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SCE N E, the Park; near the Palace.
Enter Armado and Moth. Arm. Arble, child; make passionate my sense of
hearing. Moth. Concolinel
resolving a life of contemplation, and to relieve their study, at intervals, with Armado and Cöftard. The Princess of France's arrival is prepared. Armado's ridiculous passion for a country wench, and his, and Coftard's characters, are open'd. In the 2d Act, The Princess with her Ladies arrives, and explains the reason of her coming. Navarre behaves fo courteously to her, that Boyet, one of her Lords, fuspects him to be in love. Arinado's amour is continued; who fends a letter by Coftard to his Miftress Jaquenetta. Biron likewise sends a billet-doux by Cotard to Rosaline, one of the French Ladies; and in a Soliloquy confesses his being in love, tho' against his oath. In the third A&, the Princess and her Ladies, preparing to killa Deer in the park, Coffard comes to deliver Biron's letter to Rosaline ; but by mistake gives that, which Armado had directed to Faquenetra. The two pedants, Sir Nathaniel, and Holofern:s are introduc'd. Jaquenetta produces Biron's letter, deliver'd by Coflard's mistake to her, requesting them to read it: who, observing the contents, send it by Coffard and
Jaquenetta to the King. Biron, standing perdue in the park, overhears the King, Longaville, and Dumain confefsing their passions for their respective miftreffes; and coming forward, reproaches them with their perjury. aquenetta and Cofiard bring the letter (as they were order'd by the Pedants) to the King, who bids Biron read it. He, finding it to be his own letter, tears it in a paffion for Copard's mistake. The Lords, picking it up, find it to be of Biron's hand writing, and an address to Rosaline. Biron pleads guilty: and all the votarifts at last consent to continue their perjury, and address their several mistreffes with some masque or device. In the fourth Act, the Pcdants (returning from their dinner) enter into a discourse suitable to their characters. Armado comes to them, tells them, he is enjoin'd by the King to frame some masque_ for the entertainment of the Princess, and craves their learned affistance. They propose to represent the nine worthies, and go out to prepare themselves. The Princess and 'her Ladies talk of their feveral lovers, and the presents made to them. Boyct brings notice, that the King and his Lords are coming to address them, disguis'd like Muscovites. The Ladies propose to be mask'd, and exchange the Favours with one another, which were given them by their lovers : that fo they, being deceiv'd, may every one address the wrong perfon. This accordingly hits, and they
Arm. Sweet Air! go, tenderness of years ; take this key, give inlargement to the fwain ; bring him feftinately hither: I must employ him in a letter to my love.
Moth. Mafter, will you win your love with a French brawl ?
Arm. How mean'st thou, brawling in French ?
Moth. No, my compleat mafter (12); but to jig off a tune at the tongue's end, canary to it with your feet (13), humour it with turning up your eyelids; figh a note and fing a note ; sometimes through the throat, as if you swallow'd love with singing love ; sometimes through the nose, as if you snuft up love by smelling love ; with your hat penthouse-like o'er the shop of your eyes; with your arms croft on your thin-belly doublet, like a rabbet on a fpit ; or your hands in your
are rallied from off the spot by the Ladies ; who triumph in this exploit, and refolve to banter them again, when they return in their own persons.
... In the last Ad, the King and his Lords come to the Princess's tent, and all confess their loves. Costard enters to tell the approach of the worthies masque; which finish'd, news is brought of the death of the Princess's father. The King and the Lords renewing their love-fuits, the Ladies agree to marry them at a twelve-month's end, under certain injunétions ; and so the play ends. -Thus the story (tho clogg'd with fore abfurdities,) has its proper refts: the action rifes by gradations, according to rules :, and the plot is embroild and disengaged, as it ought; as far as the nature of the fable will admit,
(12) Moth. No, my compieat master, &c.] This whole speech has been so terribly confufed in the pointing, through all the editions hitherto, that not the least glimmering of fenfe was to be pick'd out of it. As I have regulated the paffage, I think, Moib delivers both good sense and good bumour.
(13) Canary to it with your feet,] So All's Well that, &e. Act. 2. Sc. 2.
I have feen a Medecin,
With sprightly fire and motion ; &c, From both these pafsages the Canary seems to have been a dance of much fpirit and agility. Some dictionaries te!l us, that this dance derived its name, as it is probable it might, from the Islands fu calld. But Richlet gives us a description of it the most conformable to our apthor ; dance, ou l'on remue fort vite les piex. A dance, in which the feet are shifted with great swiftness.
pocket, like a man after the old painting ; and keep not too long in, one tune, but a snip and away i these are complements, these are humours; these betray nice wenches that would be betray'd without these, and make the men of note (14): do you note men, that are moft affected to these ?
Arm. How haft thou purchas'd this experience ?
(14) these betrey nice wenches, that would be betray'd wille out ibife, and make them men of note. Thus all the editors, with a fagacity worthy of wonder. But who will ever believe, that the odd attitudes and affectations of lovers, by which they betray young wenches, should have power to make those young wenches men of Bote ? This is a transformation, which, I dare say, the poet kever thought of. His meaning is, that they not only inveigle the young Girls, but make the men taken notice of too, who affect them. reduc'd the passage to good sense, in my SHAKESPEARE reffor'd, by cashiering only a single letter : and Mr. Pope, in his last impreffion, has vouchsaf'd to embrace my correction. (15) Arm, But, 0, but o
Moth. The hobby-horse is forgot.] The humour of this reply of Motb's to Armado, who is fighing in love, cannot be taken without a little explanation : nor why there should be any room for making such a reply. A quotation from Hamlet will be necessary on this occasion,
Or else shall he suffer not thinking on, with the bobby-borse whose Epitaph is, For oh! for cb ! the Hobby-borse is forgot.
And another from Beaumont and Fletcher in their Women pleased. Soto. Shall the Hobby-borse be forgot then?
The hopeful Hobby-horse? shall he lie founder 'd ? In the rites formerly observ'd-for the celebration of May-day, besides those now us'd of hanging a pole with garlands, and dancing round it, a boy was drest up representing maid Marian; another, like a Friar; and another rode on a Hobby-borse, with bells jingting, and painted streamers. After the Reformation took place, and Precisians multiplied, these latter rites were look'd upon to favour of Paganism; and then maid Marian, the Friar, and the poor Hobby-borse were turn’d out of the games. Some, who were not so wisely precise but regretted the disuse of the Hobby-borse, no doubt, satiriz'd this fufpicion of idolatry, and archly wrote the Epitaph above alluded to. Now Moth, hearing Armado groan ridiculoully, and cry out, But eb! but eb! humorously pieces out his exclamation with the sequel of
Arm. Call it thou my love hobby-horse ?
Moth. No, master ; the hobby-horse is but a colt, and your love, perhaps a hackney: but have you for
! Arm. Almoft I had. Moth. Negligent student, learn her by heart. Arm. By heart, and in heart, boy. Moth. And out of heart, master : all those three I
got your love
Arm. What wilt thou prove ?
Moth. A man, if I live. And this by, in, and out of, upon the instant : by heart you love her, because your heart cannot come by her : in heart you love her, because your heart is in love with her; and out of heart you
love her, being out of heart that you cannot enjoy her.
Arm. I am all these three. Moth. And three times as much more ; and yet nothing at all.
Ärm. Fetch hither the swain, he must carry me a letter.
Motb. A message well fympathiz'd; á horse to be embassador for an afs.
Arm. Ha, ha ; what say'st thou ?
the horse, for he is very slow-gated : but I go.
Arm. The way is but short ; away,
Arm. Thy meaning, pretty ingenious ?
Motb. Minimè, honest master; or rather, master, no.
this epitaph: which is putting his master's love-paffion, and the lofs of the Hobby-borse, on a footing. The Zealot's detestation of this Hobby-horse, I tkink is excellently sneer'd at by B. Jonson in his Bartholomew-fair. In this Comedy, Rabby-Busy, a Puritan, is brought into the fair : and being ask' by the toyman to buy Rattles, Drums, Babies, Hobby- borfes, &c. He immediately in his zeal cries out :
Peace, with thy apocryphal wares, thou prophane publican! Thy Bells, thy Dragons, and thy Tobit's dogs." Thy Hobby-borse is an idol, a very idol, a fierce and rank idol; and thou the Nebucbadnezzar, the proud Nebuchadnezzar of the fair, that fet'st it up for children to fall down to and worship.
Arm. I say, lead is flow.
Moth. You are too swift, Sir, to say fo.
Arm. Sweet smoak of rhetorick?
Re-enter Moth and Coftard. Moth. Awonder, mafter, here's a Costardbroken in a fhin. Arm.Some enigma, fome riddle; come, thy l'envoy begin
Coft. No egma, no riddle, no l'envoy ; no salve in the male, Sir. O Sir, plantan, a plain plantan ; no l'envoy, no l'envoy, or falve, Sir, but plantan.
Arm. By virtue, thou enforcest laughter; thy filly thought, my spleen ; the heaving of my lungs provokes me to ridiculous smiling : O pardon me, my stars ; doth the inconfiderate take salve for l'envoy, and the word l'envoy for a salve ?
Moth. Doth the wife think them other is not l'en
voy a falve ?
Arm. No, page, it is an epilogue or discourse, to
Some obscure precedence that hath tofore been sain.
follow with my l'envoy.
Moth. I will add the l'envoy; say the moral again.
Arm. The fox, the ape, and the humble bee, Were still at odds, being but three.
Moth. Until the goose came out of door, And stay'd the odds by adding four. A good l'envoy, ending in the goose ; would you demore