Sidor som bilder

Enter Clown.

Clown. Let me see:-Every 'leven wether tods;? every tod yields-pound and odd shilling: fifteen hundred shorn,—What comes the wool to? Aut. If the springe hold, the cock's mine.

[Aside. Clown. I cannot do’t without counters. Let

i tods;] A tod is twenty-eight pounds of wool. Percy.

I was led into an errour concerning this passage by the word tods, which I conceived to be a substantive, but which is used ungrammatically as the third person singular of the verb to tod, in concord with the preceding words_every 'leven wether. The same disregard of grammar is found in almost every page of the old copies, and has been properly corrected, but here is in character, and should be preserved.

Dr. Farmer observes to me, that to tod is used as a verb by dealers in wool; thus, they say, “ Twenty sheep ought to tod fifty pounds of wool," &c. The meaning therefore of the clown's words is, “ Every eleven wether tods; i. e. will produce a tod, or twentyeight pounds of wool; every, tod yields a pound and some odd Thillings; what then will the wool of fifteen hundred yield ?"

The occupation of his father furnished our poet with accurate knowledge on this subject; for two pounds and a half of wool is; I am told, a very good produce from a sheep at the time of shearing. About thirty shillings a tod is a high price at this day. It is fingular, as Sir Henry Englefield remarks to me, that there should be so little variation between the price of wool in Shakspeare's time and the present.-In 1425, as I learn from Kennet's Parochial Ana tiquities, a tod of wool sold for nine shillings and fix pence.

MALONE. Every 'leven wether tods ;] This has been rightly expounded to mean that the wool of eleven peep would weigh a tod, or 281b. Each fleece would, therefore, be 2 lb. 8 oz. nedr. and the whole produce of fifteen hundred fhorn 136 tod, glb. 6oz. z dr. which at pound and odd Mhilling per tod would yield £,. 143 3 o. Our author was too familiar with the subject to be suspected of inaccuracy.

RITSON. 8 without counters.] By the help of small circular pieces of base metal, all reckonings were anciently adjusted among the illia terate and vulgar. Thus Iago, in contempt of Callio, calls him counter-caser. See my note on Othello, Act I. sc. i. STEEVENS.

me fee; what am I to buy for our sheep-Threaring feast?' Three pound of sugar; five pound of currants; rice- What will this sister of mine do with rice? But my father hath made her mistress of the feast, and she lays it on. She hath made me four and twenty nosegays for the shearers: three-man songmen all, and very good ones; but they are most of them means and bases : 3 but one Puritan amongst them, and he sings psalms to hornpipes. I must have saffron, to colour the warden pies; + mace,-dates,

9- beep-fhearing fenfi?] The expence attending these festivities, appears to have afforded matter of complaint. Thus in Questions of Profitable and Pleasant Concernings, &c. 1594 : “ If it be a sheep-hearing feaft, maister Baily can entertaine you with his bill of reckonings to his maister of three Theapheard's wages, spent on fresh cates, besides spices and saffron pottage." STEEVENS.

2 — three-man fong-men all,] i. e. fingers of catches in three parts. A fix-man jong occurs in The Tournament of Tottenham. See The Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, ,Vol. II. p. 24. PERCY.

So, in Heywood's King Edward IV. 1626: “- call Dudgeon and his fellows, we'll have a three-man song.” Before the coinedy of The Gentle Craft, or the Shoemaker's Holiday, 1600, some of these three-man songs are printed. Steevens.

3 - means and bafes :] Means are tenors.
So, in Love's Labour's Luft:

he can sing A mean moft meanly." STEEVENS. 4 warden pies;] Wardens are a species of large pears. I believe the name is disused at present. It however afforded Ben Jonson room for a quibble in his masque of Gypfies Metamorphosed:

" A deputy tart, a church-warden pye." It appears from a passage in Cupid's Revenge, by Beaumont and Fletcher, that these pears were usually eaten roasted :

“ I would have had him roasted like a warden,

- In brown paper." The French call this pear the poire de garde. Steevens.

Barrett, in his Alvearie, voce Warden Tree, [Volt mum] says, Volema autem pyra sunt prægrandia, ita dicta quod impleant volam.


-none; that's out of my note: nutmegs, seven; a race, or two, of ginger ;—but that I may beg ;-four pound of prunes, and as many of raisins othe fun. Aut. O, that ever I was born!

[Groveling on the ground. Clown. I'the name of me," —

Aur. O, help me, help me! pluck but off these rags; and then, death, death!

Clown. Alack, poor foul; thou hast need of more rags to lay on thee, rather than have these off.

Aur. O, sir, the loathsomeness of them offends me more than the stripes I have receiv'd; which are mighty ones, and millions.

Clown. Alas, poor man! a million of beating may come to a great matter.

Aut. I am robb’d, fir, and beaten; my money and apparel ta’en from me, and these detestable things put upon me.

Croll'n. What, by a horse-man, or a foot-man? Aur. A foot-man, sweet fir, a foot-man.

Clown. Indeed, he should be a foot-man, by the garments he hath left with thee; if this be a horseman's coat, it hath seen very hot service. Lend me thy hand, I'll help thee : come, lend me thy hand.

[Helping him up. Aut. O! good sir, tenderly, oh! Clown. Alas, poor soul.

s l' the name of me,] This is a vulgar exclamation, which I have often heard used. So, fir Andrew Ague-cheek :-" Before me, The's a good wench,” STEEVENS.

Aur. O, good fir, softly, good fir: I fear, fir, my shoulder-blade is out.

Clown. How now? canst stand?

Aut. Softly, dear fir; [picks his pocket.] good fir, softly: you ha' done me a.charitable office.

Clown. Doft lack any money? I have a little money for thee.

Aut. No, good sweet fir; no, I beseech you, fir: I have a kinsman not past three quarters of a mile hence, unto whom I was going; I shall there have money, or any thing I want: Offer me no money, I pray you; that kills my heart.°

Clown. What manner of fellow was he that robb’d you?

Aut. A fellow, fir, that I have known to go about with trol-my-dames : I knew him once a

0— that kills my heart.] So, in K. Henry V. Dame Quickly, speaking of Falstaff, says—" the king hath kill'd his heart.

STEEVENS. See Vol. VI. p. 92, n. 3. Malone.

7 - with trol-my-dames :] Trou-madame, French. The game of nine-holes. WARBURTON.

In Dr. Jones's old treatise on Buckstone Bathes, he says: “ The ladyes, gentle woomen, wyves, maydes, if the weather be not agreeable, may have in the ende of a benche, eleven holes made, intoo, the which to troule pummits, either wyolent or softe, after their own discretion : the pastyme troule in madame is termed."

FARMER, The old English title of this game was pigeon-holes; as the arches in the machine through which the balls are rolled, resemble the cavities made for pigeons in a dove-house. So, in The Antipodes, 1638:

“ Three-pence I lost at nine-pins; but I got

“ Six tokens towards that at pigeon-holes.Again, in A wonder, or a Woman never vex'd, 1632: “ What quicksands he finds out, as dice, cards, pigeon-holes," STEEVENS,

servant of the prince; I cannot tell, good fir, for which of his virtues it was, but he was certainly whipp'd out of the court.

Clown. His vices, you would say; there's no virtue whipp'd out of the court: they cherish it, to make it stay there; and yet it will no more but abide.

Aut. Vices I would say, sir. I know this man well: he hath been since an ape-bearer; then a procefs-server, a bailiff; then he compass'd a motion of the prodigal fon, and married a tinker's wife within a mile where my land and living lies; and, having flown over many knavith professions, he settled only in rogue: some call him Autolycus.

Clown. Out upon him! Prig, for my life,prig: 2 he haunts wakes, fairs, and bear-baitings.

Mr. Steevens is perfectly accurate in his description of the game of Trou-madame, or pigeon holes. Nine holis is quite another thing;

Thus: o o o being so many holes made in the ground, into which O O O they are to bowl a pellet. I have feen both played OOO at. Ritson.

This game is mentioned by Drayton in the 14th song of his Polyolbion : ** At nine-holes on the heath while they together play.”

STEEVENS. S a bide.] To abide, here, must signify, to fojourn, to live for a time without a settled habitation. Johnson.

To abide is again used in Macbeth, in the sense of tarrying for a while :

“ I'll call upon you straight; abide within.” Malone. 9 motion of the prodigal for,] i. e. the puppet.bew, then called motions. A term frequently occurring in our author.

WARBURTON. 2 - Prig, for my life, prig:] To prig is to filch. MalONE.

In the canting language Prig is a thief or pick-pocket; and therefore in The Beggars Bush, by Beaumont and Fletcher, Prig is the name of a knavish beggar. WHALLEY.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »