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Count. I would, I had not known him 4 ! it was the death of the most virtuous gentlewoman, that ever nature had praise for creating : if she had partaken of my flesh, and cost me the dearest groans of a mother, I could not have owed her a more rooted love.
LAF. 'Twas a good lady, 'twas a good lady: we may pick a thousand salads, ere we light on such another herb.
Clo. Indeed, sir, she was the sweet-marjoram of the salad, or, rather the herb of grace'.
Laf. They are not salad-herbs, you knave, they are nose-herbs.
Clo. I am no great Nebuchadnezzar, sir, I have not much skill in grass
LAF. Whether dost thou profess thyself; a knave, or a fool ?
Clo. A fool, sir, at a woman's service, and a knave at a man's.
LAF. Your distinction ?
Clo. I would cozen the man of his wife, and do his service.
at Trim, in Ireland, by which the natives were directed, among other things, not to wear shirts stained with saffron. Steevens.
See a note on Albumazar, Dodsley's Collection of Old Plays, vol. vii. p. 156, edit. 1780. Reed.
4 I would, I had not known him !) This dialogue serves to connect the incidents of Parolles with the main plan of the play.
Johnson. I should wish to read—“ he had not known him," meaning that her son had not. Her knowing Parolles was of little consequence, but Bertram's knowing him caused the death of Helen, which she deplores. M. Mason.
herb of grace.] i. e. So, in Hamlet : there's rue for you—we may call it herb of grace o' Sundays.”
STEEVENS. 6 - in Grass.] The old copy, by an evident error of the press, reads-grace. The correction was made by Mr. Rowe. The word salad, in the preceding speech, was also supplied by him. MALONE.
LAF. So you were a knave at his service, in
deed. Clo. And I would give his wife my bauble, sir, to do her service 7.
LAF. I will subscribe for thee; thou art both knave and fool.
Clo. At your service.
Clo. Why, sir, if I cannot serve you, I can serve as great a prince as you are.
LAF. Who's that? a Frenchman ?
7- I would give his wife my BAUBLE, sir, to do her service.] Part of the furniture of a fool was a bauble, which, though it be generally taken to signify any thing of small value, has a precise and determinable meaning. It is, in short, a kind of truncheon with a head carved on it, which the fool anciently carried in his hand. There is a representation of it in a picture of Watteau, formerly in the collection of Dr. Mead, which is engraved by Baron, and called Comediens Italiens. A faint resemblance of it may be found in the frontispiece of L. de Guernier to King Lear, in Mr. Pope's edition in duodecimo. Sir J. HAWKINS. So, in Marston's Dutch Courtesan, 1604 :
if a fool, we must bear his bauble.” Again, in The Two Angry Women of Abingdon, 1599 : The fool will not leave his bauble for the Tower of London." Again, in Jack Drum’s Entertainment, 1601 :
“ She is enamoured of the fool's bauble.” In the Stultifera Navis, 1497, are several representations of this instrument, as well as in Cocke's Lorel's Bote, printed by Wynkyn de Worde. Again, in Lyte’s Herbal : “ In the hollowness of the said flower (the great blue wolfe's-bane) grow two small crooked hayres, somewhat great at the end, fashioned like a fool's bable." An ancient proverb, in Ray's Collection, points out the materials of which these baubles were made : “ If every fool should wear a bable, fewel would be dear." See figure 12, in the plate at the end of The First Part of King Henry IV. with Mr. Tóllet's explanation. STEEVENS.
The word bauble is here used in two senses. The Clown had another bauble besides that which the editor alludes to.
M. Mason, When Cromwell, 1653, forcibly turned out the rump-parliament, he bid the soldiers, “take away that fool's bauble," pointing to the speaker's mace. BLACKSTONE.
Clo. Faith, sir, he has an English name $; but his phisnomy is more hotter in France, than there'.
LAF. What prince is that ?
Clo. The black prince', sir, alias, the prince of darkness; alias, the devil.
LAF. Hold thee, there's my purse: I give thee not this to suggest thee from thy master thou talkest of; serve him still.
Clo. I am a woodland fellow, sir, that always loved a great fire; and the master I speak of, ever keeps a good fire. But, sure, he is the prince of the world“, let his nobility remain in his court. I am for the house with the narrow gate, which I
an English NAME;] The old
His hair was thick. HENLEY.
- his phisnomy is more HOTTER in France, than there.] This is intolerable nonsense. The stupid editors, because the devil was talked of, thought no quality would suit him but hotter. We should read—“ more honour'd. A joke upon the French people, as if they held a dark complexion, which is natural to them, in more estimation than the English do, who are generally white and fair. WARBURTON. The allusion is, in all probability, to the Morbus Gallicus.
STEEVENS. i The BLACK PRINCE,] Bishop Hall, in his Satires, b. v. sat. ii. has given the same name to Pluto: “So the black prince is broken loose again,” &c. Holt White.
– to SUGGEST thee from thy master -] Thus the old copy. The modern editors read seduce, but without authority.
To suggest had anciently the same meaning. So, in The Two Gentlemen of Verona:
“ Knowing that tender youth is soon suggested,
“ I nightly lodge her in an upper tower." STEEVENS. 3 I am a woodland fellow, sir, &c.j Shakspeare is but rarely guilty of such impious trash. And it is observable, that then he always puts that into the mouth of his fools, which is now grown the characteristic of the fine gentleman. WARBURTON.
4 But, sure, he is the prince of the world,] I think we should read—“ But since he is,' &c. and thus Sir T. Hanmer.
take to be too little for pomp to enter : some, that humble themselves, may; but the many will be too chill and tender; and they'll be for the flowery way, that leads to the broad gate, and the great fire 5.
LAF. Go thy ways, I begin to be a-weary of thee; and I tell thee so before, because I would not fall out with thee. Go thy ways ; let my horses be well looked to, without any tricks.
Clo. If I put any tricks upon em, sir, they shall be jades tricks; which are their own right by the law of nature.
[Exit. Laf. A shrewd knave, and an unhappyo.
Count. So he is. My lord, that's gone, made himself much sport out of him: by his authority he remains here, which he thinks is a patent for his sauciness; and, indeed, he has no pace, but runs where he will?.
LAF. I like him well; 'tis not amiss : and I was about to tell you. Since I heard of the good lady's death, and that my lord your son was upon his return home, I moved the king my master, to speak in the behalf of my daughter; which, in the minority of them both, his majesty, out of a self-gracious remembrance, did first propose : his highness
the FLOWERY WAY, -and the GREAT FIRE.] The same impious stuff occurs again in Macbeth: “—the primrose way to the everlasting bonfire." Steevens. - unhappy.) i. e. mischievously waggish, unlucky.
Johnson. So, in King Henry VIII. :
“ You are a churchman, or, I'll tell you, cardinal,
“ I should judge now unhappily." Steevens. 7 So he is. My lord, that's gone, made himself much sport out of him : by his authority he remains here, which he thinks is a patent for his sauciness; and, indeed, he has no Pace, but runs where he will.] Should not we read-no place, that is, no station, or office in the family? TYRWHITT.
A pace is a certain or prescribed walk ; so we say of a man meanly obsequious, that he has learned his paces, and of a horse who moves irregularly, that he has no paces. Johnson.
hath promised me to do it: and, to stop up the displeasure he hath conceived against your son, there is no fitter matter. How does your ladyship like it ?
Count. With very much content, my lord, and I wish it happily effected.
Laf. His highness comes post from Marseilles, of as able body as when he numbered thirty; he will be here to-morrow, or I am deceived by him that in such intelligence hath seldom failed.
Count. It rejoices me, that I hope I shall see him ere I die. I have letters, that my son will be here to-night: I shall beseech your lordship, to remain with me till they meet together.
LAF. Madam, I was thinking, with what manners I might safely be admitted.
Count. You need but plead your honourable privilege.
LAF. Lady, of that I have made a bold charter; but, I thank my God, it holds yet.
Re-enter Clown. Clo. O madam, yonder's my lord your son with a patch of velvet on's face: whether there be a scar under it, or no, the velvet knows; but 'tis a goodly patch of velvet : his left cheek is a cheek of two pile and a half, but his right cheek is worn bare.
LAF. A scar nobly got, or a noble scar, is a good livery of honour 8 ; so, belike, is that.
& Laf. A scar nobly got, &c.] This speech, in the second folio, and the modern editions, is given to the Countess, and perhaps rightly. It is more probable that she should have spoken thus favourably of Bertram, than Lafeu. In the original copy, to each of the speeches of the Countess, Lad. or La. [i. e. Lady] is prefixed; so that the mistake was very easy. Malone.
I do not discover the improbability of this commendation from