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Will play the cook and servant; 'tis our match3:
But for the end it works to. Come; our stomachs
Whilst what we have kill'd be cook'd.
Stay; come not in: [Looking in.
But that it eats our victuals, I should think
What's the matter, sir?
IMO. Good masters, harm me not;
'tis our MATCH :] i. e. our compact. See p. 111, 1. 5. STEEVENS.
when RESTY sloth-] Resty signified mouldy, rank. See Minsheu, in v. The word is yet used in the North. Perhaps, however, it is here used in the same sense in which restive is applied to a horse. MALONE.
Restive, in the present instance, I believe, means unquiet, shifting its posture, like a restive horse. STEEvens.
The old copy reads-restie, but Mr. Steevens, without notice to the reader, altered it to restive. Restive or restiff, when spoken of a horse, does not mean shifting its posture, but refusing to go forward. BoSWELL.
5 An earthly paragon!] The same phrase has already occurred in The Two Gentlemen of Verona:
"No; but she is an earthly paragon." STEEVENS.
To have begg'd, or bought, what I have took :
I have stolen nought; nor would not, though I had
Gold strew'd o' the floor 6. Here's money for my
I would have left it on the board, so soon
Money, youth? ARV. All gold and silver rather turn to dirt! As 'tis no better reckon'd, but of those
Who worship dirty gods.
I see, you are angry:
Know, if you kill me for my fault, I should
BEL. Whither bound?
IMO. To Milford-Haven R.
IMO. Fidele, sir; I have a kinsman, who
6 o' THE floor.] Old copy-i' the floor. Corrected by
Sir T. Hanmer.
The correction was unnecessary. In was frequently used in our author's time for on. So, in the Lord's Prayer: "Thy will be done in earth,” και ΕΠΙ της γης. BOSWELL.
and parted-] A syllable being here wanting to the measure, we might read, with Sir Thomas Hanmer,-and parted thence. STEEVENS.
By making prayers a dissyllable, we might read
"Prayers for the provider." MALONE.
-To Milford-Haven, SIR.] This word, which is deficient in the old copies, has been supplied by some modern editor, [Mr. Capell] for the sake of metre. STEEVENS.
9 I am fallen In this offence.] In, according to the ancient mode of writing, is here used instead of into. Thus, in Othello: "Fallen in the practice of a cursed slave."
BEL. Pr'ythee, fair youth, Think us no churls; nor measure our good minds By this rude place we live in. Well encounter'd! 'Tis almost night: you shall have better cheer Ere you depart; and thanks, to stay and eat it.Boys, bid him welcome.
GUI. Were you a woman, youth, I should woo hard, but be your groom.-In honesty, I bid for you, as I'd buy1.
I'll make't my comfort,
And such a welcome as I'd give to him,
After long absence, such as yours:-Most welcome! Be sprightly, for you fall 'mongst friends,
If brothers ?-'Would it had been so, that
Had been my father's sons! then had my
Been less; and so more equal ballasting 2
Again, in King Richard III.:
"But first, I'll turn yon fellow in his grave." STEEVENS. 1 I should woo hard, but be your groom.-In honesty
I bid for you, as I'd buy.] The old copy reads-as I do buy. The correction was made by Sir T. Hanmer. He reads unnecessarily, I'd bid for you, &c. In the folio the line is thus pointed : "I should woo hard, but be your groom in honesty:
"I bid for you," &c. MALONE.
I think this passage might be better read thus:
"I should woo hard, but be your groom.-In honesty,
That is, I should woo hard, but I would be your bridegroom. [And when I say that I should woo hard, be assured that] in honesty I bid for you, only at the rate at which I would purchase you. TYRWHITT.
then had my PRIZE
Been less and so more equal BALLASTING] Sir T. Hanmer reads plausibly, but without necessity, price for prize, and balancing for ballasting. He is followed by Dr. Warburton. The
He wrings at some distress3.
GUI. 'Would, I could free't!
Or I; whate'er it be,
What pain it cost, what danger! Gods!
IMO. Great men,
Hark, boys. [Whispering.
That had a court no bigger than this cave,
That did attend themselves, and had the virtue Which their own conscience seal'd them, (laying by That nothing gift of differing multitudes *,)
meaning is,-Had I been less a prize, I should not have been too heavy for Posthumus. JOHNSON.
The old reading is undoubtedly the true one. So, in King Henry VI. Part III. :
"It is war's prize to take all vantages."
Methinks, 'tis prize enough to be his son."
The same word occurs again in this play of Cymbeline, as well as in Hamlet. STEEVENS.
Between price and prize the distinction was not always observed in our author's time, nor is it at this day; for who has not heard persons above the vulgar confound them, and talk of high-priz'd and low-priz'd goods? MALONE.
The sense is, then had the prize thou hast mastered in me been less, and not have sunk thee, as I have done, by over-lading thee. HEATH.
3 HE wrings AT SOME DISTRESS.] i. e. writhes with anguish. So, in our author's Much Ado About Nothing:
"To those that wring under the load of sorrow." Again, in Tom Tylor and his Wife, bl. 1.
"I think I have made the cullion to wring." STEEVENS. 4 That NOTHING GIFT of DIFFERING multitudes,] The poet must mean, that court, that obsequious adoration, which the shifting vulgar pay to the great, is a tribute of no price or value. I am persuaded therefore our poet coined this participle from the French verb, and wrote:
That nothing gift of defering multitudes: "
i. e. obsequious, paying deference.-Deferer, Cedar par respect a quelqu'un, obeir, condescendre, &c.-Deferent, civil, respectueux, &c. Richelet. THEOBALD.
He is followed by Sir Thomas Hanmer and Dr. Warburton;
Could not out-peer these twain. Pardon me, gods! I'd change my sex to be companion with them, Since Leonatus false 5.
It shall be so:
Boys, we'll go dress our hunt.-Fair youth, come
but I do not see why differing may not be a general epithet, and the expression equivalent to the many-headed rabble. JOHNSON.
It certainly may; but then nothing is predicated of the manyheaded multitude, unless we supply words that the text does not exhibit, "That worthless boon of the differing or many-headed multitude, [attending upon them, and paying their court to them ;]" or suppose the whole line to be a periphrasis for adulation or obeisance.
There was no such word as defering or deferring in Shakspeare's time. "Deferer a une compaigne," Cotgrave, in his Dictionary, 1611, explains thus: "To yeeld, referre, or attribute much, unto a companie." MALONE.
That nothing gift which the multitude are supposed to bestow, is glory, reputation, which is a present of little value from their hands; as they are neither unanimous in giving it, nor constant in continuing it. HEATH.
I believe the o d to be the right reading. Differing multitudes means unsteady multitudes, who are continually changing their opinions, and condemn to-day what they yesterday applauded. M. MASON. Mr. M. Mason's explanation is just. So, in the Induction to The Second Part of King Henry IV. :
"The still discordant, wav'ring multitude." STEEVens. 5 Since Leonatus false.] Mr. M. Mason would read:
but this conjecture is injurious to the metre.
If we are to con
nect the words in question with the preceding line, and suppose that Imogen has completed all she meant to say, we might read : "Since Leonate is false."
Thus, for the convenience of versification, Shakspeare sometimes calls Prospero, Prosper, and Enobarbus, Enobarbe.
As Shakspeare has used "thy mistress' ear," and "Menelaus tent," for thy mistresses ear, and Menelauses tent, so, with still greater licence, he uses-Since Leonatus false, for-Since Leonatus is false. MALONE.
Of such a licence, I believe, there is no example either in the works of Shakspeare, or of any other author. STEEVENS.