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that, in the thanksgiving before meat, doth relish the petition well that
Lucio. I believe thee; for, I think, thou never wast where grace was said.
2 Gent. No ? a dozen times at least.
Lucio. Ay! why not? Grace is grace, despight of all controversy 3 : As for example; Thou thyself art a wicked villain, despight of all grace.
I Gent. Well, there went but a pair of sheers be. tween us 4.
Lucio, -in metre?] In the primers, there are metrical graces, such as, I suppose, were used in Shakespeare's time. JOHNSON.
any proportion, &c.] The Oxford editor gives us a dialogue of his own instead of this : and all for want of knowing the meaning of the word proportion, which fignifies measure: and refers to the question, What? in metre? WARBURTON.
3 despight of all controversy :] Satirically insinuating that the controverfies about grace were so intricate and endless, that the disputants unsettled every thing but this, that grace was grace ; which, however, in spite of controversy, still remained certain.
WAR BURTON. I am in doubt whether Shakespeare's thoughts reached so far into ecclefiaftical disputes. Every commentator is warped a little by the tract of his own profession. The question is, whether the second gentleman has ever heard grace. The first gentleman limits the question to grace in metre. Lucio enlarges it to grace in any form or language. The first gentleman, to go beyond him, fays, or in any religion, which Lucio allows, because the nature of things is unalterable ; grace is as immutably grace, as his merry antagonist is a wicked villain. Difference in religion cannot make a grace not to be grace, a prayer not to be holy; as nothing can make a villain not to be a villain. This seems to be the meaning, such as it is. Johnson.
4 there went but a pair of sheers between us.] We are both of the same piece. Johnson.
So in the Maid of the Mill, by Beaumont and Fletcher. “ There went but a pair of sheers and a bodkin between them.”
Lucio. I grant; as there may between the lifts and the velvet : Thou art the lift.
I Gent. And thou the velvet : thou art good vel. vet; thou art a three-pil'd piece, I warrant thee: I had as lief be a list of an English kersey, as be pild, as thou art pild, for a French velvet s. Do I speak feelingly now?
Lucio. I think thou dost; and, indeed, with most painful feeling of thy speech: I will, out of thine own confession, learn to begin thy health ; but, whilft I live, forget to drink after thee.
i Gent. I think, I have done myself wrong; have I not?
2 Gent. Yes, that thou hast; whether thou art tainted, or free.
Lucio. Behold, behold, where madam Mitigation comes ! I have purchas'd as many diseases under her roof, as come to
2 Gent. To what, I pray?
The fame expression is likewise found in Marston's Malecontent, 1604 :
but a pair of sheers betwixt an emperor and “ the son of a bagpiper ; only the dying, dressing, presling, and
gloffing, makes the difference.” MALONE.
spild, as thou art pild, for a French velvet.] The jest about the pile of a French velvet alludes to the lofs of hair in the French disease, a very frequent topick of our author's jocularity. Lucio finding that the gentleman understands the distemper so well, and mentions it fo feelingly, promises to remember to drink his health, but to forget to drink after him. It was the opinion of Shakespeare's time, that the cup of an infected person was contagious.
Johnson. The jest lies between the fimilar sound of the words pilld and pilld. This I have elfewhere explained, under a passage in Henry VIII.
“ Pill'd priest thou lieft." STEEVENS. • To three thousand dollars a year.] A quibble intended between dollars and dolours. HANMER. The same jest occurred before in the Tempeft, Johnson.
Lucio. A French crown more 7.
i Gent. Thou art always figuring diseases in me : but thou art full of error; I am found.
Lucio. Nay, not, as one would say, healthy; but so found, as things that are hollow : thy bones are hollow; impiety has made a feast of thee.
Enter Bawd. i Gent. How now? Which of your hips has the most profound sciatica ?
Bawd. Well, well; there's one yonder arrested, and carry'd to prison, was worth five thousand of you all.
i Gent. Who's that, I pr’ythee ? Bawd. Marry, fir, that's Claudio, fignior Claudio. į Gent. Claudio to prison ! 'tis not so.
Bawd. Nay, but I know, 'tis fo: I saw him arrested; saw him carry'd away; and, which is more, within these three days his head is to be chopp'd off.
Lucio. But, after all this fooling, I would not have it fo : Art thou sure of this?
Bawd. I am too fure of it : and it is for getting madam Julietta with child.
Lucio. Believe me, this may be : he promised to meet me two hours fince; and he was ever precise in promise-keeping
' A French crown more.] Lucio means here not the piece of money so called, but that venereal scab, which among the sur geons is styled corona Veneris. To this, I think, our author likewife makes Quince allude in Midsummer Night's Dream,
" Some of your French crowns have no hair at all, and then you will play bare-faced." For where these eruptions are, the skull is carious, and the party becomes bald. THEOBALD. So in the Return from Parnasus, 1606: 66 I
may chance indeed to give the world a bloody nose, but “ it shall 'hardly give me a crack'd crown, though it gives other
poets French crowns." Again in the Dedication to Gabriel Harvey's Hunt is up, 1598:
- never metst with any requital, except it were some few 46 French crownes, pild friers crownes, &c." STEEVENS.
2 Gent. Besides, you know, it draws something near to the speech we had to such a purpose.
I Gent. But most of all agreeing with the proclamation. Lucio. Away; let's go learn the truth of it.
what with the sweat,] This may allude to 'the sweating fickness, of which the memory was very fresh in the time of Shakes speare: but more probably to the method of cure then used for the diseases contracted in brothels. Johnson, So in the comedy of Doctor Dodypoll, 1600:
“ You are very moist, fir; did you sweat all this, I pray?
“ You have not the disease, I hope." STEEVENS. 9 Enter Clown.] As this is the first clown who makes his appearance in the plays of our author, it may not be amiss, from a paffage in Tarlton's News out of Purgatory, to point out one of the ancient dresses appropriated to the character.
“ - I sawe one attired in russet, with a button'd cap on his “ head, a great bag by his fide, and a strong bat in his hand; fo “ artificially attired for a clowne, as I began to call Tarlton's “ woonted shape to remembrance." STEEVENS.
"-What has be done?
The ancient meaning of the verb to do, (though now obsolete). may be guess'd at from the following paffages.
16 Chiron, Thou hast undone our mother.
“ Aaron. Villain, I've done thy mother.” Titus Andronicus. Again in the Maid's Tragedy, act II. Evadne, while undreffing, says
6 I am soon undone. Dula answers, “ And as soon done." Hence the name of Over-done, which Shakespeare has appropriated to his baud. Collins.
Bawd. But what's his offence ?
Clown. No; but there's a woman with maid by him: You have not heard of the proclamation, have
Bawd. What proclamation, man?
Clown. All houses in the suburbs of Vienna muft be pluck'd down.
Bawd. And what shall become of those in the city ?
Clown. They shall stand for seed : they had gone down too, but that a wise burgher put in for them.
Bawd. But shall all our houses of resort in the suburbs be pull'd down ? ?
Clown. To the ground, mistress.
Bawd. Why, here's a change, indeed, in the commonwealth! What shall become of me?
:-hall all our houses of refort in the suburbs be pull'd down?] This will be understood from the Scotch law of James's time, concerning huires (whores) : “ that connoun women be put at " the utmost endes of torunes; queire least perril of fire is.” Hence Ursula the pig-woman, in Bartholomew-Fair : “1, I, gamesters, “mock a plain, plump, soft wench of the suburbs, do !" FARMER.
So in the Malcontent 1604, when Altofront dismisses the vari. ous characters at the end of the play to different destinations, he says to Macquerelle the bawd:
thou unto the suburbs.” Again in Ram-Alley, or Merry Tricks, 1611:
“ Soine fourteen bawds, he kept her in the suburbs.” Again :
"how liv'd you in the suburbs
And scap'd so many searches ?." See Martial, where fummceniana and suburbana are applied to prostitutes. STEEVENS.
All houses in the suburbs.] This is surely too general an exprefsion, unless we suppose that all the houses in the suburbs were bawdy-houses. It appears too, from what the bawd says below, “But shall all our houses of resort in the suburbs be pulled down ?" that the clown had been particular in his description of the houses which were to be pulled down. I am therefore inclined to believe that we should read here, all bawdy-houses, or all houses of refort in the suburbs. TYRWHITT. Vol. II.