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Ber.

As you are now, for you are cold and stern ;?
And now you should be as your mother was,
When your sweet self was got.
Dia. She then was honest.

So should

you

be. Dia,

No:
My mother did but duty; such, my lord,
As you owe to your wife.
Ber.

No more of that!
I pr’ythee, do not strive against my vows:
I was compellid to her;8 but I love thee
By love's own sweet constraint, and will for ever
Do thee all rights of service.
Dia.

Ay, so you serve us,
Till we serve you: but when you have our roses,
You barely leave our thorns to prick ourselves,
And mock us with our bareness.
Ber.

How have I sworn?
Dia. 'Tis not the many oaths, that make the truth;
But the plain single vow, that is vow'd true.
What is not holy, that we swear not by, o

? You are no maiden, but a monument:

for you are cold and stern;] Our author had here, propably, in his thoughts some of the stern monumental figures with which many churches in England were furnished by the rude sculptors of his own time. He has again the same allusion in Cymbeline :

" And be her sense but as a monument,

“ Thus in a chapel lying." Malone. I believe the epithet stern refers only to the severity often ima pressed by death on features which, in their animated state, were of a placid turn. Steevens. 8 No more of that! I proythee, do not strive against my vows :

I was compelld to her;] Against his vows, I believe, meansagainst his determined resolution never to cohabit with Helena; and this

or resolution, he had very strongly expressed in his let. ter to the Countess. Steevens. So, in Vittoria Corombona, a tragedy, by Webster, 1612:

“ Henceforth I'll never lie with thee,

“ My vow is fix'd.” Malone. 9 What is not holy, that we swear not by,] The sense is-We never swear by what is not holy, but swear by, or take to wit. ness, the Highest, the Divinity. The tenor of the reasoning contained in the following lines perfectly corresponds with this :

VOW,

But take the Highest to witness: Then, pray you tell me;
If I should swear by Jove's great attributes,
I lov'd you dearly, would you believe my oaths,
When I did love you ill? this has no holding,
To swear by him whom I protest to love,
That I will work against him:2 Therefore, your oaths
Are words, and poor conditions; but unseal'd;
At least, in my opinion.
Ber.

Change it, change it;
Be not so holy-cruel: love is holy;
And my integrity ne'er knew the crafts,
That you do charge men with: Stand no more off,
But give thyself unto my sick desires,
Who then recover: say, thou art mine, and ever
My love, as it begins, shall so persever.

Dia. I see, that men make hopes, in such affairs, 3

If I should swear by Jove's great attributes, that I loved you dearly, would you believe my oaths, when you found by experience that I loved you ill, and was endeavouring to gain credit with you in order to seduce you to your ruin? No, surely; but you would conclude that I had no faith either in Jove or his attri. butes, and that my oaths were mere words of course. For that oath can certainly have no tie upon us, which we swear by him we profess to love and honour, when at the same time we give the strongest proof of our disbelief in him, by pursuing a course which we know will offend and dishonour him. Heath.

1 If I should swear by Fove's great attributes,] In the print of the old folio, it is doubtful whether it be Jove's or Love's, the char. acters being not distinguishable. If it is read Love's, perhaps it may be something less difficult. I am still at a loss. Johnson.

2 To swear by him whom I protest to love, &c.] This passage likewise appears to me corrupt. She swears not by him whom she loves, but by Jupiter. I believe we may read-To swear to him. There is, says she, no holding, no consistency, in swearing to one that I love him, when I swear it only to injure him.

Fohnson. This appears to me a very probable conjecture. Mr. Heath's explanation, which refers to the words whom I protest to love,” to Fove, can hardly be right. Let the reader judge.

Malone. May we not read

To swear by him whom I profess to love. Harris. 3 I see, that men make hopes, in such affairs,] The four folio editions read:

make rope's in such a scarre.

That we 'll forsake ourselves. Give me that ring.

The emendation was introduced by Mr. Rowe. I find the word scarre in The Tragedy of Hoffman, 1631; but do not readily perceive how it can suit the purpose of the present speaker:

“I know a cave, wherein the bright day's eye,
“Look'd never but ascance, through a small creeke,
“ Or little cranny of the fretted scarre:

“ There have I sometimes liv’d,” &c. Again:

“ Where is the villain's body?
Marry, even heaved over the scarr, and sent a swim-

ming,” &c. Again:

“Run up to the top of the dreadful scarre." Again:

“I stood upon the top of the high scarre.Ray says, that a scarre is a cliff of a rock, or a naked rock on the dry land, from the Saxon carre, cautes. He adds, that this word gave denomination to the town of Scarborough.

But as some Latin commentator, (whose name I have forgot) observes on a similar occasion, veritate desperatâ, nihil amplius cura de hac re suscipere volui. Steevens.

I see, that men make hopes, in such a scene,

That we'll forsake ourselves.] i. e. I perceive that while our lovers are making professions of love, and acting their assumed parts in this kind of amorous interlude, they entertain hopes that we shall be betrayed by our passions to yield to their desires. So, in Much Ado about Nothing: “The sport will be, when they hold an opinion of one another's dotage, and no such matter, that's the scene that I would see,” &c. Again, in The Winter's Tale:

It shall be so my care
“ To have you royally appointed, as if

“ The scene you play, were mine.” The old copy reads:

I sec, that men make ropes in such a scarre, &c. which Mr. Rowe altered to-make hopes in such affairs; and all the subsequent editors adopted his correction. It being entirely arbitrary, any emendation that is nearer to the traces of the unintelligible word in the old copy, and affords at the same time an easy sense, is better entitled to a place in the text.

A corrupted passage in the first sketch of The Merry Wives of Windsor, suggested to me [scene] the emendation now introduced. In the fifth Act, Fenton describes to the Host his scheme for marrying Anne Page:

And in a robe of white this night disguised
“ Wherein fat Falstaff had (r. hath] a mighty scare,

“ Must Slender take her,” &c. It is manifest, from the corresponding lines in the folio, tliat

Ber. I 'll lend it thee, my dear, but have no power
To give it from me.
Dia.
Will you not, my

lord?
Ber. It is an honour ’longing to our house,
Bequeathed down from many ancestors;
Which were the greatest obloquy i' the world
In me to lose.
Dia.

Mine honour's such a ring:
My chastity 's the jewel of our house,
Bequeathed down from many ancestors;
Which were the greatest obloquy i' the world
In me to lose: Thus your own proper wisdom
Brings in the champion honour on my part,
Against your vain assault.
Ber.

Here, take my ring:
My house, mine honour, yea, my life be thine,
And I 'll be bid by thee.
Diq. When midnight comes, knock at my chamber

window;
I'll order take, my mother shall not hear.
Now will I charge you in the band of truth,
When you have conquer'd my yet maiden bed,
Remain there but an hour, nor speak to me:

66

seare was printed by mistake for scene; for in the folio the passage runs

fat Falstaff “ Hath a great scene." Malone. Mr. Rowe's emendation is not only liable to objection from its dissimilarity to the reading of the four folios, but also from the aukwardness of his language, where the literal resemblance is most, like the words, rejected. In such affairs, is a phrase too rague for Shakspeare, when a determined point, to which the preceding conversation had been gradually narrowing, was in question; and to MAKE hopes, is as uncouth an expression as can well be imagined.

Nor is Mr. Malone's supposition, of scene for scarre, a whit more in point: for, first, scarre, in every part of England where rocks abound, is well known to signify the detached protrusion of a large rock; whereas scare is terror or affright. Nor was scare, in the first sketch of The Merry Wives of Windsor, a mistake for scene, but an intentional change of ideas; scare implying only Falstaff's terror, but scene including the spectator's entertaininent. On the supposal that make hopes is the true reading, in such a scarre, may be taken figuratively for in such an extremity, i.e. in so desperate a situation. Henley.

My reasons are most strong; and you shall know them,
When back again this ring shall be deliver'd:
And on your finger, in the night, I'll put
Another ring; that, what in time proceeds,
May token to the future our past deeds.
Adieu, till then; then, fail not: You have won
A wife of me, though there my hope be done.
Ber. A heaven on earth I have won, by wooing thee.

[Exit.
Dia. For which live long to thank both heaven and me!
You may so in the end.
My mother told me just how he would woo,
As if she sat in his heart; she says, all men
Have the like oaths: he had sworn to marry me,
When his wife's dead; therefore I 'll lie with him,
When I am buried. Since Frenchmen are so braid,
Marry that will, I 'll live and die a maid: 4
Only, in this disguise, I think 't no sin
To cozen him, that would unjustly win.

[Exit.

SCENE III.

The Florentine Camp. Enter the two French Lords, and two or three Soldiers.

I Lord. You have not given him his mother's letter? 2 Lord. I have delivered it an hour since: there is

Since Frenchmen are so braid, Marry that will, I'll live and die a maid:] Braid signifies crafty or deceitful. So, in Greene's Never too Lute, 1616:

“ Dian rose with all her maids,

“ Blushing thus at love his braids." Chaucer uses the word in the same sense; but as the passage where it occurs in his Troilus and Cressida is contested, it may be necessary to observe, that Bred is an Anglo-Saxon word, signifying fraus, astus. Again, in Thomas Drant's Translation of Horace's Epistles, where its import is not very clear:

“ Professing thee a friend, to plaie the ribbalde at a brade.In The Romaunt of the Rose, v. 1336, braid seems to mean forthwith, or, at a jerk. There is nothing to answer it in the French, except tantost.

In the ancient song of Lytyl Thanke, (MS. Cotton, Titus A. xxvi,) “at a brayd" undoubtedly signifies-at once, on a sudden, in the instant :

“But in come ffrankelyn at a brayd.Steevens.

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