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Trees are killed by a blast of lightning, that is, by blasting, not blasted lightning
JOHNSON, Line 306. -next vantage.] Next opportunity. JOHNSON. 320. -like the tyrannous breathing of the north,
Shakes all our buds from growing.] i. e. our buds of love, as our author has elsewhere expressed it. MALONE.
A bud without any distinct idea, whether of flower or fruit, is a natural representation of any thing incipient or immature ; and the buds of flowers, if flowers are meant, grow to flowers, as the buds of fruits grow to fruits.
ACT I. SCENE V. Line 336. -makes him—] In the sense in which we say, This will make or mar you.
JOHNSON Line 343. -words him, a great deal from the matter,] Makes the description of him very distant from the truth.
JOHNSON, Line 347. —under her colours,] Under her banner; by her influence.
JOHNSON. Line 369. -I did atone &c.] To atone signifies in this place to reconcile.
Steevens. Line 371. upon importance of so slight and trivial a nature.] Importance is here, as elsewhere in Shakspeare, importunity, instigation.
MALONE. Line 374. rather shunned to go even with what I heard, &c.] This is expressed with a kind of fantastical perplexity. He means, I was then willing to take for my direction the experience of others, more than such intelligence as I had gathered myself.
JOHNSON. Line 400
.--though I profess &c.] Though I have not the common obligations of a lover to his mistress, and regard her not with the fondness of a friend, but the reverence of an adorer.
JOHNSON, Line 429.
to convince the honour of my mistress ;] Convince for overcome.
WARBURTON. Line 448. abused-) Deceived.
JOHNSON. 458. approbation-] Proof.
Line 469. You are a friend, and therein the wiser.] You are a friend to the lady, and therein the wiser, as you will not expose her to hazard; and that you fear is a proof of your religious fidelity.
ACT I. SCENE VI. Line 530. Other conclusions ?] Other erperiments. I commend, says Walton, an angler that trieth conclusions, and improves bis art.
JOHNSON. Line 536. Your highness
Shall from this practice but make hard your heart :] There is in this passage nothing that much requires a note, yet I cannot forbear to push it forward into observation. The thought would probably have been more amplified, had our author lived to be shocked with such experiments as have been published in later times, by a race of men who have practised tortures without pity, and related them without shame, and are yet suffered to erect their heads among human beings.
Cape saxa manu, cape robora, pastor." Johnson. Line 549. I do not like her.] This soliloquy is very inartificial. The speaker is under no strong pressure of thought; he is neither resolving, repenting, suspecting, nor deliberating, and yet makes a long speech to tell himself what himself knows.
JOHNSON. Line 575. to shift his being,] To change his abode.
JOHNSON. 579. that leans ?] That inclines towards its fall.
JOHNSON. 602. Of liegers for her sweet ;] A lieger ambassador is one that resides in a foreign court to promote his master's interest.
ACT I. SCENE VII. Line 613. -0, that husband ?
My supreme crown of grief !] . Imogen means to .say, that her separation from her husband is the completion of her distress.
Blessed be those,
Which seasons comfort.] The last words are equivocal; but the meaning is this ; Who are beholden only to the seasons for their support and nourishment; so that, if those be kindly, such bave no more to care for, or desire. WARBURTON. Line 642,
and the rich crop
Of sea and land,] The crop of sea and land means only the productions of either element.
Steevens. Line 657. Should make desire vomit emptiness,
Not so allurid to feed.] Iachimo, in this counter feited rapture, has shown how the eyes and the judgment would determine in favour of Imogen, comparing her with the present mistress of Posthumus, and proceeds to say, that appetite too would give the same suffrage. Desire, says he, when it approached sluttery, and considered it in comparison with such neat excelļence, would not only be not so allured to feed, but, seized with a fit of loathing, would vomit emptiness, would feel the convulsions of disgust, though, being unfed, it had no object.
JOHNSON. Line 668.
Is strange and peevish.] He is a foreigner, and easily fretted.
JOHNSON. Line 704. In himself, 'tis much ;] If he merely regarded his own character, without any consideration of his wife, his conduct would be unpardonable.
MALONE, Line 727. timely knowing,] Rather-timely known.
JOHNSON I believe Shakspeare wrote--known, and that the transcriber's ear deceived him here as in many other places. MALONE. · Line 729. What both you spur and stop.] What is it that at once incites you to speak, and restrains you from it.
JOHNSON. This kind of ellipsis is common in these plays. What both you spur and stop at, the poet means.
JOHNSON. Line 737.
Join gripes with hànds
falsehood, is, hard by being often griped with frequent change of hands. ,
JOHNSON. Line 758. hird with that self-exhibition &c.] Gross strume pets, hir'd with the very pension which you allow your husband.
JOHNSON, · Line 836. being strange,] i. e. being a stranger.
ACT II. SCENE I. Line 2. kissed the jack upon an up-cast,] He is describing his fate at bowls. The jack is the small bowl at which the others are aimed. He who is nearest to it wins. To kiss the jack is a state of great advantage.
JOHNSON. Line 17. To have smelt- ] A poor quibble on the word rank in the preceding speech.
MALONE. Line 25. —with your comb on.] The allusion is to a fool's cap, which hath a comb like a cock's.
JOHNSON. Line 28. every companion-] The use of companion was the same as of fellow now. It was a word of contempt.
ACT II. SCENE II. Line 83. our Tarquin- ] The speaker is an Italian. Johns. 84.
Did softly press the rushes,] It was the custom in the time of our author to strew chambers with rushes, as we now cover them with carpets: the practice is mentioned in Caius de Ephemera Britannica.
JOHNSON. Line 105.
but as a monument,
Thus in a chapel lying!] Shakspeare was here thinking of the recumbent whole-length figures, which in his time were usually placed on the tombs of considerable persons. The head was always reposed upon a pillow.
MALONE. Line 111. like the crimson drops
l' the bottom of a cowslip :) This simile contains the smallest out of a thousand proofs that Shakspeare was an observer of nature.
Line 123. - 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 his Il Penseroso.
STEEVENS. Line 125.
May bare the raven's eye :] The poet means no more than that the light might wake the raven ; or, as it is poetically expressed, bare his eye.
STEEVENS. Line 127. One, two, three,] Our author is hardly ever exact in his computation of time. Just before Imogen went to sleep, she asked her attendant what hour it was, and was informed by her, it was almost midnight. Iachimo, immediately after she has fallen asleep, comes from the trunk, and the present soliloquy cannot have consumed more than a few minutes : yet we are now told that it is three o'clock.
ACT II. SCENE III.
Line 149. 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. WARB.
It may be noted that the cup of a flower is called calix, whence chalice.
JOHNSON. Line 192. And towards himself his goodness forespent on us
We must extend our notice.] i. e. The good offices done by him to us heretofore.
WARBURTON. That is, we must extend towards himself our notice of his goodness heretofore shown to us. Our author has many similar ellipses.
MALONE. Line 246. one of your great knowing
Should learn, being taught, forbearance.] i. e. A man who is taught forbearance, should learn it. JOHNSON.
Line 250. 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. Line 256. so verbal : ] is, so verbose, so full of talk.