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“ Where am I least, husband ? quoth he, in the
she, “ For all is waste in you, as far as I see.” And again, in The Wedding, a comedy by Shirley, 1629:
“ He's a great man indeed;
STEEVENS. 364. —shecaryes
-] It should be remembered, that anciently the young of both sexes were instructed in carving, as a necessary accomplishment. In 1508, Wynkyn de Worde published “ A Boke of Kerving." So in Love's Labour Lost, Biron says of Boyet, the French courtier : « -He can carve too, and lisp."
STEEVENS. 370. The anchor is deep; Will that humour pass?] I see not what relation the anchor has to translation. Perhaps we may read, the author is deep; or perhaps the line is out of its place, and should be inserted lower after Falstaff has said,
“ Sail like my pinnace to these golden shores." It may be observed, that in the tracts of that time anchor and author could hardly be distinguished.
JOHNSON. The anchor is deep:] Dr. Johnson very acutely proposes “ the author is deep.” He reads with the first copy, “ he hath study'd her well."--And from this
equivocal word, Nym catches the idea of deepness. But it is almost impossible to ascertain the diction of this whimsical character: and I meet with a phrase in Fenner's Comptor's Commonwealth, 1617, which perhaps may support the old reading, “ Master Decker's Bellman of London, hath set forth the vices of the time so lively, that it is impossible the anchor of any other man's braine can sound the sea of a more deepe and dreadful mischeefe.
FARMER. -studied her will, and translated her will is the reading of the first folio, 1623. The contested part of the passage may mean, His hopes are well founded. So in the Knight of the Burning Pestle, by Beaumont and Fletcher :
“ Now my latest hope
" And let it hold.” In the year 1558 a ballad, intitutled “ Hold the ancer fast.” is entered on the books of the Stationers Company.
Translation is not used in its common acceptation, but means to explain, as one language is explained by another. So in Hamlet:
-these profound heaves “ You must translate, 'tis fit we understand them.” Again, in Troilus and Cressida : “ Did in great Ilion thus translate him to me."
STEEVENS. 374 As many devils entertain, &c.] The old quarto reads :
“ As many devils attend her!” &c. STEEVENS. I would read with the
devils attend her! i. e. let as many devils attend her. MUSGRAVE.
378. and here another to Page’s wife; who even now gave me good eyes too, examined my parts with the most judicious eyelids : sometimes the beam of her view gilded my foot, sometimes my portly belly.] So, in our author's 20th sonnet : “ An eye more bright than theirs, less false in
MALONE. 381. --eyelids - This word is differently spelt in all the copies. I suppose we should write oëillades, French.
STEEVENS. 383. Then did the sun on dunghill shine. ] So in Lilly's Euphues, 1981:
“ The sun shineth upon a dunghill.' T. H. W. 384.
-that humour.] What distinguishes the language of Nym from that of the other attendants on Falstaff, is the constant repetition of this phrase. In the time of Shakspere such an affectation seems to have been sufficient to mark a character. In Sir Giles Goosecap, a play of which I have no earlier edition than that of 1606, the same peculiarity is mentioned in the hero of the piece:
his only reason for every thing is, that we are all mortal; then hath he another pretty phrase too, and that is, he will tickle the vanity of every thing."
385. O, she did so course-o'er my exteriors-] So in Cupid's Whirligig, 1607: with a gredie èye feedes on my exteryors."
HENDERSON. 386. intention, -] i. e. eagerness of desire.
-she is a region in Guiana, all gold and bouniy.] If the tradition be true (as I doubt not but it is) of this play being wrote at queen Elizabeth's command, this passage, perhaps, may furnish a probable conjecture that it could not appear till after the year 1598. The mention of Guiana, then so lately disco. vered to the English, was a very handsome compliment to sir Walter Raleigh, who did not begin his expedition to South America till 1535, and returned from it in 1596, with an advantageous account of the great wealth of Guiana. Such an address of the poet was likely, I imagine, to have a proper impression on the people, when the intelligence of such a golden country was fresh in their minds, and gave them expectatations of immense gain.
THEOBALD. 390. I will be cheater to them both, and they shall be exchequers to me; -] The same joke is intended here, as in the The Second Part of Henry the Fourth, act ii,
I will bar no honest man my house, nor no
cheater."By which is meant Escheatour, an officer in the Exchequer, in no good repute with the common people.
400. tear you these letters tightly;] i.e. cleverly, alertly. So in Antony and Cleopatra. Antony, putting on his armour, says,
“ My queen's a squire
“ More tight at this than thou." Tighily is the reading of the early quarto, and of the first folio, the only authentick ancient copy of this play as enlarged by the author. Rightly is the arbitrary reading of the quarto 1630, and of the folio 1632:
MALONE. No phrase is so common in the eastern counties of this kingdom, and particularly in Suffolk, as good tightly, for briskly and effectually.
HENLEY. 401. my pinnace--] A pinnace seems anciently to have signified a small vessel, or sloop, attending on a larger. So in Rowley's When you see me you
“ Our life is but a sailing to our death
" Shipp'd in a pinnace or an argosy."
-the humour of this age,] Thus the 4to, 1619: The folio reads—the honor of the age.