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of Gobbo, that Shakspere designed this character to be represented with a hump-back.
Steevens, 143. -my thill-horse-] Thill or fill, means the shafts of a cart or waggon. So, in A Woman never Vex'd, 1632 :
I will 66 Give
you the fore-horse place, and I will be $6 ['the fills.” Again, in Fortune by Land and Sea, 1655, by Tho. Heywood and W. Rowley : "acquaint you with Jock the fore-horse, and Fibb the fil-horse," &c.
STEEVENS. The two first folios read phil-horse. So also the word is spelled in the two instances produced by Mr. Steevens.
MALONE. 203. -more guarded -] i. e. more orna. mented.
STEEVENS. 205. Well, if any man in Italy have a fairer table, which doth offer to swear upon a book,] Table was the chiromantick term for the lines of the hand. So, Ben Jonson in his Mask of Gipsies, to the lady Eliza. . beth Hatton :
Mistress of a fairer table,
“ Hath not history, nor fable." WARBURTON. Launcelot congratulates himself upon his dexterity and good fortune, and, in the height of his rapture, inspects his hand, and congratulates himself upon the felicities in his table. The act of expanding his hand puts him in mind of the action in which the palm is shewn, by raising it to lay it on the book, in judicial
attestations. Well, says he, if any man in Italy have a fairer table, that doth offer to swear upon a bookHere he stops with an abruptness very common, and proceeds to particulars.
in peril of my life with the edge of a feather-bed ;-) A cant phrase to signify the danger of marrying. -A certain French writer uses the same kind of figure, “O mon Ami, j'aimerois mieux étre tombée sur la point d'un Oreiller, & m'être rompû le Cou."
WARBURTON. 235. Something too liberal;-] Liberal I have al. ready shewn to be mean, gross, coarse, licentious.
JOHNSON. 244. -hood mine eyes] Alluding to the manner of covering a hawk's eyes. So, in the Tragedy of Cræsus, 1
-sad ostent] Grave appearance; shew of staid and serious behaviour.
JOHNSON Ostent is a word very commonly used for show among the old dramatick writers. So, in Heywood's Iron Age, 1632 :
-you in those times “ Did not affect ostent." Again, in Chapman's translation of Homer, edit. 1598, B. 6.
did bloodie vapours raine « For sad ostent,” &c.
STEEVENS. 284. torch-bearers.] See the note in Romeo and Juliet, act i. sc. 4. We have not spoke us yet, &c.
i. e. we have not yet bespoke us, &c. Thus the old copies. It may, however, mean, we have not as yet consulted on the subject of torch-bearers. Mr. Pope reads—" spoke as yet.”
SteeVENS. 290. ---to break up this,] To break up was a term in carving.
STEEVENS. to feed upon
The prodigal Christian.. --] Shylock forgets his resolution. In a former scene he declares he will neither eat, drink, nor pray with Christians. Of this circumstance the poet was aware, and meant only to heighten the malignity of the character, by making him depart from his most settled resolve, for the prosecution of his revenge.
STEEVENS. 345. then it was not for nothing that my nose fell a bleeding on Black-Monday last,—-] "Black-Monday is a moveable day; it is Easter-Monday, and was so called on this occasion: In the 34th of Edward III. (1350) the 14th of April, and the morrow after Easter-day, king Edward, with his host, lay before the city of Paris; which day was full dark of mist and hail, and so bitter cold, that many men died on their horses' backs with the cold. Wherefore, unto this day, it hath been called the Blacke-Monday." Stowe, p. 264-6.
GREY, It appears from a passage in Lodge's Rosalynde, 1592, that some superstitious belief was annexed to the accident of bleeding at the nose : 66 As he stood gazing, his nose on a sudden bled, which made him con. jecture it was some friend of his." Steevens.
Again, in The Duchess of Malsy, 1640, act i. sc. 2.
“How superstitiously we mind our evils ?
REED. 351. Lock up my doors; and when you hear the drum,
And the vile squeaking of the wry-neck'd fifc,]
Hor. Lib. III. Od. 7.
MALONE. 352. —the vile squeaking-] The folio and one of the quartos read squealing.
STEEVENS. 364. There will come a Christian by,
Will be worth a Jewess’: eye.] It's worth a Few's eye, is a proverbial phrase.
WHALLEY. 368. The patch is kind enough ; -] This term came into use from the name of a celebrated fool. This I learn from Wilson's Art of Rhetorique, 1553: “ A word-making, called of the Grecians Onomatopeia, is when we make words of our own mind, such as be derived from the nature of things-As to call one Patche, or Cowlson, whom we see to do a thing foolishly; because these two in their times were notable fools."
Probably the dress which the celebrated Paich wore, was in allusion to his name, patched or particoloured. Hence the stage fool has ever since been exhibited in a
motley coat. In Rowley's When you see me you know me, or History of K. Henry VIII. 1632, Cardinal Wolsey's fool Patch is introduced. Perhaps he was the original Patch of whom Wilson speaks.
MALONE. 394. -a younker, -] All the old copies read a younger.
Lean, rent, and beggar'd by the strumpet wind!] Mr. Gray (dropping the particularity of allusion to the parable of the prodigal) seems to have caught from this passage the imagery of the following: “ Fair laughs the morn, and soft the zephyr
blows, “ While proudly riding o'er the azure realm “ In gallant trim the gilded vessel goes ; “ Youth on the prow, and Pleasure at the helm; “ Regardless of the sweeping whirlwind's sway, “ That, hush'd in grim repose, expects his evena
ing prey." The grim repose however, was suggested by Thomson's
“_deep fermenting tempest brew'd
HENLEY. 397. -doth she return;] Surely the bark ought to be of the masculine gender, otherwise the allusion wants somewhat of propriety. This indiscriminate