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following lines occur, which bear a close resemblance to Hamlet's description of his father :
" A donative he hath of every god :
STEEVENS. 772. A station-] Station, in this instance, does not mean the spot where any one is placed, but the act of standing. So in Antony and Cleopatra, act iii. sc. 3.
6. Her motion and her station are as one." On turning to Theobald's first edition, I find that he had made the same remark, and supported it by the same instance.
The observation is necessary, for otherwise the compliment designed to the attitude of the king, would be bestowed on the place where Mere cury is represented as standing.
STEEVENS. A station like the herald Mercury,
New-lighted on a heaven-kissing hill;] I think it not improbable that Shakspere caught this image from Phaer's translation of Virgil (Fourth Eneid), a book that without doubt he had read : “ And now approaching neere, the top he seeth
and mighty lims “Of Atlas, mountain tough, that heaven on boy
si'rous shoulders beares ;“ There first on ground with wings of might doth
Mercury arrive, “ Then down from thence right over seas him.
selfe doth headlong drive." In the margin are these words : “ The description
of Mercury's journey from heaven, along the mountain Atlas in Afrike, highest on earth." MALONE. 778. -like a mildew'd ear,
Blasting his wholesome brother.-) This al. ludes to Pharaoh's Dream in the 41st chapter of Genesis.
STEEVENS. 779. --wholesome brother..] The folio reads : wholesome breath.
HENDERSON. 781. --batten--] 1. e. to grow fat. So in Claudius Tiberius Nero, 1607 :
"mand for milk
" -make her round and plump,
STEEVENS. 783. The hey-day in the blood-] This expression occurs in Ford's 'Tis Pity she's a Whore, 1633 :
“ The hey-day of your luxury be fed
-at hoodman-blind?] This is, I suppose, the same as blindman's-buff. So, in the Wise Woman of Hogsden, 1638:
“ Why should I play at hoodman-blind ?" Again, in Two lamentable Tragedies in One, the One a Murder of Master Beech, &c. 1601 :
“ Pick out men's eyes, and tell them that's the
STEEVENS. 792. Eyes without, &c.] This and the three following lines are omitted in the folio.
STEEVENS. 795. Could not so mope,] i. e. could not exhibit such marks of stupidity. The same word is used in The Tempest, sc. ult. -“ And were brought moping hither.”
STEEVENS 796. -Rebellious hell,
If thou canst mutiny in a matron's bones, &c.] Alluding to what he had told her before, that her enormous conduct shewed a kind of possession.
-What devil was't,
That thus hath, &c.-
For use can almost change the stamp of nature,
WARBURTON. 797. -mutiny-] The old copies read mutine. Shakspere calls mutineers, mutines, in a subsequent
STEVENS. 802. --reason panders will.] So the folie, I think riglıtly ; bụt the reading of the quarto is defensible: reason pardons will.
JOHNSON 805. --grained-] Dyed in grain. JOHNSON.
8.6. As will not leave their tin&t.] The quartos read, As will leave there their tinct. STEEVENS,
808. -incestuous bed;] The folio has enseamed, that is, greasy bed.
JOHNSON. Beaumont and Fletcher use the word inseamed in the same sense, in the third of their Four Plays in One : " His leachery inseam'd upon
him." In the Book of Haukyng, &c. bl. let. no date, we are told that “ Ensayme of a hauke is the grece."
In most places it means the grease or oil with which clothiers besmear their wool, to make it draw out in spinning. Incestuous is the reading of the quarto, 1611,
STEEVENS. In the west of England, the inside fat of a goose, when dissolved by heat, is called its seam; and Shake spere has used the word in the same sense in his Troilus and Cressida :
Shall the proud lord, “ That bastes his arrogance with his own seam."
HENLEY. 816. vice of kings:] A low mimick of kings. The vice is the fool of a farce ; from whom the modern Punch is descended.
JOHNSON 818. That from a shelf, &c.] This is said not unmeaningly, but to shew, that the usurper came not to the crown by any glorious villany that carried danger with it, but by the low cowardly theft of a common pilferer.
WARBURTON. 821. A king of shreds and patches :) This is said, pursuing the idea of the vice of kings. The vice was dressed as a fool, in a coat of party-coloured patches.
823. --your-] The folio reads you,
HENDERSON 826. -laps'd in time and passion,-) That, have ing suffered time to slip, and passion to cool, let's go, &c.
JOHNSON. 833. Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works :) Conceit for imagination. So, in the Rape of Lucrece: “ And the conceited painter was so nice."
MALONE. 841. -like life in excrements.] The hairs are excrementitious, that is, without life or sensation ; yet those very hairs, as if they had life, start up, &c.
Pope. 857. My father, in his habit as he liv'd!] If the poet means by this expression, that his father appear. ed in his own familiar habit, he has either forgot that he had.originally introduced him in armour, or must have meant to vary his dress at this his last appear. ance. The difficulty might perhaps be a little obviated by pointing the line thus:
My father--in his habit-as he liv'd. Steevens. 862. Ecstasy!] Ecstasy in this place, and many others, means a temporary alienation of mind, a fit. So, in Eliosto Libidinoso, a novel, by John Hinde, 1606: “ _that bursting out of an ecstacy wherein she had long stood, like one beholding Medusa's head, lamenting," &c.
STEEVENS. 874. - do not spread the compost, &c.] Do not, by any new indulgence, heighten your former offences.