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He held me, but last night, at least nine hours, 9
But mark'd him not a word. O, he's as tedious
Mort. In faith, he is a worthy gentleman;
9 He held me, but last night, at least nine hours,] I have inserted the conjunction—but, which is wanting in the ancient copies. Without some such assistance the metre would be defective.
Steevens, 2 In reckoning up the several devils' names,] See Reginald Scott's Discovery of Witchcraft, 1584, Book XV. ch. ii. p. 377, where the reader may find his patience as severely exercised as that of Hotspur, and on the same occasion. Shakspeare must certainly have seen this book. STEEVENS. 3
-go to,] These two senseless monosyllables seem to have been added by some foolish player, purposely to destroy the measure.
Ritson. -profited In strange concealments ;] Skilled in wonderful secrets.
JOHNSON. Vol. VIII.
Wor. In faith, my lord, you are too wilful
blame;s And since your coming hither, have done enough To put him quite beside his patience. You muft needs learn, lord, to amend this fault: Though sometimes it show greatness, courage,
blood, (And that's the dearest grace it renders you,) Yet oftentimes it doth present harsh rage, Defect of manners, want of government, Pride, haughtiness, opinion, and disdain: The least of which, haunting a nobleman, Loseth men's hearts; and leaves behind a stain Upon the beauty of all parts besides, Beguiling them of commendation. Hor. Well, I am school'd; Good manners be your
speed! Here come our wives, and let us take our leave.
Re-enter GLENDOWER, with the Ladies.
Mort. This is the deadly spite that angers me, My wife can speak no English, I no Welsh.
too wilful-blame ;] This is a mode of speech with which I am not acquainted. Perhaps it might be read-too wilful-blunt, or too wilful-bent; or thus:
Indeed, my lord, you are to blame, too wilful. Johnson. I suspect that our author wrote
to wilful-blame: i. e. you are wilfully to blame; the offence you give is meditated, designed.
Shakspeare has several compounds in which the first adjective has the power of an adverb. Thus, (as Mr. Tyrwhitt has observed,) in King Richard III. we meet with childish-foolish, senseless-obftinate, and mortal-Itaring. STEEVENS.
--- opinion,] means here felf-opinion, or conceit. M. Mason.
Glend. My daughter weeps; she will not part
She'll be a soldier too, she'll to the wars.
GLENDOWER Speaks to his daughter in Welsh,
and she answers him in the same. Glend. She's desperate here; a peevish self
will'd harlotry, One no persuasion 8 can do good upon.
[Lady M. Speaks to Mortimer in Welsh. Mort. I understand thy looks: that pretty Welsh Which thou pourest down from these swelling
heavens, I am too perfect in; and, but for shame, In such a parley would I answer thee.
[Lady M. Speaks. I understand thy kisses, and thou mine, And that's a feeling disputation : But I will never be a truant, love, Till I have learn'd thy language; for thy tongue Makes Welsh as sweet as ditties highly penn’d,
7a peevish self-will'd harlotry,] Capulet, in Romeo and Juliet, reproaches his daughter in the same terms:
“ A peevish self-will'd harlotry it is.” Ritson. 8 One no persuasion &c.] A common ellipsis for—One that no persuasion &c. and so the ancient copies redundantly read.
Steevens. 9 Which thou pourest down from these swelling heavens,] The defect of harmony in this line, induces me to suppose (with Sir T. Hanmer) that our author originally wrote
Which thou pour'A down from these two swelling heavens, meaning her two prominent lips. Steevens.
2 —a feeling difputation : ] i. e, a contest of sensibility, a reciprocation in which we engage on equal terms. STEEVENS.
Sung by a fair queen in a summer's bower,"
[Lady M. Speaks again.
you Upon the wanton rushes lay you down,
3 Sung by a fair queen &c.] Our author perhaps here intended a compliment to Queen Elizabeth, who was a performer on the lute and the virginals. See Sir James Melvil's curious account. Memoirs, folio, p. 50. Malone.
4 With ravishing division, to her lute.] This verse may serve for a translation of a line in Horace :
grataque fæminis “ Imbelli cithara carmina divides." It is to no purpose that you (Paris) please the women by finging “ with ravishing division,” to the harp. See the Commentators, and Voslius on Catullus, p. 239. S. W.
Divisions were very uncommon in vocal musick during the time of Shakspeare. Burney.
s Nay, if you melt, then will she run mad.] We might read, to complete the verse:
Nay, if you melt, why then will she run mad. Steevens. 60, I am ignorance itself in this.] Maslinger uses the fame expression in The Unnatural Combat, 1639:
in this you speak, sir,
7 She bids yout
Upon the wanton rushes lay you down,] It was the custom in this country,
many ages, to strew the floors with rushes, as we now cover them with carpets. JOHNSON.
It should have been observed in a note, that the old copies read on, not upon. This slight emendation was made by Mr. Steevens.
I am now, however, inclined to adhere to the original reading, and would print the line as it stands in the old copy:
She bids you on the wanton rushes lay you down.
MALONE. We have; but there is the strongest reason for fuppofing such irregularities arose from the badness of the playhouse copies, or the carelessness of printers. STEEVENS.
And rest your gentle head upon her lap,
Mort. With all my heart I'll fit, and hear her sing: By that time will our book," I think, be drawn.
8 And on your eyelids crown the god of sleep,] The expression is fine ; intimating, that the god of Neep should not only fit on his eyelids, but that he should fit crown'd, that is, pleased and delighted.
WARBURTON, The same image (whatever idea it was meant to convey) occurs in Beaumont and Fletcher's Philafter :
- who shall take up his lute,
Upon my eyelid." STEEVENS. The image is certainly a strange one ; but I do not fufpect any corruption of the text. The god of sleep is not only to fit on Mortimer's eyelids, but to fit crowned, that is, with sovereign dominion. So, in Twelfth Night:
“ Him will I tear out of that cruel eye,
“ Where he fits crowned in his master's spite." Again, in our poet's 114th Sonnet :
“ Or whether doth my mind, being crown'd with you,
“ Drink up the monarch's plague, this flattery?” Again, in Romeo and Juliet:
“ Upon his brow shame is asham'd to fit,
“ Sole monarch of the universal earth." Again, in King Henry V :
“ As if allegiance in their bofoms fat,
“ Crowned with faith and constant loyalty.” Malone. 9 Making such difference 'twixt wake and sleep,] She will lull you by her song into soft tranquillity, in which you shall be fo near to sleep as to be free from perturbation, and so much awake as to be sensible of pleasure; a state partaking of sleep and wake. fulness, as the twilight of night and day. JOHNSON.
our book,] Our paper of conditions. JOHNSON.