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· 1 Mus. Then will I give you the serving.creature.

PET. Then will I lay the serving-creature's dagger on your pate. I will carry no crotchets ; I'll re you, I'll fa you; Do you note me? | 1 Mus. An you re us, and fa us, you note us.

2 Mus. Pray you, put up your dagger, and put out your wit.

PET. Then have at you with my wit; I will dry-beat you with an iron wit, and put up my iron dagger :- Answer me like men:

When griping griefs the heart doth wound,
And doleful dumps the mind oppress,
Then musick, with her silver sound;

* When griping grief &c.] The epithet griping was by no means likely to excite laughter at the time it was written. Lord Surrey, in his translation of the second Book of Virgil's Æneid, makes the hero say: . “ New gripes of dred then pearse our trembling brestes."

Dr, Percy thinks that the questions of Peter are designed as a ridicule on the forced and unnatural explanations too often given by us painful editors of ancient authors. STEEVENS.


“ Where griping grief ye hart would woūd, & dolful

domps ye mind oppresse “ There musick with her silver sound, is wont with

spede to geue redresse ; « Of troubled minds for every sore, swete musick hath a

salue in store: “ In ioy it maks our mirth abound, in grief it chers our

heauy sprights, “ The carefull head releef hath found, by musicks plea

sant swete delights: “ Our senses, what should I saie more, are subject unto

musicks lore.


Why, silver sound? why, musick with her silver What say you, Simon Catling ?1

1 Mus. Marry, sir, because silver hath a sweet sound.

Per. Pretty! What say you, Hugh Rebeck ?

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“ The Gods by musick hath their pray, the soul therein

doth ioye, “ For as the Romaine poets saie, in seas whom pirats

would destroye, “ A Dolphin sau'd from death most sharpe, Arion play

ing on his harp. “ Oh heauenly gift that turnes the minde, (like as the

sterne doth rule the ship,) “ Of musick, whom ye Gods assignde to comfort man,

whom cares would nip, “ Sith thou both man, and beast doest moue, what

wisemā thē will thee reprove? From The Paradise of Daintie

Richard Edwards." Deuises, fol. 31. b. Of Richard Edwards and William Hunnis, the authors of sundry poems in this collection, see an account in Wood's Athena Oxon. and also in Tanner's Bibliotheca. Sir JOHN HAWKINS.

Another copy of this song is published by Dr. Percy, in the first volume of his Reliques of Ancient English Poetry. :

STEEVENS. 9 And doleful dumps the mind oppress, ] This line I have recovered from the old copy [1597.) It was wanting to complete the stanza as it is afterwards repeated. STEEVENS.

Simon Catling?] A catling was a small lute-string made of catgut. STEEVENS.

In An historical account of Taxes under all Denominations in the Time of William and Mary, p. 336, is the following article: “ For every gross of catlings and lutestring,” &c. A. C.

2 Hugh Rebeck?] The fidler is so called from an instrument with three strings, which is mentioned by several of the old writers. Rebec, rebecquin. See Menage, in v. Rebec. So, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Knight of the Burning Pestle: “ – 'Tis present death for these fidlers to tune their rebecks before the great Turk's grace.” In England's Helicon, 1600, is The Shepherd Arsilius, his Song to his REBECK, by Bar. Yong.


pherd Ayrk's grace these fileght of the rage, in weveral of

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2 Mus. I say-silver sound, because musicians sound for silver..

Pet. Pretty too!—What say you, James Soundpost ? .

3 Mus. 'Faith, I know not what to say.

PET. O, I cry you mercy! you are the singer: I will say for you. It is-musick with her silver sound, because such fellows as you have seldom gold for sounding :

Then musick with her silver sound,
With speedy help doth lend redress.

[Exit, singing 1 Mus. What a pestilent knave is this same?

2 Mus. Hang him, Jack! Come, we'll in here; tarry for the mourners, and stay dinner. [Exeunt.

· It is mentioned by Milton, as an instrument of mirth :

“ When the merry bells ring round,

“ And the jocund rebecks sound " MALONE. 3- silver sound,] So, in The Return from Parnassus, 1606:

“ Faith, fellow fidlers, here's no silver sound in this place.” Again, in Wily Beguiled, 1606:

“ what harmony is this

“ With silver sound that glutteth Sophos' ears?” . Spenser perhaps is the first author of note who used this phrase: “A silver sound that heavenly musick seem'd to make."

STEEVENS. Edwards's song preceded Spenser's poem. MALONE.

because such fellows as you ] Thus the quarto, 1597. The others read-because musicians. I should suspect that a fidler made the alteration. STEEVENS.

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Rom. If I may trust the flattering eye of sleep, My dreams presage some joyful news at hand:

s Act V.] The Acts are here properly enough divided, nor did any better distribution than the editors have already made, occur to me in the perusal of this play; yet it may not be improper to remark, that in the first folio, and I suppose the foregoing edi. 'tions are in the same state, there is no division of the Acts, and therefore some future editor may try, whether any improvement can be made, by reducing them to a length more equal, or interrupting the action at more proper intervals. JOHNSON.

If I may trust the flattering eye of sleep,] Thus the earliest copy, meaning, perhaps, If I may trust to what I saw in my sleep. The folio reads:

If I may trust the flattering truth of sleep; which is explained, as follows, by Dr. Johnson. STEEVENS.

The sense is, If I may trust the honesty of sleep, which I know however not to be so nice as not often to practise flattery.

JOHNSON. The sense seems rather to be" If I may repose any confidence in the flattering visions of the night.”

Whether the former word ought to supersede the more modern one, let the reader determine: it appears to me, however, the most easily intelligible of the two. STEEVENS.

If I may trust the flattering eye of sleep,] i.e. If I may confide in those delightful visions which I have seen while asleep. The precise meaning of the word flattering here, is ascertained by a former passage in Act II:

"- all this is but a dream,

“ Too flattering-sweet to be substantial.” By the eye of sleep Shakspeare, I think, rather meant the visual power, which a man asleep is enabled, by the aid of imagination, to exercise, than the eye of the god of sleep.


My bosom's lord sits lightly in his throne;
And, all this day, an unaccustom'd spirit

This is the reading of the original copy in 1597, which in my opinion is preferable in this and various other places, to the subsequent copies. That of 1599, and the folio, read:

If I may trust the flattering truth of sleep, which by a very forced interpretation may mean, If I may confide in the pleasing visions of sleep, and believe them to be true.

Otway, to obtain a clearer sense than that furnished by the words which Dr. Johnson has interpreted, reads, less poetically than the original copy, which he had probably never seen, but with nearly the same meaning:

If I may trust the flattery of sleep,

My dreams presage some joyful news at hand: and Mr. Pope has followed him.

In this note I have said, that I thought Shakspeare by the eye of sleep meant the visual power which a man asleep is enabled Þy the aid of imagination to exercise, rather than the eye of the God of sleep: but a line in King Richard III, which at the same time strongly supports the reading of the old copy which has been adopted in the text, now inclines me to believe that the eye of the god of sleep was meant;

“ My friend, I spy some pity in thy looks ;
« 0, if thy eye be not a flatterer,
“ Come thou on my side, and entreat for me."

MALONE. ? My bosom's lord-] So, in King Arthur, a Poem, by R. Chester, 1601 :

“ That neither Uter nor his councell knew

“ How his deepe bosome's lord the dutchess thwarted.” The author, in a marginal note, declares, that by bosom's lord, he means-Cupid. STEEVENS.

So also, in the Preface to Caltha Poetarum, or the Bumblebee, 1599: “ whilst he [Cupid,] continues honoured in the world, we must once a yeare bring him upon the stage, either dancing, kissing, laughing, or angry, or dallying with his darlings, seating himself in their breasts,” &c. Thus too Shakspeare, in Twelfth Night:

:“ It gives a very echo to the seat

* * Where love is thron'd.Again, in Othello :

“ Yield up, O Love, thy crown and hearted throne.

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