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or Fates—Clotho, Lachesis, and Atropos, who spun the threads of human lives, cutting these threads short with shears when they pleased.
I. ii. 114. rank. A pun on 'rank' meaning 'position' and its adjectival meaning of 'strong' in relation to odors.
I. ii. 132. Be... presents. A common legal phrase introduced for the sake of the pun on 'presence' in line 131.
I. ii. 151. broken music. Chapell (Popular Music, p. 346) explains the phrase as follows: 'Some instruments such as viols, violins, flutes, etc., were made in sets of four, which when played together made a consort. If one or more of the instruments of one set were substituted for the corresponding ones of another set, the result is no longer a consort, but broken music.' A damaged wrestler groaning in pain, might, therefore, be looked upon as broken music, since neither his utterance nor himself was now harmony.
I. ii. 179. them. Orlando's plural includes Rosalind. I. ii. 187.
judgment. I.e., 'if your eyes saw yourself in your true proportion, or your judgment were mature enough to know your own limitations.'
I. ii. 198. wherein . . . guilty. I.e., 'much deserving of your hard thoughts to deny, etc.'
I. ii. 226. Hercules speed. I.e., 'may Hercules be your patron.'
I. ii. 263. suits fortune. I.e., 'whom fortune has denied favors.'
I. ii. 268. quintain. A stout post or plank or some object mounted on such a support, set up as a mark to be tilted at (Onions). Here used figuratively.
I. ii. 289. taller. Apparently a slip of the pen on Shakespeare's part, for afterwards Rosalind is de
scribed as “taller than Celia. Malone suggested the emendation 'smaller,' which has been adopted by many editors unwilling to credit Shakespeare with even so trivial an error.
I. ii. 304. smoke ... smother. Proverbial, equivalent to 'out of the frying pan into the fire.' 'Smother' is a suffocating smoke.
I. iii. 20. hem ... him. A quibble on the likeness of sound between 'hem' and 'him.' Possibly the whole phrase is proverbial, although no commentator has quoted such a proverb.
I. iii. 38. Why ... not. I.e., 'Why should I not hate him?' deserve well. I.e., 'to be hated.'
I. iii. 78. Juno's swans. As far as known, Juno had no swans. The peacock was her favorite bird. Shakespeare has possibly been influenced by the story of Jupiter and Leda.
I. iii. 128. Ganymede. He was a Trojan boy whom Jupiter, in the disguise of an eagle, seized and carried off from the midst of his playfellows on Mount Ida to make him cup-bearer to the gods.
I. iii. 131. Aliena. From the Latin, meaning a stranger. Cf. alien.
II. i. S. d. Duke Senior. So designated throughout the First Folio.
II. i. 5. penalty of Adam. I.e., 'In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread' (Genesis 3. 19). In the forest they do not suffer from this penalty, for they fleet the time carelessly as in the golden world where none had to toil. "The season's difference' which some commentators take to be the penalty of Adam' is not so described in the Bible.
II. i. 13. toad. The natural history of Shakespeare's time spoke of the toad as 'venomous, while it was believed to carry in its head a stone or jewel ‘of power to repulse poysons.'
II. i. 18. 1... it. Many modern editions give this half line to Duke Senior. The present text follows the First Folio in assigning it to Amiens, who thus agrees with the Duke's summary of their happy life.
II. i. 23. desert. Any uninhabited or sparsely inhabited wild country was called a 'desert' by the Elizabethans. The lack of vegetable and animal life was not implied in its meaning.
II. i. 38. tears. There are many references to the tears shed by a wounded or dying stag in Elizabethan literature.
II. i. 50. velvet. Other interpretations of velvet are: ‘sleek and prosperous' (Aldis Wright); velvet is the technical term for the outer covering of the horns of a stag in the early stages of their growth. Here 'velvet' seems to be equivalent to 'delicate' (Neil).
II. i. 52. flux of company. I.e., 'the continuous stream of people, or friendships.'
II. iji. 12. No . . . yours. I.e., 'your graces serve you to no better purpose.'
II. iii. 37. diverted blood. I.e., 'natural affection turned into a false channel.' II. iii. 43.
Job 38. 41. videth for the raven his food?'
II. iii. 50. Nor ... not. The double negative, with the force of a single negative, occurs in several places throughout this play.
II. iii. 74. a week. Probably a proverbial method of expression, with a slightly ironical implication, viz., ‘eighty years of age is at least a week too late to begin a career of adventure.' II. iv. 12.
money. The ancient penny cross stamped upon it, hence Touchstone's quibble, which includes likewise a reference to Matthew 10. 38.
II. iv. 43. thy wound. The First Folio has 'they would, which obviously does not make sense. The later Folios read 'their wound.' The present emendation, 'thy wound,' comes from Rowe.
II. iv. 51. peascod. “The peascod is the husk or pod which contains the peas, but it here appears to be used for the plant itself' (Wright). ‘Touchstone surely means that he took both the cods from, and returned them to, the peascod, the representative of his mistress' (Staunton). There is a Suffolk superstition current today in which peascods play a part in love omens.
II. v. 3. turn. It has been suggested that this is a misprint for 'tune.' There is, however, good authority for this use of 'turn' in the sense given in the gloss.
II. v. 27. dog-apes. I.e., dog-faced baboons (?).
II. v. 54. ducdame. In spite of the plain warning given by Jaques of the purpose of his refrain, a number of scholars have made laborious guesses at its etymology.
II. v. 61. first-born of Egypt. Cf. Exodus 11. 45. ‘And Moses said, Thus saith the Lord, About midnight will I go out into the midst of Egypt: and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die ..
II. vii. 6. spheres. According to the Ptolemaic system of astronomy, the planets revolved in crystal spheres which made heavenly harmonies in their turnings.
II. vii. 16. rail'd ... Fortune. I.e., apparently because the lady had not, in Touchstone's case, lived up to the proverb that 'fortune favors fools.'
II. vii. 28. thereby . . tale. I.e., the commonplace story of every man.
II. vii. 30. chanticleer. I.e., 'laugh in triumph at my discovery, like the crowing of Chanticleer, the cock.'
II. vii. 44. my only suit. A pun on the two meanings 'my only request' and 'the only dress for me.'
II. vii. 73. weary very. A satisfactory paraphrase has not as yet been made. The general idea seems to be: ‘pride flows in as vast a stream as the sea until its very sources begin to ebbi.e., exhaust themselves.' The line is probably corrupt.
II. vii. 79-82. I.e., ‘or who is he of lowest office, or employment, that says his fine clothes are not at my expense, thinking I mean him, but by so saying fits his folly to the substance of my speech?'
II. vii. 96. inland. To be ‘inland bred' was to be educated among cultured surroundings, not among "outlanders' (foreigners) nor 'uplanders' (peasants). II. vii. 139. All . . . stage.
The phrase goes back to classical antiquity and had appeared in English drama before Shakespeare's day.
II. vii. 143. seven ages. This seems to have been a common number into which to divide the life of
Seven was itself a mystic number. II. vii. 154. capon. Hales states that the present of a capon was a common method employed to temper the decision of the justice. II. vii. 158. pantaloon. A foolish old man who
a stock character in the Italian commedia dell'arte. He appeared usually with slippers, spectacles on nose and hobbled on a cane.
II. vii. 167. venerable burden. There is a tradition, not well authenticated, that Shakespeare himself played the part of Adam and, in this rôle, was borne upon the stage on another man's back.
III. i. 6. candle. Probably a reference to Luke 15. 8. 'Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?' (Steevens).