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If I break faith, this word fhall fpeak for me:"
I am forfworn on meer neceffity..

So to the laws at large I write my name,

And he, that breaks them in the leaft degree, Stands in Attainder of eternal fhame.

Suggestions are to others, as to me;
But, I believe, although I seem fo loth,
I am the last that will last keep his oath.
But is there no quick recreation granted?


King. Ay, that there is; our Court, you know, is


With a refined traveller of Spain,

A man in all the world's new fashion planted,
That hath a mint of phrases in his brain;
One, whom the mufick of his own vain tongue,
Doth ravish, like inchanting harmony:
3 A man of complements, whom right and wrong
Have chofe as umpire of their mutiny.

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wrong friends and to perfuade the one to recede from the accustomed ftubbornness of her nature, and wink at the liberties of her oppofite, rather than he would incur the imputation of ill-breeding in keeping up the quarrel. And as our author, and Johnson his contemporary, are, confeffedly, the two greatest wri ters in the Drama that our nation could ever boast of, this may be no improper occafion to take notice of one material difference between Shakespear's worst plays, and the other's. Our author owed all to his prodigious natural genius; and Johnson moft to his acquired parts and learning. This, if attended to, will explain the difference we fpeak of. Which is this, that, in Johnson's bad pieces, we do not difcover


This child of fancy, that Armado hight,

For interim to our Studies, fhall relate In high-born words the worth of many a Knight. + From tawny Spain, loft in the world's debate '. How you delight, my lords, I know not, I; But, I proteft, I love to hear him lie; And I will ufe him for my minstrelfie.

Biron. Armado is a moft illuftrious wight,

A man of fire-new words, fafhion's own Knight.

the leaft traces of the author of the Fox and Alchemift; but, in the wildest and most extravagant notes of Shakespeare, you every now and then encounter ftrains that recognize their divine compofer. And the reafon is this, that Jobufen owing his chief excellence to art, by which he fome times ftrain'd himself to an uncommon pitch, when he unbent himfelf, had nothing to fupport him; but fell below all likeness of himself: while Shakespeare, indebted more largely to nature than the other to his acquired talents, could never, in his most negligent hours, fo totally diveft himfelf of his Genius, but that it would frequently break out with amazing force and fplen dour, WARBURTON. This paffage, I believe, means no more than that Don Armado was a man nicely verfed in ceremonial diftinctions, one who could diftinguish in the most delicate queftions of honour the exact boundaries of right and wrong. Compliment, in ShakeSpeare's time, did not fignify, at least did not only fignify, verbal civility, or phrafes of courtefy, but according to its origi


nal meaning, the trappings, or ornamental appendages of a character, in the fame manner, and on the fame principles, of speech with accomplishment. Compliment is, as Armado well expreffes it, the varnish of a complete man.

4 From tawny Spain, &c.]i. e. he fhall relate to us the celebrated ftories recorded in the old romances, and in their very stile. Why he fays from tawny Spain is, because these romances being of Spanish original, the Heroes and the Scene were generally of that country. Why he fays, loft in the world's debate is, becauf the fubject of thofe romances were the crufades of the European Chriftians against the Saracens of Afia and Africa. So that we fee here is meaning in the words. WARBURTON.

5 in the world's debate.] The world feems to be used in the monaftick fenfe by the king now devoted for a time to a monatick life. In the world, in feculo, in the buftle of human affairs, from which we are now happily fequeftred, in the world, to which the votaries of folitude have no relation.

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Long. Coftard the fwain, and he, fhall be our fport; And, fo to study, three years are but short.


Enter Dull and Coftard with a letter.

Dull. Which is the King's own person?

Biron. This, fellow; what would'st?

Dull. I myself reprehend his own perfon, for I am his Grace's Tharborough: but I would fee his own perfon in flesh and blood.

Bion. This is he.

Lull. Signior Arme, Arme------ commends you. There's villainy abroad; this letter will tell you more. Coft. Sir, the Contempts thereof are as touching me. King. A letter from the magnificent Armado.

Biron. How low foever the matter, I hope in God for high words.

Long. A high hope for a low having'; God grant us patience!

Biron. To hear, or forbear hearing?

Long. To hear meekly, Sir, to laugh moderately, or to forbear both.

Biron. Well, Sir, be it as the Stile fhall give us caufe to climb in the merrinefs.

In former editions ;
Dull. Which is the Duke's own
Perfon?] The King of
Navarre is in feveral Paffages,
thro' all the Copies, called the
Duke: but as this must have

fprung rather from the Inadver-
tence of the Editors, than a For-
getfulness in the Poet, I have
every where, to avoid Confufion,
restored King to the Text.

THEOBALD. 7 In old editions, A high hope

for a low heaven ;] A low hea-
ven, fure, is a very intricate Mat-
ter to conceive.
I dare warrant,
I have retrieved the Poet's true
Reading; and the Meaning is
this. "Tho' you hope for high
"Words, and fhould have them,
"it will be but a low Acquifi-
"tion at beit." This our Poet
calls a low Having: and it is a
Subftantive, which he ufes in fe-
veral other Paffages.



Coft. The matter is to me, Sir, as concerning Jaquenetta.

The manner of it is, I was taken in the manner
Biron. In what manner?

Coft. In manner and form, following, Sir; all those three. I was feen with her in the Manor-houfe, fitting with her upon the Form, and taken following her into the Park, which, put together, is, in manner and form following. Now, Sir, for the manner: it is the manner of a man to speak to a woman; for the form, in fome form.

Biron. For the following, Sir?

Coft. As it fhall follow in my correction; and God defend the right!

King. Will you hear the letter with attention?
Biron. As we would hear an oracle.

Caft. Such is the fimplicity of man to hearken after the flesh.

King reads.


REAT deputy, the welkin's vice-gerent, and fole dominator of Navarre, my foul's

earth's God, and body's foftring patron

Coft. Not a word of Coftard yet.

King. So it is

Coft. It may be fo; but if he fay it is fo, he is, in telling true, but fo, fo.

King. Peace

Coft. Be to me, and every man that dares not fight! King. No words

Coft. Of other men's fecrets, I beseech you.

King. So it is, Befieged with fable-coloured melancholy, I did commend the black oppreffing humour to the most wholesome phyfick of thy health-giving air; and as I am

8 taken WITH the manner.] The following question arifing from these words fhews we fhould read-taken in the manner. And this was the phrafe in ufe to fignify, taken in the fact. So Dr.


Donne in his letters, But if I melt into melancholy while I write, I shall be taken in the manner; and I fit by one, too tender to these impreffions. WARBURTON.

a gentle

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a gentleman, betook myself to walk: The time, when? about the fixth hour, when beasts most graze, birds beft peck, and men fit down to that nourishment which is call'd fupper: fo much for the time, when. New for the ground, which which, I mean, I walkt upon; it is ycleped, thy park. Then for the place, where where, I mean, I did encounter that obfcene and most prepofterous event, that draweth from my fnow-white pen the ebon-colour'd ink, which here thou vieweft, beboldeft, furveyeft, or feeft. But to the place, where ; It ftandeth north-north-eaft and by east from the west corner of thy curious-knotted garden. There did I.fee that low-fpirited fwain, that bafe minow of thy mirth, (Coft. Me?) that unletter'd fmall-knowing foul, (Coft. Me?) that shallow vaffal, (Coft. Still me?) which, as I remember, hight Coftard; (Coft. O me!) forted and conforted, contrary to thy established proclaimed edict and continent canon, with, with O with but with this, I paffion to say wherewith :

Coft. With a wench.

King. With a child of our grandmother Eve, a female; or for thy more understanding, a woman; him, I (as my ever-esteemed duty pricks me on) have fent to thee, to receive the meed of punishment, by thy sweet Grace's Officer, Anthony Dull, a man of good repute, carriage, bearing an estimation.

Dull. Me, an't fhall please you: I am Anthony Dull. King. For Jaquenetta, (fo is the weaker vessel call'd) which I apprehended with the aforefaid fwain, I keep her as a vaffal of thy law's fury, and shall at the leaft of thy fweet notice bring her to trial. Thine in all compliments of devoted and heart-burning heat of duty.

Don Adriano de Armado.

Biron. This is not fo well as I look'd for, but the beft that ever I heard.

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not be intended here. We may read, the base minion of thy mirth.

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