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Ros. What's your dark meaning, mouse', of this light
word ? Kath. A light condition in a beauty dark. Ros. We need more light to find your meaning out.
Kath. You'll mar the light by taking it in snuff';
Ros. Look, what you do, you do it still i' the dark.
Ros. Great reason; for, past cure is still past care 6.
Prin. Well bandied both ; a set of wit well play'd.
I would you knew :
Prin. Any thing like?
Ros. ’Ware pencils! How? let me not die your debtor,
Prin. A pox of that jest ! and I beshrew all shrows®! But, Katharine, what was sent to you from fair Dumaine?
- mouse,] This was a term of endearment formerly ; and is applied by Edward Alleyn to his wife in 1593. Vide his Memoirs, printed by the Shakespeare Society, 8vo, 1841, p. 25, 26,
– for, past cure is still past CARE.] The old editions read “ past care is still past cure :” but the adage is, “ things past cure are past care." - were not so full of O's! “ Not so " omitted in the folio.
and I BESHREW all shrows !] The 4to, 1598, has “ and I beshrow all shrows ;" but the folio has beshrew : formerly, shrew was often spelt “ shrow," especially if the word were wanted for a rhyme. We may gather from what is said, that Katherine was marked with the small-pox ; and the Princess, objecting to personalities, interposes. There is no sufficient ground whatever for taking this line from the Princess, as has been done by all the modern editors.
Kath. Madam, this glove.
Did he not send you twain?
Mar. This, and these pearls to me sent Longaville: The letter is too long by half a mile. Prin. I think no less. Dost thou not wish in
heart, The chain were longer, and the letter short? Mar. Ay, or I would these hands might never
part. Prin. We are wise girls to mock our lovers so.
Ros. They are worse fools to purchase mocking so. That same Biron I'll torture ere I
go. O! that I knew he were but in by the week! How I would make him fawn, and beg, and seek, And wait the season, and observe the times, And spend his prodigal wits in bootless rhymes, And shape his service wholly to my behests 10, And make him proud to make me proud that jests! So portent-like would I o'ersway his state", That he should be my fool, and I his fate.
9 — in by the week !) i. e. For a certainty, and for a fixed period. The expression was common. See Webster's Works, by Dyce, i. 54.
10 — wholly to my benests,] This judicious alteration was made by the editor of the folio, 1632 ; in that of 1623, as well as in the 4to. of 1598, derice is printed for“ behests,” which last suits the sense, and is necessary for the rhyme prevailing in this part of the scene. In the next line, the folio, 1632, reads “ vith jests ;" but as the change is not required, it is not adopted.
11 SO PORTENT-like would I o'crsway his state,] The 4to, 1598, has “perttaunt like," and the folio, 1623,“ pertaunt like,” which is exactly followed by the folio, 1632, though the editor had made two changes in the two preceding lines. It may be questioned whether “portent-like” be the true reading. Capell prints pageant-like, which cannot well be right.
Prin. None are so surely caught, when they are
Ros. The blood of youth burns not with such excess, As gravity's revolt to wantonness'.
Mar. Folly in fools bears not so strong a note,
Prin. Here comes Boyet, and mirth is in his face?. Boyet. 0! I am stabb’d with laughter? Where's her
Prepare, madam, prepare !
Prin. Saint Dennis to saint Cupid! What are they, That charge their breath against us? say, scout, say.
Boyet. Under the cool shade of a sycamore,
1 As gravity's revolt to WANTONNESS.] The reading of the 4to. and of the first folio here is wantons be: the emendation is that of the second folio.
- and mirth is in his face.] “Is,” from the 4to : omitted in the folios.
- Stabb’d with laughter.] An awkward and unusual expression : the 4to. reads stable. VOL. II.
And overheard what you shall overhear;
Prin. But what, but what, come they to visit us?
Boyet. They do, they do; and are apparesd thus, – Like Muscovites, or Russians : as I guess, Their purpose is, to parle, to court, and dance; And every one his love-feat will advance Unto his several mistress; which they'll know By favours several which they did bestow.
Prin. And will they so? the gallants shall be task’d; For, ladies, we will every one be mask'd, And not a man of them shall have the
grace, Despite of suit, to see a lady's face.Ilold Rosaline; this favour thou shalt wear,
And then the king will court thee for his dear :
Prin. The effect of my intent is, to cross theirs :
Ros. But shall we dance, if they desire us to't?
Prin. No; to the death, we will not move a foot: Nor to their penn'd speech render we no grace; But, while 'tis spoke, each turn away her face. Boyet. Why, that contempt will kill the speaker's
Prin. Therefore I do it; and, I make no doubt,
[Trumpets sound within Boyet. The trumpet sounds: be mask'd, the maskers
[The Ladies mask.
* And change you favours, too ;] So the 4to : the folio, your.
- but in MOCKERY, merriment ;] The folio reads "mocking merriment."
will kill the speaker's heart,] The first folio reads keepers for “ speakers," as it correctly stands in the 4to, 1598. The blunder is not corrected in the second folio, which in the preceding line has “her,” misprinted his in the previous editions. In the second line of the next speech of the princess, the second folio also properly corrects e'er into “ ne'er.”