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the night. I rather think the meaning is, Dews equal to what night discharges, the whole night. -The hyperbole is not more extravagant than ocean of tears, a sea of blood, &c.

The night of dew." I incline to think the meaning is, Tears that have thrown a night or obscurity on my face.This agrees with the context, especially this line : As doth thy face, thro' tears of mine, give light.”


A perjure.” Perjure, a noun, for perjurer, occurs again in King Lear:

Hide thee thou bloody hand, “Thou perjure and thou simular of virtue,” &c.

103. "


134. “ D-mt for deb~t,&c.

It is not very easy to determine whether Armado or Holofernes is here the object of ridicule.


144. "

Cupid a boy, Ay, and a shrewd unhappy gallows too." I had not supposed that gallows, in this sense of it, was of such antiquity.



Salerio. I see no occasion for the insertion of this name. Gratiano calls the bringer of his letter his old Venetian friend, which exactly suits Salanio, who had appeared before to be the friend both of Gratiano and Lorenzo.



233. «

Argosies.I rather incline to believe, with Pope, that Argosy is from Jason's ship Argo, which, being employed to fetch the Golden Fleece, merchants ships, which brought home rich freights, were called Argosies.

LORD CHEDWORTH. 236. Some that will evermore peep thro' their

eyes.Thomson seems to have had this image in view :

--- O'er his eyes the drowsy liquor ran, “ Thro' which his half-wak'd soul would fondly peep."

Castle of Indolence.


I'll grow a talker for this gear.'Gear,” in this place, is garniture of discourse, the trappings of language. “I will,” for “I shall,” is not unusual in these writings, and is an inaccuracy very common at this day in Ireland and in Scotland.

For this gear." As anciently, when less precision was observed in orthography, G and J were often used indiscriminately, as having, in many instances, the same power, I would read—“ l’t grow a talker for this jeer,” (supposing it to have been originally written geer) that is, for this bantering expostulation. I cannot think that gear is the right reading : of this conjecture, however, I am not confident.


A more swelling port Than my faint means would grant con

tinuance. The preposition is wanting here :-continuance of 242.

Shot his fellow of the self-same

flight.i. e. According to the exact direction of the first; or, perhaps, in the language of archery, the self-same flight may mean of the same feather, size, and structurę.

To find the other forth.This is a very uncouth, if not unwarrantable, expression ; and as the metre is at the same time disfigured by it, there is reason to suspect corruption. The sense and the measure might agree

thus :

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“ To find the first, and, by adventuring both,”

&c. 243.

Sometimes from her eyes I did receive fair speechless messages.Dr. Farmer seems to think that “ sometimes" stands here, as in other places, for “ sometime;" i. e. formerly : but I believe Bassanio means only to say, She has sometimes given me looks of encouragement. The obscurity proceeds from the imperfect tense being used instead of the perfect; I did receive, for I have received. 244. I have a mind presages me such thrift,

That I should questionless be fortunate.As it was not either the quality or the quantity of the thrift that afforded this confidence, but the force of the suggestion in his mind, the sense requires a different construction. We might read

I have a mind which so presages thrift, “ That I should questionless be fortunate."

Nor have I money nor commodity

To raise a present sum.This passage is often unskilfully uttered, and, perhaps, is not generally, at once, clearly understood :-the sense is, * I have not money at hand, nor any goods that will immediately raise the sum you may require.”


245. Therefore the lottery that he hath de“ Lottery” here means prize, the object of lottery. 246. According to my description, level at my


affection.Take conjectural aim; a phrase taken from the exercise of the

gun. 247. :

A better bad habit.

Milton says

By merit rais'd
“To that bad eminence.”




A third at Mexico." This seems to be an oversight. The Spaniards, I believe, never permitted foreigners to traffick with that rich country. 254. And when the work of generation was

Between these woolly breeders in the act,

The skilful shepherd,&c.
This passage appears to be so free from obscu-
rity, as to require no comment; but some actors
of late have tried to vitiate it by an affected and
constrained recitation ; thus-

“ And when the work of generation was
“ Between these woolly breeders ; in the act
“ The skilful shepherd,” &c.

Surely the plain meaning is this :- When the work of generation was going forward, &c. To be in act is to be in the progress of performance.

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