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Line 564. If you will lead these graces to the grave,
And leave the world no copy.] How much more
elegantly is this thought expressed by Shakspeare, than by Beaumont and Fletcher in their Philaster?
I grieve such virtue should be laid in earth
-praise me?] i. e. To appraise me as inven
Line 580. With groans that thunder love, with sighs of fire.] This line is worthy of Dryden's Almanzor, and is said in mockery of amorous hyperboles. STEEVENS.
598. Holla your name to the reverberate hills,] I have corrected, reverberant. THEOBALD.
Mr. Upton well observes, that Shakspeare frequently uses the adjective passive, actively. Theobald's emendation is therefore unnecessary. Ben Jonson in one of his plays mentions,—reverberate glass. STEEVENS.
Line 640. Mine eye, &c.] I believe the meaning is; I am not mistress of my own actions, I am afraid that my eyes betray JOHNSON.
ACT II. SCENE I,
Line 15. -to express myself.] That is, to reveal myself.
27. with such estimable wonder,] These words Dr. Warburton calls an interpolation of the players; but what did the players gain by it? they may be sometimes guilty of a joke without the concurrence of the poet, but they never lengthen a speech only to make it longer. Shakspeare often confounds the active and passive adjectives. Estimable wonder is esteeming wonder, or wonder and esteem. The meaning is, that he could not venture to think so highly as others of his sister. JOHNSON.
ACT II, SCENE II.
her eyes had lost her tongue,] We say a man loses his company when they go one way and he another. So
Olivia's tongue lost her eyes; her tongue was talking of the Duke, and her eyes gazing on his messenger.
Line 77. -the pregnant enemy-] Is, I believe, the dexterous fiend, or enemy of mankind.
Line 78. How easy is it, for the proper false
In women's waxen hearts to set their forms!] 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) and false, i. e. deceitful, to make an impression on the 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. The proper false may be yet explained another way. Shakspeare generally uses proper for peculiar. So in Othello:
"In my defunct and proper satisfaction."
The proper false will then mean those who are peculiarly false, either through premeditation or art. To set their forms means, to plant their images, i. e. to make an impression on their easy minds. STEEVENS.
Line 81. For, such as we are made of, such we be.] So in The Tempest:
Line 82. How will this fadge?] To fadge, is to suit, to
ACT II. SCENE III.
Line 101. I think, it rather consists of eating and drinking.] A ridicule on the medical theory of that time, which supposed health to consist in the just temperament and balance of these elements. in the human frame. WARBURTON.
-a stoop of wine!] i. e. A measure of wine.
By my troth the fool has an excellent breast.] That is, he has an excellent voice. WARTON.
Ben Jonson uses the word breast in the same manner, in his Masque of Gypsies, p. 623, edit. 1692. In an old play called the
4 P's, written by J. Haywood, p. 96, of Dodsley's edit. is this passage:
Poticary. I pray you, tell me can you sing?
Pedler. Sir, I have some sight in singing.
Pedler. Whatever my breast is, my voice is meet.
STEEVENS. Line 115. I sent thee six-pence for thy leman;] i. e. I sent thee six-pence to spend on thy mistress.
The money was given him for his leman, i. e. his mistress. 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 connection, but his suspicion will not prove the instrument of our punishment. My mistress has a white hand, and the myrmidons are no bottle-ale 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. Such may be the meaning of this whimsical speech. A whipstock is, I believe, the handle of a whip, round which a strap of leather is usually twisted, and sometimes the whip itself. STEEVENS.
Line 117. I did impeticos, &c.] This, Sir Thomas 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 understand.
Line 127.good life.] i. e. Jollity.
141. In delay there lies no plenty ;] See this sentiment illustrated in Richard III.
"Delay leads impotent and snail-pac'd beggary."
Then come kiss me, sweet, and twenty,] This line
is obscure; we might read,
Come, a kiss then, sweet, and twenty.
Yet I know not whether the present reading be not right for in
some counties sweet, and twenty, whatever be the meaning, is a
phrase of endearment.
make the welkin dance,] That is, drink till the
says three souls,
-draw three souls out of one weaver ?] Why he
is because he is speaking of a catch in three parts. WARBURTON.
Line 169. ―a Cataian,] See a note to explain this word, in The Merry Wives of Windsor.
Peg-a-Ramsey,] In Durfey's Pills to purge
Melancholy is a very obscene old song, entitled Peg-a-Ramsey. See also Ward's Lives of the Professors of Gresham College, p. 207.
Nash mentions Peg of Ramsey among several other ballads, viz. Rogero, Basilino, Turkelony, All the Flowers of the Broom, Pepper is Black, Green Sleeves, Peggie Ramsie. STEEVENS.
Line 170. Three merry men we be.] Three merry men we be is a fragment of some old song, which I find repeated in Westward Hoe, by Decker and Webster, 1607, and by B. and Fletcher in The Knight of the Burning Pestle. STEEVENS.
Line 172. Tilly valley, lady!] Tilly valley was an interjection of contempt, which Sir Thomas More's lady is recorded to have had very often in her mouth.
coziers catches- -] A cozier is a tailor, from JOHNSON.
coudre to sew, part. cousu, French.
Line 189. Sneck up!] I think we may safely read sneak cup, with reference to Sir Toby's reply to Malvolio. I should not however omit to mention, that sneck the door is a north country expression for latch the door. STEEVENS.
Line 210. dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?] It was a custom on holidays or saints days to make cakes in honour of the day. The Puritans called this superstition; and in the next page Maria says, that Malvolio is sometimes a kind of Puritan. See Quarlous's account of Rabbi Busy, Act 1. Sc. 3. Ben Jonson's Barthelmew Fair. Dr. LETHERLAND. Line 214. rub your chain with crums :] I suppose it should be read, rub your chin with crums; alluding to what had been said before that. Malvolio was only a steward, and consequently dined after his lady. JOHNSON. Stewards anciently wore a chain as a mark of superiority over other servants, and the best method of cleaning any gilt plate (of
which the chain was made) is by rubbing it with crums. Thus in Webster's Dutchess of Malfy, 1623,
"Yes, and the chippings of the buttery fly after him
Line 218 -rule;] Is method of life, so misrule is tumult
Line 235. Possess us,] That is, inform us, tell us,
masters of the matter.
make us JOHNSON.
-an affection'd ass,] Affection'd means affected. In this sense, I believe, it is used in Hamlet" no matter in "it that could indite the author of affection." i. e. affectation.
I rather think that recollected signifies, more nearly to its primitive sense, recalled, repeated, and alludes to the practice of composers, who often prolong the song by repetitions. JOHNSON. favour.] The word favour ambiguously used.
-lost and worn,] Though lost and worn may mean lost and worn out, yet lost and won being, I think, better, these two words coming usually and naturally together, and the alteration being very slight, I would so read in this place with Sir Thomas Hanmer. JOHNSON. Line 343.
free]Is, perhaps, vacant, unengaged, easy
silly sooth,] It is plain, simple truth. JOHNS. 346. And dallies with the innocence of love,] To dally is to play harmlessly. So Act 3. They that dally nicely with words.
times of simplicity.
-the old age.] The old age is the ages past, the
My part of death no one so true
Did share it.] Though death is a part in which
every one acts his share, yet of all these actors no one is so true