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%3 b 3 











Perfons Reprefented, 

Vincentio, Duke of Vienna. 

Angelo, Lord Deputy in the Duke's abfence. 

Efcalus, an antient Lord, joined with Angelo in the 


Claudio, a young Gentleman* 
Lucio, a Fantaftick. 
Two other like Gentlemen. 
* Varrius, a Gentleman, Servant to the Dukei 
Peter, ' 
A Jujtice. 

Elbow, ajimple Confiabk. 
Froth, afoolijh Gentleman. 
Clown, Servant to Mrs. Over-done. 
Abhorfon, an Executioner. 
Barnardine, a difolute Prifoner. 

Ifabella, Sifter to Claudio. 
Mariana, betrothed to Angelo, 
Juliet, beloved of Claudio. 
Francifca, a Nun. 
Mftrefs Overdone, a Bawd. 

Guards, Officers, and other Attendants. 
SCENE, Vienna, 

* Varrius might be omitted, for he is only once fpoken to, and 
fays nothing. JOHNSON. 

ME A- 





A C T I, S C E N E L 

The Duke's Palace *. 
Enter Duke, Efcalus, and Lords. 

Duke. Efcalus, 

Efcal. My lord. 


1 The ftory is taken from Cintlid's Novels, Decad. 8. Novel . 


2 There is perhaps not one of Shakefpeare's plays more darken- 
ed than this by the peculiarities of its authour, and the unfkil- 
fulnefs of its editors, by distortions of phrafe, or negligence of 
tranfcription. JOHNSON. 

Shakefpeare took the fable of this play from the Promos and 
CaJJandra of George Whetftone, publilhed in 1578. See Theo- 
bald's note at the end. 

A hint, like a feed, is more or lefs prolific, according to the 
qualities of the foil on which it is thrown. This ftory, which in 
the hands of Whetftone produced little more than barren infipid- 
ity, under the culture of Shakefpeare became fertile of entertain- 
ment. The curious reader will find that the old play of Promos 
and Caffandra exhibits an almoft complete embryo of Meafurefor 
Meafure ; yet the hints on which it is formed are fo flight, that 
it is nearly as impoflible to deteft them, as it is to point out in 
the acorn the future ramifications of the oak. 
Whetftone opens his play thus. 

" Aft. I. Scena I. 
" Promos, Mayor, Shirife, Sworde bearer : one with a bunche 

" ofkeyes: Phallax, Promos Man. 
" You Officers which now in Julio ftaye 
*' Know you your leadge, the King of Hangar ic : 
" Sent me Promos, to joyne with you in fway : 
*' That ftyll we mav to JuJRet have an eye. 

B 2 And 


Duke. Of government the properties to unfold, 
Would feem in me to affedt fpeech and difcourfe - y 
Since I am 3 put to know, that your own fcience, 
Exceeds, in that, the lifts of all advice 4 
My flrength can give you : Then no more remains J , 


" And now to (how, my rule and power at lardge,. 
" Attentivelie, his letters patients heare : 
' " Phallax, reade out my Soveraines chardge. 
** Phal. As you commaunde, I wyll : give heedeful care. 

Phallax rcadeth the Kinges Letters Patents, which 
muft bt fayre written in parchment, ivitbfome great 
counterfeat zealc. 
'* Pro. Lqe, here yovi fee what is our Soveraigues wyl 

" Loe, 'heare hiswiftr, that right, not might, beare fwaye : 

*' Loe, heare his care, to weede from good the yll, 

" To fcoorge the wights, good lawes that difobay. 

" Such zeale he beares, unto the common weak, 

*' (How fo he byds, the ignoraunt to fave) 

" As he commaundes, the lewde doo rigor feelc, &c. &c. &c- 

*' Pro. Both fwoorde and keies, unto my princes ufe, 
" I doo receyve and gladlie take my chardge. 
* 4 It refteth nowe for to r-eforme abufe, 
** We poynt a tyme, of counceW more at lardge, 
*' To treate of which, a whyle we wyll depart. 
'* Al.fpeakc* To worke your wyll, we yeelde a wylling hart. 


The reader will find the argument of G. Whetftone's Promos- 
&nd Caffandra, at the end of this play. It is too bulky to be 
inferted here. See likewife the Piece itfelf among Six oldPlayi 
en which Shakcfpeare founded, &c. publifhed by S. Leacroft,. 
Charing-crofs. STEEVENS. 

3 Since I am not to know,- ] Old copy, 

' put to know, 

Perhaps rightly. JOHNSON. 

I am put fo know, may mean, I am obliged to acknowledge. 
So in King Henry VI. p. 2. fc. i. 

" had I firit been// to fpeak my mind." 
Again in Drayton's Legend of Pierce Gavcjton : 

** My limbs were//// to travel day and night.'* ST E VE N s. 

4 lifts ] Bounds, limits. JOHNSON. 

So in Othello. 

" Confine yourfelf within a patient lift." STEEVENS. 

5 < - ' Then no more remains, &c.] This is a paflage which 
has exercifed the fagacity of the editors, and is now to employ 



But that; your fufficiency, as your worth is able, 
And let them work. The nature of our people, 


Then no more remains, 

Put that toyottrfttfficiency, as your worth is able, 

And let them work. 

1 doubt not, but this paflage, either from the impertinence of 
the actors, or the negligence of the copyifts, . has come maimed 
to us. In the firft place, what an unmeafurable, inharmonious 
verfe have we here ;'and then, how lame is the fenfe ! What was 
Efcalus to put to his fufficiency ? Why, hisj/ZvVfco 1 .-.. But his fci- 
ence and his fufficiency were but one and the fame thing. On 
what then does the relative them 'depend? The old editions read 

Then no more remains, 

But that to your fufficiency, as your worth is able, 

And let them work. 

Here again, the fenfe is manifeftly lame and defective, and as 
the verification is fo too, they concur to make me think, a line 
has accidentally been left out. Perhaps, fomething like this 
might fupply our author's meaning : 

Then no more remains, 

But that to your fufficiency you add 

Due diligency, asyour worth is able, 

And let them work, 

By fome fuch fupplement both the fenfe and meafure would be 
cured. But as the conjecture is unfuppoited by any authorities, I 
have not pretended to thruft it into the text ; but fubmit it to 
judgment. They, who are acquainted with books, know, that, 
where two words of a fimilar length and termination happen to 
lie under one another, nothing is more common than for tranfcri- 
bers to glance their eye at once from the firji to the undermoft 
word, and fo leave out the intermediate part of the fentence. 


Since I am not to know, that your (run fcience 

Exceeds, in that, the lifts of all advice 

My Jirength can give you then no more remains: 

Put that to your fufficiency, asyour wartb is able^ 

And let them work. 

To the integrity of this rending Mr. Theobald objects, and fays, 
What -was Efcalus to put to his fufficiency ? why, his fcience: But his 

fcience and fufficiency were but one and the fame thing* On what 

the relative them depent 
that a line has been accidentally dropp'J, which he attempts to re- 

then does the relative them depend ? He will have it, therefore, 

ftore by due diligency. Nodum infcirpo quterit. And all for Want 
ot knowing, that \>y fufficiency is meant authority, the power de- 
legated by the duke to Efcalus. The plain meaning of the word 
B 3 being 


Our city's inflitutions, and the terms 

For common juftice, you are as pregnant in 6 , 


being this : Putyourjkill in governing (fays the duke) to the power 
which I give you to exercife it, and let them work together. 


Sir Tho. Hanmer, having caught from Mr. Theobald a hint 
that a line was loft, endeavours to fupply it thus. 

- The n no more remains, 

But that to your fyfficiency you join 

A will to ferve us, asyour worth is able. 
He has by this bold conjecture undoubtedly obtained a mean- 
ing, but, perhaps not, even in his own opinion, the meaning 
of Shakefpeare. 

That the paflage is more or lefs corrupt, I believe every rea- 
der will agree with the editors. I am not convinced that a line is 
loft, as Mr. Theobald conjectures, nor that the change of but to 
put, which Dr. Warburton has admitted after fome other editor, 
will amend the fault. There was probably fome original obfcurity 
in the expreffion, which gave occafion to miftake in repetition or 
tranfcription. I therefore fufpeft that the author wrote thus, 

Then no more remains, 

But that to your fufficiencies your "worth is abled, 

And let them work. 

Then nothing remains more than to tell you, thatyour virtue is now in*- 
vejlcd 'with power equal to your knowledge and wifdom. Let there- 
fore your knowledge and your virtue now work together. It may 
eafily be conceived \\o\vfuffidcncies was, by an inarticulate fpeaker, 
or inattentive hearer, confounded vi'tfhfujficieticy as, and how abled, 
a word very unufual, was changed into able. For abled, however, 
an authority is not wanting. Lear ufes it in the fame fenfe, or 
nearly the fame, with the Duke. As forfiifficiencies, D. Hamil- 
ton in his dying fpeech, prays that Charles II. may exceed both the 
virtues and fufficiencies of his father. JOHNSON. 

The uncommon redundancy, as well as obfcurity, ofthisverfe 
may be confidered as fome evidence of its corruption. Take 
away the two firjt words, and the fenfe joins well enough with 
what went before. Then (fays the duke) no more remains to fay : 

Your fujficiency asyour worth is able, 

And let them work. 

i. e. Your Jkill in government is in ability to ferve me, equal to the in- 
tegrity of your heart, and let them co-operate in your future minijtry. 

The vedification requires that either fomething ihould be added, 
or fomething retrenched. The latter is the eafier, as well as the 
.fafer talk. I join in the belief, however, that a line is loft ; and 
whoever is acquainted with the inaccuracy of the folio, (for of this 
play there is no other old edition) will find my opinion juftified. 



As art and pradtice hath enriched any 

That we remember : There is our commiffion, 

From which we would not have you warp. Call 


I fay, bid come before us Angelo. 
What figure of us think you he will bear ? 
For you muft know, we have with fpccial foul 7 


Some words feem to be loft here, the fenfe of which, perhaps, 
may be thus fupplied : 

then no more remains, 

But that to your ftifficiency you put 

A zeal as willing as your worth is able, 

And let them work. . . . TYRWHITT. 

* the terms 

For common juftice , you are as pregnant /,] 
The later editions all give it, without authority, 

the terms 


and Dr. Warburton makes terms fignify lounds or limits. I rather 
think the Duke meant to fay, that Efcalus was pregnant, that 
is, ready and knowing in all the forms of law, and, among other 
things, in the terms or times fet apart for its adminiftration. 


The \\'or& pregnant \s ufed with this fignification in Ram-alley 
or Merry Tricks 161 r, where a lawyer is reprefented reading : 
" In triceffimo primo Alberti Magni 
** 'Tis very cleare the place is very pregnant" 
\. e. very exprcjfi<ve t ready, or very big <with meaning. 

" the Proof is moft pregnant ." 

Again, The Cruel Brother by Sir W~. Davenant, 1630. 
' ' my abilities are moft pregnant 
** When I find I may be profitable." 

" oh, fuch a pregnant eye !" STEEVENS. 

For you mujl know, <we have with fyecial foul 
Elcfled him our abfence to futoply j ~\ 
This nonfenfe muft be corrected thus, 

with fpccial roll 

i. e. with a fpecial commiffion. For it appears, from this fcene, 
that Efcalus had one commiffion, and Angelo another. The Duke 
had before delivered Efcalus his commiffion. He now ; < dares 
that defigned for Angelo ; and he fays, afterwards, to both, 
To the hopeful execution do I leave you 
Of your commijjions. 

B 4 Why 


Eie&ed him our abfence to fupply ; 
Lent him our terror, dreft him with our love ; 
And given his deputation all the organs 
Of our own power : What think you of it ? 

Efcal If any in Vienna be of worth 
To undergo fuch ample grace and honour, 
It is lord Angelo. 

Enter Angelo. 

Duke. Look where he comes. 
Ang. Always obedient to your grace's will, 
I come to know your pleafure. 

Duke. Angelo, 
There is a kind of character in thy life 8 , 

Why Angelo's was called the /pedal roll was, becaufe he was \\\ 
authority fuperior to Efcalus. 


Though firft in quejiion, isthyfecondaiy. WARBURTON. 
This editor is, I think, right in fuppofing a corruption, but 
lefs happy in his emendation. I read, 

ive have with fpecial feal 
Elcfled him our abfence to fupply* 
A fpecialy^7/is a very natural metonoray for zfpecial commijion. 


By the words with fpccial foul defied him, I believe, the poer 
meant no more than that heivas the immediate choice of his heart. 
A fimilar expreffion occurs in Troilus and Crejpda: 

" with private foul 

" Did in great Ihon thus tranflate him to me." 
Again, more appolitely in the Tempejl : 

*' tor fevcral virtues 

** Have I lik'd feveral women, never any 

" With fo full foul, but Come defea," &c. STEEVENS. 

We have vnthfpccialfoul. 

This feems to be only a tranilation of the ufual formal words 
inferted in all royal grants " De gratia noftra fpeciall et ex 
'* mero motu " MALONE. 

8 There is a kind of character in thy l ; fe, 
That to the olferver, &C.] 

Either this introduction has more Iblemnity than meaning, or it 
has a meaning which I cannot difcover. What is there peculiar 
in this, that a man's life informs the obferver of his hijioryf 
Might it be fuppofed that Shakefpeare wrote this ? 


That, to the obferver, doth thy hiftory 
Fully unfold : Thyfelf and thy belongings 
Are not thine own fo proper 9 , as to wafte 
Thyfelf upon thy virtues, them on thee r . 
Heaven doth with us, as we with torches do ; 
Not light them for themfelves : for if our virtues * 
Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike 
As if we had them not. Spirits are not finely 


But to fine iflues J : nor nature never lends 4 
The fmalleft fcruple of her excellence, 
But, like a thrifty goddefs, ihe determines 
Herfelf the glory of a creditor, 
Both thanks and ufe. But I do bend my fpeech 

There is a kind ofcbaratfer in thy look. 

Hiftory may be taken in a more diffufe and licentious meaning, 
for future occurrences, or the part of life yet to come. If this fenfc 
be received, the paffage is clear and proper. JOHNSON. 

Shakefpeare mult, I believe, be anfwerable for the unneceflary 
pomp of this introduction. He has the fame thought in Henry IV. 
p. 2. which is fome comment on this paflage before us : 
There is a hiitory in all mens' lives, 
Figuring the nature of the times deceas'd : 
The which obferv'd, a man may prophecy 
With a near aim, of the main chance of things 
As yet not come to life, &c." STEEVENS. 
are not thine own fo proper.} i. e. are not fo much thy own 
property. STEEVENS. 

' them on tbce.] The old copy reads they on thee. 


* for if our virtues ', &c.] 

u P aulum fepulta dijlat inertia 
" Celata virtus" Hor. WARBURTOJT. 
So in Maffinger's Maid of Honour : 

" Virtue, if not in aclion, is a vice, 
** And, when we move not forward, we go backward." 
So the Latin adage Nonprogredi eft regredi. STEEVENS. 

3 to fine ij]~ues: ] To great confequences. For high 

purpofes. JOHNSON. 

4 nor nature never lends.'] Two negatives, not employed 

to make an affirmative, are common in our author. 
So in Julius Cafar : 

" There is no harm intended to your perfon, 
" Nor to no Roman clfe." STEEVENS. 



To one that can my part in him advcrtife ' : 

Hold therefore Angelo 6 : 

In our remove, be thou at full ourfelf : 

Mortality and mercy in Vienna 

Live in thy tongue and heart : Old Efcalus, 

Though firft in queftion 7 , is thy fecondary. 

Take thy commiffion. 

5 1 do lendmyfpeech, 

To one that can my fart in him ad<vertife\\ 

This is obfcure. The meaning is, I direct my fpeech to one who 
is able to teach me how to govern : my part in him, fignifying my 
office, which I have delegated to him. My part in him advertife* 
i. e. who knows what appertains to the character of deputy^or 
viceroy. Can advertife my part in him ; that is, his reprefentation 
of my perfon. But all thefe quaintnefles of expreflion, the Ox- 
ford editor feems fworn to extirpate ; that is, to take away one of 
Shakefpeare's characteristic marks ; which, if not one of the come- 
lieft, is yet one of the ftrongeft. So he alters this to, 

To one that can, in my part, me advertife. 
A better expreffion indeed, but, for all that, none of Shakefpeare's. 

I know not whether we may not better read, 

One that can my part to him ad<vertife, 
can inform himfelf of that 

One that can inform himfelf oi \hsn. which it would be otherwife 
my part to tell him. JOHNSON. 

To advertife is ufed in this fenfe, and with this accentuation, 
by Chapman, in his tranflation of the i \th book of the OdyJJey. 
" Or, of my father, if thy royal ear 
" Hath been advertised . STEEVENS. 

6 Hold therefore Angelo {\ That is, continue to be Angelo; 
txld as thou art. JOHNSON. 

I believe that Hold there fore Angelo, are the words which the 
duke utters on tendering his commilfion to him. He concludes 
with Take thy commij]ion. STEEVENS. 

If a full point be put after therefore, the duke may be under- 
ftood to fpeak of himfelf. Hold therefore, i. e. Let me therefore 
hold, or flop. And the fenfe of the whole paflage may be this. 
The duke, who has begun an exhortation to Angelo, checks him- 
felf thus. " But I am fpeaking to one, that can in him [in, or 
by himfelf] apprehend my part [all that I have to fay] : I will 
therefore fay no more [on that fubjeft]." He then merely fig- 
nifies to Angelo his appointment. TYRWHITT. 

7 ~~fi r ft in qv-cftion^ i . ] That is, firft called for ; firft ap- 
pointed. JOHNSON. 


Ang. Now, good my lord, 
Let there be fome more teft made of my metal, 
Before fo noble and fo great a figure 
Be ftamp'd upon it. 

Duke. No more evafion : 
We have with a leaven'd and prepared choice 8 
Proceeded to you ; therefore take your honours.' 
Our hafte from hence is of fo quick condition, 
That it prefers itfelf, and leaves unqueftion'd 
Matters of needful value. We fhall write to you, 
As time and our concernings fhall importune, 
How it goes with us ; and do look to know 
What doth befall you here. So, fare you well : 
To the hopeful execution do I leave you 
Of your commiflions. 

Ang. Yet, give leave, my lord, 
That we may bring you fomething on the way. 

Duke. My hafte may not admit it ; 
Nor need you, on mine honour, have to do 
With any fcruple : your fcope is as mine own 9 ; 
So to inforce, or qualify the laws, 
As to your foul feems good. Give me your hand ; 
I'll privily away : I love the people, 
But do not like to llage me to their eyes : 
Though it do well, I do not relifh well 

8 We have ivith a leaven'd and prepared choice'] Leaven* d has 
no fenfe in this place : we ftiould read, 

levell'd choice. 

The allulion is to archery, when a man has fixed upon his objeft, 
after taking good aim. WARBURTON. 

No emendation is neceflary. Leaven'd choice is one of Shake- 
fpeare's harfli metaphors. His train of ideas feems to be this. / 
have proceeded to you with choice mature, concofted, fermented, 
Jcavened. When bread is leavened it is left to ferment : a leavened 
choice is therefore a choice not hafty, but conliderate, not de- 
clared as foon as it fell into the imagination, but fuffered to work 
long in the mind. Thus explained, it fuits better with prepared 
than. levelled. JOHNSON. 

9 your fcope isai mine tfw,] That is, Your amplitude of 

power. JOHNSON. 



Their loud applaufe, and Avis vehement ; 
Nor do I think, the man of fafe difcretion, 1 
That does affed it. Once more, fare you well. 

Ang. The heavens give fafety to your purpofes ! 

Efcal. Lead forth, and bring you back in happi- 
nefs ! 

Duke. I thank you : Fare you well. [r//. 

Efcal. I fhall defire you, fir, to give me leave 
To have free fpeech with you ; and it concerns me 
To look into the bottom of my place : 
A power I have ; but of what flrength and nature 
I am not yet inftruded. 

Ang. J Tis fo with me: Let us withdraw to- 

And we may foon our fatisfadion have 
Touching that point. 

Efcal. I'll wait upon your honour, [Exeunt, 


The Street. 

Enter Lucio, and two Gentlemen. 

Lucio. If the duke, with the other dukes, come 
not to compofition with the king of Hungary, why, 
then all the dukes fall upon the king. 

1 Gent. Heaven grant us its peace, but not the 
king of Hungary's ! 

2 Gent. Amen. 

Lucio. Thou conclud'ft like the fandimonious pi- 
rate, that went to fea with the ten commandments, 
but fcrap'd one out of the table. 

2 Gent. Thou flialt not fteal ? 

Lucio. Ay, that he raz'd. 

1 Gent. Why, 'twas a commandment to command 
the captain and all the reft from their functions ; they 
put forth to fteal : There's not a foldier of us all, 


that, in the thankfgiving before meat, doth relifh 
the petition well that prays for peace. 

2 Gent. I never heard any foldier diflike it. 

Lucid. I believe thee; for, I think, thou never 
waft where grace was faid. 

2 Gent. No ? a dozen times at leaft. 

i Gent. What ? * in metre ? 

Lucio. In any proportion *,' or in any language. 

i Gent. I think, or in any religion. 

Lucio. Ay ! why not ? Grace is grace, defpight of 
all controverfy J : As for example ; Thou thyfelf art 
a wicked villain, defpight of all grace. 

i Gent. Well, there went but a pair of Iheers be- 
tween ns 4 . 


1 in metre f~\ In the primers, there are metrical graces, 

fuch as, I fuppofe, were ufed in Shakefpeare's time. JOHNSON. 

* In any proportion, &c.] The Oxford editor gives us a dialogue 
of his own inftead of this : and all for want of knowing the mean- 
ing of the word proportion, which fignifies meafure : and refers to 
the queftion, What f. in metre ? W A R B u R T ON. 

3 defpight of all controversy :] Satirically infmuating that the 
controversies about grace were fo intricate and endlefs, that the dif- 
putants unfettled every thing but^is, that grace was grace i 
which, however, in fpite of controverfy, flill remained certain. 


1 am in doubt whether Shakefpeare's thoughts reached fo far 
into ecclefiaftical difputes. Every commentator is warped a little 
by the tracl of his own profeffion. The queftion is, whether the 
fecond gentleman has ever heard grace. The firft gentleman li- 
mits the queftion to grace in metre. Lucio enlarges it to grace in 
any form or language. The firft gentleman, to go beyond him, 
fays, or in any religion, which Lucio allows, becaufe the nature 
of things is unalterable; grace is as immutably grace, as his 
merry antagonift is a wicked villain. Difference in religion can- 
not make a grace not to be grace, a prayer not to be holy ; as no- 
thing can make a villain not to be a villain. This feems to be 
the meaning, fuch as it is. JOHNSON. 

4 there ivent but a pair officer* between us.] We are both of the 
fame piece. JOHNSON. 

So in the Maid of the Mill, by Beaumont and Fletcher. 
*' There went but a pair of (heers and a bodkin between them." 




Luclo. I grant ; as there may between the lifts and 
the velvet : Thou art the lift. 

1 Gent. And thou the velvet : thou art good vel- 
vet ; thou art a three-pil'd piece, I warrant thee : I 
had as lief be a lift of an Englilh kerfey, as be pil'd, 
as thou art pil'd, for a French velvet 5 . Do I fpeak 
feelingly now ? 

Lucio. I think thou doft ; and, indeed, with moft 
painful feeling of thy fpeech : I will, out of thine 
own confeffion, learn to begin thy health ; but, 
whilft I live, forget to drink after thee. 

1 Gent. I think, I have done myfelf wrong ; have 
I not ? 

2 Gent. Yes, that thou haft ; whether thou art 
tainted, or free. 

Lucio. Behold, behold, where madam Mitigation 
comes ! I have purchas'd as many difeafes under her 
roof, as come to 

2 Gent. To what, I pray ? 

1 Gent. Judge. 

2 Gent. To three thoufand dollars a year 6 , 
i Gent. Ay, and more. 

The fame expreffion is likewife found in Marfton's Malecontent, 
1604 : " There goes but a pair of Jbeers betwixt an emperor and 
** the fon of a bagpiper ; only the dying, drefling, preffing, and 
" gloffing, makes the difference." MA LONE. 

5 ///V, as thou art pi? d, for a French velvet.] The jeft about 
the pile of a French velvet alludes to the lofs of hair in the French 
difeafe, a very frequent topick of our author's jocularity. Lucio 
finding that the gentleman underftands the diftemper fo well, and 
mentions it fo feelingly, promifes to remember to drink his health^ 
but to forget to drink after him. It was the opinion of Shake- 
Ipeare's time, that the cup of an infected perfon was contagious. 


The jeft lies between the fimilar found of the words pilFd and 
pi?d. This I have elfewhere explained, under a paflage ia 

" PjV/Vprieftthoulieft." STEEVENS. 

6 To three thoufand dollars a year.] A quibble intended between 
dollars and dolours. H A N M E R . 

The fame jeft occurred before in the Temfejl. JOHNSON. 



Lucio. A French crown more 7 . 

I Gent. Thou art always figuring difeafes in me i 
but thou art full of error ; I am found. 

Lucio. Nay, not, as one would fay, healthy ; but 
fo found, as things that are hollow : thy bones are 
Jiollow ; impiety has made a feaft of thee. 

Enter Bawd. 

i Gent. How now ? Which of your hips has the 
profound fciatica ? 

Bawd. Well, well ; there's one yonder arrefted, 
and carry'd to prifon, was worth five thoufand of you 

i Gent. Who's that, I pr'ythee ? 

Bawd. Marry, fir, that's Claudio, fignior Claudio.' 

i Gent. Claudio to prifon ! "tis not fo. 

Bawd. Nay, but I know, 'tis fo : I faw him arreft- 
ed; faw him carry'd away; and, which is more, with- 
in thefe three days his head is to be chopp'd off. 

Lucio. But, after all this fooling, I would not have 
it fo : Art thou fure of this ? 

Bawd. I am too fure of it : and it is for getting 
madam Julietta with child. 

Lucio. Believe me, this may be : he promifed to 
meet me two hours lince ; and he was ever precife in 

7 A French crown more."] Lucio means here not the piece of 
money fo called, but that venereal fcab, which among the fur- 
geons is ftyled corona Generis. To this, I think, our author like- 
wife makes Quince allude in Midsummer-Night's Dream. 

" Some of your French crowns have no hair at all, and then you, 

'Will play bare-faced." 

For where thefe eruptions are, the Ikull is carious, and the party 
becomes bald. THEOBALD. 
So in the Return from ParnaJ/us, 1606 : 

" I may chance indeed to give the world a bloody nofe, but 
" it {hall hardly give me a crack'd crown, though it gires other 
" poets French crowns." 
Again in the Dedication to Gabriel Harvey's Hunt is up, 1 598 : 

" never metft with any requital, except it were fome few 
** French cr0wnes t pil'd friers crownes, &c." STEEVEN'S. - 

2 Gent. 


2 Gent. Befides, you know, it draws fomething near 
to the fpeech we had to fuch a purpofe. 

i Gent. But moil of all agreeing with the procla- 

Lucio. Away ; let's go learn the truth of it. 

Manet Bawd. 

Bawd. Thus, what with the xvar, what with the 
fweat % what with the gallows, and what with po- 
verty, I am cuftom-fhrunk. How now ? what's the 
news with you ? 

Enter Clown 9 . 

Clown. Yonder man is carry'd to prifon. 

Bawd. Well ; what has he done ' ? 

Clown. A woman. 

s what with the Sweat,] This may allude to [the fiueating Jick- 
nefs, of which the memory was very frelh in the time of Shake- 
fpeare : but more probably to the method of cure then ufcd for 
the difeafes contracted in brothels. JOHNSON. 
So in the comedy of Doftor Dodypoll, \ 600 : 

** You are very moift, fir ; didyoufiveat all this, I pray ? 
" You have not the dlfeafe, I hope." STEEVENS. 

' Enter Clown.] As this is the firft clown who makes his ap^ 
pearance in the plays of our author, it may not be amifs, from a 
paflage in T'arltons News out of Purgatory, to point out one of the 
ancient drefles appropriated to the character. 

*' I fawe one attired in ruflet, with a button'd cap on his 
" head, a great bag by his fide, and a llrong bat in his hand; fo 
* artificially attired for a clowne, as I began to call Tarlton's 
*' woonted (hape to remembrance." STEEVENS. 

* fH>athast>edone? 

Clown. A woman.} 

The ancient meaning of the verb to do, (though now obfolete) 
may be guefs'd at from the following paflages. 

*' Chiron. Thou haft undone our mother. 

*' Aaron. Villain, I've done thy mother." Titus Andronkus. 
Again in the Maid's Tragedy, act II. Evadne, while undrefling, 


" I am foon undone. 

Dula anfwers, " And as foon done" 

Hence the name of Over-^W, which Shakefpeare Kas appropriated 
to his lawd. COLLINS. 



But what's his offence ? 

Clown* Groping for trouts in a peculiar river. 

Bawd. What, is there a maid with child by him ? 

Clown. No ; but there's a woman with maid by 
him : You have not heard of the proclamation, have 
you ? 

Bawd. What proclamation, man ? 

Clown. All houfes in the fuburbs of Vienna muft be 
pluck'd down. 

Bawd. And what mall become of thofe in the city ? 

Clown. They fhall Hand for feed : they had gone 
down too, but that a wife burgher put in for them. 

Bawd. But lhall all our houfes of refort in the fub- 
urbs be pull'd down * ? 

Clown. To the ground, miftrefs. 
Bawd. Why, here's a change, indeed, in the com- 
monwealth ! What (hall become of me ? 

* foall all our houfes of refort in the fuburbs be pull V down ?] 
This will be underftood from the Scotch law of James 1 & time, 
concerning buircs (whores) ; '* that comoun women be put at 
*' the utmoji endcs of toivnes, queire leaft perril of fire is." Hence 
Urfula the pig-woman, in Bartholomew-Fair : "1,1, gamefters, 
" "mock a plain, plump, fcftwiifbtfrbcfatttr&s, do !" FARMER. 
So in the Malcontent 1604, when Altofront difmifles the vari- 
ous characters at the end of the play to different deftinations, he 
fays to Macquerelle the bawd : 

" thou unto \^Q fuburbs." 

Again in Ram- Alley, or Merry Tricks, 1 6 1 1 : 

*' Some fourteen bawds, he kept her in tbefulurbi* 
Again : 

" how Hv'd you in the fuburbs 

And fcap'd fo many fearches ?" 

See Martial, where fummaeniana and fubtirbana are applied to 
proftitutes. STEEVENS. 

All houfes in thefubttrl>s.~\ This is furely too general an expref- 
fion, unleis we fuppofe that all the houfes in the fuburbs were 
lofvody-boufcs. It appears too, trom what the fatw/ favs below, 
*' But {hall all our houfes of refort in the fuburbs be pulled down ?" 
that the clown had been particular in his defcription of the 
houfes which were to be pulled down. I am therefore inclined 
to believe that we fliould read here, all bawdy- houfes, or all houfes. 
of refort in the fuburbs. TYRWHITT, 

Vot, II. C 


Clown. Come ; fear not you : good counfellors lack 
no clients : though you change your place, you need 
not change your trade ; I'll be your tapfter ftill. Cou- 
rage ; there will be pity taken on you : you that have 
worn your eyes almoft out in the fervicc, you will be 

Baud. What's to do here, Thomas Tapfter ? Let's 

Clown. Here comes fignior Claudio, led by the pro- 
voft to prifon : and there's madam Juliet. 

[Exeunt Bawd and Clown. 


Enter Provoft, Claudia, Juliet, and Officers ; Lurio and 
two Gentlemen. 

Claud. Fellow, why dofl thou Ihow me thus to the 

world ? 
Bear me to prifon, where I am committed. 

Prov. I do it not in evil difpofition, 
But from lord Angelo by fpecial charge. 
Claud. Thus can the demi-god, authority J , 


3 Thus can the demi-god, Authority, 

Make us pay do-tun, for our offence, ly weight. 
The words of heaven ; - on who?n it will, it will j 
On whom it will not, fo : yet Jlill t tisjttfl.'\ 

The wrong pointing of the fecond line hath made the paiTage 
unintelligible. There ought to be a full flop at weight. And 
the fenfe of the whole is this : The demi-god, Authority, makes us 
pay the full penalty of our offence, and its decrees are as little to be 
qv.eftioned as the words of heaven, which pronounces its pleafure thus, 
I punijb and remit puni_fbment according to my own uncontrollable 
will; and yet who can fay, what dofl thou? Make us pay down, 
for our offence, by weight, is a fine expreflion to fignify paying the 
full penalty. The metaphor is taken from paying money by 
weight, which is always exaft ; not lo by tale, on account of the 
praclice of dimintfhing the fpecies. WARBURTON. 
I fufpeft that a line is loft. JOHNSON. 
It may be read, thefword of heaven. 

Thus can the demi-god, Authority^ 


Make us pay down for our offence by weight. 
The words of heaven ; on whom it will, it will ; 
On whom it will not, fo ; yet Hill 'tis juft. 

Lucio. Why, how now, Claudio ? whence comes 
this reftraint ? 

Claud. From too much liberty, my Lucio, liberty : 
As furfeit is the father of much faft, 
So every fcope by the immoderate ufe 
Turns to reftraint : Our natures do purfue, 
(Like rats that ravin * down their proper bane) 
A thirfty evil j and, when we drink, we die 5 . 

Lucio. If I could fpeak fo wifely under an arreft, I 
would fend for certain of my creditors : And yet, to 
fay the truth, I had as lief have the foppery of free- 
dom, as the morality of imprifonment. What's thy 
offence, Claudio? 

Claud. What, but to fpeak of, would offend again. 

Lucio. What is it ? murder ? 

Claud. No. 

Make us pay down for our offence, ly weight 

The fvvord of heaven : on ivhom, &c. 

Authority is then poetically called the f-^ord of heaven, which will 
fpare or punifti as it is commanded. The alteration is flight, be- 
ing made only by taking a (ingle letter from the end of the word, 
and placing it at the beginning. 

This very ingenious and elegant emendation was fuggefted to 
me by the rev. Dr. Roberts, of Eton ; and it may be counte- 
nanced by the following paflage in the Cotter's Prophecy, \ 94 : 

" In brief they are the fiords of heaven to punifli." 
Sir IV. Davenant, who incorporated this play of Shakefpeare 
with Much ado about Nothing, and formed out of them a Tragi- 
comedy called The Law again/I Lovers, omits the two lafl lines 
of this fpeech ; I fuppofe, on account of their feeming oblcu- 
rity. STEEVEXS. 

4 Like rats that ravin, &c.] Ravine is an ancient word for 
prey. So in Noah's Flood, by Drayton : 

" as well of ravine as that chew the cud." STEEVENS. 

5 -when vje drink --we die. So in Revenge for Honour, by 

Chapman : 

** like poifon'd rats, which when they've fwallow'd 
" The pleafing bane, reft not until they drink, 
" And can reft then much lefs, until they burft." STEEVEXS. 

C 2 Lucio. 


I have great hope in that : for in her youth 
There is a prone and fpeechlefs dialed: % 
Such as moves men ; befide, {he hath profperous art 
When Ihe will play with reaibn and difcourfe, 
And well fhe can perfuade. 

Lucio. I pray, Ihe may : as well for the encourage- 
ment of the like, which elfe would (land under griev- 
ous imposition ? ; as for the enjoying of thy life, who 
I would be forry ihould be thus foolifhly loft at a game 
of tick-tack. I'll to her. 

Claud. I thank you, good friend Lucio. 

Lucio. Within two hours, 

Claud. Come,, officer, away. [Exeunt^ 

* * prone and fpeechlefs dialeEi,"\ I can fcarcely tell what 

{ignification to give to the woi'dprone. Its primitive and tranflated 
fenfes are well known. The authour may, by a prone dialed, 
mean a dialed which men are prone to regard, or a dialed natural 
and unforced, as thofe actions feem to which we are prone. Either 
of thefe interpretations are fufficiently ftrained ; but fuch diftor T 
tion of words is not uncommon in our author. For the fake of 
an eafier fenfe, we may read : 

In her youth 

There is a pow'r, and fpeechlefs dialcSl^ 
Such as moves men. 
Or thus '. 

There is a prompt and fpeechlefs dlalcSl. JOHNSON. 
Prone, perhaps, may itand lor humble, as a prone pojlure is a. 
pojlure of f application. 

So in the Opportunity, by Shirley, 1640 : 

" You have proftrate language." 
The fame thought occurs in the Winter's. Tale : 
" The filence often of pure innocence 
" Perfuades, when fpeaking fails." 

Sir W. Davenant, in his alteration of the play, changes pron< 
tofweet. I mention fome of his variations to {hew that what 
appear difficulties to us, were difficulties to him, who living 
nearer the time of Shqkefpeare might be fuppofed to have un 
derftood his language more intimately. STEEVENS. 

3 Under grievous impojition .] I once thought it fhould be inqul- 
jition, but the prefent reading is probably right. The crime mould 
' sr grievous penalties impofed. JOHNSON. 




A Monaftery. 
Enter Duke and Friar Thomas. 

Duke. No ; holy father ; throw away that 

thought ; 

Believe not that the dribbling dart of love 
4 Can pierce a compleat bofom : why I defire thee 
To give me fecret harbour, hath a purpofe 
More grave and wrinkled than the aims and ends 
Of burning youth. 

Fri. May your grace fpeak of it ? 

Duke. My holy fir, none better knows than you 
How I have ever lov'd the life remov'd 5 ; 
And held in idle price to haunt affemblies, 
Where youth, and coft, and witlefs bravery keeps. 
I have deliver'd to lord Angelo 
(A man of (Iricture, and firm abftinence 6 ) 

4 Believe not, that the dribbling dart of love 

Can pierce a compleat bofom : r J 

Think not that a breaft compleatly armed can be pierced by the 
dart of love that comes Buffering without force. JOHNSON. 

5 the life' remov'd.'} i.e. a life of retirement, a life 

removed from the buftle of the world. STEEVENS. 

6 A man of ftriclure and firm abftinence^} Stricture makes no 
fenfe in this place. We Ihould read, 

A man of ft rift ure and firm abflinence, 

i. e. a man of the exaftejl condutf, and pracYifed in the fubdual'of 
his paffions. Ure an old word for ufe, practice : fo enur'd^ habi- 
tuated to. WARBURTON. 

Stritture may eafily be ufed forj?rifinefs ; ure is indeed an old 
word, but, I think, always applied to things, never to perfons. 


Sir tr. Davenant in his alteration of this play, reads, JlriSl- 
nefs. Ure is fometimes applied to perfons as well as to things. 
So in the Old Interlude of Tom Tyler and bis Wife^ 1598 : 
" So {hall I be fure 
" To keep him in ure" 
The fame word occurs in Promos and Cajandra, 1578 : 

" The crafty man oft puts thefe wrongs in ure." 


C 4 My 

My abfolute power and place here in Vienna, 
And he fuppofes me rravell'd to Poland ; 
For fo I have ftrevvM it in the common ear, 
And fo it is receiv'd : Now, pious fir, 
You will demand of me, why I do this ? 

fri. Gladly, my lord. 

Duke. We have flridt flatutes, and mofl biting 


(The needful bits and curbs for head-ftrong deeds 7 ) 
Which for thefe nineteen years we have let fieep 8 ; 


7 The needful bits and curbs for head-fir ongjteeds,~\ In the copies, 

T'be needful bits and curbs for hcad-Jlrong weeds. 
There is no matter ot analogy or confonance in the metaphors 
here : and, though the copies agree, I do not think, the author 
would have talked of bits and curbs for weeds. On the other hand, 
nothing can be more proper, than to compare perfons of unbridled 
licentioufnefs to head-ftrong^m/f : and, in this view, bridling the 
pajfions has been a phrafe adopted by our beit poets. THEOBALD. 

8 Which for thefe nineteen years we have let Jlcep ; ] In fanner 

Which for thefe fourteen years we have let flip. 
Tor fourteen I have made no fcruple to replace nineteen. The 
reafon will be obvious to him who recol lefts what the Duke haa 
faid in a foregoing fcene. I have altered the odd phrafe of let- 
ting the laws Jlip: for how does it fort with the comparifon that 
follows, of a lion in his cave that went not out to prey ? But 
letting the laws./7f<^, adds a particular propriety to the thing re- 
prefented, and accords exactly too with the fimile. It is the me- 
taphor too, that our author feems fond of ufmg upon this occa- 
fion, in feveral other paflages of this play : 

The law hath not been dead, the? it hath flept ; 

'77j novj awake. 

And fo, again : 

but this new governor 

Awakes me all th' enrolled penalties ; 

and for a name, 

' Now pifts the drowfy and neglected aft 

Frefoly on me . THEOBALD. 

I once thought that the words tetjlip (which is the reading of 
the old copy, and, I believe right) related to the line imme- 
diately preceding - the needful bits 'and curbs, which we have fuf- 
fered fpr fo many years to hang loofe. But it is clear trom a paf- 
fage in Twelfth "Night that thefe words fhould be referred to 
/a-iw, " which for thefe nineteen years we have fuffered topafs un~ 



Even like an o'er-grown lion in a cave, 

That goes not out to prey : Now, as fond fathers 

Having bound up the threat'ning twigs of birch, 

Only to ftick it in their children's fight, 

For terror, not to ufe ; in time the rod 

Becomes more mock'd 9 , than feared : fo our decrees, 

Dead to infliction, to themfelves are dead; 

And liberty plucks juftice by the nofe ; 

The baby beats the nurfe, and quite athwart 

Goes all decorum. 

Fri. It retted in your grace 

To unloofe this ty'd-up juftice, when you pleas'd : 
And it in you more dreadful would have feem'd, 
Than in lord Angelo. 

Duke. I do fear, too dreadful : 
Sith ' 'twas my fault to give the people fcope, 
'Tvvould be my tyranny to ftrike, and gall them, 
For what I bid them do : For we bid this be done, 
When evil deeds have their permiflive pafs, 
And not the pupiihment. Therefore, indeed, my 


I have on Angelo impos'd the office ; 
Who may, in the ambufh of my name, flrike home, 
And yet, my nature never in the fight 
To do it flander * : And to behold his fway, 

I will, 

noticed unobferved ';" for fo the fame phrafe is ufed by Sir An- 
drew Aguecbcck : " Let him let the matter Jlip, and I'll give him 
my horfe grey Capulet." Again in Marlow's Doftor Faujius 
1631 : 

" Shall I let Jlip fo great an injury." 
Again in A Mad World my Mafters, by Middleton, 1640 : 

" Well, things 'mufijtlp and fleep I will diflemble." 
Again, in The Spanljb T ragcdy, 1605 : 

" My (implicity may make them think 

*' That ignorantly I will let alljlip." MALONE. 

9 Becomes more mock'd than fta^d: ] Becomes was added 

by Mr. Pope to reitore fenfe to the paflage, fome fuch word 
having been left out. STEEVEXS. 
Sith.'] i.e. fince. STEEVENS. 

2 Todoitjlandcr. ] The text flood : 

So do injlandcr. 



I will, as 'twere a brother of your order, 

Vifit both prince and people : therefore, I pr'ythee, 

Supply me with the habit, andinflrucl me 

How I may formally in perfon bear J me 

Like a true friar. More reafons for this action, 

At our more leifure fhall I render you ; 

Only, this one : Lord Angelo is precife ; 

Stands at a guard 4 with envy ; fcarce confeffes 

That his blood flows, or that his appetite 

Is more to bread than ftone : Hence fhall we fee, 

If power change purpofe, what our feemers be. 

Sir Thomas Hanmer has very well corrected it thus, 

To do \tjlander. - 
Yet perhaps lefs alteration might have produced the true reading, 

And yet my nature never, in tbefight^ 

So do'mgJJandercd. - - 

And yet my nature never fuffer flander by doing any open afts of 
feverity. JOHNSON. 
The old text flood, 

-- in 

To do in flander. 
Hanmer's emendation is in my opinion bed. 
So in Hen. IV. p. i : 

" Do me noJIanJer, Douglas, I dare fight." STEEVENS. 
The words in the preceding line anibujh and Jirike, fhew that 
Jtgkt is the true reading. MALONE. 

3 in perfon bear,} Mr. Pope reads, 

- my perfon bear. 

Perhaps a word was dropped at the end of the line, which ori- 
ginally ftood thus, 

How I may formally in perfon bear me, 
Like a true friar. 
So in the Tempcft : 

" - f ome g 00 d inftrudion give 
*' How I may bear me here." 
Sir W. Davcnant reads, in his alteration of the play : 

I may in per/on a true friar feem. STEEVENS. 
* Stands at a guard - ] Stands on terms of defiance. 





A Nunnery, 
Enter Ifabella and Francifca. 

Ifab. And have you nuns no farther privileges ? 

Nun. Are not thefe large enough ? 

Ifab. Yes, truly : I fpeak not as defiling more ; 
But rather wifhing a more ftridt reftraint 
Upon the fifter-hood, the votarifls of faint Clare. 

Luck. [Within] Ho ! Peace be in this place ! 

Ifab. Who's that which calls ? 

Nun. It is a man's voice : Gentle Ifabella, 
Turn you the key, and know his bufmefs of him ; 
You may, I may not ; you are yet unfworn : 
When you have vow'd, you muft not fpeak with men, 
But in the prefence of the priorefs : 
Then, if you fpeak, you muft not mew your face ; 
Or, if you fhevv your face, you muft not fpeak. 
He calls again ; I pray you, anfwer him. [Exit Franc, 

Ifab. Peace and profperity ! Who is't that calls ? 

Enter Lucio. 

Lucio. Hail, virgin, if you be ; as thofe cheek-rofcs 
Proclaim you are no lefs ! Can you fo ftead me, 
As bring me to the fight of Ifabella, 
A novice of this place, and the fair fifter 
To her unhappy brother Claudio ? 

Ifab. Why her unhappy brother ? let me afk ; 
The rather, for I now muft make you know 
I am that Ifabella, and his fifter. 

Lucio. Gentle and fair, your brother kindly greets 

you : 
Not to be weary with you, he's in prifon. 

Ifab. Woe me ! For what ? 

Lucio. For that, which, if myfelf mightbe his judge, 
He flionld receive his punifhment in thanks : 
Jie hath got his friend with child. 



Ifab. Sir, make me not your ftory s . 
Lucio. *Tis true : I would not (though 'tis my fa- 
miliar fin 
With maids to feem the lapwing 6 , and to jeft, 

5 ~mah me not your JloryJ\ Do not, by deceiving me, make 
me a fubjecT: for a tale. JOHNSON. 

Perhaps only, Do not diver tyovrfelf with me, as you vjoicld tuitb 
ajlory y do not make me the fubjecT: of your drama. Benedict 
talks of becoming the argument of his own fcorn. 

Sir W. Davenant reads fcorn initead of fiory. STEEVENS. 

6 T tj s my familiar fin 

U r itb maids to feem the lapwing^ - } 

The Oxford editor's note on this paflage is in thefe words. The 
lapwings fyi ivitbfccming fright and anxiety, far from their nefts^ 
to deceive thofe inko-Jcek their young. And do not all other birds 
do the fame ? But what has this to do with the infidelity of a 
general lover, to whom this bird is compared ? It is another qua- 
lity of the lapwing, that is here alluded to, viz. its perpetually 
ilymg f low and fo near the paflenger, that he thinks he has it, 
and then is fuddenly gone again. This made it a proverbial ex- 
preffion to fignify a lover's falfliood : and it feems to be a very old 
one : for Chaucer, in his Plowman s Talc^ fays : 

And lap-.vings that well conith lie. WAR BUR TON. 

The modern editors have not taken in the whole fimilitude 
tiere : they have taken notice of the lightnefs of a fpark's beha- 
viour to his miftrefs, and compared it to the lajnvi tig's hovering 
and fluttering as it flies. But the chief, of which no notice is 
taken, is, 

(See Ray's Proverbs') " The lapsing cries, tongnc far from heart.'* 
i. e. moil fart heft from the neft, i. e. She is, as Shakefpeare has 
it here 

Tongue far f ram heart. 

" The farther me is from her neft, where her heart is with her 
young ones, fhe is the louder, or perhaps all tongue." SMITH. 

Shakefpeare has an expreifion or the like kind, Com. of Errors^ 
a^t. iv. fc. 3 : 

" Adr. Far from her ncft the lapwing cries away, 
*' My heart prays for him, tho' my tongue do curfe." 
Vv'e meet with the fame thought in John Lilly's comedy, intitled 
Campafpe (firil publifhed in 1591) ad ii. fc. 2. from whence 
Shakefpeare might borrow it : 

" Alex. Not with Timoieon you mean, wherein you refemble 
the lapkbing, who crieth molt where her neil is not, and fo, 
to lead me from efpying your love for Campafpe, you cry 
Timoclea" GRAY. 



Tongue far from heart) play with all virgins fo : 
I hold you as a thing enfky'd, and fainted ; 
By your renouncement, an immortal fpirit; 
And to be talked with in fincerity, 
As with a faint. 

Ifab. You do blafpheme the good, in mocking me. 

Lucio. Do not believe it. Fewnefs and truth 7 , 'tis 

thus : 

Your brother and his lover have embrac'd : 
As thofe that feed grow full ; as bloflbming time * 
That from the feednefs the bare fallow brings 
To teeming foyfon ; fo her plenteous womb 
Exprefieth his full tilth and hufbandry. 

Ifab. Some one with child by him ? My coufin 
Juliet ? 

Lucio. Is ilie your coufin ? 

Ifab. Adoptedly; as fchool-maids change their 

By vain though apt aflfedtion. 

Lucio. She it is. 

Ifab. O, let him marry her 9 ! 

Lucio. This is the point. 

7 Fewnefs and truth, &c.] i.e. b f /9ww0r&, and thofe 

true ones. In few, is many times thus ufed by Shakefpeare. 

* as blojjomlng time 

That from the feednefs the bare f allow brings 

To teeming foyfon ; fo ] 

As the fentence now ftands, it is apparently ungrammatical. I 

At blojfomlng time, &C. 

That is, As they that feed grow full, fo her womb now, at bloflbm- 
ing time, at that time through which the feed time proceeds to the har- 
ueft, her womb fhows what has been doing. Lucio ludicroully 
calls pregnancy blojjbming time, the time when fruit is promifed, 
though not yet ripe. JOHNSON. 

Inftead of that, we may read doth ; and, inftead of brings^ 

9 O, let him many her.~\ O is an infertion of the modern edi- 
tors. I cannot relifh it. If any word is to be inferted to fill up 
the metre, I fhould prefer, WTy. TYRWHITT. 



The duke is very ftrangely gone from hence ; 
Bore many gentlemen ', myfelf being one, 
In hand, and hope of adtion : but we do learn 
By thofe that know the very nerves of ftate, 
His givings-out were of an infinite diftance 
From his true-meant defign. Upon his place, 
And with full line * of his authority, 
Governs lord Angelo ; A man whofe blood 
Is very fnow-broth > one who never feels 
The wanton ilings and motions of the fenfe; 
But doth rebate and blunt his natural edge 
With profits of the mind, (tudy and faft. 
He (to give fea> to 3 ufe and liberty, 
Which have, for long, run by the hideous law, 
As mice by lions) hath pick'd out an aft, 
Under whofe heavy fenfe your brother's life 
Falls into forfeit : he arrefts him on it ; 
And follows clofe the rigour of the ftatute, 
To make him an example : all hope is gone, 
Unlefs you have the grace 4 by your fair prayer 
To foften Angelo : and that's my 5 pith 
Of bufmefs 'twixt you and your poor brother. 
Ifab. Doth he fo feek his life ? 

1 Bore many gentlemen- 

In hand and hope of aSlion ; ] 

To lear in hand is a common phrafe for to keep in expectation and 
dependance, but we mould read, 

with hope of aftion. JOHNSON. 

a iwVA full line ] With full extent, with the whole length. 


3 give fear to ufe ] To intimidate ufe, that is, praftices 

long countenanced by cujlom. JOHNSON. 

4 Unlefs you have the grace ] That is, the acceptablenefs, 

the power of gaining favour. So when fhe makes her fuit, the 
provoil fays : 

Heaven give thee moving graces . JOHNSON. 

Of bujtnefs- ] 

The inmoft part, the main of my meflage. JOHNSON. 



Lucio. Has 6 cenfur'd him 
Already ; and, as I hear, the provoft hath 
A warrant for his execution. 

Ifab. Alas ! what poor ability's in me 
To do him good ? 

Lucio. AfTay the power you have. 

Ifab. My power ! Alas ! I doubt, 

Lucio. Our doubts are traitors, 
And make us lofe the good we oft might win, 
By fearing to attempt : Go to lord Angelo, 
And let him learn to know, when maidens fue, 
Men give like gods ; but when they weep and kneel, 
All their petitions are as truly theirs 
As they themfelves would owe them 7 . 

Ifab. I'll fee what I can do. 

Lucio. But, fpeedily. 

Ifab. I will about it ftrait ; 
No longer flaying but to give the mother 8 
Notice of my affair. I humbly thank you : 
Commend me to my brother : foon at night 
I'll fend him certain word of my fuccefs. 

Lucio. I take my leave of you. 

Ifab. Good fir, adieu. 

6 cenfur'd bim t ] i. e. fentenced him. 
So in Othello: 

" to you, lord governor, 

" Remains the cenfure of this hellifh villain." STEEVENS. 

7 would owe them.] To owe lignifies in this place, as in 
many others, to poflefs, to have. 

So in Othello: 

that fweet deep 

That thou o-'^dft yefterday STEEVENS. 
1 the mother} The abbefe, or priorefs. JOHNSON. 


A C T II. S C E N E I. 

Angelas Houfe. 
Enter Angelo, Efcalus, a Juftice^ Provoft 9 , and Attendants* 

Ang. We mud not make a fcare-crow of the law ; 
Setting it up to fear ' the birds of prey, 
And let it keep one fhape, till cuflom make it 
Their perch, and not their terror. 

Efcal. Ay, but yet 

Let us be keen, and rather cut a little, 
Than fall, and bruife to death * : Alas ! this gentleman, 
Whom I would fave, had a moft noble father. 
Let but your honour know 3 , (whom I believe 

*> Provof}.] kprovoft is generally the executioner of an army. 
So in the Famous Hifiory of Tho. S/ukcly, 1 605 : Bl. L. 

" Provofty lay irons upon him and take him to your charge." 
Again, in the rirgi* Martyr by Maflenger : 
" Thy provoft to fee execution done 
" On thefe bafe Chriftians in Caefarea." STEEVENS. 

to fear tie birds of prey, \ To fear is to affright , to terrify* 

So in The Merchant of Fenice : 

" this afpecl of mine 

" Hath fear'd the valiant." STEEVENS. 

* Than fall, and Iruife to death. ] I fhould rather read,^//, 
J. e. ilrike down. So in Timon of Athens : 

" All, fave thee, I fell ''with curfes" WARBURTON. 
Fall is the old reading, and the true one. Shakefpeare has 
ufed the fame verb aftive in the Comedy of Errors : 
" as eafy may'ft thou fall 
*' A drop of water. 
i. e. let fall. So in As Tou like it: 

" the executioner 

*' Falls not the axe upon the humbled neck.'* 


3 Let but your honour know, ] To know is here to examine , to 
take cognifance. So in Midfummer-Night's Dream : 

" Therefore, fair Hcrmia, qucjl ion your dcjlres ; 
*' Know of your truth) examine well your blood." 




To be moft ftrait in virtue) 
That, in the. working of your own affections, 
Had time coher'd with place, or place with wifhing, 
Or that the refolute acting of your blood 
Could have attained the effect of your own purpofe, 
Whether you had not fometime in your life 
Err'd in this point which now you cenfure him 4 , 
And pull'd the law upon you, 

Ang. 'Tis one thing to be tempted, Efcalus, 
Another thing to fall. I not deny, 
The jury, patting on the prifoner's life, 
May, in the fworn twelve, have a thief or two 
Guiltier than him they try : What's open made to 


That juftice feizes. What know the laws, 
That thieves do pafs on thieves ? s 'Tis very pregnant, 
The jewel that we find, we ftoop and take it, 
Becaufe we fee it ; but what we do not fee, 
We tread upon, and never think of it. 
You may not fo extenuate his offence, 
6 For I have had fuch faults ; but rather tell me, 
When I that cenfure him do fo offend, 
Let mine own judgment pattern out my death, 
And nothing come in partial. Sir, he muft die. 

Efcal. Be it, as your wifdom will. 

Ang. Where is the provoft ? 

Prov. Here, if it like your honour. 

Ang. See that Claudio 

4 Err'd in this point which now you cenfure hlm,"\ Some Word 
fcems to be wanting to make this line fenfe. Perhaps, we fhould 
read : 

Err'd in this point which now you cenfure him far, 


5 _ 'Tis very pregnant,] 'T\s plain that We muft aft with bad 
as with good j we punifh the faults, as we take the advantages, 
that lie in our way, and what we do not fee we cannot note. 


6 For I have had ] That is, Iccaufe^ ly reafon that I 

fcave had faults. JOHNSON. 

VOL. II. D Be 


Be executed by nine to-morrow morning : 
Bring him his confeflbr, let him be prepar'd ; 
For that's the utmofl of his pilgrimage. [Exit Proz> 
Efeal. Well, heaven forgive him ! and forgive us 


7 Some rife by fin, and fome by virtue fall : 
Some run from brakes of vice, and anfwer none ; 
And fome condemned for a fault alone. 


7 Same rife, &c.] This line is in the firfl folio printed in Ita- 
lics as a quotation. All the folios read in the next line : 
Some run from brakes of ice, and anfwer none. 


The old reading is perhaps the true one, and may mean, fome 
run away from danger, and jSay to anfwer none of their faults, 
ixhilft others are condemned only on account of a Jingle frailty. 
If this be true reading, it fhould be printed : 

Some run from breaks [i.e. fractures] of ice, &c. 
Since I wrote this r I have found reafon to change my opinion. A 
Irake anciently meant not only zjharplit, zfnqffle, but alfo the 
engine with which farriers confined the legs of fuch unruly horfes 
as would not otherwife fubmit themielves to be (hod, or to have a 
cruel operation performed on them. This, in fome places, is 
ftill called a fmith's brake. In this laft fenfe, Ben Jonfon ufes 
the word in his Underwoods : 

" And not think he had eat a flake, 
" Or were fet up in a brake." 

And, for the former fenfe, lee the Silent Woman, afc IV. Again, 
for the latter fenfe, Bujjy de Ambois, by Chapman : 

" Or, like a (trumpet, learn to fet my face 
" In an eternal brake." 
Again, in The Opportunity, by Shirley, 1640: 

*' He is fallen into fome brake, fome wench has tied him 
" by the legs." 
Again, in. Holland's Leaguer, 1633 : 

her I'll make 

" A ftale, to catch this courtier in a Irake." 
I offer thefe quotations, which may prove of ufe to fome more 
fortunate conjedhirer ; but am able myfelf to derive very little 
from them to fuit the paflage before us. 

I likewife find from Holinfhed, p. 670, that the brake was an 
engine of torture. " The faid Hawkins was caft into the Tower, 
and at length brought to the brake, called the Duke of Excefter's 
daughter, by meanes of which pain he (hewed ^many things," 

** mi- 


Enter Elbffw^ Froth, Clffwn, Officers^ &c. 

Elb. Come, bring them away : if thefe be good 
people in a common-weal, that do nothing but ufe 


" When the dukes of Exeter and Suffolk (fays Blackftone in 
his Comment, vol. IV. chap. xxv. p. 320, 321.) andothermi- 
nifters of Hen. VI. had laid a defign to introduce the civil law 
into this kingdom as the rule of government, for a beginning 
thereof they ereded a rack for torture ; which was called in deri- 
fion the Duke of Exeter's Daughter, and ftill remains in the Tower 
of London, where it was occafionally ufed as an engine of ftate, 
not of law, more than once in the reign of queen Elizabeth." 
See Coke's Inftit. 35. Barrington, 69, 385. and Fuller's Worthies, 

P* 3'7' 

A part of this horrid engine itill remains in the Tower, and the 
following is the figure of it. 

It confifts of a ftrong iron frame about fix feet long, with three 
rollers of wood within it : the middle of thefe, which has iron teeth 
at each end, is governed by two flops of iron, and was, probably, 
that part of the machine which fufpended the powers of the reft, 
when the unhappy fufferer was fufficiently ftrained by the cords, 
&c. to begin confeffion. I cannot conclude this account of it 
without confeffing my obligation to Sir Charles Frederick, who 
politely condefcended to direct my enquiries, while his high com- 
mand rendered every part of the Tower accelfible to my re- 

I have fince obferved that, in Fox's Martyrs, edit. 1596, 
p. 184.% there is a reprefentation of the fame kind. 

If Shakefpeare alluded to this engine, the fenfe of the con- 
tefted paflage in Meafure for Meafure will be : Some run more 
than once from engines of punijbment, and anficcr no interrogatories} 
while fome are condemned to fiefFcr for a jingle trefpafs, 

D 2 It 


their abufes in common houfes, I know no law : brirfg 
them away. 

Ang. How now, fir ! What's your name ? and 
what's the matter ? 

Elb. If it pleafe your honour, I am the poor duke's 
conftable, and my name is Elbow ; I do lean upon 
juftice, fir, and do bring in here before your good 
honour two notorious benefactors.- 

Ang. Benefactors ? Well ; what benefactors arc 
they ? are they not malefactors ? 

Elb. If it pleafe your honour, I know not well 
what they are : but precife villains they are, that I 
am fure of ; and void of all profanation in the world, 
that good chriftians ought to have. 

Efcal. 8 This comes off well ; here's a wife officer. 

It fliould not, however, be diflembled, that yet a plainer mean- 
ing may be deduced irom the fame words. By brakes of vice may 
be meant a collection, a number, a thicket of vices. The fame 
image occurs in Daniel's Civil Wars, B. IV : 

" Rufhing into the thickeft woods of fpears 

" And brakes of fwords, &c." 

That a brake meant a bufh, may be known from Drayton's poem 
on Mofes and his Miracles : 

" Where God unto the Hebrew fpake 

" Appearing from the burning brake" 
Again, in the Mooncalf of the fame author : 

" He brings into a brake of briars and thorn, 

" And fo entangles." 

Mr. Toilet is of opinion that, by brakes of ifice^ Shakefpeare 
means only the ffjorny paths of vice. 

So in Ben Jonfon's Uiidcrwoods^ Whalley's Edit. vol. VI. 
p. 367 : 

" Look at the faHe and cunning man, &c. 

" Crafh'd in the fnakey brakes that he had paft." 


* 7'hit comes ojfvtettj} This is nimbly fpoken ; this is volubly 
uttered. JOHNSON. 

The fame phrafe is employed in Timon of Athens and elfe- 
where ; but in the prefent inftance it is ufed ironically. The 
meaning of it, when ferioully applied to fpeech, ij This is well 
delivered, this ftory is well told. STEEVENS. 


Ang. Go to : What quality are they of? Elbow is 
your name ? Why doft thou not fpeak, Elbow 9 ? 
ClffVM. He cannot, lir ; he's out at elbow. 
'Ang. What are you, fir ? 

Elb. He, fir ? a tapfter, fir ; parcel-bawd T ; one 
that ferves a bad woman ; whofe houfe, fir, was, as 
they fay, pluck'd down in the fuburbs ; and now ihe 
profefles a hot-houfe % which, I think, is a very ill 
houfe too, 

Efcal. How know you that ? 
Elb. My wife, fir, whom I deteft before heaven 
and your honour, 

Efcal. How ! thy wife ? 

EU> Ay, fir ; whom, I thank heaven, is an honeft 

Efcal. Doft thou deteft her therefore ? 
Elb. I fay, fir, I will deteft myfelf alfo, as well as 
{he, that this houfe, if it be not a bawd's houfe, it is 
pity of her life, for it is a naughty houfe. 
Efcal. How doft thou know that, conftable ? 
Elb. Marry, fir, by my wife ; who, if ihe had been 
a woman cardinally given, might have been -accufed 
in fornication, adultery, and all uncleannefs there. 

9 Wly doft thou not fpeak, Elbow ?] Says Angelo to the 

conftable. " He cannot, fir, quoth the Clown, he's out at 

elbow." I know not whether this quibble be generally obferved : 
he is out at the word f/fota/, and out at the elbow of his coat. The 
Conftable, in his account of mailer Froth and the Clown, has a 
ftroke at the puritans, who were very zealous againft the ftage 
about this time: " Precife villains they are, that I am fure bf; 
and void of all profanation in the world, that good Chriftians 
ought to have." FARMER. 

1 a tapper, Jir; parcel bawd; ] This we fliould now ex- 

prefs by faying, he is half-tapfter, half-bawd. JOHNSON. 

Thus in K. Hen. IV : " z parcel-gilt goblet. STEEVENS. 

* Jheprofejfis a hot-houfe ;] A hot-houfe is an Englifh name for 
a bagnio : 

" Wljere lately harbour' a" many a famous whore, 

** A purging-bill no<vj fix'd upon the door, 

" Tells you. it is a hot-houfe, fo it may, 

" Andjlillfaawhore-boufe." Benjonfon, JOHNSON. 

VOL. II, D 3 Efcal 


EfcaL By the woman's means ? 
Elb. Ay, fir, by miflrefs Over-done's means J : but 
as Ihe fpit in his face, fo Ihe defy'd him. 

Clown. Sir, if it pleafe your honour, this is not fo. 
Elb. Prove it before thefe varlets here, thou ho- 
nourable man, prove it. 

EfcaL Do you hear how he mifplaces ? [To Angela. 
Clown. Sir, Ihe came in great with child ; and long- 
ing (faving your honour's reverence) for ftew'd 
prunes 4 ; fir, we had but two in the houfe, which at 
that very diftant time flood as it were, in a fruit-dilh, 
a difh of fome three pence ; your honours have feen 
fuch difhes ; they are not China difhes, but very good 

EfcaL Go to, go to ; no matter for the difh, fir. 
Clown. No, indeed, fir, not of a pin; you are therein 
in the right : but, to the point : As I fay, this miftrefs 
Elbow, being, as I fay, with child, and being great 
bclly'd, and longing, as I faid, for prunes ; and hav- 
ing but two in the difh, as I faid, mafter Froth here, 
this very man, having eaten the reft, as I faid, and, 
as I fay, paying for them very honeflly ; for, as you 
know, mailer Froth, I could not give you three pence 

Froth. No, indeed. 

Clown. Very well: you being then, if you be re- 

member'd, cracking the flones of the forefaid prunes. 

Froth. Ay, fo I did, indeed. 

Clown. Why, very well : I telling you then, if you 

be remember'd, that fuch a one, and fuch a one, were 

3 dy, fir, ly mljlrefs Over-done 's means : ] Here feems to have 
been fome mention made of Froth, who was to be accufed, and 
fome words therefore may have been loft, unlefs the irregularity 
of the narrative may be better imputed to the ignorance of the 
conftable. JOHNSON. 

4 -fl 'e-iv'ii prunes; ] Stewed prunes were to be found in every 
brothel. See a note on the jd fcene of the 3d aft of the Firft 
Part of King Henry IV. In the old copy prunes are fpelt, ac- 
cording to vulgar pronunciation, prewym. STEEVENS. 



paft cure of the thing you wot of, unkfs they kepc 
very good diet, as I told you. 

Froth. All this is true. 

Clown. Why, very well then. 

Efcal. Come, you are a tedious fool : to the pur- 
pofe. What was done to Elbow's wife, that he hath 
caufe to complain of ? come me to what was done to 

Clown. Sir, your honour cannot come to that yet. 

Efcal. No, fir, nor I mean it not. 

Clown. Sir, but you {hall come to it, by your ho- 
nour's leave : And, I befecch you, look into mafler 
Froth here, fir; a man of fourfcore pound a year; 
whofe father/ly'd at Hallowmas : Was't not at Hal- 
lowmas, matter Froth ? 

Froth. All-hollond eve. 

Clown. Why, very well ; I hope here be trutrfs : 
He, fir, fitting, as I fay, in a lower chair, fir; 'twas 
in the Bunch of grapes, where, indeed, you have a de- 
light to fit, Have you not ? , 

Froth. I have fo; becaufe it is an open room, and 
good for winter. 

Clown. Why, very well then ; I hope here be 

Ang. This will laft out a night in Ruffia, 
When nights are longed there : I' 1 take my leave, 
And leave you to the hearing of the caufe ; 
Hoping, you'll find good caufe to whip them all. 

Efcal. I think no lefs : Good morrow to your lord- 
ihip. \jExit Angela. 

Now, fir, come on : What was done to Elbow's wife, 
once. more ? 

Clown. Once, fir ? there was nothing done to her 

Elb. I befeech you, fir, alk him what this man did 
to my wife. 

Clown. I befeech your honour, afk me. 

. Well, fir ; What did this gentleman to Her ? 
D 4 Clown. 


Chnvn. I befeech you, fir, look in this gentleman's 
face: Good mafterFrorh, look upon his honour ; 'tis 
for a good purpofe : Doth your honour mark his face ^ 

Efcal. Ay, fir, very well. 

&OWH. Nay, I befeech you mark it well. 

Efcal We'll, I do fo. 

Qff&n. Doth your honour fee any harm in his face ? 

Efcal. Why, no. 

Offwn. I'll be fuppos'd upon a book, his face is the 
worft thing about him : Good then ; if his face be the 
word thing about him, how could matter Froth do 
the conftable's wife any harm ? I would know that 
of your honour. 

Efcal He's in the right : conftable, what fay you 
to it ? 

Elb. Firft, an it like you, the houfe is a refpected 
houfe ; next, this is a refpedied fellow ; and his mif- 
trefs is a refpected woman. 

Clown. By this hand, fir, his wife is a more refpecl:- 
ed perfon than any of us all. 

#. Varlet, thou Heft ; thou Heft, wicked varlet : 
the time is yet to come, that (he was ever refpec~te4 
with man, woman, or child. 

Clown. Sir, flie was refpe&ed with him before he 
marry'd with her. 

Elb. Which is the wifer here ? Juftice or Iniqui- 
ty 1 ? Is this true ? 

Elb. O thou caitiff! O thou varlet ! O thou wicked 
Hannibal ! I refpedied with her, before I was marry'd 
to her ? If ever I was refpeded with her, or ftie with 
me, let not your worfhip think me the poor duke's 
officer : Prove this, thou wicked Hannibal 6 , or I'll 
have mine adion of battery on thee. 

' Jitftice or Iniquity?] Thefe were, I fuppofe, two perfonages 
well known to the audience by their frequent appearance in the old 
moralities. The words therefore, at that time, produced a com- 
blnation of ideas, which they have now loft. JOH. \so.v. 

6 Hayvoal.] Miftaken by the conftable for Cannibal. JOHKSO.V. 



EfcaL If he took you a box o' of the ear, you might 
have your a&ion of flander too. 

Elb. Marry, I thank your good worfhip for it : 
What is't your worfhip's pleafure I lhall do with this 
wicked caitiff ? 

EfcaL Truly, officer, becaufe he hath fbme offences 
in him, that thou wouldft difcover if thou couldft, let 
him continue in his courfes, till thou know ? fl what 
they are. 

FJh. Marry, I thank your worfhip for it : Thou 
feeft, thou wicked varlet now, what's come upon thee; 
thou art to continue now, thou varlet ; thou art to 

EfcaL Where were you born, friend ? [20 Froth, 

Froth. Here in Vienna, fir. 

EfcaL Are you of fourfcore pounds a year ? 

Froth. Yes, and't pleafe you, fir ? 

EfcaL So. What trade are you of, fir ? 

[To the Clown. 

Clown. A taptter ; a poor widow'! tapfler. 

EfcaL You miftrefs's name ? 

Clown. Miftreis Over-done. 

EfcaL Hath (he had any more than one hufband ? 

Clown. Nine, fir; Over-done by the laft. 

EfcaL Nine ! Come hither to me, mailer Froth. 
Matter Froth, I would not have you acquainted with 
tapfiers ; they will draw you 7 , matter Froth, and you 
will hang them : Get you gone, and let me hear no 
more of you. 

Froth. I thank your worfhip : For mine own part, 
I never come into any room in a taphoufe, but I am 
drawn in. 

EfcaL Well ; no more of ir, matter Froth : fare- 

* they will draw you,'} Draw has here a clufter of fenfes. As it 
refers to the tapfter, it fignifies to drain, to empty ; as it is related 
to bang, it means to be conveyed to execution on a hurdle. In Froth's 
anftver, it is the fame as to bring along by fame motive or power. 



well. Come you hither to me, matter tapfter ; what's 
your name, mafler tapfter ? 

Clown. Pompey. 

Efcal What elfe ? 

Clown, Bum, fir. 

Efcal. Troth, and your bum is the greateft thing 
about you 8 ; fo that, in thebeafllieflfenfe,you arePom- 
pey the great, Pompey, you are partly a bawd, Pompey, 
howfoever you colour it in being tapfter; Are you not? 
come, tell me true -, it {hall be the better for you. 

Clown. Truly, fir, I am a poor fellow, that would live. 

Efcal. How would you live, Pompey ? by being a 
bawd ? What do you think of the trade, Pompey ? is 
it a lawful trade ? 

Clown. If the law will allow it, fir. 

Efcal. But the law will not allow it, Pompey ; nor 

,fhall not be allowed in Vienna. 

Clown. Does your worlhip mean to geld and fpay all 
the youth in the city ? 

EfcaL, No, Bompey. 

Gown. Truly, fir, in my poor opinion, they will to't 
then : If your worfhip will take order for the drabs 
and the knaves, you need not to fear the bawds. 

EfcaL There are pretty orders beginning, I can tell 
you : it is but heading and hanging. 

Clown. If you head and hang all that offend that 
way but for ten year together, you'll be glad to give 
out a commiffion for more heads. If this law hold in 
Vienna ten years, I'll rent the faireft houfe in it, after 
three pence a bay 9 : If you live to fee this come to 
pafs, lay, Pompey told you fo. 


1 greateft thing about yon.~\ This fafhion, of which, perhaps, 
feme remains were to be found in the age of Shakefpeare, feems 
to have prevailed originally in that of Chaucer, who in the Pcr- 
fones Tale fpeaks of it thus. " Som of hem fhewen the bofie and 
" the fhape &c. in the wrapping of hir hofen, and eke the buttokkes 
" of hem bcbinde, &c." Greene in one of his pieces mentions the 
great Mmme of Paris. STEEVENS. 

9 /'// tent the faireft houfe in //, afar three fence a :] Mr. 



EfcaL Thank you, good Pompey : and in requital 
of your prophecy, hark you, I advife you, let me not 
find you before me again upon any complaint what- 
foever, no, not for dwelling where you do ; if I do, 
Pompey, I lhall beat you to your tent, and prove a 
ihrewd Csefar to you ; in plain dealing, Pompey, I 
fliall have you whipt : fo, for this time, Pompey, fare 
you well. 

Clown. I thank your worfhip for your good counfel ; 
but I (hall follow it, as the flelh and fortune fhall 
better determine. 

Whip me ? No, no : let carman whip his jade ; 
The valiant heart's not whipt out of his trade. [Exit. 

EfcaL Come hither to me, mafter Elbow ; come hi- 
ther, matter conftable. How long have you been in 
this place of conftable ? *& f ^ f *' 

Elb. Seven year and a half, fir. - $jr 

EfcaL I thought, by your readinefs in the office, you 
had continued in it fome time ; You fay, feven years 
together ? 

Elb. And a half, fir. 

EfcaL Alas ! it hath been great pains to you ! they 
do you wrong to put you fo oft upon't : Are there 
not men in your ward fufficient to ferve it ? 

Elb. Faith, fir, few of any wit in fuch matters : 

Theobald found that this was the reading of the old books, and 
he follows it out of pure reverence for antiquity ; for he knows 
nothing of the meaning of it. He fuppofes bay to be that pro- 
jedtion called a bay-window ; as if the way of rating houfes was 
by the number of their bay-windows. But it is quite another 
thing, and fignifies the fquared frame of a timber houfe ; each 
of which divifions, or fquares, is called a lay. Hence a building 
of .fo many bays. WARBURTON. 

A bay of building is, in many parts of England, a common 
term, of which the beft conception that I could ever attain, is, 
that it is the fpacc between the main beams of the roof; fo that a 
barn crofled twice with beams is a barn of three bays. JOHNSON. 

" that, by the yearly birth 

" The large-%V barn doth fill," &c. 

I forgot to take down the title of the work from which .this in- 
fiance is adopted. STEEVENS. 



as they are chofen, they are glad to chufe me for 
them ; I do it for fome piece of money, and go 
through with all. 

Efcal. Look you, bring me in the names of fomfl 
fix or feven, the moft fufficient of your parifti. 

EW. To your worfhip's houfe, fir ? 

Efcal. To my houfe : Fare you well. 
What's a clock, think you ? 

Juft. Eleven, fir. 

Efcal. I pray you home to dinner with me. 

Juft. I humbly thank you. 

Efcal. It grieves me for the death of Claudio ; 
But there's no remedy, 

Juft. Lord Angelo is fevere. 

Efcal. It is but needful : 
Mercy is not itfelf, that oft looks fb ; 
Pardon is flill the nurfe of fecond woe : 
But yet, Poor Claudio ! There's no remedy. 
Come, fir. [Exeunt. 


Angelas Houfe. 
Enter Provoft, and a Servant, 

Seru. He's hearing of a caufe; he will come 

ilraight : 
111 tell him of you. 

Prov. Pray you, do. [Exit. Servant.] I'll know 
His pleafure ; may be, he will relent : Alas, 
He hath but as offended in a dream ! 
All fects, all ages fmack of this vice ; and he 
To die for it ! 

Enter Angelo. 

Ang. Now, what's the matter, provoft ? 
Prov. Is it your will Claudio fhall die to-morrow? 
Ang. Did I not tell thee, yea ? had ft thou not order ? 
Why dofl thou afk again ? 



Prov. Left I might be too rafh : 
Under your good correction, I have feen, 
When, after execution, judgment hath 
Repented o'er his doom. 

Ang. Go to ; let that be mine : 
Do you your office, or give up your place, 
And you fhall well be fpar'd. 

Prov. I crave your honour's pardon. 
What fhall be done, fir, with the groaning Juliet? 
She's very near her hour. 

Ang. Difpofe of her 
To fome more fitting place ; and that with fpeed. 

[Re-enter Servant.] 

Serv. Here is the fifter of the man condemned, 
Defires accefs to you. 

Ang. Hath he a filler ? 

Prov. Ay, my good lord ; a very virtuous maid, 
And to be fhortly of a fifter-hood, 
If not already. 

Ang. Well, let her be admitted. [Exit Servant. 
See you, the fornicatrefs be removed ; 
Let her have needful, but not lavfth means ; 
There fhall be order for it. 

Enter Lutio and Ifabella. 

Prov. Save your honour ! 

Ang. Stay yet a while *. [To Ifab.~] You are wel- 
come : What's your will ? 

Ifab. I am a woeful fuitor to your honour, 
Pleafe but your honour hear me. 

Ang. Well ; what's your fuit ? 

Ifab. There is a vice, that moft I do abhor, 
And moft defire fhould meet the blow of juftice ; 
For which I would not plead, but that I muft ; 

1 Stay yet awhile. ] It is not clear why the provofl is 

bidden to ilay, nor when he goes out. JOHNSON. 


For which I muft not plead, but that I am * 
At war, 'twixt will, and will not. 

Aug. Well j the matter ? 

Ifab. I have a brother is condemn'd to die : 
I do. befeech you, let it be his faultj 
And not my brother. 

Prov. Heaven give thee moving graces ! 

Ang. Condemn the fault, and not the actor of it ! 
Why, every fault's condemned, ere it be done : 
Mine were the very cypher of a function, 
To find the faults, 3 whofe fine {rands in record, 
And let go by the actor. 

Ifab. O juft, but fevere law ! 
I had a brother then. Heaven keep your honour ! 

Lucio. [20 Ifab.'] Give't not o'er fo : to him again^ 

intreat him ; 

Kneel down before him, hang upon his gown ; 
You are too cold : if you fhould need a pin, 
You could not with more tame a tongue deiire it : 
To him I fay. 

Ifab. Muft he needs die ? 

Ang. Maiden, no remedy. 

Ifab. Yes; I do think that you might pardon 

And neither heaven, nor man, grieve at the mercy. 

Ang. I will not do't. 

Ifab. But can you, if you would ? 

Ang. Look, what I will not, that I cannot do. 

Ifab. But might you do't, and do the world no 

* For which I muft not plead, lut that I am 

At wa r, 'twixtwUl, and will not.~\ 
This is obfcure ; perhaps it may be mended by reading : 
For which, I mujl now plead ; but yet / am 
At war, 'twixt will, and will not. 

y"et andjtf are almoft undiftinguifhable in a manufcript. Yet no 
alteration is neceflary, fince the fpeech is not unintelligible as it 
now Hands. JOHNSON. 

3 To find the faults.] The old copy reads -To fine, &c. 




If fo your heart were touch 'd with that remorfe * 
As mine is to him ? 

Ang. He's fehtenc'd ; 'tis too late. 

Lucio. You are too cold. [70 IJabel. 

IfabeL Too late ? why, no; I, that do fpeak a word, 
May call it back again : Well believe this, 
No ceremony that to great ones 'longs, 
Not the king's crown, nor the deputed fword, 
The marfhal's truncheon, nor the judge's robe, 
Become them with one half fo good a grace, 
As mercy does. 

If he had been as you, and you as he, 
You would have flipt, like him ; but he, like you, 
Would not have been fo ftern. 

Ang. Pray you, be gone. 

Ifab. I would to heaven I had your potency, 
And you were Ifabel ! mould it then be thus ? 
No; I would tell what 'twere to be a judge, 
And what a prifoner. 

Lucio. \_Afide.~] Ay, touch him : there's the vein. 

Ang. Your brother is a forfeit of the law, 
And you but waile your words. 

Ifab. Alas! alas! 

Why, all the fouls that were, were forfeit once * ; 
And He that might the vantage beft have took, 
Found out the remedy : How would you be, 
If he, which is the top of judgment, Ihould 
But judge you, as you are ? Oh, think on that, 

* touch'd with that remorfe.] Remorfe in this place, 83 
in many others, is pity. 
So in the 5th aft of this play : 

" My fifterly remorfe confutes my honour, 
" And I did yield to him." 
Again, in Heywood's Iron Age^ 1632 : 

" The perfect image of a wretched creature, 
" His fpeeches beg remorfe" 
See Othello, aft. III. STEEVENS. 

5 all the fouls that were, J This is falfe divinity. We 

Ihould read, are. WAR BUR TON. 



And mercy then will breathe within your lips, 
Like man new made 6 . 

Ang. Be you content, fair maid ; 
It is the law, not I, condemns your brother : 
Were he my kinfman, brother, or my fon, 
It Ihould be thus with him ; he muft die to-morrow* 

Ifab. To-morrow ? Oh, that's fudden ! Spare him, 

fpare him ; 

He's not prepar'd for death ! Even for our kitchens 
We kill the fowl, of feafon ; fhall we ferve heaven 
With lefs refpedt than we do miniiler 
To our grofs felves ? Good, good my lord, bethink 

you : 

Who is it that hath died for this offence ? 
There's many have committed it. 

Lucio. Ay, well faid. 

Ang. The law hath notbeen dead, though ithathflept ; 
Thofe many had not dar'd to do that evil, 
If the firil man, that did the edict infringe 7 , 
Had anfwer'd for his deed : now, 'tis awake ; 
Takes note of what is done ; and, like a prophet 8 , 

* And mercy then will breathe within your lips. 

Like man new made."\ 

This is a fine thought, and finely exprefled. The meaning is, 
that mercy -will add fucb a grace to your perfon, that you will ap- 
pear as amiable as a man come frejh out of the bands of his Creator. 


I rather think the meaning is, You will then change the fevcrity 
of your prefent character. In familiar fpeech, You would be quite 
another man. JOHNSON. 

7 If the foji man, &c.] The word man has been fupplied by 
the modern editors. I would rather read, 

If he, the >/, &c. TYRWHITT. 
8 Like a prophet, 

Looks in a glafi' ] 

This alludes to the fopperies of the lerr'il, much ufed at that tiir* 
by cheats and fortune-tellers to predict by. WARBURTON. 
See Macbeth, aft IV. 
So again in J^ittoria Corombona, 1612 : 

" How long have I beheld the devil in chryjlalf* 




Looks in a glafs that (hews what future evils, 
(Either now 9 j or by remuTnefs new-conceiv'd, 
And fo in progrefs to be hatch'd and born) 
Are now to have no fucceffive degrees, 
Bur, ere they live, to end '. 

Ifab. Yet Ihew fome pity *. 

Ang. I fhew it moft of all, when I ihew juftice ; 
For then I pity thofe I do not know, 
Which a difmifs'd offence would after gall ; 
And do him right, that, anfweringone foul wrong, 
Lives not to act another. Be fatisfy'd ; 
Your brother dies to-morrow ; be content. 

Ifab. So you muft be the firft, that gives this fen- 

tence ; 

And he, that fuffers : Oh, it is excellent 
To have a giant's ftrength ; but it is tyrannous, 
To ufe it like a giant. 

Lucio. That's well faid, 

Ifab. Could great men thunder 
As Jove himfelf does, Jove would ne'er be quiet, 
For every pelting 3 , petty officer, 
Would ufe his heaven for thunder; nothing but 


Merciful heaven ! 
Thou rather with thy fharp and fulphurous bolt 

9 Either now ] Thus the old copy. Modern Editors read 


1 But ere, they live, to end.] This is very fagacioufly fubftituted 
by fir Thomas Hanmer, for, 

But here they live JOHNSON. 

"* -Jbewfomc pity. 

Ang. I JJJITM it moft of all, when I Jbe-iu juftict ; 
For then I pity tbofc I do not knovj,~\ 

This was one of Male's memorials. When I find myfelf fwayed /# 
mercy, let me re member ^ that there is a mercy likevjije due to the coun- 
try. JOHNSON. 

3 pelting} i. e. paltry. 

This word I meet with in Mother Bomlne, 1594 : 

" will uot flirink the city for a pelting jade.'* 


VoL.JI. E Split'ft 


Split'ft the unwedgeable and gnarled oak *, 

Than the foft myrtle : O, but man ! proud man > 

(Dreft in a little brief authority ; 

Moft ignorant of what he's moft aflfur'd, 

His glaii'y eflence) like an angry ape, 

Plays fuch fantaftick tricks before high heaven, 

As make the angels weep s ; who, with our fpleens>. 

Would all themfelves laugh mortal 6 . 

Lucio. Oh, to him, to him, wench :. he will re* 

He's coming; I percelv't, 

Prov, Pray heaven Ihe win him f 

Ifab. We cannot weigh our brother witk ourfelf 7 : 


* gnarled oak,~\ Gaatre is theoktEnglifh word for a knof 

in wood. 

So in Antonio's Revenge, 1602 : 

< ' Till by degrees the tough and gnarly trunk 

" Be riv'd in funder." 
Again, Chaucer's Knight's Tale, late edit^v. 1979 r 

" With knotty, knarry barrein trees old." STEEVENS* 

5 As make the angels weep ; ] The notion of angels weeping 

for the fins ot men is rabbinical.^ Obpeccatum Jlentes angelos indu,- 
funt Hebraorum maglflri. Grotius ad Lucam WARBURTON^ 
6 iv/JO) vxtb our fpleens, 

Would all tbetnfelves laugh mortal.] 

Mr. Theobald fays the meaning of this is, that if they were eit~ 
dowed with our fpleens and per ijb able organs, they would laugh them- 
Jelves out of immortality : which amounts to this, that if they were 
mortal, they would not be immortal. Shakefpeare meant no fuch 
nonfenfe. By fpleens, he meant that peculiar turn of the human 
mind, that always inclines it to a fpiteful, unfeafonable mirth. 
Had the angels that, fays Shakefpeare, they would laugh them- 
felves out of their immortality, by indulging a paflion which does 
not deferve that prerogative. The ancients thought, that immo- 
derate laughter was caufed by the bignefs of the fpleen. 


7 We cannot weigh our brother with yourfelf:] In former edi- 

Vf r e cannot weigh our brother with ourfelf. 

Why not? Though this fhouldbe the reading of all the copies, 'tis 
as plain as light, it is not the author's meaning. Ifabella would 
fay, there is fo great a difproportion in quality betwixt lord An- 
gelo and her brother, that their actions can bear no comparifon, or 



Great men may jeft with faints : 'tis wit in them ; 
But, in the lefs, foul profanation. 

Lucio. Thou'rt in the right, girl ; more o' that f 

Ifab. That in the captain's but a cholerick word, 
Which in the foldier is flat blafphemy. 

Lucio. Art advis'd o' that ? more on't. 

Ang. Why do you put thefe fayings upon me ? 

Ifab. Becaufe authority, though it err like others, 
Hath yet a kibd of medicine in itfelf, 
That fkins the vice o' the top : Go to your bofom ; 
Knock there ; and afk your heart, what it doth know 
That's like my brother's fault : if it confefs 
A natural guiltinefs fuch as is his, 
Let it not found a thought upon your tongue 
Againft my broth-er's life. 

Ang. [Aftde.~^ She fpeaks, and 'tis 
Such fenfe, that my fenfe breeds with it 8 . [70 
Fare you well. 

Ifab. Gentle, my lord, turn back. 

Ang. I will bethink me : Come again to-morrow. 

Ifab. Hark, how I'll bribe you : Good my lord, 
turn back. 

equality, together : but her brother's crimes would be aggravated, 
Angelo's frailties extenuated, from the difference of their degrees 
and (late of life. WAR BUR TON. 

The old reading is right. We mortals, proud and foolifh, cannot 
prevail on our paffions to weigh or compare our brother ', a being of 
like nature and like frailty, with ourfelf. We have different 
names and different judgments for fhe fame faults committed by 
perfons of different condition. JOHNSON. 

8 That my fenfe breeds with it. ] Thus all the folios. Some 

later editor has changed breeds to bleeds, and Dr. Warburton, 
blames poor Mr. Theobald for recalling the old word, which yet 
is certainly right. My Jirife breeds with her fenfe, that is, new 
thoughts are ftirring in my mind, new conceptions are hatched in 
my imagination. So we fay _to brood over thought. JOHNSON. 

Sir ifr. Davenant's alteration favours the fcnie of the old read- 
ing : 

She fpeaksfucb fenfe 

As with my rcafon breeds fuch Images 
Asjhe Las excellently form d. STEEVEVC. 

E Z Ali. 


Atg. How ! bribe me ? 

Ij'ab. Ay, with fuch gifts, that heaven fhall fharc 
with you. 

Lucio. You had marr'd all elfe, 

Ifab. Not with fond fhekels 9 of the tefted gold % 
Or tlones, whofe rates are either rich, or poor, 
As fancy values them : but with true prayers, 
That fliall be up at heaven, and enter there, 
Ere fun- rife ; prayers from preferved fouls % 
From failing maids, whofe minds are dedicate 
To nothing temporal. 

Ang. Well ; come to me to-morrow. 

Lucio. Go to ; 'tis well ; [AJide to Ifabel.'] away. 

Jfab. Heaven keep your honour fate ! 

Ang. Amen : 

For I am that way going to temptation, [A/ide. 

Where prayers crofs '. 


9 f onc j Jbe\els\ Fond, means very frequently in our 

author" foolljh. It lignifies in this place valued or prized ly folly. 


1 tefted <?/</,] i.e. attefted, or marked with the iland- 

ard ftamp. WARBURTON. 

Rather cupelled, brought to the teft, refined. JOHNSON. 
All gold that is tefled is not marked with the ftandard ftamp. 
The verb has a different fenfe, and means tried by the cuppell, 
which is called by the refiners a teft. Vide Harris's Lex. Tech. 

t prcferved fouls,] i.e. preferved from the corruption 

of the world. The metaphor is taken from fruits preferved ia 

fugar. WARBURTON. 

So in Tbe Amorous War^ 1 6 : 

*' You do not reckon us 'mongft marmalade, 
" Quinces and apricots ? or take us for 
" Ladies preferved?" STEEVENS. 
3 I am that ivay going to temptation, 

Where prayers crofs.] 

Which way Angelo is going to temptation, we begin to perceive; 
but how prayers crnfs that way, or crofs each other, at that way, 
more than any other, I do not underftand. 

Ifabella prays that his honour may be fafe, meaning only to give 
him his title : his imagination is caught by the word honour : he 



Jfab. At what hour to-morrow 
Shall I attend your lordfhip ? 
Ang. At any time 'fore noon. 
Ifah. Save your honour ! [v. Luclo and Ifabella. 
Ang. From thee ; even from thy virtue ! 
What's this ? what's this ? Is this her fault, or mine ? 
The tempter, or the tempted, who fins molt ? Ha! 
Not flie ; nor doth fhe tempt : but it is 1 4 , 
That lying, by the violet, in the fun, 
Do, as the carrion does, not as the flower, 
Corrupt with virtuous feafon. 5 Can it be, 
That modefly may more betray our fenfe 
Than woman's lightnefs ? having wafte ground 


feels that his honour is in danger, and therefore, I believe, an- 
fwers thus : 

/ am that 'way going to temptation, 
Which your prayers crofs. 

That is, I am tempted to lofe that honour of which thou im- 
ploreft the preservation. The temptation under which I labour 
is that which thou haft unknowingly thwarted with thy prayer. 
He ufes the fame mode of language a few lines lower. Ifabelia, 
parting, fays : 

Save your honour ! 
Angelo catches the word Save it ! From what f 

From tbec ; even from thy virtue. ! JOHNSON. 
The beft method of illustrating this pafTage will be to quote a 
jimilarone from the Mercbmtt of Venice. Act I II. fc. i : 

" Sal. I would it might prove the end of his lofles ! 
" Sola. Let me fay Amen betimes, left the devil crofs 

thy prayer." 

For the fame reafon Angelo feems to fay Amen to Ifabclla's 
prayer ; but, to make the expreffion clear, we mould read per- 
haps Where prayers are crojjcd. TYRWHITT. 

+ It Is I, 

That lying, by the violet, In the fun, &c.] 

I am not corrupted by her, but by my own heart, which excites 
foul defires under the fame benign influences that exalt her pu- 
rity, as the carrion grows putrid by thofc beams which encreai'e 
the fragrance of the violet. JOHNSON. 

5 r an It be, 

That modefty may more betray our fotfe 
Than woman* s light ncj\ ? ] 

K 3 So 


Shall we defire to raze the fan&uary, 
And pitch our evils there 6 ? Oh, fie, fie, fie! 
What doft thou ? or what art thou, Angelo ? 
Doft thou defire her foully, for thofe things 
That make her good ? Oh, let her brother live : 
Thieves for their robbery have authority, 
When judges fteal themfelves. What ? do I love her, 
That I defire to hear her fpeak again, 
And feaft upon her eyes ? what is't I dream on ? 
Oh, cunning enemy, that, to catch a faint, 
With faints doft bait thy hook ! moft dangerous 
Is that temptation, that doth goad ns on 
To fin in loving virtue : never could the ftrumper, 
With all her double vigour, art and nature, 
Once ftir my temper ; but this virtuous maid 
Subdues me quite : Ever, till now, 
When men were fond, I fmil'd, and wonder'd how T . 


So in Promos and Caflandra, 1 578 : 

" I do proteft her modeft wordes hath wrought in me a maze, 
** Though {he be faire, fhe is not deackt with garifh fhewes for 

" gaze. 
*' Hir bewtie lures, her lookes cut off fond fuits with chaft 

" difdain. 
*' O God, I feele a fodaine change, that doth my freedomc 

" chayne. 

" What didft thou fay ? fie, Promos fie, &c." STEEVENS. 
And pitch our evils there ? ] So in K. Henry VIII : 

" Nor build their evils on the graves of great men." 
Neither of thefe paflages appear to contain a very elegant allu- 
iion. STEEVENS. 

7 1 fmil'd, and wonder* dhow,] As a day muft now inter- 
vene between this conference of Ifabella with Angelo, and the 
next, the act might more properly end here ; and here, in my 
opinion,, it was ended by the poet. JOHNSON. 




A Prifon. 
Enter Duke, habited like a Friar, and Provoft. 

Duke. Hail to you, provoft ! fo, I think, you arc. 

Prov. I am the provoft : What's your will, good 
friar ? 

Duke. Bound by my chanty, and my blefs'd order, 
I come to vifit the afflicted fpirits 
Here in the prifon : do me the common right 
To let me fee them ; and to make me know 
The nature of their crimes, that I may minifler 
To them accordingly. 

Prov. I would do more than that, if more were 

Enter Juliet. 

Look, here comes one ; a gentlewoman of mine, 
Who falling in the flaws of her own youth 8 , 
Hath blifler'd her report : She is with child ; 
And he that got it, lentenc'd : a young man 

Wljo falling in the flaws o 

Hath blifter'd her report: - ] 
Who doth not fee that the integrity of the metaphor requires we 
ihould read : 

- flames of her (nv'nyouthf WARBURTON. 
Who does not fee that, upon fuch principles, there is no end 
of correction ? JOHNSON. 

Dr. Johnfon did not know, nor perhaps Dr. Warburton either, 
that fir W. Davenant reads James inftead of Jiaivs in his Law 
againjl Lovers, a play almoft literally taken from Meafure for 
Mcafure, and Much ado about Nothing. FARMER. 

Shakefpeare has flaming youth in Hamlet, and Greene, in his 
Never too Late, 1616, fays " he meafured the James of youth 
by his own dead cinders." Blifter'd her report, is disfigured her 
fame. Bliftcr feems to have reference to the James mentioned in 
the preceding line. A fimilar ufe of this word occurs in Hamlet: 
" takes the rofe 

" From the fair forehead of an innocent love, 
" And fets a blijler there." STEEVENS. 
VOL? II, . 4 More 


More fit to do another fuch offence, 
Than die for this. 

Duke. When muft he die ? 

Prov. As I do think, to-morrow. 
I have provided for you ; flay a while, po Juliet. 
And you fhall be conducted. 

Duke. Repent you, fair one, of the fin you carry ? 

Juliet. I do ; and .bear the Ihame moft patiently. 

Duke. I'll teach you how you Ihall arraign your 


And try your penitence, if it be found, 
Or hollowly put on. 

Juliet. I'll gladly learn. 

Duke. Love you the man that wrong'd you ? 

Juliet. Yes, as I love the woman that wrong'd 

Duke. So then, it feems, your mofl offenceful a& 
Was mutually committed ? 

Juliet. Mutually. 

Duke. Then was your fin of heavier kind than his. 

Juliet. I do confefs it, and repent it, father. 

Duke. 'Tis meet fo daughter : But left you do 

repent 9 , 
As that the fin hath brought you to this ihame,, 

9 - But left you do repent,] Thus the old copy. The mo- 
dern editors, led by Mr. Pope, read : 

But repent you not. 

But left you do repent is only a kind of negative imperative 
Ne te pceniteat t and means, repent not on this account. 


I think that a line at leaft is wanting after the firft of the Duke* 
Ipeech. It would be prefumptuous to attempt to replace the 
words ; but the fenie, I am perfuaded, is eafily recoverable out 
of Juliet's anfwer. I fuppofe his advice, in fubftance, to have 
been nearly this. * Take care, lejl you repent [not fo much of 
your faulr, as it is an evil,] as that the fin hath brought you to 
this Jbame" Accordingly, Juliet's anfwer is explicit to this 
point : 

*' I do repent me^ as it is an evil, 

* And take tbejbnme- ivitbjty." TYRWHITT. 



Which forrow is always towards ourfelves, not 

heaven ; 

Shewing, we would not fpare heaven ', as we love it, 
But as we fland in fear, 

Juliet. I do repent me, as it is an evil ; 
And take the ftiame with joy. 

Duke. There reft *, 

Your partner, as I hear, muft die to-morrow, 
And I am going with inftrudlion to him ; 
Grace go with you ! benidicite. [Exit. 

Juliet. Muft die to-morrow ! Oh, injurious love ', 
That refpites me a life, whofe very comfort 
Js ftill a dying horror ! 

frov. Tis pity of him. [Exeunt, 


Angela's Houfe. 
Enter Angela *. 

Ang. When I would pray and think, I think and 


To feveral fubjedts : heaven hath my empty words ; 


1 Sb^Ming lue'tl not fpare heaven,"] The modern editors had 
changed this word intoJeOk STEEVENS. 

* There reji.~\ Keep yourfelf in this temper. JOHXSON. 

3 Oh, injurious love, ] Her execution was refpited on ac- 
count of her pregnancy, the eftefts of her love : therefore (he calls 
it Injurious ; not that it brought her to fhame, but that it hindered 
her freeing herfelf from it. Is not this all very natural ? yet the 
Oxford editor changes it to injurious la-iv. JOHNSOX. 

I know not what circum (lance in this play can authorize a fup- 
polirion that Juliet wr.s refpited on account of her pregnancy ; as 
her life was in no danger from the law, the leverity of which 
was exerted only on the ieducer. I iuppofe flie means that a pa- 
rent's love for the .child fhe bears is injurious, becaufe it makes 
her careful of her life in her prefent fliameful condition. 

Mr. Toilet explains the paflage thus. " Oh, love, that is in- 
jurious in expediting Claudio's death, apd that refpites me a life, 
"which is a burthen to me worfe than death !" STEEVENS. 

* Enter Angdo.] Promos, in the play already quoted, has like- 



Whilfl my intention s , hearing not my tongue, 

Anchors on Ifabel : Heaven is in my rnouth, 

As if I did but only chew its name ; 

And in my heart, the flrong and fwelling evil 

Of my conception : The ftate, whereon I ftudied, 

Is like a good thing, being often read, 

Grown fear'd and tedious 6 ; yea, my gravity, 

Wherein (let no man hear me) I take pride, 

Could I, with boot 7 , change for an idle plume 

Which the air beats for vain. Oh place ? oh form ! 

How often dofl thou with thy 8 cafe, thy habit, 

wife a foliloquy previous to the fecond appearance of 
It begins thus : 

" Do what I can, no reafbn cooles delire, 
" The more I flrive my fond affe&es to tame, 
" The hotter (oh) I feele a burning fire 
*' Within my breaft vaine thoughts to forge and frame, &c.** 


5 Whllft my intention, - ] Nothing can be either plainer or 
exacler than this expreffion. But the old blundering folio having 
it, invention, this was enough for Mr. Theobald to prefer autho- 
rity to fenfe. WAR BURTON. 

Intention (if it be the true reading) has, in this inftance more 
than its common meaning. It fignifies eagernefs of delire. 
So in the Merry Wives : 

" - courfe o'er my exteriors, with fuch greedinefs of /- 

By invention, however, I believe the poet means imagination, 


6 Grown fear'd and tedious-, - ] We fhould read feared: 
i. e. old. So Shakefpeare ufes in the fear, to fignify old age. 


I think fear'd may fhnd. What we go to with reluctance may 
be faid to be fear'd. JOHNSON. 

7 - with booty] --- Boot is profit, advantage, gain. So in 
M.Kyffin's translation of the Andria of Terence, 1588: * You 
obtained this at my hands, and I went about it while there was 
any loot." 

Again, in The Planer of Wakcfield, i ^09 : 

" Then lift to me : Saint Andrew be my loot* 
" But I'll raze thy caftle to the very ground." 


8 cafe, 1 For outfide ; garb ; external fhevv. JOHNSON. 



Wrench awe from fools, and tie the wifer fouls 9 
To thy falfe feeming ? Blood, thou art but blood : 
Let's write good angel on the devil's horn ', 
*Tis not the devil's creft. 


9 Wrench aive from fools, and tie the wifer fouls 

To thy falfe feeming ? ] 

Here Shakefpeare judicioufly diflinguifhes the different operations 
of high place upon different minds. Fools are frighted, and 
wife men are allured. Thofe who cannot judge but by the eye, 
are eafily awed by fplendour ; thofe who confider men as well as 
conditions, are eafily perfuaded to love the appearance of virtue 
dignified with power. JOHNSON. 

1 Let's -write good angel on the devil's horn, 

'Tis not the devil's creft. ~\ 

\. e. Let the mofl wicked thing have but a virtuous pretence, and 
it (hall pafs for innocent. Thas was his conclulioa from his pre- 
ceding words : 

oh form ! 

How often dojl thou -with thy cafe, thy habit ', 

Wrtncb awe from fools, and tic the wifer fouls 

To ttyfaljefem 
Oxford editc 

But the Oxford editor makes him conclude jufi counter to his 
own premifes ; by altering it to, 
Iff not the devil's crcfl ? 

So that, according to this alteration, the reafoning ftands thus. 
Falfe feeming wrenches awe from fools, and deceives the wife. 
Therefore, Let us but write good angel on the devil's horn, (i. e. 
give him the appearance of an angel ;) and what then ? /// not 
the devil's creft ? (i. e. he fhall be efteerhed a devil.) 


I am {till inclined to the opinion of the Oxford editor. Angelo, 
reflecting on the difference between his feeming character, and 
his real difpofition, obferves, that \\zcould change his gravity for 
a plume. He then digrefles into an apoilrophe, O dignity, how 
doft thou impofe upon the world! then returning to himfelf, Blood, 
fays he, thou art but blood, however concealed with appearances 
and decorations. Title and character do not alter nature, which 
is ftill corrupt, however dignified : 

Let's write good angel on the devil's horn ; 
Is't notf or rather 'Tisyet the devil's creft. 
It may however be underftood, according to Dr. Warburton's 
explanation. O ] 
talfe appearances 
devil's born, 


tiowever DC underitood, according to Dr. vvarburton 3 
i. O place, how doft thou impole upon the world by 
ranees ! fo much, that if we write good angel on the 
tj 'tis not taken any longer to be the devil's cre/L In this 


Enter Servant. 

How now, who's there ? 

Serv. One Ifabel, a lifter, defires accefs to you. 

Ang. Teach her the way. [Solus.] Oh heavens ! 
Why does my blood thus mufter to, my heart % 
Making both it unable for itfelf, 
And difpoffeffing all my other parts 
Of neceflary fitnefs ? 

So play the foolifh throngs with one that fwoons ; 
Come all to help him, and fo Hop the air 
By which he Ihould revive : and even fo 
The general, fubjedt to a wcll-wifh'd king % 


Rlooct, thou art but Hood! 
is an interjected exclamation. JOHNSON. 
A Hebrew proverb feems to favour Dr. Johnfon's reading : 

- 'Thjet the devil's creft. 

** A nettle Handing; among myrtles doth notwithftanding retain 
the name of a nettle." STEEVENS. 

2 to my heart.'] Of this fpeech there is no other trace in 
Promos and Cajfandra, than the following : 

" Both hope and dreade, at once my harte doth tuch." 


3 77jc general fubjefls to a well-wijh* d king^] So the later editions : 
but the old copies read : 

The general fubject to a ivdl-vjift? d king. 

The general fubjefl feems a harih expreffion, but general fubjefts 
has no fenfe at all ; and general \vzs, in our authoar's time, a word 
$or people, fo that the general is \hepcople, or multitude, fobjefl to 
a king. So in Hamlet : " The play pleafcd not the million : 'twas 
taviare to the general." JOHNSON. 

Mr. Malone obferves, that the ufe of this phrafe u the gene- 
ral" for the people, continued fo late as to the time of lord 
Clarendon. " as rather to be confented to, than that the general 
fhould fufter." Clar. Hift. B. v. p. 530, 8vo. Edit. I therefove 
adhere to the old reading, with only a flight change in the punc- 

The general, fubjeft to a wcll-vvifhM king, 

Quit, &c. 
\. e. the generality who are /*/&?, &c. 

Twice in Hamlet our author ufesfubjrfl for fuljtfls : 

*' So nightly toils the//^/W/ of the land." acl I. c. 



Quit their own part, and in obfequious fondnefs 
Crowd to his prefence, where their untaught love 
Muft needs appear offence. 

Enter Ifabella. 

How now, fair maid ? 

Ifab. I am come to know your pleafure. 

Ang. That you might know it, would much better 

pleafe me, 
Than to demand what 'tis. Your brother cannot 

Ifab. Even fo ? Heaven keep your honour ! 


Ang. Yet may he live a while ; and, it may be, 
As long as you, or I : Yet he muft die. 

Again, aft I. fc. 2 : 

" The lifts and full proportions, all are made 

" Out of hisfubjefl." 

The general fubjefl however may mean thejubjefls in general* 
So in Asyoii I^ike it. aft II. fc. 7 : 

44 Wouldit thou difgorge into the general world" 


So the duke had before (aft I. fcene 2.) exprefled his diflike of 
popular applaufe. 

" I'll privily away. I love the people, 
" But do not like to itage me to their eyes. 
*' Though it do well, I do not relifh well 
** Their loud applaufe and ave's vehement : 
'* Nor do I think the man of fafe difcretion, 

" That does affeft it." 

I cannot help thinking that Shakefpeare, in thefe two paflages 
intended to flatter that unkingly weaknefs of James the firlt, which 
made him fo impatient of the crowds that flocked to fee him, efpe- 
cially upon his firft coming, that, as fome of our hiftorians fay, 
he reftrained them by a proclamation. SirSymonds E^Ewes, in 
his Memoirs of his own Life *, has a remarkable paflage with 
regard to this humour of James. After taking notice, that the 
king going to parliament, on the joth of January, 1620-1, " fpake 
lovingly to the people, and faid God blefs ye, God blefs ye;" 
he adds thefe words, "contrary to his former hafty and paflionate 
cuitom, which often, in his fudden diftemper, would bid a pO3$ or 
a plague on fuch as flocked to fee him." TYRWHITT. 
* A manufcript in the British Mufeum, 



Ifab. Under your fentence ? 

Ang. Yea. 

Ifab. When, I befeech you ? that in his reprieve, 
Longer, or fhorter, he may be fo fitted, 
That his foul ficken nor. 

4ng* Ha ! Fie, thefe filthy vices ! It were as good 
To pardon him, that hath from nature ftolen 
A man already made, as to remit 
Their fawcy fweetnefs, that do coin heaven's image 
In ftamps that are forbid : 'tis all as eafy + 
Falfely to take away a life true made *, 
As to put metal in retrained means 6 , 
To make a falfe one. 


*//j all as eafy] Eafy is here put for light or trifling. 

'Tis, fays he, as light or trifling a crime to do fo, as fo, &c. 
Which the Oxford editor not apprehending, has altered it to juji ; 
for 'tis- much eafier to conceive what Shakefpeare fhould fay, than 
what he does fay. So juft before, the poet faid, with his ufual 
Ikence, their fawcy fweetnefs, forfaivcy indulgence of the appetite. 
And this, forfooth, mull be changed to faivcy kivdnefs, though 
the epithet confines us, as it were, to the poet's word. 


5 Falfely to take away a life true made,] Falfely is the fame 
with dijbonejlly, illegally : fo falfe, in the next lines, is illegal, il- 
legitimate. JOHNSON. 

6 in re/trained means,} In forbidden moulds. I fufpeft 

means not to be the right word, but I cannot find another. 

I mould fufpecl that the author wrote, 

in retrained mints, 

as the allufion is flill to coining. Sir W. Davenant omits the 
paflage. STEEVENS. 

On reading this paflage, it feemed probable to me that Shake- 
fpeare, having already illuftrated this thought by an allufion to 
coining, would not give the fame image a fecond time ; and that 
he wrote. 

As to put mettle in retrained means. 

On looking into the folio I found my conjecture confirmed, for 
that is the original reading. It is likewife fupported by a fimilar 
expreffion in Timon : 

" thy father, that poor rag, 

" Putjlttff to fome (lie beggar, and compounded thee 
" Poor rogue hereditary." 



Ifab. 'Tis fet down fo in heaven, but not in earth 7 . 

Aug. Say you fo ? then I lhall poze you quickly. 
Which had you rather, That the mod juft law 
Now took your brother's life ; or, to redeem him, 
Give up your body to fuch fweet uncleannefs, 
As flie that he hath ftain'd ? 

Ifab. Sir, believe this, 
I had rather give my body than my foul. 

Ang. I talk not of your foul ; Our compelled fins 
Stand more for number than for accompt. 

Ifab. How fay you ? 

Ang. Nay, I'll not warrant that ; for I can fpeak 
Againft the thing I fay. Anfwer to this, 
I, now the voice of the recorded law, 
Pronounce a fentence on your brother's life : 
Might there not be a charity in fin, 
To fave this brother's life ? 

Ifab. Pleafe you to do't, 
1*11 take it as a peril to my foul, 
It is no fin at all, but charity. 

The fenfe is clear, and means may ftand without alteration.- 
'Tis as eajy wickedly to deprive a man lorn in wedlock of life^ as to 
have unlawful commerce with a maiti in order to give life to an illt~ 
gitimate child. The thought is (imply, that murder is as eafy aa 
fornication, and it is as improper to pardon the latter as the for- 
mer. The words to make a falfe one evidently referring to 
life, fhew that the preceding line is to be underftood in a natu- 
ral and not in a metaphorical fenfe. MALONE. 

X 'Tisfet downfo in heaven, but not in earth.'] I would have it 
coniidered, whether the train of the difcourfe does not rather re- 
quire Ifabel to fay : 

'T.isfo fet down In earth, lut not in heaven. 

When (he has faid this, Then, fays Angelo> I Jhall poze you qui-ckfy. 
Would you, who, for the prefent purpofe, declare your brother's 
crime to be lefs in the fight of heaven, than the law has made it ; 
would you commit that crime, light as it is, to fave your brother's 
life ? To this (he anfwers, not very plainly in either reading, but 
inore appofitely to that which I propofe : 

I bad rather give mj bodj>i than my foul* JOHNSON. 



Ang. Pleas'd you to do't, at peril of your foul % 
Were equal poize of fin and charity. 

Ifab. That I do beg his life, if it be fin, 
Heaven, let me bear it ! you granting of my fuir, 
If that be fin, I'll make it my morn prayer 
To have it added to the faults of mine, 
And nothing of your, anfwer 9 . 

Ang. Nay, but hear me : 

Your fenfe purfues not mine : either you are ignorant; 
Or feem fo, craftily ; and that's not good. 

Ifab. Let me be ignorant, and in nothing good, 
But gracioufly to know I am no better. 

Ang. Thus wifdom wiihes to appear moft bright, 
When it doth tax itfelf : as thefe black mafks 
1 Proclaim an enlhield beauty ten times louder 


* Pleas'dyou to do'l, at fen'!, &c.] The reafoning is thus : An- 
gclo aiks, whether there might not be a charity In fen tofave this 
brother. Ifabella anfwers, that if Angela ivlll fave him, foe will 
Jtake her foul that it were charity, not Jin. Angelo replies, that if 
Ifabella would fave him at the hazard of her foul, it would be not 
indeed no Jin , but a Jin to which the charity would be equivalent. 

9 And nothing of your, anfwer. ~\ I think it fliould be read, 

And nothing of yours, anfwer. 

You, and whatever is yours, be exempt from penalty. JOHNSON. 
And nothing of your anfivcr, means, and make no fart of thofe 
for which you Jhall be called to anfwer. STEEVENS. 

This paflage would be clear, I think, if it were pointed thus : 
To have it added to the faults of mine, 
And nothing of your, anfwer. 

So that the fubftantive anfwer may be underftood to be joined 
in conftrutftion with mine as well as your. The faults of mine an- 
fwer are the faults which I am to anfwer for. TYRVVHITT. 

1 Proclaim an enfhield beaitty ] An enfhield beauty is ajlrield* 

ed beauty, a beauty covered as ivith ajhield. STEEVENS. 

as thefe black malks 

Proclaim an enjhield beauty, &c. 

This fliould be written en-Jhell'd, or in-Jhell'd, as it is in Coriolanui y 
Vol. VII. p. 411 : 

" Thrufts forth his horns again into the world 
44 That were /*^2V wheaMardui flood for Rome." 



Than beauty could difplayed. But mark me ; 
To be received plain, I'll fpeak more grofs : 
Your brother is to die. 

IJab. So. 

Ang. And his offence is fo, as it appears 
Accountant to the law upon that pain *. 

Ifab. True. 

Ang. Admit no other way to fave his life, 
(As 1 fubfcribe not that J j nor any other, 
But in the lofs of queflion 4 ) that you, his filler, 


Thefe MaJJcs mud mean, I thinkj the "Majk s of the audicnc e ; 
however improperly a compliment to them is put into the mouth 
or Angeio. As Shakefpeare would hardly have been guilty of 
fuch an indecorum to flatter a common audience, I think, this 
paflage affords ground for fuppofmg that the play was written to 
be a<5ted at court. Some ftrokes of particular flattery to the king 
I have already pointed out ; and there are feveral other general 
reflections, in the character or" the duke efpecially, which ieem, 
calculated for the royal ear. TYRWHITT. 

Sir W. Davenant reads as a black majk; but I am afraid Mr. 
Tyrwhitt is too well fupported in his firft fuppofition, by a paflage 
at the beginning of Romeo and Juliet: 

" Thefe happy majks that kifs fair ladies* brows, 
" Being black, put us in mind they hide the fair." 


* Accountant to the law upon that pain.~\ Pain, is here for penalty ', 
tux(/bment. JOHN T SON. 

3 (As I fubfcribe not that, ] To fubfcribe means, to agree to. 
Milton uies the word in the fame fenie. 

So in Marlow's Luji's Dominion, 16 : 

" Subfcribe to his delires." STEEVENS. 

4 But in the lofs of quejiion) ] The lofs of qileftion I do 

not well underftand, and fholild rather read, 

But in the tofs of queftion. 

In the agitation, in the difcujjlon of the queilion. To tofs an ar* 
gument is a common phrafe. JOHNSON. 

But in the lofs of ijueftion. This expreilion I believe means, but 
in idle fuppojition, or converfation that tends to nothing, which may 
therefore, in our author's language, be callM the lofs of queftion. 
Thus in Coriolanus. aft III. fc. i : 

" The which fliall turn you to no other harm, 

44 Than fo much lofs of time" 

fhiejlion, in Shakefpeare, often bears this mcan'nor* So in his 
farquin and Lucrect : 

VOL, II. F " And 

Finding yourfelf defir'd of fuch a perfon, 
Whofe credit with the judge, or own great place,, 
Could, fetch your brother from the manacles 
Of the 5 all-binding law ; and that there were 
No earthly mean to fave him, but that either 
You muft lay down the treasures of your body 
To this fuppofed, or elfe let him fuffer ; 
What would you do ? 

Ifab. As much for my poor brother, as myfelf : 
That is, Were I under the terms of death, 
The impreffion of keen whips Pd wear as rubies, 
And ftrip myfelf to death, as to a bed 
That longing I have been fick for, ere I'd yield 
My body up to fhame. 

Ang. Then muft your brother die. 

IJah. And 'twere the cheaper way : 
Better it were, a brother dy'd at once % 
Than that a fifter, by redeeming him, 
Should die for ever. 

" And after fupper, long he qT 
" With modeft Lucrece, &c." STEEVENS. 
The following paflages add ftrength to Dr. Johnfon's conjec- 
ture : 

* I could tofs woe for woe until to-morrow, 

* But then we'd wake the wolf with bleating forrovv." 

Acolajlus bis Afterivlt, 1606. 
1 Whether it were a queftion mov'd by chance 

* Or fpitefully of purpofe (I being there 

* And your own countryman) I cannot tell ; 

* But when much tojjing 

Had bandied both the king and you, as pleas'd 

* Thofe that took up the rackets" - 

Noble Spanljb Soldier, by Rowley, 1634. MALOJTE. 
s Of the all-binding law ; - ] The old editions read : 

..... all-building law, - 

from which the editors have made all-holding ; yet Mr. Theobald 
has binding in one of his copies. JOHNSON. 

6 - a brother died <& once,~\ Perhaps we ihould read : 
Better it were, a brother died for once 
Tljan that a Jijlcr, by redeeming bim t 
Should die for ever* JOHNSON. 


Ang. Were not you then as cruel as the fentencc 
That you have flander'd fo ? 

IJhb. Ignominy in ranfom, and free pardon, 
Are of two houfes : lawful mercy 
Is nothing kin to foul redemption. 

Aug. You feem'd of late to make the law a tyrant; 
And rather prov'd the Hiding of your brother 
A merriment than a vice. 

IJ'ab. O pardon me, my lord ; it oft falls our, 
To have what we would have, we fpeak not what we 

mean : 

I fomething do excufe the thing I hate, 
For his advantage that I dearly love. 

Ang. We are all frail. 

Ifab. Elfe let my brother die, 
If not a feodary, but only he 7 , 
* Owe, ancl fucceed by weaknefs. 

Ang. Nay, women are frail too. 

Ij'ab* Ay, as the glaffes where they view themfelves ; 
Which are as eafy broke as they make forms 9 . 


7 If not a feodary, but only he, &c.] This is fo obfcure, but 
the allufion fo fine, that it deferves to be explained. PL feodary 
was one that in the times of vaflalage held lands of the chief lord, 
under the tenure of paying rent and iervice : which tenures were 
called feuda amongft the Goths. Now, fays Angelo, " we are 
all frail ; yes, replies Ifabella ; if all mankind were not feodaries, 
who owe what they are to this tenure of imbecility, and who fuc- 
ceed each other by the fame tenure, as well as my brother, I 
would give him up." The comparing mankind, lying under th<? 
weight of original fin, to x. feodary, who owesy/V and fervice to 
his lord, is, I think, not ill imagined. WARBURTON. 

Shakefpeare has the fame alluiion in Cymlellne : 

" fenfelefs bauble, 

" Art thou a fcodarie for this aft ?" 
Again, in tie prologue to Marfton's Sophoiiijba, 1606 : 

" For feventeen kings were Carthage/tWrf/v." 
The old copy reads tbj weaknefs. STEEVLXS. 

8 Owe, and fucceed ] To owe is, in this place, to tr.un, to 

bold, to have poffeffion. JOHNSON. 

TfTricfi are as eajy broke a, ikfv make formi*~\ 

F 2 ' Would 


Women ! Help heaven ! men their creation mar 
1 In profiting by them. Nay, call us ten times frail; 
For we are as foft as our complexions are, 
And credulous to falfe prints z . 

Ang. I think it well : 

And from this teftimony of your own fex, 
(Since, I fuppofe, we are made to be no ftronger, 
Than faults may fhake our frames) let me be bold, 
I do arreft your words ; Be that you are, 
That is, a woman ; if you be more, you're none ; 
If you be one (as you are well exprefs'd 
By all external warrants) fhew it now, 
By putting on the deftin'd livery. 

Ifab. I have no tongue but one : gentle my lord, 
Let me intreat you, fpeakthe former language 3 . 

Ang. Plainly conceive, I love you. 

Ifab. My brother did love Juliet ; 
And you tell me, that he mail die for it. 

Ang. He lhall not, Ifabel, if you give me love. 

Ifab. I know, your virtue hath a licence in't 4 , 
Which feems a little fouler than it is s , 
To pluck on others. 

Would it not be better to rend, 

take/0rw.f. JOHNSON". 

1 In profiting by them. ] In imitating them, in taking 

them for examples. JOHNSON. 

* And credulous to falfe prints.'} \. e. take any impretfion . 


3 JJ>eak the former language.'] We fliould read forma?, 

which he here ufes for plain, direct. WAR BUR TON. 

Ifabella anfwers to his circumlocutory courtfhip, that fhe has 
but one tongue, fhe does not underltand this new phrafe, and defires 
him to talk \i\sformer language, that is, to talk as he talked before. 


* Iluwvjyour virtue, bath a licence /''/,] Alluding to the licences 
given by minifters to their fpies, to go into all fuipected compa- 
nies, and join in the language of malecontents. WARBURTON. 

5 Which feems a little fouler, &c.] So in Promos andCaJJandra : 
" Caf. Renowned lord, you ufe this fpeech (I hope) your thrall 

" to trye, 
" If otherwife, my brother's life fo deare I will not bye." 

" Pr. 


Ang. Believe me, on mine honour, 
My words exprefs my purpofe. 

Ifab. Ha ! little honour to be much believed, 
And moft pernicious purpofe ! Seeming, ieem 
ing 6 i 

I will proclaim thee, Angelo ; look for't : 
Sign me a prefent pardon for my brother, 
Or, with an out-ftretch'd throat, I'll tell the world 
Aloud., what man thou art. 

Ang. Who will believe thee, Ifabel ? 
My unfoil'd name, the aufterenefs of my life, 
7 My vouch againft you, and my place i' the ftate, 
Will fo your accufation over-weigh, 
That you lhall tlifle in your own report, 
And fmell of calumny 8 . I have begun ; 
And now I give my fenfual race the rein : 
Fit thy confent to my iharp appetite ; 
Lay by all nicety, and prolixious blufhes 9 , 


" Pro. Fair dame, my outward looks my inward thoughts be- 

' ' wray , 
" If you miftruft, to fearch my harte, would God you had a 

" kaye." STEE-VENS. 

6 Seeming y feeming ! ] Hypocrily, hypocrify ; coun- 
terfeit virtue. JOHNSON. 

7 My vouch avainjl you, ] The calling his denial of her 

charge his vouch, has fomething fine. Vouch is the teftimony one 
man bears for another. So that, by this, he insinuates his au- 
thority was ib great, that his tlcnial would have the fame credit 
that a vouch or teftimony has in ordinary cafes. WAR BURTON. 

I believe this beauty is merely imaginary, and that vouch againjl 
means no more than denial. JOHNSON. 

8 That you JhallJl'Jle in your own report, 

And fmfll of calumny. ~\ 
A metaphor from a lamp or candle extinguifhed in its own greafe. 


9 zr\t\ proUxlovs blufhes.] The v/orA prnllxious is not pe- 
culiar to Shakefpeare. I find it in Mofes his Birth and Miracles, 
by Drayton : 

" Moft part by water, more prolixious was, &c." 
Again, in the Dedication to Gabriel Harvey's Hunt is Up. 1598 : 

" raririer of prolixious rough barbarifin, &c." 

F 3 Again, 


That banifh what they fue for ; redeem thy brother 

By yielding up thy body to my will ; 

Or elfe he mull not only die the death *, 

But thy unkindnefs mail his death draw out 

To lingering fuffcrance : anfwer me to-morrow, 

Or, by the affection that now guides me moft, 

I'll prove a tyrant to him : As for you, 

Say what you can, my falfe o'erweighs your true. 


Ifab, To whom ftiould I complain ? Did I tell this, 
Who would believe me ? O perilous mouths, 
That bear in them one and the felf-fame tongue, 
Either of condemnation or approof ! 
Bidding the law make court'fy to their will ; 
Hooking both right and wrong to the appetite, 
To follow, as it draws ! I'll to my brother : 
Though he hath fallen by prompture * of the blood, 
Yet hath he in him J fuch a mind of honour, 
That had he twenty heads to tender down 

Again, in Nam's Lenten Stuff, &c. 1599 : 

" well known unto them by his prolixious kz -wandering." 


1 die the death,"] This feems to be a folemn phrafe for 

death infiidled by law. So in MidJ'ummcr Night' 's Dream : 

' : Prepare to die the death." JOHNSON. 

It is a phrafe taken from fcripture, as is obferved in a note on 
the Midfummtr Night's Dream. STEEVENS. 

The phrafe is a good phrafe, as Shallow fays, but I do not 
conceive it to be either of 'legal or firlptural origin. Chaucer 
ufes it frequently. See Cant. Tales, Ver. 607. 

" They were adradde of him, as of the deth" ver. 1222. 
" The deth he feleth thurgh his herte fmite." It feems to have 
been originally a miitaken tranllation of the French La Mort. 


a prompture ] Suggeftion, temptation, inftigation. 


3 fuch a mind of honour,'] This, in Shakefpeare's lan- 
guage may mean, fuch an honourable mind, as he ufes elfewhere 
wind rf I, i-e t for loving mind. Thus in : 

" 1 had thought, thy mind 

f Had been of honour" STEEVENS. 


On twenty bloody blocks, he'd yield them up, 

Before his lifter fhould her body ftoop 

To fuch abhorr'd pollution. 

Then, Ifabel, live chafle, and, brother, die : 

More than our brother is our chaflity. 

I'll tell him yet of Angelo's requeft, 

And fit his mind to death, for his foul's reft. [Exit. 


tte Prifon. 
Enter Duke, Claudia, and Provoft. 

Duke. So, then you hope of pardon from lord 

Angelo ? 

Claud. The miferable have no other medicine, 
But only hope : 
I have hope to live, and am prepared to die. 

Duke. Be abfolute for death 4 ; either death, or life, 
Shall thereby be the fweeter. Reafon thus with 


If I do lofe thee, I do lofe a thing, 
That none but fools would keep s : a breath thou art, 


* Be abfolute for death ; ] Be determined to die, without 

any hope of lite. Horace, 

*' The hour^ which exceeds expectation will be welanmJ* 


5 That none lut fools <yaoiild keep : ] But this reading Is 

not only contrary to all fenfe and reafon ; but to the drift of this 
moral difcourfe. The duke, in his aliumed character of a friar, 
is endeavouring to inftil into the condemned prifoner a refigaation 
of mind to his lenience ; but the fenfe of the lines in this reading, 
is a direct perfuafive to J'uiciJe : I make no doubt, but the poet 

That none but fools would reck : 

F 4 a. c. 


Servile to all the ikiey influences 

That do this habitation 6 , where thou keep'fl, 

Hourly afflict : merely, thou art death's fool 7 ; 

For him them labonr'ft by thy flight to Ihun, 

And yet runneft toward him flill : Thou art not 

noble ; 
For all the accommodations, that thou bear'ft, 

i. e. care for, be anxious about, regret the lofs of. So in thp 
tragedy of T'ancred and Gifmunda, aft IV. fc. 3 : 

Kot thatjhe recks this life - " 

And Shakefpeare, in f'/je 7kvo Gentlemen of 

" Recking as little what betidcth me " WAR BUR TON. 
The meaning feems plainly this, that none but fools w**&?Wifl| to 
leep life ; or, none but fools would keep it, if choice were allowed. 
A ienfe, which whether true or not, is certainly innocent. 


Keep in this place, I believe, may not lignify prefcr-ve, but care 
for. " No lenger for to liven I ne kepe," fays ./Eneas in Chau-> 
ccr's Dido queen of Carthage ; and elfewhere. " That 1 kepe 
-not rehearfed be :" i.e. which I care not to have rehearfed. 
Again, in the Knightes Talc, late edit. ver. 2240 : 
" I kepe nought of armes for to yelpe." 

Again, in a Mery Jejle of a Man called Ho-wleglas, bl. 1. no date ! 
** Then the parfon bad him remember that he had a foule for 
to kepe, and he preached and teached to him the ufe of confef- 
lion, &c." STEEVENS. 

6 That do this habitation, ] This reading is fubftituted by fir 
Thomas Hanmer, for 

That doil - JOHNSON. 
7 merely thou art death's fool 5 

For him thou labour Jl ly ihyjlight to Jh?m, 
And yet runnejl toward him Jtdl : J 

In thofe old farces called Moralities, the fool of the piece, in order 
to flhew the inevitable approaches of death, is made to employ all 
his itratagems to avoid him ; which, as the matter is ordered, 
bring the fool at every turn, into his very jaws. So that the re- 
prefentations of thefe fcenes would aftbrd a great deal of good 
toirth and morals mixed together. And from fuch ci re um fiances, 
in the genius of our anceftors publick diverfions, I fuppofe it was, 
that the old proverb arofe, ot being merry and wife. WAR BUR TON, 
Such another expreifion as death's fool, occurs in The lionet 
a comedy, by S. S. 1616 : 
" Wilt thou be a fool of fate ? who can 
" Prevent the deiliny decreed for man ;" STEEVENS. 



Are nurs'd by bafenefs 8 : Thou art by no means va- 
liant ; 

For thou doft fear the foft and tender fork 
Of a poor worm 9 : Thy befl of reft is fleep ', 


8 Are nurs'd ly lafcncfs : ] Dr. Warburton is undoubtedly mifr 
taken in fuppofing that by lafenefe is meant felf-love here affigned 
as the motive of all human actions. Shakefpeare only meant to 
obferve, that a minute analyfis of life at once deftroys that fplen- 
dour which dazzles the imagination. Whatever grandeur can dif- 
play, or luxury enjoy, is procured by lafenefs, by offices of which 
the mind (brinks from the contemplation. All the delicacies of 
the table may be traced back to the mambles and the dunghill, all 
magnificence ot building was hewn trom the quarry, and all the 
pomp ot ornament dug trom among the damps and darknefs of 
the mine. JOHNSOX. 

This is a thought which Shakefpeare delights to exprefs. 
So in Antony and Cleopatra ; 

" - our dungy earth alike 

" Feeds man as beail." 
Again : 

" Which lleeps, and never palates more the <&*, 

" The beggars nurfc, and C^far's."' STEEVENS. 
9 the foft and tender fork 

Of a poor worm: ] 

Worm is put for any creeping thing orferfent. Shakefpeare fup- 
poles falfely, but according to the vulgar notion, that a ferpent 
wounds with his tongue, and that his tongue is forked. He con- 
founds reality and fiftion, a ferpent's tongue is/oft but not forked 
nor hurtful. If it could hurt, it could not be foft. In the Mid- 
fummtr Night's Dream he has the fame notion : 

" Jfjtb doubler tongue 

" Than thine , Q ferpent, never adder flung." JOHNSON. 
Shakefpeare might have caught this idea from old tapeftries or 
paintings, in which the tongues ot ferpents and dragons always 
appear barbed like the point of an arrow. STEEVENS? 
1 Thy bejl of reft isJJeep, 

And that thou oft provok'jl ; yet grofly fear"Jl 

Thy death) which is no more. ] 

Evidently from the following pafikge of Cicero : " Habesfomnum 
imagincm mortis, eamque quotidie induis, & dubitas quin Jenfus in 
morte nullus fit cum In c'jus fimiilacro vidcas ejje nullum (enftun. But 
the Epicurean infinuation is, with great judgment, omitted in the 
imitation. WARBURTON. 

Here Dr. Warburton might have found a fentiment worthy of 
Jijs animadverfion. I cannot without indignation find Shakefpeare 



And that thou oft provok'ft ; yet grofly fear 'ft 
Thy death, which is no more. z Thou art not thyfelf ; 
For thou exift'ft on many a thoufand grains 
That iflue out of duft : Happy thou art not ; 
For what thou haft not, ftill thou ftriv'ft to get; 
And what thou haft, forget'ft : Thou art not certain ; 
For thy complexion Ihifts to ftrange effedts 3 , 
After the moon : If thou art rich, thou art poor; 
For, like an afs, whofe back with ingots bows, 
Thou bear'ft thy heavy riches but a journey, 
And death unloads thee : Friend haft thou none ; , 
For thy own bowels, which do call thee fire, 
The mere effufion of thy proper loins, 
Do curfe the gout, ferpigo % and the rheum, 
For ending thee no fooner : Thou haft nor youth, 

nor age 5 ; 
But, as it were, an after-dinner's ileep, 

faying, that death is onlyjlecp, lengthening out his exhortation by 
a fentence which in the friar is impious, in the reafoner is foolifh, 
and in the poet trite and vulgar. JOHNSON. 

This was an overfight in Shakefpeare ; for in the fecond fcene 
of the fourth aft, the Provoft fpeaks of the defperate Barnardine, 
as one who regards death only as a drunkenjleep. STEEVEXS. 

2 Thou art not thyfelf\ ] Thou art perpetually repaired and 
renovated by external affiflance, thou fubfiileft upon foreign mat- 
ter, and haft no power of producing or continuing thy own be- 
ing. JOHNSON. 

3 ftraitzeeffetis,'] For effefts read affefls ; thztis,a/efii'0xs, 
pajjions of mind, or diforders of body varioully affeftcd. So in 
Otbelto : " Thejoatfrjaffe&s.'* JOHNSON. 

4- . ferpigo^] The ferpigo is a kind of tetter. STEEVENS, 

5 ! Thou haft nor y out by nor age; 

But, as it ivere y an after-dinner* sjlcep^ 
Dreaming on both : ] 

This is exquifitely imagined. When we are young, we bufy 
ourielves in forming fchemes for fucceeding time, and mifs the 
gratifications that are before us ; when we are old, we amufe the 
languor of age with the recollection of youthful pleafures or per- 
formances ; fo that our life, of which no part is filled with the 
bufinefs of the prefent time, refembles our dreams after dinner, 
when the events of the morning are mingled with the defigns or" 
the evening. JOHNSON. 



Dreaming on both : for all thy bleffed youth 6 
Becomes as aged, and doth beg the alms 

6 for all thy llejjed youth 

Becomes as aged, and doth leg the alms 

Of paljled eld; and when tbou'rt old and ricb 

Thou haft neither beat, &c.] 

The drift of this period is to prove, that neither youth nor age 
pan be laid to be really enjoyed, which, in poetical language, is,- 
We have neither youth nor age. But ho\v is this made out ? That 
age is not enjoyed he proves, by recapitulating the infirmities of it, 
which deprive that period of life of all fenfe of pleafure. To 
prove that youth is not enjoyed, he ufes thefe words, 

for all thy blejjidyoutb 

Becomes as aged, and doth beg the alms 


Out of which, he that can deduce the conclufion, has a better 
knack at logic than I have. I fuppole the poet wrote, 

jfor pall'd, dy blazedyoutb 

Becomes afluaged ; and doth leg the alms 

Of palled eld; 

I. e. when thy youthful appetite becomes palled, as it will be In. 
the very enjoyment, the blaze of youth is at once affuaged, and 
thou immediately contracted the infirmities of old age ; as parti- 
cularly the palfy and other nervous diforders, confequent on the 
inordinate ufe ot fenfual pleafures. This is to the purpofe ; and 
proves youth is not enjoyed, by (hewing the fiiort duration of it. 


Here again I think Dr. Warburton totally miftaken. Shake- 
fpeare declares that man has neither youth nor age ; for in youth, 
which is the happlejl time, or which might be the happieit, he 
commonly wants means to obtain what he could enjoy ; he is de- 
pendent on paljlcd eld: muft leg alms from the cofters of hoary 
avarice ; and being very niggardly fupplied, becomes as aged, looks, 
like an old man, on happineis which is beyond his reach. And, 
when he is old and rich, when he has wealth enough for the pur- 
chafe of all that formerly excited his defires, he has no longer the 
powers of enjoyment ; 

has neither beat, of eel ion, llml, nor beauty^ 
To make his riches plcafaut. 

I have explained this pailage according to the prefent reading, 
which may irand without much inconvenience ; yet I am willing 
to perfuade my reader, becaufe I have almoil perfuaded myfelf, 
that our author wrote, 

for all thy blafted youth 
Becomes as aged JOHNSON. 


Of palfied eld 7 ; and when them art old, and rich, 
Thou haft neither heat, affe&ion, limb, nor beauty s 
To make thy riches pleafant. What's yet in this, 
That bears the name of life ? Yet in this life ' 
Lye hid more thoufand deaths 9 : yet death we fear, 
That makes thefe odds all even. 

Claud. I humbly thank you. 
To fue to live, I find, I feek to die ; 
And, feeking death, find life : Let it come on. 

Enter Ifabella. 

Jfab. What, ho ! Peace here ; grace and good com- 
pany ! 

Prov. Wlio's there ? Come in : the wifh deferves 
a welcome. 

Duke. Dear fir, ere long I'll vifit you again. 

7 pal/ied t\& ;] Eld is generally ufed for old age, decrepitude. Ir 
5s here put for old people , perfons -worn out <^oith years. 

So in Marfton's Dutch Courtezan, 1604 : 

" Let colder eld their ftrong objections move.*' 
Again, in our author's Merry Wives of Wtntyor : 

" The fuperftitious idle-headed eld." 
Gtnver ufes it for age as oppofed to youth : 

*' His elde had turned into youth." 

De Confejporu Amantis. lib. v. fol. 106. STEEVENS. 

8 beat, affeSlion, limb, nor beauty] But how does beauty make 
riches pleafant ? We fhould read bounty, which completes the fenfe, 
and is this ; thou haft neither the pleafure of enjoying riches thy- 
felf, for thou wanteft vigour ; nor of feeing it enjoyed by others, 
for thou wanteft bounty. Where the making the want of bounty as 
infeparable from old age as the want of health, is extremely faty- 
rical, though not altogether juft. WARBURTON. 

I am inclined to believe, that neither man nor woman will have 
much difficulty to tell how beauty makes riches pleafant. Surely this 
emendation, though it is elegant and ingenious, is not fuch as that 
an opportunity of inferting it fhould be purchafed by declaring 
ignorance of what every one knows, by confeffing infenfibility 
of what every one feels. JOHNSON. 

9 more thoufand deaths:} For this fir T. Hanmer reads : 

a thoufand deaths : 

The meaning is not only a thoufand deaths, but a thoufand deaths 
bcfides what have been mentioned. JOHNSON. 



Claud. Mofl holy fir, I thank you. 

Ifab. My bufinefs is a word or two, with Claudio. 

Pro-v. And very welcome. Look, fignior, here's 

your fifter.- 

Duke. Provoft, a word with you* 
Prov. As many as you pleafe. 
Duke. Bring them to fpeak where I may be con- 


Yet hear them '. [Exeunt Duke and Provoft. 

Claud. Now, fifter, what's the comfort ? 
Ifab. Why, as all comforts are ; moft good in 

deed '- : 

Lord Angelo, having affairs to heaven, 
Intends you for his fwift embaflador, 
Where you fliall be an everlafting leiger * : 


1 Bring tbcM to fpeak inhere I may be concealed^ 

JTet bear them^\ 

Thus the modern editions. The old copy, publifhed by the 
players, gives the paflage thus : 

Bring them to bear mcfyeak^ inhere I may le concealed, 
I believe we fhould read : 

Bring me to hear them fpeak, where I may be con- 

ceal'd. STEEVENS. 
The fecond folio authorizes the reading of the modern editions. 


* as all comforts are ; moft good in deed:] If this reading 

be right, Ifabella muft mean that (he brings fomething better 
than words of comfort, (he brings an afiurance of deeds. This i* 
harfli and conftrained, but I know not what better to offer. Sir 
Thomas Hanmer reads, 

in fpeed. JOHNSON. 

The old copy reads : 
" Why, 

" As all comforts are : moft good, moft good indeede." 
I believe the old reading, as explained by Dr. Johnfon, is the 
true one. So in Macbeth : 

" We're yet but young in deed." STEEVENS. 

3 an ei-erlajling leiger : 

Therefore your left appointment J 

Leiger is the fame with refident. Appointment ; preparation ; ad 
of fitting, or ilate of being fitted for any thing. So in old books, 
we have a knight well appointed \ that is, well armed and mounted 
or fitted at all points. JOHNSON, 



Therefore your belt appointment 4 make with fpeed J 
To-morrow you let on. 

Claud* Is there no remedy ? 

Ifab. None, but fuch remedy, as, to fave a head, 
To cleave a heart in twain. 

Claud. But is there any ? 

Ifab. Yes, brother, yon may live ; 
There is a deviliih mercy in the judge, 
If you'll implore it, that will free your life, 
But fetter you till death. 

Claud. Perpetual durance ? 

Ifab. Ay, jufl, perpetual durance ; a reftraint, 
Though all the world's vaftidity you had, 
To a determin'd fcope s . 

Cland. But in what nature ? 

Ifab. In fuch a one as (you confenting to't) 
Would bark your honour from that trunk you bear, 
And leave you naked. 

Claud. Let me know the point. 

Ifab Oh, I do fear thee, Claud io ; and I quake, 

The word lleger is thus ufed in the Comedy of Look about Tou i 
1600 ; 

" Why do you flay, Sir? 

** Madam, as leiger to folicit for your abfent love." 


* -your beft appointment ] The word appointment, on this 
occafion, fhould feem to comprehendcon feffion, communion, and 
abfolution. " Let him (fays Efealus) be furnifli'd with divines, 
and have all charitable preparation." The King in Hamlet -, 
who was cut off prematurely, and without fuch preparation, is 
faid to be dif-appointed. Appointment, however, may be more 
limply explained by the following paflage in The Antipodes^ 

" your lodging 

*' Is decently appointed. " i.e. prepared, furnifhed. 


5 a rejlrair.t, 

To a determin'd fcope i\ 

A confinement of your mind to one painful idea ; to ignominy, of 
which the remembrance can neither be fupprefled nor eicaped. 




Left them a feverous life fhould'ft entertain, 

And fix or feven winters, more refped: 

Than a perpetual honour. Dar'ft thou die ? 

The fenfe of death is moft in apprehenfion ; 

And the poor beetle 6 , that we tread upon, 

In corporal fufferance finds a pang as great 

As when a giant dies. 

Claud. Why give you me this fhame ? 

Think you I can a reiblution fetch 

From flowery tendernefs ? If I muft die, 

I will encounter darknefs as a bride 7 , 
And hug it in mine arms. 

Ifab. There fpake my brother ; there my father's 


Did utter forth a voice ! Yes, thon muft die : 
Thou art too noble to conferve a life 
In bafe appliances. This outward-fainted deputy, 
Whofe fettled vifage and deliberate word 
Nips youth i' the head, and follies doth emmew % 
9 As faulcon doth the fowl, is yet a devil ; 


6 TJje poor beetle, &c.] The reafoning is, that death is no more 
than every being muftfuffer, though the dread of it is peculiar to man,, 
or perhaps, that we are incontinent with ourfelves, when we fo 
much dread that which we carelefly inflict on other creatures, 
that feel the pain as acutely as we. JOHNSON. 
7 . / -TV III encounter darknefs as a bride, 

And hug it in my arms.] 
So in the firft part of Jeronimo, or the Spanijh Tragedy ', 1605 : 


" That yawning beldam, with her jetty Ikin, 

" 'Tis flie I hug as mine effeminate bride." STEEVEVS, 

8 follies doth cmme.} Forces follies to He in cover without 
daring to fliow themfelves. JOHNSON. 

9 As faulcon doth the fowl, ] In whofe prefence the follies of 
youth are afraid to (hew themfelves, as the fowl is afraid to flut- 
ter while the falcon hovers over it. 

So in the Third Part of K. Henry VI : 

" not he that loves him beft, 

" The proudeft he that holds up Lancafter, 

' Dareijlir a v.*in& if Warwick fhakes .his bells." 



His filth within being caft ', he would appear 
A pond as deep as hell. 

Claud. z The princely Angelo ? 


To enmew is a term in falconry ufed by B. and Fletcher, id 
tte Knigbtwf Malta: 

" 1 have feen him fcale 

" As if a falcon had run up a train, 

" Clashing his warlike pinions, his fteel'd cuirafs, 

*' And, at his pitch, enmew the town below him/' 


1 Hisjilth within being caft. ] To caft a pond is to empty it 
of mud. 

Mr. Upton reads : 

His pond within being caft, he would appear 
A filth as deep as hell. JOHNSON. 

* Toe princely Angelo f 

princely guards / ] 

The ftupid editors, miitaking guards for fatellites, (whereas it 
here figniiies lace) altered friejlly, in both places, to princely. 
Whereas Shakefpeare wrote \\.priejily, as appears from the words 

'Tis the cunning livery of belli, 

The damned 'Jl body to ihvcji and covef 

With prieftly guards. 

In the firft place we fee that guards here fignifies lace, as referring 
to livery, and as having no ienfe in the fignilication of fatellites. 
Now prieftly guards means fantfity, which is the fenfe required. 
But princely guards means nothing but rich lace, which is a fenfe 
the pafTage will not bear. Angelo, indeed, as deputy, might be 
called the princely Angelo : but not in this place, where the im- 
mediately preceding words of, 

This out -ward-fainted deputy, 
demand the reading I have here reftored. WARBURTON. 

The firft folio has, in both places, prcnrS.e, from which th~e 
other folios made princely, and every editor may make what he 
can. JOHNSON. 

Princely guards mean no more than the ornaments of royalty, 
which Angelo is fuppofetl to affume during the ab fence of the 
duke. The ftupidity of the firft editors is fometimes not more in- 
jurious to Shakefpeare, than the ingenuity of thofe who fuc- 
ceeded them. 

In the old play of Cambyfes I meet with the fame expreffion. 
Sifamnes is left by Cambyfes to diftribute juftice while he is abfenf ; 
and in a foliloquy fays : 

" Now may I wear the brodered garJf. 
** And lye in dovrne bed fort." 



Ifab. Oh, 'tis the cunning livery of hell, 
The damned'ft body to invell and cover 
tn princely guards ! Doft thou think, Claudio, 
If I would yield him my virginity, 
Thou might'ft be freed ? 

Claud. Oh, heavens ! it cannot be. 

[fab. Yes, he would give it thee; ' for this rank of- 


So to offend him ftill : This night's the time 
That I fhould do what I abhor to name^ 
Or elfe thou dy'ft to morrow. 

Gaud. Thou ihall not do't. 

Ifab. Oh, we're it but my life, 
I'd throw it down fdr your deliverance 
As frankly as a pin 4 . 

Claud. Thanks, dear Ifabel. 

Ifab. Be ready, Claudio, for your death to-morrow. 

Claud. Yes. Has he affections in him, 
That thus can make him bite the law by the nofe ? 
When he would force it 5 , Cure it is no fin ; 
Or of the deadly feven it is the leaft. 

Ifab. Which is the leaft ? 

Again, the queen of Cambyfes fays : 

" I do fo'rfake thefe broder'd gardes 

" And all the facions new." Sf SEVENS. 
3 for this rank offence,] For, Hanmer. In other editions, 
from. JOHNSON. 

. from this rank gffence,~\ I believe means from the time of 
my committing this oftencej you might periiit in finning with 
fatety. The advantages you would derive from my having fuch a 
fecret of his in my keeping, would enfure you from further harm 
on account of the fame fault, however frequently repeated. 


* as a pin.~\ So in Hamlet: 

" I do not fet my life at a//Vs fee." STEEVENS. 
5 When, he would force it, ] Put it in force. WAR BURTON, 
The meaning fcems to me juft the reverfe, When he, fo -Ttv/r, 
<wonld offer 'violence to the la*.v, v.'ouU tranfgrefs it, furely the tranf- 
grcffton cannot be in me a fin. The next fpeech of Claudio {hews 
that fuch is the meaning. MALOXE. 

VOL. II. G Claud. 


Claud. If it were damnable 6 , he, being fo wife, 
Why would he for the momentary trick 
Be perdurably fin'd 7 ? Oh Ifabel ! 

Jfab. What fays my brother ? 

Claud. Death is a fearful thing. 

Ij'ab. And lhamed life a hateful. 

Claud. Ay, but to die, and go we know not where j 
To lye in cold obstruction, and to rot ; 
This fenfible warm motion to become 
A kneaded clod ; and the delighted fpirit * 
To bathe in fiery floods, or to refide 

* If it were damnable, &c.] Shakefpeare fhows his knowledge 
of human nature in the conduit of Claudio. When Ifabella firil 
tells him of Angelo's propofal, he anfwers, with honefl indigna- 
tion, agreeably to his fettled principles, 

T'bou Jhatt not do't. 

But the love of life being permitted to operate, foon furnifties him 
with fophiftical arguments, he believes it cannot be very dan- 
gerous to the foul, fince Angelo, who is fo wife, will venture it. 


7 Be perdurably /W.] Perdurably is laftingly. So in Othello : 

" cables of perdurable toughnefs." STEEVENJ. 

8 delighted fpirit} i. e. the fpirit accuftomed here to eafe and 
delights. This was properly urged as an aggravation to the fharp- 
nefs of the torments fpoken of. The Oxford editor not appre- 
hending this, alters it to dilated. As if, becaufe the fpirit in the 
body is faid to be imprifoned, it was crowded together likewife ; 
and fo by death not only fet free, but expanded too ; which, if 
true, would make it the lefs fenfible of pain. WARBURTON. 

This reading may perhaps ftand, but many attempts have been 
made to correct it. The moft plaufible is that which fubllitutes, 

the benighted fpirit, 

alluding to the darknefs always fuppofed in the place of futuve 

Perhaps we may read, 

the delinquent fpirit, 

a word eafily changed to delighted by a bad copier, or unikilful 
reader. Delinquent is propofed by Thirlby in his manufcript. 


I think with Dr. Warburton, that by the delighted fpirit is 
meant, thefnul once accujlom'd to delight, which of courfe mult 
render the fufterings, afterwards defcribed, lefs tolerable. Thus 
our author calls youth, bleffed, in a former fcene, before he pro- 
ceeds to (hew its wants and its inconveniencies. STEEVENS. 


In thrilling region of thick-ribbed ice ; 
To be imprifon'd in the viewlefs winds, 
And blown with reflleis violence round about 
The pendant world ; or to be worfe than worft 
Of thofe, that lawlefs and incertain thoughts 9 
Imagine howling ! 'tis too horrible ! 
The wearieft and mofl loathed worldly life, 
That age, ach, penury, and imprifonment 
Can lay on nature, is a paradife 
1 To what we fear of death. 


9 lawlefs and incertain thoughts'} Conjecture fent out to 

wander without any certain direction, and ranging through all 
poffibilities of pain. JOHNSON. 

1 To ivb-at :(.# fear of deatb.~\ Mo ft certainly the idea of the 
*' fpirit bathing in fiery floods," or of refiding " in thrilling re- 
gions of thick -ribbed ice," is not original to our poet ; which is 
the whole that is wanted for the argument : but I am not fure 
that they came from the Platonick hell of Virgil. The monks 
alfo had their hot and their cold hell, " the fyrfte is fyre that ever 
brenneth, and never gyveth lighte," fays an old homily : " The 
feconde is paflying cold, that yf a greate hylle of fyre were caft 
therin, it (hold torne to yce." One of their legends, well remem- 
bered in the time of Shakefpeare, gives us a dialogue between a 
bifhop and a foul tormented in a piece of ice which was brought 
to cure a brenning beate in his foot : take care, that you do not 
interpret this the gout, for I remember Menage quotes a canon 
Upon us, 

" Si quis dixerit epifcopum podagra laborare, anathema fit." 

Another tells us of the foul of a monk fattened to a rock, which 
the winds were to blow about for a twelvemonth, and purge of its 
enormities. Indeed this dextrine was before now introduced into 
poetick fidion, as you may fee in a poem, " where the lover de- 
clareth his pains to exceed far the pains of hell," among the many 
mifcellaneous ones fubjoined to the works of Surrey : of which you 
will Toon have a beautiful edition from the able hand of my friend 
Dr. Percy. Nay, a very learned and inquifitive brother-anti- 
quary hath obferved to me, on the authority of Blefkenius, that 
this was the ancient opinion of the inhabitants of Iceland, who 
were certainly very little read either in the poet or the philofopher. 


Lazarus, in the Skcpberd's Calendar, is reprefented to have 
feen thefe particular modes of punimment in the infernal regions : 

** Secondly, I have feen in hell a floud frozen as ice, wherein 

the envious men and women were plunged unto the navel, and 

G a then 


Ifab. Alas ! alas ! 
Claud. Sweet fitter, let me live : 
What fin you do to fave a brother's life, 
Nature difpenfes with the deed fo far, 
That it becomes a virtue. 

Ifab. Oh, you beaft ! 

Oh, faithlefs coward 1 Oh, difhoneft wretch ! 
Wilt thou IK made a man, out of my vice ? 
Is't not a kind of incefl % to take life 
From thine own fitter's fhame ? What fhould I 

think ? 

Heaven fhield, my mother play'd my father fair ! 
For fuch a warped flip of wildernefs J 
Ne'er iflu'd from his blood. Take my defiance + : 
Die ; perifli ! might but my bending down 
Reprieve thee from thy fate, it mould proceed : 
I'll pray a thoufand prayers for thy death, 
No word to fave thee. 

Claud. Nay, hear me, Ifabel. 
Ifab. Oh, fie, fie, fie ! 
Thy fin's not accidental, but a trade 5 : 


then fuddainly eame over them a right cold and great wind that 
grieved and pained them right fore, &c." STEEVENS. 

- Is't not a kind of inceft, ] In Ifabella's declamation there 

is fomething harfli, and fomething forced and far-fetched. But 
her indignation eannot be thought violent, when we conlider her 
not only as a virgin, but as a nun. JOHNSON. 

3 a warped Jlip of wildernefs] Wildernefs is here ufed 

for wildnefs, the ftat-e of being dilbrderly. So in the Mail's Tra- 

g e <ly- 

" And throws an unknown ivildernefs about me." 
Again, in old Old Fortunatn.;, 1 600 : 

" But I in 'wildemtfi totter'd out my youth." 
The word, in this fenfe, is now obiblete, though employed by 
Milton : 

u The paths, and bowers, doubt not, but our joint hands 
" Will keep from lulldfrnefs with eaie." STEEVENS. 

* take my defiance:] Defiance is refujal. So in Romeo 

and Juliet: 

*' I do defy thy commifcration." STEEVEXS. 
s fatatratie:} A cuilom j a practice; an eilabliflied habit. 



Mercy to thcc would prove itfelf a bawd : 
'Tis belt that thou dy'it quickly. 
Claud. Oh hear me, Ifabella. 

Re-enter Duke. 

Duke. Vouchfafe a word, young filler, but one 

IJhb. What is your will ? 

Duke. Might you difpenfe with your leifure, \ 
would by and by have ibme fpeech with you : the 
fatisfadtion I would require, is likewife your own be- 

Ifab. I have no fnperfluous leifure ; my ftay muft 
be ilolen out of other affairs ; but I will attend you a 

Duke. [To Claudia ajide.~\ Son, I have over-heard 
what hath pail between you and your filler. Angelo 
had never the purpofe to corrupt her ; only he hath 
made an allay of her virtue, to pradtife his judgment 
with the difpofition of natures ; Ihe, having the 
truth of honour in her, hath made him that gracious 
denial, which he is mo ft glad to receive : I am con- 
feilbr to Angelo, and I know this to be true ; there- 
fore prepare yourfelf to death : Do not fatisfy your 
refolution with hopes that are fallible 6 : to-morrow 


So \ve fay of a man much addicled to any thing, be makes a trade 
of it. JOHNSON'. 

6 Do not fatisfyjw/r refolullon *ivith hopes that are fallible:"] A 
condemned man, whom his conteflbr had brought to bear death 
with decency and refolution, began anew to entertain hopes of 
life. This occafioned the advice in the words above. But how 
did thele hopes fatisfy his refolution ? or what harm was there, if 
they did ? \\ r e muft certainly read, Do not falfify your rcfulutio* 
ivit/j hopes that arc fallible. And then it becomes a rcafonable 
admonition. For hopes ot life, by drawing him back into the 
world, would naturally elude or weaken the virtue of that rcf.:- 
lution which was railed only on motives of religion. And this his 
conteflbr had reafon to warn him of. The term 'faljlfv is taken 
from fencing, and lig'nifies the pretending to aim a ftroke in order 
to draw the adversary off his guard. So Fairfax : 
Gr 3 


you muft die ; go to your knees, and make ready. 

Claud. Let me afk my filter pardon. I am fo out 
of love with life, that I will fue to be rid of it. 

[Exit Claud. Re-enter Provoft. 

Duke. Hold you there 7 : Farewell. Provoft, a 
word with you. 

Prov. What's your will, father ? 

Duke. That now you are come, you will be gone : 
JLeave me a while with the maid ; my mind promifes 
with my habit, no lofs mail touch her by my com- 

Prov. In good time 8 . [Exit Prov. 

Duke. The hand, that hath made you fair, hath 
made you good : the goodnefs, that is cheap in beau- 
ty, makes beauty brief in goodnefs ; but grace, being 
the foul of your complexion, fhould keep the body of 
it ever fair. The affault, that Angelo hath made to 
you, fortune hath convey 'd to my underftanding ; 
and, but that frailty hath examples for his falling, I 
fhould wonder at Angelo : How would you do to 
content this fubftitute, and to fave your brother ? 

Ifab. I am now going to refolve him : I had rather 
my brother die by the law, than my fon mould be un-. 
lawfully born. But oh, how much is the good duke 
deceived in Angelo ! if ever he returns, and I can 
fpeak to him, I will open my lips in vain, or difcover 
his government, 

Duke. That lhall not be much amifs : yet, as the 
matter now Hands, he will avoid your accufation ; 
he made trial of you only, Therefore fatten your 
ear on my advifings ; to the love I have in doing 
good, a remedy preterits itfelf. I do make myfelf 

" Nowjlrikes he out, andnc-jj he fslfifieth." WAR BURTON'. 
The fenfe is this. Do not reft with fatisfaiVion on hopes tbat 
fire fallible. There is no need of alteration. STEEVENS. 

7 Hold you there :~\ Continue in that refolution. JOHNSON. 

8 In gcvd time.'} i. e. a la lonnc bcure, fo be it. very well. 



believe, that you may moft uprighteoufly do a poor 
wronged lady a merited benefit ; redeem your bro- 
ther from the angry law ; do no ftain to your own 
gracious perfon ; and much pleafe the abfent duke, 
if, peradventure, he ftiall ever return to have hearing 
of this bufmefs. 

Ifab. Let me hear you fpeak further : I have fpirit 
to do any thing, that appears not foul in the truth of 
my fpirit. 

Duke. Virtue is bold, and goodnefs never fearful. 
Have you not heard fpeak of Mariana the lifter of 
Frederick, the great foldier, who mifcarried at fea ? 

Ifab. I have heard of the lady, and good words 
went with her name. 

Duke. Her fhould this Angelo have marry 'd ; was 
affianc'd to her by oath, and the nuptial appointed ; 
between which time of the contract, and limit of the 
fojemnity, her brother Frederick was wreck'd at fea, 
having in that pcrifh'd veflcl the dowry of his filler. 
But mark, how heavily this befel to the poor gentle- 
woman : there fhe loft a noble and renowned brother, 
in his love toward her ever moll: kind and natural ; 
with him the portion and finew of her fortune, her 
. marriage-dowry ; with both, her combinate huf- 
band 9 , this well-feeming Angelo ? 

Ifab. Can this be fo ? Did Angelo fo leave her ? 
Duke. Left her in her tears, and dry'd not one of 
them with his comfort ; fwallow'd his vows whole, 
pretending, in her, difcoveries of difhonour : in few, 
beftow'd her on her own lamentation, which yet ihe 
wears for his fake ; and he, a marble to her tears, is 
wafhed with them, but relents not. 

Ifab. What a merit were it in death, to take this 
poor maid from the world ! What corruption in 
this life, that it will let this man live ! But how out 
of this can fhe avail ? 

9 ' " her combinate bo/band,] Combinate is betrothed, fettled 

ly conn-aft. STEEVENS. 

G 4 Duke. 


Duke. It is a rupture that you may eafily heal : and 
the cure of it not only faves your brother, but keeps 
you from difhonour in doing it. 

Ifab. Shew me how, good father. 

JD0&; This fore-named maid hath yet in her the 
continuance of herfirft affection ; his unjuft unkind- 
nefs, that in all reaibn Ihould have quenched her 
love, hath, like an impediment in the gurrent, made 
it more violent and unruly. Go you to Angelo ; an- 
fwer his requiring with a plaufible obedience ; agree 
with his demands to the point ; only refer yourfelf to 
this advantage ', firft, that your flay with him may 
not be long ; that the time may have all ihadow and 
filence in it ; and the place anfwer to convenience : 
this being granted in courfe, now follows all. We 
lhall advife this wronged maid to ftead up your ap- 
pointment, go in your place ; if the encounter ac- 
knowledge itfelf hereafter, it may compel him to her 
recompence : and here, by this, is your brother faved, 
your honour untainted, the poor Mariana advan- 
taged, and the corrupt deputy fcaled z . The maid 
will I frame, and make fit for his attempt. If you 
think well to carry this as you may, the doublenefs 
of the benefit defends the deceit from reproof. What 
think you of it ? 

Ifab. The image of it gives me content already ; 
and, I truft, it will grow to a moft profperous per- 


1 only refer yourfflf to ills advantage,] This is fcarcely to be 
reconciled to any eftablifced mode ot fpeech. We may read, only 
referve yourfelf to, or only referve to yourfilf this 'advantage, 


* the corrupt deputy fcalcd.~\ To fiale the deputy may be, to react/ 
him, notoui'tlijianding the clet-ation of his place ; or it may be, to 
Jlrip^ him and dijcover bis nakedjiefs, though armed and concealed by 
the ixveftments of authority. JOHNSON. 

To/tvr/f, as may be learn'd from a note to Coriolanus^ aft I. 
i, moft certainly means, to dij "order, to difconcert, to put tt> 
t. An army routed is called by Hollinflied, an vamy fcaled. The 


'Duke. It lies much in your holding up : Haftc 
you fpeedily to Angelo ; if for this night he intreat 
you to his bed, give him promiie of fatis faction. I 
will prefently to St. Luke's ; there, at the moated 
grange } refjdes this dejected Mariana : at that -place 
call upon me ; and difpatch with Angelo, that it may 
be quickly. 

Ijiib. I thank you for this comfort r Fare yon well j 
good father. [Exeunt feverally, 


ttv Street. 
Re-enter Duke as a Frlar^ Elboii'^ Clon'n, and Officers. 

Elb. Nay, if there be no remedy for it, but that 
you will needs buy and fell men and women like beafts, 
we fliall have all the world drink brown and white 
baftard 4 . 

Duke. Oh, heavens ? what fluff is here ? 

Cloivn. 'Twas never merry world, fince, of two 
ufuries 5 , the merrieft was put clown, and the worfer 


word fcmetimes figniues to d'-Jfvff or difperfe ; at others, as J fup- 
pofe in trie prefect inilance, to put into confujion. STEEVEXS. 

3 the moated grange] A. grange is a folitary farm-houfc. 

So in Othello : 

" this is Venice, 

" My houfe is not *. grange." STEEVE'N-S. 

4 l)af<v-J.~\ A kind of f\vcet wine, then much in vogue, from 
the Italian, baftareb. WARBURToy. 

See a note on Heft. IV. p. I. act II. fc. iv. S.TEEVENS. 

5 Jtfice of t'Mo ufuries, &c.] Here a iatire on ufury turns abrupt- 
ly to a iatire on the perfon of the ufurer, \vithoutany kind of prc- 
punition. We may he :;llured then, that a line or two, at leaft, 
have been loll. The 1'ubiecl: of which we may eafily difcover, a 
comparifon between the two ufarers ; as, before, between the two 
ufuries. So that, for the tuture, the pnffage fliould be read with 
-irerilks thus ly orJcr r>f la-vc, * * * '<tfurr*drwjn\ &c. 


Sir Thomas Hanmer corredted this with lefs pomp, then Jlnce 
of t-:<:a ufurers the merrieft ivas-pnt ^.w, anJ tbt worfer allff^vcd^ 
ey order of /-:u, a furred gown^ &c. His puudtuation is right, 


allow 'd by order of law a furr'd gown to keep him 
warm ; and furr'd with fox and lamb-ikins too, to fig- 
nify, that craft, being richer than innocency, {lands 
for the facing. 

Elb. Come your way, fir : Blefs you, good father 

Duke. And you, good brother 6 father : What of- 
fence hath this man made you, fir ? 

Elb. Marry, fir, he -hath offended the law ; and, fir, 
we take him to be a thief too, fir ; for we have found 
upon him, fir, a ftrange pick-lock, which we have 
fent to the deputy. 

Duke. Fie, iirrah ; a bawd, a wicked bawd ! 
The evil that thou caufeft to be done, 
That is thy means to live : Do thou but think 
What 'tis to cram a maw, or cloath a back, 
From fuch a filthy vice : fay to thyfelf, 
From their abominable and beaftly touches 
I drink, I eat, array myfelf, and live 7 . 


but the alteration, fmall as it is, appears more than was xvanted. 
V/ury may be ufed by an eafy licence for the profcjfars of ufury. 


6 father;'} This word fhould be expunged. JOHNSON. 
It father be retained, we may read : 

Duke. AnJyou, good brother. 

Elb. Father 

Duke. What offence, &c. SxEEVENS. 

I am neither for expunging the word father, nor for feparating 
it from its prefent connexions. In return to Elbow's blundering 
addrefs of good father friar, i.e. good father brother, the duke 
humoroufly calls him, in his own ilyle, good brother father. 
This would appear itill clearer in French. Dieu vous benijjc, mon 
pere frere. &t vous aujji, mon frere pere. There is no doubt 
that our friar is a corruption of the French frere. TYRWHITT. 

7 I drink, I eat, array ntyfclf, and live.] The old editions have, 

/ drink, I eat away myfelf, and live. 

This is one very excellent inftance of the fagacity of our editors, 
and it were to be wiflied heartily, that they would have obliged 
us with their phyfical folution, how a man ean cat away himfelf, 
e.nd live. Mr. Bifhop gave me that moll certain emendation, 
which I have fubilituted in the room of the former foolilh read- 


Canft thou believe thy living is a life, 
So ftinkingly depending ? Go, mend, go, mend. 
Clown. Indeed, it does ftink in fome fort, fir ; but 

yet, fir, I would prove 

Duke. Nay, if the devil hath given thee proofs for 


Thou wilt prove his. Take him to prifon, officer ; 
Correction and inftrudtion muft both work, 
Ere this rude beaft will profit. 

Elb. He mufl before the deputy, fir ; he has given 
him warning : the deputy cannot abide a whore-maf- 
ter : if he be a whore-monger, and comes before 
him, he were as good go a mile on his errand. 

Duke. That we were all, as fome would feem to be, 
Free from all faults, as faults from feeming free 8 ! 


ing ; by the help whereof, we have this eafy fenfe : that the 
clown fed himfelf, and put cloaths on his back, by exercifing the 
vile trade of a bawd. THEOBALD. 

8 That ive were all, as fome would feem to be, 

Free from all faults, as faults from feeming free !~\ 
i. e. as faults are dettitute of all comelinefs or feeming. The firft 
of thefe lines refers to the deputy's fan&ified hypocrify ; the fe- 
cond to the clown's beaftly occupation. But the latter part is 
thus ill expr^fled for the lake of the rhime. WAR BUR TON. 
Sir T. Hanmer reads, 

Free from all faults , as from faults feeming free. 
In the interpretation of" Dr. Warburton, the lenle is trifling, and 
the expreffion harfli. To wifli that men were as free from faults^ 
as faults are free from comelinefs [inftead of void of comtlinefi\ is 
a very poor conceit. I once 'thought it fliould be read : 

O that all were, as all would fee m to be, 

Free from all faults, or from falfe feeming/r. 
So in this play : 

O place, O power how dojl thou 

Wrench awe from fools, and tie the wifer fouls 

To thy falfe feeming 
But now I believe that a lefs alteration will ferve the turn : 

Free from all faults, or faults from feeming free ; 
that men ivere really good, or that their faults were known, that 
men were free from faults, or faults from hypocrijj. So Ifabella 
calls Angelo's hypocrify, feeming, feeming. JOHNSON. 
J think we fiioul'd read with Hanmer : 

free from all faults, as from faults feeming free. 

i. e. 


Enter Ludo. 

Elb. His neck will come to your vvailt 9 , a cord, 

C!ozun. I fpy comfort ; I cry, bail : here's a gentle- 
man, and a friend of mine. 

Lucio. How now, noble Pompey ? what, at the 
heels of Casfar ? art thou led in triumph ? What, is 
there none of Pigmalion's images, newly made wo- 
man J , to be had now, tor putting the hand in the 


i. e. I vs'ifo we were all as good as- we appear to le ; a fentimen 
very naturally prompted by his reflection on the behaviour of 
Angelo. Hanmer has only tranfpoied a word to produce a con- 
venient fenfe. STEEVENS. 

9 His neck will come to your waift, a cord, Jtr. ] That is, his 
neck will be tied, like your waift, with a rope. The friar? of the 
Francilcan order, perhaps of all others > wear a hempen cord for 
a girdle. Thus Buchanan : 
** Fac gemant j'uis, 
" Tariata tcrga funilus" JoHNSON. 

1 Pigmalion's images, newly made woman,~\ i. e. come out cured 
from a falivation. WAR BUR TON. 

Surely this expreffion is fuch as may authorife a more delicate 
explanation. By Pygmalion's images* newly made wo>n:t;i, I be- 
lieve, Shakefpeare meant no more than Have you no women 
now to recommend to your cuftomers, as frefh and untouched as 
'PyvrnaHoit's ftatue was, at the moment when it became fielh and 
blood ? The paflage may, however, contain fome allufion to a 
pamphlet printed in 1598, called The. Mctamorpbofis of Pygma- 
lion 3 Image, and certain Satires. I have never feen it, but it 
is mentioned by Ames, p. 568 ; and whatever its fubjecl might 
be, we learn from an order figned by the archbifhop of Can- 
terbury and the bifhop of London, that this book was com- 
manded to be burnt. The order is inferted at the end of the fe- 
cond volume of the entries belonging to the Stationers' Com- 
pany. STEEVENS. 

" is there none of Pygaalitnf* images newly made woman, to 
be had now ?" If Marjlons IMetamorpbofa of Pigmalion's Image 
be alluded to, I believe it mull be in the argument. - " The ma'ule 
(by the power of Venus) was metamorphoied into a living wo- 
man." FARMER. 

There may, hcwever, bean allufion to a paffagc in JLyJly's 
iroman in the Moiae, 1597. The inhabitants of Utopia petition 


pocket and extracting it clutch'd ? what reply > ha ? 
a What fay'ft thou to this tune, matter, and method ? 
Is't not drown'd i' the lad rain? ha ? J what fay'ft 
thou, trot ? is the world as it was, man ? Which is 
the way 4 ? is it fad, and few words ? or how ? the 
trick of it ? 

Nature for females, that they may, like other beings, propagate 
their fpecies. Nature grants their requeft, and " they draw the 
curtins from before Nafurc's mop, where ftands an image clad, 
and fome unclad, and they bring forth the cloathed image, &c.' y 


* ivbatjay'jl thou to this tune, matter , and method ? Is't not 
Jmvn'd i' the laft rain?] This nonfenfe fhould be thus corrected, 
It's not down /' the loft reign, i. e. thefe are feverities unknown to 
the old duke's time. And this is to the purpofe. WAR BUR TON. 
Dr. Warburton's emendation is ingenious, but I know not 
whether the ienfe may not be reitored with lefs change. Let us 
confider it. Lucio, a prating fop, meets his old friend going to 
prilbn, and pours out upon him his impertinent interrogatories, to 
which, when the poor fellow makes no anfvver, he adds, What 
reply ? ha f wbatfeyjt thou to this ? tune, matter, and method, 
ii't not ? droivti'd i 1 tb* laft rain ? ha ? ivbat J'ay'Jl thou, trot ? &c. 
It is a common phrale uied in low raillery of a man crefl-falleii 
and dejedted, that he looks like a drown' d puppy. Lucio, therefore, 
afks him, whether he was drown* din the laft rain, and therefore 
cannot Ipeak. JOHNSON. 

He rather asks him whether his anf-iver was not drown'd in the 
laft rain, for Pompey returns no anficer to any of his queftions : 
or, perhaps, he means to compare Pompey's miferable appearance 
to a drown d moiife* So in K, Henry VI. p. I. fc. ii : 

" Or piteous they will look, like drowned mice." STEEVENS. 
3 ivbatfay'Jl thou, trot ?] It fliould be read, I think, what fay'ft 
thou to't i the word trot being feldom, if ever, ufed to a man. 

Old trot, or trat, fignifies a decrepid old woman, or an old drab. 
In this fenfe it is ufed by Gawin Douglas, Virg. JEn. b. iv : 

" Out on the old trat, aged dame orwyffe." GRAY. 
So in Wily Beguiled, 1613 : " Thou toothlefs old trot thou." 
Again, in Mucedorus, 1668 : 

" But if the old trot 
" Should come for her pot." 
Again, in the Wife Woman of Hogsden, 1638: 

" What can this witch, this wizard, or old trot" 


Trot, or as it is now often pronounced, honeft trout, is a familiar 
addrefs to a man among the provincial vulgar. JOHNSON'. 
4 Which is the way?] What ii the mode O~M ? JOHNSOX. 



Duke. Still thus, and thus ! flill worfe ! 

Lucio. How doth my dear morfel, thy miflrefs ? 
procures Ihe flill ? ha ? 

Clown. Troth, fir, fhc hath eaten up all her beef, 
and Ihe is herfelf in the tub 5 . 

Lucio. Why, 'tis good ; it is the right of it ; it 
muft be fo : ever your frefh whore, and your pow- 
der'd bawd : an unihunn'd confequence ; it mufl be 
fo : Art going to priibn, Pompey ? 

Gown. Yes, faith, fir. 

Lucio. Why 'tis not amifs, Pompey : farewell : 
go ; fay, I fent thee thither. For debt, Pompey ? or 
how 6 ? 

Elb. For being a bawd, for being a bawd. 

Lucio. Well, then imprifon him : if imprifonment 
be the due of a bawd, why, 'tis his right : Bawd is 
he, doubtlefs, and of antiquity too ; bawd-born. 
Farewell, good Pompey : Commend me to the pri- 
fon, Pompey : You will turn good hufband now, 
Pompey ; you will keep the houfe. 

Clown. I hope, fir, your good worlhip will be my 

Lucio. No, indeed, will I not, Pompey ; it is not 
the wear 7 . I will pray, Pompey, to encreafe your 

* in the tub.} The method of cure for venereal complaints is 
grofly called the parade ring tub. JOHNSON. 

It was fo called from the method of cure. See the notes on 
' the tub-faft and the diet" in Timon, act IV. STEEVENS. 

6 g 5 f a yi Ife nt thee, thither. For debt, Pompey? or bo=iv?~\ It 
(hould be pointed thus, Go , fay I fent thee thither for debt, Pompey <; 
er hotv i. e. to hide the ignominy of thy cafe, fay, I fent thee 
to prifon for debt, or whatever other pretence thou fancieft better. 
The other humoroufly replies, For being a lawd, for being a 
lawd, i. e. the true caufe is the moft honourable. This is in 
character. WARBURTON. 

I do not perceive any neceffity for the alteration. Lucio firft 
offers him the ufe of his name to hide the feeming ignominy of 
his cafe ; and then very naturally delires to be informed of the 
true reafon why he was ordered into confinement. STEEVENS. 

7 it is not the wear. J i.e. it is not the falhion. STEEVENS, 

bondage ; 


bondage : if you take it not patiently, why, your 
mettle is the more : Adieu, trufty Pompey. Blefj 
you, friar. 

Duke. And you. 

Lucio. Does Bridget paint ftill, Pompey ? ha ? 

Elb. Come your ways, fir ; come. 

Clown. You will not bail me then, fir ? 

Lucio. Then, Pompey ? nor now. What news 
abroad, friar ? what news ? 

Rib. Come your ways, fir, come. 

Lucio. Go, to kennel, Pompey, go 8 : 

[Exeunt Elbow, Clown, and Officers. 
What news, friar, of the duke ? 

Duke. I know none ; Can you tell me of any ? 

Lucio. Some fay, he is with the emperor of Ruffia ; 
other fome, he is in Rome : But where is he, think 
you ? 

Duke. I know not where : but wherefoever, I wifh 
him well. 

Lucio. It was a mad fantailical trick of him, to 
(leal from the flate, and ufurp the beggary he was 
never born to. Lord Angelo dukes it well in his 
abfence ; he puts trangreflion to't. 

Duke. He does well in't. 

Lucio. A little more lenity to lechery would do 
no harm in him : fomething too crabbed that way, 

Duke. It is too general a vice 9 , and feverity muft 
cure it. 


8 Go, to kennel, Pompey, go :] It fliould be remembered, that 
Pompey is the common name of a dog, to which allufion is made 
in the mention of a kennel. JOHNSON. 

9 // is too general a vice,] The occalion of the obfervation was 
Lucio's faying, that it ought to be treated -with a little more lenity ; 
and his anlwer to it is, The vice is of great kindred. Nothing can 
be more abfurd than all this. From the occafion, and the anfvver,. 
therefore, it appears, that Shakefpeare wrote, It is too gentle a 
vice, which fignifying both indulgent and 'uoett-lreJy Lucio hu- 
mouroufly takes it in the latter fenfe. WAE.BURTOX. 


Lucio. Yes, in good footh, the vice is of a great! 
kindred ; it is well ally'd : but it is impoflible to ex-* 
tirp it quite, friar, till eating and drinking be put 
down. They fay, this Angelo was not made by man 
and woman, after the downright way of creation ; Is 
it true, think you ? 

Duke. How fhould he be made then ? 

Lucio. Some report, afea-maid fpawn'd him :- - 
fome, that he was begot between two flock-fifties : > 
But it is certain, that when he makes water, his urine 
is congeal'd ice ; that I know to be true : and he is 
a motion ungenerative, that's infallible '. 

Duke. You are pleafant, fir ; and fpeak apace. 

Lucio. Why, what a ruthlefs thing is this in him, 
for the rebellion of a cod-piece, to take away the life 
of a man ? Would the duke, that is abfent, have 
done this ? ere he would have hang'd a man for the 
getting a hundred baftards, he would have paid for 
the nurfing a thoufand : he had fome feeling of thfe 
fport ; he knew the fervice, and that inftructed him 
to mercy. 

Duke. I never heard the abfent duke much detedt- 
ed for women 2 ; he was not inclin'd that way. 


It is too general a vice. "es, replies Lucio, the vice is of great 
kindred; it is well ally d: &c. As much as to fay, Yes, truly, it 
is general ; for the greateft men have it as well as we little folks. 
A little lower he taxes the Duke perfonally with it. EDWARDS. 

1 and he is a motion ungenerative, that's infallible.] In the for- 
mer editions : and he is a motion generative ; that's infallible . 
This may be fenfe ; and Lucio, perhaps, may mean, that though 
Angelo have the organs of generation, yet that he makes no more 
life of them, than if he were an inanimate puppet. But I rather 
think our author wrote ,and he is a motion ungenerative, becaufe 
Lucio again in this very fcene fays, this imgenitured agent ivitt 
unpeople the province with contlnency. THEOBALD. 

A motion generative cerfiinly means 'A puppet of the mafculine 
gender \ a thing that appears to have thofe powers of which it is 
not in reality pofTefled. STEEVENS. 

1 much dete6ted_/0r women ;] This appears fo like the language 
of Dogberry^ that at firft I thought the paflage corrupt, and 
wiihed to rz:\d fufpctfed. But perhaps dctefled had anciently the 



Lucio. Oh, fir, you are deceiv'd. 

Duke. 'Tis not poffible. 

Lucio. Who ? not the duke ? yes, your beggar of 
fifty ; and his ufe was, to put a ducket in her ' clack- 
4tfh : the duke had crotchets in him ; He would be 
drunk too ; that let me inform you. 

Duke. You do him wrong, furely* 

lame meaning. So in an old collection of tales, entitled, Wits> 
Fits,, and Fancies, 1 595 : " An officer whofe daughter was de- 
teRed of difhoneftie, and generally fo reported. " That de- 
tefled is there ufed iorfufpefted, and not in the prefent fenfe of 
the word, appears, I think, from the words that follow and 
generally fo reported, which feem to relate not to a known butfuf- 
pefted fact. MALONE. 

3 clack-dijb^:'] The beggars, two or three centuries ago, ufed to 
proclaim their want by a wooden-di(h with a moveable cover, 
which they clacked to fliew that their veflel was empty. This 
appears from a paflage quoted on another occafion by Dr. Gray. 

Dr. Gray's aflertion may be fupported by the following paflage 
in an old comedy, called The Family of Love, 1608: 

" Can you think I get my living by a bell and a dack-dijh?" 
" By a bell and a dack-dijb ? how's that ?" 
' Why, by begging, fir, &c." 

Again, in Henderibn's Supplement to Chaucer's Troiius* and 

" Thus {halt thou go begging from hous to hous, 
*' With cuppe and clappir, like a Lazarous." 
And by a ftage direciion in the zd Part of K. Edw. IV. 1619 : 
" Enter Mrs. Blague very poorly, begging with her baflcet 
arid a claf-dijb." 
Again, in Bujjy IfAmbois, 1641 : 

" That affects royalty, rifing from a clap-dijb" 
Again, in Green's Tu quoque, 1599: 

" Widow, hold your dap-dijh, faften your tongue." 
Again, in the Honeft UHjore, by Decker, zd Part, 1630 : 

*' You'd better get a dap-dijb, and fay you are proctor to 
fome fpital-houfe." Again, in Drayton's Epiftle from Elinor 
Cob ham, to Duke Humphrey: 

" Worfe now than with a dap-dijh in my hand." 
There is likewife an old proverb to be found in Ray's Collec- 
tion, which alludes to the fame cuftom : 

" He daps his dijfj at a wrong man's door." STEEVENS. 

VOL. II. H Lucio. 


^Lucio. Sir, I was an inward of his * : A Ihy fellow 
was the duke : and, I believe, I know the caufe of 
his withdrawing. 

Duke* What, I pr'ythee, might be the caufe ? 

Ltfcio. No pardon ; 'tis a fecret muft be 
lock'd within the teeth and the lips : but this I can 
let you underftand, The greater file of the fubjeft * 
held the duke to be wife. 

Duke. Wife ? why, no queftion but he was. 

Luclo, A very fuperficial, ignorant, unweighing fel- 

\ Duke. Either this is envy in you, folly, or miflak-* 
ing ; the very ftream of his life, and the 6 buiinefs he 
hath helmed, muft, upon a warranted need, give him 
a better proclamation. Let him be but teftimonied 
in his own bringings forth, and he ihall appear, to 
the envious, a fcholar, a ftatefman, and a foldier : 
Therefore, you fpeak unlkilfully ; or, if your know- 
ledge be more, it is much darkened in your malice. 

Lucio. Sir, I know him, and I love him. 

Duke. Love talks with better knowledge, and 
Icncfwledge with dearer love. 

Lucio. Come, fir, I know what I know. 

Duke. I can hardly believe that, fince you know 
not what you fpeak. But, if ever the duke return, 
(as our prayers are he may) let me defire you to make 
your anfwer before him : If it be honeft you have 
fpoke, you have courage to maintain it : I am 

4 an inward of his :~\ Inward is intimate. So in Daniei's 

Hymens Triumph , 1623 : 

" You two were wont to be moft inward friends." 
Again, in Mar/ion's Malecontent, 1604 : 

" Come we muft be inward, thou and, I all one." 

5 . Tic greater jlle of the fubjcfl] The larger lift, the greater 

Cumber. JOHNSON. So in Macbeth: " the valued jile" 


* the Itifinefs be hath helmed ^\ The difficulties be batbjleer'd through. 
A metaphor from navigation. STELVEXS,- 


bound to call upon you ; and, I pray you, your 
name ? 

Lucioi Sir, my name is Lucio ; well known to the 

Duke. He fhall know you better, fir, if I may live 
to report you. 

Lucio. I fear you not. 

Duke. Oh, you hope, the duke will return no 
more ; of you imagine me too unhurtful an oppofite. 
But, indeed, I can do you little harm : you'll for- 
fwear this .again. 

Lucio. I'll be hang'd firft : thou art deceiv'd in me, 
friar. But no more of this : Canft thou tell, if 
Claud io die to-morrow, or no ? 

Duke. Why fhould he die, fir ? 

Lucio. Why ? for filling a bottle with a tun-dim. 
I would, the duke, we talk oT, were return'd again : 
this ungenitur'd agent 7 will unpeople the province 
with continency; fparrows muft not build in his 
houfe-eaves, becaufe they are lecherous. The duke 
yet would have dark deeds darkly anfwer'd; he 
would never bring them to light : Would He were 
return'd ! marry, this Claudio is condemn'd for un- 
truffing. Farewell, good friar ; I pr'ythee, pray for 
me. The duke, I fay to thee again, would eat mut- 
ton on Fridays 8 . He's now paft it ; yet 9 , and I fay 
to thee, he would mouth with a beggar, though me 

7 ungenitur'd agent] This word feems to be form'd from 

genitoirs, a word which occurs in Holland's Pliny, torn. ii. 
p. 321, 560, 589, and comes from the French genitoires, the 
genitals. TOLLETT. 

8 eat mutton on Fridays.] A wench was called a laced mutton. 

So in Do&or Faufius, 1604, Lechery fay : 

" I am one that loves an inch or" raw mutton better than an ell 
of Friday ftockfifti." STEEVENS. 

9 He is nvw paft it ; yet,~\ Sir Thomas Hanmer, He is not paft it 
j/et. This emendation was received in the former edition, but 

feems not necerTary. It were to be wilhed, that we all explained 
more, and amended lefs, JOHNSON. 

H 2 fineU 


fmelt brown bread and garlick : fay, that I faid fa. 
Farewell. [Exit. 

Duke. No might nor greatnefs in mortality 
Can cenfure 'fcape ; back-wounding calumny 
The whiteft virtue ftrikes : What king fo ftrong, 
Can tie the gall up in the ilanderous tongue ? 
But who comes here ? 

Enter Efcalus, Provoft, Bawd, and Officers. 

Efcal. Go, away with her to prifon. 

Bawd. Good my lord, be good to me; your ho- 
nour is accounted a merciful man : good my lord. 

Efcal. Double and treble admonition, and fell for- 
feit in the fame kind ? this would make mercy fwear ', 
and play the tyrant. 

Prov. A bawd of eleven years continuance, may 
it pleafe your honour. 

-Bawd. My lord, this is one Lucio's information 
againft me : miftrefs Kate Keep-down was with child 
by him in the duke's time, he promised her marriage ; 
his child is a year and quarter old, come Philip and 
Jacob ; I have kept it myfelf ; and fee, how he goes 
about to abufe me. 

Efcal. That fellow is a fellow of much licence : , 
let him be call'd before us. Away with her to pri- 
fon : Go to ; no more words. [Exeunt with the Bawd.~] 
Provoft, my brother Angelo will not be alter'd, 
Claudio muft die to-morrow : let him be furnifh'd 

1 mercy fwear, and play the tyrant,"] We mould read/iwrw, i. e. 
deviate from her nature. The common reading gives us the idea 
of a ranting whore. WAREURTON. 

There is furely no need of emendation. We fay at prefenr, 
Such a thing is enough to make a parfon fwear, i. e. deviate from 
a proper refpect to decency, and the fandity of his character. 

The idea of fvjearlng agrees very well with that of a tyrant in 
our ancient my iteries. STEEVENS. 

I do not much like mercy fiuear t the old reading : or mercy 
fwcrve, Dr. Warburton's correction. I believe it mould be, this 
would make mercy fever e . FAR ME R , 



\ykh divines, and have all charitable preparation : if 
my brother wrought by rny pity, it fhould not be fo 
with him. 

Prov. So pleafe you, this friar has been with him, 
and advis'd him for the entertainment of death. 

Efca. Good even, good father. 

Duke. Blifs and goodnefs on you ! 

Efcal. Of whence are you? 

Duke. Not of this country, though my chance is 


To ufe it for my time : I am a brother 
Of gracious order, lately come from the fee % 
In fpccial bufinefs from his holinefs. 

Efcal. What news abroad i' the world ? 

Duke. None, but that there is fo great a fever on 
goodnefs, that the diffolution of it muft cure it : no- 
velty is only in requeft ; and it is as dangerous to be 
aged in any kind of courfe, as it is virtuous to be con- 
ftant in any undertaking. There is fcarce truth 
enough alive, to make focicties fecure ; but fecurity 
enough, to make fellowlhips accurs'd : Much upon 
this riddle runs the wifdom of the world. This news 
is old enough, yet it is every day's news. I pray you, 
lir, of what difpofition was the duke ? 

Efcal. One, that, above all other ftrifes, contended 
efpecially to know himfelf. 

Duke. What pleafure was he given to ? 

Efcal. Rather rejoicing to fee another merry, than 
merry at any thing which profefs'd to make him re- 
joice : a gentleman of all temperance. But leave we 
him to his events, with a prayer they may prove pro- 
fperous ; and let me defire to know, how you find 
Claudio prepar'd ? I am made to underfland, that 
you have lent him vifitation. 

Duke. He profeffes to have received no finifler 
meafure from his judge, but moft willingly humbles 

3- from tloe fee] The folio reads : 

from the fea. JOHNSON. 

H 3 him- 


himfelf to the determination of juftice : yet had he 
fram'd to himfelf, by the inftruction of his frailty, 
many deceiving promifes of life ; which I, by my 
good leifure, have difcredited to him., and now is he 
irefolved to die, 

Efeal. You have paid the heavens your function, 
and the prifoner the very debt of your calling. I 
have labour'd for the poor gentleman, to the extrer 
meft fhore of my modefty ; but my brother juftice 
have I found fo fevere, that he hath forc'd me to tell 
him, he is indeed juftice J , 

Duke, If his own life anfwer the ftraitnefs of his 
proceeding, it lhall become him well; wherein if he 
chance to fail, he hath fentenc'd himfelf, 

Efcal. I am going to vifit the prifoner : Fare you 
well, (Exit* 

Duke. Peace be with you ! 
He, who the fword of heaven will bear. 
Should be as holy as fevere ; 
Pattern in himfelf to know 4 , 
Grace to fland, and virtue go ; 

* - - he is indeed -jit/lice.] Summumjus, fumma injuria. 

* Pattern in himfelf to know^ 

Grace to J} and, and virtue go ; ] 

Thefe lines I cannot underibnd, but believe that they fhoujd. be 
read thus : 

Patterning himfelf to know, 
In grace tojiand, in virtue go j 

To pattern is to work after a pattern, and, perhaps, in Shake- 
peare's licentious diction, (imply to work. The fenfe is, he that 
bears the fword of heaven Jbovld be holy as well as fevere ; one that 
after good examples labours to know himfelf \ to live with innocence, 
and to a3 with virile, JOHNSON. 

This paflage is very obfcure, nor cap be cleared without a more 
licentious paraphrafe than any reader may be willing to allow. He 
that bears the fword of heaven Jhould be not lifs holy than fevere : 
Jhould le able to difcover in himfelf a pattern of fuel grace as can 
' avoid temptation, together with fuch virtue ar dares venture abroad 
into the world without danger offeduftion, STEEYEN?, 



More nor lefs to others paying, 
Than by felfoffences weighing. 
Shame to him, whofe cruel ftriking 
Kills for faults of his own liking ! 
Twice treble ftiame on Angelo, 
To weed my vice, and let his grow 5 ! 
Oh, what may man within him hide, 
Though angel on the outward fide ! 
How may that likenefs, made in crimes % 
Making practice on the times, 


5 To weed my vice, and let /jlsgrtnvf] i. e. to weed faults out of 
my dukedom, and yet indulge himfelf in his own private vices. 


6 Ho'jj may lihnefs made in crimes, 
Making praflice on the times, 
To draw with idle fplde r's firings 
Moft ponderous and fubftantial things /} 

Thui all the editions read corruptly ; and fo have made an ob-, 
fcure paflage in itfelf, quite unintelligible. Shakefpeare wrote it 

HOVJ may that lihnefs, made in crimes, 
Making practice on the times, 

The fenfe is this, How much wickednefs may a man hide w/V/*, 
though he appear an angel without. How may that likenefe made 
in crimes, i. e. by hypocrify ; [a pretty paradoxical expreffion, an 
angel made in crimes] by impofing upon the world [thus emphati- 
cally exprefled, making practice on the times'] draw with its falfe and 
feeble pretences [finely called fpidcr's firings'] the moft pondrous 
and fubitantial matters of the world, as riches, honour, power, re- 
putation, &c. WARBURTON. 
The Kfvifal reads thus, 

How may fuch likencfi trade in crimes^ 
Making practice on the times, 
To draw with idle /bider*t firings 
Moft ponderous and fidfiantial things ; 

meaning \)j ponderous andful'ftantial things, pleafure and wealth. 


HO-JO may that likcncfs made in crimes, 
Making practice of the times, 
Dra-i'j iuith idle fp'der^ Jlrings 
Moft ponderous and fulfiantial things? 

i.e. How may the making it a practice of letting great rogues 

treak through the laws with impunity, and hanging up little ones 

H 4 for 


Draw with idlefpiders* firings 

Moft pond'rous and fubftantial things ! 

Craft againft vice I rrmft apply : 

With Angelo to-night ftiall lye 

His old betrothed, bpt defpis'd; 

So difguife ihall, by the difgius'd 7 , 

Pay with falftiood falfe exacting, 

And perform an old contracting. [Exit. 


A Grange. 
Enter Mariana, and Boyfinging. 


Take.) oh, take thofe lips away % 

That fo fweetly were forfwo'rn ; 
And tboj'e eyes, the break of day, 

Lights that do mif-lead, th,e : 


for the fame crimes ; draw away in time with idle fpiders firings ? 
(for no better do the cords of the law become, according to ths 
old faying ; Leges Jtmiles arancarum tells, to which the allufion is) 
juftice and equity, the moft ponderous and fubilantial bafes, and 
pillars of government. 'When juftice on offenders is not done ? 
law, government, and commerce are overthrown. SMITH. 

7 So difguife Jh all, by the d'>fguis'-d,'\ So difguife mall by means 
of a perfon difgurfed, return an injurious demand with a counterfeit 
ferfon. JOHNSON. 

" 8 Take, oh, take ^c.] This is part of a little fong of Shake- 
fpeare's own writing, confiding of two flanz^s, and fo extremely 
fweet, that the reader "won't be difpleafed to have the other. 
Hide, ok, bide thofe hills of ' J 'now, 

jf^bicb thy frozen bofom bears, 
On iv/jnfe tops, the pinks that grow, 

Are of tbofe that, April wears. 
But my poor heart jirji fet free, 
Sound in thofe icy chains by thee, WAR BUR TON. 



But my kifes bring again^ 

bring again,, 
Seals of love, but feat' din vain, 

in vain. 

Man. Break off thy fong, and hafte thee quick 

away ; 

Here comes a man of comfort, whofe advice 
Hath often ftill'd my brawling difcontent. . 

'Enter J)itke. 

I cry you mercy, fir ; and well could wifh, 

You had not found me here fo mufical : 

Let me excufe me, and believe me fo, 

My mirth it much difpleas'd, but pleas'd my woe 9 , 

Duke. "Tis good : though mufick oft hath fuch a 


To make bad, good, and good provoke to harm. 
I pray you, tell me, hath any body enquir'd for me 
here to day ? much upon this time, have I promis'd 
here to meet. 

Man. You have not been enquir'd after : I have 
fat here all day. 

This fong is entire in Beaumont's Bloody Brother, and in Shake- 
fpeare's poems. The latter ftanza is omitted by Mariana, as not 
fairing a lemale character. THEOBALD. 

' Though Sevvell and Gildon have printed this among Shake- 
fpeare's poems, they have done the fame to fo many other pieces, 
of which the real authors are fmce known, that their evidence is 
not to be depended on. It is not found in Jaggard's edition of 
our author's fonnets, which was printed during his life-time. 

Our poet, however, has introduced one of the fame thoughts 
in his i^zd fonnet : 

" - not from thofe lips of thine 

*r That have prophan'd their fcarlet ornaments, 

*' h.\\&feal > dfalfi! bonds of love, as oft as mine." 


5 My mirib it much difpleafd, but pleas'd my woe.] Though the 
mufick foothed my forrows, it had no tendency to produce light 
jnerriment. JOHNSON. 



Enter Ifabel. 

Duke. I do conflantly ' believe you ; 
The time is come, even now. I ihall crave your for- 
bearance a little ; may be, I will call upon you anon 
for fome advantage to yourfelf. 

Man. I am always bound to you, [Exit* 

Duke. Very well met, and welcome. 
What is the news from this good deputy ? 

Ifab, He hath a garden circummur'd with brick % 
Whofe weflern fide is with a vineyard back'd ; 
And to that vineyard is a planched gate J , 
That makes his opening with this bigger key : 
This other doth command a little door, 
Wjiich from the vineyard to the garden leads ; 
There have I made my promife to call on him, 
Upon the heavy middle of the night*. 

J)uke. But mall you on your knowledge find this 
way ? 

1 *i - conjlantly - ] Certainly; without fluctuation 
of mind. JOHNSON. 

So in the Merchant of Venice : 

" Could fo much turn the eonftitution 
" Of any conftant man." STEEVENS. 

* * circummur d tuith brick,] Circunimurcd^ walled round, 

'' tie caufed the doors to be mured and cafcd up," 

Painter's Palace of Pleafure. JOHNSON. 

3 a planched gate,"] i.e. a gate made of boards. Plancbe, Fr, 
A plant-far is a plank. So in Lylly's Maid's Mctamorpbojis t 
j6oo ; 

< upon the ground doth lie 

*' A hollow plancber" - 
Again, in Draytorfs Polyolbion, Song 3 : 

and fevrll&ompiancberj fprong," 
i. e. barnacles breeding on the planks of (hjps. 
Again, in Sir Arthur Gorges' tranflation of Lucan, 1614 j 
" Yet with his hoofes doth beat and rent 
*' The pfautbfd fioQf$ t the barres and chaines." 


* TLre have /, &c.] In the old copy the lines Hand thus, . 
There have I made my promife upon the 

iddle of the night % to call upon him. STEEVENS. 


Ifab. I have ta'en a due and wary note upon't ; 
With whifpering and moft guilty diligence, 
In adtion all of precept 5 , he did ftiew me 
The way twice o'er. 

Duke. Are there no other tokens 
Between you 'greed, concerning her obfervance ? 

Ifab. No, none ; but only a repair i' the dark ; 
And that I have poffefs'd him 6 , my moft ftay 
Can be but brief : for I have made him know, 
I have a fervant comes with me along, 
That flays upon me 7 ; whofe perfualipn is, 
I come about my brother, 

Duke. 'Tis well born up. 
I have not yet made known to Mariana 
A word of this: What, ho! within! come forth? 

Re-enter Mariana. 

I pray you, be acquainted with this maid ; 
She comes to do you good. 

Ifab. I do defire the like. 

Duke. Do you perfuade yourfelf that I refpectyou ? 

Man. Good friar, I know you do ; and have 
found it. 

Duke. Take then this your companion bythe hand. 
Who hath a ftory ready for your ear : 
I fhall attend your leifure ; but make hafle ; 
The vaporous night approaches. 

Man. Will't pleafe you walk afide ? 

[Exeunt. Mar. and Ifab. 

1 In action all of precept, ] i.e. (hewing the feveral turn- 
ings of the way with his hand ; which aftion contained fo many 
precepts, being given tor my direction. WAR BUR TON. 

I rather think we fliould read, 

/// precept all of acT-lon^ 
that is, in direction given, not by word's^ but by mutejigns. JOHNSON. 

6 Ibavc pojjcfs'd him, ] I have made him clearly and ilrongly 
(Comprehend. JOHNSON*. 

7 That ftays upon me ;] So in Macbeth : 

' Worthy Macbeth, \\tjlciy upon your leifure." STEEVENS. 


Duke. O place and greatnefs 8 , millions of falfe 9 


Are ftuck upon thee ! volumes of report 
Run with thefe falfe and moft contrarious quefls f 
Upon thy doings ! thoufand Tcapes of wit 
Make thee the father of their idle dream, 
And rack thee in their fancies !-r- Welcome : How 

agreed ? 

Re-enter Mariana and IfabeL 

Ifab. She'll take the enterprize upon her, father, 
Jf you advife it. 

Duke. It is not my confent, 
But my intreatytoo. 

' * O place and greatnefs, ] It plainly appears, that this fine 

fpeech belongs to that which concludes the preceding fcene, be- 
tween the Duke and Lucio. For they are abfolutely foreign to 
the fubjeft of this, and are the natural reflections anting from 
that. Befides, the very words : 

Run with thefe falfe and moft contrarious quefts, 
evidently refer to Lucio's fcandals juft preceding : which the Ox- 
ford editor, in his ufual way, has emended, by altering thefe to 

their. But that fome time might be given to the two women 

to confer together, the players, I fuppofe, took part of the fpeech, 
beginning at No might nor greatnefs^ &c. and put it here, without 
troubling themfelves about its pertinency. However, we are obi 
liged to them for not giving us their own impertinency, as they 
have frequently done in other places. WAR BUR TON. 

I cannot agree that thefe lines are placed here by the players. 
The fentiments are common, and fuch as a prince, given to re- 
flection, muft have often prefent. There was a neceflity to fill 
up the time in which the ladies converfe apart, and they muft 
have quick tongues and ready apprehenfions, if they underilood 
each other while this fpeech was uttered. JOHNSON, 

9 falfe eyes'] That is, Eyes infidious and traiterous. 

So in Chaucer's Sompnourcs Talc, late Edit. v. 7633 : 

" Ther is ful many an eye, and many an ere, 

14 Awaiting on a lord, &c." STEEVENS. 
* '-contrarious quefls'} Different reports, running counter to 
each other. JOHNSON. 
So in Othello: 

'f The fenate has fent out three feveralp/fr."SxEEVENs, 



Ifab. Little have you to fay, 
When you depart from him, but, foft and low, 
Remember nozv my brother. 

Man. Fear me not. 

Duke. Nor> gentle daughter, fear you not at all ; 
He is your hufband on a pre-contract : 
To bring you thus together, 'tis no fin ; 
Sith that the juftice of your title to him 
Doth flourifh the deceit z . Come, let us go ; 
Our corn's to reap, for yet our tithe's to fow ? . 



* Doth flourHh the deceit. ] A metaphor taken from 

embroidery, where a coarfe ground is filled up, and covered with 
figures of rich materials and elegant workmanlhip. 


Flour ijh is ornament in general. So in another play of Shake- 
fpeare : 

" empty trunks o 'er-flourijk 'd by the devil." 


3 for yet our tithe's to fo*iv.~\ As before, the blundering 

editors have made a prince of the priejlly Angelo, fo here they 
have made a priejl of ti\t prince. We fhould read tilth, \. e. our 
tillage is yet to make. The grain, from which we expecl our 
harveft, is" not yet put into the ground. WAR BURTON. 

The reader is here attacked with a petty fophifm. We fhould 
read tilth, \. e. our tillage is to make. But in the text it is to fow ; 
and who has ever faid that his tillage was to fow ? I believe tytbe 
is right, and that the expreffion is proverbial, in which tytbe is 
taken, by an eafy metonymy, for barveft. JOHNSON. 

Dr. Warburton did not do juflice to his own conjecture ; and 
no wonder therefore, that Dr. Johnfon has not. Tilth is pro- 
vincially ufed for land tilFd, prepared for fowing. Shakefpeare, 
however, has applied it before in its ufual acceptation. 


Dr. Warbtirton's conjecture may be fupported by many in- 
ftances in Markham's Rnglijh Hujbandman, 1635 : ** After the 
beginning of March you fhall begin to fowe your barley upon 
that ground which the year before did lye fallow, and is com- 
monly called your tilth, or fallow field." In p. 74 of this book, 
a corruption, like our author's, occurs. " As before, I faid be- 
ginne to fallow your tithe field;" which is undoubtedly mif- 
printed for tilth field. TOLLET. 




Changes to the Prlfon. 
Enter Provojl and Clown. 

Prov. Come hither, firrah : Can you cut off a man's 
head ? 

Clown. If the man be a batchelor, fir, I can : but if 
he be a marry'd man, he is his wife's head, and I can 
never cut off a woman's head. 

Prov. Come, fir, leave me your fnatches, and yield 
me a direct anfwer. To-morrow morning are to die 
Claudio and Barnardine : Here is in our prifon a 
common executioner, who in his office lacks a helper : 
if you will take it on you to aflift him, it lhall redeem 
you from your gyves ; if not, you lhall have your 
full time of imprifonment, and your deliverance with 
an unpity'd whipping, for you have been a notorious 

Clown. Sir, I have been an Unlawful bawd^ time out 
of mind ; but yet I will be content to be a lawful 
hangman. I would be glad to receive fome inflruc- 
tion from my fellow partner. 

Prov. What ho, Abhorfon ! where's Abhorfon, 
there ? 

Enter Abkorfon, 

Abhor. Do you call, fir ? 

Tilth is ufed for crop or harveft by Cower, De ConfeJJiont 
AmantiS) lib. v. fol. 93. b. 

" To fowe cockill with the corne, 
" So that the tilth is nigh forlorne, 
" Which Chriftyku firft his owne honde." 
Shakefpeare ufes the word tilth elfewhere : 

" her plenteous womb 

." Exprefieth its full tilth and husbandry." 

" Bourn, bound of land, tilth , vineyard, none.*' 
but my quotation from Gower fhe\vs that to/kv tilth was a phrafc 
once in ulfc. STEEVENS. 



Prov. Sirrah, here's a fellow will help you to-mor- 
tow in your execution : if you think it meet, com- 
pound with him by the year, and let him abide here 
with you; if not, ufe him for the prefent, and difmifs 
him : he cannot plead his eftimation with you, he 
hath been a bawd. 

Abhor. A bawd, fir ? fie upon him, he will difcredit 
our miftery 4 . 

Prov. Go to, fir ; you weigh equally ; a feather 
will turn the fcale. Exit. 

Clown. Pray, fir ? by your good favour (for, furely, 
fir, a good favour J you have, but that you have a 
hanging look) do you call, fir, your occupation a mi- 
ftery ? 

Abhor. Ay, fir ; a miftery. 

Clown. Painting, fir, I have heard fay, is a miftery ; 
and your whores, fir, being members of my occupa- 
tion, ufing painting, do prove my occupation a mi- 
ftery : but what miftery there fhould be in hanging, 
if I ftiould be hang'd, I cannot imagine 6 . 


* difcredit our miftery.] I think it juft worth while to obferve, 
that the word myjtery^ when ufed to fignify a trade or manual 
profeffion, fhould be fpelt with an /, and not aj>, becaufe it come* 
not from the Greek, ^urf*, but from the French, meftler. 


5 00tt/&VOtft] Favour is countenance. So in Antony 

und Cleopatra : 

" why fo tart a favour 

" To publifti fuch good tidings." STEEVENS. 

6 ivbat mijiery there Jbould be in hanging, if I Jbould be hanged, 
2 cannot imagine. 

Abhor. &>, it is a mijiery. 

Clown. Proof. 

Abhor. Every true man's apparel Jits your thief. 
Clown. If it be too little for your thief \ your true man thinks it 



difficult to be underftood. The plain and humourous fenfe;ofthe 
fpeech is this. Every true man's apparel, which the thief robs 
him of, fits the thief, .Why ? Becaufe, if it be too little for the 


Jbkor. Sir, it is a miftery. 
Clown. Proof. 


thief, the true man thinks it big enough : i. e. a purchafe too 
good for him. So that this fits the thief in the opinion of the 
true man. But if it be too big for the thief, yet the thief thinks 
it little enough j i. e. of value little enough. So that this fits 
the thief in his own opinion. Where we fee, that the plfiafantry 
of the joke confifts in the equivocal fenfe of lig enough, and little 
enough. Yet Mr. Theobald fays, he can fee no fenfe in all this, 
and therefore alters the whole thus. 

Abhor. Every true man's apparel fits your thief. 

Clown. If it le too little for your true man, your thief thinks it 

&/g enough : if it be too big for your true man^ your thief thinks it 

little enough. 

And for his alteration gives this extraordinary reafon. /^w fa- 
tisfied the poet intendeds, regular fyllogifm ; and Ifubniit it to judg- 
ment, whether my regulation, has not rcjiored that ivit and humour, 
which was quite lojl in the depravation. But the place is corrupt, 
though Mr. Theobald could not find it out. Let us confider it 
a little. The Hangman calls his trade a miftery : the clown can- 
not conceive it. The Hangman undertakes to prove it in thefe 
words, Every true man's apparel, &c. but this proves the thief s 
trade a miftery, not the hangman**. Hence it appears, that the 
fpeech, in which the Hangman proved his trade a miftery, is loft. 
The very words it is impoffible to retrieve, but one may eafily 
underftand what medium he employed in proving it : without 
doubt, the very fame the Clown employed to prove the thief's 
trade a miftery ; namely, that all forts of clothes fitted the hang- 
man. The Clown, on hearing this argument, replied, I fuppofe, 
to this effecl: : Wly, by the fame kind of reafoning, I can prove the 
thief s trade too to be a mijlery. The other aflcs how, and the 
Clown goes on as above, Every true man's apparel Jits your thief > 
if it be too little, &c. The jocular conclufion from the whole, 
being an infinuation that thief and hangman were rogues alike. 
This conjecture gives a fpirit and integrity to the dialogue j which, 
in its prefent mangled condition, is altogether wanting : and 
fhews why the argument of every true man's apparel, &c. was in 
all editions given to the Clown, to whom indeed it belongs; and 
likewife that the prefent reading of that argument is the true. 


Clown. Sir, it is a mijlery, &c.] If Dr. Warburton had attend- 
ed to the argument by which the Bawd proves his own pvofeflion 
to be a miftery, he would not have been driven to take refuge in 
the groundlefs fuppofition, " that part of the dialogue had been 
loft or dropped." 



Abhor. Every true man's apparel fits your thief 7 . 

Clown. If it be too little for your thief, your true 
man thinks it big enough ; if it be too big for your 
thief, your thief thinks it little enough : fo every true 
man's apparel fits your thief. 

Re-enter Provoft. 

Prov. Are you agreed ? 

Clown. Sir, I will ferve him ; for I do find, your 
hangman is a more penitent trade than your bawd ; 
he doth oftner aik forgivenefs 8 . 

Prov. You, lirrah, provide your block and your axe, 
to-morrow four o'clock. 

The argument of the Hangman is exaftly fimilar to that of the 
Bawd. As the latter puts in his claim to the whores, as members 
of his occupation, and, in virtue of their painting, would enroll 
his own fraternity in the miflery of painters ; fo the former equal- 
ly lays claim to the thieves, as members of his occupation, and, 
in their right, endeavours to rank his brethren, the hangmen, 
under the miftery of fitters of apparel or taylors. The reading 
of the old editions is therefore undoubtedly right ; except that 
the laft fpeech, which makes part of the Hangman's argument, 
is, by miftake, as the reader's own fagacity will readily perceive 
given to the Clown or Bawd. I fuppofe, therefore, the poet gave 
us the whole thus : 

Abhor. Sir, if is a mijlery. 

Clown. Proof. 

Abhor. Every true man s apparel fits your thief: if it be too 

little for your thief , your true man thinks it big enough: if it la 

too big for your thief \ your thief thinks it little enough; fo every 

true mans apparel fits your thief. 

I muft do Dr. Warburton the juftice to acknowledge, that he 
hath rightly apprehended, and explained the force of the Hang- 
man's argument. REVISAL. 

7 fits your thief. ~\ So in Promos and CaJJandra, 1578, 

the Hangman fays : 

" Here is nyne and twenty futes of apparell for my 


True man, in the language of ancient times, is always placed in, 
oppolition to thief. STEEVEXS. 

8 ajk forgivenefs. ] So in As Tou Like It : 

" The common executioner, 

" Whofe heart the accurtom'd light of death makes hard, 
" Falls not the axe upon the humbled neck, 
" But firil legs par Jon." STSEVUXS. 

VOL. II. I Attor. 


Abbor. Come on, bawd ; I will inftrud thee in my 
trade ; follow. 

Clown. I do defire to learn, fir ; and, I hope, if you 
have occafion to ufe me for your own turn, you fhall 
find me yare 9 : for, truly fir, for your kindnefs, I owe 
you a good turn. [Exit. 

Prov. Call hither Barnardine and Claudio : 
One has my pity ; not a jot the other, 
Being a murtherer, though he were my brother. 

Enter Claudio. 

Look, here's the warrant, C laudio, for thy death : 
*Tis now dead midnight, and by eight to-morrow 
Thou muft be made immortal. Where's Barnardine ? 

Claud. As faft lock'd up in fleep, as guiltlefs la- 

When it lies ftarkly * in the traveller's bones : 
He will not wake. 

Prov. Who can do good on him ? 
Well, go, prepare yourfelf. [Exit Claud."] But, hark, 
what noife ? [Knock within* 

Heaven give your fpirits comfort ! By and by ; 
I hope it is fome pardon, or reprieve, 
For the moft gentle Claudio. Welcome, father. 

Enter Duke. 

Duke. Thebeft and wholefomeft fpirits of the night 
Invellop you, good provofl ! Who call'd here of late ? 
Prov. None, fince the curfew rung ? 
Duke. Notlfabel? 
Prov. No. 
Duke. They will then % cre't be long. 

Prov. What comfort is for Claudio ? ' 


9 - yare:'\ i. e. handy. So in Antony and Cleopatra : 
" His fliips arejwr, yours heavy." STEEVENS. 

1 -flarkly ] Stiffly. Thefe two lines afford a very pleaf- 

ing image. JOHNSON. 

* They will tbcn t ] Perhaps./^ will then. Sir J. HAWKINS. 



Duke. There's fome in hope. 
Prov. It is a bitter deputy. 
Duke. Not fo, not fo ; his life is parellel'd 
Even with the flroke J and line of his great juftice ; 
He doth with holy abftinence fubdue 
That in himfelf, which he fpurs on his power 
4 To qualify in others : were he meal'd s 
With that, which he corrects, then were he tyran- 
nous ; 

But this being fo, he's juft. Now are they come. 

[Knock* Provojlgoes out. 
This is a gentle provoft ; Seldom, when 
The fteeled goaler is the friend of men. 
How now ? what noife ? that fpirit's poffefs'd with 

hafte 6 , 

That wounds the unrefifting poftern with thefe flrokes. 


3 Even with the ftroh ] Stroke is here put for the firoke 

of a pen or a line. JOHNSON. 

4 To qualify-'} To temper, to moderate, as we fay wine is 
qualified with i water. JOHXSON. So in Othello : 

" I have drank but one cup to-night, and that was craftily 
qualified too." STEEVENS. 

5 -were be meal'd] Were he fprinkled ; were he defiled. 

A figure of the fame kind our author ufes in Macbeth : 

" The blood- bolter'd Banquo." JOHNSON. 
So in the Pbilofopber's Satires, by Robert Anton : 

" As if their peniwigs to death they gave 

To meale them in fome gaftly dead man's grave." 

6 That fpirif s pojfeft with hafte, 

That wounds the unrejtfting poftern with thcfe Jlrokcs.~\ 
The line is irregular, and the murtjifling poftern fo flrange an ex- 
preffion, that want of mealure, and want of fenfe, might juftly 
raife fufpicion of an errour ; yet none of the latter editors feem to 
have fuppofed the place faulty, except fir Tho. Hanmer, who 
reads : 

the unrefting poftern. 

The three folios have it : 

unfitting pojlern. 

out of which Mr. Rowe made unrejijling, and the reft followed him. 
Sir Thomas Hanmer feems to have fuppofed vnrejifting the word 
in the copies, from which he plaufibly enough extracted unrefting, 


Pravqft returns, fpeaktng to one at the door. 

Prov. There muft he flay, until the officer 
Arife to let him in ; he is call'd up. 

Duke, Have you no countermand for Claudio yet, 
But he muft die to-morrow ? 

Prov. None, fir, none. 

Duke. As near the dawning, provoft, as it is, 
You fhall hear more ere morning. 

Prov. Happily, 

You fomething know ; yet, I believe, there comes 
No countermand ; no fuch example have we : 
Befides, upon the very fiege of juftice 7 , 
Lord Angelo hath to the publick ear 
Profefs'd the contrary. 

Enter a Mejfenger *. 

Duke. This is his lordfhip's man. 

Prov. And here comes Claudio's pardon. 


but he grounded his emendation on the very fyllable that wants 
authority. What can be made of unjlfting I know not j the beft 
that occurs to me is unfeeling. JOHNSON. 

unrefifting/0/forft ] 

I fhould think we might fafely read : 

unlift'hing^tf^Tvz, or unflufting pojlern. 
The meafure requires it, and the fenfe remains uninjured. 


T faeetfjvjiite'.] i. e. feat of juftice. Siege. Fr. So 


" 1 fetch my birth 

" From men of royal jiegc" STEEVENS. 
Enter a Meflenger. 

Duke.- This is his lord/hip's man. 

Prov. And here comes Claudio's pardon.] 

The Provoft has juft declared a fixed opinion that the execution 
will not be countermanded, and yet, upon the firft appearance of 
the Meffenger, he immediately guefles that his errand is to bring 
Claudio's pardon. It is evident, I think, that the names of the 
ipeakers are mifplaced. If we fuppofe the Provoft to fay : 

This is his lordjhip's man, 

it is very natural for the Duke to fubjoin,* 



Meffl My lord hath fent you this note ; and by me 
this further charge, that you fwerve not from the 
fmalleft article of it, neither in time, matter, or other 
circumftance. Good morrow ; for, as I take it, it 
is almoft day. 

Prov. I fhall obey him. [Exit Meffenger. 

Duke. This is his pardon ; purchas'd by fuch fin, 

For which the pardoner himfelf is in : 

Hence hath offence his quick celerity, 

When it is borne in high authority : 

When, vice makes mercy, mercy's fo extended, 

That, for the fault's love, is the offender friended. 

Now, fir, what news ? 

Prov. Itoldyoti-r^Lord Angelo, be-like, thinking 
me remifs in my office, awakens me with this un-r 
wonted putting on : methinks, ftrangely ; for he hath 
not us'd it before. 

Duke. Pray you, let's hear. 

Provoft reads the letter. 

Whatfoever you may hear to the contrary ^ let Claudw 
be executed by four of the clock ; and^ in the afternoon, 
Barnardine : for my better fatisfatHion, let me have Clau- 
dio's head fent me by five. Let this be duly performed; 
with a thought^ that more depends on it than zue muft yet 
deliver. Thus fail not to do your office^ as you will anjwer 
it at you peril. 

What fay you to this, fir ? 

And here coma Claudia 's pardon. 

The Duke might believe, upon very reafonable grounds, that An- 
gelo had now fent the pardon. It appears that he did fo, from 
what he fays to himfelf, while the Provoft is reading; the letter : 

This is bis pardon ; purchas'd by fuch fin, TY&WHITT- 

When, immediately after the Duke had hinted his expectation 

of a pardon, the Provoft fees the Meflenger, he fuppofes the Duke 

to have knafwifomethittg, and changes his mind. Either reading 

may ferve equally well. JOHNSON. 

I 3 Duke. 


Duke. What is that Barnardine, who is to be exe- 
cuted in the afternoon ? 

Prov. A Bohemian born ; but here nurs'd up and 
bred : one that is a prifoner nine years old. 

Duke. How came it, that the abfentduke had not 
either deliver'd him to his liberty, or executed him ? 
I have heard, it was ever his manner to do fo. 

Prov. His friends ilill wrought reprieves for him : 
And, indeed, his fad:, till now in the government of 
lord Angelo, came not to an undoubtrul proof. 

Duke. Is it now apparent ? 

Prov. Moft manifeft, and not deny'd by himfelf. 

Duke. Hath he borne himfelf penitently in priibn ? 
how feems he to be touch'd ? 

Prov. A man that apprehends death no more 
dreadfully, but as a drunken ileep ; carelefs, recklefs, 
and fearlefs of what's paft, prefent, or to come ; infen- 
fible of mortality, and defperately mortal 9 . 

Duke. He wants advice. 

Prov. He will hear none : he hath evermore had 
the liberty of the prifon ; give him leave to efcape 
hence he would not : drunk many times a day, if 
not many days entirely drunk. We have very often 
awak'd him, as if to carry him to execution, and 
fhew'd him a feeming warrant for it ; it hath not 
mov'd him at all. 

Duke. More of him anon. There is written in your 
brow, Provoft, honefty and conftancy : if I read it 
not truly, my ancient fkill beguiles me ; but in the 
boklnefs of my cunning, I will lay myfelf in hazard. 
Claudio, whom here you have a warrant to execute, 
is no greater forfeit to the law than Angelo who hath 

9 defperatcly mortal^ This expreflion is obfcure. Sir Thomas 
Hanmer reads, mortally defperate. Mortally is in low converfation. 
ufed in this fenfe, but I know not whether it was ever written. 
I am inclined to believe, that defperately mortal means Jefpcratcly 
jpift'kievous. Or dcfpcratcly mortal may mean a man likely to die 
in a dcjpcratc flate, without reflection or repentance. JOHNSON. 



fentenc'd him : To make you underftand this in a 
manifelted effect, I crave but four days refpite ; for 
the which you are to do me both a prefent and a dan- 
gerous courtefy. 

Prov'. Pray, fir, in what ? 

Duke, In the delaying death. 

Prov. Alack ! how may I do it ? having the hour 
limited ; and an exprefs command, vnider penalty, to 
deliver his head in the view of Angelo ? I may make 
my cafe as Claudio's, to crofs this in the fmalleft. 

Duke. By the vow of mine order, I warrant you, if 
my inftrudtions may be your guide. Let this Bar- 
nardine be this morning executed, and his head 
borne to Angelo. 

Prov. Angelo hath feen them both, and will difco- 
ver the favour. 

Duke. Oh, death's a great difguifer : and you may 
add to it. Shave the head, l and tie the ,beard ; and 
fay, it was the defire of the penitent to be fo barb'd * be- 

1 and tie the beard ; ] The Rcvifal recommends Mr. Simpfon's 
emendation, DIE the heard, but the prefent reading may itand. 
Perhaps it was ufual to tie up the beard before decollation. Sir 
T. More is faid to have been ludicroufly careful nbout this or- 
nament of his face. It fliould, however, be remembered, that 
it was the cuftom to tile beards. In the Midfummer Night's 
Dream, Bottom fays : 

" I will difcharge it either in your itraw-colour'd beard, 
your orange-tawny beard, your purple in grain, &c." 
Again, in the old comedy of Ram Alley 9 1611 : 

" What coloured beard comes next by the window ? 
" A black man's, I think. 
" I think, a red; for that is molt in fafhion." 
Again, in the Silent Woman : " I have fitted my divine and ca- 
nonift, dyed their beards and all." 

Again, in the Alchemijl : " he had dy V his beard, and all." 

Again, " To dye your beard, and umber o'er your face." 


A beard tied would give a very new air to that face, which had 
never been feen but with the beard loofe, long, and iqualid. 

* to befo larVd] The old copy reads fo lar'J. 


I 4 fore 

fore his death : you know the courfe is common. If 
any thing fall to you upon this, more than thanks and 
good fortune, by the faint whom I profefs, I will 
plead againft it with my life. 

Prov. Pardon me, good father ; it is againft my 

Duke. Were you fworn to the duke, or to the de- 
puty ? 

Prov. To him, and to his fubflitutes. 

Duke. You will think you have made no offence, 
if the duke avouch the juflice of your dealing ? 

Prov. But what likelihood is in that ? 

Duke. Not a refemblance, but a certainty. Yet fince 
I fee you fearful, that neither my coat, integrity, nor 
my perfuafion, can with eafe attempt you, I will go 
further than I meant, to pluck all fears out of you. 
Look, you, fir, here is the hand and feal of the duke; 
You know the character, I doubt not ; and the fignet 
is not ftrange to you. 

Prov. I know them both. 

Duke. The contents of this is the return of the 
duke ; you ftiall anon over-read it at your pleafure ; 
where you fhall find, within thefe two days he will be 
here. This is a thing, that Angelo knows not : for 
he this very day receives letters of ftrange tenor ; per- 
chance, of the duke's death ; perchance, entering 
into fome monaftery ; but, by chance, nothing of 
what is writ J . Look, 4 the unfolding ftar calls up the 
fhepherd : Put notyourfelf into amazement, how thefe 
things mould be : all difficulties are but eafy when 
they are known. Call your executioner, and off 
with Barnardine's head : I will give him a prefent 

3 nothing of what is lurit. ] We fhould read -fre writ the 
Duke pointing to the letter in his hand. WARBURTON. 
* the unfolding Jl ar calls up the Jbepbcrd :~\ 

" The ftar, that bids the ftiepherd fold, 
** Now the top of heav'n doth hold." Milton's Mafqae. 




fhrift, and advife him for a better place. Yet you are 
amaz'd ; but this ihall abfolutely refolve you. Come 
away ; it is almoft clear dawn. [Exeunt. 


Enter Clown. 

Clown. I am as well acquainted here, as I was in 
our houie of profeffion : one would think, it were 
miflrefs Over-done's own houfe, for here be many of 
her old cuftoiners. Firft, here young matter Rafh 5 ; 
he's in for a commodity of brown paper and old gin- 
ger 6 , ninefcore and feventeen pounds ; of which he 


5 Firjl, here's young majler Ra/b ; &c.] This enumeration qf 
the inhabitants of the prifon affords a very ftriking view of the 
practices predominant in Shakefpear's age. Belides thole vvhofe 
follies are common to all times, we have four fighting men and 
a traveller. It is not unlikely that the originals of the pictures 
were then known. JOHNSON. 

6 a. commodity of brown paper and old ginger ^\ Thus the old 
copy, The modern editors read,' Irtnvn pepper. The following 
paflage in Michadmas Term, Com. 1637, will juftify the original 
reading : 

" I know fome gentlemen in town have been glad, and are 
glad at this time, to take up commodities in hawk's-hoods and 
brown paper." 
Again, in Summer's Lajl Will and Tejtament, 1600 : 

" another that ran in debt, in the fpace of four or five 

year, above fourteen thoufand pound in lute-ftrings and grey- 
paper." Again, in A New Trick to cheat the Devil, 1636 : 
to have been fo bit already 
With taking up commodities of brown paper, 
Buttons pait fafhion, iilks, and fattins, 
Babies and children's fiddles, with like tram 
Took up at a dear rate, and fold for trifles." 
Again, in Greene's S>uip for an Upftart Courtier, 1620 : 

" For the merchant, he delivered the iron, tin, lead, hops, 
fugars, fpices, oyls, brown paper, or whatever elfe, from fix 
months to fix months. Which when the poor gentleman came 
to fell again, he could not make threefcore and ten in the hun- 
- dred befides the ufury." Again, in Greene's Defence of Coney* 
catching, 1592 ; " fo that if he borrow an hundred pound, he 



made five marks, ready money : marry, then, ginger 
was not much in requeft, for the old women were all 
dead. Then is there here one mafter Caper, at the 
fuit of mafter Three-pile the mercer, for fome four 
fuits of peach-colour'd fatin, which now peaches him 
a beggar. Then have we here young Dizy, and young 
mafter Deep-vow, and mafter Copper-fpur, and maf- 
ter Starve-lacky the rapier and dagger-man, and 
young Drop-heir that kill'd lufty Pudding, and maf- 
ter Forthright 7 the tilter, 8 and brave mafter Shoe-tye 


fliall have forty in filver, and threefcore in wares, as lutefcrings, 
hobbyhorfes, or brown paper, or cloath, &c." 
Again, in the Spanijh Curate of B. and Fletcher : 

" Commodities of pins, brown papers, packthread.'* 
Again, in Gafcoigne : s Steele GlaJJe : 

" To teach young men the trade to fell lro*wn paper ." 


A commodity of brotvn paper. Mr. Steevens fupports this rightly. 
Fennor afks, in his Comptor" 1 ^ Commonwealth, " fuppofe the commo- 
dities are delivered after Signior Unthrift and Mailer Breaker have 
both fealed the bonds, how muft thole hobby-horfes, reams of 
lr awn paper, Jevves trumpes and b.ables, babies and rattles be 
iblde?" FARMER. 

7 majler Forthright] The old copy reads Forthllght ; but mould 
not Fcrtldight be Forthright, Alluding to the line ill which the 
thruft is made ? JOHNSON. 

Shakefpeare ufes this word in the Tcmpejl : 

" Through forthrigbis and meanders." 
Again, in Iroilw and Crcffida, aft III. fc. iii : 

" Or hedge afide from the dircttfort/jn'gbt." STEEVENS, 

8 and brave tdatterS\\ooty the great traveller,'] Thus the old 
copy ; but as moft of thele are compound names, I iufped that 
this was originally written, mafter Shoe-tye. At this time Shoc-Jirings 
were generally worn. So in Decker's Match me in London, 1631: 

" I think your wedding ./Zwj have not been oft untied." 
Again, in Randolph's Mufes Looking Glafs, 1638 : 

" Bonding his fupple hams, killing his hands, 
" " 

As he was a traveller, it is not unlikely that he might be follicit-, 
ous about the minutiae of drefs, and the epithet brave feems to 
countenance the fuppofition. STEEVENS. 

Mr. Steevens's fuppofition is ftrengthen'd by Ben Jonfon's Epi- 
gram upon Englijh Monjieur^ vol. vi. p, 25 j ; 



the great traveller, and wild Half-can that ftabb'd 
Pots, and, I think, forty more ; all great doers in our 
tradej and are now in for the Lord's fake 9 , 
Enter Abhorfon. 

Abhor, Sirrah, bring Barnardine hither. 

Cloivn. Matter Barnardine ! you mutt rife and be 
hang ? d, matter Barnardine ! 

Abhor. What, ho, Barnardine ! 

Barnar. [Within] A pox o' your throats ! Who 
piakes that noife there ? What are you ? 

Clown. Your friends, fir ; the hangman : You 
muft be fo good, fir, to rife and be put to death. 

Barnar, [Within.'] Away you rogue, away ; I am 

Abhor. Tell him, he muft awake, and that quickly 

Clown. Pray, matter Barnadine, awake till you are 
executed, and fleep afterwards, 

Abhor. Go in to him, and fetch him out. 
Clown. He is coming, fir, he is coming ; I hear 
his ttraw ruftle. 

*' That fo much fcarf of France, and hat, and feather, 
" Audjfooe, and tye, and garter, mould come hither.'* 


Mr. Steevens is certainly right, for fo this compounded word 
tvas anciently fpelt. So in Crafhaw's poems, 1670: 

44 To gaudy tire or glittering JJjob-ty." MALONE. 
s in for the Lord's fake.} i.e. to beg for the reft of their lives. 


I rather think this expreffion intended to ridicule the puritans, 
whofe turbulence and indecency often brought them to prifon, 
and who conlidered themfelves as fuffering for religion. 

It is not unlikely that men imprifoned for other crimes, might 
reprefent themfelves to cafual enquirers, as fuffering for puritan- 
ifm, and that this might be the common cant of the prilbns. In 
Donne's time, every prifoner was brought to jail by furetifhip. 


The word in has been fupplicd by fome of the modern editors. 
The phrafe which Dr. Johnlon has juftly explained, is ufed in 

A New Trick to cheat the Devil, 1636 : " 1 held it wife a deed 

charity, and did it for the Lord's fake." STEEVE.VS. 



Enter Barnardine. 

Abhor. Is the axe upon the block, firrah ? 

Clown. Very ready, fir. 

Barnar. How now, Abhorfon ? what's the news 
with you ? 

Abhor. Truly, fir, I would defire you to clap into 
your prayers ; for, look you, the warrant's come. 

Barnar. You rogue, I have been drinking all night, 
I am not fitted for't. 

Clown. Oh, the better, fir ; for he that drinks all 
night, and is hang'd betimes in the morning, may 
ileep the founder all the next day. 

Enter Duke. 

Abhor. Look you, fir, here comes your ghoflly fa- 
ther ; Do we jeft now, think you ? 

Duke. Sir, induced by my charity, and hearing how 
haftily you are to depart, I am come to advife you, 
comfort you, and pray with you. 

Barnar. Friar, not I ; I have been drinking hard 
all night, and I will have more time to prepare me, 
or they fhall beat out my brains with billets : I will 
not confent to die this day, that's certain. 

Duke. Oh, fir, you muft : and therefore, I befeech 
you, look forward on the journey you fliall go. 

Barnar. I fwear, I will not die to day for any man's 

Duke. But hear you, 

Barnar. Not a word : if you have any thing to fay 
to me, come to my ward ; for thence will not I to- 
day. [Exit. 
Enter Provojl. 

Duke. Unfit to live, or die : Oh, gravel heart ! 
After him, fellows ; bring him to the block ', 

[Exeunt Abhorfon and Clown. 

1 After bim t fellpivs;'] Here is a line given to the Duke, 



Prov. Now, fir, how do you find the prifoner ? 

Duke. A creature unprepar'd, unmeet for death ; 
And, to tranfport him z in the mind he is, 
Were damnable. 

Prov. Here in the prifon, father, 
There dy'd this morning of a cruel fever 
One Ragozine, a moft notorious pirate, 
A man of Claudio's years ; his beard, and head, 
Juft of his colour ; What if we do omit 
This reprobate, till he were well inclined ; 
And fatisfy the deputy with the vifage 
Of Ragozine, more like to Claudio ? 

Duke. O, 'tis an accident that heaven provides ! 
Difpatch it prefently ; the hour draws on 
Prefix'd by Angelo : See, this be done, 
And fent according to command ; whiles I 
Perfuade this rude wretch willingly to die. 

Prov. This ihall be done, good father, prefently. 
But Barnardine muft die this afternoon : 
And how Ihall we continue Claudio, 
To fave me from the danger that might come, 
If he were known alive ? 

Duke. Let this be done, Put them 
In fecret holds, both Barnardine and Claudio : 
Ere twice the fun hath made his journal greeting 
To the under generation 3 , you Ihall find 
Your fafety manifefted. 


which belongs to the Provoft. The Provofl, while the Duke is 
lamenting the obduracy of the prifoner, cries out : 

After him, fellows, &c. 
and when they are gone out, turns again to the Duke. JOHXSON-. 

I do not fee why this line {hould be taken from the Duke, and 
ftill lefs why it (hould be given to the Provoft, who, by his quef- 
tion to the Duke in the next line, appears to be ignorant of 
every thing that has paired between him and Barnardine. 


1 to tranfport him ] To remove him from one world to 

another. The French trepas affords a kindred fenie. JOHNSON. 

3 To the under generation, ] So lir Thomas Hanmer, with 

true judgment. It was in all the former editions : 



Prov. I am your free dependent. 

Duke. Quick, difpatch, and lend the head to An- 

felo. (Exit Prpvojli 

write letters to Angelo, 

The provofl, he fhall bear them,- whofe contents 
Shall witnefs to him, I am near at home ; 
And that, by great injunctions, I am bound 
To enter publickly : him I'll defire 
To meet me at the confecrated fount, 
A league below the city ; and from thence, 
By cold gradation and weal-balanced form 4 9 
We fhall proceed with Angelo. 

Re-enter Provq/l. 

Prov. Here is the head ; I'll carry it myfelf. 

Duke. Convenient is it : Make a fwift return ; 
For I would commune with you of fuch things, 
That want no ear but yours. 

Prov. I'll make all fpeed. [Exit. 

Ifab. [Wt t hi n ,] Peace, ho, be here ! 

Duke. The tongue of Ifabel : She's come to know, 
If yet her brother's pardon be come hither : 
But I will keep her ignorant of her good, 
To make her heavenly comforts of defpair, 
When it is leaft expected 5 . 

Enter Ifabella. 

Ifab. Ho, by your leave. 
Duke. Good morning to you, fair and gracious 
daughter. ' 

To yonder 

ye under and yonder were confounded. JOHNSON. 
The old reading is r\a\. yonder \s\XLyond. STEEVENS. 

4 weal -balanced form^\ Thus the old copy. Mr. Heath 

thinks that <uW/-balanced is the true reading ; and Haumer was 
of the fame opinion. STEEVENS. 

5 When it is leaft expetted.'} A better reafon might have been 
given. It was neceffary to keep Ifabella in ignorance, that fhe 
might with more keennefs accufe the deputy. JOHNSON. 


Ifab. The better, given me by fo holy a man. 
Hath yet the deputy fent my brother's pardon ? 

Duke. Hehathreleas'dhiin, Ifabel, from the world; 
His head is off, and fent to Angelo. 

Ifab. Nay, but it is not fo. 

Duke. It is no other : 
Shew your wifdom, daughter, in your clofe patience. 

Ifab. Oh, I will to him, and pluck out his eyes. 

Duke. You fhall not be admitted to his fight. 

Ifab. Unhappy Claudio ! Wretched Ifabel ! 
Injurious world ! Moft damned Angelo ! 

Duke. This nor hurts him, nor profits you a jot : 
Forbear it therefore ; give your caufe to heaven. 
Mark, what I fay ; which you Ihall find 
By every fyllable, a faithful verity : 
The duke comes home to-morrow ; nay, dry your 

eyes ; 

One of our convent, and his confefibr, 
Gives me this inftance : already he hath carry'd 
Notice to Efcalus and Angelo ; 
Who do prepare to meet him at the gates, 
There to give up their power. If you can, pace your 


In that good path, that I would wifh it go ; 
And you Ihall have your bofom 6 on this wretch, 
Grace of the duke, revenges to your heart, 
And general honour. 

Ifab. I am directed by you. 

Duke. This letter then to friar Peter give ; 
'Tis that he fent me of the duke's return : 
Say, by this token, I defire his company 
At Mariana's houfe to-night. Her caufe, and yours, 
I'll perfed: him withal ; and he ftiall bring you 
Before the duke ; and to the head of Angelo 
Accufe him home, and home. For my poor felf, 

c your lofom ] Your wifli ; your heart's delire. 


I am 


I am combined 7 by a facred vow, 
And fhall be abfent. Wend 8 you with this letter : 
Command thefe fretting waters from your eyes 
With a light heart ; truft not my holy order, 
If I pervert your courfe. Who's here ? 

Enter Lucio* 

Lucio. Good even ! 
Friar, where is the provoft ? 

Dvke. Not within, fir. 

Lucio. Oh, pretty Ifabella, I am pale at mine heart, 
to fee thy eyes ib red : thou muft be patient : I am 
fain to dine and fup with water and bran ; I dare not 
for my head fill my belly ; one fruitful meal would 
fet me to't : But they fay the duke will be here to- 
morrow. By my troth, Ifabel, I lov'd thy brother : 
if the old 9 fantaflical duke of dark corners had been 
at home, he had liv'd. [Exit Ifabella. 

Duke. Sir, the duke is marvellous little beholden 
to your report ; but the beft is, he lives not in them '. 

Lucio. Friar, thou knoweft not the duke fo well as 
I do : he's a better woodman % than thou tak'ft him 

Duke. Well, you'll anfwer this one day. Fare ye 

7 / am combined ly a facred i/0-iy, ] I once thought this fhould 
be confined, but Shakefpeare ufes combine for to bind by a pafl or 
agreement^ fo he calls Angelo the combinatt hufband of Mariana. 


* Wendj'0a] To -wend is to go. So in the Comedy of Errors : 

" Hopelefs and helplefs doth JEgeon wend." STEEVENS. 

9 If the old &c.] Sir Thomas Hanmer reads, the odd fantafti- 
cal diih, but old is a common word of aggravation in ludicrous 
language, as, there "Mas old revelling. JOHNSON. 

1 be lives not in them.] i.e. his character depends not on 
them. STEEVENS. 

* <V)oodm&f^\ That is, huntfman, here taken for a hunter of 
girls. JOHNSON. 

So in the Merry H r ives of Wind/or, Falftaffasks his miftrefles : 
'" Am I a woodman? ha !" STEEVENS. 



Lucio. Nay, tarry; I'll go along with thee; lean 
tell thee pretty tales of the duke. 

Duke. You have told me too many of him already, 
lir, if they be true ; if not true, none were enough. 

Lucio. I was once before him for getting a wench 
with child. 

Duke. Did you fuch a thing ? 

Lucio. Yes, marry, did I : but I was fain to for- 
fwear it ; they would elfe have marry'd me to the 
rotten medlar. 

Duke. Sir, your company is fairer than honeft : Reft 
you well. 

Lucio. By my troth, I'll go with thee to the lane's 
end : if bawdy talk offend you, we'll have very little 
of it : Nay, friar, I am a kind of burr, I mail flick. 



Changes to the Palace. 
Enter Angela and Efcalus. 

Efcal. Every letter he hath writ hath difvouch'd 

Ang. In moft uneven and diffracted manner. His 
actions Ihew much like to madnefs ; pray heaven, his 
wifdom be not tainted ! And why meet him at the 
gates, and re-deliver our authorities there ? 

Efcal. I guefs not. 

Ang. And why fhould we proclaim it in an hour be- 
fore his entring, that, if any crave redrefs of injuftice, 
they mould exhibit their petitions in the flreet ? 

Efcal. He mews his reaibn for that : to have adif- 
patch of complaints ; and to deliver us from devices 
hereafter, which fhall then have no power to Hand 
againft us. 

Ang. Well ; I befecch you, let it be proclaim'd : 
Betimes i' the morn, I'll call you at your haute : 

VOL, II. K Give 


Give notice to fuch men of fort and fuit % 
As are to meet him. 

Efcal I fliall, fir : fare you well. [Exit. 

Ang. Good night. 

This deed unfhapes me quite, makes me unpregnant *, 
And dull to all proceedings. A deflower'd maid ! 
And by an eminent body, that enforc'd, 
The law againft it ! But that her tender ihame 
Will not proclaim againft her maiden lofs, 
How might fhe tongue me ? Yet reafon dares her ? 
no s : 

3 fart andfuit,'] Figure and rank. JOHNSON. 

4 makes me unpregnant,] In the firft fcene the Duke fays 

that Efcalus is pregnant, i.e. ready in the forms of law. E/a- 
pregnant therefore, in the inftance before us, is unready, unpre- 
pared. STEEVENS. 

5 Tet reafon dares her ? no :] The old folio imprefiions read : 

i Yet reafon dares her No. 

And this is right. The meaning is, the circumftances of our 
cafe are fuch, that fhe will never venture to contradift me : dares 
her to reply No to me, whatever I fay. WARBUK.TON. 
Mr. Theobald reads : 

Tct reafon dan 'S her note. 
Sir Thomas Hanmer : 

Tet reafon dares her : No, 

Mr. Upton : 

'Tet reafon dares her No, 

which he explains thus : Tet, fays Angelo, reafon ivlll give her 
courage No, that is, it will not. I am afraid dare has no fuch 
lignification. I have nothing to offer worth infertion. JOHNSON'. 
To dare has two fignifications ; to terrify, as in The Maid's 
Tragedy : 

" thofe mad mifchiefs 

" Would dare a woman." 
Again, in The Gentleman UJher by Chapman : 

" A caft of falcons on their merry wings 
'* Daring the ftooped prey that fhifting flies." , 
Dr. Warburton fays, that the meaning is, " the circumstances 
of our cafe are fuch, that fhe will never venture to contradict 
me." It mould, however, be remembered, that Angelo had no 
accufation to prefer againft Ifabella, fo that I know not what af- 
fertion of his fhe could be expected to contradid. I would read : 

yet reafon dares her not t 
For my authority, &c. 


For my authority bears a credent bulk 6 , 
That no particular fcandal once can touch, 
But it confounds the breather. He fliould have liv'd, 
Save that his riotous youth, with dangerous fenfe, 
Might, in the times to come, have ta'en revenge, 
By fo receiving a difhonour'd life, 
With ranfom of fuch fhame. 'Would yet he had 

liv'd ! 

Alack, when once our grace we have forgot, 
Nothing goes right ; we would, and we would not 7 . 


In 1C. Henry IV. P. I. to dare is to challenge or call forth : 
" Unlefs a brother ftiould a brother dare 
" To gentle exercife, &c." 
The meaning will then be, 

Tet reafon does not challenge, call forth, or incite her to appear 
etgainft me, for my authority is above the reach of her accufation. 

" It dares me," in the North, fignifies it pains or grieves me; 
but that fenfe is not eafily applicable to the paflage in queftion. 

6 < ' my authority lears a credent bulk. 

That no particular Jlander &c.] 

Credent is creditable, inforcing credit, not quejiionable. The old 
Englifti writers often confound the aftive and paffive adje&ives. 
So Shakefpeare, and Milton after him, ufe inexprejjive for inex- 

Particular is private, a French fenfe. No fcandal from any 
private mouth can reach a man in my authority. JOHNSON. 

The old copy reads bears of I fuppofe for bears of, i. e. 
carries along with it. STEEVENS. 

7 ive would, and <we would not.~\ Here undoubtedly 

the aft mould end, and was ended by the poet ; for here is pro- 
perly a ceflation of aftion, and a night intervenes, and the place 
is changed, between the paffages of this fcene, and thofe of the 
next. The next at beginning with the following fcene, proceeds 
without any interruption of time or change of place. JOHNSON. 




Changes to the Fields without the Town. 
Enter Duke in his own habit, and Friar Peter. 

Duke. Thefe 8 letters at fit time deliver me. 

[Giving letters* 

The Provoft knows our purpofe, and our plot. 
The matter feeing afoot, keep your inftruction, 
And hold you ever to our fpecial drift ; 
Though fometimes you do blench 9 from this to that, 
As caufe doth minifter. Go, call at Flavius* houfe, 
And tell him, where I flay : give the like notice 
Unto Valentius, Rowland, and to Craflus, 
And bid them bring the trumpets to the gate ; 
But fend me Flavius firft. 

Peter. It {hall be fpeeded well. [Exit Friar, 

Enter Farrius. 

Duke. I thank thee, Varrius ; thou haft made good 


Come, we will walk : There's other of our friends 
Will greet us here anon, my gentle Varrius. 



Enter Ifabella and Mariana. 

JJ'ab. To fpeak fo indirectly, I am loth ; 
I would fay the truth ; but to accufe him fo, 
That is your part : yet I'm advis'd to do it ;. 
He fays, to vail full purpofe T . 


8 Thefe letter -j ] Peter never delivers the letters, but 

tells his ftory without any credentials. The poet forgot the plot 
which he had formed. JOHNSOX. 

9 -you do blench from this to that.] To blench is to ftart off, 

to fly off. STEEVENS. 

* ffe/ays, to vail full/a;^.] Thus the old copies, I don't 



Marl. Be rul'd by him. 

Ifab. Befides, he tells me, that, if peradventure 
He fpeak againfl me on the adverfe fide, 
I mould not think it ftrange ; for 'tis a phyfick, 
That's bitter to fweet end. 

Mart. I would, friar Peter 

Ifab. Oh, peace ; the friar is come. , 

Enter Friar Peter *. 

Peter. Come, I have found you out a fland moft 


Where you may have fuch vantage on the duke, 
He mail not pals you : Twice have the trumpets 

founded ; 
The generous 3 and graveft citizens 


know what idea our editors formed to themfelves of vailing full 
purppfe ; but, I'm perfuaded, the poet meant, as I have reftored, 
viz.' to a purpole that will Hand us in Head, that will profit us. 


He fays, to vailfullpurpofc.'] Mr.' Theobald alters it to, 

He fays, t' availful purpofe ; 

becaufe he has no idea of the common reading. A good reafon ! 
Yet the common reading is right. Full is ufed for beneficial i 
and the meaning is, He Jays, it is to bide a beneficial purpofe, that 
mufl not yet le revealed. WARBURTOX. 

To vail full purpofe, may, with very little force on the words, 
mean, to bide the whole extent of our dejlgn, and therefore the read- 
ing may fland ; yet I cannot but think Mr. Theobald's altera- 
tion either lucky or ingenious. To interpret words with fuch 
laxity, as to make///// the fame with leUfftciat, is to put an end, 
at once, to all neceffity of emendation, for any word may then 
itmd in the place of another, JOHNSON. 

z Enter briar Pct-cr.~\ This play has two Friars, either of whom 
might fmgly have ferved. I fhould therefore imagine, that Friar 
Thomas, in the fir ft ad, might be changed, without any harm, 
to Friar Peter ; for why fhould the Duke unneceflarily truft two 
in an affair which required only one. The name of Friar Tho- 
mas is never mentioned in the dialogue, and therefore feems ar- 
bitrarily placed at the head of the fcene. JOHNSON. 

3 The generous, feV.] J. c. the mojl noble, &c. Generous is 
here ufed in its Latin fenfe. " \ T \rgp'generofet et nobilis." Cicero. 
Shakefpeare ules it a^ain in Othtllo: 

K ? the 


Have hent the gates *, and very near upon 
The duke is entring ; therefore hence, away. 



Apublick Place near the City. 

Enter Duke, Varrius^ Lords, Angelo^ Efcalus, Lucio, and 
Citizens, at fever al doors. 

Duke. My very worthy coufin, fairly met: 
Our old and faithful friend, we are glad to fee you. 

Ang. and, Efcal. Happy return be to your royal 
grace ! 

Duke. Many and hearty thankings to you both. 
We have made enquiry of you ; and we hear 
Such goodnefs of your juftice, that our foul 

" the generous iflanders 

** By you invited " STEEVENS. 

* Have htnt the gates, ] Have feized or taken poflefiion of 
the gates. JOHNSON. 
So in Sir A. Gorges' tranflation of the 4th B. of Lucan : 

" did prevent 

" His foes, ere they the hills had bent" 
So in T. Heywood's Rape of Lucrece, 1630 : 

" Lament the Roman land 

" The king is from thee bent." 
Again, in the bl. 1. Romance ofSyrEglamoureofArtoys, no date: 

* ' But with the childe homewarde gan ryde 

" That fro the gryffon was hent" 

Again, in the ancient metrical romance of Syr Guy of Warwick, 
b. 1. no date : 

" Some by the arms bent good Guy, &c." 
Again, " And fome by the bridle him hent. :t 
Spenfer often ufes the word bend for tofiize or take, and overleml 
for to overtake. STEUVENS. 



Cannot but yield you forth to publick thanks, 
Fore-running more requital. 

Ang. You make my bonds flill greater. 

Duke. Oh, your defert fpeaks loud ; and I fhould 

wrong it, 

To lock it in the wards of covert bofom, 
When it deferves with characters of brafs 
A forted relidence, 'gainft the tooth of time 
And razure of oblivion : Give me your hand, 
And let the fubjects fee, to make them know 
That outward courteiies would fain proclaim 
Favours that keep within. Come, Efcalus ; 
You muft walk by us on our other hand ; 
And good fupporters are you. [As tke Duke is going out, 

Enter Peter and Ifabdla. 

Peter. Now is your time ; fpeak loud, and kneel 
before him. 

Ifab. Juftice, O royal Duke ! * vail your regard 
Upon a wrong'd, I would fain have faid, a maid ! 
Oh worthy prince, dilhonour not your eye 
By throwing it on any other objecl, 
Till you have heard me in my true complaint, 
And given me juftice, juftice, juftice, juftice ! 

Duke. Relate your wrongs : In what ? by whom ? 

be brief: 

Here is lord Angclo mail give you juftice; 
Reveal yourfelf to him. 

Ijab. Oh, worthy duke, 

5 mail your rf <?;//] That is, withdraw your thoughts from 

higher things, let your notice defcend upon a wronged woman. 
To vail, is to lower. JOHNSON. 

This is one of the few expreffions which might have been bor- 
rowed from the old play of Promos and Cajjandra, 1598 : 

" vail thou thine ears." 

So in Stanyhurfl's tranilation of the 4th Book of Virgil's jEneid : 

" Pbrygio liceat fervire marito" 

" Let Dido vaifafX heart to bed-fellow Trojan." 


K 4 You 


You bid me feek redemption of the devil : 
Hear me yourfelf ; for that which I mufl fpeak 
Muft either punim me, not being believ'd, 
Or wring redrefs from you : hear me a oh, hear me, 

Ang. My lord, her wits, I fear me, are not firm : 
She hath been a fuitor to me for her brother, 
Cut off by courfe of juftice, 

Ifab. By courfe of juftice ! 

Ang. And ihe will fpeak moft bitterly, and flrange. 

Ifab. Moft ftrange, but yet moft truly, will I fpeak : 
That Angelo's for! worn ; is it not flrange ? 
That Angelo's a murtherer ; is't not ftrange ? 
That Angelo is an adulterous thief, 
An hypocrite, a virgin violater ; 
Is it not ftrange, and ftrange ? 

Duke. Nay, it is ten times ftrange. 

Ifab. It is not truer he is Angelo, 
Than this is all as true as it is ftrange : 
Nay, it is ten times true ; for truth is truth 6 
To the end of reckoning. 

Duke. Away with her ; Poor foul, 
She fpeaks this in the infirmity of fenfe. 

Ifab. O prince, I conjure thee, as thou believ'ft 
There is another comfort than this world, 
That thou neglect me not, with that opinion 
That I am touch'd with madnefs : make not impof- 


That which but feems unlike : 'tis not impoflible, 
But one, the wicked'ft caitiffonthe ground, 
May feem 7 as fhy, as grave, as juft, as ablblute, 

* truth is truth 

To the end of reckoning.] 

That is, truth has no gradations ; nothing which admits of en- 
create can be fo much what it is, as truth is truth. There may 
he lijlrange thing, and a thing more Jirange, but if a proportion 
be true, there can be none more true. JOHNSON. 

7 asfij, as grave, asjujt, as abfolutc^] AsJIy; as referred, 

as abfi rafted : asjnjl; as nice, as exadl : asabfolutc; as complete 
in all the round of duty. JOHNSON. 



AS Angelo ; even fo may Angelo, 
8 In all his draftings, chara&s 9 , titles, forms, 
Be an arch villain : believe it, royal prince, 
If he be lefs, he's nothing ; but he's more, 
Had I more name for badnefs. 

Duke. By mine honefty, 
If ihe be mad, (as I believe no other) 
Her madnefs hath the oddeft frame of fenfe, 
Such a dependency of thing on thing, 
As e'er I heard in madnefs. 

Ifab. Gracious duke, 

Harp not on that ; nor do not banim reafon T 
For inequality : but let your reafon ferve 
To make the truth appear, where it feems hid ; 
Not hide the falfe, feems true *. 

Duke. Many that are not mad, 
Have, fure, more lack of reafon. What would you 

Ifab. I am the fitter of one Claudio, 
Condemn'd upon the act of fornication 
To lofe his head ; condemn'd by Angelo : 
I, in probation of a fifterhood, 
Was lent to by my brother ; One Lucio 
Was then the meffenger ; - 

8 In all his drejjings, &c.] In all his femblance of virtue, in all 
his habiliments of office. JOHNSON. 

9 charafts, ] i.e. characters. See Dugdale, Orig. 

Jurid. p. 8 1. " That he ufe ne hide, no charme, ne carefle. 1 ' 

So in Gower, DC Confcjjionc Amantis, B. i : 

With his carrccle would him enchaunt." 


And read his carctle in the wife." B. v. fol. 103. 
Through his carcttcs and figures." B. vi. fol. 140. 
And his carefle as he was taught, 

He rad, &c." STEEVENS. 

* Jo not bani/b reafon 

For inequality : ] 

Let not the high quality of iny adverfary prejudice you againft 

* And hide the falfe, feems true.'} We (hould read, 
Not blde- WAREURTON. 



Lucio. That's I, an't like your grace : 
I came to her from Claudio, and denYd her 
To try her gracious fortune with lord Angelo, 
for her poor brother's pardon. 

Ij'ab. That's he, indeed. 

buke. You were not bid to fpeak. 

Lucio. No, my good lord ; 
Nor wiih'd to hold my peace. 

Duke. I wilh you now then ; 
Pray you, take note of it : and when you hare 
A bufmefs for yourfelf, pray heaven, you then 
Be perfect 

LMCIO. I warrant your honour. 

Duke. The warrant's for yourfelf ; take heed to it. 

Ifab. This gentleman told fomewhat of my tale. 

Lucio. Right. 

Duke. It may be right ; but you are in the wrong 
To fpeak before your time. Proceed. 

Ifab. I went 
To this pernicious caitiff deputy. 

Duke. That's fomewhat madly fpoken. 

Ifab. Pardon it ; 
The phrafe is to the matter. 

Duke. Mended again : the matter ; Proceed* 

Ifab. In brief, to fet the needlefs procefs by, 
How I perfuaded, how I pray'd, and kneel'd, 
How he refell'd me ', and how I reply'd ; 


3 How he refell'd w?, .] To refel is to refute. 

" R.efel\ere et coargaerc mendacium." Cicero pro Ligario, 
Ben Jonfon ufes the word : . 

" Friends, not to refel you, 
" Or any way quell you." 

The modern editors changed the word to repel. Again, in Tbt 
SefOKd Part of Robert Earl of Huntington, 1601 : 

" Therefore go on, young Bruce, proceed, refell 
" The allegation." ' 
Again, in Tic Tragedy of Mariam, 1613 : 

" Her flcm will every curtleaxe edge refell" 
** The reafon's itrong and not to be refeird." 

J, Markharns Arcadia y 1607. 


{For this was of much length) the vile conclufion. 

I now begin with grief and ihame to utter : 

He would not, but by gift of my chafte body 

To his concupifcible 4 intemperate luft, 

Releafe my brother ; and, after much debatement, 

My fifterly remorfe s confutes my honour, 

And I did yield to him : But the next morn betimes, 

His purpofe furfeiting 6 , he fends a warrant 

For my poor brother's head. 

Duke. This is moft likely ! 

Ifab. Oh, that it were as like, as it is true 7 ! 

Duke. By heaven, fond wretch 8 , thou know'ft not 

what thou fpeak'fl ; 

Or elfe thou art fuborn'd againft his honour 
In hateful practice 9 : Firft, his integrity 

Again, in Eliqfto LibiJinofo : 

" Thou haft fo many precepts to refell that thou hail always 
Again, in Hey wood's Silver Age, 1613: 

** Will flrive by word or action to refill" STEEVENS. 

4 To his concupifcible, &c.] Such is the old reading. The mo- 
dern editors unauthoritatively fubftitute concuplfcent. STEEVEKS. 

5 Myjijlerly remorfe] i.e. pity. STEEVENS. 

6 His purpofe furfeiting] Thus the old copy. We might read 
forfeiting^ but the former word is too much in^the manner of 
Shakefpeare to be rejected. So in Othello : 

'* my hopes not forfeited to death." STEEVENS. 

7 Oh> that it ivere as like, as it is true!] Like is not here ufed 
far probable, but for feemly. She catches at the Duke's word, and 
turns it to another lenfe ; of which there are a great many exam- 
ples in Shakefpeare, and the writers of that time. WAR BUR TON. 

I do not fee why like may not (land here ior probable, or why 
the lady fhould not wifli, that fince her tale is true, it may obtain 
belief. If Dr. Warburton's explication be right, we fhould read, 

O ! that it were as likely, as 'tis true ! 
Like I have never found for feemly, JOHNSON. 

8 fond wetcb,] Fond wretch is foolijh wretch. So in an- 
other play of our author : 

" 'Tis/0Wto wail inevitable ftrokes." STEEVENS. 

9 In hateful practice : ] Practice was ufed by the old writeri 

for any unlawful or iniidious ilratagem. So again : 

" This mujl needs be practice :" 
and again t 

" Let me lave way tojlnd this practice out" JOHNSON. 



Stands without blemifh : next, it imports no reafon, 
That with fuch vehemency he fhould purfue 
Faults proper to himfelf : if he had fo offended, 
He would have weigh 'd thy brother by himfelf, 
And not have cut him off : Some one hath fet you on ; 
Confefs the truth, and fay by vvhofe advice 
Thou cam'ft here to complain. 

Ifab. And is this all ? 
Then, oh, you bleffed miniflers above, 
Keep me in patience ; and, with ripen'd time, 
Unfold the evil which is here wrapt up 
*In countenance! Heaven fhield your grace from 

As I, thus wrong'd, hence unbelieved go ! 

Duke. I know, you'd fain be gone : An officer- 
To prifon with her : Shall we thus permit 
A blafting and a fcandalous breath to fall 
On him fo near us ? This needs muft be a practice 2 . 
Who knew of your intent, and coming hither ? 

Ifab. One that I would were here, friar Lodowick. 

Duke. A ghoftly father, belike : Who knows that 
Lodowick ? 

Lv.cio. My lord, I know him ; 'tis a medling friar j 
I do not like the man : had he been lay, my lord, 
For certain words he fpake againft your grace 
In your retirement, I had fwing'd him foundly. 

Duke. Words againil me ? this' a good friar be- 
like ! 

And to fet on this wretched woman here 
Againft our fubftitute ! Let this friar be found. 

Lucio. But yefternight, my lord, ihe and that 

1 In countenance !] \. e. in partial favour. WAR BUR TON, 

1 practice.] PraRice in Shakeipeare, very often means 

Jhameful artifice, unjuftifiable ftratagem. So in K. Lear ; 

" This isfraflicc, Glofter." 

Again, in K. John: 

" It is the fhameful work of Hubert's hand, 

" Thepraflice and the purpofe of the king." STEEVENS. 


I faw them at the prifon : a fawcy friar, 
A very fcurvy fellow. 

Peter. Blefled be your royal grace ! 
I have flood by, my lord, and I have heard 
Your royal ear abus'd : Firft, hath this woman 
Moft wrongfully accus'd your fubftitute ; 
Who is as free from touch or foil .with her, 
As fhe from one ungot. 

Duke. We did believe no lefs. 
Know you that friar Lodowick, which fhe fpeaks of ? 

Peter. I know him for a man divine and holy ; 
Not fcurvy, nor a temporary medler ', 
As he's reported by this gentleman ; 
And, on my trufl, a man that never yet 
Did, as he vouches, mifreport your grace. 

Lurio. My lord, mofl villainoufly ; believe it* 

Peter. Well, he in time may come to clear himfelf ; 
But at this inflant he is fick, my lord, 
Of a flrange fever : Upon his mere requefl 4 , 
(Being come to knowledge that there was complaint 
Intended 'gainfl lord Angelo) came I hither, 
To fpeak, as from his mouth, what he doth know 
Is true, and falfe ; and what he with his oath, 
And all probation, will make up full clear, 
Whenever he's convented 5 . Firft, for this woman ; 


3 nor a temporary medler,] It is hard to know what is meant 
by a temporary medler. In its ufual fenfe, as oppofed to perpetual^ 
it cannot be ufed here. It may (rand for temporal: the lenie will 
then be, I know him for a holy man, one that meddles not *Mttb ie 
cular affairs. It may mean temporijlng: I kno-w him to be a holy 
man, one who would not temporiie, or take the opportunity of your 
abfence to defame you. Or we may read : 

Not fcurvy, nor a tamperer and medler : 

not one who would have tampered with this woman to make her a 
falfe evidence againft your deputy. JOHNSON. 

4 his mere reipiejl,~\ i.e. his alfolute requeft. Thus in 

Hamlet : 

" things rank and grofs in nature 

" Poflefs it merely." STEEVEKS. 

5 WTnnever his conven'd ] The firit folio reads, convented, 



(To juftify this worthy nobleman, 
So vulgarly 6 and personally accus'd) 
Her fhall you hear difproved to her eyes, 
Till Ihe herfelf confefs it. 

Duke. Good friar, let's hear it. 
Do you not fmile at this, lord Angelo ? 
O heaven ! the vanity of wretched fools ! 
Give us fome feats. Come, coufin Angelo 7 ; 


and this is right : for to convene fignifies to aflemble ; but convent, 
to cite, or fummons. Yet, becaufe converted hurts the meafure, 
the Oxford editor fticks to convened, though it be nonfenfe, and 
fignifies, Whenever he is affcmbled together. But thus it will be, 
when the author is thinking of one thing and his critic of another. 
The poet was attentive to his fenfe, and the editor quite through- 
out his performance, to nothing but the meafure ; which Shake- 
fpeare having entirely neglected, like all the dramatic writers of 
that age, he has fpruced him up with all the exa&nefs of a mo- 
dern meafurer of fyllables. This being here taken notice of once 
for all, (hall, for the future, be torgot, as if it had never been. 


To convent is no uncommon word. So in Woman's a Weather- 
cock t 1612 : 

" left my looks 

" Should tell the company con-vented there, &c." 
To convent and to convene are derived from the fame Latin 
verb, and have exactly the fame meaning. STEEVENS. 

6 So vulgarly ] Meaning either fo grojly, with fuch indecency 
of inventive, or by fo mean and inadequate witnefles. JOHNSON. 
Vulgarly, J believe, means publickly. The vulgar are the com- 
mon people. Daniel ufes vulgarly for among the common people : 

a anc [ which pleafes vulgarly" STEEVENS. 

7 Come, coujtn Angelo, 

In this I will be partial ;] 
Jn former editions, 

Come, coujin Angelo, 

In this Pll be impartial ; be you judge 

Of your civn caiife 

Surely this Duke had odd notions of impartiality, to commit 
the deciiion of a caufe to the perfon accuied. He talks much 
more rationally in the charadler of the Friar : 

The duke's unjuil, 

Thus to retort your manifejl appeal ; 

And put your trial in the villain's mouth t 

Whom here you come 1? accvfe, 

I think, 


In this I will be impartial ; be you judge 

Of your own caufe. Is this the witnefs, friar ? 

\_Ijabella is carried qff y guarded. 

1 think, there needs no ftronger authority to convince, that 
the poet muft have wrote, as I have corre&ed, 

In this I will be partial ; THEOBALD. 

K Come, Coufin Angelo, 

' In this I'll be impartial: be you judge 

" Of your own caufe." 

Surely, fays Mr. Theobald, this duke had odd notions of impar- 
tiality ! He reads therefore, " / will be partial," and all the 
editors follow him : even Mr. Heath declares the obfervation un- 
anfwerable. But fee the uncertainty of criticifm ! impartial was 
fometimes ufed in the fenfe of partial. In the old play of Swet- 
nam the ll r oman-kater, Atlanta cries out, when the judges decree 
againft the women : 

** You are impartial, and we do appeal 

'* From you to judges more indifferent." FARMER. 
So in Marfton's Antonio and Mellida, 2d Part, 1602 : 

" There's not a beauty lives 

" Hath that impartial predominance 

" O'er my affects, as your enchanting graces.'* 
Again, in the lirft edit of Romeo and Juliet, 1597 : 

"Cruel, unjuft, impartial deft\nies !" 

Again, " this day, this unjuft, impartially" 

Again, in Montaigne'' s Effays, tranilated by Florio, 1632: 

" I am very prodigal of cappings, efpecially in fummer. 
I wifh that fome princes that I know would be more fparing and 
impartial difpenfers of them, for being fo indifcreetly employed 
they have no force at all ; if they be without regard, then they 
are without effect." 

In fupport of the old reading, and in confirmation of Mr. 
Farmer's obfervation, it may be remarked, that the writers who 
were contemporary with Shakefpeare, when they would exprefs 
what we now call impartial, generally ufe the word unpartial. 
Thus Marfton in the play above quoted : 

" I tell you, Lady, had you view'd us both 

" With an unpartial eye." 

So Speed, in his Hifl. of Great Britain, 1614, fpeaking of the 
death of queen Elizabeth, fays - " The God of peace called her 
to a far higher glory by his unpartial meflenger, Death." Again, 
in Marfton's Preface to TbeFawne, 1606 : " And rather to be 
unpartially beloved of all, than faclrioufly to be admired of a 
few." Again, in Hey wood's Pleafant Dialogues and Dramas, 



Enter Mariana, 

Firft, let her fhew her face ; and, after, fpeak. 

Man. Pardon, my lord ; I will not fhew my face, 
Until my hufband bid me. 

J)uke. What, are you marry'd ? 

Man. No, my lord. 

Duke. Are you a maid ? 

Man. No, my lord. 

Duke* A widow then ? 

Man. Neither, my lord. 

Duke. Why you are nothing then : 
Neither maid, widow, nor wife 8 ? 

Lucio. My lord, Ihe may be a punk ; for many of 

Are neither maid, widow, nor wife. 

Duke. Silence that fellow : I would, he had fome 

To prattle for himfelf. 

Lucio. Well, my lord. 

Mart. My lord, I do confefs, I ne'er was marry'd; 
And, I confefs, betides, I am no maid : 
I have known my hufband ; yet my hufband knows 

That ever he knew me. 

Lucio. He was drunk then, my lord ; it can be no 

Duke. For the benefit of filence, 'would thou wert 
fo too. 

" -- the fun we find 
" Unpart ially to fliine on all mankind." 

And indeed, I believe, it will be found, that the ancient Eng- 
lifh privative un, was in our author's time generally ufed ; and 
that in or /*, which modern writers have fubftituted in its 
place, was then frequently ufed as an augmentative or intenfive 
particle. Thus impartial was ufed for -very partial, and indifferent 
for very different. See a note on the Tamin? of a Shrew- adl 
IV. fc.i. MALONE. 

8 Neither maid, iu.v/0-tt', nor wife ?~\ This is a proverbial phrafe 
to be found in Ray's Collection. STEEVENS. 




Lucio. Well, my lord. 

Duke. This is no witnefs for lord Angelo. 

Man. Now I come to't, my lord : 
She, that accufes him of fornication, 
In felf fame manner doth accufe my hufband ; 
And charges him, my lord, with fuch a time, 
When I'll depofe I had him in mine arms, 
With all the erTed: of love, 

Ang* Charges me more than me ? 

Man. Not that I know. 

Duke. No ? you fay, your hufband. [To Mariana* 

Marl. W T hy, jufl, my lord, and that is Angelo, 
Who thinks, he knows, that he ne'er knew my body, 
But knows, he thinks, that he knows Ifabel's. 

r. This is a ftrange abufe 9 : Let's fee thy face. 
m. My hufband bids me ; now I will unmafk. 

This is that face, thou cruel Angelo, 
Which, once thou fwor'ft, was worth the looking on : 
This is the hand, which, with a vow'd contract, 
Was faft bdock'd in thine : this is the body, 
That took away the match from Ifabel, 
And did fupply thee at thy garden-houfe, 
In her imagin'd perfon. 

Duke. Know you this woman ? 

Lncio. Carnally, ihe fays. 

Duke. Sirrah, no more. 

Lucio. Enough, my lord. 

Ang. My lord, I muft confefs, I know this woman ; 
And, five years fince, there was fome fpeech of mar- 

Betwixt myfelf and her : which was broke off, 

9 This is ajlrange ab/tfe : ] Ali'fe {lands in this place for de- 
ception^ or puzzle. So in Macbeth : 

" --- myjtrange andfdf abufe, 
means, thisjlrange deception of nwfilf. JOHNSON. 

VOL. II. L Partly 


Partly, for that her promifed proportions l 

Came fhort of compofition ; but, in chief, 

For that her reputation was difvalu'd 

In levity : fince which time, of five years, 

I never fpake with her, faw her, nor heard from her, 

Upon my faith and honour. 

Man. Noble prince, 
As there comes light from heaven, and words from 


As there is fenfe in truth, and truth in virtue, 
I am affianc'd this man's wife, as ftrongly 
As words could make up vows : and, my good lord, 
But tuefday night laft gone, in his garden-houfe, 
He knew me as a wife : As this is true, 
Let me in fafety raife me from my knees ; 
Or elfe for ever be confixed here, 
A marble monument ! 

Ang. I did but fmile 'till now ; 
Now, good my lord, give me the fcope of juftice ; 
My patience here is touch'd : I do perceive, 
_* Thefe poor informal women are no more 


1 her promifed proportions 

Camejhort of compofition ; } 

Her fortune, which was promifed proportionate to mine, fell fhort 
of the compaction, that is, contract or bargain. JOHNSON. 

a Tbefe poor informal women ] i.e. women who have ill 
concerted their ftory. Formal fignifies frequently, in our authour, 
a thing put into form or method : fo informal, out of method, ill 
concerted. How eafy is it to fay, that Shakefpeare might better 
have wrote informing, i. e. accujlng. But he who (as the Oxford 
editor) thinks he did write fo, knows nothing of the character of 
his flile. WARBURTOX. 

I once believed informal had no other or deeper fignification 
than informing, accufing. The fcope of juftice, is the full extent ; 
but think, upon farther enquiry, that informal fignifies incompc* 
tent, not qualified to give teftimony. Of this ufe there are prece- 
dents to be found, though I cannot now recover them. JOHNSON, 

Informal fignifies out of their fenfes, la the Comedy of Errors, 
we meet with thefe lines ; 

_1 will 


But inftruments of fome more mightier member, 
Th-it fets them on : Let me have way, my lord, 
To find this practice out. 

Duke. Ay, with my heart ; 

And punifh them unto your height of pleafure. 
Thou foolifh friar ; and thou pernicious woman, 
Compact with her that's gone ! think'fl thou thy 


Though they would fwear down each particular faint, 
Were teftimonies againfl his worth and credit, 
That's feal'd in approbation 3 ? You, lord Efcalus, 
Sit with my coufin ; lend him your kind pains 

To find out this abufe, whence 'tis deriv'd. . 

There is another friar, that fet them on ; 
Let him be fent for. 

Peter. Would he were here, my lord ; for he, in- 

Hath fet the women on to this complaint : 
Your provolt knows the place where he abides, 
And he may fetch him. 

Duke. Go, do it inflantly. 
And you, my noble and well-warranted coufin, 
Whom it concerns to hear this matter forth % 
Do with your injuries as feems you beft, 

" 1 will not let him ftir, 

" Till I have us'd the approved means I .have, 
" With wholefome fyrups, drugs, and holy prayers, 
" To make of him a. formal man again." 

Formal, in this paflage, evidently lignifies / his fenfes. The 
lines are fpoken of Antipholis of Syvacufe, who is behaving like 
a madman. Again, in Antony and 'Cleopatra : 

" Thou fhouldft come like a fury crown 'd with fnakes, 
** Not like a formal num." STEEVENS. 

3 Thais feal'd in approbation ? ] When any thing fubjeft to 

counterfeits is- tried by the proper officers and approved, a {lamp 
orfeal is put upon it, as among us on plate, weights, and meafures. 
So the Duke fays, that Angelo's faith has been tried, approved, 
and/WVin teftimony or" that approbation, and, like other things 
(of noted, is no more to be called in qtieition. JOHNSON. 

4 to bear this matter forth,] To hear it to the end ; to 

fearch it to the bottom. JOHNSON. 

L 2 In 


In any chaftifement : I for a while 

Will leave you ; ftir not you, till you have well 

Determined upon thefe flanderers. [JEwV. 

Efcal. My lord, we'll do it thoroughly. Signior 
Lucio, did not you fay, you knew that friar Lodo- 
wick to be a difhoncfl perfon ? 

Ludo. Cucullus non fadt monachum : honefl in no- 
thing, but in his cloaths ; and one that hath fpoke 
molt villainous fpeeches of the duke. 

Efcal. We mall intreat you to abide here till he 
come, and enforce them againft him : We lhall find 
this friar a notable fellow. 

Ludo. As any in Vienna, on my word. 

Efcal. Call that fame Ifabel here once again ; I 
would fpeak with her : Pray you, my lord, give me 
leave to queflion ; you mail fee how I'll handle her. 

Ludo. Not better than he, by her own report. 

Efcal. Say you? 

Lucio. Marry, fir, I think, if you handled her pri- 
vately, ihe mould looner confefs ; perchance, pub- 
lickly {he'll be aftiam'd. 

Enter Duke in the Friar's habit, and Provojt. Ifabella 
is brought in. 

Efcal, I will go darkly to work with her. 

Lucio. That's the way; for women are light at 
midnight 5 . 

Efcal. Come on, miftrefs ; here's a gentlewoman 
denies all that you have laid. 

Lucio. My lord, here comes the rafcal I fpoke of; 
here with the Provoft. 

Efcal. In very good time : fpeak not you to him, 
'till we call upon you. 

Ludo. Mum. 

3 are light at midnight. ~\ This is one of the words on 

which Shakefpeare chiefly delights to quibble. Thus Portia in 
the Merchant of Venice : 

" Let me give light ^ but let me not be light." STEEVEN.S. 



Efcal. Come, fir ; Did you fet thefe women on to 
ilander lord Angelo ? they have confefs'd you did. 

Duke. 'Tis falfe. 

Efcal. How 1 know you where you are ? 

'Duke. Refpect to your great place ! and let the 

devil 6 

Be fometime honour'd for his burning throne : 
Where is the duke ? 'tis he fhould hear me fpeak. 

Efcal. The duke's in us ; and we will hear you 

fpeak : 
Look, you fpeak juftly. 

Duke. Boldly, at leaft : But, oh, poor fouls, 
Come you to feek the lamb here of the fox ? 
Good night to your redrcfs : Is the duke gone ? 
Then is your caufe gone too. The duke's unjurl:, 
Thus to retort your manifeft appeal 7 , 
And put your trial in the villain's mouth, 
Which here you come to accufc. 

JLucio. This is the rafcal ; this is he, I fpoke of. 

Efcal. Why, thou unreverend and unhallow'd 

friar ! 

Is't not enough, thou haft fuborn'd thcfe women 
To accufe this worthy man ; but, in foul mouth, 
And in the witnefs of his proper ear, 
To call him villain? 

And then to glance from him to the duke himfelf, 
To tax him with injuftice ? Take him hence ; 
To the rack with him : We'll touzc you joint by 

But we will know this purpofe : What ? unjuft ? 

Duke. Be not fo hot ; the duke 
Dare no more ftretch this finger of mine, than he 

6 let the devil, &c.] Shakefpeare was a reader of Philemon 
Holland's tranflation of Pliny ; and in the vth book and 8th 
chapter, might have met with this idea. " The Augylae do no 
worjbip to any but to the etcvils beneath." STEEVEXS. 

7 To retort your manifeft appeal ; ] To refer lack to Angelo 

the caufe in which you appealed from Angelo to the Duke. 


L 3 Dare 


Dare rack his own ; his fubject I am not, 

Nor here provincial 7 : My bufinefs in this ftatc 

Made me a looker-on here in Vienna, 

Where I have feen corruption boil and bubble, 

'Till it o'er-run the flew : laws, for all faults ; 

But faults fo countenanc'd, that the ftrong 

Stand like the forfeits in a barber v s Ihop % 

As much in mock as mark. 

EJcaL Slander to the (late ! Away with him to 

Ang. What can you vouch againfl him, fignior 

Lucio ? 
Is this the man, that you did tell us of ? 

Ludo. "Tis he, my lord. Come hither, goodman 
bald-pate : Do you know me ? 

7 Nor here provincial :] Nor here accountable. The meaning 
feems to be, I am not one of his natural fubjets, nor of any 

dependent province. JOHNSON. 

8 Stand like the forfeit 

irfcits in a barber's flop,] Barber's (hops were, 
at all times, the refort of idle people : 

" Tonftrina erat quadam : hie fold amus fere 

" Phrumque earn opperiri " 

Which Donatus calls aptafedes otiofis. Formerly with us, the bet- 
ter fort of people went to the barber's mop to be trimmed ; who 
then pracYiied the under parts of furgery : fo that he had occafion 
for numerous inftruments, which lay there ready for ufe ; and the 
idle people, with whom his {hop was generally crowded, would be 
perpetually handling and mifufing them. To remedy which, I 
fuppofe, there was placed up againitthe wall a table of forfeitures, 
adapted to every offence of this kind ; which, it is not likely ^ 
would long preferve its authority. WAR BUR TON. 

This explanation may ferve till a better is difcovered. But 
whoever has feen the inftrumenfs of a chirurgeon, knows that they 
may be very eafily kept out ot improper hands in a very fmall 
box, or in his pocket. JOHNSON. 

The forfeits in a barber's Jhcp are brought forward by Mr. Ken- 
rick with a parade worthy of the fubjecl. FARMER. 

It was formerly part of a barber's occupation to pick the teeth 
and ears. So in the old pla^ of Herod and Antipater, 1622. 
T'rjpbon the barber enters with a cafe of instruments, to each of 
which he addrefles himfelf feparately : 

" Toothpick, dear toothpick ; earpick, both of you 
" Have been her Aveet companions ! Sec." STEEVENS. 



Duke. I remember you, fir, by the found of your 
voice : I met you at the prifon, in the abfence of the 

Luc lo. Oh, did you fo ? And do you remember 
what you faid of the duke ? 

Duke. Moft notedly, fir. 

Lurio. Do you fo, fir ? And was the duke a flem- 
monger, a fool, and a coward 9 , as you then reported 
him to be ? 

Duke. You muft, fir, change perfons with me, ere 
.you make that my report : you, indeed, fpoke fo of 
him ; and much more, much worfe. 

Luck. O thou damnable fellow ! Did not I pluck 
thee by the nofe, for thy fpeeches ? 

Duke. I proteft, I love the duke, as I love myfelf. 

Ang. Hark ! how the villain would clofe now, af- 
ter his treafonable abufes. 

Efcal. Such a fellow is not to be talk'd withal : 
Away with him to prifon : Where is the provofl ? 
Away with him to prifon ; lay bolts enough upon 
him : let him fpeak no more : away with thofe 
giglots too ', and with the other confederate compa- 
nion. [The Provoft lays hands on the Duke* 

Duke. Stay, fir ; flay a while. 

Ang. What I refifts he ? Help him, Lucio. 

Luclo, Come, fir ; come, fir ; come, fir : foh, fir ; 
Why, you bald-pated, lying rafcal ! you muft be 
hooded, muft you ? iliow your knave's vifage, with 

9 and a coward,] So again afterwards : 

" Ton, Jirrab, that know me for a fool \ a coward, 

*' One all of luxury " 

But Lucio had not, in the former converfation, mentioned cow- 
ardice among the faults of the duke. Such failures of memory 
are incident to writers more diligent than this poet, JOHNSON. 

* tbofe giglots too,\ A vizlot is a wanton wench. So in 

K, Henry VI. P. I : 

" young Talbot was not born 

*' To be the pillage of zgiglot wench." STEEVENS. 

L 4 a pox 


a pox to you ! fhow your fheep-biting face, and 

be hang'd an hour M Will't not off? 

[Pulls of the friar's hood, and difcovers tie Duke. 

Duke. Thou art the firft knave, that e'er mad'lt a 


Firft, provoft, let me bail thefe gentle three : 

Sneak not away, fir ; \Jo Lucio.~] for the friar and you 
Mud have a word anon : lay hold on him. 

Luclo. This may prove worfe than hanging. 

Duke. What you have fpoke, I pardon ; fit you 

down. [30 Efcalus. 

We'll borrow place of him : Sir, by your leave : 

[To Angdo* 

Haft thou or word, or wit, or impudence, 
That yet can do thee office ? if thou haft, 
Rely upon it till my tale be heard, 
And hold no longer out. 

Ang. O my dread lord, 
I fliould be guiltier than my guiltinefs, 
To think I can be undifcernable, 
When I perceive, your grace, like power divine, 
Hath look'd upon my pafles 3 : Then, good prince, 
No longer feffion hold upon my fhame, 
But let my trial be mine own confeffion ; 

a Sh(*ivyour ficcp-liting facc^ and be hang'd an hour : ivill't not 
off?'] This is intended to be the common language of vulgar in- 
dignation. Our phrafe on fuch occafions is (imply ; Jhovjyour 
JJiecp-bltingfacc, and be banged. The words an hour have no par- 
ticular ufe here, nor are authorifed by cuftom. I fuppofe it was 
written thus, fao-iv your foecp-bitlng face ^ and be hanged an* ho-~v f 
ivHi't not off-? In the midland counties, upon any unexpected ob- 
{lrution or reiillance, it is common to exclaim an' bo<iv ? 


Show your fl\eep -biting face, nnd be hatig'd an hour .-] Dr. 
Johnfon's alteration is wrong. In the Alchcmift, we meet with 
*' a man that has \>o.t\\Jlr angled an hour." 

What, Piper, ho! be hang'd a-whilc" is a line of an old 
madrigal. FARMER. 

5 y pafles :] i.e. what has paft in my adrmniftration. 




Immediate fentence then, and fequent death, 
Is all the grace I beg. 

Duke. Come hither, Mariana : 
Say, waft thou e'er contracted to this woman ? 

Ang. I was, my lord. 

Duke. Go take her hence, and marry her in- 


Do you the office, friar ; which consummate, 
Return him here again : Go with him, provoft. 

\_Rxeunt Angelo, Mariana, Peter^ and Provvft. 

Efial. My lord, I am more amaz'd at his dilho- 

Than at the ftrangenefs of it. 

Duke. Come hither, Ifabel : 
Your friar is now your prince : As I was then 
Advertifmg, and holy 4 to your bufmefs. 
Not changing heart with habit, I am ftill 
Attorney'd at your fervice. 

Ijab. Oh, give me pardon, 
That I, your vafial, have employ'd and pain'd 
Your unknown fovereignty. 

Duke. You are pardon'd, Ifabel : 
And now, dear maid, be you as free to us s . 
Your brother's death, I know, fits at your heart : 
And you may marvel, why I obfcur'd myfelf, 
Labouring to fave his life ; and would not rather 
Make ram remonftrance of my hidden power, 
Than let him be fo loft : Oh, moft kind maid, 
It was the fwift celerity of his death, 
Which I did think with flower foot came on, 
That brain'd my purpofe 6 : But, peace be with him ! 

4 Advcrtlfing and boly\ Attentive and faithful. JOHNSON. 

s be you as free to us.] Be zs generous to us, pardon us 

as we have pardoned you. JOHNSON. 

6 That brairf d my purpnfe : ] We now ufe in conver- 

fation a like phrafe. This it was that knocked my defign on the head. 
Dr. Warburton reads : 

. "baned nty pnrfojc. JOHNSON. 


That life is better life, paft fearing death, 
Than that which lives to fear : make it your comfort, 
So, happy is your brother. 

Re-enter Angelo^ Mariana^ Peter, and Provqft. 
Ifab. I do, my lord. 

Duke. For this new-marry'd man, approaching here, 
Whofe fait imagination yet hath wrong'd 
Your well-defended honour, you muft pardon him 
For Mariana's fake : But as he adjudg'd your brother, 
(Being criminal, in double violation 
Of facred chaftity ; and of promife-breach, 
Thereon dependant, for your brother's life) 
The very mercy of the law cries out 
Moft audible, even from his proper tongue 7 , 
An Angelo for Claudio, death for death. 
Hafte ftill pays hafte, and leifure anfwers leifure ; 
Like doth quit like, and Meafure ftill for Meafure 8 . 
Then, Angelo, thy fault's thus manifefted ; 
Which though thou would'ft deny, denies thee van- 
tage 9 : 

We do condemn thee to the very block 
Where Claudio ftoop'd to death, and with like 

hafte ; 
Away with him. 

Marl. Oh, my moft gracious lord, 
I hope, you will not mock me with a hufband ! 

7 even from bis proper tongue,] Even from Angelo's 
tnvn tongue. So above. 

* ' /;/ the ivitne/s of bis proper car 
" To call him villain," JOHNSON. 

8 So in the Third Part of K. Henry VI : 

" Meafure for Meafure muft be anfwered." STEEVENS. 
The following lines in an old tragedy entitled A Warning for 
faire Women, 1 599 ; (but apparently written fome years before) 
might have furnifhed Shakefpeare with the title of this play : 
" The trial now remains as fhall conclude, 
" Mfafure for Meafure, and loft blood for blood.'* 


9 denies tbec 'Vantage:'} Takes from thee all opportunity # 
all expedient of denial. WARBURTON. 



Duke. It is your hufband mock'd you with a huf- 

band : 

Conferring to the fafeguard of your honour, 
I thought your marriage fit ; elfe imputation, 
For that he knew you, might reproach your life, 
And choak your good to come : for his pofleffions, 
Although by confifcation they are ours, 
We do enftate and widow you withal, 
To buy you a better hufband. 

Mart. Oh, my dear lord, 
I crave no other, nor no better man. 

Duke. Never crave him ; we are definitive. 

Marl. Gentle, my liege [Kneeling 

Duke. You do but lofe your labour ; 

Away with him to death. Now, fir, to you. 

[To Lucio. 

Man. Oh, my good lord ! Sweet Ifabel, take 

my part ; 

Lend me your knees, and all my life to come 
I'll lend you, all my life to do you fervice. 

Duke. Againil all fenfe you do importune her* : 
Should fhe kneel down, in mercy of this fad:, 
Her brother's ghoft his paved bed would break, 
And take her hence in horror. 

Mart. Ifabel, 

Sweet Ifabel, do yet but kneel by me ; 
Hold up your hands, fay nothing, I'll fpeak all. 
They fay, beft men are moulded out of faults ; 
And, for the moft, become much more the better 
For being a little bad ; fo may my hufband. 
Oh, Ifabel ! will you not lend a knee ? 

Duke. He dies for Claudio's death. 

\ Jgalnjl nil fenfe jw; do Importune her;} The meaning requir- 
ed is, agftffitt all reafon and natural aftedtion ; Shakefpeare, there- 
fore, judicioufly ufes a angle word that implies both ; fenfe fi<mi- 
fying both reafon and affection. JOHNSON. 

The fame expreffion occurs in the Tcmpcft. Ad II : 
" You cram thefe words into my ears, ngainil 
44 The ftomach of my fenfe." STEEVENS, 



Ifab. Moft bounteous fir, [Kneeling. 

Look, if it pleafe you, on this man condemn'd, 
As if my brother liv'd : I partly think, 
A due fincerity govern'd his deeds, 
'Till he did look on me - ; lince it is fo, 
Let him not die : my brother had but juftice, 
In that he did the thing for which he dy'd : 
For Angelo, 

His aft did not o'ertake his bad intent 3 ; 
And muft be bury'd but as an intent, 
That perifh'd by the way : thoughts arc no fubjefts 
Intents, but merely thoughts. 
. Man. Merely, my lord. 

Duke. Your fuit's unprofitable ; (land up, I fay. 
I have bethought me of another fault : 
Provofl, how came it, Claudio was beheaded 
At an unuiual hour ? ; 

2 Till be did look on me \~\ The duke has juflly obferved that 
Ifabel is importuned agahift allfenfe to folicit for Angelo, yet here 
again/I allfenfe fhe folicits for him. Her argument is extraordi- 

A due Jtnccrity gov errid bis deeds, 

'Till be did look on me ; Jince it isfo^ 

Let him not die. 

That Angelo had committed all the crimes charged againft him, 
as far as he could commit them, is evident. The only intent 
which his aft did not overtake, was the defilement of Ifabel. Of 
this Angelo was only intentionally guilty. 

Angclo's crimes were fuch, as muft fufficiently juftify punifh- 
ment, whether its end be to fecure the innocent from wrong, or 
to deter guilt by example ; and I believe every reader feels fome 
indignation when he finds him fpared. From what extenuation 
of his crime, can Ifabel, who yet fuppofes her brother dead, form 
any plea in his favour > Since be was good 'till he looked on me, let 
I'an not die. I am afraid our varlet poet intended to inculcate, that 
women think ill of nothing that railes the credit of their beauty, 
and are ready, however virtuous, to pardon any acl: which they 
think incited by their own charms. JOHNSON. 

" How oft the fight of power to do ill deeds, 

" Makes ill deeds done r" K. John. STEEVENS. 

3 His aft did not o'ertake his bad intent ; ] So in Macbeth : 

*' The flighty purpofe never is overtook, 
" Unlefs the deed go with it." STEEVENS. 



Prov. It was commanded fo. 

Duke. Had you a fpccial warrant for the deed ? 

Prov. No, my good lord ; it was by private rrtef- 

Duke. For which I do difcharge you of your office : 
Give up your keys. 

Prov. Pardon me, noble lord : 
I thought it was a fault, but knew it not ; 
Yet did repent me, after more advice 4 : 
For teftimony whereof, one in the prifon, 
That mould by private order elfe have dy'd, 
I have referv'd alive. 

Duke. What's he ? 

Prov. His name is Barnardine. 

Duke. I would, thou had'ft done fo by Claudio. 
Go, fetch him hither ; let me look upon him. 

Exit Provojl. 

Efcal. I am forry, one fo learned and fo wife 
As you, lord Angelo, have flill appear'd, 
Should flip fo grofly, both in the heat of blood, 
And lack of temper'd judgment afterward. 

Ang. I am forry, that fuch forrow I procure : 
And fo deep flicks it in my penitent heart, 
That I crave death more willingly than mercy; 
'Tis my deferving, and I do entreat it. 

Re-enter Provojl, Barnardine, Claudio, and Julietta. 

Duke. Which is that Barnardine ? 

Prov. This, my lord. 

Duke. There was a friar told me of this man : 
Sirrah, thou art faid to have a ftubborn foul, 
That apprehends no further than this world, 
And fquar'fl thy life according : Thou'it condemn'd; 
But, for thofe earthly faults 5 , I quit them all ; 

4 after more advice:] i. e. after more mature confideration. 


5 -for tbofe earthly faults,] Thy faults, fo far as they are 

punifhable on earth, fo far as they are cognifable by temporal 
power, I forgive. JOHNSON. 

I pray 


I pray thee, take this mercy to provide 

For better times to come : Friar, advife him; 

I leave him to your hand. What muffled fellow's 

that ? 

Prov. This is another prifoncr, that I fav'd, 
Who fhould have dy'd when Claudio loft his head ; 
As like almoft to Claudio, as himfelf. 

Duke. If he be like your brother, for his fake 

[To Ifab. 

Is he pardon'd ; And, for your lovely fake, 
Give me your hand, and fay, you will be mine, 
He is my brother too : But fitter time for that* 
By this, lord Angelo perceives he's fafe 6 ; 
Methinks, I fee a quick'ning in his eye : 
Well, Angelo, your evil quits you well 7 : 
Look, that you love you wife 8 ; her worth, worth 

yours 9 . 

I find an apt remiffion in myfelf ; 

And yet here's one in place I cannot pardon T ; 


6 pe rcelvcs he's fafe ', ] It is fomewhat ftrange, that Ifabel 

is not made to exprefs either gratitude, wonder, or joy at the fight 
of her brother. JOHNSON. 

7 -your evil quits you well:] 3>uitsyou, recompenfes, re* 

quites you. JOHNSON. 

8 Look that you love your wife ; ] So in Promos >, &c. 

" Be loving to good Caflandra, thy wife.'* STEEVENS* 

9 her ivortb, worth yours. ~\ Sir T. Hanmer reads, 

Her worth works yours. 

This reading is adopted by Dr. Warburton, but for what re'afon ? 
How does her worth work Angela's worth ? it has only contributed 
to work his pardon. The words are, as they are too frequently, 
an affected gingle, but the fenfe is plain. Her worth, worth yours; 
that is, her value is equal to your value, the match is not unwor- 
thy of you. JOHNSON. 

1 here's one in place I cannot fare/on;] After the pardon 

of two murderers, Lucio might be treated by the good duke with 
lefs harftinefs ; but perhaps the poet intended to {how, what is 
too often feen, that men eafily forgive wrongs which are not com- 
mitted againft them /'elves . JOHNSON. 

If this note had not been written before the conclusion of 
the play was read, it would have been found that the Duke only 


You, lirrah, that knew me for a fool, a coward, 

[To Lucio. 

One all of luxury, an afs, a mad-man ; 
Wherein have I deferred fo of you, 
That you extol me thus ? 

Lucio. 'Faith, my lord, I fpoke it but according to 
the trick * : if you will hang me for it, you may, but 
I had rather it would pleafe you, I might be whip'd. 

Duke. Whip'd firft, lir, and hang'd aiter. 
Proclaim it, provoft, round about the city ; 
If any woman's wrong'd by this lewd fellow, 
(As I have heard him fwear himfelf, there's one 
Whom he begot with child) let her appear, 
And he mall marry her : the nuptial finifh'd, 
Let him be whip'd and hang'd. 

Lucio. I befeech your highnefs, do not marry m6 
to a whore ! your highnefs faid even now, I made 
you a duke ; good my lord, do notrecompence me, 
in making me a cuckold. 

Duke. Upon mine honour, thou malt marry her. 
Thy flanders 1 forgive ; and therewithal 
Remit thy other forfeits J : Take him to prifon : 
And fee our pleafure herein executed. 

Lucio. Marrying a punk, my lord, is preffing to 
death, whipping, and hanging. 

Duke. Sland'ring a prince deferves it. 
She, Claudio, that you wrong'd, look you reftore. 

meant to frighten Lucio, whofe final fentence is to marry the 
woman whom he had wronged, on which all his other punifh- 
ments are remitted. STEEVENS. 

i according to the trick :] To my cuflom, my habitual 

practice. JOHNSON. 

3 - thy other forfeits :~\ Thy other punifhments. JOHNSON. 

To forfeit anciently fignified to commit a carnal offence. So in 
t\it Hijtory of Helyas Knight of the Swanne, bl. 1. no date. " to 
affirme by an untrue knight, that the noble queen Beatrice had 
forfayted \v\tia. a dogge." Again, in the 12th Pageant of the Co-< 
ventry Collection of Myfteries, the Virgin Mary tells Joleph : 

** I dede nevyr forfete with man I vvys." 
MS. Cott. Vefp. D. viii. STEEVEXS. 



Joy to yon, Mariana! love her, Angelo; 

I have confefs'd her, and I know her virtue. 

Thanks, good friend Efcalus, for thy much good- 

nefs 4 : 

There's more behind, that is more gratulate y , 
Thanks, provoft, for thy care, and fecrefy ; 
We lhall employ thee in a worthier place : 
Forgive him, Angelo, that brought you home 
The head of Ragozine for Claudio's ; 
The offence pardons itfelf. Dear Ifabel, 
I have a motion much imports your good ; 
Whereto if you'll a willing ear incline, 
What's mine is yours, and what is yours is mine : 
So bring us to our palace; where we'll Ihow 
What's yet behind, that's meet you all ihould know* 

[Exeunt \ 

* T7}dnks good friend Efcalus, for tly much fpojaejs :~\ I have 
always thought that there is great confufion in this concluding 
fpeech. If my criticifm would not be cenfured as too licentious, 
I fhould regulate it thus : 

Thanks, good friend Efcalus, for tly much goodnefs* 
Tftatiks, Provoft, for tby care and fecrecy j 
Wejball employ thee in a worthier place. 
Forgive him, Angelo, that brought you home 
The head of Ragozine for Clandio's. 
Ang. TV offence pardons itfelf. 
Duke. There's more behind 
Tljat is more gratulate. Dear Ifabel^ 
I have a motion, &c. JOHNSON. 

5 that is more gratulate.] i.e. to le more rejoiced in; 
meaning, I fuppofe, that there is another world, where he will 
find yet greater reafon to rejoice in conlequence of his upright 
miniftry. Efcalus is repreiented as an ancient nobleman, who, 
in conjunction with Angelo, had reached the higheft office or" the 
ftate. He therefore could not be fufficiently rewarded here ; but 
is neceflkrily referred to a future and more exalted lecompence. 


6 I cannot help taking notice with how much judgment Shake- 
fpeare has given turns to this ftory from what he found it in Cyn- 
thio Giraldi's novel. In the firlt place, the brother is there ac- 
tually executed, and the governour fends his head in a bravado to 
the fifter, after he had debauched her on promife of marriage. A 
circumflance of too much horror and villainy for the ftage. Ami, 



in the next place, the lifter afterwards is, to folder up her dif- 
gi-ace, married to the governour, nnd begs his lifeof rhe emperour, 
though he had uniiiitly been the death of her brother. Both 
which abl'urdities the poet has avoided by the cpilbde or Mariana, 
a crenture purely of his own invention. The duke's remaining 
incognito at home to fupervife the conduct ot his deputy, is alib 
entirely our authour's fiction. 

This itory was attempted for the fcenc before our autbour was 
fourteen years old, by one George Whetftone, in Tivo Cwrical 
D ifcourfts, as they are called, containing the right excellent and 
famous hiftory of Promos and Cafiandra, printed with the black 
letter, m/S. The author going that year with Sir Humphrey 
Gilbert to Norimbega, lett them with his friends to publidi. 


The novel of Cynthio Giraldi, from which Shakeipeare isfup- 
pofed to have borrowed this fable, may be read in S&a&t/pt&re il- 
luftratcti, elegantly tranilated, with remarks which will atMthe 
enquirer to diicover how much abfurdity Shakefpeare has admitted 
or avoided. 

I cannot but fufpect that fome other had new-modelled the no- 
vel of Cynthio, or written a ftory which in fome particulars re- 
fembled it, and that Cynthio was not the authour whom Shake- 
fpeare immediately followed. Theemperour in Cynthio is named 
Maximine ; the duke, in Shakeipeare's enumeration of the pcrfons 
of the drama, is called Vincentio. This appears a very flight 
remark ; but fmce the duke has no name in the play, nor is ever 
mentioned but by his title, why fhould he be called Vincentio 
among the perfons, but becaufe the name was copied from the 
tfory, and placed fuperfluoully at the head of the lilt by the mere 
habit of tranfcription ? It is theieiore likely that there was then 
a ftory of Vincentio duke of Vienna, different from that of Maxi- 
mine emperour of the Romans. 

Of this play the light or comick part is very natural and pleaf- 
ing, but the grave fcenes, if a few paflages be excepted, have 
more labour than elegance. The plot is rather intricate than art- 
ful. The time of the action is indefinite ; fome time, we know 
not how much, mull have elapfed between the recefs of the duke- 
and the iinprifonment of Claudio ; tor he mult have learned the 
ftory ot Mariana in his difguiie, or he delegated his power to a 
man already known to be corrupted. The unities, of action and 
place are luth'ciently preserved. JOHNSON. 

The Fable of Whetirone's Prawos am? Caffandra^ 1578. 

" The Argument of the whole Hijloryc" 

" In the cyttie of Julio (Ibmetimes under the dominion of 

Corvinus kynge of Hitn^aric, ;uid Rocmia) there \vis a law, that 

what man fo ever comir/utcd adultery, fnould lofe his head, and 

the woman offender, fi-.ould \\ T eare ibiAe difguiled apparel, during 

her lite, to make her intainoufly noted. This lev eve lawe, by 

VOL. II. M the 


the favour of Come mercifull magiftrate, became little regarded, 
untiil the time of lord Promos authority : who convicting a young 
gentleman named Andrugio of incontinency, condemned, both 
him and his- minion, to the execution of this ilatute. Andntgio 
had a very virtuous and beautiful gentlewoman to his lifter, named 
Cajjandra : CajjTandra to enlarge her brother's life, fubmitted an 
humble petition to the lord Promos: Promos regarding her good 
behaviours, and fantafying her great beawtie, was much delighted 
\vith the fweete order of her talke : and doyng good, that evill 
might come thereof : for a time he repryv'd her brother : but 
wicked man, tourning his liking into unlawful! luft, he fet downe 
the fpoile of her honour, raunfome for her brothers life : chafte 
Cajfandra, abhorring both him and his fate, by no perfualion 
would yeald to this raunfome. But in fine, wonne with the im- 
portunitye of hir brother (pleading for life:) upon thefe condi- 
tions, flie agreed to Promos. Firft, that he fhould pardon her bro- 
ther, and after marry her. Promos as feareles in promiiTe, as care- 
leffe in performance, with follemne vowe fygned her conditions : 
but worfe then any infydell, his will fatiisfyed, he performed 
r either the one nor the other : for to keepe his aucthoritye, un- 
fpotted with favour, and to prevent CaJJandrac's clamors, he com- 
muunded the gayler iecretly, to prefent Cajfandra with her bro- 
ther's head. The gayler, with the outcryes of Andn/vio, (abr 
horryng Promos lewdenes) by the providence of God /provided 
thus for his fafety. He prefented Cajjandra with a felons head new- 
lie executed, who (being mangled, knew it not from her brothers, 
by the gayler, who was fet at libertie) was fo agreeved at this 
trecherye, that at the point to kyl her feif, fhe fpared that itroke, 
to be avenged of Promos. And devyfing a way, flie concluded, 
to make her fortunes knovvne unto the kinge. She (executing this 
refolution) was fo highly favoured of the king, that forthwith he 
hailed to do juftice on Promos: whofe judgement was, to marrye 
Cajfandra, to repaire her era fed honour : which donne, for his 
hainous offence he fhould lofe his head. This maryage folemp- 
nifed, Cajjlindra tyed in the greateft bondes of affection to her 
hufband, became an earneft futer for his life : the kinge (ten- 
dringe the generall benefit of the comon weale, before her fpe- 
cial eafe, although he favoured her much) would not graunt her 
fute. Andrugio (difguifed amonge the company) forrowing the 

friefe of his filler, bewrayde his fafety, and craved pardon. The 
inge, to renowne the vertues of Caffandra, pardoned both him, 
and Promos. The circumflances of this rare hiftorye, in adtion 
livelye toloweth." 

Whet/lone, however, has not afforded a very correct analyfis of 
his play, which contains a mixture of comic fcenes, between a 
Bawd, a Pimp, Felons, &c. together with fome fericus fituations 
which are not defcribed. STEEVENS. 



O F 


M 2. PeiTons 

Perfons Reprefented. 


Sollnus, Dvktof Ephefus. 
^Egeon, a Merchant of Syracufe. 

-L r f T u r i 1 ^ win Brothers, and Sons to 
Antipho is of Ephefus , ^ a dJEm{l{ but 

Antiphohs / byracuie, jf ^ J^ /fl ^ ^ 

Dromio c^ Ephefus, 7 Twin-Brothers* and Slaves to the 

Dromio of Syracufe, \ two Antipholis'j. 

Balthazar, a Merchant. 

Angelo, a Goldfmith. 

A Merchant, friend to Antipholis of Syracufe. 

Dr. Pinch, a Scbool-mqfter, and a Conjurer. 

JEmilia, Wife to ^Egeon, an Abbefs at Ephefus. 
Adriana, Wife to Antipholis of Ephefus. 
Luciana, Sifter to Adriana. 
Luce, Servant to Adriana. 
A Courtezan. 

Jailor* Officers* and other Attendants. 

SCENE, Ephefus. 

1 In the old copy, thefe brothers are occasionally ftyled, Anti- 
pholus JErotes, or Errotis ; and Antipholus Scrcptns; meaning, 
perhaps erraticus^ -andifurrcptus. One or thefe twins tvaaJereJ 
in learch of his brother who had been forced from jEmilia, by 
fifhe.rmen of Corinth. The following acroitic is the argument to 
the Mcncedimi of Plautus : Delph. Edit. p. 694. 

^lercator Siculus, cut cr ant ge mini fill i^ 

Ei, fiirrcpto altcrn, mars obtigit, 

NomenJ'urreptitii iili indit qui domi ejl 

AVHS paternus, facit Mcn&cbmum Sojiclcm. 

Et is gcrmanttm, pojlquam atiolevit, quaritat 

Circuni onincs oras. Pojl Ep'ulamnum di-venit : 

Hicfuerat autttis Hie furreptitius. 

Men&chmum clt'cm crcditnt onmes ad-venam : 

Euniijue appellant^ meretrix, uxor, et /'>cer. 

Ji _ff cognojcunt fratrfs paftrentb ini'icem. 

*The tranflater, VV. W. calls the brothers, Menaechmus Sajlcles^ and 
Mcntechmus the traveller. \VbeitQcfoercrSbakefrtare adopted crra- 
t:cus andfurnffus (which either he or his editors have mif-fpelt) 
thefe diftinftions were foon dropt, and throughout the reit of the 
entries the twins are ftyled of Syracuj'c or Ephcfus. STEEVENS. 




he Duke's Palace. 

Enter tie Duke of Epbefus, JtLgeon^ Jailor^ and other 

jfcgeon. Proceed, Solinns, to procure my fall, 
And, by the doom of death, end woes and all. 

Duke. Merchant of Syracufa, plead no more; 
I am not partial, to infringe our laws : 

* Shakefpeare certainly took the general plan of this comedy 
from a translation of the Meiuecbmi of Plautus, by W. W. i. e. 
(according to Wood) William Warner, in 1595, vvhofe veriion 
of the acroftical argument already quoted, is as follows : 

** Two twinne-borne fonnes, a Sicill marchant had, 
" Menechmus one, and Soficles the other ; 

* The firft his father loll a little lad, 
'* The grandfire namde the latter like his brother : 

* c This (growne a man) long travell tooke to feeke 
" His brother, and to Epidamnum came, 

" Where th' other dwelt inricht, and him fo like, 
" That citizens there take him for the fame : 

" Father, wife, neighbours, each miftaking either, 
*' Much pleafant error, ere they meete togither." 
Perhaps the laft of thefe lines fuggefted to Shakefpeare the title 
for his piece. 

See this tranflation of the Menachm't^ among fix old Plays on 
which Shakefpearc founded, &c. publiihed by S. Leacroft, Char- 

At Stationers-Hall, Nov. 15, 1613: " A booke called 7ci?# 
TwtMaes" was entered by Geo. Norton. Such a play indeed, by 
W. Rider, was publiihed in 410. 1695. And Langbaine fu Ipects 
it to be much older than the date annex'd : otherwife the Twins 
might have been regarded as Shakeipeare's Comsdy of E>-rors t 
under another title. STEEVENS. 

M 3 The 


The enmity and difcord, which of late 

Sprung from the rancorous outrage of your duke 

To merchants, our well-dealing countrymen, 

Who, wanting gilders to redeem their lives, 

Have feal'd his rigorous ftatutes with their bloods,* 

Excludes all pity from our threat'ning looks, 

For, fince-the mortal and inteftine jars 

'Twixt thy feditious countrymen and us, 

It hath in folemn fynods been decreed, 

Both by the Syracufans and ourfelvcs, 

To admit no traffick to our adverfe towns : 

Nay, more, If any, born at Ephefus, 

Be feen at Syracufan marts and fairs, 

Again, If any, Syracufan born, 

Come to the bay of Ephefus, he dies, 

His goods confifcate to the duke's difpofe ; 

Unleis a thoufand marks be levied, 

To quit the penalty, and to ranfom him. 

Thy fubftance, valued at the higheft rate, 

Cannot amount unto a hundred marks ; 

Therefore, by law thou art condemned to die. 

JILgeo-tu Yet this my comfort ; when your words arc 

My woes end likewife with the evening fun. 

Duke. Well, Syracufan, fay, in brief, the caufe 
Why thou departedit from thy native home ; 
And for what caufe thou cam'fl to Ephefus. 

sEgeon. A heavier tafk could not have been impos'd, 
Than I to fpeak my griefs unfpeakable : 
Yet, that the world may witnefs, that my end 
Was wrought by nature, ' not by vile offence, 


3 H'as iiTONg/.t fy nature, not ly vile offence ,} All his hearers 
understood that the punifhment he was about to undergo was in 
confequence of no private crime, but of the public enmity be- 
tween nvo fetes, to one of which he belonged : but it was a ge- 
neral fuperilition amongil the ancients, that every great and fud- 
den mistortune was the vengeance of Heaven pursuing men for 
their fecret offences* Hence the feutiment put into the mouth 



I'll utter what my forrow gives me leave. 

In Syracufa was I born ; and wed 

Unto a woman, happy but for me, 

And by me too, had not our hap been bad. 

With her I liv'd in joy ; our wealth increas'd, 

By profperous voyages I often made 

To Epidamnum, till my factor's death ; 

And he, great care of goods at random left, 

Drew me from kind embracements of my fpoufe : 

From whom my abfence was not fix months old, 

Before herfelf (almoft at fainting, under 

The pleafing punilhment that women bear) 

Had made provision for her following me, 

And foon, and fafe, arrived where I was. 

There Ihe had not been long, but fhe became 

A joyful mother of two goodly fons ; 

And, which was ftrange, the one fo like the other, 

As could not be diftinguruYd but by names. 

That very hour, and in the felf-fame inn, 

A poor mean woman was delivered 

Of fnch a burden, male twins, both alike : 

Thofe, for their parents were exceeding poor, 

I bought, and brought up to attend my fons. 

My wife, not meanly proud of two fuch boys, 

Made daily motions for our home return : 

Unwilling I agreed ; alas, too foon. 

"We came aboard : 

A league from Epidamnum had we fail'd, 

Before the always-wind-obeying deep 

Gave any tragic inftance of our harm : 

But longer did we not retain much hope ; 

For what obfcured light the heavens did grant 

Did but convey unto our fearful minds 

of the fpcaker was proper. By my paft life, (fays he) which 
I am going to relate, the world may underftand, that my prefent 
death is according to the ordinary courfe of Providence (wrought 
ly nature] and not the effeds of divine vengeance overtaking me 
to v my crimes, [wt lv vile tffixce.] WAR BUR TON. 

M 4 A doubt- 


A doubtful warrant of immediate death ; 

Which, though my felf would gladly have enibrac'd, 

Yet the mediant weepings of my wite, 

Weeping before, for what Ihe faw mult come, 

And piteous plainings of the pretty babes, 

That mourn'd for falhion, ignorant what to fear, 

Forc'd me to feck delays for them and me. 

And this it was, for other means were none. - 

The failors fought for fafety by our boat, 

And left the fhip, then iinking-ripe, to us : 

My wife, more careful for the latter-born, 

Had faften'd him unto* a fhiall fpare maft, 

Such as fca-faring men provide for florins ; 

To him one of the other twins was bound, 

Whilft I had been like heedful of the other. 

The children thus difpos'd, my wife and I, 

Fixing our eyes on whom our care was fix'd, 

Faltcn'd ourfelves at either end the maft ; 

And floating ftraight, obedient to the ftream, 

Were carry 'd towards Corinth, as we thought. 

At length the fun, gazing upon the earth, 

Difpers'd thofe vapours that offended us ; 

And, by the benefit of his wifh'd light, 

The feas wax'd calm, and we difcovcrcd 

Two mips from far making amain to us, 

Of Corinth that, of Epidaurus this : 

But ere they came, Oh, let me fay no more \ 

Gather the fequel by that went before. 

Duke. Nay, forward, old man, do not break offfo ; 
For we may pity, though not pardon thec. 

j&geon. Oh, had the gods done fo, I had not now 
Worthily tcrm'd them mercilefs to us ! 
For, ere the ihips could meet by twice five leagues, 
We were encountred by a mighty rock ; 
Which being violently borne upon, 
Our helpful fhip was fplitted in the midit, 
So that, in this unjuil divorce of us, 
Fortune had left to both of us alike 


O F E R R O R S, 169 

What to delight in, what to forrow for. 

Her part, poor foul ! fecming as burdened 

With Icflcr weight, but not with letter woe, 

Was carry 'd with more fpeed before the wind ; 

And in our fight they three were taken up 

By frfhcrmcn of Corinth, as we thought. 

At length, another ihip had feiz'd on us ; 

And, knowing whom it was their hap to fave, 

Gave helpful welcome to their ihipwreck'd guefts ; 

And would have reft the lilher of their prey, 

Had not their bark been very flow of fail, 

And therefore homeward did they bend their courfe.- 

Thus have you heard me fever'd from my blifs ; 

That by misfortunes was my life prolong'd, 

To tell fad ftories of my own mifhaps. 

Duke. And, for the fakes of them thou forrowefl 


Do me the favour to dilate at full 
What hath befall'n of them, and thee, till now. 

jfiLgeon. My youngeft boy, and yet my eldefl care, 
At eighteen years became inquifitive 
After his brother ; and importun'd me, 
That his attendant, (for his cafe was like, 
Reft of his brother, but retain'd his name,) 
Might bear him company in the queft of him : 
\Vhom whilfl I labour'd of a love to fee, 
I hazarded the lofs of whom I lov'd. 
Five fummers have I fpent in fartheft Greece, 
Roaming clean through the bounds of Afia 4 , 
And, coafting homeward, came to Ephefus ; 
Hopelefs to find, yet loth to leave unfought, 
Or that, or any place that harbours men. 

4 Roaming clean through the bounds of Afia,"\ In the northern 
parts of England this word is Hill uled inftead of e^ ///>', 
perfectly, completely. So in Coriolanus : 

" This is dean kam." 

Again, in Julius Cuefar : 

" Clean rrom the purpofe of the things themfelves." 
The reader will likewife find it in the ;;th Pialm. STEETENS. 



But here muft end the flory of my life * 
And happy were I in my timely death, 
Could all my travels warrant me they live. 

Duke. Haplefs JEgeon, whom the fates have 


To bear the extremity of dire mifliap ! 
Now, truft me, were it not againft our laws, 
Againft my crown, my oath, my dignity, 
Which princes, would they* may not difannu! 5 
My foul ihould fue as advocate for thee. 
But, though thou art adjudged to the death* 
And pafled fentence may not be recall'd, 
But to our honour's great difparagement, 
Yet will I favour thee in what I can : 
Therefore, merchant, I'll limit thee this day, 
To feck thy help by beneficial help : 
Try all the friends thou hail in Ephefus ; 
Beg thou, or borrow, to make up the fum, 
And live ; if not, then thou art doom'd to die : 
Jailor, take him to thy cuftody. [.v. Duke and tram, 
Jail. I will, my lord. 

sEgeon. Hopelefs, and helplefs, doth ^Egeon wend s , 
But to procraflinate his livelefs end. 

[Exeunt sEgeon and Jaikf* 


Changes to the Street. 
Enter Antipbolis of Syracvfe, a Merchant, and Dromh, 

Mer. Therefore give out, you are of Epidamnum, 
Left that your goods too foon be confifcate. 

5 t'.'fW,] i.e. go. An obfolete word. So in the SpaniJJ; 
Tragedy : 

" Led by the load-flat of her heav'nly looks 

" W'ends poor opprefled Balthafar.'* 
Again, in the play of Orlando Furiofo, icgp : 

" To let his daughter wend with us to France." 
Again, in the Afeny Devil of Edmonton, 1626 : 

" But itvWwe merrily to the foreft." STEEVENS. 


O F E R R O R S, 171 

This very day, a Syracufan merchant 
Is apprehended for arrival here ; 
And, not being able to buy out his life, 
According to the ftatute of the town, 
Dies ere the weary fun fet in the weft. 
There is your money, that I had to keep. 

A/it. Go bear it to the Centaur, where we holt, 
And fray there, Dromio, till I come to thee. 
Within this hour it will be dinner-time : 
'Till that, I'll view the manners of the town, 
Perufe the traders, gaze upon the buildings, 
And then return, and ileep within mine inn ; 
For with long travel I am flifif and weary. 
Get thee away. 

Dro. Many a man would take you at your word, 
And go indeed, having fo good a means. 

[Exit Dromio* 

Ant. A trufty villain, fir ; that very oft, 
When I am dull with care and melancholy, 
Lightens my humour with his merry jells. 
What, will you walk with me about the town, 
And then go to my inn and dine with me ? 

Mer. I am invited, lir, to certain merchants, 
Of whom I hope to make much benefit, 
I crave your pardon. Soon, at five o'clock, 
Pleafe you, I'll meet with you upon the mart* 
And afterwards confort you till bed-time ; 
My prefent bufinefs calls me from you now. 

Ant. Farewell till then : I will go lofe myfelfj 
And wander up and down to view the city. 

Mer. Sir, I commend you to your own content. 

\_Rxit Merchant* 

Ant. He that commends me to mine own content, 
Commends me to the thing I cannot get. 
I to the world am like a drop of water, 
That in the ocean feeks another drop ; 
Who, falling there to find his fellow forth, 
Unfeen, inquifitive, confounds himfelf : 



So I, to find a mother, and a brother, 
In queit of them, unhappy, lofe myfelf. 

Enter Dromio of Epbcfus. 

Here comes the almanack of my true date. 
What now ? How chance, thou art rcturn'd fo foon ? 

E. Dro. Return'd fo foon ! rather approach'd too 

late : 

The capon burns, the pig falls from the fpit ; 
The clock has flrucken twelve upon the bell, 
My miflrcfs made it one upon my cheek : 
She is fo hot, becaufe the meat is cold ; 
The meat is cold, becaufe you come not home ; 
You come not home, becaufe you have no ftomach ; 
You have no ftomach, having broke your faft ; 
But we, that know what 'tis to faft and pray, 
Are penitent for your default to-day. 

Ant. Stop in your wind, fir : tell me this, I pray ; 
Where have you left the money that I gave you ? 

E. Dro. Oh, fix-pence, that I had o'wednefday laft, 
To pay the fadlcr for my miftrefs* crupper ; 
The facller had it, fir, I kept it not. 

Ant. I am not in a fportive humour now ; 
Tell me, and dally not, where is the money ? 
We being ftrangers here, how dar'ft thou trufi 
So great a charge from thine own cuftody ? 

E. Dro. I pray you, jefl, fir, as you fit at dinner : 
I from my miftrefs come to you in pofl ; 
If I return, I fhall be pofl indeed 6 , 

6 - TJIjall le port i 

For Jhe will f core your fault upon my pale. ~\ 

Perhaps before writing was a general accomplifhment, a kind 
of rough reckoning concerning wares iflued out of a (hop, was 
kept by chalk or notches on a poft, till it could be entered on the 
books of a trader. So Kitcly the merchant making his jealous 
enquiries concerning the familiarities ufed to his wife, Cob an- 
fvvers : - 

" - if I law any body to be kifs'd, unlefs they would have 
kifs'd the pojl in the middle of the warehoufe; &c." STEEVENS. 


O F E R R O R S. 173 

For fhe will fcorc your fault upon my pate. 
Methinks, your maw, like mine, fhould be your 

And ftrike you home without a meffenger. 

Ant. Come, Dromio, come, thefe jefts are out of 

feaibn ; 

Rcferve them till a merrier hour than this : 
Where is the gold I gave in charge to thee ? 

E. Dro. To me, fir ? why you gave no gold to me. 
Ant. Come on, fir knave, have done your foolifh- 


And tell me, how thou haft difposM thy charge. 
E. Dro. My charge was but to fetch you from the 


Home to your houfe, the Phoenix, fir, to dinner ; 
My miftrefs, and her lifter, ftay for you. 

Ant. Now, as I am a chriftian, anfwer me, 
In what fafe place you have difpos'd my money; 
Or I fhall break that merry fconcc 7 of yours, 
That ftands on tricks when I am undifpos'd : 
Where are the thoufand marks thou had'ft of me ? 
JL. Dro. I have fome marks of yours upon my 


Some of my miftrefs' marks upon my fhoulders, 
But not a thoufand marks between you both. 
It I fhould pay your worfnip thole again, 
Perchance, you will not bear them patiently. 

Ant. Thy miftrefs' marks ! what miftrefs, Have, 

haft thou ? 
E. Dro. Your worfhip's wife, my miftrefs at the 

Phccnix ; 

She, that doth faft, till you come home to dinner, 
And prays, that you will hie you home to dinner. 

Ant. What, wilt thou flout me thus unto my face, 
Being forbid ? There, take you that, fir knave. 

1 that merry fconce ofjoun^] Sconce is bead. So in Ham- 

Icty ad V : " why does he 1'ufter this rude knave now to 

kuock him about fozfoouce? 

i 74 COMEDY 

E. Dro. What mean you, fir ? for God's fake, hold 

your hands ; 
Nay, an you will not fir, I'll take my heels. 

[Exit Dromio. 

Ant. Upon my life, by fome device or other, 
The villain is 8 o'er-raught of all my money. 
They fay, this town is full of cozenage 9 ; 
As, nimble jugglers, that deceive the eye ', 


* .. . -c 1 cr-raught ] That is, over-reached. JOHNSON, 
So in Hamlet : 

" certain players 

" We o'er-raught on the way." STEEVENS. 
9 They fay, this town is full of cozenage ;] This was the cha- 
rafter the ancients give of it. Hence 'E(pio-nz, ci^iQa.^**.?. was 
proverbial amongft them. Thus Menander ufes it, and 'Eipto-ta 
ypn*f*ala, in the lame fenfe. WARBURTON. 

1 As, nimble jugglers, that deceive the eye, 

Dark-workingy2>rrm?r.r, that change the mind, 

Said-killing witches, that deform the body ; ] 

Thofe, who attentively confider thefe three lines, mufl confefs, 
that the poet intended the epithet given to each of thefe mifcreants, 
fliould declare the power by which they perform their feats, and 
which would therefore be a juft chara&eriftic of each of them. 
Thus, by nimble jugglers, we are taught, that they perform their 
tricks byjlight of hand : and by foul-killing witches, we are in- 
formed, the mifchief they do is by the affiitance of the devil, to 
whom they have given their fouls : but then, by dark-working 
forcerers, we are not inftrufted in the means by which they per- 
form their ends. Befides, this epithet agrees as well to witches as 
to them ; and therefore certainly our author could not defign this 
in their characleriftick. We fhould read : 

Drug-working forcerers, that change the mind, 
and we know by the hiftory of ancient and modern fuperitition, 
that thefe kind of jugglers always pretended to work changes of 
the mind by thefe applications. WAR BUR TON. 

The learned commentator has endeavoured with much earnefl- 
nefs to recommend his alteration ; but, if I may judge of other 
npprehenfions by my own, without great fuccefs. This interpre- 
tation of foul-killing is forced and harfh. Sir T. Hanmer reads 
foul-felling, agreeable enough to the common opinion, but without 
iuch improvement as may juflify the change. Perhaps the epithets 
have only been inifphiced, and the lines fliould be read thus : 


O F E R R O R S. I? . 

Park-working forcerers, that change the mind, 

Soul-killing witches, that deform the body ; 

Difguifed cheaters, prating mountebanks, 

And many fuch like liberties of fin * : 

If it prove fo, I will be gone the fooner. 

I'll to the Centaur, to go feek this flave; 

I greatly fear, my money is not fafe. [E.v//. 

A C T II. S C E N E I. 

The Hovfeof Antipbolis of Ephefus. 
Enter Adrlana and Luciana. 

Adr. Neither my hufband, nor the flave returned, 
That in fuch hafte I lent to feck his mailer ! 
Sure, Luciana, it is two o'clock. 

Luc. Perhaps, foinc merchant hath invited him, 

Soul-killinj*y</7'w<rr.f, that change the mi'nd^ 
Dark -working witches, that Jeform the bodyi 
This change fecms to remove all dilliculties. 

"&y foul-killing I underhand dcftroying the rational faculties by 
fuch means as make men fancy themfelves hearts. JOHNSON-. 

Witches or forcerers themlelvcs, as well as thofe who employed 
them, were fuppefed to forfeit their fouls by making ufe of a for- 
bidden agency. In that lenfe, they may be laid to deftroy the 
fouls of others as well as their own. I believe Dr. Johnfon has 
done us much as was neceflary to remove all difficulty from the 

The hint for this enumeration of cheats, &c. Shakefpeare 
received rrom the old tranflation of the Mcmscbmi, 1595. " For 
this, affure yourfelfe this towne EpiJamnuri is a place of 'out- 
rageous expences., exceeding in all ryot and lafcivioufnefTe : and 
(I heare) as full of ribaulds, paralites, drunkards, catchpoles, 
cony-catchers, and fycophants, as it can hold : then for curti- 
z,ans, &c." STEKVENS. 

2 liberties of Jin :~\ Sir T. Hanmer rends, libertines, which, 
as the author has been enumerating not acts but perfons, feems 
right. JOHNSON. 



And from the mart he's Ibmewhere gone to dinner. 

Good filter, let us dine, and never fret : 

A man is mailer of his liberty ; 

Time is their matter ; and, when they fee time, 

They'll go or come : If fo, be patient, fitter, 

Adr. Why ihould their liberty than ours be more ? 

Luc. Becaufc their bufinefs Hill lies out o' door. 

Adr. Look, when I ferve him fo, he takes it ill. 

Luc. Oh, know, he is the bridle of your will. 

Adr. There's none, but afles, will be bridled fo J . 

Luc. Why head-ftrong liberty is lafh'd with woe. 
There's nothing, fituate under heaven's eye, 
But hath his bound, in earth, in fea, in iky : 
The beails, the fifties, and the winged fowls, 
Are their males' fubjeft, and at their controuls : 

3 Adr. There's none but affis -.u/77 be bridled fo. 

Luc. Why head-Jlrong liberty is lafh'd with ivoe."} 
Should it not rather be /m/Z>V, i.e. coupled like a head-ftrong 
hound ? 

The high opinion I mud neceffarily entertain of the learned. 
Lady's judgment, who furnifhed this obiervation, has taught me 
to-be diffident of my own, which I am now to offer. 

The meaning of this paflage may be, that thofe who refute 
the bridle mull bear the lajb, and that woe is the punimment of 
head-ftrong liberty. It may be obierved, however, that the fea- 
men ftill uie lajlj in the fame fenfe with leajb ; as does Greene in 
hie ManfUI-ia, 1593 : " Thou didft counfel me to beware of 
love, and I was before in the laflj." Lace was the old Englifh word 
for a cord, from which verbs have been derived very differently 
modelled by the chances ot pronunciation. So in Promos and 
Caflandra, 1578: 

" To thee Caffandra which doft hold my freedom in a lace" 
When the mariner, however, lajbts his guns, the fportiman Icajbez 
his dogs, the female laces her clothes, they all perform one a<*rt 
of fattening with a lace or cord. Of the lame origin;)! is the 
word 'UvW/rf/}, or more properly ^indlace, an engine, by which 
a la-.-c or cord is wound upon a barrel. 

To lace likevvife lignified to beftow correction with a cord, or. 
rope's end. So in the ?nd Part of Decker's tlonrji Whore. , 1630 : 

4^ the lazy lowne 

" Gets here hard hands, or 7<irV correction." 
Again, in The T--MO angry Women of Atlngth^ \ ^99 : 

*' So, now iny back has room to reach ; I do not love to be 
laced \\\i when I go to lace a ralcal." STEEYE,\;>, 


O F E R R O R S. I77 

Men, more divine, the matters of all thefe, 
Lords of the wide world, and wild watry feas, 
Indu'd with intellectual fenfe and fouls, 
Of more pre-eminence than fifh and fowls, 
Are matters to their females, and their lords : 
Then let your will attend on their accords. 

Adr. This fervitude makes you to keep unwed. 

Luc. Not this, but troubles of the marriage-bed. 

Adr. But, were you wedded, you would bear fome 

Luc. Ere I learn love, I'll pradtife to obey. 

Adr. How if your hulband flart fome other where 4 ? 

Luc. Till he come home again, I would forbear. 

Adr. Patience, unmov'd, no marvel though Ihe 

paufe 5 ; 

They can be meek, that have no other caufe. 
A wretched foul, bruis'd with advcrfity, 
We bid be quiet, when we hear it cry ; 
But were we burden'd with like weight of pain, 
As much, or more, we mould ourfelves complain : 
So thou, that haft no unkind mate to grieve thee, 
With urging helplefs patience would'ft relieve me : 

4 ft art fome other where ?] I cannot but think, that 

our authour wrote : 

-Jl art fome other hare ? 

So, in Much ado about Nothing, Cupid is faid to be a good hare- 
finder. JOHNSON. 

I fufpecl that w/wv'has here the power of a noun. So in Lear : 

" Thou lofeft here, a better where to find." 
Again, in Tho. Drain's tranilation of Horace's Satires, 1567 : 

*' they ranged in eatche wbeft, 

** No fpoufailes knowne, &c." 

The fenfe is, How, if your hufbandjly off in purfuit of fome other 
woman? The exprelfion is ufed again, fcene 3. 

" his eye doth homage otherwhere" 

Again, in Romeo and 'Juliet, act i : 

" This is not Romeo, he's fome other where" 
Other-Robert fignifies in other places. So in A'. Henry VIII. aft 
II. fc. 2 : 

" The king hath fent me otherwhere" STEEVHXS. 

5 though Jbe faufe -,] To paufe is to reft, to be in quiet. 

VOL. II, N But 


But, if thou live to fee like right bereft, 
This fool-begg'd patience in thec will be left *. 

Luc. Well, I will marry one day, but to try; < 
Here comes your man, now is your huiband nigh. 

Enter Dromlo of Ephefus. 

Adr. Say, is your tardy matter now at hand ? 

E. Dro. Nay, he is at two hands with me, and that 
my two ears can witnefs. 

Adr. Say, did ft thou fpeak with him ? know'ft thou 
his mind ? 

E. Dro. Ay, ay, he told his mind upon mine ear : 
Belhrew his hand, I fcarce could underftand it. 

Luc. Spake he fo doubtfully, thou couldft not feel 
his meaning ? 

E. Dro. Nay, he ttruck fb plainly, I could too well 
feel his blows ; and withal fo doubtfully, that I could 
fcarce underttand them 7 . 

Adr. But fay, I pr'ythee, is he coming home ? 
It Teems, he hath great care to pleafehis wife-. 

E. Dro. Why, miftrefs, fure my matter is horn- 

Adr. Horn-mad, thou villain ? 

E. Dro. I mean not cuckold-mad ; but, fure, he's 

ftark mad : 

When I dcfir'd him to come home to dinner, 
He afk'd me for a thoufand marks in gold : 
'Tis dinner-time y quoth I : My gold, quoth he : 
Tour meat doth burn y quoth I ; My gold^ quoth he : 
Will you come f quoth I ; My gold, quoth he : 

6 fool-lfgg'd ] She feems to mean, by fool-legged patience y 
that patience which is fo near to idiotical jimplicity, that your next 
relation would take advantage from it to reprefent you as a fool \ 
and leg the guardianship- of yonr fortune. JOHNSON. 

7 that I could fcarce underftand tbem.~\ i.e. that I could fcarcs 
Jtand Tinder them. This quibble, poor as it is, feems to have 

been the favourite of Shakefpeare. It has been already intro- 
duced in the Two Gentlt'wen of Verona : 

" my ftaff undcrjlands me." STEEVENS. 


O F E R R O R S. 179 

tyhere is the thoufand marks I gave tbee, villain ? 
Thepigi quoth I j is burn* d', My gold, quoth he: 
My mijlrefs, Jir, quoth I ; Hang up thy miftrefs ; 
/ know not thy miftrefs ; out dn thy wiftrefs I 
Luc. Quoth who ? 
E. Dro. Quoth my m after : 
I know, quoth he, no boufe, no wife, no mijlrefs ; 
So that my errand, due unto my tongue, 
I thank him, I bare home upon my fhoulders ; 
For, in conclufion, he did beat me there. 

Adr. Go back again, thou ilave, and fetch him 


E. Dro. Go back again, and be new beaten home ? 
For God's fake, fend fome other meflenger. 

Adr. Back, ilave, or I will break thy pate acrofs. 
E. Dro. And he will blcfs that crofs with other 

beating : 
Between you I Ihall have a holy head. 

Adr. Hence, prating peafant; fetch thy mailer 


E. Dro. Am I fo round with you, as you with me % 
That like a foot-ball you do fpurn me thus ? 
You fpurn me hence, and he will fpurn me hither : 
If I laft in this fervice, you muft cafe me in leather 9 . 


Luc. Fye, how impatience lowreth in your face ! 
Adr. His company muft do his minions grace, 
Whilft I at home ftarve for a merry look. 
Hath homely age the alluring beauty took 
From my poor cheek ? then, he hath wafted it : 
Are my difcourfes dull ? barren my wit ? 
If voluble and fharp difcourfe be marr'd, 

8 Am I fo round with you, as you with Me,] He plays upon the 
word round, which fignified^fr/ai/ applied to himfelf, and un- 
rfftrained, or free infpeech or a8iox, fpoken of his mitfrefs. So 
the king, in Hamlet, bids the queen be round with her fon. 


9 cafe me in leather."} Still alluding to a football, the blad- 
der of which is always covered with leather, STEEVF.NS. 

N 2 Unkind- 


Unkindnefs blunts it, more than marble hard., 
Do their gay veftments his affedtions bait ? 
That's not my fault, he's mafter of my flate : 
What ruins are in me, that can be found 
By him not ruin'd ? then is he the ground 
Of my defeatures l : * My decayed fair 
A funny look of his would foon repair : 
But, too unruly J deer, he breaks the pale, 
And feeds from home -, poor I am but his dale *. 


1 Of my defeatures.] By defeatures is here meant alteration of 
features. At the end of this play the fame word is ufed with a 
fomewhat different lignification. STEEVENS. 

* My decayed fair] Shakefpeare ufes the adjective g lit, aa 

a fubftantive, htivhat is gilt, and in this inftance fair for fairnefs. 
To px xaAcv, is a fimilar expreflion. In the Midfummer-Nrgbfs- 
Dream, the old quartos read : 

" Demetrius loves your //;." 
Again, in Tie Cotter's Prophecy, 1 594 : 

" Thou murd'rer, tyger, glutted with my fair, 
*' Leav'ft me forfaken." 
Again, in Shakejf care's 68/ Sonnet : 

" Before thefebaftard figns of fair were born." 
Again, in the S^d Sonnet: 

" And therefore to your fair no painting fet." 
Again, in his F~enus and Adonis : 

" But when Adonis liv'd, fun and iharp air 
'* Lurk'd like two thieves to rob him of his fair." 
Again, in Warner's Albion s England, 1602 : 

." Who loft a daughter, fave thyfelf, for faire, a 

matchlefs wench/' 

Pitre is likewife ufed as a fubftantive in the Shepherd to the Flow- 
ers, a fong in England's Helicon, 1614: 

'*' Do pluck your pure, ere Phoebus view the land." 


Fair is frequently ufed fubjlantively by the writers of Shake- 
fpeare's time. So Marfton in one of his fatires : 

" As the greene meads, whofe native outward faire 
" Breathes fweet perfumes into the neigbour air." 
Hence in the Midfitmmer-Nigbts Dream : 

" Demetrius lovesjwar fazr," may be the right, as well as the 
eld reading. FARMER. 

3 too unruly dec r, ] The ambiguity of deer and dear is 

borrowed, poor as it is, by Waller, in his poem on the Ladies 
Girdle ; 

" This 

O F E R R O R S. i$i 

Luc. Self-harming jealoufy ! fye, beat it hence. 

Adr. Unfeeling fools can with fuch wrongs difpenfe. 
I know his eye doth homage other-where ; 
Or elle, what lets it but he would be here ? 

" This was my heav'n's extremeft fphere, 
The pale that held my lovely deer" JOHNSON. 
Shakefpeare has played upon this word in the fame manner in his 
Fenus ami Adonis : 

" Fondling, faith fhe, fince I have hemm'dthee here, 

" Within the circuit of this ivory pale, 
** I'll be the park, and thou {halt be my deer, 

" Feed where thou wilt on mountain or on dale.'* 
The lines of Waller feem to have been immediately copied from 
thefe. MALONE. 

4 poor I am but hisftale.~\ The vrordy&z/r, in our authour, 
ufed as a fubflantive, means not fomething offered to allure or at- 
trafl, but fomething vitiated with xje, fomething of which the 
belt part has been enjoyed and confumed. JOHNSON. 

I believe my learned coadjutor miftakes the ufe of the word 
fettle on this occafion. " Stale to catch thefe thieves ;" in the 
Tempejl, undoubtedly means a fraudulent bait: Here it feems to 
imply the fame as Jlalking-horfe, pretence. I am, fays Adriana, 
but \\\s pretended wife, the malk under which he covers his amours. 
So in K. John and Matilda, by Robert Davenport, 1655, the 
queen fays to Matilda : 

" 1 am made your Jlale , 

" The king, the king your ftrumpet, &c." 

Again, *' I knew 1 was made 

" hjlale for her obtaining." 
Again, in the Misfortunes of Arthur , 1587: 

" Was I then chofe and wedded for his fiale, 
" To looke and gape for his retirelefs fayles 
" Puft back and flittering fpread to every winde ?" 
Again, in the old tranflation of the Mtii&cbmi of Plautus, 1593, 
irom whence Shakefpeare borrowed the expreilion : 

" He makes me zjlale and a laughing-Hock." 


In Greene's Art of Comy-catching, 1592. AJfale is the confe- 
derate of a thief; " he that faceth the man," or holds him in 
difcourfe. Again, in another place, *' wiming all, of what eftate 
foever, to beware of filthy lull, and fuch damnable^fl/^f, &c." 
A Jlale in this laft inftance means the pretended wife of a crofs- 

Perhaps, however, Jlale may here have the fame meaning 
as the French word chaperon. Poor I am but the cover far bis 
infidelity. COLLIKS. 

N 3 Sifter, 


Sifter, you know, he promis'd me a chain ; * 
"Would that alone alone he would detain, 
So he would keep fair quarter with his bed ! 
I fee, the jewel, beft enamelled 5 , 
Will lofe his beauty ; and the gold 'bides ftill, 
That others touch ; yet often touching will 
Wear gold : and fo no man, that hath a name, 
But fallhood and corruption doth it fliame. 
Since that my beauty cannot pleafe his eye, 
I'll weep what's left away, and weeping die. 
Luc. How many fond fools ferve mad jealoiify ! 


* I fee, tfrf/ftue/i btft enamelled, 

Will lofe bis beauty , yet the gold 'bides ftill, 
That others touch, and often touching will : 
Where gold and no man, that hath a name, 
By falfhood and corruption doth itjhame.~\ 

In this mlferable condition is this paflage given us. It ftiould be 
( read thus : 

/ /?<, the jewel, left enamelled, 
Will lofe hh beauty ; and the gold 'bides fiill^ 
That others touch ; yet often touching will 
Wear gold: andfo no man, that hath a name, 
Butfalfhood, and corruption, doth it foame. 

The fenfe is this, "Gold, indeed, will long bear the handling ; 
however, often touching will wear even gold ; jufl fo the greateil, though as pure as gold itielf, may, in time, be injured, 
by the repeated attacks of falfhood and corruption. WARBURTON. 
The Revifal reads thus : 

- yet the gold *lidesfiill, 

That others touch, though often touching ivill 
Wear gold, and fo a man that hath a name^ 
By faljhood and corruption doth itjhame. 
I would read : 

- and though gold 'bides ftill, &c. 
and the reft, with Dr. Warburton. STEEVENS. 




The Street. 
Enter Antipkolis of Syracufe. 

Ant. The gold, I gave to Dromio, is laid up 
Safe at the Centaur ; and the heedful flave 
Is wander'd forth, in care to feek me out. 
By computation, and mine hoft's report, 
I could not fpeak with Dromio, fince at firft 
I lent him fom the mart : See, here he comes. 

Enter Dromio of Syracufe. 

How now, fir ? is your merry humour aker'd ? 
As you love ftrokes, fo jeft with me again. 
You know no Centaur ? you receiv'd no gold ? 
Your miftrefs fent to have me home to dinner ? 
My houfe was at the Phoenix ? Walt thou mad, * 
That thus fo madly thou didft anfvvcr me ? 

S. Dro. What anfwer, fir ? when fpake I fych a 
word ? 

Ant. Even now, even here, not half an hour fince. 

S. Dro. I did not fee you fince you fent me hence, 
Home to the Centaur, with the gold you gave me. 

Ant. Villain, thou didft deny the gold's receipt ; 
And told'fl me of a miftrefs, and a dinner ; 
For which, I hope, thou felt'ft I was difpleas'd. 

S. Dro. I am glad to fee you in this merry vein : 
What means this jefl ? I pray you, mafter, tell me. 

Ant. Yea, doft thou jeer and flout me in the teeth ? 

Think'ft thou, I jeft ? Hold, take thou that, and 

that. [Beats Dro. 

S. Dro. Hold, fir, for God's fake : now your jell 

is earnefl : 
Upon what bargain do you give it me ? 

Ant. Becaufe that I familiarly fometimes 
Do ufe you for my fool, and chat with you, 

N 4 Your 

1&4 C O'M E D V 

Your fawcinefs will jeft upon my love, 
6 And make a common of my ferious hours, 
When the fun ihines, let foolim gnats make fport, 
But creep in crannies, when he hides his beams. 
If you will jeft with me, know my afpect, 
And fafhion your demeanor to my looks, 
Or I will beat this method in your fconce. 

S. Dro. Sconce, call you it ? fo you would leave 
battering, I had rather have it a head : an you ufe 
thefe blows long, I muft get a fconce for my head, 
and infconce it too 7 , or elfe I Ihall feek my wit in my 
Ihoulders. But, I pray, fir, why am I beaten ? 

Ant. Doft thou not know ? 

S. Dro. Nothing, fir ; but that I am beaten. 

Ant. Shall I tell you why ? 

& Dro. Ay, fir, and wherefore ; for, they fay, 
every why hath a wherefore. 

Ant. Why, firfl, for flouting me ; and then, where- 
For urging it the fecond time to me. 

S. Dro. Was there ever any man thus beaten out 

of feafon ? 
When, in the why, and the wherefore, is neither 

rhime nor reafon ? 
Well, fir, I thank you. 

Ant. Thank me, fir ? for what ? 

S. Dro. Marry, fir, for this fomething that you 
gave me for nothing. 

Ant. I'll make you amends next, to give you no- 
thing for fomething. But fay, fir, is it dinner-time ? 

c And make a common of my ferious botirs.] i.e. intrude on 
them when you pleafe. The allufion is to thofe trafts of ground 
deftined to common ufe, which are thence called commons. 


7 and infconee it too,~\ h fiance was a petty fortification. 
So in Orlando Furiofo, I 55(3 : 

" Let us to ourfcoxcp, and you my lord of Mexico.'* 
Again : " Ay, firs, enfconce you how you can." 
Again: " And here cnfioncc myfelf defpiteof thee." STEEVENS. 

S. Dro. 

O F E R R O R S. 185 

& Dro. No, fir ; I think, the meat wants that I 
have. f 

Ant. In good time, fir, what's that? 

S. Dro. Bafting. 

Ant* Well, fir, then 'twill be dry. 

S. Dro. If it be, fir, pray you eat none of it. 

Ant. Your reafon ? 

S. Dro. Left it make you cholerick 8 , and purchafe 
me another dry-bafling. 

Ant. Well, fir, learn to jefl in good time ; There's 
a time for all things. 

S. Dro. I durft have deny'd that, before you were 
fo cholerick. 

Ant. By what rule, fir ? 

S. Dro. Marry, fir, by a rule as plain as the plain 
bald pate of father time himfelf. 

Ant. Let's hear it. 

S. Dro. There's no time for a man to recover his 
hair, that grows bald by nature. 

Ant. May he not do it by fine and recovery ? 

S. Dro. Yes, to pay a fine for a peruke, and reco- 
ver the loft hair of another man. 

9 Ant. Why is time fueh a niggard of hair, being, 
as it is, fo plentiful an excrement? 

S. Dro. Becaufe it is a bleffing that he beftows on 

8 L.cjl it make you cholerick, &c.] So in the Taming the Sbrevj : 

" I tell thee Kate, 'twas burnt and dry'd away, 

*' And I exprefsly am forbid to touch it, 

" For it engenders choler, planteth anger, &c." 


9 Ant. Wl:y is time, &c,~] In former editions : 

Ant. VI' 'by irThnc fucb a niggard of hair^ being, as it is* fo plen- 
tiful an excrement ? 

S. Dro. Becauj'c it is a blt'JJing that he be/lows OK beajls^ and <v;bat 
be hath fcanted them in hair, he hath given them in <wit. 

Surely, this is mock-reafoning, and a contradiction in fenfe. Can 
hair be fuppofed a bleffing, which Time beftows on beafts peculi- 
arly ; and yet that he hathylvzata/ them of it too ? Men and Them, 
I obferve, are very frequently miftaken vice verfa for each other, 
in the old impreifions of our author. THEOBALD. 

beafts : 


beafts : and what he hath fcanted men in hair, he hath 
given them in wit. 

Ant. Why, but there's many a man hath more hair 
than wit. 

S. Dro. Not a man of thofc, but he hath the wit to 
lofe his hair '. 

Ant. Why, thou didfl conclude hairy men plain 
dealers without wit. 

S. Dro. The plainer dealer, the fooner loft : Yet 
he lofeth it in a kind of jollity. 

Ant. For what reafon ? 

S. Dro. For two ; and found ones too. 

Ant. Nay, not found, I pray you. 

S. Dro. Sure ones then. 

Ant. Nay, not lure, in a thing falling l . 

S. Dro. Certain ones then. 

Ant. Name them. 

S. Dro. The one, to favc the money that he fpends 
in tiring ; the other, that at dinner they ftiould not 
drop in his porridge. 

Ant. You would all this time have prov'd, there 
is no time for all things. 

S. Dro. Marry, and did, fir ; namely, no time to 
recover hair loft by nature. 

Ant. But your reafon was not fubftantial, why there 
is no time to recover. 

S. Dro. Thus I mend it : Time himfclf is bald, 

1 Not a man of thofe, lut be hath the w// to lofe bis hair.'} That 
is, Tljcfe who have more hair than <avV, are eafily entrapped by 
loofe women, and fuffer the confequences ot lewdnefs, one of 
which, in the firft appearance of the difeafe in Europe, was the 
lofs of hair. JOHNSON. 
So in the Roaring G/r/, 161 1 : 

*'* Your women are fo hot, I muft lofe my hair in their 

company, I fee." 

. ** His h'airjhedsojf, and yet he fpeaks not fo much in the nofe 
as he did before." STEEVENS. 

- f a lfi n g'~\ This word is now obfolete. Spenfer and 

Chaucer often ufe the verb vofalfe. The author of the Revifal 
would r&& falling. STIEVENS. 


O F E R R O P. S. 187 

and therefore to the world's end, will have bald fol- 

Ant. I knew, 'twould be a bald conclufion : 
But foft ! who wafts us yonder ? 

'Enter Adriana and Luciana. 

Adr. Ay, ay, Antipholis, look flrange, and frown; 
Some other miftrefs hath thy fweet afpects, 
I am not Adriana, nor thy wife. 
The time was once, when thou unurg'd, wouldfl 


That never words were mufick to thine ear, 
That never object pleafing in thine eye, 
That never touch well-welcome to thy hand, 
That never meat fwcet-favour'd in thy tafte, 
Unlefs I fpake, or look'd, or touch'd, or carv'd to 


How comes it now, my hufband, oh, how comes it, 
That thou art then ettrangcd from thyfelf ? 
Thyfelf I call it, being ftrange to me, 
That, undividable, incorporate, 
Am better than thy dear felf 's better part. 
Ah, do not tear away thyfelf from me ; 
For know, my love, as eafymay'ft thou fall { 
A drop of water in the breaking gulph, 
And take unmingled thence that drop again, 
Without addition, or diminifhing, 
As take from me thyfelf, and not me too. 
How dearly would it touch thee to the quick, 
Shouldft thou but hear, I were licentious ? 
And that this body, confecrate to thee, 
By ruffian luft fhould be contaminate ? 
Wouldft thou not fpit at me, and fpurn at me, 
And hurl the name of hufband in my face, 

3 mafft thou fall] To fall is here a verb adive. So in 

Othello : 

" Bach drop tint falls would prove a crocodile. 




And tear the ftain'd ikin off my harlot-brow, 

And from my falle hand cut the wedding-ring, 

And break it with a deep-divorcing vow ? 

I know thou can'ft ; and therefore, fee, thou do it, 

I am poflefs'd with an adulterate blot ; 

My blood is mingled with the crime of luft 4 : 

For, if we two be one, and thou play falfe, 

I do digeft the poifon of thy flefh, 

Being ftrumpeted s by thy contagion. 

Keep then fair league and truce with thy true bed ; 

I live dif-ftain*d, thou undiihonoured 6 . 

Ant. Plead you to me, fair dame ? I know you not : 
In Ephefus I am but two hours old, 
As ftrange unto your town, as to your talk ; 
Who, every word by all my wit being fcann'd, 
Want wit in all one word to underftand. 
% IMC. Fye, brother ! how the world is changed with 


When were you wont to ufe my fifter thus ? 
She fent for you by Dromio home to dinner. 

Ant. By Dromio ? 

4 / am pojfcfs'd with an adulterate blot ; 

My blood is mingled with the CRIME of luft :] 
Both the integrity of the metaphor, and the word blot, in the 
preceding line, fhevv that we fhould read : 

-with the GRIME of lujl : 

i.e. thejtain, fmut. So again in this play, A man may go over 
Jhoes in the GRIME of it. W A R E u R T ON . 

5 Being ftrumpeted] Shakefpeare is not fingular in his ufe of 
this verb. So in Heywood's Iron Age, 1632: 

" By this adultrefs \>z.fe\y Jtrumpetted." 
Again: *' I have Jlrumpetted no Agamemnon's queen." 


6 I live dif-ftain'd, thou undiftjonourciL~\ To dljlaine (from the 
French word, dejlaindrc] fignifies, to jlain, drfilc, pollute. But 
the context requires a fenfe quite oppofite. We muft either read, 
unftalnd; or, by adding an hyphen^ and giving the prepolition 
a privative force, read dif-jlaiii'dy and then it will mean, - 

fa'nid, unJffiled. THEOBALD. 
I would read : 

7 live dijlaincd, thou dishonoured. 

That is, As long as thou continueil to dilho:;our thyfelf, I alfo 
five diilained, REVISAL. 

S. Dro. 

O F E R R O R S. 189 

S. Dro. By me ? 

Adr. By thee ; and thus thou didit return from 


That he did buffet thee, and, in his blows 
Deny'd my houfe for his, me for his wife. 

Ant. Did you converfe, fir, with this gentlewoman ? 
What is the courfe and drift of your compact ? 

S. Dro. I, fir ? I never faw her 'till this time. 

Ant. Villain, thou Heft ; for even her very words 
Didit thou deliver to me on the mart. 

S. Dro. I never fpake with her in all my life. 

Ant. How can me thus then call us by our names,, 
Unlefs it be by infpiration ? 

Adr. How ill agrees it with your gravity, 
To counterfeit thus grofly with your flave, 
Abetting him to thwart me in my mood ? 
Be it my wrong, you are from me exempt 7 , 
But wrong not that wrong with a more contempt. 
Come, I will faften on this fleeve of thine : 
Thou art an elm, my hufband, I a vine 8 ; 
Whofe weaknefs, marry 'd to thy ftronger ftate, 
Makes me with thy ftrength to communicate : 
If ought poffels thee from me, it is drofs, 
Ufurping ivy, briar, or idle mofs 9 ; 
Who, all for want of pruning, with intruiion 
Infed: thy fap, and live on thy confufion. 

7 you are from me exempt,] Exempt , feparated, parted. 

The fenfe is, If lam doomed tofuffer the wrong of feparation, yet 
injure not with contempt me who am already injured. JOHNSON. 
'Thou art an elm t myhujband^ la vine ;* '1 
Lenta qui velut affitas 
Vitis implicat arbores, 
Implicabitur in tuum 
Complexum." CatulL 
So Milton Par. Loll. B. V : 

They led the vine 

To wed her elm. She fpous'd, about him twines 
Her marriageable arms." MA LONE. 
9 idle mofs.} i. e. mofs that produces no fruit, but being 
unfertile is ufelefs. So in Othello : 

... ,. antres vaft and defarts idle. STEEVEN-S. 


icjb COMEDY 

Ant. To me Ihe fpeaks ; Ihc moves me for kcr 

theme : 

What, was I marry'd to her in my dream ? 
Or fleep I now> and think I hear all this ? 
'What error drives our eyes and cars amifs ? 
Until I know this fure uncertainty, 
I'll entertain the favoured fallacy '. 

Luc. Dromio, go bid the fervants fprcad for dinner. 

S. Dro. Oh, for my beads ! I crofs me for a firmer. 
This is the fairy land ; oh, fpight of fpights ! 
We talk with goblins, owls, and elvifh fprights * ; 

1 i " the favour'd fallacy.] 
Thus the modern editors. The old copy reads : 

the hee'd fa/lacy. 

Which perhdps was only, by miftake, for 

the offered fallacy. 

This conje&ure is from an anonymous correfpohdent. STEEVENS. 
^ We talk with goblins > owls, ami eh'ijh fprights ; ] Here Mr. 
Theobald calls out in the name of Nonfenfe, the firlt time he had 
formally invoked her, to tell him how a-- vis could fuck their breath, 
and pinch them black and blue. He therefore alters aids to oupbs, 
and Jans fay, that his readers will acquiefce in the jttftncfs of his 
emendation. But, for all this, we muft not part with the old read- 
ing. He did not know it to be an old popular fuperftition, that 
the fcrietch-owl fucked out the breath and blood of infants in the 
cradle. On this account, the Italians called witches, who were 
fuppofed to be in like manner mifchievoully bent againft children, 
Jlrega from^r/*, thtfcrietcb-ovjl. This fuperftition they had de- 
"rived from their pagan anceftors, as appears from this paflage of 

Sanf avida iwlucrcs, non qitie Phitie'ia men/is 

Guttura fraitdabant ; fed genus inde trahunt. 
Grande caput ; Jlantes oculi } roflra apta rapince ; 

Canities pcnnis, iinguibus hamns ineft. 
Notff v olant, PUEROSCVUE PETUNT nutricis egenfes, 

Et vitiant CUNIS corpora raptafuis. 
Carpere diatntur luflantia vifcera roftris, 
Ef plenum poto fangUlOC gutta? balient. 

EJi illis ftrigibus nomen . Lib. vi. Fart. 


daftly owls accompany ehnjh ghofts in Spenfer*s Shepherd's Ca- 
lendar for June. So in Sbcrringbam's Difcerptatio de Anglorum 
Gentis Origine, p. 333, " Lares, Lemures, Stages, Lamia-, 
Manes (Gafta; didi) et ilmiles mondrorum Greges, hivarum Cho- 


If we obey them not, this will enfue, 

They'll fuck our breath, and pinch us black and blue. 

Lite. Why prat'ft thou to thyfelf, and anfwer'ft 

not } ? 
Dromio, thou drone, thou fnail, thou flug, thou fot ! 

S. Dro. I am transformed, mafter, am I not ? 

Ant. I think, thou art, in mind, and fo am I. 

S. Dro. Nay, mafter, both in mind, and in my 

Ant. Thou haft thine own form. 

S. Dro. No, I am an ape. 

Luc. If thou art chang'd to ought, 'tis to an afs. 

S. Dro. 'Tis true ; ftie rides me, and I long for 


'Tis fo, I am an afs ; elfe it could never be, 
But I fhould know her as well as me knows me. 

Adr. Come, come, no longer will I be a fool, 
To put the finger in the eye and weep, 
Whilft man, and mafter, laugh my woes to fcorn. 
Come, fir, to dinner ; Dromio, keep the gate : 
Hufband, I'll dine above with you to-day, 
And mrive you * of a thoufand idle pranks : 
Sirrah, if any alk you for your mafter, 

rea dicebatur." Much the fame is faid in Olaus Magnus de Gen- 
tibus SeptcntrionalibtiSy p. 112, 113. TOLLET. 

The epithet elvijh is not in the firjl folio, but is found in the 
fecond. STEEVENS. 

3 Wly prafjl ihou to thyfelf? 

Dromio, thou Dromio, fnail, thou flug, thou fot /] 
In the firil of theie lines, Mr. Rowe and Mr. Pope have both, 
for what reafon I cannot tell, curtailed the mcafure, and dif- 
mounted the doggrel rhyme, which I have replaced from the firit 
folio. The fecond verfe is there likewife read : 

Dromio ^ tbou Dromio, tboujnail, tboujlug, tboufot. 
The verfe is thus half a foo.t too long ; my correction cures that 
fault: belides drone correfponds with the other appellations of 
reproach. THEOBALD. 

4 Andjhriveyou ] That is, I will call you to confcjjion^ 

and make you tell your tricks. JOHNSON. 

SoinHamlef: " .not Jbrivifig time allow'd." STEEVEXS, 



Say, he dines forth, and let no creature enter. 
Come, filter : Dromio, play the porter well. 

Ant. Am I in earth, in heaven, or in hell ? 
Sleeping or waking ? mad, or well-advis'd ? 
Known unto thefe, and to myfelf difguis'd ! 
I'll fay as they fay, and perfever fo, 
And in this mift at all adventures go, 

S. Dro. Mailer, lhall I be porter at the gate ? 

Adr. Ay, let none enter, left I break your pate. 

Luc. Come, come, Antipholis, we dine too late. 



'The Jlreet before Antipbolis's koufe. 

Enter Antipholis of Ephefus, Dromio of Ephejus, Angelo^ 
and Balthazar. 

. Ant. Good lignior Angelo, you muft excufe 

us all ; 

My wife is fhrewifh, when I keep not hours : 
Say, that I linger'd with you at your Ihop, 
To fee the making of her carkanet J , 


5 carkanet,'] feems to have been a necklace or rather chain, 
perhaps hanging down double from the neck. So Lovelace in 
his poem : 

" The emprcfs fpreads her carcanets." JOHNSON. 
" Quirquan, ornement d'or qu'on mit au col des damoifelles." 

Le grand Difl. de Nicof. 

A Carkanet feems to have been a necklace fet with itones, or 
fining with pearls. Thus in Parthenela Sacra, &c. 1633 : 
** Seeke not vermilion or cerufe in the face, bracelets of oriental 
pearls on the vvrifl:, rubie carknets on the neck, and a moft exqui- 
iite fan of feathers in the hand." 
Again, in Hijlriomaftix, or the Player IVhipt, 1610 : 
" Nay, I'll be matchlels for ncarcancf, 
" Whofe pearls and diamonds plac'd with ruby rocks 
*' Shall circle this fair neck to fet it forth." 



And that to-morrow you will bring it home. 
But here's a villain, that would race me down 
He met me on the mart ; and that I beat him, 
And charg'd him with a thoufand marks in gold ; 
And that I did deny my wife and houfe : 
Thou drunkard, thou, what didil thou mean by this ? 
E. Dro. Say what you will, fir, but I know what I 

know : 
That you beat me at the mart, I riave your hand to 

Ihow : 
If the fkin were parchment, and the blows you gave 

were ink, 
Your own hand-writing would tell you what I think. 

Again, in Sir W. Davenant's comedy of the IVits, 1637 : 

it (he fat on a rich Perfian quilt 

" Threading a carcanct of pure round pearl 

*' Bigger than pigeons eggs." 
Again, in The Changes, or Love in a Maze^ 1632 : 

lt -the drops 

" Shew like a carcanet bf pearl upon it." 

In the play of Soliman and Pcrfeda, 1599, the word carcanet oc 
curs eight or nine times. STEEVENS. 

To fee the making of her carkanet.] A necklace^ from the old 
French word carcan, whofe diminutive was carcanet. It is falfely 
written cajkinet, in Cartwright's Love's Convert, aft II. fc. vi. 
edit. 1651 : 

" The filkworm (hall fpin only to thy wardrobe ; 

" The fea yield pearls unto thy cajkinet." 

Read carcanct. WAR TO NT. 

Mr. Warton has been guilty of a fmall miftake. The cajkinet 
and carcanet were diftinft things. The cajkinet, I believe, was 
a fmall cafket for the reception of jewels. So in Lingua, or the 
"Combat of the Tongue and the Five Senfes for Superiority, 1 607 : 
where the enumeration of articles relative to female ornament is 
fo curious, that I cannot refift the temptation to quote it as an 
entire fyftem of drefs : " fuch doing with their looking-glafles, 
pinning, unpinning; fetting, unfetting ; formings, and conform* 
ings ; painting blue veins and cheeks ; fuch ftir with flicks and 
combs, cafcanets, drellings, purles, falls, fquares, bufkes, bodies, 
fcarfs, necklaces, can-ana;, rebates, borders, tires, fans, pali- 
fadoes, puffs, ruffs, cuffs, muffs, puiles, fuftles, partlets, friilets, 
bandlets, fillets, crollets, pendulets, amulets, anulets, bracelets 
fardingals, kirtlets^ buike-points, (hoe-ties, &c." STEEVENS. 

Vo^. II. O E. Ant* 


E. Ant. I think, thou art an afs. 
E. Dro. Marry, fo it doth appear 6 
By the wrongs I fuffer, and the blows I bear, 
I "fliould kick, being kick'd ; and, being at that pafs, 
You would keep from my heels, and beware of an afs. 
. Ant. You are fad, fignior Balthazar : Pray 

god, our cheer 
May anfwer my good-will, and your good welcome 


Bal. I hold your dainties cheap, fir, and your wel- 
come dear. 

E. Ant. Ah, fignior Balthazar, either at flefh or 


A table-full of welcome makes fcarce one dainty difh. 
BaL Good meat, fir, is common, that every churl 

E. Ant. And welcome more common ; for that's 

nothing but words. 
BaL Small cheer, and great welcome, makes a 

merry feaft. 
E. Ant. Ay, to a niggardly hoft, and more fparing 


Butthoughmy cates be mean, take them in good part ; 

Better cheer may you have, but not with better heart. 

But, foft ; my door is^lock'd ; Go bid them let us in. 

E. Dro. Maud, Bridget, Marian, Cicely, Gillian, 

Ginn ! 

6 Many, fo it doth appear 

By the wrongs I fuffer, and the blows Il>carJ\ 
Thus all the printed copies ; but certainly, this is crofs-pur- 
pofes in reafoning. It appears, Dromio is an afs by his making 
no reiiftance ; becaufe an afs, being kick'd, kicks again. Our 
author never argues at this wild rate, where his text is genuine. 


I do not think this emendation neceflary. He firft lays, that his 
ivrongs and blows prove him an afs ; but immediately, with a cor- 
reftion of his former fentiment, fuch as may be hourly obferved 
in converfation, he obferves that, if he had been an afs, he fhould, 
when he was kicked, have kicked again. JOHNSON. 


-OF ERRORS. i 95 

S. Dro. [within] Mome 7 , malt-horfe, capon, cox- 
comb, idiot, patch 8 ! 
Either get thee from the door, or fit down at the 

hatch : 
Doft thou conjure for wenches, that thou cali'ft for 

fuch flore, 
When one is one too many ? go, get thee from the 

E Dro. What patch is made our porter ? my maf- 

ter flays in the ftreet. 
S. Dro. Let him walk from whence he came, left 

he catch cold on's feet. 
E. Ant. Who talks within there ? ho, open the 

S. Dro- Right, fir, I'll tell you when, an you'll tell 

me wherefore. 

7 Mome,"\ a dull ftupid blockhead, a {lock, a poft. This owes 
its original to the French word Momon, which Ggnifies the gam- 
ing at dice in mafquerade, the cuftom and rule of which is, that 
a ilritt fiience is to be obferved : whatever fum one itakes, an- 
other covers, but not a word is to be fpoken : from hence alfo 
comes our word mum ! for fiience. HAWKIXS. 

So in Heywood's Rape of Lucrece, 1630 : 

" Important are th' affairs we have in hand ; 

* ' Hence with that Momc /" 

*' Brutus, forbear the prefence." 

Again, in the old Interlude of the Difobedient Child, b. 1. no date, 
by Tho. Ingdand, late ftudent in Cambridge : 

" My bones alas fhee wyll make to crackell, 

" And me her huftand as a Hark Mome" 
Again, in the Cobler's Prophecy, 1594, by Robt. Wilfon, gent. 

" I'll not be made fuch a Mome" 
Again, in Tom Tyler and bis Wife, 1598 : 

" And when I come home, (he makes me a Mome." 
Again, " Farewell, good honeft Mome," 
Again, in Albions England, 1602. B. iv. chap. 20 : 

" A youth will play the wanton, and an old man prove 
a Mome" STEEVENS. 

8 patch /] i. e. fool. Alluding to the particolour'd coats 

worn by the licens'd fools or jefters of the age. So in Macbeth: 

" w hat foldiers, patch ?" STEEVENS. 

O 2 E. Ant, 


E. Ant. Wherefore ? for my dinner ; I have not 

din'd to-day. 
Dro. Nor to-day here you rriuft not; come 

again, when you may. 
E. Ant. What art thou, that kecp'ft me out from 

the houfe I owe 9 ? 
S. Dro. The porter for this time, fir, and my name 

is Dromio. 

E. Dro. O villain, thou haft ftolen both mine of- 
fice and my name ; 

The one ne'er got me credit, the other mickle blame. 
If thou had'ft been Dromio to-day in my place, 
Thou would'ft have chang'd thy face for a name> or 

thy name for an afs. 
Luce, {within] What a coil is there ! Dromio, who 

are thofe at the gate ? 
E. Dro. Let my mafter in, Luce. 
Luce. Faith no ; he comes too late ; 
And fo tell your matter. 

E. Dro. O Lord, I muft laugh : 
Have at you with a proverb. Shall I fet in my ftaff? 
Luce. Have at you with another : that's, When ? 

can you tell ? 
S. Dro. If thy name be called Luce, Luce, thou 

haft anfwer'd him well. 
E. Ant, Do you hear, you minion ? you'll let us 

in, I trow " ? 

Luce. I thought to have aik'd you. 
S. Dro. And you faid, no. 
E. Dro. So, come, help ; well ftruck ; there was 

blow for blow. 
E. Ant. Thou baggage let me in. 

9 / owe ?] i. e, I ovjn. So in the Four Prentices of Lon* 

doii) 1632 : 

" Who awes that Ihield ? 
" I : and \vho owes that r" STEEVSNS. 
1 / trow.] The old copy reads, I hope. STEEVENS. 


O F E R R O R S. 197 

Lttce* Can you tell for whofe fake ? 

E. Dro. Mailer, knock the door hard. 

Luce. Let him knock 'till it ake. 

E. Ant. You'll cry for this, minion, if I beat the 

door down. 
Luce. What needs all that, and a pair of flocks in 

the town ? 
Adr. [within'] Who is that at the door, that keeps 

all this noife ? 
S. Dro. By my troth, your town is troubled with 

unruly boys. 
E. Ant. Are you there, wife ? you might have 

come before. 
Adr. Your wife, fir knave ! go, get you from the 

E. Dro. If you went in pain, mafler, this knave 

would go fore. 
Ang. Here is neither cheer, fir, nor welcome ; We 

would fain have either. 
Bal. In debating which was befl, we lhall part 

with neither *. 
. Dro. They fland at the door, mafler ; bid them 

welcome hither. 
. Ant. There is fomething in the wind, that we 

cannot get in. 

E. Dro. You would fay fo, mafler, if your gar- 
ments were thin. 

* we JJiall part with neither.] Thus the old copy : 

we Jijall part ivitb neither. 

Common fenfe requires us to read : 

ivejkall HAVE part ivitb neitber. WAR BUR TON* 
In our old language, to part fignified to have part. See Chau- 
cer, Cant. Tales, ver. 9504 : 

" That no wight with his blifk farten (hall.'* 
The French v&partir in the fame fenfe. TYRWHITT. 

O 3 Your 

i 9 3 COMEDY 

Your cake here is warm within ; you fland here in 

the cold : 
It would make a man mad as a buck, to be fo bough*" 

and fold J . 
E. Ant. Go, fetch me fomething, I'll break ope 

the gate. 
S. Dro. Break any thing here, and I'll break your 

knave's pate. 
. Dro. A man may break a word with you, fir ; 

and words are but wind ; 
Ay, and break it in your face, fo he break it not 


S. Dro. It feems, thou wanteft breaking ; Out up- 
on thee, hind ! 
. Dro. Here's too much, out upon thee ! I pray 

thee, let me in. 
S. Dro. Ay, when fowls have no feathers, and filh 

have no fin. 
E. Ant. Well, I'll break in ; Go borrow me a 

E. Dro. A crow without feather ; mailer, mean 

you fo ? 
For a fiih without a fin, there's a fowl without a 

feather : 

If a crow help us in, firrah, we'll pluck a crow toge- 
ther \ 

3 longbt and fold.] This is a proverbial phrafe. " To be 
lought and fold in a company." See Ray's Collection, p. 179. 
edit. 1737. STEEVENS. 

4 <av'// pluck a crow together."] We find the fame quibble 
on a like occalion in one of the comedies of Plautus. 

The children of diftindtion among the Greeks and Romans had 
ufually birds of different kinds given them for their amufement. 
This cuftom Tyndarus in the Captives mentions, and fays, that 
for his part he had 

tantum upupam. 

Upupa fignifies both a lapwing and a mattock, or fome inftrument 
of the fame kind, employed to dig fbnes from the quarries. 


. Ant. 

OF ERRORS. '199 

, Ant. Go, get thee gone, fetch me an iron crow. 
Bal. Have patience, fir; oh, let it not be fo ; 
Herein you war againft your reputation, 
And draw within the compafs of fufpedt 
The unviolated honour of your wife. 
Once this, Your long experience of her wjfdom, 
Her fober virtue, years, and modefty, 
Plead on her part fome caufe to you unknown ; 
And doubt not, fir, but fne will well excufe, 
Why at this time the doors are made againft you s . 
Be rul'd by me ; depart in patience, 
And let us to the Tyger all to dinner : 
And, about evening, come yourfelf alone, 
To know the reafon of this ftrange reflraint. 
If by ftrong hand you offer to break in, 
Now in the ftirring paffage of the day, 
A vulgar comment will be made of it ; 
And that fuppofed by the common rout 6 
Againft your yet ungalled eftimation, 
That may with foul intrufion enter in, 
And dwell upon your grave when you are dead : 
For (lander lives upon fucceflion 7 ; 
For ever hous'd, where't gets pofleffion. 

E. Ant. 

s the doors are made agalnjl you .] Thus the old edi- 

tion. The modern editors read: 

the doors are barr'd againftyou. 

To make the door, is the expreffion ufed to this day in fome coun- 
ties of England, inftead of, to bar the door. STEEVENS. 

6 Suppofed by the common rout~\ For fuppofed I once thought it 
might be more commodious to iubiHtute///>0rfcv/; but there is 
no need of change : fnppofed is founded onfuppojition^ made by 
conjecture. JOHNSON. 

7 Forjlandcr lives upon fuccffjion ;~\ The line apparently wants 
two fyllables : what they were, cannot now b'j known. The 
line may be filled up according to the reader's fancy, -as thus : 

For luftingyJrtW^r lives uponfucccfjiotu JOHNSON. 
On confulting the firit folio, I found the fecond line had been 
lengthened out by the modern editors, who read : 

For ever hous'd -tvbere it once gets pojfejjion. 
I have therefore reftored it to its former STEEVENS. 

O 4 The 


E. Ant. You have prcvail'd ; I will depart in quiet, 
And, in defpight of mirth % mean to toe merry. 
I know a wench of excellent difcourfe, 
Pretty and witty ; wild, and, yet too, gentle, j 
There will we dine : this woman that I mean, 
My wife (but, I proteft, without defert) 
Hath oftentimes upbraided me withal ; 
To her will we to dinner. Get you home, 
And fetch the chain; by this, I know, 'tis made : 
Bring it, I pray you, to the Porcupine ; 
For there's the houfe ; that chain will I bcflow, 
(Be it for nothing but to fpight my wife) 
Upon mine hoflefs there : good fir, make hafle : 
Since my own doors refufe to entertain me, 
I'll knock elfewhere, to fee if they'll difdain me. 
Aug. 1'il meet you at that place, fome hour, fir, 


E. Ant. Do fo ; This jeft fhall coft me fome ex- 
pence. , [Exeunt* 


The. bpufe of Antipkolis of Ephefis. 
Enter Luciano, with Antipkolis of Syracufe* 

Luc. And may it be that you have quite forgot 9 
A hulband's office ? {hall, Antipholis, hate, 


The feconci folio has once ; which rather improves the fenfe, 
and is not incontinent with the metre. TYRWHITT. 

8 And, in defpight of mirth, ] Mr. Theobald does not know 
what to make of this ; and, therefore, has put wrath inftead of 
mirth into the text, in which he is followed by the Oxford edi- 
tor. But the old reading is right ; and the meaning is, I will be 
fnerry, even out of fpite to mirth, which is, now, of all things, 
fhe mod unplenfing to me. WARBURTOX. 

Though mirth hath withdrawn herfelt irom me, and feeins de- 
termined to avoid me, yet in defpight of her, and whether {he 
\nill or not, I nm refolved to be merry. REVISAL. 
^ that you have quite forgot] In former copies : 
,4 ml may it be, that you have quite forgot 
An bnjkaaa'} tifficc? Shall Antipholii^ 


O F E R R O R S. 201 

Jvenin the fpring of love, thy love-fprings rot ? 

Shall love, in building, grow fo ruinate ? 
If you did wed my fifter for her wealth, 

Then, for her wealth's fake, ufe her with more 

kindnefs : 
Or, if you like elfewhere, do it by Health ; 

Muffle your falfe love with fome Ihew of blindnefs ; 
Let not my fifter read it in your eye ; 

Be not thy tongue thy own ihame's orator ; 

Ev^n In the fpring of love, t/.>y love /firings rot ? 

Shall love in buildings gro-ivjb ruinate ? 

This paflage has hitherto labour'd under a double corruption. 
What conceit could our editors have of love in buildings growing 
ruinate ? Our poet meant no more than this : Shall thy love-fprings 
rot, even in the fpring or" love ? and ihall thy love grow ruinous, 
ev'n while 'tis but building up ? The next corruption is by am 
accident at prefs, as I take it ; this fcene for fifty-two lines fuc- 
ceffively is llridly in alternate rhimes ; and this meafure is never 
broken, but in \\\Q fecond and fourth lines of thefe two couplets. 
'Tis certain, I think, a monofyllable dropt from the tail or the 
fecond verfe : and I have ventured to fupply it by, I hope, a pro- 
bable conjecture. THEOBALD. 

Love-fprings are young plants of love. Thus in the Faithful 
Sbepbenlefs of B. and Fletcher : 

" The nightingale among the thick- leavM^r/wg-j 

** That lits alone in forrow." 

See a note on the fecond fcene of the fifth acl: of Corlolanus, 
where the meaning of this expreifion is more fully dilated. 

The rhime which Mr. Theobald would reitore, Hands thus in 
the old edition : 

{hall Antipho/aj. 

If therefore inftead ot ruinate we fliould read ruinous, the paflage 
may remain as it was originally written ; and perhaps, indeed, 
throughout the play we mould read Antipbilui^ a name which 
Shakelpeare might have found in P. Holland's truncation of 
Pliny, B. xxxv, and xxxvii. Antipbilus was a famous painter, 
and rival to Apelles. 

Ruinous is juftified by a paflage in the Tkvo Gentlemen of Ve^ 
rona^ att V. fc. iv : 

" Left growing ruinous the building fall." 

Throughout the firfl folio, Antlpbolus occurs much more often 
than Antipbolifi even where the rhime is not concerned ; and 
were the rhime defective here, fuch tranfgreffions are accounted 
for in other places. STEEVENS. 



Look fweet, fpeak fair, become difloyalty ; 

Apparel vice, like virtue's harbinger : 
Bear a fair prefence, though your heart be tainted ; 

Teach fin the carriage of a holy faint ; 
Be fccret falfe ; What need fhe be acquainted ? 
What fimple thief brags of his own attaint ? 
*Tis double wrong, to truant with your bed, 

And let her read it in thy looks at board : 
Shame hath a baftard fame, well managed ; 
111 deeds are doubled with an evil word. 
Alas, poor women ! make us but believe f , 

2 Being compact of credit, that you love us ; 
Though others have the arm, ihew us the ileeve ; 

We in your motion turn, and you may move us. 
Then, gentle brother, get you in again ; 

Comfort my fitter, chear her, call her wife : 
'Tis holy fport, to be a little J vain, 

Wlien the fweet breath of flattery conquers ftrife. 
S. Ant. Sweet miflrefs, (what your name is elfe, I 

know not, 

Nor by what w r onder you do hit of mine) 
Lefs, in your knowledge, and your grace, you ihow 


Than our earth's wonder ; more than earth divine. 
Teach me, dear creature, how to think and fpeak ; 

Lay open to my earthy grofs conceit, 
Smother 'd in errors, feeble, fhallow, weak, 

The folded meaning of your words' deceit. 

Againft my foul's pure truth why labour you, 

To make it wander in an unknown field ? 

11 Alas, foor women ! mate us not believe, &c.] From the whole 
tenour of the context it is evident, that this negative (not,) got 
place in the firft copies inftead of Int. And thefe two monofyl* 
tables have by miftake reciprocally difpofiels'd one another in ma- 
ny other paflages of our author's works. THEOBALD. 

z Being compafl of credit, means, being made altogether of cre- 
dulity. So in Heywood's Iron. Age, Part*!!. 1633 : 

" fhe's compatt 

" Merely of blood " STEEVENS. 

3 <vain } ] is light of tongue t not veracious. JOHNSON. 



Are you a god ? would you create me new ? 

Transform me then, and to your power I'll yield. 
But if that I am I, then well I know, 

Your weeping lifter is no wife of mine, 
Nor to her bed no homage do I owe ; 

Far more, far more, to you do I decline. 
Oh, train me not, fweet mermaid 4 , with thy note, 

To drown me in thy lifter's flood of tears ; 
Sing, fyren, for thyfelf, and I will dote : 

Spread o'er the filver waves thy golden hairs, 
And as a bed I'll take thee 5 , and there lie ; 

And, in that glorious fuppofition, think 
He gains by death, that hath fuch means to die : 

Let love, being light, be drowned if he link 6 1 

Luc. What are you mad, that you do reafon fo ? 

S.Ant. Not mad, but mated 7 ; how, I do not know. 

4 f:\:eet mermaid,] Mermaid is only another name forjTyren. 

So in the Index to P. Holland's tranflation of Pliny's Nat. Hift. 
*' Mermai</s in Homer were witches, and their fongs enchaunte- 
ments." STEEVENS. 

5 as a bed /'// take thcc,] The old copy reads, as a bud. 
Mr. Edwards fufpe&s a miflake of one letter in the paflage, 

and would read : 

And as a bed I'll take them, and there lye. 
Perhaps, however, both the ancient readings may be right : 

As a bud I'll take thee, &c. 

i. e. I, like an inteft, will take thy bofom for a rofe, or fome other 
flower, and, 

" phoenix like beneath thine eye 

" Involv'd in fragrance, burn and die." 

It is common for Shakefpeare to fhilt haitily from one image to 

Mr. Edwards's coniefture may, however, receive fupport from 
the following paflage in the T=ivo Gent, of Verona, aft I. fc. ii : 

1 ' my bofom as a bed 

11 Shall lodge thee." STEEVENS. 
The fecond tolio has bed. TYRWHITT. 

6 // fa&Jink /] I know not to whom the pronoun Jhe can be 
referred.^ I have made no Icruple to remove a letter from it. The 
author of the Revifal has the fame obfervation. STEEVEXS. 

1 Not mad, but mated,] i. e. confounded. So in Macbeth : 
" My mind Jbc has mated, andamavfdmyjight" STEEVENS. 


2o 4 COMEDY 

Luc. It is a fault that fpringeth from your eye. 

S. Ant. For gazing on your beams., fair fun, being 

Luc. Gaze where 8 you mould, and that will clear 
your fight. 

Ant. As good to wink, fweet love, as look on 

Luc* Why call you me, love ? call my fifter fo. 

S. Ant. Thy fitter's fifter, 

Luc. That's my fifter. 

S. Ant. No; 

It is thyfelf, mine own felf 's better part ; 
Mine eye's clear eye, my dear heart's dearer heart ; 
My food, my fortune, and my fweet hope's aim, 
My fole earth's heaven, and my heaven's claim 9 . 

'Luc. All this my fifter is, or elfe mould be. 

Ant. Call thyfelf fifter, fweet, for I mean thee ' : 
Thee will I love, and with thee lead my life ; 
Thou haft no hufband yet, nor I no wife : 
Give me thy hand. 

Luc. Oh, foft, fir, hold you ftill ; 
I'll fetch my fifter, to get her good-will. [Ex. Luc. 

8 Gaze where] The old copy reads, ivhcn. STEEVENS. 

9 My fole earth's heaven, and my heaven 3 claim. "\ When he 
calls the girl his only heaven on the earth, he utters the common 
cant of lovers. When he calls her his heaven's claim, I cannot 
understand him. Perhaps he means that which he alks of heaven. 


* for /mean thee:'} Thus the modern editors. The folio 


for I am thee. 

Perhaps we fliould read : 

for I aim thee. 

He has juft told her, that (he was \uijfoeet hope's aim. 
So in Orlando Furiofb, 1594.: 

" like Caflius, 

** Sits fadly dumping, aiming Csfar's death." 
Again, in Dray ton's Legend of Robert Duke of Normanefv : 

" I make my changes aim one certain end." STBEVENS. 


O F E R R O R S. 205 

Enter Dromio of Syracufe. 

S. Ant. Why, how now, Dromio ? where run'ft thou 
fo faft > 

S. Dro. Do you know me, fir ? am I Dromio ? am 
I your man ? am I myfelf ? 

S. Ant. Thou art Dromio, thou art my man, thou 
art thyfelf. 

S. Dro. I am an afs, I am a woman's man, and be- 
tides myfelf. 

S. Ant. What woman's man ? and how befides 
thyfelf ? 

S. Dro. Marry, fir, befides myfelf, I am due to a 
woman ; one that claims me, one that haunts me, 
one that will have me. 

S. Ant. What claim lays ihe to thee ? 

S. Dro. Marry, fir, fuch a claim as you would lay 
to your horfe ; and Ihe would have me as a beaft : 
not that, I being a beaft, fhe would have me; but 
that ihe, being a very beaftly creature, lays claim to 

S. Ant. What is fhe ? 

S. Dro. A very reverent body ; ay, fuch a one as 
a man may not fpeak of, without he fay, fir-reverence : 
I have but lean luck in the match, and yet is Ihe a 
wondrous fat marriage. 

S. Ant. How doft thou mean, a fat marriage ? 

S. Dro. Marry, fir, Ihe's the kitchen-wench, and 
all greafe ; and I know not what ufe to put her to, 
but to make a lamp of her, and run from her by 
her own light. I warrant, her rags, and the tallow 
in them, will burn a Poland winter : if Ihe lives 'till 
doomfday, fhe'll burn a week longer than the whole 

S. Ant. What complexion is fhe of ? 

S. Dro. Swart, like my fhoe, but her face nothing 
like fo clean kept ; For why ? fhe fweats, a man may 
go over fhoes in the grime of it, 

S. Ani. 


S. Ant. That's a fault that water will mend. 

S. Dt'o. No, fir, 'tis in grain ; Noah's flood could 
not do it. 

S. Ant. z What's her name ? 

S. Dro. Nell, fir ; but her name and three quar- 
ters (that is, an ell and three quarters,) will not mea- 
fure her from hip to hip. 

S. Ant. Then Ihe bears fome breadth ? 

S. Dro. No longer from head to foot, than from 
hip to hip : flie is fpherical, like a globe ; I could 
find out countries in her. 

S. Ant. In what part of her body flands Ireland ? 

S. Dro. Marry, fir, in her buttocks ; I found it 
out by the bogs. 

S. Ant. Where Scotland ? 

S. Dro. I found it by the barrennefs ; hard, in 
the palm of the hand, 

S. Ant. 5 Where France ? 

S. Dro, 

* S. Ant. Wljafs her name f 

S. Dro. Nell, Jir ; but her name is three quarters ; that is, an 
ell and three quarters, &c.~\ This paffage has hitherto lain as per- 
plexed and unintelligible, as it is now eafy, and truly humourous. 
it' a conundrum be reftored, in fetting it right, who can help it ? 
I owe the correction to the lagacity of the ingenious Dr. Thirlby. 


This poor conundrum is borrowed by Maffinger in The Old 
La-iv, 1653 : 

" Cook. That Nell was Hellen of Greece. 

" Clown. As long as {he tarried with her hufband (he was Ellen , 
but after (he came to Troy fhe was Nell of Troy. 

" Cook. Why did (he grow fhorter when (he came to Troy ? 

" Clown. She grew longer, if you mark the ftory, when Ihe 
grew to be an ell, &c." MALONE. 

3 S. Ant. Where France ? 

S. Dro. In her forehead, arm'd and reverted, making war again/I 
her hair.] All the other countries, mentioned in this defcription, 
are in.Dromio's replies latirically characterized : but here, as the 
editors have ordered it, no remark is made upon France ; nor any 
reafon given, why it ihould be in her forehead : but only the 
kitchen -wench's high forehead is rallied, as pulhingback her hair. 
Thus all the modern editions ; but the firft folio rente making 
war againft her heir. . And I am very apt to think, this 


OF ERRORS, fco; 

S. Dro. In her forehead ; arm'd and reverted, mak- 
ing war againft her hair. 

S. Ant. Where England ? 

S. Dro. I look'd for the chalky cliffs, but I could 
find no whitencfs in them : but I guefs, it Hood in 
her chin, by the fait rheum that ran between France 
and it. 

S. Am. Where Spain ? 

S. Dro. Faith, I law it not ; but I felt it, hot in 
her breath. 

lad is the true reading ; and that an equivoque, as the French 
call it, a double meaning, is deligned in the poet's allufion : and 
therefore I have repkced it in the text. In 1589, Henry III. of 
France being ftabb'd, and dying of his wound, was iucceeded by 
Henry IV. of Navarre, whom he appointed his fucceflbr: but 
whofe claim the dates ot France refiued, on account of his being 
a proteflant. This, I take it, is what he means, by France mak- 
ing war againft her heir. Now, as, in 1^91, queen Elizabeth 
fent over 4000 men, under the conduct of the earl of Eilc- to 
the afliftance of this Henry of Navarre ; it feems to me very 
probable, that during this expedition being on foot, this comedy 
made its appearance. And it was the fineit addrefs imaginable in 
the poet to throw fuch an oblique fneer at France, for oppoling 
the fucceflion of that heir, whofe claim his royal m,iftrei~s, the 
queen, had fent over a force to eftablifh, and obl'ige thgm to ac- 
knowledge. THEOBALD. 

With this correction and explication Dr. Warburton concurs, 
and fir Thomas Hanmer thinks an equivocation intended, though 
he retains hair in the text. Yet furely they have all loft the fenfe 
by looking beyond it. Our authour, in my opinion, only fports 
with an allufion, in which he takes too much delight, and means 
that his miftrefs had the French difeafe. The ideas are rather 
too oftenfive to be dilated. By a forehead armed, he means co- 
vered with incrufted eruptions : by reverted, he means having the 
hair turning backward. An equivocal word muft have fenies ap- 
plicable to both the fubjecls to which it is applied. Both fore- 
head and France might in fome fort make war againft their hair^ 
but how did \heforehead make war againft its heir? The fenfe 
which I have given immediately occurred to me, and will, I be- 
lieve, arife to every reader who is contented with the meaning 
that lies before him, without fending out conjecture in fearch of 
refinements. JOHNSON. 

Shakefpeare had not written any thing in 1 591 . In 1593, " the 
firft heir of his invention" (if we may believe his own account of 
it) was produced. See the Extracts from the Stationers' Books, 
at the end of the Prefaces, 8cc Vol. I. of this edition. STEEVENS. 

5. Ant. 


S. Ant. Where America, the Indies ? 

S. Dro. Oh, fir, upon her nofe, all o'er cmbellifh'd 
with rubies, carbuncles, fapphires, declining their 
rich afpect to the hot breath of Spain ; who fent whole 
armadoes of carracks to be ballafted 4 at her nofc. 

S. Ant. Where flood Belgia, the Netherlands ? 

5. Dro. Oh, fir, I did not look fo low. To con- 
clude, this drudge, or diviner, laid claim to me ; 
call'd me Dromio, fwore, I was aflur'd to her * ; told 
me what privy marks I had about me, as the mark 
of my fhoulder, the mole in my neck, the great 
wart on my left arm, that I, amaz'd, ran from her 
as a witch : 6 And, I think, if my breafi had not 
been made of faith, and my heart of fteel, fhe had 
transform'd me to a curtail-dog, and made me turn 
i'the wheel. 

S. Ant. Go, hie thee prefently, poft to the road j 
And if the wind blow any way from fhore, 
I will not harbour in this town to-night. 
If any bark put forth, come to the mart, 
Where I will walk, 'till thou return to me* 
If every one know us_, and we know none, 
'Tis time, I think, to trudge, pack, and be gone. 

S. Dro. As from a bear a man would run for life, 
So fly I from her that would be my wife. [Exit. 

S. Ant. There's none but witches do inhabit here ; 
And therefore 'tis high time that I were hence. 
She, that doth call me hufband, even my foul 

* to te ballafted] Thus the modern editors* The old 
copy reads only ballaft^ which may be right. Thus in Hamlet : 

" to have the engineer 

Hoift with his own petar." i. e. bo'lfted. STEEVENS* 

5 affured to her ;] i. e. affianced to her. Thus in K. John : 

4< For Ib I did when I was firil: ajfitr'j. STEEVENS. 

6 And, I tbihk, if my breaft bad not been wade of faith, &V.} 
Alluding to the fuperftition of the common people, that nothing 
could refift a witch's power of transforming men into animals^ 
but a great {hare of 'faith: however the Oxford editor thinks a 
ire aft made of flint, tetter fecurity, and has therefore put it in. 




Doth for a wife abhor : but her fair fitter; 
Poffefs'd with fuch a gentle fovereign grace$ 
Of fuch inchanting prefenee and difcourfe, 
Hath almolt made me traitor to myfelf : 
But, left myfelf be guilty of felf-wrong, 
I'll flop mine ears againft the mermaid's fong. 

Enter Angela, with a chain* 

Ang. Mafler Antipholis ? 

S. Ant. Ay, that's my name, 

Ang. I know it well, fir : Lo, here is the chain % 
I thought to have ta'en you at the Porcupine 7 : 
The chain linfinifh'd made me ftay thus long. 

S. Ant. What is your will, that I ihall do with this ? 

Ang. What pleafe yourfelf, fir ; I have made it for 

S. Ant\ Made it for mej fir ! I befpoke it not. 

Ang. Not oncej nor twice> but twenty times you 

have : 

Go home with itj and pleafe your wife withal ; 
And foon at fupper-time I'll vifit you, 
And then receive my money for the chain. 

S. Ant. I pray you, fir, receive the money howj 
For fear you ne'er fee chain, nor money $ more. 

Aug. You are a merry man, fir ; fare you well; 

S. Ant. What I fliould think of this, I cannot tell : 
But this I think, there's no man is fo vain> 
That would refufe fo fair an offer'd chain. 

7 < --at tie Porcupine ; ] It is remarkable, that throughout 
the old editions of Shakelpeare's plays, the word PorptHtine is 
ufed inftead of Porcupine. Perhaps it was fo pronounced at that 

I have fince obfervd the fame fuelling in the plays of other 
ancient authors. Mr. Toilet finds it likewile in p. 66 of Afcham's 
Works by Bennet, and in Stowe's Chronicle in the years 1117, 

1135. STEEVEN3. 

Vox,. II. I fee, 

2 io COMEDY 

I fee, a man here needs not live by mifts, 
When in the ftreets he meets' fuch golden gifts. 
I'll to the mart, and there for Dromio ftay ; 
If any Ihip put out, then ftrait away. [Exit. 


27# Street. 
Enter a Merchant, Angela, and an Officer. 

Mer. You know, iince pentecoft the fum is due, 
And fince I have not much importun'd you ; 
Nor now I had not, but that I am bound 
To Perfia, and want gilders 8 for my voyage : 
Therefore make prefent fatisfadtion, 
Or I'll attach you by this officer. 

Ang. Even juft the fum, that I do owe to yon, 
Is growing to me 9 by Antipholis : 
And, in the inftant that I met with you, 
H^ had of me a chain ; at five o'clock, 
I fliall receive the money for the fame : 
Pleafe you but walk with me down to his houfe, 
I will difcharge my bond, and thank you too. 

Enter Aniipholi* of Ephefus, and Dromio of Ephefus, as 
from the Courtezan's. 

Offi. That labour you may fave; fee where he 

E. Ant. While I go to the goldfmith's houfe, go- 

And buy a rope's end ; that will I bellow 

^ 8 . - ><want gilders] KgiUeris a coin valued from one {hil- 
ling and fix pence, to two {hillings. STEEVENS. 

9 Is growing /0 tne^] i.e. accruing to met STEEVENS. 



Arnong my wife and her confederates, 
For locking me out of my doors by day. 
But foft, I fee the goldfmith : get thee gone ; 
Buy thou a rope, and bring it home to me. 

E. Dro. I buy a thoufand pound a year ! I buy a. 
rope ! [Exit Dromio. 

E. Ant. A man is well holp up^ that trufts to you : 
I promifed your prcfence, and the chain ; 
But neither chain, nor goldfmith, came to me : 
Belike, you thought our love would laft too long, 
If it were chain'd together ; and therefore came not. 
Ang. Saving your merry humour, here's the note, 
How much your chain weighs to the ntmoft carrat; 
The finenefs of the gold, and chargeful fafhion ; 
Which do amount to three odd ducats more 
Than I fland debted to this gentleman : 
I pray you, fee him prefently difcharg'd, 
For he is bound to fea, and ftays but for it* 

E. Ant. I am not furnifh'd with the prefent money ; 
Befides, I have fome bufinefs in the town : 
Good fignior, take the flranger to my houfe, 
And with you take the chain, and bid my wife 
Difburfe the fum on the receipt thereof ; 
Perchance, I will be there as fooh as you. 

An?. Then you will bring the chain to her yotir- 


E. Ant. No ; bear it with you, left I come not 
time enough. 

Ang. Well, lifj I will : Have you the chain about 


E. Ant. An if I have not, fir, I hope you have; 
Or elfe you may return without your money. 

Ang. Nay, come, I pray you, fir, give rile the 

chain ; 

Both wind and tide flays for this gentleman, 
And I, to blame, have held him here too long. 

E. Ant. Good lord, you ufe this dalliance, to excufe 
Your breach of promife to the Porcupine : 

P 2 I fliould 


I ihould have chid you for not bringing it, 
But, like a ihrew, you firft begin to brawl. 

Mer. The hour fteals on ; I pray you, fir, difp'atch. 

Ang. You hear, how he importunes me 5 the 

E. Ant. Why, give it to my wife, and fetch your 

Ang. Come, come, you know, I gave it you even 

now ; 
Either fend the chain, or fend me by fome token. 

. Ant. Fye, now you run this humour out of 

breath ! 
Come, wherc's the chain ? I pray you, let me fee it. 

Mer. My bufinefs cannot brook this dalliance : 
Good fir, fay, whe'r you'll anfwer me, or no ; 
If not, I'll leave him to the officer. 

E. Ant. I anfwer you ! why Ihould I anfwer you ? 

Ang. The money, that you owe me for the chain. 

E. Ant. I owe you none, 'till I receive the chain. 

Ang. You know, I gave it you half an hour fince. 

E. Ant. You gave me none ; you wrong me much 
to fay fo. 

Ang. You wrong me more, fir, in denying it : 
Confider, how it ftands upon my credit. 

Mer* Well, bfficer, arreft him at my fuit. 

Qffi. I do ; 
And charge you in the duke's name to obey me. 

Ang. This touches me in reputation : 
Either confent to pay the fum for me, 
Or I attach you by this officer. 

E. Ant. Confent to pay for that I never had ! 
Arreft me, foolifh fellow, if thou dar'ft, 

Ang. Here is thy fee ; arreft him, officer ; 
I would not fpare my brother in this cafe^ 
If he fhould fcorn me fo apparently. 

Offi. I do arreft you, fir ; you hear the fuir. 

E. Ant. I do obey thee, till I give thee bail ;-" 
But, firrah, you lhall buy this fport as dear 



As all the metal in your fhop will anfvver. 

Ang. Sir, fir, I lhall have law in Ephefus, 
To your notorious lhame, I doubt it not. 

Enter Drom'w of Syracufe, from tloe bay, 

S. Dro. Mafter, there is a bark of Epidamnum, 
That ftays but till her owner comes aboard, 
Then, fir, ftie bears away : our fraughtage, fir, 
I have convey'd aboard ; and I have bought 
The oil, the balfamum, and aqua-vitse. 
The Ihip is in her trim ; the merry wind 
Blows fair from land : they flay for nought at all, 
But for their owner, mafter, and yourfelf. 

E. Ant. How now ! a madman ! why thou peevifh, 

Iheep % 
What fliip of Epidamnum ftays for me ? 

S. Dro. A fli'ip you fent me to, to hire waftage. 

E. Ant. Thou drunken flave, I fent thee for a rope ; 
And told thee to what purpofe, and what end. 

S. Dro. You fent me for a rope's-end as foon : 
You fent me to the bay, fir, 1 for a bark. 

E. Ant. I will debate this matter at more leifure, 
And teach your ears to lift me with more heed. 
To Adriana, villain, hie thee ftrait ; 
Give her this key, and tell her, in the defk 
That's cover'd o'er with Turkifh ta.peftry, 
There is a purfe of ducats ; let her fend it ; 
Tell her, I am arrefted in the ftreet, 
And that fliall bail me : hie thee, Have ; be gone : 
On, officer, to prifon till it come. [Exeunt. 

S. Dro. To Adriana ! that is where we din'd, 
Where Dowfabcl ' did claim rne for her hufband : 


Peevijb \sjflh. So in Cymldlne: 
" Defire my man's abode where I did leave "him ; 
" He's ftrange and fcevijb." See a note on a& I. 

fc. vii. STEEVEKS. 

1 Wen Dowfabel ] This name occurs in one of Drayton's 
Paibrals : 

214* COMEDY 

She is too big, I hope, for me to compafs. 

Thither I mutt, although againft my will, 

For fervants mufl their matter's minds fulfil. [Exif, 


Tae boufe of Antipbolis of Ephefus. 

Enter Adnana and, Luciana. 

'ddr. Ah, Luciana, did he tempt thee fo ? 

Might'ft thou perceive auflerely in his eye 
That he did plead in camel!:, yea or no ? 

Look'd he or red, or pale ; or fad, or merrily ? 
What obfervation mad'ft thou in this cafe, 
Of his heart's meteors tilting in his face * ? 
Luc. Firft he deny'd you had in him no right. 
Adr. He meant, he did me none ; the more my 


Luc. Then fwore he, that he was a ftranger here. 
Adr. And true he fwore, though yet foriworn he 

Luc. Then pleaded I for you. 

'* He had, as antique {lories tell, 
" A daughter cleaped Do~j:fabcl, &c." STEEVENS. 
i. meteors tilting in his fact: ?] Alluding to thofe meteors in 
the Iky, which have the appearance of lines ot armies meeting in 
the fhock. To this appearance he compares civil wars in another 
place : 

" J'Vloicb, like the meteors of a troubled heaven , 
" All of one nature, of one fiibjlancc Ired^ 
'* Did lately meet in the intejlinc Jhack 
'* And furious clofe of civil butchery" WA R BURTOX, 
The allufion is more clearly explained by the following com* 
parifon in the fecond book of Paradife Lojl : 

As when to warn proud cities, war appears 
Wag'd in the troubled iky, and armies rufh 
To battle in the clouds, berore each van 
* Prick forth the aery knights, and couch their fpears 
' Till thickeft legions dole ; with feats of arms 
From either ead of heaven the welkin burns." 



O F E R R O R S. 215 

'Adr. And what faid he ? 

Luc. That love I begg'd for you, he begg'd of me. 
Adr. With what periuafion did he tempt thy love ? 
Luc. With words, that in an honefl fuit might 


Firft, he did praife my beauty ; then, my fpeech. 
Adr. Did'il {peak him fair ? 
Luc. Have patience, I befeech. 
Adr. I cannot, nor I will not, hold me Hill ; 
My tongue, though not my heart, {hall have its will. 
He is deformed, crooked, old and 3 fere, 
Ill-fac'd, worfe-body'd, mapelefs every where ; 
Vicious, ungentle, foolifh, blunt, unkind ; 
4 Stigmatical in making, worfe in mind. 

Luc. Who would be jealous then of fuch a one ? 
No evil loft is wail'd when it is gone, 

Adr. Ah ! but I think him better than I fay, 

And yet, would herein others' eyes were worfe : 
f Far from her neft the lapwing cries away : 

My heart prays for him, though my tongue do 


3 fere,] that Is, dry, withered. JOHNSON. 

4 Stigmatical in making, ] That is, marked W Jligmatized by 

nature with deformity, as a token of his vicious difpofition. 


So in the Blind Beggar of Alexandria, \ 598 : 

" It is a moft dangerous and Jligmatical humour." 

Again, in The Wonder of a Kingdom, 1630 : 

" If you fpy any man that hath a look, 
" Stigtnatically drawn, like to a fury's, &c." STEEVENS. 

5 Far from her neft the lapwing sV.] This expreffion feems 
to be proverbial. I have met with it in many of the old comic 
writers. Greene, in his Second Part of Coney-catching, 1592, 

fays: " But again to our priggers, who, as belore I faid, 

cry ivlt/j the lapwing farthejl from the nejl, and from their place ot 
refidence where their moft abode is." 

Nafli, fpeaking of Gabriel Harvey, fays " he withdraweth 

men, lapping-like, from his nelt, as much as might be." 
Again, in. Mother Bomb ie, 1594: 

" I'll talk of other matters, and fly from the mark I fhoot at, 
lapping-like, flying from the place where I neftle," 

P 4 Again, 


Enter Dromio of Syracufe. 
S. Dro. Here, go ; the defk, the purfe ; fweet 

now, "make hafte. 

Luc. How, haft thou loft thy breath ? 
S. Dro. By running faft. 

Adr. Where is thy mafter, Dromio ? is he well ? 
S. Dro. No, he's in Tartar limbo, worfethan hell : 
A devil in an everlafting 6 garment hath him, 
One, whofe hard heart is button'd up with fteel ; 
A fiend, ' a fairy, pitilefs and rough 7 ; 
A wolf, nay, 'wbrfe, a fellow all in buff; 
8 A back-friend, a ftioulder-clapper, one that coun- 


The pafTages of alleys, creeks, and narrow lands ; 
A hound 9 that runs counter, and yet draws dry-foot 
well ; 


Again, in Sir Giles Goofecap, 1606 : 

" - and will lye like a lapwing"- 

See this pafiage yet more amply explained in a note on Meafure 
for Meafurc, aft i. STEEVENS. 

6 - an everlafting garment'] Everlajling was in the time of 
Shakefpeare, as well as at prefent, the name of a kind of durable 
fluff. The quibble intended here, is likewife met with in B, 
and Fletcher's Woman Hater : 

" - I'll quit this tranfitory 

*' Trade, and get me an cv'crlajlUig robe, 

<{ Sear up my confcience, and turn ferjga*t. n STEEVENS, 

7 A fiend, a fairy, pltilrfs and 'rou^h ;] Dromio here bringing 
word in hafte that his mafter is arreued, 'defcribes the bailift" by- 
names proper to raife horror and deteftation of fuch a creature", 
fuch as, a devil, a fiend, a wolf, &c. But how does fairy come 
tip to thefe terrible ideas ? we mould rend, a 'fiend, a fury, &c. 


There were fairies like hobgoblins, pitilcfs and rough, and de- 
fcribed as malevolent and miichievous. Joiixso^'. 

8 A back- friend, a JhouUcr -clapper, &c. of allies, creels, and 
narrow lands ;] It fhould be written, I think, narrow lanes, as he 
has the fame expreffion, Rich. II. aft V.' fc. vi : 

*' Even fuch 'they fay as ftand in narrow lanes." GRAY. 
The preceding rhime forbids us to read lanes, A Shoulder- clap - 
rr is a bailiff : 


fear none but tfefe 

Decker's Sattroiiuijiix. STEEVENS. 

A bound that rum counter, and yet draws dry-foot ivell ; ] TQ 


O F E R R O R S. 217 

One that, before the judgment, carries poor fouls 

to hell '. 

Adr. Why, man, what is the matter ? 
S. Dro. I do not know the matter ; he is 'refted on 

the cafe 2 . 

Adr. What, is he arrefled ? tell me, at whofe fuit. 
S. Dro. I know not at whofe fuit he is arrefled, 

But he's in a fuit of buff, which 'refted him, that I 

can tell : 

run counter is to run backward, by miftaking the courfe of the 
animal purfued ; to draw dry-foot is, I believe, to purfue by the 
track or prick of the foot ; to run ccunter and draiv dry- foot ivell 
are, therefore, inconfiitent. The jeft confifts in the ambiguity of 
the word counter, which means the wrong way in the chafe, and a 
prifon in London. The officer that arreited him was a ferjeant of 
the counter. For the congruity of this jell with the fcene of ac- 
tion, let our authour anfwer. JOHNSON. 

Ben Jonfon has the fame expreffion ; Every Man in bis Hu- 
mour, a& II. fc. iv. 

" Well, the truth is, my old mafter intends to follow my young, 
dry-fool over Moorfields to London this morning, &c." 

To araw dry-foot, is when the dog purfues the game by the 
fcent of the foot : for which the blood-hound is famed. GRAY. 
So in Ram- Alley, or Merry Tricks : 

" A hunting, Sir Oliver, and dry-foot too !" 
Again, in the Dumb Knight, 1633 : 

"I care not for dry-foot hunting." STEEVENS. 

1 poor fouls to bell.'] Hell was the cant term for an obfcure 

dungeon in any of our prifons. It is mentioned in the Counter-* 
rat, a poem, i6c;8 : 

" In Wood-ftreet's hole, or Poultry's bell" 

The dark place into which a taylor throws his ftireds, is {till 
in poflellion of this title. So in Decker's If this be not a good 
flay the Devil is in it, 1612: 

" Taylors 'tis known 

" They fcorn \hyhell, having better of their own." 
There v/as likewife a place of this name under the Exchequer- 
chamber, where the king's debtors were confined till they had 
paid the uttermoit farthing. STEEVEXS. 

'' on the cafc.~\ An adVion upon the cafe, is a general ac- 
tion given for the redreis of a wrong done any man without iorce, 
and not efpecially provided for by law. GRAY. 



Will you fend him, miftrefs, redemption, the money 

in- his defk ? 
Adr t Go fetch it, fitter. This I wonder at, 

[Exit Luciana. 

That he, unknown to me, fhould be in debt ! 
Tell me, was he arrefted on a band 3 ? 

S. Dro. Not on a band, but on a ftrongcr thing ; 
A chain, a chain ; do you not hear it ring ? 
Adr. What, the chain ? 
S. Dro. No, no ; the bell : 'tis time, that I were 

It was two ere I left him, and now the clock ftrikcs 


Adr. The hours come back ! that I did never hear. 
S. Dro. O yes, If any hour meet a ferjeant, a'turns 

back for very fear. 

Adr. As if time were in debt ! how fondly doit 
thou reafon ? 

3 was he arrejled on. a band ?] Thus the old copy, and 

I believe rightly ; though the modern editors read bond. A bond, 
i. e. an obligatory writing to pay a fum of money, was anciently 
fpelt band. A land is likewife a neckdotb* On this circumftance 
I believe the humour of the pnflTage turns. 

B. Jonfon, perfonifying the instruments of the law, fays : 

" Statute, and land, and wax, lhall go with me." 

Again, without perfonification : 

** See here your mortgage, flatute, land, and wax.'* 
So in the Spanijb Tragedy : 

" i Citizen. Sir, here's my declaration. 

" 2 Citizen. And here's my land. 
" 3 Citizen. And here's my leafe." 
Again, in The Miferies of inforced Marriage, 1609 : 

" Firft draw him into lands for money." 
Again, in Hijlriomajiix, 1610: 

" tye fa ft our lands 

" In itatute ihple, or thefe Merchants' lands" 
Again, in The Walks of IJlington and Hog f den : 

" From turning over goods in other's hands, 
" And from the fettings of our marks to lands." 


S. Dro. 


S. Dro. Time is a very bankrout, and owes more 

than he's worth, to feafon. 

Nay, he's a thief too : Have you not heard men fay, 
That time comes ftealing on by night and day ? 
If time be in debt 4 , and theft, and a ferjeant in the 

Hath he not reafon to turn back an hour in a day ? 

Enter Luclana. 

Adr. Go, Dromio ; there's the money, bear it 

ftrait ; 

And bring thy mailer home immediately. -7- 
Come, fitter : I am prefs'd down with conceit ; 

Conceit, my comfort, and my injury. [Exeunt. 


The Street. 
Enter Antipholis of Syracufe. 

S. Ant. There's not a man I meet, but doth falute 


As if I were their well-acquainted friend ; 
And every one doth call me by my name. 
Some tender money to me, fome invite me ; 
Some other give me thanks for kindneffes ; , 
Some offer me commodities to buy : 
Even now a taylor call'd me in his Ihop, 
And fnow'd me filks that he had bought for me, 
And, therewithal, took meafure of my body. 
Sure, theie are but imaginary wiles, 
And Lapland forcerers inhabit here. 

4 Jf time lc in Mt,~\ The old edition reads If /be in debt. 




Enter Dromio of Syracufe. 

S. Dro. Mafler, here's the gold yon fent me for : 
5 What, have you got the picture of old Adam new 
apparell'd ? 

S. Ant. What gold is this ? What Adam doft thou 
mean ? 

S. Dro. Not that Adam, that kept the paradife, 
but that Adam, that keeps the prifon : he that goes 
in the calves-fkin that was kill'd for the prodigal ; 
jie that came behind you, fir, like an evil angel, and 
bid you forfake your liberty. 

S. Ant. I underftand thee not. 

S. Dro. No ? why, it is a plain cafe : he that went 
like a bafe-viol, in a cafe of leather ; the man, fir, 
that, when gentlemen are tired, gives them a fob, 
and 'refls them ; he, fir, that takes pity on decayed 
men, and gives 'em fuits of durance ; 6 he that fets 


5 what have you got the picture of old Adam new apparelFd?] 
A fliort word or two muft have flipt out here, by fame accident in 
copying, or at prefs ; otherwife I have no conception of the mean- 
ing ot the paflage. The cafe is this. Dromio's mafter had been 
arrefted, and fent his fervant home for money to redeem him : 
lie, running back with the money, meets the twin Antipholis, 
whom he miftakes for his mafter, and feeing him clear of the of- 
ficer before the money was come, he cries, in a furprize ; 

What, have you got rid of the piflure of old Adam new apparell'd? 
For fo I have ventured to fupply, by conjecture. But why is the 
officer call'd old Adam new apparell'd ? The allufion is to Adam 
in his ftate of innocence going naked ; and immediately after the 
fall, being cloath'd in a frock of fkins. Thus he was new appa- 
rell'd : and, in like manner, the ferjeants of the Counter were 
formerly clad in buff, or calves-fkin, as the author humouroufly 
a little lower calls it. THEOBALD. 

The explanation is very good, but the text does not require to 
be amended. JOHNSON. 

Thefe jefts on Adam's drefs are common among our old writers. 
So in King E-dvjard III. 1 1^99 : 

" The regifter of all varieties 

" Since leathern Adam to this younger hour." 


* be that fits up his veil to do more exploits ivitb bis mace, than a 


O F E.R R O R S. 2ir 

up his reft to do more exploits with his mace, than 
a morris pike* 

S. Ant. 

MORRIS-/^.] Sets up his reft, is a phrafe taken from military exer- 
cife. When gunpowder was firft invented, its force was very 
weak compared to that in prefent ufe. This neceflarily required 
fire-arms to be of an extraordinary length. As the artifts im- 
proved the flrength of their powder, the foldiers proportionably 
formed their arms and artillery ; fo that the cannon which Froif- 
fart tells us was once fifty feet long, was contracted to leis than 
ten. This proportion likewiie held in their muflcets ; fo that, till 
the middle of the laft century, the mufketteers always fupported 
their pieces when they gave fire, with a reft ftuck before them in- 
to the ground, which they called fitting up their reft, and is here 
alluded to. There is another quibbling allufion too to the ier- 
ieant's office of arrefting. But what moft wants animadverfion is 
the morris pike, which is without meaning, impertinent to the 
fenfe, and falle in the allufion ; no pike being ufed amongft the 
dancers fo called, or at leaft not fam'd for much execution. In 
a word, Shakefpeare wrote, 

a MAURICE-^Z&>. 

i. e. a pikeman of prince Maurice's army. He was the greatelt 
general of that age, and the conductor of the Low-country wars 
againft Spain, under whom all the Englilh gentry and nobility 
were bred to the fervice. Being frequently overborne with num- 
bers, he became famous for his fine retreats, in which a fland of 
pikes is of great fervice. Hence the pikes of his army became 
famous for their military exploits. WARBURTON. 

This conjecture is very ingenious, yet the commentator talks 
unneceflarily of the reft of a mujket, by which he makes the hero 
of the fpeech let up the reft of a mujket, to do exploits with a pike, 
The reft of &pike was a common term, and fignified, I believe, 
the manner in which it was fixed to receive the rufti of the enemy. 
A morris-pike was a pike ufed in a morris or a military dance, and 
with which great exploits were done, that is, great feats of dexte- 
rity were fliewn. There is no need of change. JOHNSOX. 

A morris-pike is mentioned by the old writers as a formidable 
weapon ; and therefore Dr. Warburton's notion is deficient in 
firrt principles. " Morcfpikes (fays Langley in his tranflation of 
Polydore Virgil) were ufed firft in the fiege of Capua." And in 
Reynard's Deliver ence of certain Chrijlians from the Turks , ** the 
Englilh mariners laid about them with brown bills, halberts, and 
morrlcc-pilus** FARMER. 

Polydore Virgil does not mention morris-pikes at the fiege of 
Capua, though Langley's tranflation of him advances their anti- 
quity fo high. TOLLET. 


222, COMEDY 

S. Ant. What ! thou mean'ft an officer ? , 

S. Dro. Ay, fir, the ferjeant of the band : he, that 
brings any man to anfwer it, that breaks his band ; 
one that thinks a man always going to bed, and faith, 
God give you good reft ! 

S. Ant. Well, fir, there reft in your foolery. Is 

Any fliips puts forth to-night ? may we be gone ? 

S. Dro. Why, fir, I brought you word an hour 
fince, that the bark Expedition put forth to-night ; 
and then were you hindered by the ferjeant, to tarry 
for the hoy, Delay : Here are the angels that you lent 
for, to deliver you. 

S. Ant. The fellow is diffract, and fo am I ; 
And here we wander in illufions : 
Some blefled power deliver us from hence ! 

Enter a Courtezan. 

Cour. Well met, well met, mafter Antipholis. 
I fee, fir, you have found the goldfmith now : 
Is that the chain, you promis'd me to-day ? 

S. Ant. Satan, avoid ! I charge thee, tempt me not ! 

S. Dro. Mafter, is this miftrefs Satan ? 

S. Ant. It is the devil. 

S. Dro. Nay, Ihe is worfe, Ihe's the devil's dam ; 
and here fhe comes in the habit of a light wench : 
and therefore comes, that the wenches fay, God damn, 
me, that's as much as to fay, God make me a light 
wench. It is written, they appear to men like angels 
of light : light is an effect of fire, and fire will 

So in Heywood's K. Edward TV. 1626 : 

" Of the French were beaten down 
" Morris-pikes and bowmen, &c." 
Again, in Hollinihed, p. 816 : 

" they entered the gall ies again with . moris pikes anJ 

fought, &c." STEEVENS. 

Morris pikes, or the pikes of the Moors, were excellent formerly ; 
and fince, the Spanifh pikes have been equally famous, bee 
Hartlib's legacy, p. 48. TOLLET. 

burn ; 

O F E R R O R S. 223 

burn ; -ergo, light wenches will burn ; Come not 
hear her. 

Cour. Your man and you are marvellous, merry, fir. 
Will you go with me ? we'll mend our dinner here. 

S. Dro. Matter, if you do expect fpoon-meat, or 
befpeak a long fpoon 7 . 

S. Ant. Why, Dromio ? 

S. Dro. Marry, he muft have a long fpoon, that 
mult cat with the devil. 

S. Ant. Avoid then, fiend ! what tell'ft thou me of 

flipping ? 

Thou art, as you are all, a forcerefs : 
I conjure thee to leave me, and be gone. 

Cour. Give me the ring of mine you had at dinner, 
Or, for my diamond, the chain you promised ; 
And I'll be gone, fir, and not trouble you. 

S. Dro. Some devils 

Afk but the paring of one's nail, a rulh, 
A hair, a drop of blood, a pin, a nut, 
A cherry-ftone ; but Ihe, more covetous, 
Would have a chain. 
Mailer, be wife ; an' if you give it her, 
The devil will fhake her chain, and fright us with it. 

Cour. I pray you, fir, my ring, or elfe the chain ; 
I hope, you do not mean to cheat me fo ? 

S. Ant*. Avaunt, thou witch ! Come Dromio, let 
us go. 

S. Dro. Fly pride, fays the peacock : Miftrefs, that 
you know. [Exeunt. Ant. and Dro. 

Cour. Now, out of doubt, Antipholis is mad, 
Elfe would he never fo demean himfelf : 
A ring he hath of mine worth forty ducats, 

7 if you da expert fpoon-meat, or befpeak a long fpoon.] 

Or, which modern editors have thrown out of the text, iicrnifies, 
before. Of this ufe of the word, many inflances occur in ancient 
writers. So in Arden of Feverjbani) 1599: 

" He (hall be murdered or the guefts come in." 
See a note on K.Jobn^ ad IV, fc, iii. STEEYEKS. 


2 2 4 COMEDY 

And for the fame he promis'cl me a chain $ < 

Both one, and other, he denies me now. * 

The reafon that I gather he is mad, 

(Befides this prefent inftance of his rage) 

Is a mad tale, he told to-day at dinner, 

Of his own doors being fruit againft his entrance. 

Belike, his wife, acquainted with his fits, 

On purpofe fhut the doors againft his way. 

My way is now, to hie home to his houfe, 

And tell his wife, that, being lunatic, 

He rufh'd into my houfe, and took perforce 

My ring away : This courfe I fitteft chufe ; 

For forty ducats is too much to lofe. [Exit. 


?he Street. 
Enter Antipholis of Ephefus, with a Jailor. 

E. Ant. Fear me not, man, I will not break away I 
I'll give thee, ere I leave thee, fo much money 
To warrant thee, as I am 'refted for. 
My wife is in a wayward mood to-day ; 
And will not lightly truft the meflenger, 
That I fhould be attach'd in Ephefus : 
I tell you, 'twill found harfhly in her ears. 

Enter Dromio of Ephefus with a rope's-end. 

Here comes my man ; I think, he brings the money. 
How now, fir ? have you that I fent you for ? 

E. Dro. Here's that, I warrant you will pay them 

E. Ant. But where's the money ? 

E. Dro. Why, fir, I gave the money for the rope.' 

E. Ant. Five hundred ducats, villain, for a rope ? 

E. Dro. I'll ferve you, fir, five hundred at the rate, 

E. Ant. To what end did I bid thee hie thee home ? 

E.Dro. To a rope's end, fir; and to- that end am 
I return'd. 

E. Ant.- 

(3 F E R R O R S. i^! > 

"E. Ant. And to that end, fir, I will welcome you. 

[Beats Dromio. 

<Qffi. Good fir, be patient. 

E. Dro. Nay, 'tis for me to be patient ; I am in 

Offi. Good now, hold thy tongue. 

E. Dro. Nay, rather perfuade him to hold his 

E. Ant. Thou whorefon, fenfelefs villain ! 

E. Dro. I would I were fenfelefs, fir, that I might 
hot feel your blows* 

E. Ant. Thou art fenfible in nothing but blows, 
and fo is an afs. 

E. Dro. I am an afs, indeed ; you may prove it by 
niy long ears. I have ferv'd him from the hour of 
my nativity to this inftant, and have nothing at his 
hands for my fervice, but blows : when I am cold, he 
heats me with beating ; when I am warm, he cools me 
xvith beating : I am wak'd with it, when I fleep ; rais'd 
with it, when I fit ; driven out of doors with it, when 
I go from home ; welcomed home with it, when I re- 
turn : nay, I bear it on my Ihoulders, as a beggar 
wont her brat ; and, I think, when he hath lam'd me, 
I fhall beg with it from door to doon 

Enter Adriana^ Luciano^ and tie Courtezan^ with a 
fchoolmqfter called Pinch* , and others. 

E. Ant. Come, go along ; my wife is coming 


E. Dro, 9 Miftrefs, refpkefnem, refped: your end ; 


3 a fchoolmafter called Pincb^\ Thus the old copy : in 

many country villages the pedagogue is ftill a reputed conjurer. 


9 Miftref:,, refpice finein, refpefl your end; or rather the prophecy, 
like the parrot, eivare the rope s end.] Thefe words feem to al- 
lude to a famous pamphlet or" that time, wrote by Buchanan 
againft the lord of Liddington ; which ends with thefe words, 
Re/picefnem, refpice funcm. But to what pufpofe, unlefs our au- 

V ou II. Q. thor 


or rather the prophecy, like the parrot, Beware the 
rope's end. 

E. Ant. Wilt thou ftill talk ? [Beats Dromio. 

Cour. How fay you now ? is not your hufband mad ? 

Adr. His incivility confirms no lefs. 
Good dodtor Pinch, you are a conjurer ; 
Eftabliih him in his true fenfe again, 
And I will pleafe you what you will demand. 

Luc. Alas, how fiery and how lharp he looks f 

Cour. Mark, how he trembles in his ecflacy ! 

Pinch. Give me your hand, and let me feel you? 

E. Ant. There is my hand, and let it feel your ear* 

Pinch. I charge thee, Sathan, hous'd within this 


To yield poffeffion to my holy prayers, 
And to thy ftate of darknefs hie thee ftrait ; 
I conjure thee by all the faints in heaven. 

E.- Ant. Peace, doting wizard, peace ; I am not 

Adr* ,Oh, that thou wert not, poor diflreffed foul ! 

E.Ant. You minion, you, are thefe your cuftomers ? 
Did this companion with the faffron face 
Revel and feaft it at my houfe to day, 
Whilft upon me the guilty doors were {hut, 
And I deny'd to enter in my houfe ? 

thor would fhew that he could quibble as well in Englifh, as the 
other in Latin, I confefs I know not. As for prophejying like the 
parrot, this alludes to people's teaching that bird unlucky words ; 
with which, when any paffenger was offended, it was the itand- 
ing joke of the wile owner to fay, Take hccd,Jir, my parrot propbe- 
Jies.- To this, Butler hints, where, fpeaking of Ralpho's fkill in 
augury, he fays : 

" Could tell what fubtlejl parrots tnean, 

* ' That fpeak and think contrary clean ; 

*' What member '(is of whom they talk, 

** When they cry rope, and walk, knave, walk." 

So in Decker's Satiroma/fix : 

** But come, refpice funem? STEEVEKS. 


O F E R R O R S. 227 

Adr* Oh, hufband, God doth know, you din'd at 


"Where 'would you had remain'd until this time, 
Free from thefe flanders, and this open fhame ! 
E. Ant. Din'd I at home ? Thou villain, what fay'ft 

thou ? 

E. Dro. Sir, footh to fay, you did not dine at home. 
E. Ant. Were not my doors lock'd up, and I fhut 

out ? 
E. Dro. Perdy, your doors were lock'd, and you 

fhut out. 

E. Ant. And did not fhe herfelf revile me there ? 
E. Dro. Sans fable, fhe herfelf revil'd you there. 
E. Ant. Did not her kitchen-maid rail, taunt, and 

fcorn me? 
E. Dro. Certes ', Ihe did ; * the kitchen-veftal 

fcorn'd you. 

E. Ant. And did not I in rage depart from thence ? 
E. Dro. In verity, you did ; my bones bear witnefs, 
That fince have felt the vigour of his rage. 
Adr. Is't good to footh him in thefe contraries ? 
Pinch. It is no fhame ; the fellow finds his vein, 
And, yielding to him, humours well his frenzy. 
E. Ant. Thou haft fuborn'd the goldfmith to arreft 


Adr. Alas, I fent you money to redeem you, 
By Dromio here, who came in hafte for it. 

E. Dro. Money by me ? heart and good-will you 

But, furely, mafter, not a rag of money. 

E. Ant. Went'fl not thou to her for a purfe of 

ducats ? 

Adr. He came to me, and I delivered it. 
Luc. And I am witnefs with her, that me did. 

1 Certvs,~\ i.e. certainly. Obfolete. So in the 

" For certes, thefe are people of the iiland."STEEVENs. 
4 Kitcben-vejtal} Her charge being like that of the veftal vir- 
gins, to keep the fire burning. JOHNSON, 

428 G O M E D Y 

E. Dro. God and the rope-maker, bear me 
That I was fent for nothing but a rope ! 

Pinch. Miilrefs, both man and mailer is pofTefs'd ; 
I know it by their pale and deadly looks : 
They muil be bound, and laid infome darkroom. 

E. Ant. Say, wherefore didil thou lock me forth 

And why doft thou deny the bag of gold ? 

Adr. I did not, gentle hufband, lock thee forth. 

E. Dro. ' And, gentle mailer, I received no- go'M ; 
But I confefs, fir, that we were lock'd out. 

Adr. DiiTembling vilkin, thou fpeak'il falfe in 

E. Ant. Diflembling harlot, thou are falfe in all ; 
And art confederate with a damned pack, 
To make a loathfome abject fcorn of me : 
But with thefe nails I'll pluck out thefe falfe eyes, 
That would behold me in this fhameful fport. 

Enter three or four, and offer to bind him : heftrives. 

Adr. Oh, bind him, bind him, let him not come 
near me. 

Pinch. More company ; the fiend is ilrong within 

Luc. Ay me, poor man, how pale and wan he looks ! 

E. Ant. What, will you murder me ? Thou jailor, 


I am thy prifoner ; wilt thou fuffer them 
To make a refcue ? 

Offi. Mailers, let him go : 
He is my prifoner, and you Ihalt not have him. 

Pinch. Go, bind this man, for he is frantick too, 

Adr. What wilt thou do, thou peevilh officer 5 ? 
Haft thou delight to fee a wretched man 
Do outrage and difpleafure to himfelf ? 

3 tbou peevifli officer f] This is the fecond time that in the 
courfe of this play,/wv//# has been ufed for/w//$v STEEVENS* 


O F E R R O U S. 229 

Qffi. He is my prifoncr ; if I let him go, 
The debt he owes, will be requir'd of me. 

Adr. I will difcharge thee, ere I go from thec : 
Bear me forthwith unto his creditor, 

\hey bind Antipkolls and Dromio. 
And, knowing how the debt grows, I will pay it. 
Good matter doctor, fee him fafe convey'd 
Home to my houfe. Oh, moil unhappy day ! 

E. Ant. Oh, mod unhappy ttrumpet * ! 

E. Dro. Matter, I am here enter'd in bond for you. 

E. Ant. Out on thee, villain! wherefore doft thou 
mad me ? 

E. Dro. Will you be bound for nothing ? be mad, 
Good matter ; cry, the devil. 

Luc. God help, poor fouls, how idly do they talk ! 

Adr. Go bear him hence. Sitter, go you with me. 
\_Exeunt Pinch^ Antipholis^ Dromio, sV. 
Say now, whofe fuit is he arretted at ? 

Qffi. One Angelo, a goldfmith ; Do you know him ? 

Adr. I know the man : What is the mm he owes ? 

Qffi. Two hundred ducats. 

Adr. Say, how grows it due ? 

Qffi. Due for a chain, your hufband had of him. 

Adr. He did bcfpeak a chain for me, but had it 

Gour. When as your hufband, all in rage, to-day 
Came to my houfe, and took away my ring, 
(The ring I faw upon his finger now) 
Strait after, did I meet him with a chain. 

Adr. It may be fo, but I did never fee it. 
Come, jailor, bring me where the goldfmith is, 
J long to know the truth hereof at large. 

4 unhappy ftrumpet!'} Unhappy is here ufed in one of the 

fenfes of unlucky ; i.e. mlfihievous. STEEVENS. 

Q. 3 


Enter Antipholis of Syracufe, with his rapier drawn, and 
Drom'io of Syracufe. 

Luc. God, for thy mercy ! they are loofe again. 
Adr. And come with naked fwords ; let's call more 

To have them bound again. 

Offi. Away, they'll kill us. [They run out. 

Manent Antipholis and Dromio. 

S. Ant. I fee, thefe witches are afraid of fwords. 

S. Dro. She, that would be your wife, now ran 
from you. 

S. Ant. Come to the Centaur; fetch our Huff from 

thence : 
I long, that we were fafe and found abroad. 

S. Dro. Faith, ftay here this night, they will furely 
do us no harm ; you faw, they fpeak us fair, give 
us gold : methinks, they are fuch a gentle nation, 
that but for the mountain of mad flem that claims 
marriage of me, I could find in my heart to ilay here 
flill, and turn witch. 

S. Ant. I will not ilay to-night for all the town ; 
Therefore away to get our fluff aboard. [Exeunt* 


A Street, before a Priory. 
Enter the Merchant and Angela. 

Ang. I am forry, fir, that I have hinder'd you ; 
But, I proteft, he had the chain of me, 
Though moft difhonertly he doth deny it. 

Mer. How is the man eileem'd here in the city ? 

OF ERRORS. $ ;1 

Of very reverent reputation, fir, 
Of credit infinite, highly belov'd, 
Second to none that lives here in the city ; 
His word might bear my wealth at any time. 
Mer. Speak foftly : yonder, as I think, he walks, 

Enter AntipToolh and Dromio of Syracufe. 

Ang. 'Tis fo ; and that felf-chain about his neck, 
Which he forfwore, moft monftroufly, to have. 
Good fir, draw near to me, I'll fpeak to him. 
Signior Antipholis, I wonder much 
That you would put me to this fliame and trouble; 
And not without fome fcandal to yourfelf, 
With circumftance, and oaths, fo to deny 
This chain, which now you wear fo openly : 
Bcfides the charge, the ihame, imprifonment, 
You have done wrong to this my honeft friend ; 
Who, but for flaying on our controverfy, 
Had hoifted fail, and put to fea to-day : 
This chain you had of me, can you deny it ? 

S. Ait. I think, I had ; 'I never did deny it. 

Mer. Yes, that you did, fir; and forfwore it too. 

Ant. Who heard me to deny it, or forfwear it ? 

Mer. Thefe ears of mine, thou knowefl, did hear 

thee : 

Fye on thee, wretch ! 'tis pity, that thou liv'ft 
To walk where any honeft men refort. 

S. Ant. Thou art a villain, to impeach me thus : 
1*11 prove mine honour and my honefty 
Againft thee prefently, if thou dar'fl ftand. 

Mer. I dare, and do defy thee for a villain, 


Enter Adriana, Luclana^ Courtezan, and others. 

Adr. Hold, hurt him not, for God's fake ; he is 


Sonic get within him, take his fword away : 
Bind Dromio too, and bear them to my houfe. 

CL4 S. Dro. 

* 3 a, C O M E D Y 

,5". Dro. Run, mailer, run ; for God's fake, take 

a houfe. 
This is fome priory ; In, or we are fpoil'd. 

Exeunt to the priory* 

Enter Lady Abbefs. 

'Abb. Be quiet, people; Wherefore throng you 
hither ? 

Adr. To fetch my poor diffracted hufband hence : 
Let us come in, that we may bind him fait, 
And bear him home for his recovery. 

Ang. I knew, he was not in his perfect wits. 

Mer. I am forry now, that I did draw on him. 

Abb. How long hath this pofleflion held the man ? 

Adr. This week he hath been heavy, four, fad, 
And much, much different from the man he was; 
But, till this afternoon, his paffion 
Ne'er brake into extremity of rage. 

Abb. Hath he not loft much wealth by wreck at fea ? 
Bury'd fome dear friend ? Hath not elfe his eye 
Stray'd his affection in unlawful love ? 
A fin, prevailing much in youthful men, 
Who give their eyes the liberty of gazing. 
Which of thefe forrows is he fubject to ? 

Adr. To none of thefe, except it be the laft ; 
Namely, fome love, that drew him oft from home, 

Abb. You mould for that have reprehended him, 

Adr. Why, fo I did. , 

Abb. But not rough enough. 

Adr. As roughly, as my modefty would let me, 

Abb. Haply, in private. 

Adr. And in affemblies too. 

Abb. Ay, but not enough. 

Adr. It was the copy 5 of our conference : 
In bed, he flept not for my urging it ; 
At board, he fed not for my urging it ; 

5 /<?copy] i.e. the theme. We Hill talk of fetting copies for 
boys. STEEVENS. 


O F E R R O R S. 233 

Alone, it was the fubjeft of my theme ; 
In company, I often glanc'd at it ; 
Still did I tell him it was vile and bad. 

Abb. And therefore came it, that the man was mad : 
The venom clamours of a jealous woman 
Poifon more deadly than a mad dog's tooth. 
It feems, his fleeps were hirider'd by thy railing : 
And therefore comes it, that his head is light. 
Thou fay 'ft, his meat was fauc'd with thyupbraidings : 
Unquiet meals make ill digeftions, 
Therefore the raging fire of fever bred ; 
And what's a fever but a fit of madnefs ? 
Thou fay'ft, his fports were hinder'd by thy brawls : 
Sweet recreation barr'd, what doth enfue, 
But moody and dull melancholy, 
6 Kinfman to grim and comfortiefs defpair ; 
And, at her heels, a huge infectious troop 
Of pale diftemperatures, and foes to life ? 
In food, in fport, and life-preferving reft 
To be difturb'd, would mad or man, or beaft : 

6 Kinfman to grim and comfortiefs defpair \~\ Shakefpeare could 
never make melancholy a male in this line, and a female in the 
next. This was the foolifti infeition of the fir ft editors. I have 
therefore put it into hooks, as ipurious. WAEBURTON. 

The defective metre of the iecond line, is a plain proof that 
fome difTyllable word hath been dropped there. I think it there- 
fore probable our poet may have written : 

Sweet recreation barr'd, <u>hat doth enfue, 
Brit moodie [moping] and dull melancholy, 
Kinfman to grim and comfortiefs dffpair ? 
And at their heels a huge infeftious troop. REVISAL. 
., It has been obferved to me that Mr. Capell reads : 
But moody and dull melancholy, kinf 
woman to grim and comfortiefs defpair ; 

but I hardly think he could be ferious ; as, though the. Roman 
language may allow of fuch transfers from the end of one verfe to 
the "beginning of the next, the cuftom is unknown to EnglifX 
poetry, unlefs it be of the burlefque kind : It is too like Homer 
Vravefty : 

" On this, Agam 

" memnon began to curfe and damn." STEEVEKS. 



The confequence is then, thy jealous fits 
Have fcar'd thy hufband from the ufe of wits. 

Luc, She never reprehended him but mildly, 
When he demean'd himfelf rough, rude and wildly.- 
Why bear you thefe rebukes, and anfwcr not ? 

Adr. She did betray me to my own reproof. 
Good people, enter, and lay hold on him. 

Abb. No, not a creature enter in my houfc. 

Adr. Then, let your fervants bring my hufband 

Abb. Neither ; he took this place for fandtuary, 
And it ihall privilege him from your hands, 
'Till I have brought him to his wits again, 
Or lofe my labour in affaying it. 

Adr. I will attend my hufband, be his nurfe, 
Diet his ficknefs, for it is my office ; 
And will have no attorney but myfelf ; 
And therefore let me have him home with me. 

Abb. Be patient ; for I will not let him flir, 
Till I have us'd the approved means I have, 
With wholefome fyrups, drugs, and holy prayers, 
To make of him a formal man again 7 : 
It is a branch and parcel of mine oath, 
A charitable duty of my order ; 
Therefore depart, and leave him here with me. 

Adr. I will not hence, and leave my hnlband here : 
And ill it doth befeem your holinefs, 
To feparate the hufband and the wife. 

Abb. Be quiet, and depart, thou fhalt not have him, 

Luc. Complain unto the duke of this indignity. 

[Exit Abbefs, 

Adr. Come, go ; I will fall proftrate at his feet, 
And never rife until my tears and prayers 
Have won his grace to come in pcrfon hither, 
And take perforce my hufband from the abbefs. 

7 a formal man again ;] i. e. to bring him back to his fenfes, 
and the forms ot fober behaviour. So in Mcafure far Mcajure; 
" informal women" for juft the contrary. STEEVENS. 

O F E R R O R S. 23$ 

Mr. By this, I think, the dial points at five : 
Anon, I am fure, the duke himfelf in perfon 
Comes this way to the melancholy vale ; 
The place of death and forry execution % 
Behind the ditches of the abbey here. 

Ang. Upon what caufe ? 

Mr. To fee a reverend Syracufan merchant, 
Who put unluckily into this bay 
Againft the laws and flatutes of this town, 
Beheaded publickly for his offence. 

Ang. See, where they come ; we will behold his 

Luc. Kneel to the duke, before he pafs the abbey. 

Enter the Duke, and ALgeon bare-beaded; with the headf- 
man and other officers. 

Duke. Yet once again proclaim it publickly, 
If any friend will pay the fum for him, 
He lhall not die, fo much we tender him. 

Adr. Juftice, moft facred duke, againft the abbefs ! 

Duke. She is a virtuous and a reverend lady ; 
It cannot be, that Ihe hath done thee wrong. 

Adr. May it pleafe your grace, Antipholis, my 


Whom I made lord of me and all I had, 
At your important letters 9 , this ill day 

A moft 

8 . forry execution,] So in Macbeth : 

" Of forrieft fancies your companions making.'* 
Sorry, had anciently a itronger meaning than at prefent. 
Thus, in Chaucer's Prologue to The Sompnoures Tale, v. 7283. 
late edit : 

" This Frere, whan he loked- had his fill 
** Upon the torments of thisfaty place." 

Again, in the Kn'tgbtcs Tale, where the temple of Mars is de- 
fcribed : 

** All full of chirking was ihatfory place." STEEVENS. 
9 Whom I made lord of me and all I bad, 

At your important letters, ] 

Important feems to be for importunate. JOHNSON. 


5t 3 6 COMEDY 

A moft outrageous fit of madnefs took him ; 

That defperately he hurry'd through the flreet, 

(With him his bondman, all as mad as he) 

JDoing difpleafure to the citizens 

By rufhing in their houfes, bearing thence 

Rings, jewels, any thing his rage did like. 

Once did I get him bound, and fent him home, 

Whilft to take ' order for the wrongs I went, 

That here and there his fury had committed. 

Anon, I wot not by what flrong efcape, 

He broke from thofe that had the guard of him : 

And, with his mad attendant * and himfelf, 

Each one with ireful paffion, with drawn fwords, 

Met us again, and, madly bent on us, 

Chas'd us away ; 'till, raifing of more aid, 

We came again to bind them : then they fled 

Into this abbey, whither we purfu'd them ; 

And here the abbefs fliuts the on us, 

And will not fuffer us to fetch him out, 

Nor fend him forth, that we may bear him hence. 

Therefore, mofl gracious duke, with tfiy command, 

Let him be brought forth, a:id borne hence for help, 

So in one of Shakefpeare's Hiftorical plays : 

" great France 

" My mourning and important tears hath pitied. 
Shakefpeare, who gives to all nations the cuiloms or" his own, 
feems from this paflage to allude to a court of ivards in Ephefus. 
The court cf wards was always confidered as a grievous op*. 
preffion. It is glanced at as early as in the old morality of Hycke 
^corner : 

" thefe ryche men ben unkinde : 

" Wydowes do curfe lordes and gentyllmen, 
" For they contrayne them to marry with theyr men y 
" Ye, wheder they wyll or no." STEEVENS. 
1 to take order] i.e. to take meafures. So in Othello. atV. 

" Honefl lago hath to 1 en order for it." STEEVENS. 
* And, with his mad attendant AND himfclf^\ We mould read : 

MAD himfelf. WAREURTON. 

\Ve might read : 

" And 'here his mad attendant and himfelj ~. 


Duke. Long fince, thy hulband ferv'd me in_my 

wars ; 

And I to thee engag'd a prince's word, 
When thou didil make him mailer of thy bed, 
To do him all the grace and good I could. 
Go, fome of you, knock at the abbey-gate, 
And bid the lady abbefs come to me ; 
I xvill determine this, before I ilir. 

Enter a Me/finger. 

Mfffl O miftrefs, _ miftrefs, ihift and fave yourfelf I 
My mailer and his man are both broke loofe, 
Beaten the maids a-row ', and bound the doctor, 
4 Whofe beard they have iing'd off with brands of 

fire ; 

And ever as it blaz'd, they threw on him 
Great pails of puddled mire to quench the hair : 
My mailer preaches patience to him, and the while 
His man with fchTars nicks him like a fool 5 : 

3 Beaten the mauls a-row,] i. e. fuceemVely, one after another. 
So in Chaucer's Wife of Bathes Tale, v. 6836. late edit : 

" A thoufand time a-rovo he gan hire kifie." 


4 Wljofe beard they bavejing^d off ivita brands of fire ; ] Such a 
ludicrous circumftance is not unworthy of the farce in which we 
find it introduced ; but is rather out of place in an epic poem, 
amidil all the horrors and carnage of a battle : 

" Otoius amlnjlvm torrem Corinatcs ab ara 
" Corriplt, et venienti Elufo, plagamque ferentl ^ 
" Occupat osjlammis : Jill in gem barba re/u.vif, 
" Nidoremque amlufta. dcdit." Virg. ^Eneis, lib. sii. 


5 His man wltbfcijjars nicks him like afool:~\ The force of this 
allufion I am unable to explain. Perhaps it was once the cuftom 
to cut the hair of ideots or jefters clofe to their heads. There is 
a proverbial limile "Like crop the conjurer ;" which might 
have been applied to either of thefe characters. STEEVENS. 

There is a penalty of ten (hillings in one of king Alfred's ec- 
clefialHcal laws, if one opprobriouuyy/vrtv a common man like a 

fovL ToLLET. 



And, fure, unlefs you fend fome prefent help, 
Between them they will kill the conjurer. 

Adr. Peace, fool, thy mailer and his man are here 5 
And that is falfe, thou doit report to us. 

Mejf. Miltrefs, upon my life, I tell you true ; 
I have not breath'd almoft, lince I did fee it. 
He cries for you, and vows, if he can take you, 
6 To fcorch your face, and to disfigure you : 

[Cry within. 
Hark, hark, I hear him, miftrefs ; fly, be gone. 

Duke, Come, ftand by me, fear nothing : Guard 
with halberds. 

Adr. Ay me, it is my huiband' ! Witnefs you, 
That he is borne about invifible : 
Even now we hous'd him in the abbey here ; 
And now he's there, paft thought of human reafon. 

Enter Antiplolis and Dromlo of EpJoefus. 

E. Ant. Juilice, moft gracious duke, oh, grant 

me juilice ! 

Even for the fervice that long fince I did thee, 
When I beftrid thee in the wars, and took 
Deep fears to fave thy life ; even for the blood 
That then I loft for thee, now grant me juftice. 
jEgeon* Unlefs the fear of death doth make me 

I fee my fon Antipholis, and Dromio. 

. Ant. Juftice, fweet prince, againft that woman 


She whom thou gav'ft to me to be my wife ; 
That hath abufed and difhonour'd me, 
Even in the ftrength and height of injury ! 
Beyond imagination is the wrong, 
That ihe this day hath fhamelcfs thrown on me. 

6 To SCORCH your face i ] We fhould read SCOTCH, i.e. 

hack, cut. WARBURTON. 

To fcorch I believe is right. He would have puaifhed her as he 
had punifhed the conjurer before. STEEVENS, 


O F E R R O R S. 259 

Date. Dilcover how, and thou lhalt find me juit. 
E. Ant. This day, great duke, Ihe Ihut the doors 

upon me, 
Whilfl ihe with harlors 7 feafled in my houfe. 

Duke. A grievous fault : Say, woman, didft thou 

Adr. No, my good lord ; myfelf, he, and my 


To-day did dine together : So befal my foul, 
As this is falfe, he burdens me withal ! 

Luc. Ne'er may I look on day, nor fleep on night, 
But Ihe tells to your highnefs fimple truth ! 

Aug. O perjur'd woman ! They are both forfv/orn. 
In this the madman juftly chargeth them. 

7 ivit& harlots] Antipholis did not fufpe6t his wife of 

having entertained courtezans, but of having been confederate 
with cheats to impofe on him and abufe him. ^Therefore, he fays 
to her ad IV, fc. iv : 

are thefe your cuftomers ? 

Did this companion with the faffron face 

Revel and feaft it at my houfe to day ? 

By this defcription he points out Pinch and his followers. Harlot 
was a term of reproach applied to cheats among men as well as 
to wantons among women. Thus, in the Fox, Corbacchio fays to 
Volpone : 

" Out harlot!" 

Again, in the Winter's Ta'e : 

" for the harlot king 

" Is quite beyond mine arm. " 

Again, in the ancient myltery of Candlemas-Day, Ii2. Herod 
fays to Watkin : 

" Nay, harlott, abyde ftylle with my knyghts I warne the." 
The learned editor of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, 4 vols, 8vo. 
1771;, obferves, that in The Romaunt of the Rofc, v. 6c68, King 
of Harlots is Chaucer's Tranllation of Roy des ribaulx, Chaucer 
ufes the word more than once : 

*' A rturdy harlot went hem ay behind, 

" That was hir hoftes man &c." 

Sompnourcs Tale, v. 7336. 

Again, in the Dyers' Play, among the Chefter Collection in the 
Mufeum, Antichrift lays to the male characters en the fhige : 

*' Out on ye harlots, whence come ye ?" STEEVENS. 

. Ant. 

240 C O M D ? 

E. Ant. My liege, I am advifed 8 what I fay ; 
Neither difturb'd with the effect of wine, 
Nor heady-raih, provok'd with raging ire, 
Albeit, my wrongs might make one wifer mad. 
This woman lock'd me out this day from dinner ; 
That goldfmith there, were he not pack'd with her, 
Gould witnefs it, for he was with me then, 
Who parted with me to go fetch a chain, 
Promiimg to bring it to the Porcupine, 
Where Balthazar and I did dine together. 
Our dinner done, and he not coming thither, 
I went to feek him : in the ftreet I met him ; 
And in his company, that gentleman. 
There did this perjur'd goldfmith fwear me down, 
That I this day of him receiv'd the chain, 
Which, God he knows, I faw not : for the which, 
He did arrefl me with an officer. 
I did obey ; and fent my peafant home 
For certain ducats : he with none return'd. 
Then fairly I befpoke the officer, 
To go in perfon with me to my houfe. 
By the way we met my wife, her filler, and 
A rabble more of vile confederates ; 
Along with them 

They brought one Pinch ; a hungry lean-fac'd villain, 
A meer anatomy, a mountebank, 
A thread-bare juggler, and a fortune-teller; 
A needy, hollow-ey'd, {harp-looking wretch, 
A living dead man : this pernicious Have, 
Forfooth, took on him as a conjurer ; 
And, gazing in my eyes, feeling my pulfe, 
And with no-face, as it were, out-facing me, 
Cries out, I was poiTcfs'd : then altogether 
They fell upon me, bound me, bore me thence ; 
And in a dark and dankifh vault at home 

8 1 1 / am advifed ] i.e. I am not going to fpeak pre* 

cipitately or rafhly, but on reflexion and confideration. 



O F E R R O R S. 241 

There left me and my man, both bound together ; 

'Till gnawing with my teeth my bdnds in funder, 

I gain'd my freedom, and immediately 

Ran hither to your grace ; whom I befeecli 

To give me ample fatisfadtion 

For thefe deep fhames and great indignities* 

Ang. My lord, in truth, thus far I witneis with him; 
That he din'd not at home, but was lock'd out. 
Duke. But had he fuch a chain of thee, or no ? 
Ang. He had, my lord : and when he ran in here, 
Thefe people faw the chain about his neck. 

Mer. Befides, I will be fworn, thefe ears of mine 
Heard you confefs, you had the chain of him, 
After you firft forfwore it on the mart, 
And, thereupon, I drew my fword on you ; 
And then you fled into this abbey here, 
From whence, I think, you are come by miracle. 
E. Ant. I never came within thefe abbey-walls, 
Nor ever didil thou draw thy fword on me : 
I never faw the chain, fo help me heaven ! 
And this is falfe, you burden me withal. 

Duke. Why, what an intricate impeach is this I 
I think, you all have drank of Circe's cup. 
If here you hous'd him, here he would have been ; 
If he were mad, he would not plead fo coldly :- 
You fay, he din'd at home ; the goldfmith here 
Denies that faying : Sirrah, what fay you ? 

E, Dro. Sir, he din'd with her there, at the Porcupine. 
Cour. He did ; and from my finger match'd that ring. 
E. Ant. 'Tis true, my liege, this ring I had of her. 
Duke. Saw'ft thou him enter at the abbey here ? 
Cour. As fure, my liege, as I do fee your grace. 
Duke. Why, this is ftrange : Go call the abbefs 

hither ; 
I think you are all mated 9 , or {lark mad. 

[Exit one to the Abbefs. 

9 mated,~\ i. e. wild, foolifh, from the Italian mat to. 

I think you are & fools or machnea, MALOXE. 

? 42 C O M E D Y 

Jfigeon. Moft mighty duke, vouchfafe me fpealb 

a word ;- 

Haply, I fee a friend, will fave my life, 
And pay the fum that may deliver me. 

Duke. Speak freely y Syracufan, what thou wilt. 

Mgeon. Is not your name, fir, call'd Antipholis ? 
And is not that your bondman Dromio 1 

E. Dro. Within this hour I was his bond-man, 


But he, I thank him, gnaw'd in two my cords ; 
Now am I Dromio, and his man, unbound. 

JEgeon. I am fure, you both of you remember me-- 

E. Dro. Ourfelves we do remember, fir, by you ; 
For lately we were bound, as- you are now. 
You are not Pinch's patient, are you, fir ? 

jEgeon. Why look you ftrange on me } you know 
me well. 

E. Ant. I never faw you in my life, till now. 

JEgem. Oh ! grief hath ehang'd me, fince you faw 

me lafl ; 

And careful hours, with time's deformed * hand 
Have written: 2 ftrange defeatures in my face : 
But tell me yet, doll thou not know my voice * 

E. Ant. Neither. 

jEgeon. Dromio, nor thou ? 

j Dro. No, truft me, fir, nor I. 

sEgeon. I am fure, thou doit. 

E. Dro. Ay, fir ? 

But I am fure, I do not ; and whatfoever 
A man denies, you are now bound to believe him.' 

1 deformed^, for deforming. STEEVENS. 

4 Jlrange defeatures] Defeature is the privative of feature.- 
The meaning is, time hath cancelled my features. JOHNSON. 

DefeaturcsMZ undoin^3^mlji:arrlage5^misforticne3' } ftOOltfefiuf'tf Fr.- 
So in Daniel's Complaint of Rofamond, i ^99 : 

" The day before the night of my defeature, (5. e. undoing.) 
" He greets me with a cafket richly wrought." 
The fenfe is, I am deformeJ^ undone, by mifery. STEEVEXS. 

O F E R R O R S. 243 

JGgeon. Not know my voice ! Oh, time's extre- 
mity ! 

Haft thou fo crack'd and fplitted my poor tongue, 
In feven Ihort years, that here my only fon 
Knows not my feeble key of untun'd cares ? 
Though now this grained face 3 of mine be' hid 
In fapconfuming winter's drizled mow, 
And all the conduits of my blood froze up ; 
Yet hath my night of life fome memory, 
My wafting lamps fome fading glimmer left, 
My dull deaf ears a little ufe to hear : 
4 All thefe old witneffes (I cannot err) 
Tell me thou art my fon Antipholis. 

E. Ant. I never faw my father in my life. 

JILgeon. But feven years lince, in Syracufa, boy, 
Thou knoweft, we parted : but, perhaps, my fon, 
Thou fham'ft to acknowledge me in mifery. 

E. Ant. The duke, and all that know me in the 


Can witnefs with me that it is not fo ; 
I ne'er faw Syracufa in my life. 

Duke. I tell thee, Syracufan, twenty years 
Have I been patron to Antipholis, 
During which time he ne'er faw Syracufa : 
I fee, thy age and dangers make thee dote. 

3 this grained face] i.e. furrow'd, like the grainof-iMooJ. 

So in Corinlanus: 

" my grained &Q\." STEEVEXS. 

4 All tbofe OLD -Mitnefffs (I cannot err)] I believe fnould be read: 

All tbefc HOLD v.'itHeffi's I cannot en: 
i. e. all thefe continue to teftiry that I cannot err, and tell me, &c. 


The old reading is the true one, as well as the moft poetical. The 
words / cannot err, fliouki be thrown into a parentheiis. By olJ 
vjitxejfis I believe he means experienced, accujh:nd ones, which are 
therefore lefs likely to err. So in the Tempejl -. 

" If thefe be true/pies that I wear in my head, &:c." 


R 2 


Enter tie Abbefs, with Antipholis Syracufan and 

Abb. Mofl mighty Duke, behold a man much 
wrong'd. [All gather to J'ee him. 

Adr. I fee two hufbands, or mine eyes deceive me. 
Duke. One of thefe men is Genius to the other ; 
And fo of thefe : Which is the natural man, 
And which the fpirit? who deciphers them ? 

S. Dro. I, fir, am Dromio ; command him away. 
E. Di'O. I, fir, am Dromio; pray, let me iiay. 
S. Ant. jEgeon, art thou not ? or elfe his ghoft ? 
S. Dro. O, my old mailer ! who hath bound him 

here ? 

Abb. Whoever bound him, I will loofe his bonds, 
And gain a hufband by his liberty : 
Speak, old ./Egeon, if thou be'fi the man 
That hadft a wife once call'd Emilia, 
That bore thee at a burden two fair fons ? 
Oh, if thcu be'it the fame .^Egeon, fpeak, 
And fpeak unto the fame ^Emilia ! 

Duke. Why, here begins his morning flory right : 
Thefe two Antipholis's, thefe two fo like, 
And thofe two Dromio's, one in femblance, 
Befides her urging of her wreck at fea 5 , 
Thefe are the parents to thefe children, 
Which accidentally are met together. 

ALgeon. If I dream not, thou art Emilia ; 
If thou art Hie, tell me, where is that fon 
That floated with thee on the fatal raft ? 
Abb. By men of Epidamnum, he, and I, 
And the twin Dromio, all were taken up ; 
But, by and by, rude fllriermen of Corinth 
By force took Dromio, and my fon from them, 

5 Bef.dcs her urging of her wreck atfca^] This Is one of Shnke- 
fpcare's overfights. The abbeis has not fo much as hinted at 
the fliipwreck. Perhaps, indeed, this and the next fpeech Iliould 
change places. STEEVENS, 


O F E R R O R S. 245 

And me they left with thofe of Epidamnum : 
What then became of them, I cannot tell ; 
I, to this fortune that you fee me in. 

Duke. Antipholis, thou cam'ft from Corinth firfh 

S. Ant. No, fir, not I ; I came from Syracufe. 

Duke. Stay, fland apart ; I know not which is which. 

E. Ant. I came from Corinth, my moft gracious 

E. Dro. And I with him. 

E. Ant. Brought to this town by that moft famous 

Duke Menaphon, your moft renowned uncle. 

Adr. Which of you two did dine with me to-day ? 

S. Ant. I, gentle miftrefs. 

Adr. And are you not my hulbaud ? 

E. Ant. No, I fay, nay to that. 

S. Ant. And fo do I, yet me did call me fo ; 
And this fair gentlewoman, her fifter here, 
Did call me brother ; What I told you then, 
I hope, I lhall have leifure to make good ; 
If this be not a dream, I fee, and hear. 

Ang. That is the chain, fir, which you had of me. 

S. Ant. I think it be, fir ; I deny it not. 

E. Ant. And you, fir, for this chain arrefted me. 

Ang. I think, I did, fir ; I deny it not. 

Adr. I fent you money, fir, to be your bail, 
By Dromio ; but I think, he brought it not. 

S. Dro. No, none by me. 

S. Ant. This purfe of ducats I receiv'd from you, 
And Dromio my man did bring them me : 
I fee, we ftill did meet each other's man, 
And I was ta'en for him, and he for me, 
And thereupon thefe Errors are arqfe, 

E. Ant. Thefe ducats pawn I for my father here. 

Duke. It lhall not need, thy father hath his life. 

COM: Sir, I muft have that diamond from you. 

JE. Ant. There, take it ; and much thanks for my 
good cheer. 

R 3 M< 

* 4 6 COMEDY 

Abb. Renowned duke, vouchfafe to take the pains 
To go with us into the abbey here, 
And hear at large difcourfed all our fortunes : 
And all that are affembled in this place, 
That by this fympathized one day's Error 
Have fuffer'd wrong, go, keep us company, 
And ye fhall have full fatisfaction. 
6 Twenty-five years have I but gone in travel 
Of you, my fons ; and, till this prefent hour, 
My heavy burden not delivered : 
The duke, my hulband, and my children both, 
And you the calendars of their nativity, 
Go to a goffip's feaft, and 7 go with me ; 


6 Twenty-five years ] In former editions : 


'Tis impoffible the poet could be fo forgetful, as to defign this 
number here : and therefore I have ventured to alter it to twenty- 
Jive, upon a proof, that, I think, amounts to demonftration. The 
number, I prefume, was at firft wrote in figures, and, perhaps, 
blindly ; and thence the miftake might arile. jEgeon, in the 
firft fceae of the firft act, is precife as to the time his fon left 
him, in queft of his brother : 

My youngejl l>oy^ and yet my eldefl care^ 
At eighteen years became inquijiti-ve 
lifter bis brother, &c. 

And how long it was from the fon's thus parting from his father, 
to their meeting again at Ephefus, where 3geon, miftakenly, 
recognizes the twin-brother, for him, we as precifely learn from 
another paflage in the fifth aft : 

yge. But {even years face, in Syracvfa-lay^ 
Thou. kno-Mcft we parted ; 

fo that thefe two numbers, put together, fettle the date of theif 
birth beyond difpute. THEOBALD. 

7 - and go <with me;"] We mould read : 

and GAUDE ~jjith me ; 

i.e. rejoice, from the French, gaudir. WAR BUR TON. 

The fenfe is clear enough without the alteration. The Revifal 

offers to read, more plaufibly, I think : 

joy tvitb ?nc* 

Dr. Warburton's conjecture may, however, be countenanced 
by the following pafiage \\iAcolaJlus a comedy, i 529 : " I hare 
good caufe to let the cocke on the hope, and make gaudy e chere." 



After fo long grief fuch nativity 8 ! 

Duke. With all my heart, I'll goffip at this feaft. 

Manent the two AntiphoUs's, and two Dromio 1 s. 

S. Dro. Matter, lhall I fetch your fluff from fhip- 

board ? 
E. Ant. Dromio, what fluff of mine hafl thou im- 

bark'd > 
S. Dro. Your goods, that lay at hofl, fir, in the 

S. Ant. He fpeaks to me ; I am your mafler, 

Dromio : 

Come, go with us ; we'll look to that anon : 
Embrace thy brother there, rejoice with him. 

[_Exeunt Antipholis S. and R. 

S. Dro. There is a fat friend at your matter's houfe, 
That kitclien'd me for you to-day at dinner; 
She now lhall be my fifler, not my wife. 

E. Dro. Methinks, you are my glafs, and not my 

brother : 

I fee by you, I am a fweet-fac'd youth. 
Will you walk in to fee their goffiping ? 
S. Dro. Not I, fir ; you are my elder. 
.E. Dro. That's a queflion : 
How mall we try it ? 

S. Dro. We will draw 
Cuts for the fenior ; till then lead thou firft. 

Again, in Antony and Cleopatra, aft III : 

" Let's have one other gamfy night." 

In the novel of M. Alberto of Bologna, the author adviferii 
gentlewomen " to beware how they contrive their holyday talke, 
by wafte wordes iiluing forth their delicate mouths in carping, 
gauding, and iefting at young .gentlemen, and fpeciallye olde 
men, &c." Palace of PI eafure, 1582. T, i.fol. 60. STEEVENS. 
8 After fo long grief, fuch nativity /] We fhould furely read : 

After fo long grief, fuch feRivity, 

Nativity lying fo near, and the termination being the fame of both 
words, the miitake was eafy. JOHNSON. 

The old reading may be right. She has juft faid, that to 
ter, her fons were not born till now. STEKVEXS. 

R E. Dro. 

2 4 3 C O M E D Y, &c. 

E. Dro. Nay, then thus : 

We came into the world, like brother and brother ; 
And now let's go hand in hand, not one before an- 
other 9 . [Exeunt. 

9 In this comedy we find more intricacy of plot than diftinction 
of charafter ; and our attention is lefs forcibly engaged, becaufe 
\ve can guefs in great meafure how the denouement will be brought 
about. Yet the poet feems unwilling to part with his fubjetr, 
even in this laft and unneceflary fcene, where the fame miilakes 
are continued, till their power of affording entertaiment is en* 
tirely loll. STEEVENS. 





Perfons Reprefented. 

jfton Pedro, Prince of Arragon. 

Leonato, Governor o/"Meffina. 

Don John, Baftard Brother to Don Pedro, 

Claudio, a young Lord of Florence, Favourite to 

Benedick, a young Lord of Padua, favoured Hkewife by 

Don Pedro. 

Balthazar, fervant to Don Pedro. 
Antonio, Brother to Leonato. 
Borachio, Confident to Don John* 
Conrade, Friend to Borachio. 

Hero, Daughter to Leonato. 
Beatrice, Niece to Leonato. 

Urfuf a rC ' } two ^ ent ^ omen attending on Hero. 

A Friar, Mejfenger, Watch> Town-Clerk, Sexton^ &n. 

SCENE MeJJina in Sicily. 

The ftory is from Ariofto, Orl. Fur. b. v. POPE. 

It is true, as Mr. Pope has obferved, that fomewhat refembling 
the ftory of this play is to be found in the fifth book of the Or- 
lando Furiofo. In Spenfer's Faery Queen, b. ii. c. 4. as remote 
an original may be traced. A novel, however, of Belleforeft, 
copied from another of Bandello, feems to have ftirnifted Shake - 
fpeare with his fable, as it approaches nearer in^ll its par- 
ticulars to the play before us, than any other jjerformance 
known to be extant. I have feen fo many verfions from this 
once popular collection, that I entertain no doubt but that the 
great majority of the tales it comprehends, have made their ap- 
pearance in an Englifli drefs. Of that particular ftory which I 
have juft mentioned, viz. the i8th hillory in the third volume, 
no tranflation has hitherto been met with. STEEVENS. 




Before Leonato's lottfe. 
Enter Leonato, Hero, and Beatrice, with a Meffenger, 

Leon. I learn in this letter, that Don Pedro of 
Arragon comes this night to Meffina. 

MeJJ'. He is very near by this ; he was not three 
leagues off when I left him. 

Leon. How many gentlemen have you loft in this 
adtion ? 

Meff. But few of any fort *, and none of name. 

Leon. A vidtory is twice itfelf, when the atchiever 
brings home full numbers. I find here, that Don 
Pedro hath beftowed much honour on a young Flo- 
rentine, call'd Claudio. 

1 Much AJo about Nothing.] Innogcn, (the mother of Hero) 
in the oldeft quarto that I have feen of this play, printed in 
1600, is mentioned to enter in two ieveral fcenes. The fucceed- 
ig editions have all continued her name in the Dramatis Per- 
fona?. But I have ventured to expunge it; there being no men- 
tion of her through the play, no one fpeech addrefs'd to her, nor 
one fyllable fpoken by her. Neither is there any one paflage, 
from which we have any reafon to determine that Hero's mother 
was living. It fcems, as if the poet had in his firft plan defign'd 
fuch a character : which, on a iurvey of it, he found would be 
fuperfluous ; and therefore he left it out. THEOBALD; 

This play was entered at Stationers' Hall, Aug. 23, 1600. 


a of any fort,] Sort is rank. So in Chapman's verfion of 

the 1 6th book of Homer's Odyjjey : 

" A fliip, and in her many a man^ofyir/." STEEVENS. 


252 M U C H A D O 

Meffl Much deferv'd on his part, and equally re- 
membered by Don Pedro : He hath borne himfelf 
beyond the promife of his age ; doing, in the figure 
of a lamb, the feats of a lion : he hath, indeed, 
better better'd expectation, than you mult exped: of 
me to tell you how. 

Leon. He hath an uncle here in Mefiina will be 
very much glad of it. 

Meff. I have already delivered him letters, and 
there appears much joy in him ; even fo much, that 
3 joy could not mew itfelf modeft enough, without a 
badge of bitternefs. 

Leon. Did he break out into tears ? 

Meff. In great meafure. 

Leon. A kind overflow of kindnefs : There are no 
faces truer 4 than thofe that are fo wafh'd. How much 
better is it to weep at joy, than to joy at weeping ? 

Beat. I pray you, 5 is lignior Montanto return'd 
from the wars, or no ? 


3 -joy could not Jbfw itfelf modefl enough, without a badge 
of^ bitterncfs.] This is judicioufly exprefs'd. Of all the tranfports 
of joy, that which is attended 'with tears is leaft offenfive; be- 
caule, carrying with it this mark of pain, it allays the envy that 
ufually attends another's happinefs. This he finely calls a modejt 
joy, fuch a one as did not iniult the oblerver by an indication of 
happiuefs unmixed with pain. WAR BURTON. 

Such another exprcffion occurs in Chapman's verfion of the 
tenth book of the Odyfley : 

" our eyes wore 

" The fame wet badge of weak humanity." 
This is an idea which Shakeipeare feems to have been delight* 
cd to introduce. It occurs again in Macbeth : 

" my plenteous joys 

' ' IVanton in fitllnefs, feek to hide tbemfelves 
" In drops of farrow. ," STEEVENS. 

4 no faces truer] That is, none honcfter, none morefincere. 


3 is fign'ior Montanto returned ] Mont ante, in Spanifh, is a 

huge two-handed fiuord, given, with much humour, to one, the 
fpeaker would represent as a boafter or bravado. WAR EUR TON. 
Montanto was one of the ancient terms of the fencine-fchool. 



Mtf. I know none of that name, lady ; 6 there 
was none fuch in the army of any fort. 

Leon. What is he that you aft. for, niece ? 

Hero. My coufin means fignior Benedick of Padua. 

Mejf. O, he's return'd ; and as pleafant as ever he 

Beat. 7 He fet up his bills here in Mefiina, and 
challenged Cupid 8 at the flight : and my uncle's fool, 


So, in Every Man in his Humour : <l your punto, your rcverfa. 
your {toccata, your imbrocata, your pafiada, your montanto, &c." 
Again, in the Merry IVives of Windfor : 

" thy reverfe, thy diftance, thy montant" 


6 there was none fuch in the army of any fort.] Not meaning 
there was none fuch of any order or degree whatever, but that there 
was none fuch of any quality above the common. WAR BUR TON. 

7 He fet up bis bills &c.] In B. Jonfon's Every Man out of hi$ 
Humour, Shift fays : 

" This is rare, I have fet up my bills without difcovery.'* 
Again, in Swetnam Arraigned, 1620 : 

** I have bought foils already, fet up bills y 
*' Hung up my two-hand fword, &c." 
Again, in Nafh's Have with you to Saffron U r aldcn &c. 1 596 : 

" fetting up bilh like a bearward or fencer, what fights we 
(hall have, and what weapons flie will meet me at." 

Beatrice means, that Benedick publilhed a general challenge, 
like a prize-fighter. STEEVENS. 

8 challenged Cupid at the flight:] The difufe of the bow 

makes this paflage obfcure. Benedick is reprelented as challeng- 
ing Cupid at archer)'. To challenge at the flight is, I believe, 
to wager who (hall flioot the arrow fartheft without any particular 
mark. To challenge at the bird-bolt ; feems to mean the lame as to 
challenge at children's archery, with fimll arrows, fuch as are 
difcharged at birds. In Twelfth-Night Lady Olivia oppofes 1 a 
bird-bolt to a cannot-bullei, the' lightelt to the heavieft of miifive 
weapons. JOHNSON. 

To challenge at \\\t flight, was a challenge to flioot with an arrow. 
Flight means an arrow, as may be proved from the following lines 
in Beaumont and Fletcher's tiotiduca : 

* ' " not the quick rack fvjifter ; 

" The virgin from the hated ravijhcr 

" Not half ' fo fearful : not a flight drawn home, 

*' A round Jlone from ajlirg, ." 


S54 M U C H A D O 

reading the challenge, fubfcrib'd for Cupid, and chal- 
lenged him at the bird-bolt. I pray you, how many 


So, in A Woman kill* d with Kind/left, 1617 : 

" We have tied our geldings to a tree, two Jlight-Jbot off." 
Again, in Middleton's Game of Chefs, 1625 : 

" Who, as they fay, dilcharg'd it like 9. flight" 
Again, in the Entertainment at Caufome Houfc, &c. 1613: 

" it being from the park about \WQflight-Jbots in length.'* 

But it is apparent from the following paflage in the CivilWars of 

Daniel, b. viii. ft. 15. that a flight was not ufed to fignify an 

Ofrow in general, but fome particular kind ot arrow; I believe 

one of an vmufual length : 

and affign'd 

The archers their ^/j-^-fhafts to fnoot away ; 
Which th' adverfe fide (with ileet and dimnefs blind, 
Miftaken in the diftance of the way) 
Anfwer with their Jheaf-anv i w*i t ' iat came fhort 
Of their intended aim, and did no hurt." 
Holinftied makes the fame diftin&ion in his account of the fame 
occurrence, and adds, that thefeftgbts were provided on purpofe* 
Again, in Holinfhed, p. 649. " He caufed the foldiers to Ihoot 
their JZigbts towards the lord Audlies company." 

Mr. Toilet oblerves, that the length of *.flight-Jbot feems af- 
certained by a paflage in Leland's Itinerary, 1 709, vol. iv. p. 44. 
*' The paflage into it at ful fe is a fllte-Jbot over, as much as the 
Tamife is above the bridge." It were eafy to know the length 
of London-Bridge, and Stowe's Survey may inform the curious 
reader whether the river has been narrowed by embanking fincc 
the days of Leland. 

The bird-bolt is a (hort thick arrow without point, and fpread- 
ing at the extremity fo much, as to leave a flat furface, about the 
breadth of a {hilling. Such are to this day in ufe to kill rooks 
\vith, and are {hot from a crofs-bow. So, in Marfton's What Tou 
JKM, 1607 : 

' - ignorance fhould {hoot 
' His grofs-knobb'd bird-bolt. - 3I 

Again, in 

Lotus in a Maze, 1632 \, 

' Pox of his bird-bolt / Venus, 

Speak to thy boy to fetch his arrow back r 
{ Or ftrike her with a jbarp one /" STEEVENS, 
He challenged Cupid at the flight, and my uncle's fool chal- 
lenged him at the bird-bolt.] The flight was an arrow of a par- 
ticular kind : In the Harleian Catalogue of MSS. vol. i. n. 69. 
is " a challenge of the lady Rlaiee's fcrvants to all comers, to be 
performed at Grcenwicbe to fhoot ftaadart arrow, v\ flight" I 


A B O U T N O T H I N G, 255 

foath he kill'd and eaten in thefe wars ? But how ma- 
ny hath he kill'd ? for, indeed^ I promised to eat all 
of his killing. 

Leon. Faith, niece, you tax fignior Benedick too 
much ; but he'll be meet with you 9 , I doubt it not. 

Mejf. He hath done good fervice, lady, in thefe 

Beat. You had mufty victual, and he hath holp 
to eat it : he's a very valiant trencher-man, he hath an 
excellent ftomach. 

Mejf. And a good foldier too, lady. 

Beat. And a good foldier to a lady ; But what is 
he to a lord > 

Mejf. A lord to a lord, a man to a man ; ftufFd with- 
all honourable virtues f . 

Beat. It is fo, indeed ; he is no lefs than a fluff'd 
man z : but for the fluffing, well, we are all mortal. 


find the title-page of an old pamphlet {till more explicit. " A 
new poft'A marke exceeding neceflary for all mens arrows : whe- 
ther the great man's flight, the gallant's rover, the wifeman's 
pricke-Jbaft, the poor man's but-Jhaft, or the tool's bird-bolt" 


The flight > which in the Latin of the middle ages was called 
JlcEla, was a fleet arrow with narrow feathers, ufuaily employed 
againil rovers. See B hunt's Ancient Tenures, 1679. MALOXE. 

9 he'll be meet with you,] This is a very common ex - 

preffion in the midland counties, and fignifies he'll be your match^ 
he'll be even iviibyou. 

So in TEXNOFAMIA, by B. Holiday, 1618 r 

" Go meet her, or elfe (he'll be meet with me." 


1 ftufPd with all honourable virtues.'] Stuff 1 d, in this firft in- 
ftance, has no ridiculous meaning. Mr. Edwards obferves that 
McJc, in his Dlfcourfes on Scripture, fpeaking of Adin, fays, 
* he whom God \a& fluffed with fo many excellent qualities." 
Edwards's MS. 
Again, in the l-Finter's Tale: 

" whom you know 

" W Jtuf*d Jifficienn? STEEVEXS. 

* he is no lefs than a ftuff'd man : but for the ftuffing i'jett,-~* 
we^are all mortal.} Mr. Theobald plumed himfeJf much on the 
pointing of this paflage j which, by the way,, he might learn from 


256 M U C H A D O 

Leon. You muftnot, fir, miftake my niece: thertf 
is a kind of merry war betwixt fignior Benedick and 
her : they never meet, but there's a fkirmifh of wit 
between them. 

Beat. Alas, he gets nothing by that. In our laft 
conflict, four of his 3 five wits went halting off, and 
now is the whole man govern'd with one : fo that if 
he have 4 wit enough to keep himfelf warm, let him 


Bavenant : but he fays not a word, nor any one elfe that I know 
of, about the reafon of this abruption. The truth is, Beatrice 
ftarts an idea at the words fluff* d man ; and prudently checks her- 
felf in the purfuit of it. h. fluff 'd man was one of the many cant 
phrafes for a cuckold. In Lilly s Midas^ we have an inventory of 
Motto's moveables. " Item, fays Petulus, one paire of homes 
in the bride-chamber on the bed's bead. The beaft's head, ob-* 
ierves Licio ; for Motto is .ftujf'd in the bead, and thefe are 
among unmovedble goods? FARMER. 

3 four of his five <vjits - ] In our author's time ivit 

was the general term for intellectual powers. So, Davies on the 
Soul : 

*' Wit, feeling truth from caufe to caufe afcends, 

" And never reft 3 till it the firfl attain ; 
" Will, jeeking good) finds many middle ends t 

" Eitt never flays till it the laft do gain" 
And, in another part : 

" But if apbre?izy do pojji-fs the brain, 

*' Itfo diflurbs and Hots the form of things ^ 
" As fantajy proves altogether <vain^ 

" And to the wit no true relation brings. 
** Then doth the wit, admitting all for true^ 

*' Tluild fond condufions on tbofe idle grounds;"- 
The wits feem to have been reckoned five, by analogy to the 
five fenfes, or the five inlets of ideasl JOHNSON. 

4 ivit enough to keep himfelf WARM,] But how would that make 
a difference between him and his horfe ? We fhould read, Wit enough 
to keep himfelf FROM HARM. This fuits the fatirical turn of her 
fpeech, in the character Ihe would give of Benedick ; and this 
would make the difference fpoken of. For 'tis the nature of 
horfes, when wounded, to run upon the point of the weapon. 


Such a one has ivit enough to keep bimfflf warm, is a proveibial 
expreflion, and there is furely no need of change. 
So in the Wife Woman of Hogsden, 1638 : 

"You are the wife woman, are you? and have ivit to keep 



bear it for a difference between himfelf and his 
hof fe ; for it is all the wealth that he hath left, t6 be 
known a reasonable creature. Who is his companion 
now ? he hath every month a new fworn brother, 

Me/. Is it poffible ? 

Seat. Very eafily poffible : * he wears his faith but 
as the fafhion of his hat, it ever changes with the 
next block 6 . 

Mejf. I fee, lady, 7 the gentleman is not in your 


yourfelf warm enough, I warrant you" Again, in Cynthia* t 
Revels, by Ben Jonibn : " your whole felf cannot but be per- 
feftly wife ; for your hands have ivit enough to keep tbemfelvcs 
warm." An attempt to refute the reafoning of Dr. Warbiirtort k 
would be lofs of time and labour. To bear any thing for a differ - 
ence, is a term in heraldry. So, in Hamlet, Ophelia fays : 

" you may wear yours with a difference. STEEVENS. 

5 be "wears his faith ] Not religious profeffion, but 

profejfiofi of friendjbip ; tor the fpeaker gives it as the reafon of 
her aiking, <who ivas now his companion f that he had e*very month 
a. new j'worn brother. WAR BUR TON. 

6 with the next block.] A Mock is the mould on which a 
hat is formed. So in Decker's Sat Iromajlix : 

" Of what fafhion is this knight's wit ? of what llttkf** 
See a note on K. Lear, al IV. fc. vi. 

The old writers fometimes ufe the word block, for the hat itfelf. 


7 the gentleman is not in your books."] This is a phrafe 
tifed, I believe, by more than underftand it. To be in one's books 
is to be in one's codicils or will, to be among friends fet down for le- 
gacies. JOHNSON. 

I rather think that the books alluded to, are memorandum- 
books, like the vifiting-books of the prefent age : fo, in Decker's 
Hor.ejl Whore, 2nd Part, 1630 : 

" I am fure her name was in my Table-Book once." 

Or, perhaps, the allufion is to matriculation at the univeriity. 
So in AriftippitSy or the Jovial Philofopher, 1630: 

" You muft be matriculated, and have your name recorded in 
Alba Academic." 

Again, ** What have you enrolled him in Atio f Have you 
fully admitted him into the Society ? to be a member of the 
body academic ?" 

Again, " And if I be not entred, and have my name ad- 
mitted into fome of their locks, let, &c," 

VOL. II, $ And 

2 5 & M U C H ADO 

Beat. No : an he were, I would burn my ftucl}'.' 
But, I pray you, who is his companion ? Is there ncr 
3 young fquarer now, that will make a voyage with 
him to the devil ? 


And yet I think the following paflage in the Maul's Revenge, 
by Shirley, 1639, will fufficiently fupport my firll fuppofition : 
" Pox of your compliment, you were beft not write in her 

It appears to have been anciently the cuftom to chronicle the 
fmall beer of every occurrence,- whether literary or doineftic, in 
'theie Table-books. 

So, in the play laft quoted : 

" Devolve itfelf !' that word is not in my Table-Books" 
Hamlet, likewife, has " my tables, &c." 
Again, in the Wljorc of Babylon, 1607 : 

" Campeius ! Babylon 

" His name hath in her Tables" 
Again, in Acolajlus, a Comedy, i 5 29 : 

" We weyl haunfe thee, or fet thy name into our felowJJjip 
iokc, with clappynge of handes, &c." 

I know not exactly to what cuilom this laft quoted paflage re- 
fers, unlefs \.Q\.}\Q album; for jufl after, the fame expreffion occurs 
again : that " from henceforthe thou may 'ft have a place worthy 
.for thee in our -mbyte : from hence thou may'il have thy name 
written in our bake 

It -ftiould teem from the following pafTage in the Taming of a 
Shrew, that this phrafe might have originated from the Herald'* 
Office : 

" A herald, Kate ! oh, put me in tly books !" 
After all, the following note in one of the Harleian MSS. N 
847, may be the beft illuftration : 

" W. C. to Henry Fradfliam, Gent, the owener of this book : 
" Some write their fantafies in verfe 
" In theire bookes where they friendfhippe fliewe, 
" Wherein oft tymes they doe rehearfe 
*' The great good will that they do owe, &c." STEEVENS,- 
The gentleman is not in your books.] This phrafe has not 
been exactly interpreted. To be in a man's books, originally meant 
to be in the lift of his retainers. Sir John Mandevile tells us, 
" alle the mynftrelles that comen before the great Chan ben 
witholden with him, as of his houlhold, and entred in his bookes, 
as for his own men." FARMER. 

8 young fquarer ] Afyuarcr I take to be a cholerick, quar- 
relfome fellow, for in this fenfe Shakefpeare ufes the word to 
f<iuare* So, in the Midfiwimer Night's Dream it is fuid of Oberon 


Meff. He is moft in the company of the right noble 

Seat. O lord ! He will hang upon him like a dif- 
eafe : he is fooner caught than the peftilence, and the 
taker runs prefently mad. God help the noble Clau- 
dio ! if he have caught the Benedick, it will coil him 
a thoufand pounds ere he be cur'd. 

Mejf. I will hold friends with you, lady. 

Beat. Do, good friend. 

Leon. You'll ne'er run mad, niece. 

Beat. No, not 'till a hot January. 

Mejf. Don Pedro is approach^. 

Enter Don Pedro., Claudia^ Benedick, Balthazar, and 
Don John. 

Pedro. Good Signior Leonato, you are come to 
meet your trouble : the falhion of the world is to 
avoid cofl, and you encounter it. 

Leon. Never came trouble to my houfe in the like- 
nefs of your grace : for trouble being gone, comfort 
fhould remain ; but, when you depart from me, for- 
row abides, and happinefs takes his leave. 

Pedro. You embrace your 9 charge too willingly.- 
I think, this is your daughter. 

Leon. Her mother hath many times told me fo. 

Bene. Were you in doubt, fir, that you afk'd her ? 

Leon. Signior Benedick, no ; for then were you a 

Pedro. You have it full, Benedick : we may guefs 
by this what you are, being a man. Truly, the lady- 
fathers herfelf : Be happy, lady ! for you are like an 
honourable father. 

Bene. If fignior Leonato be her father, me wduld 

and Titania, that they never meet but they fquare. So the fenfe may 
, be, Is there no hot-blooded youth that vjill keep him company through 
ail bis mad pranks ? JOHNSON. 

9 Tou embrace your charge } That is, youv burthen, your 
iKcumbrance. JOHNSON. 

S 2 not 

26o M U C H A IT O 

not have his head on her ihoulders for all Meffina, as' 
like him as flie is. 

Beat. I wonder, that you will ftill be talking, fig- 
nior Benedict ; no body marks you. 

Bsne. What, my dear lady Difdain ! are you yet 
living ? 

Beat. Is k poffible, difdain ihould' die, while ihe 
hath fuch meet food to feed it, as fignior Benedick ' ? 
Courtefy itfelf muft convert to difdain,, if you come 
in her prefence. 

Bern. Then is courtefy a turn-coat : But it is cer- 
tain, I am lov'd of all ladies, only you excepted : and 
I would I could find in my heart that I had not a hard 
heart ; for, truly, I love none. 

Beat. A dear happinefs to women ; they would elfe 
nave been troubled with a pernicious fuitor. I thank 
God, and my cold blood, I am of your humour far 
that > I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow, than 
a man fwear he loves me. 

Baw.- God keep your ladyfliip ftill in that mind^ ! 
fo fome gentleman- or other mall 'fcape a predeftinate 
fcratch'd face. 

Beat. Scratching could not make it worfe, an 'twere 
inch a face as yours were. 

Bene. Well, you are a rare parrot-teacher* 

Beat. A bird of my tongue, is better than a beaft 
of yours. 

Bene. I would, my horfe had the fpeed of your 
tongue ; and fo good a continuer : But keep your 
way o'God's name ; I have done* 

Beat. You always- end with, a jade's trick ; I know 
you of old. 

Pedro. This is the fumofall: Leonato, fignior 
Claudio, and fignior Benedick, my dear friend Leo- 

1 fnch food to feed it ) as fignior Renedivk ?] A kindred 

thought occurs in Coriolcnyus, a& II. fc. i : 

*' Our very priefts muft become mockers^ if they encounter 
fach ridiculous fubjects as y?u are," STEEVEMI. 



nato hath invited you all. I tell him, we lhall flay 
here at the leaft a month ; and'he heartily prays, fome 
occafion may detain us longer : I dare fwear he is no 
hypocrite, but prays from his heart. 

Leon. If you' fwear, my lord, you mall not be for- 
fworn. Let me bid you welcome, my lord : being 
reconciled to the jprince your brother, 1 owe you all 

John. I thank you * : t am not of many words, but 
I thank you. 

Leon. Pleafe it your grace lead on ? 
Pedro. Your hand, Leonato ; we will go together. 
[Exeunt all but Benedick and Claudia. 
Claud. Benedick, didft thou note the daughter of 
"fignior Leonato ? 

Bene. I noted her not ; but 1 look'd on her. 
Claud. Is me not a modeft young lady ? 
Bene. Do you queftion me, as an Jioneft man mould 
do, for my fimple true judgment ? or would you 
,have me fpcak after my cultom, as being a profefled 
jyrant to .their fex ? 

Claud. No, I pray thee, fpeak in fober judgment. 
Bene. Why, 'i'faith, methinks flic is too low for 
',$. high praife, too brown for a fair praife,, and too 
t little for a great praife,: only this commendation I 
' can afford her ; that were Ac other than me is, fhc 
' wefe urihandfome ; and being ne other but as me ic, 
, I do not like her. 

Claud. Thou think'fr, I am in fport'; I pray t'hee, 
tell me truly how thou lik'ft her. 
: Setie. \\^ould you buy her, that you enquire after 

laud. Can the world buy fuch a jewel ? 
_Bene. Yea, <.and a cafe to put it -into. But fpeak 
yoju this witih a fad brow ? or do you play the flout- 

* / thank you :] TJie poet has judicioufly marked the gloomineft 
of Don John's character, by mailing him averfe to the common 
forms of civility. ^SiR J, HA\VK-WJ. 

S 3 ing 

M U C H A D O 

ing Jack ; to tell us Cupid is ' a good hare-finder, 
and Vulcan a rare- carpenter ? Come, in what 'key 
lhall a man take you, to go in the fong 4 ? 

Claud. In mine eye, flic is the fwceteft lady that I 
ever looked on. 

Bene. I can fee yet without fpectacles, and I fee no 
fuch matter : there's her coufin, an Ihe were not pof- 
fefs'd with a fury, exceeds her as much in beauty, 
as the firft of May doth the laft of December. But 
I hope, you have no intent to turn hufband ; have 
you ? 

3 to tell us, Cupid is a good hare-finder, &rc.] I know 

not whether I conceive -the jeft here intended. Claudio hints his 
love of Hero. Benedick alks whether he is ferious, or whether 
he only means to jeft, and tell them that Cupid is a good bare- 
finder, and Vulcan a rare carpenter. A man praifing a pretty lady 
in jeft, may (hew the quick light of Cupid, but what has it to do 
with the carpentry of Vulcan ? Perhaps the thought lies no deeper 
than this, Do you mean to tell us as new what we all know already f 


I believe no more is meant by thofe ludicrous exprcffions than 
this. ; Do you mean, fays Benedick, to amufe us with impro- 
bable ftories ? 

An ingenious correfpondent, whofe lignature is R.W. ex- 
plains the paffage in the fame fenfe, but more amply. " Do you 
mean to tell us that love is not blind, and that fire will not con- 
fume what is .combuftible ?" for both thefe propoiitions are 

implied in making Cupid a good bare-finder, and Vulcan (the God 
of fire) a good carpenter* In other words, would you convince me t 
wbofe opinion on this bead is well known, thatyou can le in love with- 
out being Hind, and can play witb tbejiame of beauty without being 
fc arched. STEEVENS. 

I explain the paflage thus : Do you feoff and mock in telling us 
that Cupid, 'who is blind, is a good bare-finder, which requires a 
quick eyefight ; and that Vulcan, a blackf?nith, is a rare carpenter f 


After fuch attempts at decent illuftration, I am afraid 
that he who wifhes to know why Cupid is a good hare-finder, muft 
difcover it by the affiftance of many quibbling allufions of the 
fame fort, about hair and hoar, in Mercutio's long in the fecond 
2& of Romeo and Juliet. COLLINS. 

4 to go in the fong.'} i.e. to join xvith you in your fong. 

to ilrike in with you in the fong. STEEVENS, 



Claud. I would fcarce truft myfelf, though I had 
fworn the contrary, if Hero would by my wife. 

Bene. Is't come to this, i'faith ? Hath not the 
world one man, but he will wear s his cap with fufpi- 
cion ? Shall I never fee a batchelor of threefcore 
again ? Go to, i'faith ; an thou wilt needs thruft thy 
-neck into a yoke, wear the print of it, and 6 ligh 
away fundays* Look, Don Pedro is return'd to 
feek you. 

Re-enter Don Pedro. 

Pedro. What fecret hath held you here, that you 
follow'd not to Leonato's f 

Bene. I would, your grace would conftrain me to 

Pedro. I charge thee on thy allegiance. 

Bene. You hear, Count Claudio : I can be fecret as 
a dumb man, I would have you think fo ; but on my 
allegiance, mark you this, on my allegiance. He 
is in love. With who ? now that is your grace's 
part. mark, how Ihort his anfwer is : With Hero, 
Leonato'? fhort daughter. 

.Claud. If this were fo, fo were it uttered 7 . 


5 ___ wear his cap ivithfiifpicionf] That is, f abject his head 
to the difquiet of jealoufy. JOHNSON. 

6 fgb awayfundays.'] A proverbial expreffion to fig- 

nify that a man has no reft at all ; when Sunday, a day formerly 
of eafe and diverfion, was paffed fq uncomfortably. 


I cannot find this proverbial expreffion in any ancient book 
whatever. I am apt to believe that the learned commentator has 
miftaken the drift of it, and that it molt probably alludes to the 
ftricl: manner in which the fabbath was obferved by t\\epuritas, 
who ufually fpent that day in figbs and gruntings, and other hy- 
pocritical marks of devotion. STEEVENS. 

7 Claud. If this vjerefo,fo were it uttered.'] This and the three 
next fpeeches I do not well undcrftand ; there feems fbmething 
omitted relating to Hero's content, or to Claudio's marringe, elfe 
J know not what Claudio can wifh not to be otberv:ifc. The copies 
all read alike. Perhaps it may be better thus, 

Claud. If this were Jo, fo <vjere it. 
Bene. Uttered like the old tale, &c, 

S Claa, 

M U C H A D O 

Bene. Like the old tale, my lord : it is not fo, nor 
'twas not fo ; but, indeed, God forbid it ihould be 

Claud. If my paffion change not ihortly, God for- 
bid it Ihould be otherwife. 

Pedro. Amen, if you love her, for the lady is very 
well worthy. 

Claud. You fpeak this to fetch me in, my lord. 

Pedro. By my troth, I fpeak my thought. 

Claud. And, in faith, my lord, I fpoke mine. 

Bene. And, by my two faiths and troths, my lord, 
I fpeak mine. 

Claud. That I love her, I feel. 

Pedro. That ihe is worthy, I know. 

Bene. That I neither feel how fhe fhould be loved, 
nor know how ihe fhould be worthy, is the opinion 
that fire cannot melt out of me ; I will die in it at 
the ftake. 

Pedro. Thou waft ever an pbftinate hereUck in the 
defpight of beauty. 

Claud. And never could maintain his part, * but 
in the force of his will. 

Bene. That a woman conceived me, I thank her ; 
that fhe brought me up, I likewife give her moft 
humble thanks : but that I will have a recheat 
winded in my forehead % or hang my bugle in an 


Claudio gives a fullen anfwer, if it h fo, fo it is. Still there 
feems fomething omitted which Claudio and Pedro concur in 
wifhing. JOHNSON. 

Claudio, evading at firft a confeffion of his paffion, fays ; if I 
had really confided fuch a fecret to him, yet he would have blabb- 
ed it in this manner. In his next fpeech, he thinks proper to 
avow his love; and when Benedick fays, God forbid it Jkouldle 
fo, i. e. God forbid he fhould even wifh to marry her; Claxidio 
replies God forbid I fliould not wifh it, STEEVENS. 

a but in the force of bis "a'///.] Alluding to the defini- 

tion of a heretick in the fchools. WAR BURTON. 

3 lut that I iv ill have a rechcnt winded in my forehead,] 

That is, / iv ill ivear a born on rny forehead which the buntfmnn 
nay blow. A recbcate is the found by which dogs are called back. 

' Shake- 


invifible baldrick 4 , all women ihall pardon me : Be- 
caufe I will not do them the wrong to miftruft any, 
I will do myfelf the right to truft none ; and the fine 
is, (for the which I may go the finer) I will live a 

Pedro. I ihall fee thee, ere I die, look pale with 

Bene. With anger, with ficknefs, or with hunger, 
my lord ; not with love : prove, that ever I lofe more 
blood with love, than I will get again with drinking,, 
pick out mine eyes with a ballad-maker's pen, .and 
hang me up at the door of a brothel-houfe for the 
lign of blind Cupid. 

Pedro. Well, if ever thou doft fall from this faith, 
thou wilt prove a notable argument s . 

enc. If I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat 6 , and 


Shakefpeare hud no mercy upon the poor cuckold, his horn is an 
inexhauiHble fubjeft of merriment. JOHNSON. 
So, in the Return from ParnaJJiis : 

" When you blow the death of your fox in the field or 

covert, then you muft found three notes, with three winds; and 
recbeat, mark you, irr, upon the fame three winds." 

" Now, lir, when you come to your irately gate, as yon 
founded the recbeat before, fo now you muft found the relief 
three times." 

Again, in the Bookc of Huntynge, &c. bl. 1. no date. " Blow the 
whole recbate with three wyndes, the firft wynde one longe and 
fix fhorte. The feconde wynde two fhorte and one longe. The 
thred wynde one longe and two fhorte." STEEVEXS. 

A recreate is a particular leflTon upon the horn, to call dogs back 
from the fcent : from the old French word recet, which was ufed 
in the fame fenfe as retraite. HANMKR. 

4 < bang mv bugle in an ininjible bnlilrick^\ Bugle, \, e. bu- 
gle-horn hunting-horn. The meaning feems to be or that I 
fhould be compell'd to carry any horn that I muft wifh to remain 
invifible, and that I fliould be aifhamed to hang openly in my belt 
or baldrick. 

It is ftill faid of the mercenary cuckold, that he carries his boms 
in his pockets. STEEVENS. 

5 notable argument. ] An eminent fubjeft tor fatire. JOHNSON. 

6 in a bottle like a cat, ] As to the cat and bottle, I can procure 
no better information than the following, which does not exactly 
iiiit with the text. 


*$6 M U C H A D O 

ftioot at me ; and he that hits me, let him be clap'd 
on the fhoulder, and call'd 7 Adam. 

Pedro. Well, as time ftiall try : 
In time the favage bull doth bear the yoke 8 . 

Bene. The favage bull may ; but if ever the fenfi- 
ble Benedick bear it, pluck off the bull's horns, and 
fet them in my forehead : and let me be vilely paint- 
ed ; and in fuch great letters as they write, Here is 
good horfe to hire, let them lignify under my fign, 
Here you may fee Benedick the marry* d man. 

Claud. If this fhould ever happen, thou would'ft 
be horn-mad. 

Pedro. Nay, 9 if Cupid hath not fpent all his qui- 
rer in Venice, thou wilt quake for this fhortly. 


In fome counties of England, a cat was formerly clofed up with 
a. quantity of foot in a wooden bottle, (fuch as that in which fhep- 
herds carry their liquor) and was fufpended on a Hue. He who 
beat out the bottom as he ran under it, and was nirnbkf enough to 
efcape its contents, was regarded as the hero of this inhuman di- 
verlioru STEEVENS. 

7 and he that hits nie, Jet him le clap^d on the Jkoulder, and calfd 
Adam.] But why fliould he therefore be call'd Adam ? Perhaps, 
by a quotation or two we may be able to trace the poet's alluiion 
here. In Law-Tricks, or, Who would have Thought //, (a comedy 
written by John Day, and printed in 1608) I find this fpeech : 
Adam Bell, a fulftantial out lav: y and apajjing good archer, yet n 
tolacconift* - By this it appears, that Adam Bell at that time of 
<lay was of reputation for his fkill at the bow. I find him again 
mentioned in a burlefque poem of fir William Davenant's, called, 
The long Vacation in London. THEOBALD. 

Adam Bell was a companion of Robin Hood, as may be feen 
in Robin Hood's Garland; in which, if I do not miftake, are 
thele lines : 

" For he brought Adam Bell, and dim of the Clougl^ 

" And William of Clnidcflce, 
" To Jhoot with our for eft cr for forty mark^ 

" And our for eft er I eat them all three." JOHNSON. 
The curious reader will find -an account of thefe noted outlaws 
in the firft volume of Dr. Percy's Reliques of ancient Englijh 
Poetry. STEEVENS. 

8 In time the favage l}till doth l}ar they olie.~\ This line is taken 
from the Spanijh Tragedy, or Hieronymo, &c. 1605. STEEVENS. 

9 if Cupid hath notjpent all his quiver in Venice ',] All modern 


A B O U T N O T H I N G. 267 

Bene. I look for an earthquake too then. 

Pedro. Well, you will temporize with the hours. 
In the mean time, good fignior Benedick, repair to 
Leonato's ; commend me to him, and tell him, I will 
not fail him at fupper ; for, indeed, he hath made 
great preparation. 

Bene. I have almoft matter enough in me for fuch 
an embaffage ; and ib I commit you 

Claud. To the tuition of God ; from my houfe, (if 
I had it,) 

Pedro. The fixth of July ; your loving friend, Be- 

Bene. Nay, mock not, mock not : The body of your 
difcourfe is fometime guarded with fragments ', and 
the guards are but flightly bailed on neither : ere 
* you flout old ends any further, examine your con- 
fcience; and fo I leave you. [Exit. 

Claud. My liege, your highnefs now may do me 
good. - 

Pedro. My love is thine to teach ; teach it but how, 
And thou fhalt fee how apt it is to learn 
Any hard leflbn that may do thee good. 

Claud. Hath Leonato any fon, my lord ? 

Pedro. No child but Hero, flic's his only heir : 
Doft thou affedt her Claudio ? 

Claud. O my lord, 

writers agree in reprefenting Venice in the fame light as the an- 
cients did Cyprus. And it is this character of the people that 
is here alluded to. WARBURTOK. 

1 guarded with fragments,] Guards were ornamental laces 

or borders. So in the Merchant of Venice : 

" give him a livery 

" More guarded than his fellows." 
Again, in Henry IV. Part I. 

" velvet guards and funday citizens." STEEVENS. 

2 ere you flout old ends &c.] Before you endeavour to dijlinguijb 
yottrjelf any more by antiquated allnjions^ examine ivbether you can 
fuii-ly claim them for your owi. This, I think is the meaning ; or 

it may be understood in another ienfe, examine^ ifyourfarcafms 

4o nut touch yourf elf. JOHNSON. 


a68 M U C H A D O 

When you went onward on this ended adion, 
I look'd upon her with a foldier's eye, 
That lik'd, but had a rougher tafk in hand 
Than to drive liking to the name of love : 
But now I am return'd, and that war-thoughts 
Have left their places vacant, in their rooms 
Come thronging foft and delicate defires, 
All prompting me how fair young Hero is., 
Saying, I lik'd her ere I went to wars. 

Pedro. Thou wilt be like a lover prefently, 
And tire the hearer with- a book of words-:. 
If thou doft love fair Hero, cherilh it ; 
And I will break with her, 'and with her father, 
And -thou ihalt have her : Was't not to this end, . 
That thou began'ft to twift fo fine a ilor-y ? 

Claud. How fweetly do you minifter to love, 
That know love's grief by his completion 1 .1 

But left my liking might too fudden feem, . t 
I would have falv'd it with a longer treatifc. 

Pedro. What need the bridge much broader than 

the flood ? 

5 The faireft grast k the -neceffity : 
Look, what will ferve, is iit : 'tis once, thaii lov.'fl ; 
And I will fit thee with the remedy. 
I know, weihall have revelling to night ; 
I will aflume thy part in fome difguile. 
And tell fair Hero I am Claudio J 
And in her bofom I'll undafp my heart. 
And take her hearing prifone,r with the force 
And ftrong encounter of my amorous tale : 
Then, after, to her father will I break; 
And, the conclufion is, ihe fhall be thine : 
In practice let us put it prefently. [Exeunt. 

3 Thifaireft grant is the necejfity :] i. e. no one can hav.e a better 
reafon tor granting a rcqueil than the neceffity of its being 
giatnted. WARE UR TON, 


A B O U T N O T -H I N G. 


A Room in Leonato*s ffoufe. 
Rnter Leonato and Antonio* 

Leo. How now, brother ? Where is my coufin, 
your fon ? Hath he provided this mufick ? 

Ant. He is very bufy about it. But, brother, I can 
tell you news- that you yet dream'd not of. 

Leon. Are they good ? 

Ant. As the event damps them ; but they have a 
good cover, they fhow well outward. The prince 
and Count Claudio, walking in a thick-pleached alley* 
in my orchard, were thus overheard by a man of 
mine : The prince difcover'd to Claudio, that he 
lov'd my niece your daughter, and meant to acknow- 
ledge it this evening in a dance ; and, if he found her 
accordant, he meant to take the prefent time by the 
top, and inftantly break with you of it. 

Leon. Hath the fellow any wit that told you this ? 

Ant. A good Iharp fellow ;. I will fend for him, 
and queftion him yourfelf. 

Leon. No, no ; we will hold it as a dream, till it 
appear itfelf: but I will acquaint my daughter 
withal, that me may be the better prepared for an 
anfwer, if peradventure this be true : Go you, and 
tell her of it. [Several Servants crojs the ftage fore.] 
Coufin, you know what you have to do. O, I 
cry you mercy, friend ; go you with me, and I will 
ufe your ikill : Good coufin, have a care this bufy 
time. [Exeunt 

* a thick-pleached aHey] Thick-pleached is thickly in- 
terwoven. In Anteny and Cleopatra : 

' with pleached arms, bending down 
" His corrigible neck." STEEVENS. 


270 M U C H A D O 


Another Apartment in Leonato's Houfe. 
Enter Don Jobn and Conradc. 

Conr. What the good-jer, my lord s ! why are you 
thus out of meafure fad ? 

John. There is np meafure in the occafion that 
breeds it, therefore the fadnefs is without limit. 

Conr. You Ihould hear reafon. 

John. And when I have heard it, what bleffing 
bringeth it ? 

Conr. If not a prefent remedy, yet a patient fuffe- 

John. I wonder, that thou being, (as thou fay'ft 
thou art) born under Saturn, goelt about to apply a 
moral medicine to a mortifying mifchief. I cannot hide 
what I am 6 : I muft be fad when I have caufe, and 
fmile at no man's jells ; eat when I have Itomach, 
and wait for no man's leifure ; fleep when I am drowfy, 
and tend on no man's bufinefs ; laugh when I am 
merry, and 7 claw no man in his humour. 

Conr. Yea, but you mult not make the full mow of 
this, till you may do it without controulment. You 
have of late Hood out againft your brother, and he 
hath ta'en you newly into his grace ; where it is im- 
pofHble you Ihould take root, but by the fair weather 

5 What the good-jer, my lord !~\ We fhould read, gottjere* 


6 I cannot hiJe what I am :] This is one of our authour's na- 
tural touches. An envious and unfocial mind, too proud to give 
pleafure, and too fullen to receive it, always endeavours to hide 
its malignity ftom the world and from itfelf, under the plainnefs 
of limple honelty, or the dignity of haughty independence. 


7 claw no man in his humour. ~\ To claw is to flatter. So the pope's 
claw-lacks, in bifhop Jewel, are the pope's flatterers. The fenfe 
is the fame in the proverb, Mulus mulumfcabit. JOHNSON. 


A B O U T N O T H I N G. 271 

that you make yourfelf : it is needful that you frame 
the feafon for your own harveft. 

'John. I had rather be a 8 canker in a hedge,, than a 
rofe in his grace ; and 'it better fits my blood to be 
difdain'd of all, than to fafhion a carriage to rob love 
from any : in this, though I cannot be faid to be a 
flattering honefl man, it muft not be deny'd but I am 
a plain-dealing villain. I am trufted with a muzzle, 
and infranchifed with a clog ; therefore I have de- 
creed not to fing in my cage : If I had my mouth, I 
would bite ; if I had my liberty, I would do my 
liking : in the mean time, let me be that I am, and 
feek not to alter me. 

Conr. Can you make no .ufe of your difcontent ? 

John. I make all ufe of it, for I ufe it only. Who 
comes here ? what news Borachio ? 

Enter Borachio. 

Bora. I came yonder from a great fupper ; the 
prince, your brother, is royally entertain'd by Leo- 
nato ; and I can give you intelligence of an intended 

John. Will it ferve for any model to build mifchief 

8 / bad rather be a canker in a hedge, than a rofe in bis grace ; ] 
A canker is the canker rofe, dog-rofe, cynojlatus, or hip. The fenfe 
is, I would rather live in obfcurity the wild life of nature, than 
owe dignity or eftimation to my brother. He ftill continues his 
wifh of gloomy independence. But what is the meaning of the 
expreffion, a rofe in bis grace ? if he was a rofe of himfelf, his 
brother's grace or favour could not degrade him. I once read 
thus, I bad rather be a canker in a hedge, than, a rofe in his garden ; 
that is, I had rather be what nature makes me, however mean, 
than owe any exaltation or improvement to my brother's kind- 
nefs or cultivation. But a lefs change will be fufficient r I think 
it mould be read, I had rather be a canker in a hedge, than a rofe by 
his grace. JoHNSON 
So, inHeywood's Love's Miftrefs, 1636: 

" A rofe, a lily, a blew-bottle, and a canktr~jbwerf* 
Again, in Shakefpeare's 54th Sonnet : 

" The canker blooms have full as deep a die 
" As the perfumed tinfture of the rofe," 
I think no change is neceflary. STEEVEXS. 


17* M U C H A D O 

on ? What is he for a fool, that betroths himfelf tt* 
unquietnefs ? 

Bora. Marry, it is your brother's right hand. 

John. Who ? the moft exquifite Claudio ? 

Bora. Even he ! 

John. A proper fquire ! and who, and who ? which 
way looks he ? 

Bora. Marry, on Hero, the daughter and heir of 

John. A very forward March-chick ! How come 
you to know this ? 

Bora. Being entertained for a perfumer, as I was 
fmoaking a mufty room, comes me the prince and 
Claudio, hand in hand, in fad conference 9 : I whiptme 
behind the arras ; and there heard it agreed upon, 
that the prince ihouid woo Hero for himfelf, and 
having obtained her, give her to count Claudio. 

John. Come, come, let us thither ; this may prove 
food to my difpleafure : that young ftart-up hath 
all the glory of my overthrow ; if I can crofs him 
any way, I blefs myfelf every way : You are both 
.fure f , and will aflift me. 

Conr. To the death, my lord. 

John. Let us to the great fupper ; their cheer is 
the greater, that I am fubdu'd : 'Would the cook 
were of my mind ! Shall we go prove what's to be 
done ? 

Bora. We'll wait upon your lordfliip. [Exeunt, 

9 in fad conference:] Sad in this, as in a former inftance, fig* 
zitesfcrious. * STEEVENS. 

loth fure,] i, e. to be depended on. STEEVENS, 





A Hall in Leonato's Houfe. 

Enter Leonato, Antonio, Hero, Beatrice, Margaret, and 

Leo. Was not count John here at fupper ? 

Ant. I faw him not. 

Beat. How tartly that gentleman looks ! I never 
can fee him, but I atn heart-burn'd an hour after *. 

Hero. He is of a very melancholy difpofition. 

Beat. He were an excellent man, that were made 
juft in the mid-way between him and Benedick : the 
one is too like an image, and fays nothing ; and the 
other, too like my lady's eldeft fon, evermore tattling. 

Leon. Then half fignior Benedick's tongue in count 
John's mouth, and half count John's melancholy in 
lignior Benedick's face, 

Beat. With a good leg, and a good foot, uncle, 
and money enough in his purfe, Such a man would 
win any woman in the world, if he could get her 
good will. 

Leon. By my troth, niece, them wilt never get thee 
a hufband, if thou be'ft fo ftirewd of thy tongue. 

Ant. In faith, Ihe's too curft. 

Beat. Too curfl is more than curft : I lhall leffen 
God's fending that way : for it is faid, God j'ends a 
curft cow Jhort horns ; but to a cow too curft he fends 

1 Leon. So, by being too curft, God will fend v you 
no horns. 

Beat. Juft, if he fend me no hufband; for the 
which bleffing, I am at him upon my knees every 

* heart-burn V an hour after,~\ The pain commonly called the 
heart-bum, proceeds from an acid humour in the itomach, and is 
therefore properly enough imputed to tart looks, JOHNSON. 
VOL. II, T morn- 

2 7 4 MUCH ADO 

morning and evening : Lord ! I could not endure 
a huiband with a beard on his face ; I had rather lie 
in woollen 3 . 

Leon. You may light upon a huiband,. that hath 
no beard. 

Beat. What fhould I do with him ? drefs him in 
rny apparel, and make him my waiting-gentlewoman ? 
He that hath a beard, is more than a youth ; and he 
that hath no beard, is lefs than a man : and he that is 
more than a youth, is not for me ; and he that is lefs 
than a man, I am not for him : Therefore I will even 
take fix-pence in earnefl of the bear-herd, and lead 
his apes into hell. 

Leo. Well then,, go you into hell 4 ? 

Beat. No ; but to the gate : and there will the de- 
vil meet me, like an old cuckold, with horns on his 
head, and fay, Get you to heaven, Beatrice, get you to- 
heaven ; beres no place for you maids : fo deliver I up 
my apes, and away to Saint Peter for the heavens ; 
he mews me where the batchelors fit, and there live 
we as merry as the day is long. 

Ant. Well, niece, I truft, you will be rul'd by your 
father. [To Hero* 

Beat. Yes, faith ; it is my coufin's duty to make a 
curtfy, and fay, Father^ as it pleafe you : but yet for 
all that, coufin, let him be a handibme fellow, or elfe 
make another curtfy, and fay, Father^ as it pleafe me. 

Leon. Well, niece, I hope to fee you one day fitted 
with a hufband. 

3 in woollen.] Thus the modern editors. The old copies read 
. . in the woollen. STEEVENS. 

* Well then, &c.] Of the two next fpeeches Dr. Warburton 
fays, All this impious nonfcnfe thrown to the bottom, is the player?, and 
foifted in without rhyme or reafon. He therefore puts them in the 
margin. They do not deferve indeed fo honourable a place, yet 
I am afraid they are too much in the manner of our authour, who 
is fometimes trying to purchafe merriment at too dear a rate. 

I have reftored the lines omitted. STEEVEKS. 



Beat. Not till God make men of fome other me- 
tal than earth. Would it not grieve a woman to be 
over-mafter'd with a piece of valiant duft ? to make 
account of her life to a clod of wayward marie ? No, 
uncle, I'll none : Adam's fons are my brethren, and 
truly, I hold it a fin to match in my kindred. 

Leon. Daughter, remember, what I told you : if 
the prince do folicit you in that kind, you know your, 

Beat. The fault will be in the mufick, coufin, if 
you be not woo'd in good time : if the prince be too 
6 important, tell him, there is meafure in every thing, 
and fo dance out the anfwer. For hear me, Hero, 
Wooing, wedding, and repenting, is as a Scotch jig, 
a meafure, and a cinque-pace : the firft fuit is hot 
and hafly, like a Scotch jig, and full as fantaflical ; 
the wedding, mannerly modeil, as a meafure full 
of ftate and ancientry ; and then comes repentance, 
and, with his bad legs, falls into the cinque-pace 
fafler and fafter, 'till he fink into his grave. 
Leon. Coufin, you apprehend palling fhrewdly. 
Beat. I have a good eye, uncle ; I can fee a church 
by day-light. 

Leon. The revellers are entring; brother, make 
good room. 


Enter Don Pedro, Claudio, Benedick, Balthazar 7 ; Don 
John, Boracblo, Margaret, Urfula, and others majk'd. 

Pedro. Lady, will you walk about with your 
friend ? 

Hero. So you walk foftly, and look fweetly. and 
fay nothing, I am yours for the walk ; and, efpcci- 
ally, when I walk away. 

6 if the prince be too important,] Important here, and in many 
other places, is importunate. JOHXSO.V. 

So, in the Comedy of Errors : 

" Whom I made lord of me and all I had, 
" At your important letters ". STEEVEVS. 

7 Balthazar,] The quarto and folio -dd or dumb John. 

T 2 Pedro. 

276 M U C H A D O 

Pedro. With me in your company ? 

Hero. I may lay fo, when I pleafe. 

Pedro. And when pleafe you to fay fo ? 

Hero. When I like your favour ; for God defend) 
the lute Ihould be like the cafe ! 

Pedro. 8 My vifor is Philemon's roof; within the 
houfe is Jove. 

Hero. Why, then your vifor Ihould be thatch'd. 

Pedro. Speak low, if you fpeak love 9 . 

ene. Well, I would you did like me '. 

. Marg. 

8 ]\Ty vifor is Philemon s roof, luitbin the houfe is love.] Thus 
the whole itream of the copies, from the firfl downwards. Hero 
fays to Don Pedro, God forbid the lute mould be like the cafe ! 
i. e. that your face fliould be as homely and as coarfe as your mafk. 
Upon this, Don Pedro compares his vifor to Philemon's roof. 
'Tis plain, the poet alludes to the ftory of Baucis and Philemon 
from Ovid : and this old couple, as the Roman poet defcribes it, 
liv'd in a thatctfd cottage : 

" Stipulii fe 5 canna tetfa paluJTri." 

But why, within this houfe is love ? Though this old pair lived in 
u cottage, this cottage received two ftraggling Gods, (Jupiter and 
Mercury) under its roof. So, Don Pedro is a prince ; and though 
his vifor is but ordinary, he would infinuate to Hero, that he has 
fomething godlike within : alluding either to his dignity or the 
qualities of his perfon and mind. By thefe circumftances, I am 
fure, the thought is mended : as, I think verily, the text is too 
by the addition of a iingle letter ivithin the houfe is Jove. Nor 
is this emendation a little confirmed by another patfage in our 
author, in which he plainly alludes to the fame flory. As you. 
Like it. 

" Clown. I am herewith thee and thy goats , as the moft capricious 
poet, boneft Ovid, was amongft the Goths: 

' * Jaq. O knowledge ill inhabited, c iuorfc than Jove in a thatch'd 
boufe!" THEOBALD. 

This emendation, thus impreffed with all the power of his elo- 
quenceand rsafon, Theobald found in the quarto edition of 1600, 
which he profeiles to have feen ; and in the full folio, the / and 
the /are fo much alike, that the printers, perhaps, ufed the fame 
type for either letter. JOHNSON. 

9 Pedro. Speak ICTJJ, &c.] This fpeech, which is given to Pe- 
dro, fhould be given to Margaret. REVISAL. 

1 Balth. 7/W/, I would you did like me.] This and the two fol- 
lowing little fpeeches, which I have placed to Balthazar, are in 
all the printed copies given to Benedick. But, 'tis clear, the dia- 


Marg. So would not I, for your own fake ; for I 
have many ill qualities. 

Bene. Which is one ? 

Marg. I fay my prayers aloud. 

Bene. I love you the better ; the hearers may cry 
amen 2 . 

Marg. God match me with a good dancer ! 

Balth. Amen. 

Marg. And God keep him out of my fight when 
the dance is done }- Anfwer, clerk. 

Balth. No more words ; the clerk is anfwer'd. 

Urf. I know you well enough ; you are fignior 

Ant. At a word, I am not. 

Urf r I know you by the wagling of your head. 

Ant. To tell you true, I counterfeit him. 

Urf. You could never do him fo ill-well, unlefs 
you were the very man : Here's his dry hand J up and 
down ; you are he, you are he. 

Ant. At a word, I am not. 

Urf. Come, come ; do you think, I do not know 
you by your excellent wit ? Can virtue hide itfelf ? 
Go to, mum, you are he : graces will appear, and 
there's an end. 

logue here ought to be betwixt Balthazar and Margaret : Bene- 
dick, a little lower, converfes with Beatrice : and fo every man 
talks with his woman once round. THEOBALD. 

1 amen.'] I do not concur with Theobald in his arbitrary dif- 
pofition of thefe fpeeches. Balthazar is called in the old copies 
dumb John, as I have already oblerved ; and therefore it fhould 
feem, that he was meant to fpeak but little. When Benedick 
fays, the hearers may cry, amen, we muft fuppofe that he leaves 
Margaret and goes in fearch of fome other fport. Margaret ut- 
ters a wifh for a good partner. Balthazar, who is reprefented as a 
man of the teweft words, repeats Benedick's Amen, and leads her 
off, deliring, as he fays in the following ihort fpeech, to put him- 
felf to no greater expence of breath. STEEVENS. 

3 his dry hand,] A dry hand was anciently regarded as the 

fign of a cold conftitution. To this Maria, in T-ivelfth^Nfghjt^ 
Alludes : Act I. fc. iii. STEEVENS. 

T 3 Beat. 

278 M U C H A D O 

Beat. Will you not tell me who told you fo ? 

Bene. No, you lhall pardon me. 

Beat. Nor will you not tell me who you are ? 

Bene. Not now. 

Beat. That I was difdainful and that I had my 
good wit out of the Hundred merry Tales 4 ; Well, this 
was fignior Benedick that faid fo. 

Bene. What's he ? 

Beat. I am fure, you know him well enough. 

Bene. Not I, believe me. 

Beat. Did he never make you laugh ? 

Bene. I pray you, what is he ? 

Beat. Why, he is the prince's jefler : a very dull 
fool ; only his gift is in deviling impoffible ilanders 5 : 
iione but libertines delight in him ; and the commen- 
dation is not in his wit, but in his villainy 6 ; for he 
both pleafeth men-, and angers them, and then they 

* Hundred merry Tales \~\ The book, to which Shakefpeare al- 
ludes, was an old tranflation of Les cent Nouvellcs Nouvelles. The 
original was publiflied at Paris, in the black letter, before the 
year 1500, and is faid to have been written by fome of the royal 
family of France. Ames mentions a tranflation of it prior to 
the time of Shakefpeare. 

In the London Chauntlcleres, 1659, this work, among others, 
is cry'd for fale by a ballad-man. " The Seven Wife Men of 
Gotham; a Hundred Me ny Tale s ; Scoggin's Jefts, &c." 
Again, in the Nice Valour, &c. by B. and Fletcher : 

" the Almanacs, 

" The Hundred Novels, and the Books of Cookery." 
Of this collection there are frequent entries in the regifter of the 
Stationers' Company. The fnit I met with was in Jan. i $81. 


5 his gift is in devifng impoffs.blej?axders :] We {hould read impaf- 
fibk, i. e. flanciers fo ill invented, that they will pafs upon no body. 


Impojjible ilanders are, I fuppofe, fuch (landers as, from their 
abfurdity and impoffibility, bring their own confutation with them. 


6 his 'villainy ;] By which (he means his malice and impiety. 
By his impious jefts, {he infinuates, he pleafed libertines ; and by 
bis devifingjlancters of them, he angered them. WAR EUR TON. 



laugh at him, and beat him : I am fure, he is in the 
fleet ; I would he had boarded me. 

Bene. When I know the gentleman, I'll tell him 
what you fay. 

Beat. Do, do : he'll but break a companion or 
two on me ; which, peradventure, not mark'd, or not 
laugh'd at, ftrikes him into melancholy ; and then 
there's a partridge wing fav'd, for the fool will eat no 
iiipper that night. We mult follow the leaders. 

[Mufick within. 

Bene. In every good thing. 

Beat. Nay, if they lead to any ill, I will leave them 
at the next turning. 

Manent John^ Borachio, and Claudia. 

John. Sure, my brother is amorous on Hero, and 
hath withdrawn her father to break with him about 
it : The ladies follow her, and but one vifor remains. 

Bora. And that is Claudio : I know, him by his 
bearing 7 . 

John. Are you not fignior Benedick ? 

Claud. You know me well ; I am he. 

John. Signior, you are very near my brother in his 
love : he is enamour'd on Hero ; I pray you, diiTuade 
him from her, Ihe is no equal for his birth : you may 
do the part of an honeft man in it. 

Claud. How know you he loves her ? 

John. I heard him fwear his affedtioo, 

Bora. So did I too ; and he fwore he would marry 
her to-night. 

John. Come, let us to the banquet. 

\_Exei4nt John and Bora. 

Claud. Thus anfwer I in name of Benedick, 
But hear thefe ill news with the ears of Claudio. 

7 bis bearing.] i.e. his carriage, his demeanour. So in 

Meafurefor Meafure : 

'* How I may formally in perfon bear me." STEEVENS. 

T 4 'Tis 

280 M U C H A D O 

*Tis certain fo : the prince wooes for himfelf. 

Friendfhip is conftant in all other things, 

Save in the office and affairs of love : 

Therefore, all hearts in love ufe their own tongues ; 

Let every eye negotiate for itfelf, 

And truft no agent : for beauty is a witch 8 , 

Againft whofe charms faith melteth into blood. 

This is an accident of hourly proof, 

Which I miftrufted not : Farewell therefore, Hero ! 

Re-enter Benedick. 

Bene. Count Claudio ? 

Claud. Yea, the fame. 

JBene. Come, will you go with me ? 

Claud. Whither ? 

Bene. Even to the next willow, about your own 
bufinefs, count. What faihion will you wear the 
garland of? About your neck, like an ufurer's 
chain 9 ? or under your arm, like a lieutenant's fcarf ? 
You muft wear it one way, for the prince hath got 
your Hero. 

Claud. I wifh him joy of her. 

Bene. Why, that's fpoken like an honeft drover ; 
fo they fell bullocks. But did you think, the prince 
would have ferv'd you thus ? 

8 %eauty is a <vjitcb y 

dgainft whofe charms faith meltetb into llood.~\ 
I.e. as wax when oppofed to the fire kindled by a witch, no 
longer preferves the figure of the perfon whom it was defigned 
to reprefent, but flows into a (hapelefs lump ; fo fidelity, when 
confronted with beauty, diflblves into our ruling paffion, and is 
loft there like a drop or water in the fea. STEEVENS. 

9 usurer's chain ?] I know not whether the chain was, in our 
authour's time, the common ornament of wealthy citizens, or whe- 
ther he fatirically ufes ufurer and alderman as fynonymous terms. 


Ufury feems about this time to have been a common topic of 
inve&ive. I have three or four dialogues, pafquils, and difcourfes 
on the fubjeft, printed before the year 1600. From every one of 
thefe it appears, that the merchants were the chief ufurers of the 



Claud. I pray you leave me. 

Bene. Ho ! now you ftrike like the blind man ; 
'twas the boy that flole your meat, and you'll beat 
the poft. 

Claud. If it will not be, I'll leave you. [Exit. 

Bene. Alas, poor hurt fowl ! Now will he creep 

into fedges. But, that my lady Beatrice fliould 

know me, and not know me ! The prince's fool ! 
Ha ? it may be, I go under that title, becaufe I am 
merry. Yea ; but lo ; I am apt to do myfelf wrong: 
I am not fo reputed : ' it is the bale, though bitter 
difpoiition of Beatrice, that puts the world into her 
peribn, and fo gives me out. Well, I'll be reveng'd 
as I mayr. 

Re-enter Don Pedro. 

Pedro. Now, fignior, where 's the count ? Did you 
fee him ? 

Bene. Troth, my lord, I have play'd the part of 
lady Fame. I found him here as melancholy as a 
lodge in a warren * ; I told him, and, I think, I told 
him true, that your grace had got the good will of this 
young lady 3 ; and I offered him my company to a 


1 it is the bafe, though litter , difpojition of Beatrice, who puts the 
world into her perfon,~\ That is, It is the difpojition of Beatrice, 
ivbo takes upon her to pcrfonate the world, and therefore reprefcnts 
the world as faying what Jhe only fays herfclf. 

Safe, though bitter. I do not underftand how lafc and bitter are 
inconfilient, or why what is litter fhould not be baft. I believe, 
we may lately read, // is the bafe, the bitter difpofition. JOHNSON. 

The bnj'e though bitter, may mean the ill-natured though witty. 


* as melancholy as a lodge in a warren ;] A parallel thought oc- 
curs in the firft chapter of Ifaiah, where the prophet, defcribing 
the defolation of Judah, fays : " The daughter of Zion is left 
as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers, 
&c." I am informed, that near Aleppo, thefe lonely buildings are 
{till made ufe of, it being neceffary, that the fields where water- 
melon?, cucumbers, &c. are railed, ftiould be regularly watched. 


3 of this young lady;~\ Benedick fpeaks of Hero as if fhe were on 


282, M U C H A D O 

willow tree, either to make him a garland, as being 
forfaken, or to bind him up a rod, as being worthy 
to be whipt. 

Pedro. To be whipt ! What's his fault ? 

Bene. The flat tranfgreffion of a fchool-boy ; who, 
being overjoy'd with finding a bird's nefl, {hews it 
his companion, and he {teals it. 

Pedro. Wilt thou make a truft a tranfgreffion ? The 
tranfgreffion is in the Healer. 

Bene. Yet it had not been amifs, the rod had been 
made, and the garland too ; for the garland he might 
have worn himfelf ; and the rod he might have be- 
ftow'd on you, who, as I take it, have ftol'n his bird's 

Pedro. I will but teach them to fing, and reftore 
them to the owner. 

Bene. If their finging anfwer your faying, by my 
faith, you fay honeftly. 

Pedro. The lady Beatrice hath a quarrel to yon ; 
the gentleman, that danc'd with her, told her, fhe is 
much wrong'd by you. 

Bene. O, me mifus'd me paft the endurance of a 
block ; an oak, but with one green leaf on it, would 
have anfwer'd her ; my very vifor began to affume 
life and fcold with her : She told me, not thinking I 
had been myfelf, that I was the prince's jefter; and 
that I was duller than a great thaw ; huddling jeft 
uponjeft, with 4 fuchimpoffible conveyance, uponme, 


the ftage. Perhaps, both fne and Leonato, were meant to make 
their entrance with Don Pedro. When Beatrice enters, (he is 
Ipoken of as coming in with only Claudio. STEEVENS. 

4 fuch impoffible conveyance^ We fhould read i?npajjal)le. A 
term taken from fencing, when the ftrokes are fo fwift and repeat- 
ed, as not to be parried or puffed oft". WAR BUR TON. 

I know not what to propofe. Impoffible ieems to have no mean- 
ing here, and for impajjhble I have not found any authority. Spen- 
fer ufes the word importable in a fenfe very congruous to this paf- 
(uge, for infupf or 'table , or not to Icfujlaincd: 

" Both 

A B O U T N O T H I N G. 2*3 

that I flood like a man at a mark, with a whole army 
ihooting at me : She fpeaks poniards, and every 
word ftabs : if her breath were as terrible as her ter- 
minations, there were no living near her, Ihe Would 
infedt to the north ftar. I would not marry her, 
though Ihe were endowed with all that Adam had 
left him before he tranfgrefs'd : ihe would have made 
Hercules have turn'd fpit ; yea, and have cleft his 
club to make the fire too. Come, talk not of her ; 
you {hall find her the 5 infernal Ate in good apparel. 
I would to God, fome fcholar would conjure her : 
for, certainly, while fhe is here, a man may live 
as quiet in hell, as in a fancluary ; and people fin 
upon purpofe, becaufe they would go thither : fo, 

" Both him charge on either Jide, 
" With hideous Jtrokes and importable power, 

" Which forced him his ground to traverfe -wide" 
It may be eafily imagined, that the tranfcribers would change 
a word Ib unufual, into that word moft like it, which they could 
readily find. It mull be however confefled, that importable ap- 
pears harlh to our ears, and I \vi(h a happier critick may find a 
better word. 

Sir Tho. Hanmer reads impetuous, which will ferve the pur- 
pofe well enough, but it is not likely to have been changed to 

Importable was a word not peculiar to Spenfer, but ufed by the 
laft tranflators of the Apocrypha, and therefore fuch a word as 
Shakefpeare may be fuppofed to have written. JOHNSON*. 

Importable is very otten ufed by Lidgate in his Prologue to the 
trantlation of The Tragedies gathered by Ihon Bochas, &c. as 
well as by Holinftied. 

Impojjible may be licentioufly ufed for unaccountable. Beatrice 
has already faid, that Benedick invents impojjible llanders. 
So, in The Fair Maid of the Inn, by B. and Fletcher : 

" You would look for fome moil impcjible antick." 
Again, in The Roman AElor, by Maffinger : 

" to lofe 

*' Ourfelves, by building on impojfible hopes." 


5 the Infernal Ate in good apparel. ~\ This is a pleafant allulion 
to the cuftom of ancient poets and painters, who reprefent the 
furies in rags. WARBURTOX. 

Ate is not one of the furies, but the goddefs of revenge. 



284 M U C H A D O 

indeed, all difquiet, horror, and perturbation follow 

Enter Claudio, B.eatrke^ Leonafo, and Hero. 

Pedro. Look, here fhe comes. 

Bene. Will your grace command me any fervice to 
the world's end ? I will go on the flighted errand now 
to the Antipodes, that you can devife to fend me on ; 
I will fetch you a tooth-picker now from the fartheft 
inch of Afia ; bring you the length of Prefter John's 
foot ; fetch you a hair off the great Cham's beard 6 ; 
do you any embaflage to the Pigmies, rather than 
hold three words conference with this harpy : You 
have no employment for me ? 

Pedro. None, but to defire your good company. 

Bene . O God, fir, here's a dilh I love not ; I can- 
not endure my lady Tongue 7 . 

Pedro. Come, lady, come ; you have loft the heart 
of fignior Benedick. 

Beat. Indeed, my lord, he lent it me a while ; and 
I gave him ufe for it, a double heart for a fingle one : 
marry, once before he won it of me with falfe dice, 
therefore your grace may well fay, I have loft it. 

Pedro. You have put him down, lady, you have 
put him down. 

Beat. So I would not he Ihould do me, my lord, 
left I Ihould prove the mother of fools. I have 
brought count Claudio, whom you fent me to feek. 

6 bring you the length of Prejlcr John 's foot : fetch you a hair off 
the great Cham's beard :~\ i. e. I will undertake the hardeft tafk, 
rather than have any converfation with lady Beatrice. Al- 
luding to the difficulty of accefs to either of thofe monarchs, but 
more particularly to the former. 

So Cartwright, in his comedy call'd Tie Sirge, or Love's Con- 
vert, 1641 : 

" bid me take the Parthian king by the beard : or draw 

an eye-tooth from the jaw royal of the reriian monarch." 


7 i my lady Tongue. ,] Thus the quarto 1600. The folio 
reads this lady tongue. STEEVENS. 


A B O U T N O T H I N G. 285 

Pedro. Why, how now, count ? wherefore are you 

Claud. Not fad, my lord. 

Pedro. How then ? Sick ? 

Claud. Neither, my lord. 

Beat. The count is neither fad, nor fide, nor 
merry, nor well : but civil, count ; civil as an 
orange, and fomething of that jealous complexion 8 . 

Pedro, rfaith, lady, I think your blazon to be 
true ; though, I'll be fworn, if he be fo, his conceit 
is falfe. Here, Claudio, I have wooed in thy name, 
and fair Hero is won ; I have broke with her father, 
and his good will obtained : name the day of mar- 
riage, and God give thee joy ! 

Leon. Count, take of me my daughter, and with 
her my fortunes : his grace hath made the match, 
and all grace fay Amen to it ! 

Beat. Speak, count, 'tis your cue. 

Claud. Silence is the perfedteft herald of joy : I 
were but little happy, if I could fay how much. 
Lady, as you are mine, I am yours : I give away 
myfelf for you, and doat upon the exchange. 

Beat. Speak, coufin ; or, if you cannot, flop his 
mouth with a kifs, and let him not fpeak neither. 

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

Beat. Yea, my lord ; I thank it, poor fool, it 
keeps on the windy fide of care : My coufin tells him 
in his ear, that he is in her heart. 

Claud. And fo fhe doth, coufin. 

Beat. Good lord, for alliance ! 9 Thus goes every 


8 of that jealous complexion.'] Thus the quarto 1600. The folio 
reads, of a. jealous complexion. STEEVENS. 

9 Thus goes every one to the ivorlti but /, and I am f tin-burn 1 'd ;] 
What is it, to go to the world? perhaps, to enter by marriage into 
a fettled date ; but why is the unmarry'd \iAy fitH-d*r*i~t I believe 
we fliould read, Thus goes every one to the wood but 7, and I am 

fun-burnt. Thus does every one but I find a fhelter, and I am 
left expofed to wind and/. The near eft way to the wood, is a 


286 M U C H A D O 

one to the world but I, and I am fun-burn'd ; I may 
fit in a corner, and cry, heigh ho ! for a hufband. 
Pedro. Lady Beatrice, I will get you one. 
Beat. I would rather have one of your father's get- 
ting : Hath your grace ne'er a brother like you ? 
Your father got excellent hufbands, if a maid could 
come by them. 

Pedro. Will you have me, lady ? 
Beat. No, my lord, unlefs I might have another 
for working days ; your grace is too coftly to wear 
every day : But, I befeech your grace, pardon me ; 
I was born to fpeak all mirth, and no matter. 

Pedro. Your filence moft offends me, and to be 
merry beft becomes you ; for, out of queftion, you 
were born in a merry hour. 

Beat. No, fure, my lord, my mother cry'd ; but 
then there was a ftar danc'd, and under that I was 
born. Coufins, God give you joy. 

Leon. Niece, will you look to thofe things I told 
you of ? 

Beat. I cry you mercy, uncle. By your grace's 
pardon. [Exit Beatrice. 

Pedro. By my troth, a pleafant-fpirited lady. 
Leon. There's little of the melancholy element in 
her, my lord : ihe is never fad, but when Ihe fleeps ; 
and not ever fad then ; for I have heard my daugh- 
ter fay, 9 fhe hath often dream'd of unhappinefs, 
and wak'd herfelf with laughing. 


phrafe for the readieft means to any end. It is faid of a woman, 
who accepts a worfe match than thofe which (he had refilled, that 
fhe has palled through the wood, and at lafl taken a crooked flick. 
But conjectural criticifm has always fomething to abate its confi- 
dence. Shakefpeare, in All's well that Ends TLY//, ufes the phraCe, 
to go to the world) for marriage. So that my emendation depends 
only on the oppofition of wood to fun-burnt. JOHNSO.V. 

I amftin-burnt may mean, I have loll my beauty, and am con- 
fequently no longer fuch an object as can tempt a man to marry. 


9 Jhf hath often dream' 'd i>f unbappinefs,] So all the editions ; 



Pedro. She cannot endure to hear tell of a hufband. 

Leon. O, by no means ; fhe mocks all her wooers 
out of fuit. 

Pedro. She were an excellent wife for Benedick. 

Leon. O Lord, my lord, if they were but a week 
marry'd, they would talk themfclves mad. 

Pedro. Count Claudio, when mean you to go to 
church ? 

Claud. To-morrow, my lord : Time goes on crutches, 
till love have all his rites. 

Leon. Not till monday, my dear fon, which is hence 
a juft feven-night; and a time too brief too, to have 
all things anfwer my mind. 

Pedro. Come, you ihake the head at fo long a 
breathing ; but, I warrant thee, Claudio, the time 
fliall not go dully by us : I will, in the interim, under- 
take one of Hercules' labours ; which is, ' to bring 


but Mr. Theobaldalters it to, an happinefs, having no conception 
that unhappincfs meant any thing but misfortune, and that, he 
thinks, (he could not laugh at. He had never heard that it figni- 
iied a wild, wanton, unlucky trick. Thus Beaumont and Fletcher, 
in their comedy of the Maid of the Mill : 

*' Mv dreams arc like my thoughts, hone/I and innocent : 

" Tours are unhappy." WARBURTON. 

1 to bring /jgnior Benedick and the lady Beatrice into a mountain of 
tiffclion the one with the other, ~\ A mountain of ajfecl'un -jjith one an- 
other is a ftrange expreffion, yet I know not well how to change it. 
Perhaps it was originally written, to bring Benedick and Beatrice into 
a mooting of affettion ; to bring them not to any more mooting! of 
contention, but to a mooting or converfation of love. This read- 
ing is confirmed by the prepofition with ; a mountain with each 
other, or affcflion with each other, cannot be ufed, but a mooting 
with each other is proper and regular. JOHNSON. 

Uncommon as the word propoled by Dr. Johnfon may appear, it 
is ufed in feveral of the old plays. So in Glapthornes Wit in * 
Conjlablc^ 1639 : 

" one who never 

" Had mooted in the hall, or fecn the revels 

" Kept in the houfe at Chriilmas." 
Again, in the Return from PantajJ'us, 1606 : 

" It is a plain cafe whereon I mooted in our temple." 


288 M U C H A D O 

fignior Benedick, and the lady Beatrice into a moun- 
tain of affection, the one with the other. I would fain 
have it a match ; and I doubt not to fafhion it, if you 
three will but minilter fuch afliftance as I lhall give 
you direction. 

Leon. My lord, I am for you, though it cofl me ten 
nights' watchings. 

Claud. And I, my lord. 

Pedro. And you too, gentle Hero ? 

Hero. I will do any modeft office, my lord, to help 
my coufin to a good hufband. 

Pedro. And Benedick is not the unhopefullefl huf- 
band that I know : thus far I can praife him ; he is 
of a noble drain, of approv'd valour, and confirm'd 
honefty. I will teach you how to humour your cou- 
iin, that Ihe mall fall in love with Benedick : and I, 
with your two helps, will fo practife on Benedick, 
that, in defpight of his quick wit and his queafy 
ilomach, he mail fall in love with Beatrice. If we 
can do this, Cupid is no longer an archer ; his glory 

Again, " at a mooting m our temple." Ibid. 

And yet all that I believe is meant by a mountain of affeRion is, 

a great deal of ajfeftion. 

In one of Stanyhurft's poems, is the following phrafeto denote a 
large quantity of love : 

" Lumps of love promift, nothing performed, &c." 
Again, in the Rencgado, by Maffinger : 

" 'tis but parting with 

" A mountain of vexation." 

Thus in K. Hen. VIII. " zfea of glory." In Hamlet, " afea of 
troubles." Again, in Howel's Hift. of Venice: " though they 
fee mountains of miferies heaped on one's back." Again, in Ba- 
con's Hift of K. Hen. VII. " Perkin fought to corrupt the fer- 
vants to the lieutenant of the tower by mountains of promifes." 
Again, in the Comedy of Errors : " the mountain of mad flefli 
that claims marriage of me." Little can be inferr'd from Shake - 
fpeare's offence againfl grammar. 

Mr. Malone obferves, that " Shakefpeare has many phrafes 
equally harfh. He who would hazard fuch expreffions as ajlorm 
of fortunes, a vale of years, and a tempeft of provocation, would 
not fcruple to write a mountain of affeftion" STEEVENS. 



fhall be ours, for we are the only love-gods. Go in 
with me, and I will tell you my drift. [Exeunf. 


Another' Apartment in Leonato 9 s Houfi. 

Enter Don John and Boracbh. 

John. It is fo ; the count Claudio fliall marry the 
daughter of Leonato. 

Bora. Yea, my lord ; but I can crofs it. 

Jokn. Any bar, any crofs, any impediment will be 
medicinable to me : I am lick in difpleafure to him ; 
and whatfoever conies athwart his affection, ranges 
evenly with mine. Kow canft thou crofs this mar- 
riage ? 

Born. Not honeftly, my lord ; but fo covertly that 
no dilhoneity fhall appear in me. 

John. Shew me briefly how. 

Bora. I think, I told your lordmip, a year fince, 
how much I am in the favour of Margaret, the wait- 
ing gentlewoman to Hero. 

John. I remember. 

Bora. I can, at any unfeafonable inftant of the 
night, appoint her to look out at her lady's chamber- 

John. What life is in that, to be the death of this 
marriage ? 

Bora. The poifon of that lies in you to temper. 
Go you to the prince your brother ; fpare not to tell 
him, that he hath wrong'd his honour in marrying 
the renown'd Claudio, (whofe eftimation do you 
mightily hold up) to a contaminated Hale, fuch a 
one as Hero. 

Jobn. What proof fliall I make of that ? 

Bora. Proof enough to mifufe the prince, to vex 
Claudio, to undo Hero, and kill Leonato : Look 
you for any other ifTue ? 

VOL. II. U John. 

290 M U C H A D Q 

Jobn. Only to defpite them, I will endeavour any 

3 Bora. Go then, find me a meet hour to draw 

3 Bora. Go then, find me a meet hour to draw Don Pedro, and 
the count Claudio, alone; tell them that you kno'M Hero loves me', 
Offer them liiftances, -jjhich foall bear no left likelihood than to fee me 
at her chamber-window hear me call Margaret, Hero ; hear Mar- 
garet term me Chiudio ; and bring them to fee this, the very night be- 
fore the intended wedding.] Thus the whole ftream of the editions 
irom the firft quarto downwards. I am obliged here to give a 
fhort account of the plot depending, that the emendation 1 havfi 
made may appear the more clear and unq-ueftionable. The buii- 
nefs ftands thus : Claudio, a favourite of the Arragon prince, is, 
by his interceffions with her father, to be married to fair Hero ; 
Don John, natural brother of the prince, and a hater of Claudio, 
is in his fpleen zealous to difappoint the match. Borachio, a raf- 
cally dependant on Don John^ offers his affiitance, and engages to 
break off the marriage by this ftratagem. " Tell the prince and 
Claudio (fays he) that Hero is in love with me ; they won't be- 
lieve it : offer them proofs, as, that they {hall fee me converfe with 
her in her chamber-window. I am in the good graces of her 
waiting-woman Margaret ; and I'll prevail with Margaret, at a 
dead hour of night to perfonate her miftrefs Hero : do you then 
bring the prince and Claudio to overhear our difcourfe ; and they 
{hall have the torment to hear me addrefs Margaret by the name 
of Hero ; and her fay fvveet things to me by the name of Clau- 
dio." This is the fubftance of Borachio's device to make Hero 

iulpe&ed of difloyalty, and to break off her match with Claudio. 
But, in the name of common fenfe, could it difpleafe Claudio, 
to hear his miftrefs making ufe of his name tenderly ? If he faw 
another man with her, and heard her call him Claudio, he might 
reafonably think her betrayed, but not have the fame reafon to 
accufe her of difloyalty. Befides, how could her naming Clau- 
dio, make the prince and Claudio believe that (he lov'd Borachio, 
as he defires Don John to infinuate to them that Ihe did ? The 
circumftances weighed, there is no doubt but the paflage ought 
to be reformed, as I have fettled it in the text hear me call Mar* 
garet, Hero ; hear Margaret term me Borachio. THEOBALD. 

I am not convinced that this exchange is neceffary. Clau- 
dio would naturally refent the circumitance of hearing another 
called by his own name ; becaufe, in that cafe, bafenefs of treach- 
ery would appear to be aggravated by wantonnefs of infult : and, 
at the fame time he would imagine the perfon fo diftinguifh'd to 
be Borachio, becaufe Don John was previoully to have informed 
both him and Don Pedro, that Borachio was the favoured lover, 




Don Pedro, and the count Claudio, alone : tell them, 
that you knoxv, Hero loves me ; intend a kind of 
zeal both to the prince and Claudio, as in a love of 
your brother's honour who hath made this match ; 
and his friend's reputation, who is thus like to be co- 
zen'd with the femblance of a maid, that you have 
difcover'd thus. They will fcarcely believe this with- 
out trial : offer them inftances ; which fhall bear no 
lefs likelihood, than to fee me at her chamber-win- 
dow ; hear me call Margaret, Hero ; hear Margaret 
term me Claudio ; and bring them to fee this, the 
very night before the intended wedding : for, in 
the mean time, I will fo fafhion the matter, that 
Hero fhall be abfent ; and there fhall appear fuch 
feeming truth of Hero's difloyalty, that jealoufy 
fhall be call'd affurance, and all the preparation over- 

John. Grow this to what adverfe iffue it can, I will 
put it in practice : Be cunning in the working this, 
and thy fee is a thoufand ducats. 

Bora. Be thou conftant in the accufation, and my 
cunning fhall not fhame me. 

'John. I will prefently go learn their day of mar- 
riage. [Exeunt. 


Leonato's Orchard. 
Enter Benedick and a Boy. 

Bme. Boy, 

Boy. Signior. 

Be/ie. In my chamber-window lies a book y bring 
it hither to me in the orchard. 

Boy. I am here already, fir. 

Bene. I know that ; but I would have thee henco, 

and here again. [Exit Boy.~\ I do much won-der, 

that one man, feeing how much another man is a fool 

when he dedicates his behaviours to love, will, after 

U ^ he 

292 M U C H A D O 

he hath laugh'd at iuch fliallow follies in others, be- 
come the argument of his own fcorn, by falling in 
love : And fuch a man is Claudio. I have known, 
when there was no mufick with him but the drum 
and the fife ; and now had he rather hear the tabor 
and the pipe : I have known, when he would have 
vvalk'd ten mile afoot, to fee a good armour ; and 
now will he lye ten nights awake,, carving the fafhion 
of a new doublet 4 . He was wont to fpeak plain, and 
to the purpofe y like an honefl man, and a foldicr ; 
and now is he turn'd orthographer 5 ; his words are a 
very fantaftical banquet, juil fo many ftrange difhes. 
May I be fo converted, and fee with thefe eyes ? I 
cannot tell ; I think not i I will not be fworn, but 
love may transform me to an oyfter ; but I'll take 
my oath on it, till he have made an oyfter of me, he 
fliall never make me fuch a fool. One woman is fair ; 
yet I am well : another is wife ; yet I am well : an- 
other virtuous ; yet I am well : but till all graces be 
in one woman, one woman fliall not come in my 

frace^ Rich fhe fliall be, that's certain ; wife, or 
'11 none ; virtuous, or I'll never cheapen her ; fair, 
or I'll never look on her ; mild, or come not near 
me ; noble, or not I for an angel ; of good difcourfe, 
an excellent mufician, and her hair fliall be of what 
colour it pleafe God 6 . Ha ! the prince and monfieur 
Love ! I will hide me in the arbour. [Withdraws. 


* carving the faftnon of a. new doublet C\ This folly r focon- 

fpicuous in the gallants of former ages, is laughed at by all our 
comic writers. So in Greene's Farewell to Folly, 1617: " Wer 
are almoft as fantaftic as the Englifh gentleman that is painted 
naked, with a pair of flieers in his hand, as not being refolved 
after what faftion to have his coat cut." STEEVENS. 

5 orthographer. ] The old copies read orthography. 


6 and her hair Jball be of what colour it pleafe &c.] Perhaps 
^Benedick alludes to a fafhion, very common in the time of Shake - 
fpe.tre, that or flying the hair. 

in his Anatomy of Aktfcs^ 1595, fpeaRing of the at- 


Enter Don Pedro, Leonato^ Claudio> and Balthazar. 

Pedro. Come, lhall we hear this mufick ? 

Claud. Yea, my good lord : How ftill the even- 
ing is, 
As hufh'd on purpofe to grace harmony ! 

Pedro. See you where Benedick hath hid himfelf ? 

Claud. O very well, my lord : the mufick ended, 
We'll fit the kid-fox 7 with a penny-worth. 

Pedro. Come, Balthazar, we'll hear that fong again. 

Baltb. O good my lord, tax not fo bad a voice 
'To flander mufick any more than once. 

Pedro. It is the witnefs {till of excellency, 
To put a ftrange face on his own perfection -: 
I pray .thee, fing, and let me woo no more. 

Balth+ -Becaufe you talk of wooing, I will fing : 
'Since many a wooer doth commence his fuit 
To her he thinks not worthy ; yet he wooes ; 
Yet will he fwear, he loves. 

tires of women's heads, fays : " If any have baire of her owne y 
?iaturall growing, which is not fair eynough, then -tiv// they die // in 
divers collours. S TEE v E N s . 

7 Pedro. See where Benedick hath hid himfelf f 
Claudia. I'ery well, my lord: the mufick ended, we'll fit the kid- 
fox with a penny-worth,} i.e. \ve will be even with the fox now 
tiifcovered. So the word /,/, or kidde, fignifies in Chaucer : 
The fothfaftnds that now is hid, 
Without coverture (hall be kid 
When J undoen rhave this dremkig."' 

Romaunt of the Rflfe, 21 71, &c. 
Perceiv'd or fhew'd. 
He kitMi' anon his bone was not broken." 

Troilus and Crejfeide^ lib. i. 208. 
With that anon fterte out daungere, 
' Out of the place where he was hidde ; 
' His malice in his cheere was klddc" 

Romaunt of the Rofe, 2130. 


It is not impoffible but that Shakefpeare chofe on this occaium 
to employ an antiquated word ; and yet if any future editor 
{hould chufe to read hid fox, he may obferve that Hamlet has 
fhid ' Hide fox and all after." STEEVENS. 

U 3 Pedro. 

294 M U C H A D O 

Pedro. Nay, pray thce, come : 
Or, if thou wilt hold longer argument, 
Do it in notes. 

Balth. Note this before my notes, 
There's not a note of mine, that's worth the noting. 

Pedro. Why thefe are very crotchets that he fpeaks ; 
Note, notes, forfooth, and noting ! 

Bene. Now, Divine air ! now is his foul ravilh'd ! 
Is it not flrange, that iheeps guts mould hale fouls 
out of men's bodies ? Well, a horn for my money, 
when all's done, 


Sigh no more, ladies, figh no more, 

Men were deceivers ever ; 
One foot in fea, and one on JJoore ; 
To one thing conjlant never : 
Then jigh not jb, 
But let them go, 
And be you blith and bonny ; 
Converting all your founds of woe 
Into, Hey nonny, nonny. 

Sing no more ditties, fing no mo 
Of dumps fo dull and heavy ; 
The frauds of men ivere ever fo, 
' Since J'ummer firjl was leavy. 
Then figh not fo, &c. 

Pedro. By my troth, a good fong. 

Balth. And an ill finger, my lord. 

Pedro. Ha ? no ; no, faith ; thou fing'ft well 
enough for a fhift. 

Eene. [Afide.~] An he had been a dog, that mould 
have howl'd thus, they would have hang'd him : and, 
I pray God, his bad voice bode no mifchief ! I had 
as lief have heard the night-raven, come what plague 
could have come after it. 


A B O U T N O T H I N G. 295 

Pedro. Yea, marry ; Doft thou hear, Balthazar ? 
I pray thee, get us Ibme excellent mufick ; for to- 
morrow night we would have it at the lady Hero's 

Balth. The heft I can, my lord. [Exit Balthazar. 

Pedro. Do fo : farewell. Come hither, Leonato ; 
What wac it you told me of to-day, that your niece 
Beatrice was in love with fignior Benedick ? 

Claud. O, ay; Stalk on, (talk on, the fowl fits 8 . 
[Afide to Pedro?] I did never think that lady would 
have loved any man. 

Leon. No, nor I neither; but moft wonderful, 
that me mould fo dote on iignior Benedick, whom 
me hath in all outward behaviours fcem'd ever to 

Bene. Is't poffible ? Sits the wind in that corner? 


Leon. By my troth, my lord, I cannot tell what to 
think of it, 9 but that me loves him with an enraged 
affection : it is pail the infinite of thought. 


8 Stalk on, ftalk on, the fowl Jits.] This is an allufion to 

Thzjlalking-horfe; a horfe either real of factitious, by which the 
fowler anciently fhelter'd himfelf from the fight of the game. 
So, in the Honeft La^vyer, 1 6 1 6 : 

** Lye there thou happy warranted cafe 
" Of any villain. Thou halt been my Jialking-borfc 
" N9W thefe ten months." 
Again, in the 2jth Song of Prayton*s Polyolbin : 

" One underneath his horfg to get a .{hoot doth _/&*/." 
Again, in his Mufes Elvfium : 

** Then underneath my hcyfe, I jJelk my game to 

ftrike." STEEVENS. 

Stalk on, Jlalk on,] A metaphor takijig from the praftic-e of 
fiiooting with a ftalking-horfe. The meaning is, Let us fte,*l 
nearer, that we may take the fure.r aim, SIR J. HAWKINS.. 

9 but, thatjbc love* hhn, =ivith an enraged ajfcclifin, it if .pa ft &e 
in/iuite of thought.] It is impoffible to make ienie and grammar of 
this 1'peech. And the reafon is, that the two beginnings of" two 
.different fentences are jumbled together sn.d made one. For- 
tiit that Jhe loves him -jjitb an inrag ed affetlion is only part of a 
fentence which mould conclude thus, n mojl certain. But a new 
U 4 idea 

2 9 6 M U C H A D O 

Pedro* May be, fhe doth but counterfeit. 

Claud. Faith, like enough. 

Leon. O God ! counterfeit ! There never was coun- 
terfeit of paflion came fo near the life of paffion, as fhc 
difcovers it. 

Pedro. Why, what effects of paffion fhews fhe ? 

Claud. Bait the hook well; this fifti will bite. 


"Leon. What effects, my lord ! She will fit you,- 
You heard my daughter tell you how. 

Claud. She did, indeed. 

Pedro. How, how, I pray you ? You amaze me : 
I would have thought her fpirit had been invincible 
againft all aflaults of affection. 

Leon. I would have fworn it had my lord ; efpeci- 
ally againft Benedick. 

Bene. [_Afide.~] I ihould think this a gull, but that 
the white-bearded fellow fpeaks it : knavery can- 
not, fure, hide himfelf in fuch reverence. 

idea finking the fpeaker, he leaves this fentence unfinifhed, and 
turns to another, // is paft the infinite of thought which is like- 
wife left unfinifhed ; for it fhould conclude thus to fay bow great 
that affection is. Thefe broken disjointed fentences are ufual in 
converfation. However there is one word wrong, which yet per- 
plexes the fenfe, and that is infinite. Human thought cannot 
furely be called infinite with any kind of figurative propriety. I 
fuppofe the true reading was definite. This makes the paflage in- 
telligible. It is paft the definite of thought i. e. it cannot be de- 
fined or conceived how great that affection is. Shakefpeare ufes 
the word again in the fame fenfe in Cymbeline : 

" For ideots, in this cafe of favour, ivould 

" JBe wifely definite. " 

i. e. could tell how to pronounce or determine in the cafe. 


Here are difficulties raifed only to {hew how eafily they can be 
removed. The plain fenfe is, I know not what to think othervvife, 
lut thatjhe loves him with an enraged affeSlion : It (this affection) 
is paft the infinite of thought. Here are no abrupt flops, or im- 
perfect fentences. Infinite may well enough (land 5 it is ufed by 
more careful writers for indefinite: and the fpeaker only means, 
that thought^ though in itfelf unbounded^ cannot reach oreftimate 
the degree of her paffion. JOHNSON. 



Claud. He hath ta'cn the infe&ion ; hold it up. 

Pedro. Hath fhe made her afFedtion known to Be- 
nedick ? 

Leon. No ; and fwears Ihe never will : that's her 

Claud. Tis true, indeed ; fo your daughter fays : 
Shall 7, fays fhe, that have fo oft encountered him with 
fcorn^ wife fo him that I love him ? 

Leon. This fays fhe now when fhe is beginning to 
\vrite to him : for fhe'll be up twenty times a night ; 
and there Ihe will fit in her fmock, 'till fhe have writ 
a fheet of paper : my daughter tells us all. 

Claud. Now you talk of a fheet of paper, I remem- 
ber a pretty jeft your daughter told us of. 

Leon. Oh, When fhe had writ it, and was read- 
ing it over, fhe found Benedick and Beatrice between 
the fheet ? 

Claud. That. 

Leon. ' O, fhe tore the letter into a thoufand half- 
pence ; rail'd at herfelf, that fhe fhould be fo immo- 
deft to write to one that fhe knew would flout 
her : / meafure him, fays fhe, by my own jpirit ; for, I 

1 O, Jbe tore the letter into a thoufand half-pence ;] i. e. into a 
thoufand pieces of the fame biguefs. This is farther explained 
by a paffage in- As Ton Like It : 

- " There <wtre none principal; thcyjcere all like one another 
as half-pence are." 

In both places the poet alludes to the old filver penny, which 
had a creafe running cro/i-wlfe over it, fo that it might be broke 
into two or four equal pieces, half-pence, or farthings. 


How the quotation explains the paflage, to which it is applied, 
I cannot difcover. JOHNSON. 

A farthing^ and perhaps a halfpenny ', was ufed to fignify any 
fmall particle or diviiion. So, in the character of the Priorcfs in 
Chaucer : 

* That in hire cuppe was no fertblng fene 
" Of grefe, whan fhe dronken hadde hire draught." 
Prol. to the Cant. Talcs, late edit. v. 135. STEEVENS. 


2 9 S . M U C H A D O 

Jhould flout him, if he writ to me ; yea, though I love him, 
I Jhould. 

Claud. Then down upon her knees ihe falls, weeps, 
fabs, beats her heart, tears her hair, prays, curfes ; 
O fisoeet Benedick ! God give me patience ! 

Leon. She doth indeed ; my daughter fays fo : and 
the ecftacy hath fo much overborne her, that my 
daughter is fometime afraid ihe will do defperate 
outrage to herfelf ; It is very true. 

Pedro. It were good, that Benedick knew of it by 
fome other, if Ihe will not difcover it. 

Claud. To what end ? He would but make a fport 
of it, and torment the poor lady worfe. 

Pedro. An he ihould, it were an alms to hang, him : 
She's an excellent fweet lady ; and, out of all fufpl- 
cion, ihe is virtuous, 

Claud. And ihe is exceeding wife. 

Pedro. In every thing, but in loving Benedick, 

Leon. O my lord, wifdoin and blood combating in 
fo tender a body, we have ten proofs to one, that 
blood hath the victory. I am forry for her, as I have 
juft caufe, being her uncle and her guardian. 

Pedro.. I would, ihe had beilow'd this dotage on 
me ; I would have daff'd z all other refpedts, and made 
her half myfelf j I pray you, tell Benedick of it, and 
hear what he will fay. 

Leon. Were it good think you ? 

Claud. Hero thinks furely, ihe will .die : for ilie 
fays, ihe will die if he love her not ; and ihe will die 
ere ihe make her love known ; and ihe will die if lue 
woo her, rather than ihe will bate one breath of her 
accuftom'd croilhei&. 

Pedro. She doth well : if ihe ihould make'tender 
of her love, 'tis very poflible, he'll fcorn it ; for the 

* have daff'd ] To J aff is the fame as to dojf, to do 

off^ to put afide. So, in Macbeth; 

" to doff their dire diflreifes/' S TEE YENS,. 



man, as you know all, hath a contemptible {pi- 
nt i. 

Claud. He is a very proper man. 

Pedro. He hath, indeed, a good outward happi- 

Claud. 'Fore God, and in my mind, very wife. 

Pedro. He doth, indeed, Ihew fome fparks that are 
like wit. 

Leon. And I take him to be valiant. 

Pedro. As Hector, I allure you : and in the ma- 
naging of quarrels you may fay he is wife ; for either 
he avoids them with great difcretion, or undertakes 
them with a chriftian-like fear. 

Leon. If he do fear God, he muft necefiarily keep 
peace ; if he break the peace, he ought to enter into 
a quarrel with fear and trembling. 

Pedro. And fo will he do ; for the man doth fear 
God, howfoever it feems not in him, by fome large 
jells he will make. Well, I am forry for your niece : 
Shall we go feek Benedick, and tell him of her love ? 

Claud. Never tell him, my lord ; let her wear it out 
with good counfel. 

Leon. Nay, that's impoffible ; ihe may wear her 
heart out firft. 

Pedro. Well, we will hear further of it by your 
daughter ; let it cool the while. I love Benedick 

3 contemptible fpir it.] That is, a temper inclined to fcorn and 
contempt. It has been before remarked, that our author ufes his 
verbal adjectives with great licence. There is therefore no need 
of changing the word with fir T. Hanmer to contemptuous. 


In the argument to Darius^ a tragedy, by lord Sterline, 1605, 
it is faid, that Darius wrote to Alexander " in a proud and con- 
temptible manner." In this place contemptible certainly means 

Again, Drayton, in the 24 th Song of his Polycttion^ fpeaking 
in praife of a hermit, fays, that he, 

*' The mad tumultuous world contemptibly forfook, 
" And to his quiet cell by Crowland him betook." 


well ; 

M U C H A D O 

well ; and I could wifh he would modeftly examine 
himfelf, to fee how much he is unworthy to have fo 
good a lady. 

Leon. My lord, will you walk ? dinner is ready. 

Claud. If he do not dote on her upon this, I will 
never truft my expectation. [jffidc. 

Pedro. Let there be the fame net fpread for her, 
and that muft your daughter and her gentlewomen 
carry. The fport will be, when they hold an opinion 
of one another's dotage, and no fuch matter ; that's 
the fcene that I would fee, which will be meerly a 
dumb fliow. Let us fend her to call him to dinner. 

[Afide] [Exeunt* 

Benedick advances from ihe arbour. 

Sene. This can be no trick : The conference was 
fadly borne l . They have the truth of this from 
Hero. They feem to pity the Jady ; it feeEis, her 
affections have the full bent. Love me ! why, it 
muft be requited. I hear how I am cenfur'd : they 
fay, I will bear myfelf proudly, if I perceive the love 
come from her ; they fay too, that Ihe will rather die 
than give any fign of affection. I did never think to 
marry : J muft not feem proud : happy are they 
that hear their detractions, and can put them to 
mending. They fay, the lady is fair ; 'tis a truth, I 
can bear them witnefs : and virtuous ; 'tis fo, I 
cannot reprove it : and wife but for loving me : 
By my troth, it is no addition to her wit ; nor no 
great argument of her folly, for I will be horribly in 
iove with her. I may chance have fome odd quirks 

* was fadly lorne."} i.e. was ferioufly carried on. So in Whet- 
bone's Promos and CaJJandra, i 578 : 

" The king feigneth to talk/u#y with fome of his counfel." 

So, in the Wife Woman of Hngfdon, 1638 : 

" Marry, fir knight, I faw them \nfaJ talk, but to fay they 
were directly whifperhig, &c." 




and remnants of wit broken on me, becaufe I have 
rail'd fo long againft marriage : But doth not the ap- 
petite alter ? A man loves the meat in his youth, that 
he cannot endure in his age : Shall quips, and fen- 
tences, and theie paper bullets of the brain, awe a man 
from the career of his humour ? No : The world muft 
be peopled. When I laid, I would die a batchelor, I 
did not think I mould live till I were marry'd. Here 
comes Beatrice : By this day, me's a fair lady : I do 
fpy fome marks of love in her. 

Enter Beatrice. 

Beat. Againft my will, I am fent to bid you come 
in to dinner. 

Rene. Fair Beatrice, I thank you for your pains. 

Beat. I took no more pains for thole thanks, than 
you take pains to thank me ; if it had been painful, I 
would not have come. 

Bene. You take pleafure then in the meffage ? 

Beat. Yea, juft as much as you may take upon a 
knife's point, and choak a daw withal : You have 
no flomach, fignior; fare you well. [Exit. 

Bene. Ha I Againft my will I am fent to bid you come 
in to dinner there's a double meaning in that. / 
took no more pains for tbofe thanks^ than you take pains 
to thank me that's as much as to fay, Any pains that 
I take for you is as eafy as thanks : If I do not take 
pity of her, lama villain ; if I do not love her, I am 
a Jew : I will go get her picture. [Exit. 


302 M U C H A D O 


Continues in the Orchard^ 
Enter Hero, Margaret, and Urfula. 

Hero. Good Margaret, run thee into the parlour J 
There ihalt thou find my coufin Beatrice 
Propofing with the prince and Claudio 5 i 
Whifper her ear, and tell her, I and Urfula 
Walk in the orchard, and our whole difcourfe 
Is all of her ; fay, that thou overheard'ft us ; 
And bid her fteal into the pleached bower, 
Where honey-fuckles, ripen'd by the fun, 
Forbid the fun to enter ; like favourites, 
Made proud by princes, that advance their pride 
Againft that power that bred it : there will fhe hide 


To liften our propofe 6 : This is thy office, 
Bear thee well in it, and leave us alone. 

Marg. I'll make her come, I warrant you, prefently, 


Hero. Now, Urfula, when Beatrice doth come, 
As we do trace this alley up and down, 
Our talk mult only be of Benedick : 
When I do name him, let it be thy part 
To praife him more than ever man did merit : 
My talk to thee muft be, how Benedick 
Is fick in love with Beatrice : Of this matter 
Is little Cupid's crafty arrow made, 
That only wounds by hear-fay. Now begin. 

5 Propofing with the prince and Claudio.] Propofing is converf- 
ing, from the French word Apropos, difcourfe, talk. STEEVENS. 

6 our pro'pofe.] Thus the quarto. The folio reads our 

pwpofe. Propofe is right. See the preceding note. STEEVENS. 



Enter Beatrice^ behind. 


For look where Beatrice, like a lapwing, runs 
Clofe by the ground, to hear our conference. 

Urf. The pleafant'ft angling is to fee the fHk 
Cut with her golden oars the filver ftream, 
And greedily devour the treacherous bait : 
So angle we for Beatrice ; who even now 
Is couched in the woodbine coverture : 
Fear you not my part of the dialogue. 

Hero. Then go we near her, that her ear lofe no- 
Of the falfe fweet bait that we lay for it. 

["They advance to the bower. 
No, truly, Urfula, Ihe is too difdainful; 
I know, her fpirits are as coy and wild 
As haggards of the rock 7 . 

Urf" But are you fure, 
That Benedick loves Beatrice fo entirely ? 

Hero. So fays the prince, and my new-trothed lord ? 

Urf. And did they bid you tell her of it, madam ? 

Hero. They did intreat me to acquaint her of it : 
But I perfuaded them, if they lovM Benedick, 
To with him wreille with affection, 
And never to let Beatrice know of it. 

Urf. Why did you fo ? Doth not the gentleman 

7 as haggards of the rock.] Turlervilc, in his book of Fal- 
conry, i ^75, tells us, that " the haggard doth come from foreign 
parts a llransjer and a paflenger ;" and Latham^ who wrote arter 
him, fays, that " (he keep in fubjection the moft part of all the 
low I that fly, infomuch, that the tafiel gentle, her natural and 
chiefeil companion, dares not come near that coaft where (he 
ufeth, nor fit by the place where fhe itandeth. Such is the great - 
nefs of her fpirit, jhc will not admit of any focicty, until fuch a 
time as nature worketh, &c." So, in The tragical Hifiory of Di- 
daco and Violent a, I s 7 &> : 

*' Perchaunce (lie's not of haggard's kind 

" Nor heart fo hard to bend, &c." STEEVENS. 


3 o 4 M U C H A D O " 

Deferve as full, as fortunate a bed % 
As ever Beatrice fhall couch upon ? 

Hero. O God of love ! I know, he doth deferve 
As much as may be yielded to a man : 
But nature never fram'd a woman's heart 
Of prouder fluff than that of Beatrice : 
Difdain and fcorn ride fparkling in her eyes, 
9 Mifprifmg what they look on ; and her wit 
Values itfelf fo highly, that to her 
All matter elfe feems weak : fhe cannot love, 
Nor take no fhape nor projedt of affedtion, 
She is fo felf-endeared. 

Urf. Sure, I think fo ; 
And therefore, certainly, it were not good 
She knew his love, left Ihe make fport at it. 

Hero. Why, you fpeak truth : I never yet faw man, 
How wife, how noble, young, how rarely featured, 
But flie would fpell him backward l : if fair-fac'd, 
She'd fwear, the gentleman fhould be her fitter ; 

2 If black, why, nature, drawing of an antick, 
Made a foul blot : if tall, a lance ill-headed ; 

3 If low, an aglet very vilely cut : 



8 - as full, feV.] A full bed means a rich wife. So in 
Othello : 

" What -nfull fortune doth the thick-lips owe ? &c." 


9 Mifprijtng - ] Defpifing, contemning. JOHNSON. 
mif prize is to undervalue, or take in a wrong light. STEEVENS. 

1 fpell him backward.] Alluding to the pra&ice of witches 
in uttering prayers. STEEVENS. 

a If black, why, Nature, drawing of an antick, 

Made a foul blot : - ] 

The antick was a buffoon character in the old Englifli farces, with 
a blacked face, and a patch-work habit. What I would obferve 
from hence is, that the name of antick or antique, given to this 
chara&er, ftiews that the people had fome traditional ideas of its 
being borrowed from the ancient mimes, who are thus defcribed 
by Apuleius, " Mimi centunculo, fuligine faciem obducli." 


3 If low, an agat very vilely cut ;] But why an agat^ if low ? 



If fpeaking, why, a vane blown with all winds ; 
If filent, why, a block moved with none. 
So turns fhe every man the wrong fide out ; 
And never gives to truth and virtue, that 
Which fimplenefs and merit purchaieth. 

Urf. Sure, fure, fuch carping is not commendable. 

Hero. No ; not to be fo odd, and from all fafhions, 
As Beatrice is, cannot be commendable : 
But who dare tell her fo ? If I fhould fpeak, 
She'd mock me into air ; O, fhe Would laugh me 
Out of myfelf, prefs me to death with wit. 
Therefore let Benedick, like cover'd fire, 
Confume away in fighs, wafle inwardly : 
Jt were a better death than die with mocks ; 
Which is as bad as die with tickling. 

For what likenefs between a little man and an agat ? The ancients, 
indeed, ufed this ftone to cut upon ; but very exquifitely. I mako 
no queftion but the poet wrote : 

an aglet very viltly cut : 

An aglet was the tag of thofe points, formerly fo much in fafliion, 
Thefe tags were either of gold, filver, or brafs, according to the 
quality of the wearer ; and were commonly in the fliape of little 
images ; or at leaft had a head cut at the extremity. The French 
call them, aiguilkttes. Mezeray, fpeaking of Henry Illd's forrow 
for the death of the princefs of Conti, fays, " portant meme furies 
aiguillettes des petites fetes de mart" And as a tall man is before 
compared to a lance ill-headed ; fo, by the fame figure, a little man 
is very aptly liken'd to an aglet ill-cut. WARBURTOX. 

The old reading is, I believe, the true one. Vilely cut doea 
not mean aukwardly worked by a tool into fhape, but grotefquely 
veined by nature as it grew. To this circumflance, I fuppole* 
Drqyton alludes in his Mufes Elizlum : 

" With th' agate , very oft that is 

" Cutjlrangely in the quarry ; 

" As nature meant to (hew in this 

" How (he herfelf can vary." 

Pliny mentions that the fliapes of various beings are to be dif- 
covered in agates ; and Mr. Addifon has very elegantly compared 
Shakefpeare, who was born with all the feeds of poetry, to the- 
agate in the ring of Pyrrhus, which, as Pliny tells us, had the 
figure of Apollo and the nine Mufes in the veins of it, produced 
by the fpontaneous hand of nature, without any help from art. 


VOL. II. X Urf. 

3 o6 M U C H A D O 

Urf. Yet tell her of it ; hear what ihe will fay; 

Hero. No ; rather I will go to Benedick, 
And counfel him to fight againfl his paflion : 
And, truly, I'll devife fome honeft flanders 
To ftain my coufin with ; On doth not know r 
How much an ill word may empoifon liking. 

Urf. O, do not do your coufirt fuch a wrong* 
She cannot be fo much without true judgment, 
(Having fo fwift and excellent a wit, 
As Ihe is priz'd to have) as to refufe 
So rare a gentleman as fignior Benedick. 

Hero. He is the only man of Italy, 
Always excepted my dear Claudio. 

Urf. I pray you, be not angry with me, madam, 
Speaking my fancy ; iignior Benedick, 
For fhape, for bearing, 4 argument, and valour, 
Goes foremofl in report through Italy. 

Hero. Indeed, he hath an excellent good name. 

Urf. His excellence did earn it, ere he had it. 
When are you marry'd, madam ? 

Hero. Why, every day j to-morrow : Come, go 


I'll Ihew thee fome attires ; and have thy counfel, 
Which is the beft to furnifli me to-morrow. 

Urf. 5 She's lim'd, I warrant you ; we have caught 
her, madam. 

Hero. If it prove fo, then loving goes by haps : 
Some Cupid kills with arrows, fome with traps. 


* argument] This word feems here to fignify difcourfe, 

or, thefowers of reafoning. JOHNSON. 

5 She's linfdi ] She is enfnared and entangled as a fparrow 

with birdlime. JOHNSON. 
So, in the SpaniJ)) Tragedy : 

" Which fweet conceits are tin?d with fly deceits.'* 
The folio reads 1 --She's ttten. STEEVEKS. 



Beatrice advancing. 


Seat. 6 What fire is in mine ears ? Can this be true ? 

Stand I condemn'd for pride and fcorn fo much ? 
Contempt, farewel ! and maiden pride, adieu ! 

No glory lives behind the back of fuch. 
And, Benedick, love on, I will requite thee ; 

Taming my wild heart to thy loving hand 7 ; 
If thou doft love, my kindnefs lhall incite thee 

To bind our loves up in a holy band : 
For others fay, thou dofl deferve ; and I 
Believe it better than reportingly. [Exit. 


Leonato' s Hovfe. 
Enter Don Pedro, Claudia, Benedick, and Leonato. 

Pedro. I do but flay till your marriage be con- 
fummate, and then go I toward Arragon. 

Claud. I'll bring you thither, my lord, if you'll 
vouchfafe me. 

Pedro. Nay, that would be as great a foil in ther 
new glofs of your marriage % as to Ihew a child his 
new coat, and forbid him to wear it. I will only be 
bold with Benedick for his company ; for, from the 
crown of his head to the fole of his foot, he is all 

* WTjatfire is in mine ears? ] Alluding to a proverbial fay- 
ing of the common people, that their ears burn, when others are 
talking of them. WAR BUR TON. 

7 faming my wild heart to thy loving hand\"\ This image is taken 
from falconry. She had been charged with being as wild as hag- 
gards of the rock ; (he therefore fays, that wild as her heart is, foe 
will tqme it to the hand. JOHNSON. 

8 Nay, that would Ic as great a foil in the new glofs of your mar- 
riage, as to (hew a child his new coat, and forbid him to wear it. ] 
So, in Romeo and Juliet : 

" As is the night before fome feftival, 

" To an impatient child, that hath new robes, 

" And may not wear them." STEEVEN'J. 

X 2 mirth; 

3 o3 M U C H A D O 

mirth; he hath twice or thrice cut Cupid's bow- 
firing, and the little hangman dare not moot at him 9 : 
he hath a heart as found as a bell, and his tongue 
is the clapper ; for what his heart thinks, his tongue 
fpeaks 1 . 

Bene. Gallants, I am not as I have been. 

Leon. So fay I ; methinks, you are fadder. 

Claud. I hope, he be in love. 

Pedro. Hang him, truant ; there's no true drop 
of blood in him, to be truly touch'd with love : if 
he be fad, he wants money. 

Bene. I have the tooth-ach. 

Pedro. Draw it. 

Bene. Hang it ! 

Claud. You mull hang it firft, and draw it after- 

Pedro. What ? figh for the tooth-ach ? 

Leon. Where is but a humour, or a worm ? 

Bene. Well, Every one can mailer a grief, but he 
that has it. 

Claud. Yet fay I, he is in love. 

Pedro. * There is no appearance of fancy in him, 
unlefs it be a fancy that he hath to flrange difguifes ; 
as to be a Dutch man to-day ; a French man to-mor- 

the little hangman dare not jloot at him .-] This chara&er of 
Cupid came from the Arcadia of fir Philip Sidney : 

" Millions of yeares this old drivell Cupid lives ; 
" While itill more wretch, more wicked he doth prove: 

" Till now at length that Jove him office gives, 
" (At Juno's iuite who much did Argus love) 
" In this our world a hangman tor to be 
" Or" all thofe fooles that will have all they fee. n 

B. ii. ch. 14. FARMER. 

1 as a lell, and bis tongue is the clapper ; &c.] A covert al~ 
lufion to the old proverb : 

" As the fool thinketh 
" So the bell clinketh." STEEVENS. 

* There is no appearance of fancy csV.] Here is a play upon the 
wordyJwry, which Shakefpeare ufes for love as well as for humour^ 
caprice, or afeftation. JOHNSON. 



row ; or iri the fhape of two countries at once ; as a 
German from the waifl downward, all flops 3 ; and a 
Spaniard from the hip upward, no doublet : Unlefs 
he have a fancy to this foolery, as it appears he hath, 
he is no fool for fancy, as you would have it to ap- 
pear he is. 

Claud. If he be not in love with fome woman, 
there is no believing old figns : he brufhes his hat o' 
mornings : What fhould that bode ? 

Pedro. Hath any man feen him at the barber's ? 

Claud. No, but the barber's man hath been feen 
with him ; and the old ornament of his cheek hath 
already ftufFd tennis-balls. 

Leon. Indeed, he looks younger than he did, by 
the lofs of a beard. 

Pedro. Nay, he rubs hmfelf with civet : Can you 
fmell him out by that ? 

Claud. That's as much as to fay, The fweet youth's 
in love. 

Pedro, The greateft note of it, is his melancholy. 

Claud* And when was he wont to wafh his face ? 

Pedro. Yea, or to paint himfelf ? for the which, I 
hear what they fay of him. 

Claud. Nay, but his jefting fpirit ; which is now 
crept into a lute-firing, and now govern'd by flops. 

Pedro. Indeed, that tells a heavy tale for him : 
Conclude, conclude he is in love, 

Claud. Nay, but I know who loves him. 

Pedro. That would I know too ; I warrant, one 
that knows him not. 

Claud. Yes, and his ill conditions ; and, in defpight 
of all, dies for him. 

3 all flops.] Skps are loofe breeches. So in Romeo and Juliet : 

" There's a French falutation for your French./?^,'* 
Again, in Northward Hoe, 1607: 

*' St. Anthony's fire light in your Spanifh Jlops." 


X 3 Pedro. 

M U C H A D O 

Pedro. She fliall be buried with her face upwards * 
Ecne. Yet is this no charm for the tooth-ach. Old 


* v Sbejhallle buried with her face iip-xards.] Thus the whola 
fet of editions : but what is there any way particular in this ? 
Are not all men and women buried fo ? Sure, the poet means, in, 
oppofition to the general rule, and by way of diftindtion, with 
her heels upwards, or face downwards. I have chofen the firil 
reading, becaufe I find it the expreffion in vogue in our author's 
time. THEOBALD. 

This emendation, which appears to me very fpecious, is reject- 
ed by Dr. Warburton. The meaning feems to be, that fhe who 
acted upon principles contrary to qthers, fhould be buried with 
the fame contrariety. JOHNSON. 

Theobald's conjecture may, however, befupported by a paflage 
in The Wild Goofe Chace of B. and Fletcher : 

" love cannot ftarve me ; 

" For if I die o'th' firft fit, I am unhappy, 
" And worthy to be buried with my heels upwards" 
Dr. Johnfon's explanation may likewiie be countenanced by a 
paflage in an old black letter book, without date, Lntitled, A 
merye Jejl of a Man that was catted HowLEGLAS, &c. " How 
Howleglas was buried." " Thus as Htnvleglas was deade, than 
they brought him to be buryed. And as they would have put 
the coffyn into the pytte wyth n cordes, the corde at the fete 
brake, fo that the fote of the cofFyn fell into the botome of the 
pyt, and the cofFyn flood bolt upryght in the middes of the grave. 
Then defired y e people that ftode about the grave that tyme, to 
let the cofFyn to ftande bolt upryght. For in his lyre tyme he was 
a very marvelous man &c. and fliall be buryed as marvailouily ; 
and in this maner they left Howleglas, &c." 

That this book was once popular, may be inferr'd from Btn 
Jonfon\ frequent allufions to it. So, in his Poetafter : 

" What do you laugh, Ovakglasf" ' 
Again, in the Fortunate I/les t a Mafque : 

" What do you think of Owlglas 

" Inftead of him ?" And again, in the Sad Shepherd. 
This hiftory was originally written in Dutch. The hero is there 
call'd Uylt-'fpegeL Under this title he is likewife introduced by 
Ben Jonfon in his Alcbymift^ and the Mafque and Paftoral al- 
ready quoted. Menage fpeaks of Ulefpicgle as a man famous for 
tromperics ingenieufes ; adds that his Life was tranflated into French, 
and quotes the title-page of it, I have another copy publifhed 
A Troves, in 1714, the title of which differs from that fet down 
by Menage. 

I think Shakefpeare could hardly allude to a circumftance 
mentioned by Pliny the NaturalUr, " that the dead corps of a 


^gnior, walk afide with me ; I have ftudied eight 
or nine wife words to fpeak to you, which thefe 
ihobby-horfes muft not hear. 

[Exeunt Benedick and Leonato. 

Pedro. For my life, to break with him about Bea- 

Claud. J Tis even fo: Hero and Margaret have 
by this time play'd their parts with Beatrice ; and 
then the two bears will not bite one another, when 
they meet. 

Enter Don John. 

John. My lord and brother, God fave you. 

Pedro. Good den, brother. 

John. If your leifure ferv'd, I would fpeak with 

P-edro. In private ? 

John. If it pleafe you : yet count Claudio may 
hear ; for what I would fpeak of, concerns him. 

Pedro. What's the matter ? 

John. Means your lordlhip to be marry'd to-mor- 
row ? [To Claudio. 

Pedro. You know, he does. 

John. I know not that, when he knows what I 

Claud. If there be any impediment, I pray you, dif- 
cover it. 

John. You may think, I love you not ; let that 

mafl floteth upon the water with the face upward, but contrary, 
wife women fwimme groveling^ &c." Holland's Tranllation, 
p. 165. 

The paflage, indeed, may mean onlyShe J7;a!I l~e buried in her 
lover's arms. So in The Winter's Talc. 
" Flo. What? likeacorfe? 
" Per. No, like a bank for love to lie and play on ; 

" Not like a corfe: or if, not to be buried^ 

" But quick and in my arms." STEEVENS. 

X 4 appear 

3 X4 M U C H A D O 

appear hereafter, and aim better at me by that I now 
will manifeft : For my brother, I think, he holds you 
well ; and in dearnefs of heart hath holp to effect 
your enfuing marriage : furely, fuit ill fpent, and la- 
tour ill-beftow'd ! 

Pedro. Why, what's the matter? 
John. I came hither to tell you, and circumftances 
fhorten'd, (for fhe hath been too long a talking of) 
the lady is difloyal. 
Claud. Who ? Hero ? 

John. Even ihe; Leonato's Hero, your Hero, 
every man's Hero 5 . 
- Claud. Difloyal ? 

John. The word is too good to paint out her 
wickednefs ; I could fay, Ihe were worfe ; think 
you of a worfe title, and I will fit her to it. Won- 
der not till further warrant : go but with me to- 
night, you Jhall fee her chamber-window enter'd ; 
even the night before her wedding-day : if you 
love her then, to-morrow wed her ; but it would 
better fit your honour to change your mind. 
Claud. May this be fo ? 
Pedro. I will not think it. 
John. If you dare not truft that you fee, confefs not 
that you know : if you will follow me, I will Ihew 
you enough ; and when you have feen more, and 
heard more, proceed accordingly. 

Claud. If I fee any thing to-night why I fhould not 
marry her ; to-morrow, in the congregation, where I 
ihould wed, there will J Ihame her. 

Pedro. And, as I wooed for thee to obtain her, 
I will join with thee to difgrace her. 

Jcikn. I will difparage her no farther, till you are 

5 Leonatd's Hero, your Hero, every man's Hero.~\ Dryden has 
tranfplanted this farcafm into his All for Lave : 

" Your Cleopatra; Dolabella's Cleopatra; every man's Cleo- 
patra." STEEVEXS. 



my witnefles : bear it coldly but till midnight, and 

let the iflue fhew itfelf. 

Pedro. O day untowardly turned \ 
Claud. O mifchief flrangely thwarting ! 
John. O plague right well prevented ! 

So you will fay, when you have feen the fequel. 



The Street. 

Enter Dogberry and Verges^ with the Watch. 

Dogb. Are you good men and true ? 

Verg. Yea, or elfe it were pity but they fliould 
fuffer falvation, body and foul. 

Dogb. Nay, that were a punrmment too good for 
them, if they fhould have any allegiance in them, 
being chofen for the prince's watch. 

Verg. Well, give them their charge 6 , neighbour 

Dogb. Firft, who think you the moft defartlefs man 
to be conflable ? 

1 Watch. Hugh Oatcake, fir, or George Seacoal ; 
for they can write and read. 

Dogb. Come hither, neighbour Seacoal : God hath 
blefs'd you with a good name : to be a well-favour'd 
man is the gift of fortune ; but to write and read 
comes by nature. 

2 Watch. Both which, mafler conflable, 

Dogb. You have ; I knew it would be your an- 

6 Well, give them their charge ,] To charge his fellows, feems to 
have been the regular part of the duty of the conftable of the 
Watch. So, in A New Trick to cheat the Devil, 1639: " My 
watch is fet charge given and all at peace." Again, in The 
InfatiatcCountefs, by Marfton, 1603 : "Come on, my hearts-; 
we are the city's fecurity I'll give you your charge." MALONE. 


3 i4 M U C H A D O 

fwer. Well, for your favour, fir, why, give God 
thanks, and make no boaft of it; and for your writ- 
ing and reading, let that appear when there is 7 no 
need of fuch vanity. You are thought here to be 
the moft fenfelels and fit man for the conftable of 
the watch ; therefore bear you the lanthorn : This 
Is your charge ; you fliall comprehend all vagrom 
men ; you are to bid any man ftand, in the prince's 

2 Watch. How if he will not iland ? 

Dogb. Why then, take no note of him, but let him 
go ; and presently call the reft of the watch together, 
and thank God you are rid of a knave. 

Verg. If he will not ftand when he is bidden, HCJS 
none of the prince's fubjects. 

Dogb. True, and they are to meddle with none 
but the prince's fubjedts : You fhall alib make 
no noife in the ftreets ; for, for the watch to babble 
and talk, is moft tolerable and not to be endur'd. 

2, Watch, We will rather ileep than talk ; we know 
what belongs to a watch, 

Dogb. Why, you fpeak like an ancient and moft 
quiet watchman ; for I cannot fee how fleeping 
Ihould offend : only, have a care that your bills be not 
ftolen 8 : Well, you are to call at all the ale-houfes, 
and bid them that are drunk get them to bed. 

2 Watch. 

7 muted of fab vanity.'} Dogberry is only abfurd, not abfolutely 
out of his (cnfes. We fliould read therefore, more need. 


I believe the blunder was intended, and therefore am not will- 
ing to admit the propofed emendation. 

Both the 410 1600, and the firft folio, concur in this reading. 


8 bilh be not Jlolen :] A lill is ftill carried by the watchmen at 
Litchfield. It was the old weapon of the Engli'fh infantry, which, 
{ays Temple, gave the moft ghajlly and deplorable wounds. It may 
be called fccurit fedcata. JOHNSON. 



2 Watch. How if they will not ? 

Dogb. Why then, let them alone till they are 
fober ; if they make you not then the better anfwer, 
you may fay, they are not the men you took them 

2 Watch. Well fir. 

Dogb. If you meet a thief, you may fufped: him, by 
virtue of your office, to be no true man ; and, for fuch 
kind of men, the lefs you meddle or make with them, 
why, the more is for your honefly. 

2 Watch. If we know him to be a thief, fhall we not 
Jay hands on him ? 

Dogb. Truly, by your office you may; but, I 
think, they that touch pitch will be defil'd : the moft 
peaceable way for you, if you do take a thief, is, to 
let him ihew himfelf what he is, and fteal out of 
your company. 

Verg. You have always been call'd a merciful 
man, partner. 

Dogb. Truly, I would not hang a dog by my 
will ; much more a man who hath any honefly in 

Verg. 9 If you hear a child cry in the night, you 
muft call to the nurfe, and bid her ftill it. 

2 Watch. How if the nurfe be aileep, and will not 
hear us ? 

Dogb. Why then, depart in peace, and let the child 


Thefe weapons are mentioned in Glapthorne's Wit in a Con- 
fiaMc, 1639 : 

' Well faid, neighbours ; 

You're chatting wifely o'er your bilh and lanthorns, 
As becomes watchmen of discretion." 
Again, the fame play : 

fit ftill, and keep 


' Your rufty bills from bloodlhed. 
Arden of Fcverjlianiy 1592 : 

' the watch 

4 Are coming towr'd our houfe with glaives and bills.** 


$i6 M U C H A D O 

wake her with crying : for the ewe that will not hear 
her lamb when it baes, will never anfwer a calf when 
he bleats. 

The following are examples of ancient lilh. 



' If you bear a child cry, &c.] It is not impoflible but that part 
of this fcene was intended as a burlefque on The Statutes of the 
Streets, imprinted by Wolfe, in 1595. Among thefe I find the 
following : 

22. " No man (hall blowe any home in the night, within thi* 
cittie, or whiftle after the houre of nyne of the clock in the 
night, under paine of imprifonment. 

23. ** No man fhall ufe to goe with vifoures, or difguifed by 
night, under like pain of imprifonment. 

24. " Made that night-walkers, and evifdroppers, like punilh- 

25. " No hammar-man, as a fmith, a pewterer, a founder, 
and all artificers making great found, (hall not worke after the 
houre of nyne at the night, &c.'* 

" 30. No 

A B O U T N O T H I N G. 317 

farg. "Tis very true. 

Dogb. This is the end of the charge. You, confta- 
ble, are to prefent the prince's own perfon ; if you 
meet the prince in the night, you may ftay him. 

Verg. Nay, by'rlady, that, I think, he cannot. 

Dogb. Five fhillings to one on't, with any man that 
knows the flatues, he may ftay him : marry, not with- 
out the prince be willing : for, indeed, the watch 
ought to offend no man ; and it is an offence to flay 
a man againft his will. 

Verg. By'rlady, I think, it be fo. 

Dogb. Ha, ha, ha! Well, mafters, goodnight: 
an there be any matter of weight chances, call up me : 
keep your fellows' counfels and your own, and good 
night. Come, neighbour. 

2 Watch. Well, mafters, we hear our charge : let us 
go fit here upon the church-bench till two, arid then 
all to bed. 

Dogb. One word more, honeft neighbours : I pray 
you, watch about fignior Leonato's door; for the 
wedding being there to-morrow, there is a great coil 
to night : Adieu, be vigilant, I befeech you. 

[Exeunt Dogberry and Verges. 

Enter Borachio and Conrade. 

Bora. What ! Conrade, 

Watch. Peace, ftir not. 

Bora. Conrade, I fay ! 

Com: Here, man, I am at thy elbow. 

30. " No man (hall, after the houre of nyne at night, keepe 
any rule, whereby any fuch fuddaine out-cry be made in the ftill 
of the night, as making any affray, or beating his wyfe, or fer- 
vant, or iinging, or revyling in his houfe, to the difturbaunce of 
his neighbours, under payne of iii s. iiii d. &c. &c." _ 

Ben Jonfon, however, appears to have ridiculed this fcene in 
the Indu&ion to his Bartholomew-Fair : 

'* And then a fubftantial -Match to have ilole in upon 'em, and 
ruken them away with mijlaking iiwvft, as the falhion is in the 
itage practice." STEEVEKS, 


3 iS M U C H A D O 

Bora. Mafs, and my elbow itch'd ; I thought, there 
would a fcab follow ? 

Conr. I will owe thee an anfwer for that ; and now 
forward with thy tale. 

Bora. Stand thee clofe then under this pent-houfe, 
for it drizzles rain ; and I will, like a true drunkard, 
utter all to thee. 

Watch. [A/ide.~] Some treafon, matters ; yet fland 

Bora. Therefore know, I have earned of Don 
John a thoufand ducats. 

Conr. Is itpoffible that any villainy ihould befo dear? 

Bora. Thou Ihould'ft rather afk, if it were poflible 

1 any villainy Ihould be forich : for when rich villains 

have need of poor ones, poor ones may make what 

price they will. 

Conr^ I wonder at it. 

Bora. That mews, 2 thou art unconfirm'd : Thou 
knowefl, that the fafhion of a doublet, or a hat, or a 
cloak, is nothing to a man. 
Conr. Yes, it is apparel. 
Bora. I mean, the falhion. 
Conr. Yes, the fafhion is the famiori. 
Bora. Turn ! I may as well fay, the fool's the fool* 
But fee'ft thou not, what a deformed thief this fafhion 

Watch. I know that Deformed ; he has been a vile 
thief thefe feven year ; he goes up and down like a 
gentleman : I remember his name. 

Bora. Didft thou not hear fome body ? 
Conr. No ; 'twas the vane on the houfe. 
Bora. Seeft thou not, I fay, what a deformed 
thief this fafhion is ? how giddily he turns about all 
the hot bloods, between fourteen and five and thirty ? 

1 any villainy Jhouldlcfo rich :~\ The fenfe abfolutely requires 
us to read, villain. WAR BUR TON. 

The old reading may Hand. STEEVENS. 

~ tbou art unconfirmed;] i. e. unpra&ifcd ia the ways of the 
world. WARBURTOX. 



Sometime, faihioning them like Pharaoh's foldiers in 
the reechy $ painting; fometime, like god Bei's 
priefts in the old church window ; 4 fometime, like 
the fhavcn Hercules in the s fmirch'd worm-eaten 
tapeftry, where his cod-piece feems as mafly as his 
club ? 

Com: All this I fee ; and fee, that the fafhion 
wears out more apparel than the man : But art not 

3 reechy fainting;} is painting ftain'd byfmoke. So, ia 

Hans Beer Pot's Invijible Cemcdy, 1618 : 

" he look'd fo reechily 

** Like bacon hanging on the chimney's roof." 
from Recan, Anglo-Saxon, to reek, fttmare. STEEVEXS. 

4 fometime ', like the Jbaven Hercules &c.] By the Jbav en Her- 
cules \s meant Sampfon, the ufual fubjeft of old tapeftry. In thb 
ridicule on the fafhion, the poet has not unartfully given a ftroke 
at the barbarous workmanfhip of the common tapeftry hangings, 
then fo much in ufe. The fame kind of raillery Cervantes has 
employed on the like occafion, when he brings his knight and 
'fquire to an inn, where they found the ftory of Dido and JSneaa 
reprefented in bad tapeftry. On Sancho's feeing the tears fall 
from the eyes of the forfaken queen as big as walnuts, he hopes 
that when their achievements became the general fubject for thefc 
forts of works, that fortune will fend them a better artiit. What 
authorifed the poet to give this name to Samfo jvas the folly of 
certain Chriftian mythologifts, who pretend thjt the Grecian Her- 
cules was the Jewifti Samibn. The retenue of our author is to be 
commended : The fober audience of that time would have been 
offended with the mention of a venerable name on fo light an oc- 
iion. Shakefpeare is indeed fometimes licentious in theie matters : 
But to do him juftice, he generally feems to have a fenfe of reli- 
gion, and to be under its influence. What Pedro fays of Bene- 
dick, in this comedy, may be well enough applied to him, The 
man doth fear God, however it feems not to be in him lyfome large 
jejts he will make. WAR BURTON. 

I believe that Shakefpeare knew nothing of thefe Chriftian my- 
thologifts, and by the jbaven Hercules meant only Hercules ivhrn 
jba*ved to make him took like a woman, while he remaiaed in the 
fervice of Omphale, his Lydian miftrefs. Had the Jbaven Her- 
cules been meant to reprefent Samfon, he would probably have been 
equipped with aja-iv~l>one inftead of a club. STEEVENS. 

5 fMirJ?cf\ Smirch' d is foiled, obfcured. So, in As jo* 

Like //, aft I. fc. iii : 

" And with a kind of umber/w/rc/^ my face.*' STEEVEXS. 


3 2o M U C H A D O 

thou thyfelf giddy with the fafhion too, that thou 
haft ihifted out of thy tale into telling me of the 
faihion ? 

Bora. Not fo neither : but know, that I have to- 
night wooed Margaret, the lady Hero's gentlewo- 
man, by the name of Hero ; fhe leans me out at 
her miftrefs's chamber-window, bids me a thoufand 
times good night I tell this tale vilely : I ihould 
firft tell thee, how the prince, Claudio, and my 
mailer, planted and placed, and pofleffed by my 
mailer Don John, faw afar off in the orchard this 
amiable encounter. 

Conr. And thought they, Margaret was Hero ? 

Bora. Two of them did, the prince and Claudio ; 
but the devil my mailer knew me was Margaret ; 
and partly by his oaths, which firil poiTefs'd them, 
partly by the dark night, which did deceive them, 
but chiefly by my villainy, which did confirm any 
ilander that Don John had made, away went Clau- 
dio enraged ; fwore he would meet her, as he was ap- 
pointed, next morning at the temple, and there, be- 
fore the whole congregation, fhame her with what he 
faw o'er night, and fend her home again without a 

1 Watch. We charge you in the prince's name, 

2 Watch. Call up the right mafler conflable : 
We have here recovered the moft dangerous piece 
of lechery that ever was known in the common- 

i Watch. And one Deformed is one of them ; I 
know him, he wears a lock . 
Cony. Mailers, mailers 7 . 

2 Watch. 

6 wears a locTt."\ So in the Return from ParnaJJus, 1600 : 

" He whofe thin fire dwells in a Imoky roofe, 
" Muft take tobacco, and muft wear a lock." 
See Dr. Warburton's Note, aft V. fc. i. STEEVENS. 

7 Conr. Mafters, mafters, &c.] In former copies j 



2 Watch. You'll be made bring Deformed forth, I 
warrant you. 

Com: Matters, 

i Watch. Never fpeak; we charge you, let us obey 
you to go with us. 

Bora. We are like to prove a goodly commodity, 
being taken up of thefe mens bills. 

Cffnr.. A commodity in queftion, I warrant ou. 
Come, we'll obey you. 


An Apartment in Leonato's Houfe. 
Enter Hero> Margaret, and Urfttla. 

Hero. Good Urfula, wake my coufin Beatrice, and 
defire her to rife. 

Urf. I will, lady. 

Hero. And bid her come hither. 

Urf. Well. [Exit Urfula. 

Marg. Troth, I think, your other 8 rabato were 


Conr. STafterS) 

2 Watch. You'll be m.tde bring Deformed forth, I warrant you, 

Conr. MaJkrS) never fpeak , we charge you, let us obey you to 
go with us. 

The regulation which I have made in this laft fpeech, though 
againit the authority of all the printed copies, I flatter my felt' 
carries its proof with it. Conrade and Borachio are not defigacd 
to talk abfurd nonfenfe. It is evident therefore, that Conrade is 
attempting his own juftification ; but is interrupted in it by the 
impertinence of the men in office. THEOBALD. 

B rabato~\ A neckband ; a raft". Rabat, French. HANMER. 

Rabato, an ornament for the neck, a collar-band or kind of 
ruff. Fr. Rabat. Menage faith it comes from rabattre to put 
back, becaufe it was at firft nothing but the collar of the fhirt ojr 
fhift turn'd back towards the fhoulders. HA\VKINS. 

This article of drefs is frequently mentioned by our ancient 
comic writers. 

So, in Every Woman in her Humour, 1609: - " The tyre, 
the rabato, the loofe-bodied gown, &c." 

VOL. II. Y Again, 

3 22 M U C H A D O 

Hero. No, pray thee, good Meg, I'll wear this. 

Marg. By my troth, it's not fo good ; and I war- 
rant, your coufin will fay fo. 

Hero. My coufin's a fool, and thou art another ; 
I'll wear none but this. 

Marg. I like the new tire within excellently, if the 
hair were a thought browner ; and your gown's a moft 
rare fafhion, i'faith. I faw the dutchefs of Milan's 
gown, that they praife fo. 

Hero. O, that exceeds, they fay. 

Marg. By my troth, it's but a night-gown in rc- 
fped: of yours : Cloth of gold, and cuts, and lac'd 
with filver ; fet with pearls, down fleeves, fide fleeves, 
and fkirts round, underborne with a blueilh tinfel : 
but for a fine, quaint, graceful, and excellent falhion, 
yours is worth ten on't. 

Hero. God give me joy to wear it, for my heart is 
exceeding heavy ! 

Marg. 'Twill be heavier foon, by the weight of a 

Hero. Fie upon thce ! art not afham'd ? 

Marg. Of what, lady ? of fpeaking honour- 
ably ? Is not marriage honourable in a beggar ? Is 
not your lord honourable without marriage ? I 

Again, in the comedy of Law Tricks, &c. 1608 : 

'* Broke broad jefts upon her narrow heel, 
" Pok'd her rabatofc and lurvay'd her^W/' 
Again, in Decker'.? Satlrcnuyljx, 1602 : " He would perftiade 
me that love was a rabato, and his reafon was, that a rabato \vas 
worn out with pinning, &c." 

Again, in Decker 's UntruJJing the Humourous Poet : " What a 
rniferable thing it is to be a noble bride ! There's fuch delays in 
riling, in fitting gowns, in pinning rcbqtoes, in peaking, &c." 
Again, in Decker's Guh Hornbook, 1609 : 

" your ftifF-necked rebatoes (that have more arches for pride 
to row under, than can ftand under five London-bridges) duril 
not then, &c." 

The fecond and laft of thefe paffiiges will likewife ferve for an. 
additional explanation ot the pokmg-Jiicks of Jleel, mentioned by 
Autolycus in the Winter's Tal^. S'iXEYKXs. 



think you would have me fay, faving your reve- 
rence, a hujband: an bad thinking do not wreft 
true fpcaking, I'll offend no body : Is there any harm 
in the heavier for a hujband ? None, I think, an it 
be the right hufband, and the right wife ; otherwife, 
Vis light, and not heavy : Afk my lady Beatrice elfe, 
here fhe comes. 

Enter Beatrice* 

Hero. Good morrow, coz. 
Beat. Good morrow, fweet Hero. 
Hero. Why, how now ! do you fpeak in the fick 
tune ? 

Beat. I am out of all other tune, methihks. 
Marg: Clap us into 9 Light ^ love ; that goes 

9 Ligbt o' love ; ] A tune fo called, which has been already 
mentioned by our authour. JOHNSON-. 

This tune is mentioned in Beaumont and Fletcher's Two No- 
lie Kinfmen. The gaoler's daughter, fpeaking of a horfe, feys : 

" He gallops to the tune of Light a? love." 
It is mentioned again in the T-wo Gentlemen of Verona : 
*' Beit ling it to the tune of Light o* L}-> " 
And in the NoMe Gentleman of Beaumont and Fletcher. 


Light (? lo<ve.~\ This is the name of an old dance tune which 
has occur'd already in the Two Gentlemen of Verona. I have 
lately recovered it from an ancient MS, and it is as follows. 

Y 2 


324 M U C H A D O 

without a burden ; do you fing it, and I'll dance 

Beat. Yea, Light o' love, with your heels ! then if 
your hufband have {tables enough, you'll look he 
ihall lack no ' barns. 

Marg, O illegitimate conftrudtion ! I fcorn that 
with my heels. 

Beat. 'Tis almoft five o'clock, coufin ; 'tis time 
you were ready. By my troth, I am exceeding ill : 
hey ho ! 

Marg. For a hawk, a horfe, or a hufband ? 

Beat. * For the letter that begins them all, H. 

Marg. Well, an you be not 3 turn'd Turk, there's 
no more failing by the flar. 

Beat. What means the fool, trow ? 

Marg. Nothing I ; but God fend every one their 
heart's defire \ 

1 no larns.~\ A quibble between larm, repertories of corn, and 
lalrns, the old word for children. JOHNSON. 

So, in the Winters Tale: " Mercy on us, a larn! a very 
pretty larn /" STEEVENS. 

* For the letter that begins them all, //.} This is a poor jeft, 
fomewhat obfcured, and not worth the trouble of elucidation. 

Margaret alks Beatrice for what me cries, bey bo ; Beatrice an- 
fwers, for an H, that is, for an acbe or pain. JOHNSON. 

Heywood, among his Epigrams, publiflied in 1652, has one on 
the letter H. 

H is worft among letters in the crofs-row ; 
For if thou find him either in thine elbow, 
In thine arm, or leg, in any degree ; 
In thine head, or teeth, or toe, or knee ; 
Into what place foever H may pike him, 
Wherever thou find acbe thou {halt not like him." 


3 turn'dTurk,~\ i.e. taken captive by love, and turned a rene- 
gade to his religion. WAR EUR TON. 

This interpretation is fomewhat far-fetched, yet, perhaps, it is 
right. JOHNSON. 

Hamlet ufes the fame expreffion, and talks of \~\\s fortune's turn- 
ing Turk. To turn Turk was a common phrale for a change of 
condition or opinion. So, in The Honejl l>Vbore, by Decker, 

" If you turn Turk again, &c." STEEVENS. 



Hero. Thefe gloves the count fent me, they are an 
excellent perfume. 

Beat. I am ftuff'd, coufin, I cannot fmell. 

Marg. A maid, and ftuff'd ! there's goodly catching 
of cold. 

Beat. O, God help me ! God help me ! how long 
have you profefs'd apprehenfion ? 

Marg. Ever fince you left it ; Doth not my wit be- 
come me rarely ? 

Beat. It is not feen enough, ypu Ihould wear it in 
your cap, By my troth, 1 am lick. 

Marg. Get you fome of this diftill'd Carduus Be- 
nedid:us, and lay it to your heart; it is the only 
thing for a qualm. 

Hero. There thou prick'ft her with a thiflle. 

Beat. Benediclus ! why Benediclus ? you have 
4 fome moral in this Benedictus. 

Marg. Moral ? no by my troth, I have no moral 
meaning ; I meant, plain holy-thiftle. You may 
think, perchance, that I think you are in love : nay, 
by'r-lady, I am not fuch a fool to think what I lift ; 
nor I lift not to think what I can ; nor, indeed, I 
cannot think, if I would think my heart out o' think- 
ing, that you are in love, or that you will be in 
love, or that you can be in love : yet Benedick was 
fuch another, and now is he become a man : he fwore 
lie would never marry ; and yet now, in defpight of 

4 fome moral] That is, fome fecret meaning, like the moral of 
.1 fable. JOHNSON, 

A moral is the fame as a moral'ly, one of the earlieft kinds of 
our dramatic performances. So, in Greene's Groatfwortb of 
Wit, 1621 : " It- was I that penned the Moral of Man's Wit, 
the Dialogue of Dives, &c." 

" The people make no eftimation 
" Of morals, teaching education." 

A player, on this occafion, is the fpeaker, and thefe perform- 
ances were full of double meanings and conceits. Again, in 
Decker's Guh Hornbook, 1609 : " bee it paftoral cr comedy, 
moral or tragedy. " STEEVEXS. 

Y 3 his 

326 M U C H A D O 

his heart, * he eats his meat without grudging : and 
how you may be converted, I know not ; but, me- 
thinks, you look with your eyes as other women do. 

Beat. What pace is this that thy tongue keeps ? 

Miirg. Not a falfe gallop. 

Re-enter JJrfula., 

Urf. Madam, withdraw ; the prince, the count, 
fignior Benedick, Don John, and all the gallants of 
the town, are come to fetch you to church. 

Hero. Help to .drefs me, good coz, good Meg, 
good Urmia. [Exeunt* 


Another Apartment In Leonato's Houfc. 

Enter Lconato, with Dogberry and forges. 

Leon. What would you with me, honeft neigh- 
bour ? 

Dogb. Marry, fir, I would have fome confidence 
with you, that decerns you nearly. 

Leon. Brief, I pray you ; for you fee, 'tis a bnfy 
time with me. 

Dogb. Marry, this it is, fir. 

Verg. Yes, in truth it is, fir. 

Leon. What is it, my good friends ? 

Dogb. Goodman Verges, fir, fpeaks a little of 
the matter : an old man, fir, and his Avits are not 
fo blunt, as, God help, I would defirc they were ; 
but, in faith, honefl, as the fkin between his brows, 6 . 

5 be cats his meat v:itl:oitt grudging :] I do not fee how tins is a 
proof of Benedick's change of mind. It would afford more proofr 
of amoroufnefs to lay, he cats not bis meat without grudging ; but 
it is itnpoiTible to fix the meaning of proverbial expreffions : per- 
haps, to eat meat without grudging, was the fame as, to do as others 
do, and the meaning is, be is content to live /'r catixg like other mor- 
tals, and ivill be content, notvoitbjlanding his coajh, like other mor- 
tal , to have a wife. JOHNSON. 

6 hohejl as tvcjkin between l!s brcwi.'} This is a prover- 
bial expreflion. STEEVENS. 


A B O U T N O T H I N G. 327 

Verg. Yes, I thank God, 7 I am as honeft as any 
man living, that is an old man., and no honefter 
than I. 

Dogb. Companions are odorous : palabras % neigh- 
bour Verges. 

Leon. Neighbours, you are tedious. 

Dogb. It pleafes your worihip to fay fo, but we are 
the poor duke's officers ; but, truly, for mine own 
part, if I were as tedious as a king, I could find in 
my heart to bellow it all of your worfhip. 

Leon. All thy tedioufnefs on me ! ha ! 

Dogb. Yea, and 'twere a thoufand times more 
than 'tis : for I hear as good exclamation on your 
worihip, as of any man in the city ; and though I be 
but a poor man, I am glad to hear it. 

Verg. And fo am I. 

Leon. I would fain know what you have to fay. 

Verg. Marry, fir, our watch to-night, excepting 
your worship's prefence, hath ta'en a coupk of as ar- 
rant knaves as any in Meffina. 

Dogb. A good old man, fir ; he will be talking ; 
as they fay, When the age is in, the wit is out ; God 
lielp us ! it is a world to fee ! * Well faid, ifaith, 

7 I am as bonefi as any man living, that is art old man, and no ho- 
vefier tba/i /.] There is much humour, and extreme good fenfe 
under the covering of this blundering expreffion. It is a lly in- 
finantion that length of years, and the being much backn'ed-in the 
ways of men, as Shakefpeare expreifes it, take off the glofs of vir- 
tue, and b.rin.g much defilement on the manners. For, as a great 
wit f:iys, Touth is tbe /'eafon of virtue : corruptions gro-jj -.vltbjears, 
and I believe the oldeft rogue in England is tbe great eft. 


Much of this is true, but I believe Shakefpeare did not intend 
to beftow all this reflection on the fpeaker. JOHNSON. 

s palalras. So, in the Taming the S'.'i-f-iv, the Tinker 

fays, pocas pallabrai, i.e. few words. A fcrap of Spanifl:, which 
might once have been current among the vulgar. STEEVENS. 

* It is a world to fee /] i. e. it is wonderful to fee. So, in All 
for Money, an old morality, 1^94: " It is a world tf> fee how greedy 
they be of money." The fame phrafe often occurs, wkh the 
fame meaning, in Holinfhed. STEEVENS. 

Y 4 neigh- 

328 M U C H A D O 

neighbour Verges : well, God's a good man 9 ; an 
two men ride of a horfe, one mufl ride behind * : 
An honefl foul, i'faith, fir; by my troth he is, as 
ever broke bread : but, God is to be worfhipp'd ; 
All men are not alike ; alas good neighbour ! 

Leon. Indeed, neighbour, he comes too fhort of 

Dogb. Gifts, that God gives. 

Leon. I muft leave you. 

Dogb. One word, fir : our watch have, indeed, 
comprehended two afpicious perfons, and we would 
have them this morning examin'd before your wor- 

Leon. Take their examination yourfelf, and bring 
it me ; I am now in great hafte, as may appear unto 

Dogb. It fhall be fuffigance. 

Leon. Drink fome wine ere you go : fare you 

Enter a Mejfcnger. 

Meffl My lord, they flay for you to give your 
daughter to her hufband. 

9 ^11, God's a good mam ;] So, in the old Morality or In- 
terlude of Lujly Juventus, 1561 : 

" He wyl fay, that God is a good Man, 
" He can make him no better, and fay the beft he can." 
Again, in A mery Gefte of Robyn Hoodc, bl. 1. no date : 
" For God is hold a right wife man, 
" And fo is his dame, &c." STEEVENS. 
1 an two men ride &c.] This is not out of place, or without 
meaning. Dogberry, in his vanity of fuperiour pans, apologizing 
for his neighbour, obferves, that ef t-ivo men on an borfe, one muft 
ride behind. The firft place of rank or undemanding can belong 
but to one, and that happy one ought not to defpife his inferiour. 


Shakefpeare might have caught this idea from the common feal 
of the Knights Templars ; the device of which was two riding 
t$ox one borfe. An engraving of the feal is preferved at the end 
of JV^tt. Paris Hift. Ang. 1640. STEEVENS. 



(son. I will wait upon them ; I am ready. 

[Exit Leonato, 

Dogb. Go, good partner, go, get you to Francis 
Seacoal, bid him bring his pen and inkhorn to the 
jail ; we are now to examination thefe men. 

Verg. And we muft do it wifely. 

J)ogb. We will fpare for no wit, I warrant you ; 
here's that {touching his foreheaf\ fhall drive fome oif 
them to a non-com : only get the learned writer to 
fet down our excommunication, and meet me at the 
jail. [Exeunt. 


A Church. 

Enter Don Pedro, Don John, Leonato, Friar, Claudio, 
Benedick, Hero, and Beatrice. 

Leon. Come, friar Francis, be brief ; only to the 
plain form of marriage, and you lhall recount their 
particular duties afterwards. 

Friar. You come hither, my lord, to marry this 
lady ? 

Claud. No. 

Leon. To be marry'd to her, friar ; you come to 
marry her. 

Friar Lady, you come hither to be marry'd to this 
count ? 

Hero. I do. 

Friar. If either of you know any inward impedi- 
ment why you Ihould not be conjoined, I charge you, 
on your fouls, to utter it. 

Claud. Know you any, Hero ? 

Hero. None, my lord. 

Friar. Know you any, count ? 

Leon. I dare make his anfvver, none. 


330 M U C H A D O 

Claud. O what men dare do ! what men may do ! 

Men daily do ! not knowing what they do ! 

Eene, How now ! Interjections ? Why, then 2 fome 
be of laughing, as, ha ! ha ! he ! 

Claud. Stand thee by, friar : Father, by your leave ; 
Will you with free and unconflrained foul 
Give me this maid your daughter ? 
I Leon. As freely, fon, as God did give her me, 

Claud. And what have I to give you back, whofe 

May counterpoife this rich and precious gift ? 

Pedro. Nothing, unlefs you render her again. 

Claud* Sweet prince, you learn me noble thankful- 


There, Leonato, take her back again ; 
Give not this rotten orange to your friend ; 
She's but the fign and femblance of her honour : * 
Behold, how like a maid me blulhes here : 
O, what authority and {hew of truth 
Can cunning fin cover itfelf withal ! 
Gomes not that blood, as modeft evidence, 
To xvitnefs fimple virtue ? Would you no:t fwear, 
All you that lee her, that fhe were a maid, 
By thefe exterior mews ? . But me is none : 
She knows the heat of a luxurious bed * : 
Her blum is guiltinefs, not modefty. 

Leon. What do you mean, my lord ? 

Claud. Not to be marry'd, not knit my foul 
To an approved wanton. 

Leon. Dear my lord, 
If you in your own proof 4 , TT 

2 fame le of laughing,] This is a quotation from the Accidence. 


3 luxurious led :~\ That is, IftfclvloiU. Luxury is the 

coifeflbr's term for unlawful pleafures or the lex. JOHNSON'. 
Eo ; in K. Lear: 

" To't, luxury, pell-me'l, for I lack foldiers." 


* J)ar my lort?, if you in jour owi proof,] I am furpriz'd the 



Have vanquifh'd the refiftance of her youth, 
And made defeat of her virginity, 

Claud. I know what you would fay; If I have 

known her, 

You'll fay, fhe did embrace me as a hufband, 
And fo extenuate the forehand fin : 
No, Leonatq, 

I never tempted her with word too large s ; 
But, as a brother to his filter, fhew'd 
Bafhful iincerity and comely love. 

Hero. And feem'd I ever otherwife to you ? 

Claud. Out on thy feeming ! I will write againft 
it 6 : 

poetical editors did not obferve the lamenefs of this verle. It evi- 
dently wants a fyllable in the laft foot, which I have reftored by a 
word, which, Iprefume, the firft editors might hefitate at ; though 
it is a very proper one, and a word elfewhere ufed by our author. 
Befides, in the paflage under examination, this word comes in al- 
moft neceflarily, as Claudio had^faid in the line immediately pre- 
ceeding : 

Not knit my foul to an approved wanton. THEOBALD* 
I wonder Mr. Theobald's change of proof into approof, has 
been fo eafily adopted by the later editors. His argument for the 
change, drawn from the lamenefs of the verfe, has no foundation. 
The lines, according to the reading of the old copies, may be 
thus diftributed : 

Claud. Not to be married, not to knit my foul 

To an approved wanton. 
Leon. Dear my lord, 

If you, in your own proof, 

Have vanquifh'd the refiftance of her youth, &c. 
In your oiv n proof may fignify in your mua trial of her. 


I have followed Mr. Tyrwhitt's regulation, which is undoubt- 
edly right. STEEVENS. 

5 word too large',] So he ufes large jejls in this play, 

for licentious, not reftrained within due bnnnds. JOHNSON. 

6 1 will write again/lit:] What? a libel ; nonfenfe. 

We fhould read : 

/ -will rate againjl it : 

i. e. rail or revile. WARBURTON. 

As tofub/trike to any thing is to allow it, fo to write a^ainjl 13 
to difallovj or deny. JOHNSON. 


332 M U C H A D O 

You feem to me as Dian in her orb ; 
As chaite as is the bud 7 ere it be blown ; 
But you are more intemperate in your blood 
Than Venus,, or thofe pamper'd animals 
That rage in favage fenfuality. 

Hero. Is my lord well, that he doth fpeak fo wide ? 

Leon. Sweet prince, why fpeak not you ? 

Pedro. What fhould I fpeak ? 
I fland difhonour'd, that have gone about 
To link my dear friend to a common flale. 

Leon. Are thefe things fpoken; or do I but dream ? 

John. Sir, they are fpoken, and thefe things arc 

Bene. This looks not like a nuptial, 

Hero. True, O God ! 

Claud. Leonato, fland I here ? 
Is this the prince ? Is this the prince's brother ? 
Is this face Hero's ? Are our eyes our own ? 

Leon. All this is fo ; But what of this, my lord ? 

Claud. Let me but move one queflion to your 

daughter ; 

And, by that fatherly and kindly power * 
That you have in her, bid her anfwer truly. 

Leon. I charge thee do fo, as thou art my child, 

Hero. O God defend me ! how I am befet ! 
What kind of catechizing call you this ? 

Claud. To make you anfwer truly to your name, 

Hero. Is it not Hero ? Who can blot that name 
With any jufl reproach ? 

Claud Marry, that can Hero; 
Hero itfelf can blot out Hero's virtue. 
What man was he talk'd with you yeflernight 
Out at your window, betwixt twelve and one ? 
Now, if you are a maid, anfwer to this. 

7 clafle as the bud ] Before the air has tailed 

its fvvcetnefs. JOHNSON. 

* kindly pc "Mtr\ That is, natural power. Kind 'is nature. 




Hero. I talk'd with no man at that hour, my lord. 

Pedro. Why, then you are no maiden. Leonato, 
I am forry, you muft hear ; Upon mine honour, 
Myfelf) my brother, and this grieved count, 
Did fee her, hear her, at that hour laft night, 
Talk with a ruffian at her chamber-window ; 
Who hath, indeed, moft like a liberal villain 9 , 
Confefs'd the vile encounters they have had 
A thoufand times in fecret. 

John. Fie, fie ! they are 

Not to be nam'd, my lord, not to be fpoke of; 
There is not chaftity enough in language, 
Without offence, to utter them : Thus, pretty lady, 
I am forry for thy much mifgovernment. 

Claud. O Hero ! what a Hero hadft thou been l 
If half thy outward graces had been plac'd 
About the thoughts and counfels of thy heart ! 
But, fare thee well, moft foul, moft fair! farewel, 
Thou pure impiety, and impious purity ! 
For thee I'll lock up all the gates of love, 
And on my eye-lids lhall conjecture hang, 
To turn all beauty into thoughts of harm, 
And never fhall it more be gracious. 

9 liberal villain,"] Liberal here, as in many places of thefe 
plays, means, frank beyond bonefy or decency. Free of tongue. Dv< 
Warburton unneceflarily reads, Illiberal. JOHNSON. 
So, in the Fair Maid of Brijlovj, 1605 : 

" But Vallinger, moft like a liberal villain 
" Did give her fcandalous ignoble terms." 
Again, in The Captain, by B. and Fletcher : 

" And give allowance to your liberal jefts 
" Upon his perfon." 
Again, in Harold : 

" That liberal (hepherds give a grofler name.'* 


This fenfe of the word liberal is not peculiar to Shakefpeare. 
John Taylor, in his Suite concerning Players, complains of the 
*' many afperfions very liberally, unmannerly, and ingratefully 
beftowed upon him." FARMER. 

1 What a Hero baJft tbou been] I am afraid here is in- 
tended a poor conceit upoo the word Hero. JOHNSON. 

334 M U C H A D O 

Leon. Hath no man's dagger here a point for me 2 ? 

Beat. Why, how now, coufin, wherefore fink you 

down ? [Hero Jwoons. 

John. Come, let us go ; thefe things, come thus 

to light, 
Smother her fpirits up* 

[Exeunt Don Pedro, Don JoTon^ and Claud'w* 
Bene. How doth the lady ? 
Beat. Dead, I think ; Help, uncle ; 

Hero ! why, Hero ! uncle ! fignior Benedick ' 

friar ! 

Leon. O fate ! take not away thy heavy hand ! 
Death is the faireft cover for her mame, 
That may be wilh'd for. 

Beat. How now, coufin Hero ? 
Friar. Have comfort, lady. 
Leon. Doft thou look up ? 
Friar. Yea; Wherefore mould me not ? 
Leon. Wherefore ? Why, doth not every earthly- 

Cry mame upon her ? Could me here deny 
The ftory that is printed in her blood 3 ? 
Do not live, Hero ; do not ope thine eyes : 
For did I think, thou would'fl not quickly die, 
Thought I, thy fpirits were Wronger than thy mames, 
Myfelf would, on the rearward of reproaches, 
Strike at thy life. Griev'd I, I had but one ? 
Chid I for that at frugal nature's frame 4 ? 

O, one 

* Hath no man 3 dagger here a point for me?~\ 

" A thoufand daggers, all in honed hands ! 
" And have not I a friend to flick one here ?" 

Venice Prefer^d. SrEEVENS. 

3 Theftory that is printed in her blood?} That is, the ftory vjljicb 
her llujhes difcover to be true. JOHXSON. 

4 Griev'd I, I bad but one ? 

ChiJ I for that at frugal nature *s frame ? 

I've one too much ly thee ! ] 

The meaning of the fecond line, according to the prefent reading 
is this, Chiii I at frugal nature that fcefait me a girl and not a boy ? 



O, one too much by thee ! Why had I one ? 
Why ever waft thou lovely in my eyes ? 
Why had I not, with charitable hand, 
Took up a beggar's iflue at my gates ; 
Who fm eared' thus, and mir'd with infamy, 
I might have faid, No part of it is mine, 
This jhame derives itjelf from unknown loins ? 
But mine, and mine I lov'd, and mine I prais'd, 
And mine that I was proud on 4 ; mine fo much, 



But this is not what he chid nature for ; if he hlir.felf may be be- 
lieved, it was became (he had given him ItU one : and in that he 
owns he did foolifhly, for he no;v finds he had one too much. 
He called her frugal, theretore, in giving him but one child. 
(For to call her fo, becaufe fhe chofe to fend a girl rather than a 
boy, would be ridiculous.) So that we mult certainly rend: 

Chid I for this tit frugal fiat tire's fraine I 

3. e. rcfraine, or keeping back her further favour ~s, flopping her baud, 
tn <vejay, <wbtn.fbe had given him one. But the Oxford editor has, 
in his ufual way, improved this amendment by fubftituting hand 
for \fraine. WARBURTON. 

Though frame be not the word which appears to a reader of the 
prefent time moft proper to exhibit the poet's fentiment, yet it 
may as well be ufed to fhew that he had one child, and no more, as 
that he had a girl, not a boy, and as it may eafily lignity the fyfiem 
of things, or univcrfal fcheme, the whole order of beings is com- 
prehended, there arifes no difficulty from it which requires to l>e 
removed by fo violent an effort as the introduction of a new word 
offenfively mutilated. JOHNSON. 

Frame is contrivance, order, difpofition of things. So, ill the 
Death of Robert Earl of Huntington, 1603 : 

" And theretore feek to fet each thing in frame" 
Again, in Holinfhed's Chronicle, p. 55 : " there was no man 
that iludied to bring the unrulie to frame" 
Again, in Daniel's f^erj'cs on Montaigne : 

" extracts of men, 

" Though in a troubled frame confufedly fet.' r 
Again, in Much Ado about Nothing : 

Whofe fpirits toil in frame of villnnies. STEEVE.NS, 
4 But mine, and mine I lov'd, and mine Ipraifj, 

And mine that 1 -TI'^J proud on ; J 

The fenfe requires that we ihould read, as in thefe three places. 
The realbning of the fpeaker itands thus, Had this been ny adopt- 
ed child, her J/:ame would not have rebounded on me. But this child 
vjaimiue t as mine I ioved her, praifid her, was frond of her : con- 


33 6 M U C H A D O 

That I myfelf was to myfelf not mine^ 
Valuing of her ; why, fhe-O, me, is fallen 
Into a pit of ink ! that the wide fea 
Hath drops too few to wafh her clean again ; 
And fait too little, which may feafon give 
To her foul tainted flelh I 

Bene. Sir, fir, be patient : 
For my part, I am fo attir'd in wonder, 
I know not what to fay. 

Beat. O, on my foul, my coufin is bely'd ! 

Bene. Lady, were you her bedfellow lalt night ? 

Beat. No, truly, not ; although, until laft nightj 
I have this twelvemonth been her bedfellow. 

Leon. Confirm'd, confirm'd ! O, that is ftrongef 


Which was before barr'd up with ribs of iron ! 
Would the two princes lie ? and Claudio lie ? 
Who lov'd her fo, that, fpeaking of her foulnefs^ 
Waih'd it with tears ? Hence from her ; let her die* 

Friar. Hear me a little ; 
For I have only been lilent fo long, 
And given way unto this courfe of fortune, 
By noting of the lady : I have mark'd 
A thoufand blufhing apparitions 
To Hart into her face ; a thoufand innocent lhames 
In angel whitenefs bear away thole blufhes ; 
And in her eye there hath appear'd a fire, 
To burn the errors that thefe princes hold 
Againil her maiden truth : Call me a fool ; 
Truft not my reading, nor my obfervation, 
Which with experimental feal doth warrant 
The tenour of my book ; truft not my age$ 

fequently, as I claimed the glory t I miiji needs lefubjeElcd to tbejotutt'ti 

Even of this fmall alteration there is no need. The fpeaker 
litters his emotion abruptly, Bat mine, and mine that / loved, &c. 
by an ellipfis frequent, perhaps too frequent, both m verfe and 
profe. JOHNSON, 




My reverence, calling, nor divinity, 
If this fweet lady lie not guiltlefs here 
Under fome biting error. 

Leon* Friar, it cannot be : 

Thou feeft, that all the grace that Ihe hath left, 
Is, that Ihe will not add to her damnation 
A fin of perjury ; Ihe not denies it : 
Why feek'ft thou then to cover with excufe 
That, which appears in proper nakednefs ? 

Friar. Lady^ what man is he you are accus'd of * ? 

Hero. They know, that do accufe me ; I know 

none : 

If I know more of any man alive^ 
Than that which maiden modefly doth warrant^ 
Let all my fins lack mercy ! -O my father, 
Prove you that any man with me convers'd 
At hours unmeet* or that I yefternight 
Maintain'd the change of words with any creature, 
Refufe me, hate me, torture me to death. 

Friar. There is fome flrange mifprifion in the 

Bene. Two of them have the very bent of ho 
nour 6 j 

- And 

5 Friar. W7jat man is be you areacwSJof?] The friar had jufl 
before boafted his great fkill in filhing out the truth. And, indeed, 
he appears by this queftion to be no fool; He was by, all the 
while at the accufation, and heard no names mentioned. Why 
then fliould he afk her what man (he was accufed of? But in this 
lay the fubtilty of his examination. For, had Hero been guilty, it 
Was very probable that in that hurry and confuiion of fpirits, into 
which the terrible infult of her lover had thrown her, (he would 
never have obferved that the man's name was not mentioned ; 
and fo, on this queftion, have betrayed herfelf by naming theper- 
fbn Hie was confcious of an affair with. The friar obferved this, 
and fo concluded, that, were (he guilty, (he would probably fall 

into the trap he laid for her. 1 only take notice of this to 

(hew how* admirably well Shakelpeare knew how to fuftaiu his 
characters. WARBURTOX. 

6 bent of honour ;] Bent is ufed by our authour for the 

Utmoft degree of any palfion, or mental quality. In this play be- 

Vot. II* Z fere 

5 >8 M U C H A D O 

And if their wifdoms be mifled in this, 
The practice of it lives in John the baftard, 
Whole fpirits toil in frame of villainies. 

Leon. I know not ; If they fpeak but truth of her, 
Thefe hands fhall tear her ; if they wrong her ho- 

The proudeft of them ihall well hear of it. 
Time hath not yet fo dry'd this blood of mine, 
Nor age fo eat up my invention, 
Nor fortune made fuch havock of my means, 
Nor my bad life reft me fo much of friends, 
But they fhall find, awak'd in fuch a kind, 
Both flrength of limb, and policy of mind, 
Ability in means, and choice of friends, 
To quit me of them throughly. 

Friar. Paufe a while, 
And let my counfel fway you in this cafe. 
Your daughter here the princes left for dead 7 ; 
Let her awhile be fecretly kept in, 
And publilh it, that Ihe is dead indeed : 
Maintain a mourning 8 oilentation ; 
And on your family's old monument 
Hang mournful epitaphs, and do all rites 
That appertain unto a burial. 

Leon. What Ihall become of this ? What will this 

fore, Benedick fays of Beatrice, her affettion has in full lent. The 
exprelEon is derived from archery ; the bow has its bent, when it 
is drawn as far as it can be. JOHNSON. 

7 Tour daughter here the princes left for dead;] In former copies : 

Tour daughter here the princefs (left for dead; 
But how comes Hero to ftart up a princefs here ? We have no in- 
timation, of her father being a prince ; and this is the firil and 
only time {he is complimented with this dignity. The remotion 
of a (ingle letter, and of the parenthefis, will bring her to her 
own rank, and the place to its true meaning : 

Tour daughter here the princes left for dead ; 

i. e. Don Pedro, prince of Arragon ; and his baftard brother, who 
is likewife called a prince. THEOBALD. 

8 oftentation .-] Show; appearance. JOHNSON. 



Friar. Marry, this, well carry'd, fhall on her be- 

Change flander to remorfe ; that is fome good : 
But not for that, dream I on this ftrange courfe, 
But on this travail look for greater birth. 
She dying, as it muft be fo maintain'd, 
Upon the inftant that fhe was accus'd, 
Shall be lamented, pity'd, arid exeus'd, 
Of every hearer : For it fo falls out, 
That what we have we prize not to the worth, 
Whiles we enjoy it ; but being lack'd and loft, 
Why, then we rack the value 9 ; then we find 
The virtue, that pofieffion would not Ihew us 
Whiles it was ours : So will it fare with Claudio : 
W^hen he fhall hear fhe dy'd upon his words, 
The idea of her life fhail fweetly creep 
Into his ftudy of imagination ; 
And every lovely organ of her life 
Shall come apparel'd in more precious habit, 
More moving, delicate, and full of life, 

Into the eye and profpedl: of his foul, 

Than when fhe liv'd indeed : then fhall he mourn, 

(If ever love had interefl in his liver) 

And wilh he had not fo accufed her ; 

No, though he thought his accufation true. 

Let this be fo, and doubt not but fuccefs 

Will fafhion the event in better fhape 

Than I can lay it down in likelihood. 

But if all aim but this be levell'd falfe, 

The fuppofition of the lady's death 

9 ive rack the value ; ] i.e. We exaggerate 

the value. The allufion is to rack-rents. The fame kind of 
thought occurs in Antony and Cleopatra : 

" What our contempts do often hurl from us, 
" We vvifh it ours again." STEEVENS. 

The following paflkge in the Widows Tears by Chapman, 
1612, ftrengthens Mr. Steevens's interpretation : 

" One joint of him I loft, was much more worth 

" Than the ratkt value of thy entire body." MA LONE. 

Z 2 Will 

34 o M U C H A D O 

Will quench the wonder of her infamy : 

And, if it fort not well, you may conceal her, 

(As beft befits her wounded reputation) 

In fome reclufive and religious life, 

Out of all eyes, tongues, minds, and injuries. 

BCHC. Signior Leonato, let the friar advife you : 
And though, you know, my inwardnefs and love 
Is very much unto the prince and Claudio, 
Yet, by mine honour, I will deal in this 
As fecretly, and juftly, as your foul 
Should with your body. 

Leon. Being that I flow in grief, 
The fmalleil twine may lead me '. 

Friar. "Tis well consented ; prefently away ; 
For to ft range fores flrangely they flrain the 

Come, lady, die to live : this wedding day, 

Perhaps, is but prolong'd ; have patience, and 
endure. [Exeunt. 

Manent Benedick and Beatrice *. 

Bene. Lady Beatrice, have you wept all this while ? 
Beat. Yea, and I will weep a while longer. 


1 Thefmalleft fovine may lead mc.~\ This is one of our authour's 
obfervations upon life. Men overpowered with diftrefs, eagerly 
liften to the firft offers of relief, clofe with every fcheme, and be- 
lieve ever)' promife. He that has no longer any confidence in 
himfelf, is glad to repofe his truit in any other that will under- 
take to guide him. JOHNSON. 

1 Manent Benedick and Beatrice.] The poet, in my opinion, has 
fliewn a great deal of addrefs in this fcene. Beatrice here engages 
her lover to revenge the injury done her coulin Hero : and with- 
out this very natural incident, confidering the character of Bea- 
trice, and that the ftory of her pallion for Benedick was all a fa- 
ble, fhe could never have been eafily or naturally brought to cou- 
feis {he loved him, notwithstanding all the foregoing preparation. 
And yet, on this confeiuon, in this very place, depended the 
whole tucceis of the plot upon her and Benedick. For had fhe not 
owned her love here, they muft have foon found out the trick, 
and then the defign of bringing them together had been defeated ; 



Seae. I will not defire that. 

Beat. You have no reafon, I do it freely. 

Seng. Surely, I do believe your fair coufin is 

Seat. Ah, how much might the man deferve of me, 
that would right her ! 

Bern. Is there any way to fhew fuch friendlhip ? 

.Beat A very even way, but no fuch friend. 

Bene. May a man do it ? 

Beat. It is a man's office, but not yours. 

Bene. I do love nothing in the world fo well as you ; 
Is not that ftrange ? 

Beat. As ilrange as the thing I know not : It were 
as poffible for me to fay, I loved nothing fo well as 
you : but believe me not ; and yet I lie not ; I con- 
fefs nothing, nor I deny nothing : I am forry for my 

Bene. By my fword, Beatrice, thou tov'fl me. 

Beat. Do not fwear by it, and eat it. 

Bene. I will fwear by it, that you love me ; and I 
will make him eat it, that fays, I love not you. 

Beat. Will you not eat your word ? 

Bene. With no fauce that can be devis'd to it : I 
proteft I love thee. 

Beat. Why then, God forgive me ! 

Bsne. What offence, fweet Beatrice ? 

Beat. You have ftaid me in a happy hour ; I was 
about to proteft, I lov'd you. 

Bene. And do it with all thy heart. 

Beat. I love you with fo much of my heart, that 
none is left to proteft. 

Bene. Come, bid me do any thing for thee. 

Beat. Kill Claudio. 

Bene. Ha ! not for the wide world. 

Beat. You kill me to deny it : Farewell. 

and {he would never have owned a pafficn {he had been only 
tricked into, had not her defire of revenging her coufin's wrong 
made her drop her capricious humour at once. WA&BVRTOX. 

Z 3 Bent. 

34* M U C H A D O 

Bern. Tarry, fweet Beatrice. 

Beat. I am gone, though I am here J ; There is 
no love in you : nay, I pray you, let me go. 

Bene. Beatrice, 

Beat. In faith, I will go. 

Bene. We'll be friends firft. 

Beat. You dare eaiier be friends with me, than fight 
with mine enemy. 

Bene. Is Claudio thine enemy ? 

Beat. Is he not approved in the height a villain 4 , 
that hath flander'd, fcorn'd, difhonour'd my kinfwo- 
man ? O, that I were a man ! What, bear her in 
hand until they come to take hands ; and then with 
publick accufation, uncover'd flander, unmitigated 
rancour, O God, that I were a man ! I would eat 
his heart in the market-place. 

Bene. Hear me, Beatrice. 

Beat. Talk with a man out at a window ? a pro- 
per faying ! 

Bene. Nay, but Beatrice; 

Beat. Sweet Hero ! ftie is wrong'd, Ihe is flander'd, 
fhe is undone. 

Bene. Beat 

Beat. Princes and counties y ! Surely, a princely 
teftimony, a goodly count-comfeft 6 ; a fweet gallant, 
furely ! O that I were a man for his fake ! or that I 
had any friend would be a man for my fake ! But 
manhood is melted into curtefies, valour into com- 
pliment, and men are only turned into tongue, and 

3 I am gone i though I am here : ] i.e. I am out of your mind 
already, though I remain here in perfon before you. STEEVENS. 

4 in. the height a villain,] So in Hen. VIII : 

" He's traitor to the height" 
" In pracipiti vitium ftetit." STEEVENS. 

3 and counties ! J County was the ancient general term for 

a nobleman. See a note on the County Paris in Romeo and Juliet. 


6 a goodly cqunt-comfeft j] i.e. a fpecious nobleman made 
out of fugar. STEEVENS. 



trim ones too 7 : he is now as valiant as Hercules, that 
only tells a lye, and fwears it : I cannot be a man 
with wifliing, therefore I will die a woman with 

Bene. Tarry, good Beatrice : By this hand, I love 

Seat. Ufe it for my love fome other way than 
fwearing by it. 

Bene. Think you in your foul, the count Claudio 
hath wrong'd Hero ? 

Beat. Yea, as fure as I have a thought, or a foul. 

Bene. Enough, I am engag'd, I will challenge 
him ; I will kifs your hand, and fo leave you : By 
this hand, Claudio fhall render me a dear account : 
As you hear of me, fo think of me. Go comfort 
your coufin : I muft fay, ihe is dead ; and fo farewell. 



A Prifon. 

Enter Dogberry, forges, Borachlo, Conrade, the Town- 
Clerk and Sexton in gowns. 

Dogb. Is our whole diflembly appear'd ? 
Verg. O, a flool and a cufliion for the fexton ! 


7 and men are only turned into tongue, and trim ones too \\ 
Mr. Heath would read tongues, but he miftakes the conftru&ion 
of the fentence, which is not only men, but trim ones, are 
turned into tongue, i.e. not only common but clever men, &c. 


8 Scene II. The perfons, throughout this fcene, have been 
ftrangely confounded in the modern editions. The firft eiror 
has been the introduction of a Tovjn~Clerk, who is, indeed, men- 
tioned in the Aage-diredion, prefixed to this fcene in the old 
editions, (Enter the Conftables, Borackio, and the Towne-clerke in. 
gowxety but no where elfe ; nor is there a lingle fpeech afcribed 
to him in thofe editions. The parr, which he might reafonably 
have been expecled to take upon this occafion, is performed by 
ike SfAtoa ', who aiiifts at. or vuihc.v directs, the examinations ; 

Z 4 fets 

3 44 M U C H A D O 

Sexton. Which be the malefactors ? 

Dogb. Marry, that am I and my partner. 

Verg. Nay, that's certain ; we have the exhibition 
to examine, 

Sexton. But which are the offenders that are to bo 
examin'd ? let them come before mailer conftable. 

Dogb. Yea, marry, let them come before me. ? 
What is your name, friend ? 

Bora. Borachio. 

Dogb. Pray, write down Borachio. Yours, 
firrah ? 

Conr. I am a gentleman, fir, and my name is Con- 

Dogb. Write down matter gentleman Conrade,-^ 
Matters, do you ferve God ? 

Both. Yea, fir, we hope 9 . 

Dogb. Write down that they hope they ferve 
God : and write God firft ; for God defend but God 
ihould go before fuch villains ! Mailers, it is proved 

fets them down in writing, and reports them to Leonato. It is 
probable, therefore, I think, that the Sexton has been {Hied the 
Timvit-clerkj in the frage-dire&ion abovementioned, from his do- 
ing the duty of fuch an oiticer. But the editors, having brought 
loth Sexton and Town-clerk upon the ftage, were unwilling, as it 
feerns, that the latter ihould be a mute peribnage ; and there- 
fore they have put into his mouth almofl all the abFurditics which 
the poet certainly intended for his ignorant conftable. To rec- 
tify this confufion, little more is necefiary than to go back to 
the old editions, 'remembering that the names of Kempe and Cow- 
ley , two celebrated aftors of the time, are put in this fcene, for 
the names of the perfons reprefented ; viz. Kempt for Dogberry, 
and Coivley for Merges. TYRWHITT. 

I have followed Mr, Tyrwhitt's regulation, which is undoubt- 
edly juft> but have left Mr. Theobald's notes as I found them. 


9 Both. Tea, Jir, we lope. 

To Cl. Write dovon that they hope they Jews God : and write God 
fi r fi ', for God defend but God jhould go before fuch 'villains ! ~^ 
This fhort paflage, which is truly humourous and in character, I 
have added from the old quarto. Betides, it fupulies a defect : 
for, without it, the Town Clerk afks a queftion of the prifoners, 
and goes on without Haying for any anfwer to it, THEOBALD. 



already that you are little better than falfe knaves, 
and it will go near to be thought fo Ihortly ; How 
anfwer you for yourfelves ? 

Conr. Marry, fir, we fay, we are none. 

Dogb. A marvellous witty fellow, I aflure you ; 
but I will go about with him. Come you hither, 
lirrah ; a word in your ear, fir ; I fay to you, it is 
thought you are falfe knaves. 

Bora. Sir, I fay to you, we are none. 

Dogb. Well, ftand afide. 'Fore God, they arc 
both in a tale 9 :- Have you writ down that they arc 

Sexton. Mafler conftable, you go not the way to 
examine ; you muft call the watch that are their ao 

1 Dogb. Yea, marry, that's the efteft way : Let 
the watch come forth : Mailers, I charge you in the 
prince's name accufe thefe men. 

9 'Fore God, they are both in a tale:"] This is an admirable ftroke 
of humour : Dogberry fays of the prisoners that they are falfe 
knaves, and from that denial of the charge, which one in 
his wits could not but be fuppofed to make, he infers a commu- 
nion of couniels, and records it in the examination as an evi- 
dence of their guilt. SIR J. HAWKINS. 

1 To. Cl. Tea, marry, that's the eafieft ivay: Let the watch come 
forth:] This eajieft, is a fophiftication of our modern editors, who 
were at a lofs to make out the corrupted reading of the old copies. 
The quarto in 1 600, and the firft and fecond editions in folio, all 
concur in reading ; Tea, marry, that's the elteit ivay t &c. A letter 
happened to flip out at prels in the firft edition; and 'twas too 
hard a talk for the fubfequent editors to put it in, or guefs at the 
v/ord under this accidental depravation. There is no doubt but 
the author wrote, as I have reftor'd the text j Tea, marry, that's the 
deficit -uw, &c. i. e. the readieft, moit commodious way. The word 
is pure Saxon. Deaphce, debite, congrue, duely, fitly, Decaerhe, 
opportune, commode, fitly, conveniently, feafonably, in good time, 
coinmodioufly. Vid. Spelman's Saxon GlofT. THEOBALD. 
Mr. Theobald might have recollefted the word deftly in Macbeth ; 

" Thy felt" and ornce deftly ihow." 

Shakefpeare, I fuppole, defign'd Dogberry to corrupt_this word 
as well as many others. STEEVENS. 


34<* M U C H A D O 

Enter Watchmen, 

i Watch. This man faid, fir, that Don John, the 
prince's brother, was a villain. 

Dogb. Write down prince John a villain : Why 
this is flat perjury, to call a prince's brother villain. 

Bora. Mafler conftable, 

Dogb. Pray thee, fellow, peace ; I do not like thy 
look, I promife thee. 

Sexton. What heard you him fay elfe ? 

2, Watch. Marry, that he had receiv'd a thoufand 
ducats of Don John, for aceufing the lady Hero 

Dogb. Flat burglary, as ever was committed, 

Verg. Yea, by the mafs, that it is. 

Sexton. What elfe, fellow ? 

1 Watch. And that count Claudio did mean, upon 
his words, to difgrace Hero before the whole afiem- 
bly, and not marry her. 

Dogb. O villain ! thou wilt be condemned into 
everlafting redemption for this. 
Sexton, What elfe ? 

2 Watch. This is all. 

Sexton. And this is more, maflers, than you can 
deny. Prince John is this morning fccretly ftolen 
away ; Hero was in this manner accus'd, in this 
very manner refus'd, and upon the grief of this, fud- 
denly dy'd. Matter conftable, let thefe men be 
bound, and brought to Leonato's ; I will go before, 
and Ihew him their examination. [Exit* 

Dogb. Come, let them be opinion'd. 

Verg. Let them be in hand *. 


* Sexton. Let them be in the bands of coxcomb. "\ So the editions. 
Mr. Theobald gives the words to Conrade, and lays, But why the 
Sexton Jhould bcfo pert upon bis brother officers^ there feems no reafon 
from any fuperior qualifications in him ; or anyfufpicion he Jhews of 
* knowing their ignorance. This is ftrange. The Sexton through- 
out (hews as good fenfe in their examination as any judge upon 



Conr. Off, coxcomb ! 

Dogb. God's my life ! where's the fexton ? let him 
write down the prince's officer, coxcomb, Come, 
bind them : Thou naughty varlet ! 

the bench could do. And as to bis fufpicion of their ignorance, he 
tells the Town-Clerk, That he goes not the way to examine. The 
meannefs of his name hindered our editor from feeing the good- 
nefs of his fenfe. But this Sexton was an ecclefiaftic of one of 
the inferior orders called the facriftan, and not a brother officer, as 
the editor calls him. I fuppofe the book from whence the poet 
took his fubjeft, was fome old Englifh novel tranflated from the 
Italian, where the word fagrijlano was rendered fexton. As in 
Fairfax's Godfrey of Boulogne : 

' ' When Phoebus next unclosed his wakeful eye, 
" Up rofe the Sexton of that place prophane." 
The paflage then in queftion is to be read thus : 

Sexton. Let them be in hand. [Exit. 

Conr. Off, coxcomb ! 

Dogberry would have them pinion'd. The Sexton fays, it was 
fufficient if they were kept in fafe cuftody, and then goes out. 
When one of the watchmen comes up to bind them, Conrade fays, 
Off, coxcomb ! as he fays afterwards to the conftable, Away! you. 
are an afs. But the editor adds, The old quarto gave me thefirjl 
umbrage for placing it to Conrade. What thefe words mean I don't 
know : but I fufpeft the old quarto divides the paflage as I have 
done. WAR BUR TON. 

Theobald has fairly given the reading of the quarto. 
Dr.Warburton's aflertion, as to the dignity of & fexton orfacriftan y 
may be fupported by the following paflage in Stanyhurft's forfion, 
of the fourth Book of the jEneid, where he calls the Maflylian 
prieflefs : 

" in foil Maflyla begotten, 

" Scxten of Hefperides iinagog." STEEVENS. 
Let them be in hand.'} I had conjectured that thefe words fhould 
be given to Fcrges, and read thus : " Let them bind their hands." 
I am ftill of opinion that the paflage belongs to forges ; but, for 
the true reading of it, I fhould wifli to adopt a much neater 
emendation, which has fince been fuggefted to me in converfation 
"by Mr. Steevens. Let them be in band. Shakefpeare, as he ob- 
ferved tome, commonly ufes band for bond. TYRWHITT. 

It is plain that they were lound from a fubfequent fpeech of 
Pedro : " Whom have you offended, matters, that you are thus 
lound to your anfwer ?" STEEVENS. 

There is nothing in the old quarto different in this fcene from 
the common copies, except that the names of two actors, Kempe 
and Coivley, are placed at the beginning of the fpeeches, inflead 
pf the proper words. JOHNSON. 


34 8 M U C H A D O 

Conr. Away ! you are an afs, you are an afs, 
Dogb. Doft thou not fufped my place ? Doft thou 
not fufpedt my years ? O that he were here to write 
me down an afs ! but, matters, remember, that I 
am an afs; though it be not written down, yet 
forget not that I am an afs : No, thou villain, thou 
art full of piety, as mall be proved upon thee by 
good witnefs : I am a wife fellow; and, which is 
more, an officer ; and, which is more, an noil/holder ; 
and, which is more, as pretty a piece of flelh as any 
is in Meflina ; and one that knows the law, go to ; 
and a rich fellow enough, go to ; and a fellow that 
hath had lofles ; and one that hath two gowns, and 
every thing handfome about him : Bring him away. 
O, that I had been writ down an afs ! Exeunt* 


Before Leonato's Houfe. 

Enter Leonato and Antonio. 

Ant. If you go on thus, you will kill yourfelf ; 
And 'tis not wifdom, thus to fecond grief 
Againfl yourfelf. 

Leon. I pray thee, ceafe thy counfel, 
Which falls into mine ears as profitlefs 
As water in a fieve : give not me counfel ; 
Nor let no comforter delight mine ear, 
But fuch a one whofe wrongs do fuit with mine. 
Bring me a father, that fo lov'd his child, 
Whofe joy of her is overwhelm'd like mine, 
And bid him fpeak of patience ; 
Meafure his woe the length and breadth of mine, 
And let it anfvver every (train for ilrain ; 



As thus for thus, and fuch a grief for fuch, 
In every lineament, branch, ihape, and form : 
If fuch a one will fmile, and ftroke his beard 5 ; 
And, forrow wag ! cry ; hem, when he Ihould groan ; 
Patch ffrief with proverbs ; make misfortune drunk 


3 If fuch a une ivill fmile ', andftroke bis beard; 

And hallow, wag, cry hem, when he Jbould groan :\ 
Mr. Rowe is the firft authority that I can find for this reading. 
But what is the intention, or how can we expound it? " If a man 
will halloo, and whoop, &&& fidget , and wriggle about, to (hew a 
pleafure when he fhould groan," &c. This does not give much 
decorum to the fentiment. The old quarto, and the firil and fe- 
cond folio editions, all read : 

And forrow, wagge, cry hem, &C. 

We don't, indeed, get much by this reading ; though, I flatter 
myfelf, by a flight alteration it has led me to the true one, 

And forrow wage ; cry, hem ! when be Jbould groan ; 
i. e. If fuch a one will combat with, Jlrive againjl forrow, &c. 
Nor is this word infrequent with our author in thefe lignifications. 


Sir Thomas Hanmer, and after him Dr. Warburton, for <wag 
read waive, which is, I fuppofe, the fame as, put ajide, or Jbiftojf. 
None of thefe conjectures fatisfy me, nor perhaps any other rea- 
der. I cannot but think the true meaning nearer than it is ima- 
gined. I point thus : 

If fuch a one will fmile, andftroke his beard, 
Jlnd, farrow ivag ! ctyi hem, tub en be Jhould groan ; 
That is, If be will fmile, and cry forrow be gone, and hem inftead 
of groaning. The order in which and and cry are placed, is harm, 
and this harfhnefs made the fenfe miftaken. Range the words in 
the common order, and my reading will be free from all diffi- 
culty : 

If fucb a one willfmik, andjlroke his beard, 
Cry, farrow, ivag ! and hem when he Jbould groan, 

I think we might read : 

" And forrow gagge ; cry hem, when he Ihould groan;" 
But, leaving this conjecture to fhift for itfelf, I will fay a few 
words upon the phrafe, cry hem. It is ufed again by our author, 
in the Firft Part of Henry IV. aft II. fcene vii. " They call drink- 
ing deep, dying fcarlet ; and when you breathe in your watering, 
they cry &7w, r and bid you play it off." In both places, to cry hem, 
fcems to fignify the fame as to cry courage ; in which fenfe the 
interjection hem was fometimes alfo ufed by the Latins. 

As Shakefpeare ufes a fimilar phrafe, to cry aim, in nearly the 
lame fenfe, I was once led to imagine that this might have beea 


350 M U C H A D O 

With candle-waiters 4 ; bring him yet to me. 
And I of him will gather patience. 

only a corruption of to cry hem ; but having fince confidered the" 
numerous inftances, which Mr. Steevens has produced in illuftra- 
tion of the phrafe cry aim, Merry Wives of WinJfor, a6t. II. 
fc. iii. I am clearly of opinion, that the two phrafes, though of- 
ten of the fame import, are of quite diftintt and independent 
originals. TYRWHITT. 

Here is a manifeft corruption. The tenouf of the context is un- 
doubtedly this : " If a man in fuch melancholy circumflances 
will fmile, ftroke his beard with great complacency, and in the 
very depth of affliction cheerfully cry hem when he fliould groan, 
&c." I therefore, with the leaft departure from the old copies, 
and in entire conformity to the acknowledged and obvious fenfe 
of the pafiage, venture to correct thus : 

If fuch a one will fmile and ftroke his beard, 
Andforrowing cry hem, when he fliould groan. 
Sorrowing, to fay no more, was a participle extremely common 
in our author's age. Rowe's emendation of this place is equally 
without meaning and without authority. Sorrowing was here, 
perhaps, originally written Sorrowing*;, according to the old man- 
ner ot fpelling ; which brings the correction I have propofed ftill 
nearer to the letters of the text in early editions. WARTON. 

To cry, care away! was once an expreffion of triumph. So, in 
Acolaftus, a comedy, 1529 : " I may nowe fay, Care awaye !" 
Sorrow wagge ! may be fuch another phrafe of exultation. 
Again, ibid. " Nowe grievous forrowe and care away /" 

What will be faid of the conceit I fhall now offer, I know not ; 
let it, however, take its chance. We might read : 

If fuch a one will fmile, and ftroke his beard, 
And, forty wag ! cry hem ! when he ftiould groan. 
i. e. unfeeling humourift ! to employ a note of fejlivity^ when his 
Jighs ought to exprefs concern. Bofh the words I would introduce, 
are ufed by Shakefpeare. Falftaff calls the prince, fweet wag f 
and the epithet forry is applied, even at this time, to denote any 
moderate deviation from propriety or morality ; as, for inftance, 
a forry fellow. Othello, fpeaks of a fait and furry rheum. The 
prince, in the Firft Part of K. Henry IV. act II. fc. iv. fays : 
" they cry, hem! and bid you play it off." This fufficiently 
proves the exclamation to have been of a comic turn. STEEVENS. 

* make misfortune drunk 

W^ith candle-wajlers,^ 

This may mean, either wafti away his forrow among thofe who 
fit up all night to drink, and in that fenfe may be ftyled wajters 
of candles ; or overpower his misfortunes by fvvallowing flap- 
dragons in his glafs, which are defcribed by FalftafF as made of 
candles' ends. STEEVENS. 


'But there is no fuch man : For, brother, men 
Can counfel, and give comfort to that grief 
Which they themfelves not feel ; but, tafting it, 
Their counfel turns to paflion, which before 
Would give preceptial medicine to rage, 
Fetter jftrong madnefs in a filken thread, 
Charm ach with air, and agony with words : 
No, no ; 'tis all men's office to fpeak patience 
To thofe that wring under the load of forrow ; 
But no man's virtue, nor fufficiency, 
To be fo moral, when he fhall endure 
The like himfelf : therefore give me no counfel; 
My griefs cry louder than advertifement s . 

Ant. Therein do men from children nothing differ. 

Leon. I pray thee, peace ; I will be flefh and blood ; 
For there was never yet philofopher, 
That could endure the tooth-ach patiently ; 
However they have writ the ftyle of gods 6 , 
And made a pilh at chance and fufferance 7 . 

Ant. Yet bend not all the harm upon yourfelf ; 
Make thofe, that do offend you, fuffer too. 

Leon. There thou fpeak'lt reafon : nay, I will do fo : 

s tbanadvertifement,] That is, than admonition, than mo- 
ral inftrutfion. JOHNSON. 

6 However they have writ the ftyle of gods,] This alludes to 
the extravagant titles the Stoics gave their wife men. Sapiens Hit 
cum Diis ex pare vivit. Senec. Ep. 59. Jupiter quo antecedit vi- 
rum bonum f diutius bonus eft. Sapiens nibilofe minoris eejlimat. 
Deus non vincit fapientem felicitate. Ep. 73. WARBURTON. 

Shakefpeare might have ufed this expreffion, without any ac- 
quaintance with the hyperboles of ftoicifm. By thejty/e of gods, 
he meant an exalted language ; fuch as we may fuppofe would be 
written by beings fuperior to human calamities, and therefore 
regarding them with neglect and coldnefs. 

B. and Fletcher have the fame expreffion in the firft of their 
Four Plays in One : 

*' Athens doth make women philofophers, 

" And fure their children chat the talk of gods." 


T And made a pijh at chance and fufferance.] Alludes to their 
famous apathy. WARBURTON. 


352 M U C H A D O 

My foul doth tell me, Hero is bely'd ; 

And that fliall Claudio know, fo ihall the prince, 

And all of them, that thus difhonour her. 

Enter Don Pedro and Claudio* 

Ant. Here comes the prince, and Claudio, haftily. 

Pedro* Good den, good den. 

Claud. Good day to both of you. 

Leon. Hear you, my lords, 

Pedro. We have forne hafte, Leonato. 

Leon. Some hafte, my lord ? well, fare you well, 

my lord : 
Are you fo hafty now ? well, all is one. 

Pedro. Nay, do not quarrel with us, good old 

Ant. If he could right himfelf with quarrelling, 
Some of us would lye low. 

Claud. Who wrongs him ? 

Leon. Marry, thou doft wrong me, thoudiflembler, 

thou ! 

Nay, never lay thy hand upon thy fword, 
I fear thee not. 

Claud. Marry, belhrew my hand, 
If it fhould give your age fuch caufe of fear : 
In faith, my hand meant nothing to my fword. 

Leon. Tulh, tulh, man, never fleer and jeft at me ; 
I fpeak not like a dotard, nor a fool ; 
As, under privilege of age, to brag 
What I have done being young, or what would do, 
Were I not old : Know, Claudio, to thy head, 
Thou haft fo wrong'd my innocent child, and me, 
That I am forc'd to lay my reverence by ; 
And, with grey hairs, and bruife of many days, 
Do challenge thee to tryal of a man. 
I fay, thou haft bely'd mine innocent child, 
Thy flander hath gone through and through her 

And Ihe lyes bury'd with her anceftors : 

O, in 


O, in a tomb where fcandal never flept, 
Save this of hers, fram'd by thy villainy ! 

Claud. My villainy? 

Leon Thine, Claudio ; thine I fay; 

Pedro. You fay not right, old man. 

Leon. My lord, my lord, 
I'll prove it on his body, if he dare ; 
Defpight his nice fence, and his active practice, 
His May of youth, and bloom of luftyhood. 

Claud. Away, I will hot have to do with you. 

Leon. 8 Canft thou fo daffe me ? Thou haft kill'd 

my child ; 
If thou kiU'ft me, boy, thou malt kill a man. 

Ant. He mall kill two of us, and men indeed 9 : 


8 Canft tboufo daffe me ? ] This is a country word, 

Mr. Pope tells us, fignifying, Jaunt. It may be fo ; but that is 
hot the expofition here : To daffe and dojfe are fynonimous terms, 
that mean, to put off": which is the very fenfe required here, and 
what Leonato would reply upon Claudio's faying^ he would have 
nothing to do with him. THEOBALD. 

Theobald has well interpreted the word. Shakefpeare ufes it 
more than once : 

" The nimble footed mad-cap prince of Wales, 
" And his comrades that daff'd the world afide." 
Again, " I would have daff'd other refpe&s, &c." 
Again, in the Lover's Complaint : 

" There my white ftol& of chaftity I doff* el" 

It is perhaps of Scottilh origin, as I find it in Ane verie ex- 
cfltent and deletfabill Treat tfe intitalit PHILOTUS, &e. Edinburgh, 
1603 : 

" Their doffing does us fo undo." STEEVENS. 

5 Ant. He JJ^all kill t-'jjo of us, &c.] This brother A>:tkory is the 
trueft picture imaginable of human nature. He had afiumed the 
character of a fage to comfort his brother, o'erwhelmed with grief 
for his only daughter's affront and difhonour; and had fevere'.v 
reproved him for not commanding his paffion better on fo tr)'ing 
an occafion. Yet, immediately atter this, no fooner does he be- 
gin to fufpect that his age and valour are (lighted, but he falls into 
the moft intemperate fit of rage himfeif : and all he can do or fay 
is not of power to pacify him. This is copying nature with a 
penetration and exadtnefs of judgment peculiar to Shakespeare. 

VOL. II. A a As 

354 M U C H A D O 

But that's no matter ; let him kill one firfi ; * 
Win me and wear me, let him anfwer me : 
Come, follow me, boy ; come, fir boy, follow me 
Sir, boy, I'll whip you from your foining fence ; 
Nay, as I am a gentleman, I will. 

Leon. Brother, 

Ant. Content yourfelf : God knows, I lov'd my 

niece ; 

And {he is dead, flander'd to death by villains ; 
That dare as well anfwer a man, indeed, 
As I dare take a ferpent by the tongue : 
Boys, apes, braggarts, jacks, milkfops ! 

Leon. Brother Anthony, 

Ant. Hold you content ; What, man ? I know 

them, yea, 

And what they weigh, even to the utmoft fcruple : 
Scambling ', out-facing, falhion-mong'ring boys, 
That lye, and cog, and flout, deprave and flander, 
Go antickly, and fhow outward hideoufnefs, 
And fpeak off half a dozen dangerous words, 
How they might hurt their enemies, if they durft, 
And this is all. 

Leon. But, brother Anthony, 

Ant. Come 'tis no matter ; 
Do not you meddle, let me deal in this. 

Pedro. Gentlemen both, we will not 2 wake your 


As to the expreffion, too, of his paffion, nothing can be more 
highly painted. WAR BUR TON. 

1 Si-ambling] i. e. fcr ambling. The word is more than once 
ufed by Shakeipeare. See Dr. Percy's note on the firft fpeech of 
the . play of K. Henry V. and likewife the Scots proverb " It 
is well ken'd your father's fon was never bfcambler. Afcamblcr 
in its. literal fenfe, is one who goes about among his friends to 
get a dinner, by the Irifh call'd a cojherer. STEEVENS. 

* - <vje will not wake your patience. ~\ This conveys a fenti- 
ment that the fpeaker would by no means have implied, That 
the patience of the two old men was not exercifed, but afleep, 



My heart is forry for your daughter's death ; 
But on my honour, fhe was charg'd with nothing 
But what was true, and very full of proof. 

Leon. My lord, my lord, 

Pedro. I will not hear you. 

Leon. No? 
Come, brother, away : I will be heard ;-*- 

Ant. And fliall, 
Or fome of us will fmart for it, 

[Exeunt ambo>, 

Enter Benedick. 

Pedro. See> fee, 
Here comes the man we went to feek* 

Claud. Now, fignior I 
What news ? 

Bene. Good day, my lord* 

Pedro. Welcome fignior : 
You are almofl come to part almoft a fray* 

Claud. We had like to have had our two nofes 
fnapt off with two old men without teeth. 

Pedro. Leonato and his brother : What think'il 
thou ? had we fought, I doubt,, we ihould have been 
too young for them. 

Bene. In a falfe quarrel there is no true valour. 
I came to feek you both. 

Claud. We have been up and down to feck thee ; 

which upbraids them for infenfibility under their wrong. Shake- 
fpeare inuft have wrote : 

<voc will not wrack " 

i.e. deftroy your patience by tantalizing you. WARBURTON. 

This emendation is very fpecious, and perhaps is right ; yet the 
prefent reading may admit a congruous meaning with lefs diffi- 
culty than many other of Shakefpeare's expreffions. 

The old men have been both very angry and outrageous ; the 
prince tells them that he and Claudio vt$net wake their patience; 
will not any longer force them to eiulurc the prefence of thofe 
*vhom, though they look on them as enemies, they cannot refill. 


A a 2 for 

356 M U C H A D O 

for we are high-proof melancholy, and would fain 
have it beaten away : W ilt thou ufe thy wit ? 

Bene. It is in my Icabbard ; Shall I draw it ? 

Pedro. Doll thou wear thy wit by thy fide ? 

Claud. Never any did fo, though very many have 
been betide their wit. I will bid thee draw, as we do 
the minflrels ; draw, to pleafure us. 

Pedro. As I am an honefl man, he looks pale : 
Art thou lick or angry ? 

Claud. What ! courage, man ! What though care 
kill'd a cat, thou haft mettle enough in thee to kill 

Bene. Sir, I fhall meet your wit in the career, if 
you charge it againft me : I pray you, chufe another 

Claud. Nay, then give him another ftaff ; this 1 aft 
was broke crofs '. 

Pedro. By this light, he changes more and more ; 
I think, he be angry indeed. 

Claud. If he be, he knows how to turn his girdle 4 . 

Bene. Shall I fpeak a word in your ear ? 

Claud. God blefs me from a challenge ! 

Bene. You are a villain ; I jeft not : I will make 
it good how you dare, with what you dare, and when 
you dare : Do me right, or I will proteft your 
cowardice. You have kill'd a fweet lady, and her 
death fhall fall heavy on you : Let me hear from 

Claud. Well, I will meet you, fo I may have good 

3 Nay, then give him another Jiaff^ &c.] An allufion to tilting. 
See note, As Ton Like It, act III. fc. iv. WAR BUR TON. 

4 to turn hi 'i girdle, ,] We have a proverbial fpeech, If he be an- 
gry, let him turn the buckle of bis girdle. But I do not know its 
original or meaning. JOHNSON. 

A correfponding expreffion is ufed to this day in Ireland. If 
he be angry, let him tie up his brogues. Neither proverb, I believe, 
has any other meaning than this : If he is in a bad humour, let 
kim employ himfelf till he is in a better. STEEVENS. 


A B O U T N O T H I N G. 357 

Pedro. What, a feaft ? a feaft ? 

Claud. I'faith, I thank him ; he hath bid me to a 
calves-head and a capon ; the which if I do not carve 
inoft curioufly, fay my knife's naught. Shall I not 
find a woodcock too ? 

Bene. Sir, your wit ambles well ; it goes eafily. 

Pedro. I'll tell thee, how Beatrice prais'd thy wit 
the other day : I faid, thou hadft a fine wit; True? 
fays me, a fine little one ; No, faid I, a great wit ; 
Right ) faid ihe, a great grojs one ; Nay, faid I, a good 
wit, Jifl, fays me, it hurts no body ; Nay., faid I, the 
gentleman is wife ; Certain, faid ihe, a J wife gentle- 
man ; Nay, faid I, he hath the tongues ; That I believe, 
faid ihe, for he fwore a thing to me on monday night , 
which he forfwore on tmfday morning ; there's a double 
tongue*, there's two tongues. Thus did me, an hour 
together, tranf-fhape thy particular virtues ; yet, at 
laft, Ihe concluded with a figh, thou waft the pro- 
pereft man in Italy. 

Claud. For the which me wept heartily, and faid, 
ihe car'd not. 

Pedro. Yea, that ihe did ; but yet, for all that, an 
if ihe did not hate him deadly, ihe would love him 
dearly ; the old man's daughter told us all. 

Claud. All, all; and moreover, God Jaw him when 
he was hid in the garden. 

Pedro. But when mall w r e fct the favage bull's 
horns on the fenfible Benedick's head ? 

Claud. Yea, and text underneath, Here dwells Bene- 
dick the married man ? 

Bene. Fare you well, boy ; you know my mind ; I 
will leave you now to your goffip-like humour : you 
break jefts as braggarts do their blades, which, God 

5 a ~i'/7T- gentleman ;] This jeft'ctependincr on the colloquial ufe 
of words is now obfcure ; perhaps we ftiould read, a wiff gentle 
man, or a man ivife enough to le a coward. Perhaps wife gentleman 
\vj< in tliut age uled ironically, and always flood for fiOy felfai). 


A a d be 


be thanked, hurt not. My lord, for your many 
courtefies I thank you ; I muft difcontinue your 
company : your brother, the haftard, is fled from 
Meffina ; you have, among you, kill'd a fvveet and in-, 
nocent lady : For my lord lack-beard there, he and 
I fhall meet ; and till then, peace be with him ! 

[Exit Benedick, 

Pedro. He is in earneft. 

Claud. In rnoft profound earneft ; and, I'll warrant 
you, for the love of Beatrice. 

Pedro. And hath challeng'd thec ? 

Glaud. Mofl iincerely, 

Pedro. 6 What a pretty thing man is, when he goes 
in his doublet and hofe, and leaves off his wit ! 

"Enter Dogberry^ Verges, Conrade and Bordckio guarded* 

Claud. He is then a giant to an ape : but then is 
an ape a doctor to fuch a man. 

Pedro. But, foft you, let be ; pluck up my heart, 
and be fad : Did he not fay, my brother was fled ? 

Dogb. Come, you, fir ; if juftice cannot tame you, 
ihe fhall ne'er weigh more reafons in her balance ; 
nay, an you he a curfing hypocrite once, you muft be 
Ibok'd to. 

Pedro. How now, two of my brother's men bound ! 
Borachio, one ! 

Claud. Hearken after their offence, my lord ! 

Pedro. Officers, what offence have thefe men done ? 

Dogb. Marry, fir, they have committed falfe re- 
port ; moreover, they have fpoken untruths ; fecon- 
darily, they are fianders ; iixth and laftly, they have 
bely'd a lady ; thirdly, they have verify'd unjuft 
things : and, to conclude^ they are lying knaves. 

6 What a pretty thing man is, when he goes in bis doublet and hofe t 
And leaves off his <rOi*l/j It was efteemed a mark of levity and want 
of becoming gravity, at that time, to go in the doublet and hofe, and 
leave off the cloak, to which this well-turned exprejjlon alludes. 
The thought is, that love makes a man as ridiculous, and expofeb 
lum as naked as being in the doublet and hofe without a cloak. 



Pedro. Firft, I afk thee what they have done; 
thirdly, I afk thee what's their offence ; lixth and laft- 
3y, why they are committed ; and, to conclude, what 
you lay to their charge ? 

Claud. Rightly reaibn'd, and in his own divifion ; 
and, by my troth, there's one meaning well fuited '.' 

Pedro. Whom have you offended, matters, that you 
are thus bound to your anfwer ? this learned confta- 
ble is too cunning to be underftood : What's your 
offence ? 

Bora. Sweet prince, let me go no further to mine 
anfwer ; do you hear me, and let this count kill me. 
I have deceived even your very eyes : what your wif- 
doms could not difcover, thefe fhallow fools have 
brought to light ; who, in the night, overheard me 
confeffing to this man, how Don John your brother 
incens'd me to flander the lady Hero ; how you were 
brought into the orchard, and faw me court Margaret 
in Hero's garments ; how you difgrac'd her, when 
you fhould marry her : my villainy they have upon 
record ; which I had rather feal with my death, than 
repeat over to my mame : the lady is dead upon 
mine and my matter's falfe accufation ; and briefly, I 
xlefire nothing but the reward of a villain. 

Pedro. Runs not this fpeech like iron through your 
blood ? 

Claud. I have drunk poifon, whiles he utter'd it. 

Pedro. But did my brother let thee on to this ? 

Bora. Yea, and paid me richly for the practice of 

Pedro. He is compos'd and fram'd of treachery : 
And fled he is upon this villainy. 

Claud. Sweet Hero ! now thy image doth appear 
In the rare femblance that I Icv'd it firlt. 

Dogb. Come, bring a\vay the plaintiffs ; by this 

7 one meaning iveHfuittd.'] That is, one meaning is put Into many 
Jl/trent drejfii ; the prince having alkcd the feme queftion in 
ijour modes of fpeech. JOHXSON. 

A a 4 time, 

360 M U C H A D O 

time our Sexton hath reform'd fignior Leonato of 
the matter : And matters, do not forget to fpecify, 
when time and place lhall ferve, that I am an afs. 

Verg. Here, here comes mafter fignior Leonato, 
and the Sexton too. 

Re-enter Leonato^ and Antonio^ with the Sexton. 

Lean. Which is the villain ? Let me fee his eyes ; 
That when I note another man like him, 
I may avoid him : Which of thefe is he ? 

Bora. If you would know your wronger, look on, 

Leon. Art thou the Have, that with thy breath 

haft kill'd 
Mine innocent child ? 

Bora. Yea, even I alone. 

Leon. No, not fo villain ; thou bely'ft thyfelf ; 
Here {land a pair of honourable men, 
A third is fled, that had a hand in it : 
I thank you, princes, for my daughter's death ; 
Record it with your high and worthy deeds ; 
J Twas bravely done, if you bethink you of it. 

Claud. I know not how to pray your patience, 
Yet I muft fpeak : Chufe your revenge yourfelf $ 
Impofe me to what penance your invention 
Can lay upon my fin : yet fmn'd I not, 
But in miftaking. 

Pedro. By my foul, nor I ; 
And yet, to fatisfy this good old man, 
I would bend under any heavy weight 
That he'll enjoin me to. 

Leon. I cannot bid you bid my daughter live, 
That were impoflible ; but, I pray you both, 
Poflefs the people in Medina here 
How innocent fhe dy'd : and, if your love 
Can labour aught in fad invention, 
Jiang her an epitaph upon her tomb, 



And fing it to her bones ; fing it to night : 

To-morrow morning come you to my houfe ; 

And fmce you could not be my fon-in-law, 

Be yet my nephew : my brother hath a daughter, 

Almoft the copy of my child that's dead, 

And Ihe alone is heir to both of us 8 ; 

Give her the right you mould have given her coufia, 

And fo dies my revenge. 

Claud. O noble fir, 

Your over-kindnefs doth wring tears from me ! 
I do embrace your offer ; and difpofe 
For henceforth of poor Claudio. 

Leon. To-morrow then I will expedt your coming ; 
To-night I take my leave. This naughty man 
Shall face to face be brought to Margaret, 
Who, I believe, was pack'd in all this wrong, 
Hir'd to it by your brother. 

Bora. No, by my foul, ihe was not ; 
Nor knew not what ihe did, when fhe fpoke to me ; 
But always hath been juft and virtuous, 
In any thing that I do know by her. 

Dogb. Moreover, fir, (which, indeed, is not under 
white and black) this plaintiff here, the offender, did 
call me afs : I befeech you, let it be remembred in 
his punifhment : And alfo, the watch heard them talk 
of one Deformed : they fay, he wears a a key in his 


8 And jbe alone is beir to lotb of us ;] Shakefpeare feems to have 
forgot what he had made Leonato fay, in the fifth fcene of the 
firfl aft to Antonio, How now, brother ; where is my coujin your fan f 
hath be provided the mtifick ? ANONYMOUS. 

9 be wears a key in bis ear, and a lock banging ly it j and Lor~ 
rows money in God's name;] There could not be a pleafanter ridi- 
cule on the fafhion, than the conftable'sdefcanton his own blun- 
der. They heard the conlpirators fatyrize the fajhion ; whom 
they took to be a man firnamed, Deformed. This the conitable 
applies with exquiiite humour to the courtiers, in a defcription of 
one of the molt fantairical fafliions of that time, the men's wear- 
ing rings in their ears, and indulging a favourite lock of hair 


362 M U C H A D O 

ear, and a lock hanging by it ; and borrows money 
in God's name ; the which he hath us'd fo long, and 
never paid, that now men grow hard-hearted, and 
will lend nothing for God's fake ; Pray you, exa-. 
mine him upon that point. 

Leon. I thank thee for thy care and honeft plains. 

Dogb. Your wormip fpeaks like a moft thankful 
and reverend youth ; and I praife God for you. 

Leon. There's for thy pains. 

Dogb. God fave the foundation ! 

Leon. Go, I discharge thee of thy prifoner, and \ 
thank thee. 

Dogb. I leave an errant knave with your wormip ; 
which> I befeech your wormip, to correct yourfelf, 
for the example of others, God keep your wormip; 
I wim your wormip well j God reftore you to health : 
I humbly give you leave to depart ; and if a merry 
meeting may be wilh'd, God prohibit it. Come, 
neighbour. [Exeunt. 

Leon. Until to-morrow morning, lords, farewell. 

Ant. Farewell, my lords ; we look for you to? 

Pedro. We will not fail. 

Claud. To-night I'll mourn with Hero. 

Leon. Bring you thefe fellows on ; we'll talk with 


How her acquaintance grew with this lewd fellow. 

[Exeunt fever ally* 

which was brought before, and tied with ribbons, and called a 
love-lock. Againit this fafhion William Prynne wrote his treatife, 
called, The UnlovelyHefi of Love-Locks. To this fantaftic mode 
Fletcher alludes in his Cupid's Revenge : " This morning I brought 

him a nevs perrivjig tvito a lock at it Arid Bonder's a felio*vj 

come has bored a hole in his ear." And again, in his Woman-Hater : 
** If I could ouiurc an ear with a hole in it, or a platted lock, &c." 





A Room in Leonato's Houfe. 
Enter Benedick, and Margaret, meeting. 

Bew. Pray thee, fweet miftrefs Margaret, deferve 
well at my hands, by helping me to the fpeech of 

Marg. Will you then write me a fonnet in praifc 
pf my beauty ? 

Bene. In fo high a ftyle, Margaret, that no man. 
living lhall come over it ; for, in mod comely truth, 
thou deferveft it, 

Marg. l To have no man come over me ? why, 
fhall I always keep below flairs ? 

Bene, Thy wit is as quick as the greyhound's 
mouth, it catches. 

Marg. And your's as blunt as the fencer's foils, 
which hit, but hurt not. 

Bene. A moft manly wit, Margaret, it will not hurt 
3 woman ; and fo, I pray thee, call Beatrice : I give 
thee the bucklers *. 


* To have no man come over me f ivfy t JbaU I always keep below 
flairs ?] Thus all the printed copies, but, fure, erroneoully : for 
all the jeft, that can lie in the patfage, is deftroyed by it. Any 
man might come over her, literally fpeaking, it (he always kept 
l>eloiv Hairs. By the correction I have ventured to make, Mar- 
garet, as I prefume, muft mean, What ! fhall I always keep 
above Hairs ? i. e. Shall I for ever continue a chambermaid? 

I fuppofe every reader will find the meaning of the old copies, 


Left he fhould not, the following hilhince from Sir Alton Cocr 
kayne's Poems, is at his fervice : 

" But to prove rather he was not beguil'd, 
" Her he o'er-camc, for he got her with child." 
And another, more appolite, from Marfton's Infatiaie Countefs^ 1603 ; 
" Alas ! when we are once o'th' falling hand, 
" A man may eafily come over us." COLLINS. 
1 I give tbec the bucklers.] I fuppofe that to give the bucklers is, 
10 yield, or to lay by all thoughts of defence, ib clypcum abjicere^ 
The rell deferves no comment. JOHNSOX. 


364 M U C H A D O 

Meffg. Give us the fwords, we have bucklers of 
our own. 

Bcne. If you ufe them, Margaret, you mutt put in 
the pikes with a vice ; and they are dangerous wea- 
pons for maids. 

Marg. Well, I will call Beatrice to you, who, I 
think hath legs. [Exit Margaret. 

*Bene. And therefore will come. [Sings.] 

The god of love, 
That Jits above. 
And knows me, and knows me, 
How pitiful I deferve, 

I mean, in finging; but in loving, Leander the 

Greene, in his Second Part of Coney-Catching, 1592, ufes the 
fame expreffion: " At this his mafter laught, and was glad, for 
further advantage, toyeeld the luckier s to his prentife." 
So, in The Fair Maid of the Exchange, 1607 : 

44 not a word to lay ? 

44 Sow. No, by my troth, if" you ftay here all day. 

44 Mali. Why then I'll bear the bucklers quite away." 
So, Ben Jonfon, in The Cafe is Altered, 1609 : 

44 play an honeft part, and bear away the bucklers." 
Again, in A Woman never rwrV, a comedy by Rowley, 1632 : 
. " into whofe hands (he thruits the weapons firfl, let him 
lake np the bucklers." 
Again, in De cker*s Satiromaftix : 

44 Charge one of them to take up tie bucklers 

44 Againft that hair-monger Horace." 
Again, in Chapman's May-Day, 1611 : 

44 And now I lay the bucklers at your feet." 
Again., in Every Woman in her Humour, j 609 : 

4i if you lay down the bucklers, you lofe the victory." 
Again, in the Preface to Greene's Defence of Coney-catching, 

44 gave me the bucklers as the fubtleft that ever he faw." 
Again, in P, Holland's tranfiation of Pliny's Nat. H'tft. b. x. 
ch. 21. 44 it goeth -againft his ftomach (the cock's) to yeeld 
the gantlet and give the bucklers." STEEYEXS. 
bo rn May-Day, a Comedy by Chapman, 1611 : 

44 Well, fir, I ever thought you'd the beft wit 

" Of any man in Venice next mine own ; 

, 44 But now I'll lay the bucklers at your feet." MALOXE. 



good fwimmer, Troilus the firft employer of pan- 
dars, and a whole book full of thefe quondam car- 
pet-mongers, whofe names yet run fmoothly in the 
even road of a blank verfe, why, they were never 
fo truly turn'd over and over, as my poor felf, in 
love : Marry, I cannot mew it in rhime ; I have 
try'd ; I can find out no rhime to lady but baby, an 
innocent rhime ; for fcorn, horn, a hard rhime ; for 
fchool, fool, a babbling rhime ; very ominous end- 
ings : No, I was not born under a rhiming planet, 
for I cannot woo in feftival terms. 

Enter Beatrice. 

Sweet Beatrice, would'ft thou come when I call thee ? 

Beat. Yea, fignior, and depart when you bid me. 

Bene. O, flay but till then ! 

Beat. Then, is fpoken ; fare you well now : and 
yet ere I go, let me go with that I came for, which 
is, with knowing what hath paft between you and 

Bene. Only foul words; and thereupon I will kifs 

Beat. Foul words are but foul wind, and foul wind 
is but foul breath, and foul breath is noifome ; there- 
fore I will depart unkifs'd. 

Bene. Thou haft frighted the word out of its right 
fenfe, fo forcible is thy wit : But, I muft tell thee 
plainly, Claudio undergoes my challenge ; and ei- 
ther I muft Ihortly hear from him, or I will fubfcribe 
him a coward. And, I pray thee now, tell me, for 
which of my bad parts didft thou firft fall in love 
with me ? 

Beat. For them all together ; which maintain'd fo 
politick a ftate of evil, that they will not admit any 
good part to intermingle with them. But for which 
of my good parts did you firft fuffer love for me ? 

Bene. Suffer love ; a good epithet ! I do faffer love, 
indeed, for I love thee againft my will. 


366 M V C H A D O 

Beat. In fpight of your heart, I think; alas { poor 
heart ! If you fpight it for my fake, I will fpight it 
for yours ; for I will never love that, which my 
friend hates. 

Bene. Thou and I are too wife to woo peaceably. 

Beat. It appears not in this confeflion ; there's not 
one wife man among twenty, that will praife himfelf* 

Bene. An old, an old inftance, Beatrice, that liv'd 
3 in the time of good neighbours : if a man do not 
erect in this age his own tomb ere he dies, he ihall 
live no longer in monument, than the bell rings, and 
the widow weeps. 

Beat* And how long is that, think you ? 
Bene. 4 Queftion ? Why, an hour in clamour, 
and a quarter in rheum : Therefore it is moft expe- 
dient for the wife, (if Don Worm, his confcience, 
find no impediment to the contrary) to be the trum- 
pet of his own virtues, as I am to myfelf : So much 
for praiiing myfelf, (who, I myfelf will bear witnefs 
is praife-worthy) and now tell me, How doth your 
coufin ? 

Beat. Very ill. 

Bene. And how do you ? 

Beat. Very ill too. 

Bene. Serve God, love me, and mend : there will 
I leave you too, for here comes one in hafle. 

Enter Urfula. 

Urf. Madam, you muft come to your uncle ; yon^ 
cler's old coil at home : it is proved, my lady Hero 
hath been falfely accus'd, the prince and Claudio 

3 in the time of good neighbours :~\ i.e. When men were not en- 
vious, but every one gave another his due. The reply is ex- 1 
tremely humourous. WAR BUR TON. 

* Queftion ? why, an hour , &c.] i. e. What a queftion's there, 
or what a foolifn queftion do you alk f But the Oxford editor, 
not underftanding this phrafe, contracted into a tingle word, (of 
which we have many inftances in Englilh) has fairly ftruck it out. 



mightily abus'd ; and Don John is the author of all, 
who is fled and gone : Will you come prefently ? 

Beat. Will you go hear this news, fignior ? 

Bene. I will live in thy heart, die in thy lap, and be 
bury'd in thy eyes ; and, moreover, I will go with 
thee to thy uncle. [Exeunt. 


A Church. 

Enter Don Pedro^ Claudio^ and Attendants with tni'fk 
and tapers. 

Claud. Is this the monument of Leonat^o ? 
Atten. It is my lord. 

Claudia reads. 

Done to death by Jlanderous tongues 

Was the Hero, that here lies : 
Deaf /J 9 in guerdon of her wrongs, 

Gives her fame which never dies : 
So the ///?, that dy y d with Jhame^ 

Lives in death with glorious fame* 

Hang thou there upon the tomb, 
Praifmg her when I am dumb. 
Now mufick found, and fing yourfolemn hymn* 


Pardon? Goddefs of the night, 
I'bofe thatjlew thy virgin knight 7 ; 

' For 

5 Thofe thatjlev: thy virgin knight ;"] Knight, in 5*19 original fig~ 
nification, means follower <x pupil, and in this fenfe may be. Femi- 
nine. Helena, in AWs Well that Ends cw//, ufes knight in the 
fame fignification. JOHNSON. 

In the times of chivalry, u virgin knight was one who had as 
yet atchieved no adventure. Hero had as yet atchieved no matri- 
monial one. It may be added, that a virgin knight wort no device 
on his Ihield, having no right to any till he had deferved it. 


3 6S M U C H A D O 

For the which, with fongs of woe$ 
Round about her tomb they go. 
Midnight, qffift our moan ; 
Help us to jigh and groan, 

Heavily, heavily : 
Graves, yawn and yield your dead, 
Till death be uttered, 
Heavily, heavily. 

Claud. Now, unto thy bones good night ! 
Yearly will I do this rite. 

Pedro. Good morrow, mailers ; put your torches 

out : 
The wolves have prey'd ; and look, the gentle 

Before the wheels of Phoebus, round about 

Dapples the drowfy eafl with fpots of grey : 
Thanks to you all, and leave us ; fare you well. 
Claud, Good morrow, matters ; each his feveral way. 
Pedro. Come, let us hence, and put on other weeds ; 
And then to Leonato's we will go. 

Claud. And Hymen now with luckier iflue fpeed's 6 , 
Than this, for whom we render'd up this woe ! 


So, in the Hift. ofClyomon Knight of tie Golden Shield, &c. 1599 : 
" Then as thou feem'il: in thy attire a virgin knight to be, 
" Take thou this Jbield likewife of white &c." 
It appears, however, from feveral paffages in Spenfer's Faerie 
S>ueen, B. i. c. 7. that an ideal order of this name was fuppofed, 
as a compliment to queen Elizabeth's virginity : 

" Of doughtie knights whom faery land did raife 
*' That noble order hight of maidenbed. " 
Again, B. ii. c. 2. 

" Order of maidenbed the moil renown'd." 
Again, B. ii. c. 9. 

" And numbred be mongil knights of maidenhed" 
On the books of the Stationers' Company in the year 1 594, is en- 
tered, " Pheander the may den knight" STEEVENS. 

6 And Hymen no~iv ivith luckier ijjiie fpeed's, 
Than this, for whom iue render up thisvooe!~\ 




Leonato's Houfe. 

Enter Leonato, Benedick, Margaret* Urfula* Antonio* 
Friar* and Hero. 

Friar* Did not I tell you fhe was innocent ? 

Leon. So are the prince and Claudio, who accus'd 


Upon the error that you heard debated : 
But Margaret was in ibme fault for this ; 
Although againft her will, as it appears 
In the true courfe of all the queftion. 

Ait. Well, I am glad that all things fortfo well. 

Bene. And fo am I, being elle by faith enforc'd 
To call young Claudio to a reckoning for it. 

Leon. Well, daughter, and you gentlewomen all, 
Withdraw into a chamber by yonrielves ; 
And, when I fend for you, come hither mafk'd : 
The prince and Claudio promised by this hour 
To vifit me : You know your office, brother ; 
You muft be father to your brother's daughter, 
And give her to young Claudio. [Exeunt Ladies. 

Ant. Which I will do with confkm'd countenance. 

Bi'/ic. Friar, I muft entreat your pains, I think. 

friar. To do what, fignior ? 

Bene. To bind me, or undo me^ one of them. 
Sighior Leonato, truth it is, good fignior, 
Your niece regards me with an eye of favour. 

Leon. That eye my daughiJi lent her ; 'Tis moft 

Bent. And I do with an eye of love requite her. 

Claudio could not kro\v, without being a prophet, that thi? nw 
propofed match fhould have any luckier event than that defignetl 
with Hero. Certainly, theretoiv. this fhould be a wift in Claudio; 
ajid, to this end, the poet ini^hr hn re wrote, fpert?. ; \.e.ffctJ- 

us : ant; fo it bcccn:^: u pi.:y;r to liym ';.'.!. T:!? 71 r. b\. 

Tor. II. B b 

370 M U C H A D O 

Leon. The fight whereof, I think, you had from me, 
From Claudio and the prince ; But what's your will ? 

Bene. Your anfwer, fir, is enigmatical : 
But, for my will, my will is, your good will 
May fland with ours, this day to be conjoin'd 
In the eflate of honourable marriage ; - 
Jn which, good friar, I ihall defire your help. 

Leon. My heart is with your liking. 

Friar. And my help. 
Here comes the prince, and Claudio. 

Enter Don Pedro and Claudia, with Attendants. 

Pedro. Good morrow to this fair aflembly. 

Leon. Good morrow, prince ; good morrow, 

Claudio ; 

We here attend you ; Are you yet determin'd 
To-day to marry with my brother's daughter ? 

Claud. I'll hold my mind, were fhe an Ethiope. 

Leon. Call her forth, brother, here's the friar 
ready. [Exit Antonio. 

Pedro. Good morrow, Benedick : Why, what's 

the matter, 

That you have fuch a February face, 
So full of froft, of ftorm, and cloudinefs ? 

Claud. I think, he thinks upon the favage bull : 
Tufh, fear not, man, we'll tip thy horns with gold, 
And all Europa Ihall rejoice at thee ; 
As once Europa did at lufty Jove, 
When he would play the noble beaft in love. 

Bene. Bull Jove, fir, had an amiable low ; 
And fome fuch ftrange bull leapt your father's cow, 
And got a calf in that fame noble feat, 
Much like to yon, for you have juft his bleat. 

Re-enter Antonio, with Hero, Beatrice, Margaret, and 
Urfula, majtfd. 

Claud. For this I owe you : here come other reck- 



Which is the lady I muft feize upon ? 

Ant. This fame is flic, and I do give you her. 
Gaud. Why, then ihe's mine ; Sweet, let me fee 

your face. 
Leon. No, that you fhall not, till you take her 

Before this friar, and fwear to marry her. 

Claud. Give me your hand before this holy friar ; 
I am your hufband, if you like of me. 

Hero. And when I liv'd, I was your other wife : . 


And when you lov'd, you were my other huiband. 
Claud. Another Hero ? 
Hero. Nothing certainer : 
One Hero dy'd defil'd ; but I do live, 
And, furely as I live, I am a maid. 

Pedro. The former Hero ! Hero, that is dead ! 
Leon. She dy'd, my lord, but whiles her ilander 


Friar. All this amazement can I qualify ; 
When, after that the holy rites are ended, 
I'll tell you largely of fair Hero's death : 
Mean time let wonder icem familiar, 
And to the chapel let us prefently. 

Eene. Soft and fair, friar. Which is Beatrice ? 

Beat. I anfwer to that name ; What is your will ? 

Eene. Do not you love me ? 

Beat. Why, no, no more than reafon. 

Etne. Why, then your uncle, and the prince, and 


Have been deceived ; they fwore you did. 
Beat. Do not you love me ? 
Eene. Troth, no, no more than reafon. 
Beat. Why, then my coufin, Margaret, and Urfula, 
Are much decciv'd ; for they did Iwear you did. 
Eene. They fwore, that you were almoft fick for me. 
Beat. They fwore, that you were well-nigh dead 
for me. 

B b 2 Bene. 


Bene. 'Tis no fuch matter : Then, you do not 
love me ? 

J&.YZ/. No, truly, but in friendly recompcnce, 

Leon. Come, coufm, I am furc you love the gen- 

Claud. And I'll be {worn upon't, that he loves her ; 
For here's a paper, written in his. hand, 
A halting fonnet of his own pure brain, 
Fafhion'd to Beatrice. 

Hero. And herels another, 

Writ in my coufin's hand, ilolen from her pocket, 
Containing her afFcdtion unto Benedick. 

Bene. A miracle ! here's our own hands againil our 
hearts ! Come, I will have thee ; but, by this light, 
I take thee for pity. 

Beat. 7 1 would not deny you ; but, by this goo y d 
day, I yield upon great perfuafion ; and, partly, to 
fave your life, for 1 was told, you were in a confump- 

8 Bene. Peace, I will Hop your mouth, 


7 I v:ou!d not qrnyyou ; &c.} Mr-. Theobald fays, is not this 
iftcck-reafditing t She. would not deny him, lut that Jbe yields upon 
great perfajz/iDn. In changing tbe negative, I make no doubt but I 
have retrieved the por? s biimour : and ib changes not into yet. But 
is not this a mack-critic? who. could not fee that the plain obvious 
fenfe of the common reading \vas this, I cannot find in my heart 
to deny you, but for all that I yield, after having ftood out great 
perfuafipoS toTdb>H)iflion. He had laid, I take thee for phy, fhe 
replies, I iveuld not deny thee, i. e. I take thee for pity too : but 
as I live, I am won to this compliance by importunity oi friends. 
"Mr. Theobald, by altering not tojvr/, makes it iuppoied, that he 
had been importunate, and thatyZi' had often denied, which was 
not the cafe. WARBURTOM. 

8 Bcnc. Peacr^ I v:llljiop your mouth [Killing her.] In former 
copies : / . 

Leon. /V*i.Y, / will Jlqp.yonr mptitb. 

IVhttt cm Leonato menu by this f " Nay, pray, peace, niece! 
*' don't keep up this obitinacy ot proteffions, for I have proofs to 
V liopyour moutli. :>v The ingenious Dr. Thirlby agreed with me, 
thut tins o:-^ht t'j be giveato Benedick, wli9, upon (aying it, killes, 

JBeatricc } 


Pedro. How doft thou, Benedick the married 


Be/ie. I'll tell thee what, prince ; a college of wit- 
crackers cannot flout me out of my humour : Doft 
thou think, I care for a fatire, or an epigram ? No : 
if a man will be beaten with brains, he lhall wear 
nothing handfome about him : In brief, fince I do 
purpofe to marry, I will think nothing to any purpofe 
that the world can fay againft it ; and therefore 
never iiout at me for what I have faid againft it ; for 
ian is a giddy thing, and this is my conclufion. 
For thy part, Claudio, I did think to have beaten 
thee ; but in that thou art like to be my kinfman^ 
live unbruis'd, and love my cbuuQ 

Claud. I had well hoped, thou wonldft have denied 
Beatrice, chat I might have cudgell'd thee out of thy 
fingle life, to make thee a double dealer ; which, out 
of queftion, thou wilt be, if my coufm do not look 
exceeding narrowly to thee* 

Bene. Come, comCj we are friends : Diet's have a 
dance ere we are marry 'd, that we" may lighten our 
own hearts, and our wives' heels. 

Leon. We'll have dancing afterwards^ 

Berte, Firft, o' my word ; therefore, play, mu- 


Prince, thou art fad ; get thee a wife, get thee a wife i 
there is no ftaff more reverend than one tipt with 

Enter Mefftnger. 

Mff. My lord, your brother John is ta'eri in flighf| 
And brought with armed men back to Medina. 


Beatrice ; and this being dbnC before the whole ccinpany; ho;r 
natural is the :ep!y which the prince makes upon it? 

HO--JJ dojl thou* Bcuedii-k the married man f 

Bdides, this mode or" ipeech, preparatory to a ibl^e, Is familial 
to our poet; iu c^.nir.oa with other ilage- writers. THE-otAJLo* 

B b 3 BfM* 

374 M U C H A D O, &c. 

Eene. Think not on him till to-morrow : I'll devife 
thee brave punifhments for hirrir Strike up, pipers, 

[Exeunt omnes* 

This play may be juilly faid to contain two of the mod fpright- 
ly characters that Shakefpeare ever drew. The wit, the hu- 
mourift, the gentleman, and the foldier, are combined in Bene- 
dick. It is to be lamented, indeed, that the firft and moft fplen- 
did of thefe diftinftions, is difgraced by unnecefTary profane- 
nefs ; for the goodnefs of his heart is hardly fufficient to atone 
for the licence of his tongue. The too farcafHc levity, which 
flames out in the converfation of Beatrice, may be excufed on ac- 
count of the fleadinefs and friendship Ib apparent in her beha- 
viour, when fhe urges her lover to rifaue his life by a chal- 
lenge to Claudio. In the conduct of the fable, however, 
there is an imperfection fimilar to that which Dr. Johnfon has 
pointed, out Jn the Merry Wives of WinJfbr : the fecond contri- 
vance is lefs ingenious than the firil : or, to fpeak more plainly, 
the fame incident is become ftale by repetition. I wifh fome other 
method had been found to entrap Beatrice, than that very one 
which before had been fuccefs fully practifed on Benedick. 

Mticb ado about Nothing, (as I underftand from one of Mr^ 
Venue's MSS.) formerly puffed under the title of Benedict and 
Beatrix. Ileming the player received, on the 2Oth of May, 1613, 
the fum of forty pounds, and twenty pounds more as his majefty's 
gratuity, for exhibiting fix plays at Hampton-Court, among 
which was this comedy. STEEVENS 




B b ^ Perfons 

Perfons Reprefented. 

Ferdinand, King of Navarre. 

j iron ' .jj 7 three Lords* attending upon the King m 

DumaTn, "'I ^retirement. 

-*?^ e 'j I Lords, attending upon the Princefe of France. 

Don Adriano de Armado, a fantajlical Spaniard. 

Nathaniel, a Curate. 

Dull, a Conjlabk. 

Holofernes, a Schoolmafter. 

Coftard, a Clown. 

Moth, Page to Don Adriano de Armado. 

A Forejler. 

Princefs of France. 

Rofaline, -\ 

Maria, I Ladies, attending on the Princefs. 

Katharine, J 

Jaquenetta, a Country Wench. 

Officers, and others, attendants upon the King and Princefe, 

SCENE, the King of Navarre'* Palace* and the 
Country near it. 

: ^ 

This enumeiRuon of the perfons was made by Mr. Rowe. 


L O V E' 



Navarre. The Palace. 
Enter the King^ Biron y Longaville, and Dumain. 

King. Let fame, that all hunt after in their lives, 
Live regiftred upon our brazen tombs, 
And then grace us in the difgrace of death ; 
When, fpight of cormorant devouring time, 
The endeavour of this prefent breath may buy 
That honour, which fliall bate his fcythe's keen edge, 
And make us heirs of all eternity. 
Therefore, brave conquerors ! for fo you are, 
That war againft your own affections, 
And the huge army of the world's defires, 
Our late edidt lhall ftrongly fland in force : 
Navarre lhall be the wonder of the world ; 
Our court fhall be a little Academe, 
Still and contemplative in living art. 
You three, Biron, Dumain, and Longaville, 
Have fworn for three years' term to live with me, 
My fellow fcholars, and to keep thofe ftatutes, 
That are recorded in this fchedule here : 
Your oaths are paft, and now fubfcribe your names ; 
That his own hand may ilrike his honour down, 
That violates the fmalleft branch herein : 

4 I have not hitherto difcovered any novel on which this co- 
medy appears to have been founded ; and yet the ftory of it has 
inoit of the features of an ancient romance. STEEVENS. 



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

Long. I am refolv'd : 'tis but a three years faft j 
The mind fhall banquet, though the body pine : 
Fat paunches have lean pates ; and dainty bits 
Make rich the ribs, but bankerout the wits. 

Dum. My loving lord, Dumain is mortify'd ; 
The groffer manner of thefe world's delights 
He throws upon the grofs world's bafer Haves : 
To lave, to wealth, to pomp, I pine and die ; 
With all thefe living in philofophy 2 . 

Biron. I can but fay their proteftation over, 
So much, dear liege, I have already fworn, 
That is, To live and fludy here three years. 
But there are other ftrict obfervances : 
As, not to fee 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 befide ; 
The which, I hope, is not enrolled there. 
And then, to ileep but three hours in the night, 
And .not be feen 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) 
Which, I. hope well, is not enrolled there. 
O, thefe are barren tafks, too hard to keep; 
Not to fee ladies, ftudy, faft, nor fleep ? . 

King. Your oath is pafs'd to pafs away from thefe. 

Eiron. Let me fay, no, my liege, an if you pleafe ; 
I only fvvore, to ftudy with your grace, 
And Hay here in your court for three years' fpace. 

Long. You fwore to that, Biron, and to the reft. 

* With all tbefe, living in pbilofopby.] The ftyle of the rhym- 
ing fcenes in this play is often entangled and obfcure. I know 
not certainly to what all tbefe is to be referred ; I fuppofe he 
means, that he finds love, pomp^ and wealth inpbilofoply. 


3 nor ileep.] The folio not fleep. STEEVENS- 



Blron. By yea and nay, fir, then I fwore in jeft. 
What is the end of ftudy ? let me know. 

King. Why, that to know, which elfe we fliould 
not know. 

Blron. Things hid and barr'd (you mean) from 
common fenfe ? 

King. Ay, that is ftudy's god-like recompence. 

Blron. Come on then, I will fwear to ftudy fo, 
To know the thing I am forbid to know : 
As thus, To ftudy where I well may dine, 

When I to feaft exprefly am forbid 4 ; 
Or, ftudy where to meet fome miftrefs fine, 

When miftreffes from common fenfe are hid : 
Or, having fworn too hard-a-kcepingoath, 
Study to break it, and not break my troth. 
If ftudy's gain be thus, and this be fo, "l 

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

King. Thefe be the ftops that hinder ftudy quite, 
And train our intellects to vain delight. 

Blron. Why, all delights are vain ; but that moft 


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

To feek the light of truth ; while truth the while ? 
Doth falfly blind the eye-fight of his look : 

4 WJjen I to feaft exprefly am forbid;'] The copies all have : 

When I to f aft txprejly am forbid ; 

But if Biron ftudied where to get a good dinner, at a time when 
he was for&iJto faft, how was this ftudying to know what he was 
forbid to know t Common fenfe, and the whole tenour of the con- 
text require us to read, feaft-, or to make a change in the laft worat 
of the vei'fe : 

When I to faft exprcjly am fore -bid ; 

i.e. when I am enjoined beforehand to faft. THEOBALD. 
5 while truth the while. 

Doth faljly Hind ] 

Falfly is here, and in many other places, the fame as dijbontfily of 
trtacheroujly. The whole lenie of this gingling declamation is 
only this, that a man by too clofejludy may read him/elf btittd t which 
might have been told with Icfs obfcurirv in fe\\er words. 




Light, feeking light, doth light of light beguile J 
So, ere you find where light in darknefs lies, - 
Your light grows dark by lofing of your eyes. 
Study me how to pleafe the eye indeed, 

By fixing it upon a fairer eye ; 
Who dazzling fo, that eye mall be his heed 6 , 

And give him light that was it blinded by. 
Study is like the heaven's glorious fun, 

That will not be deep fearch'd with fawcy looks ; 
Small have continual plodders ever won, 

Save bafe authority from others' books. 
Thefe earthly godfathers of heaven's lights, 

That give a name to every fixed flar, 
Have no more profit of their mining nights, 

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


6 Who dazzling fo, that eyejball be bis heed, 

And give him tight that was it blinded by.~\ 

This is another pafiage unneceflarily obicure : 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 Jhall be his heed, his direSion. or 
lode-Jtar, (See Midfummer-Night's Dream) and give him light 
that i va s blinded by it. JOHNSON. 

7 Too much to kno-M, is to know nought but fame ; 
And every godfather can give a- name.] 

The firit line in this reading is abiurd and impertinent. There 
are two ways of fetting it right. The firfl is to read it thus : 

i ao much to knovj, is to knovj nought but fhame ; 
This makes a fine fenfe, and alludes to Adam's fall, which came 
from the inordinate pamon of knowing too much. The other 
way is to read, and point it thus : 

Too much to know, is to knovj nought : but feign, 
i. e. to feign. As much as to fay, the affedting to know too much 
5s the way to know nothing. The fenfe, in both thefe readings, 
is equally good : but with this difference ; If we read the fail way, 
the following line is impertinent ; and to fave the correction, we 
nuift judge it fpurious. If we read it the fecond way, then the 
following line completes the fenfe. Confequently the correction 
of feign is to be preferred. To J^ now too much (fays the fpeaker) 
is to I'uaiv nothing : it is only feigning to know what ive do not : giv- 
ing names for things without knowing their natures ; which is falie 
knowledge : And this was the peculiar defecl of the Peripatetic 
plulofophy then In vogue. Thefe philofophei'Sj the poet, with 



King. How well he's read, to reafon againfl reading ! 
Dum. Proceeded well, to tfop all good proceeding * ! 
Long. He weeds the corn, and ftill lets grow the 

Eiron. The fpring is near, when green geefe are a 


bum. How. follows that ? 
Biron. Fit in his place and time. 
Bum. In reafon. nothing. 
Elron. Something then in rhime. 
Long, Biron is like an envious fneaping frofl 9 , 

That bites the firft-born infants of the fpring. 
Elron. Well, fay I am ? why fhould proud fum- 

mer boaft, 

Before the birds have any caufe to fing ? 
Why fhould I joy in an abortive birth ' ? 


the highefr humour and good fenfe, calls the godfathers of ' nature^ 
who could only give things a name, but had no manner of ac- 
quaintance with their eflences. WAR BUR TON. 

That there are two ways of fetting a paflage right, gives reafon. 
to fufpet that there may be a third way better than either. The 
iirir. of thefe emendations makes afnefcnfc, but will not unite with 
the next line ; the other makes a fenfe lefs Hue, and yet will not 
rhyme to the correfpondent word. I cannot fee why the paflage 
may not ftand without diiturbance. The confcyuence, fays Biron, 
of too much knitofflidge, is not any real folution of doubts, but mere 
empty refutation. That is, too much knowledge gives onlyfame^ a 
name which ei'cry godfather can give likewife. JOHNSON. 

8 Proceeded 'ivctt, 10 flop all good proceeding.} To proceed is an 
academical term, meaning, to take a degree , as he proceeded bache- 
lor in phyfick. The fenfe is, he has taken his degrees on the art of 
hindering the degrees of others. JOHNSON. 

9 fneapingy/ />/?,] ^of neaping ^cinJs in the Winter's Tale; 

To fneap is to check, to rebuke. STEEYENS. 

* Whyjhould I joy in an abortive birth ? 
At Chrijlmas I no more defirc a rofe, 
than wijh a fno'jj in May's new-fangled (hows : 
Sut like of each thing, tbttt in fnafon gro-~.'j$,~\ 
As the greateft part of this fcene (both what precedes and fol- 
lows j is flric'tly in rhimes, eitherya-f^rr, alternate^ or triple; I 
am perfuaded, that the copyifts have made a ilip here. For by 
making a tr'-tkt of the three laft lines quoted, birth in the clofe 




At Chriftmas I no more defire a rofe, 

Than wilh a fnow in May's new-fangled ihows ; C 
But like of each thing, that in feafon grows. 3 
So you, to fludy now it is too late, 
That were to climb o'er the houfe t'unlock the 


King. Well, fit you out : go home, Biron ; adieu ! 
Biron. No, my good lord ; I have fworn to ftay 

with you : 

And, though I have for barbarifm fpoke more, 
Than for that angel knowledge you can fay, 
Yet confident I'll keep what I have fwore, 

And bide the penance of each three years' day. 
Give me the paper, let me read the fame ; 
And to the flri&'ft decrees I'll write my name. 
King. How well this yielding refcucs thee from 

fhame ! 

Biron. Item, That no woman foall come within a mile 
cf my court. [Reading.] Hath this been proclaimed? 
Long. Four days ago. 

Biron. Let's fee the penalty. On pain of kfmg her 
tongue. [Reading.] Who devis'd this penalty ? 
Long. Marry, that did I. 
Biron. Sweet lord, and why ? 
Long. To fright them hence with that dread pe- 

of the firft line is quite deilitute of any rhime to it. Befides, 
what a difpleafing identity of found recurs in the middle and elofe 
of this verie ? 

Than iv<JJ} a fnovv in May's new-fangled Ihows : 
Again ; new f angled flows feems to have very little propriety. 
The flowers are not new-fangled ; but the earth is new-fangled by 
the profufion and variety of the flowers, that fpring on its bofom 
in May. I have therefore ventured to fubftitute earth , in the 
clofe of the third line, which reftores the alternate meafure. It 
was very eafy for a negligent tranfcriber to be deceived by the 
rhime immediately preceding ; fo miftake the concluding word in 
the fequent line, and corrupt it into one that would chime with 
the other. THEOBALD. 


Biron. A dangerous law againfl gentility ! 
Item, [Reading.] If any man be feen to talk with .a 
woman within the term of three years, he Jhall endure 
fitch publick Jhame as the reft of the court can pojjibly 
This article, my liege, yourfelf mult break ; 

For, well you know, here comes in embafly 
The French king's daughter, with yourfelf to fpeak, . 

A maid of grace, and compleat majefty, . 
About furrender-up of Aquitain 

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

Or vainly comes the admired princefs hither. 

King. What fay you, lords ? why, this was quite 

Biron. So ftudy evermore is ovcrfhot ; 
While it doth ftudy to have what it would, 
It doth forget to do the thing it fhould : 
And when it hath the thing it hunteth moft, 
'Tis won, as towns with fire ; fo won, fo loft. 

King. We muft, of force, difpenfe with this decree ; 
She muft lye here on mere ncceffity. 

Biron. Neceffity will make us all forfworn 

Three thoufand times within this three years 
fpacc : 

3 A dangerous la~M againjl gentility !] I have ventured to prefix 
the name of Biron to this line, it being evident, for two reafons, 
that it, by fome accident or other, flipt out of the printed books. 
In the firit place, Longaville confefies, he bad devis'd the pe- 
nalty : and why he Ihould immediately arraign it as a dangerous 
law, feenis to be very inconfiftent. In the next place, it is much 
more natural for Biron to make this reflexion, who is cavilling at 
every thing ; and then for him to purfue his reading over the re- 
maining articles. As to the word gait Hi ty^ here, it does not 
fignify that rank of people called, gentry \ but what the French 
exprefs by, gentileflc, i. e. clegantia, urbanitas. And then the 
meaning is this : Such a law for banifhing women from the 
court, is dangerous, or injurious, to politenefi, urbanity, and the 
more refined pleafures of life. For men without women would 
turn brutal, and favage, in their natures and behaviour. 




For every man with his affects is born ; 

Not by might mafter'd, but by fpecial grace 4 j 
If I break faith, this word fhall fpeak for me, 
I am forfworn on mere neceflity. 
So to the laws at large I write my name : 

And he, that breaks them in the leaft degree, 
Stands in attainder of eternal (hame : 

Suggeftions 5 are to others, as to me ; 
But, I believe, although I feem fo loth, 
I am the laft that will lad keep his oath. 
But is there no quick recreation 6 granted ? 

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

With a refined traveller of Spain ; 
A man in all the world's new fafhion planted, 

That hath a mint of phrafes in his brain : 
One, whom the mufick of his own vain tongue 

Doth ravifh, like inchanting harmony ; 
? A man of complements, whom right and wrong 

Have chofe as umpire of their mutiny : 


*'Not fo might mafter'd, lut ly fprc-al grace :~\ Biron, amidft 1m 
extravagancies, fpeaks with great juftnefs againft the lolly of 
vows. They are made without fufficient regard to the variations 
of life, and are therefore broken by fome unforefeen neceffity. 
They proceed commonly from a prefumptuous confidence, and a 
falie eftimate of human power. JOHNSON. 

s Suggejlions ] Temptations. JOHNSON. 

* quick recreation ] Lively fport, fprkeiy di- 

verfion. JOHNSON. 

7 A man of complements, 'xhom right and wrong 

Have chofe as t;mp:re of their mutiny :~\ 

As very bad a play as this is, it was certainly Shukefpeare's, as 
appears by many fine muiler-ilrokes Scattered up and down. An 
exceffive complaifn.nce is here admirably painted, in the peribn or 
one who was willing to make even right and ivrotig triends : and 
to perfuade the one to recede from the accuilomed itubbornnefs of 
her nature, and wink at the liberties of her oppofite, rather than 
he would incur the imputation of ill-breeding in keeping up the 
<juarrel. And as our author, and Jonfon his cotemporary, are 
confefledly the two greatcit writers in the drama that our nation 
could ever boa ft of, this may be no improper occafion to take no- 



This child of fancy, that Armado hight, 
.For interim to our ftudics, fhall relate, 


tJce of one material difference between Shakefpeare's wovft plays 
and the other's. Our author owed all to his prodigious natural 
genius ; and Jonfon moil to his acquired parts and learning. 
This, if attended to, will explain the difference we fpeak of. 
Which is this, that, in Jonfon's bad pieces, we do not difcover the 
leaft traces of the author of the Fox and Alchemiji ; but in the 
wildeft and moft extravagant notes of Shakefpeare, you every now 
and then encounter ftrains that recognize their divine compofer. 
And the reafon is this, that Jonfon owing his chief excellence to 
art, by which he fometimes ftrained himfelf to an uncommon 
pitch, when he unbent himfelf, had nothing to fupport him ; but 
fell below all likeaefs of hirafelf : while Shakefpeare, indebted 
more largely to nature than the other to his acquired talents, 
could never, in his moft negligent hours, fo totally diveil himfelf 
of Iris genius but that it woifid frequently break out with amaz- 
ing force and fplendour. WAR BURTON, 

'This pafiage, I believe, means no more than that Don Armado 
was a man nicely verfed in ceremonial diftinch'ons, one who could 
dillinguifh in the moft delicate queftions of honour the exact boun- 
daries of right and wrong. Compliment, in Shakefpeare's time, 
tlid not fignify, at leafl did not only fignify verbal civility, or 
phrafes ot courtefy, but according to its original meaning, the 
trappings, or or-naraental appendages of a character, in the fame 
maraier, and on the fame principles of fpeech with accompl 'Jbment. 
Complement is, as Armado well exprelfes it, the varnijh of a com- 
plete man. JOHNSON. 

Dr. Johnfon's opinion may be fupported by the folloxving paf- 
fage in Lingua, or The Combat of the Tongue and the five Senfes 

for Superiority, 1607 : " after all falhions and of all colours, 

with rings, jewels, a fan, and in every other place, odd comple- 
ments." And again, by the title-page to Richard Bmhwaite's 
JLngtiJb Gentlewoman, " drawne out to the full body, expreiling 
what habiliments doe bell attire her ; what ornaments doe bell 
adorae her ; and what complements doe bft accoruplifh her." 
Again, in Sir Giles Goofcca**, ", 606 : 

" adorned with the ex-ifteft complements belonging to ever- 
Lifting nobleneis." Again, in Monjtcur D'Oiive, ' C. 6 : 

" Chairs and ftools, and other fuch complements for a chamber." 
Again, in Mar/tons Sophonijba, 1610: 

11 Enter Scipio and Laeluis with the complements of a Roman 
general before them." Again, in Spenler's Faw i^'v, , b. >ii. c. 5 : 
" And both encreas'd her beauty excellent 
" So all did make in her a perfect Mmplur 


01. II. C c This 


In high-born words, the worth of many a knight 

8 From tawny Spain, loft in the world's debate ^ 
How you delight, my lords, I know not, I ; -j 
But, I proteft, I love to hear him lie, I 

And I will ufe him for my minftrelfy. j 

Elron. Armado is a moft illuftrious wight, 
A man of fire-new words, fafhion's own knight. 

Long. Coftard the fwain, and he, ihall be our fport j 
And, fo to ftudy, three years is but fliort. 

Enter Dull., and Coftard, with a letter. 

Dull. Which is the duke's own perfon ' ? 

Btron. This, fellow ; What would'ft ? 

Dull. I myfelf reprehend his own perfon, for I am 
his grace's tharborough ~ : but I would fee his own 
perfon in flelh and blood. 

This child of fancy. ~\ This exprefiion has been adopted by Mil*. 
ton in his Allegro : 

" Or fweeteft Shnkefpeare, Fancy's child." MALOKE. 
8 From ta=v:ny Spain , &c.} i.e. he (hall relate to us the cele- 
brated ftories recorded in the old romances, and in their very ftile. 
Why he hysf--om ta-^ny Spain is, becaufe thefe romances, 'being 
of Spnnifh original, the heroes 'and the fcene were generally or" 
that country. Vv r hy he fays, loft in the world's debate is, becaufe 
the fub eel of thofe romances were the crufades of the European 
Chriftiuns againft the Saracens of Afia and Africa. So that we 
fee here is toeafcipg in the words. WAR BUR TON. 

^ in the ^jcorlas delate.~\ The world feems to be ufed 

in a monaftick fenle by the king, now devoted for a time to a mo- 
nadic life. In the world, infeculo, in the buftle of human affairs, 
from which we are now happily fequeftred, in the worta 1 , to which 
the votaries of folitude jj^ve no relation, JOHNSOX. 
1 Which is the king'.? $|A> perfon ?~\ In former editions : 

" Dull. Which, is the duke'j own perfon ? 

The king of Navarre is in feveral paflages, through all the copies, 
called the dulte : but as this mud: have fprung rather from the in- 
advertence of the editors, than a forgettulnefs in the poet, I have 
f very where, to avoid confufion, reflored king to the text. 


I have followed the old copies. STEEVENS. 
1 Tbarborough : J i.e. Thirdlorough, a peace officer, alike in 
Authority with a headborough or a cpnftable. SIR J. HAWKINS. 


Biron. This is he. 

Dull. Signior Arme , Arme, commends you. 
There's villainy abroad ; this letter will tell you 

Coft. Sir,, the contempts thereof are as touching 

King. A letter from the magnificent Armado. 

Biron. How low foever the matter, I hope in God 
for high words. 

Long. A high hope for a low having * : God grant 
us patience ! 

Biron. To hear ? or forbear hearing ? 

Long. To hear meekly, fir, and to laugh moderately; 
or to forbear both. 

Biron. Well, fir, be it as the ftile lhall give us 
caufe to climb in the merrinefs. 

Coft. The matter is to me, fir, as concerning Ja- 
quenetta. The manner of it is, I was taken with 
he manner 4 . 


3 A high hope for a low having; ;] In old editions : 

A high hope for a low heaven ; 

A linv heaven, lure, is a very intricate matter to conceive. I dare 
warrant, I have retrieved the poet's true reading; and the mean- 
ing is this : " Though you hope tor high words, and fnould have 
them, it will be but a low acquifition at beft." This our poet 
calls a low having : and it is a fubflantive which he ufes in feveral 
other paflages. THEOBALD. 
It is fo ufed in Macbeth, aft I : 

" great predi&ion 

" Of noble hoping, and or royal hope." 
Heaven, however, may be the true reading, in allufion to the 
gradations of happinefs promited by Mohammed to his followers. 
So, in the comedy of Old Fort tinatus, 1600 : 

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


* taken with the manner. ~\ The following queftion anting 

from thefe words fl-.ews we fhould read, taken in //:> manner. 

And this was the phrafe in ufe to fignify, taken in the ta^r. So 
Dr. Donne, in his letters, " But if I melt into melancholy wbilt, I 
write, I Jhall be taken in the manner ; and I fit ly one^ too tender 
to theft imprcfjions." WARBURTON. 

C c 2 Wltb 


Biron. In what manner ? 

Coft. In manner and form following, fir ; all triofc 
three : I was feen with her in the manor houfe, fit- 
ting with her upon the form, and taken following her 
into the park ; which, put together, is, in manner 
and form following. Now, fir, for the manner, it 
is the manner of a man to fpeak to a woman : for the 
form, in fome form. 

Biron. For the following, fir ? 

Coft. As it fhall follow in my corre&ion ; And God 
defend the right ! 

King. Will you hear the letter with attention ? 

Biron. As we would hear an oracle. 

CojL Such is the fimplicity of man to hearken af- 
ter the fleih. 

King. [Reads.] Great deputy; the welkin* s vice-gerent, 
and fole dominator of Navarre, my foul's earth's God, 
and bod/ s faff ring patron, 

Coft. Not a word of Coftard yet : 

King. So it is, 

Coft. It may be fo : but if he fay it is fo, he is, in 
telling true, but fo, fo. 
King. Peace. 

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

King. No words. 

Coft. of other men's fecrets, I befeech you. 

King. So it is, bejlegedwith fable-coloured melancholy, 
J did commend the black oppr effing humour to the nioft 
wholcfonu pkyjlck of thy health-giving air ; and, as I am 
a gentleman, betook wyfelf to walk. The time, when ? 
About the fixth hour ; when beqfts moft graze, birds beft 
peck, and men fit down to that nounjhment which rs 
called Ji(pper. So much for the time when : Now for 

With the manner, and in the manner, are exprefllons, ufed in- 
differently by our old writers. 

So in Hey wood's Rape of Lucrecr, 1630: *' and, being vjitb the n^anner, had nothing to fay for himfelr"." 




the ground which ; which, I mean, I walked upon : it 
is ycleped, thy park. 'Then for the place where ; where, 
I mean, I did encounter that obfcene and mojl prepofterous 
event, that draweth from my fnow-white pen the ebon-co- 
lour'd ink, which here thou vieweft, beholdeft, J'urveyifl, 
or fee/i: But to the place, where, // Jlandeth north- 
north-tqft and by eajt from the weft corner of thy wious- 
knotted garden : There did I fee that hiv-fpirited ftvain^ 
that bafe minnow of thy mirth s , (Coft. Me.) that unlet- 
ter'd fmall-knowing foul, (Coft. Me.) that Jhallcfw vaf- 
Jal, (Coft. Still me.) which, as I remember, hight Cof- 
tard, (Coft. O me !) for ted and conforted, contrary to 
thy c ft ablijhed proclaimed edicJ and continent canon, with, 
with with, but with this I pajjion to fay where- 

Coft. With a wench. 

King, with a child of our grandmother Eve, a female; 
0r, for thy more fweet underftanding, a woman. Him, I 
(as my evcr-ejleemed duty pricks me on) have fent to thee, to 
receive the meed of punifhment, by thy fiveet grace* s officer, 
Anthony Dull ; a man of good repute, carriage, bearing, 
and ejlimation. 

Dull. Me, an't fhall pleafe you ; I am Anthony 

King. For Jaquenetta, (fo is the weaker veffcl called 
which I apprehended with the aforefaid fwain) I keep her 
as a vejfel of thy lazv'sfury ; andjball, at the leaft of thy 
fweet notice, bring her to trial. Thine, in all compliments 
of devoted and heart-burning heat of duty, 

Don Adriano de Armado. 

5 lafe minno-iv of thy mlrtb,~\ A minnow is a little fifh which 
cannot be intended" here. We may read, the bafe minion of tbj 
mirth. JOHNSON. 

The old reading is certainly the true one. The bafe m-nno-iv 
of thy mirth, is the contemptibly little object that contributes to 
thy entertainment. Shakefpeare makes Coriolanus charadtenle. 
the tribunitian infolence of Sicinius, under the lame figure : 

*' hear you not 

' This Triton of the minnows?" STEEVENS. 

C c - B-roit. 


Biron. This is not fo well as I look'd for, but tfee 
beft that ever I heard. 

King. Ay, the beft for the worft. But^ firrah, 
what fay you to this ? 

Coft. Sir, I confefs the wench. 

King. Did you hear the proclamation ? 

Coft. I do confefs much of the hearing it, but little 
of the marking of it 6 . 

King. It was proclaim'd a year's imprifonment to 
be taken with a wench. 

Coft. I was taken with none, fir; I was taken with a 

King. Well, it was proclaimed damofel. 

Coft. This was no damofel neither, fir ; ihe was a 

King. It is fo varied too ; for it was proclaim'd, 

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

King. This maid will not ferve your turn, fir. 

Coft. This maid will ferve my turn, fir. 

King. Sir, I will pronounce fentence ; You fhall 
faft a week with bran and water. 

Coft. I had rather pray a month with mutton and 

King. And Don Armado ihall be your keeper. 
My lord Biron, fee him delivered o'er. 
And go we, lords b to put in practice that 

Which each to other hath fo ftrongly fworn. 


Biron. I'll lay my head to any good man's hat, 

Thefe oaths and laws will prove an idle fcorn. 
Sirrah, come on. 

6 / do confefs much of the hearing it, lut little of the marking of 
it.} SoFal/la/, in ti\t Second Part of K.Henr IV: 

" it is the difeafe of not liftening, the malady of not 

marking^ that I am troubled withal," STEEYENS. 



Coft. I fuffer for the truth, fir : for true it is, I was 
taken with Jaquenetta, and Jaquenetta is a true girl ; 
and therefore, Welcome the four cup of profperity ! 
Affliction may one day fmile again, and 'till then, Sit 
thee down, forrow ! [ExeUnt. 


Armada's Houfe. 
Enter Armado and Moth. 

Arm. Boy, what fign is it, when a man of great 
fpirit grows melancholy ? 

Moth. A great fign, fir, that he will look fad. 

Arm. Why, fadnefs is one and the felf-fame thing, 
dear imp 7 

Moth. No, no ; O lord, fir, no. 

Arm. How can'ft thou part fadnefs and melancholy, 
my tender Juvenal 8 ? 

Moth. By a familiar demonflration of the working, 
my tough fignior ? 

Arm. Why tough fignior ? why tough fignior ? 

Moth. Why tender Juvenal ? why tender juve- 

Arm. I fpoke it, tender juvenal, as a congruent 
epitheton, appertaining to thy young days, which 
\ve may nominate, tender. 

Moth. And I, tough fignior, as an appertinent title 
to your old time, which we may name, tough 9 . 

7 dear imp.'] Imp was anciently a term of dignity. Lord Crom- 
well in his lalt letter to Henry VIII. prays for /A* imp his fan. It 
is now ufed only in contempt or abhorrence ; perhaps in our au- 
thour's time it was ambiguous, in which flate it iuits well with 
this dialogue. JOHNSON. 

Piftol falutes king Henry V. by the fame title. STEEVENS. 

8 my tender juvenal.] Juvenal \syouth. So, in The No- 
lle Stranger, 1640 : 

" Oh, I could hug thee for this, my jovial Juviqefl. 


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

C c 4 Arm. 


Arm. Pretty, and apt. 

Moth. How mean you, fir ? I pretty, and my fay-* 
ing apt ? or I apt, and my faying pretty ? 

Arm. Thou pretty, becaufe little. 

Motb. Little pretty, becaufe little : Wherefore, 
apt ? 

Arm. And therefore apt, becaufe quick. 

Moth. Speak you this in my praife, mailer > 

Arm. In thy condign praife. 

Motb. I will praife an eel with the fame praife.- 

Arm. What ? that an eel is ingenious ? 

Moth. That an eel is quick. 

Arm. I do fay, thou art quick in anfwers : Thou 
heat'ft my blood. 

Motb. I am anfwcr'd, fir. 

Arm. I love not to be crofs'd. 

Motb. He fpeaks the mere contrary, crofles love 
not him T . 

Arm. I have promifed to ftudy three years with the 

Motb~ Yon may do it iir an hour, fir. 

Arm.> linpoffible. 

Moth. How many is one thrice told ? 

Arm. I am ill at reckoning, it fitteth the fpirit of a- 

Moth. You are a gentleman, and a gamefler, fir. 

Arm. I confefs both ; they are both the varnifh of 
a complete man. 

Moth. Then, I am fure, you know how much the 
grofs furn of deuce-ace amounts to. 

Arm. It doth amount to one more than two. 

Motb. Which the bafe vulgar do call, three.. 

Arm. True. 

Moth. Why, fir, is this fuch a piece of ftudy ? Now 
here is three fludied, ere you'll thrice wink : and how 

1 crofles love not him.'] By crojjes he means money. So, in As 
Ton Like It, the Clown fays to Celia, *' //'/ihould bear yoaj Ijbould 
bear no crofs." JOHNSON. 



cafy it is to put years to the word three, and fludy 
three years in two words, the dancing horfe will tell 
you *. 


- Moth. And l.wa eajy It Is to fut years to tie ivord three, and. 
Jludy three years in t-ivo ivorth, the dancing horfe fjuiU tell you.] 
Banks's horfe, which play'd many remarkable pranks. Sir Walter 
Raleigh (Hijiory of the World, firft Part, p. 178) fays : '< If Bank* 
had lived in older times, he would have (named all the inchanter* 
in the world : for whofoever was mod famous among them, could 
never mafter, or inftrucl any bead as he did his horfe." And fir 
Kenelm Digby (a Treati/e of Bodies, ch. xxxviii. p. 393.) ob- 
lerves : " That his horfe would reftore a glove to the due owner, 
after the mailer had whifpered the man's name in his ear ; would 
tell the juft number of pence in any piece of filver coin, newly 
fhewed him by his mafter ; and even obey prefently his command,, 
in dlfcharging himfelf of his excrements, whensoever he had 
bade him." Dr. GRAY. 

Banks's horfe is alluded to- by many writers contemporary with 
Shakefpeare ; among the reft, by B. Jonfon, in Every Man out 
of his Humour : " He keeps more ado with this monfter, than 
ever Banks did with his horfe." 
Again, in Hall's Satires, lib. iv. fat. 2 : 

*' More than who vies his pence to view fome tricke 
" Of itrange Morocco's dumbe arithmeticke." 
Again, \\\ Ram- Alley, 1611: 

" Banks's horfe and he were both taught in a ftable." 
Again, \nAriJtippus, 1630: 

" Before I heard this lecture, Banks' s horfe was an. Ariilotle to 
rne." Again, in Jack Drum's Entertainment, 1601 : 

*' It (hall be chronicled next after the death of Banh's horfe.'* 
Again, in Ben Jonfon's 134.1!* Epigram : 

' Old Banks the jugler, our Pythagoras, 
" Grave tutor to the learned horfe, &c." 

The fate of this man and his very docile animal, is not exactly 
known, and, perhaps, deferves not to be remembered. From the 
next lines, however, to thofc laft quoted, it ihould feem as if they 
bad died abroad. 

" Both which 

" Being, beyond fea, burned for one witch, 
4 * Their fpirits tranfmigrated to a cat." 

Among the entries at Stationers'-Hall, is the following ; Nov. 14, 
151)5. " A ballad (hewing the ftrange qualities ofayongnagg 
called Morocco.'" Again, Dec. xyth, 1595. " Maroccius excita- 
tus, or Banks's bay horfe in a traunce." Again, in The 3Iaftive t 
an ancient collection of Epigrams : 

" Attempteth eke like Bank?* horfe to dance." 



Arm. A moft fine figure ! 

Moth. To prove you a cypher. 

Arm. I will hereupon confefs, I am in love : and$ 
as it is bafe for a foldier to love, fo I am in love with 
a bafe wench. If drawing my fword againft the hu- 
mour of affection would deliver me from the repro- 
bate thought of it, I would take defire prifoner ; and 
ranfom him to any French courtier for a new devis'd 
court'fy. I think fcorn to figh ; methinks, I fhould 
out-fwear Cupid. Comfort me, boy ; What great 
men have been in love ? 

Moth. Hercules, mafter. 

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

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

Among other exploits of this celebrated beaft, it is faid that he 
went up fo the top ot St. Paul's ; and the fame circumitance is 
likewife mentioned in The Guls Horn-booke, a fatirical pamphlet, 
by Decker, 1609. " From hence you may defcend to talk about 
the borfe that went up, and ftnve, if you can, to know his keeper ; 
take the day of the month, and the number of the fleppes, and 
fuffer yourlelf to believe verily that it was not a borfe, but fome- 
thing elie in the likenefs of one." Again, in Lantborn and 
Candle-light, or the Bellman's fecond Night-walk, by the fame au- 
thor : " More ftrange tricks are play'd by fuch riders, than 
Bankes his curtail did ever practice." 

Again, in a Culleflion of Epigrams, by J. D. and C. M. no date ; 
" Another Banks pronounced long ago : 

" When he his curtail'* qualities expreft." 
Again, " Yet BankSs borfe is better knowne than he." 
Again, in Chrcjioloros, or Seven Bookes of Epigrames, written 
byT.B. 1598, lib. III. ep. 17: 

" Of Baakef Horfe. 

'* JBattkes hath a horfe of wondrous qualitie, 
** For he can fight, and pifle, and dance, and lie, 
'* And finde your purfe, and tell what coyne ye have : 
" But Batikei, who taught your horfe to fmel a knave ?" 




Arm. O well-knit Sampfon ! flrong-jointed Samp- 
fon ! I do excel thee in my rapier, as much as thou 
didfl me in carrying gates. I am in love too. Who 
was Sampfon's love, my dear Moth ? 
Moth. A woman, mailer. 
Arm. Of what complexion ? 
Moth. Of all the four, or the three, or the two ; or 
one of the four. 

Arm. Tell me precifely of what complexion ? 
Moth. Of the fea-water green, fir. 
Arm. Is that one of the four complexions ? 
Moth. As I have read, iir ; and the bell of them 

Arm. Green, indeed, is the colour of lovers : but 
to have a love of that colour, methinks, Sampfon 
had fmall reafon for it. He, furely, affected her for 
her wit. 

Moth. It was fo, fir ; for fhe had a green wit. 
Arm. My love is mofl immaculate white and 

Moth. Mofl maculate thoughts, mafler, are mafk'cl 
under fuch colours. 

Arm. Define, define, well-educated infant. 
Moth. My father's wit, and my mother's tongue, 
affifl me ! 

Arm. Sweet invocation of a child ; mcfl pretty, and 
pathetical ! 

Moth. If fhe be made of white and red, 

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

And fe:irs by pale-white ihown : 
Then, if fhe fear, or be to blame, 

By this you lhall not know ; 
For dill her cheeks poffefs the fame, 

Which native fhc doth owe. 

A dangerous rhime, mafler, againil the reafon of 
white and red. 



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

Moth. The world was very guilty of fnch a ballad 
fome three ages fmce : but, I think, now 'tis not to 
be found ; or, if it were, it would neither ferve for 
the writing, nor the tune. 

Arm. I will have that fubject newly writ o'er, that 
I may example my digreffion * by ibme mighty prece- 
dent. Boy, I do love that country girl, "that I took 
in the park with the rational hind Coftard s ; Ihe de- 
ferves well. 

Moth. To be whipp'd ; and yet a better love than 
my mafler. \_Afide. 

Arm. Sing, boy ; my fpirit grows heavy in love. 

Moth. And that's great marvel, loving a light 

Arm. I fay, fing. 

Moth Forbear, till this company be paft. 

Enter Dull, Coftard, and Jaquenetta. 

Dull. Sir, the duke's pleafure is, that you keep 
Coftard fafe : and you muft let him take no delight, 
nor no penance ; but a* muft faft three days a-week : 

3 the King and the Beggar?] See Dr. Percy's Collection of old 
Ballads, in three vols. STEEVENS, 

4 my digreffion] Digreffion on this occafion fignifics the 

at of going out of the right way. So, in Romeo and Juliet ; 

" Thy noble fhape is but a form of wax, 

*' Digreffion from the valour of a man." STEEVENS. 

5 //k rational hind Cojiard \~\ Perhaps, we Ihould read //^ir- 
rational hind, &c. TYRWHITT. 

The rational hind, perhaps, means only the reafoning brute, the 
animal with fome Jbare of reafon. STEEVENS. 

I have always read irrational hind: if hind be taken in it's lejlial 
fenfe, Armado makes Coftard a female. FARMER. 

Shakefpeare wfes it in its leftial fenfe in Julius Cafar, aft I. 
fc. iii. and as of the mafculine gender : 

" He were no lion were not Romans hinds" 

Again, in K. Henry IV. p. i. fc. iii: " you are a (hallow 

cowardly hind^ and you lye." STEEVENS. 



For this damfel, I muft keep her at the park ; flie is 
allow'd for the day-woman. Fare you well. 

Arm. I do betray myfelf with blufhing. Maid. 

Jaq. Man. 

Arm. I will vifit thee at the lodge. 

Jaq, That's hereby. 

Arm. I know where it is fituate. 

Jaq. Lord, how wife you are ! 

Arm. I will tell thee wonders. 

Jaq. With that face ? 

Arm. I love thee. J 

Jag. So I heard you fay. 

Arm. And fo farewell. 

Jaq. Fair weather after you ! 

Dull. Come, Jaquenetta, away 6 . 

[Exeunt Dull and Jaquenetta. 

Arm. Villain, thou lhalt fafl for thy offences, ere 
thou be pardoned. 

Cqft. Well, fir, I hope, when I do it, I fliall do it on 
a full ftomach. 

Arm. Thou (halt be heavily punifhed. 

Coft. I am more bound to you, than your fellows, 
for they are but lightly rewarded. 

Arm. Take away this villain ; fhut him up. 

Moth. Come, you tranfgreffing Have ; away. 

Coft. Let me not be pent up, fir ; I will faft, being 

* Maid. Fair weather after you. Come, Jaqucnetta, envoy."} 
Thus all the printed copies : but the editors have been guilty of , 
much inadvertence. They make Jaquenetta, and a Maid enter; 
whereas Jaquenetta is the only maid intended by the poet, and is 
committed to the cullody of Dull, to be conveyed by him to the 
ledge in the park. Thfs being the cafe, it is evident to demon- 
tfration, that Fair weather after you muft be fpoken by Ja- 
quenetta ; and then that Dull fays to her, Come, Ja^uenetta, a-ii'aj, 
as I have regulated the text. THEOBALD. 

Mr. Theobald has endeavoured here co dignify h-s '.vii incluf- 
try by a very flight performance. The folios all read as he reads, 
except that inftead of naming the perfons they give their charac- 
ters, enter Clown, Conftablc, and Wtncb. JOHNSON. 



Moth. No, fir ; that were faft and loofe : thou 
{halt to prifon. 

Co/I. Well, if ever I do fee the merry days of de~ 
folation that I have feen, fome fliall fee 

Moth. What fhall fome fee ? 

Cojl. Nay, nothing, matter Moth, but what they 
look upon. 7 It is not for prifoners to be filent in 
their words ; and, therefore, I will fay nothing : I 
thank God, I have as little patience as another man; 
and, therefore I can be quiet. 

[Exeunt Moth and Cqftard. 

Arm. I do affecl: 8 the very ground, which is bafe, 
where her moe, which is bafer, guided by her foot, 
which is bafefl, doth tread. I ftiall be forfworn, 
(which is a great argument of falihood) if I love : 
And how can that be true love, which is falfly at- 
tempted ? Love is a familiar ; love is a devil : 
there is no evil angel but love. Yet Sampfon was 
fo tempted ; and he had an excellent flrength : yet 
was Solomon fo feduced ; and he had a very good 
wit. Cupid's but-fhaft is too hard for Hercules' 
club, and therefore too much odds for a Spaniard's 
rapier. The firft and fecond caufe will not ferve 
my turn 9 ; the pafiado he refpeds not, the duello 
he regards not: his difgrace is to be call'd boy; 
but his glory is, to fubdue men. Adieu, valour ! 
ruft, rapier ! be Hill, drum ! for your manager is 
in love ; yea, he loveth. Affiftme fome extemporal 

7 // is not for prifoners to le Jllent in their words ;] I fuppofe we 
fhould read, it is not for prifoners to be filent in their wards> 
that is, in cuftody, in the holds. JOHNSON. 

I believe the blunder was intentional. The quarto, however, 
reads, It is for prifoners, &c. STEEVENS. 

8 <$*& ] i- e - * ove ' So in Warner's Albion's England, 
1602, b. xii. ch. 74: 

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

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

9 *T~he firft and fecond caufe will notfcrve my turn ; ] See the lail 
a <Tt of As Tcu Like //, with the notes. JOHNSON. 



god of rhime, for, I am fure, I mall turn fonneteer *. 
Devife wit ; write pen ; for I am for whole volume? 
in folio. Exit, 

A C T II. S C E N E I. 

Before the King of Navarre s Palace. 

Enter the Prince fs of France^ Rofaline, Maria, Katharine, 
Lords, and other Attendants. 

Boyet. Now, madam, fummon up your deareft 

fpirits : 

Confider who the king your father fends ; 
To whom he fends ; and what's his embafTy : 
Yourfelf, held precious in the world's efleem ; 
To parley with the fole inheritor 
Of all perfections that a man may owe, 
Matchlefs Navarre ; the plea of no lefs weight 
Than Aquitain, a dowry for a queen. 
Be now iis prodigal of all dear grace, 
As nature wns^ in making graces dear, 
When me did* ftarve the general world betide, 
And prodigally gave them all to you. 

Prin. Good lord Boyet, my beauty, though but 


Needs not the painted flourilh of your praife ; 
Beauty is bought by judgment of the eye, 
Not utter'd by bafe fale of chapmen's tongues T : 
I am leis proud to hear you tell my worth, 
Than you much willing to be counted wife 

* -fonneteer. ~\ The old copies read only - fonne t. STEEVEKS. 

1 - chapmen s tongues :] Chapman here feems to flgnity 
the filler, not, as now commonly, the buyer. Cheap or chef ing was 
anc-cntly the market, chapman therefore is marietman. The mean- 
ing is, that the cjilmation of beauty depends not on the uttering or 
proclamation c-f the feller , but on the eye of the btyer. Jot^soN. 



In fpending thus your wit in praife of mine, 
But now to tafk the taiker, Good Boyet, 
You are not ignorant, all-telling fame 
Doth nolle abroad, Navarre hath made a vow, 
Till painful ftudy ihall out-wear three years, 
No woman may approach his filent court : 
Therefore to us feemeth it a needful courfe. 
Before we enter his forbidden gates, 
To know his pleafure ; and, in that bekalf, 
Bold of your worthinefs, we {ingle you 
As our beft-rpoving fair folicitor : 
Tell him, the daughter of the king of France, 
On ferious bufinefs, craving quick difpatch, 
Importunes perfonal conference with his grace. 
Hafte, fignify fo much ; while we attend, 
Like humble-vifagVl fuitors, his high will. 

JBojet. Proud of employment, willingly I go. [Exit. 

Prin. All pride is willing pride, and yours is fo. 
Who are the votaries, my loving lords, 
That are vow-fellows with this virtuous duke ? 

Lord* Longaviile is one. 

Prin. Know you the man ? 

Mar. I knew him, madam ; at a marriage feaft, 
Between lord Perigort and the beauteous heir 
Of' Jaques Faulconbridgc folemnized, 
In Normandy law I this Longaville : 
A man of fovereign parts he is efleem'd ; 
~ Well fitted in the arts, glorious in arms : 
Nothing becomes him ill, that he would well. 
The only foil of his fair virtue's giofs, 
(If virtue's glofs will ftain with any foil) 
Is a fharp wit 3 match'd with too blunt a will ; 
Whofe edge hath power to cut, whofe will {till wills 
It ihould none fpare that come within his power. 

Pr'm. Some merry mocking lord, belike ; is't fo ? 

* Well fitted ] \MweUfmaJiffd. JOH\SO\'. 

3 -viatcb'Jivitb--] is combined w joined w'tih. JOHNSON. 


Mar. They fay fo moft,that moil his humours know. 

Prin. Such fhort-liv'd wits do wither as they grow. 
Who are the reft ?, 

Katb. The young Dumaih, a well-accomplifh'd 


Of all that virtue love for virtue lov'd : 
Mofl power to do moft harm, leaft knowing ill ; 
For he hath wit to make an ill ihape good; 
And Ihape to win grace though he had no wit. 
I faw him at the duke Alencon's once ; 
And much too little, of that good I faw, 
Is my report to his great worthinefs. 

Rofa. Another of thcfe ftudents at that time 
Was there with him, as I have heard a truth ; 
Biron they call him ; but a merrier man, 
Within the limit of becoming mirth, 
I never fpent an hour's talk withal : 
His eye begets occafion for his wit ; 
For every object that the one doth catch, 
The other turns to a mirth-moving j eft ; 
Which his fair tongue (conceit's expositor) 
Delivers in fuch apt and gracious words, 
That aged ears play truant at his tales, 
And younger hearings are quite ravifhed ; 
So fweet and voluble is his difcourfe. 

Prin. God blefs my ladies ! are they all in love ; 
That every one her own hath garnifhed 
With fuch bedecking ornaments of praife ? 

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 
Were all addreiVd 4 to meet you, gentle lady, 

* fFsre a/I addrefs'd] To adJrefi is to prepare. So in Hamlet; 

" it lifted up its head, and did addrrft 

. *' Itfclf to mytiou." STEEVK.VS. 

VOL. II. D d Be- 


Before I came. Marry, thus much I have learnt^ 
He rather means to lodge you in the field, 
(Like one that comes here to befiege his court) 
Than feek a difpenfation for his oath, 
To let you enter his unpeopled houfe. 
Here comes Navarre. 

Enter the' King> Longaville, Durnain, Biron, and At- 

King. Fair princefs, welcome to the court of Na- 

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 wide fields too bafe 
to be mine. 

King. You ihallbe welcome, madam, to my court. 

Prin. I will be welcome then ; conduct me thither. 

King. Hear me, dear lady ; I have fworn an oath., 

Prin. Our Lady help my lord ! hell be forfworn. 

King. Not for the world, fair madam, by my wilL 

Prm. Why, will lhal'l break it ; will, and nothing 

King. Your ladyfhip is ignorant what it is. 

Prin. Were my lord fo, his ignorance were wife y 
Where now his knowledge muft prove ignorance. 
I hear, your grace hath fworn-out houfe-keeping i 
'Tis deadly fin to keep that oath, my lord, 
5 And fin to break it : 
But pardon me, I am too fudden bold ; 
To teach a teacher ill befeemeth me, 
Vouchfafe to read the purpofe of my coming, 
And fuddenly refolve me in my fuit. 

King. Madam, I will, if fuddenly I may. 

5 And fin to Ireak it :} Sir T. Hanmer reads : 

Not_// to break it. 

I believe erroneously. The princefs fiievvs an inconvenience very 
frequently attending rnih oath?, which, whether kept or broken, 
produce guilt. JOHNSON, 



Prix. You will the fooner, that I were away ; 
For you'll prove perjur'd, if you make me flay. 

Biron: Did not I dance with you in Brabant once ? 

Rof. Did not I dance with you in Brabant once ? 

Biron. I know, you did. 

Rof. How needlefs was it then 
To afk the queftion ! 

Biron. You muft not be fo quick* 

Rof. Tis long of you, that fpur me with fuch 

Biron. Your wit's too hot, it fpeeds too fail, 'twill 

Rof. Not till it leave the rider in the mire. 

Biron. What time o j day ? 

Rof. The hour that fools fhould afk. 

Biron. Now fair befall your mafk ! 

Rof. Fair fall the face it covers ! 

Biron. And fend you many lovers ! 

Rof. Amen ; fo you be none. 

Biron. Nay, then will I be gone. 

King. Madam, your father here dotri intimate 
The payment of a hundred thoufand crowns; 
Being but the one half of an entire fum, 
Difburfedby my father in his wars. 
But fay, that he, or we, (as neither have) 
Receiv'd that fum ; yet there remains unpaid 
A hundred thoufand more^ in furety 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 reftore 
But that one half which is unfatisfy'd, 
We will give up our right in Aquitain, 
And hold fair friendlhip with his majefty. 
But that, it feems, he little purpofeth, 
For here he doth demand to have repaid 
An hundred thoufand crowns ; and not demands 6 , 


* ' and net demand*, 

On payment ', &c.] 

D d 2 The 


On payment of a hundred thoufand crowns, 

To have his title live in Aquitain ; 

Which we much rather had depart 7 withal, 

And have the money by our father lent, 

Than Aquitain fo gelded as it is. 

Dear princefs, were not his requefls fo far 

From reaibn's yielding, your fair felf fhould make 

A yielding, 'gainft fome reafon, in my breaft, 

And go well fatisfied to- France again. 

Prin. You do the king my father too much wrong. 
And wrong the reputation of your name, 
In fo unfeeming to confefs receipt 
Of that which hath fo faithfully been paid. 

King. I do proteil, I never heard of it ; 
And, if you prove it, 111 repay it back, 
Or yield up Aquitain. 

Prin. We arre$ your word : 
Boyet, you can produce acquittances, 
For fuch a mm, from fpccial officers 
Of Charles hi-s father. * 

King. Satisfy me fo. 

Boyet. So pleafe your grace, the packet is not 

The former editions read : 

and not tic(ands 

One payment of a hundred thoufand crowns^ 

To have his title live in jJquitain. 

I have reftored, I believe, the genuine lenfe of the paflage. A- 
quitain was pledged, it feems, 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 : inftead whereof (fays Navarre,) he fhould 
rather pay the remaining moiety and demand to have Aquitain re- 
delivered up to him. This is plain and eafy reafoning upon the 
raft luppos'd ; and Navarre' declares, he had rather receive the 
reiidue of his debt, than detain the province mortgaged for fecu- 
rity of it. THEOPALD. 

7 depart kuff^af] To depart and to part were anciently 

fynonymous. So, in A". John: 

" Hath willingly departed with a part." STEEVENS. 



Where that and other fpecialties are bound ; 
To-morrow you mall have a fight of them. 

King. It fhall fuffice me ; at which interview. 
All liberal reafon I will yield unto. 
Mean time, receive fuch welcome at my hand, 
As honour, without breach of honour, may 
Make tender of to thy true worthinefs : 
You may not come, fair priacefs, in my gates i 
But here without you ihall be fo receiv'd, 
As you fhall deem yourfelf lodg'd in my heart, 
Though fo deny'd fair harbour in my houfe. 
Your own good thoughts excufe me, and farewel : 
To-morrow we fhall vifit you again, 

Prin. Sweet health and fair defires confort your 
grace ! 

King. Thy own wifh wifh I thee in every place ! 


Biron. Lady, I will commend you to my own 

Rof. I pray you, do my commendations ; 
I would be glad to fee it. 

Biron. I would, you heard it groan. 

Rof. Is the fool iick ? 

Biron. Sick at the heart. 

Rof. Alack, let it blood. 

Biron. Would that do it good ? 

Rof. My phyfick lays, I. 

Biron. Will you prick't with your .eye ? 

Rof. Non poynt, with my knife 8 . 

Biron. Now, God lave thy life ! 

Rof. And yours from long living ! 

Biron. I cannot flay thanklgiving. [Exit. 

Dum. Sir, I pray you, a word ; What lady is that 
lame 9 ? 


2 Nonpqynt, ] So in the Shoemaker's Holiday, 1600 : 

" tell me where he is. 

" No point. Shall I betray my brother ?" STEEVENS. 

e What lady it that fame f} It is odd that Shakefpearc fliould 

D d 3 make 


Boyet. The heir of Alencon, Rofaline her name, 
Dum. A gallant lady ! Monfieur, fare you well. 

Long* I befeech you, a word ;; What is Ihe in the 

white ? 
Boyet. A woman fometimes, an you faw her in the 

Long. Perchance, light in the light : I defire her 

Boyet. She hath but one for herfelf ; to defire that, 

were a fliame. 

Long. Pray you, fir, wriofe daughter ? 
Boyet. Her mother's, I have heard. 
Long. ' God's bleffing on your beard ! 
Boyet. Good fir, be not offended : 
She is an heir of Faulconbridge. 

Long. Nay, my choler is ended. . 
She is a moft fweet lady. 

Boyet. Not unlike, fir ; that may be. [Exit Long. 

Biron. What's her name in the cap ? 

Boyet. Katharine, by good hap. 

Biron. Is fhe wedded, or no ? 

Boyet. To her will, fir, or ib. 

Biron. You are welcome, fir ; adieu ! 

Boyet. Farewell to me, fir, and welcome to you. 

[Exit Biro,!.. 

Mar. That laft is Biron, the merry mad-cap lord ; 
Not a word with him but a jeft. 
Boyet. And every jeft but a word. 

make Dumain enquire after Rcfalinc, who was the miftrefs of Bl~ 
ran, and neglect Katharine, who was his own. Sir on behaves 
in the fame manner. No advantage would be gained by an ex- 
change of names, becaufe the laft fpeech is determined to Biron 
by Maria, who gives a character of him after he has made his 
exit. Perhaps ail the ladies wore maiks but the princefs. 


1 God's Hefting on your heard /] That is, mayft thou have fenfe 
and ferioufnefs more proportionate to thy beard, the length of 
which fuits ill with fuch idle catches of wit. JOHNSON. 



Prln. It was well done of you, to take him at his 

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


Mar. Too hot iheeps, marry ! 
Boyet. And wherefore not fhips ? 
No fheep, fweet lamb, unlefs we feed on your lips *. 
Mar. You fheep, and I pallure ; Shall that finifli 

the jeft ? 

Boyet. So you grant paflure for me. 
Mar. Not fo, gentle beaft ; 
My lips are no common, though feveral they be *. 


z ' unlefs ivc feed on your lips,"] Shakefpeare has the fame 
cxpreflion in his Venus and Adonis : 

, ** Feed where thou wilt, on mountain or on dale, 

** Graze on my lips." MALONE. 

3 My lips are no common, though feveral they lc.~\ Several is an 
inclofed field of a private proprietor ; fo Maria fays, her lips are 
private property. Or a lord that was newly married, oneobfervcd 
that he grew fat ; " Yes," faid fir Walter Raleigh, " any beaft will 
grow fat, if you take him from the common and graze him in the 
feveral." JOHNSON. 
So, in The Rival Friends, 1632 : 

" my fheep have quite difgreft. 

" Their bounds, and leap'd into the feverall." 
Again, in Green's Difputation, &c. 1592 : " rather would have 
mewed me up as a henne, to have kept thatfcvcra/I to himfelf by 
force, &c." Again, in Sir John OUcaJUc^ 1600: 
" Of late he's broke into zfcverall 
" That does belong to me." STEEVE-NS. 
JWy lips arc no common, though feveral they be. ] 
In the note upon this paflage it is laid that SEVERAL is an htcJafed 
field of a private proprietor. 

Dr. Johnfon has totally miftaken this word. In the firft place 
it {hould be fpelled five rdl. This does not figniry an inclofed 
field or private property, but is rather the property of every land- 
holder in the parifh. In the uninclofed parifhes in \Varwickihire 
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, fome little grafs land 
is interfperfed, and there are here and there, fome little patches of 
green fwcrd. The next year this ploughed field bears wheat, 
P d and 


Boyet. Belonging to whom ? 

Mar. To my fortunes and me. 

Pri/t. Good wits will be jangling : but, gentles, 

agree : 

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

Boyet. If my obfervation, (which very feldom lyes) 
By the heart's flill rhetorick, difclofed with eyes, 
Deceive me not now, Navarre is infected. 

Prin. With what ? 

Boyet. With that which we lovers intitle, affected. 

Prin. Your reafon ? 

Boyet. Why, all his behaviours did make their re- 

To the court of his eye, peeping thorough defire : 
His heart, like an agat, with your print impreffed, 
Proud with his form, in his eye pride expreffed : 
His tongue, all impatient to fpeak and not fee % 
Did fluihblc with hafte in his eye-fight to be ; 
All fenfes to that fenfe did make their repair, 
5 To feel only looking on faireil of fair : 

and the grafs land is preferred for hay ; and the year following 
the proprietors fow it with beans, oats, or barley, at their dif- 
cretion ; and the next year it lies falldvv again ; fo that each field 
i# its turn is fallow every third year ; and the field thus fallowed 
is called the common field, on which the coWs and iheep graze, 
and have herdfmen and fhepherds to attend them, in order t$ 
prevent them from going into the two other fields which beat- 
corn and grafs. Theie laft are called tliefevcrell, which is not 
leparated from the common by any fence whatever ; but the care 
Or preventing the cattle from going into the fcverell is left to the, 
herdfmen and {hepherds ; but the herdfmen have no authority 
over the town bull, who is permitted to go where he pleafes in 
the fever ell. Dr. JAMES. 

Holinfhed's Dcfiription of Britain, p. 33, ar^d Leigh's Acce- 
dence of Armourie, 1597, p. 52. fpell this word like Shakefpeare. 
Leigh mentions the town bull, and fays, " z\\ federals to him are 
common.'-' TOLLET. 

4 His tongue, all impatient to fficak and not fee, "\ That is, his. 
iongfte being impatiently (lefirous to fee as iveH as. fpeak. JOHNSON. 

5 , To feel only looking ] Perhaps we may better read : 

To feed only by looking JOHNSON. 



Methought, all his fenfes were lock'd in his eye, 

As jewels in cryilal for fome prince to buy ; 

Who, tendring their own worth, from whence they 

were glafs'd, 

Did point out to buy them, along as you pafs'd. 
His face's own margent did quote fuch amazes, 
That all eyes faw his eyes inchanted with gazes : 
1*11 give you Aquitain, and all that is his, 
An you give him for my fake but one loving kifs. 

Prin. Come, to our pavilion : Boyet is difpos'd 

Boyet. But to fpeak that in words, which his eye 

hath difclos'd : 

I only have made a mouth of his eye, 
By adding a tongue which I know will not lye. 

Rnf. Thou art an old love-monger, and fpeak'fl 

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

Rof. Then was Venus like her mother ; for her fa- 
ther is but grim. 

Boyet. Do you hear, my mad wenches ? 

Mar. No. 

Boyet. What then, do you fee ? 

Rof. 'Ay, our way to be gone. 

Boyet. You are too hard for me 6 . 

* Boyet. You are too bard for me.] Here, in all the books, the 
zd aft is made to end : but in my opinion very miltakenly. I 
have ventured to vary the regulation of the four laft ads from the 
printed copies, for theie reafons. Hitherto the 2d aft has been of 
the extenf of feven pages ; the 3d of but five ; and the 5th of no 
lei's than twenty-nine. And this difproportion of length has 
crowded too many incidents into fome afts, and left the others 
quite barren. I have now reduced them into a much better equal- 
ity ; and distributed the buiinefs likewife, (fuch as it is) into a 
more uniform caft. THEOBALD. 

Mr. Theobald has reafon enough to propofe this alteration, but 
he fhould not have made it in his "book without better authority or 
more need. I have therefore preferved his obfeivation, but con- 
tinued the former diviiion. JOHNSON. 



'fhe Park ; near the Palace. 


Enter Armado and Moth 7 . 

Arm. Warble, child ; make paflionate my fenfe of 

Moth. Concolinel 8 \_Smging. 

Arm. Sweet air ! Go, tendernefs of years ; take 
this key, give enlargement to the fwain, bring him 
feftinately hither 9 ; I muft employ him in a letter to 
my love. 

7 Enter Armado and Moth.] In the folios the direction is, entet 
Braggart and Moth, and at the beginning of every fpeech of Ar- 
mado itands Brag, both in this and the foregoing fcene between 
him and his boy. The other perfonages of this play are likewife 
noted by their characters as often as by their names. All this 
confulion has been well regulated by the later editors. JOHNSON. 

8 Concolinel ] Here is apparently a fong loft. JOHNSON. 

I have obferved in the old comedies, that the fongs are fre- 
quently omitted. On this occafion the ilage direction is general- 
ly Here they Jlng or Cantant. Probably the performer was 
left to chufe his own ditty, and therefore it could not with pro- 
priety be exhibited as part of a new performance. Sometimes 
yet more was left to the difcretion of the ancient comedians, as I 
learn from the following circumftance in K. Edward IV. zd p. 
1619 : " Jockey is led whipping over the ilage, fpeaking fome 
words, but of no importance." 

Again, in Greene's Tu Quoque, 1 599 : 

" Here they two talk and rail ivbat they lift." 
Again, in Decker's Honcft Wljore^ 1635 : 

"" He places all things in order, Jlnging with the ends of old 
ballads as he does it.'* 
Again, in Marfton's Dutch Caurtefan, 1604 : 

" Cantat Gallicc." But no fong is fet down. 
Again, in the jta ./#. 

*' Cantat faltatque cum Citbara." 

Not one out of the many fongs fuppofed to be fung in Mar- 
fton's Antonio's Revenge, \ 602, are inferted ; but inflead of them, 
cantant. STEEVENS. 

5 feftinately hither ;] i.e. haftily. Shakefpeare ufes the 

adjective y>/?/#rf/f, in another of his plays. STEEY^NS. 



Moth. Matter, will you win your love with a 
French brawl l ? 

Arm. How mean'ft thou ? brawling in French ? 

Motb^ No, my compleat matter : but to jig off a 
tune at the tongue's end, canary to it with your feet % 
humour it with turning up your eye-lids; figh a 
note, and fing a note ; fometime through the throat, 
as if you fwallow'd love with iinging love ; fometime 
through the nofe,, as if you fnuff'd up love by finel- 
li-ng love ; with your hat penthoufe-like, o'er the fhop 
of your eyes ; with your arms crofs'd on your thin 
belly-doublet, like a rabbit on a fpit; or your hands 
in your pocket, like a man after the old painting ? ; 
and keep not too long in one tune, but a imp and 
away : Thefe are complements *, thefe are humours : 

I a French brawl ? ] A brawl is a kind of dance. Ben Jonfon 
mentions it in one of his maiques : 

" And thence did Venus learn to lead 
. " Th' Idalian brails, &c." 

In the Malcontent of Mariton, I meet with the followjng account 
of it. " The bra--j:l, why 'tis but two fingles to the left, two on 
the right, three doubles forwards, a traverie of fix rounds : do 
this twice, three fingles fide galiiard trick of twenty coranto pace ; 
a figure of eight, three fingles broken down, come up^ meet two 
doubles, fall back, and then honour." 
Again, in B. [onion's mafque of Time Vindicated: 
" The Graces did them footing teach; 
'* And, at the old Idalian bra--tvls y 
" They danc'd your mother down." STEEVENS, 
So, in Maflmger's Pifiure, aft II. fc. ii : 

" 'Tis a French brawl, an apifii imitation 

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

II canary to it with your feet,'] Canary was the name of a fpritely 
nimble dance. THEOBALD. 

3 like a man after the old painting ; ] It was a common trick 
among fome of the moil: indolent of the ancient mailers, to place 
the hands in the bofom or the pockets, or conceal them in fomc 
other part of the drapery, to avoid the labour of reprefenting 
them, or to difguife their own want of fkill to employ them 
with grace and propriety. STEEVENS. 

4 Thefe are complements,] Dr. Warburton has here changed 

\-OMplijl-nients, for accomplijbmcnts^ but unneceffarily. 




5 thefe betray nice wenches that would be betray'd 
without thefe ; and make the men of note, (do you 
note men ?) that are moil affedted to thefe. 

Arm. How haft thou purchas'd this experience ? 

Moth. By my penny of obfervation 6 . 

Arm. 7 But O, but O 

Moth. the hobby-horfe is forgot. 

Arm. Call'ft thou my love, hobby-horfe ? 

Moth. No, mafter ; the hobby-horfe is but a colt % 
and your love, perhaps, a hackney. But have you 
forgot your love ? 

Arm. Almoft I had. 

Moth. Negligent ftudent ! learn her by heart. 

Arm. By heart, and in heart, boy. 

5 thefe betray, &c.] The former editors: thefe betray nice 

wenches, that would be betray' d -without thefc^ and make them men 
of note. But who will ever believe, that the odd attitudes and 
aife&ations or" lovers, by which they betray young Benches, fhould 
have power to make thefe young wenches men of note ? His mean- 
ing is, that they not only inveigle the young girls, but make the 
men taken notice of too, who affecl: them. THEOBALD. 

6 J>y my pen of obfervation.^ Sir T. Hanmer reads : " by my 
fenny of obfervation;" and this is certainly right. The allufion 
is r.o the famous old piece, called a Pennivjorth of Wit. FARMER. 

7 Ann. But O,but O 

Moth. the hobby-horfe is forgot. ] 

In the celebration of May-day, belides the fports now ufed of 
hanging a pole with garlands, and dancing round it, formerly a 
boy wijs drefled up reprefenting Maid Marian ; another like a 
fryar ; and another rode on a hobby-horfe, with bells jingling^ 
and painted ftreamers. Alter the Reformation took place, and 
precilians multiplied, thefe latter rites were looked upon to favour 
of paganifm ; and then maid Marian, the friar, and the poor 
hobby-horfe, were turned out of the games. Some who were not 
fo wifely predfe, but regretted the dilute of the hobby-horfe, no 
doubt, fatirized this fufpicion of idolatry, and archly wrote the 
epitaph above alluded to. Now Moth, hearing Armado groan 
ridiculoully, and cry OIK, Jir/t oh! but oh / humouroufly 
pieces out his exclamation with the fequel of this epitaph. 


The fame line is repeated in Hamlet. See the note on act III. 
fc. ii. STEEVENS. 

8 but a colt,] Colt is a hot, mad-brained, unbroken young fel- 
low ; or fo-nietimes sn old fellow with youthful defires. JOHNSON. 



Moth. And out of heart, mailer : all thofe three I 
will prove. 

Arm. What wilt thou prove ? 

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

Arm* I am all thefe three. 

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

Arm. Fetch hither the fwain ; he muil carry me 
a letter. 

Motb. A mefTage well fympathis'd ; a horfe to be 
embailador for an afs I 

Arm. Ha, ha ; what fayeft thou ? 

Motb. Marry, fir, you muil fend the afs upon the 
horfe, for he is very flow-gaited : But I go. 

Arm. The way is but fnort ; away. 

Moth. As fwift as lead, fir. 

Arm. Thy meaning, pretty ingenious ? 
Is not lead a metal heavy, dull, and flow ? 

Motb. Mtninie, honeft mailer; or rather, mailer, no. 

Arm. I fay, lead is flow. 

Motb. You are too fwift, fir, to fay fo 9 : 
Is that lead flow, which is fir'd from a gun ? 

9 Ton are toofiuift, Jir, to fay fa.] How is he too fwift for fay- ' 
ing that lead is flow ? I fancy we fhould read, as well to fupply 
the rhyme as the fenfe : 

v Ton are toofwift, jir, to fay fo fo foon : 

Is that leadjhvui Jir y which h fir* d from a gun? 


The meaning, I believe, is, Ton do not give yourl'elf time to 
d'ink, if you fay fo. 

Sivift t however, means ready at replies. So, in Mar/Ion's 
Makontent, 1604 : 

<; I have eaten but two fpoonfuls, and methinks I could dif- 
courfe both/iu//?/v and wittily already. STEEVENS. 

Swift is here ufed, as in other places, fynonymouily with wrV/r. 
I fuppofe the meaning of Atalantefs letter part, in As Tou Like 
It, is her wit the l^lftncfs of her mind. FARMER. 



Arm. Sweet fmoke of rhetorick ! 
He reputes me a cannon ; and the bullet, that's he : 
I Ihoot thee at the fwain. 

Moth. Thump then, and I flee. [Exif. 

Arm. A moft acute ju venal ; voluble and free of 

grace ! 

1 By thy favour, fweet welkin, I muft figh in thy face j 
Moft rude melancholy, valour gives thee place. 
My herald is returned. 

He-enter Moth and Coftard. 

Motb. A wonder, mafter ; here's a Coftard 2 broken 

in a fhin. 
Arm. Some enigma, fomc riddle : Come, thy 

F envoy ; begim 

Coft. No egma, no riddle, no F envoy 3 ; no falve in 
the male, Sir * : O Sir, plantain, a plain plantain ; 
no I 9 envoys no F envoy 9 of falve, Sir, but a plain- 
tain ! 

Arm. By virtue, thou cnforceft laughter ; thy filly 
thought, my fpleen ; the heaving of my lungs pro- 
vokes me to ridiculous fmiling : O, pardon me, my 
flars ! Doth the inconfiderate take falve for V envoy, 
and the word, F envoy, for a falve ? 


1 By t~b\' favour, facet welkin, ] Welkin is the Iky, 

to which Armado, with the falfe dignity of a Spaniard, -makes an 
apology for fighing in its face. JOHNSON. 

2 here's a Coftard broken ] i. e. a head. So, in Hycke Scorncr : 

" I wyll ruppe you on the coftard with my home." 


3 no l*envoy ;] The f envoy is a term borrowed from the old 
French poetry. It appeared always at the head of a few conclud- 
ing verfes to each piece, which either ferved to convey the mo- 
ral, or to addrefs the poem to fome particular perfon. It was 
frequently adopted by the ancient English writers. 

So, in Monjlcur D' Olive, 1 606 : 

" Well fdid : now to the UEnviy." All the Tragedies of 
John Bocbas, tranflated by Lidgate, are followed by a L'Evvoy, 


4 no/alvf, In the male, fir.'} The old folio reads, no falve in 



T 3 

Moth. Doth the wife think them other ? is not 
F envoy a falve ? 

Arm. No, page ; it is an epilogue or difcourfe, to 

make plain 

Some obfcure precedence that hath tofore been fain. 
I will example it s : 

The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee, 
Were ftill at odds, being but three. 
There's the moral : Now the I' 'envoy. 

Moth. I will add the I* envoy ; Say the moral again. 
Arm. The fox, the ape, and the humble-bee, 

Were flill at odds, being but three : 
Moth. Until the goofe came out of door, 
Staying the odds by adding four. 

tliee male, Jir, which, in another folio, is, no falve, in tie male, 
Jir. What it can mean is not eauly difcovered : if mail for a 
packet or lag was a word then in ufe, no falve in the mail may 
mean, no falve in the mountebank's budget. Or (hall we ,read, 
no enigma, no riddle, no I * envoy in the vale, Jir O,- Jir, plantain. 
The matter is not great, but one would wifh for fome meaning 
or other. JOHNSON. 

Male or mail was a word then in ufe. Reynard the fox fent 
Kayward's head in a male. And, fo, in 1'amburlane, or the Scy- 
thian Shepherd, I 590 : 

" Open the males, yet guard the treafure fure." 
I believe Dr. Johnfon's firft explanation to be right. STEEVENS. 
I can fcarcely think that Shakefpeare had fo far forgotten his 
little fchool learning, as to fuppofe that the Latin verb falve, 
and the Englifh fubftantive, falve, had the fame pronunciation ; 
and yet without this, the quibble cannot be preferved. FARMER. 
The fame quibble occurs in Arijlippus, or the Jovial Philo/a* 
pher, 1630 : 

" -Salve, Mafter Simplicius. 

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


No falve in the male, Jir, may mean, *' I will have none ot 
all the falves you have in the male :" treating him as a moun- 
tebank. MUSGRAVE. 

Perhaps we mould read no falve in them all, Jir. 


5 7w/7/ example it :] Thefe words, and fome others, are neither 
in the firft folio, nor in the 410 1631, but in that of 1598* I 
itill believe the whole paflage to want fome regulation, though 
it has not fufficient merit to encourage the' editor who Ihould 
attempt it. STEEVENS, 



Now will I begin your moral, and do you follcfw 
With my f envoy. 

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

Arm. Until the goofe came out of door, 
Staying the odds by adding four. 

Moth* A good F envoy, ending in the goofe ; Would 
you defire more ? 

Coft. The boy hath fold him a bargain^ a goofe, 

that's flat : 
Sir, your penny-worth is good, an your goofe be 


To fell a bargain well, is as cunning as faft and loofe : 
Let me fee a fat I 'envoy ; ay, that's a fat goofe. 

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

Moth. By faying, that a Coftard was broken in a fhih. 
Then call'd you for the I 'envoy. 

'Coft. True, and I for a plantain ; thus came yotir 
argument in : 

Then theboy's fat Fenvoy,the goofe that you bought; 
And he ended the market 6 . 

Arm. But tell me ; how was there a 7 Coftard 
broken in a Ihin ? 

Moth. I will tell you fenfibly. 

Coft. Thou haft no feeling of it, Moth ; I will fpeak 
that F envoy 

6 And be ended the market.] Alluding to the proverb 

women and a goofe make a market. Tre donne et uu occa fan un mer- 
cato. Ital. Ray's Proverbs. STEEVENS. 

7 hoiv ivas there a Coftard broken in a Jhin. f~\ Coftard is the 
name of a fpecies of apple. JOHNSON. 

It has been already obferved that the bead was anciently call- 
ed the coftard. So, inK. Rich. III. " Take him over the coftard 
with the hilt of thy fword." A coftard likewife fignified a 
crab-Jltck. So, in the Loyal Subjcft of B. and Fletcher ; 

" I hope they'll crown his fervice." 

*' With a coftard" STEEVENS. 

I, Coltard, 


I-, Coftard, running out, that was fafely within, 
Fell over the threfhold, and broke my min. 

Arm. We will talk no more of this matter. 

Coft. 'Till there be more matter in the fliin. 
Arm. Sirrah, Coftard, I will enfranchife thee, 

Coft. O, marry me to one Frances ; I fmell fome 
Ferwcy, fome goofe, in this. 

Arm. By my fweet foul, I mean, fetting thee at li- 
berty, enfreedoming thy perfon ; thou wert immur'd, 
restrained, captivated, bound. 

Coft. True, true ; and now you will be my purga- 
tion, and let me loofe. 

Arm. I give thee thy liberty, fet thee from durance ; 
and, in lieu thereof, impofe on thee nothing but this : 
Bear this fignificant to the country maid Jaquenetta : 
there is remuneration; [Giving kirn money. ^ for the 
beft ward of mine honour, is, rewarding my depen- 
dants. Moth, follow. [Exit. 

Moth. Like the fequel, 1 8 . Signior Coftard, adieu. 


oft. My fweet ounce of man's fleih ! my incony 
Jew 9 ! 

8 Like the fequel, /.] Sequele, in French, fignifies a great man's 
train. The joke is, that a {ingle page was all his train. 


I believe this joke exifts only in the apprehenlion of the com- 
mentator. Sequelle, by the French, is never employed but in a de- 
rogatory fenie. They uie it to exprefs thtgang of a h-icrh wayman, 
but not the train of a lord ; the followers of a rebel, and not the 
attendants on a general. Thus Holinflied, p. 639. " to the 
intent that by theextin6tion of him and his fequeale, all civil warre 
and inward divilion might ceafe, &c." Moth IjSs&'feautl only in 
the literary acceptation. STEEVENS. 

9 my incony Jew !] Incony or kony in the north fignifie?, 

fine, delicate as a kony thing, a fine thing. It is plain there- 
fore, we fliould read : 

my incony jewel. WAREURTOX. 

I know not whether it be right, however fpecious, to change 
Jeiv to Jewel. Jciv, in our author's time, was, for whatever 
reafon, apparently a word of endearment. So, in the MiJfummer- 
Nigbt's Dream : 

" Mojl brljly Juvtnile, and eke moft lovey Jav," JOHNSON. 
II, E e The 


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 : 'Afo, F II give you a remuneration : 
why, it carries it. Remuneration ! why, it is a 
fairer name than French crown. I will never buy 
and fell out of 'this word. 

Enter Bironi 

Biron. O, my good knave Coflard ! exceedingly 
well met* 

Coft. Pray you, Sir, how much carnation ribbon 
may a man buy for a remuneration ? 

Biron. What is a remuneration ? 

Coft. Marry, Sir, half-penny farthing, 

Biron. O, why then, three-farthing-worth of filk. 

Coft. I thank your worfhip : God be with you. 

Biron. O, flay, Have ; I muft employ thee : 
As thou wilt win my favour, good my knave, 
Do one thing, for me that I lhall entreat. 

The word is ufed again in the 4th aft of this play : 

ii , mo ji i ncori y vulgar wit." 

In the old comedy called Blurt Mafter Conftalle, 1602. 1 meet with 
it again. A maid is fpeaking to her miftrefs about a gown : 

" it makes you have a moft inconie body." 

Cony and incony have the fame meaning. So, Metaphor fays in 
Jonfon's Tale of a Tub : 

" O fuperdainty canon, vicar inconey." 
Again, in the Tivo angry Women of Abingdon, 1 599 : 

" O I have fport inconey i'faith/' 
Again, in Marlow's jfew of Malta, 1633 : 

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

" A cockfcomb incony^ but that he wants money." 


1 No, ril give you a remuneration : Why? it carries its remune- 
ration. Why ? it is a fairer name than a French mKivz.J Thus thi? 
paflage has hitherto been writ, and pointed, without any regard 
to common fenfe, or meaning. The' reform, that I have made, 
flight as it is, makes it both intelligible and humorous. 




'Coft. When would you have it done, fir ? 

Biron. O, this afternoon. 

Coft. Well, I will do it, fir : Fare you well. 

Biron. O, thou knoweft not what it is. 

'Coft. I fhall know^ fir, when I have done it. 

Biron, Why, villain, thou rnuft know firft. 

Coft. 1 will come to your worihip to-morrow rriorri- 

Biron. It mufi be done this afternoon. Hark, 
Have, it is but this ; 
The princefs eomes to hunt here in the park; 
And in her train there is a gentle lady ; 
When tongues fpeak fweetly; then they name her 


And Rofaline they call her : aik for her ; 
And to her fweet hand fee thou do commend 
This fealM-up counfel. There's thy guerdon ; go. 

[Gives him money. 

Coft. Guerdon, O fweet guerdon * \ better than 
remuneration ; eleven-pence farthing better: Mbft 
fweet guerdon ! I will do it, fir, in print J . Guer- 
don remuneration. [Exit. 


Again, in Wily Beguil'cl : 

" I hope, as guerdon for my jufl defert." STEEVENS,, 
3 in print.} i. e; exactly, \vith the utrriofl nicety. It has been 
propofed to me to read in point, but, I think, without neceility, 
the former expreffion being ftill in ufe. STEEVENS. 

I will do it, Sir, in print. 
So, Ben Jonfon, vol. IV. p. 140* Whalley's edit: 

" fits my ruff we'll ? 

" Lin. In print/' 
Again, voh I. Every Man out of bis Humour, (p. 195.) 

" O, you are a gallant in print now, brother." TYRWHITT. 
So, again in Decker's Honejl Whore, 1635 : 

** I am lure my hufband is a man in print, in all things elfe." 
Again, in Woman is a Weathercock, 1612 : 

" this doublet fits in print, my lord/' 

E e i Again, 1 


Blron. O f And I, forfooth, in love ! I, that haVe 
been love's whip ; 
A very beadle to a humorous figh ; 
A critic; nay, a night-watch conftabl'e ; 
A domineering pedant o'er the boy, 
Than whom no mortal. f6 magnificent ! 
This wimpled 4 , whining, purolirid, wayward boy; 
This iignior Junio's giant-dwarf, Dan Cupid s ; 


Again, in Blurt Softer. Confiabh : 

" Next, your ruff muft ftand in print." STEEVENS. 

4 This wimpled ] The ^Mimpk was a hood or veil 

which fell over the face. Had Shakefpeare been acquainted with 
thejlammcnm of the Romans, or the gem which reprefents the 
marriage of Cupid and Pfyche, his choice ot the epithet would 
have been much applauded by all the advocates in favour of his 
learning. In Ifaiah, ch. iii. v. 22. we finil': " the mantles, and 
*' the ivimfles^ and the crifping-pins;" and, in The Devil's Char- 
ter, 1607, to tvimfle is ufed as a verb : 

*' Here, I perceive a Tittle rivellin-g 

lt Above my forehead, but I witttplt it, 

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

5 *This fignior Junio'.t giant-dwarf, Dan Cupid ;~\ It was fome 
time ago "mgenioufly hinted to me, (and I readily came into the 
opinion) that as there was a contraft of terms in giant-dwarf, ib, 
probably, there ftould be in" the 'word immediately preceding 
them ; and therefore thnt we fhould reftore : 

This fenior-junior, giant-dvjarf, Dan Cupid. 
i. e. this old young man. And there is, indeed, afterwards, \\\ 
this play, a defcription of Cupid which ibrts very aptly with i'uch- 
aa emendation : 

*7 'bat "jcas tie iivTty to make bis godhead ti'a.v, 
For be batb been five thoufandji'mrj a boy. 

The conjecture is exquilitely well imagined, and ought by all 
means to be embraced unlefs there is reaibn to think, that, in the 
former reading, there is an alktfion to fome tale, or character in 
an old play. I have not, on this account, ventured to difturb the 
text, becaufe there leems to me fome reafon to fufpect, that our 
author is- here alluding to Beaumont and Fletcher's BeaJuca. In 
that tragedy there is the character of one funius, a Roman cap- 
tain, who falls in love to diilraction with one of Bondtica'? daugh- 
ters ; and becomes an arrant whining flave to this pailion. Us 
is afterwards cured of his infirmity, and is as abfolute a tyrant 
againfl the lex. Now,, with regard to thefe two extremes, Cupid 
ipight very probably be ftyled Junius's giant-dwarf: a giant in his 



Regent of love-rhimes, lord of folded arms, 
The anointed fovereign of fighs and groans, 
Liege of all loiterers and malecontents, 
Dread prince of plackets, king of codpieces, 
Sole imperator, and great general J 
Of trotting paritors 6 ,~O my little heart !-^- 
And I to be a corporal of his fiel'd 7 , 


eye, while the dotage was upon him ; Jbut ftirunk into a dwarf, 
fo foon as be had got the better of it. THEOBALD. 

Mr. Upton has made a very ingenious conje&ure on this paf- 
fage. He reads : 

nisfivnior Julio's giant-dwarf 

Shakefpeare, fays he, intended to compliment Julio Romano, 
who drew Cupid in the chara&er of a giant-dwarf. Dr. Warbur- 
ton thinks, that by Junio is meant youth in general. JOHNSON. 

There is no reuion to luppofe that Beaumont's and Fletcher's 
Bonduca was written ib early as the year 1598, when this play 
appeared. Even if it was then publiihed, the fuppofed alluiion 
to the character of Junius is forced and improbable ; and who, in 
fupport of Upton's conjecture will alcertain, that Julio Romano 
ever drew Cupid as a giant-dwarf? Shakefpeare., in K. Rich. III. 
act IV. fc. iv. ufes fignory forfenioritv ; and Stowe's Chronicle, 
p. 149. Edit. 1614, fpeaks of Edward the flgxior, i.e. the elder. 
I can therefore fuppofe thutjigner here means fenior, and got 
the Italian title of honour. Thus in the firit folio, at the end 
pf the Comedy of Errors : 

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

" E. Dro. That's a queftion : how fhall we try it? 

" S. Dro. We'll draw cuts for ihe Jignior. TOLLET. 

6 Of trotting paritors : ] An apparitor or paritor, is an 

officer of the bilhop's court, who carries out citations ; as citations 
are moil frequently iffued for fornication, the paritor is put under 
Cupid's government. JOHNSON. 

7 And I to le a corporal of his file, &c.] In former editions : 

And I to le a corporal of bis field, 
And wear his colours like a tumbler's hoop ! 

A corporal oi afield is quite a new term : neither did the tuniblers 
ever adorn their hoops with ribbands, that I can learn : for thofe 
were not carried in parade about with them, as the fencer carries 
his fword : nor, if they were, is the limilitude at all pertinent to 
the cafe in hand. I read : 

like a tumbler ftoop. 

To Jloop like a tumbler agrees not only with that profeffion, and 

the fervile condefcenfions of a lover, but with what follows in the 

E e ^ cop- 


And wear his colours like a tumbler's hoop ! 
What ? what ? I love 8 ! I fue ! I feek a wife ! 

context. The wife tranfcribers, when once the tumbler appeared, 
thought his hoop mufl not be far 1 behind. WAR BUR TON. 

The conceit feems to be very forced and remote, however it 
be underftood. The notion is not that the hoop wears colours, but 
that the colours are worn as a tumbler carries his hoop, hanging 
on one ftioulder and falling under 'the oppofite arm. JOHNSON. 

Perhaps the tumbler? hoops were adorned with their matter's 
colours, or with ribbands,. To wear his colours, means to wear 
his badge or cognifance, or to be his fervant or retainer. So, in 
jlolinjhcffs Hift. of Scotland, p. 301 : " The earle of Surrie 
gave to his fervants this cognifance (to wear on their left arm) 
which was a white lyon, &c." So, in Stowe's Annals, p. 274. 
** All that ware the dukes fign, or colours, were faine to hide 
them, conveying them from th.^ir necks into their bofome."', 
Again, in Selden's Ditetto, chap, ii : " His efquires cloathed in 
his colours" Biron banters himfelf upon being a corporal of Cu- 
pid's field, and a fervant 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 Jonfon : " difpatches his lacquey 
to the chamber early to know what her colours are for the day, 
with purpofe to apply his wear that day accordingly, &c." I 
am informed by a lady who remembers morris-dancing, that the 
character who tumbled, always carried his hoop dreffed out with 
ribbands, and in the polition defcribed by Dr. Johnfon. 


Corporals of the field are mentioned in Carew's Survey of Corn- 
wall; and Raleigh Ipeaks of them twice, vol. i. p. 103. vol. ii. 
p. 367, edit. 1751. TOLLET. 

This officer is likewife mentioned in Ben Jonfon's New Inn: 
** As corporal of the field, maeftro del campo." 

Giles Clayton, in his Martial 'Difcipllne, 1591, has a chapter 
pn the office and duty of a corporalof the field. In one of Drake's 
Voyages, it appears, that the captains Morgan and Sampfon by 
this name, " had commandement over the reft of the land-cap- 
taines." Brokefby tells us, that " Mr. DodwelPs father was in 
an office then known by the name of corporal of the field, which 
he faid was equal to that of a captain of horfe." FARMER. 

It appears from Lord Strafford's Letters, vol. ii. p. 199, that 
a corporal of the field was employed as an aid-de-camp is now, " in 
taking and carrying too and fro the directions of the general, or 
other the higher officers of the field." TYRWHITT. 

8 What? what? Hove f] The fecond what has been fupplied 
by the editors, I fhould like better to read'- What ? // I love ! 


A WO- 


A woman, that is like a German clock 9 , 
Still a repairing ; ever out of frame ; 
And never going aright, being a watch, 
But being watch'd that it may ftill go right ? 
Nay, to be perjur'd, which is worft of all : 
And, among three, to love the worft of all ; 
A whitely wanton with a velvet brow, 
With two pitch balls ftuck 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 figh for her ! to watch for her ! 
To pray for her ! Go to ; it is a plague 
That Cupid will impofe for my negled: 

9 like a German clock, 

Still a repairing ; ] 

The fame allution occurs in WeJlward-Hoe, by Decker and 
Webfter, 1607 : ** no German dock, no mathematical engine 
whatfoever, requires fo much reparation, &c." 
Again, in A Mad World my Mafters, 1608 : 

' (lie coniifts of a hundred pieces, 

1 Much like your German dock, and near allied : 

* Both are fo nice they cannot go for pride. 

* Befides a greater fault, but too well known, 

l . They'll itrike to ten when they fhould flop at one." 
Ben Jonfon has the fame thought in his Silent Woman, and B. 
and Fletcher in Wit without Money, 

The following extraft is taken from a book called The Artificial 
Clock-Maker , 3<i edit. 1714 :" Clock-making was fuppofed to 
have had its beginning in Germany within lefs than thefe two 
hundred years. It is very probable, that our balance-clocks or 
watches, and fome other automata, might have had their be- 
ginning there ; &c.' ? Again, p. 91. *' Little worth remark 

js to be found till towards the 1 6th century ; and then clock- 
work was revived or wholly invented anew in Germany, as is ge- 
nerally thought, becaufe the ancient pieces are of German work." 

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

To the inartificial conflruclion of thefe firft pieces of mecha- 
nifm executed in Germany, we may fuppofe Shakefpeare alludes. 
The clock at Hampton-Court, which was fet up in 1 540, (as ap- 
pears from the infcription affixed to it) is (aid to be the firfl ever 
fabricated in Englandt STEEVENS. 

E e 4 Of 


Of his almighty dreadful little might. 

Well, I will love, write, figh, pray, fue, and groan; 

1 Some men muft love my lady, and fome Joan. [Exit. 


A Pavilion in the Park near the Palace. 

Enter the Princefs, Rofaline, Maria, Katharine, Lords, 
Attendants, and a Forcfter. 

Prin. Was that the king, that fpurr'd his horfe fo 

Againftthe deep uprifingof the hill ? 

Boyet. I know not ; but, I think, it was nqt he, 

Prin. \Vhoc'er he was, he fhew'd a mounting mind. 
Well, lords, to-day we fliall have our difpatch ; 
On faturday we will return to France. 
Then, foreftcr, my friend, where is the bufh, 
That we muft ftand and play the murderer in ? 

For. Here by, upon the edge of yonder coppice ; 
A Hand, where you may make the faireft ihoot. 

Prin. I thank my beauty ; I am fair that Ihoot, 
And thereupon thou fpeak'ft, the faireft moot. 

For. Pardon me, madam, for I meant not fo, 

Prin. What, what ? firft praife me, then again fay a 

no ? 
O ihort-liv'd pride ! Not fair ? alack for woe ! 

For. Yes, madam, fair. 

Prin. Nay, never paint me now ; 
Where fair is not, praife cannot mend the brow. 

1 Some men imtft In<ve myla<Jy, andfonic Joan.~\ To this line Ml". 
Theobald extends bis fecond a6l, not injudicioully, b'.it, \v.ia 
beibre oblerved, without fufficient authority. JOHNSON*. 



* Here, good my gtafs, take this for telling true ; 

[Giving him money. 
Fair payment for foul words is more than due. 

For. Nothing but fair is that which you inherit. 

Prln. See, fee, my beauty will be fav'd by merit. 
O herefy in fair, fit for thefe days ! 
A giving hand, though foul, ihall have fair praife.-- 
But come, the bow : Now mercy goes to kill, 
And mooting well is then accounted ill. 
Thus will I fave my credit in the moot : 
Not wounding, pity would not let me do't ; 
If wounding, then it was to mew my {kill, 
That more for praife, than purpofe, meant to kill. 
And, out of queflion, fo it is fometimes ; 
Glory grows guilty of detefted crimes ; 
When, for fame's fake, for praife, an outward part % 
We bend to that the working of the heart : 

2 Here, good my g^fei ] To underftand how the 

princefs has her glafs Ib ready at hand in a cafual converfation, it 
muft be remembered that in thofe days it was the fafliion among 
the French ladies to wear a looking-glafs, as Mr. Bayle coarfely 
reprefents it, on their bellies ; that is, to have a fmall mirrour fet 
in gold hanging at the girdle, by which they occafionally viewed 
their faces or adjufted their hair. JOHNSON. 

Dr. Johnfon, perhnps, is miftaken. She had no occafion to 
have recourfe to any other looking-glafs than the Forefter, whom 
fhe rewards for having {hewn her to herfelf as in a mirror. 


Whatever be the interpretation of this paflage, Dr. Johnfon 
is right in the hiilorical feet, Stubbs, in his Anatomie of Abufis, is 
very indignant at the ladies for it : " They muft have their 
Jooking-glaJJes carried with them, wherefoever they go; and good 
reafon, for how elfe could they fee the devil in them ? And, in 
Maffinger's City Madam, feveral women are introduced with 
looking-ghijjes at their girJlei . F AR ME R . 
Again, in the Ladies Privilege, 1640 : 

" - 1 would not have a lady 
" That wears a glctfs about her, &c." STEEVEKS. 
3 II7je?2, for fame's fake, for praife, an outward part , 

}i r e bend to that the i<jorki/i<r of tbc heart. ~\ 

The harmony of the meafure, the ealineis of the expretflon, and 
the good fenfe in the thought, all concur to recommend thefe 
two lines to the reader's notice. WAR BURTON. 


As I, for praife alone, now leek to fpill 

The poor deer's blood, that my heart means no ill 4 . 

Bcyet. Do not curft wives hold that felf-fove- 


Only for praife' fake, when they ftrive to be 
Lords o'er their lords ? 

Prin. Only for praife : and praife we may afford 
To any lady that fubdues a lord. 

Enter CoJIard. 

Prin. Here comes a member of the common- 
wealth s . 

Co/}. God dig-you-den all! Pray you, which is the 
head lady ? 

Prin. Thou lhalt know her, fellow, by the reft that 
have no heads. 

Co/!. Which is the greateft lady, the higheft ? 

Prin. The thickeft, and the talleft. 

Coft. The thickeft, and the talleft ! it is fo ; truth 

is truth. 

An your waift miftrefs, were as (lender as my wit 6 , 
One of thefe maids' girdles for your waift ihould be 


* that mv heart means no :'//.] We ftiould read : 

< though my heart WARBURTOV. 

Thai my heart means no ill, is the fame with to <vohom my heart 
means no ill : the common phrafe fupprefles the particle, as I mean, 
him [not to him] no harm. JOHNSON. 

5 a member of the commonwealth.'} Here, I believe, is a, 

kind of jeft intended : a member of the common-wealth is put for 
ne of the common people, one of the meaneft. JOHNSON-. 
6 An your ivaijt, miftrefs, were asjlender as my <aV, 

Ont of thefe maids' girdles for your <waift Jhould be fit .\ 
And was not one of her maids' girdles fit for her ? It is plain that 
my andj;0#r have all the way changed places, by fome accident 
r other ; and that the lines fhould be read thus : 

An my ivajie, mijlrefs, 'Mas asjlcniter as your ivif, 
One of thefe maids' girdles for my u}afiejhouldbc fit. 
Thefe lines are humourous enough, both as reflecting on his own 
grofs fhape, and her Header wit. WAS.BVB.TON. 



Are not you the ch'ief woman ? you are the thickeft 


Prin. What's your will, fir ? what's your will ? 
Co/I. 1 have a letter from monfieur Biron, to one 

lady Rofaline. 
Prin. O, thy letter, thy letter ; he's a good friend 

of mine : 

Stand afide, good bearer. Boyet, you can carve ; 
Break up this capon 7 . 

Boyet. I am bound to ferve. 
This letter ismiftook, it impqrteth none here ; 
It is writ to Jaquenetta. 

Prin. We will read it, I fwea.r : 


This conje&ure is ingenious enough, hot not well confidered. 
It is plain that the ladies' girdles would not fit the princefs. For 
when (he has referred the clown to the thickcjl and the tnlleft, he 
turns immediately to her with the blunt apology, truth is truth ; 
and again tells her, you are the thickejt here. If any alteration is 
to be made, I fhould propofe ; 

An your ivai/?, mijlrej's, 'Mere asflendcr as your ivit. 
This would point the reply ; but perhaps he mentions the flender- 
nels of his own wit to excufe his bluntnefs. JOHNSON. 
7 " B<yet, you can carve ; 

Break up this capon,~\ 
\. e. open this letter. 

Our poet ufes this metaphor, as the French do their poulet ; 
which lignifies both a young fowl and a love-letter. Poitlet, ama- 
ioriee HtA*t) fays Richelet ; and quotes from Voiture, Repondre 
au plus obligeant poulet du monde ; to reply to the moil obliging 
letter in the world. The Italians ufe the fame manner of expref- 
fion, when they call a love -epi file, una polliceita amornfa. I owed 
the hint of this equivocal ufe of the word to my ingenious triend 
Mr. Bifliop. THEonALn. 

Henry IV. confulting with Sully about his marriage, fays, 
*' my niece of Guife would pleufe me belt, notwithstanding the 
malicious reports, that fhe loves poulets in paper, better than in a 
fricafee" A meffage is called a cold pigeon, in the letter concern - 
ingthe entertainments at Killingworth Callle. FARMER. 

To break up was a peculiar phrafc in carving. PERCY. 

So, in WcJlward-Hoe, by Decker and Webikr, 1607 : at 
*' the fkirt of that Jhett^ in black -work is wrought his name: 
ireak not up the wild-fowl till anon,"" 



Break the neck of the wax % and every one give ear. 
Boyet reads. By heaven, that thou art fair, is mojl 
infallible ; true, that thou art beauteous ; truth itfelf, that 
thou art lovely : More fairer than fair 9 , beautiful than, 
beauteous, truer than truth itfelf, have commiferation on 
thy heroical vajfal ! The magnanimous and mojl illuftrate * 
king Cophetua * fet eye upon the pernicious and indu- 
bitate beggar Zenelophon ; and he it was that might 
rightly fay, veni, vidi, vici ; which to anatomize in, 
the vulgar, (0 bafe and obfcure vulgar !) videlicet, he 
came, faw, and overcame : He came, one ; faw, two ; 
overcame, three. Who came ? the king ; Why did to 
come f to fee ; Why did he fee ? to overcome : 'To zvhoni 
came he ? to the beggar ; What faw he ? the beggar ; 
Whom overcame he f the beggar : The conclujion is vic- 
tory ; On whofe fide ? the king's : the captive is en- 
rich' 'd; On whofe fide ? the beggar's: The catajlrophe 
i$ a nuptial $ On zvhofejide ? the king's ? no ; on both 
in one, or one in both. I am the king ; for fo Jiands 

Again, in Ben Jonfon's Mafque of Gipjies Met amor pbofed: 
" A London cuckold hot from the fpit, 
*' And when the carver up had brake him, &c." STEEVEI:S. 

* Break the neck of the wax, ] Still alluding to the capon. 

So, in the True Tragedies of Marius andScllla, 1594 : 

" Lectorius read, and break tbefe letters up." STEEVENS. 
One of Lord Cheiterfield's Letters, 8vo. vol. iii. p. 114, give* 
us the reafon why poulet meant amatoria liter a. To L LET. 

9 More fairer thanfair^ beautiful than beauteous, truer &c.] I 
would read, fairer than fair, more beautiful, &c. TYRWHITT. 

1 Illujlrate for illuftrious. It is often ufed by Chapman in his 
trantlation of Homer. STEEVENS. 

* king Cophetua.~\ This llory is again alluded to in Henry IV : 

" Let kitig Copbetua know the truth thereof S* 
But of this king and beggar, the ftory, then doubtlefs well known, 
is, I am afraid, loft. Zenelophon has not the appearance of a te- 
male name, but fmce I know not the true name, it is idle to guefs. 


The ballad of King Copbetua ard the Beggar -Mala, may be 
feen in the Rcliques of Antient Poetry, vol. i. The beggar's name 
was Penelophon, here corrupted. PERCY. 

The poet alludes to this fong in Romeo and Juliet, Henry IV, ?& 
part, and Richard \1. STEEVENS. 



fbe comparifon : thou the beggar ; for fo witnefleth thy 
kwlinefs. Shall I command thy love ? I may : Shall I 
enforce thy love ? I could : Shall I entreat thy love ? I 
'Will. What Jfoalt thou exchange for rags ? robes ; For 
tittles ? titles : For thyjelf ? me. Thus, expcfting thy 
reply, I prophane my lips on. tky foot, my eyes on thy 
pifture, and my heart on thy every part. 

Thine, in the dearejl dcfign of indiifiry, 


1 Thus doft thou hear the Nemean lion roar 

'Gainftthee, thou lamb, that ftandeft as his prey ; 
Submiffive fall his princely feet before, 

And he from forage will incline to play : 
But if thou ftrive, poor foul, what art thou then ? 
Food for his rage, repafture for his den. 

Prin. What plume of feathers is he, tha.t indited 

this letter ? 
What vane ? what weather-cock ? Did you ever hear 

better ? 
Boyet. I am much deceived, but I remember the 

Prin. Elfc your memory is bad, going o'er it* ere 

while 5 . 
Boyet. This Armado is a Spaniard, that keeps 

here in court ; 

A phantafm 6 , a Monarcho 7 ; and one that makes 

3 Thus dojl thou hear, &c.] Thefe fix lines appcnr to be a quo- 
tation from fome ridiculous poem ot that time. WARBURTOX. 
* g oin & ' er lt '] -^ P im u P on t^ 16 wordy?;7(?. MUSGRAVE. 

5 ere while.] Jult now ; a little while ago. So Ra- 

.\;^ J: 

" Here lies Hollinol, our Jhepberd while e'er. ; * JOHNSON. 

6 h.pbantafm^\ On the books of the Stationers' Company, 
Feb. 6, 1608, is entered, " a bock called PL>antaf;i>, the Italiar. 
Taylor and bh boy', made by Mr. Armin, fervnnt to his inaieih'." 
It probably contains the hiftory of Monarcko, of whom Mr. Far- 
mer fpeaks in the following note, to vvliica 1 have fubjoined aw. 
additional inftance. STEEVEN. 



To the prince, and his book-mates. 

Prin: Thou, fellow, a word : 
Who gave thee this letter ? 

Co/}. I told you ; my lord. 

Prin. To whom ihouldfl thou give it ? 

Coft. From my lord to my lady. 

Prin. From which lord, to which lady ? 

Coft. From my lord Biron, a good matter of mine 5 : 
To a lady of France, that he call'd Rofaline. 

Prin. Thou hafl miflaken his letter. Come, lords; 
away 8 . 

1 a monarcbo ; - ] Sir T. Hanmer reads : 

-a mammuccio. JOHNSON. 

The allufion is to a fantaftical character of the time " Po- 

'* pular applaufe (fays Meres) dooth nourifli fome, neither do 
*' they gape after any other thing, but vaine praife and glorie, : 
" as in our age Peter Shakerlyc of Paules, and Monarcho that 
" lived about the court." p. 178. FARMER. 

In Nafh's Have ivithyou to Saffron-Wai den, &c. 1 595 , 1 meet with 

thfe fame allufion : : " but now he was an infulting monarch 

" above Monarcho the Italian, that ware crownes in his (noes, and 
' quite renounced his natural Englifh accents and geftures, and 
*' wrefted himfelf wholly to the Italian puntilio's &c." 

An allufion ot a fimilar kind remains unexplained in Ben Jon 
fon's Alchemift, at I. fc. i : 

" and a fnoe cut for thee, 

" Worfe than Gamaliel Ratfey's." 

Gamalifel Ratfey was a famous highwayman, who always robbed! 
in a mafk. I once had in my poileffion a pamphlet containing his 
life and exploits. In the title-page of it he is reprefented with 
this ugly viibr on his face. 

. On the books of the Stationers' Company, May 2, 1605, this 
book is entered thus : "A book called the lyfe and death o{ Ga- 
maliel Ratfey i , a famous theefe of England, executed at Bedtord." 
Again, " Twoo balletts of Gamaliel Ratfey , and feverall his com- 
panie who were executed at Bedford." Again, " Ratfey's Ghoft^ 
or the ad part of his life, with the reft of his mad pranks, &c.'* 
, A local allufion employed by a poet like Shakefpeare, refem- 
bles the mortal fleed that drew' in the chariot of Achilles. But 
fliort fervices could be expected from either. STEEVENS. 

s Coma, lords, a^vay^ Perhaps the Princefs faid rather:' 

Come, ladies, a^may^ 
The reft of the icene deferves no care. JOHNSON^ 



Here, fweet, put up this ;" 'twill be thine another 
day. [Exit Princefs attended. 

Eoyet. Who is the fhooter ? who is the fhooter 9 ? 

Rof. Shall I teach you to know ? 

Eoyet, Ay, my continent of beauty. 

Rof. Why, ihe that bears the bow. 
Finely put off ! 

Eoyet. My lady goes- td kill horns ; but* if thoii 


Hang me by the neck, if horns that year mifcany. 
Finely put on ! 

Rof. Well then, I am the fhooter. 

Eoyet. And who is your deer ? 

Rof. If we chufe by horns, yourfelf ; come not 

Finely put on, indeed !- 

Mir. You ftill wrangle with her, Eoyet, and flic 
ftrikes at the brow. 

Eoyet. But flie herfelf is hit lower : Have I hit her 
now ? 

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

Eoyet. So I may anfwer thee with one as old, that 
was a woman when ' queen Ouinever of Britain was a 
little wench, as touching the hit it. 


9 Who is the Jhooter ?] It fhould be who is the Cult or f and 
this occafions the quibble. " Finely put o, &c. feem only mar- 
ginal obfervations. FARMER. 

. It appears that fuitor was anciently pronounced fiooier. So, in 
The Puritan Widow, 1605 : the maid informs her miftrefs 
that fome archers are come to wait on her. She i'uppofes them 
to \)tjletcbers, or arrbw-fmiths. 

Enter the Jitters, c. 

" Why do you not fee them before you ? are not thefe archery 
what do you call ihtm^Jfjcoten? Shooters and archers are all one, 
I hope." STEEVEXS. 

1 queen Guinever] This was king Arthur's queen, not over fa- 
mous for fidelity to her hufoand. See the fong ot the Boy and the 
Mantle in. Dr. Percy's Colltion. 



Rof. fkou can'ft not hit it, hit it, hit it, [Singing. 

'Thou carfjl not hit it, my good man. 
Boyet. An I cannot, cannot, cannot, 

An I cannot, another can. {Exeunt Rof. &? Kat. 
CoJI. By my troth, moft pleafant ! how both did 

fit it ! 
Mar. A mark marvellous well ihot ; for they both 

did hit it. 
Boyet. A mark ! O, mark but that mark ; A mark, 

fays my lady ! 
Let the mark have a prick in't, to mete at, if it may 

Mar* Wide-o' the bow hand ! I'faith, your hand is 

Goft. Indeed, a' mud fhoot nearer* or he'll ne'er 

hit the clout *. 
Boyet. An if my hand be out, then, belike, your 

hand is in. 
Cofl. Then will fhe get the upfhot by cleaving the 

Mar. Come, come, you talk greafily, your lips 

grow foul* 

Cofl. She's too hard for you at pricks, Sir ; chal- 
lenge her to bowl. 
Bo/yet* I fear too much rubbing : Good night, my 

good owl. [Exeunt all but Coflard. 

Coft. By my foul, a fwain ! a moft fimple clown ! 

Lord, lord ! how the ladies and I have put him 

down ! 

O' my troth, moft fweet jefts ! moft incony vulgar wit ! 
When it comes fo fmoothly off, fo obfcenely, as it 

were, fo fit. 

In Beaumont and Fletcher's Scornful Lad-;, the elder Lovelefs 
stddrefies Abigail, the old incontinent waiting-woman, by thii 
name. STEEVENS. 

* the clout.] "Tlieclar/t was the white mark at which arch- 
ers took their aim. The/>/ was the wooden nail that upheld it. 




Armatho o' the one fide,- O, a moft dainty man ? 
To fee him walk before a lady, and to bear her fan 3 ! 
To fee him kifs his hand ! and how moft fweetly a* 

will fwear ! 

And his page o' t'other fide, that handful of wit! 
Ah, heavens, it is a moft pathetical nit ! 
Sola, fola ! [Shouting whkln. 

[Exit Cojiard. 


4 Enter Dull> Hokfernes, and Sir Nathaniel. 

Nath. Very reverent fport, truly ; and done in th6 
teftimony of a good confcience. 


3 - to bear her fan /] See a note on Romeo and Juliet, act II* 
fc. iv. where Nurfe afks Peter for her fan. STEEVEXS. 

4 EuterHoli)fernes,~] There is very little peribnal reflexion in 
Shakefpeare. Either the virtue of thole times, or the candour or" 
our author, hasfo effected, that hisfatireis, for the moil part, ge- 
neral, and, as himfelf fays : 

bis taxing like a odHJ go/fit $fot t 

Unclaimed of any man. 

The place before lis feems to be an exception. For by Holofer-* 
nes is defigned a particular character, a pedant and fchoolmaltet' 
of our author's time, one John Florio, a teacher of the Italian 
tongue in Londeri, who has -given us a fmall dictionary of that 
language under the .title of A World of Words, which in hisepif- 
tie dedicatory he tells US, is of little lefs value than Stephens'* Trea- 
ftire of the Greek Tongue, the moft ccmplete^'ork that was ever 
yet compiled of its kind. Irf -his preface, hetalls thofe who had 
criticized his vuy&sfea-dogs or land-crit'rcs ; monfters- of men, if not 
beajls rather than men ; vjhofe teeth are canllals, their toongs adtlftrs 
forks, their lips afpes poifan, their eyes Vajfiijkes, their breath the 
treat h of a grave, their words like f-'Mordcs of Titrlis; that jlrive 
which jhall dive deepeft into a Chriitian lying bound before them. 
Well therefore might the mild Nathaniel delire Holofernes to al>* 
rogatefcurriltiy. His profeflibn too is the reafon that Holoternes 
deals fo much in Italian fentences. There is an edition oj0v& 
Labour's Loft, printed 1598, and faid to be frefented before her 
highnefs this la'fl Chrljlmas, 1597. The next year 1598, comes 
out our John Florio, with his If^orld of U r ordi, recentibus odiis j 
and in the preface, quoted above, falls upon the comic poet rof 
bringing him on the ilage. Tbere is frtotber fort of leering curs^ 
VOL. II* F l tba 

434 L O TE's L A B O U R's L O'S T. 

Hoi. The deer was, as you know, fanguis, in blood'*;; 
ripe as a pomewater 6 , who now hangeth like a jewefc 


/## rather fnarle than lite, thereof I could injlanee in one, who 
lighting on a good fonnet of a gentleman's, a friend of mine, that 
loved better to le a poet than to be counted fo, called the author a 
rymer. Let Ariflophanes and his comedians make plates, and /louvre 
their mouths on Socrates ; thofe very mouths they makt to r vilijie,Jhall 
be the means to amplifie his virtue, &c. Here Shakefpeare is fo 
plainly marked out. as not to be miftaken. As to thefoanet of 'the 
gentleman his friend, we may be afliired it was no other than his 
own. And without doubt was parodied in the very- fonnet begin- 
ning with The praifcful princcfs, &c. in which our author makes 
Holofernes fay, He ivill fomething off e El the letter ; for it argues 
facility. And how much John Florio thought this affcttation ar- 
gued facility, or quickncfs of wit, we fee 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. nnlefs it be as H. S. is twice as much and an half, 
as half an A1S* With a great deal more to the fame purpofj; ; 
concluding his preface in thefe words, The rcj'olute John Florio. 
From the ferocity of this man's temper it was, that Shakefpeare 
chofe for him the name which Rabelais gives to his pedant of 
Thubal Holoferne. WARBURTOX. 

I- am not of the learned commentator's opinion,- that the fatire 
of Shakefpeare is fo feldom perfonal.' It is ot the nature of per- 
fonal invectives to be foon unintelligible ; and the author that 
gratifies private malice, animam in vulnere ponit, deftroys the fu- 
ture efficacy of his own writings, and facrifices the efteem of fuc- 
ceeding times to the laughter of a day. It is no wonder, therefore, 
that the farcafms, which, perhaps, in the authour's time, fet the 
playhoufe in a roar, are now loft among general reflections. Yet 
whether the character of Holofernes was pointed at any particular 
man, I am, notvvithftanding the plaufibility of Dr. Warburton's 
oonjefture, inclined to doubt. Every man adheres as long as he 
can to his own pre-conceptions. Before I. read this note I con - 
iidered the character of Holofernes as borrowed from- the Rhombus 
of fir Philip Sidney, who, in a kind of paftoral entertainment, 
exhibited to queen Elizabeth, has introduced a fchool-mafter fo 
called, fpeaking a leajh of languages at once, and puzzling himfelf- 
and his auditors with a iargon like that of Holofernes in the pre- 
fent play. Sidney himielf might bring the character from Italy ; 
for, as Peacham obferves, the fchool-mafter has long been one 
of the ridiculous perfonages in the farces of that country. 


Dr. Warburton is certainly right in his fuppofition that Florio 
is meant by the charac~t?r. of Holofernes. Florio had given the 
Srft affront, The plaies, fays he, that they plaie ill England,, 


In the car of Cado, the iky, the welkin, the heaven ; 
and anon falleth like a crab, on the face of Terra,- 
the foil, the land, the earth. 


are neither right comedies, nor right tragedies ; but reprefen ration* 
of hi/lories without any decorum." The fcraps of Latin and Ita- 
lian are tranfcribed from his works, particularly the proverb about 
Venice, which has been corrupted fo much. The affeflation of 
the letter, which argues facilitle, is likewife a copy of his manner. 
We meet with much of it in the fonnets to his patrons. 

" In Italic your lordlhip well hath feene 
*' Their manners, monuments, magnificence, 
" Their language learnt, in found, in (tile, in fenfe, 

" Proofing by profiting, where you have leene. 
" To adde to fore-learn'd facultie, facilitie." 
We fee then, the character of the fchoolmalter might be written 
with lefs learning, than Mr. Colman conjectured : nor is the ufe 
of the word tbrafonical, any argument that the author had read 
Terence. It was introduced to our language long before Shake- 
fpeare's time. Stanyhiuil: writes, in a tranflation of one of Sir 
Tho. More's epigrams : 

" Lynckt was in wedlocke a loftye tbrafonical hufsnuffe." 

It can fcarcely be neceflary to animadvert any further upon 
what Mr. Colman has advanced in the Appendix to his Terence. 
If this gentleman, at his leifure from modern plays, will con- 
defcend to open a few old ones, he will foon be fatisfied, that 
Shakefpeare was obliged to learn and repeat in the courfe of his 
profeflion, fuch Latin fragments, as are met with in his works. 
The formidable one, ira furor Irevis eft, which is quoted from Ti- 
mon, may be round, not in plays only, but in every tr it leal effay 
from that of king James to that of dean Swift inclufive. I will 
only add, that if Mr. Colman had previoully looked at the pane- 
gyrick on Carfivright, he could not fo ftrangely have milrepre- 
lented my argument from it : but thus it mult ever be with the 
moft ingenious men, when they talk ^without-book. Let me how- 
ever take this opportunity of acknowledging the very genteel 
language which he has been pleafed to ufe on this occafion. 

Mr. Warton informs us in his Life of Sir Too. Pope, that there 
%vas an old play of acted before the princefs Elizabeth 
in the year 1556. FARMER. 

In fupport of Mr. Farmer's opinion, the following pafTage from 
Orlando Furiofo, 1594, may be brought : 

" Knowing him to be a tyro/apical mad-cap, they have 

fent me a Gnatbonical companion, &c." 

Greene, in the dedication to his JlrcaJia, has the f;ime word : 
" as of ibme thrafon'u-al huffe-fnuffe," 

F f z Flow'* 


Truly, matter Holofernes, the epithets are 
f vcetly varied, like a fcholar at the leaft : But, fir, t 
allure ye, it was a buck of the firft head. 

Hoi. Sir Nathaniel, baud credo. 

null 'Twas not a baud credo, 'twas- a pricfeet. 

Hoi. Moft barbarous intimation ! yet a kind of in j 
(inuation, as it were, in via, in way, of explication ; 
facerej as it were, replication ; or, rather, qftentare, to 
fhow, as it were, his inclination after his undrefled, 
vmpolifhed, uneducated, unpruned, untrained, or 
rather unlettered, or, rathereft, unconfirmed fa- 
fnion, to i-nfert again my baud credo for a deer. 

D'uL I faid, the deer was not a baud credo ; 'twas 
a pricket 7 . 

Florio's firft work is, regiftred on the books of the Station- 
ers' Company, under the following title. "Aug. 1578. Florin 
his firft Frutf, being Dialogues in Italian and Englilli, with 
cert'en Inftrutiions, &c. to the learning' tfie Italian Tonge," 
3n i5<K, he dedicated his Italian and Englifh dictionary to ths 
earl of Southampton. In the year 1600, he pubfifhed his tranf- 
lation of Montaigne. Florio pointed his ridicule riot only at dra- 
matic performances, but, even at performers. Thus, in his preface 
to this work, " as if an owle fhould reprefent an eagle, or fome 
tara-rag player (hould aft the princely Telephus with a voyce as 
rag'd as his clothes, a grace as bad as his voyce." STEEVENS. 

s fanguis, in Hood \\ I fuppofe we fhould read \n.fa?iguis t 
blood. STEEVENS. 

6 ripe as a pomewater,] A fpecies of apple, formerly much 
efteemed. Mains Carlbttaria. See Gerard's Herbal, edit. 1597. 
p. 1273. STEEVENS. 

7 'twas a pricket."] In a play called T'be Return from ParnaJJus, 
1606, I find the following account of the different appellations 
of deer, at their different ages : 

" Amoretto. I cauled the keeper to fever the rafcal deer from 
the lucks of the firjl bead. Now, fir, a luck is thej?r/? year, a 
fawn ; the fecond year, a pricket ; the third year, ^forell the 
fourth year, afoare ; the fifth, a buck of the firft head ; \hejixtb 
year, a compleat buck. Likevvife your hart is the firft year, a 
caJfe ; the fecond year, a brocket ; the third year, zffade ; the 
fourth year, z.ftag; theyv//> year, a hart. A roc-buck is the_/?r/? 
year, a kid ; the fecond year, a girl ; the third year, a hcmufi ; 
and thefe are your fpecial hearts for chafe." 

Again, in A Chriftian tuni'd Turk, 1612 : ** I am but a pricket^ 

a mere forell ; my head's not lurdea'd yet," SififiVfi^s. 


ffoL Twke fod fimplicity, bis colitis! O tliou 
jnonftcr ignorance, hoiv deformed doft thou look ? 

Natb. Sir, he hath never fed on 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 replenifh- 
ed ; he is only an animal, only fenfible in the duller 
parts : 
4 And fuch barren plants are fet -before us, that we 

thankful fhould be 

(Which we of tafte and feeling are) for thofe parts 
that do fructify in iis more than he. 


8 And fuch barren plants arc fet before us, that we &anT*.fitijhoulille, 
Which vie tafte, and feeling are for thofe parti that-dofruttify 

in us more than he.~\ i 

The words have been ridiculoufly, and Itupidly, tranfpofed 
and corrupted. I read, w-e thankful. fyould be for thofe parts 
{which we tajle and feel ingradare) that do fruRify, &c. The 
emendation I have offered, I hope, reftores the author : at 
leaft, it gives him fenfe nnd grammar : and an fivers extremely 
well to his metaphors taken from planting. Ingradare, with the 
.Italians, fignifies, to rife higher and higher; andare di graJo in. 
grado, to make a progreflion ; and fo at length come \ofru flify^ 
'as the poet -expreiles it. WARBURTON. 
Sir T. Hanmer reads thus : 

And fuch 'barren plants are fet before us, that we thankful 

Jhould be. 
For thofe parts which we -tajl* and feel do fruSlify in us 

more than he. 

And Mr. Edwards, in his animadverfions on 'Dr. Warburton's 
-notes, applauds the emendation. I think both the. editors mif- 
taken, except that fir T. Hanmer found the metre, though he 
Biifled the fenfe. I read, with a flight change : 

And fuck barren plants are fet before us, that we thanlful 

Jbould be, 

When we tajle and feeling are for thofe parts that do fruc- 
tify in us more than he. 

ITlint is, fuch barren plants as are exhibited in the creation, fo 
make us thankful when we have more tajlc and feeltng than he, of 
thofe parts, or qualities -which produce fruit in us, and preferve us 
from being likevvife barren plants. Such is the fenfe, juft in itfelf 
and pious, but a little clouded by the diclion of iir Nathaniel. The 
length of thefe lines was no novelty on the Englilh ftage. The 
moralities afford fcenes of the like meafure. JOHNSOX. 

This ftubborn piece of nonfenle, as fomebody has called it, 
K'ants only a particle, I think, to make it fenfe. I would read: 
F f 3 And 


For as it would ill become me to be vain, indifcreet, 

or a fool, 
So were there a patch 9 fet on learning, to fee him 

in a fchool : 

But, omne bene, fay I ; being of an old father's mind, 
M.'ny 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 ? 

Hoi, Dictynna, good man Dull ; Dictynna, good 
man Dull. 

Dull. What is Didtynna ? 

Nath. A title to Phcebe, to Luna, to the moon. 

Hoi. The moon was a month old, when Adam was 

no more ; 
And raught not 1 to five weeks, when he came to five- 

The allufion holds in the exchange *. 

And fuch barren plants are fet before us, that we thankful 

fhould be 
(Which we of tafte and feeling are) for thofe parts, that do 

fruftify in us more than he. 

Which in this paflage has the force of as, according to an idiom 
of our language, not uncommon, though not ftriiftly gramma- 
tical. What follows is ftill more irregular ; for I am afraid our 
poet, for the fake of his rime, has put be for him, or rather 
in him. If he had been writing prole, he would have exprefled 
his meaning, I believe, more clearly thus that do fructify in us 
more than in him . TYRWHITT. 

I have followed Mr. Tyrwhitt's reading, STEEVEXS. 

For as it would ill become me to be vain, ineiifcrcet, tr" a fool ' y 
So were there a patch fet on learning , to fee him in a fchool. ] 
The meaning is, to be in a fchool would as ill become a patch , or 
low fellow, as folly would become me. JOHNSON. 

1 AnJ raught not~\ i. e. reach 'd not. So, in the Arraignment 
of Paris, 1584: 

" the fatal fruit 

" Raught from the golden tree of Proferpine. 


* 7he allufwn holds in the exchange,"] i.e. the riddle is as good 
when I ufe the name of Adam, as when you ufe the name of 



Dull. 'Tis true, indeed ; the collufion holds in the 

Hoi. God comfort thy capacity ! I fay tlhe allufion 
holds in the exchange. 

Dull. And I fay the pollution holds 'in the ex- 
change ; for the moon i-s never but a month old:: 
and I fay befide, that 'twas a pricket that the prin- 
cefs kill'd. 

Hoi. Sir Nathaniel, will you hear an extemporal 
epitaph on the death of the deer ? and, to humour the 
ignorant, I have call'd the deer the princefs kill'd, a 

Natb. Perge, good matter Holofcrnea, perge\.fo 
it mall pleafe you to abrogate fcurrility. 

Hoi. I will fomcthing affect the letter; for it 
argues facility. 

&be praifeful pfificef* pierced and priced 3 a pretty pleafing 

pricket ; 

Some fay, a fore; but not afore, ''till now mafic fore 
with floating s 

The dogs did yell ; put L to fore^ then forel jumps from 

thicket ; 

Or pricket, fore, or elf e ford, the people fall a hooting. 
If fore be fore, then L to fore makes fifty fores ; O 

fOf one fore I an hundred make, by adding but one more L. 
Natb. A rare talent ! 

3 The pralfcful princefs, &c.] The ridicule defigned in this paf- 
tige may not be unhappily illuflrated by the alliteration in the 
following lines of TJlpian Fulhvell, in his Commemoration of 
.queen Anne Bullayne, which makes part of a collection called 
The Flower of Fame, printed 157^: 

** Whofe princely praile hath pearft the pricke, 
" And price of endlefs fame, &c." STICEVEXS. 
* Makes fifty fores, O ford !} We fliould read : 

to L being the numeral for 50. WAR BUR TON*. 

F f 4 Dull. 


Dull. If a talent be a claw, look how he claws him 
with a talent. 

HoL This is a gift that I have, fimple, fimple ; a 
foolifh extravagant fpirit, full of forms, figures, 
fhapes, objects, ideas, apprehenfions, motions, revo- 
lutions : thefe are begot in the ventricle of memo- 
ry, nourifned in the womb of pia mater, and delivered 
upon the mellowing of occafion : But the gift is 
good in thofe in whom it is acute, and lam thankful 
for it. 

Natb. Sir, I praife the Lord for you ; and fo may 
my parishioners ; for their fons are well tutor'd by 
you, and their daughters profit very greatly under 
you : you are a good member of the commonwealth. 

Hoi. Mehercle, if their fons be ingenious, they lhall 
want no inftruction : s if their daughters be capable, 
I will put it to them: But, virfepif, qui pauca loqui- 
tur : a foul feminine faluteth us. 

Enter Jaquenetta, and Coftard. 

Jac. God give you good morrow, matter parfon. 

Hoi. Matter parfon, quafi perfon 6 . And if one 
fhould be pierc'd, which is the one ? 

Coft. Marry, matter fchool-mafter, he that islikctt 
to a hoglhead. 

HoL Of piercing a hogftiead ! a good luftre of 
conceit in a turf of earth; fire enough for a flint, 
pearl enough for a fwine : 'tis pretty ; it is well. 

Jac. Good matter parfon, be fo good as read me 

5 if tbfir daughters le c apable, &c.] Of this double entendre, de- 
fpicable as it is, Mr. Pope and his coadjutors availed themfelves, 
in their unfuccefoful comedy called Three Hours after Marriage, 


6 yarf^ perfon.] So, in Holinjked, p. 953 : 

" Jerom was vicar of Stepnie, and Garard W9Z perfon of Ho- 
nie-lane." I believe, however, we fhould write the word pevf- 
-one. The fame play on the word fierce is put into the mouth of 
STEEVENS. .. . - 


t . '; 


this letter ; it was given me by Coftard, and i>nt me 
from Don Armatho : I befeech you, read it. 

HoL 7 Faufte, precor gelida quando pecus omne fub 


Ruminat^ and fo forth. Ah, good old Mantuan ! I 
may fpeak of thee as the traveller doth of Venice ; 
8 Vinegia^ Vinegia, 
Chi non te vide, ei non te pregia. 


7 Nath. Faujle, precor gelida~\ Though all the editions con- 
cur to give this fpeech to lir Nathaniel, yet, as Dr. Thirlby in- 
geniouily obferved to me, it is evident it muft belong to Holo- 
ternes. The Curate is employed in reading the letter to himfelf ; 
and while he is doing fo, that the ftage may not ftand ftill, Holo- 
fernes either pulls out a book, or, repeating fome verfe by heart 
from Mantuanus, comments upon the character of that poet. 
Baptifta Spagnolus (firnamed Mantuanus, from the place of his 
birth) was a writer of poems, who flouriflied towards the latter 
end of the i5th century. THEOBALD. 

Faujie, precor gelida &c.] A note of La Monnoye's on thefe 
very words in Les Contes dcs P criers, Nov. 42. will explain the 
humour of the quotation, and fhew how well Shakefpeare hasfuf- 
tained the character of his pedant. // dejigne le Carme Bap- 
fifte Mantuan, dont au commencement du \bfiecle on lifoit publique- 
ment a Paris les Pocfies ; Ji celebres alars, que, comme dit plaifamment 
Farnabe dans fa preface fur Martial, les Pcdans ne faifoient nulls dif- 
fculte de preferer a le Arma virumque cano, le Faufte precor ge- 
lida, c'eft-a-dire, a /' Eneide de P'irgilc les Eclogues de Mantuan, la. 
premiere defyuelks commence par Faufte, precor gelida. 


The Eclogues of Mantuanus the Carmelite were tranflated be- 
fore the time of Shakefpeare, and the Latin printed on the oppo- 
fite fide of the page. STEEVENS. 

8 PtnegtOy vinegia, 

Chi non te vedc, ei non te pregia.~\ 

In old editions : Vcnecbi, venachc a, tjni non te vide, i non tepiaccb. 
And thus Mr. Rowe and Mr. Pope. But that poets, fcholars, and 
linguiib, could not reftore this little fcrap ot true Italian, is to 
line unaccountable. Our author is applying the praifes of Man- 
tuanus to a common proverbial fentence, faid of Venice. Vine- 
via, l r inegia ! qui non te vedi, ei non te pregia. O Venice, Ve- 
nice, he who has never feen thee, has thee not in efteem. 


The proverb, as I am informed, is this ; He that fees Venue 
litlle, values it much ; he that fees it mucb^ value.} it little. But I 



Old Mantuan ! old Mantuan ! Who underftandctli 
thee not, loves thee not. {//, re>fol, la, mi, fa. Un- 
der pardon, fir, what are the contents ? or, rather, as 
Horace lays in his What, my foul, verles ? 
Nath. Ay, fir, and very learned. 
Hoi. Let me hear a ftaff, a flanza, a verfe ; Lege, 

Nath. If love make me forfworn, how lhall I fwear 

to love ? 
Ah, never faith could hold, if not to beauty 

vowed ! 
Though to myfelf forfworn, to thee I'll faithful 

prove ; 
Thofe thoughts to me were oaks, to thee like 

ofiers bo\ved. 
Study his biafs leaves, and makes his book thine 

Where all thofe plcafures live, that art would 

comprehend : 
If knowledge be the mark, to know thee lhall 

fuffice ; 
Well learned i-s that tongue, that well can thee 

commend : 

AH ignorant that foul, that fees thee without wonder; 
(Which is to me fome praife, that I thy parts 

Thy eye Jove 7 s lightning bears, thy voice his 

dreadful thunder, 
Which, not to anger bent, is mufick, andfweet 


fuppofe Mr. Theobald is right, for the true proverb would not 
ieive the fpeaker's purpofe. JOHNSON. 

The proverb ftands thus in Hoivcirs Letters, book i. feft. I. 
1. 36. 

Ft net la, fanctia, cbi non te ^<e(le, non tc pregia, 
Ma cbi ha troppo vcdutn tc drl'prcqia. 
Venice, Venice, none thee unfeen can .prize ; 
Who thee hath feen too much, will thee defpife. 
The players in their edition, have thus printed the firfl line. 
vfttcka, quenon te undc^ quc non if pe rrtchc. STKEVENS. 



Celeftial as thou art, oh pardon, love, this wrong, 
That fings the heaven's praife with fuch an earthly 

tongue ! 

Hoi. You find not the apoflrophcs, and fo mifs 
the accent : let me fupervife the canzonet. Here are 
only numbers ratify'd 9 ; bur, for the elegancy, facility, 
and golden cadence of poefy, caret. l Ovidius Nafo 
was the man : and why, indeed, Nafo ; but for 
fmelling out the odoriferous flowers of fancy ? the 
jerks of invention ? Imitari, is nothing : * fo doth the 


9 Nath. Here are only numbers ratified;] Though this fpeech has 
all along been placed to fir Nathaniel, I have ventured to join it 
to the preceding words of Holofernes ; and not without reafon. 
The fpeaker here is impeaching the verfes ; but fir Nathaniel, as 
it appears above, thought them learned ones : befides, as Dr. 
Thirlby obferves, almoft every word of this fpeech fathers itfelf 
on the pedant. So much for the regulation of it : now, a little, 
to the contents. 

And why, indeed, Nafo ; lut for fmelling out the odoriferous flow- 
ers of fancy ? the jerks of invention imitary is nothing. 

Sagacity with a vengeance ! I ftiould be afhamed to own myfelf 
n piece of a fcholar, to pretend to the talk of an editor, and to 
pafs luch fluff as this upon the world for genuine. Who ever 
heard of invention imitary ? Invention and imitation have ever 
been accounted two diftindr. things. The fpeech is by a pedant, 
who frequently throws in a word of Latin amongft his Englifli ; 
and he is here flourifhing upon the merit of invention, beyond 
that of imitation, or copying after another. My correction makes 
the whole Co plain and intelligible, that, I think, it carries con- 
viftion along with it. THEOBALD. 

This pedantry appears to have been common in the age of 
Shakefpeare. The author of Lingua, or the Combat of the Tongue 
and the Five Scnfcs for Superiority^ 1607, takes particular notice 
of it : 

" I remember, about the year 1602, many ufed this fkcw 
kind of language, which, in my opinion, -is not much unlike the 
man, whom Platony, the fon of Lagus, king of Egypt, brought 
for a fpedacle, half white half black." STKF.VEXS. 

1 Ovidius Nafo -jcas the man .-] Our author makes his pedant 
affect the being converfant with the beft authors : contrary to the 
practice of modern wits, who reprefent them as defpifers of all 
fuch. But thofe who know the world, know the pedant to be 
the greateft affecter of politenefs. WARBURTOX. 

* fa doth the hound his maflcr, the ape bis keeper , the tired borfc 



hound his matter, the ape his keeper, the tired hrfe 
ihis rider. But damofella virgin, was this directed 
to you ? 

Jaq. Ay, fir, from oe Monfieur Biron, one of 
the ftrange queen's lords. 

HoL I will overglance the fuperfcripr. To the 
ffiow white hand of the moft beauteous Lady RojliUn.e. 
I will look again on the intellect of the letter, for the 
nomination of the party writing to the perfon written 
unto : 

Tour Ladyjhifs in all defired employment^ BIRON. 
Sir Nathaniel, this Biron is one of the votaries with 
,the king; and here he hath franr'd a letter^ to a fc~ 
quent of .the Granger queen's, which, accidentally, 
or by the way -of progrcflioa, hath mifcarry'd. Trip 
and go, my fweet } ; deliver this paper into the royal 

'bis rider, ] The pedant here, to run down imitation, (hews that i.t 
is a quality within the capacity of beafts.: that the dog and the 
ape are taught to copy tricks by their mafter and keeper; and fp 
is the tired horfe by his rider. This laft is a wonderful inftance ; 
"but it happens not to be true. The author mull have wrote 
the tryed horfe his rider : i. e. one exercifed and broke to the ma- 
nage : for he obeys every fign, and motion of the rein, or of his 
rider. So, in the Tkvo Gentlemen of fcrona, the word is ufed ia 
the fenfe of trained, exercifed : 

' * And how he cannot be a perfect man, 

** Not Icing try'd and tutored in the world." WAR BURTON* 

The tired horfe was the horfe adorned with ribands, The fam- 

ous Banks'* horfe fo often alluded to. Lilly, in his Mother fiombic^ 

brings in a Hackncyman and Mr. Halfpenny at crofs-purpofes with 

this word : " Why didft thou boare the horfe through the earesr" 

44 It was for tiring " 

" He would never #/;r," replies the other." FARMER, 
.So, in Marfton's Antonio and Mellida., Part ii. 1602.: 

" Slink to thy chamber then and tyre thee." 
Again, in WJiat you w//7, by lylarfton,' 1606: 

" My love hath VyWfome fidler like Albano." 


3 Trip and go, my fweet ;"] So, in Summer's Lajl Will and T'cfi 
lament, by Naihe, 1 6co : 

*' Trip and go, heave and hoe, 
" Up and down, to and fro. " 
Perhaps originally the burtheivof a fong. MALONE., 



of the king ; it may concern much : Stay not 
thy compliment; I forgive thy duty; adieu. 

Jaq. Good Coftard, go with me. Sir, God fave 
your life ! 

Coft. Have with thee, my girl. 

[Exeunt Coft. and Jaq. 

Nath.- Sir, you have done this in the fear of God, 
very religioufly ; and, as a certain father faith - 

Hoi. Sir, tell not me of the father, I do fear co- 
lourable colours 4 . But, to return to the verfes 2 
Did they pleafe you, Sir Nathaniel > 

Natb. Marvellous well for the pen. 

Hoi. I do dine to-day at the father's of a certain 
pupil of mine ; where if (being repaft *) it mall pleafe 
you to gratify the table with a grace, I will, on my 
privilege I have with the parents of the aforcfaid 
child or pupil, undertake your ben venuto ; where 
I will prove thofe verfes to be very unlearned, neither 
favouring of poetry, wit, nor invention : I befeech 
your fociety. 

Nath. And thank you too- : for fociety, (faith the 
text) is the happinefs of life* 

Hoi. And, certes, the text moft infallibly con- 
cludes it. Sir, I do invite you too ; [To Didl.~] you 
fhall not fay me, nay : pauca verba. Away ; the 
gentles are at their game, and we will to our recre- 
ation. [Exeunt* 


fatter E'iron with a Paper. 

E'iron. The king is hunting the deer ; I am courfmg 
myfelf : they have pitch'd a toil ; I am toiling in a 

* colourable colours.] That is fpecious, or fair feeming appear- 
ances. JOHNSON. 

s ^-.{Jteing refafl)\ it has been propofed to read, before repaft. 

pitch ; 


pitch 6 ; pitch, that defiles ; defile ! a foul word. Well, 
Set thee down, forrow ! for fo, they fay, the fool laid, 
and fo fay I, and I the fool. Well prov'd, wit ! By 
the lord, this love is as mad as Ajax : it kills iheep ; 
it kills me, I a Iheep : Well prov'd again on my fide ! 
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 ; yes, for her two eyes* We'll, 
I do nothing in the world but lie, and lie in my 
throat. By heaven, I do love : and it hath taught 
me to rhime, and to be melancholy ; and here is 
part of my rhime^ and here my melancholy. Well, 
ihe hath one o' my fonnets already; the clown bore 
it, the fool fent it, and the lady hath it : fweet 
clown, fwceter fool, fweetcft lady ! By the world, I 
would not care a pin, if the other three were in : 
Here comes one with a paper j God give him grace 
to groan ! \_Heftands qfide. 

Enter the King. 

King. Ay me ! 

Biron. \_Afide.~} Shot, by heaven ! Proceed, fweet 
Cupid; thou haft thump'd him with thy bird-bolt 
under the left pap ; F faith fecrets. 

King. \_Reads.~] So fweet a kifs the golden fun gives 

'To thofe frejh morning drops upon the rofe y 
As thy eye-beams^ when their frejh rays have fmote 

The night of dew that on my cheeks down flows* : 

6 / am tolling in a pitch ;] Alluding to lady Rofaline's com- 
plexion, who is through the whole play reprefented as a black 
beauty. JOHNSOX. 

7 The night of dfw, that on my cheeks Jotitn'JbtOf;] I cannot think 
tie night of dew the true reading, but know not what to ofter. 


This phrafe, however quaint, is the poet's own. He means, 
the dew that nightly flows down his checks. Shakefpeare, in one of 
his other plays, ufes night of dew for dcivy night, but 1 cannot 
at prefent recoiled, in which. STEEVENS. 
Why not dew of night ? M u s G R A v E. 



Norjhines the filver moon one half fo bright 
'Through the tranfparent bofom of the deep r 
As doth thy face through tears of mine give light ; 

Thou Jhirfft in every tear that I do weep : 
No drop but as a coach doth carry tkee r 
So rideft thou triumphing in my woe ; 
Do but behold the tears that fa ell in me, 

And they thy glory through my grief wittjhew: 
But do not love tbyj'elf; then thou wilt keep 
My tears for gltjjjes, and ftill make me weep. 
O queen of queens r how far dofl tkov excel ! 
No thought can think, nor tongue of mortal tell. 

How fhall fhc know my griefs ? I'll drop the paprr; 
Sweet leaves, ihade folly. Who is- he comes here > 

\jChe kingjlcps afidc, 

Enter Longa-villc. 

What, Longaville ! and reading t li&cn,. car. 
Biron. \_Afide~\ Now, in thy likenefs, one more 

fool, appear ! 

Long. Ay me ! I am forfworn. 
Biron. \_Afide.~] Why, foe comes in like a perjure, 

wearing papers *. 
King. \_Afide.~] In love, I hope; Sweet fellowihip 

in lhame ! 
Biron. [Afidc,~] One drunkard loves another of the 

Long. [Afide.~] Am I the firft,. that have been per- 

jur'd fo ? 
Biron. \_Afide.~] I could put thee in comfort ; not by 

two, that I know : 

8 he cones in like a perjure, ] The pnnifliment 

ef perjury is to wear on the breait'a paper expreifing the crime. 


Thus Holinfiedi p. 838, fpeaking of cardinal Wolfey, *' he 
> punilhed perjurie with open punifliment, and open papers <wear- 
/-,. tlut in Iris time it was kite ufed," STEEVENS. 



Thou mak'it the triumviry, the corner-cap of fociety^ 
The Ihape of love's Tyburn that hangs up fim- 

plicity. . . 
Long. I feary thefe ftubborri lines lack power to 

move : 

O fweet Maria, cmprefs of my love ! 
Thefe numbers will I tear, and write in profe. 
Birvn. [Afide.~] O, rhimes are guards on wanton 

Cupid's hofe : 
Disfigure not his flop 9 . 

Long. This fame mall go. [He reads the fonnet* 

Did not the heavenly rhetorick of thine eye 

('Gain/I whom the world cannot hold argument) 
Perfuade my heart to this falfe perjury ? 

Vows, for thee broke', defer-ve not punljhment. 
A woman I forfwofe ; but, I will prove, 

hou being a goddefs, I forjwow not thee : 
My vow was earthly, thou a heavenly love ; 

Thy grace being gained, cures all difgrace in me. 
Vows are but breath, and breath a vapour is : 

'Then thou, fair fun, which on my earth dojl Jblne^ 
JLxhal'ft this vapour vow ; in thee it is : 

If broken then, it is no fault of mine ; 

9 Ob, rhimes arc guards on wanton Cupufs bofe : 

Disfigure not bm fhop.] 

All the editions happen to concur in this error : but what agree- 
ment in ienfe is there between Cupid's bofe and hisjkop ? or, vvhat 
relation can thofe two terms have to one another ? or, vvhat, in- 
deed, can be underftood by Cupid's^/ f Jt mufl undoubtedly 
be corrected, as I have reformed the text. Slops are large and 
wide-knee'd breeches, the garb in fafliion in our author's days, as 
we may obferve from old family pictures ; but they are now worn 
only by boors and fea-faring men : and we have dealers whofe 
fole bufinels it is to furnifli the failors with fhirts, jackets, &c. 
ivho are called flop-men, and their (hops, flop-Jbops. THEOBALD. 
I fuppofe this alludes to the ufual taudry drefs of Cupid, 
when he appeared on the ftage. In an old tranflation of Ca/a's 
Galateo is this precept: *' Thou muft wear no garments, that 
be over much daubde \v\\\\ garding : that men may not fay, thou 
haft Ganimedei hofen, or Cupides doublet." FARMKK, 


If by me broke, What fool is not Jo wlfe y 
To lofe an oath to win a paradife ? 

Biron. [Afide.~] This is the liver vein ', which makes 

iiefh a deity ; 

A green goofe, a goddefs ; pure, pure idolatry. 
God amend us, God amend ! we are much out o' the 

Enter Dumain. 

Long. By whom lhall I fend this ? Company ! 

ftay. [Stepping afide. 

Biron. [Afidt.~\ All hid, all hid % an old infant play : 
Like a demy-god here fit I in the iky, 
And wretched fools' fecrets needfully o'er-eye. 
More facks to the mill ! O heavens, I have my wilh ; 
Dumain transferred, four woodcocks in a diih ! 
Dum. O moft divine Kate ! 
Biron. O mofr prophane coxcomb ! 
Dum. By heaven, the wonder of a mortal eye ! 
Biron. By earth, ihe is not corporal ; there you 
lie. [Jfide. 


* -the liver vein,] The liver was anciently fuppofed to 
be the feat of love. JOHNSON. 

* all hid, all hid, ] The children's cry at bide andfeek. 


3 By earth, fyc is but corporal, there you //>.] Old edition : 

Ry earth, Jhe is not, corporal, there you lie. 

Dumain, one of the lovers, in fpite of his vow to the contrary, 
thinking himfelf alone here, breaks out into fliort fbliloquies of 
admiration on his miftrefs; and B iron * who (lands behind as an 
eves-dropper, takes pleafure in contradiding his amorous raptures. 
But Dumain was a young lord : he had no fort of poft in the 
army : what wit, or allufion, then, can there be in Biron's calling 
llitn corporal f I dare warrant, I have reftored the poei's true 
meaning, which is this. Dumain calls his miurefi divine, and 
the wonder of a mortal eye ; and Biron in flat terms denies thefe 
hyperbolical praifes. I fcarce need hint, that our poet commonly 
ufes cvrppral as corporeal. THEOBALD. 

Theobald's emendation is plauiible, but perhaps unneceflary. 
The pallage may be thus explained. Dumain fwears firft, by 
heaven, that fhe is the wonder of a mortal fye, Biron feems in his 

Voi., II, G g reply 


Dum. Her amber hair for foul hath amber cored 4 *- 
Biron. An amber-colour'd raven was \yell noted. 


Dum. As upright as the cedar. 
Biron. Stoop, I fay ; 
Her fhoulder is with child. 
Dum. As fair as day.. 
Biron. Ay, as fome days ; but then no fun mult 
ftiine. [Afide. 

Dum. O that I had my wifh ! 
Long. And I had mine !' [Afide* 

King. And I mine too, good Lord ! [Afide. 

Biron. Amen, fo I had mine : Is not that a good 
word ? \_Afide. 

Dum. I would forget her ; but a fever Ihe s 
Reigns in my blood, and will remembred be. 

Biron. A fever in your blood ! why, then incifion 
Would let her out in fawcers ; Sweet mifprifion ! 

Dum. Once more I'll read the ode that I have 


Biron. Once more I'll mark how love can vary 
wit. [Afide. 

reply to mean, Swear next ly earth, that fhe is not corporeal-, and 
when you have carried matters fo far, I fhall not fcruple to tell 
you in yet plainer terms, that you lie. STEEVENS. 

4 amber coted.] To cote is to outftrip, to overpafs. So, in 
Hamlet : 

" certain players 

*' We coted on the way." 
Again, in Chapman's Homer : 

" Words her worth had prov'dwith deeds, 

" Had more ground been allow'd the race, and cotec! 

far his fteeds." STEEVENS. 
5 but afevcrjbe 

Reigns in my llood.~\ So, in Hamlet: 

" For, like the hectic, in my blood he rages. 




Dumaln reads his fonnet* 

On a day, (alack the day ! ) 

Love, whofe month is ever May, 

Spfd a blojfbm, paffing fair t 

Playing in the wanton air : 

'Through the velvet leaves 

Allunfeen, *gan pajage find ; 

"That the lover, jlck to death ', 

Wtflf d himfelf the heavetf s breath. 

Air, (quoth he) thy cheeks may bloiO ; 

Air, would I might triumph fo 6 ! 

But, alack, my hand is fworn 7 , 

Ne'er to pluck t hee from thy thorn : 

Vow, alack, for youth unmeet ; 

Touth fo apt to pluck a fzveef. 

Do not call it fin in me, 

"That I am forfworn for thec : 

Thou, for whom even Jove would jwear % 

Juno but an Ethiope were ; 

And deny himfelf for Jove, 

Turning mortal for thy love. 

This will I fend ; and fomething elfe more plain, 
That fhall exprefs my true love's failing pain 9 . 

6 Air, pallid I night triumph fo /] Perhaps we may better read : 

A h 1 would I might triumph /of J o H N i o ,v . 

7 - my hand\sfivorn,~\ A copy of this fonnet is printed in 
England's Helicon, 1614, and reads : 

" But, alas ! my hand hath fivorn." 

It is likewife printed as Shakefpeare's, in Jaggard's Colle&ion, 1 599* 


8 even Jove ivonld 'fivear,] The v/ord even has been fup- 
plied ; and the two preceding lines are wanting in the copy pub 
lifhed in England's Helicon, 1614. STEEVENS. 

9 my true love's fabng/u&**.] I fhould rather chufe to read 
fejlring, rankling. WAR BUR TON. 

There is no need of any alteration. Fafling is longing, hungry, 
wanting. JOHNSON, 

G g 2, O, would 


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, thy love is far from charity, 
That in love's grief defir'ft fociety : [coming forward* 
You may look pale, but I Ihould bluih, I know, 
To be o'er heard, and taken napping fo. 

King. Come, fir, you blufh ; as his, your cafe is 
fuch ; [coming forward. 

You chide at him, offending twice as much : 
You do not love Maria ? Longaville 
Did never fonnet for her fake compile ? 
Nor never lay'd his wreathed arms athwart 
His loving bofom,. to keep down his heart ? 
I have been clofcly fhrowded in this bufti,. 
And mark'd you both, and for you both did blufh., 
I heard your guilty rhimcs, obfcrv'd your fafhion ; 
Saw fighs reek from you, noted well your paffion : 
Ay me ! fays one ; O Jove ! the other cries ; 
Her hairs were gold, cryflal the other's eyes : 
You would for paradife break faith and troth ; 

[To Long. 
And Jove r for your love,, would infringe an oath. 

[To Dumaip. 

What will Biron fay, when that he fhall hear 
A faith' infringed, which fuch zeal did fvvear ? 
How will he fcorn ? how will he fpend his wit ? 
How will he triumph, leap, and laugh at it ' ? 
For all the wealth that ever I did fee, 
I would not have him know fo much by me. 

Biron. Now ftep I forth to \vhip hypocrify. 
Ah, good my liege, I pray thee, pardon me .% 

[Gonting forward. 

1 How will he triumpb, leap, and latigb at it ?~\ We fhould cer- 
tainly read, geap, i. e. jeer, ridicule. WARBURTON. 

To leap is to exult, to Jkip for joy. It muft fland. JOHNSON-. 



<Good heart, what grace haft thou, thus to reprove 

Thefe worms for loving, that art moft in love ? 

Your eyes do make no coaches * ; in your tears, 

There is no certain princefs that appears ? 

You'll not be perjur'd, 'tis a hateful thing; 

Tufh, none but minftrels like of fonneting. 

But are you not afham'd ? nay, are you not, 

All three of you, to be thus much o'er-fhot ? 

You found his mote ; the king your mote did fee ; 

But I a beam do find in each of three. 

O, what a fcenc of foolery I have feen, 

Of fighs, of groans, of forrow, and of teen ! 

O me, with what Uriel: patience have I fat, 

To fee a king transformed to a knot 5 ! 


2 Tour eyes do make no coaches ;~\ Alluding to a paflage in the 
king'sJo/iMt-t : 

** No drop but as a coach doth carry thee." STEEVENS. 

3 J70 fee a king transformed to a knot!~\ Knot has no fenfe that 
can fuit this place. We may ready!*/. The rhimes in this play 
are fuch, as thaty^ zndfot may be well enough admitted. 

A knot is, I believe, a true lover's knot, meaning that the king 

lay'd his wreathed arms atb-ivart 

His loving lofom fo long, 

i.e. remained fo long in the lover's pofture, that he feemed actu- 
ally transformed into a knot. The word fat is in fome counties 
pronouncedy^/. This may account for the feeming want of ex- 
a6t rhime. In the old comedy of Albumazar, the lame thought 
.occurs : 

" Why fhould I twine my arms to cables ?" 
So, in the Tetnpejl : 

" fitting, 

*' His arms in this fad knot." 
Again, in Titus Andronicus ; 

" Marcus, unknit that forrow-wreathen knot : 
" Thy niece and I, poor creatures, want our hands, 
" And cannot pallionate our ten-fold grief 
" With folded arms. 
in the Raging Tvr t 1631 : 
" as he walk'd 
** Folding his arms up in a penfive knot" 
The old copy, however, reads a gnat, and Mr. Toilet feems 
it contains an. allullon to St. Mattbc-iv, ch. xxiii. v. 24. 
G g 3 where 


To fee great Hercules whipping a gigg, 
And profound Solomon tuning a jigg. 
And Neftor play at pufh-pin with the boys., 
And critic Timon laugh at idle toys 4 ! 
Where lyes thy grief ? O tell me, good Dumain ! 
And, gentle Longaville, where lyes thy pain ? 
And where my liege's ? all about the breafl :--- 
A caudle, ho ! 

King. Too bitter is thy jeft. 
Are we betray'd thus to thy over-view ? 

Blron. Not you by me, but I betray'd to you : 
I, that am honeft ; I, that hold it fin 
To break the vow I am engaged in ; 
I am betray'd, by keeping company 
With men like men s , of ftrange inconflancy. 


where the metaphorical term of a gnat means a thing of leaft im- 
portance, or what is proverbially fmall. The fmallnefs of a gnat 
is likewife mentioned in Cymbeline, STEEVENS. 

A knott is likewife a Lincolnfhire bird of the fuipe kind. It is 
foolifh even to a proverb, and is faid to be eafily enfnared. Ray, 
in his Ornithology, obferves, that it took its name from Ganute, 
who was particularly fond of it. 

The knott is enumerated among other delicacies by fir Epicure 
Mammon in Ben Jonfon's Alchejnift : 

" My foot-boy fliall eat pheafants, &c. 
'' Knott 'j, godwits, &c." 
Again, in R. Broome's Northern Lafs y 1633 : 

Of that great king of Danes his name that fHll doth hold, 
" His appetite to pleafe that far and near was fought." 
Again, in Ben Jonfon's loift Epigram : " Knot^ rail, and ruff 
too " COLLINS. 

* critic Timon ] ought evidently to be cynic. WAR BUR TON. 
There is no need ot change. Critic and critical are ufed by 
our author in the fame fenfe as cynic and cynical. lago, fpeaking 
of the fair fex as harflily as is fometimes the practice of Dr. War- 
burton, declares he is nothing if not critical. STEEVENS. 

5 Wiik men-like men ] This is a ftrange fenfelefs line, and 

fliould be read thus : 

" With vaae-//&? men, f ftrangc inconftancy. WARBURTON 



When lhall you fee me write a thing in rhime ? 
Or groan for Joan ? or fpend a minute's time 
In pruning me 6 ? When lhall you hear, that I 
Will praife a hand, a foot, a face, an eye, 
A gait, a Hate, a brow, a breaft, a waift, 
A leg, a limb ? 

King. Soft ; Whither away fo faft ? 
A true man, or a thief, that gallops fo ? 

Biron. I poft from love ; good lover, let me go. 

Enter Jaquenetta and Coftard. 

Jaq. God blefs the king ! 

King. What prefent hail thou there ? 

Cqft. Some certain treafon. 

King. What makes treafon here ? 

Cqft. Nay, it makes nothing, fir. 

King. If it mar nothing neither, 
The treafon, and you, go in peace away together. 

Jaq. I befeech your grace, let this letter be read ; 
Our parfon mifdoubts it; it was treafon, he faid. 

King. Biron read it over. [_He reads the letter, 

Where hadft thou it ? 

Jaq. Of Coftard. 

King. Where hadft thou it ? 

Cqft. Of Dun Adramadio, Dun Adramadio. 

King. How now ! what is in you ? why doft thou 
tear it ? 

Biron. A toy, my liege, a toy ; your grace needs 
not fear it. 

This is well imagined, but perhaps the poet may mean, with 
men like com mon men. JOHNSON. 

I believe the emendation is proper. So, in Much Ado about No- 
tbing : 

" If fpeaking, why a vane blown with all winds. 


6 In pruning me f] A bird is faid fo prune himfelf when he 
picks and ileeks his feathers. So, in K. Henry IV. Part I : 
" Which makes him prune himielf,"and briille up 

' The creil of youth" . STEEVENS. 

G g 4 Long. 


Long. It did move him to paffion, and therefore 

let's hear it. 

Dum. It is Biron's writing, and here is his name. 
Biron. Ah, you whorefon loggerhead, you were 
born to do me ihame [30 Cqftard. 

Guilty my lord, guilty ; I confefs, I confefs. 
King. What ? 
Biron. That you three fools iack'd me fool to make 

up the mefs. 

He, he, and you, and you, my liege, and I, 
Are pick-purfes in love, and we deferve to die. 
O, difmifs this audience, and I fliall tell you more* 
Dum. Now the number is even, 

Biron. True true ; we are fqur : 
Will thefe turtles be gone ? 
King. Hence, firs ; away. 

Coft. Walk afide the true folk, and let the traitors 
flay. \_ExeunJ Coftard and Jaquenetta. 

Biron, Sweet lords, fweet lovers, O let us em- 
brace ! 

As true we are, as flefli and blood can be : 
The fea will ebb and flow, heaven will fliew his face ; 

Young blood doth not obey an old decree : 
We cannot crofs the caufe why we were born ; 
Therefore^ of all hands muft we be forfworn. 

King. What, did thefe rent lines Ihew fome love of 

thine ? 
Biron. Did they, quoth you ? Who fees the heavenly 

That, like a rude and favage man of Inde, 

At the firft opening of the gorgeous eail, 
Bows not his vaflal head ; and, ilrucken blind, 

Kifles the bafe ground with obedient breafl ? 
What peremptory eagle-fighted eye 

Dares look upon the heaven of her brow, 
That is not blinded by her majefty ? 

King. What zeal, what fury hath infpir'd thce 
now ? 



My love, her miftrcfs, is a gracious moon ; 
She, an attending ftar 8 , fcarce feen a light. 
Biron. My eyes are then no eyes, nor I Biron : 

O, but for my love, day would turn to night ! 
Of all complexions the cull'd fovereignty 

Do meet, as at a fair, in her fair cheek ; 
Where fcveral worthies make one dignity ; 

Where nothing wants, that want itfelf doth feek, 
Lend me the flourish of all gentle tongues 

Fye, painted rhetorick ! O, Ihe needs it not : 
To things of fale a feller's praife belongs ; 

She paffes praife ; then praife too Ihort doth 

A wither'd hermit, fivefcore winters worn, 

Might ihake off fifty, looking in her eye : 
Beauty doth varnifh age, as if new born, 

And gives the crutch the cradle's infancy. 
O, 'tis the fun, that maketh all things Ihine I 
King. By heaven, thy love is black as ebony. 
Biron. Is ebony like her ? O wood divine 9 ! 

A wife of fuch wood were felicity. 
O, who can give an oath ? where is a book ? 

That I may fwear, beauty doth beauty lack, 
If that flic learn not of her eye to look ? 

No face is fair, that is not full fo black. 
King. O paradox ! Black is the badge of hell ', 


* She (an attending Jlar) ] Something like this is a ftama 

of fir Henry Wotton, of which the poetical reader *,vill forgive 
the infertion : 

Yejlars, the train of n'ght, 

That poorly fatisfy our eyes 
jHfare ly your number than your light; 

l~e common people of the JkieS) 
What art ye lubat the fun jh all rife? JOHNSON. 
9 Is ebony like her ? O word divine /] This IB the reading of all 
the editions that I have feen : but both Dr. Thirlby and Mr. War- 
burton concurr'd in reading, (as I had likewife conjeclured,) 

O Wood dil ;'.'.'(' / T H E p E A L D . 

1 Black is the badge of bell* 

fbe hue <>f dungeons, and the. fcowl of night j ] 



The hue of dungeons, and the fcowl of night ; 
And beauty's crefl becomes the heavens well 4 . 


In former editions, 

the fchool of night. 

Black being the fchool of night, is a piece of myftery above my 
comprehenfion. I had guefled, it mould be : 

-the ftole of night : 

but I have preferred the conjecture of my friend Mr. Warburton, 
who reads : 

the fcowl of night, 

as it comes nearer in pronunciation to the corrupted reading, 
as well as agrees better with the other images. THEOBALD. 

1 And beauty's crefl becomes the heavens <well. ] This is a conten- 
tion between two lovers about the preference of a black or ivhite 
beauty. But, in this reading, he who is contending for the white, 
takes for granted the thing in difpute ; by faying, that white is 
the crefl of beauty. His adverfary had juft as much reafoa to call 
black fo. The queftion debated between them being which was 
the creft of beauty, black or white. Shakefpeare could never write 
fo abfurdly : nor has the Oxford editor at all mended the matter 
by fubftituting drefs for crefl. We mould read : 

And beauty 1 *! crete becomes the heavens ivell. 

i. e. beauty's white, from creta. In this reading the third line is 
a proper antithefis to the firft. I fuppole the blunder of the tran- 
fcriber arofe from hence. The French word crcfte in that pronun- 
ciation and orthography is crete, which he underftanding, and 
knowing nothing of the other fignification of crete from creta, 
critically altered it to the Englifh way of fpelling, creft e. 


This emendation cannot, be received till its author can prove 
that crete is an Englifli word. Befides, crefl is here properly op- 
pofed to badge. Black, fays the king, is the badge of hell, but 
that which graces the heaven is ihe crejl of beauty. Black darkens 
hell, and is therefore hateful : white adorns heaven, and is there- 
fore lovely. JOHNSON. 

And beauty's creft becomes the heavens well, i. e. the very top, 
the height of beauty, or the utmoft degree of fairnefs, becomes 
the heavens. So the word crejl is explained by the poet himfelf 
jn King John : 

" this is the very top, 

" The height, the crefl, or crefl unto the crejl 

" Of murder's arms." 

Jn heraldry, a crefl is a device placed above a coat of arms. 
Shakefpeare therefore afiumes the liberty to ufe it in a fenfe 
equivalent to-A?/ or uttnojl height, as he has ufed^Vv in Corio- 
lanus : 

" to 


Biron. Devils fooneft tempt, refembling fpirits of 

O, if in black my lady's brow be deckt, 

It mourns, that painting, and ufurping hair, 
Should raviih doters with a ialfe afpedt ; 

And therefore is fhe born to make black fair. 
Her favour turns the fafhion of the days ; 

For native blood is counted painting now : 
And therefore red, that would avoid difpraife, 

Paints itfelf black, to imitate her brow. 
Dum. To look like her, are chimney-fweepers 

Long. And, fmce her time, are colliers counted 


King. And Ethiops of their fweet complexion crack. 
Dutn. Dark needs no candles now, for dark is 


Biron. Your miftrefles dare never come in rain, 
For fear their colours fhould be waih'd away. 
King. 'Twere good, yours did ; for, fir, to tell 

you plain, 

Til find a fairer face not waih'd to-day. 
Biron. I'll prove her fair, or talk till dooms-day 

King. No devil will fright thee then fo much as 


Dum. I never knew man hold vile fluff fo dear. 
Long. Look, here's thy love ; my foot and her face 

" to the fp Ire and top of praifes vouch'd." 
So, " the cap of all the fools alive" is the lop of them all, becaufe 
cap was the uppcrmojl part ot a man's drefs." See All's Well that 
ends Well. TOLLET. 
Ben Jonfon, in Love's Triumph through Ca!'>f,-,lis, a Mafque, fays : 

** To you that are by excellence a queen, 

" The top of beauty, &c." 
Again, in the Mirror of KnigbtbooJ, Part I. ch. xiv : 

" in the top and pitch cf all beaiifj, fo that theyr matches 
are not to bee had." STEEVENS. 



Biron, O, if the ftreets were paved with thine 


Her feet were too much dainty for fuch tread * 
Duni. O vile 1 then as fhe goes, what upward lies 

The ftreet fhould fee as fhe walk'd over head. 
King. But what of this ? Are we not all in love ? 
Biron. Nothing fo fare ; and thereby all forfwora. 
King. Then leave this chat ; and, good Biron, now 


Our loving lawful, and our faith not torn. 
Dum. Ay, marry, there ; fome flattery for this 


Long. O, fome authority how to proceed ; 
Some tricks, fome quillets, how to cheat the devil % 
Dum. Some falve for perjury. 
Biron. O, 'tis more than need ! 
Have at you then, affection's men at arms * : 
Confider, what you firit did fwear unto ; 
To faft, to ftudy, and to fee no woman ;< 
Flat treafon 'gainft the -kingly ftate of youth. 
Say, can you faft ? your flomachs are too young 5 
And abftinence engenders maladies. 
And where that you have vow'd to iludy, lords, 
In that each of you hath forfworn his book : 
Can you ftill dream, and pore, and thereon look? 
For when would you, my lord, or you, or you, 
Have found die ground of fludy's excellence, 
Without the beauty of a woman's face ? 

4 Some tricks, fome quillets , hovj to cheat the devil. ~\ Skillet is the 
peculiar word applied" to law-chicane. I imagine the original to 
be this. In the French pleadings, every feveral allegation in the 
plaintiff's charge, and every diftinft plea in the defendant's an- 
fwer, began with the words qu'il eft ; from whence was formed 
the word quillet, to figni-fy a falfe charge or an evafive anfwer. 


5 ... .. ajfeiio:i s men at arms :] A man at arms, is a foldier 
armed at all points both offenfively and defeniively. It is ao 
more than, Ye foldier 3 of affccllon. JOHNSON. 



5 From wo'men's eyes this doctrine I derive : 

They afe the ground, the book, the academes, 

From whence doth fpring the true Promethean fire. 

Why, univerfal plodding prifons up 

The' nimble fpirits in the arteries 6 ; 

As motion, and long-during action, tires 

The finevvy vigour of the traveller. 

Now, for not looking on a woman's* face, 

You have in that forfworn the ufe of eyes ; 

And iludy too, the caufer of your vow : 

For where is any author in the world, 

Teaches fuch beauty as a woman's eye 7 ? 

Learning is but an adjunct to ourfelf, 

And where we are, our learning likewife is. 

Then, when ourfelves we fee in ladies' eyes, 

Do we not likewife fee our learning there ? 

O, we have made a vow to itudy, lords ; 

Arid in that vow we have forfworn our books : 

For when would you, my Hege, or you,, or you, 

8 Jn leaden contemplation, have found out 


6 From women's eyes &c.] This and the two following lines 
are omitted, I fuppofe, by mere overfight in Dr. Warhurton's 
edition. JOHNSON. 

6 The nimUt fpirits in the arteries ;] In the old fyflem of phyfic 
they gave the fume office to the arteries as is now given to the 
nerves ; as appears from the narrte which is derived from s;a, T^pu. 


7 Teaches fuch beauty as a woman s cye?~$\. e. a lady's eyes give 
a fuller notion of beauty than any authour. JOHNSON. 

8 In leaden contemplation have found out 

Such fiery numbers ] 

Alluding to the difcoveries in modern aitronomy, at that time 
greatly improving, in which the ladies' eyes are compared, as ufual, 
tojtars. He calls them numbers, alluding to the Pythagorean 
principles of aftronomy, which were founded on the laws of har- 
mony. The Oxford editor, who was at a lots for the conceit, 
changes numbers to notions, and fo lofes both the lenfe and the gal- 
lantry of the allufion. He has better luck in the following line, 
and has rightly changed beauty's to beauteous. WARBURTON. 

Numbers are, in this paflage, nothing more than poetical nxa- 
fures. Could you y fays Biron, ly folitary contemplation, lave at- 
taimd fuch poetical fire, fueb fyritely vnmytrS} aiJw.-e bee IT prompted 



Such fiery numbers, as the prompting eyes 

Of beauteous tutors have enrich'd you with ? 

Other flow arts entirely keep the brain ; 

And therefore rinding barren pradtifers, 

Scarce Ihew a harvefl of their heavy toil : 

But, love, firfl learned in a lady's eyes, 

Lives not alone immured in the brain ; 

But with th,e motion of all elements^ 

Courfes as fwift as thought in every power ; 

And gives to every power a double power, 

Above their functions and their offices. 

It adds a precious feeing to the eye, 

A lover's eyes will gaze an eagle blind ; 

A lover's car will hear the loweft found, 

When the fufpicious head of theft is ftopp'd 9 : 

Love's feeling is more foft, and fenfible, 

Than arc the tender horns of cockled mails ; 

Love's tongue proves dainty Bacchus grofs in tafte : 

For valour, is not love a Hercules, 

Still climbing trees in the Hefperides ' ? 


%y the eyes of beauty ? The aitronomer, by looking too much aloft, 
falls into a ditch. JOHNSON. 

9 the fufpicious bead of theft is flopped :~\ i. e. a lover 

in purfuit of his millrefs has his fenfe of hearing quicker than a 
thief (who fufpeds every found he hears) in purfuit of his prey. 
But Mr. Theobald fays, there is no contraft between a lover and 
a thief: and therefore alters it to thrift^ between which and love, 
he fays, there is a remarkable antithefis. What he means by con- 
traft and antithcfis, I confefs, I don't underftand. But 'tis no 
matter : the common reading is fenfe ; and that is better than ei- 
ther one or the other. WAR EUR TON. 

" The fufpicious bead of theft is the head fufpicious of theft.** 
" He watches like one that fears robbing," fays Speed, in the 
Two Gentlemen of F'erona. This tranfpolition of the adjedYive i& 
fometimes met with. Grimme tells us, in Damon and Pythias : 
" A heavy pouch with golde makes a light hart." 

1 For valour, is not love a Hercules, 

Still climbing trees in the Hefperides ? ] 

The poet is here obferving how all the fenfes are refined by love. 
But what has the poor fenfe ot fuelling done, not to keep its place 



Subtle as fphinx ; as Tweet, and mufical, 
As bright Apollo's lute, ftrung with his hair 1 ; 
And, when love fpeaks, the voice of all the gods * 
Makes heaven drowfy with the harmony. 


among its brethren ? Then Hercules's valour was not in dimling 
the trees, but in attacking the dragon gardant. I rather thinlt, 
that for valour we fliould read favour, and the poet meant, that 
Hercules was allured by the odour andfragra^cy of tae golden 
apples. THEOBALD. 
- * As bright Apollo's Interning with his hair {} This expreffion, 

like that other in the T--MO Gentlemen of Ferona, of 

Orpheus' harp wns Jlrting with poet?- jinews, 

is extremely beautiful, and highly figurative. Apollo, as the fun, 
is reprefented with golden hair ; fo that a lute ilrung with his 
hair, means no more than ftrung with gilded wire. 


as fweet and mufical 

As bright Apollo's \\\\&Jlriuig v:itb his hair. 
The author of the Revt/al iuppofes this expreiiion to be alle- 
gorical, p. 138. " Apollo's lute ftrung with funbeams, which 
in poetry are called hair." But what idea is conveyed by Apol- 
lo's lute firung withfunbcams ? Undoubtedly the words are to be 
taken in their literal ienfe : and, in the ftile of Italian imagery,, 
the thought is highly elegant. The very fame fort of conception 
occurs in Lilly's Mydas, a play which molt probably preceded 
Shakefpeare's. Aft IV. fc. i. Pan tells Apollo : " Had thy 
lute been of lawrell, and the firings of Daphne's haire, thy tunes- 
might have been compared to my notes, &e." WAR TON. 

The fame thought occurs in Sew to chttfe a Good Wife from a 
Bad, 1608: 

" Hath he not torn thofe gold wires from thy head, 
< Wherewith Apollo would have fining his harp, 
" And kept them to play raufic to the gods." 
Lylly's Midas, quoted by Mr. YVarton, was publifhed in i 592. 

3 And ivben love fpeaks dc voice of all the gods 

Makes heaven dra^fy with the harmony. \ 
This nonfenfe we fliould read and point thus : 

And when lovejpeaks the voice of all tlx gods t 
Mark, heaven drpvojy -..:.*; 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 
parent and fupport of all the gods. Hence, as Suidas telis u% 
Palxphatus wrote a poem called, "A5p,Vr? K, "L^u^ fuiri ^ -^y^. 
The voice and^zech of fenus and Love,, which appears to 



Never durft poet touch a pen to write, 
Until his ink were temper'd with love's fighs ; 


bfien a kind of cofmogony, the harmony of which is fo great, that 
it calms and allays all kinds of diforders: alluding again to the 
antient ufe of mulic, which was to compofe monarchs, when, by 
reafon of the cares of empire, they ufed to pafs whole nights iii 
reftlefs inquietude. WAR BUR TON. 

The ancient reading is, 

Make hearten * JOHNSON. 

I cannot find any reafon for this emendation, nor do I believe 
the poet to have been at all acquainted with that ancient theogony 
mentioned by the critic. The former reading, with the flight ad- 
dition of a fingte letter, was, perhaps, the true one. When LOVE 
fpeaJfs, (fays Biron) the ajjcmllcd gods reduce the element of ihejky io 
A calm, by their harmonious applaufes of this favoured orator. 

Mr. Collins obferves, that the meaning of the pafTage may be 
this. That the voice of all the gods united, could infpire only li row - 
Jinefs, when compared with the chearful efefls of the t'oice of Love, 
That fenfe is fufficiently congruous to the reft of the fpeech ; and 
much the fame thought occurs in The Shepherd Arjlleus* Reply to 
Syrenus* Song, by Bar. long ; publiflied in England? s Helicon, 1614: 
" Unlefs mild Love poffefs your amorous breafls, 
" If you fing not of him, your fongs do weary" 

Dr. Warburton has raifed the idea of his author, by imputing 
to him a knowledge, of which, I believe, he was not pofieiFed ; 
but fhould either of thefe explanations prove the true one, I (hall 
offer no apology for having made him itoop from the critic's ele- 
vation. I would, however, read, 

Makes heaven drowfy with its harmony. 

Though the words mark! and behold! are alike ufed tobefpeak or 
fummon attention, yet the former of them appears fo harfli in Dr. 
Warburton's emendation, that I read the line feveral times over 
before I perceived its meaning. 'To fpeak the voice of the gods 
appears to me as defective in the fame way. Dr. Warburton, in 
a note on Alfs Well that ends Well, obferves, that tofpeak a found 
is a barbarifm. Tojpcak a. voice is, I think, no lei's repreheniible. 


Few pafTages have been more canvaffed than this. I believe, 
it wants no alteration of the words, but only ot the pointing : 
And when love f peaks (the voice of all) the gods 
Make heaven drowfy with the harmony. 

Love, I apprehend, is called the voice of all, as gold, in Timon, is 
faid tofpeak with every tongue ; and the gods (being drowfy them- 
lelves with the harmony') are fuppofed to make heaven drovvfy. If 
one could poifibly fuipeft Shakefpeare of having read Pindar, one 



O, then his lines would raviih fav-age ears, 
And plant in tyrants mild humility. 
From women's eyes this do&rine I derive 4 : 
They fparkle (till the right Promethean fire ; 
They are the books, the arts, the academes, 
That fhewj contain, and nourilh all the world ; 
Elie, none at all in aught proves excellent : 
Then fools you were, thefe women to forfvvear ; 
Or, keeping what is fworn, you will prove fools. 
For wifdom's fake, a word that all men love ; 
Or for love's fake, a word that loves all men 5 ; 


fhould fay, that the idea of mufic making the hearers drowfy, was 
borrowed from the full Pythian. TYRWHITT. 

Perhaps here is an accidental tranfpolition. We may read, as, 
I think, fome one ^has propofed before : 
" The voice makes all the gods 
" Of heaven drowfy with the harmony.'* FARMER. 
That harmony had the power to make the hearers drowfy, the 
prefent commentator might infer from the effect it ufually pro- 
duces on himfelf. In Cintbia's Revenge, 1613, however, is an 
inftance which fhould weigh more with the reader : 

" Howl forth fome ditty that vaft hell may ring 
" With charms all-potent, earth ajleep to bring" 
Again, in the Midfummcr Night's Dream : 

" muflc call, and ihike more dead 

" Than common^/, of all thefe five the fenfe." 

71je voice may lignify the aflenting voice ; as in Hamlet: 

" Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice." 
JBy harmony I prefume the poet means unifon. MUSGRAVE. 

4 From women's eyes f/jis doftrivie I derive ;] In this fpeech I fuf- 
pecl: a more than common inftance of the inaccuracy of the full 
publilhers : 

From women's eyes this doRrine I derive, 

and feveral other lines, are as unnecefiarily repeated. Dr. Warbur- 
ton was aware of this, and omitted two verfes, which Dr. Johnlbn 
has 11 nee infer ted. Perhaps the players printed from piece-meal, 
parts, or retained what the author had rejected, as well as what 
had undergone his revifal. It is here given according to the re- 
gulation of the old copies. STEEVEXS. 

5 award, that loves all men;] We fhould read: 

a word all women ioi<e. 
VOL. II. H h The 


Or for men's fake, the authors of thefe women y 

Or women's fake, by whom we men are men ; 

Let us once lofe our oaths, to find ourfelves, 

Or elfe we lofe ourfelves to keep our oaths : 

It is religiony to be thus forfworn : 

For charity itfelf fulfils the law ; 

And who can fever love from charity ? 

King. Saint Cupid, then ! and, foldiers, to the 
field ! 

Biron. Advance your fhndards, and upon them, 

lords ; 

Pell-mell, down with them ! but be firfl advis'd, 
In conflict that you get the fun of them. 

Long. Now to plain-dealing ; lay thefe glozes by : 
Shall we refolve to woo thefe girls of France ? 

King. And win them too : therefore let us devifc 
Some entertainment for them in' their tents. 

Biron. Firft, from the park let us conduct them 

thither ; 

Then, homeward, every man attach the hand 
Of his fair miftrefs :' in the afternoon 
We will with fome ftrange paftime folace them^ 

The following line : 

Or for men's fake (the author of thefe women ;) 
which refers to this reading, puts it out of all qucftion. 


Perhaps we might read thus, tranfpoling the lines :' 
Or for love's fake, a word that loves all men ; 
For women* s fake , by whom we men are men ; 
Or for men's fake, the authors of thefe women. 
The antithefis of a word that all men love, and a word which loves 
all men, though in itfelf worth little, has much of the fpirit of 
this play. JOHNSON. 

There will be no difficulty, if we correct it to " men's fakes, the 
authors of thefe words" FARMER. 

I think no alteration fhould be admitted in thefe four lines, 
that deftroys the artificial ftru&ure of them, in whS'ch, as has 
been obferved by the author of the Revifal, the word which 
terminates every line, is prefixed to the word Jake in that imme- 
diately following. TOLLET. 



Such as the fhortnefs of the time can lhape ; 
For revels, dances, mafks, and merry hours, 
Fore-run fair love, ftrewing her way with flowers. 

King. Away, away ! no time fhall be omitted, 
That will be time, and may by us be fitted. 

Blron. Alkns I allons ! Sow'd cockle reap'd no 

corn 6 ; 

And juftice always whirls in equal meafure : 
Light wenches may prove plagues to men forfworn ; 

If fo, our copper buys no better treafure 7 . [Exeunt. 

A C T V. S C E N,E I. 

3%e Street. 
Enter Holofernes, Nathaniel, and Dull. 

Hoi. Satis quod fufficit*. 

Natb. I praife God for you, Sir : your reafons 
at dinner have been fharp and fententious 9 ; pleafant 


e fmvn cockle reaped no corn ; ] This proverbial expref- 

fion intimates, that beginning with perjury, they can expedr. to 
reap nothing but falfhood. The following lines lead us to this 
fenle. WAR BURTON. 

7 Iffoy our copper buys no better treafure.} Here Mr. Theobald 
Cuds the third aft. JOHNSON. 

8 Satis tiuodfujficit.] \. e. Enough's as good as a feaft. 


9 Tour reafons at dinner have been, &c.] I know not well what 
degree of refpeft Shakefpeare intends to obtain for this vicar, but 
be has here put into his mouth a finifhed reprefentation of collo- 
quial excellence. It is very difficult to add any thing to this cha- 
racter of the fchoolmafter's table-talk, and perhaps all the pre- 
cepts of Caftiglione will fcarcely be found to comprehend a rule 
for converfation fo juftly delineated, fo widely dilated, and fo 
nicely limited. 

it may be proper juft to note, that reafon here, and in many 

other places, iignlfiej d'fcourfe ; and that auJacious is ufed in a 

H h 2 good 


without fcurrility, witty without affedtion l , audacious 
without impudency, learned without opinion, and 
ftrange without herefy. I did converfe this quondam 
day with a companion of the king's, who is intituled, 
nominated, or called, Don Adriano de Armado. 

HoL Novi Joominem tanquam te : His humour is 
lofty, his difcourfe peremptory, his tongue filed 4 , his 
eye ambitious, his gait majeflical, and his general 
behaviour vain, ridiculous, and thrafonical. 3 He 


good fenfe forjfrtfit&l, animated, confident. Opinion is the fame 
with obfilnacy or flpiniatrete. JOHNSON. 
So, again, in this play : 

" Yet tear not thou, but fpeak audacioujly." STEEVENS. 
*. without affection,] i.e. without affectation. So, in Hamlet : 
** No matter that might indite the author of affcfiion." So, 
in Twelfth Night, Malvolio is call'd " an tfcSbifc 9&. n 


* his tongue filed,] Chaucer, Skelton, and Spencer, arc 
frequent in their ufe of this phrafe. Ben Jonfon has it likewifc. 


3 He is too piqued,.] To have the beard piqued or fhorn fo as to 
end in a point, was, in our authour's time, a mark of a traveller 
affecting foreign faihions : fo fays the Baftard in K. John: 

" I catechife 

** My piqued man of countries." JOHNSON. 
See a note on King John, act I. and another on King Lear- 
where the reader will find the epithet//^*/ differently interpreted. 
Piqued may allude to the length of the fhoes then worn. Bul- 

wer, in his Artificial Changeling fays : " We weare our 

forked fhoes almoft as long again as our feete, not a little to th% 
hindrance of the action of the foote, and not only fo, but they 
prove an impediment to reverentiall devotions, for our bootes and 
fhooes are fo long fnoutecf, that we can- hardly kneele in God's 
houfe." STEEVENS. 

I believe picked (for To it fhould be written) fignifies nicely dreft 
in general, without reference to any particular fafhion of drefs. 
It is a metaphor taken from birds, who drefs themfelves by pick- 
ing out or pruning^ their broken or fuperfluous feathers. So 
Chaucer ufes the word, in his defcription of Damian drafting 
himfelf, Cant. Tales, ver. 9885 : "He kembeth him, he proin- him and //&//>." And bhakefpeare, in this very play, ufes the 
correfponding word pruning for drejpng, act IV. fc. iin : 

" or fpend a minute's time 

" In *;.'//;/? me " 



is too picked, too fpruce, too affecled, too odd, as 
it were ; too peregrinate, as I may call it. 

Nath. A molt fingular and choice epithet. 

[Draws out bis table-book. 

Hoi. He draweth out the thread of his verbofity 
finer than the ftaple of his argument. I abhor fuch 
phanatical phantafms, fuch inibciable and point-de- 
vife 4 companions ; fuch rackers of orthography, as 
to fpeak, dout, fine, when he Ihould fay, doubt ; det, 
when he Ihould pronounce, debt ; d, e, b, t ; not, 
d, e, t : heclepeth a calf, cauf ; half, hauf, neigh- 
bour, 'vocatur, nebour; neigh, abbreviated, ne : This 
is abhominable 5 , (which he would call abominable) 
* it infinuateth me of infanie ; Ne intettigls^ domlne ? 
to make frantick, lunatick ? 

Nath. Laus dec, bone ; intelligo. 


The fubftantive pichdnefe is ufed by B. Jonfon for nicety in 
Jrefj. Difcoveries, vol. vii. p. 116 : " too mu.chjrfcketlatfi 
is not manly." TYRWHITT. 

4 polnt-dcvife ] A French expreffion for the utmoft, 

or finical exa&nefs. So, in Twelfth Night, Malvolio fays : 

" I will be point-device, the very man." STEEVENS. 
\ 5 This is abbominable, &c.] He has here well imitated the lan- 
guage of the molt redoubtable pedants of that time. On fuch fort 
ofoccafions, Jofeph Scaliger ufed to break out, ^Alominor, exccror. 
Afinitas meraejl, impietas, &c." and calls his adverfary, " Lntum 
jlercore maceratum, tLsmoniacum recrimentum infcitite, Jlerquilinium^ 
fiercus diaboli^ frarabaum, larvam, pecus poftremum lejliarum, in- 
fame propudlum, x.a'0pjiAa." WAR BUR TON. 

Shakefpeare knew nothing of this language ; and the refem- 
blance which Dr. Warburton finds, if it defervesthat title, is quite 
accidental. It is far more probable, that he means to ridicule the 
foppifh manner of fpeaking, and affected pronunciation, intro- 
duced at court by Lilly "and his imitators. 

abhominable ^\ So the word is conftantly fpelt in the old 

moralities and other antiquated books : 
** And then I will bryng in 
" Abbo?nitialle \yv\ng." Lufty Juveniles, l_j6l. 


6 it infinuatetb me of infanie ;] In former editions, It infinuateth 
me of infamy : Ne intelligig, domine ? to make frantick, lunatick? 
Nath, Laus Deo, bcnc intelligo. 

H h 3 Hoi 


Hoi Bone /*- bone, for bene : Prifdan a little 

fcratch'd ; 'twill ferve. 

Hoi. Borne, boon for boon Prefcian ; a little fcratch, 'twill 

This play is certainly none of the beft in itfelf, but the editors 
have been fo very happy in making it worfe by their indolence, 
that they have left me Augeas's ftable to cleanfe : and a man had 
need to have the ftrength of a Hercules to heave out all their rub- 
bifh. But to bufinefs : Why (hould infamy be explained by mak- 
ing frantick, lunatick ? It is plain and obvious that the poet 
intended the pedant mould coin an uncouth affected word 
here, hifanie, from infanta of the Latins. Then, what a piece of 
unintelligible jargon have thefe learned criticks given us for La- 
tin ? I think, I may venture to affirm, I have reftored the paffagc 
to its true purity. 

Nath. Laus Deo, bone, intelligo. 

The curate, addrelTing with complaifance his brother pedant, 
fays, lone, to him, as we frequently in Terence find bone vir ; but 
the pedant, thinking he had miftaken the adverb, thus defcants 
on it. 

Hone f lone for bene. Prifcian a little fcratcbed: y twill ferve. 

Alluding to the common phrafe, Dimlnuis Prifciani caput, applied 
to fuch as 1 fpeak falfe Latin. THEOBALD. 

It infinuatetb me of infamy. There is no need to make the pe- 
dant worfe than Shakefpeare made him ; who, without doubt, 
wrote infanity. WARBURTON. 

There feems yet fomething wanting to the integrity of this paf- 
fage, which Mr. Theobald has in the moil corrupt and difficult 
places very happily reftored. For ne intelligh domine ? to make 
frantlck, lunatick, I read (nonne iutelligis, domine ?) to be mad t 
frantick, lunatick. JOHNSON. 

Infanle appears to have been a word anciently ufed. In a book 
entitled, Ibe Fall and evil SucceJ/e of Rebellion from Time to Time, 
&c. written in old Englifh verie by Wilfride Holme, imprinted 
at London by Henry Bynneman ; without date, (though, from 
the concluding ftanza, it appears to have been produced in the 
8th year of the reign of Henry VIII.) I find the word ufed: 
" In the days of fixth Henry, Jack Gade made a brag, 
" With a multitude of people ; but in the confequence, 

" After a little infanie^ they fled tag and rag, 
" For Alexander Iden he did his diligence." STEEVENS. 

Zfhould rather read, ' it iniinuateth men of infanie," FARMER. 



Enter Armado, Moth 3 and Co/lard. 

'Nath. Videfne quis venit f 

HoL Video^ & gaudeo. 

Arm. Chirra ! 

Jfol. Quare Chirra, not firrah ? 

Arm. Men of peace, well encounter'd. 

Hal. Moft military fir, falutation. 

Moth. They have been at a great feaft of languages, 
and floln the fcraps. [To Coftard aftde. 

Co/l. O, they have liv'd long on the alms-bafket 8 
of words ! I -marvel, thy mafter hath not eaten thee 
for a word ; for thou art not fo long by the head as, 
bonorificabilitudinitatibus 9 : thou art eafier fwallowcd 
than a flap-dragon '. 

Motb. Peace ; the peal begins. 

Arm. Monfieur, are you not letter'd ? 

Moth. Yes, yes; he teaches boys the horn-book : 
What is a, b, fpelt backward with a horn on his head ? 

"HoL Ba, pueritia, with a horn added. 

'Moth. Ba, molt filly fheep, with a horn : You 
hear his learning. 

Hoi. ^ui-Sy quis, thou confonant ? 

8 the alms-bafket of words /] i. e. the refufe of words. 

The refufe meat of great families was formerly lent to the prj- 
fcns. So, in the Inner Temple Maf^uc, 1619, by J. Middleton : 
*' his perpetual lodging in the King's Bench, and his ordinary 
out of the lafket." Again, in If ibis lie not a good Play the De- 
iiil is in If, 1612 : " He mull feed on beggary's bajket" 


, 9 Honorifaalilitiidinitatibus :~\ This word, whencefoever it comes, 
is often /mentioned as the longeft word known. JOHNSON. 

It occurs likeuife in JMarilon's Dutch Courtezan, 1604 : 

" His difcourfe is like the long word bmorificabilitttilinitatibus} 
a great deal of found and no fenle." I meet with it likewife in 
$IanVs Lenten Stuff, &c. 1^99. STEEVENS. 

1 aflap-dragon."\ A flap-dragon is a fmall inflammable 

fubfhince, which topers fwallow in a glafs of wine. See a note 
on K. Henry IV, part II. ad II. fc. ult. STEEVENS. 

H h 4 Motb* 


Moth* The third of the five vowels, if you repeat 
them ; or the fifth, if I z . 

Hoi. I will repeat them, a, e, i. 

Moth. The Iheep : the other two concludes rt ; 
o,. u. 

Arm. Now, by the'falt wave of the Mediterraneum, 
a fweet touch, a quick venew of wit 3 : imp, fnap, 
quick and home ; it rejoiceth my intellect : true wit. 

Moth. Offer'd by a child to an old man ; which is 

Hoi. What is the figure ? what is the figure ? 

Moth. Horns. 

Hoi. Thou difputefl like an infant : go, whip thy 

Moth. Lend me your horn to make one, and I 

will whip about your infamy 4 circum circa', A gigg 
of a cuckold's horn ! 

Cqft. An I had but one penny in the world, thou 
fhouldft have it to buy ginger-bread : hold, there is 
the very remuneration I had of thy matter, thou 
half-penny purfe of wit, thou pigeon-egg of difcre- 
tion. O, an the heavens were fo pleafed, that thou 

* Moth, be third of the five vmveh, &c.] In former editions : 
The laft of the five vowels, if you repeat them ; or the fifth, if I \ 

Hoi. / will repeat them, a, e, I 

Moth. Thejbetp: the other t-zvo concludes //out. 
Is not the laft and \kzfiftb the lame vmvel? Though, my correc- 
tion reftores but a poor conundrum, yet if it reftores the poet's, 
meaning, it is the duty of an editor to trace him in his lovvefl 
conceits. By O, U, Moth would mean Oh, you i. e. You are 
the (heep itill, either way ; no matter which of us repeats them. 


s a q u ; c k venew of vj>t :} A vene-iv is the technical term 

for a lout at the fencing-fchool. So, in the Four Prentices of' 
London, 1632 : 

" in the fencing-fchool 

" To play a vencv.1. " STEEVENS. 

4 I iv III <vchip about your infamy unum cita ; ] Here again all the 
editions give us jargon inllead of Latin. But Moth would cer- 
tainly mean, circum circa: i. e. about and about : though it may 
be defigned he fhould miftake the terms. THEOBALD, 



wert but my baftard ! what a joyful father wouldft 
thou make me ? Go to ; thou haft it ad dunghill, at 
the fingers' ends, as they fay, 

Hoi. Oh, I fmell falfe Latin ; dunghill for unguem^ 

Arm. Arts-man, prxambula ; we will be fingled 
from the barbarous. Do you not educate youth at 
the charge-houle 5 on the top of the mountain ? 

HoL Or, mons the hill. 

Arm. At your fwect pleafure, for the mountain. 

HoL I do, fans queftiqn, 

Arm. Sir, it is the king's moft fweet pleafure and 
affe&ion, to congratulate the princefs at her pavilion, 
in the pofteriors of this day ; which the rude multi- 
tude call, the afternoon, 

HoL The pofterior of the day, moft generous fir, 
is liable, congruent, and meafurable for the after- 
noon : the word is well cull'd, chofe ; fweet and 
apt, I do allure you, fir, I do affure. 

Arm. Sir, the king is a noble gentleman ; and my 
familiar, I do aflure you, very good friend : For 
what is inward between us, let it pafs : I do be- 
feechthee, remember thy courtefy ; I befeech thee, 
apparel thy head : and among other importunate 
and moft ferious defigns, and of great import indeed, 
too ; but let that pafs : for I muft tell thee, it will 
pleafe his grace (by the world) fometime to lean up- 
on my poor fhoulder ; and with his royal finger, 
thus, dally with my excrement 6 , with my muftachio : 
but fweet heart, let that pafs. By the world, I 
recount no fable ; fome certain fpecial honours it 
pleafeth his greatnefs to impart to Armado, a foldier, 
a man of travel, that hath feen the world : but let 

that pafs. The very all of all is, but, fweet 

Jieart, I do implore fecrefy, that the king would 

5 the charge-houfe] I fuppofe, is i\\e free-fcbool. 


6 dally with my excrement,] The authour has before called the 
beard valour's excrement in the Merchant of Venice, JOHNSON. 



have me prefent the princefs, fweet chuck, with 
ib-me delightful oftentation, or fhow, or pageant, or 
aatick, or fire-work. Now, understanding that the 
curate, and your fweet felf, are good at fuch eruptions, 
and fudden breakings out of mirth, as it were, I 
have acquainted you withal, to the end to crave your 

HoL Sir, you fhall prefent before her the nine 
worthies. Sir Nathaniel, as concerning fome en- 
tertainment of .time, fome mow in the posterior of 
this day, to be render'd by our affiftance, at the 
king's command ; and this moft gallant, illuftrate, 
and learned gentleman, before the princefs ; I fay, 
none fo fit as to prefent the nine worthies. 

Nath. Where will you find men worthy enough to 
prefent them ? 

HoL Jofhua, yourfelf; myfelf, or this gallant 
gentleman, Judas Maccabeus ; this .fwain, becaufe 
of his great limb or joint, fhall pafs Pompey the 
great ; the page, Hercules. 

Arm. Pardon, fir, error.: he is not quantity enough 
for that worthy's thumb : he is not fo big as the end 
of his club. 

HoL Shall I have audience ? he fhall prefent Her- 
cules in minority : his enter and exit mall be ftrang- 
ling a fnake ; and I will have an apology for that 

Moth. An excellent device ! fo, if any of the au- 
dience hifs, you may cry; well done, Hercules ! now 
th.ou crujbejl the fnake ! that is the way to make an 
offence gracious; though few have the grace to 
do it. 

Arm. For the reft of the worthies ?- 

HoL I will play three myfelf. 

Moth. Thrice-worthy gentleman ! 

Arm, Shall I tell you a thing ? 

Hoi We attend 


Arm. We will have, if this fadge not 7 , an antick. 
I befeech you, follow. 

Hoi. Via 8 , goodman Dull ! thou haft fpoken no 
word all this while. 

Dull. Nor underflood none neither, fir. 

Hoi. Allom ! we will employ thee. 

Dull. I'll make one in a dance, or fo : or I will 
play on the tabor to the worthies, and let them 
dance the hay. , 

Hoi. Molt dull, honeft Dull, to our fport, away. 



Before the Princefs's Pavillion. 
Enter Princefs and Ladies. 

Prln. Sweet hearts, we fhall be rich ere we depart, 
If fairings come thus plentifully in : 
A lady wall'd about with diamonds ! 
Look you, what I have from the loving king. 

Rof. Madam, came nothing elfe along with that ? 

Prin. Nothing but this ? yea, as much love in 


As would be cramm'd up in a flieet of paper, 
Writ on both fides the leaf, margent and all ; 
That he was fain to feal on Cupid's name. 

Rof. That was the way to make his god-head wax 9 ; 
For he hath been five thoufand years a boy. 


* if this fadge not,'] i. e. fuit not. Several inftancesof the ufe 
of this word are given in Twelfth Night. STEEVL.NS. 

8 Via /] An Italian exclamation, fignifying, Courage ! come 

s> tff make his god-bead wax ; ] To iwz.v anciently fig- 

nified to grow. It is yet faid of the moon, that fhe ivaxe s and 


So, in Drayton's Polyolblon^ Song I. 

" I view thole wanton brooks that waxing (till do wane." 
A<^ain, in Lylly's Love's Metamorfhofes, 1601 ; 



Kath. Ay, and a ftirewd unhappy gallows too. 
Rof. You'll ne'er be friends, with him ; he kill'd 

your filter. 

Kath. He made her .melancholy, fad, and heavy; 
And fo ihe died : had Ihe been light, like you, 
Of fuch a merry, nimble, ftirring fpirit, 
She might have been a grandam ere Ihe dy'd : 
And fo may you ; for a light heart lives long. 
Rof. What's your dark meaning, moufe, of this 

light word ? 

Kath. A light condition in a beauty dark. 
Rof. We need more light to find your meaning 


Kath. You'll mar the light, by taking it in muff 1 ; 
Therefore, I'll darkly end the argument. 

Rof. Look, what you do, you do it flill i' th? 


Kath. So do not you ; for you are a light wench. 
Rof. Indeed, I weigh not you ; and therefore light. 
Kath. You weigh me not, O, that's, you care not 

for me. 
Rof. Great reafon ; for, Paft cure is ftill paft 

care *. 

Prin. Well bandied both ; a fet of wit well play'd. 
But Rofaline, you have a favour too ; 
Who fent it ? and what is it ? 

Rof. I would, you knew ; 
An if my face were but as fair as yours, 
My favour were as great ; be witnefs this. 

** Men's follies will ever wax, and then what reafon can make 
them wife ?" 
Again, in the "Poly'olbio*, Song V. 

** The ftcm fnall ftrongly wax, as ftill the trunk doth wither.*' 


1 taking it in fnuff;} Snuff is here ufed equivocally for anger ^ 
and ihej/iuff of a candle. See more inftances of this conceit in 
K. Henry IV.' Part I. aft I. fc. Hi. STEEVENS. 

* f r pafl care is fill paft cure.] The tranfpofition 

which I have made in the two words, care and cure, is by the di- 
reftion of the ingenious Dr. Thirlby, THEQEALD. 



Nay, I have verfes too, I thank Biron : 

The numbers true ; and, were the numbering too, 

I were the faireft goddefs on the ground : 

I am compar'd to twenty thoufand fairs. 

O, he hath drawn my picture in his letter ! 

Pr'm. Any thing like ? 

Rof. Much, in the letters ; nothing, in the praife. 

Prin. Beauteous as ink ; a good conclufion. 

Katb. Fair as a text B in a copy-book. 

Rof. 'Ware pencils 5 ! How ? let me not die your 


My red dominical, my golden letter : 
O, that your face were not fo full of O's 4 ! 

Katb. Pox of that jeit ! and I belhrew all ihrows ? . 

Prix. But what was fcnt to you from fair Durnam ? 

Kath. Madam, this glove. 

Prix. Did he not fend you twain ? 

e pencils / ] The former editions read: 

Were pencils - 
Sir T. Hanmer here rightly rcftored : 

* \Varepenctts - 

Rofaline, a black beauty, reproaches the fair Katharine for paint- 
ing. JOHNSON. 
The fulio reads : 

U r are penfals- STEEVENS. 

* - -fofull "of O's.] i.e. pimples. Shakefpeare talk* of 
" - fiery O's and' eyes, of light," in another play. STEEVENS. 
3 Pox of that j eft ! and I Itfljrevj all JJiro-ius.] In former copies 
this line is given to the Princefs ; but as (he has- behaved with 
great decency all along, there is no reafon why {he fliould {tart all 
at once into this coarfe dialect. Rofaline and Katharine are rally- 
ing one another without referve ; and to Katharine this firft line 
certainly belonged, and therefore I have ventured once more to 
put her in pofleffion of it. THEOBALD. 

" Pox of that jeft 1" Mr. Theobald is fcandalized at this 
language from a princefs. But there needs no alarm - the/mail 
fox only is alluded to; with which, it feems, Katharine was pit- 
ted ; or, as it is quaintly exprelled, " her face was full-of O's." 
Davifon has a canzonet on his lady's fickneffe of the poxe : and 
Dr. Donne writes to his lifter: " at my return from Kent, 1 found* 
Pegge had the poxe I humbly thank God, it hath not much dif- 
figured her," FARMER. 



Kath. Yes, madam ; and moreover, 
Some thoufand verfes of a faithful lover : 
A huge tranflation of hypocrify, 
Vilely compil'd, profound fimplicity. 

Mar. This, and thefe pearls, to me fent Longa- 

ville j 
The letter is too long by half a mile. 

Pnn. I think no lefs ; Doft thou not wifh in heart, 
The chain were longer, and the letter fhort ? 

Mar. Ay, or I would thefe hands might never part. 

Prin. We are wife girls, to mock our lovers fo. 

Rof. They are worfe fools, to purchafe mocking fo. 
That fame Biron I'll torture ere I go. 
O, that I knew he were but in by the week 6 \ 
How I would make him fawn, and beg, and feek ; 
And wait the feafon, and obferve the times, 
And fpend his prodigal wits in bootlefs rhimes ; 
And Ihape his fervice all to my behefls ; 
And make him proud to make me proud that jefls ! 
So portent-like would I o'erfway his ftate 7 , 
That he fiiould be my fool, and I his fate. 


6 in by the week!] This I fuppofe to be an expreffion 
taken from hiring fervants or artificers ; meaning, I wifh I was as 
fure of his fervice for any time limited, as if I had hired him. 

The expreffion was a common one. So, in Pittoria Corom- 
lona, 1612 : 

' What, are you in by the week? So ; I will try now whether 
thy wit be clofe prifoner." Again, in the Wit of a Woman, 1604 : 
" Since I am in by the iveek, let me look to the year." 


7 So portent-//'^, &c.] In former copies : 

So pertaunt-//^, would I o'er-fiuay bisjfate^ 

That hefoouldbe my fool, and I his fate. 

In old farces, to Ihew the inevitable approaches of death and de- 
ftinyi the Fool of the farce is made to employ all his ftratagems to 
avoid Death or Fate ; which very ftratagems, as they are ordered, 
bring the Fool, at every turn, into the very jaws of Fate. To 
this Shakefpeare alludes again in Meafure for Meajure : 

" merely thou art Death's Fool ; 

" For him thou labour'* Jl by thy flight tojbun, 

" And yet run'ft towards him ft ill > '* 



Prln. 8 None are fo furely caught, when they arc 


As wit turn'd fool : folly, in wifdom hatch'd, 
Hath wifdom's warrant, and the help of fchool ; 
And wit's own grace to grace a learned fool, 

Rof. The blood of youth burns not with fuck 

As gravity's revolt to wantonnefs. 

Mar. Folly in fools bears not fo ftrong a note, 
As foolery in the wife, when wit doth dote ; 
Since all the power thereof it doth apply, 
To prove, by wit, worth in fimplicity. 

Enter Boyet. 

Prln. Here comes Boyet, and mirth is in his face* 

JBoyet. O, I am flabb'd with laughter ! Where's her 
grace ? 

Prin. Thy news, Boyet ? 

Boyet. Prepare, madam, prepare ! 
Arm, wenches, arm ! encounters mounted are 
Againfl your peace : Love doth approach difguis'd, 
Armed in arguments ; you'll be furpris'd : 
Mufter your wits ; Hand in your own defence ; 
Or hide your heads like cowards, and fly hence. 

Prln. Saint Dennis to St. Cupid 9 ! What are they, 
That charge their breath againft us ? fay, fcout, fay. 

It is plain from all this, that the nonfenfe of per taunt-like, fliould 
be read, portent-tike, i. e. I would be his fate ordeftiny, and, like 
z. portent, hang over, and influence his fortunes, for portents were, 
not only thought to forebode, but to influence* So the Latins called 
a perfon deftined to bring mifchief, fatale portentuxi. 

Mr. Theobald reads : 

So pedant-//^' JOHNSON. 

8 None arcfo, &c.] Thefe are obfervations worthy of a man 
who has furveyed human nature with the cloleft attention. 


9 Saint Dennis, to faint Cupid '. The princefs of France in- 
vokes, with too much levity, the patron of her country, to op- 
pofe his power to that of Cupid. JOHNSO.V, 



Boyet. Under the cool made of a fycamore, 
I thought to clofe my eyes fomc half an hour : 
When, lo ! to interrupt my purpos'd reft, 
Toward that fliade I might behold addreit 
The king and his companions : warily 
I ftole into a neighbour thicket by, 
And overheard what you mall overhear ; 
That, by and by, difguis'd they will be here. 
Their herald is a pretty knavifh page, 
That well by heart hath conn'd his embaflage : 
Action, and accent, did they teach him there ; 
Thus mvjl thou fpeak, and thus thy body bear : 
And ever and anon they made a doubt, 
Prefence majeflical would put him out ; 
Jbr, quoth the king, an angel foalt thou fee I 
Tet fear not thou, but fpeak audacioujly : 
The boy reply'd, An angel is not evil ; 
IJhould have feared ker^ had Jhe been a devil. 
With that all laugh'd, and clap'd him on the moulder ; 
Making the bold wag by their praifes bolder. 
One rubb'd his elbow, thus ; and fleer'd, and fwore^ 
A better fpeech was never fpoke before : 
Another, with his finger and his thumb, 
Cry'd, Via ! we will do't, come what will come : 
The third he caper'd, and cry'd, All goes well: 
The fourth turr?d on the toe, and down he fell. 
With that, they all did tumble on the ground, 
With fuch a zealous laughter, fo profound, 
That in this fpleen ridiculous appears *, 
To check their folly, paffion's folemn tears; 

Prin. But what, but what, come they to vifit us ? 

Boyet. They do, they do; and are apparel'd thus, 
Like Mufcovites, or Ruffians : as I guefs % 

* 'Spleen ridiculous ] is, a ridiculous fo. JOHNSON. 

* Like Mufcovitesi or RujKans^ as I guefe."] The fettling com- 
merce in Ruflia was, at that time, a matter that much ingrofled 
the concern and converfation of the publick. There had been 
ieveral embafiics employed thither on that occalion ; and feveral 



Their purpofe is, to parle, to court, and dance ; 
And everyone his love-feat will advance 
Unto his fevejral miftrefs ; which they'll know 
By favours feveral, which they did beflow. 

Prin. And will they fo ? the gallants fhall be 

tafk'd : 

For, ladies, we will every one be mafk'd ; 
And not a man of them fhall have the grace, 
Defpight of fuit, to fee a lady's face. 
Hold, Rofaline, this favour thou fhalt wear ; 
And then the king will court thee for his dear : 
Hold, take thou this, my fweet, and give me thine ; 
So fhall Biron take me for Rofaline, 
And change your favours too ; fo fhall your loves 
Woo contrary, deceiv'd by thefe removes. 

Rof. Come on then ; wear the favours mofl iri 

Kath. But, in this changing, what is your intent ? 

Prin. The effect of my intent is, to crofs theirs : 
They do it but in mocking merriment ; 
And mock for mock is only my intent; 
Their feveral counfels they unbofom fhall 
To loves miflook ; and fo be mock'd withal, 
Upon the next occafion that we meet, 
With vifages difplay'd, to talk, and greet. 

Rof. But fhall we dance, if they defire us to't ? 

Prin. No -, to the death, we will not move a foot : 
Nor to their penn'd fpeech render we no grace ; 
But, while 'tis fpoke, each turn away her face. 

Boyet. Why, that contempt will kill the fpeaker's 

And quite divorce his memory from his part. 

Prin. Therefore I do it; and, I make no doubt^ 
The reft will ne'er come in, if he be out. 

trafts of the manners and fhte of that nation written : fo that a 
maflc of Mufcovites was as good an entertainment to the audience 
of that time, as a coronation has been fince. WAREUSTOX. 

VQL. II. I i There'} 


There's no'fuch fport, as fport by fport o'erthrown;; 
To make theirs ours, and ours none but our own : 
So ihall we flay,, mocking intended game ; 
And they, well mock'd,. depart away with friame. 


Boyet. The trumpet founds;, be mafk'd, the mafkers 
come. \*he ladies mqjlt. 

Enter the King, Biron? Longaville r and Dumain, dif- 
guifed like Mvfcovitcs ; Moth with mttflcky &c. 

Moth. All bail, the richeft beauties on the earth ! 

Boyet.. Beauties no richer than rich taffata 3 . 

Moth. A holy parcel of the fair eft dames , 

[ The ladles turn their backs to him* 
'That ever turned their backs to mortal views* 

Biron. Their eyes? villain,, their eyes. 

Moth, l&at ever ti/rtfd their eyes to mortal views f 

Boyet. True ; out,, indeed. 

Moth. Out of your favour s r . heavenly fp'mts^ vouch- 

fofi . 
Not to behold 

Biron. Once to behold^ rogue. 
Moth. Once to behold with your fun-beamed eyes* 
With your fun-beamed eyes 

Boyet. They will not anfvver to that epithet ;. 
You were beft call it daughter-beamed eyes. 

Moth. They do not mark me, and that brings me 

3 Beauties,, no richer than rii-h tajfata.*'] i. e. the taffata malks 
they wore to conceal themlelves. All the editors concur to give 
this line to Biron ; but, furely, very abfurdly .- for he's one of 
the zealous admirers, and hardly would make fuch an inference. 
Boyet is Iheering at the parade of their addreis, is in the fecret 
of the ladies' ftratagem, and makes himfelf fport at the abfurdity 
of their proem, in complimenting their beauty, when they were 
maflc'd. It therefore comes from him with the utmoft propriety. 


i Riron*. 


Biron. Is this your perfe&nefs ? be gone, you 

Rof. What would thefe ftrangers ? know their. 

minds, Boyet: 

if they do fpeak our language, 'tis our will 
That fome plain man recount their purpofes. : 
Know what they would. 

Boyet. What would you with the' princefs ? 
Biron. Nothing but peace, and gentle vifitation.' 
Rof. What would they, fay they ? 
Boyet. Nothing but peace and gentle vifitation. 
Rof. Why, that they have ; and bid them fo be 

Boyet. She fays, you have it, and you may be 


King. Say to her, we have meafur'd many miles, 
To tread a meafure with her on this grafs. 

Boyet. They fay, that they have meafur'd many a 

To tread a meafure with you on this grafs. 

Rof. It is not fo : A ft. them, how many inches 
Is in one mile : if they have meafur'd many, 
The meafure then of one is eafily told. 

Boyet. If, to come hither you have meafur'd miles, 
And many miles ; the princefs bids you teil, 
How many inches do fill up one mile. 

Biron. Tell her, we meafure them by weary fteps.' 
Boyet. She hears herfelf. 
Rof. How many weary fteps, 
Of many weary miles you have o'ergone, 
Are number'd in the travel of one mile ? 

Biron* We number nothing that we fpend for you; 
Our duty is fo rich, fo infinite, 
That we may do it ftill without accompt. 
Vouchfafe to iliew the funihine of your faccj 
That we, like favages, may worfhip it. 

Rof. My face is but a moon, and clouded too. 
King. BlefTcd are clouds, to do as fuch clouds do ! 
I i 2 Vouch- 


Vouchfafe, bright moon, and thefe * thy ftars, tQ 

(Thofe clouds remov'd) upon our watery eyne. 

Rof. O vain petitioner ! beg a greater matter ; 
Thou now requeft'ft but moon-fhine in the water. 
King. Then in our meafure do but vouchfafe one 

change : 

Thou bid'ft me beg ^ this begging is not flrange. 
Rof. Play, mufickj then : Nay, you muft do it 


Not yet i-*~ no dance : thus change I like the moon. 
King. Will you not dance ? How come you thus 

eftrang'd ? 
Rof. You took the moon at full ; but now ihe's 


King. Yet {till Ihe is the moon, and I the man. 
The mufick plays ; vouchfafe fome motion to it. 
Rof. Our ears vouchfafe it. 
King. But your legs Ihould do it. 
Rof. Since you are ftrangers, and come here by 


We'll not be nice : take hands ; we will not dance. 
King. Why take you hands then ? 
Rof. Only to part friends : 
Court'fy, fweet hearts ; and fo the meafure ends. 
King. More meafure of this meafure ; be not nice. 
Rof. We can afford no more at fuch a price. 
King. Prize yourfelves then ; What buys your 

company ? 

Rof. Your abfence only. 
King. That can never be. 

Rof. Then cannot we be bought : And fo adieu ; 
Twice to your vifor, and half once to you ! 

King. If you deny to dance, let's hold more chat. 

+ Voucbfafe, bright moon, and tbefe thy jlars> ' ] When 

queen Elizabeth aiked an ambaflador how he liked her ladies, It 
faid he, to fudge ofjiars in the prefcvce of the fun. 




Rof. In private than. 

King. I am belt pleas'd with that. 

Biron. White-handed miftrefs, one fweet word with 

Prin. Honey, and milk, and fugar ; there is. thretf 

Biron. Nay then, two treys, (an if you grow fo 


Metheglin, wort, and malmfey; Well run, dice! 
There's half a dozen fweets. 

Prin. Seventh fweet, adieu ! 
Since you can cog 5 , I'll play no more with you, 

Biron. One word in fecret. 

Prin. Let it not be fweet. 

Biron. Thou griev'ft my gall. 

Prin. Gall ? bitter. 

Biron. Therefore meet. 

Dum. Will you vouchfafe with me to change a 
word ? 

Mar. Name it. 

Dum. Fair lady, 

Mar. Say you fo ? Fair lord, 
Take that for your fair lady. 

Dum. Pleafe it you, 
As much in private, and I'll bid adieu. 

Kath. What, was your vifor made without a 
tongue ? 

Long. I know the reafon, lady, why you afk. 

Kath. O, for your reafon ! quickly, Sir ; I long. 

Long. You have a double tongue within your 

And would afford my fpeechlefs vizor half. 

Kath. Veal, quoth the Dutchman ; Is not veal a 

Long. A calf, fair lady ? 

Kath. No, a fair lord calf. 

Long. Let's part the word. 

5 Since you can cog, M j To cng, fignifies to falfcfy tie dice t 
apd tofaijify a narrative^ or to lye. JOHNSON, 

I i 


KatJj. No, I'll not be your half : 
Take all, and wean it ; it may prove an ox. 

Long. Look, how you butt yourfelf in thefe iliarp 

mocks ! 
Will you give horns, chafte lady ? do not fo. 

Katb. Then die a calf, before vour horns do grow, 
Long. One word in private with you, ere I die. 
Katb. Bleat foftly then, the butcher hears you cry* 
Boyet. The tongues of mocking wenches are as 


As is the razor's edge invifible, 
Cutting a fmaller hair than may be feen ; 
Above the fenfe of fenfe : fo fenfible 
Seemeth their conference; their conceits have wings, 
Fleeter than arrows, bullets, wind, thought, fwifter 

Rvf. Not one word more, my maids ; break off, 

break off. 

Biron.' By heaven, all dry-beaten with pure feoff! 

King. Farewel, mad wenches ; you have fimple 

wits. \_Excunt king y and lords* 

Pr'm. Twenty adieus, my frozen Muscovites. 

Are thefe the breed of wits fo wondred at ? 

Boyet. Tapers they are, with your fweet breaths 

pufFd out. 
Rof, Well-liking wits 6 they have ; grofs, grofs ; 

fat, fat. 

Prin. O poverty in wit, kingly-poor flout ! 
Will they not, think you, hang themfelves to night? 

Or ever, but in vizors, fhew their faces ? 
This pert Biron was out of countenance quite. 
Rof. O ! they were all in lamentable cafes ! 
The king was weeping-ripe for a good word. 
Prin. Biron did fwear himfelf out of all fuit. 
Mar. Dumain was at my fervicc, and his fvvord : 

6 Well-liking wits] Jfell-Uking is the fame as embonpoint. So, 

in Job ch. xxxix. v. 4. " Their young ones are in good- 

liking" STEEVBXS, 



No, point, quoth I ; my fcrvant ftrait was mute. 

Katb. Lord Longaville (aid, I came o'er his heart; 
And trow you, what he call'd me ? 

Prin. Qualm, perhaps. 

Katb. Yes, in good faith. 

Prin. Go, ficknefs as thou art ! 

Rof. Well, better wits have worn plain flatute- 

caps 7 . 
But will you hear? the king is my love fworn. 

Prin. And quick Biron hath plighted faith to me. 

Katb, And Longaville was for my fervice born. 

Mar. Dumain is mine, as fure as bark on tree. 

7 better ivits have ivorn plain Jlaitite-caps.] This line is 

not univerfally underilood, becauie every reader docs not know 
that a iVatute cap is part ot the academical habit. Lady Rofa- 
line declares that her expectation was difappointed by thef'e courtly 
itudents, and that letter ivits might be found in the common 
phices or" education. JOEXSOX. 

Rof. Well, letter ivits have ivorn plain Jlatute-cap\t\ Woollen caps 
were enjoined by aft of parliament, in the year 1^71, the i3th 
of queen Elizabeth. ** Belides the bills patted into acts this parlia- 
ment, there was one which I judge not amifs to be taken notice 
of it concerned the queen's care for employment for her poor 
lort of fubje&o. It was for continuance of making and wearing 
woollen caps, in behalf of the trade of cappers ; providing, that 
all above the age of fix years, (except the nobility and fome 
others) Ihould onfallatb days and holy Jays, wear caps of wool, 
knit, thicked, and dreft in England, upon penalty of ten groats." 

This act may account for the diftinguiihing mark of Mother 
Red-cap. I have obierved that mention is made of this lign by 
fome of our ancient pamphleteers and playwritcrs, as rar back 
as the date of the act referred to by Dr Gray. If that your 
cap be wool became a proverbial faying. So, in Hans Beer- 
pot, a comedy, 1618: 

" You fhall not flinch ; if that your cap le ivool, 
" You fhull along." STEEVENS. 

I think my own interpretation of this pafluge is right. 


Probably the meaning is letter ivits may le foinul among 
tl-e citi^a:.', who are not in general remarkable for tallies of ima- 
gination, la Marflyn's Dutch Courtezan, 1605, MfSv Mulltgrub 

lays, "though rny hufoand be a citizen, and his cap's maJe 

i\f H>W, yet I have wit." Again, in the Family af Love, 1608: 
" 'i'is a. ia>v cnu&ed by the common-council of Jiatutc-caps." 

I i 4 Boy:?. 


Boyet. Madam, and pretty miftrefles, give car : 
Immediately they will again be here 
In their own fhapes ; for it can never be, 
They will digefl this harfh indignity. 

Pnn. 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 fweet rofes in this fummer air. 

Prin. How, blow ? how blow ? fpeak to be un~ 

Boyet. 8 Fair ladies, mafk'd, are rofes in their bud ; 


* Fair ladies, majtfd, are rofes in their bud ; 

Difmajk'd, their damajk fwcct commixture Jhcwn, 
Are angels vailing clouds, or rofes blown. ~\ 

This ftrange nonfenfe, made worfe by the jumbling together arul 
tranfpoling the lines, I directed Mr. Theobald to read thus : 
Fair ladies majked are rofes in their hud : 
Or angels veii'dln clouds : are rofes blown, 
DiftnajVd, their damajk facet conimixture Jkewn. 
But he, willing to ihevv how well he could improve a thought, 
would print it : 

Or angel-veiling clouds 

i. e, clouds which veil angels : and by this means gave us, as the 
old proverb fays, a cloud for a Juno. It was Shakefpeare's pur- 
pofe 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 fay a lucky one. However, I fuppoied the poet could never 
be fo nonfenfical as to compare a majked lady to a cloud, though 
he might compare her mafk to one. The Oxford editor, who had 
the advantage both of this emendation and criticifm, is a great 
deal more iubtile and refined, and fays it fhouhl not be 

angels veil'd in clouds, 

angels vailing clouds, 

i. e. capping the fun as they go by him, juft as a man vails his 
bonnet. WAR EUR TON. 

I know not why fir T. Hanmer's explanation fhould be treated 
with fo much contempt, or why vailing clouds (hould be capping 
thv fun. Ladies unmajtfd, fays Boyet, are like angels vailing 
clouds, or letting thofe clouds which obfcured their brightnefs, 
link from before them. What is there in this abfurd or con- 
temptible ? JOHNSON. 

Holinfhed's Hijiory of Scotland, p. 91. fays: " The Britains 
began to aval: the hills where.they had lodged." i.e. they began 


Difmafk'd, their damafk fweet commixture fhewn, 
Are angels vailing clouds, or rofes blown. 

Prin. Avaunt, perplexity ! What fhall we do, 
If they return in their own fhapes to woo ? 

Rof. Good madam, if by me you'll be advis'd, 
Let's mock them ftill, as well known, as difguis'd : 
Let us complain to them what fools were here, 
Difguis'd like Mufcovites, infhapelefs gear 9 ; 
And wonder, what they were ; and to what end 
Their fhallow fhows, and prologue vilely penn'd, 
And their rough carriage fo ridiculous, 
Should be prefented at our tent to us. 

Boyet. Ladies, withdraw ; the gallants are at hand. 

Prin. Whip to our tents, as roes run o'er the land. 

[Exeunt ladies \ 

JLnter the King-, Biron, Longavilk* and Dumain in their 
own habits. 

King. Fair Sir, God fave you ! Where's the prin- 

cefs ? 

Boyet. Gone to her tent : Pleafc it your majefty, 
Command me any fervice to her ? 

King. That ihe vouchfafe me audience for one word. 

to defcend the hills, or come down from them to meet their ene- 
mies. If Shakefpeare ules the word vailing in this fenie, the 
meaning is Angels delcending from clouds which concealed 
their beauties ; but Dr. Johnfon's expofition may be better. 


To avqle comes from the Fr. aval [Terme de batelier] Down, 
downward, down the flream. So, in the French Romant de la 
JRofe, 1415 : 

" Leaue aloit aval enfaifant 
" Son melodieux et plaiiant." 

Again, in Laneham's Narrative of .Vueen Elizabeth's Entertain* 
meat at Kenclwartb-CaJllc, 1575 : " - as on a fea-fhore when 
the water is avaiVd." STEF.VEXS. 

9 -- fhapelefs gear;] Shapelcfi, for uncouth, or what 
Shakefpeare elfewhere calls JiffufeJ. WARBURTOX. 

* Exeunt Ladies.'} Mr. Theobald ends the fourth aft here. 



Boyet. I will ; and fo will Ihe, I know, p 

Biron. This fellow picks up wit, as pigeons peL j ; 

And utters it again, when Jove doth pleafe : 

He is wit's pedlar ; and retails his wares 

At wakes, and waffds , meetings, markets, fairs ; 

And we that fell by grofs, the Lord doth know, 

Have not the grace to grace it with fuch Ihow. 

This gallant pins the wenches on his fleeve ; 

Had he been Adam, he had tempted Eve : 

He can carve too, and lifp : Why, this is he, 

That kifs'd away his hand in courtefy ; 

This is the ape of form, monfieur the nice, 

That, when he plays at tables, chides the dice 

In honourable terms ; nay, he can fing 

A mean moft meanly 4 ; and, in ufhering, 

Mend him who can.: the ladies call him, fweet ; 

The flairs, as he treads on them, kifs his feet : 

This is the flower that fmiles on every one s , 

To Ihew his teeth as white as whale his bone : 


* -as pigeons pf as;'} This expreffion is proverbial: 
*' Children pick up words as pigeons peas ^ 

" And utter them again as God fhall pleafe." 
See Ray's Colleftion. STEEVENS. 

3 wafTels,] WaJJch were meetings of ruflic mirth and in- 
temperance. So, in Antony and Cleopatra : 

" Antony, 

" Leave thy lafcivious ivajfels" STEEVEXS. 

* A mean moft meanly ; &c.] The mean, in mufic, is the tenor. 
So, Bacon : " The treble cutteth the air fo (harp, as it returneth 
too fwift to make the found equal ; and therefore a mean or 
tenor is the fweeteit." 

Again, in Herod and Antlpater, 1622 : 

" Thus fing we defcant on one plain-fong, kill ; 

" Four parts in one, the mean excluded quite." 
Again, in Drayton's Barons' Wars, Cant. iii. 

*' The bafe and treble married to the mean" STEKVENS. 
s Tins is the flower, that fmiles en frery onc^} The broken dif- 
jointed metaphor is a fault ill writing. But in order to pa's a 
true judgment on this fault, it is ililUo be obferved, that when 
2. metaphor is grown fo common as to defert, as it were, the figu- 


And confciences, that will not die in debt, 
Pay him the due of honey-tongued Boyet. 

rative, and to be received into the common ftyle, then what may- 
be affirmed of the thing reprefented, or ihefiibjlance, may be af- 
firmed of the thing reprefenting, or the image. To illuftrate this 
by the intfance before us, a very complaifant, finical, over-gra- 
cious peribn, was fo commonly called the^-twr, or, as he elfe- 
where expreffes it, the fink of courtefy, that in common talk, or 
in the lowed ftyle, this metaphor might be ufed without keeping 
up the image, but any thing affirmed of it as an agnomen : hence it 
might be laid, without oftence, to Jhiile, to flatter, &c. And the 
rcafon is this ; in the more Iblemn, lefs-ufed metaphors, our mind 
is fo turned upon the image which the metaphor conveys, that it 
expects this image fliould be, for fome little time, continued by 
terms proper to keep it in view. And if, for want of thefe terms, 
the image be no {boner prefented than difmified, the mind fuffers 
a kind of violence by being drawn oft" abruptly and unexpe&edlv 
from its contemplation. Hence it is, that the broken, disjointed, 
and mixed metaphor fo much fnocks us. But when it is once be- 
come worn and hacknied by common ufe, then even the very firil 
mention of it is not apt to excite in us the representative image ; 
but brings immediately before us the idea of the thing repreient- 
ed. And then to endeavour to keep up and continue the bor- 
rowed ideas, by right adapted terms, would have as ill an effect 
on the other hand : becaule the mind is already gone off from the 
image to the Jubilance. Grammarians would tlo well to conlider 
what has been here laid, when they let upon amending Greek and 
Roman writings. For the much -ufed hacknied metaphors being 
now very imperfectly known, great care is required not to at in 
this cafe temerariouily. WAR BUR TON. 

This is tbc Jlowei' that j'miles OK eveiy one, 
Tojbew his tcctb as white as whale bis bone.~\ 

As white as whale's bone is a proverbial companion in the old poets. 
In the Faery Queen, b. iii. c. i. ft. 15 : 

" Whole face did feem as clear as cryftal ftone, 
" And eke, through feare,. as white as whales lone" 
And in Turberville's Poems, printed iu the year 1570, is an ode 
^titled, " la Pralfe of Lady P." 

" Her n.outh fo fmall, her teeth fo white, 

" As any whale his bone ; 
" Her lips'without fo lively red, 
" That pafle the corall Itone." 
And in /-. Surrey, fol. 14. edit. 11:67 : 

" I m:ght perceive a wolf, as wLlfe as whales lone, 
" A fairer bealt of frtflier hue, beheld I never none.'* 



King. A bliftcr on his fweet tongue, with my 

That put Armado's page out of his part ! 

Enter ike Princefc, Rofatine, Maria y Katharine* Ecyet^ 
and attendants. 

Birofi. See, where it comes ! -Behaviour, what 

wert thou 6 , 
'Till this mad man Ihew'd thee ? and what art thou 

now ? 
King. All hail, fweet madam, and fair time of day ! 

Again, in the old romance of Syr Degore : 

'' The kyng had no chyldren but one, 
*' A daughter, as white as whales bone" 

Skelton joins the whales bone with the brighteft precious ftones, la 
slefcribing the pofition of Pallas : 

" A hundred fleppes mounting to the halle, 
" One of jafper, another of -whales bone ; 
*' Of diamantes, pointed by the rokky walle." 

Crowne of L,awrell, p. 24. edit. 1736. WAR TON, 

It fliould be remember'd that fome of our ancient writers fup- 

fjofed ivory to be part of the bones of a whale. The fame fimiJe 

occurs in the old black letter romance of Syr Eglamvure of Ay- 

toys, no date : 

' * ' The erle had no chylde but one, 

" A mayden as white as whales bone." 
Again, " That a fayre fonne had Chryftabell, 

** As wtyte as whales bone." 
Again, in the ancient metrical romance oSyrIfenbras,\A. 1. no date; 

" His wyfe as white as whales bone" 
^orain, in the Squhr of Low Degree, bl. 1. no date : 

" Lady as white as w/:-ales bone" 
Again, in Nafh's Lenten Stuff, &c. 1599: 

** his herrings which were tuvobiteastubahs bone, Sec." 
We fliould, however, read whales bone, the Saxon genitive cafe, 
and not whale his bone as it is here printed. So, in the Miafina* 
pier Night's Dream : 

" Swifter than the moones fphere." STEEVEXS. 
f> JSehaviour y what wert thou, 

*7Y// this man jhew'd thcc ? and what art thott now ? 
Thefe are two wonderfully fine lines, intimating that what courts 
call manners,* and value themfelves fo much upon teaching, as a 
thing no where elfe to be learnt, is a modeft lilent accomplifhment 
under the direction ot nature and common fenfe, which does its- 
cffice in promoting focial life without being taken notice of. But 



Prln. Fair, in all hail, is foul, as I conceive. 
King. Conftrue my fpeeches better, if you may, 
Prin. Then wiih me better, I will give you leave. 
King. We came to vifit you ; and purpofe now 
To lead you to our court : vouchfafe it then. 
Prin. This field ihall hold me ; and Ib 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 rriuft break my oath 7 . 
Prin. You nick-name virtue; vice you ihould 

have fpoke ; 

For virtue's office never breaks men's troth. 
Now, by my maiden honour, yet as pure 

As the unfully'd lily, I proteft, 
A world of torments though I fliould endure, 

I Would not yield to be your houfe's gueft : 
S6 much I hate a breaking caufe to be 
Of heavenly oaths, vow'd with integrity. 
King. O, you have liv'd in defolation here, 
Unfeen, unvifited, much to our fliame. 
Prin. Not fo, my lord ; it is not fo, I fwear ; 

We have had paftimes here, and pleafant game ; 
A mefs of Ruffians left us but of late. 

that when it degenerates into fhevv and parade, it becomes an un- 
manly contemptible quality. WAR BURTON. 

What is told in this note is undoubtedly true, but is not com- 
prifed in the quotation. JOHNSON. 

1 The virtue of your eye muft break my oatb.~[ Common fenfc 
requires us to read : 

made break my oath, 

\: e. made me. And then the reply is pertinent.- It was the 

force ot your beauty that made me break my oath, therefore you 
ought not to upbraid me with a crime which you yourielf was the 
caufe oh WARBURTON. 

I believe the author means that the virtue, in which word 
goodnefs and power are both comprifed, mufl dijjblve the obliga- 
tion of the oath. The princefs, in her anfwer, takes the moil 
invidious part of the ambiguity. JOHNSOX. 



King. How, madam ? . Ruffians ? 
. Prin* Ay, in truth, my lord ; 
Trim gallants, full of courtihip, and of 

Rof. Madam, fpeak true : -It is not fo, my lord ; 
My lady, (to the manner of thefe days) 
In courtefy, gives undeferving praife; 
We four, indeed, confronted were with four 
In Ruffian habit : here they itay'd an hour, 
And talked apace ; and in that hour, my lord, 
They did not blefs us with one happy word, 
I dare not call them fools ; but this I think, 
When they are thirty, fools would fain have drink* 

Blron* This jeft is dry to me. Fair, gentle, fweety 
Your wit makes wife things foolilh : when we greet * 
With eyes beft feeing heaven's fiery eyej 
By light we lofe light : Your capacity 
Is of that nature, that to your huge flore 
Wife things feem fqolifh, and rich things but poof* 

Rof This proves you wife and rich ; for in my 

Blron.' I am a fool> and full of poverty* 

Rof. But that you take what doth to you belong^ 
It were a fault to (hatch words from my tongue. 

Blron. O, I am yours, and all that I poilefs. 

Rof. All the fool mine ? 

Biron. I cannot give you lefs. 

Rof. Which of the vizors was it, that you wore ? 

Biron, Where ? when ? what vizor ? why demand 
you this ? 

Rof. There, then, that vizor ; that fuperfluous cafe, 
That hid the worfe, and fhew'd the better face. 

JCmgt We are delcry'd ; they'll mock us now down 

Ditm. Let us cohfefs, and turn it to a jeft. 

Prin. Amaz'd, my lord ? Why looks your high* 
nefs fad ? 

* when we greet &c.] This is a very lofty and elegant 

compliment* JOHNSON/ 



JRojl Help,' hold his brows ! he'll fwoon ! Why look 

you pale r 
Sea-fick, I think, coming from Mufcovy. 

Biron. Thus ponr the ftars down plagues for perjury. 

Can any face of brafs hold longer out ? 
Here ftand I, lady , dart thy Ikill at me ; 

Bruifo me with fcorn, confound me with a flout ; 
Thruft thy fliarp wit-quite through my ignorance ; 

Cut me. to pieces with thy keen conceit ; 
And I will wilh thee never more to dance, 
Nor never more in Ruffian habit wait. 

! never will I truft to fpeeches penn'd, 

Nor to the motion of a fchool-boy's tongue; 
Nor never come in vizor to my friend ; 

Nor woo in rhime, like a blind harper's fong " 
Taffata phrafes, filken terms precife, 

Three-pil'd hyperboles 9 , fpruce affectation^ 
Figures pedantical ; thefe fummer-flies 

Have blown me full of maggot oilentation : 

1 do forlvvear them : and I here proteft, 

By this white glove, (how white the hand, GocS 

knows !) 

Henceforth my wooing mind iliall be exprefs'd 
In ruflet yeas, and honeft kerfey noes : 

And to begin, wench, fo God help me, la ! 

My love to thee is found, fans crack or flaw. 
Rof. Sans SANS^ I pray you '. 
Biron. Yet I have a trick 
Of the old rage : bear with me, I am (ick ; 
I'll leave it by degrees. Soft, let us fee ; 

9 Three-pil'd hyperboles,] A metaphor from the pile of velvets 
So, in the Winter's Tale, Auto lye us fays : 

" I have worn three-pile.^ STEEVEXS. 

1 Sans, fans, I pray you.] It is fcarce worth remarking, that 
the conceit 'here is obfcured by the punduation. It fiiould be 
written Sans SANS, i.e. without SANS; without French words: 
an affectation of which Biron had been guilty in the laft line or" 
his fpeech, though juft before he had forfoiorn all affeZlation in 
phr-afes, terms, &c. TYRWHITT. 



Write *, Lord have mercy on us, on thofe three ; 

They are infe&ed, in their hearts it lies ; 

They have the plague, and caught it of your eyes 5 

Thefe lords are vifited ; you are not free, 

For the Lord's tokens on you do I fee. 

Prin. No, they are free, that gave thefe tokens to 

Biron. Our flates are forfeit, feek not to undo 


Rof. It is not fo ; For how can this be true % 
That you (land forfeit, being thofe that fue ? . 
Biron. Peace ; for I will not have to do with you, 
Rof. Nor ihall not, if I do as I intend. 
.Biron. Speak for yourfelves, my wit is at an end. 
King. Teach us, fweet madam, for our rude tranf- 

Some fair excufe. 

* Write, &c.] This was the infcription put upon the door of the 
houfes infected with the plague, to which Biron compares the love 
of himfelf and his companions ; and purfuing the metaphor finds 
the tokens likewife on the ladies. The tokens of the plague are the 
firft fpots or difcolorations, by which the infection is known to 
be received. JOHNSON. 
So, in Hiftriomajlix, 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 flamp'd on them to make them known, 
*' More dreadful than the bills that preach the plague." 
Again, in Antony and Cleopatra : 

. . " On our fide, like the token* d peflilence." 
Again, in Two wife Men and all the reft Fools, 1619: 

" A will and a tolling bell are as prefent death as Gael's tokens* 

So, in Sir T'bo. Overlury's Characters, 1632 : 

" Lord have mercy on us may well fland over their doors, fot 
debt is a moft dangerous wxy pejiilcnce" MALONE. 
3 how can this be true^ 

Yhat ytu.lbould forfeit, being thofe that fue ? ~] 
That is, how can thofe be liable to forfeiture that begin the pra- 
cefs. The jeil lies in the ambiguity of fue, which fignifies to fro- 
fecute by la'Wy or to effer a petition. JOHNSON, 



'Prin. The faireft is confeffion. 
Were you not here, but even now^ difguis'd ? 

King. Madam, I was. 

Prin. And were you well advis'd ? 

King. I was, fair madam. 

Prin. When you then were here, 
What did you whilper in your lady's ear ? 

King. That more than all the world I did refpecther. 

Prin. When fhefhall challenge this, you will reject 

King. Upon mine honour, no. 

Prin. Peace, peace, forbear ; 
Your oath broke once, you force not to forfwear *. 

King. Defpife me, when I break this oath of mine. 

Prin. I will ; and therefore keep it : Rofaline, 
What did the Ruffian whilper in your ear ? 

Rof. Madam, he fwore, that he did hold me dear 
As precious eye-fight ; and did value me 
Above this world : adding thereto, moreover, 
That he would wed me, or elfe die my lover. 

Prin. God give thee joy of him ! the noble lord 
Moft honourably doth uphold his word. 

King. What mean you, madam? by my life, my troth, 
I never fwore this lady fuch an oath. 

Rof. By heaven, you did ; and to confirm it plain, 
You gave me this : but take it, fir, again. 

King. My faith, and this, the princefs I did give; 
I knew her by this jewel on her fleeve. 

Prin. Pardon me, fir y this jewel did (he wear; 
And lord Biron, I thank him, is my dear : 
What ; will you Have me, or your pearl again ? 

Biron. Neither of either ; I remit both twain. -^- 

* you force not to forpivear.] 1'ou force not is the fame 

VJ\t\\you make no difficulty. This is a very juft obfervation. The 
crime which has been once committed, i? committed again with 
lefs reluctance. JOHVSO.NT. 

So, in Warner's Albiorfi England, b. x. ch. 59 : 

" he/inft/not to Jhidehow he did err." STEEVEXS. 

VOL. II, K k I fee 


I fee the trick on't ; Here was a confent 5 , 

(Knowing aforchand of our merriment) 

To dafh it like a Chriftmas comedy : 

Some carry -tale, fome pleafe-man, fome flight zany % 

Some mumble -news, fome trencher -knight, fome 

Dick, . 

That fmiies his cheek in years 7 ; and knows the trick 
To make my lady laugh, when flie's difpos'd, 
Told our intents before : which once difclos'd, 
The ladies did change favours ; and then we, 
Following the figns, woo'd but the fign of me. 
Now, to our perjury to add more terror, 
We are again forfworn ; in will, and error *. 
Much upon this it is : And might not you [To Eoyet. 

5 a confent,] i. e. a conf piracy. So, in K. Henry VI. Part I : 

" the ftars 

" That have confcntedto king Henry's death." STLEVENS.. 

6 ---zany,'] A zany is a buffoon, a merry Andrew, a grois 
mimic. So, in Antonio's Revenge, 1602: 

" Laughs them to fcorn, as man doth bufy apes, 
" When they will zany men." STEEVENS. 

7 jmiles his cheek ///.years'; Mr. Theobald fnys, he 

cannot for his heart, comprehend thefcnfe of this phrafe. It was not 
his heart but his head that flood in his way. In years, lignifies, 
into wrinkles. So, in Ths- Merchant of fcnice : 

" With mirth and laughter let old wrinckles come" 

Seethe note on that line. But the Oxford editor was in the 

fame cafe,, and fo alters it tojteers. WAR BURTON. 

Webftery in his DutcheJJe of Malfy, makes Caftruchio declare 
of his lady : " She cannot endure merry company, for flie fays 
much laughing fills her too full of the wrinckle,"' FARMER. 
Again, in Lingua,, or- the Combat of the Tongue, &c. 1 607 : 

" That light and quick, with wrinkled laughter painted.'* 
Again, in Twelfth Night : " he dothy/;;//^ his cheek into more 
lines than is in the new map,. &c." 

8 i in will, and error. 

Much upon this it is : - And tnigbt not you] ^ 
I. believe this pailage fhould 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. firft in will, and afterwards in error. 




Foreflal our fport, to make us thus untrue ? 
Do not you know my lady's foot 9 by the fquier, 

And laugh upon the apple of her eye ? 
And ftand between her back, fir, and the fire, 

Holding a trencher, jefting merrily ? 
You put our page out : Go, you are allow'd ' ; 
Die when you will, a fmock fhall be your fhrowd. 
You leer upon me, do you ? there's an eye, 
Wounds like a leaden fword. 

Boyet. Full merrily 
Hath this brave manage, this career, been run. 

Biron* Lo,heistiltingftraight! Peace; I have done, 

Enter Coftard. 

Welcome, pure wit ! thou parteft a fair fray. 

Cqft-. O Lord, fir, they would know, 
Whether the three worthies iliall come in, or no* 

Biron. What, are there but three ? 

Coft, No, fir ; but it is very fine, 
For every one purfents three. 

Biron. And three times thrice is nine. 

Cqft. Not fo, fir ; under correction, fir ; I hope, it 

is not fo : 
You cannot beg us % fir, I can allure you, fir ; we know 

what we know : 
I hope, fir, three times thrice, fir, 

Biron. Is not nine. 

9 ly t/je/;/rt:er,'] Efyuierre, French, a rule, or fqnart. 

The fenfe is nearly the fame as that of the proverbial expreilion 
in our own language, he hath got the length of her foot ; i. e. he hath 
humoured her to long that he can pei iuade her to what he pleafes. 


4 Go, you art allow* d ; ] i.e. you may fay what you will ; 

you are a licenfed tool, a common jefter. So, in Twelfth Night: 
" There is nojlaKcler in an ailow'd/W." WAR BURTON. 

a Ton cannot beg us, ] That is, we are not fools ; our nct 

relations cannot be? the wardftiip of our perfons and fortunes. 
One of the legal tefts of a natural'^ to try whether he can number. 


K k a Ccft. 


Coft. Under correction, fir, we know whereuntil it 
doth amount. 

Biron. By Jove, I always took three threes for nine. 
Coft. O Lord, fir, it were pity -you fhouid get your 
living by reckoning, fir. 
Biron. How much is it ? 

Coft. O Lord, fir, the parties themfelves, the actors, 
fifj will {hew whereuntil it doth amount : for my own 
part, I am, as they fay, but to parfect one man in one 
poor man ; Pompion the great, fir. 
Biron. Art thou one of. the worthies ? 
Coft. It pleafed 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 ftand for 
him J . 

Biron. Go, bid them prepare. 

Coft. We will turn it finely off, fir; we will take fome 


King. Biron, they will {hame us, let them not ap- 
proach. [Exit Cojlard. 
Biron. We are {hame-proof, my lord : and 'tis fome 


To have one {how worfe than the king's and his com- 

King. I fay, they {hall not come. 
Prln. Nay, my good lord, let me o'er-rule you now ; 
That fport beft pleafes, that doth leaft know how 4 : 


3 1 know not the degree of tbt worthy, &c.] This is a flroke of 
fatire which, to this hour, has loft nothing of its force. Few 
performers are felicitous about the hiftory of the character they 
are to reprefent. STEEVENS. 

* That fport beft pleafes , ivbicb dotb leaft know bow ; 
Where zialjirives to content, and the contents 
Dies in the zeal of that ivbicb it prefciitSj 
There form y &c. 
The third Hne may be read better thus : 

the contents 

Die in the zeal of him ivbicb them prefents. 
This fenthnent of the Princefs is very natural, but Icfs generous 



Where zeal flrives to content, and the contents 
Dies in the zeal of that which it prefents, 
There form confounded makes moft form in mirth ; 
When great things labouring perilh in their birth. 
Biron. A right defcription of our fport, my lord. 

Enter Armado s . 

Arm. Anointed, I implore fo much expence of thy 
royal fweet breath as will utter a brace of words. 

[Converfes apart with the King. 

Prin. Doth this man ferve God ? 

Biron. Why alk you ? 

Prin. He fpeaks not like a man of God's making. 

Arm. That's all one, my fair, fweet, honey monarch : 
for, I proteft, the fchopl-mafter is exceeding fantaf- 
tical ; too, too vain ; top, top vain : But we will 
put it, as they fay, tofbrtuna delta guerra. I wifti you 
the peace of mind, moft royal couplement i 

King. Here is like to be a good prefence of wor- 
thies : He prefents Hector of Troy ; the fwain, Pom- 
pey the great ; the parifh curate, Alexander ; Arma- 
do's page, Hercules; the pedant, Judas Macchabaeus. 
And if thefe four worthies 6 in their firft ihow thrive, 
Thefe four will change habits, and prefent the other 

Biron. There is five in the firft ihow. 

King. You are deceiv'd, 'tis not fo. 

than that of the Amazonian Queen, who fays, on a like occafion, 

in the Midfummer-Nigbt's Dream : 

" I love not to fee vjretchednefi o'erchargJ^ 

" Nor duty in bis fer-vice periling " JOHNSON. 

5 Enter Armado.] The old copies read Enter Braggart. 


6 And If thefe four worthies &c.] Thefe two lines might have 
been defigned as a ridicule on the concluiion of ScHmus, a tra- 
gedy, 1594-: 

" If this firft part, gentles, do like you well, 
" The fecond part fhall greater murders tell." 


K k 3 Biron. 


i-on. The pedant, the braggart, the hedgc-prieft, 
the fool, and the boy : 

A bare throw at novum 7 ; and the whole world again, 
Cannot prick 8 out five fuch, take each one in his vein. 
King. The Ihip is under fail, and here Ihe comes 

[Pageant of the Nine Worthies 9 . 


1 A bare throw at novum, ] This paffage I do not under- 
ftand. I fancy that novitm fhould be novem, and that fome allulion 
is intended between the play of nine-fins and the play of the nine 
worthies, but it lies too deep for my inveftigation. JOHNSON. 

Novum (or novem) appears from the following paflage in Green's 
Art of Legerdemain, \ 6 1 ? , to have been fome game at dice : " The 
principal ufe of them (the dice) is at novum, &c." Again, in 
The Bell-man of London, by Decker, $th edit. 1640: "The prin- 
cipal ufe of langrets is at novruu; for fo long as a payre of ba.rd 
eater treas be walking, fo long can you caft neither 5 nor 9 
tor 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 ; fort them yourfelves, either paflage, 
novum, or mum-chance." STEEVENS. 

Novem " a bare throw atnovrm." The former editions read 
novum. Dr. Johnibn retains the old reading, but with great inge- 
nuity conjectures, " novnm fliould be noi-e>n y and the fame allti- 
fion is intended between the play of nine-pins and the play of 
the nine Worthies." There is no neceffity for this emendation ; 
r.ovum was an old game at dice, as appears from a paflage in 
Green's Tu quoque : 

" Scat. - By the hilts of my fword, I have loft forty crowns, 
in as fmall time almoft as a man might tell it. 

" Spend. Change your game for dice, we are a full number for 
" See Dodf. Old Pla\--, vol, iii. p. 31. HAWKINS. 

8 Cannot prick out, &c.] Dr. Gray propofes to read, pick out. 
So, in K.HcK. IV. Part I: "Could the world pick thee out 
three fuch enemies again?" The old reading, however, may be 
right. To prick out, is a phrafe ftill in ufe among gardeners. 
To prick may likewife have reference to vein. STEEVENS. 

9 Pageant of the Nine Worthies.] In MS. Harl. 2097, P-3'* 
is " The order of a fhowe intended to be made Aug. i. 1621." 

" Firft, 2 woodmen &c. i 

*' St. George fighting with th.e dragon. 

*' The 9 worthies in compleat armor with crownes of gould 
en thpir heads, every one having his efquires to beare before him 



Enter Coft ard for Pompey. 

*Cqft. I Pompey am, 

Boyet. You lye, you are not he. 

Coft. IPompeyam, 

Boyet. With libbard's head on knee *.. 

Biron. Well faid, old mocker ; I muft needs be 
friends with thee. 

Coft. 1 Pompey am y Pompey fur named the Big, 

Di'.m. The great. 

Coft. It is great, fir ; Pompeyfurnanfd the great ; 
That oft in field ^ with targe andjhleld y did make my foe to 

fweat : 

And) travelling along this coajl^ I here am come by chance ; 
And lay my arms before the legs of tins fweet lafs of France. 
If your ladyfhip would fay, Thanks, Pompey, I had 

Prin. Great thanks, great Pompey. 

Coft. 'Tis not fo much worth ; but, I hope, I was 
perfect : I made a little fault in, great. 

his flueld and penon of armes, drefled according as thefe lords 
were accuftomcd to be : 3 Affaralits, 3 Infidels, 3 ChrilHans. 

" After them, a Fame, to declare the rare virtues and noble 
deedes of the 9 worthye women." 

Such a pageant as this, we may fuppofe It was the defign of 
Shakefpeare to ridicule. STEEVENS. 

1 With libbard's bead on knee.] This alludes to the old heroic 
habits, which on the knees and fhoulders had ufually, by way of 
ornament, the refemblance of a leopard's or lion's head. 


The lillard^ as fome of the old Englifh gloflaries inform us, is 
the male of ti\z panther. 

This ornament is mentioned in Sir Giles Goofecap, 1606 : 

*' poflet cuppes carv'd with HbbarcTs faces, and lyon's. heads 
with fpouts in their mouths, to let out the poflet-ale molt artifi- 

Again, in the metrical chronicle of Robert dc Brunne: 
" Upon his flioulders a flieldc of ftele, 
" With the 4 liblardes painted wele." STEEVENS.- 

See "Mafquine in Cotgrave's Diflionary : " The repreientation 
of a lyon's head, &c. upon the elbow, or knee of fome old fa- 
(hioned garments." TOLLET. 

K k 4 Biron. 


Biron. My hat to a half-penny, Pompey proves the 
. beft worthy. 

Enter Nathaniel for Alexander. 

Nath.' When in the worldlliv'd, I was the world's 

commander ; 

~ ty soft, weft, north, and fouth, I fpreadmy conquering might; 
My '.fiutcheon-plain declares, that I am Alifander. 

Boyet. Your nofefays, no, you are not ; for it ftands 

too right *. 
Biron. Your nofe fmells, no, in this, naoft tender- 

fmelling knight. 
Prin. The conqueror is difmay'd : Proceed, good 

Nath. When in the world I liv*d, I was the world's 

commander ~ 
Boyet. Moft true, 'tis right ; you were fo, Alifander. 

Biron. Pompey the great, 

..Cnft.. ..Your fervant, and Coftard. 
Biron. Take away the conqueror, take away Ali- 

Coft. O, fir, you have overthrown Alifander the con- 
queror"! [To. Nath.~] You will be fcraped out of the 
painted, for this.; -your lion, that holds his poll- 
ax * fitting on a clofe-ftool, will be given to A-jax ; ; 


* ^itJlandsfiOQ v'rght.] It fhould be remembered, to relifh 
thi$ joke, that the head of Alexander was obliquely placed on his 
fhoulders. STEEVEN^. 

a lion, that holds his poll-ax, fitting on a clofe-fiool,'} Alluding to 

the arms given to the nine worthies in the old hiftory. HANMER. 

This alludes to the arms given in the old hiftory of the Nine 

Worthies, to " Alexander, the which did beare geules, a lion or, 

Jeiante in a chayer, holding a battell-ax argent." Leigh's Acci- 

Jetice af. Armory,- 1597. p. 23. TOLLET. 

3 A-jax ;] There is a conceit of Ajax and a Jakes. JOHNSOK. 
This conceit, paltry as it is, was ufed by Ben Jpnfon, and 
Camden the antiquary. Ben, among his Epigrams, has thefe 
f\yo lines : 

'* And I could wifh, for their eternis'd fakes, 
**, My mufe had plough'd with his that fung A-jax." 



he will then be the ninth worthy. A conqueror, a^d 
afeard to fpeak ! run away for fhame, Alifander. [Exit 
Nath.~] There, an't lhall pleafe you ! a foolifli mild 
man ; an honeft man, look you, and foon dalh'd I 
He is a marvellous good neighbour, infooth ; and a 
very good bowler : but, for Alifander, alas, you fee, 
how 'tis; a little o'er-parted: But there are worthies 
a coming will fpeak their mind in fome other fort. 
Biron. Stand afide, good Pompey. 

Enter Hob/ernes for Judas, and Moth for Hercules. 

Hoi. Great Hercules is prefented by this imp, 

Whofe club kill* d Cerberus, that three-headed cznus z 
And, when he was a babe, a child, a Jhrimp, 

Thus did he Jlr -angle ferpents in his manus : 
Quoniam, he feemeth in minority ; 
Ergo, / come with this apology. 
[To Motb.~] Keep fome ftate in thy exit, and Vanifh. 

Hoi. Judas I am,-~- [Exit Moth* 

Dum. A Judas ! 

Hoi. Not Ifcariot, fir. 
Judas I am, ycleped Macchabxus. 

Dum. Judas Macchabzeus clipt, is plain Judas. 

Biron. A kitting traitor : How art thou prov'd 
Judas ? 

Hoi. Judas I am, 

Dum. The more ftiame for you, Judas* 

Hoi. What mean you, fir ? 

Boyet. To make Judas hang himfelf. 

Hoi. Begin, fir ; you are my elder. 

Biron. Well followed ; Judas was hang'don an elder. 

So, Camden, in his Remains, having mentioned the French word 
pet, fays, * Enquire, if you underftand it not, of Cloacina's chap- 
lains, or fuch as are well read in A-jax." 

Again, in TbeMaftive, &c. a collection of epigrams and fatires : 
no date : 

*' To thee, brave John, my book I dedicate, 
" That wilt, from A-jax with thy force -defend it." 



. Hoi. I will not be put out of countenance. 
Biron. Becaufe thou hafl no face. 
Hoi. What is this ? 
Boyet. A cittern head 4 . 
Dum. The head of a bodkin. 
Biron. A death's face in a ring. 
Long. The face of an old Roman coin, fcarce feen. 
Boyet. The pummel of Caefar's faulchion. 
Dum. The carv'd-bone face on a flaik 5 . 
iron. St. George's half-cheek in a brooch. 
Dum* Ay, and in a brooch of lead. 
Elron. Ay, and worn in the cap of a tooth-drawer : 
And now, forward ; forwe have put thee in countenance. 
HoL You have put me out of countenance. 
Biron. Falfe ; we have given thee faces. 
HoL "But you have out-fac'd them all. 
Biron. An thou wert a lion, we would do fo. 
Boyet. Therefore, as he is, an afs, let him go. 
And fo adieu, fweet Jude ! nay, why doft thou flay ? 
Duni- For the latter end of his name. 
Biron. For the afs to the Jude; give it him: Jud-as, 


Hoi. This is not generous, not gentle,not humble. 
Boyet. A light for monfieur Judas ; it grows dark, 

he may (tumble. 
Prin. Alas, poor Macchabasus, how he hath been 

baited ! 

* A cittern head.] So, in The Fancies, 16-48 : 
** a cittern-headed gew-gaw." Again, in Decker's Match 
me in London, 1631 : " Fiddling on a cittern with a man's bro- 
ken bead 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 fliall wear thee 
on their citterns, &c. STEEVENS. 

5 r>n aflafcJ\ i. e. a foldier's powder-horn. So, in Romeo 
and Juliet : 

" like powder in a fldllefs foldier's/^, 

" Is fet on fire." 
Again, in the Devil's Charter, 1607 : 

*' Keep a light match in. cock ; wear fajk and touch-box." 



Enier Armado, for Heffor. 

Biron. Hide thy head 3 Achilles ; here comes Hec- 
tor in arms. ' 

Dum. Though my mocks come home by me, I 
will now be merry. 

King. Hector was but a Trojan 6 in refpect of this. 

Boyet. But is this Hector ? 

Dum. I think, Hector was not fo clean timber'd. 

Long, His leg is too big for Hector. 

Dum. More calf, certain. 

Boyet No ; he is beft indu'd in thefmall. 

Biron. This can't be Hector. 

Dum. He's a god or a painter ; for he makes faces. 

Arm. 'fhe armipotent Mars, of lances the almighty 9 
Gave Heftor a gift^ 

Dum. A gilt nutmeg. 

Biron. A lemon. 
' Long. Stuck with cloves 7 . 

Dum. No, cloven. 

Arm. Peace! The armipotent Mar s^of lances the almighty y 

Gave Hettor a gift, the heir of Ilion ; 
A man fo breath* 'd, that, certain^ he would fight? ysa % 

From morn till night, out of his pavilion. 
I am that flower, 

Dum. That mint. 

Long. That columbine. 

6 Heflor was lut a Trojan ] A Trojan, I believe, was in the 
time of Shakelpeare, a cant term for a thief. So, in K. Henry 
IV. Part I : " Tut there are other Trojans that thou dream'il: 
not of, &c." Again, in this fcene, " unlefs you play the bonejl 
Trojan, &c." STEEVENS. 

7 Stuck with cloves.] An orange Jluck with cloves appears to 
have been a common new-year's gift. So, Ben Jonfon, in his 
Chriftmas Mafque : " he has an orange and rofemary, but not a 
clove to ftick in it." A gilt nutmeg is mentioned in the lame piece, 
and on the fame occafiou. STEEVENS. 

3 be would figbt, yea,] Thus all the old copies. Theobald 
very plaufibly reads he would fight ye ; a common vulgarifm. 




Arm. Sweet lord Longaville, rein thy tongue. 

Long. I muft rather give it the rein ; for it runs 
againft He&or. 

Dum. Ay, and Hector's a greyhound. 

Arm. The fweet war-man is dead and rotten ; fweet 
chucks, beat not the bones of the buried : when he 
breath'd, he was a man But I will forward with 
my device ; [To the Princefs~\ fweet royalty, bellow 
on me the fenfe of hearing. 
' Prln. Speak, brave Hector ; we are much delighted, 

.Arm. I do adore thy fweet grace's flipper. 

Boyet. Loves her by the foot. 

Dum. He may not by the yard. 

Arm. This Heftor far furmounted Hannibal, 

'Coft. The party is gone, fellow Hedtor, fhe is 
gone ; ftie is two months on her way. 

Arm. What mean'fl thou ? 

Coft. Faith, unlefs you play the honeft Trojan, the 
poor wench is caft away : fhe's quick ; the child brags 
in her belly already ; 'tis yours. 

Arm. Dofl thou infamonize me among potentates ? 
thou flialt die. 

Coft. Then lhall Hector be whip'd, for Jaquenetta 
that is quick by him ; and hang'd, for Pompey that 
is dead by him. 

Dum. Mofl rare Pompey ! 

Boyet. Renowned Pompey ! 

Biron. Greater than great, great, great, great Pom- 
pey ! Pompey the huge ! 

Dum. Heclor trembles. 

Biron. Pompey is mov'd : More Ates, more Ates 9 ; 
ftir them on, ftir them on ! 

Dum. Hedtor will challenge him. 

Biron. Ay, if he have no more man's blood in's 
belly than will fup a flea. 

9 more Ates ;] That is, more inftigation. Ate was the mif- 
fhjevous goddefs that incited bloodfhed. JOHNSON. 
So, in K. John : 

" An Ate^ fiirring him to war and flrife." STEEVEK*. 



'Arm. By the north pole, I do challenge thee. 

Cqft. I will not fight with a pole, like a northern 
man ; I'll ilafh ; I'll do't by the fword : I pray you, 
let me borrow my arms l again. 

Dum. Room for the incenfed worthies. 

Co/}. I'll do it in my fhirt. 

l)um. Moft refolute Pompey ! 

Moth. Matter, let me take you a button-hole lower. 
Do you not fee, Pompey is uncafing for the combat > 
What mean you ? you will lofe your reputation. 

Arm. Gentlemen, and foldiers, pardon me ; I will 
not combat in my fhirt. 

Dum. You may not deny it ; Pompey hath made 
the challenge. 

Arm. Sweet bloods, I both may and will. 

Biron. What reafon have you for't ? 

Arm. The naked truth of it is, I have no fhirt ; I 
go woolward for penance. 

Boyet. True, and it was enjoin'd him in Rome for 
want of linen * : fmce when, I'll be fworn, he wore 


1 my arms ] The weapons and armour which he wore 

in the character of Pompey. JOHNSON. 

~ it was enjoin \i him in Rome for ivnnt of linen, &C.] This may 
poflibly allude to a {lory 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 belt 
fervices. The dying man told him he had but one requeil to 
make him, but conjured him, by the memory of their paft friend - 
fhip, punctually to comply with it, which was not to fuffer Him 
to be ftript, but to bury him as he lay,' in the habit he then had 
on. When this Was. promifed, the Spaniard clofed his eyes, and 
expired with great compofure and relignation. But his friend's 
curiofity prevailing over his good faith, he had him ftript, arid 
found, to his great furprile, mat he was without a fhirt. 


Boyet. True, and it was enjoined him in Rome for want of linea, 
ice.} This is a plain reference to the following ftory in Stow'a 
Anhals, p. 98. (in the time of Edward the Confeflbr.) " Next 
after this (king Edward's full: cure of the king's evil) mine au- 
thors affirm, that a certain man, named Vifunius Spileorrie, t^e 
ion of Ulmore of Nurgarrtwil, who, when he hewed timber in 



none, but a dilh-claut of Jaqtienctta's ; and that 
'a wears next his heart for a favour. 


the wood of Brutheullena, laying him down to fleep after his fore 
labour, the blood and humours of his head fo congealed about 
his eyes, that he was thereof blind , for the fpace of nineteen 
years ; but then (as he had been moved in his fleep) he ivent 
tuoolvjard and bare-footed to many churches, in every of them 
to pray to God for help in his blindnefs." Dr. GRAY. 

The fame cuftom is alluded to in an old collection of Satyres r 

And when his fhirt's a \vafhing, then he mufl 
Go woolward for the time ; he fcorns it, he, 
That worth two lairts his laundrels fliould him fee." 


i Mery Gefte of Rolyn Hoode, bl. 1. no date : 

Barefoot, ivoohvard have I hight, 
Thether for to go." 
Again, in PowelFs Hijl. of Wales, 1584: " The Angles and 
Saxons flew 1000 prieib and monks of Bangor, with a great 
number of lay-brethren, &c. who were come bare-footed and 
ivoolward to crave mercy, &c. STEEVENS. 

In Lodge's Incarnate Devils, 1596, we have the character of 
zfivajhbuckler : " His common courle is to go always untruft ; 
except when hlsjbirf is a -ivafliing, and then he goes -ziw/awv/." 


TFoolvoard] I have no fliirt : "I go <yjool\jcard for penance." 
The learned Dr. Gray, whofe accurate knowledge of our old 
hiftorians has often thrown much light on Shakefpeare, fuppofes 
that this pafiage is a. plain reference to a ftory in Stowe's Annals, 
p. 98. But where is the connection or refemblance between this 
monkifli tale and the paflage before us ? There is nothing in the 
ftory, as here related by Stowe, that would even put us in mind 
of this dialogue between Boyet and Armado, except the angular 
expreffion go yjoofavard ; which, at the fame time is not explained 
by the annotator, nor illultrated by his quotation. To go <vcool- 
ivard, I believe, was a phrafe appropriated to pilgrims and peni- 
tentiaries. In this fenfe it feems to be ufed in Pierce Ploivmau's 
Vijions, PalT. xviii. fol. 96. b. edit. 1550 : 

" JFohvardand wetfliod went I forth after 
" An a reechlefs reuke, that of no wo retcheth, 
" " An yedeforth like a lorell, &c." 

Skinner derives ivoolward from the Saxon wol, plague, fecondarily 
any great dijlrefs, and weard, toward. Thus, fays he, it ligni- 
fies, " in magno difcrimine & expeftatione magni mail conjlitutus." 
I rather think it fliould be written tuoolward, and that it means 
(loathed in wool, and not in linen. This appears, not only from 



Enter Mercade* 

Met: God fave yon, madam ! 

Pnn. Welcome, Mercade ; 
But that thou intcrrupt'ft our merriment. 

Mer. I am forry, madam ; for the news I bring, 
Is heavy in my tongue. The king your father 

Pnn. Dead, for my life. 

Mer. Even fo ; my tale is raid. 

Biron. Worthies, away ; the fcene begins to cloud. 

Arm. For mine own part, I breathe free breath : I 
have feen the days of wrong through the little hole 
of dilcretion 1 , and I will right inylelf like a foldier. 

[Exeunt Worthies. 

King. How fares your majefty ? 

Prin. Boyet, prepare ; I will away to-night. 

Sliakefpeare's context, but more particularly from an hiftorian 
who relates the legend before cited, and vvhofe words Stowe has 
evidently tranflated. This is Ailred abbot of Rievaulx, vvho- 
fays, that our blind man was admoniflied, " Eccleiias numero 
otStoginta nuclis'pedibus'et alfque lintels circumire." Dec. Scripts . 
393. 50. The fame ftory is told by William of Malmibury, Gefi. 
Reg. Angl. lib. ii. p. 91. edit. 1601. And in Caxton's Legenda 
Aitrea, tol. 307. edit. 1493. By the way it appears, that Stowe's 
Vifunius Spileorne, fon of Ulmore of Nutgavhiall, ought to be 
Wuhvin, furnamed de Spillicote, fon of Wulmar de Lutegarihalle, 
now Ludgerlhall : and the wood of Brutheullena is the foreft of 
Bruelle, now called Brill, in Buckinghamfiiire. WAR TON. 

3 / have feen the days of Wrong through the little hole of dikre- 
tion^\ This has no meaning. We (hould read, the day of right, 
i.e. I have feen that a day will come when I (hall have juitice 
done me, and therefore I prudently referve myfelf for that time. 


I believe it rather means, I have hitherto looked on the indignities 
I have received, -iv///; the eyes of difcretion, (i.e. not been too for- 
ward to relent them) and =voill infift en fuch fatisfatfion as ivill not 
tlifgrace my. characler, which is that of a foldier. To have decided 
the quarrel in the manner propofed by his antagoniil, would have 
been at once a derogation from the honour of a foldier, and the 
pride of a Spaniard. 

" One may fee day at a little hole," is a proverb in Rav's Col- 
kiiiou ; " Day light will peep through a little hole," in Kelly's, 



King. Madam, not fo ; I do befeech you, flay. 

Prin. Prepare, I fay. -I thank you, gracious Iords 5 
For all your fair endeavours ; and entreat, 
Out of a new-fad foul, that you vouchfafe 
In yoiif rich wifdom, to excufe, or hide, 
The 4 liberal oppofition of our fpirits : 
If over-boldly we have borne ourfelves 
In the converfe of breath 5 , your gentlenefs 
Was guilty of it. Farewell, worthy lord ! 
A heavy heart bears not an humble tongue 6 ; 
Excufe me f6, coming fo Ihort of thanks 
For my great fuit fo eafily obtain'd. 

King. The extreme parts of time extremely forms 
All caufes to the purpofe of his fpeed ; 
And often, at his very loofe 7 , decides 


* liberal ] Liberal, in our author, frequently fignifies, as 
in this inftance, free to excefs. So, in Much Ado about Nothing : 

11 like a moll liberal villain, 

" Confefs'd," &c. 
Again, in Othello : 

" I'll be in fpeaking liberal as the North." STEEVENS. 

5 In the converfe of breath,- ] Perhaps converfe may, in 

this line, -mean interchange. JOHNSON. 

6 An heavy heart bears not an humble tongue .] Thus all the edi- 
tions ; but, furely, without either fenfe or truth. None are more 
humble in fpeech, than they who labour under any opprellion. 
The princefs is defiring her grief may apologize for her not es- 
prefling her obligations at Inrge; and my correction is conform- 
able to that fentiment. Befides, there is an antithefis between 
heavy and nimble ; but between heavy and humble, there is none. 


The following paflage in K.John inclines me to difpute the 
propriety of Theobald's emendation : 

" 'grief is proud, and makes his owner^<?/." 
By humble, the princefs feems to mean obfequionjly thankful. 


7 And often, at his very loofe, decides, &c.] At his very loofr, 
may mean, at the moment of his farting, i. e. of his getting loofe, 
or away from us. 

So in fome ancient poem of which I forgot to preferve either 
the date or title : 


That which long procefs could not arbitrate : 
And though the mourning brow of progeny 
Forbid the fmiling courtefy of" love 
The holy fuit which fain it would convince 8 ; 
Yet, fince love's argument was firft on foot, - 
Let not the cloud of forrow juftle it 
From what it purposed ; fmce, to wail friends lofl> 
Is not by much fo wholefome, profitable, 
As to rejoice at friends but newly found. 

Prln. lunderftand you not, my griefs are double. 

Biron. 9 Honeft plain words belt pierce the ear of 

grief ; 

And by thefe badges underftand the king. 
For your fair fakes have we ncgledted time, 
Play'd foul play with our oaths ; your beauty, ladies, 
Hath much deform'd us, fafhioning our humours 
Even to the oppofed end of our intents : 
And what in us hath feem'd ridiculous, 
As love is full of unbefitting flrains ; 
All wanton as a child, fkipping, and vain ; 

" Envy difcharging all her pois'nous darts, 

" The valiant mind is temper'd with that fire, 
** At her fierce ioofc that weakly never parts, 

*' But in deipight doth force her to retire. STEEVE.VS. 
, fxbiJjfain it would convince ;] We muft read : 

"which fain would it convince ; 

that is, the entreaties of love which would tain over-fencer grief. 
So Lady Macbeth declares, " 1 bat Jl;c vaill convince the chamberlains 
with ivifie." JOHNSON. 

9 Honejl plain worth &c.j As it feems not very proper for Bi- 
ron to court the princefs for the king in the king's prefence at 
this critical moment, I believe the fpeech is given to a wrong 
peribn. I read thus : 

Prin. / undtrjland you not, my griefs are double ' 
llonejl plain <HWV/J Icjl picrcf the ear rf grief, 

King. And by thcfe badges, &c. JOKNSOX. 

Too many authors lacrifice propriety to the confequence of their 
principal character, into whole mouth they are willing to put 
more than juftly belongs to him, or at lealt the bell things they 
have to fay. The original aftor of Biron, however, like Bottom 
in the Mulfummer Night's Dream y might have taken this fpeech 
out of the mouth ol an inferior performer. STEEVENS. 

VOL. II. L 1 Form'd 


Form'd by the eye, and, therefore, like the eye, 
Full of ftraying ihapes, of habits, and of forms, 
Varying in fubjedts as the eye doth roll 
To every varied object in his glance : 
Which party-coated prefence of loofe love, 
Put on by us, if, in your heavenly eyes, 
Have mifbecom'd our oaths and gravities, 
Thofe heavenly eyes, that look into thefe faults, 
1 Suggefted us to make : Therefore, ladies, 
Our love being yours, the error that love makes 
Is likewife yours : we to ourfelves prove falfe, 
By being once falfe for ever to be true 
To thofe that make us both, fair ladies, you 5 
And even that falfhood, in itfelf a fin, 
Thus purifies itfelf, and turns to grace. 

Prin. We have received your letters, full of love ; 
Your favours, the embafladors of love ; 
And, in our maiden council, rated them 
At courtihip, pleafant jeft, and courtefy, 
As bombaft and as lining to the time * : 
But more devout than this, in our refpefts ? , 


1 Suggefted vs ] That is, tempted MS. JOHNSON. 
* As bombaft and as lining to the time:] This line is obfcure. 
Bombaft was a kind of loofe texture not unlike what is now called 
wadding, ufed to give the drefles of that time bulk and protuber- 
ance, without much increafe of weight ; whence the fame name 
is given to a tumour of words unfupporred by folid fentimenr. The 
princefs, therefore, fays, that they confidered this courtihip as but 
oombaft, as fomething to fill out life, which not being clofely united 
with it, might be thrown away at pleafure. JOHNSON. 

Prince Henry calls FalftafF, ** myfweet creature ofbombaft" 

3 JBut more devout than thefe are our refpefts 

Have ive not been j } 

This nonfenfe fhould be read thus : 

But more devout than this, (fave oxr refpefli) 
Have we not been ; 

5. c. fave the refpeft we owe to your majefty's quality, your court- 
fhip we have laugh'd at, and made a jeft of. WAR BUR TON. 

We have received your letters full of love ; 
Tour favours the ambajjadors of love ; 

-. And. 


Have we not been ; and therefore met your loves 
In their own fafhion, like a merriment. 

Dunt. Our letters, madam, fliew'd much more than 

Long, So did our looks. 

Rof. We did not quote them fo *. 

King. Now, at the lateft minute of the hour, 
Grant us your loves. 

Prin. A time, methinks, too fhort 
To make a world-without-end bargain in : 
No, no, my lord, your grace is perjur'd much, 
Full of dear guiltinefs ; and, therefore, this, 

in our maiden council rated them 
At court/hip, pleafant jeji, and courtcjy^ 
As bombaji and as lifting to the time ^ 
But more devout than thtfe w.e our refpefts 
Have ive not been, and therefore met your loves 
In their o*ivnfajhion, like a vierrimcnt. 

The fixth verfe being evidently corrupted, Dr. Warburton pro- 
pofes to read : 

But more devout than this, (fave our refpefis) 
Have ive not been ; - - 
Dr. Johnfon prefers the conjecture of fir Thomas Hanmer : 

But more devout than this, in our refpeSli. 

I would read, with lefs violence, I think, to the text, .though 
with the alteration of two words : 

But more devout than thefe ar your refpcfls 
Have ive not leen, - TYRWHITT. 
I read with fir T. Hanmer : 

But more devout than this, in our refpefts, JOHNSON'. 
The difficulty I believe arifes only from Shakefpeare's remark- 
able pofition of his words, which may be thus conftrued, -;;. 
But ive have not been more devout, or made a more ferious -matter 
of your letters and favours than thefe our refpefis, or conlidera- 
tions and reckonings of them, are, and as we before 
faid, ive rated them in our maiden council at court/hip, pleafant jejl y 
and courtefy. TOLLET. 

* We did not coat them fo.~\ We fliould read, quote, efteem, 
reckon, though our old writers fpelling by the ear, probably 
.wrote coie, as it was pronounced. JOHNSON. 

We did not quote 'em fo, is, we did not regard them as fuck. So, 
In Hamlet : 

' I'm forry that with better heed and judgment 
" I had not quoted him. See, act II. fc. i." STEEVENS. 
L 1 2 If 


If for my love (as there is no fuch caufe) 

You will do aught, this fhall you do for me : 

Your oath I will not truft : but go with fpecd 

To fome forlorn and naked hermitage, 

Remote from all the pleafures of the world ; 

There ftay, until the twelve celeftial figns 

Have brought about their annual reckoning ; 

If this auftere infociable life 

Change not your offer made in heat of blood ; 

If froits, and fails, hard lodging, and thin weeds, 

Nip not the gaudy bloffoms of your love, 

But that it bear this trial, and lait love ; 

Then, at the expiration of the year, 

Come challenge, challenge me by thefe deferts, 

And, by this virgin palm, now killing thine, 

I will be thine : and, till that inftant, ihut 

My woeful felt up in a mourning houfe ; 

Raining the tears of lamentation, 

For the remembrance of my father's death, 

Jf this thou do deny, let our hands part ; 

Neither intitled in the other's heart. 

King. If this, or more than this, I would deny, 
To flatter up thefe powers of mine with reft s , 
The fudden hand of death clofe up mine eye ! 
Hence ever then my heart is in thy breaft. 

Biron. 6 And what to me, my love ? and what to me ? 


s To flatter up thefe powers of mine iv<tb rejl,~\ Dr. Warburton 
vvould read fetter, but flatter orfooth is, in my opinion, more ap- 
pofite to the king's purpofe than fetter. Perhaps we may read : 

To flatter on tbefe hours of time ivith refl ; 

That is, I would not deny to live in the hermitage, to make the 
year of delay pafs in quiet. JOHNSON. 

B;rnn. And what io me, myloi-e? a nd ivbai in me f 
Rof. You muft be purged too : your fins are rank ; 

You are attaint ivith fault and perjury : 

Therefore if you my favour mean to gcf, 

A txuelvemotttb Jbipll you fpendi and" never reft, 

JButftek the weary bah of people fick.~\ 



Rof. You muft he purged too, your fins are rank 7 j 
You are attaint with fault and perjury : 
Therefore, if you my favour mean to get, 
A twelve-month fhall you fpend, and never reft, 
But feck the weary beds of people fick. 

Dum. But what to me, my love ? but what to me ? 

Katb. A wife ! a beard, fair health, and honefty ; 
With three- fold love I wim you all theie three. 

Dum. O, fhall I fay, I thank you, gentle wife ? 

Katb. Not fo, my lord ; a twelve-month and a day 
I'll mark no words that fmooth-fac'd wooers fay : 
Come when the king doth to my lady come, 
Then, if I have much love, I'll give you fome. 

Dum. I'll ferve thee true and faithfully till then. 

Kath. Yet fwcar not, left you be forfworn again, 

Ijong. What fays Maria ? 

Mar. At the twelve-month's end, 
I'll change my black gown for a faithful friend. 

Long. I'll Hay with patience ; but the time is long. 

Mar. The liker you ; few taller are fo young. 

Biron* Studies my lady ? miftrefs, look on me, 
Behold the window of my heart, mine eye, 
What humble tint attends thy anfwer there; 
Impofe fome lervice on me for thy love. 

Rof. Oft have I heard of you, my lord Biron, 
Before I law you : and the world's large tongue 
Proclaims you for a man replete with mocks ; 

Thefe fix verfes both Dr. Thirlby and Mr. Warburton concur to 
think Ihould be expunged ; and therefore I have put them be- 
tween crotchets : not that they were an interpolation, but as the 
authors firit draught, which he afterwards rejected ; and executed 
the fame thought a little lower with much more fpiirit and ele- 
gance. Shakefpeare is not to anfwer for the prefcnt ablurd repe- 
tition, but his ucfor-edhors ; who, thinking Roiiline's fpeech too 
long iu the fecond plan, had abridgM it to the lines above quoted ; 
but, in publiihing the play, ilupidly printed both the origiaal 
Ipeech ot ShakcfpiMie, and their own abridgment of it. 

- are rank.] The folio and 4:0 1631, read are 


L 1 Full 


Full of companions, and wounding flouts ; 

Which you on all eiiates 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 pleafe, 

(Without the which I am not to be won) 

You ihall this twelve-month term from day to day 

Vifit the fpeechlefs fick, and flill converfe 

With groaning wretches ; and your tafk fhall be, 

With all the fierce endeavour of your wit % 

To enforce the pained impotent to fmile. 

Biron. To move wild laughter in the throat of death ? 
It cannot be ; it is impoffible : 
Mirth cannot move a foul in agony* 

Rof* Why, that's the way to choak a gibing fpirit, 
Whole influence is begot of that loofe grace, 
Which mallow laughing hearers give to fools : 
A jeft's profperity lies in the ear 
Of him that hears it, never in the tongue 
Of him that makes it : then, if fickly ears, 
Deaf 'd with the clamours of their own 9 dear groans, 
Will hear your idle fcorns, continue then, 
And I will have you, and that fault withal ; 
But, if they will not, throw away that fpirit, 
And I lhall find you empty of that fault, 
Right joyful of your reformation. 

Biron. A twelve-month ? well, befal what will befal, 
I'll jeft a twelve~month in an hofpital '. 

* - fierce endeavour. ] Fierce is vehement, rapid. So, in 
K. John : 

" - fierce extremes of ficknefs." STEEVENS. 

9 dear groans,] Dear fhould here, as in many other places, 
be dere, fad, odious. JOHNSON. 

I believe dear in this place, as in many others, means only Im- 
mediate, consequential. So, already in this fcene : 
full of dear guiltinefs. STEEVENS. 

1 The characters of Biron and Rof aline, fuffer much by compa- 
rifon with thofe of Benedick and Beatrice. We know that Lcnte's 
Labour's Loft was the elder performance ; and as our author grew 


Prin. Ay, fweet my lord ; and fo I take my leave. 

["To the King- 

King. No, madam ; we will bring you on your way. 

Biron. Our wooing doth not end like an old play ; 
Jack hath not Jill : thefc ladies' courtefy 
Might well have made our fport a comedy. 

King. Come, fir, it wants a twelve-month and a day, 
And then 'twill end. 

Biron. That's too long for a play. 

Enter Armado. 

Arm. Sweet majefty, vouch fafe me, 

Prin. Was not that Hedtor ? 

Dum. That worthy knight of Troy. 

Arm. I will kifs thy royal finger, and take leave : I 
am a votary ; I have vow'd to hold the 
plough for her fweet love three year. But, moft 
eftcemed greatnefs, will you hear the dialogue that 
the two learned men have compiled, in praife of the 
owl and the cuckow ? it Ihould have follow'd in the 
end of our Ihow. 

King* Call them forth quickly, we will do fo. 

Arm. Holla ! approach. 

Enter all, for the finr* 

This fide'is Hiems ; winter. 

This Ver, the fpring ; the one maintain'd by the owl, 

The other by the cuckow. 

Ver, begin. 

more experienced in dramatic writing, he might have feen how 
much he could improve on his originals. To this circum- 
itance, perhaps, we are indebted for the more perfect comedy of 
Muih Ado about Nothing. STEEVENS. 

L 1 4 SONG, 



Wken daisies pied, and violets blue * y 
.And lady-fmocks all fdver-white, 

And cuckow-buds 3 of yellow hue, 
Do paint the meadows with delight \ 

*fhe cuckow then, on every tree. 

Mocks marrfd men, for thus fings he, 
Cuckow ; 

Cuckow, cuckow, word of fear, 

Unpleafmg to a married ear ! 

When foepherds pipe on oaten Jlraws, 
And merry larks are plowmen's clods, 

Wloen turtles tread, and rooks, and daws,. 
And maidens bleach their fammer fmocks* 

'The cuckow then, on every tree, 

Mocks married men* for thusjings he, 
Cuckow ; 

uckow 9 cuckow, word of fear, 

Unpleiijing to a marry* d ear ! 

W I N- 

* WJ.wt, &c.'J The ftrft lines of this fong that were tranipofed, 
have been replaced by Mr. Theobald. JOHXSO.V. 

3 Cuckow-butls\ Gerard in his Herlal, 1^97, fays, that they?^ 
cuculi, cardaminc, Sic. are called " in Englifli tvckoo-flevjets, ia 
Norfolk Canterbury -bdls, and at Nampt=wich in Chefhire ladle- 

fftwcks" Shakefpeare, however,, might not have been fufiiciently 
fkilled in botany to be aware of this particular. 

Mr. Toilet has obferved that Lyte in his Herbal, 1578 and 
1579, remarks, that ctnujlips are in French, of fome called coqjiu, 
prime vere, and brayes de coquu. This he thinks will fufficiently 
account for our author's cjtc&oo-buds, by which he fuppofes covsflip- 
luds to be meant ; and further direb the reader to Cotyruve'i 
Diftionary, under the articles Cocu, and herleacoqu. STHEVENS. 

Cuckffw-buih muft be wrong. I believe co-^v/lip-buds, the true 
reading. FARMER. 

4 Do paint the meadows with delight ;] This is a pretty rural 
fong, in which the images are drawn with great force from na- 
ture. But this fenfelefs expletive of painting ivit/j Might, I would 
read thus : 

Do paint the. meadows much-bedight, 
i. c. much bedecked or adorned as they are in fpring-dme. The 



Wben icicles hang by the zvallt 

And Dick the foephcrd blows his nait, 
And Tom bears logs info the /><?//, 

And milk comes frozen home in pail, 
I Then blood is vipi, and-ivays be foul, 
1',:>eti nightly /lags thejlari/ig owl, 

to-who, a rnerry note, 
White greajy Joan 5 doth ked the pot. 

epithet is proper, and the compound not inelegant. WARBURTOX. 
Much lets elegant than the preient reading. JOHNSON. 

5 - doth keel ti-t pot.} This word is yet uied iu Ireland, and 
Signifies to/t//'v the pot. GOZ.PSMITK. 

'So, in Marfton's What you Will, 1607 : " Faith, Doricus, thy 

tl brain boils, &r/it, ketl it, or all the fat's in the fire." STEEVENS* 

To keel the pet is certainly to cool it, but in a particular man- 

ner : it is to itir the pottage with tke Uiule to prevent the lo&ig 

aver. FAR ML:?. 

To keel ligniric? to cool in general, without any reference to tk 
kitchen. So T in Gower DeCoitfeJJione Amantli. lib. \. ibl. 121, b* 

** '1'he cote he found, and eke he fcleth 

*' The mace, and than his herte kdetb 

" That there clurft he not abide." 
Again, fol. 131. b. 

" \\ich water on his finger endc 

*' Thyne hote tonge to kele" 

Mr. Lambe obferves in his notes on the ancient metrical Hiltorv 
ot the Battle of Floddon, that it is a common thing i:r the North' 
* tor a maid lervant to take out of a boiling pot j.~\J)ten, i.e. 
a fmall quantity, viz. a porringer or two of broth, and then to 
fill up the put with cold water. The broth thus taken out, is 
*lled die/frT////^ -ir.'Vfv/. In this manner greaiy Joan keeled the pot." 

" Gie me- beer, and gie me grots, 

*' And lumps of beet to fwum abeen ; 

*' And ilka time that I ftir the pot, 

** He's hae frae me the keeling wlefu." STEEVEX--. 

6 the pa;fon's law} ISavj teems anciently to have meant, not a a 
at prefent, a proverb, a lenience, but the whole tenor of any in- 
itrutive difcourfe. So, in the fourth chapter of the firft book 
of the Tragedies of John 'Bochas, tranllated by Lidgate : 

" Theie old poetes in their fav.'ss fv/ete 

*' Full covertly in their verfes do fayns, &c.-" STSEVSXS. 


When all aloud the wind doth blow, 

And coughing drowns the parfon's faw % 
And birds fit brooding in thejnow, 

And Marian's nofe looks red and raw, 
When roajled crabs hifs in the bowl 7 , 
Then nightly fings the Jlaring owl t 

To-who ; 

'Tu-ivhit) to~who, a merry note, 
While greafy Joan doth keel the' pot. 
Arm. The words of Mercury are harfti after the 
fongs of Apollo. You, that way ; we, this way. 

[Exeunt omnes 8 . 

7 When roafted crabs hifs in the &w/,] So, in the Mulfummcr 
Night's Dream: 

' And fometimes lurk I in a goflip's bo-ivl, 
' In very likenefs of a roafted crab" 

Again, in Like ivill to Like, quoth the Devil to the Collier, 1587 : 
* Now a crab in the fire were worth a good groat : 
' That I might quafte with my captain Tom Tofs-pot." 


Good hoftefs lay a crab in the fire, and broil a mefs 

of foufe-a." STEEVENS. 
8 In this play, which all the editors have concurred to cenfure, 
and fome have rejected as unworthy of our poet, it mufr. be coii- 
fefled that there are many pafiages mean, childifti, and vulgar ; 
and fome which ought not to have been exhibited, as we are told 
they were, to a maiden queen. But there are fcattered through 
the whole many fparks of genius ; nor is there any play that has 
more evident marks of the hand of Shakefpeare. JOHNSON. 

A C T I. SCENE I. Page 350. 
THIS child of fancy, that Armado bight, &c,] This, as I have 
{hewn in the note in its place, relates to the Tories in the books 
of chivalry. A few words, therefore, concerning their origin 
and nature, may not be unacceptable to the reader. As I don't 
know of any writer, who has given any tolerable account of this 
matter : and efpecially as monlieur Huet, the bifhop of Avran- 
ches, who wrote a formal treatife of the Origin of Romances, has 
faid little or nothing of thefe in that fuperficial work. For having 
brought down the account of romances to the later Greeks, and 
entered upon thofe compoied by the barbarous weftern writers, 
which have now the name of Romances almoft appropriated to 
thepn, he puts the change upon his reader, and inftead of giving 
us an account of thefe books of chivalry, one of the moft curi- 
ous and interefting parts of the fubje6t he promifed to treat ,of, 
he contents himfelf with a long account of the poems of the pro- 
vincial writers, called likewife romances j and fo, under the equi- 



voque of a common term, drops his proper fubjecT:, and enter- 
tains us with another, that had no relation to it more than in the 

The Spaniards were of all others the fondeft of thefe fables, 33 
fuiting beft their extravagant turn to gallantry and bravery ; 
which in time grew fo exceffive, as to need all the efficacy of 
Cervantes's incomparable fatire to bring them back to their fenfes. 
The French luftered an eafier cure from their doctor Rabelais, 
who enough difcredited the books of chivalry, by only unng 
the extravagant itories of its giants, &c. as a cover for another 
kind of fatire againft the refined politicks of his countrymen ; of 
which they were as much poHefled as the Spaniards of their ro- 
mantic bravery. A bravery our Shakefpeare makes their charac- 
teriftic, in this defcription of a Spanilh gentleman : 

A man of compliments, luhorn right and wrong 
Have chofc as umpire of their mutiny : 
This child of fancy, that Armado hight, 
For interim to our Jludies, Jhall relate , 
In high-born words, the worth of ?natty a knight, 
From tawny Spain, loft in the world's debate. 
The fenfe of which is to this effect : This gentleman, fays the 
fpeaker, foall relate to us the celebrated jiories recorded in the old ro- 
mances, and in their very Jlyle. Why he fays, from ta^vny Spain t 
is becaufe thefe romances, being of the Spanilh original, the he- 
roes and the fcene were generally of that country. He fays, lojl 
in tlx world'f debate, becaufe the fubjetfs of thofe romances were 
the crufades of the European Chriitians againil the Saracens 01 
Afia and Africa. 

Indeed, the wars of the Chriftians againir. the Pagans were the 
general fubjeft of the romances of chivalry. They all feem to 
have had their ground-work in two tabulous monkim hiltorians : 
the one, who, under the name of Turpin, archbifhop of Rheims, 
wrote the Hiltory and Achievements of Charlemagne and his 
Twelve Peers ; to whom, inllead of his hither, they aligned the 
tafk of driving the Saracens out of France and the louth parts of 
Spain : the other, our Geoffiy of Monmouth. 

Two of thofe peers, whom the old romances have rendered moll 
famous, were Oliver and Rowland. Hence Shakefpeare makes 
Alencon, in the firftpart of Henry VI. fay ; " Froyllard, a coun- 
44 tryman of ours, records, England all Olivers and Rowlands 
*' bred, during the time Edward the third did reign." In the 
Spanifli romance of Bernards del Carpio, and in that of Ror.cef- 
valles, the feats of Roland are recorded under the name of Roldan 
el encantador ; and in that of Palmerin delOUva *, or limply Oli-ja, 


Dr. Warburton is quite miftaken in deriving Oliver from (Pal- 
merin de) Oliva, which is utterly incompatible with the genius o' the 
Spanifli language. The old romance, of which Oliver was the hero, 



thofe of Oliver : for Olivet is the fame in Spanifh as Olivier is in 
French. The account of their exploits is in the higeft degree 
monitrous and extravagant, as appears from the judgment palled 
upon them by the prieit in Don Quixote, when he delivers the 
knight's library to the fecular arm of the houfe-keeper, " Ecce- 
tuando a un Bernardo del Carpio que ada por ay, y a otro 
llmado Roncefvalles ; que eftos en llegando a mis manos, an de 
eftar en las de la ama, y dellas en las del fuego fin remiffion al- 
guna*." And of Oliver he fays, " effa Oliva fe haga luego 
raxas, y fe queme, que aun no queden della las cenizas f." The 
freafonable'nefs ot this fentence may be partly feen from one ftory 
in the Bernardo del Carpio, which tells us, that the cleft called 
Roldan, to be feen in the fummit of an high mountain in the king- 
dom of Valencia, near the town of Alicant, was made with a {in- 
gle back-ltroke of that hero's broad fword. Hence came the pro- 
terbial expreffion of our plain and feniible anceitors, who were 
much cooler readers of thefe extravagancies than the Spaniards, 
of giving one a Rowland for bis Oliver, that is, ot matching one 
impoffibie lye with another : as, in French, faire h Roland means, 
tojkvagger. This driving the Saracens out of France and Spain, 
was, as> we fay, the fubjecl: of the elder romances. And the tirft 
that was printed in Spain was the famous Amadis dc Gaula, of 
vrhich the inquifitor prieft fays : " fegun he oydo dezir, efte libro 
*' fue el primero de Cavallerias qui fe imprimio en Efpana, y todc? 
*' los demas an tornado principio y origen detfe j ;" and for which 
he humouroufly condemns it to the fire, coma a Dngmatazador 
de unafetfa tan mala. When this fubjecl: was well exhautfed, thf 
affairs of Europe afforded them another of the fame nature. For 
after that the weftern parts had pretty well cleared themlelves of 
thefe inhofpitable guefts : by the excitements of the popes, they 
carried their arms againll them into Greece and Afia, to fupport 
the Byzantine empire, and recover the holy fepulchre. This gave 
birth to a new tribe of romances, which we may call of the fecond 
race or clafs. And as Aniadis dc Gaula was at the head of the firft, 
fo, correfpondently to the fubjecl, Amadis de Grtecia was at the 
head of the latter. Hence it is, we find, that Trebizonde is as ce- 
lebrated in thefe romances as Roncefvalles is in the other. It may 
be worth obferving, that the two famous Italian epic poets, Ari- 
oito and Tailb, have borrowed, from each of thefe clafles of old 
romances, the fcenes and fubjccts of their feveral {lories : Arioflo 

is entitled in Spanifh, " Hiltorias de los nobles Cavalleros Oliveros 
de Caltilla, y Artus de Algarbc, in M. en Valladolici, 1501, in fol. 
en Sevilla, 1507 ;" and in Frencii thus, " Hiitoire d' Olivier de Caf- 
tille, & Aitus d'Algarbe Ton loyal compagnon, & de Heleine, Fille au 
Roy d' Angleterre, &c. tranilntee du Latin par Phil. Camus, in fol. 
Gothique." It has allo appeared in Englifh. See Ames's Typograph. 
p. 94, 47. PERCY. 
B. i. c. 6. f Ibid. j Ibid. 



ehoofing the firft, the Saracens in France and Spain ; and Taflb, the 
latter, the Crufadc again/} them in Afia : Ariofto's hero being Or- 
lando, or the French Roland: for as the Spaniards, by one way of 
tranfpoiing the letters, had made it Roldan, fo the Italians, by 
another, make it Orland. 

The main fubjeft of thefe fooleries, as we have faid, had its orU 
o-'mal in Turpin's famous Hiftory of Charlemagne and his Twelve 
Peers. Nor were the monftrous embelliflnnents of enchantments, 
&c. the invention of the romancers, but formed upon eaitern 
tales, brought thence by travellers from their crufades and pil- 
grimages ; which indeed have a call peculiar to the wild imagina- 
tions of theeaftern people. We have a proof of this in the travels 
of fir J. Maundevile, whofeexceffivefuperitition and credulity, to- 
gether with an impudent monkim addition to his genuine work, 
fiave made his veracity thought much worfe of than it deferved. 
This voyager, fpeaking of the Hie of Cos in the Archipelago, 
tells the following ftory of an enchanted dragon. " And alfo a 
*' zonge man, that vrifte not of the dragoun, went out of a fchipp, 
" and went thorghe the iile, till that he cam to the caitelle, and 
cam into the cave ; and went fo longc till that he fond a 
chambre, and there he faughe a darnylelle, that kembed hire 
hede, and lokede in a myrour : and fche hadde moche trefoure 
abouten hire : and he trowed that fche hadde ben a comoun 
woman, that dwelled there to reiceyve men to folye. And he 
abode, till the damy felle faughe the fchadowe of him in the my- 
rour. And fche turned hire toward him, and alked him what 
** he wolde. And he feyde, he wolde ben hire limman or pani- 
*' mour. And fche afked hirn^ if that he were a knyghte. And 
*' he fayde, nay. And then fche layde, that he myght not ben 
*' hire limman. But fche bad him gon azen unto his felowcs, 
and make him knyghte, and come azen upon the morwe, and 
fchefcholde come out of her cave before him ; and thanne come 
and kyfte hire on the mowth and have no drede. For I fchnlle 
do the no maner harm, alle be it that thou fee me in lykenefs of 
a dragoun. For thoughe thou fee me hideoufe and horrible to 
loken onne, I do the to wytene that it is made be enchaunte- 
ment. Forwithouten doubte, I am none other than thou feeit 
now, a woman ; and herefore drede the noughte. And zyf 
thou kytfe me, thou fchalt have all this trefoure, and be my 
lord, and lord alfo of all that Hie. And he departed, &c."p. 
29, 30. ed. 1725. Here we fee the very fpirit or a romance ad- 
venture. This honeft traveller believed it all, and fo, it feems, 
did the people of the Hie, " And fome men feyne (fays he) that 
44 in the ifle of Lango is zit the doughtre of Ypocras in forme and 
44 lykenelfe of a great dragoun, that is an hundred fadme in 
*' lengthe, as men feyn : for I have not feen hire. And thel of 
*' the ides callen hire, lady of the land." We are not to think 
then, thefe kind of frories, believed by pilgrims and travellers, 



have lefs credit either with the writers or readers of ro- 
mances : which humour of the times therefore may well account 
for their birth and favourable reception in the world. 

The other monkifh hiftorian, who fupplied the romancers with 
materials, was our Geoffry of Monmouth. For it is not to be 
fuppofed, that thefe children of fancy (as Shakefpeare in the place 
quoted above, finely calls them, inlinuating that fancy hath its in- 
fancy as well as manhood) fhould ftop in the midftof fo extraordina- 
ry a career, or confine themfelves within the lifts of the terra finna. 
From him therefore the Spanifh romancers took the flory of the 
Britifti Arthur, and the knights of his round table, his wife Gueni- 
ver, and his conjurer Merlin. But {till it was the fame fubjec~t, 
(eflential to books of chivalry) the wars of Chrifdans againft Infi- 
dels. And, whether it was by blunder or delign, they changed 
the Saxons into Saracens, I fufpect by defign ; for chivalry with- 
out a Saracen was fo very lame and imperfect a thing, that even 
that wooden image, which turned round on an axis, and ferved 
the knights to try their fvvords, and break their lances upon, was 
called, by the Italians and Spaniards, Saracino and Sarazino ; fo 
clofely were thefe two ideas connected. 

In thefe old romances there was much religious fuperftition 
mixed with their other extravagancies ; as appears even from 
their very names and titles. , The firlt romance of Lancelot of the 
Lake and King Arthur and his Knights, is called the Hiitory of 
Saint Greaal. This faint Greaal was the famous relick of the 
-jioly blood pretended to be collected into a vefTel by Jofeph of 
Arimathea. So another is called Kyrie Eleifon of Montauban. 
or in thofe days Deuteronomy and Paralipomenon were fuppofed 
to be the names of holy men. And as they made faints of their 
knights-errant, fo they made knights-errant of their tutelary 
faints ; and each nation advanced its own into the order of chi- 
valry. Thus every thing in thole times being either a faint or a 
devil, they never wanted for the marvellous. In the old romance of 
Launcelot of the Lake, we have the doctrine and difcipline of the 
church as formally delivered as in Bellarmine himfelf. " Lacon- 
* 4 feliion (fays the preacher) nevaut rien fi le cceur n'ert repentant; 
*' et fi tues moult & ejoigne de 1'amourde uoftre Seigneur, tu ne 
peus eftre recorde fi non par trois chofes : premierementpar la 
confeflion de bouche ; fecondement par une contrition de cocur, 
tiercement par peine de cocur, & par oeuvre d'aumone & charite. 
Telle eft la droitc voyed'aimer Dieu. Or va & fi te confefle en 
cette maniere& recois la difcipline des mains de tes confefleurs, 
car c'elt le figne de merite. Or mande le roy fes evefques, dont 
grande partie avoir en 1'oft, & vinrent tous en fa chapelle. Le roy 
devant eux tout nud en pleurant &i tenant fon plein point .de vint 
menues verges, fi les jetta devant eux, & leur dit en foupirant, 
qu'ils prificnt de luy vengeance, car je fuis le plusvil pecheut, 
&c. Apres prinit iifcipline &c d'cux & moult doucementla re.- 

" ceutJ 1 


" ccut." Hence we find the divinity -lectures of Don Quixou? 
and the penance of his 'fquire, are both of them in the ritual of 
chit airy. L-.iHy, we find the knight-errant, after much turmoil 
to hmilelf, and diAurbance t.> the world, frequently ended hit 
courie, like Charles V. of Spain, in a monartery ; or turned her- 
mit, and a faint in good earneft. And this again will let 
us into the fpitit of thofe dialogues between Sancho ana his maf- 
ter, where it is gravely debated whether he fliould not turn faint or 

There were feveral caufes of this ftrange jumble of nonfenfe and 
religion. As firft, the nature of the fubjetf, which was a religious 
war or cruiade : fecondly, the quality of the firft writers, who 
were religious men ; and thirdly, the end of writing many of them, 
which \ras to carry on a religious purpofe. We learn, that Cle- 
ment V. interdicted jufls and tournaments, becaufe he underftood 
they had much hindered the crufade decreed in the council of 
Vienna. " Tornenmenta ipfa & haftiludia live juxtas in regnis 
" Francize, Anglix, & Almanniae, & aliis nonnullis provinciis, in 
*' quibus ea confuevere frequen'ius exerceri, fpecialiter interdix- 
" it." Extrav. tie TorneamentisC, unic. temp. Ed. I. Religious 
men, I conceive, therefore, might think to forward the delign of 
the cruiade? by turning the fondnefs for tilts and tournaments into 
that channel. Hence we fee the books of knight-errantry fo full 
of fuiemn jufts and torneaments held at Trebizonde, Bizance, 
Tripoly, &.c. Which wife project, lapprehe nd^itwas Cervantes'a 
intention to ridicule, where he makes his knignt propofe it as th* 
beft means of fubduiug the Turk, to affemble all the knights- 
errant together by proclamation*. WAREURTON. 

See Part ii. 1. 5. c. i. 




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