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mirth, as it were, I have acquainted you withal, to the end to crave your assistance.
Hol. Sir, you shall present before her the nine worthies.—Sir Nathaniel, as concerning some entertainment of time, some show in the posterior of this day, to be rendered by our assistance,—the king's command, and this most gallant, illustrate, and learned gentleman, before the princess; I say, none so fit as to present the nine worthies.
Nath. Where will you find men worthy enough to present them?
Hol. Joshua, yourself; myself, or this gallant gentleman,' Judas Maccabæus; this swain, because of his great limb or joint, shall pass Pompey the great; the page, Hercules.
Arm. Pardon, sir, error: he is not quantity enough for that worthy's thumb: he is not so big as the end of his club.
Hol. Shall I have audience? he shall present Hercules in minority; his enter and exit shall be strangling a snake; and I will have an apology for that purpose.
Moth. An excellent device! so, if any of the audience hiss, you may cry: well done Hercules! now thou crushest the snake! that is the way to make an offence gracious;1 though few have the grace to do it.
Arm. For the rest of the worthies ?--
Arm. We will have, if this fadge not,” an antick. I beseech you, follow.
myself, or this gallant gentleman,] The old copy basand this, &c. The correction was made by Mr. Steevens. We ought, I believe, to read in the next line--shall pass for Pompey the great. If the text be right, the speaker must mean that the swain shall, in representing Pompey, surpass him, “because of his great limb." Malone.
“Shall pass Pompey the great," seems to mean, shall march in the procession for him; walk as his representative. Steevens.
to make an offence gracious ;] i.e. to convert an offence against yourselves, into a dramatic propriety. Steevens.
if this fadge not,] i.e. suit not, go not, pass not into
Hol. Via,3 goodman Dull! thou hast spoken no word all this while.
Dull. Nor understood none neither, sir.
Dull. I'll make one in a dance, or so; or I will play on the tabor to the worthies, and let them dance the hay. Hol. Most dull, honest Dull, to our sport, away.
Another part of the same. Before the Princess's
Prin. Sweet hearts, we shall be rich ere we depart,
Ros. Madam, came nothing else along with that?
Prin. Nothing but this? yes, as much love in rhyme,
Ros. That was the way to make his god-head wax;*
Kath. Ay, and a shrewd unhappy gallows too.
action. Several instances of the use of this word are given in Twelfth Night.
Another may be added from Chapman's version of the 22d Iliad:
“ This fadging conflict.” Steevens. 3 Via,] An Italian exclamation, signifying, courage, come on!
Steevens. to make his god-head wax;] To wax anciently signified to grow. It is yet said of the moon, that she waxes and wanes. So, in Drayton's Polyolbion, Song I: /
“ I view those wanton brooks, that waxing still do wane.” Again, in Lyly's Love's Metamorphoses, 1601:
* Men's follies will ever wax, and then what reason can make them wise ?" Again, in the Polyolbion, Song V: “ The stem shall strongly wax, as still the trunk doth
Ros. You 'll ne'er be friends with him; he kill'd your
sister. Kath. He made her melancholy, sad, and heavy; And so she died: had she been light, like you, Of such a merry, nimble, stirring spirit, She might have been a grandam ere she died; And so may you; for a light heart lives long. Ros. What's your dark meaning, mouse,s of this
light word? Kath. A light condition in a beauty dark. Ros. We need more light to find your meaning out.
Kath. You ’ll mar the light, by taking it in snuff:6 Therefore, I 'll darkly end the argument. Ros. Look, what you do, you do it still i' the dark. Kath. So do not you; for you are a light wench. Ros. Indeed, I weigh not you; and therefore light. Kath. You weigh me not,—0, that's you care not for
Ros. Great reason; for, Past cure is still past care.?
Prin. Well bandied both; a set of wits well play’d.
I would, you knew :
mouse,] This was a term of endearment formerly. So, in Hamlet : “Pinch wanton on your cheek; call you his mouse."
Malone. -taking it in snuff;] Snuff is here used equivocally for an.' ger, and the snuff of a candle. See more instances of this con. ceit in King Henry IV, P. I, Act I, sc. iii. Steevens.
- for, Past cure is still past care.] The old copy readspast care is still past cure. The transposition was proposed by Dr. Thirlby, and, it must be owned, is supported by a line in King Richard II:
“ Things past redress are now with me past care." So, also, in a pamphlet entitled Holland's Leaguer, 4to. 1632: “She had got this adage in her mouth. Things past cure, past care."-Yet the following lines in our author's 147th Sonnet seem rather in favour of the old reading :
“ Past cure I am, now reason is past care,
" And frantick mad with evermore unrest.” Malone. - a set of wit -] A term from tennis. So, in King Henry V:
play a set “ Shall strike his father's crown into the hazard.” Steevens.
An if my face were but as fair as yours,
Prin. Any thing like?
Ros. 'Ware pencils!' How? let me not die your debtor,
Kath. A pox of that jest! and beshrew all shrows!?
9'Ware pencils !] The former editions read:
“ Were pencils Sir T. Hanmer here rightly restored:
“'Ware pencil's " Rosaline, a black beauty, reproaches the fair Katharine for paintingJohnson.
Johnson mistakes the meaning of this sentence; it is not a reproach, but a cautionary threat. Rosaline says that Biron had drawn her picture in his letter; and afterwards playing on the word letter, Katharine compares her to a text B. Rosaline in reply advises her to beware of pencils, that is of drawing likenesses, lest she should retaliate ; which she afterwards does, by comparing her to a red dominical letter, and calling her marks of the small pox oes. M. Mason.
so full of O's!] Shakspeare talks of “— fiery O's and eyes of light,” in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Steevens.
2 Pox of that jest! and beshrew all shrows.] “Pox of that jest!" Mr. Theobald is scandalized at this language from a princess. But there needs no alarm--the small pox only is alluded to; with which, it seems, Katharine was pitted; or, as it is quaintly expressed, “her face was full of O's.” Davison has a canzonet on his lady's sicknesse of the poxe: and Dr. Donne writes to his sister: “at my return from Kent, I found Pegge had the Poxe – I humbly thank God, it hath not much disfigured her." Farmer.
A pox of that jest! &c.] This line, which in the old copies is given to the Princess, Mr. Theobald rightly attributed to Katha
The metre, as well as the mode of expression, shew that“I beshrew," the reading of these copies, was a mistake of the transcriber. Malone.
Prin. But what was sent to you from fair Dumain?3
Did he not send you twain?
Mar. This, and these pearls, to me sent Longaville; The letter is too long by half a mile.
Prin. I think no less: Dost thou not wish in heart, The chain were longer, and the letter short? Mar. Ay, or I would these hands might never part. Prin. We are wise girls, to mock our lovers so.
Ros. They are worse fools to purchase mocking so. That same Birón I'll torture ere I go. O, that I knew he were but in by the week!“ How I would make him fawn, and beg, and seek; And wait the season, and observe the times, And spend his prodigal wits in bootless rhymes; And shape his service wholly to my behests;' And make him proud to make me proud that jests !6
3 But what was sent to you from fair Dumain?] The old copies, after But, insert Katharine. We should, therefore, read: “ But, Katharine, what was sent you from Dumain ?"
Ritson. in by the week.!] This I suppose to be an expression taken from hiring servants or artificers; meaning, I wish I was as sure of his service for any time limited, as if I had hired him.
The expression was a common one. So, in Vittoria Corombona, 1612:
.“What, are you in by the week? So; I will try now whether thy wit be close prisoner.' Again, in The Wit of a Woman, 1604: “ Since I am in by the week, let me look to the year.”
Steevens. 5-wholly to my behests ;] The quarto, 1598, and the first folio, read-to my device. The emendation, which the rhyme confirms, was made by the editor of the second folio, and is one of the very few corrections of any value to be found in that copy.
Malone. Mr. Malone, however, admits three other corrections from the second folio in this very sheet. Steevens.
6 And make him proud to make me proud that jests!} The mean. ing of this obscure line seems to be, I would make him proud to fatter me who make a mock of his flattery.-Edinburgh Magazine for Noy. 1786. Steevens.