ePub 版
[blocks in formation]


31. Teaches is usually regarded as a mistake, having the plural subject dealings. But Abbott regards it as an old Northern plural, which ended in es. 32. Break his day fail to fulfil his engagement. 33. Fearful guard = protection to be feared. 34. Hie haste.


[blocks in formation]


2. Whose blood is reddest. Red blood was regarded as a sign of courMacbeth calls one of his frightened soldiers a lily-livered boy."



3. Fear'd terrified. Fear was often used transitively in this sense. 4. Best-regarded = most esteemed.


5. Nice fastidious, fanciful. She intimates that judgment has some

thing to do with her choice.

6. Scanted limited, restricted.


7. Wit wisdom. A. S. witan, to know. "Will" has been suggested as an emendation.

[blocks in formation]

9. Sophy = a common name for the emperor of Persia.

10. Sultan Solyman. - Probably Solyman the Magnificent, who reigned from 1520 to 1566.

II. Lichas was the servant of Hercules.

12. Alcides another name for Hercules. So called because a descenIdant of Alceus.

[blocks in formation]


deliberate, careful.

14. Temple church, in which the prince was to take the oath just spoken of.

[blocks in formation]

3. Grow to




for Heaven's sake.

a household phrase applied to milk when burnt to the bottom of the saucepan, and thence acquiring an unpleasant taste.” — - CLARK AND WRIGHT.

4. God bless the mark = a parenthetic apology for some coarse or pro

fane remark.

5. Incarnal = incarnate; intended as a ludicrous blunder. A number of others occur in this scene.

6. Sand-blind:


having a defect of sight, causing the appearance of small particles flying before the eyes. High-gravel-blind" is an effort

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]


conclusions; another Gobboism. "To try conclu

sions means to make experiments.

8. Marry a corruption of Mary; originally a mode of swearing by the Virgin, but here a mere expletive.

9. Sonties


saints, of which it is probably a corruption.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

11. Master was a title of respect that meant something in Shakespeare's day; hence Gobbo scruples to bestow it upon his son.

[blocks in formation]

15. Father..

- As young people often used this term of address in speak

ing to old men, Gobbo did not recognize his son.

16. Hovel-post = a post to support a hovel or shed.

17. Stand up. - Launcelot had been kneeling, and, according to an old tradition, with his back to his father, who mistook the hair of his head for a beard.

[blocks in formation]

thill-horse, the horse that goes between the thills or

19. Set up my rest = made up my mind. "A metaphor taken from a game, where the highest stake the parties were disposed to venture was called the rest."

[blocks in formation]

-The me is a dative of indirect personal reference, called

in Latin the dativus ethicus.

21. Gramercy great thanks. A corruption of the French grand merci. 22. Infection = affection or inclination; another Gobboism.


23. Cater-cousins

= an expression of difficult explanation. Commonly regarded as a corruption of the French quatre-cousins, fourth cousins.

[blocks in formation]

28. The old proverb "The grace of God is gear enough." 29. Guarded = braided, trimmed.

30. Table: =

palm of the hand, on which Launcelot is gazing. As Hudson explains, this "table doth not only promise, but offer to swear upon a book, that I shall have good fortune.”

31. Line of life = the line passing around the base of the thumb.

32. Edge of a feather-bed: = an absurd variation of "edge of the sword." 33. Liberal: free, reckless.


[blocks in formation]

35. With my hat. Hats were worn at meals; but while grace was saying, they were taken off and held over the eyes.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

4. Provideth of = provided with. The prepositions of, with, and by were often used interchangeably.

[blocks in formation]

3. Black-Monday. "In the 34th of Edward III., the 13th of April, and the morrow after Easter-day, King Edward, with his host, lay before the city of Paris; which day was full of dark mist and hail, and so bitter cold, that many men died on their horses' backs with the cold. Wherefore unto this day it hath been called Black-Monday.” — STOWE, as quoted by Hudson. 4. Fife = fifer, probably. A writer in 1618 says: "A fifer is a wryneckt musician."

5. Facob's staff.

"By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.” Heb. xi. 21.

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

professional jester or fool; so called from his motley or

1. Out-dwells out-stays.


2. Venus' pigeons. — The chariot of Venus was drawn by doves.
3. Obliged pledged, bound by contract.


[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

7. Who


whom. Shakespeare often omits the inflection.

8. Exchange, that is, of apparel.

[blocks in formation]

II. Beshrew me = curse me, used as a mild imprecation.

12. On't of it.

1. Who which.


In the Elizabethan age, who and which were not fully differentiated. Which was often used of persons, as who of things. "Our Father which art in heaven." Matt. vi. 9.

2. As blunt, that is, as the "dull lead."

3. Rated by thy estimation = valued by thy reputation.

4. Disabling = disparaging.

5. This shrine. — Portia is compared to a saint's shrine, which pilgrims often made long journeys to kiss.

6. Hyrcanian deserts: = an extended wilderness region lying south of the Caspian Sea.

7. Ten times undervalued.—This refers to silver, which in 1600 stood to gold in the proportion of ten to one in value.

[blocks in formation]

graven on the outside. The angel was in relief, The value of the coin was

and represented St. Michael piercing the dragon.

about ten shillings.

9. Carrion Death = a skull from which the flesh has disappeared.

[blocks in formation]

2. Keep his day, that is, the day fixed for the payment of the borrowed

[blocks in formation]

II. Quicken his embraced heaviness


enliven the sadness which he has

embraced or given up to.

12. Do we so = let us do so. This is an imperative, 1st person, plural.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

3. Address'd me = prepared myself, made ready.

4. Fortune now, etc. = Success now to my heart's hope!

5. By of. These two prepositions were not yet fully differentiated.


[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

That is, the offender cannot sit in judg


10. I wis I know. This is a blunder form for ywis, iwis, meaning certainly. "It is particularly to be noted," says Skeat, that the commonest form in MSS. is iwis, in which the prefix (like most other prefixes) is frequently written apart from the rest of the word, and not unfrequently the i is represented by a capital letter so that it appears as I wis. Hence, by an extraordinary error, the I has often been mistaken for the 1st per. pron., and the verb wis, to know, has been thus created, and is given in many dictionaries!"'

[blocks in formation]

14. My lord is in jesting response to the servant's inquiry, my lady?"

[blocks in formation]

"Where is

19. Lord Love =


1. The Goodwins =


the Goodwin Sands, off the eastern coast of Kent. 2. Knapped ginger = snapped or broke-up ginger- a favorite condiment with old people.

3. Wings she flew withal the clothes in which she eloped.


« 上一頁繼續 »