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We also find, in Chaucer, forbid in these opposite senses :
“Moses' law forbode it tho
“ Christ's Gospel biddeth also,
Plowman. Stanz. 29. 283. “ That, sure, methought, her eyes had lost
her tongue.” Sure, as Mr. Malone observes, which is not in the old copy, (but was added afterwards to fill up the measure,) is unlike any word that Shakspeare would have used here. Conjecture, indeed, must be vague, yet I cannot suppress a wish that there were authority for a different reading, and that even this might with any confidence be offered. “She made good view of me; indeed, so much, “Methought her eager eyes had lost her tongue.”
“ Pregnant enemy.” Pregnant is prompt, ready, teeming with devices.
285. “And I popr monster!"
Alluding, I suppose, to her equivocal character, man and woman.
314. “ Like patience on a monument,
“ Smiling at grief."
Grief here is affliction, suffering. It is strange that Mr. Malone should so misapprehend (as I think he has done) the poet's meaning in this fine passage. Mr. Steevens has very clearly displayed the true image, on which Mr. Mason's lines, " Patience “Her meek hands folded on her modest breast “In mute submission lifts th' adoring eye “Even to the storm that wrecks her,” are a direct commentary. $18.“ My love can give no place.”
i. e. Can yield to nothing else.
324. “ Court' sies to me.”
Court'sie here is, surely, to be understood only as a general term for respectful salutation, whether by a man or a woman. 327. “You waste the treasure of your time.”
Massinger says this in the Roman actor : “Wasting the treasure of his time and fortune.”
ACT III. SCENE I. 337. “ The king lies by a beggar.”
This lies should, I think, be lives, as it is printed in Johnson and Steevens's edition of 1773. It is the counterpart of the preceding speech, in which the verbs employed are lives and stands.
LORD CHEDWORTH. 345.“ Hides my heart, so let me hear you
When Mr. Malone contends, as he frequently does, for the correctness of the metre, in lines like this, allotting two syllables to hear, he seems to pay no regard whatever to sound, or the established modes of pronunciation: it is impossible to endure a line like this,
“ Hides my heart, so let me he-ár you speak.”
Again, this gentleman would have “ turn” a dissyllable, and that, too, at the end of a line. “And thanks, and ever thanks; oft good
tur-uns, or éns.” Neither Theobald's correction, “ And thanks, and ever thanks, and oft good
turns,” Nor Mr. Steevens's, “And thanks, and ever thanks; often good
túrns," appears satisfactory.—May I venture a word, that, in my opinion, accords better with the harmony of the verse, as well as with the sense of the context:“I can no other answer make but thanks; “ And thanks, and ever thanks; too oft good
turns “ Are shuffled off with such uncurrent pay: . “ But, were my worth,” &c.
With respect to the former line," Hides my heart,” &c. Mr. Steevens's expedient to supply the defect seems acceptable. "Hides my poor heart, so let me hear you speak.”
“ Hides my heart,” &c. The censure above passed on Mr. Malone is just. Mr. Malone has no title to say “ Digitis callemus & aure.”
356. “- If I be laps’d in this place.”
If I be found nodding-off my guard, or vigilance. The word, in the same sense, occurs in Hamlet. “Do you not come your tardy son to chide, “ That, lap'st in time and passion, lets go by “ Th’important acting of your dread command?"
358. “Why dost thou smile so, and kiss thy
hand so oft q” This fantastical mode of courtesy, as Mr. Reed calls it, was, it seems, very current in our author's time. Iago, watching the looks and gestures of Cassio, addressed to Desdemona, says, “Ay, smile upon her, do-if these tricks strip you out of your lieutenantry, you were better not have kiss'd your three fingers so oft ;-again, your fingers to your lips !"
360. “ Fellow.”
This term, as Dr. Johnson has remarked, signified, formerly, without degradation, companion; and, by a remarkable revolution in the meaning of words, companion, which then signified fellow, in a contemptuous sense, has risen to its present dignity. 371. “ Such a Virago.”
By Virago, I imagine the poet meant nothing else but what Dr. Johnson has explained ;-a delicate and feminine form, with boisterous and swaggering manners,
ACT IV. SCENE II.
390. “ Are you not mad indeed ?" &c,
It is strange to see how the commentators have here mistaken the clown's character, who says to Malvolio, Are you not mad indeed, or do you but counterfeit? They would fain make him talk sense ; Shakspeare made him talk nonsense in character. The question means-Are you really in your senses, or do you but act as though you were ? As though a mad man could counterfeit a wise man! Absurd ! but highly in character! Praises equally applicable to the annotators. This is from Heron's Letters of Literature.