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.. Line 153. -you have testern'd me;] You have gratified me with a tester, testern, or testen, that is, with a sixpence.
ACT I. SCENE II.
Line 183. Should censure thus, &c.] To censure means, in this place, to pass sentence.
-a goodly broker!] A broker was used for match
maker, sometimes for a procuress.
-stomach on your meat,] Stomach was used JOHNSON.
for passion or obstinacy.
Line 274. Indeed, I bid the base for Protheus.] The speaker here turns the allusion (which her mistress employed) from the base in musick to a country exercise, Bid-the-base: in which some pursue, and others are made prisoners. So that Lucetta would intend, by this, to say, Indeed I take pains to make you a captive to Protheus's passion. WARBURTON.
Line 315. Yet here they shall not lie, for catching cold.] Means ing, here they shall not lie lest they should catch cold.
Line 316. I see, you have a month's mind to them.] A month's mind was an anniversary in times of popery; or, as Mr. Ray calls it, a less solemnity directed by the will of the deceased. There was also a year's mind, and a week's mind. See Proverbial Phrases.
"Was the month's mind of Sir Will. Laxton, who died the "last month (July 1556,) his hearse burning with wax, and "the morrow mass celebrated, and a sermon preached," &c. Strype's Mem. vol. 3. p. 305. Dr. GREY.
A month's mind, in the ritual sense, signifies not desire or inclination, but remonstrance; yet I suppose this is the true original of the expression. JOHNSON.
Line 320. or serious.
ACT I. SCENE III.
-what sad talk- -] Sad is the same as grave
of slender reputation.] i. e. Of mean parentage,
Line 329. Some, to discover islands far away;] In Shakspeare's time, voyages for the discovery of the islands of Ame
rica were much in vogue. And we find, in the journals of the travellers of that time, that the sons of noblemen, and of others of the best families in England, went very frequently on these adventures. Such as the Fortescues, Collitons, Thornhills, Farmers, Pickerings, Littletons, Willoughbys, Chesters, Hawleys, Bromleys, and others. To this prevailing fashion our poet frequently alludes, and not without high commendations of it.
Line 365. —in good time-] In good time was the old expression when something happened which suited the thing in hand, as the French say, à propos.
So in Richard III.
"And, in good time, here comes the sweating lord."
-break with him.] Means, break it to him. -407. Oh, how this spring of love resembleth] At the end of this verse there is wanting a syllable, for the speech apparently ends in a quatrain. I find nothing that will rhyme to sun, and therefore shall leave it to some happier critick. But I suspect that the author might write thus:
Oh, how this spring of love resembleth right,
The uncertain glory of an April day;
And, by and by, a cloud takes all away!
Light was either by negligence or affectation changed to sun, which, considered without the rhyme, is indeed better. The next transcriber, finding that the word right did not rhyme to sun, supposed it erroneously written, and left it out. JOHNSON.
ACT II. SCENE I.
-Hallowmas.- -] That is, about the feast of
All-Saints, when winter begins, and the life of a vagrant becomes
Line 77. for going ungartered!] Vide As you like it. Act 3.
JOHNSON. -] None else would be so JOHNSON.
Line 89. I would you were set,] i. e. I would you were seated. -98. 0, excellent motion, &c.] Motion, in Shakspeare's time, signified puppet. In Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair it is frequently used in that sense, or rather perhaps to signify a puppetshow; the master whereof may properly be said to be an interpreter, as being the explainer of the inarticulate language of the actors. The speech of the servant is an allusion to that practice, and he means to say, that Silvia is a puppet, and that Valentine is to interpret to, or rather for her. HAWKINS
Line 104. Sir Valentine and servant,- -] Here Silvia calls her lover servant, and again below her gentle servant. This was the language of ladies to their lovers at the time when Shakspeare HAWKINS.
So in Marston's What you will, 1607,
"Sweet sister, let's sit in judgment a little, faith upon "my servant Monsieur Laverdure.
"Mel. Troth, well for a servant, but for a husband!"
Line 150. reasoning with yourself?] That is, discoursing, talking. An Italianism.
Line 169. and there an end.] i. e. There's an end of the business.
Line 179. All this I speak in print;] In print, means formal, precise. See Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, where the expression is frequently used.
ACT II. SCENE III.
Line 231. I am the dog,
&c.] A similar thought occurs in a play of elder date than this. See A Christian turn'd Turk, 1612. -you shall stand for the lady, you for her dog, and I "the page; you and the dog looking one upon another: "the page presents himself."
Line 232. -I am the dog, &c.] This passage is much confused, and of confusion the present reading makes no end. Sir Thomas Hanmer reads, I am the dog, no, the dog is himself and I am me, the dog is the dog, and I am myself. This certainly is more reasonable, but I know not how much reason the author intended to bestow on Launce's soliloquy. JOHNSON.
like a wood woman!- -] The first folios. agree in would-woman; for which, because it was a mystery to Mr. Pope, he has unmeaningly substituted ould woman. But it must be writ, or at least understood, wood woman, i. e. Crazy, frantic with grief; or distracted, from any other cause. The word is very frequently used in Chaucer; and sometimes writ wood, sometimes wode. THEOBALD,
Line 260. Lose the tide, Thus the old copy. The modern editors read-the flood. STEEVENS
ACT II. SCENE IV.
Line 287. And how quote you my folly ?] To quote is to take notice of.
Line 327. —not without desert,—] And not dignified with so much reputation without proportionate merit. JOHNSON.
Line 390. No, that you are worthless.] I have inserted the particle no to fill up the measure. JOHNSON.
Line 391. Madam, my lord your father-] This speech in all the editions is assigned improperly to Thurio; but he has been all along upon the stage, and could not know that the duke wanted his daughter. Besides, the first line and half of Silvia's answer is evidently addressed to two persons. A servant, therefore, must come in and deliver the message; and then Silvia goes out with Thurio. THEOBALD.
Line 411. Whose high imperious] For whose I read those, I have contemned love and am punished. Those high thoughts by which I exalted myself above human passions or frailties have brought upon me fasts and groans. JOHNSON.
Line 419. -no woe to his correction,] No misery that can be compared to the punishment inflicted by love. Herbert called for the prayers of the liturgy a little before his death, saying, None to them, none to them.
-a principality,] The first or principal of wo'men. So the old writers use state. She is a lady, a great state. Latymer. This look is called in states warlie, in others otherwise, Sir Thomas More.
-summer-swelling flower;] I cannot help su+
specting that the poet wrote summer-smelling. An m reversed might occasion the mistake. STEEVENS.
I am at a loss to conceive why Mr. Steevens should have since adopted a new and foreign idea, in preference to the above simple and more natural one.
Line 450. She is alone.] She stands by herself. There is none to be compared to her. JOHNSON.
Line 479. Or as one nail by strength drives out another ;] Vide Coriolanus. "One fire drives out one fire; one nail one nail."
Line 482. Is it mine EYE, or Valentino's praise,] Here Protheus questions himself, whether it is his own praise, or Valentino's, that makes him fall in love with Valentino's mistress. In all the old editions we find the line printed thus:
Is it mine, or Valentino's praise?
A word is wanting. The line was originally thus:
Protheus had just seen Valentino's mistress, whom her lover had been lavishly praising. His encomiums therefore heightened Protheus's idea of her at the interview, it was the less wonder he should be uncertain which had made the strongest impression, Valentine's praises, or his own view of her. WARBURTON.
Line 493. with more advice,] Advice here means, due consideration.
Line 495. 'Tis but her picture] This is evidently a slip of attention, for he had seen her in the last scene, and in high terms offered her his service. JOHNSON.
I believe Protheus means, that, as yet, he had seen only her outward form, without having known her long enough to have any acquaintance with her mind. STEEVENS.
ACT II. SCENE V.
-to Milan.] It is Padua in the former editions.
See the note on Act iii.
Line 532. My staff understands me.] This equivocation, miserable as it is, has been admitted by Milton in his great poem.
-The terms we sent were terms of weight, "Such as we may perceive, amaz'd them all,