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This is obscure. The meaning "is,
how easy is disguise to women! how easily does their own fulshood, contained in their waxen changeable hearis, enable them to assieme deceitful appearances ! The two''next lines are perhaps transposed,
and should be read thus :
„For such as we are made, if such we be, „Alas, 'our frailty is the cause , not we."
JOIINSON. I am not certain that this explanation is just. Viola has been condemning those who disguise themselves because Olivia had fallen in love with a specious appearance. How easy is it, she adds, for those who are at once proper (i. e. fair in their appearance) an false (i. e. deceitful) to make an impression on the easy hearts of women? The proper: false is certainly a less elegant expression than the fair deceiver, but seems to mean the same thing. A proper man, was the ancient phrase for a handsome man:
„This Ludovico is a proper man.“ Othello. To set their forṁs, means 10 plant their images, i, e. to make an impression on their easy minds. Mr. Tyrwhitt concurs with me in this interpreta. tion. STEEVENS.
This passage, according to Johnson's explanation of it,'is so severe a satire upon women, 'that ie is unatural to suppose that Shakspeare should put it in the moth of one of the sex, especially a young one. Nór do I think that the words can possibly express the sense which he contends for. "Stcevens's: explanation appears to be the trite one. The word' proper certainly means handsome; and Viola's reflection, how easy it was for those who are handsome and deceitful, to make an impres: sion on the waxeu hearts of women; is a natural
sentiment for a girl to utter who was herself in love. M. MASON. P. 24, l. 3. To fadge, is to suit, to fit.
STEEVENS. P. 24, 1. 35. and fol. Do not our lives consist of the four elements ? etc. etc.] A ridicule on the medical theory of that time, which supposed health to consist in the just temperament and ba. lance of the four elements in the human frame.
WARBURTON. P. 27, l. 29. A stoop, ondus, à stoppa, Belgis, stoop. Ray's Proverbs, p. 111. In Hexham's Low Dutch Dictionary, 1660, a gallon is explained by een kanne van twee stoopen. A stoop, however,
to have been something more than half a gallon. In a Catalogue of the rarities in the Anatomy Hall at Leyden, printed there, 4t0, 1701, is „The bladder of a man containing four 'stoop (which is something above two English gallons) of water.“ BEED.
P, 24, last d. Did you never see the picture of we three?). An allusion to an old print, sometimes pasted on the wall of a country ale house, representing two, but under which the spectator reads
„We three are asses." HENLEY. I believe Shakspeare had in his thoughts a common sign, in which two wooden heads are exhi. bited, with this inscription under it: „We three loggerheads be. The spectator or reader is sup: posed to make the third. The clown means to iusinuate, that Sir Toby and Sir Andrew had as good a title to the name of fool as himself.
MALONE. P. 25, 1. 3. Breast, voice. Brerth has been here proposed: but many instances may be brought VOL. II.
justify the old reading beyond a doubt. In the staruries of Stoke College, founded by Archbi. shop Parker, '2535, Strype's Parker, p.9: „Which said queristers, after their breasts are changed,“ etc. that is, after their voices are broken. In Fiddes! Life of Wolsey, Append. p. 128: „Singing.men well-breasted.“ In Tusser's Husbandrie, pa 156. edit. P. Short :
„The better brest, the lesser rest,
„To serve the queer now there 110w heere." Tusser, in this piece, 'called The Author's Life, tells us ,
that he was a choir · boy in the collea giate chapel of Wallingford-castle; and that, on account of the excellence of his voice, he was successively removed to various choirs.
T. WARTON, B. Jonson uses the word breast in the same manner. I suppose this cant terin to have beea, current among the musicians of the age, All professions have in some degree their jargon; and the remoter they are from liberal science, and the less consequential to the general interests of life, - the niore they strive to hide themselves behind affected terms and barbarous phraseology. STEEVENS. P. 25,
1. 9. I sent thee six-pence for thy leman;] The old copy reads lemon. But the Clown was neither pantlet, nor butler. The poet's word was certainly miétaken by the ignorance of the printer. I have restored, leman, i. e. Į sent thee six peuce to spend on thy mistress.
THEOBALD. I receive Theobald's emendation, because it tbrows a light on the obscurity of the following speech. *Leman is frequently used by the ancient wri: ters, and Spenser ia particulas.
The money was given him for his leman, i. e. his mistress. We have still „Leman-street," in Goodman's - fields. He says he did impeticoat the gratuity; i. e. he gave it to his petticoat companion; for (says he) Malvolio's nose is 'no whipstock,' i..e. Malvolio may smell out our connec: tion, but his suspicion will not prove the instru." ment of our punishment. My mistress has a while hand, and the Myrmidons are no bottleale houses, i. e. my mistress is handsome, but the houses kept by officers of justice are no places to make merry and entertain her at. be the meaning of this whimsical speech. A whip. stock is, I believe, the handle of a whip, sound which a strap of leather is usually twisted, and is sometimes peut for the whip itself. , STEEVENS.
P. 25, 1. 10. I did impeticos thy gratillity;] This, Sir T. Hanmer tells us, is the same with impocket thy gratuity. He is undoubtedly right; but we must read I did impeticoat thy gratuity. The fools were kept in long coats, to which the allusion is made. There is yet much in this dialogue which I do not understandi
JOHNSON, Figure 12 in the plate of the Morris - dancers, at the end of K. Henry IV. P. I. sufficiently proves that petticoats were not always a part of the dress of fools or jesters, though they were of ideots, for a reason which I avoid to offer.
STEEVENS, It is a very gross mistake to imagine that this character was habited like an ideot. Neither he not Touchstone, though they wear a particoloured dress, has either coxcomb or bauble, nor is by anlyi means to be confounded with the Fool in hing Lear, nor even, I think; with the one in
All's. Well that Ends Well: A Dissertation on the Fools of Shakspeare, a character he has most judiciously varied and discriminated, would be a valuable addition to the notes on his plays.
RITSON. The old copy reads „I did impeticos thy gratillity." The meaning, I think, is, I did in pericoat 'or impocket thy gratuity; but the reading of the old copy should not, in my opinion, be here disturbed. The clown uses the same kind of fantastick language elsewhere in this scene. Neither Pigrogromitus , nor the Vapians would object to it. MALONE.
P. 25, 1. 19. Clo. Would you have a love song, or a song of good life?] I do not suppose that by a song of good life, the Clown means a song of a moral turn; though. Sir Andrew answers to it in that signification.
I believe, is harmless mirth and jollity. be a Gallicism: we call a jolly fellow a bon vivant.
STEEVENS. From the opposition of the words in the Clown's question, I incline to think that good life is here used in its usual acceptation. In · The Merry Wives of Windsor, these words are used for a 'virtuous character. MALONE
P, 26, first 1. In delay there lies no plenty ;] No man will ever be worth much, who delays the advantages offered by the present hour, in hopes that the future will offer more.
STEEVENS. P. 26, 1. 2. Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty,] This line is obseure; we might read:...
Come, a kiss then, sweet and twenty, Yet I know not whether the present reading be not right, for in some corutics. sweet and owenty,