Page images

Mal. Good fool, help p me to some light, and some paper; I tell thee, I am as well in my wits as any man in Illyria.

Clo. Well-a-day, that you were, sir!

· Mal. By this hand, I am: Good fool, some ink, paper, and light, and convey what I will set down to my lady; it shall advantage thee more than ever the bearing of letter did..

Clo. I will help you to't. But tell me true, are you not mad, indeed? or do you but counterfeit? Mal. Believe me, I am not; I tell thee true.

Clo. Nay, I'll ne'er believe a madman till I see his brains. I will fetch you light, and paper, and ink.

Mal. Fool, I'll requite it in the highest degree: pr'ythee, begone.


I am gone, sir,
And anon, sir,
I'll be with you again,

In a trice;

keto the old `vice 15,

Your need to sustain;

Who with dagger of lath,

In his rage and his wrath,

Cries ah, ha! to the devil:

Like a mad lad,

Pare thy nails, dad,

Adieu, goodman devil.


15 The vice was the fool of the old moralities. He was grotesquely dressed in a cap with ass's ears, a long coat, and a dagger of lath. One of his chief employments was to make sport with the devil, leaping on his back and belabouring him with his dagger, till he made him roar. The devil however always carried him off in the end. The moral was, that sin, which has the courage to make very merry with the devil, and is allowed by him to take very great liberties, must finally become his prey. This used also to be the regular end of Punch in the puppet show (who was the legitimate successor of the old vice or iniquity) until modern innovation, in these degenerate times, reversed the catastrophe. See Note on K, Henry V. Act iv. Sc. 4.

SCENE III. Olivia's Garden.


Seb. This is the air; that is the glorious sun;
This pearl she gave me, I do feel't and see't:
And though 'tis wonder that enwraps me thus,
Yet 'tis not madness. Where's Antonio then?
I could not find him at the Elephant:

Yet there he was; and there I found this credit 1,
That he did range the town to seek me out.
His counsel now might do me golden service:
For though my soul disputes well with my sense,
That this may be some error, but no madness,
Yet doth this accident and flood of fortune
So far exceed all instance, all discourse 2,
That I am ready to distrust mine eyes,
And wrangle with my reason, that persuades me
To any other trust, but that I am mad,

Or else the lady's mad; yet, if 'twere so,

She could not sway her house, command her followers 3,

Take, and give back affairs, and their despatch, With such a smooth, discreet, and stable bearing, As, I perceive, she does: there's something in't, That is deceivable 4. But here the lady comes.

Enter OLIVIA and a Priest.

Oli. Blame not this haste of mine: If you mean well,

Now go with me, and with this holy man,
Into the chantry5 by: there, before him,

1 i. e. intelligence. Mr. Steevens has referred to several passages which seem to imply that this word was used for oral intelligence. I find it thus in a letter from Elizabeth to Sir Nicholas Throckmorton among the Conway Papers. "This beror came from you with great spede--We have heard his credit and fynd your carefulness and diligence very great.'

2 i e. reason.

3 Servants.

4 i. e. deceptious.

5 Chantry, a little chapel, or particular altar in some cathedral or parochial church, endowed for the purpose of having masses sung therein for the souls of the founders.

And underneath that consecrated roof,
Plight me the full assurance of your faith;
That my most jealous and too doubtful soul
May live at peace: He shall conceal it,
Whiles 6 you are willing it shall come to note;
What time we will our celebration keep
According to my birth.-What do you say?
Seb. I'll follow this good man, and go with you;
And, having sworn truth, ever will be true.
Oli. Then lead the way, good father:--And
heavens so shine,

That they may fairly note this act of mine! [Exeunt.


SCENE I. The Street before Olivia's House. Enter CLOWN and FABIAN.

Fab. Now, as thou lovest me, let me see his letter. Clo. Good master Fabian, grant me another request. Fab. Any thing.

Clo. Do not desire to see this letter.

Fab. That is, to give a dog, and, in recompense, desire my dog again.

Enter DUKE, VIOLA, and Attendants.

Duke. Belong you to the lady Olivia, friends? Clo. Ay, sir; we are some of her trappings. Duke. I know thee well: How dost thou, my good fellow?

6 Until.

Troth or fidelity. It should be remarked that this was not an actual marriage, but a betrothing, affiancing, or solemn promise of future marriage; anciently distinguished by the name of espousals. This has been established by Mr. Douce in his very interesting Illustrations of Shakspeare, where the reader will find much curious matter on the subject, in a note on this passage.

Clo. Truly, sir, the better for my foes, and the worse for my friends.

Duke. Just the contrary; the better for thy friends. Clo. No, sir, the worse.

Duke. How can that be?

Clo. Marry, sir, they praise me, and make an ass of me; now my foes tell me plainly I am an ass: so that by my foes, sir, I profit in the knowledge of myself; and by my friends I am abused: so that, conclusions to be as kisses, if your four negatives make your two affirmatives1, why, then the worse for my friends, and the better for my foes. Duke. Why, this is excellent.

[ocr errors]

Clo. By my troth, sir, no; though it please you to be one of my friends.

Duke. Thou shalt not be the worse for me; there's gold.

Clo. But that it would be double-dealing, sir, I would you could make it another.

Duke. O, you give me ill counsel.

[ocr errors]

Clo. Put your grace in your pocket, sir, for this once, and let your flesh and blood obey it. Duke. Well, I will be so much a sinner to be a double dealer; there's another.

Clo. Primo, secundo, tertio, is a good play; and the old saying is, the third pays for all; the triplex, sir, is a good tripping measure; or the bells of St. Bennet, sir, may put you in mind; One, two, three Duke. You can fool no more money out of me a this throw if you will let your lady know, I am here to speak with her, and bring her along with you, it may awake my bounty further.

Clo. Marry, sir, lullaby to your bounty, till I come again. I go, sir; but I would not have you to think, that my desire of having is the sin of co

So, in Marlowe's Lust's Dominion:

Come let's kisse.

Moor. Away, away.

Queen. No, no, says I; and twice away says stay.

Sir Philip Sidney has enlarged upon the thought in the Sixty-third Stanza of Astrophel and Stella.

vetousness; but, as you say, sir, let your bounty take a nap, I will awake it anon. [Exit Clown.

Enter ANTONIO and Officers.

Vio. Here comes the man, sir, that did rescue me. Duke. That face of his I do remember well; Yet, when I saw it last, it was besmear'd As black as Vulcan, in the smoke of war: A bawbling vessel was he captain of,

For shallow draught, and bulk, unprizable: With which such scathful2 grapple did he make With the most noble bottom of


of loss,

That very envy, and the tongu
Cry'd fame and honour on him.-What's the matter?
1 Off. Orsino, this is that Antonio.

That took the Phoenix and her fraught3, from Candy:
And this is he that did the Tiger board,
When your young nephew Titus lost his leg:
Here in the streets, desperate of shame and state 4,
In private brabble did we apprehend him.
Vio. He e did m
me kindness, sir; drew on my
But, in conclusion, put strange speech upon me,
I know not what 'twas, but distraction.

Duke. Notable pirate! thou salt-water thief! What foolish boldness brought thee to their mercies, Whom thou, in terms so bloody, and so dear5, Hast made thine enemies?

2 Mischievous, destructive.

3 Freight.


4 Inattentive to his character or condition, like a desperate man. Tooke has so admirably accounted for the application of the epithet dear by our ancient writers to any object which excites a sensation of hurt, pain and consequently of anxiety, solicitude,' o are, earnestness, that I shall extract it as the best comment upon the apparently opposite uses of the word in our great poet. 'Dearth is the third person singular of the English (from the Anglo Saxon verb Derian, nocere, lædere), to dere. It means some or any season, weather, or other cause, with dereth, i. c. maketh dear, hurteth, or doth mischief.-The English verb to dere was formerly in common user' He then produces about twenty examples, the last from Hamlet:—

'Would I had met my dearest foe in Heaven
Ere I had seen that day."

Tooke continucs-Johnson and Malone, who trusted to their
Latin to explain his (Shakspeare's) English, for deer and deerest

« PreviousContinue »