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shall fall before us":―The folio has, "shall faile," &c. - a palpable misprint.
she washes bucks":- i. e., she does family
never a house, but the cage": - In Baret's Alvearie, 1580, as quoted by Mr. Singer, we find, 66 Little places of prison, set commonly in the market place for harlots and vagabonds, we call cages." But the reader, remembering the confinement of Christian and Faithfu in "the cage" at Vanity Fair, will not be obliged to go back to Baret for a definition.
a cade of herrings":— A cade of herrings was a vessel containing seventy-two thousand ["six hundreth, six score to the hundreth,"] of those odorous fish, according to an old authority, quoted by Malone.
"They use to write it on the top of letters": - - Public documents and even private letters were commonly prefixed with some one of the names or titles of Christ. I pass not":-i. e., I care not. The quarto has, "I passe not a pinne." The phrase was in common
"a shearman”: — i. e., a cutter, a tailor, 'tailor' itself being from tailler = to cut.
span-counter": — - A game played by the boys of Shakespeare's time, in which one threw a counter or piece of money, which was forfeit to him who could throw another within a span of it.
thereby is England main'd": This form of 'maim' was in common use in Shakespeare's day, though rather as a provincialism or vulgarism; and the more should it therefore be here preserved.
in clouted shoon":- It can hardly be necessary to remark that shoon' is the old plural of 'shoe,' (or shoo,' as it was spelled of old,) formed in a manner which we still preserve in a few words called irregular, and which it is to be regretted that we ever laid aside. 'Clouted' may mean either strengthened with nails, (from the French clout a large headed nail,) or mended with patches or strips of leather or iron. "Cloute, of a schoo, Pictasium," Promptorium Parvulorum 66 In Norfolk the terms cleat and clowt signify an iron plate with which a shoe is strengthened." Forby.
a hundred lacking one [a week]": - The last
two words are not found in the folio, but were inserted from the quarto by Malone. He was justified by the obvious necessity for some emendation of the text of the folio, and by the fact that in the reign of Elizabeth butchers were enjoined from selling flesh meat during Lent, but that some of the trade, having interest at Court, obtained licenses to kill a limited number of beasts a week. In the quarto the number is, "four score and one;" but a hundred lacking one was the more familiar reckoning, and known as the common term of years for long leases.
"retire to Killingworth":— The name by which Kenilworth was almost universally known in Shakespeare's day.
the traitors hate thee":-The folio has," the traitors hateth thee," which was changed by Rowe to "the traitors hate thee," and that reading has hitherto retained possession of the text; but we should surely read "the traitor hateth thee," not only because that involves the least possible change in the old text, and corrects one of the commonest of misprints, but because the corresponding passage of the quarto is,
"Come on Lord Say, go thou along with us,
66— for fear you be betray'd":- Be,' which was accidentally omitted from the first folio, owing, doubtless, to the repetition of the syllable, was supplied in the second.
go and set London-bridge on fire": London bridge, in Shakespeare's time, and long after, was of wood, and lined on either side with houses.
headed by Matthew Gough":
Gough, [Goffe in the old copies,] according to a passage in Latin, quoted by Steevens from William of Worcester, was the son of Ewen Gough, bailiff of the manor of Hangmer, in North Wales, and foster brother to John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury. Holinshed says that he was "of great wit and much experience in feates of chivalrie," and had long served Henry VI. and his father.
pull down the Savoy":- The Savoy was a palace belonging originally to Simon de Mountford, Earl of Leicester. It was built on a plot of ground granted
by Henry III. to Peter, Earl of Savoy. It was magnificently rebuilt by Henry, first Duke of Lancaster, it having been purchased by Queen Eleanor; and it was torn down in Wat Tyler's rebellion, not Jack Cade's, (See Introduction,) in the time of which it lay in ruins. It was rebuilt as a hospital by Henry VII.
"one and twenty fifteens" :- It may be well to remark that these fifteens, &c., were that proportion of the personal property of the citizen which was demanded by the King or his ministers to meet the expenses of any extraordinary state occasion.
661 thou say, thou serge":
Readers would miss the point of this taunt who did not know that 'say' was the old word for silken cloth.
thou hast caus'd printing to be used" :- Printing was not used in England until about 1470, twenty years after Cade's rebellion.
and because they could not read thou hast hang'd them": It may not be superfluous to remark that this is an allusion to the well-known privilege of ancient times known as 'benefit of clergy.'
"Thou dost ride in a foot-cloth":
A foot-cloth was
a kind of housing or rich covering for the horse, which nearly swept the ground. In' is here used according to the idiom of Shakespeare's time, in the sense of upon, as in numerous other passages in these plays.
"Kent, in the Commentaries Cæsar writ," &c.: his omnibus longe sunt humanissimi qui Cantium incolunt," Lib. V. The notion was perpetuated by English writers. Golding, 1563, translated the passage "Of all the inhabitantes of this isle, the civilest are the Kentish folke."
liberal, valiant, active, wealthy":- Mr. Collier's folio of 1632 plausibly has, "liberal, valiant, active, worthy."
"But to maintain," &c. :- The original has, "Kent to maintain," &c. Mr. Singer and Mr. Collier retain this reading, supposing the speech to be addressed to the Kentish men, who are called 'Kent!' There seems to be no reasonable doubt, however, that Dr. Johnson's conjecture that 'Kent' is a misprint for But' is well founded. As to the book which preferred Lord Say to the King, nothing is known. It may have been some official document; as any writing was called a book.
and the help of hatchet":- It is in the highest degree probable that, as Farmer first suggested, we
should read, "pap with a hatchet," as that phrase was in common use in Shakespeare's time, and Lilly had used it as a title to one of his tracts in the Martin Marprelate controversy. But there does not seem to be sufficient warrant for the alteration of the old text, which is preserved in the second folio with a trifling modification, (the insertion of 'a' before 'hatchet,') and which has a clear meaning.
An error for Sir William
there shall not a maid be married": - This alludes to an ancient feudal custom by which the lord of the manor had the privilege which Jack Cade declares it his intention to claim for himself. Blackstone thought that it never prevailed in England, but that it did in Scotland, which last opinion is confirmed by the mention of it (according to Malone) by Boethius and Skene, as existing in the time of Malcom III., about A. D. 1050. Beaumont and Fletcher founded their Custom of the Country upon it.
Sir James Cromer":·
"Or let a rebel lead you," &c.: The folio has, "Or let a rabble," &c. The correction, which is found in Mr. Collier's folio of 1632, and in Mr. Singer's, would be more than plausible under any circumstances, and is fully justified by the corresponding passage in the quarto:
Crying — Viliaco!" In the folio, "Villiago." A term of reproach which, as Mr. Dyce remarks, is not unfrequently found in our old dramatists. "Vigliacco, a rascall, a base varlet, a knavish scoundrel, a scurvy fellow." Florio's New World of Words.
"Who [the King] hath mildly sent his pardon to you If you forsake this monstrous Rebell here."
to be advertised": -It may be well to remark that advertised' is here a word of four syllables, accented on the second and fourth.
"Of Gallowglasses and stout Kernes": - Kernes and Gallowglasses are again mentioned together in Macbeth, Act I. Sc. 2. They were varieties of the wild Irish forces brave, but savage and undisciplined — which seem to have engaged as mercenary soldiers in the middle ages. The weapon of the Gallowglass was a poleaxe; the
Kerne used a sword and target. I am inclined to think that the s is superfluous in Kernes,' and that 'Kern' or 'Kerne' is a plural form. It has been conjectured with much probability, that a word of two syllables has been lost from this line: it was probably a correspondent epithet to stout,' qualifying Gallowglasses.'
Is straightway calm'd": - The folio has, "is straightway calm" - an obvious misprint, corrected in the fourth
I pray thee, Buckingham," &c.:-The most acceptable suggestion for supplying the deficient syllable in this line is Mr. Dyce's, go thou and meet him."
"Fie on ambition":- The first folio has, "ambitions,” the second, "ambition”. — a variation hardly worth notice.
all the country is laid for me" : — So in Middleton's A Trick to Catch the Old One, "I have been laying all the town for thee." Act I. Sc. 2.
but for a sallet, my brain-pan had been cleft” :Sallet was the name of an open helmet, as well as a generic term for cooling herbs eaten raw.
by others' waning'
The folio has, "by others' warning -a palpable misprint, corrected by Rowe, and in Mr. Collier's folio of 1632.
The folio has,
I beseech God on my knees "I beseech Jove," &c. But as this passage is taken bodily from the quarto, which has, "I beseech God," &c., there should be no hesitation in adopting the latter reading, instead of the inappropriate one of the folio, which was, doubtless, as Malone suggested, adopted in fear of the statute of 3 James I. so often alluded to before. 'Jove' was sometimes used for God' by our earlier writers, as Mr. Dyce suggests; but the quarto is in this case decisive.
his Forces, &c., at some distance":- The capacity of the old stage did not permit an arrangement so much in accordance with probability. The stage direction of the folio is, "Enter Yorke, and his army of Irish, with Drum and Colours."