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Quick. A softly-sprighted man, is he not?
Sim. Ay, forsooth: but he is as tall a man of his hands, as any is between this and his head; he hath fought with a warrener.
Again, in Soliman and Perseda, 1599, Bafilisco says:
where is the eldest son of Priam, “ That Abraham-colour'd Trojan?". I am not however, certain, but that Abraham may be a corruption of auburn. Again, in The Spanish Tragedy, 1603 :
“ And let their beards be of Judas his own colour,” Again, in A Chriftian turn'd Turk, 1612 :
“ That's he in the Judas beard.". Again, in The Insatiate Countess, 1613 :
“ I ever thought by his red beard he would prove a Judas." In an age, when but a small part of the nation could read, ideas were frequently borrowed from representations in painting or tapeftry. A cane-colour'd beard however, [the reading of the quarto,] might fignify a beard of the colour of cane, i. e. a fickly yellow; for Araw-coloured beards are mentioned in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Steevens.
The words of the quarto,—a whey-colour'd beard, strongly favour this reading; for whey and cane are nearly of the same colour.
MALONE. The new edition of Leland's Colle&tanea, Vol. V. p. 295, alferts, that painters conftantly represented Judas the traytor with a red head. Dr. Plot's Oxfordshire, p. 353, says the same. This conceit is thought to have arisen in England, from our ancient grudge to the red-haired Danes. Tollet. See my quotation in King Henry VIII. Ad V. sc. i.
STEEVENS. - as tall a man of his hands,] Perhaps this is an allufion to the jockey measure, so many hands high, used by grooms when speaking of horses. Tall, in our author's time, signified not only height of ftature, but ftoutness of body. The ambiguity of the phrase seems intended. Percy.
Whatever be the origin of this phrase, it is very ancient, being used by Gower :
“ A worthie knight was of his honde,
Quick. How fay you?-0, I should remember him ; Does he not hold up his head, as it were ? and strut in his gait?
Sim. Yes, indeed, does he.
Quick. Well, heaven send Anne Page no worse fortune! Tell master parson Evans, I will do what I can for your master: Anne is a good girl, and I with
Rug. Out, alas ! here comes my master.
Quick. We shall all be fhent :' Run in here, good young man; go into this closet. [Shuts Simple in the closet.] He will not stay long.–What, John Rugby! John, what, John, I say !-Go, John, go enquire for my master; I doubt, he be not well, that he comes not home :-and down, down, adown-a, &c.
The tall man of the old dramatick writers, was a man of a bold, intrepid disposition, and inclined to quarrel; such as is described by Steevens in the second scene of the third act of this play,
M. Mason. “ A tall man of his hands” sometimes meant quick-handed, active; and as Simple is here commending his master for his gymnaftick abilities, perhaps the phrase is here used in that sense. See Florio's Italian Dictionary, 1598, in v. “ Manesco. Nimble or quick-handed; a tall man of his hands." · Malone.
9 We shall all be fhent:] i. e. Scolded, roughly treated. So, in the old Interlude of Nature, bl. 1. no date :
I can tell thee one thyng,
- and down, down, adown-a, &c.] To deceive her master, The fings as if at her work. Sir J. Hawkins.
This appears to have been the burden of some song then well known. In Every Woman in her Humour, 1609, sign. E 1. one of the characters says, “ Hey good boies ! i'faith now a three man's
Enter Doctor Caius.'
Caius. Vat is you sing? I do not like defe toys; Pray you, go and vetch me in my closet un baitier verd ; * a box, a green-a box; Do intend vat I speak? a green-a box.
Quick. Ay, forsooth, I'll fetch it you. I am glad he went not in himself: if he had found the young man, he would have been horn-mad.
[Afide. Caius. Fe, fe fe, fe! ma foi, il fait fort chaud. Je m'en vais à la Cour, -la grande affaire.
song, or the old downe adowne : 'well things must be as they may ;
fil's the other quart : muskadine with an egge is fine, there's a time for all things, bonos nochios.” Reed.
3 Enter Doctor Caius.] It has been thought strange, that our author sould take the name of Caius [an eminent physician who flourished in the reign of Elizabeth, and founder of Caius College in out-university) for his Frenchman in this comedy; but Shakspeare was little acquainted with literary history, and without doubt, from this unusual name, fupposed him to have been a foreign quack. Add to this, that the doctor was handed down as 2 kind of Rosicrucian: Mr. Ames had in MS, one of the “ Secret Writings of Dr. Caius." FARMER.
This character of Dr. Caius might have been drawn from the life; as in Jacke of Dover's Quest of Enquirie, 1604, (perhaps a republication,) a story called The Foole of Winsor begins thus : " Upon a time there was in Winsor a certain simple outlandijbe doctor of phificke belonging to the deane," &c. STEEVENS,
-- un boitier verd;] Boitier in French fignifies a case of surgeon's instruments, Grey,
I believe it rather means a box of salve, or cafe to hold fimples, for which Caius professes to feek. The same word, somewhat curtailed, is used by Chaucer, in The Pardoneres Prologue, v. 12241:
“ And every boist ful of thy letụarie. Again, in The Skynners' Play, in the Chester Collection of Mysteries, MS. Harl. p: 149: Mary Magdalen says:
• To balme his bodye that is so brighte,
Boyfte here have I brought." STEVENS.
Quick. Is it this, sir?
Caius. Ouy; mette le au mon pocket; Depeche, quickly :-Vere is dat knave Rugby?
Quick. What, John Rugby! John !
Caius. You are John Rugby, and you are Jack Rugby: Come, take-a your rapier, and come after my heel to de court.
Rug. 'Tis ready, fir, here in the porch.
Caius. By my trot, I tarry too long :-Od's me! Qu'ay j'oublié? dere is some simples in my closet, dat I vill not for the varld I shall leave behind.
Quick. Ah me! he'll find the young man there, and be mad..
Carus. O diable, diable! vat is in my closet?Villainy! larron! [Pulling Simple out.] Rugby, my rapier.
Quick. Good master, be content.
Caius. Vat shall de honest man do in my closet? dere is no honest man dat shall come in my closet.
Quick. I beseech you, be not so flegmatick; hear the truth of it: He came of an errand to me from parson Hugh.
Sim. To defire this honest gentlewoman, your maid, to speak a good word to mistress Anne Page for my master, in the way of marriage.
Quick. This is all, indeed, la; but I'll ne'er put my finger in the fire, and need not.
Caius. Sir Hugh send-a you?—Rugby, baillez me some paper: Tarry you a little a while. [writes.
Quick. I am glad he is so quiet: if he had been thoroughly moved, you should have heard him fo loud, and so melancholy ;-But notwithstanding, man, I'll do your master what good I can: and the very yea and the no is, the French Doctor, my master,- I may call him my master, look you, for I keep his house; and I wash, wring, brew, bake, scour, dress meat and drink,' make the beds, and do all myself;
Sim. 'Tis a great charge, to come under one body's hand.
Quick. Are you avis'd o’that? you shall find it a great charge: and to be up early, and down late ; —but notwithstanding, (to tell you in your
: ear; I would have no words of it ;) my master himself is in love with mistress Anne Page: but notwithstanding that,—I know Anne's mind,—that's neither here nor there.
Caius. You jack’nape; give-a dis letter to Sir Hugh; by gar, it is a shallenge: I vill cut his troat in de park; and I vill teach a scurvy jacka-nape priest to meddle or make :—you may be gone; it is not good you tarry here :by gar, I vill cut all his two stones ; by gar, he shall not have a stone to trow at his dog.
[Exit SIMPLE. Quick. Alas, he speaks but for his friend.
-dress meat and drink,] Dr. Warburton thought the word drink ought to be expunged; but by drink Dame Quickly might have intended potage and soup, of which her master may be sup posed to have been as fond as the rest of his countrymen.