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the editors have been so very happy in making it worse by their indolence, that they have left me Augeas's stable to cleanse: and a man had need to have the strength of a Hercules to heave out all their rubbish. But to business: Why should infamy be explained by making frantick, lunatick? It is plain and obvious that the poet intended the pedant should coin an uncouth affected word here, insanie, from insania of the Latins. Then, what a piece of unintelligible' jargon have these learned criticks given us for Latin ? I think, I may venture to affirm, I have restored the passage to its true purity.
Nath. Laus Deo, bone, intelligo. The curate, addressing with complaisance his brother pedant, says, bone, to him, as we frequenly in Terence find bone vir; but the pedant, thinking he had mistaken the adverb, thus descants on it. Bone?
-bone for benè. Priscian a little scratched : 'twill serve. Alluding to the common phrase, Diminuis Prisciani caput, applied to such as speak false Latin.
THEOBALD. Insanie appears to have been a word anciently used. In a book entitled, The Fall and evil Successe of Rebele lion from Time to Time : “ After a little insanie they fed tag and rag."
VENS. There seems yet something wanting to the integrity of this passage, which Mr. Theobald has in the most corrupt and difficult places very happily restored. For ne intelligis, domine ? to make frantick, lunatick, I
read (nonne intelligis, domine? to be mad, frantick, lunatick.
JOHNSON. I should rather read, “ it insinuateth men of in. sanie."
FARMER. 38. -the alms-basket of words !-] i. e. the refuse of words. The refuse meat of great families was formerly sent to the prisons. So, in the Inner Temple Masque, 1619, by T. Middleton : “his per. petual lodging in the King's Bench, and his ordinary out of the basket.” Again, in If this be not a good Play the Devil is in It, 1612 : “ He must feed on beggary's basket.”
STEEVENS. 41. Honorificabilitudinitatibus:] This word, whencesoever it comes, is often mentioned as the longest word known.
JOHNSON. It occurs likewise in Marston's Dutch Courtezan, 1604 :
“ His discourse is like the long word honorificabilitudinitatibus; a great deal of sound and no sense." I meet with it likewise in Nash's Lenten Stuf, &c.
42. -a flap-dragon.] A flap-dragon is a small inflammable substance, which topers swallow in à glass of wine. See a note on King Henry IV. Part II. act ii. sc. ult.
STEEVENS. 51. Moth. The third of the five vowels, &c.] In former editions : The last of the five vowels, if you repeat them; or the fifth, if I;
Hol. I will repeat them, a, e, 1.
Is not the last and the fifth the same vowel ? Though my correction restores but a poor conundrum, yet if it restores the poet's nieaning, it is the duty of an editor to traće him in his lowest conceits. By O, U, Moth would mean-Oh, youmi. e. You are the sheep still, either way; no matter which of us repeats them.
THEOBALD. 57 -a quick venew of wit : - ] A venew is the technical term for a bout at the fencing-school. So, in the Four Prentices of London, 1632 :
in the fencing-school " To play a venew."
STEEVENS. 79. the charge-house--] I suppose, is the free-school.
-I do beseech thee, remember thy courtesy ; I beseech thee, apparel thy head : -]. I believe, a word was omitted at the press; and would read " I beseech thee, remember not thy courtesy," &c. Do not stand upon ceremony ; be covered.
MALONE. 100. -_dally with my excrement,---] The au. thor has before called the beard valour's excrement, in the Merchant of Venice.
JOHNSON 144. ----if this fadge not, -] 1. e, suit not. Several instances of the use of this word are given in Twelfth Night.
STEEVENS, 146. Viag_-] An Italian exclamation, signifying, Courage ! come on!
Steevens, 163. to make his god- head wax ;] To wax
anciently signified to grow. It is yet said of the moon, that she waxes and wanes. So, in Drayton's Polyolbion, song 1. “ I view those wanton brooks that waxing still
do wane." Again, in Lilly's Love's Metamorphosis, 1601:
“ Men's follies will ever wax, and then what reason can make them wise ?" Again, in the Polyolbion, song 5.
“ The stem shall strongly wax, as still the trunk doth wither."
STEEVENS. 175. -taking it in snuff;] Snuff is here used equivocally for anger, and the snuff of a candle. See more instances of this conceit in K. Henry IV. Part I, act i. scene 3.
STEEVENS. 181. for past cure is still past care.] So, in our author's 147th sonnet:
“ Past cure I am, now reason is past care,
MALONE. 188. Nay, I have verses too, I thank Biron :] Here, and indeed throughout this play, the name of Biron is accented on the second syllable. In the first quarto, 1598, he is always called Berowne, as probably the name was then pronounced.
MALONE. 197. 'Ware pencils! -] The former editions read :
Were pencilsSir T. Hanmer here rightly restored, 'Ware pencils
Rosaline, a black beauty, reproaches the fair Katharine for painting.
Johnson. The folio reads : Ware pensais
STEEVENS. 199. -50 full of O's--] i. c. pimples. Shakspere talks of " fiery O's and eyes of light," in another play.
STEVENS. Pox of that jest! and I beshrew all shrows. ] “ Pox of that jest !” Mr. Theobald is scandalized at this language from a princess. But there needs no alarm-the small-pox only is alluded to; with which, it seems, Katharine was pitted ; or, as it is quaintly expressed, “ her face was full of O's.” Davison has a canzonet on his lady's sicknesse of the poxe : and Dr. Donne writes to his sister, “at my return from Kent, I found Pegge had the poxemi humbly thank God, it hath not much disfigured her.”
FARMER. 216. in by the week!] This I suppose to be an expression taken from hiring servants or artificers; meaning, I wish I was as sure of his service for any time limited, as if I had hired him.
The expression was a common one. So, in Vittoria Corombona, 1612:
“ What, are you in by the week? So; I will try now whether thy wit be close prisoner." Again, in the Wit of a Woman, 1604 : “Since I am in by the week, let me look to the year.”