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The reading of the text, on which Mr. Steevens has founded a very probable conjecture, is that of the first quarto.
And his interpretation is fully support. ed by a passage in Measure for Measure:
our compell’d sins “ Stand more for number than accompt," i. e. esti. mation.
There is also, I believe, an allusion to an old pro. verbial expression, that “ one is no number." So, in Decker's Honest Whore, Part II :
to fall to one,
is to fall to none, “ For one no number is."
MALONE. 286. Find them out, whose names are written here? The quarto, 1597, adds, “ And yet I know not who are written here: I must to the learned, to learn, of them; that's as much as to say, the tailor," &c.
STEEVBNS. -find those persons out, Whose names are written there. ] Shakspere has here closely followed the poem of Romeus and Juliet :
« No lady fair or foul was in Verona town,
MALONE. 294. Tut, man! one fire burns out another's burning
Take thou some new infe&tion to thy eye,
And the rank poison of the old will die.] Thus, in the same poem :
u Ere long the townish dames together will re
ons past of old. " As out of a plank a nail a nail doth drivc, “ So noved love out of the mind the ancient love doth rive."
MALONE. 300. Your plantain leaf is excellent for that.] Tackius tells us, that a toad, before she engages with a spider, will fortify herself with some of this plant; and that, if she comes off wounded, t-she cures herself afterwards with it.
GREY. 323. -to suipper ?] Surely these words, to sapper, must belong to the servant’s answer in the next speech: To supper, to our house.
STEEVENS. 330. crush a cup of wine. ] This cant expression seems to have been once common among low people. I have met with it often in the old plays. So, in the Two Angry Women of Abington, 1599 :
4. Fill the pot, 'hostess, &c. and we'll crush it." We still say, in cant language--to crack a bottle.
STEEVENS. let there be weigh'd
Your lady's love against some other maid] But the comparison was not betwixt the love that Romeo's
mistress paid him, and the person of any other young woman; but betwixt Romeo's mistress herself, and some other that should be matched against her. The poet therefore must certainly have wrote: Your lady-love against some other maid.
WARBURTON. Your lady's love is the love you bear to your lady, which in our language is commonly used for the lady herself.
REVISAL. 366. -to my teen—] To my sorrow. JOHNSON.
This old word is introduced by Shakspere for the sake of the jingle between teen, and four, and fourteen.
STEEVENS. 376. 'Tis since the earthquake now eleven years;] But how comes the nurse to talk of an earthquake upon this occasion. There is no such circumstance, I believe, mentioned in any of the novels from which Shakspere may be supposed to have drawn his story; and there. fore it seems probable, that he had in view the earthquake, which had really been felt in many parts of England in his own time, viz. on the 6th of April 1580. [See Stowe's Chronicle, and Gabriel Harvey's letter in the preface to Spenser's Works, edit. 1679.] If so, one may be permitted to conjecture, that Romeo and Juliet, or this part of it at least, was written in 1591, after the 6th of April, when the eleven years „since the earthquake were completed ; and not later than the middle of July, a fortnight and odd days before Lammas-tide.
389. -could stand alone ;-] The 4to, 1997, reads, could stand high lone, i. e. quite alone, completely alone. So, in another of our author's plays, high fantastical means entirely fantastical. STEEVENS.
401. -it stinted,-] i, e. it stopped, it forbore
« Stint thy babbling tongue.”
“ Pish! for shame stint thy idle chat."
" --Fame's but a blast that sounds a while,
“ And quickly stints, and then is quite forgot.” Spenser uses this word frequently in his Faery Queen.
STEEVENS. 403. Nurse. Yes, madam; yet I cannot choose, &c.] This speech and tautology is not in the first edition.
POPE. 419. It is an honour-] The first quarto reads honorr; the folio hour. I have chosen the reading of the quarto.
The word hcur seems to have nothing in it that could draw from the Nurse that applause which she immediately bestows. The word honour was likely to strike the old ignorant woman, as a very elegant and discreet word for the occasion.
Instead of this speech, the quarto, 1597, has only one line : Well, girl, the noble County Paris seeks thee for his wife.
STEEVENS. 429. -a man of wax.] So, in Wily Beguiled: " Why, he's a man as one should picture him in wax.'
STEEVENS -a man of wax. -] Well made, as if he had been modelled in wax, as Mr. Steevens by a happy quotation has explained it. « When you, Lydia, praise the waxen arms of Telephus" (says Horace). Waxen, well shaped, finely turned :
“ With passion swells my fervid breast,
“ With passion hard to be supprest." Dr. Bentley changes cerea into lactea, little under. standing that the praise was given to the shape, and not the colour.
S. W. 431. Nurse.] After this speech of the Nurse, Lady Capulet, in the old quarto, says only,
Well, Juliet, how like you of Paris' love? She
answers, " I'll look to like," &c. and so concludes the scene, without the intervention of that stuff to be found in the later quartos and the folio.
Steevens. 432. La. Cap. What say you, &c.] This ridiculous speech is entirely added since the first edition. Pope.
434. Read o'er the volume, &c.] The same thought occurs in Pericles Prince of Tyre :
" Her face the book of praises, where is read