« PreviousContinue »
I think we should read with Hanmer :
Free from all faults, as from faults seeming free.
I wish we were all as good as we appear to be; a sentiment very naturally prompted by his reflection on the behaviour of Angelo. Hanmer has only transposed a word to produce a convenient sense.
MALONE. 331. His neck will come to your waist, a cord, sér.] That is, his neck will be tied, like your waist, with a rope. The friars of the Franciscan order, perhaps of all others, wear a hempen cord for a girdle. Thus Buchaunan:
“ Fac gemant suis,
JOHNSON. 337. Pygmalion's images, newly made woman -] By Pygmalion's images, newly made woman, I believe Shakspere meant no more than-Have you no women now to recommend to your customers, as fresh and untouched as Pygmalion's statue was, at the moment when it became flesh and blood ? The passage may, however, contain some allusion to a pamphlet printed in 1598, called — The Metamorphosis of Pygmalion's Image, and certain Satires. I have never seen it, but it is mentioned by Ames, p. 568; and whatever its subject might be, we learn from an order signed by the archbishop of Canterbury and the bishop of London, that this book was commanded to be burnt.
The order is inserted at the end of the second volume of the entries belonging to the Stationers-Company.
STEVENS. “ Is there none of Pygmalion's images newly made woman, to be had now?" If Marston's Metamorphosis of Pygmalion's Image be alluded to, I believe it must be in the argument.--" The maide (by the power of Venus) was metamorphosed into a living woman."
FARMER. There may, however, be an allusion to a passage in Lilly's Woman in the Moone, 1597. The inhabitants of Utopia petition Nature for females, that they may, like other beings, propagate their species. Nature grants their request, and “ they draw the curtins from before Nature's shop, where stands an image clad, and some unclad, and they bring forth the cloathed image," &c.
TEEVENS. By Pygmalion's images newly made women, I do not understand, with Mr. Steevens, virgins as fresh as if they came recently from the hands of Pygmalion. I rather think the meaning is: Is there no courtezan, whọ being newly made woman, [i. e. lately debauched,] still retains the appearance of chastity, and looks as cold as a statue, to be had ? &c.
The following passage in Blurt Master Constable, & comedy, by Middleton, 1602, seems to authorize this interpretation : " Laz. Are all these women?
lmp. No, no, they are half men and half women.
" Laz. You apprehend too fast. I mean by wo. men, wives; for wives are no maids, nor are maids women.” Mulier, in Latin, had precisely the same meaning.
MALONE. 340. --what say'st thou to this tune, matter, and method? Is't not drown'd i' the last rain?] Lucio asks Pompey, whether his answer was not drown'd in the last rain ? but Pompey returns no answer to any of his questions: or, perhaps, he means to compare Pom. pey's miserable appearance to a drown'd mouse. So, in King Henry VI. Part I. " Or piteous they will look, like drowned mice."
STEEVENS. 341. what say'st thou, trot? -] So, in Wily Beguiled, 1613: “ Thou toothless old trot thou." Again, in the Wise Woman of Hogsden, 1638: “ What can this witch, this wizard, or old trot?"!
STEEVENS. Trot, or as it is now often pronounced, honest irout, is a familiar address to a man among the provincial vulgar.
JOHNSON. 342. -Which is the way?
--] What is the mode
Johnson. 349. in the tub.] The method of cure for venereal complaints is grossly called the powdering tub.
JOHNSON. It was so called from the method of cure. See the notes on " the tub- fast and the diet”---in Timon, act iv.
-say I sent thee thither.
--] Shakspere seems here to allude to the words used by Gloster in Henry VI. Part III. act v. sc. 6. “ Down, down to hell ; and say—I sent thee thi
ther." -go; say I sent thee thither. For debt, Pompey? or how?] It should be pointed thus, Go, say I sent thee thither for debt, Pompey; or how--i. e. to hide the ignominy of thy case, say, I sent thee to prison for debt, or whatever other pretence thou fanciest better. The other humorously replies, For being a bawd, for being a bawd, i.e. the true cause is the most honour. able. This is in character.
WARBURTON. I do not perceive any necessity for the alteration. Lucio first offers him the use of his name to hide the seeming ignominy of his case; and then very natu. rally desires to be informed of the true reason why he was ordered into confinement.
STEEVENS. 367. -it is not the wear.] 1. e, it is not the fashion.
Steevens, 376. Then, Pompey ? nor now.] I think there, should not be a note of interrogation here. The meaning is : I will neither bail thee then, nor now. So again in this play,
More, nor less to others paying.” MALONE... 379. Go.--to kennel, Pompey,-go:] It should be remembered, that Pompey is the common name of a, dog, to which allusion is made in the mention of a
M50,8 see the
395. It is too general a vice,] Yes, replies Lucio, the vice is of great kindred; it is well ally'd, &c. As much as to say, Yes, truly, it is general; for the greatest men have it as well as we little folks. A little lower he taxes the duke personally with it.
EDWARDS. 408. and he is a motion ungenerative, that's infallible. ] A motion generative means a puppet of the masculine gender; a thing that appears to have those powers of which it is not in reality possessed.
STEEVENS. much detected for women ; appears so like the language of Dogberry, that at first I thought the passage corrupt, and wished to read suspected. But perhaps detected had anciently the same meaning. So in an old collection of tales, entitled, Wits, Fits, and Fancies, 1595: ~ -- An officer whose daughter was detected of dishonestie, and generally so reported."- That detected is there used for suspečled, and not in the present sense of the word, appears, I think, from the words that followmand generally so reported, which seem to relate not to a known but sus
MALONE. In Rich's Adventures of Simonides, 1584, 4to. “ all Rome, deteEled of inconstancie." HENDERSON
-clach-dish:] The beggars, two or three centuries ago, used to proclaim their want by a wooden dish with a moveable cover, which they clacked to shew that their vessel was empty. This