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Clown's Love of Ballads.
Clo. He could never come better: he fhall come in: I love a ballad but even too well; if it be doleful matter, merrily fet down; or a very pleasant thing indeed, and fung lamentably.
Prefents little regarded by real Lovers.
Pol. - -How now, fair shepherd?
To load my fhe with knacks: I would have ranfack'd
Flo. Old Sir, I know
She prizes not fuch trifles as these are;
(25) Thy hand, &c.] So, Troilus fpeaking of the hand of Crefida, fays;
-O that, her hand,
In whofe comparison all whites are ink,
Writing their own reproach; to whofe foft feizure
Were I crown'd the most imperial monarch Thereof moft worthy; were I the fairest youth That ever made eye fwerve ; had force, and knowledge
More than was ever man's; I would not prize them Without her love: for her employ them all; Command them and condemn them to her service, Or to their own perdition.
A Father the best Gueft at his Son's Nuptials.
(26) Methinks, a father
Is, at the nuptials of his fon, a guest,
That beft becomes the table: pray you, once more,
With age and alt'ring rheums? Can he fpeak, hear,
Flo. No: he has health, and ampler ftrength indeed,
Than most have of his age.
Pol. By my white beard,
You offer him, if this be so, a wrong
Shou'd choose himself a wife: but as good reason,
I was not much afraid: (27) for once or twice
(26) See Midfummer Night's Dream, Vol. I. p. 205. (27) I was not much afraid.] The character is here VOL. II.
I was about to fpeak, and tell him plainly
Selfifh old Man.
You have undone a man of fourfcore three, (30)
To lie clofe by his honeft bones: but now
Where no priest shovels in the duft.
finely fuftained. To have made her quite aftonifhed at the king's difcovery of himself, had not become her birth; and to have given her prefence of mind to have made this reply to the king, would not have become her education. W.
(28) The, &c.] This is plainly taken from St. Matthew, v. ver. 45. "He maketh his fun to rife on the evil and the good, and fendeth rain on the just and unjuft." And Horace, fpeaking of death, has the fame thought;
Intruding death with equal freedom greets
Ode 4. b. 1. (29) Looks on alike.] i. e. Looks alike on the court and cottage.
(30) You have undone a man of fourfcore three.] Thefe fentiments, which the poet has heightened by a strain of ridicule that runs through them, admirably characterize the fpeaker; whose selfishness is feen in concealing the adventure of Perdita, and here fupported by fhowing no regard for his fon or her, but being taken up entirely with himself, though fourscore three. W.
Profperity the Bond, Affliction the Loofer of Love.
Profperity 's (31) the very bond of love.
Lying fit only for Tradesmen.
Let me have no lying; it becomes none but tradefmen, and they often give us foldiers the lie: but we pay them for 't with ftampt coin, not ftabbing fteel; therefore they do not (32) give us the lie.
She. Are you a courtier, an't like Aut. Whether it like me, or no, I am a courtier. See'ft thou not the air of the court in thefe enfoldings; hath not my gait in it the measure of the court? receives not thy nofe court odour from me? reflect I not on thy baseness court contempt ?
(31) Profperity's, &c.] Perdita, in the following fpeech, denies this
One of these is true :
I think affliction may subdue the cheek,
And Ovid fays,
Nam cum præftiteris verum mihi femper amorem,
True love to me indeed you ever bore,
But in adversity still lov'd me more.
(32) Therefore they do not, &c.] i. e. They are paid for lying, therefore they do not give us the lie, they sell it us. J.
Aut. How bleffed are we, that are not fimple men! Yet nature might have made me as these are; Therefore I will not disdain.
Clown's Idea of a Great Man.
Clo. This cannot but be a great courtier.
She. His garments are rich, but he wears them not handfomely.
Clo. He feems to be the more noble, in being fantastical: a great man, I'll warrant: I know by the picking (33) on's teeth.
He feems to be of great authority; close with him, give him gold, and though authority be a ftubborn bear, yet he is oft led by the nose with gold; fhew him the infide of your purse to the outside of his hand, and no more ado.
If he think fit to fhore them again, and that the complaint they have to the king concerns him nothing, let him call me, rogue, for being fo far officious; for I am proof against that title, and what shame elfe belongs to 't.
Self-reproach, and too fevere Reproof.
At the last
Do, as the heavens have done; forget your evils;
(33) By the picking, &c.] It feems, that to pick the teeth, was, at this time, a mark of fome pretenfion to greatness or elegance. So the Baltard in King John, speaking of the traveller, fays,
He and his tooth-pick at my worship's mess. 7.