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This is almost too ingenious for Mr. Weber; and yet it might be wished that it had been left with him. The matter is not much, certainly; but (whatever be the metaphorical sense) a cooling-card is literally a bolus.
G. 372. W. 334. Though I die in totters.] "I am unable to discover any passage in support of this reading."
Yet the word is to be found thus spelt in Shakspeare, Jonson, Beaumont and Fletcher, Massinger; in short, in every writer of the time.
G. 373. W. 335.-Out, fool! Prodigious and abortive birth!
G. 378. W.340.-Spring. Welcome the mother of the year, the
"This speech is most absurdly pointed in the old copy. In the first line, Spring bids Ray-bright welcome her as the mother of the year."
Spring does no such thing; she herself welcomes Raybright; and the critic's blunder arises from his not understanding the poet, and pointing the speech even more absurdly than the old copy. Read:
Spring. Welcome! The mother of the year, the Spring,
She then proceeds to enumerate all her blessings to him, and ends with repeating and enforcing his welcome. G.382. IV. 343.-A company of rural fellows, fac'd
Like lovers of your laws, &c.
"Fac'd; i. e. attired. Perhaps from the facings of garments." This explanation is illustrated by two such happy quotations from the Variorum, that I cannot find in my heart to withhold them.
to face the garment of rebellion With some fine colour.-Henry IV.”
-His hose shall be freshly guarded
With colours two or three.-Interlude of Nature."
After all, the text simply means-rustics, who look like lovers of Spring's laws; i. e. of May-games; in other words, healthy, ruddy, cheerful faces. Mr. Weber did not see that his rural fellows, faced with garments of fine colours, are in the next speech but one called "country-grays." G.383. W.345.-" A second morris-dance is announced here, in the old copy, of which there is no indication in the text."
This note is no farther of importance, than as it serves to show the editor's fatal alacrity in blundering. Instead of announcing the entrance of a second Morrice-dance, the old copy distinctly marks the exit of the first.-"Exit Morris."
G. 383. W.345.
bid the rosy-finger'd May
Rob hills and dales, and sweets to strew his way.
Mr. Weber did not understand the poet, and therefore corrupted him. For the, read my; for and, read with sweets to strew his way; i. e. Rob hills and dales for the purpose of procuring sweets, &c. The entrance of Folly is not noticed by Mr. Weber in this scene, though he is a prime actor in it.
G. 384. W.346.-Spring! a hot lady, a few fields and gardens lass! Can you feed upon sallads and tansies? eat, like an ass, upon grass every day at my lady's? Comes to you now a goose, now, &c."
For this nonsense, read:
Spring, a hot lady! a few fields and gardens lass. upon tansies, eat like an ass upon grass every day? comes to you now a goose, now a woodcock, &c. G.386. W.347.-My mine of treasures.
Read: My Mine of pleasures.
G.387. W.348.-What's he? A French gentleman, that trails a Spanish pike; a tailor. "I cannot discover the force of this allusion, except it be to the thinness of the tailor's legs."
Had Mr. Weber looked into our old dramatists, he might have found scores of examples of this expression (Spanish
Can you feed
At my lady's
pike) for a tailor's needle; but as it did not appear in the index to the Variorum, its meaning could not be discovered! Needles, as well as sword-blades, pike-heads, and other steel" furniture of war," came to us at that period from Spain.
Setting aside the "allusion," Mr. Weber seems to know as little of the literal Spanish pike, as of the "metaphorical" one. Assuredly, that weapon was any thing but thin. See Jonson, vol. v., p. 11.
G.387. W.349.-What's he that looks so smirkly? copy reads smickly."
And why not? It is an excellent word, and much better adapted to the place than that which Mr. Weber has been pleased, in his ignorance, to substitute for it. This cavalier treatment of our old poets by one who can scarcely write a sentence of common English, is not a little amusing. G. 389. W. 351.-The sword arms me.
Read: This sword arms me. Raybright alludes to that particular sword which Humour had just given to him. G.390. W.352.-—What can she give thee?
Which I for one bubble can add a sea to.
"The old copy reads cannot.” Always corrupting the text, under the plea of amending it! Read:
What can she give thee
Which I, for one bubble, cannot add a sea to?
The critic never appears to know what his author is saying.
G. 391. W. 353.—But. "This word had formerly, besides its usual meaning, that of except"!
Happily thought upon; and for the tenth time.
G. 391. W. 353.-The Hippocrenian well.] So the old copy. Mr. Weber, however, chooses to let his reading and writing appear, when there is no need of such vanity, and corrects it into the Hypocrenian well.
G.392. W.354.-All lies gallop o'er the world, and not grow old, nor be sick. A lie.
The note on this passage does not disgrace the text.
"The examples given by the fool are formed by quibbling on the word lie."
Read: All lies. Gallop over the world, and not grow old nor sick? a lie.
Here is no quibbling whatever on the word lie; the examples given by the fool relate to age and sickness. G. 393. W. 355-Thus ends your strife.
Read This ends your strife; alluding to the resolution which Raybright had just taken, and which he now announces. G. 397. W. 359.-" Coit was antiently one of the methods of spelling quoit, which signified to throw."
Very gravely put: and flea, in the same line, I presume, was antiently one of the methods of spelling flay. Mr. Weber will say, that it is Persian ;-but let it be changed. G. 397. W.359.-Of the world. Read: In the world. G. 398. W.359.thy praises? Thou art a common creature. thy praises That art a common creature!
G.398. W.360.—Ray. "Tis a lie.
Folly. Squire! Worshipful master Folly.
Be judged by this your Squire, else—
A whole line omitted, though, as the reader sees, the answer of Folly depends upon it.
G. 400. W. 362.-Both of you are a concert; and I, your tunes, Lull me asleep.
They may lull the critic; but they are scarcely musical enough to compose any one else.
Both of you are a concert, and
G. 405. W. 367. For the refutation of a wanton attack on me in this place, the reader, if he thinks it worth the trouble, may turn to the last edition of Massinger, vol. iii. p. 384. He will there see at how early a period these remarks were collected. In this page, Mr. Weber has taken a speech from Humour, to whom it properly belongs, and given it to Health, who is not only not on the stage, but not in existence, having been dramatically killed off by the author in the preceding act.
G. 407. W. 368.-She points to trees, great with child of fruit, but when delivered, grapes hang in ropes; but no drawing.
Read: She points to trees great with child of fruit; but when delivered? Grapes hang in ropes; but no drawing, not a drop of wine, &c.
G. 407. W. 469.-I have seen Summer go up and down with hot codlings. "Mr. Steevens observes that a codling anciently meant an immature apple, and the present passage plainly supports his. assertion, as none but immature apples could be had in summer."
Here Mr. Weber, in humble imitation of his predecessor, labours to be indecent. His impure trash may be left where he found it; but the reader must be told that codlings in "the present passage" are not apples, ripe or unripe, but green pease, which, in the poet's days, and long before and after them, were cried, ready dressed, about the streets.— See The Witch of Edmonton. While on the subject, I will take the opportunity of observing, that I cannot discover why Mr. Nares should think my explanation of Doll's term in the Alchemist, p. 23,-a fine young quodling-" improbable." The more I consider it, the more I am convinced of its likelihood, nay, of its truth. She means, as is there said, a lawyer's clerk; and takes the appellation from a familiar