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-and not demands,
On payment, &c.] I have restored, I believe, the genuine sense of the passage. Aquitain was pledged, it seems, to Navarre's father, for 200,000 crowns. The French king pretends to have paid one moiety of this debt, (which Navarre knows nothing of,) but demands this moiety back again: instead whereof (says Navarre) he should rather pay the remaining moiety and demand to have Aquitain re-delivered up to him. This is plain and easy reasoning upon the fact supposed; and Navarre declares, he had rather receive the residue of his debt, than detain the province mortgaged for security of it. THEOBALD. Line 163. gelded] Mr. Steevens justly remarks the partiality of Shakspeare for this expression.
Line 228. God's blessing on your beard!] That is, mayst thou have sense and seriousness more proportionate to thy beard, the length of which suits ill with such idle catches of wit. JOHNSON.
Line 255. My lips are no common, though several they be.] Several is an enclosed field of a private proprietor, so Maria says, her lips are private property. Of a lord that was newly married one observed that he grew fat; Yes, said Sir Walter Raleigh, any beast will grow fat, if you take him from the common and graze him in the several. JOHNSON.
Line 274. His tongue, all impatient to speak and not see,] That is, his tongue being impatiently desirous to see as well as speak.
ACT III. SCENE I.
-festinately hither:] i. e. Hastily.
9. —a French brawl?] A brawl is a kind of dance. Ben Jonson mentions it in one of his masques. STEEVENS.
-canary to it with your feet.] Canary was the name of a sprightly nimble dance. THEOBALD.
Line 20. like a man after the old painting;] It was a common trick, among some of the most indolent of the ancient masters, to place the hands in the bosom or the pockets, or conceal them in some other part of the drapery, to avoid the labour of representing them, or to disguise their own inability. STEEVENS.
Line 23. these betray, &c.] His meaning is, that they
not only inveigle the young girls, but make the men taken notice of too, who affect them. THEOBALD.
Line 28. By my penny of observation.] There was an old tract, called A Penniworth of Wit, to which this alludes.
Line 29. Arm. But 0,—but 0—
Moth. The hobby-horse is forgot.] In the celebration of May-day, besides the sports now used of hanging a pole with garlands, and dancing round it, formerly a boy was dressed up representing maid Marian; another like a friar; and another rode on a hobby-horse, with bells jingling, and painted streamers. After the Reformation took place, and precisians multiplied, these latter rites were looked upon to savour of paganism; and then maid Marian, the friar, and the poor hobby-horse, were turned out of the games. Some who were not so wisely precise, but regretted the disuse of the hobby-horse, no doubt, satirized this suspicion of idolatry, and archly wrote the epitaph above alluded to. Now Moth, hearing Armado groan ridiculously, and cry out, But oh! but oh!humourously pieces out his exclamation with the sequel of this epitaph. THEOBALD.
Line 32. but a colt,] Colt is a hot, mad-brained, unbroken young fellow; or sometimes an old fellow with youthful desires. JOHNSON,
Line 64. You are too swift, Sir, to say so:] The meaning is, You do not give yourself time to think, if you say so. STEEVENS. Line 72. By thy favour, sweet welkin,] Welkin is the sky, to which Armado, with the false dignity of a Spaniard, makes an apology for sighing in its face. JOHNSON.
-here's a costard broken- -] i. e. A head. 82. -no l'envoy ;] The l'envoy is a term borrowed from the old French poetry. It appeared always at the head of a few concluding verses to each piece, which either served to convey the moral, or to address the poem to some particular person. STEEVENS.
Line 127. And he ended the market.] Alluding to the English proverb-Three women and a goose make a market. STEEVENS. Line 153. -my incony Jew!] Incony or kony in the north signifies, fine, delicate-as a kony thing, a fine thing.
Line 190. Cost. Guerdon,-] Guerdon, i. e. recompense, re
-in print.] i. e. Exactly, with the utmost nicety. STEEVENS.
.200. This wimpled-] The wimple was a hood or veil, which fell over the face. STEEVENS. Line 205. Dread prince of plackets,] A placket is a petticoat. -207. Of trotting paritors,] An apparitor, or paritor, is an officer of the bishop's court who carries out citations; as citations are most frequently issued for fornication, the paritor is put under Cupid's government. JOHNSON.
Line 208. And I to be a corporal of his field,] A corporal of the field was anciently such an office as that of an aid-du-camp in present times.
Line 209. And wear his colours like a tumbler's hoop!] The notion is not that the hoop wears colours, but that the colours are worn as a tumbler carries his hoop, hanging on one shoulder and falling under the opposite arm. JOHNSON.
-like a German clock,
Still a repairing;] To the inartificial construction of these first pieces of mechanism, executed in Germany, we may suppose Shakspeare alludes. The clock at Hampton-Court, which was set up in 1540, (as appears from the inscription affixed to it) is said to be the first ever fabricated in England.
ACT IV. SCENE I.
Line 22. Here, good my glass,] It must be remembered, that in those days it was the fashion among the French ladies to wear a looking-glass, as Mr. Bayle coarsely represents it, on their bellies; that is, to have a small mirror set in gold hanging at the girdle, by which they occasionally viewed their faces or adjusted their
-a member of the commonwealth.] Here, I believe, is a kind of jest intended; a member of the common-wealth is put for one of the common people, one of the meanest.
-Boyet, you can carve ;
open this capon.] i. e. Open this letter.
Our poet uses this metaphor, as the French do their poulet; which signifies both a young fowl and a love-letter.
To break up was a peculiar phrase in carving.
Line 78. —-king Cophetua-] The ballad of King Cophetua and the Beggar-Maid, may be seen in The Reliques of Ancient Poetry, vol. i. The beggar's name was Penelophon, here corrupted. PERCY.
The poet alludes to this song in Romeo and Juliet, Henry IV. Part 2, and Richard II. STEEVENS. Line 101. Thus dost thou hear, &c.] These six lines appear to be a quotation from some ridiculous poem of that time.
erewhile.] Just now.
117. a Monarcho;] The allusion is to a fantastical character of the time." Popular applause (says Meres) dooth "nourish some, neither do they gape after any other thing, but "vaine praise and glorie,—as in our age Peter Shakerlye of Paules, "and Monarcho that lived about the court." p. 178. FARMER. Line 128. -Come, lords, away.] Perhaps the Princess said
-Come, ladies, away.
The rest of the scene deserves no care.
JOHNSON. Line 154. -queen Guinever—] This was king Arthur's queen, not over famous for fidelity to her husband. See the song of The Boy and the Mantle, in Mr. Percy's collection. STEEVENS. -the clout.] The clout was the centre of the
Line 171. target.
ACT IV. SCENE II.
-'twas a pricket.] i. e. A fawn of the second
Line 227. And such barren plants are set before us, that we thankful should be
(Which we of taste and feeling are) for those parts
that do fructify in us, more than he.] The length of
these lines was no novelty on the English stage. The moralities afford scenes of the like measure. JOHNSON.
Line 229. For as it would ill become me to be vain, indiscreet, or a fool;
So, were there a patch set on learning, to see him in a school.] The meaning is, to be in a school would as ill become a patch, or low fellow, as folly would beJOHNSON.
Line 247. The allusion holds in the exchange.] i. e. The riddle is as good when I use the name of Adam, as when you use the WARBURTON. name of Cain. Line 277. If a talent be a claw, &c.] A quibble on talon and talent.
Line 307. Nath. Fauste, precor, gelidâ, &c.] Though all the editions concur to give this speech to Sir Nathaniel, yet, as Dr. Thirlby ingeniously observed to me, it is evident, it must belong to Holofernes. The Curate is employed in reading the letter to 'himself; and while he is doing so, that the stage may not stand still, Holofernes either pulls out a book, or, repeating some verse by heart from Mantuanus, comments upon the character of that THEOBALD. poet.
Chi non te vede, ei non te pregia.] The proverb, as I am informed, is this; He that sees Venice little, values it much; JOHNSON. he that sees it much, values it little. -] i. e. The horse adorned or
-the tired horse
Line 356. arrayed with ribbands, &c.
Line 370. Trip and go, my sweet;] These words probably com
posed the burthen of some old popular song.
colourable colours.] That is, specious, or fair JOHNSON.
-certes,] i. e. For certain.
ACT IV. SCENE III.
Line 398. I am toiling in a pitch ;] Alluding to lady Rosaline's complexion, who is through the whole play represented as a black JOHNSON. beauty. Line 425. The night of dew, that on my cheeks down flows;] He