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the most select and approving judgments. This airy facility of talk sometimes imposes upon wise men." Who has not seen this observation verified? JOHNSON,
Line 541. do but blow them &c.] These men of show, without solidity, are like bubbles raised from soap and water, which dance and glitter, and please the eye, but if you extend them by blowing hard, separate into a mist; so if you oblige these specious talkers to extend their compass of conversation, they at once discover the tenuity of their intellects. JOHNSON.
Line 574. Since no man, of aught he leaves, knows, what is't to leave betimes?] The meaning may be this,-Since no man knows aught of the state of which he leaves, since he cannot judge what other years may produce, why should he be afraid of leaving life betimes? Why should he dread an early death, of which he cannot tell whether it is an exclusion of happiness, or an interception of calamity. I despise the superstition of augury and omens, which has no ground in reason or piety; my comfort is, that I cannot fall but by the direction of Providence. JOHNSON.
Line 578. Give me your pardon, sir:] I wish Hamlet had made some other defence; it is unsuitable to the character of a good or a brave man, to shelter himself in falsehood. JOHNSON.
Line 629. the stoups of wine-] A stoop is a kind of flagon, containing somewhat more than two quarts. MALONE. Line 717. That are but mutes und audience to this act,] That are either auditors of this catastrophe, or at most only mute per formers, that fill the stage without any part in the action.
Line 745. the occurrents,] i. e. incidents. The word is now disused.
END OF THE ANNOTATIONS ON HAMLET.
-28. Wherein the toged consuls-] Consuls, for counsellors.
By toged perhaps is meant peaceable.
Line 33. must be be-lee'd and calm'd-] Be-lee'd and becalm'd are terms of navigation. I have been informed that one vessel is said to be in the lee of another, when it is so placed that the wind is intercepted from it. Iago's meaning therefore is, that Cassio had got the wind of him, and be-calm'd him from going on. STEEVENS.
this counter-caster;] It was anciently the pracSTEEVENS.
tice to reckon up sums with counters.
by letter,] By recommendation from powerful
Line 46. Whether I in any just term am affin'd-] Do I stand within any such terms of propinquity, or relation to the Moor,
as that it is my duty to love him?
-honest knaves:] Knave is here for servant, but
with a sly mixture of contempt.
Line 75. In compliment extern,] In that which I do only for an
outward show of civility.
Line 107. 109.
-is burst,] i. e. broken.
tupping your white ewe.] In the north of Eng
land a ram is called a tup.
-this is Venice;
My house is not a grange.] In Lincolnshire, and in other northern counties, they call every lone house, or farm which stands solitary, a grange. T. WARTON. -gennets for germans,] A jennet is a Spanish STEEVENS.
What profane wretch art thou?] That is, what wretch of gross and licentious language? In that sense Shakspeare often uses the word profane.
JOHNSON. Line 144. your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs.] In the Dictionnaire Comique, par le Roux, 1750, this phrase is more particularly explained under the article Bete: "Faire la bete a deux dos.—Maniere de parler qui signifie etre couché avec une femme; faire le deduit."-" Et faisoient tous deux souvent ensemble la bete a deux dos joyeusement." Rabelais, Liv I. MALONE.
Line 155, At this odd-even and dull watch o'the night,] The even of night is midnight, the time when night is divided into even parts.
-cast him ;] That is, dismiss him; reject him.
We still say, a cast coat, and a cast serving-man. JOHNSON, Line 212. By which the property of youth and maidhood ·
May be abus'd?] By which the faculties of a young
virgin may be infatuated, and made subject to illusions and false
Stuff is a word of great
is, substance or essence of the conscience.
force in the Teutonick languages. The elements are called in
Dutch, Hoefd stoffen, or head-stuffs.
the magnifico-] "The chief men of Venice
are by a peculiar name called magnifici, i, e. magnificoes."
-men of royal siege ;] Men who have sat upon
Line 250. royal thrones. Line 250 and my demerits-] Demerits has the same meaning in our author, and many others of that age, as merits. ·Mereo and demereo had the same meaning in the Roman language: STEEVENS:
unhoused-] Free from domestick cares. A
thought natural to an adventurer.
Line 256. For the sca's worth.] I would not marry her, though she were as rich as the Adriatick, which the Doge annually marries.
. Line 286.
a land carack;] A carack is a ship of great bulk, and commonly of great value; perhaps what we now call a galleon.
Line 312. The wealthy curled darlings of our nation,] Curled is elegantly and ostentatiously dressed. He had not the hair particu→ larly in his thoughts.
Line 315. - -to fear, not to delight.] To one more likely to terrify than delight her.
ACT I. SCENE III.
Line 349. There is no composition-] Composition, for cone sistency, concordancy. WARBURTON.
Line 356. As in these cases, where the aim reports,] Where men report not by certain knowledge, but by aim and conjecture.
with more facile question-] Question is for the act of seeking. With more easy endeavour.
Line 436: Stood in your action.] Were the man exposed to
Line 449. The very head and front of my offending-] The
your charge or accusation.
main, the whole, unextenuated.
Line 455. Their dearest action-] Their dearest action is their most important action.
Of modern seeming,] Weak show of slight appear
Line 490. the Sagittary,] The Sagittary means the sign of the fictitious creature so called, i. e. an animal compounded of man and horse, and armed with a bow and quiver. STEEVENS.
Line 517. Wherein of antres vast, &c.] Whoever ridicules this account of the progress of love, shows his ignorance, not only of history, but of nature and manners. It is no wonder that, in any age, or in any nation, a lady, recluse, timorous, and delicate, should desire to hear of events and scenes which she could never see, and should admire the man who had endured dangers, and performed actions, which, however great, were yet magnified by her timidity.
-antres-] French grottos.
Caves and dens.
Line 517. —and desarts idle,} Idle is an epithet used to express the infertility of the chaotick state, in the Saxon translation of the Pentateuch.
Do grow beneath their shoulders,] Of these men there is an account in the interpolated travels of Mandeville, a book of that time.
Raleigh also has given an account of men whose heads do grow beneath their shoulders, in his Description of Guiana, published in 1596, a book that without doubt Shakspeare had read. MALONE.
Line 585. Let me speak like yourself;] i. e. let me speak as yourself would speak, were you not too much heated with passion. Sir J. REYNOLDS. as a grise,] Grize from degrees. A grize is STEEVENS.
Line 587. a step.
Line 601. But the free comfort which from thence he hears:] But the moral precepts of consolation, which are liberally bestowed on occasion of the sentence.
Line 616. to slubber the gloss of your new fortunes-] To slubber, on this occasion, is to obscure.
thrice driven bed of down:] A driven bed, is
a bed for which the feathers are selected, by driving with a fan, which separates the light from the heavy.