« AnteriorContinuar »
baker's daughter. Lord, we know what we are, but know not what we may be. God be at your table !
King. Conceit upon her father.
Oph. Pray, let us have no words of this ; but when they ask you, what it means, say you this:
To-morrow is Saint Valentine's day',
All in the morning betime,
And dupp'd the chamber door?;
Never departed more.
To be your
So Sir John Grey, in a letter in Ashmole's Appendix to his Account of the Garter, Numb. 46: “ The king of his gracious lordthipe, God yeld him, hafe chosen me to be owne of his brethrene of the knyghts of the garter." THEOBALD.
See Vol. IV. p. 302, n. 9. MALONE.
8-ibe owl was a baker's daugbrer.] This was a metamorphosis of the common p?ople, arising from the mealy appearance of the owl's feathers, and her guarding the bread from mice. WARBURTON.
To guard ebe bread from mice, is rather the office of a cat than an owl. în barns and gianaries, indeed, the services of the owl are fill acknowledged. This was, however, no metamorp basis of ihe common people, but a legendary story, which both Dr. Johnson and myself have read, yet in what book at least I cannot recollect.-Our Saviour being refused bread by the daughter of a baker, is described as punishing her by turning her into an owl. STEEVENS.
9 Saint Valentine's day,] There is a rural tradition that about this time of year birds choose their mates. Bourne in his Antiquities of ibe Common People, obferves, that " it is a ceremony never omitted among the vulgar, to draw lots, which they term Valentines, on the eve before Valentine-day. The names of a select number of one sex are by an equal number of the other put into some vesel; and after that every one draws a name, which for the present is called their Valentine, and is also look'd upon as a good omen of their being man and wife afterwards.” Mr. Brand adcs, that he has " searched the Legend of St. Valentine, but thinks there is no occurrence in his life, that could have given rise to this ceremony." MALONE.
don n'd bis cloarbs,] To don, is to do on, to put on, as doff is to do off, put off. STEEVENS.
2 And dupp'd the chamber-door;] To dup, is to do up; to lift the latch. It were easy to write, And op'd JOHNSON To dup, was a common contraction of to do up. So, in Damon and
King. Pretty Ophelia !
By Gis, and by Saint Charity?,
Alack, and fie for foame!
By cock 4, they are to blame.
(He answers . ]
An thou hadst not come to my bed.
Oph. I hope, all will be well. We must be patient : but I cannot choose but weep, to think, they should lay
Pyrbias, 1582:“ the porters are drunk; will they not dup the gate to-day?”
Lord Surrey, in his translation of the second Æneid, renders Panduntur porta, “ The gates caft up, we iflued out to play.” The phrase seems to have been adopted either from doing up the lateb, or drawing up the portcullis.
It appears from Martin Mark-all's Apologie to tbc Bel-man of London, 1610, that in the cant of gypsies, &c. Dup the gigger, signified to open the doore. STEEVENS.
3 By Gis, and by Saint Charity, ) Saint Charity is a known faint among the Roman Catholics. Spenter mentions her, Eclog. V. 255:
" Ah dear lord, and sweet Saint Charity!" I find, by Gise, used as an adjuration, both by Gascoigne in his Poems, by Preston in his Cambyses, and in K. Edward III. 1599 :
“ By Gis, fair lords, ere many daies be past," &c. STEEVENS. In the scene between the bastard Faulconbridge and the friers and nunne in the first part of Tbe troublesome Raigne of King Jobm, (edit. 1779, p. 256, &c.) the nunne swears by Gis, and the friers pray to Seine Witbold, (another obsolete saint mentioned in K. Lear, Act III.) and adjure him by Saint Cbaritie to hear them.
BLACKSTONE. By Gis-There is not the least mention of any saint whose name corresponds with this, either in the Roman Calendar, the service in Ujum Sarum, or in the Benedictionary of Bishop Athelwold. I believe the word to be only a corrupted abbreviation of Jesus, the letters J.H. S. being anciently all that was let down to denote that sacred name, on altars, the covers of books, &c. RIDLEY.
4 By cock,-) This is likewise a corruption of the sacred name. Many instances of it are given in a note at the beginning of the fisch Act of the Second Part of K. Henry IV. STEEVENS. s He answers.] These words I have added from the quartos.
him i' the cold ground: My brother shall know of it, and so I thank you for your good counsel. Come, my coach! Good night, ladies ; good night, sweet ladies : good night, good night.
[Exit. King. Follow her close; give her good watch, I pray you.
[Exit Horatio. O! this is the poison of deep grief; it springs All from her father's death : And now behold, O Gere
trude, Gertrude, When sorrows come, they come not single spies, But in battalions! First, her father slain ; Next, your son gone; and he most violent author Of his own just remove: The people muddy'd, Thick and unwholesome in their thoughts, and whispers, For good Polonius' death; and we have done but greenly?, In hugger-mugger to enter him 8 : Poor Ophelia Divided from herself, and her fair judgment; Without the which we are pictures, or mere beasts. Lait, and as much containing as all these,
Her 5 Come, my coach! Good night, ladies;] In Marlowe's Tambur. laire, 1590, Zabina in her frenzy uses the same expression : “ Hell, make ready my coacb, my chair, my jewels. I come, I come,” MALONI.
but greenly,] But unskilfully; with greenness; that is, without maturity of judgment. Johnson.
8 In hugger-mugger to enter bim :-] All the modern editions that I have consulted, give it,
Ir private to enter bim ;That the words now replaced are better, I do not undertake to prove; it is sufficient that they are Shakspeare's: if phraseology is to be changed as words grow uncouth by disuse, or gross by vulgarity, the history of every language will be loft; we shall no longer have the words of any author; and, as these alterations will be often unskil. fully made, we shall in time have very little of his meaning. JOHNSON.
On this just observation I ground the restoration of a grols and unpleasing word in a preceding passage, for which Mr. Pope substituted groan. See p. 290, n. 3. The alteration in the present instance was made by the same editor. MALONE.
Shakspeare probably took the expression from the following paffage in Sir T. North's transation of Plutarch.--" Antonius thinking that his body should be honourably buried, and not in bugger.mugger." It is used in Harrington's Ariosto :
“ So that it might be done in bugger-mugger." It appears from Greene's Groundwork of Coneycarcbing, 1592, that to bugger, was to lurk about. STEEVENS.
Her brother is in secret come from France:
[ A noise ruithin. Queen. Alack! what noise is this 3 ?
Enter a Gentleman. King. Attend. Where are my Switzers * ? Let them
guard the door: What is the matter?
The meaning of the expression is ascertained by Florio's Italian Dictionary, 1598: “ Dinascojo, Secretly, hiddenly, in bugger-mugger."
MALONE 9 Feeds on bis wonder,–] The folio reads-Keeps on bis wonder,-. The quarto,-Feeds on this wonder.-Thus the true reading is picked out from between them. Hanmer reads unneccfiarily,-Feeds on bis anger. JOHNSON.
1 Wberein neceffity, &c.] Wber ein, that is, in wbich peftilent Speecbes, neceflicy, or, ibe obligation of an accufer 10 support bis charge, will not bing Älick, &c. JOHNSON.
2 Like to a murdering-piece, &c.] Dr. Warburton thought that by a murdering-piece was meant “ such a piece as assassins use, with many barrels"; and Mr. Steevens conceived, that this explanation was juftified by the following passage in Tbe Double Marriage of B. and Fletcher:
“ And, like a murdering piece, aims not at one,
" But all that stand within the dangerous level." But Dr. Warburton was certainly mistaken. A murdering-piece was the specifick term in Shaklpeare's time, for a piece of ordnance, or small cannon. The word is found in Coles's Latin Dictionary, 1679, and rendered, “ tormentum murale."
The small cannon, which are, or were, used in the forecastle, halfdeck, or steerage of a thip of war, were within this century called murdering-pieces. MALONE. 3 Alack! &c.] This speech of the Queen is omitted in the quartos.
STEEVENS. Wbere are my Switzers ? ] I have observed in many of our old plays, that the guards attendant on kings are called Switzers, and that without any regard to the country where the scene is laid. REED.
The reason is, because the Swiss in the time of our poet, as at present, were hired to fight the battles of other nations. So, in Nashe's Cbriff's Teares over Jerusalem, 4to, 1994: “Law, logicke, and the Switzers, may be hired to fight for any body.” MALONE.
Gen. Save yourself, my lord;
Queen. How cheerfully on the false trail they cry!
4 Tbe ocean over-peering of bis list,] Lift, in this place, fignifies boundary, i. e, the shore. So, in K. Henry IV. P. I. : “ The very lift, the very
utmost bound " Of all our fortunes.' The selvage of cloth was in both places, I believe, in our authour's thoughts. MALONE.
5 Tbe ratifiers and props of every word,] Sir T. Hanmer would transpose this line and the next. Dr. Warburton proposes to read, ward, and Dr. Johnson, weal, instead of word. I should be rather for reading, work. Tyrwhitt.
In the first folio there is only a comma at the end of the above line; and will not the passage bear this construction ?-The rabble call him lord; and, as if the world were now but to begin, and as if the ancient custom of hereditary succeflion were unknown, they, the ratifiers and props of every word be utters, cry, Let us make choice, that Laertes Thall be king. TOLLET.
This conftru&tion might certainly be admitted, and the ratifiers and props of every word might be understood to be applied to the rabble mentioned in a preceding line, without Hanmer's transposition of this and the following line; but there is no authority for what Mr. Tollet adds, “ of every word be [i. e. Laertes] utters," for the poet has not described Laertes as having uttered a word. If therefore the rabble are called the rarifiers and props of every word, we must understand, “ of every word uttered by obemselves :” which is so tame, that it would be unjust to our poet to suppose that to have been his meaning. Ratifiers, & c. refer not to the people, but to custom and antiquity, which the speaker says are the true ratifiers and props of
The last word however of the line may well be fufpected to be corrupt; and Mr. Tyrwhitt has probably suggested the true reading.
MALONE. • 0, bis is ccunter, you falje Danifh dogs.] Hounds run counter when they trace the trail backwards. JOHNSON.