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coat, wearing a cap with a pair of ass's ears, and armed with
a dagger of lath. 100. Cutpurse—thief. Purses being worn outside hanging to the
girdle, were often cut away and stolen. 115. Conceit-fancy, imagination. See King Lear, IV, vi, 42; As
You Like It, II, vi, 7. 142. It is not madness that I have utter'd. Acts, xxvi, 25. 154. Pursy., 'Poulsif-pursie; shortwinded, breathing with diffi
culty'—COTGRAVE. 162-166, 168-171. That monster put on.
The next .. potency. Omitted in folio 1623. 170. Curb. So we read with Malone, Steevens, Boswell, Chal
mers, Singer, White, Keightley, Hudson, etc. Quartos 1604, 1605, read And either, the; quarto 1611, and maister the ; quartos 1619 and 1676, and master the, which Rowe, Knight, Collier, Elze, etc., accept. Tschischwitz reads overcome ; Mr Bullock of Aberdeen, wither up. E. Forsyth proposed house ; Dr B. Nicholson, throne ; Č. E. Moberly, quell; Ingleby, lay or shame, leaning favourably to the latter; the Clarendon Press editors, couch or lodge. Overmaster, mate, hoist, overmatch, mask, entertain, and many other readings,
all conjectural, have been suggested. 179. I must be cruel only to be kind. Gibbon, foundi on Aurelius
Victor, states that the Emperor Severus having put forty-one senators, their wives, children, and clients to death, justified his conduct by saying, “To be mild, it was necessary that he should first be cruel'--History of the Decline and Fall of
Rome, chap. v. 195. The famous ape. 'Shakespeare seems to allude to some well
known story or sable of an ape, who being near a basket, in some tower or high place, was curious to see what was in it; he contrived to open it; and on seeing the birds which were in it fly away, to make experiment, whether he could not do the like, he crept into the basket, and, by his weight, tumbled it down and broke his neck'-Thomas Davies' Dramatic
Miscellanies, iii, p. 114. 203-211. Omitted in folio 1623. 207. The engineer hoist with his own petard. The eighth emblem
in Theodore Beza's Icones, 1580, shows a cannon bursting, and with one
its fragments killing the cannonier; and the Middle Age proverb ran, • Quibus rebus confidimus, iis maxime evertimur' (To whatever things we trust, by these are we for the most part overthrown).
ACT IV.-SCENE I. 25. Ore among a mineral. Shakespeare, with a licence not
unusual among his contemporaries, uses ore for gold and min. eral for mine-S. W. SINGER.
40-44. So haply air. Omitted in folio 1623. 41. Diameter. In a direct line through the earth, without going
round the semi-circumference. 42. Blank—the white mark in the centre of a target. King Lear, I, i, 150. See: ''Twas I won the wager, though you hit the white'
-Taming of a Shrew, V, ii, 186.
6. Compounded it with dust. Compare 2 Henry IV:
Only compound me with forgotten dust'-IV, v, 116. When I perhaps compounded am with clay'-Sonnet lxxi, 10. 14.20. A sponge . . dry again. In Suetonius' Twelve Cæsars,
"Vespasian,'xvi, it is said: 'He advanced all the most rapacious among the procurators to higher offices, on purpose to squeeze them after they had grown richer ; whom, indeed, he was most commonly said to use as sponges, because he did, as one may say, wet them when dry and squeeze them
when wet.' 17. Like an ape. Here quarto 1603 has the better phrase—as an
ape doth nuttes. 27. The king is a thing of nothing: Hamlet, on being presump
tuously interrupted by Guildenstern, completes his sentence by the tag of an old proverb, founded on Scripture, Amos, vi, 13; Jer. xiv, 14; Isa. xxix, 20, xli, 12; Psalm cxliv, 4 (Prayer-Book version) :
Man is like a thing of naught.' 29. Hide fox, etc. The cry formerly used by schoolboys in playing
9. Diseases desperate, etc. 'A desperate disease is to be com
mitted to a desperate doctor'-Lyly's Euphues, 1579, p. 67,
Arber's Reprint. 22. Convocation of politic worms. Convocation, an assembly; politic,
polite, social, discriminating. Worms is, Singer thinks, a quip on the Diet of the German Empire held at Worms under the Emperor Charles V, April 1521, at which the doc
trines of Luther were condemned. 48. I see a cherub that sees them. A cherub is an angel of love. 58-61. England .... Danish sword. We have here an indication
of the time of the play. Though somewhat indefinitely, it throws back the date to a period prior to the Norman Con
quest, when England was either under the sovereignty of the Northmen, as in the time of Canute, 1016-1035, or paid tribute to the Danish power, and therefore subsequent to the year of their first landing in 787.
6. Eye-presence, in reference to superiors. 8-65. Omitted in folio 1623. 26. Imposthume. Explained as 'an inward swelling full of cor
rupt matter,' from Greek apostema, an abscess. 36. Looking before and after. The phrase occurs frequently in
Homer's Iliad, i, 343, iii, 109, xviii, 250; Odyssey, xxiv, 451. 38. Fust—from French fusté, stale, mouldy, to become useless. 61. Fight for a plot, etc. Something like this we read in that
admirable dialogue of Lucian between Mercury and Charon, called Speculantes. See (says Mercury to Charon) those Argives and Lacedemonians fighting together, and their halfdead general inscribing a trophy with his blood. What do they fight for? replies Charon. Why, for the little spot on which they stand '— Thomas Davies' Dramatic Miscellanies, vol. iii, p. 127.
SCENE V. 40. They say the owl, etc. In Miss C. M. Yonge's History of Chris
tian Names, Gertrude, the Queen's name, is rendered the spear maiden;' and while illustrating this etymology, the authoress furnishes us with the following Norwegian legend, to which in all likelihood Ophelia, led by the cross associations of madness, refers. In Norway the woodpecker is called the jartrudfugle, or Gertrude-bird. A maiden of this name, Gertrude, 'was baking when our Lord passed by, and asked her for a morsel. On her promising it, the dough began to grow beneath her hands, but an access of covetous. ness made her repent and refuse her gift, whereupon she was transformed into this bird and condemned to seek her living between the bark and the wood'-vol. ii, p. 325. The lurid flash of suggestion issues from the Queen's name, the owl is probably only an ideal metamorphosis arising from Ophelia's madness, though the story may have been altered
in the course of transmission from Scandinavia to England. 46. St Valentine's day, 14th February. St Valentine, a priest of
Rome, was martyred by being beaten with clubs and then beheaded, about 270 A.D. His day being near the date of the Roman Lupercalia, some of the ceremonies of that heathen festival, modified to Christian ends, were adapted by the Church. One of these was the choosing of mates by lot. In St Proxede's Church at Rome, the greater part of the remains
of this anchorite are said to be preserved. The Porta del
Popolo was formerly called Valentine's Gate. 71. Hugger-mugger-secretly, in private. See Sir Vaughan's desire
to have one word with you, Sir Quintillian, in huggermugger,' in Thomas Dekkar's Satiromastix, 1602. In Florio's Italian Dictionary, 1598, we find, Dinascoso--secretly, hiddenly, in hugger-mugger.' In Cyril Tourneur's Revenger's Tragedy, 1608, we read, sig. H, 4, How quaintly he died,
like a politician in Hugger-mugger.' 82. Murdering piece—from French meurtrière, a piece of artillery. 84. Switzers-bodyguard. Malone quotes law, logic, and the
Switzers may be hired to fight for anybody,' from Christ's Teares over Jerusalem, by Thomas Nash, 1594. The Clarendon Press editors remark, 'In Shakespeare's time, Switzers or Swiss were employed to guard the person of the King of France, as Scotchmen had formerly been. Probably the same usage extended to other Continental courts. To this day the Pope's bodyguard consists of Swiss. Being foreigners, and therefore unconnected with any local faction, they
could be better trusted.' 97. Counter-hunting backwards the way the chase has come. 134. Life-rendering pelican. ‘The pelican loveth too much her
children. For when the children bee taught and begine to waxe hoare, they smite the father and the mother in the face; wherefore the mother smiteth them againe and slaieth them. And the third daye the mother smiteth herselfe in her side, that the blood runneth out, and sheddeth that hot blood uppon the bodies of hir children. And by virtue of the bloode the birdes that were before dead, quicken againe ?Stephen Batman upon Bartholome his Booke De Proprietatibus
Rerum, 1582, fol. 1866. 149. Nature is fine in love. Compare Iago's saying to Roderigo,
'If thou be'st valiant, as they say, base men, being in love, have then a nobility in their natures more than is native to
them'- Othello, II, i, 216. 159. Wheel—a round (rota), the refrain or burden of a song. 164. Document—from doceo, I teach; instruction, precepts care
fully delivered. So Fidelia, at Una's request, taught the
-Spenser's Fairie Queene, I, X, 19. 162. Rosemary. The celebrated divine, Roger Hacket, speaking
of rosemary, says: 'It overtoppeth all the flowers in the garden, boasting man's rule. It helpeth the braine, it strengtheneth the memorie, and is very medicineable for the head. Another property of the rosemary is, it affecteth the heart. Let this rosmarinus, the flower of men, ensigne of your wisdom, love, and loyaltie, be carried not only in your hands but in your hearts and heads '--Sermons: A Marriage
Present, 1607. The silvery foliage of the rosemary (rosmarinus, dew of the sea) and its purple flower made the plant a favourite both at funerals and marriages ; and it was called, Lyte tells us, 'Rosmarinum coronarium, that is to say, Rosemarie, whereof they make crowns and garlands.' It was formerly esteemed a balsam for the memory, and an invig. orator of the mental powers. In Michael Drayton's Idea ; the Shepheard's Garland, 1593, we have the following illustration of flowers which a secret meaning bear :'
He from his lass him lavender hath sent,
Showing her love, and doth requital crave.
Is that he her should in remembrance have,
Her sage doth show his sovereignty in all;
-Eglogues, ix. 163. Pansies. Though it is not customary in popular language to
term the heart's-ease a violet, yet such it really is. Pansy, heart's-ease, three-faces-under-a-hood, herb-trinity, kit-runabout, and love-in-idleness, are among the many names by which this flower is familiarly known. In the neighbourhood of Stratford-on-Avon, extensive grounds are laid out for the culture of the violet, for the purposes of the chemist. Pansy is a corruption of the French word pensée (thought). Ben Jonson spells it ‘paunse.' There are two wild species, Viola tricolor and Viola lutea, besides the garden varieties introduced from France, Germany, and Switzerland, Viola odorata,
Viola amena, etc. 166. Fennel. Fæniculum vulgare, commonly called love-in-a-mist,
grows wild by the sea-shore, and its umbels of white flowers appear in July. Its savoury odour, which makes it a suit, able sauce-plant, is derived from its aromatic seeds, which are by some thought to be the cummin which the Pharisees tithed so scrupulously in Scripture times. It was emble.
matical of lattery. 16. Columbines. The columbine (Aquilegia) is so called in Eng
lish, Dr Darwin says, 'because its sectary represents the body
"The columbine in tawny often taken
- Brown's Britannia's Pastorais, I, ii. Ib. Rue was called herb-o'-grace (see Richard II) because handfuls
of the plant were used by the priests to sprinkle holy water
upon the congregations assembled for public worship. 169. Daisy. Perhaps this was not the 'wee modest crimson-tipped