Page images
[blocks in formation]


Here, and in the passage of the following line, which we lord,' the orig nal reads lords. The subsequent passage

Share the advice betwixt you ; if both gain all — shows that the correction of the plural to the singular, made by Tyrwhitt, was called for."-KNIGHT.

Mr. Collier retains the plural, and explains that the King is addressing two separate bodies of young noble But both seems to require but two persons.

- let hiGAER Italy
(Those 'BATED, that inherit but the fall

Of the last monarchy,)" etc. This passage is obscure, and probably corrupt. The meaning, according to Johnson, is this :-“Let ['pre Italy, where you are to exercise your valour, see that you come to gain honour, to the abatement (i. e. to the disgrace and depression) of those that have now los their ancient military fame, and inherit but the fall of the last monarchy." Knight and others refer - bigber to the general dignity of Rome, and interpret “'baled" as “excepting those, as unfit judges of honour," w inherit not Roman virtue, but its decay. To these esplanations must be added the conjecture of Colerid It ought to be observed that Hanmer was before bis in the guess" of bastards for "'bated:"— It was be, I own, an audacious and unjustifiable change of the text; but yet, as a mere conjecture, I venture to ar gest bastards for 'bated.' As it stands, I can make little or nothing of it. Why should the King except the then most illustrious states, which, as being republes were the more truly inheritors of the Roman grande' With my conjecture the sense would be, • Let higber. or the more northern part of Italy, (unless • bigher' be a corruption of hir'd, the metre seeming to demand a monosyllable,) those bastards that inherit only the info my of their fathers, see,' etc. The following - woo' and ' wed' are so far confirmative as they indicate Sbake speare's manner of connection by unmarked influences of association from some preceding metaphor. This is is which makes his style so peculiarly vital and organic Likewise, those girls of Italy' strengthen the guess. "(Literary Remains.)

Johnson's seems to me the most satisfactory comment unless we accept this very probable correction.

“ – one to dance with”-In Shakespeare's time it was usual for gentlemen to dance with swords on.

" there do muster true gait"-Several editors have thought this a misprint-one for master true gait," another for “muster with true gait," and others again for they muster,” etc. I am content with the old reading, and Henley's explanation :-“ The obscurity of the passage arises from the fantastical language of a character like Parolles, whose affectation of wit urges his imagination from one allusion to another, without al. lowing time for his judgment to determine their congruity. The .cap of time' being the first image that occurs, true gait,' manner of eating, speaking, etc., are the several ornaments which they muster,' place, or arrange in time's cap. This is done “under the influence of the most received star,' (i. e. the person in the highest repute for setting the fashions;) and though the devil were to lead the measure,' or dance of fashion such is their implicit submission, that even he must be followed."

“ — SEE thee to stand up"—So the original: in mod ern editions, fee. “I'll see thee to stand up" is, “ I'I notice you when you stand up."

Across”—This word, which is taken from break. ing a spear “across” in chivalric exercises, is used else. where by Shakespeare where a pass of wit miscarries. (See As You LIKE IT, act iii. scene 4.)

- make you dance canARY"-"Canary' was the name of a lively kind of dance.


Though honesty be no puritan"-" The Clown answers, with the licentious petulance allowed to the character, that if a man does as a woman commands, it is likely he will do amiss ;' that he does not amiss, he makes the effect not of his lady's goodness, but of his own honesty, which, though not very puritanical, will do no hurt, but, unlike the puritans, will comply with the injunctions of superiors, and wear the surplice of humility over the black gown of a big heart-will obey commands, though not much pleased with a state of subjection.”—Johnson.

“ Diana, no queen of virgins”—“The passage in the original stands thus :- Love, no god, that would not extend his might only where qualities were level; queen of virgins, that would suffer her poor knight surprised without rescue,' etc. The introduction of Diana, no' and · to be' was made by Theobald. We adopt such changes with great reluctance; but, as the text in the original is certainly corrupt, we prefer a reading that has been generally received to any new conjecture. It would certainly be a less violent alteration to let the description of Fortune and Love terminate without the introduction of Diana ; and to suppose the Steward to be translating into narrative an apostrophe of Helena to the Queen of Virgins."-KNIGHT.

SITHENCE"—The old and unabridged form of since.

The many-coloured Iris, rounds thine eye"_“There is something exquisitely beautiful in the representation of that suffusion of colours which glimmers around the sight, when the eye-lashes are wet with tears. The Poet has described the same appearance in his RAPE OF LUCRECE:And round about her tear-distained

Blue circles streamed, like rainbows in the sky."

HENLEY. “Why, that you are my daughter"-In the old copies, there is a long dash before “Why, that you are my daughter ?" to indicate a pause, and an interrupted sentence. The obvious meaning is, “Why, because I call you my daughter, does your eye put on this appear. ance ?"

“ — were you both our mothers"-A colloquial carelessness of expression, for “were you mother to us both.“I care no more for, than I do for heaven," is in the same free idiom for “ I wish as much," “ I should joy in it as much as in heaven, provided he were not there also my brother.”

“ — your LONELINESS”—The old copies have loveliness for “ loneliness ;" but the mistake is evident.

“ – CAPTIOUS and INTENIBLE sieve"-Malone, Collier and Knight, agree with Stevens in taking “captious" for capable of receiving, which, however, the next word ("* intenible") contradicts. Johnson is at a loss, “ having never found captious in this sense,” and supposes it may have been meant for carious. But Mr. Singer has shown conclusively, from the authority of the contemporary old dictionaries, (Cooper's, 1584, Latin and English; Cotgrave's, French and English; and Florio's, Italian,) that “captious' then meant deceitful.

There's something in’t”—Many editors adopt the emendation of Hanmer, “ There's something hints ;' but the old copies read, “There's something in't,” which is very intelligible, and ought to be preserved. In Twelfth Night, (act iv. scene 3,) the same expression


"Than I dare blame my weakness"-An obscure " — happiness and PRIME”—“Prime” is here used passage, which may bear more than one meaning.

as a substantive, and means that sprightly vigour which That given by M. Mason strikes me as the probable usually accompanies the prime of life. So in Monone:" Lafeu's meaning appears to me to be this: taigne's “ Essays,” translated by Florio:—“Many things That the amazement she excited in him was so great, seem greater by imagination than by effect. I have that he could not impute it merely to his own weakness, passed over a good part of my age in sound and perfect but to the wonderful qualities of the object that occa health : I say, not only sound, but blithe, and wantonly sioned it."

lustful. That state, full of lust, of prime, and mirth, “- I am Cressid's uncle"-i. e. Pandarus. (See

made me deem the consideration of sickness so irksome TroilUS AND CRESSIDA.) This allusion has been

that, when I came to the experience of them, I have thought to throw some light on the relative date of the

found their fits but weak." plays; but Chaucer and his continuator, as well as more humble romancers, had made Cressid and her uncle fa

- my hopes of HEAVEN”—The old copies have help

for “ heaven,” which last is probably right ; Shakespeare miliar enough to an English audience to have warranted

having used the somewhat forced expression, “But will this allusion, before they were dramatized.

you make it even ?" for the sake of closing the couplet Since you set up YOUR REST 'gainst remedy"- emphatically with a heaven." All this part of the scene This phrase, found in a more solemn use in ROMEO AND is in rhyme. JULIET, (act v.)—" set up my everlasting rest”)-has been shown by Nares, in his “Glossary," and by seve

"— IMAGE of thy state"- This is the original reading, ral commentators, to have been drawn from the game

and gives a sense congruous to the context, such as the of Primero, once fashionable throughout Europe, and

author may very well have intended. Yet there is both there meant to stand upon the cards in one's hand. It that the word was impage, from imping, or grafting

probability and poetic taste in Warburton's conjecture thence canie to mean, in the English of Elizabeth's age,

thus making Helena continue the metaphor by declining as well as in contemporary Italian and Spanish, “ to adventure all, to be determined, to resolve to take the risk

to graft on her lowly stock any scion of the royal state of the present state of things.” But it should also be

of France. The chief objection to adopting this word

is that it is not found elsewhere, and, if it was writborne in mind, (which the critics have not noted,) that this phrase, like many similar ones in all languages,

ten by the author, must have been of his own coinagedrawn from field-sports, favourite games, etc., having

which is certainly not at all unlikely. once become familiar in its secondary sense, was then used without any reference or comparison, in the speaker

SCENE II. or hearer, to its literal sense. Such phrases become merely a proverbial or idiomatic mode of expression,

“- as Tib's Rush for Tom's FORE-FINGER"_"Tom"

and “Tib" were apparently common names for a lad where the original allusion is quite out of sight. "Romeo,

and lass; the rush ring seems to have been a kind of in his solemn soliloquy, and Helena here, lave no more

love-token, for plighting of troth among rustic lovers. direct reference to the game which gave birth and pop

In Green's “Menaphon" the custom is alluded to ularity to the phrase, than the preacher or orator of the

“Well, 'twas a goodly worlde when such simplicitie was present day, when he speaks of " staking” our hopes, or our all, has to the usages of betting. The metaphor

used, sayes the olde women of our time, when a ring

of rush would tie as much love together as a gimmon ical idea, in both cases, is wholly merged in the secondary and habitual sense.

(gimmal) of golde."

The phrase was still in use among the lighter writers “When judges have been babes"-The allusion is to of Charles II.'s time. St. Matthew's Gospel, (xi. 25:) "I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast

SCENE III. hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.” (See also 1 Cor. i. 27.)

' — MODERN and familiar things supernatural and

CAUSELESS Modern" is often used by Shakespeare - despair most fits”—The old copies have shifts,

for common. Upon “causeless," Coleridge remarks :which Pope, for the sake of the rhyme, as well as the

" Shakespeare, inspired, as it might seem, with all sense, altered to sits. Collier adopts an old manuscript knowledge, here uses the word “causeless' in its strict correction, “fits," which seems still more probable. philosophical sense-cause being truly predicable only

Inspired merit 80 bY BREATH is barr'd”—“Breath' of phenomena, (i. e. things natural,) and not of noumena, expresses human wisdom or opinion, as opposed to the or things supernatural.” excellence inspired from heaven."

your DOLPHIN is not lustier"-Stevens maintains I am not an impostor"-i. e. I am not an impostor this to mean the Dauphin, or heir of the crown of that proclaim one thing and design another; that pro France; and thus in fact the title was anciently angli. claim a cure, and aim at a fraud : I think what I speak. cised, by the most accurate writers. Thus old Coryat, - NE worse of worst extended”—Let me be stig

the traveller, relates the historical origin of “the title matized as a strumpet, and, in addition, (although that

of dolphin to the eldest sonne of the kinge of France." would not be worse, or a more "extended” evil than

But here I quite agree with Nares, that this is but a colwhat I have mentioned, the loss of my honour, which

loquial comparison with the dolphin, as an active, lively, is the worst that could happen,) let me die with torture.

jumping fish. Such piscatory comparisons are so com" Ne” is not, or nor; common in Saxon and very old

mon in English usage as to mark the habits of the English, but of which this is among the latest examples.

people—“as sound as a roach ;" “ as slippery as an eel."

If the heir-apparent of France had been meant, it would Youth, beauty, wisdom, courage, all—The line is have been said the Dolphin.. usually printedYouth, beauty, wisdom, courage, rirtue, all.

“ LUSTICK, as the Dutchman says"— This word came Virtue was added by Warburton, “ to supply a defect

into common use from Holland, in the beginning of the in the measure.” This word, if one be wanted, is not

seventeenth century: it occurs, among other authorities, that authorized by the context. The King enumerates

in Decker and Webster's “ Wyat's History," (1607 :)all the qualities which are apparent in Helena, which

If my old master be hang'd, why so;

If not, why rustick and lustick. she has displayed in her interview with him. But the metre does not need this help; for though, counted on “ – to lead her a coranto"-i. e. A species of dance the fingers, it wants two syllables, yet the marked often mentioned in writers of Shakespeare's time. It pauses, between each emphatic word, give the full re was very active and lively. (See Twelfth Night, act quired length to the ear.

i. scene 3.)

[ocr errors]

" — to each, But one"-i. e. I wish a virtuous mis “ – a vessel of too great a burden"-Parolles, fra tress to each of you, with one exception; meaning Ber this, and several passages of a similar nature, appears !! tram, whom in hope she reserves for herself, whom she have been intended for a great coxcomb in dress; and could not modestly describe as fair and virtuous." Lafeu here compares his trappings to the gaudy deco bay curtal”-i. e. A bay docked horse.

tions of a pleasure-vessel, not of too great a bardee"

Hall, in his “Satires," (book iv. sect. 6,) has described My mouth no more were BROKEN"-A “broken a soldier so scarfed :mouth" is one which has lost some of its teeth.

The sturdy ploughman doth the soldier see " - all the rest is mute"-i. e. “I have no more to

All scarfod with pied colours to the Kee.

Whom Indian pillage hath made fortunare; say to you;” and she therefore proceeds to the second

And now he'gins to loath his former state. lord.

" – in what motion age will gire me leare" -*** I throw AMES-ACE for my life"-"Ames-ace," or cannot do much, (says Lafeu;) doing I am past, as I both aces, was the lowest throw upon two dice. To will by thee in what motion age will give me leave" throw ames-ace" is an expression often used, indicating (i. e. ' as I will pass by thee as fast as I am able:')-od ill luck. Lafeu is contrasting it with the happy chance he immediately goes out."-EDWARDS. of being the choice of Helena.

" -- the dark house, and the detested wife"-The “ – great additions swell's"-So the old copy, “dark house" is a house made gloomy by discontrol which abbreviates swell us into “swell's," to show that Milton says of Death and the King of Hell, prepara the line requires it to be pronounced as a monosyllable. to combat:“ – good alone

So frowned the mighty combatants, tha: heil

Grew darker at their frown. Is good, without a name; vileness is so," etc.

This is much the same thought, though more sole al The meaning is-Good is good, independent of any expressed, that we meet with in Kixg Hesky IT worldly distinction or title: so, vileness is vile, in what

(Part I.:)ever state it may appear. The same phraseology is

he's as tedious found in MACBETH:

As a tired horse, a railing wife; Though all things foul would wear the brow of grace,

Worse than a sinoky house. Yet grace must still look so(i. e. must still look like grace-like itself.)

SCENE IV. " which to defeat" — The implication, or clause of - and WELL-FED"_"An allusion to the old saring. the sentence, (as the grammarians say,) here serves for * Better fed than taught;' to which the Clown has hipthe antecedent—"which danger to defeat.” So in self alluded in a preceding scene :- I will show or OTHELLO:

self highly fed and lowly taught.'"-Ritson.
she dying gave it me,
And bid me when my fate would have me wive

" but puts it off to a compelld restraint"-i. e. To give it her

Postpones it owing to a compulsory restraint. (i. e. to my wife, though not mentioned before but by the CURBED time-i. e. The time to which the implication.)

compelld restraint applies. Into the staGGERS"— The commentators here inform

May make it PROBABLE NEED"—i. e. May give it us that the “staggers" is a violent disease in horses ; the appearance of necessity. but the word in the text has no relation, even metaphorically, to it. The reeling and unsteady course of a

SCENE V. drunken or sick man is meant. Shakespeare has the

" — I took this LARK for a BUNTING”—“The bunting same expression in CYMBELINE, where Posthumus

is, in feather, size, and form, so like the sky-lark, as to says: Whence come these staggers on me?

require nice attention to discover the one from the other :

it also ascends and sinks in the air nearly in the same A counterpoise, if not to thy estate"—i. e. I promise manner; but it has little or no song, which gives estiher such rank and wealth as may be an equivalent to mation to the sky-lark."-J. Johnson. them, if not a still fuller scale, outweighing that on your

“End, ere I do begin"-All the copies, ancient and side.

modern, until Collier's edition, read, “ And ere I do be the now-born brief”—The old copies read now gin," as if it were a broken sentence; but the true readborne, which Collier retains, and says the meaning of it ing has been pointed out by the MS. corrector of Lord is clear," whose ceremony shall seem expedient on the F. Egerton's first folio, where "End" is substituted for now, to be borne briefly, or concluded briefly.” I can And, or rather E for A, in the margin. This happy not make out this sense, and (unless the whole be a suggestion gives the meaning of Bertram, that he wil misprint for something else) prefer the ordinary reading end his matrimonial rite ere he begins it. of "now-born brief." “ Brief” is used as frequently, by Shakespeare and his contemporaries, for any short

“ – like him that leaped into the custard"-Ben Jonwriting, or speech; as in this play, (act v. scene 3,)—

son has a passage which illustrates this :“She told me, in a sweet verbal brief!" The lines

He may perchance, in tail of a sheritf's dinner,

Skip with a rhyme on the table, from New-nothing, there mean—whose ceremony shall seem expedient And take his Almain-leap into a custard, on the short verbal contract which has now had its Shall make my lady mayoress and her sisters birth.”

Laugh all their hoods over their shoulders.

Devil is an Ass, (act i. scene L.) “- and Attendants”—The old copies have the fol. The leaper into the custard was the city fool. Gitfind lowing stage-direction here :-"Parolles and Lafeu stay has a note on the above passage, which we copy :behind, commenting of this wedding."

“Our old dramatists abound with pleasant allusions to for two ORDINARIES"—i.e. While I dined in your

the enormous size of their quaking custards,' which

were served up at the city feasts, and with which such company twice. The dining at an ordinary was a

gross fooleries were played. Thus Glassthorne:fashion of genteel life, in Shakespeare's day, which the

I'll write the city annals change of manners renders every day less common, as In metre, which shall far surpass Sir Guy well as less fashionable, in England. In this respect, as Of Warwick's history, or John Stow's, upon in many others. American tastes and usages preserve

The custard, with the four-and-twenty nooks Old-English habits, which have gone out of date at

At my lord mayor's feast.-Wit in a Constable. home.

Indeed, no common supply was required; for, besides

what the corporation (great devourers of custard) consumed on the spot, it appears that it was thought no breach of city manners to send or take some of it home with them, for the use of their ladies. In the excellent old play quoted above, Clara twits her uncle with this practice:

Nor shall you, sir, as 'tis a frequent custom,
'Cause you're a wonhy alderman of a ward,
Feed me with custard and perpetual white broth,
Sent from the lord mayor's feast, and kept ten days,
Till a new dinner from the common-hall

Supply the large defect." I have kept of them tame"-" of them," for

some of them," is a very old idiom, which has gradu. ally become antiquated, though perhaps not yet quite obsolete.

- the wealth I owe'-i. e. Oron, or am possessed of. (See notes in many other places, where "owe" bears the same signification.)

[ocr errors]

may as well
Wound the loud winds, or with bemocked stabs

Kill the still-closing waters. Thus Helena here charges the bullets to wound the "still-piecing air,” which still closes over the wound, and sings as in scorn of it, but to spare her lord. That “still-piecing" is the word designed, is made more probable by the fact that the old orthography would be still-peecing, which requires but the error of one letter to make still-peering, as in the first folio. This idea is oriental and scriptural, and may well have been suggested by a passage in the apocryphal book of the “ Wisdom of Solomon:''-"As when an arrow is shot at a mark, it parteth the air, which immediately cometh together again, so that a man cannot know where it went through.”

"Whence honour but of danger wins a scar”—The sense is—Come from that place where all the advantage that honour usually reaps from the danger it rushes upon, is only a scar in the testimony of its bravery; as, on the other hand, it often is the cause of losing all, eyen life itself.

SCENE III. " - EDGE of hazard"-So, in our author's One Hundred and Sixteenth “ Sonnet:'

But bears it out even to the edge of doom. Milton has borrowed this expression, (Paradise Regained, book i. :)

You see our danger on the utmost edge
Of hazard.

ACT III.-SCENE I. Holy seems the quarrel”—This should seem to be the remark of a Florentine lord ; as in the old copies the “two Frenchmen" are distinguished by “ French E.” and“ French G.,” (perhaps French Envoy and French Gentleman,) before what is assigned to them in the dia. logue. Most of the modern editors make no such distinction, but merely call them “1 Lord" and " 2 Lord." These appear to be the same “French E.” and “ French G." who afterwards accompany Helena to Roussillon.

SCENE IV. " Saint Jaques' pilgrim"-From Dr. Heylin's “France Painted to the Life,” (1656,) we learn that at Orleans was a church dedicated to St. Jaques, to which pilgrims formerly used to resort, to adore a part of the cross pretended to be found there.

SCENE II. “ – he will look upon his boot, and sing; mend the ruff, and sing”—The tops of the boots, in Shakespeare's time, turned down, and hung loosely over the leg. The folding part, or top, was the “ruff:” it was of softer leather than the boot, and often fringed. Ben Jonson calls it the ruffle :-"Not having leisure to put off my silver spurs, one of the rowels catched hold of the ruffle of my boot.”—(Every Man out of his Humour.) To this fashion, also, Bishop Earle alludes in his “ Characters," (1638 :)—“ He has learned to ruffle his face from his boot, and takes great delight in his walk to hear his spurs jingle.”

" — WOMAN me"-i. e. Affect me as my sex are usually affected.

"Which holds him much to have”—The meaning seems to be, that Parolles has a great deal too much of that which it imports him to have much of, in order to keep up appearances--impudence. Heath thought the meaning was, that Parolles had “ a deal too much of that which alone can hold or judge that he has much in him-i. e. folly and ignorance.”

Not so, but as we change our courtesies"_" The gentlemen declare that they are servants to the Countess; she replies—No otherwise than as she returns the same offices of civility.”—Johnson.

" — more the STILL-PIECING air"- This is a line doubtful alike in its reading and its meaning. The first folio has still-peering air." This Knight retains, as meaning " appearing still"-—a sense, to my mind, not easy to be extracted from the words, and neither very poetical nor appropriate when obtained. The second folio has “still-piercing," which is preferred by Nares and others, as meaning “still or constantly pierced;" the active for the passive participle, as often occurs in old poets. I have preferred the reading suggested by some anonymous critic, and adopted by Stevens and other editors, of “still-piecing,” (i. e. which constantly pieces, or makes itself whole.) My chief reason for this preference is one not given by the English editors—the resemblance of the thought and expression to a passage in the TEMPEST, where Ariel tells the three men of sin that their swords

SCENE V. “ A TUCKET afar off-A “tucket" was not the name of an instrument, but of the sound produced by an instruinent—the trumpet.

“ – are not the things they go UNDER"-i. e. Are not the things they pretend to be, under the names of which they go and are known.

Where do the PALMERS lodge"-" Palmers” were so called from a staff or bough of palm they were wont to carry, especially such as had visited the holy places of Jerusalem. “A pilgrim and a palmer differed thus : a pilgrim had some dwelling-place; a palmer had none The pilgrim travelled to some certain place; the palmer to all, and not to any one in particular. The pilgrim must go at his own charge; the palmer must profess wilful poverty. The pilgrim might give over his profession; the palmer must be constant.”—Blount's Glossary.

" His face I know not"—“Shall we say here (asks Coleridge) that Shakespeare has unnecessarily made his loveliest character utter a lie? Or shall we dare think that, where to deceive was necessary, he thought a pre. tended verbal verity a double crime, equally with the other a lie to the hearer, and at the same time an attempt to lie to one's own conscience ?"

“AY, Right, good creature"- This is the reading of the second folio, which has “ I right good creature," etc.; “Ay” being almost invariably printed I in the folios, as in other books of the time. But the first folio has “I wrile good creature," etc., which Malone and Collier retain as the phraseology of the day ; just as Parolles says, “I write myself man." But Mr. Dyce bas shown (Remarks) that this phrase is used only in reference to the speaker, and here would make the Widow say, “ I write myself (or pronounce mysell) a good creature." The reading of the text which is the more commonly

[ocr errors]


received one, as an assent to Helena's remarks, is clear neither of them sinned, although the “fact" appeared and natural.

“sinful.” The passage has produced controversy

Warburton would read, · And lawful meaning in a a party of the Florentine army—The old copies read, “and the whole arıy”-i. e. the whole army the

wicked act," and Hanmer, Unlawful meaning in a la theatre could put upon the stage.

ful act;" but no change is required. " -- BROKES with all-i. e. Negotiates, bargains; a verb now obsolete, though its noun. broker, is re

ACT IV.-SCENE I. tained, in a more restricted sense.

- what's the INSTANCE"-Johnson says that " I will bestow some precepts of this virgin" - As it stance" here means proof; but it seems rather to is important to preserve the peculiarities of our ancient mean, as in HamLET, (act iii. scene 2,) motire. idiom, I have followed Mr. Collier in rejecting the “

motive is there (asks Parolles) that I should give mye this virgin” of all the other editors, and reading, with great hurts ?" He does not see the necessity of woona the first folio, “ of this virgin,” which was the language ing himself, but is resolved to rely upon his tougue. of the time. Thus, in the TAMING OF THE SHREw we " Bajazet's MUTE"— The old copies have “ Baz had “ both of one horse;" and in the same comedy Pe. zet’s mule," but the writers most conversant with the truchio says, “I'll venture so much of my hawk or literature of that age have been unable to hunt oot ar hound.”


incident, true or fictitious, to which this can allode SCENE VI.

and Warburton's emendation of “mute" is natural, ei “ - a hilding”-i. e. A low, cowardly fellow; as in

very probable. HENRY V., “ To purge the field from such a hilding

- BARING of my beard"—We have the expressie of “baring" applied to the shaving of the head, in Mar

SURE FOR MEASURE:-“Shave the head, and tie the the LEAGUER of his adversaries"-i. e. The camp. beard ; and say it was the desire of the penitent to se Douce aptly quotes the following :—“They will not so bared before his death." vouchsafe in their speaches or writings to use our ancient termes belonging to matters of warre, but doo call a

" — with PAROLLES guarded”—The folios have bere

"a short alarum within ;” no doubt, to give a panic » camp by the Dutch name of Legar; nor will not affoord to say, that such a towne or such a fort is besieged, but

Parolles, as he was taking his departure hoodwinked that it is belegard."-SMYTHE's Discourses, (1590.) Inform on that"-So the original. The combo - John Drum's entertainment" - This was a com

reading is, “Inform 'em that.” But the change is 1

wanted. mon phrase for ill treatment. There is an old motley

“ Inform on that" is, give information en interlude called “ Jack Drum's Entertainment, or the

that point. Comedy of Pasquil and Catherine,” (1601.) In this Jack Drum is a servant of intrigue, who is ever aiming

Scene II. at projects, and always foiled, and given the drop.

" – do not strive against my vows"—i. e. The fons Hollingshed has “ Tom Drum his Entertainment, which

he has made never to cohabit with his wife. is to hale a man in by the heade, and to thrust him out by the shoulders." And, in “ Manners and Customs of "What is not holy, that we swear not by"— The ter: all Nations,” by Ed. Aston, (1611, page 280 :)—" Some here given is that of the old copies, generally followed others on the contrarie part give them John Drum's en in the later editions, which is yet certainly very obscure. tertainment, reviling and beating them away from their and very probably rendered so by some omission, trans houses,” etc.

position, or other misprint. Heath's explanation is the " — I would have that drum or another, or HIC JA

one adopted :cer"_" Hic jacet" (here lies) is a common commence

“ The sense is-We never swear by what is not bels, ment of epitaphs. Parolles means to say, that he would

but swear by, or take to witness, the Highest, the Dieither recover the lost drum, or another belonging to

vinity. The tenor of the reasoning contained in tbe the enemy, or die in the attempt.

following lines perfectly corresponds with this: If I

should swear by Jove's great attributes that I loved you MY DILEMMAS”-By “dilemmas" is meant his dearly, would you believe my oaths, when you found plans, on the one hand, and the probable obstructions by experience that I loved you ill, and was endeavour he was to meet with, on the other.

ing to gain credit with you in order to seduce you to the possibility of thy soldiership"-Bertram's

your ruin? No, surely; but you would conclude tha: meaning is, that he will vouch for his doing all that it is

I had no faith either in Jove or his attributes, and that possible for soldiership to effect. He was not yet cer

my oaths were mere words of course. For that oath tain of his cowardice.

can certainly have no tie upon us, which we swear by

him we profess to love and hononr, when at the same — we have almost EMBOSSED him"-To emboss a

time we give the strongest proof of our disbelief in him, deer (as appears by a passage from Markham's “ Coun.

by pursuing a course which we know will otiend and try Contentments," is to run it until it is weary and dishonour him." foams at the mouth. In Heywood's “Edward IV.," Yet it is not easy to extract such a meaning from (1600,) we find

these lines as they stand, and, with Singer, I strongly Duchess. And saw'st thou not the deer imbost?

incline that they should be read :The fall of the deer was also technical.

If I should swear by Looe's great attributes,

I lov'd you dearly, would you believe my oaths, “ – ere we case him''-To“case" is to flay, to skin ;

When I did love you ill ? this has no holding, and seems to have also been a technical word of the

To gwear by him, when I protest to love chase.

That I will work against him.

The first alteration has Johnson's sanction, in the print Scene VII.

of the old folio it is doubtful whether it be lore's or - his imPORTANT blood-i. e. Importunate, (em

love's ;' and whoever reads Bertram's preceding and portant, Fr., as Tyrwhitt observes.) A frequent sense

succeeding speeches will be convinced that love's was of this word in SHAKESPEARE.

meant. The slight change in punctuation, and the sub

stitution of when for whom, would not be an unwarrani“Where both not sin, and yet a sinful fact”—This able innovation: they are probably errors of the press. riddle may be thus solved: Bertram's meaning was The sense of the last three lines will then be: This has wicked, though the deed he committed was “ lawful." no consistency to swear by love, when, at the same Helena's meaning and act were both “ lawful;" and time, I protest in secret to love that I will work against

« PreviousContinue »