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wood woman;2-well, I kiss her ;-why there'tis; here's my mother's breath up and down : now come I to my sister; mark the moan she makes: now the dog all this while sheds not a tear, nor speaks a word; but see how I lay the dust with my tears.
Enter PanthINO. Pant. Launce, away, away, aboard; thy master is shipped, and thou art to post after with oars. What's the matter? why weep'st thou, man? Away, ass; you will lose the tide, if you tarry any longer.
Laun. It is no matter if the ty'd were lost;3 for it is the unkindest ty'd that ever any man ty'&.
Pant. What's the unkindest tide ?
like a wood woman; - -] The first folios agree in would. woman: for which, because it was a mystery to Mr. Pope, he has unmeaningly substituted ould woman. But it must be writ, or at least understood, wood woman, i. e. crazy, frantic with grief; or distracted, from any other cause. The word is very frequently used in Chaucer; and sometimes writ wood, some. times wode. Theobald.
Print thus: “Now come I to my mother, (O that she could speak now!) like a wood woman."
Perhaps the humour would be heightened by reading, that the shoe could speak now!) Blackstone.
I have followed the punctuation recommended by sir W. Blackstone. The emendation proposed by him was made, I find, by Sir T. Hanmer. Malone.
O that she could speak now like a wood woman!) Launce is describing the melancholy parting between him and his family. In order to do this more methodically, he makes one of his shoes. stand for his father, and the other for his mother. And when he has done taking leave of his father, he says, Now come I to my mother, turning to the shoe, that is supposed to personate her. And in order to render the representation more perfect, he ex. presses his wish, that it could speak like a woman, frantic with grief! There could be no doubt about the sense of the passage, had he said _“O that it could speak like a wood woman!" But he uses the feminine pronoun, in speaking of the shoe, because it is supposed to represent a woman. M. Mason.
- if the ty'd were lost ;] This quibble, wretched as it is, might have been borrowed by Shakspeare from Lyly's Endymion, 1591: “ Epi. You know it is said, the tide tarrieth for no man. Sam. True.-Epi. A monstrous lye: for I was ty'd two hours, and tarried for one to unloose me.” The same play on words occurs in Chapman's Andromeda Liberata, 1614:
“ And now came roaring to the tied the tide.” Steevens.
Laun. Why, he that 's ty'd here; Crab, my dog.
Pant. Tut, man, I mean thou ’lt lose the flood; and, in losing the flood, lose thy voyage: and, in losing thy voyage, lose thy master; and, in losing thy master, lose thy service; and, in losing thy service-Why dost thou stop my mouth?
Laun. For fear thou should'st lose thy tongue?
Laun. Lose the tide, and the voyage, and the master, and the service? The tide !5—Why, man, if the river were dry, I am able to fill it with my tears; if the wind were down, I could drive the boat with my sighs.
Pant. Come, come away, man; I was sent to call thee.
Milan. An Apartment in the Duke's Palace. Enter VALENTINE, Silvia, THURIO, and SPEED. Sil. ServantVal. Mistress! Speed. Master, sir Thurio frowns on you. Val. Ay, boy, it's for love. Speed. Not of you. Val. Of my mistress then. Speed. "Twere good, you knocked him down. Sil. Servant, you are sad. Val. Indeed, madam, I seem so. Thu. Seem you that you are not? Val. Haply, I do. Thu. So do counterfeits.
4 Lose the tide,] Thus the old copy. Some of the modern edi. tors read—the flool. Steevens.
The tide!] The old copy reads—" and the tide.” I once supposed these three words to have been repeated, through some error of the transcriber or printer; but, pointed as the passage now is, (with the omission of and) it seems to have sufficient meaning. Steevens.
Val. So do you.
Thu. That hath more mind to feed on your blood, than live in your air.
Val. You have said, sir.
Sil. A fine volley of words, gentlemen, and quickly shot off.
Val. 'Tis indeed, madam; we thank the giver.
Val. Yourself, sweet lady; for you gave the fire: sir Thurio borrows his wit from your ladyship's looks, and spends what he borrows, kindly, in your company.
Thu. Sir, if you spend word for word with me, I shall make your wit bankrupt.
Val. I know it well, sir: you have an exchequer of words, and, I think, no other treasure to give your followers: for it appears by their bare liveries, that they live by your bare words.
Sil. No more, gentlemen, no more; here comes my father.
how quote you my folly?] To quote is to observe. So, in Hamlet :
I am sorry that with better heed and judgment
“ I had not quoted him.” Steevens. Valentine, in his answer, plays upon the word, which was pronounced as if written coat. So, in The Rape of Lucrece, 1594:
the illiterate, that know not how
“Will cote my loathsome trespass in my looks." In our poet's time, words were thus frequently spelt by the ear.
My lord, I will be thankful
Duke. Know you Don Antonio, your countryman??
Val. Ay, my good lord, I know the gentleman To be of 'worth, and worthy estimation, wealth. ms.1632, And not without deserts so well reputed.
Duke. Hath he not a son?
Val. Ay, my good lord; a son, that well deserves, The honour and regard of such a father.
Duke. You know him well?
Val. I knew him, as myself; for, from our infancy,
Duke. Beshrew me, sir, but if he make this good,
? Know you Don Antonio, your countryman.?] The word Don should be omitted; as, besides the injury it does to the metre, the characters are Italians, not Spaniards. Had the measure admitted it, Shakspeare would have written Signor. And yet, after making this remark, I noticed Don Alphonso in a preceding scene. But for all that, the remark may be just. Ritson.
not without desert -] And not dignified with so much reputation without proportionate merit. Fohnson.
I think, 'tis no unwelcome news to you.
Val. Should I have wish'd a thing, it had been he.
Duke. Welcome him then, according to his worth;
Val. This is the gentleman, I told your ladyship,
Sil. Belike, that now she hath enfranchis'd them
Val. Nay, sure, I think, she holds them prisoners still.
Sil. Nay, then he should be blind; and, being blind,
Val. Why, lady, love hath twenty pair of eyes.
Val. To see such lovers, Thurio, as yourself:
Val. Welcome, dear Proteus! Mistress, I beseech you,
Sil. His worth is warrant for his welcome hither, If this be he you oft have wish'd to hear from.
Val. Mistress, it is: sweet lady, entertain him To be my fellow-servant to your ladyship.
Sil. Too low a mistress fo so high a servant.
Pro. Not so, sweet lady; but too mean a servant To have a look of such a worthy mistress.
Val. Leave off discourse of disability: Sweet lady, entertain him for your servant.
Pro. My duty will I boast of, nothing else.
Sil. And duty never yet did want his meed;
Pro. I'll die on him that says so, but yourself.
No; that you are worthless.1
9 I need not 'cite him to it:] i.e. incite him to it. Malone.
1 No; that you are worthless.] I have inserted the particle no, to fill up the measure. Fohnson.
Perhaps the particle supplied is unnecessary. Worthless was, I believe, used as a trisyllable. See Mr. Tyrwhitt’s note, page 160. Malone.