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that ILabel is not made to express either gratitude, wonder, or joy, at the sight of her brother.
JOHNSON. Line 585. -your evil quits you well :] Quits you, recompenses, requites you.
JOHNSON, Line 586.her worth, worth yours.] These words are, as they are too frequently, an affected gingle, but the sense is plain. Her worth, worth yours; that is, her value is equal to your value, the match is not unworthy of you.
JOHNSON. Line 589. —here's one in place I cannot pardon;] After the pardon of two murderers, Lucio might be treated by the good Duke with less harshness; but perhaps the poet intended to show, what is too often seen, that men easily forgive wrongs which are not committed against themselves.
JOHNSON. Line 592. One all of luxury,] Luxury here means, lewdness..
595. - according to the trick:) To my custom, my habitual practice.
JOHNSON, Line 612. thy other forfeits : ] Thy other punishments.
END OF THE ANNOTATIONS ON MEASURE FOR MEASURE.
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.
ACT I. SCENE I.
Line 22. —joy could not shew itself modest enough, without a badge of bitterness.] This is judiciously express'd. Of all the transports of joy, that which is attended with tears is least of fensive; because carrying with it this mark of pain, it allays the envy that usually attends another's happiness. This he finely calls a modest joy, such a one as did not insult the observer by an indication of happiness unmixed with pain. WARBURTON.
This is an idea which Shakespeare seems to have been delighted to express.
STEEVENS. Line 27.
no faces truer- -] That is, none honester, none more sincere.
JOHNSON Line 30. -is Signior Montanto returned -] Montante, in Spanish, is a huge two-handed sword, given, with much humour, to one, the speaker would represent as a boaster or bravado.
WARBURTON. Line 32. -there was none such in the army of any sort.] Not meaning there was none such of any order or degree whatever, but that there was none such of any quality above the common.
Line 38. He set up his bills, &c.] In Ben Jonson's Every Man out of his Humour, Shift says,
“ This is rare, I have set up my bills without dicovery.” Beatrice means, that Benedick published a general challenge, like a prize-fighter.
STEEVENS. Line 39. -challenged Cupid at the flight;] The disuse of the bow makes this passage obscure. Benedick is represented as challenging Cupid at archery. To'challenge at the flight is, I believe, to wager who shall shoot the arrow furthest without any particular mark.
JOHNSON. To challenge at the flight was a challenge to shoot with an arrow. Flight means only an arrow.
STEEVENS. Line 41. - at the bird-bolt.] The bird-bolt is a short thick arrow without point, and spreading at the extremity so much, as to leave a flat surface, about the breadth of a shilling. Such are to this day in use to kill rooks with, and are shot from a crossbow.
STEEVENS. Line 46. -he'll be meet with you.] This is a very common expression in the midland counties, and signifies he'll be your match, he'll be even with you.
STEEVENS, Line 64. -four of his five wits- -] In our author's time wit was the general term for intellectual powers. JOHNSON · Line 66. if he have wit enough to keep himself warm,] Such a one has wit enough to keep himself warm, is a proverbial expression; to bear any thing for a difference is a term in heraldry.
STEEVENS. Line 73. he wears his faith—) Not religious profession, but profession of friendship; for the speaker gives it as the reason of her asking, who was now his companion that he had a new sworn brother.
WARBURTON. Line 74. with the next block.) A block is a mould on which a hat is formed. The old writers sometimes use the word for the hat itself.
STEEVENS. Line 76. the gentleman is not in your books.] This is a phrase used, I believe, by more than understand it. To be in one's books is to be in one's codicils or will, to be among friends set down for legacies.
JOHNSON. .Thus Hamlet says,
every month My tables, meet it is I set it downwhen he pulls out his pocket-book.
Probably the phrase was originally adopted from the tradesman's language. To be in tradesman's books, might formerly have been an expression in common conversation for a trust of any other kind.
Steevens. Line 80.
-young square] A squarer I take to be a cholerick, quarrelsome fellow, for in this sense Shakspeare uses the word to square. So in Midsunımer-Night's Dream, it is said of Oberon and Titania, that they never meet but they square. So the sense may be, Is there no hot-blooded youth that will keep him company through all his mad pranks?
JOHNSON. Line 101. -your charge-] That is, your burthen, your incumbrance.
JOHNSON Dr. Johnson here mistakes the meaning of the word, it must imply a ward, or any person committed to your protection.
Line 181. -the flouting Jack ;] A term of derision. Thus in Henry IV. Part I.
-the prince is a Jack, a sneak cup," Line 182. —to tell us Cupid is a good hare-finder, &c.] That is, “ Do you mean to tell us that love is not blind, and that fire will not consume what is combustible ?".
-for both these propositions are implied in making Cupid a good hare-finder, and Vulcan (the God of fire) a good carpenter. In other words, would you convince me, whose opinion on this head is well known, that
you can be in love without being blind, and can play with the flame of beauty without being scorched.
ANONYMOUS. Line 196. -wear his cap with suspicion?] That is, subject his head to the disquiet of jealousy.
JOHNSON, Line 199. -sigh away Sundays.) A proverbial expression to signify that a man has no rest at all; when Sunday, a day formerly of ease and diversion, was passed so uncomfortably.
WARBURTON, Line 232. but in the force of his will.] Alluding to the definition of a heretick in the schools.
WARBURTON, Line 236. -but that I will have a recheat winded in my forehead,] That is, I will wear a horn on my forehead which the huntsman may blow. 'A recheat is the sound by which dogs are
called back. Shakspeare had no mercy upon the poor cuckold, his horn is an inexhaustible subject of merriment. JOHNSON. · Line 252. -notable argument.] An eminent subject for satire.
JOHNSON. Line 253. -in a bottle like a cat,] In some counties of England, a cat was formerly closed up with a quantity of soot in a wooden bottle, (such as that in which shepherds carry their liquor) and was suspended on a line. He who beat out the bottom as he ran under it, and was nimble enough to escape its contents, was regarded as the hero of this inhuman diversion.
STEEVENS. Line 254. -and he that hits me, let him be clapped on the shoulder, and called Adam.] But why should he therefore be called Adam? Perhaps, by a quotation or two we may be able to trace the. poet's allusion here. In Law-Tricks, or, Who would have thought it! (a comedy written by John Day, and printed in 1608) I find this speech. Adam Bell, a substantial outlaw, and a passing good archer, yet no tobacconist.-By this it appears, that Adam Bell at that time of day was of reputation for his skill at the bow.
THEOBALD. Adam Bell was a companion of Robin Hood, as may be seen in Robin Hood's Garland,
JOHNSON. Line 257. In time the savage bull doth bear the yoke.] This line is taken from the Spanish Tragedy, or Hieronymo, &c. 1605.
STEEVENS. Line 266. if Cupid have not spent all his quiver in Venice,] All modern writers agree in representing Venice in the same light as the ancients did Cyprus. And 'tis this character of the people that is here alluded to.
WARBURTON. Line 281. -guarded with fragments,] Guards were laces and fringes.
Line 283. ere you flout old ends, &c.] Before you endeavour to distinguish yourself any more by antiquated allusions, examine whether you can fairly claim them for your own. This, I think, is the meaning; or it may be understood in another sense, eramine, if your sarcasms do not touch yourself.
JOHNSON Line 316. The fairest grant is the necessity:] i.e. No one can have a better reason for granting a request than the necessity of its being granted.