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SCENE I. Paris.
Florentine war; BERTRAM, PAROLLES, and
ciples Do not throw from you:—and you, my lord, fare
It is our hope, sir,
King. No, no, it cannot be; and yet my heart
you Of worthy Frenchmen: let higher Italy (Those 'bated, that inherit but the fall Of the last monarchy) see, that you come
1 In this and the following instance the folio reads lords. The correction was suggested by Tyrwhitt.
2 i.e. as the common phrase runs, I am still heart-whole; my spirits, by not sinking under my distemper, do not acknowledge its influence.
3 I prefer Johnson's explanation of this obscure passage to any that has been offered :- Let upper Italy, where you are to exercise your valour, see that you come to gain honour, to the abatement, that is to the overthrow, of those who inherit but the fall of the last monarchy, or the remains of the Roman empire.' Bated and abated are used elsewhere by Shakspeare in a kin
Not to woo honour, but to wed it; when
farewell. 2 Lord. Health at your bidding, serve your majesty!
King. Those girls of Italy, take heed of them; They say, our French lack language to deny, If they demand: beware of being captives, Before you serve 5.
Both. Our hearts receive your warnings. King. Farewell.—Come hither to me.
[The King retires to a Couch. 1 Lord. O my sweet lord, that you
behind us ! Par. "Tis not his fault; the spark 2 Lord.
0, 'tis brave wars! Par. Most admirable: I have seen those wars.
Ber. I am commanded here, and kept a coil with; Too young, and the next year, and 'tis too early. Par. An thy mind stand to it, boy, steal away
bravely. Ber. I shall stay here the forehorse to a smock, Creaking my shoes on the plain masonry, Till honour be bought up, and no sword worn, But one to dance with?! By heaven, I'll steal away.
1 Lord. There's honour in the theft. Par.
Commit it, count. 2 Lord. I am your accessary; and so farewell.
Ber. I grow to you, and our parting is a tortured body
1 Lord. Farewell, captain. 4 Seeker, inquirer. 5 Be not captives before you are soldiers.
6 To be kept a coil is to be vexed or troubled with a stir or noise.
7 In Shakspeare's time it was usual for gentlemen to dance with swords on. I
you, and our parting is as it were to dissever or torture a body.'
2 Lord. Sweet monsieur Parolles !
Par. Noble beroes, my sword and yours are kin. Good sparks and lustrous, a word, good metals :You shall find in the regiment of the Spinii, one captain Spurio, with his cicatrice, an emblem of war, here on his sinister cheek; it was this very sword entrenched it: say to him, I live; and observe his reports 2 Lord. We shall, noble captain.
Par. Mars dote on you for his novices ! [Exeunt Lords.] What will you do? Ber. Stay; the king
[Seeing him rise. Par. Use a more spacious ceremony to the noble lords:
you have restrained yourself within the list of too cold an adieu : be more expressive to them; for they wear themselves in the cap of the time 9, there do muster true gait 10; eat, speak, and move under the influence of the most received star; and though the devil lead the measure 1, such are to be followed: after them, and take a more dilated farewell.
Ber. And I will do so.
Par. Worthy fellows; and like to prove most sinewy sword-men, [Exeunt BERTRAM and PAROLLES.
Enter LAFEU. Laf. Pardon, my lord, (Kneeling.] for me and
for my tidings. King. I'll fee thee to stand up.
9 They are the foremost in the fashion.
10 It seems to me that this passage has been wrongly pointed and improperly explained, there do muster true gait; if addressed to Bertran, it means there exercise yourself in the gait of fashion; eat, &c. But perhaps we should read they instead of there, or else insert they after gait; either of these slight emendations would render this obscure passage perfectly intelligible.
11 The dance.
Then here's a man Stands, that has brought his pardon. I would, you Had kneeld, my lord, to ask me mercy; and That, at my bidding, you could so stand up.
King. I would, I had; so I had broke thy pate, And ask'd thee
14, With spritely fire and motion; whose simple touch Is powerful to araise king Pepin, nay, To give great Charlemain a pen in his hand, And write to her a love-line 15. King.
What her is this? Laf. Why,doctor she: My lord, there's one arriv'd, If
you will see her,—now, by my faith and honour, If seriously I may convey my thoughts In this my light deliverance, I have spoke With one, that, in her sex, her years, profession 16,
12 This word, which is taken from breaking a spear across in chivalric exercises, is used elsewhere by Shak-peare where a pass of wit miscarries. See As You Like It, Act iii. Sc. 4, note 4.
13 Medicine is here used by Lafeu ambiguously for a female physician.
14 It has been before observed that the canary was a kind of lively dance.
15 Malone thinks something has been omitted bere: to complete the sense the line should read :--
* And cause him write to her a love line.' 16 By profession is meant her declaration of the object of her coming.
Wisdom, and constancy, hath amaz’d me more
Now, good Lafeu,
Nay, I'll fit
you, And not be all day neither. [E.cit LAFEU. King. Thus he his special nothing ever prologues.
Re-enter LAFEU, with HELENA.
This haste hath wings indeed.
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 20,
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,
17 This is one of Shakspeare's perplexed expressions :- To acknowledge how much she has astonished me would be to acknowledge more weakness than I am willing to do.'
18 Steevens has inconsiderately stigmatized this with the title of vulgarism. Malone has justly defended it as the phraseology of the poet's age, and adduces a similar mode of expression from our excellent old version of the Bible.
19 I am like Pandarus. See Troilus and Cressida. 20 Of known and acknowledged excellence.