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as Dr. Johnson has remarked, not always to be clearly ascertained; perhaps Margaret would intimate that Benedick, being now in love, finds, like other lovers, his appetite declined, and so eats, without grudging an expence thús moderated.”
116. “ An two men ride of a horse, one must
ride behind.” The note on this passage, (Steevens's edition, 1793) informing us that Shakspeare may have caught this idea from the common seal of the Knights' Templars, the device of which was two riding upon one horse, is truly in the spirit of a man who has lost his own ideas in the pursuit of those of antiquity; for the sense in the text, which seems proverbial, must have arisen to the meanest peasant, from an object almost every day before his eyes. This note is from Heron's Letters of Literature, and the justice of this animadversion I think no sane man can deny,
LORD CHEDWORTH. 117. " — Auspicious persons.”
The same mispronunciation is used by Middleton, in A Mad World my Masters, and from a constable too ;-—“May it please your Worship, here are a couple of auspicious persons."
ACT IV. SCENE I. 119.“ The heat of a luxurious bed.”
Hamlet calls the royal bed, of Denmark a couch
for luxury, &c. and Lee has adopted the word in this sense in Theodosius. “Thou'lt find enough companions, too, for riot; “ Luxurious all, and royal as thyself.” 120.“ – You seem to me,” &c.
Mr. Malone supposes that the poet wrote seem'd; but I think the reading before us is far preferable. There is more passion and nature in Claudio's being still charmed with the exterior of his mistress, especially as we know that she is really innocent.
“Out on thy seeming !" The quarto has “ Out on thee, seeming;" and this I believe is right: Hero appeals,
“And seem'd I ever otherwise to you?” At which Claudio impetuously exclaims : “Out on thee! seeming! I will write against it.” 123. “ For thee I lock up all the gates of love,
“And on my eyelids shall conjecture hang, “ To turn all beauty into thoughts of
harm, “ And never shall it more be gracious.” This sentiment occurs in Cymbeline, Act 3, where Imogen complains, “ - All good seeming “ By thy revolt, О husband, shall be thought “Put on for villany; not born where it grows, “But worn, a bait for ladies.”
“ Thy much misgovernment.” The adjective pronoun before. “ much” makes
the adverb partake of the quality of an adjective; it is very uncouth. 124. "
Dost thou look up ?”. Mr. Steevens's care of the measure here is of little use; for if he were to patch up the first line, the next would remain imperfect; as the words run, Leonato might as well begin the verse, which is finished by Francisco.
“ Dost thou look up ?” Franc. “Yea, wherefore should she not ?" “ The story that is printed in her blood.”
. i. e. Says Dr. Johnson, the story which her blushes discover to be true: but this explanation is more elegant than correct; for Hero had just then fainted, and consequently could not be blushing: the story that is printed in her blood, is the pollution with which she is supposed to be stained; pollution so indelible, that it permeates the vital principle of her being. 130. “ She died upon his words."
i. e. Says Mr. Steevens, she died by them.This explanation, though not accurate, might pass here, if the assiduous commentator had not extended it to other instances where it is still more defective, as, I think I have shewn, in the Two Gentlemen of Verona, and in A Midsummer Night's Dream; “upon his words,” here, is upon the occasion-of, in the event-of, his words, by a mode of expression common and familiar at this day._Upon this he was arrested; upon this discovery the council broke up; upon this I left the room; upon this she fainted; in none of these instances, which agree with the passage in question, can by take the place of upon. “What we have we prize not to the worth, “Whiles we enjoy it,” &c. “ Virtutem incolumem odimus “ Sublatam ex oculis quærimus invidi.” Horace.
133. “ I am gone, though I am here."
Is not the meaning rather, my thoughts are absent though my person is present ?
Lord CHEDWORTH. 134.“ Bear her in hand.”
To bear in hand, is to keep deceitfully in expectation; as in Macbeth, Aci 3, Scene 1 ; “how ye were borne in hand,” and other places. The phrase seems to have been common in our author's time. Thus in Green wey's Translation of Tacitus, 1622, “ Agrippina, therefore, beareth the emperor in hand, that the guard was divided into factions," &c.
ACT V. SCENE I.
146. “My griefscry louder than advertisement."
Advertisement, Dr. Johnson says, signifies here, admonition, moral instruction, but this appears to be a strained interpretation : I rather think the meaning is, my griefs are too violent to be expressed or declared in words.-We find advertise used somewhat in this sense by the Duke, in Measure for Measure
- But I do bend my speech “ To one that can my part in him advertise.” i. e. to one who knows and can declare as well as I the duties of my office, which he is going to assume.
150.“ We will not wake your patience."
This expression, which does not, perhaps, involve a meaning adequate to the pains that have been taken to come at it, has unaccountably led all the commentators into the same mistake: they have each, successively, confounded patience with its opposite, irascibility or impatience. The old men were extremely enraged; and in this temper their patience might be said “ to sleep;” but the prince, already tired of the conference, and offended at the intemperance expressed, declines going into any explanation to satisfy the brothers; or, as he calls it, to wake (i. e. restore) their patience; but contents himself with declaring, generally, on his honour, that the charge urged against Hero was true: and when Leonato, whose patience seems now, for the first time, to appear, or be waking, would expostulate, Pedro cries out, “ I will not hear you.” 161. “ Pack'd in all this wrong.”
Selected for the purpose, as an accomplice: we still hear of pack'd juries, pack'd committees,