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Cham. Good-morrow, master Gads-hill. It holds current, that I told you yesternight. There's a 8 Franklin, in the wild of Kent, hath brought three hundred marks with him in gold: I heard him tell it to one of his company last night at supper; a kind of auditor; one that hath abundance of charge too, God knows what. They are up already, and call for eggs and butter. They will away presently.
Gads. Sirrah, if they meet not with 9 St. Nicholas' clarks, I'll give thee this neck.
Cham. No, I'll none of it: I prythee keep that for the hangman; for I know thou worshipp'st St. Nicholas as truly as a man of falfhood may.
Gads. What talk'lt thou to me of the hangman? if I hang, I'll make a fat pair of gallows : for, if I hang, old Sir John hangs with me; and, thou know'ft,
s Franklin) Is a little gentleman, JOHNSON.
9 St. Nicholas' clarks, St. Nicholas was the patron saint of sckolars: and Nicholas, or Old Nick, is a cant name for the devii. Hence he equivocally calls robbers, St. Nicholas's clarks.
WARBURTON. Highwaymen or robbers were so called, or St. Nicbolas's knights.
“ A mandrake grown under fome heavy tree,
. Dr. GRAY, In the old tragedy of Soliman and Perfeda I met with the following passage, which confirms Dr. Gray's observation. Pifton, a fervant, who is taken in the act of picking a dead man's pocket, apologizes for himself in this manner:
" thro' pure good will,
" To ste if he had a passport froin St. Nicholas, or not." A gain in Shirlcy's Match at Midnight, 1633
“ I think yonder come prancing down the hills from
" Kingiion, a couple of St. Nicholas's clarks.” Again in the Hollander,
" to wit, divers books, and St. Nicholas's clarks." So in 4 Chriftiun turn'd Turk, 1612.
- We are prevented ;-
he's no starveling. Tut! there are other Trojans that thou dream'it not of, the which, for sport-lake, are content to do the profession some grace, that would, if matters should be look'd into, for their own credit fake, make all whole. I am join'd with no footland-rakers, no long-staff, six-penny-strikers; none of those mad Mustachio-purple-hu'd-malt-worms: but with nobility and tranquillity; 2 burgomasters, and great one-yers; such as can hold in ; 3 such as will îtrike sooner than speak; and speak sooner than
'- I am join'd with no foot-land-rakers, - ] That is, with no padders, no wanderers on foot. No long-fiaff, fix-penny Atrikers,-no fellows that infest the roads with long itaffs and knock men down for six-ponce. None of those mad mustachiopurple-hi'd-malt-worms, - none of those whose faces are red with drinking ale. Johnson.
? — burgo-masters, and great one-eyers.-] “ Perhaps, “ oneraires, trustees, or commillioners ;' says Mr. Pope. But how this word comes to admit of any such construction, I am at a loss to know. To Mr. Pope's second conjecture, " of cun“ ning men that look sharp and aim well,” I have nothing to reply leriously: but choose to drop it. The reading which I have substituted, I owe to the friendship of the ingenious Nicholas Hardinge, Esq; A moneyer is an officer of the mint, which makes coin, and delivers out the king's money. Moneyers are also taken for banquers, or those that make it their trade to turn and return money. Either of these acceptations will adinirably square with our author's context. THEOBALD.
This is a very acute and judicious attempt at emendation, and is not undeservedly adopted by Dr. Warburton. Sir Thomas Hanmer reads great owners, not without equal or greater likelihood of truth. I know, not however whether any change is necessary; Gads-hill tells the chamberlain that he is joined with no mean wretches, but with burgomasters and great ones, or as he terms them in merriment by a cant termination, great onejers, or greatone-éers, as we say privateer, auctioneer, circuiteer, This is I fancy the whole of the matter. JOHNSON
3 — such as will frike sooner than speak; and speak fooner than DRINK; and DRINK fooner than pray :-) According to the specimen given us in this play, of this diffolute gang, we have no reason to think they were less ready to drink than speak. Besides, it is plain, a natural gradation was here intended to be given of their actions, relative to one another. But what has speaking, drinking, and praying to do with one another? We Rz
think, and think sooner than pray: and yet I lie, for they pray continually unto their saint the commonwealth; or, rather, not pray to her, but prey on her; for they ride up and down on her, and make her their boots.
Cham. What, the common-wealth their boots? will she hold out water in foul way?
Gads. 4 She will, she will; justice hath liquor'd her. We steal as in a castle, cock-fure; 5 we have the receipt of fern-seed, we walk invisible.
should certainly read Think in both places instead of drink; and then we have a very regular and humourous climax. They will firike sooner than speak; ond Speak sooner than THINK; and THINK sooner than pray. By which last words is meant, that “ though perhaps they may now and then reflect on their crimes, “ they will never repent of them.” The Oxford Editor has dignified this correction by his adoption of it. WARBURTON.
I am in doubt about this passage. There is yet a part unexpiained. What is the meaning of such as can hold in? It cannot mean such as can keep their own secret, for they will, he says, Speak sooner than think: it cannot mean such as will go calmly to work without unnecessary violence, such as is used by long-staf Arikers, for the following part will not suit with this meaning; and though we should read by transposition such as will speak Jooner than strike, the climax will not proceed regularly. I mult leave it as it is. Johnson.
4 She will, she will; juftice hath liquor'd her.] A fatire on chicane in courts of juitice; which supports ill men in their violations of the law, under the very cover of it.
WARBURTON. S — we have the receipt of fern-feed, -] Fern is one of those plants which have their seed on the back of the leaf so fmall as to escape the fight. Those who perceived that fern was propagated by femination, and yet could never see the seed, were much at a loss for a solution of the difficulty; and as wonder always endeavours to augment itself, they ascribed to ferne feed many strange properties, some of which the rustick virgins have not yet forgotten or exploded. Johnson.
This circumstance relative to fern-feed is alluded to in B. and Fletcher's Fair Maid of the Inn.
“ had you Gyges' ring,
“ Or the herb that gives invisibility?"
· Cham. Nay, I think rather, you are more beholden to the night, than the fern-feed, for your walking invisible.
Gads. Give me thy hand: thou shalt have a share in our purchase 6, as I am a true man.
Cham. Nay, rather let me have it, as you are a false thief.
Gads. Go to; 7 Homo is a common name to all men.-Bid the oftler bring my gelding out of the stable. Farewell, you muddy knave. [Exeunt.
The road by Gads-hill. Enter prince Henry, Poins, and Peto. Poins. Come, shelter, shelter. I have removed Falstaff's horse, and he frets like a gummid velvet. P. Henry. Stand close.
Enter Falstaff. Fal. Poins! Poins! and be hang’d, Poins! · P. Henry. Peace, ye fat-kidney'd rascal; what a brawling dost thou keep? Fal. What, Poins! Hal!
P. Henry. He is walk'd up to the top of the hill ; I'll go seek him.
Purchase,-) Is the term used in law for any thing not inherited but acquired. Johnson.
- in our purchase,–] Purchase was anciently the cant term for stolen goods. So in Henry V. act 3.
“ They will feal any thing, and call it purchase.” So Chaucer,
" And robbery is holde purchase.” Steevens. ? – Homo is a name, &c.] Gads-hill had promised as he was a true man, the chamberlain wills him to promise rather as a falje thief; to which Gads-hill answers, that though he might have reason to change the word true, he might have spared min, for bomo is a name common to all men, and among others to thieves. JOHNSON.
Fal. Fal. I am accurft to rob in that thief's company: the rascal hath remov'd my horse, and tyd him, I know not where. If I travel but 8 four foot by the square further afoot, I shall break my wind. Well, I doubt not but to die a fair death for all this, if I'scape hanging for killing that rogue. I have forsworn his company hourly any time this two-and-twenty year, and yet I am bewitch'd with the rogue's company. If the rascal have not given me 9 medicines to make me love him, l'll be hang'd; it could not be else; I have drank medicines. Poins! Hal! a plague upon you both! Bardolph! Peto! I'll starve ere I'll - rob a foot further. An 'twere not as good a deed as to drink, to . turn true-man, and to leave these rogues, I am the verieít variet that ever chew'd with a tooth. Eight yards of uneven ground is threescore and ten miles afoot with me; and the stony-hearted villains know it well enough. A plague upon't, when thieves cannot be true one to another! [they whistle.) Whew!-a plague upon you all! Give me my horse, you rogues; give me my horse, and be hang’d.
P. Henry. Peace, ye fat-guts! lye down; lay thine ear close to the ground, and list if thou canst hear the tread of travellers. Fal. Have you any levers to lift me
u any levers to lift me up again, being down? 'Sblood, I'll not bear mine own feth so far
8 four foct by the square ] The thought is humourous, and alludes to his bulk : insinuating, that his legs being four foot afunder, when he advanced four foot, this put together made four foot square. WARBURTON.
I am in doubt whether there is so much humour here as is suspected : Four foot by the square is probably no more than four foot by a rule. JOHNSON.
--- medicines to make me love him,-] Alluding to the vulgar notion of love-powder. JOHNSON.
rob a foci further.] This is only a Night error, which yet has run through all the copies. We should read rub a foot. So we now fay rub on. JOHNSON. Why may it not mean, I will not go a foot further to rob?