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priety, or perhaps intended that the lines inserted should be spoken in the action, and omitted in the publication, if any pub lication ever was in his thoughts. Mr. Theobald has made the same observation. JOHNSON.

Line 660. His honour and the greatness of his name

Shall be, and make new nations:] On a picture of this contemptible king, which formerly belonged to the great Bacon, and is now in the possession of lord Grimston, he is styled imperii Atlantici conditor. The year before the revival of this play (1612) there was a lottery for the plantation of Virginia. These lines probably allude to the settlement of that colony. MALONE.


Line 11. Katharine.

-such a one we show'd them;] In the character of JOHNSON. Line 12. If they smile, &c.] This thought is too much hacknied. It has been used already in the Epilogues to As you like it and The Second Part of King Henry IV. STEEVENS.

. Though it is very difficult to decide whether short pieces be genuine or spurious, yet I cannot restrain myself from expressing my suspicion that neither the Prologue nor Epilogue to this play is the work of Shakspeare; non vultus, non color. It appears to me very likely that they were supplied by the friendship or officiousness of Jonson, whose manner they will be perhaps found exactly to resemble. There is yet another supposition possible: the Prologue and Epilogue may have been written after Shakspeare's departure from the stage, upon some accidental revival of the play, and there will then be reason for imagining that the writer, whoever he was, intended no great kindness to him, this play being recommended by a subtle and covert censure of his other works. There is, in Shakspeare, so much of fool and fight;

-the fellow,

"In a long motley coat, guarded with yellow,"

appears so often in his drama, that I think it not very likely that he would have animadverted so severely on himself. All this, however, must be received as very dubious, since we know not the exact date of this or the other plays, and cannot tell how our author might have changed his practice or opinions. JOHNS.

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Dr. Johnson's conjecture, thus cautiously stated, has been since strongly confirmed by Mr. Tyrwhitt; who states that this play was revived in 1613, at which time, without doubt, the Prologue and Epilogue were added by Ben Jonson, or some other person. On the subject of every one of our author's historical pieces, except this, I believe a play had been written, before he commenced a dramatick poet. MALONE.

I entirely agree in opinion with Dr. Johnson, that Ben Jonson wrote the Prologue and Epilogue to this play. Shakspeare had, a little before, assisted him in his Sejanus; and Ben was too proud to receive assistance without returning it. It is probable, that he drew up the directions for the parade at the christening, &c. which his employment at court would teach him, and Shakspeare must be ignorant of. I think, I now and then perceive his hand in the dialogue.

It appears from Stowe, that Robert Greene wrote somewhat on this subject. FARMER.



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LINE 11. foolish.




-fonder than ignorance;] i. e. more weak or MALONE.

Line 13. And skill-less &c.] Mr. Dryden, in his alteration of this play, has taken this speech as it stands, except that he has changed skill-less to artless, not for the better, because skill-less JOHNSON. refers to skill and skilful.

Line 31. Doth lesser blench-] To blench, to shrink or start. 59. Handlest in thy discourse, 0, that her hand, &c.] Handlest is here used metaphorically, with an allusion, at the same time, to its literal meaning; and the jingle between hand MALONE. and handlest is perfectly in our author's manner.

Line 62.

and spirit of sense

Hard as the palm of ploughman!] Warburton reads, -spite of sense:

It is not proper to make a lover profess to praise his mistress in spite of sense; for though he often does it in spite of the sense of JOHNSON others, his own senses are subdued to his desires. she has the mends-] She may mend her comJOHNSON. plexion by the assistance of cosmeticks.

Line 72.

I believe it rather means-She may make the best of a bad bargain.


Line 109. Ilium,] Was the palace of Troy.

Line 139. mical prudence.

Line 150. Cresseide:

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"Of faire Cresseide the floure and a per se
"Of Troie and Greece."


Line 155. their particular additions;] Their peculiar and characteristick qualities or denominations; the term in this sense is originally forensick. MALONE.

Line 158.

that his valour is crushed into folly,] To be crushed into folly, is to be confused and mingled with folly, so as that they make one mass together. JOHNSON. Line 252. -compassed window,] The compassed window is the same as the bow window. JOHNSON.

Line 440. 447.

ACT I. SCENE II. -husbandry in war,] Husbandry means econoMALONE. -per se,-] So in Chaucer's Testament of

Line 260. -so old a lifter?] The word lifter is used for a thief, by Green, in his Art of Coney-catching, printed 1591: on this the humour of the passage may be supposed to turn. We still call a person who robs the shops a shop-lifter. STEEVENS.

Line 343. the rich shall have more.] The allusion is to the word noddy, which, as now, did, in our author's time, and long before, signify, a silly fellow, and may, by its etymology, signify likewise full of nods. Cressid means, that a noddy shall have more nods. JOHNSON. —upon my wit, to defend my wiles:] So read both the copies: yet perhaps the author wrote,

Line 412.

Upon my wit to defend my will.

The terms wit and will were, in the language of that time, put often in opposition. JOHNSON. joy's soul lies in the doing:] So read both the old editions; for which the later editions have poorly given, the soul's joy lies in doing.

Line 439.

JOHNSON. That she-] Means, that woman. JOHNSON. -my heart's content-] Content, for capacity.


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