Imatges de pàgina
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436. Examine ev'ry several lineament, The quarto,

1599, reads, every married lineament.—Shakspere meant by this last phrase, Examine how nicely one feature depends upon another, or accords with another, in order to produce that harmony of the whole face, which seems to be implied in content.—In TroiIus and Cressida, he speaks of “the married calm of states;” and in his 8th Sonnet has the same allusion: “If the true concord of well-tuned sounds, “By unions married, do offend thine ear.” STE Ev ENs. 439. —the margin of his eyes.] The comments on the ancient books were always printed in the margin. So Horatio, in Hamlet, says: “ —I knew you must be edify’d by the margent,” &c. St E E v ENs. 442. The fish lives in the sea ;–] i. e. is not yet caught. Fish-skin covers to books anciently were not uncommon. Such is 1)r. Farmer's explanation of this passage, and it may receive some support from what Ænobarbus says in Antony and Cleopatra : “ The tears live in an onion, that should water this

Sorrow.” Steev ENs.

445. That in gold clasps locks in the golden story;] The golden story is perhaps the golden legend, a book in the dark ages of Popery much read, and doubtless often exquisitely embellished, but of which Canus, one of the Popish doćtors, proclaims the author to have been homo ferrei oris, plumbei. cordis. Johnson. The poet may mean nothing more than to say, that those books are most esteemed by the world, where valuable valuable contents are embellished by as valuable binding.

Sree vers. 451. -endart mine eye, The quarto, 1597, reads, engage mine eye. Sre evens.

453. To this speech there have been likewise ad- ditions since the elder quarto, but they are not of sufficient consequence to be quoted. STEE v ENs. 459. Mercutio.] Shakspere appears to have formed this charaćter on the following slight hint in the original story: “–another gentleman called Mercutin, which was a courtlike gentleman, very wel beloved of all men, and by reason of his pleasant and curteous behavior was in al companies wel intertained.”

Painter's Palace of Pleasure, Tom II. p. 221. Sre Ev Ens. 461. The date is out of such prolixity: j i. e. Masks are now out of fashion. That Shakspere was an enemy to these fooleries, appears from his writing none; and that his plays discredited such entertainments, is more than probable. But in James's time, that reign of false taste as well as false politics, they came again in fashion; and a deluge of this affected

nonsense overflowed the court and country.

WARBUR Ton. The diversion going forward at present is not a masque but a masquerade. In Henry VIII. where the king introduces himself to the entertainment given by Wolsey, he appears, like Romeo and his companions, in a mask, and sends a messenger before, to make an apology for his intrusion. This was a custom ob- served

served by those who came uninvited, with a desire to
conceal themselves for the sake of intrigue, or to en-
joy the greater freedom of conversation. Their entry
qm these occasions was always prefaced by some speech
in praise of the beauty of the ladies, or the generosity
of the entertainer; and to the prolixity of such intro-
dućtions, I believe Romeo is made to allude.
So, in Histriomastix, 1610, a man expresses his
wonder that the maskers enter without any compli-
ment : -
“What, come they in so blunt, without device P”
In the accounts of many entertainments given in
reigns antecedent to that of Elizabeth, I find this cus-
tom preserved. Of the same kind of masquerading,
see a specimen in Timon, where Cupid precedes a troop
of ladies with a speech. St E E v ENs.
Shakspere has written a masque, which the reader
will find introduced in the fourth act of The Tempest.
It would have been difficult for the reverend anno-
tator to have proved they were discontinued during

any period of Shakspere's life. Percy. 464. —like a crow-keeper;] The word crow-keeper is explained in King Lear, act iv. sc. 6. Johnso N.

465. Nor no without book prologue, &c.] The two following lines are inserted from the first edition. - Pop E. 469. Give me a torch,-] The charaćter which Romeo declares his resolution to assume, will be best

explained by a passage in Westward Hoe, by Decker

and Webster, 1607: “He is just like a torch-bearer to maskers; he wears good clothes, and is ranked in C good

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good company, but he doth nothing.” A torch-bearer seems to have been a constant attendant on every troop of masks. So, in the second part of Robert, Earl of Huntingdon, 16o 1 : -- As on a masque; but for our torch-bearers, “Hell cannot rake so mad a crew as I.” Again, in the same play : 4. —a gallant crew, “Of courtly maskers landed at the stairs; “Before whom, unintreated, I am come, “And here prevented, I believe, their page, “Who, with his torch is enter'd.” ST E E v EN3. For other particulars on this subject, consult Strutt's honba Angel-cynnan. Vol. III. p. 143, and plate 2. He NLEY. 475. Mer. Tou are a lover, &c.] The twelve following lines are not to be found in the first edition. Pope.

478. —so bound, I cannot bound, &c.] So Milton : &c. in contempt “At one slight bound high over-leap'd all bound “Of hill,” &c.

Par. Lost, Book IV. line 180.

STE Evens. 489. —doth quote deformities?] To quote is to observe. STE evens.

493. —let wantons light of heart, &c.] Middleton has borrowed this thought in his play of Blurt Master Constable, 1602 :

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“ —bid him, whose heart no sorrow feels,

“Tickle the rushes with his wanton heels, “I have too much lead at mine.” STEEvens. 494. Tickle the senseless rushes with their heels;] It has been already observed, that it was anciently the custom to strew rooms with rushes, before carpets were in use. So Hentzner in his Itinerary, speaking of Queen Elizabeth's presence-chamber at Greenwich, says: “The floor, after the English fashion, was strewed with hay,” meaning rushes. Steev ENs. 495. —a grandsire phrase, ] The proverb which Romeo means, is contained in the line immediately

following: To hold the candle, is a very common pro

verbial expression, for being an idle speciator. Among Ray’s proverbial sentences, is this, “A good candle#older proves a good gamester.” STEEV ENS.

496. I'll be a candle-holder, &c.; An allusion to an old proverbial saying, which advises to give over when the game is at the fairest, R.E.M.A. R.K.S.

498. Tutl dun's the mouse, the constable's own word:] Dun's the mouse is a proverbial phrase, which I, have likewise met with frequently in the old comedies.

So, in Every Woman in her Humour, 1609:

“If my host say the word, the mouse shall be dun.” It is also found among Ray's proverbial similies. Again, in the Two Merry Milkmaids, 162o : “Why then 'tis done, and dun's the mouse, and un

done all the courtiers.” - * Of this cant expression I cannot determine the precise meaning. STEEv ENs.

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