Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

King. But what of this, are we not all in love?

Biron. Nothing so sure, and thereby all forsworn. King. Then leave this chat; and, good Biron, now

prove Our loving lawful, and our faith not torn. Dum. Ay, marry, there ; fome flattery for

this evil. Long. O, fome Authority how to proceed ; 3 Some tricks, fome quillets, how to cheat the devil.

Dum. Some salve for perjury.

Biron. O, 'tis more than need.
Have at you then, Affection's Men at arms;
Consider, what you first did swear unto :
To fast, to study, and to see no woman;
Flat treason 'gainst the kingly state of youth.
Say, can you faft? your stomachs are too young:
And abstinence ingenders maladies.
And where that you have vow'd to study, (Lords)
In that each of you hath forsworn his book.
Can

you still dream, and pore, and thereon look?
For when would you, my Lord, or you, or you,
Have found the ground of Study's excellence,
Without the beauty of a woman's face?
Why, universal plodding prisons up
- The nimble spirits in the arteries;
As motion and long-during Action cires
The finewy Vigour

of the traveller.

[ocr errors]

3 Some tricks, fome quillets, how to cheat the devil.) Quillet is the peculiar word applied to law-chicane. I imagine the original to be this, in the French pleadings, every several allegation in the plaintiff's charge, and every distinct plea in the defendant's answer, began with the words Qu'il eft;

from whence was formed the word quillet, to signify a false charge or an evasive answer,

4 The nimble spirits in the arteries ;] In the old system of phySic they gave the fame office to the arteries as is now given to the nerves; as appears from the name which is derived from

Now,

diga angar.

R 3

Now, for not looking on a woman's face,
You have in That forsworn the use of eyes;
And Study too, the causer of your vow.
For where is any author in the world,
s Teaches such duty as a woman's eye?
Learning is but an adjunct to our self,
And where we are, our Learning likewise is.
Then, when our felves we fee in ladies

eyes,
Do we not likewise see our Learning there?
O, we have made a vow to study, lords ;
And in that vow we have forsworn our books:
For when would you, my liege, or you, or you,
6 In leaden contemplation have found out
Such fiery numbers, as the prompting eyes
Of beauteous tutors have enrich'd you with ?
Other Now arts entirely keep the brain ;
And therefore finding barren practisers,
Scarce shew a harvest of their heavy toil.
< But love, first learned in a lady's eyes,

Lives not alone immured in the brain:
. But with the motion of all elements,
« Courses as swift as thought in every power;
• And gives to every power a double power,
& Above their functions and their offices.

It adds a precious Seeing to the eye:

5 Teaches such BEAUTY as a woman's eye?] This line is abfolute nonsense. We should read DUTY, ;. e. ethics, or the offices and devoirs that belong to man. A woman's eye, says he, teaches observance above all other things.

6 - In leaden contemplation have found out

Such fiery numbers, ] Alluding to the discoveries in modern astronomy; at that time greatly improving, in which the ladies eyes are compared, as usual to stars. He calls them numbers, alluding to the Pythagorean principles of astronomy, which were founded on the laws of harmony. The Oxford editor, who was at a loss for the conceit, changes numbers 10 notions, and so loses both the sense and the gallantry of the allu fon. He has better luck in the following line, and has rightly changed beauty's to beauteous.

A

A lover's eyes

will

gaze an eagle blind! • A lover's ear will hear the lowest Sound, . When the suspicious head of theft is stopt. 'Love's Feeling is more soft and sensible,

Than are the tender horns of cockled snails. Love's Tongue proves dainty Bacchus gross in Taste; For valour, is not Love a Hercules, Still climbing trees in the Hesperides ? Subtle as Sphinx ; as sweet and musical As bright Apollo's lute, strung with his hair: 9 And when Love speaks the voice of all the Gods, Mark, Heaven drowsie with the harmony!

[ocr errors]

7 the suspicious head of theft is stopt.] i. e. a lover in pursuit of his mistress has his sense of hearing quicker than a thief (who suspects every found he hears) in pursuit of his prey. But Mr. Theobald says, there is no contrast between a lover and a thief: and therefore alters it to thrift, between which and love, he says, there is a remarkable antithesis. What he means by comtras and antithesis, I confess I don't understand. But 'cis no matter: the common reading is sense; and that is better than either one or the other.

8 As bright Apollo's lute, ftrung with his hair :) This expres. fion, like that other in The two Gentlemen of Verona, of - Ore pheus' harp was Arung with poets finues, is extremely beautiful, and highly figurative. Apollo, as the sun, is represented with golden hair ; so that a lute ftrung with his hair means no more than ftrung with gilded wire.

9 And when Love Speaks the voice of all the Gods,

Make, Heav'n drorufie with the harmony !] This nonsense we should read and point thus,

And when love speaks the voice of all the Gods,

Mark, heav'n drow he with the harmony. i. e. in the voice of love alone is included the voice of all the Gods. Alluding to the ancient Theogony, that love was the parent and support of all the Gods., Hence, as Suidas tells us, Palcephatus wrote a poem called, 'Appositas neil "EWTOs carn nei nógos. The voice and speechof Venus and Love, which appears to have been a kind of Cosmogony, the harmony of which is so great that it calms and allays all kind of disorders ; alluding again

the ancient use of music, which was to compose monarchs, when, by reason of the cares of empire, they used to pafs whole nights in restless inquietude.

Never

[ocr errors]

Never durst Poet touch a pen to write,
Until his ink were temper'd with love's fighs;
O, then his lines would ravish favage ears,
And plant in tyrants mild humility.
From womens eyes this doctrine I derive:
They sparkle still the right Promethean fire,
They are the books, the arts, the academies,
That shew, contain, and nourish all the world ;
Else none at all in aught proves excellent.
Then fools you were, these women to forswear:
Or, keeping what is sworn, you will prove fools.
For wisdom's fake (a word, that all men love)
Or for love's fake, (' a word, all women love;)
Or for mens fake, (the author of these women ;)
Or womens fake, (by whom we men are men ;)
Let us once lose our oaths, to find our felves ;
Or else we lose our selves, to keep our Qaths,
It is religion to be thus forsworn,
For charity it self fulfils the law;
And who can sever love from charity ?

King. Saint Cupid, then! and, soldiers, to the field!
Biron. Advance your standards, and upon them,

Lords ;
Pell-mell, down with them; but be first advis'd,
In conflict that you get the fun of them.

Long. Now to plain-dealing, lay thefe glozes by ; Shall we resolve to woo these girls of France ?

King. And win them too; therefore let us devise Some entertainment for them in their Tents. Biron. First, from the Park let us conduct them

thither; Then homeward every man attach the hand a word, THAT LOVES ALL MEN ;] We should read,

A word all women love. the following line

Or for mens sake (the author of these women ;) which refers to this reading, puts it out of all question.

Of

3

Of his fair mistress; in the afternoon
We will with some ftrange pastime solace them,
Such as the shortness of the time can shape :
For revels, dances, masks, and merry hours,
Forerun fair love, strewing her way with flowers.

King. Away, away! no time shall be omitted,
That will be time, and may by us be fitted.

Biron. Allons ! Allons ! 3 sown Cockle reap'd no

corn ;

And justice always whirls in equal measure ; Light wenches may prove plagues to men forsworn;

If so, our copper buys no better treasure. [Exeunt.

ACT V. SCENE I.

The S T R E E T.

Enter Holofernes, Nathaniel and Dull.

HOLOFERN ES. Satis, quod fufficit.

Nath. I praise God for you, Sir, your reasons at dinner have been sharp and fententious; pleasant without fcurrility, witty without affectation, audacious without impudency, learned without opinion, and strange without heresy: I did converse this quondam-day with a companion of the King's, who is entituled, nominated, or called, Don Adriano de Armado.

Hol. Novi hominem, tanquam te. His humour is lofty, his discourse peremptory, his tongue filed, his eye ambitious, his gate majestical, and his general be

2 - fown cockle reap'd no corn;] This proverbial expreffion intimates, that beginning with perjury, they can expect to reap nothing but falfhood. The following lines lead us to this fense.

haviour

« AnteriorContinua »