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197. leave, give up. See King John, v. 7. 86:
• With purpose presently to leave this war.' 1 Henry VI, iv. I, 108 :
• Will not this malice, Somerset, be left ?' 201. nor I cannot. For the double negative see Venus and Adonis, 113:
"O, be not proud, nor brag not of thy might.'
“I know not love, quoth he, nor will not know it.' 208. worser.
So Hamlet, iii. 4. 157:
See the quartos. The folios have do,' and Reed combined the readings into 'do use.'
214. impeach, bring into question, expose to reproach. Compare Merchant of Venice, iii. 2. 280 ;
* And doth impeach the freedom of the state,
If they deny him justice.' Again, iii. 3. 29 :
• If it be denied, Will much impeach the justice of his state.' 220. Your virtue is my privilege : for that &c. Your virtue is my protection, because it is not &c. This is the reading of the early copies. Malone, following Tyrwhitt's conjecture, read
• Your virtue is my privilege for that.
It is not night &c. That is, Your virtue is my protection or warrant against such wrong. For privilege' in this sense see Two Gentlemen of Verona, iii. 1. 160:
. And think my patience, more than thy desert,
Is privilege for thy departure hence.' 221-4. Johnson points out the resemblance to the lines of Tibullus [iv. 13. II, 12]:
Tu nocte vel atra
*A wilderness is populous enough,
For where thou art, there is the world itself.' 224. in my respect, in my regard or estimation. Compare Cymbeline, ii. 3: 140:
• His meanest garment,
227. in the brakes, in the thickets. See iii. 1. 4, 77, 110; iii. 2. 15 ; and Venus and Adonis, 876:
* Hasting to feed her fawn hid in some brake.' 231. Apollo flies &c. See Ovid, Metam. i. 452 &c. 1b. holds the chase, pursues,
232. the griffin, a fabulous creature, half beast, half bird of prey ; now, like the unicorn, only known in the zoology of heraldry. It occurs again in i Henry IV, iii. 1. 152 :
• A clip-wing'd griffin, and a moulten raven.' And in the form "gripe' in Lucrece, 543:
• Like a white hind under the gripe's sharp claws.' Baret in his Alvearie gives,' a Griffon, or gripe. Gryps.' See also Holland's Pliny, vii. 2 (vol. i. p. 154): “Griffons, a kind of wild beasts that flie.' And again x. 49 : 'As for the foules called Pegasi, headed like horses; and the Griffons, which are supposed to have long eares, and a hooked bill, I take them to bee meere fables.'
233. bootless, profitless, worthless : from A. S. bót, profit, advantage. See The Tempest, i. 2. 35.
236. I will not stay thy questions, I will not wait to talk with thee. For question' in the sense of conversation see As You Like It, iii. 4. 39: 'I met the duke yesterday and had much question with him.' And Merchant of Venice, iv. 1. 346: 'I'll stay no longer question.' Steevens in the present passage conjectured 'question' in the singular, but the plural may denote Helena's repeated efforts at inducing Demetrius to talk with her.
244. upon the hand. “Upon' occurs in a temporal sense in some phrases, where it is used with the cause of anything. In such cases the consequence follows upon’the cause. For instance, in Much Ado about Nothing, iv. 1, 225:
"When he shall hear she died upon his words.' Again, in the same play, iv. 2. 65: ‘And upon the grief of this suddenly died.' Alsoon' is used in a local sense with the instrument of an action. See below, ii. 2. 107:
• O, how fit a word Is that vile name to perish on my sword!' And Julius Cæsar, v. 1. 58:
"I was not born to die on Brutus' sword.' Hence metaphorically it occurs in King Lear, ii. 4. 34:
• On whose contents, They summon'd up their meiny, straight took horse.' None of these instances are strictly parallel to the one before us, but they shew how upon the hand' comes to be nearly equivalent to 'by the hand,' while with this is combined the idea of local nearness to the beloved object
which is contained in the ordinary meaning of “upon.' A better example is found in Fletcher's Chances, i. 9 :
Give me dying,
Parting with mankind by a man that's manly.' 249. where, pronounced as a disyllable. See note on 'year' which is so used in The Tempest, i. 2. 53. Pope altered it to whereon,' to fill up the line.
250. oxlips. •The Oxelip, or the small kind of white Mulleyn, is very like to the Cowslip aforesaid, sauing that his leaues be greater and larger, and his floures be of a pale or faint yelow colour, almost white and without sauour.' Lyte's Herball (1595), p. 134. The second quarto reads 'oxslips'; and • Oxeslips' is a name of the plant given by Gerarde. Ib. the nodding violet. Compare Drayton, Quest of Cynthia, 54:
• I ask'd, a nodding violet why
It sadly hung the head.'
251. luscious, sweet scented; generally sweet to the taste. Compare Drayton, Polyolbion, xv. 153 :
• The azur’d Hare-bell next, with them, they neatly mixt:
T'allay whose lushious smell, they Woodbind plac't betwixt.' On account of the metre, Theobald conjectured “lush,' luxuriant, thickgrowing, which occurs in The Tempest, ii. 1. 52 : • How lush and lusty the
Ib. woodbine. In Lyte's Herball is a chapter (iii. 51) 'Of Woodbine or Honisuckle,' and it is said ' This herbe or kinde of Bindeweede is called ... in English Honisuckle, or Woodbine, and of some Caprifoile.' So also in Gerarde the woodbine and honeysuckle are identified, and bindweed is a different plant, but Shakespeare elsewhere (iv. I. 47) makes woodbine and honeysuckle distinct, and apparently regards the former as the same as the convolvulus or bindweed. In the same way Milton (L'Allegro, 47, 48) mentions the sweetbriar and the eglantine as different plants.
252. musk-roses. Of the different kinds of roses, says Lyte (Herball, p. 760), “The sixt is named of Plinie in Latine, Rosa Coroneola, of the writers at this day Rosa sera, and Rosa autumnalis ; in French, Rose Musquée, and Roses de Damas : in base Almaigne, Musket Rooskens: in English also, Muske Roses, bicause of their pleasant sent. So Milton, Lycidas, 146:
• The glowing violet, The musk-rose, and the well attir'd woodbine.' Except in fairy land these flowers would not be found all at the same
Ib. eglantine, the sweet briar. See Cymbeline, iv. 2. 223 :
• No, nor
Outsweeten'd not thy breath.'
253. sometime. In some editions the words are separated, but the accent shows that they should be combined.
254. throws, throws off, sheds.
• We have scotch'd the snake, not kill'd it:
She'll close and be herself.' 256. Weed, dress, garment; A. S. wéd. Compare Lucrece, 196:
• Let fair humanity abhor the deed
That spots and stains love's modest snow-white weed.' 257. streak, stroke, touch gently.
263, 264. Steevens appealed to the rhyme between 'man' and on' to shew that the broad Scotch pronunciation once prevailed in England. In an earlier part of the scene 'crab'rhymes to bob' and 'cough' to 'laugh’; but from such imperfect rhymes, of which other examples occur in iii. I. 348, 9, iii. 2. 411, 412, 462, 463, and v. 1. 267, 268, it is unsafe to draw any inference as to Shakespeare's pronunciation.
266. fond, doting. For the construction with on,' which Rowe changed to 'of,' compare Sonnet lxxxiv. 14:
Being fond on praise, which makes your praises worse.'
1. a roundel, like 'round,' and 'roundelay,' signifies both a circular dance, and a part song or catch. In the present passage it has apparently the former meaning, as in Ben Jonson's Tale of a Tub [ii. t], quoted by Tyrwhitt:
You'd have your daughter and maids
I'll have no rondels, I, in the queen's paths.'
• And many an himpne for your holy daies,
That highten balades, rondels, virelaies.'
• Wil. Now endeth our rounde!ay.
The passage quoted by Steevens from Puttenham's Arte of English Poesie is nothing to the purpose, for the 'roundell’of Puttenham is merely a circle, one of the many fanciful figures described by him in which a poem might be written. In the sense of a circular dancing place it is used by Browne, Britannia's Pastorals, book i, song 3, 1. 373:
Thus went they on, and Remond did discusse
It was a Roundell seated on a plaine.'
In airie rankes Tread Roundelayet vpon the siluer sands.' 2. the third part of a minute. The fairy divisions of time are small in proportion to their own tiny dimensions.
3. musk-rose. See ii. 1. 252.
4. Some war &c. Delius says the construction is ‘Some to war' &c. as in the previous line; but it seems rather that war' is imperative, 'let some war' &c.
Ib. rere-mice, bats; A. S. hrére-mús, from hreran to stir, agitate, and so equivalent to the old name 'Aittermouse.' The old copies spell the word 'Reremise.' Cotgrave has, 'Chauvesouris: m. A Batt, Flittermouse, Reremouse. The word occurs in the Wicliffite Versions of Lev. xi. 19, and the plural in the form .reremees' or 'rere myis’ is found in Isa. ii. 20, where the later version has · backis ether rere myis.'
7. quaint, fine, delicate. So Prospero in The Tempest, i. 2. 317, exclaims, ' My quaint Ariel !' The word is derived from the Latin cognitus, which in Old French became coint. Cotgrave (Fr. Dict.) gives 'Coint .. Quaint, compt, neat, fine, spruce, brisk, smirke, smug, daintie, trim, tricked vp.'
Ib. Sing me now asleep. Compare The Tempest, ii. 1. 189: Will you laugh me now asleep, for I am very heavy?' 9. double, forked, cloven. Compare iii. 2. 72, and Richard II, iii, 2. 21 :
• A lurking adder,
Throw death upon thy sovereign's enemies.'
• Adders who with cloven tongues
Do hiss me into madness.' 11. Newts, lizards. See King Lear, iii. 4. 135. "A newt' is an evet or eft (A. S. efete), the 'n' of the article having become attached to the following word as in .nonce,' noumpere'=umpire, and others. In 'adder' the opposite process has taken place, and a nadder' (A. næddre) has become 'an adder'; so 'an auger' is really 'a nauger' (A. S. nafegár).