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ART. VI.--Notes on Passages in Shakespeare.
The following brief remarks on passages in Shakespeare's plays may present a few new facts of some interest to the student. The references are made to Mr. Collier's edition, 8vo., 1842-44.
J. 0. HALLIWELL. Brixton Hill, 10th February, 1847.
TEMPEST. Act I. Sc. 2. (i., 23.)
But, as 'tis,
We cannot miss him ; i.e., we cannot do without him, a phrase, according to Malone, current in the midland counties. Mr. Collier says, “no similar use of it has been pointed out in other writers.” Palsgrave, however, gives a very similar idiom in his Table of Verbes, f. 180—"I can nat want my gloves, je ne me puis passer sans mes gans. So also Cotgrave, in v. Passer, “De cela je ne puis passer, I can by no meanes want it, I cannot bee without it.” It ought to be added that I have not met with a confirmation of Malone's assertion.
“ And he is one that cannot wanted be,
Taylor's Workes, 1630, part ii., p. 134. “ Allas ! why wantyd he hys wede?”
Syr Tryamoure, MS. Cantab. “In like sort they want venemous beasts, cheefelie such as doo delight in hotter soile, and all kinds of ouglie creatures." Harrison's Description of Britaine, p. 42.
MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR.
Act I, Sc. 3. (i., 188.)
“ What says my bully-rook ?"
It has been a question with the critics whether we should write bully-rook or bully-rock. Mr. Hunter introduces a passage in which the latter form occurs, but both are correct. The word is by no means common, and the commentators have not produced a single instance in their notes to the Variorum Edition. I now add a second to Mr. Hunter's, for the sake of exhibiting both authorities.
“In some places the organs speak it a musick room, at others a pair of tables and draught board, a smal gaming house; on a sudden it turns Exchange, or a warehouse for all sorts of commodities, where fools are drawn in by inch of candle, as we betray and catch larks with a glass. The bullyrook makes it his bubbling pond, where he angles for fops, singles out his man, insinuates an acquaintance, offers the wine, and at next tavern sets upon him with high fullams, and plucks him.”—The Character of a Coffee-House, with the Symptoms of Town-Wit, 1673, p. 6.
“ The bully-rook, with mangy fist and pox,
The Compleat Gamester, 8vo., Lond., 1721.
ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL. Act I., Sc. 1. (iii., 220.)
“ For I the ballad will repeat,
Which men full true shall find;
Your cuckoo sings by kind.”
The latter part of this stanza was a proverb long before Shakespeare wrote. Compare the following extract :
- Content yourselfe as well as I,
Let reason rule your minde;
As cuckolds come by destiny,
Granges Garden, 4to., 1577.
Act V. Sc. 1. (iii., 408.)
66 Clo. Marry, sir, lullaby to your bounty, till I come
Lullaby is sufficiently unusual as a verb to justify an example.
“Yet by accident the unmannag'd appetite desiring more than reason, it doth dul the quicker spirits, stop the pores of the brain with too many vapors and grosse fumes, makes the head totter, lullabees the sences, yea, intoxicates the very soule with a pleasing poyson.”—The Optick Glasse of Homors, 12mo. Lond., 1639, p. 19.
I. HENRY IV. Act I. Sc. 2. (iv., 230.)
“ And is not a buff jerkin a most sweet robe of durance ?"
The Prince here makes a pun, as is apparent from Falstaff's
Durance was some kind of strong and durable stuff, as appears pretty clearly from the passages produced by Steevens; but the following entry puts the matter beyond all doubt :
£ 3. d. “Durance, or with thred, the yard
00 06 08 Duretty. with silk, the yard
00 10 00 Book of Rates, ed. 1675, p. 35.
Compare Webster's Works, iii., 63, “ Where didst buy this buff? Let me not live, but I'll give thee a good suit of durance."
I. HENRY IV. Act II. Sc. 8. (iv., 248.)
“ As dank here as a dog."
Mr. Collier here mentions a conjecture that dog is a misprint for dock, though of course he does not insert it in the text, no alteration being requisite. Marlowe has well ridiculed the prevalent fancy of similar comparisons
“ Thou say’st thou art as weary as a dog,
Marlowe's Works, ed. 1826, iii., 448.
I. HENRY IV.
Act V. Sc. 1. (iv., 318.)
“And, being fed by us, you us'd us so
Here Mr. Collier has no note, (probably thinking none required) but Mr. Knight actually reverses the ordinary meaning of the term gull, to make sense of the passage, and says it may mean the guller, i.e., the one who gulls, or have a special meaning referring to the voracity of the “cuckoo's bird.” Either explanation is clearly most forced and improbable. A reference to Mr. Wilbraham's Cheshire Glossary, p. 44, seems to set the question, if question there be, at rest. He does not allude to the present passage, but he says that the term gull is applied by natives of that country to “all nestling birds in quite an unfledged state.” This appears to be by far the most natural method of interpreting the passage.
This Latinism occurs again in Shakespeare, “Timon,” act ii., sc. 1, but is not common even in contemporary writers. Nares produces no example in any other author. Latinisms are abundant in the following extract :
“Sir, retire ye, for it hath thus succeeded: the carnifex, or executor, riding on an ill curtal, hath titubated or stumbled, and is now cripplified, with broken or fracted tibiards, and sending you tidings of success, saith yourself must be his deputy.”—Downfall of Robert Earl of Huntingdon, p. 39.
II. HENRY VI. Act III. Sc. 1. (v., 163.)
Say, that he thrive, as 'tis great like he will,
Great like, i.e., very probable. This phrase is still current in the North of England.
HENRY VIII. Act I. Sc. 1. (v., 502.)
“ All clinquant, all in gold, like heathen gods."
As instances of clinquant are not common, I may add the following from Florio, which is more conclusive as to the meaning of the word than any yet produced.
Aginina, a kind of networke, worne over tinsell or cloth of gold, to make it shew clinkant.” — Florio's New World of Words, fol., Lond., 1611, p. 15, col. 2. In his first edition of