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some quillets,] The word quillet signifies a false charge, or an evasive answer.
WARBURTON. Line 741. - affection's men at arms :) A man at arms, soldier armed at all points both offensively and defensively.
Johnson. Line 764. Teaches such beauty as a woman's eye ?] i.e. A lady's eyes give a fuller notion of beauty than any
author. JOHNSON. Line 772. In leaden contemplation, have found out
Such fiery numbers,] Numbers are, in this passage, nothing more than poetical measures. Could you, says Biron, by solitary contemplation, have attained such poetical fire, such sprightly numbers, as have been prompted by the eyes of beauty? JOHNSON.
Line 787. -the suspicious head of theft is stopt ;] i.e. A lover in pursuit of his mistress has the sense of hearing quicker than a thief (who suspects every sound he hears) in pursuit of his prey.
WARBURTON. -cockled- -] i. e. Shelled. 794. As bright Apollo's lute, strung with his hair ;] This expression is extremely beautiful, and highly figurative. Apollo, as the sun, is represented with golden hair ; so that a lute strung with his hair, means no more than strung with gilded wire.
WARBURTON. Line 795. And, when love speaks, the voice of all the gods
Makes heaven drousy with the harmony.] A very ingenious friend observes, that the meaning of the passage is this: That the voice of all the Gods united, could inspire only drowsiness, when compared with the chearful effects of the voice of love.
STEEVENS. a word that loves all men ;] We should read,
-a word all women love. WARBURTON. The antithesis of a word that all men love, and a word which loves all men, though in itself worth little, has much of the spirit of
Johnson. sow'd cockle reup'd no corn;] This proverbial expression intimates, that beginning with perjury, they can expect to reap nothing but falshood.
ACT V. SCENE I.. Line 2. Your reasons at dinner have been, &c.] I know not well what degree of respect Shakspeare intends to obtain for this vicar, but he has here put into his mouth a finished respresentation of colloquial excellence. It is very difficult to add any thing to this character of the school-master's table-talk, and perhaps all the precepts of Castiglione will scarcely be found to comprehend a rule for conversation so justly delineated, so widely dilated, and so nicely limited. It
may be proper just to note, that reason here, and in many other places, signifies discourse ; and that audacious is used in a good sense for spirited, animated, confident. Opinion is the same with obstinacy or opiniatreté.
JOHNSON. Line 4. without affection,] i, e. Without affectation.
13. thrasonical.] Bragging, boastful.
14. He is too picked,] To have the beard piqued (picked) or shorn so as to end in a point, was, in our author's time, a mark of a traveller affecting foreign fashions.
JOHNSON Line 19. -point-devise--] From the French. Means, exact to the utmost pitch.
Line 42. Honorificabilitudinitatibus :) This word, whencesoever it comes, is often mentioned as the longest word known.
JOHNSON. Line 43. - flap-dragon :) A flap-dragon is the well known game of raisins put into brandy, and burnt.
a quick venew of wit :] Venew or veney is a bout or turn at fencing.
Line 82. the charge-house--] Probably means, a school supported at the public charge, as a charity or free-school, Line 96 --inward-] Means, confidential.
103. -dally with my excrement,] The author has before called the beard valour's excrement, in The Merchant of Venice.
JOHNSON. Line 147.
if this fadge not,] i, e. Suit not. STEVENS
ACT V. SCENE II.
Line 168. to make his God-head wax;] To war anciently signified to grow. It is yet said of the moon, that she waxes and wanes.
STEEVENS. Line 184. -taking it in snuff;] i, e. In dudgeon: but the word here is used equivocally.
Line 213. 'Ware pencils. ] Rosaline, a black beauty, reproaches the fair Catherine for painting.
JOHNSON. Line 216. O, that your face were not so full of oʻs!
A pox of that jest! &c.] Dr. Farmer has judiciously shewn no indecency to be meant in this language, the small-pox only is here alluded to, by the very line preceding.
Line 217. -in by the week!] This I suppose to be an expression taken from hiring servants or artificers; meaning, I wish I was as sure of his service for any time limited, as if I had hired him.
Steevens. Line 245. So portent-like, &c.] i. e. I would be his fate or destiny, and, like a portent, hang over, and influence his fortunes. For portents were not only thought to forebode, but to influence.
WARBURTON. Line 247. None are so, &c.] These are observations worthy of a man who has surveyed human nature with the closest attention.
JOHNSON. Line 269. Şaint Dennis, to Suint Cupid !) The Princess of France invokes, with too much levity, the patron of her country, to oppose his power to that of Cupid.
JOHNSON Line 301. -spleen ridiculous-] Is, a ridiculous fil. JOHNS.
305. Like Muscovites, or Russians: as I guess.] The settling commerce in Russia was, at that time, a matter that much ingrossed the concern and conversation of the publick. There had been several embassies employed thither on that occasion; and several tracts of the manners and state of that nation written: so that a mask of Muscovites was as good an entertainment to the audience of that time, as a coronation has been since.
WARBURTON. Line 347. Beauties, no richer than rich taffata.] i, e. The taffata masks they wore to conceal themselves.
Line 405. Vouchsafe, bright moon, and these thy stars,] When queen Elizabeth asked an embassador how he liked her ladies, It is hard, said he, to judge of stars in the presence of the sun.
JOHNSON Line 450. Since you can cog, ] To cog signifies to falsify the dice, and to fulsify a narrative, or to lie.
JOHNSON. Line 520. -better wits have worn plain statute-caps.] This line is not universally understood, because every reader does not know that a statute-cap is part of the academical habit. Lady Rosaline declares that her expectation was disappointed by these courtly students, and that better wits might be found in the common places of education.
JOHNSON Line 537. Fair ladies, maskid, are roses in their bud;
Dismask'd, their damask sweet commixture shewn,
Are angels vailing clouds, or roses blown.] Ladies unmask'd, say's Boyet, are like angels vuiling clouds, or letting those clouds which obscured their brightness, sink from before them.
JOHNSON. Line 545. - shapeless gear;] Shapeless, for uncouth, or what Shakspeare elewhere calls diffused.
WARBURTON. Line 559. -pecks up wit, as pigeons peus ;] This expression is proverbial.
“ Children pick up words as pigeons peus,
“ And utter them again as God shall please.” See Ray's collection.
STEEVENS. Line 562. -wassels,] A wassel is a drunken bout.
572. A mean most meanly, &c.] The mean, in music, is the tenor.
Steevens. Line 576. as white as whales bone :] So in Turberville's Poems, printed in the year 1570, is an ode intitled, “ In Praise of Lady P.”
“ Her mouth so small, her teeth so white,
“ As any whale his bone ;
WARTON. Line 582. - -Behaviour, what wert thou,
'Till this man show'd thee? and what art thou now?] These are two wonderfully fine lines, intimating that what courts
call manners, and value themselves so much upon teaching, as a thing no where else to be learnt, is a modest silent accomplishment under the direction of nature and common sense, which does its office in promoting social life without being taken notice of. But that when it degenerates into shew and parade, it becomes an unmanly contemptible quality.
WARBURTON. What is told in this note is undoubtedly true, but is not comprised in the quotation.
JOHNSON. Line 596. The virtue of your eye must break my oath.] I believe the author means that the virtue, in which word goodness and power are both comprised, must dissolve the obligation of the oath. The Princess, in her answer, takes the most invidious part of the ambiguity.
JOHNSON. Line 625. when we greet, &c.] This is a very lofty and elegant compliment.
JOHNSON. Line 662. -my friend,] i.e. Courtezan. See note in Meusure for Measure.
Line 679. Write, Lord have mercy on us,] This was the inscription put upon the door of the houses infected with the plague, to which Biron compares the love of himself and his companions ; and pursuing the metaphor finds the tokens likewise on the ladies. The tokens of the plague are the first spots or discolorations, by which the infection is known to be received.
JOHNSON. Line 688.
how can this be true,
That you stand forfeit, being those that sue.] That is, how can those be liable to forfeiture that begin the process. The jest lies in the ambiguity of sue, which signifies to prosecute by law, or to offer a petition.
JOHNSON. Line 709.
-you force not to forswear.] You force not is the same with you make no dificulty. This is a very just observation. The crime which has been once committed, is committed again with less reluctance.
JOHNSON. Line 734.
That smiles his cheek in years ;] In years, signifies, into wrinkles. So in The Merchant of Venice : “ With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.
WARBURTON. Line 750. -Go, you are allow'd;] i.e. You may say what