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gyue them to were a praty hoode full of belles. 4to. Signat. B. II. without date. Imprynted by John Skot in saynt Pulkers parysshe.
(52) my dearest foe] Throughout Shakespeare and all the poets of his and a much later day, we find this epithet applied io that person or thing, which, for or against us, excites the liveliest and strongest interest. It is used variously, indefinitely and metaphorically to express the warmest feelings of the soul; its nearest, most intimate, home and heartfelt emotions: and here no doubt, though, as every where else, more directly interpreted signifying “ veriest, extremest,” must by consequence and figuratively import "bitterest, deadliest, most mortal.” As extremes are said in a certain sense to approximate, and are in many respects alike or the same, so this word is made in a certain sense to carry with it an union of the fiercest opposites : it is made to signify the extremes of love and hatred.
But to suppose, with Mr. Tooke, (Divers. of Purl. II. 409.) that in all cases it must at that time have meant “injurious," as being derived from the Saxon verb dere, to hurt, is perfectly absurd.
Dr. Johnson's derivation of the word, as used in this place, from the Latin dirus, is doubtless ridiculous enough: but Mr. Tooke bas not produced a single instance of the use of it, i. e. of the adjective, in the sense upon which he insists; except, as he pretends, from our author. "In the instance cited in this place by Mr. Steevens, in support of the extraordinary interpretation (“most consequential, important,'') he has here and elsewhere put upon the word, " A ring, that I must use in deere employment.” (Rom. & Jul. sc. last), although the word is spelt after the fashion of the Saxon verb, it is impossible to interpret it - “ injurious ;” its meaning being most clearly, “ anxious, deeply interesting.” “Deere to me as are the ruddy drops that visit my sad heart.” Jul. Cæs. II. 2. Bru, cannot admit of interpretation in any other sense than that in which Gray's Bard understood it.
“ Dear as the ruddy drops, that warm my heart.”
“ Consort with me in loud and deere petition.”
“ Life every man holds deere ; but the deere man
“ Holds honour far more precious, deere, than life.” And it is no less than impossible, in either of these instances, to put the sense of “ injurious" upon this word. With his mind possessed by the Saxon verb, to hurt, Mr. Tooke seems altogether to have forgotten the existence of the epithet, which answers to the Latin word charus. In the same sense it is used by Puttenham : « The lacke of life is the dearest detriment of any other." Arte of Engl. Poesie, 4to. 1589, p. 182. See
dearly," IV. 3. King; As you, &c. I. 3, Celia ; and L. L. L. II. 1, Boyet; and “ dear guiltiness," Ib. V. 2, Princess. We
will add from Drayton's Moses his birth, 4to. 1630, B. I, that Sarah, about to expose her child, says, she has
her minde of misery compacted, « That must consent unto so deere a murther." i. e, distressing or heart-rending.
(53) In my mind's eye]
behind “Was left unseen, save to the eye of mind." Rape of Lucr. « But it were with thilke eyen of his minde, “ With which men mowen see whan they ben blinde.”
Chauc. And in Davies's Microcosmos, 4to. 1005:
“ And through their closed eies their mind's eye peeps." Telemachus lamenting the absence of Ulysses, is represented in like manner : “ 'OCCQuevos tateg' tonos é perly.” Odyss. I. 115.
STEEVENS. « Since I left
MALONE. And," with
mind's eye,” we have in the preface to Mel. ton's Figure Caster, “ The purblind ignorant, that only see with their corporal, and not intellectual eye.” 4to. 1620.
(54) dead waste] A quibble between waist, the middle of the body, and waste, vast or desolate; as one of the quartos reads. We have the very same thing in II. 2. “ Then you live about her waist, or in the middle of her favours." Hamlet. Mr. Malone aptly instances Marston's Malecontent, 1604.
“ 'Tis now about the immodest waist of night.” And the Puritan, 1607 : ere the day be spent to the girdle."
(55) Arm’d at all points]
- Behold then-Feare, “ Arm'd at all peeces, standeth there." Garvis Markham's Sat. & Eleg. of Ariosto, El. 2. 4to. 1611, p. 20.
bestilld Almost to jelly with the act of fear,] Dissolved by the action or effect of fear.
Distilled, the reading of the quartos, has been adopted by the modern editors: but the prefixing of the augmentative be to the radical word still, is a legitimate formation of an English verb; and bestilled is the reading of the folios.
(57) Did you not speak to it] The drift of Hamlet's question must be taken from his soliloquy; in which it appears, that he was full of distrust and evil prognostic.
(58) the morning cock crew loud] « The moment of the evanescence of spirits was supposed to be limited to the crowing of the cock. This belief is mentioned so early as by Prudentius, Cathem. Hymn. I. v. 40. But some of his commentators prove it to be of much higher antiquity.
“ It is a most inimitable circumstance in Shakespeare, so to have managed this popular idea, as to make the Ghost, which has been so long obstinately silent, and of course must be dismissed by the morning, begin or rather prepare to speak, and to be interrupted, at the very critical time of the crowing of a cock.
“ Another poet, according to custom, would have suffered his Ghost tamely to vanish, without contriving this start, which is like a start of guilt. To say nothing of the aggravation of the future suspense, occasioned by this preparation to speak, and to impart some mysterious secret. Less would have been expected, had nothing been promised.” T. WARTON.
(59) wore his beaver up] “ In armour it signifies that part of the helmet which may be lifted up, to take breath the more freely.” Bullokar’s Engl. Expositor, 8vo. 1616. See I. H. IV. Vern. IV. 1.
(60) A sable silver'd]
“ And sable curls, all silver'd o'er with white.” Sonn. 12. See Comus, v. 222.
(61) Let it be treble in your silence still] Impose a threefold obligation of silence.
In making a high estimate of any thing, this seems to have been a favourite scale or measure with Shakespeare.
“ This to do," says Antonio in the Tempest, II. 1, “ trebles you o'er:" i, e. makes thrice the man of you.
passage is illustrated by Mr. Steevens from Fletcher's Two Noble Kinsmen “ Thirds his own worth.” Dr. Farmer, in Reed's edit. XVIII. p. 425, says, he has no doubt but that Shakespeare's hand is to be seen in this play. In the M. of V. III. 2, Bassanio tells Portia
“ So thrice fair lady stand I in a doubt,” and she in reply,
“ I would be trebled twenty times myself.” And in Pericles IV. 1. Marina, we have, “ The Master calls, and trebles the confusion;" and in this play, V. 1. Laert.
“ O treble woe Fall ten times treble on that cursed head!” And this tenfold triple computation we find in verses ascribed to Shakespeare by Allot in his England's Parnassus. J2mo, 1608, p. 369.
« That time of yeere when the inamour'd sunne,
“ Even in the month that from Augustus woone
“ And on the last of his ten-trebled dayes.” And in Venus and Adonis,
“ For lovers say, the heart hath treble wrong
as this temple wares,
Grows wide withal.] As the body increases in bulk, the duties calling forth the offices and energies of the mind increase equally. The term temple, which signified a place appropriated to acts of religion, is never but on grave occasions applied to the body: nor generally, but where it is described as the sacred receptacle or depository of the soul; as in the Rape of Lucrece: “ His soul's fair temple is defaced.” And,
- The outward shape,
(63) And now no soil, nor cautel, doth besmirch
The virtue of his will:] And now no spot, nor mental reservation, tarnishes the sincerity and clear purity of his intentions. Mr. Malone quotes Minshieu. “ Cautel, a crafty way to deceive."
“ In him a plenitude of subtle matter,
Lover's Complaint. And Steevens : " And their subtill cautels to amend the statute.” Greene's Art of Coneycatching, Part II. 1592. Amend was the cant term for evade. See Coriol. IV. 1. Cor.; and Jul, Cæs. II. 1. Bru.
Besmirch is besmear or sully. See IV. 5. Laert. ; & H. V. K. Hen. IV. 3. For will the folios give feare; but will, the reading of the quartos, appears plainly from its recurrence in the next line, to be the true one: and fear must have been the error of the compositor, whose eye caught it from the end of the same line.
(64) The chariest maid) She who acts with due wariness, with the truest discretion, is dearest to herself, is &c.
“Be charie of thy chastitie, which sutors seeke so shamefully." Peter Colse's Penelope's Complaint, 4to. 1590. Signat. G.“ Sens by your meanes my life is become more deere unto me, I am muche more charie that it maye not be lost.” Nic. 'Udall's Erasm. Apopthegm. 12mo. 1592, fo. 221, b.
6 When a man bath a glasse of a brittle substance, and for the worth of great
price and value, he is very chary and heedfull thereof." Nich. Breton's Poste, &c. 4to. 1637. p. 2. Mr. Steevens cites Greene's Never too late, 1616.
" Love requires not chastity, but that her soldiers be chary.” And, “ She liveth chastly enough, that liveth charily.” We have chariness, M. W. of Winds. II. 1, Mrs. Ford, and unchary, Tw. N. III. 4. Olivia, and “ Diana too chary in her thoughts. Venus more charie of her face then her maidenhead," Greene's Orpharion, 4to. 1599, p. 38.
(65) infants of the spring] Herrick, in The Primrose, writes, “ Aske me why I send you
here “ This sweet Infanta of the yeere?” 8vo. 1648, p. 243. The last line of this elegant little song, claimed also by Carew in his poems, 8vo. 1670, p. 155, is given thus :
“ This firstling of the infant year." In Pericles we have,
“ And leave her,'
6. The infant of your care.' III. 3. Pericl. and in L. L. L. I. 1. Bir.
“ an envious sneaping frost,
(66) And these few precepts in thy memory Look thou character.] Imprint.
thy tables are within my brain “ Full character'd with lasting memory.” Sonn. 122.
Thou art the table wherein all my thoughts
“ Are visibly character'd and engravid." See Two G. of V. Julia, II. 7.
(67) hoops of steel] Hooks having been unwarrantably here substituted, and it having been said also by Malone, that hoops were never made of steel, Mr. Pye observes, “ I believe hoops are at least as often made of steel as hearts are; or as foreheads are of brass." Comm. on Commentators, 8vo. 1807, p. 311.
(68) dull thy palm] By too general intercourse lose the nice and quick sense of feeling, which frequent handling extinguishes or deadens. “The hand of little employment hath the daintier sense." V. 1. Haml.
(69) Are most select and generous, chief in that.] Choice and liberal. Generous is high-minded. “The generous and gravest citizens.” M. for M. IV. 6. Friar Pet.; and “ The generous islanders.”. Othel. III, 2. Desd.