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-unbolted villain-] i. e. unrefined by education, the bran yet in him. Metaphor from the bakehouse. 36
-Camelot.] Was the place where the romances say king Arthur kept his court in the West; so this alludes to some proverbial speech in those romances.
In Somersetshire, near Camelot, are many large moors, where are bred great quantities of geese, so that many other places are from hence supplied with quills and feathers.
37 - Ajax is their fool.] " There are none of these rogues and cowards but have the subtlety to bring a man, as much above their match as Ajax, into disgrace.” Or, perhaps, these rogues and cowards speak of themselves as if Ajax was a fool to them.
-and shall find time From this enormous state, seeking to give
Losses their remedies.] I confess I do not understand this passage, unless it may be considered as a part of Cordelia's letter, which he is reading to himself by moonlight: it certainly conveys the sense of what she would have said. In reading a letter it is natural enough to dwell on that part of it which promises the change in our affairs which we most wish for; and Kent having read Cordelia's assurances that she will find a time to free the injured from the enormous misrule of Regan, is willing to go to sleep with that
pleasing reflection uppermost in his mind. But this is mere conjecture.
-elf all my hair in knots;] Hair thus knotted was vulgarly supposed to be the work of elves and fairies in the night. So in Romeo and Juliet :
plats the manes of horses in the night, “ And cakes the elf-locks in foul sluttish hairs,
Which, once untangled, much misfortune bodes."
40 —pelting-] Pelting is, I believe, only an accidental depravation of petty. Shakspeare uses it in the Midsummer-Night's Dream of small brooks.
41 Poor Turlygood!) We should read Turlupin. In the fourteenth century there was a new species of gipsies, called Turlupins, a fraternity of naked beggars, which ran up and down Europe. However the church of Rome hath dignified them with the name of heretics, and actually burned some of them at Paris. But what sort of religionists they were, appears from Genebrard's account of them. “ Turlupin Cynicorum sectam suscitantes, de nuditate pudendorum, & publico coitu.” Plainly, nothing but a band of Tom-o'Bedlams.
WARBURTON. cruel garters !] I believe a quibble was here intended. Crewel signifies worsted, of which stockings, garters, night-caps, &c. are made.
STEEV. -summond up their meiny,] Meiny, i. e. people.
44 Is practice only.] Practice is in Shakspeare, and
other old writers, used commonly in an ill sense for unlauful artifice.
JOHNSON -how this becomes the house?] Mr. Theobald says, “This phrase seems to say little to the purpose;" and, therefore, alters it to, -becomes the use, which signifies less. The Oxford editor makes him still more familiar-becometh us. All this chopping and changing proceeds from an utter ignorance of a great, a noble, and a most expressive phrase, -becomes the house; which signifies the orders of families, duties of relation.
WARBURTON. -scant my sizes,] To contract my allowances or proportions settled.
A sizer is one of the lowest ranks of students at Cambridge, and lives on a stated allowance.
sumpter-) Sumpter is a horse that carries necessaries on a journey, though sometimes used for the case to carry them in.
STEEVENS. 48 the cub-drawn bear-] Cub-drawn has been explained to signify drawn by nature to its young ; whereas it means, whose dugs are drawn dry by its young. For no animals leave their dens by night but for prey.
So that the meaning is, “ that even hunger, and the support of its young, would not force the bear to leave his den in such a night.” WARBURTON.
49 snuffs and packings of the dukes ;] Snuffs are dislikes, and packings, underhand contrivances.
So these are but furnishings ;] Furnishings are what we now call colours, external pretences. JOHNSON.
51 You owe me no subscription;] Subscription, for obedience.
WARBURTON. 52 So beggars marry many.] i. e. A beggar marries a wife and lice.
JOHNSON. 53 Gallow-] Gallow, a west-country word, signifies to scare or frighten.
54 He that has a little tiny wit,-] I fancy that the second line of this stanza had once a termination that rhymed with the fourth: but I can only fancy it; for both the copies agree. It was once perhaps written,
With heigh ho, the wind and the rain in his way. The meaning seems likewise to require this insertion. “ He that has wit, however small, and finds wind and rain in his way, must content himself by thinking, that somewhere or other it raineth every day, and others are therefore suffering like himself.” Yet, I am afraid that all this is chimerical, for the burthen appears again in the song at the end of Twelfth Night, and seems to have been an arbitrary supplement, without
JOHNSON 55 No hereticks burn'd, but wenches' suitors:] The disease to which wenches' suitors are particularly exposed, was called in Shakspeare's time the brenning or burning
-taking!] To take is to blust, or strike with malignant influence:
-strike her young limbs,' Ye taking airs, with lameness.
wore gloves in my cap,] i.e. His mistress's favours: which was the fashion of that time. So in the play called Campaspe, Thy men turned to women, thy soldiers to lovers, gloves worn in velvet caps, instead of plumes in graven helmets."
WARBURTON. Says suum, mun, ha no nonny, &c.] Of this passage I can make nothing. I believe it corrupt: for wildness, not nonsense, is the effect of a disordered imagination. The quarto reads, hay no on ny, dolphins, my boy, cease, let him trot by. Of interpreting this there is not much hope or much need. But any thing may be tried. The madman, now counterfeiting a proud fit, supposes himself met on the road by some one that disputes the way, and cries Hey!-No-but altering his mind, condescends to let him pass, and calls to his boy Dolphin (Rodolph) not to contend with him. OnDolphin, my boy, cease. Let him trot by. JOHNSON.
The reading of the quarto is right. Hey no nonny is the burthen of a song in The Two Noble Kinsmen (said to be written by Shakspeare in conjunction with Fletcher), and was probably common to many others.
Dolphin, my boy, my boy,
Cease, let him trot by;
From me or you would fly. This is a stanza from a very old ballad written on some battle fought in France, during which the king, unwilling to put the suspected valour of his son the