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Pro. Cease to lament for that thou canst not help, And study help for that which thou lament'st. Time is the nurse and breeder of all good. Here if thou stay, thou canst not see thy love; Besides, thy staying will abridge thy life. Hope is a lover's staff; walk hence with that, And manage it against despairing thoughts. Thy letters may be here, though thou art hence; Which, being writ to me, shall be deliver'd Even in the milk-white bosom of thy love'. The time now serves not to expoftulate : Come, I'll convey thee through the city-gate; And, ere I part with thee, confer at large Of all that may concern thy love-affairs : As thou lov'ft Silvia, though not for thyself, Regard thy danger, and along with me.
Val. I pray thee, Launce, an if thou feeft my boy,
Pro. Go, firrah, find him out. Come, Valentine.
[Exeunt Valentine and Protheus. ? Laun. I am but a fool, look you; and yet I have the wit to think, my master is a kind of a knave : but that's all one, if he be but one knave. He lives
Even in the milk-white bosom of thy love.] So in Hamlet:
" These to her excellent white bosom, &c." Trilling as the remark may appear, before the meaning of thisaddress of letters to the bofom of a mistress can be understood, it should be known that women anciently had a pocket in the fore part of their stays, in which they not only carried love-letters and love tokens, but even their money and materials for needle work, In many parts of England the ruftic dansels still observe the fame practice; and a very old lady informs me that she remembers when it was the fashion to wear very prominent stays, it was no less the custom for stratagem or gallantry to drop its literary favours within the front of them. STEEVENS,
? Laun. I am but a fool, look you; and yet I have the wit to think my master is a kind of knave: but that's all one, if he be but one KNAVE.) Where is the sense? or, if you won't allow the speaker that, where is the humour of this speech ? Nothing had
not now, that knows me to be in love : yet I am in love; but ? a team of horse shall not pluck that from given the fool occasion to suspect that his master was become double, like Antipholis in The Comedy of Errors. The last word is corrupt. We should read
if he be but one KIND. He thought his master was a kind of knave; however, he keeps himself in countenance with this reflection, that if he was a knave but of one kind, he might pats well enough amongit his neighbours. This is truly humourous. WARBURTON.
This alteration is acute and specious, yet I know not whether, in Shakespeare's language, one knave may not signify a knave on only one occafion, a single krave. We still use a double villain for a villain beyond the common rate of guilt. Johnson.
This pairage has been altered, with little difference, by Dr. Warburton and fir Tho. Hanmer.-Mr. Edwards explains it,“ if he only be a knave, if I myself be not found to be another." I agree with Dr. Johnson, and will support the old reading and his interpretation with indisputable authority. In the old play of Damon and Pythias, Arillippus declares of Carifophus, “ you lose money by him if you sell him for one knave, for he serves for twayne.
This phraseology is often met with : Arragon says in the Mer. chant of Venice:
" With one fool's head I came to woo,
" But I go away with two." Donne begins one of his sonnets :
" I am two fools, I know,
“ For loving and for saying fo, &c." And when Panurge cheats St. Nicholas of the chapel, which he vowed to him in a storm, Rabelais calls him “ a rogue-a rogue and an half-Le gallant, gallant et demy.” FARMER. Again, in Like will to Like, quoth the Devil to the Collier, 1587:
" Thus thou may’it be called a knave in graine,
STEEVENS. Again in Chapman's Two wife Men and all the rest Fools, 1619:
" I desire no inore cunning than I now have, and I'll serve you still and set
up for myself; for had rather be a double knave than a single fool.” MALÓNE.
a team of borse shall not pluck-] I see how Valentine suffers for telling his love-secrets, therefore I will keep mine close. JOHNSON.
Perhaps Launce was not intended to shew so much sense; but here indulges himself in talking contradictory nonsense.
me; nor who 'tis I love, and yet 'tis a woman : but whạt woman, I will not tell myself, and yet 'tis a milk-inaid : yet 'tis not a maid, for she hath had gossips + : yet 'tis a maid, for she is her master's maid, and serves for wages. She hath more qualities than a water-spaniel which is much in a bare christians. Here is the cat-log (Pulling out a paper] of her conditions. Imprimis, She can fetch and carry: Why, a horse can do no more: nay, a horse cannot fetch, but only carry; therefore, is she better than a jade. Item, She can milk, look you; A sweet virtue in a maid with clean hands.
Speed. Well, your old vice still; mistake the word :
Laun. The blackest news that ever thou heard'ft.
for the hath had golips: ] Goffips not only fignify those
S-a bare christian.] Launce is quibbling on. Bare has
“ 'Tis but a bare petition of the state.”
Speed. Let me read them.
Laun. O illiterate loiterer! it was the son of thy grandmother?: this proves, that thou can'st not read.
Speed. Come, fool, come : try me in thy paper. Laun. There; And & St. Nicholas be thy speed ! Speed. Imprimis, She can milk.
-the son of thy grandmother:] It is undoubtedly true that the mother only knows the legitimacy of the child. I suppose Launce infers, that if he could read, he must have read this well known observation. STEEVENS.
-St. Nicholas be thy speed!) St. Nicholas presided over fcholars, who were therefore called St. Nicholas's clerks. Hence, by a quibble between Nicholas and Old Nick, highwaymen, in The First Part of Henry the Fourth, are called Nicholas's clerks.
WARBURTON. That this faint prefided over young scholars, may be gathered from Knight's Life of Dean Colet, p: 362. For by the statutes of Paul's school there inserted, the children are required to attend divine service at the cathedral on his anniversary. The reason I take to be, that the legend of this saint makes him to have been a bishop, while he was a boy: At Salisbury cathedral is a monument of a boy bishop; and it is said that a custom formerly prevailed there, of choofing, from among the choristers, a bishop, who actually performed the pastoral functions, and disposed of such prebends as became vacant during his episcopacy, which lasted but a few days. It is thought that the monument abovementioned was for some boy who died in office.-- See The Pofthu. mous Works of Mr. John Gregory, 4to. Oxon. Sır. J. HAWKINS:
So Puttenham, in his Art of Poetry, 1589: “Methinks this fellow speaks like bishop Nicholas ; for on Saint Nicholas' night commonly the scholars of the country make them a bishop, who, like a foolish boy, goeth about blefing and preaching with such childish terms, as maketh the people laugh at his foolish counterfeit speeches." STEEVENS.
In Hearne's Liber Niger Scaccarii, 1771, vol. ii. p. 674, and 686, we find that archbishop Rotherham bequeathed “'a myter for the barne-bishop, of cloth of gold, with two knopps of silver gilt and enamyled." And this was in a country village in YorkThire. TOLLET.
Laun. Ay, that she can.
Laun. And therefore comes the proverb, -Blessing of your heart, you brew good ale? ,
Speed. Item, She can few.
Laun. What need a man care for a stock with a wench, when she can knit him a stock".
Speed. Item, She can wash and four.
Laun. A special virtue ; for then she need not to be wash'd and scour'd.
Speed. Item, She can spin.
Laun. Then may I set the world on wheels, when The can spin for her living.
Speed. Item, She hath many nameless virtues.
Laun. That's as much as to say, Bastard virtues; that, indeed, know not their fathers, and therefore have no names.
Speed. Here follow her vices.
Speed. Item, · She is not to be kiss'd fafting, in respect of her breath.
Laun. Well, that fault inay be mended with a breakfast: Read on. Speed. Item, She haih a 3 fierect mouth,
. Bleffing o' your heart, &c.) So in Ben Jonson's Masque of Augurs:
« Our ale's o'the best,
“ Prays for their souls that brew it." STEEVENS.
STSEVENS. -She is not to be kiss'd falling ,-) The old copy reads, The is not to be fafting, &c. The necessary word kiss'd, was first added by M". Rowe. STEEVENS.
Sweet mouth.] This I take to be the same with what is