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305 - Aristotle.-] Let it be remembered as often as Shakspere's anachronisms occur, that errors in computing time were very frequent in those ancient romances which seem to have formed the greater part of his library. I may add, that even classick authors are not exempt from such mistakes. In the fifth book of Statius's Thebaid, Aphiaraus talks of the fates of Nestor and Priam, neither of whom died till long after him. If on this occasion, somewhat should be attributed to his augural profession, yet if he could so freely, nay, even quote as examples to the whole army, things that would not happen till the next age, they must all have been prophets as well as himself, or they could not have understood him. Steevens.
318. benummed wills,–] That is, inflexible, immoveable, no longer obedient to superior direction.
There is a law -] What the law does in every nation between individuals, justice ought to do between nations.
JOHNSON. 328. Is this, in way of truth :-] Though considering truth and justice in this question, this is my opinion; yet as a question of honour, I think on it as you.
JOHNSON. 335. —the performance of our heaving spleens,] The execution of spite and resentment. Johnson.
352. -emulation—] That is, envy, factious contention.
JOHNSON, 360. - Then there's Achillesa rare engineer.] The folio has-enginer, --which seems to have been the Dij
word formerly used. So, truncheoner, pioner, mutiner, &c.
MALONE. 369. --without drawing the massy iron,--] That is, without drawing their swords to cut the web. They use no means but those of violence.
JOHNSON. -without drawing the massy iron,-) Folioirons.
MALONE. 371. -the bone-ache !-] In the quarto, the Neapolitan bone-ache.
JÓHNSON. 378. If I could have remember'd a gilt counterfeit, thou would'st not have slipp'd out of my contemplation:] Here is a plain allusion to the counterfeit piece of money called a slip, which occurs again in Romeo and Juliet, act ii. sc.4. and which has been happily illustrated in a note on that passage. There is the same allusion in Every Man in his Humour, act ii. sc. 5.
WHALLEY. 404. -decline the whole question.-] Deduce the question from the first case to the last. JOHNSON. 406. Patroclus is a fool.]
The four next speeches are not in the quarto,
JOHNSON. 419. of the prover. - -) So the quarto.
JOHNSON. The folio profanely reads,—to the Creator.
STEEVENS. 427. -Now the dry, &c.] This is added in the folio.
JOHNSON. 453 -composure,-) So reads the quarto very properly; but the folio, which the moderns have followed, has, it was a strong counsel. JOHNSON.
458. The elephant hath joints, &c.] So, in All's lost by Lust, 1633
Is she pliant? “ Stubborn as an elephant's leg, no bending in her ?". Again, in All Fools, 1605: “ I hope you are no elephant, you have joints."
STEEVENS. 462. noble state,] Person of high dignity; spoken of Agamemnon.
JOHNSON. Noble state rather means the stately train of attending nobles whom you bring with you.
STEEVENS. In support of Dr. Johnson's exposition of this word, it may be observed, that state was formerly applied to a single person. So, in Wits, Tits, and Fancies, 1595: "--The archbishop of Grenada saying to the archbishop of Toledo that he much marvelled, he being so great a state, would visit hospitals."Again, in Harrington's translation of Ariosto : “ The Greek demands her, whither she was go•
ing, “ And which of these two great estates her keeps?”
MALONE. 482. -under-write--] To subscribe, in Shakspere, is to obey.
Johnson. So, in King Lear: “You owe me no subscription."
STEEVENS. 484. His pettish lunes, -] This is Hanmer's emendation of his pettish lines. The old quarto reads, His course and time. D iij
This speech is unfaithfully printed in modern editions,
allowance give] Allowance is approba, tion. So, in King Lear:
-if yoạr sweet sway “ Allow obedience."
STEEVENS. 512. -the engendering of toads. ] Whoever wishes to comprehend the whole force of this allusion, may consult the late Dr. Goldsmith's History of the World, and animated Nature, Vol. VII. p. 92, 93.
the death-tokens of it] Alluding to the decisive spots appearing on those infected by the plague. So, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Valentinian :
“ Now like the fearful tokens of the plague
STEEVENS, 541, with his own seam;] Seam is grease.
SteeVENS. 559. , I'll pash him o'er the face.] i. e. strike him with violence. So, in 'The Virgin Martyr, 1623 :
-when the batt’ring ram
REED: This passage might have been given to confirm my explanation of rough pash, as applied by Leontes in The Winter's Tale, act i. sc. 2.
HENLEY. 561. -phocze las pride: -) To pheeze is to como or curry
Mr. Steevens has explained the word Feaze, as Dr. Johnson does, to mean the untwisting or unravel. ling a knotted skain of silk or thread. I recollect no authority for this use of it. To feize is to drive away; and the expression I'll feize his pride, may signify, I'll humble or lower his pride.
WHALLEY. 563. Not for the worth-] Not for the value of all for which we are fighting.
JOHNSON. 577. --force him-] 1. c. stuff him. Farcir, Fr.
Sreevens. 604. -like a bourn, A bourn is a boundary, and sometimes a rivulet dividing one place from ano, ther. So, in King Lear, act iii. sc. 6 :
« Come o'er the bourn, Bessy, to me. See a note on this passage.
STEEVENS. 613. Nest. Ay, my good son.] In the folio, and in the modern editions, Ajax desires to give the title of father to Ulysses ; in the quarto, more naturally, to Nestor.
JOHNSON. : Shall I call you father?] Shakspere had a custom prevalent about his own time, in his thoughts. Ben Jonson had many who called themselves his sons.