Sweet blowfe, you are a beauteous bloffom, fure.
DEM. Villain, what haft thou done?

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AAR. Villain, I have done thy mother.4

DEM. And therein, hellish dog, thou haft undone.

Woe to her chance, and damn'd her loathed choice! Accurs'd the offspring of fo foul a fiend!

CHI. It fhall not live.


It' fhall not die.5

NUR. Aaron, it muft: the mother wills it fo. AAR. What, muft it, nurfe? then let no man, but I, Do execution on my flesh and blood.

Out, out, you whore ] The edition 1600 reads,-Zounds, ye whore. TODD.

'Done! that which thou] Done! which is wanting in the old copies, was very properly added, for the fake of measure, by Mr. Capell. STEEVENS.

2 Done! that which thou

Canft not undo.] The edition 1600 reads:

Dem. Villaine what haft thou done?

Aar. That which thou canst not vndoe. TODD.

3 Thou haft undone -] Edition 1600 reads :-thou haft undone her. Todd.

• Villain, I have done thy mother.] To do is here used obfcenely. So, in Taylor the Water Poet's character of a Profii


"She's facile fieri; (quickly wonne,)

"Or, conft'ring truly, cafy to be done." COLLINS.

See Vol. VI. p. 203, n. 5. REED.

5 It fhall not die.] We may fuppofe that the measure here was originally perfect, and stood thus:

I fay, it shall not die. STEEVENS.

DEM. I'll broach the tadpole on my rapier's


Nurfe, give it me; my fword fhall foon despatch it. AAR. Sooner this fword fhall plow thy bowels


[Takes the Child from the Nurfe, and draws. Stay, murderous villains! will you kill

your bro

... ther? Now, by the burning tapers of the sky, That fhone fo brightly when this boy was got, He dies upon my fcimitar's fharp point, That touches this my first-born fon and heir! I tell you, younglings, not Enceladus, With all his threat'ning band of Typhon's brood, Nor great Alcides, nor the god of war, Shall feize this prey out of his father's hands. What, what; ye fanguine, fhallow-hearted boys! Ye white-lim'd walls !7 ye alehouse painted figns! Coal-black is better than another hue,

I'll broach the tadpole-] A broach is a fpit. I'll spit the tadpole. JOHNSON.

So, in Heywood's Rape of Lucrece, 1630:

"I'll broach thee on my fteel."


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Again, in Greene's Pleafant Difcovery of the Cofenage of Colliers, 1592: - with that the caught a spit in her hand, and fwore if he offered to stirre, she should therewith broach him." COLLINS.

7 Ye white-lim'd walls!] The old copies have-white limb'd. The word intended, I think, was-white limn'd. Mr. Pope and the fubfequent editors read-white-lim'd. MALONE.

I read-lim'd, because I never found the term-limn'd, employed to defcribe white-washing, and because in A MidfummerNight's Dream, we have~

"This man, with lime, and rough-caft, doth present "Wall."

A layer-on of white-wash is not a limner. Limning comprehends the idea of delineation. STEEVENS.

In that it fcorns to bear another hue:8
For all the water in the ocean

Can never turn a fwan's black legs to white,
Although the lave them hourly in the flood.
Tell the emperefs from me, I am of age
To keep mine own; excufe it how the can.

DEM. Wilt thou betray thy noble mistress thus? AAR. My mistress is my mistress; this, myself; The vigour, and the picture of my youth: This, before all the world, do I prefer ; This, maugre all the world, will I keep fafe, Or fome of you fhall fmoke for it in Rome. DEM. By this our mother is for ever fham'd. CHI. Rome will defpife her for this foul escape.9 NUR. The emperor, in his rage, will doom her death.

CHI. I blush to think upon this ignomy.'

AAR. Why, there's the privilege your beauty


Fye, treacherous hue! that will betray with blush


The close enacts and counfels of the heart!2

In that it fcorns to bear another hue :] Thus both the quarto and the folio. Some modern editions had feems instead of scorns, which was restored by Dr. Johnson. MALONE.

Scorns should undoubtedly be inferted in the text.



for this foul efcape.] This foul illegitimate child.

So, in King John :


"No Scape of nature." STEEVENS.


--ignomy.] i. e. ignominy. See Vol. XI. p. 426, n. 9. MALONE.

The clofe enacts and counfels of the heart!] So, in Othello:


They are close denotements working from the heart,—.'


Here's a young lad fram'd of another leer :3
Look, how the black flave fimiles upon the father;
As who fhould fay, Old lad, I am thine own.
He is your brother, lords; fenfibly fed
Of that felf-blood that firft gave life to you;
And, from that womb,4 where you imprifon'd were,
He is enfranchifed and come to light:
Nay, he's your brother by the furer fide,
Although my feal be ftamped in his face.

NUR. Aaron, what fhall I fay unto the emprefs?
DEM. Advise thee, Aaron, what is to be done,
And we will all fubfcribe to thy advice;
Save thou the child, fo we may all be fafe.

AAR. Then fit we down, and let us all confult. My fon and I will have the wind of you: Keep there: Now talk at pleasure of your fafety. [They fit on the Ground. DEM. How many women faw this child of his ? AAR. Why, fo, brave lords; When we all join in league,

I am a lamb but if you brave the Moor,



another leer:] Leer is complexion, or hue. So, in As you like it: --a Rofalind of a better leer than you." See Mr. Tollet's note on A&t. IV. fc. i. In the notes on the Canterbury Tales of Chaucer, Mr. Tyrwhitt's edit. Vol. IV. p. 320, lere is fuppofed to mean skin. So, in Ifumbras, MS. Cott. Cal. 11. fol. 129:

"His lady is white as wales bone,

"Here lere brygte to se upon,

So faire as blofme on tre."

Again, in the ancient metrical romance of the Sowdon of Babyloyne, MS:

"Tho fpake Roulande with hevy cheere

"Woordes lamentable,

"When he faugh the ladies fo whyte of lere

"Faile brede on theire table." STEEVENS.

that womb] Edition, 1600-your womb. TODD.

The chafed boar, the mountain lioness,
The ocean fwells not fo as Aaron ftorms.-
But, fay again, how many faw the child?

NUR. Cornelia the midwife, and myself,
And no one elfe, but the deliver'd emprefs.

AAR. The emperefs, the midwife, and yourself: Two may keep counfel, when the third's away :5 Go to the emprefs; tell her, this I said :

[Stabbing her. Weke, weke !-fo cries a pig, prepar'd to the


DEM. What mean'ft thou, Aaron? Wherefore didft thou this?

AAR. O, lord, fir, 'tis a deed of policy: Shall the live to betray this guilt of ours? A long-tongu'd babbling goffip? no, lords, no. And now be it known to you my full intent. Not far, one Muliteus lives, my countryman, His wife but yefternight was brought to bed; His child is like to her, fair as you are: Go pack with him," and give the mother gold,

5 Two may keep counsel, when the third's away:] This proverb is introduced likewife in Romeo and Juliet, A&t II.

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one Muliteus lives,] The word lives, which is wanting in the old copies, was supplied by Mr. Rowe. MALONE,

Muliteus-] This line being too long by a foot, Muliteus, no Moorish name, (or indeed any name at all,) and the verb -lives wanting to the fenfe in the old copy, I fufpect the defignation of Aaron's friend to be a corruption, and that our author


Not far, one Muley lives, my countryman. Muley lives was eafily changed by a blundering transcriber, or printer, into-Muliteus. STEEVENS.

1 Go pack with him,] Pack here feems to have the meaning VOL. XXI.


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