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King. O, you have liv'd in desolation here,
Unseen, unvisited, much to our shame.
Prin. Not so, my lord: it is not so, I swear;

We have had pastimes here, and pleasant game; A mess of Russians left us but of late.

King. How, madam? Russians ?

Ay, in truth, my lord; Trim gallants, full of courtship, and of state.

Ros. Madam, speak true:- It is not so my lord;
My lady, (to the manner of the days)
In courtesy, gives undeserving praise.
We four, indeed, confronted were with four
In Russian habit: here they stay'd an hour,
And talk'd apace; and in that hour, my lord,
They did not bless us with one happy word.
I dare not call them fools; but this I think,
When they are thirsty, fools would fain have drink.

Biron. This jest is dry to me.--Fair, gentle sweet, 3
Your wit makes wise things foolish; when we greet*
With eyes best seeing heaven's fiery eye,
By light we lose light: Your capacity
Is of that nature, that to your huge store
Wise things seem foolish, and rich things but poor.

2 My lady, (to the manner of the days)

In courtesy, gives undeserving praise.) To the manner of the days, means according to the manner of the times.-Gives unde. serving praise, means praise to what does not deserve it.

M. Mason. 3 Fair, gentle sweet,] The word fair, which is wanting in the two elder copies, was restored by the second folio. Mr. Malone reads—" My gentle sweet.

“My fair, sweet honey monarch” occurs in this very scene, p. 137. Steevens.

Sweet is generally used as a substantive by our author, in his addresses to ladies. So, in The Winter's Tale:

When you speak, sweet, “I'd have you do it ever." Again, in The Merchant of Venice:

“ And now, good sweet, say thy opinion.” Again, in Othello:

O, my sweet, “ I prattle out of tune.” The editor of the second folio, with less probability, (as it appears to me) reads--fair, gentle sweet. Malone.

- when we greet &c.] This is a very lofty and elegant compliment. Fohnson.

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Ros. This proves you wise and rich; for in my eye,-
Biron. I am a fool, and full of poverty.

Ros. But that you take what doth to you belong,
It were a fault to snatch words from my tongue.

Biron. O, I am yours, and all that I possess.
Ros. All the fool mine?

I cannot give you less.
Ros. Which of the visors was it, that you wore?
Biron. Where? when? what visor? why demand you

Ros. There, then, that visor; that superfluous case;
That hid the worse, and show'd the better face.
King. We are descried: they ’ll mock us now down-

Dum. Let us confess, and turn it to a jest.
Prin. Amaz'd, my lord? Why looks your highness sad?
Ros. Help, hold his brows! he'll swoon! Why look

you pale? -
Sea-sick, I think, coming from Muscovy.
Biron. Thus pour the stars down plagues for perjury.

Can any face of brass hold longer out?Here stand I, lady; dart thy skill at me;

Bruise me with scorn, confound me with a flout; Thrust thy sharp wit quite through my ignorance;

Cut me to pieces with thy keen conceit; And I will wish thee never more to dance,

Nor never more in Russian habit wait, O! never will I trust to speeches penn'd,

Nor to the motion of a school-boy's tongue; Nor never come in visor to my friend;5

Nor woo in rhyme, like a blind harper's song: Taffata phrases, silken terms precise,

Three-pild hyperboles,6 spruce affectation,? Figures pedantical; these summer-flies

Have blown me full of maggot ostentation :

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- my friend;] i. e. mistress. So, in Measure for Measure :

- he hath got his friend with child.” Steevens.
6 Three-pil'd hyperboles,] A metaphor from the pile of velvet.
So, in The Winter's Tale, Autolychus says:

“ I have worn three-pile.Steevens.
spruce affectation,] The old copies read-affection.



I do forswear them: and I here protest,
By this white glove, (how white the hand, God

Henceforth my wooing mind shall be express'd

In russet yeas, and honest kersey noes :
And, to begin wench, so God help me, la ! -
My love to thee is sound, sans crack or flaw.

Ros. Sans sans, I pray you. 8.

Yet I have a trick
Of the old rage:-bear with me, I am sick;
I'll leave it by degrees. Soft, let us see ;-
Write, Lord have mercy on us,on those three;
They are infected, in their hearts it lies;
They have the plague, and caught it of your eyes:

The modem editors read-affectation. There is no need of change. already in this play have had affection for affectation;"

witty without affection.". The word was used by our author and his contemporaries, as a quadrisyllable; and the rhyme such as they thought sufficient. Malone.

In The Merry Wives of Windsor the word affectation occurs, and was most certainly designed to occur again in the present instance. No ear can be satisfied with such rhymes as affection and ostentation. Steevens. 8

Sans sans, I pray you.] It is scarce worth remarking, that the conceit 'here is obscured by the punctuation. It should be written Sans SANS, i.e. without sans'; without French words: an affectation of which Biron had been guilty in the last line of his speech, though just before he had forsworn all affectation in phrases, terms, &c. Tyrwhitt.

9 Write, Lord have mercy on us,] This was the inscription put upon the door of the houses infected with the plague, to which Biron compares the love of himself and his companions; and pursuing the metaphor finds the tokens likewise on the ladies. The tokens of the plague are the first spots or discolorations, by which the infection is known to be received. Johnson.

So, in Histriomastix, 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 stamp'd on them to make them known,

“ More dreadful than the bills that preach the plague." Again, in More Fools Yet, a collection of Epigrams, by R. Š. 1610:

“ To declare the infection for his sin,

« A crosse is set without, there's none within.” Steevens. So, in Sir Thomas Overbury's Characters, 1632:

Lord have mercy on us may well stand over their doors, for debt is a most dangerous city pestilence.!! Malone.

These lords are visited; you are not free, 1
For the Lord's tokens on you do I see.

Prin. No, they are free, that gave these tokens to us,
Biron. Our states are forfeit, seek not to undo us.

Ros. It is not so; For how can this be true;
That ou stand forfeit, being those that sue?1

Biron. Peace; for I will not have to do with you.
Ros. Nor shall not, if I do as I intend.
Biron. Speak for yourselves, my wit is at an end.
King. Teach us, sweet madam, for our rude trans-

gression Some fair excuse. Prin.

The fairest is confession.
Were you not here, but even now, disguis d?topia

King. Madam, I was.

And were you well advis'd ??
King. I was, fair madam.

When you then were here, What did you whisper in your lady's ear?

King. That more than all the world I did respect her.
Prin. When she shall challenge this, you will reject her?
King. Upon mine honour, no.

Peace, peace, forbear; Your oath once broke, you force not to forswear. 3

King. Despise me, when I break this oath of mine.. · Prin. I will: and therefore keep it:-Rosaline; What did the Russian whisper in your ear?i

Ros. Madam, he swore, that he did hold me dear As precious eye-sight; and did value me



how can this be true, That you stand forfeit, being those that sue?) That is, how can those be liable to forfeiture that begin the process. The jest lies in the ambiguity of sue, which signifies to prosecute by law, or to offer a petition. Johnson.

well advis'd?] i. e. acting with sufficient deliberation. So, in The Comedy of Errorsi.

“My liege I am advis'd in what I say.” Steevens. you force not to forswear.] 'You force not is the same with you make no difficulty. This is a very just observation. The crime which has been once committéd, is committed again with less reluctance. Johnson. So, in Warner's Albion's England, B. X, ch: 59: -be forced not to hide how he did err:

r.". Steevens.



Above this world: adding thereto, moreover,
That he would wed me, or else die my lover.

Prin. God give thee joy of him! the noble lord
Most honourably doth uphold his word.

King. What mean you, madam? by my life, my troth, I never swore this lady such oath.

Ros. By heaven, you did; and to confirm it plain, You gave me this; but take it, sir, again.

King. My faith, and this, the princess I did give; I knew her by this jewel on her sleeve.

Prin. Pardon me, sir, this jewel did she wear ; And lord Birón, I thank him, is my dear: What; will you have me, or your pearl again?

Biron. Neither of either;4 I remit both twain.I see the trick on 't;-Here was a consent,5 (Knowing aforehand of our merriment) To dash it like a Christmas comedy: Some carry-tale, some pleasc-man, some slight zany, Some mumble-news, some trencher-knight,? some Dick, That smiles his cheek in years; 8 and knows the trick


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* Neither of either;] This seems to have been a common expression in our author's time. It occurs in The London Prodigal, 1605, and other comedies. Malone. a consent,] i. e. a conspiracy. So, in K. Henry VI, P.I:

the stars “ That have consented to king Henry's death." Steevens.

zany] A zany is a buffoon, a merry Andrew, a gross mimick. So, in Marston's Insatiate Countess, 1613:

sung “ To every seuerall zanie's instrument.” Again, in Antonio's Revenge, 1602:

“ Laughs them to scorn, as man doth busy apes,

" When they will zany men.” Steevens.
- some trencher-knight,] See page

« And stand between her back, sir, and the fire,
“ Holding a trencher,” - &c. Malone.

some Dick, That smiles his cheek in years;] Mr. Theobald says, he cand not for his heart, comprehend the meaning of this phrase. It was not his heart but his head that stood in his way. In years, signifies, into wrinkles. So, in The Merchant of Venice:

“With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.See the note on that line But the Oxford editor was in the same case, and so alters it to fleers. Warburton.



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