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the good Posthumus
(What should I say ? he was too good to be
Where ill men were ; and was the best of all
Amongst the rar'st of good ones). . . . This Posthumus
(Most like a noble lord in love, and one
That had a royal lover) took his hint;
And, not dispraising whom we prais'd (therein
He was as calm as virtue), he began
His mistress' picture . . . He, true knight,
No lesser of her honour confident
Than I did truly find her, stakes this ring;
And would so, had it been a carbuncle
Of Phæbus' wheel; and might so safely, had it
Been all the worth of his car. Away to Britain
Post I in this design: well may you, sir,
Remember me at court; where I was taught,
of your chaste daughter, the wide difference
'Twixt amorous and villanous.
I return'd with simular proof enough
To make the noble Leonatus mad.-Cym., V. 5.
Shakespeare has some sentences of irony, or ironically expressed :
Words against me! This' a good friar, belike.-M. for M., V. I.
Good Master Mustard seed, I know your patience well.—Mid. N. D., iii. 1.
He knows me, as the blind man knows the cuckoo,
By the bad voice.-Mer. of V., V. I.
Thou tell 'st me there is murder in mine eye:
'Tis pretty, sure, and very probable,
That eyes—that are the frail'st and softest things,
Who shut their coward gates on atomies-
Should be call'd tyrants, butchers, murderers !-As You L., iii. 5.
Your gifts are so good, here's none will hold you.—Tam. of S., i. 1.
Here's no knavery! see, to beguile the old folks, how the young folks lay their heads
together.-Ibid., i. 2.
I play the noble housewife with the time,
To entertain it so merrily with a fool.-All's W., ii. 2. There was excellent command—to charge in with our horse upon our own wings, and to rend our own soldiers !-Ibid., iji. 6.
What wisdom stirs amongst you ? Come, sir.-W. T., ii. 1.
I know how much an ounce.-Very wisely, puppies !-Ibid., iv. 3.
Bullets on this town.-0, prudent discipline !-Yohn, ii. 2.
Here's a good world! Knew you of this fair work ?-Ibid., iv. 3.
Well you deserve : they well deserve to have,
That know the strong'st and surest way to get.—R. II., iii. 3. There's honour for you! Here's no vanity !-· H. IV., v. 3. Ay, or more than we should seek after; for we know enough, if we know we are the king's subjects ; if his cause be wrong, our obedience to the king wipes the crime of it out of us.--H. V., iv. 1.
I will never trust his word after.—You pay him then! That's a perilous shot out of an elder gun, that a poor and a private displeasure can do against a monarch ! Ibid., iv. 1.
Injurious duke, that threat'st where is no cause.-
True, madam, none at all : what call you this ?—2 H. VI., i. 4.
'Tis meet that lucky ruler be employ'd ;
Witness the fortune he hath had in France.—2 H. VI., iii. 1.
Full well hath Clifford played the orator,
Inferring arguments of mighty force.-3 H. VI., ii. 2.
Here's a good world the while! Who is so gross,
That cannot see this palpable device?—R. III., iii. 6.
A proper title of a peace; and purchas'd
At a superfluous rate !-H. VIII., i. 1. Our count-cardinal has done this, and 'tis well ; for worthy Wolsey, who cannot irt, he did it.-Ibid., i. 1.
With all their honourable points of ignorance
Pertaining thereunto (as fights and fireworks ;
Abusing better men than they can be,
Out of a foreign wisdom).-Ibid., i. 3.
How holily he works in all his business!
And with what zeal! .
And is not this course pious ?-Ibid., ii. 2.
This priest has no pride in him.-Not to speak of.-Ibid., ii. 2.
Follow your envious courses, men of malice;
You have Christian warrant for them.-Ibid., iii. 2.
Whilst your great goodness, out of holy pity,
Absolv'd him with an axe.--
,-Ibid., iii. 2.
Yes, that goodness,
Of gleaning all the lands' wealth into one,
Into your own hands, cardinal, by extortion;
The goodness of your intercepted packets,
You writ to the pope, against the king: your goodness,
Since you provoke me, shall be most notorious.-Ibid., iii. 2.
Tied all the kingdom: simony was fair play.-Ibid., iv. 2.
You are always my good friend ; if your will pass,
I shall both find your lordship judge and juror,
You are so merciful.-Ibid., v. 2.
Where are these porters,
These lazy knaves ? Ye have made a fine hand, fellows:
There's a trim rabble let in: are all these
Your faithful friends o' the suburbs? We shall have
Great store of room, no doubt, left for the ladies,
When they pass back from the christening.-Ibid., v. 3.
Care for us! True, indeed! they ne'er cared for us yet.—Coriol., i. 1.
That envied his receipt: even so most fitly
As you malign our senators for that
They are not such as you.—Ibid., i. 1.
Take my prayers with you.
I would the gods had nothing else to do,
But to confirm my curses.-Ibid., iv. 2.
Now, sir, is your name Menenius? 'Tis a spell, you see, of much power: you know the way home again. Do you hear how we are shent for keeping your greatness back -Ibid., v. 2.
But, an you will not wed, I'll pardon you.-R. & Jul., iii. 5.
Flow this way! A brave fellow ! he keeps his tides well.---Timon, i. 2.
I feel my master's passion ! this slave
Unto his honour has my master's meat in him.-Ibid., iii. I.
O proper stuff!
This is the very painting of your fear.—Macb., iii. 4.
Who cannot want the thought, how monstrous
It was for Malcolm and for Donalbain
To kill their gracious father! damned fact !
How it did grieve Macbeth! did he not straight,
In pious rage, the two delinquents tear,
That were the slaves of drink, and thralls of sleep?
Was not that nobly done? Ay, and wisely too.--Macb., iii. 6.
That I essentially am not in madness,
But mad in craft. 'Twere good, you let him know;
For who, that's but a queen, fair, sober, wise,
Would from a paddock, from a bat, a gib,
Such dear concernings hide? who would do so ?
No, in despite of sense and secrecy,
Unpeg the basket on the house's top,
Let the birds fly, and, like the famous ape,
To try conclusions, in the basket creep,
And break your own neck down.-Hamlet, iii. 4. This is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are sick in fortune (often the surfeit of our own behaviour), we make guilty of our disasters, the sun, the moon, and the stars: as if we were villains by necessity.—Lear, i. 2. I'll not be struck, my lord.-Nor tripped neither, you base football-player.
*Tis politic and safe to let him keep
At point a hundred knights : yes, that, on every dream,
Each buz, each fancy, each complaint, dislike,
He may enguard his dotage with their powers,
And hold our lives in mercy.-Ibid., i. 4.
Got praises of the king
For him attempting who was self-subdu'd ;
And, in the fleshment of this dread exploit,
Drew on me here again.-Ibid., ii. 2.
A woman's shape doth shield thee.-
Marry, your manhood now !-Ibid., iv. 2.
'Tis meet I should be us’d so, very meet.
How have I been behav'd, that he might stick
The small'st opinion on my least misuse ?-Oth., iv. 2.
Your mother too: she's my good lady ; and will conceive,
I hope, but the worst of me.-Cym., ii. 3.
This is her honour !
Let it be granted you have seen all this (and praise
Be given to your remembrance), the description
Of what is in her chamber nothing saves
The wager you have laid.--Ibid., ii. 4. And he has some sentences spoken as what might be said, or suggested to be said :
That shall not be much amiss: yet, as the matter now stands, he will avoid your accusation ; he made trial of you only.-M. for M., iii. 1.
And we understand him well,
How he comes o'er us with our wilder days,
Not measuring what use we made of them.
We never valu'd this poor seat of England;
And therefore, living hence, did give ourself
To barbarous licence ; as 'tis ever common
That men are merriest when they are from home.-H. V., i. 2.
I will go meet them: and, my lord Æneas,
We met by chance; you did not find me here.-Tr. & Cr., iv. 2.
This is some fellow,
Who, having been prais'd for bluntness, doth affect
A saucy roughness, and constrains the garb
Quite from his nature: he cannot flatter, he-
An honest mind and plain—he must speak truth !
An they will take it, so; if not, he's plain.--Lear, ii. 2.
See where he is, who's with him, what he does :
I did not send you : if you find him sad,
Say I am dancing: if in mirth, report
That I am sudden sick.--Ant. & C., i. 3.
Then was the time for words: no going then:
Eternity was in our lips and eyes,
Bliss in our brows' bent ; none our parts so poor,
But was a race of heaven : they are so still,
Or thou, the greatest soldier of the world,
Art turn'd the greatest liar.-Ibid., i. 3.
Cæsar? Why, he's the Jupiter of men.-
What 's Antony? The god of Yupiter.-
Spake you of Cæsar? Hoo! the nonpareil !-
O Antony! Oh, thou Arabian bird ! -
Would you praise Cæsar, say, “ Cæsar"-
"-go no farther.-
Indeed, he plied them both with excellent praises.-
But he loves Cæsar best ;-yet he loves Antony:
Hoo! hearts, tongues, figures, scribes, bards, poets, cannot
Think, speak, cast, write, sing, number-hoo!-
His love to Antony. But as for Cæsar,
Kneel down, kneel down, and wonder.-Ibid., iii. 2.
Lo, here she comes.
I am ignorant in what I am commanded.-Cym., iii. 2.
Some jay of Italy,
Whose mother was her painting, hath betray'd him:
Poor I am stale, a garment out of fashion ;
And, for I am richer than to hang by the walls,
I must be ripp'd :--to pieces with me!--Ibid., iii. 4. In the following passages Shakespeare has some ironical compliments, or complimentary expressions mockingly applied :
How now, noble Pompey! ... Adieu, trusty Pompey.-M. for M., iii. 2.
Princes and counties ! surely, a princely testimony, a goodly count, Count Confect; a sweet gallant, surely !-M. Ado, iv. 1.
O noble fool! A worthy fool! Motley's the only wear.—As You L., ii. 7.
And art, indeed, the most comparative, rascallest, sweet young prince.—1 H. IV., i. 2.
How now, my sweet creature of bombast !-Ibid., ii. 4.
O, my sweet beef, I must still be good angel to thee. -Ibid., iii. 3.
Well said, i' faith, Wart; thou 'rt a good scab.—2 H. IV., iii, 2.
Before we met, or that a stroke was given,
Like to a trusty squire, did run away.-1 H. VI., iv. 1.
Yet god Achilles still cries, “ Excellent!”—Tr. & Cr., i. 3.
Good night, sweet lord Menelaus.-
Sweet draught : sweet, quoth’a! sweet sink, sweet sewer.-Ibid., v, I.
That there should be small love 'mongst these sweet knaves,
And all this courtesy !—Timon, i. 1.
'Tis a noble Lepidus.--A very fine one.---Ant. & C., iii. 2.
Still going? This is a lord! O noble misery,
To be i' the field, and ask, what news, of me !-Cym., v. 3.
And in the following passage he has an ironical simile :-
That's done; as near as the extremest ends
Of parallels; as like as Vulcan and his wife.-Tr. & Cr., i. 3.
ITALIAN IDIOM. Shakespeare occasionally uses a peculiar idiomatic phraseology similar to that employed in the Italian language. He sometimes thus transposes the adjective and the pronoun in a phrase :
Dear my brother, let him that was the cause.-W.T., v. 3.
Then, dear my liege, mine honour let me try.—R. II., i. 1.
Dear my lord, make me acquainted with your cause of grief.-Jul. C., ii. 1.
Dear my lord, be not familiar with her.—Lear, v. I.
Dread my lord, your leave and favour to return.-Hamlet, i. 2.
Gentle my lord, you scarce can right me thoroughly then.-W. T., ii. 1.
Gentle my lord, sleek o'er your rugged looks.—Macb., iii. 2.
Good my lord, give me thy favour still.—Temp., iv. I.
Here, good my glass, take this for telling true.—Love's L. L., iv. I.
Good my mouse of virtue, answer me.-Tw. N., i. 5.
Then, good my mother, let me know my father.-Yohn, i. 1.
Thanks, good my countryman.-H. V., iv. 7.
The Countess of Richmond, good my lord of Stanley.-R. III.,
Good my brother Troilus, tell you the lady.—Tr. & Cr., iv. 3.
I beg of you to know me, good my lord.—Timon, iv. 3.
But, good my brother, do not, as some.—Hamlet, i. 3.
Guod my liege,-Peace, Kent !-Lear, i. 1.
Do, good my friend. In happy time, Iago.-Oth., iii. 1.
Good my liege, the day that she was missing.–Cym., iv. 3.
Good my lord of Rome, call forth your soothsayer.-Ibid., v. 5.
Gracious my lord, you know your father's temper.-W. T., iv. 3.
Gracious my lord, hard by here is a hovel.—Lear, iii. 2.
Accept it and wear it, kind my lord.--Timon, i. 2.
Ah, poor my lord, what tongue shall smooth thy name.—R. & Yul., iii. 2.
I pray thee, Rosalind, sweet my coz, be merry:-As You L., i. 2.
O, sweet my mother, cast me not away!—R. & Ful., iii. 5.
Sometimes he thus transposes the noun and the pronoun:
You brother mine, that entertain'd ambition.—Temp., v. 1.
O mistress mine, where are you roaming ?—Tw. N., ii. 3 (Song).
Lady mine, proceed.-H. VIII., i. 2.
Sometimes he thus uses a demonstrative pronoun and a possessive pronoun together :
Notwithstanding that your bond of duty.-Ibid., iii. 2.
Handlest in thy discourse, oh, that her hand,
In whose comparison all whites are ink.-Tr. & Cr., i. 1.
Thou know'st that we two went to school together:
Even for that our love of old, I pray thee.- ul. C., v. 5.
Thy demon-that thy spirit which keeps thee-is
Noble, courageous, high, unmatchable.--Ant. & C., ii. 3.
And threats the throat of that his officer
That murder'd Pompey.-Ibid., iii. 5.
Draw that thy honest sword, which thou hast worn.-Ibid., iv. 12.
Praise her but for this her without-door form.-W. T., ii. 1.
This your sheep-shearing is as a meeting.-Ibid., iv. 2.
This your air of France hath blown that vice in me.-H. V., iii. 6.