Obrázky na stránke

interpreted an Enigma for him, might have been found by our poet in Gower's confessione amantis. Thomas Lupton has a similar tale in his Thousand notable Things; and there is also another in the Gesta Romanorum.

24 Aglet-baby.) Aglet is the tag of a lace. They were sometimes made with little faces to them as ornaments.

25 -rope-tricks.] This is obscure. Sir Thomas Hanmer reads, he'll rail in his rhetorick; I'll tell

Rhetorick agrees very well with figure in the succeeding part of the speech, yet I am inclined to believe that rope tricks is the true word.

JOHNSON In Romeo and Juliet, Shakspeare uses ropery for roguery, and therefore certainly wrote rope-tricks.

you, &c.




-no more eyes to see withal than a cat.] The humour of this passage I do not understand. This animal is remarkable for the keenness of its sight. Probably the poet meant to have said a cat in a bottle. Of this diversion see an account in Much Ado, &c. It may mean, that he shall swell


with blows, till she shall seem to peep with a contracted pupil like a cat in the light.

JOHNSON. 27 — with bugs.] i. e. with bug-bears. So in Cymbeline,

are become The mortal bugs o'th' field.


28 Please ye, we may contrive this afternoon,] Mr. Theobald asks what they were to contrive? and then says, a foolish corruption possesses the place, and so alters it to convive; in which he is followed, as he pretty constantly is, when wrong, by the Oxford editor. But the common reading is right, and the critic was only ignorant of the meaning of it. Contrive does not signify here to project but to spend, and wear out. As in this passage of Spenser, Three ages such as mortal men CONTRIVE. Fairy Queen, b. xi. ch.9.

WARBURTON. 29 hilding-] The word hilding or hinderling, is a low wretch; it is applied to Catharine for the coarseness of her behaviour.

JOHNSON. 30 Baccare- -] We must read, Baccalare; by which the Italians mean, thou arrogant, presumptuous man! the word is used scornfully upon any one that would assume a port of grandeur.

WARBURTON. The word is neither wrong nor Italian: it was an old proverbial one, used by John Heywood; who hath made, what he pleases to call, Epigrams upon it. Take two of them, such as they are:

Backare, quoth Mortimer to bis sow,
“ Went that sow backe at that bidding, trow


[ocr errors]

Backare, quoth Mortimer to his sow: se “ Mortimer's sow speaketh as good Latin as he." Howel takes this from Heywood, in his Old Sawes and Adages: and Philpot introduces it into the proverbs collected by Camden.

FARMER. 31 A joint-stool.] This is a proverbial expression,

“Cry you mercy, I took you for a joint-stool.” See Ray's Collection.

STEEVENS. 32 Ay, for a turtle! as he takes a buzzard.] Perhaps we may read better,

Ay, for a turtle, and he takes a buzzard. That is, he may take me for a turtle, and he shall find me a hawk.

JOHNSON, 33 Am I not wise ?

Yes, keep you warm.]
So in Beaumont and Fletcher's Scornful Lady.

- your house has been kept warm,

I am glad to hear it; pray God, you are wise too. So in our poet's Much Ado, &c.

--that if he has wit enough to keep himself warm.



34 She vied so fast,] I know not that the word vie has any construction that will suit this place; we may easily read,

-kiss on kiss She ply'd so fast.

JOHNSON. 35 But thine doth fry.] Old Gremio's notions are confirmed by Shadwell:

The fire of love in youthful blood,
Like what is kindled in brush-wood,

But for a moment burns
But when crept into aged veins,
It slowly burns, and long remains,


It glows, and with a sullen heat,
Like fire in logs, it burns, and warms us long;

And though the flame be not so great,

Yet is the heat as strong. -counterpoints,] i. e. counterpanes. 37-a card of ten.] That is, with the highest card, in the old simple games of our ancestors. So that this became a proverbial expression. So Skelton, Fyrste pycke a quarrel, and

fall out with him then, And so outface him with a card of ten. 38 Exit.] Here the former editors add, Sly. Sim, when will the fool come again ?* Sim. Anon, my lord.

Sly. Give us some more drink here; where's the tapster? Here, Sim, eat some of these things.

Sim. I do, my lord.
Sly. Here, Sim, I drink to thee.

These speeches of the presenters, (as they are called) are neither to be found in the folio or quarto. Mr. Pope, as in the former instances, introduced them from the old spurious play of the same name; and therefore we may easily account for their want of connexion with the present comedy. I have de

* When will the fool come again?] The character of the fol has not been introduced in this drama, therefore I believe that the word again should be omitted, and that Sly asks, When will the fool come the fool being the favourite of the vulgar, or, as we now phrase it, of the upper gallery, was naturally expected in every interlude.


graded them as usual into the note, till their claim to a place in the text can be better ascertained.

STEEVENS. 39 Pantaloon,] the old cully in Italian farces.

40 Pedascale,] He would have said Didascale, but thinking this too honourable, he coins the word Pedascale, in imitation of it, from pedant.

WARBURTON. I fancy it is no coinage of Shakspeare's. It is more probable that it lay in his way, and he found it.



41 -full of spleen.] That is full of humour, caprice, and inconstancy.

JOHNSON. -an old rusty sword, &c.—with two broken points.] How a sword should have two broken points, I cannot tell. There is, I think, a transposition caused by the seeming relation of point to sword. I read, a pair of boots, one buckled, another laced with two broken points; an old rusty sword

-with a broken hilt, and chapeless. JOHNSON. 43 --fashions-] i.e. the Farcy.

44 --fives-] or vives, a distemper, says Gray, dif. fering little from the strangles.

45 —quaffd off the muscadel.] It appears from this passage, and the following one in The History of the two Maids of Moreclacke, a comedy, by Robert Armin, 1609, that it was the custom to drink wine immediately after the marriage ceremony. Armin's play begins thus:

« PredošláPokračovať »