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a city of Lorn hardy, it is in vain to look for meaning in this passage.
41. "Or so devote to Aristotle's checks,
This is a violent elision, "As (that) Ovid (shall) be an outcast.
43. "A pretty peat."
Peat or pet is at this day, in Ireland, a term of endearment generally used.
46. "Upon advice,"
i. e. Says Mr. Steevens, on consideration or reflection, but this, I believe, is an inaccurate definition: "advice," here, as in the quoted passage from The Two Gentlemen of Verona, signifies information, instruction, acquaintance, knowledge, as, indeed, the word commonly implies at this day, as I am at present advised, i. e. according to my presentknowledge.
56. "As wealth is burthen of my wooing dance."
As wealth is the measure or tune in which my wooing speculations are to terminate, and on which they repose.
60." Rope tricks."
Rope tricks seems exactly to tally with the modern vulgar expression, gallows tricks.
"She shall have no more eyes to see withal than a cat."
I suspect that this is an allusion to some barbarous sport with a cat, wherein the animal was maimed or blinded. See Mr. Steevens's note upon a passage in Much Ado About Nothing:— "If I do, hang me in a bottle, like a cat, and shoot at me."
65. "Trumpet's clang."
"Clang," Mr. Warton says, he supposes is an adjective, and not a verb. How he could ever have supposed it to be a verb, associated as it.is here, I cannot imagine; neither is it an adjective, as Mr. Steevens has sufficiently shewn: but, in the very instance produced from Paradise Lost—
"An island salt and bare,
"The haunt of seals and ores, and sea mews' clang—"
Clang is evidently a substantive:—An island, the resort of seals and ores, and the clang (poetically personified) of sea mews.
To the instance produced from the Paradise Lost, to shew that " clang" is a substantive, may be added another from the same poem, Book 7, Verse 420:
"Feather'd soon, and fledge,
"They summ'd their pens, and, soaring th'air sublime,
"With clang despis'd the ground." One cannot help thinking of Virgil;
"Exoritur clamorque virum clangorque tubarum." Mn. 2, V. 313.
Whence probably Dryden:
"The trumpet's loud clangor
ACT III. SCENE II.
107." Ne'er legg'd before."
I believe the old reading, near-legg'd, is right: the near leg of a horse is the left; and to set off with that leg first is an imperfection. This horse had (as Dryden describes old Jacob Tonson) two left legs; i. e. he was awkward in the use of them; he used his right leg like the left. Mr. Malone's reading and interpretation appear to me very harsh. Lord Chedworth.
ACT IV. SCENE I.
129. "Where be these knaves ?—What, no man at door /"
Mr. Malone says, door is here, and in other places, a dissyllable :—admitting this for the present, how will the verse run?
"Where be these knaves ?—what no man at d6—6r!"
The article the ought certainly to be inserted in the text before door.
A thing, says Mr. Steevens, is a trifle too inconsiderable to deserve particular discrimination; and so it is in this place, where it seems little more than an expletive, or to supply the rhyme; but it sometimes is applied to objects of superlative dignity and importance, as in Coriolanus:— "Thou noble thing!" The truth is, the word is used either with honour or contempt, when no other word can be found suitable.
169. " What stars do spangle heaven with such beauty, "As those two eyes become that heavenly face r
I cannot help repeating here the ostler's phrase:
"I wish I had as many guineas as I have curried a horse."
Perhaps we might read, with some approach to concord,
"What stars so spangle heaven with their beauty,
"As do those eyes become that heavenly face?"
I am entirely of Dr. Farmer's opinion concerning this play, and the part that Shakspeare had in the composition of it.
WINTER'S TALE. ACT I. SCENE. I.
214. "Such an affection, which cannot."
"Shook hands, as over a vast."
A vast, I believe, is simply a waste or void space; it seems to have been Milton's idea in
"The void profound
215. "It is a gentleman of the greatest pro
As the personal pronoun is often used instead of the neuter, so is the neuter, sometimes, instead of the personal, as, again, in this scene, "It is a gallant child," it seems to be employed where signal pre-eminence is meant, as in Macbeth, " It is a peerless kinsman," and as we sometimes find "thing" applied—" Thou noble thing." Coriolanus.
"Physics the subject."
Has power, says Dr. Johnson, of assuaging the sense of misery. But how is misery at all implied here? By physics the subject, I conceive is meant, conciliates, keeps in wholesome political temperament, the people.