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Line 102. -quiddits &c.] i. e. subtilties. STEEVENS.
103. his quillets,] Quillets are nice and fritoluus distinctions.
MALONE. Line 144. -by the card,] The card is the paper on which the different points of the compass were described. To do any thing by the card, is, to do it with nice observation. Johnsos. : Line 146. -the
is grown so picked,] i. e. so spruce, so quaint, so affected.
MALONE. Line 206. to this favour -] i. e, to this countenance or complexion.
MALONE. Line 230. -winter's flaw!] Winter's blast, Johxson.
233. -maimed rites !) Imperfect obsequics. JOHNS.
249. -allow'd her virgin crants,] I have been informed by an anonymous correspondent, that crants is the German word for garlands, and I suppose it was retained by us from the Saxons.
Johnsos. Line 251. -bell and burial.] Burial here signifies interment in consecrated ground.
WARBURTOS. Line 255. To sing a requiem,] A requiem is a mass performed in popish churches for the rest of the soul of a person deceased.
STEEVENS. Line 304. Woult drink up esil ? cat a crocodile ?] Eisil or eisel is vinegar. The word is used by Chaucer and Skelton, and Sir Thomas More, Works, p. 21, edit. 1557.
Mr. Steevens supposes, that by “ Esel" a river was meant, either the Yssel, or Oesil, or Weisel, a considerable river which falls into the Baltick ocean.
MALONE. Line 316. When that her golden couplets are disclos'd,] To disclose was anciently used for to hatch.
ACT V. SCENE II. Line 338. -mutines in the bilboes.] Mutines, the French word for seditious or disobedient fellows in the army or fleet. Bilboes, the ship's prison.
Johnson. The bilboes is a bar of iron with fetters annexed to it, by which mutinous or disorderly sailors were anciently linked together.
Line 356. With, ho! such bugs and goblins in my life,] With such causes of terror, rising from my character and designs.
JOHNSON. Line 369.
as our statists do,] statist, i. e. a statesman. 372. -yeoman's service :) i. e. did me eminent será vice. Line 385. Not shriving-time allow'd.] No confession allowed.
392. The changeling never known :) A changeling is a child which the fairies are supposed to leave in the room of that which they steal.
JOHNSON, Line 407. Thrown out his angle-] An angle in Shakspeare's time signified a fishing-rod.
MALONE Line 427. Dost know this water-fly?] A water-fly skips up and down upon the surface of the water, without any apparent purpose or reason, and is thence the proper emblem of a busy trifler.
JOHNSON. Line 433. -Tis a chough ;] A kind of jackdaw. JOHNS.
453. --full of most excellent differences,] Full of distinguishing excellencies.
JOHNSON. Line 451. -and yet but raw neither.] The best account of him would be imperfect in respect of his quick sail. The phrase quick sail was, I suppose, a proverbial term for activity of mind.
JOHNSON. Line 464. of such dearth-] Dearth is dearness, value, price. And his internal qualities of such value and rarity.
JOHNSON Line 490.
-in his meed-] In his excellence. JOHNSON. 503. -you must be edified by the margent,] Dr. Warburton very properly observes, that in the old books the gloss or comment was usually printed on the margent of the leaf.
STEEVENS. Line 5C6. -more german-] More a-kin.
Johnson. 539. -a kind of yesty collection, which carries them through and through the most fond and winnawed opinions ;] The meaning is, “ these men have got the cant of the day, a superficial readiness of slight and cursory conversation, a kind of frothy collection of fashionable pratule, which yet carries them through
the most select and approving judgments. This airy facility of talk sometimes imposes upon wise men." Who has not seen this observation verified ?
JOHNSON, Line 541. do but blow them &c.] These men of show, without solidity, are like bubbles raised from soap and water, which dance and glitter, and please the eye, but if you extend them by blowing hard, separate into a mist; so if you oblige these specious talkers to extend their compass of conversation, they at once discover the tenuity of their intellects. JOHNSON.
Line 574. Since no man, of aught he leaves, knows, what is't to leave betimes ?] The meaning may be this,-Since no man knows aught of the state of which he leaves, since he cannot judge what other years may produce, why should he be afraid of leaving life betimes? Why should he dread an early death, of which he cannot tell whether it is an exclusion of happiness, or an interception of calamity. I despise the superstition of augury and omens, which has no ground in reason or piety; my comfort is, that I cannot fall but by the direction of Providence. JOHNSON.
Line 578. Give me your pardon, sir :] I wish Hamlet had made some other defence; it is unsuitable to the character of a good or a brave man, to shelter himself in falsehood. JOHNSON.
Line 629. the stoups of wine-) A stoop is a kind of flagon, containing somewhat more than two quarts. MALONE.
Line 717. That are but mutes und audience to this act,] That are either auditors of this catastrophe, or at most only mute performers, that fill the stage without any part in the action.
JOHNSON. Line 745.
-the occurrents,] i. e. incidents. The word is now disused.
END OF THE ANNOTATIONS ON HAMLET.
-certes,] i. e, certainly, in truth. STEEVENS. Line 27. -theorick,] Theorick, for theory. STEEVENS. 28. Wherein the toged consuls-) Consuls, for counsellors.
WARBURTON. By toged perhaps is meant peaceable.
Steevens. Line 33.
must be be-lee'd and calmid-] Be-lee'd and becalm'd are terms of navigation. I have been informed that one vessel is said to be in the lee of another, when it is so placed that the wind is intercepted from it. Iago's meaning therefore is, that Cassio had got the wind of him, and be-calm'd him from going on.
Steevens. Line 35. this counter-caster ;] It was anciently the practice to reckon up sums with counters.
Steevens. Line 43. by letter,] By recommendation from powerful friends.
JOHNSON Line 46. Whether I in any just term am affin'd-] Do I stand within any such terms of propinquity, or relation to the Moor, as that it is my duty to love him ?
JOHNSON. Line 58. honest knaves :) Knave is here for servant, but with a sly mixture of contempt.
Line 75. In compliment extern,] In that which I do only for an outward show of civility.
JOHNSOX. Line 107. is burst,] i. e. loroken.
STE EVENS. 109. tupping your white ewe.] In the north of Eng. Land a ram is called a tup.
MALONE. Line 131.
-this is Venice;
My house is not a grange.] In Lincolnshire, and in other northern counties, they call every lone house, or farm which stands solitary, a grange.
T. WARTON. Line 141. - gennets for germans,] A jennet is a Spanish horse.
STEEVENS. Line 143. What profane wretch art thou ?] That is, what wretch of gross and licentious language? In that sense Shakspeare often uses the word profane.
JOHNSON. Line 144. -your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs.] In the Dictionnaire Comique, par le Roux, 1750, this phrase is more particularly explained under the article Bete : “ Faire la bete a deux dos.- Maniere de parler qui signifie etre couché avec une femme; faire le deduit."-" Et faisoient tous deux souvent ensemble la bete u deur dos joyeusement." Rabelais, Liv I.
MALONE Line 155. At this odd-even and dull watch o'the night,] The eten of night is midnight, the time when night is divided into eter parts.
JOHNSON, Line 183. -cast him ;] That is, dismiss him ; reject him, We still say, a cast coat, and a cast serving-man. JOHNSON, Line 212. By which the property of youth and maidhood
May be abus'd ?] By which the faculties of a young virgin may be infatuated, and made subject to illusions and false imagination.
JOHNSON, ACT I. SCENE II. Line 227.
-stuff o'the conscience,] Stuff of the conscience is, substance or essence of the conscience. Stuff is a word of great force in the Teutonick languages. The elements are called in Dutch, Hoefd stutfen, or head-stuffs.
JOHNSON. Line 239. the magnifico-] • The chief men of Venice are by a peculiar name called magnifici, i. e. magnificoes.”