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MAR. Are you a woman?
BAWD. What would you have me be, an I be not a woman ?
MAR. An honeft woman, or not a woman.
BAWD. Marry, whip thee, gosling: I think I shall have something to do with you. Come, you are a young foolish fapling, and must be bowed as I would have you.
MAR. The gods defend me!
BAWD. If it please the gods to defend you by men, then men muft comfort you, men muft feed you, men muft ftir you up.-Boult's returned.
Now, fir, haft thou cried her through the market?
BOULT. I have cried her almoft to the number of her hairs; I have drawn her picture with my voice.3
BAWD. And I pr'ythee tell me, how doft thou
3 Now, fir, haft thou cried her through the market?
I have drawn her picture with my voice.] So, in The Wife for a Month, [by Fletcher, Vol. V. p. 285, edit. 1778,] Evanthe fays,
"I'd rather thou had'ft deliver'd me to pirates,
Betray'd me to uncurable diseases,
Hung up her picture in a market-place,
"And fold her to vile bawds!"
And we are told in a note on this paffage, [by Mr. Reed] that it was formerly the cuftom at Naples to hang up the pictures of celebrated courtezans in the publick parts of the town, to serve as directions where they lived. Had not Fletcher the ftory of Marina in his mind, when he wrote the above lines? M. MASON.
The Wife for a Month was one of Fletcher's latest plays. It was exhibited in May, 1624. MALONE.
find the inclination of the people, efpecially of the younger fort?
BOULT. 'Faith, they liftened to me, as they would have hearkened to their father's teftament. There was a Spaniard's mouth fo watered, that he went 4 to bed to her very defcription.
BAWD. We fhall have him here to-morrow with his beft ruff on.
BOULT. To-night, to-night. But, mistress, do you know the French knight that cowers i'the hams 5
BAWD. Who? monfieur Veroles?
BOULT. Ay; he offered to cut a caper at the proclamation; but he made a groan at it, and swore he would fee her to-morrow."
BAWD. Well, well; as for him, he brought his disease hither: here he does but repair it." I know,
4 a Spaniard's mouth fo water'd, that he went &c.] Thus the quarto, 1619. The firft copy reads, a Spaniard's mouth water'd, and he went &c. MALONE.
that cowers i'the hams?] To cower is to fink by bending the hams. So, in King Henry VI:
"The fplitting rocks cowr'd in the finking fands." Again, in Gammer Gurton's Needle:
They cower fo o'er the coles, their eies be blear'd with fmoke." STEEVENS.
he offered to cut a caper at the proclamation; but he made a groan at it, and fwore he would fee her to-morrow.] If there were no other proof of Shakspeare's hand in this piece, this admirable ftroke of humour would furnish decifive evidence of it. MALONE.
here he does but repair it.] To repair here means to renovate. So, in Cymbeline:
"O, disloyal thing!
"That fhould'ft repair my youth,
Again, in All's well that ends well:
he will come in our shadow, to scatter his crowns in the fun.
BOULT. Well, if we had of every nation a tra veller, we should lodge them with this fign.
It much repairs me
"To talk of your good father."
to fcatter his crowns in the fun.] There is here perhaps fome allufion to the lues venerea, though the words French crowns in their literal acceptation were certainly alfo in Boult's thoughts. It occurs frequently in our author's plays. So, in Meafure for Measure :
"Lucio. A French crown more.
"Gent. Thou art always figuring diseases in me."
I fee no allufion in this paffage to the French disease, but merely to French crowns in a literal fenfe, the common coin of that country.
Boult had faid before, that he had proclaimed the beauty of Marina, and drawn her picture with his voice. He fays, in the next speech, that with fuch a fign as Marina, they fhould draw every traveller to their house, confidering Marina, or rather the picture he had drawn of her, as the fign to distinguish the house, which the Bawd, on account of her beauty calls the fun and the meaning of the paffage is merely this that the French knight will feek the shade or shelter of their house, to scatter his money there."-But if we make a flight alteration in this paffage, and read" on our fhadow," instead of " in our shadow," it will then be capable of another interpretation. On our Shadow may mean on our reprefentation or defcription of Marina; and the fun may mean the real fign of the house. For there is a paffage in The Cuftom of the Country, which gives reafon to imagine that the fun was, in former times, the ufual fign of a brothel.
When Sulpitia asks, "What is become of the Dane?" Jacques replies, "What! goldy-locks! he lies at the sign of the fun to be new-breeched." M. MASON.
Mr. M. Mason's note is too ingenious to be omitted; and yet, where humour is forced, (as in the present inftance,) it is frequently obfcure, and especially when vitiated by the flightest typographical error or omiffion. All we can with certainty infer from the paffage before us is, that an oppofition between furt and fhadow was defigned. STEEVENS.
BAWD. Pray you, come hither awhile. You have fortunes coming upon you. Mark me; you must feem to do that fearfully, which you commit willingly; to despise profit, where you have most gain. To weep that you live as you do, makes pity in your lovers: Seldom, but that pity begets you a good opinion, and that opinion a mere profit.1
MAR. I understand you not.
BOULT. O, take her home, mistress, take her home: these blufhes of her's must be quenched with some present practice.
BAWD. Thou fay'ft true, i'faith, fo they muft: for your bride goes to that with fhame, which is her way to go with warrant."
BOULT. 'Faith fome do, and fome do not. But, mistress, if I have bargained for the joint,
BAWD. Thou may'st cut a morfel off the spit.
9 we should lodge them with this fign.] If a traveller from every part of the globe were to affemble in Mitylene, they would all refort to this house, while we had fuch a fign to it as this virgin. This, I think is the meaning. A fimilar eulogy is pronounced on Imogen in Cymbeline: "She's a good fign, but I have seen small reflection of her wit." Perhaps there is fame allufion to the conftellation Virgo. MALOne.
— a mere profit.] i. e. an abfolute, a certain profit. So, in Hamlet:
things rank and grofs in nature
"Poffefs it merely."
Again, in The Merchant of Venice:
Engag'd my friend to his mere enemy." MALONE. for your bride goes to that with Shame, which is her way to go with warrant.] You fay true; for even a bride, who has the fanction of the law to warrant her proceeding, will not furrender her perfon without fome constraint. Which is her
way to go with warrant, means only-to which he is entitled to go. MALONE.
BAWD. Who fhould deny it? Come young one, I like the manner of your garments well.
BOULT. Ay, by my faith, they shall not be changed yet.
BAWD. Boult, fpend thou that in the town: report what a fojourner we have; you'll lofe nothing by cuftom. When mature framed this piece, the meant thee a good turn ;3 therefore fay what a paragon fhe is, and thou haft the harveft out of thine own report.4
BOULT. I warrant you, miftrefs, thunder fhall not fo awake the beds of eels,5 as my giving out her beauty ftir up the lewdly-inclined. I'll bring home fome to-night.
BAWD. Come your ways; follow me.
MAR. If fires be hot, knives sharp, or waters
Untied I ftill my virgin knot will keep.7
3 When nature framed this piece, she meant thee a good turn ;] A fimilar fentiment occurs in King Lear :
"That eyelefs head of thine was first fram'd flesh,
and thou haft the harveft out of thine own report.] So, in Much Ado about Nothing:
"Frame the feafon for your own harveft." STEEVENS.
thunder fhall not fo awake the beds of eels,] Thunder is not supposed to have an effect on fifh in general, but on eels only, which are roused by it from the mud, and are therefore more easily taken. So, in Marfton's Satires:
They are nought but eeles, that never will appeare, "Till that tempeftuous winds, or thunder, teare "Their flimy beds." L. II. Sat. vii. v. 204.
If fires be hot, knives Sharp, or waters deep,] So, in An
tony and Cleopatra :