« PreviousContinue »
thee. In Staffordshire, to rake the fire, is to cover it with fuel for the night.
JOHNSON. Line 725. —the death-practis'd duke: ] The duke of Albany, whose death is machinated by practice or treason. JOHNSON.
ACT IV. SCENE VII. Line 740.
- every measure fail me.] All good which I shall allot thee, or measure out to thee, will be scanty. JOHNS.
Line 745. Be better suited ;] i. e. Be better dressed, put on a better suit of clothes.
STEEVENS. my made intent :] An intent made, is an intent formed. So we say in common language, to make a design, and to make a resolution.
JOHNSON. Line 754. With this thin helm ?] With this thin covering of hair.
MALONE. Line 790. Hud not concluded all.] It is wonder that thy wits and life had not all ended.
JOHNSON. Line 838. To make him even o'er the time he has lost.] i. e. To reconcile it to his apprehension.
ACT V. SCENE I. Line 14. -forefended place ?] Forefended means prohibited, forbidden.
STEEVENS. Line 33. Sir, you speak nobly.] This reply must be understood ironically.
MALONE. Line 66. We will greet the time,] We will be ready to meet the occasion.
Johnson. Line 73.
carry out my side,] Bring my purpose to a successful issue, to completion.
JOHNSON. Line 80.
-for my state
Stunds on me &c.] The meaning is, rather-Such is my determination concerning Lear; as for my state it requires sow, not deliberation, but defence and support. JOHNSON.
ACT V. SCENE II. Line 94. Ripeness is all :) i. e. To be ready, prepared, is all.
ACT V. SCENE III.
Line 101. Who, with best meaning, hute incurr'd the worst.) i. e. the worst that fortune can inflict,
MALONE. Line 114. And take upon us the mystery of things,
As if we were God's spies :] As if we were angels commissioned to survey and report the lives of men, and were consequently endowed with the power of prying into the original motives of action and the mysteries of conduct. JOHNSON
Line 123. And fire us hence, like fores.] I have been informed that it is usual to smoke foxes out of their holes. STEEVENS,
Line 124. The goujeers shall devour them,] The goujeres, i. e. Morbus Gallicus. Gouge, Fr.
HANMER. Line 124. -flesh and fell,] Flesh and skin. JOHNSON. 135. Thy great employment
Will not bear question ; ] The important business which is now entrusted to your management does not admit of debate : you must instantly resolve to do it, or not. Question, here, as in many other places, signifies discourse, conversation.
MALONE. Line 157. And turn our impress'd lances in our eyes-] i. e. Turn the launcemen which are press'd into our service against us.
Line 175. The which immediacy-) Immediacy is supremacy, in opposition to subordination, which has quiddam medium between itself and power.
JOHNSON. Line 194. The let-alone lies not in your good will.] Whether he shall not or shall, depends not on your choice. JOHNSON.
Line 275. And that thy tongue some 'say of breeding breathes,] Say for essay, some show or probability.
Pope. Line 283. Alb. O save him, save him !
Gon. This is mere practice, Gloster :] Albany de sires that Edmund's life might be spared at present, only to obtain his confession, and to convict him openly by his own letter,
JOHNSON. Line 304. Let's exchange charity.] Our author, by negligence, gives his Heathens the sentiments and practices of Christ. ianity.
JOHNSON. Line 383. Here comes Kent, sir.) The manner in which Edgar
here mentions Kent, seems to require the lines which are inserted from the first edition in the foregoing scene.
JOHNSON. Line 414. That she fordid herself.] To fordo, signifies to destroy by suicide.
STEEVENS. Line 428. Fall, and cease !) Albany is looking with attention on the pains employed by Lear to recover his child, and knows to what miseries he must survive, when he finds them to be ineffectual. Having these images present to his eyes and imagination, he cries out, Rather fall, and cease to be, at once, than cortinue in existence only to be wretched.
STEEVENS. Line 448. If fortune brag of two she lov'd and hated,
One of them we behold.] I suppose by the two whom fortune once loved, and then hated, Kent means, Lear and himself; and that each of them, looking on the other, saw a rare instance of her caprice.
MALONE. Line 458. -of difference and decay,] Decay for misfortunes.
WARBURTON · Line 474. What comfort to this great decay may come,] This great decay is Lear, whom Shakspeare poetically calls so, and means the same as if he had said, this piece of decay'd royalty, this ruin'd majesty
STEEVENS. Line 482. And my poor fool is hang'd!] This is an expression of tenderness for his dead Cordelia (not his fool, as some bave thought), on whose lips he is still intent, and dies away while he is searching there for indications of life.
END OF THE ANNOTATIONS ON KING LEAR.
ROMEO AND JULIET.
ACT I. SCENE I.
Linel. -we'll not carry coals.] The phrase should seem to mean originally, We'll not submit to servile offices; and thence secondarily, We'll not endure injuries. MALOne. Line 34. —poor John.] is hake, dried, and salted. MAL.
66. thy swashing blow.] To swash seems to have meant to be a bully, to be noisily valiant.
Steevens. Line 78. Clubs, bills, &c.] When an affray arose in the streets, clubs was the usual exclamation.
MALONE. Line 82. Give me my long sword.] The long sword was the sword used in war, which was sometimes wielded with both hands.
JOHNSON. Line 175. Is the day so young!) i. e. is it so early in the day?
STEEVENS. 206. Why, such is love's transgression.] Such is the consequence
of unskilful and mistaken kindness. JOHNSON. Line 222. Tell me in sadness,] That is, tell me gravely, tell me in seriousness.
Line 236. And, in strong proof &c.] As this play was written in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, I cannot help regarding these speeches of Romeo as an oblique compliment to her majesty, who was not liable to be displeased at hearing her chastity praised after she was suspected to have lost it, or her beauty commended in the 67th year of her age, though she never possessed any when she was young. Her declaration that she would continue unmarried, increases the probability of the present supposition.
STEEVENS. Line 242. with beauty dies her store.] She is rich, says he, in beauty, and only poor in being subject to the lot of humanity, that her store, or riches, can be destroyed by death, who shall, by the same blow, put an end to beauty.
Johnson. Line 249. -wisely too fuir, &c.] There is in her too much sanctimonious wisdom united with beauty, which induces her to continue chaste with the hopes of attaining heavenly bliss.
ACT I. SCENE II.
Line 298. Inherit at my house ;] To inherit, in the language of Shakspeare's age, is to possess.
MALONE. Line 323. 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, she cures herself afterwards with it.
Dr. GREY. Line 358. 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.
STEVENS. Line 375. let there be weigh'd
Your lady's love against some other maid-) Your lady's love is the love you bear to your lady, which in our language is commonly used for the lady herself.
ACT I. SCENE III.
to my teen-) To my sorrow, JOHNSON. -it stinted,] i. e, it stopped, it forbore from