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And never going aright, being a watch,
ACT IV.... SCENE I.
Another part of the same. Enter the Princess, ROSALINE, MARIA, KATHARINE,
BOYET, Lords, Attendants, and a Forester.
Prin. Was that the king, that spurr'd his horse so hard Against the steep uprising of the hill?
Ben Jonson has the same thought in his Silent Woman, and Beaumont and Fletcher in Wit without Money.
To the inartificial construction of these first pieces of mechanism executed in Germany, we may suppose Shakspeare alludes. The clock at Hampton Court, which was set up in 1540, (as appears from the inscription affixed to it) is said to be the first ever fabricated in England. See, however, Letters of The Paston Family, Vol. II, 2d edit. p. 31. Steevens.
I have heard a French proverb that compares any thing that is intricate and out of order, to the coq de Strasburg that belongs to the machinery of the town-clock. S.W.
4 sue, and groan;] And, which is not in either of the authentic copies of this play, the quarto, 1598, and the folio, 1623, was added, to supply the metre, by the editor of the second fo. lio. Malone.
5 Some men must love my lady, and some Foan.) To this line Mr. Theobald extends his second Act, not injudiciously, but without sufficient authority. Johnson.
Boyet. I know not; but, I think, it was not he.
Prin. Whoe'er he was, he show'd a mounting mind. Well, lords, to-day we shall have our despatch; On Saturday we will return to France. Then, forester, my friend, where is the bush, That we must stand and play the murderer in ?6
For. Here by, upon the edge of yonder coppice; A stand, where you may make the fairest shoot.
Prin. I thank my beauty, I am fair that shoot, And thereupon thou speak'st, the fairest shoot.
For. Pardon me, madam, for I meant not so.
Prin. What, what? first praise me, and again say, no? O short-liv'd pride! Not fair? alack for woe!
For. Yes, madam, fair.
Nay, never paint me now;
[Giving him money. Fair payment for foul words is more than due.
- where is the bush, That we must stand and play the murderer in?] How familiar this amusement once was to ladies of quality, may be known from a letter addressed by Lord Wharton to the Earl of Shrewsbury, dated from Alnewik, Aug. 14, 1555: “I besiche yo.r Lordeshipp to tayke some sporte of my litell grounde there, and to comaund the same even as yo.r Lordeshippes owne. My ladye may shote with her crosbowe,” &c. Lodge's Illustrations of British History, &c. Vol. I, p. 203.
Again, in a letter from Sir Francis Leake to the Earl of Shrewsbury, Vol. III, p. 295:
“ Yo.r. Lordeshype hath sente me a verie greatte and fatte stagge, the wellcomer beynge stryken by yo.' ryght honourable Ladie's hande, &c.—My balde bucké lyves styll to wayte upon yo.r L. and my Ladie's comyng hyther, w.ch I expect whensoever shall pleas yow to apointe; onelé thys, thatt my Ladie doe nott hytt hym throgh the nose, for marryng hys whyte face; howbeitt I knoe her Ladishipp takes pitie of my buckes, sence the last tyme ye pleased her to take the travell to shote att them,” &c. Dated July, 1605. Steevens.
7 Here, good my glass,] To understand how the princess has her glass so ready at hand in a casual conversation, it must be remembered that in those days it was the fashion among the French ladies to wear a looking-glass, as Mr. Bayle coarsely represents it, on their bellies ; that is, to have a small mirrour set in gold hanging at their girdle, by which they occasionally viewed their faces or adjusted their hair. Fohnson.
For. Nothing but fair is that which you inherit.
Prin. See, see, my beauty will be sav'd by merit. O heresy in fair, fit for these days! A giving hand, though foul, shall have fair praise.But come, the bow:-Now mercy goes to kill, And shooting well is then accounted ill. Thus will I save my credit in the shoot: Not wounding, pity would not let me do 't; If wounding, then it was to shew my skill, That more for praise, than purpose, meant to kill. And, out of question, so it is sometimes; Glory grows guilty of detested crimes; When, for fame's sake, for praise, an outward part, We bend to that the working of the heart:8 As I, for praise alone, now seek to spill The poor deer's blood, that my heart means no ill.”
Boyet. Do not curst wives hold that self-sovereignty Only for praise' sake, when they strive to be Lords o'er their lords?
Prin. Only for praise: and praise we may afford To any lady that subdues a lord.
Dr. Johnson, perhaps, is mistaken. She had no occasion to have recourse to any other looking-glass than the Forester, whom she rewards for having shown her to herself as in a mirror.
Steevens. Whatever be the interpretation of this passage, Dr. Johnson is right in the historical fact. Stubbs, in his Anatomie of Abuses, is very indignant at the ladies for it: “ They must have their looking-glasses carried with them, whieresoever they go: and good reason, for how else could they see the devil in them?” And in Massinger's City Madam, several women are introduced with looking-glasses at their girdles. Farmer. 8 When, for fame's sake, for praise, an outward part,
We bend to that the working of the heart:] The harmony of the measure, the easiness of the expression, and the good sense in the thought, all concur to recommend these two lines to the read. er's notice. Warburton.
that my heart means no ill.] That my heart means no ill, is the same with to whom my heart means no ill. The common phrase suppresses the particle, as I mean him (not to him) no harm. Johnson.
1- that self-sovereignty-] Not a sovereignty over, but in, themselves. So, self-sufficiency, self-consequence, &c.
Cost. God dig-you-den all!3 Pray you, which is the head lady?
Prin. 'Thou shalt know her, fellow, by the rest that have no heads.
Cost. Which is the greatest lady, the highest?
Prin. What's your will, sir? what's your will?
I am bound to serve.
2- a member of the commonwealth.) Here, I believe, is a kind of jest intended: a member of the common-wealth, is put for one of the common people, one of the meanest. Johnson.
The Princess calls Costard a member of the commonwealth, because she considers him as one of the attendants on the King and his associates in their new-modelled society; and it was part of their original plan that Costard and Armado should be members of it.
M. Mason. 3 God dig-you-den--] A corruption of-God give you good even.
Malone. See my note on Romeo and Juliet, Act II, sc. iv. Steevens. 4 - Boyet, you can carve;
Break up this capon.] i. e. open this letter. Our poet uses this metaphor, as the French do their poulet ; which signifies both a young fowl and a love-letter. Poulet, amatoriæ literæ, says Richelet; and quotes from Voiture, Repondre au plus obligeant poulet du monde; to reply to the most obliging letter in the world. The Italians use the same manner of expression, when they call a love-epistle, una pollicetta amorosa. I owed the hint of this equivocal use of the word, to my ingenious friend Mr. Bishop. Theobald.
Henry IV, consulting with Sully about his marriage, says: “my niece of Guise would please me best, notwithstanding the malicious reports, that she loves poulets in paper, better than in
This letter is mistook, it importeth none here;
We will read it, I swear:
Boyet. [Reads] By heaven, that thou art fair, is most infallible; true, that thou art beauteous; truth itself, that thou art lovely: More fairer than fair, beautiful than beauteous; truer6 than truth itself, have commiseration on thy heroical vassal! The magnanimous and most illustrate? king Cophetua: set eye upon the pernicious and indubitate beg. gar Zenelophon; and he it was that might rightly say veni, vidi, vici; which to anatomize in the vulgar, (o base and obscure vulgar!) videlicet, he came, saw, and overcame: he came, one; saw,9 two; overcame, three. Who came? the king; Why did he come? to see; Why did he see? to overcome: To whom came he? to the beggar; What saw he? the beggar; Who overcame he? the beggar: The conclusion is victory; On whose side? the king's: the captive is enrich'd; On whose side? the beggar's; The catastrophe is a nuptial; On whose side? the king's?_no, on both in one, or one in both. I am the king; for so stands the comparison: thou the beggar; for 80 witnesseth thy low
a fricasçe.”-A message is called a cold pigeon, in the letter concerning the entertainments at Killingworth castle. Farmer.
To break up was a peculiar phrase in carving. Percy.
So, in Westward-Hoe, by Decker and Webster, 1607 : at “the skirt of that sheet, in black-work, is wrought his name: break not up the wild-fowl till anon.” Steevens.
5 Break the neck of the wax,] Still alluding to the capon. Johnson.
One of Lord Chesterfield's Letters, 8vo. Vol. III, p. 114, gives us the reason why poulet meant amatoria litera. Tollet.
6 More fairer than fair, beautiful than beauteous, truer &c.] I would read, fairer that fair, more beautiful, &c. Tyrwhitt.
7- illustrate - for illustrious. It is often used by Chapman in his translation of Homer. Thus, in the eleventh Iliad:
“ Jove will not let me meet
“ Illustrate Hector,” Steevens. 8 king Cophetua--] The ballad of King Cophetua and the Beggar-Maid, may be seen in The Reliques of Ancient Poetry, Vol. 1.' The beggar's name was Penelophon, here corrupted. Percy.
The poet alludes to this song in Romeo and Juliet, Henry IV, P. II, and Richard II. Steevens.
I saw,] The old copies here and in the preceding line haveseC. Mr. Rowe made the correction. Malone.