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512. Is it possible, the spells of France should juggle
Men into suck strange mysteries >] These mysteries were the fantastic court-fashions. He says, they were occasioned by the spells of France. Now it was the opinion of the common people, that conjurers, jugglers, &c. with spells and charms could force men to commit idle fantastick actions; and change even their shapes to something ridiculous and gro. tesque. To this superstition the poet alludes, who, therefore, we must think, wrote the second line thus :
Men into such strange mockeries. A word well expressive of the whimsical fashions here complained of. ' Sir Thomas More, speaking of this very matter, at the same time, says:
« Ut more simiæ laboret fingere
« Et æmulari Gallicas ineptias." But the Oxford editor, without regard to the meta. phor, but in order to improve on the emendation, reads mimick’ries; not considering neither that whatsoever any thing is changed or juggled into by spells, must have a passive signification, as mockeries, [i. cm visible figures] not an atlive, as mimick’ries,
WARBURTON, I do not deny this note to be plausible, but I am in doubt whether it be right. I believe the explanation of the word mysteries will spare us the trouble of trying experiments of emendation. Mysteries were allegorical shews, which the mummers of those times exbibited in odd and fantastick habits. Mysteries are used, by an easy figure, for those that exhibited
mysteries; and the sense is only, that the travelled Englishmen were metamorphosed, by foreign fashions, into such an uncouth appearance, that they looked like mummers in a mystery.
JOHNSON. That mysteries is the genuine reading, and that it is used in a different sense from the one here given, will appear in the following instance from Drayton's Shep, herd's Garland :
-even so it fareth now with thee, “ And with these wisards of thy mysterie.”The context of which shews, that by wisards are meant poets, and by mysterie their poetic skill, which was before called “ mister artes." Hence the mysteries in Shakspere signify those fantastick manners and fashions of the French, which had operated as spells or enchantments.
HENLEY. 519. A fit or two o'the face ; -] A fit of the face seems to be what we now term a grimace, an artificial cast of the countenance.
JOHNSON. Fletcher has more plainly expressed the same thought in The Elder Brother :
-learnt new tongues" To vary his face as seamen do their compass.” · 525. And springhalt reign d among 'em.] The stringhalt, or springhalt (as the old copy reads) is a disease incident to horses, which gives them a convulsive motion in their paces. So, in Muleasses the Turk, 1610:
-by reason of a general spring-halt and de. bility in their hams.”
Again, in Ben Jonson's Bartholomew-Fair :
leave those remnants
Of fool, and feather,] This does not allude to the feathers anciently worn in the hats and caps of our countrymen (a circumstance to which no ridicule could justly belong), but to an effeminate fashion recorded in Greene's Farewell to Folly, 1617. from whence it appears, that even young gentlemen carried fans of feathers in their hands : "--we strive to be counted womanish, by keeping of beauty, by curling the hair, by wearing plumes of feathers in our hands, whic!), in wars, our ancestors wore on their heads."? Again, in his Quip for an upstart Courtier, 1620 : " Then our young courtiers strove to exceed one another in vertue, not in bravery; they rode not with fannes to ward their faces from the wind,” &c. Again, in Lingua, &c. 1607, Phantastes, who is a male character, is equipped with a fan. STEEVENS.
547.. -blister'd breeches,-] Thus the old copy: 2. c. breeches puff'd, swell'd out like blisters. The modern editors read-bolster'd breeches, which has the şame meaning.
STEEVENS. ..597 -noble bevy,-] Milton has copied this word: “ A bevy of fair dames.”
Johnson. 599 As first-good company, good wine, good wel
&c.].i.e. he would have you as merry as these three things can make you, the best company in the land, of the best rank, good wine, &c. THEOBALD.
Sir T. Hanmer has mended it more elegantly, but with greater violence : As first, good company, then good wine, &c.
JOHNSON: 606. - running banquet -) A running banquet is a phrase alluding to a hasty refreshment, and is set in opposition to a protracted meal. The former is the object of this rakish peer; the latter, perhaps, he would have relinquished to those of more permanent desires.
Steevens. 651. if I make my play. ] If I may
REMARKS. 656. -Chambers discharg'd.] A chamber is a gun which stands erect on its breech. Such are used only on occasions of rejoicing, and are so contrived as to carry great charges, and thereby to make a noise more than proportioned to their bulk. They are called chambers because they are mere chambers to lodge powder; a chamber being the technical term for that cavity in a piece of ordnance which contains the com. bustibles. Some of them are still fired in the Park, and at the places opposite to the parliament-house, when the king goes thither. Camden enumerates them among other guns, as follows :~" cannons, demi-cannons, chambers, arquebuse, musquet." Again, in A New Trick to cheat the Devil, 1636 :
-I still think o'the Tower ordnance, “ Or of the peal of chambers, that's still fir'd " When my lord-mayor takes his barge."
STEEVENS 674. Enter the King, and others, as Maskers.] For
an account of this masque, see Holinshed, Vol. II. p. 291.
STEEVENS. 699. take it.] That is, take the chief place.
Johnson. 703 You have found him, cardinal :) Holinshed says the cardinal mistook, and pitched upon Sir Ed. ward Neville; upon which the king laughed, and pulled off both his own mask and Sir Edward's, Edwards's MSS.
STEEVENS. 706. unhappily. ] That is, unluckily, mischievously.
JOHNSON. 714, I were unmannerly to take you out,
And not to kiss you.] A kiss was anciently the established fee of a lady's partner. So, in A Dialogue between Custom and Veritie, concerning the Use and Abuse of Dauncing and Minstrelsie, bl. let. no date. “ Imprinted at London, at the long shop adjoining unto Saint Mildred's church in the Pultrie, by John Allde."
“ But some reply, what foole would daunce,
“ If that when daunce is doon,
STEEVENS, 730. Let the musick knock it.] So in the first part of Antonio and Mellida :
Fla. Faith, the song will seem to come off hardly: