Page images

reading ‘russet-pated,” which is untrue as a description of the chough, for it has a russet coloured bill and feet but a perfectly black head. 25. at our stamp, at hearing the footsteps of the fairies, which were powerful enough to ‘rock the ground ': see iv. I. 85. Theobald proposed to read “at our stump,' and Johnson actually substituted ‘at a stump,' quoting from Drayton's Nymphidia [ed. 1631, p. 184]: “A stump doth trip him in his pace, Downe comes poore Hob vpon his face, And lamentably tore his case, Amongst the Bryers and brambles.’ 26. He, used indefinitely for ‘one,’ as in Sonnet xxix. 6: “Wishing me like to one more rich in hope, Featured like him, like him with friends possess'd.” And The Merchant of Venice, iv. I. 54, 55: ‘Why he cannot abide a gaping pig, Why he, a harmless necessary cat.” 32. translated. See iii. I. Ioy. 36. latch'd. In the other passages where “latch' is used by Shakespeare it has the sense of ‘ catch,' from A. S. laeccan, or gelaccan. See Macbeth, iv. 3, 196: “But I have words That would be howl'd out in the desert air, Where hearing should not latch them.’ And Sonnet cKiii. 6, of the eye: * For it no form delivers to the heart Of bird, of flower, or shape, which it doth latch.” Compare also Holland's Pliny, viii. 24, of the Ichneumon: “In fight he sets up his taile, & whips about, turning his taile to the enemie, & therin latcheth and receiveth all the strokes of the Aspis, and taketh no harme thereby.” In the present passage ‘latch'd’ must signify caught and held fast as by a charm or spell, like the disciples going to Emmaus (Luke xxiv. I6): ‘their eyes were holden, that they should not know him.’ Hammer interprets it as ‘lick'd over,’ that is, smeared, anointed, from Fr. lecher, but there appears to be no evidence for this meaning. On the other hand a ‘latchpan’ in Suffolk and Norfolk is a dripping-pan, which catches the dripping from the meat; and Bailey gives ‘latching’ in the sense of catching, infectious; as it is still used in the North of England. With this compere “taking’ in King Lear, ii. 4. I66: “Strike her young bones You taking airs, with lameness l’ 4O. of force, of necessity. Compare Julius Caesar, iv. 3. 203: * Good reasons must, of force, give place to better.’


41. close, so as to be unobserved. See above, l. 7, and Much Ado about Nothing, iii. 3. IIo: ‘Stand thee close then under this penthouse.’ 48. Being o'er shoes in blood. Steevens compares Macbeth, iii. 4. I36–138: * I am in blood Stepp'd in so far that, should I wade no more, Returning were as tedious as go o’er.’ Coleridge conjectured ‘plunge in knee deep,' which Phelps adopted. The phrase “over shoes' in the sense of moderately deep occurs in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, i. I. 24: Pro. That’s a deep story of a deeper love; For he was more than over shoes in love. Val. 'Tis true; for you are over boots in love, And yet you never swum the Hellespont.” 50, so true unto the day. Compare Troilus and Cressida, iii. 2. I85: “As true as steel, as plantage to the moon, As sun to day, as turtle to her mate.’ 53. whole, solid. Compare Macbeth, iii. 4, 22: ‘I had else been perfect, Whole as the marble, founded as the rock.’ 57. so dead, so death-like. See 2 Henry IV, i. I. 71 : * Even such a man, so faint, so spiritless, So dull, so dead in look, so woe-begone, Drew Priam's curtain in the dead of night.” 58. murder'd. The quartos have ‘murthered ' and ‘murdered,’ the folios “murderer.” 61. sphere, orbit. See ii. I. 7. The epithet “glimmering,” or faintly shining, seems in contradiction to ‘bright’ and ‘clear’ of the previous line. 62. What's this to my Lysander ? what has this to do with him 2 68. Once, for once. So in The Tempest, iii. 2. 24 : “Moon-calf, speak once in thy life, if thou beest a good moon-calf.” Ib, tell true, speak truth. So in All's Well that Ends Well, i. 3. 225: * Count. Wherefore ? tell true. Hel. I will tell truth.” And Love's Labour’s Lost, iv. 1. 18: ‘Here, good my glass, take this for telling true.” So also ‘say true’ in Twelfth Night, ii. 5. 213; ‘speak true,” The Tempest, iii. I. 7o. 7o. brave touch, fine stroke, heroic exploit. 7.I. a worm, a serpent. Compare Antony and Cleopatra, v. 2. 243: ‘Hast thou the pretty worm of Nilus there, That kills and pains not?’ 72. doubler tongue. See ii. 2. 9.

74. a misprised mood, a mistaken humour or caprice; a temper of mind arising from a mistake. “You spend your passion on,' that is, in giving vent to this mistaken mood. So below, l. 9o, “misprision is “mistake.’ 78. An if. See ii. 2. I53. Ib. therefore, for that, thereby. So Troilus and Cressida, iii. 3. 20 : “Often have you thanks therefore.” 80, 81. part I so: See me &c. This is Pope's correction of the reading of the quartos and folios, which is ‘part I, see me no more Whether &c.’ with neither rhyme nor metre. 8I. whether, a monosyllable, as in i. I. 69. 85. sleep, misprinted “slippe’ in the first quarto, and “slip' in the second and in the folios. Rowe corrected it. 87. tender, offer; keeping up the figure of debt and payment in the previous lines, Compare The Tempest, ii. I. I94 : “Do not omit the heavy offer of it: It seldom visits sorrow.” 90. misprision, mistake. See above, l. 74, and Much Ado about Nothing, iv. I. 187: “There is some strange misprision in the princes.’ 92. troth. See ii. 2. 42. ‘ One man holding troth,’ while one man keeps faith. 93. confounding oath on oath, breaking one oath after another. For “confound ’ in the sense of “ruin, destroy,” see Lucrece, I 202: ‘My shame be his that did my fame confound.’ 96. fancy-sick, love-sick. See i. I. 155. Ib. cheer, countenance; Fr. chère, Ital. ciera, or cera. Compare The Merchant of Venice, iii. 2. 314: ‘Bid your friends welcome, shew a merry cheer.’ And I Henry VI, i. 2.48: * Methinks your looks are sad, your cheer appall'd ';

that is, your countenance turned pale. 97. sighs of love, that costs the fresh blood dear. ‘Costs’ is here attracted into the singular by the word ‘love’ which comes between it and its subject. See notes on Hamlet, i. 2. 38, King Lear, iii. 6. 4, where the verb is plural instead of singular. The following from The Comedy of Errors, v. I. 7o, is exactly parallel to the present passage:

“The venom clamours of a jealous woman
Poisons more deadly than a mad dog's tooth.’
For the belief that sighs exhausted the blood, see Hamlet, iv. 7. 123:
“Like a spendthrift sigh,
That hurts by easing.’

And 2 Henry VI, iii. 2.61 : ‘Might liquid tears or heart-offending groans Or blood-consuming sighs recall his life, I would be blind with weeping, sick with groans, Look pale as primrose with blood-drinking sighs.' IoI. the Tartar's bow. Compare Romeo and Juliet, i. 4. 5: ‘Bearing a Tartar's painted bow of lath.’ Also Bacon’s Advancement of Learning, Bk. II. xiv. II : ‘Yet certain it is that words, as a Tartar's bow, do shoot back upon the understanding of the wisest.” The Tartars were famous for their skill in archery, like the ancient Parthians. Douce quotes from Golding's translation of Ovid's

Met. x. [fol. 128 bl:
‘And though that she

Did fly as swift as Arrow from a Turkye bowe.’ Iog. Cupid’s archery. See ii. I. I65. II 2. mistook. For this form of the participle see Hamlet, v. 2. 395. II.4. fond. See ii. 2, 88. “Their fond pageant,’ the foolish spectacle they present. 119. sport alone, to which nothing can be compared. See Twelfth Night, i. I. I 5: “So full of shapes is fancy That it alone is high fantastical.’ And Antony and Cleopatra, iv. 6. 39 : ‘I am alone the villain of the earth.” I 24. vows so born, vows being so born. 127. badge of faith, in allusion to the badges of metal worn by servants and marked with a device to indicate the family to which they belonged. Compare Lucrece, IoS4: “To clear this spot by death, at least I give A badge of fame to slander's livery.” And 2 Henry VI, V. I. 20 ! : “And that I’ll write upon thy burgonet, Might I but know thee by thy household badge.’ 129. When truth kills truth. If Lysander's present protestations are true they destroy the truth of his former vows to Hermia, and the contest between these two truths, which in themselves are holy, must in the issue be devilish and end in the destruction of both, I33. Will even weigh, will counterbalance each other. 134. as light as tales, or idle words. There is the same contrast between truths and tales in Antony and Cleopatra, ii. 2. I 36: “Truths would be tales, Where now half tales be truths.” 138. eyne. See i. i. 242.

141. Taurus, a lofty range of mountains in Asia Minor. 142. Fann'd with the eastern wind. Compare Winter's Tale, iv, 4, 375: “I take thy hand, this hand, As soft as dove's down and as white as it, Or Ethiopian’s tooth, or the fann’d snow that’s bolted By the northern blasts twice o’er.’ 144. This princess of pure white, this seal of bliss. Steevens compares Antony and Cleopatra, iii. I3. I 25 : ‘My playfellow, your hand; this kingly seal And plighter of high hearts.” And Staunton justifies his adoption of ‘impress’ for ‘princess,' Mr. Collier's conjecture, by a reference to Beaumont and Fletcher, Double Marriage, iv. 3: ‘May I not take this hand, and on it sacrifice The sorrows of my heart? white seal of virtue !’ The quotation illustrates the present passage, but the change is unnecessary. I46. To set against me, attack me. 147, civil, polite, well-mannered. See ii. I. I52. Ib. courtesy, good manners. 148. injury, not merely wrong, but insult. See ii. I. I.47. 15o. join in souls, combine heart and soul, join heartily. For this expression, the meaning of which is so clear, it has been proposed to read ‘join in flouts,’ ‘join insolents,’ ‘join in soul,” “join, ill souls,’ ‘join in sport,” “join insults.” 153. superpraise, overpraise, praise to excess. 157. a trim exploit, a pretty achievement ‘Trim’ is used many times by Shakespeare ironically. Compare I Henry IV, v. I, 137: “What is honour 2 A word. What is in that word honour 2 what is that honour 2 air. A trim reckoning !’ I59. sort, quality, kind. Compare 2 Henry IV, v. 2. 18: ‘How many nobles then should hold their places, That must strike sail to spirits of vile sort l’ Cotgrave has ‘Gens de mise. Persons of worth, sort, qualitie.” 160, 16I. extort A poor soul's patience, wrest it from her, make her impatient. Compare Much Ado about Nothing, v. I. Io.2 ; “We will not wake your patience.” I69. I will none, will none of her, desire her not. Compare Romeo and Juliet, iii. 5. I 4o: ‘Ay, sir; but she will none, she gives you thanks.” The full phrase occurs in 2 Henry IV, iii. 2. 271 : “And for your part, Bullcalf, grow till you come unto it: I will none of you.’ I7I. to her, in regard to her my heart was but as a sojourner. Johnson read “with her.' Delius suggests that ‘to her as guest-wise’ is equivalent

« PreviousContinue »