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Away; disperse: But, till 'tis one o'clock,
in order fet :
rupt reading and was introduced into the text, we have shown above. WARBURTON.
Whoever is convinced by Dr. Warburton's note, will show he has very little studied the manner of his author, whose splendid incorrectness in this instance, as in some others, is surely preferable to the insipid regularity proposed in its room. STEEVENS. 9 charaktery.] For the matter with which they make letters.
“ All the charaktery of my fad brows."
“ Wherein was writ in sable chare&try.” STEEVENS. Bullokar, in his English Expositor improved by R. Browne, 12 mo. says that charactery is “ a writing by characters in ftrange marks." In 1588 was printed—“ Charactery, an arte of Morte, swift, and fecrete writing by character. Invented by Timothie Brighte, Doctor of Phisike. This seems to have been the first book
shorthand writing printed in England. Douce.
lock hand in hand ;] The metre requires us to read “ lock hands." Thus Milton, who perhaps had this passage in his mind, when he makes Comus say—
“ Come, knit hands, and beat the ground
“ In a light fantastic round.” STEEVENS. 3 - of middle earth.) Spirits are supposed to inhabit the ethereal regions, and fairies to dwell under ground; men therefore are in a middle station. JOHNSON.
So, in the ancient metrical romance of Syr Guy of Warwick, bi, 1. no date :
“ And win the fayrest mayde of middle erde."
ower, De Confessione Amantis, fol. 26:
Fal. Heavens defend me from that Welch fairy!
Again, in the MSS. called William and the Werwolf, in the library of King's College, Cambridge, p. 15:
“ And seide God that madeft man, and all middel ertbe." Ruddiman, the learned compiler of the Glossary to Gawin Douglas's Translation of the Æneid, affords the following illustration of this contested phrase. “ It is yet in use in the North of Scotland among old people, by which they understand this earth in which we live, in opposition to the grave: Thus they say, There's no man in middle erd is able to do it, i. e, no man alive, or on this earth, and so it is used by our author. But the reason is not so easy to come by ; perhaps it is because they look upon this life as a middle state (as it is) between Heaven and Hell, which last is frequently taken for
Or that life is as it were a middle betwixt non-entity,
-“ Myddil erd is borrowed from the A. S. MIDDAN-EARD, MID-
The author of The REMARKS says, the phrase fignifies neither
- Vile worm,] The old copy reads-vild. That vild, which so
« EARTH. What goddess, or how ftylid?
“ EARTH. Hence false virago vild.” MALONE. .
4 With trial-fire, &c.] So Beaumont and Fletcher, in The Faiitful Shepherdessi
In this flame his finger thruft,
And turn him to no pain ;s but if he start,
Pist. A trial, come.
[They burn him with their tapers.
Eva. It is right; indeed he is full of lecheries
Fie on lust and luxury !?
“ But if not, away will turn,
“ As loth unspotted fesh to burn." Steevens. 5 And turn him to no pain ;) This appears to have been the common phraseology of our author's time.
So again, in The
O, my heart bleeds,
“ Edward, what satisfaction canst thou make,
" And all the trouble thou hast turn'd me to."
6 Eva. It is right; indeed, &c.] This short speech, which is very much in character for fir Hugh, I have inserted from the old quarto, 1619. THEOBALD.
I have not discarded Mr. Theobald's insertion, though perhaps the propriety of it is questionable. STEVENS.
7 and luxury!] Luxury is here used for incontinence. So, in King Lear: “ 'To't luxury, pell-mell, for I lack soldiers.”
STEEVENS. 8 Luft is but a bloody fire,] A bloody fire, means a fire in the blood. In The Second Part of Henry IV. Act IV. the same express fion occurs :
Fed in beart; whose flames aspire,
Pinch him for his villainy;
During this song,' the fairies pinch Falstaff. Doétor
Caius comes one way, and steals away a fairy in green; Slender another way, and takes off a fairy in white; and Fenton comes, and steals away Mrs. Anne Page. A noise of hunting is made within. All ihe fairies run away. Falstaff pulls off bis buck's bead, and rises.
Enter Page, Ford, Mrs. Page, and Mrs. FORD.
They lay bold on him.
Page. Nay, do not fly: I think, we have watch'd
you now; Will none but Herne the hunter serve your turn?
“ Led on by bloody youth," &c. i. e. fanguine youth. Steevens.
In Sonnets by H. C. (Henry Constable,] 1594, we find the fame image :
Luft is a fire, that for an hour or twaine
“ Love a continual furnace doth maintaine,” &c. So also, in The Tempeft:
the strongest oaths are straw " To the fire i' the blood.” Malone. 9 During this song,] This direction I thought proper to insert from the old quartos.
THEOBALD. -- the fairies pinch Falstaff.] So, in Lylly's Endymion, 1591 : “ The fairies dance, and, with a song, pinch him."
And, in his Maid's Metamorphosis, 1600, they threaten the same punishment.
Mrs. Page. I pray you, come; hold up the jest
no higher :-
Ford. Now, fir, who's a cuckold now ?-Master Brook, Falstaff's a knave, a cuckoldly knave; here are his horns, Master Brook: And, master Brook, he hath enjoyed nothing of Ford's but his buckbasket, his cudgel, and twenty pounds of money;
3 See you thef, husband? do not these fair yokes
Become the forejt better than the town?] Mrs. Page's meaning is this. Seeing the horns (the types of cuckoldom) in Falstaff's hand, the asks her husband, whether those yokes are not more proper in the forest than in the town ; i. e. than in his own family.
THEOBALD. The editor of the second folio changed yoaks to-oaks.
MALONE. Perhaps, only the printer of the second folio is to blame, for the omission of the letter—y. Steevens.
I am confident that oaks is the right reading. I agree with Theobald that the words, “ See you these hufhands ?" relate to the buck's horns ;- but what resemblance is there between the horns of a buck and a yoak? What connection is there between a yoak and a foreft? Why, none; whereas on the other hand, the connection between a forest and an oak is evident; nor is the resemblance less evident between a tree and the branches of a buck's horns; they are indeed called branches from that very resemblance; and the horns of a deer are called in French les bois. Though horns are types of cuckoldom, yoaks are not; and surely the types of cuckoldom, whatever they may be, are more proper for a town than for a forest. I am surprised that the fubsequent editors should have adopted an amendment, which makes the passage nonsense. M. MASON.
I have inserted Mr. M. Mason's note, because he appears to think it brings conviction with it. Perhaps, however, (as Dr. Farmer obferves to me,) he was not aware that the extremities of yokes for cattle, as still used in several counties of England, bend upwards, and rising very high, in ihupe resemble horns.