs in love, and what news else
Betideth here in abfence of thy friend;
And I likewife will vifit thee with mine.
PRO. All happiness bechance to thee in Milan!
VAL. As much to you at home! and fo, farewell!

PRO. He after honour hunts, I after love: He leaves his friends, to dignify them more; I leave myself, my friends, and all for love. Thou, Julia, thou haft metamorphos'd me; Made me neglect my ftudies, lofe my time, War with good counsel, fet the world at nought; Made wit with mufing weak, heart fick with thought.

Enter SPEED."

SPEED. Sir Proteus, fave you: Saw you my mafter?

PRO. But now he parted hence, to embark for Milan.

Made wit with mufing weak,] For made read make. Thou Julia, haft made me war 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 mufing," &c. STEEVENS.

This whole scene, like many others in these plays (fome of which I believe were written by Shakspeare, and others interpolated by the players) is compofed of the lowest and moft trifling conceits, to be accounted for only from the grofs 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, fet a mark of reprobation upon them. throughout this edition. POPE.

That this, like many other fcenes, is mean and vulgar, will be univerfally allowed; but that it was interpolated by the players feems advanced without any proof, only to give a greater licence to

SPEED. Twenty to one then, he is shipp'd already;

And I have play'd the sheep, in losing him.

PRO. Indeed a sheep doth very often stray, An if the shepherd be awhile away.

SPEED. You conclude, that my mafter is a fhepherd then, and I a sheep?3

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 fheep.
SPEED. This proves me ftill a sheep.
PRO. True; and thy master a shepherd.

SPEED. Nay, that I can deny by a circumstance.
PRO. It fhall go hard, but I'll prove it by another.

SPEED. The fhepherd feeks the fheep, and not the sheep the fhepherd; but I feek my_mafter, and my master feeks not me: therefore, I am no sheep.

PRO. The fheep for fodder follow the shepherd, the fhepherd for food follows not the sheep; thou for wages followeft thy mafter, thy mafter for wages follows not thee: therefore, thou art a sheep.

SPEED. Such another proof will make me cry baa. PRO. But doft thou hear? gav'ft thou my letter to Julia?

SPEED. Ay, fir: I, a loft mutton, gave your letter to her, a laced mutton; and fhe, a laced mut

3afheep?] The article, which is wanting in the original copy, was fupplied by the editor of the fecond folio. MALONE.

* I, a loft mutton, gave your letter to her, a laced mutton;] Speed calls himself a loft mutton, because he had loft his master, and be


ton, gave me, a loft mutton, nothing for my


PRO. Here's too small a pasture for such a store of muttons.

SPEED. If the ground be overcharg'd, you were best stick her.

PRO. Nay, in that you are aftray; ' 'twere best pound you.

caufe Proteus had been proving him a beep. But why does he call the lady a laced mutton? Wenchers are to this day called mutton-mongers; and confequently the object of their paffion muft, by the metaphor, be the mutton. And Cotgrave, in his EnglishFrench Dictionary, explains laced mutton, Une garfe, putain, fille de joye. And Mr. Motteux has rendered this paffage of Rabelais, in the prologue of his fourth book, Cailles caiphees mignonnement chantans, in this manner; Coated quails and laced mutton waggishly finging. So that laced mutton has been a sort of standard phrase for girls of pleasure. THEOBALD.

Nafh, in his Have with you to Saffron Walden, 1595, fpeaking of Gabriel Harvey's incontinence, fays: " he would not fick to extoll rotten lac'd mutton." So, in the comedy of The Shoemaker's Holiday, or the Gentle Craft, 1610:

"Why here's good lac'd mutton, as I promis'd you." Again, in Whetstone's Promos and Caffandra, 1578: " And I smelt he lov'd lac'd mutton well.


Again, Heywood, in his Love's Miftrefs, 1636, fpeaking of Cupid, fays, he is the "Hero of hie-hoes, admiral of ay-mes, and monfieur of mutton lac'd.” STEEVENS.

A laced mutton was in our author's time fo established a term for a courtezan, that a ftreet in Clerkenwell, which was much frequented by women of the town, was then called Mutton-lane. It feems to have been a phrase of the fame kind as the French expreffion-caille coifée, and might be rendered in that language, mouton en corfet. This appellation appears to have been as old as the time of King Henry III. "Item fequitur gravis pœna corporalis, fed fine amiffione vitæ vel membrorum, fi raptus fit de concubina legitimâ, vel aliâ quæftum faciente, fine delectu perfonarum: has quidem oves debet rex tueri pro pace fuâ." Bracton de Legibus, lib. ii. MALONE.

5 Nay, in that you are aftray;] For the reafon Proteus gives,

SPEED. Nay, fir, lefs than a pound fhall ferve me for carrying your letter.

PRO. You mistake; I mean the pound, a pinfold.

SPEED. From a pound to a pin? fold it over and over,

'Tis threefold too little for carrying a letter to your lover.

PRO. But what faid fhe? did fhe nod."

[SPEED nods.


PRO. Nod, I? why, that's noddy."

SPEED. You miftook, fir; I fay, fhe did nod: and you ask me, if fhe did nod; and I fay, I. PRO. And that fet together, is-noddy.

Dr. Thirlby advises that we should read, a ftray, i. e. a ftray sheep; which continues Proteus's banter upon Speed. THEOBALD.

From the word aftray here, and loft mutton above, it is obvious that the double reference was to the firft fentence of the General Confeffion in the Prayer-book. HENLEY.

6-did fhe nod.] Thefe words were fupplied by Theobald, to introduce what follows. STEEVENS.

In Speed's anfwer the old fpelling of the affirmative particle has been retained; otherwife the conceit of Proteus (such as it is) would be unintelligible. MALONE.

7 why, that's noddy.] Noddy was a game at cards. So, in The Inner Temple Mafk, by Middleton, 1619: "I leave them wholly (fays Christmas) to my eldeft fon Noddy, whom, during his minority, I commit to the custody of a pair of knaves, and one and thirty." Again, in Quarles's Virgin Widow, 1649: "Let her forbear chefs and noddy, as games too ferious." STEEVENS.

This play upon fyllables is hardly worth explaining. The fpeakers intend to fix the name of noddy, that is, fool, on each other. So, in The Second part of Pafquil's Mad Cappe, 1600, fig. E. "If fuch a Noddy be not thought a fool." Again, E 1.


"If fuch an affe be noddied for the nonce. REED.

SPEED. Now you have taken the pains to set it together, take it for your pains.

PRO. No, no, you fhall have it for bearing the letter.

SPEED. Well, I perceive, I must be fain to bear with you.

PRO. Why, fir, how do you bear with me?

SPEED. Marry, fir, the letter very orderly; having nothing but the word, noddy, for my pains.

PRO. Beshrew me, but you have a quick wit. SPEED. And yet it cannot overtake your flow purse. PRO. Come, come, open the matter in brief: What faid fhe?

SPEED. Open your purse, that the money, and the matter, may be both at once deliver❜d.

PRO. Well, fir, here is for your pains: What faid The?

SPEED. Truly, fir, I think you'll hardly win her. PRO. Why? Could'st thou perceive so much from her?

SPEED. Sir, I could perceive nothing at all from her; no, not fo much as a ducat for delivering your letter: And being fo hard to me that brought your mind, I fear, fhe'll prove as hard to you in telling her mind. Give her no token but ftones; for fhe's as hard as fteel.

in telling her mind.] The old copy has "in telling your mind." But as this reading is to me unintelligible, I have adopted the emendation of the fecond folio. STEEVENS.

The old copy is certainly right. The meaning is,-She being fo hard to me who was the bearer of your mind, I fear she will prove no lefs fo to you, when you addrefs her in perfon. The oppofition is between brought and telling. MALONE,

[ocr errors]
« FöregåendeFortsätt »