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Now will I charge you in the band of truth,
[Exit. Dia. For which live long to thank both heaven
and me! You may so in the end.-My mother told me just how he would woo, As if she sat in his heart; she says, all men Have the like oaths : he had sworn to marry me, When his wife's dead; therefore I'll lie with him, When I am buried. Since Frenchmen are so braid, Marry that will, I'll live * and die a maid ' :
* First folio, I live.
.3 Since Frenchmen are so BRAID,
Marry that will, I'll live and die a maid :) Braid signifies crafty or deceitful. So, in Greene's Never Too Late, 1616 :
“ Dian rose with all her maids,
• Blushing thus at love his braids." Chaucer uses the word in the same sense; but as the passage · where it occurs in his Troilus and Cressida is contested, it may be necessary to observe, that Bred is an Anglo-Saxon word, signifying fraus, astus. Again, in Thomas Drant's translation of Horace's Epistles, where its import is not very clear :
" Professing thee a friend, to plaie the ribbalde at a brade.”
In The Romaunt of The Rose, v. 1336, braid seems to mean forthwith, or, at a jerk. There is nothing to answer it in the French, except tantost.
In the ancient song of Lytyl Thanke, (MS. Cotton, Titus A. xxvi.) “at a brayd" undoubtedly signifies--at once, on a sudden, in the instant : “ But in come ffrankelyn at a brayd." STEEVENS.
Only, in this disguise, I think't no sin
The Florentine Camp.
Enter the two French Lords, and two or three
Soldiers. 1 LORD. You have not given him his mother's letter ?
2 Lord. I have delivered it an hour since: there is something in't that stings his nature; for, on the reading it, he changed almost into another man.
1 Lord*. He has much worthy blame laid upon
Braid may mean, as Mr. Boaden observes to me, fickle, apt to start away suddenly from their engagements. To braid, for to start, is found in Lord Buckhurst, and many of our old writers. Possibly braid may be a contraction for braided, i. e. twisted, by the same licence as hoist is put for hoisted in Hamlet, heat for heated in King John, and exasperate for exasperated in Macbeth ; and may resemble the metaphor which we meet with in King Lear, vol. x. p. 28 :
“ Time shall unfold what plaited cunning hides." Boswell.
“ Since Frenchmen are so braid." i. e. (says Mr. John Horne Tooke) bråyed, or pounded in a mortar ;-—at least, such I suppose is his meaning : for, after having proved by six examples, what no one ever questioned, that the common word to bray means to pound, he adds the following curious comment, for which surely his name, had he never written another word, deserves to be immortal :
“ The expression here (braid] alludes to this proverb : [Though thou should'st bray a fool in a mortar, &c. Prov. xxi. 20.] Diana does not confine herself merely to his craft or deceit ; but includes also the other bad qualities of which she supposes Bertram to be compounded, and which would not depart from him, though bray'd in a mortar.” The Diversions of Purley, ii. 50. Malone.
4 1 Lord.] The latter editors have with great liberality bestowed lordship upon these interlocutors, who, in the original edi. tion, are called, with more propriety, capt. E. and capt. G. It is
him, for shaking off so good a wife, and so sweet a lady.
2 Lord. Especially he hath incurred the everlasting displeasure of the king, who had even tuned his bounty to sing happiness to him. I will tell you a thing, but you shall let it dwell darkly with you.
1 LORD. When you have spoken it, 'tis dead, and I am the grave of it.
2 Lord. He hath perverted a young gentlewoman here in Florence, of a most chaste renown; and this night he fleshes his will in the spoil of her honour : he hath given her his monumental ring, and thinks himself made in the unchaste composition.
1 LORD. Now, God delay our rebellion ; as we are ourselves, what things are we !
2 LORD. Merely our own traitors. And as in the common course of all treasons, we still see them reveal themselves, till they attain to their abhorred
true that captain E. in a former scene is called lord E. but the subordination in which they seein to act, and the timorous manner in which they converse, determines them to be only captains. Yet as the latter readers of Shakspeare have been used to find them lords, I have not thought it worth while to degrade them in the margin. JOHNSON
These two personages may be supposed to be two young French lords serving in the Florentine camp, where they now appear in their military capacity. In the first scene, where the two French lords are introduced, taking leave of the king, they are called in the original edition, Lord E. and Lord G.
G. and E. were, I believe, only put to denote the players who performed these characters. In the list of actors prefixed to the first folio, I find the names of Gilburne and Ecclestone, to whom these insignificant parts probably fell. Perhaps, however, these performers first represented the French lords, and afterwards two captains in the Florentine army; and hence the confusion of the old copy. In the first scene of this Act, one of these captains is called throughout, 1 Lord E. The matter is of no great importance. Malone.
ends 5; so he, that in this action contrives against his own nobility, in his proper stream o'erflows himself.
1 LORD. Is it not meant damnable in us?, to be trumpeters of our unlawful intents ? We shall not then have his company to-night?
2 LORD. Not till after midnight; for he is dieted to his hour.
1 LORD. That approaches apace : I would gladly have him see his companys anatomized; that he might take a measure of his own judgments, wherein so curiously he had set this counterfeit '.
5 — Till they attain to their abhorred ends ;] This may mean
they are perpetually talking about the mischief they intend to do, till they have obtained an opportunity of doing it. STEVENS.
6 - in his proper stream o'erflows himself.] That is, “betrays his own secrets in his own talk.” The reply shows that this is the meaning. JOHNSON
7 Is it not MEANT DAMNABLE in us,] I once thought that we ought to read—“ Is it not most damnable ;” but no change is necessary. Adjectives are often used as adverbs by our author and his contemporaries. So, in The Winter's Tale :
" That did but show thee, of a fool, inconstant,
“ And damnable ungrateful.” Again, in Twelfth-Night: “ — and as thon drawest, swear horrible ." Again, in The Merry Wives of Windsor :
“ Let the supposed fairies pinch him sound.” Again, in Massinger's Very Woman:
" I'll beat thee damnable." Malone. Mr. M. Mason wishes to read-mean and damnable. Steevens.
8 — his coMPANY -] i. e. his companion. It is so used in King Henry V. MALONE.
9 — he might take a measure of his own judgments, 7 'This is a very just and moral reason. Bertram, by finding how erroneously he has judged, will be less confident, and more easily moved by admonition. Johnson.
I- wherein so curiously he had set this COUNTERFEIT.] Parolles is the person whom they are going to anatomize. Counterfeit, besides its ordinary signification, - [a person pretending to be what he is not,] signified also in our author's time a false coin,
2 LORD. We will not meddle with him till he come; for his presence must be the whip of the other.
1 Lord. In the mean time, what hear you of these wars ?
2 Lord. I hear, there is an overture of peace.
2 LORD. What will count Rousillon do then? will he travel higher, or return again into France ?
1 LORD. I perceive, by this demand, you are not altogether of his council.
2 Lord. Let it be forbid, sir! so should I be a great deal of his act.
1 LORD. Sir, his wife, some two months since, fled from his house ; her pretence is a pilgrimage to Saint Jaques le grand; which holy undertaking, with most austere sanctimony, she accomplished : and, there residing, the tenderness of her nature became as a prey to her, grief; in fine, made a groan of her last breath, and now she sings in heaven.
2 LORD. How is this justified ?
1 Lord. The stronger part of it by her own letters; which makes her story true, even to the point of her death : her death itself, which could not be her office to say, is come, was faithfully confirmed by the rector of the place.
2 LORD. Hath the count all this intelligence ?
1 Lord. Ay, and the particular confirmations, point from point, to the full arming of the verity.
2 Lord. I am heartily sorry, that he'll be glad of this.
1 LORD. How mightily, sometimes, we make us comforts of our losses !
2 LORD. And how mightily, some other times, we drown our gain in tears! The great dignity,
and a picture. The word set shows that it is here used in the first and the last of these senses. MALONE.