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So, in Gower, De Confessione Amantis, Lib. V. fol. 103. “That with his swerd, and with his spere, “He might not the serpent dere : “He was so sherded all aboute, . . “It held all edge toole withoute.” Gower is here speaking of the dragon subdued by Jason. STE Ev ENs. The epithet full-wing'd applied to the eagle, sufficiently marks the contrast of the poet's imagery; for whilst the bird can soar towards the sun beyond the reach of the human eye, the inse&t can but just rise above the surface of the earth, and that at the close of day. HE NLEY. 2OO. -attending for a check;] Check may mean in this place a reproof; but I rather think it signifies command, control. Thus in Troilus and Cressida, the restrićtions of Aristotle are called Aristotle's checks. STEEV ENs. 213. To stride a limit.] To overpass his bound. Joh N so N. 214. What should we speak of, I This dread of an old age, unsupplied with matter for discourse and meditation, is a sentiment natural and noble. No state can be more destitute than that of him, who, when the delights of sense forsake him, has no pleasures of the mind. Joh N Son. 224. How you speak || Otway seems to have taken many hints for the conversation that passes between Acasto
Acasto and his sons, from the scene before us.
“—Augisell king of stout Albania, “And Caduallking of Vinedocia—” MA Lo N.E. 282. —I stole these babes ;] Shakspere seems to intend Belarius for a good charaćter, yet he makes him forget the injury which he has done to the young princes, whom he has robbed of a kingdom only to rob their father of heirs, The latter part of this soliloquy is very inartificial, there being no particular reason why Belarius should now tell to himself what he could not know better by telling it. Johnson. 292. Where is Posthumus P-] Shakspere's apparent ignorance of quantity is not the least among many proofs of his want of learning. Throughout this play he calls Posthimus, Posthumus, and Arvirägus, Arvirägus. It may be said that quantity in the age of our author did not appear to have been much regarded. In the tragedy of Darius, by William Alexander of Menstrie (lord Sterline) 1603, Darius is always called Darius, and Euphrates, Euphrātes : “The diadem that Darius erst had borne— “The famous Euphrātes to be your border.—” Again, in the 21st Song of Drayton's Polyolbion: “That gliding goin state like swelling Euphrātes.” Throughout Sir Arthur Gorges' translation of Lucan, Euphrātes is likewise given instead of Euphrates. STE Evens. In A Meeting Dialogue-wise between Nature, the Phamix, and the Turtle-dove, by R. Chester, 1601, where Shakspere perhaps found the name of Paladour, Arviragus Arviragus is introduced, with the same neglect of quantity as in this play: “Windsor, a castle of exceeding strength, “First built by Arvirägus, Britaine's king.” MALoNe. 297. —haviour J This word, as often as it occurs in Shakspere, should not be printed as an abbreviation of behaviour. Haviour was a word commonly used in his time. See Spenser, Æglogue 9. “Their ill haviour garres men missay.” - STEEVENS.
if it be summer news, Smile to't before:—] So, in our author's 98th Sonnet: “Yet not the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell “Of different flowers in odour and in hue, “Could make me any summer's story tell.”
323. worms of Nile;——] Serpents and dragons by the old writers were called worms. Of this, several instances are given in the last act of Antony and
Cleopatra. STER v ENs, 325. states, Persons of highest rank.
338. —Some jay of Italy, There is a prettiness
in this expression; putta, in Italian, signifying both a jay jay and a whore: I suppose from the gay feathers of
that bird. - WARB U R to N. So, in the Merry Wives, &c. “teach him to know turtles from jays.” STE E V ENs.
339. Whose mother was her painting, J Some jay of Italy, made by art the creature, not of nature, but of painting. In this sense painting may be not improperly termed her mother. Johnson. I met with a similar expression in one of the old comedies, but forgot to note the date or name of the piece: “—a parcel of conceited feather-caps, whose fathers were their garments.” STE E v ENs. In All's Well that Ends Well, we have: . & & whose judgments are “Mere fathers of their garments.” MA LoNE. 34o. Poor I am stale, a garment out of fashion;] This image occurs in Westward for Smelts, 1620, immediately at the conclusion of the tale on which our play is founded: “But (said the Brainford fish-wife) I like her as a garment out of fashion.” STE Ev ENs. The same idea occurs in Antony and Cleopatra, when on the death of Fulvia, Enobarbus thus strangely consoles Antony : “When it pleaseth the gods to take the wife of a man from him, it shews to man the tailors of the earth; comforting therein, that when old robes are worn out, there are members to make new :—this grief brings a consolation, your old smock brings forth a new petticoat.” HENLEY.