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laid open by the squandering glances or random shots of a fool.
JOHNSON. 417. As sensual as the brutish sting] Though the brutish sting is capable of a sense not inconvenient in this passage, yet as it is a harsh and unusual mode of speech, I should read the brutish fly. JOHNSON. I believe the old reading is the true one.
So, in Othello, *---Our carnal stings, our unbitted lusts."
STEEVENS. See Sting, catch-word Alphabet. 424. Till that the very, very---] The old copy
has --weary, very.
MALONE. -the thorny point Of bare distress hath ta'en from me the shew
Of smooth civility :] We might read torn with more elegance; but elegance alone will not justify alteration.
JOHNSON. 449. And know some nurture:] Nurture is education. So, in Greene's Never too Late; 1616: • He shew'd himself as full of nurture as of nature.”
STEEVENS. 462. —desert inaccessible,] This expression I find. in The Adventures of Simonides, by Barn. Riche, 1584 :
“ and onely acquainted himselfe with the solitarinesse of this unaccessible desert."
HENDERSON. 477. And take upon command what help we have,] Upon command, is at your own command. SreeVENS.
492. Wherein we play in.] Thus the old copy. Mr. Pope more correctly reads : Il'herein we play.
497. His acts being seven labours.] See Labours, or Afts, in catch-word Alphabet.
In the Treasury of Ancient and Modern Times, 1613, Proclus, a Greek author, is said to have divided the lifetime of man into seven ages; over each of which one of the seven planets was supposed to rule. “The First Age is called Infancy, containing the space of foure. yeares.-The sec.OND AGE continueth ten yeares, untill he attaine to the yeares of fourteene: this age is called Childhood. — The THIRD AGE consisteth of eight yeares, being named by our auncients Adolescencie or Youthhood; and it lasteth from fourteene till two and twenty years be fully compleate.-The FOURTH AGE paceth on, till a man have accomplished two and fortie yeares, and is termed Young Manhood.-The FIFTH AGE,' named Mature Manhood, hath (according to the said author) fifteene yeares of continuance, and therefore makes his progress so far as six and fifty yeares. -Afterwards in adding twelve to fifty-sixe, you shall make up sixty-eight yeares, which reach to the end of the sixth age, and is called Old Age.-The SEVENTH and last of these seven ages is limited from sixty-eight yeares, so far as fourscore and eight, being called weak, declining, and Decrepite Age. If any man chance to goe beyond this age (which is more admired than noted in many) you shall evidently perceive that he will returne to his first condition of Infancy againe."
Hippocrates likewise divided the life of man into seven ages, but differs from Proclus in the number of Cij
years allotted to each period. See Brown's Vulgar Errors, folio, 1686, p. 173.
MALONE. I have seen, more than once, an old print entitled The Stage of Man's Life, divided into seven ages. As emblematical representations of this sort were formerly stuck up, both for ornament and instruction, in the generality of houses, it is more probable that Shakspere took his hint from thence, than from either Hippocrates or Proclus.—The sense in which the word labours is used, occurs in a passage of the Psalms.
HENLEY. -a soldier; Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard,] So, in Cynthia's Revels, by Ben Jonson,
Your' soldier's face the grace of this face consisteth much in a beard."
STEEVENS. 510. Full of wise saws and modern instances,] It is remarkable that Shakspere uses modern in the double sense that the Greeks used xaivo, both for recens and 'absurdus.
WARBURTON. I am in doubt whether modern is in this place used for absurd: the meaning seems to be, that the justice is full of old sayings and late examples to confirm them.
JUHNSON. Modern means trite, common.
STEEVENS. See Modern, in catch-word Alphabet, which points out the different places in which it occurs. 511.
-The sixth age shifts Into the lean and slipper'd pantaloon ;] There is a greater beauty than appears at first sight
in this image. He is here comparing human life to a
stage play, of seven acts (which is no unusual division * before our author's time.) The sixth he calls the
lean and slipper'd partaloon, alluding to that general je character in the Italian comedy, called Il Pantalóne ;
who is a thin emaciated old man in slippers.; and well designed, in that epithet, because Pantalone is the only character that acts in slippers. WARBURTON.
521. -Set down your venerable burden, ] Is it not likely that Shakspere had in his mind this line of the [Metamorphoses?
JOHNSON. 530. Thou art not so unkind, &c.] That is, thy action is not so contrary to thy kind, or to human Dature, as the ingratitude of man, So, in qur author's Venus and Adonis, 1593:
“ O had thy mother borne so bad a mind,
MALONE. 532, Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,] Thou winter wind, says the Duke, thy rudeness gives the less pain, as thou art not seen, as thou art an enemy that dost not rave us with thy presence, and whose unkindness is therefore not aggravated by insalt. JOHNSON.
Amiens (not the Duke) is here contrasting the effects of natural evil with moral; the sufferings to which we are exposed from the elements of nature,
with those which we feel from our intercourse with men. The former he determines to be the more tole. rable, as proceeding from an agent that is invisible, and though rude in his approach, yet personally unknown; whilst the latter results from the slight of our intimates, whom we lately and fondly cherished. Thus Lear, act iii. line 192.
Thou think'st 'tis much, that this contentious storm
-When the mind's free,
HENLEY. Because thou art not seen,] So, in the Sonnet intro. duced into Love's Labour Lost:
“ Through the velvet leaves the wind
“ All unseen 'gan passage find. STEEVENS. 542. Though thou the waters warp,] The surface of waters, so long as they remain unfrozen, is apparently a perfect plane; whereas, when they are, this sur. face deviates from its exact fatness, or warps. This is remarkable in small ponds, the surface of which when frozen, forms a regular concave; the ice on the sides rising higher than that in the middle. Kenrick.
The meaning is this : though the very waters, by thy agency, are forced against the law of their nature,