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(5) In youth, when I did love, did love,
Methought, it was very sweet,
0, methought, there was nothing meet] This is Lord Vaux's “ Sonnet” of “ The aged Lover renounceth Love,” published in Lord Surrey's Poems; or rather scraps of it, ill strung together, and put into the mouth of a clown, and purposely, as Dr. Percy has observed, in this mangled state, the better to sustain the character : neither was it very likely or fitting that he should be found more at home in the department of elegant poetry, than he was in crowner's-quest law. Upon this subject see Warton's Hist. of Engl. Poetry, III. p. 45, and for the entire Sonnet, Percy's Reliques, I. 186, 179+.
Injudicious reforms and amendments of such incoherencies have been offered by the modern editors in the beginning and end of the Clown's song in Tw. N. IV. 2., and are given too under the authority of Dr. Farmer. Behove is behoof. (6) But Age, with his stealing steps,
Hath caught me in his clutch,
As if I had never been such] Instead of intill and caught, the quartos read into and claw'd.
The originals of this, and the preceding stanza, are thus given in Dr. Percy's Ancient Songs:
“ I lothe that I did love;
“In youth that I thought sweete: “ As time requires for my behove,
“ Methinks they are not mete.” “ For age with stealing steps
“ Hath claude me with his crowche; “ And lusty youthe away he leapes,
" As there had bene none such.” Another passage in the original, as given by Lord Surrey, in Surrey and Wyatt's Poems, 1717, 8vo. p. 155, runs thus :
“ For beauty with her band,
“ These croked cares hath wrought, “ And shipped me into the land,
“ From whence I first was brought.” The deviations in the text are very natural strokes of our great artist: for so that the clown relieves his labour, and prevents those impressions or uneasy sensations, which the nature of that labour might subject him to, he is utterly regardless of the rhyme and sense; and accordingly is made to introduce a line that consists with neither. This line not being found in Lord Vaux, but being taken from another author, Lord Surrey, the clown could only be made to depart from the original, in order to be more in character. The same observations apply as well to passages in the M. W. of W. III. 1. Sir Hugh, as to Lear, “ come on the broom," III. 6. Edgar.
(7) the pate of a politiciun, which this ass now o'er -offices ; one that would circumdent God] Has official superiority over. “ O'er-reaches,' the reading of the quarto, gives an idea more closely and iminediately corresponding with the whole of this sentence, and the beginning of the next but one. Upon those readings Dr. Johnson has well observed, " I believe, both these words were Shakespeare's. An author, in revising his work, when his original ideas have faded from his mind, and new observations have produced new sentiments, easily introduces images which have been more newly impressed upon him, without observing their want of congruity to the general texture of his original design."
(8) This might be my lord such-a-one, that prais'd my lord such-a-one's horse, when he meant to beg it] See Tim. I. 2. Tim.
my lord, you gave
(9) but to play at loggats with them] But to be used, to be thought fit materials, to play with at a rustic game.
This is a game played in several parts of England even at this time. A stake is fixed into the ground; those who play, throw loggats at it, and he that is nearest the stake, wins: I have seen it played in different counties at their sheep-shearing feasts, where the winner was entitled to a black fleece, which he afterwards presented to the farmer's maid to spin for the purpose of making a petticoat, and on condition that she knelt down on the fleece to be kissed by all the rusticks present. So Ben Jonson, Tale of a Tub, Act IV. sc. vi:
“ Now are they tossing of his legs and arms,
“ Like loggats at a pear-tree." Again, in an old collection of Epigrams, Satires, &c.
“ To play at loggats, nine holes, or ten pinnes.” Again, in Decker's If this be not a good Play, the Devil is in it, 1612:
two hundred crowns ! • I've lost as much at loggats." It is one of the unlawful games enumerated in the statute of 33 of Henry VIII. STEEVENS.
Loggeting in the fields is mentioned for the first time among other " new and crafty games and plays,” in the statute of 33 Henry VIII. c. 9. Not being mentioned in former acts against unlawful games,
it was probably not practised long before the statute of Henry the Eighth was made. MALONE.
A loggat-ground, like a skittle-ground, is strewed with ashes, but is more extensive. A bowl much larger than the jack of the game of bowls is thrown first. The pins, which I believe are called loggats, are much thinner, and lighter at one extremity than the other. The bowl being first thrown, the players take the pins up by the thinner and lighter end, and Aling them towards the bowl, and in such a manner that the pins may once turn round the air, and slide with the thinner extremity furemost towards the bowl. The pins are about one or two-andtwenty inches long. BLOUNT. (10) A pick-axe, and a spade, a spade,
For—and a shrouding sheet :
0, a pit of, &c.] For O, the quartos read Or. The original song runs thus :
A pick-are and a spade,
And eke a shrowding sheet ;
For such a guest most meet. (11) quiddits) Subtleties. A term, borrowed from the schools.
“ Entermedlyng and troubling their braynes with scrupulous quiddityes and diffuse questions." Newton's Lemnie's Touchstone of Complexions, 12mo. 1581, fo. 77. Plays with his sophemes and quyddities.” Taverner's Garden of Wysdom, 12mo. 1539, signat. B. 4, b.
“ Diogenes mockyng suche quidificall trifles (the Idees, as the tableitees and cuppytees of Plato), that wer all in the cherubyns." Nic. Udall's Erasm. Apopthegm, 12mo. 1542, fo. 124. Mr. Steevens instances, “I am wise, but quiddits will not answer death."
Soliman and Perseda. And Mr. Malone,
“ By some strange quiddit, or some wrested clause,
Drayton's Owle, 1604. (12) quillets] Nice and frivolous points or distinctions. Cole renders it res frivola. Dict. 1679. MALONE.
See L. L. L. IV. 3. Longuev.
(13) knock him about the sconce] Pate. In its first sense, blockhouse, from schantsen, Teut. to fortify. Bailey and Todd. See M. W. of W. II. 2. Falst., and Com. of Err. I. 4. Antiph. S. Mr. Steevens cites Lyly's Mother Bombie, 1594:
“ Laudo ingenium ; I like thy sconce." And Ram-Alley, 1011:
I say no more;
. (14) Statutes] . Statutes-merchant and staple are particular modes of recognisance or acknowledgment for securing debts, which thereby become a charge upon the party's land. Statutes and recognisances are mentioned together in the covenants of a purchase deed. Ritson.
(15) his double vouchers, &c.] A recovery with double voucher is the one usually suffered, and is so denominated from two persons (the latter of whom is always the common cryer, or some such inferior person,) being successively voucher, or called upon, and made to answer the warrant of the tenant's title. Both fines and recoveries are fictions of law, used to convert an estate tail into a fee simple. Ritson.
(16) seek out assurance in that] Deeds, which are usually written on parchment, are called the common assurances of the kingdom. Malone.
Seek assurance is, in one sense, “ look for security, put your trust in :" in the other, “ require a certain and indefeasible title."
(17) With an eulogy of our author, most of the topics in this dialogue are imitated in a poem called Dolarny's Primerose, 4to. 1606.
It is a very mean performance, and the fact is mentioned merely to show the popularity of this piece.
(18) by the card] i. e. we must speak with the same precision and accuracy, as is observed in marking the true distances of coasts, the heights, courses, &c. in a sea-chart, which in our poet's time was called a card.
In 1589 was published in 4to. A briefe Discourse of Mappes and Cardes, and of their Uses. Malone.
“ In the shipman's card.” Macb. 1 Witch. I. 3. For undo, the fo. of 1632 reads follow.
(19) the age is grown so picked, that, &c.) “ At once pointed so fine and sharp, and having also so much of vogue and fashionable character." The two ideas are so clung together, that one appears plainly to have drawn on the other. The general and particular allusion is so incorporated, that it must be taken as a twin birth, not to be separated without injury to itself, and confusion to the reader. See L. L. L. V. 1. Holofern.
For that, the fo. of 1632 reads and.
It was ordered, Mr. Steevens says, by proclamation, in 5 Ed. IV., that the “beaks or pykes of shoes and boots should not pass two inches, upon pain of cursing by the clergy, and forfeiting twenty shillings.'
In the preceding reign, the pykes were of such length, that they were obliged to be tied up to the knee with chains of silver, and gilt, or at least silken, laces.
(20) that young Hamlet was born) By this scene it appears that Hamlet was then thirty years old, and knew Yorick well, who had been dead twenty-two years. And yet in the beginning of the play he is spoken of as a young man, one that designed to go back to school, i. e. to the University of Wittenberg. The poet in the fifth Act had forgot what he wrote in the first.
BLACKSTONE. In these matters our author was too careless; and this was a sort of episode, in which he would venture to take the largest licence.
(21) hold the laying ix] We have “hold taking” in Tim. I. 2. Apem. ; where Mr. Steevens cites II H. IV.“ a rotten case abides no handling."
(22) Here's a scull now: this scull has lain in the earth, &c.] The quartos read, “ Here's a scull now hath lyen you i'the earth," &c.
(23) A pestilence on him for a mad rogue] We have in Ro. and Jul. 1. Music. IV. 5.“ a pestilent knave.'
(24) my gorge rises at it] Stomach, from gorge, Fr. throat. “ Cast the gorge,” Tim. IV.3. Tim. “ Heave the gorge, disre. lish.” Othel. II. 1. Iago. (25) Imperial Cæsar, dead, and turn'd to clay,
Might stop a hole to keep the wind away:
Should patch a wall to expel the winter's flaw] The quartos read imperious ; which Shakespeare (see Cymb. IV. 3. Imog. and Tr. and Cr. V. 5. Hect.) and his contemporaries use for imperial: and it was so used down to at least the middle of the next century. Drayton in his Muse's Elysium
“ Or Jove's emperious Queene." Nimph. 1. And, “ In the proud power of his emperious hand.”
Moses his Birth, b. 1. 4to. 1630. Without some historical reference, such as that subjoined, the reader would scarce believe that the text gives no very unfaithful picture of the general state of the habitations of our countrymen, at a period as late as the reign of Elizabeth.
“In the fenny countries and northern parts, unto this day, for lack of wood they are enforced to continue the ancient manner of building (houses set up with a few posts and many raddles), so in the open and chanipain countries, they are enforced, for want of stuff, to use no studs at all, but only frank-posts, and such principals, with here and there a girding, whereunto they fasten their splints or raddles, and then cast it all over with thick clay, to keep out the wind. Certes this rude kind of building