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he might not let c'en the winds of heaven, &c. TUBOBALD. .
So, in the Enterlude of the Lyfe and Repentaunce of Marie Magdalaine, &c. by Lewis Wager, 1567.
“ But evermore they were unto me very tender,
" she had a lord,
Malone. · Mr. Theobald observes, that “ beteene" is undoubtedly a corruption, and Mr. Steevens appears to be of the same opinion, by admitting the poor expletive readmg “let e'en” to a place in the text,-but they are both mistaken. To « beteen” is to enrage, to anger. We must read the passage thus:
" so loving to my mother,
“ Visit her face too roughly." i. e. Such was his love of my mother, that he would not permit the angry wiuds of heaven, at any time, to blow upon her. B. Ham. Would I had met my dearest foe in
heaven, Or ever I had seen that day, Horatio !
Dearest for direst, most dreadful, most dangerous. Joun. SON.
Dearest is most immediate, consequential, important. So, in Romeo and Juliet :
"--a ring that I must use
« In dear employment.” Again, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Maid in the Mill :
“ You meet your dearest enemy in love,
“ With all his hate about him." STEEVENS. ' ' • “Dearest foe.” Dearest should be derest to distinguish
it from kindest, most beloved, the common acceptation of the word in the text. Dere is used by Spenser for hurtful, pernicious. It is here direst-most cruel. B.
Hor. A figure like your father, Arm'd at all points, exactly, cap-a-pé, Appears before them, and, with solemn march, Goes slow and stately by them : thrice he walk'd By their opprest and fear-surprised eyes, Within his truncheon's length ; whilst they, distill’d Almost to jelly with the act of fear, Stand dumb and speak not to him. ; - with the act of fear.] Shakspeare could never write so improperly as to call the passion of fear, the uct of fear. Without doubt the true reading is,
-with th'effect of fear. WARBURTON. . Here is an affectation of subtilty without accuracy. Fear is every day considered as an agent. Fear laid hold on him ; fear drove him away. If it were proper to be rigorous in examining trifles, it might be replied, that Shakspeare would write more erroneously, if he wrote by the direction of this critic ; they were not distilled, whatever the word may mean, by the effect of fear; for that distillation was itself the effect; fear was the cause, the active cause that distilled them by that force of operation which we strictly call act in voluntary, and power in involuntary agents, but popularly call act in both. But of this too much. JOHNSON.
The folio reads-bestild. STEEVENS.
“ With the act of fear.” Distilled by the act of fear,'. is harsh. As to the “affectation of subtilty” it may be retorted on Johnson, with a very good grace. We are not to understand, by Warburton's change in the text, that they were distilled by the effect of fear, but that fear had so great a power: the effect of fear was such, as to distil them. The fact, however, is, and without employing either sneer or disingenue igness, that the emendation proposed by the learned prelate amounts to nothing. He has inadvertently made a distinction without a difference'; since, with either reading, the sense will be the same; and fear must be as much an agent in one as in the other. But after all, the commentators appear to have mistaken
the construction of the passage : I would receive the bestilld of the folio: Alter "jelly.' to gelée (fr.) and read and point the whole as under : ..
- thrice he walk'd
Stand dumb and speak nyt to him. • Bestilld almost to gelée,' i. e. fixed almost as if the blood was frozen in their veins, or, in other words, as if petrified, with the act,' with the manner, the proceeding of the Ghost: and ' of fear,'' in fear, or through, or from fear, they stood mute. It should be noted that the expression “fear-surprised eyes,' means awe-struck : seized with reverential fear, and not simply terror, affright, as in this latter instance. . B.
Laer. He may not, as unvalued persons do, : Carve for himself; fur on his choice depends The safety and the health of the whole state ; . And therefore must his choice be circumscrib'd Unto the voice and yielding of that body, Whereof he is the head.
“ He may not, as unvalued persons do,
“ Carve for himself.” • Carve for himself' is a coarse, if not an unmeaning expression. We may easily read, and even with some degree of elegance and force, crave,' i. e. sue for himself. B.
Laer. Then weigh what loss your honor inay
sustain, If with too credent ear you list bis songs ;' Or lose your heart; or your chaste treasure open
To his unmaster d importunity.
-unmaster'd—- ) i. c. licentious. Jounson.
« To his unmaster'd importunity." Unmastered) goes not so far,-it rather means not to be checked ; not to be controlled. B.
Pol. The friends thou hast, and their adoption
“ The friends thou hast, and their adoption tried." I read “ adaption, adaptation tried,” i. e. their suitableness, their fitness to be made your friends being proved, then,
&c. B. in . But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
* Of each new-hatch'd, unfledg’d comrade. The literal sense is, “ Do not make thy palm callous by shaking every man by the hand." The figurative meaning may he, “ Do not by promiscuous conversation make thy mind insensible to the difference of characters.” 'Johnson.
“Do not dull thy palm," is, I think, Do not sully thy honor, or the honor of thy house, by associating with thy inferiors, or with people who are little known to thee. A similar expression is found in Troilus and Cressida,
No, this thrice worthy and right valiant Lord,
voice : ' Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judg
ment. Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, But not express'd in fancy; rich not gaudy:
For the apparel oft proclaims the man; .
each man's censure.] Censure is opinion.. See vol. vii. P. 69. STEEVENS.
Are inost select and generous, chief in that.] I think the whole design of the precept shows we should read, .
“ Are most select, and generous chief, in that." Chief is an adjective used adverbially, a practice common to our author. Chiefly generous. Yet it must be owned that the punctuation recommended is very stiff and harsh. STEEVENS.
Here -has been a silent deviation in all the modern editions from the old copies, which all read,
"Are of a most select and generous chef in that." May we suppose that Shakspeare borrowed the word chef from heraldry, with which he seems to have been very conversant? “ They in France approve themselves to be of a most select and generous escutcheon by their dress." Chef in heraldry is the upper third part of the 'shield. This is very harsh; yet I hardly think that the words “ of a” could have been introduced without sonie authority from the MS. , MALONE.
The genuine meaning of the passage requires us to point the litie thus:
Are most select and generous, chief in that. i.e. the nobility of France are select and generous above all other nations, and chiefly in the point of apparel ; the richness and elegance of their dress. REMARKS.
“ Are most select and generous, chief in that." There is an awkwardness in the expression select and generous as applied to the apparel,' of 'they, in France,' which may be done away by transposition. The following arrangement will give that coherence to the discourse which it manifestly wants at present.
“Give every man thine car, but few thy voice :