« PreviousContinue »
Luc. As of a knight well-spoken, neat and fine;
Jul. What think'st thou of the rich Mercatio?
Luc. Pardon, dear madam: 'tis a passing shame,
Jul. Why not on Proteus, as of all the rest?
Luc. I have no other, but a woman's reason;
Jul. And would'st thou have me cast my love on him?
Peruse this paper, madam.
That the contents will shew.
he [Sir Eglamour] never should be mine.] Perhaps Sir Eglamour was once the common cant term for an insignificant inamorato. So, in Decker's Satiromastix:
“ Adieu, sir Eglamour ; adieu lute-string, curtain-rod, goosequill,” &c. Sir Eglamour of Artoys, indeed, is the hero of an ancient metrical romance," Imprinted at London, in Foster Lane, at the sygne of the Harteshorne, by John Walley,” bl. 1. no date.
Steevens. 2 Should censure thus, &c.] To censure means, in this place, to pass sentence. So, in Hinde's Eliosto Libidinoso, 1606: “ Eli. osto and Cleodora were astonished at such a hard censure, and went to limbo most willingly.” Steevens.
To censure, in our author's time, generally signified to give one's judgment, or opinion. Malone.
He would have given it you, but I, being in the way,
Jui. Now, by my modesty, a goodly broker!3
Luc. To plead for love deserves more fee, than hate.
That you may ruminate. [Erit.
What would your ladyship?
I would it were;
- a goodly broker!] A broker was used for matchmaker,
“ And Alie (o flie) these bed-brokers unclean,
say No, to that, &c.] A paraphrase on the old proverb, “Maids say nay, and take it.” Steevens.
stomach on your meat,] Stomach was used for passion, or obstinacy. Fohnson.
And not upon your maid.
What is 't you took up
Why didst thou stoop then?
Nothing concerning me. Jul. Then let it lie for those that it concerns.
Luc. Madam, it will not lie where it concerns, Unless it have a false interpreter.
Jul. Some love of yours hath writ to you, in rhyme.
Luc. That I might sing it, madam, to a tune: Give me a note: your ladyship can set.
Jul. As little by such toys as may be possible:
Luc. It is too heavy for so light a tune.
I cannot reach so high.
Luc. Keep tune there still, so you will sing it out: And yet, methinks, I do not like this tune.
Jul. You do not?
Luc. Nay, now you are too flat,
Jul. The mean is drown'd with your unruly base.
6 Light ó love.] This time is given in a note on Much Ado About Nothing, Act IIL sc. iv. Steevens.
too harsh a deseant:] Descant is a term in music. See Sir John Hawkins's note, on the first speech in K. Richard III.
Steevens. but a mean, &c.] The mean is the tenor in music. So, in the interlude of Mary Magdalen's Repentance, 1569:
"Utilitie can sing the base full cleane,
“ And noble honour shall sing the meane.” Steevens9 Indeed, I bid the base for Proteus.] The speaker here turns: the allusion (which her mistress employed) from the base in medio
Jul. This babble shall not henceforth trouble me. Here is a coil with protestation ! [Tears the letter. Go, get you gone; and let the papers lie: You would be fingering them, to anger me. Luc. She makes it strange; but she would be best
pleas'd To be so anger'd with another letter.
[Exit. Jul. Nay, would I were so anger'd with the same! O hateful hands, to tear such loving words! Injurious wasps! to feed on such sweet honey, And kill the bees, that yield it, with your stings! I'll kiss each several paper for amends, And, here is writ-kind Julia ;- unkind Julia ! As in revenge of thy ingratitude, I throw thy name against the bruising stones, Trampling contemptuously on thy disdain. Look, here is writ-love-wounded Proteus :Poor wounded name! my bosom, as a bed, Shall lodge thee, till thy wound be thoroughly heal'd; And thus I search it with a sovereign kiss. But twice, or thrice, was Proteus written down?1 Be calm, good wind, blow not a word away, Till I have found each letter in the letter, Except mine own name; that some whirlwind bear
sick to a country exercise, Bid the base : in which some pursue, and others are made prisoners. So that Lucetta would intend, by this, to say, Indeed I take pains to make you a captive to Proteus's passion.--He uses the same allusion, in his Venus and A donis:
- To bid the winds a base he now prepares." And, in his Cymbeline, he mentions the game:
- Lads more like “ To run the country base.” Warburton. Dr. Warburton is not quite accurate. The game was not called Bid the Base, but the Base. To bid the base means here, I believe, to challenge to a contest. So, in our author's Venus and Adonis :
“ To bid the wind a base he now prepares,
“ And wh'er he run, or fly, they knew not whether." Again, in Hall's Chronicle, fol. 98. b: “ The queen marched from York to Wakefield, and bade base to the duke, even before his castle.” Malone.
Mr. Malone's explanation of the verb-bid, is unquestionably just. So, in one of the parts of R. Henry VI:
“Of force enough to bid his brother battle.” Steevens.
written down!] To write down, is still a provincial expression, for to write. Henley.
Unto a ragged, fearful, hanging rock,
Luc. Nay, I was taken up for laying them down:
Jul. I see, you have a month's mind to them.3
? Yet here they shall not lie, for catching cold.] That is, as Mr. M. Mason observes, lest they should catch cold. This mode of expression (he adds) is not frequent in Shakspeare, but occurs in every play of Beaumont and Fletcher. So, in The Captain: “ We'll have a bib, for spoiling of your
doublet." Again, in Love's Pilgrimage:
“Stir my horse, for catching cold.” Again, in The Pilgrim:
“ All her face patch'd, for discovery.” To these I shall add another instance from Barnabie Riche's Souldiers Wishe to Britons Welfare, or Captaine Skill and Captaine Pill, 1604, p. 64: “ —such other ill disposed persons, being once pressed must be kept with continuall guard, &c. for running away.” Again, in Chapman's version of the first Iliad:
then forked anchor cast, “ And ’gainst the violence of storms, for drifting made her
fast." Again, in Tusser's Five Hundred Pointes of Good Husbandrie, 1586:
" Take heed how thou laiest the bane for the rats,
“ For poisoning thy servant, thyself, and thy brats.” Steevens. 3 I see, you have a month's mind to them.] A month's mind was an anniversary, in times of popery; or, as Mr. Ray calls it, a less solemnity, directed by the will of the deceased. There was also a year's mind, and a week's mind. See Proverbial Phrases.
This appears from the interrogatories and observations against the clergy, in the year 1552, Inter. 7: “ Whether there are any months minds, and anniversaries.?” Strype's Memorials of the Reformation, Vol. II. p. 354.