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" their muskets ; so that, 'till the middle of the 6 last Century, the musketeers always supported their
pieces when they gave fire, with a Rest stuck " before them into the ground, which they calld “ setting up their Rest, and is bere alluded to. " There is another quibbling allusion too to the Ser" jeant's office of arresting. But what most wants “ animadversion is the morris-pike, which is « without meaning, impertinent to the sense, and
false in the allufion ; no pike being used among the “ dancers so called, or at least not fam’d for much “ execution. In a word, Shakespeare wrote
6 A MAURICE pike. " i. e, a pikeman of Prince Maurice's army. He " was the greatest general of that age, and the 66 conductor of the Low-Country wars against “ Spain, under whom all the English Gentry and “ Nobility were bred to the service. Being fre
quently overborn with numbers, he became famous “ for his fine retreats, in which a stand of pikes is
of great service. Hence the pikes of his army became famous for their military exploits.” Mr.W.
What a deal of skimble-skamble stuff is bere to alter the poet's words ? - This Morris-pike changed into a Maurice-pike, i. e. a pikeman of Prince Maurice's army, puts me in mind of an explanation in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Aet II.
« The nine-men's morris is filld up with mud. " The nine-men's morris.] A kind of rural “ chess.” Mr.W. Nothing like it. I have writ the following in my Shakespeare,
The nine-men's morris.] i. e. The place where the Morisco, or Morrice dance was won't to be performed by nine-men is filled up with mud, so that they must leave their sport : nine-men's morris in the same manner as a Three-men Beetle, i. e. what requires three men to use it ; a Three-men song, a song to be sung by three mer.
But wbere ever I turn my eye, I see fuch alterations and glodes as never were matched before. The note following" This rural chess”-is as void of true logick, as learning. The whole runs thus in Shakespeare,
“ The nine-mens morris is fill'd up with mud,
“ No night is now with hymn or carol bleft.' Their winter emphatically ; and the reason is given in the following vera ; " They want here THEIR “ winter, becar-se no night, &c." [N. B. here is turned into heried.] So the Latins sometimes use be pronoun suus. Ovid. Met. IV, 373. Yota suos habuere deos.
Their Gods, emphatically; i. e. favorable, propitious, &c. So again in King Henry V. AA V.
« And all our vinyards, fallows, meads and
56 Defe&tive in THEIR natures grow to wildness. Sua deficiuntur naturâ. They were not defe&tive in their crescive nature, for they grew to wildness: but they were defe&tive in their proper and favorable natures, which was to bring forth food for man. (This place too is altered, and natures is changed into nurtures.]
I am led insensibly, from my defign of raising a little innocent mirth in my reader, by the many errors I meet in my way.—Let us then return.
In the Winter's Tale, AEt I.
Without a burtben." So 'tis printed in Mr. Theobald's edition, and right. Meaning very plainly, The Shepherd's note hath been, &c. i. e. The Shepherd batb noted, observed nine changes of the moon, C.But turning to Mr. W's edition. [pag. 279.] I scarcely believed my own eyes when I red, $ Nine changes of the watry star bath been
" (The Mepherd's note,) fince we bave left our
" Throne " Without a burtben." « The Shepherd's note.) i. e. I use the Shepherd's " note.” Mr. W. Most wonderful Grammarian, and profound Aftronomer ! How poetical is Shakespeare ! The Shepherd has noted nine changes of the watry star. How filly and ungrammatical this commentator ! Nine CHANGES HATH BEEN, &c. (I use the Shepherd's reckoning.) You do ; and who does not ? And must I send our Critic again to bis Bible ?" And let them (viz. the Sun and Moon] be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years." Gen. I, 14.
THE above " rural chess” may be matched with another note on a pasage in Measure for Measure, AEt IV. “ Duke. There is written in your brow,
Provost, honesty and constancy ; If I read it not “ truly, my ancient skill beguiles me ; but in the boldness of my cunning, I will lay myself in bazard. « Lay myself in bazard.] Metaphor from chefs
play.” Mr. W. Shakespeare bimself would have better instructed our commentator, kad be attended to bim : " K. Henry. When we have matched our
“ rackets to these balls,
• We will in France, by God's grace, play a set, 6 Sball strike bis father's crown into the HA
" ZARD.” Thus too Drayton in bis description of the Battaile of Agincourt.
" Ple send bim balls and rackets if I live, “ That they such racket ball in Paris see, “ Wben over lyne with bandies 1 shall drive “ As that, before the set be fully done, “ France may perbaps into the HAZARD runne."
THE two following notes are really below our editor's writing, (I compliment bim when I say so.) One of them is in the Tempest, A& II. where Triculo finding the monster Caliban says, “ were I in
England now, as once I was, and had but this “ fijfh painted, not an holiday-fool there but would “ give a piece of filver. There would this monster “ make a man; any strange beast there makes a
when they will not give a doit to relieve " a lame beggar, they will lay out ten to see a dead " Indian.”
Any strange beast there makes a man ;] I “ cannot but think this satire very just upon our coun
trymen: wbo have been always very ready to mcke s Denisons of the whole tribe of the Pitheci, and compliment them with the donum civitatis, as