2. Fairings. Presents (originally, those bought at a fair);
used by S. only here.
3. A lady, etc. Walker conjectures that this line and the next should
be transposed; but it is not an unnatural exclamation as it stands.
10. Wax. Grow; with an obvious play on the noun.
12. Shrewd. Mischievous, evil; the original sense of the word. See Hen. VIII. p. 202. Unhappy seems to be = roguish; as in A. W. iv. 5. 66: "A shrewd knave and an unhappy." See our ed. p. 174. Gallows = one who deserves the gallows.
19. Mouse. Cf. Haml, iii. 4. 183: "call you his mouse." See also T. N. i. 5. 69.
22. Taking it in snuff. A play on the sense of taking it ill, or being
vexed at it. Cf. Hotspur's quibble in 1 Hen. IV. i. 3. 41. See also
M. N. D. v. i. 254.
28. Past cure is still past care. The early eds. transpose cure and care;
corrected by Theo. For the proverb, cf, Sonn. 147. 9: "Past cure I
am, now reason is past care." See also R. and J. p. 200, note on Cure.
29. Bandied. Like set (= game), an allusion to tennis. Cf. K. John,
v. 2. 107 and Hen. V. i. 2. 262. See also R. and J. ii. 5. 114.
33. Favour. Playing upon its sense of face. Cf. iv. 3. 257 above.
43. Ware pencils. Beware of pencils. Ware is not a contraction of
beware, as generally printed. Cf. Wb.
"Rosaline says that Biron had drawn her picture in his letter; and afterwards playing on the word letter, Katherine compares her to a text B. Rosaline in reply advises her to beware of pencils, that is, of drawing
likenesses, lest she should retaliate; which she afterwards does by comparing her to a red dominical letter, and calling her marks of the small-pox O's" (Mason). In the old calendars (as in some modern ones) the
dominical letter denoting Sunday was printed in red.
45. Not so. Found in the ist quarto, but not in the other early eds.
46. A pox of that jest! Theo. considered this rather coarse in the
mouth of a princess; but, as Farmer reminds him, only the small-pox is
meant. Davison has a canzonet on his lady's "sicknesse of the poxe;"
and Dr. Donne writes to his sister: "I found Pegge had the poxe -- I
humbly thank God, it hath not much disfigured her." Beshrew was a mild form of imprecation; and shrew was another spelling of shrew (cf. shew and show, etc.), representing the pronunciation of
the word. For the rhyme, cf. T. of S. iv. I. 213, v. 2. 28, 188. D[yce] omits
I (Lettsom's conjecture), as "in 29 out of 31 examples in S. beshrew is
a mere exclamatory imprecation." The other instance of the verb with a
pronoun expressed is in R. and J. v. 2. 26: "She will beshrew me much."
47. But, Katherine, etc. It has been conjectured that either Katherine
should be omitted, or we should read "sent you from Dumain."
61. In by the week. A cant phrase of the time, sometimes = in love,
as in the old Roister Doister (St.).
65. Hests. The quartos and ist folio have "device," and the later
folios "all to my behests." Hests (cf. Temp. i. 2. 274, iii. I. 37, iv. i. 65,
and see our ed. p. 118) was suggested by Walker.
66. And make him proud, etc. "Make him proud to flatter me who
make a mock of his flattery" (Edin. Rev. Nov. 1786).
67. Potent-like. The early eds. have "perttaunt-like" or "pertaunt-like." Theo. reads "pedant-like," Hanmer and H. "portent-like," Capell "pageant-like," the Coll. MS. "potently," and W. "persaunt-like" (= piercingly). Patent-like is due to Sr.
69. Catch'd. For the form, cf. A. W. i. 3. 176 and R. and J. iv. 5. 48.
We find it as the past tense in Cor. i. 3. 68.
74. Wantonness. The quartos and 1st folio have "wantons be;" corrected in 2d folio.
78. Simplicity. Silliness; as in 52 above.
79. Mirth is. The folios omit is, which is found in the 1st quarto.
In the next line the quarto misprints "stable" for stabb'd.
80. In stabb'd with daughter some see an allusion to the "stitch in the
side" often caused by laughter.
82. Encounters. The abstract for the concrete. The Coll. MS. has
"encounterers," which occurs in T. and C. iv. 5. 58.
87. Saint Denis. The patron saint of France. Cf. Hen. V. v. 2. 193,
220, etc. For Saint Cupid, cf. iv. 3. 361 above.
88. Charge their breath against us. Make this wordy attack upon us.
The Coll. MS. spoils it by reading "charge the breach."
92. Addrest. Directed; as in T. N. i. 4. 15: "address thy gait unto her," etc. H. explains it as "made ready or prepared."
101. Made a doubt. Expressed the fear. Cf. Rich. II. p. 198, note on
'T is doubt.
104. Audaciously. Boldly, with confidence.
117. Spleen ridiculous. "Ridiculous fit of laughter" (Johnson). For
spleen = a sudden impulse, or fit, see M. N. D. p. 129.
118. Passion's solemn tears. That is, tears which are usually the expression of deep sorrow. For passion, cf. Haml. p. 212. See also the
verb in i. I. 249 above. The 1st quarto prints "follie pashions solembe,"
and the folio "folly passions solemne." Pope reads "folly, passions,
solemn tears," and the Coll. MS. has "sudden" for solemn. St. conjectures "folly's passion, solemn tears."
121. Like Muscovites or Russians. K. remarks: "For the Russian or
Muscovite habits assumed by the king and nobles of Navarre, we are
indebted to Vecellio. At page 303 of the edition of 1598, we find a
noble Muscovite whose attire sufficiently corresponds with that described by Hall in his account of a Russian masque at Westminster, in the reign of Henry VIII., quoted by Ritson in illustration of this play.
"'In the first year of King Henry VIII.,' says the chronicler, 'at a banquet made for the foreign ambassadors in the Parliament-chamber at Westminster, came the Lord Henry Earl of Wiltshire, and the Lord
Fitzwalter, in two long gowns of yellow satin traversed with white satin,
and in every bend of white was a bend of crimson satin, after the fashion of Russia or Russland, with furred hats of grey on their heads, either of them having an hatchet in their hands, and boots with pikes
turned up.' The boots in Vecellio's print have no 'pikes turned up,' but we perceive the 'long gown' of figured satin or damask, and the 'furred hat.' At page 283 of the same work we are presented also with
the habit of the Grand Duke of Muscovy, a rich and imposing costume which might be worn by his majesty of Navarre himself." See the cut (copied from K.) on p. 127 above.
122. Parle. Parley. Cf. R. of L. 100: "parling looks." For the noun, see Hen. V. p. 164.
123. Love-feat. Plausibly altered by D. and others (Walker's conjecture) to "love-suit;" but love-feat may include "the various feats of parleying, courting, and dancing" (Clarke).
125. Several. Separate; as often. See Temp. p. 131. Cf. the quibble
in ii. i. 222 above.
146. To the death. Though death were the consequence of refusal.
Cf. Rich. III. iii. 2. 55: "I will not do it, to the death."
149. Speaker's. From the 1st quarto; "keepers" in the folios.
152. Ne'er. The quartos and 1st folio have "ere;" corrected in 2d
159. Taffeta. "The taffeta masks they wore to conceal themselves"
(Theo.) The early eds. give this line to Biron; corrected by Theo.
160. Parcel. For the personal use, cf. M. of V. i. 2. 119: "this parcel of wooers;" and A. W. ii. 3. 58: "this youthful parcel Of noble bachelors."
166. Spirits. Monosyllabic (= sprites); as often. Gr. 463.
173. Brings me out. Puts me out.
186. Measure. A grave and stately dance. Cf. Much Ado, ii. i. 80: "a measure, full of state and ancientry," etc. For her on this, the quarto reading, the folios have "you on the."
201. Accompt. For the noun, the folio has accompt 13 times and account 17 times; the verb is always account (Schmidt).
207. Eyne. An old plural of eye; found without the rhyme in R. of
209. Request'st. The early eds. have "requests." See Gr. 340.
216. The man. That is, the man in the moon.
222. Curtsy. See on i. 2. 60 above.
233. Treys. Threes; as in dice and card playing.
234. Metheglin. A sweet beverage. Cf. M. W. v. 5. 167 (Evans's
speech): "Sack and wine and metheglins." Wort is unfermented beer.
236. Cog. Deceive; specifically used of falsifying dice.
239. Change. Often = exchange, on which sense Maria plays just below.
248. Veal. Perhaps punning on the foreign pronunciation of well
(Malone). Boswell quotes The Wisdome of Dr. Dodypoll:
"Doctor. Hans, my very speciall friend; fait and trot me be right glad for see you
Hans. What, do you make a calfe of me, M. Doctor?"
The Camb. editors say: "The word alluded to is Viel, a word which
would be likely to be known from the frequent use which the sailors
from Hamburg or Bremen would have cause to make of the phrase zu
viel in their bargains with the London shopkeepers."
260. The sense of sense. See on i. i. 64 above.
264. Dry-beaten. Cudgelled, thrashed. See R. and J. p. 181, and cf.
C. of E. p. 119 (note on Dry basting).
269. Well-liking. Well-conditioned. Cf. what Falstaff says in 1 Hen.
IV. iii. 3. 6: "I'll repent, while I am in some liking" (while I have
some flesh). See also M. W. ii. i. 57. Steevens quotes Job, xxix. 4.
270. Kingly-poor. Poor for a king; not hyphened in the early eds.
and perhaps corrupt. The Coll. MS. has "kill'd by pure," and Sr. reads "wit, stung by poor." St. conjectures "wit, poor-liking."
275. Weeping-ripe. Ripe for weeping, ready to weep; used again
in 3 Hen. VI. i. 4. 172: "What, weeping-ripe, my lord Northumberland?" Cf. reeling-ripe in Temp. v. i. 279 and sinking-ripe in C. of E. i.
278. No point. See on ii. i. 189 above.
280. Qualm. Probably a play on calm, which seems to have been pronounced like it. Cf. 2 Hen. IV. ii. 4. 40: "sick of a calm ;" and see our ed. p. 167.
282. Statute-caps. Woollen caps, which, by act of Parliament in 1571,
the citizens were required to wear on Sundays and holidays. The nobility were exempt from the requirement, which, as Strype informs us, was "in behalf of the trade of cappers" one of sundry such "protection" measures in the time of Elizabeth. The meaning evidently is, that "better wits may be found among citizens" (Steevens), or common
284. Quick. Sprightly. See on i. I. 159 above.
299. Angels vailing clouds. That is, letting fall the clouds that have
masked or hidden them. For vail = lower, let fall, see M. of V. p. 128,
or Haml. p. 179. Theo. reads:
"Or angel-veiling clouds;
are roses blown, Dismaskt, their damask sweet commixture shewn;"
and Warb. the same, except "angels veil'd in" for "angel-veiling."
305. Shapeless. Unshapely, ugly; as in R. of L. 973 and C. of E. iv.
314. Thither. From 1st quarto; omitted in folios.
317. As pigeons pease. Steevens quotes from Ray's Proverbs:
"Children pick up words as pigeons peas,
And utter them again as God shall please."
318. God. The reading of 1st quarto, changed in the folio to "Jove;"
doubtless on account of the statute against the use of the name of God
on the stage.
320. Wassails. Drinking-bouts, carousals. See Macb. p. 180.
325. Carve. Carving was considered a courtly accomplishment; but
the word here probably has the same sense as in M. W. i. 3. 49: "She discourses, she carves, she gives the leer of invitation" (see our ed. p. 137), where it refers to making certain signs with the fingers, or a kind
of amorous telegraphy. On lisp, cf. M. W. iii. 3. 77: "these lisping hawthorn buds, that come
like women in men's apparel," etc.
328. Tables. The old name for backgammon.
330. A mean. A tenor. Cf. T. G. of V. i. 2. 95: "The mean is drown'd by your unruly base;" and W. T. iv. 3. 46: "means and bases."
Steevens quotes Bacon: "The treble cutteth the air so sharp, as it returneth too swift to make the sound equal; and therefore a mean or tenor is the sweetest."
334. Whale's. A dissyllable. Cf. Spenser, F. Q. iii. I. 15: "And eke, through feare, as white as whales bone." The simile was a common one in the old poets, as Steevens shows by many quotations. The reference
is to the tooth of the walrus, or "horse-whale," then much used as a substitute for ivory.
336. Boyet. The rhyme with debt is to be noted. Cf. p. 128 above.
340. This man. The early eds. have "this madman;" corrected by Theo. The Camb. ed. retains "madman."
342. In all hail. With a play on hail hail-stones (Clarke).
350. Must break. Hanmer reads "makes break."
367. To the manner. According to the manner, or fashion.
368. Undeserving praise. Undeserved praise, or praise to the undeserving. Cf. Gr. 372.
376. When we greet, etc. That is, when we look upon the sun it dazzles or blinds our eyes.
391. We are descried, etc. This speech and next are spoken aside, as is evident from what the princess says immediately after; but no former editor, so far as we are aware, has marked them so.
394. Swoon. The quartos and 1st folio have "sound," which was one of the ways of spelling the word. It is found in the folio in M. N. D. ii. 2. 154, A. Y. L. v. 2. 29, Rich. III. iv. i. 35, R. and J. iii. 2. 56, etc.
The later folios have "swound," which often occurs in the early eds.
In R. of L. 1486, we find swounds rhyming with wounds. Swown and
swoond (present) are other old forms.
406. Friend. Sometimes = mistress; as in M. for M. i. 4. 29: "He hath got his friend with child." For the corresponding masculine use, see Cymb. p. 171.
409. Three-pil'd. Superfine; or like three-piled velvet, the richest kind. Cf. M.for M. i. 2. 33: "thou art good velvet; thou'rt a three-piled piece;" and W. T. iv. 3. 14: "and in my time wore three-pile."
For affectation (Rowe's reading) the early eds. have "affection." See on v. i. 4 above. W. retains "affection," which he would make a quadrisyllable, rhyming with ostentati-on. Hyperboles, he says, is a trisyllable,
hy-per-boles, as in T. and C. i. 3. 161: "Would seem hyperboles. At this fusty stuff." But ostentati-on would make the line an Alexandrine, which (see on i. i. 108 above) S. rarely used in his early plays ; and it
does not seem at all necessary to make hyperbole a trisyllable in T. and C. Affectation is found in the folio in M. W. i. i. 152 and Haml. ii. 2. 464; affection (in the same sense) only here and in v. i. 4 above.
415. Russet. Homespun; russet being a common color for such fabrics. Kersey was a coarse woollen stuff.
417. Sans. Without; a French word that had become quite Anglicized in the time of S. See A. Y. L. p. 163. In her reply Rosaline bids him speak without sans, that is, "without French words" (Tyrwhitt).
421. Lord have mercy on us. "The inscription put upon the doors of the houses infected with the plague. The tokens of the plague are the first spots or discolorations by which the infection is known to be received" (Johnson). Cf. A. and C. iii. 10. 9: "like the token'd pestilence;" and see our ed. p. 197.
427. States. Estates. See M. of V. p. 151, note on Estate.
429. Being those that sue. A play upon sue = prosecute by law (Johnson).
436. Well-advis'd. Probably = in your right mind. Cf. C. of E. ii. 2.
215: "mad or well advis'd?" See also Rich. III. p. 192. The ordinary sense of "acting with due deliberation," which most editors give here, seems rather tame.
442. Force not. "Make no difficulty" (Johnson), or "care not for" (Schmidt). Cf. R. of L. 1021: "I force not argument a straw." Coll. quotes the interlude of Jacob and Esau, 1568:
"O Lorde! some good body, for Gods sake, gyve me meate,
I force not what it were, so that I had to eate."
461. Neither of either. A common expression of the time, found in
The London Prodigal and other comedies (Malone).
462. Consent. Compact, conspiracy.
465. Please-man. Pickthank, parasite.
A zany was a subordinate buffoon. Cf. T. N. 5. 96: "the fools' zanies;" and see our ed. p. 129.
466. Trencher- knight. Servingman. Cf. 479 below.
467. In years. Probably = into wrinkles, like those of age. Cf. M.
of V. i. i. 80: "With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come." Theo. reads "in jeers."
473. In will, and error. "First wilfully, afterwards by mistake" (Clarke).
476. Squire. Square, or foot-rule. Cf. W. T. p. 199, or 1 Hen. IV. p. 159. There is a vulgar proverb, "He has the length of her foot" = he knows her humour exactly (Heath).
477. Upon the apple of her eye. In obedience to her glance.
480. You are allowed. "An allowed fool" (T. N. i. 5. 101), a privileged jester.
484. Manage ... career. Terms of the stable and the tilt-yard. On manage, see A. Y. L. p. 136. A career was an encounter of knights at full gallop. Cf. Rich. II. i. 2. 49, etc. For manage the folios have
"manager," and the 1st quarto "nuage;" corrected by Theo.
492. You cannot beg us. "That is, we are not fools; our next relations cannot beg the wardship of our persons and fortunes. One of the legal tests of a natural is to try whether he can number" (Johnson). Cf. C. of E. p. 116, note on Fool-begged. K. remarks: "One of the most abominable corruptions of the feudal system of government was for the sovereign, who was the legal guardian of idiots, to grant the wardship of such an unhappy person to some favourite, granting with the idiot the right of using his property. Ritson, and Douce more correctly,
give a curious anecdote illustrative of this custom, and of its abuse:
"'The Lord North begg'd old Bladwell for a foole (though he could
never prove him so), and having him in his custodie as a lunaticke, he
carried him to a gentleman's house, one day, that was his neighbour.
The L. North and the gentleman retir'd awhile to private discourse, and
left Bladwell in the dining-roome, which was hung with a faire hanging; Bladwell walking up and downe, and viewing the imagerie, spyed a foole at last in the hanging, and without delay drawes his knife, flyes at the
foole, cutts him cleane out, and layes him on the floore; my Lord and the gentleman coming in againe, and finding the tapestrie thus defac'd, he ask'd Bladwell what he meant by such a rude uncivill act; he answered, Sir, be content, I have rather done you a courtesie than a wrong, for, if ever my L. N. had scene the foole there he would have begg'd him, and so you might have lost your whole suite' (Harl. MS. 6395)."
502. Whereuntil. Whereunto, to what.
503. Pursent. The early eds. have "parfect" or "perfect" (corrected by W.), and "in" for e'en (corrected by Malone).
504. Pompion. The early eds. have here "Pompey;" corrected by Rowe.
517, 518. Where zeal, etc. We leave this passage as in the folio (with W. and the Camb. editors), in preference to adopting any one of the many emendations that have been proposed. The plural contents is used
for the sake of the rhyme; and the meaning seems to be: where zeal strives to please, but the very effort is fatal to the pleasure. The context is the best commentary upon it. For the singular Dies, see Gr. 333.
Hanmer reads "content Dies in the zeal of that it doth present;" Steevens, "contents Die in the zeal of them which it presents;" Sr. and H., "contents Lie in the fail of that which it presents;" and Clarke (Mason's conjecture), " content Lies in the zeal of those which it present."
For other conjectures, see the Camb. ed.
527. Honey. For the personal use, cf. 1 Hen. IV. i. 2. 179, T.and C.
v. 2. 18, R and J. ii. 5. 18, etc.
529. Fortuna de la guerra. Fortune of war (Spanish). Hanmer has "della guerra," forgetting that Armado is a Spaniard and not an Italian. The early eds. have "delaguar;" and Schmidt conjectures "del agua" (of the water, alluding to the old saying that swimming must be tried in the water) or "de la guarda" (of guard, "that is, guarding Fortune").
531. Couplement, Used here for couple. In Sonn. 21. 5 it is = combination.
542. Novum. Hanmer reads "novem." Novum (or noveni) was a game at dice. Steevens quotes Greene, Art of Legerdemain, 1612:
"The principal use of them [dice] is at novum," etc. Abate = leave out,
except; and the meaning is: "except in a throw at novum, the whole
world could not furnish five such."
543. Pick. The reading of 1st quarto; the other early eds. have "prick."
546. Libbard's. Leopard's; the knee-caps in old dresses and plate armour often being in the form of a leopard's head (D.).
563. Stands too right. According to Plutarch, Alexander's head had a twist towards the left. The next line alludes to the statement of the same author that Alexander's skin had "a marvellous good savour."
572. The painted cloth. For the historical and other paintings on the cloth hangings of rooms, see A. Y. L. p. 176.
573. That holds his poll-axe, etc. The arms of Alexander, as given in the old history of the Nine Worthies, were a lion sitting in a chair holding a battle-axe (Tollet).
574. Ajax. There is a play on a jakes; a coarse joke that occurs in
B. J., Camden, Sir John Harington, and other writers of the time.
575. Afeard. The quarto has afeard, and the folios afraid. The forms are used interchangeably in the early eds.
580. A little o'erparted. With a part, or role, a little too much for him.
582. Stand aside, etc. The Coll. MS. here has the stage direction "Exit Costard;" not noted in the Camb. ed. W. (apparently misled by Coll.) ascribes this stage-direction to the folio. See on 657 and 662 below.
583. Imp, Youngster. See on i. 2. 5 above.
584. Canus. Dog (Latin canis); reading of the early eds., which may be retained for the sake of the rhyme. Rowe reads "canis."
593. Ycliped. Yclept; mispronounced for the sake of the joke that follows.
605. A cittern-head. A cittern (cithern, gittern, or guitar) often had a
grotesque face carved upon its head.
610. Flask. That is, a powder-flask; as in R. and J. iii. 3. 132.
611. Half-cheek in a brooch. Profile on a clasp, or buckle. Cf. half-
face in K. John, i. I. 92.
625. Baited. Worried; like a baited bear or bull.
628. Come home by me. That is, come home to me.
630. Trojan. The early eds. have "Troyan," as often elsewhere. The word was much used as a term of contempt. See 1 Hen. IV. p. 158.
635. The small. That is, of the leg.
638. Lances. Lancers; as in Lear, v. 3. 50: "our impress'd lances,"
640. A gilt nutmeg. Mentioned by B. J. in his Christmas Masque as
a present (Steevens). The 1st quarto has "gift" for gilt. An orange or lemon, stuck with cloves, was a common new-year's gift.
647. Breathed. Endowed with breath, or "wind." Cf. A. and C. iii.
13. 178: "treble-sinew'd, hearted, breath'd."
For fight ye (Rowe's reading) the early eds. have "fight; yea."
655, 656. When he breathed ... man. From the 1st quarto; not in the
657. After this line Capell gives the stage-direction, "Biron steps to Costard and whispers him;" that is, putting him up to the trick on Armado.
662. This Hector, etc. After this speech Coll. gives, from his MS.,
the stage-direction "Re-enter Costard, in haste, unarmed;" not noted in the Camb. ed. Coll. remarks: "Unless he had gone out, it is not easy to see how he had obtained the information he brings." D., who adopts Capell's stage-direction at 657 just above, has here "Costard (suddenly
coming from behind). The party is gone," etc. W., who makes Costard leave at 582 above, has at 657 "Birone goes out" and here " Enter COSTARD hastily and unarmed, and BIRONE after him." It is doubtful just how the trick was meant to be managed, and any one of the ways suggested by the editors would do well enough on the stage. It could safely
be left to the actors without any stage-direction, as in the Camb. ed.
663. The party is gone. Printed in italics as a stage-direction in the
671. Quick by him. There is a play on quick = alive. See Hen. V.
p. 156, and cf. Acts, x. 42, etc.
678. More Ates. "That is, more instigation. Ate was the mischievous goddess that incited bloodshed" (Johnson). Cf. Much Ado, p. 132.
684. Fight with a pole, etc. That is. with the quarter-staff, a long pole in the use of which the men of the North of England were skilful.
685. I pray you. The 1st quarto has "bepray."
686. My arms. "The weapons and armour which he wore in his character of Pompey" (Johnson).
690. Let me take you, etc. "Perhaps = let me speak without ceremony" (Schmidt).
700. Woolward. That is, With woollen next to the skin, or without linen. Grey quotes Stowe's Annals: "he went woolvvard and barefooted to many churches, in every of them to pray to God for help in his blindness." Farmer adds from Lodge's Incarnate Devils, 1596: "His common course is to go always untrust [untrussed]; except when his shirt is a washing, and then he goes woolward."
713. I have seen, etc. "Armado means to say in his affected style, that he had discovered that he was wronged, and was determined to right himself as a soldier" (Mason). "One may see day at a little hole" is
found in Ray's Proverbs. Through the little hole of discretion may be = "though discreetly forbearing from righting myself until I can do it with dignity," as Steevens and Clarke explain it.
723. Liberal. Too free, over-bold. It is used in a yet stronger sense
in Much Ado, iv. i. 93: "a liberal villain," etc. See our ed. p. 154, or
Haml. p. 258.
725. Converse of breath. That is, in conversation. For the accent of converse, cf. Oth. iii. i. 40. Steevens compares M. of V. v. i. 141: "this breathing courtesy" (that is, these courteous words).
727. Nimble. The early eds. have "humble;" corrected by Theo. The Coll. MS. changes not to "but."
730. The extreme parts of time, etc. We retain the folio reading, which Dr. B. Nicholson (Trans. of New. Shaks. Soc. for 1874, p. 513) explains thus: "The extreme parts are the end parts, extremities -- as, of
our body, the ringers; of chains, the final links; of given portions of time, the last of those units into which we choose to divide them. Afterwards (in 777) the King, representing the stay of the Princess as for an
hour, calls the extreme part 'the latest minute,' and the thought in both passages is so far the same. It is not however said that our decision is necessitated by the extremity of the moment, though this is perhaps suggested to us by the sound of the words used; but that concurring circumstances, and therefore Time, as the producer of those circumstances, so influence our decision that he, and not we, may be called the decider. Hence Time, as personified, and as the intelligential agent of whom the extreme parts are but the instrumental members, is considered as the true nominative to the verb forms, and is represented as fashioning or moulding all causes or questions to the purposes of his speed, that is, to his own intents, or to those of the fate or Providence of which he is the sub-
agent. This thought has been forced upon the King by finding that his high resolves of study were at once broken by the coming of the Princess, while her sudden departure shows him that he cannot do without her love; and he urges it as an excuse for the intrusion of his love on her time of grief, and as an excuse for her favourable reply.
"In the next lines, though still personifying Time, the King changes his illustration. Often the archer may weigh variously all the circumstances -- the bow, the arrow, the intended strength of shot and elevation, the wind and the like -- and so vary from moment to moment; but at the very
loose, or loosing of the shaft (an act the proper doing of which was much dwelt on by archers) he comes to a quick and determined decision. 'So during your stay, princess,' says the King, 'I and my lords acted doubtfully between our former resolves and our new loves, and you have dallied with us: now at your departure, at the last moment, I decide and ask your love; do you answer with the same determinatenss.' In retort, the Princess most consistently decides in accord with the events which Time has purposed in her regard, for the declaration of the King is only one of these, another and the first being the news of her father's
"The thought of the first two lines is allied and similar to Hamlet's
'There's a divinity that shapes our ends,
Rough-hew them as we will;'
just as the rest expresses the similar idea specially illustrated in the catastrophe of that play. But here the subject being of a gentler nature, the King speaks more conversationally and less reflectively than Hamlet
does, and of Time and not of a Providence or divinity."
D. reads "part" for parts, Sr. and W. "haste," and St. and H. "dart." It is plausibly urged in support of the last that it is in keeping with the figure in loose; but it is common enough for a figure to be introduced in
the course of a passage, and here it is naturally suggested by the reference to the speed with which time flies. Forms has been changed to "form," but quite unnecessarily. Cf. Gr. 333.
Extreme is accented on the first syllable because preceding the noun.
See on profound, in iv. 3. 163 above.
736. Convince. Overcome, conquer. See Macb. pp. 180, 242.
742. Dull. The early eds. have "double." Dull is from the Coll. MS. and is adopted by W. and H. Capell reads "deaf," and St. conjectures "hear dully."
750. Strains. Impulses, vagaries. Cf. M. W. ii. 1. 91, T. of A. iv. 3.
751. Skipping. Flighty, frivolous. Cf. M. of V. ii. 2. 196 :
"Pray thee, take pain
To allay with some cold drops of modesty
Thy skipping spirit, lest through thy wild behaviour
I be misconstrued," etc.
753. Strange. The early eds. have "straying;" corrected by Capell.
Coleridge conjectured "stray."
758. Have misbecom'd. Capell changed Have to "'T hath;" but the "confusion of construction" is like many other instances in S. Cf. Gr. 411-416 (in 418 Abbott compares this passage with a Latin idiom, but
the coincidence is doubtless accidental).
For the form misbecom'd, cf. becomed in R. and J. iv. 2. 26, A. and C. iii.
7. 26, and Cymb. v. 5. 406.
760. Suggested. Tempted; as in Oth. ii. 3. 358:
"When devils will the blackest sins put on,
They do suggest at first with heavenly shows."
See also Rich. II. pp. 153, 198. Cf. suggestions in i. i. 156 above.
771. Bombast. Originally, cotton used to stuff out garments. Cf. the quotation from Stubbes in note on iii. 1. 15 above. Gerarde, in his Herbal, calls the cotton plant "the bombast tree;" and Lupton, in A Thousand
Notable Things, speaks of a candle "with a wick of bumbast."
772. This in our. The 1st quarto has "this our," and the folios "these are our;" corrected by Hanmer. Respects = considerations, thoughts.
776. Quote. Construe, interpret. Cf. misquote = misconstrue, in 1 Hen.
IV. v. 2. 13, the only instance of the word in S. See also ii. i. 245
779. World-without-end. Cf. Sonn. 57. 5:
"Nor dare I chide the world-without-end hour
Whilst I, my sovereign, watch the clock for you."
781. Dear. Used in an intensive sense; as in 854 below. See also
on ii. i. i above.
791. Weeds. Garments. See M. N. D. p. 149.
793. Last love. "Continue to be love" (Steevens).
795. Challenge me, challenge me. Hanmer omits the first me; not
noted in the Camb. ed.
804. Flatter up. Hanmer reads "fetter up." For the up, see on iv. 3. 300 above. The meaning is: "in order that I might soothe or pamper
these faculties of mine by leading a life of repose" (Clarke).
807-812. And what ... sick. Enclosed in brackets by Theo. and omitted by Hanmer. It is evidently a part of the first sketch which was rewritten in revising the play. See on iv. 3. 294 above.
808. Rank. The early eds. have "rack'd;" corrected by Rowe. Ct.
Haml. iii. 3. 36 : "O, my offence is rank," etc.
809. Attaint. Attainted. For the form, see Gr. 342.
814. A wife? The early eds. give this to Katherine, reading: "A wife? a beard, faire health," etc. Hanmer has "No wife: a beard," etc. D. was the first to transfer A wife? to Dumain, in whose mouth it seems
835. All estates. All kinds or conditions of people; as in Rich. III. iii. 7.213: "And equally, indeed, to all estates." Latimer, in his Sermons, says it is the duty of a king "to see to all estates, to provide for the poor," etc. For execute the Coll. MS. has "exercise."
843. Fierce. Ardent, strenuous; as in Lear, ii. i. 36, etc.
854. Dear. Changed by the Coll. MS. to "dire." See on 781 above.
855. Continue them. The early eds. have "then;" corrected in the
859. Reformation. Metrically five syllables. Gr. 479.
863. Bring you. Accompany you. Cf. W. T. iv. 3. 122: "Shall I bring thee on the way?" See also Gen. xviii. 16, Acts, xxi. 5, 2 Cor. i. 16, etc.
865. Jack hath not Jill. Cf. M. N. D. iii. 2. 461: "Jack shall have Jill;" and see our ed. p. 171.
882. Pied. Variegated. Cf. M. of V. i. 3. 80: "streak'd and pied," etc.
883, 884. And lady-smocks, etc. These two lines are transposed in all
the early eds.; corrected by Theo.
Lady-smocks. Ellacombe (Plant-Lore of S.) says: "Lady-smocks are the flowers of Cardamine pratensis, the pretty early meadow flower of which children are so fond, and of which the popularity is shown by its
many names, Lady-smocks, Cuckoo-flower, Meadow Cress, Pinks, Spinks,
Bog-spinks, and May-flower, and 'in Northfolke, Canterbury Bells.' The
origin of the name is not very clear. It is generally explained from the
resemblance of the flowers to smocks hung out to dry, but the resemblance seems to me rather far-fetched. According to another explanation, 'the Lady-smock, a corruption of Our Lady's-smock, is so called from its first flowering about Lady-tide. It is a pretty purplish-white, tetradynamous plant, which blows from Lady-tide till the end of May, and which during the latter end of April covers the moist meadows with its silvery-white, which looks at a distance like a white sheet spread over the fields' (Circle of the Seasons). Those who adopt this view called the
plant Our Lady's-smock, but I cannot find that name in any old writers. Drayton, coeval with Shakespeare, says:
'Some to grace the show,
Of Lady-smocks most white do rob each neighbouring mead,
Wherewith their loose locks most curiously they braid.'
And Isaac Walton, in the next century, drew that pleasant picture of himself sitting quietly by the waterside 'looking down the meadows I could see here a boy gathering Lilies and Lady-smocks, and there a girl cropping Culverkeys and Cowslips.'"
884. Cuckoo-buds. "There is a difficulty in deciding what flower Shakespeare meant by Cuckoo-buds. We now always give the name to the Meadow Cress (Cardamine pratensis), but it cannot be that in either
of these passages, because that flower is mentioned under its other name
of Lady-smocks in the previous line, nor is it 'of yellow hue;' nor does it grow among Corn, as described in Lear, iv. 4. 4. Many plants have been suggested, but I think the Buttercup, as suggested by Dr. Prior, will
best meet the requirements" (Ellacombe). Farmer conjectures "cowslip-buds," and Whalley "crocus-buds."
887. Mocks married men. The note of the cuckoo was thought to prognosticate cuckoldom. Cf. M. N. D. iii. i. 134 and A. W. i. 3. 67. See also
M. W. p. 143.
893. Turtles. Turtle-doves. See on iv. 3. 207 above.
900. Hang by the wall. That is, from the eaves. Malone compares
Hen. V. iii. 5. 23 and Temp. v. I. 17.
901. Blows his nail. To warm his fingers. Cf. 3 Hen. VI. ii. 5. 3: "the shepherd, blowing of his nails." See also T. of S. i. I. 109.
906, 907. Tu-whoo, etc. The early eds. have only "Tu-whit to-who,"
both here and in the next stanza. Capell was the first to make the measure correspond with that of the preceding stanzas.
908. Keel. Cool; that is, by stirring it. Clarke says the word came also to mean skimming off the scum that rose to the top, which may be the sense here. Coll. quotes Piers Plowman:
"And lerede men a ladel bygge, with a long stele
That caste for to kele a crockke, and save the fatte above;"
that is, they skimmed the crock, or pot, with a ladle, in order to save the fat. Schmidt also defines keel as "to scum (German kielen)."
910. Saw. Moral saying, maxim. Cf. A. Y. L. ii. 7. 156: "Full of wise saws;" 2 Hen. VI. i. 3. 61: "holy saws of sacred writ," etc.
913. Crabs. Crab-apples; often roasted and put into the wassail-bowl. Cf. M. N. D. ii. i. 48 (Puck's speech):
"And sometime lurk I in a gossip's bowl,
In very likeness of a roasted crab;
and see our ed. p. 140.
How to cite the explanatory notes:
Shakespeare, William. Love's Labour's Lost. Ed. William Rolfe. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1899. Shakespeare Online. 10 Aug. 2013. < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/LLL_5_2.html >.
How to cite the sidebars:
Mabillard, Amanda. Notes on Shakespeare. Shakespeare Online. 10 Aug. 2013. < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/LLL_5_2.html >.
Notes on Shakespeare's Songs
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