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-white and azure; lac'd With blue of heaven's own tint.-] So, in Romeo and Juliet : “What envious streaks do lace the severing
clouds." Perhaps we ought to regulate this passage thus :
-White, and azure-lac'd, With blue of heaven's own tinet. That is, white streaked with blue, and that blue celestial.
-on her left breast A mole cinque-spotted,] Our anthor certainly took this circumstance from some translation of Boccace's novel; for it does not occur in the imitation printed in Westward for Smelts. In the DECAMERONÉ, Ambrogivolo (the Iachimo of our author), who is concealed in a chest in the chamber of Madonna Zinevra (whereas in Westward for Smelts the contemner of female chastity hides himself under the lady's bed), wishing to discover some particular mark about her person, which might help him to deceive her husband, “ he at last espied a large mole under her left breast, with several hairs round it of the colour of gold.”
Though this mole is said, in the present passage, to be on Imogen's breast, in the account that Iachimo afterwards gives to Posthumus, our author has ad. hered closely to his original :
-under her breast, “ (Worthy the pressing) lies a mole, right proud « Of that most delicate lodging." MALONE.
-like the crimson drops l’the bottom of a cowslip :-] This simile contains the smallest out of a thousand proofs that Shakspere was a most accurate observer of nature. STEEVENS. 116.
--you dragons of the night!--] The task of drawing the chariot of night was assigned to dragons, on account of their supposed watchfulness. Milton mentions the dragon yoke of night in Il Penseroso ; and in his Masque at Ludlow-Castle : “ the dragon womb of Stygian darkness.” It may be remarked, that the whole tribe of serpents sleep with their eyes open, and therefore appear to exert a constant vigilance.
STEEVENS. -that dawning
May bare the raven's eye :--] The old reading is beare. The poet means no more than that the light might wake the raven; or, as it is poetically expressed, bare his eye.
STEEVENS. 139. Hark! hark! the lark at heaven's gate sings,] The same hyperbole occurs in Milton's Paradise Lost, Book V:
“ That singing up to heaven's gate ascend." Aguin, in Shakspere's 29th Sonnet :
“ Like to the lark at break of day arising
STEEVENS. 141. His steeds to water at those springs
On chalic'd flowers that lies ; ] i. e. the morning sun dries up the dew which lies in the cups of flowers,
It may be noted, that the cup of a flower is called calix, whence chalice.
Johnson. those springs
On chalic'd flowers that lies.] It may be observed, with regard to this apparent false concord, that in very old English, the third person plural of the present tense endeth in'eth, as well as the singular; and often familiarly in es, as might be exemplified from Chaucer, &c. Nor was this antiquated idiom quite worn out in our author's time, as appears from the following passage in Romeo and Juliet :
“ And bakes the elf-locks in foul sluttish hairs, " Which once untangled,
much inisfortune bodes :" as well as from many others in the Reliques of Ancient English Poetry.
PERCY. Dr. Percy might have added, that the third person plural of the Anglo-Saxon present tense ended in eth, and of the Dano-Saxon in es, which seems to be the original of such very ancient English idioms.
TOLLET. Shakspere frequently offends in this manner against the rules of grammar. So, in Venus and Adonis : “ She lifts the coffer lids that close his
eyes, “ Where lo, two lamps, burnt out, in darkness lies."
STEEVENS. 145 pretty bin:] Is very properly restored by Hanmer, for pretty is : but he too grammatically reads :.
With all the things that pretty bin. JOHNSON. So, in Spenser's Faery Queen, Book I. c. 1.
" That which of them to take, in diverse doubt
they bin.” Again, in The Arraignment of Paris, 1584: “Sir, you may boast your flockes and herdes, that
bin both fresh and fair." Again,
“ As fresh as bin the flowers in May.” Again,
“ Oenone, while we bin disposed to walk." Kirkmán aścribes this piece to Shakspere. The author was Geo. Peele.
STEEVENS. 148. - I will consider your musick the better :-) i. e. I will pay you more amply for it. So, in the Winter's Tale, act iv. " --being something gently consider'd, I'll bring you," &c.
-cats-guts, -] The old copy readscalves-guts.
STEEVENS. 168. To orderly solicits ; -] i, e, regular court. ship, courtship after the established fashion.
STEEVENS. The oldest copy reads--solicity. The reading of the text is that of the second folio.
MALONE. 182. -his goodness forespent on us,] i, e. The good offices done by him to us heretofore.
WARBURTON. 192. -false themsclues,
-] Perhaps, in this instance, false is not an adjective, but a verb; and as such I think is used in another of our author's plays. Spenser often has it:
“ Thou falsed hast thy faith with perjury."
STEEVENS. 225 -one of your great knowing
Should learn, being taught, forbearance.] i.e. A man who is taught forbearance should learn it.
Johnson, 229. Fools are not mad folks.] This, as Cloten very well understands it, is a covert mode of calling him fool. The meaning implied is this : If I am mad, as you tell
me, I am what you can never be, Fools are not mad folks.
STEEVENS. 235 so verbal :-] Is, so verbose, so full of talk.
JOHNSON. 243. The contract, &c.] Here Shakspere has not preserved, with his common nicety, the uniformity of character. The speech of Cloten is rough and harsh, but certainly not the talk of one,
Who can't take two from twenty, for his heart,
And leave eighteen.His argument is just and well enforced, and its prevalence is allowed throughout all civil nations; as for rudeness, he seems not to be much underinatched.
JOHNSON. 249. in self-figurd'd knot ;] This is nonsense, We should read,
-a self-figured-knot; That is, a knot formed by yourself. JOHNSON.
272, Tam sprighted with a fool;] 3. e. I am haunted by a fool, as by a spright. Over-sprighted is a word