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* Prin. Come, to our pavilion : Boyet is dispos'd.
Boyet. But to speak that in words, which his eye hath disclos’d.' a passage
which has not been understood by the modern editors of Shakespeare ; for (in opposition to the old eds.) they put a break after dispos’d,' as if the sentence were incomplete.”
Now, where is the grossly indelicate meaning which Mr. Collier's remark would naturally lead one to suppose that I had assigned to the word ? Boyet having said,
“ I'll give you Aquitain and all that is his,
An you give him for my sake but one loving kiss,” the Princess, thinking (as she well might) that he was talking a little too freely, addresses her ladies with
"Come, to our pavilion : Boyet is dispos’d,” (i. e. is inclined to wanton mirth, using such language as we ought not to hear), though Boyet, choosing to understand “dispos’d” simply in the sense of inclined,' immediately adds,
“ But to speak that in words, which his eye hath disclos’d.”
That such is the meaning of “ dispos’d" in the Princess's peech is put beyond all possibility of doubt by the following passages,—which are only a few of those that might be adduced,
Longsh. Say any thing but so.
Q. Elinor. I pray, let go ;
Edward I.,-Peele's Works, i. 125, ed. 1829. “ Rut. You love a gentlewoman, a young handsome woman ; I have lov'd a thousand, not so few.
Arn. You are dispos’d.
act i. sc. I.
L. Heart. You are dispos’d, sir.
Beaumont and Fletcher's Wit without Money,
act y. sc. 4.
Clau. If you do, sir,
Beaumont and Fletcher's Valentinian, act ii. sc. 4.
know her, sir? Nic. No; but I would know her ; that's the business : I mean the musical gentlewoman that was fidling and so many [sic] in the what-doe-call’t een now.
Fran. What-doe-call her, sir, I pray ?
Nic. What-doe-call her! 'tis not come to that yet; prethee let me see and speak with her first.
Fran. You are dispos’d, I think.
Brome's Covent-Garden weeded, p. 12,-Five New
SCENE 3.-C. p. 341.
The hue of dungeons, and the scowl of night.” “ This is also Theobald's emendation. The old copies have the school of night.' Capell prints 'stole of night.'” COLLIER. .
Theobald's conjecture was " stole :” we owe "scowl” (a much worse one) to Warburton.
Qy. is the true reading ascertained by the following lines, with which Chapman commences his Humorous Dayes Myrth, 1599 ?
“ Yet hath the morning sprinckled throwt [sic] the clowdes But halfe her tincture, and the soyle of night
Stickes stil vpon the bosome of the ayre.” (The passage just cited is printed as prose in the old ed.)
Supposing that in the ms. of Love's Labour's lost, the word “ soil” was spelt, as in Chapman's play, “soyle,” it might easily become “school” in the printed copy, the compositor mistaking so for
so for sc, and y for h,—the letter h being formerly written under the line.
In Midsummer Night's Dream, act i. sc. 1, we find ; • Brief as the lightning in the collied [i. e. soiled,-black] night.”
Besides, the substantive soil is repeatedly used by Shakespeare.
SCENE 2.-C. p. 355.
They do it but in mockery, merriment;
And mock for mock is only my intent.” “ The folio reads“ mocking merriment.”” COLLIER.
And the folio, as the other modern editors saw, is obviously right.
Scene 2.-C. p. 356 ; K. p. 290.
Biron. Beauties no richer than rich taffata.
[The Ladies turn their backs to him. That ever turn’d their backs to mortal views !'
Biron. “Their eyes,' villain, “their eyes.'
Moth. “That ever turn’d their eyes to mortal views !
Boyet. True; 'out' indeed.
Moth. “Out of your favours, heavenly spirits, vouchsafe Not to behold'
Biron. Once to behold,' rogue."
This line [' Beauties no richer than rich taffata'], the folios and quarto give to Biron ; not to Boyet, as in all the modern editions. There is no sufficient reason for depriving him of it.” COLLIER,
Mr. Knight also thinks the old prefix right; Biron, he says, " is vexed at finding the ladies masked, and sees nothing richer than rich taffata.'
To me it is evident that the line belongs to Boyet, who
here, as afterwards, catches at the words of Moth, in order to confuse him : at p. 363 the king exclaims, “A blister on his [i. e. Boyet's] sweet tongue, with my heart,
That put Armado's page out of his part !” Biron, as the context shews, is now attending only to Moth,full of anxiety that the address may be correctly spoken.
As prefixes frequently consisted only of initial letters, how likely that Boyet and Biron should be confounded!
Scene 2.--C. p.
363. “ Biron. See where it comes !—Behaviour, what wert thou, Till this man show'd thee? and what art thou now?”
“ The old copies have it, Till this mad man show'd thee?' There is no reason for calling Boyet a mad man, though there might be some for terming him a made man,-i. e. a man made up
and completed as Biron has just before described him. However, mad seems to have crept injuriously into the text by an error of the compositor.” COLLIER.
I have some doubts whether “mad" (though it makes the line over-measure) ought to be rejected: an epithet to "man" seems necessary here; and surely“ mad” may be understood in another sense than lunatic;' Biron afterwards taxes Boyet with “ jesting merrily” (p. 368), and calls him“ old mocker” (p. 371). As to “a made man,”—Mr. Collier ought to have known that, in Shakespeare's time, the expression meant only a man whose fortune is made,'' a fortunate man ;' “ You're a made old man.”
The Winter's Tale, act iii. sc. 3, vol. iii. 484. “ If I had never seen, or never tasted, The goodness of this kix, I had been a made man.”
Beaumont and Fletcher's Coxcomb, act i. sc. 2.
Scene 2.-C. p. 372 ; K. p. 304.
Ergo, I come with this apology.
Keep some state in thy exit, and vanish.
Hol. · Judas I am,'”
Scene 2.-C. p. 374.
Dum. A gift nutmeg.
Long. Stuck with cloves." “ The folio has ‘a gilt nutmeg,' which may be right; but 'a gift nutmeg,' the reading of the 4to, is perfectly intelligible.” COLLIER.
Is there any excuse for thrusting back such nonsense into the text? “A gift nutmeg” is a mere misprint, the compositor's eye having caught the word “gift” in the preceding line.
Steevens observes (ad loc.) that “a gilt nutmeg is mentioned in Jonson's Masque of Christmas,” — which is not true. But that it was a common gift might be shewn from various passages in our early writers: e. g.
Against my Birth-day thou shalt be my guest :
With two yong Whelps, to make thee sport withall,
A golden Racket, and a Tennis-ball,
A Purse of silke, bespangd with spots of gold,
Barnfield's Affectionate Shepheard, 1594, sig. Cü.
SCENE 3.-C. p. 378; K. p. 309.