« PreviousContinue »
Chaucer, Gower, Skelton, and Spenser, have personified Danger. The first, in his Romaunt of the Rose; the second, in his fifth book De Confessione Amantis ; the third, in his Bouge of Court :
" With that, anone out start dangere." and the fourth, in the 10th Canto of the fourth book of his Faery Queen, and again in the fifth book and the ninth Canto.
STEEVENS. 314. - front but in that file] I am but primus inter pares. I am but first in the row of counsellors,
JOHNSON 339. tralable obedience, &c.] The meaning, I think, is,-Things are now in such a situation, that resentment and indignation predominate in every man's breast over duty and allegiance. MALONE.
342. There is no primer business.] In the old edition :
There is no primer baseness. The queen is here complaining of the suffering of the commons; which, she suspects, arose from the abuse of power in some great men. But she is very reserved in speaking her thoughts concerning the quality of it. We may be assured then, that she did not, in conclusion, call it the highest baseness; but rather made use of a word that could not offend the cardinal, and yet would incline the king to give it a speedy hearing. I read therefore,
There is no primer business. i. e. no matter of state that more earnestly presses a dispatch.
So, in Othello: “ Were they as prime as goats, as hot as monkies.--"
We must not stint] To stint is to stop, to retard. See Note on the first act of Romeo and Juliet.
STEEVENS. 355 To cope-] To engage with; to encounter. The word is stiil used in some counties. JOHNSON.
359. By sick interpreters, once weak ones,-) Once is not unfrequently used for sometime, or at one time er ether, among our ancient writers. So, in the 13th Idea of Drayton :
" This diamond shall once consume to dust." Again, in the Merry Wives of Windsor :-" I pray thee once to-night give my sweet Nan this ring." Again, in Leicester's Commonwealth:
“ if God should take from us her most excellent majesty (as once he will) and so leave us destitute. STEEVENS. 360.
-what worst, as oft,
litting a grosser quality,--] The worst actions of great men are commended by the vulgar, as more accommodated to the grossness of their notions:
JOHNSON. 374. From every tree, lor, bark, and part o'the timber;] Lop is a substantive, and signifies the branches.
WARBURTON. 385. That, through cur intercession, &c.] So, in Holinshed, p. 892. “ The cardinall, to deliver himself from the evill will of the people, purchased by procuring and advancing of this demand, affirmed, с
and caused it to be bruited abrode, that through his intercession the king had pardoned and released all things."
STEEVENS. 391. The gentleman is learn'd, &c.] It appears from “ The prologue of the translatour," that the Knyghte of the Swanne, a French romance, was translated at the request of this unfortunate nobleman. Copland, the Printer, adds, “ this present history compyled, named Helyas the Knight of the Swanne, of whom lineally is descended my
said lord.” The duke was executed on Friday the 17th of May 1521. The book has no date.
out of himself. - -] Beyond the treasures of his own mind.
Not well dispos'd -] Great gifts of nature and education, not joined with good dispositions.
-and when we, Almost with ravish'd list'ning -] I know not whether we may not read,
Who was enroll’d with wonder, and whom we
His hour of speech a minute, To listen a man, for, to hearken to him, is commonly used by our author. So, by Milton :
" I listen'd them a while.” I do not ra'e my conjecture at much; but, as the common reading is without authority, something may
be tried. Perhaps the passage is best as it was origi. nally published.
-is become as black
-Her name, that was as fresh
STEEVENS. 421. This dangerous conception in this point. ] Note this particular part of this dangerous design.
JOHNSON. 432. By a vain prophecy of Nicholas Hopkins.] In former editions,
By a vain prophecy of Nicholas Henton. We heard before, from Brandon, of one Nicholas Hopkins; and now his name is changed into Henton; so that Brandon and the surveyor seem to be in two stories. There is, however, but one and the same person meant, Hopkins ; as I have restored it in the text, for perspicuity's sake: yet it will not be any difficulty to account for the other name, when we come to consider, that he was a monk of the convent, called Henton, near Bristol. So both Hall and Holinshed acquaint us. And he might, according to the custom of these times, be called Nicholas of Hen. ton, froin the place; as Hopkins from his family.
THEOBALD. This mistake, as it was undoubtedly made by Shakspere, is worth a note. It would be doing too great an honour to the players, to suppose them capable of being the authors of it.
439. The duke being at the Rose, within the parish
Saint Lawrence Pountney,] This house was purchased, about the year 1561, by Richard Hill, some time master of the Merchant-Taylors company, and is now the Merchant-Taylors' school, in SuffolkLane.
WHALLEY. -under the commission's seal He solemnly had sworn,
-) So all the edi. tions down from the very beginning. But what commission's seal ? That is a question, I dare say, none of our diligent editors ever asked themselves. The text must be restored, as I have corrected it; and honest Holinshed, from whom our author took the substance of this passage, may be called in as a testimony.-" The duke in talk told the monk, that he had done
very well to bind his chaplain, John de la Court, under the seal of confession, to keep secret such matter."
Vide Life of Henry VIII. p. 863. THEOBALD, 457. For the love
-] The old copy reads— To the love.
STEEVENS, 477 --so rank ?-] Rank weeds, are weeds that are grown up to great height and strength. What, says the king, was he advanced to this pitch ?
JOHNSON. 485. Being my sworn servant, &c.] Sir William Blomer (Holinshed calls him Bulmer) was reprimanded by the king in the star-chamber, for that, being his sworn servant, he had left the king's service for the duke of Buckingham's. Edwards's MSS.