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Not understood, this gift they have besides
To fhew us when our foes stand not upright. JOHNS. P. 191. Sc. 9. It is to be observed that in the first folio edition, the only Edition of authority, there are no directions concerning the scenes; they have been added by the later Editors, and may therefore be changed by any reader that can give more consistency or regularity to the drama by such alterations. I make this remark in this pla e, because I know not whether the following soliloquy of Protheus is so proper in the street.
Knowing that tender youth is oon suggested.
Johns. L. 29. Myself, who am bis competitor or rival, being admitted to his counsel.
JOHNS. L. 31. Pretended fright.] We may read intended flight.
JOHNSON P. 193. 1.. 4, 5. I suspect that the author concluded the act with this couplet, and that the next scene should begin the third act; but the change, as it will add nothing to the probability of the action, is of no great importance.
197 L. 25. Be not aimed æt] Be not guesed. JOHNS. L. 27. Of tbis pretence] Of this claim made to your daugh
JOHNS. P. 199. L. 2. Sir, in Milan kere] It ought to be th. s, inftead of - in Verona here
for the Scene apparently is in Milan, as is clear from several piages in the first Ac, and in the beginning of the first Scene of the fourth Act. A like mistake has crept into the eighth Scene of act il. where Speed bids his fellow servant Launce, wel. come to Padua.
Pope. L. 7. The fashion of the time] The modes of courtship, the acts by which men recommended themselves to ladies.
P. 201. 1. 7.
- for they are sent by me.] For is the same as for that, since.
Johns. L. 11. Merops' son.] i. e. bastard, base-born.
Ibid.] The duke calls Valentine, for his ambition in attempting his daughter, Merops' Jon, a term fynonimous with Pbaeton. He is too well bred to call a gentleman a son of a whore for no reason at all; but fince Clymene was Phaeton's mother, and Merops Clymene's husband; how comes calling him Merops' son to fignify bastard ? for though Mr. W. is acquainted with Clymene's amours, the duke is not talking of them here.
CANONS. Ibid.] Thou art Phaeton in thy rashness, but without his pretencions; thou art not the son of a divinity, but a terra filius, a low born wretch; Merops is thy true father, with whom Phaeton was falsely reproached.
JOHNS. P, 202. 1. 13. I fly not death, to fly bis deadly doom.] To fly bis doom, used for by fiying, or in lying, is a gallicism. Tlie sense is, By avoiding the execution of his sentence I shall not escape death. If I stay here, I suffer myself to be destroyed; if I go away, I destroy myself..
JOHNS. P. 204. sc. 4. Laun. I am but a fool, look you, and yet I have the wit to tkink my master is a kind of knave : but that's all one, if be be but cné knave.] Where is the sense, or, if you won't allow the speaker that, where is the humour of this speech? Nothing had given the fool occasion to suspect that his master was become double, like Antipholis in the Comedy of ErThe last word is corrupt. We should read,
if he be but one kind. He thought his master was a kind of knave; however, he keeps himself in countenance with this reflection, that if he was a knave but of one kind, hé might pass well enough among his neighbours. This is truly humorous,
Ibid.] This alteration is acute and specious, yet I know not whether, in Shakespeare's language, one knave may not signify a knave on only one occasion, a single knave. We still use a double villain for a villain beyond the common rate of guilt.
Johns. & Revis. Ibid.] Launce, from what has happened in the preceding part of the play between Protheus, his master, and Valentine, reflects, that though he is a fool, his master is a knave.
But that's all one, says he; if he be but one knave, i. e. if be only be a knave; if I too be not found to be another, viz. a hypocritical knave : for he goes on, saying, “ He lives not, that knows I am in love; yet I am in love, &c. CAN.*
P. 205. 1. 1. A team of borse shall not pluckm] I see how Valentine suffers for telling his love secrets, therefore I will keep mine close.
Johns. L. 15. Master's Ship] Vulg. With my mastership? why, it is at sea. For how does Launce mistake the word ? Speed asks him about his mastership, and he replies to it litteratim. But then how was his mastership at sea, and on shore too ? The addition of a letter and a note of Apostrophe make Launce both mistake the word, and sets the pun right: It restores, indeed, but a mean joke; but, without it, there is no sense in the passage. Besides, is it in character with the rest of the scene; and, I dare be confident, the poet's own conceit.
THEOB. L. 30. —St. Nicholas be thy Speed.] St. Nicholas presided over scholars, who were therefore called St. Nicholas's clerks. Hence, by a quibble between Nicholas and Old Nick, highwaymen, in the first part of Henry the fourth, are called Nicholas's clerks.
Wars. Ibid.] That this. saint presided over young scholars, may be gathered from Knight's life of dean Collet, p. 362. For by the statutes of Paul's school, there inserted, the children are required to attend divine service, at the cathedral, on his anniversary. The reason I take to be, that the legend of this saint makes him to have been a bishop, while he was a boy. At Salisbury cathedral is a monument of a boy bishop, and it is said, that a custom formerly prevailed there, of choosing, from among the choristers, a bishop, who actually performed the pastoral functions, and disposed of such prebends as became vacant during his episcopacy, which lafted but a few days : it is thought the monument abovementioned was for some boy that died in office. See the posthumous works of Mr. John Gregory, 4to. Oxon.
HAWKINS. P. 206. 1. 25.
- Sweet mouth.] This I take to the same with what is now vulgarly called a sweet tooth, a luxurious desire of dainties and sweetmeats. JOHNSON
P. 207. 1. 8. - praise ber liquor.] That is, shew how well she likes it by drinking often.
Johnson. L. 11. - she is too liberal.] Liberal, is licentious and gross in language. So Othello, is he not a profane and very li. beral counsellor,
JOHNSON. P. 208. I. 25. Trenched in ice.] Cut, carved in ice. Trencber, to cut, French.
JOHNSON. P. 209. 1. 22. - with circumstance.] With the addition of such identical particulars as may induce belief. Johns.
P. 210. 1. 3. But say, this weed ber love) This cast of reasoning very near resembles that of Davus in the Andria of Terence, Act. 2. Scene 2.
THECB. P. 210. l. 5
as you inwind ber love.] As off her love from him, make me the bottom on which you wind it. The hou!ewife's term for a ball of thread wound upon a central body, is a bottom of thread. Jours.
L. 31. For .Orpheus' lute was Arung with poet's finews.] This thews Shakespeare's knowledge of antiquity. He here assigns Orpheus his true character of legisator. For under that of a poet only, or lover, the quality given to his lute is unintelligible. But, considered as a lawgiver, the thought is noble, and the imag'ry exquisitely beautiful. For by his lute is to be understood his system of laws: and by the poet's finews, the power of numbers, which Orpheus actually employed in thos: laws to make them received by a fierce and barbarous people.
WARB. P. 211.
19. I will pardon you. ] I will excuse you from waiting.
JOHNS. we'll make you, fir, and rifle you.] The meaning of this, as it stands, is, “ If you do not deliver we'll make you deliver, and then plunder you.' This is not the lan. guage of a very cunning robber. We may better read,
if not, we'll take you, Sir, and rifle you. Johns. P. 212. I. 32.] Robin Hood was captain of a band of robbers, and was much inclined to rob churchmen. John.
P. 213. 1. 10. - cwful men.] Reve end, worshipful, such as magistrates, and other principal members of the civil communities.
Ibid.] I would read lawful men in opposition to lawless.
REVISAL & HAWKINS. L. 13.] All the impressions, from the first downwards, An beir and niece ally'd unto tbe duke. But our poet would never have expressed himself so stupidly, as to tell us, this lady was the duke's niece, and ally'd to him: For her alliance was certainly, sufficiently included in the first term. Our author meant to say, she was an heiress, and near ally'd to the duke ; an expression the most natural that can be for the purpose, and very frequently used by the stage-poets,
THEOв. . P. 214. 1. 20. -fudden quip.] That is, hasty passionate teproaches and scoffs. So Macbeth is in a kindred sense said ro be sudden, that is, irascible and impetuous. JOHNS."
P. 216. I. 2. Beauty lives with kindness.] Beauty without kindness dies unenjoyed, and undelighting. JOHNS.
L. 31. Out of all nick.] Beyond all reckoning or count. Reckonings are kept upon nicked or notched sticks or tallies.
WARB. P. 217. 1. 19. You have your wish, my will is even this] The word will is here ambiguous. He wishes to gain her will : The tells him, if he wants her will he has it. Johns.
P.218. I. 29. But fince your falshood shall become you well.] This is hardly sense. We may read, with very little alteration,
But since you're false, it shall become you well. Johns. P. 220. 1. 21. Grievances.] Sorrows, sorrowful affections.
Johns. 1. 5.
I went. Volg. I was fent. L. 11.] I believe we should read, I would bave, &c. one that takes upon bim to be a dog, to be a dog indeed, to be, &c.
JOHNS. P. 222. 1. 2. madam Silvia ;] We should certainly read Julia, meaning when his mafter and he left Verona.
WARB. & CAPELL.* P. 223. 1. 12.) It feems you lov'd ber not to leave her token.] Protheus does not properly leave his lady's token, he gives it away. The old edition has it,
It seems you lov’d her not, not leave her token. I should correct it thus,
It seems you lov'd her not, nor love her token. Joun.