Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

ling," &c.

3 Sailor. Brother, farewel, &c. JOHNSON . 69. -long keath,-) This is the common name for the erica baccifera.

WARBURTON. -long heath] The distinction between the dif. ferent sorts of erica, are either-vulgaris, tenuifolia, or brabantica. There is no such plant as erica baccifera.

WARNER. « An acre of barren ground, long heath, brown furze," &c. Sir T. Hanmer reads ling, heath, broom, furze. Perhaps rightly, though he has been charged with tautology. I find in Harrison's Description of Britain, prefixed to our author's good friend Holingshed, p. 91. “Brome, heth, firze, brakes, whinnes,

FARMER. Mr. Tollet has sufficiently vindicated Sir Thomas Hanmer from the charge of tautology, by favouring me with specimens of three different kinds of heath which grow in his own neighbourhood. I would gladly have inserted his observations at length; but, to say the truth, our author, like one of Cato's soldiers who was bit by a serpent, a Ipse latet penitus congesto corpore mersas.

STERVENS. or ere] i. e. before. Of this use, many in. stances are given hereafter.

STEEVENS. 89. Pro. No harm.] I know not whether Shak. spere did not make Miranda speak thus :

O, woe the day! no harm.
To which Prospero properly answers :
I have done nothing but in care of tbce.

Miranda,

82.

no

Miranda, when she speaks the words, 0, woe the day! supposes not that the crew had escaped, but that her father thought differently from her, and counted their destruction no harm.

JOHNSON. 93.

-more better] This ungrammatical expression is very frequent among our oldest writers. So in The History of Helyas Knight of the Swan, bl. let.

ate: imprinted by William Copland. “ And also the more sooner to come, without prolixity, to the true Chronicles," &c. Again, in the True Tragedies of Marius and Scilla, 1594 :

To wait a message of more better worth." Again, ibid. “ That hale more greater than Cassandra now."

STEEVENS. 94. -- full poor cell,] i.e. a cell in a great dea gree of poverty. So, in Antony and Cleopatra, act i. I am fully sorry.

STEEVENS. 97. Did never meddle with my thoughts.] To meddle, in this instance, seems to signify to mingle. Hence the substantive medley. To middle for to mix is used at least twenty times in the ancient Book of Hawking, &c. commonly called the Book of St. Alban's, and yet more often by Chaucer.

STEEVENS. “ It should rather mean to interfere, to trouble, to busy itself, as still used in the North, e. g. Don't meddle with me ; i. e. Let me alone; Don't molest me."

REMARKS. 101. Lye there my

art

-] Sir W. Cecil, lord Burleigh, lord high treasurer, &c. in the reign of

queen

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

queen Elizabeth, when he put off his gown at night, used to say, Lie there, lord treasurer. Fuller's Holy State, p. 257

STEEVENS. 103. --virtue of compassion--] Virtue; the most efficacious part, the energetick quality ; in a like sense we say, The virtue of a plant is in the extract.

JOHNSON. 105.

-that there is no soul—-] Thus the old editions read; but this is apparently defective. Mr. Rowe, and after him Dr. Warburton, read that there is no soul lost, without any notice of the variation. Mr. Theobald substitutes no foil, and Mr. Pope fol. lows him. To come so near the right, and yet to miss it, is unlucky : the author probably wrote no soil, no stain, no spot: for so Ariel tells,

Not a hair perish'd ;
On their sustaining garments not a blemish,

But fresher than before. And Gonzalo, The rarity of it is, that our garments being drench'd in the sea, keep notwithstanding their freshness and glosses. Of this emendation I find that the author of notes on The Tempest had a glimpse, but could not keep it.

JOHNSON. no soul_-] Such interruptions are not uncommon to Shakspere. He sometimes begins a sentence; and before he concludes it entirely changes the construction, because another, more forcible, occurs. As this change frequently happens in conversation, it may be suffered to pass uncensured in the language of the stage.

STEE VENS.

119. Out three years old.] 1. é. Quite' three years old, three years old full out, complete. Mr. Pope, without occasion, reads, Full three years old.

Steevens. 130. abysm of time?] This method of spelling the word is common to other ancient writers. They took it froin the French abysme, now written abime. So, in Heywood's Brazen Age, 1613 : “ And chase him from the deep abysms below."

STEEvens. 140. thou his only heir] Perhaps, and thou his only heir.

JOHNSON. The old copy reads and his only heir,

and princess Perhaps we should read, and his only heir. A princess

no worse issued. Issued is descended. So in Greene's Card of Fancy, 1608: “ For I am by birth a gentleman, and issued of such parents," &c.

STEEVENS. 149. steen-] Is sorrow, grief, trouble. So in Romeo and Juliet :

to my teen be it spoken." STEEVENS. 167. To trash for over-topping ;] To trash, as Dr. Warburton observes, is to cut away the superfluities. This word I have met with in books containing directions for gardeners, published in the time of queen Elizabeth.

The present explanation may be countenanced by the following passage in Warner's Albion's England, 1600. B. X, ch. 57.

“ Who

“Who suffreth none by might, by wealth or

blood to overtopp, Himself gives all preferment, and whom listeth

him, doth lop."
Again, in our author's King Richard II.

6 Go thou, and, like an executioner,
• Cut off the heads of too-fast-growing sprays

“ That look too lofty in our commonwealth." Mr. Warton's note, however, on trash for his quick hunting," in the second act of Othello, leaves my interpretation of this passage exceedingly disputable.

Sreevens. 169. -both the key] Key, in this place, seems to signify the key of a musical instrument, by which he set Hearts to tune.

JOHNSON This doubtless is meant of a key for tuning the harpsichord, spinet, or virginal ; we call it now, a tuning hammer, as it is used as well to strike down the iron pins whereon the strings are wound, as to turn them. As a key, it acts like that of a watch.

Sir J. HAWKINS, 181. Like a good, &c.] Alluding to the obserya, tion, that a father above the common rate of men has commonly a son below it. Heroum filii noxæ.

JOHNSON. 186.

like one,
Who having unto truth, by telling of it,
Made such a sinner of his memory,

To credit his own lie, -] The corrupted reading of the second line has rendered this beautiful

Bij

similitude

« ZurückWeiter »