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Mar. I am sorry, madam; for the news I bring
Is heavy in my tongue. The king your fatherPrin. Dead, for my life!
Mar. Even so: my tale is told.
Biron, Worthies, away! The scene begins to cloud.
King. How fares your majesty ?
Prin. Boyet, prepare: I will away to-night.
In the converse of breath; your gentleness
713. day] days Warburton's note.
712-714. I have seen soldier] Armado's character receives in this speech a pathetic touch to his credit that has not been noticed. He has been publicly insulted, and his sinfulness has found him out; and he resolves to reform and do justice to himself and Jaquenetta as a soldier, a man of honour, should. See for the result his next speech, as evidence of his reformation (at line 871): "I am a votary: I have vowed to Jaquenetta to hold the plough for her sweet love three years.' This is what Armado refers to; there is no renewal here of the preceding paltry quarrel; his thoughts were as much deeper as they were more creditable. "The little hole of discretion" may be made clearer if we give Sense 2, New Eng. Dict., "judgment of others," to the word "discretion," a not uncommon early use.
713. seen the day little hole] An "old saw," equivalent to "I am no fool." Armado's application is, as might be
expected, somewhat stilted. Compare Heywood's Proverbs (ed. Sharman, p. 45), 1546: "I see day at this little hole. For this bood [bud] sheweth what fruite will follow "; and North, Doni's Philosophie (Jacobs' ed. p. 196), 1570: My L. Mayor that had many times put his finger in the fire before and that could spie day at a little hole"; and Gabriel Harvey, Letters (Grosart, i. 138), 1573-1580: "being on that can as soone as an other spye lighte at a little hole"; and Lyly, Euphues and his England (Arber, p. 318), 1580: "I can see day at a little hole, thou must halt cunningly if thou beguile a Cripple"; and as late as Ravenscroft, Canterbury Guests, v. 5 (1695), and Tom Browne's Works, ed. 1708, iii. 27 (Pleasant Letters, 1700). Frequent in the early seventeenth century writers.
724. converse of breath] intercourse of breath, conversation. Compare Othello, iv. ii. 5.
A heavy heart bears not a humble tongue.
Excuse me so, coming too short of thanks
King. The extreme parts of time extremely forms
And often, at his very loose, decides
That which long process could not arbitrate:
The holy suit which fain it would convince;
From what it purpos'd; since, to wail friends lost
Is not by much so wholesome-profitable
As to rejoice at friends but newly found.
Prin. I understand you not: my griefs are double.
726. not] but Collier MS. a humble] Qq, F 1; an humble, Ff 2, 3, 4; a nimble Theobald, Cambridge. 729. parts] past Theobald; haste Singer; dart Staunton conjecture. 732. process] process of time Ff 3, 4. 739. wholesome] holdsome Q 1. 741. double] Qq, Ff; deaf Capell; dull Collier MS., Dyce, Craig; hear dully Staunton conjecture.
726. humble] complimentary, civil. Compare Lucrece, 1093-1098: "True grief is fond and testy as a child," etc.; and see above, line 620, note. The inexcusable reading "nimble" has nothing to recommend it except ingenuity. Furness says of the Princess: out of her new-sad soul she has attempted to apologize for her conduct; but she breaks off abruptly . . . saying that sorrow is not humble, is too self-centred for apologies, which in themselves imply humility." He also calls attention to the "sadness the aspirated words convey, breathed forth like sighs." Compare the Irish proverb: "Many an ill word comes off an empty stomach."
729-732. The extreme . . . arbitrate] The necessity of a sudden decision settles all questions and hesitations. That very instant or extremity of time's limit, shapes everything to the one purpose, speedy resolve. "Extremely" has the sense of "to the extremity." Compare the King's "latest minute of the hour," below, line 776.
731. loose] A technical term for the
discharge of an arrow, hence critical moment (Schmidt). The term is used figuratively by Jonson in The Alchemist, ii. 1. See Puttenham, Arte of English Poesie, 1586-1589 (Arber, p. 289): "His [Cupid's] bent is sweete, his loose is somewhat soure, In joy begunne ends oft in wofull houre." And, again, p. 185, quoted by Dyce: "The Archers terme who is not said to finish the feate of his shot before he give the loose and deliver his arrow from his bow." Earlier, in Lyly's Sapho and Phao, v. i. (1584): "this arrow Phao be stricken withal; and cry softly to thyself in the very loose, Venus!"
741. double] excessive. If we take the word literally, which is inadvisable, the Princess's second grief would be either her coming departure from the King, whose intentions she hardly understands, or a mere courtesy. She gives the King an opening, which he takes. France's griefs were indeed double at this time, " 'fighting for and against her heir, Henry IV.," as Dowden says. See Comedy of Errors, III. ii. 125-127.
Biron. Honest plain words best pierce the ears of grief;
For your fair sakes have we neglected time,
Play'd foul play with our oaths. Your beauty, ladies, 745
Those heavenly eyes, that look into these faults,
742. ears] Ff 1, 2, Q 2; ear Q 1; cares Ff 3, 4. Coleridge conjecture, Knight; strange Capell et seq. becombd Q 1. 759. make] make them Pope.
749. strains] tendencies. 752. straying] Capell's emendation, strange, is generally accepted. In support of it, the Cambridge editors write : "In the Lover's Complaint (ed. 1609), 1. 303, 'strange' is spelt straing'; and in Lyly's Euphues (Arber, p. 113), 'straying' is a misprint for 'straunge." "The n may have been dropped for the mark of elision, which was often afterwards dropped in its turn. But compare Promos and Cassandra (Shakes. Lib. 1875, p. 228),
"O straying effectes of blinde affected Love, From wisdomes pathes, which doth astraye our wittes," etc. Halliwell quoted the first line here, with the simple remark that "straying was the same misprint for " strange." The context shows it is not a misprint, and invalidates the whole argument in favour of Capell's alteration. Shake
752. straying] Qq, Ff; stray 757. misbecom'd] mis
speare has expressions many times from Promos and Cassandra. See my edition of Measure for Measure, Appendix. No doubt straying should be pronounced as a monosyllable. Compare Lyly's Woman in the Moone, 11. i. (circa 1580): "But well I see that every time thou strayest, Thy lust lookes for strumpet stars below" (to Jupiter). The context is again conclusive.
753, 754. subjects kind of antithesis the Euphuists delighted in. "You shall not be as objects of warre, but as subjects to Alexander" (Lyly's Campaspe, 1. i. ).
753. eye doth roll] Compare A Midsummer-Night's Dream, v. i. 14.
755. party-coated] in motley, like a fool. See note at "patch," Iv. ii. 30. 759. Suggested] tempted. See Othello, 11. iii. 364 (Arden edition).
And even that falsehood, in itself a sin,
Have we not been; and therefore met your loves
In their own fashion, like a merriment.
Dum. Our letters, madam, show'd much more than jest.
We did not quòte them so.
Grant us your loves.
767. the] omitted Q 1.
771. this in our] Hanmer; this our Q 1; these are our Ff, Q2; these are your Tyrwhitt conjecture. 772. been] seen Tyrwhitt conjecture. 775. quote] Hanmer, etc.; cote, coat, coate old editions.
787. their] Ff, Q 2; the Q 1, Cambridge.
770. bombast] stuffing of wool for padding clothes. See Othello, I. i. 13 (Arden ed. p. 4). 778. world-without-end] Compare Sonnet lvii. Nashe uses the expression in Foure Letters Confuted (Grosart, ii. 275), 1592-1593: “When I parted with thy brother in Pierce Pennilesse I left him to be tormented world without ende of our Poets and writers about London." Occurs in the Te Deum and in Isaiah xlv. 17, where the Wyclif reading is "everlasting."
780. dear] grievous, heartfelt. But no doubt the Princess implies the sense of acceptable, forgivable.
786. signs] of the zodiac. This expression for the duration of a year occurs again in Measure for Measure, 1. ii. 172. Compare Gesta Grayorum, 1594 (Nichols' Progresses, iii. 268): "In his crest, his government for the twelve days of Christmas was sembled to the sun's passing the twelve signs."
Change not your offer made in heat of blood;
If frosts and fasts, hard lodging and thin weeds,
But that it bear this trial and last love;
Then, at the expiration of the year,
Come challenge me, challenge me by these deserts,
I will be thine; and, till that instant, shut
For the remembrance of my father's death.
King. If this, or more than this, I would deny,
To flatter up these powers of mine with rest,
Biron. And what to me, my love? and what to me?
796. instant] Ff, Q 2; instance Q 1. 801. intitled] Ff 1, 2, 3; intiled Q 1; intituled F 4. 803. flatter] fetter Hanmer (Warburton). 805. Hence ever] Hence herrite Q 1. 806-811. Included in brackets by Theobald and Globe; omitted by Hanmer and Dyce. 807. rack'd] rank Rowe.
790. weeds] garments. Greene commonly applies the term to a palmer's wear. This is the meaning accepted by Schmidt, Furness, etc. But "thin weeds" may perhaps refer to the preceding fasts, with the sense of weak or unnourishing herbs and roots. Compare a passage from Morte d'Arthur, quoted (from Globe edition, p. 379) on p. 13, Merry Wives of Windsor (Arden edition).
801. intitled] having a claim (a legal sense).
803. flatter up... with rest] indulge in idleness and freedom from cares. If I should refuse you anything for the sake of my selfish comfort. "Up" often occurs after active verbs, which it strengthens with a sense of complete "Flatter up" means pamper, coddle (New Eng. Dict.). A good deal of twisting has been done to the meaning here by several commentators (Heath, Capell, Johnson, Halliwell). 806-811. And what . . . sick] Rosa
line's next speech makes these lines redundant. See note at iv. iii. 296-301 above, where the Cambridge editors' note is referred to upon a similar Occurrence. Their conclusion is: "As there can be no doubt that the whole came from Shakespeare's pen we do not venture to cancel a portion of it." We would "lose no drop of the immortal man," as Garrick contended.
807. rack'd] that is, extended "to the top of their bent " (Malone). Furness says, very wisely: "Rowe's emendation rank belongs to the very worst class. In its plausibility, followed as it is so closely by attaint,' lurks the poison. Shakespeare's own word is rack'd, far stronger than rank the durior lectio must be unflinchingly preserved." Furness quotes here some quaint alterations by Daniel (p. 29), apparently seriously advanced, in order to make Rosaline's speech "fine tinkling rhyme."