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64. --bisson conspectuities] Bisson, blind, in the old copies, is beesome, restored by Mr. Theobald.
JOHNSON. 70. -you wear out a good, &c.] It appears from this whole speech that Shakspere mistook the office of præfe&tus urbis for the tribune's office.
WARBURTON. 76. set up the bloody flag against all patienc,-) That is, declare war against patience. There is not wit enough in this satire to recompense
JOHNSON. 96. -herdsmen of plebeians :- -] As kings are called σούμενες λάων.
JOHNSON. 107. Take my cap, Jupiter, and I thank the’:-) Shakspere so often mentions throwing up caps in this play, that Menenius may be well enough supposed to throw
in thanks to Jupiter. JOHNSON, 119. Galen] An anachronism of near 650 years, Menenius flourished anno U. C. 260, about 492 before the birth of our Saviour. Galen was born in the year of our Lord 130, flourished about the year 155 or 160, and lived to the year 200.
GREY. -possess'd of this ?] Possessid, in our au. thor's language, is fully informed. JOHNSON. 151.
He receiv'd in the repulse of Tarquin, seven
hurts i' the body. Men. One i' the neck, and two i the thigh; There's nine that I know.] The old man, agreeable to his character, is minutely particular: Seven wounds ? let me
see; one in the neck, two in the thigh–Nay, I am sure there are more; there are nine that I know of.
Upton. 161. -For nervy arms, read nervy arm -]
MALONE. 162. Which being advanc’d, declines,- --] Volumnia, in her boasting strain, says, that her son to kill his enemy, has nothing to do but to lift his hand up and let it fall.
JOHNSON. 166. -Coriolanus:] The old copy, Martius Caius Coriolanus.
STEEVENS. 180. My gracious silence hail!) The epithet to silence shews it not to proceed from reserve or sullenness, but to be the effect of a virtuous mind possessing itself in peace. The expression is extremely sublime; and the sense of it conveys the finest praise that can be given to a good woman. WARBURTON.
By my gracious silence, I believe, the poet meant, thou whose silent tears are more eloquent and grateful to me, than the clamorous applause of the rest! So, Crashaw:
“ Sententious show'rs! O! let them fall!
« Their cadence is rhetorical."
A lady's tears are silent orators,
“ The honey-tongued rhetorician.”
" Ah beauty, syren, fair enchanting good!
Again, in Every man out of his Humour : “ You shall see sweet silent rhetorick, and dumb elo. quence speaking in her eye.”
SteEVENS. I believe the meaning of my gracious silence is only thou whose silence is so graceful and becoming. Gracious seems to have had the same meaning formerly that graceful has at this day.
MALONE. 198. Com. Ever right.
Cor. Menenius, ever, ever.] Rather I think:
Com. Ever right, Menenius.
Cor. Ever, ever. Cominius means to say, that-Menenius is always the same :-retains his old humour. So in Julius Cæsar, act v. upon a speech from Cassius, Antony only says, -Old Cassius still.
TYRWHITT. 205. But with them change of honours.] Change of honours signifies variety of honours; as change of rayment, among the writers of that time, signified variety of rayment.
WARBURTON. 217. Into a rapture,- -] Rapture, a common term - at that time used for a fit, simply. So, to be rap’d, signified, to be in a fit.
WARBURTON. If the explanation of Bishop Warburton be allowed, a rapture means a fit, but it does not appear from the note where the word is used in that sense. The right word is in all probability “ rupture," to which children are liable from excessive fits of crying. This emendation was the property of a very engenious scholar long before I had any claim to it.
218. A maukin or milkin] Malkin is properly the diminutive of Mal (Mary); as Wilkin, Tomkin, &c. In Scotland, pronounced Maukin, it signifies a hare. Grey malkin (corruptly grimalkin) is a cat. The kitchen malkin is just the same as the kitchen Madge or Bess; the scullion.
REMARKS. After the morris-dance degenerated into a piece of coarse buffonery, and Maid Marian was personated by a clown, this once elegant queen of May obtained the name of Malkin. To this Beaumont and Fletcher allude in Monsieur Thomas :
“ Put on the shape of order and humanity,
faire with Coventry blue." Again, in the Spanish Curate of Beaumont and Fletcher, Diego says:
“ I give her per annum two hundred ells of lockram,
“ That there be no strait dealings in their linnens.' Again, in Glapthorne’s Wit in a Constable, 1639:
“ Thou thought'st, because I did wear lockram
STEEVENS. 223. --seld-shown flamens] i. e. priests who seldom exhibit themselves to public view. The word is
used in Humour out of Breath, a comedy, by John Day, 1607 :
“O seld-seen metamorphosis." The same adverb occurs in the old play of Hieronimo:
“ Why is not this a strange and seld-seen thing?" Şeld is often used by antient writers for seldom.
STEEVENS, 226. Commit the war of white and damask, in
Their nicely gawded cheeks,- -] So, in Shakspere’s Tarquin and Lucrece:
" The silent war of lillies and of roses,
“ Which Tarquin view'd in her fair face's field." Again, in the Taming of the Shrew:
“ Such war of white and red, &c.” Again, in Massinger's Great Duke of Florence :
« Between her York and Lancaster.” FARMER. 229., As if that whatsoever god-]. That is, as if that god who leads him, whatsoever god he be. JOHNSO 249. The napless vesture-] The players read
-the fire) The folio reads—his firem Perhaps we should read-as fire.
MALONE. 291. -carry with us ears and eyes, &c.] That is