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sack to und in di
lainous man”: Yet a coward is worse than a cup of sack with lime in it; a villainous coward.Go thy
copy of 1613, we find—“Why then 'tis like, if there comes a hot sun,”-instead of—" a hot June.” There, as in the instance before us, the error is implicitly copied in the folio.- In that copy also, in Timon of Athens, Act IV. Sc. ult. we find “twixt natural sunne and sire," instead of “_ 'twixt natural son and sire.” Malone
Till the deviation from established grammar, which Mr. Malone has styled “the phraseology of our poet's age," be supported by other examples than such as are drawn from the most incorrect and vitiated of all publications, I must continue to exclude the double genitive, as one of the numerous vulgarisms by which the early printers of Shakspeare have disgraced his compositions.
It must frequently happen, that while we suppose ourselves struggling with the defects and obscurities of our author, we are in reality busied by' omissions, interpolations, and corruptions, chargeable only on the ignorance and carelessness of his original transcribers and editors. Steevens.
“ Pitiful-hearted Titan," &c. I should prefer Dr. Warburton's punctuation and reading; though butter cannot literally melt at a tale, yet, as Mr. Malone has justly observed, Shakspeare's similes seldom quadrate completely. As to pitiful-hearted signifying amorous, our author, perhaps as well as Dryden, knew
“ that love was in the next degree,
« For pity melts the soul to love."
If the old copies of Shakspeare are not considered as sufficient authority for a phraseology which is common at this day, I can produce that of one of the commentators. See Mr. Edwards's note, p. 14, “ This observation of Mr. Pope's." I am however convinced, with Mr. Blakeway, that Warburton's explanation is the right one. Boswell.
5 - here's lime in this sack too: There is nothing but roguery to be found in villainous man :] Sir Richard Hawkins, one of Queen Elizabeth's sea-captains, in his Voyages, p. 379, says : " Since the Spanish sacks have been common in our taverns, which for conservation are mingled with the lime in the making, our nation complains of calentures, of the stone, the dropsy, and infinite other distempers, not heard of before this wine came into frequent use. Besides, there is no year that it wasteth not two
ways, old Jack; die when thou wilt, if manhood, good manhood, be not forgot upon the face of the
millions of crowns of our substance, by conveyance into foreign countries." I think Lord Clarendon, in his Apology, tells us, “ That sweet wines before the Restoration were so much to the English taste, that we engrossed the whole product of the Canaries ; and that not a pipe of it was expended in any other country in Europe.” But the banished cavaliers brought home with them the goust for French wines, which has continued ever since.
WARBURTON. Dr. Warburton does not consider that sack, in Shakspeare, is most probably thought to mean what we now call sherry, which, when it is drank, is still drank with sugar. Johnson.
Rhenish is drank with sugar, but never sherry.
The difference between the true sack and sherry, is distinctly marked by the following passage in Fortune by Land and Sea, by Heywood and Rowley, 1655 :
“ Rayns. Some sack, boy, &c.
Steevens. Eliot, in his Orthoepia, 1593, speaking of sack and rhenish. says: “The vintners of London put in lime, and thence proceed infinite maladies, specially the gouttes." FARMER.
From the following passage in Greene's Ghost Haunting Coniecatchers, 1604, it seems as though lime was mixed with the sack for the purpose of giving strength to the liquor : " -- a christian exhortation to Mother Bunch would not have done amisse, that she should not mixe lime with her ale to make it mightie.” Reed.
Sack, the favourite beverage of Sir John Falstaff, was, according to the information of a very old gentleman, a liquor compounded of sherry, cyder, and sugar, Sometimes it should seem to have been brewed with eggs, i. e. mulled. And that the vintners played tricks with it, appears from Falstaff's charge in the text. It does not seem to be at present known; the sweet wine so called, being apparently of a quite different nature. Ritson.
That the sweet wine at present called sack, is different from Falstaff's favourite liquor, I am by no means convinced. On the contrary, from the fondness of the English nation for sugar at this period, I ain rather inclined to Dr. Warburton's opinion on this subject. If the English drank only rough wine with sugar, there appears nothing extraordinary, or worthy of particular notice; and that their partiality for sugar was very great, will appear from the following passage in Hentzner already quoted, p. 205, as well as the passage from Morison's Itinerary, which being since adopted by Mr. Malone in his note, ibid. need not to be here repeated.
e of the
earth, then am I a shotten herring. There live not three good men unhanged in England; and one of them is fat, and grows old: God help the while! a bad world, I say! I would I were a weaver; I could sing psalms or any thing o: A plague of all cowards, I say still.
The addition of sugar even to sack, might, perhaps, to a taste habituated to sweets, operate only in a manner to improve the flavour of the wine. REED,
Om I would I were a weaver; I could sing psalms, &c.] In the first edition [the quarto 1598,] the passage is read thus :“ I could sing psalms or any thing." in the first folio thus : “I could sing all manner of songs.” Many expressions bordering on indecency or profaneness are found in the first editions, which are afterwards corrected. The reading of the three last editions, “ I could sing psalms and all manner of songs,” is made without authority out of different copies. Johnson,
The editors of the folio, 1623, to avoid the penalty of the statute, 3 Jac. I. c. xxi. changed the text here, as they did in many other places from the same motive. MALONE.
In the persecutions of the Protestants in Flanders under Philip II, those who came over into England on that occasion, brought with them the woollen manufactory. These were Calvinists, who were always distinguished for their love of psalmody.
WARBURTON. I believe nothing more is here meant than to allude to the practice of weavers, who, having their hands more employed than their minds, amuse themselves frequently with songs at the loom. The knight, being full of vexation, wishes he could sing to divert his thoughts.
Weavers are mentioned as lovers of musick in The Merchant of Venice. [Twelfth-Night, vol. xi. p. 390, n. 2.] Perliaps“ to sing like a weaver" might be proverbial. JOHNSON.
Dr. Warburton's observation may be confirmed by the following passage : Ben Jonson, in The Silent Woman, makes Cutberd tell Morose, that “the parson caught his cold by sitting up late, and singing catches with cloth-workers." STEEVENS.
So, in The Winter's Tale : “- but one puritan among them, and he sings psalms to hornpipes." Malone.
The Protestants who fled from the persecution of the Duke d'Alva were mostly weavers and woollen manufacturers : they settled in Gloucestershire, Somersetshire, and other counties, and (as Dr. Warburton observes,) being Calvinists, were distinguished for their love of psalmody. For many years the inhabitants of
P. Hen. How now, wool-sack, what mutter you?
Fal. A king's son! If I do not beat thee out of thy kingdom with a dagger of lath?, and drive all thy subjects afore thee like a flock of wild geese, I'll never wear hair on my face more. You prince of Wales !
P. Hen. Why, you whoreson round man! what's the matter.
FAL. Are you not a coward ? answer me to that? and Poins there?
Poins. 'Zounds, ye fat paunch, an ye call me coward, I'll stab thee.
Fal. I call thee coward ! I'll see thee damned ere I call thee coward: but I would give a thousand pound, I could run as fast as thou canst. You are straight enough in the shoulders, you care not who sees your back: Call you that backing of your friends? A plague upon such backing! give me them that will face me.--Give me a cup of sack :I am a rogue, if I drunk to-day,
these counties have excelled the rest of the kingdom in the skill of vocal harmony. SIR J. HAWKINS,
7-a dagger of lath,] i, e. such a dagger as the Vice in the old moralities was arm’d with. So, in Twelfth-Night :
“ lo a trice, like to the old Vice,
« Your need to sustain :
" In his rage and his wrath,” &c. Again, in Like Will to Like, quoth the Devil to the Collier, 1587, the Vice says :
“ Come no neer me you knaves for your life,
" Body o' me, they have tane away my dagger." And in the Second Part of this play, Falstaff calls Shallow a “ Vice's dagger." Steevens.
8 Poins. 'Zounds, &c ] Thus the first quarto and the three subsequent copies. In the quarto of 1613, Prince being prefixed to this speech by the carelessness of the printer, the error, with many others, was adopted in the folio; the quarto of 1613 being evidently the copy from which the folio was printed. MALONE.
P. Hen. O villain! thy lips are scarce wiped since thou drunk'st last.
Fal. All's one for that. A plague of all cowards, still say I.
[He drinks. P. Hen. What's the matter ?
FAL. What's the matter? there be four of us here have ta'en a thousand pound this morning.
P. Hen. Where is it, Jack? where is it?
FAL. Where is it? taken from us it is : a hundred upon poor four us.
P. HEN. What, a hundred, man?
FAL. I am a rogue, if I were not at half-sword with a dozen of them two hours together. I have 'scap'd by miracle. I am eight times thrust through the doublet: four, through the hose; my buckler cut through and through'; my sword hacked like a hand-saw, ecce signum. I never dealt better since I was a man: all would not do. A plague of all cowards !--Let them speak: if they speak more or less than truth, they are villains, and the sons of darkness.
P. Hen. Speak, sirs; how was it ?
? — my buckler cut through and through ;] It appears from the old comedy of The Two Angry Women of Abington, that this method of defence and fight was in Shakspeare's time growing out of fashion. The play was published in 1599, and one of the characters in it makes the following observation :
"I see by this dearth of good swords, that sword-and-bucklerfight begins to grow out. I am sorry for it; I shall never see good manhood again. If it be once gone, this poking fight of rapier and dagger will come up then. Then a tall man, and a good sword-and-buckler-man, will be spitted like a cat, or a coney: then a boy will be as good as a man," &c. STEEVENS.
See vol. viii. p. 70, n.3. MALONE.