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Ros. Another of these students at that time
Prin. God bless my ladies! are they all in love;
Now, what admittance, lord? Boyet. Navarre had notice of
your fair approach;
[The ladies mask. Enter KING, LONGAVILLE, DUMAIN, BIRON, and
attendants. King. Fair princess, welcome to the court of Navarre.
Prin. Fair, I give you back again ; and, welcome I have not yet: the roof of this court is too high to be yours; and welcome to the wild fields too base to be mine.
7-competitors in oath,] i. e. confederates. So, in Antony and Cleopatra:
“ It is not Cæsar's natural vice to hate
“ Our great competitor.” Steevens. 8 Were all address'd-] To address is to prepare. So, in Hamlet:
It lifted up its head, and did address « Itself to motion." Steevens.
King. Hear me, dear lady; I have sworn an oath.
Prin. Our lady help my lord! he 'll be forsworn. 'Tis deadly sin to keep that oath, my lord,
King. You shall be welcome, madam, to my court.
King. Madam, I will, if suddenly I may.
you'll prove perjur’d, if you make me stay.
How needless was it then To ask the question! Biron.
You must not be so quick. Ros. 'Tis ʼlong of you that spur me with such questions. Biron. Your wit's too hot, it speeds too fast, 'twill tire. Ros. Not till it leave the rider in the mire. Biron. What time o' day? Ros. The hour that fools should ask. Biron. Now fair befal your
9 – Where-] Where is here used for whereas. So, in Pericles, Act I, sc. i:
“Where now you 're both a father and a son." See note on this passage. Steevens. 1 And sin to break it:) Sir T. Hanmer reads:
“Not sin to break it:” I believe erroneously. The princess shows an inconvenience, very frequently attending rash oaths, which, whether kept or broken, produce guilt. Johnson
2 Ros. Did not I dance with you in Brabant once? Thus the folio. In the first quarto, this dialogue passes between Katharine and Biron. It is a matter of little consequence. Malone.
Ros. Fair fall the face it covers !
King. Madam, your father here doth intimate
and not demands,
and not demands
“ To have his title live in Aquitain.” I have restored, I believe, the genuine sense of the passage. Aquitain was pledged, it seems, to Navarre's father, for 200,000
The French king pretends to have paid one moiety of this debt, (which Navarre knows nothing of,) but demands this moiety back again: instead whereof (says Navarre) he should rather pay the remaining moiety, and demand to have Aquitain re-delivered up to him. This is plain and easy reasoning upon the fact supposed; and Navarre declares, he had rather receive the residue of his debt, than detain the provinee mortgaged for security of it. Theobald.
The two words are frequently confounded in the books of our author's age. See a note on King John, Act III, sc. iii. Malone.
depart withal,] To depart and to part were anciently synonymous. So, in King John:
“ Hath willingly departed with a part.” Again, in Every Man out of his Humour : • Faith, sir, I can hardly depart with ready money."
And have the money by our father lent,
Prin. You do the king my father too much wrong, And wrong
the reputation of your name,
King. I do protest, I never heard of it;
We arrest your word:-
Satisfy me so.
King. It shall suffice me: at which interview,
Prin, Sweet health and fair desires consort your grace!
[Exeunt King and his train. Biron. Lady, I will commend you to my own heart.
Ros. 'Pray you, do my commendations; I would be glad to see it.
gelded -] To this phrase Shakspeare is peculiarly attached. It occurs in The Winter's Tale, King Richard II, King Henry IV, King Henry VI, &c. &c. but never less properly than in the present formal speech, addressed by a king to a maiden princess. Steevens.
Biron. I would, you heard it groan.
same ? 9
were a shame. Long. Pray you, sir, whose daughter?
o Is the fool sick?] She means perhaps his heart. So, in Much Ado about Nothing;
“ D. Pedro. In faith, lady, you have a merry heart.”
“ Beat. Yes, my lord; I thank it, poor fool, it keeps on the windy side of care.” Malone.
? My physick says, I.] She means to say, ay. The old spelling of the affirmative particle has been retained here for the sake of the rhyme. Malone. 8 No poynt,] So, in The Shoemaker's Holliday, 1600:
tell me where he is. “No point. Shall I betray my brother?" Steevens. No point was a negation borrowed from the French. See the note on the same words, Act V, sc. ii. Malone.
9 What lady is that same.?] It is odd that Shakspeare should make Dumain inquire after Rosaline, who was the mistress of Biron, and neglect Katharine, who was his own. Biron behaves in the same manner. No advantage would be gained by an exchange of names, because the last speech is determined to Biron by Maria, who gives a character of him after he has made his exit. Perhaps all the ladies wore masks but the princess.
Steevens. They certainly did. See p. 33, where Biron says to Rosaline
“ Now fair befal your mask!" Malone.