Imágenes de páginas

Clo. Y'are fhallow, Madam, in great friends; for the knaves come to do that for me, which I am weary of; he, that eares my land, spares my team, and gives me leave to inn the crop; If I be his cuckold, he's my drudge; he, that comforts my wife, is the cherisher of my flesh and blood; he, that cherisheth my flesh and blood, loves my flesh and blood; he, that loves my flesh and blood, is my friend: ergo, he that kiffes my wife, is my friend. If men 'could be contented to be what they are, there were no fear in marriage; for young Charbon the puritan, and old Poyfam the papist, howfoe'er their hearts fever'd in religion, their heads are both one; they may joul horns together, like any deer i' th' herd.

Count. Wilt thou ever be a foul-mouth'd and calumnious knave?


Clo. A prophet, I, Madam; and I speak the truth the next way ;

"For I the ballad will repeat, which men full true "fhall find ;

"Your marriage comes by deftiny, your cuckow ❝fings by kind. Count. Get you gone, Sir, I'll talk with you more


[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Stew. May it please you, Madam, that he bid Helen come to you; of her I am to speak.

Count. Sirrah, tell my gentlewoman I would speak with her; Helen I mean.


Clo. "Was this fair face the cause, quoth fhe,


' Why the Grecians facked Troy? "Fond done, fond done;-for Paris, he, "Was this King Priam's joy. "With that she fighed as fhe stood, "And gave this fentence then ; "Among nine bad if one be good, "There's yet one good in ten 8.



Count. What, one good in ten? You corrupt the ong, Sirrah.

Clo. One good woman in ten, Madam, which is a purifying o' th' fong: 'would, God would ferve the world fo all the year! we'd find no fault with the tythewoman, if I were the Parfon; one in ten, quoth a'! an we might have a good woman born but every blazing ftar, or at an earthquake, 'twould mend the lot

Was this fair face the cause,
quoth fhe,

Why the Grecians facked Troy?
Fond done, fond done ;
Was this King Priam's joy.]
This is a Stanza of an old bal-
lad, out of which a word or two
are dropt, equally neceffary to
make the fenfe and the alternate
rhime. For it was not Helen,
who was King Priam's joy, but
Paris. The third line therefore
fhould be read thus,

Fond done, fond done, FOR
Among nine bad if one be
There's yet one good in ten.]


This fecond ftanza of the ballad is turned to a joke upon the women: a confeffion, that there was one good in ten. Whereon the Countess observed, that he corrupted the fong; which shews the fong faid, Nine good in ten.

If one be bad among ft nine good, There's but one bad in ten. This relates to the ten fons of Priam, who all behaved themfelves well but Paris. For tho' he once had fifty, yet at this un. fortunate period of his reign he had but ten; Agathon, Antiphon, Deiphobus, Dius, Hector, Helenus, Hippothous, Pemmon, Paris, and Polites. WARBURTON.


tery well; a man may draw his heart out, ere he pluck one.

Count. You'll be gone, Sir knave, and do as I command you?

Clo. That man fhould be at woman's command, and yet no hurt done !-tho' honesty be no puritan, yet it will do no hurt; it will wear the furplice of humility over the black gown of a big heart I am going, forfooth. The bufinefs is for Helen to come hither. [Exit.

[ocr errors]

Count. Well, now. Stew. I know, Madam, you love your gentlewoman intirely.

Count. Faith, I do; her father bequeath'd her to me; and she herself, without other advantages, may lawfully make title to as much love as fhe finds; there is more owing her, than is paid; and more fhall be paid her, than fhe'll demand.

Stew. Madam, I was very late more near her, than, I think, fhe wifh'd me; alone fhe was, and did communicate to herself her own words to her own ears; fhe thought, I dare vow for her, they touch'd not any stranger sense. Her matter was, fhe lov'd your son ;

Clo. That man, &c.] The clown's anfwer is obfcure. His lady bids him do as he is commanded. He anfwers with the licentious petulance of his character, that if a man does as a woman commands, it is likely be will do amifs; that he does not amifs, being at the command of a woman, he makes the effect, not of his Lady's goodness, but of his own bonefty, which, though not very nice or puritanical, will do no burt; and will not only do no hurt, but, unlike the Puritans, will comply with the in

junctions of fuperiours, and wear the furplice of humility over the black gown of a big heart; will obey commands, though not much pleafed with a state of fubjection.

Here is an allufion, violently enough forced in, to fatirife the obftinacy with which the Puritans refused the use of the ecclefiaftical habits, which was, arthat time, one principal cause of the breach of union, and, perhaps, to infinuate, that the modest purity of the furplice was fometimes a cover for pride.



Fortune, the faid, was no Goddefs, that had put fuch difference betwixt their two eftates; Love, no God, that would not extend his might, only where qualities were level; Diana, no Queen of Virgins, that would fuffer her poor Knight to be surpriz'd without rescue in the first affault, or ranfom afterward. This fhe deliver'd in the most bitter touch of forrow, that e'er I heard a virgin exclaim in; which I held it my duty speedily to acquaint you withal; fithence, in the lofs that may happen, it concerns you fomething to know it.

Count. You have difcharg'd this honeftly, keep it to yourself; many likelihoods inform'd me of this before, which hung fo tottering in the balance, that I could neither believe nor mifdoubt; pray you, leave me; ftall this in your bofom, and I thank you for your honeft care; I will fpeak with you further anon. [Exit Steward.

[blocks in formation]


Enter Helena.

Count. Ev'n fo it was with me, when I was young; If we are nature's, these are ours: this thorn Doth to our rofe of youth rightly belong;

Our blood to us, this to our blood, is born,
It is the fhow and feal of nature's truth,
Where love's strong paffion is imprest in youth;
By our remembrances of days foregone,


3 Such were our faults, O! then we thought them none. Her eye is fick on't; I obferve her now.

Hel. What is your pleafúre, Madam?

Count Helen, you know, I am a mother to you.
Hel. Mine honourable mistress.

[ocr errors]

Count. Nay, a mother;

Why not a mother? when I faid a mother,
Methought, you saw a ferpent; what's in mother,
That you start at it? I fay, I'm your mother
And put you
put you in the catalogue of thofe,
That were enwombed mine; 'tis often feen,
Adoption strives with nature; and choice breeds
A native flip to us from foreign feeds.
You ne'er oppreft me with a mother's groan,
Yet I exprefs to you a mother's care:
God's mercy! maiden, do's it curd thy blood,
To fay, I am thy mother? what's the matter,
That this diftemper'd meffenger of wet,
The many-colour'd Iris, rounds thine eyes ?
Why, that you are my daughter?

2 By our remembrances.] That is, according to our recollection. So we say, he is old by my reckoning.

3 Such were our faults, or then we thought them none. We should read,


[ocr errors]

-O! then we thought them none. A motive for pity and pardon; agreeable to fact, and in the indulgent character of the speaker. This was fent to the Oxford Editor, and he altered O, to tho". WARBURTON.

« AnteriorContinuar »