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here's my mother's breath up and down: now come I to my sister; mark the moan she makes : now the dog all this while sheds not a tear, nor speaks a word; but see how I lay the dust with my tears.
Enter PANTHINO. Pant. Launce, away, away, aboard; thy master is shipped, and thou art to post after with oars. What's the matter? why weep'st thou, man? Away, ass; you'll lose the tide, if you tarry any longer.
LAUNCE. It is no matter if the ty'd were lost" ; for it is the unkindest ty'd that ever any man ty'd.
Pant. What's the unkindest tide ?
Wood, for wild, or mad, frequently occurs in our old English writers. So, in Holland's translation of Pliny's Natural History, 1600, vol. ii. p. 72:
“ If the seed of that melon which runneth up in one stalke be red ed into powder and strewed, .... she will be so wood after the companie of a man.” Malone.
Launce is describing the melancholy parting between him and his family. In order to do this more methodically, he makes one of his shoes stand for his father, and the other for his mother. And when he has done taking leave of his father, he says, Now come I to my mother, turning to the shoe that is supposed to personate her. And in order to render the representation more perfect, he
expresses his wish that it could speak like a woman frantic with grief! There could be no doubt about the sense of the passage, had he said—“O that it could speak like a wood woman!” But he uses the feminine pronoun in speaking of the shoe, because it is supposed to represent a woman. M. Mason.
- if the Ty'd were lost;] This quibble, wretched as it is, might have been borrowed by Shakspeare from Lylly's Endymion, 1501:
Epi. You know it is said, the tide tarrieth for no man.- -Sam. True.- Epi. A monstrous lye: for I was ty'd two hours, and tarried for one to unlose me.”
The same play on words occurs in Chapman’s Andromeda Liberata, 1614:
“ And now came roaring to the tied the tide.” Steevens, This joke may boast of more antiquity than has yet been as, signed to it. It is in Heywood's Epigrams :
“ The tyde taryeth no man, but here to scan
LAUNCE. Why, he that's ty'd here; Crab, my dog.
Pant. Tut, man, I mean thou't lose the flood; and, in losing the flood, lose thy voyage; and, in losing thy voyage, lose thy master; and, in losing thy master, lose thy service; and, in losing thy service,-Why dost thou stop my mouth ?
LAUNCE. For fear thou should'st lose thy tongue.
Launce. Lose the tide, and the voyage, and the master, and the service :-And the tide . . Why, man, if the river were dry, I am able to fill it with my tears; if the wind were down, I could drive the boat with my sighs.
Pant. Come, come, away man; I was sent to call thee.
LAUNCE. Sir, call me what thou dar'st.
Milan. A Room in the DUKE's Palace.
Enter VALENTINE, Silvia, THURIO, and SPEED.
6 And the tide.] I have here followed a punctuation recommended by Mr. Steevens ; but have not followed him in arbitrarily omitting the word—and. He omitted it, I suppose, because the tide is first mentioned, and he therefore considered the copulative unnecessary:
But Shakspeare, when he repeats words already spoken, often departs from his original formula. Thus
SPEED. Not of you.
Si. What, angry, sir Thurio ? do you change colour ?
VAL. Give me leave, madam; he is a kind of cameleon.
Panthino says-“thou'lt lose the flood; and, in losing the flood, lose thy voyage,” &c. But Launce, quoting his words, says“ lose the tide.' There is therefore clearly no need of change; and of all changes omission is the most dangerous.
Not adverting to this usage, Mr. Pope, to make the two speeches conformable to each other, makes Launce say—“L the flood and the voyage,” &c. Malone.
how QUOTE you my folly?] To quote is to observe. So, in Hamlet :
“ I am sorry that with better head and judgment,
“ I had not quoted him.” Steevens. Valentine in his answer plays upon the word, which was pronounced as if written coat. So, in The Rape of Lucrece, 1594 :
the illiterate, that know not how 66 To cipher what is writ in learned books,
“ Will cote my loathsome trespass in my looks." In our poet's time words were thus frequently spelt by the ear.
Thu. That hath more mind to feed on your blood, than live in your air.
. VAL. You have said, sir. Thu. Ay, sir, and done too, for this time.
VAL. I know it well, sir; you always end ere you begin.
Sil. A fine volley of words, gentlemen, and quickly shot off.
VAL. 'Tis indeed, madam; we thank the giver. Sil. Who is that, servant ?
VAL. Yourself, sweet lady; for you gave the fire: sir Thurio borrows his wit from your ladyship’s looks, and spends what he borrows, kindly in your company
Thu. Sir, if you spend word for word with me, I shall make your wit bankrupt.
Val. I know it well, sir: you have an exchequer of words, and, I think, no other treasure to give your followers; for it appears by their bare liveries, that they live by your bare words.
Sil. No more, gentlemen, no more; here comes
VAL. My lord, I will be thankful
Duke. Know you Don Antonio, your country
8 Know you
“ The characters being Italians, not Spaniards,” Mr. Ritson proposes to omit Don, though we have had (as he acknowledges) Don Alphonso in a preceding scene; which shews decisively how very improper such an omission would be. For this incongruity the youthful poet must
VAL. Ay, my good lord, I know the gentleman To be of worth, and worthy estimation, And not without desert so well reputed'.
DUKE. Hath he not a son ?
VAL, Ay, my good lord; a son, that well deserves The honour and regard of such a father.
Duke. You know him well ?
VAL. I knew him, as myself; for from our infancy We have convers'd, and spent our hours together: And though myself have been an idle truant, Omitting the sweet benefit of time, To cloath mine age with angel-like perfection; Yet hath sir Proteus, for that's his name, Made use and fair advantage of his days; His years but young, but his experience old; His head unmellow'd, but his judgment ripe; And, in a word, (for far behind his worth Come all the praises that I now bestow,) He is complete in feature', and in mind, With all good grace to grace a gentleman.
DUKE. Beshrew me, sir, but, if he make this good, He is as worthy for an empress' love, As meet to be an emperor's counsellor. Well, sir; this gentleman is come to me, With commendation from great potentates; And here he means to spend his time a-while: I think, 'tis no unwelcome news to you.
9 And not without desert, &c.] And not dignified with so much reputation without proportionate merit. Johnson.
He is complete in FEATURE,] He has all the advantage which is derived from a handsome well formed person. Feature in the age of Shakspeare often signified both beauty of countenance, and elegance of person. See Bullokar's Expositor, 8vo. 1616 : “ Feature; handsomeness, comelinesse, beautie.” So, in K. Henry VI. First Part.
“ Her peerless feature, joined with her birth,
Approves her fit for none but for a king.” Again in K. Richard III. :
“ Cheated of feature by dissembling nature." Malone.