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393. “ I found this credit.”
Perhaps credited, the simple verb for the passive participle, as it is sometimes used. Milton describes Satan " with head uplift above the waves.” But it may signify, by a harsh ellipsis, a matter of credit or belief. 395. “Whiles you are willing.”
I have frequently heard while used corruptedly for till, particularly at Harrow, in Middlesex: I find it used in this sense in the trial of Spencer, Cowper, and others, at Hertford, 5 State Trials, 195. Mr. Jones: “ My Lord, then we should keep you here while to-morrow morning.” While is also used in this sense by Sir John Friend, at his trial, 'On his applying to the court, to have a witness sent for, who was a prisoner in the Gate-House, the Lord Chief Justice Holt asks,“ Sir John, why did you not send, and desire this before ?” To which Friend answers, “ My Lord, I did not hear of him while last night.” So, too, Ben Jonson. “
I am born a gentleman, “ A younger brother; but in some disgrace “Now with my friends, and want some little
means “To keep me upright while things be reconcil'd," The Devil is an Ass, Act l, Scene 3.
LORD CHEDWORTH, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.
ACT I. SCENE I.
6. “ He hath, indeed, better better'd expectation,
than you must expect me to tell you how." He has exceeded expectation in a greater measure than you must expect, &c. Plain sense, in many of these scenes, must yield to the charm of a jingle. 7. “How much better is it to weep at joy, than
to joy at weeping ?” This is a very lame antithesis ; for we must change the person, to comprehend the meaning. A man's own joy will sometimes extract tears from him; but nobody's sorrow can, in himself, excite gladness. 17.“ A bird of my tongue, is better than a
beast of yours.” From the words of Benedick's sarcasm-You are a rare parrot-teacher-I think we should expect, in Beatrice's retort, A bird of my teaching, &c. 18.“ Cupid is a good hare-finder, and Vulcan
a rare carpenter ?” Mr. Collins seems to have had the true scent of this covert joke; it is pity he did not rundown his game. All I can do to come up with it, is this : Do you mean, says Benedick, to amuse us with pleasant paradoxes ? to say that a lover is a good sportsman ? and a blacksmith an excellent cabinet-maker ? 26. “ The savage bull may ; but if ever the sen
. sible Benedick bear it,” &c.
Sensible for rational. 29. “The fairest grant is the necessity.”
I believe the meaning is, the fairest acknowledgment you can make is the necessity which rules you; you are in love, and you cannot help it; or, perhaps, grant implies Premiss, Datum ;if so, the sense is clear enough
ACT II. SCENE I. 44. “I am sure he is in the fleet."
In the fleet seems to mean, of the company. It is an odd expression, 47. “Re-enter Don Pedro, Hero, and Leonato.”
I do not think Hero and Leonato should enter here; I think they should enter afterwards, with 'Claudio and Beatrice. LORD CHEDWORTH, 49. “With such impossible conveyance,”
Means, I believe, (howsoever licentiously expressed) in such a manner as it is impossible to describe or convey to your understanding.
53. “Thus goes every one to the world but I."
&c. By going to the world, Beatrice, I suppose, means quitting the seclusion or restraint imposed upon unmarried women. 55. “ She hath often dreamed of unhappiness,"
&c. Dr. Warburton says, unhappiness here means a wild, wanton, unlucky trick; but surely this is a wild, wantón, and unlucky explanation. Unhappiness is no other than the reverse of happiness. Leonato observes that his niece has little of the melancholy element in her; that she is never sad, but when she sleeps; and not ever (i. e. always) sad even then; for she hath often dreamt of unhappiness, which yet was so short-liv'd, that presently she was merry again, and waked herself with laughing. This interpretation appears to have support in a passage of Rousseau's Eloisa, Letter the seventh.
“ You know I never in my life could weep without laughing; and yet I have not less sensibility than other people.”
62. “ I have known when he would have walk'd
ten miles a-foot to see a good armour.” This passage, as it stands, is gross pleonasm : the author probably wrote at first “wou'd have walk'd ten miles to see,” &c. and, afterwards, to make the expression stronger, inserted a-foot, neglecting to strike out walk’d, or to alter it to gone. People who walk must necessarily go a-foot.
64. 5. How still the evening is,
“As hush'd on purpose to grace harmony." A similar reflection occurs in the Merchant of Venice.
“ Soft stillness and the night
ACT III. SCENE III. 103. “ I tell this tale vilely; I should first tell
thee." These words occur, exactly as they are here, in Dr. Hoadly's comedy of The Suspicious Husband, where Ranger says-I tell this tale vilely ; I should first tell you, &c.
109.“ Light of love."
Mr. Gray, in The Progress of Poetry, has “purple light of love." 110. “ For an H,” &c.
It would appear, from this passage, and Haywood's epigram on the letter H, quoted by Mr. Steevens, that ache, which we now pronounce ake, had formerly the sound which is still retained in the plural of that word-aches. 112." And now he eats his meat without
grudging." · The meaning of proverbial phrases is, certainly,