Sidor som bilder

In the reign of Henry the fourth a law was made to forbid all men thenceforth to multiply gold, or use any craft of multiplication. Of which law Mr. Boyle, when he was warm with the hope of transmutation, procured a repeal. JOHNSON.

Line 230.

Then if you know

That you are well acquainted with yourself, Confess 't was hers;] The true meaning of this strange expression is, If you know that your faculties are so sound, as that you have the proper consciousness of your own actions, and are able to recollect and relate what you have done, tell me, &c.


Line 248. My fore-past proofs, howe'er the matter fall,
Shall tax my fears of little vanity,

Having vainly fear'd too little.] The proofs which I have already had, are sufficient to shew that my fears were not vain and irrational. I have rather been hitherto more easy than I ought, and have unreasonably had too little fear. JOHNSON.

Line 260. Who hath for four or five removes, come short, &c.] Removes are journies or post-stages. JOHNSON. Line 296. shall cease,] i. e. decease, die. So in king Lear -"Fall and cease." STEEVENS. Line 333. Whose high respect, and rich validity,] Validity is a very bad word for value, which yet I think is its meaning, unless it be considered as making a contract valid.


Validity certainly means value.

Line 349. He's quoted] Quoted means noted, noticed or observed.

-debosh'd;] See Tempest, act 3. scene 2. all impediments in fancy's course

Are motives of more fancy;] Every thing that ob structs love is an occasion by which love is heightened. And, to conclude, her solicitation concurring with her fashionable appearance, she got the ring.

I am not certain that I have attained the true meaning of the word modern, which, perhaps, signifies rather meanly pretty.

Line 350.



Line 460. He knows himself, &c.] This dialogue is too long, since the audience already knew the whole transaction; nor is

there any reason for puzzling the king and playing with his passions; but it was much easier than to make a pathetical interview between Helen and her husband, her mother, and the king. JOHNSON.

Line 465. perly for enchanter.

exorcist-] This word is used not very proJOHNSON.



[ocr errors]





LINE 1. I'll pheese you,] To pheeze or fease, is to separate a twist into single threads. In the figurative sense it may well enough be taken, like teaze or toze, for to harass, to plague. Perhaps I'll pheeze you, may be equivalent to I'll comb your head, a phrase vulgarly used by persons of Sly's character on like occa




Line 2. no rogues:] That is, vagrants, no mean fellows, but gentlemen. Line 5. -paucas pallabris ;] Sly, as an ignorant fellow, is purposely made to aim at languages out of his knowledge, and knock the words out of joint. The Spaniards say, pocas palabras, i. e. few words: as they do likewise, Cessa, i. e. be quiet. THEOB. Line 7. -you have burst?] To burst and to break were anciently synonimous. Falstaff says-that John of Gaunt burst Shallow's head for crowding in among the marshal's men. STEEV. Line 11. I must go fetch the thirdborough.] In the old copies

headborough. i. e. a constable; of what class it is useless to demonstrate, though the commentators have taken great pains to ascertain. Line 18. Brach Merriman,—the poor cur is emboss'd,] Here, says Pope, brach signifies a degenerate hound: but Edwards explains it a hound in general.

The meaning of the latter part of the paragraph seems to be, "I am so little skilled in hunting, that I can hardly tell whether a "bitch be a bitch or not; my judgment goes no further, than just "to direct me to call either dog or bitch by their general name "-Hound." WARTON.

Line 71. And, when he says he is,-say, that he dreams, For he is nothing but a mighty lord.] Sir T. Hanmer thinks that Shakspeare wrote,

"And when he says he 's poor, say, that he dreams.” The dignity of a lord is then significantly opposed to the poverty which it would be natural for him to acknowledge. STEEVENS. Line 75. modesty.] By modesty is meant moderation, without suffering our merriment to break into an excess. JOHNS. Line 91. —to accept our duty.] It was in those times the custom of players to travel in companies, and offer their service at great houses. JOHNSON.

Line 97. I think, 't was Soto- -] I take our author here to be paying a compliment to Beaumont and Fletcher's Women pleas'd, in which comedy there is the character of Soto, who is a farmer's son, and a very facetious serving-man. Mr. Rowe and Mr. Pope prefix the name of Sim to the line here spoken; but the first folio has it Sincklo; which, no doubt, was the name of one of the players here introduced, and who had played the part of Soto with applause. THEOBALD.

Line 112.

in the world.] Here follows an insertion made by Mr. Pope from the old play, which is neither found in the quarto, 1631, nor in the folio, 1623. I have therefore sunk it into a note, as we have no proof that the first sketch of the play was written by Shakspeare.

"2 Play. [to the other] Go, get a dish-clout to make clean your "shoes, and I'll speak for the properties. [Exit Player.

* Property] in the language of a playhouse, is every implement necessary to the exhibition.


« FöregåendeFortsätt »