« ZurückWeiter »
Clo. 'Tis not unknown to you, Madam, I am a
Count. Well, Sir.
Clo. No, Madam; 'tis not so well that I am poor, tho' many of the rich are damn'd; but, if I have your ladyship's good will to go to the world, Isbel the woman and I will do as we may.
Count. Wilt thou needs be a beggar?
Clo. In Isbel's case, and mine own; service is no heritage, and, I think, I shall never have the blessing of God, 'till I have Issue of my body; for they lay, bearns are blessings.
Count. Tell me thy reason why thou wilt marry.
Clo. My poor body, Madam, requires it. I am driven on by the Flesh; and he must needs go, that the devil drives.
Count. Is this all your worship's reason?
Clo. Faith, Madam, I have other holy reasons, such as they are.
Count. May the world know them?
Clo. I have been, Madam, a wicked creature, as you and all flesh and blood are ; and, indeed, I do marry, that I may repent. fuch knaveries YARE; nimble, dextrous, i. e. Tho' you be fool enough to commit knaveries, yet you have quickness enough to commit them dextrously: for this observation was to let us into 'his character. But now, tho' this be set right, and, I dare lay, in Shakespear's own words, yet the former part of the sentence will still be inaccurate--you lack not folly to commit THEM. Them, what ? the sense requires knaveries, but the antecedent referr'd to, is complaints. But this was certainly a negligence of Shakaspear's, and therefore to be left as we find ic And the reader, who cannot see that this is an inaccuracy which the Author might well commit, and the other what he never could, has either sead Shakespear very little, or gready mnispent his pains. The principal Office of a criuck is to distinguith between these two things. But 'tis that branch of criticism which no precepts can teach the writer to di charge, or the reader to judge of. VOL. III.
Count. Thy marriage, sooner than thy wickedness.
Clo. I am out of friends, Madam, and I hope to have friends for my wife's sake.
Count. Such friends are thine enemies, knave.
Clo. Y are shallow, Madam, in great friends; for the knaves come to do that for me, which I am weary of; he, that eares my land, spares my team, and gives me leave to inne the crop; if I be his cuckold, he's my drudge; he, that comforts my wife, is the cherither of my flesh and blood; he, that cherisheth my flesh and blood, loves my flesh and blood; he, that loves my Aesh and blood, is my friend : ergo, he, that kisses my wife, is my friend. If men could be contented to be what they are, there were no fear in marriage; for
young Charbon the puritan, and old Poyfam the papist, howsoe'er their hearts are sever'd in religion, their heads are both one; they may joul horns together, like any deer i'th' herd.
Count. Wilt thou ever be a foul-mouth'd and caJumnious knave?
Clo. A prophet, I, Madam ; and I speak the truth the next way. “ For I the ballad will repeat, which men full truc
shall find; “ Your marriage comes by destiny, your cuckow sings
2 A prophet, 1, Madam; and I speak the truth the next way.) It is a fuperftition, which has run through all ages and people, that natural fools have something in them of divinity. On which account they were esteemed sacred: Travellers tell us in what efteem the Turks now hold them ; nor had they lels honour paid them heretofore in France, as appcars from the old word Benét, for a natural fool. Hence it was that Pantagruel, in Rablais, advised Panurge to go and consult the fool Tribouler as an oracle; which gives occasion to a satirical Stroke upon the privy council of Francis the first.---- Par l'avis, conseil, predi&tion des fols vos sçavez quants princes, &'c. ont eflé confervez, &c.—The phraso-speak the truth the next way, means directly; as they do who are only the instruments or canals of others; such as inspired persons were supposed to be.
Count, 3 Was this fair face the cause, quotb fe,
Caunt. Get you gone, Sir, I'll talk with you more anon.
1 Stew. May it please you, Madam, that he bid Helen come to you; of her I am to speak.
Count. Sirrah, tell my gentlewoman I would speak with her, Helen I mean. dlo. 3" Was this fair face the cause, quoth she,
[Singing, “Why the Grecians facked Troy? “Fond done, fond done; for Paris, he, “ Was this King Priam's joy. “ With that the fighed as the stood, “ And gave this fentence then ; “ + Among nine bad if one be good, “ There's yet one good in ten.
Count. What, one good in cen? You corrupt the song, Sirrah.
Clo. One good woman in ten, Madam, which is a purifying o'ch' fong: 'would, God would serve the
Why the Grecians facked Troy?
Was this King Priam's joy.] This is a Stanza of an old ballad, out of which a word or two are dropt, equally necessary to make the sense and the alternate rhime. For it was not Helen, who was King Priam's joy, but Paris. The third line therefore hould be read thus,
Fond done, fond done, for PARIS, he. 4. Among nine bad if one be good,
There's yet one good in ten} This second fanzı of the ballad is turned to a joke upon the women: a confeflion, that there was one good in ten. Whereon the Countess observed, that he corrupted the fong; which shews the song said, Nine good in ten.
If one be bad amongst nine good,
There's but one bad in ten. This relates to the ten sons of Priam, who all behaved themselves well but Paris. Por, tho' he once had fifty, yet at this unfortunate period of his reign he had but ten ; Agathon, Antiphon, Deiphobus, Dius, Helior, Helenus, Hipporbous, Pemmon, Paris, and Polites. C2
world so all the year! we'd find no fault with the tythe-woman, if I were the Parson; one in ten, quoth a'! an we might have a good woman born but every blazing star, or at an earthquake, 'twould mend the lottery well; a man may draw his heart out, ere he pluck one.
Count. You'll be gone, Sir knave, and do as I command you?
Clo. That man that should be at a woman's command, and yet no hurt done! tho' honesty be no puritan, yet it will do no hurt; it will wear the surplis of humility over the black gown of a big heart: I am going, forsooth, the business is for Helen to come hither.
[Exit. Count. Well, now.
Stew. I know, Madam, you love your gentlewoman intirely.
Count. Faith, I do; her father bequeath'd her to me; and she herself, without other advantages, may lawfully make title to as much love as she finds; there is more owing her, than is paid ; and more shall be paid her, than she'll demand.
Stew. Madam, I was very late more near her, than, I think, she wish'd me; alone she was, and did communicate to herself her own words to her own ears; she thought, I dåre vow for her, they touch'd not any stranger sense. Her matter was, she lov'd your son; Fortune, she said, was no Goddess, that had put such difference betwixt their two estates; Love, no God, that would not extend his might, only where qualities were level ; 5 Diana, no Queen of Virgins, that would suffer her poor Knight to be surpriz'd without rescue in the first affault, or ransom afterward. This the deliver'd in the most bitter touch of sorrow, that e'er I heard a virgin exclaim in;
§ Diana added by Mr, Theobald.
which I held it my duty speedily to acquaint you withal; sithence, in the loss that may happen, it concerns you something to know it.
Count. You have discharg'd this honestly, keep it to yourself; many likelihoods inform'd me of this before, which hung fo tottering in the balance, that I could neither believe nor misdoubt; pray you, leave me; stall this in your bosom, and I thank you for your honest care ; I will speak with
I will speak with you further anon.
[Exit Steward, SC E N E VII.
If we are nature's, these are ours: this thorn
Our blood to us, this to our blood, is born;
Hel. What is your pleasure, Madam?
Count. Nay, a Mother?
6 Such were our faults, or then we thought them none ] We fhould read,
O! then we thought them none. A motive for pity and pardon ; agreeable to fa&t, and the indulgent character of the speaker. This was sent to the Oxford Editor, and he altered O, to tho'.