Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Mop. I have done. Come, you promised me a tawdry lace 37, and a pair of sweet gloves 38.

Clo. Have I not told thee, how I was cozened by the way, and lost all my money?

Aut. And, indeed, sir, there are cozeners abroad: therefore it behoves men to be wary.

Clo. Fear not thou, man, thou shalt lose nothing here.

Aut. I hope so, sir; for I have about me many parcels of charge.

Clo. What hast here? ballads? Mop. 'Pray now, buy some: I love a ballad in print, a’-life; for then we are sure they are true.

Aut. Here's one to a very doleful tune, How a usurer's wife was brought to bed of twenty moneybags at a burden; and how she longed to eat adders' heads, and toads carbonadoed.

Mop. Is it true, think you?

37 A tawdry lace was a sort of necklace worn by country wenches; so named after St. Audrey (Ethelreda) who is said. to have died of a swelling in her throat, which she considered as a particular judgment, for having been in her youth much addicted to wearing fine necklaces; or it probably implies that they were bought at the fair of St. Audrey, where gay toys of all sorts were sold. This fair was held in the Isle of Ely on the Saint's day, the 17th of October; Harpsfield, who tells the story of the saint, describes the necklace :-'Solent Angliæ nostræ mulieres torquem quendam, extenui et subtili sericâ confectum, collo gestare quam Ethelredæ torquem appellamus (tawdry lace) forsan in ejus quod diximus memoriam.'-Hist. Eccles. Angl. p. 86. So in The Faithful Shepherdess:

“The primrose chaplet, tawdry lace, and ring.' Spenser in his Shepherd's Kalendar mentions it as an ornament for the waist:

• And gird your waste For more fineness, with a tawdrie lace.' Tawdries is used sometimes for necklaces in general.

38 Sweet, or perfumed gloves, are often mentioned by Shakspeare, they were very much esteemed, and a frequent present in the poet's time.

Aut. Very true; and but a month old.
Dor. Bless me from marrying a usurer!

Aut. Here's the midwife's name to't, one mistress Taleporter; and five or six honest wives' that were present: Why should I carry lies abroad?

Mop. 'Pray you now, buy it.

Clo. Come on, lay it by: And let's first see more ballads; we'll buy the other things anon.

Aut. Here's another ballad, of a fish, that appeared upon the coast, on Wednesday the fourscore of April, forty thousand fathom above water, and sung this ballad against the hard hearts of maids: it was thought, she was a woman, and was turned into a cold fish, for she would not exchange flesh with one that loved her: The ballad is very pitiful, and as true 39.

Dor. Is it true, think you?

Aut. Five justices' hands at it; and witnesses, more than my pack will hold.

Clo. Lay it by too: Another.
Aut. This is a merry ballad; but a very pretty one.
Mop. Let's have some merry ones.

Aut. Why, this is a passing merry one; and goes to the tune of, Two maids wooing a man: there's scarce a maid westward, but she sings it; 'tis in request, I

you. Mop. We can both sing it; if thou'lt bear a part, thou shalt hear; 'tis in three parts.

Dor. We had the tune on't a month ago.

Aut. I can bear my part; you must know, 'tis my occupation : have at it with you.

can tell

39 All extraordinary events were then turned into ballads. In 1604 was entered on the Stationers' books—A strange report of a monstrous fish that appeared in the form of a woman from · her waist upward. To this it is highly probable that Shak

speare alludes.

SONG.
A. Get you hence, for I must go;
Where, it fits not you to know.

D. Whither? M. 0, whither? D. Whither?
M. It becomes thy oath full well,
Thou to me thy secrets tell:
D. Me too, let me go

thither.
M. Or thou go'st to the grange, or mill:
D. If to either, thou dost ill.

A. Neither. D. What, neither? A. Neither.
D. Thou hast sworn my love to be:
M. Thou hast sworn it more to me:

Then, whither go'st? say, whither? Clo. We'll have this song out anon by ourselves: My father and the gentlemen are in sad 40 talk, and we'll not trouble them: Come, bring away thy pack after me.

Wenches, I'll buy for you both :-Pedler, let's have the first choice.—Follow me, girls. Aut. And

you
shall
pay

well for 'em. [Aside. Will you buy any tape,

Or lace for your cape,
My dainty duck, my dear-a?

Any silk, any thread,

Any toys for your head,
Of the new’st, and fin'st, fin'st wear-a?

Come to the pedler ;

Money's a medler,
That doth utter 41 all men's ware-a.

[Exeunt Clown, AUT. DORC. and MOPSA.

Enter a Seryant. Serv. Master, there is three carters, three shepherds, three neat-herds, three swine-herds, that have

40 i. e. serious.
41 • A sale or utterance of ware. Exactus.'- Baret.
VOL. IV.

I

made themselves all men of hair 42; they call themselves saltiers 43: and they have a dance which the wenches say is a gallimaufry of gambols, because they are not in't; but they themselves are o’the mind, (if it be not too rough for some, that know little but bowling), it will please plentifully.

Shep. Away! we'll none on’t; here has been too much homely foolery already :-1 know, sir, we weary you.

Pol. You weary those that refresh us: Pray, let's see these four threes of herdsmen.

Serv. One three of them, by their own report, sir, hath danced before the king; and not the worst of the three, but jumps twelve foot and a half by the squire 44

Shep. Leave your prating; since these good men are pleased, let them come in; but quickly now.

Serv. Why, they stay at door, sir. [Erit. Re-enter Servant, with twelve Rusticks habited like

Satyrs. They dance, and then exeunt. Pol. O, father, you'll know more of that here

after 45.Is it not too far gone !'Tis time to part them.

[ocr errors]

42 It is most probable that they were dressed in goat-skins. A dance of satyrs was no unusual entertainment in Shakspeare's time, or even at an earlier period. A very curious relation of a disguising or mummery of this kind, which had like to have proved fatal to some of the actors in it, is related by Froissart as occurring in the court of France in 1392. The reader may also consult Melvil's Memoirs, p. 152, ed. 1725, or the late edition of Shakspeare, by Mr. Boswell, vol. xiv. p. 371. Mr. Douce has given a song for four voices from Ravenscroft's collection, called The Satyres Daunce. Antimasques,' says Lord Bacon, are usually composed of satyrs, baboons, antiques, beasts, &c.'—Essay 37.

44 Foot rule, esquierre, Fr. 45 This is an answer to something which the shepherd is supposed to have said to Polixenes during the dance.

43 Satyrs.

was

young,

He's simple, and tells much. [Aside.]-How now,

fair shepherd ?
Your heart is full of something, that does take
Your mind from feasting. Sooth, when I
And handed love, as you do, I was wont
To load my she with knacks: I would have ransack'd
The pedler's silken treasury, and have pour'd it
To her acceptance; you have let him go,
And nothing marted to with him: if your lass
Interpretation should abuse; and call this
Your lack of love, or bounty: you were straited 47
For a reply, at least, if you make a care
Of happy holding her.
Flo.

Old sir, I know
She prizes not such trifles as these are:
The gifts, she looks from me, are pack’d and lock'd
Up in my heart; which I have given already,
But not deliver’d.-0, hear me breathe

my

life
Before this ancient sir, who, it should seem,
Hath sometime lov’d: I take thy hand; this hand,
As soft as dove's down, and as white as it;
Or Ethiopian's tooth, or the fann'd snow,
That's bolted 48 by the northern blasts twice o'er.

Pol. What follows this?
How prettily the young swain seems to wash
The hand, was fair before!-I have put you out :-
But to your protestation; let me hear
What you profess.
Flo.

Do, and be witness to’t.
Pol. And this my neighbour too?
46 Bought, trafficked. 47 Straitened, put to difficulties.

48 That is sifted. This is a beautiful image, which the poet has repeated with a little variation in A Midsummer Night's Dream :

That pure congealed white, high Taurus’ snow
Fann'd by the eastern winds, turns to a crow
When thou hold'st ap thy hand.'

!!

« AnteriorContinuar »