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NOTES TO MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.

ACT I.

i Enter Leonato, Hero, Beatrice, and others, with a Messenger. The quarto and folio name another character—'Innogen, the wife of Leonato, and mother of Hero.' At the commencement of the second act, she is again made to enter. But as no speech is assigned to this character, nor any allusion made to her, the editors have dropped the name. Theobald conceived that the poet had in his first plan designed such a character, but finding it would be superfluous, left it out. Shakespeare must have seen how painful it would be to have a mother present when the honour of her daughter was maligned.

2 Beat. He set up his bills here in Messina, and challenged Cupid at the fight : and my uncle's fool, reading the challenge, subscribed for Cupid, and challenged him at the bird-bolt. He published a general challenge. Nash, in his fictitious Life of Jack Wilton, 1594, makes the Earl of Surrey, immediately on his arrival in Florence, set up a challenge or defiance to all who should dare to question the superiority of his Geraldine's beauty. 'Benedick, from a vain conceit of his influence over women, challenged Cupid at roving (a particular kind of archery, in which blight arrows are used); in other words, he challenged him to shoot at hearts. The fool, to ridicule this piece of vanity, in his turn challenged Benedick to shoot at crows with the cross-bow and bird-bolt-an inferior kind of archery used by fools, who, for obvious reasons, were not permitted to shoot with pointed arrows-whence the proverb, “A fool's bolt is soon shot." —DOUCE.

3 Five wits—the five senses. Chaucer, in the Parson's Tale, mentions the appetites of the five wits—as sight, hearing, smelling, savouring, and touching. Johnson says: 'The wits seem to have been reckoned five by analogy to the five senses, or the five inlets to ideas.'

4 Do you play the flouting Jack, to tell us Cupid is a good harefinder, and Vulcan a rare carpenter ? That is, do you mean to tell us anything so absurd as that Cupid the blind god can be a good harefinder, and Vulcan the smith be a rare carpenter? To flout, is to mock and jeer. The passage, as Mr Staunton has said, is nothing more than an example of what Puttenham terms Antiphrasis or the Broad Flout. ‘Or when we deride by plain and flat contradiction, as he that saw a dwarf go in the street said to his companion that walked with him : “See yonder giant;” and to a negro or woman blackamoor, “In good sooth, ye are a fair one."'-Art of English Poesy, 1589.

5 Wear his cap with suspicion-his mind troubled with jealousy.

6 A recheat-a term used in hunting; it signifies a call on the bugle, to bring back a party with their dogs.

7 If I do, hang me in a bottle like a cat, and shoot at me. Among the barbarous sports of Shakespeare's time was shooting arrows at a cat enclosed in a coop or basket.

8 And called Adam. He who was the best marksman to be worthy of being called Adam, or the first man. Johnson supposed that 'Adam' referred to Adam Bell, an associate of Robin Hood—a vague conjecture, as we think.

9'In time the savage bull doth bear the yoke. This is a line in Watson's Century of Love, 1582, and reproduced in the Spanish Tragedy of Thomas Kyd, performed before 1590.

10 Nay, if Cupid have not spent all his quiver in Venice. Venice, it appears, was celebrated for love and gaiety. Robert Greene (who died in 1592) has the following allusions to the poetical city: 'Hearing that of all the cities in Europe, Venice hath most semblance of Venus' vanities .... Because therefore this great city of Venus is holden Love's Paradise.'-DYCE's Notes on Shakespeare.

11 Guarded with fragments ; guards were ornamental lace or borders.

13 old ends—an allusion to the phrases, To the tuition, &c., which usually formed the concluding words of letters.

13 'Tis once, thou lov’st. In this expression there is a common ellipsis of the poet; “'tis enough to say at once thou lov'st.'

14 A thick-pleached alley-an alley interwoven or covered with foliage; such as the fine avenue leading to the door of Shakespeare's church, in Stratford-on-Avon.

15 To claw, meant to flatter or wheedle.

16 The prince and Claudio, hand in hand, in sad conference. In serious conference,

ACT II. 1 Important-importunate. 9 With his bad legs, falls into the cinque-pace faster and faster, till he sink into his grave. Mr Collier's Old Corrector adds an ingenious pun to this conclusion of Beatrice's description. Two words, he says, are left out by the printer; and he would read : 'With his bad legs falls into the cinque-pace faster and faster till he sink a pace into his grave. This is clever, but it is not Shakespearian. 3 D. Pedro. My visor is Philemon's roof; within the house is Jove. Hero. Why, then your visor should be thatch'd.

D. Pedro. Speak low, if you speak love. The quarto and folio both have love instead of Jove. The allusion is obviously to the story of Baucis and Philemon (OVID, Met. 8), and the passage forms two of the long fourteen syllable verses so common among our early dramatists and the measure of Golding's translation.'BLAKEWAY. Mr Dyce thinks the lines read like a quotation.

4 Beat. That I was disdainfuland that I had my good wit out of the Hundred Merry Tales.' The Hundred Merry Tales was a jest-book, a coarse and pointless collection of stories, printed by John Ratsell, between 1517 and 1533. A copy of the work, but defective, was discovered and reprinted in 1835 under the title of Shakespeare's Jest Book.

With such impossible conveyance-with conveyance that seemed impossible or incredible.

6 The infernal Até—the Goddess of Revenge, or Discord. ? Use for it-usance or interest for it.

8 Civil as an orange, and something of that jealous complexion. The ancient orthography was a civil not a Seville orange, as Mr Dyce states, supported by the authority of Cotgrave's Dictionary.

9 Of a noble strain-a high lineage.
10 Queasy stomach-squeamish or fastidious.

11 Hear Margaret term me Claudio. Theobald altered Claudio to Borachio, and Collier's Old Corrector does the same. But as Margaret was to personate Hero, Borachio was to personate Claudio, and term him so. Claudio, overhearing this, and believing Margaret to be Hero, knew that the latter must be practising a deception. He could not, as Dyce says, 'doubt his own identity,' and therefore he concluded that Hero was ' disloyal.'

12 Her hair shall be of what colour it please God. False hair was then common. Both Queen Elizabeth and her 'good sister' Mary Queen of Scots, often wore borrowed locks. Yellow or light hair was the most popular. Dyeing the hair was also fashionable.

13 Enter Don Pedro, Leonato, Claudio, and Balthazar. The folio has this stage direction : 'Enter Prince, Leonato, Claudio, and Jacke Wilson.' Wilson was the singer who acted Balthazar. Dr Rimbault gives an 3 If low, an agate very vilely cut. Warburton read aglet (aiguelette). Aglets were the tags of those points or ties formerly used in dress, and were often little images of gold, silver, or brass. There is no occasion, however, to disturb the received text. Shakespeare often refers to agates, which were then much worn in rings. Falstaff uses the term exactly as in the above passage. Addressing the page, he says : ‘I was never manned with an agate till now: but I will in-set you neither in gold nor silver, but in vile apparel, and send you back again to your master for a jewel.' See part of King Henry IV., Act. I. Sc. 2.

account of Wilson, who appears to have been an eminent composer. In 1626, he was appointed a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal and Musician in ordinary to Charles I. In 1644, the University of Oxford conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Music; in 1660, he was appointed Chamber Musician to Charles II. ; and on the death of Henry Lawes (Milton's friend), 1662, he was again receive into the Chapel Royal. He died in 1673, at nearly seventy-nine years of age. 14 This line is to be read thus :

Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more. See Keightley's Milton, vol. i. p. 140.

15 0 ! she tore the letter into a thousand half-pence. Into pieces the size of half-pence.

16 Then down upon her knees she falls, weeps, sobs, beats her heart, tears her hair, prays, cries : 0 sweet Benedick! The folio has 'prays, curses,' &c. The Old Corrector reads cries-i. e., 'prays, cries O sweet Benedick!' This is a good emendation, suited to the character of Beatrice.

17 To daf, is the same as to doff, to do off, to put aside.
18 Contemptible contemptuous, or scornful.
19 Sadly borne-seriously conducted.

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ACT III. 1 Proposing discoursing. Fr. propos. 2 Haggards of the rock. The baggard was a wild hawk.

* She's lim'd, I warrant you. Entangled as with birdlime.

5 Good den-good even, but used also for good day. See, again, Act V. So. 1.

6 Bills were weapons carried by watchmen. At one time they were used by English infantry, and inflicted a severe blow.

7 Reechy-discoloured by smoke. Scottice, reeky.

8 Watch. And one Deformed is one of them ; I know him, 'a wears a lock. Called a love-lock-a favourite lock of hair with the gallants of that

day. It was worn over the forehead, and was often decked with ribbons The celebrated Puritan, William Prynne, in his treatise on The Unlovelinesse of Love-lockes (1628), says these locks were in fashion with comely pages, youths, and lewd, effeminate, ruffianly persons.' Spenser mentions another species of locks worn by the native Irish in the reign of Elizabeth; these were called glibs, 'which is a thick curled bush of hair hanging down over their eyes.' 'Our Englishmen,' adds Spenser, 'take it up in such a general fashion to wear their hair so immeasurably long, that some of them exceed the longest Irish glibs.'

9 A rabato was an ornament for the neck. Fr. rabat.

10 Side-sleeves—long large sleeves. Sir David Lindsay has a satire on Syde Tails—long dresses—and the word is still in use in Scotland.

11 Tinsel, a light silver texture. Mr Keightley, in one of the notes in his edition of Milton, says: 'We may observe that tinsel (probably from its resemblance in sound to tinfoil) had got its present sense of copper-leaf gilt or silvered, perhaps in Milton's own time.'

12 Light o' Love. The name of an old dance tune.

13 If your husband have stables enough, you'll see he shall lack no barns. A quibble between barns, repositories of grain, and bairns, children.

14 Beat. For the letter that begins them all, H. Meaning ache or pain, and, accordingly, a play on the word, by pronouncing ache as aitch. Steevens quotes an epigram by Heywood, published so early as 1562, which affords a lively illustration of Shakespeare's text:

'H is worst among letters in the cross-bow;
For if thou find him either in thine elbow,
In thine arm, or leg, in any degree;
In thine head, or teeth, or toe, or knee;
Into what place soever H may pike him,

Wherever thou find ache, thou shalt not like him.' 15 Turned Turk-taken captive by Love, and turned a renegade to his religion. -WARBURTON.

16 Carduus Benedictus, or blessed thistle, so worthily named for the singular virtues that it hath.-COGAN's Haven of Health, 1589. According to Gerald's Herbal, the blessed thistle (a kind of wild saffron) was reputed good for curing giddiness, for strengthening the memory, and removing deafness.

17 Palabras, neighbour Verges. In the Taming of the Shrow we have pocas palabras ; that is, few words, and the phrase also occurs in Kyd's Spanish Tragedy. 'How this Spanish word came into our language,' says Collier, and to be in familiar use with the lower orders, it is difficult to ascertain.' It had been imported by some of the fashionable gallants, who then trav led to the continent.

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