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lent, that sighs impair the strength, and wear out the animal powers.

JOHNSON. Hence Shakspere, in King Henry VI. calls them

“ -blood-consuming sighs." The idea is enlarged upon in Fenton's Tragical Discourses, 1579: “ Why staye you not in tyme the source of your scorching sighs, that have already drayned your body of his wholesome humoures, appointed by nature to give sucke to the entrals and inward partes of you?”

MALONE. 631. he, being remiss,] He being not vigilant or cautious.

JOHNSON, 635. A sword unbated, -] 1. e., not blunted as foils Or, as one edition has it, embated or envenomed.

POPE. • There is no such reading as embated in any edition. In Sir Thomas North's Translation of Plutarch, is said of one of the Metelli, that “ he shewed the people the cruel sight of fencers at unrebated swords."

Steevens. ma pass of practice,] Practice is often by Shakspere, and other writers, taken for an insidious stratagem, or privy treason, a sense not incongruous to this passage, where yet I rather believe, that nothing more is meant than a thrust for exercise. JOHNSON. So, in Look about You, 1600 :


pray God there be no practice in this change." Again: “-the man is like to die?

Practice by th’mass, practice by the, &c.-
Practice by the Lord, practice, I see it clear.”

Again, more appositely, in our author's Twelfth Night,
act v. sc. ult.
“ This practice hath most shrewdly passid upon

STEEVENS. 646. It is a matter of surprise, that no one of Shakspere's numerous and able commentators has remarked with proper warmth and detestation, the villanous assassin-like treachery of Laertes in this horrid plot. There is the more occasion that he should be here pointed out an object of abhorrence, as he is a character we are, in some preceding parts of the play, led to respect and admire.

REMARKS. 649. May fit us to our shape :-) May enable us to assume proper characters, and to act our part.

JOHNSON, 653. -blast in proof.-] The word proof shews the metaphor to be taken from the trying or proving fire-arms or cannon, which often blast or burst in the proof.

658. I'll have prepar'd him] Thus the folio.
The quartos read,
I'll have prefer'd him.

STEEVENS, 660. If he by chance escape your venom'd stuck,] For stuck read tuck, a common nanie for a rapier.

BLACKSTONE. Stuck may yet be right. So, in The Return from Parnassus, a comedy, 1606: " Ay, here's a fellow, Judicio, that carried the deadly stucke in his pen." Again,, in our author's Twelfth Night : " And he gives me the stuck with such a mortal motion.".

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The quarto of 1637, however, has the reading pro. posed by Sir William Blackstone,

MALONE. 661. --But stay, what noise?] I have recovered this from the quartus.

STEEVENS. 663 One woe doth tread upon another's heel] A similar thought occurs in Pericles Prince of Tyre, 1609 :

“ One sorrow never comes, but brings an heir
" That may succeed as his inheritor."

666. -ascaunt the brook, ] Thus the quartos.
The folio reads, aslant. Ascaunce is interpreted in the
Glossary to Chaucer,-askew, aside, sideways.

STEEVENS. 668. - and long purples,] By long purple is meant a plant, the modern botanical name of which is orchis morio mas, anciently testiculus morionis. The grosser name by which it passes, is sufficiently known in many parts of England, and particularly in the county where Shakspere lived. Thus far Mr. Warner. Mr. Col. lins adds, that in Sussex it is still called dead men's hands; and that in Lyte's Herbal, 1578, its various names, too gross for repetition, are preserved.

Dead men's thumbs are mentioned in an ancient bl. let. ballad, entitled The Deceased Maiden Lover :

« Then round the meddowes did she walke
Catching each flower by the stalke,
“ Such as within the meddowes grew

“ As dead mans thumbe and hare-bell blew.”
670, liberal] As in other instances, licentious.


677. Which time, she chaunted snatches of old tunes ;] Fletcher, in his Scornful Lady, very invidiously ridicules this incident :

“ I will run mad first, and if that get not pity,
“ I'll drown myself to a most dismal ditty."

WARBURTON. The quartos read~" snatches of old lauds," i. e. hymns.

STEEVENS. 678., As one incapable of her own distress,] As one having no understanding or knowledge of her danger. See a former note on the words

-preaching to stones, “ Would make them capable." MALONE. 690. The woman will be out. -] i. e, tears will flow. So, in another of our author's plays: “ And all the woman came into my eyes."


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Line 3. -MAKE her grave straight :--) Make her grave from east to west, in a direct line parallel to the church; not from north to south, athwart the regular line. This, I think, is meant. JOHNSON.

I cannot think that this means any more than make ker grave immediately. She is to be buried in christian


burial, and consequently the grave is to be made as usual. My interpretation may be justified from the following passages in King Henry V. and the play before us : “ _We cannot lodge and board a dozen or fourteen gentlewomen who live by the prick of their needles, but it will be thought we keep a bawdy-house straight.” Again, in Hamlet, act iii. sc. 4.

Pol. He will come straight.” Again, in the Lover's Progress, by Beaumont and Fletcher:

Lis. Do you fight straight?

Clar. Yes, presently." Again, in The Merry Wives of Windsor :

“ - we'll come and dress you straight." Again, in Othello : “ Farewel, my Desdemona, I will come to thee straight."

STEEVENS. an act hath three branches; it is, to act, to do, and to perform.] Ridicule on scholastick divisions without distinction; and of distinctions without difference,

WARBURTON. 23. ---crowner's quest-law.] I strongly suspect that this is a ridicule on the case of Dame Hales, reported by Plowden in his commentaries, as determined in


3 Eliz.

It seems her husband Sir James Hales had drowned himself in a river, and the question was, whether by this act a forfeiture of a lease from the dean and chapter of Canterbury, which he was possessed af, did P


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