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Your grace is welcome to a man disgraced, Duke. I grant it for thine own, whate'er it be. Banishéd Valentine.
Val. These banished men, that I have kept Duke. Sir Valentine !
withal, Thu. Yonder is Silvia; and Silvia's mine. Are men endued with worthy qualities; Val. Thurio, give back, or else embrace thy Forgive them what they have committed here, death;
And let them be recalled from their exile :
And fit for great employment, worthy lord.
thee: I dare thee but to breathe upon my love. Dispose of them, as thou knowest their deserts.
Thu. Sir Valentine, I care not for her, I; Come, let us go; we will include all jars I hold him but a fool, that will endanger
With triumphs, mirth, and rare solemnity. His body for a girl that loves him not:
Val. And, as we walk along, I dare be bold I claim her not, and therefore she is thine. With our discourse to make your grace to smile :
Duke. The more degenerate and base art thou, What think you of this page, my lord ? To make such means for her as I have done, Duke. I think the boy hath grace in him; he And leave her on such slight conditions.
blushes. Now, by the honor of my ancestry,
Val. I warrant you, my lord; more grace than I do applaud thy spirit, Valentine,
boy. And think thee worthy of an empress' love. Duke. What mean you by that saying ? Know, then, I here forget all former griefs,
Val. Please you, I'll tell you as we pass Cancel all grudge, repeal thee home again.
along. Plead a new state in thy unrivaled merit,
That you will wonder what hath fortunéd.To which I thus subscribe :— Sir Valentine, Come, Proteus; 't is your penance but to hear Thou art a gentleman, and well derived ;
The story of your loves discoveréd : Take thou thy Silvia, for thou hast deserved her. That done, our day of marriage shall be yours ; Val. I thank your grace; the gift hath made me One feast, one house, one mutual happiness. happy.
[Exeunt. I now beseech you, for your daughter's sake, To grant one boon that I shall ask of you.
« Home keeping youth have ever homely wits.” — Act I., Scene 1. - " I have played the sheep, in losing him." --- Act I., Scene 1. A similar play upon the word " homely” occurs in Milton's " CO “Ship" and "sheep” are still pronounced alike in some English Us":
countries. “It is for homely features to keep home;
“ A laced mutton." - Act I., Scene 1. They had their name thence.”
A cant term for a courtesan. The expression is common in old “ Wear out thy youth with shapeless idleness.” — Act I., Scene 1. plays. But the indifference with which Proteus hears it applied to
Julia, can only be accounted for (if commentators are bound to acIdleness is said to be shapeless, as preventing the formation of man.
count for every anomaly in their author's text) on the supposition ners and character.
that, as he has condescended to enter into this quibbling contest with
& servant, he must allow for the ignorance and coarseness of his an— “Give me not the boots. ” - Act I., Scene 1.
tagonist. Probably an allusion to the instrument of torture so called : or the
“ In that you are astray." — Act I., Scene 1. phrase may refer to a custom prevalent in Warwickshire and other
A stray sheep. counties, of instituting mock trials at periods of rejoicing, in which the instrument of punishment was a pair of boots. The expression
“ Nod 1; why, that's noddy." --- Act I., Scene 1. occurs in other plays of the period.
The particle“ aye” was formerly indicated by the simple letter I. * However, but a folly bought with wit,
“ Telling your mind.” — Act I, Scene 1. Or else a wit by folly vanquished.” — Act I., Scene 1.
I fear she 'll prove as hard to you when you are telling your mind. « However” is here used in the sense of " either :" either you will purchase your folly by parting with your wit, or else your wit will be
“ You have testerned me." - Act I., Scene 1. vanquished by the folly of your demeanor.
“ Testern" was the old term for sixpence. The word (which is now “ PRO. So, by your circumstance, you call me fool.
out of polite use) is at present pronounced " tester.” VAL. So, by your circumstance, I fear you'll prove."
“Of all the fair resort of gentlemen Act I., Scene 1.
That every day with parle encounter me." - Act I., Scene 2. The word " circumstance” is here used, first, as the result of what
With words, or speech.- The whole character of Julia in this play has preceded ; and secondly, with reference to the predicament in
is in the best style of Shakspeare's domestic heroine : she is a delightwhich Valentine supposes his friend to stand.
ful compound of delicate ardor and romantic, undoubting devotion;
and bears much the same relation to her knowing and worldly, yet - * As in the sweetest bud
not ill-natured, serving-maid Lucetta, that Desdemona exhibits in The eating canker dwells." — Act I., Sceno 1.
comparison with Iago's better though ambiguous half. Julia's por
tion of their dialogue in the second act is exquisite. Shakspeare has on various occasions used this beautiful image. In the seventieth sonnet, for instance we have,
- "Censure thus on lovely gentlemen.” — Act I., Scene 2. “For canker vice the sweetest buds doth love."
Give my judgment, or opinion. * To Milan, let me hear from thee by letters.” — Act I., Scene 1.
“ Fire that's closest kept, burns most of all.” — Act I., Scene 2.
Such words as “fire,” “ hour,” &c., are often used by Shakspeare That is, by letters addressed to Milan.
and his contemporaries as if they contained two syllables; “mon. " Made wit with musing weak, heart sick with thought."
strous," “ country," &c., as if consisting of three; and “remembrance," Act I, Scene 1.
" assembly," &c., as if consisting of four. This pronounciation is often
necessary to preserve the meter, and was the general practice in the Indulging in musing, or reverie, has made my intellect dull or in- poet's time. apprehensive.
- "Kill your slomach on your meat." — Act I., Scene 2. “ Enter SPEED.”- Act I., Scene 1.
Stomach is here used figuratively for pride or obstinacy. Pope, in his edition, stigmatizes this scene as composed of the lowest and most trifling conceits, and felt inclined to omit it altogether,
- “ Your ladyship can set.” -- Act I., Scene 2. under the notion that it had been foisted in by the actors. But so
Compose music. greatly does public taste alter with time, that no small portion of Pope's own verse would be omitted or thrust to the bottom of the
"Too harsh a descant. - Act I., Scene 2. page, if what is now deemed coarseness or comparative want of merit The “descant” formerly signified a variation of the original air; were to regulate the canon of authenticity.
I the “ mean," a tenor.
“ Like exhibition thou shall have from me." — Act I., Scene 3.
Exhibition signified maintenance or allowance.
- “This is but one." — Act II., Scene 1. “One” was formerly pronounced like “on." In some manuscript letters of Lord Burleigh's, written about the year 1585, he very generally writes “on” for “one."
“ Myself in counsel, his competitor." --- Act II., Scene 6. The term “ competitor” is here used in the sense of " confederate.” So in “ TWELFTH NIGHT,” the Clown seeing Maria and Sir Toby approach, who are joined in the plot against Malvolio, exclaims, " The competitors enter."
- “ Pretended flight.” — Act II., Scene 6. “ Intended.” So in “ MACBETH :” “What could they pretend ?” The French word “pretendre” has an equivalent meaning.
“ Like one that takes diet." --- Act II., Scene 1.
Like one who is cautious in diet.
—“ Longing journey." — Act II., Scene 7. A journey I long to undertake. Or, the phrase may mean, a journey which I shall pass in longing or desiring to see terminated.
“ Like a beggar at Hallowmas." — Act II., Scene 1. About the beginning of winter. Formerly, on All Saints Day, it was customary for poor people in Staffordshire to beg money for what was termed“ souling." This, no doubt, was a remnant of the practice of praying for departed souls.
“ To walk like one of the lions.” — Act II., Scene 1. Ritson supposes that Shakspeare, in using the phrase " the lions," was thinking of the lions in the Tower; but it seems that the expression was in general use at the period.
-“ Lest my jealous aim might err." - Act III., Scene 1. " Aim” is here used in the sense of " guess,” or supposition.”
- “Where I thought.” — Act III., Scene 1. “Where," for " whereas :” a frequent idiom in the old writers.
“ Without you were so simple, none else would.” — Act II., Scene 1.
None else would be so simple.
“Going ungartered.” — Act II., Scene 1. This is one of the tokens of love enumerated by Rosalind in “ As You LIKE IT,” Act III.
“O excellent motion!” — Act II. Scene 1. A puppet-show was formerly called “ a motion,” probably from the moving of the figures.
“ Dumb jewels often, in their silent kind,
Act III., Scene 1. It is much to be doubted whether women are more susceptible than men on this point. If they are, it is probably because they consider a gift as a proof of sincerity; as an evidence that they are thought of in their absence.
“What lets.” — Act III., Scene 1. Hinders, or prevents. So in “ HAMLET :"—“I'll make a ghost of him that “lets' me.”
“ Like a wood woman." — Act II., Scene 3. “Wood,” in this sense, is generally spelled “wode.” It signifies crazy, or distracted.
-“ For they are sent by me." - Act III., Scene 1. “ For that,” or “ because” they are sent by me.
- “Merops' son." --- Act III., Scene 1. The meaning is, “ Thou art comparatively a low-born wretch ; not the genuine son of Apollo.”
“ Launce, away, away, aboard.” - Act II., Scene 3. The poetical or geographical license here taken by the author, in sending Proteus to Milan by water, we must digest as we may; thanking our propitious stars that we live in an age of dictionaries and compendiums. It is plain that Shakspeare's information was extensive for a man not regularly educated; but he must have had an instinct of knowledge equal to his instinctive dramatic faculty, bad he not occasionally stumbled in that most useful, but most unpoetic employment, “ hunting for facts.”'
“ I fly not death, to fly his deadly doom." — Act III., Scene 1. “By” flying, or "in ” flying. If I stay, I may suffer death; if I depart, I destroy myself.
“ Milk-white bosom of thy love." — Act III., Scene 1. This alludes to a practice formerly in general use, of women having a pocket in the fore part of their stays: the forerunner of the modern reticule. The allusions to this practice are frequent.
“A bottom for your silk, it seerns,
My letters are become,
Are wasted whole and some."
“ T'une a deploring dump."- Act III., Scene 2. The term “dump," is now used only in a ludicrous sense; but there were formerly regular serious pieces of music so called, some of which are still preserved.
“ Have you the tongues." - Act IV., Scene 1.
Do you speak various languages ?
- “ Awful men.” — Act IV., Scene 1. “ Awful ” is here, and in various other places, used in the sense of lawful.”
“That's all one, if he be but one knave." - Act III., Scene 1. This passage has a good deal puzzled the commentators. It seems merely a trifling jingle on the word "one," without any specific meaning. — In reference to trifies like these, Malone observes that, “In Shakspeare's time, and long before, it was customary, in almost every play, to introduce a jester, who, with no great propriety, was denominated a clown, whose merriment made a principal part of the entertainment of the lower ranks, and, I believe, of the higher orders also. When no clown or jester was introduced in a comedy, the servants of the principal personages sustained his part; and the dialogue attached to them was written with a particular view to supply that deficiency, and to am use the audience by the promptness of their pleasantry, and the liveliness of their conceits. Such is the province assigned to those characters in Lilly's comedies, which were performed with great success and admiration for several years before Shaks. peare's time: and such are some of the lower characters in this drama, the COMEDY OF ERRORS,' LOVE'S LABORS Lost,' and some others."
These remarks may serve as a general note of introduction to the comic characters of Shakspeare; and even when we meet, in his graver scenes, with occasional specimens of the trivialities adverted to, let us pot hastily conclude that his defects are no less singular and surprising than his excellences; since we have only to turn to the sermons of Donne, his eloquent and earnest contemporary, to find how thoroughly a passion for quibbling and conceits had infected every branch of literature in the splendid era which they both so greatly contributed to adorn.
* As we do in our quality much want." - Act IV., Scene 1.
“ On silly women or poor passengers.” - Act IV., Scene 1. This was one of the rules of Robin Hood's fraternity, and, no doubt, contributed to their popularity.
- “ Beauty lives with kindness.”— Act IV., Scene 2.' Beauty without kindness neither possesses happiness nor imparts it.
" She hath had gossips." — Act III., Scene 1.
“Out of all nick.” — Act IV., Scene 2. "Gossips” was a term applicable, in a particular manner, to godmothers, or to those females who visited a woman in her lying-in.
Beyond all reckoning. Alehouse reckonings were formerly kept
upon nicked or notched tallies, as well as more important accounts. * It was the son of thy grandmother.” — Act III., Scene 1.
In the old play of“ A Woman NEVER VEXED,” an inkeeper says,
- "I have carried An insinuation that the legitimacy of a child can be certainly
The tallies at my girdle seven years together, lonown to its mother only.
For I did ever love to deal honestly in the nick." « St. Nicholas be thy speed." — Act III., Scene 1.
It is within these few years only, that this comparatively trouble
some and inefficient method of reckoning was discontinued at the St. Nicholas presided over clerks or learned persons. He was ex- public exchequer. alted to this honor, according to the legend, for having miraculously restored the lives of three young scholars who had been murdered. “ Upon whose grave thou vowd'st pure chastity." -- Act V., Scene 3. By the statutes of St. Paul's School, the scholars are required to attend divine service at the cathedral, on the anniversary of St.
This alludes to a practice common in former ages, for widows and Nicholas.
widowers (and probably also betrothed lovers) to make vows of chas.
tity in honor of their deceased wives or husbands. In “ DUGDALE'S a The cover of the salt hides the salt." — Act III., Scene 1.
ANTIQUITIES OF WARWICKSHIRE,” says Steevens, there is the form of a
commission, by the bishop of the diocese, for taking a vow of chastity The ancient salt-cellar was generally a large piece of plate, with a by a widow. It seems that, besides observing the vow, the widow was cover. There was but one on the table; and the mark of gentility for life to wear a veil and a mourning habit. The last distinction we was, to sit above the salt.
may suppose to have been also made in respect of male votaries.
“My daughter takes his going grievously." -- Act III., Scene 2.
“ A dog at all things.” — Act IV., Scene 4. On this passage Malone has a note, which is curious and valuable, Equivalent to the phrase, common among the populace, "If you inasmuch as it shews that some attention was paid to the editing of are a man, act like a man." the first folio. He says: “ So [grievously) some copies of the first folio, 1623, the only authentic copy of this play; others, of which
“ Fellow that whips the dogs." -Act IV., Scene 4. mine is one, have heavily.' Those copies which have grievously,'
This was part of an usher of the table. have also, in one of Launce's speeches in the preceding scene,' in that last article;' instead of which, in the copies that read “heavily,'
“ The other squirrel." -- Act IV., Scene 4. we find in that article. Both these corrections appear to have been made while the sheet was working off at the press."
This phrase is probably applied in contempt for the size of the
smaller animal. “ You must provide to bottom it on me.”—Act III., Scene 2. The reference is to what is called a bottom, or ball, of thread. The
“ Still an end." -- Act IV., Scene 4. following lines, from Grange's “ GARDEN” (1557), will throw light. A common idiom, equivalent to the phrase, “ in the end," or, "at upon the passage:
| every turn;" commonly, generally.
“ Since she did neglect her looking-glass
which, singly considered, are eminently beautiful.” The remarks of And throw her sun-espelling mask away." — Act IV., Scene 4. Schlegel are characteristic of his wise and genial spirit:- " The
“TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA' paints the irresolution of love, and its An extract from “STUBBS' ANATOMIES OF ABUSES,” 1595, will explain
ipfidelity towards friendship, in & pleasant but, in some degree, suthis allusion:-“ When they use to ride abroad, they have masks or
perficial manner: we might almost say, with the levity of mind which visors made of velvet, wherewith they cover all their faces, having
& passion suddenly entertained, and as suddenly given up, presupholes made in them against their eyes, whereout they look; so that
poses. The faithless lover is at last forgiven, without much dificulty, if a man that knew not their guise before should chance to meet one
by his first mistress, on account of his ambiguous repentance. For of them, he would think he met a monster or a devil; for face he
the more serious part, - the premeditated flight of the daughter of s can shew (see) none, but two broad holes against their eyes, with
prince; the captivity of her father along with herself by a band of glasses in them.”
robbers, of which one of the two gentlemen (the faithful and banished
friend) has been compulsively elected captain; - for all this, a peace “ Since she respects my mistress' love so much." - Act IV., Scene 4.
ful solution is soon found. It is as if the course of the world was This is a lapse of memory in the author, unless we suppose Julia to obliged to accommodate itself to a transient, youthful caprice, called be so wrapped in the scene, that, for the moment, she thinks herself love." the youth she represents. The following line has, probably, reference to this meaning. On recovering her recollection, we may suppose her “ All that was mine in Silvia I give thee." — Act V., Scene 4. to say, “Alas! how love can trifle with itself!"
This sudden renunciation of his mistress to Valentine is certainly
startling, and perhaps unnatural. But we are to consider, that his “ Such a colored periwig." - Act IV., Scene 4.
mind is in the first glow of returning kindness towards his old and
dearest friend, whose penitence touches him, and whose happiness he It seems, from various contemporary authorities, that falso hair believes to require the sacrifice. Such romantic generosity is not unwas much worn in Shakspeare's time: the custom, however, had common in fiction, and probably not altogether unknown in actual newly arisen. In “ NORTHWARD HOE," 1607, we find this passage: life. One of Goldsmith's best serious essays, called “ ALCANDER AND “There is a new trade come up for cast gentlewomen, of periwig-mak SEPTIMIUS," is founded on a similar incident: whether derived from ing. Let your wife set up in the Strand." There is a fine satirical fact, we are not prepared to say. The editor of a contemporary edition allusion to the practice in question in the “MERCHANT OF VENICE:"
of Shakspeare offers the very ingenious suggestion, that these two “So are those crisped, snaky, golden locks,
remarkable lines should be given to Silvia, and addressed to ValenWhich make such wanton gambols with the wind, tine; but, on a general view of his character, we have no doubt of the Upon supposed fairness, often known
genuineness of the present reading.
- “Grive aim to all your oaths." Act V., Scene 4.
Was the object to which all your oaths were directed. “Respective in myself." - Act IV., Scene 4. Having respect to, or apparent in, myself.
“Oleft the root." — Act V., Scene 4.
The allusion is to cleaving the pin, or nail, in archery. “ My substance should be statue in thy stead." - Act IV., Scene 4.
The terms " statue" and "picture" were often used indifferently " If shame lives in a disguise of love." — Act V., Scene 4. to signify “representative," or "likeness." In speaking of the fune
If there be any disgrace in assuming a disguise from a motive of ral of Queen Elizabeth, Stowe says, “ Her statue or picture lying upon
love. her coffin."
“ The measure of my wrath." — Act. V., Scene 4. “ That they are out by lease." - Act IV., Scene 2.
The sweep of my sword. So Macduff says,
“ Within my sword's length set him.” Proteus here, perhaps, intends to speak figuratively of Thurio's mental possessions, and to imply that he is no longer master of them.
" Thou art a gentleman, and well derived." - Act V., Scene 4. “ 01 thou that dost inhabit in my breast,
This is an instance, founded on observation, how far prejudice alters Leave not the mansion so long tenantless ;
our view even of the simplest and most apparent facts. The Duke bas Lest, growing ruinous, the building fall,
more than once, in his anger, spoken of Valentine as one of mean And leave no memory of what it was."
birth, and even calls bim peasant. But now, being inclined to favor Act V., Scene 4. him, he finds, on the sudden, that he is "a gentleman, and well de
rived." The witty and acute Steevens (albeit, in common with other recent commentators, we shall have frequent occasion to reject his wanton
“ Include all jars." — Act V., Scene 4. tamperings with the meter of Shakspeare) has the good taste to say, with reference to this portion of Valentino's beautiful soliloquy, “ It Shut in, or inclose, all jars. In Cowdrey's " ALPHABETICAL TABLE is hardly possible to point out four lines in any of the plays of Shaks- oF HARD ENGLISH WORDS” (1604), we find,“ To include: to shut in, to peare more remarkable for ease and elegance.” Indeed, the merits of containe within." the more poetical parts of this dramatic romance (for such, perhaps, is its most fitting designation) have been universally acknowledged.
“ Triumphs."— Act V., Scene 4. Even Johnson, whose criticism seems generally written on the see-saw
This term was applied, in Shakspeare's day, to shows or processions system of giving an equal amount of praise and blame to Shakspeare's
of a scrious Dature. productions, says of this play, that "few have more lines or passages!