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381. See Hamlet, i. 1. 150-156.
383. The bodies of those who had committed suicide were buried in crossways, with a stake driven through them.
Ib. floods, rivers; or perhaps any large bodies of water as opposed to land. The word is used of the sea in this play ii. 1. 127, and in the sense of river' it is found in Joshua xxiv. 15: “The gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood'; that is, the river Euphrates. Steevens says the ghosts of self-murderers and of those who were drowned were condemned (according to the opinion of the ancients) to wander for a hundred years, as the rites of sepulture had never been regularly bestowed on their bodies.'
384. their wormy beds. Milton remembered this in his lines On the Death of a Fair Infant, 31 :
Or that thy beauties lie in wormy bed.' 385. upon. For the transposition of the preposition compare All's Well that Ends Well, iii. 4. 6:
That barefoot plod I the cold ground upon.' 387. black-brow'd night. Compare King John, v. 6. 17:
• Why, here walk I in the black brow of night,
To find you out.' 389. the morning's love. Cephalus, with whom Oberon had hunted. Compare Milton, Il Penseroso, 124, of the Morn:
Not trick'd and frounced, as she was wont
With the Attic boy to hunt.' 402. drawn, that is, with sword drawn. Compare The Tempest, ii. 1. 308 : • Why are you drawn?'
416. The folios here give the stage direction, 'Shifting places.'
421. Ho, ho, ho! A taunting cry, which, according to Ritson in his note on the passage, is uttered by Puck as his usual exclamation, having forgotten the part he was assuming. It is quite true that in an old ballad on Puck, printed by Percy (Reliques, iii. Bk. ii. 25), the stanzas all end with 'Ho, ho, ho!' but there is nothing so exceptional in the cry as to make it inappropriate to Puck in an assumed character,
422. Abide me, wait for me, that we may encounter. From this sense of • waiting for comes the further sense of awaiting the issue of an event, as in 2 Henry IV, ii. 3. 36:
•To abide a field
Did seem defensible.'
• This attempt
Ib. well I wot, well I know. See iv. I. 163.
426. Thou shalt buy this dear. Johnson conjectured • 'by' for "aby,' as in 11. 175, 335, but the phrase, if a corruption, was so well established in Shakespeare's time as to make a change unnecessary. Compare, for instance, 1 Henry IV, v. 3. 7:
• The Lord of Stafford dear to day hath bought
Thy likeness.' And 2 Henry VI, ii. 1. 100:
Too true ; and bought his climbing very dear.' Besides, the two words are etymologically connected. See note on l. 175.
432. Shine comforts, cause comforts to shine. Theobald reads "Shine, comforts,' &c. Or it may be simply •let comforts shine,' &c.; just as below we have ‘And sleep ... steal me awhile,' &c.
433. That I may back. For the omission of the verb of motion before 'to' or an adverb of direction see ii. 1. 164, and iv. I. 22 : 'I must to the barber's, mounsieur. Also note on Hamlet, iii. 3. 4.
439. curst. See l. 300. 461. Steevens refers to Heywood's Epigrams on Three Hundred Proverbs,
• All shalbe well, Iacke shall haue Gill:
Nay nay, Gill is wedded to wyll.' See also Love's Labour's Lost, v. 2. 805:
*Our wooing doth not end like an old play;
Jack hath not Jill.' • The man shall have his mare again' seems to have been a proverbial expression, implying that all would be right in the end. Compare Fletcher, The Chances, iii. 4:
• Fred. How now? How goes it ?
John. Why, the man has his mare again, and all's well, Frederic.'
1. Johnson remarks, ' I see no reason why the fourth Act should begin here, when there seems no interruption of the action.'
2. amiable, lovely. Compare Psalm lxxxiv. 1, “How amiable are thy tabernacles !' And Milton, Paradise Lost, iv. 250:
• Others whose fruịt, burnish'd with golden rind,
Ib. coy, coax, caress. Steevens quotes from Warner's Albion's England, vi. 30:
• And whilst she coyes his sooty Cheekes, or curles his sweaty top.' And from Golding's Ovid, vii. (fol. 79 b, ed. 1603):
• Their dangling Dew-laps with his hand he coyd vnfearefully. The verb is formed from the adjective, which is itself derived from the French coy or quoy, the representative of the Latin quietus.
15. overflown, flooded and drowned. Compare Titus Andronicus, iji, 1. 230 :
Then must my earth with her continual tears
Become a deluge, overflow'd and drown'd.' 18. neaf, fist; spelt in the quartos and first folios neafe': corrupted in the later folios to 'newfe,' newse,' and finally 'news.' In 2 Henry IV, ii. 4. 200, it occurs again : ‘Sweet knight, I kiss thy neif.' It is found in Early English in the form 'neve' or 'nefe. See Havelok the Dane, 2405 :
• With be neue he robert sette
Biforn pe teth a dint ful strong.' The Old Norse word is hnefi (Swedish näfve; Dan. næve). See Jamieson's Scottish Dictionary, s. v. Neive.
19. leave your courtesy; that is, put on your hat, be covered. Compare Love's Labour's Lost, v. I. 103: •I do beseech thee, remember thy courtesy : I beseech thee, apparel thy head.'
22. Cobweb. Grey says, “Without doubt it should be Cavalero Peasblossom; as for cavalero Cobweb, he had just been dispatched upon a perilous adventure.'
Ib. I must to the barber's. See iii. 2. 433. 23. marvellous. See note on iii. 1. 2.
27. the tongs and the bones. After this the folios have the stage direction, ‘Musicke Tongs, Rurall Musicke.'
31. a great desire to. The same construction is found in Pericles, iv. 1. 44:
Well, I will go;
But yet I have no desire to it.' Ib. a bottle of hay, a bundle or truss of hay. The common proverb is well known of the search for anything hard to find, that it is like looking for a needle in a bottle of hay. Baret (Alvearie, s. v.) has, “a Bottle of hay. Fasciculus vel manipulus fæni’: and again, •To binde vp hay in bottles. Fænum in manipulos vincire & colligare. Compare Florio (Ital. Dict.): 'Gregne, sheafes of corne, handfuls of flowers, wads of straw, bottles of hay. And Cotgrave (Fr. Dict.): ‘Boteay, A bundle, or bottle, as of hay, &c.' . 34. Steevens reads "hoard' as a disyllable, for the sake of the metre which such a reading utterly destroys. Hanmer has fetch thee thence' and Sidney
Walker suggested 'fetch thee the new nuts. But in the distinct enunciation of • fetch thee' the time of a syllable is gained, as in the case of moon's' (ii. 1. 7), and night's' (iv. 1. 95).
37. exposition, for · disposition.'
39. be all ways away, disperse yourselves in every direction. The quartos and folios have always’ variously spelt, which Theobald corrected to all ways.'
40. So doth the woodbine the sweet honeysuckle &c. Strictly speaking * woodbine' and 'honeysuckle' are the same, and in consequence various readings and modes of punctuating this passage have been proposed. Warburton suggested,
“So doth the woodbine, the sweet honeysuckle,
Enrings,' &c. Upton would read woodrine,' that is, the bark of the wood, instead of .woodbine'; and Steevens says, “Were any change necessary, I would not scruple to read weedbind, i. e. smilax.' Johnson thought that 'woodbine' was the plant, and honeysuckle’ the flower, and the same distinction is apparently made in Baret's Alvearie, · Woodbin that beareth the Honiesuckle.' But this last-quoted passage perhaps only indicates that woodbine' was a name for many climbing plants, one of which was the honeysuckle. As a matter of fact it is to this day used in Suffolk to denote the large white convolvulus, and Boswell is correct in saying that in many of our counties, the woodbine is still the name for the great convolvulus.' Gifford quotes a very parallel passage from Ben Jonson's Vision of Delight:
With honeysuckle !! The word only occurs in two other passages of Shakespeare, viz. in the present play, ii. 1. 251, where it is called · luscious woodbine,' an epithet which is appropriate to the honeysuckle; and in Much Ado about Nothing, iii. 1. 30, where the woodbine coverture' is the same as
The pleached bower,
Forbid the sun to enter.'
So the woodbine, i.e. the sweet honeysuckle, doth gently entwist the barky fingers of the elm, and so does the female ivy enring the same fingers.' But the word entwist' seems to describe the mutual action of two climbing plants, twining about each other, and I therefore prefer to consider the woodbine and the honeysuckle as distinct, the former being the convolvulus, rather than to adopt a construction and interpretation which do violence to the reader's intelligence. Mr. R. G. White finds no difficulty, because in America what are called the woodbine and honeysuckle are commonly fourd twining round each other ; but it appears from his description that he calls woodbine what we call honeysuckle, and that the honeysuckle of America is the trumpet honeysuckle, which is not indigenous in this country, and was unknown in Shakespeare's time. It is moreover instructive to observe, as shewing how loosely the word is used, that the term 'woodbine' in America is sometimes applied to the Virginia creeper. See Bartlett's Dictionary of Americanisms.
Ib. the female ivy, so called because it is as it were married to the elm; as Catullus says of the vine, lxii. 54:
•Ulmo conjuncta marito.' Compare Fairfax's Tasso, iji. 75:
• The married Elme fell with his fruitfull vine.' And Milton, Paradise Lost, v. 215-217:
Or they led the vine
Her marriageable arms.' 47. favours, the reading of the first quarto and last folio: the others have • savours. For · favours' see ii. 1. 12. 50. rounded, encircled. Compare Richard II, iji. 2. 161:
The hollow crown That rounds the mortal temples of a king.' And Macbeth, iv. 1. 88: 'the round and top of sovereignty.' 53. orient pearls, bright, shining pearls. So The Passionate P:Igrim, 133 :
• Bright orient pearl, alack, too timely shaded !! The epithet appears to be originally applied to the pearl and other gems as coming from the orient or east, and to have acquired the general sense of bright and shining from the objects which it most commonly describes. Compare Milton, Paradise Lost, i. 546:
• Ten thousand banners rise into the air,
With orient colours waving.' 54. flowerets', spelt 'fouriets' in the quartos and folios.
59. her fairy, her chief attendant fairy. See ii. 1. 61. Dyce, here as in the former passage, reads "fairies. It may be that in ii. 1. 61 Titania gives the order to the fairy who was in immediate attendance, and that Capell is right in supposing the change unnecessary. 65. the other, plural: as in Venus and Adonis, 1102 :
“The birds such pleasure took,
Would bring him mulberries and ripe-red cherries.'
And other of such vinegar aspect.' 66. May all, that is, they may all, &c. See v. 1. 69, Abbott, $ 399.