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BUT their labour
Hor, sat, 2. lib. ii.
STEEVENS. We have again the same thought in Macbeth : “ The labour we delight in, physicks pain.”
-and most poor matters Point to rich ends. This my mean task] The metre of this line is defective, by two words having been misplaced in the first edition. It should, I think, be regulated thus :
and most poor matters Point to rich ends. This my mean task would be
As heavy to me as odious, but, &c. The author and his contemporaries frequently used odious as a trisyllable.
MALONE. 15. The two first folios read:
Most busy lest, when I do it. 'Tis true this reading is corrupt; but the corruption is so very little removed from the truth of the text, that I cannot afford to think well of my own sagacity for having discovered it.
THEOBALD. 45. –hestą] For behest ; i. e, command.
57. Of every creature's best.] Alluding to the picture of Venus by Apelles.
JOHNSON. 73. than I would suffer, &c.] The old copy reads-Than to suffer. The emendation is Mr. Pope's.
STEEVENS. 86. I am a fool,
To weep at what I am glad of.] This is one of those touches of nature that distinguish Shakspere from all other writers. It was necessary, in support of the character of Miranda, to make her appear unconscious that excess of sorrow and excess of joy find alike their relief from tears; and as this is the first time that consummate pleasure had made any near approaches to her heart, she calls such a seeming con. tradictory expression of it, folly. The same thought occurs in Romeo and Juliet : 66 Back, foolish tears, back to your native
MALONE. 98. I am you wife, &c.]
Si tibi non cordi fuerant connubia nostra,
99. -your fellow] i.e. companion.
STEEVENS. 104. Mira. My husband then ? Ferd. Ay, with a heart as willing
As bondage c'er of freedom : here's my
hand. Mira. And mine, with my heart in'l :-- -] It is still customary in the west of England, when the conditions of a bargain are agreed upon, for the parties to ratify it by joining their hands, and at the same time for the purchaser to give an earnest. To this practice the poet alludes. So, in the Two Gentlemen of · Verona :
“ Speed. But did you perceive her earnest?
“ Speed. Why she hath given you a letter." Thus also, in The Winter's Tale:
“ Ere I could make thee open thy white hand,
“ Pro. Why then we'll make exchange; here take
“ Jul. And seal the bargain with a holy kiss.
-bear up, and board 'em : -] A metaphor alluding to a chace at sea. Sir J. HAWKINS.
126. -I swam, &c] This play was not published till 1623. Albumazar made its appearance in 1614, and has a passage relative to the escape of a sailor yet more incredible. Perhaps, in both instances, a sneer was meant at the Voyages of Ferdinando Mendez Pinto, or the exaggerated accounts of other lying travellers :
five days I was under water; and at length « Got up and spread myself upon a chest, i Rowing with arms, and steering with my feet, “ And thus in five days more got land."
Act iii. sc. V.
STẾEVENS. or my standard. Trin. Your lieutenant, if you list; he's no
standard.] Meaning, he is so much in. toxicated, as' not to be able to stand. The quibble between standard, an ensign, and standard, a fruit tree, that grows without support, is evident.
Steevens. 140. -thou debosh'd fish thou,-) I meet with this word, which I suppose to be the same as debauck'd; in Randolph's Jealous Lovers, 1634 :
-See your house be stor'd :: With the deboishest roarers in this city." Again, in Monsieur Thomas, 1639 :
saucy fellows, “ Debosh'd and daily drunkards.' The stubstantive occurs in the Partheneia Sacra, 1633
" -A hater of men, rather than the deboishments of their manners."
When the word was first adopted from the French language, it appears to have been spelt according to the pronunciation, and therefore wrongly; but ever since it has been spelt right, it has been uttered with equal impropriety.
STEEVENS. 179. What a py'd ninny's this? -] This line should certainly be given to Stephano. Py'd ninny al. ludes to the striped coat worn by fuols, of which Caliban could have no knowledge. Trinculo had before been reprimanded and threatened by Stephano for giving Caliban the fie, he is now supposed to repeat his offence; upon which Stephano cries out,
What a py'd ninny's this? Thou scurvy patch! Caliban, now seeing his master in the mood that he wished, instigates him to vengeance: I do beseech thy greatness give him blows..
JOHNSON It should be remembered that Trinculo is no sailor, but a jester, and is so called in the ancient dramatis personæ ; he therefore wears the party-colour'd dress of one of these characters. So in the Devil's Law Case, 1623 : “ Unless I wear a py'd fool's coat."
STEEVENS. -Remember, First to possess his books, &c.] So in Milton's Masque, 3