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Yet, since love's argument was first on foot,
Prin. I understand you not: my griefs are dull '.
Biron. Honest plain words best pierce the ear of grief;
as the eye doth roll
3 – my griefs are pull.] In the old copies it is “my griefs are double :" the compositor or the scribe misheard “dull” double, and made nonsense of the line. This excellent correction is in MS. in the corr. fo. 1632.
* As love is full of unbefitting STRANGENESS;] There can be as little hesitation about this emendation of " strangeness” for strains. Mr. Singer is mistaken when he says that the corr. fo. 1632 reads strayings for strains. In the next line but two it certainly alters " straying” to “strange," but that alteration seems also indisputable. Still lower we might read “suggested us to make them,” to the improvement of the line, but without warrant.
s- in itself so BASE,] Biron meant to conclude his speech with four rhyming lines, but he has been defeated by a corruption which crept into the old text, viz. a sin for “ so base.” The jingle leads to the detection of the error, pointed out in the corr. fo. 1632, which in this part of the comedy has been of singular use in restoring the language of the poet. In the next speech, it shows Sir T. Hanmer to have been right in reading " in our respects” for “our respects” of the 4to, 1598, and are our respects" of the folio, 1623.
Prin. We have receiv'd your letters full of love;
loves In their own fashion, like a merriment.
Dum. Our letters, madam, show'd much more than jest.
We did not quote them so.
A time, methinks, too short
To flatter up these powers of mine with rest,
6 As bombast, and as lining to the time :) i. e. To fill up the time, as bombast was formerly used to fill up and stuff out dress.
7 challenge me by these deserts,] “Me" might possibly be omitted.
The sudden hand of death close
Ros. You must be purged too, your sins are rank ® :
Dum. But what to me, my love ? but what to me?
Kath. A wife !-A beard, fair health, and honesty; With three-fold love I wish you all these three.
Dum. O! shall I say, I thank you, gentle wife ?
Kath. Not so, my lord. A twelvemonth and a day
Dum. I'll serve thee true and faithfully till then.
At the twelvemonth's end,
Long. I'll stay with patience; but the time is long.
Biron. Studies my lady? mistress, look on me :
Ros. Oft have I heard of you, my lord Biron,
sins are RANK:] “ Your sins are rack'd," is the reading of the old editions, and it may be strained to a meaning; but it is more probable that rackt was misprinted for “rank.” In“ Hamlet,” A. iii. sc. 3, we have, “O! my offence is rank.” This and the four following lines are struck out in the corr. fo. 1632, but we have not been able to make up our minds to the omission, although it is not unlikely that the author himself left them out here, and applied them, with some enlargement, afterwards. They may have formed part of the first draught of the comedy, and are therefore worth preservation.
for the love.] So the 4to: the folio reads " for my love." 10 Which you on all estates will EXECUTE,) Exercise in the corr. fo. 1632 ; but still, as the old printed text affords not only a clear sense, but one entirely in accordance with what precedes and follows, we do not disturb it. VOL. II.
To weed this wormwood from your fruitful brain,
Biron. To move wild laughter in the throat of death ?
Ros. Why, that's the way to choke a gibing spirit,
groans, Will hear your
scorns, continue them',
Biron. A twelvemonth? well, befal what will befal,
[To the King. King. No, madam ; we will bring you on your way.
Biron. Our wooing doth not end like an old play ;
King. Come, sir, it wants a twelvemonth and a day,
That's too long for a play.
Enter ARMADO. Arm. Sweet majesty, vouchsafe me, Prin. Was not that Hector ?
continue them,] In all ancient and modern editions, “them " is misprinted then : the indisputable emendation is that of the corr. fo. 1632. In the preceding line it reads dire” for dear; and the epithet is so much more applicable to
groans," that we adopt it, bearing in mind that in short-hand (which was per. haps used in the original text of the play) the same letters spelt the two different words. This is a source of frequent confusion.
Dum. The worthy knight of Troy.
Arm. I will kiss thy royal finger, and take leave. I am a votary: I have vowed to Jaquenetta to hold the plough for her sweet love three years. But, most esteemed greatness, will you hear the dialogue that the two learned men have compiled in praise of the owl and the cuckoo ? it should have followed in the end of our show.
King. Call them forth quickly; we will do so.
Arm. Holla! approach. Enter HOLOFERNES, NATHANIEL, MOTH, COSTARD, and others. This side is Hiems, winter; this Ver, the spring; the one maintained by the owl, the other by the cuckoo. Ver, begin.
Spring. When daisies pied, and violets blue,
And lady-smocks all silver-uchite,
When shepherds pipe on oaten straws,
And merry larks are ploughmen's clocks,
And maidens bleach their summer smocks,
Winter. When icicles hang by the wall,
And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,
? And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue) The rhymes of the first four lines of the other stanzas are alternate ; but in the old copies, in the first stanza, they are mistakenly arranged as couplets. Theobald made the necessary change.