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God give you good-morrow, master person ('parson ').-Master person,-quasi pers-on. An if one should be pierced (This passage aids in showing how “
pierce were often pronounced alike. See Percy” and “pierce" under ProNUNCIATION), which is the one ?—Love's L. L., iv. 2.
And Phibbus' [* Phoebus '] car shall shine.—Mid. N. D., i. 2.
If he by chance escape your venomed stuck ["stock:' from the Italian, .stoccata'], our purpose may hold there.-Hamlet, iv. 7.
And he gives me the stuck-in, with such a.—Tw. N., iii. 4.
Marian Hacket, the fat ale-wife of Wincot (« Wilmecote,' or Wilnecote'].—Tam. of S., Induc. 2.
To countenance William Visor of Wincot* against.—2 H. IV., V. 1.
Two shilling and twopence a-piece of Yead [' Ned' or · Edward'] Miller, by these gloves.-Merry W., i, 1. Hear ye, Yedward [' Edward']; if I tarry.
:-1 H. IV., i. 2. In the First Folio, the following passages contain words that are printed so as to afford the possibility that familiar corrupted verbal forms were intended; but in our editions of Shakespeare's works we have not preserved these corruptions in the text, believing them to have been merely the printer's error, and not the author's originating:
Take sixpence in earnest of the berrord (',bear-ward'].-M. Ado, ii, i
And manacle the berard in their chains . . . despite the bearard that protects the bear.—2 H. VI., v. I.
Where is the master, boson [boatswain ').—Temp. i., 1.
CROSSING SPEECHES. In the course of Shakespeare's plays we meet with several instances of dialogue where a speech is made not in sequence with words uttered immediately preceding it; but either in reply to something said a short time before, or in a return to that of which the speaker has been
In this passage the First Folio prints “Woncot”; but it is probable that in both instances the same familiar abbreviation of the village near to Stratford-upon-Avon was intended by Shakespeare.
previously thinking. An extremely natural, and therefore extremely dramatic, effect is thus produced :
Gonzalo (to Alonzo). Sir, we were talking, that our garments seem now as fresh as when we were at Tunis at the marriage of your daughter, who is now queen.
Antonio. And the rarest that e'er came there.
Gonzalo (to Alonzo). Is not, sir, my doublet as fresh as the first day I wore it ? I mean, in a sort.
Antonio. That sort was well fished for.
Alonso. You cram these words into mine ears, against
Would I had never
[Exeunt. Prospero (to Ariel). Come with a thought. (To them) I thank you.
Ibid., iv. 1.
Mariana. Will’t please you walk aside ? [Exit with ISABELLA.
Duke. O place and greatness! millions of false eyes
And rack thee in their fancies !—Ibid., iv. I. It will be perceived that the above two passages, although in different scenes, are but one and the same soliloquy; the second being a resumption of the first, which was broken off by the entrance of Escalus, &c.
Don John. Sir, they are spoken, and these things are true.
True! O God -M. Ado, iv. I.
You must take your chance ;
Morocco. Nor will not.-Mer. of V., ii. 1.
The First Folio (often deplorably erroneous in prefixes) assigns Helena's speech to the Countess, in whose mouth it has no significance; whereas, in Helena's mouth it is characteristically veiled in expression, yet clear to those who are aware of her secret affection for Bertram,—meaning, 'if the living man I love, dislike me and my grief, its excess will soon kill me.' Lafeu, who is not possessed of her secret, finds her speech enigmatical, and exclaims, "How understand we that?”
Lafeu. Lustick, as the Dutchman says why, he's able to lead her a coranto.
First Lord. Go, tell the Count Rousillon and my brother,
Captain, I will.
Second Soldier. So I will, sir.-All's W., iv. I.
The First Lord's words, “ Inform on that,” have been altered by some commentators, who have not perceived that they are a following up of the previous portion of the speech, and that "he will " is elliptically understood as repeated before "inform.” The First Lord is musing upon Parolles' answer to the words previously addressed to him, "haply thou may'st inform something to save thy life”; and says he will * inform" on that point-something concerning "ourselves.'
King Philip. Well could I bear that England had this praise,
Constance. Lo, now ! now see the issue of your peace!
Constance. To England, if you will.
King Philip. Bind up your hairs.-Yohn, iii. 4. The distracted mother's apparently irrelevant speech “to England &c.,” is, in fact, a rejoinder to the French king's words addressed to her on her entrance. At the time he uttered them, her thoughts were too much engrossed to notice them; but afterwards—with that curious operation of the memory's ear which gives the echo of a sentence spoken to an absent-minded person many minutes subsequent to its sound—they recur to her, and she answers them in a wild and reckless spirit of despair. By the very repetition of King Philip's words, “ Bind up your hairs,” this is indicated; as if he would recall her to the point now at issue. Our interpretation of this passage differs from any given by previous commentators; but we think our view shows it in the light of one among many admirable touches whereby the poet has depicted a mind bordering on frenzy in this powerfully affecting scene, as in other scenes in other plays. Moreover, it is in accordance with the mode which, under the present heading of Crossing Speeches, we have shown to be our dramatist's, of allowing a sentence to be spoken in reference to something said some time before in the dialogue. This he has made a special characteristic in one of his speakers, Hotspur, the impetuous-spirited, vehement-spoken man of strong and sudden impulses. Witness the following examples; the first and third of which afford instances of Hotspur's habit, while the second, besides referring to it, shows Prince Henry falling into a similar fashion for the moment himself:
Lady Percy. Oh, my good lord, why are you thus alone? .
Enter a SERVANT.
Is Gilliams with the packet gone?
Lady Percy. What is it carries you away? ...
To play with mammets, and to tilt with lips.---1 H. IV., ii. 3. Prince Henry. I am now of all humours that have showed themselves humours, since the old days of goodman Adam to the pupil age of this present twelve o'clock at midnight. [Francis crosses the stage, with wine.) What's o'clock, Francis ? Francis. Anon, anon, sir.
(Erit. Prince Henry. That ever this fellow should have fewer words than a parrot, and yet the son of a woman! His industry is, upstairs and downstairs; his eloquence, the parcel of a reckoning. I am not yet of Percy's mind, the Hotspur of the north; he that kills me some six or seven dozen of Scots at a breakfast, washes his hands, and says to his wife, “ Fie upon this quiet life! I want work." “Oh, my sweet Harry,” says she, “ how many hast thou killed to-day ?” “Give my roan horse a drench," says he; and answers, “ some fourteen,” an hour after—"a trifle, a trifle.”—Ibid., ii. 4.
Douglas. Thou art the king of honour :
Do so, and 'tis well.
Ibid., iv. 1.
Menenius. So do I too, if it be not too much :-brings 'a victory in his pocket ?—the wounds become him.
Volumnia. On's brows: Menenius, he comes the third time home with the oaken garland.—Coriol., ii. 1. Coriolanus.
Hear'st thou, Mars.
Cassius. No, it is Casca; one incorporate
Cinna. I am glad on’t. What a fearful night.-Jul. C., i. 3.
Horatio. Two nights together. . . . A figure like your father
Ham. Indeed, indeed, sirs, but this troubles me.
Marcellus. Bernardo. We do, my lord.
Ham. Arm'd, say you ?
Polonius. He will come straight
Hamlet (within). Mother, mother, mother!
I'll warrant you ;
Duke. Whoe'er he be that, in this foul proceeding,
Brabantio. Humbly I thank your grace.
Duke and Senators. We are very sorry for it.
Desdemona. So, get thee gone, good night. Mine eyes do itch ;
'Tis neither here nor there.
Ibid., iv. 3.
Royal Egypt !
Charmian. Peace, peace, Iras !
Ant. & C., iv. 13.
Oh, noble strain !
Cym., iv. 2. See UNFINISHED SENTENCES for somewhat similar examples of the kind of naturally and dramatically crossing speeches here instanced.
DEVIATING INTO VARIOUS TENSES. In the course of narrating an incident that has occurred, Shakespeare sometimes suddenly deviates into an expression denoting actual time; so that while the majority of the verbs he uses in the speech or dialogue are in the past tense, he abruptly introduces a verb in the present tense; which imparts a spirited effect to the description :
I boarded the king's ship; now on the beak,