« AnteriorContinuar »
It appears obvious that the phrase has a commercial hand and bracelet fell into Lady Mary's lap, who then origin; and that, as he who has obtained credit, buys contrived to escape unobserved, and got home safe to apon trust, is in his creditor's books, so he who has ob- her brothers' honse. tained in any way the confidence of another, is said to “ After a few days Mr. Fox came to dine with them, be in his books. None of the commentators, however, as usual; (whether by invitation, or of his own accord, bave suggested this explanation. Johnson says it means this deponent saith not.) After dinner, when the guests ito be in one's codicils, or will;' Stevens, that it is to
began to amuse each other with extraordinary anecdotes, be in one's visiting-book, or in the books of a univer- Lady Mary at length said she would relate to them a sity, or in the books of the Herald's Office; Farmer, remarkable dream she had lately had. I dreamed,' and Douce, that it is to be in the list of a great man's said she, that as you, Mr. Fox, had often invited me to retainers, because the names of such were entered in a your house, I would go there one morning. When I book. This is the most received explanation. Our came to the house, I knocked, etc., but no one anview of the matter is more homely, and for that reason swered. When I opened the door, over the hall was it appears to us more true.”--Knight.
written, Be bold, be bold, but not too bold. But,' " — Is there no young SQUARER now"—i. e. Quar
said she, turning to Mr. Fox, and smiling, it is not so, reller. To square is the first position for boxing-to
nor it was not so.' Then she pursues the rest of the dispute, to confront hostilely. So, in A MIDSUMMER
story, concluding at every turn with, “It is not so, nor it Night's DREAM :
was not so,' till she comes to the room full of dead bodies,
when Mr. Fox took up the burden of the tale, and said, And now they never meet in grove, or greed, By fountain clear, or spangled star-light sheen,
* It is not so, nor it was not so, and God forbid it should But tbey do square.
be so;' which he continues to repeat at every subsequent * - John"-Most editors call him “ Don John," but
turn of the dreadful story, till she came to the circumin the old quarto and folio copies he is called “ John,"
stance of his cutting off the young lady's hand; when, John the Bastard," and "Sir John," in the stage-direc
upon his saying, as usual, It is not so, nor it was not
so, and God forbid it should be so,' Lady Mary retorts, tions, and in the assignment of the speeches.
• But it is so, and it was so, and here the hand I have to " — the lady fathers herself"-i. e. Resembles her
show,' at the same time producing the hand and bracefather. The phrase (Stevens tells us) is still common let from her lap :-whereupon, the guests drew their in some parts of England.
swords, and instantly cut Mr. Fox into a thousand “ — Vulcan a rare carpenter"-Do you scoff and pieces." mock in telling us that Cupid, who is blind, is a good - in the force of his will"-Warburton has rightly hare-finder; and that Vulcan, a blacksmith, is a good pointed out the allusion here to the definition of heresy carpenter? Do you mean to amuse us with improbable in the scholastic divinity, as consisting not simply in stories?
error of opinion, but in a wilful adherence to it against “ – to go in the song”-i. e. To join in the song you
the Church. This whole question had been so much are singing.
canvassed, in that day of bitter religious animosity and
persecution, that such a reference to the familiar topics " — he will wear his cap with suspicion"-The cap of controversial theology neither of conrse implied any alluded to is the nightcap; as Iago says, “I fear Cassio
profound learning in the author, nor would appear obwith my nightcap, too."
scure, or pedantic, to the mass of his audience, or * Like the old tale, my lord: it is not so, nor 'twas
readers. not 80; but, indeed, God forbid it should be so."
"-ARECHEAT winded in my forehead"-A“recheat' Mr. Blakeway, in Boswell's edition of SHAKESPEARE,
is the species of sound on the bugle by which hounds bas given an illustration of this passage, in his own recol
are called back. Benedick means, he will not wear the lections of an “old tale,” (to which our Poet evidently
horns on his forehead, by which such an operation may alludes,) “and which has often froze my young blood,
be performed. “Shakespeare (says Johnson) had no when I was a child, as, I dare say, it had done his be
mercy on the poor cuckold : his horn is an inexhaustible fore me:"
subject of merriment." The “bugle," etc., contains a * Once upon a time there was a young lady, (called
similar allusion. Lady Mary in the story,) who had two brothers. One summer they all three went to a country-seat of theirs, - clapped on the shoulder, and called Adam"which they had not before witnessed. Among the This passage is supposed to refer to Adam Bell, one of other gentry in the neighbourhood, who came to see
three noted outlaws, (Clym of the Clough, and William them, was a Mr. Fox, a bachelor, with whom they, of Clondeslee, being the others,) who were formerly as particularly the young lady, were much pleased. He famons, in the north of England, as Robin Hood and used often to dine with them, and frequently invited
his fellows in the midland counties. (See the “ OntLady Mary to come and see his house. One day that laws' Ballad,” in Percy's “ Reliques of English Poetry.") her brothers were absent elsewhere, and she had nothing
*** In time the savage bull doth bear the yoke'”—This better to do, she determined to go thither, and accord
line is from the old tragedy of “ Hieronymo,” which ingly set out unattended. When she arrived at the house and knocked at the door, no one answered.
was long a favourite subject of ridicule.
At length she opened it, and went in. Over the portal of “ – if Cupid have not spent all his quiver in Venice" the hall was written, ‘Be bold, be bold, but not too -Few of the readers of Byron and Rogers need to be bold. She advanced-over the staircase, the same in- informed that Venice was, in its day of splendour, the scription. She went up-over the entrance of a gallery, capital of pleasure and intrigue; and the allusion would the same. She proceeded-over the door of a chamber, be as readily applied as a similar one to Paris would be * Be bold, be bold, but not too bold, lest that your heart's- in our own day. blood should run cold.' She opened it it was full of skeletons, tubs full of blood, etc. She retreated in
“ – GUARDED with fragments"-Clothes were said haste, Coming down stairs, she saw, out of a window,
to be “guarded," when they were ornamented with
lace. Mr. Fox advancing towards the house, with a drawn sword in one hand, while with the other he dragged " — flout OLD ENDS any further"-i. e. “Old ends," along a young lady by her hair. Lady Mary had just or conclusions, of letters. It was very common formtime to slip down and hide herself, under the stairs, be- erly to finish a letter with the words used by Benedick, fore Mr. Fox and his victim arrived at the foot of them. Claudio, and Don Pedro :-“ And so I commit you to As he pulled the young lady up stairs, she caught hold the tuition of God: From my house, the sixth of July, of one of the bannisters with her hand, on which was your loving friend,” etc. There are many such in the a rich bracelet. Mr. Fox cut it off with his sword: the * Paston Letters," lately reprinted.
“ The fairest grant is the necessity"-Warburton - That young start-up hath all the glory of my conceives the speaker here to mean, that no one can overthrou”—It has already been intimated, (see "Introhave a better reason for granting a request than the ne- ductory Remarks,”) that, in the character of the chief cessity of its being granted. Hayley (the poet) sug. villain of the drama, the Poet has wholly departed from gests that there is a misprint, and ihat the true reading the plot of Bandello's tale, which furnished him with is “to necessity," which has great probability.
the outline of the story. The novelist had ascribed - 'tis once, thou lovest" -The word "once" has
the base deception, on which his story turns, to the rehere the sense of at once, or once for all. It is so used
venge of a rejected lover, who, at the catastrophe, in CORIOLANUS, and in the COMEDY OF ERRORS.
makes some amends for his guilt, by remorse and frank confession. Shakespeare has chosen to pourtray a less common and obvious, but unhappily too true character,one of sullen malignity, to whom the happiness or success of others is sufficient reason for the bitterness of hatred, and cause enough to prompt to injury and crime. This character has much the appearance of being the original conception and rough sketch of that wayward, dark disposition, which the Poet afterwards painted more elaborately, with some variation of circumstances and temperament, in his honest Iago."
ACT II.-SCENE I. "- in earnest of the BEAR-WARD"-Spelled berrord in the old copies—a colloquial corruption of bear-ward, and not bear-herd, as many editors have it. Yet, in the “ Induction” to the TAMING OF THE Shrew, we find bear-heard: that, however, was a corruption of “bearward."
“ — if the prince be too IMPORTANT”-i. e. Importanate; as in the COMEDY OF ERRORS.
" — DANCE out the answer"— The technical meaning of measune, a particular sort of grave measured dance,
like the minuet of the last age, is here opposed to its orFULK-GREVILLE, FIRST LORD BROOKE.
dinary sense. (See RoMEO AND JULIET, act i.)
" — BALTHAZAR; John”—The quarto and folio here both read—“ Balthazar, or dumb John.” Reed argues that Shakespeare might have called John“ dumb John," on account of his taciturnity; while others take it, more probably, as a misprint for Don John.
" — God defend, the lute should be like the case"i. e. God forbid that your face should be like your mask.
" — within the house is Jove" -The line, which is in the rhythm of Chapman's “Homer," and Golding's “Ovid,” is an allusion to the story of Baucis and Philemon; and perhaps Shakespeare was thinking of Golding's version of the original. The subsequent speeches of Hero and Don Pedro complete a couplet. The
“thatch'd” refers to Ovid's line, as translated by GoldSCENE II.
ing:“ – a thick-PLEACHED alley”-i. e. Thickly inter
The roof thereof was thatched all with straw and fennish reede. woven. So, afterwards, “ the pleached bower."
"— the Hundred Merry Tales'"-An old jest“ – Cousins, you know what you have to do"-It book, of which only a fragment remains. Being unwas anciently common to enroll distant relations among known to the older editors, this was supposed to allude the dependents, and even domestics, of a great family. to the “Decameron” until part of the book was found,
and it was reprinted in 1835. It was originally printed SCENE III.
by Rastell, between 1517 and 1533. No doubt it was
a chap-book well known to the audiences of the Globe. “What the good year"- The commentators say that the original form of this exclamation was the gougere
– like an usurer's chain"-Chains of gold were i. e. morbus gallicus—which became obscure, and was
at this time worn by persons of wealth, as usurers gencorrupted into the "good year:" a very opposite form erally were. of expression, and used without any such reference. “ – it is the base, though bitter disposition"-S0
“- I cannot hide what I am"_" This is one of the quarto and folio. There seems to be no reason Shakespeare's natural touches. An envious and unso
whatever for changing “ though" into the, as it stands cial mind, too proud to give pleasure, and too sullen to
in Malone's SHAKESPEARE, and Singer's useful edition. receive it, always endeavours to hide its malignity from
In the old copies, “though bitter" is in parentheses. the world and from itself
, under the plainness of simple Though severe, she is grovelling in mind. honesty, or the dignity of haughty independence."Johnson.
- as melancholy as a lodge in a warren"-I see
no reason for supposing, with Stevens, that this image “I had rather be a Canker in a hedge”—The allu- of solitariness was suggested by the “ lodge in a garden sion is to the canker-rose-i. e. the dog-rose. The of cucumbers” of Isaiah. Shakespeare has another speaker means, he would rather live in obscurity than picture of loneliness,—“at the moated grange resides owe dignity, or estimation, to his hated brother, who, this dejected Marianna:"-(MEASURE FOR MEASURE, act Conrade reminds him, had “ taken him into his grace." üi. scene 1.)
the means that her beauty is damaged, as the phrase'is
" — with such impossible conveYANCE”-i. e. With lar sports than in common usage. Some editors have a rapidity equal to that of jugglers, whose“ convey- printed it hid-fox; and others explained it young, or ances,” or tricks, appear impossibilities. 'Impossible" cub-for.”—NARES. may, however, be used in the sense of incredible, or The last sense is adopted by Richardson, in his “ Dicinconceivable, both here and in the beginning of the tionary," and is approved by Dyce. It sorts well with scene, where Beatrice speaks of "impossible slanders." the speaker, and with Benedick's character.
"- CIVIL as an orange"—A very common play on " Note notes, forsooth, and NOTHING''-" This is the words, in Old-English literature, upon the Seville reading of the old copies, and ought to be preserved in orange—the fruit of that kind best known in London.
preference to noting, which Theobald substituted, and
which has stood in the text ever since. Don Pedro *- thus goes every one to the world but I"-To“go to the world" is again used by Shakespeare in All's
means to play upon the similarity of sound between WELL THAT Ends Well, act i. scene 3, to signify being
noting and nothing,' and to indicate his opinion of married Beatrice -burned,"
the worth of Balthazar's • crotchets.''-COLLIER.
- STALK on; the fowl sits”-An allusion to the used in TROILUS AND CRESSIDA-" The Grecian dames stalking-horse, by which the fowler anciently sheltered were sun-burned." See, also, As You Like It, act v. himself from the sight of the game. scene 3, where Audrey desires to be “ a woman of the
“ – hide HIMSELF in such reverence". world."
'-" Himself" has been printed itself, in many editions ; but ShakeSCENE II.
speare meant to personify knavery; and so it is printed
in the older copies. " — hear Margaret term me Claudio”—Theobald altered the name, in this passage, to Borachio, which,
she tore the letter into a thousand HALFPENCE"as it is supported by plausible reasons, has been followed
i. e. Into a thousand pieces. The word farthing was in most editions, until the later English editors, who re
also used to signity any small particle, or division. store “Claudio," the original reading. It appears evi
Chaucer says of his Prioressdent that, at the time of speaking, Borachio intended
In hirre cuppe was no ferthing sene there should be a change of his appellation, as well as
Of grese, when she dronken had hirre draught. in that of Margaret; for where would be the wonder
" — DaFF'd all other respects”—To “daff” is to dof"; that Claudio should hear him called by his own name? to do off, or put aside. He prevails upon Margaret (whom he expressly states to have no ill intention towards her mistress) to take
"— halh a CONTEMPTIBLE spirit—i. e. Contemppart in the plot, under the impression that she and Bo- tuous. The difference of these two words was not yet rachio were merely amusing themselves with a masque- accurately settled, even in the next generation. Drayrade representation of the courtship of her lady and ton confounds them; and in the argument to “Darius," a Claudio. It has also been suggested, that Claudio tragedy, by Lord Sterline, (1603,) it is said that Darius might well be made to believe that the perfidious Hero wrote to Alexander “in a proud and contemptible manreceived a clandestine lover, whom she called Claudio,
ner." in order to decieve her attendants, should any be within
" — the conference was sadly borne"-i. e. Seriously sight or hearing; and this, of course, in Claudio's es
conducted. Sad and “sadly” were often used for timation, would be a great aggravation of her offence.
serious and seriously, grave and gravely.
ACT III.-SCENE I.
“ To listen our PROPOSE'-A few lines above we
had—“Proposing with the Prince and Claudio.” “ Pro- in the orchard'—“Orchard," in Shakespeare's pose” is conversation, from the French propos; and so time, signified a garden. So, in ROMEO AND JULIET:- the quarto reads here; for which the folio has purpose. The orchard walls are high and hard to climb.
Beatrice was to come to overhear what Hero and UrThis word was first written hort-yard, then, by cor- sula were saying, not what they intended to do. Reed, ruption, hort-chard-and hence orchard.
however, has showed that purpose, when accented like " - her hair shall be of what colour it please God"
propose, on the last syllable, had the same sense-it
being taken in the modern sense when pronounced as -Some of the editors explain this very literally, as meaning, “If I can find all these excellences united, I
it is now always. shall not trouble myself about the colour of the lady's HAGGARDS of the rock”-Wild or untamed hawks, bair"-certainly a reasonable conclusion. But it ap- from the mountains. (See cut, p. 42.) pears, from many passages, that our author had an es.
" If black, why, nature, drawing of an antick," etc. pecial and somewhat whimsical dislike to all disguises of the head by art. Like his own Biron, (Love's LA
The “antick” was the fool, or buffoon, of the old BOUR'S Lost,) he mourned that
farces. By "black" is meant only (as in the Two Gen
TLEMEN OF VERONA) a man of a dark or swarthy com- painting and usurping hair Should ravish doters with a false aspect.
plexion, in which sense it was used as late as the “SpecThe fashions of colouring the hair, wearing artificial curls,
tator;" but Donce says that here it means one with etc., were as familiar in Elizabeth's reign as in that of
merely a black beard." Victoria; and were assailed by the wits, as well as more - an AGATE very vilely cut"-Warburton, followed solemnly denounced from the pulpit. He, therefore, by several editors, substituted aght, a tag of gold or makes Benedick the mouth-piece of his own taste in silver, anciently used. But the allusion is to the agate this matter, by summing up his catalogue of all imagi- stone worn in rings, and cut into figures—a general nary female perfections, -as wit, virtue, wisdom, riches, fashion of the day; as Queen Mab is said, in ROMEO AND mildness, talents for music or discourse, -with insisting, Juliet, to be “no bigger than an agate stone on the with ludicrous exaggeration, that her hair shall be of fore-finger of an alderman.” Falstaff says of his page, the colour that nature made it.
“I was never manned with an agate till now." “We'll fit the Kid-FOX"-"Kid-fox' has been sup- “ — press me to death with wit" — By the old composed to mean discovered, or detected fox. Kid cer- mon-law, the punishment called peine fort et dure was tainly meant known, or discovered, in Chaucer's time. inflicted on persons who refused to plead to their indict. It may have been a technical term in the game of hide- ment. They were pressed to death by weights placed for: old terms are sometimes longer preserved in jocu
upon the stomach.
“ What fire is in mine ears"-The popular opinion " - SMIRCHED, worm-eaten tapestry''-i. e. Soiled, here alluded to is as old as Pliny :-" Moreover, is not
obscured. this an opinion generally received, that when our ears
" — a' wears a lock”-It was one of the fantastic do glow and tingle, some there be that in our absence do talk of us ?”—(Holland's “ Translation,” book xxviii.) | favourite lock of hair, which was brought before, tied
fashions of Shakespeare's day, for men to cultivate a
with ribands, and called a love-lock. It was against SCENE II.
this practice that Prynne wrote his treatise on the " — to show a child his new coat, and forbid him to “Unlovelyness of Love-locks.” It appears from Manwear it"—Shakespeare seldom repeats himself; but, in zoni's Italian novel, “ I Promessi Sposi," that, in the ROMEO AND JUliet, there is a passage similar to the sixteenth century, wearing a lock was made penal, in above:
Lombardy, as the sign of a lawless life. Italian fashions As is the night before some festival,
were so much talked of in England, that the Poet might To an impatient child that hath new robes
have known this, and alluded to it. And may not wear them. "- all scors"-i. e. Large breeches, or trousers.
SCENE IV. Hence, a slop-seller, for one who furnishes seamen, etc., with clothes.
your other RABATO"-An ornament for the neck,
a kind of ruff, such as we often see in the portraits of “ — his jesting spirit, which is now crept into a lute
Queen Elizabeth. Decker calls them “your stiff-necked string"- -i. e. His jocular wit is now employed in the
rebaloes.” Menage derives it from rebattre—to put inditing of love-songs, which, in Shakespeare's time,
back. were usually accompanied on the lute. The “stops" are the frets of the lute, and those points on the finger
" — set with pearls, down sleeves”-i. e. The pearls board on which the string is pressed, or stopped, by the
are to be set down the sleeves. finger.
" - side sleeves”—Long sleeves, or full sleeves, " Good den, brother"_"Good den" is a colloquial
from the Anglo-Saxon sid; ample, long. The “deep abridgment of good even, but it was also used for good
and broad sleeves" of the time of Henry IV. are thus day: and, in act v. scene 1, Don Pedro says, good den,
ridiculed by Hoccleve :and Claudio, good day.
Now hath this land little neede of broomes
To sweepe away the filth out of the sti eete,
Sen side-sleeres of pennilesse groomes
Will it up licke, be it drie or weete. " — have a care that your bills be not stolen”—The
" —•Light o' love'”—This is the name of an old bill” was a formidable weapon in the hands of the old
dance tune, mentioned in the Two GENTLEMEN OF VEEnglish infantry. “It gave (says Temple) the most
RONA, act i. scene 2. (See Chappell's “ Ancient Engghastly and deplorable wounds." Dr. Johnson states
lish Airs," where the words of a song to the tune of that, when he wrote, the “bill" was still carried by the watchmen of Litchfield, his native town. It was a long
* Light o' Love" are given.) weapon, with a point shaped somewhat like an axe.
the letter that begins them all, H"—This con
ceit, as well as similar jokes in contemporary writerr. • If you hear a child cry in the night”—This part
shows that the word, which we now pronounce ake, of the sapient Dogberry's charge may have been sug.
was, in Shakespeare's time, pronounced aitch. Beagested by some of the amusing provisions contained in Statutes of the Streets," imprinted by Wolfe, in
trice says, she is ill for an H, (aitch,) the letter that be1595. For instance-“22. No man shall blow any
gins each of the three words-hawk, horse, and husband. horne in the night, within the citie, or whistle after the
J. P. Kemble had a long contention with the public on houre of nyne of the clock in the night, under paine of
this point. When playing Prospero, he always persisted
in saying, “ Fill all thy bones with aitches;" and the imprisonment.-30. No man shall, after the houre of nyne at night
, keep any rule, whereby any such sud- public (particularly those of the upper regions, who daine outcry be made in the still of the night; as mak.
are always most intolerant of singularity) as pertinaing any affray, or beating his wife or servant, or singing ciously hissed him for presuming to be right, out of or revyling [revelling] in his house, to the disturbance
The gods and Cato did in this divide. of his neighbours, under paine of iiis. iiiid.," etc., etc.
W. Scott gives the history of J. P. Kemble's threat“— Keep your fellows' counsels and your own”- ening Caliban with aitches, with great humour. “ This is part of the oath of a grand juryman; and is Another authority in the actor's favour is found in one of many proofs of Shakespeare's having been very Heywood's “ Epigrams," (1566 :)conversant, at some period of his life, with legal pro
His worst among letters in the cross-row; ceedings and courts of justice.”—Malone.
For if thou find him, either in thine elbow,
In thine arm or leg, in any degree; “I know that Deformed”—In the induction to his
In thine head, or teeth, or toe, or knee ;“ Bartholomew Fair,” we find Ben Jonson aiming a
Into what place soever H may pike him, satirical stroke at this scene :-" And then a substantial
Wherever thou find ache, thou shalt not like him. watch to have stole in upon 'em, and taken them away, - an you be not turned Turk”—This phrase was with mistaking words, as the fashion is in the stage
commonly applied to express a change of condition, or practice.” Jonson himself, however, in his “ Tale of a opinion. Hamlet talks of his fortune turning Turk. Tub," makes his wise men of Finsbury blunder in the same manner. Boswell, in his edition of Malone's
" - carduus benedictus"- -" Carduns benedictus, or SHAKESPEARE, points out examples of this sort of blessed thistle, (says Cogan, in his . Haven of Health,' humour before Shakespeare's time. Nash, in his “ An- 1589,) so worthily named for the singular virtues that it atomy of Absurditie," (1589,) speaks of “a misterming
hath." clowne in a comedie;" and in “Selimus, Emperor of the Turks,” (1594,) this speech is put into the mouth
SCENE V. of Bullithrumble, a shepherd :-"Well, if you
will keepe my sheepe truly and honestly, keeping your
" — PALABRAS, neighbour Verges"—How this Span
ish word came into our language, and to be in familiar hands from lying and slandering, and your tongue from
use with the lower orders, it is difficult to ascertain. picking and stealing, you shall be Maister Bullithrumble's
Sly, in the
Induction" to the TAMING OF THE SHREW, servitures."
has pocas palabras; and the same words are found in “ — REECHY painting”-i.e. Painting (says Stevens) the popular old play, the “Spanish Tragedy," where discoloured by smoke.
they are spoken by Hieronimo, act iv, scene 4.
" — if I were as tedious as a king, I could find in my heart to bestow it all of your worship"—Hazlitt remarks upon the quaint blundering of the inimitable Dogberry and Verges, that they are “a standing record of that formal gravity of pretension, and total want of common understanding, which Shakespeare, no doubt, copied from real life; and which, in the course of two hundred years, appear to have ascended from the lowest to the highest offices of the state.” The political sarcasm, as to the inheritance of the wisdom of these functionaries, has, I hope, but little application on our side of the Atlantic; but the desire to bestow all their tediousness upon their friends is, unquestionably, a characteristic in which the public men of America are not a jot behind the municipal dignitaries of the Messina watch.
- we rack the value"-i. e. We raise the estimate to the utmost-a sense now retained only in the phrase rack rent.
“ — count confect” — Beatrice gives him this title in contempt. We still speak of caraway confects. She first calls him “count," and then mentions his title, "count confect”—“ a sweet gallant, surely!" This is the old reading, which, without reason, has been changed to “a goodly count-confect."
Scene II. “ Sexton”-He is called “town-clerk" in the old stage-directions, probably because, being able to read and write, he acted as clerk for the town, or for such of the inhabitants as had not his accomplishments.
ACT V.-SCENE I. “Cry-sorrow wag!"-". And sorrow, wag! cry hem, when he should groan,' is the reading of the old quarto, and of the folios, which may be recouciled to senise,
and therefore ought not to be disturbed. The meaning is clear, though not clearly expressed. “And, sorrow, wag,' is, and sorrow away! (for which, indeed, it may have been misprinted ;) similar to the exclamation, *care, away!' The reading substituted by the commentators has usually been
Cry sorrow, wag! and hem, when he should groanwhich has no warrant. Heath's suggestion of And sorrowing, cry hem, when he should groan,' is the most. plausible emendation."-Collier.
Rowe, Theobald, Hanmer, Tyrwhitt, Warton, Stevens, Ritson, and Malone have respectively offered the following emendations :-“ And hallow, wag ;" “ And sorrow wage;" “ And sorrow waive ;” “ And sorrow gag;" “And sorrowing cry;" “* And sorry wag;" * And sorrow waggery;" “ In sorrow wag.” The emendation of Dr. Johnson
Cry, sorrow wag! and hem, when he should groanrequires merely the transposition of cry with anda correction of a very common sort of error-and the sense is then so clear that it has been generally adopted. Knight, however, adopts Johnson's first suggestion, which gives the same sense, though harshly expressed
And, sorrow wag! cry hem; when he should groan. " Sorrow go by !" is said to be still a common Scotism.
“ With CANDLE-WASTERS"-By “candle-wasters" is probably meant drunkards, or midnight revellers. There is, however, a passage in Ben Jonson's “ Cynthia's Revels," (act iii. scene 2,) which seems to show that the epithet was applied, in ridicule, to students, “Spoiled by a whoreson book-worm, a candle-waster." Leonato may mean to say, that a misfortune like his is not to be drugged, or made drunk, by the book-philosophy of mere theorists. His whole speech is directed against comforters of this description.
“ – louder than ADVERTISEMENT"-i. e. Than admonition; than moral instruction.
** And made a puSH”—Pope and others print this, “make a pish"-i. e. treat with contempt; but“ push” is the reading of the old copies, that being the old mode of spelling. Collier refers to instances in proof of it, in Beaumont and Fletcher's “ Maids' Revenge;" in Chapman's “ Gentleman Usher;" and repeatedly in Middleton's plays. Boswell would derive the expression from fencing, and tells us that, “ to make a push at any thing is to contend against it, or defy it.” Shakespeare's meaning is evident, taking “push" as an interjection. “ Come, follow me, boy! come, sir boy, come, follow me."
“Stevens destroys this most characteristic line-and his reading is that of all popular editions-by his old fashion of metre-mongering. He readsCome, follow me, boy ; come, boy, follow me."
ACT IV.-SCENE I. . -- some be of laughing, as, ha! ha! he !”—Benedick quotes from the “ Accidence.”
– word too large"—“So he uses élarge jests, in this play, for licentious-not restrained within due bounds."'-Johnson.
Out on the seeming”—The original quarto and folio have, “Out on thee seeming," which Collier alone, of modern editors, retains; understanding it that Claudio addresses Hero as the personification of “seeming," or hypocrisy. Pope, followed by many others, altered the phrase to “Out on thy seeming;" which gives a good sense, and is a probable correction. We have, however, preferred that of Knight, as most congruous to the context; and think, with him, that the sense is— “Out on the specious resemblance-I will write against it;" that is, against this false representation, along with this deceiving portrait
You seem to me as Dian in her orb, etc. " True? O God!”—This is Hero's exclamation on John's assertion—" these things are true." It is usually printed as if Hero answered, “True, () God!" to Benedick's observation, “ This looks not like a nuptial.”
* — a Liberal villain”-i. e. Licentiously free; as, in OTHELLO—" Is he not a most profane and liberal counsellor ?"
* Fie, fie! they are not to be nam'd, my lord,
Not to be SPOKEN of," etc. This is the metrical arrangement of the two original editions, of which, until Collier, all later editors attempted to make what they thought a more regular metre, by printing
Not to be nam'd, my lord, not to be spoke of. The quarto of 1600 has spoke, the folio (1623) spoken ; which I mention as indicating the gradnal increase of attention to stricter grammatical distinctions.
The story that is printed in her blood"-" The story that her blushing discovers to be true.”—Johnson.
This explanation has been doubted, but it is confirmed, as the Poet's thought, by the Friar's notice of the " blashing apparitions on her face.”
“— frugal nature's Frame”-i. e. Ordinance, arrangement, or framing of things; as in this play it is said of John
His spirits toil in frame of villainies. “Who smIRCHED thus"-The folio substitutes smeared for “smirched” in the quarto. “Smirched” is also found in HAMLET, As You LIKE IT, etc.; but, as Nares (Glossary) informs us, has hitherto been found in no other author. Oar Poet was fond of using it. We have “smirched” in this play in the sense of soiled.
"- BEAT away those blushes"-We follow Collier in retaining
beat,” the reading of the original quarto, (1600;) printed in the folio, and all other editions, bear.