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The sense may be this, Let Upper Italy, where you are to exercise your valour, see that you come to gain honour, to the abatement, that is, to the disgrace and depression of those that have now lost their ancient military fame, and inherit but the fall of the last monarchy.--To abate is used by Shakspere in the original sense of abatre, to depress, to sink, to deject, to subdue. So, in Coriolanus :
'till ignorance deliver you,
“ That won you without blows."
in a bondman's key, “ With bated breath and whisp'ring humble.
ness." The word has still the same meaning in the language of the law.
JOHNSON -Beware of being captives,
Before you serve.] The word serve is equivocal; the sense is, be not captives before you serve in the war. Be not captives before you are soldiers.
and no sword worn, But one to dance with!] It should be remember'd that in Shakspere's time it was usual for gentleinen to dance with swords on. Our author, who gave to all countries the manners of his own, has again alluded to this ancient custom, in Antony and Cleopatra, aćt iii. sc. iv.
He, at Philippi, kept « His sword even like a dancer." See Mr. Steevens's note there.
you, and our parting is a tortur'd body. ] I read thus : Our parting is the parting of a tortured body. Our parting is as the disruption of limbs torn from each other. Repetition of a word is often the cause of mistakes : the eye glances on the wrong word, and the intermediate part of the sentence is omitted.
JOHNSON, So, in King Henry vill, act ii. sc. 3.
it is a sufferance, panging “ As soul and body's severing."
STBEVENS 58. -they wear themselves in the cap of the time, there, doʻmuster true gait, &c.] The main obscurity of this passage arises from the mistake of a single letter. We should read, instead of, do muster, to muster. To wear themselves in the cap of the time, signifies to be the foremost in the fashion: the figurative allusion is to the gallantry then in vogue, of wearing jewels, flowers, and their mistress's favours in their capsthere to muster true gait, signifies to assemble together in the high road of the fashion. All the rest is intel. ligible and easy.
WARBURTON. I think this emendation cannot be said to give much light to the obscurity of the passage. Perhaps it might be read thus : They do muster with the true gait, that is, they have the true military step. Every man has observed something peculiar in the strut of a soldier.
Perhaps we should read -master true gait. To master any thing, is to learn it perfectly. So, in the First Part of King Henry IV.
“ As if he master's there a double spirit
“Of teaching and of learning" Again, in K. Henry V.
“ Between the promise of his greener days,
" And those he masters now.” In this last instance, however, both the quartos, viz. 1600, and 1608, read musters.
STEEVENS. The obscurity of the passage arises only from the fantastical language of a character like Parolles, whose affectation of wit, urges his imagination from one allusion to another, without allowing time for his judgment to determine their congruity. The cap of time being the first image that occurs, true gait, manner of eating, speaking, &c. are the several ornaments which they muster, place or arrange in time's cap. This is done under the influence of the most received star; that is, the person in highest repute for setting the fashions :—and though the devil were to lead the measure or dance of fashion, such is their implicit submission, that even he must be followed. Henley.
69. that has bought his pardon.-) The old copy reads-brought.
- ] This word, as has been al. ready observed, is used when any pass of wit miscarries.
JOHNSON. Mr. Davies, with some probability, supposes the meaning to be with all my heart, sir, even
though you had broke my head across ;' and supports his idea by a passage in Twelfth Night, “ he has broke my head across, and given Sir Toby a bloody coxcomb too.”
MALONE. 78. Yes, but you will, my noble grapes; an' if-] These words, my noble grapes, seem to Dr. Warburton and Sir. T. Hanmer to stand so much in the way, that they have silently omitted them. They may be indeed rejected without great loss, but I be. lieve they are Shakspere's words.
You will eat, says Lafeu, no grapes. Yes, but you will eat such noble grapes as I bring you, if you could reach them.
I have seen a medicin,
Quicken a rock, and make you dance canary] Mr. Rich. Broom, in his comedy, entitled, The City Wit, or the Woman wears the breeches, act iv. sc. i. mentions this among other dances ; “ As for corantoes, levoltos, jigs, measures, pavins, brawls, gal. liards or canaries; I speak it not swellingly, but I subscribe to no man."
GREY. 91. her years, profession, ] By profession is meant her declaration of the end and purpose of her coming.
WARBURTON. 93. Than I dare blame my weakness ;-] This is one of Shakspere's perplexed expressions. To acknowledge how much she has astonished me, would be to acknowledge a weakness; and this I have not the con, fidence to do.
STEEVENS. That is, I am ashamed to acknowledge how much her intelleets and accomplishments transcend my own.
108. -Cressid's uncle,] I am like Pandarus. See Troilus and Cressida.
JOHNSON. 119. a triple eye,] i. e. a third eye.
STEEVENS. 153. When miracles have by the greatest been deny'd.] I do not see the import or connection of this line. As the next line stands without a correspondent rhyme, I suspect that something has been lost. Johnson.
I point the passage thus; and then I see no reason
Steevens. Mr. Steevens hath indisputably settled the punctuation of the passage ; but as to his wisest men WRITING against the possibility of miracles, and at the time too they were continuing to happen; it is all gratis di&tum, and totally foreign to the subject. Shakspere says nothing of miracles continuing to happen; nor of any one's writing against the possibility of them; but only-after alluding to the production of water from a rock, and the drying up the red-sea—that miracles had been denied by the GREATEST; or in other words, that the ELDERS OF Israel (who just before, in reference to another text, were styled judges) had notwith