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Puts the wretch that lies in woe
Now, until the break of day,
Despised in nativity,
So, good night unto you all. - 42O
N O T E S.
A CT I.
I. The names of Theseus and Hippolyta queen of the Amazons may have been borrowed by Shakespeare from Chaucer's Knight's Tale, although there is nothing else in the play for which he can have been indebted to the same source. But he was no doubt acquainted with the story of Theseus in North's translation of Plutarch's Lives, and hence also he may have taken the Greek names which he uses, Egeus, Lysander, Demetrius, and Philostrate, which all occur in that work. Philostrate however is also the name assumed by Arcite in the Knight's Tale, 1. I428. 4. She lingers my desires, protracts, delays the accomplishment of my desires. For ‘linger’ in this transitive sense see Richard II, ii. 2.72: ‘Who gently would dissolve the bands of life, Which false hope lingers in extremity.’ And Othello, iv. 2. 231 : “Unless his abode be lingered here by some accident.” 5. a step-dame, or a dowager, who has a life interest in the property which falls to the heir at her death. Whalley quotes Horace [Epist. i. 1. 21, 22]: ‘ut piger annus Pupillis quos dura premit custodia matrum.” 6. withering out, causing the revenue to dwindle as she herself withers away. For the phrase Steevens quotes from Chapman's Homer, Iliad iv. : ‘And there the goodly plant lies withering out his grace.” Io. New-bent. Rowe's reading; the quartos and folios have “Now bent.’ II. solemnities, applied to the festivities on the solemnization of marriage, as in King John, ii. I. 555, of the marriage of Blanch and the Dauphin : “Call the Lady Constance: Some speedy messenger bid her repair To our solemnity.” 13. pert, lively; used in a good sense, and not as now as equivalent to something a little less than impudent, saucy. Compare Love's Labour's Lost, v. 2. 272 : ‘This pert Biron was out of countenance quite.’ F
Cotgrave (Fr. Dict.) has, ‘Godinet: m. ette: f. Prettie, dapper, feat, peart, indifferently handsome. Godinette ; f. A prettie peart lasse; a louing, or louelie girle.” So Milton, Comus, II 8: “And on the tawny sands and shelves Trip the pert fairies and the dapper elves.” It is probably connected with the Fr. appert (whence malapert), for which Cotgrave gives the equivalents ‘Expert, readie, dexter, prompt, actiue, nimble; feat, handsome, in that he does.” Mr. Wedgwood however connects it with “perk,” “to perk up the head, to prick up the head, or appear lively.’ In this sense ‘pert’ is used as a verb in Beaumont and Fletcher, Knight of the Burning Pestle, i. 1 : “Sirrah, didst thou ever see a prettier child? how it behaves itself, I warrant yel and speaks and looks, and perts up the head.’ 15. companion, fellow. These two words have completely exchanged their meanings in later usage. ‘Companion’ is not now used contemptuously as it once was, and as ‘fellow' frequently is. Compare 2 Henry IV, ii. 4. Ig2 : ‘I scorn you, scurvy companion.’ Ib. pomp. See below, note on 1. Ig. 19. With pomp, with triumph. A triumph was a public exhibition or show, such as was originally used to celebrate a victory. The title of Bacon’s 37th Essay is ‘Of Masques and Triumphs,” and the two words appear to have been synonymous, for the Essay treats of masques alone. In the same way Milton uses the word. See L’Allegro, I 20 : ‘Where throngs of knights and barons bold, In weeds of peace, high triumphs hold.” And Samson Agonistes, I 31.2 : ‘This day to Dagon is a solemn feast, With sacrifices, triumph, pomp, and games.” In his note on the latter passage Warton suggests that Milton “applied pomp in the appropriated sense which it bore to the Grecian festivals, where the tropism, a principal part of the ceremony, was the spectacular procession.’ Shakespeare also, in King John, iii. I. 3O4, has the word with a trace of its original meaning: “Shall braying trumpets and loud churlish drums, Clamours of hell, be measures to our pomp?’ 20. duke, a title which Shakespeare might have found attached to Theseus in Chaucer. See the Knight's Tale (Cant. Tales, l. 860): “Whilom as olde stories tellen us, There was a duk that highte Theseus.” 21. Egeus. Shakespeare for his own purposes makes three syllables of this name. Ib. what’s the news with thee ? What has happened to thee? Compare iii. 2, 272.
27. This man hath bewitch'd. The later folios omit ‘man.’ Theobald reads “witch'd.’ Ib. bosom, used like “heart” for the seat of the affections and desires. See Lear, v. 3. 49, where ‘common bosom’ means the affections of the common people : “To pluck the common bosom on his side.” 32. Stolen the impression of her fantasy, secretly stamped his image on her imagination. 33. gawds, trifling ornaments, toys. See iv. I. 166; and Troilus and Cressida, iii. 3. I 76: ‘One touch of nature makes the whole world kin, That all with one consent praise new-born gawds.’ Both ‘gawd’ and ‘jewel’ are derived ultimately from the Latin gaudium ; the latter coming to us immediately from the Old French joel, which is itself gaudiale. Ib. conceits, fanciful devices. Cotgrave has ‘Gentilesses. Prettie conceits, deuises, knacks, feats, trickes.’ 34. Knacks, knick-knacks, trinkets. Compare Winter's Tale, iv. 4. 360 : - ‘Sooth, when I was young And handed love as you do, I was wont To load my she with knacks.’ 35. prevailment, influence. Ib. unharden'd, tender, and capable of receiving impressions; inexperienced. 38. harshness, unkindness, want of tenderness. Compare Lear, ii. 4. I 75: “Thy tender-hefted nature shall not give Thee o'er to harshness.’ 41. Solon's laws gave a father the power of life and death over his child. See Sextus Empiricus, Pyrrhon. Hypot. iii. 24. But we need not suppose that Shakespeare knew of this. 45. Immediately provided &c., as Steevens has remarked, Smacks of an attorney’s office. 50. and within his power it is &c. For this ellipsis see Abbott $ 403. 51. To leave the figure &c., to let the figure remain, or to obliterate it. 54. in this kind, in this respect. Compare As You Like It, ii. I. 27: “And in that kind swears you do more usurp Than doth your brother that hath banish'd you.’ Ib. wanting your father's voice, as he lacks your father's authority or suffrage in your favour. Compare All's Well, ii. 3. 60: ‘This youthful parcel Of noble bachelors stand at my bestowing, O'er whom both sovereign power and father's voice I have to use.’