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reason why it should be interrupted here. I rather imagine the
Ay, by my sceptre, and my hopes of heaven.
ACT II. SCENE II.
Line 261. It is like a barber's chair, &c.] This expression is proverbial. See Ray's Proverbs. STEEVENS.
Line 284. To be young again,] The lady censures her own levity in trifling with her jester, as a ridiculous attempt to return back to youth. Line 287. O Lord, Sir,] A ridicule on that foolish expletive of speech then in vogue at court. WARBURTON.
ACT II. SCENE III.
Line 320. 322.
modern- -] Means, common, vulgar. ensconcing ourselves into seeming knowledge,] To
ensconce signifies, to cover as with a fort.
-unknown fear.] Fear is here the object of fear. JOHNSON.
329. Par. So I say, both of Galen and Paracelsus. Laf. Of all the learned and authentick fellows,] As the whole merriment of this scene consists in the pretensions of Parolles to knowledge and sentiments which he has not, I believe here are two passages in which the words and sense are bestowed upon him by the copies, which the author gave to Lafeu. I read this passage thus:
Laf. To be relinquished of the artists
Par. So I say.
Laf. Both of Galcn and Paracelsus, of all the learned and authen
Par. Right, so I say.
I am entirely of Dr. Johnson's opinion.
Line 343. A showing of a heavenly effect, &c.] The title of some pamphlet here ridiculed. WARBURTON.
Line 346. Why, your dolphin is not lustier;] By dolphin is meant the dauphin, the heir apparent, and the hope of the crown of France. His title is so spelt in all the old copies. We should therefore read your Dauphin, &c. STEEVENS.
Mr. Malone differs as to the meaning of Dolphin, and supposes it to mean the fish of that name.
-which should, indeed, give us a farther use to be made, &c.] I believe Parolles has again usurped words and sense to which he has no right; and I read the passage thus :
Laf. In a most weak and debile minister, great power, great transcendence; which should, indeed, give us a farther use to be made than the mere recovery of the king.
Par. As to be
Laf. Generally thankful,
Line 362. Lustick, as the Dutchman says:] Lustigh is the Dutch word for lusty, chearful, pleasant.
Line 381. marry, to each but one!] Helena wishes to all the young lords present (except Bertram) a good and beautiful mistress, reserving herself for him.
Line 383. My mouth no more were broken- -] A broken mouth is a mouth which has lost part of its teeth.
Line 397. Let the white death, &c.] The white death is the chlorosis.
—all the rest is mute.] Means, then I have no
further use for intreaty.
the lost chance.
-ames-ace- -] i. e. Two aces on two dice; or
Line 416. Laf. Do all they deny her?] None of them have yet denied her, or deny her afterwards but Bertram. The scene must be so regulated that Lafeu and Parolles talk at a distance, where they may see what passes between Helena and the lords, but not hear it, so that they know not by whom the refusal is made. JOHNSON.
Line 430. There's one grape yet,] Old Lafeu having, upon the supposition that the lady was refused, reproached the young lords as boys of ice, throwing his eyes on Bertram who remained, cries out, There is one yet into whom his father put good blood,————but I have known thee long enough to know thee for an ass. JOHNSON. Line 454. 'Tis only title- -] i. e. The want of it.
Is good, without a name; vileness is so:] i. e.
Good alone is good unadorned by title, nay, even in the meanest state is so. Vileness does not always mean, moral turpitude, but humility of situation. STEEVENS.
Line 470. In these to nature she's immediate heir;] To be immediate heir is to inherit without any intervening transmitter: thus she inherits beauty immediately from nature, but honour is transmitted by ancestors. JOHNSON.
Line 488. My honour's at the stake; which to defeat
I must produce my power:] The poor king of France is again made a man of Gotham, by our unmerciful editors. For he is not to make use of his authority to defeat, but to defend his honour. THEOBALD.
Mr. Theobald here misunderstood his argument; he should have recollected the antecedent implied, which danger to defeat: and then the reading is just.
Line 502. Into the staggers,] One species of the staggers, or the horses apoplexy, is a raging impatience which makes the animal dash himself with destructive violence against posts or walls. To this the allusion, I suppose, is made. JOHNSON. Line 519.whose ceremony
Shall seem expedient on the now-born brief,
And be perform'd to-night:] The brief is the contract of espousal, or the licence of the church. The king means, What ceremony is necessary to make this contract a marriage, shall be immediately performed; the rest may be delayed. JOHNSON.
Line 542. —for two ordinaries,] While I sat twice with thee at table.
JOHNSON. taking up;] To take up, is to contradict, to
call to account, as well as to pick off the ground.
-in the default,] That is, at a need.
for doing I am past; as I will by thee, in what
age will give me leave.] The conceit, which is so thin that it might well escape a hasty reader, is in the word past, I am past, as I will be past by thee. JOHNSON.
Line 578. Well, thou hast a son shall take this disgrace off me ;] This the poet makes Parolles speak alone; and this is nature. A coward should try to hide his paltroonry even from himself.-An
ordinary writer would have been glad of such an opportunity to bring him to confession. WARBURTON.
Line 629. That hugs his kicksy-wicksy, &c.] Sir T. Hanmer in his Glossary, observes that kicksy-wicksy is a made word in ridicule and disdain of a wife. Taylor, the water-poet, has a poem in disdain of his debtors, intitled, a Kicksy-winsy, or a Lerry come-twang. Dr. GREY.
Line 641. To the dark house, &c.] The dark house is a house made gloomy by discontent. Milton says of death and the king of hell preparing to combat,
So frown'd the mighty combatants, that hell
ACT II. SCENE IV.
and well-fed.] Alluding to the old proverb,
"Better fed than taught."
Line 695. Whose want, and whose delay, &c.] The sweets with which this want are strewed, I suppose, are compliments and professions of kindness.
Line 704. cessity.
—probable need.] A specious appearance of neJOHNSON.
ACT II. SCENE V.
Line 747. You have made shift to run into't, boots and spurs and all, like him that leaped into the custard;] This odd allusion is not introduc'd without a view to satire. It was a foolery practised at city entertainments, whilst the jester or zany was in vogue, for him to jump into a large deep custard: set for the purpose, to set on a quantity of barren spectators to laugh, as our poet says in his Hamlet. THEOBALD.
Line 15. affairs.
-] i. e. Wonder.
-owe ;] Owe for own, stand possessed of.
ACT III. SCENE I.
-I cannot yield,] I cannot inform you of the rea
-an outward man,] i. e. One not in the secret of WARBURTON.
Line 17. By self unable motion;] We should read notion. WARBURTON.
This emendation had been recommended by Mr. Upton. STEEV. Line 22. the younger of our nature,] i. e. As we say at present, our young fellows. The modern editors read nation. I have restored the old reading. STEEVENS.
ACT III. SCENE II.
Line 36. -mend the ruff, and sing;] The ruff was the top of the boot, which formerly hung loosely over the leg.
Line 83. Can woman me— -] i. e. Make me feel as a woman. -92. When thou canst get the ring upon my finger,] I once read it thus, When thou canst get the ring upon thy finger, which never shall come off mine. JOHNSON.
This is, his vices stand him in stead. Helen had before delivered this thought in all the beauty of expression.
-I know him a notorious liar ;
Think him a great way fool, solely a coward;
Yet these fix'd evils sit so fit in him,
That they take place, when virtue's steely bones
Line 144. Not so, &c.] The gentlemen declare that they are servants to the Countess, she replies, No otherwise than as she returns the same offices of civility.
the ravin lion—] i.e. Rapacious, or ravenous lion.
ACT III. SCENE III.
Line 184. this expression, Par. Reg. B. i.
To the extreme edge of hazard.] Milton has borrowed
You see our dunger on the utmost edge
ACT III. SCENE IV.
Line 196. St. Jaques's pilgrim,] I do not remember any place famous for pilgrimages consecrated in Italy to St. James, but it is common to visit St. James of Compostella, in Spain. Another saint