Explanatory notes for Act 1, Scene 2
From The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Ed. Israel Gollancz. New York: University Society.
19. Censure, in Shakespeare's time, was commonly used in the
sense of judging, passing judgement, giving one's judgement or
opinion. Thus in The Winter's Tale, II. i. 36, 37: "How blest
am I in my just censure, in my true opinion!"
30. Fire is here a dissyllable. The play has other like examples.
This and other words, as your, hour, power, etc., were continually
used thus by the poets of Shakespeare's time as one or two syllables, as their verse required.
53. What fool is she; the first three Folios read 'what 'fool is she,' indicating the omission of the indefinite article, a not
uncommon Elizabethan idiom.
94, 95. descant: - The simple air in music was called the plain
song, or ground; the descant was probably what is now called
variations; the mean was the part between treble and tenor. This
use of musical terms before a popular audience would seem to
infer, what was indeed the case, that taste and knowledge in
music was a characteristic trait of "merry England in the olden
97. I bid the base: - Lucetta is still quibbling, and turns the
allusion ofif upon the rustic game of base, or prison-base, in which
one ran and challenged another to catch him.
126. Sith: - Since.
136. for catching cold: - That is, lest they should catch cold;
anciently a common form of expression.
137. I see you have a moneth's mind to them; Schmidt
in his Shakespeare Lexicon explains the phrase 'month's
mind' as 'a woman's longing,' as though the expression had its
origin in the longing for particular articles of food shown by
women, but this interpretation seems to have no authority. Johnson rightly remarks on this passage: - 'A month's mind, in the
ritual sense, signifies not desire or inclination, but remembrance; yet I suppose this is the true original of expression,' The Cambridge ed. following Fol. reads 'month's mind,' but the metre clearly requires the contemporary archaic form.
How to cite the explanatory notes:
Shakespeare, William. The Two Gentlemen of Verona. Ed. Israel Gollancz. New York: University Society, 1901. Shakespeare Online. 10 Aug. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/two_1_2.html >.