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And sometimes comes she with a tithe-pig's tail,
new reading there is a vicious repetition in this fine speech; the same thought having been given in the foregoing line:
« O’er lawyers' fingers, who straight dream on fees :" Nor can it be objected that there will be the same fault if we read courtiers', it having been said before:
“ On courtiers' knees, that dream on court’sies straight :" Because they are shown in two places under different views : in the first, their foppery; in the second, their rapacity is ridiculed. Secondly, in our author's time, a court-solicitation was called simply, a suit, and a process, a suit at law, to distinguish it from the other. “ The King (says an anonymous contemporary writer of the Life of Sir William Cecil) “ called him s Sir William Cecil] and after long talk with him, being much delighted with his answers, willed his father to FIND (i. e. to smell out] A SUIT for him. Whereupon he became suitor for the reversion of the Custos-brevium office in the Common Pleas; which the king willingly granted, it being the first suit he had in his life.” Indeed our poet has very rarely turned his satire against lawyers and law proceedings, the common topick of later writers: for, to observe it to the honour of the English judicatures, they preserved the purity and simplicity of their first institution, long after chicane had over-run all the other laws of Europe. WARBURTON.
As almost every book of that age furnishes proofs of what. Dr. Warburton has observed, I shall add but one other instance, from Decker's Guls Hornebooke, 1609: “ If you be a courtier, discourse of the obtaining of suits.” MALONE.
In these lines Dr. Warburton has very justly restored the old reading, courtier's nose, and has explained the passage with his usual learning; but I do not think he is so happy in his endea- . vour to justify Shakspeare from the charge of a vicious repetition in introducing the courtier twice. The second folio, I observe, reads :
“ On countries knees,--." which has led me to conjecture, that the line ought to be read thus :
“ On counties knees, that dream on court’sies straight:” Counties I understand to signify noblemen in general. Paris, who, in one place, I think, is called earl, is most commonly styled the county in this play.' And so in Much Ado about Nothing, Act IV. we find: ' '
“ Princes and counties.”
Tickling a parson's nose as 'a lies asleep,
And in All's well that ends well, Act III:
" A ring the county wears." The Countie Egmond is so called more than once in Holinshed, p. 1150, and in the Burleigh papers, Vol. I. p. 204. See also p. 7: The Countie Palatine Lowys. However, perhaps, it is as probable that the repetition of the courtier, which offends us in this passage, may be owing (not to any error of the press, but) to the players having jumbled together the varieties of several editions, as they certainly have done in other parts of the play. TYRWHITT.
In the present instance, I think, it is more probable that the repetition arose from the cause 'assigned by Mr. Steevens.
MALONE. At the first entry of the characters in the history of Orlando Furioso, played before Queen Elizabeth, and published in 1594 and 1599, Sacripant is called the Countie Sacripant. . · Again, Orlando, speaking of himself:
« Surnam'd Orlando, the Countie Palatine.” : : Countie is at least repeated twenty times in the same play.
This speech, at different times, received much alteration and improvement. The part of it in question stands thus in the quarto 1597:
“ And in this sort she gallops up and down
“ Of healths five fadome deepe,” '&c. ' Shakspeare, as I have observed before, did not always attend to the propriety of his own alterations. STEEVENS.
Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades, 4 .
* - Spanish blades,] A sword is called a toledo, from the excellence of the Toletan steel. So Grotius:
... Gladius Toletanus. “ Unda Tagi non est uno celebranda metallo; 12. “ Utilis in cives est ibi lamna suos." JOHNSON.; } nThe quarto 1597, instead of Spanish blades, reads countermines. STEEVENS.
In the passage quoted from Grotius, alio has been constantly printed instead of uno, which makes it nonsense; the whole point of the couplet depending on that word. I have corrected it from the original. MALONE.
Of healths five fathom deep;] So, in Westward Hoe, by Decker and Webster, 1607: " troth, sir, my master and sir Goslin are guzzling; they are dabbling together fathom deep. The knight has drunk so much health to the gentleman yonder, on his knees, that he hath almost lost the use of his legs.”
MALONE. . And bakes the elf-locks &c.] This was a common superstition; and seems to have had its rise from the horrid disease called the Plica Polonica. WARBURTON. So, in Heywood's Iron Age, 1632:
“ And when I shook these locks, now knotted all,
6 Which plagues them out of measure.” So, in Gervase of Tilbury, Dec. I. c. 17: “Vidimus quosdarn dæmones tanto' zelo mulieres amare, quod ad inaudita prorumpunt ludibria, et cum ad concubitum earum accedunt, mira mole eas opprimunt, nec ab aliis videntur." STEEVENS.
That presses them, and learns them first to bear,
RoM. Peace, peace, Mercutio, peace;
True, I talk of dreams; Which are the children of an idle brain, Begot of nothing but vain fantasy; Which is as thin of substance as the air; And more inconstant than the wind, who wooes Even now the frozen bosom of the north, And, being anger'd, puffs away from thence, Turning his face to the dew-dropping south. Ben. This wind, you talk of, blows us from
ourselves; Supper is done, and we shall come too late.
ROM. I fear, too early: for my mind misgives, Some consequence, yet hanging in the stars, Shall bitterly begin his fearful date : With this night's revels; and expire the term Of a despised life, clos'd in my breast,
of good carriage.] So, in Love's Labour's Lost, Act I. sc. ii :
16 let them be men of good repute and carriage.. « Moth. Sampson, master; he was a man of good carriage; great carriage ; for he carried the town-gates," &c.
STEEVENS. 9 from thence,] The quarto 1597 reads-in haste.
STEEVENS. - his face-] So the quarto 1597. The other ancient copies have side. MALONE. 2 - and expire the term Of a despised life,] So, in The Rape of Lucrece:
“An expir'd date, cancell'd ere well begun.” MALONE. Again, in Hubbard's Tale:
“When as time fying with wings swift,
By some vile forfeit of untimely death: .
A Hall in Capulet's House.
Musicians waiting. Enter Servants.
1. SERV. Where's Potpan, that he helps not to take away? he shift a trencher !6 he scrape a trencher!
Again, in Chapman's version of the eleventh Iliad:
“ Draw some breath, not expire it all;—" STEEVENS. 3 Direct my sail !] I have restored this reading from the elder quarto, as being more congruous to the metaphor in the preceding line. Suit is the reading of the folio. STEEVENS.
Suit is the corrupt reading of the quarto 1599, from which it got into all the subsequent copies. MALONE. . Direct my suit !] 'Guide the sequel of the adventure.
· Johnson: * Strike, drum.] Here the folio adds: They march about the stage, and serving men come forth with their napkins.
STEEVENS. 5. Scene V.] This scene is added since the first copy.
; . ; STEEVENS. 6- he shift a trencher! 8.7 Trenchers were still used by persons of good fashion in our author's time. In the Houshold Book of the Earls of Northumberland, compiled at the beginning of the same century, it appears that they were common to the tables of the first nobility. PERCY. . .
To shift a trencher was technical. So, in The Miseries of Enforst Marriage, 1608, Sig. E 3: “ - learne more manners, stand at your brothers backe, as to-shift a trencher neately” &c.