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SLEN. Where's Simple, my man?-can you tell, coufin?

EVA. Peace: I pray you! Now let us underftand: There is three umpires in this matter, as I understand: that is-mafier Page, fidelicet, mafter Page; and there is myfelf, fidelicet, myfelf; and the three party is, laftly and finally, mine hoft of the Garter.

PAGE, We three, to hear it, and end it between them.

EVA. Fery goot: I will make a prief of it in my note-book; and we will afterwards 'ork upon the cause, with as great difcreetly as we can.

FAL. Piftol,

PIST, He hears with ears.

EVA. The tevil and his tam! what phrafe is this,? He hears with ear? Why, it is affectations.

FAL. Pistol, did you pick master Slender's purse?

SLEN. Ay, by thefe gloves, did he, (or I would I might never come in mine own great chamber again elfe,) of feven groats in mill-fixpences,' and two Edward fhovel-boards, that coft me two fhil

what phrafe is this, &c.] Sir Hugh is juftified in his cenfure of this paffage by Peacham, who in his Garden of Eloquence, 1577, places this very mode of expreflion under the article Pleonafmus. HENDERSON.

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1-mill-fixpences,] It appears from a paffage in Sir William Davenant's Newes from Plimouth, that these mill fixpences were ufed by way of counters to caft up money: A few mill'd fixpences, with which


'My purfer cafts accompt." STEEVENS.

2Edward fhovel-boards,] One of thefe pieces of metal is mentioned in Middleton's comedy of The Roaring Girl, 1611: -away flid 1 my man, like a shovel-board fhilling," &c. STEEVENS.

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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 shoave-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 moft part are used at Shoave-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 thefe 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 these were probably what cost 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, Weftminster, to play at it. Douce.

That Slender means the broad Shilling of one of our kings, appears from comparing these words with the correfponding paifage in the old quarto: Ay by this handkerchief did he ;two faire fhovel-board Shillings, befides feven 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:] Pistol, 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 farcafm intended is, that Slender had neither courage nor ftrength, as a latten sword 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 spelt 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 laiten bilboe means therefore, I believe, no more than a blade as thin as a lath a vice's dagger.


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 veilel 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.

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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 foftness or weakness. TYRWHITT.

Word of denial in thy labras here;] I fuppofe 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.

Nгм. Be advised, fir, and pafs 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 fenses: 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 adverfary, and is fuppofed 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: "I do retort the lie even in thy gorge, thy gorge, thy gorge." MALONE.


5 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 Say I am a thief. Enough is faid on the subject of hooking moveables out at windows, in a note on K. Henry IV.


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 whilft I live again,

8 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 beft comments on ShakIpeare's vulgarifms.

Dr. Farmer, indeed, obferves, that to fib is to beat; fo that being fap may mean being beaten; and cafhiered, 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, feems to understand that Bardolph had made use of a Latin word: "Ay, you fpake in Latin then too;" as Pistol had just 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, however, certainly means drunk, as appears from the gloffaries.


9 careires.] I believe this ftrange 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 ftop, to ftart, to pass carier, to bound."



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 Nathe's Have with you to Saffron Walden, &c. 1596: her hotteft fury may be refembled 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 paffes fome humours and cariers." MALONE.

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