Sidor som bilder

So much of bad already hath poffefs'd them.
PRO. Then in dumb filence will I bury mine,
For thy are harfh, untuneable, and bad.

VAL. Is Silvia dead?

PRO. No, Valentine.

VAL. No Valentine, indeed, for facred Silvia!-Hath fhe forfworn me?

PRO. No, Valentine.

VAL. No Valentine, if Silvia have forfworn me!What is your news?

LAUN. Sir, there's a proclamation that you are vanifh'd.

PRO. That thou art banifh'd, O, that's the news; From hence, from Silvia, and from me thy friend. VAL. O, I have fed upon this woe already,

And now excefs of it will make me furfeit.
Doth Silvia know that I am banished?

PRO. Ay, ay; and fhe hath offer'd to the doom, (Which, unrevers'd, ftands in effectual force,) A fea of melting pearl, which fone call tears: Thofe at her father's churlish feet fhe tender'd; With them, upon her knees, her humble felf; Wringing her hands, whofe whitenefs fo became them,

As if but now they waxed pale for woc:
But neither bended knees, pure hands held up,
Sad fighs, deep groans, nor filver-fhedding tears,
Could penetrate her uncompaffionate fire;
But, Valentine, if he be ta'en muft die.
Befides, her interceffion chaf'd him fo,
When the for thy repeal was fuppliant,
That to clofe prifon he commanded her,
With many bitter threats of 'biding there.

VAL. No more; unlefs the next word, that thou fpeak'ft,

Have fome malignant power upon my life: if fo, I pray thee, breathe it in mine ear, As ending anthem of my endlefs dolour.

PRO. Ceafe to lament for that thou canst not help, And ftudy help for that which thou lament'st. Time is the nurse and breeder of all good. Here if thou ftay, thou can'st not see thy love; Besides, thy staying will abridge thy life. Hope is a lover's staff; walk hence with that, And manage it against defpairing thoughts, Thy letters may be here, though thou art hence; Which, being writ to me, fhall be deliver'd Even in the milk-white bofom of thy love.* The time now ferves not to expoftulate: Come, I'll convey thee through the city gate; And, ere I part with thee, confer at large Of all that may concern thy love-affairs:


2 Even in the milk-white bosom of thy love. ] So, in Hamlet: "Thefe to her excellent white befom, &c.

Again, in Gascoigne's Adventures of Master F. I. firft edit. p. 206: --at deliuerie thereof, [i. c. of a letter] fhe underftode not for what caufe he thruft the fame into her befome.”

Trifiing as the remark may appear, before the meaning of this addrefs of letters to the bosom of a mistress can be underflood, it should be known that women anciently had a pocket in the fore part of their stays, in which they not only carried love-letters and love tokens, but even their money and materials for needle work. Ia many parts of England the ruftic damfels ftill obferve the fame practice; and a very old lady informs me that she remembers when it was the fashion to wear prominent stays, it was no less the custom for ftratagem or gallantry to drop its literary favours within the front of them. STEEVENS.

See Lord Surry's Sonnets, 1557:

"My fong, thou fhalt attain to fit the pleasant place,

"Where the doth live, by whom I live; may chance is

have the grace,

"When she hath read, and feen the grief 'wherein I serve, “ Between her breafts She fhall thee put, there fhall she thee referve.' MALONE.


As thou lov't Silvia, though not for thyself,
Regard thy danger, and along with me.

VAL. I pray thee, Launce, an if thou seeft my boy, Bid him make hafte, and meet me at the north-gate. PRO. Go, firrah, find him out. Come, Valentine. VAL. O my dear Silvia! haplefs Valentine!

[Exeunt VALENTINE and PROTeus.

LAUN. I am but a fool, look you; and yet I have the wit to think, my mafter is a kind of a knave: but that's all one, if he be but one knave.'


3 Laun. I am but a fool, look you; and yet I have the wit to think, my mafter is a kind of a knave: but that's all one, if he be but one KNAVE. Where is the fenfe? or, if you won't allow the fpeaker that, where is the humour of this fpeech? Nothing had given the fool occafion to fufpe&t that his mafter was become double, like Antipholis in The Comedy of Errors. The laft word is corrupt. We should read:

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- if he be but one KIND."

He thought his master was a kind of knave; however, he keeps himself in countenance with this reflection, that if he was a knave but of one kind, he might pass well enough amongst his neighbours. This is truly humourous. WARBURTON.

This alteration is acute and fpecious, yet I know not whether, in Shakfpeare's language, one knave may not fignify a knave on only one occafion, a fingle knave. We ftill ufe a double villain for a villain beyond the common rate of guilt. JOHNSON.


This paffage has been altered, with little difference, by Dr. Warburton and fir Tho. Hanmer. - Mr. Edwards explains it," if he only be a knave, if I myself be not found to be another." agree with Dr. Johnfon, and will fupport the old reading and his interpretation with indifputable authority. In the old play of Damon and Pythias, Ariftippus declares of Carifophus, "you lofe money by him if you fell him for one knave, for he ferves for twayne."

This phrafeology is often met with: Arragon fays in the Merohant of Venice:

With one fool's head I came to woo "But I go away with two."

Donne begins one of his fonnets:

"I am two fools, I know,

"For loving and for faying fo."


lives not now, that knows me to be in love; yet I am in love; but a team of horse fhall not pluck* that from me; nor who 'tis I love, and yet 'tis a woman: but what woman, I will not tell myself; and yet 'tis a milk-maid: yet 'tis not a maid, for fhe hath had goffips: yet 'tis a maid, for fhe is her mafter's maid, and ferves for wages. She hath more qualities than a water-spaniel,--which is much in a bare chriftian. Here is the cat-log [Pulling out a paper] of her conditions. Imprimis, She can fetch and carry. Why, a horfe can do no more; nay, a horfe cannot fetch, but only carry; therefore, is the better than a jade. Item, She can milk; look you, a fweet virtue in a maid with clean hands.


And when Panurge cheats St. Nicholas of the chapel, which he vowed to him in a form, Rabelais calls him a rogue- -a rogue and an half--Le gallant, gallant de demy." FARMER. Again, in Like will to like, quoth the Devil to the Collier, 1587: Thus thou may't be called a knave in graine,


"And where knaves be fcant, thou may'fi go for twayne."


a team of horse shall not pluck—] I see how Valentine fuffers for telling his love-fecrets, therefore I will keep mine close.


Perhaps Launce was not intended to fhew fo much sense; but here indulges himself in talking contradictory nonfenfe.

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-for the hath had goffips: Cops not only fignify those who answer for a child in baptifm, but the tattling women who attend lyings-in. The quibble between thefe is evident.


6 -------a bare chriftian.] Launce is quibbling on. Bare has two fenfes; mere and naked. In Coriolanus it is ufed in the firft:

"'Tis but a bare petition of the flate."

Launce ufes it in both, and oppofes the naked female to the water-fpaniel cover'd with hairs of remarkable thickness. STEEVENS.

7 - her conditions. ] i. e. qualities. The old copy has condition. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. MALONE.

Enter SPEED.

SPEED. How now, fignior Launce? what news with your mastership?

LAUN. With my mafter's fhip? why it is at fea. SPEED. Well, your old vice ftill; mistake the word: What news then in your paper:

LAUN. The blackeft news that ever thou heard'ft. SPEED. Why, man, how black?

LAUN. Why, as black as ink.

SPEED. Let me read them.

LAUN. Fie on thee, jolt-head; thou can'ft not read. SPEED. Thou lieft, I can.

LAUN. I will try thee: Tell me this: Who begot thee?

SPEED. Marry, the son of my grandfather.

LAUN. O illiterate loiterer! it was the fon of thy grandmother: this proves, that thou can'ft not read. SPEED. Come, fool, come: try me in thy paper. LAUN. There; and faint Nicholas be thy speed!


Speed asks him about But then how was his addition of a letter and

8 With my mafter's fhip?] In former editions it is,— "With my maftership? why, it is at fea.". For how does Launce mistake the word? his mastership, and he replies to it literatim. maftership at fea, and on fhore too? The a note of apostrophe, makes Launce both mistake the word, and feis the pun right: it reftores, indeed, but a mean joke; but without it, there is no sense in the paffage. Befides, it is in chara&er with the reft of the fcene; and, I dare be confident, the poet's own conceit. THEOBALD.

9 ―― the fon of thy grandmother:] It is undoubtedly true that the mother only knows the legitimacy of the child. I fuppofe Launce infers, that if he could read, he must have read this well known obfervation. STEEVENS,


faint Nicholas be thy fpeed!] St. Nicholas prefided over fcholars, who were therefore called St. Nicholas's clerks. Hence

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