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Line 632. His phisnomy is more hotter in France than there.] The allusion is, in all probability, to the morbus Gallicus. STEEV. Line 638. -to suggest-] i. e. seduce or tempt.
·640. I am a woodland fellow, sir, &c.] Shakspeare is but rarely guilty of such impious trash. And it is observable, that then he always puts that into the mouth of his fools, which is now grown the characteristic of the fine gentleman. WARBURTON. Line 656. —unhappy.] That is, mischievously waggish ; unlucky. JOHNSON.
Line 660. he has no pace, but runs where he will.] A pace is a certain or prescribed walk; so we say of a man meanly obsequious, that he has learned his paces. JOHNSON.
Line 695. -carbonadoed—] i. e. Scotched like a piece of meat for the gridiron. STEEVENS.
ACT V. SCENE I.
Line 7. Enter a gentle Astringer.] Perhaps a gentle stranger, i. e. a stranger of gentle condition, a gentleman. STEEVENS.
Line 40. Our means will make us means.] Shakspeare delights much in this kind of reduplication, sometimes so as to obscure his meaning. Helena says, they will follow with such speed as the means which they have will give them ability to exert.
ACT V. SCENE II.
Line 70. -I do pity his distress in my smiles of comfort,] The meaning is, I testify my pity for his distress, by encouraging him with a gracious smile.
Line 102. —you shall eat ;] Parolles has many of the lineaments of Falstaff, and seems to be the character which Shakspeare delighted to draw, a fellow that had more wit than virtue. Though justice required that he should be detected and exposed, yet his vices sit so fit in him that he is not at last suffered to starve. JOHNS.
ACT V. SCENE III.
Line 104.-esteem-] Esteem is here reckoning or estimate. Since the loss of Helen with her virtues and qualifications, our account is sunk; what we have to reckon ourselves king of, is much poorer than before. JOHNSON.
Line 107. -home.] That is, completely, in its full extent.
-blaze of youth,] In the old copy, blade.
In the spring of early life, when the man is yet green; oil and fire suit but ill with blade, and therefore Dr. Warburton reads, blaze of youth. JOHNSON.
All repetition:] The first interview shall put an end to all recollection of the past. Shakspeare is now hastening to the end of the play, finds his matter sufficient to fill up his remaining scenes, and therefore, as on other such occasions, contracts his dialogue and precipitates his action. Decency required that Bertram's double crime of cruelty and disobedience, joined likewise with some hypocrisy, should raise more resentment; and that though his mother might easily forgive him, his king should more pertinaciously vindicate his own authority and Helen's merit of all. this Shakspeare could not be ignorant, but Shakspeare wanted to conclude his play. JOHNSON.
Line 150. My high-repented blames,] High-repented blames, are faults repented of to the height, to the utmost. STEEVENS. Line 184. Our own love waking, &c.] For sleep I think we should read slept. Love cries to see what was done while hatred slept, and suffered mischief to be done. Or the meaning may be, that hatred still continues to sleep at ease, while love is weeping. JOHNSON.
Line 217. In Florence was it from a casement thrown me,] Bertram still continues to have too little virtue to deserve Helen. He did not know indeed that it was Helen's ring, but he knew that he had it not from a window. JOHNSON.
Line 219. noble she was, and thought
I stood ingag'd:] The meaning is, when she saw me receive the ring, she thought me engaged to her. JOHNSON. Line 226. Plutus himself,
That knows the tinct, and multiplying medicine,] Plutus the grand alchemist, who knows the tincture which confers the properties of gold upon base metals, and the matter by which gold is multiplied, by which a small quantity of gold is made to communicate its qualities to a large mass of metal.
In the reign of Henry the fourth a law was made to forbid all men thenceforth to multiply gold, or use any craft of multiplication. Of which law Mr. Boyle, when he was warm with the hope of transmutation, procured a repeal. JOHNSON.
That you are well acquainted with yourself,
Confess 't was hers;] The true meaning of this strange expression is, If you know that your faculties are so sound, as that you have the proper consciousness of your own actions, and are able to recollect and relate what you have done, tell me, &c.
Line 248. My fore-past proofs, howe'er the matter fall,
Shall tax my fears of little vanity,
Having vainly fear'd too little.] The proofs which I
have already had, are sufficient to shew that my fears were not vain and irrational. I have rather been hitherto more easy than I ought, and have unreasonably had too little fear. JOHNSON.
Line 260. Who hath for four or five removes, come short, &c.]
Removes are journies or post-stages.
"Fall and cease." Line 333.
-shall cease,] i. e. decease, die. So in king Lear
Whose high respect, and rich validity,] Validity is a
very bad word for value, which yet I think is its meaning, unless
it be considered as making a contract valid.
Validity certainly means value.
Line 349. He's quoted- -] Quoted means noted, noticed or
-debosh'd;] See Tempest, act 3. scene 2.
—all impediments in fancy's course
Are motives of more fancy;] Every thing that ob structs love is an occasion by which love is heightened. And, to conclude, her solicitation concurring with her fashionable appearance, she got the ring.
I am not certain that I have attained the true meaning of the word modern, which, perhaps, signifies rather meanly pretty.
Line 460. He knows himself, &c.] This dialogue is too long, since the audience already knew the whole transaction; nor is
there any reason for puzzling the king and playing with his passions; but it was much easier than to make a pathetical interview between Helen and her husband, her mother, and the king. JOHNSON.
Line 465. perly for enchanter.
-exorcist- -] This word is used not very pro
END OF THE ANNOTATIONS ON ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS