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FOR. Nothing but fair is that which
A giving hand, though foul, fhall have fair praise.-
When, for fame's fake, for praife, an outward part,
The poor deer's blood, that my heart means no ill.
Only for praife' fake, when they ftrive to be
PRIN. Only for praife: and praise we may afford To any lady that fubdues a lord.
When, for fame's fake, for praife, an outward part,
We bend to that the working of the heart:] The harmony of the meafure, the cafinefs of the expreffion, and the good fenfe in the thought, all concur to recommend thefe two lines to the reader's notice. WARBURTON.
that my heart means no ill.] That my heart means no ill, is the fame with to whom my heart means no ill. The common phrafe fuppreffes the particle, as I mean him [not to him] no harm. JOHNSON.
that felf-fovereignty] Not a fovereignty over, but in, themselves. So, felf-fufficiency, felf-confequence, &c.
PRIN. Here comes a member of the common8 wealth.
COST. God dig-you-den all! Pray you, whichis the head lady?
PRIN. Thou fhalt know her, fellow, by the reft that have no heads.
COST. Which is the greateft lady, the highest? PRIN. The thickeft, and the tallest.
COST. The thickeft, and the tallest! it is fo; truth is truth..
An your waist, miflrefs, were as flender as my wit, One of these maids' girdles for your waist should be
Are not you the chief woman? you are the thickest
PRIN. What's your will, fir? what's your will? COST. I have a letter from monfieur Biron, to one lady Rofaline.
PRIN. O, thy letter, thy letter; he's a good friend of mine:
a member of the commonwealth.] Here, I believe, is a kind of jeft intended: a member of the common-wealth is put for one of the common people, one of the meaneft. JOHNSON.
The Princefs calls Coftard a member of the commonwealth, because the confiders him as one of the attendants on the King and his affo. ciates in their new-modelled fociety; and it was part of their original plan that Coftard and Armado fhould be members of it.
Stand afide, good bearer.-Boyet, you can carve; Break up this capon.
I am bound to ferve.This letter is miftook, it importeth none here; It is writ to Jaquenetta.
We will read it, I fwear:
Break the neck of the wax,' and every one give
BOYET. [reads.] By heaven, that thou art fair, is moft infallible; true, that thou art beauteous; truth itself,
Break up this capon. ] i. e. open this letter.
Our poet ufes this metaphor, as the French do their poulet; which fignifies both a young fowl and a love-letter. Poulet, amatoria litera, fays Richelet; and quotes from Voiture, Répondre au plus obligeant poulet du monde; to reply to the moft obliging letter in the world. The Italians use the same manner of expreffion, when they call a love-epifile, una pollicetta amorofa. I owed the hint of this equivocal use of the word, to my ingenious friend Mr. Bishop, THEOBALD.
Henry IV. confulting with Sully about his marriage, fays, my niece of Guise would please me beft, notwithstanding the malicious reports, that he loves poulets in paper, better than in a fricafee." A meflage is called a cold pigeon, in the letter concerning the entertainments at Killingworth Cafile. FARMER.
To break up was a peculiar phrafe in carving.
break not up
So, in Weftward-Hoe, by Decker and Webfter, 1607: at "the fkirt of that sheet, in black-work, is wrought his name: the wild-foul till anon.
Again, in Ben Jonson's Masque of Gipfies Metamorphofed: "A London cuckold hot from the fpit,
"And when the carver up had broke him," &c.
3 Break the neck of the wax,] Still alluding to the capon.
So, in The True Tragedies of Marius and Sylla, 1594: "Lectorius read, and break thefe letters up. STEEVENS.
One of Lord Chelterfield's Letters, 8vo. Vol. III. p. 114, gives us the reafon why poulet meant amatoria litera. TOLLET.
that thou art lovely: More fairer than fair, beautiful than beauteous, truer than truth itself, have commiferation on thy heroical vaffal! The magnanimous and moft illuftrate king Cophetua fet eye upon the pernicious and indubitate beggar Zenelophon; and he it was that might rightly fay, veni, vidi, vici; which to anatomize in the vulgar, (0 bafe and obfcure vulgar!) videlicet, he came, faw, and overcame: he came, one; Saw, 7 two; overcame, three. Who came? the king? why did he come? to fee; Why did he fee? to overcome: To whom came he? to the beggar; What Saw he? the beggar; Who overcame he? the beggar: The conclufion is victory; On whofe fide? the king's: the captive is enrich'd; On whofe fide? the beggar's; The catastrophe is a nuptial; On whofe fide? the king's ?— no; on both in one, or one in both. I am the king; for fo ftands the comparison: thou the beggar; for fo witneffeth thy lowlinefs. Shall I command thy love? I may: Shall I enforce thy love? I could: Shall I entreat thy love? I will. What shalt thou exchange for rags? robes; For tittles? titles; For thyfelf? me. Thus, expecting thy reply, I profane my lips on thỵ foot, my eyes on thy picture, and my heart on thy every part.
Thine, in the dearest defign of industry,
DON ADRIANO DE ARMADO. 4 More fairer than fair, beautiful than beauteous, truer, &c.] I would read, fairer that fair, more beautiful, &c. TYRWHITT. illuftrate for illuflrious. It is often ufed by Chapman in his tranflation of Homer. STEEVENS.
king Cophetua] The ballad of King Cophetua and the Beggar-Maid, may be feen in The Reliques of Ancient Poetry, Vol. I. The beggar's name was Penelophon, here corrupted. PERCY.
The poet alludes to this fong in Romeo and Juliet, Henry IV. P. II. and Richard II. STEEVENS.
faw,] The old copies here and in the preceding line have fec. Mr. Rowe made the correction, MALONE.
Thus doft thou hear the Nemean lion roar
And he from forage will incline to play: But if thou ftrive, poor foul, what art thou then? Food for his rage, repaiture for his den.
PRIN. What plume of feathers is he, that indited this letter?
What vane? what weather-cock? Did you ever hear better?
BOYET. I am much deceived, but I remember the ftyle.
PRIN. Elfe your memory is bad, going o'er it? erewhile. *
BOYET. This Armado is a Spaniard, that keeps here in court;
A phantafm, a Monarcho;
and one that makes
8 Thus doft thou hear, &c.] These fix lines appear to be a quotation from fome ridiculous poem of that time.
going o'er it-] A pun upon the word ftile.
erewhile. Juft now; a little while ago. So Raleigh:
"Here lies Hobbinol, our Shepherd while e'er." JOHNSON.
3 A phantafm,] On the books of the Stationers' Company, Feb. 6, 1608, is entered, "a book called Phantafm, the Italian Traylor and his Boy; made by Mr. Armin, fervant to his majefty." It probably contains the hiftory of Monarcho, of whom Dr. Farmer fpeaks in the following note, to which I have fubjoined two additional inftances. STEEVENS.
a Monarcho;] The allufion is to a fantastical character of Popular applaufe (fays Meres) doth nourish fome, neither to they gape after any other thing, but vaine praise and glorie, as in our age Peter Shakerlye of Paules, and Monarcho that lived about the court. p. 178. FARMER.
In Nash's Have with you to Saffron-Walden, &c. 1595, I meet with the fame allufion: - "but now he was an infulting monarch