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* LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST.] I have not hitherto discovered 
any novel on which this comedy appears to have been founded ; 
and yet the story of it has most of the features of an ancient ro> 
mance. STEEVENS. 

I suspect that there is an error in the title of this play, which 
I believe, should be " Love's Labours Lost." M. MASON. 

Love's Labour's Lost, I conjecture to have been written in 
1594. See An Attempt to ascertain the Order of Shakspeare's 
Plays, Vol. II. MALONE. 

B 2 


Ferdinand, King of Navarre. 

Biron, 1 

Longaville, > Lords, attending on the King. 

Dumain, J 

Boyet, > Lords, attending on the Princess of 

Mercade, ) France. 

Don Adriano de Armado, a fantastical Spaniard. 

Sir Nathaniel, a Curate. 

Holofernes, a Schoolmaster. 

Dull, a Constable. 

Costard, a Clown. 

Moth, Page to Armado. 

A Forester. 

Princess of France. 

Rosaline, ^ 

Maria, > Ladies, attending on the Princess. 

Katharine, } 

Jaquenetta, a country Wench. 

Officers and others, Attendants on the King and 

SCENE, Navarre. 

* This enumeration of the persons was made by Mr. Rowe. 




Navarre. A Park, with a Palace in if. 
Enter the King, BIRON, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAIN. 

KING. Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives, 
Live registered upon our brazen tombs, 
And then grace us in the disgrace of death ; 
When, spite of cormorant devouring time, 
The endeavour of this present breath may buy 
That honour ,which shall bate his scythe's keen edge, 
And make us heirs of all eternity. 
Therefore, brave conquerors ! for so you are, 
That war against your own affections, 
And the huge army of the world's desires, 
Our late edict shall strongly stand in force : 
Navarre shall be the wonder of the world ; 
Our court shall be a little Academe, 
Still and contemplative in living art. 
You three, Biron, Dumain, and Longaville, 
Have sworn for three years' term to live with me, 
My fellow-scholars, and to keep those statutes, 
That are recorded in this schedule here : 
Your oaths are past, and now subscribe your names ; 
That his own hand may strike his honour down, 
That violates the smallest branch herein : 


If you are arm'd to do, as sworn to do, 
Subscribe to your deep oath, 1 and keep it too. 

LONG. I am resolv'd : 'tis but a three years' fast ; 
The mind shall banquet, though the body pine : 
Fat paunches have lean pates ; and dainty bits 
Make rich the ribs, but bank'rout quite the wits. 

DUM. My loving lord, Dumain is mortified ; 
The grosser manner of these world's delights 
He throws upon the gross world's baser slaves : 
To love, to wealth, to pomp, I pine and die ; 
With all these living in philosophy. 3 

BIRON. I can but say their protestation over, 
So much, dear liege, I have already sworn, 
That is, To live and study here three years. 
But there are other strict observances : 
As, not to see a woman in that term ; 
Which, I hope well, is not enrolled there : 
And, one day in a week to touch no food ; 
And but one meal on every day beside ; 
The which, I hope, is not enrolled there : 
And then, to sleep but three hours in the night, 
And not be seen to wink of all the day ; 
(When I was wont to think no harm all night, 
And make a dark night too of half the day j) 
Which, I hope well, is not enrolled there : 

1 your deep oath,] The old copies have oaths. Cor- 
rected by Mr. Steevens. MALONE. 

* With all these living in philosophy.] The style of the 
rhyming scenes in this play is often entangled and obscure. I 
know not certainly to what all these is to be referred ; I suppose 
he means, that he finds love, pomp, and wealth, in philosophy. 


By all these, Dumain means the King, Biron, &c. to whom 
he may be supposed to point, and with whom he is going to live 
in philosophical retirement. A. C. 


O, these are barren tasks, too hard to keep ; 
Not to see ladies, study, fast, not sleep. 3 

KING. Your oathispass'dtopass away from these. 

BIRON. Let me say no, my liege, an if you please ; 
I only swore, to study with your grace, 
And stay here in your court for three years' space. 

. You swore to that, Biron, and to the rest. 

BIRON. By yea and nay, sir, then I swore in jest. 
What is the end of study ? let me know. 

KING. Why, that to know, which else we should 
not know. 

BIRON. Things hid and barr'd, you mean, from 
common sense ? 

KING. Ay, that is study's god-like recompense, 

BIRON. Come on then, I will swear to study so, 
To know the thing I am forbid to know : 
As thus, To study where I well may dine, 

When I to feast expressly am forbid ; 4 
Or, study where to meet some mistress fine, 

When mistresses from common sense are hid : 

* Not to see ladies, study, fast, not sleep."] The words as they 
stand, will express the meaning intended, if pointed thus : 
Not to see ladies study fast not sleep. 

Biron is recapitulating the several tasks imposed upon him, 
viz. not to see ladies, to study, to fast, and not to sleep : but 
Shakspeare, by a common poetical licence, though in this pas- 
sage injudiciously exercised, omits the article to, before the three 
last verbs, and from hence the obscurity arises. M. MASON. 

4 When I to feast expressly am forbid;] The copies all have : 
" When I to fast expressly am forbid ;" 

But if Biron studied where to get a good dinner, at a time 
when he was forbid to fast, how was this studying to know what 
he was forbid to know ? Common sense, and the whole tenour of 
the context, require us to read -feast, or to make a change in the 
last word of the verse : " When I tofast expressly sanf ore-bid j" 
L e. when I am enjoined before-hand to fast. THEOBALD. 


Or, having sworn too hard-a-keeping oath, 
Study to break it, and not break my troth. 
If study's gain be thus, and this be so, 5 1 

Study knows that, which yet it doth not know: > 
Swear me to this, and I will ne'er say, no. ) 

KING. These be the stops that hinder study quite, 
And train our intellects to vain delight. 

BIRON. Why, all delights are vain; but that most 


Which, with pain purchas'd, doth inherit pain : 
As, painfully to pore upon a book, 

To seek the light of truth ; while truth the while 
Doth falsely blind 6 the eyesight of his look : 

Light, seeking light, doth light of light beguile: 
So, ere you find where light in darkness lies, 
Your light grows dark by losing of your eyes. 
Study me how to please the eye indeed, 

By fixing it upon a fairer eye ; 
Who dazzling so, that eye shall be his heed, 

And give him light that was it blinded by. r 

* If study's gain be thus, and this be so,~\ Read : 

If study's gain be this . RITSON. 

* 'while truth the while 

Doth falsely blind ] Falsely is here, and in many other 
places, the same as dishonestly or treacherously. The whole 
sense of this gingling declamation is only this, that a man by too 
close study may read himself blind ; which might have been told 
with less obscurity in fewer words. JOHNSON. 

7 Who dazzling so, that eye shall be Ms heed, 

And give him light that was it blinded by.] This is another 
passage unnecessarily obscure ; the meaning is : that when he 
dazzles, that is, has his eye made weak, by fixing his eye upon 
a fairer eye, that fairer eye shall be his heed, his direction or 
lode-star, (See Midsummer-Night's Dream,) and give him light 
that ivas blinded by it. JOHNSON. 

The old copies read it was. Corrected by Mr. Steevens. 



Study is like the heaven's glorious sun, 

That will not be deep-search'd with saucy looks ; 
Small have continual plodders ever won, 

Save base authority from others' books. 
These earthly godfathers of heaven's lights, 

That give a name to every fixed star, 
Have no more profit of their shining nights, 

Than those that walk, and wot not what they are. 
Too much to know, is, to know nought but fame ; 
And every godfather can give a name. 8 

KING. How well he's read, to reason against 
reading ! 

DUM. Proceeded well, to stop all good proceed- 
ing! 9 

LONG. He weeds the corn, and still lets grow 
the weeding. 

BIRON. The spring is near, when green geese 
are a breeding. 

DUM. How follows that ? 

' Too much to know, is, to know nought but fiajne ; 

And every godfather can give a name.~\ The consequence, 
says Biron, of too much knowledge, is not any real solution of 
doubts, but mere empty reputation. That is, too much know- 
ledge gives only fame, a name "which every godfather can give 
likewise. JOHNSON. 

9 Proceeded well, to stop all good proceeding /] To proceed is 
an academical term, meaning, to take a degree, as he proceeded 
bachelor in physick. The sense is, he has taken his degrees in 
the art of hindering the degrees of others. JOHNSON. 

So, in a quotation by Dr. Farmer : " such as practise to 
proceed in all evil wise, till from Batchelors in Newgate, by de- 
grees they proceed to be Maisters, and by desert be preferred at 
TyborneT I cannot ascertain the book from which this pas- 
sage was transcribed. STEEVENS. 

I don't suspect that Shakspeare had any academical term in 
contemplation, when he wrote this line, lie has proceeded well* 
means only, he has gone on well. M. MASON. 


BIRON. Fit in his place and time. 

DUM. In reason nothing. 

BIRON. Something then in rhyme. 

LONG. Biron is like an envious sneaping frost, 1 
That bites the first-born infants of the spring. 

BIRON. Well, say I am ; why should proud sum- 
mer boast, 

Before the birds have any cause to sing ? 
Why should I joy in an abortive birth ? 
At Christmas I no more desire a rose, 
Than wish a snow in May's new-fangled shows: 
But like of each thing, that in season grows. 

'* ) 

1 sneaping frost,] So sneaping winds in The Winter's 

Tale: To sneap is to check, to rebuke. Thus also, Falstaff, in 
King Henry IV. P. II: " I will not undergo this sneap, without 
reply." STEEVENS. 

* Why should I joy in an abortive birth ? 
At Christmas I no more desire a rose, 
Than wish a snow in May's new-fangled shows ; 
But like of each thing, that in season grows.'] As the 
greatest part of this scene (both what precedes and follows) is 
strictly in rhymes, either successive, alternate, or triple, I am 
persuaded, that the copyists have made a slip here. For by 
making a triplet of the three last lines quoted, birth in the close 
of the first line is quite destitute of any rhyme to it. Besides, 
what a displeasing identity of sound recurs in the middle and 
close of this verse? 

" Than wish a snow in May's new-fangled shows ;" 
Again, new-fangled shows seems to have very little propriety. 
The flowers are not new-fangled; but the earth is new-fangled 
by the profusion and variety of the flowers, that spring on its 
bosom m May. I have therefore ventured to substitute earth, 
in the close of the third line, which restores the alternate mea- 
sure. It was very easy for a negligent transcriber to be de- 
ceived by the rhyme immediately preceding; to mistake the 
concluding word in the sequent line, and corrupt it into one that 
would chime with the other. THEOBALD. 

I rather suspect aline to havebeenlost after "anabortive birth.'' 

ac. /. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 11 

So you, to study now it is too late, 

Climb o'er the house 3 to unlock the little gate. 

KING. Well, sit you out : 4 go home, Bironj adieu! 

BIRON. No, my good lord ; I have sworn to stay 

with you : 
And, though I have for barbarism spoke more, 

Than for that angel knowledge you can say, 
Yet confident I'll keep what I have swore, 

And bide the penance of each three years' day. 

For an in that line the old copies have any. Corrected by Mr. 
Pope. MALONE. 

By these shows the poet means Maygames, at which a snoro 
would be very unwelcome and unexpected. It is only a peri- 
phrasis for May. T. WARTON. 

I have no doubt that the more obvious interpretation is the 
true one. So, in Chaucer's Knightes Tale: 

" And fresher than May withjloures new .'* 
So also, in our poet's King Richard II: 

" She came adorned hither, like sweet May" 
i. e. as the ground is in that month enamelled by the gay diver- 
sity of flowers which the spring produces. 

Again, in The Destruction of Troy, iQlQ: "At the entry of 
the month of May, when the earth is attired and Adorned with 
diverse flowers," &c. MALONE. 

I concur with Mr. Warton ; for with what propriety .can the 
flowers which every year produces with the same identical shape 
and colours, be called newfangled ? The sports of May might 
be annually diversified, but its natural productions would be in- 
variably the same. STEEVENS. 

3 Climb o'er the house &c.] This is the reading of the quarto, 
1598, and much preferable to that of the folio: 

" That were to climb o'er the house to unlock the gate." 


4 sit you out:'] This may mean, hold you out, continue 

refractory. But I suspect we should read set you out. 


To sit out, is a term from the card-table. Thus, Bishop San- 
derson : 

" They are glad, rather than sit out, to play very small 


Give me the paper, let me read the same ; 
And to the strict'st decrees I'll write my name. 

KING. How well this yielding rescues thee 
from shame ! 

BIRON. \_Reads.~] Item, That no 'woman shall 
come within a mile of my court. 
And hath this been proclaim'd ? 

LONG. Four days ago. 

BIRON. Let's see the penalty. 
[Reads. ,] On pain of losing her tongue. 

Who devis'd this ? b 
LONG. Marry, that did I. 
BIRON. Sweet lord, and why ? 

LONG. To fright them hence with that dread 

BIRON. A dangerous law against gentility. 6 

The person who cuts out at a rubber of whist, is still said to 
sit out; i. e. to be no longer engaged in. the party. STEEVENS. 

4 Who devised this ?"] The old copies read this penalty. I 
have omitted this needless repetition of the word penalty, be- 
cause it destroys the measure. STEEVENS. 

A dangerous latu against gentility !] I have ventured to 
prefix the name of Biron to this line, it being evident, for two 
reasons, that it, by some accident or other, slipt out of the 
printed books. In the first place, Longaville confesses, he had 
devised the penalty : and why he should immediately arraign it 
as a dangerous law, seems to be very inconsistent. In the next 
place, it is much more natural for Biron to make this reflection, 
who is cavilling at every thing ; and then for him to pursue his 
reading over the remaining articles. As to the word gentility, 
here, it does not signify that rank of people called, gentry ; but 
what the French express by, gentilesse, i. e. elegantia, urbanitas. 
And then the meaning is this : Such a law for banishing women 
from the court, is dangerous, or injurious, to politeness, urba- 
nity, and the more refined pleasures of life. For men without 
women would turn brutal, and savage, in their natures and be- 
haviour. THEOBALD. 

ac. i. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. is 

\_Reads.~] Item, If any man be seen to talk 'with 
a woman within the term of three years, he shall en- 
dure such publick shame as the rest of the court can 
possibly devise. 
This article, my liege, yourself must break ; 

For, well you know, here comes in embassy 
The French King's daughter, with yourself to 

A maid of grace, and complete majesty, 
About surrender-up of Aquitain 

To her decrepit, sick, and bed-rid father : 
Therefore this article is made in vain, 

Or vainly comes the admired princess hither. 

KING. What say you, lords ? why, this was quite 

BIRON. So study evermore is overshot ; 
While it doth study to have what it would, 
It doth forget to do the thing it should : 
And when it hath the thing it hunteth most, 
'Tis won, as towns with fire ; so won, so lost. 

KING. We must, of force, dispense with this de- 
cree ; *> 
She must lie here 7 on mere necessity. 

BIRON. Necessity will make us all forsworn 
Three thousand times wifhin this three years' 

space : 
For every man with his affects is born ; 

Not by might mastered, but by special grace : 8 

7 lie here ~j Means reside here, in the same sense as an 

ambassador is said to lie leiger. See Beaumont and Fletcher's 
Love's Cure, or The Martial Maid, Act II. sc. ii : 
'* Or did the cold Muscovite beget thee, 
" That lay here leiger, in the last great frost ?" 
Again, in Sir Henry Wotton's Definition : " An ambassador 
is an honest man sent to lie (i. e. reside) abroad for the good of 
his country." REED. 


If I break faith, this word shall speak for me, 

I am forsworn on mere necessity. 

So to the laws at large I write my name : 


And he, that breaks them in the least degree, 
Stands in attainder of eternal shame : 

Suggestions 9 are to others, as to me ; 
But, I believe, although I seem so loth, 
I am the last that will last keep his oath. 
But is there no quick recreation l granted ? 

KING. Ay, that there is : our court, you know, 

is haunted 

With a refined traveller of Spain ; 
A man in all the world's new fashion planted, 
That hath a mint of phrases in his brain : 
One, whom the musick of his own vain tongue 

Doth ravish, like enchanting harmony ; 
A man of complements, whom right and wrong 
Have chose as umpire of their mutiny : 2 

8 Not by might master 'd, but by special grace .] Biron, amidst 
his extravagancies, speaks with great justness against the folly of 
vows. They are made without sufficient regard to the variations 
of life, and are therefore broken by some unforeseen necessity. 
They proceed commonly from a presumptuous confidence, and 
a false estimate of human power. JOHNSON. 

9 Suggestions ] Temptations. JOHNSON. 

So, in King Henry IV. P. I : 

** And these led on by your suggestion." STEKVENS. 

1 quick recreation ] Lively sport, spritely diversion. 

So, in Antony and Cleopatra : 

" the quick comedians 

" Extemporally will stage us." STEEVENS. 

* A man of complements, lahom right and wrong 

Have chose as umpire of their mutiny .-] As very bad a play 
as this is, it was certainly Shakspeare's, as appears by many fine 
master-strokes scattered up and down. An excessive complaisance 

so. i. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 1.5 

This child of fancy, 3 that Armado hight, 4 
For interim to our studies, shall relate, 

In high-born words, the worth of many a knight 
From tawny Spain, lost in the world's debate.* 

is here admirably painted, in the person of one who was willing 
to make even right and wrong friends ; and to persuade the one 
to recede from the accustomed stubbornness of her nature, and 
wink at the liberties of her opposite, rather than he would incur 
the imputation of ill-breeding in keeping up the quarrel. And 
as our author, and Jonson his contemporary, are confessedly the 
two greatest writers in the drama that our nation could ever boast 
of, this may be no improper occasion to take notice of one ma- 
terial difference bet ween Shakspeare's worst plays and the other's. 
Our author owed all to his prodigious natural genius ; and Jon- 
son most to his acquired parts and learning. This, if attended 
to, will explain the difference we speak of. Which is this, that, 
in Jonson's bad pieces, we do not discover the least traces of the 
author of the Fox and Alchemist; but in the wildest and most 
extravagant notes of Shakspeare, you every now and then en- 
counter strains that recognize their divine composer. And the 
reason is this, that Jonson owing his chief excellence to art, by 
which he sometimes strained himself to an uncommon pitch, 
when he unbent himself, had nothing to support him ; but fell 
below all likeness of himself ; while Shakspeare, indebted more 
largely to nature than the other to his acquired talents^ could 
never, in his most negligent hours, so totally divest himself of 
his genius, but that it would frequently break out with amazing 
force and splendour. WARBURTON. 

This passage, I believe, means no more than that Don Armado 
was a man nicely versed in ceremonial distinctions, one who 
could distinguish in the most delicate questions of honour the 
exact boundaries of right and wrong. Compliment, in Shak- 
speare's time, did not signify, at least did not only signify verbal 
civility, or phrases of courtesy, but according to its original 
meaning, the trappings, or ornamental appendages of a cha- 
racter, in the same manner, and on the same principles of speech 
with accomplishment. Complement is, as Armado well expresses 
it, the varnish of a complete man. JOHNSON. 

Dr. Johnson's opinion may be supported by the following 
passage in Lingua, or The Combat of the Tongue and the Five 
Senses for Superiority, 1607 : " after all fashions and of all co- 
lours, with rings, jewels, a fan, and in every other place, odd 


How you delight, my lords, I know hot, I ; 
But, I protest, I love to hear him lie, 
And I will use him for my minstrelsy. 6 

complements." And again, by the title-page to Richard Braith- 
waite's English Gentlewoman : " drawne out to the full body, 
expressing what habiliments doe best attire her ; what ornaments 
doe best adorne her ; and what complements doe best accomplish 
her." Again, in p. 59, we are told that " complement hath 
beene anciently defined, and so successively retained ; a no lesse 
reall thanjbrmall accomplishment." 

Again, in Chapman's version of the 24th lUad : 

" she reacht Achilles tent 

" Found him still sighing ; and some friends, with all 
their complements 

" Soothing his humour." 
Again, in Sir Giles Goosecap, 1606: 

" adorned with the exactest complements belonging to ever- 
lasting nobleness." STEEVENS. 

Thus, in Romeo and Juliet, Mercutio calls Tybalt, " the Cap- 
tain of complements." M. MASON. 

3 This child of fancy ',] This fantastick. The expression, in 
another sense, has been adopted by Milton in his L? Allegro: 

" Or sweetest Shakspeare, Fancy's child ." MALONE. 

* That Armado hight,] Who is called Armado. MALONE. 

* From tatuny Spain, lost in the world's debate."] i. e. he shall 
relate to us the celebrated stories recorded in the old romances, 
and in their very style. Why he says from tawny Spain is, be- 
cause those romances, being of Spanish original, the heroes and 
the scene were generally of that country. Why he says, lost in 
the world's debate is, because the subject of those romances were 
the crusades of the European Christians against the Saracens of 
Asia and Africa. WAHBURTON. 

I have s iffered this note to hold its place, though Mr. Tyrwhitt 
has shown that it is wholly unfounded, because Dr. Warburton 
refers to it in his dissertation at the end of this play. MALONE. 

in t)ie world's debate.'} The "world seems to be used in a 

monastick sense by the king, now devoted for a time to a monastic 
life. In the world, in seculo, in the bustle of human affairs, from 
which we are now happily sequestered, in the world, to which the 
votaries of solitude have no relation. JOHNSON. 

Warburton's interpretation is clearly preferable to that of 


BIRON. Armado is a most illustrious wight, 
A man of fire-new words, 7 fashion's own knight. 

LONG. Costard the swain, and he, shall be our 

sport ; 
And, so to study, three years is but short. 

Enter DULL, with a letter, and COSTARD. 

DULL. Which is the duke's own person ? 8 
BIRON. This, fellow ; What would'st ? 

DULL. I myself reprehend his own person, for 
I am his grace's tharborough : 9 but I would see 
his own person in flesh and blood. 

Johnson. The King hacf not yet so weaned himself from the 
world, as to adopt the language of a cloister. M. MASON. 

6 And I "will use him for my minstrelsy.] i. e. I will make a 
minstrel of him, whose occupation was to relate fabulous stories. 


7 fire-new ivords,~\ "i.e. (says an intelligent writer in 

the Edinburgh Magazine, Nov. 1"S6,) words newly coined, new 
from the forge. Fire-new, new off the irons, and the Scottish 
expression bren-new, have all the same origin/' The same Com- 
pound epithet occurs in King Richard III t 

" Yourjire-new stamp of honour is scarce current." 


8 Which is the duke's own person f] The king of Navarre in 
several passages, through all the copies, is called the duke: but 
as this must have sprung rather from the inadvertence of the 
editors than a forgetfulness in the poet, I have every where, to 
avoid confusion, restored king to the text. THEOBALD. 

The princess in the next act calls the king " this virtuous 
duke ;" a word which, in our author's time, seems to have been 
used with great laxity. And indeed, though this were not the 
case, such a fellow as Costard may well be supposed ignorant of 
his true title. MALONE. 

I have followed the old copies. STEEVENS. 

9 tharborough :] i. e. Thirdborough, a peace officer, alike 

in authority with a headborough or a constable. 




This is he. 

DULL. Signior Armc Arme commends you. 
There's villainy abroad ; this letter will tell you 


COST. Sir, the contempts thereof are as touch- 
ing me. 

KING. A letter from the magnificent Armado. 

BIRON. How low soever the matter, 1 hope in 
God for high words. 

LONG. A high hope for a low having : l God 
grant us patience ! 

BIRON. To hear ? or forbear hearing ? 2 

LONG. To hear meekly, sir, and to laugh mode- 
rately ; or to forbear both. 

BIRON. Well, sir, be it as the style shall give us 
cause to climb 3 in the merriness. 

1 A high hope for a loiv having f] In old editions : 
" A high hope for a low heaven ;" 

A loiv heaven, sure, is a very intricate matter to conceive. I 
dare warrant, I have retrieved the poet's true reading ; and the 
meaning is this: " Though you hope for high words, and should 
have them, it will be but a low acquisition at best." This our 
poet calls a low. having: and it is a substantive which he uses in 
several other passages. THEOBALD. 

It is so employed in Macbeth, Act I : 
" - great prediction 
" Of noble having, and of royal hope." 

Heaven, however, may be the true reading, in allusion to the 
gradations of happiness promised by Mohammed to his followers. 
So, in the comedy of Old Fortunatus, 1 600 : 

" Oh, how my soul is rapt to a third heaven /" 


* To hear? or forbear hearing ?] One of the modern editors 
plausibly enough, reads : 

" To hear? or forbear laughing?" MALONE. 

8 - as the style shall give us cause to climb ] A quibble 
between the stile that must be climbed to pass from one field to 


COST. The matter is to me, sir, as concerning 
Jaquenetta. The manner of it is, I was taken with 
the manner. 4 

BIRON. In what manner ? 

COST. In manner and form following, sir; all 
those three : I was seen with her in the manor 
house, sitting with her upon the form, and taken 
following her into the park ; which, put together, 
is, in manner and form following. Now, sir, for 
the manner, it is the manner of a man to speak 
to a woman : for the form, -in some form. 

BIRON. For the following, sir ? 

COST. As it shall follow in my correction ; And 
God defend the right! 

KING. Will you hear this letter with attention ? 
BIRON. As we would hear an oracle. 

COST. Such is the simplicity of man to hearken 
after the flesh. 

KING. [Reads.] Great deputy, the welkin's vice- 
gerent^ and sole dominator of Navarre, m$ soul's 
earth's God, and body's fostering patron,- 

COST. Not a word of Costard yet. 
KING. So it is, 

another, and style, the term expressive of manner of writing in 
regard to language. STEEVENS. 

4 taken with the manner.] i. e. in the fact. So, in Hey- 

wood's Rape of Lucrece, l63O: " and, being taken with the 
manner, had nothing to say for himself." STEEVENS. 

A forensick term. A thief is said to be taken with the manner, 
i. e. mainour or manour, (for so it is written in our old law- 
books,) when he is apprehended with the thing stolen in his pos- 
session, The thing that he has taken was called mainour y from 
the Fr. manier, manu tractare. MALONE. 

c 2 


COST. It may be so : but if he say it is so, he is, 
in telling true, but so, so. 5 

KIKG. Peace. 

COST. be to me, and every man that dares 
not fight ! 

KtNG. No words. 

COST. of other men's secrets, I beseech you. 

KING. So it is, besieged with sable-coloured melan- 
choly, I did commend the black-oppressing humour to 
the most wholesome physick of thy health-giving air ; 
and, as I am a gentleman, betook myself to 'walk. 
The time 'when? About the sixth hour; when beasts 
most graze, birds best peck, and men sit down to that 
nourishment which is called supper. So much for the 
time when: Now for the ground which; which, I 
mean, I walked upon: it is ycleped thy park. Then 

for the place where ; wJiere, I mean, I did encounter 
that obscene and most preposterous event,that draweth 

from my snow-white pen the ebon-coloured ink, which 
here thou viewest, beholdest, survey est, or seest: But 
to the place, where, It standeth north-north-east 
and by east from the west corner of thy curious-knot- 
ted garden : 6 There did I see that low-spirited swain, 
that base minnow of thy mirth, 7 

* but so, so.] The second so was added by Sir T. Hantner, 

and adopted by the "subsequent editors. MALONE. 

6 . -. . cttn'ows-knotted garden .] Ancient gardens abounded 
with figures of which the lines intersected each other in many 
directions. Thus, in King Richard II: 

" Her fruit-trees all unprun'd, her hedges ruin'd, 
" Her knots disorder'd," &c. 

In Thomas Hill's Profitable Art of Gardening, &c. 4to. bl. 1. 
1579, is the delineation of " a proper knot for a garden, whereas 
is spare roume enough, the which may be set with Time, or Isop, 
at the discretion of the Gardener." In Henry Dethicke's Gar- 

sc. i. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 21 

COST. Me. 

KING. that unlettered small-knowing soul, 

COST. Me. 

KING. that shallow vassal, 

COST. Still me. 

KING. which, as I remember, hight Costard, 

COST. O me ! 

KING. sorted and consorted, contrary to thy 
established proclaimed edict and continent canon, 
with with* O with but with this I passion to say 

COST. With a wench. 

KING. with a child of our grandmother Eve, 
a female; or, for thy more sweet understanding, a 
woman. Him I (as my ever-esteemed duty pricks me 
on) have sent to thee, to receive the meed of punish- 
ment, by thy sweet grace's officer, Antony Dull ; a 
man of good repute, carriage, bearing, and estima- 

DULL. Me, an't shall please you ; I am Antony 

dener's Labyrinth, bl. 1. 4to. 1586, are other examples of " pro- 
per knots deuised for gardens." STEEVENS. 

7 .. base minnow of thy mirth,"] The base minnow of thy 
mirth, is the contemptible little object that contributes to thy 
entertainment. Shakspeare makes Coriolanus characterize the 
tribunitian insolence of Sicinius, under the same figure : 

hear you not 

** This Triton of the minnows /" 

Again, in Have with you to Saffron Walden, or Gabriel 
Harvey's Hunt is up, &c. 15Q0 : " Let him denie that there was 
another shewe made of the little minnow his brother," &c. 


8 with with ] The old copy reads which with. The 

correction is Mr. Theobald's. MALOXE. 


KING. For Jaquenetta, (so is the weaker vessel 
called, which I apprehended with the aforesaid swain,) 
I keep her as a vessel of thy law's fury ; 9 and shall, 
at the least of thy sweet notice, bring her to trial. 
Thine, in all compliments of devoted and heart- 
burning heat of duty, 


BIRON. This is not so well as I looked for, but 
the best that ever I heard. 

KING. Ay, the best for the worst. But, sirrah, 
what say you to this ? 

COST. Sir, I confess the wench. 
KING. Did you hear the proclamation ? 

COST. I do confess much of the hearing it, but 
little of the marking of it. 1 

KING. It was proclaimed a year's imprisonment, 
to be taken with a wench. 

COST. I was taken with none, sir, I was taken 
with a damosel. 

KING. Well, it was proclaimed damosel. 

COST. This was no damosel neither, sir ; she was 
a virgin. 

KING. It is so varied too ; for it was proclaimed, 

COST. If it were, I deny her virginity ; I was 
taken with a maid. 

9 vessel of thy Ian? s fury ;] This seems to be a phrase 

adopted from scripture. See Epist. to the Romans, ix. 22 : 
" the vpssel of wrath." Mr. M. Mason would read vassal 
instead of vessel. STEEVENS. 

1 / do confess much of the hearing it, but little of the marking 
f ifit>] So Falstaff, in The Second Part of King Henry IV : 

" it is the disease of not listening, the malady of not mark* 
ing, that I am troubled withal.'* STEEVENS. 

&c. n. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 23 

KING. This maid will not serve your turn, sir. 
. COST. This maid will serve my turn, sir. 

KING. Sir, I will pronounce your sentence; You 
shall fast a week with bran and water. 

COST. I had rather pray a month with mutton 
and porridge. 

KING. And Don Armado shall be your keeper. 
My lord Biron see him delivered o'er. 

And go we, lords, to put in practice that 

Which each to other hath so strongly sworn. 
\_Exeunt King, LQNGAVILLE, and DUMAIN. 

BIRON. I'll lay my head to any good man's hat, 
, These oaths and laws will prove an idle scorn. 
Sirrah, come on. 

COST. I suffer for the truth, sir: for true it is, 
I was taken with Jaquenetta, and Jaquenetta is a 
true girl ; and therefore, Welcome the sour cup of 
prosperity! Affliction may one day smile again, 
and till then, Sit thee down, sorrow ! [Exeunt. 


Another part of the same. Armado's House. 
Enter ARMADO and MOTH. 

ARM. Boy, what sign is it, when a man of great 
spirit grows melancholy ? 

MOTH. A great sign, sir, that he will look sad. 

ARM. Why, sadness is one and the self-same 
thing, dear imp. 2 

dear imp.] Imp was anciently a term of dignity. Lord 

Cromwell, in his last letter to Henry VIII. prays for the imp his 


MOTH. No, no ; O lord, sir, no. 

ARM. How canst thou part sadness and melan- 
choly, my tender Juvenal ? 3 

MOTH. By a familiar demonstration of the work- 
ing, my tough senior. 

ARM. Why tough senior ? why tough senior ? 

MOTH. Why, tender juvenal ? why tender Juve- 
nal ? 

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, 4 which we may name tough. 

son. It is now used only in contempt or abhorrence ; perhaps 
in our author's time it was ambiguous, in which state it suits 
well with this dialogue. JOHNSON. 

Pistol salutes King Henry V. by the same title. STEEVENS. 

The word literally means a grqff, slip-, scion, or sucker: and 
by metonymy comes to be used for a boy or child. The imp, 
his son, is no more than his infant son. ' It is now set apart to 
signify young Jiends ; as the devil and his imps. 

Dr. Johnson was mistaken in supposing this a word of dignity. 
It occurs in The History ofCelestina the Faire, 15Q6: " the 
gentleman had three sonnes, very ungracious impes, and of a 
wicked nature." RITSON. 

3 my tender juvenal?] Juvenal is youth. So, in The 

Noble Stranger, 1640: 

" Oh, I could hug thee for this, my jovial juvinell" 


4 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. M ALONE, 

sc. ii. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 25 

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 

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. 5 [Aside. 

ARM. I have promised to study three years with 
the duke. 

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

ARM. Impossible. 

MOTH. How many is one thrice told ? 

ARM. I am ill at reckoning, it fitteth the spirit 
of a tapster. 6 

Old and tough, young and tender, is one of the proverbial 
phrases collected by Ray. STEEVENS. 

4 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 should bear no cross." JOHNSON. 

6 1 am ill at reckoning, itjitteth the spirit of a tapster.] Again, 
in Troilus and Cressida : " A tapster's arithmetick may soon 
bring his particulars therein to a total." STEEVENS. 


MOTH. You are a gentleman, and a gamester, 

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. 7 

7 Moth. And hoiu 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 inchanters 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,) obsecves: " 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 ex- 
crements, 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." 
Again, in Hall's Satire*, Lib. IV. sat. ii: 

" More than who vies his pence to view some tricke 
" Of strange Morocco's dumbe arithmeticke." 
Again, in Ben Jonson's 13-Jth Epigram : 

" Old Banks the jugler, our Pythagoras, 
" Grave tutor to the learned horse," &c. 
The fate of this man and his very docile animal, is not exactly 

sc. ii. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 27 

ARM. A most fine figure ! 

MOTH. To prove you a cypher. \_Aside. 

known, and, perhaps, deserves not to be remembered. From 
the next lines, however, to those last quoted, it should seem as 
if they had died abroad : 

" Both which 

" Being, beyond sea, burned for one witch, 
" Their spirits transmigrated to a cat." 

Among the entries at Stationers' Hall is the following ; Nov. 
14, 15cj5 : " A ballad shewing the strange qualities of a young 
nagg called Morocco. 91 

Among other exploits of this celebrated beast, it is said that 
he went up to the top of St. Paul's ; and the same circumstance 
is likewise mentioned in The Guls Horn-booke, a satirical pamph- 
let by Decker, idop : " From hence you may descend to talk 
about the horse that went up, and strive, if you can, to know 
his keeper; take the day of the month, and the number of the 
steppes, and suffer yourself to believe verily that it was not a 
horse, but something else in the likeness of one." 

Again, in Chresto/oros, or Seven Bookes of Epigrames, written 
by T. B. [Thomas Bastard] 1598, Lib. III. ep. 17 : 

" Of Bankers Horse. 

" Bankes hath a horse of wondrous qualitie, 
** For he can fight, and pisse, and dance, and lie, 
'* And finde your purse, and tell what coyne ye have : 
" But Bankes who taught your horse to smell a knave ?" 


In 1595, was published a pamphlet entitled, Maroccus Extati- 
cus, or Banks's bay Horse in a Trance. A Discourse set doncne 
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. 

The following representation of Bankes and his Horse, is a 
fac -simile from a rude wooden frontispiece to the pamphlet men- 
tioned by Mr. Reed. 


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. Com- 
fort me, boy : What great men have been in love? 

MOTH. Hercules, master. 

ARM. Most sweet Hercules ! More authority, 


ar. //. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 29 

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 carnage ; for he carried the town- 
gates on his back, like a porter : and he was in 

ARM. O well-knit Sampson! strong-jointed Samp- 
son ! 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 : 8 
but to have a love of that colour, methinks, Samp- 
son had small reason for it. He, surely, affected 
her for her wit. 

8 Green, indeed, is the colour of lovers :] I do not know whe- 
ther 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. 


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 
gorgions Invention.*, &c. 4to. 1578. STEEVEX?. 


MOTH. It was so, sir ; for she had a green wit. 
ARM. My love is most immaculate white and red. 

MOTH. Most maculate thoughts, 9 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 blushing 1 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. 2 
A dangerous rhyme, master, against the reason of 
white and red. 

ARM. Is there not a ballad, boy, of the King 
and the Beggar ? 3 

9 Most maculate thoughts,] So, the first quarto, 15Q8. 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 autho- 
rity of the first quarto. MALONE. 

1 For blushing ] The original copy has blush in. The 
emendation was made by the editor of the second folio. 


* 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. 

3 the King and the Beggar?] See Dr. Percy's Reliques 

of Ancient English Poetry, 4th edit. Vol. I. p. 198. STEEVENS. 

sc. n. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 31 

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 nei- 
ther serve for the writing, nor the tune. 

ARM. I will have the subject newly writ o'er, 
that I may example my digression 4 by some mighty 
precedent. Boy, I do love that country girl, that 
I took in the park with the rational hind Costard; 5 
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 

ARM. I say, sing. 

MOTH. Forbear till this company be past. 

* my digression ] Digression on this occasion sig- 
nifies 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. 

Again, in our author's Rape ofLucrcce: 

" my digression is so vile, so base, 

'* That it will live engraven on my face." MALONE, 

* the rational, hind Costard i\ Perhaps we should read 

the 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 kind be taken in its 
bestial sense, Armado makes Costard & female. FARMER. 

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

w 'He were no lion, were not Romans hinds." 1 * 

Again, in King Henry IV. P. I. sc. iii : " you are a shallow 
cowardly hind, and you lie." STEEVENS. 



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. 6 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. 7 

ARM. I know where it is situate. 

JAQ. Lord, how wise you are ! 

ARM. I will tell thee wonders. 

JAQ. With that face? 8 

ARM. I love thee. 

JAQ. So I heard you say. 

ARM. And so farewell. 

* 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. 

7 ThaCs hereby.] Jaquenetta and Armado are at cross pur- 
poses. Hereby is used by her (as among the vulgar in some 
counties) to signify a* it may.happen. He takes it in the sense 
of just by. STEEVENS. 

' With that face?] This cant phrase has oddly lasted till the 
present time; and is used by people who hate no more meaning 
annexed to it, than Fielding had ; who putting it into the mouth 
of Beau Didapper, thinks it necessary to apologize (in a note) 
for its want of sense, by adding " that it was taken verbatim, 
from very polite conversation." STF.F.VF.NS. 

ec. in LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. sis 

Fair weather after you ! 

DULL. Come,' J Jaquenetta, away. 

\_Exeunt DULL and JAQUENETTA. 

ARM. Villain, thou shalt fast for thy offences, 
ere thoii be pardoned. 

COST. Well, sir, I hope, when I do it, I shall do 
it on a full stomach. 

ARM. Thou shalt be heavily punished. 

COST. I am more bound to you, than your fel- 
lows, for they are but lightly rewarded. 

ARM. Take away this villain ; shut him up. 
MOTH. Come, you transgressing slave ; away. 

COST, Let me not be pent up, sir ; I will fast, 
being loose. 

MOTH. Nor, sir that were fast and loose : thou 
shalt to prison. 

COST. Well, if ever I do see the merry days of 
desolation that I have seen, some shall see 

MOTH. What shall some see ? 

COST. Nay nothing, master Moth, but what they 
look upon. It is not for prisoners to be too silent 
in their words j ' and, therefore, I will say nothing : 

9 Come, &c.] To this line in the first quarto, and the first folio, 
Clo. by an error of the press is prefixed, instead of Con. i. e. 
Constable or Dull. Mr. Theobald made the necessary correc- 
tion. MALONE. 

1 It is not for prisoners to be too silent in their words ;] I sup- 
pose we should read, it is not for prisoners to be silent in their 
wards, that is, in custody, in the holds. JOHNSON. 

The first quarto, 1598, (the most authentic copy of this play,) 
reads " It is not for prisoners to be too silent in their words;" 
and so without doubt .the text should be printed. MALONE. 



I thank God, I have as little patience as another 
man ; and, therefore I can be quiet. 

[Exeunt MOTH and COSTARD. 

ARM. I do affect 2 the very ground, which is base, 
where her shoe, which is baser, guided by her foot, 
which is basest, doth tread. I shall be forsworn, 
(which is a great argument of falshood,) if I love : 
And how can that be true love, which is falsely at- 
tempted ? Love is a familiar ; love is a devil : there 
is no evil angel but love. Yet Sampson w r as so- 
tempted : and he had an excellent strength : yet 
was Solomon so seduced ; and he had a very good 
wit. Cupid's butt-shaft 3 is too hard for Hercules' 
club, and therefore too much odds for a Spaniard's 
rapier. The first and second cause will not serve 
my turn ; 4 the passado he respects not, the duello 
he regards not : his disgrace is to be called boy ; 
but his glory is, to subdue men. Adieu, valour ! 
rust, rapier ! 5 be still, drum ! for your manager is 

I don't think it necessary to endeavour to find out any mean- 
ing in this passage, as it seems to have been intended that Cos- 
tard should speak nonsense. M. MASON. 

* affect ] i. e. love. So, in Warner's Albion's England., 
1602, B. XII. ch. l*xiv: 

" But this I know, not Rome affords whom more you 

might affect, 
" Than her," &c. STEEVENS. 

butt-shaft ] i.e. an arrow to shoot at butfs with. 

The butt was the place on which the mark to be shot at wa? 
placed. Thus, Othello says 

" here is my butt, 

" And very sea-mark of my utmost sail." STEEVENS. 

4 The first and second cause will not serve my turn ;] See the 
last Act of As you like it, with the notes. JOHNSON. 

* rust, rapier /] So, in AWs well that ends well : 

" Rust, siuord! cool blushes, and Parolles, live !" 



in love ; yea, he loveth. Assist me some extern - 
poral god of rhyme, for, I am sure, I shall turn 
sonneteer. 6 Devise wit ; write pen ; for I am for 
whole volumes in folio. \_Exit. 


Another part of the same. A Pavilion and Tents 
at a distance. 

Enter the Princess of France, ROSALINE, MARIA, 
KATHARINE, BOYET, Lords, and other Attend- 

; Now, madam, summon up your dearest 

spirits : 7 

Consider who the king your father sends ; 
To whom he sends ; and what's his embassy : 
Yourself, held precious in the world's esteem ; 
To parley with the sole inheritor 
Of all perfections that a man may owe, 
Matchless Navarre ; the plea of no less weight 
Than Aquitain ; a dowry for a queen. 
Be now as prodigal of all dear grace, 
As nature was in making graces dear, 
When she did starve the general world beside, 
And prodigally gave them all to you. 

* - sonneteer.'] The old copies read only sonnet. 


The emendation is Sir T. Hanmer's. MALONE. 

7 - your dearest spirits:'] Dear, in our author's language, 
has many shades of meaning. In the present instance and the 
next, it appears to signify best* most poiverful. STEEVENS. 

D 2 


y. Good lord Boyet, my beauty, though but 


Needs not the painted flourish of your praise ; 8 
Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye, 
Not utter'd by base sale of chapmen's tongues : *' 
I am less proud to hear you tell my worth, 
Than you mucli willing to be counted wise 
In spending your wit in the praise of mine. 
But now to task the tasker, Good Boyet, 
You are not ignorant, all-telling fame 
Doth noise abroad, Navarre hath made a vow, 
Till painful study shall out-wear three years, 
No woman may approach his silent court r 
Therefore to us seemeth it a needful course, 
Before we enter his forbidden gates, 

8 Needs not the painted flourish of your praise ;J Rowe has 
borrowed and dignified this sentiment in his Royal Convert- 
The Saxon Princess is the speaker : 
" Whate'er I am 

" Is of myself, by native worth existing, 
" Secure, and independent of thy praise : 
" Nor let it seem too proud a boast, if minds 
" By nature great, are conscious of their greatness, 
u And hold it mean to borrow aught from flattery.'* 

" Fucati sermonis opem mens conscia laudis 
" Abnuit ." STEEVENS, 

' Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye, 

Not utter'd by base sale of chapmen's tongues:"] So, in our 
author's 102d Sonnet:, 

" That love is merchandiz'd, whose rich esteeming 
** The owner's tongue doth publish every where." 


Chapman here seems to signify the setter, not, as now com- 
monly, the buyer. Cheap or cheaping was anciently the market; 
chapman therefore is marketman. The meaning is, that the esti- 
mation of beauty depends not on the uttering or proclamation of 
the seller, but on the eye of the buyer. JOHNSON. 


*To know his pleasure ; and in that behalf, 
Bold of your worthiness, 1 we single you 
As our best-moving fair solicitor : 
Tell him, the daughter of the king of France^ 
On serious business, craving quick despatch, 
Importunes personal conference with- his grace. 
Haste, signify so much ; while we attend, 
Like humbly-visag'd suitors, his high will, 

BOY* Proud of employment, willingly I go. 


PRIN. All pride is willing pride, and yours is 


Who are the votaries, my loving lords, 
That are vow-fellows with this virtuous duke ? 

1 LORD, Longaville 2 is one. 

Know you the man ? 

MAR. I know him, madam ; at a marriage feast, 
Between lord Perigort and the beauteous heir 
Of Jaques Falconbridge solemnized, 
In Normandy saw I this Longaville : 
A man of sovereign parts he is esteem'd j 3 

1 Bold of your rvorthinesSi] i. e. confident of it. STEEVENS. 

* Longaville ] For the sake of manners as well as metre, we 
ought to read Lord Longaville . STEEVENS. 

3 A man of sovereign parts he is esteem'd;'] Thus the folio. 
The first quarto, 1598, has the line thus : 

<l A man of sovereign peerlesse, he's esteem'd." 
I believe, the author wrote : 

" A man of, sovereign, peerless, he's esteem'd." 
A man of extraordinary accomplishments, the speaker perhaps 
would have said, but suddenly checks herself; and adds " sove- 
reign, peerless he's esteem'd." So, before: " Matchless Navarre." 
Again, in The Tempest: 

" - but you, O you, 
" So perfect, and so peerless are created.'* 
In the ola copies no attention seems to have been given to 


Well fitted in the arts, 4 glorious in arms : 

Nothing becomes him ill, that he would well. 

The only soil of his fair virtue's gloss, 

(If virtue's gloss will stain with any soil,) 

Is a sharp wit match'd with 5 too blunt a will ; 

Whose edge hath power to cut, whose will still wills 

It should none spare that come within his power. 

PRIN. Some merry mocking lord, belike ; is't so ? 

MAR. They say so most, that most his humours 

PRIN. Such short-liv'd wits do wither as they 

Who are the rest ? 

KATH. The young Dumain, a well-accomplish'd 

Of all that virtue love for virtue lov'd : 

Abrupt sentences. They are almost uniformly printed corruptly, 
without any mark of abruption. Thus, in Much Ado about 
Nothing, we find both in the folio and quarto : " but for the 
stuffing well, we are all mortal." See Vol. VI. p. 11. See 
also p. 219, ibid: " Sir, mock me not: your story." 


Perhaps our author wrote : 

" A man, a sovereign pearl, he is esteem'd,'' 
i. e. not only a pearl, but such a one as is pre-eminently valuable. 
In Troilus and Cressida Helen is called " a pearl ;" and in 
Macbeth the nobles of Scotland are styled " the kingdom's 
pearl. 1 " The phrase " a sovereign pearl'" may also be coun- 
tenanced by " captain jewels in a carcanet," an expression 
which occurs in one of our author's Sonnets. 

Sovereign parts, however, is a kin to royalty of nature, a phrase 
that occurs in Macbeth. STEEVENS. 

* Well fitted in the arts,] Well Jilted is "well qualified. 


The, which is not in the old copies, was added for the sake of 
the metre, by the editor of the second folio. MALONE. 

* match'd with ] Is combined or joined with. 


Most power to do most harm, least knowing ill ; 
JFor he hath wit to make an ill shape good, 
And shape to win grace though he had no wit* 
I saw him at the duke Ale^on's once ; 
And much too little 6 of that good I saw, 
Is my report, to his great worthiness. 

Ron. Another of these students at that time 
Was there with him : if I have heard a truth, 
Biron they call him ; but a merrier man, 
Within the limit of becoming mirth, 
I never spent an hour's talk withal : 
His eye begets occasion for his wit ; 
For every object that the one doth catch, 
The other turns to a mirth-moving jest ; 
Which his fair tongue (conceit's expositor,) 
Delivers ha such apt and gracious words, 
^That aged ears play truant at his tales, 
And younger hearings are quite ravished ; 
J$o sweet and voluble is his discourse. 

PRIN. God bless my ladies ! are they all in love ; 
That every one her own hath garnished 
With such bedecking ornaments of praise ? 

MAR. Here comes Boyet, 

Re-enter BOYET. 

PRIN. Now, what admittance, lord ? 

BOYET. Navarre had notice of your fair approach ; 
And he, and his competitors in oath, 7 

6 And much too little &c.] i. e. And my report of the good I 
saw, is much too little compared to his great worthiness. 


r competitors in oath,~\ i. e. confederates. So, in Antony 

<and Cleopatra: 

" It is not Caesar's natural vice to hate 
" Our great competitor." STEEVENS. 


Were all address'd 8 to meet you, gentle lady, 

Before I came. Marry, thus much I have learnt, 

He rather means to lodge you in the field, 

(Like one that conies here to besiege his court,) 

Than seek a dispensation for his oath, 

To let you enter his unpeopled house. 

Here comes Navarre, \_The Ladies mask. 


KING. Fair princess, welcome to the court of 

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, 

KING. You shall be welcome, madam,to my court. 

PRIN. I will be welcome then ; conduct me thir 

KING. Hear me, dear lady; I have sworn an oath. 
PRIN. Our Lady help my lord ! he'll be forsworn. 
KING. Not for the world, fair madam, by my will. 

PRIN. Why, will shall break it ; witt, and nothing 

KING. Your ladyship is ignorant what it is, 

PRIN. Were my lord so, his ignorance were wise, 
Where 9 now his knowledge must prove ignorance. 

* Were all address'd ] To address is to prepare. So, in, 
Hamlet : 

" r- it lifted up its head, and did address 

" Itself to motion." STEEVENS. 

* Where -> ] Where is here used for whereas. So, in Per\* 
ties, Act I. sc. i: 

" Where now you're both a father and a son," 
See note on this passage. STEEVENS, 


I hear, your grace hath sworn-out house-keeping : 

*Tis deadly sin to keep that oath, my lord, 

And sin to break it : l 

But pardon me, I am too sudden-bold ; 

To teach a teacher ill beseemeth me. 

Vouchsafe to read the purpose of my coming, 

And suddenly resolve me in my suit. 

[Gives a paper. 

KING. Madam, I will, if suddenly I may. 

PRIX. You will the sooner, that I were away ; 
For you'll prove perjur'd, if you make me stay. 

BIRON. Did not I dance with you in Brabant 
once ? 2 

Ros. Did not I dance with you in Brabant once ? 
BIRON. I know, you did. 

Ros. How needless was it then 

To ask the question ! 

BIRON. You must not be so quick. 

Ros. J Tis 'long of you that spur me with such 

BIRON. Your wit's too hot,it speeds too fast, 'twill 

Ros. Not till it leave the rider in the mire. 
What time o' day ? 

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. 

1 Ros. Did not I dance with you in Brabant once ?~\ Thus the 
folio. In the first quarto, this dialogue passes between Catharine 
.and Biron. It is a matter of little consequence. MALONE. 


Ros. The hour that fools should ask, 
BIRON. Now fair befall your mask ! 
Ros. Fair fall the face it covers ! 
BIRON. And send you many lovers ! 
Ros. Amen, so you be none. 
BIRON. Nay, then will I be gone. 

KING. Madam, your father here doth intimate 
The payment of a hundred thousand crowns; 
Being but the one half of an entire sum. 
Disbursed by my father in his wars. 
But say, that he, or we, (as neither have,) 
Received that sum ; yet there remains unpaid 
A hundred thousand more ; in surety of the which, 
One part of Aquitain is bound to us, 
Although not valued to the money's worth. 
If then the king your father will restore 
But that one half which is unsatisfied, 
We will give up our right in Aquitain, 
And hold fair friendship with his majesty. 
But that, it seems, he little purposeth, 
For here he doth demand to have repaid 
An hundred thousand crowns ; and not demands, 
On payment 3 of a hundred thousand crowns, 

and not demands, 

On payment &c.] The former editions read : 

*' and not demands 

" One payment of a hundred thousand crowns, 

" 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 
crowns. 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 

#?. /. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST, 43 

To have his title live in Aquitain ; 
Which we much rather had depart withal, 4 
And have the money by our father lent, 
Than Aquitain so gelded 5 as it is. 
Dear princess, were not his requests so far 
From reason's yielding, your fair self should make 
A yielding, 'gainst some reason, in my breast. 
And go well satisfied to France again. 

PRIN. You do the king my father too much 


And wrong the reputation of your name, 
In so unseeming to confess receipt 
Of that which hath so faithfully been paid. 

KING. I do protest, I never heard of it ; 
And, if you prove it, I'll repay it back, 
Or yield up Aquitain. 

PRIN. We arrest your word : 

Boyet, you can produce acquittances, 
For such a sum, from special officers 
Of Charles his father. 

KING. Satisfy me so. 

the residue of his debt, than detain the province 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. 


4 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.*' 


* gelded ] To this phrase Shakspeare is peculiarly at- 
tached. 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. 


BOYET. So please your grace, the packet is not 


Where that and other specialties are bound ; 
To-morrow you shall have a sight of them. 

KING. It shall suffice me : at which interview, 
All liberal reason I will yield unto. 
Mean time, receive such welcome at my hand, 
As honour, without breach of honour, may 
Make tender of to thy true worthiness : 
You may not come, fair princess, in my gates ; 
But here without you shall be so receiv'd, 
As you shall deem yourself lodg'd in my heart, 
Though so denied fair harbour in my house. 
Your own good thoughts excuse me, and farewell : 
To-morrow shall we visit you again. 

PRIN. Sweet health and fair desires consort your 
grace ! 

KING. Thy own wish wish I thee in every place ! 
\_Exeunt King and his Train. 

BIRON. Lady, I will commend you to my own 

Ros. 'Pray you, do my commendations j I would 
be glad to see it. 

BIRON. I would, you heard it groan. 
Ros. Is the fool sick ? 6 
BIRON. Sick at heart. 
Ros. Alack, let it blood. 
BIRON. Would that do it good ? 

6 Is the fool sick?] She means perhaps his heart. So, in Muck 

Ado about Nothing : 

" D. Pedro. In faith, lady, you have a merry heart." 

" Beat. Yes, my lord ; 1 thank it, poor jbol, it keeps on the 

windy side of care." MALONE. 


Ros. My physick says, I. 7 

BIRON. Will you prick't with your eye ? 

Ros. No poyntf with my knife, 

BIRON. Now, God save thy life ! 

R os. And yours from long living ! 

BIRON. I cannot stay thanksgiving. [Retiring* 

DUM. Sir, I pray you, a word : What lady is 
that same ? 9 

BOYET. The heir of Alengon, Rosaline her name. 

DUM. A gallant lady! Monsieur, fare you well. 


LONG. I beseech you a word ; W T hat is she in 
the white ? 

BOYET. A woman sometimes, an you saw her 
in the light. 

7 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. 

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 enquire after Rosaline, who was the mistress of 
Biron, and neglect Katharine, who wos his own. Biron be- 
haves in the same manner Ko advantage would be gained by 
an exchange of names, because the last speech is determined to 
Biron by Maria, who gives a character cf him after he has made 
his exit. Perhaps all the ladies wore masks but the princess. 


They certainly did. See p. 42. where Biron says to Rosa- 

" Now fair befal your mask .'" MALONE. 


LONG. Perchance, light in the light : I desire 

her name. 
BOYET. She hath but one for herself; to desire 

that, were a shame. 

LONG. Pray you, sir, whose daughter ? 
BOYET. Her mother's, I have heard. 
LONG. God's blessing on your beard ! l 

BOYET. Good sir, be not offended : 
She is an heir of Falconbridge. 

LONG. Nay, my choler is ended. 
She is a most sweet lady. 

BOYET. Not unlike, sir ; that may be. 

[Exit LONG. 

BIRON. What's her name, in the cap ? 
BOYET. Katharine, by good hap. 
BIRON. Is she wedded, or no ? 
BOYET. To her will, sir, or so. 
BIRON. You are welcome, sir ; adieu ! 

BOYET. Farewell to me, sir, and welcome to you. 
\_Exit BIRON. Ladies unmask. 

MAR. That last is Biron, the merry mad-cap lord ; : x 
Not a word with him but a jest. 

BOYET. And every jest but a word-- 

PRIN. It was well done of you to take him at 
his word. 

BOYET. I was as willing to grapple, as he was to 

1 God's blessing on your beard /] That is, may'st thou have 
sense and seriousness more proportionate to thy beard, the length 
of which suits ill with such idle catches of wit. JOHNSON. 

I doubt whether so much meaning was intended to be con- 
veyed by these -words. MA LONE. 


MAR. Two hot sheeps, marry 1 

BOYET. And wherefore not ships ? 

No sheep, sweet lamb, unless we feed on your lips. 2 

MAR. You sheep, and I pasture ; Shall that finish 
the jest ? 

BOYET. So you grant pasture for me. 

[Offering to kiss her. 

MAR. Not so, gentle beast ;- 

My lips are no common, though several they be. 3 

s unless ive feed on your lips.~\ Our author has the same 

expression in his Venus and Adonis : 

" Feed where thou wilt, on mountain or in dale ; 
" Graze on my lips." MALONE. 

3 My lips are no common, though several they be.] Several is 
an inclosed field of a private proprietor ; so Maria says, her lips 
are private property. Of a Lord that was newly married, one 
observed that he grew fat; " Yes," said Sir Walter Raleigh, 
*' any beast will grow fat, if you take him from the common and 
graze him in the several." JOHNSON. 

So, in The Rival Friends, 1632: 

" my sheep have quite disgrest 

" Their bounds, and leap'd into the several" 

Again, in Green's Disputation, &c. 1592 : " rather would 
have mewed me up as a henne, to have kept that sever all to him- 
self by force," &c. Again, in Sir John Oldcastle, 1600 : 
" Of late he broke into a severall 
" That does belong to me." 

Again, in Fenton's Tragical Discourses, 4to. bl. 1. 1597 : 
" he entered commons in the place which the olde John thought 
to be reserved severall to himself," p. 64. b. Again, in Holin- 
shed's History of England, B. VI. p. 150: " not to take and 
pale in the commons, to enlarge their severaUes." 11 STEEVENS. 

My lips are no common, though several they be."] In Dr. John- 
son's note upon this passage, it is said that SEVERAL is an in- 
closed field of a private proprietor. 

Dr. Johnson has totally mistaken this word. In the first place 
it should be spelled severell. This dons not signify an inclosed 
field or private property, but is rather tho property of every land- 
holder in the parish. In the uninclosed parishes in Warwickshire, 


BOYET. Belonging to whom ? 

MAR. To my fortunes and me. 

PRIN. Good wits will be jangling: but, gentles, 
agree : 

and other counties, their method of tillage is thus. The land is 
divided into three fields, one of which is every year fallow. 
This the farmers plough and manure, and prepare for bearing 
wheat. Betwixt the lands, and at the end of them, some little 
grass land is interspersed, and there are here and there some little 
patches of green swerd. The next year this ploughed field bears 
wheat, and the grass land is preserved for hay ; and the year 
following the proprietors sow it with beans, oaN, or barley, at 
their discretion ; and the next year it Ires fallow again ; so that 
each field in its turn is fallow every third year ; and the field 
thus fallowed is called the common Jield, on which the cows and 
sheep graze, and have herdsmen and shepherds to attend them, 
in order to prevent them from going into the two other fields 
which bear corn and grass. These last are called the severell, 
which is not separated from the common by any fence whatever ; 
but the care of preventing the cattle from going into the severell, 
is left to the herdsmen and shepherds ; but the herdsmen have 
no authority over a town bull, who is permitted to go where he 
pleases in the severell. DR. JAMES. 

Holinshed's Description of Britain, p. 33, and Leigh's Acce- 
dence of Armourie, 1597, p. 52, spell this word like Shakspeare. 
Leigh also mentions the town bull, and says : " all severells to 
him are common." TOLLET. 

My lips are no common, though several they bc.~\ A play on 
the word several, which, besides its- ordinary signification of 
separate, distinct, likewise signifies in unihclosed lands, a certain 
portion of ground appropriated to either corn or meadow, ad- 
joining the common field. In Minsheu's Dictionary, 1617, is 
the following article : " To SEVER from others. Hinc nos pascua 
et campos seorsim ab aliis separates Severels dicimus." In the 
margin he spells the M r ord as Shakspeare doeswerels. Our 
author is seldom careful that his comparisons should answer on 
both sides. If several be understood in its rustick sense, the 
adversative particle stands but awkwardly. To say, that though 
land is several, it is not a common, seems as unjustifiable as to 
assert, that though a house is a cottage, it is not a palace. 


,sr. /. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 49 

The civil war of wits were much better used 
On Navarre and his book-men ; for here 'tis abused. 

BOYET. If my observation, (which very seldom 


By the heart's still rhetorick, disclosed with eyes, 4 
Deceive me not now, Navarre is infected. 

. _ . A 

PRIN. With what ? 

BOYET. With that which we lovers entitle, af- 

PRIN. Your reason ? 

BOYET. Why, all his behaviours did make their 


To the court of his eye, peeping thorough desire : 
His heart, like an agate, with your print impressed, 
Proud with his form, in his eye pride expressed : 
His tongue, all impatient to speak and not see, 5 
Did stumble with haste in his eye-sight to be ; 
All senses to that sense did make their repair, 
To feel only looking 6 on fairest of fair : 
Methought, all his senses were lock'd in his eye, 
As jewels in chrystal for some prince to buy ; 

* By the heart's still rhetorick, disclosed toitk eyes,] So, in 
Daniel's Complaint of 'Rosalind, 1594: 

" Sweet silent rhetorick of persuading eyes ; 
" Dumb eloquence ." MALONE. 

4 His tongue, all impatient to speak ajid not see,] That is, 
Aw tongue being impatiently desirous to see as well as speak. 

O O -T <7 f 


Although the expression in the text is extremely odd, I take 
the sense of it to be that his tongue envied the quickness of his 
eyes, and strove to be as rapid in its utterance, as they in their 
perception. Edinburgh Magazine, Nov. 1786. STEEVENS. 

6 To feel only looking ~J Perhaps we may better read : 
" To feed only by looking ." JOHNSON. 



Who, tendering their own worth, from where they 

were glass'd, 

Did point you to buy them, along as you passM. 
His face's own margent did quote such amazes, 7 
That all eyes saw his eyes enchanted with gazes : 
I'll give you Aquitain, and all that is his, 
An you give him for my sake but one loving kiss. 

PRIN. Come, to our pavilion : Boyet is dispos'd 

BOYET. But to speak that in words, which his 

eye hath disclos'd : 
I only have made a mouth of his eye, 
By adding a tongue which I know will not lie. 

Ros. Thou art an old love-monger, and speak'st 

MAR. He is Cupid's grandfather, and learns 
news of him. 

Ros. Then was Venus like her mother ; for her 
father is but grim. 

BOYET. Do you hear, my mad wenches ? 
MAR. No. 

BOYET. What then, do you see ? 

Ros. Ay, our way to be gone. 

BOYET. You are too hard for me. 


7 His face's own margent did quote &c.] In our author's time, 
notes, quotations, &c. were usually printed fn the exterior margin 
of books. So, in Romeo and Juliet: 

" And what obscur'd in this fair volume lies, 
" Find written in the margin of his eyes." 
Again, in Hamlet : " I knew you must be edified by the margent." 




Another part of the same. 
Enter ARMADO and MOTH. 

ARM. Warble, child ; make passionate my sense 
of hearin. 


MOTH. Concolinel - 8 [Singing. 

ARM. Sweet air ! Go, tenderness of years ; take 
this key, give enlargement to the swain, bring him 

8 Concolinel] Here is apparently a song lost. JOHN Y SON. 

I have observed in the old comedies, that the songs are fre- 
quently omitted. On this occasion the stage direction is generally 
^-~Here they sing or, Cantant. Again, in The Play of the 
Wether, by John Heywood, bl. 1: " At thende of this staf the 
god hath a songe, played in his torne, or Mery Reporte come 
in." Probably the performer was left to choose his own ditty, 
and therefore it could not with propriety be exhibited as a part 
of a new performance. Sometimes yet more was left to the dis- 
cretion of the ancient comedians, as I learn from the following 
circumstance in King Edward IV. P. II. 1619 : " Jockey is 
led whipping over the stage, speaking some words, but of no im- 

Again, in Greene's Tu Quoque, 1614 : 

" Here they two talk, and rail "what they list" 
Again, in Decker's Honest Whore, 1635: 

" He places all things in order, singing with the ends of old 
ballads as he does it." 

Again, in Marston's Dutch Courtesan, 1605 : 

*' Cantat Galilee'' But no song is set down. 
Again, in the 5th Act : 

" Cantat saltatque cum Cithara." 

Not one out of the many songs supposed to be sung in Mar^ 
ston's Antonio's Revenge, 1602, are inserted ; but instead of them, 
cantant. STEEVKJJS. 

E 2 


festinately hither ; 9 I must employ him in a letter 
to my love, 

MOTH. Master, will you win your love with a 
French brawl ? l 

ARM. How meanest thou ? brawling in French ? 

MOTH. No, my complete master : but to jig off 
a tune at the tongue's end, canary to it with your 
feet, 2 humour it with turning up your eye-lids ; 
sigh a note, and sing a note ; sometime through 
the throat, as if you swallowed love with singing 
love ; sometime through the nose, as if you snuffed 
up love by smelling love ; with your hat penthouse- 
like, o'er the shop of your eyes ; with your arms 
crossed on your thin belly-doublet, like a rabbit on 
a spit ; or your hands in your pocket, like a man 

6 festinately hither;'] i. e. hastily. Shakspeare uses the 

adjective Jestinate in King Lear: " Advise the Duke where yoti 
are going, to a most Jestinate preparation." STEEVENS. 

1 a French brawl ?] A brawl is a kind of dance, and (as 

Mr. M. Mason observes, ) seems to be what we now call a co- 

In The Malcontent of Marston, I meet with the following ac- 
count of it : " The brawl ! why 'tis but two singles to the left, 
two on the right, three doubles forwards, a traverse of six rounds : 
do this twice, three singles side galliard trick of twenty coranto 
pace ; a figure of eight, three singles broken down, come up, 
meet two doubles, fall back, and then honour." 

Again, in Ben Jonson's masque of Time Vindicated: 
' The Graces did them footing teach ; 
" And, at the old Idalian brawls, 
" They danc'd your mother down." STEEVENS. 

So, in Massinger's Picture, Act II. sc. ii : 

" 'Tis a French brawl, an apish imitation 

" Of what you really perform in battle." TOLLET. 

* canary to it with your feet,'} Canary was the name of g 

spritely nimble dance. THEOBALD. 

sc. /. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. .53 

after the old painting; 3 and keep not too long in 
one tune, but a snip and away : These are comple- 
ments, 4 these are humours ; these betray 5 nice 
wenches that would be betrayed without these ; 
and make them men of note, (do you note, men ?) 
that most are affected to these. 6 

ARM. How hast thou purchased this experience? 

MOTH. By my penny of observation.' 

ARM. But O, but O, 

3 - like a man after the old painting;'] It was a common 
trick among some of the most indolent of the ancient masters, to 
place the hands in the bosom or the pockets, or conceal them in 
some other part of the drapery, to avoid the labour of represent- 
ing them, or to disguise their own want of skill to employ them 
with grace and propriety. STEEVENS. 

* These are complements,] Dr. Warburton has here 

changed complements to complishments, for accomplishments, but 
unnecessarily. JOHNSON. 

4 these betray &c.] The former editors : these betray 

nice wenches, that would be betray' d without these, and make 
them men of note. But who will ever believe, that the old atti- 
tudes and affectations of lovers, by which they betray young 
wenches, should have power to make these young wenches men 
fjfnote? His meaning is, that they not only inveigle the young 
girls, but make the men taken notice of too, who affect them. 


6 and make them men of note, (do you note, men ?) that 

most are affected to these."] I. e. and make those men who are 
most affected to such accomplishments, men of note. Mr. Theo- 
bald, without any necessity, reads and make the men of note, 
&c. which was, I think, too hastily adopted in the subsequent 
editions. One of the modern editors, instead of " do you 
note, men?" with great probability reads do you note me? 


7 By my penny of observation.'] Thus, Sir T. Hanmer, and 
his reading is certainly right. The allusion is to the famous old 
piece, called a Penniworth of Wit. The old copy reads -pen. 


The story Dr. Farmer refers to, was certainly printed before 
Shakspeare's time. See Langham's Letter, &c. RJTSON. 


MOTH. the hobby-horse is forgot. 8 
ARM. Callest thou my love, hobby-horse ? 

MOTH. No, master; the hobby-horse is but a 
colt, 9 and your love, perhaps, a hackney. But 
have you forgot your love ? 

ARM. Almost I had. 

MOTH. Negligent student ! learn her by heart. 

ARM. By heart, and in heart, boy. 

MOTH. And out of heart, master : all those three 
I will prove. 

ARM. What wilt thou prove ? 

MOTH. A man, if I live ; and this, by, in, and 
without, upon the instant : By heart you love her, 
because your heart cannot come by her : in heart 
you love her, because your heart is in love with her; 
and out of heart you love her, being out of heart 
that you cannot enjoy her. 

Arm. But 0,but 0, 

Moth. the hobby-horse is forgot."] In the celebration of 
May-day, besides the sports now used of hanging a pole with 
garlands, and dancing round it, formerly a boy was dressed up 
representing Maid Marian ; another like a friar ; and another 
rode on a hobby-horse, with bells jingling, and painted streamers. 
After the reformation took place, and precisians multiplied, these 
latter rites were looked upon to savour of paganism ; and then 
Maid Marian, the friar, and the poor hobby-horse were turned 
out of the games. Some who were not so wisely precise, but re- 
gretted the disuse of the hobby-horse, no doubt, satirized this 
suspicion of idolatry, and archly wrote the epitaph above alluded 
to. Now Moth, hearing Armado groan ridiculously, and cry 
out But oh ! but oh ! humorously pieces out his exclamation 
with the sequel of this epitaph. THEOBALD. 

The same line is repeated in Hamlet. See note on Act II f, 
$c. iii. STEEVENS. 

9 but a colt,] Colt is a hot, mad-brained, unbroken young 

fellow ; or sometimes an old fellow with youthful desires. 


jr. /. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 55 

ARM. I am all these three. 

MOTH. And three times as much more, and yet 
nothing at all. 

ARM. Fetch hither the swain ; he must carry 
me a letter. 

MOTH. A message well sympathised ; a horse to 
be embassador for an ass ! 

ARM. Ha, ha ! what sayest thou ? 
MOTH. Marry, sir, you must send the ass upon 
the horse, for he is very slow-gaited : But I go. 
ARM. The way is but short ; away. 
MOTH. As swift as lead, sir. 

ARM. Thy meaning, pretty ingenious ? 
Is not lead a metal heavy, dull, and slow ? 

MOTH. Minime, honest master ; or rather, mas- 
ter, no. 

ARM. I say, lead is slow, 

MOTH. You are too swift, sir, to say so : * 

Is that lead slow which is fir'd from a gun ? 

1 You are too swift, sir, to say so .] How is he too swift for 
saying that lead is slow ? I fancy we should read, as well to sup- 
ply the rhyme as the sense : 

You are too swift, sir, to say so so soon : 

Is that lead slow, sir, which is fir* d from a gun ? , 


The meaning, I 'believe, is, You do not give yourself time to 
think, if you say so ; or, as Mr. M. Mason explains the passage : 
" You are too hasty in saying that : you have not sufficiently 
considered it." 

Swift, however, means ready at replies. So, in Marston's 
Malcontent, 1604 : 

" I have eaten but 4 two spoonfuls, and methinks I could dis- 
course both swiftly and wittily, already." STEEVENS. 

Swift is here used, as in other places, synonymously with 


ARM. Sweet smoke of rhetorick ! 
He reputes meacannon; and the bullet, that's he: 
I shoot thee at the swain. 

MOTH. Thump then, and I flee. 


ARM. A most acute juvenal ; voluble and free 

of grace ! 
By thy favour, sweet welkin, 2 1 must sigh in thy 

face : 

Most rude melancholy, valour gives thee place. 
My herald is return'd. 

Re-enter MOTH and COSTARD. 

MOTH. A wonder, master ; here's a Costard bro- 
ken J in a shin. 

ARM. Some enigma, some riddle : come, thy 
I' envoy ; begin. 

COST. No egma, no riddle, no I * envoy ; 4 no salvs 

witty. I suppose the meaning of Atalanta's better party in As 
you like it, is her tuit the swiftness of her mind. FARMER. 

So, in As you like it : " He is very swift and sententious." 
Again, in Muck Ado about Nothing : 

" Having so swift and excellent a wit." 

On reading the letter which contained an intimation of the 
Gunpowder-plot in 1605, King James said, that " the style wa* 
more quick and pithie than was usual in pasquils and libels." 


* By thy favour ; sweet welkin,] Welkin is the sky, to which 
Armado, with the false dignity of a Spaniard, makes an apology 
for sighing in its face. JOHNSON. 

3 here's a Costard broken ] i. e. a head. So, in Hycke 

Scorner . 

" I wyll rappe you on the costard with my home." 


4 no 1'envoy ;] The V envoy is a term borrowed from the 
old French poetry. It appeared always at the head of a few con* 

sc. /. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 57 

in the mail, sir : 5 O, sir, plantain, a plain plan- 

eluding verses to each piece, which either served to convey the 
moral, "or to address the poem to some particular person. It 
was frequently adopted by the ancient English writers. 

So, in Monsieur D' Olive, 1606 : 

" Well said : now to the L' Envoy" All the Tragedies of 
John Bochas, translated by Lidgate, are followed by a L* Envoy. 


4 no salve in the mail, sir:] The old folio reads no 

salve in thee male, sir, which, in another folio, is, no salve in 
the male, sir. What it can mean, is not easily discovered: if 
mail for a packet or bag was a word then in use, no salve in the 
mail may mean, no salve in the mountebank's budget. Or shall 
we read no enigma, no riddle, no I'envoy in the vale sir 
O, sir, plantain. The matter is not great, but one would wish 
for some meaning or other. JOHNSON. 

Male or mail was a word then in use. Reynard the fox sent 
Kayward's "head in a male. So, likewise, in Tamburlane, or the 
Scythian Shepherd, 1590: 

" Open the males, yet guard the treasure sure." 
I believe Dr. Johnson's first explanation to be right. 


Male, which is the reading of the old copies, is only the an- 
cient spelling of mail. So, in Taylor the water-poet's works, 
(Character of a Bawd,) 1630: " the cloathe-bag of counsel, 
the capcase, fardle, pack, male, of friendly toleration." The 
quarto 1598, and the first folio, have thee male. Corrected by 
the editor of the second folio. MALONE. 

I can scarcely think that Shakspeare had so far forgotten hig 
little school-learning, as to suppose the Latin verb salve and the 
English substantive, salve, had the same pronunciation; and yet 
without this the quibble cannot be preserved. FARMER. 

The same quibble occurs in Aristippus, or The Jovial Philo- 
sopher, 1630: 

" Salve, Master Simplicius. 

" Salve me ; 'tis but a Surgeon's complement." 


Perhaps we should read no salve in them all, sir. 


This passage appears to me to be nonsense as it stands, inca- 
pable of explanation, I have therefore no doubt but we should 


tain ; no I 'envoy r , no Veiwoy, no salve, sir, but a 
plantain ! 

ARM. By virtue, thou enforcest laughter ; thy 
silly thought, my spleen ; the heaving of my lungs 
provokes me to ridiculous smiling : O, pardon me, 
my stars ! Doth the inconsiderate take salve for 
I'envoy, and the word, I'envoy, for a salve ? 

MOTH. Do the wise think them other ? is not 
? envoy a salve ? 

adopt the amendment proposed by Mr. Tyrwhitt, and read No 
salve in them all, Sir. 

Moth tells his master, that there ivas a Costard with a broken 
shin : and the Knight, supposing that Moth has some conceit in 
what he said, calls upon him to explain it. Some riddle, says 
he, some enigma. Come thy V envoy begin. But Costard sup- 
posing that he was calling for these things, in order to apply them 
to his broken shin, says, he will not have them, as they were 
none of them salves, and begs for a plain plantain instead of 
them. 'This is clearly the meaning of Costard's speech, which 
provokes the illustrious Armado to laugh at the inconsiderate 
mho takes salve for V envoy, and the ivord I* envoy for salve. 

But when Moth, who is an arch and sensible character, says, 
in reply to Armado : " Do the wise think them other ? Is not 
I'envoy a salve ?" we must not suppose that this question is owing 
to his simplicity, but that he intended thereby either to lead the 
Knight on to the subsequent explanation of the word V envoy, or 
to quibble in the manner stated in the notes upon the English 
word salve and the Latin salve ; a quibble which operates upon 
the eye, not the ear : Yet Steevens has shown it was not a new 

If this quibble was intended, which does not evidently appear 
to be the case, the only way that I account for it, is this : 

As the I'envoy was always in the concluding part of a play or 
poem, it was probably in the /' 'envoy that the poet or reciter took 
leave of the audience, and the word itself appears to be derived 
from the verb envoyer, to send away. Now the usual salutation 
amongst the Romans at parting, as well as meeting, was the 
word salve. Moth, therefore, considers the I'envoy as a saluta- 
tion or salve, and then quibbling on this last word, asks if it be 
not a salve. 

1 do not offer this explanation with much confidence, but it is 
the only one that occurs to me. M, MASON. 


ARM. No, page : it is an epilogue or discourse, 

to make plain 
Some obscure precedence that hath tofore been 

I will example it : 6 

The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee, 
Were still at odds, being but three. 

There's the moral : Now the l f envoy. 

MOTH. I will adAtheT envoy: Say the moral again. 

ARM. The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee, 
Were still at odds, being but three : 

MOTH. Until the goose came out of door, 
And stay'd the odds by adding four. 

Now will I begin your moral, and do you follow 

with my Penvoy. 

The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee, 
Were still at odds, being but three : 

ARM. Until the goose came out of door, 
Staying the odds by adding four. 

MOTH. A good I 'envoy ', ending in the goose; 
Would you desire more ? 

COST. The boy hath sold him a bargain, a goose, 

that's flat : 
Sir, your pennyworth is good, an your goose be 

To sell a bargain well, is as cunning as fast and 

loose : 
Let me see a fat r envoy ; ay, that's a fat goose. 

' / -will example it : &c.] These words, and some others, are 
not in the first folio, but in the quarto of 1598. I still believe 
the old passage to want regulation, though it has not sufficient 
merit to encourage the editor who should attempt it : 
There is in Tusser an old song, beginning 
" The ape, the lion, the fox, and the asse, 
" Thus sets forth man in a glasse," &c. 
Perhaps some ridicule on this ditty was intended. STEEVENS. 


ARM. Come hither, come hither : How did this 
argument begin ? 

MOTH. By saying that a Costard was broken in 

a shin. 
Then call'd you for the I 'envoy. 

COST. True, and I for a plantain; Thus came 

your argument in ; 
Then the boy's fat F envoy, the goose that you 

bought ; 
And he ended the market/ 

ARM. But tell me ; how was there a Costard 
broken in a shin ? 8 

MOTH. I will tell you sensibly. 

COST. Thou hast no feeling of it, Moth ; I will 
speak that V envoy : 

I, Costard, running out, that was safely within, 
Fell over the threshold, and broke my shin. 

ARM. We will talk no more of this matter. 
COST. Till there be more matter in the shin. 
ARM. Sirrah Costard, I will enfranchise thee. 

COST. O, marry me to one Frances ; I smell 
some V envoy, some goose, in this. 

ARM. By my sweet soul, I mean, setting thee at 

7 And he ended the market.] Alluding to the proverb Three 
tvomen and a goose, make a market. Tre donne et un occajan 
un mercato. Ital. Ray's Proverbs. STEEVENS. 

8 hovi was there a Costard broken in a shin ?~\ Costard 

is the name of a species of apple. JOHNSON. 

It has been already observed that the head was anciently 
called the costard. So, in King Richard III: " Take him over 
the costard with the hilt of thy sword." A costard likewise sig- 
nified a crab-stick. So, in The Loyal Subject of Beaumont and 
Fletcher : 

" I hope they'll crown his service." 

" With a costard." STEEVENS. 


liberty, enfreedoming tliy person ; thou wert im- 
mured, restrained, captivated, bound. 

COST. True, true ; and now you will be my pur- 
gation, and let me loose. 

ARM. I give thee thy liberty, set thee from dur- 
ance ; and, in lieu thereof, impose on thee nothing 
but this : Bear this significant to the country maid 
Jaquenetta: there is remuneration; [Giving him 
money. ~\ for the best ward of mine honour, is, re- 
warding my dependents. Moth, follow. [Exit. 

MOTH. Like the sequel, I. 9 Signior Costard, 

COST. My sweet ounce of man's flesh! my incony 
Jew! 1 [Exit MOTH. 

a Like the sequel, /.] Sequele, in French, signifies a great 
man's train. The joke is, that a single page was all his train. 


I believe this joke exists only in the apprehension of the com- 
mentator. Sequelle, by the French, is never employed but in a 
derogatory sense. They use it to express the gang of a highway- 
man, but not the train of a lord ; the followers of a rebel, and 
not the attendants on a general. Thus, Holinshed, p. 639 : 
" to the intent that by the extinction of him and his sequeale, 
all civil warre and inward division might cease," &c. Moth 
uses sequel only in the literary acceptation. 

Mr. Heath observes that the meaning of Moth is, " I follow 
you as close as the sequel does the premises." STEEVENS. 

Moth alludes to the sequel of any story, which follows a pre- 
ceding part, and was in the old story-books introduced in this 
manner : " Here followeth the sequel of such a story, or adven- 
ture." So, Hamlet says : " But is there no sequel at the heels 
of this mother's admonition ?" M. MASON. 

1 my incony Jew !] Incony or kony in the north, signi- 
fies, fine, delicate as a kony thing, a fine thing. It is plain, 
therefore, we should read : 

" my incony jewel" WARBURTON. 

I know not whether it be right, however specious, to change 
Jew to Jetvel. Jew, in pur author's time, was, for whatever 


Now will I look to his remuneration. Remunera- 
tion ! O, that's the Latin word for three farthings: 
three farthings remuneration. What's the price 
of this inkle? a penny : No 9 Pll give you a remu- 
neration : why, it carries it. Remuneration ! 
why, it is a fairer name than French crown. I 
will never buy and sell out of this word. 

Enter BIRON. 

BIRON. O, my good knave Costard ! exceedingly 
well met. 

COST. Pray you, sir, how much carnation ribbon 
may a man buy for a remuneration ? 

reason, apparently a word of endearment. So, in A Midsum- 
mer-Night's Dream: 

" Most brisky juvenal, and eke most lovely Jew." 


The word is used again in the 4th Act of this play : 

" most incony vulgar wit.'' 

In the old comedy called Blurt Master Constable, 1602, I 
meet with it again. A maid is speaking to her mistress about a 

" it makes you have a most income body." 

Cany and incony have the same meaning. So, Metaphor says, 
in Jonson's Tale of a Tub : 

" O superdainty canon, vicar inconey." 
Again, in The Trvo Angry Women of Aldington, 1599: 

" O, I have sport inconey i'faith." 
Again, in Marlowe's Jew of Malta, 1633: 

" While I in thy incony lap do tumble." 
Again, in Doctor Dodypoll, a comedy, 1600: 

" A cockscomb incony, but that he wants money." 


There is no such expression in the North as either kony or in- 
cony. The word canny, which the people there use, and from 
which Dr. Warburton's mistake may have arisen, bears a variety 
of significations, none of which is Jine, delicate, or applicable to 
a thing or value. Dr. Johnson's quotation by no means proves 
Jew to have been a word of endearment, RITSON. 

jsc. i. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 63 

BIRON. What is a remuneration ? 
COST. Marry, sir, half-penny farthing. 

BIRON. O, why then, three-farthings-worth of 

COST. I thank your worship : God be with you ! 

BIRON. O, stay, slave ; I must employ thee : . 
As thou wilt win my favour, good my knave a 
Do one thing for me that I shall entreat. 

COST. When would you have it done, sir ? 
BIRON. O, this afternoon. 
COST. Well, I will do it, sir : Fare you well. 
BIRON. O, thou knowest not what it is. 
COST. I shall know, sir, when I have done it. 
BIRON. Why, villain, thou must know first. 

COST. I will come to your worship to-morrow 

BIRON. It must be done this afternoon. Hark, 
slave, it is but this ; 

The princess comes to hunt here in the park, 
And in her train there is a gentle lady ; 
When tongues speak sweetly, then they name her 


And Rosaline they call her : ask for her ; 
And to her white hand see thou do commend 
This seal'd-up counsel. There's thy guerdon j go. 

\_Gives him money. 

COST. Guerdon, O sweet guerdon ! better than 
remuneration j eleven-pence farthing better: 2 Most 

* Cost. Guerdon, sweet guerdon ! better than remunera- 
tion ; eleven-pence farthing better : fyc."] Guerdon, i. e. reward. 
So, in The Spanish Tragedy : 

" Speak on, I'll guerdon thee whate'er it be." 
Perhaps guerdon is a corruption of regardum, middle Latin. 


sweet guerdon ! I will do it, sir, in print. 3 Guer- 
don remuneration. \JExit. 

BIRON. O! And I, forsooth, in love! I, that 
have been love's whip ; 
A very beadle to a humorous sigh ; 
A critick; nay, a night-watch constable; 
A domineering pedant o'er the boy, 

The following parallel passage in A Health to the gentlemanly 
Profession of Serving-men, or the Serving-man's Comfort, &c. 
1578, was pointed out to me by Dr. Farmer. 

" There was, sayth he, a man, (but of what estate, degree, 
or calling, I will not name, lest thereby I might incurre displea- 
sure of anie,) that conuning to his friendes house, who was a> 
gentleman of good reckoning, and being there kindly entertained, 
and well used, as well of his friende the gentleman, as of his 
servantes ; one of the sayde servantes doing him some extraordi- 
narie pleasure during his abode there, at his departure he comes 
up to the sayd servant, and saith unto him, Hold thee, here is a 
remuneration for thy paynes ; whicli the servant receiveth, gave 
him utterly for it (besides his paynes) thankes, for it was but a 
three-farthings peece : and I holde thankes for the same a small 
price, howsoever the market goes. Now an other coming to the 
sayd gentlemen's house, it was the foresayd servant's good hap 
to be neare him at his going away, who calling the servant unto 
him, sayd, Holde thee, here is a guerdon for thy deserts : novr 
the servant payd no deerer for the guerdon, than he did for the 
remuneration ; though the -guerdon was xid. farthing better ; 
for it was a shilling, and the other but a three-farthiriges." 

Shakspeare was certainly indebted to this performance for his 
present vein of jocularity, the earliest edition of Love's Labour's 
Lost being printed in 1598. STEEVENS. 

3 in print."] i. e. exactly, with the utmost nicety. It 

lias been proposed to me to read in point, but I think, without 
necessity, the former expression being still in use. 
So, in Blurt Master Constable, 1602: 

" Next, your ruff must stand in print." 
Again, in Decker's Honest Whore, 1635 : 

" I am sure my husband is a man in print, in all things 

Again, in Woman is a Weathercock, 1612: 

** this doublet pits in print, my lord." STEEVENS. 

sc. f. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 63 

Than whom no mortal so magnificent ! 4 

This wimpled, 5 whining, purblind, wayward boy j 

This senior-junior, giant-dwarf, Dan Cupid; 6 

4 Than 'whom no mortal so magnificent!] Magnificent here 
means, glorying, boasting. M. MASON. 

Terence also uses magnifica verba, for vaunting, vainglorious 
words. Usque adeo illius ferre possum ineptias fy magnifica 
verba. Eunuch, Act IV. sc. vi. STEEVENS. 

* This wimpled,] The wimple was a hood or veil which fell 
over the face. Had Shakspeare been acquainted with the flam- 
meum of the Romans, or the gem which represents the marriage 
of Cupid and Psyche, his choice of the epithet would have been 
much plauded by all the advocates in favour of his learning. In 
Isaiah, iii. 22, we find : " the mantles, and the wimples, and 
the crisping-pins :" and, in The Devil's Charter, 1607| to wim- 
ple is used as a verb : 

" Here, I perceive a little rivelling 

" Above my forehead, but I wimple it, 

" Either with jewels, or a lock or hair." STEEVENS. 

6 This senior-junior, giant-dwarf, Dan Cupid;] The old read- 
ing is This signior Junto's, &c. STEEVENS. 

It was some time ago ingeniously hinted to me, (and I readilj 
came into the opinion, ) that as there was a contrast of terms in 
giant-dwarf, so, probably, there should be in the word immedi- 
ately preceding them ; and therefore that we should restore : 

This senior-junior, giant-dwarf, Dan Cupid. 
i. e. this old young man. And there is, indeed, afterwards, in 
this play, a description of Cupid which sorts very aptly with such 
an emendation : 

" That was the way to make his godhead wax, 
" For he hath been Jive thousand years a boy." 

The conjecture is exquisitely well imagined, and ought by all 
means to be embraced, unless there is reason to think, that, in 
the former reading, -there is an allusion to some tale, or character 
in an old play. I have not, on this account, ventured to disturb 
the text, because there seems to me some reason to suspect, that 
our author is here alluding to Beaumont and Fletcher's Bonduca. 
In that tragedy there is a character of one Junius, a Roman 
captain, who falls in love to distraction with one of Bonduca's 
daughters ; and becomes an arrant whining slave to this passion. 
He is afterwards cured of his infirmity, and is as absolute a 
tyrant against the sex. Now, with regard to these two extremes, 



Regent of love-rhymes, lord of folded arms, 
The anointed sovereign of sighs and groans, 

Cupid might very probably be styled Junius's giant-dwarf: a 
giant in his eye, while the dotage was upon him j but shrunk 
into a dwarf, so soon as he had got the better of it. 


Mr. Upton has made a very ingenious conjecture on this pas- 
sage. He reads : 

" This signior Julio's giant-dwarf ." 

Shakspeare, says he, intended to compliment Julio Romano, 
who drew Cupid in the character of a giant-dwarf. Dr. War- 
burton thinks, that by Junio is meant youth in general. 


There is no reason to suppose that Beaumont and Fletcher's 
Bonduca was written so early as the year 1598, when this play 
appeared. Even if it was then published, the supposed allusion 
to the character of Junius is forced and improbable ; and who^ 
in support of Upton's conjecture will ascertain, that Julio Romano 
ever drew Cupid as a giant-dwarf? Shakspeare,m K.Richard III. 
Act IV. sc. iv. uses signory for seniority ; and Stowe's Chronicle, 
p. 149, edit. 1614, speaks of Edward the signior, i. e. the elder. 
I can therefore suppose that signior here means senior, and not 
the Italian title of honour. Thus, in the first folio, at the end 
of The Comedy of Errors : 

" S. Dro. Not I, sir ; you are my elder. 

" E. Dro. That's a question ; how shall we try it ? 

" S. Dro. We'll draw cuts for the signior." TOLLET. 

In the exaggeration of poetry we might call Cupid a giant- 
dwarf; but how a giant-dwarf should be represented in paint- 
ing, I cannot well conceive. M. MASON. 

If the old copies had exhibited Junior, I should have had no 
doubt that the second word in the line was only the old spelling 
of senior, as in a former passage, [Act I. sc. ii.] and in one in 
The Comedy of Errors quoted by Mr. Toilet ; but as the text 
appears both in the quarto 1598, and the folio, Cupid is not 
himself called signior, or senior Junio, but a giant- dwarf to [that 
is, attending upon,] signior Junio, and therefore we must endea- 
vour to explain the words as they stand. In both these copies 
Junto's is printed in Italicks as a proper name. 

For the reasons already mentioned, I suppose signior here to 

have been the Italian title of honour, and Cupid to be described 

as uniting in his person the characters of both a giant, and a 

dwarf; a giant on account of his power t>ver mankind, and a 

V .I! 1 / .JOY 


Liege of all loiterers and malcontents, 
Dread prince of plackets,* king of codpieces, 
Sole imperator, and great general 
Of trotting paritors, 8 O my little heart ! 
And I to be a corporal of his field, 9 

dwarf on account of his size ; [So, afterwards : " Ofhis (Cupid's) 
almighty, dreadful, little might."] and as attending in this double 
capacity on youth, (personified under the name of Signior Junio,) 
the age in which the passion of love has most dominion over the 
heart. In characterizing youth by the name of Junio, our au- 
thor may be countenanced by Ovid, who ascribes to the month 
of June a similar etymology : 

" Junius Ajuvenum nomine dictus adest." MALONE. 

I have not the smallest doubt that senior-junior is the true read- 
ing. Love among our ancient English poets, (as Dr. Farmer 
has observed on such another occasion,) is always characterized 
by contrarieties. STEEVENS. 

7 Dread prince o/'plackets,] A placket is a petticoat. DOUCE. 

* Of trotting paritors,] An apparitor, or paritor, is an officer 
of the Bishop's court, who carries out citations ; as citations are 
most frequently issued for fornication, the paritor is put under 
Cupid's government. JOHNSON. 

9 And I to be a corporal of his field,] Corporals of 'the field are 
mentioned in Carew's Survey of Cornwall, and Raleigh speakg 
of them twice, Vol. I. p. 103, Vol. II. p. 367, edit. 1751. 


This officer is likewise mentioned in Ben Jonson's New Inn : 
" As corporal qfthejield, maestro del campo." 

Giles Clayton, in his Martial Discipline, 1591, has a chapter 
on the office and duty of a corporal qfthejield. In one of Drake's 
Voyages, it appears that the captains Morgan and Sampson, by 
this name, " had commandement over the rest of the land-cap- 
taines." Brookesby tells us, that " Mr. Dodwell's father was 
in an office then known by the name of corporal of the Jield, 
which he said was equal to that of a captain of horse." FARMER. 

Thus also, in a Letter from Sir Francis Drake and Sir John 
Norris, to the Privy Council. See Lodge's Illustrations, &c. 
Vol. II. 394 : " Wee loste not above 2 common souldiers, and 
one of the corporalls ofthejielde." STEEVENS. 

It appears from Lord Stafford's Letters, Vol. II. p. 199, that 
a corporal of the field was employed as an aid-de-camp is now, 



r " * f M 'i 

And wear his colours like a tumbler's hoop I l 
What ? I ! I love ! 2 I sue ! I seek a wife ! 

" in taking and carrying too and fro the directions of the general, 
or other the higher officers of the field." TYRWHITT. 

1 And wear his colours like a tumbler's hoop !] The conceit 
seems to be very forced and remote, however it be understood. 
The notion is not that the hoop wears colours, but that the colours 
are worn as a tumbler carries his hoop, hanging on one shoulder 
and falling under the opposite arm. JOHNSON. 

Perhaps the tumblers' hoop were adorned with their master's 
colours, or with ribbands. To ivear his colours, means to wear 
his badge or cognisance, or to be his servant or retainer. So, in 
Holinshed's Hist, of Scotland, p. 301 : " The earle of Surrie 
gave to his servants this cognisance (to wear on their left arm) 
which was a white lyon," &c. So, in Stowe's Annals, p. 274 : 
" All that ware the dukes sign, or colours, were faine to hide 
them, conveying them from their necks into their bosome." 
Again, in Selden's Duello, chap, ii : " his esquires cloathed in 
his colours." Biron banters himself upon being a corporal of 
Cupid's field, and a servant of that great general and imperator. 


It was once a mark of gallantry to wear a lady's colours. So, 
in Cynthia's Revels, by Ben Jonson : " dispatches his lacquey 
to her chamber early, to know what her colours are for the day, 
with purpose to apply his wear that day accordingly," &c. Again, 
in Sir Philip Sidney's Astrophel and Stella : 

" Because I breathe not love to every one, 
" Nor doe not use set colours for to weare," &c. 
I am informed by a lady who remembers morris-dancing, that 
the character who tumbled, always carried his hoop dressed out 
with ribbands, and in the position described by Dr. Johnson. 


Tumblers' hoops are to this day bound round with ribbands of 
various colours. HARRIS. 

* What ? I ! / love /] A second ivhat had been supplied by 
the editors. I should like better to read What ? // I love ! 


Mr. Tyrwhitt's emendation is supported by the first line of the 
present speech : 

" And /, forsooth, in love ! /, that have been love'* 


Sir T. Hanmer supplied the metre by repeating the word 
What. MALONE. 

sc. i. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 69 

A woman, that is like a German clock, 
Still a repairing ; 3 ever out of frame ; 
And never going aright, being a watch, 

3 like a German clock, 

Still a repairing;'] The same allusion occurs in Westward- 
Hoe, by Decker and Webster, 1607 : " no German clock, no 
mathematical engine whatsoever, requires so much repara- 
tion," &c. 

Again, in A mad World my Masters, 1608 : 

" she consists ofa hundred pieces, 

" Much like your German clock, and near allied: 
" Both are so nice they cannot go for pride. 
" Besides a greater fault, but too well known, 
" They'll strike to ten, when they should stop at one." 
Ben Jonson has the same thought in his Silent Woman, and 
Beaumont and Fletcher in Wit without Money. 

Again, in Decker's News from Hell, &c. 1606 : " their wits 
(like wheels of Brunswick clocks) being all wound up as far as 
they could stretch, were all going, but not one going truly." 

The following extract is taken from a book called The Artifi- 
cial Clock-Maker, 3d edit. 1714: " Clock-making was supposed 
to have had its beginning in Germany within less than these two 
hundred years. It is very probable that our balance-clocks or 
watches, and some other automata, might have had their begin- 
ning there ;" &c. Again, in p. 91 : " Little worth remark is to 
be found till towards the 16th century ; and then clock-work was 
revived or wholly invented anew in Germany, as is generally 
thought, because the ancient pieces are of German work." 

A skilful watch-maker informs me, that clocks have not been 
commonly made in England much more than one hundred years 

To the inartificial construction of these first pieces of mechan- 
ism 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. 

" In some towns in Germany, (says Dr. Powel, in his Human 
Industry, 8vo. 1661,) there are very rare and elaborate clocks to 
be seen in their town-halls, wherein a man may read astronomy, 
and never look up to the skies. In the town-hall of Prague there 
is a clock that shows the annual motions of the sun and moon, 
the names and numbers of the months, days, and festivals of the 
whole year, the time of the sun rising and setting throughout the 


But being watch'd that it may still go right ? 

Nay, to be perjur'd, which is worst of all ; 

And, among three, to love the worst of all ; 

A whitely wanton with a velvet brow, 

With two pitch balls stuck in her face for eyes ; 

Ay, and, by heaven, one that will do the deed, 

Though Argus were her eunuch and her guard : 

And I to sigh for her ! to watch for her ! 

To pray for her ! Go to ; it is a plague 

That Cupid will impose for my neglect 

Of his almighty dreadful little might. 

Well, I will love, write, sigh, pray, sue, and groan j 4 

Some men must love my lady, and some Joan. 5 


year, the equinoxes, the length of the days and nights, the rising 
and setting of the twelve signs of the Zodiack, &c. But the town 
of Strasburgh carries the bell of all other steeples of Germany in 
this point." These elaborate clocks were probably often " out 
of frame." MALONE. 

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 se- 
cond folio. MALONE. 

* Some men must lone my lady, and some Joan.~\ To this line 
Mr. Theobald extends his second Act, not injudiciously, but 
without sufficient authority. JOHNSON. 


, 1 r i, > A 


Another part of the same. 

Enter the Princess, ROSALINE, MARIA, KATHA- 
RINE, BOYET, Lords, Attendants, and a Fo- 

PRIN. Was that the king, that spurr'd his horse 

so hard 
Against the steep uprising of the hill ? 

BOYET. I know not ; but, I think, it was not he. 

PRIN. Whoe'er he was, he show'd a mounting 


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 

* inhere 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 Shrews- 
bury, dated from Alnewik, Aug. 14, 1555: "I besiche yov 
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 her crosboiae,' &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 yos ryght honourable 
Ladle's hande, &c. My balde bucke lyves styll to wayte upon 
yo.r L. and my Ladie's comyng hyther, w.<-'h I expect whenso- 
ever shall pleas yow to apointe ; onele thys, thatt my Ladie doe 
nott hytt hym throgh the nose, for marryng hys whyte face ; 


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. 

PRIN. Nay, never paint me now ; 

Where fair is not, praise cannot mend the brow. 
Here, good my glass, 7 take this for telling true ; 

\_Gvving him money. 
Fair payment for foul words is more than due. 

FOR. Nothing but fair is that which you inherit. 
PRIN. See, see, my beauty will be sav'd by merit. 

howbeitt I knoe her Ladishipp takes pitie of my buckes, sence 
the last tyme y l 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 re- 
membered 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. JOHNSON. 

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. 


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, wheresoever 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. 


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 : * 
As I, for praise alone, now seek to spill 
The poor deer's blood, that my heart means no 
ill. 9 

BOYET. Do not curst wives hold that self-sove- 
reignty l 

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. 

* 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 
reader's notice. WARBURTON. 

9 that my heart means no ill.] That my heart means no 

ill, is the same with to ivhom my heart means no ill. The com- 
mon phrase suppresses the particle, as / mean him [not to him] 
no harm. JOHNSON. 

1 that self-sovereignty ] Not a sovereignty over, but 

in, themselves. So, ^^-sufficiency, inconsequence, &c. 




PRJN. Here comes a member of the common- 
wealth. 3 

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. The thickest, and the tallest. 

COST. The thickest, and the tallest! it is so; truth 

is truth. 

An your waist, mistress, were as slender as my wit, 
One of these maids' girdles for your waist should 

Are not you the chief woman ? you are the thickest 


PRIN. What's your will, sir ? what's your will ? 

COST. I have a letter from monsieur Biron, to 
one lady Rosaline. 

PRIN. O, thy letter, thy letter; he's a good 
friend of mine: 

* 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. 


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. 

' 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. 


Stand aside, good bearer. Boyet, you can carve ; 
Break up this capon. 4 

BOYET. I am bound to serve. 

This letter is mistook, it importeth none here ; 
It is writ to Jaquenetta. 

PRIN. We will read it, I swear: 

Break the neck of the wax, 5 and every one give 

BOYET. [Reads.] By heaven, that thou art fair -, 
is most infallible; true, that thou art beauteous ; truth 

* 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, 
amatoritB literce, says Richelet ; and quotes from Voiture, Re- 
pondre 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 
amoroso. 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 poulet s in paper, better than in 
africasee." A message is called a cold pigeon, in the letter con- 
cerning 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." 

Again, in Ben Jonson's Masque of Gipsies Metamorphosed: 
" A London cuckold hot from the spit, 
" And when the carver up had broke him" &c. 

4 Break the neck of the uxzx,] Still alluding to the capon. 


So, in The true Tragedies ofMarius and Sylla, 1594: 
" Lectorius read, and break these letters up" 


One of Lord Chesterfield's Letters, 8vo. Vol. III.j>. 114, 
gives us the reason why poulet meant amatoria litera. ToLLEiy 


itself, that thou art lovely: More fairer than fair, 
beautiful than beauteous; truer 6 than truth itself, 
have commiseration on thy heroical vassal! The mag- 
nanimous and most illustrate 1 king Cophetua 8 set eye 
upon the pernicious and indubitate beggar Zenelo- 
phon ; 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 tie 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 ; TJie 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 so witnesseth 
thy lowliness. Shall I command thy love ? I may: 
Shall I enforce thy love? I could: Shall I entreat 
thy love? I will. What shalt thou exchange for 
rags? robes; For tittles, titles; For thyself, me. 
Thus, expecting thy reply, I profane my lips on thy 

6 More fairer than fair, beautiful than beauteous, truer &c.] 
I would read, fairer that fair, more beautiful, &c. TYRWHITT. 

* illustrate ] for illustrious. It is often used by Chap- 
man in his translation of Homer. Thus, in the eleventh Iliad: 

" Jove will not let me meet 

" Illustrate Hector, " STEEVENS. 

king Cophetua ] The ballad of King Cophetua and 

the Beggar-Maid, may be seen in The Reliques of Ancient 
Poetry^Vol. I. The beggar's name was Penelophon, here cor- 
rupted. PERCY. 

The poet alludes to this song in Romeo and Juliet, Henry IV. 
P. II. and Richard II. STEEVENS. 

9 saw,] The old copies here and in the preceding line 

Jiave aee. Mr. Rowe made the correction. MALONI. 

sc. i. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 77 

foot, my eyes on thy picture, and my heart on thy 
every part. 

Thine, in the dearest design of industry, 

Thus dost thou hear * the Nemean lion roar 
'Gainst thee, thoulamb, that standest as hisprey; 

Submissive fall his princely feet before, 
And he from forage. will incline to play: 

But if thou strive, poor soul, what art thou then ? 

Food for his rage, repasture for his den. 
PRIN. What plume of feathers is he, that indited 
this letter ? 

What vane ? what weather-cock ? did you ever 
hear better ? 

BOYET. I am much deceived, but I remember 

the style. 
PRIN. Else your memory is bad, going o'er it 2 

erewhile. 3 

BOYET. This Armado is a Spaniard, that keeps 

here in court-j 
A phantasm, 4 aMonarcho, 5 andonethatmakes sport 

1 Thus dost thou hear &c.] These six lines appear to be a 
quotation from some ridiculous poem of that time. 


* going o'er it ] A pun upon the word stile. 


3 erewhile.] Just now; a little while ago. So, Raleigh: 

" Here lies Hobbinol, our shepherd while e'er." 


4 A phantasm,] On the books of the Stationers* Company, 
Feb. 6, 1698, is entered: " a book called Phantasm, the Italian 
Taylor, and his Boy; made by Mr. Armin, servant to his 
majesty." It probably contains the history of Monarcho, of 
whom Dr. Farmer speaks in the following note, to which I have 
subjoined two additional instances. STEEVENS. 

* - a Monarcho ;] The allusion is to a fantastical character 


To the prince, and his book-mates. 

PRIN. Thou, fellow, a word : 

of the time: " Popular applause (says Meres) doth nourish 
some, neither do they gape after any other thing, but vaine praise 
and glorie, as in our age Peter Shakerlye of Paules, and Mo- 
narcho that lived about the court." p. 178. FARMER. 

In Nash's Have with you to Saffron- Walden, &c. 1595, I 
meet with the same allusion : " but now he was an insulting 
monarch above Monarcho the Italian, that ware crownes in his 
shoes, and quite renounced his natural English accents and 
gestures, and wrested himself wholly to the Italian puntilios,'' &c. 

But one of the epitaphs written by Thomas Churchyard, and 
printed in a collection called his Chance, 4to. 1580, will afford 
the most ample account of this extraordinary character. I do not 
therefore apologize for the length of the following extract : 

" The Phantasticall Monarches Epitaphe. 

M Though Dant be dedde, and Marrot lies in graue, 
" And Petrarks sprite bee mounted past our vewe, 
" Yet some doe Hue (that poets humours haue) 

" To keepe old course with vains of verses newe : 
" Whose penns are prest to paint out people plaine, 
" That els a sleepe in silence should remaine : 
" Come poore old man that boare the Monarks name, 
" Thyne Epitaphe shall here set forthe thy fame. 

' Thy climyng mynde aspierd beyonde the Starrs, 

" Thy loftie stile no yearthly titell bore : 
" Thy witts would seem to see through peace and warrs, 

" Thy tauntyng tong was pleasant sharpe and sore. 
" And though thy pride and pompe was somewhat vaine, 
" The Monarcke had a deepediscoursyngbraine: 
" Alone with freend he could of wonders treato, 
" In publike place pronounce a sentence greate. 

" No matche for fooles, if wisemen were in place, 

" No mate at meale to sit with common sort : 
" Both grave of looks and fatherlike of face, 

" Of judgement quickc, of comely forme and port. 
" Moste bent to words on hye and solempne daies, 
" Of diet fine, and daintie diuerse waies: 
" And well disposde, if Prince did pleasure take, 
" At any mirthe that he poore man could make. 


Who gave thee this letter? 

COST. I told you ; my lord, 

" On gallant robes his greatest glorie stood, 

" Yet garments bare could never daunt his minde : 
" He feard no state, nor caerd for worldly good, 

" Held eche thyng light as fethers in the winde. 
" And still he saied, the strong thrusts weake to wall, 
'* When sword bore swaie, the Monarke should have all, 
" The man of might at length shall Monarke bee, 
" And greatest strength shall make the feeble flee. 

" When straungers came in presence any wheare, 

" Straunge was the talke the Monarke uttred than : 
rt He had a voice could thonder through the eare, 

" And speake mutche like a merry Christmas man : 
" But sure small mirthe his matter harped on. 
" His forme of life who lists to look upon, 
" Did shewe some witte, though follie fedde his will : 
" The man is dedde, yet Monarks liueth still." p. 7. 

A local allusion employed by a poet like Shakspeare, resem- 
bles the mortal steed that drew in the chariot of Achilles. But 
short services could be expected from either. STEEVENS. 

The succeeding quotations will afford some further intelligence 
concerning this fantastick being : " I could use an incident for 
this, which though it may seeme of small weight, yet may it 
have his misterie with this act, who, being of base condition, 
placed himself (without any perturbation of minde) in theroyall 
seat of Alexander, which the Caldeans prognosticated to portend 
the death of Alexander. 

" The actors were, that Bergamasco (for his phantastick 
humors) named Monarcho, and two of the Spanish embassadors 
retinue, who being about/bttre and tiventie yeares past, in Paules 
Church in London, contended who was soveraigne of the world : 
the Monarcho maintained himself to be he, and named their king 
to be but his viceroy for Spain : the other two with great fury 
denying it. At which myself, and some of good account, now 
dead, wondred in respect of the subject they handled, and that 
want of judgement we looked not for in the Spaniards. .Yet 
this, moreover, we noted, that notwithstanding the weight of 
their controversie they kept in their walk the Spanish turne : 
which is, that he which goeth at the right hand, shall at every 
end of the walke turne in the midst ; the which place the Mo~ 
narcho was loth to yeald (but as they compelled him, though 


PRIN. To whom shouldst-thou give it ? 

COST. From my lord to my lady. 

PRIN. From which lord, to which lady ? 

COST. From my lord Bir'o'n, a good master of 

To a lady of France, that he call'd Rosaline. 

PRIN. Thou hast mistaken his letter. Come, 

lords, away. 6 

Here, sweet, put up this; 'twill be thine another 
day. [Exit Princess and Train. 

BOYET. Who is the suitor? 7 who is the suitor? . 

they gave him sometimes that romthe) in respect of his supposed 
majestic ; but I would this were the worst of their ceremonies ; 
the same keeping some decorum concerning equalitie." A briefe 
Discourse of the Spanish State, "with a Dialogue annexed, inti- 
tuled Philobasilis, 4 to. 1590, p. 39. 

The reader will pardon one further notice : 

" heere comes a souldier, for my life it is a captain Swag: 
tis even he indeede, I do knowe him by his plume and his scarfFe ; 
he looks like a Monarcho of a very cholericke complexion, and 
as teasty as a goose that hath young goslings," &c. B. Riche's 
Faults and nothing but Faults, p. 12. REED. 

8 Come, lords, away.] Perhaps the princess said ra- 

Come, ladies, aiuay. 

The rest of the scene deserves no care. JOHNSON. 

7 W ho is the suitor?] The old copies read 
" Who is the shooter ?" 

gut it should be, Who is the suitor? and this occasions the quib- 
le. " Finely put on," &c. seem only marginal observations. 


It appears that suitor was anciently pronounced shooter. So, 
in The Puritan, 1605: the maid informs her mistress that some 
archers are come to wait on her. She supposes them to be 
Jletchers, or arrow-smiths : 

" Enter the suters, &c. 

" Why do you not see them before you? are not these archers, 
what do you call them, shooters? Shooters and archers are all 
one, I hope?" STEKVENS. 


Ros. Shall I teach you to know? 

BOYET. Ay, my continent of beauty. 

Ros. Why, she that bears the bow. 

Finely put off! 

BOYET. My lady goes to kill horns ; but, if thou 

Hang me by the neck, if horns that year mis- 

Finely put on ! 

Ros. Well then, I am the shooter. 

Wherever Shakspeare uses words equivocally, as in the pre- 
sent instance, he lays his editor under some embarrassment. 
When he told Ben Jonson he would stand Godfather to his child, 
" and give him a dozen latten spoons," if we write the word as 
we have now done, the conceit, such as it is, is lost, at least does 
not at once appear; if we write it Latin, it becomes absurd. So, 
in Much Ado about Nothing, Dogberry says, if justice cannot 
tame you, she shall ne'er weigh more reasons in her balance." 
If we write the word thus, the constable's equivoque, poor as 
it is, is lost, at least to the eye. If we write raisons, (between 
which word and reasons, there was, I believe, no difference at 
that time of pronunciation, ) we write nonsense. In the passage 
before us an equivoque was certainly intended; the words 
shooter and suitor being (as Mr. Steevens has observed) pro- 
nounced alike in Shakspeare's time. So, in Essays ana Cha- 
racters of a Prison and Prisoners, by G. M. 1618 : " The king's 
guard are counted the strongest archers, but here are better 
suitors." Again, in Antony and Cleopatra, edit. 1623, (owing 
probably to the transcriber's ear having deceived him,) 

" a grief that suits 

" My very heart at root ." 
instead of a grief that shoots. 

In Ireland, where, I believe, much of the pronunciation of 
Queen Elizabeth's age is yet retained, the word suitor is at this 
day pronounced by the vulgar as if it were written shooter. How- 
ever, I have followed the spelling of the old copy, as it is suffi- 
ciently intelligible. M ALONE. 



BOYET. And who is your deer ? 8 

Ros. If we choose by the horns, yourself: come 

Finely put on, indeed ! 

MAR. You still wrangle with her, Boyet, and 
she strikes at the brow. 

BOYET. But she herself is hit lower : Have I hit 
her now ? 

Ros. Shall I come upon thee with an old saying, 
that was a man when king Pepin of France was a 
little boy, as touching the hit it? 

BIRON. So I may answer thee with one- as old, 
that was a woman when queen Guinever 9 of Bri- 
tain was a little wench, as touching the hit it. 

Ros. Thou canst not hit it , hit it, hit it, [Singing. 
Thou canst not hit it, my good man. 

BOYET, An I cannot, cannot, cannot, 
An I cannot, another can. 

\_Exeunt Ros. and KATH. 

COST. By my troth, most pleasant! how both 
did fit it ! 

MAR. A mark marvellous well shot; for they 
both did hit it. 

* And who is your deer ?] Our author has the same play on 
this word in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act V. Again, in 
his Venus and Adonis : 

" I'll be thy park, and thou shall be my deer" 


9 queen Guinever ] This was King Arthur's queen, 

not over famous for fidelity to her husband. Mordred the Pict 
is supposed to have been her paramour. See the song of The 
Boy and the Mantle, in Dr. Percy's Collection. 

in Beaumont and Fletcher's Scornful Lady, the elder Love- 
less addresses Abigail, the old incontinent waiting-woman, by 
this name. STEEVENS, 


. A mark ! O, mark but that mark ; A 

mark, says my lady! 

Let the mark have a prick in't, 1 to mete at, if it 
may be. 

MAR. Wide o' the bow hand! 2 1'faith your hand 
is out. 

COST. Indeed, a* must shoot nearer, or he'll 
ne'er hit the clout. 3 

BOYET. An if my hand be out, then, belike your 
hand is in. 

COST. Then will she get the upshot by cleaving 
the pin. 4 

. Come, come, you talk greasily, 5 your lips 
grow foul. 

1 Let the mark have a prick in't,'] Thus, says the Princess 
Floripas in the ancient metrical romance of the Sowdon of Baby- 
loyne, p. 56: 

' sir Gye my love so free, 

" Thou kanste welle hit the pricke; 

* He shall make no booste in his contre, 

" God gyfe him sorowe thikke." STEEVENS. 

* Wide o' the bow handf] i. e. a good deal to the left of the 
mark ; a term still retained in modern archery. DOUCE. 

3 the clout.] The clout was the white mark at which 

archers took their aim. The pin was the wooden nail that up- 
held it. STEEVENS. 

4 by cleaving the pin.'] Honest Costard would have be- 
friended Dean Milles, whose note on a song in the Pseudo-Row- 
ley's ELLA has exposed him to so much ridicule. See his book, 
p. 213. The present application of the word pin y might have 
led the Dean to suspect the qualities of the basket. But what 
has mirth to do with archaeology? STEEVENS. 

3 you talk greasily,] i. e. grossly. So, in Marston's 

third Satire : 

-when greasy Aretine, 

For his rank fico, is sirnam'd divine." STEKVENS. 

G 2 


COST. She's too hard for you at pricks, sir ; chal- 
lenge her to bowl. 

BOYET. I fear too much rubbing j 6 Goodnight, 
my good owl. 

[Exeunt BOYET and MARIA. 

COST. By my soul, a swain ! a most simple clown! 
Lord, lord! how the ladies and I have put him 

O* my troth, most sweet jests ! most incony vulgar 

Whea it comes so smoothly off, so obscenely, as it 

were, so fit. 

Armatho o' the one side, O, a most dainty man ! 
To see him walk before a lady, and to bear her fan! 7 
To see him kiss his hand! and how most sweetly a* 

will swear! 8 

And his page o't'other side, that handful of wit! 
Ah, heavens, it is a most pathetical nit ! 
Sola, sola ! [Shouting within. 

[Exit COSTARD, running. 

* I fear too much rubbing ;] To rub is one of the terms of 
the bowling green. Boyet's further meaning needs no comment. 


7 to bear her fan /] See a note on Romeo and Juliet ', 

Act II. sc. iv. where Nurse asks Peter for her^/aw. STEEVENS. 

8 a' will stvear f] A line following this seems to have 
been lost. MALONE. 

sc. ii. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 85 


The same. 


NATH. Very reverent sport, truly; and done in 
the testimony of a good conscience. 

9 Enter Holofernes,] There is very little personal reflexion in 
Shakspeare. Either the virtue of those times, or the candour of 
our author, has so effected, that his satire is, for the most part, 
general, and, as himself says : 

his taxing like a wild-goose flies, 

Unclaim'd of any man ." 

The place before us seems to be an exception. For by Ho- 
lofernes is designed a particular character, a pedant and school* 
master of our author's time, one John Florio, a teacher of the 
Italian tongue in London, who has given us a small dictionary 
of that language under the title of A World of Words, which, in 
his epistle dedicatory he tells us, is of little less value than Ste- 
phens' s Treasure of the Greek Tongue^ the most complete work 
that was ever yet compiled of its kind. In his preface, he calls 
those who criticised his works, sea-dogs or land-critics ; mon- 
sters of men, if not beasts rather than men ; whose teeth are cani- 
bals, their toongs adders forks, their lips aspes poison, their eyes 
basiliskes, their breath the breath of a grave, their words tike 
swordes of Turks, that strive which shall dive deepest into a 
Christian lying bound before them. Well therefore might the 
mild Nathaniel desire Holofernes to abrogate scurrility. His 
profession too is the reason that Holofernes deals so much in 
Italian sentences. 

There is an edition of Love's Labour's Lost, printed in 1598, 
and said to be presented before her Highness this last Christmas, 
1597. The next year 1598, comes out our John Florio, with 
his World of Words, recentibus odiis ; and in the preface, quoted 
above, falls upon the comic poet for bringing him on the stage. 
There is another sort of leering curs, that rather snarle than 
bite, whereof I could instance in one, who lighting on a good 
sonnet of a gentleman* s, a friend of mine, that loved better to 
be a poet than to be counted so, called the author a Rymer. 
Let Aristophanes and his comedians make plaies, and scowre 


HOL. The deer was, as you know, in sanguis, 
blood j 1 ripe as a pomewater, 2 who now hangeth 

their mouths on Socrates, those very mouths they make to tsilifie, 
shall be the means to amplifie his virtue, &c. Here Shakspeare 
is so plainly marked out as not to be mistaken. As to the sonnet 
of the gentleman his friend, we may be assured it was no other 
than his own. And without doubt was parodied in the very 
sonnet beginning with The praiseful princess, &c. in which our 
author makes Holofernes say, He will something affect the letter, 
for it argues facility. And how much John Florio thought this 
affectation argued facility, or quickness of wit, we see in this 
preface where he falls upon his enemy, H. S. His name is 
H. S. Do not take it for the Roman H. S. unless it be as H. S. 
is twice as much and an half, as half an AS. With a great 
deal more to the same purpose ; concluding his preface in these 
words, The resolute John Florio. From the ferocity of this 
man's temper, it was that Shakspeare chose for him the name 
which Rabelais gives to his pedant, of Thubal Holoferae. ,, 


I am not of the learned commentator's opinion, that the satire 
of Shakspeare is so seldom personal. It is of the nature of per- 
sonal invectives to be soon unintelligible; and the author that 
gratifies private malice, animam in vulnere ponit, destroys the 
future efficacy of his own writings, and sacrifices the esteem of 
succeeding times to the laughter of a day. It is no wonder, 
therefore, that the sarcasms, which, perhaps, in our author's 
time, set the playhouse in a roar, are now lost among general 
reflections. Yet whether the character of Holofernes was 
pointed at any particular man, I am, notwithstanding the plau- 
sibility of Dr. Warburton's conjecture, inclined to doubt. Every 
man adheres as long as he can to his own pre-conceptions. Be- 
fore I read this note I considered the character of Holofernes as 
borrowed from the Rhombus of Sir Philip Sidney, who, in a 
kind of pastoral entertainment, exhibited to Queen Elizabeth, 
has introduced a school-master so called, speaking a leash of lan- 
guages at once, and puzzling himself and his auditors with a 
jargon like that of Holofernes in the present play. Sidney him- 
self might bring the character from Italy; for as Peacham ob- 
serves, the school-master has long been one of the ridiculous 
personages in the farces of that country. JOHNSON. 

Dr. Warburton is certainly right in his supposition that Florio 
is meant by the character of Holofernes. Florio had given the 
first aflront. " The plaies, says he, that they plaie in England, 

sc.ii.- lOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 87 

like A jewel in the ear of c&lo? the sky, the 
welkin, the heaven ; and anon falleth like a crab, 

are neither right comedies, nor right tragedies ; but representa- 
tions of histories without any decorum." The scraps of Latin 
and Italian are transcribed from his works, particularly the pro- 
verb about Venice, which has been corrupted so much. The 
affectation of the letter, which argues jacilitie, is likewise a 
copy of his manner. We meet with much of it in the sonnets 
to his patrons : 

In Italie your lordship well hath scene 
Their manners, monuments, magnificence, 
Their language learnt, in sound, in style, in sense, 
Prooving by profiting, where you have beene. 
To adde to fore-learn'd a.cuhie,facilitie." 

We see, then, the character of the schoolmaster might be 
written with less learning, than Mr. Colman conjectured: nor 
is the use of the word thrasonical, [See this play, Act V. sc. i.] 
any argument that the author had read Terence. It was intro- 
duced to our language long before Shakspeare's time. Stanyr 
hurst writes, in a translation of one of Sir Thomas More's Epi- 

" Lynckt was in wedlocke a loftye thrasonical hufsnufie." 

It can scarcely be necessary to animadvert any further upon 
what Mr. Colman has advanced in the appendix to his Terence. 
If this gentleman, at his leisure from modern plays, will con- 
descend to open a few old ones, he will soon be satisfied that 
Shakspeare was obliged to learn and repeat in the course of his 
profession, such Latin fragments as are met with in his works. 
The formidable one, ira furor brevis est, which is quoted from 
Timon, may be found, not in plays only, but in every tritical 
essay from that of King James to that of Dean Swift inclusive. 
I will only add, that if Mr. Colman had previously looked at the 
panegyric on Cartwright, he could not so strangely have misre- 
presented my argument from it : but thus it must ever be with 
the most ingenious men, when they talk without-book. Let me, 
however, talce this opportunity of acknowledging the very gen- 
teel language which he has been pleased to use on this occasion. 

Mr. Warton informs us in his Life of Sir Thomas Pope, that 
there was an old play of Holophernes acted before the Princess 
Elizabeth in the year 1556. FARMER. 

The verses above cited, are prefixed to Florio's Diet. 1598. 


In support of Dr. FarmerVopinion, the following passage from 


on the face of terra, the soil, the land, the 

Orlando Furioso, 1594-, may be brought : " Knowing him to 
be a Thrasonical mad cap, they have sent me a Gnathonical 
companion," &c. 

Greene, in the dedication to his Arcadia, has the same word : 
" as of some thrasonical huffe-snuffe." 

Florio's first work is registered on the books of the Stationers' 
Company, under the following title : " Aug. 1578. Florio his 
First Frute, being Dialogues in Italian and English, with certen 
Instructions, &c. to the learning the Italian Tonge." In 1595, 
he dedicated his Italian and English Dictionary to the Earl of 
Southampton. In the year 1600, he published his translation of 
Montaigne. Florio pointed his ridicule not only at dramatic per- 
formances, but even at performers. Thus, in his preface to this 
work : " as if an owle should represent an eagle, or some 
tara-rag player should act the princely Telephus with a voyce 
as rag'd as his clothes, a grace as bad as his voyce." STEEVENS. 

1 in sanguis, blood ;] The old copies read sanguis, in 

blood. The transposition was proposed by Mr. Steevens, and is, 
I think, warranted by the following words, which are arranged 
in the same manner: " in the ear of ccelo, the sky," &c. The 
same expression occurs in King Henry VI. P. I : 

" If we be English deer, be then in blood." MALONE. 

* ripe as a pomewater,] A species of apple formerly 

much esteemed. Malus Carbonaria. See Gerard's Herbal, 
edit. 1597, p. 1273. 

Again, in the old ballad of Bleiv Cap for me : 

" Whose cheeks did resemble two resting pomeuiaters" 


In the first Act of The Puritan, Pyeboard says to Nicholas: 
" The captain loving you so dearly, aye as the pomc-wattr of his 
eye." Meaning the pupil, or apple of it, as it is vulgarly called. 


3 in the ear o/'coelo, #c.] In Florio's Italian Dictionary, 

Cielo is defined " heaven, the s/cie, firmament, or welkin," and 
terra is explained thus: "The element called earth; anie 
ground, earth, countrie, land, soile," &c. If there was any 
edition of this Dictionary prior to the appearance of Love's La- 
bour's Lost, this might add some little strength to Dr. Warbur- 
ton's conjecture, though it would by no means be decisive ; but 
my edition is dated 1598, (posterior to the exhibition of this 
flay,) and it appears to be the first. MALONE. 


NATH. Truly, master Holofernes, the epithets 
are sweetly varied, like a scholar at the least : But, 
sir, I assure ye, it was a buck of the first head. 4 

HOL. Sir Nathaniel, hand credo. ' '* 

DULL. 'Twas not a hand credo, 'twas a pricket. 

HOL. Most barbarous intimation ! yet a kind of 
insinuation, as it were, in via, in way, of explica- 
tion ; facere, as it were, replication, or, rather, 
ostentare, to show, as it were, his inclination, after 
his undressed, unpolished, uneducated, unpruned, 
untrained, or rather unlettered, or, ratherest, un- 
confirmed fashion, to insert again my hand credo 
for a deer, 

DULL. I said, the deer was not a hand credo; 
'twas a pricket. 

HOL. Twice sod simplicity, bis coctus ! O thou 
monster ignorance, how deformed dost thou look ! 

NATH. Sir, he hath never fed of the dainties 
that are bred in a book ; he hath not eat paper, as 
it were ; he hath not drunk ink : his intellect is not 

But, sir, I assure ye, it luas a buck of the first head 
'twas a pricket] In a play called The Re- 

turn from Parnassus, 1606, I find the following account of the 
different appellations of deer, at their different ages : 

" Amoretto. I caused the keeper to sever the rascal deer from 
the bucks of the first head. Now, sir, a buck is the jirst year, 
a faian; the second year, a PRICKET ; the third year, a SORRELL; 
the fourth year, a soare; thejifth, a buck of the FIRST HEAD; 
the sixth year, a compleat buck. Likewise your hart is the jirst 
year, a calfe ; the second year, a brocket ; the third year, a spade ; 
the fourth year, a stag ; the sixth year, a hart. A roe-buck is 
the first year, a kid ; the second year, a gird ; the third year, a 
hemuse; and these are your special beasts for chase." 

Again, in A Christian turn'd Turk, 1612: " I am but a 
pricket, a mere sorell ; my head's not harden' d yet." 



replenished ; he is only an animal, only sensible 

in the duller parts ; 

And such barren plants are set before us, that we 

thankful should be 
( Whkh we of taste and feeling are) for those parts 

that do fructify in us more than he. 5 
For as it would ill become me to be vain, indiscreet, 

or a fool, 
80, were there a patch set on learning, to see him 

in a school : 6 

1 And such barren plants are set before us, that lue thankful 

should be 

( Which we of taste and feeling are) for those parts that do 
fructify in us more than heJ\ The length of these 
lines was no novelty on the English stage. The Moralities af- 
ford scenes of the like measure. JOHNSON. 

This stubborn piece of nonsense, as somebody has called it, 
wants on a particle, I think, to make it sense. I would read : 
lyd such barren plants are set before us, that ive thank- 
ful should be, 

( Which ive of taste and feeling are) for those parts, that 
ftp fructify in us more than he. 

Which in this passage has the force of as, according to an 
idiom of our language, not uncommon, though not strictly 
grammatical. What follows is still more irregular ; for I am 
afraid our poet, for the sake of his rhyme, has put he for him, 
or rather in him. If he had been writing prose, he would have 
expressed his meaning, I believe, more clearly thus that do 
fructify in us more than in him. TYRWHITT. 

The old copies read " which we taste and feeling ." &c, 
1 have placed Mr. Tyrwhitt's emendation in the text. STEEVENS. 
Some examples confirming Dr. Johnson's observation may be 
found at the end of The Comedy of Errors. 

Mr. Tyrwhitt's last observation is fully supported by a subse- 
quent passage : 

" and then we, 

" Following the signs, woo'd but the sign of she" 


' For as it "would ill become me to be vain, indiscreet, or a fool, 
So, vere there a patch set on learning, to see him in a school:J 
The meaning is, to be in a school would ill become a patch, or 
low fellow, as folly would become me. JOHNSON. 

*. //. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST; 91 

But, omne bene, say I ; being of an old father's mind, 
Many can brook the weather, that love not the wind. 

DULL. You two are book-men : Can you tell by 

your wit, 

What was a month old at Cain's birth, that's not 
five weeks old as yet ? 

HOL. Dictynna, 7 good man Dull; Dictynna, 
good man Dull. 

DULL. What is Dictynna? 

NATH. A title to Phoebe, to Luna, to the moon. 

HOL. The moon was a month old, when Adam 

was no more j 
And raught not 8 to five weeks, when he came to 

The allusion holds in the exchange. * 

DULL. 'Tis true indeed ; the collusion holds in 
the exchange. 

HOL. God comfort thy capacity ! I say, the allu- 
sion holds in the exchange. 

* Dictynna,'} Old copies Dictisima. Corrected by Mr, 
Rowe. MALONE, 

Shakspeare might have found this uncommon title for Diana, 
in the second Book of Golding's translation of Ovid's Metamor- 
phosis : 

" Dictynna garded with her traine, and proud of killing 


It occurs also in the first satire of Marston, 1598, and in the 
9th Thebaid of Statius, 632. STEEVENS. 

* And raught not ] i. e. reached not. So, in The Arraign* 
tnent of Paris, 1584: 

" the fatal fruit 

" Raught from the golden tree of Proserpine." 


' The allusion holds in the exchange."] i. e. the riddle is as 
good when I use the name of Adam, as when I use the name of 


DULL. And I say the pollusion holds in the ex- 
change ; for the moon is never but a month old : 
and I say beside, that 'twas a pricket that the prin- 
cess kill'd. 

HOL. Sir Nathaniel, will you hear an extemporal 
epitaph on the death of the deer ? and, to humour 
the ignorant, I have 1 call'd the deer the princess 
kill'd, a pricket. 

NATH. Perge, good master Holofernes, perge ; 
so it shall please you to abrogate scurrility. 

HOL. I will something affect the letter ; 2 for it 
argues facility. 
The praiseful princess* pierc'd and prick* d a pretty 

pleasing pricket ; 
Some say, a sore ; but not a sore, till now made 

sore with shooting. 
The dogs did yell ; put I to sore, then sorel jumps 

from thicket ; 

Or pricket, sore, or else sorel; the people fall a 

1 / have ] These words were inserted by Mr. Rowe. 


1 affect the letter ;] That is, I will practise alliteration. 


To affect is thus used by Ben Jonson in his Discoveries : 
" Spenser in affecting the ancients, writ no language ; yet I 
would have him read for his matter, but as Virgil read Ennius." 


' The praiseful princess ] This emendation was made by the 
editor or the second folio. The quarto 1598, and folio, 1623, 
read corruptly prayful. MALONE. 

The ridicule designed in this passage may not be unhappily 
illustrated by the alliteration in the following lines of Ulpian 
Fulwell, in his Commemoration of Queen Anne Buttayne, which 
makes part of a collection called The Flower of Fame, printed, 

" Whose princely praise hath pearst the pricke, 
". And price of endless fame," &c. STEEVENS. 


If sore be sore, then L to sore makes fifty sores;. O 

sore L /* 
Of one sore I an hundred make, by adding but one 

more L. 

NATH. A rare talent ! 

DULL. If a talent be a claw, 6 look how he claws 
him with a talent. 6 

HOL. This is a gift that I have, simple, simple ; 
a foolish extravagant spirit, full of forms, figures, 
shapes, objects, ideas, apprehensions, motions, re- 
volutions : these are begot in the ventricle of me- 
mory, nourished in the womb of pia mater; 1 and 
delivered upon the mellowing of occasion : But the 
gift is good in those in whom it is acute, and I am 
thankful for it. 

NATH. Sir, I praise the Lord for you ; and so 
may my parishioners j for their sons are well tutor'd 

4 O sore L !] The old copies read O sorell. The ne- 
cessary change was made by Dr. Warburton. The allusion (as 
he observes) is to L, being the numeral for fifty. 

This correction ( says Mr. Malone, ) is confirmed by the rhyme : 
" A deer (he adds) during his third year is called a sorell" 


1 If a talent be a claw, &c.] In our author's time the talon 
f a bird was frequently written talent. Hence the quibble 
here, and in Twelfth-Night : " let them use their talents." 
So, in The First Part of the Contention between the Houses of 
York and Lancaster , 1600 : 

" Are you the kite, Beaufort ? where's your talents?" 
Again, in Marlowe's Tamberlaine, 1590: 

" and now doth ghastly death 

" With greedy tattents gripe my bleeding heart." 


claws him with a talent.'] Honest Dull quibbles. One 

of the senses of to claw, is to flatter. So, in Much Ado about 
Nothing: laugh when I am merry, and claw no man in 
his humour." STEEVENS. 

. 7 pia mater;] See Vol. V. p. 265. STEEVENS, 



by you, and their daughters profit very greatly un- 
der you : you are a good member of the common- 

HOL. Mehercle, if their sons be ingenious, they 
shall want no instruction : if their daughters be 
capable, 8 I will put it to them : But, vir sapit, qui 
pauca loquitur : a soul feminine saluteth us. 

JAQ. God give you good morrow, master person. 

HOL. Master person, quasi pers-on. 9 And if 
one should be pierced, which is the one ? 

if their daughters be capable, &c.] Of this double 

entendre, despicable as it is, Mr. Pope and his coadjutors availed 
themselves, in their unsuccessful comedy called Three Hours after 

Marriage. STEEVENS. 

Capable is used equivocally. One of its senses was reason- 
able ; endowed with a ready capacity to learn. So, in Kins 
Richard III: 

" O 'tis a parlous boy, 
" Bold, quick, ingenious, forward, capable** 
The other wants no explanation. MALONE. 

9 quasi pers-on.] So, in Holinshed, p. 953 : 

" Jerom was vicar of Stepnie, and Garrard was person of 

Honie-lane." Again, in The Contention betwyxte Churchyeard 

and Cornell, 1560: 

" And send such whens home to our person or vicar." 
I believe, however, we should write the word pers-one. 

The same play on the word pierce is put into the mouth of 

Falstqjf. STEEVENS. 

The words one and on were, I believe, pronounced nearly 
alike, at least in some counties, in our author's time ; the quibble, 
therefore, that Mr. Steevens has noted, may have been intended 
as the text now stands. In the same style afterwards Moth says : 
" Offer'd by a child to an old man, which is "wit-old." 
' Person, as Sir William Blackstone observes in his Commenta- 
ries, is the original and proper term ; Persona ecclesiae. 


so. ii. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 95 

COST. Marry, master schoolmaster, he that is 
likest to a hogshead. 

HOL. Of piercing a hogshead! a good lustre of 
conceit in a turf of earth ; fire enough for a flint, 
pearl enough for a swine : 'tis pretty; it is well. 

JAQ. Good master parson, be so good as read me 
this letter ; it was given me by Costard, and sent 
me from Don Armatho : I beseech you, read it. 

HOL. Fauste, precor gelida 1 quando pecus omne 
sub umbra 

1 Hoi. Fauste, precor gelidd ] Though all the editions con- 
cur to give this speech to Sir Nathaniel, yet, as Dr. Thirlby in- 
geniously observed to me, it is evident it must belong to Holo- 
fernes. The Curate is employed in reading the letter to himself; 
and while he is doing so, that the stage may not stand still, 
Holofernes either pulls out a book, or, repeating some verse by 
heart from Mantuanus, comments upon the character of that 
poet. Baptista Spagnolus (sirnamed Mantuanus, from the place 
of his birth ) was a writer of poems, who flourished towards the 
latter end of the 15th century. THEOBALD. 

Fauste, precor gelida, &c.] A note of La Monnoye's on these 
very words in Les Contes des Periers, Nov. 42, will explain the 
humour of the quotation, and shew how well Shakspeare sus- 
tained the character of his pedant. II designe le Carme Baptiste 
Mantuan, dont au commencement du 16 siecle on lisoit pubtique- 
ment d Paris les Poesies; si celebres alors, que, comme dit 
plaisamment Farnabe, dans sa preface sur Martial, les Pedans 
nefaisoient nulle difficidte de preferer d le Arma virumque cano, 
le Fauste precor gelida ; c*est-a-dire, d /' Eneide de Virgil les 
Eclogues de Mantuan, la premiere desquelles commence par, 
Fauste, precor gelida. WARBURTON. 

The Eclogues of Mantuanus the Carmelite were translated 
before the time of Shakspeare, and the Latin printed on the 
opposite side of the page, for the use of schools. In the year 
1594- they were also versified by Turberville. STEEVENS. 

From a passage in Nashe's Apologie of Pierce Penniless, 1593, 
the Eclogues of Mantuanus appear to have been a school-book in 
our author's time : " With the first and second leafe he plaies 
very prettilie, and, in ordinarie terms of extenuating, verdits 
Pierce Pennilesse for a grammar-school wit ; saies, his margine 


Ruminat^ and so forth. Ah, good old Mantuan! 
I may speak of thee as the traveller doth of Venice: 

Vinegia, Vinegia, 

Chi non te vede, ei non te pregia.* 

Old Mantuan ! old Mantuan ! Who understandeth 
thee not, loves thee not. Ut, re, sol, la,mi,fa* 
Under pardon, sir, what are the contents? or, rather, 
as Horace says in his What, my soul, verses ? 

is as deeply learned as Fauste precor gelida." A translation of 
Mantuanus by George Turberville was printed in 8vo. in 1567. 


* Vinegia, Vinegia, 

Chi non te vede, ei non te pregia."] Our author is applying 
the praises of Mantuanus to a common proverbial sentence, said 
of Venice. Vinegia, Vinegia ! qui non te vedi, ei non te pregia. 

Venice, Venice, he who has never seen thee, has thee not in 
esteem. THEOBALD. 

The proverb, as I am informed, is this : He that sees Venice 
little, values it much ; he that sees it much, values it little. But 

1 suppose Mr. Theobald is right, for the true proverb would not 
serve the speaker's purpose. JOHNSON. 

The proverb stands thus in Howell's Letters, B. I. sect. i. 1. 36: 
" Venetia, Venetia, chi non tevede, non te pregia, 
" Ma chi t' ha troppo veduto le dispregia." 
** Venice, Venice, none thee unseen caji prize ; 
** Who thee hath seen too much, will thee despise." 
The players in their edition, have thus printed the first line. 
Vemchie, vencha, que non te unde, que non te perreche. 

Mr. Malone observes that " the editor of the first folio here, 
as in many other instances, implicitly copied the preceding 
quarto. The text was corrected by Mr. Theobald." STEEVENS. 

Our author, I believe, found this Italian proverb in Florio's 
Second Frutes, 4to. 1591, where it stands thus: 
" Venetia, chi non ti vede, non ti pretia ; 
" Ma chi ti vede, ben gli costa." MALONE. 

* Ut, re, sol, &c.] He hums the notes of the gamut, as Ed- 
mund does in King Lear, Act I. sc. ii. where see Dr. Burney's 
note. DOUCE. 

sc. if. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 97 

NATH. Ay, sir, and very learned. 

HOL. Let me hear a staff, a stanza, a verse; 
Lege, domine. 

NATH. If love make me forsworn, 4 how shall I 

swear to love ? 
Ah, never faith could hold, if not to beauty 

Though to myself forsworn, to thee I'll faithful 

prove ; 
Those thoughts to me were oaks, to thee like 

osiers bowed. 
Study his bias leaves, and makes his book thine 

Where all those pleasures live, that art would 

comprehend : 
If knowledge be the mark, to know thee shall 

suffice ; 
Well learned is that tongue, that well can thee 

All ignorant that soul, that sees thee without 

wonder ; 
(Which is to me some praise, that I thy parts 

admire ;) 
Thy eye Jove's lightning bears, thy voice his 

dreadful thunder, 

Which, not to anger bent, is musick, and 
sweet fire. 5 

4 If love moke me forsworn, &c.] These verses are printed 
tvkh some variations in a book entitled The Passionate Pilgrim, 
&to. 1599. MALONE. 

* thy voice his dreadful thunder, 

Which, not to anger bent, is musick and sweet fae.] So, in 
Antony and Cleopatra : 



Celestial, as thou art, oh pardon, love, this wrong, 
That sings heaven's praise with such an earthly 
tongue ! 

HOL. You find not the apostrophes, and so miss 
the accent : let me supervise the canzonet. Here 
are only numbers ratified; 6 but, for the elegancy, 
facility, and golden cadence of poesy, caret. Ovi- 
dius Naso was the man : and why, indeed, Naso ; 
but for smelling out the odoriferous flowers of 

" his voice was propertied- 

" As all the tuned spheres, and that to friends ; 
" But when he meant to quail, and shake the orb,- 
" He was as ratling thunder" MALONE. 

- " Here are only numbers ratified;] Though this speech has 
all along been placed to Sir Nathaniel, I have ventured to join 
it to the preceding words of Holofernes ; and not without rea- 
son. The speaker here is impeaching the verses ; but Sir Na- 
thaniel, as it appears above, thought them learned ones : besides, 
as Dr. Thirlby observes, almost every word of this speech fathers 
itself on the pedant. So much for the regulation of it : now, a 
little to the contents. 

And why, indeed, Naso; but for smelling out the odoriferous 
Jlorvers of fancy?- the jerks of invention imitary is nothing. 

Sagacity with a vengeance ! I should be ashamed to own my- 
self a piece of a scholar, to pretend to the task of an editor, and 
to pass such stuff as this upon the world for genuine. Who ever 
heard of invention imitary? Invention and imitation have ever 
been accounted two distinct things. The speech is by a pedant, 
who frequently throws in a word of Latin amongst his English ; 
and he is here flourishing upon the merit of invention, beyond 
that of imitation, or copying after another. My correction makes 
the whole so plain and intelligible, that, I think, it carries con- 
viction along with it. THEOBALD. 

This pedantry appears to have been common in the age of 
Shakspeare. The author of Lingua, or the Combat of the Tongue 
and the Five Senses for Superiority, 1607, takes particular m> 
tice of it: 

'* I remember about the year 1602, many used this skew kind 
of language, which, in my opinion, is not much unlike the man. 
whom Ptolemy, the son of Lagus, king of Egypt, brought for 
?pectacle, half white and half black." STEEVENS, 

sc.ii. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 99 

fancy, the jerks of invention ? Imitari, is nothing: 
so doth the hound his master, the ape his keeper, 
the tired horse 7 his rider. But damosella virgin, 
was this directed to you ? 

JAQ. Ay, sir, from one Monsieur Biron, 8 one of 
the strange queen's lords. 

HOL. I will overglanoe the superscript. To tlie 
snow-white hand of tlie most beauteous Lady Rosa- 
line. I will look again on the intellect of the letter, 
for the nomination of the party writing 9 to the per- 
son written unto : . 

Your Lady ship's in all desired employment, BIRON. 

Sir Nathaniel, this Biron is one of the votaries with 
the king ; and here he hath framed a letter to a se- 
quent of the stranger queen's, which, accidentally, 
or by the way of progression, hath miscarried. Trip 

7 the tired horse ] The tired horse was the horse 

adorned iuith ribbands, The famous Bankes's horse so often al- 
luded to. Lyly, in his Mother Bombie, brings in a Hackneyman 
and Mr. Halfpenny at cross-purposes with this word : " Why 
didst thou boare the horse through the eares ?" " It was for 
tiring." " He would never tire," replies the other. FARMER. 

So, in Marston's Antonio and Mellida, P. II. 1602 : 

" Slink to thy chamber then and tyre thee." 
Again, in What you will, by Marsten, 1607 : 

" My love hath tyred some fidler like Albano." 


' Ay, sir, from one Monsieur Biron,'] Shakspeare forgot him- 
self in this passage. Jaquenetta knew nothing of Biron, and had 
said, just before, that the letter had been " sent to her from Don 
Armatho, and given to her by Costard.*' M. MASON. 

writing ] Old copies written. Corrected by Mr. 

Rowe. The first five lines of this speech were restored to the 
right owner by Mr. Theobald. Instead of Sir Nathaniel the old 
copies have Sir Holqfernes. Corrected by Mr. Steevens. 

H 2 


and go, my sweet; 1 deliver this paper into the royal 
hand of the king ; it may concern much : Stay not 
thy compliment ; I forgive thy duty ; adieu. 

JAQ. Good Costard go with me. Sir, God save 
your life J 

COST. Have with thee, my girl. 

[Exeunt COST, and JAQ. 

NATH. Sir, you have done this in the fear of God, 
very religiously ; and, as a certain father saith 

HOL. Sir, tell not me of the father, I do fear 
colourable colours. 2 But, to return to the verses y 
Did they please you, sir Nathaniel ? . <* 

NATH. Marvellous well for the pen. 

HOL. I do dine to-day at the father's of a certain, 
pupil of mine ; where if, before repast, 3 it shall 
please you to gratify the table with a grace, I will, 
on my privilege I have with the parents of the fore- 
said childor pupil, undertake your benvenuto; where 
I will prove those verses to be very unlearned, nei- 
ther savouring of poetry, wit, nor invention : I be- 
seech your society* 

NATH. And thank you too : for society, (saith 
the text,) is the happiness of life. 

1 Trip and go, my sweet ;] Perhaps originally the burthen of 
.1 song. So, in Summer's Last Will and Testament, "by Nashe, 

** Trip and go, heave and hoe, 

" Up and down, to and fro .' r MA LONE. 

These words are certainly part of an old popular song. There 
is an ancient musical medley beginning, Trip and go hey ! 


* colourable colours^] That is specious, or fair seeming 

appearances. JOHNSON. 

1 before repast, ,] Thus the quarto. Folio beinv repast. 


ac. m-. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 101 

HOL* And, certes, 4 the text most infallibly con* 
eludes it. Sir, [To DULL.] I do invite you too; you 
shall not say me, nay : pauca verba. Away ; the 
gentles are at their game, and we will to our re- 
-creation. \Exeunt, 


Another part of the same* 
Enter BIRON, with a paper. 

The king he is hunting the deer ; I am 
Coursing myself: they have pitched a toil ; I am toil- 
ing in a pitch ; 5 pitch that defiles; defile 1 afoul 
word. Well, Set thee down, sorrow ! for so, they 
say, the fool said, and so say I, and I the fool. Weil 
proved, wit 1 By the Lord, this love is as mad as 
Ajax: it kills sheep; it kills me, 6 I a sheep: Well 
proved again on my side ! I will not love : if I do, 
hang me ; i'faith, I will not. O, but her eye, by 
this light, but for her eye, I would not love her 5 
yes, for her two eyes. Well, I do nothing in the 
world but lie, and lie in my throat. By heaven, I 
do love : and it hath taught me to rhyme, and to be 
melancholy; and here is part of my rhyme, and here 

4 certes,] i. e. Certainly, in truth. So, in Chaucer's 
Wif of Bathes Tale, v. 6790: 

" And certes, sire, though non auctoritee 
** Were in no book,'* &c. STEEVENS. 

* - 1 am toiling in a pitch;} Alluding to lady Rosaline's 
complexion, who is through the whole play represented as a 
%lack beauty. JOHNSON. 

8 - this love is as mad as Ajax: it kills sheep ; it kills me,] 
This is given as a proverb in Fuller's Gnomologia. RITSON. 


my melancholy. Well, she hath one o' my sonnets 
already ; the clown bore it, the fool sent it, and the 
lady hath it : sweet clown, sweeter fool, sweetest 
lady ! By the world, I would not care a pin if the 
other three were in : Here comes one with a 
paper ; God give him grace to groan ! 

[Gets up into a tree. 

Enter the King, with a paper. 

KING. Ah me ! 

BIRON. \_Aside.~] Shot, by heaven ! Proceed, 
sweet Cupid ; thou hast thump'd him with thy 
birdbolt under the left pap : Ffaith secrets. 

KING. [Reads.] So sweet a kiss the golden sun 
gives not 

To those fresh morning drops upon the rose, 
As thy eye-beams, when their fresh rays have smote 

The night of dew that on my cheeks downjlows : 7 
Nor shines the silver moon one half so bright 

Through the transparent bosom of the deep, 
As doth thy face through tears 8 of mine give light; 

Thou shin'st in every tear that I do weep : 

7 The night of dew, that on my cheeks down flows i\ This 
phrase, however quaint, is the poet's own. He means, the dew 
that nightly flows down his cheeks. Shakspeare, in one of his 
other pieces, uses night of dew for dewy nighty but I cannot at 
present recollect in which. STEEVENS. 

* Nor shines the silver moon one half so bright, 
Through the transparent bosom of the deep, 
As doth thy face through tears ] So, in our poet's Venus 
and Adonis : 

" But hers, which through the chrystal tears gave light, 
" Shone, like the moon in water, seen by night." 


sc. m. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 103 

No drop but as a coach doth carry thee, 
So ridest thou triumphing in my woe; 
Do but behold the tears that swell in me, 

And they thy glory through thy grief will show: 
But do not love thyself; then thou wilt keep 
My tears for glasses, and still make me weep, 
O queen- of queens, how far dost thou excel! 
No thought can think, nor tongue of mortal tell. 

How shall she know my griefs ? I'll drop the paper ; 
Sweet leaves, shade folly. Who is he comes here ? 

[Steps aside. 

Enter LONGAVILLE, with a paper. 

What, Longaville ! and reading ! listen, ear. 

BISON. Now, in thy likeness, one more fool, 
appear ! [Aside. 

LVNG. Ah me ! I am forsworn. 

BIRON. Why, he comes in like a perjure, 9 wear- 
ing papers. [Aside. 

KING. In love, I hope; 1 Sweet fellowship in 
shame ! [Aside. 

BIRON. One drunkard loves another of the name. 


9 he comes in like a perjure, ~\ The punishment of perjury 

is to wear on the breast a paper expressing the crime. JOHNSON. 

Thus, Holinshed, p. 838, speaking of Cardinal Wolsey : " he 
so punished a perjurie with open punishment, and open papers 
wearing, that hi his time it was less used." 

Again, in Leicester's Commonwealth : " the gentlemen were 
all taken and cast into prison, and afterwards were sent down to 
X,udlow, there to wear papers of perjury." STEEVENS. 

1 In love t I hope ; &c.] In the old copy this line is given to 
jLongaville. The present regulation was made by Mr* Pope. 



LONG. Am I the first that have been perjur'd so ? 

BIRON. [Aside.^ I could put thee in comfort ; 
not by two, that I know : 

JThou mak'st the triumviry, the corner-cap of so- 

The shape of love's Tyburn that hangs up simpli- 

LONG. I fear, these stubborn lines lack power 

to move : 

O sweet Maria, empress of my love ! 
These numbers will I tear, and write in prose. 

BIRON. [Aside.^l O, rhymes are guards on wanton 

Cupid's hose : 
Disfigure not his slop. 2 

LONG. This same shall go. 

[He reads tJie sonnet. 

* O, rhymes are guards on "wanton Cupid's hose .- 
Disfigure not his slop.} The old copies read shop. 


All the editions happen to concur in this error: but what 
agreement in sense is there between Cupid's hose and his shop? 
or what relation can those two terms have to one another ? or, 
what, indeed, can be understood by Cupid's shop ? It must un- 
doubtedly be corrected, as I have reformed the text. 

Slops are large and wide-knee'd breeches, the garb in fashion 
in our author's days, as we may observe from old family pictures; 
but they are now worn only by boors and sea-faring men : and 
we have dealers, whose sole business it is to furnish the sailors 
with shirts, jackets, &c. who are called slop-men, and their shops, 
.slop-shops. THEOBALD. 

I suppose this alludes to the usual tawdry dress of Cupid, 
when he appeared on the stage. In an old translation of Casa's 
Galateo is this precept : " Thou must wear no garments, that 
be over much daubed with garding: that men may not say, thou 
hast Ganimedes hosen, or Cupides doublet." FARMEU. 

sc. m. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 105 

Did not the heavenly rhetorick of thine eye 

('Gainst whom the world cannot hold argument,') 
Persuade my heart to tJds false perjury ? 

Vows, for thee broke, deserve not punishment. 
A woman I forswore; but, I mllprove^ 

Thou being a goddess, I forswore not thee : 
My vow was earthly, thou a heavenly love ; 

Thy grace being gain'd, cures all disgrace in me. 
Vows are but breath, and breath a vapour is : 

Then thou, fair sun, which on my earth dost 

Exhal'st this vapour vow ; in thee it is : 

If broken then, it is no fault of mine ; 
If by me broke, What fool is not so wise, 
To lose an oath to win a paradise ? 3 

BIRON. [Aside."] This is the liver vein, 4 which 

makes flesh a deity ; 

A green goose, a goddess : pure, pure idolatry. 
God amend us, God amend! we are much out 

o* the way. 

Enter DUMAIN, with a paper. 

LONG. By whom shall I send this? Company! 
stay. [Stepping aside. 

BIRON. [Aside.'] All hid, all hid, 5 an old infant 

3 To lose an oath to win a paradise?] The Passionate Pil' 
grim, 1599, in which this sonnet is also found, reads To break 
an oath. But the opposition between lose and win is much in 
our author's manner. MALONE. 

4 the liver vein,] The liver was anciently supposed to be 

the seat of love. JOHNSON. 

So, in Much Ado about Nothing 

lt If ever love had interest in his liver. 1 ' STEEVENS. 

* All hid, all hid,] The children's cry at hide and seek. 



Like a demi-god here sit I in the sky, 

And wretched fools' secrets needfully o'er-eye. 

More sacks to the mill ! O heavens, I have my 

Dumain transformed : four woodcocks in a dish ! 6 

DUM. O most divine Kate! 

BIRON. O most prophane coxcomb ! 


DUM. By heaven, the wonder of a mortal eye ! 

BIRON. By earth she is but corporal; there you 
lie, 7 \_Aside. 

-four woodcocks in a dish.'} See note on Much Ado 

nbout Nothing, Act V. sc. i. DOUCE. 

7 By earthy she is but corporal; there you lie.} Old edition: 
By earth, she is not, corporal, there you lie. 

Dumain, one of the lovers, in spite of his vow to the contrary, 
thinking himself alone here, breaks out into short soliloquies of 
admiration on his mistress; and Biron, who .stands behind as an 
eves-dropper, takes pleasure in contradicting his amorous rap- 
tures. But Dumain was a young lord ; he had no sort of post in 
the army : what wit, or allusion, then, can there be in Biron's 
calling him corporal? I dare warrant, 1 have restored the poet's 
true meaning, which is this. Dumain calls his mistress divine, 
and the wonder of a mortal eye ; and Biron in flat terms denies 
these hyperbolical praises. I scarce need hint, that our poet 
commonly uses corporal, as corporeal. THEOBALD. 

I have no doubt that Theobald's emendation is right. 
The word corporal in Shakspeare's time, was used for corpo- 
real. So, in Macbeth " each corporal agent." 
Again : 

" and what seem'd corporal, melted 

* As breath into the wind." 
Again, in Julius C&sar : 

" His corporal motion govern'd by my spirit." 
This adjective is found in Bullokar's Expositor, 8vo. 1616, 
but corporeal is not. 

Not is again printed for but in the original copy of The Co- 
medy of Errors, and in other places. MALONE. 

sc. in. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 107 

DUM. Her amber hairs for foul have amber 
coted. 8 

BIRON. An amber-colour'd raven was well noted. 


DUM. As upright as the cedar. 

BIRON. Stoop, I say ; 

Her shoulder is with child. \_Aside. 

DUM. As fair as day. 

amber coted.] To cote is to outstrip, to overpass. So, 

in Hamlet; 

" certain players 

" We coted on the way.'* 
Again, in Chapman's Homer : 

" Words her worth had prov'd with deeds, 

" Had more ground been allow'd the race, and coted far 

his steeds." 

The beauty of amber consists in its variegated cloudiness, which 
Dumain c&\\sfoulness. The hair of his mistress in varied shadows 
exceeded those of amber. Foul may be used (as fair often is) as 
a substantive. Pliny in his Nat. Hist. B. XXXVII. ch. xi. p. 609, 
informs us that " Nero Domitius made a sonnet in the praise of 
the haire of the Empresse Poppaea his wife, which he compared 
to amber; and from that time our daintie dames and fine ladies 
have begun to set their mind upon this colour," &c. STEEVENS. 

Quoted here, I think, signifies marked, "written down. So, in 
All's well that end's well: 

" He quoted for a most perfidious knave." 

The word in the old copy is coted ; but that (as Dr. Johnson 
has observed in the last scene of this play, ) is only the old spell- 
ing of quoted, owing to the transcriber's trusting to his ear, and 
following the pronunciation. To cote, is elsewhere used by our 
author, with the signification of over-take, but that will by no 
means suit here. MALONE. 

The word here intended, though mispelled, is quoted, which 
signifies observed or regarded, both here and in every place 
where it occurs in these plays ; and the meaning is, that amber 
itself is regarded as foul, when compared with her hair. 



BIRON. Ay, as some days; but then no sun 
must shine. [Aside* 

DUM. O that I had my wish ! 

LONG. And I had mine ! 

KING. And I mine too, good Lord ! [Aside-. 

BIRON. Amen, so I had mine: Is not that a good 
word? [Aside. 

DUM. I would forget her ; but a fever she 
Heigns in my blood, 9 and will remember'd be, 

BIRON. A fever in your blood, why, then incision 
Would let her out in saucers ; l Sweet misprision ! 


DUM. Once more I'll read the ode that I have 

BIRON. Once more I'll mark how love can vary 
wit. [Aside. 

9 but a fever she 

Reigns in my blood,] So, in Hamlet : 

*' For, like the hectic, in my blood he rages." 


1 why, then incision 

Would let her out in saucers ;] It was the fashion among the 
young gallants of that age, to stab themselves in the arms, or 
elsewhere, in order to drink their mistress's health, or write her 
name in their blood, as a proof of their passion. 

Thus, in The Humorous Lieutenant, a gentleman gives the 
following description of him, when in love v/ith the King: 
" Thus he begins, though light and life of creatures, 
" Angel-ey'd king, vouchsafe at length thy favour ; 
" And so proceeds to incision." 

But the custom is more particularly described in Jonson's 
Cynthia's Revels, where Phantaste, describing the different 
modes of making love, says : " A fourth with stabbing himself, 
and drinking healths, or writing languishing letters in his 
blood." And in the Palinode, at the end of the play, Amorphus 
says: " From stabbing of arms, &c. Good Mercury deliver us!" 



DUM. On a day, (alack the day!) 

Love, whose month is ever May, 

Spied a blossom, passing fair, 

Playing in the wanton air: , 

Through the velvet leaves the wind, 

All unseen, 'gan passage jind;* 

That the lover, sick to death, 

Wish'd himself the heaven's breath. 

Air, quoth he, thy cheeks may blow; 

Air, would I might triumph so / 3 

But alack, my hand is sworn,* 

Ne*er to pluck theefrom thy thorn ^ 

Vow, alack, for youth unmeet; 

Youth so apt to pluck a sweet. 

Do not call it sin in me, 

That I am forsworn for thee: 

Thou for whom even Jove would swear, 6 

Juno but an Ethiop were; 

4 *gan passage find i] The quarto, 1598, and the first 

folio, have can. Corrected by Mr. Theobald. In the line next 
but one, Wish (the reading of the old copies) was corrected by 
the editor of the second folio. MALONE. 
,::_.....,.... . foJ UOY ft'rfi&IS . 

3 Air, would I might triumph so!] Perhaps we may better readt 

'* Ah! would I might triumph so 7" JOHNSON., 

4 my hand is sworn,] A copy of this sonnet is printed in 

England's Helicon, 1614, and reads: 

" But, alas ! my hand hath sworn," 

It is likewise printed as Shakspeare's, in Jaggard's Collection* 
1599, STEEVENS. 

* from thy thorn:] So, Mr. Pope. The original copy 

reads throne. MALONE. 

'i j'f 

6 even Jove would swear,] The word even has been 

supplied ; and the two preceding lines are wanting in the copy 
published in England's Helicon, 1614. STEEVENS. 

Swear is here used as a dissyllable. Mr. Pope, not attending 
to this, reads ev'n Jove, which has been adopted by the subse- 
quent editors. MALONE. 


And deny himself for Jove, 
Turning mortal for thy love. 

This will I send ; and something else more plain, 
That shall express my true love's fasting pain. 7 
O, would the King, Biron, and Longaville, 
Were lovers too ! Ill, to example ill, 
Would from my forehead wipe a perjur'd note ; 
For none offend, where all alike do dote. 

LONG. Dumain, [advancing. ,] thy love is far 

from charity, 

That in love's grief desir'st society : 
You may look pale, but I should blush, I know, 
To be o'erheard, and taken napping so. 

KING. Come, sir, [advancing.'] you blush; as his 

your case is such ; 

You chide at him, offending twice as much : 
You do not love Maria ; Longaville 
Did never sonnet for her sake compile ; 
Nor never lay his wreathed arms athwart 
His loving bosom, to keep down his heart. 
I have been closely shrouded in this bush, 
And mark'd you both, and for you both did blush. 
I heard your guilty rhymes, observ'd your fashion ; 
Saw sighs reek from you, noted well your passion: 
Ah me ! says one ; O Jove ! the other cries ; 
One, her hairs 8 were gold, crystal the other's eyes: 

I would willingly abandon the adoption, if I could read the 
line without it, and persuade myself that I was reading a verse. 
But when was swear ever used as a dissyllable, at the end of a 
verse ? STEEVENS. 

7 my true love's fasting pain.] Fasting is longing, hungry, 

wanting. JOHNSON. 

* One, her hairs ] The folio reads On her hairs, &c. I 
some years ago conjectured that we should read One, her hairs 
were gold, &c. i. e. the hairs of one of the ladies ivere of 


You would for paradise break faith and troth ; 

[To LONG. 

And Jove, for your love, would infringe an oath. 


What will Biron say, when that he shall hear 
A faith infring'd, which such a zeal did swear? 9 
How will he scorn ? how will he spend his wit ? 
How will he triumph, leap, and laugh at it I 
For all the wealth that ever I did see, 
I would not have him know so much by me. 

BIRON. Now step I forth to whip hypocrisy. 
Ah, good my liege, I pray thee pardon me : 

\_Descendsfrom the tree* 

Good heart, what grace hast thou, thus to reprove 
These worms for loving, 1 that art most in love ? 
Your eyes do make no coaches ; 2 in your tears, 
There is no certain princess that appears : 

the colour of gold, and the eyes of the other as clear as crystal. 
The King is speaking of the panegyricks pronounced by the two 
lovers on their mistresses. On examining the first quarto, 1598, 
I have found my conjecture confirmed; for so it reads. One and 
on are frequently confounded in the old copies of our author's 
plays. See a note on King John, Act III. sc. iii. MALONE. 

9 A. faith infringed, which such a zeal did sivearf] The re- 
peated article A (which is wanting in the oldest copy) appears to 
have been judiciously restored by the editor of the folio 1632. 
At least, I shall adopt his supplement, till some hardy critick 
arises and declares himself satisfied with the following line : 

" Faith infringed, which such zeal did swear " 
in which " ze al" must be employed as a dissyllable. See Mr. 
Malone's note 6, p. 109. STEEVENS. 

1 These worms for loving,"] So, iu The Tempest, Prospera 
addressing Miranda, says 

" Poor worm, thou art infected/' STEEVENS. 

* Your eyes do make no coaches ;] Alluding to a passage in the 
king's sonnet: 

.' No drop but as a coach doth carry theeV' STEEVENS. 

The old copy has couches. Mr. Pope corrected it. MALONE. 


You'll not be perjur'd, 'tis a hateful thing ; 
Tush, none but minstrels like of sonneting. 
But are you not asham'd ? nay, are you not, 
All three of you, to be thus much o'ershot ? 
You found his mote ; the king your mote did see; 
But I a beam do find in each or three. 
O, what a scene of foolery I have seen, 
Of sighs, of groans, of sorrow, and of teen ! 3 
O me, with what strict patience have I sat, 
To see a king transformed to a gnat ! 4 

3 teen!] i. e. grief. So, in The Tempest: 

" To think o' the teen that I have turn'd you to.** 


4 To see a kins transformed to a gnat !] Mr. Theobald and 
the succeeding editors read to a knot. MALONE. 

Knot has no sense that can suit this place. We may read 
sot. The rhymes in this play are such as that sat and sot may 
be well enough admitted. JOHNSON. 

A knot is, I believe, a true lover's knot, meaning that the king 

" his wreathed arms athwart 

" His loving bosom " 

so long ; i. e. remained so long in the lover's posture, that he 
seemed actually transformed into a knot. The word sat is in some 
counties pronounced sot. This may account for the seeming 
want of exact rhyme. 

In the old comedy of Albumazar, the same thought occurs : 

" Why should I twine my arms to cables?" 
So, in The Tempest: 

" sitting, 

" His arms in this sad knot.'" 
Again, in Titus Andronicus: 

" Marcus, unknit that sorrow-wreathen knot: 

" Thy niece and I, poor creatures, want our hands, 

" And cannot passionate our ten-fold grief 

" With folded arms." 
Again, in The Raging Turk, 1631: 

'* as he walk'd, 

" Folding his arms up in a pensive knot" 
The old copy, however, reads a gnat, and Mr. Toilet seems 
to think it contains an allusion to St. Matthew, xxiii. 24-, where 

ac.m. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 113 

To see great Hercules whipping a gigg, 
And profound Solomon to tune a jigg, 
And Nestor play at push-pin with the boys, 
And critick Pinion 5 laugh at idle toys ! 

the metaphorical term of a gnat means a thing of least import- 
ance, or what is proverbially small. The smallness of a gnat is 
likewise mentioned in Cymbeline. STEE.VENS. 

A knott is likewise a Lincolnshire bird of the snipe kind. It 
is foolish even to a proverb, and it is said to be easily ensnared. 
Ray, in his Ornithology, observes, lhat it took its name from, 
Canute, who. was particularly iond of it. COLLINS. 

So, in The Alchemist.' 

" My foot-boy shall eat pheasants, &c. 
" Knotts, godwits," &c. 
Again, in the 25th song of Drayton's Polyolbion : 

" The knot that called was Canutus' bird of okl, 
" Of that great king of Danes his name that still doth hold, 
'* His appetite to please that far and near were sought." 


To see a king transformed to a gnat!] Alluding to the singing 
of that insect, suggested by the poetry the king had been de- 
tected in. HEATH. 

The original reading, and Mr. Heath's explanation of it, are 
confirmed by a passage in Spenser's Fairy Queene, B. II. c. ix : 
" As when a swarme of gnats at even-tide 
" Out of the fennes of Allan doe arise, 
" Their murmuring small trompettes sounden wide," &c. 


Gnat is undoubtedly the true reading, and is that, it seems, of 
the old copy. Biron is abusing the King for his sonnetting like 
a minstrel, and compares him to a gnat, which always sings as 
it flies. Besides, the word gnat preserves the rhyme, which is 
here to be attended to. M. MASON. 

* critick Timon ] Critic and critical are used by our 

author in the same sense as cynic and cynical. lago, speaking 
of the fair sex as harshly as is sometimes the practice of Dr. 
Warburton, declares he is nothing if not critical. STEEVENS. * 

Mr. Steevens's observation is supported by our author's 112th 
Sonnet : 

" my adder's sense 

" To critick and tojlatterer stopped are." MALOKE. 



Where lies thy grief, O tell me, good Dumain ? 
And, gentle Longaville, where lies thy pain ? 
And where my liege's ? all about the breast : 
A caudle, ho ! 

KING. Too bitter is thy jest. 

Are we betray'd thus to thy over-view ? 

BIRON. Not you by me, but I betray'd to you ; 
I, that am honest ; I, that hold it sin 
To break the vow I am engaged in ; 
I am betray'd, by keeping company 
With moon-like men, of strange inconstancy. 6 

6 With moon-like men, of strange inconstancy,] The old copy 
reads " men-like men." STEEVENS. 

This is a strange senseless line, and should be read thus : 
With vane-like men, of strange inconstancy. 


This is well imagined, but the poet perhaps may mean, 'with 
men like common men. JOHNSON. 

The following passage in King Henry VI. P. III. adds some 
support to Dr. Warburtou's conjecture: 

" Look, as I blow \h\sjeather from my face, 
" And as the air blows it to me again, 
" Obeying with my wind when I do blow, 
" And yielding to another when it blows, 
" Commanded always by the greater gust ; 
" Such is the lightness of your common men." 
Strange, which is not in the quarto or first folio, was added 
by the editor of the second folio, and consequently any other 
word as well as that may have been the author's ; for all the ad- 
ditions in that copy were manifestly arbitrary, and are. generally 
injudicious. MALONE. 

Slight as the authority of the second folio is here represented 
to be, wno will venture to displace strange, and put any other 
word in its place ? STEEVENS. 

I agree with the editors in considering this passage as erro- 
neous, but not in the amendment proposed. That which 1 
would suggest is, to read moon-like, instead of men-like, which 
is a more poetical expression, and nearer to the old reading than 
vane-like. M. MASON. 

sc. in. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 115 

When shall you see me write a tiling in rhyme? 
Or groan for Joan ? or spend a minute's time 
In pruning me ? 7 When shall you hear that I 
Will praise a hand, a foot, a face, an eye, 
A gait, a state, 8 a brow, a breast, a waist, 
A leg, a limb ? 

KING. Soft ; Whither away so fast ? 

A true man, or a thief, that gallops so ? 

BIRON. I post from love ; good lover, let me go, 


JAQ. God bless the king ! 

KING. What present hast thou there ? 

COST. Some certain treason. 

KING. What makes treason here ? 

I have not scrupled to place this happy emendation in the 
text ; remarking at the same time that a vane is no where styled 
inconstant, although our autiior bestows that epithet on the moon 
in Romeo and Juliet : 

** the inconstant moon 

" That monthly changes ." 
Again, in Antony and Cleopatra: 

" now from head to foot 

" I am marble-constant, now \hejlecttng moon 

" No planet is of mine." STEEVENS. 

Again, more appositely, in As you like it: " being but a 
vtoonish youth, changeable," inconstant, &c. MALONE. 

7 In pruning me?] A bird is said to prune himself when he 
picks and sleeks his feathers. So, in King Henry IV. P. I : 
*' Which makes him prune himself, and bristle up 
" The crest of youth ." STEEVENS. 

1 a gait, a state,] State, I believe, in the present in- 
stance, is opposed to gait (i. e. the motion) and signifies the act' 
of standing. So, in Antony and Cleopatra : 

" Her motion and her station are as one.*' STEEVEVS, 

I 2 


COST. Nay, it makes nothing, sir. 

KING. If it mar nothing neither, 

The treason, and you, go in peace away together. 

JAQ. I beseech your grace, let this letter be 

read ; 
Our parson 9 misdoubts it ; 'twas treason, he said. 

KING. Biron, read it over. 

[Giving him the letter. 
Where hadst thou it ? 

JAQ. Of Costard. 

KING. Where hadst thou it ? 

COST. Of Dun Adramadio, Dun Adramadio. 

KING. How now! what is in you? why dost 
thou tear it ? 

BIRON. A toy, my liege, a toyj your 'grace 
needs not fear it. 

LONG. It did move him to passion, and there- 
fore let's hear it. 

DUM. It is Biron's writing, and here is his 
name. [Picks up the pieces. 

BIRON. Ah, you whoreson loggerhead, [To COS- 
TARD.] you were born to do me shame. 
Guilty, my lord, guilty ; I confess, I confess. 
KING. What? 

BIRON. That you three fools lack'd me fool to 

make up the mess : 
He, he, and you, my liege, and I, 
Are pick-purses in love, and we deserve to die. 

9 Our parson ] Here, as in a former instance, in the uu the it- 
tick copies of this play, this word is spelt person; but there 
being no reason for adhering here to the old spelling, the modern 
is preferred. MALONE. 

ac.m.. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST, 117 

O, dismiss this audience, and I shall tell you more. 
DUM. Now the number is even. 

BIRON. True true ; we are four : 

Will these turtles be gone ? 

KING. Hence, sirs ; away. 

COST. Walk aside the true folk, and let the trai- 
tors stay. [Exeunt COST, and JAQ. 

BIRON. Sweet lords, sweet lovers, O let us em- 
brace ! 

As true we are, as flesh and blood can be : 
The sea will ebb and flow, heaven show his face j 

Young blood will not obey an old decree : 
We cannot cross the cause why we were born ; 
Therefore, of all hands must we be forsworn. 

KING. What, did these rent lines show some 
love of thine ? 

BIRON. Did they, quoth you? Who sees the 

heavenly Rosaline, 
That, like a rude and savage man of Inde, 

At the first opening of the gorgeous east, 1 
Bows not his vassal head ; and, strucken blind, 

Kisses the base ground with obedient breast? 
What peremptory eagle-sighted eye 

Dares look upon the heaven of her brow, 
That is not blinded by her majesty? 

KING. What zeal, what fury hath inspir'd thee 


My love, her mistress, is a gracious moon ; 
She, an attending star, 2 scarce seen a light. 

1 the gorgeous east,] Milton has transplanted this into 

the third line of the second Book of Paradise Lost : 
" Or where the gorgeous cast ." STEEVENS. 


BIRON. My eyes are then no eyes, nor I Biron: 3 
O, but for my love, day would turn to night ! 
Of all complexions the cull'd sovereignty 

Do meet, as at a fair, in her fair cheek ; 
Where several worthies make one dignity ; 

Where nothing wants, that want itself doth 

Lend me the flourish of all gentle tongues, 

Fye, painted rhetorick ! O, she needs it not : 
To things of sale a seller's praise belongs ; 4 

She passes praise ; then praise too short doth 

A wither'd hermit, five-score winters worn, 

Might shake off fifty, looking in her eye : 
Beauty doth varnish age, as if new-born, 

And gives the crutch the cradle's infancy. 
O, 'tis the sun, that maketh all things shine ! 

KING. By heaven, thy love is black as ebony. 

* She, an attending star,] Something like this is a stanza of 
Sir Henry Wotton, of which the poetical reader will forgive the 
insertion : 

" You meaner beauties of the night, 

" That poorly satisfy our eyes, 
" More by your number than your light, 

" You common people of the skies, 
" What are you when the sun shall rise?" JOHNSON. 

" Micat inter omnes 

" Julium sidus, velut inter ignes 

" Luna rainores." Hor. MALONE. 

3 My eyes are then no eyes, nor I Bir6n :] Here, and indeed 
throughout this play, the name of Biron is accented on the se- 
cond syllable. In the first quarto, 1598, and the folio, 1623, he 
is always called Berotvne. From the line before us it appears, 
that in our author's time the name was pronounced Biroon. 


4 To things of sale a seller's praise belongs;] So, in our au- 
thor's 21st bonnet: 

" I will not praise, that purpose not to sell." MALONE. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 119 

BIRON. Is ebony like her ? O wood divine ! 5 
A wife of such wood were felicity. 

O, who can give an oath ? where is a book ? 

That I may swear, beauty doth beauty lack, 

If that she learn not of her eye to look : 

No face is fair, that is not full so black. 6 

KING. O paradox ! Black is the badge of hell) 
The hue of dungeons, and the scowl of night j 7 
And beauty's crest becomes the heavens well. 8 

BIRON. Devils soonest tempt, resembling spirits 
of light. 

* Is ebony like her ? O wood divine /"] Word is the reading of 
all the editions that I have seen : but both Dr. Thirlby and Mr. 
Warburton concurr'din reading: (as I had likewise conjectured) 
wood divine! THEOBALD. 

6 beauty doth beauty lack, 

If that she learn not of her eye to look: 
No face is fair ; that is not full so black.] So, in our poet's 
J32d Sonnet: 

" those twofnourning eyes become thy face : 

" O, let it then as well beseem thy heart 
" To mourn for me ; 
" Then will I swear, beauty herself is black, 
" And all they foul, that thy complexion lack.'* 
See also his 127th Sonnet. MALONE. 

Black is the badge of hell, 

The hue of dungeons, and the scowl of night ;~\ In former 

the school of night. 

Black being the school of night, is a piece of mystery above 
my comprehension. I had guessed, it should be : 

the stole of night: 

but I have preferred the conjecture of my friend Mr. Warbur- 
ton, M'ho reads : 

the scowl of night, 

as it comes nearer in pronunciation to the corrupted reading, as 
well as agrees better with the other images. THEOBALD. 

In our author's 148th Sonnet we have 

' Who art as black as hell, as dark as night." 



O, if in black my lady's brows be deckt, 

It mourns, that painting, and usurping hair, 9 
Should ravish doters with a false aspect ; 

And therefore is she born to make black fair. 
Her favour turns the fashion of the days ; 

For native blood is counted painting now ; 
And therefore red, that would avoid dispraise, 

Paints itself black, to imitate her brow. 

* And beauty's crest becomes the heavens iKell.~\ Crest is here 
properly opposed to badge. Black, says the king, is the badge 
of hell, but that which graces the heaven is the crest of beauty. 
Black darkens hell, and is therefore hateful : "white adorns hea- 
ven, and is therefore lovely. JOHNSON. 

And beauty's crest becomes the heavens well, i. e. the very 
top the height of beauty, or the utmost degree of fairness, be- 
comes the heavens. So the word crest is explained by the poet 
himself in King John : 

" this is the very top 

" The height, the crest, or crest unto the crest 
" Of murder's arms." 

In heraldry, a crest is a device placed above a coat of arms. 
Shakspeare therefore assumes the liberty to use it in a sense equi- 
valent to top or utmost height, as he has used .spire in Coriolanus : 

* to the spire and top of praises vouch'd." 

So, in Timbn of Athens: " the cap of all the fools alive" is 
the top of them all, because cap was the uppermost part of a 
man's dress. TOLLET. 

Ben Jonson, in Love's Triumph through Calipolis, a Masque, 

" To you that are by excellence a queen, 
" The top of beauty," &c. 
Again, in The Mirror of Knighthood, P. I. ch. xiv: 

" in the top and pitch of all beauty y so that thoyr matches 
are not to bee had." STEEVENS. 

9 and usurping hair,] And, which is wanting in the old 

copies, was supplied by the editor of the second folio. Usurp- 
ing hair alludes to the fashion, which prevailed among ladies ia 
our author's time, of wearing false hair, or periwigs, as they 
were then called, before that kind of covering for the head was 
worn by men. The sentiments here uttered by Biron, may be 
found, m nearly the same words, in our author's 127th Sonnet. 


fc. in. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 121 

DUM. To look like her, are chimney-sweepers 

LONG. And, since her time, are colliers counted 

KING. And Ethiops of their sweet complexion 

DUM. Dark needs no candles now, for dark is 

BIRON. Your mistresses dare never come in rain, 
For fear their colours should be wash'd away. 

KING. 'Twere good, yours did ; for, sir, to tell 

you plain, 
I'll find a fairer face not wash'd to-day. 

BIRON. I'll prove her fair, or talk till dooms-day 

KING. No devil will fright thee then so much 
as she. 

DUM. I never knew man hold vile stuff so dear. 

LONG. Look, here's thy love : my foot and her 
face see. [Showing his shoe. 

BIRON. O, if the streets were paved with thine 

Her feet were much too dainty for such tread ! 

DUM. O vile ! then as she goes, what upward 

The street should see as she walk'd over head. 

KING. But what of this ? Are we not all in love ? 

BIRON. O, nothing so sure ; and thereby all for- 

KING. Then leave this chat ; and, good Biron, 

now prove 
Our loving lawful, and our faith not torn. 


DUM. Ay, marry, there ; some flattery for this 

LONG. O, some authority how to proceed ; 
Some tricks, some quillets, 1 how to cheat the devil. 

DUM. Some salve for perjury. 

BIRON. O, 'tis more than need ! 

Have at you then, affection's men at arms : 2 
Consider, what you first did swear unto ; 
To fast, to study, and to see no woman ; 
Flat treason 'gainst the kingly state of youth. 
Say, can you fast ? your stomachs are too young ; 
And abstinence engenders maladies. 
And where that you have vow'd to study, lords, 
In that each of you hath forsworn 3 his book : 
Can you still dream, and pore, and thereon look ? 
For when would you, my lord, or you, or you, 
Have found the ground of study's excellence, 
Without the beauty of a woman's face ? 
From women's eyes this doctrine I derive : 
They are the ground, the books, the academes, 
From whence doth spring the true Promethean fire. 
Why, universal plodding prisons up 4 

1 some quillets,] Quillet is the peculiar word applied to 

law-chicane. 1 imagine the original to be this. In the French 
pleadings, every several allegation in the plaintiff's charge, and 
every distinct plea in the defendant's answer, began with the 
words quil cst : from whence was formed the word quillet, to 
signify a false cha r <*e or an evasive answer. WARBURTON. 

* affection's men at arms :~\ A man at arms, is a soldier 

armed at all points both offensively and defensively. It is no 
more than, Ye soldiers of affection. JOHNSON. 

3 hath forsworn 3 Old copies have. Corrected by 

Mr. Pope. MA LONE. 

* prisons up ] The quarto, 1598, and the folio, 1623, 

read poisons up. The emendation was made by Mr. Theobald. 
A passage in King John may add some support to it : 

ac. m. LOVE'S LABOURS LOST. 123 

The nimble spirits in the arteries ; 5 
As motion, and long-during action, tires 
The sinewy vigour of the traveller. 
Now, for not looking on a woman's face, 
You have in that forsworn the use of eyes ; 
And study too, the causer of your vow : 
For where is any author in the world, 
Teaches such beauty as a woman's eye ? 6 
Learning is but an adjunct to ourselr, 
And where we are, our learning likewise is. 
Then, when ourselves we see in ladies' eyes, 
Do we not likewise see our learning there ? 
O, we have made a vow to study, lords ; 
And in that vow we have forsworn our books ; 7 
For when would you, my liege, or you, or you, 
In leaden contemplation, have found out 
Such fiery numbers, 8 as the prompting eyes 

" Or, if that surly spirit, melancholy, 
" Had bak'd thy blood, and made it heavy, thick, 
" Which else runs tickling up and down the veins," &c. 


* The nimble spirits in the arteries ;] In the old system of 
physic they gave the same office to the arteries as is now given 
to the nerves ; as appears from the name, which is derived from 
ttspoc. rrjfsiv. WARBURTON. 

6 Teaches such beauty as a woman's eye?~\ i. e. a lady's eyes 
give a fuller notion of beauty than any author. JOHNSON. 

7 our books ;~\ i. e. our true books, from which we derive 

most information; the eyes of women. MALONE. 

8 In leaden contemplation, have found out 

Such fiery numbers,] Numbers are, in this passage, nothing 
more than poetical measures. Could you, says Biron, by solitary 
contemplation, have attained such poetical fire, such spritety 
numbers, as have been prompted by the eyes of beauty ? 

In leaden contemplation,'] So, in Milton's // Penseroso : 

" With a sad, leaden, downward oast." 
Again, in Gray's Hymn to Adversity: 

" With leaden eye that loves the ground." STEEVENS. 


Of beauteous tutors 9 have enrich'd you with? 
Other slow arts entirely keep the brain ; l 
And therefore rinding barren practisers, 
Scarce show a harvest of their heavy toil : 
But love, first learned in a lady's eyes, 
Lives not alone immured in the brain ; 
But with the motion of all elements, 
Courses as swift as thought in every power ; 
And gives to every power a double power, 
Above their functions and their offices. 
It adds a precious seeing to the eye ; 
A lover's eyes will gaze an eagle blind ; 
A lover's ear will hear the lowest sound, 
When the suspicious head of theft is stopp'd j 2 

9 0/beauteous tutors ] Old copies beauty's. Corrected 
by Sir T. Hanmer. MAI/ONE. 

1 Other slow arts entirely keep the brain ;] As we say, keep 
the house, or keep their bed. M. MASON. 

* . the suspicious head of theft is stopp'd ;] i. e. a lover in 
pursuit of his mistress has his sense of hearing quicker than a 
thief (who suspects every sound he hears) in pursuit of his prey. 


'*' The suspicious head of theft is the head suspicious of theft." 

" He watches like one that fears robbing,'' says Speed, in The 

TIKO Gentlemen of Verona. This transposition of the adjective 

is sometimes met with. Grimme tells us, in Damon and Pythias : 

" A heavy pouch ivith goldc makes a light hart." 


The thief is as watchful on his part, as the person who fears 
to be robbed, and Biron poetically makes theft a person. 


Mr. M. Mason might have countenanced his explanation, by 
a passage in The Third Part of King Henry VI: 
" Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind : 
" The thief doth fear each bush an officer:'* 
and yet my opinion concurs with that of Dr. Farmer; though 
his explanation is again controverted, by a writer who signs him- 
self Lucius in The Edinburgh Magazine, Nov. 1786 : " The 
suspicious head of theft (says he) is the suspicious head of the 


Love's feeling is more soft, and sensible, 

Than are the tender horns of cockled 3 snails ; 

Love's tongue proves dainty Bacchus gross in taste: 

for valour, is not love a Hercules, 

Still climbing trees in the Hesperides ? 4 

Subtle as sphinx ; as sweet, and musical, 

As bright Apollo's lute, strung with his hair; 5 

thief. There is no man who listens so eagerly as a thief, or 
whose ears are so acutely upon the stretch." STEEVENS. 

I rather incline to Dr. Warburton's interpretation. MALONE. 

3 cockled ] i. e. inshelled, like the fish called a cockle. 


4 Still climbing trees in the Hesperides ?] Our author had 
heard or read of " the gardens of the Hesperides," and seems to 
have thought that the latter word was the name of the garden 
in which the golden apples were kept ; as we say, the gardens 
of the Tuilleries, &c. 

Our poet's contemporaries, I have lately observed, are charge- 
able with the same inaccuracy. So, in Friar Bacon and Friar 
Bungay, by Robert Greene, 1598 : 

*' Shew thee the tree, leav'd with refined gold, 
" Whereon the fearful dragon held his seat, 
" That watch'd the garden, call'd HESPERIDES." 
The word may have been used in the same sense in The Le* 
gend of Orpheus and Eurydice, a poem, 1597: 

" And, like the dragon of the Hesperides, 
" Shutteth the garden's gate ." MALONE. 

* As bright Apollo's lute, strung with his hair;~\ This ex- 
pression, like that other in The Two Gentlemen of Veron* t of 

" Orpheus' harp was strung with poets' sinews," 
is extremely beautiful, and highly figurative. Apollo, as the sun, 
is represented with golden hair ; so that a lute strung with his 
hair means no more than strung with gilded wire. WARBURTON. 

" as sweet and musical 

" As bright Apollo's lute strung with his hair.* 1 
The author of the Revisal supposes this expression to be allego- 
rical, p. 138: " Apollo's lute strung with sunbeams, which in 
poetry are called hair." But what idea is conveyed by Apollo's 
lute strung with sunbeams? Undoubtedly the words are to be 
taken in their literal sense ; and in the style of Italian imagery, 
the thought is highly elegant. The very same sort of conception 
occurs in Lyly's Mydas, a play which most probably preceded 


And, when love speaks, the voice of all the gods 
Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony. 6 

Shakspeare's. f Act IV. sc. i. Pan tells Apollo : " Had thy lute 
been of lawrell, and the strings of Daphne's haire, thy tunes 
plight have been compared to my notes," &c. T. WAHTON, 

Lyly's Mydas, quoted by Mr. Warton, was published in 1592. 
The same thought occurs in How to chuse a Good Wife from a 
Bad, 1602 : 

" Hath he not torn those gold wires from thy head, 
" Wherewith Apollo would have strung his harp, 
" And kept them to play musick to the gods?" 
Again, in Storer's Life and Death of Cardinal Wolsey, a poem, 

" With whose hart-strings Amphion's lute is strung, 
" And Orpheus' harp hangs warbling at his tongue." 

6 And) taken love speaks, the "voice of all the gods 

Makes heaven drowsy with the harmony, ,] This nonsense we 
should read and point thus : 
, . . And when love speaks the voice of all the gods, 

Mark, heaven drowsy with the harmony. 

i. e. in the voice of love alone is included the voice of all the 
gods. Alluding to that ancient theogony, that love was the pa- 
rent and support of all the gods. Hence, as Suidas tells us, 
Balaephatus wrote a poem called *A^po&njf K, *Eu/I qxuvy KJ 
Ao'yt^K The Voice and Speech of Venus and Love, which appears 
to have been a kind' of cosmogony, the harmony of which is so 
great, that it calms and allays all kinds of disorders : alluding 
again to the ancient use of music, which was to compose mo- 
narchs, when, by reason of the cares of empire, they used to pas* 
whole nights in restless inquietude. WARBURTON. 

The ancient reading is 

" Make heaven " JOHNSON. 

I cannot find any reason for Dr. Warburton's emendation, nor 
do I believe the poet to have been at all acquainted with that 
ancient theogony mentioned by his critick. The former read- 
ing, with the slight addition of a single letter, was, perhaps, the 
true one. When love speaks, (says Biron) th-e assembled gods re- 
duce the element of the sky to a calm, by their harmonious ap- 
plauses of this favoured orator. 

Mr. Collins observes, that the meaning of the passage may be- 
this: That the voice of all the gods united, could inspire only 
drowsiness, when compared with the cheerful effects of the voice, 

as. m. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 127 

Never durst poet touch a pen to write, 
Until his ink were tempered with love's sighs j 

That sense is sufficiently congruous to the rest of the 
speech ; and much the same thought occurs in The Shepherd 
Arsileus' Reply to Syrenus' Song, By Bar. Yong ; published ia 
England's Helicon, 1600: 

" Unlesse mild Love possesse your amorous breasts, 
" If you sing not to him, your songs do tuearie." 

Dr. Wai-burton has raised the idea of his author, by imputing 
to him a knowledge, of which, I believe, he was not possessed ; 
but should either of these explanations prove the true one, I shall 
offer no apology for having made him stoop from the critick's 
elevation. I would, however, read : 

Makes heaven drotvsy ivith its harmony. 

Though the words mark! and behold.' are alike used to be- 
speak or summon attention, yet the former of them appears so- 
harsh in Dr. Warburton's emendation, that I read the line several 
times over before I perceived its meaning. To speak the voice 
of the gods, appears to me as defective in the same way. Dr. 
Warburton, in a note on 411's tvell that ends ivell, observes, that 
to speak a sound is a barbarism. To speak a voice is, I think, no 
less reprehensible. STEEVENS. 

The meaning is, whenever love speaks, all the gods join their 
voices with his in harmonious concert. HEATH. 

Makes heaven drotvsy ivith the harmony."] The old copies read 
make. The emendation was made by Sir T. Hammer. More 
correct \vriters than- Shakspeare often fall into this inaccuracy 
when a noun of multitude has preceded the verb. In a former 
part of this speech the same error occurs : " each of you have 
forsworn ." 

For makes, read make. So, in Twelfth-Night : " for every 
one of these letters are in my name." 
Again, in King Henry V : 

" The venom of such looks, we fairly hope, 

" Have lost their quality." 
Again, m Julius Ceesar: 

" the posture of your bloivs are yet unknown." 
Again, more appositely, in King John : 

" How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds 

" Make ill deeds done." 
So, Marlowe, in his Hero and Leander : 

" The outside of her garments were of lajvn.'* 


O, then his lines would ravish savage ears, 

And plant in tyrants mild humility. 

From women's eyes this doctrine I derive : 7 

See also, the sacred writings : " The number of the names to- 
gether were about an hundred and twenty." Acts i. 15. 


Few passages have been more canvassed than this. I believe, 
it wants no alteration of the words, but only of the pointing: 
And when love speaks (the voice of all) the gods 
Make heaven drowsy with thy harmony. 

Love, I apprehend, is called tne voice of all, as gold, in 
Timon, is said to speak with every tongue; and the gods (being 
drowsy themselves with the harmony) are supposed to make 
heaven drowsy. If one could possibly suspect Shakspeare of 
having read Pindar, one should say, that the idea of music mak- 
ing the hearers drowsy, was borrowed from the first Pythian. 


Perhaps here is an accidental transposition. We may read, as 
I think, some one has proposed before : 
The voice makes all the gods 
Of heaven drowsy with the harmony. FARMER. 

That harmony had the power to make the hearers drowsy, the 
present commentator might infer from the effect it usually pro- 
duces on himself. In Cinthia's Revenge, 1613, however, is an 
instance which should weigh more with the reader : 

" Howl forth some ditty, that vast' hell may ring 
" With charms all potent, earth asleep to bring.'* 
Again, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream : 

" music call, and strike more dead, 

" Than common sleep, of all these five the sense.*' 

So, also, in King Henry IV. P. II: 

** softly pray ; 

" Let there be no noise made, my gentle friends, 
" Unless some dull and favourable hand 
' Will whisper musick to my wearied spirit." 
Again, in Pericles, 1609 : 

" Most heavenly musick! 

" It nips me into listening, and thick slumber 

" Hangs on mine eyes. Let me rest." MA LONE. 

7 From women's eyes this doctrine I derive :~] In this speech I 
suspect a more than common instance of the inaccuracy of the 
first publishers : 

sc. m. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 129 

They sparkle still the right Promethean fire ; 
They are the books, the arts, the academes, 
That show, contain, and nourish all the world; 
Else, none at all in aught proves excellent : 
Then fools you were these women to forswear; 
Or, keeping what is sworn, you will prove fools. 
For wisdom's sake, a word that all men love; 
Or for love's sake, a word that loves all men ; * 

From 'women's eyes this doctrine I derive, 

and several other lines, are as unnecessarily repeated. Dr. War- 
burton was aware of this, and omitted two verses, which Dr. 
Johnson has since inserted. Perhaps the players printed from 
piece-meal parts, or retained what the author had rejected, as 
well as what had undergone his revisal. It is here given accord- 
ing to the regulation of the old copies. STEEVENS. 

This and the two following lines, are omitted by Warburton, 
not from inadvertency, but because they are repeated in a subse- 
quent part of the speech. There are also some other lines re- 
peated in the like manner. But we are not to conclude from 
thence, that any of these lines ought to be struck out. Biron 
repeats the principal topicks of his argument, as preachers do 
their text, in order to recall the attention of the auditors to the 
subject of their discourse. M. MASON. 

8 a word that loves all men ;] We should read: 

a word all women love. 

The following line : 

Or for men's sake (the authors of these women;) 
which refers to this reading, puts it out of all question. 


Perhaps we might read thus, transposing the lines: 
Or for love's sake, a 'word that loves all men ; 
For women's sake, by whom we men are men ; 
Or for men's sake, the authors of these women. 
The antithesis of a word that all men love, and a word which 
loves all men, though in itself worth little, has much of the 
spirit of this play. JOHNSON. 

There will be no difficulty, if we correct it to, " men's sakes, 
the authors of these words" FARMER. 

I think no alteration should be admitted in these four lines, 
that destroys the artificial structure of them, in which, as ha. 



Or for men's sake, the authors 9 of these women; 
Or women's sake, by whom we men are men; 
Let us once lose our oaths, to find, ourselves, 
Or else we lose ourselves to keep our oaths: 
It is religion to be thus forsworn : 
For charity itself fulfils the law ; 
And who can sever love from charity ? 

KING. Saint Cupid, then ! and, soldiers, to the 

BIRON. Advance your standards, and upon 

them, lords; 1 

Pell-mell, down with them ! but be first advis'd, 
In conflict that you get the sun of them. 2 

been observed by the author of The Revisal, the word which 
terminates every line is prefixed to the word sake in that imme- 
diately following. TOLLET. 

a ivord that loves all men ;] i. e. that is pleasing to all 

men. So, in the language of our author's time : it likes me 
tvell, for it pleases me. Shakspeare uses the word thus licen- 
tiously, merely for the sake of the antithesis. Men in the fol- 
lowing line are with sufficient propriety said to be authors of 
women, and these again of men, the aid of both being necessary 
to the continuance of human kind. There is surely, therefore, 
no need of any of the alterations that have been proposed to be 
made in these lines. MALONE. 

9 the authors ] Old copies author. The emendation 

was suggested by Dr. Johnson. MALONE. 

1 Advance your standards, and upon them, lords ;] So, in 
King Richard III: 

" Advance our standards, set upon our foes ;" 


1 '" but bejirst advis'd ', 

In conflict that you get the sun of them.'] In the days of 
archery, it was of consequence to have the sun at the back of 
the bowmen, and in the face of the enemy. This circumstance 
was of great advantage to our Henry the Fifth at the battle of 
Agincourt. Our poet, however, I believe, had also an equi- 
voque in his thoughts. MALONE. 

sc. m. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 131 

LONG. Now to plain-dealing; lay these glozes 

Shall we resolve to woo these girls of France? 

KING. And win them too : therefore let us devise 
Some entertainment for them in their tents. 

BIRON. First, from the park let us conduct them 

thither ; 

Then, homeward, every man attach the hand 
Of his fair mistress: in the afternoon 
We will with some strange pastime solace them, 
Such as the shortness of the time can shape; 
For revels, dances, masks, and merry hours, 
Fore-run fair Love, 3 strewing her way with flowers. 

KING. .Away, away! no time shall be omitted, 
That will be time, and may by us be fitted. 

BIRON. Allans! Allans! Sow'd cockle reap'd 

no corn ; 4 

And justice always whirls in equal measure: 
Light wenches may prove plagues to men forsworn; 
H so, our copper buys no better treasure. 5 


3 Fore-run fair Love,] i. e. Venus. So, in Antony and 
Cleopatra : 

" Now for the love of Love, and her soft hours ." ;,.--: 


4 sfftv'd cockle reap'd no corn ;] This proverbial expres- 
sion intimates, that beginning with perjury, they can expect to 
reap nothing but falshood. The following lines lead us to the 
sense. WARBURTON. 

Dr. Warburton's first interpretation of this passage, which is 
preserved in Mr. Theobald's edition, " if we don't take the 
proper measures for winning these ladies, we shall never achieve 
them," is undoubtedly the true one. HEATH. 

Mr. Edwards, however, approves of Dr. Warburton's second 
thoughts. MALONE. 

1 If so, our copper buys no better treasure.'] Here Mr. Theo- 
bald ends the third Act. JOHNSON. 

K 2 



Another part of the same. 

HOL. Satis quod stifficit. 6 

NATH. I praise God for you, sir : your reasons at 
dinner have been 7 sharp and sententious; pleasant 
without scurrility, witty without affection, 8 auda- 
cious without impudency, learned without opinion, 
and strange without heresy. I did converse this 

6 Satis quod sufficit.] i. e. Enough's as good as a feast. 


7 your reasons at dinner have been &c.] I know not well 

what degree of respect Shakspeare intends to obtain for his 
vicar, but he has here put into his mouth a finished representar 
tion of colloquial excellence. It is very difficult to add anything 
to his character of the schoolmaster's table-talk, and perhaps all 
the precepts of Castiglione will scarcely be found to comprehend 
a rule for conversation so justly delineated, so widely dilated, 
and so nicely limited. 

It may be proper just to note, that reason here, and in many 
other places, signifies discourse; and that audacious is used in a 
good sense for spirited, animated, confident. Opinion is the same 
with obstinacy or opiniatrete. JOHNSON. 

So again, in this play: 

- " Yet fear not thou, but speak audaciously" 

Audacious was not always used by our ancient writers in a bad 
sense. It means no more here, and in the following instance 
from Ben Jonson's Silent Woman, than liberal or commendable 
boldness : 

" she that shall be my wife, must be accomplished with 
courtly and audacious ornaments." STEEVENS. 

without affection,] i. e. without affectation. So, in 

Hamlet : " No matter that might indite the author of ajffec* 
tion" Again, in Twelfth- Night, Malvolio is called "an affec- 
tion'd ass." STEEVENS. 

sc.i. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 133 

quondam day with a companion of the king's, who 
is intituled, nominated, or called, Don Adriano de 

HOL. Novi hominem tanquam te: His humour is 
lofty, his discourse peremptory, his tongue filed, 9 
his eye ambitious, his gait majestical, and his ge- 
neral behaviour vain, ridiculous, and thrasonical. 1 
He is too picked, 2 too spruce, too affected, too odd, 
as it were, too perigrinate, as I may call it, 

9 his tongue filed,] Chaucer, Skelton, and Spenser, are 

frequent in the use of this phrase. Ben Jonson has it likewise. 


1 thrasonical.] The use of the word thrasonical is no 
argument that the author had read Terence. It was introduced 
to our language long before Shakspeare's time. FARMER. 

It is found in Bullokar's Expositor, 8vo. 1616. MALONE. 

* He is too picked,] To have the beard piqued or shorn so as 
to end in a point, was, in our author's time, a mark of a tra- 
veller affecting foreign fashions : so says the Bastard in King 
John : 

" 1 catechise 

" My pi qued man of countries." JOHNSON. 

See a note on King John, Act I. and another on King Lear, 
where the reader will find the epithet piqued differently spelt and 

Piqued may allude to the length of the shoes then worn. Bul- 
wer, in his Artificial Changeling, says : " We weare our forked 
shoes almost as long again as our feete, not a little to the hin- 
drance of the action of the foote; and not only so, but they prove 
an impediment to reverentiall devotion, for our bootes and shooes 
are so long snouted, that we can hardly kneele in God's house." 


I believe picked (for so it should be written) signifies nicely 
drest in general, without reference to any particular fashion of 
dress. It is a metaphor taken from birds, who dress themselves 
by picking out or pruning their broken or superfluous feathers. 
So Chaucer uses the word, in his description of Damian dressing 
himself, Canterbury Tales, v. 9885 : " He kembeth him, he 
proineth him andpiketh." And Shakspeare, in this very play, 


NATH. A most singular and choice epithet. 

\_ Takes out his table-book. 

HOL. He draweth out the thread of his verbosity 
finer than the staple of his argument. I abhor such 
fanatical phantasms, 3 such insociable and point- 
devise 4 companions; such rackers of orthography, 
as to speak, dout, fine, when he should say, doubt; 
det, when he should pronounce, debt; d, e, b, t; 
not, d, e, t: he clepeth a calf, cauf; half, hauf; 
neighbour, vocatur, nebour ; neigh, abbreviated, 
ne : This is abhominable, 6 (which he would call 

uses the corresponding word pruning for dressing, Act IV. 
sc. iii : 

" or spend a minute's time 

" In pruning me ." 

The substantive pickcdness is used by Ben Jonson for nicety in 
dre>s. Discoveries, Vol. VII. Whalley's edit. p. 116: " too 
much pickedness is not manly." TYRWHITT. 

Again, in Nashe's Apologie of Pierce Pennilesse, 1593 : " he 
mighi have showed a picked effeminate carpet knight, under the 
fictionate person of Hermaphroditus." MALONE. 

3 phantasms,] See Act IV. sc. i : 

" A phantasm, a Monarcho ." STEEVENS. 

* point-devise ] A French expression for the utmost, 
or finical exactness. So, in Twelfth-Night, Malvolio says : 

" 1 will be point-device, the very man." STEEVENS. 

* This is abhominable, &c.] He has here well imitated the 
language of the most redoubtable pedants of that time. On such 
sort of occasions, Joseph Scaliger used to break out: " Abominor, 
execror. Asinitas mera est, impietas," &c. and calls his adver- 
sary: " Lutum stercore maceratum, dcemoniacum recrementum 
inttcitits, sterquilinium, stercus diaboli, scarabceum, larvam, pecus 
pottremum bestiarum, infame propudium, xaSaflxa." 


Shakspeare knew nothing of this language; and the resem- 
blance which Dr. Warburton finds, if it deserves that title, is 
auite accidental. It is far more probable, that he means to ri- 
le ule the foppish manner of speaking, and affected pronuncia- 
tion, introduced at court by Lyly and his imitators. 

abhominable,'] Thus the word is constantly spelt in the old 

sc. i. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 135 

abominable,) it insinuateth me of insanie; Nein- 
telligis domine? to make frantick, lunatick. 

moralities and other antiquated books. So, in Lusty Juventus, 

" And then I will bryng in 

" Abhominable lyving." STEEVENS. 

' it insinuateth me o/" insanie; 8$c.~\ In former editions, 

it insinuateth me of infamie: Ne intelligis, domine? to make 
frantick, lunatick. 

Nath* Laus Deo, bone intelligo. 

Hoi. Borne, boon for boon Priscian ; a little scratch, 'twill 
serve.] Why should infamy be explained by making frantick, 
lunatick? It is plain and obvious that the poet intended the 
pedant should coin an uncouth affected word here, insanie, from 
insania of the Latins. Then, what a piece of unintelligible 
jargon have these learned criticks given us for Latin ? I think, I 
may venture to affirm, I have restored the passage to its true purity. 

Nath. Laus Deo, bone, intelligo. 

The curate, addressing with complaisance his brother pedant, 
saj's, bone, to him, as we frequently in Terence find bone vir; 
but the pedant, thinking he had mistaken the adverb, thus des- 
cants on it: 

Bone? bone for bene. Priscian a little scratched: 'twill 
serve. Alluding to the common phrase, Diminuis Prisciani caput, 
applied to such as speak false Latin. THEOBALD. 

There seems yet something wanting to the integrity of this 
passage, which Mr. Theobald has in the most corrupt and diffi- 
cult places very happily restored. For ne intelligis domine? to 
make frantick, lunatick, I read (nonne intelligis, domine?) to 
be mad, frantick, lunatick. JOHNSON. 

Insanie appears to have been a word anciently used. In a book 
entitled, The Fall and evil Successe of Rebellion from Time to 
Time, &c. written in verse by Wilfride Holme, imprinted at 
London by Henry Bynneman; without date, (though from the 
concluding stanza, it appears to have been produced in the 8th 
year of the reign of Henry VIII.) I find the word used: 

" In the days of sixth Henry, Jack Cade made a brag, 
" With a multitude of people; but in the consequence, 

" After a little insanie they fled tag and rag, 
" For Alexander Iden he did his diligence." STEEVENS. 

I should rather read " it insinuateth men of insanie." 



NATH. Laus deo, bone intelligo. 

HOL. Bone? bone, for bene: Priscian a little 

scratched; 'twill serve. 


NATH. Videsne quis venit? 

HOL. Video, fy gaudeo. 

ARM. Chirra! [To MOTH. 

HOL. Quare Chirra, not sirrah ? 

ARM. Men of peace, well encounter'd. 

HOL. Most military sir, salutation. 

MOTH. They have been at a great feast of lan- 
guages, and stolen the scraps. 7 

[To COSTARD aside. 

COST. O, they have lived long in the alms-basket 
of words! 8 I marvel, thy master hath not eaten thee 
for a word; for thou art not so long by the head as 

7 They have been at a great feast of languages, and stolen the 
scraps.'] So, in Christ's Tears over Jerusalem, by Thomas Nashe, 
1594: " The phrase of sermons, as it ought to agree with the 
scripture, so heed must be taken, that their whole sermon seem 
not a banquet of the broken fragments of scripture." MALONE. 

* the alms-basket of words!] i. e. the refuse of words. 

The refuse meat of great families was formerly sent to the 
prisons. So, in The Inner Temple Masque, 1619, by T. Mid- 
tlleton: " his perpetual lodging in the King's Bench, and his 
ordinary out of the basket." Again, in If this be not a good 
Play the Devil is in it, 1612: " He must feed on beggary's 
basket." STEEVENS. 

The refuse meat of families was put into a basket in our au- 
thor's time, and given to the poor. So, in Florio's Second Frutes, 
1591 : " Take away the table, fould up the cloth, and put all 
those pieces of broken meat into a basket for thejuoor.'' 


sc. /. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 137 

honorificabilitudmitatibus : 9 thou art easier swallow- 
ed than a flap-dragon. 1 

MOTH. Peace ; the peal begins. 

ARM. Monsieur, [To HOL.] are you not let- 
ter'd ? 

MOTH. Yes, yes ; he teaches boys the horn- 
book : 
What is a,b, spelt backward with a horn onhishead? 

HOL. Ba, puerttia, with a horn added. 

MOTH. Ba, most silly sheep, with a horn : You 
hear his learning. 

HOL. Quis, quis, thou consonant ? 

MOTH. The third of the five vowels, if you re- 
peat them ; or the fifth, if I. 

HOL. I will repeat them, a, e, i. 

MOTH. The sheep : the other two concludes it ; 
o, u. 2 

9 honor ificabilitudinitatibus :] This word, whencesoever it 

comes, is often mentioned as the longest word known. 


It occurs likewise in Marston's Dutch Courtezan, 1604: 
" His discourse is like the long word honorificamlitudinitatibus 
a great deal of sound and no sense.'* I meet with it likewise in 
Kash's Lenten Stuff", &c. 1599. STE EVENS. 

1 a flap-dragon.] A flap-dragon is a small inflammable 

substance, which topers swallow in a glass of wine. See a note 
on King Henry IV. P. II. Act II. sc. nit. STEEVEMS. 

8 Moth. The third of the Jive votvels, &c.] In former editions: 
The last of the Jive voivels, if you repeat them; or the fifth if I. 

Hoi. I will repeat them, a, e, I. 

Moth. The sheep : the other two concludes it ; o, u. 

Is not the last and tliejifth the same vowel? Though my cor- 
rection restores but a poor conundrum, yet if it restores the 
poet's meaning, it is the duty of an editor to trace him in his 
lowest conceits. By O, U, Moth would mean Oh, you i. e. 
You are the sheep still, either way ; no matter which of us re- 
peats them. THEOBALD. 


ARM. Now, by the salt wave of the Mediterra- 
neum, a sweet touch, a quick venewof wit: 3 snip, 
snap, quick and home ; it rejoiceth my intellect : 
true wit. 

MOTH. Oifer'd by a child to an old man ; which 
is wit-old. 

HOL. What is the figure ? what is the figure ? 

MOTH. Horns. 

HOL. Thou disputest like an infant : go, whip 
thy gig. 

MOTH. Lend me your horn to make one, and I 
will whip about your infamy circum circa ; 4 A gig 
of a cuckold's horn ! 

COST. An I had but one penny in the world, thou 

3 -.- a quick venew of wit :] A venetv is the technical term 
for a bout at the fencing-school. So, in The Four Prentices of 
London, 1615 : 

" in the fencing-school 

" To play a venew." STEEVENS. 

A venue, as has already been observed, is not a bout at fencing, 
but a hit. "A sweet touch of wit, (says Armado,) a smart 
hit." So, in The Famous Historic of Captain Thomas Stukcly, 
b. 1. 1605 : " for forfeits, and vennyes given, upon a wager, 
at the ninth button of your doublet, thirty crowns." MALONE. 

Notwithstanding the positiveness with which my sense of the 
^rd venue is denied, my quotation sufficiently establishes it ; for 
who ever talked of playing a hit in a fencing-school ? 


4 / ixill whip about your infamy circum circa ;] So, as 

Dr. Farmer observes, in Greene's Quip for an upstart Covrtirr 
" He walked not as other men in the common beaten waye, but 
compassing circum circa.'' 1 The old copies read unum cita. 


Here again all the editions give us jargon instead of Latin. Hut 
Moth would certainly mean circum circa ; i. e. about and about : 
though it may be designed he should mistake the terms. 


sc. i. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 139 

shouldst have it to buy gingerbread : hold, there is 
the very remuneration I had of thy master, thou 
half-penny purse of wit, thou pigeon-egg of discre- 
tion. O, an the heavens were so pleased, that thou 
wert but my bastard ! what a joyful father wouldst 
thou make me ! Go to ; thou hast it ad dunghill, 
at the fingers' ends, as they say. 

HOL. O, I smell false Latin ; dunghill for unguem. 

ARM. Arts-man, ptwambula; we will be singled 
from the barbarous. Do you not educate youth 
at the charge-house 5 on the top of the mountain ? 

HOL. Or, mom, the hill. 

ARM. At your sweet pleasure, for the mountain. 

HOL. I do, sans question. . 

ARM. Sir, it is the king's most sweet pleasure and 
affection, to congratulate the princess at her pavi- 
lion, in the posteriors of this day ; which the rude 
multitude call, the afternoon. 

HOL. The posterior of the day, most generous 
sir, is liable, congruent, and measurable for the 
afternoon : the word is well cull'd, chose ; sweet 
and apt, I do assure you, sir, I do assure. 

ARM. Sir, the king is a noble gentleman ; and 
my familiar, I do assure you, very good friend : 
For what is inward 6 between us, let it pass : I do 
beseech thee, remember thy courtesy ; I beseech 
thee, apparel thy head j 7 and among other impor- 

3 the charge -house ] I suppose, is the free-school. 


6 inward ] i. e. confidential. So, in K. Richard III: 

" Who is most intvard with the noble duke ?" 


7 / do beseech thee, remember thy courtesy ; / beseech thee, 
apparel thy head:] I believe the word not was inadvertently 
omitted by the transcriber or compositor ; and that we should 


tunate and most serious designs, and of great im- 
port indeed,too; but let that pass: for I must tell 
thee, it will please his grace (by the world) some- 
time to lean upon my poor shoulder ; and with his 
royal finger, thus, dally with my excrement, 8 with 
my mustachio : but sweet heart, let that pass. By 
the world, I recount no fable ; some certain special 
honours it pleaseth his greatness to impart to Ar- 

read I do beseech thee, remember not thy courtesy Armado 
is boasting of the familiarity with which the King treats him, and 
intimates (" but let that pass,") that when he and his Majesty 
converse, the King lays aside all state, and makes him wear his 
hat : " I do beseech thee, ( will he say to me ) rememder not thy 
courtesy ; do not observe any ceremony with me ; be covered." 
" Ihe putting off the hat at the table (says Florio in his Second 
Frutes, 1591,) is a kind of courtesie or ceremonie rather to be 
avoided than otherwise." 

These words may, however, be addressed by Armado to Holo- 
fernes, whom we may suppose to have stood uncovered from re- 
spect to the Spaniard. 

If this was the poet's intention, they ought to be included in 
a parenthesis. To whomsoever the words are supposed to be ad- 
dressed, the emendation appears to me equally necessary. It 
is confirmed by a passage in A Midsummer -Night's Dream : 
" Give me your neif, mounsier Mustardseed. Pray you, leave 
your courtesie, mounsier." 

In Hamlet, the prince, when he desires Osrick to " put his 
bonnet to the right use," begins liis address with the same words 
which Armado uses : but unluckily is interrupted by the courtier, 
and prevented (as I believe) from using the very word which I 
suppose to have been accidentally omitted here : 

" Ham. / beseech you, remember 

" Osr. Nay, good my lord, for my ease, in good faith." 

In the folio copy of this play we find in the next scene : 

" O, that your face were so full of O's ." 
instead of were not so full, &c. MALONE. 

By " remember thy courtesy," I suppose Armado means 
remember that all this time thou art standing tvilh thy hat off". 


* dally with my excrement,] The author calls the beard 

valour's excrement in The Merchant of Venice. JOHNSON. 

sc. i. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 141 

mado, a soldier, a man of travel, that hath seen 
the world : but let that pass. The very all of all 
is, but, sweet heart, I do implore secrecy, that 
the king would have me present the princess, sweet 
chuck, 9 with some delightful ostentation, or show, 
or pageant, or antick, or fire-work. Now, under- 
standing that the curate and your sweet self, are 
good at such eruptions, and sudden breaking out 
of mirth, as it were, I have acquainted you withal, 
to the end to crave your assistance. 

HOL. Sir, you shall present before her the nine 
worthies. Sir Nathaniel, as concerning some enter- 
tainment of time, some show in the posterior of this 
day, to be rendered by our assistance, the king's 
command, and this most gallant, illustrate, and 
learned gentleman, before the princess ; I say, 
none so fit as to present the nine worthies. 

NATH. Where will you find men worthy enough 
to present them ? 

HOL. Joshua, yourself; myself, or this gallant 
gentleman, 1 Judas Maccabaeus ; this swain, because 
of his great limb or joint, shall pass Pompey the 
great j the page, Hercules. 

9 chuck,] i. e. chicken ; an ancient term of endearment. 

So, in Macbeth : 

" Be innocent of the knowledge, dearest chuck ." 


1 myself^ or this gallant gentleman,] The old copy has 

and this, &c. The correction was made by Mr. Steevens. 
We ought, I believe, to read in the next line shall pass^/br 
Pompey the great. If the text be right, the speaker must mean 
that the swain shall, in representing Pompey, surpass him, " be- 
cause of his great limb." MALONE. 

" Shall pass Pompey the great," seems to mean, shall march 
in the procession for him ; walk as his representative. 



ARM. Pardon, sir, error : he is not quantity 
enough for that worthy's thumb : he is not so big 
as the end of his club. 

HOL. Shall I have audience ? he shall present 
Hercules in minority : his enter and exit shall be 
strangling a snake ; and I will have an apology for 
that purpose. 

MOTH. An excellent device ! so, if any of the 
audience hiss, you may cry : well done, Hercules f 
now thou crushestthe snake ! that is the way to make 
an offence gracious j 2 though few have the grace 
to do it. 

ARM. For the rest of the worthies ? 
HOL. I will play three myself. 
MOTH. Thrice-worthy gentleman ! 
ARM. Shall I tell you a thing ? 
HOL. We attend. 

ARM. We will have, if this fadge not, 3 an antick. 
I beseech you, follow. 

HOL. Fia* goodman Dull ! thou hast spoken no 
word all this while. 

DULL. Nor understood none neither, sir. 
HOL. Allans ! we will employ thee. 

to make an offence gracious ;] i. e. to convert an 

offence against yourselves, into a dramatic propriety. 


3 if this fadge not,"] i. e. suit not, go not, pass not into 
action. Several instances of the use of this word are given in 

Another may be added from Chapman's version of the 22d 

" This fadging conflict." STEEVENS. 

* Via,~\ An Italian exclamation, signifying, Courage! come 

so. ii. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 143 

DULL. I'll make one in a dance, or so ; or I will 
play on the tabor to the worthies, and let them 
dance the hay. 

HOL. Most dull, honest Dull, to our sport, away. 



Another part of the same. Before the Princess's 

Enter the Princess, KATHARINE, ROSALINE, and 

PRIN. Sweet hearts, we shall be rich ere we de- 

If fairings come thus plentifully in : 
A lady wall'd about with diamonds ! 
Look you, what I have from the loving king. 

Ros. Madam, came nothing else along with that ? 

PRIN. Nothing but this ? yes, as much love in 


As would be cramm'd up in a sheet of paper, 
Writ on both sides the leaf, margent and all ; 
That he was fain to seal on Cupid's name. 

Ros. That was the way to make his god-head 


* to make his god-head wax ;] To wax anciently signified 

to grow. It is yet said of the moon, that she waxes and wanes. 
So, in Drayton's Polyolbion, Song I : 

" I view those wanton brooks that waxing still do wane." 
Again, in Lvly's Love's Metamorphoses, 1601 : 

" Men's follies will ever wax, and then what reason can make 
them wise ?" 

Again, in the Polyolbion, Song V : 

" The stem shall strongly wax, as still the trunk doth 
wither." STEEVENS. 


For he hath been fivq thousand years a boy. 
KATH. Ay, and a shrewd unhappy gallows too. 

Ros. You'll ne'er be friends with him ; he kill'd 
your sister. 

KATH. He made her melancholy, sad, and heavy ; 
And so she died : had she been light, like you, 
Of such a merry, nimble, stirring spirit, 
She might have been a gran dam ere she died : 
And so may you ; for a light heart lives long. 

. Ros. What's your dark meaning, mouse, 6 of this 
light word ? 

KATH. A light condition in a beauty dark. 

Ros. We need more light to find your meaning 

KATH. You'll mar the light, by taking it in 

snuff; 7 
Therefore, I'll darkly end the argument. 

Ros. Look, what you do, you do it still i* the 

KATH. So do not you ; for you are a light 

Ros. Indeed, I weigh not you ; and therefore 

KATH. You weigh me not, O, that's you care 
not for me. 

' mouse,] This was a term of endearment formerly. So, 

in Hamlet : 

" Pinch wanton on your cheek ; call you his mouse." 


7 talcing it in snuff:] Snuff is here used equivocally for 

anger, and the snuff" of a candle. See more instances of this 
conceit in King Henry IV. P. I. Act I. sc. iii. STEEVENS. 

*. n. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 145 

Ros. Great reason ; for, Past cure is still past 
care. 8 

PRIN* Well bandied both ; a set of wit 9 well 


But Rosaline, you have a favour too : 
Who sent it ? and what is it ? 

Ros. I would, you knew : 

An if my face were but as fair as yours, 
My favour were as great ; be witness this. 
Nay, I have verses too, I thank Biron : 
The numbers true ; and, were the numbering too, 
I were the fairest goddess on the ground : 
I am compared to twenty thousand fairs. 
O, he hath drawn my picture in his letter ! 

PRIN. Any thing like ? 

Ros. Much, in the letters ; nothing in the praise. 
PRIN. Beauteous as ink ; a good conclusion. 
KATH. Fair as a text B in a copy-book. 

-for, Past cure is still past care.] The old copy reads 

past care is still past cure. The transposition was proposed by 
Dr. Thirlby, and, it must be owned, is supported by a line in 
King Richard II; 

" Things past redress are now with me past care" 
So, also, in a pamphlet entitled Holland's Leaguer, 4-to. 1632 : 
" She had got this adage in her mouth. Things past cure, past 
care." Yet the fallowing lines in our author's 147th Sonnet 
seem rather in favour of the old reading : 

** Past cure I am, now reason is past care, 

" And frantick mad with evermore unrest." MALONE. 

9 a set of wit ] A term from tennis. So, in King 

Henry V : 

tf play a set 

" Shall strike his father's crown into the hazard." 

VOL. Vir. L 


Ros. 'Ware pencils I l How ? let me not die your 


My red dominical, my golden letter : 
O, that your face were not so full of O's ! 2 

KATH. A pox of that jest! and beshrew all 
shrows ! 3 

PRIN. But what was sent to you from fair Du- 
main ? 4 

' Ware pencils !] The former editions read" r 

" Were pencils ." 

Sir T. Hanmer here rightly restored : 

" 'Ware pencils ." 

Rosaline, a black beauty, reproaches the fair Katharine for 
painting. JOHNSON. 

Johnson mistakes the meaning of this sentence ; it is not a re- 
proach, but a cautionary threat. Rosaline says that Biron had 
drawn her picture in his letter ; and afterwards playing on the 
word letter, Katharine compares her to a text B. Rosaline in 
reply advises her to beware of pencils, that is of drawing like- 
nesses, lest she should retaliate ; which she afterwards does, by 
comparing her to a red dominical letter, and calling her marks 
of the small pox oes. M. MASON. 

S o full o/'O's!] Shakspeare talks of " fiery O'* and 

eyes of light," in A Midsummer- Night's Dream. STEEVENS. 

3 Pox of that jest ! and beshrew all shroivs /] " Pox of that 
jest!" Mr. Theobald is scandalized at this language from a 
princess. But there needs no alarm the small pox only is al- 
luded to ; with whichj it seems, Katharine was pitted ; or, as it 
is quaintly expressed, " her face was full of O's." Davison has 
a canzonet on his lady's sicknesse of the poxe : and Dr. Donne 
writes to his sister : " at my return from Kent, I found Pegge 
had the Poxe I humbly thank God, it hath not much disfi- 
gured, her." FARMER. 

A pox of that jest ! &c.] This line, which in the old copies 
is given to the rrincess, Mr. Theobald rightly attributed to 
Katharine. The metre, as well as the mode of expression, shew 
that " 7 beshrew,'' the reading of these copies, was a mistake 
of the transcriber. M ALONE. 

4 But 'what tvas sent to you from fair Dumain?] The old 

se. if. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 147 

KATH. Madam, this glove. 

PR IN. Did he not send you twain ? 

KATH. Yes, madam ; and moreover, 
Some thousand verses of a faithful lover : 
A huge translation of hypocrisy. 
Vilely compiPd, profound simplicity. 

MAR. This, and these pearls, to me sent Longa- 

ville ; 
The letter is too long by half a mile. 

PRIN. I think no less : Dost thou not wish in 

The chain were longer, and the letter short? 

MAR. Ay, or I would these hands might never 

PRIN. We are wise girls, to mock our lovers so. 

Ros. They are worse fools to purchase mocking 


That same Biron I'll torture ere I go. 
O, that I knew he were but in by the week! 5 
How I would make him fawn, and beg, and seek; 
And wait the season, and observe the times, 
And spend his prodigal wits in bootless rhymes ; 

copies, after But, insert Katharine. We should, therefore, 

" But, Katharine, what was sent you from Dumain ?" 


3 in by the 'week!'] This I suppose to be an expression 

taken from hiring servants or artificers ; meaning, I wish I was 
as sure of his service for any time limited, as if I had hired him. 
The expression was a common one. So, in Vittoria Coroni' 
lona, 1612: 

" What, are you in by the week? So ; I will try now whether 
thy wit be close prisoner." Again, in The Wit of a Woman t 

" Since I am in by the -week, let me look to the year.*' 



And shape his service wholly to my behests ; 6 
And make him proud to make me proud that jests! 7 
So portent-like 8 would I o'ersway his state, 
That he should be my fool, and I his fate. 

G wholly to my behests;] The quarto, 1598, and the 
first folio, read to my device. The emendation, which the 
rhyme confirms, was made by the editor of the second folio, 
and is one of the very few corrections of any value to be found 
in that copy. MALONE. 

Mr. Malone, however, admits three other corrections from 
the second folio in this very sheet. S TEE YENS. 

7 And make him proud to make me proud that jests /] The 
meaning of this obscure line seems to be, / would make him 
proud tojlatter me tvho make a mock of his flattery. Edinburgh 
Magazine, for Nov. 1786. STEEVENS. 

8 So portent-Me &c.] In former copies: 

So pertaunt-/ze, "would I o'er-suay his state, 

That he should be my fool, and I his fate. 
In old farces, to show the inevitable approaches of death and 
destiny, the Fool of the farce is made to employ all his strata- 
gems to avoid Death or Fate; which very stratagems, as they 
are ordered, bring the Fool, at every turn, into the very jaws of 
Fate. To this Shukspeare alludes again in Measurejbr Measure: 
- " merely thou art Death* s Fool; 

>f For him thou labour'st by thy flight to shun, 

" And yet run'st towards him still." 

It is plain from all this, that the nonsense of pertaunt-like, 
*.hould be read, portent-like, i. e. I would be his fate or destiny, 
and, like a portent, hang over, and influence his fortunes. For 
portents were not only thought to forebode, but to influence. So 
the Latins called a person destined to bring mischief^/ata/ejoor- 
tentum. WARBURTON. 

The emendation appeared first in the Oxford edition. 


Until some proof be brought of the existence of such cha- 
racters as Death and the Fool, in old farces, (for the mere asser- 
tion of Dr. Warburton is not to be relied on,) this passage must 
be literally understood, independently of any particular allusion. 
The old reading might probably mean " so scqffingly would I 
o'ersway," &c. The initial letter in Stowe, mentioned by Mr. 
Reed in Measure for Measure, here cited, has been altogether 

sc. n. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 149 

PRIN. None are so 9 surely caught, when they 

are cateh'd, 

As wit turn'd fool : folly, in wisdom hatch'd, 
Hath wisdom's warrant, and the help of school j 
And wit's own grace to grace a learned fool. 

Ros. The blood of youth burns not with such 

As gravity's revolt to wantonness. 1 

MAR. Folly in fools bears not so strong a note, 
As foolery in the wise, when wit doth dote ; 
Since all the power thereof it doth apply, 
To prove, by wit, worth in simplicity. 

Enter BOYET. 

PRIN. Here comes Boyet, and mirth is in his face. 

BOYET. O, I am stabb'd with laughter ! Where's 
her grace ? 

PRIN. Thy news, Boyet ? 

BOYET. Prepare, madam, prepare ! 

Arm, wenches, arm ! encounters mounted are 
Against your peace: Love doth approach disguis'd, 
Armed in arguments ; you'll be surpris'd : 
Muster your wits ; stand in your own defence ; 
Or hide your heads like cowards, and fly hence. 

misunderstood. It is only a copy from an older letter which 
formed part of a Death's Dance, in which Death and the Fool 
were always represented. I have several of these alphabets. 


9 None are so &c.] These are observations worthy of a man 
who has surveyed human nature with the closest attention. 


1 to 'wantonness.'] The quarto, 1598, and the first folio 

have to "wantons be. For this emendation we are likewise in- 
debted to the second folio. MALONE. 


PRIN. Saint Dennis to saint Cupid ! 2 What are 


That charge their "breath against us ? say, scout, 

BOYET. Under the cool shade of a sycamore, 
I thought to close mine eyes some half an hour : 
When, lo ! to interrupt my purpos'd rest, 
Toward that shade I might behold addrest 
The king and his companions : warily 
I stole into a neighbour thicket by, 
And overheard what you shall overhear; 
That, by and by, disguis'd they will be here. 
Their herald is a pretty knavish page, 
That well by heart hath conn'd his embassage : 
Action, and accent, did they teach him there ; 
Thus must thou speak, and thus thy body bear: 
And ever and anon they made a doubt, 
Presence majestical would put him out ; 
For, quoth the king, an angel shalt thou see; 
Yet fear not thou, but speak audaciously. 
The boy reply'd, An angel is not evil; 
I should have fear* 'd her, had she been a devil. 
With that all laugh'd, and clapp'd him on the 

shoulder ; 

Making the bold wag by their praises bolder. 
One rubb'd his elbow, thus : and fleer'd, and swore, 

* Saint Dennis, to saint Cupid /] The Princess of France in- 
vokes, with too much levity, the patron of her country, to op- 
pose his power to that of Cupid. JOHNSON. 

Johnson censures the Princess for invoking with so much 
levity the patron of her country, to oppose his power to that of 
Cupid; but that was not her intention. Being determined to 
engage the King and his followers, she gives for the word of 
battle St. Dennis, as the King, when he was determined to at- 
tack her, had given for the word of battle St. Cupid: 
" Saint Cupid then, and soldiers to the field." 



A better speech was never spoke before : 
Another, with his finger and his thumb, 
Cry'd, Via! tee will do't, come what will come : 
The third he caper'd, and cried, All goes well: 
The fourth turn'd on the toe, and down he fell. 
With that, they all did tumble on the ground, 
With such a zealous laughter, so profound, 
That in this spleen ridiculous 3 appears, 
To check their folly, passion's solemn tears. 4 

PRIN. But what, but what, come they to visit us? 

BOYET. They do, they do ; and are apparel'd 

Like Muscovites, or Russians : as I guess, 5 

3 spleen ridiculous ] Is, a ridiculous Jft of laughter. 


The spleen was anciently supposed to be the cause of laughter. 
So, in some old Latin verses already -quoted on another occasion: 
** Splen ridere facit, cogit amare jecur." STEEVENS. 

4 passion's solemn tears.] So, in A Midsummer- Night's 

Dream : 

" Made mine eyes water, but more merry tears 

" The passion of loud laughter never shed." MALONE. 

* Like Muscovites, or Russians : as I guess,] The settling 
commerce in Russia was, at that time, a matter that much in- 
grossed the concern and conversation of the publick. There had 
been several embassies employed thither on that occasion ; and 
several tracts of the manners and state of that nation written : so 
that a mask of Muscovites was as good an entertainment to the 
audience of that time, as a coronation has been since. 


A mask of Muscovites was no uncommon recreation at court 
long before our author's time. In the first year of King Henry 
the Eighth, at a banquet made for the foreign embassadors in the 
parliament-chamber at Westminster: " came the lorde Henry, 
Earle of Wiltshire, and the lorde Fitzwater, in tvvoo long gounes 
of yellowe satin travarsed with white satin, and in every ben of 
white was a bend of crimosen satin .after the fashion of Russia or 
Ruslande, with furred hattes of grey on their hedes, either of 
them havyng an hatchet in their handes, and bootes with pykes 


Their purpose is, to parle, to court, and dance: 
And every one his love-feat will advance 
Unto his several mistress ; which they'll know 
By favours several, which they did bestow. 

PRIN. And will they so ? the gallants shall be 


For, ladies, we will every one be mask'd ; 
And not a man of them shall have the grace, 
Despite of suit, to see a lady's face. 
Hold, Rosaline, this favour thou shalt wear ; 
And then the king will court thee for his dear ; 
Hold, take thou this, my sweet, and give me thine ; 
So shall Biron take me for Rosaline. 
And change you favours too ; so shall your loves 
Woo contrary, deceiv'd by these removes. 

Ros. Come on then ; wear the favours most in 

KATH. But, in this changing, what is your intent? 

PRIN. The effect of my intent is, to cross theirs: 
They do it but in mocking merriment ; 
And mock for mock is only my intent. 
Their several counsels they unbosom shall 
To loves mistook ; and so be mock'd withal, 
Upon the next occasion that we meet, 
With visages display'd, to talk, and greet. 

Ros. But shall we dance, if they desire us to't ? 

PRIN. No; to the death, we will not move a foot: 
Nor to their penn'd speech render we no grace ; 
But, while 'tis spoke, each turn away her face. 6 

turned up. n HALL, Henry VIII. p. 6. This extract may serve 
to convey an idea of the dress used upon the present occasion by 
the King and his Lords at the performance of the play. RITSON. 

* \\erface.] The first folio, and the quarto, 1598, have 

face. Corrected by the editor of the second folio. 



BOYET. Why, that contempt will kill the speak- 

er's heart, 
And quite divorce his memory from his part. 

PRIN. Therefore I do it ; and, I make no doubt, 
The rest will ne'er come in, 7 if he be out. 
There's no such sport,as sport by sport o'erthrown; 
To make theirs ours, and ours none but our own : 
So shall we stay, mocking intended game ; 
And they, well mock'd, depart away with shame. 

\_Trumpets sound within. 

BOYET. The trumpet sounds ; be mask'd, the 
maskers come. \_The ladies mask. 

Enter the King, BIRON, LONGAVILLE, and DUMAIN, 
in Russian habits, and masked; MOTH, Musicians, 
and Attendants. 

MOTH. All hail, the richest beauties on the earth! 
BOYET. Beauties no richer than rich taffata. 8 

MOTH. A holy parcel of the fairest dames, 

[The ladies turn their backs to him. 
That ever turn'd their backs to mortal views! 

BIRON. Their eyes, villain, their eyes. 

MOTH. That ever turned their eyes to mortal views! 

T toill ne'er come zn,] The quarto, 1598, and the folio, 

1623, read will e'er. The correction was made in the second 
folio. MA LONE. 

9 Beauties no richer than rich taffata^ i. e. the taffata masks 
they wore to conceal themselves. All the editors concur to give 
this line to Biron ; but, surely, very absurdly: for he's one of the 
zealous admirers, and hardly would make such an inference. 
Boyet is sneering at the parade of their address, is in the secret 
of the ladies' stratagem, and makes himself sport at the absurdity 
of their proem, in complimenting their beauty, when they were 
mask'd. It therefore comes from him with the utmost propriety. 



BOYET. True ; out, indeed. 

MOTH. Out of your favours, tieavenly spirits, 

Not to behold 

BIRON. Once to behold, rogue, 

MOTH. Once to behold with your sun-beamed eyes, 
with your sun-beamed eyes 

BOYET. They will not answer to that epithet ; 
You were best call it, daughter-beamed eyes. 

MOTH. They do not mark me, and that brings 
me out. 

BIRON. Is this your perfectness ? be gone, you 

Ros. What would these strangers ? know their 

minds, Boyet: 

If they do speak our language, 'tis our will 
That some plain man recount their purposes : 
Know what they would. 

BOYET. What would you with the princess ? 
BIRON. Nothing but peace, and gentle visitation. 
Ros. What would they, say they ? 
BOYET. Nothing but peace, and gentle visitation. 

Ros. Why, that they have ; and bid them so be 

BOYET. She says, you have it, and you may be 

KING. Say to her, we have measur'd many miles, 
To tread a measure with her on this grass. 

BOYET. They say, that they have measur'd many 

a mile, 
To tread a measure 9 with you on this grass. 

9 To tread a measure ] The measures were dances solemn 
and slow. They were performed at court, and at public enter- 



Ros. It is not so : ask them, how many inches 
Is in one mile : if they have measured many, 
The measure then of one is easily told. 

BOYET. If, to come hither you have measured 


And many miles ; the princess bids you tell, 
How many inches do fill up one mile. 

BIRON. Tell her, we measure them by weary 

BOYET. She hears herself. 

Ros. How many weary steps, 

Of many weary miles you have o'ergone, 
Are numbered in the travel of one mile ? 

BIRON. We number nothing that we spend for 

tainments of the societies of law and equity, at their halls, on 
particular occasions. It was formerly not deemed inconsistent 
with propriety even for the gravest persons to join in them ; and 
accordingly at the revels which were celebrated at the inns of 
court, it has not been unusual for the first characters in the law 
to become performers in treading the measures. See Dugdale's 
Origines Juridiciales. Sir John Davies, in his poem called Or- 
chestra, 1622, describes them in this manner: 

" But, after these, as men more civil grew, 

" He did more grave and solemn measures frame : 
" With such fair order and proportion true, 

" And correspondence ev'ry way the same, 
" That no fault-finding eye did ever blame, 
" For every eye was moved at the sight, 
" With sober wond'ring and with sweet delight. 

" Not those young students of the heavenly b.ook, 
" Atlas the great, Prometheus the wise, 

" Which on the stars did all their life-time look, 
" Could ever find such measure in the skies, 

" So full of change, and rare varieties ; 
" Yet all the feet "whereon these measures go, 

" Are only spondees, solemn, grave, and slow." REED. 

See Beatrice's description of this dance in Much Ado About 
Nothing, Vol. VI. p. 38. MALONE. 


Our duty is so rich, so infinite, 
That we may do it still without accompt. 
Vouchsafe to show the sunshine of your face, 
That we, like savages, may worship it. 

Ros. My face is but a moon, and clouded too. 

KING. Blessed are clouds, to do as such clouds 

Vouchsafe, bright moon, and these thy stars, 1 to 

(Those clouds remov'd) upon our wat'ry eyne. 

Ros. O vain petitioner ! beg a greater matter ; 
Thou now request'st but moonshine in the water. 

KING. Then, in our measure do but vouchsafe 

one change : 
Thou bid'st me beg ; this begging is not strange. 

Ros. Play, musick, then : nay, you must do it 
soon. [Musick plays. 

Not yet ; no dance : thus change I like the 

KING. Will you not dance ? How come you 
thus estranged? 

Ros. You took the moon at full ; but now she's 

KING. Yet still she is the moon, and I the man.' 
The musick plays ; vouchsafe some motion to it. 

Ros. Our ears vouchsafe it. 

KING. But your legs should do it. 

1 Vouchsafe, bright moon, and these thy stars,] When Queen 
Elizabeth asked an embassador, how he liked her ladies, // is 
hard, said he, to judge of stars in the presence of the sun. 


* the man.] I suspect, that a line which rhymed with this, 

has been lost. MALONE. 

x. n. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 157 

R os. Since you are strangers, and come here by 

We'll not be nice : take hands ; we will not dance. 

KING. Why take we hands then ? 

Ros. Only to part friends : 

Court'sy, sweet hearts ; 3 and so the measure ends. 

KING. More measure of this measure ; be not 

Ros. We can afford no more at such a price. 

KING. Prize you yourselves ; What buys your 
company ? 

Ros. Your absence only. 

KING. That can never be. 

Ros. Then cannot we be bought : and so adieu ; 
Twice to your visor, and half once to you ! 

KING. If you deny to dance, let's hold more chat. 
Ros. In private then. 

KING* I am best pleas'd with that. 

\_They converse apart. 

BIRON. White-handed mistress, one sweet word 
with thee. 

PRIN. Honey, and milk, and sugar; there is 

BIRON. Nay then, two treys, (an if you grow so 


Metheglin, wort, and malmsey; Well run, dice! 
There's half a dozen sweets. 

PRIN. Seventh sweet, adieu ! 

Since you can cog, 4 I'll play no more with you. 

3 Court'sy, sweet hearts ;] See Tempest, Vol. IV. p. 4-3 : 

" Court 'sied when you have, and kiss'd ." MALONE. 

4 Since you can cog,] To cog, signifies to falsify the dice, and 
to falsify a narrative, or to lye. JOHNSON. 


BLRON. One word in secret. 

PRIN. Let it not be sweet. 

BIRON. Thou griev'st my gall. 

PRIN. Gall ? bitter. 

BIRON. Therefore meet. 

{They converse apart. 

DUM. Will you vouchsafe with me to change a 

MAR. Name it. 

DUM. Fair lady, 

MAR. Say you so ? Fair lord, 

Take that for your fair lady. 

DUM. Please it you, 

As much in private, and I'll bid adieu. 

\They converse apart. 

KATH. What, was your visor made without a 
tongue ? 

LONG. I know the reason, lady, why you ask. 
KATH. O, for your reason ! quickly, sir ; 1 long. 

LONG. You have a double tongue within your 

And would afford my speechless visor half. 

KATH. Veal, quoth the Dutchman j 5 Is not veal 
a calf ? 

LONG. A calf, fair lady ? 

KATH. No, a fair lord calf. 

LONG. Let's part the word. 

KATH. No, I'll not be your half: 

* Veal, quoth the Dutchman;"] I suppose by veal, she means 
eUy sounded as foreigners usually pronounce that word ; and 
introduced merely for the sake of the subsequent question. 


ac.ii. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 159- 

Take all, and wean it ; it may prove an ox. 

LONG. Look, how you butt yourself in these 

sharp mocks ! 
Will you give horns, chaste lady ? do not so. 

KATH. Then die a calf, before your horns do 

LONG. One word in private with you, ere I die. 

KATH. Bleat softly then, the butcher hears you 
cry. [.They converse apart. 

EOYET. The tongues of mocking wenches are as 


As is the razor's edge invisible, 
Cutting a smaller hair than may be seen ; 
Above the sense of sense : so sensible 
Seemeth their conference ; their conceits have 


Fleeter than arrows, bullets, wind, thought, swifter 
things. 6 

Ros. Not one word more, my maids ; break off, 
break off. 

BIRON. By heaven, all dry-beaten with pure scoff! 

KING. Farewell, mad wenches j you have simple 

[Exeunt King, Lords, MOTH, Musick, and 


PRIN. Twenty adieus, my frozen Muscovites. 
Are these the breed of wits so wonder'd at ? 
BOYET. Tapers they are, with your sweet breaths 
puff 'd out. 

6 Fleeter than arrows, bullets, wind, thought, swifter things."] 
Mr. Ritson observes, that, for the sake of measure, the word 
bullets should be omitted. STEEVENS. 


Eos. Well-liking wits 7 they have ; gross, gross ; 
fat, fat. 

PRIN. O poverty in wit, kingly-poor flout ! 
Will they not, think you, hang themselves to night? 

Or ever, but in visors, show their faces ? 
This pert Biron was out of countenance quite. 

Ros. O ! they were all 8 in lamentable cases ! 
The king was weeping-ripe for a good word. 

PRIN. Biron did swear himself out of all suit. 

MAR. Dumain was at my service, and his sword : 
No point, quoth I ; 9 my servant straight was mute. 

KATH. Lord Longaville said, I came o'er his 

heart ; 
And trow you, what he calPd me ? 

PRIN. Qualm, perhaps. 

KATH. Yes, in good faith. 

PRIN. Go, sickness as thou art ! 

7 Well-liking wits ] Well-liking is the same as embonpoint. 
i>o, in Job, xxxix. 4: " Their young ones are in good liking" 


O ! they were all &c.] O, which is not found in the first 
quarto or folio, was added by the editor of the second folio. 


9 No .point, quoth /;] Point in French is an adverb of nega- 
tion ; but, if properly spoken, is not sounded like the point of a 
sword. A quibble, however, is intended. From this and the 
other passages it appears, that either our author was not well ac- 
quainted with the pronunciation of the French language, or it 
was different formerly from what it is at present. 

The former supposition appears to me much the more proba- 
ble of the two. 

In The Return from Parnassus, 1606, Phflomusus says 
" Tit, tit, tit, non poynte; non debetjieri" &c. See also Florio's 
Italian Diet. 1598, in v. " Punto. never a whit; no point, a* 
the Frenchmen say." MALONE. 

sc. ii. LOVE'S LABOURS LOST. 161 

Ros. Well, better wits have worn plain statute- 

caps. 1 

1 better mits have worn plain statute-caps."] This line is 

not universally understood, because every reader does not know 
that a statute-cap is part of the academical habit. Lady Rosaline 
declares that her expectation was disappointed by these courtly 
students, and that better ivits might be found in the common 
places of education. JOHNSON. 

Woollen caps were enjoined by act of parliament, in the year 
1571, the 13th of Queen, Elizabeth. " Besides the bills passed 
into acts this parliament, there was one which I judge not amiss 
to be taken notice of it concerned the Queen's care for employ- 
ment for her poor sort of subjects. It was for continuance of 
making and wearing woollen caps, in behalf of the trade of 
cappers ; providing, that all above the age of six years, (except 
the nobility and some others, ) should on sabbath days and holy 
days, wear caps of wool, knit, thicked, and drest in England, 
upon penalty of ten groats." Strype's Annals of Queen Eliza- 
beth, Vol. II. p. 74. GREY. 

This act may account for the distinguishing mark of Mother 
Red-cap. I have observed that mention is made of this sign by 
some of our ancient pamphleteers and playwriters, as far back 
as the date of the act referred to by Dr. Grey. If that your cap 
be ivool became a proverbial saying. So, in Hans Beerjpot, a 
comedy, 1618 : 

" You shall not flinch ; if that your cap be toool, 

" You shall along." STEEVENS. 

I think my own interpretation of this passage is right. 


Probably the meaning is better tvits may be found among the 
citizens, who are not in general remarkable for sallies of imagi- 
nation. In Marston's Dutch Courtezan, 1605, Mrs. Mulligrub 
says : " though my husband be a citizen, and his cap's made 
of ivool, yet I have wit." Again, in The Family of Love, 1608 : 
* 'Tis a law enacted by the common-council of statute-caps" 

Again, in Newes from Hell, brought by the Devil's Carrier, 

" in a bowling alley in zflat cap like a shop-keeper." 

That these sumptuary laws, which dictated the form and 
materials of caps, the dimensions of ruffs, and the length of 
swords, were executed with great exactness but little discretion, 



But will you hear ? the king is my love sworn. 

PRIN. And quick Biron hath plighted faith to me. 

KATH. And Longaville was for my service born. 

MAR. Dumain is mine, as sure as bark on tree. 

BOYET. Madam, and pretty mistresses, give ear : 
Immediately they will again be here 
In their own shapes ; for it can never be, 
They will digest this harsh indignity. 

PRIN. Will they return ? 

BOYET. They will, they will, God knows ; 

And leap for joy, though they are lame with blows : 
Therefore, change favours ; and, when they repair, 
Blow like sweet roses in this summer air. 

PRIN. How blow ? how blow ? speak to be un- 

BOYET. Fair ladies, mask'd, are roses in their 

by a set of people placed at the principal avenues of the city, 
may be known from the following curious passage in a letter from 
Lord Talbot to the Earl of Shrewsbury, June, 1580: " The 
French Imbasidore, Mounswer Mouiser, [Mauvisiere, or, rather, 
Malvoisier,] ridinge to take the ayer, in his returnecam thowrowe 
Smithfield ; and ther, at the bars, was steayed by thos officers 
that sitteth to cut sourds, by reason his raper was longer than 
the statute : He was in a great feaurie, and dreawe his raper. In 
the meane season my Lord Henry Seamore cam, and so steayed 
the matt.r Hir Matif is greatlie ofended wth the ofisers, in that 
they wanted jugement." See Lodge's Illustrations of British 
History, Vol. II. p. 228. STEEVENS. 

The statute mentioned by Dr. Grey was repealed in the year 
1597. The epithet by which these statute caps are described, 
** plain statute caps," induces me to believe the interpretation 

Eiven in the preceding note by Mr. Steevens, the true one. The 
ing and his lords probably wore hats adorned with feathers. 
So they are represented in the print prefixed to this play in Mr. 
Rowe's edition, probably from some stage tradition. MALONE. 


Dismask'd, their damask sweet commixture shown, 
Are angels vailing clouds, or roses blown.* 

* Fair ladies, masked, are roses in their bud: 
Dismask'd, their damask sweet commixture shown. 
Are angels vailing clouds, or roses blown.'] This strange nqn- 
sense, made worse by the jumbling together and transposing the 
lines, I directed Mr. Theobald to read thus : 

Fair ladies mask'd are roses in their bud : 
Ov angels veil'd in clouds : are roses blown, 
Dismask'd, their damask sweet commixture shown. 
But he, willing to show how well he could improve a thought, 
wouhl print it : 

Or angel-veiling clouds 

i. e. clouds which veil angels : and by this means gave us, as the 
old proverb says, a cloud for a Juno. It was Shakspeare's pur- 
pose to compare a fine lady to an angel ; it was Mr. Theobald's 
chance to compare her to a cloud: and perhaps the ill-bred reader 
will say a lucky one. However, I supposed the poet could never 
be so nonsensical as to compare a masked lady to a cloud, though 
he might compare her mask to one. The Oxford editor, who 
had the advantage both of this emendation and criticism, is a 
great deal more subtile and refined, and says it should not be 

angels veil'd in clouds. 


angels vailing clouds, 

i. e. capping the sun as they go by him, just as a man vails his 
bonnet. WARBURTON. 

I know not why Sir T. Hanmer's explanation should be treated 
with so much contempt, or why vailing clouds should be capping 
the sun. Ladies unmasked, says Boyet, are like angels vailing 
clouds, or letting those clouds which obscured their brightness, 
sink from before them. What is there in this absurd or con- 
temptible ? JOHNSON. 

Holinshed's History of Scotland, p. 91, says: " The Britains 
began to avale the hills where they had lodged." i. e. they be- 
gan to descend the hills, or come down from them to meet their 
enemies. If Shakspeare uses the word vailing in this sense, the 
meaning is Angels descending from clouds which concealed 
their beauties ; but Dr. Johnson's exposition may be better. 


To avale comes from the Fr. aval [Terme de batelier] Down, 
downward, down the stream. So, in the French Romant de la 
Rose, v. 1415 : 

M 2 


A vaunt, perplexity ! What shall we do, 
If they return in their own shapes to woo ? 

Ros. Good madam, if by me you'll be advis'd, 
Let's mock them still, as well known, as disguis'd : 
Let us complain to them what fools were here, 
Disguis'd like Muscovites, in shapeless gear ; 3 
And wonder, what they were ; and to what end 
Their shallow shows, and prologue vilely penn'd, 
And their rough carriage so ridiculous, 
Should be presented at our tent to us. 

BOYET. Ladies, withdraw ; the gallants are at 

PRIN. Whip to our tents, as roes run over land. 
\_Exeunt Princess, 4 Ros. KATH. and MARIA. 

Enter the King, BIRON, LONGAVILLE, and DOMAIN, 
in their proper habits. 

KING. Fair sir, God save you! Where is the 
princess ? 

BOYET. Gone to her tent: Please it your majesty, 
Command me any service to her thither ? 

KING. That she vouchsafe me audience for one 

BOYET. I will ; and so will she, I know, my lord. 

" Leaue aloit aval enfaisant 
" Son melodieux et plaisant." 

Again, in Laneham's Narrative of Queen Elizabeth's Enter- 
tainment at Kenehoorth Castle, 1575: " as on a sea-shore 
when the water is avail'd." STEEVENS. 

3 shapeless gear ;] Shapeless, for uncouth, or what Shak- 
espeare elsewhere calls diffused. WARBURTON. 

4 Exeunt Princess, &c.] Mr. Theobald cads the fourth Act 
here. .JOHNSON. 

He. ii. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 165 

BIRON. This fellow pecks up wit, as pigeons 

peas ; 5 

And utters it again when God doth please : 
He is wit's pedler ; and retails his wares 
At wakes, and wassels, 6 meetings, markets, fairs ; 
And we that sell by gross, the Lord doth kriow, 
Have not the grace to grace it with such show. 
This gallant pins the wenches on his sleeve ; 
Had he been Adam, he had tempted Eve : 
He can carve too, and lisp : 7 Why, this is he, 
That kiss'd away his hand in courtesy j 

4 pecks up wit, as pigeons peas ;] This expression is pro- 
verbial : 

" Children pick up words as pigeons peas, 
" And utter them again as God shall please." 
See Ray's Collection. STEEVENS. 

Pecks is the reading of the first quarto. The folio has picks, 
That pecks is the true reading, is ascertained by one of Nashe's 
tracts; Christ's Tears over Jerusalem, 1594: " The sower scat- 
tered some seede by the highway side, which the foules of the 
ay re peck' 'd up." MALONE. 

6 wassels,] Wassels were meetings of rustic mirth and 

intemperance. So, in Antony and Cleopatra : 

" Antony, 

" Leave thy lascivious ivassels" 

See note on Macbeth, Act I. sc. vii. STEEVENS. 

Waes heal, that is, be of health, was a salutation first used by 
the Lady Rowena to King Vortiger. Afterwards it became ii 
custom in villages, on new year's eve and twelfth-night, to Carry 
a ivassel or tvaissail bowl from house to house, which was pre- 
sented with the Saxon words above mentioned. Hence in pro- 
cess of time wassel signified intemperance in drinking, and also 
a meeting for the purpose of festivity. MALONE. 

7 He can carve too, and lisp :] The character of Boyet, as 
drawn by Biron, represents an accomplished squire of the days 
of chivalry, particularly in the instances here noted. " Le jeune 
Ecuyer apprenoit long-temps dans le silence cet art de bienparler, 
lorsqu'en qualite d* Ecnyer TRAXCHANT, il etoit debout dansles 
repas & dans les festins, occupe" it couper les viandes avec la pro- 
prete", Faddre? se & 1'etegance convenablcs, 6t aicsfirire distribuer 



This is the ape of form, monsieur the nice, 
That, when he plays at tables, chides the dice 
In honourable terms ; nay, he can sing 
A mean most meanly ; 8 and, in ushering, 
Mend him who can : the ladies call him, sweet ; 
The stairs, as he treads on them, kiss his feet : 
This is the flower that smiles on every one, 
To show his teeth as white as whales bone j 9 

aux nobles convives dont il etoiet environne". Joinville, dans sa 
jeunesse, avoit rempli & la cour de. Saint Louis cet office, qui, 
dans les maisons des Souverains,e"toitquelquefois exerce par leurs 
propres enfans." Memoires sur Vancienne Chevalerie, Tom. I. 
p. 16. HENLEY. 

" I cannot cog, (says Falstaffin The Merry Wives of Windsor,} 
and say, thou art this and that, like^many of these lisping haw- 
thorn buds, that come like women in men's apparel ." On the 
subject of carving see Vol. V. p. 40, n. 2. MALONE. 

8 A mean most meanly; &c.] The mean, in musick, is the 
tenor. So, Bacon : " The treble cutteth the air so sharp, as it 
returneth too swift to make the sound equal ; and therefore a 
mean or tenor is the sweetest." 

Again, in Herod and Antipater, 1622 : 

" Thus sing we descant on one plain-song, kill ; 
" Four parts in one ; the mean excluded quite." 
Again, in Drayton's Barons' Wars. Cant, iii : 

" The base and treble married to the mean" 


9 as white as whales bone:] As white as "whales bone is a 

proverbial comparison in the old poets. In The Fairy Queen, 
B. III. c. i. st. 15: 

" Whose face did seem as clear as chrystal stone, 
" And eke, through feare, as while as whales bone.* 1 
And in L. Surrey, fol. 14-, edit. 1567 : 

" I might perceive a wolf, as while as whales bone, 
" A fairer beast of fresher hue, beheld I never none." 
Skelton joins the whales bone with the brightest precious 
stones, in describing the position of Pallas: 

" A hundred steppes mounting to the halle, 

" One of jasper, another of whales bone; 

" Of diamantes, pointed by the rokky walle." 

Crowne ofLawrell, p. 24, edit. 1736- T. WARKXN. 

sc. ii. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 167 

And consciences, that will not die in debt, 
Pay him the due of honey-tongued Boyet. 

KING. A blister on his sweet tongue, with my 

That put Armado's page out of his part ! 

Enter the Princess, usher d by BOYET ; ROSALINE, 
MARIA, KATHARINE, and Attendants. 

BIRON. See where it comes ! Behaviour, what 

wert thou, 
Till this man show'd thee ? and what art thou now? 1 

as whales bone .] The Saxon genitive case. So, in A 

Midsummer-Night's Dream : 

" Swifter than the moones sphere." 

It should be remember 'd that some of our ancient writers sup- 
posed ivory to be part of the bones of a 'whale. The same simile 
occurs in the old black letter romance of Syr Eglamoure of 
Artoys, no date : 

" The erle had no chylde but one, 

" A mayden as white as whales bone." 

Again, in the ancient metrical romance of Syr Isembras, bl. 1. 
no date : 

" His wyfe as "white as 'whales bone?' 
Again, in The Squhr of Low Degree, bl. 1. no date : 

*' Lady as white as whales bone*'' 
Again, in Nash's Lenten Stuff, &c. 1 599 : 

" his herrings which were as white as whales 

bone" &c. STEEVENS. 

This white whale his bone, now superseded by ivory, was the 
tooth of the Horse-whale, Morse, or Walrus, as appears by King 
Alfred's preface to his Saxon translation of Orosius. 


1 Behaviour, what wert thou, 

Till this man show'd thee ? and what art thdu now ?] These 
are two wonderfully fine lines, intimating that what courts call 
manners, and value themselves so much upon teaching, as a thing 
no where else to be learnt, is a modest silent accomplishment 
under the direction of nature and common sense, which does its 
office in promoting social life without being taken notice of. But 


KING. All hail, sweet madam, and fair time of 

PRIX. Fair, in all hail, is foul, as I conceive. 
KING. Construe my speeches better, if you may. 
PRIN. Then wish me better,! will give you leave. 

KING. We came to visit you ; and purpose now 
To lead you to our court : vouchsafe it then. 

PRIN. This field shall hold me ; and so hold your 

vow : 
Nor God, nor I, delight in perjur'd men. 

KING. Rebuke me not for that which you pro- 

voke ; 
The virtue of your eye must break my oath. 2 

PRIN. You nick-name virtue : vice you should 

have spoke ; 

For virtue's office never breaks men's troth. 
Now, by my maiden honour, yet as pure 

As the unsullied lily, I protest, 
A world of torments though I should endure, 

I would not yield to be your house's guest : 
So much I hate a breaking-cause to be 
Of heavenly oaths, vow'd with integrity. 

that when it degenerates into show and parade, it becomes an 
unmanly contemptible quality. WAKBURTON. 

What is told in this note is undoubtedly true, but is not com- 
prized in the quotation. JOHNSON. 

Till this man skoio'd thee?] The old copies read" Till this 
mad man," &c. STEEVENS. 

An error of the press. The word mad must be struck out. 


* The virtue: of your eye must break my. oath.'] I believe our 
author means that the virtue, in which word goodness and power 
are both comprised, must dissolve, the obligation of the oath. The 
Princess, in her answer, takes- the most invidious part of the am- 
biguity. JOHNSON. 

sc. ii. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 169 

KING. O, you have liv'd in desolation here, 
Unseen, unvisited, much to our shame. 

PRIN. Not so, my lord ; it is not so, I swear ; 

We have hadpastimeshere, andpleasantgame; 
A mess of Russians left us but of late. 

KING. How, madam ? Russians? 

PRIN. Ay, in truth, my lord ; 

Trim gallants, full of courtship, and of state. 

Ros. Madam, speak true : It is not so, my lord ; 
My lady, (to the manner of the days,) 
In courtesy, gives undeserving praise. 3 
We four, indeed, confronted here with four 
In Russian habit : here they stay'd an hour, 
And talk'd apace ; and in that hour, my lord, 
They did not bless us with one happy word. 
I dare not call them fools ; but this I think, 
When they are thirsty, fools would fain have drink. 

BIRON. This jest is dry to me. Fair, gentle 

sweet, 4 
Your wit makes wise things foolish ; when we greet'' 

3 Mil lady, (to the manner of the days.} 
j j> \ . / . j ', i 

In courtesy, gives undeserving praise. \ lo the manner ot 
the days, means according to the manner of the times. Gives 
undeserving praise, means praise to what does not deserve it. 


* Fair, gentle sweet,] The word^azr, which is wanting in the 
two elder copies, was restored by the second folio. Mr. Malone 
reads " My gentle sweet." 

" My fair, sweet honey monarch" occurs in this very scene, 
p. 182. STEEVEXS. 

Sweet is generally used as a substantive by our author, in his 
addresses to ladies. So, in The Winter's Tale : 

" When you speak, sweet, 

" I'd have you do it ever." 
Again, in The Merchant of Venice: 

" And now, good sweet, say thy opinion." 


With eyes best seeing heaven's fiery eye, 

By light we lose light : Your capacity 

Is of that nature, that to your huge store 

Wise things seem foolish, and rich things but poor. 

Ros. This proves you wise and rich ; for in my 

BIRON. I am a fool, and full of poverty. 

Ros. But that you take what doth to you belong, 
It were a fault to snatch words from my tongue. 

BIRON. O, I am yours, and all that I possess. 
Ros. All the fool mine ? 

BIRON. I cannot give you less. 

Ros. Which of the visors was it, that you wore ? 

BIRON. Where? when? what visor? why demand 
you this? 

Ros. There, then, that visor ; that superfluous 

That hid the worse, and show'd the better face. 

KING. We are descried : they'll mock us now 

DUM. Let us confess, and turn it to a jest. 

PRIN. Amaz'd, my lord ? Why looks your high- 
ness sad ? 

Ros. Help, hold his brows ! he'll swoon ! Why 

look you pale ? 
Sea-sick, I think, coming from Muscovy. 

Again, in Othello : 

" O, my 

" I prattle out of tune." 

The editor of the second folio, with less probability, (as it 
appears to me,) reads -fair, gentle sweet. MALONE. 

* when tve greet &c.] This is a very lofty and elegant 

compliment. JOHNSON. 

sc.ii. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 171 

BIRON. Thus pour the stars down plagues for 

Can any face of brass hold longer out ? 
Here stand I, lady; dart thy skill at me ; 

Bruise me with scorn, confoundmewithaflout; 
Thrust thy sharp wit quite through my ignorance ; 

Cut me to pieces with thy keen conceit ; 
And I will wish thee never more to dance, 

Nor never more in Russian habit wait. 
O ! never will I trust to speeches penn'd, 

Nor to the motion of a school-boy's tongue ; 
Nor never come in visor to my friend; 6 

Nor woo in rhyme, like a blind harper's song : 
Taffata phrases, silken terms precise, 

Three-pil'd hyperboles, 7 spruce affectation, 8 
Figures pedantical ; these summer-flies 

Have blown me full of maggot ostentation : 
I do forswear them : and I here protest, 

By this white glove, (how white the hand, 

God knows !) 
Henceforth my wooing mind shall be express'd 

In russet yeas, and honest kersey noes: 

6 ; my friend ;] i. e. mistress. So, in Measurejbr Measure i 

" he hath got his friend with child." STEEVENS. 

7 Three-pil'd hyperboles,'] A metaphor from the pile of velvet. 
So, in The Winter's Tale, Autolycus says : 

" I have worn three-pile.' 1 STEEVENS. 

8 spruce affectation,] The old copies read affection. 


The modern editors read affectation. There is no need of 
change. We already in this play have had affection for affecta- 
tion; " witty without affection." The word was used by 
our author and his contemporaries, as a quadrisyllable; and the 
rhyme such as they thought sufficient. MALONE. 

In The Merry Wives of Windsor the word affectation occurs, 
and was most certainly designed to occur again in the present 
instance. No ear can be satisfied with such rhymes as affection 
and ostentation. STEJEVENS. 


And, to begin wench, so God help me, la! 
My love to thee is sound, sans crack or flaw. 

Ros. Sans SANS, I pray you. 9 

BiRoy. Yet I have a trick 

Of the old rage: bear with me, I am sick ; 
I'll leave it by degrees. Soft, let us see; 
Write, Lord have mercy on us, 1 on those three; 
They are infected, in their hearts it lies; 
They have the plague, and caught it of your eyes : 

9 Sans SANS, I pray you."] It is scarce worth remarking, that 
the conceit here is obscured by the punctuation. It should be 
written Sans SANS, i. e. "without SANS ; without French words : 
an affectation of which Biron had been guilty in the last line of 
his speech, though just before he had forsworn all affectation in 
phrases, terms, &c. TYRWHITT. 

1 Write, Lord have mercy on us,'] This was the inscription put 
upon the door of the houses infected with the plague, to which 
Biron compares the love of himself and his companions ; and 
pursuing the metaphor finds the tokens likewise on the ladies. 
The tokens of the plague are the first spots or discol orations, by 
which the infection is known to be received. JOHNSON. 

So, in Histriomastix, 1610: 

" It is as dangerous to read his name on a play-door, as a 
printed bill on a plague-door." 

Again, in The Whore of Babylon, 1607: 

" Have tokens stamp'd on them to make them known, 
" More dreadful than the tills that preach the plague." 
Again, in More Fools yet, a collection of Epigrams by R. S. 1610: 
" To declare the infection for his sin, 
" A crosse is set without, there's none within.*' 
Again, ibid: 

" But by the way he saw and much respected 
" A doore belonging to a house infected, 
" Whereon was plac'd (as 'tis the' custom still) 
" The Lord have mercy on us : this sad bill 
" The sot perus'd ." STEEVENS. 

vSo, in Kir Thomas Overknry's Characters, 1632 : 
" Lord have mercy on us may well stand over their doors, for 
debt is a most dangerous city pestilence." MALCT'NE. 

so. n. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 173 

These lords are visited j you are not free, 
For the Lord's tokens on you do I see. 

PRIN. No, they are free, that gave these tokens 
to us. 

BIRON. Our states are forfeit, seek not to undo 

Ros. It is not so ; For how can this be true, 
That you stand forfeit, being those that sue ? 2 

BIRON. Peace j for I will not have to do with you. 
Ros. Nor shall not, if I do as I intend. 
BIRON. Speak for yourselves, my wit is at an end. 

KING. Teach us, sweet madam, for our rude 

Some fair excuse. 

PRIN. The fairest is confession. 

Were you not here, but even now, disguis'd? 

KING. Madam, I was. 

PRIN. And were you well advis'd? 3 

KING. I was, fair madam. 

PRIN. When you then were here, 

What did you whisper in your lady's ear ? 

KING. That more than all the world I did re- 
spect her. 

PRIN. When she shall challenge this, you will 
reject her. 

- how can this be true, 

That you stand forfeit, being those that sue?]. That is, how 
can those be liable to forfeiture that bagin the process. The 
jest lies in the ambiguity of sue, which signifies to prosecute by 
lam, or to offer a petition. JOHNSON. 

3 - tuell advis'd ?] i. e. acting with sufficient deliberation. 
So, in The Comedty of Errors : 

" My liege, I son advis'd in what I say." STEEVENS. 


KING. Upon mine honour, no. 

PRIN. Peace, peace, forbear ; 

Your oath once broke, you force not to forswear. 4 

KING. Despise me, when I break this oath of 

PRIN. I will ; and therefore keep it : Rosaline, 
What did the Russian whisper in your ear ? 

Ros. Madam, he swore, that he did hold me dear 
As precious eye-sight; and did value me 
Above this world : adding thereto, moreover, 
That he would wed me, or else die my lover. 

PRIN. God give thee joy of him! the noble lord 
Most honourably doth uphold his word. 

KING. What mean you, madam ? by my life, my 

I never swore this lady such an oath. 

Ros. By heaven, you did; and toconfirin it plain, 
You gave me this : but take it, sir, again. 

KING. My faith, and this, the princess I did give; 
I knew her by this jewel on her sleeve. 

PRIN. Pardon me, sir, this jewel did she wear ; 
And lord Biron, I thank him, is my dear : 
What ; will you have me, or your pearl again ? 

BIRON. Neither of either; 5 I remit both twain. 

* you force not to for swear."] You force not is the same 

with you make no difficulty. This is a very just observation. 
The crime which lias been once committed, is committed again 
with less reluctance. JOHNSON. 

So, in Warner's Albion's England, B. X. ch. 59 : 

" he forced not to hide how he did err." 


* Neither of 'either ;] This seems to have been a common ex- 
pression in our author's time. It occurs in The London Prodi- 
gal, 1605, and other comedies. MALONE. 

x. ii. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 175 

I see the trick on't ; Here was a consent, 6 

(Knowing aforehand of our merriment,) 

To dash it like a Christmas comedy : 

Some carry-tale, some please-man, some slight 

zany, 7 
Some mumble-news, some trencher-knight, 8 some 

Thatsmiles his cheek in years; 9 and knows the trick 

a consent,] i. e. a conspiracy. So, in K. Henry VI. 


" the stars 

" That have consented to king Henry's death." 


7 zany,] A zany is a buffoon, a merry Andrew, a gross 

mimick. So, in Marston's Insatiate Countess, 1613: 


" To every seuerall zanie's instrument." 
Again, in Antonio's Revenge, 1602 : 

" Laughs them to scorn, as man doth busy apes, 

" When they will zany men." STEEVENS. 

some trencher-knight,] See page 177: 

" And stand between her back, sir, and the fire, 
" Holding a trencher,"' &c. M ALONE. 

9 some Dick, 

That smiles his cheek in years ;] Mr. Theobald says, he can- 
not for his heart, comprehend the meaning of this phrase. It was 
not his heart but his head that stood in the way. hi years, 
signifies, into wrinkles. So, in The Merchant of Venice : 
** With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come." 
See the note on that line But the Oxford editor was iii the 
same case, and so alters it tojleers. WARBURTON. 

Webster, in his Dutchess ofMalfy, makes Castruchio declare 
of his lady : " She cannot endure merry company, for she says 
much laughing fills her too full of the ivrinckle." FARMER. 

Again, in Twelfth-Night: " he doth smile his cheek inte 
more lines than are in the new map," &c. STEEVENS. 

The old copies read in yeeres. Jeers, the present emenda- 
tion, which I proposed some time ago, I have since observed, 
was made by Mr. Theobald. Dr. Warburton endeavours to sup- 


To make my lady laugh, when she's dispos'd, 
Told our intents before : which once disclos'd, 
The ladies did change favours ; and then we, 
Following the signs, woo'd but the sign of she. 

port the old reading, by explaining years to mean -wrinkles, 
which belong alike to laughter and old age. But allowing the 
word to be used in that licentious sense, surely our author would 
have written, not in, but into, years i. e. into wrinkles, as in 
a passage quoted by Mr. Steevens from Twelfth- Night: " he 
does smile his cheek into more lines than are in the new map," 
&c. The change being only that of a single letter for another 
nearly resembling it, I have placed jeers (formerly spelt jeeres) 
in my text. The words -jeer,Jlout, and mock, were much more 
in use in our author's time than at present. In Othello, 1622, 
the former word is used exactly as here : 

" And mark \\\c jeers, the gibes, and notable scorns, 

" That dwell in every region of his face." 
Out-roaring DICK was a celebrated singer, who, with William 
Wimbars, is said by Henry Chettle, in his KIND HARTS 
DREAME, to have got twenty shillings a day by singing at Brain- 
tree fair, in Essex. Perhaps this itinerant droll was here in our 
author's thoughts. This circumstance adds some support to the 
emendation now made. From the following passage in Sir John 
Oldcastle, 1600, it seems to have been a common term for a 
noisy swaggerer: 

" O he, sir, he's a desperate Dick indeed ; 

" Bar him your house." 
Again, in Kemp's Nine daies ivonder, &c. 4-to. 1600: 

" A boy arm'd with a poking stick 

" Will dare to challenge cutting Dick.'" 
Again, in The Epistle Dedicatorie to Nashe's Have ivith you 
to Saffron Walden, 1596: " nor Dick Swash, or Desperate 
Dick, that's such a terrible cutter at a chine of beef, and de- 
voures more meat at ordinaries in discoursing of his fraies, and 
deep acting of his slashing and hewing, than would serve half a 
dozen brewers draymen." MALONE. 

As the aptitude of my quotation from Twelfth- Night is ques- 
tioned, I shall defend it, and without much effort ; for Mr. Ma- 
lone himself must, on recollection, allow that in, throughout the 
plays of Shakspeare, is often used for into. Thus, in King 
Richard III : 

" But first, I'll turn yon fellow in his grave." 
I really conceived this usage of the preposition in, to have 
been too frequent to need exemplification. STEEVENS. 

sc.n. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 177 

Now, to our perjury to add more terror, 
We are again forsworn ; in will, and error. 
Much upon this it is : And might not you, 1 

[To Bo YET. 

Forestal our sport, to make us thus untrue ? 
Do not you know my lady's foot by the squire, 2 

And laugh upon the apple of her eye ? 
And stand between her back, sir, and the fire, 

Holding a trencher, jesting merrily ? 
You put our page out : Go, you are allow'd ; 3 
Die when you will, a smock shall be your shroud. 
You leer upon me, do you ? there's an eye, 
Wounds like a leaden sword. 

1 in will, and error. 

Much upon this it is : And might not you,"] I believe this 
passage should be read thus: 

in will and error. 

Boyet. Much upon this it is. 

Biron. And might not you, &c. JOHNSON. 

In will, and error.'] i. e. first in will, and afterwards in error. 


4 by the squire,] From esquierre, French, a rule, or 

square. The sense is nearly the same as that of the proverbial 
expression in our own language, he hath got the length of her 
foot ; i. e. he hath humoured her so long that he can persuade 
her to what he pleases. HEATH. 

Squire in our author's time was the common term for a rule. 
See Minsheu's Diet, in v. The word occurs again in The 
Winter's Tale. MALONE. 

So, in Philemon Holland's translation of the seventh Book of 
Pliny's Natural History, ch. 56: " As for the rule and squire y 
&c. Theodoras Samius devised them." STEEVENS. 

3 Go, you are allow'd ;J i. e. you may say what you will ; 

you are a licensed fool, a common jester. So, in Twelfth- 
Night : 

" There is no slander in an allow'd fool." WARBURTON. 



BOYET. Full merrily . 

Hath this brave manage, 4 this career, been run. 

BIRON. Lo, he is tilting straight ! Peace ; I have 


Welcome, pure wit ! thou partest a fair fray. 

COST. O Lord, sir, they would know, 
Whether the three worthies shall come in, or no. 

BIRON. What, are there but three ? 

COST. No, sir j but it is vara fine, 

For every one pursents three. 

BIRON. And three times thrice is nine. 

COST. Not so, sir ; under correction, sir ; I hope, 

it is not so : 
You cannot beg us, 5 sir, I can assure you, sir we 

know what we know : 
I hope, sir, three times thrice, sir, 

BISON. Is not nine. 

4 Hath this brave manage,] The old copy has manager. 
Corrected by Mr. Theobald. MALONE. 

4 You cannot beg us,] That is, we are not fools ; our next re- 
lations cannot beg the wardship of our persons and fortunes. One 
of the legal tests of a natural is to try whether he can number. 


It is the wardship of Lunaticks not Ideots that devolves upon 
the next relations. Shakspeare, perhaps, as well as Dr. Johnson, 
was not aware of the distinction. DOUCE. 

It was not the next relation only who begg'd the wardship of 
an ideot. " A rich fool was begg'd by a lord of the king ; and 
the lord coming to another nobleman's house, the fool saw the 
picture of a fool in the hangings, which he cut out ; and being 
chidden for it, answered, you have more cause to love me for it; 
for if ray lord had seen the picture of the fool in the hangings, 

sc. ii. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 179 

COST. Under correction, sir, we know whereuntil 
it doth amount. 

BIRON. By Jove, I always took three threes for 

COST. O Lord, sir, it were pity you should get 
your living by reckoning, sir. 

BIRON. How much is it ? 

COST. O Lord, sir, the parties themselves, the 
actors, sir, will show whereuntil it doth amount : for 
my own part, I am, as they say, but to parfect one 
man, e'en one poor man j 6 Pompion the great, sir. 

BIRON. Art thou one of the worthies ? 

COST. It pleased them, to think me worthy of 
Pompion the great : for mine own part, I know not 

the degree of the worthy ; but I am to stand for 

i . i J ' 

him. 7 

BIRON. Go, bid them prepare. 

COST. We will turn it finely off, sir ; we will take 
some care. \_Exit COSTARD. 

KING. Biron, they will shame us, let them not 

BIRON. We are shame-proof, my lord : and 'tis 
some policy 

he would certainly have begg'd them of the king, as he did my 
lands." Cabinet of Mirth, 1674. RITSON. 

6 one man, e'en one poor man;"] The old copies read 

in one poor man. For the emendation I am answerable. The 
same mistake has happened in several places in our author's plays. 
See my note in All's well that ends well, Act I. sc. iii : " You 
are shallow, madam," &c. MALONE. 

7 / knoto not the degree of the worthy; &c.] This is a 

stroke of satire which, to this hour, has lost nothing of its force. 
Few performers are solicitous about the history of the character 
they are to represent. STEEVKNS. 



To have one show worse than the king's and his 

KING. I say, they shall not come. 

PRIN. Nay, my good lord, let me o'er-rule you 


That sport best pleases, that doth least know how : 
Where zeal strives to content, and the contents 
Die in the zeal of them which it presents, 
Their form confounded makes most form in mirth ; 8 
When great things labouring perish in their birth.* 

9 That sport best pleases, that doth least knoia honv: 
Where zeal strives to content, and the contents 
Die in the zeal of them which it presents, 
Their form <Src.] The old copies read of that which it 
presents. STEEVENS. 

The third line may be read better thus: 

the contents 

Die in the zeal of him which them presents. 
. This sentiment of the Princess is very natural, but less gene- 
rous than that of the Amazonian Queen, who says, on a like oc- 
casion, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream: 

" I love not to see wretchedness o'ercharg'd, 

" Nor dutj' in his service perishing." JOHNSON. 

This passage, as it stands, is unintelligible. Johnson's amend- 
ment makes it grammatical, but does not make it sense. What 
does he mean by the contents which die in the zeal of him who 
presents them ? The word content, when signifying an affection 
of the mind, has no plural. Perhaps we should read thus : 
Where zeal strives to content, and the content 
Lies in the zeal of those which it present 
A similar sentiment, and on a similar occasion, occurs in A 
Midsummer-Night's Dream, when Philostrate says of the play 
they were about to exhibit : 

" It is nothing, 

" Unless you can find sport in their intents 
" Extremely stretch'd, and conn'd with cruel pain, 
" To do you service." M. MASON. 

The quarto, 1598, and the folio, 1623, read of that which 
it presents. The context, I think, clearly shows that them (which, 
as the passage is unintelligible in its original form, I have 


BIRON. A right description of our sport, my 

ventured to substitute,) was the poet's word. Whkh for tvho is 
common in our author. So, (to give one instance out of many,) 
in The Merchant of Venice: 

" a civil doctor, 

" Which did refuse three thousand ducats of me." 
and y m and y l were easily confounded : nor is the false concord 
introduced by this reading [of them who presents it,] any ob- 
jection to it ; for every page of these plays furnishes us with ex- 
amples of the same kind. So dies in the present line, for thus 
the old copy reads ; though here, and in almost every other pas- 
sage, where a similar corruption occurs, I have followed the ex- 
ample of my predecessors, and corrected the error. Where 
rhymes or metre, however, are concerned* it is impossible. 
Thus we must still read in Cymbeline, lies, as in the line before 
us, presents : 

" And Phoebus 'gins to rise. 

" His steeds to water at those springs 

" On chalic'd flowers that lies." 
Again, in the play before us : 

" That in this spleen ridiculous appears, 

" To check their folly, passion's solemn tears." 
Again, in The Merchant of Venice : 

" Whose own hard dealings teaches them suspect." 
Dr. Johnson would read : 

Die in the zeal of him luhich them presents. 
But him was not, I believe, abbreviated in old MSS. and 
therefore not likely to have been confounded with that. 

The word it, I believe, refers to sport. That sport, says the 
Princess, pleases best, txhere the actors are least skilful; "where 
zeal strives to please, and the contents, or, (as these exhibitions 
are immediately afterwards called) great things, great attempts, 
perish in the very act of being produced, from the ardent zeal 
of those who present the sportive entertainment. To *' present 
a play" is still the phrase of the theatre. It, however, may re- 
fer to contents, and that word may mean the most material part 
of the exhibition. MALONE. 

9 labouring perish in their birth."] Labouring here means, 

in the act of parturition. So, Roscommon : 

* The mountains labour 'd, and a mouse was born." 



Enter ARM ADO. l 

ARM. Anointed, I implore so much expence of 
thy royal sweet breath, as will utter a brace of 

^ARMADO converses with tlie King, and delivers 
him a paper, ,] 

PRIX. Doth this man serve God ? 
BIRON. Why ask you ? 

PRIN. He speaks not like a man of God's 

ARM. That's all one, my fair, sweet, honey mo- 
narch : for, I protest, the school-master is exceed- 
ing fantastical ; too, too vain ; too, too vain : But 
we will put it, as they say, tofortuna della guerra. 
I wish you the peace of mind, most royal couple- 
ment ! 2 {Exit ARMADO. 

KING. Here is like to be a good presence of 
worthies : He presents Hector of Troy; the swain, 
Pompey the great ; the parish curate, Alexander ; 
Armado's page, Hercules ; the pedant, Judas Ma- 

And if these four worthies 3 in their first show thrive, 
These four will change habits, and present the other 

1 Enter Armado.] The old copies read Enter Braggart. 


* / wish you the peace of-mind, most royal couplement !] This 
singular word is again used by our author in his 21st Sonnet: 

" Making a couplement of proud compare " MALONE. 

8 And if these Jour worthies &c.~] These two lines might have 
been designed as a ridicule on the conclusion of Selimus, a 
tragedy, 1594: 

sc. ii. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 183 

BIRON. There is five in the first show. 
KING. You are deceived, 'tis not so. 

BIRON. The pedant, the braggart, the hedge- 
priest, the fool, and the boy : 
Abate a throw at novum; 4 and the whole world 


Cannot prick out five such, take each one in his 
vein. 5 

KING. The ship is under sail, and here she comes 

[Seats brought for the King, Princess, fyc. 

" If this first part, gentles, do like you well, 
" The second part shall greater murders tell.'* 


I rather think Shakspeare alludes to the shifts to which the 
actors were reduced in the old theatres, one person often per- 
forming two or three parts. MALONE. 

4 Abate a throw at novum:] Novum (or novem) appears from 
the following passage in Green's Art of Legerdemain, 1612, to 
have been some game at dice: " The principal use of them (the 
dice) is at novum," &c. Again, in The Bell-man of London, 
by Decker, 5th edit. 1 640 : " The principal use of langrets, is 
at novum; for so long as a payre of bard cater treas be walking, 
so long can you cast neither 5 nor 9 for without cater treay, 
5 or 9, you can never come." Again, in A Woman never vex d: 
" What ware deal you in ? cards, dice, bowls, or pigeon-holes ; 
sort them yourselves, either passage, novum, or mum-chance." 


Abate throw is the reading of the original. and authentick 
copies; the quarto, 1598, and the folio, 1623. 

A bare throw, &c. was an arbitrary alteration made by the 
editor of the second folio. I have added only the article, which 
seems to have been inadvertently omitted. I suppose the mean- 
ing is, Except or put the chance of the dice out of the question, 
and the world cannot produce five such as these. Abate, from 
the Fr. abafre, is used again by our author, in the same sense, 
in All's well that ends weu: 

" those 'bated, that inherit but the fall 

" Of the last monarchy." 

" A bare throw at novum" is to me unintelligible. MALONE. 

3 Cannot prick out &c.] Dr. Grey proposes to read pick out. 


Pageant of the Nine Worthies* 
Enter COSTARD arm'd,for Pompey. 

COST. / Pompey am, 

BOYET. You lie, you are not he. 

COST. / Pompeii/ am, 

BOYET. With libbard's head on knee. 7 

So, in King Henry IV. P. I : " Could the world pick thee out 
three such enemies again ?" The old reading, however, may be 
right. To prick out, is a phrase still in use among gardeners. 
To prick may likewise have reference to vein. STEEVENS. 

Pick is the reading of the quarto, 1598: Cannot prick out, 
that of the folio, 1623. Our author uses the same phrase in his 
20th Sonnet, in the same sense: cannot point out by a puncture 
or mark. Again, in Julius Ccesar : 

" Will you be prick y d in number of our friends ?" 


To prick out, means to choose out, or to mark as chosen. The 
word, in this sense, frequently occurs in The Second Part of 
Kins Henry IV. where Falstaff receives his recruits from Justice 
Shallow : 

" Here's Wart Shall I prick him, Sir John ? 
" A woman's tailor, Sir shall I prick him ? 
" Shadow will serve for summer. Prick him." 


6 Pageant of the Nine Worthies."] In MS. Harl. 2057, p. 31, 
is " The order of a showe intended to be made Aug. 1, 1621.'* 

" First, 2 woodmen, &c. 

" St. George fighting with the dragon. 

" The 9 worthies in compleat armor with crownes of gould 
on their heads, every one having his esquires to beare before him 
his shield and penon of armes, dressed according as these lords 
were accustomed to be : 3 Assaralits, 3 Infidels, 3 Christians. 

" After them, a Fame, to declare the rare virtues and noble 
deedes of the 9 worthye women." 

Such a pageant as this, we may suppose it was the design of 
Shakspeare to ridicule. STEEVENS. 

** TKis sort of procession was the usual recreation of our as- 

sc. n. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 185 

BIRON. Well said, old mocker ; I must needs 
be friends with thee. 

COST. IPompeyam, Pompey surnam'd the big, 

DUM. The great. 

COST. It is great, sir; Pompey surnam'd the 

great ; 

That oft infield, with targe and shield, did make my 
foe to sweat: 

cestors at Christmas and other festive seasons. Such things, 
being chiefly plotted and composed by ignorant people, were 
seldom committed to writing, at least with the view of preserva- 
tion, and are of course rarely discovered in the researches of 
even the most industrious antiquaries. And it is certain that 
nothing of the kind (except the speeches in this scene, which 
were intended to burlesque them) ever appeared in print." 
This observation belongs to Mr. Ritson, who has printed a 
genuine specimen of the poetry and manner of this rude and 
ancient drama, from an original manuscript of Edward the 
Fourth's time. (Tanner's MSS. 407.) REED. 

7 With libbard's head on Tcnee.~\ This alludes to the old heroic 
habits, which on the knees and shoulders had usually by way of 
ornament, the resemblance of a leopard's or lion's head. 


In the church of Westle)' Waterless, Cambridgeshire, the 
brass figure of Sir John de Creke, haslibbards faces at the joints 
of his shoulders and elbows. 

The libbard as some of the old English glossaries inform us, 
is the male of the panther. 

This ornament is mentioned in Sir Giles Goosecap, 1606 : 

" posset cuppes carved with libbard's faces, and lyon's 
heads with spouts in their mouths, to let out the posset-ale most 

Again, in the metrical Chronicle of Robert de Brunne : . 
" Upon his shoulders a shelde of stele, 
" With the 4- libbards painted wele." STEEVENS. 

See Masquine in Cotgrave's Dictionary: " The representation 
of a lyon's head, &c. upon the elbow, or knee of some old 
fashioned garments." TOLLET. 


And, travelling along this coast, I here am come by 

And lay my arms before the legs of this sweet lass 

of France. 
If your ladyship would say, Thanks, Pompey, I had 


PRIN. Great thanks, great Pompey. 

COST. J Tis not so much worth ; but, I hope, I 
was perfect : I made a little fault in, great. 

BIRON. My hat to a halfpenny, Pompey proves 
the best worthy. 

Enter NATHANIEL arm'd, for Alexander. 

NATH. When in the world I liv'd, I was the 
world's commander; 

By east, west, north, and south, I spread my con- 
quering might: 

My 'scutcheon plain declares, that I am Alisander. 

BOYET. Your nose says, no, you are not ; for it 
stands too right. 8 

BIRON. Your nose smells, no, in this, most ten- 
der-smelling knight. 

PRIN. The conqueror is dismay'd : Proceed, 
good Alexander. 

NATH. Wlien in the world I Iiv 9 d, I was the 
world's commander; 

BOYET. Most true, 'tis right ; you were so, Ali- 

8 it stands too right.] It should be remembered, to relish 

this joke, that the head of Alexander was obliquely placed on 
his shoulders. STEEVEKS. 

sc. ii. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 187 

BIRON. Pompey the great, 

COST. Your servant, and Costard. 

BIRON. Take away the conqueror, take away 

COST. O, sir, [To NATH.] you have overthrown 
Alisander the conqueror ! You will be scraped out 
of the painted cloth for this : your lion, that holds 
his poll-ax sitting on a close-stool, 9 will be given to 
A-jax : l he will be the ninth worthy. A conqueror, 
and afeard to speak ! run away for shame, Alisander, 
[NATH. retires.^ There, an't shall please you ; a 

9 lion, that holds his poll-ax sitting on a close-stool^] 

This alludes to the arms given in the old history of The Nine 
Worthies, to " Alexander, the which did beare geules, a lion 
or, seiante in a chayer, holding a battle-ax argent." Leigh's 
Accidence of Armory, 1597, p. 23. TOLLET. 

1 A-jax :~\ There is a conceit of Ajax and a jokes. 


This conceit, paltry as it is, was used by Ben Jonson, and 
Camden the antiquary. Ben, among his Epigrams, has these 
two lines : 

" And I could wish, for their eternis'd sakes, 

" My muse had plough'd with his that sung A-jax." 

So, Camden, in his Remains, having mentioned the French 
word pet, says, " Enquire, if you understand it not, of Cloacina's 
chaplains, or such as are well read in A-jax." 

Again, in The Mastive, &c. a collection of epigrams and 
satires, no date : 

" To thee, brave John, my book I dedicate, 

" That wilt from A-jax with thy force defend it." 

See also Sir John Harrington's New Discourse of a stale Sub- 
ject, called, the Metamorphosis of Ajax, 1596 ; his Anatomic 
of the Metamorphosed Ajax, no date ; and Ulysses upon Ajax, 
1596. All these performances are founded on the same conceit 
of Ajax and A jokes. To the first of them a license was refused, 
and the author was forbid the court for writing it. His own copy 
of it, with MSS. notes and illustrations, and a MS. dedication 
ta Thomas Markham, Esq. is now before me. STEEVENS. 

See also Dodsley's Collection of Old Plays, Vol. IX. p. 133, 
edition 1780. REED. 


foolish mild man ; an honest man, look you, and 
soon dash'd ! He is a marvellous good neighbour, 
insooth ; and a very good bowler : but, for Ali- 
sander, alas, you see, how'tis ; a little o'erparted: 2 
But there are worthies a coming will speak their 
mind in some other sort. 

PRIN. Stand aside, good Pompey. 

Enter HOLOFERNES arm'd, for Judas, and MOTH 
arm'd, for Hercules. 

HOL. Great Hercules is presented by this imp, 
Whose club kitt'd Cerberus, that three-headed 

And, when lie was a babe, a child, a shrimp, 

Thus did he strangle serpents in his manus : 
Quoniam, he seemeth in minority ; 
Ergo, / come with this apology. 
Keep some state in thy exit, and vanish. 

[Exit MOTH. 

HOL. Judas I am, 
DUM. A Judas ! 

HOL. Not Iscariot, sir. 
Judas I am, ycleped Machabceus. 

DUM. Judas Machabaeus clipt, is plain Judas. 

BIRON. A kissing traitor : How art thou prov'd 
Judas ? 

HOL. Judas I am, 

DUM. The more shame for you, Judas. 

HOL. What mean you, sir ? 

BOYET. To make Judas hang himself. 

HOL. Begin, sir ; you are my elder. 

a little oVr-parted :] That is, the part or character al- 
lotted to him in this piece is too considerable. MALONE. 

sc.n. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 189 

BIRON. Well follow'd: Judas was hang'd on an 


HOL. I will not be put out of countenance. 
BIRON. Because thou hast no face. 
HOL. What is this ? 
BOYET. A cittern head. 3 
DUM. The head of a bodkin. 
BIRON. A death's face in a ring. 

LONG. The face of an old Roman coin, scarce 

BOYET. The pummel of Caesar's faulchion. 
DUM. The carv'd-bone face on a flask. 4 
BIRON. St. George's, half-cheek in a brooch. 5 
DUM. Ay, and in a brooch of lead. 

BIRON. Ay, and worn in the cap of a tooth- 

And now, forward ; for we have put thee in coun- 

3 A cittern head.] So, in Fancies Chaste and Noble, 1638 : 

" A cittern-headed gew-gaw." Again, in Decker's 

Match me in London, 1631 : " Fiddling on a cittern with a 
man's broken head at it." Again, in Ford's Lover's Melancholy, 
1629: " I hope the chronicles will rear me one day for a head- 
piece " 

" Of woodcock without brains in it ; barbers shall wear thee 
on their citterns," &c. STEEVENS. 

4 on a flask.] i. e. a soldier's powder-horn. So, in 

Romeo and Juliet : 

" like powder in a skilless soldier's^/?cs&, 

" Is set on fire." 
Again, in The Devil's Charter, 1607: 

" Keep a light match in cock ; wear/?as& and touch-box." 


* S. George's half-cheek in a brooch.] A Irooch is an orna- 
mental buckle, for fastening hat-bands, girdles, mantles, &c. 
See a figure and description of a fine one, in Pennant's Tour in 
Scotland, Vol. III. p. 14. HARRIS. 


HOL. You have put me out of countenance. 
BIRON. False ; we have given thee faces. 
HOL. But you have out-fac'd them all. 
BIRON. An thou wert a lion, we would do so. 

BOYET. Therefore, as he is, an ass, let him go, 
And so adieu, sweet Jude! nay, why dost thou stay? 

DUM. For the latter end of his name. 

BIRON. For the ass to the Jude ; give it him: 
Jud-as, away. 

HOL. This is not generous, not gentle, not 

BOYET. A light for monsieur Judas : it grows 
dark, he may stumble. 

PRIN. Alas, poor Machabaeus, how hath he been 
baited ! 

Enter ARMADO arm'd,for Hector. 

BIRON. Hide thy head, Achilles; here comes 
Hector in arms. 

DUM. Though my mocks come home by me, I 
will now be merry. 

KING. Hectorwasbut a Trojan 5 in respect of this. 

BOYET. But is this Hector? 

DUM. I think, Hector was not so clean-timber 'd. 

LONG. His leg is too big for Hector. 

DUM. More calf, certain. 

BOYET. No ; he is best indued in the small. 

BIRON. This cannot be Hector. 

* Hector luas but a Trojan ] A Trojan, I believe, was, in 
the time of Shakspeare, a cant term for a thief. So, in King 
Henry IV. P. I : Tut there are other Trojans that thou dream'st 
not of," Ac. Again, in this scene : " unless you play the honest 
Trojan," &c. STEEVENS. 

*?. //. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 191 

DUM. He's a god or a painter ; for he makes 

ARM. The armipotent Mars, of lances 6 the al- 
mighty, . 
Gave Hector a gift, 

DUM. A gilt nutmeg. 
BIRON. A lemon. 
LONG. Stuck with cloves. 7 
DUM. No, cloven. 

ARM. Peace! 
The armipotent Mars, of lances the almighty, 

Gave Hector a gift, the heir of Ilion; 
A man so breath* d, that certain he would fight, yea* 

From morn till night, out of his pavilion. 
I am that flower, 

6 o/'lances ] i. e. of lance-men. So, in King Lear: 

" And turn our imprest lances in our eyes." STEEVENS. 

7 Stuck with cloves."] An orange stuck with cloves appears to 
have been a common new-year's gift. So, Ben Jonson, in his 
Christmas Masque ; " he has an orange and rosemary, but not 
a clove to stick in it." A gilt nutmeg is mentioned in the same 
piece, and on the same occasion. 

The use, however, of an orange, &c. may be ascertained from 
The Second Booke of Notable Tninges, by Thomas Lupton, 4to. 
bl. 1 : " Wyne wyll be pleasant in taste and savour, if an orenge 
or a Lymon (stickt round about with Cloaves) be hanged within 
the vessel! that it touche not the wyne. And so the wyne wyll 
be preserved from foystines and evyll savor." STEEVENS. 

The quarto, 1598, reads A gift nutmeg; and if a gilt nut- 
meg had not been mentioned by Ben Jonson, I should have 
thought it right. So we say, a gift-horse, &c. MALONE. 

8 he would Jight, yea,] Thus all the old copies. Theo- 
bald very plausibly reads he would Jight ye; a common vul- 
garism. STEEVENS. 

I should read : 

that certain he would Jight ye, 

which I think improves both the sense and the rhyme. He would 
run you five miles in an hour he would ride you from morning 
till night, is a mode of expression still in use. M. MASON. 


DUM. That mint. 

LONG. That columbine. 

ARM. Sweet lord Longaville, rein thy tongue. 

LONG. I must rather give it the rein ; for it 
runs against Hector. 

DUM. Ay, and Hector's a greyhound. 

ARM. The sweet war-man is dead and rotten ; 
sweet chucks, beat not the bones of the buried : 
when he breath'd, he was a man But I will for- 
ward with my device : Sweet royalty, [to the Prin- 
cess.] bestow on me the sense of hearing. 

[BiRON whispers COSTARD. 

PRIN. Speak, brave Hector ; we are much de- 

ARM. I do adore thy sweet grace's slipper. 

BOYET. Loves her by the foot. 

DUM. He may not by the yard. 

ARM. This Hector far surmounted Hannibal, 

COST. The party is gone, fellow Hector, she is 
gone ; she is two months on her way. 

ARM. What meanest thou ? 

COST. Faith, unless you play the honest Trojan, 
the poor wench is cast away: she's quick; the 
child brags in her belly already; 'tis yours. 

ARM. Dost thou infamonize me among poten- 
tates? thou shalt die. 

COST. Then shall Hector be whipp'd, for Jaque- 
netta that is quick by him ; and hang'd, for Pom- 
pey that is dead by him. 

DUM. Most rare Pompey ! 

BOYET. Renowned Pompey! lijj 

fc. ii. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 195 

BIRON. Greater than great, great, great, great 
Pompey ! Pompey the huge ! 

DUM. Hector trembles. 

BIRON. Pompey is mov'd : More Ates, more 
Ates ; 9 stir them on ! stir them on ! 

DUM. Hector will challenge him. 

BIRON. Ay, if he have no more man's blood in's 
belly than will sup a flea. 

ARM. By the north pole, I do challenge thee. 

COST. I will not fight with a pole, like a northern 
man ; * I'll slash ; I'll do it by the sword : I pray 
you, let me borrow my arms 2 again. 

DUM. Room for the incensed worthies. 
COST. I'll do it in my shirt. 
DUM. Most resolute Pompey ! 

MOTH. Master, let me take you a button-hole 
lower. Do you not see, Pompey is uncasing for 
the combat ? What mean you ? you will lose your 

ARM. Gentlemen, and soldiers, pardon me; I 
will not combat in my shirt. 

DUM. You may not deny it ; Pompey hath made 
the challenge. 

ARM. Sweet bloods, I both may and will. 

' more Ates ;] That is, more instigation. Ate was the 

mischievous goddess that incited bloodshed. JOHNSON. 

So, in King John : 

" An Afe t stirring him to war and strife." STEEVENS. 

1 like a \orthern man ;] Vir Borealis t a clown. See 
Glossary to Urry's Chaucer. FARMER. 

* my arms ] The weapons and armour which he wore 

in the character of Pompey. JOHNSOX. 



BIRON. What reason have you for't ? 

ARM. The naked truth of it is, I have no shirt ; 
I go woolward for penance. 

BOYET. True, and it was enjoin'd him in Rome 
for want of linen : 3 since when, I'll be sworn, he 

3 it -was enjoined him in Rome for "want of linen: &c.] 

This may possibly allude to a story well known in our author's 
time, to this effect. A Spaniard at Rome falling in a duel, as 
he lay expiring, an intimate friend, by chance, came by, and 
offered him his best services. The dying man told him he had 
but one request to make him, but conjured him, by the memory 
of their past friendship, punctually to comply with it ; which 
was not to suffer him to be stript, but to bury him as he lay, in 
the habit he then had on. When this was promised, the Spaniard 
closed his eyes, and expired with great composure and resigna- 
tion. But his friend's curiosity prevailing over his good faith, he 
had him stript, and found, to his great surprise, that he was with- 
out a shirt. WARBURTON. 

Boyet. True, and it ivas enjoin'd him in Rome for want of 
linen : &c.] This is a plain reference to the following story in 
Stowe's Annals, p. 98, (in the time of Edward the Confessor Q 
*' Next after this (king Edward's first cure of the king's evil,) 
mine authors affirm, that a certain man, named Vifunius 
Spileorae, the son of Ulmore of Nutgarshall, who, when he 
hewed timber in the wood of Brutheullena, laying him down to 
sleep after his sore labour, the blood and humours of his head so 
congealed about his eyes, that he was thereof blind, for the space 
of nineteen years ; but then (as he had been moved in his sleep) 
he went woolward and bare-footed to many churches, in every of 
them to pray to God for help in his blindness." Dr. GREY. 

The same custom is alluded to in an old collection of Satyres, 

Epigrams, &c. 

" And when his shirt's a washing, then he must 

'* Go woolward for the time ; he scorns it, he, 

'( That worth two shirts his laundress should him see." 

Again, in A Mery Geste ofRobyn Hood, bl. 1. no date : 
" Barefoot, woolward have I hight, 
" Thether for to go.'' 
Again, in Powell's History of Wales, 1584 : " The Angles 

and Saxons slew 1000 priests and monks of Bangor, with a great 

number of lay brethren, &c. who were come bare-footed and 

woolward to crave mercy," &c. STEEVENS. 

sc. n. COVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 195 

wore none, but a dish-clout of Jaquenetta's ; and 
that 'a wears next his heart, for a favour. 

In Lodge's Incarnate Devils, 1596, we have the character of 
a swashbuckler: " His common course is to go always untrust; 
except when his shirt is a washing, and then he goes woolward." 


Woolward ] " I have no shirt : I go woolward for penance." 
The learned Dr. Grey, whose accurate knowledge of our old 
historians has often thrown much light on Shakspeare, supposes 
that this passage is a. plain reference to a story in btowe's Annals, 
p. 98. But where is the connection or resemblance between this 
monkish tale and the passage before us ? There is nothing in the 
story, as here related by Stowe, that would even put us in mind 
of this dialogue between Boyet and Armado, except the singular 
expression go woolward; which at the same time is not explained 
by the annotator, nor illustrated by his quotation. To go wool- 
ward, I believe, was a phrase appropriated to pilgrims and peni- 
tentiaries. In this sense it seems to be used in Pierce Plow- 
man's Visions, Pass, xviii. fol. 96, b. edit. 1550: 
" Wolward and wetshod went I forth after 
" As a rechless reuke, that of no wo retcheth, 
" And yedeforth like a lorell," &c. 

Skinner derives woolward from the Saxon wol, plague, secon- 
darily any great distress, and weard, toward. Thus, says he, 
it signifies, " in magno discrimine 8$ expectatione magni mali 
constitutus." I rather think it should be written woolward, and 
that it means clothed in wool, and not in linen. This appears, 
not only from Shakspeare's context, but more particularly from 
an historian who relates the legend before cited, and whose words 
Stowe has evidently translated. This is Ailred, abbot of Rievaulx, 
who says, that our blind man was admonished : " Ecclesias 
numero octoginta nudis pedibus et absque lintels circumire." 
Dec. Scriptor, 392, 50. The same story is told by William of 
Malmsbury, Gest. Reg. AngL Lib. II. p. 91, edit. 1601. And 
in Caxton's Legenda Aurea, fol. 307, edit. 1493. By the way 
it appears, that Stowe's Vifunius Spileorne, son of Ulmore of 
Nutgarshall, ought to be Wulwin, surnamed de Spillicote, son 
of Wulmar de Lutegarshelle, now Ludgershall : and the wood 
of Brutheullena is the forest of Bruelle, now called Brill, in 
Buckinghamshire. T. WARTON. 

To this speech in the old copy, Boy is prefixed, by which de- 
signation most of Moth's speeches are marked. The name of 
Boyet is generally printed at length. It seems better suited to 



MER. God save you, madam ! 

PRIN. Welcome, Mercade ; 
But that thou interrupt' st our merriment. 

MER. I am sorry, madam j for the news I bring, 
Is heavy in my tongue. The king your father 

PRIN. Dead, for my life. 
MER. Even so ; my tale is told. 

BiRoy. Worthies, awayj the scene begins to 

ARM. For mine own part, I breathe free breath : 
I have seen the day of wrong through the little hole 
of discretion, 4 and I will right myself like a soldier. 

[Exeunt Worthies. 

Armado's page than to Boyet, to whom it has been given in the 
modern editions. MALOXE. 

* I have seen the day of wrong through the little hole of dis- 
cretion^] This has no meaning. We should read, the day of 
right ; i. e. I have seen that a day will come when I shall have 
justice done me, and therefore I prudently reserve myself for that 

I believe it rather means, / have hitherto looked on the indig- 
nities I have received, with the eyes of discretion, (i. e. not been 
too forward to resent them, ) and shall insist on such satisfaction 
as will not disgrace my character, which is that of a soldier. 
To have decided the quarrel in the manner proposed by his anta- 
gonist, would have been at once a derogation from the honour 
of a soldier, and the pride of a Spaniard. 

* One may see day at a little hole," is a proverb in Ray's Col- 
lection: " Day-light will peep through a little hole," in Kelly's. 

Again, in Churchyard's Charge, 1580, p. 9 : 

" At little hoales the date is seen." STEEVENS. 

The passage is faulty ; but Warburton has mistaken the mean- 
ing of it, and the place in which the error lies. 

Armado means to say, in his affected style, that " he had disco- 
vered that he was wronged, and was determined to right himself 

sc. n. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 197 

KING. How fares jour majesty ? 

PRIN. Boyet, prepare ; I will away to-night. 

KING. Madam, not so ; I do beseech you, stay. 

PRIN. Prepare, I say. I thank you, gracious 


For all your fair endeavours ; and entreat, 
Out of a new-sad soul, that you vouchsafe 
In your rich wisdom, to excuse, or hide, 
The liberal 5 opposition of our spirits : 
If over-boldly we have borne ourselves 
In the converse of breath, 6 your gentleness 
Was guilty of it. Farewell, worthy lord! 
A heavy heart bears not an humble tongue : * 

as a soldier;" and this meaning will be clearly expressed if we 
read it thus, with a very slight alteration : " I have seen the day 
of wrong, through the little hole of discretion." M. MASON. 

5 liberal ] Free to excess. So, in The Merchant of 

Venice : 

,. , , . there they show 
" Something too liberal.'" STEEVENS. 
e In the converse of breath,'] Perhaps converse may, in this 
line, mean interchange. JOHNSON. 

Converse of breath means no more than conversation " made 
up of breath," as our author expresses himself in Othello. Thus 
also, in The Merchant of Venice : 

" Therefore I scant this breathing courtesy" 


T A heavy heart bears not an humble tongue:} Thus all the 
editions ; but, surely, without either sense or truth. None are 
more humble in speech, than they who labour under any op- 
pression. The Princess is desiring her grief may apologize for 
her not expressing her obligations at large; and my correction 
is conformable to that sentiment. Besides, there is an antithesis 
between heavy and nimble ; but between heavy and humble, there 
is none. THEOBALD. 

The following passage in King John, inclines me to dispute 
the propriety of Mr. Theobald's emendation : 

'* grief i proud, and makes his owner stout." 

By humble, the Princess seems to mean obsequiously thankful. 



Excuse me so, coming so short of thanks 
For my great suit so easily obtain'd. 

KING. The extreme parts of time extremely form 
All causes to the purpose of his speed ; 
And often, at his very loose, decides * 
That which long process could not arbitrate : 
And though the morning brow of progeny 
Forbid the smiling courtesy of love, 
The holy suit which fain it would convince ; D 
Yet, since love's argument was first on foot, 

So, in The Merchant of Venice : 

" Shall I bend low, and in a bondman's key 
" With 'bated breath, and whispering humbleness," &c. 
A heavy heart, says the Princess, does not admit of that verbal 
obeisance which is paid by the humble to those whom they ad- 
dress. Farewell therefore at once. MALONE. 

* And often, at his very loose, decides &c.] At his very loose, 
may mean, at the moment of his parting, i. e. of his getting loose, 
or away from us. 

So, in some ancient poem, of which I forgot to preserve either 
the date or title : 

" Envy discharging all her pois'nous darts, 

" The valiant mind is teraper'd with that fire, 
" At her fierce loose that weakly never parts, 
" But in despight doth force her to retire." 


' whichjain it would convince;'] We must read : 

" "which Jain would it convince ; 

that is, the entreaties of love which would fain over-power grief. 
So Lady Macbeth declares : " That she will convince the cham- 
berlains with wine." JOHNSON. 

If Johnson was right with respect to the meaning of this pas- 
sage, I should think that the words, as they now stand, would 
express it without the transposition which he proposes to make. 
Place a comma after the word it, and Jain it would convince, 
will signify the same as Jain would convince it. In reading, 
it is certain that a proper emphasis will supply the place of that 
transposition. But I believe that the words which Jain it would 
convince, mean only what it would wish to succeed in obtaining. 
To convince is to overcome ; and to prevail in a suit which was 
strongly denied, is a kind of conquest. M. MASON. 

x. n. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 199 

Let not the cloud of sorrow justle it 

From what it purposed ; since, to wail friends lost, 

Is not by much so wholesome, profitable, 

As to rejoice at friends but newly found. 

PRIN. I understand you notj my griefs are 
double. 1 

BIRON. Honest plain words 2 best pierce the ear 

of grief; 
And by these badges understand the king. 

1 I understand you not ; my griefs are double.] I suppose, she 
means, 1. on account of the death of her father ; 2. on account 
of not understanding the king's meaning. A modern editor, 
[Mr. Capell,] instead of double, reads deaf; but the former is 
not at all likely to have been mistaken, either by the eye or the 
ear, for the latter. MALONE. 

' Honest plain words &c.] As it seems not very proper for 
Biron to court the Princess for the King in the king's presence 
at this critical moment, I believe the speech is given to a wrong 
person. I read thus : .fej' 

Prin. / understand you not, my griefs are double : 
Honest plain "words best pierce the ear of grief. 
King. And by these badges &c. JOHNSON. 

Too many authors sacrifice propriety to the consequence of 
their principal character, into whose mouth they are willing to put 
more than justly belongs to him, or at least the best things they 
have to say. The original actor of Biron, however, like Bottom 
in The Midsummer-Night's Dream, might have wrested this 
speech from an inferior performer. I have been assured, that 
Mercutio's rhapsody concerning the tricks of Queen Mab, was 
put into the mouth of Romeo by the late Mr. Sheridan, as often 
as he himself performed that character in Ireland, STEEVENS. 

I think Johnson judges ill in wishing to give this speech to 
the King, it is an apology not for him alone, but for all the com- 
petitors in oaths, and Biron is generally their spokesman. 


In a former part of this scene Biron speaks for the King and 
the other lords, and being at length exhausted, tells them, they 
must woo for themselves. I believe, therefore, the old copies 
are right in this respect ; but think with Dr. Johnson that the 
line " Honest," &c. belongs to the Princess. MALONE. 


For your fair sakes have we neglected time, 
Play'd foul play with our oaths; your beauty, ladies, 
Hath much deform'd us, fashioning our humours 
Even to the opposed end of our intents : 
And what in us hath seem'd ridiculous, 
As love is full of unbefitting strains ; 
All wanton as a child, skipping, and vain ; 
Form'd by the eye, and, therefore, like the eye 
Full of strange shapes, of habits, and of forms j 3 
Varying in subjects as the eye doth .roll 
To every varied object in his glance : 
Which party-coated presence of loose love 
Put on by us, if, in your heavenly eyes, 
Have misbecom'd our oaths and gravities, 
Those heavenly eyes, that look into these faults, 
Suggested us 4 to make : Therefore, ladies, 

* Full of strarige shapes, of habits, and of forms,] The old 
copies read Full of straying shapes. Both the sense and the 
metre appear to me to require the emendation which I suggested 
some time ago : " strange shapes" might have been easily con- 
founded by the ear with the words that have been' substituted 
in their room. In Coriolanus we meet with a corruption of the 
same kind, which could only have arisen in this way : 

" Better to starve 

" Than crave the higher [hire") which first we do deserve." 
The following passages of our author will, I apprehend, fully 
support the correction that has been made : 
" In him a plentitude of subtle matter, 
" Applied to cautels, all strange forms receives." 

Lover's Complaint. 
Again, in The Rape ofLucrece: 

** the impression of strange kinds 

" Isjbrm'd in them, by force, by fraud, or skill." 
In King Henry V. 4to. 1600, we have Forraging blood of 
French nobility, instead of Forrage in blood, &c. Mr. Capell, 
I find, has made the same emendation. M ALONE. 

4 Suggested us ] That is, tempted us. JOHNSON- 

So, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona . 

V Knowing that tender youth is soon suggested." 


jr. //. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 201 

Our love being yours, the error that love makes 
Is likewise yours : we to ourselves prove false, 
By being once false for ever to be true 
To those that make us both, fair ladies, you: 
And even that falsehood, in itself a sin 
Thus purifies itself, and turns to grace. 

PRIN. We have received your letters, full of love ; 
Your favours, the embassadors of love ; 
And, in our maiden council, rated them 
At courtship, pleasant jest, and courtesy, 
As bombast, and as lining to the time: 5 


* As bombast, and as lining to the time:] This line is obscure. 
Bombast was a kind of loose texture not unlike what is now 
called wadding, used to give the dresses of that time bulk and 
protuberance, without much increase of weight ; whence the 
same name is given to a tumour of words unsupported by solid 
sentiment. The Princess, therefore, says, that they considered 
this courtship as but bombast, as something to fill out life, which 
not being closely united with it, might be thrown away at plea- 
sure. JOHNSON. 

Prince Henry calls Falstaff, " my sweet creature of bombast." 


We have received your letters full of love; 

Your favours the embassadors of love ; 

And in our maiden council rated them 

At courtship, pleasant jest, and courtesy, 

As bombast, and as lining to the time : ss" i. 

But more devout than these in our respects, 

Have we not been, and therefore met your loves 

In their own fashion, like a merriment. 

The sixth verse being evidently corrupted, Dr. Warburton 
proposes to read : 

But more devout than this (save our respects) 

Have we >< been; 
Dr. Johnson prefers the conjecture of Sir T. Hanmer : 

But more devout than this, in our respects. 
I would read, with less violence, I think, to the text, though 
with the alteration of two words : 

But more devout than these are your respectg 

Have we not seen, TVBWHIXT. 


But more devout than this, in our respects, 
Have we not been ; and therefore met your loves 
In their own fashion, like a merriment. 

DUM. Our letters, madam, show'd much more 
than jest. 

LONG. So did our looks. 

Ros. We did not quote them so. 6 

KING. Now, at the latest minute of the hour, 
Grant us your loves. 

PRIN. A time, methinks, too short 

To make a world- without-end bargain in : 7 

The difficulty, I believe, arises only from Shakspeare's remark- 
able position of his words, which may be thus construed. But 
tue have not been more devout, or made a more serious matter of 
your letters and favours than these our respects, or considerations 
and reckonings of them, are, and as we have just before said, 
iue rated them in our maiden council at courtship, pleasant jest, 
and courtesy. TOLLET. 

The quarto, 1598, reads: 

But more devout than this our respects, 

There can be no doubc, therefore, that Sir T. Hanmer's con- 
jecture is right. The word in, which the compositor inadver- 
tently omitted, completes both the sense and metre. MALONE. 

6 We did not quote them so.] The old copies read coat. 


We should read quote, esteem, reckon; though our old 
writers spelling by the ear, probably wrote cote, as it was pro- 
nounced. JOHNSON. 

Cote is only the old spelling of quote. So, again, in our poet's 
"Rape of Lucrece, 1594: 

" Yea, the illiterate 

" Will cote my loathed trespass in my looks." MALONE. 

We did not quote 'em so, is, tve did not regard them as such. 
So, in Hamlet: 

" I'm sorry that with better heed and judgment 
" 1 had not quoted him." See Act II. sc. i. 


1 To make a world-without-end bargain in:"] This singular 

sc. ii. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 203 

No, no, my lord, your grace is perjur'd much, 
Full of dear guiltiness ; and, therefore this,- 
If for my love (as there is no such cause) 
You will do aught, this shall you do for me : 
Your oath I will not trust ; but go with speed 
To some forlorn and naked hermitage, 
Remote from all the pleasures of the world ; 
There stay, until the twelve celestial signs 
Have brought about their annual reckoning : 
If this austere insociable life 
Change not your offer made in heat of blood ; 
If frosts, and fasts, hard lodging, and thin weeds,* 
Nip not the gaudy blossoms of your love, 
But that it bear this trial, and last love ; 9 
Then, at the expiration of the year, 
Come challenge, challenge me 1 by these deserts, 
And, by this virgin palm, now kissing thine, 
I will be thine ; and, till that instant, shut 
My woeful self up in a mourning house ; 
Raining the tears of lamentation, 
For the remembrance of my father's death. 
If this thou do deny, let our hands part ; 

phrase, which Shakspeare borrowed probably from our liturgy, 
occurs again in his 57th Sonnet: 

" Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour." 


8 and thin weeds,] i. e. clothing. MALONE. 

9 f and last love ;] I suspect that the compositor caught 

this word from the preceding line, and that Shakspeare wrote 
last still. If the present reading be right, it must mean " if it 
continue still to deserve the name ot love." MALONE. 

Last is a verb. If it last love, means, if it continue to be love. 


1 Come challenge, challenge me ] The old copies read (pro- 
bably by the compositor's eye glancing on a wrong part of the 
line, ) Come challenge me, challenge me, &c. Corrected by 
Sir T. Hanmer. MALONE. 


Neither intitled in the other's heart. 2 

KING. If this, or more than this, I would deny, 
To flatter up these powers of mine with rest, 3 
The sudden hand of death close up mine eye! 
Hence ever then my heart is in thy breast. 

BIRON. And what to me, my love ? and what to 

Mos. You must be purged too, your sins are 
rank ; 4 

* Neither intitled in the other's heart.] The quarto, 1598, 

reads Neither iniiled; which may be right, neither of us 

having a dwelling in the heart of the other. 

Our author has the same kind of imagery in many other places. 

Thus, in The Comedy of Errors: 

" Shall love in building row so ruinate?" 

Again, in his Lover's Complaint; 

" Love lack'd a dwelling, and made him her place." 

Again, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona : 

" O thou, that dost inhabit in my breast, 

" Leave not the mansion so long tenantless, 

" Lest growing ruinous the building fall." MALONB. 

We may certainly speak, in general terms, of building a man- 
sion for Love to dwell in, or, of that mansion when it is become 
a Ruin, without departure from elegance ; but when we descend 
to such particulars as tiling-in Love, a suspicion will arise, that 
the technicals of the bricklayer have debased the imagery of the 
poet. I hope, therefore, that the second t in the word intitled 
was an undesigned omission in the quarto, 1598, and, conse- 
quently, that intiled was not the original reading. STEEVENS. 

3 To flatter up these powers of mine with rest,] Dr. Warbur- 
ton would readjfetter, \*\A flatter or sooth is, in my opinion, more 
apposite to the king's purpose than fetter. Perhaps we may read : 
Tojlatter on these hours of time with rest ; 

That is, 1 would not deny to live in the hermitage, to make 
the year of delay pass in quiet. JOHNSON. 

are rank;] The folio and quarto, 1598, read are 

racked. STEEVENS. 

your sins are rack'd ;"] i. e. extended " to the top of therr 

bent." So, in Much Ado about Nothing: 

sc, n. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 205 

You are attaint with faults and perjury ; 
Therefore, if you my favour mean to get, 
A twelvemonth shall you spend, and never rest, 
But seek the weary beds of people sick. 5 

DUM. But what to me, my love? but what to 

KATH. A wife ! A beard, fair health, and ho- 
With three-fold love I wish you all these three. 

DUM. O, shah 1 I say, I thank you, gentle wife? 

KATH. Not so, my lord; a twelvemonth and a 


I'll mark no words that smooth-fac'd wooers say: 
Come when the king doth to my lady come, 
Then, if I have much love, I'll give you some. 

" Why, then we rack the value." 
Mr. Rowe and the subsequent editors read are rank. 


Rowe's emendation is everyway justifiable. Things rank (not 
those which are racked) need purging. Besides, Shakspeare has 
used the same epithet on the same occasion in Hamlet : 
" O! my offence is rank, it smells to heaven." 


* Biron. And "what to me, my love? and what to me? 
Ros. You must be purged too, your sins are ranks 
You are attaint with faults and perjury: 
Therefore, if you my favour mean to get, 
A twelvemonth shall you spend, and never rest, 
But seek the "weary beds of people sick.'] These six verses both 
Dr. Thirlby and Mr. Warburton concur to think should be ex- 
punged; and therefore I have put them between crotchets : not 
that they were an interpolation, but as the author's draught, 
which he afterwards rejected, and executed the same thought a 
little lower with much more spirit and elegance. Shakspeare is 
not to answer for the present absurd repetition, but his actor- 
editors; who, thinking Rosaline's speech too long in the second 
plan, had abridged it to the lines above quoted; but, in publish- 
ing the play, stupidly printed both the original speech of Shak- 
speare, and their own abridgement of it. THEOBALD. 


DUM. I'll serve thee true and faithfully till then. 
KATH. Yet swear not, lest you be forsworn again. 
LONG. What says Maria ? 

MAR. At the twelvemonth's end, 

I'll change my black gown for a faithful friend. 

LONG. I'll stay with patience ; but the time is 

MAR. The liker you; few taller are so young. 

BIRON. Studies my lady? mistress look on me, 
Behold the window of my heart, mine eye, 
What humble suit attends thy answer there ; 
Impose some service on me for thy love. 

Ros. Oft have I heard of you, my lord Biron, 
Before I saw you : and the world's large tongue 
Proclaims you for a man replete with mocks ; 
Full of comparisons and wounding flouts j 
Which you on all estates will execute, 
That lie within the mercy of your wit : 
To weed this wormwood from your fruitful brain j 
And, therewithal, to win me, if you please, 
(Without the which I am not to be won,) 
You shall this twelvemonth term from day to day 
Visit the speechless sick, and still converse 
With groaning wretches ; and your task shall be, 
With all the fierce endeavour 6 of your wit, 
To enforce the pained impotent to smile. 

BIRON. To move wild laughter in the throat of 

death ? 

It cannot be ; it is impossible : 
Mirth cannot move a soul in agony. 

fierce endeavour ] Fierce is vehement, rapid. So, 

in King John : 

" -jierce extremes of sickness." STEEVENS. 

sc.ii. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 207 

Ros. Why, that's the way to choke a gibing 


Whose influence is begot of that loose grace, 
Which shallow laughing hearers give to fools : 
A jest's prosperity lies in the ear 
Of him that hears it, never in the tongue 
Of him that makes it : then, if sickly ears, 
DeaPd with the clamours of their own dear groans/ 
Will hear vour idle scorns, continue then, 
And I will have you, and that fault withal ; 
But, if they will not, throw away that spirit, 
And I shall find you empty of that fault, 
Right joyful of your reformation. 

BIRON. A twelvemonth ? well, befal what will 

I'll jest a twelvemonth in an hospital. 8 

PRIN. Ay, sweet my lord ; and so I take my 
leave. [To the King, 

KING. No, madam : we will bring you on your 

BIRON. Our wooing doth not end like an old 


Jack hath not Jill : these ladies' courtesy 
Might well have made our sport a comedy. 

n<tv c-'i t -f>V fcir 1 ; 'ii I:;. 1 "/ : ^t oia e : ffT 

7 dear groans,] Dear should here, as in many other 1 

places, be dere, sad, odious. JOHNSON. 

I believe dear in this place, as in many others, means only 
immediate, consequential. So, already in this scene : 
" full of dear guiltiness." STEEVENS. 

The characters of Biron and Rosaline suffer much by com- 
parison with those of Benedick and Beatrice. We know that 
Love's Labour's Lost was the elder performance ; and as our au- 
thor grew more experienced in dramatic writing, he might have 
seen how much he could improve on his own originals. To this 
circumstance, perhaps, we are indebted for the more perfect 
comedy of Much Ado about Nothing. STEEVKNS. 


KING. Come, sir, it wants a twelvemonth and a 

And then 'twill end. 

BIRON. That's too long for a play. 

Enter ARMADO. 

ARM. Sweet majesty, vouchsafe me, 
PRIN. Was not that Hector ? 
DUM. The worthy knight of Troy. 

ARM. I*will kiss thy royal finger, and take leave: 
I am a votary; I have vowed to Jaquenetta to 
hold the plough for her sweet love three years. 
But, most esteemed greatness, will you hear the 
dialogue that the two learned men have compiled, 
in praise of the owl and the cuckoo? it should 
have followed in the end of our show. 

KING. Call them forth quickly, we will do so. 
ARM. Holla! approach. 

and others. 

This side is Hiems, winter ; this Ver, the spring ; 
the one maintain'd by the owl, the other by the 
cuckoo.^ Ver, begin. 

sc.ii. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 209 

x SONG. 

Spring. When daisies pied? and violets blue, 
And lady-smocks all silver-white. 
And cuckoo-buds* of yellow hue, 

Do paint the meadows with delight, 
The cuckoo then, on every tree, . ,. 
Mocks married men, for thus sings he, 


Cuckoo, cuckoo, O word of fear, 
Unpleasing to a married ear! 

9 When daisies pied, &c.] The first lines of this song that 
were transposed, have been replaced by Mr. Theobald. 


1 cuckoo-buds ] Gerard, in his Herbal, 1597, says, 

that \hejiosciiculi cardamine, &c. are called " in English cuckoo- 

Jlowers, in Norfolk Canterbury-bells, and at Namptwich in 

Cheshire ladie-smocks" Shakspeare, however, might not have 

been sufficiently skilled in botany to be aware of this particular. 

Mr. Toilet has observed, that Lyte in his Herbal, 1578 and 
1579, remarks, that cowslips are in French, of some called 
coquu, prime vere, and brayes de coquu. This, he thinks, will 
sufficiently account for our author's cuckoo-buds, by which he 
supposes cowslip-buds to be meant; and further directs the 
reader to Cotgrave's Dictionary, under the articles Cocu, and 
herbe a coqu. STEEVENS. . \ ^ 

Cuckoo-buds must be wrong. I believe cowslip-buds, the 
true reading. FARMER. 

Mr. Whalley, the learned editor of Ben Jonson's works, many 
years ago proposed to read crocus buds. The cuckoo-flower, he 
observed, could not be called yellow, it rather approaching to 
the colour of white, by which epithet, Cowley, who was himself 
no mean botanist, has distinguished it : 

" Albaque cardamine," &c. MALONE. 

Crocus bails is a phrase unknown to naturalists and gardeners. 





When shepherds pipe on oaten straws, 
And merry larks are ploughmen's clocks, 

When turtles tread, and rooks, and daws, 
And maidens bleach their summer smocks, 

The cuckoo then, on every tree, 

Mocks married men, for thus sings he, 

Cuckoo, cuckoo, O word of fear, 

Unpleasing to a married ear! 


Winter. When kicks hang by the wall,* 

And Dick the shepherd blows his nail, 3 
And Tom bears logs into the hall, 
And milk comes frozen home in pail, 

* When icicles hang by the wall,] i. e. from the eaves of the 
thatch or other roofing, from which in the morning icicles are 
found depending in great abundance, after a night of frost. So, 
in King Henry IV : 

" Let us not hang like roping icicles, 

" Upon our houses' thatch" 

Our author (whose images are all taken from nature) has al- 
luded in The Tempest, to the drops of water that after rain flow 
from such coverings, in their natural unfrozen state : 

" His tears run down his beard, like winter's drops 

*' From eaves of reeds." MALONE. 

1 And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,] So, in K. Henry VI- 
Part III: 

" What time the shepherd, blottring of his nails, 
" Can neither call it perfect day or night." J 


ac. n. LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST. 211 

When blood is nipp'd, and ways befoul, 
Then nightly sings the staring owl, 

To-who ; 

Tu-whit, to-who,* a merry note, 
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot? 

4 - nightly sings the staring owl, 

To'tuho ; iu-whit, to-tvho,'] So, in Lyly's Mother Bomlie: 
" To-tvhit, to-whoo, the otvle does cry." 


Tu-ivhit, to-ivho,"] These terms were employed also to denote 
the musick of birds in general. Thus, in the song of Spring, 
in Summer's Last Will and Testament, 1600: 

" Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds doe sing, 
" Cuckow, jugge, jugge, pu we, to tvitta-ivoo." 
But, in Sidney's verses at the end of the Arcadia, they are 
confined to the owl: 

' Their angel-voice surpriz'd me now ; 

* But Mopsa her too-whit, to-hoo, 

1 Descending through her hoboy nose, 

* Did that distemper soon compose : 

' And, therefore, O thou precious orv/," &c. TODD. 

* - doth keel the pot.] This word is yet used in Ireland, 
and signifies to scum the pot. GOLDSMITH. 

So, in Marston's What you ivill, 1607 : " Faith, Doricus, 
thy brain boils, keel it, keel it, or all the fat's in the fire." 


To keel the pot is certainly to cool it, but in a particular 
manner : it is to stir the pottage with the ladle to prevent the 
boiling over. FARMER. 

- keel the pot."] i. e. cool the pot : " The thing is, they mix 
their thickning of oatmeal and water, which they call blending the 
lifting [or Hiking,"] and put it in the pot, when they set it on, be- 
cause when the meat, pudding and turnips are all in, they can- 
not so well mix it, but 'tis apt to go into lumps ; yet this method 
of theirs renders the pot liable to boil over at the first rising, and 
every subsequent increase of the fire ; to prevent which it be- 
comes necessary for one to attend to cool it occasionally, by 
lading it up frequently with a ladle, which they call keeling the 
pot, and is indeed a greasy office." Gent. Mag. 1760. This 
account seems to be accurate. RITSON. 

count seems to e accurate. ITSON. 
To keel signifies to cool in general, without any reference to 




When all aloud the wind doth blow, 
And coughing drowns the parson's saw. 

And birds sit brooding in the snow, 
And Marian's nose looks red and raw, 

the kitchen. So, in the ancient metrical romance of The Solu- 
tion of 'Babyloyne, MS. p. 80: 

" That alle men shall take hede 

" What deth traytour? shall fele, 

" That assente to such falshede, 

" Howe the wynde theyr bodyes shal kele." 
Again, in Gower De Confessione Amantis, Lib. V. fol. 121, b: 

" The cote he found, and eke he feleth 

" The mace, and then his herte keleth 

" That there durst he not abide." 
Again, fol. 131, b: 

" With water on his finger ende 

" Thyne hote tonge to kele." 

Mr. Lambe observes, in his notes on the ancient metrical 
History of The Battle ofFloddon, that it is a common thing in 
the North " for a maid servant to take out of a boiling pot a 
tvheen, i. e. a small quantity, viz. a porringer or two of broth, 
and then to fill up the pot with cold water. The broth thus 
taken out, is called the keeling uvheen. In this manner greasy 
Joan keeled the pot." 

" Gie me beer, and gie me grots, 

" And lumps of beef to swum abeen ; 

" And ilka time that I stir the pot, 

" He's hae frae me the keeling whcen." SxBEVrfs. 

6 the parson's saw,] Saw seems anciently to have meant, 

not as at present, a proverb, a sentence, but the whole tenor of 
any instructive discourse. So, in the fourth chapter of the first 
Book of The Tragedies of John Bochas, translated by 'Lidgate : 
" These old poetes in their salves swete 
" Full covertly in their verses do fayne." STEEVENS. 

Yet in As you like it, our author uses this word in the sense 
of a sentence, or maxim : " Dead shepherd, now I find thy saiu 
of might," &c. It is, I believe, so used here. MALONE. 


When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl, 1 
Then nightly sings the staring owl y 


Tu-whit, to-who, a merry note, 
While greasy Joan doth keel the pot. 

ARM. The words of Mercury are harsh after the 
songs of Apollo. You, that way j we, this way. 


7 When roasted crabs Sfc.] i. e. the wild apples so called. 
Thus, in The Midsummer-Night's Dream : 

" And sometimes lurk I in a gossip's bffivl, 

" In very likeness of a roasted crab." 
Again, in Like Will to Like, auoth the Devil to the Collier, 1587; 

" Now a crab in the nre were worth a good groat : 

" That I might quaffe with my captain Tom Toss-pot." 
Again, in Summer's last Will and Testament, 1600: 

" Sitting in a corner, turning crabs, 

" Or coughing o'er a warmed pot of ale." 
When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,'] Hence, perhaps, the 
following passage in Milton's Epitaphium Damonis : 

* grato cum sibilat igni 

" Molle" pyrum, " STEEVENS. 

The bowl must be supposed to be filled with ale ; a toast and 

some spice and sugar being added, what is called lamb's laool is 

produced. So, in Kins Henry V. 1598 (not our author's play) : 

" Yet we will nave in store a crab in thejire, 

" With nut-brown ale, that is full stale," &c. MALONE. 

9 In this play, which all the editors have concurred to cen- 
sure, and some have rejected as unworthy of our poet, it must 
be confessed that there are many passages mean, childish, and 
vulgar ; and some which ought not to have been exhibited, as 
we are told they were, to a maiden Queen. But there are scat- 
tered through the whole many sparks of genius ; nor is there 
any play that has more evident marks of the hand of Shakspeare. 



ACT I. SCENE I. Page 16. 

This child of fancy, that Armado hight, &c.] This, as I 
have shown in the note in its place, relates to the stories in the 
books of chivalry. A few words, therefore, concerning their 
origin and nature, maj' not be unacceptable to the reader. As 
I don't know of any writer, who has given any tolerable account 
of this matter: and especially as Monsieur Huet, the bishop of 
Ayranches, who wrote a formal treatise of The Origin of Ro- 
mances, has said little or nothing of these in that superficial 
work. For having brought down the account of Romances to 
the later Greeks, and entered upon those composed by the bar- 
barous western writers, which have now the name of Romances 
almost appropriated to them, he puts the change upon his reader, 
and instead of giving us an account of these books of chivalry, 
one of the most curious and interesting parts of the subject he 
promised to treat of, he contents himself with a long account of 
the poems of the Provincial writers, called likewise Romances ; 
and so, under the equivoque of a common term, drops his proper 
subject, and entertains us with another, that had no relation to 
it more than in the name. 

The Spaniards were of all others the fondest of these fables, as 
suiting best their extravagant turn to gallantry and bravery ; 
which in time grew so excessive, as to need all the efficacy of 
Cervantes's incomparable Satire to bring them back to their 
senses. The French suffered an easier cure from their doctor 
Rabelais, who enough discredited the books of chivalry, by only 
using the extravagant stories of its giants, &c. as a cover for 
another kind of satire against the refined politicks of his country- 
men; of which they were as much possessed as the Spaniards of 
their romantick bravery : a bravery our Shakspeare makes their 
characteristic in this description of a Spanish gentleman : 
A man of complements, whom right and wrong 
Have chose as umpire of their mutiny: 
This child of fancy, that Armado hight, 
For interim to our studies, shall relate, 
In high-born words, the worth of many a knight, 
From tawny Spain, lost in the world's debate.* 

Friwn lawny Spain, See.] This passage may, as Dr. Warburton ima- 
gines, be in allusion to the Spanish Romances, of winch several were extant 
in English, and very popular at the time this play was written. Such, for in- 
stance, as Amadis de Ganle, Don Hell ia HIS, Palmtrin d'Oliva, Palmerin of 
England, the Mirrour of Knighthood, Sic. But he is egregiously mistaken 
in asserting that " the heroes and the scene were generally of that country," 


The sense of which is to this effect : This gentleman, says the 
speaker, shall relate to us the celebrated stories recorded in the 
romances, and in their very style. Why he says from tawny 
Spain, is, because these romances, being of the Spanish original, 
the heroes and the scene were generally of that country. He 
says, lost in the world's debate, because the subjects of those 
romances were the crusades of the European Christians against 
the Saracens of Asia and Africa. 

Indeed, the wars of the Christians against the Pagans were 
the general subject of the romances of chivalry. They all seem 
to have had their ground-work in two fabulous monkish histo- 
rians: the one, who under the name of Turpin, Archbishop of 
Rheims, wrote The History and Achievements of Charlemagne 
and his Twelve Peers; to whom, instead of his father, they 
assigned the task of driving the Saracens out of France and the 
south parts of Spain: the other, our Geoffry of Monmouth. 

Two of those peers, whom the old romances have rendered 
most famous, were Oliver and Rowland. Hence Shakspeare 
makes Alencon, in The First Part of King Henry VI. say : 
" Froyssard, a countryman of ours, records, England all Olivers 
and Rowlands bred, during the time Edward the Third did reign." 
In the Spanish romance of Bernardo del Carpio, and in that of 
Roncesvalles, the feats of Roland are recorded under the name 
of Roldan en encantador ; and in that of Palmerin de Oliva,* 
or simply Oliva, those of Oliver: for Oliva is the same in Spanish 
as Olivier is in French. The account of their exploits is in the 
highest degree monstrous and extravagant, as appears from the 
judgment passed upon them by the priest in Don Quixote, when 
he delivers the knight's library to the secular arm of the house- 
keeper: " Eccetuando a un Bernardo del Carpio que anda por 
ay, y a otro llamado Roncesvalles ; que estos en llegando a mis 

which, in fact, (except in an instance or two, nothing at all to the present 
purpose,) is never the case. It the words lost in the world's debate will bear 
the editor's construction, there an? certainly many books of chivalry on the 
subject. I cannot, however, think that Sltakspoare was particularly conver- 
sant in works of this description : but, indeed, the alternately rhyming- parts, 
at least, of the present play, are apparently by an inferior hand ; the remains, 
no doubt, of the old platform. RITSON. 

Dr. Warburton is quite mistaken in deriving Oliver from (Palmerin de) 
Oliva, which is utterly incompatible with the genius of the Spanish language. 
The old romance, of which Oliver was the hero, is entitled in Spanish, 
11 Histories de los nobles Cavalleros Oliverosde Castilla, y Artus de Algurbe, 
in fol. en Valladolid, 1501, in fol. en Sevilla, 1507;" and in French thus: 
" Histoire d'Olivier de Castille, & Artus d'Algarbe son loyal compagnon, & 
de Ileleine, Fille au Roy d'Angleterre, &c. translated du Latin par Phil. Ka- 
mus, in fol. Gothique." It has also appeared in English. See Ames's 
Typograph. p. 94, 47. PERCY. 


manes, an de estar en las de la ama, y dellas en las del fuego sin 
remission alguna."* And of Oliver he says : " essa Oliva se haga 
luego raxas, y se queme, que aun no queden della las cenizas."f 
The reasonableness of this sentence may be partly seen from, 
one story in the Bernardo del Carpio, which tells us, that the 
cleft called Roldan, to be seen in the summit of an high moun- 
tain in the kingdom of Valencia, near the town of Alicant, was 
made with a single back-stroke of that hero's broad-sword^ 
Hence came the proverbial expression of our plain and sensible 
ancestors, who were much cooler readers of these extravagan- 
cies than the Spaniards, of giving one a Rowland for his Oliver , 
that is of matching one impossible lye with another: as, in 
French, foire le Roland means, to swagger. This driving the 
Saracens out of France and Spain, was, as we say, the subject 
ef the elder romances. And the first that was printed in Spain 
was the famous Amadis de Gaula, of which the inquisitor priest 
says : " segun he oydo dezir, este libro fud el primero de Ca- 
vallerias qui se imprimio en Espuna, y todos los demas an tornado 
principio y origen deste;"t and for which he humorously con- 
demns it to the fire, coma a Dogmatazudor de una secla tan mala. 
When this subject was well exhausted, the affairs of Europe 
afforded them another of the same nature. For after that the 
western parts had pretty well cleared themselves of these inhos- 
pitable guests, by the excitements of the popes, they carried 
their arras against them into Greece and Asia, to support the 
Byzantine empire, and recover the holy sepulchre. This gave 
birth to a new tribe of romances, which we may call of the 
second race or class. And as Amadis de Gatda was at the head 
of the first, so, correspomlently to the subject, Amadis de Gratia 
was at the head of the latter. Hence it is, we find, that Trebi- 
zondeis as celebrated in these romances as Roncesvalles is in the 
other. It may be worth observing, that' the two famous Italian epic 
poets, Ariosto and Tasso, have borrowed, from each of these 
classes of old romances, the scenes and subjects of their several 
stories: Ariosto choosing the first, the Saracens in France and 
Spain; and Tasso, the latter, the Crusade against them in Asia: 
Ariosto's hero being Orlando, or the French Roland: for as the 
Spaniards, by one way of transposing the letters, had made it 
Roldan, so the Italians, by another, make it Or/and. 

The main subject of these fooleries, as we have said, had its 
original in Tnrpin's famous History of Charlemagne and his 
Twelve Peers. Nor were the monstrous embellishments of en- 
chantments, &c. the invention of the romancers, but formed 
upon eastern tales, brought thence by travellers from their cru- 
sades and pilgrimages ; which indeed have a cast peculiar to the 

B. I. c. 6. f Ibid. >*a<I -T . f Ibid. 


wild imaginations of the eastern people. We have a proof of 
this in the travels of Sir John Maundeville, whose excessive su- 
perstition and credulity, together with an impudent monkish 
addition to his genuine work, have made his veracity thought 
much worse of than it deserved. This voyager, speaking of the 
isle of Cos in the Archipelago, tells the following story of an 
enchanted dragon. " And also a zonge man, that wist not of 
the dragoun, went out of the schipp, and went through the ile, 
till that he cam to the castelle, and cam into the cave ; and 
went so longe till that he fond a chambre, and there he saughe 
a damyselle, that kembed hire hede, and lokede in a myrour : 
and sche hadde moche tresoure abouten hire : and he trowed 
that sche hadde ben a comoun woman, that dwelled there to 
receive men to folye. And he abode till the damyselle saughe 
the schadowe of him in the myrour. And sche turned hire to- 
ward him, and asked him what he wolde. And he seyde, he 
wolde ben hire limman or paramour. And sche asked him, if 
that he were a knyghte. And he sayde, nay. And then sche 
sayde, that he might not ben hire limman. But sche bad him 
gon azen unto his felowes, and make him knyghte, and come 
azen upon the morwe, and sche scholde corne out of her cave 
before him ; and thanne come and kysse hire on the mowth and 
have no drede. For I schalle do the no maner harm, alle be 
it that thou see me in lykeness of a dragoun. For thoughe thou 
see me hideous and horrible to loken onne, I do the to wytene 
that it is made be enchauntement. For withouten double, I am 
none other than thou seest now, a woman ; and herefore drede 
the noughte. And zyf thou kysse me, thou schalt have all this 
tresoure, and be my lord, and lord also of all that isle. And he 
departed," &c. p. 29, 30, ed. 1725. Here we see the very 
spirit of a romance adventure. This honest traveller believed 
it all, and so, it seems, did the people of the isle. " And some 
men seyne (says he) that in the isle of Lango is zit the doughtre 
of Ypocras in forme and lykenesse of a gret dragoun, that is an 
hundred fadme in lengthe, as men seyn : for I have not seen 
hire. And they of the isles callen hire, lady of the land." We 
are not to think then, these kind of stories, believed by pilgrims 
and travellers, would have less credit either with the writers or 
readers of romances: which humour of the times, therefore, 
may well account for their birth and favourable reception in the 

The other monkish historian, who supplied the romancers with 
materials, was our Geoffry of Monmouth. For it is not to be 
supposed, that these children ofjancy (as Shakspeare in the place 
quoted above, finely calls them, insinuating \\vdljancy hath its 


Infancy as well as manhood,') should stop* in the midst of so ex- 
traordinary a career, or confine themselves within the lists of the 
terra Jirma. From him, therefore, the Spanish romances took 
the story of the British Arthur, and the knights of his round 
table, his wife Gueniver, and his conjurer Merlin. But still it 
was the same subject, (essential to books of chivalry,) the 
wars of Christians against Infidels. And, whether it was by 
blunder or design, they changed the Saxons into Saracens. I 
suspect by design ; for chivalry without a Saracen was so very 
lame and imperfect a thing, that even the wooden image, which 
turned round on an axis, and served the knights to try their 
swords, and break their lances upon, was called by the Italians 
and Spaniards, Saracino and Sarazino ; so closely were these two 
ideas connected. 

In these old romances there was much religious superstition 
mixed with their other extravagancies ; as appears even from 
their very names and titles. The first romance of Launcelot of 
the Lake and King Arthur and his Knights, is called The History 
of Saint GreaaL This saint Greaal was the famous relick of the 
holy blood pretended to be collected into a vessel by Joseph of 
Arimathea. So another is called Kyrie Eleison of Montauban. 
For in those days Deuteronomy and Paralipomenon were sup- 
posed to be the names of holy men. And as they made saints of 
the knights-errant, so the}' made knights-errant of their tutelary 
saints; and each nation advanced its own into the order of 
chivalry. Thus every thing in those times being either a saint or 
a devil, they never wanted for the marvellous. In the old ro- 
mance of Launcelot of the Lake, we have the doctrine and dis- 
cipline of the church as formally delivered as in Bellarmine him- 
self: " La confession (says the preacher) ne vaut rien si le cffiur 
n'est repentant ; et si tu es moult & eloigne de 1'amour de nostre 
Seigneur, tu ne peus estre recorde si non par trois choses : premi- 
erement par la confession de bouche ; secondement par une con- 
trition de cocur ; tiercement par peine de cceur, & par oeuvre 
d'aum6ne & charite. Telle este la droite voye d'aimer Dieu. 
Or va & si te confesse en cette maniere & recois la discipline des 
mains de tes confesseurs, car c'est le signe de merite. Or mande 
le roy ses evesques, dont grande partie avoit en Tost, & vinrent 
tous en sa chapelle. Le roy vint devant eux tout nud en pleurant, 

' For it is not to be supposed, that these Children of Fancy, as Shakspeare 
calls them, insinuating thereby that fancy hath itt infancy at rve'l as manhood, sbouM 
stop" #c.] 1 cannot conceive how Shakspeare, by calling ArniaHo the Child 
of Fancy, insinuates that fancy hath its infancy as well as manhood. The 
showing that a woman had a child, would be a strange way of proving her in 
her infancy By calling Annado the Child of Fancy, Shakspeare means 
only to describe him as fantastical. M. MASON. 


& tenant son plein point de vint menue's verges, si les jetta devant 
eux, & leur dit en soupirant, qu'ils prissent de luy vengeance, 
car je suis le plus vil pecheur, &c. Apres prinst discipline & 
d'eux & moult doucement la receut." Hence we find the divi- 
nity lectures of Don Quixote, and the penance of his 'squire, 
are both of them in the ritual of chivalry. Lastly, we find the 
knight-errant, after much turmoil to himself, and disturbance to 
the world, frequently ended his course, like Charles V. of Spain, 
in a monastery ; or turned Hermit, and became a saint in good 
earnest. And this again will let us into the spirit of those dia- 
logues between Sancho and his master, where it is gravely de- 
bated whether he should not turn saint or archbishop. 

There were several causes of this strange jumble of nonsense 
and religion. As first, the nature of the subject, which was a 
religious war or crusade ; secondly, the quality of the first writers, 
who were religious men ; and thirdly, the end of writing many 
of them, which was to carry on a religious purpose. We learn, 
that Clement V. interdicted justs and tournaments, because he 
understood they had much hindered the crusade decreed in the 
council of Vienna. " Torneamenta ipsa & hastiludia sive juxtas 
in regnis Franciae, Angliae, & Almanniae, & aliis nonnullis pro- 
vinciis, in quibus ea consuevere frequentius exerceri, specialiter 
interdixit." Extrav. de Torneamentis C. unic. temp. Ed. /. 
Religious men, I conceive, therefore, might think to forward the 
design of the crusades by turning the fondness for tilts and tour- 
naments into that channel. Hence we see the books of knight- 
errantry so full of solemn justs and torneaments held at Trebi- 
zonde, Bizance, Tripoly, &c. Which wise project, I apprehend, 
it was Cervantes's intention to ridicule, where he makes his 
knight purpose it as the best means of subduing the Turk, to 
assemble all the knights-errant together by proclamation.* 


It is generally agreed, I believe, that this long note of Dr. 
Warburton's is, at least, very much misplaced. There is not a 
single passage in the character of Armado, that has the least re- 
lation to any story in any romance of chivalry. With what pro- 
priety, therefore, a dissertation on the origin and nature of those 
romances is here introduced, I cannot see; and I should humbly 
advise the next editor of Shakspeare to omit it. That he may 
have the less scruple upon that head, I shall take this oppor- 
tunity of throwing out a few remarks, which, I think, will be suf- 
ficient to show, that the learned writer's hypothesis was formed 
upon a very hasty and imperfect view of the subject. 

* See Part IT. 1.5, c. 1. 


At setting out, in order to give a greater value to the informa- 
tion which is to follow, he tells us, that no other writer has given 
any tolerable account of this matter ; and particularly, that 
" Monsieur Huet, the Bishop of Avranches, who wrote a formal 
treatise o the Origin of Romances, has said little or nothing of 
these [books of chivalry] in that superficial work." The fact is 
true, that Monsieur Huet has said very little of Romances of 
chivalry ; but the imputation, with which Dr. W. proceeds to 
load him, of "putting the change upon his reader," and " drop- 
ping his proper subject" for another, " that had no relation to it 
more than in the name," is unfounded. 

It appears plainly from Huet's introductory address to DC 
Segrais, that his object was to give some account of those ro- 
mances which were then popular in France, such as the Astree 
of Z)' Urfe, the Grand Cyrus of De Scuderi, &c. He defines 
the Romances of which he means to treat, to be Actions des 
avantures amoureuses ; and he excludes epic poems from the 
number, because " Enfin les poemes out pour sujet une action 
militaire ou politique, et ne traitent d'amour que par occasion ; 
les Romans au contraire out 1'amour pour sujet principal, et ne 
traitent la politique et la guerre que par incident. Je parle des 
Romans reguliers ; car la plupart des vieux Romans Fra^ois, 
Italiens, et Espagnols sont bien moins amoureux que militaires." 
After this declaration, surely no one has a right to complain of 
the author for not treating more at large of the old romances of 
chivalry, or to stigmatise his work as superficial, upon account 
of that omission. I shall have occasion to remark below, that 
Dr. W. who, in turning over this superficial "work, (as he is 
pleased to call it,) seems to have shut his eyes against every ray 
of good sense and j ust observation, has condescended to borrow 
from it a very gross mistake. 

Dr. W.'s own positions, to the support of which his subse- 
quent facts and arguments might be expected to apply, are two: 
1. That Romances of Chivalry being of Spanish original, the 
heroes and the scene were generally of that country ; 2. That the 
subject of these Romances were the crusades of the European 
Christians against the Saracens of Asia and Africa. The first 
position, being complicated, should be divided into the two fol- 
lowing: 1. That Romances of Chivalry were of Spanish origi- 
nal ; 2. That the heroes and the scene of them were generally of 
that country. 

Here are therefore three positions, to which I shall say a few 
words in their order ; but I think it proper to premise a sort of 
definition of a Romance of Chivalry : if Dr. W. had done the 
came, he must have seen the hazard of systematizing in a subject 
of such extent, upon a cursory perusal of a few modern books, 


which indeed ought not to have been quoted in the discussion of 
a question of antiquity. 

A Romance of Chivalry, therefore, according to my notion, 
is any fabulous narration, in verse or prose, in which tlie princi- 
pal characters are knights, conducting themselves in their several 
situations and adventures, agreeably to the institutions and 
customs of Chivalry. Whatever names the characters may bear, 
whether historical or fictitious, and in whatever country, or age, 
the scene of the action may be laid, if the actors are represented 
as knights, I should call such a fable a Romance of Chivalry. 

I am not aware that -th is definition is more comprehensive than 
it ought to be : but, let it be narrowed ever so much ; let any 
other be substituted in its room; Dr. W.'sjirst position, that Ro- 
mances of Chivalry were of Spanish original, cannot be main- 
tained. Monsieur Huet would have taught him better. He 
says very truly, that " les plus vieux," of the Spanish romances, 
" sont posterieurs d nos Tristans et d nos Lancelots, de quelques 
centaines d'annees." Indeed the fact is indisputable. Cervantes, 
in a passage quoted by Dr. W. speaks of Amadis de Gaula ( the 
first four books) as the fast book of chivalry printed in Spain. 
Though he says only printed, it is plain that he means written. 
And indeed there is no good reason to believe that Amadis was 
written long before it was printed. It is unnecessary to enlarge 
upon a sj'stem, which places the original of Romances of Chi- 
valry in a nation, which has none to produce older than the art 
of printing. 

Dr. W.'s second position, that the heroes and the scene of these 
romances -were generally of the country of Spain, is as unfortu- 
nate as the former. Whoever will take the second volume of 
Du Fresnoy's Bibliotheque des Romans, and look over his lists of 
Romans de Chevalerie, will see that not one of the celebrated 
heroes of the old romances was a Spaniard. With respect to the 
general scene of such irregular and capricious fictions, the writers 
of which were used, literally, to " give to airy nothing, a local 
habitation and a name,'* I am sensible of the impropriety of as- 
serting any thing positively, without an accurate examination 
of many more of them than have fallen in my way. I think, 
however, I might venture to assert, in direct contradiction to 
Dr. W. that the scene of them was not generally in Spain. My 
own notion is, that it was very rarely there ; except in those few 
romances which treat expressly of the affair at Roncesvalles. 

His last position, that the subject of these romances were the 
crusades of the European Christians, against the Saracens of 
Asia and Africa, might be admitted with a small amendment. 
If it stood thus: the subject of some, or a few, of these romances 
"vaere the crusades, &c. the position would have been incontrover- 


tible ; but then it would not have been either new, or fit to sup- 
port a system. 

After this state of Dr. W.'s hypothesis, one must be curious to 
see what he himself has offered in proof of it. Upon the two 
Jirst positions he says not one word : I suppose he intended that 
they should be received as axioms. He begins his illustrations of 
his third position, by repeating it (with a little change of terms, 
for a reason which will appear.) " Indeed the wars of the 
Christians against the Pagans were the general subject of the 
Romances of Chivalry. They all seem to have had their ground- 
work in two fabulous monkish historians, the one, who, under 
the name of Turpin, Archbishop of Rheims, wrote The History 
and Atchievements of Charlemagne and his Twelve Peers ; 
the other, our Geoftry of Monmouth." Here we see the reason 
for changing the terms of crusades and Saracens into wars and 
Pagans ; for, though the expedition of Charles into Spain, as 
related by the Pseudo-Turpin, might be called a crusade against 
the Saracens, yet, unluckily, our Geoftry has nothing like a 
crusade, nor a single Saracen in his whole history ; Which indeed 
ends before Mahomet was born. I must observe too, that the 
speaking of Turpin's history under the title of " The History of 
the Atchievements of Charlemagne and his Twelve Peers," is in- 
accurate and unscholarlike, as the fiction of a limited number of 
twelve peers is of a much later date than that history. 

However, the ground-work of the Romances of Chivalry 
being thus marked out and determined, one might naturally ex- 
pect some account of the first builders and their edifices ; but 
instead of that we have a digression upon Oliver and Roland, in 
which an attempt is made to say something of those two famous 
characters, not from the old romances, but from Shakspeare, 
and Don Quixote, and some modern Spanish romances. My 
learned friend, the Dean of Carlisle, has taken notice of the 
strange mistake of Dr. W. in supposing that the feats of Oliver 
were recorded under the name of Palmerin de Oliva ; a mistake, 
into which no one could have fallen, who had read the first page 
of the book. And I very much suspect that there is a mis- 
take, though of less magnitude, in the assertion, that " in the 
Spanish romance of Bernardo del Carpio,and in that of Ronces- 
valles, the feats of Roland are recorded under the name of Roldan 
el Encantador." Dr. W.'s authority for this assertion was, I ap- 
prehend, the following passage of Cervantes, in the first chapter of 
Don Quixote : " Mejor estava con Bernardo del Carpio porque en 
Roncesvalles avia muerto a Roldan el Encantado, valiendose de la 
industria de Hercules, quando ahogo a Anteon el hijo de la Tierra 
entre los bracos." Where it is observable, that Cervantes does not 
appear to speak of more than one romance ; he calls Roldan el en- 


caniado, and not el encantador ; and moreover the word encan- 
tado is not to be understood as an addition to Roldan's name, 
but merely as a participle, expressing that he was enchanted, or 
made invulnerable by enchantment. 

But this is a small matter. And perhaps encantador may be 
an error of the press for encantado. From this digression Dr. 
W. returns to the subject of the old romances in the following 
manner. " This driving the Saracens out of France and Spain, 
was, as we say, the subject of the elder romances. And the 
first that was printed in Spain was the famous Amadis de 
Gaula." According to all common rules of construction, I 
think the latter sentence must be understood to imply, that 
Amadis de Gaula was one of the elder romances, and that the 
subject of it was the driving of the Saracens out of France and 
Spain ; whereas, for the reasons already given, Amadis, in com- 
parison with many other romances, must be considered as a very 
modern one ; and the subject of it has not the least connection 
with any driving of the Saracens whatsoever. But what follows 
is still more extraordinary. " When this subject was well 
exhausted, the affairs of Europe afforded them another of the 
same nature. For after that the western parts had pretty well 
cleared themselves of these inhospitable guests ; by the excite- 
ments of the popes, they carried their arms against them into 
Greece and Asia, to support the Byzantine empire, and recover 
the holy sepulchre. This gave birth to a new tribe of romances, 
which we may call of the second race or class. And as Amadis 
de Gaula was at the head of the first, so, correspondently to the 
subject, Amadis de Grcecia was at the head of the latter." It is 
impossible, I apprehend, to refer this subject to any antecedent 
but that in the paragraph last quoted, viz. the driving of the 
Saracens out of France and Spain. So that, according to one 
part of the hypothesis here laid down, the subject of the driving 
the Saracens out of France and Spain, was well exhausted by the 
old romances (with Amadis de Gaula at the head of them) 
before th\g"&rusades ; the first of which is generally placed in the 
year 1095: and, according to the latter part, the Crusades hap- 
pened in the interval between Amadis de Gaula, and Amadis de 
Greecia ; a space of twenty, thirty, or at most fifty years, to be 
reckoned backwards from the year 1532, in which year an edi- 
tion of Amadis de Greecia is mentioned by Du Fresnoy. What 
induced Dr. W. to place Amadis de Greecia at the head of his 
second race or class of romances, I cannot guess. The fact is, 
that Amadis de Greecia is no more concerned in supporting the 
Byzantine empire, and recovering the holy sepulchre, than Ama- 
dis de Gaula in driving the Saracens out of France and Spain. 
And a still more pleasant circumstance is, that Amadis de Gratia, 


through more than nine-tenths of his history, is himself a de- 
clared Pagan. 

And here ends Dr. W.'s account of the old romances of chi- 
valry, which he supposes to have had their ground-work in Tur- 
pin's history. Before he proceeds to the others, which had their 
ground-work in our Geoffry, he interposes a curious solution of 
a puzzling question concerning the origin of lying in romances. 
*' Nor were the monstrous embellishments of enchantments, 
Sfc. the invention of the romancers, but formed upon eastern 
tales, brought thence by travellers from their crusades and pil- 
grimages ; which indeed have a cast peculiar to the ivild ima- 
ginations of the eastern people. We nave a proof of this in the 
. Travels of Sir J. Maundevile.'* He then gives us a story of an 
enchanted dragon in the isle of Cos, from Sir J. Maundevile, 
who wrote his Travels in 1356 ; by way of proof, that the tales 
of enchantments, &c. which had been current here in romances 
of chivalry for above two hundred years before, were brought by 
travellers from the East ! The proof is certainly not conclusive. 
On the other hand, I believe it would be easy to show, that, at 
the time when romances of chivalry began, our Europe had a very 
sufficient stock of lies of her own growth, to furnish materials 
for every variety of monstrous embellishment. At most times, I 
conceive, and in most countries, imported lies are rather for 
luxury than necessity. 

Dr. W. comes now to that other ground-work of the old ro- 
mances, our Geoffry of Monmouth. And him he dispatches 
very shortly, because, as has been observed before, it is impos- 
sible to find any thing in him to the purpose of crusades, or Sara- 
cens. Indeed, in treating of Spanish romances, it must be quite 
unnecessary to say much of Geoffry, as, whatever they have of 
" the British Arthur and his conjurer Merlin," is of so late a 
fabrick, that, in all probability, they took it from the more mo- 
dern Italian romances, and not from Geoffry' s own book. As to 
the doubt, " Whether it was by blunder or design, that they 
changed the Saxons to Saracens," I should wish to postpone the 
consideration of it, till we have some Spanish romance before 
us, in which King Arthur is introduced carrying on a war against 

And thus, I think, I have gone through the several facts and 
arguments, which Dr. W'. has advanced in support of his third' 
position. In support of his two first positions, as I have observed 
already, he has said nothing ; and, indeed, nothing can be said. 
The remainder of his note contains another hypothesis concern- 
ing the strange jumble of nonsense and religion in the old ro- 
mances, which I shall not examine. The reader, I presume, by 
this time is well aware that Dr. W.'s information upon this sub- 


ject is to be received with caution. I shall only take a little no- 
tice of one or two facts, with which he sets out. " In these old 
romances there was much religious superstition mixed with their 
other extravagancies ; as appears even from their very names 
and titles. The first romance of Lancelot of the Lake and King 
Arthur and his Knights, is called the History of Saint Graal. 
So another is called Kyrie eleison of Montauban. For in those 
days Deuteronomy and Paralipomenon were supposed to be the 
names of holy men. 1 believe no one, who has ever looked into 
the common romance of king Arthur, will be of opinion, that 
the part relating to the Saint Graal was the Jirst romance of 
Lancelot of the Lake and King Arthur and his Knights. And 
as to the other supposed to be called Kyrie eleison of Montauban, 
there is no reason to believe that any romance with that title 
ever existed. This is the mistake, which, as was hinted above, 
Dr. W. appears to have borrowed from Huet. The reader will 
judge. Huet is giving an account of the romances in Don 
Quixote's library, which the curate and barber saved from the 
flames. " Ceux qu' ilsjugent dignes d'etre gardez sont les quatre 
livres d'Amadis de Gaule, Palmerin d'Angleterre, Don Be- 
lianis ; le miroir de chevalerie ; Tirante le Blanc, et Kyrie Elei- 
son de Montauban (car au bon vieux temps on croyoit que Kyrie 
eleison et Paralipomenon etoient les noms de quelques saints ) ou 
les subtilitez de la Damoiselle Plaisir-de-ma-vie, et les trompe- 
ries de la Veuve reposee, sont fort loupes." It is plain, I think, 
that Dr. W. copied what he says of Kyrie eleison of Montauban, 
as well as the witticism in his last sentence, from this passage 
of Huet, though he has improved upon his original by intro- 
ducing a saint Deuteronomy, upon what authority I know not. 
It is still more evident (from the passage of Cervantes, which is 
quoted below,*) that Huet was mistaken in supposing Kyrie 
eleison de Montauban to be the name of a separate romance. 
He might as well have made La Damoiselle Plaisir-de-ma-vie 
and La Veuve reposee, the names of separate romances. All 
three are merely characters in the romance of Tirante le Blanc. 

* Don Quixote, Lib. I. c. vi. " Valame Dios, dixo el Cura, dando una 
gran voz, que aqui es'e Tirante et Blanco ! Dadmele aca, romparlre, que hago 
cuenta que he hallado en el un tesoro de contento, y una mina de passati- 
empos. Aqui esta Don Q'tir eleyson de Montalvan, valeroso Cavallero, y su 
hermano Tomas de Montalvau, y el Cavallero Fonseca, con la batalla que 
el valiente Detriante [r. de Tirante] hizo con el alano, y lot ogudetas de la 
Vonsella Plazer (te mi vida t con lot amores y embustes de In viuda Reposada, y 
la Senora Emperatriz, enatnorado de Hippolito su escudero." 

Aqw estd Don Quirieteyson, &c. HERS, i.e. in the romance of Tirnnte tl 
Blanco, is Don Quirieleyton, &c. 



And so much for Dr. W.'s account of the origin and nature 
of romances of chivalry. TYRWHITT. 

No future editor of Shakspeare will, I believe, readily consent 
to omit the dissertation here examined, though i certainly has 
no more relation to the play before us, than to any other of our 
author's dramas. Mr. Tyrwhitt's judicious observations upon 
it have given it a value which it certainly had not before ; and, 
I think, I may venture to foretell, that Dr. Warburton's futile 
performance, like the pismire which Martial tells us was acci- 
dentally incrusted with amber, will be ever preserved, for the 
sake of the admirable comment in which it is now enshrined. 

" quae fuerat vita contempta manente, 

" Funenbus facta est nunc pretiosa suis." MALONE. 


* THE MERCHANT OF VENICE.] The reader will find a dis- 
tinct epitome of the novels from which the story of this play is 
supposed to be taken, at the conclusion of the notes. It should, 
however, be remembered, that if our poet was at all indebted to 
the Italian novelists, it must have been through the medium of 
some old translation, which has hitherto escaped the researches 
of his most industrious editors. 

It appears from a passage in Stephen Gosson's School of Abuse, 
&c. 1579, that a play, comprehending the distinct plots of Shak- 
speare's Merchant of Venice, had been exhibited long before he 
commenced a writer, viz. " The Jew shown at the Bull, repre- 
senting the greediness of worldly choosers, and the bloody minds 
of usurers." " These plays," says Gosson, (for he mentions 
others with it) " are goode and sweete plays," &c. It is there- 
fore not improbable that Shakspeare new- wrote his piece, on the 
model already mentioned, and that the elder performance, being 
inferior, was permitted to drop silently into oblivion. 

This play of Shakspeare had been exhibited before the year 
1598, as appears from Meres's Wits Treasury, where it is men- 
tioned with eleven more of our author's pieces. It was entered 
on the books of the Stationers' Company, July 22, in the same 
year. It could not have been printed earlier, because it was not 
yet licensed. The old song of Gernutus the Jew of Venice, is 
published by Dr. Percy in the first volume of his Reliques of 
ancient English Poetry: and the ballad intituled, The murther- 
ous Lyfe and terrible Death of the rich Jetve of Malta ; and the 
tragedy on the same subject, were both entered on the Stationers* 
books, May, 1594. STEEVENS. 

. The story was taken from an old translation of The Gesta Ro- 
manorum, first printed by Wynkyn de Worde. The book was 
very popular, and Shakspeare has closely copied some of the 
language : an additional argument, if we wanted it, of his track 
of reading. Three vessels are exhibited to a lady for her choice 
The first was made of pure gold, well beset with precious stones 
without, and "within full of dead men's bones ; and thereupon 
was engraven this posie: Whoso chuseth me, shall Jind that he 
deserveth. The second vessel was made of fine silver, filled with 
earth and worms ; the superscription was thus : Whoso chuseth 
me, shall Jind that his nature desireth. The third vessel was 
made of lead, full within of precious stones, and thereupon was 
insculpt this posie : Whoso chuseth me, shall Jind that God hath 

disposedjbr him. The lady, after a comment upon each,chuses 

the leaden vessel. 

In a MS. of Lidgate, belonging to my very learned friend, 
Dr. Askew, I find a Tale of Two Merchants of Egipt and of 

y ex Gestis R'omanorum. Leland, therefore, could not be 
the original author, as Bishop Tanner suspected. He lived a 
century after Lidgate. FARMER. 

The two principal incidents of this play are to be found sepa- 
rately in a collection of odd stories, which were very popular, 
at least five hundred years ago, under the title of Gesta Roma- 
norum. The first, Of the Bond, is in ch. xlviii. of the copy 
which I chuse to refer to, as the completest of any which I have 
yet seen. MS. HarL n. 2270. A knight there borrows money 
of a merchant, upon condition of forfeiting all hisfiesh for non- 
payment. When the penalty is exacted before the judge, the 
knighPs mistress , disguised, in forma viri 6f vestimentis pretiosis 
induta, comes into court, and, by permission of the judge, en- 
deavours to mollify the merchant. She first offers him his money, 
and then the double of i*, &c. to all which his answer is " Con- 
ventionem meam volo habere. Puella, cum hoc audisset, ait 
coram omnibus, Domine mi judex, da rectum judicium super 
his quae vobis dixero. Vos scitis quod miles nunquam se obliga- 
bat ad aliud per literam nisi quod mercator habeat potestatem 
carnes ab ossibus scindere, sine sangutnis effusione, de quo nihil 
erat prolocutum. Statim mittat manum in eum ; si vero san- 
guinem effuderit, Rex contra eum actionem habet. Mercator, 
cum hoc audisset, ait ; date mihi pecuniam & omnem actionem 
ei remitto. Ait puella, Amen dico tibi, nullum denarium ha- 
bebis .pone ergo manum in eum, ita ut sanguinem non effundas. 
Mercator vero videns se confusum abscessit ; & sic vita militis 
salvata est, & nullum denarium dedit. 

The other incident, of the caskets, is in ch. xcix. of the same 
collection. A king of Apulia sends his daughter to be married 
to the son of an emperor of Rome. After some adventures, 
(which are nothing to the present purpose,) she is brought before 
the emperor ; who says to her, " ruetta, propter amorem filii 
mei multa adversa sustinuisti. Tamen si digna fueris ut uxor 
ejus sis cito probabo. Et fecit fieri tria vasa. PRIMUM fuit de 
auro purissimo & lapidibus pretiosis interius ex omni parte, & 
plenum ossibus mortuorum: & exterius erat subscriptio ; Qui me 
elegerit, in me inveniet quod meruit. SECUNDUM vas erat de 
argento puro & gemmis pretiosis, plenum terra; & exterius erat 
subscriptio : Qiti me elegerit, in me inveniet quod natura appe- 
tii. TSRTIUM vas de plumbo plenum lapidibus pretiosis interius 
fy gemmis nobili&simis ; & exterius erat subscriptio talis : Qui me 
elegerit, in me inveniet quod dens disposuit. Ista tria ostendit 
puellae, & dixit, si unum ex istis elegeris in quo commodum, & 
proficuum est, filium meum habebis. Si vro elegeris quod nee 
tibi nee aliis est commodum, ipsum non habebte." The young 

lady, after mature consideration of the vessels and their inscrip- 
tions, chuses the leaden, which being opened, and found to be 
full of gold and precious stones, the emperor says: " Bona 
puella, bene elegisti ideo filium meum habebis." 

From this abstract of these two stories, I think it appears suf- 
ficiently plain that they are the remote originals of the two inci- 
dents in this play. That of the caskets, Shakspeare might take 
from the English Gesta Romanorum, as Dr. Farmer has observed; 
and that of the bond might come to hhn from the Pecorone ; but 
upon the whole I am rather inclined to suspect, that he has fol- 
lowed seme hitherto unknown novelist, who had saved him the 
trouble of working up the two stories into one. TYRWHITT. 

This comedy, I believe, was written in the beginning of the 
year 1598. Meres's book was not published till the end of that 
year. See An Attempt to ascertain the Order of Shakspeare' s 
Plays, Vol. II. MALONE. 


Duke of Venice. 

Prince of Morocco, > ^ , Portja 

rnnce of Arragon, ) 

Antonio, /Ae Merchant of Venice : 

Bassanio, Aw Friend. 

Salanio, 2 "I 

Salarino, > Friends to Antonio and Bassanio^ 

Gratiano, } 

Lorenzo, in love with Jessica. 

Shylock, a Jew : 

Tubal, a Jew, his Friend. 

Launcelot Gobbo, a Clown, Servant to Shylock.. 

Old Gobbo, Father to Launcelot. 

Salerio, 3 a Messenger from Venice. 

Leonardo, Servant to Bassanio. 

Balthazar, > T> *.- 

Stephana, f Servants to Portllu 

Portia, a rich Heiress. 
Nerissa, her Waiting-maid. 
Jessica, Daughter to Shylock. 

Magnificoes of Venice, Officers of the Court of Jus- 
tice, Jailer, Servants, and other Attendants. 

SCENE, partly at Venice, and partly at Belmont, 
the Seat of Portia, on the Continent. 

1 In the old editions in quarto, for J. Roberts, 1600, and in 
the old folio, 1623, there is no enumeration of the persons. It 
was first made by Mr. Rowe. JOHNSON. 

* It is not easy to determine the orthography of this name. 
In the old editions the owner of it is called Salanio, Salino, 
and Solanio. STEEVENS. 

3 This character I have restored to the Personce Dramatis. 
The name appears in the first folio : the description is taken 
from the quarto. STEEVENS. 



Venice. A Street. 

ANT. In sooth, I know not why I am so sad ; 
It wearies me ; you say, it wearies you ; 
But how I caught it, found it, or came by it, 
What stuff' 'tis made of, whereof it is born, 
I am to learn ; 

And such a want- wit sadness makes of me, 
That I have much ado to know myself. 

SALAR. Your mind is tossing on the ocean ; 
There, where your argosies 4 with portly sail, 

4 argosies ] A name given in our author's time to ships 

of great burthen, probably galleons, such as the Spaniards now 
use in their West India trade. JOHNSON. 

In Ricaut's Maxims of Turkish Polity, ch. xiv. it is said, 
" Those vast carracks called argosies, which are so much famed 
for the vastness of their burthen and bulk, were corruptly so de- 
nominated from Ragosies," i. e. ships of Ragusa, a city and ter- 
ritory on the gulf of Venice, tributary to the Porte. If my 
memory does not fail me, the Ragusans lent their last great ship 
to the King of Spain for the Armada, and it was lost on the 
coast of Ireland. Shakspeare, as Mr. Heath observes, has given 
the name of Ragozine to the pirate in Measure for Measure. 



Like signiors and rich burghers of the flood, 5 
Or, as it were the pageants of the sea,' 
Do overpeer the petty traffickers, 
That curt'sy to them, do them reverence, 
As they fly by them with their woven wings. 

SALAN. Believe me, sir, had I such venture forth, 
The better part of my affections would 
Be with my hopes abroad. I should be still 
Plucking the grass, 6 to know where sits the wind ; 
Peering 7 in maps, for ports, and piers, and roads j 
And every object, that might make me fear 
Misfortune to my ventures, out of doubt, 
Would make me sad. 

SALAR. My wind, cooling my brotlv 

Would blow me to an ague, when I thought 
What harm a wind too great might do at sea. 
I should not see the sandy hour-glass run, 
But I should think of shallows and of flats ; 
And see my wealthy Andrew 8 dock'd in sand/ 

* burghers of the jlood^\ Both ancient and modern edi- 
tors have hitherto been content to read "burghers on the 
flood," though a parallel passage in As you like it 

'* native burghers of this desolate city," 

might have led to the present correction. STEEVENS. 

6 Plucking the grass, &c.~\ By holding up the grass, or any 
light body that will bend by a gentle blast, the direction of the 
wind is found. 

" This way I used in shooting. When I was in the mydde 
way betwixt the markes, which was an open place, there I toke 
a fethere, or a lyttle light grasse, and so learned how the wind 
stood." Ascham. JOHNSON. 

7 Peering "j Thus the old quarto printed by Hayes, that by 
Roberts, and the first folio. The quarto of 1637, a book of no 
authority, reads prying. MALONE. 

8 Andrew ] The name of the ship. JOHNSON. 

9 - dock'd in sand,] The old copies have docks. Cor- 
rected by Mr. Rowe. MALONE. 


Vailing her high-top lower than her ribs, 1 
To kiss her burial. Should I go to church, 
And see the holy edifice of stone, 
And not bethink me straight of dangerous rocks ? 
Which touching but my gentle vessel's side, 
Would scatter all her spices on the stream j 
Enrobe the roaring waters with my silks ; 
And, in a word, but even now worth this, 
And now worth nothing ? Shall I have the thought 
To think on this ; and shall I lack the thought, 
That such a thing, bechanc'd, would make me sad? 
But, tell not me j I know, Antonio 
Is sad to think upon his merchandize. 

ANT. Believe me, no : I thank my fortune for it, 
My ventures are not in one bottom trusted, 
Nor to one place j nor is my whole estate 
Upon the fortune of this present year : 
Therefore, my merchandize makes me not sad. 

1 Vailing her high top lower than her n'i.t,] In Bullokar'i 
English Expositor, 1616, to vail, is thus explained : " It means 
to put off" the hat, to strike sail, to give sign of submission." So, 
in Stephen Gosson's book, called Playes confuted in several 
Actions : 

" They might have vailed and bended to the king's idol." 
It signifies also to lower, to let down. Thus, in the ancient 
metrical romance of the Sotvdon of Babyloyne, p. 60: 

" Thay avaltd the brigge and fete them yn." 
Again, (as Mr. Douce observes to me,) in Hardyngefs Chro- 
nicle : 

{l And by th* even their sayles avaled were set." 
Again, in Middleton's Blurt Master Constable, 1602 : 

" I'll vail my crest to death for her dear sake." 
Again, in The Fair Maid of the West, 1613, by Heywood : 

<* it did me good 

" To see the Spanish carveil vail her top 

" Unto my mayden flag." 

A carvel is a small vessel. It is mentioned by Raleigh, and I 
often meet with the word in Jarvis Markham's English Arcadia, 
1607. STEEVENS. 


SALAN. Why then you are in love. 

ANT. Fye, fye ! 

SALAN. Not in love neither ? Then let's say, you 

are sad, 

Because you are not merry : and 'twere as easy 
For you, to laugh, and leap, and say, you are merry, 
Because you are not sad. Now, by two-headed 

Janus, 2 

Nature hath fram'd strange fellows in her time : 
Some that will evermore peep through their eyes, 3 
And laugh, like parrots, at a bag-piper ; 
And other of such vinegar aspect, 
That they'll not show their teeth in way of smile,* 
Though Nestor swear the jest be laughable. 


SALAN. Here comes Bassanio, your most noble 


Gratiano, and Lorenzo : Fare you well ; 
We leave you now with better company. 

* Now, by t-wo-hcaded Janus,} Here Shakspeare shews 

his knowledge in the antique. By two-headed Janus is meant 
those antique bifrontine heads, which generally represent a young 
and smiling face, together with an old and wrinkled one, being 
of Pan and Bacchus ; of Saturn and Apollo, &c. These are not 
uncommon in collections of Antiques: and in the books of the 
antiquaries, as Montfaucon, Spanheim, &c. WARBURTON. 

Here, says Dr. Warburton, Shakspeare shows his knowledge 
of the antique : and so does Taylor the water-poet, who de- 
scribes Fortune, " Like a Janus with a double-face". FARMER. 

3 peep through their eyes,"] This gives a very picturesque 

image of the countenance in laughing, when the eyes appear half 

4 their teeth in way of smile,] Because such are apt 

nough to show their teeth in anger. WARBUKTON. 


SALAR. I would have staid till I had made you 

If worthier friends had not prevented me. 

ANT. Your worth is very dear in my regard. 
I take it, your own business calls on you, 
And you embrace the occasion to depart. 

SAL4R. Good morrow, my good lords. 

BASS. Good signiors both, when shall we laugh ? 

Say, when ? 
You grow exceeding strange : Must it be so ? 

SALAR. We'll make our leisures to attend on 


LOR. My lord Bassanio, 5 since you have found 


We two will leave you : but, at dinner time, 
I pray you, have in mind where we must meet. 

BASS. I will not fail you. 

GRA. You look not well, signior Antonio ; 
You have too much respect upon the world : 
They lose it, 6 that do buy it with much care. 
Believe me, you are marvellously chang'd. 

* My lord Bassanio, &c.] This speech [which by Mr. Howe 
and subsequent editors was allotted to Salanio,'] is given to Lo- 
renzo in the old copies : and Salarino and Salanio make their 
exit at the close of the preceding speech. Which is certainly 
right. Lorenzo (who, with Gratiano, had only accompanied 
Bassanio, till he should find Antonio,) prepares now to leave 
Bassanio to his business ; but is detained by Gratiano, who enters 
into a conversation with Antonio. TYRWHITT. 

I have availed myself of this judicious correction, by restoring 
the speech to Lorenzo, and marking the exits of Salarino and 
Salanio at the end of the preceding speech.' STEEVENS. 

6 lose it,] All the ancient copies read loose; a mis- 
print, I suppose, for the word standing in the text. STEEYEKS. 


ANT. I hold the world but 35 the world, Gra- 

tiano ; 

A stage, where every man must play a part, 7 
And mine a sad one. 

GRA. Let me play the Fool : * 

With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles gome ; 
And let my liver rather heat with win, 
Than my heart cool with mortifying groans. 
Why should a man, whose blood is warm within, 
Sit like his grandsire cut in alabaster ? 
Sleep when he wakes ? and creep into the jaundice 
By being peevish ? J tell thee what, Antonio, 
I love thee, and it is my love that speaks ; 
There are a sort of men, whose visages 
Do cream and mantle, like a standing pond -, 
And do a wilful stillness ! entertain, 

7 A stage, where every man must play a part,"] The same 
thought occurs in Churchyard's Farewell to the World, 1593 : 
" A worldling here, I must hie to my grave ; 
" For this is but a May-game mixt with woe, 
" A borrowde roume where toe our pageants play, 
" A skaffbld plaine," &c. 
Again, in Sidney's Arcadia, Book II: 

" She found the world but a wearisome stage to her, where 
she played a part against her will." STEEVENS. 

9 Let me play the Fool :~\ Alluding to the common compari- 
son of human life to a stage-play. So that he desires his may be 
the fool's or buffoon's part, which was a constant character in the 
old farces ; from whence came the phrase, to play the fool. 

9 There are a sort of men, "whose visages 

Do cream ] The poet here alludes to the manner in which 
the film extends itself over milk in scalding ; and he had the 
same appearance in his eye when writing a foregoing line : 
" With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come." 
So, also, the author of Bussy a" Ambois : 

" Not any winkle creaming in their faces." HENLET. 

1 a wilful stillness ] i. e. an obstinate silence. 



With purpose to be dress'd in an opinion 

Of wisdom, gravity, profound conceit ; 

As who should say, / am Sir Oracle, 

And, when I ope my lips, let no dog bark ! a 

O, my Antonio, I do know of these, 

That therefore only are reputed wise, 

For saying nothing ; who, I am very sure, 3 

If they should speak, would almost damn those ears, 4 

Which, hearing them, would call their brothers, 


I'll tell thee more of this another time : 
But fish not, with this melancholy bait, 
For this fool's gudgeon, this opinion.- 
Come, good Lorenzo : Fare ye well, a while ; 
I'll end my exhortation after dinner. 5 

LOR. Well, we will leave you then till dinner- 
time : 

I must be one of these same dumb wise men, 
For Gratiano never lets me speak. 

* let no dog bark /] This seems to be a proverbial ex- 
pression. So, in AcolastuSy a comedy 1540 : " nor there shall 
no dogge barfce at mine ententes." STEEVENS. 

3 who, / am very sure,} The old copies read ixhen, I 

am very sure. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. MALONE. 

4 would almost damn those ears,"] Several old editions 

have it, dam, damme, and daunt. Some more correct copies, 
damn. The author's meaning is this : That some people are 
thought wise, whilst they keep silence; who, when they open 
their mouths, are such stupid praters, that the hearers cannot 
help calling them fools, and so incur the judgment denounced in 
the Gospel. THEOBALD. 

* ril end my exhortation after dinner.'] The humour of this 
consists in its being an allusion to the practice of the puritan 
preachers of those times ; who, being generally very long and 
tedious, were often forced to put off that part of their sermon 
called the exhortation, till after dinner. WARBURTOX. 


GRA. Well, keep me company but two years 

Thou shalt not know the sound of thine own tongue. 

ANT. Farewell : I'll grow a talker for this gear. 6 

GRA. Thanks, i'faith ; for silence is only com- 

In a neat's tongue dried, and a maid not vendible. 

ANT. Is that any thing now ? 7 

BASS. Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing, 
more than any man in all Venice : His reasons are 
as two grains of wheat hid in two bushels of chaff; 
you shall seek all day ere you find them ; and, when 
you have them, they are not worth the search. 


6 for this gear.] In Act II. sc. ii. the same phrase occurs 

again: " If fortune be a woman, she's a good wench for this 
geer." This is a colloquial expression perhaps of no very deter- 
mined import. STEEVENS. 

So, in Sapho and Phao, a comedy by Lyly, 1591 : " As for 
you, Sir boy, I will teach you how to run away ; you shall be 
stript from top to toe, and whipt with nettles ; I will handle you 
for this genre well: I say no more." Again, in Nashe's Epistle 
Dedicatory to his Apologie of Pierce Pennilesse, 1593 : " I mean 
to trounce him after twenty in the hundred, and have a bout with 
him, with two staves and a pike, for this geare" MALONE. 

7 Is tJiat any thing now ?] All the old copies read, is that any 
thing now ? I suppose we should read is that any thing new ? 


The sense of the old reading is Does what he has just said 
amount to any thing, or mean any thing ? STEEVENS. 

Surely the reading of the old copies is right. Antonio asks : 
Is that any thing now? and Bassanjo answers, that Gratiano 
speaks an infinite deal of nothing, the greatest part of his dis- 
course is not any thing. TYRWHITT. 

So, in Othello: " Can any thing be made of this ?" The old 
copies, by a manifest error of the press, read It is that, &c. 
Corrected by Mr. Rowe. MA LONE. 


ANT. Well ; tell me now, what lady is this same 
To whom you swore a secret pilgrimage, 
That you to-day promised to tell me of? 

BASS. 'Tis not unknown to you, Antonio, 
How much I have disabled mine estate, 
By something showing a more swelling port 8 
Than my faint means would grant continuance : 
Nor do I now make moan to be abridg'd 
From such a noble rate; but my chief care 
Is, to come fairly off from the great debts, 
Wherein my time, something too prodigal, 
Hath left me gaged : To you, Antonio, 
I owe the most, in money, and in love ; 
And from your love I have a warranty 
To unburthen all my plots, and purposes* 
How to get clear of all the debts I owe. 

ANT. I pray you, good Bassanio, let me know it; 
And, if it stand, as you yourself still do, 
Within the eye of honour, be assur'd, 
My purse, my person, my extremest meansj 
Lie all unlocked to your occasions. 

BASS. In my school-days, when I had lost one 

I shot his fellow 9 of the self-same flight 

1 a more swelling port &c.] Port, in the present in- 
stance, comprehends the idea of expensive equipage, and exter- 
nal pomp of appearance. Thus, in the first Iliad, as translated 
by Chapman, 1611: 

" all the gods receiv'd, 

" (All rising from their thrones) their sire ; attending to 

his court 
" None sate when he rose ; none delaid, the furnishing 

his port, 

" Till he came neare ; all met with him and brought him 
to his throne." STEEVENS. 

VOL. Vll. & 


The self-same way, with more advised watch, 

To find the other forth ; and by advent'ringboth, 

I oft found both : I urge this childhood proof, 

Because what follows is pure innocence. 

I owe you much ; and, like a wilful youth, 1 

That which I owe is lost : but if you please 

To shoot another arrow that self way 

Which you did shoot the first, I do not doubt, 

As I will watch the aim, or to find both, 

Or bring your latter hazard back again, 

And thankfully rest debtor for the first. 

ANT. You know me well ; and kerein spend but 

9 "when I had lost one shaft, 

I shot his fellow &c.] This thought occurs also in Decker's 
Villanies discovered by Lanthorne and Candlelight, &c. 4to. bl. 1 : 
" And yet I have seene a Creditor in Prison weepe when he be- 
held the Debtor, and to lay out money of his owne purse to free 
him : he shot a second arrow tojind thejirst" I learn, from a 
MS. note by Oldys, that of this pamphlet there were no less than 
eight editions ; the last in 1638. I quote from that of 1616. 


This method of finding a lost arrow is prescribed by P. Cres- 
centius in his Treatise de Agriculture, Lib. X. cap. xxviii, and 
is also mentioned in Howel's Letters, Vol. I. p. 183, edit. 1655, 
12mo. DOUCE. 

1 like a wilful youth,'] This does not at all agree with 

what he had before promised, that what followed should be purr 
innocence. For wilfidness is not quite so pure. We should read 
ivitlesSji.e. heedless ; and this agrees exactly to that to which 
he compares his case, of a school-boy ; who, for want of ad- 
vised watch, lost his first arrow, and sent another after it with 
more attention. But wilful agrees not at all with it. 


Dr. Warburton confounds the time past and present. He has 
formerly lost his money like a wilful youth ; he now borrows 
more in pure innocence, without disguising his former faults, or 
his present designs. JOHNSON. 


To wind about my love with circumstance ; 
And, out of doubt, you do me now more wrong, 
In making question of my uttermost, 
Than if you had made waste of all I have : 
Then do but say to me what I should do, 
That in your knowledge may by me be done, 
And I am prest unto it : 2 therefore, speak. 

BASS. In Belmont is a lady richly left, 
And she is fair, and, fairer than that word, 
Of wond'rous virtues ; sometimes from her eyes 3 
I did receive fair speechless messages: 
Her name is Portia ; nothing undervalued 
To Gate's daughter, Brutus' Portia. 
Nor is the wide world ignorant of her worth ; 
For the four winds blow in from every coast 
Renowned suitors : and her sunny locks 

1 prest unto it:~\ Prest may not here signify impress' 'd, as 

into military service, but ready. Pret, Fr. So, in Casar and 
Pompey, 1607: 

" What must be, must be ; Caesar's prest for all." 
Again, in Hans Beer-pot, &c. 1618 : 

" your good word 

" Is ever prest to do an honest man good.*' 
Again, in the concluding couplet of Churchyard's Warning 
to the Wanderers abroad, 1593 : 

" Then shall my mouth, my muse, my pen and all, 
" Be prest to serve at each good subject's call." 
I could add twenty more instances of the word being used with 
this signification. STEEVENS. 

s sometimesyrom her eyes ] So all the editions ; but it 

certainly ought to be, sometime, i. e. formerly, some time ago, 
at a certain time: and it appears by the subsequent scene, that 
Bassanio was at Belmont with the Marquis de Montferrat, and. 
saw Portia in her father's life time. THEOBALD. 

It is strange, Mr. Theobald did not know, that in old English, 
sometimes is synonymous with formerly. Nothing is more fre- 
quent in title-pages, than " sometimes rellow of such a college.** 


R 2 


Hang on her temples like a golden fleece ; 
Which makes her seat of Belmont, Colchos' strand, 
And many Jasons come in quest of her. 

my Antonio, had I but the means 
To hold a rival place with one of them, 

1 have a mind presages me such thrift, 
That I should questionless be fortunate. 

ANT. Thou know'st, that all my fortunes are at 


Nor have I money, nor commodity 
To raise a present sum : therefore go forth, 
Try what my credit can in Venice do ; 
That shall be rack'd, even to the uttermost, 
To furnish thee to Belmont, to fair Portia. 
Go, presently inquire, and so will I, 
Where money is ; and I no question make, 
To have it of my trust, or for my sake. \_Exeunt. 



Belmont. A Room in Portia's House. 


POR. By my troth, Nerissa, my little body is a- 
weary of this great world. 

NER. You would be, sweet madam, if your mise- 
ries were in the same abundance as your good for- 
tunes are : And, yet, for aught I see, they are as 
sick, that surfeit with too much, as they that starve 
with nothing : It is no mean happiness therefore, 


to be seated in the mean ; superfluity comes sooner 
by white hairs, 4 but competency lives longer. 

POR. Good sentences, and well pronounced. 
NER. They would be better, if well followed. 

POR. If to do were as easy as to know what 
were good to do, chapels had been churches, and 
poor men's cottages, princes' palaces. It is a good 
divine that follows his own instructions : I can 
easier teach twenty what were good to be done, 
than be one of the twenty to follow mine own 
teaching. The brain may devise laws for the 
blood ; but a hot temper leaps over a cold de- 
cree : such a hare is madness the youth, to skip 
o'er the meshes of good counsel the cripple. But 
this reasoning is not in the fashion to choose me 
a husband : O me, the word choose ! I may 
neither choose whom I would, nor refuse whom I 
dislike ; so is the will of a living daughter curb'd 
by the will of a dead father : Is it not hard, Ne- 
rissa, that I cannot choose one, nor refuse none ? 

NER. Your father was ever virtuous ; and holy 
men, at their death, have good inspirations ; there- 
fore, the lottery, that he hath devised in these three 
chests, of gold, silver, and lead, (whereof who 
chooses his meaning, chooses you,) will, no doubt, 
never be chosen by any rightly, but one who you 
shall rightly love. But what -warmth is there in 
your affection towards any of these princely suitors 
that are already come ? 

POR. I pray thee, over-name them ; and as thou 

4 superfluity comes sooner by white hairs,'] i. e. Super- 
fluity sooner acquires white hairs ; becomes old. We still say, 
jlow did he came by it J MALONE 


namest them, I will describe them ; and, accord- 
ing to my description, level at my affection. 

NER. First, there is the Neapolitan prince. 5 

POR. Ay, that's a colt, indeed, for he doth no- 
thing but talk of his horse ; and he makes it a 
great appropriation to his own good parts, that he 
can shoe him himself: I am much afraid, my lady 
his mother played false with a smith. 

NER. Then, is there the county Palatine. 7 

* the Neapolitan prince.'} The Neapolitans in the time 

of Shakspeare, were eminently skilled in all that belongs to 
horsemanship ; nor have they, even now, forfeited their title to 
the same praise. STEEVENS. 

Though our author, when he composed this play, could not 
have read the following passage in Florio's translation of Mon- 
taigne's Essaies, 1603, he had perhaps met with the relation in 
some other book of that time : " While I was a young lad, (sa} r s 
old Montaigne,) I saw the prince of Salmona, at Naples, manage 
a young, a rough, and fierce horse, and show all manner of 
horsemanship ; to hold testons or reals under his knees and toes 
so fast as if they had been nayled there, and all to show his sure, 
steady, and unmoveable sitting." MALONE. 

Ay, that's a colt, indeed, for lie doth nothing but talk of his 
horse;] Colt is used for a witless, heady, gay youngster, whence 
the phrase used of an old man too juvenile, that he still retains 
his colt's tooth. See Henry VIII, Act I. sc. iii. See also Vol. 
VII. p. 54. JOHNSON. 

7 is there the county Palatine.] I am almost inclined to 

believe, that Shakspeare has more allusions to particular facts 
and persons than his readers commonly suppose. The count 
here mentioned was, perhaps, Albertus a Lasco, a Polish Pala- 
tine, who visited England in our author's life-time, was eagerly 
caressed, and splendidly entertained ; but running in debt, at 
last stole away, and endeavoured to repair his fortune by en- 
chantment. JOHNSON. 

County and count in old language were synonymous. The 
Count Alasco was in London in 1583. MALONE. 

sc. //. MERCHANT OF VENICE. 247 

POR. He doth nothing but frown ; as who should 
say, An if you mil not have me, choose: he hears 
merry tales, and smiles not : I fear, he will prove 
the weeping philosopher when he grows old, being 
so full of unmannerly sadness in his youth. I had 
rather be married to a death's head with a bone 
in his mouth, than to either of these. God de- 
fend me from these two ! 

NER. How say you by the French lord, Mon- 
sieur Le Bon ? 

POR. God made him, and therefore let him pass 
for a man. In truth, I know it is a sin to be a 
mocker ; But, he ! why, he hath a horse better 
than the Neapolitan's ; a better bad habit of frown- 
ing than the count Palatine : he is every man in no 
man : if a throstle 8 sing, he falls straight a caper- 
ing ; he will fence with his own shadow : if I should 
marry him, I should marry twenty husbands: If 
he would despise me, I would forgive him ; for if 
he love me to madness, I shall never requite him. 

NER. What say you then to Faulconbridge, the 
young baron of England ? 

POR. You know, I say nothing to him ; for he 
understands not me, nor I him : he hath neither 
Latin, French, nor Italian ; 9 and you will come 

8 if a throstle ] Old copies trassel. Corrected by 

Mr. Pope. The throstle is the thrush. The word occurs again 
jn A Midsummer~Night's Dream : 

" The throstle with his note so true ." MALONE. 

That the throstle is a distinct bird from the thrush, may be 
known from T. Newton's Herball to the Bible, quoted in a note 
on the foregoing passage in A Midsummer-Night's Dream, Vol. 
IV. p. 400. STEEVENS. 

9 he hath neither Latin, French, nor Italian j] A satire 

$>n the ignorance of the .young English travellers in our author's 


into the court and swear, that I have a poor penny- 
worth in the English. He is a proper man ? s pic- 
ture ; l But, alas ! who can converse with a dumb 
show ? How oddly he is suited ! I think, he bought 
his doublet in Italy, his round hose in France, his 
bonnet in Germany, and his behaviour every where. 

NER. What think you of the Scottish lord, 2 his 
neighbour ? 

FOR. That he hath a neighbourly charity in 
him ; for he borrowed a box of the ear of the En- 
glishman, and swore he would pay him again, 
when he was able : I think, the Frenchman be* 
came his surety, 3 and sealed under for another. 

NER. How like you the young German, 4 the 
duke of Saxony's nephew ? 

FOR. Very vilely in the morning, when he is 
sober ; and most vilely in the afternoon, when he 
is drunk : when he is best, he is a little worse than 
a man ; and when he is worst, he is little better 
than a beast : an the worst fall that ever fell, J 
hope, I shall make shift to go without him. 

1 < a proper mqn's picture ;] Proper is handsome. So, in, 

" This Ludovico is a. proper man." STEEVENS. 

* Scottish lord,'] Scottish, which is in the quarto, was 

omitted in the first folio, for fear of giving offence to King 
James's countrymen. THEOBALD. 

3 I think, the Frenchman became his surety,"] Alluding to the 
constant assistance, or rather constant promises of assistance, 
that the French gave the Scots in their quarrels with the En- 
glish. This alliance is here humorously satirized. WARBURTON. 

4 How like you the young German, &c.] In Shakspeare's time 
the Duke of Bavaria visited London, and was made Knight of 
the Garter. 

Perhaps in this enumeration of Portia's suitors, there may be 
some covert allusion to those of Queen Elizabeth. JOHNSOJJ. ' 


NER. If he should offer to choose, and choose the 
right casket, you should refuse to perform your 
father's will, if you should refuse to accept him. 

FOR. Therefore, for fear of the worst, I pray thee, 
set a deep glass of Rhenish wine on the contrary 
casket : for, if the devil be within, and that temp- 
tation without, I know he will choose it. I will do 
any thing, Nerissa, ere I will be married to a spunge. 

NER. You need not fear, lady, the having any of 
these lords j they have acquainted me with their 
determinations : which is indeed, to return to their 
home, and to trouble you with no more suit ; un- 
less you may be won by some other sort than your 
father's imposition, depending on the caskets. 

FOR. If I live to be as old as Sibylla, I will die 
as chaste as Diana, unless I be obtained by the 
manner of my father's will : I am glad this parcel 
of wooers are so reasonable ; for there is not one 
among them but I dote on his very absence, and I 
pray God grant them a fair departure. 

NER. Do you not remember, lady, in your fa- 
ther's time, a Venetian, a scholar, and a soldier, 
that came hither in company of the Marquis of 
Montferrat ? 

FOR. Yes, yes, it was Bassanio ; as I think, so 
he called. 

NER. True, madam ; he, of all the men that 
ever my foolish eyes looked upon, was the best de- 
serving a fair lady. 

FOR. I remember him well ; and I remember him 
worthy of thy praise. How now ! what news ? 


Enter a Servant. 

SERV. The four strangers seek for you, madam, 
to take their leave : and there is a fore-runner come 
from a fifth, the prince of Morocco ; who brings 
word, the prince, his master, will be here to-night. 

FOR. If I could bid the fifth welcome with so 
good heart as I can bid the other four farewell, I 
should be glad of his approach : if he have the 
condition 5 of a saint, and the complexion of a devil, 
I had rather he should shrive me than wive me. 
Come, Nerissa. Sirrah, go before. Whiles we 
shut the gate upon one wooer, another knocks at 
the door, \_Exeunt. 


Venice. A publick Place. 

SHY. Three thousand ducats, well. 
BASS. Ay, sir, for three months. 
SHY. For three months, well. 

BASS. For the which, as I told you, Antonio 
shall be bound. 

SHY. Antonio shall become bound, well. 

BASS. May you stead me ? Will you pleasure me ? 
Shall I know your answer ? 

SHY. Three thousand ducats, for three months, 
and Antonio bound. 

* the condition ] i. e. the temper, qualities. So, in 

Othello: " and then, of so gentle a condition!" MALONE. 


BASS. Your answer to that. 
SHY. Antonio is a good man. 

BASS. Have you heard any imputation to the 
contrary ? 

SHY. Ho, no, no, no, no j my meaning, in say- 
ing he is a good man, is to have you understand me, 
that he is sufficient : yet his means are in supposi- 
tion : he hath an argosy bound to Tripolis, another 
to the Indies; I understand moreover upon the Ri- 
alto, he hath a third at Mexico, a fourth for Eng- 
land, and other ventures he hath, squander'd 

abroad : But ships are but boards, sailors but men : 
there be land-rats, and water-rats, water-thieves, 
and land-thieves ; I mean, pirates ; and then, there 
is the peril of waters, winds, and rocks : The man 
is, notwithstanding, sufficient ; three thousand 
ducats ; I think, I may take his bond. # ; 

BASS. Be assured you may. 

SHY. I will be assured, I may ; and, that I may 
be assured, I will bethink me : May I speak with 
Antonio ? 

BASS. If it please you to dine with us. 

SHY. Yes, to smell pork ; to eat of the habita- 
tion which your prophet, the Nazarite, conjured 
the devil into : 6 1 will buy with you, sell with you, 
talk with you, walk with you, and so following ; 
but I will not eat with you, drink with you, nor 
pray with you. What news on the Rialto ? Who 
is he comes here ? ^ 

" * 

6 the habitation which your prophet, the Nazarile, con- 
jured the devil into:] Perhaps there is no character through all 
Shakspeare, drawn with more spirit, and just discrimination, than 
Shylock's. His language, allusions, and ideas, are every where 
so appropriate to a Jew, that Shylock might be exhibited for an 
exemplar of that peculiar people. HENLEY. 



BASS. This is signior Antonio. 

SHY. \_Aside.~] How like a fawning publican he 

looks ! 

J hate him for he is a Christian : 
But more, for that, in low simplicity, 
He lends out money gratis, and brings down 
The rate of usance here with us in Venice. 
If I can catch him once upon the hip, 7 
I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him. 
He hates our sacred nation ; and he rails, 
Even there where merchants most do congregate, 
On me, my bargains, and my well-won thrift, 
Which he calls interest : Cursed be my tribe, 
If I forgive him ! 

BASS. Shylock, do you hear ? 

SHY. I am debating of my present store ; 
And, by the near guess of my memory, 
I cannot instantly raise up the gross 
Of full three thousand ducats : What of that ? 
Tubal, a wealthy Hebrew of my tribe, 
Will furnish me : But soft ; How many months 
Do you desire ? Rest you fair, good signior ; 

Your worship was the last man in our mouths. 

ANT. Shylock, albeit I neither lend nor borrow, 
By taking, nor by giving of excess, 
Yet, to supply the ripe wants of my friend, 8 

7 If I can catch him once upon the hipj\ This, Dr. Johnson ob- 
serves, is a phrase taken from the practice of wrestlers ; and (he 
might have added) is an allusion to the angel's thus laying hold 
on Jacob when he wrestled with him. See Gen. xxxii. 24-, &c. 


* the ripe wants of my friend,] Ripe tuants are wants 


I'll break a custom : Is he yet possess'd, 9 
How much you would ? 

SHY. Ay, ay, three thousand ducats. 

ANT. And for three months. 

SHY. I had forgot, three months,you told me so. 

Well then, your bond ; and, let me see,-* But 

hear you ; 

Methought, you said, you neither lend, nor borrow, 
Upon advantage. 

ANT. I do never use it. 

SHY. When Jacob graz'd his uncle Laban's sheep. 
This Jacob from our holy Abraham was 
(As his wise mother wrought in his behalf,) 
The third possessor ; ay, he was the third. 

ANT. And what of him ? did he take interest ? 

SHY. No, not take interest ; not, as you would 


Directly interest : mark what Jacob did. 
When Laban and himself were compromis'd, 
That all the eanlings 1 which were streak'd and pied, 
Should fall as Jacob's hire ; the ewes, being rank, 
In the end of autumn turned to the rams ; 

come to the height, wants that can have no longer delay. Per- 
haps we might read rife wants, wants that come thick upon 
him. JOHNSON. 

Ripe is, I believe, the true reading. So, afterwards : 
But stay the very riping of the time." MALONE. 

Again, in A Midsummer-Night's Dream : 

" Here is a brief how many sports are ripe." 


possessed,] i. e. acquainted, informed. So, in Twelfth- 
Nights "Possess us, possess us, tell us something of him." 


] the eanlings ] Lambs just dropt : from ean, eniti. 



And when the work of generation was 
Between these woolly breeders in the act, 
The skilful shepherd peel'd me certain wands, 1 
And, in the doing of the deed of kind, 3 
He stuck them up before the fulsome ewes ; 4 

certain wartds,"] A wand in our author's time was the 

usual term for what we now call a switch. MALONE. 

3 o/'kind,] i. e. of nature. So, Turberville, in his book 

of Falconry, 1575, p. 127: 

" So great is the curtesy ofkind t as she ever seeketh to recom- 
pense any defect of hers with some other better benefit." 
Again, in Drayton's Mooncalf: 

" nothing doth so please her mind, 

" As to see mares and horses do their kind." COLLINS. 

* the fulsome ewes ;] Fulsome, I believe, in this instance, 

means lascivious, obscene. The same epithet is bestowed on the 
night, in Acolastus his After-Witte. By S. N. 1600: 

" Why shines not Phoebus in the fulsome night ?" 
In the play of Muleasses the Turk, Madam Fulsome a Bawd 
is introduced. The word, however, sometimes signifies offensive 
in smell. So, in Chapman's version of the 17th Book of the 
Odyssey : 

" and fill'd his fulsome scrip," &c. 

Again, in the dedication to Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy,. 
p. 63 : " noisome or fulsome for bad smells, as butcher's 
slaughter houses," &c. 

It is likewise used by Shakspeare in King John, to express 
some quality offensive to nature: 

" And stop this gap of breath with fulsome dust." 
Again, in Thomas Newton's Herball to the Bible, 8vo. 1587 : 

" Having a strong sent andfutsome smell, which neither men 
uor beastes take delight to smell unto." 
Again, ibid : 

" Boxe is naturally dry, j\iicelesse,fulsomely and loathsomely 

Again, in Arthur Golding's translation of Ovid's Metamor- 
phoses, B. XV : 

" But what have you poore sheepe misdone, a cattel meek 

and meeld, 
** Created for to manteine man, whosefulsome dugs doq 

" Sweete nectar," &c. STEEVENS. 


Who, then conceiving, did in eaning time 
Fall party-colour'd lambs, and those were Jacob's. 5 
This was a way to thrive, 6 and he was blest ; 
And thrift is blessing, if men steal it not. 

ANT. This was a venture, sir, that Jacob serv'd 


A thing not in his power to bring to pass, 
But sway'd, and fashion'd, by the hand of heaven. 
Was this inserted to make interest good ? 
Or is your gold and silver, ewes ana rams ? 

SHY. I cannot tell ; I make it breed as fast : 7 : 
But note me, signior. 

ANT. Mark you this, Bassanio, 

The devil can cite scripture for his purpose. 8 
An evil soul, producing holy witness, 

Minsheu supposes it to mean nauseous in so high a degree a*, 
to excite vomiting. MALONE. 

3 and those were Jacob's.] See Genesis, xxx. 37, &c. 


This was a way to thrive, &c.] So, in the ancient song of 
Gernutus the Jew of Venice : 

" His wife must lend a shilling, 
" For every weeke a penny, 
" Yet bring a pledge that is double worth, , 
" If that you will have any. 

" And see, likewise, you keepe your day, 

" Or else you lose it all : 
" This was the living of the wife, 

" Her cow she did it call." 

Her cote, &c. seems to have suggested to Shakspeare Shylock's 
argument for usury. PERCY. 

7 I make it breed asjast .] So, in our author's Venus awl 


" Foul cank'ring rust the hidden treasure frets ; 
" But gold that's put to use more gold begets." 


* The devil can cite scripture &c.] See St. Matthew, iv. 6. 


Is like a villain with a smiling cheek ; 

A goodly apple rotten at the heart ; 

O, what a goodly outside falshood hath 1 9 

SHY. Three thousand ducats, His a good round 

Three months from twelve, then let me see the rate. 

ANT. Well, Shylock, shall we be beholden to 
you ? 

SHY. Signior Antonio, many a time and oft, 
In the Rialto you have rated me 
About my monies, and my usances : * 

9 O, luhat a goodly outside falshood hath f] Falshood, which 
as truth means honesty, is taken here for treachery and knavery, 
does not stand forjalshood in general, but for the dishonesty now 
operating. JOHNSON. 

1 my usances :] Use and usance are both words anciently 

employ'd for usury, both in its favourable and unfavourable sense. 
So, in The English Traveller, 1633 : 

'* Give me my use t give me my principal." 
Again : 

" A toy ; the main about five hundred pounds, 

" And the use fifty." STEEVENS. 

Mr. Ritson asks, whether Mr. Steevens is not mistaken in 
saying that use and usance, were accidentally employed for usury. 
" Use and usance, (he adds) mean nothing more than interest; 
and the former word is still used by country people in the same 
sense." That Mr. Steevens, however, is right respecting the 
word in the text, will appear from the following quotation : 
" I knowe a gentleman borne to five hundred pounde lande, did 
never recey ve above a thousand pound of nete money, and within 
certeyne yeres ronnynge still upon usurie and double usurie, the 
merchants termyng it usance and double usance, by a more clenly 
name he did owe to master usurer five thousand pound at the last, 
borowyng but one thousande pounde at first, so that his land was 
clean gone, beynge five hundred poundes inherytance, for one 
thousand pound in money, and the usurie of the same money for 
so fewe yeres ; and the man now beggeth." Wylson on Usurye t 
1572, p. 32. REED. 

Usance, in our author's time, I believe, signified interest of 
money. It has been already used in this play in that sense: 


Still have I borne it with a patient shrug; 2 
For sufference is the badge of all our tribe : 
You call me misbeliever, cut-throat dog, 
And spit 3 upon my Jewish gaberdine, 
And all for use of that which is mine own. 
Well then, it now appears, you need my help : 
Go to then ; you come to me, and you say, 
Shylockf we 'would have monies; You say so ; 
You, that did void your rheum upon my beard, 
And foot me, as you spurn a stranger cur 
Over your threshold ; monies is your suit. 
What should I say to you ? Should I not say, 
Hath a dog money? is it possible, 
A cur can lend three thousand ducats ? or 
Shall I bend low, and in a bondman's key, 
With 'bated breath, and whispering humbleness, 
Say this, 

" He lends out money gratis, and brings down 
" The rate of usance with us here in Venice." 
Again, in a subsequent part, he says, he will take " no doit 
of usance for his monies." Here it must mean interest. 


* Still have I borne it ixith a patient shrug ;] So, in Mar- 
lowe's Jew of Malta, (written and acted before 1593,) printed 
in 1633 : 

" I learn'd in Florence how to kiss my hand, 

*' Heave up my shoulders when they call me dogge." 


3 And spit ] The old copies always read spet, wliich spelling 
is followed by Milton : 

" the womb 

" Of Stygian darkness spets her thickest gloom.'* 


4 Shylock^ Our author, as Dr. Farmer informs me, took the 
name of his Jew from an old pamphlet entitled : Caleb Shillocke, 
Ms Prophesie ; or the Jewes Prediction. London, printed for 
T. P. (Thomas Pavyer.) No date. STEEVENS. 



Fair sir, you spit on me on Wednesday last; 
You spurn* d me such a day ; another time 
You caWd me dog ; and for these courtesies 
Pll lend you thus much monies. 

ANT. I am as like to call thee so again, 
To spit on thee again, to spurn thee too. 
If thou wilt lend this money, lend it not 
As to thy friends ; (for when did friendship take 
A breed for barren metal of his friend ?) 5 
But lend it rather to thine enemy ; 
Who if he break, thou may'st with better face 
Exact the penalty. 

SHY. Why, look you, how you storm ! 

I would be friends with you, and have your love. 
Forget the shames that you have stain'd me with, 
Supply your present wants, and take no doit 
Of usance for my monies, and you'll not hear me : 
This is kind I offer. 

ANT. This were kindness. 

SHY. This kindness will I show : 

* A breed for barren metal of his friend ?] A breed, that i 
interest money bred from the principal. By the epithet barren, 
the author would instruct us in the argument on which the ad- 
vocates against usury went, which is this; that money is a barren 
thing, and cannot, like corn and cattle, multiply itself. And to 
set off the absurdity of this kind of usury, he put breed and bar- 
ren in opposition. WARBURTON. 

Dr. Warburton very truly interprets this passage. Old Merei 
says, " Usurie and encrease by gold and silver is unlawful, be- 
cause against nature ; nature hath made them sterill and barren, 
usurie makes them procreative." FARMER. 

The honour of starting this conceit belongs to Aristotle. See 
De Repub. Lib. I. HOLT WHITE. 

Thus both the quarto printed by Roberts, and that by Heyes, 
in 1600. The folio has a breed of. M ALONE. 


Go with me to a notary, seal me there 

Your single bond ; and, in a merry sport, 

If you repay me not on such a day, 

In such a place, such sum, or sums, as are 

Express'd in the condition, let the forfeit 

Be nominated for an equal pound 

Of your fair flesh, to be cut off and taken 

In what part of your body pleaseth me. 

ANT. Content, in faith ; I'll seal to such a bond, 
And say, there is much kindness in the Jew. 

BASS. You shall not seal to such a bond for me, 
I'll rather dwell in my necessity. 6 

ANT. Why, fear not, man ; I will not forfeit it ; 
Within these two months, that's a month before 
This bond expires, I do expect return 
Of thrice three times the value of this bond* 

SHY. O father Abraham,- what these Christians 


Whose own hard dealings teaches them suspect 
The thoughts of others ! Pray you, tell me this ; 
If he should break his day, what should I gain 
By the exaction of the forfeiture ? 
A pound of man's flesh, taken from a man, 
Is not so estimable, profitable neither, 
As flesh of muttons, beefs, or goats. I say, 
To buy his favour, I extend this friendship : 
If he will take it, so ; if not, adieu ; 
And, for my love, I pray you, wrong me not* 

ANT. Yes, Shylock, I will seal unto this bond. 

dwell in my necessity.'] To dvoell seems in this place to 

mean the same as to continue. To abide has both the senses of 
habitation and continuance. JOHNSON. 

s 2 


SHY. Then meet me forthwith at the notary's ; 
Give him direction for this merry bond, 
And I will go and purse the ducats straight ; 
See to my house, left in the fearful guard 7 
Of an unthrifty knave ; and presently 
I will be with you. [Exit. 

ANT. Hie thee, gentle Jew. 

This Hebrew will turn Christian ; he grows kind. 

BASS. I like not fair terms, 8 and a villain's mind. 

ANT. Come on ; in this there can be no dismay, 
My ships come home a month before the day. 


7 left in the fearful guard &c.] Fearful gttard, is a guard 

that is not to be trusted, but gives cause of fear. To fear was 
anciently to give as well as feel terrours. JOHNSON. 

So, in King Henry I V.P.I: 

" A mighty and & fearful head they are." STEEVENS. 

8 / like not fair terms,] Kind words, good language. 



Belmont. A Room in Portia's House. 

Flourish of Cornets. Enter the Prince of Morocco, 9 
and his Train; PORTIA, NERISSA, and other of her 

MOR. Mislike me not for my complexion, 
The shadow'd livery of the burnish'd sun, 
To whom I am a neighbour, and near bred. 
Bring me the fairest creature northward born, 
Where Phoebus' fire scarce thaws the icicles, 
And let us make incision for your love, 
To prove whose blood is reddest, his, or mine. 1 
I tell .thee, lady, this aspect of mine 
Hath fear'd the valiant ; 2 by my love, I swear, 
The best-regarded virgins of our clime 
Have lov'd it too : I would not change this hue, 
Except to steal your thoughts, my gentle queen. 

9 the Prince of Morocco j] The old stage direction is 

" Enter Morochus a tawnie Moore, all in white, and three or 
foare followers accordingly," &c. STEEVENS. 

1 To prove "whose blood is reddest, his, or mine.] To understand 
how the tawny prince, whose savage dignity is very well sup- 
ported, means to recommend himself by this challenge, it must 
be remembered that red blood is a traditionary sign of courage : 
Thus Macbeth calls one of his frighted soldiers, a lily-liver* d 
boy ; again, in this play, Cowards are said to have livers as white 
as milk; and an effeminate and timorous man is termed a milk- 
sop. JOHNSON. 

It is customary in the east for lovers to testify the violence of 
their passion by cutting themselves in the sight of their mistresses. 
See Habits du Levant, pi. 43, and Picart's Religious Ceremonies, 
Vol. VII. p. 111. HARRIS. 

* Hath fear'd the valiant;} i. e. terrify 'd. To fear is often 

used by our old writers, in this sense. So, in K. Henry VI. P. Ill: 

" For Warwick was a bug that^arW us all." STEEVENS. 


POR. In terms of choice I am not solely led 
By nice direction of a maiden's eyes : 
Besides, the lottery of my destiny 
Bars me the right of voluntary choosing : 
But, if my father had not scanted me, 
And hedg'd me by his wit, 3 to yield myself 
His wife, who wins me by that means I told you. 
Yourself, renowned prince, then stood as fair, 
As any comer I have look'd on yet, 
For my affection. 

MOR. Even for that I thank you ; 

Therefore, I pray you, lead me to the caskets, 
To try my fortune. By this scimitar, 
That slew the Sophy, 4 and a Persian prince, 
That won three fields of Sultan Solyman, - 
I would out-stare the sternest eyes that look, 
Out-brave the heart most daring on the earth, 
Pluck the young sucking cubs from the she bear, 
Yea, mock the lion when he roars for prey, 
To win thee, lady : But, alas the while ! 
If Hercules, and Lichas, play at dice 
Which is the better man, the greater throw 

3 And hedged me by his wit,] I suppose we may safely read 
and hedg'd me by his will. Confined me by his will. 


As the ancient signification of tait t was sagacity, or power of 
mind, I have not displaced the original reading. See our author, 
passim. STEEVENS. 

4 That slew the Sophy, &c.] Shakspeare seldom escapes well 
when he is entangled with geography. The Prince of Morocco 
must have travelled far to kill the Sophy of Persia. JOHNSON. 

It were well, if Shakspeare had never entangled himself -with 
geography worse than in the present case. If the Prince of Mo- 
rocco be supposed to have served in the army of Sultan Solyman 
(the second, for instance,) I see no geographical objection to his 
having killed the Sophi of Persia. See D'Herbelot in Solyman 
Sen Selim. TYRWIIITT. 


May turn by fortune from the weaker hand : 
So is Alcides beaten by his page ; 5 
And so may I, blind fortune leading me, 
Miss that which one unworthier may attain, 
And die with grieving. 

FOR. You must take your chance ; 

And either not attempt to choose at all, 
Or swear,before you choose, if you choose wrong, 
Never to speak to lady afterward 
In way of marriage ; therefore be advis'd. 6 

MOR. Nor will not ; come, bring me unto my 

POR. First, forward to the temple ; after dinner 
Your hazard shall be made. 

* So is Alcides beaten by his page ;] The ancient copies read 
his rage. STEEVENS. 

Though the whole set of editions concur in this reading, it is 
corrupt at bottom. Let us look into the poet's .drift, and the 
history of the persons mentioned in the context. If Hercules, 
(says he,) and Lichas were to play at dice for the decision of their 
superiority, Lichas, the weaker man, might have the better cast 
of the two. But how then is Alcides beaten by his rage? The 
poet means no more, than, if Lichas had the better throw, so 
might Hercules himself be beaten by Lichas. And who was he, 
but a poor unfortunate servant of Hercules, that unknowingly 
brought his master the envenomed shirt, dipt in the blood of the 
Centaur Nessus, and was thrown headlong into the sea for his 
pains ; this one circumstance of Lichas's quality known, suffici- 
ently ascertains the emendation I have substituted, page instead 
of rage. THEOBALD. 

8 therefore be advis'd.] Therefore be not precipitant ; 

consider well what you are to do. Advis'd is the word opposite 
to rash. JOHNSON. 

So, in King Richard III : 

" who in my wrath 

" Kneel'd at my feet, and bade me be advis'd?" 



MOR. Good fortune then ! [Cornets. 

To make me bless't, 7 or cursed' st among men. 



Venice. A Street. 

LAUN. Certainly my conscience will serve me to 
run from this Jew, my master : The fiend is at 
mine elbow ; and tempts me, saying to me, Gobbo, 
Launcelot Gobbo, good Launcelot, or good Gobbo, 
or good Launcelot Gobbo, use your legs, take the 
start, run away : My conscience says, no ; take 
heed, honest Launcelot ; take heed, honest Gobbo ; or, 
as aforesaid, honest Launcelot Gobbo ; do not run ; 
scorn running with thy heels : 9 Well, the most cou- 

7 bless't,"] i. e. blessed'st. So, in King Richard III: 

" harmless't creature ;" a frequent vulgar contraction in 
Warwickshire. STEEVENS. 

The old copies read Enter the Clown alone ; and through- 
out the play this character is called the Clown at most of his en-> 
trances or exits. STEEVENS. 

9 scorn running with thy heels :~\ Launcelot was designed 

for a wag, but perhaps not for an absurd one. We may there- 
fore suppose, no such expression would have been put in his 
mouth, as our author had censured in another character. When 
Pistol says, " he hears with ea?s," Sir Hugh Evans very properly 
is made to exclaim, " The tevil and his tain ! what phrase is this, 
he hears with ears? why it is affectations." To talk of running 
with one's heels, has scarce less of absurdity. It has been sug- 
gested, that we should read and point the passage as follows : 
" Do not run ; scorn running ; withe thy heels:" i. e. connect 
them with a withe, (a band made of osiers) as the legs of cattle 
are hampered in some countries, to prevent their straggling fay 


rageous fiend bids me pack ; via! says the fiend j 
away ; says the fiend, for the heavens; l rouse up a 
brave mind, says the fiend, and run. Well, my 
conscience, hanging about the neck of my heart, 
says very wisely to me, my honest friend Launce- 
lot, being an honest man's son, or rather an honest 
woman's son ; for, indeed, my father did some- 
thing smack, something grow to, he had a kind of 
taste ; well, my conscience says, Launcelot, budge 
not; budge, says the fiend; budge not, says my con- 
science : Conscience, say I, you counsel well ; fiend, 

from home. The Irishman in Sir John Oldcastle petitions to be 
hanged in a withe; and Chapman, in his version of the tenth 
Odyssey, has the following passage : 
" There let him lie 
" Till I, of cut-up osiers, did imply 
" A withy a fathom long, with which his feete 
" I made together in a sure league meete/' 
I think myself bound, however, to add, that in Much Ado 
about Nothing, the very phrase, that in the present instance is 
disputed, occurs : 

" O illegitimate construction! I scorn that with my heels; 19 
i. e. I recalcitrate, kick up contemptuously at the idea, as ani- 
mals throw up their hind legs. Such also may be Launcelot's 
meaning. STEEVENS. 

I perceive no need of alteration. The pleonasm appears to 
me consistent with the general tenour of Launcelot's speech. He 
had just before expressed the same thing in three different ways: 
" Use your legs; take the start; run away." MALONE. 

1 away! says thejiend, for the heavens;] As it is not 
likely that Shakspeare should make the Devil conjure Launcelot 
to do any thing for Heaven's sake, I have no doubt but this pas- 
sage is corrupt, and that we ought to read : 

" Away ! says the fiend, for the haven" 

By which Launcelot was to make his escape, if he was deter- 
mined to run away. M. MASON. 

away! says the jiend, for the heavens;] i. e. Begone to 

the heavens. So again, in Much Ado about Nothing : " So I 
deliver up my apes, [to the devil,'] and away to St. reter, for 
the heavens''' MALONE. 


say I, you counsel well : to be ruled by my con- 
science, I should stay with the Jew my master, who, 
(God bless the mark!) is a kind of devil ; and, to 
run away from the Jew, I should be ruled by the 
fiend, who, saving your reverence, is the devil him^ 
self: Certainly, the Jew is the very devil incarna- 
tion ; and, in my conscience, my conscience is but 
a kind of hard conscience, to offer to counsel me 
to stay with the Jew : The fiend gives the more 
friendly counsel : I will run, fiend ; my heels are 
at your commandment, I will run. 

Enter old GoBso, 2 with a Basket. 

GOB. Master young man, you, I pray you ; 
which is the way to master Jew's ? 

LAUN. \_Aside.~] O heavens, this is my true be- 
gotten father ! who, being more than sand-blind, 
high-gravel blind, knows me not : I will try con- 
clusions 3 with him. 

GOB. Master young gentleman, I pray you, 
which is the way to master Jew's ? 

* Enter old Gobbo,] It may be inferred from the name of 
Gobbo, that Shakspeare designed this character to be repre- 
sented with a hump-back. STEEVENS. 

3 try conclusions ] To try conclusions is to try expe- 
riments. So, in Hey wood's Golden Age, 1611 : 

" since favour 

" Cannot attain thy love, I'll try conclusions." 
Again, in the Lancashire Witches, 1634 : 

*' Nay then I'll try conclusions : 

" Mare, Mare, see thou be, 

" And where I point thee, carry me." STEEVENS. 

So quarto R. Quarto H. and folio read confusions. 


sc. ii. MERCHANT OF VENICE. 267 

LAUN. Turn up on your right hand, 4 at the next 
burning, but, at the next turning of all, on your 
left ; marry, at the very next turning, turn of no 
hand, but turn down indirectly to the Jew's house. 

GOB. By God's sonties, 5 'twill be a hard way to 
hit. Can you tell me whether one Launcelot, 
that dwells with him, dwell with him, or no ? 

LAUN. Talk you of young master Launcelot? 
Mark me now; [aside.~] now will I raise the waters: 
Talk you of young master Launcelot ? 

GOB. No master, sir, but a poor man's son ; his 
father, though I say it, is an honest exceeding 
poor man, and, God be thanked, well to live. 

LAUN. Well, let his father-be what he will, we 
talk of young master Launcelot. 

GOB. Your worship's friend, and Launcelot, sir/' 

4 Turn up on your right handy &c.] This arch and perplexed 
direction to puzzle the enquirer, seems to imitate that of Syrus 
to Demea in the Brothers of Terence : 

" ubi eas praeterieris, 

" Ad sinistram hac recta platea : ubi ad Dianae veneris, 
" Ito ad dextram : prius quam ad portam venias," &c. 


* God's sonties,'] I know not exactly of what oath this 

is a corruption. I meet with God's santy in Decker's Honest 
Whore, 1635. 

Again, in The longer thou livest the more Fool thou art, a 
comedy, bl. 1. without date: 

" God's santie, this is a goodly book indeed." 

Perhaps it was once customary to swear by the sante, i. e. 
health, of the Supreme Being, or by his saints ; or, as Mr. Rit- 
son observes to me, by his sanctity. Oaths of such a turn are 
not unfrequent among our ancient writers. All, however, seem 
to have been so thoroughly convinced of the crime of profane 
swearing, that they were content to disguise their meaning by 
abbreviations which were permitted silently to terminate in 
irremediable corruptions. STEEVENS. 

5 Your vcor ship's friend, and Launcelot, sir."] Dr. Farmer is 


LAUN. But I pray you ergo, old man, ergo, I be- 
seech you ; Talk you of young master Launcelot? 

GOB. Of Launcelot, an't please your mastership. 

LAUN. Ergo, master Launcelot; talk not of 
master Launcelot, father ; for the young gentle- 
man (according to fates and destinies, and such 
odd sayings, the sisters three, and such branches 
of learning,) is, indeed, deceased ; or, as you 
would say, in plain terms, gone to heaven. 

GOB. Marry, God forbid ! the boy was the very 
staff <of my age, my very prop. 

LAUN. Do I look like a cudgel, or a hovel-post, 
a staff, or a prop ? Do you know me, father ? 

GOB. Alack the day, I know you not, young 
gentleman : but, I pray you, tell me, is my boy, 
(God rest his soul !) alive, or dead ? 

LAUN. Do you not know me, father ? 

GOB. Alack, sir, I am sand-blind, I know you not. 

LAUN. Nay, indeed, if you had your eyes, you 
might fail of the knowing me : it is a wise father, 
that knows his own child. Well, old man, I will 
tell you news of your son : Give me your blessing: 7 
truth will come to light ; murder cannot be hid 
long,aman's son may ; but, in the end,truth will out. 

of opinion we should read Gobbo instead of Launcelot ; and ob- 
serves, that phraseology like this occurs also in Love's Labour's 
Lost : 

" your servant, and Costard" STEEVENS. 

and Launcelot, sir.] i.e. plain Launcelot; and not, as 

you terra him, master Launcelot. MA LONE. 

7 Give me your blessing:"] In this conversation between 
Launcelot and his blind father, there are frequent references to 
the deception practised on the blindness of Isaac, and the bless- 
ing obtained in consequence of it. HENLEY. 


GOB. Pray you, sir, stand up ; I am sure, you 
are not Launcelot, my boy. 

LAUN. Pray you, let's have no more fooling 
about it, but give me your blessing ; I am Launce- 
lot, your boy that was, your son that is, your child 
that shall be. 8 

GOB. I cannot think, you are my son. 

LAUN. I know not what I shall think of that : 
but I am Launcelot, the Jew's man ; and, I am 
sure, Margery, your wife, is my mother. 

GOB. Her name is Margery, indeed : I'll be 
sworn, if thou be Launcelot, thou art mine own 
flesh and blood. Lord worshipp'd might he be ! 
what a beard hast thou got ! thou hast got more 
hair on 'thy chin, than Dobbin my thill-horse has 
on his tail. 9 

8 your child that shall be.~\ Launcelot probably here in- 
dulges himself in talking nonsense. So, afterwards: " you may 
tell every finger I have with my ribs." An anonymous critick 
supposes : " he means to say, I tvas your child, I am your boy, 
and shall ever be your sow." But son not being first mentioned, 
but placed in the middle member of the sentence, there is no 
ground for supposing such an inversion intended by our author. 
Besides, if Launcelot is to be seriously defended, what would his 
father learn, by being told that he who was his child, shall be 
his son? MALONE. 

Launcelot may mean, that he shall hereafter prove his claim to 
the title of child, by his dutiful behaviour. Thus, says the Prince 
of Wales to King Henry IV: I will redeem my character: 
'* And, in the closing of some glorious day, 
" Be bold to tell you, that / am your son." STEEVENS. 

9 my thill-horse ] Thill or Jill, means the shafts of a 

cart or waggon. So, in A Woman never vex'dy 1632 : 

" 1 will 

" Give you the fore-horse place, and I will be 
P theflls." 
Again, in Fortune by Land and Sea, 1655, by Thomas Hey- 


LAUN. It should seem then, that Dobbin's tail 
grows backward; I am sure he had more hair on 
his tail, than I have on my face, when I last saw 

GOB. Lord, how art thou changed ! How dost 
thou and thy master agree ? I have brought him a 
present ; How 'gree you now ? 

LAUN. Well, well; but, for mine own part, as 
I have set up my rest to run away, so I will not 
rest till I have run some ground : my master's a 
very Jew ; Give him a present ! give him a halter : 
I am famish'd in ^his service ; you may tell every 
finger I have with my ribs. Father, I am glad 
you are come ; give me your present to one master 
Bassanio, who, indeed, gives rare new liveries ; if 
I serve not him, I will run as far as God has any 
ground. O rare fortune ! here comes the man ; 
to him, father ; for I am a Jew, if I serve the Jew 
any longer. 

Enter BASSANIO, with LEONARDO, and other 

BASS. You may do so; but let it be so hasted, 
that supper be ready at the farthest by five of the 
clock: See these letters deliver'd ; put the liveries 

wood and W. Rowley : " acquaint you with Jock the fore- 
horse, and Fib ihejil-horse," &c. STEEVENS. 

All the ancient copies have pAzY-horse, but no dictionary that 
I have met with acknowledges the word. It is, I am informed, 
a corruption used in some counties for the proper term, thill- 
horse. MALONE. 

See Christie's Catalogue of the effects of F P , Esq. 

1794, p. 6, lot 50: "Chain-harness for two horses, and phiU 
harness for two horses." STEEVENS. 

Phil or Jill is the term in all the midland counties, thitt> 
would not be understood. HARRIS. 


to making ; and desire Gratiano to come anon to 
my lodging. [Exit a Servant. 

LAUN. To him, father. 

GOB. God bless your worship ! 

BASS. Gramercy; Would'st thou aught with me? 

GOB. Here's my son, sir, a poor boy, 

LAUN. Not a poor boy, sir, but the rich Jew's 
man ; that would, sir, as my father shall specify, 

GOB. He hath a great infection, sir, as one 
would say, to serve 

LAUN. Indeed, the short and the long is, I serve 
the Jew, and I have a desire, as my father shall 

GOB. His master and he, (saving your worship's 
reverence,) are scarce cater-cousins : 

LAUN. To be brief, the very truth is, that the 
Jew having done me wrong, doth cause me, as my 
father, being I hope an old man, shall frutify unto 

GOB. I have here a dish of doves, that I would 
bestow upon your worship ; and my suit is, 

LAUN. In very brief, the suit is impertinent to 
myself, as your worship shall know by this honest 
old man ; and, though I say it, though old man, 
yet, poor man, my father. 

BASS. One speak for both ; What would you? 

LAUN. Serve you, sir. 

GOB. This is the very defect of the matter, sir. 

BASS. I know thee well, thou hast obtain'd thy 


Shylock, thy master, spoke with me this day, 
And hath preferr'd thee, if it be preferment, 


To leave a rich Jew's service, to become 
The follower of so poor a gentleman. 

LAUN. The old proverb is very well parted be- 
tween my master Shylock and you, sir j you have 
the grace of God, sir, and he hath enough. 

BASS. Thou speak'st it well: Go, father with 
.v r 
thy son : 

Take leave of thy old master, and enquire 
My lodging out : Give him a livery 

[To his Followers. 
More guarded 1 than his fellows' : See it done. 

LAUN. Father, in : I cannot get a service, no ; 
I have ne'er a tongue in my head. Well; [Look- 
ing on his palm.~\ if any man in Italy have a fairer 
table, which doth offer to swear upon a book. 2 I 

1 more guarded ] i. e. more ornamented. So, in So- 

liman and Perseda, 1599 : 

** Piston. But is there no reward for my false dice ? 

" Erastus. Yes, sir, a guarded suit from top to toe." 

Again, in Albumazar, 1615: 

" turn my ploughboy Dick to two guarded footmen." 


* Well; if any man in Italy have a fairer table, 'which doth 
offer to swear upon a book.'} Table is the palm of the hand ex- 
tended. Launcelot congratulates himself upon his dexterity and 
good fortune, and, in the height of his rapture, inspects his hand, 
and congratulates himself upon the felicities in his table. The 
act of expanding his hand puts him in mind of the action in 
which the palm is shown, by raising it to lay it on the book, in 
judicial attestations. Well, says he, if any man in Italy have a 
fairer table, that doth offer to swear upon a book, Here he stops 
with an abruptness very common, and proceeds to particulars. 


Dr. Johnson's explanation thus far appears to me perfectly just. 
In support of it, it should be remembered, that which is fre- 
quently used by our author and his contemporaries, for the per- 
sonal pronoun, who. It is still so used in our Liturgy. In The 
Merry Wives of Windsor, Mrs. Quickly addresses Fenton in the 
same language as is here used by Launcelot: " I'll be sworn on 


shall have good fortune ; 3 Go to, here's a simple 
line of life ! here's a small trifle of wives : Alas, 

a book she loves you :" a vulgarism that is now superseded by 
another of the same import " I'll take my bible-oath of it.*' 


Without examining the expositions of this passage, given by 
the three learned annotators, [Mr. T. Dr. W. and Dr. J.] I shall 
briefly set down what appears to me to be the whole meaning of 
it. Launcelot, applauding himself for his success with Bassanio, 
and looking into tne palm of his hand, which by fortune-tellers 
is called the table, breaks out into the following reflection: 
Well ; if any man in Italy have a fairer table; which doth offer 
to swear upon a book, I shall have good fortune i. e. a taole, 
which doth (not only promise, but) offer to swear (and to swear 
upon a book too) that I shall have good fortune. (He omits the 
conclusion of the sentence which might have been) I am much 
mistaken ; or, Ptt be hanged, &c. TY.RWHITT. 

3 / shall have good fortune ;~\ The whole difficulty of this pas- 
sage ( concerning which there is a great difference of opinion 
among the commentators,) arose, as I conceive, from a word 
being omitted by the compositor or transcriber. I am persuaded 
the author wrote I shall have no good fortune. These words 
are not, I believe, connected with what goes before, but with 
what follows ; and begin a new sentence, Shakspeare, I think, 
meant, that Launcelot, after this abrupt speech Well; if any 
man that offers to swear upon a book, has a fairer table than 
mine [I am much mistaken:] should proceed in the same 
manner in which he began : I shall have no good fortune ; go 
to : here's a simple line of life ! &c. So, before : " I canrcoi 
get a service, no ; I have ne'er a tongue in my head." And 
afterwards: " Alas! fifteen wives is nothing. 11 The Nurse, in 
Romeo and Juliet, expresses herself exactly in the same style : 
*' Well, you have made a simple choice ; you know not how to 
choose a man; Romeo? no, not he; he is not the flower of 
courtesy," &c. So also, in King Henry IV: " Here's no fine 
villainy!" Again, more appositely, in the anonymous play of 
King Henry V : " Ha! me have no good luck." Again, in 
The Merry Wives of Windsor: " We are simple men; we do 
not know what's brought about under the profession of fortune- 

Almost every passage in these plays, in which the sense is ab- 
ruptly broken off, as I have more than once observed, has been 



fifteen wives is nothing ; eleven widows, and nine 
maids, is a simple coming-in for one man : and 
then, to 'scape drowning thrice ; and to be in peril 
of my life with the edge of a feather-bed ; 4 here 
are simple 'scapes ! Well, if fortune be a woman, 
she's a good wench for this gear. Father, come ; 
I'll take my leave of the Jew in the twinkling of 
an eye. \_Exeunt LAUNCELOT and old GOBBO. 

BASS. I pray thee, good Leonardo, think on this; 
These things being bought, and orderly bestow'd, 
Return in haste, for I do feast to-night 
My best-esteem'd acquaintance ; hie thee, go. 

LEON. My best endeavours shall be done herein. 


GRA. Where is your master ? 

LEON. Yonder, sir, he walks. 

Exit LEONARD p. 

GRA. Signior Bassanio, 

PASS, GratianoJ 

It is hot without some reluctance that I have excluded this 
emendation from a place in the text. Had it been proposed by 
any fonner editor or commentator, I should certainly have 
adopted it; being convinced that it is just. But the danger of 
innovation is so great, and partiality to our own conceptions so 
delusive, that it becomes every editor to distrust his own emenda- 
tions ; and I am particularly inclined to do so in the present in- 
stance, in which I happen to differ from that most respectable and 
judicious critick, whose name is subjoined to the preceding note. 
According to his idea, the mark of an abrupt sentence should 
not be after the word book, but fortune. MALONE. 

4 in peril of my life tuith the edge of a feather-bed ;~] 

A cant phrase to signify the danger of marrying. A certain 
French writer uses the same kind of figure ; " O mon Ami, 
j'aimerois mieux e"tre tombee sur la point d'un Oreiller, & m'tre 
rompft le Cou ." WARBURTON. 


GRA. I have a suit to you. 

BASS. You have obtain* d it. 

GRA. You must not deny me ; I must go with 
you to Belmont. 

BASS. Why, then you must; But hear thee, 

Gratiano ; 

Thou art too wild, too rude, and bold of voice j 
Parts, that become thee happily enough, 
And in such eyes as ours appear not faults ; 
But where thou art not known, why, there they 


Something too liberal ; 5 pray thee, take pain 
To allay with some cold drops of modesty 
Thy skipping spirit ; 6 lest, through thy wild beha- 

I be misconstrued in the place I go to, 
And lose my hopes. 

GRA. Signior Bassanio, hear me : 

If I do not put on a sober habit, 
Talk with respect, and swear but now and then, 
Wear prayer-books in my pocket, look demurely ; 
Nay more, while grace is saying, hood mine eyes 7 
Thus with my hat, and sigh, and say, amen j 
Use all the observance of civility, 

* Something too liberal;} Liberal I have already shown to be 
mean, gross, coarse, licentious. JOHNSON. 

So, in Othello : "Is he not a most profane and liberal coun- 
sellor?" STEEVENS. 

6 allay with some cold drops of modesty 
Thy skipping spirit ;] So, in Hamlet : 

" Upon the heat and flame of thy distemper 
" Sprinkle cool patience." STEEVENS. 

7 hood mine eyes ] Alluding to the manner o fcovering 

a hawk's eyes. So, in The Tragedy ofCrcesus^ 1604: 

' And like a hooded hawk," &c. STEEVENS. 

T 2 


Like one well studied in a sad ostent 8 

To please his grandam, never trust me more. 

BASS. Well, we shall see your bearing. 9 

GRA. Nay, but I bar to-night ; you shall not 

gage me 
By what we do to-night. 

BASS. No, that were pity ; 

I would entreat you rather to put on 
Your boldest suit of mirth, for we have friends 
That purpose merriment : But fare you well, 
I have some business. 

GRA. And I must to Lorenzo, and the rest ; 
But we will visit you at supper-time. [Exeunt. 

9 sad ostent ] Grave appearance ; show of staid and 

serious behaviour. JOHNSON. 

Ostent is a word very commonly used for shovo among the old 
dramatick writers. So, in Heywood's Iron Age, 1632: 

" you in those times 

" Did not affect ostent" 
Again, in Chapman's translation of Homer, edit. 1598, B. VI: 

" did bloodie vapours raine 

" For sad ostent," &c. STEEVENS. 

9 your bearing.] Bearing is carriage, deportment. So, 

in Twelfth-Night.- 

" Take and give back affairs, and their despatch, 
" With such a smooth, discreet, and stable bearing." 


sc. in. MERCHANT OF VENICE. 277 


The same. A Room in Shylock's House. 

JES. I am sorry, thou wilt leave my father so ; 
Our house is hell, and thou, a merry devil, 
Didst rob it of some taste of tediousness : 
But fare thee well ; there is a ducat for thee. 
And, Launcelot, soon at supper shalt thou see 
Lorenzo, who is thy new master's guest : 
Give him this letter ; do it secretly, 
And so farewell ; I would not have my father 
See me talk with thee. 

LtAUN. Adieu ! tears exhibit my tongue. 
Most beautiful pagan,- most sweet Jew! If a Chris- 
tian do not play the knave, and get thee, 1 ! am much 

1 and get thee,'] I suspect that the waggish Launcelot 

designed this for a broken sentence " and get thee" implying, 
get thee txith child. Mr. Malone, however, supposes him to 
mean only carry thee away from thy father's house. 


I should not have attempted to explain so easy a passage, if 
the ignorant editor of the second folio, thinking probably that 
the word get must necessarily mean beget, had not altered the 
text, and substituted did in the place of do, the reading of all 
the old and authentick editions ; in which he has been copied by 
every subsequent editor. Launcelot is not talking about Jes- 
sica's father, but about her future husband. I am aware that, 
in a subsequent scene, he says to Jessica : " Marry, you may 
partly hope your father got you not ;" but he is now on another 
subject. MALONE. 

From the general censure expressed in the preceding note I 
take leave to exempt Mr. Reed ; who, by following the first folio, 
was no sharev in the inexpiable guilt of the second. STEEVENS. 


deceived : But, adieu! these foolish drops do some- 
what drown my manly spirit; adieu! [Exit. 

JES. Farewell, good Launcelot. 
Alack, what heinous sin is it in me, 
To be asham'd to be my father's child ! 
But though I am a daughter to his blood, 
I am not to his manners : O Lorenzo, 
If thou keep promise, I shall end this strife j 
Become a Christian, and thy loving wife. [Exit, 


The same. A Street. 


LoR. Nay, we will slink away in supper-time; 
Disguise us at my lodging, and return 
All in an hour. 

GRA. We have not made good preparation, 

SALAR. We have not spoke us yet of torch- 
bearers. 2 

Notwithstanding Mr. Malone charges the editor of the second 
folio so strongly with ignorance, I have no doubt but that did 
is the true reading; as it is clearly better sense than that which 
he has adopted. Launcelot does not mean to foretell the fate of 
Jessica, but judges, from her lovely disposition, that hhe must 
have been begotten by a Christian, not by such a brute as Shy- 
lock: a Christian might marry her without playing the knave, 
though he could not beget her. M. MASON. 

* torch-bearers^ See the note in Romeo and Juliet, Act I. 

sc. iv. We have not spoke us yet, &c. i. e. we have not yet be* 
spoke us, &c. Thus the old copies. It may, however, mean. 


SALAN. 'Tis vile, unless it may be quaintly or- 

And better, in my mind, not undertook. 

LOR. 'Tis now but four a-clock ; we have two 

To furnish us :** 

ntef LAUNCELOT, with a letter. 

Friend Launcelot, what's the news? 

LAUN. An it shall please you to break up this, 3 
it shall seem to signify* 

LOR. I know the hand: in faith, 'tis a fair hand; 
And whiter than the paper it writ on, 
Is the fair hand that writ. 

GRA. Love-news, in faith. 

LAUN. By your leave, sir. 
LOR. Whither goest thou ? 

LAUN. Marry, sir, to bid my old master the Jew 
to sup to-night with my new master the Christian. 

LOR. Hold here, take this : tell gentle Jessica^ 
1 will not fail her; speak it privately; go. 
Gentlemen, [Exit LAUNCELOT. 

Will you prepare you for this masque to-night? 
I am provided of a torch-bearer. 

SALAR. Ay, marry, I'll be gone about it straight. 
SALAN. And so will I. 

fcre have not as yet consulted on the subject of torch-bearers. 
Mr. Pope reads " spoke as yet." STEEVENS. 

* to break up this,"] To break up was a term in carving- 
So, in Love's Labour's Lost, Act III. sc. i: 

" Boyet, you can carve; 

" Break up this capon." 
See the note on this passage. STEEVENS. 


LOR. Meet me, and Gratiano, 

At Gratiano*s lodging some hour hence. 

SALAR. 'Tis good we do so. 

[Exeunt SALAR. and SALAN. 

GRA. Was not that letter from fair Jessica? 

LOR. I must needs tell thee all: Shehathdirected, 
How I shall take her from her father's house; 
What gold, and jewels, she is furnish'd with ; 
What page's suit she hath in readiness. 
If e'er the Jew her father come to heaven, 
It will be for his gentle daughter's sake : 
And never dare misfortune cross her foot, 
Unless she do it under this excuse, 
That she is issue to a faithless Jew. 
Come, go with me; peruse this, as thou goest: 
Fair Jessica shall be my torch-bearer. [Exeunt. 


The same. Before Shylock's House. 

SHY. Well, thou shalt see, thy eyes shall be tin 


The difference of old Shylock and Bassanio : 
What, Jessica ! thou shalt not gormandize, 
As thou hast done with me; What, Jessica! 
And sleep and snore, and rend apparel out ; 
Why, Jessica, I say! 

LAUN. Why, Jessica ! 

SHY. Who bids thee call? I do not bid thee call- 


LAUN. Your worship was wont to tell me, I 
could do nothing without bidding. 


JES. Call you ? What is your will ? 

SHY. I am bid forth 4 to supper, Jessica ; 
There are my keys : But wherefore should I go ? 
I am not bid for love ; they flatter me : 
But yet I'll go in hate, to feed upon 
The prodigal Christian. 5 Jessica, my girl, 
Look to my house : I. am right-loath to go ; 
There is some ill a brewing towards my rest, 
For I did dream of money-bags to-night. 

LAUN. I beseech you, sir, go ; my young master 
doth expect your reproach. 

SHY. So do I his. 

LAUN. And they have conspired together, I will 
not say, you shall see a masque ; but if you do, then 
it was not for nothing that my nose fell a bleeding 
on Black- Monday last, 6 at six o'clock i'the morning, 

4 / am bid forth ] I am invited. To bid in old language 
meant to pray. MALONE. 

That bid was used for invitation, may be seen in St. Luke's 
Gospel, ch. xiv. 24? : " none of those which were bidden shall 
taste of my supper." HARRIS. 

* to feed upon 

The prodigal Christian.'] Shylock forgets his resolution. Lj 
a former scene he declares he will neither eat, drink, nor pray 
with Christians. Of this circumstance the poet was aware, and 
meant only to heighten the malignity of the character, by making 
him depart from his most settled resolve, for the prosecution of 
his revenge. STEEVENS. 

6 then it ivas not for nothing that my nose foil a bleeding on 

Black-Monday last,'] " Black-Monday is Easter-Monday, and 
was so called on this occasion : in the 34-th of Edward III. (1360) % 
the 14-th of April, and the morrow after Easter-day, King Ed'- 


falling out that year on Ash-wednesday was four 
year in the afternoon. 

SHY. What ! are there masques ? Hear you me, 

Jessica : 

Lock up my doors ; and when you hear the drum, 
And the vile squeaking of the wry-neck'd fife, 7 
Clamber not you up to the casements then, 
Nor thrust your head into the publick street, 
To gaze on Christian fools with varnish'd faces : 
But stop my house's ears, I mean my casements ; 
Let not the sound of shallow foppery enter 
My sober house. By Jacob's staff, I swear, 

ward, with his host, lay before the city of Paris ; which day was 
fall dark of mist and hail, and so bitter cold, that many men 
died on their horses' backs with the celd. Wherefore, unto this 
day, it hath been called the Blacke- Monday." Stowe, p. 264 6. 


It appears from a passage in Lodge's Rosalynde, 1592, that 
some superstitious belief was annexed to the accident of bleeding 
at the nose : "As he stood gazing, his nose on a sudden bled, 
which made him conjecture it was some friend of his." 


Again, in The Dutchess ofMalfy, 1640, Act I. sc. ii: 
" How superstitiously we mind our evils ? 
" The throwing downe salt, or crossing of a hare, 
" Bleeding at nose, the stumbling of a horse, 
" Or singing of a creket, are of power 
" To daunt whole man in us." 
Again, Act I. sc. iii : 

" My nose bleeds. One that was superstitious would couut 
this ominous, when it merely comes by chance." REED. 

7 Lock up my doors; and when you hear the drum, 
And the vile squeaking of the wry-neck'd fife,] 
" Prima nocte domum claude ; neque in vias 
" Sub cantu querulae despice tibiae." Hor. Lib.IH.Od.vii. 


It appears from hence, that the fifes, in Shakspeare's time, 
were formed differently from those now in use, which are straight, 
not ivry-neckeel. M. MASON. 


I have no mind of feasting forth to-night : 
But I will go. Go you before me, sirrah ; 
Say, I will come. 

LAUN. I will go before, sir. 

Mistress, look out at window, for all this ; 
There will come a Christian by, 
Will be worth a Jewess* eye. 8 [Exit LAUN. 

SHY. What says that fool of Hagar's offspring,, 

JES. His words were, Farewell, mistress; nothing 

SHY. The patch is kind enough j 9 but a huge 


Snail-slow in profit, and he sleeps by day 
More than the wild cat ; drones hive not with me j 
Therefore I part with him ; and part with hint 
To one that I would have him help to waste 
His borrowed purse. Well, Jessica, go in ^ 
Perhaps, 1 will return immediately > 
Do, as I bid you, 

9 There mill come a Christian by^ 

Will be worth a Jewess' eye.] It's worth a Jew's eye r is a 
proverbial phrase. WHALLEY. 

9 Tlie patch is kind enough ;] This term should seem, to have 
come into use from the name of a celebrated fool. This I learn 
from Wilson's Art of Rhetorique, 1553 : " A word-making, 
called of the Grecians Onomatopeia, is when we make words of 
eur own mind, such as be derived from the nature of things ;- 
us to call one Patche, or Cowlson, whom we see to do a thing 1 
foolishly ; because these two in their time were notable fools.'* 

Probably the dress which the celebrated Patche wore, was in 
allusion to his name, patched or parti-coloured. Hence the 
stage fool has ever since been exhibited in a motley coat. 
Patche, of whom Wilson speaks, was Cardinal Wolsey's fool. 



Shut doors l after you : Fast bind, fast find ; 

A proverb never stale in thrifty mind. [Exit. 

JES. Farewell ; and if my fortune be not crost, 
I have a father, you a daughter, lost. [Exit. 


The same. 

Snter GRATIANO and SALARINO, masqued. 

GRA. This is the pent-house, under which Lo- 
Desir'd us to make stand. 2 

SALAR. His hour is almost past. 

GRA. And it is marvel he out-dwells his hour, 
For lovers ever run before the clock. 

SALAR. O, ten times faster Venus' pigeons fly 3 
To seal love's bonds new made, than they are wont, 
To keep obliged faith unforfeited ! 

GRA. That ever holds : Who riseth from a feast, 
With that keen appetite that he sits down ? 

1 Shut doors ] Doors is here used as a dissyllable. MALONE. 

8 Desir'd us to make stand.] Desir'd us stand, in ancient 
elliptical language, signifies desired us to stand. The words 
to make, are an evident interpolation, and consequently spoil the 
measure. STE EVENS. 

3 0, ten times Jaslcr Venus' pigeons Jly ] Lovers have in 
poetry been always called Turtles or Doves, which in lower lan- 
guage may be pigeons. JOHNSON. 

Thus, Chapman, in his version of Homer's Catalogue of 
Ships, Iliad the second : 

" Thisbe, that for pigeons doth surpasse ;" 

Mr. Pope, in more elegant language : 

" Thisbe, fam'd for silver doves ," STEEVENS. 


Where is the horse' that doth tmtread again 
His tedious measures with the unbated fire 
That he did pace them first ? All things that are, 
Are with more spirit chased than enjoy'd. 
How like a younker, 4 or a prodigal, 
The scarfed bark 5 puts from her native bay, 
Hugg'd and embraced by the strumpet wind ! 6 
How like the prodigal doth she return ; 7 
With over-weather'd ribs, 8 and ragged sails, 
Lean, rent, and beggar'd by the strumpet wind ! 

4 a younker,] All the old copies read a younger. 

But Rowe's emendation may be justified by FalstafPs question 
in The First Part of King Henry IV: " I'll not pay a denier. 
What will you make a younker of me ?" STEEVENS. 

How like a younker, or a prodigal, 

The scarfed bark puts from her native bay, &c.] Mr. Gray 
(dropping the particularity of allusion to the parable of the pro- 
digal, ) seems to have caught from this passage the imagery of 
the following : 

Fair laughs the morn, and soft the zephyr blows, 

While proudly riding o'er the azure realm 

In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes ; 

Youth on the Prow, and Pleasure at the helm ; 

Regardless of the sweeping whirlwind's sway, 

That hush'd in grim repose, expects his evening-prey." 
The gr m-repose, however, was suggested by Thomson's 

deep fermenting tempest brew'd 

In the grim evening sky." HENLEY. 

* scarfed bark ] i. e. the vessel decorated with flags. 

So, in All's well that ends well: " Yet the scarfs and the ban- 
nerets about thee, did manifoldly dissuade me from believing 
thee a vessel of too great burden." STEEVENS. 

6 embraced by the strumpet 'wind!'] So, in Othello : 

*' The bawdy wind, that kisses all it meets." MALONE. 

7 doth she return ;] Surely the bark ought to be of the 
masculine gender, otherwise the allusion wants somewhat of pro- 
priety. This indiscriminate use of the personal for the neuter, 
at least obscures the passage. A ship, however, is commonly 
spoken of in the feminine gender. STEEVENS. 

9 With owr-weather'd ribs,] Thus both the quartos. The 
folio has over-wither' d. MALONE. 



SALAR. Here comes Lorenzo 5 more of this 

LOR. Sweet friends, your patience for my long 

abode ; 

Not I, but my affairs, have made you wait ; 
When you shall please to play the thieves for wives, 
I'll watch as long for you then. Approach ; 9 
Here dwells my father Jew : Ho ! who's within ? 

Enter JESSICA above, in boy's clothes. 

JES. Who are you ? Tell me, for more certainty, 
Albeit Pll swear that I do know your tongue. 

LOR. Lorenzo, and thy love. 

JES. Lorenzo, certain ; and my love, indeed ; 
For who love I so much ? And now who knows, 
But you, Lorenzo, whether I am yours ? 

LOR, Heaven, and thy thoughts, are witness that 
thou art. 

JES. Here, catch this casket j it is worth the 


I am glad 'tis night, you do not look on me, 
For I am much asham'd of my exchange : 
But love is blind, and lovers cannot see 
The pretty follies that themselves commit ; 
For if they could, Cupid himself would blush 
To see me thus transformed to a boy. 

LOR. Descend, for you must be my torch-bearer. 

9 I'll watch as long for you then Approach;] Read, with a 
slight variation from Sir. T. Hanmer : 

" I'll watch as long for you. Come then, approach." 


sc. vi. MERCHANT OF VENICE. 287 

JES. What, must I hold a candle to my shames? 
They in themselves, good sooth, are too too light. 
Why, 'tis an office of discovery, love ; 
And I should be obscur'd. 

LOR. So are you, sweet, 

Even in the lovely garnish of a boy. 
But come at once \ 

For the close night doth play the run-away, 
And we are staid for at Bassanio's feast. 

JES. I will make fast the doors, and gild myself 
With some more ducats, and be with you straight. 

[Exit, from above. 

GRA. Now, by my hood, a Gentile, and no Jew. 1 

LOR. Beshrew me, but I love her heartily : 
For she is wise, if I can judge of her ; 
And fair she is, if that mine eyes be true ; 
And true she is, as she hath prov'd herself; 
And therefore, like herself, wise, fair, and true, 
Shall she be placed in my constant soul. 

1 Now, by my hood, a Gentile, and no Jew."] A jest arising 
from the ambiguity of Gentile, which signifies both a Heathen, 
and one well born. JOHNSON. 

So, at the conclusion of the first part ofJeronimo, &c. 1605: 
" r So, good night kind gentles, 
" For I hope there's never a Jew among you all." 
Again, in Swetnam Arraigned, 1620: 

" Joseph the Jetu was a better Gentile far." STEEVENS. 

Dr. Johnson rightly explains this. There is an old book by one 
Ellis, entitled : The Gentile Sinner, or England's brave Gentle- 
man." FARMER. 

To understand Gratiano's oath, it should be recollected that 
he is in a masqued habit, to which it is probable that formerly, 
as at present, a large cape or hood was affixed. MALONE. 

Gratiano alludes to the practice of friars, who frequently swore 
by this part of their habit. STEEVENS, 


Enter JESSICA, below. 

What, art thou come? On, gentlemen, away; 
Our masquing mates by this time for us stay. 

[Exit with JESSICA and SALARINO. 


ANT. Who's there? 
GRA. Signior Antonio ? 

ANT. Fye, fye, Gratiano ! where are all the rest? 
'Tis nine o'clock ; our friends all stay for you: 
No masque to-night; the wind is come about, 
Bassanio presently will go aboard: 
I have sent twenty out to seek for you. 

GRA. I am glad on't; I desire no more delight, 
Than to be under sail, and gone to-night. 



Belmont. A Room in Portia's House. 

Flourish of Cornets. Enter PORTIA, with the Prince 
of Morocco, and both their Trains. 

POR. Go, draw aside the curtains, and discover 
The several caskets to this noble prince : 
Now make your choice. 

MOR. The first, of gold, who this inscription 

bears ; 

Who chooseth me, shall gain what many men desire. 
The second, silver, which this promise carries; 

so. vu. MERCHANT OF VENICE. 289 

Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserves. 
This third, dull lead, with warning all as blunt; 2 
Who chooseth me, must give and hazard all he hath. 
How shall I know if I do choose the right ? 

POR. The one of them contains my picture, 

prince ; 
If you choose that, then I am yours withal. 

MOR. Some god direct myjudgment! Let me see, 
I will survey the inscriptions back again: 
What says this leaden casket? 
Who chooseth me, must give and hazard all he hath. 
Must give For what ? for lead ? hazard for lead? 
This casket threatens : Men, that hazard all, 
Do it in hope of fair advantages: 
A golden mind stoops not to shows of dross ; 
I'll then nor give, nor hazard, aught for lead. 
What says the silver, with her virgin hue ? 
Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserves. 
As much as he deserves ? Pause there, Morocco, 
And weigh thy value with an even hand: 
If thou be'st rated by thy estimation, 
Thou dost deserve enough; and yet enough 
May not extend so far as to the lady; 
And yet to be afeard of my deserving, 
Were but a weak disabling of myself. 
As much as I deserve ! Why, that's the lady : 
I do in birth deserve her, and in fortunes, 
In graces, and in qualities of breeding; 
But more than these, in love I do deserve. 
What if I stray'd no further, but chose here? 
Let's see once more this saying grav'd in gold: 
Wlio chooseth me, shall gain what many men desire. 

as blunt ;] That is, as gross as the dull metal. 




Why, that's the lady; all the world desires her : 
From the four corners of the earth they come, 
To kiss this shrine, this mortal breathing saint. 
The Hyrcanian deserts, and the vasty wilds 
Of wide Arabia, are as through-fares now, 
For princes to come view fair Portia : 
The watry kingdom, whose ambitious head 
Spits in the face of heaven, is no bar 
To stop the foreign spirits; but they come, 
As o'er a brook, to see fair Portia. 
One of these three contains her heavenly picture. 
Is't like, that lead contains her ? 'Twere damna- 

To think so base a thought ; it were too gross 
To rib 3 her cerecloth in the obscure grave. 
Or shall I think, in silver she's immur'd, 
Being ten times undervalued to try'd gold? 
O sinful thought! Never so rich a gem 
Was set in worse than gold. They have in Eng- 

A coin, that bears the figure of an angel 
Stamped in gold; but that's insculp'd upon; 4 
But here an angel in a golden bed 
Lies all within. Deliver me the key; 
Here do I choose, and thrive I as I may ! 

* To rib ] i. e. inclose, as the ribs inclose the viscera. So, 
in Cymbeline : 

" ribbed and paled in 

" With rocks unscaleable, and roaring waters." 


4 insculp'd upon ;] To insculp is to engrave. So, in a 

comedy called A new Wonder, a Woman never vex'd, 1632: 

" in golden text 

" Shall be insculp'd " STEEVENS. 

The meaning is, that the figure of the angel is raised or em- 
bossed on the coin, not engraved on it. TUTET. 


FOR. There, take it, prince, and if my form lie 

Then I am yours. \_He unlocks the golden casket. 

MOR. O hell ! what have we here? 

A carrion death, within whose empty eye 
There is a written scroll? I'll read the writing. 

All that glisters is not gold, 
Often have you heard that told: 
Many a man his life hath sold y 
But my outside to behold: 
Gilded tombs do 'worms infold* 

* Gilded tombs do worms infold.] In all the old editions this 
line is written thus : 

Gilded timber do worms infold. 
From which Mr. Rowe and all the following editors have made : 

Gilded wood may worms infold. 

A line not bad in itself, but not so applicable to the occasion 
as that which, I believe, Shakspeare wrote; 

Gilded tombs do worms infold. 
A tomb is the proper repository of a death's-head. JOHNSON. 

The thought might have been suggested by Sidney's Arcadia, 
Book I : 

" But gold can guild a rotten piece of wood." 


Tombes (for such was the old spelling) and timber were easily 
confounded. Yet perhaps the old reading may be right. The 
construction may be Worms do infold gilded timber. This, 
however, is very harsh, and the ear is offended. In a poem en- 
titled, OftheSilke Wormes and their Flies, 4to. 1599, is this 

" Before thou wast, were timber-worms in price." 


More than the ear, I think, would be offended on this occa- 
sion ; for how is it possible for worms that live bred within timber, 
to infold it ? STEEVENS. 

Dr. Johnson's emendation is supported by Shakspeare's 101st 
Sonnet : 

" it lies in thee 

" To make thee much out-live a gilded tomb" 

U 2 


Had you been as 'wise as bold, 
Young in limbs, in judgment old, 
Your answer had not been inscrol'd: 6 

Fare you well; your suit is cold. 

Cold, indeed; and labour lost: 

Then, farewell, heat; and, welcome, frost. 
Portia, adieu! I have too griev'd a heart 
To take a tedious leave : thus losers part. [Exit. 

POR. A gentle riddance : Draw the curtains, 


Let all of his complexion choose me so. 7 [ Exeunt. 

6 Your answer had not been inscrol'd:] Since there is an an- 
swer inscrofd or written in every casket, I believe for your we 
should read this. When the words were written y r and y, the 
mistake was easy. JOHNSON. 

7 choose me so.] The old quarto editions of 1600 have no 

distribution of Acts, but proceed from the beginning to the end 
in an unbroken tenour. This play, therefore, having been pro- 
bably divided without authority by the publishers of the first folio, 
lies open to a new regulation, if any more commodious division 
can be proposed. The story is itself so wildly incredible, and 
the changes of the scene so frequent and capricious, that the 
probability of action does not deserve much care ; yet it may be 
proper to observe, that, by concluding the second Act here, timt 
is given for Bassanio's passage to Belmont. JOHNSON. 

sc. via. MERCHANT OF VENICE. 293 

Venice. A Street. 


SALAR. Why man, I saw Bassanio under sail; 
With him is Gratiano gone along; 
And in their ship, I am sure, Lorenzo is not. 

SALAN. The villain Jew with outcries rais'd the 

Who went with him to search Bassanio's ship. 

SALAR. He came too late, the ship was under 


But there the duke was given to understand, 
That in a gondola were seen together 
Lorenzo and his amorous Jessica : 
Besides, Antonio certify* d the duke, 
They were not with Bassanio in his ship. 

SALAN. I never heard a passion so confus'd, 
So strange, outrageous, and so variable, 
As the dog Jew did utter in the streets: 
My daughter! my ducats! my daughter! 
Fled with a Christian? O my Christian ducats! 
Justice! the law! my ducats, and my daughter! 
A sealed bag, two sealed bags of ducats, 
Of double ducats, stornfrom me by my daughter! 
And jewels; two stones, two rich and precious stones, 
Stol'n by my daughter! Justice! Jind the girl! 
She hath the stones upon her, and the ducats! 

SALAR. Why, all the boys in Venice follow him, 
Crying, his stones, his daughter, and his ducats. 

SALAN. Let good Antonio look he keep his day, 
Or he shall pay for this. 


SALAR. Marry, well remembered: 

I reasoned with a Frenchman yesterday; 8 
Who told me, in the narrow seas, that part 
The French and English, there miscarried 
A vessel of our country, richly fraught : 
I thought upon Antonio, when he told me; 
And wish'd in silence, that it were not his. 

SALAN. You were best to tell Antonio what you 

Yet do not suddenly, for it may grieve him. 

SALAR. A kinder gentleman treads not the earth. 
I saw Bassanio and Antonio part : 
Bassanio told him, he would make some speed 
Of his return ; he answer'd Do not so, 
Slubber not* business for my sake, Bassanio , 
But stay the very riping of the time; 
And for the Jew's bond, which he hath of me, 

Let it not enter in your mind of love: 1 


1 / reason'd ivith a Frenchman yesterday;] i. e. I conversed. 
So, in King John : 

" Our griefs, and not our manners reason now." 
Again, in Chapman's translation of the fourth Book of the 

" The morning shall yield time to you and me, 

" To do what fits, and reason mutually." STEEVENS. 

The Italian ragionare is used in the same sense. M. MASON. 

Slubber not 3 To slubber is to do any thing carelessly, im- 
perfectly. So, in Nash's Lenten Stuff, &c. 1599: 

" they slubber' 'd thee over so negligently." 

Again, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Wit -without Money : 
" I am as haste ordain'd me, a thing slubbcr'd." 


1 your mind of love:] So, all the copies, but I suspect 

some corruption. JOHNSON. 

This imaginary corruption is removed by only putting a comma 
after mind. LANGTON. 

sc. rm. MERCHANT OF VENICE. 29<? 

Be merry ; and employ your chiefest thoughts 

To courtship, and such fair ostents of love 

As shall conveniently become you there: 

And even there, his eye being big with tears, 

Turning his face, he put his hand behind him, 2 

And with affection wondrous sensible 

He wrung Bassanio's hand, and so they parted. 

SALAN. I think, he only loves the world for him. 
I pray thee, let us go, and find him out, 
And quicken his embraced heaviness 3 

Of love, is an adjuration sometimes used by Shakspeare. So, 
in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act II. sc. vii: 

" Quick. desires you to send her your little page, of all 

loves :" i. e. she desires you to send him by all means. 

Your mind of love may, however, in this instance, mean 
your loving mind. So, in The Tragedie of Croesus, 1604: " A 
mind of treason is a treasonable mind. 

" Those that speak freely, have no mind of treason" 


If the phrase is to be understood in the former sense, there 
should be a comma after mind, as Mr. Langton and Mr. Heath 
have observed. MALONE. 

* And even there, his eye being big ivith tears, 

Turning his face, he put his hand behind him, &c.] So 
curious an observer of nature was our author, and so minutely 
had he traced the operation of the passions, that many passages 
of his works might furnish hints to painters. It is indeed sur- 
prizing that they do not study his plays with this view. In the 
passage before us, we have the outline of a beautiful picture. 


8 embraced heaviness ] The heaviness which he in- 
dulges, and is fond of. EDWARDS. 

When I thought the passage corrupted, it seemed to me not 
improbable that Shakspeare had written entranced heaviness, 
musing, abstracted, moping melancholy^ But I know not why 
any great efforts should be made to change a word which has no 
incommodious or unusual sense. We say of a man now, that he 
hugs his sorrows, and why might not Antonio embrace heaviness ? 


, i 

So, in Much Ado about Nothing, sc. 

** You embrace your charge too willingly." 


With some delight or other. 
SALAR. Do we so. [Exeunt. 


Belmont. A Room in Portia's House. 

Enter NERISSA, with a Servant, 

NER. Quick, quick, I pray thee, draw the cur- 
tain 4 straight; 

The prince of Arragon hath ta'en his oath, 
And comes to his election presently. 

Flourish of Cornets. Enter the Prince o/' Arragon, 
PORTIA, and their Trains. 

FOR. Behold, there stand the caskets, noble 

prince : 

If you choose that wherein I am contained, 
Straight shall our nuptial rites be solemniz'd; 
But if you fail, without more speech, my lord, 
You must be gone from hence immediately. 

AR. I am enjoin'd by oath to observe three 


First, never to unfold to any one 
Which casket 'twas I chose; next, if I fail 
Of the right casket, never in my life 
To woo a maid in way of marriage; lastly, 

Again, in this play of The Merchant of Venice, Act III. sc. ii: 

" doubtful thoughts, and rash-embrac'd despair.'' 


* draw the curtain ] i. e. draw it open. So, in an 

old stage-direction in King Henry VIII : " The king draws the 
curtain, and sits reading pensively." STEEVENS. . 

ac. ix. MERCHANT OF VENICE. 297 

If I do fail in fortune of my choice, 
Immediately to leave you and be gone. 

FOR. To these injunctions every one doth swear, 
That comes to hazard for my worthless self. 

AR. And so have I address'd me : 5 Fortune now 
To my heart's hope ! Gold, silver, and base lead. 
Who chooseth me, must give and hazard all he hath: 
You shall look fairer, ere I give, or hazard. 
What says the golden chest ? ha ! let me see : 
Who chooseth me, shall gain what many men desire. 
What manymen desire. That manymaybe meant 
By the fool multitude, 7 that choose by show, 

* And so have I address'd me:] To address is to prepare. The 
meaning is, I have prepared myself by the same ceremonies. So, 
in All's well that ends well: " Do you think he will make no 
Ueed of all this, that so seriously he doth address himself unto ?" 

I believe we should read : 

" And so have I. Address me, Fortune, now, 
" To my heart's hope !" 

So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act III. scene the last, 
Falstaff says : " I will then address me to my appointment." 


That many may be meant ] The repetition of many 

is a mere blunder. It is unnecessary to the sense, and destroys 
the measure. RITSON. 

7 That many may be meant 

By the fool multitude,] i. e. By that many may be meant 
the foolish multitude, &c. The fourth folio first introduced a 
phraseology more agreeable to our ears at present, " Of the 
tool multitude," -which has been adopted by all the subsequent 
editors ; but change merely for the sake of elegance is always 
dangerous. Many modes of speech were familiar in Shakspeare's 
age, that are now no longer used. 

So, in Plutarch's Life of Ctesar, as translated by North, 1575 : 
"he aunswered, that these fat long-heared men made him not 
affrayed, but the lean and whitely-faced fellows ; meaning that 
by Brutus and Cassius." i. e. meaning by that, &c. Again, 
in Sir Thomas More's Life of Edward the Fifth ; Holinshed, 
p. 1374-: " that meant he by the lordes of the queenes kin- 
dred that were taken before," i. e. by that he meant the lords, 


Not learning more than the fond eye doth teach ; 
Which pries not to the interior, but, like the mart- 

Builds in the weather on the outward wall, 
Even in the force 8 and road of casualty. 
I will not choose what many men desire, 
Because I will not jump 9 with common spirits, 
And rank me with the barbarous multitudes. 
Why, then to thee, thou silver treasure-house ; 
Tell me once more what title thou dost bear : 
Who choose th me, shall get as muck as he deserves; 
And well said too ; For who shall go about 
To cozen fortune, and be honourable 
Without the stamp of merit ! Let none presume 
To wear an undeserved dignity. 
O, that estates, degrees, and offices, 
Were not deriv'd corruptly ! and that clear honour 
Were purchased by the merit of the wearer ! 
How many then should cover, that stand bare ? 
How many be commanded, that command ? 
How much low peasantry would then be glean'd 

Ac. Again, ibidem, p. 1371 : " My lord, quoth lord Hastings, 
on my life, never doubt you ; for while one man is there, never 
can there be, &c. This meant he by Catesby, which was of his 
near secrete counsaile," i. e. by this he meant Catesby, &c. 

Again, Puttenham in his Arte of English Poesie, 1589, p. 157, 
after citing some enigmatical verses, adds, " the good old 
gentleman would tell us that were children, how it tuas meant 
by a furr'd glove." i. e. a furr'd glove was meant by it, i. e. by 
the enigma. Again, ibidem, p. 161 : " Any simple judgement 
might easily perceive by whom it -was meant, that is, by lady 
Elizabeth, Queene of England." MALONE. 

m the force ] i.e. the power. So, in Much Ado 

about Nothing: " in the force of his will." STEEVENS. 

9 jump ] i.e. agree with. So, in King Henry IV. 

P. I : u and in some sort it jumps with my humour." 


sc. ix. MERCHANT OF VENICE. 299 

From the true seed of honour ? l and how much 


Pick'd from the chaff and ruin of the times, 
To be new varnish'd ? a Well, but to my choice : 

1 How much low peasantry would then be glean'd 

From the true seed of honour?] The meaning is, How much 
meanness mould be found among the great, and how much great- 
ness among the mean. But since men are always said to glean 
corn though they may pick chaff, the sentence had been more 
agreeable to the common manner of speech if it had been writ- 
ten thus : 

How much low peasantry would then be pick'd 
From the true seed of honour? how much honour 
Vowz the chaff"? JOHNSON. 

how much honour 

Pick'd^/rom the chaff and ruin of the times, 
To be new varnish'd?] This confusion and mixture of the 
metaphors, makes me think that Shakspeare wrote : 

To be new vanned 

:. e. winnow'd, purged, from the French word, vanner; which 
is derived from the Latin vannus, ventilabrum, the Jan used for 
winnowing the chaff from the corn. This alteration restores the 
metaphor to its integrity : and our poet frequently uses the same 
thought. So, in The Second Part of Henry IV: 

" We shall be winnow'd with so rough a wind, 
" That even our corn shall seem as light as chaff." 


Shakspeare is perpetually violating the integrity of his meta- 
phors, and the emendation proposed seems to me to be as faulty 
as unnecessary ; for what is already selected from the chaff" needs 
not be new vanned. I wonder Dr. Warburton did not think of 
changing the word ruin into rowing, which in some counties of 
England, is used to signify the second and inferior crop of grass 
which is cut in autumn. 

So, in one of our old pieces, of which I forgot to set down the 
name, when I transcribed the following passage : 

." when we had taken the first crop, you might have then 
been bold to eat the rowens." The word occurs, however, both 
in the notes on Tusser, and in Mortimer. STEEVENS, 

Steevens justly observes, that honour when picked from 
the chaff, could not require to be new vanned; but honour, 


Who chooseth me, shall get as much as he deserves : 
I will assume desert ; Give me a key for this, 3 
And instantly unlock my fortunes here. 

POR. Too long a pause for that which you find 

AR.^ What's here? the portrait of a blinking 


Presenting me a schedule ? I will read it. 
How much unlike art thou to Portia ? 
How much unlike my hopes, and my deservings ? 
Who chooseth me, shall have as much as he deserves. 
Did I deserve no more than a fool's head ? 
Is that my prize ? are my deserts no better ? 

POR. To offend, and judge, are distinct offices, 
And of opposed natures. 

AR. What is here ? 

Thejire seven times tried this; 
Seven times tried that judgment is t 
That did never choose amiss: 
Some there be, that shadows kiss ; 
Such have but a shadow's bliss : 
There befools alive, / wis, 4 
Silver* d o'er ; and so was this. 

mixed with the chaff and ruin of the times, might require to be 
new varnished. M. MASON. 

1 / toill assume desert ; Give me a key for this,] The words 
forthisy which (as Mr. Ritson observes,) destroy the measure, 
should be omitted. STEEVENS. 

* / wis,] I know. Wissen, German. So. in Kim 

Henry VI: 

" I wis your grandame had no worser match." 
Again, in the comedy of King Cambyses : 

" Yea, I wis, shall you, and that with all speed." 
Sidney, Ascham, and Waller, use the word. STEEVENS. 

sc. ix. MERCHANT OF VENICE. 301 

Take what wife you will to bed* 
I will ever be your head : 
So begone, sir* you are sped. 

Still more fool I shall appear 

By the time I linger here : 

With one fool's head I came to woo, 

But I go away with two. 

Sweet, adieu ! I'll keep my oath, ^ 

Patiently to bear my wroth. 7 

[Exeunt Arragon, and Train. 

FOR. Thus hath the candle sing'd the moth. 
O these deliberate fools ! when they do choose, 
They have the wisdom by their wit to lose. 

NER. The ancient saying is no heresy ; 
Hanging and wiving goes by destiny. 

FOR. Come, draw the curtain, Nerissa. 

Enter a Servant. 
SERV. Where is my lady ? 

4 Take -what wife you -will to bed,"] Perhaps the poet had for- 
gotten that he who missed Portia was never to marry any wo- 
man. JOHNSON. 

6 So begone, sir,] Sir, which is not in the old copies, was sup- 
plied by the editor of the second folio, for the sake of the metre. 


7 to bear my wroth.] The old editions read " to bear 

my wreath." Wroath is used in some of the old books for mis- 
fortune ; and is often spelt like ruth, which at present signifies 
only pity, or sorrow for the miseries of another. Caxton's Re- 
cuyett of the History es of Troye, &c. 14-71, has frequent in- 
stances of wroth. Thus, also, in Chapman's version of the 22nd 

" born to all the wroth, 
" Of woe and labour." 
The modern editors read my wrath. STEEVENS. 


FOR. Here ; what would my lord ? s 

SERV. Madam, there is alighted at your gate 
A young Venetian, one that comes before 
To signify the approaching of his lord : 
From whom he bringeth sensible regreets ; 9 
To wit, besides commends, and courteous breath, 
Gifts of rich value ; yet I have not seen 
So likely an embassador of love : 
A day in April never came so sweet, 
To show how costly summer was at hand, 
As this fore-spurrer comes before his lord. 

FOR. No more, I pray thee ; I am half afeard, 
Thou wilt say anon, he is some kin to thee, 
Thou spend'st such high-day wit 1 in praising him. 
Come, come, Nerissa ; for I long to see 
Quick Cupid's post, that comes so mannerly. 

NER. Bassanio, lord love, if thy will it be ! 


8 Por. Here; what would my lord?] Would not this speech 
to the servant be more proper in the mouth of Nerissa ? 


9 regreets ;] i. e. salutations. So, in K. John, Act III. 

C. i: 

" Unyoke this seizure, and this kind regreet." 


1 high-day wit ] So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor : 

*' he speaks holiday.' 1 STEEVENS. 



Venice. A Street. 

SALAN. Now, what news on the Rialto ? 

SALAR. Why, yet it lives there unchecked, that 
Antonio hath a ship of rich lading wreck'd on the 
narrow seas ; the Goodwins, I think they call the 
place ; a very dangerous flat, and fatal, where the 
carcases of many a tall ship lie buried, as they say, 
if my gossip report be an honest woman of her 

SALAN. I would she were as lying a gossip in that, 
as ever knapp'd ginger, 2 or made her neighbours 
believe she wept for the death of a third husband: 
But it is true, without any slips of prolixity, or 
crossing the plain high-way of talk, that the good 

Antonio, the honest Antonio, O that I had a 

title good enough to keep his name company ! 

SALAR. Come, the full stop. 

SALAN. Ha, what say'st thou ? Why the end 
is, he hath lost a ship. 

SALAR. I would it might prove the end of his 
losses ! 

SALAN. Let me say amen betimes, lest the devil 

* knapp'd ginger ;] To knap is to break short. The 

word occurs in The Common Prayer : " He knappeth the spear 
in sunder." STEEVENS. 


cross my prayer ; 3 for here he comes in the like- 
ness of a Jew. 


How now, Shylock ? what news among the mer- 
chants ? 

SHY. You knew, none so well, none so well as 
you, of my daughter's flight. 

SALAR. That's certain ; I, for my part, knew the 
tailor that made the wings she flew withal. 

SALAN. And Shylock, for his own part, knew the 
bird was fledg'd ; and then it is the complexion of 
them all to leave the dam. 

SHY. She is damn'd for it. 

SALAR. That's certain, if the devil may be her 

SHY. My own flesh and blood to rebel ! 

SALAN. Out upon it, old carrion ! rebels it at 
these years ? 

SHY. I say, my daughter is my flesh and blood. 

SALAR. There is more differencebetween thy flesh 
and hers, than between jet and ivory ; more between 
your bloods, than there is between red wine and 

' my prayer;] i. e. the prayer or wish, which you have 

just now uttered, and which I devoutly join in by saying arrien to 
it. Mr. Theobald and Dr. Warburton unnecessarily, I think, 
read thy prayer. MALONE. 

The people pray as well as the priest, though the latter only 
pronounces the words, which the people make their own by say- 
ing Amen to them. It is, after this, needless to add, that the 
Devil (in the shape of a Jew) could not cross Salarino's prayer, 
which as far as it was singly his, was already ended. HEATH. 


rhenish :- T But tell us, do you hear whether Anto- 
nio have had any loss at sea or no ? 

SHY. There I have another bad match : a bank- 
rupt, a prodigal, 4 who dare scarce show his head 
on the Rialto ; a beggar, that used to come so 
smug upon the mart j-^-let him look to his bond : 
he was wont to call me usurer ;-^let him look to 
his bond : he was wont to lend money for a 
Christian courtesy ; let him look to his bond. 

SAL AH. Why, I am sure, if he forfeit, thou wilt 
not take his flesh ; What's that good for ? 

SHY. To bait fish withal : if it will feed nothing 
else, it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me, 
and hindered me of half a million ; laughed at my 
losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, 
thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated 
mine enemies ; and what's his reason ? I am a Jew : 
Hath not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs, 
dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with the 
same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject 
to the same diseases, healed by the same means, 

4 a bankrupt, a prodigal,"} This is spoke of Antonio* 

But why a prodigal ? his friend Bassanio indeed had been too 
liberal ; and with this name the Jew honours him when he M 
going to sup with him : 

" PR go in hate to feed upon 

" The prodigal Christian " 

But Antonio was a plain, reserved parsimonious merchant ; be 
assured, therefore, we should read a bankrupt FOR a prodigal, 
>. e. he is become bankrupt by supplying the extravagancies of 
his friend Hassan io. WARBURTON. 

There is no need of alteration. There could be, in Shylock's 
opinion, no prodigality more culpable than such liberality as that 
by which a man exposes himself to ruin for his friend. 


His lending money without interest, "for a Christian courtesy" 
was likewise a reason for the Jew to call Antonio prodigal. 




warmed and cooled by the same winter and sum- 
mer, as a Christian 1ST if you prick us i do we not 
bleed? 5 if you tickle us, ao we not laugh ? if you 
poison uSi do we not die ? arid if you wrong us, 
shall we not revenge ? if we are like you in ; the 
rest, we will resemble you in that.- If a Jew 
wrong a Christian, what is his humility? revenge; 
If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his suf- 
ferance be by Christian example ? why, revenge. 
The villainy, you teach me, I will execute ; and 
it shall go hard, but I will better the instruction. 

Enter a Servant. 

SERF. Gentlemen, my master Antonio is at his 
house, and desires to speak with you both. 

SALAR. We have been>irp and down to seek him. 

Enter TUBAL. 

SALAN. Here comes another of the tribe ; a third 
cannot be matched, unless the devil himself turn 
Jew. [Exeunt SALAN. SALAR. and Servant. 

SHY. How now, Tubal, what news from Genoa? 
hast thou found my daughter ? 

TUB. I often came where I did hear of her, but 
cannot find her. 

SHY. Why there, there, there, there! a diamond 
gone, c,ost me two thousand ducats in Frankfort I 
The curse never fell upon our nation till now ; I 
never felt it till now: two thousand ducats in that; 

* if you prick tis, do we not bleed?] Are not Jews made of 

the same materials as Christians? says Shylock; thus in Plu- 
tarch's Life of Ccesar, p. 140, 4to. V. IV: "Caesar does not 
consider his subjects are mortal, and bleed when they are 
pricked,*' ouJc a,V9 riav rpccopalwv Aoyjtai Kouvap tn SMJTWV 
aty apxet." S. W. 


and other precious, precious jewels. I would, my 
daughter were dead at my foot, and the jewels iri 
her ear ! 'would she were hears'd at my foot, and 
the ducats in her coffin ! No news of them? Whv^ 
so : and I know not what's Spent in the search : 
Why, thou loss upon loss ! the thief gone with so 
much, and so much to find the thief; and no satis- 
faction, no revenge : nor no ill luck stirring, but 
what lights o' my shoulders ; no sighs, but o* my 
breathing ; no tearsj but a* my shedding. 

TUB. Yes, other men have ill luck too ; Anto- 
nio, as I heard in Genoa, 

SHY. What, what, what ? ill luck, ill luck ? 

TUB. hath an argosy cast away, coming from 

SHY. I thank God^ I thank God : Is it true ? 
is it true? 

TUB. I spoke with some of the sailors that 
escaped the wreck. 

SHY. I thank thee, good Tubal ; Good news, 
good news : ha ! ha ? Where ? in Genoa ! 

TUB. Your daughter spent in Genoa, as I heard, 
one night^ fourscore ducats. 

SHY. Thou stick'st a dagger in me : -I shall 
never see my gold again : Fourscore ducats at a 
sitting ! fourscore ducats ! 

TUB. There came divers of Antonio's creditors 
in my company to Venice, that swear he' cannot 
choose but break. 

SHY. I am very glad of it : I'll plague him j I'll 
torture him ; I am glad of it. 

TUB. One of them showed me a ring, that he 
had of your daughter for a monkey. 

x 2 


SHY. Out upon her ! Thou torturest me, Tubal : 
it was my turquoise ; I had it of Leah, when I was 
a bachelor : 6 I would not have given it for a wil- 
derness of monkies. 

TUB. But Antonio is certainly undone. 

SHY. Nay, that's true, that's very true : Go, Tu- 

a // fvas my turquoise ; / had it of Lea//, when I was a 

bachelor .-] A turquoise is a precious stone found in the veins of 
the mountains on the confines of Persia to the east, subject to 
the Tartars. As Shylock had been married long enough to have 
a daughter grown up, it is plain he did not value this turquoise 
on account of the money for which he might hope to sell it, but 
merely in respect of the imaginary virtues formerly ascribed to 
the stone. It was said of the Turkey-stone, that it faded or 
brightened in its colour, as the health of the wearer increased 
or grew less. To this Ben Jonson refers, in his Sejanus : 
" And true as Turkise m my dear lord's ring, 
" Look well, or ill with him." 
Again, in The Muses Elysium, by Dray ton : 

'* The turkesse, which who haps to wear, 

" Is often kept from peril." 

Again, Edward Fenton, in Secrete Wonders of Nature, bl. 1, 
4-to. 1569 : " The Turkeys doth move when there is any perill 
prepared to him that weareth it." P. 51, b. 

But Leah (if we may believe Thomas Nicols, sometimes of 
Jesus College in Cambridge, in his Lapidary, &c.) might have 
presented Shylock with his turquoise for a better reason ; as this 
etone " is likewise said to take away all enmity, and to reconcile 
man and wife." 

Other superstitious qualities are imputed to it, all of which 
were either monitory or preservative to the wearer. 

The same quality was supposed to be resident in coral. So, 
in The Three Ladies of London, 1584: 

" You may say jet will take up a straw, amber will make 

one fat, 
" Coral will look pale "when you be sick, and chrystal will 

stanch blood." 

Thus, Holmshed, speaking of the death of King John : " And 
when the King suspected them (the pears) to be poisoned in- 
deed, by reason tliat such precious stones as he had about him 
cast forth a certain sweat as it were bewraeing the poison," &c. 



bal, fee me an officer, bespeak him a fortnight be- 
fore : I will have the heart of him, if he forfeit ; 
for were he out of Venice, I can make what mer- 
chandize I will : Go, go, Tubal, and meet me at 
our synagogue j go, good Tubal j at our synagogue, 
Tubal. \_Exeimt. 


Belmont. A Room in Portia's House. 

Attendants. The caskets are set out. 

POR. I pray you, tarry ; pause a day or two, 
Before you hazard ; for, in choosing wrong, 
I lose your company ; therefore, forbear a while : 
There's something tells me, (but it is not love,) 
I would not lose you ; and you know yourself, 
Hate counsels not in such a quality : 
But lest you should not understand me well, 
(And yet a maiden hath no tongue but thought,) 
I would detain you here -some month or two, 
Before you venture for me. I could teach you, 
How to choose right, but then I am forsworn; 
So will I never be : so may you miss me ; 
But if you da, you'll make me wish a sin, 
That I had been forsworn. Beshrew your eyes, 
They have o'er-look'd me, and divided me ; 

One half of me is yours, the other half yours, 

Mine own, I would say ; but if mine, then yours, 
And so all yours : 7 OI these naughty times 

7 And so all yours i] The latter word is here used as a dis- 
syllable. In the next Jine but one below, where the same word 


Put bars between the owners and their rights ; 

And so, though yours, not yours. Prove it so, 8 

Let fortune go to hell for it, not I. 9 

J speak too long ; but 'tis to peize the time ; * 

To eke it, and to draw it out in length, 

To stay you from election. 

BASS. Let me choose ; 

For, as I am, I live upon the rack. 

POR. Upon the rack, JBassanio ? then confess 
What treason there is mingled with your love. 

BASS. None, but that ugly treason of mistrust. 
Which makes ine fear the enjoying of my love ; 
There may as well be amity and life 
'Tween snow and fire, as treason and my love. 

occurs twice, our author, with his usual licence, employs one 
as a word of two syllables, and the other as a monosyllable. 


8 And so, though yours, not yours. Prone it so,] It may be 
more grammatically read : 

And so though yours I'm not yours. JOHNSON. 

9 Let fortune go to hell for it, not I.] The meaning is, "If 
the worst I fear should happen, and it should prove in th.e event, 
that I, who am justly yours by the free donation I have made 
you of myself, should yet not be yours in consequence of an un- 
lucky choice, let fortune go to hell for robbing you of your jus-t 
due, not I for violating my oath." HEATH. 

1 to peize the time;'] Thus the old copies. To peize is 

from peser, Fr. So, in King Richard III: 

*' Lest leaden slumber peize me down to-morrow." 
To peize the time, therefore, is to retard it by hanging weights 
upon it. The modern editors read, without authority, piece. 


To peize, is to -weigh, or balance ; and figuratively, to keep in 
suspense, to delay. 

fco, in Sir P. Sydney's Apology for Poetry : " not speaking 
words as they changeably fall from the mouth, but peyzing each 
sillable." HENLEY. 

sc. ii. MERCHANT OF VENICE. 311 

POR. Ay, but, I fear, you speak upon the rack, 
Where men enforced do speak any thing. 

BASS. Promise me life, and I'll confess the truth. 
POR. Well then, confess, and live. 

BASS. Confess, and love, 

Had been the very sum of my confession: 
O happy torment, when my torturer 
Doth teach me answers for deliverance ! 
But let me to my fortune and the caskets. 

POR. Away then : I am lock'd in one of them ; 
If you do love me, you will find me out. 
Nerissa, and the rest, stand all .aloof. 
Let musick sound, while he doth make his choice ; 
Then, if he lose, he makes a swan-like end, 
Fading in musick: that the comparison 
May stand more proper, my eye shall be the stream, 
And wat'ry death-bed for him : He may win 5 
And what is musick then ? then jnusick is 
Even as the flourish when true subjects bow 
To a new-crowned monarch : such it is, 
As are those dulcet sounds in break of day, 
That creep into the dreaming bridegroom's ear, 
And summon him to marriage^ Now he goes, 
With no less presence, 2 but with much more love, 
Than young Aleides, when he did redeem 
The virgin tribute paid by howling Troy 
To the sea-monster : 3 I stand for sacrifice, 

* With no less presence ,] With the same dignity tfmien. 


8 To the sea-monster :~\ See Ovid. Metamorph. Lib. XJ. ver. 
199, et seqq. Shakspeare however, I believe, had read an ac- 
count of this adventure in The destruction of Troy : " Laome- 
don cast his eyes all bewept on him, [Hercules] and was all 
abashed to see his greatness and his beauty." See B. I. p. 221, 
edit. 1617. MALOMJB. 


The rest aloof are the Dardanian wives, 

With bleared visages, come forth to view 

The issue of the exploit. Go, Hercules ! 

Live thou, I live : With much much more dismay 

I view the fight, than thou that mak'st the fray. 4 

Mustek, whilst BASSANIO comments on the caskets fa 


1. Tell me, where is fancy* bred, 
Or in the heart, or in the Jiead? 
How begot, how nourished? 

Reply. 6 

2. // is engendered in the eyes, 
With gazing fed ; and fancy dies 
In the cradle where it lies: 

Let us all ring fancy's knell; 

Fll begin it, Ding dong, bell* 

All. Ding, dong, bell, 

4 Live thou, I live : With much much more dismay 

I view the jig ht, than thou that mak'st the fray. ~\ One of 
he quartos [Roberts's] reads : 

Live then, I live with much more dismay 
To view ihejlghty than &c. 
The folio, 1623, thus: 

Live thou, I live with much more dismay. 
I vieu thejight, than &c. 
Heyes's quarto gives the present reading. JOHNSON. 

* -foncy ] * e. Love. So, in A Midsummer-Night's 

Dream : 

" Thau sighs and tears, poor fancy's followers." 


* Reply.'] The words, reply, reply, were in all the late 

editions, except Sir T. Hanmer's, put as verse in the song ; but 
in all the old copies stand as a marginal direction. JOHNSON. 


BASS. So may the outward shows 7 be least 

themselves ; 

The world is still deceived with ornament. 
In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt, 
But, being season'd with a gracious voice,* 
Obscures the show of evil ? In religion, 
What damned error, but some sober brow 
Will bless it, and approve it 9 with a text, 
Hiding the grossness with fair ornament ? 
There is no vice l so simple, but assumes 
Some mark of virtue on his outward parts. 
How many cowards, whose hearts are all as false 
As stairs of sand, wear yet upon their chins 
The beards of Hercules, and frowning Mars ; 
Who, inward searched, have livers white as milk ? 
And these assume but valour's excrement, 2 
To render them redoubted. Look on beauty, 
And you shall see 'tis purchas'd by the weight; 3 
Which therein works a miracle in nature, 

7 So may the outward shows ] He begins abruptly ; the first 
part of the argument has passed in his mind. JOHNSON. 

8 gracious voice,'] Pleasing; winning favour. 


9 approve it ~\ i. e, justify it. So, in Antony and 
Cleopatra : 

I am full sorry 

" That he approves the common liar, fame." 


1 There is no vice ] The old copies read voice. The 
emendation was made by the editor or the second folio. 


* valour's excrement,] i, e. what a little higher is called 

the beard of Hercules. So, "pedler's excrement," in The Win* 
ter's Tale. MALONE. 

3 by the weight;'] That is, artificial beauty is purchased 

so ; as, false hair, &c. STEEVENS. 


Making them lightest that wear most of it : 4 

So are those crisped 5 snaky golden locks, 

Which make such wanton gambols with the wind* 

Upon supposed fairness, often known 

To be the dowry of a second head, 

The scull that bred them, in the sepulchre.* 

Thus ornament is but the guiled shore 7 

4 Making them lightest that wear most of it ] Lightest is here 
used in a wanton sense. So, afterwards : 

" Let me be .light, but let me not seem light." 


* crisped 3 * e - curled. So, in The Philosopher's Sa- 
tires, by Robert Anton; 

" Her face as beauteous as the crisped morn." 


6 in the sepulchre.] See a note on Timon of Athens, 

Act IV. sc. iii. Shakspeare has likewise satirized this yet pre- 
vailing fashion in Love's Labour's Lost. STEEVENS. 

The prevalence of this fashion in Shakspeare's time is evinced 
by the following passage in an old pamphlet entitled, The Honestie 
of this Age, proving by good Circumstance that the World was 
never honest till now, by Barnabe Rich, quarto, 1615 : *' My 
lady holdeth on her way, perhaps to the tire-maker's shop, 
where she her crownes to bestow upon some new fasliion- 
ed attire, upon such artificial deformed periwigs, that they were 
fitter to furnish a theatre, or for her that in a stage-play should 
represent some hag of hell, than to be used by a Christian woman." 
Again, ibid; " These attire-makers within these fortie yeares 
were not known by that name ; and but now very lately they 
kept their lowzie commodity of periwigs, and their monstrous 
attires closed in boxes ; and those women that used to weare 
them would not buy them but in secret. But now they are not 
ashamed to set them forth upon their stalls, such monstrous 
mop-powles of haire, so proportioned and deformed, that but 
within these twenty or thirty yeares would have drawne the pass- 
ers-by to stand and gaze, and to wonder at them/' MALONE. 

7 the guiled shore ] i. e. the treacherous shore. So, in 

The Pilgrim, by Beaumont and Fletcher : 

" Or only a fair show, to guile his mischiefs." 

I should not have thought the word wanted explanation, but 
that some of our modern editors have rejected it, and read gilded. 

ac.ii.- MERCHANT OF VENICE. 315 

To a most dangerous sea; the beauteous scarf 
Veiling an Indian beauty ; 8 in a word, 
The seeming truth which cunning times put on 
To entrap the wisest. Therefore, thou gaudy gold, 
Hard food for Midas, I will none of thee : 
Nor none of thee, thou pale and common drudge 
'Tween man and man: 9 but thou, thou meager lead. 
Which rather threat'nest, than dost promise aught, 
Thy plainness moves me more than eloquence, 1 
And here choose I ; Joy be the consequence ! 

Gulled is the reading of all the ancient copies. Shakspeare in 
this instance, as in many others, confounds the participles. 
Gulled stands for gulling. STEEVENS. 

8 Indian beauty ;] Sir T. Hanmer reads : 

Indian dowdy. JOHNSON. 

9 thou pale and common drudge 

' Tiueen man and man :] So, in Chapman's Hymnus In 
fioctern, 4to. 1594: 

" To v/hompale day (with whoredome soked quite) 
" Is but a drudge." STEEVENS. 

1 Thy plainness moves me more than eloquence,'] The old copies 
read ^paleness. STEEVENS. 

Bassanio is displeased at the golden casket for its gaudiness, 
and the silver one for its paleness ; but what ! is he charmed 
with the leaden one for having the very same quality that dis- 
pleased him in the silver ? The poet certainly wrote : 
Thy plainness moves me more than eloquence . 
This characterizes the lead from the silver, which paleness 
does not, they being both pale. Besides, there is a beauty in the 
antithesis between plainness and eloquence; between paleness 
and eloquence none. So it is said before of the leaden casket: 
" This third, dull lead, with warning all is blunt." 


It may be that Dr. Warburton has altered the wrong word, if 
*ny alteration be necessary. I would rather give the character 
of silver, 

" Thou stale, and common drudge 

" 'Tween man and man." 
The paleness of lead is for ever alluded to. 

" Diane declining, pale as any ledde" v. u 


FOR. How all the other passions fleet to air, 
As doubtful thoughts, and rash-embrac'd despair. 
And shudd'ring fear and green-ey'd jealousy. 

love, be moderate, allay thy ecstasy, 

In measure rain thy joy, 2 scant this excess ; 

1 feel too much thy blessing, make it less, 

Says Stephen Hawes. In Fairfax's Tasso, we have 
" The lord Tancredie, pale with rage as lead,' 1 
Again, Sackville, in his Legend of the Duke of Buckingham : 

" Now pale as lead, now cold as any stone." 
And in the old ballad of The King and the Beggar: 

" She blushed scarlet red, 

" Then straight again, as pale as lead.' 9 
As to the antithesis, Shakspeare has already made it in A Mid- 
summer-Night's Dream : 

" When (says Theseus) I hare seen great clerks look pale, 
" I read as much, as from the rattling tongue 
" Of saucy and audacious eloquence." FARMER- 

By laying an emphasis on Thy, [ Thy paleness moves me, &c.] 
Dr. W.'s objection is obviated. Though Bassanio might object 
to silver, that " pale and common drudge," lead, though pale 
also, yet not being in daily use, might, in his opinion, deserve a 
preference. I have therefore great doubts concerning Dr. War- 
burton's emendation. MALONE. 

* In measure rain thy joy, ~\ The first quarto edition reads : 

In measure range thy joy. 
The folio, and one of the quartos : 

In measure raine thy joy. 
I once believ'd Shakspeare meant : 

In measure rein thy joy. 

The words rain and rein were not in these times distinguished 
by regular orthography. There is no difficulty in the present 
reading, only where the copies vary, some suspicion of error is 
always raised. JOHNSON. 

Having frequent occasion to make the same observation in the 
perusal of the first folio, I am also strongly inclined to the former 
word ; but as the text is intelligible, have made no change. Rein 
in the second instance quoted below by Mr. Steevens, is spelt in 
the old copy as it is here ; raine. So, in The Tempest, edit. 1623: 

" do not give dalliance 

" Too much the raigne." MALONE. 

I believe Shakspeare alluded to the well known proverb, it 
cannot rain, but it pours. 


For fear I surfeit ! 

BASS. What find I here ? 3 

[Opening the leaden casket* 
Fair Portia's counterfeit? 4 What demi-god 
Hath come so near creation ? Move these eyes ? 
Or whether, riding on the balls of mine, 
Seem they in motion ? Here are sever'd lips, 

Soj in The Laws of 'Candy >, by Beaumont and Fletcher: 

** - pour not too fast joys on me, 

" But sprinkle them so gently, I may stand them." 
The following quotation by Mr. Malone from K. Henry IV* 
P. I. confirms my sense of the passage : 

" but in short space 

" It mirCd downforttme show'ring on thy head, 

** And such a flood of greatness fell on you," &c. 
Mr. Toilet is of opinion that rein is the true word, as it better 
agrees with the context ; and more especially on account of the 
following passage in Coriolanus, which approaches very near to 
the present reading : 

" being once chaf'd, he cannot 

*' Be rein'd again to temperance." 
So, in Love's Labour's Lost, Act V. sc. ii : 

" Rein thy tongue." STEEVENS. 

3 What find / here ?] The latter word is here employed as a 
dissyllable. MA LOSE. 

Some monosyllable appears to have been omitted. There is 
no example ufhcre, used as a dissyllable ; and even with such 
assistance, the verse, to the ear at least, would be defective* 
Perhaps our author designed Portia to say: 
** For fear I surfeit me." STEEVENS. 

* Fair Portia's counterfeit ?] Counterfeit, which is at present 
used only in a bad sense, anciently signified a likeness, a resem- 
blance, without comprehending any idea of fraud. So, in The 
Wit of a Woman, 1604 : " I will see if I can agree with this 
stranger, for the drawing of my daughter's counterfeit." 

Again, (as Mr. M. Mason observes,) Hamlet calls the pictures 
he shows to his mother 

*' The counterfeit presentment of two brothers." 



Parted with sugar breath ; so sweet a bar 
Should sunder such sweet friends: Here in her hairs 
The painter plays the spider ; and hath woven 
A golden mesh to entrap the hearts of men, 
Faster than gnats in cobwebs : But her eyes, 
How could he see to do them ? having made one, 
Methinks, it should have power to steal both his, 
And leave itself unfurnish'd : 5 Yet look, how far 

4 Methinkx, it should have power to steal both his, 
And leave itself unfurnish'd :] Perhaps it might be : 

And leave himself unfurnish'd. JOHNSON. 
If this be the right reading, unfurnished must mean " unfur- 
nished with a companion, or fellow.'* I am confirmed in this 
explanation, by the following passage In Fletcher's Lover's Pro- 
gress, where Alcidon says to Clarange", on delivering Lidian's 
challenge, which Clarange" accepts 

" you are a noble gentleman, 

" WiH't please you bring a friend ; we are two of us, 
" And pity, either of us should be unfurnished" 


Dr. Johnson's emendation would altogether subvert the poet's 1 
meaning. If the artist, in painting one of Portia's eyes, should 
lose both his own, that eye which he had painted, must neces- 
sarily be left unfurnished. Or destitute of its fellow. HENCEY. 

And leave itself unfurnished :] i. e. and leave itself incom- 
plete ; unaccompanied with the other usual component parts of 
a portrait, viz. another eye, &c. The various features of the 
face our author seems to have considered as the furniture of a 
picture. So, in As you like it : " he was furnished like a 
huntsman ;" i. e. had all the appendages belonging to a hunts- 
man. MALONE. 

The hint for this passage appears to have been taken from 
Greene's History of Fair e Bettor a; afterwards published under 
the title of A Paire of Turtle Doves, or the Tragicall History of 
Bellora and Fidelia, bl. 1 : " If Apelles had beene tasked to have 
drawne her counterfeit, her two bright-burning lampes would 
have so dazled his quicke-seeing sences, that quite dispairing to 
expresse with his cunning pensill so admirable a worke of nature. 
he had been inforced to have staid his hand, and left this earthly 
Venus unfinished." 

A preceding passage in Bassanio's speech might have been 
suggested by the same novel. STEEVENS. 

scr. //. MERCHANT OF VENICE. 31<J 

The substance of my praise doth wrong this shadow 
In underprizing it, so far this shadow 
Doth limp behind the substance. 6 Here'sthe scroll ^ 
The continent and summary of my fortune. 

You that choose not by the view, 
Chance as fair and choose as true ! 
Since this fortune falls to you^ 
Be content 9 and seek no new. 
If you be well pleas' d with this 9 
And hold your fortune for your bliss, 
Turn ifou where your lady is, 
And ctaim her with a loving kiss. 

A gentle scroll ; Fair lady, by your leave ; 

[_Kissing her* 

I come by note, to give, and to receive. 
Like one of two contending in a prize* 
That thinks he hath done well in people's eyes, 
Hearing applause, and universal shout, 
Giddy in spirit, still gazing, in a doubt 
Whether those peals of praise 7 be his or no j 
S>, thrice fair lady, stand I, even so j 

A golden mesh to entrap the hearts of men: " What are our 
curled and crisped lockes, out snares and nets to catch and en- 
tangle the hearts of gazers," &c. STEEVENS. 

' this shadow 

Doth limp behind the substance.] So, in The Tempest: 

'* she will outstrip all praise, 

" And make it halt behind her." STEEVENS. 

7 peals of praise ] The second quarto reads -pearlef of 

praise. JOHNSON. 

This reading may be the true one. So, in Whetstone's Arbour 
of Virtue, 1576 : 

* The pearles of praise that deck a noble name." 
Again, in R. C.'s verses in praise of the same author's Rock 
of Regard: 

** But that that bears the pearle of praise away." 



As doubtful whether what I see be true, 
Until confirmed, sign'd, ratified by you. 

* FOR. You see me, lord Bassanio, where I stand, 
Such as I am : though, for my self alone, 
I would not be ambitious in my wish* 
To wish myself much better j yet, for you, 
I would be trebled twenty times myself; 
A thousand times more fair, ten thousand times 
More rich ; 

That only to stand high on your account, 
I might in virtues, beauties, livings, friends, 
Exceed account : but the full sum of me 
Is sum of something; 8 which, to term in gross y 
Is an unlesson'd girl, unschool'd, unpractis'd : 
Happy in this, she is not yet so old 
But she may learn ; 9 and happier than this, 
She is not bred so dull but she can learn j 
Happiest of all, is, that her gentle spirit 
Commits, itself to yours to be directed, 

* Is sum of something ;] We should read some of something, 
i. e. only a piece, or part only of an imperfect account ; which 
she explains in the following line. WARBURTON. 

Thus one of the quartos. The folio reads : 

Is sum of nothing. - 
The purport of the reading in the text seems to be this : 

*' the full sum of me " 

Is sum of something, i. e. is not entirely ideal, but amounts 
to as much as can be found in an unlesson'd girl, &c. 


I should prefer the reading of the folio, as it is Portia's inten- 
tion, in this speech, to undervalue herself. M. MASON. 

9 But she may learn ;} The latter word is here used as a dis- 
syllable. MALONE. 

Till the reader has reconciled his ear to this dissyllabical pro- 
nunciation of the word learn, I beg his acceptance of and, a 
harmless monosyllable which I have ventured to introduce for 
the sake of obvious metre. STEEVENS. 

sc. ii. MERCHANT OF VENICE. 321 

As from her lord, her governor, her king.~ 
Myself, and what is mine, to -you, and yours ' 
Is now converted : but now I was the lord 
Of this fair mansion, master of my servants, 
Queen o'er myself j and even now, but now, 
This house, these servants, and this same myself, 
Are yours, my lord ; I give them with this ring ; 
Which when you part from, lose, or give away, 
Let it presage the ruin of your love, 
And be my vantage to exclaim on you. 

BASS. Madam, you have bereft me of all words, 
Only my blood speaks to you in my veins : 
And there is such confusion in my powers, 
As, after some oration fairly spoke 
By a beloved prince, there doth appear 
Among the buzzing pleased multitude ; 
Where every something, being blent together, 1 
Turns to a wild of nothing, save of joy, 
Express'd, and not expressed : But when this ring 
Parts from this finger, then parts life from hence ; 
O, then be bold to say, Bassanio's dead. 

NER. My lord and lady, it is now our time, 
That have stood by, and seen our wishes prosper, 
To cry,' good joy ; Good joy, my lord, and lady ! 

GRA. My lord Bassanio, and my gentle lady, 
I wish you all the joy that you can wish ; 

-n T J 1 > 1 

for, 1 am sure, you can wish none from me : 
And, when your honours mean to solemnize 
The bargain of your faith, I do beseech you, 
Even at that time I may be married too. 

1 being blent together,] i. e. blended. STEEVENS. 

you can wish none t from me:'} That is, none avoayfrom 

me ; none that I shall lose, if you gain it. JOHNSON. 


BASS. With all my heart, so thou canst get a wife. 

GRA. I thank your lordship ; you have got me 


My eyes, my lord, can look as swift as yours : 
You saw the mistress, I beheld the maid ; 
You lov'd, I lov'd ; for intermission 3 
No more pertains to me, my lord, than you. 
Your fortune stood upon the caskets there ; 
And so did mine too, as the matter falls : 
For wooing here, until I sweat again ; 
And swearing, till my very roof was dry 
With oaths of love ; at last, if promise last, 
I got a promise of this fair one here, 
To have her love, provided that your fortune 
Achieved her mistress. 

FOR. Is this true, Nerissa ? 

NER. Madam, it is, so you stand pleas' d withal. 
BASS. And do you, Gratiano, mean good faith ? 
GRA. Yes, 'faith, my lord. 

BASS. Our feast shall be much honour'd in your 

GRA. We'll play with them, the first boy for a 
thousand ducats. 

NER. What, and stake down ? 

GRA. No ; we shall ne'er win at that sport, and 

stake down. 

But who comes here ? Lorenzo, and his infidel ? 
What, my old Venetian friend, Salerio ? 

3 for intermission ] Intermission is pause, intervening 

time, delay. So, in Macbeth : 

" gentle heaven 

" Cut short all intermission /" STEEVENS. 

sc. ii. MERCHANT OF VENICE. 323 


BASS. Lorenzo, and Salerio, welcome hither ; 
If that the youth of my new interest here 
Have power to bid you welcome : By your leave, 
I bid my very friends and countrymen, 
Sweet Portia, welcome. 

FOR. So do I, my lord ; 

They are entirely welcome. 

LOR. I thank your honour : For my part, my 


My purpose was not to have seen you here ; 
But meeting with Salerio by the way, 
He did entreat me, past all saying nay, 
To come with him along. 

SALE. I did, my lord, 

And I have reason for it. Signior Antonio 
Commends him to you. \_Gives BASSANIO a letter. 

BASS. Ere I ope his letter, 

I pray you, tell me how my good friend doth. 

SALE. Not sick, my lord, unless it be in mind ; 
Nor well, unless in mind : his letter there 
Will show you his estate. 

GRA. Nerissa, cheer yon' stranger ; bid her wel- 

Your hand, Salerio ; What's the news from Venice ? 
How doth that royal merchant, good Antonio ? 
I know, he will be glad of our success ; 
We are the Jasons, we have won the fleece. 4 

4 We are the Jasons, toe have won theJteeceJ\ So, in Abraham 
Fleming's Rythme Decasyttabically upon this last luckie Voyage 
oftKOrthie Capteine Frobisher, 1577: 


SALE. 'Would you had won the fleece that he 
hath lost ! 

POT?. There are some shrewd contents in yon* 

same paper, 

That steal the colour from Bassanio's cheek : 
Some dear friend dead ; else nothing in the world 
Could turn so much the constitution 
Of any constant man. What, worse and worse ? 
With leave, Bassanio ; I am half yourself, 
And I must freely have the half of any thing 
That this same paper brings you. 

BASS. O sweet Portia, 

Here are a few of the unpleasant'st words, 
That ever blotted paper ! Gentle lady, 
When I did first impart my love to you, 
I freely told you, all the wealth I had 
Ran in my veins, I was a gentleman ; 
And then I told you true : and yet, dear lady, 
Rating myself at nothing, you shall see 
How much I was a braggart : When I told you 
My state was nothing, I should then have told you 
That I was worse than nothing ; for, indeed, 
I have engaged myself to a dear friend, 
Engag'd my friend to his mere enemy, 
To feed my means. Here is a letter, lady ; 

" The golden fleece (like Jason) hath he got, 
" And rich return'd, saimce losse or luckless lot." 
Again, in the old play of King Leir, 1605 : 

" I will returne seyz'd of as rich a prize 
" As Jason, when he wanne the golden fleece." 
It appears, from the registers of the Stationers' Company, that 
we seem to have had a version of Valerius Flaccus in 1565. In 
this year (whether in verse or prose is unknown,) was entered 
to J. Purfoote : " The story of Jason, howe he gotte the golden 
flece, and howe he did begyle Media [Medea,] out of Laten into 
Knglishe, by Nycholas Whyte." STEEVENS. 


The paper as the body 5 of my friend, 
And every word in it a gaping wound, 
Issuing life-blood. But is it true, Salerio ? 
Have all his ventures fail'd ? What, not one hit ? 
From Tripolis, from Mexico, and England, 
From Lisbon, Barbary, and India ? 
And not one vessel 'scape the dreadful touch 
Of merchant-marring rocks ? 

SALE. Not one, my lord. 

Besides, it should appear, that if he had 
The present money to discharge the Jew, 
He would not take it : Never did I know 
A creature, that did bear the shape of man, 
So keen and greedy to confound a man : 
He plies the duke at morning, and at night ; 
And doth impeach the freedom of the state, 
If they deny him justice : twenty merchants, 
The duke himself, and the magnificoes 
Of greatest port, have all persuaded with him ; 
But none can drive him from the envious plea 
Of forfeiture, of justice, and his bond. 

JES. When I was with him, I have heard him 


To Tubal, and to Chus, his countrymen, 
That he would rather have Antonio's flesh, 
Than twenty times the value of the sum 
That he did owe him : and I know, my lord, 

* The paper as the body ] I believe, the author wrote is 
the body. The two words are frequently confounded in the old 
copies. So, in the first quarto edition of this play, Act IV : 
" Is dearly bought, as mine," &c. instead of is mine. 


The expression is somewhat elliptical : " The paper as the 
body," means the paper resembles the body, is as the body. 



If law, authority, and power deny not, 
It will go hard with poor Antonio. 

POR. Is it your dear friend, that is thus in trou- 

BASS. The dearest friend to me, the kindest man. 
The best conditioned and unwearied spirit 
In doing courtesies ; and one in whom 
The ancient Roman honour more appears, 
Than any that draws breath in Italy. 

POR. What sum owes he the Jew ? 
BASS. For me, three thousand ducats. 

POR. What, no more ? 

Pay him six thousand, and deface the bond ; 
Double six thousand, and then treble that, 
Before a friend of this description 
Shall lose a hair through Bassanio's fault. 
First, go with me to church, and call me wife : 
And then away to Venice to your friend ; 
For never shall you lie by Portia's side 
With an unquiet soul. You shall have gold 
To pay the petty debt twenty times over ; 
When it is paid, bring your true friend along : 
My maid Nerissa, and myself, mean time, 
Will live as maids and widows. Come, away ; 
For you shall hence upon your wedding-day : 
Bid your friends welcome, show a merry cheer ; G 
Since you are dear bought, I will love you dear. 
But let me hear the letter of your friend. 

BASS. [Reads.] Sweet Bassanio, my ships have 
all miscarried^ my creditors grow cruel, my estate is 

fl cheer ;] i. e. countenance. So, in A Midsummer- 
Night's Dream y Vol. IV. p. 485: 

" Thatliv'd, that lov'd, that lik'd, that look'd, with cheer" 
See note on this passage. STEEVENS. 


very low, my bond to the Jew is forfeit ; and since, 
in paying it, it is impossible I should live, all debts 
are cleared between you and I, 7 if I might but see 
you at my death : notwithstanding, use your plea- 
sure : if your love do not persuade you to come, let 
not my letter. 

FOR. O love, despatch all business, and be gone. 

BASS. Since I have your good leave to go away, 

I will make haste : but, till I come again, 
No bed shall e'er be guilty of my stay, 
No rest be interposer 'twixt us twain. 



Venice. A Street. 

SHY. Gaoler, look to him; Tell not me of 

mercy ; 

This is the fool that lent out money gratis ; 
Gaoler, look to him. 

ANT. Hear me yet, good Shylock. 

SHY. I'll have my bond ; speak not against my 

bond j 

I have sworn an oath, that I will have my bond : 
Thou call'dst me dog, before thou had'st a cause: 
But, since I am a dog, beware my fangs : 
The duke shall grant me justice. I do wonder, 

7 and I,] This inaccuracy, I believe, was our author's. 

Mr. Pope reads and me. MALOKE. 


Thou naughty gaoler, that thou art so fond 8 
To come abroad with him at his request. 

ANT. I pray thee, hear me speak. 

SHY. I'll have my bond ; I will not hear thee 

speak : 

I'll have my bond ; and therefore speak no more. 
I'll not be made a soft and dull-ey'd fool, 9 
To shake the head, relent, and sigh, and yield 
To Christian intercessors. Follow not ; 
I'll have no speaking ; I will have my bond. 

\_Rxit SHYLOCK. 

SALAN. It is the most impenetrable cur, 
That ever kept with men. 

ANT. Let him alone ; 

I'll follow him no more with bootless prayers. 
He seeks my life ; his reason well I know ; 
I oft deliver'd from his forfeitures 
Many that have at times made moan to me ; 
Therefore he hates me. 

SALAN. I am sure, the duke 

Will never grant this forfeiture to hold. 

ANT. The duke cannot deny the course of law ; l 

* so fond ] i. e. so foolish. So, in the old comedy of 

Mother Bombie, 1594, by Lyly : " that the youth seeing her 
fair cheeks, may be enamoured before they hear her fond 
speech.'* STEEVENS. 

9 dull-ey'd foolj\ This epithet dull-ey'd is bestowed on 

melancholy in Pericles, Prince of Tyre. STEEVENS. 

1 The duke cannot deny &c.] As the reason here given seems 
a little perplex'd, it may be proper to explain it. If, says he, 
the duke stop the course of law, it will be attended with this in- 
convenience, that stranger merchants, by whom the wealth and 
power of this city is supported, will cry out of injustice. For 
the known stated law being their guide and security, they will 
never bear to have the current of it stopped on any pretence of 
equity whatsoever. WARBURTON. 

sc. iv. MERCHANT OF VENICE. 329 

For the commodity that strangers have 
With us in Venice,. if it be denied, 2 
Will much impeach the justice of the state ; 
Since that the trade and profit of the city 
Consisteth of all nations. Therefore, go : 
These griefs and losses have so 'bated me, 
That I shall hardly spare a pound of flesh 

To-morrow to my bloody creditor. 

Well, gaoler, on : Pray God, Bassanio come 
To see me pay his debt, and then I care not ! 


Belmont. A Room in Portia's House. 


LOR. Madam, although I speak it in your pre- 

You have a noble and a true conceit 
Of god-like amity; which appears most strongly 
In bearing thus the absence of your lord. 
But, if you knew to whom you show this honour, 
How true a gentleman you send relief, 
How dear a lover of my lord your husband, 

1 For the commodity that strangers have 

With us in Venice, if it be denied, &c.] i. e. for the denial 
of those rights to strangers, which render their abode at Venice 
so commodious and agreeable to them, would much impeach the 
justice of the state. The consequence would be, that strangers 
would not reside or carry on traffick here ; and the wealth and 
strength of the state would be diminished. In The Historye of 
Italye, by W. Thomas, quarto, 1567, there is a section On the 
libertee qfstraungers at Venice. MALONE. 


I know, you would be prouder of the work, 
Than customary bounty can enforce you. 

FOR. I never did repent for doing good, 
Nor shall not now : for in companions 
That do converse and waste the time together, 
Whose souls do bear an equal yoke of love, 3 
There must be needs a like proportion 
Of lineaments, of manners, 4 and of spirit; 

3 Whose souls do bear an equal yokd &c.] The folio, 1623, 
reads egal, which, 1 believe, in Shakspeare's time was com- 
monly used for equal. So it was in Chaucer's : 

" I will presume hym so to dignifie 
" Yet be not egall." Prol. to The Remedy of Love. 

Again, in Gorboduc: 

" Sith all as one do bear you egall faith." STEEVENS. 

4 Of lineaments, of manners, &c.] The wrong pointing has 
made this fine sentiment nonsense. As implying that friendship 
could not only make a similitude of manners, but of faces. The 
true sense is, lineaments of manners, i. e. form of the manners, 
which, says the speaker, must needs be proportionate. 


The poet only means to say, that corresponding proportions of 
body and mind are necessary for those tvho spend their time toge- 
ther. So, in King Henry IV. P. II : 

" Dol. Why doth the prince love him so then ? 

" Fal. Because their legs are both of a bigness," &c. 

Every One will allow that the friend of a toper should have a 
strong head, and the intimate of a sportsman such an athletic 
constitution as will enable him to acquit himself with reputation 
in the exercises of the field. The word lineaments was used 
with great laxity by our ancient writers. In The learned and 
true Assertion of the Original, Life, &c. of King Arthur, trans- 
lated from the Latin of John Leland, 1582, it is used for the 
human frame in general. Speaking of the removal of that prince's 
bones, he calls them Arthur's lineaments three times translated ; 
and again, all the lineaments of them remaining in that most 
stately tomb, saving the shin bones of the king and queen, &c. 

Again, in Greene's Farewell to Follie, 1617: " Nature hath 
so curiously performed his charge in the lineaments of his 
body," &c. 

Again, in Chapman's version of the fifth Iliad. ' 

sc. iv. MERCHANT OF VENICE. 331 

Which makes me think, that this Antonio, 
Being the bosom lover of my lord, 5 
Must needs be like my lord : If it be so, 
How little is the cost I have bestow'd, 
In purchasing the semblance of my soul 
From out the state of hellish cruelty ? 
This comes too near the praising of myself; 
Therefore, no more of it : hear other things. 6 
Lorenzo, I commit into your hands 
The husbandry and manage of my house, 
Until my lord's return : for mine own part, 
I have toward heaven breath'd a secret vow, 
To live in prayer and contemplation, 

*' took the weariness of fight 

" From all his nerves and lineaments^ " 
Again, in the thirteenth Iliad: 

" the course 

" Of his illustrious lineaments so out of nature bound, 

" That back nor forward he could stir, " 
Again, in the twenty-third Iliad: 

*' so overlabour'd were 

" His goodly lineaments with chase of Hector," &c. 
Again, in the twenty-fourth Iliad: 

" Those throes that my deliverers were 

" Of his unhappy lineaments ;" STEEVENS. 

the bosom lover of my lord,] In our author's time this 

term was applied to those of the same sex who had an esteem 
for each other. Ben Jonson concludes one of his letters to Dr. 
Donne, by telling him: " he is his true lover." So, in Corio- 
lanus: "I tell thee, fellow, thy general is my lover" Many 
more instances might be added. See our author's Sonnets, 
passim. MALONE. 

hear other things."] In former editions: 

This comes too near the praising oj 
Therefore no more of it: here other things, 
Lorenzo, I commit &c. 

Portia finding the reflections she had made came too near self- 
praise, begins to chide herself for it ; says, She'll say no more of 
that sort ; but call a new subject! The regulation I have made 
in the text was likewise prescribed by Dr. Thirlby. THEOBALD. 


Only attended by Nerissa here, 

Until her husband and my lord's return : 

There is a monastery two miles off, 

And there we will abide. I do desire you, 

Not to deny this imposition ; 

The which my love, and some necessity, 

Now lays upon you. 

LOR. Madam, with all my heart ; 

I shall obey you in all fair commands. 

FOR. My people do already know my mind, 
And will acknowledge you and Jessica 
In place of lord Bassanio and myself. 
So fare you well, till we shall meet again. 

LOR. Fair thoughts, and happy hours, attend on 

JES. I wish your ladyship all heart's content. 

FOR. I thank you for your wish, and am well 


To wish it back on you : fare you well, Jessica. 
Now, Balthazar, 

As I have ever found thee honest, true, 
So let me find thee still : Take this same letter, 
And use thou all the endeavour of a man, 
In speed to Padua ; 7 see thou render this 
Into my cousin's hand, doctor Bellario j 

7 In speed to Padua ;] The old copies read Mantua ; and 
thus all the modern editors implicitly after them. But 'tis evi- 
dent to any diligent reader, that we must restore, as I have done, 
In speed to Padua: for it was there, and not at Mantua, 
Bellario liv'd. So, afterwards : A messenger, ivith letters from 
the Doctor, now come from Padua And again : Came you from 
Padua, from Bellario? And again, It comes from Padua, from 
Bellario. Besides, Padua, not Mantua, is the place of educat- 
ion for the civil law in Italy. THEOBALD. 

sc. iv. MERCHANT OF VENICE. 333 

And, look, what notes and garments he doth give 


Bring them, I pray thee, with imagin'd speed 8 
Unto the tranect, 9 to the common ferry 
Which trades to Venice : waste no time in words, 
But get thee gone ; I shall be there before thee. 

BALTH. Madam, I go with all convenient speed. 


POR. Come on, Nerissa ; I have work in hand, 
That you yet know not of: we'll see our husbands, 
Before they think of us. 

NER. Shall they see us ? 

POR. They shall, Nerissa ; but in such a habit, 
That they shall think we are accomplished 
With what we lack. I'll hold thee any wager, 
When we are both accouter'd l like young men, 
I'll prove the prettier fellow of the two, 
And wear my dagger with the braver grace j 

8 -with imagin'd speed ] i. e. with celerity like that of 

imagination. So, in the Chorus preceding the third Act of 
King Henry V : 

" Thus with imagin'd wing our swift scene flies." 
Again, in Hamlet: " swift as meditation-" STEEVENS. 

9 Unto the tranect,] The old copies concur in this reading, 
which appears to be derived from tranare, and was probably a 
word current in the time of our author, though I can produce 
no example of it. STEEVENS. 

Mr. -Rowe reads traject, which was adopted by all the sub- 
sequent editors. Twenty miles from Padua, on the river Brenta 
there is a dam or sluice, to prevent the water of that river from 
mixing with that of the marshes of Venice. Here the passage- 
boat is drawn out of the river, and lifted over the dam by a 
crane. From hence to Venice the distance is five miles. Per- 
haps some novel-writer of Shakspeare's time might have called 
this dam by the name of the tranect. See Du Cange in v. Trana. 


1 accouter'd ] So, the earliest quarto, and the folio. 

The other quarto apparel'd. MALONE. 


And speak, between the change of man and boy, 

With a reed voice ; and turn two mincing steps 

Into a manly stride ; and speak of frays, 

Like a fine bragging youth : and tell quaint lies, 

How honourable ladies sought my love, 

Which I denying, they fell sick and died ; 

I could not do with all ; 2 then I'll repent, 

And wish, for all that, that I had not kill'd them : 

And twenty of these puny lies I'll tell, 

That men shall swear, I have discontinued school 

Above a twelvemonth : I have within my mind 

A thousand raw tricks of these bragging Jacks, 

Which I will practise. 

NER. Why, shall we turn to men? 

FOR. Fye ! what a question's that, 
If thou wert near a lew'd interpreter ? 
But come, I'll tell thee all my whole device 
When I am in my coach, which stays for us 
At the park gate ; and therefore haste away, 
For we must measure twenty miles to-day. 


* do with all;~\ For the sense of the word do, in this 

place, see a note on Measure for Measure, Vol. VI. p. 203. 


The old copy reads tvithall. Corrected by Mr. Pope. 



The same. A Garden. 


LAUN. Yes, truly: for, look you, the sins of 
the father are to be laid upon the children ; there- 
fore, I promise you, I fear you. 3 I was always 
plain with you, and so now I speak my agitation 
of the matter : Therefore, be or good cheer j for, 
truly, I think, you are damn'd. There is but one 
hope in it that can do you any good ; and that is 
but a kind of bastard hope neither. 

JES. And what hope is that, I pray thee ? 

LAUN. Marry, you may partly hope that your 
father got you not, that you are not the Jew's 

JES. That were a kind of bastard hope, indeed ; 
so the sins of my mother should be visited upon me. 

LAUN. Truly then I fear you are damn'd both 
by father and mother : thus when I shun Scylla, 
your father, I fall into Charybdis, your mother : 4 
well, you are gone both ways. 

* therefore, I promise you, I fear you.] I suspect^or has 

been inadvertently omitted ; and we should read I fear for you. 


There is not the slightest need of emendation. The disputed 
phrase is authorized by a passage in King Richard III : 
" The king is sickly, weak, and melancholy, 
" And his physicians^ar him mightily." STEEVENS. 

4 thus when I shun Scylla, your father, I fall into 

Charybdis, your mother .] Originally from the Alexandras of 
Philippe Gualtier ; but several translations of this adage were ob- 


JES. I shall be saved by my husband ; 5 he hath 
made me a Christian. 

vious to Shakspeare. Among other places, it is found in an 
ancient poem entitled A Dialogue between Custom and Veritie, 
concerning the use and abuse of Dauncing and Minstrelsie, bl. 1. 
no date : 

" While Silla they do seem to shun, 
" In Charibd they do fall," &c. 

Philip Gualtier de Chatillon (afterwards Bishop of Megala,) 
was born towards the latter end of the 12th Century. In the 
fifth Book of his heroic Poem, Darius (who escaping from Alex- 
ander, fell into the hands of Bessus, ) is thus apostrophized : 
** Nactus equum Darius, rorantia caede suorum 
" Retrograde fugit arva gradu. Quo tendis inertem 
** Rex periture fugam? nescis, heu! perdite, nescis 
" Quern fugias, hostes incurris dum fugis hostem : 
" Incidis in Scyllam, cupiens vitare .Charibdim. 
" Bessus, Narzabanes, rerum pars magna tuarum, 
" Quos inter proceres humili de plebe locastf, 
" Non veriti temerare fidem, capitisq verendi 
** Perdere caniciem, spreto moderamine juris, 
" Proh dolor! in domini conjurant fata clientes." 
The author of the line in question (who was unknown to 
Erasmus) was first ascertained by Galeottus Martius, who died 
in 1476; (See Menagiana, Vol. I. p. 173, edit. 1729,) and we 
learn from Henricus Gandavensis de Scriptoribus Ecclesiasticis, 
[i. e. Henry of Gaunt,] that the Alexandrcis had been a common 
school-book. " In scholis Grammaticorum tantae fuisse dignitatis, 
ut prae ipso veterum Poetarum lectio negligeretur." Barthius 
also, in his notes on Claudian, has words to the same effect. 
" Et media barbarie non plane ineptus versificator Galterus ab 
Insula (qui tempore Joannis Saresberiensis, ut ex hujus ad eum 
epistolis discimus, vixit) Tarn autem postea clarus fuit, ut ex- 
pulsis quibusvis bonis auctoribus, scholas tenuerit." Freinsheim, 
however, in his comment on Quintus Curtius, confesses that he 
had never seen the work of Gualtier. 

The corrupt state in which this poem ( of which I have not met 
with the earliest edition,) still appears, is perhaps imputable to 
frequent transcription, and injudicious attempts at emendation. 
Every pedagogue through whose hands the MS. passed, seems 
to have made some ignorant and capricious changes in its text; so 
that in many places it is as apparently interpolated and corrupted 
as the ancient copies of Shakspeare. " Galterus (says Hermann 
in his Conspectus Reipublicce Literarice, p. 102,) secutus est 


LAUN. Truly, the more to blame he : we were 
Christians enough before; e'en as many as could 
well live, one by another : This making of Christians 
will raise the price of hogs; if we grow all to be 
pork-eaters, we shall not shortly have a rasher on 
the coals for money. 


JES. I'll tell my husband, Launcelot, what you 
say; here he comes. 

LOR. I shall grow jealous of your shortly, Laun- 
celot, if you thus get my wife into corners. 

JES. Nay, you need not fear us, Lorenzo ; 
Launcelot and I are out : he tells me flatly, there 
is no mercy for me in heaven, because I am a Jew's 
daughter: and he says, you are no good member 
of the commonwealth; for, in converting Jews to 
Christians, you raise the price of pork. 

LOR. I shall answer that better to the common- 

Curtium, & saepe ad verbum expressit, unde ejus cum Curtio 
eollatione, nonnulla ex hoc menda tolli possunt; id quod expe- 
riendo didici." See also, I. G. Vossius de Poet . Lot. p. 74, and 
Journal des Sqavans pour Avril, 1760. 

Though Nicholas Grimoald (without mention of his original) 
had translated a long passage of The Alexandras into blank verse 
before the year 1557, (See Surrey's Poems, and Warton's His- 
tory of English Poetry, Vol. III. p. 63,) it could have been, 
little known in England, as it is not enumerated in Philips'? 
Theatrum, &c. a work understood to be enriched by his uncle 
Milton's extensive knowledge of modern as well as ancient 
poetry. STEEVENS. 

Nothing is more frequent than this Proverb in our old writers. 
Thus Ascham, in his Scale-master : " If Scylla drowne him 
not, Charybdis may fortune to swallowe him." Again, Niccols 
in his England's Eliza : 

" To shun Charybdis jaws, they helpless fell 

" In ScyUa's gulf," &c. 

VOL. VII. 2 


wealth, than you can the getting up of the negro's 
belly : the Moor is with child by you, Launcelot. 

LAUN. It is much, that the Moor should be 
more 6 than reason: but if she be less than an honest 
woman, she is, indeed, more than I took her for. 

LOR. How every fool can play upon the word! 
I think, the best grace of wit will shortly turn into 
silence; and discourse grow commendable in none 
only but parrots. Go in, sirrah ; bid them prepare 
for dinner. 

LAUN. That is done, sir; they have all stomachs. 

LOR. Goodly lord, 7 what a wit-snapper are you! 
then bid them prepare dinner. 

I remember it is likewise met with in Lyly's Euphues, Harring- 
ton's Ariosto, &c. and Surrey's contemporary in one of his Poems: 
" From Scylla to Charybdis clives, from danger unto 
death." FARMER. 

4 I shall be saved by my husband,"] From St. Paul : 

* The unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband." 


minds us of the quibbling epigram of Milton, which has the same 

kind of humour to boast of: 

" Galli ex concubitu gravidam te, Pontia, Mori, 
" Quis bene moratam, morigeramque neget ?'* 

So, in The Fair Maid of the West, 1631: 

" And for you Moors thus much I mean to say, 

" I'll see if more I eat the more I may." STEEVENS. 

Shakspeare, no doubt, had read or heard of the old epigram 
on Sir Thomas More : 

" When More some years' had chancellor been, 

" No more suits did remain ; 
" The like shall never more be seen, 
" Till More be there again." RirsoN. 

7 Goodlylord,] Surely this should be corrected Good lord 
as it is in Theobald's edition. TYRWHITT. 

It should be Good y e Lord! FARMER. 


LAUN. That is done too, sir; only, cover is, the 

Lop. Will you cover then, sir? 

LAUN. Not so, sir, neither j I know my duty. 

LOR. Yet more quarrelling with occasion ! Wjlt 
thou show the whole wealth of thy wit in an in- 
stant ? I pray thee ? understand a plain man in his 
plain meaning: go to thy fellows; bid them cover 
the table, serve in the nieat, and we will come in 
to dinner. 

LAUN. For the table, sir, it shall be served in; 
for the meat, sir, it shall be covered \ for your com- 
ing in to dinner, sir, why, let it be as humours and 
conceits shall govern. \JLxit LAUNCELOT, 

LOR. O dear discretion, how his words are 


The fool hath planted in his memory 
An army of good words; And I do know 
A many fools, that stand in better place, 
Garnish'd ^ike him, that for a tricksy word 
Defy the matter. HOW cheer'st thou, Jessica? 

hoia his tnords are suited!] I believe the meaning is 

What a series or suite of words he has independent of meaning ; 
how one word draws op another without relation to the matter. 


I cannot think either that the word suited is derived from the 
word suite, as Johnson supposes, as that, I believe, was intro- 
duced into our language long since the time of Shakspeare ; or 
that Launcelot's words were independent of meaning. Lorenzo 
expresses his surprize that a fool should apply them so properly, 
So Jaques says to the Duke in As you like it: 

t( I met a fool 

" That laid him down and bask'd him in the sun, 

" And rail'd at Lady Fortune in good terms, 

" In good set terms." 
That is, in words well suited. M. MASON. 


And now, good sweet, say thy opinion, 
How dost thou like the lord Bassanio's wife ? 

JES. Past all expressing: It is very meet, 
The lord Bassanio live an upright life ; 
For, having such a blessing in his lady, 
He finds the joys of heaven here on earth ; 
And, if on earth he do not mean it, it 
Is reason he should never come to heaven. 
Why, if two gods should play some heavenly match, 
And on the wager lay two earthly women, 
And Portia one, there must be something else 
Pawn'd with the other j for the poor rude world 
Hath not her fellow. 

LOR. Even such a husband 

Hast thou of me, as she is for a wife. 

JES. Nay, but ask my opinion too of that. 
LOR. I will anon ; first, let us go to dinner. 

JES. Nay, let me praise you, while I have a sto- 

LOR. No, pray thee, let it serve for table-talk; 
Then, howsoe'er thou speak'st, 'mong other things 
I shall digest it. 

JES. Well, 1*11 set you forth. [Exeunt. 



Venice. A Court of Justice. 


Enter the Duke, the Magntficoes; ANTONIO, BAS- 

-t-'-\ ' ' - * * 

DUKE. What, is Antonio here? 
ANT. Ready, so please your grace. 

DUKE. I am sorry for thee ; thou art come to 


A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch 
Uncapable of pity, void and empty 
From any dram of mercy. 

ANT. I have heard, 

Your grace hath ta'en great pains to qualify 
His rigorous course; but since he stands obdurate, 
And that no lawful means can carry me 
Out of his envy's reach, 9 1 do oppose 
My patience to his fury; and am arm'd 
To suffer, with a quietness of spirit, 
The very tyranny and rage of his. 

DUKE. Go one, and call the Jew into the court. 

SALAN. He's ready at the door : he comes, my 

his envy's reach,"] Envy in this place means hatred or 

malice. So, in Reynolds's God's Revenge against Murder, 1621 : 
" he never looks on her (his wife) with affection, but envy." 
p. 109, edit. 1679. So also, (as Mr. Mai one observes,) in La- 
zarus Pyot's Orator, &c. [See the notes at the end of this play,} 
they had slaine him for verie envie." STEEVENS. 



DUKE. Make room, and let him stand before 

our face. 

Shylock, the world thinks, and 1 think so too* 
That thou but lead'st this fashion of thy malice 
To the last hour of act ; and then, 'tis thought, 
Thou'lt showthy mercy, and remorse, 1 more strange 
Than is thy strange apparent 2 cruelty: 
And where 3 thou now exact'st the penalty, 
(Which is a pound of this poor merchant's flesh,) 
Thou wilt not only lose the forfeiture, 
But touched with human gentleness and love, 
Forgive a moiety of the principal ; 
Glancing an eye of pity on his losses, 
That have of late so huddled on his tack ; 
Enough to press a royal merchant down, 11 

1 remorse,} i. e. pity. So, in Othello : 

" And to obey shall be in me remorse" STEEVEMSk 

* - apparent ] That is, seeming ; not rea! 4 JOHNSO&. 

* inhere-* ] For whereas. JOHNSON. 

So, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona : 

" And where I thought the remnant of mine age 
" Should have been cherish'd by her child-like duty," &c 


4 Enough to press a royal merchant down,"] ^Ve are not to 
imagine the. word royal to be only a ranting sounding epithet. 
It is used with great propriety, and shows the poet well acquainted 
with the history of the people whom he here brings upon the 
stage. For when the French and Venetians, in the beginning of 
the thirteenth century, had won Constantinople, the French*, 
under the emperor Henry, endeavoured toextend their conquests 
into the provinces of the Grecian empire on the Terra jirma ; 
while the Venetians, who were masters of the sea, gave liberty 
to any subjects of the republic!*, who would fit out vessels, to 
make themselves masters of the isles ef the Archipelago, and 
6ther maritime places ; and to enjoy their conqnerts in sove- 
reignty : only doing homage to the republic^ for their several 


And pli,ick commiseration of his state 

From brassy bosoms, and rough hearts of flint, 

From stubborn Turks, and Tartars, never train* d 

To offices of tender courtesy. 

We all expect a gentle answer, Jew. 

SHY. I have possess'd your grace of what I pur- 
pose ; 

And by our holy Sabbath have I sworn, 
To have the due and forfeit of my bond: 
If you deny it, let the danger light 
Upon your charter, and your city's freedom. 
You'll ask me, why I rather choose to have 
A weight of carrion flesh, than to receive 
Three thousand ducats : I'll not answer that: 
But, say, it is my humour; 5 Is it answered? 

principalities. By virtue of this licence, the Sanudo's, the Justi- 
niani, the Grimaldi, the Summaripo's, and others, all Venetian 
merchants, erected principalities in several places of the Archi- 
pelago, (which their descendants enjoyed for many generations) 
and thereby became truly and properly royal merchants. Which 
indeed was the title generally given them all over .Europe. 
Hence, the most eminent of our own merchants (while publick 
spirit resided amongst them, and before it was aped by faction, ) 
were called royal merchants. WARBURTON. 

This epithet was in our poet's time more striking and better 
understood, because Gresham was then commonly dignified with 
the title of the royal merchant. JOHNSON. 

Even the pulpit did not disdain the use of this phrase. I have 
now before me *' The Merchant Royal, a Sermon, preached at 
Whitehall, before the king's majestie, at the nuptialls of the right 
honourable the Lord Hay and his lady* upon the twelfe day last, 
being Jan. 6, 1607." STEEVENS. 

* Ptt not ansiver that r 

But, say, it is my humour ;] The Jew being asked a question 
which the law does not require him to answer, stands upon his 
right, and refuses ; but afterwards gratifies his own malignity by 
such answers as he knows will aggravate the pain of the enquirer. 
I will not answer, says he, as to a legal or serious question, but 
since you want an answer, will this serve you ? JOHNSON. 


What if my house be troubled with a rat, 

An I be pleas'd to give ten thousand ducats 

To have it baned? What, are you answer'd yet? 

Some men there are, love not a gaping pig; 6 

Some, that are mad, if they behold a cat ; 

And others, when the bag-pipe sings i* the nose, 

Cannot contain their urine ; For affection, 

Mistress of passion, sways it to the mood 

Of what it likes, orloaths: 7 Now, for your answer: 

say, it is my humour ;] Suppose it is my particular fancy. 


' a gaping pig ;~\ So, in Webster's Dutchess of Malfy, 


" He could not abide to see & pig's head gaping; 
" I thought your grace would find him out a Jew." 
Again, in The Mastive, &c. or, A Collection of Epigrams and 

" Darkas cannot endure to see a cat, 
" A breast of mutton, or a. pig's head gaping." 
See King Henry VIII. Act V. sc. iii. STEEVENS. 

By a gaping pig, Shakspeare, I believe, meant a pig prepared 
for the table ; for in that state is the epithet, gaping, most appli- 
cable to this animal. So, in Fletcher's Elder Brother : 
" And they stand gaping like a roasted pig.'" 

A passage in one of Nasne's pamphlets (which perhaps fur- 
nished our author with his instance, ) may serve to confirm the 
observation: " The causes conducting unto wrath areas diverse 
as the actions of a man's life. Some will take on like a madman, 
if they see a pig come to the table. Sotericus the surgeon was 
cholerick at the sight of sturgeon,*' &c. Pierce Pennylesse his 
Supplication to the Devil, 1592. MA LONE. 

7 Cannot contain their urine ; &c.] Mr. Rowe reads : 
Cannot contain their urine for affection. 
Masterless passion sways it to the mood 
Of 'what it likes, or loaths. 

Masterless passion Mr. Pope has since copied. I don't know 
what word there is to which this relative it is to be referred. 
The ingenious Dr. Thirlby would thus adjust the passage: 
Cannot contain their urine ; for affection, 
Master of passion, rvoayt it, Sjc. 


As there is no firm reason to be rendered, 
Why he cannot abide a gaping pig ; 

And then it is govern'd of passion. The two old quartos and 
folios read Masters of passion, &c. 

It may be objected, that affection and passion mean the same 
thing. But I observe, the writers of our author's age made a 
distinction ; as Jonson in Sejanus : 

" He hath studied 

" Affection's passions, knows their springs and ends." 

And then, in this place, affection will stand for that sympathy 
or antipathy of soul, by which we are provok'd to show a liking 
or disgust in the working of our passions. THEOBALD. 

Masters of passion, is certainly right. He is speaking of the 
power of sound over the human 'affections, and concludes, very 
naturally, that the masters of passion (for so he finely calls the 
musicians,) sway the passions or affections as they please. Al- 
luding to what the ancients tell us of the feats that Timotheus 
and other musicians worked by the power of music. Can any 
thing be more natural ? WARBURTON. 

Does not the verb sviay, which governs the two nominative 
cases affection and masters, require that both should be plural, 
and consequently direct us to read thus ? 

For affections, masters of passion siuay it, &c. 


That affections and passions anciently had different significa- 
tions, may be known from the following instance in Greene's 
Never too Late, 1616 : 

" His heart was fuller of passions than his eyes of affec- 

Affections, as used by Shylock, seem to signify imaginations, 
or prejudices. In Othello, Act I. is a passage somewhat similar : 
" And though we have here a substitute of most allowed suffici- 
ency, yet opinion, a sovereign mistress of effects, throws a more 
safe voice on you." STEEVENS. 

Of this much controverted passage, my opinion was formerly 
very different from what it is at present. Sways, the reading of 
the old copies, I conceived, could not agree with masters as a 
substantive ; but very soon after my former note on these words 
was printed, I found that this was not only our author's usual 
phraseology, but the common language of the time. Innumer- 
able instances of the same kind occur in these plays ; in all of 
which I have followed the practice of my predecessors, and 
silently reduced the substantive and the verb to concord. [See 


Why he, a harmless necessary cat ; 

Vol. IV. p. 78, n. 9.] This is the only change that is now- 
made in the present passage ; for all the ancient copies read 
affection, not affections, as the word has been printed in late 
editions, in order to connect it with the following line: 

" Cannot contain their urine for affection," 1 believe, means 
only Cannot, &c. on account of their being affected by the 
noise of the bagpipe ; or, in other words, on account of an invo- 
luntary antipathy to such a noise. In the next line, which is put 
in apposition with that preceding, the word it may refer either 
to passion, or affection. To explain it, I shall borrow Dr. John- 
eon's words, with a slight variation : " Those who know how 
to operate on the passion of men, rule it, (or rule the sympa- 
thetick feeling,) by making it operate in obedience to the notes 
which please or disgust it." It, (" sway it,"} in my opinion, 
refers to affection, that is, to the sympathetick feeling. 


The true meaning undoubtedly is, The masters of passion, 
that is, such as are possessed of the art of engaging and manag- 
ing the human passions, influence them by a skilful application 
to the particular likings or loathings of the person they are ad- 
dressing ; this is a proof that men are generally governed by 
their likings and loathings, and therefore it is by no means strange 
or unnatural that I should be so too in the present instance. 

The reading of all the old editions is : 

" And others, when the bag-pipe sings i* th* nose, 
" Cannot contain their urine for affection. 
" Masters of passion sways it to the mood 
" Of what it likes or loaths." 

i. e. some men when they hear the sound of a bag-pipe, are so 
affected therewith that they cannot retain their urine. For those 
things which are masters over passion, make it like or loath what- 
ever they will. RITSON. 

After all that has been said about this contested passage,.! em 
convinced we are indebted for the true reading of it to Mr. 
Waldron, the ingenious editor and continuator of Ben Jonson's 
Sad Shepherd. 

In his Appendix, p. 212, he observes that " Mistress was for- 
merly spelt Moistresse or Maistres. In Upton's and Church's 
^Spenser, we have : 

" - young birds, which he had taught to sing 
" His maistresse praises." B. III. c. vii. bt. 17. 


Why he, a swollen bag-pipe ; * but of force 

This, I presume, is the reading of the first edition of the three 
first Books of The Fairy Queen, 1590, which I have not; in the 
second edition, 1596, and the folios 1609 and 1611, it is spelt 

In Bulleyn's Dialogue we have " my maister, and my maistre&s" 
See p. 219 of this Appendix. 

Perhaps Maistres (easily corrupted, by the transposition of 
the r and e, into Maisters, which is the reading of the second 
folio of Shakspeare) might have been the poet's word. 

Mr. Steevens, in his note on this difficult passage, gives a 
quotation from Othello, which countenances this supposed dif- 
ference of gender in the noun : " And though we have here E 
substitute of most allowed sufficiency, yet opinion, a sovereign 
Mistress of effects, throws a more safe voice on you." 

Admitting maistres to have been Shakspeare's word, we may, 
according to modern orthography, read the passage thus : 

" for affection 

" Mistress of passion, sways it to the mood 
" Of what it likes, or loaths." 

In the Latin, it is to be observed, Ajfectio and Passio are 

To the foregoing amendment, so well supported, and so mo- 
destly offered, I cannot refuse a place in the text of our author. 

This emendation may also receive countenance from the fol- 
lowing passage in the fourth Book of Sidney *B Arcadia: " She 
saw in him how much fancy doth not only darken reason, but 
beguile sense ; she found opinion mistresse of the Lover's judg- 

So, likewise, in the Prologue to a MS. entitled, The Bolce of 
Huntyng, that is cleped Mayster of Game: '* ymaginacion 
maistresse of alle workes," &c. STEEVENS. 

8 Why he, a swollen bag-pipe;] This incident Shakspeare 
seems to have taken from J. C. Scaliger's Exot. Exercit. against 
Cardan. A book that our author was well read in, and much 
indebted to for a great deal of his physics : it being then much 
in vogue, and indeed is excellent, though now long since forgot. 
In his 344- Exercit. Sect. ti. he has these words : " Narrabo 
mmc tibi jocosam Sympathiam Reguli Vasconis equitis. Is dum 
viveret, audito phormingis sono, urinam ilHco facere cogeba- 
tur." And to make this jocular story still more ridiculous* 
Shakspeare, I suppose, translated phorminx by bag-pipes. But 
what I would chiefly observe from hence is this, that as Scah'ger 


Must yield to such inevitable shame, 
As to offend, himself being offended ; 

uses the word Sympathiam, which signifies, and so he interpret* 
it, communen affectionem duabus rebus, so Shakspeare translates 
it by affection : 

Cannot contain their urine for affection. 
Which shows the truth of the preceding emendation of the 
text according to the old copies ; which have a full stop at af- 
fection, and read Masters of passion. WARBURTON. 

In an old translation from the French of Peter de Loier, in- 
titled A Treatise of Spectres, or strange Sights, Visions, &c. we 
have this identical story from Scaliger ; and what is still more, a 
marginal note gives us in all probability the very fact alluded to, 
as well as the word of Shakspeare. " Another gentleman of 
this quality lived of late in Devon, neere Excester, who could 
not endure the playing on a bag-pipe" We may justly add, as 
some observation has been made upon it, that affection in the 
sense of sympathy, was formerly technical; and so used by Lord 
Bacon, Sir K. Digby, and many other writers. FARMER. 

As all the editors agree with complete uniformity in reading 
woollen bag-pipe, I can hardly forbear to imagine that they un- 
derstood it. But I never saw a woollen bag-pipe, nor can well 
conceive it. I suppose the authour wrote wooden bag-pipe, 
meaning that the bag was of leather, and the pipe of wood. 


This passage is clear from all difficulty, if we read swelling or 
swollen bag-pipe, which, that we should, I have not the least 

A passage in Turbervile's Epitaphes, p. 13, supports the 
emendation proposed by Sir John Hawkins : 
" First came the rustick forth 
" With pipe and puffed bag." 
This instance was pointed out to me by Dr. Farmer. 


Perhaps Shakspeare calls the bagpipe woollen, from the bag 
being generally covered with woollen cloth. I have seen one at 
Alnwick, belonging to one of the pipers in the Percy family, 
covered with black velvet, and guarded with silver fringe. 


An anonymous writer, in support of the old reading, ob- 
serves, that the skin or bladder of a bag-pipe is frequently co- 
vered with flannel. I am, however, of opinion that the old ia 
the true reading. MA LONE. 


So can I give no reason, nor I will not, 

More than a lodg'd hate, and a certain loathing, 

I bear Antonio, that I follow thus 

A losing suit against him. Are you answer' d ? 

BASS. This is no answer, thou unfeeling man, 
To excuse the current of thy cruelty. 

SHY. I am not bound to please thee with my 

BASS. Do all men kill the things they do not love? 
SHY. Hates any man the thing he would not kill ? 
BASS. Every offence is not a hate at first. 

SHY. What, would'st thou have a serpent sting 
thee twice ? 

ANT. I pray you, think you question 9 with the 

Jew : 

You may as well go stand upon the beach, 
And bid the main flood bate his usual height ; 
You may as well use question with the wolf, 
Why he hath made the ewe bleat for the lamb ; 
You may as well forbid the mountain pines 
To wag their high tops, and to make no noise, 
When they are fretted with the gusts of heaven ; l 

As the aversion was not caused by the outward appearance of 
the bag-pipe, but merely by the sound arising from its inflation, 
I have placed the conjectural reading swollen, in the text. 


9 you question ] To question is to converse. So, in 

Measure for Measure: 

" in the loss of question " i. e. conversation that leads to 
nothing. To reason had anciently the same meaning. 


1 the mountain pines 

To toag their high tops, and to make no noise, 
When they are fretted with the gusts of heaven;] This image 
seems to have been caught from Coming's version of Ovid, 
1587, Book XV. p. 196 : 


You may as well do any thing most hard, 

As seek to soften that (than which what's harder ?) 

His Jewish heart '.Therefore, I do beseech you, 

Make no more offers, use no further means, 

But, with all brief and plain conveniency, 

Let me have judgment, and the Jew his will. 

BASS. For thy three thousand ducats here is six. 

SHY. If every ducat in six thousand ducats 
Were in six parts, and every part a ducat, 
I would not draw them, I would have my bond. 

DUKE. How shalt thou hope for mercy, rend'ring 
none ? 

Stir. What judgment shall I dread, doing no 

wrong ? 

You have among you many a purchased slave, 8 
Which, like your asses, and your dogs, and mules, 
You use in abject and in slavish parts, 
Because you bought them : Shall I say to you, 
Let them be free, marry them to your heirs ? 
Why sweat they under burdens ? let their beds 
Be made as soft as yours, and let their palates 
Be season'd with such viands ? You will answer, 
The slaves are ours : So do I answer you : 
The pound of flesh, which I demand of him, 
Is dearly bought, is mine, 3 and I will have it : 

" Such noise as pine-trees make, what time the headdy 

easterne wind 
*' Doth whizz amongst them ." STEEVENS. 

* -many a jpurchas'd slave,] This argument, considered 

as used to the particular persons, seems conclusive. I see not 
how Venetians or Englishmen, while they practise the purchase 
and sale of slaves, can much enforce or demand the law of doing 
to others as tue would that they should do to us. JOHNSON. 

* M mine,] The first quarto reads as mine, evidently a 

misprint for is. The other quarto and the folio 'tis mine. 



If you deny me, fye upon your law ! 
There is no force in the decrees of Venice : 
I stand for judgment : answer ; shall I have it ? 

DUKE. Upon my power, I may dismiss this court, 
Unless Bellario, a learned doctor, 
Whom I have sent for 4 to determine this, 
Come here to-day. i 

SALAR. My lord, here stays without 

A messenger with letters from the doctor, 
New come from Padua. 

DUKE. Bring us the letters ; Call the messenger. 

BASS. Good cheer, Antonio ! What, man ? cou- 
rage yet ! 

The Jew shall have my flesh, blood, bones, and all, 
Ere thou shalt lose for me one drop of blood. 

ANT. I am a tainted wether of the flock, 
Meetest for death ; the weakest kind of fruit 
Drops earliest to the ground, and so let me : 
You cannot better be employed, Bassanio, 
Than to live still, and write mine epitaph. 

* * Bellario, a learned doctor, 

Whom I have sent f or ~ ] The doctor and the court are here 
somewhat unskilfully brought together. That the duke would, 
on such an occasion, consult a doctor of great reputation, is not 
unlikely ; but how should this be foreknown by Portia ? 


I do not see any necessity for supposing that this was fore- 
known by Portia. She consults Bellario as an eminent lawyer, 
and her relation. If the Duke had not consulted him, the only 
difference would have been, that she would have come into court, 
as an advocate perhaps, instead of a judge. TYRWHITT, 


Enter NERISSA, dressed like a lawyer's clerk. 

DUKE. Came you from Padua, from Bellario ? 

NER. From both, my lord : Bellario greets your 
grace. [Presents a letter. 

BASS. Why dost thou whet thy knife so earnestly? 

SHF. To cut the forfeiture * from that bankrupt 

GRA. Not on thy sole, but on thy soul, harsh 

Jew, 6 

Thou mak'st thy knife keen : but no metal can, 
No, not the hangman's ax, bear half the keenness 
Of thy sharp envy. 7 Can no prayers pierce thee ? 

SHY. No, none that thou hast wit enough to 

GRA. O, be thou damn'd, inexorable dog ! 8 

<'-' T f Mrtf " r 

* the forfeiture ] Read -forfeit. It occurs repeatedly 

in the present scene for forfeiture. RITSON. 

6 Not on thy sole, but on thy soul, harsh Jew,~\ This lost jingle 
Mr. Theobald found again ; but knew not what to make of it 
when he had it, as appears by his paraphrase : Though thou tkink- 
est that thou art whetting thy knife on the sole of thy shoe, yet it 
is upon thy soul, thy immortal part. Absurd, the conceit is, that 
his soul was so hard that it had given an edge to his knife. 

So, in King Henry IV. P. II : 

" Thou hid'st a thousand daggers in thy thoughts ; 

" Which thou hast -whetted on thy stony heart, 

" To stab at half an hour of my life." STEEVENS. 

7 Of thy sharp envy.] Envy again, in this place, signifies 
hatred or malice. STEEVENS. 

inexorable dog .'] All the old copies read inexecrable. 

It was corrected in the old folio. STEEVENS. 

Perhaps, however, unnecessarily. In was sometimes used in 
our author's time, in composition, as an augmentative or inten- 
sive particle. M ALONE. 


And for thy life let justice be accus'd. 
Thou almost mak'st me waver in nly faith, 
To hold opinion with Pythagoras, 
That souls of animals infuse themselves 
Into the trunks of men : thy currish spirit, 
Govern'd a wolf, who, hang'dfor human slaughter, 
Even from the gallows did his fell soul fleet, 
And, whilst thou lay'st in thy unhallow'd dam, 
Infus'd itself in thee ; for thy desires 
Are wolfish, bloody, starv'd, and ravenous. 

SHY. Till thou can'st rail the seal from off my 


Thou but offend'st thy lungs to speak so loud : 
Repair thy wit, good youth, or it will fall 
To cureless ruin. I stand here for law. 

DUKE. This letter from Bellario doth commend 
A young and learned doctor to our court: 
Where is he ? 

NER. He attendeth here hard by, 

To know your answer, whether you'll admit him. 

DUKE. With all my heart : some three or four 

of you, 

Go give him courteous conduct to this place. 
Mean time, the court shall hear Bellario's letter. 

[Clerk reads.~] Your grace shall understand, that, 
at the receipt of your letter ', I am very sick : but in 
the instant that your messenger came, in loving vi- 

9 thy currish spirit 

Govern'd a wolf, who, hang'dfor human slaughter,'] This 
allusion might have been caught from some old translation of 
Pliny, who mentions a Parrhasian turned into a wolf, because he 
had eaten part of a child that had been consecrated to Lycaean 
Jupiter. See Goulart's Admirable Histories, 4to. 1607, pp. 
390,391. STEEVENS. 

VOL. vir. A A 


sitation was with me a young doctor of Rome, his 
name is Balthasar : I acquainted him with the cause 
in controversy between the Jew and Antonio the mer- 
chant : we turned o'er many books together : he is 
furnish' d with my opinion ; which, better y d with his 
own learning, (the greatness whereof 'I cannot enough 
commend,) comes with him, at my importunity, to 
Jill up your grace's request in my stead. I beseech 
you, let his lack of years be no impediment to let him 
lack a reverend estimation ; for I never knew so 
young a body with so old a head. I leave him to 
your gracious acceptance, whose trial shall better 
publish his commendation. 

DUKE. You hear the learn'd Bellario, what he 

writes : 
And here, I take it, is the doctor come. 

Enter PORTIA, dressed like a doctw of laws. 

Give me your hand : Came you from old Bellario ? 
POR. I did, my lord. 

DUKE. You are welcome : take your place. 
Are you acquainted with the difference 
That holds this present question in the court ? 

POR. I am informed throughly of the cause. 
Which is the merchant here, and which the Jew ? 

DUKE. Antonio and old Shylock, both stand 

POR. Is your name Shylock ? 

Snr. Shylock is my name. 

POR. Of a strange nature is the suit you follow j 
Yet in such rule, that the Venetian law 


Cannot impugn you, 1 as you do proceed. 
You stand within his danger, 2 do you not ? 


ANT. Ay, so he says. 

POR. Do you confess the bond ? 

ANT. I do. 

POR. Then must the Jew be merciful. 

SHY. On what compulsion must I ? tell me that. 

POR. The quality of mercy is not strain'd; 3 

1 Cannot impugn you,] To impugn, is to oppose, to contro- 
rert. So, in the Tragedy of Darius, 1603 : 

" Yet though my heart woold fain impugn my word." 
Again : 

" If any press t* impugn what I impart." STEEVENS. 

* You stand within his danger,] i. e. within his reach or 
control. This phrase originates from another in the lowest Latin, 
that often occurs in monastic records. Thus, (as Mr. Tyrwhitt 
has observed on a passage in Chaucer. ) See Hist . Abbot. PipwelL 
ap. Monast. Angl. t. i. p. 815 : " Nee audebant Abbates eidem 
resistere, quia aut pro denariis aut pro bladis semper fuerunt 
Abbates in dangerio dicti Officialis." Thus, also, in the Corvy- 
sor's Play, among the collection of Whitsun Mysteries, repre- 
sented at Chester. See MS. Harl. 1013, p. 106 : 

" Two detters some tyme there were 

" Oughten money to an usurere, 

" The one was in his daungere 

Fyve hundred poundes tolde." STEEVENS. 

There are frequent instances in The Paston Letters of the use 
of this phrase in the same sense ; whence it is obvious, from the 
common language of the time, that to be in DEBT and to be in 
DANGER, were synonymous terms. HENLEY. 

Again, in Powel's History of Wales, 1587: " laying for 
his excuse that he had offended manie noblemen of England, 
and therefore would not come in their danger." MALONE. 

3 The quality of mercy is not strained; &c.] In composing 
these beautiful lines, it is probable that Shakspeare recollected 
the following verse in Ecclesiasticus, xxxv. 20 : " Mercy is sea- 
sonable in the time of affliction, as clouds of rain in the time of 
drought.'* DOUCE. 

A A 2 


It droppeth, as the gentle rain from heaven 
Upon the place beneath : it is twice bless'd ; 
It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes : 
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest ; it becomes 
The throned monarch better than his crown : 
His scepter shows the force of temporal power, 
The attribute to awe and majesty, 
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings ; 
But mercy is above this scepter'd sway, 
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings, 
It is an attribute to God himself; 
And earthly power doth then show likest God's, 
When mercy seasons justice. 4 Therefore, Jew, 
Though justice be thy plea, consider this, 
That, in the course of justice, none of us 
Should see salvation : 5 we do pray for mercy ; 
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render 
The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much, 
To mitigate the justice of thy plea; 
Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice 
Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant 

SHY. My deeds upon my head ! G I crave the law, 
The penalty and forfeit of my bond. 

POR. Is he not able to discharge the money ? 

4 And earthly power doth ihen show likest God's, 

When mercy seasons justice.] So, in King Edward III. a 
tragedy, 1596 : 

" And kings approach the nearest unto God, 

" By giving life and safety unto men." M ALONE. 

* in the course of justice, none of us 

Should see salvation .-] Portia referring the Jew to the 
Christian doctrine of salvation, and the Lord's Prayer, is a little- 
out of character. BLACKSTONE. 

' My deeds upon my head /] An imprecation adopted from 
that of the Jews to Pilate : " His blood be on us, and our 
children !" HENLEY. 


BASS. Yes, here I tender it for him in the court ; 
Yea, twice the sum : 7 if that will not suffice, 
I will be bound to pay it ten times o'er, 
On forfeit of my hands, my head, my heart : 
If this will not suffice, it must appear 
That malice bears down truth. 8 And I beseech you, 
Wrest once the law to your authority : 
To do a great right, do a little wrong ; 
And curb this cruel devil of his will. 

FOR. It must not be ; there is no power in 


Can alter a decree established : 
'Twill be recorded for a precedent ; 
And many an error, by the same example, 
Will rush into the state : it cannot be. 

SHY. A Daniel come to judgment ! yea, a Da- 
niel ! 
O wise young judge, how do I honour thee ! 

POR. I pray you, let me look upon the bond. 
SHY. Here 'tis, most reverend doctor, here it is. 
Poit. Shylock, there's thrice thy money offer'd 

SHY. An oath, an oath, I have an oath in heaven: 
Shall I lay perjury upon my soul ? 
No, not lor Venice. 

7 Yea, twice the sum .] We should read thrice the sum. 
Portia, a few lines below, says 

" Shylock, there's thrice thy money offer'd thee." 
And Shylock himself supports the emendation : 

" I take his offer then; pay the bond thrice." 
The editions, indeed, read this offer ; but Mr. Steevens has 
already proposed the alteration we ought to adopt. RITSON. 

8 malice bears down truth.'] Malice oppresses honesty ; 

a true man in old language is an honest man. We now call the 
jury good men and true. JOHNSON. 


FOR. Why, this bond is forfeit; 

And lawfully by this the Jew may claim 
A pound of flesh, to be by him cut off 
Nearest the merchant's heart : Be merciful ; 
Take thrice thy money j bid me tear the bond. 

SHY. When it is paid according to the tenour. 
It doth appear, you are a worthy judge ; 
You know the law, your exposition 
Hath been most sound : I charge you by the law, 
Whereof you are a well-deserving pillar, 
Proceed to judgment : by my soul I swear, 
There is no power in the tongue of man 
To alter me : I stay here on my bond. 

ANT. Most heartily I do beseech the court 
To give the judgment. 

POP. Why then, thus it is. 

You must prepare your bosom for his knife : 

SHY. O noble judge ! O excellent young man ! 

POR. For the intent and purpose of the law 
Hath full relation to the penalty, 
Which here appeareth due upon the bond. 

SHY. 'Tis very true : O wise and upright judge ! 
How much more elder art thou than thy looks ! 

POR. Therefore, lay bare your bosom. 

SHY. Ay, his breast : 

So says the bond ; Doth it not, noble judge ? 
Nearest his heart, those are the very words. 

POR. It is so. Are there balance here, to weigh 
The flesh ? 

SHY. I have them ready. 

POR. Have by some surgeon, Shylock, on your 


To stop his wounds, lest he do bleed to death. 
SHY. Js it so nominated in the bond ? 


POR. It is not so express* d ; But what of that ? 
'Twere good you 1 do so much for charity. 

SHY. I cannot find it ; 'tis not in the bond. 

POR. Come, merchant, have you any thing to 

ANT. But little; I am arm'd, and wellprepar'd. 
Give me your hand, Bassanio ; fare you well ! 
Orieve not that I am fallen to this for you ; 
For herein fortune shows herself more kind 
Than is her custom ; it is still her use, 
To let the wretched man out-live his wealth, 
To view with hollow eye, and wrinkled brow, 
An age of poverty ; from which lingering penance 
Of such a misery 9 doth she cut me off. 
Commend me to your honourable wife : 
Tell her the process of Antonio's end, 
Say, how I lov'd you, speak me fair in death ; 
And, when the tale is told, bid her be judge, 
Whether Bassanio had not once a love. 
Repent not you that you shall lose your friend, 
And he repents not mat he pays your debt ; 
For, if the Jew do cut but deep enough, 
1*11 pay it instantly with all my heart. 

BASS. Antonio, I am married to a wife, 
Which is as dear to me as life itself; 
But life itself, my wife, and all the world, 
Are not with me esteem'd above thy life : 
I would lose all, ay, sacrifice them all 
Here to this devil, to deliver you. 

POR. Your wife would give you little thanks for 

If she were by, to hear you make the offer. 

GRA. I have a wife, whom, I protest, I love ; 

9 Of such a misery ] The first folio destroys the measure 
by omitting the particle a ; which, nevertheless, is found in 
the corrected second folio, 1632. STEEVEXS. 


I would she were in heaven, so she could 
Entreat some power to change this currish Jew. 

NER. 'Tis well you offer it behind her back ; 
The wish would make else an unquiet house. 

SHY. These be the Christian husbands : I have 

a daughter ; 

'Would, any of the stock of Barrabas 1 
Had been her husband, rather than a Christian! 

We trifle time ; I pray thee, pursue sentence. 

FOR. A pound of that same merchant's flesh is 

thine ; 
The court awards it, and the law doth give it. 

SHY. Most rightful judge ! 

FOR. And you must cut this flesh from off his 

breast ; 
The law allows it, and the court awards it. 

SHY. Most learned judge ! A sentence ; come, 

FOR. Tarry a little ; there is something else. 
This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood ; 
The words expressly are, a pound of flesh : 
Take then thy bond, take thou thy pound of flesh; 
But, in the cutting it, if thou dost shed 
One drop of Christian blood, thy lands and goods 
Are, by the laws of Venice, confiscate 
Unto the state of Venice. 

1 the stock of Barrabas "j The name of this robber is 

differently spelt as well as accented in The New Testament ; [Mij* 
rarov, aAAa rov BapaaV. ijv Sso Bapy.d$ AijirnjV;] but Shak- 
speare seems to have followed the pronunciation usual to the 
theatre, Barabbas being sounded Barabas throughout Marlowe's 
Jew of Malta. Our poet might otherwise have written: 
" Would any of Barabbas' stock had been 
" Her husband, rather than a Christian!" STEEVENS. 

vs. i. MERCHANT OF VENICE.. 361 

GRA. O upright judge ! Mark, Jew ; O learn- 
ed judge! 

SHY. Is that the law ? 

FOR. Thyself shalt see the act : 

For, as thou urgest justice, be assur'd, 
Thou shalt have justice, more than thou desir'st. 

GRA. O learned judge ! Mark, Jew; a learned 
judge ! 

SHY. I take this offer then ; 2 pay the bond thrice, 
And let the Christian go. 

BASS. Here is the money. 

FOR. Soft; 

The Jew shall have all justice ; soft ! no haste; 
He shall have nothing but the penalty. 

GRA. O Jew! an upright judge, a learned judge ! 
FOR. Therefore, prepare thee to cutoff the flesh. 3 

* / take this offer then ;~j Perhaps we should read his; i.e. 
Bassanio's, who offers twice the sum, &c. STEEVENS. 

This offer is right. Shylock specifies the offer he means, 
which is, " to have the bond paid thrice." M. MASON. 

He means, I think, to say, " I take this offer that has been 
made me." Bassanio had offered at first but twice the sum, but 
Portia had gone further " Shylock, there's thrice thy money," 
&c. The Jew naturally insists on the larger sum. MALONE. 

3 Therefore, prepare thee to cut offthejlesh.~\ This judgment 
is related by Gracian, the celebrated Spanish Jesuit, in his Hero, 
with a reflection at the conclusion of it : " Compile con la del 
Salomon la promptitud de aquel gran Turco. Pretendia un 
Judio cortar una onza de carne a un Christiano, pena sobre 
usura. Insistia en ello con igual terqueria a su Principe, que 
perfidia a su Dios. Mando el gran Juez traer peso, y cuchillo ; 
conminole el deguello si cortava mas ni menos. YJue dar agudo 
corte a la lid, y al mundo milagro del ingenio." El Heroe de 
Lorenzo Gracian. Primor. 3. Thus rendered by Sir John 
Skeffington, 1652: 

" The vivacity of that great Turke enters in competition with 


Shed thou no blood ; nor cut thou less, nor more, 

But just a pound of flesh : if thou tak'st more, 

Or less, than a just pound, be it but so much 

As makes it light, or heavy, in the substance, 

Or the division of the twentieth part 

Of one poor scruple ; nay, if the scale do turn 

But in the estimation of a hair, 

Thou diest, and all thy goods are confiscate. 

GRA. A second Daniel, a Daniel, Jew ! 
Now, infidel, I have thee on the hip. 

POR. Why doth the Jew pause ? take thy for- 

SHY. Give me my principal, and let me go. 
BASS. I have it ready for thee j here it is. 

POR. He hath refus'd it in the open court j 
He shall have merely justice, and his bond. 

GRA. A Daniel, still say I j a second Daniel ! 
I thank thee, Jew, for teaching me that word. 

SHY. Shall I not have barely my principal ? 

POR. Thou shalt have nothing but the forfeiture 
To be so taken at thy peril, Jew. 

SHY. Why then the devil give him good of it ! 
I'll stay no longer question. 

that of Solomon : a Jeta pretended to cut an ounce of the flesh 
of a Christian upon a penalty of usury ; he urged it to the Prince, 
with as much obstinacy, as perfidiousness towards God. The 
great Judge comanded a pair of scales to be brought, threat- 
ening the Jew with death if he cut either more or less : And 
this was to give a sharp decision to a malicious process, and to 
the world a miracle of subtilty." The Heroe, p. 24, &c. 

Gregorio Leti, in his Life of Sixtus V. has a similar story. 
The papacy of Sixtus began in 1583. He died Aug. 29, 1590. 
The reader will find an extract from Farneworth's translation, 
at the conclusion of the play. STEEVENS. 


FOR. Tarry, Jew j 

The law hath yet another hold on you. 
It is enacted in the laws of Venice, 
If it be prov'd against an alien, 
That by direct, or indirect attempts, 
He seek the life of any citizen, 
The party, 'gainst the which he doth contrive, 
Shall seize one half his goods ; the other half 
Comes to the privy coffer of the state ; 
And the offender's life lies in the mercy 
Of the duke only, 'gainst all other voice. 
In which predicament, I say, thou stand'st : 
For it appears by manifest proceeding, 
That, indirectly, and directly too, 
Thou hast contriv'd against the very life 
Of the defendant ; and thou hast incurr'd 
The danger formerly by me rehears'd. 
Down, therefore, and beg mercy of the duke. 

GRA. Beg, that thou may'st have leave to hang 


And yet, thy wealth being forfeit to the state, 
Thou hast not left the value of a cord j 
Therefore, thou must be hang'datthestate's charge. 

DUKE. That thou shalt see the difference of our 


I pardon thee thy life before thou ask it : 
For half thy wealth, it is Antonio's ; 
The other half comes to the general state, 
Which humbleness may drive unto a fine. 

POR. Ay, for the state; 4 not for Antonio. 

SHY. Nay, take my life and all, pardon not that : 
You take my house, when you do take the prop 
That doth sustain my house j you take my life, 

4 Ay, for the state ; &c.] That is, the state's moiety may be 
commuted for a fine, but not Antonio's. MALONE. 


When you do take the means whereby I live. 
FOR. What mercy can you render him, Antonio? 
GRA. A halter gratis ; nothing else ; for God's 

ANT. So please my lord the duke, and all the 


To quit the fine for one half of his goods ; 
I am content, 5 so he will let me have 
The other half in use, to render it, 
Upon his death, unto the gentleman 
That lately stole his daughter : 
Two things provided more, That, for this favour, 
He presently become a Christian ; 
The other, that he do record a gift, 
Here in the court, of all he dies possess'd, 
Unto his son Lorenzo, and his daughter. 

DUKE. He shall do this ; or else I do recant 
The pardon, that I late pronounced here. 

POR. Art thou contented, Jew, what dost thou 

SHY. I am content. 

6 I am content, ~\ The terms proposed have been misunder- 
stood. Antonio declares, that as the duke quits one half of the 
forfeiture, he is likewise content to abate his claim, and desires 
not the property but the use or produce only of the half, and 
that only for the Jew's life, unless we read, as perhaps is right, 
upon my death. JOHNSON. 

Antonio tells the duke, that if he will abate the fine for the 
state's half, he (Antonio) will be contented to take the other, in 
trust, after Shylock's death, to render it to his daughter's hus- 
band. That is, it was, during Shylock's life, to remain at in- 
terest in Antonio's hands, and Shylock was to enjoy the produce 
of it. RITSON. 

Antonio's offer is, " that he will quit the fine for one half of 
his fortune, provided that he will let. him have it at interest during 
the Jew's life, to render it on his death to Lorenzo." That is 
the meaning of the words to let me have in use. M. MASON. 

isc. r. MERCHANT OF VENICE. 365 

POR. Clerk, draw a deed of gift. 

SHY. I pray you, give me leave to go from hence j 
I am not well ; send the deed after me, 
And I will sign it. 

DUKE. Get thee gone, but do it. 

GRA. In christening thou shalt have two godfa- 
thers ; 
Had I been judge, thou should'st have had ten 

more, 6 
To bring thee to the gallows, not the font. 

\_Exit SHYLOCK. 

DUKE. Sir, I entreat you home with me to din- 

POR. I humbly do desire your grace of pardon j 7 
I must away this night toward Padua, 
And it is meet, I presently set forth. 

' thou should 1 st have had ten more,'] i. e. a jury of twelve 

men, to condemn thee to be hanged. THEOBALD. 

So, in The Devil is an Ass, by Ben Jonson : 

" 1 will leave you 

" To your godfathers in law. Let twelve men work." 


This appears to have been an old joke. So, in A Dialogue 
both pleasaunt and pietifull, &c. by Dr. William Bulleyne, 
1564, (which has been quoted in a former page,) one of the 
speakers, to show his mean opinion of an ostler at an inn, says : 
" I did see him aske blessinge to xii godfathers at ones. 


7 grace of pardon i\ Thus the old copies ; the modern 

editors read, less harshly, but without authority, your grace's 
pardon. The same kind of expression occurs in Othello : " / 
humbly do beseech you of your pardon." 

In the notes to As you like it, and A Midsummer-Night's 
Dream, I have given repeated instances of this phraseology. 


* V ' I V '-!**''' 

Your grace's pardon, was found in a copy of no authority, the 
ito. of 1637. MALONI. 


DUKE. I am sorry, that your leisure serves you 


Antonio, gratify this gentleman ; 
For, in my mind, you are much bound to him. 

\_Exeunt Duke, Magnificoes, and Train. 

BASS. Most worthy gentleman, I and my friend, 
Have by your wisdom been this day acquitted 
Of grievous penalties ; in lieu whereof, 
Three thousand ducats, due unto the Jew, 
We freely cope your courteous pains withal. 

ANT. And stand indebted, over and above, 
In love and service to you evermore. 

POR. He is well paid, that is well satisfied ; 
And I, delivering you, am satisfied, 
And therein do account myself well paid j 
My mind was never yet more mercenary. 
I pray you, know me, when we meet again ; 
I wish you well, and so I take my leave. 

BASS. Dear sir, of force I must attempt you fur- 
ther ; 

Take some remembrance of us, as a tribute, 
Not as a fee : grant me two things, I pray you, 
Not to deny me, and to pardon me. 

POR. You press me far, and therefore I will 


Give me your gloves, I'll wear them for your sake ; 
And, for your love, I'll take this ring from you : 
Do not draw back your hand ; I'll take no more; 
And you in love shall not deny me this. 

BASS. This ring, good sir, alas, it is a trifle ; 
I will not shame myself to give you this. 

POR. I will have nothing else but only this ; 
And now, methinks, I have a mind to it. 

BASS. There's more depends on this, than on 
the value. 

lie. i. MERCHANT OF VENICE. 367 

The dearest ring in Venice will I give you, 
And find it out by proclamation ; 
Only for this, I pray you, pardon me. 

FOR. I see, sir, you are liberal in offers : 
You taught me first to beg ; and now, methinks, 
You teach me how a beggar should be answer'd. 

BASS. Good sir, this ring was given me by my 

wife ; 

And, when she put it on, she made me vow, 
That I should neither sell, nor give, nor lose it. 

POR. That 'scuse serves many men to save their 


An if your wife be not a mad woman, 
And know how well I have deserved this ring, 
She would not hold out enemy for ever, 8 
For giving it to me. Well, peace be with you ! 
\_~Exeunt PORTIA and NERISSA. 

ANT. My lord Bassanio, let him have the ring ; 
Let his deservings, and my love withal, 
Be valued 'gainst your wife's commandement. 

BASS. Go, Gratiano, run and overtake him, 
Give him the ring; and bring him, if thou can'st, 
Unto Antonio's house : away, make haste. 


Come, you and I will thither presently ; 
And in the morning early will we both 
Fly toward Belmont : Come, Antonio. \JExeunL 

* She iKould not hold out enemy^br ever,] An error of the 
press. Read " hold out enmity." M. MASON. 

I believe the reading in the text is the true one. So, in Much 
Ado about Nothing, Act I. sc. i. the Messenger says to Beatrice: 
" I will hold friends with you, lady." STEEVENS. 



The same. A Street. 


FOR. Inquire the Jew's house out, give him tin* 


And let him sign it; we'll away to-night, 
And be a day before our husbands home : 
This deed will be well welcome to Lorenzo.. 


GRA. Fair sir, you are well overtaken : 
My lord Bassanio, upon more advice, 9 
Hath sent you here this ring ; and doth entreat 
Your company at dinner. 

FOR. That cannot be : 

This ring I do accept most thankfully, 
And so, I pray you, tell him : Furthermore, 
I pray you, show my youth old Shylock's house. 

GRA. That will I do. 

AT O- T 1 1 t 1 

JMER. air, I would speak with you : 

I'll see if I can get my husband's ring,, [To PORTIA. 
Which I did make him swear to keep for ever. 

FOR. Thou may'st, I warrant; We shall have 
old swearing, 1 

9 upon more advice,] i. e. more refaction. So, in All's 
"well that ends well: " You never did lack advice so much," &c. 


1 old swearing,'] Of this once common augmentative in 

colloquial language, there are various instances in our author. 
Thus, in The Merry Wives of Windsor : " Here will be an old 
abusing of God's patience and the King's English." Again, in 
King Henry IV. P. II : " here will be old utis." The same 
phrase also occurs in Macbeth. STEEVENS. 


That they did give the rings away to men ; 
But we'll outface them, and outswear them too. 
Away, make haste ; thou know'st where I will 

NER. Come, good sir, will you show me to this 
house ? [Exeunt. 


Belmont. Avenue to Portia's House. 

LOR. The moon shines bright : In such a night 

as this, 2 

When the sweet wind did gently kiss the trees, 
And they did make no noise ; in such a night, 
Troilus, methinks, mounted the Trojan walls, 3 

* In suck a night as this,] The several speeches beginning 
with these words, &c. are imitated in the old comedy of Wily 
Beguiled; which though not ascertaining the exact date of that 
play, prove it to have been written after Shakspeare's : 
" In such a night did Paris win his love. 
" Lclia. In such a night, ./Eneas prov'd unkind. 
" Sophos. In such a night did Troilus court his dear. 
" Lelia. In such a night, fair Phillis was betray'd." 

Orig. of the Drama, Vol. III. p. 365. WHALLEY. 

Wily Beguiled was written before 1596, being mentioned by 
Nashe in one of his pamphlets published in that year. 


3 Troilus, methinks, mounted the Trojan toolls,] This image is 
from Chaucer's Troilus and Cresseide, 5 B. 666 and 1 142 : 
" Upon the ivallis fast eke would he walke, 
" And on the Grekis host he would yse, &c. 



And sigh'd his soul toward the Grecian tents, 
Where Cressid lay that night. 

JES. In such a night, 

Did Thisbe fearfully o'ertrip the dew; 
And saw the lion's shadow ere himself, 
And ran dismay 'd away. 

LOR. In such a night, 

Stood Dido with a willow in her hand 4 
Upon the wild sea-banks, and wav'd her love 
To come again to Carthage. 

JES. In such a night, 5 

Medea gathered the enchanted herbs 
That did renew old ^Eson. 

LOR. In such a night, 

Did Jessica steal from the wealthy Jew : 

" The daie goth fast, and after that came eve 

" And yet came not to Troilus Cresseide, 
" He lokith forth, by hedge, by tre, by greve, 
" And ferre his heade ovir the walle he leide," &c. 
Again, ibid: 

" And up and doune by west and eke by est, 

" Upon the wallis made he many a went." STEEVENS. 

4 In such a night, 

Stood Dido tvith a ivilloiv in her hand ] This passage con- 
tains a small instance out of many that might be brought to prove 
that Shakspeare was no reader of the classicks. STEEVENS. 

Mr. Warton suggests in his History of English Poetry, that 
Shakspeare might have taken this image from some ballad on the 
subject. MALONE. 

* In such a night , &c.] So, Gower, speaking of Medea : 
" Thus it befell upon a night 
" Whann there was nought but sterre light, 
" She v/as vanished right as hir list, 
" That no wight but herself wist : 
' And that was at midnight tide, 
" The world was still on every side," &c. 

Confessio Amantis', 1554. STEEVENS. 


And with an unthrift love did run from Venice, 
As far as Belmont. 

JES. And in such a night, 6 

Did young Lorenzo swear he lov'd her well ; 
Stealing her soul with many vows of faith, 
And ne'er a true one. 

LOR. And in such a night, 

Did pretty Jessica, like a little shrew, 
Slander her love, and he forgave it her. 

JES. I would out-night you, did no body come : 
But, hark, I hear the footing of a man. 


LOR. Who comes so fast in silence of the night ? 
STEPS. A friend. : Ui : 

LOR. A friend? what friend? your name, I 
pray you, friend ? 

STEPH. Stephano is my name ; and I bring word, 
My mistress will before the break of day 
Be here at Belmont : she doth stray about 
By holy crosses, 7 where she kneels and prays 
For happy wedlock hours. 

6 And in suck a night,"] The word and was necessarily added 
by Mr. Pope, for the sake of metre, both in this and the follow- 
ing speech of Lorenzo. 

Mr. Malone, however, assures us that swear is to be read as 
a dissyllable, and divides the passage, as follows : 

" In such a night did 

" Young Lorenzo swear he lov'd her well." 
And afterwards : 

" In such a night did 

" Pretty Jessica, like a little shrew." STEEVKNS. 

7 she doth stray about 

By holy crosses^ So, in The Merry Devil of Edmonton: 

P,B 2 


LOR. Who comes with her ? 

STEPH. None, but a holy hermit, and her maid* 
I pray you, is my master yet returned ? 

LOR. He is not, nor we have not heard from 


But go we in, I pray thee, Jessica, 
And ceremoniously let us prepare 
Some welcome for the mistress of the house. 


LAUN. Sola, sola, wo ha, ho, sola, sola ! 
LOR. Who calls ? 

LAUN. Sola ! did you see master Lorenzo, and 
mistress Lorenzo ! sola, sola ! 

LOR. Leave hollaing, man ; here. 
LAUN. Sola ! where ? where ? 
LOR. Here. 

LAUN. Tell him, there's a post come from my 
master, with his horn full of good news ; my mas- 
ter will be here ere morning. [Exit. 

LOR. Sweet soul, 8 let's in, and there expect their 

" But there are Crosses, wife ; here's one in Waltham, 
" Another at the Abbey, and the third 
" At Ceston ; and 'tis ominous to pass 
" Any of these without a Pater-noster." 
and this is a reason assigned for the delay of a wedding. 


Siveet soiily] These words in the old copies are placed at the 
end of Launcelot's speech. MA LONE. 

These two words should certainly be placed at the beginning 
of the following speech of Lorenzo: 

" Sweet soul, let's in," &c. ^'i 


And yet no matter ; Why should we go in ? 
My friend Stephano, signify, I pray you, 
Within the house, your mistress is at hand ; 
And bring your musick forth into the air. 


How sweet the moon-light sleeps upon this bank ! 
Here will we sit, and let the sounds of musick 
Creep in our ears ; 9 soft stillness, and the night, 
Become the touches of sweet harmony. 
Sit, Jessica : Look, how the floor of heaven 
Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold j l 

Mr. Pope, I see, has corrected this blunder of the old edition, 
but he has changed soule into love, without any necessity. 


Mr. Rowe first made the present regulation, which appears to 
me to be right. Instead of soul he reads love, the latter word, 
having been capriciously substituted in the place of the former 
by the editor of the second folio, who introduced a large portion 
of the corruptions, which for a long time disfigured the modern 
editions. MA LONE. 

I rather suppose, that the printer of the second folio, judici- 
ously correcting some mistakes, through inattention committed 
others. STEEVENS. 

9 and let the sounds of musick 

Creep in our ears ;] So, in Churchyard's Worthines of Wales, 

" A musick sweete, that through our cares shall creepe, 
" By secret arte, and lull a man asleepe." 
Again, in The Tempest; 

" This musick crept by me upon the waters." REED. 

1 luith patines of bright gold;] Dr. Warburton says we 

should read yatens; a round broad plate of gold borne in he- 
raldry. STEEVENS. 

Pattens is the reading of the first folio, and patients of the 
quarto. Patterns is printed first in the folio, 1632. JOHNSON. 

One of the quartos, 1600, reads -pattens, the other patients. 


A patine, from patina, Lat. A pa tine is the small flat dish 
or plate used with the chalice, in the administration of the 


There's not the smallest orb, which thou behold'st, 
But in his motion like an angel sings, 
Still quiring to the young-ey'd cherubins : 
Such harmony is in immortal souls ; 
But, whilst this muddy vesture of decay 
Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it. 2 

eucharist. In the time of popery, and probably in the following 
age, it was commonly made of gold. MALONE. 

* Such harmony is in immortal souls ; &c.] It is proper to 
exhibit the lines as they stand in the copies of the first, second, 
third, and fourth editions, without any variation, for a change 
has been silently made by Rowe, and adopted by all the suceed- 
ing editors : 

Such harmony is in immortal souls; 

But while this muddy vesture of decay 

Doth grossly close in it, we cannot hear it. 
That the third line is corrupt must be allowed, but it gives 
reason to suspect that the original was : 

Doth grossly close it in. 

Yet I know not whether from this any thing better can be pro- 
duced than the received reading. Perhaps harmony is the power 
of perceiving harmony, as afterwards : Musick in the soul is the 
quality of being moved with concord of sweet sounds. This will 
somewhat explain the old copies, but the sentence is still imper- 
fect ; which might be completed by reading : 

Such harmony is in th' immortal soul, 

But while this muddy vesture of decay 

Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it. JOHNSON. 

close it in ] This idea might have been adopted from 

a passage in Phaer's translation of Virgil, B. VI : 

" Nor closed so in darke can they regard their heavenly 


" For carkasse foul of flesh, and dungeon vile of prison 
blinde." STEEVENS. 

Such harmony is in immortal souls ; &c.] This passage having 
been much misunderstood, it may be proper to add a short ex- 
planation of it. 

Such harmony, &c. is not an explanation arising from the 
foregoing line " So great is the harmony !" but an illustration : 
" Of the same kind is the harmony." The whole runs thus : 

There is not one of the heavenly orbs but sings as it moves, still 
quiring to the cherubin. Simitar to the harmony they make, is 


Enter Musicians. 

Come, ho, and wake Diana with a hymn ; 3 
With sweetest touches pierce your mistress* ear, 

that of immortal souls; or, (in other words,) each of us have as 
perfect harmony in our souls as the harmony of the spheres, inas" 
much as we have the quality of being moved by siveet sounds (as 
he expresses it afterwards ;) but- our gross terrestrial party which 
environs us, deadens the sound, and prevents our hearing. It, 
[Doth grossly close -it in,] I apprehend, refers to harmony. This 
is the reading of the first quarto printed by Heyes ; the quarto 
printed by Roberts and the folio read close in it. 

It may be objected that this internal harmony is not an object 
of sense, cannot be heard ; but Shakspeare is not always exact 
in his language : he confounds it with that external and artificial 
harmony which is capable of being heard. Dr. Warburton (who 
appears to have entirely misunderstood this passage,) for souls 
read sounds. L A 

This hath been imitated by Milton in his Arcades : 
" Such sweet compulsion doth in musick lie, 
" To lull the daughters of necessity, 
" And keep unsteady nature in her law, 
" And the low world in measur'd motion draw 
'* After the heavenly tune, which none can hear 
" Of human mould, with gross unpurged ear." 

Thus, in Comus : 

" Can any mortal mixture of earth's mold 
" Breathe such divine enchanting ravishment ? 
** Sure something holy lodges in that breast, 
" And with these raptures moves the vocal air 
** To testify HIS hidden residence." HENLEY. 

The old reading in immortal souls is certainly right, and the 
whole line may be well explained by Hooker, in his Ecclesiastical 
Polity, B. V : " Touching musical harmony, whether by instru- 
ment or by voice, it being but of high and low sounds in a due 
proportionable disposition, such, notwithstanding is the force 
thereof, and so pleasing effects it hath in that very part of man 
which is most divine, that some have been thereby induced to 
think, that the soul itself by nature is or hath in it harmony." 
For this quotation I am indebted to Dr. Fanner. 


And draw her home with musick. 4 

JES. lam never merry, when I hear sweet musick.* 


LOR. The reason is, your spirits are attentive : 
For do but note a wild and wanton herd, 
Or race of youthful and unhandled colts, 
Fetching mad bounds, bellowing, and neighing 


Which is the hot condition of their blood; 
If they but hear perchance a trumpet sound, 
Or any air of musick touch their ears, 
You shall perceive them make a mutual stand,* 

Mr. Malone observes that " the fifth Book of the E. P. was 
published singly, in 1597." STEEVENS. 

' s wake Diana with a hymn ;] Diana is the moon, who is 

in -the next scene represented as sleeping. JOHNSON. 

4 And draw her home with musick.'] Shakspeare was, I be- 
lieve, here thinking of the custom of accompanying the last 
waggon-load, at the end of harvest, with rustick musick. He 
again alludes to this yet common practice, in As you like it. 


* I am never merry, when I hear sweet musick.] In the age of 
Shakspeare it is probable that some shade of meaning (at pre- 
sent undeterminable, ) was occasionally affixed to the words sweet 
and sweetness. Thus, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, [See 
Vol. IV. p. 254.] we have " a sweet mouth ;" and in Measure 
for Measure, [Vol. VI. p. 274.] we are told of 

" Their saucy sweetness that do coin heaven's image, 
" In stamps that are forbid." 

If, in the speech under consideration, Jessica only employs the 
term sweet in one of its common senses, it seems inadequate to 
the effects assigned to it ; and the following passage in Horace's 
Art of Poetry, is as liable to the same objection, unless dulcia 
be supposed to mean interesting, or having such command over 
our passions as musick merely sweet can never obtain : 

" Non satis est pulchra esse poemata, dulcia sunto, 
" Et, quocunque volunt, aniinum auditoris agunto." 


' - do but note a wild and wanton herd, 
Or race of youthful and unhandled colts, 


Their savage eyes turn'd to a modest gaze, 

By the sweet power of musick : Therefore, the 

Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and 

floods ; 

Since nought so stockish, hard, and full of rage, 
But musick for the time doth change his nature : 
The man that hath no musick in himself, 
Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds, 7 

Fetching mad bounds, bellowing, and neighing loud, 
Which is the hot condition of their blood ; 
If they but hear perchance a trumpet sound, 
Or any air of musick touch their ears, 

You shall perceive them make a mutual stand, &c.] We 
find the same thought in The Tempest .- 

" Then I beat my tabor, 

" At which, like unback'd colts, they prick'd their ears, 

" Advanc'd their eye-lids, lifted up their noses, 

" As they smelt musick." MA LONE. 

7 The man that hath no musick in himself, 

Nor is not mov'd with concord of sweet sounds,] The thought 
here is extremely fine ; as if the being affected with musick was 
only the harmony between the internal [musick in himself] and 
the external musick [concord of sweet sounds;] which were 
mutually affected like unison strings. This whole speech could 
not choose but please an English audience, whose great passion, 
as well then as now, was love of musick. " Jam vero video 
naturam (says Erasmus in praise of Folly,) ut singulis nationibus, 
ac pene civitatibus, communem quandam insevisse Philautiam: 
atque hinc fieri, ut Britanni, praeter alia, Formam, Musicam, 
& lautas Mensas proprie sibi vindicent." WARBURTON. 

This passage, which is neither pregnant with physical and 
moral truth, nor poetically beautiful in an eminent degree, has 
constantly enjoyed the good fortune to be repeated by those 
whose inhospitable memories would have refused to admit or 
retain any other sentiment or description of the same author, 
however exalted or just. The truth is, that it furnishes the 
vacant fiddler with something to say in defence of his profession, 
and supplies the coxcomb in musick with an invective against 
such as do not pretend to discover all the various powers of lan- 
guage in inarticulate sounds. 


Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils ; 
The motions of his spirit are dull as night, 
And his affections dark as Erebus : 
Let no such man be trusted. Mark the rnusick. 

Enter PORTIA and NERISSA, at a distance. 

FOR. That light we see, is burning in my hall. 
How far that little candle throws his beams ! 
So shines a good deed in a naughty world. 

NJER. When the moon shone, we did not see 
the candle. 

Our ancient statutes have often received the best comment by 
means of reference to the particular occasion on which they were 
framed. Dr. Warburton has therefore properly accounted for 
Shakspeare's seeming partiality to this amusement. He might 
have added, that Peacham requires of his Gentleman ONLY to 
be able " to sing his part sure, and at first sight, and withal to 
play the same on a viol or lute." 

Let not, however, this capricious sentiment of Shakspeare 
descend to posterity, unattended by the opinion of the late Lord 
Chesterfield on the same subject. In his 148th letter to his son, 
who was then at Venice, his lordship, after having enumerated 
musick among the illiberal pleasures, adds " if you love 
musick, hear it ; go to operas, concerts, and pay fiddlers to play 
to you ; but I must insist upon your neither piping nor fiddling 
yourself. It puts a gentleman in a very frivolous and con- 
temptible light ; brings him into a great deal of bad company, 
and takes up a great cleal of time, which might be much better 
employed. Few things would mortify me more, than to see you 
bearing a part in a concert, with a fiddle under your chin, or a 
pipe in your mouth." Again, Letter 153 : "A taste of sculp- 
ture and painting is, in my mind, as becoming as a taste of fid- 
dling and piping is unbecoming a man of fashion. The former 
is connected with history and poetry, the latter with nothing but 
bad company." Again : " Painting and sculpture are very 
justly called liberal arts ; a lively and strong imagination, toge- 
ther with a just observation, being absolutely necessary to excel 
in either ; which, in my opinion, is by no means the case of 
musick, though called a liberal art, and now in Italy placed 
above the other two; a proof of the decline of that country." 
Ibidem, STEEVENS. 


POR. So doth the greater glory dim the less : 
A substitute shines brightly as a king, 
Until a king be by; and then his state 
Empties itself, as doth an inland brook 
Into the main of waters. Musick! hark! 

NER. It is your musick, madam, of the house. 

POR. Nothing is good, I see, without respect;* 
Methinks, it sounds much sweeter than by day. 

NER. Silence bestows that virtue on it, madam. 

POR. The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark, 
When neither is attended ; and, I think, 
The nightingale, 9 if she should sing by day, 
When every goose is cackling, would be thought 
No better a musician than the wren. 
How many things by season season'd are 
To their right praise, and true perfection! 
Peace, hoa! the moon sleeps with Endymion, 
And would not be awak'd ! l \_Musick ceases. 

* without respect ;] Not absolutely good, but relatively 

good as it is modified by circumstances. JOHNSON. 

9 The nightingale, &c.] So, in our author's 102d Sonnet: 
" Our love was new, and then but in the spring, 

" When I was wont to greet it with my lays ; 
" As Philomel in summer's front doth sing, 

" And stops his pipe in growth of riper days ; 
" Not that the summer is less pleasant now, 

" Than when her mournful hymns did hush the night ; 
" But that wild musick burdens every bough, 

" And sweets grown common lose their dear delight." 


1 Peace, hoa ! the moon sleeps with Endymion, 

And would not be awaka.'"] The old copies read Peace ! 
howy &c. For the emendation now made I am answerable. 
The oddness of the phrase, " How the moon would not be 
awak'd !" first made me suspect the passage to be corrupt; and 
the following lines in Romeo and Juliet suggested the emenda- 
tion, and appear to me to put it beyond a doubt: 


LOR. That is the voice, 

Or I am much deceiv'd, of Portia. 

POR. He knows me, as the blind man knows the 

: cuckoo, 
By the bad voice. 

LOR. Dear lady, welcome home. 

POR. We have been praying for our husbands* 


Which speed, we hope, the better for our words. 
Are they return'd? 

LOR. Madam, they are not yet; 

But there is come a messenger before, 
To signify their coming. 

POR. Go in, Nerissa, 

Give order to my servants, that they take 
No note at all of our being absent hence; 
Nor you, Lorenzo ; Jessica, nor you. 

[ A tucket* sounds. 

" Peace, hoa, for shame ! confusion's cure lives not 

" In these confusions.*' 
Again, in As you like it, Act I: 

" Peace, hoa! I bar confusion." 
Again, in Measure for Measure : 

" Hoa ! peace be in this place !" 
Again, ibid: 

" Peace, hoa, be here !" 

In Antony and Cleopatra the same mistake, I think, has hap- 
pened. In the passage before us, as exhibited in the old copies, 
there is not a note of admiration after the word awak'd. Portia 
first enjoins the musick to cease, " Peace, hoa !" and then sub- 
joins the reason for her injunction : " The moon," &c. 

Mr. Tyrwhitt seems to be of opinion that the interjection Ho 
was formerly used to command a cessation of noise, as well as of 
fighting. See Cant. Tales of Chaucer, Vol. IV. p. 230. 


* A tucket] Toccata, Ital. a flourish on a trumpet. 



, Your husband is at hand, I hear his trum- 

We are no tell-tales, madam ; fear you not. 

POR. This night, methinks, is but the daylight 


It looks a little paler ; 3 'tis a day, 
Such as the day is when the sun is hid. 


BASS. We should hold day 4 with the Antipodes, 
If you would walk in absence of the sun. 5 

FOR. Let me give light, 6 but let me not be light ; 

5 - daylight sick, 

It looks a little paler; ] Hence, perhaps, the following 
verse in Dryden's Indian Emperor : 

" The moon shines clear, and makes a paler day." 


4 We should hold day &c.] If you would always walk in the 
night, it would be day with us, as it now is on the other side of 
the globe. MALONE. 

* We should hold day loith the Antipodes, 

If you would walk in absence of the sun.~\ Thus, Rowe, in 
his Ambitious Stepmother.' 

" Your eyes, which, could the sun's fair beams decay, 
" Might shine for him, and bless the world with day." 


6 Let me give light, &c.] There is scarcely any word with 
which Shakspeare so much delights to trifle as with light, in its 
various significations. JOHNSON. 

Most of the old dramatic writers are guilty of the same quibble. 
So, Marston, in his Insatiate Countess, 1613: 

" By this bright light that is deriv'd from thee 
" So, sir, you make me a very light creature." 
Again, Middleton, in A mad World my Masters, 1608: 

" more lights I call'd for light : here come in two are 
light .enough for a whole house." 

Again, in Springes for Woodcocks, a collection of epigrams, 


For a light wife doth make a heavy husband, 

And never be Bassanio so for me ; 

But God sort all! You are welcome home* my lord. 

BASS. I thank you, madam : give welcome to 

my friend. 

This the man, this is Antonio, 
To whom I am so infinitely bound. 

POR. You should in all sense be much bound to 

For, as I hear, he was much bound for you. 

ANT. No more than I am well acquitted of. 

POR. Sir, you are very welcome to our house : 
It must appear in other ways than words, 
Therefore, I Scant this breathing courtesy. 7 

[GRATIANO and NERISSA seem to talk apart. 

GRA. By yonder moon, I swear, you do me wrong; 
In faith, I gave it to the judge's clerk: 
Would he were gelt that had it, for my part, 
Since you do take it, love, so much at heart. 

POR. A quarrel, ho, already? what's the matter? 

GRA. About a hoop of gold, a paltry ring 
That she did give me; whose posy was 8 

" Lais of lighter metal is compos'd 
" Than hath her lightness till of late disclos'd ; 
" For lighting were she light acceptance feels, 
" Her fingers there prove lighter than her heels." 


7 this breathing courtesy.] This verbal complimentary 

form, made up only of breath, i. e. words. So, in Timon of 
Athens, a senator replies to Alcibiades, who had made a long 
speech : " You breathe in vain." MALONE. 

So, in Macbeth : 

" mouth-honour, breath." STEEVENS. 

* That she did give me; whose posy too*] For the sake of 
measure, I suppose we should reaa: 
" That she did give to me ; &c. 


For all the world, like cutler's poetry 9 
Upon a knife, Love me, and leave me not. 

NER. What talk you of the posy, or the value? 
You swore to me, when I did give it you, 
That you would wear it till your hour of death ; 
And that it should lie with you in your grave : 
Though not for me, yet for your vehement oaths, 
You should have been respective, 1 and have kept it. 
Gave it a judge's clerk! but well I know, 
The clerk will ne'er wear hair on his face, that 
had it. 

GRA. He will, an if he live to be a man. 

NER. Ay, if a woman live to be a man. 

GRA. Now, by this hand, I gave it to a youth, 
A kind of boy; a little scrubbed boy, 
No higher than thyself, the judge's clerk j 
A prating boy, 2 that begg'd it as a fee > 
I could not for my heart deny it him. 

So, afterwards : * M - 

" Now, by this hand, I gave it to a youth." STEEVENS. 

9 like cutler's poetry ] Knives, as Sir J. Hawkins ob- 
serves, were formerly inscribed, by means of aqua fortis, with 
short sentences in distich. In Decker's Satiromastix, Sir Ed- 
ward Vaughan says: " You shall swear by Phoebus, who is 
emr poet s good lord and master, that hereafter you will not 
re Horace to give you poesies for rings, or handkerchers, or 
knives, which you understand not." REED. 

1 have been respective,] Respective has the same mean- 
ing as respectful. Mr. M. Mason thinks it rather means regard- 
ful. See King John, Act I. STEEVENS. 

Chapman, Marston, and other poets of that time, use this 
word in the same sense, [i. e. for respectful."] MALONE. 

* a youth, 

A kind of boy ; a little scrubbed boy, 

No higher than thyself, the judge's clerk; 

A prating boy, &c.] It is certain from the words of the con- 
text and the tenour of the story, that Gratiano does not here 
peak contemptuously of the judge's clerk, who was no other 
than Nerissa disguised in man's clothes. He only means to de- 


FOR. You were to blame, I must be plain with 


To part so slightly with your wife's first gift; 
A thing stuck on with oaths upon your finger, 
And riveted so with faith unto your flesh. 
I gave my love a ring, and made him swear 
Never to part with it ; and here he stands ; 
I dare be sworn for him, he would not leave it, 
Nor pluck it from his finger, for the wealth 

scribe the person and appearance of this supposed youth, which 
he does by insinuating what seemed to be the precise time of his 
age : he represents him as having the look of a young stripling, 
of a boy beginning to advance towards puberty. I am there- 
fore of opinion, that the poet wrote : 

" a little stubbed boy." 

In many counties it is a common provincialism to call young 
birds not yet fledged stubbed young ones. But, what is more to 
our purpose, the author of The History and Antiquities of 
Glastonbury, printed by Hearne, an antiquarian, and a plain un- 
affected writer, says, that " Saunders must be a stubbed boy, if 
not a man, at the dissolution of Abbeys," &c. edit. 1722, rref. 
Signal, n. 2. It therefore seems to have been a common ex- 
pression for stripling, the very idea which the speaker means to 
convey. If the emendation be just here, we should also correct 
Nerissa's speech which follows: 

" For that same stubbed boy, the doctor's clerk, 
" In lieu of this, did lie with me last night." 


I believe scrubbed and stubbed have a like meaning, and signify 
stunted, or shrub-like. So, in P. Holland's translation of Pliny's 
Natural History : " but such will never prove fair trees, but 
skrubs only." STEEVENS. 

Stubbed in the sense contended for by Mr. Warton was in use 
so late as the Restoration. In The Parliamentary Register, 
July 30, 1660, is an advertisement enquiring after a person 
described as " a thick short stubbed fellow, round faced, ruddy 
complexion, dark brown hair and eyebrows, with a sad gray 
suit." REED. 

Scrubbed perhaps meant dirty, as well as short . Cole, in his 
Dictionary, 1672, renders it by the Latin word syualidus. 



That the world masters. Now, in faith, Gratiano, 
You give your wife too unkind a cause of grief ; 
An 'twere to me, I should be mad at it. 

BASS. Why, I were best to cut my left hand off, 
And swear, I lost the ring defending it. [Aside. 

GRA. My lord Bassanio gave his ring away 
Unto the judge that begg'd it, and, indeed, 
Deserv'd it too ; and then the boy, his clerk, 
That took some pains in writing, he begg'd mine : 
And neither man, nor master, would take aught 
But the two rings. 

FOR. What ring gave you, my lord ? 

Not that, I hope, which you receiv'd of me. 

BASS. If I could add a lie unto a fault, 
I would deny it ; but you see, my finger 
Hath not the ring upon it, it is gone. 

FOR. Even so void is your false heart of truth. 
By heaven, I will ne'er come in your bed 
Until I see the ring. 

N.ER. Nor I in yours, 

Till I again see mine. 

BASS. Sweet Portia, 

If you did know to whom I gave the ring, 
If you did know for whom 1 gave the ring, 
And would conceive for what I gave the ring, 
And how unwillingly I left the ring, 
When naught would be accepted but the ring, 
You would abate the strength of your displeasure. 

FOR. If you had known the virtue of the ring, 
Or half her worthiness that gave the ring, 
Or your own honour to contain the ring, 3 

3 contain the ring,] The old copies concur in this read- 
ing. JOHNSON. 



You would not then have parted with the ring. 
What man is there so much unreasonable, 
If you had pleas'd to have defended it 
With any terms of zeal, wanted the modesty 
To urge the thing held as a ceremony ? 4 
Nerissa teaches me what to believe ; 
1*11 die for't, but some woman had the ring. 

BASS. No, by mine honour, madam, by my soul, 
No woman had it, but a civil doctor, 
Which did refuse three thousand ducats of me. 
And begg'd the ring ; the which I did deny him, 
And suffer'd him to go displeas'd away j 
Even he that had held up the very life 
Of my dear friend. What should I say, sweet lady ? 
I was enforc'd to send it after him ; 
I was beset with shame and courtesy; 
My honour would not let ingratitude 
So much besmear it: Pardon me, good lady j 
For, by these blessed candles of the night, 5 

Mr. Pope and the other modern editors read to retain, but 
contain might in our author's time have had nearly the same 
meaning. The word has been already employed in this sense : 
" Cannot contain their urine for affection." 

So also, in Montaigne's Essaies, translated by Florio, 1603, 
B. II. c. iii : " Why dost thou complaine against this world ? It 
doth not containe thee : if thou livest in paine and sorow, thy 
base .courage is the cause of it; to die there wanteth but will." 
Again, in Bacon's Essaies, 4to. 1625, p. 327 : " To containe 
anger from mischiefe, though it take hold of a man, there be two 
things." MALONE. 

4 What man -wanted the modexty 

. To urge the thing held as a ceremony?] This is a very licen- 
tious expression. The sense is, What man could have so little 
modesty, or wanted modesty so much, as to urge the demand of a 
thing kept on an account in some sort religious. JOHNSON. 

Thus Calphurnia says to Julius Caesar : 

" Caesar, I never stood on ceremonies." STEEVENS. 

* '-candles of the night,] We have again the same ex- 


Had you been there, I think, you would have begg'd 
The ring of me to give the worthy doctor. 

POR. Let not that doctor e'er come near my 

house : 

Since he hath got the jewel that I lov'd, 
And that which you did swear to keep for me, 
I will become as liberal as you ; 
I'll not deny him any thing I have, 
No, not my body, nor my husband's bed : 
Know him I shall, I am well sure of it : 
Lie not a night from home ; watch me, like Argus : 
If you do not, if I be left alone, 
Now, by mine honour, which is yet my own, 
I'll have that doctor for my bedfellow. 

NER. And I his clerk ; therefore be well ad- 

How you do leave me to mine own protection. 

GRA. Well, do you so : let not me take him 

then ; 
Por, if I do, I'll mar the young clerk's pen. 

ANT. I am the unhappy subject of these quarrels. 

FOR. Sir, grieve not you ; You are welcome not- 

BASS. Portia, forgive me this enforced wrong ; 
And, in the hearing of these many friends, 

pression in one of our author's Sonnets, in Macbeth, and Romeo 
and Juliet. It likewise occurs in Diella, Certaine Sonnets ad- 
joyned to the amorous Poeme of Don Diego, and Gineura, by 
R. L. 1596: 

" He who can count the candles of the skie, 

" Reckon the sands whereon Pactolus flows," &c. 


In some Saxon poetry preserved in Hickes's Thesaurus, (Vol. 
I. p. 181,) the sun is called God's candle. So that this periphrasis 
for the stars, such a favourite with our poet, might have been an 
expression not grown obsolete in his days, HOLT WHITK. 

CC 2 


I swear to thee, even by thine own fair eyes, 
Wherein I see myself, 

FOR. Mark you but that I 

In both my eyes he doubly sees himself: 
In each eye, one : swear by your double self, 6 
And there's an oath of credit. 

BASS. Nay, but hear me : 

Pardon this fault, and by my soul I swear, 
I never more will break an oath with thee. 

ANT. I once did lend my body for his wealth j 7 
Which, but for him that had your husband's ring, 


Had quite miscarried : I dare be bound again, 
My soul upon the forfeit, that your lord 
Will never more break faith advisedly. 

FOB. Then you shall be his surety : Give him 

this ; 
And bid him keep it better than the other. 

ANT. Here, lord Bassanio ; swear to keep this 


BASS. By heaven, it is the same I gave the doc- 

FOR. I had it of him : pardon me, Bassanio ; 
For by this ring the -doctor lay with me. 

NER. And pardon me, my gentle Gratiano ; 
For that same scrubbed boy, the doctor's clerk, 
In lieu of this, last night did lie with me. 

swear by your double self,"] Double is here used in a 

bad sense for fall of duplicity. MALONE. 

7 for his wealth ;] For his advantage ; to obtain his hap- 
piness. Wealth was, at that time, the term opposite to adversity, 
or calamity. JOHNSON. 

So, in The Litany: "In all time of our tribulation ; in all 
time i^our wealth;" STEEVENS. 


GRA. Why, tliis is like the mending of high- 

In summer, where the ways are fair enough : 
What ! are we cuckolds, ere we have deserv'd it ? 

POR. Speak not so grossly. You are all amaz'd : 
Here is a letter, read it at your leisure ; 
It comes from Padua, from Bellario : 
There you shall find, that Portia was the doctor ; 
Nerissa there, her clerk : Lorenzo here 
Shall witness, I set forth as soon as you, 
And but even now return'd ; I have not yet 
Enter'd my house. Antonio, you are welcome ; 
And I have better news in store for you, 
Than you expect : unseal this letter soon ; 
There you shall find, three of your argosies 
Are richly come to harbour suddenly : 
You shall not know by what strange accident 
I chanced on this letter. 

ANT. I am dumb* 

BASS. Were you the doctor, and I knew you 

GRA. Were you the clerk, that is to make me 
cuckold ? 

NER. Ay ; but the clerk that never means to 

do it, 
Unless he live until he be a man. 

BASS. Sweet doctor, you shall be my bedfellow ; 
When I am absent, then lie with my wife. 

ANT. Sweet lady, you have given me life, and 

living ; 

For here I read for certain, that my ships 
Are safely come to road. 

POR. How now, Lorenzo ? 

My clerk hath some good comforts too for you. 


NER. Ay, and I'll give them him without a 


There do I give to you, and Jessica, 
From the rich Jew, a special deed of gift, 
After his death, of all he dies possess'd of. 

LOR. Fair ladies, you drop manna in the way 
Of starved people. 

FOR. It is almost morning, 

And yet, I am sure, you are not satisfied 
Of these events at full : Let us go in ; 
And charge us there upon intergatories, 
And we will answer all things faithfully. 

GRA. Let it be so : The first intergatory, 
That my Nerissa shall be sworn on, is, 
Whether till the next night she had rather stay ; ' 
Or go to bed now, being two hours to day : 
But were the day come, I should wish it dark, 
That I were couching with the doctor's clerk. 
Well, while I live, I'll fear no other thing 
So sore, as keeping safe Nerissa's ring. \JExeunt? 

8 It has been lately discovered, that this fable is taken from 
a story in the Pecorone of Ser Giovanni Fiorentino, a novelist, 
who wrote in 1378. [The first novel of the fourth day.] The 
story has been published in English, and I have epitomized the 
translation. The translator is of opinion, that the choice of the 
caskets is borrowed from a tale of Boccace, which I have like- 
wise abridged, though I believe that Shakspeare must have had 
some other novel in view.* JOHNSON. 

* See Dr. Fanner's note at the beginning of this play, from which it ap- 
pears that Dr. Johnson was right iu his conjecture. MALONK. 


THERE Kved at Florence, a merchant whose name was Bindo. 
He was rich, and had three sons. Being near his end, he called 
for the two eldest, and left them heirs: to the youngest he left 
nothing. This youngest, whose name was Giannetto, went to 
his father, and said, What has my father done ? The father re- 
plied, Dear Giannetto, there is none to whom I wish better than 
to you. Go to Venice to your godfather, whose name is An- 
saldo ; he has no child, and has wrote to me often to send you 
thither to him. He is the richest merchant amongst the Chris- 
tians: if you behave well, you will be certainly a rich man. The 
son answered, I am ready to do whatever my dear father shall 
command : upon which he gave him his benediction, and in a 
few days died. 

Giannetto went to Ansaldo, and presented the letter given by 
the father before his death. Ansaldo reading the letter, cried 
out, My dearest godson is welcome to my arms. He then asked 
news of his father. Giannetto replied, He is dead. I am much 
grieved, replied Ansaldo, to hear of the death of Bindo ; but 
the joy I feel, in seeing you, mitigates my sorrow. He con- 
ducted him to his house, and gave orders to his servants, that 
Giannetto should be obeyed, and served with more attention 
than had been paid to himself. He then delivered him the keys 
of his ready money : and told him, Son, spend this money, keep 
a table, and make yourself known : remember, that the more 
you gain the good will of every body, the more you will be dear 
to me. 

Giannetto now began to give entertainments. He was more 
obedient and courteous to Ansaldo, than if he had been an hun- 
dred times his father. Every body in Venice was fond of him. 
Ansaldo could think of nothing but him-, so much was he pleased 
with his good maijners and behaviour. 

It happened, that two of his most intimate acquaintance de- 
signed to go with two ships to Alexandria, and told Giannetto, 
he would do well to take a voyage and see the world. I would 
go willingly, said he, if my father Ansaldo will give leave. His 
companions go to Ansaldo, and beg his permission for Giannetto 
to go in the spring with them to Alexandria ; and desire him to 
provide him a ship. Ansaldo immediately procured a very fine 
ship, loaded it with merchandize, adorned it with streamers, and 
furnished it with arms ; and, as soon as it was ready, he gave 
orders to the captain and sailors to do every thing that Giannetto 
commanded. It happened one morning early, that Giannetto 
saw a gulph, with a fine port, and asked the captain how the 
port was called ? He replied, That place belongs to a widow 
lady, who has ruined many gentlemen. In what manner ? says 


Giannctto. He answered, this lady is a fine and beautiful woman, 
and has made a law, that whoever arrives here is obliged to go 
to bed with her, and if he can have the enjoyment of her, he 
must take her for his wife, and be lord of all the country ; but 
if he cannot enjoy her, he loses every thing he has brought with 
him. Giannetto, after a little reflection, tells the captain to get 
into the port. He was obeyed ; and in an instant they slide into 
the port so easily that the other ships perceived nothing. 

The lady was soon informed of it, and sent for Giannetto, who 
waited on her immediately. She, taking him by the hand, 
asked him who he was ? whence he came ? and if he knew the 
custom of the country ? He answered, that the knowledge of 
that custom was his only reason for coming. The lady paid him 
great honours, and sent for barons, counts, and knights, in great 
numbers, who were her subjects, to keep Giannetto company. 
These nobles were highly delighted with the good breeding and 
manners of Giannetto ; and all would have rejoiced to have had 
him for their lord. 

The night being come, the lady said, it seems to be time to 

fo to bed. Giannetto told the lady, he was entirely devoted to 
er service : and immediately two damsels enter with wine and 
sweet-meats. The lady entreats him to taste the wine ; he takes 
the sweet-meats, and drinks some of the wine, which was pre- 
pared with ingredients to cause sleep. He then goes into the 
bed, where he instantly falls asleep, and never wakes till late in 
the morning, but the lady rose with the sun, and gave orders to 
unload the vessel, which she found full of rich merchandize. 
After nine o'clock the women servants go to the bed-side, order 
Giannetto to rise and be gone, for he had lost the ship. The 
lady gave him a horse and money, and he leaves the place very 
melancholy, and goes to Venice. When he arrives, he dares 
not return home for shame : but at night goes to the house of a 
friend, who is surprised to see him, and inquires of him the cause 
of his return : He answers, his ship had struck on a rock in the 
night, and was broke in pieces. 

This friend, going one day to make a visit to Ansaldo, found 
him very disconsolate. I fear, says Ansaldo, so much, that this 
son of mine is dead, that I have no rest. His friend told him, 
that he had been shipwrecked, and had lost his all, but that he 
himself was safe. Ansaldo instantly gets up and runs to find him. 
My dear son, said he, you need not fear my displeasure ; it is a 
common accident ; trouble yourself no further. He takes him 
home, all the way telling him to be chearful and easy. 

The news was soon known all over Venice, and every one 
was concerned for Giannetto. Some time after, all his compa- 
nions arriving from Alexandria very rich, demanded what was 


become of their friend, and having heard the story, ran to see 
him, and rejoiced with him for his safety ; telling him that next 
spring, he might gain as much as he had lost the last. But 
Giannetto had no other thoughts than of his return to the lady ; 
and was resolved to marry her, or die. Ansaldo told him fre- 
quently, not to be cast down. Giannetto said, he should never 
be happy, till he was at liberty to make another voyage. Ansaldo 
provided another ship of more value than the first. He again 
entered the port of Belmonte, and the lady looking on the port 
from her bed-chamber, and seeing the ship, asked her maid if 
she knew the streamers ; the maid said, it was the ship of the 
young man who arrived the last year. You are in the right, 
answered the lady ; he must surely have a great regard for me, 
for never any one came a second time ; the maid said, she had 
never seen a more agreeable man. He went to the castle, and 
presented himself to the lady, who, as soon as she saw him, em- 
braced him, and the day was passed in joy and revels. Bed-time 
being come, the lady entreated him to go to rest: when they 
were seated in the chamber, the two damsels enter with wine 
and sweet-meats ; and having eat and drank of them, they go 
to bed, and immediately Giannetto falls asleep ; the lady un- 
dressed, and lay down by his side ; but he waked not the whole 
night. In the morning, the lady rises, and gives orders to strip 
the ship. He has a horse and money given him, and away he 
goes, and never stops till he gets to Venice; and at night goes 
to the same friend, who with astonishment asked him what was 
the matter ? I am undone, says Giannetto. His friend answered, 
You are the cause of the ruin of Ansaldo, and your shame ought 
to be greater than the loss you have suffered. Giannetto lived 
privately many days. At last he took the resolution of seeing 
Ansaldo, who rose from his chair, and running to embrace him, 
told him he was welcome : Giannetto with tears returned his 
embraces. Ansaldo heard his tale : Do not grieve, my dear 
son, says he, we have still enough : the sea enriches some men, 
others it ruins. 

Poor Giannetto's head was day and night full of the thoughts 
of his bad success. When Ansaldo enquired what was the mat- 
ter, he confessed, he could never be contented till he should be 
in a condition to regain all that he lost. When Ansaldo found 
him resolved, he began to sell every thing he had, to furnish 
this other fine ship with merchandize : but, as he wanted still 
ten thousand ducats, he applied himself to a Jew at Mestri, and 
borrowed them on condition, that if they were not paid on the 
feast of St. John in the next month of June, that |the Jew 
might take a pound of flesh from any part of his body he 
pleased. Ansaldo agreed, and the Jew had an obligation drawn, 


and witnessed, with all the form and ceremony necessary ; and 
then counted him the ten thousand ducats of gold, with which 
Ansaldo bought what was still wanting for the vessel. This last 
ship was finer and better freighted than the other two ; and his 
companions made ready for their voyage, with a design that 
whatever they gained should be for their friend. When it was 
time to depart, Ansaldo told Giannetto, that since he well knew 
of the obligation to the Jew, he entreated, that if any misfortune 
happened, he would return to Venice, that he might see him be- 
fore he died ; and then he could leave the world with satisfac- 
tion : Giannetto promised to do every thing that he conceived 
might give him pleasure. Ansaldo gave him his blessing, they 
took their leave, and the ships set out. 

Giannetto had nothing in his head but to steal into Bel- 
monte; and he prevailed with one of the sailors in the night to 
sail the vessel into the port. It was told the lady that Giannetto 
was arrived in port. She saw from the window the vessel, and 
immediately sent for him. 

Giannetto goes to the castle, the day is spent in joy and feast- 
ing ; and to honour him, a tournament is ordered, and many 
barons and knights tilted that day. Giannetto did wonders, so 
well did he understand the lance, and was so graceful a figure on 
horseback : he pleased so much, that all were desirous to have 
him for their lord. 

The lady, when it was the usual time, catching him by the 
hand, begged him to take his rest. When he passed the door of 
the chamber, one of the damsels in a whisper said to him, Make 
a pretence to drink the liquor, but touch not one drop. The 
lady said, I know you must be thirsty, I must have you drink 
before you go to bed: immediately two damsels entered the 
room, and presented the wine. Who can refuse wine from such 
beautiful hands? cries Giannetto: at which the lady smiled. 
Giannetto takes the cup, and making as if he drank, pours the 
wine into his bosom. The lady thinking he had drank, says 
aside to herself with great joy, You must go, young man, and 
bring another ship, for this is condemned. Giannetto went to 
bed, and began to snore as if he slept soundly. The lady, per- 
ceiving this, laid herself down by his side. Giannetto loses no 
time, but turning to the lady, embraces her, saying, Now am 
I in possession of my utmost wishes. When Giannetto came out 
of his chamber, he was knighted and placed in the chair of state, 
had the sceptre put into his hand, and was proclaimed sovereign 
of the country, with great pomp and splendour ; and when the 
lords and ladies were come to the castle, he married the lady in 
great ceremony. 

Giannetto governed excellently, and caused justice to be admi- 


nistered impartially. He continued some time in his happy 
state, and never entertained a thought of poor Ansaldo, who 
had given his bond to the Jew for ten thousand ducats. But one 
day, as he stood at the window of his palace with his bride, he 
saw a number of people pass along the piazza, with lighted torches. 
What is the meaning of this ? saya he. The lady answered, they 
are artificers, going to make their offerings at the church of St. 
John, this day being his festival. Giannetto instantly recollected 
Ansaldo, gave a great sigh, and turned pale. His lady enquired 
the cause of his sudden change. He said, he felt nothing. She 
continued to press with great earnestness, till he was obliged to 
confess the cause of his uneasiness ; that Ansaldo was engaged 
for the money ; that the term was expired ; and the grief he was 
in was lest his father should lose his life for him : that if the ten 
thousand ducats were not paid that day, he must lose a pound of 
his flesh. The lady told him to mount on horseback, and go by 
land the nearest way, to take some attendants, and an hundred 
thousand ducats ; and not to stop till he arrived at Venice ; and 
if he was not dead, to endeavour to bring Ansaldo to her. 
Giannetto takes horse with twenty attendants, and makes the 
best of his way to Venice. 

The time being expired, the Jew had seized Ansaldo, and in- 
sisted on having a pound of his flesh. He entreated him only to 
wait some days, that if his dear Giannetto arrived, he might 
have the pleasure of embracing him : the Jew replied he was 
willing to wait; but, says he, I will cut off the pound of flesh, 
according to the words of the obligation. Ansaldo answered, 
that he was content. 

Several merchants would have jointly paid the money ; the 
Jew would not hearken to the proposal, but insisted that he might 
have the satisfaction of saying, that he had put to death the 
greatest of the Ghristian merchants. Giannetto making all possi- 
ble haste to Venice, his lady soon followed him in a lawyer's 
habit, with two servants attending her. Giannetto, when he 
came to Venice, goes to the Jew, and (after embracing Ansaldo) 
tells him, he is ready to pay the money, and as much more as 
he should demand. The Jew said, he would take no money, 
since it was not paid at the time due ; but that he would have 
the pound of flesh. Every one blamed the Jew ; but as Venice 
was a place where justice was strictly administered, and the Jew 
had his pretensions grounded on publick and received forms, 
their only resource was entreaty ; and when the merchants of 
Venice applied to him, he was inflexible. Giannetto offered him 
twenty thousand, then thirty thousand, afterwards forty, fifty, 
and at last an hundred thousand ducats. The Jew told him, if 
he would give as much gold as Venice was worth, he would not 


accept it ; and, says he, you know little of me, if you think I 
will desist from my demand. 

The lady now arrives at Venice, in her lawyer's dress ; and 
alighting at an inn, the landlord asks of one of the servants who 
his master was : the servant answered, that he was a young 
lawyer who had finished his studies at Bologna. The landlord 
upon this shows his guest great civility : and when he attended 
at dinner, the lawyer enquiring how justice was administered in 
that city, he answered, justice in this place is too severe, and re- 
lated the case of Ansaldo. Says the lawyer, this question may 
be easily answered. If you can answer it, says the landlord, 
and save this worthy man from death, you will get the love and 
esteem of all the best men of this city. The lawyer caused a 
proclamation to be made, that whoever had any law matters to 
determine, they should have recourse to him: so it was told to 
Giannetto, that a famous lawyer was come from Bologna, who 
could decide all cases in law. Giannetto proposed to the Jew to 
apply to this lawyer. With all my heart, says the Jew ; but let 
who will come, I will stick to my bond. They came to this 
judge, and saluted him. Giannetto did not remember him : for 
he had disguised his face with the juice of certain herbs. Gian- 
netto, and the Jew, each told the merits of the cause to the 
judge ; who, when he had taken the bond and read it, said to 
the Jew, I must have you take the hundred thousand ducats, 
and release this honest man, who will always have a grateful sense 
of the favour done to him. The Jew replied, I will do no such 
thing. The judge answered, it will be better for you. The 
Jew was positive to yield nothing. Upon this they go to the 
tribunal appointed for such judgments : and our Judge says to 
the Jew, Do you cut a pound of this man's flesh where you 
choose. The Jew ordered him to be stripped naked ; and takes 
in his hand a razor, which had been made on purpose. Giannetto, 
seeing this, turning to the judge, this, says he, is not the favour 
I asked of you. Be quiet, says he, the pound of flesh is not yet 
cut off. As soon as the Jew was going to begin, Take care 
what you do, says the judge, if you take more or less than a 
pound, I will order your head to be struck off: and beside, if 
you shed one drop of blood, you shall be put to death. Your 
paper makes no mention of the shedding of blood ; but says ex- 
pressly, that you may take a pound of flesh, neither more nor 
less. He immediately sent for the executioner to bring the block 
and ax ; and now, says he, if I see one drop of blood, off goes 
your head. At length the Jew, after much wrangling, told him, 
Give me the hundred thousand ducats, and I am content. No, 
ays the judge, cut off your pound of flesh according to your 
bond : why did not you take the money when it was offered ? 


The Jew came down to ninety, and then to eighty thousand : 
but the judge was still resolute. Giannetto told the judge to give 
what he required, that Ansaldo might have his liberty : but he 
replied, let me manage him. Then the Jew would have taken 
fifty thousand : he said, I will not give you a penny. Give me, 
at least, says the Jew, my own ten thousand ducats, and a curse 
confound you all. The judge replies, I will give you nothing : 
if you will have the pound of flesh, take it; if not, I will order 
your bond to be protested and annulled. The Jew seeing he 
could gain nothing, tore in pieces the bond in a great rage. 
Ansaldo was released, and conducted home with great joy by 
Giannetto, who carried the hundred thousand ducats to the inn 
to the lawyer. The lawyer said, I do not want money; carry 
it back to your lady, that she may not say, that you have squan- 
dered it away idly. Says Giannetto, my lady is so kind, that I 
might spend four times as much without incurring her displea- 
sure. How are you pleased with the lady ? says the lawyer. 
I love her better than any earthly thing, answers Giannetto : 
nature seems to have done her utmost in forming her. If you 
will come and see her, you will be surprised at the honours she 
will show you. I cannot go with you, says the lawyer ; but 
since you speak so much good of her, I must desire you to pre- 
sent my respects to her. I will not fail, Giannetto answered ; 
and now, let me entreat you to accept of some of the money. 
While he was speaking, the lawyer observed a ring on his finger, 
and said, if you give me this ring, I shall seek no other reward. 
Willingly, says Giannetto ; but as it is a ring given me by my 
lady, to wenr for her sake, I have some reluctance to part with 
it, and she, not seeing it on my finger, will believe that I have 
given it to a woman. Says the lawyer, she esteems you suffici- 
ently to credit what you tell her, and you may say you made, a 
present of it to me ; but I rather think you want to give it to some 
former mistress here in Venice. So great, says Giannetto, is the 
love and reverence I bear to her, that I would not change her 
for any woman in the world. After this he takes the ring from 
his finger, and presents it to him. I have still a favour to ask, 
says the lawyer. It shall be granted, says Giannetto. It is, re- 
plied he, that you do not stay any time here, but go as soon as 
possible to your lady. It appears to me a thousand years till I 
see her, answered Giannetto ; and immediately they take leave 
of each other. The lawyer embarked, and left Venice. Gian- 
netto took leave of his Venetian friends, and carried Ansaldo 
with him, and some of his old acquaintance accompanied them. 
The lady arrived some daya before, and having resumed her fe- 
male habit, pretended to have spent the time at the baths ; and 
now gave order to have the streets lined with tapestry: and when 


Giannetto and Ansaldo were landed, all the court went out to 
meet them. When they arrived at the palace, the lady ran to 
embrace Ansaldo, but feigned anger against Giannetto, though 
she loved him excessively: yet the feastings, tilts, and diversions 
went on as usu, 1, at which all the lords and ladies were present. 
Giannetto seeing that his wife did not receive him with her ac- 
customed good countenance, called her, and would have saluted 
her. She told him, she wanted none of his caresses : I am sure, 
says she, you have been lavish of them to some of your former 
mistresses. Giannetto began to make excuses. She asked him 
where was the ring she had given him : It is no more than what 
I expected, cries Giannetto : and was in the right to say you 
would be angry with me ; but, I swear by all that is sacred, 
and by your dear self, that I gave the ring to the lawyer who 
gained our cause. And I can swear, says the lady, with as 
much solemnity, that you gave the ring to a woman : therefore 
swear no more. Giannetto protested that what he had told her 
was true, and that he said all this to the lawyer, when he asked 
for the ring. The lady replied, you would have done much 
better to stay at Venice with your mistresses, for I fear they all 
wept when you came away. Giannetto's tears began to fall, and 
in great sorrow he assured her, that what she supposed could 
not be true. The lady seeing his tears, which were daggers in 
her bosom, ran to embrace him, and in a fit of laughter showed 
the ring, and told him, that she was herself the lawyer, and how 
she obtained the ring. Giannetto was greatly astonished, finding 
it all true, and told the story to the nobles and to his compa- 
nions; and this heightened greatly the love between him and 
his lady. He then called the damsel who had given him the good 
advice in the evening not to drink the liquor, and gave her to 
Ansaldo for a wife ; and they spent the rest of their lives in great 
felicity and contentment. 

IvUGGIERI de Figiovanni took a resolution of going, for 
some time, to the court of Alfonso King of Spain. He was 
graciously received, and living there some time in great mag- 
nificence, and giving remarkable proofs of his courage, was 
greatly esteemed. Having frequent opportunities of examining 
minutely the behaviour of the king, he observed, that he gave, 
as he thought, with little discernment, castles, and baronies, to 
such who were unworthy of his favours ; and to himself, who 
might pretend to be of some estimation, he gave nothing : he 


therefore thought the 6ttest thing to be done, was to demand 
leave of the king to return home. 

His request, was granted, and the king presented him with 
one of the most beautiful and excellent mules, that had ever 
been mounted. One of the king's trusty servants was com- 
manded to accompany Ruggieri, and riding along with him, to 
pick up, and recollect every word he said of the king, and then 
mention that it was the order of his sovereign, that he should go 
back to him. The man watching the opportunity, joined 
Ruggieri when he set out, said he was going towards Italy, and 
would be glad to ride in company with him. Ruggieri jogging 
on with his mule, and talking of one thing or other, it being 
near nine o'clock, told his companion, that they would do well 
to put up their mules a little ; and as soon as they entered the 
stable, every beast, except his, began to stale. Riding on further, 
they came to a river, and watering the beasts, his mule staled 
in the river : you untoward beast, says he, you are like your 
master, who gave you to me. The servant remembered this ex- 
pression, and many others as they rode on all day together ; but 
he heard not a single word drop from him, but what was in 
praise of the king. The next morning Ruggieri was told the 
order of the king, and instantly turned back. When the king 
had heard what he said of the mule, he commanded him into 
his presence, and with a smile, asked him, for what reason he 
had compared the mule to him. Ruggieri answered, My reason 
is plain, you give where you ought not to give, and where you 
ought to give, you give nothing ; in the same manner the mule 
would not stale where she ought, and where she ought not, there 
she staled. The king said upon this, If I have not rewarded you 
as I have many, do not entertain a thought that I was insensible 
to your great merit ; it is Fortune who hindered me ; she is to 
blame, and not I ; and I will show you manifestly that I speak 
truth. My discontent, sir, proceeds not, answered Ruggieri, 
^from a desire of being enriched, but from your not having given 
the smallest testimony to my deserts in your service : neverthe- 
less your excuse is valid, and I am ready to see the proof you 
mention, though I can easily believe you without it. The king 
conducted him to a hall, where he had already commanded two 
large caskets, shut close, to be placed : and before a large com- 
pany, told Ruggieri, that in one of them was contained his 
crown, sceptre, and all his jewels ; and that the other was full 
of earth : choose which of them you like best, and then you 
will see that it is not I, but your fortune that has been ungrate- 
ful. Ruggieri chose one. It was found to be the casket full of 
earth. The king said to him with a smile, Now you may see 
Ruggieri that what I told you of fortune was true ; but for your 


sake, I will oppose her with all my strength. You have no in- 
tention, I am certain, to live in Spain, therefore I will offer you 
no preferment here ; but that casket which fortune denied you, 
shall be yours in despite of her : carry it with you into your 
own country, show it to your friends and neighbours, as my gift 
to you ; and you have my permission to boast, that it is a reward 
of your virtues. 

Of THE MERCHANT OF VENICE the style is even and easy, 
with few peculiarities of diction, or anomalies of construction. 
The comick part raises laughter, and the serious fixes expecta- 
tion. The probability of either one or the other story cannot be 
maintained. The union of two actions in one event is in this 
drama eminently happy. Dryden was much pleased with his 
own address in connecting the two plots of his Spanish Friar, 
which yet, I believe, the critick will find excelled by this play. 


Of the incident of the bond, no English original has hitherto 
been pointed out. I find, however, the following in The Orator: 
handling a hundred severall Discourses, in form of Declama- 
tions: some of the Arguments being dravme from Titus Livius 
and other ancient Writers, the rest of the Author's oivn Inven- 
tion: Part of "which are of Matters happened in our Age.~ 
Written in French by Alexander Silvayn, and Englished by 
L. P. [i. e. Lazarus Pilot.*] London, Printed by Adam Islip, 
1596. (This book is not mentioned by Ames.) See p. 401 : 


" Of a Jew, "who would for his debt have a pound ofthejlesh 
of a Christian. 

" A Jew, unto whom a Christian merchant ought nine hun- 
dred crownes, would have summoned him for the same in Turkie : 
the merchant, because he would not be discredited, promised 
to pay the said summe within the tearme of three months, and if 
he paid it not, he was bound to give him a pound of the flesh of 
his bodie. The tearme being past some fifteene daies, the Jew 
refused to take his money, and demaunded the pound of flesh : 
the ordinarie judge of that place appointed him to cut a just 
pound of the Christian's flesh, and if he cut more or lesse, then 
his own head should be smitten off: the Jew appealed from this 
sentence, unto the chiefe judge, saying : 

" Impossible is it to breake the credit of trafficke amongst men 
without great detriment to the commonwealth : wherefore no 
man ought to. bind himselfe unto such covenants which hee can- 

* Lazarus fyot, (not Pilot,) is Anthony Mundy. RITSOK. 


not or will not accomplish, for by that means should no man 
feare to be deceaved, and credit being maintained, every man 
might be assured of his owne j but since deceit hath taken place, 
never wonder if obligations are made more rigorous and strict 
then they were wont, seeing that although bonds are made never 
so strong, yet can no man be very certaine that he shall not be a 
loser. It seemeth at the first sight that it is a thing no less strange 
than cruel, to bind a man to pay a pound of the flesh of his 
bodie, for want of money : surely, in that it is a thing not usuall, 
it appeareth to be somewhat the more admirable ; but there are 
divers others that are more cruell, which because they are in use 
seeme nothing terrible at all : as to binde all the bodie unto a 
most lothsome prison, or unto an intolerable slaverie, where not 
only the whole bodie but also all the sences and spirits are tor- 
mented ; the which is commonly practised, not only betwixt 
those which are either in sect or nation contrary, but also even 
amongst those that are of one sect and nation ; yea amongst 
Christians it hath been scene that the son hath imprisoned the 
father for monie. Likewise in the Roman commonwealth, so 
famous for lawes and armes, it was lawful for debt to imprison, 
beat, and afflict with torment the free citizens: how manie of 
them (do you thinke) would have thought themselves happie, if 
for a small debt they might have been excused with the paiment 
of a pounde of their flesh ? who ought then to marvile if a Jew 
requireth so small a thing of a Christian, to discharge him of 
a good round summe ? A man may aske why I would not 
rather take silver of this man, then his flesh : I might alleage 
many reasons ; for I might say that none but my selfe can tell 
what the breach of his promise hath cost me, and what I have 
thereby paied for want of money unto my creditors, of that 
which I have lost in my credit : for the miserie of those men 
which esteem their reputation, is so great, that oftentimes they 
had rather endure any thing secretlie, then to have their discre- 
dit blazed abroad, because they would not be both shamed and 
harmed : neverthelesse, I doe freely confesse, that I had rather 
lose a pound of my flesh then my credit should be in any sort 
cracked : I might also say, that I have need of this flesh to cure 
a friend of mine of a certaine maladie, which is otherwise in- 
curable ; or that I would have it to terrific thereby the Christians 
for ever abusing the Jews once more hereafter : but I will onlie 
say, that by his obligation he oweth it me. It is lawfull to kill 
a souldier if he come unto the warres but an hour too late ; and 
also to hang a theefe though he steal never so little : is it then 
such a great matter to cause such a one to pay a pound of his flesh, 
that hath broken his promise manie times, or that putteth another 
in danger to lose both credit and reputation, yea and it may be 



life, and al for griefe ? were it not better for him to lose that I 
demand, then his soule, alreadie bound by his faith ? Neither am 
I to take that which he oweth me, but he is to deliver it to me : 
and especiallie because no man knoweth better than he where 
the same may be spared to the least hurt of his person ; for I 
might take it in such place as hee might thereby happen to lose 
his life : Whatte matter were it then if I should cut off his privie 
members, supposing that the same would altogether weigh a just 
pound? or els his head, should I be suffered to cut it off, although 
it were with the danger of mine own life ? I believe, I should 
not ; because there were as little reason therein, as there could 
be in the amends whereunto I should be bound : or els if I would 
cut off his nose, his lips, his ears, and pull out his eies, to make 
them altogether a pound, should I be suffered ? surely I think 
not, because the obligation dooth not specific that I ought either 
to choose, cut, or take the same, but that he ought to give me 
a pound of his flesh. Of every thing that is sold, he which de- 
livereth the same is to make waight, and he which receiveth, 
taketh heed that it be just: seeing then that neither obligation, 
custome, nor law doth bind me to cut, or weigh, much lesse unto 
the above mentioned satisfaction, I refuse it all, and require that 
the same which is due should be delivered unto me." 

*' The Christian's Answers. 

" It is no strange matter to here those dispute of.equitie which 
are themselves most unjust; and such as have ho faith at all, de- 
sirous that others should observe the same inviolable; the which 
were yet the more tolerable, if such men would be contented 
with reasonable things, or at least not altogether unreasonable : 
but what reason is there that one man should unto his own pre- 
judice desire the hurt of another ? as this Jew is content to lose 
nine hundred crownes to have a pound of my flesh ; whereby is 
manifestely seene the ancient and cruel hate which he beareth 
not only unto Christians, but unto all others which are not of his 
sect; yea, even unto the Turkes, who overkindly doe suffer such 
vermine to dwell amongst them : seeing that this presumptuous 
wretch dare not onely doubt, but u<ppeale from the judgement 
of a good and just judge, and afterwards he would by sophisticall 
reasons prove that his abhomination is equitie. Trulie, I confesse 
that I have suffered fifteen daies of the tearme to passe ; yet who 
can tell whether he or I is the cause thereof? as for me, I think 
that by secret meanes he hath caused the monie to be ddaied, 
which from sundry places ought to have come unto me before the 
tearm which I promised unto him ; otherwise, I would never have 
been so rash as to bind myselfe so strictly : but although he were 
not the cause of the fault, is it therefore said, that he ought to be 


so impudent as to go about to prove it no strange matter that he 
should be willing to be paied with man's flesh, which is a thing 
more natural for tigres, than men, the which also was never 
heard of? but this divell in shape of man, seeing me oppressed 
with necessitie, propounded this cursed obligation unto me. 
Whereas he alleageth the Romaines for an example, why doth 
he not as well tell on how for that crueltie in afflicting debtors 
over grievously, the commonwealth was almost overthrowne, and 
that shortly after it was forbidden to imprison men any more for 
debt? To breake promise is, when a man sweareth or promiseth 
a thing, the which he hath no desire to performe, which yet upon 
an extreame necessity is somewhat excusable : as for me I have 
promised, and accomplished my promise, yet not so soon as I 
would ; and although I knew the danger wherein I was to satisfie 
the crueltie of this mischievous man with the price of my flesh 
and blood, yet did I not flie away, but submitted my selfe unto 
the discretion of the judge who hath justly repressed his beastli- 
ness. Wherein then have I falsified my promise ? is it in that 
I would not (like him) disobey the judgement of the judge? 
Behold I will present a part of my bodie unto him, that he may 
paie himselfe, according to the contents of the judgment: where 
is then my promise broken ? But it is no marvaile if this race be 
so obstinat and cruell against us ; for they do it of set purpose 
to offend our God whom they have crucified : and wherefore ? 
Because he was holie, as he is yet so reputed of this worthy 
Turkish nation. But what shall I say ? Their own Bible is full 
of their rebellion against God, against their priests, judges and 
leaders. What did not the very patriarchs themselves, from 
whom they have their beginning ? They sold their brother, and 
had it not been for one amongst them, they had slain him for 
verie envie. How many adulteries and abhominations were com- 
mitted amongst them ? How many murthers? Absalom did he 
not cause his brother to be murthered ? Did he not persecute 
his father? Is it not for their iniquitie that God hath dispersed 
them, without leaving them one onlie foot of ground ? If then, 
when they had newlie received their law from God, when they 
saw his wonderous works with their eies, and had yet their judges 
amongst them, they were so wicked, what may one hope of them 
now, when they have neither faith nor law, but their rapines and 
usuries ? and that they believe they do a charitable work, when 
they do some great wrong unto one that is not a Jew ? It may 
please you then, most righteous judge, to consider all these cir- 
cumstances, having pittie of him who doth wholly submit him- 
selfe upon your just clemencie : hoping thereby to be delivered 
from" this monster's crueltie." FARMER. 


Gregorio Leti, in his Life of Sixtus V, translated by Ellis 
Farneworth, 1/54, has likewise this kind of story. 

It was currently reported in Rome that Drake had taken and 
plundered S. Domingo in Ilispnniola, and carried off an im- 
mense booty : this account came in a private letter to Paul 
Secchi, a very considerable merchant in the city, who had large 
concerns in those parts which he had insured. Upon the re- 
ceiving this news he sent for the insurer Samson Ceneda, a Jew, 
and acquainted him with it. The Jew, whose interest it was to 
have such a report thought false, gave many reasons why it could 
not possibly be true : and at last worked himself up into such a 
passion, that he said, " I '11 lay you a pound of my flesh that it 
is a lie." 

Secchi, who was of a fiery hot temper, replied, " If you like 
it, I'll lay you a thousand crowns against a pound of your flesh 
that it is true." The Jew accepted the wager, and articles were 
immediately executed between them, the substance of which was, 
" That if Secchi won, he should himself cut the flesh with a 
sharp knife from whatever part of the Jew's body he pleased." 
Unfortunately for the Jew, the truth of the account was soon 
after confirmed, by other advices from the West Indies, which 
threw him almost into distraction ; especially when he was in- 
formed that Secchi had solemnly sworn he would compel him to 
the exact literal performance of his contract, and was determined 
to cut a pound of flesh from that part of his body which it is not 
necessary to mention. Upon this be went to the governor of 
Rome, and begged he would interpose in the affair, and use his 
authority to prevail with Secchi to accept of a thousand pistoles 
as an equivalent for the pound of flesh : but the governor not 
daring to take upon him to determine a case of so uncommon a 
nature, made a report of it to the pope, who sent for them both, 
and having heard the articles read, and informed himself per- 
fectly of the whole affair from their own mouths, said, " When 
contracts are made, it is just they should be fulfilled, as we in- 
tend this shall. Take a knife, therefore, Secchi, and cut a 
pound of flesh from any part you please of the. Jew's body. 
We would advise you, however, to be very careful ; for if you 
cut but a scruple or grain more or less than your due, you shall 
certainly be hanged. Go, and bring hither a knife, and a pair 
of scales, and let it be done in our presence." 

The merchant at these words, began to tremble like an aspin- 
leaf, and throwing himself at his holiness's feet, with tears in 
his eyes, protested, " It was far from his thoughts to insist upon 
the performance of the contract." And being asked by the pope 
what he demanded ; answered, " Nothing, holy father, but 
your benediction, and that the articles may be torn in pieces," 


Then turning to the Jew, he asked him, " What he had to say, 
and whether he was content." The Jew answered, " That he 
thought himself extremely happy to come off at so easy a rate, 
and that he was perfectly content." " But we are not content," 
replied Sixtus, "nor is there sufficient satisfaction made to our 
laws. We desire to know what authority you have to lay such 
wagersj The subjects of princes are the property of the state, 
and have no right to dispose of their bodies, nor any part of 
them, without the express consent of their sovereigns." 

They were both immediately sent to prison, and the governor 
ordered to proceed against them with the utmost severity of the 
law, that others might be deterred by their example from laying 
any more such wagers. [The governor interceding for them, 
and proposing a fine of a thousand crowns each, Sixtus ordered 
him to condemn them both to death, the Jew for selling his 
life, by consenting to have a pound of flesh cut from his body, 
which he said was direct suicide, and the merchant for preme- 
ditated murder, in making a contract with the other that he 
knew must be the occasion of his death.] 

As Secchi was of a very good family, having many great 
friends and relations, and the Jew one of the most leading men 
in the synagogue, they both had recourse to petitions. Strong 
application was made to Cardinal Montalto, to intercede with 
his holiness at least to spare their lives. Sixtus, who did not 
really design to put them to death, but to deter others from such 
practices, at last consented to change the sentence into that of 
the galleys, with liberty to buy oft' that too, by paying each of 
them two thousand crowns, to be applied to the use of the hos- 
pital which he had lately founded, before they were released. 

Life of Sixtus V. Fol. B. VII. p. 293, &c. 


IN a Persian manuscript in the possession of Ensign Thomas 
Munro, of the first battalion of Sepoys, now at Tanjore, is found 
the following story of a Jew and a Mussulman. Several leaves 
being wanting both at the beginning and end of the MS. its age 
lias not been ascertained. The translation, in which the idiom 
is Persian, though the words are English, was made by Mr. 
Munro, and kindly communicated to me (together with a copy 
of the original, ) by Daniel Braithwaite, Esq. 

" It is related, that in the town of Syria a poor Mussulman 
lived in the neighbourhood of a rich jew. One day he went to 
the Jew, and said, lend me 100 dinars, that I may trade with 
it, and I will give thee a share of the gain. This Mussulman 
had a beautiful wife, and the Jew had seen and fallen in love 
with her, and thinking this a lucky opportunity, he said, I will 


not do thus, but I will give thee a hundred dinars, with this con- 
dition, that after six months thou shalt restore it to me. But 
give me a bond in this form, that if the term of the agreement 
shall be exceeded one day, I shall cut a pound of flesh from thy 
body, from whatever part I choose. The Jew thought that by 
this means he might perhaps come to enjoy the Mussulman's 
wife. The Muss-ulman was dejected, and said, how cjm this 
be ? But as his distress was extreme, he took the money on that 
condition, and gave the bond, and set out on a journey; and in 
that journey he acquired much gain, and he was every day say- 
ing to himself, God forbid that the term of the agreement should 
pass away, and the Jew bring vexation upon me. He therefore 
gave a hundred gold dinars into the hand of a trusty person, 
and sent him home to give it to the Jew. But the people of his 
own house, being without money, spent it in maintaining them- 
selves. When he returned from his journey, the Jew required 
payment of the money, and the pound of flesh. The Mussul- 
man said, I sent thy money a long time ago. The Jew said, thy 
money came not to me. When this on examination appeared to 
be true, the Jew carried the Mussulman before the Cazi, and re- 
presented the affair. The Cazi said to the Mussulman, either sa- 
tisfy the Jew, or give the pound of flesh. The Mussulman not 
agreeing to this, said, let us go to another Cazi. When they 
went, he also spoke in the same manner. The Mussulman asked 
the advice of an ingenious friend. He said, " say to him, let 
us go to the Cazi of Hems.* Go there, for thy business will be 
well." Then the Mussulman went to the Jew, and said, I shall 
be satisfied with the decree of the Cazi of Hems; the Jew said, 
I also shall be satisfied. Thenboth departed forthe city of Hems. f 
When they presented themselves before the judgment-seat, the 

* Hems-Emessa, a city of Syria, long. 70, lat. 34. 

The Orientals say that Hippocrates made his ordinary residence there j 
and the Christians of that country have a tradition, that the head of St. 
John the Baptist was found there, under the reign of Theodosius the 

This city was famous in the times of paganism for the Temple of the 
Sun, under the name of Heliogabalus, from which the Roman emperor 
took his name. 

It was taken from the Mussulmen by the Tartars, in the year of Christ 
1098. Saladin retook it in 1187. The Tartars took it in the year 1258. 
Afterwords it passed into the hands of the Mamalukes, and from them to 
the Turks, who are now in possession of it. This city suffered greatly by 
a most drecdful earthquake in 1157, when the Franks were in possession 
of Syria HERBELOT. 

f Here follows the relation of a number of unlucky adventures, in which 
the Mussulman is involved by the way ; but as they only tend to show the 
Rapacity of the Cazi in extricating him from them, and have no connection 
with Shylork, I have omitted them. T. M. 


Jew said, O my Lord Judge, this man borrowed an hundred 
dinars of me, and pledged a pound of flesh from his own body. 
Command that he give the money and the flesh. It happened, 
that the Cazi was the friend of the father of the Mussulman, 
and for this respect, he said to the Jew, " Thou sayest true, it 
is the purport of the bond; and he desired, that they should bring 
a sharp ^nife. The Mussulman on hearing this, became speech- 
less. The knife being brought, the Cazi turned his face to the 
Jew, and said, ** Arise, and cut one pound of flesh from the 
body of him, in such a manner, that there may not be one grain 
more or less, and if more or less thou shalt cut, I shall order thee 
to be killed. The Jew said, I cannot. I shall leave this business 
and depart. The Cazi said, thou mayest not leave it. He said, 
O Judge, I have released him. The Judge said, it cannot be ; 
either cut the flesh, or pay the expence of his journey. It was 
settled at two hundred dinars : the Jew paid another hundred, 
and departed." MALONE. 

To the collection of novels, &c. wherein the plot of the fore- 
going play occurs, may be added another, viz. from " Roger 
Bontemps en Belle Humeur." In the story here related of the 
Jew and the Christian, the Judge is made to be Solyman, Em- 
peror of the Turks. See the edition of 1731, Tom. II. p. 105. 
So far Mr. Douce: Perhaps this Tale (like that of Parnell's 
Hermit, ) may have found its way into every language. 



T. DAVISON, Lombard-street, 
Wbitefriars, l.omu.n. 











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