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a roguema rogue and an half—Le gallant, gallant de demy."
STEEVENS. 265. -a team of horse shall not pluck] I see how Valentine suffers for telling his love-secrets. therefore I will keep nine close.
JOHNSON Perhaps Launce was not intended to shew so much sense; but here indulges himself in talking contra. dictory nonsense.
SreeVENS. 268. for she hath had gossips :-] Gossips not only signify those who answer for a child in bap. tism, but the tattling women who attend lyings-in. The quibble between these is evident. Steevens. 271.
a bare Christian.] Launce is quibbling on. Bare has two senses; mere and naked. In Cori. olanus it is used in the first:
« 'Tis but a bare petition of the state." Launce uses it in both, and opposes the naked female to the water-spaniel cover'd with hairs of remark. able thickness.
STEEVENS. 273 -conditions -] i. e. qualities. The old copy has condition.
MALONE. 280. In former editions it is,
With my mastership? why, it is at sea.] For how does Launce inistake the word ? Speed asks him about his mastership, and he replies to it literatim. But then how was his mastership at sea, and on shore too? The addition of a letter and a note of apostrophe makes Launce both mistake the word, and sets the pun right: it restores, indeed, but a mean joke; but
without it there is no sense in the passage. · Besides, it is in character with the rest of the scene; and, I dare be confident, the poet's own conceit.
THÉOBALD. 290.--the son of thy grandmother:] It is undoubtedly true that the mother only knows the legitia macy of the child. I suppose Launce infers, that if he could read, he must have read this well known observation.
STEEVENS, 294 St. Nicholas be thy Speed!] St. Nicholas presided over scholars, who were therefore *called St. Nicholas's clerks. Hence, by a quibble between Nicholas and Old Nick, highwaymen, in The First Part of Henry the Fourth, are called Nicholas's clerks.
WARBURTON. That this saint presided over young scholars, may be gathered from Knight's Life of Dean Colet, p. 362. For by the statutes of Paul's school, there inserted, the children are required to attend divine service at the cathedral on his anniversary. The reason I take to be, that the legend of this saint makes him to have been a bishop, while he was a boy.
Sir J. HAWKINS. So, Puttenham, in his Art of Poetry, 1598: “ Mer thinks this fellow speaks like bishop Nicholas; for on Saint Nicholas's night commonly the scholars of the country make them a bishop, who, like a foolish boy, goeth about blessing and preaching with such childish terms, as maketh the people laugh at his foolish counterfeit speeches."
295. Speed. Imprimis, She can milk.
Laun. Ay, that she can.] These two speeches should evidently be omitted. There is not only no attempt at humour in them, contrary to all the rest in the same dialogue, but Launce clearly directs Speed to go on with the paper where he himself left off. See his preceding soliloquy.
FARMER. 298. -Blessing o' your heart, &c.] So, in Ben Jonson's Masque of Augurs:
« Qur ale's o' the best,
STEEVENS. 304 -knit him a stock.] i. l. stocking. So, in Twelfth Night: “-it does indifferent well in a flame-colour'd stock.”
Steevens. 317. she is not to be kiss'd fasting,–] The old copy reads,—she is not to be fasting, &c. The neces. sary word, kiss'd, was first added by Mr. Rowe.
Steevens. 321. -sweet mouth.] This I take to be the same with what is now vulgarly called a sweet tooth, a lux. urious desire of dainties and sweetmeats. JOHNSON.
How a luxurious desire of dainties can make amends for offensive breath, I know not: I rather believe that by a sweet mouth is meant that she sings sweetly. In Twelfth Night we have heard of a sweat breast as the recommendation of a singer. It may however mean
a liquorish mouth, in a wanton sense. So, in Measure
Steevens. 339. —praise her liquor.] That is, shew how well she likes it by drinking often. JOHNSON.
342. -She is too liberal.] Liberal is liccntious and gross in language. So, in Othello : “ Is he not a profane and very liberal counsellor ?" JOHNSON. So, in The Fair Maid of Bristow, 1605, bl. let.
“ But Vallenger, most like a liberal villain,
“ Did give her scandalous ignoble terms." Mr. Malone adds another instance from Woman's a Weathercock, by N. Field, 1612.
" Next that the fame “ Of your neglect and liberal talking tongue, “ Which breeds my honour an eternal wrong.'
STEEVENS. 347. She hath more hair than wit,-] An old English proverb. See Ray's Collection :
“. Bush natural, more hair than wit.”
“ Hair! 'tis the basest stubble; in scorn of it
« Now is the old proverb really perform’d,
STEEVENS, 361. -makes the faults gracious:] Gracious, in old language means graceful. So, in King John:
" There was not such a gracious creature born." Again, in Albion's Triumph, 1631:
“ On which (the freeze) were festoons of several fruits in their natural colours, on which in gracious postures lay children sleeping." Again, in The Malecontent, 1604 :
“ The most exquisite, &c. that ever made an old lady gracious by torch-light."
STEEVENS, 385. Trenched in ice ;-] Cut, carved in ice. Trancher, to cut, French.
JOHNSON. So, in Arden of Feversham, 1633 : “ Is deeply trenched in my blushing brow."
STBEVENS. 403. -do -] Added in the second folio.
MALONE. -with circumstance, - --} With the addi. tion of such incidental particulars as may induce belief.
JOHNSON. * 419. his very friend.] Very is immediate. So, in Macbeth:
" And the very points they blow." STEEVENŞ. 429. as you unwind her loven) As you wind off her love from him, make me the bottom on which you wind it. The housewife's term for a ball of thread wound upon a central body, is a bottom of thread.
JOHNSON 446. lime,---] That is, birdlime. Johnson.
454. -such integrity:] Such integrity means, such as would be manifested by practising the directions given in the four preceding lines, STERVENS.