Page images
[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small]

London. Published by F. C&J.Rivington, and Partners, Feb 1823.

Ducdame, ducdame, ducdame; +

Here shall he see,

Gross fools as he,

An if he will come to Ami. †

Ami. What's that ducdame?

Jaq. 'Tis a Greek invocation, to call fools into a circle. I'll go sleep if I can; if I cannot, I'll rail against all the first-born of Egypt.

Ami. And I'll go seek the duke; his banquet is prepared. [Exeunt severally.

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

Adam. Dear master, I can go no further: O, I die for food! Here lie I down, and measure out my grave. Farewell, kind master.

Orl. Why, how now, Adam! no greater heart in thee? Live a little; comfort a little; cheer thyself a little: If this uncouth forest yield any thing savage, I will either be food for it, or bring it for food to thee. Thy conceit is nearer death than thy powers. For my sake, be comfortable; hold death awhile at the arm's end: I will here be with thee presently; and if I bring thee not something to eat, I'll give thee leave to die: but if thou diest before I come, thou art a mocker of my labour. Well said! thou look'st cheerily and I'll be with thee quickly.-Yet thou liest in the bleak air: Come, I will bear thee to some shelter; and thou shalt


ducdàme ;] For ducdàme, Sir Thomas Hanmer, very acutely and judiciously, reads duc ad me, that is, bring him to me. Dr. Farmer thinks it is evidently a word coined for the nonce.

+"And if he will come to me." MALONE.

[blocks in formation]

nor die for lack of a dinner, if there live any thing in this desert. Cheerly, good Adam!


A table set out.


The same.

Enter Duke senior, AMIENS, Lords,

and others.

Duke S. I think he be transform'd into a beast:

For I can no where find him like a man.

1 Lord. My lord, he is but even now gone hence: Here was he merry, hearing of a


Duke S. If he, compact of jars, grow musical,
We shall have shortly discord in the spheres:
Go, seek him; tell him, I would speak with him.


1 Lord. He saves my labour by his own approach. Duke S. Why, how now, monsieur! what a life is


That your poor friends must woo your company?
What! you look merrily.

Jaq. A fool, a fool!I met a fool i'the forest,
A motley fool;-a miserable world!-

As I do live by food, I met a fool;

Who laid him down and bask'd him in the sun,
And rail'd on lady Fortune in good terms,
In good set terms, and yet a motley fool.
Good-morrow, fool, quoth I: No, sir, quoth he,
Call me not fool, till heaven hath sent me fortune: 6


[ocr errors]

compact of jars,] i. e. made up of discords.

6 Call me not fool, till heaven hath sent me fortune:] Fortuna favet fatuis, is, as Mr. Upton observes, the saying here alluded to; or, as in Publius Syrus:

"Fortuna, nimium quem fovet, stultum facit."

And then he drew a dial from his poke:
And looking on it with lack-lustre eye,
Says very wisely, It is ten o'clock:

Thus may we see, quoth he, how the world wags:
'Tis but an hour ago, since it was nine;
And after an hour more, 'twill be eleven ;
And so, from hour to hour, we ripe and ripe,
And then, from hour to hour, we rot and rot,
And thereby hangs a tale. When I did hear
The motley fool thus moral on the time,
My lungs began to crow like chanticleer,
That fools should be so deep-contemplative;
And I did laugh, sans intermission,
An hour by his dial.-O noble fool!

A worthy fool! Motley's the only wear.

Duke S. What fool is this?

Jaq. O worthy fool! - One that hath been a courtier ;

And says, if ladies be but young, and fair,

They have the gift to know it: and in his brain,

Which is as dry as the remainder bisket

After a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd
With observation, the which he vents

In mangled forms:-O, that I were a fool!
I am ambitious for a motley coat.

Duke S. Thou shalt have one.

Jaq. It is my only suit;7 Provided, that you weed your better judgments Of all opinion that grows rank in them, That I am wise. I must have liberty Withal, as large a charter as the wind, To blow on whom I please: for so fools have: And they that are most galled with my folly, They most must laugh: And why, sir, must they so? The why is plain as way to parish church : He, that a fool doth very wisely hit, Doth very foolishly, although he smart,

7 only suit;] Suit means petition, not dress.

Not to seem senseless of the bob: if not,
The wise man's folly is anatomiz'd

Even by the squandring glances of the fool.
Invest me in my motley: give me leave

To speak my mind, and I will through and through
Cleanse the foul body of the infected world,

If they will patiently receive my medicine.

Duke S. Fye on thee! I can tell what thou wouldst do.
Jaq. What, for a counter, would I do, but good?
Duke S. Most mischievous foul sin, in chiding sin

For thou thyself hast been a libertine,

As sensual as the brutish sting itself;
And all the embossed sores, and headed evils,
That thou with license of free foot hast caught,
Wouldst thou disgorge into the general world.
Jaq. Why, who cries out on pride,

That can therein tax any private party?
Doth it now flow as hugely as the sea,
Till that the very very means do ebb?
What woman in the city do I name,
When that I say, The city-woman bears
The cost of princes on unworthy shoulders?
Who can come in, and say, that I mean her,
When such a one as she, such is her neighbour?
Or what is he of basest function,

That says, his bravery' is not on my cost,
(Thinking that I mean him,) but therein suits
His folly to the mettle of my speech?

There then; How, what then+; Let me see wherein


8 if not, &c.] Unless men have the prudence not to appear touched with the sarcasms of a jester, they subject themselves to his power; and the wise man will have his folly anatomised, that is dissected and laid open, by the squandering glances or random shots of a fool. JOHNSON.

9 - for a counter,] About the time when this play was written, the French counters (i. e. pieces of false money used as a means of reckoning) were brought into use in England.

1 his bravery-] i. e. his fine clothes.

+"There then: How then, what then?" &c. MALONE.

« EelmineJätka »