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though the devil lead the measure,' such are to be follow'd: 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,
for my tidings.
Then here's a man
King. I would I had; so I had broke thy pate, And ask'd thee mercy for't.
In this laft instance, however, both the quartos, viz. 1600, and 1608, read musters. Steevens.
The obscurity of the passage arises only from the fantastical language of a character like Parolles, whose affectation of wit urges his imagination from one allusion to another, without allowing time for his judgement to determine their congruity. The cap of time being the first image that occurs, true gait, manner of eating, Speaking, &c. are the feveral ornaments which they muster, place, or arrange in time's cap. This is done under the influence of the most received far; that is, the person in the highest repnte for setting the fashions :--and though the devil were to lead the measure or dance of fashion, such is their implicit submission, that even he must be followed. Henley.
9 lead the measure,] i. e. the dance. So, in Muchado about Nothing, Beatrice says: “ Tell him there is measure in every thing, and so dance out the answer.” Steevens. brought -] Some modern editions read bought.
Goodfaith, across : 3
O, will you eat
} - across :) This word, as has been already observed, is used when any pass of wit miscarries. Johnson.
While chivalry was in vogue, breaking spears against a quintain was a favourite exercise. He who shivered the greatest number was esteemed the most adroit ; but then it was to be performed exactly with the point, for if atchieved by a side-stroke or across, it showed unskilfulness, and disgraced the practiser. Here, therefore, Lafeu reflects on the King's wit as aukward and ineffectual, and, in the terms of play, good for nothing.
Holt White. See As you Like it, A& III. sc. iv. p. 113. SreevenS. 4- yes, but you will,
My noble grapes, &c.] The words—My noble grapes, seem to Dr. Warburton and Sir T. Hanmer to stand so much in the way, that they have silently omitted them. They may be indeed rejected without great loss, but I believe they are Shakspeare's words. You will eat, says Lafeu, no grapes. Yes, but you will eat such noble grapes, as I bring you, if you could reach them. JOHNSON.
s- medicine,] is here put for a she-physician. HANMER.
0 and make you dance canary, ] Mr. Rich. Broome, in his comedy entitled, The City Wit, or the Woman wears the Breeches, A& IV. sc. i. mentions this' among other dances: “ As for coTantoes, lavoltos, jigs, measures, pavins, brawls, galliards or canaries; I speak it not swellingly, but I subscribe to no man."
Dr. Grey. i whose simple touch, &c.] Thus, Ovid, Amor. III. vii. 41: Nlius ad tactum Pylius juvenescere poffit,
Tishonosque annis fortior efle fuis. STEEVENS.
To give great Charlemain a pen in his hand,
What her is this? LAF. Why, doctor she: My lord, there's one ar
riv'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, Wisdom, and constancy, hath amaz’d me more Than I dare blame my weakness :: Will you see her, (For that is her demand,) and know her business? That done, laugh well at me.
Now, good Lafeu, Bring in the admiration; that we with thee May spend our wonder too, or take off thine, By wond’ring how thou took'st it. LAF.
Nay, I'll fit you, And not be all day neither.
Exit Lafeu. King. Thus he his special nothing ever prologues.
. And write —] I believe a line preceding this has been lost.
MALONE. 9 her years, profession,] By profesion is meant her de çlaration of the end and purpose of her coming.
WARBURTON. 2 Than I dare blame my weakness :) This is one of Shakspeare's perplexed expressions. « To acknowledge how much she has astonished me, would be to acknowledge a weakness; and this I am unwilling to do.” STEEVENS.
Lafeu's meaning appears to me to be this:-" That the amazement she excited in him was so great, that he could not impute it merely to his own weakness, but to the wonderful qualities of the object that occasioned it." M. Mason,
Re-enter Lareu, with Helena.
Lar. Nay, come your ways.
This haste hath wings indeed.
[Exit. King. Now, fair one, does your business fol
low us? Hel. Ay, my good lord. Gerard de Narbon was My father; in what he did profess, well found.
King. I knew him.
- come your ways;] This vulgarism is also put into the mouth of Polonius. See Hamlet, Act I. sc. iii.
Steevens. 4- Crellid's uncle,] I am like Pandarus. See Troilus and Cressida. Johnson. s- well found.] i. e. of known, acknowledged, excellence.
STEEVENS. 6- a triple eye,] i. e. a third eye. STEEVENS.
With that malignant cause wherein the honour
We thank you , maiden ;
Hel. My duty then shall pay me for my pains : I will no more enforce mine office on you; Humbly entreating from your royal thoughts A modest one, to bear me back again.
King. I cannot give thee less, to be call'd grateful: Thou thought'st to help me; and such thanks I
Hel. What I can do, can do no hurt to try,
7 - wherein the honour
Of my dear father's gift ftands chief in power,] Perhaps we may better read:
- wherein the power
JOHNSON. Vol. VI.