« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
468. -impon'd-] To impone means to put down, to stake, from the verb impono.
REMARKS. 470. -hangers,-] It appears from several old plays, that what was called a Case of Hangers, was anciently worn. So, in the Birth of Merlin, 1662: “ He has a fair sword, but his hangers are
“ He has a feather, and fair hangers too." Again, in Rhodon and Iris, 1631 :
-a rapier “ Hatch'd with gold, with hilt and hangers of the new fashion,"
STEEVENS. 475. ---you must be edified by the margent,-) Dr. Warburton very properly observes, that in the old books the gloss or comment was usually printed on the margent of the leaf. So, in Decker's Honest Whore, Part II. 1630 :
16-I read “ Strange comments in those margins of your
looks." This speech is omitted in the folio. STEEVENS.
478. -more germane-) More a-kin. JOHNSON.
485. The king, sir, hath laid--] This wager I do not understand. In a dozen passes one must exceed the other more or less than three hits. Nor can I comprehend how, in a dozen, there can be twelve to nine. The passage is of no importance ; it is sufficient that there was a wager. The quarto has the
passage as it stands. The folio, He hath one twelve for mine.
JOHNSON. 505. This lapwing runs away with the shell on his head.] I see no particular propriety in the image of the lapwing. Osrick did not run till he had done his business. We may read, This lapwing ran awayThat is, this fellow was full of unimportant bustle from his birth.
JOHNSON. The same image occurs in Ben Jonson's Staple of News :
and coachmen “ To mount their boxes reverently, and drive s. Like lapwings with a shell upon their heads
Thorough the streets." And I have since met with it in several other plays. The meaning, I believe, is--This is a forward fel. low. So, in Vittoria Corombona, or the White Devil, 1619;
"-Forward lapwing, " He Aies with the shell on's head." Again, in Greene's Never too late, 1616 : “ Are you no sooner hatched, with the lapwing, but you will run away with the shell on your head?" Again, in Revenge for Honour, by Chapman :
“ Boldness enforces youth to hard achievements
sticking “ Unto their downy heads," STEEVENS. 309, --the same breed, -cm] It is beavy in the first
folio, and there may be a propriety in it, as he has just called him a lapwing.
TOLLET --and many more of the same breed.] The first folio has--and mine more of the same beavy.. The second folio-and nine more, &c. Perhaps the last is the true reading.
STEEVENS. 510. -outward habit of encounter ; -] Thus the folio. The quartos read-out of an habit of encounter.
STLEVENS. Outward habit of encounter--i.e. exterior politeness of address; in allusion to Osrick's last speech. HENLEY,
511...--a kind of yesty collection, which carries them through and through the most fond and winnowed opinions ; and do but blow them to their trial, the bubbles are out.] The metaphor is strangely mangled by the intrusion of the word fond, which undoubtedly should be read fann'd; the allusion being to curn separated by the fan from chaff and dust. But the editors seeing from the character of this yesty collection, that the opinions, through which they were so currently: carried, were false opinions; and fann'd and winnow'd opinions, in the most obvious sense, signifying tried and purified opinions; they thought fann'd must needs be wrong, and therefore made it fond, which word signified, in our author's time, foolish, weak, or childish. They did not consider that fann'd and winnow'd opinions had also a different signification : for it may mean the opinions of great men and courtiers, men separated by their quality from the vulgar, as corn is separated from chaff. This yesty collection, says Hamlet, insinuates itself into people of the highest quality, as
yest into the finest flour. The courtiers admire him, when he comes to the trial, &c. WARBURTON.
This is a very happy emendation; but I know not why the critick should suppose that fond was printed for. fann'd in consequence of any reason or reflection. Such errors, to which there is no temptation but idleness, and of which there was no cause but ignorance, are in every page of the old editions. This passage in the quarto stands thus : “They have got out of the habit of encounter, a kind of misty collection, which carries them through and through the most profane and trennowned opinions." If this printer preserved any traces of the original, our author wrote, “the most sane and renowned opinions," which is better than fann'd and winnow'd.
The meaning is, “ these men have got the cant of the day, a superficial readiness of slight and cursory conversation, a kind of frothy collection of fashionable prattle, which yet carried them through the most select and approving judgments. This airy facility of talk sometimes imposes upon wise men." Who has not seen this observation verified ?
JOHNSON. Fond is evidently opposed to winnowed. Fond, in the language of Shakspere's age, signified foolish. So, in The Merchant of Venice : “Thou naughty jailer, why art thou so ford ?"
&c. Winnowed is sifted, examined. The sense is then, that' their conversation was yet successful enough to make
them passable not only with the weak, but with those of sounder judgment. The same opposition in terms is visible in the reading which the quartos offer. Profane or vulgar, is opposed to trenowned, or thrice rea nowned.
STEEVENS. 513. - do but blow them, &c.] These men of show, without solidity, are like bubbles raised from
and water, which dance, and glitter, and please the eye, but if you extend them, by blowing hard, separate into a mist; so if you oblige these specious talkers to extend their compass of conversation, they at once discover the tenuity of their intellects. JOHNSON.
515. My lord, &c.] All that passes between Hamlet and this Lord is omitted in the folio. STEEVENS.
527. -gentle entertainment-] Mild and temperate conversation,
JOHNSON. 536. -a kind of gain-giving] Gain-giving is the same as mis-giving.
STEEVENS. 538. If your mind dislike any thing, obey it:-) With the presages of future evils arising in the mind, the poet has forerun many events which are to happen at the conclusions of his plays; and sometimes so particularly, that even the circumstances of calamity are minutely hinted at, as in the instance of Juliet, who tells her lover from the window, that he appears like one dead in the bottom of a tomb. The supposition that the genius of the mind gave the alarm before approaching dissolution, is a very ancient one, and per·haps can never be totally driven out: yet it must be allowed the merit of adding beauty to poetry, how