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uses almost the same language, “ cried in the top of my judgment:" i. e. surpassed, exceeded, surmounted, over-topped mine: and Laertes, in correspondent terms, sets out a similar idea. “ Stood challenger on mount of all the age.” IV. 7.
(33) are tyrannically clani] Receive outrageous, extravagant applause for that, which, from the very nature of the thing, as above explained, could not convey to an auditory the nice marks and discriminations of character, with any thing like adequate expression.
(34) It is not strange: for my uncle] I do not wonder that the new players have so suddenly risen to reputation : my uncle supplies another example of the facility with which honour is conferred upon new claimants. Johnson.
It is either this, or a reflection upon the mutability of fortune, or rather the variableness of man's mind. The quartos read very strange."
(35) I know a hawk from a hand-sar] A common proverb.
Ignorat quod distant æra lupinis.” Hor.
Langston's Lusus poeticus, 12mo. 1675, p. 26.
(36) Buz, buz] A term of contempt, applied to idle babblers, who droningly hum, heap and huddle stale intelligence. It is an extinguishing interjection; when, as Sir W. Blackstone says,
any one begins a story, that was generally known before.” Ducange, under the article Buzi, says, as we learn from Mr. Douce, « Interpretatur despectus vel contemptus. Papias. Ab Hebraico Bus vel bouz, sprevit.” Illustr. II. 231.
(37) Seneca cannot be too heavy, nor Plautus too light] The tragedies of Seneca were translated into English by Thomas Newton, and others, and published first separate, at different times, and afterwards all together in 1581. One comedy of Plautus, viz. the Menæchmi, was likewise translated and published in 1595.
STEEVENS. I believe the frequency of plays performed at public schools, suggested to Shakespeare the names of Seneca and Plautus as dramatic authors. T. WARTON.
Prefixed to a map of Cambridge in the Second Part of Braunii Civitates, &c. is an account of the University, by Gulielmus Soonus, 1575. In this curious memoir we have the following passage : Januarium, Februarium, & Martium menses, ut noctis tædia fallant in spectaculis populo exhibendis ponunt tanta elegantia, tanta actionis dignitate, ea vocis & vultus moderatione, ea magnificentia, ut si Plautus, aut Terentius, aut
Seneca revivisceret mirarentur suas ipsi fabulas, majoremque quam cum inspectante popul. Rom. agerentur, voluptatem credo caperent. Euripidem vero, Sophoclem & Aristophanem, etiam Athenarum suarum tæderet." Steevens.
(38) too light. For the law of writ and the liberty, these are the only men] In this difficult, and probably corrupted passage, we follow the modelling and pointing of the modern editors ; and propose this interpretation: “ For the observance of the rules of the drama, while they take such liberties, as are allowable, they are the only men.
Mr. Steevens says, writ is used for writing: and instances Nashe's Apologie of Pierce Pennilesse, 1593 : “ For the lowsie circumstance of his poverty before his death, and sending that miserable writte to his wife, it cannot be but thou liest, learned Gabriel." And Earle's Character of a mere dull Physician, 1638: “ Then followes a writ to his drugger, in a strange tongue, which he understands, though he cannot conster." In our own author, II. H. VI. we have,
“ Now, good my lord, let's see the Devil's writ.” 1. 4. York. Most of the modern Editors had substituted wit for writ; and the last have thought proper, in contradiction to the quartos as well as the folios, to read" too light. For the law of writ and the liberty these are," &c.
(39) As by lot, God wot-it came to pass, fc.] The ballad of “Jepha Judge of Israel," imperfectly given in Percy's Reliques, I. 189, 179+, is printed in Evans's Old Ballads, 8vo. 1810, 1. 7. The first stanza is,
“ I have read that many years agoe,
“ When Jepha, judge of Israel, “ Had one fair daughter and no m
“ Whom he loved passing well. “ And as by lot, God wot,
“ It came to passe most like it was,
“ Great warrs there should be, “ And who should be the chiefe, but he, but he." From the Stationers' Company Books Mr. Steevens states, that “ ballets” upon this subject 'were entered there in 1567 and 1624. To this there is no date. He adds, that this story was one of the favourite subjects of ancient tapestry.
(40) my abridgments come] The compendious views or breviaries of our lives. They afterwards in this scene are called “ the abstract and brief chronicles of the time:" and the term is used in M. N. Dr. V. 1. Thes. The quartos read “ abridge ment comes."
(41) Why, thy face is valiant, since, &c.] Is become manly and fierce, as he says of the Soldier in As you, &c. II. 7. Duke S.“ bearded like the pard.” The quartos read “valanced," which is adopted by the modern editors, and interpreted fringed with a beard. The valance is the fringes or drapery hanging round the tester of a bed. MALONE. Dryden, in one of his epilogues, has the following line : “ Criticks in plume, and white valancy wig."
(42) choppine] Chapin, Span. a bigh corked shoe. Minshieu. Mr. Steevens cites Jonson's Cynthia's Revels: “I do wish myself one of my mistress's cioppini." Another demands, why would he be one of his mistress's cioppini ? a third answers, “ because he would make her higher." And Decker's Match me in London, 1631: “ I'm only taking instructions to make her a lower chopeene; she finds fault that she's lifted too high.” And Chapman's Cæs. and Pompey, 1613:
and thou shalt
« Of life thou canst wish.” Tom Coryat, in his Crudities, 1611, p. 262, calls them chapineys, and gives the following account of them : “ There is one thing used of the Venetian women, and some others dwelling in the cities and townes subject to the signiory of Venice, that is not to be observed (I thinke) amongst any other women in Christendome: which is so comnon in Venice, that no woman whatsoever goeth without it, either in her house or abroad, a thing made of wood and covered with leather of sundry colors, some with white, some redde, some yellow. It is called a chapiney, which they wear under their shoes. Many of them are curiously painted; some also of them I have seen fairely gilt: so uncomely a thing (in my opinion) that it is pitty this foolish custom is not cleane banished and exterminated out of the citie. There are many of these chapireys of a great height, even half a yard high, which maketh many of their women that are very short, seeme much taller than the tallest women we have in England. Also I have heard it observed among them, that by how much the nobler a woman is, by so much the higher are her chapineys. All their gentlewomen, and most of their wives and widowes that are of any wealth, are assisted and supported eyther by men or women, when they walke abroad, to the end they may not fall. They are borne up most commonly by the left arme, otherwise they might quickly take a fall.” Reed.
“ This place [Venice] is much frequented by the walking may poles, I meane the women. They weare their coats halfe too long for their bodies, being mounted on their chippeens,
(which are as high as a man's leg) they walke between two handmaids, majestickly deliberating of every step they take. This fashion was invented and appropriated to the noble Venetian's wives, to bee constant to distinguish them from the courtesans, who goe covered in a vaile of white taffety." Raymond's Voyage through Italy, 1648, 12mo. a work which is said to have been partly written by Dr. Bargrave, prebendary of Canterbury.
• They are low and of small statures for the most part, which makes them to rayse their bodies upon high shoes called chapins ; which gave one occasion to say, that the Venetian ladies were made of three things: one part of them was wood, meaning their chapins; another part was their apparrell; and the third part was a woman. The Senat hath often endeavour'd to take away the wearing of those high shooes, but all women are so passionately delighted with this kind of state, that no law can weane them from it.” James Howell, of the Venetian women.
“Some have supposed that the jealousy of Italian husbands gave rise to the invention of the chopine. Limojon de Saint Didier, a lively French writer on the republic of Venice, mentions a conversation with some of the doge's counsellors of state on this subject, in which it was remarked that smaller shoes · would certainly be found more convenient; which induced one of the counsellors to say, putting on at the same time a very austere look, pur troppo commodi, pur troppo. The first ladies who rejected the use of the chopine were the daughters of the doge Dominico Contareno, about the year 1670. It was im. possible to set one foot before the other without leaning on the shoulders of two waiting women, and those who used them must have stalked along like boys in stilts.
“The choppine, or some kind of high shoe, was occasionally used in England. Bulwer, in his Artificial Changeling, p. 550, complains of this fashion as a monstrous affectation, and says that his countrywomen therein imitated the Venetian and Per. sian ladies. In Sandys's Travels, 1615, there is a figure of a Turkish lady with chopines; and it is not improbable that the Venetians might have borrowed them from the Greek islands in the Archipelago. We know that something similar was in use among the ancient Greeks. Xenophon in his (Economics, introduces the wife of Ischomachus, as having high shoes for the purpose of increasing her stature. They are still worn by the women in many parts of Turkey, but more particularly at Aleppo.” Douce's Illustrat. II. p. 232.
“ The Q. of Spain took off one of her chapines, and clowted Olivarez about the noddle with it, because he had accompany'd the King to a lady of pleasure.” Howell's Letters, 8vo. 1726. p. 349. “ For a speciall preheminence did walke upon those high corked shoes or pantofies, which now they call in Spain and Italy choppini.” Putienham's Arte of English Poesie, 4to. 1589, P. 27.
(43) your voice, like a piece of uncurrent gold, cracked within the ring] The image immediately presented to us, and for a full explanation of which we are indebted to Mr. Douce, is from the then state of part of our coinage: but another sense is also meant to be conveyed. It imports “ a voice broken in consequence of licentious indulgence:” and has the same allusion as the instances quoted from the Woman in the Moone, 1597, and by Mr. Steevens in B. and Fletcher's Captain, B. Jonson's Magnetic Lady, and Your Five Gallants, 1608, &c.
“ It is to be observed, that there was a ring or circle on the coin, within which the sovereign's head was placed; is the crack extended from the edge beyond this ring, the coin was rendered unfit for currency. Such pieces were hoarded by the usurers of the time, and lent out as lawful money. Of this we are informed by Roger Fenton in his Treatise of Usury, 1611, 4to, p. 23. , “ A poore man desireth a goldsmith to lend him such a summe, but he is not able to pay him interest. If such as I can spare (saith the goldsmith) will pleasure you, you shall have it for three or foure moneths. Now, hee hath a number of light, clipt, crackt peeces (for such he useth to take in change with consideration for their defects:) this summe of money is repaid by the poore man at the time appointed in good and lawfullmoney. This is usurie.” And again, " It is a common custome of his [the usurer's] to buy up crackt angels at nine shillings the piece. Now sir, if a gentleman (on good assurance) request him of mony, Good sir (saith hee, with a counterfait sigh) I would be glad to please your worship, but my good mony is abroad, and that I have, I dare not put in your hands. The gentleman thinking this conscience, where it is subtilty, and being beside that in some necessity, ventures on the crackt angels, some of which cannot flie, for soldering, and paies double interest to the miser under the cloake of honesty." Lodge's Wit's Miserie, 1596, 4to. p. 28. So much for the cracked gold. The cracking of the human voice proceeded from some alteration in the larynx which is here compared to a ring.” Douce's Illustr. II. 235.
(44) like French falconers] In All's well, &c. Shakspeare has introduced an astringer or falconer at the French court. Mr. Tollet adds, that it is said iu Sir Thomas Browne's Tracts, p. 116, that “ the French seem to have been the first and noblest falconers in the western part of Europe;" and,“ that the French king sent over his falconers to show that sport to King James the First.” See Weldon's Court of King James. STEEVENS.
For French the quartos read friendly.
(45) 'Twas caviarie to the General] A thing of too high a relish for the many, for palates accustomed to plain and simple diet. 'Tis prepared sturgeon's roe : Mr. Malone says, Florio de