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91. -to steal a shive,–] A shive is a slice. So, in the Tale of Argentile and Curan, in Warner's Albion's England, 1602 :
" A sheeve of bread as browne as nut.”' Demetrius is again indebted to a Scots proverb.: *W" It is safe taking a shive of a cut foaf.X
STEEVENS. 97. --struck a doe,] Mr. Holt is willing toinfer from this passage that Titus Andronicus was not only the work of Shakspere, but one of his earliest performances, because the stratageins of his former profession seem to have been yet fresh in his mind. I had made the same observation in K. Kenry VI. before I had seen his; but when we consider how many phrases are borrowed from the sports of the field, which were more followed in our author's timethan any other amusement; I do not think there is much in either his remark or my own. Let me add, that we have here Demetrius, the son of a queen, demanding of his brother prinçe if he has not often been reduced to practise the common artifices of a deer-stealer:-an absurdity right worthy of the rest of the piece.
STBEVENS: 106. To square for this ? To square-is to quarrel. So, in the Midsummer Night's Dream: 4.10
they never meet, is But they do square Again, in Drant's translation of Horace's Art of Poes try, 1567 is
“Let them not sing 'twixt act and act,
“ What squareth from the rest." But to square, which in the last instance signifies to differ, is now rised only in the very opposite sense, and means to agree.''
STE EVENS 117. A speedier course than lingering langaishment] The old copy reads:
-this lingering, &c. which may mean, this coy languishing dame, this piece of revclant softness.
STEEVENS. 123. by kind That is, by nature, which is the old signification of kind. JOHNSON. 6: 130w: file our engines with advice,] 1. e. remove all impediments from our designs by advice. The allusion is to the operation of the file, which, by conferring smoothness, facilitates the motion of the wheels which compose an engine or piece of machinery.
STEEVENS, 142. Per Styga, &c.] These scraps of Latin are, I believe, taken, though not exactly, from some of Seneca's tragedies.
STEE VENS. 143. The division of this play into acts, which was first made by the editors in 1623, is improper. There is here an interval of action, and frere the second act ought to have begun.
JOHNSON. -the morn is bright and grey,] i. e. bright and yet not red, which was a sign of storns and rain, but grey, which foretold fair weather. Yet the Oxford editor alters grey to gay.
Surely the Oxford editor is in the right; unless we reason like the Witches in Macbeth, and say,
“ Fair is foul, and foul is fair.”, The old reading is justified by the following passage in Shakspere's Venus and Adonis : “ Mine eyes are bright and grey, and quick in
turning." Again, by another example in The Old Wives. Tale, * 1595 : “ The day is clear, the welkin, bright and grey."
STĘEVENS. 178. for their unrest,] Unrest, for disquiet, is a word frequently used by the old writers. So, in The Spanish Tragedy, 1605:
“ Thus therefore will I rest me, in unrest." Thus in Eliosto Libidinoso, an ancient novel, by Johan Hinde, 1606:
“ For the ease of whose unrest,
ge Again, in an excellent pastoral Dittie, by Shep. Tonie; published in England's Helicon, 1614: » “With lute in hand did paint out her unrest."
STEEVENS. 175 That have their alms, &c.] This is obscure. It seems to mean only, that they who are to come at this gold of the empress are to suffer by it. JOHNSON.
180. My lovely Aaron, wherefore lookost thou sad?] In the course of the following notes several examples of the savage genius of Ravenscroft, who altered this play in the reign of K. Charles II. are set down for
the entertainment of the reader. The following is a
The emperor, with wine and luxury o‘ercome,
My lovely Aaron, wherefore, &c.
STEVENS. -a chequer'd shadow- -] Milton has the same expression :
-Inany a maid
Fr.Dancing in the chequer'd shade."
STEEVENS. 900. Ethough Venus govern your desires,
Saturn is dominator over mine :) The meaning of this passage may be illustrated by the astronomical 3
description description of Saturn, which Venus gives in Greene's Planetomachia, 1585. “ The star of Saturn is especially cooling, and somewhat dric," &c. Again, in the Sea Voyage, by Beaumont and Fletcher :
-for your aspect “ You're much inclin'd to melancholy, and that 6. Tells me the sullen Saturn had predominance *** At your nativity, a malignant planet! *** “ And if not qualified by a sweet conjunction “ Of a soft ruddy wench, born under Venus, ad " It may prove fatal."
COLLINS. 234. Should drive upon thy new-transformed limbs. The author of the Revisal suspects that the poet
Should thrive upon thy new transformed limbs, as the former is an expression that suggests na image to the fancy. But drive, I think, may stand, with this meaning: the hounds should pass with impetuous haste, &c. So, in Hamlet:
“ Pyrrhus at Priam drives," &c. i. e. flies with impetuosity at him. STEEYENS.
242. -swarth. Cimmerian] Swarth is black. The Moor is called Cimmerian, from the affinity of black. ness to darkness,
JOHNSON, 256. —noted long :) He had yet been married buta one night.
JOHNSON. 266. Here never shines the sæn, &c.] Mr. Rowe seems to have thought on this passage in luis Jane Shore :