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THE COMEDY OF ERRORS.
17 coversation, he observes that, if he had been an ass, he should, when he was kicked, have kicked again.'
JOHNSON. 34. Mome,] a dull stupid blockhead, a stock, a post. This owes its original to the French word Momon, which signifies the gaming at dice in mas-' querade ; the custom and rule of which is, that a strict silence is to be observed: whatever sum one stakes, another covers, but not a word is to be spoken: fi om hence also comes our word mum! for silence.
Important are th' affairs we have in hand;
STEEVENS. 38. -patch!] i. e. fool. See catch-word Al. phabet.
I owe ?] i. e. I own. STEEVENS.
STEEVENS. 74. -we shall part with neither.] In our old language, to part signified to have part. See Chaucer, Cant. Tales, ver. 9504 :
“ That no wight with his blisse parten shall." The French use partir in the same sense. TYRWHITT.
79. bought and sold.] This is a proverbial phrase.
“ To be bought and sold in a company." See Ray's Collection, p. 179. edit. 1737. STEEVENS, -we'll pluck a crow together.] We find the
same quibble on a like occasion in one of the come. dies of Plautus.
The children of distinction among the Greeks and Romans had usually birds of different kinds given them for their amusement. This custom Tyndarus in the Captives mentions, and says, that for his
part he had
tantum upupam. Upupa signifies both a lapwing and a mattock, or some instrument of the same kind, employed to dig stones from the quarries.
STEEVENS. 96. Once this.ayour long experience of her wisdom.] Once this, may mean, Once for all: let me recommend this to your consideration.
STEEVENS. -the doors are made against you.] To make the door, is the expression used to this day in some counties of England, instead of, to bar the door.
STEEVENS. 108. Supposed by the common rout] Supposed is founded on supposition, made by conjecture. JOHNSON.
The second folio has once; which rather improves the sense, and is not inconsistent with the metre.
TYRWHITT. 115. And, in despight of mirth,-] Though mirth hath withdrawn herself from me, and seems determined to avoid me, yet in desfight of her, and whebiler she will or not, I am resolved to be merry.
REVISAL. 131. that you have quite forgot] In former copies :
eeks inds ynhis
may it be, that you have quite forgot
Shall love in buildings grow so ruinate?
has hitherto labour'd under a double corruption. What conceit could our editors have of love in buildings growing ruinate? Our poet meant no more than this: Shall thy love-springs rot, even in the spring of love and shall thy love grow ruinous, even while 'tis but building up? The next corruption is by an accident at press, as I take it; this scene for fifty-two lines successively is strictly in alternate rlimes ; and this measure is never broken, but in the second and fourth lines of these two couplets. 'Tis certain, I think, a monosyllable dropt from the tail of the second verse: and I have ventured to supply it by, I hope, a probable conjecture. THEOBALD.
Love-springs are young plants of love. Thus in the Faithful Shepherdess of Beaumont and Fletcher:
“The nightingale among the thick-leav'd springs
That sits alone in sorrow.” STEVENS. Love-springs I believe, are not the young plants of love, but the shooTS. Love is here considered by Luciana, as a root or stock in the heart of Antipholis, the first (or what is called the maiden) growth of which having been lopped off by marriage, a renovation of shoots springs forth. This sense of the metaphor is confirmed by the following passage from Evelyn :
:-" There are some who would have no stakes cut from the trees, save here and there one, so as to
leave half the head naked, and the other standing ; but the overhanging bows will kill what is under them, and ruin the tree; so pernicious is this halftopping : let this be a total amputation for a new and lusty SPRING.” See Mr. Tollet's note on Coriolanus, act v. line 134
The thick-leaved SPRINGS, in the passage from the Faithful Shepherdess, are the luxuriant young growth of the coppice, which are even the nightingale’s favourite haunt.
HENLEY. Shall Love in building grow so ruinate ?] So in our author's 119th Sonnet :
" And ruin'd love, when it is built anew.-In support of Theobald's emendation, a passage in our author's tenth Sonnet may be produced :
--thou art so possess'd with murderous hate, “ That 'gainst thyself thou stick’st not to con
“ Which to repair should be thy chief desire." Again, in the Rape of Lucrece : “ To ruinate proud buildings with thy hours."
MALONE. 151. Alas, poor women! make us not believe, &c.] From the whole tenour of the context it is evident, that this negative (not), got place in the first copies instead of but. And these two monosyllables have by mistake reciprocally dispossessid one another in many other passages of our author's works. THEOBALD.
152, Being compact of credit, means, being mai together of credulity. So in Heywood's Iron Part II. 1633 :
-she's compact “ Merely of blood
STEEV 157. Lavain,] is light of tongue, not veracio
JOHN 175 -sweet mermaid,] Mermaid is only an name for syren. So in the Index to P, Holl translation of Pliny's Nat. Hist.“ Mermaids in H were witches, and their songs enchauntements.”
Sreev 179. as a bed I'll take thee, ] The old copy as a bud.
Mr. Edwards suspects a mistake of one letter i passage, and would read :
And as a bed I'll take them, and there lye. Perhaps, however, both the ancient readings m right:
As a bud I'll take thee, &c. 2. e. I, like an insect, will take thy bosom for a or some other flower, and,
--phænix like, beneath thine eye “Involv'd in fragrance, burn and die." It is common for Shakspere to shift hastily fror image to another.
Mr. Edward's conjecture may, however, re support from the following passage in the Two G men of Verona, act i. sc 2;