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lead the measure,? such are to be followed: after them, and take a more dilated farewel.
Ber. And I will do so.
Par. Worthy fellows; and like to prove most sinewy sword-men.
(Exeunt. Ber, and Par.
Enter LAFEU. Laf. Pardon, my lord, [kneeling] for me and for my
tidings. King. I 'll fee thee to stand up. Laf.
Then here's a man
King. I would I had; so I had broke thy pate,
Goodfaith, across : 9
O, will you eat No grapes, my royal fox? yes, but you will,
lowing time for his judgment to determine their congruity. The cap of time being the first image that occurs, true gait, manner of eating, speaking, &c. are the several ornaments which they muster, place, or arrange in time's cap. This is done under the influence of the most received star; that is, the person in the highest repute for setting the fashions :—and though the devil were to lead the measure or dance of fashion, such is their implicit sub: mission, that even he must be followed. Henley.
- lead the measure,] i. e. the dance. So, in Much Ado about Nothing, Beatrice says: “Tell bim there is measure in every thing, and so dance out the answer." Steevens. brought – ] Some modern editions read-bought.
Malone. across:] This word, as has been already observed, is used when any pass of wit miscarries. Fuhnson.
While chivalry was in vogue, breaking spears against a quintain was a favourite exercise. He who shivered the greatest number was esteemed the most adroit; but then it was to be performed exactly with the point, for if achieved by a side-stroke, or across, it showed unskilfulness, and disgraced the practiser. Here, therefore, Lafeu reflects on the King's wit, as aukward and ineffectual, and, in the terms of play, good for nothing.
H. White See As you Like it, Act III, sc. iv, p. 97. Steevens.
My noble grapes, an if my royal fox
What her is this?
- yes, but you will, My noble grapes, &c.] The words - My noble grapes, seem to Dr. Warburton and Sir T. Hanmer to stand so much in the way, that they have silently omitted them. They may be, indeed, rejected without great loss, but I believe they are Shakspeare's words. You will eat, says Lafeu, no grapes. Pes, but you will eat such noble grapes, as I bring you, if you could reach them. Johnson.
medicine,] is here put for a she-physician. Hanmer.
and make you dance canary,] Mr. Rich. Brome, in his comedy, entitled, The City Wit, or the Woman wears the Breeches, Act IV, sc. .i, mentions this among other dances: “ As for corantoes, lavoltos, jigs, measures, pavins, brawls, galliards, or canaries; I speak it not swellingly, but I subscribe to no man."
Dr. Grey. whose simple touch &c.] Thus, Ovid, Amor. III, vii, 41 : Illius ad tactum Pylius juvenescere possit,
Tithonosque annis fortior esse suis. Steevens. 5 And write - ] I believe a line preceding this has been lost.
Malone. her years, profession,] By profession is meant her declaration of the end and purpose of her coming. Warburton.
7 Than I dare blame my weakness:) This is one of Shakspeare's perplexed expressions. “To acknowledge how much she has astonished me, would be to acknowledge a weakness; and this I am unwilling to do.” Steevens.
Lafeu's meaning appears to me to be this:-" That the amazement she excited in him was so great, that he could not impute it merely to his own weakness, but to the wonderful qualities of he object that occasioned it.” M. Mason.
(For that is her demand) and know her business?
Now, good Lafeu,
Nay, I'll fit you,
[Exit LAF. King. Thus he his special nothing ever prologues.8
Re-enter LAFEU, with HELENA.
This haste hath wings indeed.
[Exit. King. Now, fair one, does your business follow us?
Hel. Ay, my good lord. Gerard de Narbon was My father; in what he did profess, well found.2
King. I knew him.
Hel. The rather will I spare my praises towards him; Knowing him, is enough. On his bed of death Many receipts he gave me; chiefly one, Which, as the dearest issue of his practice, And of his old experience the only darling, He bad me store up, as a triple eye, 3 Safer than mine own two, more dear; I have so: And, hearing your high majesty is touch'd
8 Thus he his special nothing ever prologues.] So, in Othello:
“'Tis evermore the prologue to his sleep." Steevens.
come your ways;] This vulgarism is also put into the mouth of Polonius. See Hamlet, Act I, sc. ii. Steevens.
Cressid's uncle,]. I am like Pandarus. See Troilus and Cressida. Johnson. well found.] i. e. of known acknowledged excellence.
Steevens 3 — a triple eye,] i. e. a third eye. So, in Antony and Cleopatra :
“ The triple pillar of the world, transform'd
With that malignant cause wherein the honour
We thank you, maiden;
Hel. My duty then shall pay me for my pains:
King. I cannot give thee less, to be call'd grateful:
Hel. What I can do, can do no hurt to try, Since you set up your rest 'gainst remedy: He that of greatest works is finisher, Oft does them by the weakest minister: So holy writ in babes hath judgment shown, When judges have been babes. Great floods have flown
wherein the honour of my dear father's gift stands chief in power,] Perhaps we may better read?
wherein the power of my dear father's gift stands chief in honour. Johnson. 5 So holy writ in babes hath judgment shown,
When judges have been babes.] The allusion is to St. Matthew's Gospel, xi, 25: “O father, lord of heaven and earth. I thank thee, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and revealed them unto babes." See also 1 Cor. i, 27: “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God bath chosen the weak things of the world, to confound the things which are mighty.” Malone.
From simple sources; and great seas have dried,
King. I must not hear thee; fare thee well, kind maid;
Hel. Inspired merit so by breath is barr’d:
6 When miracles have by the greatest been denied.) I do not see the import or connexion of this line. As the next line stands without a correspondent rhyme, I suspect that something has been lost. Johnson.
I point the passage thus; and then I see no reason to complain of want of connexion:
When judges have been babes. Great floods, &c.
When miracles have by the greatest been denied. Shakspeare after alluding to the production of water from a rock, and the drying up of the Red Sea, says, that miracles had been denied by the GREATEST; or, in other words, that the ELDERS of ISRAEL (who just before, in reference to another text, were styled judges) had, notwithstanding these miracles, wrought for their own preservation, refused that compliance they ought to have yielded. See the Book of Exodus, particularly ch. xvii, 5, 6, &c. Henley. So holy writ, &c. alludes to Daniel's judging, when, “a
young youth, the two Elders in the story of Susannah. Great floods, i. e. when Moses smote the rock in Horeb, Exod. xvii.
great seas have driet
When miracles have by the greatest been denied. Dr. Johnson did not see the import or connexion of this line. It certainly refers to the children of Israel passing the Red Sea, when miracles had been denied, or not hearkened to, by Pharaoh.
H White. 7 and despair most sits.] The old copy reads-shifts. The correction was made by Mr. Pope. Malone.
8 Myself against the level of mine aim;] i. e. pretend to greater things than befits the mediocrity of my condition. Warburton.