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Count. So he is. My lord, that's gone, made himself much sport out of him: by his authority he remains here, which he thinks is a patent for his sauciness; and, indeed, he has no pace, but runs where he will.8
Laf. I like him well; 'tis not amiss: and I was about to tell you, Since I heard of the good lady's death, and that my lord your son was upon his return home, I moved the king my master, to speak in the behalf of my daughter; which, in the minority of them both, his majesty, out of a self-gracious remembrance, did first propose: his highness hath promised me to do it: 'and, to stop up the displeasure he hath conceived against your son, there is no fitter matter. How does your ladyship like it?
Count. With very much content, my lord, and I wish it happily effected.
Laf. His highness comes post from Marseilles, of as able body as when he numbered thirty; he will be here to-morrow, or I am deceived by him that in such intelligence hath seldom failed.
Count. It rejoices me, that I hope I shall see him ere I die. I have letters, that my son will be here to-night: I shall beseech your lordship, to remain with me till they meet together.
Laf. Madamn, I was thinking, with what manners I might safely be admitted.
Count. You need but plead your honourable privilege.
Laf. Lady, of that I have made a bold charter: but, I thank my God, it holds yet.
• unhappy.] i. e. mischievously waggish, unlucky. Johnson. So, in King Henry VIII:
“ You are a churchman, or, I'll tell you, cardinal,
“ I should judge now unhappily.” Steevens. & So he is. My lord, that's gone, made himself much sport out of him: by his authority he remains here, which he thinks is a paient for his sauciness; and, indeed, he has no pace, but runs where he will.] Should not we read-no place, that is, no station, or office in the family? Tyrwhitt.
A pace is a certain or prescribed walk; so we say of a man meanly obsequious, that he has learned his paces, and of a horse who moves irregularly, that he has no paces. Johnson.
Re-enter Clown. Cio. O madam, yonder 's my lord your son, with a patch of velvet on 's face: whether there be a scar under it, or no, the velvet knows; but 'tis a goodly patch of velvet: his left cheek is a cheek of two pile and a half, but his right cheek is worn bare.
Laf. A scar nobly got, or a noble scar, is a good livery of honour;9 so, belike, is that.
Clo. But it is your carbonadoedface.
Laf. Let us go see your son, I pray you; I long to talk with the young noble soldier.
Clo. 'Faith, there's a dozen of 'em, with delicate fine hats, and most courteous feathers, which bow the head, and nod at every man.?
Enter HELENA, Widow, and DIANA, with two Attendants.
Hel. But this exceeding posting, day and night, Must wear your spirits low: we cannot help it;
9 Laf. A scar nobly got, &c.] This speech, in the second folio, and the modern editions, is given to the Countess, and perhaps rightly. It is more probable that she should have spoken'thus favourably of Bertram,,than Lafeu. In the original copy, to each of the speeches of the Countess, Lad. or La. [i. e. Lady] is prefixed; so that the mistake was very easy. Malone.
I do not discover the improbability of this commendation from Lafeu, who is at present anxious to marry his own daughter to Bertram. Steevens.
carbonadoed -] i. e. scotched like a piece of meat for the gridiron. So, in Coriolanus : “ Before Corioli, he scotched and notched him like a carbonado.” Steevens.
The word is again used in King Lear. Kent says to the Steward
“I'll carbonado your shanks for you." Malone.
-feathers, which nod at every man.] So, in Antony and Cleopatra :
- a blue promontory, “ With trees upon 't, that nod unto the world —,” Steevens.
But, since you have made the days and nights as one,
Enter a gentle Astringer.3
Gen. And you.
Hel. I do presume, sir, that you are not fallen
What 's your will?
Gen. The king 's not here.
Not here, sir?
3 Enter a gentle Astringer.] Perhaps a gentle stranger, i. e. a stranger of gentle condition, a gentleman.-The error of this conjecture, (which I have learned, since our first edition made its appearance, from an old book of Falconry, 1633) should teach diffidence to those who conceive the words which they do not understand to be corruptions. An ostringer or astringer is a falconer, and such a character was probably to be met with about a court which was famous for the love of that diversion. So, in Hamlet :
“We'll e’en to it like French Falconers." A gentle astringer, is a gentleman falconer. The word is derived from ostercus or austercus, a goshawk; and thus, says Cowell, in his Law Dictionary: “We usually call a falconer, who keeps that kind of hawk, an austringer.” Again, in The Book of Hawking; &c. bl. I. no date: “ Now bicause I spoke of ostregiers, ye understand that they ben called ostregiers that keep gosshauks or tercels,” &c. I learn from Blount's Antient Tenures, that a “gosshawk is in our records termed by the several names Oster. cum, Hostricum, Estricum, Asturcum, and Austurcum," and all from the French Austour. Steevens.
He hence remov'd last night, and with more haste
Lord, how we lose our pains!
Gen. Marry, as I take it, to Rousillon;
I do beseech you, sir,
This I 'll do for you.
Rousillon. The inner Court of the Countess's Palace.
Enter Clown and PAROLLES. Par. Good monsieur Lavatch,s give my lord Lafeu this letter: I have ere now, sir, been better known to you, when I have held familiarity with fresher clothes; but I am now, sir, muddied in fortune's moat, and smell somewhat strong of her strong displeasure.6
1 Our means will make us means.] Shakspeare delights much in this kind of reduplication, sometimes so as to obscure his meaning;. Helena says, they will follow with such speed as the means which they have will give them ability to exert. Johnson.
Lavatch,] This is an undoubted, and perhaps irreme. diable corruption, of some French word. Steevens.
but I am now, sir, muddied in fortune's moat, &c.] In former editions—but I am now, sir, muddied in fortune's mood, and smell somewhat strong of her strong displeasure. I believe the poet wrote-in fortune's moat; because the Clown, in the very next speech, replies_“I will henceforth eat no fish of fortune's buttering;” and again, when he comes to repeat Parolles's peti. tion to Lafeu, “ That hath fallen into the unclean fishpond of her displeasure, and, as he says, is muddied withal.” And again
Clo. Truly, fortune's displeasure is but sluttish, if it smell so strong as thou speakest of: I will henceforth
“Pray you, sir, use the carp as you may,” &c. In all which places, it is obvious a moat or a pond is the allusion. Besides, Parolles smelling strong, as he says, of fortune's strong displeasure, carries on the same image; for as the moats round old seats were always replenished with fish, so the Clown's joke of holding his nose, we may presume, proceeded from this, that the privy was always over the moat; and therefore the Clown humorously says, when Parolles is pressing him to deliver his letter to Lord Lafeu, “ Foh! prythee stand away; a paper from fortune's close-stool, to give to a nobleman!” Warburton.
Dr. Warburton's correction may be supported by a passage in The Alchemist :
“ Subtle. Come along sir,
“ Face. Are they perfum'd, and his bath ready?
« Sub. All.
“Only the fumigation somewhat strong." Farmer. By the whimsical caprice of Fortune, I am fallen into the mud, and smell somewhat strong of her displeasure. In Pericles, Prince of Tyre, 1609, we meet with the same phrase :
but Fortune's mood “ Varies again.” Again, in Timon of Athens :
“ When fortune, in her shift and change of mood,
“Spurns down her late belovod." Again, in Fulius Cæsar :
« Fortune is merry,
“ And in this mood will give us any thing." Mood is again used for resentment or caprice in Othello: “You are but now cast in his mood, a punishment more in policy than in malice." Again, for anger, in the old Taming of a Shrew, 1607:
This brain-sick man, " That in his mood cares not to murder me." Dr. Warburton, in his edition, changed mood into moat, and his emendation was adopted, I think, without necessity, by the subsequent editors. All the expressions enumerated by him,“I will eat no fish,”—“ he hath fallen into the unclean fishpond of her displeasure," &c.-agree sufficiently well with the text, without any change. Parolles having talked metaphorically of being muddyd by the displeasure of fortune, the Clown, to render him ridiculous, supposes him to have actually fallen into a fishpond. Malone.
Though Mr. Malone defends the old reading, I have retained Dr. Warburton's emendation, which, in my opinion, is one of the luckiest ever produced. Steevens.