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Crush hims together, rather than unfold
What 's his name, and birth?
My eulogium, however extended it may seem, is short of his real excellence: it is rather abbreviated than expanded.-We have again the same expression in a subsequent scene: “ The approbation of those that weep this lamentable divorce, are wonderfully to extend him.” Again, in The Winter's Tale: “ The report of her is extended more than can be thought.” Malone. 5 Crush him – ] So, in King Henry IV, P.11:
“ Crowd us and crush us in this monstrous form.” Steevens.
who did join his honour Against the Romans, with Cassibelan;] I do not understand what can be meant by joining his honour against &c. with &c." Perhaps our author wrote:
did join his banner Against the Romans &c. In King John, says the bastard, let us
" Part our mingied colours once again." and in the last speech of the play before us, Cymbeline proposes that “ a Roman and a British ensign should wave together.”
Steevens. Tenantius,) was the father of Cymbeline, and nephew of Cassibelan, being the younger son of his elder brother Lud, king of the southern part of Britain: on wliose death Cassibelan was admitted king. Cassibelan repulsed the Romans on their first at. tack, but being vanquished by Julius Cæsar on his second inva. sion of Britain, he agreed to pay an annual tribute to Rome. Af. ter his death, Tenantius, Lud's younger son, (his elder brother Androgeus having fled to Rome) was established on the throne, of which they had been unjustly deprived by their uncle. According to some authorities, Tenantius quietly payed the tribute stipulated by Cassibelan; according to others, he refused to pay it, and warred with the Romans. Shakspeare supposes the latter to be the truth. Holinshed, who furnished our poet with these facts, furnished him also with the name of Sicilius, who was ad. mitted king of Britain, A. M 3659 The name of Leonatus he found in Sidney's Arcadia Leonatus is there the legitimate son of the blind King of Paphlagonia, on whose story the episode of Gloster, Edgar, and Edmund, is formed in King Lear. See Arcadia, p. 69, edit. 1593. Malone.
Shakspeare, having already introduced Leonato among the characters in Much Ado about Nothing, had not far to go for Leonatus.
He serv'd with glory and admir'd success;
Posthumus ;] Old copy-Posthumus Leonatus. Reed.
Liu'd in court, (Which rare it is to do,) most prais'd, most loo'd:] This encomium is high and artful. To be at once in any great degree loved and praised, is truly rare. Johnson.
1 A glass that feated them;) A glass that formed them; a model, by the contemplation and inspection of which they formed their manners. Johnson.
This passage may be well explained by another in The First Part of King Henry IV:
He was indeed the glass “Wherein the noble youths did dress themselves.” Again, Ophelia describes Hamlet, as
“The glass of fashion, and the mould of form." To dress themselves, therefore, may be to form themselves.
Dresser, in French, is to form. To dress a spaniel is to break him in. Feat is nice, exact. So, in The Tempest:
look, how well my garments sit upon me, “Much feater than before.” To feat, therefore, may be a verb meaning—to render nice, exact. By the dress of Posthumus, even the more mature courtiers condescended to regulate their external appearance. Steedens.
to his mistress,] means as to his mistress. M. Mason. VOL. XVI.
By her election may be truly read,
I honour him
His only child. He had two sons, (if this be worth your hearing, Mark it,) the eldest of them at three years old, l' the swathing clothes the other, from their nursery Were stolen; and to this hour, no guess in knowledge Which way they went. 2 Gent.
How long is this ago?
2 Gent. That a king's children should be so convey'd!
Howsoe'er 'tis strange, Or that the negligence may well be laugh'd at, Yet it is true, sir. 2 Gent.
I do well believe you, I Gent. We must forbear: Here comes the gentleman, The queen, and princess.
- Imogen.] Holinshed's Chronicle furnished Shakspeare with this name, which in the old black letter is scarcely distinguishable from Innogen, the wife of Brute, King of Britain. There too he found the name of Cluten, who, when the line of Brute was at an end, was one of the five kings that governed Britain. Cloten, or Çloton, was King of Cornwall. Malone.
Please your highness,
You know the peril:
My queen! my mistress!
Be brief, I pray you: If the king come, I shall incur I know not How much of his displeasure:-Yet I'll move him (aside. To walk this way: I never do him wrong, But he does buy my injuries, to be friends; Pays dear for my offences.
4 (Always resero'd my holy duty)] I say I do not fear my father, so far as I may say it without breach of duty. Johnson.
5 Though ink be made of gall.] Shakspeare, even in this poor conceit, has confounded the vegetable galls used in ink, with the animal gall, supposed to be bitter. Fohnson.
The poet might mean either the vegetable or the animal galls with equal propriety, as the vegetable gall is bitter; and I have seen an ancient receipt for making ink, beginning, “ Take of the black juice of the gall of oxen two ounces,”? &c. Steevens.
Should we be taking leave
Imo. Nay, stay a little:
How! how! another?
[Putting on the Ring. While sense can keep it on!? And sweetest, fairest,
6 And sear up my embracements from a next
With bonds of death!] Shakspeare may poetically call the cerecloths in which the dead are wrapped, the bonds of death. If so, we should read cere instead, of sear:
“Why thy canoniz'd bones hearsed in death,
“ Have burst their cerements?” To sear up, is properly to close up by burning ; but in this passage the poet may have dropped that idea, and used the word simply for to close up.
Steevens May not sear up, here mean solder up, and the reference be to a lead coffin? Perhaps cerements in Hamlet's address to the Ghost, was used for searments in the same sense. Henley.
I believe nothing more than close up was intended. In the spel. ling of the last age, however, no distinction was made between cere-cloth and sear-cloth. Cole, in his Latin Dictionary, 1679, explains the word cerot by sear-cloth. Shakspeare therefore certainly might have had that practice in his thoughts. Malone.
7 While sense can keep it on!] This expression, I suppose, means, while sense can maintain its operations, while sense continues to have its usual power. That to keep on signifies to continue in a state of action, is evident from the following passage in Othello:
keeps due on “ To the Propontick” &c. The general sense of Posthumus's declaration, is equivalent to the Roman phrase,-dum spiritus hos regit artus Steevens.
The poet [if it refers to the ring] ought to have written-can keep thee on, as Mr. Pope and the three subsequent editors read, But Shakspeare has many similar inaccuracies. So, in Julius Cæsar:
“ Casca, you are the first that rears your hand.” instead of his hand. Again, in The Rape of Lucrece :
“ Time's office is to calm contending kings,