Abbildungen der Seite

King. What say'st thou to her ?

She's impudent, my lord ;
And was a common gamester to the camp b?.

Dia. He does me wrong, my lord ; if I were so,
He might have bought me at a common price:
Do not believe him: 0, behold this ring,
Whose high respect, and rich validityø,
Did lack a parallel ; yet, for all that,
He gave it to a commoner o' the camp,
If I be one.

COUNT. He blushes, and 'tis ito:
Of six preceding ancestors, that

Conferr'd by testament to the sequent issue,
Hath it been ow'd and worn. This is his wife;
That ring's a thousand proofs.

Methought, you said ',
You saw one here in court could witness it.

[ocr errors]

the day

[ocr errors]

a common GAMESTER to the camp.] The following pas-
sage, in an ancient MS. tragedy, entitled The Second Maiden's
Tragedy, will sufficiently elucidate the idea once affixed to the
term-gamester, when applied to a female :
66'Tis to me wondrous how


“ From amorous clips, much less the general season

“ When all the world's a gamester.". Again, in Pericles, Lysimachus asks Mariana

“ Were you a gamester at five or at seven ? " Again, in Troilus and Cressida :

daughters of the game.” Steevens. 8 Whose high respect, and rich validity,] Validity means value. So, in King Lear:

“ No less in space, validity, and pleasure." Again, in Twelfth-Night:

“Of what validity and pitch soever.” Steevens.

'tis it:) The old copy has—’tis hit. The emendation was made by Mr. Steevens. In many of our old chronicles I have found hit printed instead of it. Hence, probably, the mistake here. Mr. Pope reads—" and 'tis his." Malone. Or, “ he blushes, and 'tis fit.Henley.

Methought, you said,] The poet has here forgot himself. Diana has said no such thing. BLACKSTONE.



Dia. I did, my lord, but loath am to produce So bad an instrument; his name's Parolles.

LAF. I saw the man to-day, if man he be.
King. Find him, and bring him hither.

What of him ?
He's quoted for a most perfidious slave ?,
With all the spots o’the world tax'd and debosh'd';
Whose nature sickens, but to speak a truth:
Am I or that, or this, for what he'll utter,
That will speak any thing ?

She hath that ring of yours. BER. I think, she has: certain it is, I lik'd her, And boarded her i' the wanton way of youth: She knew her distance, and did angle for me, Madding my eagerness with her restraint, As all impediments in fancy's course Are motives of more fancy'; and, in fine,


[ocr errors]

? He's quoted for a most perfidious slave,] Quoted has the same sense as noted, or observed. So, in Hamlet, vol, vii.


I'm sorry that with better heed and judgment
“ I had not quoted him.” Steevens.

debosh'd ;] Debauched. See a note on The Tempest, Act III. Sc. II. Steevens.

4 Whose nature sickens, but to speak a truth :] Here the modern editors read :

“ Which nature sickens with" A most licentious corruption of the old reading, in which the punctuation only wants to be corrected. We should read, as here printed :

Whose nature sickens, but to speak a truth : i. e. only to speak a truth. TYRWHITT.

-all impediments in fancy's course Are motives of more fancy;] Every thing that obstructs love is an occasion by which love is heightened. And, to conclude, her solicitation concurring with her fashionable appearance, she got the ring.'

I am not certain that I have attained the true meaning of the word modern, which, perhaps, signifies rather meanly pretty.


[ocr errors]

Her insuit coming with her modern grace,
Subdued me to her rate: she got the ring ;
And I had that, which any inferior might
At market-price have bought.

I must be patient;
You, that turn'd off a first so noble wife,
May justly diet meo. I pray you yet,
(Since you lack virtue, I will lose a husband,)

I believe modern means common. The sense will then be this -"Her solicitation concurring with her appearance of being common,” i. e. with the appearance of her being to be had, as we say at present. Shakspeare uses the word modern frequently, and always in this sense. So, in King John :

scorns a modern invocation." Again, in As You Like It :

“ Full of wise saws and modern instances.”

“ Trifles, such as we present modern friends with.” Again, in the present comedy, p. 373 : to make modern and familiar things supernatural and causeless.”

Mr. M. Mason says, that “modern grace" means, ‘with a tolerable degree of beauty. He questỉons also the insufficiency of the instances brought in support of my explanation, but adduces none in defence of his own. Steevens.

Dr. Johnson's last interpretation is certainly the true one. See vol. vi. p. 409. I think, with Mr. Steevens, that modern here, as almost every where in Shakspeare, means common, ordinary; but do not suppose that Bertram here means to call Diana a common gamester, though he has styled her so in a former passage. Malone.

May justly diet me.] May justly loath or be weary of me,' as people generally are of a regimen or prescribed and scanty diet. Such, I imagine, is the meaning. Mr. Collins thinks she means

May justly make me fast, by depriving me (as Desdemona says) of the rites for which I love you.” Malone.

Mr. Collins's interpretation is just. The allusion may be to the management of hawks, who were half starved till they became tractable. Thus, in Coriolanus :

I'll watch him,

“ Till he be dieted to my request.” “ To fast, like one who takes diet," is a comparison that occurs in The Two Gentlemen of Verona.


[ocr errors][merged small]


Send for your ring, I will return it home,
And give me mine again.

I have it not.
King. What ring was yours, I pray you?

Sir, much like The same upon your finger. King. Know you this ring? this ring was his of

late. Dia. And this was it I gave him, being a-bed. King. The story then goes false, you threw it

him Out of a casement. DIA.

I have spoke the truth.

Enter PAROLLES. Ber. My lord, I do confess, the ring was hers. King. You boggle shrewdly, every feather starts


Is this the man you speak of?

Ay, my lord.
King. Tell me, sirrah, but, tell me true, I charge

you, Not fearing the displeasure of your master, (Which, on your just proceeding, I'll keep off,) By him, and by this woman here, what know you ?

Par. So please your majesty, my master hath been an honourable gentleman; tricks he hath had in him, which gentlemen have.

King. Come, come, to the purpose : Did he love this woman?

Par. 'Faith, sir, he did love her; But how? ?

7 - he did love her; But how?] But how perhaps belongs to the King's next speech :

But how, how, I pray you?" This suits better with the King's apparent impatience and solicitude for Helena. MALONE.

Kins. How, I pray you ?

Par. He did love her, sir, as a gentleman loves a woman.

KING. How is that?
Par. He loved her, sir, and loved her not.

King. As thou art a knave, and no knave :-
What an equivocal companion ® is this !

Par. I am a poor man, and at your majesty's command.

Lar. He's a good drum, my lord, but a naughty orator.

Dia. Do you know, he promised me marriage ?
Par. 'Faith, I know more than I'll speak.
King. But wilt thou not speak all thou know'st ?

Par. Yes, so please your majesty ; I did go between them, as I said; but more than that, he loved her,-for, indeed, he was mad for her, and talked of Satan, and of limbo, and of furies, and I know not what: yet I was in that credit with them at that time, that I knew of their going to bed; and of other motions, as promising her marriage, and things that would derive me ill will to speak of, therefore I will not speak what I know.

King. Thou hast spoken all already, unless thou canst say they are married : But thou art too fine in thy evidence o; therefore stand aside. This ring, you say, was yours?


Surely, all transfer of these words is needless. Hamlet addresses such another flippant interrogatory to himself: “The mouse-trap. Marry, how? Tropically." STEEVENS.

companion -] i. e. fellow. So, in King Henry VI. Part II. :

“ Why, rude companion, whatsoe'er thou be,

“ I know thee not." Steevens.

But thou art too fine in thy evidence ;] Too fine, too full of finesse ; too artful, A French expression-trop fine.

So, in Sir Henry Wotton's celebrated Parallel : “ We may rate


« ZurückWeiter »