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Line 937. to beads often sold by the Romanists, as made particularly effica

As if my trinkets had been hallorved,] This alludes

cious by the touch of some relick.

Line 1022.


-boot.] That is, something over and above, or,

as we now say, something to boot. Line 1064.




—pedler's excrement.] Is pedler's beard. JOHNS. of what having,] i. e. what property. -therefore they do not give us the lie.] The

meaning is, they are paid for lying, therefore they do not give us the lye, they sell it us.


Line 1095. Advocate's the court-word for a pheasant,] As he was a suitor from the country, the Clown supposes his father should have brought a present of game, and therefore imagines, when Autolycus asks him what advocate he has, that by the word advocate he means a pheasant. STEEVENS.

Line 1205. a great man -by the picking on's teeth.] It seems, to pick the teeth was, at this time, a mark of some pretension to greatness or elegance.


Line 1243. the hottest day prognostication proclaims,] That is, the hottest day foretold in the almanack.

Line 1250.


being something gently considered,] Means, I

having a gentlemanlike consideration given me, i. e. a bribe, will bring you, &c.



Line 17. Or, from the all that are, took something good,] This is a favourite thought; it was bestowed on Miranda and Rosalind before. JOHNSON.

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Affront his eye.] To affront, is to meet. JOHNSON.

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Have said, and writ so,] The reader must observe,

that so relates not to what precedes, but to what follows that, she had not been equall'd.

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His tears proclaim'd his parting with her:] This is very ungrammatical and obscure. We may better read,

-whose daughter

His tears proclaim'd her parting with her.

The prince first tells that the lady came from Lybia, the king interrupting him, says, from Smalus; from him, says the prince, whose tears, at parting, shewed her to be his daughter. JOHNSON. The obscurity arises from want of a proper punctuation. By placing a comma after his, I think the sense is clear'd. STEEV. Line 264. Your choice is not so rich in worth as beauty,] Worth signifies any kind of worthiness, and among others that of high descent. The king means that he is sorry the prince's choice is not in other respects as worthy of him as in beauty. JOHNSON.


Line 347. 395.

with clipping her :] i. e. embracing her.

had he himself eternity,] Eternity means only immortality, or that part of eternity which is to come; so we talk of eternal renown and eternal infamy. Immortality may subsist without divinity, and therefore the meaning only is, that if Julio could always continue his labours, he would mimick nature.


Line 396. of her custom,] That is of her trade,-would draw her customers from her. JOHNSON. Line 407. Who would be thence, that has the benefit of access?] It was, I suppose, only to spare his own labour that the poet put this whole scene into narrative, for though part of the transaction was already known to the audience, and therefore could not properly be shewn again, yet the two kings might have met upon the stage, and after the examination of the old shepherd, the young lady might have been recognised in sight of the spectators. JOHNS. Line 463. --franklins say it,] Franklin is a freeholder, or yeoman, a man above a villain, but not a gentleman. JOHNSON. Line 467. tall fellow of thy hands,] Tall, in that time, was the word used for stout. JOHNSON.


Line 533. O patience;] That is, stay a while, be not so eager. JOHNSON.

562. The fixure of her eye has motion in't,] The mean

ing is, that her eye, though fixed, as in an earnest gaze, has motion in it. EDWARDS.

Line 644. You precious winners all;] You who by this discovery have gained what you desired may join in festivity, in which I, who have lost what never can be recovered, can have no part. JOHNSON.







When the battle's lost and won:] i. e. the battle in which Macbeth was then engaged.

Line 10. Paddock calls:-&c.] Paddock in the north signifies a frog, or toad.

Line 11. Fair is foul, and foul is fair :] The meaning is, that to us, perverse and malignant as we are, fair is foul, and foul is fair. JOHNSON.


Line 28. And fortune, on his damned quarrel smiling,] Quarrel was formerly used for cause, or for the occasion of a quarrel, and is to be found in that sense in Holinshed's account of the story of Macbeth, who, at the creation of the prince of Cumberland, thought, says the historian, that he had a just quarrel, to endeavour after the crown. The sense therefore is, fortune smiling on his execrable cause, &c.


Line 43. Discomfort swells.] Discomfort, the natural opposite to comfort.

Line 54.

-they were

As cannons overcharg'd with double cracks;


So they redoubled strokes- -] The word crack was

in the time of this writer a word of such emphasis and dignity, that in this play he terms the general dissolution of nature the crack of doom. JOHNSON. Line 74. -flout the sky,] This poetical image of banners mocking or beating the air, as in defiance, is very fine.

Line 80. with self-comparisons,] i. e. gave him as good as he brought, shew'd he was his equal. WARBURTON.


Line 103. Aroint thee, witch!] In one of the folio editions the reading is Anoint thee, in a sense very consistent with the common accounts of witches, who are related to perform many supernatural acts by the means of unguents, and particularly to fly through the air to the places where they meet at their hellish festivals. In this sense, Anoint thee, Witch, will mean, Away, Witch, to your infernal assembly. This reading I was inclined to favour, because I had met with the word aroint in no other author; till looking into Hearne's Collections I found it in a very old drawing, that he has published, in which St. Patrick is represented visiting hell, and putting the devils into great confusion by his presence, of whom one that is driving the damned before him with a prong, has a label issuing out of his mouth with these words, OUT OUT ARONGT, of which the last is evidently the same with aroint, and used in the same sense as in this passage. JOHNSON.

Line 103.

ronyon cries.] i. e. scabby or mangy woman. STEEVENS.

Fr. rogneux, royne, scurf.

Line 106. And, like a rat without a tail,] It should be remembered (as it was the belief of the times) that though a witch could assume the form of any animal she pleased, the tail would still be wanting.

The reason given by some of the old writers, for such a deficiency, is, that though the hands and feet, by an easy change, might be converted into the four paws of a beast, there was still no part about a woman which corresponded with the length of tail common to almost all four-footed creatures. STEEVENS.

Line 112. And the very ports they blow,] As the word very is here of no other use than to fill up the verse, it is likely that Shakspeare wrote various, which might be easily mistaken for very,

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