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898. “ You neat slave.”
Mr. Steevens, when he says, “neat slave means no more than finical rascal, an assemblage of foppery and poverty,” ascribes to the expression much more than, I believe, belongs to it; and I don't suppose any one will admit his definition. Dr. Johnson's, I think, is the true explanation, a mere knave; a pure, unmired one; and this appears to be the sense in the quoted passage from Ben Jonson :
“By thy leave, my neat scoundrel.”
matter here?” Corn. “What tumults this? Keep peace upon
your lives.” Some such words as the Italics here supply seem to have been lost: but the whole dialogue is corrupted.
“ Nature disclaims in thee.”
" em My heart
“ Abhors his knowledge: I disclaim in him.” 400.“ Who wears no honesty.”
Again the measure wants reformation : " Who wears no honesty-such smiling rogues “ As these, like rats, oft bite the cords atwain, “ Too intrinsicate ť unloose, smooth every pas
sion.” “ Holy" I consider, with Mr. Malone, an interpolation. “ Inloose” is the reading of the quarto, which leads to the correct word, “en. loose.” To “unloose" should be " to make fast."
403. Glos. “Say that.”
Why should Gloster say that? the question, “How fell ye out?” was enough for the sense as well as the metre..
“Why dost thou call him," &c.
“What's his offence?”
“ Before me at this instant.” Corn. “S 'Tis some fellow.” 414. “That stretch their manners with their
duties nicely”. 405. “ But Ajar is their fool.”
Fetch forth the stocks, ho !” “Ho” is interpolated, or the ejaculation of some actor without an ear.
“ Ajax is their fool." Mr. Steevens's former explanation appears to be much nearer to the truth than that which he has adopted from Mr. M. Mason. If Kent's meaning had been according to the notion of the latter gentleman, he would have said at once,
“- Ajax is a fool to them.” The sense of which could never be mistaken; but there is a material difference between being their fool, and a fool to them, i. e. in comparison with them; and we cannot admit the latter interpretation either with a view to the character of Ajax, or the drift of the sentence: what Mr. Malone has adduced on the same side, is not, I
think, quite in point. The meaning seems to be only this ; any rogue or coward, like this fellow, can, by falsehood and cunning, overreach plain honesty, and outwit Ajax; or, as Kent expresses it, make Ajax appear a fool. 407. “ If I were your father's dog
" You should not use me so.” Reg.“ — Sir, being his knare, I will.”
The exuberance of this latter hemistic seems to suggest a more pointed and correct reading : “his knave” I take to be vocative,-thou, his knave. "
If I were your father's dog " You should not use me so :"
“ His knave! I will.” “Our sister speaks of. Come, bring away the
stocks." “ Come” should be withdrawn.
The king must take it ill, “That he's so slightly valued in his messenger, “ Should have him thus restrained.”
What concord is this? We should read, dismissing the contracted “is :" " That he, so slightly valued in his messenger, “Should have him,” &c.
i. e. Should be obliged to endure the indignity of his man's restraint. 408. “
Put in his le This must have been a stage direction: it was useless to the servants, (who could not be ignorant how they were to use the stocks,) and is an awkward encumbrance to the verse. " For following her affairs.--Come, my good lord.”
[Ex. Reg. &c.
“Give you good morrow-never heed for me.”
Some such supplement as this, I suppose, has been lost.
" The common saw." Why should “ the common saw,”
“Out of God's blessing into the warm sun,” be altered and extended to spoil a line and a half ? 409. “ Nothing almost sees miracles.”
The quarto, perhaps more intelligibly, “ sees my wreck,” which, by dismissing a word that means nothing (almost) will afford both sense and metre: "
I inay “Peruse this letter !--nothing sees my wreck, 6. But misery.”
I may proceed in safety, for I am unobserved by all, except such wretches as are too much occupied by their own misery to regard me, 410. “ And shall find time
“ From this enormous state,” &c. The best interpretation that can be given of this obscure passage is, I believe, what Mr. Steevens has offered :
“ Approach, thou beacon,” &c. may properly enough be addressed to the luminary present, and mean, only, “ quickly impart thy light to the paper I want to read.” 412.“ This shameful lodging. Fortune, novo
“ An outlaw'd traitor."
“ Does not attend my taking.”
SCENE IV. 416. “Of this remove." Regulation is wanting here:
“Of this remove." Kent. "
Hail, noble master.” Lear. "
How ! “ Mak'st thou,” &c. 417. “Your son and Daughter.” Lear.“ - No." Kent. “ Yes.” Lear. “ No, I say." Kent. “ But I say, yea." Lear. “ No, no, they would not do't." Kent. “ Yes, yes, they have." Lear.“ By Jupiter, I swear no.” Kent. “ By Juno, I swear ay.” Lear. “ They durst not do't.” “ My duty kneeling, camc there a reeking
post." “There” has no business here