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662. -several deaths :) Thus the folio and the most correct of the quartos. The first quarto reads egregious deaths.
STEEVENS. 663. detected with --] Thus the old copies. With was sometimes used for of. So, a little after,
“ I sooner will suspect the sun with cold." Detected of a jealous, &c.] would have been the common grammar of the times. The modern edi. tors read by.
STIEVENS. 665. -bilbo,-) A bilbo is a Spanish blade, of which the excellence is flexibleness and elasticity.
JOHNSON -bilbo, from Bilboa, a city of Biscay, where the best blades are made.
-kidney. -] Kidney in this phrase now signifies kind or qualities, but Falstaff means, a man whose kidnies are as fat as mine.
Johnson. 686. address me -] i. e. makė myself ready. So in K. Henry V. “ To-morrow for our march we are addrest."
--I'll be horn-mad.] There is no image which our author appears so fond of, as that of cuck. old's horns. Scarcely a light character is introduced that does not endeavour to produce merriment by some allusion to horned husbands. As he wrote his plays for the stage rather than the press, he perhaps reviewed them seldom, and did not observe this repetition; or finding the jest, however frequent still successfull, did not think correction necessary.
This is a very trifling scene, of no use to the plot, and I should think of no great delight to the audience; but Shakspere best knew what would please.
JOHNSON. We may suppose
this scene to have been a very entertaining one to the audience for which it was written. Many of the old plays exhibit pedants instructing their scholars. Marston has a very long one in his What you will, between a schoolmaster, and Holofernes Nathaniel, &c. lis pupils. The title of this play was perhaps borrowed by Shakspere, to join to that of Twelfth Night. What you Will appeared in 1607. Twelfth Night, in 1623.
Horum, harum, horum.] Taylor, the water-poet, has borrowed this jest, such as it is, in his character of a strumpet :
“ And come to horum harum whorum, then
STEEVENS. 62. to hick and to hack -] Sir William Blackstone thought that this, in Dame Quickly's language, signifies “to stammer or hesitate, as boys do, in saying their lessons ;" but Mr. Steevens, with
more probability, supposes that it signifies, in her dialect, to do mischief.
MALONE. 70. -you must be preeches.] Sir Hugh means
-you must be breech'd, i. e. flogg'd. To breech is to flog.
STEEVENS, ----sprag --] I am told that this word is still used by the common people in the neighbourhood of Bath, where it signifies ready, alert, sprightly, and is pronounced as if it was written-sprack. STEEVENS.
lunes) i. e. lunacy, frenzy. See a note on the Winter's Tale. The quarto 1630, and the folio, read lines, instead of lunes. The elder quartos -his old vaine again.
STEEVENS. he so takes on
-] To take on, which is ' now used for to grieve, seems to be used by our author for to rage. Perhaps it was applied to any passion.
JOHNSON. It is likewise used for to rage, by Nashe, in Pierce Pennylesse his supplication, &c.
" Some will take on like a madman, if they see a pig come to table.”
-peer out -] That is, appear horns. Shakspere is at his old lunes.
JOHNSON. And buffets himself on the forehead, crying, peer out, peer out!] Shakspere here refers to the practice of children, when they call on a snail to push forth his horns : “ Peer out, peer out, peer out of your
hole. “ Or else I beat you black as a coal.” HENLEY,
132. But what make you here?] An obsolete expression for what do you here.
MALONE. -an abstract] i. e. that is a list, an inventory.
STEEVENS. -an abstract.] i.e. a short note or description. So, in Hamlet, “ The abstract, and brief chronicle of the times."
MALONE. 156. -her thrum hat, and her mufler too : -] The thrum is the end of a weaver's warp, and we may suppose, was used for the purpose of making coarse hats. In the Midsummer Night's Dream,
« O fates, come, come,
" Cut thread and thrum." A muffler was some part of dress that covered the face. So, in the Cobler's Prophecy, 1594 : « Now is she bare-fac'd to be seen :-strait on
her Muffler goes.” Again, in Laneham's account of Queen Elizabeth's entertainment at Kenelworth castle, 1575: -his mother lent him a nu mufflar for a napkin, that was ty'd to his gyral for lczyng.”
STEEVENS. 196. You youth] This is the reading of the old quarto, and in my opinion preferable to that of the folio, which only has---“ Youth in a basket !”
MALONE. - this passes! -] The force of the phrase I did not understand when our former impression of Shakspere was prepared ; and therefore gave these two words as part of an imperfect sentence. One of the obsolete senses of the verb, to pass, is, to go beyond
bounds. So, in Sir Clyomon, &c. knight of the Golden Shield, 1599: " I have such a deal of substance here when Bri.
tan's men are slaine, " That it passeth. O that I had while to stay !" Again, in the translation of the Menachmi, 1595: ". This passeth, that I meet with none, but thus they vexe me with strange speeches."
Steevens. 232. -this wrongs you.] This is below your character, unworthy of your understanding, injurious to your honour. So, in The Taming of the Shrew, Bianca, being ill-treated by her rugged sister, says, " You wrong me much, indeed you wrong yourself.”
-his wife's leman. -] Leman, i. e. lover, is derived from leef, Dutch, 'beloved, and man.
STEEVENS. 254. She works by charms, &c.] Concerning some olil woman of Brentford, there are several ballads ; among the rest, julian of Brentford's last Will and Testament, 1599.
Steevens. This, without doubt, was the person alluded to; for in the early quarto Mrs. Ford says, my
maid's aunt, Gillian of Brentford, hath a gown above."
So also, in Westward Hoe, 1607: “ I doubt that old hag, Cillian of Brainford, has bewitched me," &c.
MALONE. Mr. Steerens perhaps, has been misled by the vague expression of the Stationers book, Iyl of Breyntford's Testament, to which he seems to allude, was written by Robert, and printed by William Copland, long before