Imágenes de páginas

Bawd. Marry, hang her up for ever!

Boult. The nobleman would have dealt with her like a noblemen, and she sent him away as cold as a snowball; saying his prayers too.

Bawd. Boult, take her away; use her at thy pleasure: crack the glass of her virginity, and make the rest malleable.3

Boult. An if she were a thornier piece of ground than she is, she shall be ploughed.4

Mar. Hark, hark, you gods!

Bawd. She conjures: away with her. Would she haď never come within my doors! Marry hang you! She's born to undo us. Will you not go the way of womenkind? Marry come up, my dish of chastity with rosemary and bays !5 [Exit Bawd. Boult. Come, mistress; come your way with me. Mar. Whither would you have me?

Boult. To take from you the jewel you hold so dear.

the gods. So, in Measure for Measure, the Duke says to the Bawd:


"Canst thou believe thy living is a life,
"So stinkingly depending?

"Clown. Indeed, it does stink in some sort, sir."

crack the glass of her virginity, and make tht rest malleable.] So, in the Gesta Romanorum: "Altera die, adhuc eam virginem audiens, iratus [leno] vocans villicum puellarum, dixit, duc eam ad te, et frange nodum virginitatis ejus." Malone.

Here is perhaps some allusion to a fact recorded by Dion Cas sius and by Pliny, B. XXXVI, ch. xxvi, but more circumstantially by Petronius. See his Satyricon, Variorum edit. p. 189. A skilful workman who had discovered the art of making glass malleable, carried a specimen of it to Tiberius, who asked him if he alone was in possession of the secret. He replied in the affirmative; on which the tyrant ordered his head to be struck off immediately, lest his invention should have proved injurious to the workers in gold, silver, and other metals. The same story, however, is told in the Gesta Romanorum, chapter 44. Steevens


she shall be ploughed.] So, in Antony and Cleopatra : "She made great Cæsar lay his sword to bed,

"He plough'd her, and she cropp'd. Steevens..

my dish of chastity with rosemary and bays !] Anciently many dishes were served up with this garniture, during the sea-. son of Christmas. The Bawd means to call her a piece of ostentatious virtue. Steevens.

Mar. Pr'ythee, tell me one thing first.

Boult. Come now, your one thing.

Mar. What canst thou wish thine enemy to be?

Boult. Why, I could wish him to be my master, or rather, my mistress.

Mar. Neither of these are yet so bad as thou art.?
Since they do better thee in their command.
Thou hold'st a place, for which the pained'st fiend
Of hell would not in reputation change:

Thou 'rt the damn'd door keeper to every coystrel
That hither comes enquiring for his tib;8

To the cholerick fisting of each rogue thy ear
Is liable; thy very food is such

As hath been belch'd on by infected lungs.

Boult. What would you have me do? go to the wars,

6 Mar. Pr'ythee, tell me one thing first.

Boult. Come now, your one thing;] So, in King Henry IV, Part II:

"P. Hen. Shall I tell thee one thing, Poins?
"Poins. Go to, I stand the push of your one thing."


7 Neither of these are yet so bad as thou art,] The word yet was inserted by Mr. Rowe for the sake of the metre. Malone.


to every coystrel

That hither comes enquiring for his tib;] To every mean or drunken fellow that comes to enquire for a girl. Coysterel is pro perly a wine-vessel. Tib is, I think, a contraction of Tabitha. It was formerly a cant name for a strumpet. See Vol. V, p. 208, n. 3. Malone.

Tib was a common nick-name for a wanton. So, in Nosce tes (Humours) by Richard Turner, 1607 :


They wondred much at Tom, but at Tib more,

"Faith (quoth the vicar) 'tis an exlent whore."

Again, in Churchyard's Choise:

"Tushe, that's a toye, let Tomkin talke of Tibb." Coystrel means a paltry fellow. This word seems to be corrupted from kestrel, a bastard kind of hawk. It occurs in Shakpeare's Twelfth Night, Act I, sc.iii. Spenser, Bacon, and Dryden, also mention the kestrel; and Kustril, Ben Jonson's angry boy in The Alchemist, is only a variation of the same term. The word coystrel is short, was employed to characterise any worthless or ridiculous being. Steevens.


As hath been belch'd on by infected lungs.] Marina, who is designed for a character of juvenile innocence, appears much too knowing in the impurities of a brothel; nor are her expres sions more chastised than her ideas. Steevens.

would you? ? where a man may serve seven years for the loss of a leg, and have not money enough in the end to buy him a wooden one?

Mar. Do any thing but this thou doest. Empty
Old receptacles, common sewers, of filth;
Serve by indenture to the common hangman ;
Any of these ways are better yet than this:1
For that which thou professest, a baboon,
Could he but speak, would own a name too dear.
O that the gods would safely from this place
Deliver me! Here, here is gold for thee.
If that thy master would gain ought by me,
Proclaim that I can sing, weave, sew, and dance,
With other virtues, which I'll keep from boast;
And I will undertake all these to teach.

I doubt not but this populous city will
Yield many scholars.3

Boult. But can you teach all this you speak of?
Mar. Prove that I cannot, take me home again,
And prostitute me to the basest groom

1 Any of these ways are better yet than this:] The old copies


Any of these ways are yet better than this. For this slight transposition I am accountable.


2 For that which thou professest, a baboon,
Could he but speak, would own a name too dear.] The old


For what thou professest, a baboon, could he speak,
Would own a name too dear.


That is, a baboon would think his tribe dishonoured by such a profession. Iago says, "Ere I would drown myself, &c. I would change my humanity with a baboon.”

Marina's wish for deliverance from her shameful situation, has been already expressed in almost the same words :


O that the good gods

"Would set me free from this unhallow'd place!"

In this speech I have made some trifling regulations. Steevens.

3 I doubt not but this populous city will

Yield many scholars.] The scheme by which Marina effects her relcase from the brothel, the poet adopted from the Confessio Amantis. Malone.

All this is likewise found in Twine's translation.


And prostitute me to the basest groom -] So, in King Henry V, "Like a base pandar, hold the chamber-door,

"Whilst by a slave, no gentler than my dog,

"His fairest daughter is contaminate." Steevens.

That doth frequent your house.

Boult. Well, I will see what I can do for thee: if I can place thee, I will.

Mar. But, amongst honest women?

Boult. 'Faith, my acquaintance lies little amongst them. But since my master and mistress have bought you, there's no going but by their consent; therefore I will make them acquainted with your purpose, and I doubt not but I shall find them tractable enough.5 Come, I'll do for thee what I can; come your ways.




Enter GoWER.

Gow. Marina thus the brothel scapes, and chances

Into an honest house, our story says.

She sings like one immortal, and she dances
As goddess-like to her admired lays:5

Deep clerks she dumbs; and with her neeld

Nature's own shape, of bud, bird, branch, or berry;.
That even her art sisters the natural roses;9
Her inkle, silk, twin with the rubied cherry:1

but I shall find them tractable enough.] So, in Twine's translation: 66 he brake with the bawd his master touching that matter, who, hearing of her skill, and hoping for the gaine, was easily persuaded." Steevens.

[blocks in formation]

As goddess-like to her admired lays:] This compound epithet (which is not common) is again used by our author in Cym beline:


and undergoes,

"More goddess-like than wife-like, such assaults
"As would take in some virtue."

Again, in The Winter's Tale:



most goddess-like prank'd up." Steevens.

Deep clerks she dumbs;] This uncommon verb is also found in Antony and Cleopatra :

[ocr errors]

that what I would have spoke

"Was beastly dumb'd by him." Steevens.

So, in A Midsummer Night's Dream:

"Where I have come, great clerks have purposed

That pupils lacks she none of noble race,
Who pour their bounty on her; and her gain
She gives the cursed bawd. Here we her place;2
And to her father turn our thoughts again,

Where we left him, on the sea. We there him

Whence, driven before the winds, he is arriv'd
Here where his daughter dwells; and on this coast
Suppose him now at anchor. The city striv'd

"To greet me with premeditated welcomes;
"Where I have seen them shiver and look pale,
"Make periods in the midst of sentences,
"Throttle their practis'd accents in their fears,
"And, in conclusion, dumbly have broke off,
"Not paying me a welcome."

These passages are compared only on account of the similarity of expression, the sentiments being very different. Theseus confounds those who address him, by his superior dignity; Marina silences the learned persons with whom she converses, by her literary superiority. Malone.



and with her neeld composes ] Neeld for needle. So, in the translation of Lucan's Pharsalia, by Sir A. Gorges, 1614: Like pricking neelds, or points of swords." Malone. 9 That even her art sisters the natural roses;] I have not met with this word in any other writer. It is again used by our author in A Lover's Complaint, 1609:

"From off a hill, whose concave womb reworded
"A plaintful story from a sist❜ring vale

[ocr errors]


1 Her inkle, silk, twin with the rubied cherry:] Inkle is a species of tape. It is mentioned in Love's Labour's Lost, and in The Winter's Tale. All the copies read, I think, corruptly, twine with the rubied cherry. The word which I have substituted is used by Shakspeare in Othello:

"Though he had twinn'd with me, both at a birth, Again, in Coriolanus:

[ocr errors]

who twin as it were in love." Malone. Again, more appositely, in The Two Noble Kinsmen, by Fletcher: "Her twinning cherries shall their sweetness fall

[ocr errors]

Upon thy tasteful lips."

Inkle, however, as I am informed, anciently signified a particular kind of crewel or worsted with which ladies worked flowers, &c. It will not easily be discovered how Marina could work such resemblances of nature with tape. Steevens.


Here we her place ;] So, the first quarto. The other copies read,-Leave we her place. Malone.

3 Where we left him, on the sea. We there him lost;] The first

« AnteriorContinuar »