« PreviousContinue »
G. 204. W. 179.-" Carriage, i. e. behaviour"!
G. 204. W. 179.-" A mistress of the trim, i. e. a female coxcomb of easy virtue."
"A female coxcomb!" Mr. Weber had only to read the next line to see (if he could ever see any thing) that it meant haughty, insolent, imperious.
G.210. W. 184.-What has he done to thee?
G. 211. IV. 184.--Toss-pot.
"This was a usual term for a drunkard in our author's days! The etymology is very obvious."
The etymology! Good. And this, too, for the second time.
G. 211. W. 185.-With a wannion.
A common phrase in old writings, but the particular meaning
of the last word has never been explained."
And so says Mr. Nares, who wishes to derive it "from the Saxon panung, detriment." In the last edition of Shakspeare, it is said to be a corruption of winnowing had the editor ever visited the western counties, he would have found a more probable derivation in whang, a lash, or thong, which, as well as whanging, is in daily use for a beating. In fact, however, the word comes from neither; but from wan, (vaande Dutch, a rod or wand,) of which wannie and wannion are familiar diminutives. In one of Andrew Borde's humorous prescriptions for the cure of what he calls "the disease of lourdane," or laziness, he recommends "the application of a wan, or stick, of the bigness of a man's finger, to the patient's shoulders." For what Mr. Weber elsewhere pleases to call the "metaphorical meaning of the phrase," see vol. ii. p. 211.
G. 212. W. 186.-A simple alcatote.
"I have never met with this term before, but suspect that it is the same with alcatraz, a Spanish term for a species of sea-fowl, similar to a sea-gull."
I do not find fault with Mr. Weber for his ignorance of the meaning of alcatote; but with his hardihood in asserting that the alcatraz (of which he knows nothing) is like the
sea-gull, of which he only knows that it is mentioned by Steevens. See the word, in its place.
G. 213. W. 187.-Are thy mad brains in thy mazer now?
zer, i. e. the face."
Brains in the face are well enough! To prove that this is the proper place for them, Mr. Weber quotes a passage from the Variorum, where mazer decidedly means skull.
G. 213. W. 187.—They are agreed to run me out of my wits. By consent, this hobet-a-hoy is a pandar, &c. Read: They are agreed to run me out of my wits, by consent. (confederacy). This hobeta-hoy is, &c.
G. 216. W. 190.-Not the strain in ordinary.
"The word occurs in a similar manner in the Merry Wives of Windsor, where Mrs. Page says, "Unless he knew some strain in me, he would never have boarded me in this fury."
Good! Strain, in Ford, means stile of conversation; in the quotation from Shakspeare, it means vicious conduct. Such are the advantages of reading our old poets by an index! G. 218. W. 191. O pardon, If I presume to name him.
A wanton perversion of the author's meaning.
G. 219. W. 192.-I have made discovery
Of famous novels.
Cotgrave explains nouvelle, a novell, news, tidings," &c. Without troubling Cotgrave about the matter, it may be sufficient to say, that Ford means merely novelties. The word is used in the same sense by Heath and others, and, though it escaped Mr. Weber, by Ford himself, in the Prologue to the Sun's Darling.
G.219. W. 193.-Liv. This may be bold intrusion.
Flav. Not by me, sir.
Read: Liv. This may be held intrusion.
Flav. Not by me, sir.
G. 221. W. 194.-Yet he abates in this.
Yet he abates in his.
G. 222. W. 195.--For he can live without a wife and purchase. * Purchase.] "This word is evidently used for inheritance." Always most positive when most wrong. The critic takes purchase for a substantive, whereas it is a verb; and used in direct opposition to inheritance. But Mr. Weber neither understands himself nor his author. Romanello retorts the words of Livio, (p. 152.) and the drift of his argument is--" Marriage is expensive; but if I do not charge myself with a wife, I shall not only be able to live, but to buy an estate." This is the constant meaning of the verb in our old dramatists: as a substantive, purchase was cant term for the produce of pilfering, &c.
G. 223. W. 195.-So would the He you talk to, Romanello,
"It is difficult," Mr. Weber says, " to conceive what our author meant by this strange phrase;" which, accordingly, he grossly misinterprets. It seems almost impossible to blunder on so simple an expression. "I would act in the same manner as yourself, Romanello, without storming, as you do, about it."
G. 223. W. 196.-This your courtesy
"i. e. the nature of your courtesy has prevented me from offering another act of courtesy to you, by accepting yours"! This is really too bad: but the editor sinks into the very abyss of dotage in his notes on this play. All that Ford means, and all that he says is, " I was deceived for an instant by your kindness."
G. 226. W. 198.
I'll forswear't he too.
“This very quaint and inaccurate sentence seems to mean, 'I'll swear that not even he (Nitido) has not been amongst the ladies,' by which I shall forswear myself," &c.
This incomparable nonsense is extracted solely out of his own blunder!
Read: Nitido, I'll forswear thee, too.
Secco had sworn that Troylo and Nitido were privy to the introduction of Pragnioli; the former he had already exculpated, and, in his fright, now offers to deny what he swore of the other.
G. 229. W. 231.-I mean to employ.
Read: I meant to employ ;-which restores the pas
sage to sense.
G. 232. W. 204.
souls so white
"The author in this place forgot the impropriety of applying the word breathing to souls"!
As breathe beneath this roof.
How lucky that our philosopher never forgets any thing! Thus, in the page in which this profound observation occurs, we are carefully reminded for the tenth time, that "Ever, means always," "Sudden, suddenly," &c.
Read: Flesh and blood.
G. 233. W.205.-Flesh and bone.
For plain, read plane their eyebrows; i. e. pluck out the straggling hairs.
G. ib. W. ib.-Set a nap on their cheeks.
"I cannot decide to what species of the barber's occupation these words allude. Perhaps a nap was similar to a cupping glass, and might be used to bring colour into them"! Such folly would not be credited on report.
G. 236. W.207.
G. 237. W.208.-For squirting, read: Squirting of wine.
much more worthy
most admissible and portentous.
most admirable and portentous :—which
A better sister.
"The quarto reads corruptly, A better brother."
This is the last note on this play, and it is marked by the same intrepidity of ignorance which characterizes all the
rest. The passage cannot be understood without the old reading, (brother,) which Mr. Weber has removed from the text, to make way for his own nonsense.
THE LADY'S TRIAL.
G. 255. W. 229.
The newest news, unvampt.
"I have not met with this singular word."-He thinks, however, that it means to uncover; and proposes to amend the text by reading "unvamp it, i. e. disclose it."
This singular word is mighty common. Vamp'd, as every one but Mr. Weber knows, is patch'd, or, made up: uncamp'd, therefore, (for so it should be read) is authentic, unsophisticated.
G. 256. W. 230. Enter Adurni, Auria, and Fulgoso.
The entrance of Fulgoso is not noticed in the quarto, but as he makes a speech, the insertion was necessary.”
Had Mr. Weber read a page or two forward, he would have seen that it was impossible Fulgoso could enter with those two, since he is spoken of as a perfect stranger to both the fact is, that the old printer has given Ful. for Fut.
G. 258. W. 232. And then to take the wrack of our divisions, Will sweeten, &c.
"This is very obscure, but the intended meaning is probably to recal to our minds the rack or torment which we endured during the time of our being separated."