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99. “ Thou little tidy Bartholomew boar-pig."
"Tidy," says Mr. Reed, means only fat; but in this place it would better mean lean, or, indeed, any thing else than fat, as Tearsheet's language is evidently irony. Tidy is at this day, in Yorkshire and in Ireland, a current word for “ neat,” “ compact,” “ succinct;"—it also implies minute cleanliness. 102.“ Breeds no bait with telling of discreet
stories.” Telling discreet stories, I suppose, means, giv, ing lessons of prudential conduct and behaviour, as if it had been said—“There is too much levity in his discourse to occasion strife.” 109.“ Answer, thou dead elm, answer."
I know not the fitness of this allusion.
ACT III. SCENE I.
112. “ Are at this hour asleep !-Sleep, gentle
sleep." The repetition of the tragical O ! as it stands in the old copy, was undoubtedly, as Mr. Steevens remarks, an intrusion of somebody's: so likewise must have been that of “sleep,” in the second instance. The line should stand thus: “ Are at this hour asleep!-O gentle sleep."
113. “ Of the great,
-- Costly state." I wish this accidental and unpleasant rhyme had not occurred; it might be avoided, by reading, instead of “ state,” “ pride.”
In the slippery clouds.” I must prefer “ shrowds,” here, to “ clouds,” and, notwithstanding the instances produced by Mr. Steevens, to shew that “ shrowds” sometimes is the same as “ clouds," I cannot be reconciled to slippery clouds, nor to the kind of tempest or kind of poetry which would hang waves in the clouds, at all, though they might, in some inflated and ambitious moments, aspire to kiss or touch the clouds.
“ In the slippery clouds,” &c. Shakspeare's idea of a tempest hanging the waves in the shrowds (says Heron) was certainly strong enough, without his annotators pushing it to bombast. Mr. Steevens must have a bold heart, and certainly deserves to be made an admiral, for his notion that a tempest, which hangs waves in the top shrowds of a vessel, is a moderate tempest. Pray do turn poet, Mr. Steevens, and give us an immoderate tempest by all means, that we may know what it is to joke and to be in earnest. I prefer shrowds to clouds.
LORD CHEDWORTH. 114. “ That, with the hurly, death itself
awakes.” Insomuch that death awakes, &c. 116. “Is it good morrow, lords doo
The word “ good,” here, is a careless intrusion of the transcriber. Warwick salutes the king:
“ Many good morrows to your majesty." King. “ Is’t morrow, lords ?” War. “'Tis one o'clock, and past.” 119. “ The happiest youth,—viewing his pro
gress through, “What perils past, what crosses to ensue“Would shut the book, and sit him down
and die." If a youth, whose pre-ordained course of life were the happiest that a mortal could experience, should be permitted to contemplate, by anticipation, its progress, he would pause in the midst of his visionary career, and, reflecting on the numerous evils and vexations foregone, and to come, would shut the book in despair, and die at once. Şee Paradise Lost, Book 11: “ Better end here unborn : why is life given “ To be thus wrested from us? rather why “ Obtruded on us thus, who, if we knew “What we receive, would either not accept “ Life offer'd, or soon beg to lay it down, “ Glad to be so dismiss'd in peace.” “ Would shut the book, and sit him down and
die.” The author of Douglas seems to have had this passage in his mind, when he wrote the following lines : “ O had I died when my lov'd husband fell: “ Had some good angel op'd to me the book “ Of Providence, and let me read my life, " My heart had broke when I beheld the scene
“ Of ills which one by one I have endur'd.”
LORD CHEDWORTH. 120.“ And, by the necessary form of this.”
“This,” I think, refers to the “ hatch and brood of time," the necessary deduction of similar effects from similar causes. 121. “ It cannot be, my lord.”
My lord is evidently a careless interpolation. “ A certain instance that Glendówer is dead."
But in the first part of this play we find ; “ As Owen Gléndówer for an enemy.”
137. “ She never could away with me.”
Away-with. This phrase appears to agree exactly with one in modern colloquial use-put-upwith-i. e. tolerate, bear. 152. “ You might have truss'd him, and all his
apparel, into an eel-skin.” This appears to support Sir T. Hanmer's emendation, in the first part of this play—eel-skin, for elf-skin,
ACT IV. SCENE I. 154. “'Tis Gaultree forest, an't please your
grace.” The latter part of this speech, “an't pleaso
your grace,” which is quite useless, and spoils the metre, should be omitted. 157. “
You, lord archbishop,“Whose white investments figure inno
cence. I do not agree with Mr. Tollet, in supposing that the theatrical archbishop should be habited in his rocket. Westmoreland refers to what was the proper habit of his office, not to what he then had on. He should be in armour: he is afterwards called by Lancaster an iron man. I know it may be urged that Lancaster there speaks metaphorically; but, on considering all that is said, I think the archbishop ought to appear on the stage in armour. See, too, Mr. Steevens's note on iron man, from Holinshead, page 170.
LORD CHEDWORTH. 157. “ Turning your books to graves, your ink
to blood, " Your pens to lances; and your tongue
divine “To a loud trumpet, and a point of war.” Some lines resembling these in thought and expression, we find in King John, Act 5 : " Your own ladies, and pale-vizag'd maids, " Their thimbles into armed gauntlets change; " Their needles to lances, and their gentle hearts “ To fierce and bloody inclination."
“ Graves," I am persuaded, should be, as Mr. Steevens has suggested, “ greaves.” 161, “ My brother general, the commonwealth,
“ To brother born an household cruelty, " I make my quarrel in particular.”