Imagini ale paginilor

ling and two pence a-piece of Yead Miller, by thefe gloves.

"Edward Shovel-boards," were the broad fhillings of Edw. VI. Taylor, the water-poet, in his Trauel of Twelve-pence, makes him complain:


the unthrift every day

"With my face downwards do at hoave-board play;
"That had I had a beard, you may suppose,

They had worne it off, as they have done my nofe." And in a note he tells us: "Edw. fhillings for the most part are used at hoave-board," FARMER.

In the Second Part of K. Henry IV. Falstaff says, "Quoit him down, Bardolph, like a fhove-groat fhilling," This confirms Farmer's opinion, that pieces of coin were used for that purpose. M. MASON.

The following extract, for the notice of which I am indebted to Dr. Farmer, will afcertain the fpecies of coin mentioned in the text. "I must here take notice before I entirely quit the fubject of these laft-mentioned fhillings, that I have alfo feen fome other pieces of good filver, greatly refembling the fame, and of the fame date 1547, that have been fo much thicker as to weigh about half an ounce, together with fome others that have weighed an ounce." Folkes's Table of English Silver Coins, p. 32. The former of thefe were probably what coft Master Slender two fhillings and two-pence a-piece. REED.

It appears, that the game of Shovel-board was played with the fhillings of Edward VI. in Shadwell's time; for in his Mifer, Act III. fc. i. Cheatly fays, "She perfuaded him to play with hazard at backgammon, and he has already loft his Edward fhillings that he kept for Shovel-board, and was pulling out broad pieces (that have not feen the fun these many years) when I came away."

In Shadwell's Lancashire Witches, Vol. III. p. 232, the game is called Shuffle-board. It is ftill played; and I lately heard a man aik another to go into an alehoufe in the Broad Sanctuary, Westminster, to play at it. DoUCE.

That Slender means the broad Shilling of one of our kings, appears from comparing these words with the correfponding paffage in the old quarto: "Ay by this handkerchief did he ;two faire fhovel-board fhillings, befides seven groats in mill fixpences."

How twenty eight pence could be loft in mill-fixpences, Slender, however, has not explained to us. MALONE.

FAL. Is this true, Pistol?

EVA. No; it is falfe, if it is a pick-purse.

PIST. Ha, thou mountain-foreigner !—Sir John and mafter mine,

I combat challenge of this latten bilbo :3
Word of denial in thy labras here; 4
Word of denial: froth and fcum, thou lieft,

3 I combat challenge of this latten bilbo:] Piftol, feeing Slender fuch a flim, puny wight, would intimate, that he is as thin as a plate of that compound metal, which is called latten : and which was, as we are told, the old orichalc. THEOBALD. Latten is a mixed metal, made of copper and calamine.

MALONE. The sarcasm intended is, that Slender had neither courage nor strength, as a latten fword has neither edge nor substance. HEATH.

Latten may fignify no more than as thin as a lath. The word in fome counties is ftill pronounced as if there was no h in it and Ray, in his Dictionary of North Country Words, affirms it to be fpelt lat in the North of England.

Falstaff threatens, in another play, to drive prince Henry out of his kingdom with a dagger of lath. A latten bilboe means therefore, I believe, no more than a blade as thin as a lath a vice's dagger.

[ocr errors]

Theobald, however, is right in his affertion that latten was a metal. So Turbervile, in his book of Falconry, 1575: you must fet her a latten bafon, or a veffel of stone or earth." Again, in Old Fortunatus, 1600: “Whether it were lead or latten that hafp'd down thofe winking cafements, I know not." Again, in the old metrical Romance of Syr Bevis of Hampton, bl. 1. no date:

"Windowes of latin were fet with glaffe." Latten is ftill a common word for tin in the North.


I believe Theobald has given the true fenfe of latten, though he is wrong in fuppofing, that the allufion is to Slender's thinnefs. It is rather to his foftnefs or weakness. TYRWHITT.

4 Word of denial in thy labras here;] I fuppose it should

rather be read:

"Word of denial in my labras hear;" That is, hear the word of denial in my lips. Thou lyft.


SLEN. By thefe gloves, then 'twas he.

NYм. Be advised, fir, and pass good humours: I will fay, marry trap,5 with you, if you run the nuthook's humour on me; that is the very note of it.


SLEN. By this hat, then he in the red face had it for though I cannot remember what I did when you made me drunk, yet I am not altogether an afs.

FAL. What fay you, Scarlet and John ?7

BARD. Why, fir, for my part, I fay, the gentleman had drunk himself out of his five fentences.

EVA. It is his five fenfes: fie, what the ignorance is!

We often talk of giving the lie in a man's teeth, or in his throat. Piftol chooses to throw the word of denial in the lips of his adversary, and is supposed to point to them as he speaks. STEEVENS.

There are few words in the old copies more frequently mifprinted than the word hear. "Thy lips," however, is certainly right, as appears from the old quarto: lie even in thy gorge, thy gorge, thy gorge.'


"I do retort the MALONE.

S marry trap,] When a man was caught in his own ftratagem, I fuppofe the exclamation of infult was—marry, trap! JOHNSON.

6 nuthook's humour-] Nuthook is the reading of the folio. The quarto reads, base humour.

If you run the nuthook's humour on me, is, in plain English, if you fay I am a thief. Enough is faid on the fubject of hooking moveables out at windows, in a note on K. Henry IV. STEEVENS.

7 Scarlet and John ?] The names of two of Robin Hood's companions; but the humour confifts in the allufion to Bardolph's red face; concerning which, fee The Second Part of Henry IV. WARBURTON.

BARD. And being fap, fir, was, as they fay, cafhier'd; and fo conclufions pafs'd the careires.9

SLEN. Ay, you spake in Latin then too; but 'tis no matter: I'll ne'er be drunk whilst I live again,

3 And being fap,] I know not the exact meaning of this cant word, neither have I met with it in any of our old dramatic pieces, which have often proved the best comments on Shakfpeare's vulgarisms.

Dr. Farmer, indeed, obferves, that to fib is to beat; fo that being fap may mean being beaten; and cashiered, turned out of company. STEEVENS.

The word fap, is probably made from vappa, a drunken fellow, or a good-for-nothing fellow, whofe virtues are all exhaled. Slender, in his anfwer, seems to understand that Bardolph had made ufe of a Latin word: "Ay, you spake in Latin then too;" as Piftol had juft before. S. W.

It is not probable that any cant term is from the Latin; nor that the word in queftion was fo derived, because Slender miftook it for Latin. The mistake, indeed, is an argument to the contrary, as it shows his ignorance in that language. Fap, how ever, certainly means drunk, as appears from the gloffaries.


9 careires.] I believe this strange word is nothing but the French cariere; and the expreffion means, that the common bounds of good behaviour are overpaffed. JOHNSON.

To pass the cariere was a military phrafe, or rather perhaps a term of the manege. I find it in one of Sir John Smythe's Difcourfes, 1589, where, fpeaking of horses wounded, he fays" they, after the firft fhrink at the entering of the bullet, doo pass their carriere, as though they had verie little hurt." Again, in Harrington's tranflation of Ariofto, b. xxxviii. ftanza 35:

"To stop, to start, to pass carier, to bound."

STEEVENS. Bardolph means to fay, " and fo in the end he reel'd about with a circuitous motion, like a horse, paffing a carier." To pass a carier was a technical term. So, in Nafhe's Have with you to Saffron Walden, &c. 1596: her hotteft fury may be resembled to the paffing of a brave cariere by a Pegafus." We find the term again ufed in K. Henry V. in the fame manner as in the paffage before us: "The king is a good king, but-he pages fome humours and cariers." MALONE.

[ocr errors]

but in honeft, civil, godly company, for this trick: if I be drunk, I'll be drunk with those that have the fear of God, and not with drunken knaves.

EVA. So Got 'udge me, that is a virtuous mind. FAL. You hear all these matters denied, gentlemen; you hear it.

Enter Miftrefs ANNE PAGE with wine; Miftrefs FORD and Miftrefs PAGE following.

PAGE. Nay, daughter, carry the wine in; we'll drink within. [Exit ANNE PAGE. SLEN. O heaven! this is mistress Anne Page.

PAGE. How now, mistress Ford?

FAL. Mistress Ford, by my troth, you are very well met: by your leave, good miftrefs. [kissing her. PAGE. Wife, bid these gentlemen welcome :Come, we have a hot venifon pafty to dinner; come, gentlemen, I hope we fhall drink down all unkindness.

[Exeunt all but SHAL. SLENDER and EVANS. SLEN. I had rather than forty fhillings, I had my book of Songs and Sonnets here: '—

I my book of Songs and Sonnets here:] It cannot be fuppofed that poor Slender was himself a poet. He probably means the Poems of Lord Surrey and others, which were very popular in the age of Queen Elizabeth. They were printed in 1567, with this title: " Songes and Sonnettes, written by the Right Honourable Lord Henry Howard, late Earle of Surrey, and others."

Slender laments that he has not this fashionable book about him, fuppofing it might have affifted him in paying his addreffes to Anne Page. MALONE.

Under the title mentioned by Slender, Churchyard very evidently points out this book in an enumeration of his own pieces, prefixed to a collection of verfe and profe, called Churchyard's

« ÎnapoiContinuă »