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Upon your heads) is nothing, but heart's forrow,
He vanises in thunder : then to soft mufick, enter the
4 clear life--] Pure, blameless, innocent. Johnson, So in Timon : “ - roots you clear heavens." STEEVENS.
3 with mops and mowes.] So in K. Lear,
“Land Flibbertigibbet of mopping and mowing." To mop and to mowe seem to have the same meaning, i. e, to make mouths or wry faces. STEEVENS.
0 -- with good life,] This seems a corruption. I know not in what senfe life can here be used, unless for alacrity, liveliness, vigour; and in this sense the expression is harsh. Perhaps we may read, --with good list, with good will, with fincere zeal for my service. I should have propoied, with good lief, in the same sense, but that I cannot find lief to be a substantive. With good life may however mean, with exact presentation of their several characters, with observation strange of their particular and distinct parts. So we say, he acted to the life. JOHNSON Thus in the 6th canto of the Barons' Wars, by Drayton :
" Done for the last with such exceeding life
" As art therein with nature seem'd at itrife.” Good life, however, in Twelfth Night, seems to be used for innocent jollity, as we now say a bon vivant : “ Would you (savs " the Clown) have a love song, or a song of good life?" Sir Toby . answers, “ A love song, a love song;” Ay, ay, (replies Sir Ar
drew) “ I care not for good life.” It is plain, from the character of the last speaker, that he was meant to mistake the sense in which good life is used by the Clorin. It may therefore, in the Tempejt, mean honest alacrity, or chearfulness.
Life seems to be used in the chorus to the fifth act of K. Hemy V. with some meaning like that wanted to explain the approbation of Prospero :
*6 Which cannot in their huge and proper life
Their several kinds have done: my high charms work,
(Exit Prospero from above. Gon. I'the name of something holy, fír, why stand you In this strange stare ?
Alon. O, it is monstrous ! monstrous !
Seb. But one fiend at a time,
[Exeunt. · Gon. All three of them are desperate ; their great
[Exeunt. ?- bass my trespass.] The deep pipe told it me in a rough bass found. Johnson. So in Spenser's Faery Queen; B. II. C. 12 :
" the rolling sea resounding soft, " In his big base them fitly answered." STEEVENS. · Like poison given, &c.] The natives of Africa have been supposed to be poffelled of the secret how to tem per poisons with such art as not to operate till several years after they were administered, and were then as certain in their effect, as they were fubtle in their preparation. STEEVENS.
9 this ecstasy] Ecstacy meant not anciently, as at present, rapturous pleasure, but alienation of mind. Mr. Locke has not inelegantly stiied it dreaming evith our cyes open. STEEVENS. VOL. I.
ACT IV. SCENE L.
i athird of mine opun life,] Thus all the impreffions in general; but why is she only a third of his own life? He had no wife living, nor any other child, to rob her of a share in his affection : so that we may reckon her at least half of himself. Nor could he intend, that he loved himself twice as much as he did her ; for he immediately subjoins, that it was the for whom be liv'd. In Othello, when Iago alarms the fenator with the loss of his daughter, he tells him :
"Your heart is burst, you have lost half your foul.” And dimidium animæ meæ was the current language with the Latines on such occafions, THEOBALD.
In consequence of this ratiocination Mr. Theobald printed the text, a thread of my own life. I have restored the ancient reading. Prospero, in his reason subjoined why he calls her the third of his life, seems to allude to some logical distinction of causes, making her the final cause. Johnson.
Though this conjecture be very ingenious, I cannot think the poet had any such idea in his mind. The word thread was formerly spelt third; as appears from the following passage :
« Long maist thou live, and when the filters Thall decree 16 To cut in twaine the twisted third of life,
6. Then let him die, &c." See comedy of Mucedor üs, 1619: signat. c. 3. HAWKINS.
“ A thrid of my own life" is a fibre or a part of my own life. Prospero considers himself as the stock or parent-tree, and his daughter as a fibre or portion of himself, and for whose benefit he himfelf lives. In this sense the word is used in Markhan's Englijf Husbandman, edit. 1635. p. 146: “ Cut off all the maine rootes, 66 within half a foot of the tree, only the finall thriddes or twist “ rootes you thall not cut at all.”. Again, ibid. " Every " branch and thrid of the root.” This is evidently the same word as thread, which is likewise spelt thurid by lord Bacon.
Or that for which I live; whom once again.
Fer. I do believe it,
Pro. Then, as my 3 gift, and thine own acquisition Worthily purchas'd, take my daughter : But If thou dost break her virgin knot*, before All sanctimonious ceremonies may With full and holy rite be minister'd, No sweet aspersion s shall the Heavens let fall, To make this contract grow; but barren hate, Sour-ey'd disdain, and discord, shall bestrew The union of your bed with weeds so loathly,
The late Mr. Hawkins has properly observed that the word thread was anciently spelt third. So in Lingua, &c. 1607; and I could furnish many more instances :
* For as a subtle spider closely fitting
“ She feels it instantly." The following quotation, however, should seem to place the meaning beyond all dispute. In Acolastusy a comedy, 1529, is this passage:
" -one of worldly lame's children, of his countenaunce, cs and TIREDE of his body." STEEVENS.
2 ---strangely stood the test :] Strangely is used by way of commendation, mervcilleusement, to a wonder; the sense is the same in the foregoing scene, with observation sirange. Johnson. "3 – my gift,-) My gueit, first folio. JOHNSON.
4 her virgin knot, ] The faine expression occurs in Pericles Prince of Tyre, 1609 :
“Untide I fill my virgin knot will keepe." STEEVENS. S No frect afperfion] Ajperfon is here used in its primitive sense of spriakling. At prelent it is exprellive only of calumny and detraction. STEEVENS. G 2
That you fhall hate it both : therefore take heed,
Fer. As I hope
Pro. Fairly spoke:
Pro. Thou and thy meaner fellows, your last service
Ari. Presently ?
Ari. Before you can say, 7 Come, and go,
o the rabble,] The crew of meaner fpirits. Johnson. ? Come, and go,
Each one, tripping on his toe, ] So Milton : ... .. • . " Come, and trip it as you go
“ On the light fantastic toe.” STEEVENS.