« ForrigeFortsæt »
Old L. In faith, for little England
You'd venture an emballing : I myself
Would for CarnarvonshireLittle England seems very properly opposed to all the world; but what has Carnarvonshire to do here? Does it refer to the birth of Edward II. at Carnarvon ? or may not this be the allusion ? By little England is meant, perhaps, that territory in Pembrokeshire, where the Flemings settled in Henry I.'s time, who, speaking a language very different from the Welsh, and bearing some affinity to the English, this fertile spot was called by the Britons, as we are told by Camden, Little England beyond Wales; and, as it is a very fruitful
country, may be justly opposed to the mountainous and barren county of Carnarvon,
WHALLEY Might we read -You'd venture an empalling ; i, e. being invested with the pall or robes of state ? The word occurs in the old tragedy of K. Edward III. 1596:
“ As with this armour I impall thy breast." And, in Macbeth, the verb to pall, is used in the sense of enrobe : “ And pall thee in the dunnest smoke of hell."
MALONE. Might we not read, “ an embalming ?" A queenconsort is anointed at her coronation; and in King Richard II. the word is used in that sense : “With my own tears I wash away my balm.” Dij
Dr. Johnson properly explains it, the oil of consecration.
WHALLEY. Notwithstanding the objection of Mr. Tollet (who ought to have shewn that Shakspere was acquainted with his distinction between a queen and a queen-consort, to have made his argument conclusive], and all that has been added against the reading of the text, I cannot but think emballing to be right. Whether the Old Lady confined herself to the single sense which Dr. Johnson has given, is left for Mr. Collins to determine.
HENLEY. 439. More than my all, is nothing :- -] Not only my all is nothing, but if my all were more than it is, it were still nothing.
JOHNSON. 447. I shall not fail, &c.] I shall not omit to strengthen by my commendation, the opinion which the king has formed.
JOHNSON, 448. -I have perus'd her well :] From the many artful strokes of address the poet has thrown in upon queen Elizabeth and her mother, it should seem that this play was written and performed in his royal' mistress's time: if so, some lines were added by him in the last scene, after the accession of her successor, king James.
To lighten all this isle ? ] Perhaps alluding to the carbuncle, a gem supposed to have intrinsick light, and to shine in the dark; any other gem may reflect light, but cannot give it. JOHNSON. So, in Titus Andronicus ;
“ A precious
“ A precious ring that lightens all the hole.”
is it bitter ? forty pence, no.] Forty pence was in those days the proverbial expression of a small wager, or a small sum. Money was then reckoned by pounds, marks, and nobles. Forty pence is half a noble, or the sixth part of a pound. Forty pence, or three and four-pence, still remains in many offices the legal and established fee.
So, in All's Well that Ends Well, act ii. the clown says, As fit as ten groats for the hand of an attorney.
Again, in The Wild Goose Chace of Beaumont and Fletcher:
-Now could I spend my forty pence, “ With all my heart." Again, in Green's Groundwork of Coneycatching :
-Wagers laying, &c. forty pence gaged against a match of wrestling."
STEVENS 467. For all the mud in Egypt :-) The fertility of Egypt is derived from the mud and slime of the Nile.
Steevens. 486. Sennet,] Dr. Burney (whose General History of Musick has been so highly and deservedly applaud. ed) undertook to trace the etymology, and discover the certain meaning of this term, but without success. The following conjecture of his, should not, however, be withheld from the publick:
Senné or sennie de l'Allemand sen qui signifie assem, blée. Dict. de vieux Langage : “ Senne assemblée à son de cloche," Menage. Diij
Perhaps, therefore, says he, sennet may mean a flourish for the purpose of assembling chiefs, or apprizing the people of their approach. I have likewise been in. formed (as is elsewhere noted), that seneste is the name of an antiquated French tune, See Julius Cæsar, act i. sc. 2.
STEEVENS. In the second part of Marston's Antonio, • Cornets sound a cynet."
FARMER, In the stage-direction of one of Shakspere's plays, Sennet is used not for the tune, but instrument.
HENLEY. 486. pillars;] Pillars were some of the ensigns of dignity carried before cardinals. Sir Thomas More, when he was speaker to the commons, advised them to admit Wolsey into the house with his maces and his pillars. More's Life of Sir T. More. Johnson.
Skelton, in his Satire against Cardinal Wolsey, has these lines:
“ With worldly pompe incredible,
" Gapynge in every man's face :
STEEVENS, -two great silver pillars;] At the end of Fiddes's Life of Cardinal Wolsey, is a curious letter of Mr. Anstis's on the subject of the two silver pillars usually borne before Cardinal Wolsey. This remarkable piece of
pageantry did not escape the notice of Shakspere.
Percy. Wolsey had two great crosses of silver, the one of his archbishoprick, the other of his legacy, borne before whithersoever he went or rode, by two of the tallest priests that he could get within the realm, This is from Vol. III. p. 920, of Holinshed, and it seems from p. 837, that one of the pillars was a token of a cardinal, and perhaps he bore the other pillar as an archbishop.
Toller. 499. Sir, I desire you do me right and justice ; &c.] This speech of the queen, and the king's reply, are taken from Holinshed with the most triling variations.
STEVENS. 519. nay, gave not notice] In former editions ;
nay, gave notice, which, though the author's common liberties of speech might justify, yet I cannot but think that not was dropped before notice, having the same letters, and have therefore followed Sir Thomas Hanmer's cor, rection,
JOHNSON. 561. I am about to weep, &c.] Shakspere has given almost a similar sentiment to Hermione in the Winter's Tale, on an almost similar occasion :
“ I am not prone to weeping, as our sex
« Worse than tears drown," &c. STEEVENS. 569. and make my challenge, You shall not be my judge:] Challenge is here