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grees of others.
gree, as, he proceeded bachelor in physick. The sense is, he has taken his degrees on the art of hindering the de
JOHNSON. -sneaping frost,] So sneaping winds in the Winter's Tale. To sneap is to check, to rebuke.
STEEYENS. 106. Why should I joy in an abortive birth ?
At Christmas I no more desire a rose,
But like of each thing that in season grows. ] As the greatest part of this scene (both what precedes and follows) is strictly in rhimes, either successive, alo, ternate, or triple, I am persuaded, that the copyists have made a slip here. For by making a triplet of the three last lines quoted, birth in the close of the first line is quite destitute of any rhime to it. Besides, what a displeasing identity of sound recurs in the middle and close of this verse ?
Than wish a snow in May's new-fangled shows : Again : new.fangled shows seems to have very little propriety. The flowers are not new-fangled; but the earth is new-fangled by the profusion and variety of the flowers, that spring on its bosom in May. I have therefore ventured to substitute earth, in the close of the third line, which restores the alternate measure. It was very easy for a negligent transcriber to be deceived by the rhime immediately preceding ; so mistaking the concluding word in the sequent line, and corrupt it into one that would chime with the other,
149. - lie here] means reside here, in the same sense as an ambassador is said to lye leiger. See Beaumont and Fletcher's Love's Cure, act ii. sc. 2.
“ Or did the cold Muscovite beget her
“ That lay here leiger ? Mr. Reed hath adduced Sir Henry Wotton's celebrated definition, for the use of the same verb in this
“ An ambassador is an honest man sent to lie (i. e. reside) abroad for the good of his country.”
HENLEY. 153. Not by might master'd, but by special grace :] Biron, amidst his extravagances, speaks with great justness against the folly of vows. They are made without sufficient regard to the variations of life, and are therefore broken by some unforeseen necessity. They proceed commonly from a presumptuous confidence, and a false estimate of human power.
JOHNSON. 159. Suggestions - ] Temptations. JOHNSON.
-quick recreation -] Lively sport, spritely diversion.
JOHNSON. 169. A man of compliments, whom right and wrong
Have chose as umpire of their mutiny :] This passage, I believe, means no more than that Don Armado was a man nicely versed in ceremonial dis. tinctions, one who could distinguish in the most delicate questions of honour the exact boundaries of right and wrong. Compliment, in Shakspere's time, did not signify, at least did not only signify verbal civility, or phrases of coustesy; but, according to its
original meaning, the trappings, or ornamental appendages of a character, in the same manner, and on the same principles of speech with accomplishment. Compliment is, as Armado well expresses it, the varnish of a complete man.
JOHNSON. Dr. Johnson's opinion may be supported by the following passage in Lingua, or The Combat of the Tongue and the five Senses for Superiority, 1607: « after all fashions and of all colours, with rings, jewels, a fan, and in every other place, odd complea ments.” And again, by the title-page to Richard Brathwaite's English Gentlewoman, “ drawne out to the full body, expressing what habiliments doe best attire her ; what ornaments doe best adorne her; and what complements doe best accomplish her." STEVENS.
171. This child of fancy] This expression has been adopted by Milton in his Allegro: « Or sweetest Shakspere, Fancy's child."
MALONE. 174. From tawny Spain, &c.] 1. e. he shall relate to us the celebrated stories recorded in the old ro. mances, and in their very style. Why he says from tawny Spain is, because those romances, being of Spanish original, the heroes and the scene were generally of that country. Why he says, lost in the world's debate is, because the subject of those romances were the crusades of the European Christians against the Saracens of Asia and Africa. So that we see here his meaning in the words.
-in the world's debate.] The world
seems to be used in a monastick sense by the king, now devoted for a time to a monastick life. In the world, in seculo, in the bustle of human affairs, from which we are now happily sequestred; in the world, to which the votaries of solitude have no relation.
JOHNSON. 185. -tharborough :-] i. e. Thirdborough, a peace officer, alike in authority with a headborough or a constable.
Sir J. HAWKINS. 196. A high hope for a low having :-) In old editions :
A high hope for a low heaven; A low heaven, sure, is a very intricate matter to con. ceive. I dare warrant, I have retrieved the poet's true reading ; and the meaning is this: “Though you hope for high words, and should have them, it will be but a low acquisition at best.” This our poet calls a low having: and it is a substantive which he uses in several other passages.
THEOBALD. It is so used in Macbeth, act i. line 146.
-great prediction “Of noble having, and of royal hope." Heaven, however, may be the true reading, in allu. sion to the gradations of happiness promised by Mohammed to his followers. So, in the comedy of Old Fortunatus, 1600 : “Oh, how my soul is rapt to a third heaven!"
STEEVENS. 198. To hear ? or forbear hearing ?] One of the modern editors, plausibly enough, reads,
« To hear ? or forbear laughing." MALONE. 204.
-taken with the manner. ] So, in Heywood's Rape of Lucrece, 1630: “—and, being taken with the manner, had nothing to say for himself.”
STEEVENS. 247. -base minnow of thy mirth. -] The base minnow of thy mirth, is the contemptibly little object that contributes to thy entertainment. Shakspere makes Coriolanus characterize the tribunitian insolence of Sicinius, under the same figure :
-hear you not “ This Triton of the minnows!” Again, in Have with you to Saffron-Walden, or Gabriel Harvey's Hunt is up, &c. 1596: “ Let him denie that there was another shewe made of the little minnot his brother," &c.
Steevens. 274. I do confess much of the hearing it, but little of the marking of it.) So Falstaff, in the Second Part of King Henry IV:
“it is the disease of not listening, the malady of not marking, that I am troubled withal."
STEEVENS. 309. dear imp.} Imp was anciently a term of dig. nity. Lord Cromwell, in his last letter to Henry VIII. prays for the imp his son. It is now used only in contempt or abhorrence ; perhaps in our author's time it was ambiglious, in which state it suits well with this dialogue.
JOHNSON Pistol salutes king Henry V. by the same title.