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end of each day's labour, the conclusion of all that bustle and fatigue that each day's life brings with it.
STĘEVENS. 115 Sleep that knits up the ravell’d sleave of care,
The death of each day's life, sore labour's bath,
-] Is it not probable that Shakspere remembered the following verse in Sir Philip Sydney's Astrophel and Stella, a poem from which he has quoted a line in The Merry Wives of Windsor : “ Come sleepe, O sleepe, the certain knot of
peace, “ The bathing place of wits, the balm of woe, “ The poor man's wealth, the prisoner's release, “ The indifferent judge between the high and
low." The late Mr. Gray had, perhaps, our author's “death of each day's life” in his thoughts, when he wrote • The curfew tolls the knell of parting day."
MALONE. 117. Chief nourisher in life's feast;] So, in Chaucer's Squiere's Tale, v. 10661 : late edit. “ The norice of digestion, the slepe."
STEEVENS. -'tis the
eye of childhood, That fears a painted devil.] So, in Vittoria Corombona, 1612 : “Terrify babes, my lord, with painted devils.””
136. -gild the faces of the grooms withal, ,
For it must seem their guilt.] Could Shakspere possibly mean to play upon the similitude of gild and
JOHNSON. This quibble very frequently occurs in the old plays. A few instances (for I could produce a dozen at least)
“ Cand. You ha a silver beaker of my wife's ?
“ And being gilt, the guilt lies more on you." Again, in Middleton's comedy of A mad World my Masters, 1608: “ Though guilt condemns, 'tis gilt must make us
glad.” And, lastly, from Shakspere himself :
“ England shall double gild his treble guilt.”. Henry IV. part ii.
STEEVENS. 143 -incarnardine,] To incarnardine, is to stain any thing of a flesh colour, or red. Carnardine is the old term for carnation. So, in a comedy called Any Thing for a quiet Life:
“ Grograms, sattins, velvet fine,
“ The rosy-colour'd carnardine." Steevens. 144. Making the green-one red.] The same thought occurs in The Downfal of Robert Earl of Hun. tingdon, 1601 :
“ The multitudes of seas died red with blood.” Again, in the 19th song of Drayton's Polyolbion : “ And the vast greenish sea discolour'd like to blood.”
It has been common to read :
Making the green one, red. The author of the Gray's-Inn Journal, No. 15, first made this elegant and necessary change, which has hitherto been adopted without acknowledgment.
STEEVENS. 145. My hands are of your colour,
-] A similar antithesis is found in Marlowe's Lusts Dominion, 1657: “ Your cheeks are black, let not your souls look white."
MALONE. 154. To know my deed—'Twere best not know myself.] i.e. While I have the thoughts of this deed, it were best not know, or be lost to, myself. This is an answer to the lady's reproof:
-be not lost So poorly in your thoughts. WARBURTON. 162. -napkins enough-] i. e. handkerchiefs.
STEEVENS. 165. -here's an equivocator_who committed treason enough for God's sake~] Meaning a jesuit: an order so 'troublesome to the state in queen Elizabeth and king James the first's time. The inventors of the execrable doctrine of equivocation.
WARBURTON. 169. here's an English Taylor come hither, for stealing out of a French hose : -] In the Treasury of ancient and modern Times, 1613, we have an account (from Guyon, I suppose) of the old French dresses ; “ Men's hose answered in length to their short-skirted doublets; being made close to their limbes, wherein they had no meanes for pockets. And Withers, in his
satire against vanity, ridicules “the spruze, diminitive, neat, Frenchman's hose.”
FARMER. 198. I made a shift to cast him.] To cast him up, to ease my stomach of him. The equivocation is be. tween cast or throw, as a term of wrestling, and cast or cast up.
JOHNSON. I find the same play upon words, in an old comedy, entitled The Two angry Women of Abington, printed 1599 :
to-night he's a good huswife, he reels all that he wrought to-day, and he were good now to play at dice, for he casts excellent well.” STEEVENS.
213. For 'tis my limited service] Limited, for appointed.
-Tongue, nor heart,] The use of two negatives, not to make an affirmative, but to deny more strongly, is very coinmon in our author. So Julius Cæsar, act iii. sc. 1.
there is no harm “ Intended to your person, nor to no Roman else.”
STEEVENS. this horror!] Here the old edition adds, ring the bell, which Theobald rejected, as a direction to the players. He has been followed by Dr. Warburton and Dr. Johnson. Shakspere might think a repetition of the command to ring the bell necessary, and I know not how an editor is authorised to reject that which apparently makes a part of his author's text.
The subsequent hemistich-"What's the business?" which completes ths metre of the preceding line, without the words “ Ring the bell,” affords, in my opinion, a strong presumptive proof that these words were only a marginal direction. It should be remem. bered that all the stage-directions were formerly couched in imperative terms :-“ Draw a knife;" .“ Play musick;"_" Ring the bell,” &c.
I suppose it was in consequence of an imperfect recollection of this hemistich, that Mr. Pope, having in his preface charged the editors of the first folio with introducing stage-directions into their author's text, in support of his assertion quotes the following line :
“ My queen is murder'd :-ring the little bell.” A line that is not found in any edition of these plays, nor, I believe, in any other book.
MALONE. 255. What, in our house!] This is very fine. Had she been innocent, nothing but the murder itself, and not any of its aggravating circumstances, would naturally have affected her. As it was, her business was to appear highly disordered at the news. Therefore, like one who has her thoughts about her, she seeks for an aggravating circumstance, that might be supposed most to affect her personally; not considering, that by placing it there, she discovered rather a concern for herself than for the king. On the contrary, her husband, who had repented the act, and was now labouring under the horrors of a recent murder, in his exclamation, gives all the marks of sorrow for the fact itself,