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" With what encounter so uncurrent I
Have strain'd, t' appear thus," etc. This passage is difficult, and Johnson confessed that he could not understand it: he proposed to read, “ With what encounter so uncurrent-Have I been strained to appear thus." Stevens considers it a metaphor from running at tilt; but Mr. Amoyt has given the following explanation of the sentence:-“ Hermione intends to say, Beloved as I was by you before Polixenes arrived, and deservedly so, I appeal to your conscience how it has happened that I have had to struggle against so untoward a current as to appear thus before you in the character of a criminal.'"
Strain is often used, in old poetry, for going awry, as Drayton describes a river—"wantonly she strains in her lascivious course.” The sense may then be, “ In what unusual interview have I so erred as to expose myself to the appearance of guilt ?"
“That any of these bolder vices wanted
Less impudence to gainsay what they did," etc.
“ It is apparent that according to the proper, at least according to the present use of words, .less' should be more, or wanteil' should be had. But Shakespeare is very uncertain in his use of negatives. It may be necessary once to observe, that, in our language, two negatives did not originally affirm, but strengthen the negation. This mode of speech was in time changed, but, as the change was made in opposition to long custom, it proceeded gradually, and uniformity was not obtained but through an intermediate confusion."-John
" — Hor he glisters THOROUGH my rust!" The first folio has, “ through my rust," and the second folio, “ through my dark rust;" but the addition to the old text is needless, if we only read through " thorough."
and how his piety Does my deeds make the blacker!" “This vehement retraction of Leontes, accompanied with the confession of more crimes than he was suspected of, is agreeable to our daily experience of the vicissitudes of violent tempers, and the eruptions of minds oppressed with guilt.”—Johnson.
"That did but shoro thee of a fool."'-Theobald would read soul for “ fool;' and Warburton, that did but show thee off a fool.” I agree, with Coleridge, that “ fool is Shakespeare's word,” for the reasons he assigns. “1. My ear feels it to be Shakespearian; 2. The involved grammar is Shakespearian— show thee, being a fool naturally, to have improved thy folly by incon. stancy;' 3. The alteration is most flat, and un-Shake spearian. As to the grossness of the abuse, she calls him 'gross and foolish' a few lines below." This mode of speech was anciently quite common.
"-a devil Would have shed water out of fire, ere done 't." That is, a devil wonld have shed tears of pity, ere he would have committed such an action.
"- for one 80 TENDER"-i. e. Tender in years. "All faults I make, when I shall come to know them. I do repent.”
This is another instance of the sudden changes inci dent to vehement and ungovernable minds.''- JOHNSON
- so long as nature Will bear up with this exercise," etc. Mr. Knight was the first to restore the original metir, which, in the numerous editions of the last century, and the first thirty years of the present, were thus printed, without any reason assigned for it:
Shall be my recreation : so long as
And lead me to these sorrows. Knight justly remarks :-“If the freedom and variety of his versification were offensive to those who had been trained in the school of Pope, let it be remembered that we have now come back to the proper estimation of a nobler rhythm; and that Shakespeare, of all the great dramatists, appears to have held the true mean, between a syllabic monotony on the one hand, and a license running into prose on the other."
"My life stands IN THE LEVEL of your dreams"-A metaphor from gunnery: to stand in the level means to be the object at which direct aim is taken.
“I have got STRENGTH of limit"_“I know not well how strength of limit can mean strength to pass the limits of the child-bed chamber; which yet it must mean in this place, unless we read, in more easy phrase— strength of limh. And now,'” etc.—Johnson.
“ Mr. M. Mason judicionsly conceives strength of limit to mean, the limited degree of strength which it is customary for women to acqnire, before they are suffered to go abroad, after child-bearing."-STEVENS.
“ — FLATNESS of my misery''—"That is, how low, how flat, I am laid by my calamity."-Johnson. So, Milton, in “ Paradise Lost,” book ii. :
thus repuls'd, our final hope
Is flat despair. "— if that which is lost be not found”—This oracle, with the change of names, is from Greene's “ Pandosto." ** Suspition is no proofe; jealonsie is an unequall judge; Bellaria is chast; Egistus blamelesse; Tranion a true subject; Pandosto treacherous; his babe an innocent; the king shall die withont an heire, if that which is lost be not founde.”—(Shakespeare's Library, part i. p. 21.) The editions of “ Pandosto," subsequent to that of 1588, read, “his babe innocent,” and “the king shall live without an heire," etc. Therefore, Shakespeare employed one of the later impressions; probably that of 1609, the year before we suppose him to have commenced this play.
Of the queen's SPEED”—“Of the event of the queen's trial: so we still say, he sped well, or ill.”—Johnson.
“ Which you know great, and to the hazard”—This line, in the folio of 1623, is deficient two syllables of the regular metre, and the editor of the folio of 1632 supplied them by reading “certain hazard.” Malone pronounces certain of all words the “most objectionable," and supposes the lost word “to be either doublful or fearful;" while Stevens urges that it is “quite in Shakespeare's manner.” We leave the line as it stands in the oldest and most authentic copy, and as, in all probability, Shakespeare wrote it, metrical enough to the ear for dramatic dialogue, though not conforming to the regular blank-verse standard.
“ Enter ANTIGONUS, with the BABE"-So in the old copies, which there is no reason for changing into child, as in most modern editions.
" — and there thy CHARACTER"-By “character" is meant the writing afterwards discovered with Perdita.
“A rullaby too rough'-So in “ Pandosto:"_“Shalt thou have the whistling windes for thy lullabie, and the salt sea fome instede of sweete milke?'-(Shakespeare's Library, part i. p. 18.)—These verbal resemblances show that Shakespeare wrote, not only with Greene's novel in his memory, but before him.
- A savage clamour?Well may I get aboard !—This is the chase." This "clamour” was the cry of the dogs and hunters ; then, seeing the hear, Antigonus exclaims, “ This is the chase," or the animal pursued.
" – a rery pretty BARN”_" Barn” is still a Northof-England word for child, as bairn is in Scotland.
“ – A BOY, or a child”_Stevens says that he is imitation represent an action that happened years after told, that, “in some of the inland counties of England, the first, if it be so connected with it that nothing but a female infant, in contradistinction to a male one, is time can be supposed to intervene ? Time is, of all still termed, among the peasantry, a child."" This modes of existence, most obsequious to the imaginause of the word was clearly the meaning of Shake- tion: a lapse of years is as easily conceived as a passpeare; but in none of the provincial glossaries can sage of hours. In contemplation, we easily contract we find an authority for such an application. On the the time of real actions; and, therefore, willingly percontrary, in all the ancient writers, childe means a mit it to be contracted when we only see their imitaboy, a young man, and generally in some association tion." with chivalry. Byron, in his preface to “ Childe
"- and leare the GROWTH untried Harold,” says :-" It is almost superfluous to mention Of that wide gap," etc. that the appellation «Childe,' as Childe Waters,'
“Our author attends more to his ideas than to his • Childe Childers,' etc., is used as more consonant with the old structure of versification, which I have adopted.” | irregular; but he means, the growth,' or progression,
words. The 'growth of the 'wide gap' is somewhat Nares observes upon the passage before us, that the of the time which filled up the gap' of the story be. expression “child' may perhaps be rather referred to
tween Perdita's birth and her sixteenth year. To leare the simplicity of the shepherd, reversing the common
this growth untried, is to leave the passages of the inpractice, than taken as an authority for it.”
termediate years unnoted and unexamined. Untried' is " — how the sca FLAP-DRAGONED it”—The meaning not, perhaps, the word which he would have chosen, is, that the sea swallowed the ship as drinkers swallowed
but which his rhyme required."-Johnson. flap-dragons, which were almonds, or other inflammable
“ – imagine me”-i. e. Imagine with me. It is a substances set on fire, set afloat, and gulped down while French idiom, which Shakespeare has played upon in blazing. Thus Falstaff says of the Prince, “ He drinks the TaminG OF THE SHREW. And Falstaff, speaking candles' ends for flap-dragons."
of sack, in King HENRY IV., says: “ – a BEARING-CLOTH”—Percy explains this as “the
It ascends me into the brain, dries me there, ete. fine mantle, or cloth, with which a child is usually covered when it is carried to the church to be baptized.”
SCENE I. this is some changeling"-Some child changed
“ – I have missingly noted"-Stevens explains this, by the fairies. “Changeling" was oftentimes used sy- “I have observed him at intervals." But, is it not nonymously with idiot, because the fairies were sup- rather-Missing him, I have noted of late he is much posed to leave idiots instead of the children they look retired from court ? away.
Scene II. - they are never curst, but when they are hungry"— Curst" signifies ill-tempered. Thus the adage: "- the red blood reigns in the winter's PALE"Curst cows have short horns."
“That is, the red, the spring blood, now reigns over the
parts lately under the dominion of winter. The ACT IV.-CHORUS.
English pale,' and the • Irish pale,' were frequent ex
pressions in Shakespeare's time; and the words 'red' “ — Impute it not a crime
and • pale' are used for the sake of the antithesis.”— To me, or my swift passage, that I slide
In this sense we still retain the phrase, “the pale “ This trespass, in respect of dramatic unity, will ap- of the church,” “ the pale of fashion.” The Poet means pear venial to those who have read the once famous to retain that sense, with a remote allusion to winter's Lily's · Endymion,' (or, as he himself calls it in the pale colours. prologue, his “Man in the Moon.') Two acts of this
“ Doth set my PUGGING tooth on edge"-" Pugging." piece comprise the space of forty years; Endymion ly
and puggard, seem to have been cant words, of nearly ing down to sleep at the end of the second, and waking
the same meaning with the modern slang-phrase of in the first scene of the fifth, after a nap of that un
prigging-i. e. thieving, or cheating. conscionable length. Lily has, likewise, been guilty of much greater absurdity than Shakespeare committed;
“ With heigh! WITH HEIGH"-The first folio has only for he supposes that Endymion's hair, features, and
" with heigh!" the repetition, necessary for the metre,
is from the second folio. person, were changed by age during his sleep, while all the other personages of the drama remained without “- in my time, wore THREE-PILE"-i. e. Three-pile alteration.”-STEVENS.
velvet-velvet of the richest kind. Malone states that, in the comedy of “ Patient
" — when the kite builds, look to LESSER LINEN"Grissel,” (by Decker, Chettle, and Haughton,) Grissel is in the first act married, and soon afterwards brought and large pieces of “linen, leaving the smaller pieces
" Autolycus means, that his practice was to steal sheets, to bed of twins, a son and a daughter ; and the daugh- for the kites' to build with."-M. Mason. ter, in the fifth act, is produced on the scene as a woman old enough to be married.
" — for the life to come, I sleep out the thought of Dr. Johnson has thus commented on the dramatic it"-"Fine as this is, and delicately characteristic of unity of time:
one who had lived and been reared in the best society, “By supposition, as place is introduced, time may be
and had been precipitated from it by dice and drabbing, extended. The time required by the fable elapses, for
yet still it strikes against my feelings as a note out of the most part, between the acts; for, of so much of the tune, and as not coalescing with that pastoral tint which action as is represented, the real and poetical duration
gives such a charm to this act. It is too Macbeth-like is the same. If, in the first act, preparations for war in the snapper-up of unconsidered trifles.'"-COLEagainst Mithridates are represented to be made in Rome, the event of the war may, without absurdity, Every 'leven wether Tods; every tod yields-pound be represented in the catastrophe as happening in Pon- | and odd shilling,” etc.—To tod is used as a verb by tus, We know that there is neither war nor prepara- dealers in wool. Thus, they say, " Twenty sheep ought tion for war; we know that we are neither in Rome to tod fifty pounds of wool," etc. The meaning, nor Pontus—that neither Mithridates nor Lucullus is therefore, of the Clown's words is, “ Every eleven before us. The drama exhibits successive imitations wethers tods-i. e. will produce a tod, or twenty-eight of successive actions; and why may not the second pounds of wool-every tod yields a pound and odd
shilling: what then will the wool of fifteen hundred that's for remembrance. There's rue for you; we may yield ?”
call it herb of grace.” The qualities of retaining Shakespeare has here brought his agricultural know- “ seeming and savour" appear to form the reason why ledge to bear. We have every reason to believe that these plants were considered emblematical of " grace he was a practical farmer; for, after he had bought his and remembrance." estate in Stratford-Fields, in 1602, we find him suing one Philip Rogers, for a debt of thirty-five shillings and
" — and streak'd GILLYFLOWERS"-Gillyvors, in the ten pence, for corn delivered. And, in 1605, he pur- folios, both here, when the word is spoken by Perdita, chased a moiety of the tithes of Stratford, which he and afterwards by Polixenes. Dyce insists that the old probably had to collect in kind. When he puts this spelling should be retained, as ** an old form of the speech, therefore, in the mouth of the Clown, we may
word." reasonably conclude that he knew, of his own expe
“In the folio edition it is spelled Gillyvors. Gelofer, rience, that the average produce of eleven wethers was or gillofer, was the old name for the whole class of a tod of wool; and that the value of a tod was a 'pound
carnations, pinks, and sweet-williams; from the French and odd shilling.' Ritson says, “It appears from Staf- girofle. There were also stock-gelofers, and wall-geloford's · Breefe Conceipte of English Pollicye,' 1581, that fers. The variegated gillyflowers, or carnations, being the price of a tod of wool was, at that period, twenty or considered as a produce of art, were properly called two-and-twenty shillings; so that the medium price was nature's bastards, and being streaked white and red, exactly . pound and odd shilling.'"-KNIGHT.
Perdita considers them a proper emblem of a painted The researches into the curious and important ques
or immodest woman; and therefore declines to meddle tion of money prices, have shown that this was about with them. She connects the gardener's art of varying the average price of the times. Wool, according to
the colours of these flowers, with the art of painting the our mode of estimation, was then worth eight pence
face—a fashion very prevalent in Shakespeare's time."
Douce. sterling the pound.
"I'll not put - THREE-MAN song-men all"—i. e. Singers of songs in three parts, or for three men.
The dibble in earth to set one slip of them,” etc.
“ It has been well remarked of this passage, that Per" — MEANS and bases"--"Means” are tenours-inter
dita does not attempt to answer the reasoning of Pomediate voices, between the treble and bass.
lixenes: she gives up the argument, but, woman-like,
retains her own opinion, or, rather, her sense of right, "- he sings PSALMS to HORNPIPES"-" In the early days of psalmody, it was not unusual to adapt the pop
unshaken by his sophistry. She goes on in a strain of ular secular tunes to the versions of psalms, the rage
poetry, which comes over the soul like music and frafor which originated in France."'-WARTON'S “ Hislory
grance mingled: we seem to inhale the blended odours of Poetry.”
of a thousand flowers, till the sense faints with their
sweetness; and she concludes with a touch of passion" — to colour the WARDEN pies"-"Wardens' are a
ate sentiment, which melts into the very heart.”—Mrs. large sort of pear, called in French poires de garde
, Jameson. because, being a late hard pear, they may be kept very long. It is said that their name is derived from the
“ From Dis's waggon! daffodils”—“An epithet is Anglo-Saxon wearden, (to preserve.) They are now
wanted here, not merely or chiefly for the metre, but called baking-pears."—NARES.
for the balance, for the æsthetic logic. Perhaps golden
was the word, which would set off the 'violets dim.'”. “A fellow sir, that I have known to go about with COLERIDGE. TROL-MY-DAMES”—Probably a corruption of the French
• - violets dim, term, trou madame. The game much resembles that called bagatelle. The Old-English title of this sport
But sweeter than the lids of Juno's eyes," etc.
“ Johnson had not sufficient imagination to comprewas pigeon-holes, as the arches in the machine, through which the balls are rolled, resembles the cavities inade
hend this exquisite passage: he thought that the Poet
had mistaken Juno for Pallas, and says, that sweeter for pigeons in a dove-house.
than an eyelid is an odd image!' But the eyes of Juno “ – it will no more but ABIDE"-i. e. It will do no were as remarkable as those of Pallas, and more than remain there for a time.
- of a beauty never yet
Equalled in height of tincture. "ca La MOTION of the prodigal son”-A “motion"
The beanties of Greece and other Asiatic nations tinged was techuical for a puppet-show, of which the history
their eyelids of an obscure violet colour, by means of of the prodigal son was here the subject.
some ungļient, which was doubtless perfumed like " — merrily hent the stile-a"-i. e. Take hold of. those for the hair, etc., mentioned by Athenæus. Hence
Hesiod's phrase, in a passage which has been renSCENE III.
Her Mowing bair and suble cydids 4.- goddess-like prask'd up”-i. e. Dressed splen
Breathed enamouring odour, like the breath decorated.
Of balmy Venus. 6- I should blush
Shakespeare may not have known this; yet of the beauty
and propriety of the epithet violets dim,' and the To see you so attired, sworn, I think,
transition at once to the lids of Juno's eyes, and CytheTo show myself a glass.”
rea's breath, no reader of taste and feeling need be rePerdita probably means, that the prince, by the rus- minded."-SINGER. tic habit he wears, seems as if he had sworn to show her as, in a glass, how she ought to be dressed, instead
makes her blood look out"-The old and possiof being “so goddess-like pranked up;” and were it
bly the true reading is look on 't, which Collier retains, not for the license and folly which custom had made
as meaning that Camillo observes that Florizel tells familiar at such feasts as that of sheep-shearing, when
Perdita something that makes her blood come into her
cheeks “ to look on it." mimetic sports were allowable, she should blush to see him so attired.
“To have a woRTHY FEEDING"—A “worthy feeding" “ For you there's rosemary, and rue; these keep
seems to mean a tract of pasturage, not inconsiderable, Seeming and savour all the winter long,” etc.
which the old shepherd considers not unworthy of his Ophelia distributes the same plants, and accompanies supposed daughter's fortune. them with similar expressions :-" There's rosemary ; " — FADINGS”—The “fadings" was a dance.
love quotes a song from “Sportive Wit,” (1666,) which in the form of a woman, from her waist upward, seene implies that it was a rustic dance:
in the sea.” To this Malone supposes that ShakeThe courtiers scorn us country clowns,
speare alludes. In Sir Henry Herbert's office-book, We country clowns do scorn the court;
which contains a register of all the shows of London, We can be as merry upon the downs
from 1623 to 1642, is entered, “ a license to Francis As you at midnight with all your sport, With a fuding, with a fading.
Sherret, to show a strange fish for one year, from the It appears, from a letter in Boswell's edition of “Ma- 10th of March, 1635." lone,'' that it was an Irish dance, and that it was prac- " — they call themselves SALTIERS"-i. e. Satyrs, tised, upon rejoicing occasions, as recently as 1803, the
says Malone: men covered with hairy skins, to give date of the letter:
them the appearance of satyrs; but possibly the true The dance is called Rinca Fada, and means, lite
explanation is saultiers-i. e. vaulters. The servant rally, the long dance.' Though faed is a reed, the says afterwards, that the worst of one of the threes name of the dance is not borrowed from it; “fada is the "jumps twelve foot and a half by the squire.” The adjective, long, and rinca the substantive, dance.' In
stage-direction in the old copies, after they enter, is, Irish the adjective follows the substantive, differing from “Here a dance of twelve satyrs," and perhaps“ saltiers" the English construction : hence, rinca fada. Faeden is only the servant's blunder. is the diminutive, and means little reed; faeden is the first person of the verb to whistle, either with the lips,
“ — by the SQUIRE"—i. e. By the foot-rule-Fr. or with a reed-i. e. I whistle.
esquierre. “ This dance is still practised, on rejoicing occasions, " — that's BOLTED"-i. e. Sisted by the northern in many parts of Ireland.
A king and queen are chosen blasts. from among the young persons who are the best danc
“ – thou no more shalt NEVER see this knack"-Steers; the queen carries a garland, composed of two
vens omits never, as hoops, placed at right angles, and fastened to a handle;
absurd redundancy;" but the re
duplication of negatives was a common mode of writing the hoops are covered with Aowers and ribands: you
at the time, and the word is found in all the old copies. have seen it, I dare say, with the May-maids. Frequently, in the course of the dance, the king and queen “ — I was not much afeard”_" The character of lift up their joined hands as high as they can, she still Perdita is here finely sustained. To have made her holding the garland in the other. The most remote quite astonished at the king's discovery of himself, had couple from the king and queen first pass under; all the not become her birth ; and to have given her presence rest of the line, linked together, follow in succession. of mind to have made this reply to the king, had not When the last has passed, the king and queen suddenly become her education."—WARBURTON. face about, and front their companions. This is often repeated during the dance, and ihe curious undulations
" — Will't please you, sir, be gone"—"O how more
than exquisite is this whole speech !—and that profound are pretty enough, resembling the movements of a serpent. The dancers, on the first of May, visit such
nature of noble pride and grief, venting themselves in newly-wedded pairs, of a certain rank, as have been a momentary peevishness of resentment towards Flo
rizel: married since last May-day, in the neighbourhood; who
- Will't please you, sir, be gone!"_COLERIDGE, commonly bestow on them a stuffed ball, richly decked with gold and silver lace, and accompanied with a “ Where no priest shovels in dust” — Before the reform present in money, to regale themselves after the dance. of the burial-service, in the time of Edward VI., it was This dance is practised when the bonfires are lighted the custom for the priest to throw earth on the body, up, the queen hailing the return of summer in a popular in the form of a cross, and then sprinkle it with holyIrish song, beginning
water. Thuga mair sein lu soure ving.
“— by my FANCY"-i. e. By my lore: the nse of the We lead on summer-see! she follows in our train."
word "fancy" in this sense is perpetual in Shakespeare "-'fadings,' 'jump her and thump her!"-The
and authors of his age. (See MERCHANT OF VENICE.) burdens of old songs and ballads, mentioned in writers
“ – at every sittING”—“ Every sitting" means, at of the time.
every audience you shall have of the king and council: “ – he so chants to the SLEEVE-HAND, and the work the council-days being formerly called, in common about the SQUARE on’t”—The “sleeve-hand” was the speech, the sitting. Howell, in one of his letters, cuff, or wristband; the “square" signified the work says :—“My lord president hopes to be at the next sitabout the bosom.
ting in York." " — POKING-STICKs of slee'-"Poking-sticks” were « But not TAKE IN the mind -To “take in" anheated in the fire, and made use of to set the plaits of ciently meant to conquer, to get the better of. As, in ruffs. Stowe informs us, that “about the sixteenth ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA :yeare of the queene (Elizabeth] began the making of
He could so quickly cut the Ionian seas, steele poking-sticks, and untill that time all lawndresses
And take in Toryne. used setting stickes made of wood or bone.”
“She is i' the rear of our birth"— The original readsClamour your tongues”—“An expression taken
She is i' th' reere 'our birth. from bell-ringing; now contracted to clam. The bells
The apostrophes indicate the sense-her being, in are said to be clammed, when, after a course of rounds birth, inferior. Many editions substitute, “rear of or changes, they are all pulled off at once, and give a birth." general clash, or clam, by which the peal is concluded.
POMANDER"-A pomander was a ball of per. As this clam is succeeded by a silence, it exactly suits
fumes, and worn in the pocket, or about the neck. the sense of the passage.”-NARES.
Mr. Gifford thinks, with Malone, that it is a misprint " — with a WHOO-BUB"-So spelled in the original, supfor charm.
porting the etyinology of whoop-up, given by some lexi
cographers. The meaning, of course, is what we now " — a Tawdry lace"-It was sometimes only called
call a hubbub; and in this form we meet with it in a tawdry, and it was not used for lacing, but worn as several writers of the time of Shakespeare. an ornament for the head or neck.
“(For I do fear eyes EVER,)”—The old reading is, “ – a fish, that appeared upon the coast”—In 1604, “ For I do fear eyes over," which, since Rowe's edition, was entered on the books of the Stationers' Company, has been changed to “ I do fear eyes over you." An “A strange reporte of a monstrous fish, that appeared old MS. correction suggested to Collier the reading of
the text, which merely requires the change of o to e, in an obvious misprint.
“- I would not do't"—Hanmer proposed, and Stevens adopted a transposition of this, which is the original text, so as to read, “If I thought it were not a piece of honesty, etc., I would do it." Yet, as part of the knave's reasoning with himself, and stating his own principle of action, the old text, which is also that of the three last editions, may well stand.
“ – pedler's EXCREMENT"-i. e. His beard. In Love's Labour Lost, Armado calls his beard - excrement. Also, in the COMEDY OF ERRORS. The word is used as we now might use excrescence.
- with the MANNER"-i. e. In the fact-a term familiar to the law; being, originally, “taken with the mainour," and applied to the thief taken with the thing stolen about him.
" — TOUZE from thee thy business"-Minshew (Dictionary) says “touze” is to pull, or tug, and in this sense it is used in MEASURE FOR MEASURE:
- We'll touze you joint by joint, etc. " — court-word for a pheasant"-A“phea sant" was a very common present from country tenants to great people.
by the picking on's teeth”—To “pick the teeth” was, at this time, a mark of pretension to fashion, or elegance. Faulconbridge, speaking of the traveller, says:
He and his toothpick at my worship’s mess. In Sir Thomas Overbury's “Characters,” we find—“ If you find not a courtier here, you shall in Paul's, with a toothpick in his hat, a cape-cloak, and a long stocking."
« — the hottest day prognostication proclaims"—That is, the hottest day foretold in the almanack. Almanacks were, in Shakespeare's time, published under such title:-“ An Almanack and Prognostication made for the year of our Lord God, 1595.”
66 — being something gently considered" -Autolycus means, “I, having a gentlemanlike consideration given me, (i. e. a bribe,) will bring you,” etc.
- and on this stage
And begin, why to me? This is evidently erroneous; but the true reading is very doubtful. We have given that of Stevens, followed by Collier and others, which makes no change but the transposition of and. Kuight changes the parenthesis thus: “(Where we offenders now) appear." Z. Jackson ingeniously reads, “(Where we offended) now appear”—Theobald, “(Where we offend her now.)"
“And why to me?” means, “ And why such treatment to me, who deserved so much better, than one worse and better used ?"
“ AFFront his eye”-i. e. Meet his eye, or encounter it. (Affrontare, Ital.) Shakespeare uses this word with the same meaning again in HAMLET, (act iii. scene 1:)—
That he, as 'twere by accident, may here
Affront Ophelia. And in CYMBELINE :-“Your preparation can affront no less than what you hear of.” The word is used in the same sense by Ben Jonson, and even by Dryden. Lodge, in the preface to his “Translation of Seneca," says, “No soldier is counted valiant that affronteth not his enemie."
“Good madam,—I have done"-Stevens and Malone transfer “ I have done” to Paulina, who is going vehemently on. Cleomenes endeavours to interpose, but he gives over the attempt, with “I have done;" and then Paulina continues. With Knight and Collier, we follow the old text.
" — 80 must thy GRACE"-The old editions read, “thy grave," which editors generally have agreed with Edwards in interpreting, Thy grave here means thy beauties, which are buried in the grave: the continent for the contents." Among the other very ingenious MS. corrections of the first folio, (cited by Collier as Lord F. Egerton's folio,) is this of grace, which the context shows, to my judgment, to be right.
- that a king, as friend”—The old folios read," at friend”- -a phrase, of which the most industrious students of Old-English say they find no example elsewhere. As it is probably a misprint, “and friend" and
a friend" have been conjectured. "As friend" is the simple conjecture of the MS. corrector above cited.
ACT V.-SCENE I. “ Bred his hopes out of: TRUE”—The text is here much indebted to Mr. Collier for having restored the reading of all the old editions. Leontes, in grief and remorse, states a fact, and adds, mournfully, “ true;" to which Paulina naturally adds that it is “ too true." The modern editors, from the time of Theobald, have made Paulina say, " True, too true, my lord," without necessity or authority; and, I think, injuriously to the feeling
of the passage.
“ of his most sovereign NAME'— Most of the modern editions, in opposition to all the old copies, have dame instead of “name;" as if the reference were to Hermione, and not the preservation of the name of Leontes, by marrying again, and having issue to succeed to the throne. In the folios "name" is printed with a capital letter, which makes the error more improbable.
" -- the former queen is WELL"-i. e. At rest, dead. In ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA, the phrase is said to be peculiarly applicable to the dead :
Mess. First, madam, he is well.
Cleo. Why, there's more gold; but, sirrah, mark :
Down thy ill-uttering throat. So, in ROMEO AND JULIET, Balthazar, speaking of Juliet, whom he imagined to be dead, says:
Then she is well, and nothing can be ill. “Begin, “And why to me?!”—The old copies gave this
SCENE II. "— if the IMPORTANCE were joy, or sorrow"-Malone says that “importance" here means only import; but the word is rather to be taken in its etymological sense, from the French emporter. Spenser uses important in a kindred manner :
- he fiercely at him flew, And with important outrage him assail'd. “ The meaning of the text seems to be, that a beholder could not say if they were carried away by joy or sorrow.”—COLLIER.
" — not by FAVOUR"-i. e. Countenance-often employed in this sense.
— with CLIPPING her"-i. e. Embracing her-a word of constant use formerly. Thus, in King JOHN :“Neptune's arms, who clippeth thee about.”
" - like a WEATHER-BITTEN CONDUIT”-Conduits, representing the human form, were formerly common. The same image is found in ROMEO AND JULIET:
How dow? a conduit, girl? what, still in tears?
Evermore streaming ? “Weather-bitten” was, in the third folio, changed to weather-beaten; but there is no necessity for the change. Hamlet says, “ The air bites shrewdly;" and the Duke, in As You Like It, speaking of the wind, says: “When it bites and blows upon my body.” “ Weather bitten," therefore, means, corroded by the weather-as we still say, frost-bilten.
passage thus :