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of marks of servitude, the expression appears to me very harsh; neither do I see why yokes should become the forest better than the town, though I can conceive why oaks should : for these reasons I am inclined to retain oaks.






245. “ Conceal me what I am.

Disclose me not; shew me not to be what I am. It is a strange expression. 246. That will allow me very worth his ser

vice." To allow, says Mr. Steevens, is to approve, but it is rather to rate, to estimate, whether favourably or otherwise. To mark the character or quality, as in Othello

“ His bark is stoutly timbered, and his pilot “Of very expert and approv'd allowance."

And in Hamlet “ The censure of which one must, in your allow

“ance o’erweigh a whole theatre of others.”

If Mr. Stevens's explanation of allowance were admitted, the passage from Othello might be read, “ Of very expert and approv'd approvance," and that from Hamlet, “ The censure of which one, must, in your approbation,&c. the absurdity of which would be evident.

“Very worth” is an inaccurate expression: it should be very worthy. “ Worth" is not, nor cannot be, as Dr. Johnson calls it, an adjective, We cannot say a worth man, or a worth house: it has rather the power of a passive participle.


250. “ Board her.

I know not how the meaning of this passage should be dubious—enter at once upon the business with her. -Thus Polonius, resolving to accost Hamlet without ceremony, says, I'll board him presently." 952. “ It is dry.

We may discover what Maria's idea of a dry hand is, by Othello's remark upon a moist one."

“ This argues fruitfulness and liberal heart, “ There's a young and sweating devil here, “ That commonly rebels.”

SCENE IV. 957. “ I have unclasp'd

To thee the book, even of my secret soul." Thus in King Henry IV. Part 1 :

“ And now I will unclasp a secret book.” 258. Than in a nuncio of more grave aspéct.

Aspect has invariably this accentuation throughout these works. 268. “ I am very comptible.

I believe Dr. Warburton is right, and that comptible means, not submissive, as Mr. Steevens supposes, but vindictive, ready to pay in eract measure, any insult or indignity that may be offered.

269. If you be not mad, begone."

Mr. M. Mason says, the sense evidently requires that we should read, “if you be mad;" but Olivia must be, evidently, in want of her senses to speak so, to a person whom she thought mad. The second sentence is only a slight correction of the first: “ if you be not mad, begone-if you are, indeed, rational, be brief.” 272. Look you, sir, such a one was I this pre

sent.The meaning is not very clear; but I take it to be this. Olivia, in disclosing her face, says, she exhibits a picture, which, if preserved to future time, would shew what she was at this present moment. Mr. Malone supposes that Olivia had again covered her face, before she spoke these words; but how will this agree with what follows, “ is't not well done?”

274. "

Sent hither to praise me.

There can be little doubt, I think, of the justness of Mr. Malone's conjecture that appraise not praise (extol) was the poet's idea; and though the words which immediately introduce it, schedules, inventoried, &c. did not proceed from Viola, they were yet suggested to the speaker by the equivocal term copy, that Viola had uttered.

Jith adorations, with fertile tears.Mr. Malone's expedient to prosodise this line,


rejecting the second“ with” (Pope's amendment) by making “ tears” a dissyllable would require that we should not only read te-ars, but fertile, 276. Love makes his heart of fint, that you

shall love." i. e. Love hardens to flint the heart of him whom you shall love.

ACT II. SCENE I. 279. “My determinate voyage is mere extrava


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The course I have resolved upon, is merely to go a rambling. 282. “ Fortune forbid, my outside have not

charm'd her.

This expression seems faulty; the sense is, Fortune grant that my outside, &c. or Fortune forbid that my outside have charmed her; but forbid and command were formerly used indiscriminately : thus, in the Comedy of Errors,

“When I to fast expressly am forbid,” where, for forbid, we must understand commanded: and again, in the Merchant of Venice; “ You may as well forbid the mountain pines, To wag their high tops and to make no noise, “ When they are fretted with the gusts of heaven.”


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