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will, not appearing what we are, have some question with the shepherd; from whose fimplicity, I think it not uneasy to get the cause of my son's resort thither. Pr’ythee, be my present partner in this business, and lay aside the thoughts of Sicilia.
CAM. I willingly obey your command.
The fame. A Road near the Shepherd's Cottage.
Enter AUTOLYCUS, singing.
When daffodils begin to peer,
With, beigh! the doxy over the dale,
For the red blood reigns in the winter's pale."
fome question ] i. e. some talk. See Vol. IV. p. 263, n. 8. MALONE.
5 Autolycus,] Autolycus was the son of Mercury, and as famous for all the arts of fraud and thievery as his father : “ Non fuit Autolyci tam piceata manus.” Martial.
STEEVENS. 6 When daffodils begin to peer,
Jog on, jog on, the foot-path way,] “ Two nonsenfical songs, by the rogue Autolycus,” says Dr. Burney.—But could not the many compliments paid by Shakspeare to musical science, intercede for a better epithet than nonsenfical?
The Dr. subsequently observes, that “ This Autolycus is the true ancient Minstrel, as described in the old Fabliaux."
The white meet bleaching on the bedge,
With, hey! the sweet birds, 0, how they fing! Deth set my pugging tooth® on edge ;
For a quart of ale is a dish for a king.
I believe that many of our readers will push the comparison a little further, and concur with me in thinking that our modern minstrels of the opera, like their predecessor Autolycus, are pickpockets as well as fingers of nonfenfical ballads. STEEVENS.
o For the red blood reigns in the winter's pale.] This line has suffered a great variety of alterations, but I am persuaded the old reading is the true one. The first folio has “ the winter's pale;" and the meaning is, the red, the Spring blood now reigns o'er the parts lately under the dominion of winter. The English pale, the Irish pale, were frequent expressions in Shakspeare's time; and the words red and pale were chosen for the sake of the antithesis.
FARMER, Dr. Farmer is certainly right. I had offered this explanation to Dr. Johnson, who rejected it. In K, Henry V. our author says:
the English beach “ Pales in the flood," &c. Again, in Antony and Cleopatra :
" Whate'er the ocean pales, or sky inclips.” Holinshed, p. 528, calls Sir Richard Afton, “ Lieutenant of the English pale, for the earle of Summerset.” Again, in King Henry VI. P. I: “ How are we park'd, and bounded in a pale."
Steevens. 9 The white sheet bleaching, &c.] So, in the song at the end of Love's Labour's Loft, SPRING mentions as descriptive of that seafon, that then “ maidens bleach their summer smocks.”
MALONE, 8 pugging tooth ] Sir T. Hanmer, and after him Dr. Warburton, read-progging tooth. It is certain that pugging is not now understood. But Dr. Thirlby observes, that it is the cant of gypsies. JOHNSON,
The word pugging is used by Greene in one of his pieces ; and a paggard was a cant name for some particular kind of thief. So, in The Roaring Girl, 1611:
“ Of cheaters, lifters, nips, foists, piggards, curbers.'? See 10 prigge in Minfeu. Steevens.
The lark, that tirra-lirra chants.!
With, hey! with, hey! the thrush and the jay:Are summer songs for me and my aunts,
While we lie tumbling in the bay. I have serv'd prince Florizel, and, in my time, wore three-pile; } but now I am out of service:
· The lark, that tirra-lirra chants.}
La gentille allouette avec son tire-lire
Du Bartas. Liri. 5. de fa premiere semaine.
Linnæi Faune Suecica,
Hour White. So, in an ancient poem entitled, The Silke Worms and their Flies, 1599:
• Let Philomela fing, let Progne chide,
" Let Tyry-tyry-leerers upward flie ." In the margin the author explains Tyryleerers by its synonyme, larks. MALONE.
2 - my aunts,] Aunt appears to have been at this time a cant word for a bawd. In Middleton's comedy, called, A Trick to catch the Old one, 1616, is the following confirmation of its being used in that sense :-" It was better bestow'd upon his uncle than one of his aunts, I need not say bawd, for every one knows what ount stands for in the last translation.” Again, in Ram-alley, or Merry Tricks, 1611:
" I never knew
“ Learn'd me the common trick.” Again, in Decker's Honeft Whore, 1635: “ I'll call you one of my aunts, fifter, that were as good as to call you arrant whore."
Steevens. 3 wore three-pile;] i. e. rich velvet. So, in Ram-alley or Merry Tricks, 1611 :
But ßall I go mourn for that, my dear?
The pale moon Shines by night:
I then do most go right.
If tinkers may have leave to live,
And bear the fow-skin budget;
And in the stocks avouch it.
“ and line them
" With black, crimson, and tawny three-pil'd velvet." Again, in Measure for Measure:
“ Mafter Three-pile, the mercer.” Steevens. 3 My traffick is sheets; &c.] So, in The Three Ladies of London, 1584:
« Our fingers are lime twigs, and barbers we be,
“ To catch sheets from hedges moft pleasant to see.” Again, in Queen Elizabeth's Entertainment in Suffolke and Nore folke, &c. by Thomas Churchyard, 4to. no date, Riette says
“ If any heere three ydle people needes,
“ We are but roages, and clappe us in the cage.' Again, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Beggars Bush: “ To steal from the hedge both the shirt and the feet."
STEEVENS. Autolycus means, that his practice was to steal sheets and large pieces of linen, leaving the smaller pieces for the kites to build with. M. Mason.
When the kite builds, look to lesser linen.] Leller linen is an ancient term, for which our modern laundresses liave substituted small clothes. STEEVENS.
This passage, I find, is not generally understood. When the good women, in folitary cottages near the woods where kites build, miss any of their leffer linen, as it hangs to dry on the hedge in fpring, they conclude that the kite has been marauding for a lining to her nest; and there adventurous boys often find it employed for that purpose. Holt White.
to lefser linen. My father named me, Autolycus ; * who, being, as I am, litter'd under Mercury, was likewise a snapper-up of unconsidered trifles: With die, and drab, I purchased this caparison ;5 and my revenue is the filly cheat:6 Gallows, and knock, are too powerful on the highway:7 beating, and hanging, are terrors to me; for the life to come, I fleep out the thought of it.--A prize! a prize!
4- My father nam'd me, Autolycus ; &c.] Mr. Theobald says, the allufion is unquestionably to Ovid. He is mistaken. Not only the allusion, but the whole speech is taken from Lucian; who appears to have been one of our poet's favourite authors, as may be collected from several places of his works. It is from his discourse m judicial astrology, where Autolycus talks much in the same manner; and 'tis on this account that he is called the son of Mercury by the ancients, namely because he was born under that planet. And as the infant was supposed by the astrologers to communicate of the nature of the star which predominated, so Autolycus was a thief. WARBURTON.
This piece of Lucian, to which Dr. Warburton refers, was translated long before the time of Shakspeare, I have seen it, but it had no date. STEVENS.
s_ With die, and drab, I purchased this caparison ;] i. e, with gaming and whoring, I brought myself to this shabby dress.
PERCY. 6- my revenue is the silly cheat :] Silly is used by the writers of our author's time, for simple, low, mean; and in this the humour of the speech consists, I don't aspire to arduous and high things, as Bridewell or the gallows: I am contented with this humble and low way of life, as a snapper-up of unconfidered trifles. But the Oxford editor, who, by his emendations, seems to have declared war against all Shakspeare's humour, alters it to,the My cheat. WARBURTON.
The filly cheat is one of the technical terms belonging to the art of coneycatching or thievery, which Greene has mentioned among the rett, in his treatise on that ancient and honourable science, I think it means picking pockets. STEVENS.
7 Gallows, and knock, &c.] The resistance which a highwayman encounters in the fact, and the punishment which he suffers on detection, withhold me from daring robbery, and determine me to the hilly cheat and petty theft, Johnson.