Графични страници
PDF файл

To force him after: in whose company - I shall review Sicilia; for whose sight I have a woman's longing.


Fortune speed us!-

Thus we set on, Camillo, to the sea-side.
Cam. The swifter speed, the better.

[Exeunt FLO. PER. and CAM. Aut. I understand the business, I hear it: To have an open ear, a quick eye, and a nimble hand, is necessary for a cut-purse; a good nose is requisite also, to smell out work for the other senses. I see, this is the time that the unjust man doth thrive. What an exchange had this been, without boot? what a boot is here, with this exchange? Sure, the gods do this year connive at us, and we may do any thing extempore. The prince himself is about a piece of iniquity; stealing away from his father, with his clog at his heels: If I thought it were not a piece of honesty to acquaint the king withal, I would do 't: I hold it the more knavery to conceal it; and therein am I constant to my profession.

Enter Clown and Shepherd.

Aside, aside;-here is more matter for a hot brain:


If I thought it were not a piece of honesty to acquaint the king withal, I would do't:] The old copy reads-"If I thought it were a piece of honesty to acquaint the king withal, I would not do 't." See the following note. Steevens.

The reasoning of Autolycus is obscure, because something is suppressed. The prince, says he, is about a bad action, he is stealing away from his father: If I thought it were a piece of honesty to acquaint the king, I would not do it, because that would be inconsistent with my profession of a knave; but I know that the betraying the prince to the king would be a piece of knavery with respect to the prince, and therefore I might, consistently with my character, reveal that matter to the king, though a piece of honesty to him: however, I hold it a greater knavery to conceal the prince's scheme from the king, than to betray the prince; and therefore, in concealing it, I am still constant to my profession.-Sir Thos. Hanmer, and all the subsequent editors read-"If I thought it were not a piece of honesty &c. I would do it:" but words seldom stray from their places in so extraordinary a manner at the press: nor indeed do I perceive any need of change. Malone.

I have left Sir T. Hanmer's reading in the text, because, in my opinion, our author, who wrote merely for the stage, must have designed to render himself intelligible without the aid of so long an explanatory clause as Mr. Malone's interpretation demands. Steevens.

Every lane's end, every shop, church, session, hanging, yields a careful man work.

Clo. See, see; what a man are you now! there is no other way, but to tell the king she's a changeling, and none of your flesh and blood.

Shep. Nay, but hear me.
Clo. Nay, but hear me.

Shep. Go to, then.

Clo. She being none of your flesh and blood, your flesh and blood has not offended the king; and, so, your flesh and blood is not to be punished by him. Show those things you found about her; those secret things, all but what she has with her: This being done, let the law go whistle; I warrant you.

Shep. I will tell the king all, every word, yea, and his son's pranks too; who, I may say, is no honest man neither to his father, nor to me, to go about to make me the king's brother-in-law.

Clo. Indeed, brother-in-law was the furthest off you could have been to him; and then your blood had been the dearer, by I know how much an ounce.4

Aut. Very wisely; puppies!


Shep. Well; let us to the king; there is that in this fardel, will make him scratch his beard.

Aut. I know not, what impediment this complaint may be to the flight of my master.

[ocr errors]

Clo. 'Pray heartily he be at palace.

Aut. Though I am not naturally honest, I am so sometimes by chance:-Let me pocket up my pedler's excrement.5-[Takes off his false beard.] How now, rusticks? whither are you bound?

and then your blood had been the dearer, by I know how much an ounce.] I suspect that a word was omitted at the press. We might, I think, safely read-" by I know not how much an ounce." Sir T. Hanmer, I find, had made the same emendation." Malone.


peller's excrement.] Is pedler's beard. Johnson. So, in the old tragedy of Soliman and Perseda, 1599: "Whose chin bears no impression of manhood, "Not a hair, not an excrement."

Again, in Love's Labour's Lost:

[ocr errors]

dally with my excrement, with my mustachio." Again, in The Comedy of Errors: "Why is Time such a niggard of his hair, being, as it is, so plentiful an excrement ?”


Shep. To the palace, an it like your worship.

Aut. Your affairs there? what? with whom? the condition of that fardel, the place of your dwelling, your names, your ages, of what having, breeding, and any thing that is fitting to be known, discover.


Clo. We are but plain fellows, sir.

Aut. A lie; you are rough and hairy: Let me have no lying; it becomes none but tradesmen, and they often give us soldiers the' lie: but we pay them for it with stamped coin, not stabbing steel; therefore they do not give us the lie.7

Clo. Your worship had like to have given us one, if you had not taken yourself with the manner.


Shep. Are you a courtier, an 't like you, sir?

Aut. Whether it like me, or no, I am a courtier. See'st thou not the air of the court, in these enfoldings? hath not my gait in it, the measure of the court?9 receives not thy nose court-odour from me? reflect I not on thy baseness, court-contempt? Think'st thou, for that I insinuate, or toze1 from thee thy business, I am there


of what having,] i. e. estate, property. So, in The Merry Wives of Windsor: "The gentleman is of no having." Steevens. therefore they do not give us the lie.] The meaning is, they are paid for lying, therefore they do not give us the lie, they sell it us. Johnson.

[ocr errors]



·with the manner.] In the fact. See Vol. IV, p. 18, n. 5.


hath not my gait in it, the measure of the court?] i. e. the stately tread of courtiers. See Much Ado about Nothing, Act II, sc. i: " - the wedding mannerly modest, as a measure full of state and ancientry." Malone.

1 insinuate, or toze-] The first folio reads-at toaze; the second-or toaze; Mr. Malone-and toze.

To teaze, or toze, is to disentangle wool or flax. Autolycus adopts a phraseology which he supposes to be intelligible to the Clown, who would not have understood the word insinuate, without such a comment on it. Steevens.

To insinuate, I believe, means here, to cajole, to talk with condescension and humility. So, in our author's Venus and Adonis : "With death she humbly doth insinuate,

"Tells him of trophies, statues, tombs, and stories,
"His victories, his triumphs, and his glories."

The word toaze is used in Measure for Measure, in the same sense as here:

fore no courtier? I am courtier, cap-a-pè; and one that will either push on, or pluck back thy business there: whereupon 1 command thee to open thy affair.

Shep. My business, sir, is to the king.

Aut. What advocate hast thou to him?
Shep. I know not, an 't like you.

Clo. Advocate's the court-word for a pheasant; say, you have none.

Shep. None, sir; I have no pheasant, cock, nor hen.3 Aut. How bless'd are we, that are not simple men! Yet nature might have made me as these are, Therefore I'll not disdain.

Clo. This cannot be but a great courtier.

Shep. His garments are rich, but he wears them not handsomely.

We'll toaze you joint by joint,

"But we will know this purpose.”

To touse, says Minshieu, is, to pull, to tug. Malone.

To insinuate, and to tease or toaze, are opposites. The former signifies to introduce itself obliquely into a thing, and the latter to get something out that was knotted up in it. Milton has used each word in its proper sense:

"close the serpent sly

"Insinuating, wove with Gordian twine

"His braided train, and of his fatal guile

"Gave proof unheeded."- Par. Lost, B. IV, 1. 347.

[ocr errors]

coarse complexions,

"And cheeks of sorry grain, will serve to ply

"The sampler, and to teaze the housewife's wool."

Comus, 1. 749. Henley.

2 Advocate's the court-word for a pheasant ;] As he was a suitor from the country, the Clown supposes his father should have brought a present of game, and therefore imagines, when Autolycus asks him what advocate he has, that by the word advocate he means a pheasant. Steevens.

3 I have no pheasant, cock, nor hen.] The allusion here was probably more intelligible in the time of Shakspeare than it is at present, though the mode of bribery and influence referred to, has been at all times employed, and as it should seem, with success. Our author might have had in his mind the following, then a recent instance. In the time of Queen Elizabeth there were Justices of the Peace called Basket Justices, who would do nothing without a present; yet, as a member of the House of Commons expressed himself, "for half a dozen of chickens would dispense with a whole dozen of penal statutes." See Sir Simon D'Ewes's Journals of Parliament, in Queen Elizabeth's Reign. Reed.

Clo. He seems to be the more noble in being fantastical: a great man, I'll warrant; I know, by the picking on 's teeth.4

Aut. The fardel there? what 's i' the fardel?

Wherefore that box?

Shep. Sir, there lies such secrets in this fardel, and box, which none must know but the king; and which he shall know within this hour, if I may come to the speech of him.

Aut. Age, thou hast lost thy labour.

Shep. Why, sir?

Aut. The king is not at the palace; he is gone aboard a new ship to purge melancholy, and air himself: For, if thou be'st capable of things serious, thou must know, the king is full of grief.

Shep. So 'tis said, sir; about his son, that should have married a shepherd's daughter.

Aut. If that shepherd be not in hand-fast, let him fly; the curses he shall have, the tortures he shall feel, will break the back of man, the heart of monster.

Clo. Think you so, sir?

Aut. Not he alone shall suffer what wit can make heavy, and vengeance bitter; but those that are germane to him, though removed fifty times, shall all come under the hangman: which though it be great pity, yet it is necessary. An old sheep-whistling rogue, a ram-tender, to offer to have his daughter come into grace! Some say, he shall be stoned; but that death is too soft for him, say I Draw our throne into a sheep-cote! all deaths are too few, the sharpest too easy.

Clo. Has the old man e'er a son, sir, do you hear, an 't like you, sir?

Aut. He has a son, who shall be flayed alive; then, 'nointed over with honey,5 set on the head of a wasp's

a great man, - by the picking on's teeth.] It seems, that to pick the teeth was, at this time, a mark of some pretension to greatness or elegance. So, the Bastard, in King John, speaking of the traveller, says:


"He and his pick-tooth at my worship's mess." Johnson. - then, 'nointed over with honey, &c.] A punishment of this sort is recorded in a book which Shakspeare might have seen:- he caused a cage of yron to be made, and set it in the sunne : and, after annointing the pore Prince over with hony, forced him


« ПредишнаНапред »