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O, good sir, I do. Pro. I thus neglecting worldly ends, all dedicate To closeness, and the bettering of my mind With that, which, but by being so retir'd, O'er-priz'd all popular rate, in my false brother Awak'd an evil nature: and my trust, Like a good parent, did beget of him A falsehood, in its contrary as great As my trust was; which had, indeed, no limit, A confidence sans bound. He, being thus“lorded, loaded Not only with what my revenue yielded, But what my power might else exact,—like one, Who having, unto truth, by telling of it, to untruth Made such a sinner of his memory, To credit his own lie, 3—he did believe
1 I thus neglecting worldly ends, all dedicate -] The old copy has—“ dedicated," but we should read, as in the present text, “ dedicate.” Thus, in Measure for Measure :
Prayers from fasting maids, whose minds are dedicate “ To nothing temporal.” Ritson. 2 Like a good parent, &c.] Alluding to the observation, that a father above the common rate of men has commonly a son below it. Heroum filii noxa. Fohnson.
Who having, unto truth, by telling of it,
To credit his own lie,] There is, perhaps, no correlative, to which the word it can with grammatical propriety belong. Lie, however, seems to have been the correlative to which the poet meant to refer, however ungrammatically.
The old copy reads" into truth.” The necessary correction was made by Dr. Warburton. Steevens.
Mr. Steevens justly observes that there is no correlative, &c. This observation has induced me to mend the passage, and to read:
Who having unto truth, by telling of't-instead of, of it. And I am confirmed in this conjecture, by the following pas. sage quoted by Mr. Malone, &c. M. Mason.
There is a very singular coincidence between this passage and one in Bacon's History of King Henry VII. (Perkin Warbeck] “ did in all things notably acquit himself; insomuch as it was generally believed, that he was indeed Duke Richard. Nay, himself
, with long and continual counterfeiting, and with oft telling a lye, was turned by habit almost into the thing he seemed to be; and from a liar to be a believer.” Malone.
He was the duke; out of the substitution,
Your tale, sir, would cure deafness.
O the heavens!
I should sin
Now the condition.
4 He was the duke; out of the substitution,] The old copy reads
“ He was indeed the duke.” I have omitted the word indeed, for the sake of metre. The reader should place his emphasis on
Steevens. 5 (So dry he was for sway)] i. e. So thirsty. The expression, I am told, is not uncommon in the midland counties. Thus, in Lei. cester's commonwealth : “ against the designments of the hasty Erle who thirsteth a kingdom with great intemperance.” Again, in Troilus and Cressida: “ His ambition is dry.” Steevens.
6 To think but nobly -] But, in this place, signifies otherwise than. Steevens.
in lieu o' the premises, &c.] In lieu of, means here, in consideration of; an unusual acceptation of the word. So, in Fletcher's Prophetess, the chorus, speaking of Drusilla, says:
“ But takes their oaths, in lieu of her assistance,
Out of the dukedom; and confer fair Milan,
Alack, for pity!
Hear a little further,
Wherefore did they not
Well demanded, wench;
cried out -] Perhaps we should read cried on't.
Steevens. 9 — a hint,] Hint is suggestion. So, in the beginning speech of the second act:
our hint of woe “ Is commonA similar thought occurs in Antony and Cleopatra, Act V. sc.i:
it is a tidings “ To wash the eyes of kings.” Steevens. 1 That wrings mine eyes.] i.e. squeezes the water out of them. The old copy reads
“ That wrings mine eyes to’t.” To what? every reader will ask. I have, therefore, by the ad. vice of Dr. Farmer, omitted these words, which are unnecessary to the metre: hear, at the beginning of the next speech, being used as a dissyllable.
To wring, in the sense I contend for, occurs in the Merry Wives of Windsor, Act I. sc. ii: “his cook, or his laundry, or his washer, and his wringer.” Steevens.
A rotten carcass of a boat,2 not rigg'd,
Alack! what trouble
0! a cherubim
of a boat,] The old copy reads-of a butt. Henley. It was corrected by Mr. Rowe. Malone. corr, Ms. 1632
had quit it:] Old copy-have quit it. Corrected by Mr. Rowe. Malone. "hud" ms, 1632,
4 To cry to the sea that roar'd to us;] This conceit occurs again in the Winter's Tale:-—" How the poor souls roard, and the sea mock'd them,” &c. Steevens.
deck'd the sea -) To deck the sea, if explained, to honour, adorn, or dignify, is, indeed, ridiculous, but the original import of the verb deck, is to cover; so, in some parts, they yet say deck the table. This sense may be borne, but perhaps the poet wrote fleck’d, which I think is still used in rustic language of drops falling upon water. Dr. Warburton reads mock'd; the Oxford edition brack'd. Fohnson.
Verstegan, p. 61. speaking of beer, says “ So the overdecking or covering of beer came to be called berham, and afterwards barme." This very well supports Dr. Johnson's explanation. The following passage in Antony and Cleopatra may countenance the verb deck, in its common acceptation:
do not please sharp fate “ To grace it with your sorrows." What is this but decking it with tears? Again, our author's Caliban says, Act III. sc. ii :
He has brave utensils, “ Which, when he has a house, he'll deck withal.” Steevens. To deck, I am told, signifies in the North, to sprinkle. See Ray's Dict. of North Country words, in verb. to deg, and ck; and his Dict. of South Country words, in verb. dag. The latter signifies dew upon the grass !-hence daggle-tailed. In Cole's Latin Dictionary, 1679, we find, -—" To dag, collutulo, irroro.”
Malone. A correspondent, who signs himself Eboracensis, proposes that this contested word should be printed degg’d, which, says he, signifies sprinkled, and is in daily use in the North of England. When
Under my burden groan'd; which rais'd in me
How came we ashore?
clothes that have been washed are too much dried, it is necessary to moisten them before they can be ironed, which is always done by sprinkling; this operation the maidens universally call degging.
Reed. 6 An undergoing stomach,] Stomach is stubborn resolution. So, Horace: " gravem Pelidæ stomachum.” Steevens. 7 Some food we had, and some fresh water, that
A noble Neapolitan, Gonzalo,
Master of this design,) did give us ;] Mr. Steevens has sug. gested, that we might better read~he being then appointed; and so we should certainly now write: but the reading of the old copy is the true one, that mode of phraseology being the idiom of Shakspeare's time. So, in the Winter's Tale:
This your son-in-law,
“ Is troth-plight to your daughter.” Again, in Coriolanus :
waving thy hand, “ Which, often, thus, correcting thy stout heart, “ Now humble as the ripest mulberry, “ That will not hold the handling; or, say to them,” &c.
Malone. I have left the passage in question as I found it, though with slender reliance on its integrity.
What Mr. Malone has styled “ the idiom of Shakspeare's time,” can scarce deserve so creditable a distinction. It should be remembered that the instances, adduced by him, in support of his position, are not from the early quartos, which he prefers on the score of accuracy, but from the folio 1623, the inaccuracy of which, with equal judgment, he has censured.
The genuine idiom of our language, at its different periods, can only be ascertained by reference to contemporary writers, whose works were skilfully revised, as they passed through the press, and are therefore unsuspected of corruption. A sufficient number of such books are before us. If they supply examples of phraseology, resembling that which Mr. Malone would establish, there is an end of controversy between us: Let, however, the