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LETTERS, WRITTEN PARTLY IN VERSE, PARTLY IN PROSE. 437
Men shall hold of me in capite.-2 H. VF., iv. 7.
They may, cum privilegio, wear away
The lag end of their lewdness, and be laugh'd at.-H. VIII., i. 3.
He has also used a few terms derived from old French legal expressions:
Crier Hobgoblin, make the fairy o-yes [oyez, hear ye '].-Merry W., v. 5.
Some tricks, some quillets [qu'il est, 'that it is'; which phrase formed the commencement of allegations in law proceedings], how to cheat the devil.-Love's L. L., iv. 3.
But in these nice sharp quillets of the law,
Good faith, I am no wiser than a daw.-1 H. VI., ii. 4.
This precious book of love, this unbound lover,
To beautify him, only lacks a cover [in double reference to the cover of a book, and to the legal term ' coverture,' which signifies marriage subsistent. The term is legally applied to a woman's marriage; and comes from the old French law-term, femme couverte, meaning a woman sheltered by marriage under her husband].—R. & Jul., i. 3.
LETTERS, WRITTEN PARTLY IN VERSE, PARTLY IN PROSE.
This seems to have been a fashion in Shakespeare's time, especially for amatory epistles; since he has given us more than one example of them. Probably, therefore, the line beginning the first letter quoted below was intended to be a portion of its prose commencement, as there is no line corresponding in rhyme therewith; while the verse continuation is in rhymed lines, and the conclusion returns again to prose :
Dian, the count's a fool, and full of gold.- . . .
Half won is match well made; match, and well make it ;
He ne'er pays after debts, take it before;
PAROLLES.-All's W., iv. 3.
To the unknown beloved, this, and my good wishes.
Jove knows, I love:
Lips do not move;
No man must know. . .
I may command where I adore;
But silence, like a Lucrece knife,
With bloodless stroke my heart doth gore:
If this fall into thy hand, revolve. In my stars I am above thee; but be not afraid of greatness; some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have, &c.Tw. N., ii. 5.
To the celestial, and my soul's idol, the most beautified Ophelia.. In her excellent white bosom, these.
Doubt thou the stars are fire;
But never doubt I love.
O dear Ophelia, I am ill at these numbers; I have not art to reckon my groans: but that I love thee best, O most best, believe it. Adieu.
Thine evermore, most dear lady, whilst this machine is to him, HAMLET.— Hamlet, ii. 2.
Shakespeare has in various passages shown the exaggerated phrases and hyperbolical expressions that lovers affect and permit themselves to
It is thyself, mine own self's better part,
Mine eye's clear eye, my dear heart's dearer heart,
My food, my fortune, and my sweet hope's aim,
My sole earth's heaven, and my heaven's claim.-Com. of E., iii. 2.
For I will be horribly in love with her.-M. Ado, ii. 3.
The rather, gentle princess, because I love thee cruelly.-H. V., v. 2.
Taffeta phrases, silken terms precise,
And thou, thrice-crowned queen of night, survey
M, O, A, I, doth sway my life.—Tw. N., ii. 5 (Verses).
A phoenix, captain, and an enemy,
With him, the mortal Venus, the heart-blood of beauty, love's invisible soul. ・・・ Helen.-Tr. & Cr., iii. 1.
To bed, to bed: sleep kill those pretty eyes,
Being purg'd, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes;
A choking gall, and a preserving sweet.-R. & Jul., i. 1.
At my poor house look to behold this night
Oh, serpent heart, hid with a flowering face!
Oh, my fair warrior 1-Oth., ii. 1.
I was (unhandsome warrior as I am)
In this last-cited passage, the dramatist causes Desdemona to make touching allusion to her husband's having previously called her "warrior"; which was a title frequently given by amorous gallants to their lady-loves, in deprecation of their supposed cruelty and antagonism, and which is applied by Othello to his bride-wife, in allusion to her refusing (in act i., sc. 3) to "be left behind, a moth of peace, and he go to the war."
In the first passage from "All's Well" and in the first and third passage from Romeo and Juliet" above quoted, we have specimens of those rapturous tirades which it was formerly the mode, in poetic or romantic language, to lavish upon love and the object of affection; full of fanciful antitheses, whimsically opposite attributes, and halfreproachful, half-admiring epithets, expressive of the mingled torment and joy belonging to this sovereign passion.
MODE OF ADDRESS OR SALUTATION.
Our dramatist employs certain courteous phrases of address, salutation, or rejoinder, in special form. As commencement of address in rejoinder :
Sir, my lord, I could do this.-W. T., i. 2.
Sir, my gracious lord, to chide at your.-Ibid., iv. 3.
As an address of recognition on meeting :—
Welcome, from Egypt, sir.-Half the heart of Cæsar, worthy Mecanas! my honourable friend, Agrippa !-Good Enobarbus !—Ant. & C., ii. 2.
Accosting, by one who enters :
With all my heart, gentlemen, both and how fare you ?—Timon, iii. 6.
Phrase of courtesy, in passing before some one :—
[I say] to you all three, The senators alone of this great world.-Ant. & C., ii. 6. Elliptical phrase, announcing an entrance :
[Here] she [comes] and the duke her husband.-Lear, v. 1. Elliptical phrases of acquiescence:
Who's there? my woman Helen?-Please you, madam.-Cym., ii. 2. 'Tis the ninth hour o' the morn So please you, sir.-Ibid., iv. 2. Elliptical phrase, spoken in polite rejoinder:
Welcome to Rome.-Thank you.-Sit.-Sit, sir.-Nay then-[since you will have it so, I take my seat first].-Ant. & C., ii. 2.
Affected double style of address:
Good sparks and lustrous, a word, good metals.—All's W., ii. 1. Reply to one who salutes on entering :—
My ladies both, good day to you.—
Save you, worthy general!
Reply to one who salutes on departing :
Now fare you well, good sir.-With all my heart.-Lear, iv. 6. Salutation to some one taking leave :—
I'll to the king,
And say I spoke with you. My honour'd lord.—H. VIII., ii. 3.
Mutual amenities between a host and his departing friends :-
The best of happiness,
Salutation in reply to one who is drinking and wishing good health:
The queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet.-
Salutation of pledging while drinking [See IDIOMS]:
My lord, in heart; and let the health go round.-Timon, i. 2. Said in reply to one who is speaking laudatorily:
Horatio, thou art e'en as just a man
As e'er my conversation cop'd withal.-
Peculiar phrase of distinctive announcement :
Pompey the Great,-Your servant, and Costard.-Love's L. L., v. 2.
We talk of young Master Launcelot.-Your worship's friend, and Launcelot, sir.Mer. of V., ii. 1.
Shakespeare occasionally makes a speaker allude to himself in the third person :
Twelve years since, Miranda, twelve years since,
And what news else betideth here in absence of thy friend.— Two G. of V., i. 1.
My heart assures me, that the Earl of Warwick
Shall one day make the Duke of York a king.
Richard shall live to make the Earl of Warwick.-2 H. VI., ii. 2. Whenever Buckingham doth turn his hate upon your grace. -R. III., ii. 1.
And dare be bold to weep for Buckingham . . . and, if he speak of Buckingham, pray, tell him you met him.-H. VIII., ii. 1.
More ready to cry out, Who knows what follows?"
Ne'er speak or think that Timon's fortunes 'mong his friends.-Timon, ii. 2.
When Marcus Brutus grows so covetous.-Jul. C., iv. 3.
On Cassius, for Cassius is aweary of the world .. better than ever thou lov'dst Cassius.-Ibid., iv. 3.
If Cassius might have rul'd . . . this very day was Cassius born.—Ibid., v. 1.
And what so poor a man as Hamlet is may do.—Hamlet, i. 5.
Who calls on Hamlet ?-Ibid., iv. 2.
Was 't Hamlet wrong'd Laertes? Never Hamlet:
And, when he 's not himself, does wrong Laertes,
His madness is poor Hamlet's enemy.-Ibid., v. 2.
The queen carouses to thy fortune, Hamlet.-Ibid., v. 2.
And he occasionally makes a speaker use the third person in mentioning one who is present:
It lies as sightly on the back of him.—John, ii. 1.
To be but mirth and laughter to his Brutus.-—Ibid., iv. 3.
And my poor fool is hang'd!-Lear, v. 3.
Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her?
I'll seem the fool I am not; Antony
Will be himself.—But stirr'd by Cleopatra.-Ant. & C., i. 1.
Occasionally he causes a speaker to change the person in reference
to the same object during the same sentence :—
My loving lord Dumain [3rd person] is mortified:
He [3rd person] throws upon the gross world's baser slaves:
O Cæsar [2nd person], read mine first; for mine's a suit
That touches Cæsar [3rd person] nearer: read it, great Cæsar [2nd person].— Jul. C., iii. 1.