But the context shews that the second best was inad. vertently repeated by the compositor. MALONE.

705. Enter Armado.] The old copies read-Enter Braggart.

STEEVENS. 713. I wish you the peace of mind, most royal couplement!] This singular word is again used by our author in his 21st Sonnet : “ Making a couplement of proud compare.”

MALONE. 719. And if these four worthies, &c.] These two lines might have been designed as a ridicule on the conclusion of Selimus, a tragedy, 1594 :

«« If this first part, gentles, do like you well,
“ The second part shall greater murders tell."

Sree VENS. 725. A bare throw at novum,--] Novum (or novem) appears from the following passage in Green's Art of Legerdemain, 1612, to have been soine game at dice: “ The principal use of them (the dice) is at novum," &c. Again, in The Bell-man of London, by Decker, 5th edit. 1640: “ The principal use of langrets is at novum ; for so long as a payre of bard cater treas be walking, so long can you cast neither 5 nor 9--for without cater treay, 5 or 9, you can never come."; Again, in A Woman never vex’d:“ What ware deal you in? Cards, dice, bowls, or pigeon-holes; sort them yourselves, either passage, novum, or mumchance."

STEEVENS. 716. Cannot prick out, &c.] To prick uot, is ta


nominate ancient

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

nominate by a puncture or mark. So, in our author's
20th Sonnet:
“ But since she prick'd thee out for woman's

MALONE, 728. Pageant of the Nine Worthies.] In MS. Harl. 2057, p. 31, is “ The order of a showe intended to be made Aug. 1, 1621."

First, 2 woodmen, &c.
“ St. George fighting with the dragon.

“ The 9 worthies in compleat armor, with crownes of gould on their heads, every one having his esquires to beare before him his shield and penon of armes, dressed according as these lords were accustomed to be: 3 Assaralits, 3 Infidels, 3 Christians.

“ After them, a Fame, to declare the rare virtues and noble deedes of the 9 worthye women."

Such a pageant as this, we may suppose it was the design of Shakspere to ridicule.

STEEVENS. This sort of procession was the usual recreation of our ancestors at Christmas and other festive seasons. Such things, being chiefly plotted and composed by ignorant people, were seldom committed to writing, at least with the view of preservation, and are of course rarely discovered in the researches of even the most industrious antiquaries. And it is certain that nothing of the kind (except the speeches in this scene, which were intended to bụslesque them) ever appeared in print.

REMARKS, Mr. Reed refers further to the Remarks for a specimen of the poetry and manner of this rude and

[ocr errors]

ancient drama, as there given from an original manu. script of the time of Edward IV.

Tanner's MSS. 407. 731. With libbard's head on knee.] This alludes to the old heroic habits, which on the knees and shoulders had usually, by way of ornament, the resemblance of a leopard's or lion's head.

WARBURTON, The libbard, as some of the old English glossaries inform us, is the male of the panther. STEEVENS.

See Masquine, in Cotgrave's Dictionary : “ The representation of a lyon's head, &c. upon the elbow, or knee, of some old fashioned garments.”

TOLLET, 749. -it stands too right.] It should be remembered, to relish this joke, that the head of Alexander was obliquely placed on his shoulders.

STEEVENS, Shakspere is not the only poet who has noticed the wry neck of Alexander. Archelaus, at the sight of his statue in bronze, by Lysippus (who, to hide this deformity had represented the hero as looking up with a conscious majesty towards heaven), no less happily expressed, than greatly conceived, the artist's design. (ANTHOLOGIA Steph, p. 314.)

[merged small][ocr errors]

Αυδασoντι δ' εoικεν ο χαλκεος ες Δια λευσσων"
Γαν υπ' εμοι τιθεμαι, Ζευ· συ δ' Oλυμπον εχε.


" Let us the sway divide, o Jove! he cries :
“ The earth be mine; do thou possess the skies."

HENLEY. 759. -lion, that holds his poll-ex, sitting on a closestool,-) This alludes to the arms given, in the old : history of the Nine Worthies, to Alexander, “ the which did beare geules, a lion or, seiante in a chayer, holding a battel-ax argent.” Leigh's Accidence of Armory, 1597, p. 23.

TOLLET. 760. A-jax ;] This conceit, paltry as it is, was used by Ben Jonson, and Camden the antiquary. Ben, among his Epigrams, has these two lines:

" And I could wish, for their eternis'd sakes,
“ My muse had plough'd with his that sung

So, Camden, in his Remains, having mentioned the
French word pet, says,

Enquire, if


understand it not, of Cloacina's chaplains, or such as are well read in A-jax.”

STEEVENS. 792. A cittern-head.] So, in Fancies Chaste and Noble, 1638: “-A cittern-headed gew-gaw.” Again, in Decker's Match me in London, 1631 : “ Fiddling on a cittern with a man's broken head at it.” Again, in Ford's Lover's Melancholy, 1629: I hope the chronicles will rear me one day for a head-piece"

“ Of woodcock without brains in it'; barbers shall wear thee on their citterns," &c.

steevens. 797 on a flask.] i. e. a soldier's powder. horn. So, in Romeo and Juliet:

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

-like powder in a skilless soldier's flask, " Is set on fire.” Again, in the Devil's Charter, 1607: “ Keep a light match in cock; wear flask and touch-box."

Steevens. 817. Hector was but a Trojan--] A Trojan, I be. lieve, was, in the time of Shakspere, a cant term for a thief. So, in King Henry IV. Part I: “ Tut, there are other Trojans that thou dream’st not of,” &c. Again, in this scene, -unless you play the honest Trojan," &c.

STEEVENS. 829. Stuck with cloves. ] An orange stuck with cloves appears to have been a common new year's gift. So, Ben Jonson, in his Christmas Masque : -" he has an orange and rosemary, but not a clove to stick in it.”' A gilt nutmeg is mentioned in the same piece, and on the same occasion.

Steevens. 831. -of lancesą] i.e. lance men. STEEVENS.

833. —he would fight, yea,] Thus all the old copies. Theobald very plausibly reads--he would fight ye; a cominon vulgarism.

STEEVENS. 868. --more Ates;] That is, more instigation, Ate was the mischievous goddess that incited blood. shed.

JOHNSON. So, in King John : “ An Até, stirring him to war and strife."

STEEVENS. 874. -like a northern man ;] Vir Borealis, a clown, See Glossary to Urry's Chaucer,


« 上一页继续 »