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little foolery, that wife men have, makes a great fhow. Here comes Monfieur Le Beau.

Enter LE BEAU.

Ros. With his mouth full of news.

CEL. Which he will put on us, as pigeons feed their young.

Ros. Then fhall we be news-cramm'd.

CEL. All the better; we shall be the more marketable. Bonjour, Monfieur le Beau: What's the news? LE BEAU. Fair princess, you have loft much good fport.

CEL. Sport? Of what colour?

LE BEAU. What colour, madam? How fhall I answer you?

Ros. As wit and fortune will.

TOUCH. Or as the deftinies decree.

CEL. Well faid; that was laid on with a trowel." TOUCH. Nay, if I keep not my rank,

Ros. Thou losest thy old smell.

LE BEAU. You amaze me, ladies: I would have

4-laid on with a trowel.] I fuppofe the meaning is, that there is too heavy a mass of big words laid upon a slight subject. JOHNSON. This is a proverbial expreffion, which is generally used to fignify a glaring falfhood. See Ray's Proverbs. STEEVENS.

It means a good round hit, thrown in without judgment or defign. RITSON.

To lay on with a trowel is, to do any thing ftrongly and without delicacy. If a man flatters grofsly, it is a common expreffion to fay, that he lays it on with a trowel. M. MASON.

5 You amaze me, ladies:] To amaze, here, is not to astonish or ftrike with wonder, but to perplex; to confuse, so as to put out of the intended narrative. JoHNSON.

So, in Cymbeline, A&t IV. fc. iii:

"I am amazed with matter." STEEVENS.

told you of good wrestling, which you have loft the fight of.

Ros. Yet tell us the manner of the wrestling.

LE BEAU. I will tell you the beginning, and, if it please your ladyfhips, you may fee the end; for the best is yet to do; and here, where you are, they are coming to perform it.

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CEL. Well, the beginning, that is dead and buried.

LE BEAU. There comes an old man, and his three fons,

CEL. I could match this beginning with an old tale. LE BEAU. Three proper young men, of excellent growth and prefence ;

Ros. With bills on their necks,-Be it known unto all men by thefe prefents,

With bills on their necks,-Be it known unto all men by these prefents,] The ladies and the fool, according to the mode of wit at that time, are at a kind of cross purposes. Where the words of one fpeaker are wrefted by another, in a repartee, to a different meaning. As where the Clown fays juft before-Nay, if I keep not my rank. Rofalind replies-Thou lofeft thy old fmell. So here when Rofalind had faid-With bills on their necks, the Clown, to be quits with her, puts in-Know all men by these prefents. She fpoke of an inftrument of war, and he turns it to an inftrument of law of the fame name, beginning with thefe words: So that they must be given to him. WARBURTON.

This conjecture is ingenious. Where meaning is fo very thin, as in this vein of jocularity, it is hard to catch, and therefore I know not well what to determine; but I cannot fee why Rofalind fhould fuppofe, that the competitors in a wrestling match carried bills on their fhoulders, and I believe the whole conceit is in the poor resemblance of prefence and prefents. JOHNSON.

With bills on their necks, fhould be the conclufion of Le Beau's fpeech. Mr. Edwards ridicules Dr. Warburton, "As if people carried fuch inftruments of war, as bills and guns on their necks, not on their shoulders!" But unluckily the ridicule falls upon himfelf. Laffels, in his Voyage of Italy, fays of tutors, "Some perfuade their pupils, that it is fine carrying a gun upon their necks."

LE BEAU. The eldeft of the three wrestled with Charles, the duke's wrestler; which Charles in a moment threw him, and broke three of his ribs, that there is little hope of life in him: fo he served the second, and fo the third: Yonder they lie; the poor old man, their father, making fuch pitiful dole over them, that all the beholders take his part with weeping.

Ros. Alas!

TOUCH. But what is the fport, monfieur, that the ladies have loft?

LE BEAU. Why, this that I speak of.

TOUCH. Thus men may grow wifer every day! it is the first time that ever I heard, breaking of ribs was sport for ladies.

But what is ftill more, the expreffion is taken immediately from Lodge, who furnished our author with his plot." Ganimede on a day fitting with Aliena, (the affumed names, as in the play,) caft up her eye, and faw where Rofader came pacing towards them with his foreft-bill on his necke." FARMER.

The quibble may be countenanced by the following paffage in Woman's a Weathercock, 1612:


"Good-morrow, taylor, I abhor bills in a morning"But thou may'ft watch at night with bill in hand.' Again, in Sidney's Arcadia, Book I:


with a fword by his fide, a forest-bille on his necke,” &c. Again, in Rowley's When you fee me you know me, 1621: "Enter King, and Compton, with bills on his back.” Again, in The Pinner of Wakefield, 1599:


"And each of you a good bat on his neck.”


are you not big enough to bear

"Your bats upon your necks?" STEEVENS.

I don't think that by bill is meant either an inftrument of war, or one of law, but merely a label or advertisement—as we fay a play-bill, a band-bill; unlefs Farmer's ingenious amendinent be admitted, and thefe words become part of Le Beau's fpeech; in which cafe the word bill would be used by him to denote a weapon, and by Rofalind perverted to mean a label. M. MASON,

CEL. Or I, I promise thee.

Ros. But is there any elfe longs to fee this broken mufick in his fides?' is there yet another dotes upon rib-breaking?-Shall we fee this wrestling, coutin?

LE BEAU. You muft, if you ftay here; for here is the place appointed for the wrestling, and they are ready to perform it.

CEL. Yonder, fure, they are coming: Let us now ftay and fee it.

Flourish. Enter Duke FREDERICK, Lords, ORLANDO, CHARLES, and Attendants.

DUKE F. Come on; fince the youth will not be entreated, his own peril on his forwardness.

Ros. Is yonder the man?

7 is there any elfe longs to fee this broken mufick in his fides?] A ftupid error in the copies. They are talking here of fome who had their ribs broke in wrestling: and the pleafantry of Rofalind's repartee muft confift in the allufion fhe makes to compofing in mufick. It neceffarily follows therefore, that the poet wrote-SET this broken mufick in his fides. WARBURTON.

If any change were neceffary, I fhould write, feel this broken mufick, for fee. But fee is the colloquial term for perception or experiment. So we fay every day, fee if the water be hot; I will fee which is the best time; fhe has tried, and fees that the cannot lift it. In this fenfe fee may be here ufed. The fufferer can, with no propriety, be faid to fet the mufick; neither is the allufion to the act of tuning an inftrument, or pricking a tune, one of which must be meant by fetting mufick. Rofalind hints at a whimfical fimilitude between the feries of ribs gradually shortening, and fome mufical inftruments, and therefore calls broken ribs, broken mufick. JOHNSON.

This probably alludes to the pipe of Pan, which confifting of reeds of unequal length, and gradually leffening, bore fome refemblance to the ribs of a man. M. MASON.

Broken mufick either means the noise which the breaking of ribs would occafion, or the hollow found which proceeds from a perfon's receiving a violent fall. DOUCE.

LE BEAU. Even he, madam.

CEL. Alas, he is too young: yet he looks fuccessfully.

DUKE F. How now, daughter, and coufin? are you crept hither to see the wrestling?

Ros. Ay, my liege; so please you give us leave.


DUKE F. You will take little delight in it, I can tell you, there is fuch odds in the men: In pity of the challenger's youth, I would fain diffuade him, but he will not be entreated: Speak to him, ladies; fee if you can move him.

CEL. Call him hither, good Monfieur Le Beau. DUKE F. Do fo; I'll not be by.

[DUKE goes apart.

LE BEAU. Monfieur the challenger, the princeffes call for you."

ORL. I attend them, with all refpect and duty. Ros. Young man, have you challenged Charles the wrestler?*

ORL. No, fair princess; he is the general challenger: I come but in, as others do, to try with him the strength of my youth.


CEL. Young gentleman, your spirits are too bold your years: You have feen cruel proof of this man's ftrength: if you faw yourself with your eyes, or knew yourself with your judgment,' the


the man.

-odds in the men:] Sir T. Hanmer. In the old editions, JOHNSON.

9 -the princeffes call for you.] The old copy reads-the princeffe calls. Corrected by Mr. Theobald. MALONE.


have you challenged Charles the wrestler?] This wreftling match is minutely defcribed in Lodge's Rofalynde, 1592.


3 -if you faw yourself with your eyes, or knew yourself with your judgment,] Abfurd! The fenfe requires that we should read,

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