« السابقةمتابعة »
hammer; come off and on 1 swifter than he that gibbers on the brewer's bucket. And this fame halffac'd fellow Shadow, give me this man; he presents no mark to the enemy; the foe-man may with as great aim level at the edge of a pen-knife. And, for a retreat, how swiftly will this Feeble, the woman's taylor, run off? O give me the spare men, and spare me the great ones. Put me a 2 caliver into Wart's hand, Bardolph.
Bard. Hold, Wart, traverse; thus, thus, thus.
Fal. Come, manage me your caliver. So; very well, go to; very good; exceeding good. O give me always a little, lean, old, chopp'd, 3 bald, shot. Well said, Wart; thou art a good scab. Hold, there is a tester for thee.
Shal. He is not his craft-master; he doth not do it right. I remember at Mile-End-Green, when I lay at Clement's-Inn (4 I was then Sir Dagonet in Arthur's
I swifter than he that gibbets on the brewer's bucket.] Swifter than he that carries beer from the vat to the barrel, in buckets hung upon a gibbet or beam crossing his Moulders.
JOHNSON. caliver- ] A hand-gun. JOHNSON. 3 — bald, shot.j Shor is used for shooter, one who is to fight by shooting. Johnson.
(I was then Sir Dagonet in Arthur's how)] The only intelligence I have gleaned of this worthy wight Sir Dagonet, is from Beaumont and Fletcher in their Knight of the Burning Pestle:
“ Boy. Besides, it will shew ill-favourediy to have a grocer's “ prentice to court a king's daughter. ,
“ Cit. Will it so, Sir? You are well read in histories; I “ pray you, what was Sir Dagonet? Was he not prentice to a “ grocer in London ? Read the play of The Four Prentices of “ London, where they toss their pikes fo," &C. THEOBALD.
The Rory of Sir Dagonet is to be found in La Mort d'Arthure, an old romance much celebrated in our author's time, or a little before it. " When papistry,” says Ascham in his Schools mafier, “ as a standing pool, overflowed all England, few books “ were read in our tongue saving certain bonks of chivalry, as " they said, for pafime and pleasure ; which books, as some
show) there was a little quiver fellow, and a' would manage you his piece thus: and he would about, and
" say, were made in monafteries by idle monks. As one for “ example, La Mort d'Arthurei" In this romance Sir Dagonet is king Arthur's fool. Shakespeare would not have shewn his justice capable of representing any higher character.
JOHNSON. Arthur's show seems to have been a theatrical representation made out of the old romance of Morte Arthure, the most popular one of our author's age. Sir Dagonet is king Arthur's squire.
Theobald remarks on this passage, “ The only intelligence “ I have gleaned of this worthy knight (Sir Dagonet) is from “ Beaumont and Fletcher, in their Knight of the Burning Pefle."
The commentators on Beaumont and Fletcher's Knight of the Burning Pestle have not observed that the design of that play is founded upon a comedy called The Four Prentices of London, with the Conqueft of Jerusalem; as it hath been diverse Times atted at the Red Bull, by the Queen's Majesty's Servants. Written by Tho. Heywood, 1612. For as in Beaumont and Fletcher's play, a grocer in the Strand turns knight-errant, making his apprenrice his squire, & c. so in Heywood's play four apprentices accoutre themselves as knights, and go to Jerusalem in queft of adventures. One of them, the most important character, is a goldsmith, another a grocer, another a mercer, and a fourth an haberdasher. But Beaumont and Fletcher's play, though founded upon it, contains many satyrical strokes againft Heywood's comedy ; the force of which is entirely loit to those who have not seen that comedy.
Thus in Beaumont and Fletcher's prologue, or first scene, a citizen is introduced declaring that, in the play, he “ will “ have a grocer, and he shall do admirable things."
Again, act i. scene 1. Rafe says, “ Amongst all the worthy " books of archievements, I do not call to mind that I have yet “ read of a grocer-errant: I will be the said knight. Have “ you heard of any that hath wandered unfurnished of his squire “ and dwarf? My elder brother Tim shall be my trusty squire, " and George my dwarf.”
In the following passage the allusion to Heywood's comedy is demonstrably manifeft, act iv. scene i.
“ L'ny. It will thew ill-favouredly to have a grocer's prentice " court a king's daughter.
" Cit. Will it so, Sir? You are well read in histories; I « pray you who was Sir Dagonet! Was he not prentice to a “ grocer in London ? Read the play of The Four Prentices, “ where they toss their pikes fo.".
about, and come you in, and come you in; rah, tab, tah, would he say; bounce, would he say; and away again would he go, and again would he come. I shall never see such a fellow.
Fal. These fellows will do well, master Shallow. God keep you, master Silence: I will not use many words with you : fare you well, gentlemen both. Í thank you; I must a dozen mile to-night. Bardolph, give the soldiers coats.
Shal. Sir John, heaven bless you, and prosper your affairs, and send us peace! As you return, visit my house. Let our old acquaintance be renewed : peradventure, I will with you to the court.
Fal. I would you would, master Shallow.
Shal. Go to; I have spoke at a word. Fare you well.
[Exeunt Shal. and Sil. Fal. Fare you well, gentle gentlemen. On, Bardolph ; lead the men away. As I return, I will fetch off these justices. I do see the bottom of justice Shallow. Lord, lord, how subject we old men are to this vice of lying! This same starv'd justice hath done nothing but prate to me of the wildness of his youth, and the feats he hath done s about Turnbull-street;
In Heywood's comedy, Euftace the grocer's prentice is introduced courting the daughter of the king of France; and in the frontispiece the four prentices are represented in armour tilting with javelins. Immediately before the last quoted speeches we have the following instances of allusion.
" Cit. Let the Sophy of Persia come, and christen him a “ child.
" Boy. Believe me, Sir, that will not do so well ; 'tis Alat ; . " it has been before at the Red Bull.”
A circumstance in Heywood's comedy ; which, as has been already specified, was acted at the Red Bull. Beaumont and Fletcher's play is pure burlesque. Heywood's is a mixture of the droll and serious, and was evidently intended to ridicule the. reigning fashion of reading romances. WARTON.
Š - about Turnbull-ftreet ;- ) In an old comedy call'd Ram-alley, or Merry Tricks, this street is mentioned again :
Sir, get you gone,
and every third word a lie, duer paid to the hearer than the Turk's tribute. I do remember him at Clement's-Inn, like a man made after supper of a cheeseparing. When he was naked, he was for all the world like a forked radith, with a head fantastically carv'd upon it with a knife. He was so forlorn, that his dimensions to any thick sight 6 were invisible. He was the very genius of fainine; yet lecherous as a monkey; and the whores called him Mandrake. He came ever in the rere-ward of the fashion; and sung those tunes to the ? over-scutcht huswives that he heard the carmen whistle, and sware they were his 8 Fancies, or
Nash, in Pierce Penniless his Supplication, commends the fifters of Turnbull-ftreet to the patronage of the devil. In The Inner Temple Mafque, by Middleton, 1619, “ 'Tis in your charge to pull down bawdy-houses,
Ce cause spoil in Shore-ditch, " And deface Turnbull.” Again, in Middleton's comedy, called Any Thing for a quitt Life; a French bawd says, “ J'ay une fille qui parle un “' peu Franç is, elle conversera avec vous, a la Fleur de Lys, “ en Turnbull-ftreet.”
Again, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Scornful Lady — " Here " has been such a hurry, such a din, such dismal drinking, • swearing, &c. we have all liv'd in a perpetual Turnbull“ ftrect.” Again, in The Knight of the Burning Peftle,
this my lady dear, " I stole her from her friends in Turnbull-street.” Turnbull or Turnmill Street is near Cow-cross, West Smithfield. STEEVENS.
6 were invisible.] The folio and quarto read, by an apparent error of the press, invincible. Mr. Rowe first made the necessary alteration. STEEVENS.
3- over-cutcht 1 That is whipt, carted. POPE.
I rather think that the word means dirty or grimed. The word bufwives agrees better with this sense. Shallow crept into mean houses, and boasted his accomplishments to dirty women. Johns.
The explanation of either commentator is somewhat disputable. Ray, among his north country words, says, indeed, that an over-fwitch'd hifwife is a strumpet. Over-scutch'd, I believe, is derived from something more ancient than either whips, carts, or the fumus lupanaris. STEEVENS.
8 - Fancies, or bis Goodnights.] Fancies and Goodnights were the titles of little poems. One of Gascoigne's Goodnights is published among his Flowers. STEEVENS.
his Goodnights. 9 And now is this vice's dagger become a squire, and talks as familiarly of John of Gaunt, as if he had been sworn brother to him: and I'll be sworn, he never saw him but once in the Tiltyard; and then he burst his head for crouding among the marshal's men. I saw it; and told John of Gaunt he 2 beat his own name : for you might have truss’d him, and all his apparel, into an eelskin; the case of a treble hoboy was a mansion for him-a court:--and now hath he land and beeves. Well; I will be acquainted with him, if I return : and it shall go hard but I will make him a 3 philofopher's two stones to me. 4 If the young dace be a bait
9 And now is this vice's dagger ] By vice here the poet means that droll character in the old plays (which I have several times mentioned in the course of these notes) equipped with affes ears and a wooden dagger. It was very satirical in Folitaff to compare Shallow's activity and impertinence to fuch a machine as a wooden dagger in the hands and management of a buffoon. THEOBALD.
I be burst his head ] Thus the folio and quarto. The modern editors read broke. To breuł and to burst were, in our poet's time, fynonimously used. Thus B. Jonson, in his Poetaster, translates the following passage in Horace, "
fracta pereuntes cuspide Gallos." « The lančes burA in Gallia's llaughter'd forces.” : So in The Old Legend of Sir Bevis of Hampton, “ But Syr Bevis so hard him thruit, that his shoulder
.“ bone he burft." STEVENS. 2 beat his orun name :] That is, beat gaunt, a fellow so Slender that his name might have been guunt. JOHNSON. 3
philosopher's two stones - One of which was an universal medicine, and the other a transmuter of baser metals into gold. WARBURTON.
I believe the commentator has refined this passage too much. A philosopher's two stones is only more than the philosopher's ftone. The universal medicine was never, so far as I know, conceived to be a stone before the time of Butler's stone.
, JOHNSON. 4 If the young dace — ] That is, If the pike may prey upon the dace, if it be the law of nature that the stronger may seize upon the weaker, Falstaff may, with great propriety, devour Shallow. JOHNSON. Vol. V.