« FöregåendeFortsätt »
Line 658. The king will always &c.] This is a natural description of the state of mind between those that have conferred and those that have received obligations too great to be satisfied.
That this would be the event of Northumberland's disloyalty, was predicted by King Richard in the former play. JOHNSON.
Line 664. Cousin,] This was a common address in our author's time to nephews, nieces, and grandchildren. See Holinshed's Chronicle, passim. Hotspur was Worcester's nephew. MALONE.
ACT II. SCENE I.
-out of all cess.] i. e. out of all measure.
-bots ;] Are worms in the stomach of a horse.
- 24. —and two razes of ginger,] As our author in several passages mentions a race of ginger, I thought proper to distinguish it from the raze mentioned here. The former signifies no more than a single root of it; but a raze is the Indian term for a bale of it. THEOBALD.
Line 26. the turkies in my pannier are quite starved.] Here is a slight anachronism. Turkies were not brought into England till the time of king Henry VIII. MALONE.
Line 48. At hand, quoth pick-purse.] This proverbial saying probably arose from the pick-purse always seizing upon the prey nearest him: his maxim being that of Pope's man of gallantry: "The thing at hand is of all things the best." MALONE. Line 55. -franklin-] Is a little gentleman. JOHNSON.
-saint Nicholas' clerks,] St. Nicholas was the patron saint of scholars; and Nicholas, or old Nick, is a cant name for the devil. Hence he equivocally calls robbers, St. Nicholas' clerks. WARBURTON.
Line 73. I am joined with no foot land-rakers, &c.] That is, with no padders, no wanderers on foot. No long-staff sixpennystrikers,-no fellows that infest the road with long-staffs, and knock men down for six-pence. None of these mad mustachio, purpled-hued malt-worms -none of those whose faces are red with drinking ale. JOHNSON.
Line 74. sixpenny-strikers ;] Probably a cant phrase, with the meaning of which we have not been favoured by our ancestors.
malt-worms:] i. e. tipplers.
-burgomasters, and great oneyers;] Gadshill 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 oneyers, or great-one-écrs, as we say privateer, auctioneer, circuiteer. JOHNSON.
Line 77. —such as can hold in; such as will strike sooner than speak, and speak sooner than drink, and drink, &c.] Perhaps the meaning may be,-Men who will knock the traveller down sooner than speak to him; who yet will speak to him and bid him stand, sooner than drink; (to which they are sufficiently well inclined;) and lastly, who will drink sooner than pray. Line 88. we have the receipt of fern-seed,] Fern is one of those plants which have their seed on the back of the leaf so small as to escape the sight. Those who perceived that fern was propagated by semination, 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 fern-seed many strange properties, some of which the rustick virgins have not yet forgotten or exploded. JOHNSON. Line 97. Homo is a common name, &c.] Gadshill had promised as he was a true man; the Chamberlain wills him to promise rather as a false thief; to which Gadshill answers, that though he might have reason to change the word true, he might have spared man, for homo is a name common to all men, and among others to thieves.
ACT II. SCENE II.
Line 118. medicines to make me love him,] Alluding to the vulgar notion of love powder. JOHNSON. So, in Othello:
-she is corrupted
By spells and medicines bought of mountebanks."
Line 137. to colt-] Is to fool, to trick; but the prince taking it in another sense, opposes it by uncolt, that is, unhorse.
Line 191. swelling belly.
JOHNSON -gorbellied-] A gorbelly is a fat paunch, a
ACT II. SCENE III.
Line 274. And all the 'currents-] i. e. the occurrences. old language occurrent was used instead of occurrence. MALONE. Line 277. That beads of sweat-] So, in Julius Cæsar:
Seeing those beads of sorrow stand in thine,
"Began to water."
MALONE. -esperance!] This was the motto of the Percy
317. —crack'd crowns, &c.] Signifies at once cracked money, and a broken head. Current will apply to both; as it refers to money, its sense is well known; as it is applied to a broken head, it insinuates that a soldier's wounds entitle him to universal reception. JOHNSON.
ACT II. SCENE IV.
Eastcheap.] In the old anonymous play of King Henry V., Eastcheap is the place where Henry and his companions meet: "Henry 5. You know the old tavern in Eastcheap; there is good wine." Shakspeare has hung up a sign for them that he saw daily; for the Boar's Head tavern was very near Black-friars playhouse. See Stowe's Survey, 4to. 1618, p. 686. -Corinthian,] A wencher.
-under-skinker;] A tapster; an under-drawer. Skink is drink, and a skinker is one that serves drink at table. JOHNS. Enter Francis.] This scene, helped by the distraction of the drawer, and grimaces of the Prince, may entertain upon the stage, but affords not much delight to the reader. The author has judiciously made it short. JOHNSON.
Line 417. Wilt thou rob &c.] The Prince intends to ask the drawer whether he will rob his master, whom he denotes by many contemptuous distinctions. JOHNSON.
Line 418. nott-pated,] i. e. the hair cut round and short. 418. puke-stocking,] I have no doubt that the epithet referred to the dark colour, i. e. between a russet and a black. Black stockings are now worn, as they probably were in Shak
speare's time, by persons of inferior condition, on a principle of MALONE.
caddis-garter,] Caddis was, I believe, a kind of coarse ferret. The garters of Shakspeare's time were worn in sight, and consequently were expensive. He who would submit to wear a coarser sort was probably called by this contemptuous distinction. STEEVENS.
Line 421. -brown bastard-] Bastard was a kind of sweet wine. The prince finding the waiter not able, or not willing, to understand his instigation, puzzles him with unconnected prattle, and drives him away. JOHNSON.
Line 450. I am not yet of Percy's mind,] The drawer's answer had interrupted the prince's train of discourse. He was proceeding thus: I am now of all humours that have showed themselves humours;-I am not yet of Percy's mind; that is, I am willing to indulge myself in gaiety and frolick, and try all the varieties of human life. I am not yet of Percy's mind,—who thinks all the time lost that is not spent in bloodshed, forgets decency and civility, and has nothing but the barren talk of a brutal soldier. JOHNSON. Line 460. -Rivo,] This was perhaps the cant of the English taverns. JOHNSON. . Line 469. Didst thou never see Titan kiss a dish of butter? pitiful-hearted Titan! that melted at the sweet tale of the son!] The Prince, undoubtedly, by the words, "Didst thou never see Titan kiss a dish of butter?" alludes to Falstaff's entering in a great heat, "his fat dripping with the violence of his motion, as butter does with the heat of the sun." Our author here, as in many other places, having started an idea, leaves it, and goes to another that has but a very slight connection with the former. Thus the idea of butter melted by Titan, or the Sun, suggests to him the idea of Titan's being melted or softened by the tale of his son, Phaëton : a tale, which undoubtedly Shakspeare had read in the third Book of Golding's translation of Ovid, having, in his description of Winter, in The Midsummer-night's Dream, imitated a passage that is found in the same page in which the history of Phaëton is related. I would, however, wish to read-thy son. In the old copies, the, thee, and thy, are frequently confounded. MALONE.
Line 482. -I would I were a weaver; I could sing psalms &c.] In the persecutions of the Protestants in Flanders under Philip II. those who came over into England on that occasion, brought with them the woollen manufactory. These were Calvinists, who were always distinguished for their love of psalmody. WARB. -two, I am sure, I have paid;] i. e. drubbed,
Line 547. beaten.
Fal. Their points being broken,
Poins. Down fell their hose.] To understand Poins's joke, the double meaning of point must be remembered, which signifies the sharp end of a weapon, and the lace of a garment. The cleanly phrase for letting down the hose, ad levandum alvum, was to untruss a point. JOHNSON. Line 580. -Kendal- -] Kendal, a town famous for its manufactories of cloth.
Line 586. -tallow-keech,] The word tallow-catch is in all editions, but, having no meaning, cannot be understood. In some parts of the kingdom, a cake or mass of wax or tallow is called a keech, which is doubtless the word intended here, unless we read tallow-ketch, that is tub of tallow. JOHNSON.
Line 651.- There is a nobleman-Give him as much as will make him a royal man,] I believe here is a kind of jest intended. He that received a noble was, in cant language, called a nobleman : in this sense the Prince catches the word, and bids the landlady give him as much as will make him a royal man, that is, a real or royal man, and send him away, JOHNSON.
Line 675. the blood of true men.] That is, of the men with whom they fought, of honest men, opposed to thieves. JOHNSON. Line 681. Thou hadst fire &c.] The fire was in his face. A red face is termed a fiery face:
"While I affirm a fiery face
"Is to the owner no disgrace." Legend of Capt. Jones. JOHNSON.
Line 687. Hot livers and cold purses.] That is, drunkenness and poverty. To drink was, in the language of those times, to heat the liver. JOHNSON -bombast?] Is the stuffing of clothes. JOHNS. -pistol-] Shakspeare never has any care to