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29 -makes fifty sores; O sore L,) we should read, of sore L, alluding to L being the numeral for 50.
WARBURTON 30 if their daughters be capable, &c.] Of this double entendre, despicable as it is, Mr. Pope and his coadjutors availed themselves, in their unsuccessful comedy called Three Hours after Marriage.
STEEVENS. 31 Fauste, precor, gelida, &c.] A note of La Monnoye's on these very words in Les Contes des Periers, Nov. 42, will explain the humour of the quotation, and shew how well Shakspeare has sussained the character of his pedant. Il designe le Carme Baptiste Mantuan, dont au commencement du 16 siecle on lisoit publiquement à Paris les Poesies ; si celebres alors, que, comme dit plaisamment Farnabe dans sa preface sur Martial, les Pedans ne faisoient nulle difficulté de preferer à le Arma virumque cano, le Fauste precor gelida, c'est-a-dire, à ( Eneide de Virgile les Eclogues de Mantuan, la premiere desquelles commence par Fauste, precor gelida.
Vinegia, vinegia, Chi non te vedi, ei non te pregia.] In old editions: Venechi, veneche a, qui non te vide, i non te piaech. And thus Mr. Rowe and Mr. Pope. But that poets, scholars, and linguists, could not restore this little scrap of true Italian, is to me unaccountable. Our author is applying the praises of Mantuanus to a common proverbial sentence, said of Venice. Vinegia, Vinegia! qui non te vedi, ei non te pregia.
O Venice, Venice, he who has never seen thee, has thee not in esteem.
THEOBALD. 33 Disfigure not his slop.] Slops meant large and wide-kneed breeches. The slop-shops took their name from the sale of these articles of dress.
34 Some tricks, some quillets, how to cheat the devil.] Quillet is the peculiar word applied to lawchicane. I imagine the original to be this, in the French pleadings, every several allegation in the plaintiff's charge, and every distinct plea in the defendant's answer, began with the words qu'il est;- from whence was formed the word quillet, to signify a false charge or an evasive answer.
-affection's men at arms:) A man at arms, is a soldier armed at all points both offensively and defensively. It is no more than, Ye soldiers of affection.
JOHNSON 36 The nimble spirits in the arteries;] In the old system of physic they gave the same office to the arteries as is now given to the nerves; as appears from the name, which is derived from aega tagely.
WARBURTON. 37 Your reasons at dinner have been, &c.] I know not well what degree of respect Shakspeare intends to obtain for this vicar, but he has here put into his mouth a finished representation of colloquial excellence. It is very difficult to add any thing to this character of the school-master's table-talk, and perhaps all the precepts of Castiglione will scarcely be found to comprehend a rule for conversation so justly delineated, so widely dilated, and so nicely limited.
It may be proper just to note, that reason here, and in many other places, signifies discourse; and that audacious is used in a good sense for spirited, animated, confident. Opinion is the same with obstinacy or opiniatreté.
JOHNSON. 38 Honorificabilitudinitatibus.] This word, whencesoever it comes, is often mentioned as the longest word known.
JOHNSON. 49 The third of the five vowels, &c.] In former editions: The last of the five vowels, if you repeat them; or the fifth, if I;
Hol. I will repeat them, a, e, l
Moth. The sheep :- the other two concludes it out. Is not the last and the fifth the same vowel? Though my correction restores but a poor conundrum, yet if it restores the poet's meaning, it is the duty of an editor to trace him in his lowest conceits. By O, U, Moth would mean-Oh, you-i.e. You are the sheep still, either way; no matter which of us repeats them.
THEOBALD. 40 dally with my excrement.] Shakspeare calls the beard valour's excrement, in the Merchant of Venice.
JOHNSON 41 - war.]. In scripture, to war wroth, is frequent for, to grow angry. Formerly the word had a more general meaning of to increase than it has at present. German, WAXEN, to grow.
42 -in by the week!} This Mr. Steevens supposes to be an expression taken from hiring servants or artificers; meaning, I wish I was as sure of his service for any time limited, as if I had hired him.'
43 None are so surely caught, &c.] These are observations worthy of a man who has surveyed human nature with the closest attention. JOHNSON.
44 Like Muscovites, or Russians:] The intercourse between this country and Russia was but a very confined one in the days of Shakspeare; and therefore the player's fancy would be allowed full scope in the choice of dress. A mask of Russians in the real habits of a people so rude as they were then, must have appeared extremely grotesque in repre. sentation.
45 Beauties no richer than rich taffeta,] i.e. the taffeta masks they wore to conceal themselves.
THBOBALD. 46 Vouchsafe, bright moon, and these thy stars,-)
Elizabeth asked an ambassador how he liked her ladies, It is hard, said he, to judge of stars in the presence of the sun.
JOHNSON 47 Since you can cog,
-] To cog signifies to falsify the dice, and to falsify a narrative, or to lye.
JOHNSON 48better wits have worn plain statute-caps.) Woollen caps were enjoined by act of parliament, in the year 1571, 13th queen Elizabeth. “ Besides the “ bills passed into acts this parliament, there was
one which I judge not amiss to be taken notice “of-it concerned the queen's care for employment “ for her poor sort of subjects. It was for conti“ nuance of making and wearing woollen caps, in “ behalf of the trade of cappers; providing, that all " above the age of six years, (except the nobility and
some others) should on sabbath days, and holy
days, wear caps of wool, knit, thicked, and drest “ in England, upon penalty of ten groats.” DR. GRAY.
Probably the meaning may be better wits may le found among the citizens, who are not in general remarkable for sallies of imagination. In Marston's Dutch Courtezan, 1605, Mrs. Mulligrub says,
though my husband be a citizen, and his cap's “ made of wool, yet I have wit.” So in the Family “ of Love, 1608. “ 'Tis a law enacted by the com~ mon-council of statute-caps.”
49 Are angels vailing clouds.] Ladies unmasked, says Boyet, are like angels vailing clouds, or letting those clouds, which obscured their brightness, sink from before them.
JOHNSON The primitive word is the French verb avaler, which has still, in some instances, the same signification as descendre.
50 -white as whales bone.] White as whale's bone is a proverbial expression in the old poets. So in Tuberville's poems, printed in 1570.
« In praise of lady P.” “ Her mouth so small, her teeth so white, any
whale his bone;
-lehaviour, what wert thou, 'Till this man shew'd thee? and what art thou now?] These are two wonderfully fine lines, intimating that what courts call manners, and value themselves so much upon teaching, as a thing no where else to be