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• But woe is me, you are so sick of late,
So far from cheer and from your former state.' 284. confound, destroy, ruin. In this sense it is used in the Authorised Version of the Bible. See Jeremiah i. 17, where the marginal note to 'confound' is “break to pieces, and the rendering in the Geneva and Bishops' Bibles is destroy.' And compare Macbeth, ii. 2. 12 :
• The attempt and not the deed
Confounds us.' 287, 288. Steevens again calls attention to the broad pronunciation which must have been given to the “a'in Shakespeare's time to make “pap' and hop'a passable rhyme. See note on ii. 1. 263. 296. die.
There is the same play upon words in Timon of Athens, v. 4. 34, 35:
* And by the hazard of the spotted die
Let die the spotted.' 300. How chance. See i. 1. 29. 303. passion. See l. 277.
306. A mote. Spelt moth' in the quartos and folios. The same spelling occurs in three of the early quartos of Hamlet, i. 1. 112; and Love's Labour's Lost, iv. 3. 161, stands in the first folio thus :
• You found his Moth, the King your Moth did see:
But I a Beame doe finde in each of three.'
Note this before my notes ;
Note, notes, forsooth, and nothing.'
307, 8. he for a man ... bless us, Omitted in the folios, probably in consequence of the Act of 3 Janies I for restraining the abuses of players, which imposed a fine of ten pounds on any who should ‘jestingly or prophanely speak, or use the holy name of God.' 307. God warrant us. The quartos have ! warnd,' which may stand for
or warrant, for both expressions are used. See As You Like It, iv. 1. 77: 'And for lovers lacking-God warn us !-matter, the cleanliest shift is to kiss.' And in the same play, iii. 3. 5: Your features! Lord warrant us! what features ?
310. And thus she means. Theobald altered 'means' to 'moans,' which does not fit in well with videlicet.' Ritson maintained that means is here used in the sense of complains,' like the old word 'mene' which is of common occurrence; and so it occurs in a phrase which according to
Mr. Pinkerton is employed in petitions to the Lords of Session in Scotland, which runs, “To the lords of council and session humbly means and shows your petitioner.'
317, 318. These lily lips &c. To mend the rhyme Theobald read lily brows.' Mr. Collier adopts the correction of the Perkins Folio, · This lily lip, This cherry tip.' Farmer conjectured “These lips lily, This nose cherry.' Steevens quotes from Peele's Old Wives Tale (1595) a parallel to this nonsense: Her corall lippes, her crimson chinne. --Thou art a flouting knave—Her corall lippes her crimson chinne ! '
327. shore, for shorn.' The rhyme is too much for Thisbe's grammar. * Shore' is used elsewhere in Shakespeare for the preterite of 'Shear.'
331. imbrue, make bloody, stain with blood. The word is evidently used for purposes of alliteration and not in its strict sense; but an almost parallel instance occurs in Titus Andronicus, ii. 3. 222:
*Lord Bassianus lies embrewed here.' 339. a Bergomask dance. Hanmer explains this as a dance after the manner of the peasants of Bergomasco, a country of Italy, belonging to the Venetians. All the buffoons in Italy affect to imitate the ridiculous jargon of that people, and from thence it became a custom to mimick also their manner of dancing. If we substitute Bergamo for Bergomasco his explanation is correct. Alberti (Dizionario Universale) says that in Italian
Bergamasca' is a kind of dance, so called from Bergamo or from a song which was formerly sung in Florence, The Italian Zanni (our 'zany') is a contraction for Giovanni in the dialect of Bergaino, and is the nickname for a peasant of that place.
340. No epilogue, which was generally an apology for the play. See The Tempest, As You Like It, All's Well that Ends Well, 2 Henry IV, Henry V, Henry VIII.
342. writ. The common form of the preterite in Shakespeare, who seldom uses' wrote.' See As You Like It, v. 2. 84:
"To show the letter that I writ to you.' 344. discharged, performed. See i. 2. 84. . 351. palpable-gross, the grossness or roughness of which is palpable. 352. The heavy gait, or slow progress.
• Gait' is now used of the manner of walking. Compare Venus and Adonis, 529:
• Look, the world's comforter, with weary gait,
His day's hot task hath ended in the west.' And Richard II, iii. 2. 15: 'heavy-gaited toads.'
353. Solemnity. See i. I. II.
356. behowls. So Theobald. The quartos and folios have beholds.' Compare As You Like It, v. 2. 119 : ''Tis like the howling of Irish wolves against the moon.'
358. fordone, exhausted. The first quarto has' foredoone'; the second and the folios. fore-done.' «For' in composition is like the German ver", and has sometimes a negative and sometimes an intensive sense.
See note on Hamlet, ii. 1. 103. 360. the screech-owl. Compare Macbeth, ii. 2. 3, 4:
• It was the owl that shriek'd, the fatal beliman,
Which gives the stern’st good-night.' And see the note on that passage. Theobald pointed out that Marston in his Antonio and Mellida (Second Part, iii. 3) has imitated this speech :
• Now barkes the wolfe against the fulle cheekt moon;
Imprison'd spirits to revisit earth.'
which may possibly have been in Shakespeare's memory and is certainly parallel to this. The poet is describing Night.
And, all the while she stood upon the ground,
And hungry wolves continually did howle
At her abhorred face, so filthy and so fowle.' 363. Now it is the time of night &c. Steevens quotes from Hamlet, iii. 2. 406:
"'Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn.' 368. the triple Hecate's team. So in Golding's Ovid, vii. fol. 79 b (ed. 1603):
* By triple Hecats holy Rites.' Compare As You Like It, iii. 2. 2: thrice crowned queen of night'; as ruling in heaven, on earth, and in the underworld. See also Drayton, The Man in the Moon, 476-478:
“So the great three most powerfull of the rest,
Her domination in heauen, in earth and hell.' Hecate is always a disyllable in Shakespeare, except in 1 Henry VI, iii. 2. 64. See note on King Lear, i. 1. 101 (Clar. Press edition).
370. See iv. I. 95. 371. frolic, merry. Compare Cotgrave (Fr. Dict.): 'Ioyeux : m, euse; f.
Ioyfull, ioyous, glad, merrie, iocond, blithe, buxome, frolicke, iollie, cheerefull, pleasant, gamesome.' And Gaudir. To be frolicke, liuelie, iollie, pleasant, merrie; gybe, ieast; play the good fellow, make good cheere.'
374. To sweep the dust behind the door, where it would be likely to escape notice. Robin Goodfellow was believed to help good housemaids in their work, and to punish those who were sluttish. Compare Herrick (Hesperides, vol. i. p. 270):
'Sweep your house: Who doth not so,
Mab will pinch her by the toe.' 375. Johnson suggests that Milton may have had this picture in his thought when he wrote (Il Penseroso, 79),
Where glowing embers through the room
Teach light to counterfeit a gloom.' 378. as bird from brier. A frequent comparison in the old poets, Steevens quotes from Minot (ed. Ritson), p. 31 :
That are was blith als brid on brere.' 380. dance it. For 'it' used indefinitely as the object of a verb, without any antecedent, see Abbott, $ 226. Compare daub it' in King Lear, iv. I. 54, and 'outface it,' As You Like It, i. 3. 124.
385. Oberon's speech, which is assigned to him in the quarto editions, is called in the folios • The Song,' and printed in italics. Johnson, who restored it to Oberon, supposes that two songs are lost, one led by Oberon, the other by Titania.
387, 388. The blessing of the bridal bed was one of the ancient ceremonies of marriage. Steevens quotes from Chaucer, The Marchantes Tale (ed. Tyrwhitt), 1. 9693;
. And whan the bed was with the preest yblessed.'
* Forsoth A Bisshop which that tyme ther was
66 In nomine dei so said in that place.'
393. the blots of Nature's hand, like the vicious mole of nature' (Ham-
* Full of unpleasing blots and sightless stains,
Patch'd with foul moles and eye-offending marks?
· When thou reviewest this, thou dost review
very part was consecrate to thee.'
400. take his gait, take his way or course. Compare King Lear, iv. 6. 242: ‘Go your gait’; though this is intentionally rustic language. Steevens quotes from Lawrence Minot, p. 50:
Take thi gate unto Gines,
And grete tham wele thare.'
403, 404. These lines are arranged as by Staunton. In the quartos and folios they stand thus :
* Ever shall in safety rest,
And the owner of it blest.' Delius supposes the relative pronoun 'which, referring to the palace, to be omitted before Ever.' Rowe reads · Ever shall it safely rest'; and Malone, 'F'er shall it in safety rest.' 413. reprehend, censure, blame. Compare Venus and Adonis, 1063 :
And then she reprehends her mangling eye.' 416. unearned luck, good fortune which we have not deserved.
419. If we 'scape the serpent's tongue, that is, without being hissed. Steevens quotes from Markham's English Arcadia (1607): But the nymph, after the custom of distrest tragedians, whose first act is entertained with a snaky salutation,' &c.
421. Give me your hands, that is, applaud by clapping. Compare All's Well that Ends Well, v. 3. 340:
• Your gentle hands lend us, and take our hearts."