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495. “ If I in act, consent, or sin of thought
“ Be guilty," &c. The censure passed by Dr. Warburton in a preceding scene upon Hubert's disingenuousness, would have had a better foundation here: in disclaiming to the king any disposition to commit a murder, Hubert may fairly be considered as adverting to the pure condition of his mind, before he was wrought upon by John's suggestions; but now he utters a palpable falsehood in denying that he was guilty in "consent or sin of thought."
ACT V, SCENE I.
497. “ 'Fore we are inflam'd.”
Before the rage of war shall commence, or, per. haps, before the combustion of invasive hostility and intestine revolt shall burst upon us.
“Our people quarrel with obedience,
Obedience, four syllables; allegiance, three. This mode of expressing an unruly disposition occurs in Macbeth, Act 2, where Duncan's horses are said to have
“ Broke their stalls, flung out,
“ Contending 'gainst obedience.” 499. “ An empty casket, where the jewel of life.
“ By some damn'd hand was robb’d, and
ta'en away." It was surely some damned hand that thus cor
rupted the first of these lines, which I suppose ran thus :
“An empty casket, whence the jewel life.”
The life itself was the jewel; and it was not that, but the casket, which had been robbed. 500. “So, on my soul, he did.”
How came Faulconbridge so certain of Hubert's innocence, which he himself but a little before suspected ?
SCENE II. 503. “ Such a sore of time.”
Of the time or times. 504. "
o" That Neptune's arms6 Would bear“ And grapple thee unto a Pagan shore !
“ And not to-spend it,” &c. This is undoubtedly, as Mr. Malone has remarked, an inaccuracy in the author's expression, and no attempt of Mr. Steevens or any other critic will justify it: the expedient of introducing a hyphen to make one word of to spend, in order to support a fanciful argument, cannot be admitted, and has no authority, except through haste and error, either in Shakspeare or any other writer : not a single instance, among all those produced by Mr. Tyrwhitt and Mr. Steevens, to shew that to pinch, in the Merry Wives of Windsor, is one word, will serve their purpose, or is in point; the particle to, in every passage that they have adduced, belonging not to the verb or participle following it, but to the foregoing particle al or all, with which it is component: alto or allto, that is, entirely, altogether, as I have shewn in the place referred to. See Note 443, Page 235, “And fairy like to-pinch him.”
Merry Wives of Windsor. 505. “ Figurd quite o'er with burning meteors.”
“Meteors” is not every where tļius long : “ And call them metěors, prodigies, and signs." 506. “ Foster'd up at hand.”
Nursed, and fed by the hand.
516. “ If Lewis, by your assistance, win the
day.” Lewis is, I believe, every where in this play, to be uttered in the time of a monosyllable. Thus above : “I say, again, if Lewys do win the day.”
And in the third Act: “ Shall Lewys have Blanche ? and Blanche those
provinces ?” 517.“ Right in thine eye.” Right is directly, plainly, without deviation. " -- I only speak right on.”
Julius Cæsar, I wonder that Mr. Steevens should call this mode of expression obsolete: right forward right across-right upward-righi on-right off, are phrases that every day occur, and are, I suppose, derived from the geometrical postulate, that
a right line is the shortest that can be made from one point to another.
522.“ Who didst thou leave ?»
This, perhaps, is rather an ellipsis, than false grammar. Who (is he whom) thou didst leave. 523. “Withhold thine indignation, mighty hea
ven.” “ And tempt us not to bear above our
power." Milton" has adopted this pious obsecration in Comus, where the lady says“ Eye me, blest Providence, and square my trial “ To my proportioned strength.”
And Mr. Brook, the author of Gustavus Vasa: “ For heaven still squares our trial to our strength; “And thine is of the foremost.”
524. “ Death, haring prey'd upon the outward
parts, “ Leaves them insensible; and his siege is
now “ Against the mind.” This emendation of Sir T. Hanmer's, from the first copy, which reads invisible, affords a plain meaning, which nothing but the ingenuity of commentators could misinterpret; yet Mr. Steevens conducts us through five or six pages of debate about it, for the sake, principally, of achieving a triumph over his quondam associate, Mr. Malone, whose argument Mr. Steevens has chosen to pervert. That gentleman, in contending for the old reading, does not supply an inference that the king's body or outward part was not to be seen, but that the operations and progress of death were invisible. I cannot, indeed, agree with Mr. Malone, as to the fitness of his restora. tion, though I admit that adjectives are often used adverbially, and not, as Mr. Steevens asserts, in light and familiar dialogue, (where, indeed, the practice will not be admitted) but in grave and solemn diction only, as"
Nature boon “ Pour’d forth profuse.” Paradise Lost. “Sole reigning holds the tyranny of heaven.”
Ibid. " The torrid clime “Smote on him sore besides.”—
531. “ -- Spleen of speed.”
Sudden, tumultuous expedition. 34.“ O lct us pay the time but needful woe, “ Since it hath been before-hand with our
griefs." As the recent events have impressed themselves with sufficient affliction on the general mind, let us not superfluously prolong that grief.