« PreviousContinue »
called “ A gorgeous gallery of gallant Inventions, 1578," I find it mentioned.
“ Sir Romeus annoy but trifle seems to mine." and again, Romeus and Juliet are celebrated in “ A poor Knight “ his Palace of private Pleasures, 1579."
I quote these passages for the sake of observing, that if Shakespeare had not read Painter's translation, it is not likely that he would have altered the name to Romeo. There was another novel on the subject by L. da Porto; which has been lately printed at Venice.
(P. 8.) “ Here comes one of my Mafter's kinsmen." Some mistake has happened in this place : Gregory is a servant of the Caçulets ; and Benvolio was of the Montague faction.
IP. 37. n. 5.) You read very rightly, " A hall! A hall! So in Marslon's Satires--" A hall, a hall! Room for the Spheres ! &c.'' and Davies in one of his epigrams, " A hall! my masters, give Rotundus room."
(P. 58.) They stand so much on the new form, that they • cannot fit at ease on the old bench." This conceit is loft, if the double meaning of the word form be not attended to.
(P.61.) The bufiness of Peter carrying the Nursi's fan, feems ridiculous according to modern manners; but I find such was formerly the practice. In an old pamphlet, called “ The Serving“ man's Comfort,” 1598, we are informed, “ The mistress must “ have one to carry her cloake and hood, another her fanne." (P.78.) • You will find me a grave man.
n." This jest was bet. ter in old language, than it is at present; Lidgate says, in his elegy upon Chaucer,
My master Chaucer now is grave." (P. 89.) “ O woful sympathy!
“ Piteous predicament." One may wonder the editors did not see that this language must necessarily belong to the Friar.
H A M L E T.
(P. 150, n. 5.) Puttenham in his Art of Poesie, speaks of the Figure of Twynnes, " horses and barbes, for barbed borfes, verim & Dartes, for venimous Dartes, &c.”
(P. 153. n. 9.) A diftich from the life of Merlin by Heywood, will thew that there is no occasion for correction,
“ Merlin well versed in many an hidden spel,
“ His countries omen did long since foretell.” (P. 154. n. 2.) Bourne of Newcastle in his Antiquities of the common People, informs us, “ it is a received tradition anong the "« vulgar, that at the time of cock crowing, the midnight spirits . forsake these lower regioas, and go to their proper places.
“ Hence it is, says he, that in country places, where the way “ of life requires more early la'our, they always go chearfully “ to work at that time ; whereas if they are called abroad sooner, “ they imagine every thing they see a wandering ghoft.” And he quotes on this occasion, as all his predeceffors had done, the well known lines froin the first hymn of Prudentius. I know not whose translation he gives us, but there is an old one by Heywood. The pious Chansons, the hymns and carrols, which Shake speare mentions presently, were ulually copied from the elder
(P. 159. n. 3.) I question whether a quibble between fun and Jan be not here intended,
(P. 184.) “ Heaven will dire it ;" perhaps it may be more apposite to read
Heaven will detcct it.” (P. 191.)
My tables-meet it is I set it down;" This is a ridicule of the practice of the time. Hall says, in his character of the Hypocrite,
“ He will ever fit “ where he may be feene best, and in the midft of the sermon
pulles out his Tables in hafte, as if he feared to loose that note, &c.
(P. 297.) The most beautified Ophelia. ' Heyvar/in his History of Edward VI. says, “ Katherine Parre, queen dowager to king « Henry VIII, was a woman beautified with many excellent vir
(P. 212. n. 1.) Had Shakespeare read Juvenal in the original, he had met with “ De temone Britanno, Excidet Arviragus. and
“ Uxorem, Pofthume, ducis ?" We should not then have had continually in Cymbeline, Arvirugus and Pofthumus. Should it be said that the quantity in the former word might be forgotten, it is clear from the mistake in the latter, that Shakespeare could not pollibly have read any one of the Roman poets.
There was a translation of the roth Satire of Juvenal by Sir John Beaumont, the elder brother of the famous Francis : but I cannot tell whether it was printed in Shakespeare's time. In that age of quotation, every claffic might be picked up by piece-meal.
I forgot to mention in its proper place, that another description of Old Age in As you like it, has been called a parody of a pastage in a French poem of Garnier. It is trifling to say any thing about this, after the observation I made in Macbeth: but one may remark once for all, that Shakespeare wrote for the people; - and could not have been so absurd to bring forward any allusion, which had not been familiarized by some accident or other, (P. 214. n 2.) So Davies,
“ Man's life is but a dreame, nay, less than so,
(P. 226, . 9.) “ The mobbled queen." I meet with this word in Shirley's Gentleman of Venice, “ The moon does mobble
herself." (P. 236.) “ That undiscovered country, from whose boarne
“ No traveller returns." This has been cavilled at by lord Orrery and others, but, with: out reason.
The idea of a traveller in Shakespeare's time, was of a person who gave an account of his adventures. Every voyage was a Difiovery. John Taylor has “ A Discovery by sea from London to Salisbury.
(P. 239. n. 1.) This regulation is needless. So in Tarquin and Lucruce,
“ Princes are the glass, the school, the book,
“ Where subjects eyes do legria, do read, do look." and in Quintilian, “ Multum agit fexus, ætas, conditio; ut in fceminis, finibus, pupillis, liberos, parentes, conjuges, alligantibus." - (P. 242.) I would read thus, “ There be players, that I have “ leen play, and heard others praise, and that bighly (not to
speak profanely) that neither having the accent nor the gait of “ Christian, Pagan, nor Musulman, have so strutted and bel. “ lowed, that I thought some of nature's journeymen had made “ the men, and not made them well, &c.
(P. 246. n. 7.) Here again is an equivoque. In Mafinger's Old Law, we have
“ A cunning grief,
“ But gawdy-hearted." —
(P.255. n. 8.) A peacock seems proverbial for a fool. Thus Gascoigne in his weeds,
“ A theefe, a cowarde, and a peacocke foole.” (P. 281. n. 5.) Surely this should be “ like an ape an apple." (P.282. n. 7.) So in the Spanish tragedy,
- In troth, my lord, it is a thing of nothing." and in one of Harvey's letters, “ a lily bug beare, a forry puffe of winde, a thing of nothing." (P. 290.) Without doubt,
“ Good morrow, 'tis Saint Valentine's day.
“ I will drinke
I believe it has not been observed that many of these fonnets are addressed to his beloved nephew William Harte.
P. 329.) “ Nay, in good faith-for mine eafe." This seems to have been the affected phrase of the time. This in Marlton's Malecontent, “ I beseech you, Sir, be covered.”- "Non “ in good faith for my ease.” And in other places. .
(P. 357. n. 1.) I have seen a French translation of Cynthio by Gabriel Chappuys, Par. 1584. This is not a faithful one; and I fufpe&t, thro' this medium the work came into English.
(P. 437. n. 9.) In this place, and some other, to mock seems the same with to mammock.
(P. 453.) If I am not deceived, this passage has been entirely mistaken. I read
“ Let him command.
“ What bloody business ever And for if is sufficiently common: and Othello's impatience breaks off the sentence ; I think, with additional beauty.
(P. 466. n. 6.) Shakespeare had probably in view a very popu. lar book of his time, The Bechive of the Roman Church. “There “ was an old wife, called Julia, which would take the young “ men and maides, and lay them together in a bed. And for “ that they should not one byte another, nor kicke backewardes “ with their heeles, she did lay a crucifix betweene them.”
(P. 500. n. 5.) This has been considered as a very difficult line. Fielding makes Betterton and Booth dispute about it with the author himself in the other world. The punctuation recommended by Dr. Warburton, gives a spirit to it which, I fear, was not intend. ed. It seems to have been only a play upon words. To put the light out was a phrase for to kill. In the Maid's tragedy, Melantius says,
'Tis a justice and a noble one, “ To put the light out of such base offenders.” ¡P.510.) I question, whether Othello was written early enough to be ridiculed in the Poetaster. There were many other Moors or the stage. It is certain at least, that the passage,
* Our new heraldry is hands, not hearts.' could not be inserted before the middle of the year 1611.
(P. 515.) I abide by the old text, “ the base Indian.” Shakes Speare seems to allude to Hered in the play of Mariamne,
“ I had but one inestimable jervel
Thus have I, my dear Sir, accomplished my promise, as well as the port notice you have given me, and my many avocations would permit me. I have no value for any of the corrections that I have attempted : but I Aatter myself, that I have sometimes irrefragably supported the old text against the attacks of former commentators,
I am, dear Sir,
Your very obedient servant,