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(1) Act IV] This division is modern and arbitrary; and is here not very happy, for the pause is made at a time when there is more continuity of action than in almost any other of the scenes. JOHNSON.

It had been better, perhaps, at the end of Sc. 3.

(2) Mad as the sea, and wind, when both contend, &c.]

he was met even now,
As mad as the vex'd sea." Lear, IV. 4. Cord.


(3) Like some ore, among a mineral of metals base

Shows itself pure] Minerals are mines. See The Golden Remains of Hales of Eton, 1693, p. 34: “ Controversies of the times, like spirits in the minerals, with all their labour, nothing is done." And Hall's Virgidemiarum, Lib. VI:

6 Shall it not be a wild fig in a wall,

« Or fired brimstone in a minerall ?' STEEVENS. A mineral is then here used for a mass or compound mine of metals, and is a word of plurality; and the sense is among mixed beds or strata of base, a vein of precious metal,” called ore by Shakespeare, shows itself: though he seems not to have been aware, says Dr. Johnson, that “ base metals have ore no less than precious."

(4) Whose whisper, &c.] i. e. the rumour of our further intention, and of what has been unreasonably, or inconsiderately · done.

(5) cannon to his blank] The blank was the white mark, at which shot or arrows were directed.

let me still remain
“ The true blank of thine eye." Lear. Steevens.

(0) Compounded it with dust]

“ Only compound me with forgotten dust." II. H. IV.
“When I perhaps compounded am with clay." Sonn. 71.


(7) Keeps them, like an ape, in the corner of his jau] i. e. as an ape keeps food. So “ your chamber-lie breeds fleas, like a loach ;" i. e. as fast as a loach breeds, I. H. IV.

They flatter me, like a dog;" i. e. as a dog fawns


his master. Lear. MALONE.

“ It is the way of monkeys in eating, to throw that part of their food, which they take up first, into a pouch they are pro. vided with on each side of their jaw, and there they keep it, till they have done with the rest." HANMER.

Mr. Ritson observes, that apple, the reading of the quartos
instead of ape, is a mere typographical error ; though the mean-
ing is clearly, “ as an ape does an apple."
(8) and, sponge, you shall be dry again)

“ He's but a spunge, and shortly needs must leese
“ His wrong-got juice, when greatnes' fits shall squeese

His liquor out." Marst. Sat. 7. Steevens.
“When princes (as the toy takes them in the head) have used
courtiers as sponges to drinke what juice they can from the

poore people, they take pleasure afterwards to wring them out into their owne cisternes.” R. C.’s Henr. Steph. Apology for Herodotus, Fo. 1608. p. 81.

Vespasian, when reproached for bestowing high office upon persons most rapacious, answered, “ that he served his turne with such officers as with spunges, which, when they had drunke their fill, were then fittest to be pressed.” Barnabe Rich's Faultes, faults and nothing else but faults, 4to. 1606, p. 44, b. See Suetonius, Vespas. c. 16.

(9) Of nothing] Presumptuously interrupted, he fills up his
sentence with the tag of an old proverb. That it was such, the
commentators shew :
“ In troth, my lord, it is a thing of nothing."

Spanish Tragedy.
And, in one of Harvey's Letters, " a silly bug-beare, a sorry
puffe of winde, a thing of nothing." Farmer.
So, in Decker's Match me in London, 1631 :

• At what dost thou laugh?

At a thing of nothing, at ther." Again, in Look about you, 1600 :

A very little thing, a thing of nothing." Steevens, Mr. Steevens has given [i. e. edit. 1778) many parallelisms; but the origin of all is to be looked for, I believe, in the 144th Psalm, ver. 5 : “ Man is like a thing of nought.Mr. Steevens must have observed, that the Book of Common Prayer, and the translation of the Bible into English, furnished our old writers with many forms of expression, some of which are still in use.



(10) Hide fox, &c.] “ –Our unhandsome faced poet does play at bo-beep with your grace, and cries- All hid, as boys do." Decker's Satiromastix.

“ All hid, all hid,” as in L. L. L. IV. 3. Bir. is the chil. dren's cry at hide and seek.

(11) go a progress through the guts] Alluding to the royal journeys of state, always styled progresscs; a familiar idea to those who, like our author, lived during the reigns of Queen Elizabeth and King James I. Steevens.

Mr. Nicholls, the printer, has published several of them : and the journeys of business made by colleges and public bodies are still so denominated. For the use of the term guts, see III. 4. Haml.

(12) the wind at help] Fair, ready at hand. “ Here's help at hand” is a familiar phrase. Mr. Steevens notices a similar phraseology in Pericles.

I'll leave it
At careful nursing."

(13) and thy free awe] Under a singular combination, free here must mean ready, or prompt. The use of this word throughout our author is uncommon, and its meaning of course frequently not obvious. We have “The free maids, that weave their thread with bones."

Tw. N. II. 4. Duke. “ We have thought it good From our free person she should be confined.”

Wint. T. II. 1. Leon. “ Do faithful service, and receive free honors."

Macb. III. 6. Lord.

(14) By letters conjuring to that effect] In V. 2. we have

“ Wilt thou know the effect of what I wrote ?

An earnest conjuration from the king.” Ham). And in this sense of earnest solicitation or entreaty this word is used in Rom. and Jul.

“I do defy thy conjurations.V. 3. Paris. The word conjure, in the sense of “ entreat, implore, or supplicate,” is not known to the dictionary writers of our author's day; nor throughout our author is the word conjure any where, as we recollect, used in that sense, with the accentuation, plainly and clearly, as is the modern use, thrown upon the last syllable. In its original accentuation and sense, in numberless pages of our author, and in Baret's Alvearie, 1580, and Minshieu, 1617, a year after our author's death, to conjure is interpreted to

adjure, obtest, join together in calling upon heaven in the ex. ercise of magical rites, to exoreise. For conjuring the quartos read congruing. (15) like the hectick in my blood he rages)

“ I would forget her, but a fever, she

Reigns in my blood.L. L. L. MALONE. (16) We shall express our duty in his eye] Before him.

tended her i'the eyes." Ant. and Cl. In his eye, means, in his presence. The phrase appears to have been formularly. See the Establishment of the Household of Prince Henry, A. D. 1610: “ Also the gentlemen-ushers shall be carefull to see and informe all such as doe service in the Prince's eye, that they perform their dutyes” &c. Again, in The Regulations for the Government of the Queen's Household, all such as doe service in the Queen's eye."


627 : “

(17) large discourse] Such latitude of comprehension, such power of reviewing the past, and anticipating the future.

-Johnson. Discursus. Lat. to run hither and thither; applying, as in the case of desultory, a bodily action to what passes in the mind, and to what is communicated by conversation. Spenser has once discourse in its literal acceptation of running about. F.Q. VI. viii. 14. Glanville has thus explained the word : “ The act of the mind, which connects propositions and deduceth conclusions from them, the schools call discourse ; and we shall not miscall it, if we name it reason." Todd's Dict.

“ What by an angell's donne with instant thought,

" That by discourse in man about is brought.” Barten Holiday's poetical Memorials of Language and Arts, 8vo. p. 37.

See « discourse of reason," I. 2. Haml., and Tw. N. IV. 3. Sebast.

(18) a plot, whereon the numbers] A spot, a space whereon the numerous force collected, &c.

“ Of grounde to win a plot, a while to dwell,
“ We venture lives, and send our souls to hell.”

Mir. for Magistr. HENDERSON.

(19) continent] Inclosing space. “ If there be no fulnesse, then is the continent greater than the content.” Bacon's Advance of Learn. 4to. 1633, p. 7. Reed. “ Heart, once be stronger than thy continent."

Ant. and Cl. IV. 1. 2. Ant.


“ The Apron of Flowers :
« To gather flowers Sappha went;

“ And homeward she did bring
“ Within her lawnie continent *
“ The treasure of the spring.”

Herrick's Poems, 8vo. 1648, p. 295,
See V. 2. Osric.

(20) Her mood will needs be pitied] Passionate fits. Strictly,
it is mode or temper of mind ; but is usually taken in an un-
favourable sense, and as indicating a disordered state; as
Gray's “moody madness.”
“ Whom in

mood I stabb'd into the heart."

Two G. of V. i Outlaw, IV. 1.

(21) Yet the unshaped use of it doth move

The hearers to collection] Yet its very wanderings make them deduce consequences.

whose containing
“ Is so from sense to hardness, that I can

“ Make no collection of it.” Cymb. V. 5. Posth.
(22) Though nothing sure, yet much unhappily) Though
there is nothing of a determinate character, yet there is much
of the character both of misery and mischief, to make the
hearers put a mischievous construction upon it.

• All this day is unhappy. Totus hic dies dirus est.” Vulgaria Hormanni, 4to. 1530, signat. E. iiji. b.

And in this sense the word is used by Abraham Flemming, in his Panoplie of Epistles : “ Some report you to be proude and hautie harted, bycause you vouchsafe not to answere your clients: and partly spightfull in speache, bycause you answere unhappily. Ciceró to Valerio.” 4to. 1576, p. 5. Partim te superbum esse dicunt, quod nihil respondeas : partim contumeliosum, quod male respondeas. Lib. I. 10.

See H. VIII. I. 4. K, Hen., and All's Well, &c. IV. 5. Lafeu.

(23) By his cockle hat and staff] “ I will give thee a palmer's staff of yvorie, and a scallop shell of beaten gold." G. Peele's old Wive's Tale, 1595. STEEVENS. "Under these articles of a pilgrim or palmer's dress, love intrigues were frequently conducted. The disguise afforded opportunities ; and its devotional character, and the romance of the thing, was congenial to a lover's mind: and thence a pilgrimage naturally formed stories for ballads, and plots for novels. And Warburton has also observed, that most of the principal of these places of devotional resort being beyond the seas, or on the coasts, the cockle-shell, as announcing or denot

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