Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

Moth. By a familiar demonstration of the working, my tough senior.

Arm. Why tough senior? why tough senior?
Moth. Why tender juvenal? why tender juvenal?

Arm. I spoke it, tender juvenal, as a congruent epitheton, appertaining to thy young days, which we may nominate tender.

Moth.' And I, tough senior, as an appertinent title to your old time,5 which we may name tough.

Arm. Pretty, and apt.

Moth. How mean you, sir? I pretty, and my saying apt? or I apt, and my saying pretty?

Arm. Thou pretty, because little.
Moth. Little pretty, because little: Wherefore apt?
Arm. And therefore apt, because quick.
Moth. Speak you this in my praise, master?
Arm. In thy condign praise.
Moth. I will praise an eel with the same praise.
Arm. What? that an eel is ingenious?
Moth. That an eel is quick.

Arm. I do say, thou art quick in answers: Thou heatest my blood.

Moth. I am answered, sir.
Arm. I love not to be crossed.

Moth. He speaks the mere contrary, crosses love not him.6

[Aside. Arm. I have promised to study three years with the duke.

Moth. You may do it in an hour, sir.

my tender juvenal?] Juvenal is youth. So, in The Noble Stranger, 1640: “Oh, I could hug thee for this, my jovial juvinell.Steevens.

-tough senior, as an appertinent title to your old time,] Here and in two speeches above, the old copies have signior, which appears to have been the old spelling of senior. So, in the last scene of The Comedy of Errors, edit. 1623: “ We will draw cuts for the signior ; till then, lead thou first.” In that play the spelling has been corrected properly by the modern editors, who yet, I know not why, have retained the old spelling in the passage before us.

Malone.

crosses love not him.] By crosses he means money. So, in As you like it, the Clown says to Celia ; " - if I should bear you, I shuuld bear no cross.” Johnson.

6

Arm. Impossible.
Moth. How many is one thrice told?

Arm. I am ill at reckoning, it fitteth the spirit of a tapster. 7 Moth. You are a gentleman, and a gamester, sir.

Arm. I confess both; they are both the varnish of a complete man.

Moth. Then, I am sure, you know how much the gross sum of deuce-ace amounts to.

Arm. It doth amount to one more than two.
Moth. Which the base vulgar do call three.
Arm. True.

Moth. Why, sir, is this such a piece of study? Now here is three studied, ere you ’ll thrice wink: and how easy it is to put years to the word three, and study three years in two words, the dancing horse will tell you.8

[ocr errors]

7 I am ill at reckoning, it fitteth the spirit of a tapster.] Again, in Troilus and Cressida: “X tapster's arithmetick may soon bring his particulars therein to a total.” Steevens.

8 Moth. And how easy it is to put years to the word three, and study three years in two words, the dancing horse will tell you.) Bankes's horse, which play'd many remarkable pranks. Sir Walter Raleigh (History of the World, First Part, p. 178) says: If Banks had lived in older times, he would have shamed all the enchanters in the world: for whosoever was most famous among them, could never master, or instruct any beast as he did his horse." And Sir Kenelm Digby (A Treatise on Bodies, ch. xxxviii, p. 393) observes: “That his horse would restore a glove to the due owner, after the master had whispered the man's name in his ear; would tell the just number of pence in any piece of silver coin, newly showed him by his master; and even obey presently his command, in discharging himself of his excrements, whensoever he had bade him.” Dr. Grey.

Bankes's horse is alluded to by many writers contemporary with Shakspeare; among the rest, by Ben Jonson, in Every Man out of his Humour : “He keeps more ado with this monster, than ever Bankes did with his horse.

In 1595, was published a pamphlet, entitled Maroccus Extaticus, or Banks's bay Horse in a Trance. A Discourse set downe in a merry Dialogue between Bankes and his Beast: anatomizing some Abuses and bad Trickes of this Age, 4to.; prefixed to which, was a print of the horse standing on his hind legs with a stick in his mouth, his master with a stick in his hand and a pair of dice on the ground. Ben Jonson hints at the unfortunate catastrophe of both man and horse, which I find happened at Rome, where, to the disgrace of the age, of the country, and of humanity, they were burnt by order of the pope, for magicians. See Don Zara del Fogo, 12mo. 1660, p. 114. Reed.

Arm. A most fine figure!
Moth. To prove you a cypher.

[ Aside. Arm. I will hereupon confess, I am in love: and, as it is base for a soldier to love, so am I in love with a base wench. If drawing my sword against the humour of affection would deliver me from the reprobate thought of it, I would take desire prisoner, and ransom him to any French courtier for a new-devised courtesy. I think scorn to sigh; methinks, I should out-swear Cupid. Comfort me, boy: What great men have been in love?

Moth. Hercules, master.

Arm. Most sweet Hercules ! - More authority, dear boy, name more; and, sweet my child, let them be men of good repute and carriage.

Moth. Sampson, master: he was a man of good carriage, great carriage; for he carried the town-gates on his back, like a porter: and he was in love.

Arm. O well-knit Sampson! strong-jointed Sampson! I do excel thee in my rapier, as much as thou didst me in carrying gates. I am in love too,—Who was Sampson's love, my dear Moth?

Moth. A woman, master.
Arm. Of what complexion?

Moth. Of all the four, or the three, or the two; or one of the four.

Arm. Tell me precisely of what complexion?
Moth. Of the sea-water green, sir.
Arm. Is that one of the four complexions?
Moth. As I have read, sir; and the best of them too.

Arm. Green, indeed, is the colour of lovers: 9 but to have a love of that colour, methinks, Sampson had small reason for it. He surely affected her for her wit.

Moth. It was so, sir; for she had a green wit.

9 Green, indeed, is the colour of lovers:] I do not know whether our author alludes to “the rare green eye,” which in his time seems to have been thought a beauty, or to that frequent attendant on love, jealousy, to which in The Merchant of Venice, and in Othello, he has applied the epithet green-ey'd. Malone.

Perhaps Armado neither alludes to green eyes, nor to jealousy; but to the willow, the supposed ornament of unsuccessful lovers :

“Sing, all a green willow shall be my garland,”. is the burden of an ancient ditty preserved in The Gallery of gorgious Inventions, &c. 4to. 1578. Steevens.

Arm. My love is most immaculate white and red.

Moth. Most maculate thoughts,? master, are masked under such colours.

Arm. Define, define, well-educated infant.

Moth. My father's wit, and my mother's tongue, assist me!

Arm. Sweet invocation of a child; most pretty, and pathetical! Moth. If she be made of white and red,

Her faults will ne'er be known;
For blushing2 cheeks by faults are bred,

And fears by pale-white shown:
Then, if she fear, or be to blame,

By this you shall not know;
For still her cheeks possess the same,

Which native she doth owe.3 A dangerous rhyme, master, against the reason of white and red.

Arm. Is there not a ballad, boy, of the King and the Beggar?"

Moth. The world was very guilty of such a ballad some three ages since: but, I think, now ’tis not to be found; or, if it were, it would neither serve for the writing, nor the tune.

Arm. I will have the subject newly writ o'er, that I may example my digressions by some mighty precedent.

1 Most maculate thoughts,] So, the first quarto, 1598. The folio has immaculate. To avoid such notes for the future, it may be proper to apprize the reader, that where the reading of the text does not correspond with the folio, without any reason being assigned for the deviation, it is always warranted by the authority of the first quarto. Malone.

2 For blushing - ] The original copy hasblush in. The emendation was made by the editor of the second folio. Malone.

3 Which native she doth owe.] i. e. of which she is naturally possessed.--To owe is to possess. So, in Macbeth:

- the disposition that I owe.” Steevens.

the King and the Beggar?] See Dr. Percy's Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, 4th edit. Vol. I, p. 198. Steevens.

my digression -] Digression on this occasion signifies the act of going out of the right way, transgression. So, in Romeo and Juliet:

“ Thy noble shape is but a form of wax,
Digressing from the valour of a man." Steevens

5

Boy, I do love that country girl, that I took in the park with the rational hind Costard;6 she deserves well.

Moth. To be whipped; and yet a better love than my master.

[Aside. Arm. Sing, boy; my spirit grows heavy in love. Moth. And that 's great marvel, loving a light wench. Arm. I say, sing. Moth. Forbear till this company be past.

Enter Dull, COSTARD, and JAQUENETTA. Dull. Sir, the duke's pleasure is, that you keep Costard safe: and you must let him take no delight, nor no penance; but a' must fast three days a-week: For this damsel, I must keep her at the park: she is allowed for the day-woman.? Fare you well.

Arm. I do betray myself with blushing.--Maid.
Jaq. Man.
Arm. I will visit thee at the lodge.
Jaq. That 's hereby.8
Arm. I know where it is situate.
Jaq. Lord, how wise you are !
Arm. I will tell thee wonders.

6

Again, in our author's Rape of Lucrece ;

my digression is so vile, so base,
" That it will live engraven on my face.” Asalone.

the rational hind Costard:] Perhaps we should readthe irrational hind, &c. Tyrwhitt.

The rational hind, perhaps, means only the reasoning brute, the animal with some share of reason. Steevens.

I have always read irrational hind; if hind be taken in its bestial sense, Armado makes Costard a female. Farmer.

Shakspeare uses it in its bestial sense in Fulius Cæsar, Act I, sc. iii, and as of the masculine gender:

“He were no lion, were not Romans hinds." Again, in King Henry IV, P. I, sc. iii: “ — you are a shallow cowardly hind, and you lie.” Steevens.

- for the day-woman.] “i. e. for the dairy-maid. Dairy, says Johnson in his Dictionary, is derived from day, an old word for milk. In the northern counties of Scotland, a dairy-maid is at present termed a day or dey.” Edinburgh Magazine, Nov. 1786. Steevens.

8 That's hereby.] Jaquenetta and Armado are at cross purposes. Hereby, is used by her (as among the vulgar in some counties) to signify—as it may happen. He takes it in the sense of just by. Steevens.

« ZurückWeiter »