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A belt of straw, and ivy buds,
With coral clasps, and amber studs.
Prepar'd each day for thee and me.
The shepherds swains shall dance and sing,
The Nymph's Reply to the Shepherd.
And all complain of cares to come :
To wayward winter reckoning yields.
A honey tongue, a heart of gall,
Is fancy's spring, but sorrow's fall.
Thy gowns, thy shoes, thy bed of roses,
Thy cap, thy kirtle, and thy posies:
In folly ripe, in reason rotten.
Thy belt of straw and ivy-buds,
All these in me no means can move,
To come to thee, and be thy love.
Of better meat than's fit for men?
* The conclusion of this and the following poem have furnished Milton with the hint for the last lines both of his Allegro and Penseroso. STEEVENS.
These are but vain: that's only good
Then these delights my mind might move,
To live with thee, and be thy love.
These two poems, which Dr. Warburton gives to Shakspeare, are, by writers nearer that time, disposed of, one to Marlow, the other to Raleigh. These poems are read in different copies with great variations. JOHNSON,
In England's Helicon, a collection of love-verses printed in Shakspeare's life-time, viz. in 1600, the first of them is given to Marlow, the second to a person unknown. STEEVENS.
Line 116.scall, scurvy,- -] Scall was an old word of reproach, as scab was afterwards.
Chaucer imprecates on his scrivener:
"Under thy longe lockes mayest thou have the scalle." JOHNS.
ACT III. SCENE II.
-seeming―] i. e. Plausible.
-shall cry aim: -] See note in the preceding
Line 177. We have linger'd-] They have not linger'd very long. The match was proposed by Sir Hugh but the day before. JOHNSON.
Line 187. -he writes verses, he speaks holy-day,―] i. e. In a high-flown, fustian stile. It was called a holy-day stile, from the old custom of acting their farces of the mysteries and moralities, which were turgid and bombast, on holy-days. So in Much Ado about Nothing" I cannot woo in festival terms." And again, in The Merchant of Venice" thou spend'st such high-day wit in "praising him." WARBURTON.
See also King Henry IV. Part 1.
"With many holiday and lady terms."
Line 189. tis in his buttons ;] Alluding to an ancient custom among the country fellows, of trying whether they shall succeed with their mistresses, by carrying the batchelor's buttons (a plant of the Lychnis kind, whose flowers resembled a coat button
in form) in their pockets. And they judged of their good or bad success, by their growing or their not growing there. SMITH. Greene mentions these batchelor's buttons, in his Quip for an upstart Courtier" I saw the batchelor's buttons, whose virtue is, "to make wanton maidens weep, when they have worne them "forty weeks under their aprons," &c. STEEVENS.
—of no having:] Having is the same as estate or
See also in Macbeth,
"Of noble having, and of royal hope."
Line 207. Host. Farewell, my hearts: I will to my honest knight Falstaff, and drink canary with him.
Ford. [Aside.] I think, I shall drink IN PIPE-wine first with him: I'll make him dance.] To drink in pipe-wine, is a phrase which I cannot understand. May we not suppose that Shakspeare rather wrote, I think I shall drink HORN-PIPE wine first with him: I'll make him dance.
Canary is the name of a dance, as well as of a wine. Ford lays hold of both senses; but, for an obvious reason, makes the dance a horn-pipe. It has been already remarked, that Shakspeare has frequent allusions to a cuckhold's horns. TYRWHITT.
Pipe is known to be a vessel of wine, now containing two hogsheads. Pipe wine is therefore wine, not from the bottle, but the pipe; and the text consists in the ambiguity of the word, which signifies both a cask of wine, and a musical instrument. Hornpipe wine has no meaning. JOHNSON.
ACT III. SCENE III.
-] i. e. The whiteners of linen. 234. How now, my eyas-musket,- -] Eyas is a young unfledg'd hawk. I suppose from the Italian Niaso, which originally signified any young bird taken from the nest unfledg'd, afterwards a young hawk. The French, from hence, took their niais, and used it in both those significations; to which they added a third, metaphorically a silly fellow; un garçon fort niais, un niais. Musket signifies a sparrow hawk, or the smallest species of hawks. This too is from the Italian Muschetto, a small hawk, as appears from the original signification of the word, namely, a troublesome sting
ing fly. So that the humour of calling the little page an eyasmusket is very intelligible. WARBURTON.
Line 255. Why, now let me die, for I have lived long enough:] This sentiment may be easily traced from the scriptures; our author has introduced it likewise in Othello, and The Winter's Tale. Line 267. that becomes the ship-tire, the tire-VALIANT, or any tire of Venetian admittance.] The old quarto reads, tire-vellet, and the old folio reads, or any tire of Venetian admittance. So that the true reading of the whole is this, that becomes the ship-tire, the tire-VALIANT, or any tire of Venetian admittance. The speaker tells his mistress, she had a face that would become all the headdresses in fashion. The ship-tire was an open head-dress, with a kind of scarf depending from behind. Its name of ship-tire was, I presume, from its giving the wearer some resemblance of a ship (as Shakspeare says) in all her trim: with all her pennants out, and flags and streamers flying.
Tire-valiant I suspect to be corrupt, valiant being a very incongruous epithet for a woman's head-dress. I suppose Shakspeare wrote tire-voilant. As the ship-tire was an open head-dress, so the tire-valiant was a close one; in which the head and breast were covered as with a vail. And these were, in fact, the two different head-dresses then in fashion, as we may see by the pictures of that time. One of which was so open, that the whole neck, breasts, and shoulders, were open to view: the other, so securely inclosed in kerchiefs, &c. that nothing could be seen above the eyes, or below the chin. WARBURTON.
-of Venetian admittance.] i. e. of a fashion received from Venice. Dr. Warburton might have found the same reading in the quarto, 1630. Instead of tire-valiant, I would read tire-volant. Stubbs, who describes most minutely every article of female dress, has mentioned none of these terms, but speaks of vails depending from the top of the head, and flying behind the loose folds. The word volant was in use before the age of Shakspeare.
fortune thy foe-] This was part of an aucient popular ballad, alluded to by Burton, in his Anatomy of Melancholy.
Line 359. Where's the cowl-stuff?] i. c. The pole for fastening the cowl or tub to.
Line 360. how you drumble:] That is, how sluggish you
-the laundress in Datchet mead;] i. e. The
-So, now unscape.] So, the folio of 1623 reads,
and rightly. It is a term in fox-hunting, which signifies to dig out the fox when earth'd. WARBURTON.
ACT III. SCENE IV.
Line 472. -father's wealth-] Some light may be given to those who shall endeavour to calculate the increase of English wealth, by observing, that Latymer, in the time of Edward VI. mentions it as a proof of his father's prosperity, That though but a yeoman, he gave his daughters five pounds each for her portion. At the latter end of Elizabeth, seven hundred pounds were such a temptation to courtship, as made all other motives suspected. Congreve makes twelve thousand pounds more than a counterbalance to the affectation of Belinda. No poet would now fly his favourite character at less than fifty thousand. JOHNSON.
Line 506. -come cut and long-tail,- -] According to the forest laws, the dog of a man, who had no right to the privilege of chace, was obliged to cut or law his dog, amongst other modes of disabling him, by depriving him of his tail. A dog so cut was called a cut, or cur-tail, and by contraction cur. Cut and long-tail therefore signify the dog of a clown, and the dog of a gentleman.
-bowl'd to death with turnips.] An old proverb.
See Ray. Line 565.
fool and a physician ?] I should read fool or a
physician, meaning Slender and Caius.
--to slack it?] i. e. To neglect it.
ACT III. SCENE V.
-a bitch's blind puppies,] In the old copies,
a blind bitch's puppies.
—as they would have drown'd a blind bitch's puppies,—] I have