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of peace sometime may be beholden to his friend for a man :-I keep but three men and a boy yet”, till my mother be dead : But what though ? yet I live like a poor gentleman born.
ANNE. I may not go in without your worship : they will not sit, till you come,
Slen. I’faith, I'll eat nothing; I thank you as much as though I did.
Anne. I pray you, sir, walk in.
Slen. I had rather walk here, I thank you: I bruised my shin the other day with playing at sword and dagger with a master of fence*, (three veneys
custom in England, as it is now in France, for persons to be attended at dinner by their own servants, wherever they dined.
M. Mason. 7- I keep but three men and a boy yet,] As great a fool as the poet has made Şlender, it appears, by his boasting of his wealth, his breeding and his courage, that he knew how to win a woman. This is a fine instance of Shakspeare's knowledge of nature. WARBURTON.
8 — a MASTER OF Fence,] Master of defence, on this occasion, does not simply mean a professor of the art of fencing, but a person who had taken his master's degree in it. I learn from one of the Sloanian MSS. (now in the British Museum, No. 2530, xxvi. .) which seems to be the fragment of a register formerly belonging to some of our schools where the “ Noble Science of Defence," was taught from the year 1568 to 1583, that in this art there were three degrees, viz. a Master's, a Provost's, and a Scholar's. For each of these a prize was played, as exercises are kept in universities for similar purposes. The weapons they used were the axe, the pike, rapier and target, rapier and cloke, two swords, the two-hand sword, the bastard sword, the dagger and staff, the sword and buckler, the rapier and dagger, &c. The places where they exercised were commonly theatres, halls, or other enclosures sufficient to contain a number of spectators: as Ely-Place in Holborn, the Bell Savage on Ludgate-Hill, the Curtain in Hollywell, the Gray Friars within Newgate, Hampton Court, the Bull in BishopsgateStreet, the Clink, Duke's Place, Salisbury-Court, Bridewell, the Artillery Garden, &c. &c. &c. Among those who distinguished themselves in this science, I find Tarlton the Comedian, who “ was allowed a master” the 23d of October, 1587 [I sup
for a dish of stewed prunes ? ;) and, by my troth, I cannot abide the smell of hot meat since. Why do your dogs bark so? be there bears i' the town?
Anne. I think, there are, sir; I heard them talked of.
Slen. I love the sport well; but I shall as soon quarrel at it as any man in England :-You are afraid, if you see the bear loose, are you not ?
Anne. Ay, indeed, sir.
pose, either as grand compounder, or by mandamus], he being “ ordinary grome of her majesties chamber,” and Robert Greene, who “ plaide his maister's prize at Leadenhall with three weapons," &c. The book from which these extracts are made, is a singular curiosity, as it contains the oaths, customs, regulations, prizes, summonses, &c. of this once fashionable society. K. Henry VIII. K. Edward VI. Philip and Mary, and Queen Elizabeth, were frequent spectators of their skill and activity.
STEEVENS. 9-three veneys for a dish, &c. i. e. three venues, French. Three different set-to's, bouts, (or hits, as Mr. Malone, perhaps more properly explains the word,) a technical term. So, in our author's Love's Labour's Lost : “A quick venew of wit.” Again, in Beaumont and Fletcher's Philaster:" thou wouldst be loth to play half a dozen veniés at Wasters with a good fellow for a broken head.” Again, in The Two Maids of More-clacke, 1609: “ This was a pass, 'twas fencer's play, and for the after reny, let me use my skill." So, in The Famous History, &c. of Capt. Tho. Stukely, 1605 : “ for forfeits and venneys given upon a wager at the ninth button of your doublet.”
Again, in the MSS. mentioned in the preceding note, “ And at any prize whether it be maister's prize, &c. whosoever doth play agaynste the prizer, and doth strike his blowe and close with all, so that the prizer cannot strike his blowe after agayne, shall wynne no game for any veneye so given, althoughe it shold breake the prizer's head." Steevens.
Slender means to say, that the wager for which he played was a dish of stew'd prunes, which was to be paid by him who received three hits. See Bullokar's English Expositor, 8vo. 1616: “ Venie. A touch in the body at playing with weapons.” See also Florio's Italian Dictionary, 1598 : Tocco. A touch or feeling. Also a venie at fence; a hit.” MALONE.
1 That's meat and drink to me now :] Decker has this prover
have seen Sackerson ? loose, twenty times; and have taken him by the chain : but, I warrant you, the women have so cried and shriek'd at it, that it pass'do:—but women, indeed, cannot abide 'em ; they are very ill-favoured rough things.
Re-enter Page. PAGE. Come, gentle master Slender, come ; we stay for you.
Slen. I'll eat nothing, I thank you, sir.
PAGE. By cock and pye 4, you shall not choose, sir : come, come.
bial phrase in his Satiromastix : “ Yes faith, 'tis meat and drink to me.” WHALLEY.
So, in Wily Beguiled : “ Lord, 'twould be as good as meat and drinke to me to see how the foole would woe you.” MALONE.
Touchstone, in As You Like It, uses the same phrase: “ It is meat and drink to me to see a clown.” Boswell. . ? — Sackerson - Seckarson is likewise the name of a bear in the old comedy of Sir Giles Goosecap. Steevens.
Sackerson, or Sacarson, was the name of a bear that was exhibited in our author's time at Paris-Garden in Southwark. See an old collection of Epigrams [by Sir John Davies] printed at Middlebourg (without date, but in or before 1598):
“ Publius, a student of the common law,
“ To see old Harry Hunkes and Sacarson." Sacarson probably had his name from his keeper. So, in the Puritan, a comedy, 1607 : “How many dogs do you think I had upon me? Almost as many as George Stone, the bear; three at once." Malone.
3 – that it pass’d :] It passid, or this passes, was a way of speaking customary heretofore, to signify the excess, or extraordinary degree of any thing. The sentence completed would be, This passes all expression, or perhaps, This passes all things. We still use passing well, passing strange. WARBURTON. So, in The Maid of the Mill by Fletcher and Rowley:
“ Come, follow me, you country lasses,
“ And you shall see such sport as passes.” Boswell. 4 By cock and pye,] This was a very popular adjuration, and occurs in many of our old dramatic pieces. See note on Act V. Sc. I, King Henry IV. P. II. STEEVENS.
Slen. Nay, pray you, lead the way.
Slen. Truly, I will not go first; truly, la : I will not do you that wrong.
Anne, I pray you, sir.
SLEN. I'll rather be unmannerly, than troublesome: you do yourself wrong, indeed, la. [Exeunt.
Enter Sir Hugh Evans and. SIMPLE. Eva. Go your ways, and ask of Doctor Caius' house, which is the way: and there dwells one mistress Quickly, which is in the manner of his nurse, or his dry nurse, or his cook, or his laundry , his washer, and his wringer.
Simp. Well, sir.
Eva. Nay, it is petter yet :- give her this letter; for it is a 'oman that altogether's acquaintance 6 with mistress Anne Page : and the letter is, to desire and require her to solicit your master's desires to mistress Anne Page: I pray you, be gone; I will
5 — or his LAUNDRY,] Sir Hugh means to say his launder. Thus, in Sidney's Arcadia, b. i. p. 44, edit. 1633 : “ — not only will make him an Amazon, but a launder, a spinner,” &c.
STEEVENS. 6 — that ALTOGETHER's acquaintance - ] The old copy readsaltogethers acquaintance; but should not this be “that altogether's acquaintance," i. e. that is altogether acquainted? The English, I apprehend, would still be bad enough for Evans.
TYRWHITT. I have availed myself of this judicious remark. Steevens.
make an end of my dinner; there's pippins and cheese to come.
A Room in the Garter Inn.
Enter FALSTAFF, Host, BARDOLPH, Nym, Pistoi,
and Robin. FAL. Mine host of the Garter,
Host. What says my bully-rook?? Speak scholarly, and wisely.
Fal. Truly, mine host, I must turn away some of my followers.
Host. Discard, bully Hercules; cashier: let them wag; trot, trot.
FAL. I sit at ten pounds a week.
Host. Thou’rt an emperor, Cæsar, Keisar, and Pheezar'. I will entertain Bardolph; he shall draw, he shall tap: said I well", bully Hector ?
7 — my BULLY-ROOK ?] The spelling of this word is corrupted, and thereby its primitive meaning is lost. The old plays have generally bully-rook, which is right; and so it is exhibited by the folio edition of this comedy, as well as the 4to. 1619. The latter part of this compound title is taken from the rooks at the game of chess. Steevens.
Bully-rook seems to have been the reading of some editions : in others it is bully-rock. Mr. Steevens's explanation of it, as alluding to chess-men, is right. But Shakspeare might possibly have given it bully-rock, as rock is the true name of these men, which is softened or corrupted into rook. There is seemingly more humour in bully-rock. WHALLEY.
8 Keisar,] The preface to Stowe's Chronicle observes, that the Germans use the K for C, pronouncing Keysar, for Cæsar, their general word for an emperor. Tollet.
9 — and PaeeZAR.] Pheezar was a made word from pheeze, “ I'll pheeze you," says Sly to the Hostess, in The Taming of the Shrew. Malone.
'- said I well,] The learned editor of the Canterbury