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Ber. It is an honour ’longing to our house,
Dia. Mine honour's such a ring:
Here, take my ring:
Nor is Mr. Malone's supposition, of scene for scarre, a whit more in point; for, first, scarre, in every part of England where rocks abound, is well known to signify the detached protrusion of a large rock; whereas scare is terror or affright. Nor was scare, in the first sketch of The Merry Wives of Windsor, a mistake for scene, but an intentional change of ideas; scare implying only Falstaff's terror, but scene including the spectator's entertainment. On the supposal that make hopes is the true reading, in such a scarre, may be taken figuratively for in such an extremity, i, e. in so desperate a situation.
Adieu, till then; then, fail not: You have won
[Exit. Dia. For which live long to thank both heaven
and me! You may so in the end. My mother told me just how he would woo, As if the sat in his heart; she says, all men Have the like oaths: he had sworn to marry me, When his wife's dead; therefore I'll lie with him, When I am buried. Since Frenchmen are so braid, Marry that will, I'll live and die a maid: 5 Only, in this disguise, I think’t no sin To cozen him, that would unjustly win. [Exit.
5- Since Frenchmen are so braid,
Marry that will, I'll live and die a maid:] Braid signifies crafty or deceitful. So, in Greene's Never too Late, 1616:
“ Dian rose with all her maids,
“ Blushing thus at love his braids." Chaucer uses the word in the same sense; but as the passage where it occurs in his Troilus and Cressida is contested, it may be necessary to observe, that Bred is an Anglo-Saxon word, signifying fraus, aftus. Again, in Tho. Drant's Translation of Horace's Epiftles, where its import is not very clear:
“ Professing thee a friend, to plaie the ribbalde at a brade." In The Romaunt of the Rose, v, 1336, Braid seems to mean forthwith, or, at a jerk. There is nothing to answer it in the French, except dantoft. STEEVENS.
SCEN E III.
The Florentine Camp.
Soldiers. i Lord. You have not given him his mother's letter?
2 Lord. I have deliver'd it an hour since: there is something in't that stings his nature; for, on the reading it, he changed almost into another man.
i Lord. He has much worthy blame laid upon him, for shaking off so good a wife, and so sweet a lady.
6 i Lord.] The latter editors have with great liberality bestowed lordship upon these interlocutors, who, in the original edition, are called, with more propriety, capt. E. and capt. G. It is true that captain E. in a former scene is called lord E. but the subordination in which they seem to act, and the timorous manner in which they converse, determines them to be only captains. Yet as the latter readers of Shakspeare have been used to find them lords, I have not thought it worth while to degrade them in the margin.
JOHNSON. These two personages may be supposed to be two young French Lords ferving in the Florentine camp, where they now appear in their military capacity. In the first scene where the two French Lords are introduced, taking leave of the king, they are called in the original edition, Lord E. and Lord G.
G, and E. were, I believe, only put to denote the players who performed these characters. In the list of actors prefixed to the first folio, I find the names of Gilburne and Ecclestone, to whom these insignificant parts probably fell. Perhaps, however, these performers first represented the French lords, and afterwards two captains in the Florentine army; and hence the confusion of the old copy. In the first scene of this act, one of these captains is called throughout, 1. Lord E. The matter is of no great im. portarce. MALONE.
2 LORD. Especially he hath incurred the everlafting displeasure of the king, who had even tunea his bounty to sing happiness to him. I will tell you a thing, but you shall let it dwell darkly with you.
i Lord. When you have spoken it, 'tis dead, and I am the grave of it.
2 LORD. He hath perverted a young gentlewoman here in Florence, of a most chaste renown; and this night he fleshes his will in the spoil of her honour: he hath given her his monumental ring, and thinks himself made in the unchaste compofition.
i Lord. Now,' God delay our rebellion; as we are ourselves, what things are we!
2 LORD. Merely our own traitors. And as in the common course of all treasons, we still see them reveal themselves, till they attain to their abhorr'd ends ; ? fo he, that in this action contrives against his own nobility, in his proper stream o'erflows himself.8
i Lord. Is it not meant damnable in us, to be
7 till they attain to their abhorr'd ends;] This may mean-they are perpetually talking about the mischief they intend to do, till they have obtained an opportunity of doing it. Steevens.
8 in his proper stream o'erflows himself.] That is, betrays his own secrets in his own talk. The reply shows that this is the meaning. Johnson.
9 Is it not meant damnable in us,] I once thought that we ought to read--Is it not most damnable ; but no change is necessary. Adjectives are often used as adverbs by our author and his contemporaries. So, in The Winter's Tale :
" That did but show thee, of a fool, inconftant,
“ And damnable ungrateful." Again, in Twelfth Night: “ and as thou drawest, swear hora rible ,"
trumpeters of our unlawful intents? We shall not then have his company to-night?
2 Lord. Not till after midnight; for he is dieted to his hour.
i Lord. That approaches apace: I would gladly have him see his company? anatomiz'd; that he might take a measure of his own judgements,' wherein so curiously he had set this counterfeit.*
2 Lord. We will not meddle with him till he come ; for his presence must be the whip of the other.
i Lord. In the mean time, what hear you of these wars?
2 Lord. I hear, there is an overture of peace. i Lord. Nay, I assure you, a peace concluded.
2 Lord. What will count Rousillon do then? will he travel higher, or return again into France?
I LORD. I perceive, by this demand, you are not altogether of his council.
Again, in The Merry Wives of Windfor:
- Let the supposed fairies pinch him found." Again, in Maslinger's Very Woman:
“ I'll beat thee damnable.” MALONE. Mr. M. Mason wishes to read-mean and damnable.
Stevens 2 his company ] i. e. his companion. It is so used in King Henry V. MALONE.
3- he might take a measure of his own judgements,] This is a very just and moral reason. Bertram, by finding how erroneously he has judged, will be less confident, and more easily moved by admonition. Johnson.
4 wherein fo curiously he had set this counterfeit.] Parolles is the person whom they are going to anatomize. Counterfeit, besides its ordinary fignification,--[a person pretending to be what he is not,] signified also in our author's time a false coin, and a picture. The word set shows that it is here used in the first and the laft of these senses. MALONE.