صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Val. Cease to persuade, my loving Proteus :
Home-keeping youth have ever homely wits.
Wer't not, affection chains thy tender days
To the sweet glances of thy honour'd love,
I rather would entreat thy company
To see the wonders of the world abroad,
Than, living dully sluggardiz'd at home,
Wear out thy youth with shapeless idleness.
But since thou lov'st, love still, and thrive therein,
Even as I would, when I to love begin.

Pro. Wilt thou begone ? Sweet Valentine, adieu.
Think on thy Proteus, when thou haply seest
Some rare note-worthy object in thy travel :
Wish me partaker in thy happiness,
When thou dost meet good hap; and in thy danger,
If ever danger do environ thee,
Commend thy grievance to my holy prayers,
For I will be thy bead's-man, Valentine.
Val. And on a love-book


my success. Pro. Upon some book I love, I'll pray

for thee. Val. That's on some shallow story of deep love,


How young

Leander cross'd the Hellespont. Pro. That's a deep story of a deeper love, For he was more than over shoes in love.

Dal. 'Tis true; but you are over boots in love',
And yet you never swam the Hellespont.

Pro. Over the boots ? nay, give me not the boots '.
Val. No, I will not, for it boots thee not.

What ?
Val. To be in love, where scorn is bought with groans ;
Coy looks with heart-sore sighs ; one fading moment's mirth
With twenty watchful, weary, tedious nights :
If haply won, perhaps, a hapless gain ;
If lost, why then a grievous labour won :
However, but a folly bought with wit,
Or else a wit by folly vanquished.
Pro. So, by your circumstance, you

Val. So, by your circumstance, I fear, you'll prove.
Pro. 'Tis love you cavil at: I am not love.

Val. Love is your master, for he masters you ;
And he that is so yoked by a fool,
Methinks, should not be chronicled for wise.

Pro. Yet writers say, as in the sweetest bud
The eating canker dwells, so eating love
Inhabits in the finest wits of all.

Val. And writers say, as the most forward bud
Is eaten by the canker ere it blow,
Even so by love the young and tender wit
Is turn’d to folly; blasting in the bud',
Losing his verdure even in the prime,
And all the fair effects of future hopes.
But wherefore waste I time to counsel thee,
That art a votary to fond desire ?

me fool.

1 'Tis true; BUT you are over boots in love,] “But" is for in the old copies, and amended in the corr. fo. 1632. Mr. Singer not only accepts, but acknowledges the change; and we are bappy to give him credit for judgment, as well as conscientiousness. There is no emendation in our corr. fo. 1632, to which he would not be heartily welcome on the same terms : we never complain of fairly borrowing, but of silontly appropriating.

– nay, give me not the Boots.] A proverbial expression, not unfrequently met with in our old dramatists, signifying, don't make a laughing-stock of me. It seems to have no connexion whatever with the punishment of the boots in Scotland, to which the commentators refer.

S – BLASTING in the bud,] The corr. fo. 1632 has the passive for the active participle, blasted for “ blasting," but the change is needless, even if it be not injurious : any change may be called injurious, that is needless.

[ocr errors]

Once more adieu. My father at the road
Expects my coming, there to see me shipp'd.

Pro. And thither will I bring thee, Valentine.

Val. Sweet Proteus, no; now let us take our leave.
To Milan let me hear from thee by letters“,
Of thy success in love, and what news else
Betideth here in absence of thy friend,
And I likewise will visit thee with mine.

Pro. All happiness bechance to thee in Milan.
Val. As much to you at home; and so, farewell. [Erit.

Pro. He after honour hunts, I after love:
He leaves his friends to dignify them more;
I leave myself', my friends, and all for love.
Thou, Julia, thou hast metamorphos'd me;
Made me neglect my studies, lose my time,
War with good counsel, set the world at nought,
Made wit with musing weak, heart sick with thought.

Enter SPEED.
Speed. Sir Proteus, save you. Saw you my master ?
Pro. But now he parted hence to embark for Milan.

Speed. Twenty to one, then, he is shipp'd already,
And I have play'd the sheep in losing him.

Pro. Indeed a sheep doth very often stray, An if the shepherd be awhile

away. Speed. You conclude, that my master is a shepherd, then,

and I a sheep'? Pro. I do. Speed. Why then, my horns are his horns, whether I wake

or sleep. Pro. A silly answer, and fitting well a sheep.

• To Milan let me hear from thee by letters,] This is merely an inversion of “Let me hear from thee by letters to Milan." The first folio read

To Milan," which the second folio erroneously changes to “ At Milan," &c.

S I LEAVE myself,] It was “I love myself” till Pope's day: he printed “ leave" for love, and most properly, as appears not only by the sense, but by the corr. fo. 1632: love is there erased, and “ leave" written in the margin. It has been the bad practice, in modern times, to print "leave," as if it had so stood in the old impressions: they all read love.

• And I have play'd the SHEEP] The point depends upon the resemblance in sound between the words “ ship" and "sheep.” In many parts of the country "sheep" is pronounced "ship.” This joke (80 to call it) employed again in “ The Comedy of Errors." In writings of the time “Sheep-street," in Stratford.' upon-Avon, is often spelt Ship-street.

1 - and I A sheep?] The indefinite article was added in the second folio.

Speed. This proves me still a sheep.
Pro. True, and thy master a shepherd.
Speed. Nay, that I can deny by a circumstance.
Pro. It shall go hard, but I'll prove it by another.

Speed. The shepherd seeks the sheep, and not the sheep the shepherd; but I seek my master, and my master seeks not me: therefore, I am no sheep.

Pro. The sheep for fodder follow the shepherd, the shepherd for food follows not the sheep; thou for wages

followest thy master, thy master for wages follows not thee : therefore, thou art a sheep.

Speed. Such another proof will make me cry " baa.”.
Pro. But, dost thou hear? gav'st thou my letter to Julia ?

Speed. Ay, sir: I, a lost mutton, gave your letter to her, & laced mutton"; and she, a laced mutton, gave me, a lost mutton, nothing for my

labour. Pro. Here's too small a pasture for such store of muttons.

Speed. If the ground be overcharg'd, you were best stick her.

Pro. Nay, in that you are a stray', 'twere best pound you.

Speed. Nay, sir, less than a pound shall serve me for carrying your

letter. Pro. You mistake: I mean the pound, the pinfold.

Speed. From a pound to a pin ? fold it over and over, 'Tis threefold too little for carrying a letter to your

Pro. But what said she ? did she nod '?


- & LACED MUTTON ;) Many authorities prove that “mutton" and courtezan were synonymous terms in the time of Shakespeare, and long afterwards; and hence (as Malone tells us) the place called Mutton-lane in Clerkenwell. The question is, what was meant by a " laced mutton,” for the participle and substantive are often found together. “Laced" probably meant dressed or adorned ; and in Deloney's "Thomas of Reading," chap. ii., we read this passage: "No meat pleased him 80 well as mutlon, such as was laced in a red petticoat." Speed's jest, such as it is, may have reconciled Proteus to the ill compliment to his mistress. The Rev. Mr. Dyce never thinks a point sufficiently established, as . long as the word in question, however familiar, can be quoted from any other anthor: therefore here ("Few Notes," p. 17) we bave a farther illustration of “laced mutton," as in the preceding page we have had another proof that "sheep" and ship of old were confounded. Surely this is wasted time and space.

Nay, in that you are A STRAY,] Usually printed astray, but the joke requires the emendation introduced into the corr. fo. 1632: Speed being a stray, i.e. a stray sheep, was to be pounded.

did she nod ?] These words are supplied by Theobald, and seem to be necessary: they are not in the old copies ; but it is clear from what Speed afterwards says that Proteus had asked the question. In Speed's answers the old spelling of the affirmative particle, viz. “I” for ay, has necessarily been retained.



Speed. I.

[SPEED nods. Pro. Nod, I? why that's noddy'.

Speed. You mistook, sir : I say she did nod, and you ask me, if she did nod ? and I


Pro. And that, set together, is noddy.
Speed. Now you have taken the pains to set it together,
take it for your pains.

Pro. No, no; you shall have it for bearing the letter.
Speed. Well, I perceive I must be fain to bear with you.
Pro. Why, sir, how do you bear with me?

Speed. Marry, sir, the letter very orderly; having nothing but the word noddy for my pains. Pro. Beshrew

but you

have a quick wit.
Speed. And yet it cannot overtake your


purse. Pro. Come, come ; open the matter in brief : what said she?

Speed. Open your purse, that the money and the matter may be both at once deliver'd. Pro. Well, sir, here is for your pains. What said she ?

[Giving him money. Speed. Truly, sir, I think you'll hardly win her. Pro. Why?

Couldst thou perceive so much from her ?
Speed. Sir, I could perceive nothing at all from her better;
No, not so much as a ducat for delivering your letter;
And being so hard to me that brought to her your mind,
I fear she'll prove as hard to you in telling you her mind.
Give her no token but stones, for she's as hard as steel'.

Pro. What! said she nothing ?
Speed. No, not so much as—

"take this for thy pains.” To testify your bounty, I thank you, you have testern'd me*;

[ocr errors]


that's NODDY.]

Noddywas a game at cards, and to call a person & Noddy was the same as to call him a fool. Noddy was the Knave or Fool in a pack of cards; and the practice of calling the knave Nod, Noddy (sometimes corrapted to Nob and Nabby), is not yet entirely discontinued.

for she's as hard as steel.] This speech is given as rhyming verse in the corr. fo. 1632, whereas it stands as mere printed prose in the old copies. We may suspect that, after the words “No, not so much as” in Speed's next speech, he made a pause, as if a rhyme to “steel” were to be understood; but as he could not venture to pronounce it, he followed it up by the harmless words “take this for thy pains :" he then reverts to his prose. Malone had difficulty in making sense out of the passage, but the meaning seems now sufficiently obvious.

you have TESTERN'D me;] You have given me a testern, that is sixpence. In the time of Henry VIII. a tester, testern, or teston, was of the value of shilling: it was so called from having a teste, i.e. head, upon it. In the folio, 1623," testern'd” is misprinted cestern'd.

« السابقةمتابعة »