2 Lord.

You are lov’d, sir; They, that least lend it you, shall lack you first.

King. I fill a place, I know it. How long is ’t, count, Since the physician at your father's died? He was much fam’d. Ber.

Some six months since, my lord. King. If he were living, I would try him yet ;Lend me an arm ;-the rest have worn me out With several applications:-nature and sickness Debate it? at their leisure. Welcome, count; My son 's no dearer. Ber.

Thank your majesty..

[Exeunt. Flourish,


Rousillon. A Room in the Countess's Palace.

Enter Countess, Steward, and Clown. 8 Count. I will now hear: what say you of this gentlewoman?

7 nature and sickness
Debate it -] So, in Macbeth:

“ Death and nature do contend about them.” Steevens.,

Stervard, and Clown.] A Clown in Shakspeare is commonly taken for a licensed jester, or domestick fool. We are not to wonder that we find this character often in his plays, since fools were at that time maintained in all great families, to keep up merriment in the house. In the picture of Sir Thomas More's family, by Hans Holbein, the only servant represented is Patison the fool. This is a proof of the familiarity to which they were admitted, not by the great only, but the wise.

In some plays, a servant, or a rustic; of a remarkable petư. lance and freedom of speech, is likewise called a clown.

Fohnson. Cardinal Wolsey, after his disgrace, wishing to show King Henry VIII a mark of his respect, sent him his fool Patch, as a present; whom, says Stowe, the King received' very gladly."

Malone. This dialogue, or that in Twelfth Night, between Olivia and the Clown, seems to have been particularly censured by Cart. wright, in one of the copies of verses prefixed to the works of Beaumont and Fletcher:

Shakspeare to thee was dull, whose best jest lies
“ ['th’lady's questions, and the fool's replies;


Stew. Madam, the care I have had to even your content,' I wish might be found in the calendar of my past endeavours; for then we wound our modesty, and make foul the clearness of our deservings, when of ourselves we publish them.

Count. What does this knave here? Get you gone, sirrah: The complaints, I have heard of you, I do not all believe; 'tis my slowness, that I do not; for, I know you lack not folly to commit them, and have ability enough to make such knaveries yours. ?

“Old fashion'd wit, which walk'd from town to town

“ In trunk-hose, which our fathers call’d the Clown.” In the MS. Register of Lord Stanhope of Harrington, trea. surer of the chamber to King James I, from 1613 to 1616, are the following entries: “ Tom Derry, bis majesty's fool, at 2s. per diem,-1615: Paid John Mawe for the diet and lodging of Thomas Derrie, her majesty's jester, for 13 weeks, 106. 188. 60.-1616” Steevens.

The following lines in The Careless Shepherdess, a comedy, 1656, exhibit probably a faithful portrait of this once admired character:

“ Why, I would have the fool in every act,
“ Be it comedy or tragedy. I have laugh'd
“ Untill I cry'd again, to see what faces
“ The rogue will make.-0, it does me good
To see him hold out his chin, hang down his hands,
« And twirl his bable. There is ne'er a part
“ About him but breaks jests.-
“I'd rather hear him leap, or laugh, or cry,
“ Than hear the gravest speech in all the play.
“ I never saw READE peeping through the curtain,
“But ravishing joy enter'd into my heart.” Malone.
to even your content, ] To act up to your desires. Johnson.

when of ourselves we publish them.] So, in Troilus and Cressida:

“ The worthiness of praise distains his worth,
“ If he that 's prais’d, himself brings the praise forth."

Malone. you lack not folly to commit them, and have ability enough to make such knaveries yours.) After premising that the accusative, them refers to the precedent word, complaints, and that this, by a metonymy of the effect for the cause, stands for the freaks which occasioned those complaints, the sense will be extremely clear: “ You are fool enough to commit those irregularities you are charged with, and yet not so much fool neither, as to discredit the accusation by any defect in your ability.”





Clo. 'Tis not unknown to you, madam, I am a poor fellow.

Count. Well, sir.

Clo. No, madam, 'tis not so well, that I am poor; though many of the rich are damned:3 But, if I may have your ladyship's good will to go to the world, * Isbel the woman and [5 will do as we may.

Count. Wilt thou needs be a beggar?
Clo. I do beg your good-will in this case.
Count. In what case ?

Clo. In Isbel's case, and mine own. Service is no heritage:6 and, I think, I shall never have the blessing of God, till I have issue of my body; for, they say, bearns are blessings.

Count. Tell me thy reason why thou wilt marry.

Clo. My poor body, madam, requires it: I am driven on by the flesh; and he must needs go, that the devil drives.

Count. Is this all your worship’s reason?

Clo. Faith madam, I have other holy reasons such as they are.

Count. May the world know them?

Clo. I have been, madam, a wicked creature, as you and all flesh and blood are; and, indeed, I do marry, that I may repent.

Count. Thy marriage, sooner than thy wickedness.

Clo. I am out of friends, madam; and I hope to have friends for my wife's sake.


It appears to me that the accusative them refers to knaveries, and the natural sense of the passage seems to be this: “ You have folly enough to desire to commit these knaveries, and abi. lity enough to accomplish them.” M. Mason. are damned:] See S. Mark, x, 25; S. Luke, xviii, 25.

Grey. - to go to the world,] This phrase has already occurred in Much Ado about Nothing, and signifies to be married: and thus, in As you Like it, Audrey says: “ - it is no dishonest desire, to desire to be a woman of the world.Steevens.

and I -] 1, which was inadvertently omitted in the first copy, was supplied by the editor of the second folio.

Malone. 6 Service is no heritage:] This is a proverbial expression. Neede ist when the devil drives, is another. Ritson.

Count. Such friends are thine enemies, knave.

Clo. You are shallow, madam; e'en great friends;? for the knaves come to do that for me, which I am a-weary

He, that ears my land, o spares my team,

of. 8


7 Clo. You are shallow, madam ; e’en great friends ;] The mean. ing (i. e. of the ancient reading mentioned in the subsequent note) seems to be, you are not deeply skilled in the character or offices of great friends. Johnson.

The old copy reads—in great friends ; evidently a mistake for d'en, which was formerly written e'n. The two words are so near in sound, that they might easily have been confounded by an inattentive hearer.

The same mistake has happened in many other places in our author's plays. So, in the present comedy, Act III, sc. ii, folio, 1623:

Lady. What have we here!

Clown. In that you have there." Again, in Antony and Cleopatra :

“ No more but in a woman." Again, in Twelfth Night:

ss'Tis with him in standing water, between boy and man." The corruption of this passage was pointed out by Mr. Tyr. whitt. For the emendation now made, I am answerable.

Malone. the knaves come to do that for me, which I am a-teary of.] The same thought is more dilated in an old MS. play, entitled, The Second Maid's Tragedy: Soph. I have a wife, would she were so preferr'd!

“ I could but be her subject; so I am now.
“ I allow her her owne frend to stop her mowth,
And keep her quiet; give him his table free,
“ And the huge feeding of his great stone-borse,
“On which he rides in pompe about the cittie
“Only to speake to gallants in bay-windowes.
“Marry, his lodging he paies deerly for;
“ He getts me all my children, there I save by 't;
“ Beside, I drawe my life owte by the bargaine
“Some twelve yeres longer than the tymes appointed;
“ When my young prodigal gallant kicks up's heels
" At one and thirtie, and lies dead and rotten
“Some five and fortie yeres before I'm coffin'd,
“ 'Tis the right waie to keep a woman honest:
« One friend is baracadoe to a hundred,
“ And keepes 'em owte; nay more, a husband's sure
" To have his children all of one man's gettinge;
“And he that performes best, can have no better:
“I'm e'en as happie then that save a labour.” Steevens.

that ears my land,] To ear is to plough. So, in Antony and Cleopatra :


and gives me leave to inn the crop: if I be his cuckold, he 's my drudge: He, that comforts my wife, is the cherisher of my flesh and blood; he, that cherishes my Alesh and blood, loves my flesh and blood; he, that loves my flesh and blood, is my friend: ergo, he that kisses my wife, is my friend. If men could be contented to be what they are, there were no fear in marriage; for young Charbon the puritan, and old Poysam the papist, howsoe'er their hearts are severed in religion, their heads are both one, they may joll horns together, like any deer i' the herd.

Count. Wilt thou ever be a foul-mouthed and calumnious knave?

Clo. A prophet I, madam; and I speak the truth the next way:1

For I the ballad will repeat,

Which men full true shall find;
Your marriage comes by destiny,

Your cuckoo sings by kind.2

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« Make the sea serve them, which they car and wound

« With keels of every kind.” Steevens. See 1 Sam. viii, 12. Isaiah, xxx, 24. Deut. xxi, 4. Gen. xlv, 6. Exod. xxxiv, 21, for the use of this verb. Henley.

1 A prophet 1, madam, and I speak the truth the next way:) It is a superstition, which has run through all ages and people, that natural fools have something in them of divinity. On which account they were esteemed sacred: Travellers tell us in what es. teem the Turks now hold them; nor had they less honour paid them heretofore in France, as appears from the old word benet, for a natural fool. Hence it was that Pantagruel, in Rabelais, advised Panurge to go and consult the fool Triboulet as an oracle; which gives occasion to a satirical stroke upon the privy council of Francis the First Par l'avis, conseil, prediction des fols ous scavez quants princes, &c. ont esté conservez, &c. The phrase-speak the truth the next way, means directly, as they do who are only the instruments or canals of others; such as inspired persons were supposed to be. Warburton. See the popular story of Nixon the Idiot's Cheshire Prophecy.

Douce. Next way, is nearest way. So, in K. Henry IV, Part I:

“ 'Tis the next way to turn tailor,” &c. Steevens. Next way is a phrase still used in Warwickshire, and signifies without circumlocution, or going about. Henley.

sings by kind.] I find something like two of the lines of this ballad in John Grange's Garden, 1577:

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