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justness against the folly of vows. They are made without sufficient regard to the variations of life, and are therefore broken by some unforeseen necessity. They proceed commonly from a presumptuous confidence, and a false estimate of human power,
JOHNSON 7-Tharborough:] i.e. a Third lorough; a peaceofficer, alike in authority with a headborough or a constable.
SIR J. HAWKINS. 8 dear imp -] Imp was anciently a term of dignity. Lord Cromwell, in his last letter to Hen. VIII. prays for the imp his son. It is now used only in contempt or abhorrence; perhaps in our author's time, it was ambiguous, in which state it suits well with this dialogue.
JOHNSON, 9 crosses love not him.] By crosses he means money.
10 -the dancing-horse will tell you.] Banks's horse, which play'd many remarkable pranks. Sir Walter Raleigh (History of the World, first part, p. 178) says, “ If Banks had lived in older times, he “ would have shamed all the inchanters in the world: “ for whosoever was most famous among them, could “ never master, or instruct any beast as he did his “ horse.” And sir Kenelm Digby (a Treatise of Bodies, chap. 38. page 393.) observes, “ That his horse “would restore a glove to the due owner, after the “master had whispered the man's name in his ear; “ would tell the just number of pence in any piece “ of silver coin, newly shewed him by his master; “ and even obey presently his command, in discharge “sing himself of his excrements, whensoever he had “ bade him."
DR. GRAY. Banks's horse is alluded to by many writers contemporary with Shakespeare; among the rest, by B. Jonson, in Every Man out of his Humour. “ He keeps more ado with this monster, than ever Banks did with his horse."
STEEVENS. 11 and not demands, On payment, &c.] The former editions read,
- - and not demands
To have his title live in Aquitain. I have restored, I believe, the genuine sense of the passage. Aquitain was pledged, it seems, to Navarre's father, for 200,000 crowns. The French king pretends to have paid one moiety of this debt, (which Navarre knows nothing of,) but demands this moiety back again: instead whereof (says Navarre) he should rather pay the remaining moiety, and demand to have Aquitain re-delivered up to him. This is plain and easy reasoning upon the fact suppos'd; and Navarre declares, he had rather receive the residue of bis debt, than detain the province mortgaged for security of it.
THEOBALD. 12 God's blessing on your beard!] That is, mayst thou have sense and seriousness more proportionate to thy beard, the length of which suits ill with such idle catches of wit.
JOHNSON. 13 My lips are no common, though several they be.] Several is an inclosed field of a private proprietor, so Maria says, her lips are private property. Of a lord that was newly married one observed that he grew fat; Yes, said sir Walter Raleigh, any beast will grow fat, if you take him from the common and graze him in the several.
JOHNSON. 14 Concolinel ] Here is apparently a song lost.
JOHNSON. I have observed in the old comedies, that the songs are frequently omitted. On this occasion the stage direction is generally- Here they sing—or-Cantant. Probably the performer was left to chuse bis own ditty, and therefore it could not with propriety he exhibited as part of a new performance. Sometimes yet more was left to the discretion of the ancient comedians, as I learn from the following circumstance in K. Edward IV. 2d. p. 1019,—" Jockey “ is led whipping over the stage, speaking some “ words, but of no importance.” Steevens.
is a French brawl.] Brawl here and canary afterwards, are two dances.
16 like a man after the old painting;] it was a common trick, among some of the most indolent of the ancient masters, to place the hands in the bosom or the pockets, or conceal them in some other part of the drapery, to avoid the labour of representing them, or to disguise their own inability. STEEVENS.
17 The hobby-horse is forgot.] In the celebration of May-day, besides the sports now used of hanging a pole with garlands, and dancing round it, formerly
a boy was dressed up representing Maid Marian; another like a friar; and another rode on a hobbyhorse, with bells jingling, and painted streamers. After the Reformation took place, and precisians multiplied, these latter rites were looked upon to savour of paganismı; and then maid Marian, the friar, and the poor hobby-horse, were turned out of the games. Some who were not so wisely precise, but regretted the disuse of the hobby-horse, no doubt, satirized this suspicion of idolatry, and archly wrote the epitaph above alluded to. Now Moth, hearing Armado groan ridiculously, and cry out, But oh! but oh I humourously pieces out his exclamation with the sequel of this epitaph.
THEOBALD. 18 l'envoy;] The l'envoy is a term borrowed from the old French poetry. It appeared always at the head of a few concluding verses to each piece, which either served to convey the moral, or to address the poem to some particular person. It was frequently adopted by the old English writers. STEEVENS.
19 no salve in the mail-] Mail then signified a box or packet. Fr. Malle.
20 And he ended the market.] Alluding to the English proverb-Three women and a goose make a market. Tre donne et un occa fan un mercato. Ital. Ray's Proverbs.
STEEVENS. 21 —incony Jew.] Incony, or kony, in the north signifies fine, delicate.
22 Some men must love my lady, and some Joan.] Mr. Theobald extends his second act to this line.
23 Here, - good my glass,- ) To understand how the princess has her glass so ready at hand in a casual conversation, it must be remembered that in those days it was the fashion among the French ladies to wear a looking-glass, as Mr. Bayle coarsely represents it, on their bellies; that is, to have a small mirrour set in gold hanging at the girdle, by which they occasionally viewed their faces or adjusted their hair.
JOHNSON. Dr. Johnson, perhaps, is mistaken. She had no occasion to have recourse to any other looking-glass than the Forester, whom she rewards for having shewn her to herself as in a mirror. Steevens.
24 King Cophetua.] The ballad of King Cophetua and the Beggar-Maid may be seen in the Reliques of Ancient Poetry, vol. i. The beggar's name was Penelophon, here corrupted.
PERCY. 25 a monarcho- ] Sir T. Hanmer reads, - a mammuccio.—
Johnson. The allusion is to a fantastical character of the time. “Popular applause (says Meres) dooth nou“rish some, neither do they gape after any other “ thing, but vaine praise and glorie,-as in our age “ Peter Shakerlye of Paules, and Monarcho that lived “about the court.” p. 178.
PARMER. In Nash's Have with you to Saffron-Walden, 1595, I meet with the same allusion, but now he “ was an insulting monarch above Monarcho the “ Italian, that ware crownes in his shoes, and quite “ renounced his natural English accents and gestures,