« PreviousContinue »
SCENE I. Paris. A Room in the King's Palace. Flourish. Enter King, with young Lords, taking
leave for the Florentine war; BERTRAM, PAROLLES, and Attendants. King. Farewell, young lord, these warlike prin
ciples Do not throw from you :-and you, my lord, fare
It is our hope, sir,
King. No, no, it cannot be ; and yet my heart
life besiege. Farewell, young lords; Whether I live or die, be you the sons Of worthy Frenchmen: let higher Italy (Those 'bated, that inherit but the fall Of the last monarchy,) see, that you come
- and yet my heart, &c.] i. e. in the common phrase, I am still heart-whole ; my spirits, by not sinking under my dis. temper, do not acknowledge its influence.
let higher Italy
Of the last monarchy,) see, &c.] The ancient geographers have divided Italy into the higher and the lower, the Apennine hills being a kind of natural line of partition ; the side next the Adriatic was denominated the higher Italy, and the other side the lower; and the two seas followed the same terms of distinction, the Adriatic being called the upper Sea, and the Tyrrhene, or Tuscan, the lower. Now the Sennones, or Senois, with whom the Florentines are here supposed to be at war, inhabited the higher Italy, their chief town being Arminium, now called Rimini, upon the Adriatic. HANMER.
Not to woo honour, but to wed it ; when
Our hearts receive your warnings. King, Farewell.—Come hither to me.
[The King retires to a couch. i Lord. O my sweet lord, that you
behind us ! Par. "Tis not his fault; the spark2 Lord.
0, 'tis brave wars! Par. Most admirable: I have seen those wars. Ber. I am commanded here, and kept a coil
with; Too young, and the next year, and 'tis too early. Par. And thy mind stand to it, boy, steal away
bravely. Ber. I shall stand here the forehorse to a
smock, Creaking my shoes on the plain masonry, Till honour be bought up, and no sword worn,
Dr. Johnson says, that the sense may be this: Let upper Italy, where you are to exercise your valour, see that you come to gain honour, to the abatement that is, to the disgrace and depression of those that have now lost their ancient military fame, and inherit but the fall of the last monarchy. To abate is used by Shakspeare in the original sense of abatre, to depress, to sink, to deject, to subdur. 9-beware of being captives, Before you serve.] The word serve is equivocal; the sense Be not captives before you serve in the war.
But one to dance with!' By heaven, I'll steal
away. 1 Lord. There's honour in the theft. Par.
Commit it, Count. 2 Lord. I am your accessary; and so farewell.
Ber. I grow to you, and our parting is a tortured body.
i Lord. Farewell, captain.
Par. Noble heroes, my sword and yours are kin. Good sparks and lustrous, a word, good metals :You shall find in the regiment of the Spinii, one captain Spurio, with his cicatrice, an emblem of war, here on his sinister cheek ;
cheek ; it was this very sword entrenched it: say to him, I live; and observe his reports for me.
2 Lord. We shall, noble captain.
Par. Mars dote on you for his novices ! [Exeunt Lords.] What will you do?
Ber. Stay ; the king- [Seeing him rise.
Par. Use a more spacious ceremony to the noble lords; you have restrained yourself within the list of too cold an adieu : be more expressive to them ; for they wear themselves in the cap of the time, there, do muster true gait, eat, speak, and move under
and no sword worn, But one to dance with!] It should be remembered that, in Shakspeare's time, it was usual for gentlemen to dance with swords on. Our author gave to all countries the manners of his own.
they wear themselves in the cap of the time, there, do muster true gait, &c.] The obscurity of the passage arises from the fantastical language of a character like Parolles, whose affectation of wit urges his imagination from one allusion to another, without allowing time for his judgment to determine their congruity. The cap of time being the first image that occurs, true gait, manner of eating, speaking, &c. are the several ornaments which they muster, place, or arrange in time's cap. This is done under the influence of the most received star ; that is, the person in the highest repute for setting the fashions:--and though the devil were
the influence of the most received star ; and though the devil lead the measure,' such are to be followed : after them, and take a more dilated farewell.
Ber. And I will do so.
Par. Worthy fellows; and like to prove most sinewy sword-men.
[E.reunt BERTRAM and PAROLLES.
Enter LAFEU. Laf. Pardon, my lord, [Kneeling.] for me and
for my tidings. King. I'll fee thee to stand up: Laf.
Then here's a man Stands, that has brought his pardon. I would, you Had kneeld, my lord, to ask me mercy; and That at my bidding, you could so stand up.
King. I would I had; so I had broke thy pate, And ask'd thee mercy for’t. Laf.
Goodfaith, across :* But, my good lord, 'tis thus ; Will you be cur'd Of your infirmity King.
0, will you eat
to lead the measure or dance of fashion, such is their implicit submission, that even he must be followed. HENLEY. 3 lead the measure,] i. e. the dance.
across :) This word is used when any pass of wit miscarries. While chivalry was in vogue, breaking spears against a quintain was a favourite exercise. He who shivered the greatest number was esteemed the most adroit; but then it was to be performed exactly with the point, for if achieved by a sidestroke, or across, it showed unskilfulness, and disgraced the practiser.
s medicine,) is here put for a she-physician.
Quicken a rock, and make
you With spritely fire and motion ; whose simple touch Is powerful to araise king Pepin, nay, To give Great Charlemain a pen in his hand, And write to her a love-line. King:
What her is this? Laf. Why, doctor she; My lord, there's one
you will see her,-now, by my faith and honour, If seriously I may convey my thoughts In this my light deliverance, I have spoke With one, that, in her sex, her years, profession, Wisdom, and constancy, hath amaz’d me more Than I dare blame my weakness :' Will you see her (For that is her demand) and know her business? That done, laugh well at me. King.
Now, good Lafeu, Bring in the admiration; that we with thee May spend our wonder too, or take off thine, By wond'ring how thou took'st it. Laf
Nay, I'll fit you, And not be all day neither. (Exit Lafeu
King. Thus he his special nothing ever prologues.
Re-enter LAFEU, with HELENA.
This haste hath wings indeed.
dance canary,] a kind of dance.
her years, profession, ] By profession is meant her declaration of the end and purpose of her coming.
& Than I dare blame my weakness :) Lafeu's meaning appears to me to be this :-" That the amazement she excited in him was so great, that he could not impute it merely to his own weakness, but to the wonderful qualities of the object that occasioned it.”
M, Mason, 10