Слике страница
PDF
ePub

and your bold-beating oaths, under the shelter of your honour! You will not do it, you?

Pist. I do relent; What wouldst thou more of man? Enter ROBIN.

Rob. Sir here's a woman would speak with you. Fal. Let her approach.

Enter Mistress QUICKLY.

Quick. Give your worship good-morrow.
Fal. Good morrow, good wife.

Quick. Not so, an 't please your worship.

Fal. Good maid, then.

Quick. I'll be sworn; as my mother was, the first hour I was born.

Fal. I do believe the swearer: What with me? Quick. Shall I vouchsafe your worship a word or two?

Fal. Two thousand, fair woman; and I 'll vouchsafe thee the hearing.

Quick. There is one mistress Ford, sir;-I pray, come a little nearer this ways:-I myself dwell with master doctor Caius.

Fal. Well, on: Mistress Ford, you say,

Quick. Your worship says very true: I pray your worship, come a little nearer this ways.

Fal. I warrant thee, nobody hears;-mine own people, mine own people.

Quick. Are they so? Heaven bless them, and make them his servants!

Red lattice at the doors and windows, were formerly the external denotements of an ale-house. So, in A Fine Companion, one of Shackerley Marmion's plays: "A waterman's widow at the sign of the red lattice in Southwark." Again, in Arden of Feversham, 1592:

[ocr errors]

his sign pulled down, and his lattice borne away." Hence the present chequers. Perhaps the reader will express some surprize, when he is told that shops, with the sign of the chequers, were common among the Romans. See a view of the left-hand street of Pompeii, (No. 9) presented by Sir William Hamilton, (together with several others, equally curious) to the Antiquary Society. Steevens.

In King Henry IV, P. II, Falstaff's page, speaking of Bardolph, says, "he called me even now, my lord, through a red lattice, and I could see no part of his face from the window." Malone.

Fal. Well: Mistress Ford;-what of her?

Quick. Why, sir, she 's a good creature. Lord, lord! your worship's a wanton: Well, heaven forgive you, and all of us, I pray!

Fal. Mistress Ford;-come, mistress Ford,

Quick. Marry, this is the short and the long of it; you have brought her into such a canaries,1 as 'tis wonderful. The best courtier of them all, when the court lay at Windsor,2 could never have brought her to such a canary. Yet there has been knights, and lords, and gentlemen with their coaches; I warrant you, coach after coach, letter after letter, gift after gift; smelling so sweetly, (all musk) and so rushling, I warrant you, in silk and gold; and in such alligant terms; and in such wine and sugar of the best, and the fairest, that would have won any woman's heart; and, I warrant you, they could never get an eye-wink of her. I had myself twenty angels given me this morning: but I defy all angels, (in any such sort as they say) but in the way of honesty:-and, I warrant you, they could never get her so much as sip on a cup with the proudest of them all: and yet there has been earls, nay, which is more, pensioners; 3 but, I warrant you, all is one with her.

1 — canaries,] This is the name of a brisk light dance, and is therefore properly enough used, in low language, for any húrry or perturbation. Johnson.

So, Nash, in Pierce Pennyless his Supplication, 1595, says: “A merchant's wife jets it as gingerly, as if she were dancing the canaries." It is highly probable, however, that canaries is only a mistake of Mrs. Quickly's for quandaries; and yet the Clown, in As you like it, says, we that are true lovers, run into strange capers." Steevens.

66

2 lay at Windsor,] i. e. resided there. Malone.

3 earls, nay, which is more, pensioners;] This may be illustrated by a passage in Gervase Holles's Life of the First Earl of Clare, Biog. Brit. Art. HOLLES: "I have heard the Earl of Clare say, that when he was pensioner to the queen, he did not know a worse man of the whole band than himself; and that all the world knew he had then an inheritance of 40001. a year." Tyrwhitt. Barrett, in his Alvearie, or Quadruple Dictionary, 1580, says, that a pensioner was "a gentleman about his prince, alwaie redie, with his speare." Steevens.

[blocks in formation]

Fal. But what says she to me? be brief, my good she Mercury.

Quick. Marry, she hath received your letter; for the which she thanks you a thousand times: and she gives you to notify, that her husband will be absence from his house between ten and eleven.

Fal. Ten and eleven?

Quick. Ay, forsooth; and then you may come and see the picture, she says, that you wot of;*—master Ford, her husband, will be from home. Alas! the sweet woman leads an ill life with him; he's a very jealousy man; she leads a very frampold' life with him, good-heart.

Fal. Ten and eleven: Woman, commend me to her; I will not fail her.

Quick. Why, you say well: But I have another messenger to your worship: Mistress Page hath her hearty commendations to you too;-and let me tell you in your ear, she 's as fartuous a civil modest wife, and one (I tell you) that will not miss you morning nor evening prayer, as any is in Windsor, who'er be the other: and

Pensioners were Gentlemen of the band of Pensioners.-" In the month of December," [1539] says Stowe, Annals, p. 973, edit. 1605, "were appointed to waite on the king's person fifty Gentlemen called Pensioners, or Speares, like as they were in the first yeare of the king; unto whom was assigned the summe of fiftie pounds, yerely, for the maintenance of themselves, and everie man two horses, or one horse and a gelding of service." Their dress was remarkably splendid, and therefore likely to attract the notice of Mrs. Quickly. Hence, [as both Mr. Steevens and Mr. T. Warton have observed] in A Midsummer Night's Dream, our author has selected from all the tribes of flowers the golden-coated cowslips to be pensioners to the Fairy Queen:

"The cowslips tall her pensioners be,

"In their gold coats spots you see;" &c. Malone.

you wot of] To wot is to know. Obsolete. So, in King Henry VIII: " wot you what I found?" Steevens.

[ocr errors]

5 -frampold — ] This word I have never seen elsewhere, except in Dr. Hacket's Life of Archbishop Williams, where a frampul man signifies a peevish troublesome fellow. Johnson.

In The Roaring Girl, a comedy, 1611, I meet with a word, which, though differently spelt, appears to be the same: "Lax. Coachman.

"Coach. Anon, sir!

she bade me tell your worship, that her husband is seldom from home; but she hopes there will come a time. I never knew a woman so dote upon a man; surely, I think you have charms, la; yes, in truth.

Fal. Not I, I assure thee; setting the attraction of my good parts aside, I have no other charms.

Quick. Blessing on your heart for 't!

Fal. But I pray thee, tell me this: has Ford's wife, and Page's wife, acquainted each other how they love me?

Quick. That were a jest, indeed!-they have not so little grace, I hope:-that were a trick, indeed! But mistress Page would desire you to send her your little page, of all loves; her husband has a marvellous infection to the little page: and, truly, master Page is an honest man. Never a wife in Windsor leads a better life than she does; do what she will, say what she will, take all, pay all, go to bed when she list, rise when she list, all is as she will; and, truly, she deserves it: for if there be a kind woman in Windsor, she is one. You must send her your page; no remedy.

Fal. Why, I will.

Quick. Nay, but do so then: and, look you, he may come and go between you both; and, in any case, have a nay-word, that you may know one another's mind, and the boy never need to understand any thing; for 'tis not good that children should know any wickedness: old folks, you know, have discretion, as they say, and know the world.

Fal. Fare thee well: commend me to them both: there's my purse; I am yet thy debtor.-Boy, go along

"Lax. Are we fitted with good phrampell jades?" Steevens. 6 to send her your little page, of all loves;] Of all loves, is an adjuration only, and signifies no more than if she had said, desires you to send him by all means.

It is used in Decker's Honest Whore, P. I, 1635:-" conjuring his wife, of all loves, to prepare cheer fitting," &c. Again, in Holinshed's Chronicle, p. 1064: "Mrs. Arden desired him, of all loves, to come backe againe." Again, in Othello, Act III: "the general so likes your musick, that he desires you, of all loves, to make no more noise with it."

7

a nay-word,] i. e. a watch-word. So, in a subsequent Scene: "We have a nay-word to know one another," &c. Steevens.

with this woman.-This news distracts me!

[Exeunt QUICK. and Roв. Pist. This punk is one of Cupid's carriers: 8-Clap on more sails; pursue, up with your fights; Give fire;

8 This punk is one of Cupid's carriers :-] Punk is a plausible reading, yet absurd on examination. For are not all punks Cupid's earriers? Shakspeare certainly wrote:

"This PINK is one of Cupid's carriers:"

And then the sense is proper, and the metaphor, which is all the way taken from the marine, entire. A pink is a vessel of the small craft, employed as a carrier (and so called) for merchants. Fletcher uses the word in his Tamer Tamed:

[ocr errors]

"This PINK, this painted foist, this cockle-boat." Warburton. So, in The Ladies' Privilege, 1640: "These gentlemen know better to cut a caper than a cable, or board a pink in the bordells, than a pinnace at sea.' A small salmon is called a salmon-pink. Dr. Farmer, however, observes, that the word punk has been unnecessarily altered to pink. In Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair, Justice Overdo says of the pig-woman: "She hath been before me, punk, pinnace, and bawd, any time these two and twenty-years." Steevens.

9

Tamed:

term.

up with your fights;] So again, in Fletcher's Tamer

"To hang her fights out, and defy me, friends!

"A well known man of war."

"For

As to the word fights, both in the text and in the quotation, it was then, and, for aught I know, may be now, a common seaSir Richard Hawkins, in his Voyages, p. 66, says: once we cleared her deck; and had we been able to have spared but a dozen men, doubtless we had done with her what we would; for she had no close FIGHTS," i. e. if I understand it right, no small arms. So that by fights is meant any manner of defence, either small arms or cannon. So, Dryden, in his tragedy of Amboyna:

66

Up with your FIGHTS, "And

your nettings prepare," &c. Warburton. The quotation from Dryden might at least have raised a suspicion that fights were neither small arms, nor cannon. Fights and nettings are properly joined. Fights, I find, are clothes hung round the ship to conceal the men from the enemy; and closefights are bulk-heads, or any other shelter that the fabric of a ship affords. Johnson.

So, in Heywood and Rowley's comedy, called Fortune by Land and Sea: " display'd their ensigns, up with all their feights, their matches in their cocks," &c. Again, in The Christian turned Turk, 1612: "Lace the netting, and let down the fights, make ready the shot," &c.

This passage may receive an additional and perhaps a somewhat different illustration from John Smith's Sea-Grammar,

« ПретходнаНастави »